This Week on Between The Lines

Posted June 10, 2015 for week ending June 19, 2015


"What we're demanding is a new (post-Watergate era) 'Church Committee' – (so) that Congress actually stops and takes an audit really of all the surveillance programs that are going on inside the country so that we can get a handle on what effect this is having on our privacy and our civil liberties."

– Sue Udry, executive director of Defending Dissent Foundation on the ongoing fight repeal/reform NSA dragnet warrantless surveillance.

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Civil Liberties Advocates Say USA Freedom Act Falls Short on Reforming NSA Dragnet Surveillance

MP3 Interview with Sue Udry, executive director, Defending Dissent Foundation, conducted by Scott Harris


In the congressional debate over reforming the National Security Agency’s dragnet surveillance of American's phone communications, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's political miscalculations allowed three controversial provisions under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act to expire on June 1. However, the law was reinstated the next day when the Senate passed the USA Freedom Act, which the House had approved earlier. President Obama, who supported the bill, signed the USA Freedom Act into law that same day.  Story continues

Opponents Rally to Stop Expansion of Gas Pipeline Near Troubled Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

MP3 Interview with Susan Rubin, climate activist, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Grassroots groups all over the U.S. are fighting proposals for new or expanded fracked gas pipelines. In the last week of May, about 200 people protested outside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, demanding that the industry-funded agency stops approving all pending permits for pipelines, compressor stations, gas storage facilities and gas export terminals until the agency is completely reformed.  Story continues

GOP Voter Suppression Laws Challenged Ahead of 2016 Presidential Election

MP3 Interview with Jennifer Clark, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, conducted by Scott Harris


Since the 2010 midterm election, 21 states, the majority controlled by the Republican Party, have passed an assortment of new laws that make it harder for specific groups of citizens to vote. Fourteen states will have new voting restriction laws in place for the first time in a presidential election in November 2016. These measures include restrictive voter ID laws, reduction in the days and hours of early voting and obstacles placed on registering new voters and accessing absentee ballots. While Republican lawmakers assert new limits on voting rights have been introduced to prevent voter fraud, independent analysis has found no evidence to support their claim. The flood of new regulations disenfranchising voters followed the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling which gutted a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

MP3  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon


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