Dec 17 2013

Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on NSA Spying Ruled Unconstitutional, Senate Confirmation of Jeh Johnson, and BDS Movement Victory of Academic Boycott of Israel

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, a Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

A federal judge has just ruled the NSA’s spying as likely unconstitutional in a major victory for privacy advocates. Judge Richard Leon called the program “almost Orwellian,” and decried the fact that “The government does not cite a single case in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack.” Meanwhile, whistleblower Edward Snowden whose data release prompted the extensive media coverage of the NSA, has offered his services to Brazil to help them investigate the NSA spying on President Dilma Rousseff in exchange for political asylum. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

The US Senate confirmed a Pentagon lawyer named Jeh Johnson to head the Department of Homeland Security yesterday, overcoming a Republican-led filibuster. Johnson was described by CNN as “a key architect of President Barack Obama’s anti-terrorism policies that have included stepped up drone use in terrorist hotspots.” Johnson will replace Janet Napolitano who has faced student protests in her new position leading the University of California system. Click here for a CNN news article about the story.

In one of the most significant victories for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the American Studies Association (ASA) has just announced it will honor the on-going academic boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. The ASA passed a resolution banning “formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions.” It comes on the heels of a move earlier in the year by internationally renowned physicist Stephen Hawking’s decision to pull out of an Israeli conference. Click here for a Guardian news article about the story.

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