Monday, June 30, 2008

Today's Democracy Now!

Hersh: Congress Agreed to Bush Request to Fund Major Escalation in Secret Operations Against Iran
Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing Iran’s leadership, according to a new article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine. The operations were set out in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which, by law, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran’s nuclear program. Hersh joins us from Washington DC.

Affirmative Action on Ballot in Three States: A Debate
Affirmative action programs in at least three more states could come to an end this November, thanks to proposed ballot measures spearheaded by California millionaire and former University of California regent Ward Connerly. The states in question are Arizona, Colorado, and Nebraska. Opponents of affirmative-action had also been campaigning in Missouri and Oklahoma but failed to gather enough signatures to get their initiatives on state ballots. We host a debate between Jessica Peck Corry, the executive director of the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative and Melissa Hart, the president of Coloradans for Equal Opportunity.

Police, Firefighters, Utility Workers Among Hundreds Trained as "Terrorism Liaison Officers"
Colorado is one among of handful of states where hundreds of firefighters, paramedics, police, and even corporate employees are being trained to hunt down and report a broadly defined range of “suspicious activities.” They’re called Terrorism Liaison Officers. The federally supported initiative trains them to look out for “observed behavior that may be indicative of intelligence-gathering or pre-operational planning related to terrorism.”

ACLU Sues Denver for Security Equipment Details Ahead of DNC
As Denver gears up for the Democratic National Convention later this summer, the federal government has allocated $50 million for security-related expenses connected to the convention. Denver has revealed that $18 million is budgeted for equipment purchases, but most of the details remain secret, prompting the ACLU to file a civil lawsuit. We speak with the legal director of the Colorado ACLU, Mark Silverstein.

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