Sunday, October 12, 2014

"60 Minutes" on October 12, 2014 on NSA surveillance program

The first story was Scott Pelley interviewing James B. Comey, who was sworn in as the seventh Director of the FBI on September 4, 2013. The general topic was the NSA surveillance program. Early in the interview, Comey noted Americans should be skeptical of government power and oversight of courts will be at the head of the FBI's mission. We should not be doing anything we cannot explain. No surveillance by FBI without court order. This is an extremely burdensome process and I like it that way. There was discussion of CyWatch. The interview showed a copy of an FBI document ordering surveillance of Martin Luther King, signed by then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Comey noted it was important that the FBI never be untethered to oversight and accountability.

The second story was Lesley Stahl interviewing James Risen. Issue of NSA surveillance being inconsistent with a 1978 law requiring a court order. Did authority of president as commander-in-chief trump the 1978 law? Jim Risen is threatened with jail for not revealing his sources. Bill Keller then of NYT was summoned to the White House. If the NYT published story, would it cost lives? Keller decided not to run Risen story. In Dec. 2004, the NYT killed the story again. Jill Abramson was second in command at the NYT. By 2005, the atmosphere had changed, and the NYT put Risen story back in play.
Meeting at White House. The NYT ran story on Dec. 16, 2005. Book by Risen: State of War. Chapter 9: A Rogue Operation.
Operation Merlin. Obama administration has prosecuted more government leakers than all previous administrations combined.
Former head of NSA does not think Risen should be prosecuted. How to redress Risen's wrong?

Third, a story on Joaquin "El Chopo" Guzman, a drug dealer, done by Bill Whitaker. After the death of Bin Laden, El Chopo became the most wanted man in the word. The drug cartel was run like a Fortune 500 company. Drugs were placed into fake cucumbers and bananas. A routine investigation in Nogales, AZ started the demise of Guzman. The communications structure.


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