This week saw several revelations about US government surveillance of both Americans and foreigners. Brooke and Bob talk to Washingtonian writer Shane Harris and co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, Elizabeth Goitein, about the what we can glean from the information that became public this week.
The Turkish protests of the last two weeks have seen the rise of citizen journalists using social media to tell the story. Early on mainstream Turkish broadcast media paid no attention to the demonstrations. Turkish journalist and Al-Monitor columnist Tulin Daloglu explains why. Daloglu runs the Twitter feed @turkeypulse.
Historically, Prime Minister Erdogan has consolidated much of his power by raising fears about the threat of domestic terrorism and the so-called “deep state,” a covert network of military and civilian elites who for decades have stifled any perceived threat to a secular Turkey. It’s a kind of cabal of unseen hands, often violent, that smacks of conspiracy theory. Except, as TheNew Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins tells Bob, it actually exists.
Shortly before last month’s mayoral primary in Pittsburgh an attack ad began airing criticizing one of the mayoral candidates. The ad was paid for by an anonymous third party and ordinarily the search into its provenance would have stopped there. But last year the FCC changed disclosure rules for anonymous attack ads. Brooke talks to Tim McNulty, political reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, about who paid for the ad and why.
Next week, Iran is holding its first presidential election since the one in 2009 that sparked the protests in the street known as the Green Revolution. The Iranian government is hoping to avoid a repeat of what it saw in 2009, in part by restricting the free flow of information in the country. Bob speaks to Golnaz Esfandiari, a senior correspondent for Radio Free Europe and editor of the Persian Letters blog, about what the Iranian media landscape is looking like in the run up to the election.
One way the Iranian government has been trying to ensure a smooth election is by slowing down the internet to a nearly unusable speed. This is in addition to blocking Iranians from Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of international news sites. Brooke talks to an Nariman Gharib, an Iranian expatriate who connects with people still in Iran to help them find workarounds to the Iranian “filternet.”
In the summer of 2009, Neda Agha-Soltan became the face of the Iranian Green Revolution after her tragic death by gunshot was caught on cell phone camera and uploaded online for the whole world to see. The international media rushed to put a face to the victim--but the face they used was that of another Iranian woman by the name of Neda Soltani, who was still very much alive. In a piece that originally aired in November of last year, Brooke speaks to Neda Soltani, author of My Stolen Face: The Story of a Dramatic Mistake.