Alex Emmons
Alex Emmons
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Top Republican Warns That Under New Spending Bill "the Intelligence Community Could Expend Funds as It Sees Fit"

Top Republican Warns That Under New Spending Bill "the Intelligence Community Could Expend Funds as It Sees Fit"

In a dramatic moment on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, as the upper chamber rushed a spending bill through to end the government shutdown, the top Republican and Democrat on the Intelligence Committee warned that the bill contains language that would kneecap Congress’s ability to oversee secret covert actions and surveillance programs. Their effort to amend the language was rebuffed.The intelligence community, in its latest grasp, has gone too far even for Richard Burr. The Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence committee has long been one of the Senate’s staunchest advocates for...

January 23, 2018
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Capitol Hill Assault Revives Calls for Domestic Terrorism Law, but Civil Liberties Groups Are Wary

Capitol Hill Assault Revives Calls for Domestic Terrorism Law, but Civil Liberties Groups Are Wary

Since Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, evidence has piled up showing that many had violent intentions. Photos of and and of assailants trying to smash their way through barricaded doors have highlighted how much danger members of Congress were in before they were evacuated to safety.The events of January 6 may be the defining moment of Donald Trump’s presidency. But the siege was also the culmination of about the the growing threat posed by far-right extremists. An October from the Department of Homeland Security, for example, said that “white supremacist...

Jan 10
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Biden Defense Secretary Nominee Lloyd Austin Comes Under Fire for Industry Connections

Biden Defense Secretary Nominee Lloyd Austin Comes Under Fire for Industry Connections

, Last month, two progressive members of Congress sent President-elect Joe Biden a requesting that he commit to nominating a secretary of defense with no previous ties to weapons manufacturers. The letter, from Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., and Rep. Barbara Lee D-Calif., cited President Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary Mark Esper — a former lobbyist for Raytheon, one the country’s largest defense contractors — and called on Biden to adopt a different standard and find a nominee with “no prior employment history with a defense contractor.”But on Tuesday, Biden announced that he will nominate...

Dec 9
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Progressives Look to Wield Power in a New Place: The Foreign Affairs Committee

Progressives Look to Wield Power in a New Place: The Foreign Affairs Committee

On November 2, anticipating President Donald Trump’s impending electoral demise, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas,  to turn the page on the administration’s treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers. Castro called on Congress to create a special body — either a human rights commission or a select committee — that would investigate under Trump and refer any violations of the law to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.Castro has also called for bringing the war in Afghanistan to an end, cutting off U.S. support for the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, and having Congress end blank-check...

Nov 25
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Louis Bremer Questioned About Khashoggi Murder

Louis Bremer Questioned About Khashoggi Murder

Louis Bremer is on the board of a company that may have trained the Saudi team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.The Trump administration’s nominee for a top special operations post at the Pentagon is facing questions about whether a company he helps oversee trained members of the Saudi team who killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.In May, President Donald Trump nominated Louis Bremer — a former Navy SEAL turned investment banker — to serve as assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict. In that role, Bremer would be the top civilian in the Defense...

August 6, 2020
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Progressives Plan to Push Big Cuts to Defense Spending, Citing Coronavirus Crisis

Progressives Plan to Push Big Cuts to Defense Spending, Citing Coronavirus Crisis

Sen. Bernie Sanders will propose a sweeping 10 percent cut to Pentagon spending, with the savings redirected as grant money to “high-poverty” areas in the United States, according to the text of a forthcoming amendment his office shared with The Intercept.Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are planning to use Sanders’s amendment as part of an effort to push for drastic cuts to military spending in this year’s budget in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic impact. The group of legislators also wants to build support for the idea of reducing the...

June 24, 2020
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2014 Bloomberg Hoped the NSA Was “Reading Every Email”

2014 Bloomberg Hoped the NSA Was “Reading Every Email”

In October 2014, on a stage in San Francisco in front of a live audience, Katie Couric asked Mike Bloomberg whether he had ever “sexted on Snapchat.” The former New York City mayor, speaking alongside Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel at the Vanity Fair , joked that he “couldn’t answer the question.” But the question prompted Bloomberg to describe his views on data collection, and a personal “Richard Nixon lesson” about record-keeping.What followed was a lighthearted discussion of digital privacy, in which Bloomberg, now a candidate in the Democratic presidential race, praised the National...

February 14, 2020
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Human Rights Watch Took Money From Saudi Businessman After Documenting His Coercive Labor Practices

Human Rights Watch Took Money From Saudi Businessman After Documenting His Coercive Labor Practices

Human Rights Watch accepted a sizable donation from a Saudi billionaire shortly after its researchers documented labor abuses at one of the man’s companies, a potential violation of the rights group’s own fundraising guidance.Human Rights Watch recently returned the gift from Saudi real estate magnate Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, which came with the caveat that it could not be used to support the group’s LGBT advocacy in the Middle East and North Africa. The controversial donation is at the center of a contentious internal debate about the judgment and leadership of Human Rights...

March 2, 2020
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In Dramatic Policy Shift, Biden Withdraws U.S. Support for Saudi “Offensive Operations” in Yemen

In Dramatic Policy Shift, Biden Withdraws U.S. Support for Saudi “Offensive Operations” in Yemen

In his first major foreign policy address, President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he would end American support for Saudi and United Arab Emirates-led “offensive operations” in Yemen, echoing a he made on the campaign trail in 2019.Speaking at the State Department, Biden told diplomats that he would prioritize diplomatic solutions to the conflict and appointed, as a special envoy, one of the department’s top Middle East experts. He also announced support for a cease-fire and an effort to restart long-stalled peace talks.“This war has to end,” Biden said. “And to underscore our...

Feb 4
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New Bill Would Strengthen Protections for Journalists Over Classified Info

New Bill Would Strengthen Protections for Journalists Over Classified Info

Almost a year after the Trump administration unsealed an indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, two progressive members of Congress are trying to prevent a World War I-era secrecy law from being used to investigate and prosecute journalists for publishing classified information.The legislation to amend the 1917 Espionage Act was introduced by Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden in the Senate and California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna in the House of Representatives. Wyden and Khanna told The Intercept they crafted the legislation to preserve the government’s need for secrecy while...

March 7, 2020
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