Tag: nsa

Background Briefing: May 21, 2020


Trump Trashes Another Treaty

We begin with the tearing up of a third major arms control treaty by President Trump, this time the Open Skies Treaty, first proposed by President Eisenhower then eventually signed in 1992 by 34 nations. Joseph Cirincione, the President of the Ploughshares Fund and host of the “Press the Button” podcast and author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, joins us to speculate why Trump is ending a treaty which allows nations to fly over each other’s territory with spy planes to make sure nobody is planning a military attack. Amid concerns that Trump is planning to pull out of the one major arms control treaty that is left between the U.S. and Russia, New START, we discuss how this move against Open Skies will hurt our NATO allies who are signatories to the treaty, especially the Baltic states who will not be able to monitor Russian troop movements near their borders because Russia is sure to reciprocate and cut off surveillance flights over their territory. Again the president’s actions appear to hurt our allies and benefit no one except Trump’s friend Putin, leaving us to fear that if he is reelected, Trump will give Putin the ultimate gift of the U.S. pulling out of NATO.


A Call to Speak Out Against Trump’s Anti-Asian Language and Hold Him Responsible For the Violence it Inspires

Then, as Trump escalates his anti-Chinese rhetoric to deflect blame onto China for his own disastrous mishandling on the Covid-19 pandemic, we speak with Katie Kalvoda, the Founder and President of Asian Americans Rising, a political organization committed to increasing Asian-American representation in politics. She joins us to discuss her organization’s call for elected officials and those running for office to speak out forcefully against inflammatory anti-Asian language but also directly hold President Trump accountable for the violence he has inspired.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Barton Gellman on His Dealings With Edward Snowden

Then finally we speak with three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Barton Gellman about his new book just out, Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State. He joins us to discuss his experiences with Snowden before and after Snowden surfaced in Hong Kong, and the enormous cache of secrets he was given by Snowden which attracted the attention of the FBI and NSA’s “Q Group” as well as foreign intelligence services eager to get their hands on what he has under lock and key.