90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Top Secret America

The explosion of America’s intelligence world after 9/11. We’ll look at security, civil liberties, and the cost of everything that’s now top secret.

The headquarters of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md. (AP)

The headquarters of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md. (AP)

Since 9.11, America’s world of top secret intelligence and security operations has exploded in scale and reach. However big you may think it is, odds are it’s much, much bigger.

A vast, underground, often unaccountable sprawling universe of agents and agencies, public and private, tracking and tracing and probing, and killing.

Ten years on, it’s time to take stock of whether it’s defending or infringing. We’ll do that today with Dana Priest of the Washington Post, and Glenn Greenwald of Salon.

This hour On Point: the explosion of top secret America.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dana Priest, staff writer for the Washington Post, who covers national security, intelligence, and counterterrorism. Her new book, co-authored with William M. Arkin,  is “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.”

Read an excerpt, and watch the Frontline documentary based on the book.

Glenn Greenwald, previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York, he is a blogger for Salon.com and the author of “Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics.”

Vance Gilbert, folk musician who had a high-profile altercation with airport security this summer.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post “The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”

Salon.com “The ACLU decided to use the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack to comprehensively survey the severe erosion of civil liberties justified in the name of that event, an erosion that — as it documents — continues unabated, indeed often in accelerated form, under the Obama administration.”

Boston Globe “A well-known member of the local folk scene, Gilbert maintains that after boarding a United Airlines flight on Aug. 14, he was pulled off the plane and questioned about his fanny pack (which he’d tucked into his backpack under the seat in front of him) and about a book he was reading on historic planes.”

More

FRONTLINE | Sneak Peek: Inside “Top Secret America” | PBS

Tom Ashbrook with Vance Gilbert (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

Tom Ashbrook with Vance Gilbert (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

 
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment