On The Media

Shedding Light on Drones

Friday, May 01, 2015

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, discusses oversight of US drone programs and proposes how to make them more public. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Brooke Gladstone on DHS Oversight; MTA; DNA

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brooke Gladstone, co-host and managing editor of On The Media talks about a new program to shed light on the Department of Homeland Security (with a little help from listeners). Then, the 30 Issues in 30 Days election series continues with a look at the state of the MTA with WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein and Jim O’Grady. Plus: Emma Keller, columnist for The Guardian, and Kai Wright of Color Lines, talk about their personal exploration of DNA.

Transportation Nation

BREAKING: Ray LaHood Condemns DC Airports Authority Board: "We Are Outraged"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

(UPDATED WITH MWAA RESPONSE) The head of the U.S. Department of Transportation says the board controlling the Silver Line is out of control and "in desperate need of reform."

Ray LaHood has sent a blistering letter to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority questioning the board's ethics and laying out steps the authority must take to get in line.  Co-signed by the governors of Virginia and Maryland, as well as the mayor of D.C., the letter is an unflinching condemnation of "an organization that conducts much of its business behind closed doors."

The MWAA oversees the DC-area airports as well as the ongoing construction of the Silver Line, one of the largest and most expensive infrastructure projects in the region. A recent audit this spring slammed the MWAA for weak oversight, overspending, conflicts of interest, lax ethics, and lack of transparency.

And, if today's letter is any indicator, things haven't improved much since then.

The letter reads: "We are outraged by ongoing reports describing questionable dealings, including the award of numerous lucrative no-bid contracts to former Board members and employees and the employment of former Board members. It has become clear that MWAA's policies and procedures are deficient and lack the safeguards necessary to ensure the principled oversight of nationally and regionally significant assets."

The letter goes on to list eight steps the MWAA must take to bring itself in line with "best Federal practices" and "regain the trust of the public we all serve."

Michael Curto, the chairman of the MWAA's board, said in a statement: "We acknowledge the concerns of the Secretary of Transportation, our elected officials and others, and we are committed to restoring public trust wherever it is lost and to earning and assuring the confidence of the people we serve."

Curto says the MWAA is "making significant progress in a number of areas," and goes on to list eight ways the Authority is reforming.

Read the letter Ray LaHood sent to the MWAA in its entirety below.

MWAA Letter

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The Takeaway

Prosecutor John Durham to Look at CIA Abuses

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder will appoint federal prosecutor John Durham to investigate alleged prisoner abuses at CIA prisons during the Bush administration.  Durham has a long reputation as a no-nonsense, under-the-radar prosecutor who’s gone after career criminals and corrupt government officials for decades.

For more on this elusive figure, we talk to Durham’s old boss Kevin O'Connor, former U.S. Attorney for the State of Connecticut. And for more on the ramifications of the decision to investigate the CIA's interrogation techniques, we turn to New York Times Reporter Scott Shane.


The Takeaway

On the Trail of the TARP

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Try to imagine tracking $700 billion dollars as it moves out the doors of the United States Treasury Department and into the coffers of America's biggest banks. That's essentially the charge of our guest, Elizabeth Warren. Warren, the Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University, is the Chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which watches where the TARP money goes. When President Obama talks about transparency, she's the one who helps make it happen. She joins The Takeaway in advance of a new TARP report due out today.

For more from Elizabeth Warren, click here for her interview on personal finance

Which banks will need more money? See our report card