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Top 20 Most Popular Interviews - 2013

These are the 20 most-viewed Democracy Now! segments in 2013, measured by the number of visitors each report received after being posted at We are highlighting the links one at a time here on Pinterest and on the Democracy Now! Facebook page — and will feature the most popular segment of the year on December 31. Check back for updates!

Top 20 Most Popular Interviews - 2013

  • 20 Pins

#1 Democracy Now! reports on the case in Steubenville, Ohio, where members of a high school football team allegedly raped an unconscious female classmate at a party in 2012. The young men chronicled their actions on Facebook and Twitter. To bring attention to the case, Anonymous released a video showing a male Steubenville student joking about the alleged victim. We speak to the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, an Alternet editor, and a member of Anonymous using the pseudonym "X."

#2 Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail discusses how the U.S. invasion of Iraq has left behind a legacy of cancer and birth defects suspected of being caused by the U.S. military’s extensive use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus. Noting the birth defects in Fallujah, Jamail says: "What this has generated is, from 2004 to today, we are seeing a rate of congenital malformations in the city of Fallujah that has surpassed even that in the wake of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

#3 For a response to President Obama’s comments on the acquittal of George Zimmerman and racism in the United States, Democracy Now! speaks with Dr. Cornel West, author and professor at Union Theological Seminary. On Obama’s remarks comparing himself to Trayvon Martin, West says: "Will that identification hide and conceal the fact there’s a criminal justice system in place that has nearly destroyed two generations of precious, poor black and brown brothers? [Obama] hasn’t said a word until now."

#4 Democracy Now! reported this story on May 7, 2013: The Mississippi Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution for Willie Manning, in a case with an unusual admission from the FBI that its original analysis of the evidence contained errors. Manning was convicted of murdering Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller in 1992. Manning’s attorneys argue that no physical evidence ties him to the murders and that testing hair samples and other evidence could identify a different killer.

#5 On October 4, Democracy Now! learned from supporters and loved ones of Angola 3 member Herman Wallace that he had passed away from terminal liver cancer just three days after being released from prison in Louisiana. He had spent 42 years in solitary confinement. Shortly after being released, the state announced it would re-indict him. His legal team said in a press release: “Although his freedom was much too of the final things that Herman said to us was, ‘I am free. I am free.’"

#6 Democracy Now! get reaction to Obama’s September speech on Syria from world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky. "The Russian plan is a godsend for Obama," Chomsky says. "It saves him from what would look like a very serious defeat. ... He can maintain the threat of force, which incidentally is a crime under international law. The core principle of the United Nations Charter bars the threat or use of force. So all of this is criminal, to begin with, but he’ll continue with that."

#7 Democracy Now! looks at secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is often referred to by critics as "NAFTA on steroids," and would establish a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. We speak with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. "It is a corporate Trojan horse."

"A Corporate Trojan Horse": Obama Pushes Secretive TPP Trade Pact, Would Rewrite Swath of U.S. Laws

#8 Former CIA agent John Kiriakou speaks out just days after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, becoming the first CIA official to face jail time for any reason relating to the U.S. torture program. Kiriakou joins Democracy Now! to discuss his story, along with his attorney, Jesselyn Radack, director of National Security and Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project.

#9 Democracy Now! reports on the February manhunt in California for Christopher Dorner, the former L.A. police officer accused of shooting four people dead. In his online manifesto, Dorner threatened to wage "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against a police department he accused of racism and corruption. We talk to journalist and activist Davey D, who says Dorner’s manifesto "has reaffirmed what people have long suspected or have experienced in terms of [police] brutality."

#10 The FBI added Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorist List May 2, 2013. She was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army and was convicted in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey police officer during a shoot-out that left a her fellow activists dead. Shakur fled to Cuba where she received political asylum. She once wrote, "I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression."

#11 The documentary "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield" follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill to Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen as he chases down the hidden truths behind America’s expanding covert wars. Democracy Now! speaks to Scahill and the film’s director, Rick Rowley. "We’re looking right now at a reality that President Obama has essentially extended the very policies that many of his supporters once opposed under President Bush," Scahill says.

#12 Lavabit, an encrypted email service believed to have been used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, abruptly shut down in August. The move came amidst a legal fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to customer information. In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we speak with Lavabit owner Ladar Levison and his lawyer, Jesse Binnall. "I think if the American public knew what our government was doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore."

#13 A shocking study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Democracy Now! speaks with Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher and author of the ACLU report, "A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses."

#14 In 2005, Democracy Now! reported that the U.S. government has now admitted its troops used white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon against Iraqis during the assault on Fallujah. Chemical weapons experts say such attacks are in violation of international law banning the use of chemical weapons. We speak with columnist George Monbiot and Maurizio Torrealta, the news director of RAI TV, the Italian TV network that produced the film "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre."

#15 One day after the exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur became the first woman named to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, Democracy Now! speaks with another legendary African-American activist, Angela Davis, as well as Shakur’s longtime attorney, Lennox Hinds. Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the subject of the recent film, "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners." She argues that the FBI’s latest move is politically motivated.

#16 Seventeen years ago, TWA Flight 800 crashed off Long Island, killing all 230 people aboard. The official government investigation blamed mechanical failure, but now a group of former investigators are petitioning the National Transportation Safety Board to reopen the probe, saying the original report was falsified. Democracy Now! speaks to the filmmakers behind a new documentary on the crash, "TWA Flight 800," former CBS News producer Kristina Borjesson and physicist Tom Stalcup.

#17 Describing the United States as an "advanced Third World country," longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader calls for a new mass movement to challenge the power corporations have in Washington. "It is not too extreme to call our system of government now 'American fascism.' It’s the control of government by big business, which Franklin Delano Roosevelt defined in 1938 as fascism," Nader says in this Democracy Now! interview.

#18 Former President George W. Bush was forced to cancel a trip to Switzerland in 2011 after human rights attorneys threatened to take legal action against him for sanctioning the use of torture. The Center for Constitutional Rights told Democracy Now! they had planned to bring a complaint on behalf of two men who were tortured by U.S. interrogators at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. "It was disappointing that we’re not able to actually prosecute him," says CCR legal director Bill Quigley.

#19 "Nobody has ever questioned or disputed that the U.S. government, like all governments around the world, ought to be eavesdropping and monitoring the conversations of people who pose an actual threat to the United States in terms of plotting terrorist attacks," says reporter Glenn Greenwald. Democracy Now! talks to him about revelations by leaker Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency’s XKeyscore Internet tracking program.

#20 A U.S. drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan Oct.31, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes. Democracy Now! looks at the new documentary, "Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars," and speaks to filmmaker Robert Greenwald. We are also joined by human rights attorney Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, co-author of the report, "Living Under Drones."