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Senator Tom Udall from New Mexico will address the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on Tuesday, August 5th at the Sofitel Hotel Beverly Hills.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator Udall will talk about the controversy surrounding the NSA and its intelligence gathering.
Senator Udall's talk comes at a time when US intelligence gathering has been heavily criticized both at home and abroad after the revelations from Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who released thousands of classified NSA documents in 2013. The Senator – a Democrat - will talk about how this impacts the constitutional rights of American citizens, US relationships with its allies, and future implications for US security.
Senator Udall will also discuss the challenges facing the US in Syria and Iraq, where a radical Sunni insurgency, ISIS, has overrun government forces across much of the north and west of Iraq as well as capturing a large swathe of Syria. The US administration is sending 300 military advisers back to Iraq to help reorganize the Iraqi military effort, and is committing half a billion dollars to aid non-extremist groups in the Syrian opposition. Yet as Senator Udall can attest, both the Senate and the House are deeply divided on US policy towards both Syria and Iraq in particular, and the Middle East in general.
Udall served as New Mexico's Attorney General from 1991 to 1999. He was then elected five times to the US House of Representatives before winning a Senate seat in 2008. He went to Prescott College, then got a law degree from Cambridge University in the UK before obtaining another law degree from the University of New Mexico Law School. He served as a Law Clerk to Chief Justice Oliver Seth of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and became a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's criminal division before entering politics.