Wednesday, March 13, 2013

  • Over 100 Guantánamo Prisoners on Hunger Strike, Citing Threat of Return to "Darkest Days Under Bush"

    Guantanamo-5

    More than 100 detainees held in the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay are reportedly entering their fifth week of a hunger strike sparked by deteriorating conditions. News of the hunger strike first emerged last week, but it appears the action involves far more prisoners than previously thought. In a letter to his attorney, one detainee wrote: "We are in danger. One of the soldiers fired on one of the brothers a month ago. Before that, they send the emergency forces with M-16 weapons into one of the brothers’ cell blocks. ... Now they want to return us to the darkest days under [George W.] Bush. They said this to us. Please do something." We’re joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and counsel for one of the hunger strikers. [includes rush transcript]

  • As Gitmo Prisoners Revolt, Obama Admin Challenged on Indefinite Detention at OAS Hearing

    Guantanamo-3

    As more than 100 Guantánamo Bay prisoners enter the fifth week of their hunger strike, the Obama administration has defended their detention at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. A number of prisoners have been held without charge for more than 11 years, and more than half have been cleared for release. Attorneys for the prisoners told the hearing that the lack of hope for release among those who do not face charges has created a climate of despair. The senior adviser for Guantánamo policy countered that the Obama administration is working within restrictions imposed by Congress to transfer prisoners out of the prison as part of an effort to close the facility — one of President Obama’s original campaign promises. We speak to Kristine Huskey, director of the Anti-Torture Program for Physicians for Human Rights and one of the first attorneys to represent Guantánamo detainees. The author of "Justice at Guantánamo: One Woman’s Odyssey and Her Crusade for Human Rights," Huskey testified at Tuesday’s hearing. We’re also joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript]

  • Overturning Citizens United: Is a Constitutional Amendment the Best Path to Limit Dark Money?

    Debate-bonifaz-schmitt

    On Tuesday, Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark Citizens United ruling that cleared the way for corporations and other special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. The bill is part of a growing movement to overturn the ruling. Today we host a debate on whether the push for a constitutional amendment is the best path to overturning Citizens United. We speak to Mark Schmitt, a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and John Bonifaz, co-founder and director of Free Speech for People. [includes rush transcript]

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