Friday, May 24, 2013

  • Medea Benjamin v. President Obama: CodePink Founder Disrupts Speech, Criticizing Drone, Gitmo Policy

    Obama_medea

    During President Obama’s first major counterterrorism address of his second term, he said the United States cannot continue waging what he described as a boundless global war on terror. He also discussed his administration’s efforts to close down the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay. He was repeatedly confronted by CodePink’s Medea Benjamin in the audience, ultimately stopping his speech to address her directly. We air the complete exchange between them. "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to," Obama said in response to Benjamin. "Obviously, I do not agree with much of what she said. And obviously she wasn’t listening to me in much of what I said. But these are tough issues, and the suggestion that we can gloss over them is wrong." Click here to see our interview with Benjamin about her act of civil disobedience.

  • "That Woman Is Worth Paying Attention To": Medea Benjamin Explains Why She Disrupted Obama’s Speech

    Medea

    Less than 24 hours after she interrupted President Obama’s major speech on the future of the secret drone war and Guantánamo, CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin describes why she repeatedly interrupted Obama’s address. Benjamin, the author of "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control," criticized Obama for failing to explain why a U.S. drone in Yemen killed the teenage U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki in 2011. "I was very disappointed. He said that his policy is to capture, not kill. That’s just not true. I know personally of many incidents where it would have been very easy to capture people, like the 16-year-old Tariq Aziz in Pakistan, who was in Islamabad at a well-known hotel, but instead was killed by a drone strike two days later," Benjamin says. "I think the president is really justifying the use of drones, which will continue to happen under his administration and be passed on to the next."

  • As Guantánamo Hunger Strike Enters 107th Day, Diane Wilson begins 25th Day of Solidarity Fast

    Gitmo

    We speak with CodePink co-founder Diane Wilson, who is on day 25 of a water-and-salt-only hunger strike in solidarity with Guantánamo prisoners. Earlier this month, she was arrested after chaining herself to the White House fence in a CodePink demonstration urging the president to close Guantánamo. We are also joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with Center for Constitutional Rights. Her client, Ghaleb al-Bihani, is one of the Guantánamo detainees currently on a hunger strike. She is lead counsel for CCR in the Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta case, which seeks accountability for the killing of three American citizens in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen.

  • The Story of Jude Mohammad: Why Was a U.S. Citizen Secretly Killed by U.S. Drone in Pakistan?

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    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday that admitted for the first time that the Obama administration has killed four U.S. citizens in drone strikes overseas. Today we learn more about one of them: Jude Kenan Mohammad. Until this week, the FBI had Mohammad listed on its Most Wanted website, even though he was secretly killed by the United States in November 2011. Mohammad was born in Florida and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Friends say he grew radicalized under the influence of a local man named Daniel Boyd, who had converted to Islam at a young age and was later charged as the ringleader of a group of men — including Mohammad — who were accused in 2009 of stockpiling weapons and plotting to carry out terrorist attacks overseas. His name next surfaced on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, when the FBI warned of an unconfirmed tip that al-Qaeda planned to set off a car bomb in New York City or Washington, D.C. About a month later, his wife called his mother from Pakistan to say he had been killed in a drone strike in Pakistan. We speak with Khalilah Sabra, director of the Muslim American Society Immigrant Justice Center, who knew Mohammad as a child and stayed in touch with him when he moved to Pakistan as a teenager after dropping out of high school.

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