Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • The Guantánamo "Suicides" Revisited: Did CIA Hide Deaths of Tortured Prisoners at Secret Site?

    Guantanamo

    In one of the great mysteries of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, three prisoners, two from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen, died the night of June 9, 2006. Authorities at Guantánamo said the three men — Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, Salah Ahmed al-Salami and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi — had killed themselves. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, described their deaths as an "act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us." But explosive new evidence shows there may have been a cover-up on how the men actually died. Recently discovered pages from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service suggest that the men died not from suicide, but torture. The new evidence includes an eyewitness account of al-Zahrani on the night of his death which indicates he may have died from torture and suffocation during questioning at a secret black site facility at Guantánamo known as Camp No, or Penny Lane. Harper’s Magazine contributing editor Scott Horton first raised questions about what happened on that night in a 2010 investigation that won a National Magazine Award for Reporting. He has just uncovered the new details on the deaths for a new article in Harper’s, "The Guantánamo 'Suicides' Revisited." A human rights attorney and lecturer at Columbia Law School, Horton is author of the forthcoming book, "The Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy."

  • Facing Senate Uproar, Obama Admin to Release Memo Justifying Drone Killings of Americans Overseas

    Drone

    The Obama administration says it will release the secret government memo that authorizes the killings of Americans overseas. A federal appeals court ordered the memo’s disclosure last month following a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times seeking the drone strikes’ legal basis. The lawsuit came after the U.S. killed the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman, and Samir Khan in Yemen, despite having never charged any of them with a crime. The White House decided not to appeal the ruling after several senators vowed to hold up a judicial nomination of the memo’s author, David Barron. But the memo’s release will be delayed as the administration redacts extensive portions it says contain classified information. We get reaction from Scott Horton, a human rights attorney and contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine.

  • Koch Brothers Exposed: The Chilling New Documentary Republicans Don’t Want You to See

    Kochbrothersexposed

    There is a chilling new documentary about the billionaire brothers, David and Charles Koch, that some Republicans do not want you to see. On Monday, Republican Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan tried to block an event at the Capitol unveiling the film, "Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition." Miller claimed the documentary could violate House rules and "cross the line into partisan politics." She unsuccessfully argued that showing the documentary was an inappropriate use of taxpayer-funded facilities. On Tuesday evening, the film event proceeded as planned. The updated documentary shows how the Koch brothers have used their vast fortunes to oppose government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, as well as obstruct efforts to raise the minimum wage, tackle climate change and expand voting rights. We are joined by the film’s director, Robert Greenwald, founder and president of Brave New Films.

  • Behind the Koch Brothers: New Book Spills the Secrets of Nation’s Most Powerful & Private Dynasty

    Sonsofwichitabook

    Charles and David Koch have funneled millions of dollars to conservative candidates and causes over the last four decades while working tirelessly to open the floodgates for money in politics. The Koch brothers’ net worth tops $100 billion, currently tying for fourth on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Their rise to becoming two of the nation’s most powerful political figures is explored in the new book, "Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty." The story is based on hundreds of interviews with Koch family and friends, as well as thousands of pages of legal documents. We are joined by the book’s author, Daniel Schulman, a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine.

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