Dan Ellsberg provides us with his analysis of Barack Obama’s presidency, shares with us what led him to cast his vote for Obama, and how and why he’s been let down and betrayed by our current president. He discusses the stark similarities between the previous administration and Obama’s Whitehouse on issues and abuses related to civil liberties, and questions the possibility of ‘hoping’ again. Mr. Ellsberg talks about his experience as a whistleblower, the futility of disclosure to Congress then and today, the current sorry state of the US media, and more!
The retiring of veteran Democratic Senators, Christopher Dodd, age 65, of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan, age 67, of North Dakota, have some short and long term consequences for the Democratic Party and its members.
Senator Dodd’s announcement that he was finished did not surprise me. He was going through difficult times with his health, the loss of his closest sibling, and his closest friend in the Senate – Ted Kennedy – and was not inclined to battle through an uphill fight for re-election. 2010 is, arguably, the most important legislative year of his career for financial and health insurance reforms.
As video footage prompts UN calls for an inquiry into war crimes by Sri Lankan troops, Tamils are in no mood to play kingmaker
On Thursday, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston called for “an independent inquiry to be established to carry out an impartial investigation into war crimes” in Sri Lanka. In particular, Alston has given the UN’s imprimatur to the authenticity of video footage apparently showing summary executions of prisoners in January 2009 in the final stages of the civil war.
The Sri Lankan government has, unsurprisingly, rejected the video as “fabricated”, despite the UN’s reliance on three independent experts in assessing it, accusing Alston of bias and a personal crusade. Any investigation would have to involve both main presidential candidates: sitting president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has been the commander-in-chief of the defence forces, and General Sarath Fonseka, who was in charge of the army.
Today, I made my way to a TV studio in central London to hook up with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez in New York to discuss the recent uproar over the release of Yemeni prisoners from Guantánamo, and the Pentagon’s most recent claims that 1 in 5 released prisoners have engaged in terrorist activities, for Democracy Now! The segment, entitled, “After Years in Guantánamo Prison Without Charge, Future Even More Uncertain For Yemeni Detainees,” is available below, and is featured here on the Democracy Now! website: Continue reading →