On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges looks back on President Barack Obama’s legacy with Glen Ford, Executive Editor of the Black Agenda Report. They examine Obama’s role in boosting the war industry, serving corporate interests and depleting the privacy rights of Americans. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at some of the darker decisions made over the past eight years.
President Obama promised during his campaign that he would close the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Now, the United States is well into the process of electing its next president and the future of the prison remains uncertain. Only 80 detainees remain, but the conditions they currently face and their future are just as unclear. RT America’s Simone Del Rosario went to Guantanamo Bay to investigate how and if the prison will be soon shut down, and to see what conditions those detainees are living in.
http://democracynow.org – “I may not be here if it wasn’t for Dan Berrigan,” says journalist Jeremy Scahill as we remember the legendary antiwar priest, Father Daniel Berrigan, who spent his lifetime nonviolently protesting militarism, nuclear proliferation, racism and poverty. Berrigan died Saturday in the Bronx, just short of his 95th birthday. Scahill was a college student when he first met Berrigan, and went on to become close friends with him and his brother, Philip. The conversations they had inspired him to pursue fiercely independent journalism. “This man was just a moral giant,” Scahill says, “the closest thing we have in our society to a prophet.”
Democracynow.org – British resident Shaker Aamer has been freed from Guantánamo after more than 13 years behind bars. Aamer had been cleared for release since 2007, but the Pentagon kept him locked up without charge. During his time in captivity, Aamer claims he was subjected to abuses including torture, beatings and sleep deprivation. At one point, he lost half his body weight while on a hunger strike. Aamer is en route to London where he’ll rejoin his wife and four children. “If you think about how much our world has changed, it is like they’re dropping them into a completely different place with very little support, and there’s no right to a remedy for the allegations of torture—which are absolutely credible—for the prolonged arbitrary detention and for any other violations that happened,” says our guest Widney Brown, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights.
On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin, discusses the lack of media coverage of the massacre of as many as 2,000 people in the town of Baga by Boko Haram militants. Abby then goes over the most outrageous responses to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and why the clash of civilizations mentality when it comes to these type of acts is so misleading. Abby then speaks with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, Chris Hedges, about the roots of the attacks in France and the relationship between global events and the rise of radicalization.
RT discusses WikiLeaks’ road movie ‘Mediastan’ with a special panel of guests, including film creator Julian Assange, journalist and director Johannes Wahlstrom, and Enayat Najafizada – a young Afghan journalist and one of the heroes of the movie.
Our guests raise many questions about the film, including Snowden’s revelations, Glenn Greenwald’s role in the story, and the NSA’s global surveillance program. Continue reading →
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 26, 2013
Statement by the President on H.R. 3304
Today I have signed into law H.R. 3304, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.” I have signed this annual defense authorization legislation because it will provide pay and bonuses for our service members, enhance counterterrorism initiatives abroad, build the security capacity of key partners, and expand efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthen protections for victims.
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 13, 2013
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of U.S. Armed Forces equipped for combat.
The Nobel Peace Prize brings another surprise – or farce, depending on your view. In relatively recent history, there has been Henry Kissinger (1973) architect supreme of murderous assaults on sovereign nations; the United Nations (2001) whose active warmongering or passive, silent holocausts (think UN embargoes) make shameful mockery of the aspirational founding words.
Below is a powerful new animated film, six minutes in length, which tells the story of the hunger strike at Guantánamo that began in February, and involved the majority of the 164 prisoners still held over the six-month period that followed. At its height, 46 prisoners were being force-fed, and even though just 17 prisoners are still taking part in the hunger strike, 16 of them are being force-fed. Force-feeding is a brutal process, condemned by the medical profession, but it is difficult to understand what is happening at Guantánamo because no images are available of prisoners being force-fed.
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive.
— Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832
It has been a bit of a foot-in-mouth week for the constitutional lawyer who is President of the United States.
As Egypt’s increasingly autocratic and theocratic Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohammed Morsi was rejected by the population with an estimated 33 million person demonstration and a 22 million signature petition, the US Nobel Prize Laureate cheerleading for the overthrow of Syria’s sovereign Head of State, declared he is “deeply concerned” over the ousting of President Morsi.
Portland, OR activists have been holding daily protests and vigils at City Hall in solidarity with the Guantanamo Bay detainee hunger strikers 4-6p since May 12th. Today, June 26th is the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Jacob Dean of Filter Free Radio volunteers to be strapped down and force fed to lend his body to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention Against Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
In the words of Portland’s hunger striker S. Brian Willson, “We are not worth more. They are not worth less.” – Recorded on June 26, 2013 at Portland, OR City Hall. (This is NOT actually torture, like they do in Gitmo. This is just political street theater.)
I wrote the following article for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January 2012 with US attorney Tom Wilner. Please join us — just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.
On Monday, President Obama fulfilled the first of three promises he made a month ago to resume releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, by appointing an envoy at the State Department to deal with prisoner transfers.