Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, discusses the WikiLeaks Guantanamo documents that provide a window into the inner workings of US detention policy; unreliable witnesses who gave evidence against a great many innocent prisoners; the lack of a screening process to separate farmers, old men and boys from the very few actual terrorist suspects; an analysis of the first 200 released prisoners, many previously unknown; how Charlie Savage and the NYT accepted the three 2006 Gitmo suicides at face value, ignoring (the other) Scott Horton’s investigation; the Democrats in Congress who got no support from Barack “I’m going to close Gitmo” Obama; the Al Jazeera cameraman held and questioned for six years about the inside operations at Al Jazeera; broadening the list of “terrorist organizations” to justify holding certain prisoners; and how the US went from the “rule of law” to “the gloves are off, do what you want, there will be no repercussions.”
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the US “democracy building” institutions contributing to the protests in Syria; whether the US government deserves credit for the Arab Spring by playing both sides – minimally funding opposition groups while massively funding dictators; John McCain’s return trip to Libya, this time on the rebel side; the competing factions that make a unified foreign policy based on national interest impossible; summing up Syria policy as “what’s best for Israel;” and how Libya is becoming a Balkan-style quagmire.
Kevin Zeese, Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace, discusses the successful efforts of activists and alternative media to bring Bradley Manning international attention; the pro-Manning “hecklers” at a pricey Obama fundraising event in San Francisco; the decentralized “democratized media” ready to fill the void left by the thoroughly discredited mainstream media; and the groundbreaking WikiLeaks model of disseminating government information to the public.
Thomas R. Eddlem, freelance writer and contributor to The New American, discusses his article on a Tea Party founder’s legal battles, “Railroading of Walter Reddy: Patriot’s Legally Owned Guns Seized;” the low burden of proof required by the state to take away guns from their law-abiding owners; Reddy’s intent to file an FOIA request to find out why he’s an FBI “person of interest;” how the FBI seems to be profiling conservatives and advocates of alternative currencies in its search for domestic terrorists; and Reddy’s attempt to consult with states interested in using gold and silver as currencies.
Charles Goyette, former Antiwar Radio co-contributor and author of The Dollar Meltdown : Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments, discusses the grossly inadequate spending cut plans from Democrats and Republicans alike; how the narrow partisan debate on economic issues ignores the fact that both guns and butter are off the table; how the dollar is dying, squeezed from without and within; Congressional Republicans who won’t cut the Pentagon budget for fear of losing defense contracts in their districts; and why the University of Texas endowment fund’s decision to take physical delivery of its gold is a seminal event.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2007 offer of political favors to Ehud Olmert in exchange for attacking Iran; why an Israeli “solo” attack on Iran would still make the US complicit – requiring a presidential decision to allow it to happen; the pusillanimous tendencies of Barack Obama; and the finally-concluded 2010 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
John Glaser, editorial assistant at The American Conservative magazine, discusses his article “Exporting Tyranny through Foreign Aid;” the Arab Spring rebellions being put down by autocrats supported by US money and weapons; how NATO intervention has extended the Libyan War and given the rebels an incentive to refuse ceasefire negotiations; how foreign aid is used to achieve policy goals, not for humanitarian purposes; buying up Middle East despots on the (relative) cheap to gain significant influence in regional politics; and the 150 countries (out of around 192 total) that receive some amount of US aid.
Ahmed Elassy, Organizer and Public Affairs Director for the Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza, discusses Hosni Mubarak’s arrest following his brazen public statement denying corruption and threatening to sue those who slandered him; how Egyptians have resolved to bring Mubarak to justice themselves if the military fails to do so; the foreign banks refusing to freeze the Mubarak family’s billions in ill-gotten assets; Ahmed’s meeting with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Dr. Nabil Al-Araby on allowing commercial goods into Gaza and working to open the Rafah crossing permanently; and the billions in Gaza aid sitting idle while the cement and steel needed to rebuild remains blockaded by Israel.
Marcy Wheeler, blogging as “emptywheel” at firedoglake.com, discusses why Bradley Manning’s sudden transfer to Ft. Leavenworth may be the Pentagon’s tacit acknowledgment of his mistreatment; the effective pressure of protesters, foreign governments and the UN special rapporteur on torture; the apparent plan to drive Manning crazy so he is ruled incompetent to participate in his own trial; the DOD’s terrible computer network security and Wired chat logs snitch Adrian Lamo’s questionable credibility; and why the DOJ prefers espionage to whistleblowing.
Eric Margolis, foreign correspondent and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses how a NATO defeat in Libya would be political disastrous for Obama and Sarkozy – meaning they’ll fight on til the bitter end; why the US spends trillions fighting little countries of no strategic value; the depth of interference in Syria’s demonstrations by the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel; why the next Syrian potentate probably lives in Virginia right now; fracturing the Arab world into its tribal components so Israel can rule the region; and why Iraq, for the most part, is not better now than under Saddam.
Anthony Gregory, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, discusses his article “From Waco to Libya: 18 Years of Humanitarian Mass Murder;” the ATF’s “Operation Showtime” raid on the Branch Davidians, designed as a public relations stunt; going from bad to worse at Waco, with the FBI in charge and special forces soldiers set loose on civilians; and the crux of government humanitarianism: killing people in order to save them.
Kirkpatrick Sale, director of the Middlebury Institute, discusses his article “The Sesquicentennial Is Upon Us;” why “War of Southern Secession” and “War Between the States” are more apt descriptions and should be used in place of “Civil War;” the tariff revenue at stake in the fight over Fort Sumter, which newly-independent South Carolina claimed as its own; how Northern industrialists and the Republican Party planned to preserve the union in order to transform the country into a major industrial power, eager to expand westward; how the Emancipation Proclamation was used to fill the Union Army’s ranks and stir up Southern slave rebellions (it did not effect Northern slaves); and the North’s failure to integrate newly freed slaves and compensate slave owners, dooming the South’s economy.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses his new book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom; abandoning the stodgy inside-the-beltway style of campaign management in favor of youtube-style ads put together by his youthful and tech savvy supporters; why increased American pessimism reflects a popular awakening to our deep economic troubles; and why we should be wary of authoritarianism in the guise of “problem solving” politicians.
Jesse Trentadue, attorney and brother of Kenneth Trentadue (who was probably tortured and killed by FBI agents mistaking him for Richard Lee Guthrie a.k.a. John Doe No. 2 in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing), discusses the elaborate coverup of Kenneth’s murder while in federal custody; Guthrie’s 1996 “suicide” in a Kentucky jail just before he could fulfill a tell-all plea deal; the many documents dug up by Jesse’s tireless FOIA lawsuits; and the approaching court battle on OKC surveillance tapes that should show Timothy McVeigh and the Ryder truck (and John Doe No. 2?) but instead are missing crucial seconds or just “can’t be found” by the FBI.
Thomas E. Woods, author of Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, discusses the pivotal events (Quebec Act, the “shot heard ’round the world“) preceding the Revolutionary War; the persistent myths surrounding the Civil War, southern secession and slavery; how the Union victory transformed the country into a “nation” with a strong central government and budding imperialist ambitions; and the antiwar case for a gold standard monetary system.