Do We Need Guantanamo Bay Prison?
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President Obama promised to shut down Guantanamo Bay, but 166 prisoners are still there. We hear about abusive treatment of prisoners, a recent uprising and a hunger strike. Is Guantanamo a relic of what used to be called "the war on terror?" Also, the US says chemical weapons were used in Syria, and George W. Bush dedicates his Presidential Library — with help from his friends.
Banner image: "Shut Down Guantanamo" protest. Photo by KCIvey
US Says Chemical Weapons Used in Syria ()
In a letter to Congress, the Obama White House says it has "varying degrees of confidence" that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. That word first came from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Abu Dhabi after a five-nation tour of the Middle East. Craig Whitlock, Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post, has been traveling with Hagel.
Does the US Still Need the Prison at Guantanamo Bay? ()
Barack Obama's first presidential order was to close Guantánamo Bay. Even George W. Bush agreed. But as he began his second term in January of this year, the special envoy for closing Guantánamo was dismissed without a replacement, and 166 prisoners are still there. More than half are on a hunger strike and, last week, military guards put down an uprising. We hear what classified documents reveal about inmate behavior and abusive treatment of prisoners being held without charge. Is there still a "war on terror" requiring military tribunals? Will there be future "enemy combatants" too dangerous to handle in America's court system?
(Special thanks to Leilia Thayer for help in producing this discussion.)
- Charlie Savage: New York Times, @charlie_savage
- Pardiss Kebriaei: Center for Constitutional Rights, @theCCR
- Thomas Pickering: Hills & Company
- Cliff May: Foundation for Defense of Democracies, @CliffMay
- Jennifer Daskal: Georgetown Law Center, @jendaskal
Five Presidents on Hand to Open Bush 43 Library ()
In Dallas today, the President and all the living former presidents came together to help dedicate the library named for George W. Bush. President Obama followed Bill Clinton to the podium today before an audience crowded with political dignitaries and foreign leaders. He praised Bush as someone who is "comfortable in his own skin," took his job seriously without taking himself too seriously. Todd Gillman is Washington Bureau Chief for the Dallas Morning News.
(L-R) Presidents Jimmy Carter (Roslyn), Bill Clinton (Hillary), George H.W. Bush (Barbara), George W. Bush (Laura) and Barack Obama (Michelle) at the dedication of the
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, April 25, 2013
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