FROM James Risen
The psychological impact of US torture In the aftermath of September 11, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, legal advisors in the George W. Bush Administration signed off on so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques to gather intelligence. They argued that it wasn't "torture" because there would not be long-term physical or psychological damage. But nobody in the government has bothered to check to make sure that was true. Photo by Mike Benedetti Now the New York Times has published the first in a series of reports, " How US Torture Left a Legacy of Damaged Minds ." The author is investigative reporter James Risen.
Blackwater’s Misconduct Before US Troops Pulled Out of Iraq In 2007, the private security firm Blackwater was at the height of its influence in Iraq and making millions of dollars off government contracts. But in September of that year, Blackwater personnel fired into a crowd of men, women and children at Baghdad’s Nisour Square, killing 17 and badly damaging relations between the two countries. US officials had already heard that the military contractors saw themselves as “above the law” and Iraq as a variation on the ‘OK Corral.’ That’s according to newly released documents obtained by James Risen of the New York Times.
Blackwater Indictment: Accountability or Whitewash? Charges filed yesterday against five Blackwater security guards reveal details of an incident in Iraq last year that provoked international outrage. Seventeen unsuspecting civilians were killed and 20 were wounded. The guards are charged with voluntary manslaughter, based on testimony from one of their comrades. The six used automatic rifles and grenade launchers to fire on cars, houses, a traffic officer and a girls' school. James Risen is reporting the story for the New York Times .
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.