FROM Thomas Pickering
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.)
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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.