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Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have been held for years without any charges; half the remaining inmates have been cleared for release; military prosecutors have resigned in frustration. But, after six years in office, America's Commander in Chief has not been able to shut it down.

Also, ISIS demands $200 million for Japanese hostages, and American Sniper takes Middle America by storm.

Photo: Paula Bailey

ISIS Demands $200 Million for Japanese Hostages 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Last week in Cairo, Japan's Prime Minister Abe pledged about $200 million to countries battling ISIS, the so-called "Islamic State." Today, ISIS released a video threatening the lives of two Japanese hostages — demanding a ransom of $200 million. Aaron Zelin is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Aaron Zelin, Washington Institute for New East Policy (@azelin)

Guantánamo Bay: The Unmet Promise 35 MIN, 33 SEC

Since 2002, the "detention center" at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba has held almost 800 prisoners.  When he got to the White House in 2009, President Obama said closing Guantánamo was his first order of business. Last week, five men of Yemeni descent were released, but 122 inmates are still there. The prison population is down to 122 -- with President Obama still trying to shut it down.

John McCain -- the former POW -- once advocated closing the prison, but now he's joined other Republican Senators to oppose more releases any time soon.  Meantime, a book by an inmate has generated claims that Guantánamo was a "laboratory for torture" of people held without charges. Will the President's first order of business be accomplished before he leaves office?

Jason Leopold, Vice News (@JasonLeopold)
Hina Shamsi, American Civil Liberties Union (@hinashamsi)
Charles 'Cully' Stimson, Heritage Foundation (@cullystimson)
Morris Davis, US Air Force (retired) (@ColMorrisDavis)

Leopold on GOP's Senators gearing up to fight Obama's over Guantánamo
ACLU on Salahi v. Obama
Morris on the ongoing incarceration of Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Guantánamo Diary

Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" Hits a Nerve 7 MIN, 48 SEC

Across Middle America this weekend, audiences gave American Sniper a bigger audience than Avatar, which set the previous record. Hollywood has nominated it for six Oscars. But, the New Yorker magazine says Clint Eastwood’s new film is both pro-war and anti-war — and the Twitter debate is raging.

American Sniper is a bio-pic about Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL who racked up more kills than any other American sharp-shooter — only to be shot to death himself by another veteran. Played by Bradley Cooper, he’s a hero whose success takes a toll on his own psyche.

Matt Beloni is Executive Editor at the Hollywood Reporter.

Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter (@THRMattBelloni)

Chris Kyle's "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History"

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