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 .
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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.