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.)
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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.
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?