U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday that admitted for the first time that the Obama administration has killed four U.S. citizens in drone strikes overseas. Today we learn more about one of them: Jude Kenan Mohammad. Until this week, the FBI had Mohammad listed on its Most Wanted website, even though he was secretly killed by the United States in November 2011. Mohammad was born in Florida and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Friends say he grew radicalized under the influence of a local man named Daniel Boyd, who had converted to Islam at a young age and was later charged as the ringleader of a group of men — including Mohammad — who were accused in 2009 of stockpiling weapons and plotting to carry out terrorist attacks overseas. His name next surfaced on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, when the FBI warned of an unconfirmed tip that al-Qaeda planned to set off a car bomb in New York City or Washington, D.C. About a month later, his wife called his mother from Pakistan to say he had been killed in a drone strike in Pakistan. We speak with Khalilah Sabra, director of the Muslim American Society Immigrant Justice Center, who knew Mohammad as a child and stayed in touch with him when he moved to Pakistan as a teenager after dropping out of high school.
We speak with CodePink co-founder Diane Wilson, who is on day 25 of a water-and-salt-only hunger strike in solidarity with Guantánamo prisoners. Earlier this month, she was arrested after chaining herself to the White House fence in a CodePink demonstration urging the president to close Guantánamo. We are also joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with Center for Constitutional Rights. Her client, Ghaleb al-Bihani, is one of the Guantánamo detainees currently on a hunger strike. She is lead counsel for CCR in the Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta case, which seeks accountability for the killing of three American citizens in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen.
Less than 24 hours after she interrupted President Obama’s major speech on the future of the secret drone war and Guantánamo, CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin describes why she repeatedly interrupted Obama’s address. Benjamin, the author of "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control," criticized Obama for failing to explain why a U.S. drone in Yemen killed the teenage U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki in 2011. "I was very disappointed. He said that his policy is to capture, not kill. That’s just not true. I know personally of many incidents where it would have been very easy to capture people, like the 16-year-old Tariq Aziz in Pakistan, who was in Islamabad at a well-known hotel, but instead was killed by a drone strike two days later," Benjamin says. "I think the president is really justifying the use of drones, which will continue to happen under his administration and be passed on to the next."
Medea Benjamin v. President Obama: CodePink Founder Disrupts Speech, Criticizing Drone, Gitmo Policy
During President Obama’s first major counterterrorism address of his second term, he said the United States cannot continue waging what he described as a boundless global war on terror. He also discussed his administration’s efforts to close down the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay. He was repeatedly confronted by CodePink’s Medea Benjamin in the audience, ultimately stopping his speech to address her directly. We air the complete exchange between them. "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to," Obama said in response to Benjamin. "Obviously, I do not agree with much of what she said. And obviously she wasn’t listening to me in much of what I said. But these are tough issues, and the suggestion that we can gloss over them is wrong." Click here to see our interview with Benjamin about her act of civil disobedience.
- Report: Obama Speech Appears to Expand Who Could Be Targeted by Drones
- CodePink Founder Medea Benjamin Repeatedly Interrupts Obama Speech
- U.S. Special Operations Command Prepares to Launch Eight Satellites
- Holder OK'd Seizing Personal Emails from Fox News Reporter
- Antiwar.com Website Sues FBI over Agency Monitoring
- Boy Scouts Lift Ban on Gay Scouts; Gay Adult Leaders Still Barred
- Lois Lerner of IRS Placed on Administrative Leave
- Billionaire Backer of Obama Penny Pritzker Set to Become Commerce Secretary
- Citigroup Lobbyists Help Write House Bill to Deregulate Trading
- Wall Street Attempt to Use Trade Deals to Gut Dodd-Frank Act
- In Farm Bill Debate, Congress Considers Drastic Food Stamp Program Cuts
- Jailed Pussy Riot Begins Hunger Strike in Russia
- Honor Student Expelled for Science Experiment Receives Space Academy Scholarship
- Salvadoran President Meets Pope Urging Sainthood for Slain Archbishop
- Coalition of Immokalee Workers Rally Outside Wendy's Shareholder Meeting
As Congress continues to shape an immigration reform bill that could provide a path to citizenship for some 11 million undocumented residents, we look at the overlooked plight of migrants from Central and South America who travel through Mexico en route to the United States. Many of them are fleeing violence and poverty in their countries only to face robberies, beatings and kidnappings by smugglers who hold them for ransom. Human rights groups estimate at least 20,000 Central and South Americans were kidnapped in Mexico last year — that is more than 50 a day. Many do not survive and hundreds have been found in mass graves throughout the country. We’re joined by two guests: Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican Catholic priest who runs a shelter for migrants in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and is now on a "Caravan of Hope" across the United States to draw attention to the plight of Central American migrants; and Marco Castillo, an organizer with Migrant Families Popular Assembly and the Acción Migrante campaign, which is calling for human rights to be the focus of migration policy changes.
As Guatemala’s high court annuls former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt’s genocide conviction, we’re joined by two people who have worked tirelessly to bring perpetrators of war crimes in the country to justice. Helen Mack, one of Guatemala’s most well-known human rights activists, fought for years to prosecute the government forces who assassinated her sister, anthropologist Myrna Mack on Sept. 11, 1990. A Right Livelihood Award Winner, today she heads the Myrna Mack Foundation, named after her sister. We also speak with Kate Doyle, a senior analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America and the director at the Guatemala Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, who is featured in the documentary, "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator." Both Mack and Doyle attended Ríos Montt’s recent trial.
The Obama administration has admitted for the first time to killing four U.S. citizens in drone strikes overseas. Three died in Yemen: the Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. A fourth, Jude Kenan Mohammad — whose death was not previously reported — was killed in Pakistan. In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that all but the attack on the elder al-Awlaki were accidental, saying the other three "were not specifically targeted." The admission came on the eve of a major address in which President Obama is expected to defend the secret targeted killing program and announce modified guidelines for carrying it out. We’re joined by Jeremy Scahill, author of the new book, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield," and co-producer of the upcoming documentary film by the same name.
- Obama Admin Admission of U.S. Drone Strikes Suggests Accidental Killings
- Obama to Unveil New Guidelines for Drone Strikes
- U.S. to Resume Transfers of Guantánamo Prisoners
- Oklahoma Tornado Damage Could Reach $2 Billion
- FBI: Slain Orlando Suspect Admitted to Triple Murder with Boston Marathon Bomber
- British Soldier Hacked to Death in London Attack
- U.S. Threatens Assad with Increased Aid to Rebels
- Chicago Approves Largest School Closure in U.S. History
- West Point Sergeant Accused of Videotaping Female Cadets in Shower
- IRS Division Head Pleads 5th in Congressional Appearance
- Questioning Death Penalty, Colorado Governor Grants Reprieve to Prisoner Set for Execution
As the Obama administration faces criticism for the Justice Department’s spying on journalists and the IRS targeting of right-wing organizations, newly released documents show how the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and local police forces partnered with corporations to spy on Occupy protesters in 2011 and 2012. Detailed in thousands of pages of records from counter terrorism and law enforcement agencies, the spying monitored the activists’ online usage and led to infiltration of their meetings. One document shows an undercover officer was dispatched in Arizona to infiltrate activists organizing protests around the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the secretive group that helps corporate America propose and draft legislation for states across the country. We’re joined by Matt Rothschild of The Progressive, who tackles the surveillance in his latest article, "Spying on Occupy Activists: How Cops and Homeland Security Help Wall Street."
A new investigation by the Colorado Springs Gazette says the U.S. Army is downsizing from a decade of war by increasingly kicking out soldiers, including wounded combat veterans. Despite serving multiple tours of duty, the wounded soldiers lose their medical care and other benefits for life. We’re joined by Colorado Springs Gazette reporter Dave Philipps, whose three-part series, "Other than Honorable," tells the stories of several discharged veterans suffering severe health issues from injuries sustained in combat. "The Army’s difficulty in dealing with this is not an Army problem; it’s a societal problem. We’re talking about over two million people who have deployed in the last 10 years," Philipps says. "Over 500,000 of them have more than three deployments. These are people who may have issues that they need our help with. And if the Army isn’t sort of the first responder, the person who gets them on the right track, and the Army in fact, through its actions, is banning them from care for the rest of their lives, that’s going to affect our society for a really long time."
After 3 Trials, Memphis Prisoner Timothy McKinney Wins Freedom by Pleading Guilty to Crime He Denies
In order to win his newfound freedom, Memphis death row prisoner Timothy McKinney had to plead guilty to a murder he maintains he did not commit. McKinney was initially convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the fatal shooting of police officer Don Williams in December 1997. McKinney appealed and won a new trial, which ended with a deadlocked jury. A third trial earlier this year also ended in a hung jury. As part of a plea deal that could set him free as early as today, McKinney pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Since McKinney has spent almost 16 years in prison, including 11 on death row, he is immediately eligible for release on time served. We’re joined by The Nation magazine’s Liliana Segura, who has extensively covered McKinney’s case.
- Oklahoma Toll Lowered to 24 as Survivors Found
- Oklahoma Senator Calls for Spending Cuts to Offset Tornado Aid
- Senate Panel Advances Immigration Overhaul; Same-Sex Marriage Protection Removed
- Senators Vote to Arm Syrian Rebels
- 40 Killed in Widening Iraqi Sectarian Violence
- Body of Afghan Torture Victim Found Near U.S. Base
- FBI Agents Shoot Dead Orlando Man Questioned in Boston Bombing
- Some Testimony in Manning Trial to Be Held in Secret
- Report: Justice Dept. Tracked Fox News, White House Phone Lines
- Appeals Court Strikes Down Arizona Abortion Ban
- Low-Wage Workers Strike at Federal Contractors in D.C.
- California Healthcare Workers Stage 2-Day Strike
- 57 Arrested Protesting GOP in North Carolina
In their new book, "The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills," economist David Stuckler and physician Sanjay Basu examine the health impacts of austerity across the globe. The authors estimate there have been more than 10,000 additional suicides and up to a million extra cases of depression across Europe and the United States since governments started introducing austerity programs in the aftermath of the economic crisis. For example, in Greece, where spending on public health has been slashed by 40 percent, HIV rates have jumped 200 percent, and the country has seen its first malaria outbreak since the 1970s. An economist and public health specialist, Stuckler is a senior research leader at Oxford University. Dr. Basu is a physician and epidemiologist who teaches at Stanford University. "Had austerity been organized like a clinical trial, it would’ve been discontinued given evidence of its deadly side effects," Stuckler says. "There is an alternative choice that we found in the historical data and through the present recessions: When we place people and their health at the center of economic recovery, it can help get our economy back on track faster and yield lasting dividends to our society."
Dozens have been killed and more than 200 wounded in a devastating tornado in Oklahoma. The storm tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, leveling two elementary schools, a hospital and scores of homes destroyed. Rescue crews continue to dig through the rubble in a bid to find survivors. It was the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 161 people were killed in Joplin, Missouri, two years ago. We’re joined by two guests: Beverly Allam, an Oklahoma resident who lives a few miles from Moore and lost everything in the state’s tornado in May 1999, and Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground.
- Dozens Dead in Oklahoma Tornado
- Guatemalan Court Overturns Genocide Verdict for Ex-Dictator Ríos Montt
- Foreclosed Homeowners Arrested at Justice Department Protest for Bank Prosecutions
- Report: Banks Lagging on Settlement Payments for Mortgage Wrongdoing
- Report: CIA to Transfer Drone Program to Pentagon
- White House Defends Tracking of Fox News Reporter
- Obama Hosts Burmese Leader at White House
- Survey: Scientists Have 97% Consensus Human Activity Causes Climate Change
- Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Begins at U.N.
- Poverty in U.S. Suburbs Exceeds Urban Areas
- Senate Report Says Apple Avoids Billions in Taxes
- Protest Against School Closings Leads to Arrests at Chicago City Hall
- Landmark "Stop and Frisk" Trial Concludes in NYC
- Hundreds Honor Gay New Yorker Shot Dead in Apparent Hate Crime
After months of protest, teachers, students and parents in Seattle, Washington, have won their campaign to reject standardized tests in reading and math. In January, teachers at Garfield High School began a boycott of the test, saying it was wasteful and being used unfairly to assess their performance. The boycott spread to other schools, with hundreds of teachers, students and parents participating. Last week, the school district backed down, announcing that the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP test, is now optional for high schools, but those refusing the test must find another way to gauge student performance. We speak with Jesse Hagopian, a high school history teacher and union representative at Garfield High School.
As the carbon dioxide in the air hits 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, some are arguing that the best way address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering — the deliberate altering of the Earth’s ecological and climate systems to counter the effects of global warming. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole. We’re joined now by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. Hamilton’s new book, "Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering," lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the vested interests behind it linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations.
Hundreds of farm workers and their supporters are in New York City ahead of Wendy’s shareholder meeting to demand improved working conditions for those who pick its tomatoes. The fast-food giant — which has nearly 6,600 restaurants in the U.S. and around the world, ranking second only to McDonald’s — is the latest target in the Fair Food Campaign organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. So far, McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell have all joined the White House-recognized social responsibility program, agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes to raise wages and only buy from fields where workers’ rights are respected. We speak with CIW farm worker and organizer, Gerardo Reyes-Chávez.
- U.S. Drone Strikes Reportedly Kill 6 in Yemen
- Obama Speech to Outline Drone, Guantánamo Policy
- Protests Mark 100th Day of Guantánamo Hunger Strike
- Syria: Dozens Reported Dead in Fighting Near Lebanon Border
- Russia Sends Advanced Missiles to Syria
- Sectarian Violence Kills Dozens in Iraq
- Leading Pakistani Politician Shot Dead
- Imprisoned Ex-Argentine Dictator Jorge Rafael Videla Dies at 87
- AP Head Open to Lawsuit for "Unconstitutional" DOJ Spying
- Report: DOJ Monitored Journalist's Emails, Phone Records in North Korea Leak Case
- White House Was Informed of IRS Issues Weeks Earlier
- Federal Judge Blocks Arkansas Anti-Abortion Law
- Chicago Teachers March Against School Closings
- Thousands Protest Education Cuts in Philadelphia
- Hate Crime Alleged in Shooting Death of Gay New Yorker