Activists Speak Out Against U.S. Drone Terror and Torture

Activists Speak Out Against U.S. Drone Terror and Torture

U.S. armed drone and Guantanamo prisoners. Image source: october2011.org
U.S. armed drone and Guantanamo prisoners. Image source: october2011.org

“Use of ‘Killer Drones’ Is Wrong and Counterproductive!”

Drone warfare, its legality, ethics and military use, was examined at a workshop held on the campus of Johns Hopkins University, at Remsen Hall, in Baltimore, MD, on Tuesday afternoon, April 16, 2013. One of the panel members was Medea Benjamin, a peace & social justice activist and cofounder of CODEPINK. She is also the author of the book, “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.” It was disclosed during the discussion that U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) has admitted that “over 4,700 people” have been killed in drone strikes. Ms. Benjamin said that the opponents of “killer drones” need to work hard to give the use of these lethal weapons, “a bad name!” She underscored that recent polls show that a “negative image” on their use in growing throughout the country. Ms. Benjamin proposed as a starter “to get the use of drones out of the hands of the CIA!” She insisted that their continued use is “counterproductive” to our national interest and they play right into the hands of “our enemies.”

 

“Mr. President: Keep Your Promise, Close Guantanamo, Now!”

Over four years ago, President Barack Obama promised to close Guantanamo Prison. It still remains open. At noon, on Thursday, April 11, 2013, over a hundred Human Rights activists staged a “Day of Action” demonstration in front of the White House (and, at many other sites around the country, too) to remind him to keep his word on this important public policy, legal and moral issue. A total of 166 prisoners are still being held at Guantanamo, even though 86 of them have been “cleared for release.” It is a disgrace that the 86 are still behind bars because of the lame excuse that it is supposedly “politically inconvenient” to do justice in their cases. 

The Orwellian notion of indefinite detention of an individual, without charges and without a trial, is an anathema to the U.S. Constitution and a stain on the Republic. The Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves. This is the 11th anniversary of the opening of the notorious “Gitmo” prison, which was fostered by that same lawless cabal that brought us the $6 Trillion Iraq War - the “Bush-Cheney Gang.”

For at least two months now, some of the inmates at Guantanamo have gone on hunger strikes to protest the worsening conditions of their confinement, which have been condemned by Amnesty International. Both the UN and the NYTimes have called on the President to take action, now, on this Human Rights matter.

In this video, peace activist Frank Cordaro of the Catholic Worker Community in Des Moines, Iowa, read a poem, entitled, “Is It True?,” which was written by one of the Guantanamo prisoners.