Talk Nation Radio for November 19, 2008
Mark Benjamin on an Obama plan for a torture commission
Produced by Dori Smith, WHUS, University of CT., Storrs, CT
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here
Or at Radio4all.net and Archive.org
We speak with journalist Mark Benjamin of Salon.com about his November 13th story on President elect Barack Obama, and what Obama might or might not do to hold members of the Bush administration accountable for torture.
Sources tell Benjamin that the incoming Obama-Biden administration may launch a special commission on torture, and so there are plans for at least some type of an investigation. But will there be prosecutions? What if former Attorney General John Ascroft testifies? Will new information about the direct responsibility of George Bush and Dick Cheney for torture come to light and what about the CIA?
Also, we discuss a possible Bush plan to grant a blanket pardon for illegal interrogation practices. How many people can Bush and Cheney pardon and who will need one? What about US soldiers serving in Iraq? Or, possibly US Senator John McCain’s foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann who has been linked to the original sales campaign for the Iraq War and Iraq oil contracts.
Mark Benjamin’s 2004 investigative piece in UPI won the Fourth Estate Award and led to congressional hearings and improvements in the way US soldiers were cared for in military hospitals. ln 2005 he covered the redeployment of some 40 percent of US soldiers overall and almost 90 percent Marines, who were returned to war zones after completing their first tour. By the second year of the Iraq War, he reported, the Bush administration’s redeployment policy had overtaxed the US Military to the point of serious dysfunction.
As well as this on the Forgotten Casualties of War, by Amy Goodman and Mark Benjamin