More than three years after Private first class Bradley Manning was arrested for his involvement in one of the largest classified information leaks in history, he had his first day in court on Monday. The 25 year-old soldier is facing 22 charges including espionage and aiding the enemy. If convicted for his role in sharing military files with the website WikiLeaks, Pfc Manning could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. RT’s Andrew Blake has more on the story from Ft. Meade, Maryland, where the court-martial began Monday morning.
A high ranking member of the Taliban was killed in Pakistan this week by a US drone strike only days after President Obama announced a shift in the country’s counterterrorism operations. Wali ur-Rehman was among those killed and his death is being lauded as a blow to the Taliban. But what does the event say about Obama’s remarks regarding the drone program? Marcy Wheeler of EmptyWheel.net joins Meghan Lopez to discuss what this means for Obama’s promise of respecting state sovereignty and his proposed changes in the war against terror.
The first US drone-fired missile hit Yemen back in 2003. The Obama administration promised that these drone strikes were only meant to target high level al-Qaeda members. However, the statistics prove that civilians are often caught in the crossfire: roughly 50 strikes there have cased the death of around 300 people including dozens of them were civilians and two children. Now in light of the recent developments even mainstream news outlets are beginning to question the strategy of these strikes because they have the potential to radicalize the population the US is attempting to help. Jayel Aheram of the Young Americans for Liberty joins us to discuss whether the drone strikes are actually helping al-Qaeda
The United Nations Human Rights Commission released a report calling for the suspension on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, accusation, deployment and use” of killer robots. Some nations across the world have been using machines to carry out military missions, and within the past few years the US government has increased its drone usage to target enemy combatants abroad. Many critics of the use of robots believe that the rise of the machines could be a global threat to the safety of people everywhere.
Randall B. Woods, Shadow Warrior – The CIA. Last month the Obama Administration announced that it would transfer authority over the drone program from the CIA to the Pentagon. How did an intelligence agency gain the power to wage war at will? Over the past decade – the CIA has come to dominate American foreign policy as perhaps never before. How did the agency become the paramilitary force it is today?