Happy Monday! Here’s some awesomeness from our new sister Tumblr, Political Party Time. (You guys are all following are awesome new sister Tumblr, right?!)
We’ve analyzed about five years of political fundraising data to give visual representations of Congress’ fundraising habits during the last half decade. Our findings? When it comes to raising re-election cash, Congress doesn’t travel very far from work.
From the Sunlight Foundation blog:
When it comes to political fundraising, Congress doesn’t travel very far; 76 percent of all political fundraisers in D.C. take place within three city blocks of the U.S. Capitol, a new study by the Sunlight Foundation shows. Additionally, these fundraisers are concentrated in and around congressional working hours and on days when the House and Senate are in session (more to come on this trend tomorrow).
Check out the maps and read more about our findings: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/09/16/partying-for-dollars-mapping-five-years-of-political-fundraisers/
We doorstep in most Fault Lines episodes. This is from our new episode “Life after Guantanamo” that first aired Sunday night.
The episode airs again on Wed at 5:30p ET on Al Jazeera America and later this week (we’ll update this post) on Al Jazeera English. If you live outside the U.S., the episode will then be available in full on our YouTube channel.
This episode was produced by Andrea Schmidt, the Correspondent is Wab Kinew, and this part was filmed by Singeli Agnew.
Photos from Producer Andréa Schmidt from her new episode for Fault Lines, “Life after Guantanamo” airing tonight, Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 7 and 10p ET on Al Jazeera America. This episode premieres on Al Jazeera English later in the week and on both channel in repeat broadcasts.
In the episode, Fault Lines travels to Yemen to meet former Guantanamo detainees, and asks what have been the consequences of the US’ policy of indefinite detention. Photos were taken in Yemen.
Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 7 and 10p ET, our new Fault Lines “Life After Guantanamo” airs on Al Jazeera America.
We will be livetweeting this episode Sunday night from our @ajfaultlines Twitter account.
The Guantanamo Docket, The New York Times, a collection of documents and research related to the 779 people who have been sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison since 2002.
The Guantanamo Papers, “NPR News Investigations examines a massive trove of secret documents, which provide assessments of the 779 Guantanamo Bay detainees. The reports were leaked last year to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and made available to The New York Times by another source on condition of anonymity and then shared with NPR.”
[O]f the 86 men in Guantanamo who have been cleared for transfer or release, 56 are Yemeni. They are no longer considered enemy combatants or a threat to US security.
Many of other nationalities - including Europeans, Saudi Arabians and Afghans - have been moved on due to agreements with their home countries. But the Yemenis have been going nowhere.
"The Yemenis had the misfortune of coming from a country that had had a dictator for many years - Ali Abdullah Saleh - and that didn’t do enough to advocate for its nationals.
"So the Yemenis languished, even though many were approved for release by the Bush administration."
In January 2009, President Obama ordered the closure of Guantanamo within a year.
But on Christmas Day of that year, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab - a Nigerian trained in Yemen - attempted to set off a bomb hidden in his underwear on a Detroit-bound jet.
And the following January, President Obama issued a moratorium against the release of any Yemeni detainees. Combined with restrictions imposed by Congress, it brought releases and transfers to a virtual halt.
"During that time, the view was that violent instability in Yemen made returning detainees too risky," he said.
"There was little confidence that the Yemeni government would be able to mitigate any continuing threat that the returned Guantanamo detainees would pose."
”Gitmo Is Killing Me”, Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel (Yemeni detainee), The New York Times, April 14, 2013
Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.
I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.
“Yemen A Major Part Of Any Effort To Close Guantanamo" Greg McNeal, Forbes.com, May 22, 2013
Despite reports indicating some progress toward resolving the challenges associated with the Yemeni detainees, there are signs that significant obstacles lay ahead for the Obama administration. A McClatchy report noted that Yemen’s human rights minister Hooria Mashour came to the U.S. this week expecting to lobby U.S. officials for the release of Yemeni detainees, yet she said “Unfortunately, I ended up with nothing.” Mashhour had planned a 10-day visit, but she left after just three days with no official meetings and no updates on plans for the roughly 90 Yemenis among the 166 detainees at Guantánamo.
“Obama Lifts Moratorium on Transfer of Detainees”, Charlie Savage, The New York Times, May 23, 2013
President Obama on Thursday lifted a moratorium on repatriating low-level inmates from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Yemen and, in a surprise move, announced the creation of a new Pentagon position to spearhead the transfer of detainees. […]
Two officials familiar with detainee policy matters cautioned that it would take some time for any inmates to be returned to Yemen, however, because a detention, rehabilitation and monitoring program there first needed to be established.
Still, the Yemen Embassy said in a statement that it was ready “to take all necessary steps to ensure the safe return of its detainees and will continue working towards their gradual rehabilitation and integration back into society.”
“House votes to block Guantánamo detainee transfers to Yemen”, Jeremy Herb , The Hill, June 14, 2013
In a new move to stifle President Obama’s efforts to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, the House voted Friday to restrict the transfer of detainees to Yemen.
The House voted 236-188 to pass a defense authorization bill amendment from Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) that prohibits using funds to transfer detainees to Yemen. […]
Walorski said that the U.S. should not send potential detainees to Yemen, because Yemen has been a hotbed for terrorist activity as the home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
“It makes no sense to send terrorists to a country that has an active terrorist network,” Walorski said.
“Yemen Says Obama Must Back Up Guantanamo Promise With Action”, Reuters, on Huffington Post, June 2, 2013
Yemen gave a qualified welcome on Sunday to U.S. President Barack Obama’s promise to lift a ban on repatriating Yemeni prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, saying he now had to back up his words with actions.
Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said his government was building a “rehabilitation centre” to house Yemenis who have been detained at the U.S. camp in Cuba for more than a decade. […]
"Obama now has to really put his words into actions," he told reporters in the Saudi city of Jeddah. "We will take (up) with the authorities in Washington how we can start the process based, of course, on the conditions that may be set by the Americans."
“Guantanamo detainee died from drug overdose, report finds”, Peter Finn and and Julie Tate, The Washington Post, June 28, 2013
A Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay … Adnan Latif, who had been held at the U.S. detention facility in Cuba for 10 years, was found unresponsive in his cell on Sept. 8 after swallowing two dozen capsules of Invega. […]
A military report on the facts and circumstances surrounding Latif’s death found that both the guard force at Guantanamo and medical personnel at the military detention center failed to follow procedure in handing out pills and ensuring that detainees consumed them when administered.Guards at the facility also didn’t check on Latif in his cell through two shift changes, a violation of procedure.
Hunger Strike Poem
By Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif
They are criminals, increasing their crimes.
They are criminals, claiming to be peace-loving.
They are criminals, torturing the hunger strikers.
They are artists of torture,
They are artists of pain and fatigue,
They are artists of insults and humiliation.
They are faithless — traitors and cowards –
They have surpassed devils with their criminal acts.
They do not respect the law,
They do not respect men,
They do not spare the elderly
They do not spare the baby-toothed child.
They leave us in prison for years, uncharged,
Because we are Muslims.
Where is the world to save us from torture?
Where is the world to save us from the fire and sadness?
Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?
But we are content, on the side of justice and right,
Worshipping the Almighty.
And our motto on this island is,salaam.
Link. Our Fault Lines episode on “Life after Guantanamo” (and not, in the case of Latif) airs tonight, Sunday at 7 and 10p ET on Al Jazeera America. The episode will premiere on Al Jazeera English later this week.
Sometimes I long for the wit of a Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. They treat this town as burlesque, and with satire and parody show it the disrespect it deserves. We laugh, and punch each other on the arm, and tweet that the rascals got their just dessert. Still, the last laugh always seems to go to the boldface names that populate this town. To them belong the spoils of a looted city. They get the tax breaks, the loopholes, the contracts, the payoffs.
Bill Moyers, “The End Game for Democracy,” August 25, 2013.
follow updates on twitter:
Jonathan Weisman, congressional correspondent for the New York Times talks to us tomorrow about “the underachieving 113th [congress]”:
Terry Gross: So what did the Congress accomplish so far this session?
Jonathan Weisman: Almost nothing. This is a remarkable Congress. The 113th Congress has passed about 13 public laws. By the end of this week maybe there will be a 14th…but right now their rate of passing laws is about half the 112th Congress’s rate, and the 112th racked up fewer laws than any Congress since World War II, so we are really on pace to have one of the least productive, if not the least productive Congresses in history.”
image via abc news
So that isn’t happening. -KT
Fault Lines travels to Tennessee and Florida, two states that have passed strict laws, to explore the origins and consequences of the new legislation.
Who are the individuals that are at risk of not participating in the next election? What are groups doing to fight back? And could enough voters be disenfranchised in 2012 that it could have a significant impact on the outcome of the election?
Senator Wendy Davis will be filibustering SB5, a bill that if passed down almost all of the abortion clinics operating in Texas. The special session ends at midnight Tuesday which means Davis could kill the legislation by talking nonstop for thirteen hours.
In Things That Are Happening Today.