not to mention functionally incompetent at what is supposed to be your job - knowing and sharing the Facts..."
In my opinion that's what Code Pink Activist Medea Benjamin should have said to this bubble-headed CNN bleach bonde.
MADEA BENJAMIN: First I want to take objection with the term "heckler." Because I actually had an invitation to get in and I felt compelled to speak out. I waited until the end of the speech. I didn't hear what many of us thought we were going to hear, which significant policies --Medea then proceeds to carefully and calmly explain exactly what was missing from President Obama's latest National Security Speech and why it matters so severely - while Costello continues to misunderstand and misrepresent what she's just said and to frankly Heckle Her that what she wants is where the President is ultimately "headed".
CAROL COSTELLO: You clearly interrupted the president, though, that would be heckling.
BENJAMIN: Well, I don't call it heckling. I call it speaking out because the president is not implementing policies that we need to see changed. I've written books on these issues, including one called "Drone Warfare." I go around talking to people around the country, around the world.
Yeah, but getting from where he is to where he's promised to be is still a very very long road.
Medea makes a couple substantive points.
1) The President already has the authority to free the 80 different detainees who have been cleared for release by using a waiver that Congress has previously provided.
2) The President has full authority for the Drone program and should have little problem transferring it fully from the CIA to the Military. The Military already has their own drones it's not like they'd have to train them on it, it's just a transfer of equipment from one group to another.
3) The President did not say he would ban Signature Strikes which are attacks where there isn't a single identified target, but instead a group of people have been targeted based on their "behavior" and no actually evidence of terrorism, terror planning or potential attacks is involved. It's Profiling with Hellfire Missiles.
From what I could see Costello couldn't substantially address any of these issues. All she could say was "Well, it's complicated and you were Rude.. plus my Facebook Followers think you were a Little Crazy".
Yeah, well, if they watch CNN regularly someone who actually knows the facts would seem "a little Crazy" to them. She couldn't address why the waivers are insufficient, she couldn't address signature strikes against targets that aren't even identified. She had nothin', but a bad attitude.
If you think Medea "seemed Crazy" you should watch this clip from Up with Steve Kornaki where they discuss the subject of the President's National Security Speech with
Rolling Stone Buzzfeed.com Military Correspondent Michael Hastings. (The Reporter who Ended the Career of General McChrystal, former Head of our Troops in Afghanistan)
He doesn't say anything until the 3:43 mark as the discussion goes on and on, during which you can see him simmering - then BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.
Kornaki >> the polls, the politics does this. if you look at broad public opinion on guantanamo, the idea of guantanamo versus bringing it home to the united states guantanamo polls well. the fear that exists for these politicians right or wrong but the political fear is if we transfer one of these prisoners to yemen or anywhere and it commits an act of terrorism, the political price for that especially --Hastings is admittedly animated on this subject, but he's been to Afghanistan and Pakistan and seen first hand how these drone strkes - random death from the sky - having poisoned our credibility in these countries.
Hastings >> when you put tracking things to blow them up. we can kill them without regard, fear is the right word. this was a speech that obama embraced fear. he embraced the kind of fear talking rhetoric that we became so familiar with from the previous administration. and rather -- he was a president who was to say no guys be reasonable don't be afraid. he said hey we'll look at your emails. we'll be as aggressive as we ever have been against the media and put attorney general holder who wanted us to spy in charge of the investigation.i if this is not levels of corruption. this is not chicago, this is washington, d.c. and if he wants to make us afraid i would like to say to president obama--
Kornaki >> but you heard the entire speech.
Hastings >> read the entire speech and i've spent the last year on the campaign trail in a listen to the man give over hundred speeches and analyzed each one closely and it was a radical departure. he's total mind captured by national security state and president obama who gave the speech last sunday which was a beautiful speech he told each one of those men live up to your ethical responsibilities and told the annapolis cadets live up to your moral responsibilities and what i would say as a citizen and as a journalist is president obama i love you brother extend my hand but you got to get this stuff in check. can you not let these people in that national security state bully you.
>> guantanamo to me is one of this weird relic if you look compared to killing pakistani children versus guantanamo, guantanamo is horrible but on any moral calculus killing 14-year-olds that you don't know their names is worse than holding these guys in jail at least we're trying to give them legal rights
Over 3000 People have been Killed by U.S. Drone Strikes from Afganistan to Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The American public Has No Fracking Idea that we've target crowds of people who "gathered suspiciously" -then when the first responders show up and try to dig the survivors out of the rubble - WE STRIKE THEM AGAIN in the exact same spot. Killing police. Killing Aid workers and medics. Killing friends and family members who are just trying to find out who is still alive.
Hastings knows this, and continues to talk about it in this next section.
President Obama >> for me and those in my chain of command, those deaths will haunt us as long as we live. but as commander-in-chief, i must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives. to do nothing in the face of terrorist networks would invite far more civilian casualties. not just in our cities at home and our facilities abroad, but also in the very places like kabul and mogadishu where terrorists seek a foot hold. remember the terrorists we're after target civilians. and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes.To be fair the President was comparing death due to drone strikes to American deaths due to terrorist attacks, so it's not really fair to bring all the civilian casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan war that didn't occur as a result of drone strikes. But the President was wrong to say that terrorism death "dwarfs" those killed by strikes. It doesn't.
Hastings >> that's a lie. that's a flat out lie. that last sentence is flat out lie. it's a total reframing of the actual deaths and destruction that has the u.s. and department has been responsible pop some maybe we needed to do some we didn't. this idea terrorists have somehow killed more of us than we of them then we have iraq over 300,000 bodies and afghanistan littered with bodies and yemen and pakistan that terrorists are the ones that are killing more of us are totally --
Senator Lindsey Graham says our drones have killed 4,700 people.
That's not "dwarfed" by anything. Not even 9-11, and Benghazi and the U.S.S. Cole and African Embassy Bombings from the 90's combined.
Sadly the President seems sadly under-informed on just how badly this has damaged us in the muslim world, even after Faisal Shahzad the attempted Times Square bomber specifically noted that Drone Strikes in Pakistan were his inspiration.
Those who have really followed this and really know what's going on may seem a bit crazed to the rest of us, but if you truly study this and at the same time see how nonchalantly this is treated by the media, the public (who overwhelming support keeping gitmo open and continuing drone strikes) let alone our congressional leaders who voted 90 to 6 to block the President from transferring detainees to U.S. soil and allowing KSM to be tried in New York ( even Chuck Schumer was against that) - it fair to say that the President made a bold step forward with his speech thursday.
But also fair to say he - and we - still have a hell of a long way to go to get back to National Security Sanity.
4:43 PM PT: Here's more on this from Jeremy Scahill again on CNN, he's not jiggy with it.