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Medea Benjamin
Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the human rights group Global Exchange.

Entries by Medea Benjamin

Killer Drones in a Downward Spiral?

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 5:45 PM

Co-authored by Kate Chandley

Illegal U.S. drone strikes continue (the Long War Journal says there have been eight drones strikes in Yemen so far this year), but efforts to curb the use of killer drones have made remarkable headway this year.

While the faith-based community has taken far...

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Egypt Kangaroo Court Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters to Death

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 3:58 PM

The Egyptian court has just handed down one of the most grotesque sentences in Egyptian history, condemning 529 people to death in one fell swoop. The U.S. State Department said it was "shocked" and that the verdict defies logic. "While appeals are possible, it simply does not seem possible that...

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Snow Day at the Department of Homeland Security

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 11:41 AM

Co-authored by Alli McCracken

Back in November, the CODEPINK DC office hosted a movie screening about drone warfare on the side of Jeh Johnson's elegant home in Georgetown. Jeh Johnson was chief counsel at the Department of Defense from 2009-2013 and wrote the legal memos that justified the targeted killing...

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Israel Lobby AIPAC Down, But Not Out -- Yet

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 3:06 PM

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is still one of the most powerful lobby organizations in the country, but fortunately, it is starting to lose its iron-clad grip on our policymakers. AIPAC lost the fight to stop Chuck Hagel from being confirmed as Secretary of Defense; it lost the...

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Father of Pakistani Drone Victim Allegedly Kidnapped by Pakistani State

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 10:44 AM


Image source

In October 2012, I was with a CODEPINK delegation in Pakistan meeting families impacted by U.S. drone strikes. Kareem Khan, a journalist from the tribal area of Waziristan, told us the heartbreaking story of a drone strike that...

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No Seat for Syrian Women at the Peace Talks

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 3:06 PM

The talks in Syria began today, with the Syrian government and opposition exchanging accusations and invectives. Missing was the voice of nonviolent civilians, especially women, even through they have been trying for months to have a seat at the table. "When we talk about women at the table, the men...

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10 Good Things About the Year 2013

(7) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 6:00 PM

It would be easy to make a list of 10 bad things -- wars, government shut-down, drone attacks, lack of progress on immigrant rights, lousy health-care reform. But it's also been a year of extraordinary activism: whistleblowers, DREAMers, Walmart workers, peacemakers, gay rights advocates, garment workers. As the year ends,...

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Drone Strikes in Pakistan: Reapers of Their Own Destruction

(10) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 3:33 PM

"We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped," said an angry Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan's third largest political party, the PTI (the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf). He was speaking on Saturday, November 23, to a crowd of over 10,000 protesters...

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The Victims of Drones Take on Washington, D.C.

(9) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 6:37 PM

Faisal bin Ali Gaber is a soft-spoken engineer from Yemen. After he lost his cousin and brother-in-law in a drone strike in August 2012, he published anopen letter to President Obama and Yemeni President Hadi. He said his brother-in-law was an imam who had strongly and publicly...

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Will Jeh Johnson Make the Homeland More Secure?

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 6:05 PM

Jeh Johnson, President Obama's pick to replace outgoing Secretary Janet Napolitano as head of the Department of Homeland Security, will appear before the Senate Homeland Security Committee this week for his confirmation hearing. Johnson is an obscure figure to the general public, but his likely confirmation does not bode well...

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It's Time to Put an End to Israel's 'Don't Ask-Don't Tell' Nuclear Policy

(137) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 12:09 PM

Co-authored by Pam Bailey

The negotiations this week in Geneva between Iran and the "P5+1" (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany) offer a promising vehicle for avoiding another destructive war. The talks came...

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John Kerry Sells a War That Americans Aren't Buying

(788) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 1:19 PM

It was September 19, 2002, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was scheduled to address the Senate Armed Services Committee about why it was necessary to invade a country that never attacked us: Iraq.

I was so concerned about the pending war that I flew to Washington D.C. from...

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10 Ways to Reduce the Threat of Terrorist Attacks on Americans

(45) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 11:01 AM

1. Declare a moratorium on drone strikes.
The head of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is calling on jihadists to retaliate for U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The Yemeni group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), where the U.S. says the threats are emanating from,...

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Americans on Long-Term Hunger Strike to Close Gitmo Prison

(4) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 6:53 PM

Unreported in the mainstream press is the long-term hunger strike by a group of Americans in solidarity with the hunger strikers in Guantanamo prison. The fasters include CODEPINK cofounder Diane Wilson (on a water-only fast since May 1), Veterans for Peace member Brian Wilson (May 12), and former president of...

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Julian Assange on George Bush's Library and Bradley Manning's Trial

(122) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 1:32 PM

I had an opportunity to interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been granted political asylum since June 2012. Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sex allegations, although he has never been charged. Assange believes that if sent to Sweden, he...

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Finally, the Backlash Against Drones Takes Flight

(6) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 7:31 PM

Co-written by Noor Mir

Rand Paul's marathon 13-hour filibuster was not the end of the conversation on drones. Suddenly, drones are everywhere, and so is the backlash. Efforts to counter drones at home and abroad are growing in the courts, at places of worship, outside air force bases, inside the...

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Rand Paul's Message to Obama: Don't Drone Me Bro

(14) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 11:27 AM

The most positive outcome of Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster -- which ended when Paul was forced to take a bathroom break -- was giving the American public a sense of the treacherous path that President Obama's drone program could take, i.e. the targeted killing of Americans here at home. It...

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10 Questions to Ask John Brennan at His CIA Confirmation Hearing

(11) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 2:01 PM

John Brennan's confirmation hearing to become head of the CIA will take place at the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, February 7. There is suddenly a flurry of attention around a white paper that lays out the administration's legal justification for killing Americans with drones overseas, and some...

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John Brennan vs. a Sixteen-Year-Old

(92) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 5:46 PM

In October 2011, 16-year-old Tariq Aziz attended a gathering in Islamabad where he was taught how to use a video camera so he could document the drones that were constantly circling over his Pakistani village, terrorizing and killing his family and neighbors. Two days later, when Aziz was driving with...

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Ten of My Favorite Things About 2012

(6) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 12:28 PM

There are many things to be thankful for in 2012, starting with the fact that the world didn't end on December 21 and that we don't have to witness the inauguration of Mr. One-Percent Mitt Romney. The global economic crisis continued to hit hard, but people have been taking to...

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