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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

Hagel's Departure Should Open Debate on Obama's Wars

(5) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 4:28 PM

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars...

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Don't Ask the Pentagon Where Its Money Goes. It Won't Tell.

(12) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 6:58 PM

President Barack Obama proudly signed the law that repealed the Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, freeing lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans (although not trans people) to openly serve in the military four years ago.

But when it comes to budgeting, the concept lingers on. "Don't...

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The Fourth Estate in Flames

(33) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 1:31 PM

A war-weary American public that a year ago resoundingly rejected US military intervention in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime now is rallying behind the use of force to destroy the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). In just three months, from June to September, support for US airstrikes in...

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Ukraine Conflict: Red Meat for Anemic NATO Alliance

(2) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 12:59 PM

The footage of President Obama strolling through the ancient ruins at Stonehenge was an apt bookend to the meeting of NATO, a Cold War relic that should have been abolished after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. But while hundreds of protesters marched through the streets calling for...

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Beware of Exploding Gifts From Uncle Sam

(1) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 1:41 PM

In a brilliant August 17 segment of Last Week Tonight, HBO host John Oliver ripped into small towns that have equipped their police with war-like military equipment. One town was Keene, New Hampshire, where their military-grade armored personnel truck was acquired to protect critical targets -- like the...

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One Year After Egypt's Rab'a Massacre, U.S. Still Funding Repression

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 12:49 PM

It has been one year since the August 14, 2013 Rab'a Square massacre in Egypt, when the Egyptian police and army opened fire on demonstrators opposed to the military's July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Using tanks, bulldozers, ground forces, helicopters and snipers, police and army personnel mercilessly attacked...

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On July 4, Be a Patriot: Stop Another U.S. Military Intervention in Iraq

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 2:35 PM

This July 4, the fireworks won't just be in celebration of Independence Day. There will undoubtedly be fireworks in cities throughout the Middle East, as the region, engulfed in violence, further explodes. The U.S. military and U.S. tax dollars are already deeply entangled in Middle Easterners' lives (and deaths),...

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So Obama Really Can Close Gitmo

(3) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 5:38 PM

Co-authored with Alli McCracken

Over the weekend the government of Qatar brokered a dramatic deal between the U.S. and the Taliban to swap five Guantánamo prisoners for Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier held as a prisoner of war for almost five years. Flexing his political clout, President Obama demonstrated...

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Standing Up, One Year Later: President Obama's Broken Foreign Policy Promises

(111) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 1:29 PM

A year ago, on May 23, 2013, I was in the audience at the National Defense University when President Barack Obama gave his major foreign policy address. Having worked for years trying to close the Guantanamo prison and stop US drone attacks, I was crushed to realize that...

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Drone Lawyer: Kill a 16 Year-Old, Get a Promotion

(17) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 6:12 PM

If you think that as a United States citizen you're entitled to a trial by jury before the government can decide to kill you -- you're wrong. During his stint as a lawyer at the Department of Justice, David Barron was able to manipulate constitutional law so as to legally...

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10 Reasons to Love Uruguay's President José Mujica

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 10:47 PM

President José Mujica of Uruguay, a 78-year-old former Marxist guerrilla who spent 14 years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement, recently visited the United States to meet with President Obama and speak at a variety of venues. He told Obama that Americans should smoke less and learn more languages. He...

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Behind the Egyptian Junta's Iron Curtain

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 6:43 PM

Co-authored by Kate Chandley

After a recent CODEPINK delegation to Egypt ended up in deportations and assault, we have become acutely aware of some of the horrors that Egyptians are facing in the aftermath of the July 3 coup that toppled Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Over

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Killer Drones in a Downward Spiral?

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 6:45 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 | 4:58 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 | 12:41 PM

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 | 4:06 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 | 11:44 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 | 4:06 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 | 7:00 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 | 4:33 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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