Saturday, May 25, 2013

Medea Benjamin: Why I Spoke Out at Obama’s Foreign Policy Speech

On why Obama’s policies themselves, not those who speak out against them, are rude


 
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the political activist group Code Pink, is removed by security after speaking out against President Barack Obama during his foreign policy speech Thursday. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch /UPI)

Having worked for years on the issues of drones and Guantanamo, I was delighted to get a pass (the source will remain anonymous) to attend President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University. I had read many press reports anticipating what the President might say. There was much talk about major policy shifts that would include transparency with the public, new guidelines for the use of drones, taking lethal drones out of the purview of the CIA, and in the case of Guantanamo, invoking the “waiver system” to begin the transfer of prisoners already cleared for release.

Sitting at the back of the auditorium, I hung on every word the President said. I kept waiting to hear an announcement about changes that would represent a significant shift in policy. Unfortunately, I heard nice words, not the resetting of failed policies.

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