tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 7, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
here -- we will have more coming up in a moment. we wanted to breeding you the comments of richard ankle as he spoke at this year's dedication of the memorial for fallen journalists at the newseum at washington. lastwas held hostage december, and i thought i was going to be added to this list. i was lucky after five unpleasant days. i got out. there was a gun battle and a rescue and i managed to escape. i was rescued and escaped. i returned to syria last week for the first time since being kidnapped, and instead of having list, iadded to this have the honor of paying respect to my colleagues who did not make it, and i would like to thank the newseum for that privilege. the question is, why do we do it? why take the risks?
is it for fun, ford venture? -- for adventure? is it for the money? there are easier ways to make money than this. like the earth's plates when they snap like violent political change, and we see how the plates are fitting together. we do so the innocents have a voice. we do it because we have decided this is what we want to do with our slice of time on this planet. event back in may. all of the available in our field library at www.c-span.org. looking live at the iwo jima memorial just outside washington based on the photograph by joseph rosenthal in 1945.
it was the inspiration for the iwo jima memorial, the marine corps memorial. our focus on the townhall tonight is looking at the media coverage of war and we will be joined by a freelance videographer who has done a number of tours in iraq and afghanistan or c-span and other news organizations. we will show you some of his video and hear from him as well. we are taking your tweets and facebook comments. we are asking you, where'd you get your media coverage, how do you follow war coverage? a couple of posts here, from jennifer. says, well, not at all. it is hard to do when you are bought and paid for. can says it is difficult to trust any media that is controlled and regulated i our corrupt government. ever since i do not have cable. i watched news online.
when i compare news documents, fox comes closer to telling the truth. let's go to market in auburn, me, auburn,xcuse new york, independents'line. mark, are you there? we lost them. tracy is in indiana. hi. caller: hello, how are you? host: doing fine. caller: when i think it comes to the media coverage of the war, it is like an angel and devil in the same bed. and the media is controlled by see the image. we do not know of half of the atrocities if it was not for the media. by the same token, the devil somebodyslant it to toss political point of view, and i also want to say that i --
to try to bring more r awareness into this, because my husband is a vet and he is not being treated well. i wish the media would show more of the aftermath, the happens to the vet after the war, after they have been out of the military for a while. what are their lives like. . people would be shocked to see how they are treated. i think the media does an excellent job on the other try. it can do a slanted job. how do we know the difference? we do not know. you can just look and look at each channel and compare what they are saying and go from there, because eventually over hopefully you will get enough information to peace out what is really going on. i would be really nervous that they we do not have eda coverage of what is happening in the world as well as what is happening in america. from here is a call next
alabama. welcome. walter, are you there? you're on the air. i had a brother served in vietnam. realize like going into a rack them of the women, and putting our boys over there and women and the people here were calling in criticizing. if they would take a gun and do something like that, it is different. if it were not for our armed forces, we would be controlled by other countries. just like in the united states, these folk who rob banks or stuff and this that going on all the time. ain't none of us perfect, but i think our soldiers are doing a good job. media,o you think the the usb then, does a good job of covering our efforts in afghanistan and before that to my iraq? host: i sure do.
i sure do.ler: host: go ahead. i am a former korean, vietnam veteran, and to make -- to me, the meeting is you have two efferent sides of the story from different angles. i tend to go to the foreign media to see what they think of us. at the same time, i think the lady talked about looking at what happens after the war. that is a big thing we need to look at closer. again, there is a lot of money put into the war, but when it comes to the end the month there is a lot of money taken away from the war. host: you mean issues like veterans health and veterans issues, the media could do a better job? ptsd has beenir,
round for a long time. was a good example of the vet that to help. now the young guys coming back, they need to help and you can see it in their faces. i mean, today the president talking to the marines out at camp pendleton. a couple of young men behind him, at certain points during thatpeech, you could see they had emotions that were related to ptsd. again, america needs to wake up hoorah, hoorah, but the cost of war as high. host: the video you are seeing is the president's speech in camp pendleton in california.
after that, the president will be delivering the comments at the event three weeks from now monday, august 20 eighth event, 50th anniversary of the march on washington. the white house announcing today, the president will be part of that progress. they said in part that 50 years to the day after martin luther king gave his famous " i have a speech, president obama will take the same steps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. a brief statement today said onma will deliver remarks the ceremony at august 28. it is intended to commemorate the marsh on washington where 250,000 people gathered and heard king's rousing speech on racial quality. look for coverage of that of course on c-span. this is casey on how democrats line, and the issue of media coverage of war,
casey, where do you get your information? online. i do not watch much cable news. turks online. caller: i would like to see the mainstream media cover more of the whistleblowers. what the whistleblowers have to do instead of chastised them. what they actually do and how they help out the war effort and make the government more transparent. host: thanks for your call. tennessee, next up, bill is on the independence line. bill, are you there? caller: yes. mediaery disgusted in the cbs. with cnn and abc and you cannot believe anything that becauset of their mouth
make the changes according to what they want to have you see it. they do not use any direct reporting. it is all made up by them. they slant it in order to crew, andama and his i spent 8 1/2 years in the military, and i spent two years in pakistan, and at that time they would kill you and they would receive $300 for an and listed man and $500 for an officer. host: did you ever have an encounter with reporters in action where you were? caller: we have no reporters in there. base, at a base, a spy where gary francis powers took off from.
and we got nothing. i wouldin a compound say 40 acres, a huge 16-foot brick and concrete wall. host: that was late 1950's, 1960's? 1960's. we caught hell for it because of where we were at. when the news came out, it was thatault, not anything would say that we are a spy class and more like a low- -- it made us feel like second- class citizens. host: thank you for your call.
we are looking at coverage of the war by the media and other issues happening in washington. since congress is out, we are doing a c-span town hall. tigris is back on september 9. three nights a week we will open up our phones and take a look at facebook and read some of your tweets on issues we are talking about tonight and looking at what some members of congress are up to as they head back to their home districts. here is north kiacarolina democrat kay hagan. alan nunnelee. lots of these tweets from members of congress on what they are up to. if you are interested, over the august break. the way you can access some of
his comments from members of congress, if you're on twitter, go to the list and you can choose and see what members are tweeting as they spent time back in their home districts. we want to look at the issues of the announcement today that the president would not be meeting with vladimir put in any upcoming g-20 summit, not in the bilateral meeting, the one-on- one meeting with vladimir putin in moscow. the state department has been talking about this for couple days. they talked about it today, and the issue of the meeting coming up on friday at the state department between secretary of state john kerry, chuck hagel, and there russian counterparts. >> in terms of what the secretary hopes to discuss on friday, he expects and hopes to
discuss everything from cooperation on afghanistan, iran, north korea, areas where we have worked closely together, or we have agreements, but there's more work to be done given the challenge of these issues, to disagreements on missile defense, arms control, and human rights. there were also continued their dialogue on syria and discuss efforts towards geneva and the agreement that a political solution to the crisis is the right step to end the bloodshed. discussing only issues where you agree or only issues where you disagree. it will be a combination. we have an important relationship with russia. i think you are familiar with the areas we disagree with, which i outlined many of them, but we believe we need to cooperate on areas where we can, or there is progress to be made in the world. iran and north korea are both certainly good examples of that. there are also areas, as i
mentioned, like missile defense and human rights and i certainly edward snowden, where we have disagreements. those will be part of the discussion as well. spokesmane department talking about the meeting coming up at the state department later this week. this is cease-fire and -- this is c-span town hall talking about the media coverage of war. back to calls. anna is on a republican line. caller: i just wanted to say i think the media does a herbal a horrible job when it records information on more and the appeared to be more against the military and for them. there has been a lot of times that it appears like the media side with the enemy over our military. there has been things the report more whenever our military accidentally takes out innocent zones than ther
times that they actually stop terroristic attacks where they were at. i would just like to see -- in i also want to say that the media should be following our military around when they are out on patrols or going out into an area where there's going to be combat. i do not think that they have a place in their. foruse my son was overseas six years and i have heard things about the media that would get me upset and i would talk to him and he would reassure me that it was nothing how the media was portraying it. and i would like to see more support behind our military and less support behind our enemies. and more coverage on how our thwarted awarts or lot of attacks and when they make a mistake and they do something wrong.
i do not like to hear about civilians being killed either, but why should that be covered more than whenever they actually stop a lot of killing of innocent people? host: if you are looking for what you consider an accurate portrayal of whether what is going on in afghanistan or what happened in a wreck, who do you trust most in terms of war reporting? caller: more of the conservative media. i will not eat watch our local -- i will not watch our local station in my area when they do any type of reporting on and especiallyd, on the war. i do not listen to them. host: thanks for your call. we will go to camp pendleton, california. if you happen to see the event? buter: unfortunately, not, i had several peers that went.
i was more impressed with him as a public speaker. the background that i am in, he --not a popular affiliate figure. one of the things i wanted, and regional medialy is. being exposed to the that way of thinking, a huge group of people that are not from the same background as mine, the same news stories, my fellow democrats viewed it as a war propaganda machine are saying a it as my peers view liberal propaganda, if that makes sense. host: thanks for your call. the video of president obama speaking at camp pendleton earlier today. the white house announcing the president would not be meeting with vladimir putin in russia in
moscow in the upcoming g-20 summit. a reporter writing about the decision and probably about its vocation's and policy. what is russia's game/ political scientists might call this behavior, and perhaps the most noteworthy fact about the post-cold war world now is how little does balancing has occurred until now. since theyears soviet union disappeared, none of the major powers has stepped up to replace the ussr or engaged in a major military buildup, and the geopolitical power games of yore. china does not appear to be building up a blue-water navy the way the soviet union once did. comments from michael hersch "national journal." caller: i am proud to say my
oldest brother was in vietnam as a marine, and he was an officer, yes. but he got shrapnel in his leg, and i was in high school when he came home, and i buroke the barrier when he came off the plane, and i hugged him and hugged him. but he had a family and everything, and thank the this, a man that he worked with figured out what he was going to do him and he took a gun to the park and was going to commit suicide, and that man saved his life. we here in america, we are americans because of those men and women. i am a volunteer at the vets hospital here in madison, and i love it. i cannot tell you enough about it. they want to talk, and i let them talk. treatedamed of how we them when they got home.
i cannot say enough about the military. host: thanks for your call. before we get to bill, let's talk about our twitter comments. says, find that foreign media and internet have far better coverage on war, couches or a, bbc. hello, bill, republican line. caller: i'm a veteran. i served 28 years in the military. i look at these kids when they come home. they have a thousand-year stare. [indiscernible] host: how long do you think that would go over, bill biger: the veterans go over . that wasn took it out, the biggest mistake they ever made. i think everybody should serve two years of their life for
their freedom. i was an r.a. host: when did you serve? caller: in vietnam. i was in reconnaissance. host: how long were you in vietnam? caller: three tours. host: go back to our topic this evening, we're looking at how the media covers wars. is there a difference a day than the media covered vietnam? caller: we work with the media people. they followed us in some of our operations. did you find them cooperative, helpful, telling the story accurately? caller: no, i did not. i thought it was all bull crap. they showed bodies that we had made, but they should not have.
they should not even know about it. host: thanks for that call. sean on ournia, democrats line. you're on the air. caller:hi. i would like to comment on the but notg of the war, only that, just reporting of everything else. i am a fairly young guy, 26 years old. typically i switch between the and foxnels, msnbc, news, to get their perspective. on different issues that are going on. it is funny because my girlfriend asked me, why do you switch between the two channels? i always respond by saying one channel is the rebuttal to the other. as far as the war, and other you do not typically
hear a lot about the war going on right now. i cannot compare it to the vietnam war that happened back in the 1970's and the cold war that happened in the 1980's and 1990's. host: this goes back a couple years, but it says, and let me know if you think these figures are about as accurate. it says afghanistan coverage took up four percent of the news coverage in the year 2010, and in terms of iraqi them an iraqi was winding down, it said over a ofilar course of 2010, 1% the news coverage was devoted to iraq. in no week did iraqi consume more than 10% of what they called the news hole in news coverage. does that sound what it is right or less? caller: i tend to take sister six with a grain of salt.
i tend to take the statistics with a grain of salt. i guess when i think of mainstream media, i think of cnn and msnbc, fox, and some of the usual suspects. i'm constantly on the hunt for unbiased news to where they report not just on the war, but on everything else. i guess i would say that those figures probably do hold some not there is or out liars to those numbers that are being presented, i guess that is to be debated. i would say that there is some truth to those numbers. host: you mentioned it p ponging back between ms msnbc and fox --
youer: when you watch fox, find them leaning more to left. cnn i would say they're in the middle. they lean toward the left in little more. aside from that, depending on which network you want, they will report different dings. -- things. whenays tell people that you talk about things that are being reported in the media, i come back to the rebuttal it depends on who you watch. probably, c-span is one of the more unbiased networks that report on all the issues. it seems like c-span is more concerned with reporting the news than they are as opposed to the other big networks, who are concerned with making the news. host: except for our coverage of
our guest who did cover for us, we do not field a foreigner bureau of covering the wars, so we are not in a position where we do take coverage from discussions on the war, reporting on the war, sometimes simulcasting other stations and things like that. c-span would not have those challenges as the networks may. caller: absolutely, understood. host: thanks for your call this evening. we are talking about the issue of media coverage of war. there's a lot of coverage update on activities of a defense activities, not only in washington, but across the country, and publications dedicated to doing that. here is a report on sexual assault in the military. ren samuelson saying the defense department considers more action on sexual assault. he says chuck hagel is planning
a new round of sexual assault policies that include expanding and advocacy program for victims to all military branches and requiring audits of investigations. according to a number of draft plans obtained by politico. he writes the pentagon is floating six new actions to capitol hill that are ready for release as soon as this week in the memo. dod officials acknowledged some other ideas, further efforts that are key provision in this year's house and senate versions of the defense authorization bill. joining us on the line is david ax. we were talking a moment ago about his coverage in theanistan and iraqi over last 10 years or so. if you have been watching c-span for any amount of time, you may have seen some of his reporting. he will join us in just a moment. we want to give a flavor of some of the reporting he has done as
a freelance geographer in afghanistan. there is a look. 5, i wasil 4 and in a unit that was just embedded. the target is these isolated district that straddle the border that for a long time have seen no native troops at all. 5, it flew out in two helicopters. 50 guys total. nearupied to mountaintops, a border district, where they have not seen a native trip in three years. the idea was on this first air assault that the americans were just can't out on these to mountaintops and find some good vantage points and start looking around, looked down into the valley, look on to the roads, in any any caves,
compounds they can see, and get a sense of who lives here about what their normal pattern of life, are there any overt signs of the taliban, and if the taliban is actually there, can we draw them out. can we draw them out? in april, we camped out on those mountaintops. the villagers saw us. launched a couple of rockets. there was a minor skirmish. nobody was hurt on either side. intot was the first foray a long-neglected district that is a crossing point into afghanistan for taliban fighters. years ago, that is , reporting from afghanistan. he joins us to talk about coverage of wars. we are looking at the video from
may of 2011, and your narration after the fact. --l us, in that scenario were you embedded with troops? yes, in eastern afghanistan. differenceis the between being embedded and being not embedded, for lack of a better term? being a reporter not embedded with a particular unit. what is the difference for you, as a reporter? >> the military has a word for that. they call it a unilateral, a non-embedded reporter. focus was on, in this case, u.s. combat troops. it is helpful to be inside the unit, and to take advantage of their transportation and their protection to go into places that you perhaps could not
access easily, cheaply, or safely on your own as a reporter , and to get the troops' perspective. if you are embedded, you are definitely seeing the war from a certain perspective. if we only had embedded reporters, the state of war journalism in america would be pretty dire, but it is a useful part of the picture. a unit,en you work with as an embedded or unilateral reporter, are you often subject to, for lack of a better term, censorship? do they ask some approval on the video you are taking in the field? guest: there is no censorship, but there are ground rules. you sign a very long list of rules, some of which are pretty vague,dangerously agreeing not to cover certain things.
more or less, that boils down to, you agree not to disclose exact movements and locations of troops, and the exact capabilities of weapons systems. most of that stuff is not that useful for journalism. for a are reporting general audience, you are in trouble but not going to get into a lot of trouble. rather than censoring the reporters, if you were going to break the ground rules, you are just not going to get embedded again, because the military is going to know, you cannot trust this guy. it can be a dicey system at times, especially if you are working for a publication that wants, for some reason, technical details. patience and understanding on both sides is useful. it is not uncommon for a reporter to get in trouble, but most of us get by. how long have you
been a military reporter? guest: i have been working in this field since early 2005. host: what made you want to cover wars? guest: i was working in south paper.a for a local it was pretty much the least relevant beat in america. i wanted to do something different. it happened to be the turn of the south carolina national guard to send troops to iraq. i saw that as an opportunity to travel, to do something different, to do something i viewed as more important. host: your website is called warisboring.com. for media.com. but yes, that is true. this, i had the expectation i think a lot of young people have go -- have,
growing up with movies and video games, that war is a lot of action, and jumping off things, and colorful explosions. mostly, it is a lot of sitting around. and trying to get between point a and point b. that is one of the hardest parts , is just logistics. >> you have done work with c- span. what are other organizations that hire you? and what are you covering these days? guest: i have worked for salon, the village voice, the washington times, esquire, wired.com, and i currently work for medium, which is a new website for reporters like myself. currently, i am focused on syria. there, todeploying use a military term. i will be deploying myself there in september. you ever become
injured or ill because of your travels abroad? i have gotten dysentery twice, which was not fun. explosion oned that same trip you showed footage from. , and theear kabul vehicle i was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive. i suffered superficial injuries in that blast. most other occupants in the vehicle were badly hurt. i was lucky to be in the back of the vehicle, furthest from the blast. have an veryat, i fortunate. we appreciate you staying with us, and taking some of our calls from viewers. a quick question, before we get to a call. we had an earlier comment from a
former member of the military in the wayo was upset with a particular associated press report came out several weeks after an incident in iraq, that cause serious problems with the locals in the town where they were. therding to the call, soldier said the reporters got the story wrong. that? you counter how do you make sure that what you are going to report does not you back to bite the troops were reporting on? guest: that is a delicate question. but we do not write for the troops. we are not soldiers. we are not performing a military mission. our accountability and responsibility lies with the just -- itblic, not does not end with the troops. the troops are part of the public.
we must also keep their needs in mind. military public affairs specialists, and we are not propagandists. reporters to as help the public understand what their military is doing, how the military is doing it, and to serve a watchdog function. the military can be a closed- door organization, very powerful and very wealthy. if a story that we tell truthfully, and on which we do our due diligence -- it is ok if that comes back to bite us in the sense that the troops get mad at us. that happens all the time. sometimes, that just means you are doing your job well. if a reporter is getting the or somehow just
does not like the military -- i would wonder why they are on the military beat if they do not like working with troops. if they have some kind of indebted to exercise, that is obviously not a recipe for good journalism. embedded reporting can be hard. as an embedded reporter, you are only seeing a tiny slice of the pic tour. should not beters soldiers. how could you be? we are outsiders who go into an organization. we are outsiders with experience. sometimes, the military, reporters, and the public speak a different language. they have a different idea of what matters and how it should be portrayed. as long as you are reporting accurately and honestly -- it is frequently the case that the military just does not agree
with the way these stories are told. sometimes, you have to confront your confront her's, and tell them, i did not write this for you. we go to our first caller, on our independent line. good evening. caller: i would like to see more reporters with heart. i am an old guy. good, the bad, and the ugly. we are better when we have a flag to fly, a god to fear, and the freedom we choose. do or will not do it in this country. they pay the price with their life. they do not take and choose their battles. in general, did you feel
your reception among the troops was positive? guest: a mixed bag. i mean, the military is a gigantic organization. people come from all backgrounds. there is every mix of races, sexes, socioeconomic groups. to cast aly hard broad blanket over all these .olks i have had good reception. i have had bad deception. i have had units that were pleased or displeased with my coverage. i have had every possible reaction. the gentleman -- i am not quite clear what the question was. was he saying we have to stand for the troops? host: broadly, yes. just remind the gentleman that we do not live in a military dictatorship.
we live in a representative democracy. our military are public servants. their work for us. we do not have to just stand by the troops. the troops work for us, the american public, and we have to hold them accountable. host: thomas is on the republican line, talking about military coverage, reporters covering military actions, wars. you are on the air. go ahead. caller: in my own personal belief, i did not vote for president obama during the 2012 election. belief, ipersonal believe that president obama should be fired from office. he should be impeached. , a lot ofeason why is the things he is doing is wrecking america's economy. america's economy is not growing at the pace it should be.
the man has no political experience in economic backgrounds. got: i am going to let you unless you have a comment specifically on what we are talking about tonight. caller: my comments, plain and simple, is that i do not believe, personally, that this war -- i apologize -- this war should be called for. because i think this is the wrong time of action. to move on tong warning, ohio, and hear from mark on our democrats line. go ahead from -- go ahead with your comments. caller: how are you doing? ok.: doing you are on the air. caller: this is the united states of america.
have all these politicians resign in the house. a little bit off topic a little bit off-topic. we will go to christopher in new york. you have a comment for david a xe? caller: can you hear me? host: we can. caller: david, i think you were disingenuous when you said that censorship -- you did not experience censorship. but you went on to list a bunch of rules you had to stick to. historically, since the 1960's, the antiwar movement, with constant footage of what the body bags on the evening news every night -- something happened in the early 1970's. the pentagon or the federal have existed laws ever since. we do not get full coverage.
when you say embedded, obviously you had to go through a process. you had to get processed. you did not get to pick and choose where you go. is that true? guest: it is true. in the past, the military has gotten in trouble for using a large group which was largely responsible for selling the iraq war to the american public, under contract. they were using the group to rate reporters in terms of being positive, neutral, or negative for the military. the military has been caught prescreening journalists for their attitudes toward the wars. that is a big problem. would pushback against your characterization of the embedding process as censorship. is only censorship if i am prevented from filing my stories. that does not happen. if i file a story that violates
the ground rules to which i agreed, the punishment, in a sense, comes later. i could get denied for a future and bad. -- future embed. nobody is going to stop me from filing the story. the government does not even handle that process. i do that on my own. the censorship does not exist. it is like yelling fire in a crowded theater. from sayingtop you that, but if it is not true, you will get in trouble afterward. militarymean to equate reporting with yelling in a crowded theater, but the and suppose the same. as far as the blood and guts of war -- that is not true either, necessarily. even for c-span, when i was caught in the ied explosion in 2011 -- i filed that video, and c-span used it. it was very africa.
there were injured people and visible blood. there were soldiers using profanity, myself using profanity. i think c-span did a little bit of luring. -- blurring. but it was a pretty graphic video which was on c-span, which is not crazy boundary pushing journalism trying to shock people. it is a responsible organization that broadcast that footage. is a lack of reality-based reporting on the wars? readers need to know where to find it, but it is definitely out there. >> thanks for your call. you mentioned the coverage of the incident we did. all of the video you shot for us over the years is available in our video library. where are you off to next? you are off to syria? going to will be northern syria, based in turkey,
to cover the fighting in a city called aleppo. we will be trying to understand who the syrian rebels are, what they want, how america is increasingly becoming involved, and to spend some time with the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have been displaced to the conflict. thanks for joining us this evening. we appreciate it. we are looking at media coverage of wars. we have been looking at other issues, particularly the story of the administration announcing president obama will not be meeting with vladimir putin in the upcoming g 20 summit. we spoke to a reporter earlier this evening for the details. russia at stake for both and the united states with this decision by the administration?
guest: they were going to have a summit and discuss issues like and control and syria, maybe some other things like missile defense and human rights. but the white house today said they did not think there had been enough progress on a lot of these issues to justify having a summit. the white house acknowledged that the edward snowden up there -- affair might have been a tipping point in all of this. this is, of course, what the russians think is the main reason. they said today in the kremlin they think the main reason the white house is doing this is den case, ande snow russia's decision to give him temporary asylum. summitthey had a pre- summit in washington, the meeting with secretary of state
john kerry and secretary hegel with their russian counterparts. what were the expectations of that meeting? and might that change the decision of the administration about this bilateral meeting with vladimir putin? i do not think obama would decide after all to have a summit with putin right now, even if the cabinet level talks on friday go well. these are going to be talks between the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries. and yes, they originally were set up and were expected to be part of the preparation for the presidential summit. but the way the administration explained everything today was that they decided not to have the presidential summit, but they wanted the dialogue to continue. is anlize russia important partner in a lot of things. have thedecided to dialogue go-ahead on friday. but i do not think there is going to be any kind of sudden
reversal of the decision to have the summit. host: susan cornwell is our guest. she is a reuters correspondent. today, in a writing story coming out online today, about the affects in yemen -- the possible effects of the release of detainees from guantánamo. yemen turmoil could stall the effort to" guantanamo. what is the gist of your reporting? president obama said in may that he was lifting the moratorium, the ban, on repatriating detainees at guantánamo from yemen. there are a bunch of them. a lot of them have been cleared for release by the u.s. government. havegovernment agencies decided these people do not pose a threat to the united states and should be allowed to leave. yemenis on repatriating was slapped on after the -- i do
not know if you remember the underpants bomber, the christmas day bomber. that attack had links to yemen. sendingelt we cannot be if detainees back to yemen it has such an active al qaeda branch. said, we think we can restart this process. we can look at these people again, and see if we cannot send some of them home. none have been sent home since then, and there are 56 of them who have been cleared for release. they have not been sent home. now, with a worldwide security alert going on, which seems to be based on things happening in yemen and the al qaeda branch there, which has been very , what i wrote was, it just seems unlikely now that
these detainees will be going home anytime soon. -- senatorm bliss saxby chambliss said he did not think they should. she just mentioned her story on the potential release back toánamo detainees yemen. we have been talking about media coverage of wars abroad. let us go to calls in a second. i want to check facebook, and some reaction to where people go for media coverage of wars. richard is writing there are none.
to paul in meridian, connecticut, on our independent mind. -- independent line. more than just killing a bunch of people and risking lives. it is also about why we are there. typically doesia a pretty poor job in exploring and getting to the bottom of why we are in these wars. world war ii, for example, it turns out, as diana west shows
in her recent book, american but trail -- our state department was riddled with communists. very right about the extent to which communist influence got us into a war against japan and germany, when an argument can be made that we goinghave been better off to war against china and russia. view that weour only get accurate view of a conflict years after the conflict has taken place? caller: that is exactly right. i was a unit commander during the vietnam war. i got to know firsthand a lot of people who were involved with it. it is stunning how ignorant our young people were that joined up, and even were drafted, about why we were there.
that war was about expanding world markets, but we were sold on the idea that if vietnam fell, all of southeast asia would become communist in a domino effect. lied with the gulf of tonkin incident. we are talking about killing people. coming from a new testament i thinknd, as i do, there is no more significant decision as human being can make them to take another person's life. >> thanks for your input. a couple of minutes more. democrats line. go ahead. caller: can you hear me clearly? host: we sure can. caller: as to media coverage on
war, i feel it is very, very poor. we had a little coverage about the afghanistan war before we went into iraq. iraq, we hadinto barely any coverage about afghanistan. the news media, or the mainstream news media, never reports on the war on drugs, the secret wars, flying drones and , the white house declaring war on prescription painkillers. nobody seems to make the connection between vietnam and flow of heroinhe that came into america. now that afghanistan is winding down, you are once again having a huge problem with heroin flowing into america and becoming the new drug of choice, or old drug of choice.
even the little pakistani girl that got shot in the head by the i watched, trying to find her speech to the united nations all over. i spent the entire day being a news junkie. and all it talked about was the george zimmerman trial. i eventually had to look it up online and watch the 17 minute speech on bbc.com. let us go to elizabeth on our republican line. let us see if we can get jimmy. wonder if taxpayers are interested in where their money is going to fund all of this. dod.gov is a great source for the u.s. military presence. the annual defense budget, just short of a trillion. public integrity has a great website for the defense contractors.
i wonder if this is all leading to what eisenhower said and cautioned -- the military- industrial complex that will bankrupt america. host: your comments are similar to a tweet we have. we have been showing you some of the comments from members of congress, as they are back in their home districts for the august recess. that will just about wrap up the town hall for this evening. the conversation continues tomorrow on "washington journal."
fromgins with a journalist reuters talking about their story on a little-known intelligence division within the dea. then a reporter from "the boston later, discussion with barnett kramer. definitionging the of cancelable reduce unnecessary treatments. washington journal is live tomorrow. will be back here with the c- span townhall tomorrow looking at immigration and the economy live at 7:00 eastern. thank you for joining us this evening. session two of first ladies and ladies, influence image begins. all this month we are showing encore presentations of season one.