BackBeat: The Making of 'America's Black Hole'

Posted by News Beat on February 21, 2018  •  2 min read
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In this episode of BackBeat, the News Beat podcast crew provides a behind-the-scenes look at its latest episode, "America's Black Hole," and goes into greater detail about the continued detention of the men at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Additionally, the crew discusses the significance of a legal petition filed on behalf of nearly a dozen prisoners indefinitely detained without charge. Of the 41 people still imprisoned, 28 have not been charged with a crime, and five have been cleared for release.

Listen to full episode here:


As they note, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both called for the prison to close, and in the latter's case, he signed an executive order on the second day of his presidency instructing GITMO be shuttered within one year. Obama famously failed to fulfill that promise, partly due to a recalcitrant Congress.

Sixteen years since the Bush administration began rendering so-called "Enemy Combatants" to Guantanamo, the prison remains open, thus our report on the origins of the detention center, the controversy swirling around the military commission process and the indefinite detention of people never charged with a crime.

The News Beat podcast episode featured:

  • Mark Fallon - a former U.S. Department of Defense official and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent. He was the lead investigator on the Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) at Guantanamo Bay Naval Camp in Cuba, which was charged with investigating terror suspects rendered to the camp following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and is currently a national security consultant.
  • Pardiss Kebriaei - a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on challenging U.S. government abuses in the context of national security.
  • Shelby Sullivan-Bennis - a staff attorney at Reprieve, an international human rights group. She currently represents two men detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay prison who have already been cleared for release, as well as victims of America’s “targeted killing” program.
  • Robert McCaw - the director of the Government Affairs Department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country.
  • Manny Faces - News Beat's host and producer provided the lyrical content for this episode. Faces is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Birthplace Magazine, a thriving online entertainment and lifestyle destination focusing on hip hop music and culture in the New York metropolitan area, creator and host of The NY Hip Hop Report, a popular, weekly, live video show/podcast.

News Beat is an award-winning social justice podcast melding independent, hard-hitting journalism with original music from independent artists.

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