(CNN) - CNN's Chris Lawrence traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to get a rare, first-hand look at the drastic measures being taken inside the U.S. detention facility to keep dozens of inmates on hunger strikes alive.
The inmates' hunger strike marks its 100th day Friday, and shows no signs of stopping. Some of the 100 hunger-strikers will drink supplements if ordered to, but 30 detainees who refuse to eat are force fed through tubes put up their nose, down their throat and into their stomach.
"It's kind of a tough mission, this is kind of an ugly place sometimes," says a senior medical officer at Guantanamo Bay who has to remain anonymous for security reasons.
As a doctor he stands by the methods used at Guantanamo Bay. When asked if he's concerned the American Medical Association has come out against this practice, the officer responded that "there's a lot of politics involved. And I'm sure there's lots of politics that they need to answer to as well."
CNN obtained handwritten letters from one of the detainees. One reads 'Be tortured and stay detained.' Another quotes a French writer about how "your very existence becomes an act of rebellion." He sounds hopeless when he writes, "The commissions are a joke. If you lose you go to prison for life. If you win, you're held indefinitely for life."
"We don't have a goal to quote 'break the hunger strike.' We do have a mission to preserve life by lawful means," says Gitmo Spokesman, Capt. Robert Durand.
Gitmo officials showed CNN the numbing gel they offer, and say the tubes are thin and lubricated. "Nobody's expressed to me that this hurts," says the senior medical officer, but defense attorneys say shackling a detainee and snaking a tube into his stomach is inhumane.
Cori Crider, defense attorney for detainee Samir Moqbel says her client told her that "he had never felt so much pain like that in his life."
A heckler interrupted President Barack Obama's speech in Jerusalem Thursday, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel. Pollard has served nearly 3 decades in a U.S. prison. CNN's Wolf Blitzer reports on the Jonathan Pollard case and the shadow it casts on US-Israeli ties.
In an exclusive one-hour interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in Cairo, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy revealed his plans to visit the United States.
“God Willing, I will plan for this trip,” Morsy announced. “There is no set date yet but it will most likely be before the end of the first quarter of this year.”
When asked his thoughts on President Obama, Morsy told Blitzer that he respects and values him. “He played an effective and important role in the cease fire in regards to Gaza and the end of attacks against Gaza,” said Morsy.
Blitzer also asked the Egyptian President about the Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric who is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison for his connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
“I want him to be free but I respect the law and the rule of law in Egypt and the United States,” Morsy said. He says he will discuss the issue with President Obama when they meet.
On Syria, Morsy backed calls from Syrians for President Bashar al-Assad to be tried for war crimes.
"The Syrian people through their revolution and through the movement will - when the bloodshed stops - move to a new stage where they will have an independent parliament and a government of their choosing," Morsy, Egypt's first freely elected leader, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in Cairo. "And then they will decide what they want to do to those who committed crimes against them. It is the Syrian people who decide."
More of Blitzer’s wide-ranging interview with Morsy airs this week on “The Situation Room,” airing 4-7pm ET.
(CNN) - As the violence continues in Israel and Gaza, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is reporting on the conflict from Jerusalem, where he will anchor “The Situation Room” this week.
Tune in Monday at 4pm ET for Blitzer’s report from Ashkelon, Israel, a town just north of the Gaza border which has been repeatedly targeted by rocket attacks from Hamas militants in recent days.
Blitzer described Ashkelon as “eerie” as the cafés and beaches are deserted. As soon as he arrived, there was a series of loud booms, air raid sirens went off and soldiers rushed Blitzer and others to a bomb shelter.
I'm in Ashkelon where sirens went off & we heard some loud booms. Ran w/ others into a shelter. Iron Dome apparently worked.—
Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) November 19, 2012
Blitzer is also interviewing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman Avital Leibovich and Israeli Government spokesman Mark Regev from Jerusalem.
Also in today’s show, Frederik Pleitgen and Christiane Amanpour report from Israel, and Anderson Cooper, Arwa Damon and Ben Wedeman report from Gaza City.
RELATED STORY: No slowdown in Gaza-Israel hostilities; U.N. chief arrives to push for cease-fire
(CNN) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee chair, says that it is her intention to talk with former CIA Director David Petraeus regarding the circumstances that led to the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the Democratic Senator from California says she believes that he will testify on the matter.
“This ties in to his trip that he made just before all of this broke to some Middle Eastern countries including Libya” Feinstein said. “I think he’s a responsible person and I believe he will come.”
Petraeus, a retired four-star general, resigned Friday from his post at the CIA after acknowledging an affair with a woman later identified as his biographer, Paula Broadwell. His resignation came just days before he was to testify to Congress on the September 11 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans.
The full interview airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
RELATED POST: Feinstein says she'll push for Petraeus to testify
Hot, dry and windy conditions - which have fueled rampaging wildfires across Colorado and forced more than 11,000 people from their homes - will continue to plague the region through at least midweek.
In northern Colorado, the state's largest fire, the High Park fire, has already charred more than 83,000 acres and destroyed nearly 250 homes in the Fort Collins area.
Colorado resident Jaime Astorga was forced out of his home back when the fire erupted on June 9 and gives CNN's Joe Johns his account of being evacuated.
RELATED LINK: Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department
Washington (CNN) - In an election-year policy change, the Obama administration said Friday it will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements.
Under the new policy, people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Napolitano explained the new policy in detail and emphasized that this is not a pathway to citizenship. "That's where Congress needs to act," Napolitano said, "We continue to urge the Congress to pass the DREAM Act, look at comprehensive immigration reform, the immigration system as a whole."
Blitzer's full interview with Napolitano airs Friday on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," from 4pm to 6pm ET.
Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, tells Wolf Blitzer the U.S. soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians acted alone.
"This is under investigation" he said, "but this appears it was an action of a single soldier."
In the exclusive interview on "The Situation Room," Allen confirmed the U.S. military is taking the lead on the investigation.
"We will certainly keep the Afghan government informed throughout this investigation," he explained, "but this individual will be investigated and the outcome will be in accordance with U.S. law."
Allen offered his sincere condolences to the victims, their families and the Afghan people.
"This is tremendously regrettable. We are investigating it aggressively and we will hold the individual accountable should the evidence point to his culpability here."
RELATED STORY: Washington base back in spotlight after Afghan shootings
The Hispanic Leadership Network is demanding an apology for President Obama campaign manager Jim Messina's tweet.
Line of the day from WAPO's Dana Milbank: "The chimichanga? It may be the only thing Republicans have left to offer Latinos."—
Jim Messina (@Messina2012) February 15, 2012
Should he apologize? CNN contributors Maria Cardona and Mary Matalin discuss in the Strategy Session.
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