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Obama Heckler vs. CNN Anchor: "I Want To Take Objection With The Term Heckler"

MADEA BENJAMIN: First I want to take objection with the term "heckler." Because I actually had an invitation to get in and I felt compelled to speak out. I waited until the end of the speech. I didn't hear what many of us thought we were going to hear, which significant policies --

CAROL COSTELLO: You clearly interrupted the president, though, that would be heckling.

BENJAMIN: Well, I don't call it heckling. I call it speaking out because the president is not implementing policies that we need to see changed. I've written books on these issues, including one called "Drone Warfare." I go around talking to people around the country, around the world. I went to Pakistan --

COSTELLO: But it seems the president was changing his tone on Gitmo and on drones, so you were kind of getting what you wanted anyway. So why go into this speech and heckle him when he's kind of talking in a way that you should welcome?

BENJAMIN: Well, we didn't hear the policy changes that had been predicted, for example, that he would take the drones out of the hands of the CIA, a non-military organization that has been killing so many innocent people that he would stop the authorization of signature strikes, which means kill people on the basis only of suspicious behavior that's led to the killing of many innocent people.

He did not say that he was going to begin the release immediately of the 86 people who have been cleared for release by the Department of Defense, Justice, FBI, CIA, homeland security. He --

COSTELLO: They don't have simple solutions. The president just can't act on his own.

BENJAMIN: Of course, he can. They do have simple solutions. If 86 people have been cleared, he could say tomorrow I am beginning the release of these people. There is a waiver system that Congress put in place that the president has failed to use. He could immediately release those 86 people and he needs to do that. He could immediately save the CIA has been misusing the drones and I am now making sure that it will only be the military that uses them. He can say, we are going to account for all the --

COSTELLO: Again, he was going down that -- OK. Let me ask you this again, it sounded to me like the president was going down that road, anyway. He was giving this important policy speech that, frankly, Americans needed to hear. So again, you know, I ask, I posed the question on my Facebook page and asked them what I wanted to ask you. A lot said you were hurting your own cause because one, you appeared rude to the president of the United States, and two, you just seemed a little crazy.

BENJAMIN: Well, I've gotten a fabulous response. I think killing innocent people with drones is rude. I think keeping innocent people in detention for 11 years is rude. I think not respecting the lives of Muslim people who are killed is rude. There are a lot of rude things about our policies, speaking out is actually not rude, but it's the basis of a democratic society where people use their voices to try to make our country better and our policies more in lean with the rule of law.

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