AlterNet.org: Amy Goodman http://www.alternet.org/authors/amy-goodman-0 en Did Obama Host a Summit on Migrants While Ignoring a Refugee Crisis in the U.S.'s Own Backyard? http://www.alternet.org/immigration/did-obama-host-summit-migrants-while-ignoring-refugee-crisis-uss-own-backyard <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064118'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064118" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants produced a nonbinding declaration on developing a coordinated and humane response to the migration crisis.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/refugee_protest_obama_2014.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>We continue to look at the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants, which produced a nonbinding declaration on developing a coordinated and humane response to the migration crisis. The United States objected to language in the original draft of the resolution that said children should never be detained. This comes as teenagers held at the Berks County Residential Center are protesting their indefinite detention. Some have been held more than a year while they seek asylum with their mothers, who are also detained. We get response from detained 16-year-old Estefany Adriana Méndez of El Salvador, and we’re joined by two guests who participated in a shadow summit focused on the U.S. response to Central American refugees. Dr. Allen Keller is associate professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine and co-founder and director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture and the NYU Center for Health and Human Rights. His letter published in today’s Washington Post is headlined "A refugee crisis in our own back yard." We also speak with Elvis Garcia, a migration counselor at Catholic Charities. He is a former unaccompanied minor who fled Honduras at the age of 15.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/21/did_obama_host_a_summit_on" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064118'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064118" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:45:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1064118 at http://www.alternet.org Immigration Immigration Video U.N. Summit refugees Holocaust Survivor: Trump Jr.'s Skittles Comment Brings Back Dark Images of Children Being Murdered http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/holocaust-survivor-trump-jrs-skittles-comment-brings-back-dark-images-children-being <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064116'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064116" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Democracy Now! spoke with Manfred Lindenbaum, a Holocaust survivor and advocate for refugees about Donald Trump Jr.&#039;s heinous meme.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_jr_skittles_holocaust_survivor.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>We get response from a Holocaust survivor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr.'s comparison of Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles. On Monday, he tweeted a graphic reading, "If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem." The parent company of Skittles responded, saying, "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy." "It brings back the dark images of children being murdered," says Manfred Lindenbaum, a Holocaust survivor and advocate for refugees. In 1939, he and his brother fled from Poland to England on the famous Kindertransport just days before the Nazis invaded. In 1946, the Jewish refugee organization HIAS reunited Manfred with an aunt and an uncle in New Jersey. He has been in the U.S. ever since.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/21/holocaust_survivor_trump_jrs_skittles_comment" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064116'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064116" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:36:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1064116 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Immigration Video Donald Trump Jr. skittles Manfred Lindenbaum U.N. Summit for Refugees & Migrants Creates New Urgency for Global Crisis of 65 Million Displaced http://www.alternet.org/human-rights/un-summit-refugees-migrants-creates-new-urgency-global-crisis-65-million-displaced <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064115'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064115" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The first-ever United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants took place this week. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/syrian_refugees.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The first-ever United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants has produced a declaration for 193 member countries to conduct a more coordinated and humane response to the biggest migration upheaval since World War II. We get response from Mohammed Badran, co-founder of Syrian Volunteers in the Netherlands, who spoke at the summit; Manfred Lindenbaum, a Holocaust survivor and advocate for refugees; and Raymond Offenheiser, president of the international humanitarian and development organization Oxfam America.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/21/un_summit_for_refugees_migrants_creates" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064115'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064115" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:33:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1064115 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video United Nations Summit for Refugees Bree Newsome Responds to Protests Erupting Over Police Killings of Terence Crutcher & Keith Lamont Scott in Tulsa & Charlotte http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/bree-newsome-responds-protests-erupting-over-police-killings-terence-crutcher <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064114'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064114" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Democracy Now! hosted a roundtable on police killings of black men following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/protests_erupt_democracy_now.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Protests escalated in Charlotte, North Carolina, overnight when hundreds took to the street and blocked Interstate 85 to express outrage over the police shooting of 43-year-old African American Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday. Video footage shows people blocking the highway, where fires were lit. This comes as police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have released a video showing a white police officer shooting and killing 40-year-old African American Terence Crutcher while his hands were in the air. We are joined by Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Bree Newsome, artist and activist from Charlotte who scaled the 30-foot flagpole on the South Carolina state Capitol and unhooked the Confederate flag last year; and Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change. He has launched a new petition called "Terence Crutcher died for being Black. Indict Officer Betty Shelby."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/21/protests_erupt_over_police_murders_of" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show looking at police killings of two African-American men—one in Tulsa and one in Charlotte, in North Carolina, which was rocked by protests overnight after hundreds took to the street and blocked Interstate 85 to protest the police shooting of 43-year-old African American Lamont Scott. Video shows protesters blocking the highway, where fires were lit. Police in riot gear responded by throwing tear gas at the crowds. Police say about a dozen officers were hurt during the conflict. Protesters were also hurt.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed around 4:00 p.m. Tuesday after police arrived to serve an arrest warrant for another person at Scott’s housing complex. The accounts of the shooting diverge sharply. While the police claim they first tased and then shot Scott because he was armed and "posed an imminent deadly threat," Scott’s family says he was not armed—except with a book. They say he had been sitting in his car waiting to pick up his son after school. This is Scott’s daughter speaking in a Facebook live video recorded at the scene of the shooting.</p><p>LYRIC SCOTT: What are they over there doing? Shot my [bleep] daddy for being black. You little [bleep]. Shot my daddy for being black. And look, and they’re just standing there, because they—right? He’s [bleep] disabled! How the [bleep] he going to shoot y’all? He didn’t got no [bleep] gun.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: This comes as police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have released a video showing a white police officer shooting and killing unarmed 40-year-old African American Terence Crutcher while his hands were in the air. Officer Betty Shelby shot Crutcher around 8:00 p.m. on Friday after his car broke down. Some of the video released Monday came from police helicopter footage, in which one can hear the man in the helicopter saying about Crutcher, quote, "That looks like a bad dude, too." This is a clip from the police footage. POLICE OFFICER 1: This guy is still walking and following commands.</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 2: Time for Taser, I think.</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 1: That’s—got a feeling that’s about to happen.</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 2: That looks like a bad dude, too. Could be on something.</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 3: Which way are they facing?</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 1: Police 1, they’re facing westbound. I think he may have just been tasered.</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 4: Shots fired! POLICE OFFICER 3: Adam 3-21, we have shots fired. We have one suspect down. We need EMSA here.</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 2: They need to—they need to get this eastbound closed down, if they could, because they’re not going to be able to let anybody—</p><p>POLICE OFFICER 1: OK.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Other footage from a police dash cam vehicle shows Crutcher walking slowly away from officers with his hands in the air, then putting his hands on the side of his own car as he’s surrounded by officers. The video captures a voice coming over the police radio saying, "He’s just been tasered," and then a woman’s voice yelling "Shots fired!" as the video shows Crutcher’s arms falling to the pavement. The Justice Department says it’s investigating the shooting of Terence Crutcher as a possible civil rights violation. On Tuesday, hundreds gathered outside the Tulsa Police Department to demand the firing of Officer Betty Shelby. For more, we’re joined here in New York by Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. On the phone with us, Bree Newsome, artist and activist. Last year, armed only with a helmet and climbing gear, she scaled the 30-foot flagpole on the South Carolina state Capitol grounds and unhooked the Confederate flag. As police officers shouted at her to come down, Bree shimmied to the top of the flagpole, took the flag in her hand and said, quote, "You come against me with hatred. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today." She is joining us—she is from Charlotte, North Carolina. And via Democracy Now! video stream in Washington, D.C., Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, who’s launched a new petition called "Terence Crutcher died for being Black. Indict Officer Betty Shelby." So, we welcome you all to Democracy Now! Bree, I want to begin with you. These riots that broke—you could call them uprisings, riots of fear and anger, protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, that took place after the killing, the police killing, can you talk about what you understand—you’re not there now, but what you understood took place?</p><p>BREE NEWSOME: Yeah, absolutely. I think what took place in Charlotte, North Carolina—and I am in contact with folks who are on the ground there, who were there—is what we have witnessed several times in the past two years, what we’ve witnessed in America since the '60s, at least, and this is an incident of police brutality, that in many ways is the camel breaking—I'm sorry, the straw breaking the camel’s back kind of moment. Like many cities around the nation, in Charlotte we have a real issue of wealth inequality. We’ve had several incidents of police brutality. One of the most notable cases was the case of Jonathan Ferrell. This was a young man who was gunned down by police. He was also unarmed. He had crashed his car and was looking for help, knocked on a door; the police showed up and killed him. There was an acquittal in that case. So, like so many other cases, this moment that happened last night, this was not an isolated incident. This is a tipping point, a kind of boiling-over moment, for the city and for the nation, in a lot of ways. Folks are not just reacting to what happened in Charlotte, but also to what happened in Tulsa and what happened in Baton Rouge.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Vince Warren, the issue of—especially in Tulsa, a couple of things are quite different about this. One, we got the identity of the officer right away, and also the video surfaced pretty quickly, as opposed to in other instances there’s been battles over even getting the videos that the police have available to the public.</p><p>VINCENT WARREN: Yeah, a couple of things on that. That was significant, and I think it’s really important. Let’s be clear that the police departments don’t do this out of the kindness of their hearts; they do it because of political pressure. So it’s exactly these types of protests that we’re seeing today, it’s the independent journalists that are fighting for these things, make it politically hard for police departments not to put those things forward. I’d also want to point out that the Tulsa situation highlights a central problem with policing, of black communities, in particular, which is that they’re trained to see noncompliance as escalation. So they ask you to do something; if you don’t do it, then the police departments increase the use of force. Then, of course, they have to try to justify that use of force afterwards. The good thing about having these video situations is that all of us can see for ourselves what really happened. So, I’m at this point now, with the 193rd killing of a black man this year, where I am not inclined—</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: The number again?</p><p>VINCENT WARREN: One hundred ninety-three, according to The Guardian count. You know, different people have different counts. It’s amazing to me that nobody in America can tell me specifically how many black people have been killed by police officers. But after 193, I am quite prepared not to believe the police department narratives about anything that happened, and these investigations and eyewitness reports become much more important.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Rashad Robinson, what do you understand about what took place in Tulsa? I mean, the protests that have been taking place there, coming out—on Monday, the video being released by the police, this helicopter footage, which is truly remarkable, showing Terence Crutcher with his hands in the air, walking very slowly—his car had broken down—to his car and then putting his hands on the car. The windows were up on this car.</p><p>RASHAD ROBINSON: Yeah. What we—what we understand is just how much black people are not seen with humanity. You know, Vincent was absolutely right: This video was not released out of the goodness of the hearts of the local police department in Tulsa; it was released because they knew they had to start figuring out how to get ahead of this story, because the video is simply that bad. And in situations like this, over and over again, we watch as police departments concoct stories. And now we’re seeing, you know, stories about drugs, stories with—they would have not known that, you know, he had drugs in the car, if he in fact did—all these reasons that try to legitimize the fact that the police were unable to sort of de-escalate and solve the situation, unable to figure out a story that makes it OK that a gun was pulled out and a man was shot dead. And police officers stood around for a while as this man laid on the ground, and did not even try to get him medical help. This speaks to the ongoing way that, from the start, black people are never given the benefit of the doubt, are not seen as human, are seen as enemy combatants and, even in their death, are seen as deserving—not deserving medical support and deserving of the situations. This officer needs to be fired, because we continue to come to these conversations, where people want communities to come together, they want unity, they want conversations, and we don’t get sort of the results that actually send a message to police officers that they’ll be held accountable. But we also need to have a larger conversation, because this is not about one bad apple or two bad apples. This is about systemic problems in police departments around the country, incentive structures that make it OK and incentivize the killing of black people over and over and over again, and no one is held accountable.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I think—I think this is a very telling comment from a protester, extremely angry last night, in Charlotte, North Carolina.</p><p>NICHELLE DUNLAP: A terrorist, New Jersey, New York, he was taken alive. They say they wanted to question him. So, because of you wanting to question him, does his life mean more than our black men across the nation?</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, there you have a SOT from CNN, Vince Warren, where she says, "You’re telling me that you do not kill a man who is being referred to as a terrorist in New York, you can take him alive, because you want him for questioning, but an African-American man, you shoot dead."</p><p>VINCENT WARREN: Absolutely. That is the—that is the precise question that I think Rashad and Bree and I are talking about, that black lives are so dehumanized, that it is OK structurally—it is OK within the context of the police department, it’s OK in the context of the criminal justice system—to kill black people. And, you know, the reason why I think the Color of Change petition is so important is that a police officer is the only job in America where you can kill somebody and then you get desk duty. Desk duty almost becomes the default mechanism. If you asked anybody what’s going to happen with these cases, people don’t believe that this police officer—either of these police officers are going to face serious charges or they’re going to get indicted or they’re going to get convicted or they’re going to get sentenced. People don’t believe it. We’ve lost complete faith in the system, because the system is designed to do the exact opposite of what black people need.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Rashad Robinson, what about the issue of now the Justice Department jumping in right away, saying they’re going to do an investigation? We’ve seen this happen, time after time, after many of these shootings. And what inevitably happens is, the Justice Department almost always decides there’s no criminal offense that, even on the civil rights violations, they can prosecute.</p><p>RASHAD ROBINSON: Well, this is part of the structural problem, change that we need. The Justice Department actually doesn’t have a real budget for these type of investigations. And this is part of the problem. And currently, the standard is so high for the Justice Department to bring charges, that over and over in these situations they may actually find problems that—and situations in which police departments or individual police acted inappropriately, and they can’t bring charges, because they can’t meet this standard that is sort of so high and so hard to get over that, in fact, it really makes these situations OK over and over again. And so, part of the long-term systemic work that we have to do—and we’ve been working on that, some of those campaigns are on ColorOfChange.org, as well—is, one, that we have to start tying the federal dollars that go into local law departments, local police departments, to their performance, and stop giving huge sums of money to police departments that don’t meet basic standards and don’t value black lives. If our federal government can defund local schools for not meeting standards, but still give huge block grants to local police departments that do not value our lives, then we are not dealing with the incentive structures and not sort of shifting the power dynamic and forcing real change. And if we don’t deal with the fact that the standards are so high that we can never hold anyone accountable, then we will be in this situation five, 10, 15 years from now. We will have people calling for unity, asking black people to stand down and be peaceful and not be upset, to tell people to give police officers the benefit of the doubt, when black people never get the benefit of the doubt.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I wanted—</p><p>RASHAD ROBINSON: We need systemic change.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask Bree Newsome—I mean, to remind people, when you climbed that flagpole on the grounds of the Columbia State House in South Carolina and said, "This flag comes down today," the Confederate flag, it was in response to the killing of the Beautiful Nine, the nine people at the Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and their pastor, Clementa Pinckney, by a white supremacist who wrapped himself in the Confederate flag. In this case, Bree, you have Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, killed by an African-American officer, Brentley Vinson, and in the case of Tulsa, you have a white woman police officer, Betty Shelby, who killed Terence Crutcher. Your response?</p><p>BREE NEWSOME: Yes. I think sometimes there’s this type of focus on what is the race of the police officer. That’s not the issue. Everyone can participate in white supremacy and in the white supremacist system. And we have to recognize that the policing system in America is rooted in slavery and slave patrols. I would argue that slavery never ended, because in the 13th Amendment it is codified that slavery is legal in cases of criminal punishment. And when we look at history, we look at—we see that as soon as emancipation happened, there was the institution of the Black Codes. And I believe that is the root of mass incarceration and police brutality as it exists today. I also want to remind everyone that what happened in Charleston last year was also within the context of police brutality, as well. You know, Clementa Pinckney had just succeeded in getting body camera legislation passed in North Charleston in response to the Walter Scott case. So, there is a—I mean, police brutality has always been woven throughout the story of civil rights and the struggle for equality in America. It’s always been there. This issue is as old as policing in America. AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, Walter Scott was the man who was stopped for a tail light being out, a traffic stop, and a police officer blew him away as he ran through a park. It was only caught because a bystander flipped open his cellphone and started to film. We’re going to leave it there, but, of course, we’re going to continue to cover all of this. Bree Newsome, thanks so much for joining us, artist and activist from Charlotte, North Carolina. Vince Warren is the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. And Rashad Robinson is executive director of Color of Change, has launched a petition that is titled "Terence Crutcher died for being Black. Indict Officer Betty Shelby." This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we look at the massive global refugee crisis. Stay with us.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064114'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064114" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:23:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1064114 at http://www.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics Video Terence Crutcher Keith Lamont Scott 'Because Scott Walker Asked': Leaked Docs Suggest Wisconsin Gov. Illegally Raised Corporate Donations http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/because-scott-walker-asked-leaked-docs-suggest-wisconsin-gov-illegally-raised <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063855'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063855" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">An explosive new report by the Guardian reveals the extensive influence of corporate cash in U.S. elections through third-party groups that do not have to disclose their donors. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/scott_walker_0.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The new Guardian report is based on 1,500 leaked court documents from an investigation by Wisconsin prosecutors into possible illegal fundraising by Republican Governor Scott Walker for the third-party group, Wisconsin Club for Growth. A conservative majority of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court halted the investigation last July before any charges were filed, and ordered all evidence from the investigation to be destroyed. But at least one copy of the documents survived. We speak with Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian US, who used the files for his report, "Because Scott Walker Asked."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/16/because_scott_walker_asked_leaked_docs" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show with an explosive new report that reveals the extensive influence of corporate cash in U.S. elections through third-party groups that do not have to disclose their donors. The report published by The Guardian is based on 1,500 leaked court documents from an investigation by Wisconsin prosecutors into possible illegal fundraising by Governor Scott Walker for the third-party group Wisconsin Club for Growth, a 501(c)(4) organization. Prosecutors gathered hundreds of email messages that show exchanges between Walker, his top aides, conservative lobbyists and leading Republican figures such as Karl Rove. Now-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also appears in the files from when he met with Walker and then donated $15,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. But last July, a conservative majority of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court halted the prosecutors’ investigation before any charges were filed. They said prosecutors had misread campaign finance law and that their targets were, quote, "wholly innocent of any wrongdoing." The justices also ordered that all evidence from the investigation should be destroyed. But at least one copy survived and was leaked to The Guardian.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This is how reporter Ed Pilkington begins his report: quote, "Scott Walker was under pressure. It was September 2011, and earlier that year the first-term governor had turned himself into the poster boy of hardline Republican politics by passing the notorious anti-union measure Act 10, stripping public sector unions of collective bargaining rights. “Now he was under attack himself, pursued by progressive groups who planned revenge by forcing him into a recall election. His job was on the line. “He asked his main fundraiser, Kate Doner, to write him a briefing note on how they could raise enough money to win the election. At 6.39am on a Wednesday, she fired off an email to Walker and his top advisers flagged 'red'. “'Gentlemen,' she began. 'Here are my quick thoughts on raising money for Walker's possible recall efforts.’ “Her advice was bold and to the point. 'Corporations,' she said. 'Go heavy after them to give.' She continued: 'Take Koch's money. Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson. Ask for $1m now.’ “Her advice must have hit a sweet spot, because money was soon pouring in from big corporations and mega-wealthy individuals from across the nation. A few months after the memo, Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate who Forbes estimates has a personal fortune of $26bn, was to wire a donation of $200,000 for the cause. “Adelson’s generosity, like that of most of the other major donors solicited by Walker and crew, was made out not to the governor’s own personal campaign committee but to a third-party group that did not have to disclose its donors. In the world of campaign finance, the group was known as a 'dark money' organisation, as it was the recipient of a secret flow of funds that the public knew nothing about. One of the checks made out to the group, for $10,000, came from a financier called G Frederick Kasten Jr. In the subject line of the check, Kasten had written in his own hand: 'Because Scott Walker asked'. Well, for more, we’re joined by the man who wrote those words, Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian US, author of this explosive report, "Scott Walker, the John Doe Files and How Corporate Cash Influences American Politics." Welcome to Democracy Now! It’s great to be with you again. Ed, explain the significance of this and how you got these leaked 1,500 documents.</p><p>ED PILKINGTON: Well, I’m not going to discuss how I got the documents. You’ll understand that. We’re not talking about anything to do with sources, and which is a relevant matter today because in Wisconsin they are talking about launching a leak inquiry. The attorney general of Wisconsin has said he will consider appointing a special prosecutor himself to go after the source of these documents. So, it’s a sensitive and important issue, and one we’re being very clear on: We’re not going to discuss anything to do with sources. But what we think we saw in these 1,500 pages of documents that we received is not only a very intense story about Wisconsin, which is a noble state with a very long tradition of very progressive politics, that has become, I think, a kind of ground zero of the battles, partisan battles, between left and right, ever since Scott Walker became governor in early 2011 and introduced this union-bashing law, Act 10, but it also tells us—and this is what we tried to focus on at The Guardian—it tells us a much wider picture of what’s happening right across the nation, which is all about, I think, the atmosphere and the environment created by Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling of 2010, in which it seems to be that politicians, senior politicians around the country, are interpreting the ruling almost as anything goes. They’re entitled now to do pretty much anything. They can attract millions of dollars of funding from the top billionaires right across the country. They can channel it through these dark money groups, which do not—have no limits on how much they can collect, do not disclose their donations to the public, and go that way in order to—what the prosecutors alleged in Wisconsin—to circumvent campaign finance law to the detriment of the public, because the public doesn’t know that this stuff is going on.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Ed Pilkington, in your story, you note not only that these justices in Wisconsin decided there was no crime here that needed to be a prosecuted, but also that they, one, ordered the destruction of the documents, and, two, that some of these very justices had been re-elected as a result of dark money contributions to them.</p><p>ED PILKINGTON: That’s right. You know, once one delves into the documents and into the story, you find yourself going into a sort of vortex of ever-tightening circles, where everyone seems to be talking to everybody else. And again, we saw that as a sort of metaphor for what’s happening across the country. We focused on one justice of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court called David Prosser, who has in fact just retired, but he was re-elected in 2011. And he himself drew upon the support of millions of dollars of corporate money, pushed through exactly the same third-party groups that then went on, at the same time, to help Republican senators, and then Scott Walker himself, go through their recall elections. Now, the John Doe investigation that created all this evidence, that is the documents we received, was looking into exactly those groups, right? The Supreme Court of Wisconsin ordered the documents in which this material is contained to be destroyed. And yet, in the documents is evidence that the same groups were supporting one of those justices on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in his own re-election. So, as I say, you find yourself going in ever-tighter circles, and you kind of wonder: You know, where is the sort of openness? Where is the transparency? Where is the being honest with the Wisconsin public about what is going on here?</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to break and then come back to this discussion. We’ll also be joined also by John Nichols of The Nation in Madison, Wisconsin. These are astounding leaked documents, an explosive new report by Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian US. We will link to his piece, "Because Scott Walker Asked." But we’re going to talk with him further about it in a moment. [break]</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: "Save the Clock Tower" by Body Futures, here on Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. We’re speaking with chief reporter for The Guardian US, author of an explosive new report called "Because Scott Walker Asked."</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, at a press conference on Thursday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he’ll leave an investigation into the John Doe documents leak to legal authorities. GOV. SCOTT WALKER: We’ve been scrutinized more than any elected official in America. And we’ve had several courts, not just one, including a local circuit court judge, that was reserve judge, well respected, just over in Eau Claire County, who, to my knowledge, is not aligned politically with anyone, has shut down this baseless investigation multiple times. And we’ve seen it through various courts. And what you have are people who’ve failed to win in a court of law because their arguments were baseless when it comes to law, now trying to selectively put out bits and pieces of information to try and win in the court of public opinion. But they’re doing it without context. So, we’re going to abide by what was requested in the first place by the legal system, which was not to comment on those things until they’re fully resolved. And there’s still one more quest in terms of the U.S. Supreme Court that they’re going to; we don’t think it’s likely that they’ll get traction there. But it is frustrating when it’s been time and time shut down by the courts.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaking on Thursday. We’re speaking here with the chief reporter for The Guardian, the U.S. author of a new—explosive new report called "Because Scott Walker Asked." Ed Pilkington, I wanted to ask you not only to respond to what Walker said, but also, if you could, one of the people you mentioned in your article was Harold Simmons and his company NL Industries—if you could talk about their role and what you found?</p><p>ED PILKINGTON: Yes. I mean, at the heart of most campaign finance law is the fear that unless you protect—unless there is some degree of regulation, there could be quid pro quo, literally, this for that, or you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. And in the documents, there is some suggestion that at least even the appearance of quid pro quo could be there. And the Supreme Court of the United States has made it clear very many times that even appearance of quid pro quo must be avoided. Now, in the documents is evidence that Scott Walker, in his own recall election in 2012, went after and encouraged donations from Harold Simmons. He was a very wealthy billionaire, right-wing funder. He bankrolled the Swift Boat smear campaign against John Kerry in the 2004 election. There is evidence of Walker’s campaign committee discussing the need to go after Harold Simmons, get money from him. And sure enough, three separate checks amounting to $750,000 did arrive in 2011 and 2012 at exactly the same time of the recall elections. They went through a third-party dark money group called Wisconsin Club for Growth that did not disclose those donations. And, in fact, the donations were never known until we received these leaked documents. At exactly the same time frame, the Republican-controlled Legislature in Wisconsin made several attempts to change the law to make it almost impossible for victims of lead paint poisoning to sue for compensation, if they were damaged by toxin—</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And Harold Simmons’s connection to lead paint?</p><p>ED PILKINGTON: Harold Simmons owned a company called NL Industries, historically National Lead Industries. They were one of the biggest manufacturers of lead paint until lead paint was banned in 1978. And if the law had not been stopped by the federal courts, as it was, the law—the legal changes that the Republicans made in the Legislature, it would have been virtually impossible for children damaged by lead paint—as you know, it affects developmental—the development of children. The level of toxin in their blood was something like 50 times greater than the water—those damaged by the water in Flint, Michigan. And the changes the Republicans made would have made it virtually impossible for those children to sue for compensation for the very serious injuries they received.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So let’s go back to the other people who contributed money. At the beginning of this report, in the last segment, we talked about the Koch brothers, we talked about Sheldon Adelson. Explain what happened. I mean, I think our listeners, viewers, readers remember well 2011, when protests rocked the Wisconsin Capitol, the uprising of 150,000 people at the state Capitol as they took over the Capitol, occupied it. Police officers, firefighters, nurses, teachers, high school kids, environmentalists, union activists all slept at the Capitol night after night. Talk about what happened next with this recall campaign and the money that Walker was appealing for.</p><p>ED PILKINGTON: Right. You describe well these scenes that happened there and then, extraordinary events, very, very dramatic. Even the Democratic senators fled to Illinois, if you remember, for several days. And we all remember those heady events. Scott Walker put a bomb under Wisconsin in Act 10, and it turned it, as I said earlier, into this sort of ground zero of partisan politics in the country. And in the fallout from that, he was—he and his—six of his senator colleagues from the Republican Party were put through recall elections. At that point, it kind of went dark for the public of Wisconsin, and they couldn’t follow what happened next, which was that Scott Walker’s campaign committee got together major fundraisers, political organizers, and they started fanning out across the country. Literally, Scott Walker himself made several trips down to Texas to call on oil money. He went over to New York. He did a journey one memorable day down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where he went to spend 45 minutes with Donald Trump. And he went to Morgan Stanley and a big law firm. And in every occasion, you see him going to visit these major billionaire donors, and a few days or weeks later, checks starting to arrive, not to his own campaign committee, but largely to the coffers of this third-party group, Wisconsin Club for Growth. And I should say, if people are interested enough in what is a fiendishly complicated world, I have to warn you, of campaign finance in America—which is, I think, part of the problem—they can themselves go in and read all of these documents. We have lightly redacted them for personal information, but, otherwise, they’re on our website. You can go in, and you can absolutely make your own conclusions from this. And you may think it’s great, you may think it’s awful, but you can do it for yourself.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And you mention—you mention Donald Trump, whose campaign contributions are coming back to haunt him, several of them, in this campaign. What specifically happened with Trump?</p><p>ED PILKINGTON: Specifically, Scott Walker went across to New York in early, I think it was, 2012. He did this tour down Fifth Avenue. The documents show a sort of calendar of his day. We have no transcript of the discussion between them, but he did spend 45 minutes—it was in his schedule—with Donald Trump in his Fifth Avenue headquarters. On that very same day, Donald Trump wrote a check for $15,000. We have the check from the documents. We post—they are among the documents you can see in the database. And, you know, in the subject line, it was made out to Wisconsin Club for Growth.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I want to turn to a clip from the first Republican presidential debate held in August of last year. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a candidate at the time, and he participated in the debate. This is moderator Bret Baier of Fox News questioning Donald Trump.</p><p>BRET BAIER: Mr. Trump, it’s not just your past support for single-payer healthcare. You’ve also supported a host of other liberal policies. You’ve also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations, saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do."</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: You better believe it. That’s true.</p><p>BRET BAIER: So what specifically did they do?</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: If I ask them, if I need them—you know, most of the people on this stage, I’ve given to, just so you understand. A lot of money.</p><p>SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Not me.</p><p>MIKE HUCKABEE: Not me. But you’re welcome to give me a check, Donald, if you’d like.</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: Many of them. </p><p>SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Actually, to be clear, he supported Charlie Crist, gave Charlie—</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: That’s right. Not—not Mike. But I—I have—</p><p>GOV. JOHN KASICH: If you end—hey, Donald, Donald, if you end your campaign, I hope you will give to me.</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: Good.</p><p>GOV. JOHN KASICH: OK.</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: Sounds good. Sounds good to me, Governor. I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this. Before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.</p><p>SEN. MARCO RUBIO: So what did you get?</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: And that’s a broken system.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Donald Trump at the Fox News Republican primary debate. Documents leaked in the John Doe investigation show Trump did give at least to one of the candidates on that stage: Scott Walker. And as we’ve mentioned, on April 3rd, 2012, he wrote a check for $15,000, not to Walker’s campaign fund, but to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Ed Pilkington, this is business as usual at this stage in American politics.</p><p>ED PILKINGTON: Yes, I mean, it underlines what an extraordinary presidential election we’re going through. On the one hand, you had Bernie Sanders; on the other hand, you had Donald Trump—two complete opposites politically, saying exactly the same thing, that the political system is broken, that billionaires and corporations have politicians in their pocket. In the case of Donald Trump, he said it personally; he had politicians in his own pocket. And I think that speaks to something that is of increasing concern to voters, and explains the anger that voters have, that they feel their vote is—counts less than the money that is being contributed to politicians.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to 2011. A blogger named Ian Murphy revealed he had impersonated David Koch in a recorded phone conversation with an unsuspecting Governor Walker. Murphy said he pulled the prank after learning that Walker was refusing to return phone calls from Democratic senators. During the 20-minute conversation, Governor Walker admitted he had considered disrupting opposition to his anti-union bill by planting troublemakers among the protesters. This clip begins with the blogger, Ian Murphy, impersonating David Koch.</p><p>IAN MURPHY: We’ll back you any way we can. But what we were thinking about the crowds was—was planting some troublemakers.</p><p>GOV. SCOTT WALKER: You know, the—well, the only problem with—because we thought about that. The problem with—or my only gut reaction to that would be, right now, the—the—and the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them. The public is not really fond of this.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Well, at the time of the call, the Public Campaign Action Fund was saying Governor Walker may have violated a law that forbids politicians from coordinating with political donors. The prank phone call ended with the David Koch impersonator inviting Governor Walker to visit him in California.</p><p>IAN MURPHY: Well, I’ll tell you what, Scott, once you crush these bastards, I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.</p><p>GOV. SCOTT WALKER: All right, that would be outstanding. Thanks—</p><p>IAN MURPHY: All right.</p><p>GOV. SCOTT WALKER: Thanks for all the support and helping us move the cause forward. And we appreciate it. We’re—we’re doing it, the just and right thing for the right reasons, and it’s all about getting our freedom back.</p><p>IAN MURPHY: Absolutely. And, you know, we have a little bit of vested interest, as well.</p><p>GOV. SCOTT WALKER: Well, that’s just it. The bottom line is, we’re going to—we’re going to get to the—the world moving here, because it’s the right thing to do.</p><p>IAN MURPHY: All right.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That’s Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2011, speaking last year with a man he thought was Republican funder, the billionaire Republican funder David Koch, one of his supporters, but in fact it was an impersonator. The Governor’s Office had confirmed the authenticity of the recording. We’re talking to Ed Pilkington, who is the chief reporter for The Guardian US, and we’re going to link to his <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2016/sep/14/john-doe-files-scott-walker-corporate-cash-american-politics">piece</a>, "Because Scott Walker Asked."</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063855'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063855" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:05:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063855 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Video scott walker Hit Man Recalls Violent Past of Philippine President as Wave of Killings Raises Human Rights Concerns http://www.alternet.org/human-rights/hit-man-recalls-violent-past-philippine-president-wave-killings-raises-human-rights <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063856'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063856" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Awave of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines has claimed thousands of lives since Rodrigo Duterte became president in June.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/rodrigo-duterte-wikipedia-800x430.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Rodrigo Duterte vowed during his campaign to crack down on drug users just like he did as the longtime mayor of the city of Davao, where his strongman tactics prompted Human Rights Watch to call him the "death squad mayor." His promises to end crime during his presidential campaign earned him a new nickname: "Filipino Trump." A former hit man testified Wednesday that while Duterte was mayor, he personally ordered him to carry out assassinations. This comes after President Obama canceled a meeting with Duterte during his trip to Laos after he called him a "son of a whore" and warned him not to ask about his so-called drug war. We speak with Ninotchka Rosca, a Filipina activist, feminist and author of “State of War,” a novel set in the Philippines during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/16/hit_man_recalls_violent_past_of" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to the Philippines, where a wave of extrajudicial killings has claimed thousands of lives since Rodrigo Duterte became president in June. During his campaign, Duterte vowed to crack down on drug users just like he did as the longtime mayor of the city of Davao, where his strongman tactics prompted Human Rights Watch to call him the "death squad mayor." His promises to end crime during his presidential campaign earned him a new nickname: "Filipino Trump." Well, on Thursday, a former hit man testified that while Duterte was mayor, he personally ordered him to carry out assassinations.</p><p>EDGAR MATOBATO: [translated] The killings in Davao City started from 1988 to 2013. I think we have killed over a thousand people in Davao City alone.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The self-confessed hit man told senators that while Duterte was mayor, he once ordered him to kill Senator Leila de Lima, one of his outspoken critics.</p><p>EDGAR MATOBATO: [translated] They decided and ordered to ambush you.</p><p>SEN. LEILA DE LIMA: [translated] Who decided to ambush me?</p><p>EDGAR MATOBATO: [translated] Mayor Duterte.</p><p>SEN. LEILA DE LIMA: [translated] How did you know?</p><p>EDGAR MATOBATO: [translated] We were told about it inside the office. So we just stayed there, waiting for you. But you did not go up, and just stayed at the entrance. So we just stayed there waiting.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: During the same hearing, a Philippine police chief said at least 1,500 people have been killed in police operations against illegal drugs.</p><p>Another 2,000, murdered by unknown assailants, are under investigation. That brings the total to more than 3,500 people killed during Duterte’s 78 days as president.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Before he was elected, Duterte admitted he was linked to a death squad in Davao. He spoke on a local TV show in a mix of English and Visayan.</p><p>MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE: [translated] Me. They are saying I’m part of a death squad. HOST: So, how do you react to that?</p><p>MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE: [translated] True. That’s true. You know, when I become president, I warn you—I don’t covet the position, but if I become president, the 1,000 will become 50,000. I will kill all of you who make the lives of Filipinos miserable. I will really kill you. I won because of the breakdown in law and order.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: All of this comes as President Barack Obama was slated to meet with the controversial Philippine president during his three-day trip to Laos. But Obama canceled the meeting after Duterte called him a "son of a whore" and warned him not to ask about his so-called drug war. They later had a brief exchange behind closed doors. This is President Duterte.</p><p>PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE: I am a president of a sovereign state, and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. [translated] Son of a whore, I will swear at you in that forum.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by Ninotchka Rosca, a Filipina activist, feminist and writer, author of State of War, a novel set in the Philippines during the Marcos dictatorship. In 1993, she received the American Book Award for her novel Twice Blessed. It’s an honor to have you with us, Ninotchka.</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Hi. Good morning.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Explain who your president is.</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Rodrigo Duterte is actually a compound of all of the contradictions in Philippine society, contradictions which are now surfacing in very vicious ways. His father was a Marcos crony, but his mother organized demonstrations against the Marcos dictatorship, so you had these two. And he was actually appointed during the reign of Cory Aquino to be vice mayor of Davao, Davao City. So, he comes from the two main contending factions in Philippine politics. But this is very normal for politicians in the Philippines. They will align themselves with one faction and change affiliation the next day, because the truth of the matter is we don’t really have a political party, as political parties are understood in the West.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But how was he able to cobble together a victory to win the presidency, being so openly willing to say, "I’m going to kill people if I feel it’s necessary"?</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: I think there was an overwhelming sense of the effeteness of the traditional groups of—what would you call it?—the traditional oligarchs. Duterte’s alliance is built up of the left, Marcos cronies and everybody else whom the Aquino faction had offended—Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Estrada and so on. So, I think people were just tired of the constant roiling, of these contradictions being postponed, the resolution of contradictions being postponed.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, during Thursday’s Senate hearing—</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Yes.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: —you have this hit man who said that Duterte paid him to carry out summary executions while he was the Davao mayor. The Senate hearing was held to investigate this wave of extrajudicial killings that’s claimed more than 3,000 lives during President Duterte’s very short term here.</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Three months, yes. Senator de Lima, who was—who used to be with the Commission on Human Rights in the Philippines, tried to investigate the reports of the Davao death squad, but she couldn’t make headway on this, because the witnesses would disappear or—not die, but run away and hide. I think she decided to open this, partly because she has a certain amount of power now as a senator, and because the president, Duterte, went after her in a really vicious manner, coming out with revelations about her sex life, her love life, and trying to link her to drugs in the Philippines.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: President Duterte has also called for the removal of U.S. troops from the island of Mindanao.</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Yes, yes.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A lot of our viewers and listeners, especially the younger ones, may not be that familiar with the historical relationship of the Philippines to—the special relationship that the Philippines has had with the United States since it was originally a colony or after the Spanish-American War. NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Yes.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Could you talk about that relationship, and to the U.S. troops, especially?</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Sure. We were the only colony of the United States in the Far East. It used to be called the Far East. And despite the fact that independence had been granted in 1946 to the Philippines, the United States kept control of two very important aspects of the Philippine governance. One is the military, because the Philippine armed forces grew out of the Philippine Scouts, which had been set up by the U.S. occupation, occupying troops, to run after the revolutionary forces in the 1800s. So, we have a military that is totally under the control of the United States. That’s one. And then the United States has also kept control over our foreign policy. It’s always been staunchly anti-communist, pro-United States. And so, so these two things. This has persisted to this day. There was a point around 1993 when the U.S. military bases were thrown out of the Philippines in the aftermath of the Marcos dictatorship, because people were so disgusted with the 20 years of support that the United States gave to the dictatorship that people said, "Throw out the bases." So that was thrown out.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: After Marcos.</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: After Marcos. And then, what happened was this Abu Sayyaf came up in Mindanao and started launching raids and bombings, Davao included.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, as we wrap up—</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: Yes.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: —what will happen with Duterte? I mean, he’s been called the Philippines Trump. Why? And are people organizing? And do you think he’ll make it to the end of his term?</p><p>NINOTCHKA ROSCA: It has been a very volatile beginning. It’s only been three months. And what he has done is strengthen the police as a counterbalance to the military. So this is problematic. We actually cannot tell what’s going to happen. There are too many large forces operating around this question, yeah.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063856'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063856" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:51:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063856 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video World Duterte philippines Exclusive Video: Ex-Gitmo Prisoner Dhiab Awakes from Coma in Uruguay http://www.alternet.org/human-rights/exclusive-video-ex-gitmo-prisoner-dhiab-awakes-coma-uruguay <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063824'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063824" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Abu Wa’el Dhiab was imprisoned in Guantánamo for 12 years without ever being charged with a crime. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/images/managed/topstories_prisonerguantanamobaycuba.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>In Uruguay, former Guantánamo prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab has awoken from a coma amid an ongoing hunger strike demanding he be allowed to leave Uruguay and reunite with his family in Turkey or in another Arabic-speaking country. Dhiab was imprisoned in Guantánamo for 12 years without ever being charged with a crime. While in Guantánamo, Dhiab also launched a hunger strike to demand his freedom. He was among a group of prisoners subjected to forced feeding. The Obama administration is refusing to release video of the forced feeding to the public, but did give the redacted videotape to a court, which reportedly shows graphic images of guards restraining Dhiab and feeding him against his will. Human rights groups have long said the forced feeding of Guantánamo prisoners amounts to torture. On Thursday, only hours after Dhiab awoke from his coma, Amy Goodman spoke to him in an exclusive Democracy Now! interview. He was lying on his bed, very weak, in downtown Montevideo. Goodman began by asking him how he feels.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/16/exclusive_ex_gitmo_prisoner_dhiab_awakes" width="630"></iframe></p><p>Abu Wa’el Dhiab: "I feel really very, very worse. All my body hurt me, and my kidney, my headache, my stomach, my right side really bad. Many things. But I feel all my body hurt me."</p><p>Amy Goodman: "There’s a battle in court in the United States to release the videotape of your force-feeding in Guantánamo. Can you describe what that force-feeding was like for you?"</p><p>Abu Wa’el Dhiab: "Like the United States always say in the media, 'Human rights, human rights, human rights.' There’s never in Guantánamo, don’t have any human rights. Never, never, never. He took the video from first time go to me in my cell to move me to chair and give me the tube for give me forced feeding. But if you see this video and see the guard, how treated with me, how beat me, how make with me, that’s not human."</p><p>Amy Goodman: "President Obama says he wants to close Guantánamo. Do you believe that will happen?"</p><p>Abu Wa’el Dhiab: "If he wants to close Guantánamo, he can. He can now. Now. He can give order, close Guantánamo. He can close Guantánamo. But he coward. He can’t take this decision, because he scared. But Guantánamo supposed to close, should be closed, Guantánamo, because Guantánamo, that’s not good for the United States. Never." Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s daughter is getting married this weekend in Turkey—an event Dhiab had longed to be at. He continues his hunger fast in Uruguay.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063824'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063824" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 09:18:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063824 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video gitmo U.S. Foreign Policy for Sale? Behind the Trump Organization’s Vast Financial Network http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/us-foreign-policy-sale-behind-trump-organizations-vast-financial-network <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063765'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063765" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">A sweeping new investigation has raised questions about the little-known Trump Organization and potential conflicts of interest should Trump become president. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/donald_trump_27150997534.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>A new investigation published in Newsweek magazine reveals the Trump Organization is a vast financial network that stretches from New York City to India, Ukraine, China, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey and Russia. It’s connected to Russian mining, banking and real estate billionaire Vladimir Potanin, who himself is closely tied to the Russian government. Trump’s frequent praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin has already sparked concern among national security experts about U.S. foreign policy under a possible Trump presidency. The report concludes, "If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale." We speak with Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald, author of the new article, "How the Trump Organization’s Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/15/us_foreign_policy_for_sale_behind" width="640"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063765'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063765" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:10:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063765 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Video trump Debate: Should Obama Pardon NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden? http://www.alternet.org/investigations/debate-should-obama-pardon-nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063763'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063763" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">It has been three years since National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden released classified NSA files to media outlets.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/edward-snowden-along-with-011.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Edward Snowden exposed global mass surveillance operations by the U.S. and British governments three years ago. If Snowden returned to the United States from Russia, where he now lives in exile, he would face charges of theft of state secrets and violating the Espionage Act, and face at least 30 years in prison. This week his supporters launched a new call for President Obama to offer Snowden clemency, a plea agreement or a pardon before the end of his term. We host a debate about whether Snowden should be pardoned with Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and Bradley Moss, a national security attorney who has represented whistleblowers.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/15/debate_should_obama_pardon_nsa_whistleblower" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>NERMEEN SHAIKH: It’s been three years since National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden released classified NSA files to media outlets that exposed global mass surveillance operations by the U.S. and British governments. He is now charged with theft of state secrets and violating the Espionage Act, for which he faces at least 30 years in prison. He currently lives in political exile in Russia. This week, Snowden’s supporters launched a new call for President Obama to offer Snowden clemency, a plea agreement or a pardon before the end of his term. Today we look at how the new campaign has reignited a debate over what punishment, if any, Snowden should face. At an event in New York City on Wednesday, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called for Snowden to be pardoned. This is the ACLU’s Ben Wizner, Snowden’s attorney.</p><p>BEN WIZNER: With respect to the question about whether we’re applying to the Department of Justice, respectfully, the Constitution assigns this authority to the president, not to a lawyer in the Department of Justice. And it does so for a reason: because the pardon power is quintessentially a political power. It’s about when a president decides that there are overriding national reasons not to enforce the law as written. In a run-of-the-mill case, it might make sense to set up a bureaucracy to handle those kinds of requests. I don’t think I need to say this is not a run-of-the-mill case. And this is one that has serious geopolitical consequences. And so this campaign is directed only at one person, and that person is the president.</p><p>NERMEEN SHAIKH: That’s the ACLU’s Ben Wizner speaking Wednesday. On the same day, The Guardian published about 20 statements on the case from prominent figures, including professors Noam Chomsky and Cornel West, Black Lives Matter activists, and politicians. Among them was former Democratic presidential challenger Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who argued Snowden educated the public about how the NSA’s mass surveillance program violated their constitutional rights. Sanders called for a resolution to the case that acknowledged Snowden’s troubling revelations should, quote, "spare him a long prison sentence or permanent exile."</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: The Guardian also published comments from those who do not defend Snowden. Former NSA Director Michael Hayden said Snowden should face, quote, "the full force of the law" if he returns to the United States. Former NSA counsel Stewart Baker wrote that Snowden’s leak caused harm to U.S. national interests. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden himself spoke out on Wednesday in a press conference, where he and others announced a Pardon Snowden petition. Snowden spoke by video stream from Moscow.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: While I am grateful for the support given to my case, this really isn’t about me. It’s about us. It’s about our right to dissent. It’s about the kind of country we want to have, the kind of world that we want to build. It’s about the kind of tomorrow that we want to see, a tomorrow where the public has a say. History reminds us that governments always experience periods in which their powers are abused, for different reasons. This is why our founding fathers, in their wisdom, sought to construct a system of checks and balances. Whistleblowers, acting in the public interest, often at great risk to themselves, are another check on those abuses of power, especially through their collaboration with journalists.</p><p>NERMEEN SHAIKH: That was Edward Snowden speaking Wednesday via video stream from Russia. Well, in 2013, while Snowden’s whereabouts were still undisclosed, Donald Trump called for Snowden’s execution during an interview on Fox &amp; Friends.</p><p>DONALD TRUMP: Spies, in the old days, used to be executed. This guy is becoming a hero in some circles. Now, I will say, with the passage of time, even people that were sort of liking him and maybe trying to go on his side are maybe dropping out. But, you know, when you look at where he goes—and now nobody knows where he is. But we have to get him back, and we have to get him back fast. They’re talking about it could take years, it could take months, but maybe years. That would be pathetic. ... This guy is a bad guy. And, you know, there is still a thing called execution. You really have to—you have to take a strong hand. You have thousands of people with access to kind of material like this. We’re not going to have a country any longer.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Well, the new push to pardon Edward Snowden comes as the Hollywood version of his story opens in theaters this week. On Wednesday, we interviewed Snowden director Oliver Stone and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Snowden in the film. Today we host a debate about whether Snowden should be pardoned. Joining us here in New York is Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and a columnist at The Guardian. In Washington, D.C., we’re joined by Bradley Moss, national security attorney who’s represented whistleblowers as well as people from the intelligence community. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Trevor Timm, why do you think that Edward Snowden should be pardoned?</p><p>TREVOR TIMM: Well, quite simply, Edward Snowden is the most important whistleblower we have seen in at least a generation. You know, when you think about what has happened since he first came forward three-and-a-half years ago, a federal appeals court has ruled the NSA’s mass surveillance programs illegal. Congress has passed the most—or the first intelligence reform in 40 years. And there has been a sea change in public opinion on privacy online. And then we have seen, of course, the tech companies, on the private side, instead of collaborating with the NSA, which Edward Snowden also revealed, have now turned and are implementing all sorts of security and encryption features that protect people’s privacy and security, and prevent this mass—this type of mass surveillance from happening in the first place.</p><p>NERMEEN SHAIKH: Bradley Moss, your response? Do you think Snowden should be pardoned?</p><p>BRADLEY MOSS: No, sadly and unfortunately for Mr. Snowden, I do not at all. You know, Trevor and a lot of Mr. Snowden’s advocates do a very good job of focusing on the small number of domestic issues that Edward Snowden revealed—Section 215, which was the telephone data program, Section 702, which was the internet data collection—but they largely omit or gloss over everything else that Mr. Snowden leaked. He leaked how the NSA spies on Chinese government and how it was spying on certain Chinese companies that had ties to the Chinese military. They overlook how he exposed what is called operation MYSTIC, which was spying operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They overlook how he exposed the technical details of a specific spy ship, a spy vessel, that was working in various parts of the world to intercept data. The idea of pardoning someone whose leaks went far beyond anything of American civil liberties, and was exposing the basic elements of signals intelligence—which is what NSA is supposed to do, that’s their job—the idea of pardoning someone in that circumstance is, as far as I’m concerned, ludicrous.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Trevor Timm?</p><p>TREVOR TIMM: Well, so, a couple things here. One, I think we have to realize that the amount of documents that Snowden released himself is zero. He gave these documents to some of the most respected journalists in the country, at some of the most well-known papers, which, by the way, ended up winning Pulitzer Prizes for their stories. And it was these journalists who decided what was in the public interest and what may have affected national security, and actually consulted with government officials before publishing these stories. And the government was allowed to make objections. But beyond that, I think we have to, you know, think about this as a global issue. It’s not just the United States and American citizens that deserve privacy rights. You know, these mass surveillance systems that are happening around the globe, I think, are a cause for alarm for literally billions of people. And, you know, what Snowden critics don’t bring up a lot of times is that actually the Obama administration changed the rules for its global spying network, too, because of these stories. There was executive rules that have now been tightened also because of the Snowden revelations. So, certainly, the domestic spying revelations had the biggest impact, but I don’t think we should discount the other stories that were published by journalists at The Washington Post and The Guardian.</p><p>NERMEEN SHAIKH: Bradley Moss, do you agree with that? Do you think there have been some beneficial effects of Snowden’s revelations?</p><p>BRADLEY MOSS: Well, I’ll give him credit that there was some tightening of how things were run, particularly in terms of the domestic side, particularly in terms of things like data—sorry, the telephone data program and the USA Freedom Act that was passed. I’ll give him credit for that. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, if DOJ were to ever get this to a trial, I wouldn’t even bother bringing up those leaks, because they’re irrelevant—I mean, they would just muddy the water. But what Trevor gets into here—and I’ve heard this argument a lot of times—is, OK, first they say Snowden didn’t actually publish anything. It’s irrelevant as far as the law is concerned. The law doesn’t care whether or not he published a document. He was authorized for access to classified information, he removed it from the secure location in which it was supposed to be, and he gave it to unauthorized individuals—namely, the journalists like Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman. None of those three individuals, for all of their credentials and qualifications, none of them had been vetted by the U.S. government for access to classified information. I hold a security clearance due to the nature of some of my clients’ classified affiliation with the U.S. government. I had to go through the vetting. There’s approximately 4 million people who also hold clearances. It is a sacred trust. And Snowden broke it by giving these documents to people who were not authorized to have it. And in terms of the other point that Trevor has made, that certain restrictions or certain limitations were now placed on how spying was done on individuals overseas, if he—if Mr. Snowden believed that that should be reined in—and that’s not a legality issue, that’s a policy or a moral question—if he thought that Congress was not fully aware of the extent of it, those are things he could have brought to Congress. He could have gone to the intelligence committees. He could have gone to individual senators or members of Congress. I’m sure Senator Rand Paul would have been more than willing to have heard information about this. But that is Congress’s job from a purpose of oversight. We live in a republican—small R—a republican form of government, where we elect people to both serve us in the legislature to oversee the executive branch, and in which we elect a president and a vice president to implement the laws passed by Congress. By doing what he did, Mr. Snowden circumvented all of that and said, "I don’t care what any of you have already—excuse me—I don’t care what any of you have already decided; I’m going to shame you into changing it."</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Trevor Timm, what about that—Snowden could have gone up either the chain of command where he worked or gone to Congress?</p><p>TREVOR TIMM: You know, this is a common thing that Snowden critics often say, and it’s actually pretty ridiculous. You know, first of all, Snowden was a contractor, so a lot of the whistleblower protections that exist wouldn’t have applied to him. But there’s actually a much larger issue here. You know, this wasn’t some rogue NSA agent that he was trying to expose or some program that only a handful people knew about. This was authorized, the mass surveillance program which collected every single phone call of every single American—this was authorized at the highest levels of government, by the executive branch, by the secret FISA court. And Snowden would have essentially been going to his superiors to tell them that what they were doing was illegal and unconstitutional. And it’s ridiculous to think that they would have responded in any way beyond casting more suspicion on him. You know, in fact, there was high-level NSA officials that had tried to go to the heads of the NSA before about this very same program and were rebuffed. And so, the only aspect—the only option that he had was to go to the press.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: We’ll talk more about that in a minute. We’re going to break, then come back to Trevor Timm, who is executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, columnist at The Guardian, and, joining us in Washington, Bradley Moss, national security attorney. We’ll be back with both in a minute.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063763'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063763" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:05:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063763 at http://www.alternet.org Investigations Investigations Video Edward Snowden Is Hillary Clinton's Criticism of Edward Snowden a Distraction from Real Issue of Surveillance? http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/hillary-clintons-criticism-edward-snowden-distraction-real-issue-surveillance <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063679'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063679" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Oliver Stone&#039;s &quot;Snowden&quot; hits theaters Friday, September 16.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/democracy_now_snowden_clinton.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said Edward Snowden "stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands." We get reaction from WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison and filmmaker Oliver Stone. "She misses the point that no spy gives his story to the newspapers for free, which is what he did," Stone says. "He handed over all the information." Harrison adds, "To me, this is all just rhetorical spin trying to deflect from the real situation."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/14/journalist_hillary_clintons_criticism_of_snowden" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063679'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063679" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:46:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063679 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Snowden hillary clinton Wikileaks Editor: Obama's War on Whistleblowers Forced Snowden to Release Documents http://www.alternet.org/investigations/wikileaks-editor-obamas-war-whistleblowers-forced-edward-snowden-release-documents <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063681'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063681" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Oliver Stone&#039;s &quot;Snowden&quot; hits theaters Friday, September 16.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/democracy_now_wikileaks_snowden.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>On the release of Oliver Stone’s new film, "Snowden," we speak with WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison, who accompanied NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow and spent four months with him in the airport in Russia. She describes how Snowden reached out to the Courage Foundation, which she directs and which raises defense funds for Snowden and other whistleblowers. "We really wanted to try and show the world that there are people who will stand up" and help whistleblowers, says Harrison. </p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/14/obamas_war_on_whistleblowers_forced_edward" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063681'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063681" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:43:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063681 at http://www.alternet.org Investigations Activism Investigations Media Video Snowden "Pardon Snowden" Campaign Launches, Led by ACLU, Amnesty & Human Rights Watch http://www.alternet.org/activism/pardon-snowden-campaign-launches-led-aclu-amnesty-human-rights-watch <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063677'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063677" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Edward Snowden has requested a pardon from President Obama. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/snowden_1.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The release of Oliver Stone’s film "Snowden" comes amid a stepped-up campaign by the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden before he leaves office in January. Snowden is charged with theft of state secrets and is accused of violating the Espionage Act. He faces at least 30 years in prison, but argues his disclosure of mass surveillance by the U.S. and British intelligence agencies was not only morally right, but left citizens better off. "I think it would be a great choice for our country to turn back on the road it’s on," says Stone. Joseph Gordon-Levitt adds, "The truth [is] that Snowden’s disclosures did not do any harm … There was … a responsible process to make sure that no harm would be done."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/14/campaign_for_obama_to_pardon_snowden" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063677'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063677" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:40:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063677 at http://www.alternet.org Activism Activism Video campaign Snowden Oliver Stone & Joseph Gordon-Levitt Reveal What It Was Like to Meet the World's Most Wanted Man and Humanize Him in 'Snowden' http://www.alternet.org/media/oliver-stone-joseph-gordon-levitt-making-new-film-snowden-humanizing-worlds-most-wanted-man <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063675'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063675" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">&quot;Snowden&quot; the movie is being released. (Snowden the man is not.)</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/oliver_stone_gordon_levitt.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>As the much-anticipated movie "Snowden," about one of the most wanted men in the world, hits theaters, we spend the hour with its director, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, and the actor who played Snowden, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and feature clips from the film that tells the story of how NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed massive surveillance programs by U.S. and British intelligence agencies. "Our goal was to humanize the man, to bring you … the feeling of his life," Stone says of Snowden, who he notes was originally politically conservative and tried to enlist in the military to serve in Iraq but joined the CIA instead.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/14/oliver_stone_joseph_gordon_levitt_on" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. </em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Today we spend the hour with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, director of the much-anticipated film Snowden, that hits theaters this Friday.</p><p>DR. STILLWELL: [played by Robert Firth] The best I could tell, you’ve been walking around on two broken legs for weeks.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: [played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt] When do I go back?</p><p>DR. STILLWELL: If you ever again land on those legs of yours, those bones will turn to powder. Plenty other ways to serve your country.</p><p>CORBIN O’BRIAN: [played by Rhys Ifans] You wanted to be Special Forces?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Yes, sir.</p><p>CORBIN O’BRIAN: Why do you want to join the CIA?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: I’d like to help my country make a difference in the world.</p><p>CORBIN O’BRIAN: The average test time is five hours.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: I’m done, sir.</p><p>CORBIN O’BRIAN: It’s been 40 minutes.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Thirty-eight minutes? What should I do now?</p><p>CORBIN O’BRIAN: Whatever you want.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: The deputy director of the NSA offered me a new position.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: [played by Shailene Woodley] Can you tell me anything about it?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: You know I can’t.</p><p>HANK FORRESTER: [played by Nicolas Cage] Find the terrorist in the internet haystack.</p><p>CIA AGENT GENEVA: [played by Timothy Olyphant] You’re making people very happy.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Thank you.</p><p>CIA AGENT GENEVA: You ready for a little action? </p><p>GABRIEL SOL: [played by Ben Schnetzer] Oh, this looks cheesy.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: How is this all possible?</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: Think of it as a Google search, except instead of searching only what people make public, we’re also looking at everything they don’t—emails, chats, SMS, whatever.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Yeah, but which people?</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: The whole kingdom, Snow White.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: The NSA is really tracking every cellphone in the world.</p><p>UNIDENTIFIED: Most Americans don’t want freedom. They want security.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Except people, they don’t even know they’ve made that bargain.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: Are they watching us?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: There’s something going on inside the government that’s really wrong, and I can’t ignore it. I just want to get this data to the world. Hey.</p><p>GUARD: Hey. EDWARD SNOWDEN: I feel like I’m made to do this. And if I don’t do it, then—I don’t know anybody else that can. This is everything I have. They’re going to figure out what I’ve done.</p><p>CORBIN O’BRIAN: Did you access an unauthorized program?</p><p>GLENN GREENWALD: [played by Zachary Quinto] The government knows that we have these documents now.</p><p>EWEN MACASKILL: [played by Tom Wilkinson] You’re looking at a possible death sentence.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: I can’t turn back from this.</p><p>CIA AGENT GENEVA: Watch yourself.</p><p>UNIDENTIFIED: We are running out of time.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: They’re going to come for me. They’re going to come for all of you, too.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That’s the trailer to the new film Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who exposed sweeping surveillance programs by U.S. intelligence agencies and became one of the most wanted men in the world. The film recreates what transpired in a Hong Kong hotel room over eight days in June 2013 when Snowden first met with now Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Guardian reporter Ewen MacAskill to leak a trove of secret documents about how the United States had built a massive surveillance apparatus to spy on Americans and people across the globe. It also tells the story of Snowden’s longtime relationship with his partner Lindsay Mills.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Through flashbacks, the film chronicles Snowden’s career in national security as a staffer and contractor with the CIA and NSA, and shows his eventual realization of the extent of the U.S. mass surveillance program, as illustrated in this scene with an NSA hacker, whom he later befriends.</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: [played by Ben Schnetzer] What I will be providing you and the fine gentlemen at Secret Service is a list of every threat made about the president since February 3rd and a profile of every threat maker.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: [played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt] And these are like existing targets?</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: Ninety-nine percent are going to come from the bulk collection program, so Upstream, MUSCULAR, Tempora, PRISM.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: PRISM?</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: You got a little Snow White in you, which makes me feel like the witch bringing you a poison apple. Here, exhibit A. Oakland resident Justin Pinsky posted on a message board, "Romania has a storied history of executing their leaders, couldn’t they do us a solid and take out Bush?" Oh, this looks cheesy. It’s from a Gchat: "with the biggest python you’ve ever seen." Hmm.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: How is this all possible?</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: Keyword selectors: "attack," "take out Bush." So think of it—think of it as a Google search, except instead of searching only what people make public, we’re also looking at everything they don’t, so emails, chats, SMS, whatever.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Yeah, but which people?</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: The whole kingdom, Snow White.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That’s a clip from the new film Snowden. The film’s release comes amidst a stepped-up campaign for President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden before he leaves office in January. Snowden is charged with theft of state secrets and is accused of violating the Espionage Act. He faces at least 30 years in prison, but argues his disclosure of mass surveillance by the U.S. and British intelligence agencies was not only morally right, but left citizens better off. The ACLU is coordinating the campaign with Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other groups. Full-page ads are running today in Politico and The Washington Post. Well, for more, we’re joined right now by the director of Snowden. Oliver Stone is a three-time Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter. He’s made nearly two dozen acclaimed Hollywood films, including Platoon, Wall Street, Salvador, Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, Nixon, W., South of the Border and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He joins us in studio today along with the star of his latest film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stars in Oliver Stone’s film as the character Edward Snowden. Gordon-Levitt is an actor and filmmaker, known for his roles in 3rd Rock from the Sun, 500 Days of Summer, Inception and other films. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Congratulations, Oliver. You have just released this film. Tonight, in 800 theaters across the country, you will not only show the film, but project a conversation with Ed Snowden, who is in political exile in Russia.</p><p>OLIVER STONE: That’s correct. Yes, tonight.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Talk about why you chose this as the subject of your latest film.</p><p>OLIVER STONE: Well, as you know, Amy, it’s an important story. When it broke, it was very hot, and I didn’t want anything to do with it, because I just don’t think movies can chase the news. We’re always about a year or two behind. You know, things change in a case like this. But I went over to Moscow. His lawyer invited me, Anatoly Kucherena. And I met with Ed, and he was wary of a movie, and I was wary of the whole situation. I went back two more times. And by the third visit in June of 2015, we agreed to go ahead and do as realistic a version as possible of his life.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the decision to make a feature film? Obviously, Laura Poitras’s film Citizenfour had just won the Academy—had won the Academy Award.</p><p>OLIVER STONE: Yeah.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Your decision to make a feature film and concentrate so much more on the story of his journey?</p><p>OLIVER STONE: Yes, one’s a documentary, a fine film, and this is a drama and is—it’s two different genres. I mean, sometimes they’re compared, but I think falsely. No, our goal was to humanize the man, to bring you behind the eyes, behind the feeling of his life, what he was about, why he did it. You’ll remember, he was a conservative young man. He joined the military at a young age. He wanted to go to Iraq at the most dangerous time to fight that war. He couldn’t serve because he was frail, frankly, physically, and he ended up joining the CIA instead. He was a—his father, grandfather were both in the service. So, it’s an interesting—like, remember my film Born on the Fourth of July, where you—Ron Kovic turns? You see an interesting turn in personality, and through his relationship, partly, with Lindsay Mills.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to break, then come back. Oliver Stone and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are our guests. Sarah Harrison will be joining us later in the show, the investigative editor for WikiLeaks who accompanied Edward Snowden on his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow and ended up spending four months in the Russian airport with him. This is Democracy Now! Snowden is being released this week—well, that’s the film, not the man. Stay with us. [break]</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: "The Veil" by Peter Gabriel, who composed this song for the new film Snowden. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, we’re speaking with the director of Snowden, Oliver Stone. Let’s go to another clip from the film Snowden.</p><p>HANK FORRESTER: [played by Nicolas Cage] Hank Forrester. Where did you study, Snowden?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: [played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt] Mostly I’m self-taught. You can tell me if you’re busy, but that is a Cray-1?</p><p>HANK FORRESTER: Why, yes. Yes, it is. The first supercomputer. We get all of this on a cellphone now.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Yeah. So, you’re an engineer?</p><p>HANK FORRESTER: Am I an engineer? Instructor and counselor, too. I’m supposed to keep an eye on you CTs, make sure you don’t buckle under the pressure, turn to drugs and booze. EDWARD SNOWDEN: Well, you won’t have that problem with me. I don’t drink or do drugs.</p><p>HANK FORRESTER: What is your sin of choice?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Computers. HANK FORRESTER: Well, then, Snowden, you’ve come to the right little whorehouse.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, we’re joined by the director of Snowden, Oliver Stone, and the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played Snowden, who stars in the film as the main character. I’d like to ask you about, one, the times you were able to meet with Ed Snowden to get into—get your sense of the character, and what most surprised you about the man you were portraying.</p><p>JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: Sure. Well, as Oliver said, he and his co-writer, Kieran Fitzgerald, took a number of trips to Moscow to meet with Mr. Snowden, and he was really generous with his time and gave a lot of input on the script. And then they brought me once. And I had a chance to sit with him for about four hours. And it was me and him, as well as his longtime girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, who is played in the movie by Shailene Woodley. And the thing is, he’s—he’s always trying to take the attention off himself personally and put the attention on the issues that he’s trying to bring up. And I think that’s proper; I admire him for it. However, because I’m an actor and I was getting ready to play him in a movie, I was focused on him personally, on the little nuances that you can—you know, that you can pick up when you shake someone’s hand or you see how they sit or stand or walk or talk or eat, even, when, you know, we ate lunch together. And those little details are really valuable for me.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: You have an interesting background, especially for our viewers and listeners.</p><p>JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: Yes.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Your parents met at the Pacifica station KPFK in Los Angeles?</p><p>JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: That’s right, yeah. My dad was the news editor at KPFK in the early ’70s, and my mom was working there, too. And that is where they met.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And your mom ran for Congress on the Peace and Freedom ticket.</p><p>JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: That’s right.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And your grandfather was a blacklisted director?</p><p>JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: That’s right. My mom’s dad, his name was Michael Gordon. And he had just directed a movie called Cyrano de Bergerac, which was a very, you know, lauded movie. The actor, José Ferrer, had just won the Oscar. And he had been to, you know, some meetings, which were basically people gathering at homes and generally talking about, you know, the kind of things that you talk about on this program—rights for workers, poverty around the world, things like that. But at that time, the U.S. government, you know, mostly led by Senator McCarthy, considered that un-American, and a lot of people were put on a list, called the blacklist, and not allowed to work. So, my mom’s family, they actually had to move because my grandpa couldn’t work.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Issues that are un-American, that—considered by some, considered by so many others as patriotic. I think you could sort of talk about Edward Snowden the same way. I want to turn to another clip from the new film Snowden, where the character you play, Joe, Edward Snowden, reveals the extent of data collection worldwide.</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: [played by Ben Schnetzer] What is this?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: [played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt] OK, so this is data collection for the month of March worldwide, emails and Skype calls. So, France, 70 million; Germany, 500 million; Brazil, 2 billion; inside the U.S., 3.1 billion emails and calls. That’s not including any of the telcom company data.</p><p>PATRICK HAYNES: [played by Keith Stanfield] OK, so what’s the collection of Russia?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Russia is 1.5 billion. PATRICK HAYNES: Wait. So, we’re collecting twice as much in the U.S. as we are in Russia?</p><p>MALE DRONE PILOT: [played by Logan Marshall-Green] Yeah, I figured it was a lot, but—</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: This is out of hand, man.</p><p>MALE DRONE PILOT: Have you shown this to anyone else?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: No, you guys are the first.</p><p>PATRICK HAYNES: Yeah, yeah, you know, I’d be careful about that. You know, it could seem like you’re rocking the boat.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Yeah, you’re right. No, I just—I needed to know if I was the only one that thought this was crazy.</p><p>PATRICK HAYNES: Right.</p><p>TREVOR JAMES: [played by Scott Eastwood] What the [bleep]’s going on?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Hey, Trev.</p><p>TREVOR JAMES: What are you doing in here?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: It’s nothing. I was just showing them this one slide.</p><p>MALE DRONE PILOT: My bad, Trev. Made a bet with Ed about which country we were collecting the most signals from.</p><p>GABRIEL SOL: Yeah, I need to head out. I’ll see you guys.</p><p>MALE DRONE PILOT: You’re going down next time, man.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: OK.</p><p>TREVOR JAMES: I don’t want anyone unauthorized in here again, especially not with Heartbeat.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: You’re right. Won’t happen again.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That’s a clip from Snowden where Edward Snowden is talking about, to the other members of the team, the extent of the surveillance that he has managed to pull together because he developed a program called Heartbeat, right?</p><p>OLIVER STONE: That’s correct.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And that was an interesting aspect of your film, because, in essence, the Heartbeat program that he created, which was an index of the surveillance programs, made it easier when he finally decided to download the material to be able to do it in a more efficient manner.</p><p>OLIVER STONE: Actually very few people know that, and some technical people, who know a lot about the case, have pointed that out. It’s a revelation. Of course, the NSA has 150 programs. Their names are insane. But in there—it hasn’t come out yet—I think you’ll find Heartbeat. Of course, they’ll cover it up when they release it, or they’ll do something. But it was planned to—offense and defense. The last thing that Ed did was to work on offensive capabilities in cyberwarfare out of Hawaii, in his second position there with Booz—Booz Allen—is that the correct?</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Mm-hmm. OLIVER STONE: And anyway, that’s—he learned a lot. He combined the offensive and the—and that’s one of his major points, is: Why are we waging offensive warfare, when we can’t secure our homeland without defensive capabilities?</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the process of making the film and the elaborate security protocols that you went through, using code words, handwritten notes, so they can’t be picked up on the internet.</p><p>OLIVER STONE: Yeah. I’m going to answer that in a sec; I just want to point out one more little thing. It’s if Michael Hayden was the head of the NSA at 9/11, and they failed to do their job. That’s very important, that Americans don’t sometimes realize the extent of that failure, that he had good information that led to two of the hijackers who were in San Diego. That was through a safe house they owned. I mean, they didn’t own it; they had spied on it for a long time. It was in Sana’a, in Yemen. So, in other words, they haven’t really utilized those tools for defense. As to our protocols, we were—we were suspicious that there would be interferences, and—but I can’t say that it happened. I don’t know. We did go offline and off the grid as much as possible—meetings in person, we checked the phones, debugged the computers. We really tried to be wise about it. Whenever a script had to go out, we’d cut it up into sections and put it on a device and encrypt it and send it off to whoever was reading it in the world.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And you didn’t film here; you filmed in Germany?</p><p>OLIVER STONE: We filmed—we started in Germany. We built most of the America out of Germany. And then we came here for one week only to Washington, D.C. And we—Joe and Shailene walked right in front of the White House with Mr. Obama, who came in and out once or twice, and we had to suspend filming. There was a blackout that day. And we also moved on to Hawaii and shot near that base. We shot actually in the home—close to the home that Ed had in Hawaii next to that golf course. And then we moved to Hong Kong and on back to Germany and then to Moscow.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I’d like to ask Joe about this issue of—this is not only a tale of international espionage and intrigue; it’s also a love story. And the love story is not only crucial to holding the audience, but also to the development of the character that you portray, Edward Snowden. Can you talk about that, as well?</p><p>JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: Sure, well, that’s just the thing, is the real-life story of Edward Snowden’s life these nine years, between 2004 and 2013, which is really the bulk of the film—the real-life story is the perfect material for a drama, because a drama is always focused on a character who changes. And, you know, as Oliver pointed out, Snowden enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2004. He’s the kind of guy that wants to go fight for his country, and he’s a certain kind of patriot. And I almost think he kind of evolves into a new kind of patriotism—one kind where you just believe that everything your country does is right no matter what and you don’t ask any questions, and then a new kind, where you do ask those questions and view that questioning as patriotic. So, a big part of that development, from one kind of patriotism to another, is due to his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, who was brought up in a really different environment than he was. Whereas, you know, Ed’s father and grandfather were in the service, as Oliver mentioned, Lindsay came from a very different upbringing.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, let’s go to a clip from the film, which features Snowden and his girlfriend, Lindsay, as they walk through a protest in Washington, D.C., against the Iraq War. PROTESTER: Excuse me, ma’am, would you like to sign?</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: [played by Shailene Woodley] I actually just signed.</p><p>PROTESTER: OK, thank you very much.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: Thank you. Too much independent spirit for you?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: [played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt] No, I just don’t really like bashing my country.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: It’s my country, too, and right now it has blood on its hands.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Sorry, I just—I have friends who are over there right now.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: I’m not talking about the troops. I’m talking about the moron sending them to war.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Mm-hmm, you mean our commander-in-chief?</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: Yeah, whatever you want to call him, he’s still wrong.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: How do you know he’s wrong? You’re just lashing out.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: No, I’m not lashing out. I’m questioning our government. That’s what we do in this country. That is the principle that we are founded on.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: OK, but how about questioning the liberal media? I mean, you’re just buying into what one side is saying.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: Maybe I am, because my side is right.</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: See, that’s funny, because my side’s right. So—</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: Oh, really?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Yeah.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: Huh, why is it smart conservatives always make me so mad?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: Probably because you don’t like hearing the truth.</p><p>LINDSAY MILLS: You are a very frustrating individual, you know that? How am I going to make you see?</p><p>EDWARD SNOWDEN: I can see just fine, thank you.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That’s Edward Snowden, played by our guest here today, Joe Gordon-Levitt, and Shailene Woodley playing the longtime girlfriend of Ed Snowden, Lindsay Mills. Talk about what happens in Hawaii when Ed has come to this decision that the American people should understand what’s happening to them, being surveilled.</p><p>OLIVER STONE: In movie terms or in real life?</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Both.</p><p>OLIVER STONE: Because in real life, you know, it’s hard for Ed to define the moment. It’s a growing phenomenon. It starts in Geneva, when he serves, and then it increases through Japan, goes through Maryland, and then he ends up in Hawaii, because he wants to go there. He has a case of epilepsy that comes up late in the movie, which is accurate to that time period. It was quite shocking, when you’re that age, 29, to encounter the limits of your life. A mortality sets in. So, you have to make your decisions, to a certain degree. His relationship with Shailene has turned—in a sense, she’s brought him to a new awareness against his previous conditioning. And when he gets to Hawaii, he sees the worst of it, some of the worst of the offensive cyberwarfare particularly, not just the eavesdropping. We’re past the eavesdropping at that point, because he’s seen plenty of that in Japan and Geneva. But in Hawaii, he sees the capability. It’s always pictured to the American public as a defensive capability, but it’s not. It’s an offensive one. The Chinese are always hacking us, per the news. In reality, people like this were hacking them, and quite efficiently. So, in Hawaii, he comes to this—you’ll see. I mean, I don’t want to spoil the movie, but there comes to be—when he lifted these materials and helped get them out to the public, it is not done in the realistic way that it was done. It was—we gave it a little juice, because it’s a drama, and because, frankly, it’s probably much more banal than you think, the way he did it.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: What about the process of getting the film made, when you first went to the folks in Hollywood to try to talk about this film, and you ended up going with an independent—with an independent distributor?</p><p>OLIVER STONE: No luck, no luck. We really were disappointed. No, we really—you know, the film required some hardware and some budget, and we had a good cast, and it made sense at the price. They all said no. We don’t know why; you never do. But we suspect it did go up to corporate boards, because the heads of the studios liked the script, for the most part. It went upstairs, you know, three or four days go by, you don’t hear anything. So, the lawyers—as I said, you know, "no" is the easiest word in the English language, and it’s—they passed. We were—we went to Open Road, is a brave, young distributor, new in the business. Spotlight last year, Spotlight, the movie. And they’ve done a terrific job. Very, very courageous of them.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063675'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063675" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:19:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063675 at http://www.alternet.org Media Media Video Snowden Meet the Big Banks Funding America's Most Controversial Pipeline Project http://www.alternet.org/environment/whos-funding-dakota-access-pipeline-bank-america-hsbc-ubs-goldman-sachs-wells-fargo <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063398'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063398" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">&quot;They are banking on ... being able to drill and frack for the oil to send through the pipeline over the coming decades.&quot;</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/images/managed/topstories_nyse1009209c.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>We continue our conversation with Food &amp; Water Watch’s Hugh MacMillan about his new investigation that reveals the dozens of financial institutions that are bankrolling the Dakota Access pipeline, including Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.</p><p>"They are banking on this company and banking on being able to drill and frack for the oil to send through the pipeline over the coming decades," MacMillan says. "So they’re providing the capital for the construction of this pipeline."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/9/who_is_funding_the_dakota_access" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Juan, in a moment we’re going to be talking about the Attica prison uprising, but right now we’re going to be looking at the banks and who is funding the $3.8 billion pipeline, the Dakota Access pipeline.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yeah, we’ll continue to—on Wednesday in Minneapolis—what we want to do is continue to cover the coverage of the standoff at Standing Rock over the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline with a look at who is profiting off of it. On Wednesday in Minneapolis, dozens protested at U.S. Bank Plaza, demanding U.S. Bank stop funding the pipeline. According to an investigation published by LittleSis, U.S. Bank has extended a $175 million credit line to Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, Saturday was the first day of a two-week call for actions against the financial institutions that are bankrolling the Dakota Access pipeline project. We turn to Part 2 of our conversation with Hugh MacMillan, a senior researcher with Food &amp; Water Watch whose new investigation reveals the dozens of financial institutions that are bankrolling what’s called DAPL, the Dakota Access pipeline. I began by asking Hugh what’s most important to understand about the corporate structure of the pipeline company.</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: Dakota Access, LLC, is a joint venture of Phillips 66 and a joint venture of two members of the Energy Transfer family—Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics. Enbridge and Marathon Oil have bought into this, this joint venture. Together, they now have about a 37 percent stake in the pipeline, in the Dakota Access pipeline.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: How are the banks involved?</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: Well, that’s—they are banking on this company and banking on being able to drill and frack for the oil to send through the pipeline over the coming decades. So they’re providing the capital for the construction of this pipeline.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And explain what the banks are. Which banks are they? And how are they involved?</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: Well, I’ve got a list of the 17 banks that are specifically providing financing for this project. And it’s also coupled together with a Energy Transfer—Energy Transfer Partner project to convert an existing pipeline that would connect to the south end of the Dakota Access pipeline and run oil all the way down to the Gulf Coast, where there are refineries and also export infrastructure. AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us that list of 17 banks?</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: I can. Citibank is the bank that’s been running the books on the project, and that’s the bank that beat the bushes and got other banks to join in. So, we have Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, SunTrust, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Mizuho Bank, TD Securities, ABN AMRO Capital, DNB First Bank—and that’s actually a bank based in Philly; it’s not the DNB Bank based in Norway, which is actually provided several hundred million to the Energy Transfer family separately—and ICBC London, SMBC Nikko Securities and Société Générale.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Now, it’s Citibank—is that right?—that’s running the books, as the report points out, for Energy Transfer and Sunoco Logistics, which own the Dakota Access pipeline?</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: That’s right, by and large. So they have the largest share, and they’ve spearheaded the effort. So, what we published in LittleSis was the 30-plus banks that have provided general financing for Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners. Through working with Rainforest Action Network, we were able to—who has access to Bloomberg Terminal, we were able to determine these 17 banks that I just listed, who are providing the direct financing for the Dakota Access project and, in addition, for an Energy Transfer Partners project to extend this pipeline on down to Texas. So, collectively, this pipeline would run from near the Canadian border on down to the Gulf Coast of Texas over 1,800 miles.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I was just talking to an oil trucker in the plane back from North Dakota, and he trucks from the Bakken fields to other areas of North Dakota, just locally. And he said it is stunning to see the drop in demand for oil just in this past year. He has been trucking for four years. What about this decline in demand and what this will mean?</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: Well, you know, if you ask Morgan Stanley, they said a year ago that the oil producers are getting into prison shape—and without irony. So, you know, this is a long-term—these are long-term investments from the banks. There’s fully the—they fully expect the United States to maximize its production of oil and gas through widespread fracking.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, "prison shape"?</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: Well, I have a note here. They explain that "Some prisoners"—and I quote—"contrive clever equipment in workouts that result in fitness levels that surpass the traditional gym shape." And so they’re speaking in—they’re drawing an analogy to prisoners getting in good shape, drawing an analogy from that to oil and gas companies, fracking companies, learning how to do things more cheaply and more efficiently.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, Hugh MacMillan, as we wrap up, what do you think is most important for people to understand about the corporate structure of the company, Dakota Access pipeline, that is building the Dakota Access pipeline?</p><p>HUGH MACMILLAN: Well, I think it’s important to see the forces behind this particular pipeline as the same forces behind numerous other pipelines across the country, both for—both to support fracking for tight oil as well as fracking for shale gas, all toward maximizing production of oil and gas, when the science is clear that we need to maximize what we keep in the ground. Our current policy has not made that switch. And if you look at the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Technology Review published a year ago, you’ll see, under clean energy technologies, permeability manipulation is included, along with improved understanding of well integrity and improved understanding of injections and how they’re causing earthquakes, such as occurred over the weekend. The Quadrennial—</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: In Oklahoma. HUGH MACMILLAN: That’s right, in Oklahoma. The Quadrennial Technology Review speaks of a future mastery of the subsurface toward maximizing production.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Hugh MacMillan, senior researcher with Food &amp; Water Watch. His new investigation reveals the dozens of financial institutions that are bankrolling the Dakota Access pipeline. We’ll link to it at democracynow.org. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063398'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063398" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 10:01:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063398 at http://www.alternet.org Environment Economy Environment Video banking pipeline Dakota Access Pipeline oil Rep. Barbara Lee: Repeal 9/11 Authorization for Use of Force to Cancel Blank Check for Endless War http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/rep-barbara-lee-repeal-911-authorization-use-force-cancel-blank-check-endless-war <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063597'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063597" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Democratic Representative Barbara Lee of California was the lone dissenter in a nearly unanimous vote in Congress to approve the Authorization for Use of Military Force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/barbara_lee_california_0.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>This week marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. They were followed within three days by a nearly unanimous vote in Congress to approve the Authorization for Use of Military Force against those responsible. The lone dissenter was Democratic Representative Barbara Lee of California. We play an excerpt from her speech that day and speak with Lee about how the resolution has been used since then. "I voted against that resolution 15 years ago because it was so broad that I knew it was setting the stage and the foundation for perpetual war. And that is exactly what it has done," Lee notes. "It’s been used over 37 times everywhere in the world," including Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. She says bipartisan support is building to repeal the measure.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/13/rep_barbara_lee_repeal_9_11" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This week marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Thousands gathered in New York this weekend for a solemn ceremony marking the anniversary of when two hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center. Memorials were also held at the Pentagon and at the site in western Pennsylvania where a hijacked plane crashed on September 11, 2001. Well, right after the attacks, the Bush administration demanded from Congress the legal authorization to use military force against those they deemed responsible for the attack, thus beginning the war on Afghanistan. The Senate soon approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force by a vote of 98 to zero. In the House, it passed 420 to 1. The lone dissenting vote was Democratic Congressmember Barbara Lee of California, who, three days after the 9/11 attack, voted no. This is the speech she gave on the floor of the House.</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: September 11th changed the world. Our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter. Now, this resolution will pass, although we all know that the president can wage a war even without it. However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let’s step back for a moment. Let’s just pause, just for a minute, and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control. Now, I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with it today, and I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful, memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, as we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That was Democratic Congressmember Barbara Lee of California casting the sole dissenting vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force—that vote, September 14, 2001, 15 years ago tomorrow. After her speech, she was inundated with insults and death threats, reportedly needed around-the-clock bodyguards. Less than a month later, October 7, 2001, the Afghanistan War was on. It would become the longest war in U.S. history. Fifteen years later, the Obama administration continues to use the same military authorization for other attacks. For more, we go to Capitol Hill, where Congressmember Lee joins us from the Cannon Rotunda. She is chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. We welcome you back to Democracy Now!, Congressmember Lee.</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: Good to be with you, Amy.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Your thoughts, 15 years after you gave that speech and cast that lone dissenting vote on the floor of the House?</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: Amy, my thoughts go back to that horrific day, and, of course, my thoughts go out to the families and to the victims, to the communities, that were devastated by this horrific attack. And so we always have to stop and pause and thank our first responders and those who really came to the aid, selflessly, of those who were in harm’s way. I voted against that resolution 15 years ago because it was so broad that I knew it was setting the stage and the foundation for perpetual war. And that is exactly what it has done. I actually asked the Library of Congress to conduct a study and to present to us the unclassified version of how many times and where it has been used. It’s been used over 37 times everywhere in the world. And it’s time that we repeal that blank check, Amy; otherwise, we’re going to continue in this state of endless war. And the American people, minimally, deserve their members of Congress to debate and to vote either up or down for a new authorization. Fifteen years is much too long to use as legal basis to wage war everywhere in the world.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: How are you trying to organize that repeal, Congressmember Lee?</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: Well, I have to tell you, every time we have a defense authorization or appropriation bill come before us, I offer amendments to either deny funding until we have a new authorization to repeal that authorization or to repeal that authorization until there is a new authorization within 90 days. And I’m very pleased that we’re building support. We’ve received up to 160-some votes for such a measure, as low as 135. But, believe you me, that’s a lot better than just one. And so, I think what you see now is really bipartisan support building for the repeal of that resolution. Plus, you know, the public has demanded that we have a debate and a vote. And this takes, unfortunately, time, but we need to do this, and we need to do it quickly. We’ve spent over $1.7 trillion. Our young men and women continue to be in harm’s way. There’s no end in sight. And so, the American people deserve members of Congress to do their job, and that’s to debate a new authorization and to vote up or down.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That same authorization to bomb Afghanistan is being used today by the Obama administration to bomb Syria?</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: I’m sorry. What did you say, Amy? Excuse me.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: The same authorization, used to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, is being used to attack Syria?</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: Yes, it is. And it’s being used—it has been used in Yemen, Somalia. It’s been used for Guantánamo. It’s been used for wiretapping. It’s been used for everything. And what we’re saying is that, you know, we have a new war, really, on a new war footing, in Syria, and, minimally, the Congress should be straight with the American people and debate the costs and consequences of it. This 2001 resolution is the legal basis that the administration says gives them the blank check, or gives them the legal basis—I say it’s a blank check—to use force and continue with military action.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: You have—</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: I must say, though, Amy, that President Obama, over a year ago, year and a half ago, submitted a new authorization to the speaker. Speaker Boehner, now Speaker Ryan, won’t even bring that resolution up. Whether you agree or disagree with it—and I don’t agree with what’s in it, because it did not repeal the 2001 resolution—but, one way or the other, we should have it brought forward to the floor to debate it and vote it up or down, or to amend it or to make it narrower—you know, to fix it in a way that members who would want to vote for it would vote for it.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get your response to Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, last week defending Donald Trump’s statement, or Donald Trump himself, I should say, but saying that the U.S. should take the oil from Iraq. This is former New York City mayor, who is a top adviser to Trump, making his remarks on ABC’s This Week.</p><p>GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But he said leave a force back there and take it.</p><p>RUDOLPH GIULIANI: Leave a force back there and take it, and make sure it’s distributed in a proper way. And basically—</p><p>GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s not legal, is it?</p><p>RUDOLPH GIULIANI: Of course it’s legal. It’s a war. Until the war is over, anything is legal.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Your response to what Donald Trump said about taking the oil from Iraq?</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: That doesn’t sound like a global leader, first of all. That’s very dangerous. It’s very scary. How do you take anything from any country? You know, we need to really look at what it entails in terms of a comprehensive strategy to dismantle and finally destroy ISIS. Going into countries, taking oil—yeah, he said we are in a state of war. I guess the rules of war, for Donald Trump, means anything. But I think there are some rules of war that need to be looked at. And so, I think that was a statement that the American people really should hear, should know, and I’m glad you replayed it, because that just shows you how dangerous it is if Donald Trump were to be in the White House and have his hand on not only the button that could trigger a nuclear war, but also just in terms of how he would solve the current wars that we need to really begin to understand and come up with a comprehensive strategy to end.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: You’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton. She voted for the war in Iraq. Your thoughts on this and what it would mean if she became president?</p><p>REP. BARBARA LEE: Well, I think when you look at Hillary Clinton’s, first of all, experience with regard to foreign policy, first of all, she has said that that was a mistake. And I have to take her at her word, that she believes it was a mistake. You know, the Bush administration put out all of this information that was really bogus, was not true, with regard to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They sent Secretary Colin Powell to the United Nations. And the fear tactic was being used. Some members of Congress, you know, bought into that. And that was just wrong, because when you look at what took place during that period—I actually had a resolution that said, "Hold up. Let’s not authorize the use of force in Iraq until the U.N. inspectors complete their job. And let’s determine if there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." Well, I only got 72 votes on that amendment. But had that amendment passed, and had we held up, I’m certain that those members who voted for that, including Secretary Clinton, would probably say, "Let’s step back for a minute, and let’s look at what is really the truth and what is taking place, because now the U.N. inspectors have found that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063597'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063597" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:55:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063597 at http://www.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics Video barbara lee North Carolina Sees Economic Fallout from Anti-LGBT Law as NCAA Moves Championships Out of the State http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/north-carolina-sees-economic-fallout-anti-lgbt-law-ncaa-moves-championships-out <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063595'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063595" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The NCAA stands with the North Carolina LGBT community. </div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The NCAA has announced it will move its seven championship events out of North Carolina in response to the state’s decision to pass the anti-LGBT law known as HB 2, or the "bathroom bill." The law nullifies ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination and prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio says it is encouraging to see sports organizations and corporations responding to the mobilization efforts of the trans community and their allies.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/13/north_carolina_sees_economic_fallout_from" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063595'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063595" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:52:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063595 at http://www.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics Video ncaa Lawyer for Imprisoned Whistleblower Chelsea Manning: Ongoing Pattern of Abuse Led to Hunger Strike http://www.alternet.org/human-rights/lawyer-imprisoned-whistleblower-chelsea-manning-ongoing-pattern-abuse-led-hunger-strike <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063593'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063593" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">We speak with Chase Strangio, lawyer for imprisoned Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, about the hunger strike she launched Friday to protest her prison conditions.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/image_of_chelsea_manning.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>In a statement, Chelsea Manning said she would only consume water and medication until she’s provided "minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity." She’s demanding a written promise from the Army that she will receive medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence in the disciplinary barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. She has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender identity. Strangio is a staff attorney at the ACLU who represents Chelsea Manning in a lawsuit against the Department of Defense.</p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/13/lawyer_for_imprisoned_whistleblower_chelsea_manning" width="630"></iframe></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to imprisoned Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. On Friday, Manning began a hunger strike to protest her prison conditions. In a statement, she said she would only consume water and medication until she’s provided, quote, "minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity," unquote. She’s demanding a written promise from the Army that she will receive medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence in the disciplinary barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. She has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender identity. In an interview published by The Guardian last month, Chelsea Manning said, quote, "I am always afraid. I am still afraid of the power of government. A government can arrest you. It can imprison you. It can put out information about you that won’t get questioned by the public—everyone will just assume that what they are saying is true. Sometimes, a government can even kill you—with or without the benefit of a trial." Well, for more, we’re joined by Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU. He represents Chelsea Manning in a lawsuit against the Department of Defense. Chase, welcome back to Democracy Now! Talk about what is happening with Chelsea in prison right now.</p><p>CHASE STRANGIO: So, you know, after six years of being locked away by our government, Chelsea has used really one of the only forms of protest available to her, which is her body, to draw attention to the ongoing abuses that she has faced. And on Friday, she began a hunger strike, which, she has made clear, will continue until she receives written assurances from the government that she’s not only going to be treated properly for her gender dysphoria, but that the ongoing harassment and abuses against her, culminating most recently with the charges brought against her related to her attempted suicide, will stop.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to the Chelsea Manning statement announcing her hunger strike. She said, quote, "I have decided that I am no longer going to be bullied by this prison—or by anyone within the U.S. government. I have asked for nothing but the dignity and respect—that I once actually believed would be provided for—afforded to any living human being," unquote. She goes on to say, "I do not believe that this should be dependent on any arbitrary factors—whether you are cisgender or transgender; service member or civilian, citizen or non-citizen. In response to virtually every request, I have been granted limited, if any, dignity and respect—just more pain and anguish." So, tell us, Chase, about the last few months. Chelsea attempted suicide. Is that right? That’s why we last spoke to you.</p><p>CHASE STRANGIO: Yeah, so, on the weekend of July 4th, Chelsea attempted to take her own life. And she was unsuccessful in that attempt, and ultimately conveyed to us that she was happy to be alive. But during her recovery, while she was still under medical observation status, she was served with official charges, administrative charges from the prison, indicating that she would be punished for attempting to take her life. And just yesterday, she was formally served those charges, and will be facing an administrative board on September 20th. So, that really does reflect the ongoing pattern of abuses that she’s experiencing. Even when she goes so far as to—as to decide that the only agency she has left is to end her life, her survival itself becomes a mode of punishment.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Talk about her life in prison at Leavenworth every day.</p><p>CHASE STRANGIO: Chelsea is an incredibly strong and resilient person, and she is able to navigate so much. But I think what she’s being faced with is the prospect of another three decades in prison being treated with this ongoing surveillance, punished for toothpaste, punished for books, punished for, you know, not properly writing her name in her books every time, and then also being told repeatedly that despite the medical recommendations of the Army’s own providers, she will not be treated with the healthcare that she needs. And despite the fact that in our filings before the court, almost two years ago, we indicated that she was at a grave risk of attempted suicide and possible successful suicide, they have continued to enforce male grooming standards against her and not follow the treatment protocols of her recommend—recommended by her provider.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to a clip from—well, at the time, it was then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in December 2011, the day before Army whistleblower Private Chelsea Manning went on trial for passing hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks.</p><p>SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: I think that in an age when so much information is, you know, flying through cyberspace, we all have to be aware of the fact that, you know, some information which is sensitive, which does affect the security of individuals and relationships, deserves to be protected. And we will continue to take necessary steps to do so.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That was Hillary Clinton, years ago, when she was secretary of state. Chase Strangio, do you think that Chelsea Manning is suffering from retaliation for the—what—for the release of documents?</p><p>CHASE STRANGIO: I think Chelsea’s experience in prison has been an ongoing set of retaliatory actions by the government, from her treatment at Quantico to her denial of healthcare to the ongoing scrutiny that she faces. And she really is someone who put her life on the line for things that she believes in. And I think, as a society, we have an obligation to continue to stand behind her as she continues to suffer the consequences of that.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063593'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063593" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:44:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063593 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video Chelsea Manning ACLU Attorney: Growing Number of Murders of Trans Women Can't Be Separated from Anti-Trans Laws http://www.alternet.org/human-rights/aclu-attorney-growing-number-murders-trans-women-cant-be-separated-anti-trans-laws <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063591'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063591" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">As many as 20 transgender women have been killed so far this year. including 28-year-old Rae’Lynn Thomas.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_400929307.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>28-year-old Rae’Lynn Thomas was one of 20 transgender women who have been killed so far this year .Family members say the shooter, James Allen Byrd, frequently made transphobic comments to Rae’Lynn and sometimes called her "the devil." There are now reports that another transgender woman may have been murdered over the weekend on the West Side of Chicago. The Chicago police have confirmed a body was found on Sunday, but have not released details. We discuss the escalation in violence against transgender women with Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/13/aclu_attorney_growing_number_of_murders" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063591'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063591" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:34:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063591 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video trans women Nationwide Prison Strike Launches in 24 States and 40 Facilities over Conditions & Forced Labor http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/nationwide-prison-strike-launches-24-states-and-40-facilities-over-conditions-forced <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063392'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063392" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Today prisoners in at least 24 states are set to participate in a nationally coordinated strike that comes on the 45th anniversary of the prison uprising at Attica. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/the_all-nite_images.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Much like the prisoners who took over New York’s infamous correctional facility in 1971, today’s prisoners are protesting long-term isolation, inadequate healthcare, overcrowding, violent attacks and slave labor. We feature an excerpt from our interview in May with one of the organizers, Kinetik Justice, who joined us by phone from solitary confinement in Holman Correctional Facility. He is co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement. He was serving his 28th month in solitary for organizing a similar protest in 2014.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/9/nationwide_prison_strike_launches_in_24" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Today prisoners in at least 24 states are set to participate in a nationally coordinated strike that comes on the 45th anniversary of the prison uprising at Attica. Much like the prisoners who took over New York’s infamous correctional facility in 1971, today’s prisoners are protesting long-term isolation, inadequate healthcare, overcrowding, violent attacks and slave labor. Today’s actions follow similar protests earlier this year. In March, thousands in Michigan prisons launched a hunger strike after private vendor Aramark Correctional Services served them unrefrigerated meat, and then the company called Trinity, that was brought in to replace them, served small portions of watery food. The same company prompted protests in Georgia when it underfed prisoners to the point that one resorted to eating toothpaste.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: In May, men in several Alabama prisons began a 10-day strike on International Workers’ Day over unpaid labor and poor conditions. Organizers said guards retaliated by serving meals that are significantly smaller than usual, a practice they call "bird feeding," and by putting the facilities on lockdown, partially to allow guards to perform jobs normally carried out by prisoners. During the strike, Democracy Now! spoke with Kinetik Justice, who joined us by phone from solitary confinement in Holman Correctional Facility, co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement, one of the organizers of today’s strike, as well. He was serving his 28th month in solitary for organizing a similar protest in 2014.</p><p>KINETIK JUSTICE: These strikes are our method for challenging mass incarceration. As we understand it, the prison system is a continuation of the slave system, and which in all entities is an economical system. Therefore, for the reform and changes that we’ve been fighting for in Alabama, we’ve tried petitioning through the courts. We’ve tried to get in touch with our legislators and so forth. And we haven’t had any recourse. Therefore, we understood that our incarceration was pretty much about our labor and the money that was being generated through the prison system, therefore we began organizing around our labor and used it as a means and a method in order to bring about reform in the Alabama prison system.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Kinetik Justice, speaking by phone from solitary confinement in Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama in May.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063392'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063392" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 09:51:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063392 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video prisoners 45 Years After Legendary Attica Prison Uprising, New Book Reveals State Role in Deadly Standoff http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/45-years-after-legendary-attica-prison-uprising-new-book-reveals-state-role-deadly <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063389'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063389" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Today prisoners in at least 24 states are set to participate in a nationally coordinated strike that comes on the 45th anniversary of the prison uprising at Attica. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/attica.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Much like the prisoners who took over New York’s infamous correctional facility in 1971, Attica's prisoners are protesting long-term isolation, inadequate healthcare, overcrowding, violent attacks and slave labor. We speak with the author of an explosive new book about the four-day standoff, when unarmed prisoners held 39 prison guards hostage, that ended when armed state troopers raided the prison and shot indiscriminately more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition. In the end, 39 men would die, including 29 prisoners and 10 guards. We are also joined by David Rothenberg, who was a member of the Attica observers’ committee that was brought into Attica to negotiate on behalf of prisoners. He is founder of The Fortune Society.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" scrolling="no" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/9/new_details_revealed_about_legendary_attica" width="630"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063389'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063389" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 09:43:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063389 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video prisoners Native American Activists Lock Themselves to Heavy Machinery to Stop Dakota Access Pipeline Construction (Video) http://www.alternet.org/environment/native-american-activists-lock-themselves-heavy-machinery-stop-dakota-access-pipeline <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063258'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063258" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Fierce resistance to the pipeline continues.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/crw3qlywaaaqauu.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Native Americans from across the U.S. and Canada continue to arrive at the resistance camps.</p><p>Democracy Now! speaks with Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/7/water_protectors_lock_their_bodies_to" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p><strong>Juan González</strong>: As the ruling was issued in Washington, D.C., about 100 land defenders shut down construction on the Dakota Access pipeline by obstructing equipment. Some of them locked themselves to workers’ heavy machinery. We go now to North Dakota to get reaction on the lawsuit and on the actions on the ground.</p><p><strong>Amy Goodman</strong>: Tara Houska is with us. She’s national campaigns director for Honor the Earth. Tara, welcome to Democracy Now! Can you talk about the reaction on the ground to the court decision? And then, what exactly happened in that protest yesterday?</p><p><strong>Tara Houska</strong>: It was really disappointing. You know, there—we were really hoping that the judge would see that there was this filing on Friday that detailed all these different sacred sites that were in the pipeline’s path, and then the company went out on Saturday and destroyed those sites. It was very clearly a situation in which a temporary restraining order to actually stop that construction and prevent such violent altercations from occurring—I mean, the security company actually turned dogs on Native American people protecting sacred sites. It’s incredibly disappointing to see that the court system did not continue to protect our interests and stop this from happening, while we’re waiting to see what this injunction is ruled upon.</p><p><strong>JG</strong>: And, Tara, your reaction to the response of Native Americans around the country who have now flocked to the Dakota area to participate in these protests?</p><p><strong>TH</strong>: I mean, I think, you know, folks are still pouring in. The camp grows every single day, that, you know, people know they’re coming from around the country to defend this river and also to take a stand for indigenous rights. We’ve seen some pretty serious human rights violations as this process has gone on. The state of North Dakota took the water supplies from the camp. They took medical supplies. They have put up a blockade, preventing—you know, making it very, very difficult to actually get into the reservation. This is occurring, and no one’s really covering that issue, and no one is really seeming to care. And, you know, indigenous people all know that this is going on. I mean, while those dogs were—those private security dogs protecting an easement, while that was happening, there were North Dakota police standing there, not doing anything. We’re citizens, too, just like everyone else. And so, this has become a moment in history in which we’re standing up for the environment, for our children, for the river, for the drinking water, and also just—and generally for the upholding of treaty rights and human rights.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: Now, we wanted to ask about this protest. One of those who participated in the protest, who locked down, was Victor Puertas. We saw him on Saturday. We interviewed him because one of the dogs bit him on his arm, and we showed that image. For people to see the whole attack on Saturday, you can go online at democracynow.org. But his arm clearly showed bite marks. Can you talk about exactly what they did yesterday?</p><p><strong>TH</strong>: Yeah. Yesterday, there was a direct action, a nonviolent direct action, in which, you know, the location of construction was discovered. And, you know, about a hundred people just hopped in their cars and went over there and locked onto the equipment to prevent active construction from occurring. I think it’s worth noting that the company voluntarily, you know, said that they would cease construction up until the point of the injunction. That clearly has not happened. Active construction has still been occurring throughout this entire process. And the land defenders here know that. They know that we know that, that this is obviously not being upheld and not being fully acknowledged. And yesterday, we went on site, and, you know, there were folks that were willing to lock themselves to machines to stop this construction and prevent the pipeline from going in.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: I wanted to play a clip of Victor Puertas from Saturday, the different action, right after he was attacked.</p><p><strong>Victor Puertas</strong>: Look at this. A dog—</p><p><strong>Protester</strong>: Dog bit him right now.</p><p><strong>VP</strong>: Throwed the dog on me. This [bleep] throwed the dog on me. Look at this. Look at this. You throwed the dog on me. No, you did it on purpose, man.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: Let me see. Let me see.</p><p><strong>VP</strong>: Over there, with that dog. I was like walking. Throwed the dog on me and straight, even without any warning. You know? Look at this. Look at this.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: That dog bit you?</p><p><strong>VP</strong>: Yeah, the dog did it, you know? Look at this. It’s there. It’s all bleeding.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: So, that’s Victor Puertas with the dog bite on his arm, and he, with Jules [Richards], were two who locked down.</p><p><strong>JG</strong>: Tara, what’s been the—what was the response yesterday of the security guards and the company to your protest? Was it markedly different from Saturday?</p><p><strong>TH</strong>: It was markedly different. The police officers, for one, actually came on site initially, kind of stood around and took pictures of our—took pictures of people’s faces and generally didn’t really do much, and then ended up actually leaving. I think there’s a realization that the use of dogs on Native Americans protecting their treaty lands and their sacred sites is actually a really bad PR move, that they know that the world is watching as these gross violations of human rights are occurring. And so, there was a very big sense of "we’re going to back off." And they really did not engage at all yesterday.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063258'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063258" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:00:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063258 at http://www.alternet.org Environment Activism Environment Video pipeline dakota access oil native american activist protest tribal Iowa Landowners Sue to Stop Dakota Access Construction, Say Pipeline Provides No Public Service http://www.alternet.org/environment/iowa-landowners-sue-stop-dakota-access-construction-say-pipeline-provides-no-public <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063259'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063259" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Iowa is one of four states through which the planned pipeline will pass. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/dakota_pipeline_02.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Democracy Now! traveled to Des Moines to speak with Bill Hanigan, an attorney representing 15 Iowa landowners who are contesting the project’s use of eminent domain under the guise that it would provide a public service, even as it threatens to pollute the state’s farmland and water supplies.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/7/iowa_landowners_sue_to_stop_dakota" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p><strong>Amy Goodman</strong>: Well, we wanted to turn now, go sort of down the pipeline. The Dakota Access pipeline is also facing legal resistance in Iowa. The pipeline goes from North to South Dakota through Iowa to Illinois. In Iowa, about 30 people were arrested last week in an effort to block construction. For more, we’re going to Des Moines, where we’re joined by Bill Hanigan, an attorney representing 15 Iowa landowners who are contesting the use of eminent domain by the Dakota Access pipeline. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Bill Hanigan. Isn’t the Dakota Access pipeline a private company?</p><p><strong>Bill Hanigan</strong>: Good morning. Thank you for having me. Dakota Access is absolutely a private company. It’s a multibillion-dollar corporation owned by about five other multibillion-dollar corporations.</p><p><strong>Juan González</strong>: So, how, then, were they—was the company able to get access to the land of the folks that you are representing?</p><p><strong>BH</strong>: I represent about 15 Iowa landowners, all of them farmers. And Dakota Access is using in Iowa the power of eminent domain. The power of eminent domain is the authority of the state to take real estate and other assets for public purposes. And Dakota Access has applied to and obtained the power of eminent domain from our Iowa Utilities Board. So they have represented to the state that they are a public pipeline that is providing a common carriage service for the benefit of Iowans and the nation, and therefore they should be entitled to use the power of eminent domain. And about that, we very much disagree.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: Can you talk about the connection between the protests in North Dakota and what’s happening to you downstream, if you will, from North Dakota, South Dakota—now you’re in Iowa—those connections?</p><p><strong>BH</strong>: Well, the legal arguments are different, but the purpose and the power behind Dakota Access is the same. In North Dakota, they’re arguing about Native American artifacts. In Iowa, we’re arguing about the application of the Constitution. And what’s common between those two things is, first of all, we’d like Dakota Access to stop what they’re doing until everybody gets their day in court, so we can make our arguments before it’s too late, before it’s a moot point. Now, the commonality among it, in addition to seeking this stay, the commonality is the issue of the great economic disparity. So, you’ve got, again, these multibillion-dollar companies who have combined this joint effort to build this pipeline across Iowa and across North Dakota and Illinois and South Dakota. And the commonality is that great economic force behind those billions of dollars pushing this through, both with law firms and both with the power of politics and the money of politics, to get this thing on a fast track in all of these places, before Iowans and South Dakotans and North Dakotans and Native Americans have an opportunity to even get to the court to get the court to review this and say it’s not fair.</p><p><strong>JG</strong>: And how do you hope to prevail in court, given, of course, the infamous Kelo decision of the Supreme Court some decades back, where, in essence, the court allowed private interests to be able to use eminent domain in commercial—in commercial projects? And interesting, as I recall, it was the, quote, "liberals" on the Supreme Court who backed the Kelo decision and the, quote, "conservatives" who opposed it.</p><p><strong>BH</strong>: That’s correct. And we think that even the Kelo majority—in that case, the so-called liberals—would apply the Kelo case and rule in our favor. And what the majority in Kelo said—and it was a bare 5-4 majority—what the majority in Kelo said is that we’re going to leave it up to the states to determine what a public purpose is for the purposes of using the power of eminent domain. However, they also said that public purpose does not include and can’t be a shill for a true private purpose. And so, in Kelo, that was a comprehensive community redevelopment plan, and the court said that, in that context, where there would be some public assets, including streets and sidewalks and sewers, that they would allow there to be a using of the power of eminent domain to help repair a blighted community. And in that context, economic development was a legitimate consideration.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: You know—</p><p><strong>BH</strong>: Here, in Iowa, we don’t have—we don’t have economic development to repair a blighted community. We’ve got—we’ve got farmland that doesn’t need repair.</p><p><strong>AG</strong>: You know, when I was in North Dakota this weekend, I was speaking to an oil trucker, who trucked Bakken oil around the area and said it was precipitous how low the demand had gone in this last year. You could conceivably set up this pipeline, the Dakota Access pipeline could be set up—it’s built through to Illinois—and the demand gets lower and lower. And they have just destroyed these sacred sites along the way. And then, eventually, you see the abandonment of the pipeline.</p><p><strong>BH</strong>: We feel the same way about our farmland. See, in Iowa, in the Midwest, our strategic and competitive advantage is our black soil, that from the black soil and the earth, that’s where we grow our crops. That’s how we feed our families. That’s how we fuel our cars. And so, what they’ve done is they plow this trench that is eight, 10, 12 feet deep, and they put the soil out, and it rains on the soil. And they put their pipe in there. Then they put the soil back in. And it’s just not the same as it was. And on top of that, there’s the risk of this oil leaking into our water supply, and there’s this risk of this oil leaking into the soil and making the fertility of it much less than it was before. So, the idea that a Texas company can take our land for its private purpose—you know, the argument that Dakota Access has made, that this is a somehow public purpose, is that they will take this oil off to the Gulf of Mexico through Iowa, and then they’ll produce unleaded gasoline, and somehow some of that gasoline will splash its way back to Iowa. They can’t prove it, they can make an estimate of it, and they can’t tell us how much, but they think that is somehow our public use or public purpose.</p><p><b>JG</b>: And what’s the—</p><p><strong>BH</strong>: Now, everyone has to remember that in—in December, Congress repealed the decades-old prohibition on exporting that crude oil. So what we think’s going to happen, and what has already happened with the same-quality oil, is it’s being prepared for export. So, the idea that there is a public purpose here and that we’re all going to benefit from it, not only can they not prove that this oil is not coming back to Iowa, they really can’t prove or demonstrate that it’s even going to be for the U.S. market. So I think that the state of Iowa and the other states are being played for suckers, if you will, and this is all going to accrue to Texas profits and foreign export. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063259'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063259" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 15:00:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063259 at http://www.alternet.org Environment Human Rights Environment Video Dakota Access Pipeline pipeline oil lawsuit tribal native american Exclusive: Migrant Mother Says She Was Pushed to End Hunger Strike to Win Release from Detention http://www.alternet.org/immigration/exclusive-migrant-mother-says-she-was-pushed-end-hunger-strike-win-release-detention <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063257'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063257" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Democracy Now! spoke with a woman held for nine months with her four-year-old daughter at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania as they seek asylum from El Salvador. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/detention.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>A migrant mother describes how she won their release only after she bowed to pressure to break her hunger strike and eat an apple. Democracy Now! correspondent Renée Feltz filed this report.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/7/exclusive_migrant_mother_says_she_was" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: How long is too long for a child to be held in detention? We turn now to look at an ongoing protest by mothers and their children who have been held indefinitely in a family detention center—in some cases for more than a year. Last week, more than 20 immigrant women at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania resumed their hunger strike to call for their release. This followed a suspension of their protest when officials said they would take away their children if they grew weak. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has detained the families at Berks since they arrived in the United States seeking asylum from violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Most have been denied asylum and are being held while they appeal their cases. Their protest has raised questions about whether ICE is flouting a federal judge’s mandate that puts a 20-day limit on the time that children can be detained.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: In a few minutes, we’ll be joined by a physician who just spent a week at Berks observing the families who have been held there indefinitely. But first we turn to an exclusive interview taped just yesterday, taped on Tuesday, with a woman who was participating in the hunger strike until she was released from Berks after nine months in detention. She and her daughter are in a similar legal position as the other families at Berks. But as it turns out, all she had to do to win her freedom was end her hunger strike and eat an apple. Democracy Now! correspondent Renée Feltz files this report.</p><p>RENÉE FELTZ: I got word that a mother held at Berks County Residential Center with her four-year-old daughter had been released and had an incredible story to tell. I reached her, and she agreed to do an interview if we didn’t show her face or use her real name. Maria had just arrived in Arlington, Texas, after a three-day cross-country bus ride, where she reunited with her husband and another relative, who she’ll now live with. So I went there to meet her. I began by asking her how it felt to be free.</p><p>MARIA: [translated] I am very happy. I’m ecstatic, because I am here with my family, and my daughter is here with her dad, whom she wanted to be with. I’m just very, very happy.</p><p>RENÉE FELTZ: Maria and her daughter’s time in detention began last November, when she came to the United States from El Salvador to seek asylum. They were placed in a South Texas residential center, a family detention center in Dilley, Texas, run by Corrections Corporation of America. Within a month, her request for asylum was denied. While she appealed the decision, they were transferred to the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania, where she and other families pleaded with ICE officials to be released. MARIA: [translated] And he would ask us, how are we doing here? And we said, "We’re locked up. We don’t have anything to do. We want to get out." And all he would say is—he would just shrug his shoulders and look at us and almost mockingly laugh at our faces. It was just demeaning.</p><p>RENÉE FELTZ: The Berks residential center is a low-security detention center housed in a former hospital and nursing home. But Maria described it as more like a jail. MARIA: [translated] I want to tell you that, yes, I did not feel well at all. I was—it was terrible. I could not sleep at all. Every night when you would go to sleep, every five minutes, every 10 minutes, the door would open. Someone would come in and flash the light at you, at your face. And then my daughter, she would, of course, sleep on the other bed, but because she would get up in the middle of the night—she was afraid, and she would get up in the middle of the night and say, "Mommy, mommy, I’m scared." And she would slip into bed with me. And they would come, the officers would come, in the middle of the night and shine their light at me. And they would look at me and say, "She’s not supposed to be here. Get her off, and get her into her own bed." And they would make her go into the bed. And she would be afraid. And so, because my daughter, maybe she didn’t sleep enough at night—I don’t know—but she was always angry. She was always very aggressive. She was terrible, because she just wasn’t—she wasn’t sleeping. And neither was I. And I felt terrible because of everything. And there were children who had their ID hanging on their neck, and sometimes they would want—they would take it, and they would strangle themselves with it, because they couldn’t stand being there, so they would try to strangle themselves with the ID.</p><p>RENÉE FELTZ: Maria and her daughter were detained for nine months. She told me the length of time was unbearable.</p><p>MARIA: [translated] The first month, I felt fine. I felt good. In the same room where I was, I found my friend from Dilley, so she was in the same room I was, and that was nice. But they gave her her freedom in two months’ time, so she left. So I stayed very sad, and I didn’t—I wasn’t happy anymore, after she left. And so, they kept putting people in, and then they kept taking them out, and they kept putting people in, and they kept taking them out. And I kept staying there, and I kept staying there. And I didn’t know what was going on. We went to say our goodbyes to them, and we all hugged and kissed. And my daughter went to kiss her little friend, their son. And they were—and she couldn’t even cry, because she didn’t know what to do. And I just felt—I just—I didn’t know what to do. I just felt horrible. But my daughter kept asking me, and she would ask and say, "Mom, why are they leaving, and not us?" And I would tell her, "Please, baby, have patience. We’ll be next. We’ll be next."</p><p>RENÉE FELTZ: In August, Maria says, she and about 20 mothers reached a breaking point. They decided to go on a hunger strike to call for their release from the Berks detention center while their cases were pending. For one week, they refused to eat any meals. Then, Maria says, they were granted a meeting to discuss their demands with the director of the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, Thomas Decker. No lawyers were present during the meeting. Maria described what happened next.</p><p>MARIA: [translated] Look, they would put big servings of fruit—of watermelon, of grapes, of all different types of fruit—around where we were to entice us to eat. I met with Mr. Thomas, and I sat there with him, and he said, "I don’t want to see anyone who is not eating. I want you to eat something. If I bring an apple, will you eat it? I’m going to bring an apple, so I want you to eat it." And so he sent out for an apple. So, then, they brought the apple in, and he saw that I was eating it. I ate the apple in front of him. He looked at me. And he only made two questions for me. I told him that I couldn’t stand the food, that if I ate that food, the only thing that would happen, I would go straight to the bathroom. And I couldn’t take it anymore, so I could not eat any of that food. And then I told him also that I wanted my freedom and that that’s the other reason I was doing this, because I wanted my freedom, and so I would stop—I stopped eating because of that. And so, he told me that this was not going to do any good if I stopped eating, that I was not going to get freedom that way. So then I kept eating. I kept eating, just as he asked. But that following week, I did not get any result. I did not get any answer from him. So then I went, and I decided to write some things to Mr. Thomas. And so I wrote some things. Immigration picked it up. They sent it to him. And then, that’s when he followed through. He said he looked at what I wrote to him then, and he said—he replied to me that in one or two days he would send me back a reply. A Wednesday arrived, and my immigration official called me in, and he asked me if I was still on a hunger strike. And then he asked me if I had the address for here, and I told him that I did. And he said, was I going to come here? And I said I would. And he asked me, did I have people here? And I said, yes, I did. And then he told me that he would take that to his boss. And so, then, the following day, they called me, and that day they gave me my freedom. But he said that I still would go out—even though I had my freedom, I would still go out with deportation orders.</p><p>RENÉE FELTZ: Now living in Arlington, Maria still faces deportation. She’ll be required to check in weekly with immigration officials. And like almost all women released from detention at Berks, she has to wear an electric monitor bracelet on her ankle. While Maria says she’s grateful to be out of detention and living with her family, she has a message for President Obama about the families still inside. MARIA: [translated] I want to tell him to, please, feel it in your heart, to, please, listen to us and to help us. There are many children in these detention centers. There are many children desperate to get out. They need their liberty. We need our liberty, our freedom. Just like my daughter now feels happiness, I want all these children to feel that same happiness. That’s what I ask for.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063257'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063257" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:11:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063257 at http://www.alternet.org Immigration Immigration Video migrant Judge's Ruling Allows Dakota Access to Desecrate Sacred Ground, Says Lawyer for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Video) http://www.alternet.org/environment/judges-ruling-allows-dakota-access-desecrate-sacred-ground-says-lawyer-standing-rock <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063256'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063256" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">A federal judge ruled that construction on sacred tribal burial sites in the path of the $3.8 billion pipeline can continue.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/dakota_pipeline_01.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>U.S. District Judge James Boasberg issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday that halts construction only between Route 1806 and Lake Oahe, but still allows construction to continue west of this area.</p><p>The ruling does not protect the land where, on Saturday, hundreds of Native Americans forced Dakota Access to halt construction, despite the company’s security forces attacking the crowd with dogs and pepper spray.</p><p>This part of the construction site is a sacred tribal burial ground. We get an update from Stephanie Tsosie, associate attorney with Earthjustice who helps represent the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers over the Dakota Access pipeline.</p><p>Watch:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/7/standing_rock_sioux_tribe_s_lawyer" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show with an update on the fight by Native Americans to stop the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which would run through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, and could contaminate the Missouri River. More than a thousand Native Americans from more than 100 tribes have traveled to the resistance camps on and around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. It’s the largest unification of Native American tribes in decades.</p><p>Well, on Tuesday, a federal judge ruled on a request for a temporary restraining order to halt some construction until the same judge issues a ruling later this week on an injunction that the tribe filed challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over its approval of the pipeline. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg issued a temporary retraining order that halts construction only between Route 1806 and Lake Oahe, but still allows construction to continue west of this area. The ruling does not protect the land where this weekend’s mass protest occurred, which is an ancient burial and prayer ground. Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, responded to the ruling.</p><p>JAN HASSELMAN: We’re disappointed with what happened here today. We provided evidence on Friday of sacred sites that were directly in the pipeline’s route. By Saturday morning, those sites had been destroyed. And we saw things happening out at Standing Rock—dogs being put on protesters—that haven’t been seen in America in 40, 50 years.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: As the ruling was issued in Washington, D.C., about 100 land defenders shut down construction on the Dakota Access pipeline by obstructing equipment. Some of them locked themselves to workers’ heavy machinery.</p><p>JULIE RICHARDS: My name is Julie Richards. I’m a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. I’m also the founder of the Mothers Against Meth Alliance. And I’m here this morning locked down because water is life. We need our water to survive. We need to put a stop to this pipeline.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Tuesday’s limited temporary restraining order does not cover this construction site, either. Meanwhile, North Dakota authorities say they plan to pursue trespassing and vandalism charges against Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for spray-painting construction equipment at the Dakota Access pipeline action. In a photograph posted on Twitter, Stein is seen next to a spray-painted message in red paint on the blade of a bulldozer that says, quote, "I approve this message." Stein, who is antiwar and advocates for clean energy, camped out with the protesters Monday evening.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: For more on Tuesday’s hearing and actions, and what it means for the Dakota Access pipeline, we’re joined by several guests. In Seattle, Washington, Stephanie Tsosie is with us, an associate attorney with Earthjustice. She is co-counsel with Jan Hasselman representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers over the Dakota Access pipeline. Via Democracy Now! video stream, we’re joined by Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth.</p><p>We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Let’s begin with the lawyer, talking about what the ruling means. If you can talk about what exactly the federal judge ruled yesterday?</p><p>STEPHANIE TSOSIE: Yes. Well, thank you for having me, Amy. We—as Jan mentioned, we are disappointed. It is important to remember that this land is an area that these tribes have inhabited for time immemorial, and there are sacred sites around the entire area. What this means is that construction can continue, and it can continue to desecrate these areas west of Highway 1806. And the tribe does not get an opportunity to go out and survey these areas for cultural sites.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But there will be a full hearing, won’t there be, later this week on the claims of the lawsuit? And what do you expect to happen there?</p><p>STEPHANIE TSOSIE: There will not be a hearing. There will be an order issued on Friday, that we’re looking for from Judge Boasberg, on the hearing we had on August 24th. But regardless of what happens on Friday and which way the order goes, there will still be the overall legal process that we’ve pursued, which has other claims, as well. And that will take some time.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I want to just go to the moment on Saturday when the Dakota Access pipeline security unleashed dogs and pepper spray on the Native Americans who had come onto the site not expecting to see them actively bulldozing it on Saturday. They were just going to be planting their tribal flags there, but that’s what they found. This is a clip.</p><p>PROTESTER 1: This guy maced me in the face. Look, it’s all over my sunglasses. Just maced me in the face.</p><p>PROTESTER 2: These people are just threatening all of us with these dogs. And she, that woman over there, she was charging, and it bit somebody right in the face.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: The dog has blood in its nose and its mouth.</p><p>PROTESTER 2: And she’s still standing here threatening.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Why are you letting their—her dog go after the protesters? It’s covered in blood!</p><p>VICTOR PUERTAS: Over there, with that dog. I was like walking. Throwed the dog on me and straight, even without any warning. You know? Look at this. Look at this.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That dog bit you?</p><p>VICTOR PUERTAS: Yeah, the dog did it, you know? Look at this. It’s there. It’s all bleeding.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: There you have just a moment of what took place on Saturday when the security unleashed the dogs and the pepper spray. One of those dogs, both the mouth and the nose dripping with blood. This site that the Native Americans—they don’t call themselves "protesters," they call themselves "protectors." This site, Stephanie Tsosie, is not included in the temporary restraining order?</p><p>STEPHANIE TSOSIE: That’s correct. And that is exactly why the tribe is disappointed in the ruling yesterday.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And then, explain. This was just a hearing, an emergency hearing, after this violent crackdown on Saturday, you filed on Sunday and got the hearing yesterday with the judge in Washington. But what are you waiting to hear this week from Judge Boasberg?</p><p>STEPHANIE TSOSIE: We are waiting for a ruling on Friday that will either deny or grant our preliminary injunction that we filed in August. And he can scope it in any degree. And we’re just waiting to see what happens on Friday. And depending on how he orders it, construction may or may not continue after Friday. But we’re unsure as to what he’ll do.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the primary legal arguments that you’re using in the injunction request?</p><p>STEPHANIE TSOSIE: Specifically in the injunction request, we are pursuing claims under the National Historic Preservation Act. You know, that act is there precisely to protect areas like this and to protect—to prevent incidents like this from happening. Our larger legal claim also includes claims under the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as others, but for the scope of this injunction, it was just the National Historic Preservation Act.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063256'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063256" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:01:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063256 at http://www.alternet.org Environment Activism Environment Video burial grounds native american tribal dakota access activism protest pipeline oil VIDEO: Pipeline Company Goons Attack Native American Protesters With Dogs and Pepper Spray http://www.alternet.org/environment/dakota-access-company-attacks-protestors <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063169'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063169" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The Dakota Access pipeline threatens the livelihood of multiple tribes. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-09-06_at_11.11.33_am.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>On September 3, the Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against the $3.8 billion pipeline’s construction. If completed, the pipeline would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois. The project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of nearly 100 more tribes from across the U.S. and Canada.</p><p>Democracy Now! was on the ground at Saturday’s action and brings you this report:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kuZcx2zEo4k" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Photos from Saturday's protest:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">VIDEO Dakota Access Pipeline Co Attacks Native American Protesters with Dogs &amp; Pepper Spray <a href="https://t.co/opaGFmyLxj">https://t.co/opaGFmyLxj</a> <a href="https://t.co/uXfFAxKkej">pic.twitter.com/uXfFAxKkej</a></p>— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) <a href="https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/772327626371371008">September 4, 2016</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">More photos &amp; video: Native American pipeline protesters attacked by dogs in North Dakota. <a href="https://t.co/opaGFmyLxj">https://t.co/opaGFmyLxj</a> <a href="https://t.co/k6QXYUGtts">pic.twitter.com/k6QXYUGtts</a></p>— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) <a href="https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/772340356897800192">September 4, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> </p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063169'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063169" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 06 Sep 2016 07:18:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063169 at http://www.alternet.org Environment Environment Dakota Access Pipeline native americans north dakota oil oil drilling environment Is an Arkansas Town Operating a "Hot Check" Court as an Illegal Debtors' Prison? http://www.alternet.org/economy/arkansas-town-operating-hot-check-court-illegal-debtors-prison <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063042'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063042" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">A woman in Sherwood, Arkansas, just spent 35 days in a county jail after she accidentally bounced a $29 check five years ago. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/crxfhnwwyaattlz.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>A woman in Sherwood, Arkansas, just spent 35 days in a county jail after she accidentally bounced a $29 check five years ago. Nikki Petree was sentenced to jail last month by a judge accused of running a debtors’ prison. She had already been arrested at least seven times over the bounced check and paid at least $600 in court fines. Her release comes as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU and an international law firm have filed a lawsuit to challenge the modern-day debtors’ prison in Sherwood. We speak with Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who says Sherwood jails people in violation of a long-standing law that forbids the incarceration of people for their failure to pay debts.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/2/is_an_arkansas_town_town_operating" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to Arkansas to look at the case of a mother who just spent 35 days in a county jail after she accidentally bounced a $29 check five years ago. Nikki Petree was sentenced to jail just last month by a judge accused of running a debtors’ prison. Petree had already been arrested at least seven times over the bounced check, and paid at least $600 in court fines—more than 20 times the original debt. Petree said, quote, "Every time I go to jail, they’d let me out immediately for $100. They’d turn around and add $600 or $700 more to my bond. I couldn’t afford to pay. They cornered me, and there was no way out from underneath it. I felt overwhelmed and hopeless," she said.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Nikki Petree’s release comes as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU and the international law firm Morrison &amp; Foerster have filed a class-action civil rights lawsuit challenging the modern-day debtors’ prison in Sherwood, Arkansas. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas against the city of Sherwood, Arkansas; Pulaski County, Arkansas; and Judge Milas Hale. Petree is one of four named plaintiffs in the suit who allege their constitutional rights were violated by the Hot Check Division of the Sherwood District Court when they were jailed for their inability to pay court fines and fees. The lawsuit alleges that Sherwood, Pulaski County, engages in a policy and custom of jailing poor people who owe court fines, fees and costs stemming from misdemeanor bad check convictions. It also says they jail people in violation of a long-standing law that forbids the incarceration of people for their failure to pay debts. For more, we’re going to Washington, D.C., to Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of the groups that filed this lawsuit. Welcome to Democracy Now! Can you explain exactly what happened to Nikki Petree? She ends up in jail for a $28-and-change check, that she didn’t realize had bounced because her last paycheck hadn’t put in, and she ends up in jail five years later?</p><p>KRISTEN CLARKE: Yeah, Nikki Petree is not alone. This is a debtors’ court system that’s been in place in Sherwood that preys on the backs of poor people. Nikki Petree is one woman who exemplifies what happens if you’re poor in Sherwood. She wrote a check that was returned for insufficient funds about five years ago. That check amounted to about $28. And since that time, she’s spent more than 25 days in jail and has paid more than $600 in fines to the local court system. That is money that she did not have. She lives below the poverty line. She remains indebted by more than $2,500 to the local court system. And she was jailed at the time that we filed this suit last week. And there are so many people like her in Sherwood. We filed this lawsuit to bring an end to a court system that we believe preys on the backs of poor people.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Kristen Clarke, in that lawsuit, you raise the issue of why this is happening. You say that local courts and municipalities throughout Arkansas have used the threat and the reality of incarceration to trap their poorest citizens in a never-ending spiral of repetitive court proceedings and ever-increasing debt. But you say also that faced with opposition to increased taxes, municipalities have turned to creating a system of debtors’ prisons to fuel the demand for increased public revenue. How extensive is this in Arkansas that municipalities are using this as a new revenue source?</p><p>KRISTEN CLARKE: It’s not only the case in Arkansas, but all over the country we’re seeing the resurgence of debtors’ prisons. In Sherwood, this is a court that’s generated more than $12 million over the course of five years by imposing fines and fees over and over again on poor people who wrote checks to local merchants that were returned for insufficient funds. In Ferguson, Missouri, we saw a local court system that was built on this concept of entangling people in the court system for transit, for traffic offenses. That court generated $20 million off the backs of poor people in Ferguson. But we know that these are not isolated practices. What’s happened is that in 1983 the Supreme Court made clear that this is unconstitutional, that you can’t lock people up merely because they are poor. But what we’ve seen is the resurgence of debtors’ prison, because there hasn’t been enough enforcement to put a check on court systems like the one in place in Sherwood. So we filed this lawsuit to bring an end to an era that’s been marked by a court system in which one judge presides, Judge Butch Hale, where he has disregarded the due process rights of poor people at every turn. What happens in Sherwood is that people get on line outside his courtroom. They are forced to sign a waiver of their right to counsel. Nobody is allowed in that courtroom but the defendants. If you come with a family member, an advocate or friend, you’re not allowed in. There are no tapes or recordings of the proceedings, no transcripts of the proceedings. People appear without counsel by their side. No one explains their rights to them. And every time they stand up before Judge Butch Hale, he imposes fine, fee after fine and fee, and court costs on them, subjecting these people to a spiraling cycle of debt.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I mean, it is an astounding story about Nikki Petree. Didn’t she end up owing something like $2,600 on this $28-and-change check?</p><p>KRISTEN CLARKE: That’s exactly right. She remains indebted by more than $2,500, $2,600. She spent more than 25 days in jail. She’s already come out of pocket more than $600. And that’s money that she doesn’t have, because she, like everybody who appears before this court, are poor people. This is a court that preys on the most vulnerable people in Sherwood. And they make a profit off of this.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063042'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063042" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 02 Sep 2016 10:47:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1063042 at http://www.alternet.org Economy Economy Video poverty Protests Erupt in San Juan as President Obama Forms Unelected Control Board to Run Puerto Rico http://www.alternet.org/economy/protests-erupt-san-juan-president-obama-forms-unelected-control-board-run-puerto-rico <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062985'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062985" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">President Obama has appointed seven members to a federal control board that will run the finances of Puerto Rico’s nearly bankrupt government for at least the next five years and restructure nearly $70 billion in debt. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/crsrjzoxgaqsjqi.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Obama's federal control board is made up of three Democrats and four Republicans who will not only approve any budgets created by the island’s politicians, but also attempt to negotiate with the island’s nearly 20 creditors. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters in Puerto Rico blocked a street in front of a hotel where bankers and business executives were gathering for a conference hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, a new report from the ReFund America Project has revealed firms like UBS, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital have collected $1.6 billion in underwriting fees from Puerto Rico since 2000 just for refinancing bonds to pay interest and fees on older bonds.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/1/protests_erupt_in_san_juan_as" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: President Obama has appointed seven members to a federal control board that will run the finances of Puerto Rico’s nearly bankrupt government for at least the next five years and restructure nearly $70 billion in debt. The board is made up of three Democrats and four Republicans, who will not only approve any budgets created by the island’s politicians, but also attempt to negotiate with the island’s many creditors. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters in Puerto Rico blocked the street in front of a hotel where bankers and business executives were gathering for a conference hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce on the new PROMESA bill, as it’s called, the congressional legislation that was passed two months ago. Democracy Now! correspondent Juan Carlos Dávila was there in San Juan.</p><p>JUAN CARLOS DÁVILA: The black-and-white flag of Puerto Rico has become a symbol of resistance, resistance against U.S. colonialism. This flag has been adopted by the movement Se Acabaron Las Promesas, Promises Are Over, which called for a protest to shut down the first PROMESA conference on Wednesday morning.</p><p>XIOMARA CARO: My name is Xiomara Caro. I am a lawyer and communicator and an activist. And I am an organizer for the group Promises Are Over, Se Acabaron Las Promesas. And the reason we have started to organize in Puerto Rico—and this is a continuation of many other social movements—is Puerto Rico is right now in a political and economic crisis.</p><p>JUAN CARLOS DÁVILA: On Wednesday morning, protesters holding wooden shields faced off the police as they attempted to block the entrance of the Hilton Condado Plaza, where the Cham</p><p>ber of Commerce of Puerto Rico was expecting hundreds of businessmen and women to discuss the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act.</p><p>POLICE OFFICER: [translated] At this time and for your security, you must head to the sidewalk now.</p><p>GABRIEL DÍAZ RIVERA: [translated] My name is Gabriel Díaz Rivera. We have been here since 6:00 a.m. blocking the entrances to the Condado Plaza Hotel. This is the second warning they’ve given that they will remove us in order to protect the conference for the rich, who have been making our lives precarious and making the lives of working people of this country precarious, as well. And we will stand firm here, blocking the entrances, because this conference is not accepted. We are convinced that the fiscal control board is not accepted, and we are not going to accept it. KARLA PESQUERA: [translated] My name is Karla Pesquera. We have managed to close the way to the participants in this first conference of PROMESA, the first conference to be held here in the Hilton Condado Plaza Hotel. Quite simply, we have blocked the passage. Many of them have tried to go through an entrance, but we managed to gain territory, and here we are preventing their passage.</p><p>JUAN CARLOS DÁVILA: Eventually, Puerto Rican police officers escorted some of the participants into the hotel past the protesters. René Reyes spoke about what happened. RENÉ REYES: [translated] We are here offering resistance at the Dos Hermanos Bridge in front of the Condado Plaza Hotel, where the first PROMESA conference is being held. And I am seeing how the Puerto Rican police, specifically the special arrest unit, is protecting the people who are trying to enter the conference, violating the picket line of civil disobedience we have organized here outside the hotel.</p><p>JUAN CARLOS DÁVILA: One of the participants of the first PROMESA conference, who did not want to identify himself by name, spoke to the press and expressed his disappointment about the protest. </p><p>CONFERENCE PARTICIPANT: I came to see the PROMESA conference that’s going on. I’ve actually made a great sacrifice to come here. I’m not—I’m not rich. I’ve worked hard, and I’ve made—I’ve made a choice in my life to move away from my family to come here to try and create jobs, to invest in Puerto Rico.</p><p>JUAN CARLOS DÁVILA: Eventually, he was escorted by the police into the event.</p><p>EVELYN SEMIDEY: My name is Evelyn Semidey. A lawyer representing the Cámara de Comercio de Puerto Rico just served everyone, just served Jocelyn Velázquez y otros. This "y otros" means that she just served everyone on this side of the fence, on the other side of the fence, on that side of the fence. Anyone that is standing here just got served to be in court in five minutes.</p><p>JUAN CARLOS DÁVILA: Despite a court citation, the protesters continued their action, challenging the court order as they built barricades to protect themselves from the increasingly hostile police forces. Several unions and civil society groups collaborated with the Puerto Rican youth to build a barricade. The police then provoked the protesters, and the situation escalated.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That report by Democracy Now!'s Juan Carlos Dávila. This is Democracy Now! To talk more about the situation in Puerto Rico and the financial control board, whose members have just been named, we're joined by Saqib Bhatti, director of the ReFund America Project and fellow at Roosevelt Institute, co-author of a new report, "Scooping and Tossing Puerto Rico’s Future." And, Juan, you just wrote a piece in the New York Daily News about the control board. Explain who was just chosen.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, you know, it’s been two months since Congress passed a law, the PROMESA law, creating the fiscal control board, but President Obama, until yesterday, had not named the seven members of the control board, because there’s been, for the last two months, an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes jockeying and negotiations between the White House and the members of Congress over who will be the members of this board, which will basically be running the island of Puerto Rico at least for five, possibly for 10, years. And it’s a complicated group. It had to be four Republicans that Obama chose from a list provided by Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate, and then three that the Democrats chose, one from a list from Nancy Pelosi, another from a list from Harry Reid, the minority leader of the Senate, and the president got to pick one of his own. And because there was enormous pressure on the administration over the fact that this was an imposition of a control board, they agreed that they would try to come together to at least have a majority of the seven members to be of Puerto Rican origin. So, what ended up happening was a convoluted situation to how you put these seven together. And so, Obama finally announced yesterday afternoon the members. They include two Puerto Ricans from the island, but both are conservative Republicans named by the Republicans. The Puerto Ricans that the Obama administration named are Puerto Ricans who basically live in the United States. One, Ana Matosantos is a—was a key aide to Governor Schwarzenegger and to Jerry Brown, a budget expert from California. Another, José González, is a Puerto Rican who is the president of the New York Federal Home Loan Bank, but who also has ties to financial institutions here in the United States and was the director of Banco Santander, chief executive of Banco Santander. And they chose also Arthur Gonzalez, who’s not very—he’s a Cuban American, who is not well known, but he was the chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. So, there are actually five Latinos on the seven-member board, four of them of Puerto Rican origin. But it’s still a U.S.-imposed board. And in Puerto Rico, there’s enormous concern over how the—what this board will do to reduce living standards in Puerto Rico, to trim the budget, as well as to renegotiate the debt. And, of course, Wall Street is most concerned about how this debt gets renegotiated. And that’s why the report that I mentioned in my column yesterday that the ReFund America Project has put together is so important, "Scooping and Tossing Puerto Rico’s Future." And I’d like Saqib Bhatti to talk about the main findings of your report, especially how much of this debt that Puerto Rico has is really illegitimate debt, a gouging by many of the Wall Street firms.</p><p>SAQIB BHATTI: Juan, we’ve been doing a series of reports looking at the legitimacy of Puerto Rico’s debt. And what we’ve found is that over the course of the various reports we put out, thus far we’ve identified $37 billion in debt that we believe to be illegitimate. In this report, in particular, we look at Puerto Rico’s "scoop and toss" deals. That’s basically when banks convince Puerto Rico to keep refinancing the same debt over and over again in order to avoid making payments. This is called scoop and toss because you’re scooping up the debt that’s due today and tossing it years into the future, kicking the can down the road. But banks did this because they got to charge exorbitant fees out of it. And so, you know—and with Puerto Rico’s "scoop and toss" deals since 2000, banks like UBS and Santander charged $1.6 billion in issuance fees. And this $1.6 billion comes to be counted as part of Puerto Rico’s debt. And we think that’s illegitimate. Similarly, there’s another $1.6 billion that these "scoop and toss" deals were part of, where they actually took out money to pay interest on other debt. And so, what they did is, in effect, interest payments came due, they didn’t have the money to pay it, so they put it on the credit card. And so, they’ll be paying interest on the interest. And so, in this report, we identified, again, $1.6 billion in fees, $1.6 billion in this capitalized interest, so it’s $3.2 billion in illegitimate debt just from the "scoop and toss" deals. In our previous report, we’ve identified a series of payday loans that Puerto Rico has entered into. So, altogether, the total thus far is $37 billion. And we know that number will keep going up as we look at—as we issue subsequent reports.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, one of the things that I was—most struck me about your report was the percentage that these banks were charging Puerto Rico in fees, compared to what the normal percentage in the securities industry is, that I think you had one example there of Barclays was a lead underwriter on a 2011 bond where they charged 9 percent of the total amount of money raised as their fees, when the normal fees are—nationwide, are 1 to 2 percent. So they were gouging Puerto Rico just on the fees of putting together the deal. </p><p>SAQIB BHATTI: That’s exactly right. One of the biggest problems with these things is that the reason why banks really pushed them was because they made huge fees off of them. As you said, nationally, we did a report last year that showed that the average for issuance fees on bonds is actually about 1.02 percent. In Puerto Rico, the average is 2.7 percent—almost three times as high as the national average. And again, there was that instance that you mentioned where Barclays charged 9 percent. And what’s interesting about this is that this actually, just a couple of years ago, would have been illegal in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican law did not allow bond issuance fees to be more than 2 percent until 2009. In 2009, there was a law that was passed, Public Law 7, which has also led to harsh austerity measures, massive layoffs on the island of government workers. And the other thing it did is it actually lifted some of the protections that Puerto Rican taxpayers enjoyed against Wall Street. And so, a particular thing it did is it allowed fees to be more than 2 percent. Prior to the passage of Public Law 7, these high fees could not have happened. But now we’re seeing Puerto Rico be charged through the nose. And it’s paying—frankly, it paid higher than cities, states, that actually had weaker credit ratings. So, while Detroit was slipping toward bankruptcy, its credit rating was junk; it was still paying lower fees than Puerto Rico was a couple years ago. And that’s outrageous. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062985'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062985" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:40:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062985 at http://www.alternet.org Economy Economy Video World obama Arizona Activist: Trump Nearly Inciting a Race War http://www.alternet.org/immigration/arizona-activist-trump-nearly-inciting-race-war <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062984'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062984" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Hours after traveling to Mexico City, Trump gave a major speech on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_arizona_.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>In Phoenix, Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed to build a massive wall along the Mexican border and to begin deporting millions of immigrants as soon as he takes office, if elected in November. During the fiery speech, he vowed to deport 2 million people within his first hour in office. According to an analysis by The Washington Post, Trump’s new deportation plan would target more than 6 million individuals for immediate removal. For more, we speak with Carlos García, executive director of Puente Arizona.</p><p>.<iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/1/our_culture_will_prevail_against_hatred" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, let’s turn to Carlos García, who was at the other end, when Trump flew in his plane from Mexico to Phoenix, where he gave this fiery speech. He certainly wasn’t the Trump—what Trump sounded like standing next to the Mexican president. Talk about the protest you had organized outside and then your response to what he said.</p><p>CARLOS GARCÍA: Hello, yes. I think our protest was, again, showing our resilience, our culture. What we aimed to to do yesterday was say we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere. I think what we heard from Donald Trump was nothing new. We’ve heard and he’s double down on the racism and bigotry that he’s spewed before. I think the risk now is that there could have been some progressives who were watching this and maybe had seen some common sense in what Donald Trump was saying. I think the risk we’re having now is speaking, as to the border, as if a wall doesn’t already exist. The border is not only secure, but it’s a death trap to our people. It’s a place where indigenous rights are being trampled, of the tribes that live in those places. And so, there’s a risk now that the deporter-in-chief, President Obama, who’s deported close to 3 million people, now seems OK. And as you hear the voice of Margarita on your headlines of the women who are detained in Berks, you realize that it’s not Donald Trump who put them there, but it’s the current administration. And so, I think President Obama, now seeing the reality that a President Trump is a possibility, has a responsibility to decide whether he’s going to hand over the keys to the biggest, baddest deportation machine ever created in this country to a person like Donald Trump, who’s specifically targeting, scapegoating and almost inciting a race war within this country.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Carlos, I wanted to ask you, in terms of some of the stuff that Trump said—first of all, if you could comment on the warm-up speakers, especially Joe Arpaio, because Joe Arpaio—there was Rudy Giuliani who spoke, Jeff Sessions. Before them, Joe Arpaio was on the stage. And he, of course, represents, to millions of Latinos across the country, the worst aspects of American policy at the local level, but also to Trump’s vow to immediately end the executive orders of President Obama for both the DREAMers as well as for their parents.</p><p>CARLOS GARCÍA: Yes. So, once again, what Trump was saying is a reality for us here in Arizona. Sheriff Arpaio has been in power since 1992 and has gone after our communities in the same ways that Donald Trump is speaking of doing—community raids, where he would flood an entire immigrant community with his deputies acting as immigration officers, and the federal government working alongside with them. I think SB 1070 has—in the state of Arizona, continues to be legalized racial profiling. We continue to live in the conditions that Trump is putting out there. I think there is the possibility that things could be worse. There’s a possibility that Donald Trump comes in, takes away the deferred action, some of the small gains that were made by the immigrant rights movement. But I think, like we showed in our protest yesterday, we’re not going to allow that to happen. We’re here. We’re strong. We’re organizing. Our culture will prevail against this hatred. And also in the headlines, you heard there’s a city ID that passed in the city of Phoenix, the first pro-migrant positive policy that we’ve seen in my lifetime in the state of Arizona. And so, as this—as Trump seems to be rising, we’re fighting and pushing to end Arpaio’s reign of terror, like we’ve ended Russell Pearce, Jan Brewer and the bigots before them.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, Trump also vowed that he would bring back the Secure Communities program of the federal government, the 287(g) program, that he would also—that he would also cut off federal funds to any city that declares itself a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants. I mean, the litany of changes that he has vowed to institute if he becomes president, I found astonishing last night.</p><p>CARLOS GARCÍA: It’s definitely astonishing. I think he’s gone back and done his homework. And he’s found, unfortunately, those programs—287(g), Secure Communities—come from the 1996 immigration laws pushed by Bill Clinton. I think there is a roadmap that’s been put out there on how to get rid of us. It started with those 1996 laws. It was expanded by the war on terror, President Bush, and now, again, a creation of the biggest deportation machine by this administration. The tools are there for Donald Trump to make this a reality. I think, once again, it’s not only on the voters or what the results are going to be in November, but the current administration has some responsibilities to look at itself, to—how does it feel about having women and children in detention, like the women you see at Berks? How does it feel about handing over these tools of deportation to President Trump?</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Carlos García, how do you explain Arpaio’s victory in the primary on Tuesday? I mean, this is a man who, what, a federal judge is asking that Arpaio be prosecuted for contempt of court after U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow found Arpaio intentionally violated various orders rooted in a racial-profiling case. What is the response of the people of Arizona? And also, this big push right now, where you have anchors across Spanish media, who usually compete with each other, all together in a major ad campaign pushing Latinos to vote, trying to get 100,000 votes, people signed up by Election Day?</p><p>CARLOS GARCÍA: Well, we saw—on the Republican primaries, we saw, actually, more than 30 percent of the Republican vote not support Sheriff Arpaio. Again, this is a sheriff that is facing criminal charges, now at the hands of the Department of Justice, can come down and arrest him at any moment, who has terrorized our community for so long. There’s an opportunity to take him out this November, and to take him out in what—in the conditions that we set forth, to make sure that it’s not only Sheriff Arpaio, the person, who is being voted out or who’s being removed from office, but it’s the culture, it’s the terror, and it’s the damage that he’s created in our community that needs to go with him. There needs to be a new day, and our communities are fighting to make that happen. We will be standing together, whether it’s to push the communities to vote, whether it’s to be on the streets to make sure that the harm is not being brought to us, and continue to organize and push against the policies, again, that Trump is talking about, but are in reality here in Maricopa County with Sheriff Arpaio and then the national deportation machine that already exists.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, Laura Carlsen, your view of Trump’s speech from the other side of the border, from Mexico City? And you just also put out a report.</p><p>LAURA CARLSEN: Trump gave a speech that seemed to reconcile some of his views by praising—over-the-top praise for Mexicans, but he didn’t change a single one of his positions, all of which are not only offensive to Mexico, but they’re disastrous to Mexico in economic terms, and they’re disastrous to the United States. And when he went back to Arizona, he began and ended his speech with illegal alien criminals and painted a picture as if all crime in the United States were the responsibility of undocumented migrants to the United States. So we’re seeing this increase in this manipulation of fear and hatred in this campaign, and Peña Nieto offered Trump the opportunity to give a veneer of legitimacy to these views when he received him here in Mexico City. And that will go down in history as a dark day in Mexico.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both for being with us, Laura Carlsen, joining us from Mexico City, the Center for International Policy, and Carlos García, joining us from Phoenix, with Puente Arizona. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we go further south to Brazil. The democratically elected president was officially ousted and a new president sworn in. Many are calling it a coup. And then we’ll talk about Puerto Rico. Stay with us.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062984'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062984" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:23:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062984 at http://www.alternet.org Immigration Election 2016 Immigration Video arizona trump Dilma Rousseff on Ouster: This Is a Coup That Will Impact Every Democratic Organization in Brazil http://www.alternet.org/world/dilma-rousseff-ouster-coup-will-impact-every-democratic-organization-brazil <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062983'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062983" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The Brazilian Senate has voted to impeach the country’s democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff from office in what many are calling a coup. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/s1dilmarousseff.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The Brazilian Senate has voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, 61 to 20. Rousseff denounced the decision, saying there’s no constitutional justification for her impeachment. In an unexpected twist, the senators voted 42 to 36 to allow Rousseff to maintain her political rights, meaning she can continue to stand in elections and hold public office in the future. Irate opposition senators vowed "to appeal to the Supreme Court" to reverse the decision. Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment ends 13 years of rule by the Workers’ Party in Brazil and brings to power President Michel Temer for the remaining two years of Rousseff’s term. Temer is deeply unpopular and currently under investigation himself, accused of receiving illegal campaign contributions linked to the state oil company Petrobras. We speak to James Green, professor of Brazilian history and culture at Brown University. He is the director of Brown’s Brazil Initiative. Green is the author of several books, including "We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/9/1/dilma_rousseff_on_ouster_this_is" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The Brazilian Senate has voted to impeach the country’s democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff from office in what many are calling a coup. The vote was 61 to 20. Rousseff denounced the decision, saying there’s no constitutional justification for her impeachment.</p><p>DILMA ROUSSEFF: [translated] They’ve just overthrown the first woman elected president of Brazil, without there being any constitutional justification for this impeachment. But the coup was not just carried out against me and my party or the allied parties who support me today. This was just the beginning. The coup is going to strike, without distinction, every progressive and democratic political organization. ... They think they’ve beaten us, but they are mistaken. I know we are all going to fight. There will be, against them, the firmest, most tireless and energetic opposition that a coup government can face. I repeat, there will be, against them, the most determined opposition that a coup government can face. ... This is not how this story ends. I am certain that the disruption of this process by the coup d’état is not final. We will return, just to satisfy our desires or wants. We will return. We will return to continue our journey toward a Brazil where the people are sovereign.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That was ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaking shortly after Brazil’s Senate voted to remove her from office. In an unexpected twist, the senators voted 42 to 36 to allow Rousseff to maintain her political rights, meaning she can continue to stand in elections and hold public office in the future. Irate opposition senators vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court to reverse the decision.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment ends 13 years of rule by the Workers’ Party of Brazil and brings to power President Michel Temer for the remaining two years of her term. Temer is deeply unpopular and currently under investigation himself, accused of receiving illegal campaign contributions linked to the state oil company Petrobras. On Wednesday, Temer addressed the nation in a recorded television speech.</p><p>PRESIDENT MICHEL TEMER: [translated] I assume the presidency of Brazil after a democratic and transparent decision by the National Congress. The time is one of hope and of resuming confidence in Brazil. The uncertainty has come to an end. It is time to unite the country and to put national interests above the interests of specific groups. AMY GOODMAN: Venezuela and Ecuador denounced the removal of Dilma Rousseff and recalled their ambassadors to Brazil. And massive protests rocked São Paulo for a third day. For more, we’re joined by James Green, professor of Brazilian history and culture at Brown University. He’s the director of the Brown Brazil Initiative. Professor Green is author of several books, including We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States. James Green, welcome to Democracy Now!</p><p>JAMES GREEN: Pleasure to be here. </p><p>AMY GOODMAN: What about the significance of the ouster of the first woman president of Brazil, of Dilma Rousseff?</p><p>JAMES GREEN: Well, it’s really part of a five-point plan that has been articulated by sectors of the opposition—first to eliminate the president from her office; then to find a way to make Lula, President Lula, ineligible for election in 2018 to the presidency; then to install a neoliberal economic policy; to diminish and eliminate all of the social programs that have been established in the last 13 years; and, finally, to turn back some of the progressive social measures that have been fought for by the LGBTQ community, women, the black movement in Brazil.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: When you say there was a plan, well, clearly, the—this is only made possible by the fact that the Workers’ Party lost the majority in the Legislature of Brazil. How did that happen? How did it lose control of the overall government?</p><p>JAMES GREEN: So, the left generally has about 35 percent of the electoral support. So it always has to build a coalition in order to govern. And when Dilma was elected this last time by about 3.5 percent margin, the opposition immediately decided to carry out the same tactic the Republicans carried out when Obama was elected—basically, to obstruct everything that she was doing, and, at the same time, mobilize in the streets against her, using corruption investigation scandals as a motivating force in that regard. There was then a move to remove from—the speaker of the House from the lower house of Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, from office. And when the Workers’ Party refused to support him, and actually voted against him in the ethics committee, he then mobilized his forces within the coalition that had supported Lula and Dilma to reverse their position and support Temer and the opposition. So there was a conjunction of both traditional forces who were against the electoral outcomes of 2014 combined with those forces in Congress who were very afraid that the Car Wash investigations, as they’re known in Brazil, would actually end in jailing many of the leading politicians of the country.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So they needed her out, so that didn’t happen.</p><p>JAMES GREEN: They needed her out. And this has been documented by some tapes that were recorded of politicians speaking about the situation. Because she actually has not been involved in any corruption. She is impeccable. She will return to a very humble two-bedroom apartment in Porto Alegre, when she—when she flies back to her hometown. And she has not been implicated in any of the corruption scandals.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: She had this powerful quote where she said, "This is the second coup I have faced in my life. The first, the military coup, supported by weapons of repression and torture, struck me as a young militant." She was jailed. She was tortured. This one they call the second coup. You write a lot about U.S.-Brazilian relationship. What was the U.S. involvement? Was there now? And right back to that first coup she talked about, that led to her jailing.</p><p>JAMES GREEN: There’s no question about U.S. involvement in supporting the coup in 1964, starting from, in 1962, Lincoln Gordon, who was the U.S. ambassador, through the CIA funding of $5 million in funds to support the gubernatorial candidates that opposed the president, João Goulart. In 1963, '64, the military attaché was involved in building alliances with the military, the Brazilian military, and gave them the green light, saying that if they overthrow the democratically elected government of João Goulart, that they, in fact, the United States, would support them. And Johnson, the day after the coup, endorsed the new government in power. So there's no question about that, and I don’t think any historians will argue differently at this point. It’s not clear exactly to what extent the United States government is involved in supporting the opposition to Dilma Rousseff. At one point they publicly remained neutral; they said they wanted to allow the democratic process to go forward. President-elect—potentially President-elect Clinton is very close to Fernando Henrique Cardoso and the opposition, which is now in power. So I don’t think that there will necessarily be an antagonism between the U.S. government and the current government.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: What’s her relationship with them?</p><p>JAMES GREEN: Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are good friends with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who was the former president. Fernando Henrique Cardoso has spent time at the Presidential Library. They respect each other as kind of moderate social democrats, in their own contexts within their own countries. And I think the new government in power will encourage much more foreign investment, denationalization of the key industries that are state-owned at this point, including expanding the opportunities for foreign companies to get contracts for oil exploration.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what about—what could the Workers’ Party have done differently over the last few years to prevent something like this from happening? In other words—because, clearly, Dilma Rousseff is not accused of any personal corruption, but there have been issues of corruption within other members of the Workers’ Party. And also, the importance of Lula at this point? Because, clearly, you’ve made the point that they’re fearful of Lula running again in 2018 and likely winning re-election again, so they’re looking to find ways to stop him.</p><p>JAMES GREEN: Right. Well, so, Lula has the highest approval rate—I mean, election result speculation, but also a very high disapproval rate in the country. So, it’s not clear that he would necessarily be elected, but he is very popular among people, because of the social programs that he implemented and what he represents as a working-class person being elected to the country’s presidency. On the other hand, I think the Workers’ Party made an historic compromise when it came to power. Didn’t have a majority in Congress. The lieutenants of Lula were involved in what we would call vote buying in this country, which is basically giving stipends to members of the coalition party to vote with him in power. And this was revealed, and the main people involved in that were jailed. This tarnished Lula, but didn’t destroy him. He was re-elected in 2006. But basically, over time, the Workers’ Party more and more became part of a very corrupt political system, collaborating, participating in it. And members of the Workers’ Party, in fact, have been indicted, and some have been condemned for dishonesty in government. Having not been able to distinguish themselves from the rest of the politicians, they lost a lot of legitimacy. And when the corruption scandals came out about the—basically, the sacking of Petrobras, the state oil company, this really resulted in the loss of tremendous popular support for the Workers’ Party. The other thing that the Workers’ Party did that I think was a serious mistake was building an alliance with the evangelical Christians within the Congress. There’s about 20 to 25 percent of the members of Congress who are evangelical Christians. They’re the hard right. They have a very conservative social agenda. Some of them were part of this electoral coalition. And in conceding to them, they really conceded to their enemies.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: You interviewed—you interviewed Dilma two-and-a-half years ago. As we wrap up, can you talk about your impressions?</p><p>JAMES GREEN: I actually interviewed her in June for two-and-a-half hours. And it was really amazing, because there’s a very iconic picture of Dilma Rousseff when she was taken to trial in 1970, where she’s standing there erect, facing her judges, and the judges are hiding their faces, because they don’t want to be seen. She is a woman with tremendous dignity. She told me that she is not afraid of things—that might be a weakness of hers—but she’s willing to confront this. And I think she left the presidential palace with dignity. She will continue, in some way, be a part of the opposition to this current government and fight for social justice. She was arrested and tortured, and suffered very much for fighting for the social justice in Brazil, and she will continue to do so today.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And will the corruption investigations continue?</p><p>JAMES GREEN: This is the big question—they’ve opened up Pandora’s box—whether they can put the demons back in the box or not. I mean, most of the leading politicians in the current government have charges against them or are surrounded by people who do. Whether there’s a dampening of these investigations, we’ll have to see.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062983'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062983" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:08:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062983 at http://www.alternet.org World Video World brazil senate Florida State Attorney Who Oversaw Trayvon Martin & Marissa Alexander Cases Is Defeated in Primary http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/florida-state-attorney-who-oversaw-trayvon-martin-marissa-alexander-cases-defeated <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062913'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062913" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">In Florida, State Attorney Angela Corey has been defeated in her re-election bid.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/florida_state_attorney.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Angela Corey had faced widespread criticism for her handling of several prominent cases, including the killing of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin by white neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman and the case of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she maintains was a warning shot at her abusive husband. For more, we speak with freelance journalist Victoria Law. Her recent piece for The Nation is "Why Is Marissa Alexander Still Being Punished for Fighting Back."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/31/florida_state_attorney_who_oversaw_trayvon" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: On a semi-related issue, I wanted to ask you, Victoria, about the piece you wrote in The Nation, "Why Is Marissa Alexander Still Being Punished for Fighting Back?" the famous case of the woman who fired a warning shot at her abusive husband. She was sentenced—what was it?—to 20 years in prison.</p><p>VICTORIA LAW: Twenty years in prison.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This was right around the time of Trayvon Martin. Now, the prosecutor, state attorney in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, Angela Corey, was just defeated in yesterday’s primary.</p><p>VICTORIA LAW: Yes. We can see that oftentimes, as we see in—as, hopefully, we do not see in Bresha’s case in the end, but as we see with many domestic violence survivors, that when they take actions to protect themselves, and almost always it’s self-defense, even if it’s not happening in the heat of the confrontation, but they see something in their abuser’s eyes, and they say, "This is it. You know, if I don’t do something, I’m going to end up dead. He is going to kill me." And we see that prosecutors tend to go after them. Domestic violence is often dismissed as, quote-unquote, "the abuse excuse." It’s disregarded. There is still not widespread recognition of the ways, the insidious ways, in which domestic violence works. So, they might say, "Well, why were you afraid of him if you weren’t being hit all the time?" And after a while, it’s not just the physical violence, it’s the threat of physical violence; it’s being conditioned to fear your loved one and to do what you need to do in order to avoid violence. But we see, with Angela Corey charging Marissa Alexander, prosecuting her, and adding, at her discretion, the mandatory sentencing that allowed her to be sentenced to 20 years in prison, and then, when Marissa Alexander won her appeal, going after her again and threatening her with a 60-year sentence for firing a warning shot, in which no one was hurt andthi no one was killed—we see this again and again. What’s unusual with Marissa Alexander is the outpouring of support she got.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And again, Angela Corey defeated.</p><p>VICTORIA LAW: Yes.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And this is the same prosecutor who was in charge of the prosecution of George Zimmerman, who got off.</p><p>VICTORIA LAW: Yes. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062913'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062913" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:01:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062913 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video Angela Corey Glenn Greenwald on Obama's Militarism and Hillary Clinton’s Likely Pentagon Chief Already Advocating for More Bombing http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/glenn-greenwald-obamas-militarism-and-hillary-clintons-likely-pentagon-chief-already <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062911'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062911" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald looks at the foreign policies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/obama_clinton_02.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Democracy Now! spoke with Glenn Greenwald on how Hillary Clinton's foreign policy may differ from President Obama's. "You have President Obama, who himself has been very militaristic—he has bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries in the last seven years—and yet Secretary Clinton’s critique of his foreign policy is, in every case, that he’s not aggressive enough, he’s not militaristic enough," Greenwald said. "And in Syria, in particular, they seem to really be itching to involve the U.S. a lot more directly and a lot more aggressively in that conflict."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/31/glenn_greenwald_obama_has_bombed_7" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re continuing our conversation with Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, one of the founding editors of The Intercept. In Part 1, we discussed the U.S. elections, also the impeachment trial of the suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Today we’re going to Part 2 of the conversation. Glenn Greenwald recently wrote an article, "Hillary Clinton’s Likely Pentagon Chief Already Advocating for More Bombing and Intervention." We spoke to him at his home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I asked Glenn to talk about the article and just who Michèle Flournoy is.</p><p>GLENN GREENWALD: She, by all accounts, is the clear front-runner to be the Pentagon chief under Hillary Clinton. She was probably the second-place finisher the last time that President Obama chose a Defense Department chief, when he chose Ash Carter. She’s sort of this prototypical Pentagon technocrat, who has been integrated into bipartisan military policy for a long time, so very much along the lines of how Hillary Clinton views foreign policy and military policy. And one of the most notable parts of Clinton’s approach to foreign policy that has gotten relatively little attention is that one of the few areas where she has been openly critical of President Obama has been by complaining that he’s been insufficiently militaristic or belligerent or aggressive in a number of areas, in particular, in Syria, where she criticized him in her book and then also in various interviews for not doing enough in Syria to stop the Syrian dictator, Assad, from brutalizing the Syrian people. She has advocated—Secretary Clinton has—a no-fly zone, which could lead to military confrontation with Russia, who’s flying over Syria. And then Michèle Flournoy, in an interview, made clear that she not only believes in a no-fly zone, but also more active boots on the ground in Syria, American boots on the ground. And given that the Russians are already there, that there is ISIS there, that there are al-Qaeda elements, that there’s still a civil war ongoing, it would be extremely dangerous to involve the U.S. further in military involvement in Syria. And yet, you have President Obama, who himself has been very militaristic—he has bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries in the last seven years—and yet Secretary Clinton’s critique of his foreign policy is, in every case, that he’s not aggressive enough, he’s not militaristic enough. And in Syria, in particular, they seem to really be itching to involve the U.S. a lot more directly and a lot more aggressively in that conflict.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And how do you think Donald Trump’s foreign policy would be carried out?</p><p>GLENN GREENWALD: It’s always difficult to say what Donald Trump’s policy would be, because he has very few cogent ideas that remain constant from one day to the next. But if there’s any ideological strain that’s identifiable in Trump’s statements, not just over the campaign but over the year—the years, it does seem to be that he comes from this kind of more nativist, isolationist strain of American politics represented by Pat Buchanan, previously by Charles Lindbergh, this American-first ideology that says that the U.S. should never involve itself in military conflicts to nation-build or to help people or to prevent oppression; it should only do so when there’s a direct threat to the United States that needs to be engaged. And so, Trump’s attitude has very much been along those lines in Syria, which is to say, "Let the Russians continue to bomb ISIS. Let the Russians continue to bomb Assad’s enemies," many of whom, in Trump’s view, are al-Qaeda elements. "There’s no reason for the United States to engage in any of that. And the only thing the U.S. should be doing in Syria," he says, "is directly attacking ISIS," where he wants even greater bombing than Obama has already ordered. And so, in one sense, he’s calling for more limited involvement in Syria by limiting the United States’ military action only to ISIS and letting the Russians handle everything else, but on the other hand, he’s calling for massive bombing, the use of torture, other forms of war crimes in killing, targeting suspect—terror suspects’ family members, in order to fight ISIS. And so, it’s very difficult to say whether it’s more militaristic or less. It’s probably some combination of both, to the extent that it can be predicted at all.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062911'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062911" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:54:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062911 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Video World hillary clinton glenn greenwald obama clinton Hero or Murderer? 15-Year-Old Bresha Meadows Faces Life in Prison for Killing Abusive Father http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/hero-or-murderer-15-year-old-bresha-meadows-faces-life-prison-killing-abusive-father <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062912'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062912" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">A young girl who shot dead her abusive father now may face life in prison, sparking national outcry over the treatment of domestic violence survivors.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/hero_murderer.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> On July 28, 14-year-old Bresha Meadows allegedly killed her father, Jonathan Meadows, with a bullet to his head as he slept. Only two months earlier, Bresha had run away from home, telling relatives that she was scared for her life ”because her father was beating her mother and threatening to kill the whole family." Bresha’s father reportedly made life for his family a living hell, routinely attacking his wife—Bresha’s mother—breaking her ribs, puncturing her blood vessels, blackening her eyes and slashing her body. Jonathan Meadows’ siblings have denied allegations of domestic violence. His brother told Fox 8 News, "This has nothing to do with abuse," and his sister Lena Cooper called his death "cold and calculated." For more, we speak with freelance journalist Victoria Law, whose recent article for Rewire is "What Bresha Meadows, Arrested for Shooting Her Father After Reported Abuse, Faces Next." And we speak with Bresha Meadows’s aunt, Martina Latessa, and Bresha’s lawyer Ian Friedman.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/31/hero_or_murderer_15_year_old" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: A young girl who shot dead her abusive father now may face life in prison, sparking national outcry over the treatment of domestic violence survivors. On July 28th, 14-year-old Bresha Meadows allegedly killed her father, Jonathan Meadows, with a bullet to his head as he slept. Only two months earlier, Bresha had run away from home, telling relatives she was scared for her life, quote, "because her father was beating her mother and threatening to kill the whole family," unquote. This is Bresha’s aunt, Sheri Latessa, speaking to WKBN in Cleveland.</p><p>SHERI LATESSA: He controlled her, and it was like she was in jail. They’ve all been through it. And nobody in that county that we called would do anything for those kids. She told on him. You tell the kids to tell. And then, what happened? Nobody did anything. She told. She did what she was supposed to do. That this was wrong—she even knew it was going wrong, what was going on her whole life, and nobody helped her. DAVE SESS: There is a murder charge against the child.</p><p>SHERI LATESSA: Yeah, and that’s ridiculous. She, if anything, did it for her mother. She definitely did it for her mother. She said, "Now, mom, you’re free."</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Bresha’s father, John Meadows, reportedly made life for his family a living hell, routinely attacking his wife, Bresha’s mother, by breaking her ribs, puncturing her blood vessels, blackening her eyes and slashing her body. Meadows reportedly once punched his wife so hard that she heard her teeth crack. Later, she had to have those teeth removed. He also apparently slammed her head into the wall, stomped on her and kicked her in the face. Jonathan Meadows’ siblings have denied allegations of domestic violence. His brother told Fox 8 News, "This has nothing to do with abuse," and his sister Lena Cooper called his death "cold and calculated." JAMES BLOUNT: He drank a little bit. He had the ways he did things. But my brother would—I’ll literally say, he would have given his life.</p><p>LENA COOPER: This was cold and calculated. My brother was murdered. It was cold and calculated. He was murdered in his sleep. There was no signs of abuse.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: On Tuesday morning, supporters and family members gathered for Bresha’s first pretrial hearing. Over 6,000 people have signed a petition calling on Trumbull County prosecutors to drop charges against the child. Bresha is being held in a juvenile detention center in Warren, Ohio, where she faces aggravated murder charges—a charge that could carry a life sentence if she’s tried and convicted in adult court. Bresha just spent her 15th birthday behind bars. Well, for more, we’re joined right now by three guests. In Cleveland, Ohio, we’re joined by Martina Latessa, Bresha Meadows’ aunt and a Cleveland police officer in the Domestic Violence Unit. We’re also joined by Ian Friedman, a criminal defense attorney representing Bresha Meadows. He’s an adjunct law professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. And here in New York City we’re joined by Victoria Law, freelance journalist, author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. Her recent article for Rewire is headlined "What Bresha Meadows, Arrested for Shooting Her Father After Reported Abuse, Faces Next." We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Victoria, just lay out this story for us. When did this happen? How old was Bresha? And talk about what’s happened since.</p><p>VICTORIA LAW: So, on July 28th, Bresha Meadows, who was then 14 years old, so a child, was arrested for allegedly shooting her abusive father in the head with a gun that he had used to threaten his family numerous times. So, she had endured years and years of abuse. According to Bresha’s mother, the abuse had started when she was pregnant with her first child, who is now 21 years old, so she had endured decades of abuse. And this was a—violence and threats and belittlement and ridicule were a constant in Bresha’s house. She had run away twice. Her aunt had reported the abuse to child services. Nothing ever came of that. Her mother had tried to leave once before, and had even filed for an order of protection. As many of your viewers may know, in situations involving domestic violence, it often takes somebody seven to 10 times to leave before they are able to successfully leave their abuser. And as we’ve seen in many cases, leaving is often the most dangerous time, for a survivor and her family to leave an abuser.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And so, then explain the night that Bresha killed her father. V</p><p>ICTORIA LAW: So, Bresha’s father was sleeping. He had come home earlier that day. She had gone into her room to avoid the abuse, from what I understand. And he—when he went to sleep—nobody is sure, and I don’t know if her lawyer can give more details or wants to give more details at this time, since she is still pretrial—he was sleeping, and she shot him with the gun that he used to threaten his family. And again, this is—if you put yourself in the eyes—in the shoes of a 14-year-old, she saw this as a last resort. Nobody else was helping her. The police weren’t helping her. Child Protective Services weren’t helping her. None of the adults in her life seemed to be able to help her and her family.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Ian Friedman, you’re her criminal defense attorney. Can you talk about what happened in Tuesday’s pretrial hearing? And how long has Bresha now been held in prison, in jail? IAN FRIEDMAN: Good morning, Amy, and thank you for having me on. But more than that—excuse me—thank you for finding this issue to be so important. As we talk about it, it really is just such a tragedy. And what I have learned, even just in the short time I’ve been involved, is just how widespread this sort of violence is out there. So, I’m really glad we’re talking about it this morning. Yesterday at the pretrial, what we did was we just exchanged evidence—the defense, the prosecution. We talk about where we’re going with the case, potential resolutions. We set future dates. And we really are just discussing kind of the beginning of the procedure. So, Bresha has been in the juvenile detention center since that night, the night of the incident. She will remain in there at least until the next pretrial, which will be October 6th. And at that time, we’ll revisit whether or not there is cause to have her released while the rest of the case remains pending.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So how long has she been jailed at this point?</p><p>IAN FRIEDMAN: She’s been jailed now over a month; since the night of the incident, she’s been in there.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Martina Latessa, you are Bresha’s aunt. Can you talk about what you understood before that night?</p><p>MARTINA LATESSA: I understand that there were mental abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse. The kids didn’t get, you know, hit—that was my sister Brandi who got that—but those kids had to watch that, including Bresha. They had to sit there, and he did cuss at them and call them names. From my understanding, Bresha wasn’t even allowed to be in the same room as her father, once she ran away the second time. He would tell her, "Get out of here. Go up in your room. Get out of my face. You know, you disgust me." My sister Brandi was abused, pushed around and punched and smacked and kicked, while all of her children watched. And it did take a toll on her. She did run away. And she, you know, told me about it, and she expressed great fear for herself and her family.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to your sister for a moment, to Brandi Meadows, Bresha’s mother, who spoke to Fox 8 Cleveland. She called Bresha her hero. BRANDI MEADOWS: I’m sorry, Bresha. I love her. You’re my hero. She helped us all. And she’s my hero, our hero. And now we need to move forward and have us a better life. AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Brandi Meadows, who was beaten for a long time. Latessa, did you know about—Martina, did you know about your sister, the abuse of your sister? MARTINA LATESSA: I found out about it in 2011, so around five years ago. She did go back, and that is normal for victims of domestic violence, to go back. You know, she loved him, and she wanted her family to be together. And she’s told me in conversations he has told her, "I’m not going to hit you anymore. We’re going to be better." And she went back. And, you know, like, that’s normal for domestic violence victims to do and experience. And it’s hard for people who don’t understand domestic violence, who don’t live in it, who’s never grown up in it, that that is where she’s going to—she’s going to do that. And I’d explain that even to my own mom and my family, that, you know, it’s normal. Even though it’s hard for us to understand, it is normal in domestic violence.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, you’re an expert in this. You’re a police detective who deals with domestic violence?</p><p>MARTINA LATESSA: I’m not an expert, but I do—I am a detective in our Cleveland Police Domestic Violence Unit. I handle cases every day. I deal with victims every day, and advocates and, you know, prosecutors and judges every day.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Have you seen a case like this before?</p><p>MARTINA LATESSA: No. Even in almost 17 years of being a police officer, I have never seen anything like this.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us a little about Bresha? M</p><p>ARTINA LATESSA: You know, I don’t—they were so isolated that I barely know them. I barely know my sister and her family. So, in 2011, when she ran away, we see them. And probably seven years before that, you know, we’ve seen them around Christmas time, when I went down there. But they were so isolated that I don’t know them. But I do know, you know, the two times that Bresha ran away, and she came to me. She was a little girl. She was scared. She was asking me for help. You know, I took her things—she came with no coat. I even remember I got her a little North Face jacket that she wanted. And then, when she got home, her father took it from her, told her he can’t have anything that came from me. When she ran away the second time, I, you know, took her again. She didn’t have anything. And we bought her stuff. And when she was told she had to go back, she was terrified. And she wouldn’t even take hair conditioner back with her that I bought her, because she was afraid her dad—what he would do if he found out she had something like that.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Did you know that at the time? Were you concerned?</p><p>MARTINA LATESSA: Oh, I was very concerned. I didn’t know that, like the jacket incident and how he felt, until she ran away again in May of—the end of May of 2016, this year, just a couple months ago. And that’s when I got a little bit more light, you know, on the situation. And she told me, you know, he’s hitting her again. He just put her up against the wall. He, you know, they say choked, but he strangled her. He threatened to kill them. She said he’s, you know, bashed her head into a wall, and, you know, "I just can’t take it anymore." You know, "Please help me. I’m afraid." You know? And I do believe her. I said, like, you know, Johnny Meadows kept that family in a box. And I believe and I still say it. If this didn’t happen, my sister would have been in a box, which is a casket being put in the ground, if this incident didn’t happen.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Is there anything you could do, not just as her aunt, but as a Cleveland police detective specializing in domestic violence, when you learned what was happening to the family? MARTINA LATESSA: Yeah, you know, I went down there the very first time she ran away in 2015. You know, I got the phone calls from the police, like, "Bring her back." And I went and got her, and I took her back. And I talked to an officer there and a female sergeant, and I let them know, you know, what’s going on. And I understand, like as a policeman, if the victim’s going to not cooperate, you know, there’s almost like nothing we can do. As a human, as her aunt, as my sister’s sister, even as a police officer, there’s no way I can knock on that door, go in that house and do that. And people don’t understand. "Oh, she’s a policeman." I can’t. I might as well went in that backyard and dug my sister’s grave, if I ever got involved like that. Like, I knew, especially me, he did not like me. He didn’t like me because I was a policeman. He did not like police officers. I just truly believe if—I couldn’t go in there. I would make it worse, if not deadly, for her.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Victoria, you wrote a long piece about this, Victoria Law. How did the system fail Bresha?</p><p>VICTORIA LAW: The system failed Bresha in so many different ways. When her—when her mother filed for an order of protection, I mean, there are no resources for domestic violence survivors and their families. I mean, there are battered women shelters, there are abuse hotlines, but there are no safe places to go, there’s no counseling. You need things like affordable housing and ways for people to be able to get out and stay out. When her aunt called child services the second time that Bresha ran away, they didn’t—they didn’t do anything to make sure that she was safe, that her family life was safe. According to her aunt, when they interviewed Bresha’s parents, they interviewed them together, which means that her mother is not going to say that there is abuse in the house.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: They interviewed her mother and her abuser together.</p><p>VICTORIA LAW: Yes, from what I understand, they were interviewed together. They didn’t separate them so that they could find out what was going on. And they returned Bresha to the house. So, there are so many different ways in which the system could have intervened and done something, before Bresha, as a 14-year-old, as a very scared 14-year-old, felt that she had to do what she did to protect her family.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Ian Friedman, can you talk about the outpouring of support, but also the fact that the father’s family, Jonathan Meadows’ family, denies that there was domestic violence?</p><p>IAN FRIEDMAN: I’ll speak to the family first. It’s not unusual, even for—when I stand before judges and I’m representing someone who really did murder someone, there’s always family behind them saying, "But he’s a good person, and please go easy on him." So, this doesn’t surprise me at all. And they’re mourning. And they may not know the full story, in all fairness to them. But I think that the evidence is going to be impossible to refute. And at some point, they’re going to have to face it and accept it. Now, as far as the outpouring of support, it has been coming literally from across the globe. My office has just been flooded with mail and emails and calls from people, you know, that want her to know that she’s being supported and prayed for. Gifts are being sent. Even a group of women sent a big box of painted rocks to my office, which was very nice, you know, with little sayings of encouragement. Of course, I can’t bring that to the jail, but she can certainly see a photo of it. The petition that we received yesterday, now over 7,000 people who are calling for Bresha’s release. So, it really is incredible. But the one area that has surprised me in the mail that I’ve received is that I have received no less than probably a half-dozen letters from other people who were in similar sorts of situations, and some of them had to take the same sort of action against their spouses—or, I’m sorry, against their parents. And so, it really—when I first read the first one, I was really shocked by it. And I’ve just gotten more and more. This is really touching people and having them kind of come out and to let her know—they’re asking to let her know that, hey, you’re not alone, I had to go to this also. So, as we started your program, that’s why I felt this was so important to really, not just with Bresha, but to also bring attention to kind of the widerspread problem across this country.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062912'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062912" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:47:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062912 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Video life in prison domestic violence Could the Presidential Election Be Hacked? FBI 'Flash' Alert Urges States to Bolster Security http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/could-presidential-election-be-hacked-fbi-flash-alert-urges-states-bolster-security <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062802'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062802" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Hackers based outside the United States have reportedly infiltrated two state election databases.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/voting_machine.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Recent hacks in election databases raise fresh concerns about cybersecurity in the lead-up to the presidential elections. According to a new investigation by Yahoo News, the FBI’s Cyber Division released a "flash" alert earlier this month and warned election officials across the nation to take new measures to bolster the security of their computer systems. Sources familiar with the document told Yahoo News that Arizona and Illinois were the two states compromised by the hacks. The Illinois hack reportedly caused more damage, forcing officials to shut down the voter registration system for 10 days in July after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters. We speak to Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/30/could_the_presidential_election_be_hacked" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Hackers based outside the United States have reportedly infiltrated two state election databases, raising fresh concerns about cybersecurity in the lead-up to the presidential elections. This is according to a new investigation by Yahoo News. FBI’s Cyber Division released a "flash" alert earlier this month and warned election officials across the country to take new measures to bolster the security of their computer systems. Sources familiar with the document told Yahoo News that Arizona and Illinois were the two states compromised by the hacks. The Illinois hack reportedly caused more damage, forcing officials to shut down the voter registration system for 10 days in July after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters. For more, we go to D.C. to the man behind the investigation, Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. His new piece is headlined "FBI Says Foreign Hackers Penetrated State Election Systems." Michael, thanks for joining us again. Explain what you found.</p><p>MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Sure. Well, look, this whole issue of potential hacking of the election has gotten a lot of attention because of the hack of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations in Washington that U.S. officials believe was committed by Russian intelligence. That raised the concern that the Russians, if indeed they did what U.S. officials believe they did, won’t stop there, and they might seek to tamper with the election itself. Now, that would not be an easy thing to do. In 40 states, we have optical scan voting, in which there are backup of paper ballots, so there’s a safety net there. But there are points of vulnerability. In six states and parts of four others, including Pennsylvania, a crucial swing state, there are electronic voting machines, that are vulnerable, that could be tampered with. There’s internet voting for overseas ballots and military ballots in 33 states, so that’s another point of vulnerability. All this prompted Jeh Johnson, homeland security secretary, to have a conference call with state election officials on August 15th and advise them, "Here are steps we think you should take. This is an area of concern." And then, as we report in this piece, three days later, the FBI sent a confidential warning to state election officials, saying that they were investigating penetrations of two states. They don’t refer to—they don’t name them in the piece, but we did—in the alert, but we did report they’re Arizona and Illinois. In the case of Illinois, hackers, believed to be foreign, penetrated the election voter database and exfiltrated, stole data on about 200,000 voters. So, we don’t know at this point whether that is linked to the Democratic National Committee hacking. It’s something the FBI is investigating, although this just as easily could have been common cybercriminals doing this for fraud purposes. But it has raised the concerns to new levels that this is something that state election officials have to take a lot more seriously, and federal officials, as well.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: What are these states? You mentioned six states and parts of four others use these DREs, or direct recording electronic voting machines, which have no paper backup.</p><p>MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah. Well, the two that would be of particular concern, because they’re swing states in the election, is Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some of the others—Tennessee—are, you know, probably pretty locked in on who they’re going to vote for. But I can tell you that this is being taken seriously in those states. I talked to Pennsylvania officials for this piece. They’re very aware of these vulnerabilities. I mean, one thing—you know, one obvious step is to make sure the machines are not connected to the internet, you know, in and around the time of voting, but at some point they have to be turned on, and, you know, they do have to be connected. And that’s—you know, a sophisticated hacker could theoretically get in and somehow tamper with the tabulations.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, Michael, you have the FBI saying they’ve uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election systems. But, of course, it doesn’t just have to be foreign hackers.</p><p>MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Right, it could be anybody. And, look, there is, you know, the—on both sides, there is heightened awareness and concern about this. You have Donald Trump talking about rigged elections. And then, on the other hand, you have Democrats, like Harry Reid, who wrote a letter to FBI Director Comey yesterday, after my piece, raising concerns about Russian tampering. And given associations that people in the Trump campaign have had with Russia—Paul Manafort, of course, was in business with pro-Putin oligarchs; Mike Flynn, the general, retired general, had flown over to Moscow for the 10th anniversary celebration of RT and was paid for it—so there’s been multiple—</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: An adviser to Donald Trump.</p><p>MICHAEL ISIKOFF: —allegations. Yeah.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And you have Donald Trump talking about rigged elections. On the other hand, what was your response to him calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails?</p><p>MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah, well, clearly, that got a lot of attention and seemed way over the top. Of course, he said he was only being sarcastic and shouldn’t be taken seriously. But I think, look, you know, is—can the Russians actually launch a full-scale cyber-attack and influence the election? You know, probably not. As I mentioned, there are points of vulnerability, but it would take a lot, given that elections are state and local affairs, and there’s a lot of points of entry, and it would be a huge undertaking. But even if they could do it—</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Three seconds.</p><p>MICHAEL ISIKOFF: —a little bit, do something like what they did, like the tampering with election—</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062802'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062802" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 09:21:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062802 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Video hack election Debate: Is Recalling Judge Persky a Victory for Sexual Assault Survivors or a Dangerous Precedent? http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/debate-recalling-judge-persky-victory-sexual-assault-survivors-or-dangerous <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062801'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062801" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">California lawmakers voted Monday to pass a law requiring prison time for those convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious victim.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/california_state_capitol_front_1999.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The decision from California lawmakers comes after news that California Judge Aaron Persky will no longer hear criminal cases, following outrage over lenient sentences he handed down to sex offenders. Persky became the subject of a recall campaign after he sentenced Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to a six-month prison term for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Judge Persky said he was concerned a longer prison sentence would have a "severe impact" on Turner. Turner is white, and Judge Persky has since given a harsher sentence to a Latino man who committed a similar crime. Turner is set to be released from Santa Clara jail on Friday, after serving only half of his six-month sentence. More than 1 million people have signed a petition demanding Persky be removed from the bench. But supporters of Judge Persky caution that efforts to recall a jurist based on his use of judicial discretion may have unintended consequences, leading to less care in sentencing and a negative impact on people of color. For more, we host a debate. Michele Landis Dauber is a Stanford law professor who is leading the recall campaign against Aaron Persky. Sajid Khan is a public defender in San Jose, California, who leads the effort in support of Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/30/debate_is_recalling_judge_persky_a" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. California lawmakers voted Monday to pass a law requiring prison time for those convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious victim. This comes after news that California Judge Aaron Persky will no longer hear criminal cases, following outrage over lenient sentences he handed down to sex offenders. Persky became the subject of a recall campaign after he sentenced Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to a six-month prison term for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Judge Persky said he was concerned a longer term would have a serious impact on Turner. Turner was caught by two witnesses thrusting on top of the victim as she lay unconscious behind a dumpster. Turner is white, and Judge Persky has since given a harsher sentence to a Latino man who committed a similar crime. More than 1 million people have signed a petition demanding Persky be removed from the bench. He will be reassigned to a civil court in San Jose, at his own request. In a statement to Democracy Now!, Judge Persky said, quote, "I believe strongly in judicial independence. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to appease politicians or ideologues. When your own rights and property are at stake, you want the judge to make a fair and lawful decision, free from political influence. ... As a judge, I have heard thousands of cases. I have a reputation for being fair to both sides," he said. Turner is set to be released from Santa Clara jail on Friday, after serving half of his sentence. Activists plan to protest across the street from the jail on the day of Turner’s release. This comes as people point to another case in which they allege bias by Judge Persky. In 2015, 21-year-old college football player Ikaika Gunderson pleaded no contest to felony domestic violence for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. He faced up to four years in prison. Judge Persky delayed sentencing for a year to allow Gunderson to attend college at the University of Hawaii. But supporters of Persky caution that efforts to recall a jurist based on his use of judicial discretion may have unintended consequences, leading to less care in sentencing and a negative impact on people of color. For more, we’re joined by two guests. Michele Landis Dauber is a Stanford law professor leading the recall campaign against Judge Persky. And Sajid Khan is with us, a public defender in San Jose, California, who leads the effort in support of Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Let us begin with Michele Landis Dauber. We spoke to you when you began your campaign. Explain your response to the judge’s decision to take himself off of criminal cases, and the law that has been passed as a result of the case that you were so deeply concerned about.</p><p>MICHELE LANDIS DAUBER: Well, we are continuing the recall, Amy, because this is a voluntary, temporary reassignment that the judge has requested, and judges are reassigned annually in Santa Clara County Court, and he can return to the criminal court later, when he chooses to do so. And, in addition, we believe that this judge is biased in the area of sexual assault and violence against women. And many issues like sexual harassment in the workplace or educational sexual assault, molestation by teachers, these kinds of issues are still heard in the civil court. And we feel that that bias is not a good thing in the civil court, either.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, explain the case at the heart of the recall that so motivated you to make the move that you did.</p><p>MICHELE LANDIS DAUBER: Well, in the Turner case, which I assume is the case that you’re referring to, Judge Persky gave a sentence that we believe is overly lenient. And in order to do that, he had to make a finding on the record that this was an unusual case and that the interests of justice required that he grant Mr. Turner probation rather than the minimum two-year sentence. We don’t believe that the interests of justice required, in any way, that he make that exception for Mr. Turner, and we think that the two-year minimum sentence would have been far more appropriate. And since that time, we’ve, of course, learned about many other cases that show what we believe is a clear pattern of bias, a blind spot, if you will, that this judge has in cases of violence against women—for example, the case of Mr. Gunderson that you just mentioned. And in that case, I think—I think that may, in fact, be worse, in many ways, than the Turner case, because in that case it appears that the judge sent Mr. Gunderson to another state—that is, to the state of Hawaii—without following the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision and without informing the state of Hawaii that Mr. Gunderson, as a convicted domestic violence felon, was even located within the state. He wasn’t on probation. He didn’t have to report to anyone. No one knew he was there. He left that state, went to another state, Washington, where he apparently reoffended. So, we just feel that, particularly with collegiate athletes, this judge just has a blind spot. He doesn’t see these as the serious felonies against women that they are, and treats them like misdemeanors.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: You have alleged that Judge Persky broke the law? MICHELE LANDIS DAUBER: Well, we do think that the attorney general and the commission that enforce the adult offender supervision compact should investigate and get to the bottom of this situation, because it is not lawful, in fact, for an offender, a felony convicted offender, like Mr. Gunderson, to leave the state of California, except under the supervision of this compact. This is a 50-state compact, and it has the force of federal law, and it is also part of the California Penal Code. So, it is very improper to do this. I don’t think it was appropriate, and I actually think there are real questions about whether it was lawful, yes.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Sajid Khan, you’re leading the effort against the recall. Explain why.</p><p>SAJID KHAN: I just think that the recall effort is misguided and shortsighted. I think that we, as a community, when we attempt to recall Judge Persky, are sending the message that we want our judges to be more harsh and punitive rather than being merciful and compassionate. We don’t see recall efforts at all when it comes to judges that impose what we believe to be disproportionately harsh sentences on clients of mine, public defender clients, minorities, in our system. But here we have a scenario where Judge Persky exercised discretion, afforded to him within the law, to see Brock Turner for more than the crime—more than just the crime he committed. And we saw Judge Persky exercise that discretion with a certain sense of mercy for Brock Turner. And we want to encourage that type of holistic, humane approach to sentencing, rather than the one-size-fits-all sentencing schemes that have plagued our country. And so, ultimately, I’ve taken the stance so that we, as a community, encourage judicial discretion, compassion and mercy, rather than discourage it.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, Brock Turner was convicted in March of three felony counts: assault with the intent to commit rape of an unconscious person, sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual penetration of an intoxicated person. At his sentencing, the Stanford swimmer faced up to 14 years in prison. Prosecutors sought a six-year term. He got six months. He served three months, and he’s being released on Friday. Talk about why you think that’s fair, Sajid.</p><p>SAJID KHAN: You know, the headlines when we—when this news broke about Brock Turner captured exactly what you just said, which was felony—you know, rapist gets six months in county jail. And that is a—those were misleading headlines. It didn’t capture the totality of the sentence that Brock Turner received. He’s a convicted felon, something that he can’t shake for the rest of his life. He has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, whether that be here in the state of California or anywhere else. He’s on felony probation for three years, which means that he’s supervised by a probation officer, and if he violates his probation by committing a new offense or by not doing what he’s directed to do, he can still go to prison for up to 14 years. And here we had someone who was a young man who had no criminal history, who was in school and had shown himself, beyond the crime, to be a capable member of the community. And so, this is the exact type of offender, even despite the severity of the crimes that he was convicted of, that merited probation and the opportunity to rehabilitate himself in the community, rather than being sent to prison. So, when we look at it holistically, we see that it was a harsh penalty, a harsh sentence, and it was not lenient, as many perceive it to be. And it did take into account, again, Brock Turner’s humanity and not just the crime that he was convicted of.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Professor Dauber, your response?</p><p>MICHELE LANDIS DAUBER: Well, obviously, we just have to see this differently, and we disagree. I want to say that I have the utmost respect for the Public Defender Service. I think that they are, you know, typically speaking, doing fantastic work for low pay, and I support them wholeheartedly. We just part company on this issue. We do not agree that this sentence was appropriate. And I want to say, I am no fan of harsh sentencing for nonviolent minority drug offenders, you know, that have really fed our mass incarceration problem. I’m typically not a fan, for example, of mandatory minimums. But with judicial discretion and judicial independence, you know, these are very important things, but they come with the obligation, the very important obligation, to act without bias. And we feel strongly that violence against women is a serious, serious crime and that Mr. Turner was a very, very unlikely candidate for the kind of low exception sentence that he received. He did not plead guilty. He never took full responsibility for the crime. He never really accepted the jury’s verdict. He never expressed remorse for the crime that he actually committed, which was sexual assault. On every dimension, he was not, in our opinion, a typical or good candidate for this kind of leniency. And so, we just, you know, strongly disagree that this was an adequate sentence.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Sajid Khan, can you respond to Professor Dauber and her arguments?</p><p>SAJID KHAN: Yeah. I mean, my concern here is that we, as a community, have accepted the notion of more prison time or prison time being the answer to all criminal behavior, even serious criminal behavior like sexual assault. And so we tend, as a community based on the—based on the system of mass incarceration that we’ve essentially existed in for so long, to equate justice to the amount of time that someone is incarcerated for. And I just think that’s the wrong metric; I think it’s the wrong measure of justice. And so, I do think that even with crimes like sexual assault, even with the crimes that Brock Turner was convicted of, there still has to be room within the law—and there is room within this particular law—for a judge like Judge Persky to see that there may be mitigating circumstances that merit someone being—merit someone getting probation rather than prison. And I want to—I want us, as a community, to encourage that use of discretion and encourage the individualized assessments of offenders, rather than this, again, one-size-fits-all approach to criminal behavior and sentencing.</p><p>So— AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn for a moment to the defining moment in the Brock Turner case, the reason this case, I think, became so well known, and that is the victim impact statement. The statement is over 7,000 words long, condemns the role of privilege in the trial and the way the legal system deals with sexual assaults. It’s since gone viral, with over 10 million views. The statement is addressed directly to the defendant, Brock Turner. The person who was raped—and she said, "You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today." The victim, often referred to as Emily Doe, went on to write, "My life has been on hold for over a year, a year of anger, anguish and uncertainty, until a jury of my peers rendered a judgment that validated the injustices I had endured. Had Brock admitted guilt and remorse and offered to settle early on, I would have considered a lighter sentence, respecting his honesty, grateful to be able to move our lives forward. Instead he took the risk of going to trial, added insult to injury and forced me to relive the hurt as details about my personal life and sexual assault were brutally dissected before the public. He pushed me and my family through a year of inexplicable, unnecessary suffering, and should face the consequences of challenging his crime, of putting my pain into question, of making us wait so long for justice. “I told the probation officer I do not want Brock to rot away in prison. I did not say he does not deserve to be behind bars. The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft time­out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, an insult to me and all women. It gives the message that a stranger can be inside you without proper consent and he will receive less than what has been defined as the minimum sentence. Probation should be denied. I also told the probation officer that what I truly wanted was for Brock to get it, to understand and admit to his wrongdoing. "Unfortunately, after reading the defendant’s report, I am severely disappointed and feel that he has failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct. I fully respected his right to a trial, but even after twelve jurors unanimously convicted him guilty of three felonies, all he has admitted to [doing] is ingesting alcohol. Someone who cannot take full accountability for his actions does not deserve a mitigating sentence. It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of 'promiscuity,'" she said. When you hear that, Sajid Khan, as we wrap up this discussion, do you understand the anger of the people who have called for the judge’s recall?</p><p>SAJID KHAN: Sure, I understand it. I understand it completely, and I have empathy for Ms. Doe and what she endured. My concern is that we, as a community, need to have a thoughtful response to this sentence and this case, that not only takes into account this particular victim and particular offender, but also takes into account the—our system generally. And our—I think our system generally benefits from judicial discretion, judicial compassion and mercy, rather than mandatory minimums and the—again, the metric that prison time equals justice. And I don’t think that’s what we—what we want to—it’s not the message that we want to send to our community. And I think that’s the message that the recall effort does send, is that we want our judges to err on the side of being more harsh and more punitive rather than exercising that mercy. And that’s something that our community does’t benefit from.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And where, Professor Landis Dauber, does the recall go from here, in the last 30 seconds?</p><p>MICHELE LANDIS DAUBER: We are going to be holding a rally to protest the short sentence given to Mr. Turner. That will be Friday morning, as he is released. And then we are going to continue to bring forward research about his record in sex crimes—the judge’s record—as in the Gunderson case and in the Robert Chain child pornography case, that was also a couple weeks ago, in order to educate voters so that they can examine his record and decide if they want to select another candidate in the election, that I hope we’ll be having in November of 2017.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And each of you, 10 seconds—the law that was passed, that was introduced by the Legislature on Monday, are you satisfied with it? Professor Dauber?</p><p>MICHELE LANDIS DAUBER: Well, I don’t oppose that change. I think it’s a, you know, sort of a commonsense change. I don’t think that assault of an intoxicated person should be treated differently than assault through force. So, you know, it seems fine to me. I think, in general, our rape law is antiquated and could use a sort of a generalized overhaul.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And Sajid Khan?</p><p>SAJID KHAN: I just—I just have concerns about kind of swinging the pendulum back towards mandatory minimum sentences. I think it’s a slippery slope. And it’s actually something that we’ve been working hard to counter, and I think we don’t want to go back down that path of mandatory minimums, that essentially have resulted in our mass incarceration epidemic.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Just to repeat, California lawmakers voted Monday to pass a law requiring prison time for those convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious victim. I want to thank you both for being with us, Michele Landis Dauber, Stanford law professor, and Sajid Khan, Santa Clara public defender, leading the effort in support of Judge Persky.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062801'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062801" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 09:15:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062801 at http://www.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights Sex & Relationships Video lawmakers california Why Are We Paying $300 for an EpiPen That Holds Only $1 Worth of Medicine? http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/why-are-we-paying-300-epipen-holds-only-1-worth-medicine <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062800'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062800" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">In 2007, the wholesale price of the EpiPen in the U.S. was $57. Less than a decade later, the life-saving drug now costs over $300.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/7005076936_3ed31a3829_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Each EpiPen reportedly contains only $1 worth of medicine. Mylan has a near monopoly in the U.S., and the company has seen its profits from the EpiPen alone skyrocket to $1 billion a year. Meanwhile, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s total compensation has spiked from around $2.5 million in 2007 to almost $19 million today. In response to the price hikes, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and its allies will deliver a petition signed by approximately 600,000 people to Mylan’s headquarters in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, today demanding further price cuts. For more, we speak with Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/30/why_are_we_paying_300_for" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Peter Maybarduk, explain exactly what has happened here. Explain what the price increase was and how people are organizing now. What is Heather Bresch explaining here?</p><p>PETER MAYBARDUK: Well, the drug companies want to point fingers at the insurers, and the insurers want to point fingers at the drug companies. But it’s all convoluted mechanisms to avoid plain talk about price. This is a 100-year-old drug in a 40-year-old injection technology that was invented in connection with Department of Defense projects, meaning that taxpayers already paid for a considerable amount of the research associated with this—with this product. It hit the market. When Mylan acquired the rights, the product cost $100. Now it’s up to $600. The increases in EpiPen prices have more or less tracked the increases in the Mylan CEO’s pay, executive compensation, over that period of time. There haven’t been significant improvements to that product, as was mentioned, in the time, so we’re not paying for—we’re not paying for innovation. We’re paying for price gouging. We’re paying for Mylan’s shameful greed. And today, Public Citizen will deliver—I think the number is increasing—closer to 1 million signatures, hopefully, if you help us out, to Mylan’s corporate headquarters outside Pittsburgh, demanding that that price be reduced. In other words, we can talk—Mylan wants to talk about coupons and patient assistance programs and this new, absolutely bizarre move of introducing a generic version of its essentially generic own product. And—but what—the one thing it won’t do, the one thing Mylan refuses to do, is have plain talk about price and just reduce the price. That would be the simplest, most effective thing to do to ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen can get one and that the cost burden that we all share, paying into our healthcare system, is reduced. AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain that further, what they have done, as opposed to just reducing the price?</p><p>PETER MAYBARDUK: Well, yesterday, Mylan announced that it was going to introduce what it called a generic EpiPen. Now, this is a little strange, as the drug isn’t patented, and it’s not patents that are keeping competitors primarily off the market. What they mean is, they’ll have—they’ve built a big brand reputation through very aggressive marketing around EpiPen, and they intend to retain a premium market, wherein they can sell for this $600 for the branded EpiPen. But at the same time, they’re going to introduce an identical product, doing the exact same thing in the exact same way, no differences between the product, except it won’t have the EpiPen brand. And they’re going to sell that for $300. And that’s their solution, so-called, to the criticism, rather than simply reducing the price of the EpiPen in the first place down to a more reasonable level, say $100, which is still a very profitable price. It’s the price that many other wealthy countries pay, and was the price at which the product hit the market a decade ago.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: They’re also talking about coupons that people can get. Can you explain what that is?</p><p>PETER MAYBARDUK: Well, so, if a patient figures out how to use the coupon, they can reduce their copay at the pharmacy. And Mylan says it’s going to enroll more people in patient assistance programs to reduce the price, in theory, that consumers are paying at the counter. But not everyone will use the programs, and it doesn’t do anything—those methods don’t do anything to reduce the cost that we’re all paying into the system for the $600 EpiPen. If you don’t have insurance or if you have a high copay, you still may wind up paying very high prices for these EpiPens.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Mylan did find one prominent defender: Martin Shkreli. Last [year], you might remember, the former hedge fund manager sparked national outrage after he hiked the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000 percent. Prosecutors also accused Martin Shkreli of orchestrating a Ponzi-like scheme at his former hedge fund and his startup drug company, Turing Pharmaceuticals. Well, Shkreli is back in the news weighing in on the EpiPen controversy. Here, he’s speaking to CBS Minnesota local station WCCO. MARTIN SHKRELI: Mylan’s a good guy. They have one product where they’re finally starting to make a little bit of money, and everyone’s going crazy over it. VINITA NAIR: These are life-saving drugs. People don’t have a choice whether they can buy them or not.</p><p>MARTIN SHKRELI: Yeah, well, that’s up to insurance to pay for them. Like I said, it’s $300 a pen, $300. My iPhone’s $700, OK? So, it’s a—</p><p>VINITA NAIR: But you don’t need an iPhone to exist.</p><p>MARTIN SHKRELI: Yeah, that doesn’t matter, though, because it’s $300, and 90 percent of Americans are insured.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Last week, Martin Shkreli tweeted, "With 8% margins, Mylan is close to breaking even. Do we want them to lose $? Sole supplier of a life-saving drug should have a better margin." Shkreli later tweeted, quote, "Mylan: 9% net margin (life saving drugs) Viacom: 15%, (Reality TV) Altria (Cigarettes): 21%." Your response to this, Peter? PETER MAYBARDUK: Well, Mylan’s primary contribution to this product is simply aggressive marketing. They’re not the ones who really invented the technology behind this, and any investments made in the chain are long since expired. And this is a price that keeps going up without justification. Mylan is taking advantage of their monopolistic position in the market. And that’s the broader—that’s the systemic problem that we all face. It’s the number one reason that drug prices are so high in the United States, is that we have government-granted monopolies in many areas, de facto monopolies or individuals like Shkreli and companies like Mylan that have figured out how to corner a market, and they charge as much as we and our health system collectively will pay to care for our—care for our loved ones. And that’s the business model, right? It’s profit maximizing.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, what exactly are you doing today?</p><p>PETER MAYBARDUK: So, today, Public Citizen is going to deliver a petition to Mylan corporate headquarters demanding that Mylan simply cut the price, cut the obfuscation, cut the convoluted talk about all these alternative mechanisms, and simply cut the price of EpiPens so that we can all afford it and our healthcare bills ultimately go down. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062800'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062800" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 09:12:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062800 at http://www.alternet.org Personal Health Personal Health Video Mylan epipen Greenwald: Journalists Should Not Stop Scrutinizing Clinton Just Because Trump is Unfit for Office http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/greenwald-journalists-should-not-stop-scrutinizing-clinton-just-because-trump-unfit <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062732'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062732" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Are the same outlets and journalists heavily investigating Donald Trump refusing to scrutinize Hillary Clinton? </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/24564574914_0cdd268f92_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Media outlets have launched massive investigations into Donald Trump’s business and tax history, as well as probes into the lives and past work of his current and former campaign managers Steve Bannon and Paul Manafort. For more, we speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. </p><p> <iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/29/greenwald_journalists_should_not_stop_scrutinizing" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, we’ve talked a lot about Hillary Clinton, and she did get a lot of negative attention this past week over these—the revelations of the Associated Press, but not as much as she would have, because of all that Donald Trump has been saying and tweeting and representing. Glenn Greenwald, what are your comments on Hillary Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump?</p><p>GLENN GREENWALD: I mean, Donald Trump is—I mean, the tactic of the Democratic Party in the last 25 years—they know that ever since they became the party of sort of corporatism and Wall Street, they don’t inspire anybody, so their tactic is to say the Republican Party is the epitome of evil. Even when they have conventional nominees like Mitt Romney or John McCain, they demonize them and say they’re this unparalleled threat to democracy. In this election, just by coincidence, it happens to be true. The person that the Republican Party has nominated, on a personal level, is extraordinarily unstable and vindictive and dangerous and narcissistic, in a way that you really wouldn’t trust him to occupy any minor political office, let alone command the military of the United States and the entire executive branch.</p><p>The rhetoric that he’s been embracing over the past 18 months is extraordinarily frightening, because, even if he loses, he is emboldening extremist nationalism, racism, all kinds of bigotry. He’s giving license for its expression. He is serving as a galvanizing force for these very dangerous elements, not just in the American political culture, but in Europe and elsewhere throughout the right.</p><p>And it’s just unthinkable to allow him anywhere near the White House, given the things that he wants to do, from deporting 11 million people to barring all Muslims from entering the country, and so many of the other things that he’s said. Even though he’s so unstable you don’t know if he would do any of them, the instability itself is so risky. And so, this has become the real problem, is he is such a kind of dangerous presence on the American landscape that a lot of people have become afraid of doing their jobs and scrutinizing his opponent. And I think that that also is quite dangerous, even though I understand the motives behind it.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you, Glenn, about a piece you just recently wrote. It’s headlined "As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid While Netanyahu Demands Even More." Explain.</p><p>GLENN GREENWALD: You know, one of the things that happens during the election campaign is that all the focus of the media, and therefore the American public, goes to the personalities of the two candidates, and the U.S. government does incredibly important things, consequential things, that get ignored. And that’s a perfect example. So, the United States already is by far the biggest benefactor of the Israeli government. We already give $3 billion a year in taxpayer money, in military aid, all sorts of other forms of aid, including diplomatic cover as they bomb Gaza, as they occupy the Palestinians, as they violate international law. It’s because the U.S. government enables this.</p><p>And we transfer all this money to Israel, even though, in many ways, Israel is more prosperous and thriving and its citizens enjoy more benefits than American citizens do, including universal healthcare and free college, which Israelis enjoy but the U.S. doesn’t, as we transfer billions of dollars to them. And so, one of the things that President Obama is doing, with almost no attention, is he has negotiated a deal with Israel to significantly increase the amount of money that Israel gets for 10 years, so no government, no future Congress can even reverse it, to give them many, many billions more than we’re already giving them. And the position of the Israeli government is "We’re angry that it’s not even more."</p><p>There are some nuances there, such as questions about how much of that money has to be used to buy weapons from American manufacturers, but the idea is to keep Israel militarily superior to its neighbors to ensure that they can continue to dominate the region without challenge, and also domestic political reasons, for the Democratic Party to show voters who care about Israel, namely evangelical and Jewish voters, that they are doing even more for Israel. And it’s incredibly consequential. Given what Israel does to the Palestinians, it’s incredibly immoral. And yet it’s all being done with almost no debate, no bipartisan dispute and virtually zero media attention. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062732'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062732" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:19:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062732 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Video glenn greenwald Greenwald: 'Why Did Saudi Regime & Other Gulf Tyrannies Donate Millions to Clinton Foundation?' http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/greenwald-why-did-saudi-regime-other-gulf-tyrannies-donate-millions-clinton-foundation <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062731'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062731" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Questions surrounding Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation continue to grow.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_405351559.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>On Sunday, Democratic National Committee interim chairperson Donna Brazile defended Clinton’s meetings as secretary of state with Clinton Foundation donors, saying, "When Republicans meet with their donors, with their supporters, their activists, they call it a meeting. When Democrats do that, they call it a conflict." Donna Brazile’s comments come in response to an Associated Press investigation revealing that while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, more than half of the private citizens she met with during the reporting period had donated to the Clinton Foundation. The AP investigation comes after a three-year battle to gain access to State Department calendars. The analysis shows that at least 85 of 154 people Hillary Clinton had scheduled phone or in-person meetings with were foundation donors. We speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept. His most recent piece is headlined "Why Did the Saudi Regime and Other Gulf Tyrannies Donate Millions to the Clinton Foundation?"</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/29/greenwald_why_did_saudi_regime_other" width="630"></iframe><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p> </p><p>AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. As we continue our conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, we turn to the U.S. presidential elections and the growing questions surrounding Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. On Sunday, Democratic National Committee interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile defended Clinton’s meetings as secretary of state with Clinton Foundation donors on CBS’s Face the Nation.</p><p>DONNA BRAZILE: When Republicans meet with their donors, with their supporters, their activists, they call it a meeting. When Democrats do that, they call it a conflict. It’s not pay to play, unless somebody, you know, actually gave someone 50 cents to say, "I need a meeting." No, in this great country of ours, when you meet with constituents, when you meet with heads of state, when you meet with people like Bono, who I love, you meet with them because they have a—they want to bring a matter to your attention. That’s not pay to play. It’s called that when Democrats do it; it’s not called that when Republicans do it.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Donna Brazile’s comments come in response to an Associated Press investigation revealing that while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, more than half of the private citizens she met with during the reporting period had donated to the Clinton Foundation. The AP investigation comes after a three-year battle to gain access to State Department calendars. The analysis shows that at least 85 of 154 people Hillary Clinton had scheduled phone or in-person meetings with were foundation donors, not including meetings Clinton held with U.S. or foreign government workers or representatives, only private citizens. And these 85 donors contributed more than $150 million to the Clinton Foundation combined. The AP investigation has faced criticism for excluding Clinton’s meetings with U.S. and foreign government officials, which some say present a skewed view of her activities while secretary of state. But in a statement, the Associated Press defended the investigation, writing, quote, "It focused on Mrs. Clinton’s meetings and calls involving people outside government who were not federal employees or foreign diplomats, because meeting with U.S. or foreign government officials would inherently have been part of her job as secretary of state," unquote. This all comes as a federal judge has ordered the State Department to set a timetable for the release of 15,000 additional emails the FBI has collected during the agency’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. For more, we continue our conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept. He has been closely following the U.S. presidential elections. His recent piece, "Why Did the Saudi Regime and Other Gulf Tyrannies Donate Millions to the Clinton Foundation?" So, Glenn, your response?</p><p>GLENN GREENWALD: Well, I mean, the problem here is that the context in which this is all taking place is that the Republicans have nominated this truly unstable, dangerous and often terrifying person who obviously should never get anywhere near the White House. And so, there seem to be a lot of people, including in journalism, who think that because that’s the case, the Democratic nominee, who has all kinds of flaws and vulnerabilities and ethical clouds surrounding her, should sort of get to waltz into the White House free of challenge or questioning, because somehow it’s our civic and moral duty to make sure that Donald Trump loses the election. And although I do think that Donald Trump getting anywhere near the White House is very dangerous, I also think it’s very dangerous to allow someone to gain extraordinary amounts of political power, even more than they already have, without being challenged or questioned by an adversarial media. The role of journalists should be to shine a light on both of them. And there’s a lot of light to be shined on what Bill and Hillary Clinton had been doing in terms of unifying private wealth and oligarchical financing and enormous amounts of political power in ways that blur every single conceivable ethical line. And what Donna Brazile said in that video that you played is nothing short of laughable. It’s not questioned when Republicans do favors for their donors? Of course it is. In fact, it’s been a core, central critique of the Democratic Party, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, for years, that Republicans are corrupt because they serve the interest of their big donors. One of the primary positions of the Democratic Party is that the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court has corrupted politics because it allows huge money to flow into the political process in a way that ensures, or at least creates the appearance, that people are doing favors for donors. And so, here you have Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton having this Clinton Foundation, with billions of dollars pouring into it from some of the world’s worst tyrannies, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and other Gulf states, other people who have all kinds of vested interests in the policies of the United States government. And at the same time, in many cases, both Bill and Hillary Clinton are being personally enriched by those same people, doing speeches, for many hundreds of thousands of dollars, in front of them, at the same time that she’s running the State Department, getting ready to run for president, and soon will be running the executive branch. And so, the primary defense of Democrats, which is, "Look, there is no proof of a quid pro quo. Yes, Hillary Clinton did things that benefited these donors, but you can’t prove that the reason she did them is because she got—the Clinton Foundation got this money or her husband got this money," this is an absurd standard. That has been the Republican argument for many years. Of course you can’t prove a quid pro quo, because you can’t get into the mind of somebody and show their motives. That was the argument of Antonin Scalia and John Roberts in Citizens United, and Anthony Kennedy. They said, "Look, you can’t prove that big money donations are corrupting. Maybe it creates an appearance of it, but you can’t prove it." And so, the problem here is that the Clintons have essentially become the pioneers of eliminating all of these lines, of amassing massive wealth from around the world, and using that to boost their own political power, and then using that political power to boost the interests of the people who are enriching them in all kinds of ways. And of course questions need to be asked, and suspicions are necessarily raised, because this kind of behavior is inherently suspicious. And it needs a lot of media scrutiny and a lot of attention, and I’m glad it’s getting that.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Let me go to Paul Glastris, who is the editor-in-chief of the Washington Monthly, and he was President Bill Clinton’s chief speechwriter from ’98 to 2001. I want to go to his comments. PAUL GLASTRIS: The reason the Clinton State Department and the entire Obama administration was willing to give a lot of arms to the Saudis and the Bahrainis was that they were tubing the Saudis and the Bahrainis by trying to open negotiations with Iran. Everybody knows this. It’s not—we don’t need to kind of find some nefarious payoff in order to understand the policy. You can agree with the policy or disagree with the policy, but if you’re in favor of the opening of Iran, it’s hard to say they shouldn’t have sold these arms to the Sunnis. They were trying to keep a balance of power going in order to bring some kind of peace and resolution of these nuclear issues.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So that was Paul Glastris, when he had a debate at the time on Democracy Now! last week with David Sirota of International Business Times. But your response, Glenn?</p><p>GLENN GREENWALD: What an intellectually dishonest hack that guy is. Just think about what you just heard. So this is a former Democratic operative, who now is the editor-in-chief of a liberal magazine, the Washington Monthly, and what he is doing is he’s looking into the camera and speaking into his microphone and justifying selling arms to the worst regime, or one of the worst regimes, on the planet, which is the Saudi regime, because he needs to do that in order to defend the Clintons. That is what the Democratic Party has become. He is in the position of having to justify extraordinarily immoral behavior. The Saudis are currently using those arms, that were funneled to them by the United States government, approved by Hillary Clinton, to obliterate Yemeni children and Yemeni civilians for over two years now with the direct help of the United States government. And he is justifying that as some sort of magnanimous desire on the part of the Clintons to bring about world peace by forging a deal with Iran. The reality is, is that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have been funding the Saudis for decades, long before that nonsensical excuse was even available about trying to facilitate the Iran deal, and at the very same time, the Saudis are feeding millions and millions and millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, enriching and empowering the Clintons in all kinds of ways. It’s a case of the Clintons and the world’s worst despots scratching each other’s back and doing favors for each other, while Democratic propagandists, like the one we just heard from, justify it as some sort of magnanimous gesture. And this has really become the problem, which is, you have—there was all this talk over the last two weeks about the dangers of letting the media merge with a political campaign, when Donald Trump hired the chairman of Breitbart. And yet what you have is huge numbers of media outlets that are liberal media outlets, that are—exist for no reason but to serve the Democratic Party and their political leaders. They justify every single thing they do. They defend them from every single criticism that exists, without any kind of scruples or even pretense of independence. And overwhelmingly, the American media is completely on the side of the Clintons and Hillary Clinton in this campaign, and the liberals in the U.S. media are more propagandistic in defending Hillary Clinton than even her own campaign spokespeople are. And that clip proves that so, so potently.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062731'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062731" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:02:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062731 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Video World clinton foundation hillary clinton 'This Is Our War & It is Shameful:' Journalist Andrew Cockburn on the U.S. Role in the War in Yemen http://www.alternet.org/world/our-war-it-shameful-journalist-andrew-cockburn-us-role-war-yemen <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062359'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062359" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Even before the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen began more than a year ago, Yemen was ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/yemen_democracy_now.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Now, a year and a half into the war, Yemen’s health system has broken down, and the population is facing the threat of starvation. For more, we’re joined by Andrew Cockburn, the Washington editor for Harper’s magazine. His latest piece for Harper’s is headlined "Acceptable Losses: Aiding and Abetting the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen." He is author of <em>Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins</em>.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/22/this_is_our_war_it_is" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: As we continue covering Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, we turn to Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s magazine. His latest piece for Harper’s is headlined "Acceptable Losses: Aiding and Abetting the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen." Andrew Cockburn’s piece begins, "Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water. "Such was the dire condition of the country before Saudi Arabia unleashed a bombing campaign in March 2015, which has destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, hospitals, water tanks, gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. Thousands of civilians—no one knows how many—have been killed or wounded. Along with the bombing, the Saudis have enforced a blockade, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. A year and a half into the war, the health system has largely broken down, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation." Those the words of Andrew Cockburn, the Washington editor for Harper’s magazine. He joins us now from Washington. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Andrew Cockburn. Talk about the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia and what Saudi Arabia is doing in Yemen.</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Well, the U.S. support has been basically unconditional. I mean, there have been some sort of behind-the-scenes grumbles and efforts to sort of suggest that they might tone it down a bit. But, basically, from the very beginning, the support, as your previous guest was saying, has not only been consisted of supplying arms continually through the—through the war, and certainly before the war, but also fully fledged diplomatic support. I mean, at the beginning of the war, the Saudis effectively sponsored a U.N. resolution, which basically called for the other side, the Houthis, who controlled the capital and large parts of the country, to unconditionally surrender and go back home to the area they came from. The U.S. supported that, which was obviously going to—you know, was no peace—no way to a peaceful solution, was going to continue the war. Later, in about last fall, the Dutch government introduced a resolution saying that the—that there should be an independent investigation of war crimes by both sides, by all sides in Yemen. The U.S., again, effectively worked—took the lead in killing that initiative, to make sure that didn’t happen. In fact, in the course of researching this article, I talked to a very senior State Department official, and I said, "Well, you know, did you do that? Why did you do that?" And he said, "Well, we agreed with President Hadi." President Hadi, of course, is the Saudi pawn, the so-called president, who has been living in Riyadh for most of the war. It’s been—it’s a very shocking story of just how casually we’ve enabled—the U.S. has enabled, not just by supplying the weapons, but by giving diplomatic backup, to this ongoing sort of casual war crime.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: What is Saudi Arabia and the U.S. hoping to accomplish in Yemen?</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Well, that’s a great question. The U.S., it’s not clear at all. The Saudis, basically—I mean, in the article, I go at some length into the sort of background to all this. But basically, they got freaked out at the thought that Iran was establishing a beachhead on their southern border, which was really kind of hysterical paranoia, because Iran wasn’t really doing that. I mean, they were making some kind of connection with the Houthis, who are a religious minority, tribal minority, living in northern Yemen, but there was very little prospect of Iran setting up bases and so on and so forth. And the U.S. just kind of—and so, the Saudis got more and more sort of outraged as the Houthis took power in Yemen, or seemed to be taking over the country. And the U.S. kind of went along with it. I mean, I was told, very early on in the war, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken went to Riyadh to ask the—this is two weeks—yeah, it was two weeks into the war, when they had already been bombing away, using the U.S. bombs, U.S.-supplied bombs, using U.S. weapons, killing already dozens, if not certainly, you know, hundreds of civilians, destroying factories. And finally, Blinken turns up in Riyadh and asks, "By the way, what are you trying to accomplish here?" And the Saudis effectively said, or at least the Americans understood them to say, "Well, we basically want to wipe out the Houthis." Well, they termed it as "end all Iranian influence in Yemen." So, the Americans—Blinken was a bit shocked by that, so I’m told, and said, "Well, you know, that’s going a bit far. But it’s—you should certainly stop the Houthis taking over the country." And that, effectively, gave the Saudis carte blanche to continue this kind of mindless carpet bombing, in effect, that they’ve—that’s been going on almost ever since. There’s been a bit of a lull over the summer, when you had the peace talks going on. But, otherwise, it’s this—and as you mentioned at the beginning, reading the bit in the beginning of my article, this was a desperately poor country, you know, with the terrible conditions. Everyone was—human rights people, you know, humanitarian workers were desperately worried about Yemen before a single bomb was dropped, and now thousands and thousands and thousands of bombs have been dropped, effectively destroying Yemen. They’ve destroyed most of the health system. They destroyed schools. Human Rights Watch did an excellent report pointing out that they’ve attacked—consistently attacked economic targets having nothing to do with any kind of war effort, but like potato chip factories, water bottling factories, power plants. It’s an effort to destroy Yemen. And that’s what, as Kristine said, we are part of that. This is our war, and it’s shameful. I mean, I’ll give you one quick example. Yes, everyone is horrified by Syria and what’s going on there, and quite rightly so. And we’ve had this picture of that poor Syrian child that’s gone viral. Yesterday, The New York Times had one—you know, had a piece saying one—a picture of one Syrian child went viral, but here are seven others, so seven other children that got similarly affected. And I thought, "Oh, maybe they’ll mention a Yemeni." Not so. Syrian other—seven other unfortunate Syrian children. But I defy you to find a single picture in The New York Times or any other mainstream New York media of any of the hundreds, if not thousands, of Yemeni children, because no one really knows how many have been wounded or killed by the Saudi bombing.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Last August, Red Cross President Peter Maurer went to Yemen. He said Yemen, after five months, looks like Syria after eight years—no, he said Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years.</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Yes, isn’t that a shocking, a shocking—I mean, that—we’ve heard so much about Syria, and yet, you know, the Saudis have been on fast-forward—and us—I have to keep reminding us of that. We—our war in Yemen has been on fast-forward. And we’ve, you know, just done devastating damage to the country. And I quote in my piece—you know, I asked a senior State Department official, "What was the Saudi plan when they started this bombing campaign? What was the strategy for the bombing?" And he got a bit exasperated. He said, "Plan? There was no plan. They simply bombed anything and everything." Anything might be a military target. You know, trucks on the highway, that became a military convoy. And when they did find a military target, they bombed it and bombed it and bombed it again. So, it seems indiscriminate, although, interestingly, I mean, we’ve had these recent atrocities of the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital, the fourth one they hit, that they hit last week, plus the schools. But there was another. There was an important bridge, which was a sort of route to carrying food supplies, essential supplies up from the port, up from Hudaydah. They hit that, as a way, you know, effective means of increasing the hunger level and the general distress level in Sana’a. So, this is a very, very, very cruel war that we are helping to wage.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: U.S. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has spoken out against U.S. support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen. He was speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper last week.</p><p>SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: There is an American imprint on every civilian life lost in Yemen. Why? Well, it’s because though the Saudis are actually dropping the bombs from their planes, they couldn’t do it without the United States. It’s our munitions, sold to the Saudis. It’s our planes that are refueling the Saudi jets. And it’s our intelligence that are helping the Saudis provide their targeting. We have made a decision to go to war in Yemen against a Houthi rebel army that poses no existential threat to the United States. It’s really wild to me that we’re not talking more about this in the United States. The United States Congress has not debated a war authorization giving the president the power to conduct this operation in Yemen.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Senator Murphy went on to say that Congress can put an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Now, what about this, Andrew Cockburn? Is this about Yemen, or is this simply about President Obama supporting the U.S. arms industry?</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Well, it’s very little to do with Yemen, because we—you know, it’s clear we don’t care about Yemen. I mean, there’s little groups in the State Department and elsewhere who do, maybe. But, no, we don’t care much about Yemen, and we don’t care if we destroy it. What we do care about is the health and well-being of the U.S. arms industry. I mean, I’ll give you a little example: In 2010 or the end of—the U.S. announced, or it was announced that the—the largest arms sale in U.S. history, which was a $60 billion sale of warplanes, of F-15 jets, plus bombs and missiles and missile guidance, bomb guidance systems and all the rest, that they’ve been using ever since. That was—if you look in the Hillary Clinton’s released emails, you will find a sort of round of celebration: good news, a Christmas present. This was all part of the strategy, which the Obama administration has been pursuing since the beginning, of increasing arms sales abroad. And remember, it’s not just, you know, the actual sort of things that we think of of weapons—I mean, the bomber plane, the F-15 planes, the missiles, the bombs. It’s also the whole infrastructure that keeps them going. I mean, I looked into this, the huge contracts that are being—that are in place to service, to keep the whole machine running. Senator Murphy, in his excellent statement, he could have mentioned one other thing, which is the fact that these planes are largely maintained—I mean, what keeps them in the air are the teams of American contract workers who are on the ground. If you look on job search sites, you’ll find job opportunities in Saudi Arabia to service F-15, maintain F-15 planes and everything else that’s required to keep this war going. So, in so many ways, we are part of this, and very profitably so—I mean, not just the $110 billion you mentioned. I believe—I could be wrong, but it’s roughly—we have 7,000 people on the production line at the Boeing plant in St. Louis working on this huge Saudi F-15 order. And I’ve seen a figure that, across the country, in terms of subcontractors doing the bits that go in to make these planes, perhaps as many as another 30,000 or 35,000 workers around the country. This is a huge number of jobs and a huge amount of money. So, in a way, given the sort of values system that we have here today, it’s really no surprise that we’re doing this.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: In June, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon removed the U.S. Saudi-backed—Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen from a blacklist of forces responsible for killing children. Ban Ki-moon later acknowledged he was coerced into removing Saudi Arabia from the blacklist of forces responsible for killing children, after the kingdom threatened to cut off funding to the U.N. This is what he said.</p><p>SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON: The report describes horrors no child should have to face. At the same time, I also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would defund many U.N. programs. Children already at risk in Palestine, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and so many other places would fall further into despair. It is unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That’s U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Andrew Cockburn?</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Well, isn’t that—isn’t this shocking, I mean, that this—that our, you know, supreme international body has to, you know, as it admits, cravenly crumble before this bandit regime, threatening, saying, "Well, if you don’t—if you criticize us for going around killing children, we’re going to starve a few more?" I mean, that is just disgraceful on the strength of it, quite apart from everything else we’ve been talking about, about the weapons. I think they should have been—well, I mean, it’s an absurd joke that they should be on the Human Rights Council, for a start. I mean, it’s really a sick joke that these people should be allowed to say anything about human rights, you know, for all the reasons people know very well, not just what’s going on in Yemen, but everything that goes on in Saudi Arabia, for that matter.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Why is the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia sacrosanct, it seems? And what do you take—what do you think of the media coverage of Saudi Arabia?</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Well, you know, the relationship goes back. I mean, sort of we could go back to when the Saudi Arabia—the Americans sort of forged the alliance, the relationship, in 1945, when Roosevelt met with the king of Saudi Arabia, and they really came to a deal: The U.S. would support the regime and keep this family, who named the country after themselves, the House of Saud, keep them in power—that was the deal—in exchange for a guarantee of cheap oil supplies to this country. I mean, not many people know that, actually, up until 2002, they actually did subsidize the price of oil, you know, Saudi oil that came to this country. There’s other things that go along with it, like overflights, you know, that we wouldn’t—it would be very inconvenient for us sort of to run those huge bases we have in the Gulf, in Doha and Bahrain, if we weren’t allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia, which they—they make it clear that’s a conditional right. Once in a while, I was told by a former ambassador, they refuse permission. So, there’s things like that. But I think, first and foremost, it’s all about money, you know, this $110 billion we’ve been talking about repeatedly, which was only the latest—that’s only under Obama, let alone what’s gone on in previous years, but, you know, the huge amount of money that washes into Washington. You know, there’s been revelations in recent days of the amount the Saudis gave the Clinton campaign, the number of lobbyists in Washington that are on the Saudi payroll. It’s a very—you know, it’s really a relationship sort of lined with gold, that that’s sort of become a matter of habit. You know, that the—you know, I talk in the article about, for example, in just outside Riyadh, there’s a big—quite a big housing compound with several thousand Americans, whose job is—it’s the U.S. military training mission to the Saudi armed forces. And that’s been there permanently since—I think since the early '50s. In fact, it was agreed on at that historic meeting in 1945. It's always run by a two-star Air Force or Army general. The Saudis pay $30 million a year to have this training mission, which is also, as it says in its mission statement on its web—mission statement, its job is to sell U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia. So, you know, it’s a relationship, I think, fundamentally built on arms sales.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to read to you an article, an excerpt, from David Sirota, headlined "Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals from Hillary Clinton’s State Department." Sirota wrote, quote, "In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing—the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15—contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, [this] according to a company press release." Those are the words of David Sirota. Andrew Cockburn?</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Well, I mean, commentary is almost superfluous. I mean, there you have it. The Saudis put $10 million into the Clinton Foundation; the Boeing corporation puts $900,000. In fact, in those Clinton emails I referred to earlier, you know, they’re saying—when they’re all, Clinton and her staff, are celebrating that giant weapons sale, F-15s and weapons sale in 2010, they’re saying, "Get on to the Boeing corporation, and tell them the good news." I mean, it’s—someone once said that the business of the U.S. government is to acquire arms at home and sell arms abroad. And I think this is a very good example of that.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Finally, what do you think needs to happen?</p><p>ANDREW COCKBURN: Well, for a start, we should sort of cut off this—you know, cut off—resign from this war. I mean, you know, as Kristine said, we are part of this war, so we should quit. We should not be supplying any more weapons. We should not be supplying intelligence. We should try—I mean, might be contractually difficult, but we should suddenly cut off the flow of American contract workers, you know, who are servicing these planes. We should make it clear that we’re not part of this. We should also—I think, you know, that the Saudis, of course, will be hysterical about it, but we should make it clear that we are—you know, we are doing that, and we are working—would try and work for a—you know, for some kind of peaceful solution, before there’s anything left of Yemen, which is not much, as far as I can see at the moment, but something, you know, that the Saudi-backed side has to stop demanding the unconditional surrender of the Houthis. On the other hand, the Houthis and their ally, former President Saleh, who, I must say, is certainly no angel himself, have to be given some inducement, perhaps by us working with the Iranians or in some way persuading them that they have to settle for less than maximal success. But we have to stop—we have to quit this war. I mean, it’s unconscionable, what’s going on.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062359'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062359" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Sun, 28 Aug 2016 09:35:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062359 at http://www.alternet.org World Video World yemen Vijay Prashad: Turkey's Offensive Against ISIS & Press Crackdown Is Really Just War on Kurds http://www.alternet.org/world/vijay-prashad-turkeys-offensive-against-isis-press-crackdown-really-just-war-kurds <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062616'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062616" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Syrian Kurdish militias are backed by the United States. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/vijay_prashad_war_on_the_kurds.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>As the United States backs a Turkish military incursion into Syria targeting ISIS-held areas along the border, Turkey says it’s also concerned about Syrian Kurdish militias at the border who are backed by the United States. We look at the conflict, how it relates to the recent thwarted coup attempt, and the government’s subsequent arrests of journalists on terrorism charges with an acclaimed scholar who has followed the region closely for years: Vijay Prashad. He is a professor of international studies at Trinity College and columnist for the Indian magazine Frontline. His new book is "The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution."</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/26/vijay_prashad_turkeys_offensive_against_isis" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: An explosion at a police station in Turkey near the border with Syria has reportedly killed at least 11 people and wounded 70. State-run media is reporting that Kurdish militants were responsible for the attack, but there’s been no claim of responsibility. This comes as the Turkish military has sent additional tanks into northern Syria, intensifying its ground offensive in the ongoing conflict. The U.S. military is backing Turkey’s incursion, which began earlier this week with an aerial bombing campaign. Turkey says the offensive is against ISIS-held areas along the border. But Turkey says it’s also concerned about Syrian Kurdish militias at the border. Those militias are backed by the United States. On Wednesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkish-backed Syrian rebels claimed—reclaimed the Syrian town of Jarabulus from the Islamic State.</p><p>PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: [translated] As of this moment, Free Syrian Army and residents of Jarabulus have taken back Jarabulus. They have seized the state buildings and official institution buildings in the town. According to the information we have received, Daesh had to leave Jarabulus.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Turkey’s offensive is dubbed "Euphrates Shield," and it’s the country’s first major military operation since a failed coup shook Turkey in July. On Wednesday, the Turkish president, Erdogan, met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who said the United States supports Turkey’s efforts to control its borders. VICE</p><p>PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We believe very strongly that the Turkish border must be controlled by Turkey, that there should be no occupation of that border by any group whatsoever, other than a Syria that must be whole and united, but not carved in little pieces.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says videos posted to a social media website Thursday depict carnage in the Bab al-Nairab neighborhood of Aleppo, where two barrel bombs were reportedly dropped, killing at least five people. The group also reported additional strikes across Aleppo and its suburbs, saying the dead were mostly women and children.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The strikes came as the United Nations announced Russia has agreed to a 48-hour humanitarian truce in Aleppo to permit aid deliveries, pending security guarantees are met by parties on the ground. The United Nations has been pushing for a weekly 48-hour hiatus in fighting in Aleppo to assist the city’s approximately 2 million people who have been suffering as Syria’s five-year-old conflict continues to take a massive humanitarian toll. A separate United Nations team has concluded the Assad government and ISIS militants carried out repeated chemical weapons attacks in Syria in 2014 and 2015. The report accuses Assad of twice using chlorine gas. It also accuses ISIS of using mustard gas.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: All of this comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, are meeting today in Geneva to discuss details of a cooperation agreement on fighting Islamic State in Syria. For more, we’re joined by the acclaimed scholar who has followed the region closely for years, Vijay Prashad. He is a professor of international studies at Trinity College, columnist for the Indian magazine Frontline. His new book is called The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution. Professor Prashad’s previous books include Arab Spring, Libyan Winter and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. Vijay Prashad, welcome back to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you in studio.</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: Thanks a lot. Great to be here.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: So, let’s start with what’s happening right now in Turkey, where Vice President Joe Biden just was.</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: Well, the situation in Turkey is very dire. As you know, on July 15, there was the failed coup. But the matters in Turkey have unraveled long before this failed coup. You know, the crackdown on reporters has been going on for at least a year and a half, if not longer. The internal politics of Turkey has been in disarray. One of the interesting things about the government of Mr. Erdogan is that, previously, he had started a peace process with the Kurdish Workers’ Party, the PKK, which the United States and Turkey sees as a terrorist outfit. They had started a protracted peace process called the Imrali process. But this war in Syria has essentially unraveled that peace process, and the Turkish military has gone back on the full offensive against the Kurds in southeastern Turkey, and, as well, as you saw this week, the Turkish army has crossed the border into Syria to stop the advance of Syrian Kurds from creating what the Syrian Kurds call Rojava, which would be a statelet of Syrian Kurds which is right on the Turkish border. You know, the reason that operation is called Euphrates Shield is that the Euphrates runs in that region from north to south. And what the Turkish government would like to see is for the Syrian Democratic Forces, which has a large Kurdish component, to move back east of the Euphrates—in other words, withdraw from Jarabulus, withdraw from Manbij, which they had taken quite—in a celebrated victory, and therefore prevent the creation of this Kurdish statelet called Rojava. On the surface, they say it’s about ISIS, but really this is about the protracted war that the Turkish government has begun again against the Kurds.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But interestingly, you mentioned the failed coup. The New York Times, for instance, is reporting today that Erdogan wanted to go into Syria earlier, but the military was resisting, and it was only as a result of his being able to purge and remove so many top military officers that now he’s been able to do—to effect this incursion. VIJAY PRASHAD: This is likely the case, you know, but it’s also been the situation that this is not the first Turkish entry into Syria. The Turks had entered previously; the Turkish military had. You know, there’s a celebrated shrine, a memorial to one of the founders of the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish military had entered to secure that monument earlier. Turks had also, of course, kept their border open and had allowed supplies and people to cross the border into various proxy groups, whether it’s Turkish-backed proxy groups, Saudi groups, Qatari groups—and, in fact, the Islamic State. You know, they have used for years the Turkish border. And I think that the sheer instability of the war in Syria has returned, you know, the conflict into Turkey—what the CIA, after the successful coup in Iran in 1953, called blowback. You know, this is, in a sense, blowback against Turkey. So, they have previously entered Syria with the military. They have, of course, supported their proxies. But now, I think, with the gains made by the Kurds, this is as much a political entry as anything. You know, the principal reason, I would argue, that they’ve entered Jarabulus is to stop the creation of Rojava.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Vijay Prashad, and we’re going to continue this conversation after break. Vijay Prashad is professor of international studies at Trinity College, columnist for the Indian magazine Frontline. His new book is called The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution. We’ll talk about, well, Turkey, Syria, Libya, and also the U.S. elections, before we speak with Emma Thompson. The famed actress is now back in Canada after going to the Arctic. Stay with us. [break]</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: "Denizlerin Dalgasiyim," "I am the Waves of the Sea," by Selda Bagcan. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. We’re speaking with Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College and author of a new book. It’s called The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution. I want to turn to a novelist who was just arrested. I want to talk about press freedom in Turkey. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that Turkish author and columnist Asli Erdogan—no relation to the president—has written about her treatment in prison since her arrest earlier this month, after the government closed down the newspaper where she worked. She now faces a pending trial on terrorism charges and says she’s been denied medication or sufficient water for five days and is diabetic. She’s one of many journalists and writers who have been arrested on charges of terrorism in Turkey. About 10,000 people have been arrested since the coup, at least that we know, or the attempted coup, though Erdogan, of course, wrested power back. Professor Vijay Prashad, what about Asli?</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: Well, look, you know, she is one of the tens of thousands of people who have been arrested under so-called suspicion that she was doing propaganda for the Kurdish Workers’ Party, the PKK. You know, here’s a celebrated novelist, a journalist for a newspaper whose entire staff pretty much, the editorial staff, has been arrested. Newspapers have been facing a great challenge inside Turkey, and broadcasters. If anybody has questioned the fact that the Turkish government, you know, has been allowing fighters to cross the border, they have been arrested. And this has been happening for the last several years. You know, that’s why I say the failed coup of July 15th has just provided the government with the opportunity to go very deep into its list of those whom it sees as dissenters, and pick them up. But they’ve been going after reporters for years now. Anybody who challenges their narrative of the war in Syria, they consider a threat, and they accuse them of being linked to the PKK. You know, this is one of the simplest ways of delegitimizing somebody, is to say that they are a propagandist for the PKK. And that’s precisely what they’ve said to her. They’ve also held her in solitary confinement. And she has asked to go back into the general population. You know, that’s a—it’s a humanitarian thing, on the surface of it. And also, you know, this is somebody with medical problems, and they’ve denied use of medication and a proper diet. But she’s only one. You know, as you noted, there are thousands of journalists who have been picked up. And sadly, a number of them are Kurdish journalists, independent journalists from the southwestern region of Turkey, who have been picked up.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And you mention the Kurdish Workers’ Party. Clearly, Turkey is a far more developed country than most of the other Middle East countries and, along with Egypt, probably has the largest working class, per se. Has there been any ties between the Kurdish Workers’ Party and ongoing workers’ movements in Turkey among the rest of the population?</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: So, the Kurdish Workers’ Party starts, you know, as a principally Kurdish nationalist force, separatist force. But Turkey is an interesting country, because, you know, the largest Kurdish population in a city is not in the southeast, but is in Istanbul. So, you know, about 10 years ago or so, the Kurdish Workers’ Party began to move from the position of secessionism to the position of more rights inside Turkey. And there have been a series of attempts to unite with the Turkish left, various small leftist parties, to create an umbrella party that would both fight for rights of all kinds of people—gays and lesbians, women, workers and Kurds—inside Turkey. And the most recent, you know, party of this kind was the HDP, which had in both elections in 2015—there were two parliamentary elections—did enough—you know, did well enough to block Mr. Erdogan’s attempt to create a presidential form of government. And in a sense, this domestic pressure from the HDP has also upturned the applecart, as far as Mr. Erdogan’s domestic agenda is concerned.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: You know, Joe Biden was just there, the vice president. Turkey, Erdogan has been demanding the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, who is in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Biden wrote a piece in a Turkish paper, and Foreign Policy has said that Turkey has admitted that they have not given evidence that this man was behind the attempted coup. Explain, overall, the significance, for people who have never heard of him. It’s not just about the PKK in Turkey.</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: No, it’s not. The PKK provides, I think, the opportunity for the Turkish government to go after a large number of journalists, because many of these journalists that they’ve picked up are people of the left. The purges in the military, in the judiciary, in those sectors, they’ve blamed on people with sympathies to the Gülen movement or been members of the Gülen movement. Now, when Mr. Erdogan came to power in the early 2000s, one of the great fears of this kind of Islamist movement was that they would suffer a coup by the military, that the military, which was largely republican, would go and overthrow them. So, from the very beginning, the AKP party, the party of Mr. Erdogan, has been very careful not to antagonize the military. And through the early years, Mr. Gülen’s movement and Erdogan both collaborated in stuffing their people into the military and into the judiciary. In a sense, this is now a family fight, that the very people that they stuffed into the military and into the judiciary have, of course, now turned on Mr. Erdogan. So he is now purging these people from positions of some authority. So it’s not untrue that the Gülenists are inside the military and inside the judiciary, but they were put there essentially to facilitate the Islamization of these institutions.</p><p>JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the Gülen movement, in one of the bizarre examples of what’s happening in education in the United States, runs the largest charter school network in the United States. They have charter schools across the country, especially in Texas. Is there any indication—and they’re bringing in Turkish educators to come into the United States to work in these schools. Do you have a—have you studied that at all?</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: No, I haven’t looked at that, but I’ve read about it. And the interesting feature, of course, is that this charter school movement or this push towards having faith-based schools in the United States is so closely linked to the agenda not only in Turkey, but in Pakistan, in various other places. And, you know, you see the downside of this: the promotion of a kind of theocratic mindset, the promotion of, you know, a lack of appreciation of the diversity of populations, of minorities, of science, you know, things like that. So, of course, the United States—I’m glad you raised this, because the United States is not somehow outside this process. You know, the United States is very much in this process, not only by promoting this overseas, but, of course, by promoting it from Texas to New York. It’s not only Texas, Juan. We like to think of Texas as a sort of, you know, bastion of the American Taliban, but this American Talibanization has been happening everywhere.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to move from Turkey to Saudi Arabia. While Joe Biden went to Turkey, Secretary of State John Kerry went to Saudi Arabia. Talk about Saudi Arabia and what’s happening today and the U.S. role in Saudi Arabia.</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: Well, this is actually, I think, the most important meeting. And it’s important that Mr. Kerry went to Saudi Arabia before meeting Lavrov in Geneva. And the reason I say this is that, you know, the Russians, the Iranians and the Americans have now come to the understanding that the process in Syria cannot start with the demand that Mr. Assad has to go. And why I say this is that Turkey has in the last couple of weeks come to the same position. So, the current prime minister of Turkey has quite clearly said that they no longer require Mr. Assad to leave as a precondition for the peace process, but he can stay, as the prime minister said, for a transitional period. The only power in the region, the so-called subjugating powers of the region, that has not accepted this view is Saudi Arabia, and, to some extent, its Gulf Arab allies. You know, Saudi Arabia is fighting an extraordinarily brutal war in Yemen. It is obstinate in that war. It’s made no gains, despite the fact it’s been bombing Yemen for over a year. And, of course, the United States government has continued to resupply Saudi Arabia through this period. So, Mr. Kerry’s—</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Engaged in the largest weapons sale in U.S. history with Saudi Arabia.</p><p>VIJAY PRASHAD: Precisely, the largest weapons sale, which Mr. Obama justified on economic grounds, which I thought was the most vulgar thing. In his statement, he said—or his proxy said, his spokesperson said, that this is the largest weapons sale, which benefits most of the states in the United States, because they will have bits and pieces of manufacturing. But the point I just want to make is that for Mr. Kerry to be in Saudi Arabia is important because one of the features that they need to be pushing is that Saudi Arabia needs to now adopt the view that there needs to be a long transitional process in Syria. They cannot demand the Assad—Mr. Assad leave as a precondition. Everybody else has accepted this except Saudi Arabia.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062616'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062616" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 10:18:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062616 at http://www.alternet.org World Video World kurds Actress Emma Thompson: Donald Trump is a White Nationalist Like Brexit Politician Nigel Farage http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/actress-emma-thompson-donald-trump-white-nationalist-brexit-politician-nigel-farage <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062622'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062622" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">On Wednesday, British politician Nigel Farage joined Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Mississippi. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/the_new_york_times_trump_farage.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Nigel Farage was one of the leaders of Britain’s campaign to leave the European Union, known as "Brexit." Trump has praised Brexit, saying the British people had "taken back their country." We speak with Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson about Brexit and Donald Trump.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/8/26/actress_emma_thompson_donald_trump_is" width="630"></iframe></p><p><em>This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.</em></p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Emma, I wanted—I wanted you to weigh in on U.S. politics, because one of your countrymen just came here. You may not know this, because you were in the Arctic. But—</p><p>EMMA THOMPSON: Yeah.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Well, Donald Trump, you know, has called climate change a hoax. Well, on Wednesday, British politician Nigel Farage joined Trump at a campaign rally in Mississippi. He’s one of the leaders, of course, of Britain’s campaign to leave the European Union, known as "Brexit." I’m telling everyone else, not you, Emma—you know. Trump has praised Brexit, saying the British people had, quote, "taken back their country." Well, Farage didn’t endorse Trump exactly on Wednesday, but he did slam Hillary Clinton. This is what he said.</p><p>NIGEL FARAGE: If I was an American citizen, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me. ... You can go out. You can beat the pollsters. You can beat the commentators. You can beat Washington. And you’ll do it by doing what we did for Brexit in Britain.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: That’s Nigel Farage, who was the leader of the Brexit movement.</p><p>EMMA THOMPSON: Yeah.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: Emma Thompson, now that you’ve heard what he had to say, your comments of his foray into U.S. election politics?</p><p>EMMA THOMPSON: Well, there are no words, really. Nigel Farage is a—you know, I mean, he’s a nationalist. He’s a white nationalist. And that’s what Donald Trump is. And so, it’s very—it’s very distressing to hear—</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: And what do you mean by "white nationalist"?</p><p>EMMA THOMPSON: —to hear him at all, ever.</p><p>AMY GOODMAN: When you say "white nationalist," what do you mean?</p><p>EMMA THOMPSON: I mean, I feel that, in some ways, the less said about Donald Trump, the better. But I do see that it is a terrifying situation. And actually, Mr. Prashad, who I was listening to earlier, was so wonderful on the subject, because he said, from the outside looking in, one of the things that, actually, I—I mean, obviously, if I were an American citizen, I’d be voting for Clinton. And one of the reasons for that is that she understands the reality of climate change. It is extraordinary that any person with anything really between their two ears could deny climate change at this point. I mean, that is an act of such extraordinary denial in the face of 98 percent of the world’s scientists coming out and saying, "Actually, you know what? It is." Even the IPCC, which is normally quite a sort of gentle commentator on it, says we’re in really big trouble now, and we really have to act. So, if he does get into power, he’s going to have an awful lot to deal with on that front. But it is terrifying from every point of view. I did agree with Mr. Prashad, though. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062622'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062622" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:26:00 -0700 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! 1062622 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Video nigel farage donald trump