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'I'll answer it for you': Psaki destroys combative Doocy – Biden doesn't need a 'photo op'

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday was forced to verbally wallop Peter Doocy after the combative, argumentative, and fear-mongering Fox News correspondent tried to pick a fight over President Joe Biden having not recently visited the southern border.

When all was said and done Psaki reminded Doocy that when he was president Donald Trump "went to the border, at least once, maybe more," she told him. "How did that immigration policy result Peter? That immigration policy resulted in separating kids from their parents, building a border wall that's feckless, and that cost billions of dollars for taxpayers."

"The President said last night," Doocy began his attack, referring to President Biden's remarks at a CNN town hall Thursday night, "why did President Biden say he has been to the border?"

"Well, Peter," Psaki replied, explaining that President Biden drove "through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008, and he's certainly familiar with the fact and it stuck with him with the fact that in El Paso, the border goes right through the center of town, but what the most important thing everyone should know and understand is that the President has worked on these issues throughout his entire career, and is well-versed in every aspect of our immigration system including the border that includes when he was vice president, and he went to Mexico and Central America ten times to address border issues and talk about what we can do to reduce the number of migrants who were coming to the border."

And she added that Biden "does not need a visit to the border to know what a mess was left by the last administration, that's his view."

Doocy, still obsessed over what he determined is President Biden's required presence at the southern border, pressed back hard.

"Does that count as a visit? He said, 'I've been there before,' you're saying he drove by for a few minutes, does that count?" Doocy demanded.

"What is the root cause? Where are people coming from when they're coming to the border Peter?" Psaki, losing patience, asked.

"I'm asking you a question because I think people should understand the context," Psaki continued, receiving no actual response.

"Okay, I'll answer it for you," she said, giving up. "People come from Central America and Mexico, to go to the border. The President has been to those countries ten times to talk about border issues," she informed Doocy. "There is a focus right now on a photo op. The President does not believe a photo op is the same as solutions that may be a difference he has with Republicans."

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'The Tucker Carlson effect': Rep. Swalwell exposes disturbing 'threats' he got after the Fox host's attacks

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) recently shed light on the damaging effects of Fox News host Tucker Carlson's rhetoric. On Thursday, October 21, the Democratic lawmaker took to Twitter with an audio clip of a Trump supporter attacking him for his remarks praising the U.S. Capitol Police officer who killed Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt.

With the disturbing audio clip, Swalwell discussed what he describes as "the Tucker Carlson effect. "Listen to this. It's the Tucker Carlson effect," Swalwell explained. "Tucker attacks me. His fans respond with threats to kill my family. And Tucker knows exactly what he's doing."

The unnamed man leveled a disturbing verbal attack toward the California lawmaker in a lethal, racist rant. "Here's some intelligence motherfucker. They just showed you on Fox News on Tucker Carlson saying Babbitt, that unarmed veteran, that white woman that was shot by a cop... You said he was a brave officer shooting a serious threat. He was a coward bitch who shot an unarmed white woman. If she would have been some black nigger crackhead, you guys have had that cop's head on a stick."

"You people are a disgrace to God, our country, and our people. You are the enemies of the United States people, motherfucker. You atheist, Communist faggots are the threat to our democracy, our Constitution, and our way of life," he said.

The irate man went on and seemed to level a threat toward Swalwell and his family as he concluded with praises to former President Donald Trump. He added, "As for these foreign invaders you're lettin' into this country, I hope they chop you, your family up and feed them to their dogs. You did you fucking bitch. There's your free speech for today, asshole, from Trump Nation!"

Almost immediately after Swalwell shared the audio clip, Twitter users quickly sounded off. With a link to a similar case, former federal prosecutor Chris Alberto quickly noted that these types of verbal threats are considered a violation of federal law.

"These threats against Mr. Swalwell & his family violates federal law," Alberto wrote. "The [FBI] should visit this guy ASAP. While expressing disagreement and nonviolent dissent are protected speech, threats of violence fall into the scope of federal criminal statutes."

Others also weighed in with their concerns.



'Stay tough': Centrist Manchin receives encouragement from Trump-supporting billionaire

Billionaire investor and Trump supporter Nelson Peltz recently shed light on his weekly discussions with centrist-leaning Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and the advice he's given him on his conflicting position as a Democratic lawmaker.

During an appearance on CNBC's "Halftime Report," Peltz, the founder of Trian Partners, lauded the Democratic lawmaker for "keeping our elected officials somewhere in the middle." He also said that he regularly encourages Manchin to "stay tough" on his position opposing President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda and other Democratic-proposed initiatives.

"Joe is the most important guy in DC. Maybe the most important guy in America today," Peltz said of the West Virginia lawmaker who he has shared 10 years of friendship with. "I call him every week and say, 'Joe, you're doing great. Stay tough. Stay tough, buddy.' He's phenomenal."

Our enemies are 'across the ocean, not across the aisle': Peltz on infrastructure bill www.youtube.com

Peltz remarks come as Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) continue their pushback against Biden's domestic spending proposal. Without Manchin and Sinema's support, Biden's initial infrastructure proposal of $3.5 trillion failed as it required the support of all 50 Democratic lawmakers in the Senate.

Their opposition has led to heightened backlash from Democrats and Progressives. In fact, the opposition toward Sinema has led to five of her veteran advisors' resignations. She was also blasted for failing to prioritize her constituents over big donors. You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people," Sinema's former advisors wrote in their resignation letter.

But despite the blowback, Manchin's beliefs happen to align with many of Peltz's. Like many Republicans, Manchin disapproves of raising corporate taxes; an incentive most Democratic lawmakers have supported. Back in 2016, Peltz, in contrast, supported former President Donald Trump's proposal to decrease taxes for the same group.

At the time, Peltz said, "If he gets the kind of tax reductions he's talking about, we will wind up having more employment, more companies coming back to the United States."

A reluctant warrior? An examination of Gen. Colin Powell’s bloody legacy from Iraq to Latin America

We look at the life and legacy of Colin Powell, who is best known for giving false testimony to the U.N. Security Council in 2003 about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, paving the way for the U.S. invasion and occupation that would kill over 1 million Iraqis. Powell, who was the first Black secretary of state, the first Black and youngest chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first Black national security adviser, died on Monday due to blood cancer and Parkinson's disease that left him vulnerable to infection from COVID-19. Tributes poured in from top U.S. leaders in both Republican and Democratic circles on Monday, but in other parts of the world Powell is remembered very differently. We speak with journalist and author Roberto Lovato, and Clarence Lusane, activist, journalist and political science professor at Howard University. Lusane describes Powell as "a complicated political figure who leaves a complicated legacy" whose public image was "in conflict with many of the policies of the party he supported and the administration in which he was involved." Assessing Powell's role in U.S. invasions around the world, from Vietnam to Central America, Lovato says "he's made a career out of being a good soldier and supporting U.S. mass murder around the world, but evading the credit for it."



This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: President Biden ordered flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff in honor of General Colin Powell, who died Monday at the age of 84. Powell was the first Black secretary of state, the first Black and youngest chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first Black national security adviser. On Monday, tributes poured in from both Republican and Democratic leaders. President Biden called Powell a, quote, "patriot of unmatched honor and dignity."

But in other parts of the world, Powell is remembered very differently. In Iraq, the journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who famously threw a shoe at President George W. Bush, tweeted that he was sad Powell had died before being tried for his crimes in Iraq. While serving as secretary of state under Bush, General Powell played a pivotal role in paving the way for the U.S. invasion. It was February 5th, 2003, that Powell addressed the United Nations Security Council and made the case for a first strike on Iraq. Powell's message was clear: Iraq possessed extremely dangerous weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam Hussein was systematically trying to deceive U.N. inspectors by hiding the prohibited weapons.

SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL: One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq's biological weapons is the existence of mobile production facilities used to make biological agents. Let me take you inside that intelligence file and share with you what we know from eyewitness accounts. We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails. The trucks and train cars are easily moved and are designed to evade detection by inspectors. In a matter of months, they can produce a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War.

AMY GOODMAN: All of Colin Powell's main claims about weapons of mass destruction turned out to be false. He later described the speech as a "blot" on his record.

But the 2003 speech was not the first time General Powell had falsely alleged Iraq had WMDs. In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. bombed Iraq's only baby formula factory. At the time, General Powell said, quote, "It is not an infant formula factory. … It was a biological weapons facility, of that we are sure," he said. Well, U.N. investigators later confirmed the bombed factory was in fact making baby formula.

While many in Iraq consider Powell to be a war criminal, just like they consider George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Powell has long been celebrated at home. Colin Powell was born in Harlem in 1937. His parents had both immigrated from Jamaica. He was educated in public schools, including City College of New York, before he joined the military through ROTC. He served two tours in Vietnam. He was later accused of helping to whitewash the My Lai massacre, when U.S. soldiers slaughtered up to 500 villagers, most of them women and children and the elderly. While investigating an account of the massacre filed by a soldier, Powell wrote, quote, "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent," he said.

Powell spent 35 years in the military, rising to chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the 1980s, he helped shape U.S. military policy in Latin America at a time when U.S.-backed forces killed hundreds of thousands of people in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and other countries. Powell also helped oversee the U.S. invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War.

From 2001 to 2005, he served as secretary of state under George W. Bush. After working under three Republican presidents, General Powell made headlines in 2008 when he endorsed Barack Obama for president just two weeks before Election Day. Earlier this year, General Powell said he no longer considered himself a Republican, following the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

General Colin Powell died on Monday. His family said he died from COVID-19 complications. He was struggling with both Parkinson's disease and multiple myeloma, which left him severely immunocompromised.

To talk more about Powell's life and legacy, we're joined by two guests. Roberto Lovato is with us, award-winning journalist, author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas. He has closely tracked General Powell's history in Latin America. We're also joined by Clarence Lusane, professor at Howard University. He's author of many books, including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice: Foreign Policy, Race, and the New American Century.

Professor Lusane, let's begin with you. If you can talk about the legacy of Colin Powell?

CLARENCE LUSANE: Thank you, Amy. And thank your other guests.

So, Powell leaves a very — he was a complicated political figure who leaves a complicated legacy. As you outlined in your introduction, Powell has a rise-from-the-bottom story that really captured the imagination of many people. He rose from growing up in poor areas, or at least low-income areas, in New York to become fourth in line to president, when he became the secretary of state.

In the early 1990s, he was championed by both Democrats and Republicans and recruited by both to run for president. He declined in 1995. And when he declined, he announced that he was joining the Republican Party. Now, the Republican Party he joined in 1995 was the Republican Party of Newt Gingrich, and it did not seem to be a fit. Colin was pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, pro-immigration, called for gun control, all of which the Republican Party, under Newt Gingrich and going forward, have been against.

As you point out, he joins the George W. Bush administration, the very first choice, in fact, of George W. Bush for his Cabinet because Powell has the international gravitas and respect that nobody else in and around George W. Bush has. But he never really fit in. And in the first eight or nine months of the George W. Bush administration, Powell lost fight after fight after fight when Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and others, who were what we call the neoconservatives, the neocons, were really running the administration. And there was a pretty good bet that Powell was not going to last until the end of the year. But then September 11 happens. Powell, always the loyal soldier, decides to stay, but he's still very isolated. He says that they basically saw him as a milk carton. They put him in the refrigerator, and when they needed him, they would bring him off the shelf, and then they would put him back. They brought him off the shelf in 2003 to talk at the U.N. because there was no one else in the administration who could get the attention and at least some belated respect. And Colin Powell went and gave that talk, which was, from A to Z, false. But he was the only one in the administration, and then, of course, a year and a half later, he's gone.

But he's complicated because, in many ways, he did not fit in with the Republican Party, even though he did not leave until early this year. But he increasingly, and anyone who was a moderate, and particularly Black moderates, simply had no place in the Republican Party. And so, he endorses Obama, he endorses Biden, he endorses Hillary Clinton — or at least he votes for them. So he really had moved and been moved out of the Republican Party for many years. But he really wasn't a Democrat or seen as a progressive, either, again, because of a long history of aggression internationally, going all the way back to Reagan and the Contras and all of the foreign policy controversies of the 1980s, and then under the Bush administration, which not only included Iraq but also included the Bush policies towards Cuba, towards Venezuela, their policies around Africa, all of which increasingly isolated Colin Powell from the progressive communities.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Professor, I wanted to ask you, in terms of the need for both the Democrats and the Republicans to repeatedly lionize and hold up General Powell especially, but then as Secretary of State Powell, as a key and important American figure, given the fact that the U.S. military — of all the institutions in American society, none is more racially diverse, it seems to me, than the U.S. military, with about 40% or more than 40% of the troops as people of color. So, could you talk about the importance of Powell as a figure, given the demographics and the changes in the American military?

CLARENCE LUSANE: Thanks, Juan.

So, part of the capital that Colin Powell bills is precisely because he rises up to the top of an institution, one of the few that had not seemed to be tainted by political partisanship, and he rises up and becomes the head, becomes the head of Joint Chiefs of Staff. And Powell's personality is not a belligerent one, one that we have, unfortunately, come to see more and more in military figures and political figures, and Powell's activism relative to addressing issues of race. So, when we think of the conservative African Americans who are in and around the Republican Party — the Clarence Thomases, the Candace Owens — those types tend to come to mind. But there were African American conservatives who took positions that were supportive of issues related to the Black community and were active and supportive of civil rights. So, Powell fits into that, and so that gave him some cachet. He spoke at my graduation at Howard University in 1994 and talked about issues of racism, issues of being socially engaged. You're not going to find that coming from virtually any of the people we think of as Black Republicans these days. So, that gave Colin Powell a different kind of public-facing image, which was in conflict, again, with many of the policies in the party that he supported and in the administration in which he was involved.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I'd like to also bring in Robert Lovato into the discussion. And, Roberto, I'm wondering if you could talk especially about — people forget that back in the invasion of Panama that not only was Colin Powell a key figure, but that the secretary of defense at the time was Dick Cheney.

ROBERTO LOVATO: Yeah. Thank you, Juan and Amy. I'm glad to be back with you.

The story of Colin Powell in Central America and other parts of the world is what I would call a tragic tale of militarism in the service of declining empire. And it also previews what I call the age of intersectional empire, that Clarence laid out a little bit of, in terms of how race is being deployed by the militaristic, bipartisan consensus elites in the United States. And so, Panama comes about, remember, right after the Central America engagements in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and that was preceded by the Vietnam War, when you have a decline in the morale and the sensibilities of the U.S. military, having suffered a defeat, a severe defeat, in Vietnam. And so, Powell was part of a cadre of leaders trying to figure out how to create a post-Vietnam animus for the U.S. military machine.

But one thing I want to make clear is that the Powell doctrine of overwhelming force, bringing in the public into supporting U.S. war, clearly defined national security objectives and other things that define what they call the Powell-Weinberger doctrine, are still war policies. And so, Colin Powell's political career was one thing, in terms of race and being pro-abortion, but in terms of militarism, it was clear. In El Chorrillo neighborhood, which taxi drivers in Panama still call the "little Hiroshima," you know, hundreds of people were killed. They're still excavating mass grave sites of the invasion of Panama. And so, you know — and prior to that, remember, Powell was an assistant to then-secretary of defense, under the Reagan administration, Caspar Weinberger, who was charged with looking — overseeing military policy in Central America, which, instead of going into what they called asymmetrical warfare, like they did in Vietnam and got beat up, the militarists, like Colin Powell, decided to stray away from those kinds of war and fight them through proxies, and instead focus on building up to get big, you know, state-to-state military wars. And so, the fight against Manuel Noriega, also on false pretenses, was a preview and a preparation for the state-to-state war that followed in Kuwait and Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: And in that U.S. invasion of Panama that he spearheaded, can you talk about who died, Clarence Lusane, in Panama? We're not just talking about abstract, intellectual, you know, policy issues.

CLARENCE LUSANE: No, that's exactly right, as Ron [sic] laid out. I actually went to Panama. I went with another reporter, Stan Woods from out of Chicago. We went down after the invasion, and it was horrific. As was mentioned, there were mass graves. There were the total destruction of neighborhoods. They bombed — these were poor neighborhoods, we should be clear. So, there were wealthy neighborhoods that were surgically missed, while they bombed neighborhoods that had not only been active, but had been — you know, very much embodied people who live there. So, it was a horrific invasion. And Powell said nothing about it. It was similar to other military endeavors by the Bush administration and Reagan administration. Powell was silent on the consequences that thousands and thousands and thousands of people — and hundreds of thousands of people died in Iraq, but certainly thousands of people died in Panama. And there still has not been an accounting for that particularly horrible invasion.

AMY GOODMAN: And these were a heavily Black population of Panama.

CLARENCE LUSANE: And these were Afro-Panamanians. That's exactly right.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Roberto Lovato, go a little before the invasion of Panama to explain the Iran-Contra deal and the role of General Powell at the time. The invasion of Panama was under George H.W. Bush, and the Iran-Contra deal, of course, was when he was vice president, when it was President Ronald Reagan, the ultimately illegal deal to sell weapons to Iran, take that money and illegally support the Contras, which was against, at the time, the Boland Amendment, that said the U.S. could not support the counterrevolutionaries in Nicaragua.

ROBERTO LOVATO: So, Powell, we have to remember, was what he himself called the, quote, "chief administration advocate" for the Contras. The U.S. sponsored an insurgency to try to overthrow the Nicaraguan Sandinista government. I mean, Human Rights Watch and other organizations around the world have documented tens of thousands of people killed, nuns raped, children destroyed by the Contras. And Colin Powell would go on to say that "I have no regrets about my role" and that he fought very hard to get support for the Contras. So, Powell, as assistant secretary to Caspar Weinberger, was privy to information about the arms for hostages and giving money to the Contras deal, but managed to evade judgment, unlike Weinberger, who was indicted and condemned, and then, I believe, pardoned, thanks to lobbying by Colin Powell.

And so, Powell has proven skillful not just in terms of kind of helping reengineer the post-Vietnam military, but he's also been skillful at evading political judgment, as we saw with My Lai, as we see in Iran-Contra. And, you know, having this idea that the one, quote-unquote, "blot" on his record is the lies around Iraq is a travesty, because he's made a career out of, you know, being a good soldier and supporting U.S. mass murder around the world, but evading the credit for it. So, this is — yeah, I'll leave it there.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yeah. And I'm wondering if you could talk, Roberto, a little bit about, for instance, his legacy in terms of arming and training the Salvadoran Army, and including his relation with José Napoleón Duarte, who was the president of El Salvador in the 1980s.

ROBERTO LOVATO: Yeah. Powell was one of the Reagan administration's point people in Central America and, as the point person, helped to tee up and then legitimate, when necessary, the Salvadoran military dictatorships and the Guatemalan and other militaries in the region that were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents — and so, in the case of Guatemala, like 200,000 or more mostly Mayan Indigenous people. And so, like, in 1983, for example, Powell was part of a fact-finding kind of mission, that included Jeane Kirkpatrick and Weinberger, to go and see if the Salvadoran — to go confirm the Salvadoran military and government were doing the right thing under Duarte. And, you know, they found that they were doing the right thing and that the U.S. should continue heavily funding and training these murderous militaries. He never said anything about the fact that just a year before and a couple of years before, the massacre of El Sumpul, where about 600 people were killed, was perpetrated by the U.S.-backed Salvadoran government; the massacre of El Mozote, where a thousand people were killed, an entire town wiped out, half of the victims under age 12, and half of those children under age 12 were under age 6. Powell seemed to have amnesia about that, along with Elliott Abrams, another, I would say, war criminal. And El Calabozo and other massacres were completely ignored.

And so, we see Powell playing a role in Central America over the years, from the early '80s all the way 'til the end of the war. And, you know, Powell was very sophisticated and smart in terms of moving with the times, so that when it called for a hard line at the beginning of the Reagan era, he was there. When it called for — remember, in 1989, the FMLN guerrillas, for example, we launched an offensive in the capital of San Salvador to basically demonstrate to the U.S. government and the Salvadoran government, that it was supporting, that they couldn't defeat the FMLN guerrillas. And so, that worked. It was basically — the offensive showed that the guerrillas were able to enter into the capital and fight on their own terms. So, Powell and the Bush administration, you know, seeing this, pivoted and pushed the Salvadoran government to peace. Now, some historians will call Powell a peacenik almost, a liberal, which, I mean, if you're comparing him to like Alexander Haig or some just uber fascist like that, then, yeah, but in the larger scheme of empire and militarism, Colin Powell has been, you know, was always, a loyal cadre to mass-murdering empire.

AMY GOODMAN: So, let's go back to Colin Powell's 2003 speech at the U.N., where he falsely accused Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction.

SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL: Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.

AMY GOODMAN: All of General Powell's main claims about weapons of mass destruction turned out to be false. But at the time, most of the media took Powell at his word. The invasion of Iraq began six weeks after he made his speech at the United Nations. He himself recognized it was the final nail in the coffin for so many, because he had called himself a "reluctant warrior." He had dragged his feet on the war, and President Bush wanted his support to be the voice and face of this war. In 2013, Democracy Now! spoke to Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005. Wilkerson helped prepare Powell's infamous U.N. speech, which he later renounced. Wilkerson said Powell himself was suspicious of the intelligence and wanted to delete any reference in the speech to ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: The seminal moment, as we were out at Langley and Colin Powell was getting ready to throw everything out of his presentation that had anything to do with terrorism — that is, substantial contacts between Baghdad and al-Qaeda, in particular — as he was getting — he was really angry. He took me in a room by myself and literally attacked me over it. And I said, "Boss, let's throw it out. I have as many doubts about it as you do. Let's throw it out." And so, we made a decision right there to throw it out.
Within 30 minutes of the secretary having made that decision and instructed me to do so, George Tenet showed up with a bombshell. And the bombshell was that a high-level al-Qaeda operative, under interrogation, had revealed substantial contacts between al-Qaeda and Baghdad.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that is the chief of staff of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is an Army colonel, Lawrence Wilkerson. In 2009, Sam Husseini of the Institute for Public Accuracy questioned Colin Powell about the false claims he made during the U.N. speech, that was based in part on false information provided by prisoners who had been tortured.

SAM HUSSEINI: General, can you talk about the al-Libi case and the link between torture and the production of tortured evidence for war?
COLIN POWELL: I don't have any details on the al-Libi case.
SAM HUSSEINI: Can you tell us when you learned that some of the evidence that you used in front of the U.N. was based on torture? When did you learn that?
COLIN POWELL: I don't know that. I don't know what information you're referring to, so I can't answer.
SAM HUSSEINI: Your chief of staff, Wilkerson, has written about this.
COLIN POWELL: So what? [inaudible] Mr. Wilkerson.
SAM HUSSEINI: So, you'd think you'd know about it.
COLIN POWELL: The information I presented to the U.N. was vetted by the CIA. Every word came from the CIA. And they stood behind all that information. I don't know that any of them would believe that torture was involved. I don't know that as a fact. There's a lot of speculation, particularly by people who never attended any of these meetings. But I'm not aware of that.

AMY GOODMAN: Clarence Lusane, we're going to give you the final word. Again, this speech, he would late call a "blot" on his career.

CLARENCE LUSANE: So, the thing to remember about that period is that the entire global community was against the invasion. So, when Colin Powell and the Bush administration says that they were vetting this information, they were not listening not only to their allies, they were not listening to what the United Nations itself was actually doing and had essentially proven that there were no weapons of mass destruction. But the administration was determined to go, and Colin Powell basically acceded to that, as he would do both prior to that speech, as he did with the World Conference Against Racism, when the United States and Israel were the only two countries that pulled out, and as he would do after the invasion of Iraq on other policies by the George W. Bush administration, until he was finally driven out. So, there does have to be an accounting for that record. There's no way to kind of pretty it up. It was atrocious. And again, hundreds of thousands — in some estimates, up to a million — people died as a result of that war.

AMY GOODMAN: And there are still thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq. Clarence Lusane, I want to thank you for being with us, professor at Howard University, author of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice: Foreign Policy, Race, and the New American Century, and Robert Lovato, Salvadoran American journalist and author, wrote his memoir, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas.

In 30 seconds, we bring you a Democracy Now! exclusive: a conversation with Jean Montrevil, a prominent Haitian American immigrant rights activist who was deported to Haiti several years ago. Now, in a remarkable development, he was allowed to fly back to New York. Stay with us.

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Liz Cheney humiliates fellow Republican as she calls him out for falsely claiming to be on the 1/6 committee

Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select committee on the January 6 insurrection is dominated by Democrats, it includes two conservative Republican critics of former President Donald Trump: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. And on Thursday, as the House moved to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of the committee, Cheney called out Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana for falsely claiming to have be its ranking member.

When Pelosi first formed the committee earlier this year, she stressed that she wanted bipartisan participation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's recommendations included Banks and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, both of whom Pelosi rejected. Trump loyalist McCarthy, in response, threw a temper tantrum and told Pelosi that if she wouldn't accept Banks and Jordan, he would order Republicans to avoid the committee. But Cheney made it abundantly clear that she would be glad to help Pelosi with her January 6 committee regardless of what McCarthy had to say.

Playing the fake outrage card during a hearing this week, Banks complained, "Speaker Pelosi vetoed Jim Jordan and I from serving on the select committee to investigate January 6…. It was a shameful and divisive decision with real consequences."

Cheney, however, noted that Banks' complaint contradicted what he said in various official letters, explaining, "The gentleman also said that he is not on the committee. He had noted that the speaker determined that he wouldn't be on the committee. So, I would like to introduce, for the record, a number of letters the gentleman from Indiana has been sending to federal agencies — dated September 16, 2021, for example, signing his name as the ranking member of the committee he has just informed the House that he is not on."

Politico's Olivia Beavers and Axios' Andrew Solender both tweeted a copy of the September 16 letter that Cheney referenced, noting:


Addressing Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland, Banks wrote that McCarthy "appointed me to serve as the Ranking Member of the Select Committee." But Pelosi had final say over the committee, and she didn't want either Banks or Jordan to serve.

Jamie Raskin shoots down Matt Gaetz’s Jan. 6 talking points: ‘That’s not going to work’

Rep. Jamie Raskin's resumé includes not only "Democratic congressman from Maryland," but also, "constitutional law professor." And far-right Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida got more than he bargained for when, during a January 6-related House Rules Committee hearing this week, he tried to argue that former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results were on solid legal ground.

The 58-year-old Raskin and Republican Gaetz argued over the merits of Trump's post-election lawsuits. When Raskin pointed out that those lawsuits bombed in the courts, Gaetz spoke of the need for a legal "remedy" — and Raskin showed him why his use of the word "remedy" was problematic.

"There's no remedy because there's no violation, Mr. Gaetz," Raskin stressed, noting that the courts found zero evidence of the widespread voter fraud that Trump falsely claimed occurred in 2020.

"There's no violation, there's no fraud," Raskin continued.

Gaetz responded that the courts didn't "take up the facts" on "jurisdiction or remedy," and a frustrated Raskin responded, "You know what? That might work on Steve Bannon's podcast, but that's not going to work in the Rules Committee in the United States House of Representatives."

Raskin went on to ask Gaetz why he has opposed a congressional inquiry into the violent January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. When Gaetz said that such an inquiry is "unwarranted," Raskin responded, "So, you don't want to know any more…. You don't want to know the answer."

'John Deere made billions and threw us peanut shells': Striking workers speak out

Liberal economists such as Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, along with union leaders, have often complained that the salaries of CEOs of large companies have been increasingly much more rapidly than the salaries of their rank-and-file employees. Such complaints are now being made by striking employees of John Deere, which manufactures agricultural machinery and other heavy equipment.

More Perfect Union has tweeted a video explaining why the workers are angry. John Deere's CEO John C. May made $15.6 million in 2020, while its workers are only getting a raise of two or three dollars per hour over a three-year period.

In the video, John Deere employee Chris Laursen explains, "I've been working at John Deere for 19 years now. The reason why we're striking is 1997 is when Deere divided and conquered. They made the two-tier wage system where new hires coming in after the first of October 1997, you know, got paid less wages, didn't have health care after retirement — a pension which is about a third of our predecessors. And, you know, we've basically been taking concessions from that point for the last 25 years."

Laursen noted that May "got a 160% raise."

"Look," Lauren says in the video, "I make $20.82, I think, an hour…. We sent a strong, clear message to John Deere that, you know, a $1 raise an hour is not going to do much for me."

John Deere, the video notes, wants to end its pension system entirely for new hires.

Also featured in the video is Michelle Lundy, a welder for John Deere who makes $19.60 an hour.

"Just for the whole factory," Lundy says in the video, "I think they need a $5 raise across the board just for the fact that we can go to a fast food place and make as much money and not wear our bodies down."

Texas official clashes with Greg Abbott over vaccine mandate ban

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, obviously determined to remind the MAGA crowd that he hasn't abandoned them, has banned private businesses from having vaccine mandates for employees — and many Texas Democrats have been slamming him for it. One of them is Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee. During a recent interview with MSNBC host Zerlina Maxwell, Menefee attacked Abbott's executive order as bad policy.

When Maxwell asked Menefee how private businesses are "handling" Abbott's prohibition of vaccine mandates, the Harris County attorney responded, "Gov. Abbott loves to say that Texas is open for business, but this ban on vaccine mandates is about as anti-business as it gets. It strips away choice from businesses who are trying to make tough decisions about how to keep their employees, their customers most safe during this pandemic."

Harris County includes Houston, the largest city in Texas and fourth largest in the United States (a position previously held by Philadelphia before Houston surpassed Philly in population). Houston, like Austin and El Paso, is a Democratic stronghold in a light red state that now-President Joe Biden lost to former President Donald Trump by 6% in the 2020 election. Abbott critics are not hard to find in Harris County, and Menefee is one of them.

Menefee told Maxwell, "You've seen chambers of commerce, you've seen business groups, you've seen large institutional businesses like Southwest Airlines or American Lines come out and say, 'We're going to follow what the federal government has told us to do where employers that have more than 100 employees are to mandate the vaccine.' And I think this was exactly what the governor wanted. It was to sow confusion in business to put these businesses in the very tough position of having to potentially get sued for violating the federal government's rule or potentially get sued for violating the governor's executive order. It's bad business for Texas, and it's bad policy for Texas well."

Under President Joe Biden's vaccine/COVID-19 test mandate, businesses with more than 100 employees must require them to either get vaccinated for COVID-19 or be tested weekly for the coronavirus. In that sense, it isn't a total vaccine mandate — as employees who refuse to get vaccinated can take the weekly test as an alternative and still keep their jobs.

Joe Manchin is lying through his teeth on climate denial

Sen. Joe Manchin has made clear that there is no way will he cast his crucial vote for the Democrats' reconciliation bill if it includes the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), the most powerful part of President Joe Biden's climate agenda. Thus does the senior senator from West Virginia display his true colors to anyone who was still confused about them.

CEPP would provide $150 billion to reward utilities that accelerate the replacement of the nation's coal- and gas-fired power plants with wind, solar, and nuclear energy in order to reach the goal of zero carbon emissions in the power sector by 2035. Without Manchin on board, White House staff and senior Democrats seem to have surrendered in the matter and are searching for ways to put together other programs to cut emissions. Without passage of a bill containing aggressive programs, Biden's team is going to have a devil of a time in Glasgow at the climate summit persuading China, India, and Brazil that he can even deliver the U.S. pledges on emissions cuts, much less that their nations should do better than they are.

Here's Coral Davenport at The New York Times:

A spokeswoman for Mr. Manchin, Sam Runyon, wrote in an email, "Senator Manchin has clearly expressed his concerns about using taxpayer dollars to pay private companies to do things they're already doing. He continues to support efforts to combat climate change while protecting American energy independence and ensuring our energy reliability."

I can't read minds, so I won't claim to know what is truly in Manchin's heart in this matter. What I do know is that anyone who truly accepts what scientists are saying about the climate crisis—anyone who actually backs "efforts to combat climate change"—would not use the political clout of his high office to cripple policies to prevent, mitigate, and adapt to the dire impacts of changes being projected for our future.

It's actually easier to respect a numbskull like Sen. James "Snowball" Inhofe, who wrote an entire book calling climate change a hoax and seems to truly believe it, than Manchin, who pretends he's down with the science even as his bank account gets ever fatter feeding off the teat of the fossil fuel industry. An industry that, in case anyone has forgotten, spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting climate denial disinformation. Manchin and his family have thrived thanks to profiteers who created climate change doubt by gaslighting the populace, smearing scientists, attacking activists, and, of course, pouring gobs of campaign money into the pockets of compliant politicians in both parties.

There's a chance we'll still see passage of a reconciliation bill with a few crumbs on climate. But quite possibly not. As Democratic Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota told The Times, "We must have strong climate action in the Build Back Better budget. I'm open to all approaches, but as I've said, I will not support a budget deal that does not get us where we need to go on climate action. There are 50 Democratic senators and it's going to take every one of our votes to get this budget passed."

Even if a bill with some climate elements in it does pass, without the CEPP, that cut will have far-reaching consequences beyond the power sector. While it contributes 25% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector contributes 29%. Cutting that to zero requires a switchover from internal combustion vehicles to green-sourced electric power. Otherwise, much of the reduced carbon pollution from the operation of EVs will be undermined by the continuing operation of power plants burning fossil fuels to charge up those vehicles.

Then there's the humiliation of showing up in Glasgow with a lot more words than actions. Not the strongest negotiating posture.

If Joe Manchin really were serious about combatting the climate crisis, he would say okay to the CEPP, but only on the condition that the reconciliation bill's already hefty investment in coal communities be doubled. But no.

This week more than 650 protesters, many of them Indigenous, were arrested in Washington for civil disobedience in protest of foot-dragging in Congress on climate change. In the words of a 90-year-old song written by Florence Reece in support of coal strikers in Harlan County, Kentucky, the protesters asked a question for those within earshot: "Which side are you on?"

Joe Manchin has shown us which side he is on. And that puts us, and generations to come, in peril.

'Which Side Are You On?': Climate Protestors Block Traffic And Face Arrest Outside Capitol www.youtube.com

'Official dogma of his party': Fact checker busts GOP for 'trying to paint Trump as a victim of the attempted coup'

Donald Trump was the first president in United States history who lost his bid for reelection only to falsely claim that the election was stolen from him because of widespread voter fraud, and many Republicans in Congress have been willing to go along with the Big Lie. CNN's John Berman called out two of them, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, during an October 11 broadcast of the morning show "New Day."

Berman, who hosts "New Day" with his CNN colleague Brianna Keilar, told viewers, "(Trump's) rewritten history is now practically the official dogma of his party — and his lies, the accepted reality of his party."

To illustrate his point, Berman showed interviews with Scalise and Grassley — who appeared with Trump at a MAGA rally in Iowa on Saturday, October 9. The following day, Scalise was interviewed by Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Wallace, one of the few people at Fox News who asks MAGA Republicans tough questions, bluntly asked Scalise, "So, you think the election was stolen?" — and Scalise jumped through hoops to dodge the question. Berman slammed that interview as "Minority Whip Scalise perpetuating a lie about 2020." And he went on to show a clip of the 88-year-old Grassley being interviewed by Newsmax TV and defending Trump's refusal to accept the 2020 election results.

Berman told viewers, "On the Senate side, 88-year-old Chuck Grassley is the Republican establishment. On his decades-long career, no one would have called him a radical — until now…. Grassley is trying to paint Trump as a victim of the attempted coup when in fact, it was Trump himself driving it."

Berman noted, "Trump asked the Justice Department nine times to undermine the election results. He successfully got his White House staff to help pressure — he tried to pressure secretaries of state to not certify the election. He then attacked them, including Republicans…. Trump also tried to pressure state legislatures in key battleground states. Then he tried to get the courts to overturn the election results based on bogus conspiracies."

The "New Day" host continued, "A Trump lawyer wrote a blueprint. He wrote it down, outlining how Mike Pence could overturn the election. And speaking of Pence, Trump publicly and loudly tried to get his vice president to decertify the election on January 6. And then, the mob showed up. It is worth noting Trump is still spouting these conspiracies, including at the rally that Grassley attended and participated in."

Watch the video below:

CNN coup www.youtube.com

Heated feud erupts on Bill Maher’s 'Real Time' as guest argues Biden isn’t keeping his progressive promises

President Joe Biden's commitment to Black voters was questioned on Friday night on HBO's "Real Time."

It began when entertainer and activist Michael Render, also known as Killer Mike, called out Biden for failing to deliver on funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, ending qualified immunity, and passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

When Robert Costa of The Washington Post referred to his fellow panelist by his stage name, Render clarified, "Killer Mike's the guy I put on stage, Michael's the guy who votes and pays a lot in taxes."

Costa, the co-author with Bob Woodward of the new book Peril, drew upon his reporting.

"When Woodward and I were doing this book, we talked to people inside the Biden White House. They said Biden's made a choice to be a progressive, transformational president," Costa said. "You're saying you don't see that?"

"I'm saying I still support Bernie Sanders," Render replied.

Render worried that Biden being viewed as failing to deliver could hurt Democrats in the 2022 midterms.

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