tv Democracy Now PBS October 19, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
10/19/15 10/19/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms violence directed against innocent people. and believe that israel has a basic law andain order and protect its citizens violencee attacks and on the streets. amy: the doubtful from violence in israel and the occupied territories has increased with new palestinian stabbings and intensified israeli crackdown. u.s. is backing israel's
rejection of international observers at the temple mount, the flashpoint holy site that is partially triggered the crisis. we will go to jerusalem for the latest. chessboarddevil's allen dulles, the cia, and the : rise of america's secret government." part two of my conversation with david talbot us with a get cuba and the 1954 coup in guatemala. told eisenhower after the guatemala coup, oh, we have a clean coup, hardly anyone died. the fact is, tens of thousands of people died in the killing fields of guatemala as a result of that coup and that violence continues today. amy: all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the death toll from violence and
is really in the occupied territories has increased with new palestinian stabbing attacks and intensified israeli crack down. on sunday, an attacker identified as a 21-year-old arab citizen of israel knifed in israeli soldier to death and opened fire at a bus station, wounding 10 people. the attacker was killed. in an apparent case of racial profiling, a mob of soldiers and bystanders shot and beat a man to death, mistakingly thinking he was the second assailant. the incident comes as israeli forces shot dead five palestinians accused of stabbing attacks, including three in the occupied west bank city of hebron. after sealing off neighborhoods lastly, israel is widening its crackdown on arab areas. more on the conflict after headlines. a u.s. drone strike northwest syria has killed a man the pentagon identified as the highest ranking leader of the khorasan group. the pentagon said sanafi al-nasr, a saudi citizen, is the
fifth top khorasan leader killed in recent months. he was suspected of funneling money and fighters for al qaeda. the general director of doctors without borders has said he does not believe the deadly u.s. bombing on his organization's hospital in kunduz, afghanistan was a mistake. the attack earlier this month killed at least 22 patients and medical staff members. christopher stokes told the associated press the bombing appears to have been a war crime. this --xtensive, like precise destruction of this hospital, and i have spent all morning going through it with my colleagues and looking at the extent of the destruction, doesn't suggest -- doesn't mean -- doesn't indicate a mistake. the hospital was repeatedly hit, both the front and the rear, and extensively destroyed and damaged, even though we have provided all of the coordinates and all the right information to
all the armed parties in the conflict. so we want a clear explanation, because all the indication points to a grave breach of international humanitarian law, therefore, war crime. amy: democratic presidential candidates hillary clinton and bernie sanders have both voiced support for president obama's plan to keep u.s. troops in afghanistan until the end of his term in 2017. obama had declared an official end to the u.s. combat mission in afghanistan last year, but last week he announced he was halting the military withdrawal . speaking on cnn, hillary clinton backed obama's decision. sit here today and say what i would do upon taking office, because again, we want to bring our troops home. we certainly do not want them engaged and on the ground combat. we want them to help support and train the afghan army. and we want them to continue to work with the government of afghanistan to try to help strengthen security for them. so i can't predict where things
will be in january 2017, but i support the president's decision. amy: in an interview on abc, clinton's rival, vermont senator bernie sanders, also declined to specify how many troops he would keep in afghanistan, but said -- "i think we need a certain nucleus of american troops present in afghanistan to provide the training and support the afghan army needs." the united nations refugee agency says more than 10,000 people are stranded in serbia as countries further west restrict the flow of refugees fleeing violence in their home countries. thousands spent the night in the cold and rain after hungary shut down its border with croatia, diverting the refugees to slovenia, which has now imposed a limit. meanwhile in germany, henriette reker has been elected mayor of cologne, despite being stabbed in the neck the day before elections by a man who said he opposed her support for refugees. and in switzerland, the right-wing swiss people's party, known for virulent attacks on immigrants and islam, saw
historic success in the swiss parliamentary elections sunday. the u.s.-backed, saudi-led coalition targeting houthi rebels in yemen has accidentally bombed forces loyal to ousted yemeni president abd-rabbu mansour hadi, killing 30 fighters and wounding 40. it was the latest in a series of so-called friendly fire incidents in the u.s.-backed campaign, which has also killed thousands of civilians. meanwhile the u.n. children's , fund warns more than half a million children in yemen are facing life-threatening knowledge version amidst increasing risk of famine. in the philippines, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and at least nine have been killed by a powerful typhoon. typhoon koppu has felled trees and cut off power. officials fear the death toll could rise as remote areas remain cut off by floodwaters and debris. the destruction in the philippines comes as climate negotiators convene in bonn, germany ahead of united nations , climate talks in paris next
month. former philippines negotiator yeb saño is currently walking from rome to paris on a people's pilgrimage for climate action. african countries have objected to the latest draft of the global climate agreement, saying it is unbalanced and does not do enough to aid poorer countries hit hardest by climate change. in a victory for environmentalists, the obama administration has ended the possibility of oil drilling in the arctic for the rest of president obama's tenure. they canceled plans to sell drilling leases and refusing to -- refused to extend leases that were previously sold. the move comes after shell announced it was halting its bid to drill in the arctic. the landmark nuclear deal between iran, the united states and five other world powers has officially taken effect. president obama signed an order paving the way to ease sanctions on iran but sanctions will , remain until iran takes steps to curb its nuclear program. canadians are heading to the
polls today to decide whether to extend the nearly decade-long rule of conservative party leader stephen harper. polls show liberal party leader justin trudeau, the son of late prime minister pierre trudeau, leading carper with the new democratic party in third. trudeau has accused harper of islamophobia for seeking to ban muslim women from covering their faces with the veil while they are taking their canadian citizenship oath. a newly published email shows former british prime minister tony abbott vowed to support u.s. military action in iraq in 2002 -- a year before members of -- a year before the invasion. the memo, written by u.s. secretary of state colin powell, was obtained by the daily mail as part of a batch of emails on democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton's private server. powell writes, "on iraq, blair wille wi us ouldilitary opatio be cessy." e memo is dated a week befor blair met with president george
w. bush at bush's ranch in crawford, texas, and publicly said, "we are not proposing military action at this point in time." republican presidential candidate donald trump has claimed the 9/11 attacks would not have happened if he had been president. speaking on fox news sunday, trump said his tough immigration policies would have stopped the hijackers. >> i am extremely, extremely tough on illegal immigration. i am extremely tough on people coming into this country. i believe that if i were running things, i doubt those families -- i doubt those people would have been in the country. so there is a good chance that those people would not have been in our country. not that being said, i'm blaming george bush, but i don't want jeb bush say, my brother kept us safe, because september 11 is one of the worst days in the history of this country. amy: rival republican candidate jeb bush, brother of former president george w. bush, hit back at trump in an appearance on cnn, saying he "looks as
though he's an actor playing a role of the candidate for president." in the latest acts of gun violence in the united states, one person was killed at a zombie-themed festival in fort myers, florida over the weekend. meanwhile in long island, new , york, a 12-year-old girl died after being hit by a stray bullet in her living room and in chicago, a man has been charged with child endangerment after his six-year-old son accidentally shot and killed his three-year-old brother. a "washington post" tally found small children are finding guns and shooting themselves or other people roughly once a week on average th yea hawaii has declared a state of emergency over homelessness. governor david ige said the move will help hawaii ramp up shelter construction. this comes after officials cleared a homeless encampmenin honolulu that was one of t largest in the country. last month the american civil , liberties union filed a class-action lawsuit saying
honolulu officials had destroyed homeless people's property without due process. the obama administration has cut off millns of dollars in funding for xico's drug war after finding mexico did not meet some human rights goals. the state department said it was "unable to certify that mexico fully meets the criteria" for the aid. the "washington post" reports the diverted represents just a $5 million tiny fraction of the billions of dollars the united states provides for mexico's drug war. this comes as mexican security forces stand accused of carrying out multiple mass killings and playing a role in the disappearance of 43 students from ayotzinapa teacher's college last year. in texas, a federal judge has allowed state officials to continue denying birth certificates to immigrants whose children are born in the united states. the constitution grants citizenship rights to all u.s.-born children, but u.s. district judge robert pitman denied an emergency injunction requested by families whose children have been denied birth
certificates, saying more evidence is needed. at an immigrant detention center in el paso, texas, 54 south asian asylum seekers have launched a hunger strike to demand a halt to deportations and investigations into unfair hearings. the strike began wednesday. since then, organizers say nine of the hunger strikers have been released while one of the leaders of the strike was "beaten up in front of other detainees and dragged away, likely to solitary confinement." the asylum seekers have been detained for as long as 11 months. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the death toll from violence in israel and the occupied territories has increased with new palestinian stabbing attacks and intensified israeli crackdown. on sunday, an assailant identified as a 21-year-old arab citizen of israel knifed an
israeli soldier, then opened fire at a bus station with the soldiers rifle, wounding 10. the soldier and the attacker died. and apparent case of racial profiling, a mob of soldiers and bystanders shot and beat another man to death, mistakenly thinking he was the second assailant. video footage shows the crowd kicking an assaulting the victim, a 29-year-old man, as he lies on the ground. he later died in the hospital. he had been seeking asylum in israel. the incident comes after israeli forces shot dead five palestinians accused of stabbing attacks, including three in the occupied west bank city of hebron. after sealing of east jerusalem neighborhoods last week, israel is widening its crackdown on arab residents. a new bill before parliament would give forces stop and frisk powers to search anyone in the streets without cause. in addition to severe restrictions on movement, israel
is also erecting a wall in east jerusalem that was separate palestinian neighborhoods from a nearby israeli stlement. israeli forces continue military attacks across the west bank and gaza, raiding villages and firing on palestinian demonstrations. over the weekend, a group of some 200 israeli settlers reportedly attacked two palestinian villages in the west bank with firebombs. the surge and palestinian knife attacks in protest is partially fueled by concern over israeli compound. the mosque on sunday, israel rejected a french proposal to deploy international observers at the flashpoint holy site. speaking today in madrid, secretary of state john kerry backed israel's rejection of a foreign presence at the temple mount, the said he would meet with both israeli and palestinian leaders in the coming days. >> israel has every right in the ,orld to protect its citizens
as it has been, from random acts of violence. but in my conversations with the prime minister, as well as with king abdullah and the foreign minister jordan, they have expressed the desire to try to to find process be able a way of making certain that everybody is clear about what is happening with respect -- amy: the overall death toll stands at 44 palestinians and eight israelis this month. the u.n. says last week was the deadliest for palestinians and the west bank and israel in 10 years, raising concerns of excessive use of force and violations of the right to life and security of a person. joining us now are two guests. jamil dakwar, human rights lawyer. he's a palestinian citizen of israel who previously worked as senior attorney at adalah.
in jerusalem, nathan thrall, senior analyst at the international crisis group. his new article for "the new york times" is headlined "mismanaging the conflict in , jerusalem." nathan, let's start with you in jerusalem. what is happening there and why do believe the situation is so out of control at this point? >> so what is happening now in jerusalem is checkpoints are going up all over the east come at the exits to palestinian neighborhoods and occupied east jerusalem you have big concrete cubes going up and very, very long lines for palestinians to exit the neighborhoods. and there is a sense among palestinians in east jerusalem that they are being punished for these so-called lone wolf place.g attacks taking the other morning, residents of one neighborhood, where
basically, the traffic police, the parking -- the people who get parking tickets, never go, came and left 500 shekel tickets on everybody's car. smallare a series of steps like this that are leaving a lot of palestinians and eased jerusalem to feel they're being collectively punished for what is going on now. i live by that one of the never it's between the east and the west and it is filled with border police who are basically palestinianigh portion of men who are walking from one side of the city to the other, many of them work in the west side of the city. you mentioned a moment ago there was a consideration of allowing the police to do stop and frisk without cause. that is news to the residents of palestinians who are stopped and frisked without cause all the time and are being stop and
frisk without cause today. the situation in jerusalem is extremely tense. people are eyeing one another suspiciously. a palestinian woman in west jerusalem was walking around today and was telling me how people were staring at her, surprised she was walking around there. so the attacks don't seem to have any kind of organized leadership behind them, which makes the much more difficult for anybody to stop. and one of the big problems here, we don't have an organized political leadership in jerusalem, a palestinian political leadership in jerusalem, which means there's no one for the israelis to talk then order to try and calm situation. amy: i want to go right now to what happened on sunday, the israeli prime minister netanyahu rejected palestinian concerns over the temple mount. >> the reason the status quo has
been violated, not because we changed it -- we did not change anything. rights of not changed for the last 15 years. the only thing that has changed ums whot lens -- hoodl have tried to put explosives in the mosque. from there, the merge and attacks jewish visitors and christian visitors. that is the only change in the status quo. israel will protect the holy site. israel is not a problem on the temple mount. any code that is benjamin on yahoo!, these really premised are. we're also joined by jamil dakwar, human rights lawyer who present work as a senior at -- who previously worked as a senior attorney. your thoughts? these reallying is government, every time there is any kind of rise in tension and
crisis and use of violence, it turns into a militaristic approach toward dealing with the palestinians. it is using that same old policies of a crackdown on collective punishment, on seeing the palestinians with no really value of their life and their basic human rights. the response on the status quo, and particular, israel is the only country allowed to change the status quo in jerusalem and has been changing that for years, for decades. yet if a country or political party is suggesting a change of the status quo toward more peaceful resolution, toward more protection of civilians, then that is always rejected. goingk clearly there is back to giving back now the israeli government and benjamin netanyahu, a pretext to go -- what he really would prefer to do is to continue with his policies of aggression against
palestinians, certainly, this is going to be more more difficult. in jerusalem, the reason there is no leadership is because the israeli policies, cracking down on institutions. the palestinians who were elected by their own people were not allowed to engage in political activities. many of them were imprisoned. that in and of itself shows these really government wants to see only its own interests, meaning, the jewish-israeli interests, and jerusalem and that continues to perpetuate the situation both in east jerusalem and the west bank is a major occupation, which is been going on for 50 years. amy: what has caused this latest escalation of violence, from your perspective? where did you grow up, by the way? >> i grew up in haifa. i remember when i went to law school in tel aviv, university, there were very difficult times.
there were times when there were suicide attacks going on inside israel. those happen in response to the seller going to hebron mosque and killing those who are crying in the mosque. that kind of blew up the whole situation. it was clear that without cracking down on the settler violence, without ending israel's settler activity in the west bank, there is no way the palestinians will sit back and allow the israeli government to continue to control their life in every way. so i think the escalation that we are seeing now has been mounting, building because of what has happened in the last several years. there is no hope for any real normal life. this is the new normal for palestinians, which is military occupation continues unabated, the israeli government could choose to send settlers to the west bank, a crackdown rounding of children, palestinian children in night raids.
document to by palestinian and israeli human rights organizations. these kinds of things will make palestinians despair or make some of them to resort to violence and do what they're doing. i think that is really concerning. amy: are the knife attacks new? >> they are, but we have seen -- this is not the first time there were these kinds of wave of knife attacks. it happened during the 1980's. very much similar situation where the palestinians were really giving up on their hope to have a normal life. i think that there is now also -- there is the impact on their lack of ability to be able to express themselves. you mentioned the arab posting and citizen who stab the soldier. the overwhelming majority of palestinian citizens are living peaceful in their activities for their entire career, yet the
israeli government is cracking down on their leadership, their home -- inside, it is making people see that despite the fact you are making an effort to be a citizen, law-abiding citizen, the israeli government is saying, no, you're not welcome here, you're not going to be ts as others in the country. amy: on sunday, palestinian reported lee -- reportedly opened fire at a central bus station in the southern israeli city of beersheba, killing a soldier and wounding 11 other people. he had taken the gun of the soldier. afterward, israeli police spokesman micky rosenfeld addressed reporters. >> as a result of the attack were the terrorist had a pistol and opened fire, we have six people that were injured, four being police officers injured inside the central bus station. one man was severely taken to the hospital, received medical treatment.
unfortunately, confirmed he passed away a few minutes ago. security is continuing in the area and are police units are still in and around the central bus station. amy: israeli eyewitness to the shooting, sima koseshvili, called for greater security. >> do i need to live in a world where i am afraid to leave home to go to my college studies come in to work, or to go shopping? everything is frightening, and i want the police to take more action and increase their security presence. , in nathan thrall jerusalem, can you talk about what happened in your sheba? first you had the killing of both the palestinian gunman and the israeli soldier, many other people also injured, and then ,he man being beaten to death in a case of apparently, mistaken identity. >> frankly, i know about as much as you do about what happened to
stop i wasn't there and i've seen the reports and watched some of the videos, and i have seen the government has acknowledged that a tragic mistake was made, but the on that, i don't know the details of the incident. amy: what is the significance of this? >> look, what is happening now, anyone appears to be an arab palestinian, and that starts with racial profiling, stop and frisk is a daily experience a palestinian, but also israeli-jews who are arab jews who are -- who appear to some israelis or to the israeli security forces as suspicious arab palestinians. some are even being attacked. i think this is going out of control because these israeli government, the politicians, are spreading those statements, making the statements that are very dangerous, encouraging citizens to take arms and she
people, shoot to kill and there are now human rights reports investigating the shooting kill orders. this amounts to a traditional could killings -- killings. there needs to be investigations. you have people who did not pose any imminent threat to additional people, even if they committed crimes, they still should not be executed right on the spot. and i think that will bring the situation to a much worse -- people are mistrusting anyone who is a palestinian, who is an arab, who appears to be palestinian. that is why the refugee got in that position and lynching. there are situations where soldiers standing by, security forces standing but not protecting the civilians. that of itself is a huge dangerous escalation that i think even worse than the act of lowly or individual taking some knives and stabbing people because that frustrate desperate entire communities at risk, when
law enforcement opens fire with no respect to human life. we see situation that really requires more attention and more action, not just condemnation of acts of violence -- that is the easy part of this. what really needs to be done is what needs to be done about the situation, the situation of the situation inhe east jerusalem. what we not hearing, what are the solutions? including administration officials. every time secretary kerry tries to say something right, whether it is the recent comment he made were he said, well, we have seen building of settlements and expansion, etc. -- now we're seeing violence. you are making a very logic commonsense connection, yet he had to retract those statements come even though he is really saying what everybody knows, what everybody knows in the
obama administration and those in the united states that settlements are illegal and yet they are now getting full support from this israeli government and is now building on turning this conflict into a religious war. and i think that is really the critical point where i think we need to be very, very concerned about. people who know the situation know that if you are going to speak to the youth about religious wars, they will take things like -- they will take knives and stab people. and without leadership, without any hope, without a future, this will become the norm. unfortunately, that would be a very dangerous route to go. amy: is there a role for the icc, the international criminal court? >> the icc, there's a preliminary investigation of the situation in israel and joinedne after palestine the icc. there were calls to ask the prosecutor to look at the alleged crimes committed in the recent months.
i believe it will be a little difficult for the prosecutor to jump at this issue. there is a significant development that happened just last week with the icc prosecutor asking to open full investigation in georgia. that will be an important -- has important implications on the situation in palestine because if it is to move forward, it will be the first nonstate party full investigation that is taking place in the icc, which could, again, to lay on one hand the palestinian situation, but on the other hand would also set important precedents for i think -- most important, there should be clear deterrence to the israeli government from clear statements made. the israeli government cannot continue these actions with no consequences. there is no accountability. we know from reports from organizations that investigations within the israeli ministry are
discouraged, not credible, not serious. therefore, some point, there will be action by legal mechanisms, including the icc, to look into the crimes that are committed in the occupied palestinian territory. amy: on saturday, new york mayor bill de blasio and his counterpart in jerusalem nir barkat visited israeli stabbing victims recovering in hospital. on sunday, de blasio visited the western wall and toured the yad vashem holocaust memorial museum. he signed the guest book at the museum, "never again," and then made a statement. >> we're here at a painful moment. we're here at a moment when people are afraid, where people are struggling because of the violence in their midst every single day lately, more and more terrorist attacks on absolutely innocent civilians. something unconscionable and unacceptable, according to all our values, and something that must and. amy: nathan thrall, i want to get your comment, also the joint chiefs of staff in general
joseph dunford in addition to do blasio in israel, to what you believe needs to be done and what de blasio said. >> so what we're seeing is the beginning of the united states compensating israel for the iran nuclear deal, and they're discussing now increasing the $3 billion in aid that israel receives each year. and regarding de blasio's statement, of course, attacks on civilians are horrible and all of this death is horrible. in terms of looking at the root causes, i see very little being done to address that. what we're seeing right now among palestinians in the west bank and gaza and particularly in jerusalem, is a real sense that the idea of a palestinian
state with a capital in jerusalem is escaping them. jerusalem, i fell for many years, that they're losing jerusalem. they're losing control over the mosque as well. the other guest had mentioned that the institutions of the leadership used to exist in jerusalem, the plo at something called the orient house, which was its headquarters in jerusalem that has been shut and and is shut down jerusalem has been separated by an enormous wall from the rest of the west bank. and when palestinians come and visit from gaza, for example, those few who are allowed exit permits and do get to come to jerusalem, they are in shock at what they see. and seeing it with their own eyes and going around the west bank, they come to the conclusion that the possibility
of separating israel from an independent palestinian state anded a long time ago, nobody is offering any kind of solutions or answers to palestinians, including thrown leadership. and i think that is a big part of why you see palestinians actually acting right now outside of the political factions that dominate palestinian politics. palestinians feel like those actions are not offering any solutions and they are taking matters into their own hands. thehe center of some of fighting against israel has occurred specifically among those groups who are not under palestinian authority control. tes are not under the control.
the palestinian authority was prevented from acting in any form in jerusalem. well.ther domains as villages in the west bank you're fighting against the wall cutting through and taking part of their land also -- many of them are outside of the palestinian authorities control and are actually able to fight israel. the same thing with hunger striking prisoners and with gazans who are approaching the border fence every day and throwing rocks and getting shot and killed in the process. so i think the palestinians in general feel they are approaching the end of an era -- era was integrated with 2005dent abbas'election in just after yasser arafat had died and at the end of a very ,loody and painful intifada painful and bloody for both sides. represented for
palestinians was a chance to try a totally different strategy, one that was not based on armed conflict, one that would basically give israel exactly what it must wanted, which is security. and to cooperate with israel fully to hunt down militants in the west bank and to prevent attacks against israelis, against settlers. abbas, if you ask the security establishment, they will say abbas has delivered that in spades. with the security officials say is, we view our job as to provide thecalm that allows the political leadership to reach out and to make a deal or at least to improve the situation. even if you don't have a final peace agreement, there are 1000 things that israel can do to make things better for banktinians in the west and jerusalem and gaza. a lot of the -- amy: we have to wrap up and i want to bring jamil dakwar back
in. go ahead and then i will go back to jamil. >> i just wanted to say that a lot of the anger is a sense that that strategy that was electioned with abbas' in 2005 has been given 11 years now to play itself out. and it hasn't achieved anything. and it hasn't really eased life or restrictions on palestinians in gaza and the west bank and jerusalem. so what palestinians are doing now is in a very nonstrategic and emotional way, rebelling against that without a clear vision of where they are headed. amy: jamil dakwar, your final comment? gove seen president obama out on the limb on a number of issues, on cuba, when against what was the prevailing wisdom, but represented a majority opinion on cuba and changing
relations with cuba. on iran, push for a hard to get this deal. do you see him possibly doing this with israel-palestine? sally, i think will be hard to see him pushing that in the last year in his administration, given the iran deal, given every thing the political capital has been on all of the foreign-policy issues. i think it would be very sad for this a administration that they did not really get it right on the priority and the action. u.s. generally has the power over -- ultimately has the power over financial support to israel, diplomatic, political support. they know what needs to be done. and sadly, every time -- posted is resort to nonviolent practice and that is the overwhelming majority of palestinians have been doing that, in all the different places in the west bank, trying to oppose the wall, trying to oppose other crackdowns come all of a sudden,
individual attacks and violent attacks that are very, very unfortunate, turn to be the one representing of the palestinian struggle for freedom and justice. and i think the sad reality we live. and i think there is the need for palestinian unity, readership to realize the need to be lessons learned from the 22 field experience of oslo, what it meant for the palestinians and to have more legitimacy within the palestinians to give them the confidence the palestinian leadership is speaking on behalf of palestinians so they can garner the support international even of the united states will not be on their site in the near future. amy: i want to thank you both ,or being with us, jamil dakwar human rights lawyer, palestinian citizen of israel who previously worked as a senior attorney at adalah, a leading human rights group in israel. also, nathan thrall, a senior analyst at the international crisis group.
amy: "who's the terrorist?" by dam. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to part two of my conversation with the author of, "the devil's chessboard: allen dulles, the cia, and the rise of america's secret government." the new book is written by journalist and historian david talbot, the founder of former ceo and editor and teeth -- and chief of salon. alan dulleses influence is still felt under the agency. cuba -- the cia overthrew the governments of iran and guatemala, invaded cuba and was tied to the killing of patrice lumumba, congo's first democratically elected leader. i asked david talbot about the 1953 coup in a rent and then 61 murder of patrice lumumba.
part two begins with guatemala, the ramifications of the cia was 1954 coup are still being felt in guatemala where voters will go to the polls next sunday to elect a new president. last month, president molina resigned and was jailed following a popular uprising. i asked david talbot to talk about the 1954 coup in the road -- role played by allen dulles and his brother john foster dulles, who's secretary of state at the time. >> the original power goes back to sullivan and cromwell, this very powerful wall street law john foster dulles ran and where allen dulles worked. and among their clients was united fruit. united fruit, of course, was this colossus, this corporate colossus, that ruled much of latin america, owned, you know, vast acreage in guatemala and many other countries. they weren't just a banana company. they were a multinational real estate company. they owned often the utilities. and they owned the local
political elites in those countries. in the early 1950's, jacobo árbenz, this young military officer, a reform officer, starts to emerge as a potential leader. he runs for president and is elected by his people on a reform campaign. and one of the first things he does, of course, in this country that's basically a medieval country ruled by land barons, is to begin to nationalize some of the land, that's not being even used by united, and give it to the people themselves, the farmers, to work. and this provokes a major backlash from united fruit, from the local political elites, the oligarchs, and from the cia. allen dulles, working for eisenhower as cia director, portrays jacobo árbenz as a dangerous communist -- he wasn't -- and prepares to overthrow him in a military coup, which does occur. what i tell the story of, mostly i focus on, is the tragic aftermath of that coup, because
not only for the árbenz family, which, in some ways, were the kennedys of guatemala -- glamorous, young couple, jacobo and maría árbenz, their children, very good-looking, wealthy, but very committed to uplifting the poor in that country. and after the coup, they're sent into a terrible exile. no country will touch them, because cia pressure. the cia and the state department pressure every country, from mexico throughout latin america, not to take the árbenz family in. they're finally forced to go behind the iron curtain to czechoslovakia to seek exile. they're not happy there. they finally end up back in mexico, but they're under tight supervision. the family is haunted. it's stalked wherever it goes. one of his daughters commits suicide. and jacobo árbenz himself ends up dead under mysterious circumstances -- scalded to
death in a bathtub in a mexico city hotel. his family today believes that he was assassinated. and given the fact that the cia had a death list of left-wing figures, journalists, political leaders, after the coup that were to be eliminated, that, you know, is a distinct possibility. so these ripples of tragedy, after these coups, go on and on. you know, the cia and allen dulles told eisenhower after the guatemala coup, "oh, it was a clean coup. you know, hardly anyone died." but the fact is, tens of thousands of people died in the killing fields of guatemala as a result of that coup, and that violence continues today. amy: and wasn't it also a precursor to what happened with the bay of pigs? move forward like, what, six years, and explain what happened. >> right. well, emboldened by how easy it was to do a regime change in
guatemala, yes, when fidel castro comes to power in cuba, he again antagonizes the same corporate interests that the dulles brothers represent -- oil companies, like the rockefeller-owned standard oil, and others, agribusiness firms. so they believe that fidel has to be eliminated, and they begin plotting, under the eisenhower with eisenhower's approval, to kill, to assassinate fidel castro. and, in fact, at one point, fidel castro, who was beloved in this country after the revolution -- he had overthrown a thug, a mafia-backed thug, batista, a very corrupt and violent dictatorship. he was seen as the future, and very glamorous, he and che guevara and so on. they would come to new york and would be mobbed by people in the streets. when they came to new york for a you in -- you in meeting in 1960, though, the eisenhower administration was already pushing back, and no hotel would take them. finally, a hotel in midtown did take them, but there was -- they asked for so much money as security, they were basically
blackmailing fidel. he was outraged, and he ended up staying in a hotel in harlem that took him in. amy: hotel theresa. >> hotel theresa. and they stood up to this washington pressure, the manager of that hotel, who was african-american. he had grown up in jim crow south. and he said, "you know, i know what it's like to be denied a roof over your head. this cuban delegation can stay here." so it was a very -- amy: did he meet malcolm x there? >> he did. it was a very dramatic moment. malcolm x makes a visit to the hotel theresa. he squeezes into his suite, where there's dozens of people crammed. they have a very interesting encounter, fidel and malcolm. and it really changed their lives and had a big impact on both of those men for years afterwards. in fact, malcolm said he was one of the few white men that he learned to respect and appreciate. and, by the way, there was an fbi guy taking notes the whole time in that hotel room, so we know some of what happened there
and the dialogue, because of the fbi report on this. amy: who was it? >> well, his name was not revealed, but there was an agent surveilling him. but meanwhile, while fidel is there, meeting with khrushchev from the soviet union and nasser from egypt and the world leaders and embarrassing the eisenhower administration, because here he's gone to harlem, and, you know, no one else would take him in in midtown manhattan -- meanwhile, the mafia is meeting with cia agents at the plaza hotel, just blocks away, plotting his assassination. so a lot of intrigue in 1960 going on in new york. and then to make it even more interesting, a young jfk, who's campaigning for president, after fidel has left, shows up at the hotel theresa and basically says, "this is revolutionary ground i'm standing on. and we should welcome the winds of change and the revolution, the future. we shouldn't be afraid of it."
so very d -- and begins to talk about the mortality rate of black infants in harlem and many of the issues that are still current. amy: and yet, look at what president kennedy, then president kennedy, did when it came to cuba -- >> exactly. amy: what happened under his reign, from the bay of pigs to the endless assassination attempts of fidel castro. >> kennedy did do a flip-flop to an extent after that. he came in as president. he was young. he was untested, under a lot of pressure from the national security people in his administration. he inherited the bay of pigs operation, the plans for that. he was basically told, "look, if you pull the plug on this thing, it's so far along now, there will be a major political backlash against you." so he was kind of sandbagged by the cia. he did go through with it, but he had no intention of widening it into an all-out u.s. military assault on the island, on cuba. but that's what the cia had in mind. they knew that this motley crew of cuban exiles they put
together to invade the island wasn't sufficient to unseat castro. but what they hoped and what they planned was that a young president kennedy, as this invasion was bogged down on the beaches of the bay of pigs, would be forced then to send in the marines and the u.s. air force to topple castro. amy: and then, of course, the cuban missile crisis, the closest we ever came to a nuclear war. >> well, but kennedy stood his ground and he didn't do that. and that was the beginning of his break, at the bay of pigs, between the cia and cuba -- and president kennedy. and then, yes, that became even more severe with the cuban missile crisis the following year. again, the military in this country and the cia thought that we could take, you know, castro out. during the cuban missile crisis, they were prepared to go to a nuclear war to do that. president kennedy thought people like curtis lemay, who was head of the air force, general curtis lemay, was half-mad. he said, "i don't even see this man in my -- you know, in my
sight," because he was pushing for a nuclear confrontation with the soviet union. and even years later, curtis lemay, after years after kennedy is dead, in an interview that i quote from in the book, bitterly complains that kennedy didn't take this opportunity to go nuclear over cuba. so president kennedy basically, i think, saved my life -- i was 12 years old at the time -- saved a lot of our lives, because he did stand his ground. he took a hard line against the national security people and said, "no, we're going to peacefully resolve the cuban missile crisis." amy: and then president kennedy, on 1963, was assassinated. november 22, >> that's right. amy: david talbot on his new book, "the devil's chessboard: allen dulles, the cia, and the rise of america's secret government." back with him in a minute. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue part two of our conversation with david talbot on his new book, "the devil's chessboard: allen dulles, the cia, and the rise of america's secret government." him why he was -- white allen dulles was fired by jfk. >> he was fired after the bay of rates. kennedy realized he should not have kept dulles on through the eisenhower years. there were philosophically too different. the bay of pigs was the final straw for him. so he was pushed out after that and but dulles, as i say, continued to set up an anti-kennedy government in exile in his home in georgetown. many of the people he was meeting with, several of the people, including howard hunt and others, later became figures of suspicion during the house select committee on assassination hearings in washington in the 1970's. you know, most americans don't know that that was the last
official statement, the last official report, on the kennedy assassination, not the warren report back in 1964. but the congress reopened the investigation into john kennedy's assassination, and they did determine he was killed as the result of a conspiracy. so a number of the people who came up during this investigation by congress were figures of interest who were meeting with allen dulles. they had no, you know, obvious reason to be meeting with a retired cia official. the weekend of kennedy's assassination, allen dulles is not at home watching television like the rest of america. he's at a remote cia facility, two years after being pushed out of the agency by kennedy, called the farm in northern virginia that he used when he was director of the cia as a kind of an alternate command post. well, he's there while kennedy is killed, after kennedy is killed, when jack ruby then kills lee harvey oswald. that whole fateful weekend he's hunkered down in a cia command
post. so there are many odd circumstances like this. i also found out from interviewing the children of another former cia official that one of the key figures of interest in the kennedy assassination, a guy named william harvey, who was head of the cia-mafia plot against castro and hated the kennedys, thought that they were weak and so on, he was seen leaving his rome station and flying to dallas, by his own deputy, on an airplane early in november 1963. this is a remarkable sighting because to place someone like william harvey, the head of the cia's assassination unit, put there by allen dulles, in dallas in november of 1963 before the assassination is a very important fact. the cia, by the way, refuses, even at this late date, to release the travel vouchers for people like william harvey. under the jfk records act, that was asked in the back -- back in
the 1990's, they are compelled by federal law to release all documents related to the kennedy assassination, but they're still withholding over of these 1100 documents, including -- and i used the freedom of information act to try and get the travel vouchers for william harvey. they're still holding onto them. amy: how many calls are you getting in the mainstream media to do interviews? >> well, thank god, i was saying earlier, for alternative media, like this, amy, because there is resistance to this book. first of all, i call out the mainstream media. i say that new york times," cbs, "washington post," "newsweek," they were all under his thumb. they did his bidding. amy: whose thumb? >> allen dulles's thumb. so, when the warren report came out, i was saying that one of the editors, top editors, at "newsweek" wrote to him and said, "thank you so much, mr. dulles, for helping shape our coverage of the warren report." well, of course, allen dulles was on the warren commission. in fact, some people thought it should have been called the dulles commission because he dominated it so much. so, you know, it's way too cozy, the relationship between
washington power and the media. and -- amy: what was the relationship between arthur hays sulzberger, the publisher of "the new york times" and allen dulles, the head of the cia? >> well, they were social friends, not just him, but other members of the sulzberger family. i found, you know, cozy correspondence between them, congratulating him when he was inaugurated, dulles, as cia director. they called him "ally," one of the sulzberger families, in one letter. they would get together, you know, every year. dulles would hold these media sort of drink fests for new year's. and these were, you know, top reporters, top editors, would get together with the cia guys and rub elbows and get a little drunk. and, you know, when allen dulles didn't want a reporter, because he felt he was being overly aggressive, covering, say, guatemala -- sydney gruson, the reporter -- in the run-up to the coup there in 1954, he had -- he made a call to the new york times and had him removed. that was because of his relationship with sulzberger, the publisher. so that was the kind of pull
that allen dulles had. amy: how did that work? >> well, they just took him out. they removed gruson. they transferred him, i think to mexico, at that point. amy: david talbot on his new book, "the devil's chessboard: allen dulles, the cia, and the rise of america's secret government." to see part one and three, go to democracynow.org. we have a job opening at democracy now!, director of development to lead our fundraising efforts. you can find out more at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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