tv Democracy Now PBS October 22, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
1015 de amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i am dying here every day, mentally and physically. this is happening to all of us. we have been ignored, locked up in the middle of the ocean for years. rather than humiliate myself having to beg for water, i would rather hurry up the process that is going to happen anyway. i would like to die quietly by myself. amy: those were the words of british citizen shaker aamer who has been locked up at guantanamo for 14 years. he was cleared for release eight years ago in 2007, but the pentagon refused to set him free until now, this coming we will
sunday. speak to his attorney clive stafford smith. then to benghazi. >> the fact is, we have four dead americans, was a because of a protest or guys out with a walk and decided to kill some americans? what difference, this point, does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. amy: as hillary clinton prepares to testify again today on capitol hill for up to 10 hours about the 2012 attack in libya, which killed four americans, we will speak to friends of two of the men killed in benghazi. the first, we go to st. louis where six predominantly black churches have been set on fire. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. last month was the hottest september worldwide and 2015 is
now virtually guaranteed to be the hottest year in recorded history. the national oceanic and atmospheric administration said the first nine months of this year have been the hottest such period ever recorded. driven by warmer temperatures, the strongest el nino on record is fueling extreme weather, from typhoons in the philippines to historic summer rains and a looming winter drought in hawaii. this all comes as negotiators prepare for the u.n. climate summit in paris november 30. democracy now! will report live from the summit. former secretary of state and current democratic presidential hopeful hillary clinton is testifying today before the house select committee probing the 2012 attack on the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi, libya. the attack killed u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans. the hearing comes after california congressmember kevin mccarthy appeared to publicly confirm the republican focus on benghazi is and that scheduling president clinton's -- hillary
clinton's presidential bid. we'll have more on benghazi later in the broadcast. vice president joe biden is not running for president. ending months of speculation, biden said he and his family had been coping with the death of his son and had run out of time to mount a campaign. standing by his wife dr. jill biden and president obama in the rose garden, biden delivered what many saw as the speech he would have used to launch his campaign. >> i believe that president obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery and we are now in the cusp of resurgence. i am proud to have played a part in that. this party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the obama legacy. amy: the right-wing house freedom caucus has backed wisconsin congressmember paul ryan for house speaker, assuring him the support needed to claim the post next week. the move comes after ryan said he "cannot and will not give up my family time" if he becomes house speaker.
critics have noted ryan's record of opposing a range of policies which allow low-income parents to spend time with their children, including paid parental leave. in cape town, south africa, police deployed tear gas and stun grenades against students protesting university tuition under bae nner "fees must fall," the student protests swelling acrs osh cag latif ondn 1994. on wednesday, the students pushed through a gate outside parliament, trapping lawmakers inside. the united nations has accused the czech republic of systematic human rights violations over its treatment of refugees. the u.n. said czech authorities are detaining refugees for up to 90 days and strip-searching them for money to pay for their own detention. separately, the united nations has also said britain must resettle more than 100 syrian refugees who landed at a british airbase on the island of cyprus. secretary of state john kerry is meeting with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu in berlin today amid a rise in violence in israel and the occupied territories. today, israeli police said they
opened fire on two men accused of stabbing and wounding an israeli. one of the accused assailants died while the other was injured. separately in jerusalem, an mane mistook for a palestinian attacker. police said the man tried to grab a soldier's weapon. the family of a u.s. citizen killed in an israeli raid on a gaza-bound aid ship are suing former israeli prime minister ehud barak. attorneys for a dual turkish u.s. citizen say he was shot , five times, including point blank in the head. nine people were killed when israeli commandoes stormed the mavi marmara in international waters. a tenth died last year after four years in a coma. wikileaks has released the first in a series of emails from cia director john brennan's personal account. the release includes documents on iran and interrogation methods, as well as a draft security clearance application which contained brennan's wife's social security number,
addresses of brennan's children and former cia director george , tenet's phone number. a teenager who claimed he hacked brennan's aol account told the "new york post" he was protesting u.s. foreign policy. the obama administration has drawn up a plan to address the debt crisis in puerto rico, and the administration once congress to approve bankruptcy protection for the u.s. territory, expand medicaid and expand access to federal tax credits for workers, and impose a control board to oversee puerto rico's finances. it's unclear if congress will back the proposal. more than 130 police chiefs, prosecutors and sheriffs have , called for curbing mass incarceration in the united states. new york city police chief bill bratton and los angeles police chief charlie beck were among those to call for ending mandatory minimums and creating alternatives to prison. chicago police superintendent gerry mccarthy spoke wednesday. he said the plan involves rethinking definitions of crime. >> it is really clear that we can reduce violence, we can reduce crime and at the same
time, reduce incarceration rates. and i really think what we have to do in this country, and this may be a little bit radical, is to start really thinking about what constitutes a crime. amy: many of the police officials leading the efforts are facing allegations of police brutality and wrongful detention in their departments. the largest ever report on lgbt prisoners in the united states has found they are six times more likely to be sexually assaulted than the general prison population. the group black and pink surveyed more than 1000 lgbt prisoners. 85% said they spent time in solitary confinement, and nearly half said they were denied access to hormone therapy behind bars. the american civil liberties union has accused biloxi, mississippi of running a modern , day debtors' prison. in a lawsuit filed wednesday, the aclu said biloxi "routinely arrests and jails impoverished people in a scheme to generate municipal revenue through the collection of unpaid fines, fees and court costs." , in one case, a single mother was jailed for five days after
failing to pay $1000 in traffic fines and fees. ohio has become the latest state to advance a measure defunding planned parenthood. the move follows the release of highly edited videos showing planned parenthood official's discussion fetal tissue donation. multiple investigations have found no wrongdoing by planned parenthood. meanwhile, in new hampshire, an intruder armed with a hatchet was caught inside a planned parenthood clinic early wednesday morning after smashing computers, furniture, plumbing fixtures, medical equipment, windows and walls. , the claremont clinic, which provides a range of services, but not abortions, was spray painted with the word "murderer" earlier this month. alabama has backed down slightly on a plan to shutter 31 driver's license offices in majority african american areas. the planned closures came after alabama passed a law requiring a government-issued id to vote. birmingham news columnist john archibald wrote -- "every single county in which
blacks make up more than 75% of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. every one." following a national outcry, alabama governor robert bentley said the offices will be reopened at least one day a month. president obama has announced a series of steps to address a surge in heroin and prescription painkiller addiction. during a visit to west virginia, which has the highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in the country, obama outlined plans to expand medication-assisted treatment and ease access to the life-saving overdose antidote naloxone. heroin and prescription drug overdoses kill more people in the united states annually than car crashes. privacy activists are rallying in washington, d.c., today to oppose a bill they say would expand mass surveillance. critics say the cybersecurity information sharing act, or cisa, would allow corporations to share users' personal information with the government under the guise of cybersecurity. this week, apple joined the
growing list of more than 20 top tech companies to oppose cisa, saying "we don't believe , security should come at the expense of privacy." oregon democratic senator ron wyden criticized cisa during a senate debate wednesday. >> i believe this bill is badly flawed because it doesn't pass the test of showing that when , you haveinformation got to have robust privacy standards or else millions of americans are going to look up and they're going to say, that is really not cybersecurity. they're going to say it is a surveillance bill. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. over 10 days, six predominantly
black churches have been set ablaze in the st. louis area of missouri. the first fire was set october 8 at the bethel non-denominational church. then three more churches were targeted -- new northside missionary baptist church, st. augustine catholic church, and the new testament church of christ. on saturday, the new life missionary baptist church became the latest to be attacked. st. louis fire captain garon mosby said there's no doubt the fires are deliberate. >> it is arson. these are being intentionally set. there are doors -- it isn't spontaneous combustion, so they are not occurring on their own. amy: all the fires were set within a three mile radius of northern st. louis. the area includes ferguson where the police killing of unarmed teen michael brown set off protests and a national movement more than a year ago. the burnings come after a series of fires at african-american churches across the south following the charleston church massacre in june. three of those fires were ruled as arson.
white supremacists have targeted black churches with burnings dating back to the civil war. we are joined by two guests. reverend rodrick burton is pastor of new northside missionary baptist church, attacked by an arsonist on october 10. and jeffrey mittman is the executive director of the aclu of missouri. we welcome you both to democracy now! let's start with reverend rodrick burton. talk about what happened to your church, the day, how you learned what was happening, were you there. >> i got a phone call about 3:19 10,he morning on october informing me that a fire was set at the front door and the fire department was there putting the fire out. thankfully, a neighbor called the fire department. and also informed the fire minister musice lives, he two doors down. he fire department woke him up
so he would come and open up the door. so the good neighbor facilitated a quick response and the fire was able to be limited to just the front door. nermeen: reverend burton, do you have an idea who was behind the attack? >> no, i have no idea list of no one left any sort of threatening voicemails or sent any threatening letters, so i don't have any idea. nermeen: jeffrey mittman, could you talk what we know about so far about the attacks on churches? >> unfortunately, what we know is rather limited. fortunately, the same list of police -- police department and fire department and federal atf have stepped up. they are investigating. money is being brought together for a reward step unfortunate, right now, the committed is left to deal with these targeted burnings. and this, unfortunately, is in the context, as you pointed out,
of history of targeting of african-american churches. anytime the community fights for equality. amy: you have called this, jeffrey mittman, domestic terrorism, the series of burning of churches. explain why. >> what we need to remember is throughout american history, in the struggle for african-american equality, there are white supremacists who use church burning as a tool to instill fear, to tell the community, you may not fight for equality, we don't want you to have the rights of the rest of us have. we think it is important that those of us and the majority community step up and acknowledge this history and stand with our african-american community members to my friends, and neighbors. nermeen: over the summer, the fbi launched an investigation into fires set at seven different african-american churches in seven days across the south. the fires began on june 21, just days after the charleston massacre, and occurred in six different states -- tennessee,
georgia, north carolina, south carolina, florida and ohio. , at the time, democracy now! spoke to richard cohen, president of the southern poverty law center. he explained why his organization was calling for congressional hearings into domestic terrorism. >> we have called for those hearings before, both the senate and the house, the committees that look at the department of homeland security. you know, since 9/11, we are you know, we are -- our resources and domestic terrorism fight have skewed perhaps too heavily terrorism at the expense of the forms of domestic terrorism that we saw exhibited in the charleston massacre. what we think we should allocate our resources coming no, in accordance with the nature of the threat. 9/11 will also -- will always be the pearl harbor of our time. that doesn't mean all of the resources should go in that direction. nermeen: that was jeffrey cohen
of the southern poverty law center. jeffrey mittman, could you comment on what he said? >> again, i think his comments are very apt. we know here in st. louis over the past year plus, the community has been working to deal with a history of racism. policies and procedures that have targeted the african-american community to make solutions from housing, policing that is unequal, educational systems that are unequal. and what we see throughout history is any time there's an effort by the community to fight for its right, there are those who seek to use fear and will target the churches, which historically have been a place where the community gathers to plan, to come together, a haven, and tries to send a message that if you fight for your rights, we will fight back against you. amy: over the summer, republican representative peter king of new york, who sits on the house homeland security committee, disagreed with the idea that white supremacists could be more dangerous than muslim extremists. he was speaking on abc's "this
week." >> i can't believe any real law forstmann officer looking at the potential threats that are out there, for instance, the boston marathon bombing, almost 300 wounded, and the fact that eric holder, a pretty liberal attorney general kept him awake at night, was the lone wolf islamist terrorist would carry out an attack, every murder is horrible trump no comparison between these white supremacist and an internationally corrugated movement which is the attacks were not stopped, thousands of thousands of deaths. amy: that is congressmember peter king of new york. i want to ask reverend rodrick burton -- we don't know who set these fires, we do know that in the fires that happened after the charleston, south carolina massacre, at least three have been called arson, but what are your thoughts on what he said come on what congressman king said? thatll, it is very tragic
one of our representatives of our fellow desk federal government is so ill-informed. americans have always been the best at killing other americans. there's a history of that and -- as tragicragic as 9/11 was, if you take a brief survey of american history in the 20th century, 19th century, klan.archist, the americans have always excelled outside of any other group at harming other americans. amy: how are you organizing with other ministers of these churches? this is the area around ferguson, is that right? what are you calling for right now? >> what i have been consistently calling for is that there would be a coming together of the faith community in st. louis, because we have a long and shameful history of division in the city of st. louis for a number of reasons discontinued
legacy of racism and structured racism. but i really felt in an instant like this are churches were being attacked, it was an opportunity for the st. louis faith community to stand up and leave the way in a coming together, but also i felt like this had a larger implication of an attack on your freedom of rile anyshould american of whatever faith, of no faith. i was very encouraged yesterday at our community prayer service, there were some who were agnostic who came up and said, yes, we agree with you, this is wrong, we are concerned. i had a few phone calls. again, what troubles me is not so much these attacks, but the communities responses to these attacks. i know america loves baseball and sports, but it seems a disease or to get a conversation with america about a rivalry of
a national sports team than to have a discussion about our sacred freedom, freedom of religion, to practice or not, is being challenged and attacked. i have been very intentional and very relentless does as a matter of fact, i'm losing my voice -- to try to get the community to come together and get people to stop and think about our precious freedom and think about how we should appreciate that and we should collectively say, this is something that we don't want and does not represent us. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, reverend rodrick burton, pastor of new northside missionary baptist church. also, jeffrey mittman, executive director the aclu of missouri. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. when we come back, we look at the case of shaker aamer. he has been in prison since 2007 at guantanamo -- he was supposed to be released in 2007 and yet
2007 and president obama in 2009. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. the 14-year nightmare of the last british prisoner at guantanamo bay could soon be coming to an end. the u.s. announced last month it will release shaker aamer, imprisoned without charge at guantanamo since february 2002. aamer says he was working as a charity worker in afghanistan when he was kidnapped and handed over to u.s. forces. during his time in captivity, he claims he was subjected to abuses including torture, beatings, sleep deprivation, and being held in solitary confinement for nearly a year. at one point, he lost half his body weight while on a hunger strike. amy: shaker aamer has been cleared for release since 2007, but the pentagon has refused to set him free. the u.s. announced last month that he will finally be released , but only after a 30-day notification period required by congress. if the u.s. follows through,
aamer will likely be released on sunday and flown back to britain to join his wife and four children. even as he's set for freedom, aamer has remained on hunger strike to protest his mistreatment. we are joined by clive stafford smith, shaker aamer's attorney for 10 years. he is a human rights lawyer and founder and director of the international legal charity reprieve. welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. so start off by telling us how shaker aamer ended up in guantánamo for more than 14 years. he was cleared eight years ago. >> there are two questions, one, how he ended up getting there. unfortunately, that store is chillingly familiar. that we as americans, we were dropping bounty leaflets so that if you in pakistan or afghanistan would turn in someone like shaker aamer, you got $5,000. for us in new york and the would translate about $250,000.
the second question -- amy: where was he turned in? >> originally by the northern alliance. he was trying to get out of the country and was seized by them and sold to the u.s. shaker aamer was really happy when he was sold to the u.s. because he thought justice, because he lived in america for a while. he believes in america justice. sadly, that turned out to be a. believe because your second question, which is, why is he still there eight years after being cleared is a very difficult one for the government to answer. i think i know the response, which is that he has seen things that -- he has been a witness to things that are just really, really embarrassing to us. the most important of all thing, worst of all of the many struggle things we did in torturing people, the worst weulted in that which tortured libby.
2002dent bush quoted him inserted: powell is a reason to go to war, and window what happened. amy: i want to turn to the statement shaker aamer made to police detectives were investigating british involvement in torture. the 2013 statement is only recently released. in it aamer said -- , "i was a witness to the torture of ibn al-shaykh al-libi in bagram. his case seems to me to be particularly important, and my witnessing of it particularly relevant to my ongoing detention. he was there being abused at the same time i was. he was there being abused when the british came there. clearly, the fact that i was a witness to all this does not make the u.s. want to let me free, for fear that i may be a witness to one of the most colossal mistakes of all those made in the last 11 years." could you talk about this, when this happened, his witnessing of this torture and how much you
think that has been responsible for his ongoing detention? >> sure. when you look at the dates,libby was one of the early people who was detained. he was to attain in november 2001. the u.s. thought he was a big-time al qaeda person at the time, thought he was number three. gosh, how many number threes have we had? he was not a member of al qaeda and opposed it. bin laden tried to close down his camp. anyway, the u.s. had the wrong end of the stick. there was a big fight over how quickly we could get intelligence out of these people. unfortunately, the cia won the battle. what is crucial about shaker aamer, he was in one of those cages in bagram air force base. he is been taken into seelibby, ker was one of the first five prisoners. shaker witnessed incredible
notorious moment when a coffin was brought in apparently by the cia people, to get al-libby, put him out -- took them over to egypt and had him tortured. when you think about it, if i torture you, which i'm not going to do, even though i haven't had enough coffee this morning. if i get you to confess you are wicked evil person, too bad for you. but if i torture you and i get you to say something that changes in the international affairs and results in 100,000 more people being killed in iraq, then results in the middle east being tipped into chaos, that is a massive story. when you look at the senate torture report, that story appears in the footnote 868 in one sentence. and there's no real reference to that. these are the things that if we are going to learn the lessons of history, we kind of have to know -- amy: explain what you're saying.
the information he gave resulted in. >> when libby is being stuck with electric cattle prod says, yeah, saddam hussein has been working with al qaeda on weapons of mass destruction -- amy: even though they were enemies, al qaeda and saddam hussein. people would believe this drivel. as a result, even though i think evil in intelligence services at the time who said, this is kind of silly, unfortunately, there were such a pressure to come up with a reason to go attack saddam that the president himself relied on that. when you think about the terrible things that are so embarrassing to our political leaders, the idea that you would rely on a torture statement that is now proven to be cut of work we false in persuading the world to go toarthats ou toit ge013 i spoke victoria brittain, a leading british journalist who covered guantanamo for years. her book, "shadow lives: the forgotten women of the war on
terror," had just been published, which included an excerpt from a letter shaker aamer wrote to his wife in 2006. this is shaker aamer in his own words, read out by journalist victoria brittain. >> "i am dying here every day, mentally and physically. this is happening to all of us. we have been ignored, locked up in the middle of the ocean for years. rather than humiliate myself, having to beg for water, i would rather hurry up the process that is going to happen anyway. i would like to die quietly, by myself. i was once 250 pounds. i dropped to 150 pounds in the first hunger strike. i want to make it easy on everyone. i want no feeding, no forced tubes, no 'help', no 'intensive assisted feeding'. this is my legal right. the british government refuses to help me. what is the point of my wife being british? i thought britain stood for justice, but they abandoned us, people who have lived in britain for years, and who have british wives and children. i hold the british government
responsible for my death, as i do the americans." amy: that is the tory britain, british human rights attorney reading a part of shaker aamer's 2006.ine years ago in nine years ago. he was cleared eight years ago and yet he is still in prison. can you talk about his wife, his children? what he comes home to and how he responded when you told him he will be released on sunday? thehen you look at all of people in guantánamo, it is easy to talk about statistics and how there are 779 people who have been there. each of them is a human being, an individual. i am a parent. i have a seven-year-old son. the idea of not seeing my son all the time would be dreadful. shaker has four children now. he and his wife had three very small children when he was
detained. his fourth child was born on valentine's day 2002, the very day shaker got to guantánamo bay. shaker, and 14 years, has never met his child. he is never -- amy: he is now a teenager. >> now a teenager. the other children he is never seen, either. his wife, he hasn't seen her, and she is gone through dreadful traumas herself being left alone . it is been very difficult for her in her life. and all of this has gone on -- and now shaker, even today, that was 2000 six, right, but we're still talking about it. the reason shaker won't even go to the phone call to talk to his family at the moment, because we finally got the phone calls, he's had two or three over the last 14 years with his family. amy: two or three in 14 years? at all did not do them until about 2010. they have come up with what they call -- it is not me saying this -- scrotum searches, which is
this absurd thing worth a humiliate the muslim prisoners in guantánamo bay by groping you with a pretext being have to be searched this way before you have a phone call with your children. as if this is anything that children are going to smuggle you over the international telephone line. shaker finds this so humiliating, that i've had to apologize to his family that he can't go through that you really asian, even to have this conversation with kids. -- go through that conversation, even to have conversation with his kids. released? going to be >> no we don't know. the last chapter that have been released after 30 days, took 89 days. one of the reasons we're trying to keep the pressure up is we need to get them out soon. shaker went on hunger strike again because he is in the
street it again. i spent five days last week without eating, which is a great new die system if you want to advertise it. in order for him to drop his hunger strike. but we need to keep the political pressure on to make sure they do actually bring him home. this sunday, or soon thereafter. amy: there are videotapes of a prisoner being force-fed. can you explain who that prisoner is a guantanamo and how that fits into this story? have these videotapes been released? whoe represent a prisoner has been released, i'm glad to say, but we're been investigating this whole force-feeding business. it is an interesting philosophical issue if someone is going to die from starvation, should you go against their will and force feed them or not. when the british did that to the ira, we let them die. but in here, -- it would be an if itsting debate
weren't for one thing, we do the force-feeding and a gratuitously painful way. we take a 110's in big tube and shove it up your nose, and instead of leaving it there, we pull it out and stuff it back in after each feeding. it was the general who said that there were doing this to make it less convenient to go on hunger strike. we had litigated this whole issue and we have got to see these videos, but they're classified. what we're trying to do is let you see them. because if you see what the government is doing in our name, i think there will be some serious disagreement with the government. that is still being argued over. since we could not do it that way, we got someone to go through themselves. and that is on youtube. you can see generally what we did to the prisoners. it -- don't try to home. haseen: shaker aamer
expressed concerns about returning to his family. could you talk about that? >> that is so hard, isn't it? shaker, when i see him, he always response to his prisoner number, number 239. no one ever calls him his name in guantánamo bay, he is 239. this is one example of what is said to me. he says, one of the things he is afraid of when he gets home is one of his kids will say, "daddy," and he will respond because his kids are not calling him "239." when you look at that and the posters -- ptsd that shaker is gone through as a result of the torture went on to him, we have a lot of work to do. the first thing we will do when we get him back to britain is taken straight to medical clinic and get him some help. nermeen: we would like to turn to saudi arabia from a reprieve has just released a report on executions in saudi arabia. i want to ask about the mother of a saudi protester sentenced to be beheaded and crucified for
his role in the 2012 pro-democracy uprising has begged president obama to intervene to save her son's life. ali mohammed al-nimr was arrested at the age of 17 and convicted of encouraging protests during the arab spring. he faces execution any day now. al-nimr is the nephew of a prominent cleric who also received a death sentence following pro-democracy protests. speaking to the guardian last week, his mother, nusra al-ahmed, condemned her son's sentence. human being would go against a child of 17 years old using such a sentence. and why? he did not shed any blood. he did not steal any property. no one could accept a ruling that he is so savage. .t is savage, disgusting a judge should be in the position of a father. he should be more merciful than
the attorney general. nermeen: earlier this month, in response to mounting international pressure to release al nimr, the saudi embassy in london issued a statement saying -- "the judiciary is an independent body and the kingdom of saudi arabia rejects any form of interference in its internal affairs and any impingement on its sovereignty or the independence and impartiality of its judiciary." clive stafford smith, can you talk about the report that reprieve released and what you found on executions, who sentenced to death in saudi arabia? >> the reason reprieve got involved in the first place, we wanted to do something about executions in saudi for years, but it is very difficult. it is partly because of the executions, but also partly because of the bedfellows we have in the west, we make friends with these regimes. saudi arabia is doomed to collapse, isn't it? you have these incredibly regressive repressive people
running a country that is absolutely bound to fall. and you have 65% of saudis in the most recent poll saying the support isis and what isis is doing. here, in oneiple way, is that we need to choose our friends far more wisely, otherwise, we're going to end up on the wrong end. in the individual human picture, ,hen we learned about al-nimr and i wrote the first piece about him on his crucifixion business, we have come to thousand years and the big improvement the saudis admit on crucifixion is that they chop your head off first and hang your upside down on your cross to encourages other people not to do things. we are china tell the world more about it, but it is such a closed society. 171 people said to be executed from almost three courses of those for nonviolence, 16 are , notpeople as with al-nmr
extreme as people, people who are merely protesting for more democracy. 16 of them set to die, including several children. ali is one. amy: tell us to ali is. >> the shaikh encouraging people to demand -- amy: his uncle. >> ali was 17 at the time and his uncle said, come to the protest. amy: and he is she a, two? >> he is. ali has been charged with a heinous offense of failing to show respect for the guardian, the guardian being the king who is a purely the guardian of all his good people. and this is what you get executed for -- not just executed, you get beheaded and crucified. we should not be doing business with these people. i know we love oil and we love money, but we really need to have our morals about some of these things that are going on. amico: what about the his relationship with saudi arabia?
whether we are talking about what is happening inside saudi arabia or the saudi bombing, the u.s. supported saudi bombing of yemen right now, what about president obama and saudi arabia? >> their little things like president should be clearly stopping this barbarism, but there's a bigger picture. when you look at extreme is him today, what they're worried about in the war of terror, you're looking at something that the saudis promoted for years. you look around the middle east and all of the people we supported over the years, saddam hussein, could awfully, all of these people -- muammar gaddafi come all of these people. we keep getting in bed with all of these regimes that are doomee the opposition to those regimes, inevitably, precipitate something worse in the end. if we could just stand up for our principles instead of standing up only for our oil, i think we would be far better off. nermeen: has the u.s. or the u.k. made any gestures to save ali? >> i will say the u.k. has made
a gesture to have a contract for the saudis about how to run the prison system, and we went after them on that. we said, look, how are you helping him? ali, helping to torture people better? it is a first step. the same for the u.s., i'm afraid the u.s. as a -- has a whole range of things where we are giving the saudis the weapons they're using to destroy yemen and turn yemen into a far worse place. those aspects of foreign-policy are just idiotic and so contrary to americans true interest. amy: last week, the intercept published the most in-depth look at the u.s. drone assassination program called "the drone papers" exposing the inner workings of how the drone war is waged, from how targets are identified to who decides to kill. they reveal a number of flaws, including that strikes have resulted in large part from electronic communications data, or signals intelligence, that officials acknowledge is
unreliable. we spoke to jeremy scahill, co-founder of the intercept, one of the lead reporters on the series. >> one of the most significant findings of this, and my colleague really dug deep into this, is we published for the first time the kill chain. what the bureaucracy of assassination looks like. and what you see is that all of these officials, including people like the treasury secretary, are part of signing off on all of this. where they have these secret meetings and they discuss who is going to live and die around the world. at the end of that process, it is the president of the united states who signs what amounts to a death warrant for whoever they have decided should die. amy: the kill list, is what he is talking about. clive stafford smith, your response? >> it is something that horrifies me. i voted for president obama twice, yet every tuesday, they
tuesday were there's a powerpoint display in the decide the and they much like nero did in rome, whether to give the thumbs-up or thumbs down for human beings who we're just going to murder around the world. it begins with terrorism, but will move on. decide the much likethe british, horrifyino have a list of people on their list in afghanistan where they're saying they're going to kill pedophiles, for goodness sake. i mean, where does this and that we just murder people worldwide? we plan to do a lot to publicize that in the upcoming months. nermeen: we did you learn that it is has a kill list? >> just a couple of weeks ago. , thankive stafford smith you for being with us, clive stafford smith has been shaker aamer's attorney for 10 years. he is a human rights lawyer and the founder and director of the international legal charity reprieve. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org the war and
peace report. when we come back, we will talk about benghazi, former secretary of state hillary clinton is expected to testify today for up to 10 hours in congress. we are to be talking about the four men who died, the ambassador chris stevens and three of the other americans who died. we will be speaking with their friends. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: after $4.5 million in taxpayer money and 18 months, the republican-led benghazi investigation is set for its main event. former secretary of state and current democratic hopeful hillary clinton is testifying today for up to 10 hours before the house select committee probing the 2012 attack in libya, which killed u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans. the white house initially said the consulate was attacked by protesters denouncing a short american film insulting the prophet muhammad, but it later turned out the attack was carried out by well-armed militants.
the militants first attacked the diplomatic mission and then a secret cia annex. republicans say clinton ignored pre-attack warnings and mishandled its aftermath. while previous reports have been scathing over security failures and have led to firings, none have accused clinton or other top officials of wrongdoing. amy: the select committee is congress' eighth panel to investigate the benghazi incident. a new chart by think progress shows there have been more congressional probes of benghazi than of six other major attacks combined, including the boston marathon bombing, the uss cole downing, the oklahoma city bombing, the 1998 embassy attacks, and 9/11. many democrats have accused republicans of exploiting the benghazi incident to scuttle clinton's 2016 presidential bid. california congressmember kevin mccarthy appeared to confirm as much in an interview with fox news last month. >> everybody thought hillary was unbeatable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee, select
committee. what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping. why? she is an trustable. no one would have known that happened had we not -- amy: i agree. amy: in a radio interview after mccarthy's statement, republican congressmember richard hanna said he believes his party is deliberately targeting clinton. youometimes the biggest sin can commit in d.c. is to tell the truth. this may not be politically correct, but i think there is a big part of this investigation that there was -- was designed to go after people, an individual, hillary clinton. nermeen: republican congressmember richard hanna. ignored in the benghazi uproar is the state of libya in the aftermath of the u.s.-backed nato bombing. this week marks four years since former dictator muammar gaddafi was killed by a mob of rebel fighters who filmed themselves celebrating over his mutilated body.
today, libya is in chaos with two governments claiming authority and scores of militant groups controlling territory in between. hillary clinton was asked about the libya bombing during last week's democratic presidential debate. >> secretary clinton, on the campaign truck, governor webb has said he never would have used military force in libya and the attack on u.s. consulate in benghazi was inevitable. should you have seen that attack coming? >> i think president obama made the right decision at the time, and the libyan people had a free election -- the first time since 1951. you know what? they voted for moderates, they voted with the the of democracy because of arab spring, because of a lot of other things. there was turmoil to be followed. but unless you believe the united states should not send diplomats to any place that is dangerous, which i do not, then when we send them forth, there is always the potential for danger and risk. amy: that is hillary clinton, questioned by cnn's anderson cooper during last week's democratic presidential debate.
also lost in the partisan wrangling over benghazi is the memory of the four american victims. ambassador christopher stevens, state department employee sean smith and cia contractors tyrone woods and glen doherty. in fact, their memories were used in a shocking anti-hillary clinton attack that aired during the democratic debate. as the victims' faces are displayed on the screen, narrators are heard as if the dead men speak from the grave. >> dear hillary clinton, i would like to ask you ignored calls to benghazi and then four americans were murdered? i would like to know why you lied, saying the attack was a response to an internet video. i would like to hear what you try to silence the benghazi whistleblower. >> mrs. clinton, i can't. what difference does it make? amy: an ad by the group stop hillary pac. we are joined now by three guests with personal connections to two of the americans killed in benghazi.
veena trehan is a journalist and activist. she was friends with u.s. ambassador to libya chris stevens in the early 1990's, just before and as he was entering the foreign service. we are also joined by elf ellefsen and annie tueller payne, who were friends with former navy seal glen doherty. he was a cia contractor, one of the two who were killed on that day. annie.to begin with if you can tell us about glen doherty, what we should know about him and how you think you would feel if he saw this ad saying what he would be saying from the grave? me to -- want amy: tell us who your friend, your best friend glen was. >> i have a hard time -- i don't want to put words into my friends mouth, that would be paramount to that ad. i feel like that ad was in poor
taste and it kind of set a new low for political advertising. amy: how did you meet glen? >> what is that? amy: how did you meet glen? >> i met him as a river guide in 1993. was living in utah and he came to moab, utah to be a river guide. we met there. he was a river guide for three years, and we were just fast friends. i ended up staying in moab, utah for 15 years and guiding their. but even when he left -- he left river guiding to join the navy seals. i believe it was in 1996. but even when he left, we remained just the best of friends. overuld meet up the world just to be with each other. amy: in a stem speech in the
2012 presidential campaign republican nominee mitt romney , often told the story of meeting glen doherty after accidently crashing a neighbor's party. >> i met some wonderful people, one was a former navy seal and glen doherty and -- we chatted for a while. he came from massachusetts where i had been governor, had family there. he also had skied in some of the places, snow skied where i found in the winter olympics in utah that i had skied at. we had a nice chat together. he served as a navy seal. and after his service as a seal after a number of years, he stayed involved helping in the middle east, providing security services to our government and other enterprises to provide help to them. you can imagine how shocked i was to learn he was one of the two former navy seals killed in benghazi just a couple of weeks ago. i read on cnn international that
when the report came that are consulate have been attacked, that he and the other seal that was killed with them, that they were in a different place, about a mile away in an annex summer in the city. when they heard the consulate was under attack, they went to the attack. they did not hunker down and hide themselves, no, they went there. that is what americans do. amy: that was mitt romney when he was running for president speaking to whdh in boston, barbara doherty, the mother of glen doherty, addressed mitt romney's using the story of meeting her son as part of his campaign speech. she said -- "i don't trust romney. he shouldn't make my son's death part of his political agenda. it's wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade obama." elf ellefsen, you are also close with glen. your thoughts on what romney was doing meant and what is been done today? met it romney at a
party that they crashed in san diego. knowledge,est of my from the story i originally heard from glen, that is a fact. andentioned he met mitt spoke with him at that party. amy: and what did he say? >> um he did not get into it too much. mitt being somewhat of a political celebrity, you know, he mentioned that he had spoke with him a couple of times and mitt was, you know, quite a showman, per se. nermeen: i want to turn to dust >> a politician, nothing adverse or negative, just does he said he seemed to be always in political character. nermeen: i want to ask veena
trehan, you met ambassador christopher stevens as he was deciding to enter the foreign service. could you talk about what prompted that decision on his part? chris when he had a very good corporate law job, to me, nothing to everyone who knew him, it was clear that he would be on the partner track, videos had a passion for other countries -- but he always had a passion for other countries and diplomacy. he made a hard decision to step off that track and to pursue a career in the foreign service. any specifically had a deep love for the middle east and north africa, specifically, the people there, and thought he can make a very positive difference in their lives. amy: as you watch this ad, veena trehan, innospec the world -- and the spectacle of the meetings today, what
are your thoughts about how christie vince would respond? >> my thought is that he would potentially, in my opinion, would have a lot of questions, maybe based on his core values. so the differences between people as a cause for celebration, scott -- a cause for something to build societies on. so i think he would -- he would object to the racially divisive language that is being used in our partisan debates, the misogynistic language. i think you very much believed in diplomacy. i think you would ask a lot of republicans in turn if you really could speak, sort of based, what was going on and what was the thought behind undermining so many of president obama and john kerry's politically diplomatic efforts in cuba and iran -- amy: we have to leave it there, veena trehan, elf ellefsen,
on this episode of "eat! drink! italy!"... calamari and porcini mushrooms. absolutely! we visit again with one of the food world's liveliest personalities. we get to know a countess who shares some surprises. one of my favorite pastas can be made in recordbreaking time. my name is vic rallo, and i love to eat and drink italy. follow me, and i'll prove it. "eat! drink! italy!" is brought to you by wine enthusiast magazine and catalog, for wine storage, glassware, and accessories. citi, supporting the count basie theatre's national appetite festival, appetitefest.com. the atalanta corporation, importing authentic italian products and more for over 50 years. the san daniele prosciutto consortium.