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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 25, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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04/25/16 04/25/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from santa fe, new mexico, this is democracy now! >> a small number of american special operations forces are already on the ground in syria and the expertise has been critical as local forces have risen isil out of key areas. given the success, i have approved the deployment of up to 250 additional u.s. personnel, including special forces to give up this momentum. amy: as president obama expands the u.s. military presence in syria and iraq, we speak to cool it's a prize-winning journalist seymour hersh who has been writing an alternative history of the u.s. war on
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terror from the wars in iraq and syria to the assassination of osama bin laden to the fall of gaddafi. >> i think what happened in libya, including the president, should have been a clue that when you depose a dictator, you have to be aware of what is going to and you have to think long and hard about what you are doing. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama has announced the deployment of 250 more special operations troops to syria in a move that nearly doubles the u.s. presence in the country. this comes just days after the obama administration announced 217 more troops would be sent to iraq to help in the fight against isis. president obama addressed the wars in syria and iraq during a speech in germany. >> we continue to make progress,
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pushing isil back from territory that it controlled. just as i have approved additional support for iraqi forces against isil, i've decided to increase u.s. support for local forces fighting isil in syria. amy: we will have more on u.s. involvement in syria with journalist seymour hersh after headlines. ahead of obama's visit to germany, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest a massive trade deal between the united states and european union. critics say the transatlantic trade and investment partnership or ttip will undermine safety and environmental regulations to serve corporate interests. organizers said 90,000 people attended the rally in the northern city of hanover saturday. protests continued on sunday. >> we should be part of the negotiations. they are creating a second judicial system sitting in secret rooms, deciding behind
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our backs and putting governments under pressure with court cases billions of dollars because they claim they lose money, which is not ok. that is why i am totally against ttip. amy: ohio governor john kasich and texas senator ted cruz have announced plans to coordinate their campaigns in an effort to deny frontrunner donald trump the republican presidential nomination. cruz's campaign says it will focus on the may 3 primary indiana in order to allow kasich to compete with trump in oregon and new mexico. both kasich and cruz are hoping to keep trump from reaching the threshold of 1237 delegates needed to secure the nomination before the july convention. if trump stays below that threshold, it opens the possibility of a contested convention, where delegates could switch their votes away from the candidate chosen in their state's primary or caucus after the initial convention ballot.
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republican mega-donor charles koch has said he could support democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton over a republican nominee in november. in an interview with abc news, koch said he would only support republican candidates donald trump or ted cruz if they change certain proposals, including cruz's vow to carpet-bomb isis and trump's plan to ban muslims from entering the united states. koch spoke to journalist jonathan karl. correctly,ring you you think bill clinton was a better president than george w. bush? >> in some ways. and otherwise, i mean, he wasn't asexemplary -- but as far the growth of government, the increase in spending on restrictive regulations, it was 2.5 times under bush that it was under clinton. >> is a possible another clinton could be better than another republican? >> it's possible. >> you couldn't see yourself
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supporting hillary clinton, could you? -- we would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric, let me put it that way. amy: oil baron charles koch speaking to abc news. virginia democratic governor terry mcauliffe has restored voting rights to more than 200,000 felons. bypassing the republican legislature, mcauliffe issued the change through executive order. it will allow people who have served their prison time and finished parole or probation to register to vote in time for the november election. virginia is a key swing state. most of those affected are african american. eight members of a single family have been shot to death in rural ohio. authorities say seven adults and a 16-year-old, all members of the rhoden family, were shot in the head execution-style, most while they slept. they were killed early friday at four crime scenes within a short
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distance of each other. ohio attorney general mike dewine said the shootings were not random. >> this was a preplanned execution of eight individuals. it was a sophisticated operation. and those who carried it out were trying to do everything that they could do to hinder the investigation and their prosecution. amy: meanwhile in georgia, a man is suspected of killing five people at two separate locations, then killing himself as part of what authorities described as a domestic dispute. wayne anthony hawes reportedly killed a number of his wife's relatives after she left him. in a victory for survivors of cia torture, a federal judge has allowed a lawsuit against the two psychologists who designed and implemented the program to move forward.
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psychologists james mitchell and bruce jessen reaped more than $80 million for designing torture techniques used by the cia. the lawsuit was filed on behalf of two torture survivors and the family of a third man, gul rahman, who froze to death at a cia black site in afghanistan. aclu staff attorney dror ladin called the judge's decision "a historic win in the fight to hold the people responsible for torture accountable." a court in saudi arabia has sentenced a human rights activist to nine years in prison. amnesty international condemned the sentencing of issa al-hamid as part of "the saudi arabian authorities' ruthless quest to eradicate any last vestige of dissent." president obama visited saudi arabia for a fourth time last week. amnesty international has accused the nigerian military of massacring hundreds of people, burning some alive, then trying to cover up the killings. more than 350 people are believed to have been unlawfully
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slaughtered by nigerian soldiers in december during a confrontation between the military and demonstrators with the islamic movement of nigeria. in austria, a far-right candidate has won the first round of the presidential elections after running on an anti-immigrant campaign focusing on the arrival of refugees. it was the best result to date for the far-right freedom party in a national election. the party's candidate will face a green party-backed candidate in a runoff in may. a group of independent experts have accused the mexican government of stonewalling their investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in september, 2014. mexican authorities have claimed police turned the students over to drug gang members, who killed them and incinerated their bodies. but the experts, appointed by the inter-american commission on human rights, concluded there was no such burning. the experts also found evidence
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state, federal, and military personnel were present on the night of the disappearance, and evidence that suspects whose confessions were used to bolster the government's account were tortured. the experts said they faced obstacles from the mexican government, including the withholding of documents and even a retaliatory criminal probe into one of the officials who appointed the panel. in washington, d.c., antonio tizapa, the father of one of the missing students, joined a demonstration in support of the panel. he spoke to democracy now! by phone. >> it is not a protest. it is a major sorrow of support for this great work they have done. this is the way to show our support so they continue. so they see we have confidence in them because we don't have confidence in the government. amy: a guard at a private immigrant detention center in pennsylvania will go to prison for admitting he sexually
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assaulted a 19-year-old honduran woman. daniel sharkey is the first worker at a family detention center to be convicted of institutional sexual assault, despite previous reports of sexual abuse in such facilities. he has been sentenced to six to 23 months in prison. there is a chance he will serve less time than his victim and her three-year-old son spent in detention after fleeing abuse in honduras. one of the first people to file a lawsuit in connection with the water poisoning crisis in flint, michigan, has been shot to death. said her child had been poisoned with lead after number to the manager appointed by governor rick mitre switched the water to the corrosive flint whether -- river. bell was one of two women found shot to death in a townhouse. she was 19 years old. and family and friends of samuel harrell plan to conclude their five-day hunger strike at a rally in harlem today after marking the first anniversary of harrell's death.
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harrell was an african-american man who died after as many as 20 corrections officers kicked, punched and threw him down a , flight of stairs while he was incarcerated at the fishkill correctional facility in beacon, new york. at a vigil near the prison over -- his sister, cerissa, spoke out about why she and others are on hunger strike. to giveunger strike is up. we're willing to not eat to get -- you know, to give something in return. what we want in return is justice. it is been a year. nothing has happened. does it hurt? it hurts a lot. do i think about it? every day. do i forget about him? never. amy:'s supporters have demanded reforms including body cameras for corrections officers. they say all the corrections officers involved in harrell's
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death remain on active duty. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on a 100-city tour marking democracy now!'s 20th anniversary. today, we're broadcasting from santa fe, new mexico. president obama has announced the deployment of 250 more special operations troops to syria in a move that nearly doubles the u.s. presence in the -- in syria. this comes just days after the obama administration announced 217 more troops would be sent to iraq to help in the fight against isis. earlier today president obama , addressed the wars in syria and iraq during a speech in germany. >> right now the most urgent threat to our nation's isil, and that is why we are united in our determination to destroy it. and all 28 nato allies are
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contributing to our coalition, whether it is striking in syria or iraq or supporting their campaign or training local forces in iraq are providing critical human a cherry and eight. we continue to make progress. pushing i file back from territory that it controls. and just as i have approved additional support for iraqi forces against i file, i decided to increase u.s. support for local forces fighting isil in syria, a small number of american special operations forces are are the underground in syria and their expertise has been critical as local forces have driven isil out of key areas. given the success, i've approved the deployment of up to 250 additional u.s. personnel in syria, including special forces, to keep up this momentum. they will not be leading the fight on the ground, but they will be essential in providing the training and assisting local forces they continue to drive isil back.
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amy: as the u.s. expand its presence in iraq and syria we turn to the legendary investigative journalist seymour hersh who won the pulitzer prize when u.s. forces killed hundreds of civilians. in 2004, he broke the abu ghraib is the abuse scandal. he is just published a new book titled, "the killing of osama bin laden." in the introduction hersh writes -- "it's now evident, 15 years after the 9/11 attacks, that obama's foreign policy has maintained many of the core elements of the global war on terror initiated by his predecessor -- assassinations, drone attacks, heavy reliance on special forces, covert operations and, in the case of afghanistan, the continued use of american ground forces in combat. and, as in the years of bush and cheney, there has been no progress, let alone victory, in the fight against terrorism." seymour hersh, welcome back to democracy now!
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congratulations on your book. why don't we start by talking about what president obama announced in his speech in germany today, just hours before this broadcast. increased troop presence in syria. what does it mean? >> first, happy anniversary. i am glad you're still around, ghetto. one of the words he does not mention is russia. i cannot begin to tell you what is in his mind. it is amazing at this age he is putting more forces in, but that is his prerogative as president, i guess. always makes good news. nobody ever seems to object will he put more people on the ground. the real winner in the last year has been the russians. the russians, the bombing was much more effective. if you remember, the president said publicly when putin decided to put his air force hard at work there, he said it would be a quagmire, they would not be up
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to get out, it is going to be like what happened to us in afghanistan and is happening to us and certainly did happen to us in vietnam. but they did it. they did very well. i will tell you russian special forces are in the fight against isis with the syrian army with has, with the iranian army -- hezbollah, with the iranian army. we trained them, we outfitted them, etc., etc. a much better army since the russians came in. the fighting in palmyra that the syrian army in the russian special forces did was much bloodier. isis thought to the debt. it was a terrible toll on everybody, but it was a victory for the syrian army. we know all these things. the syrian army, probably, we don't know, nobody knows, it isisprobably take raqqa -- is on the run, particularly in syria.
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not necessarily in iraq. i don't understand what the president is doing. why he wants to engage war. but, it is not my call. i would also -- i had been told there are many more forces in iraq than we're publicly announcing. what the hell? as usual, we don't know with a game plan is. i do not understand why he is decided to jump into a war that was being run -- is being run by .he syrian army i can just speculate that are anti-putin, anti-russian instinct in america continues apace. that's all. amy: in your introduction to your new book "the killing of osama bin laden," you write -- "in a review of my interviews about obama's early decision to raise the anti-afghanistan, one
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fact stood out. obama's face in the world of special operations. and in stanley mcchrystal, the commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan who worked closely with dick cheney from 2003 to 2008 as director of jsoc." seymour hersh, can you elaborate on this? >> it is amazing. ,ook, you win the presidency hope and peace, whatever it was, and you discover because -- you don't have the power you might dream you would have. you can't get a lot of things done because you have of your hostile congress. in presidents inevitably frustration. there is nothing more wonderful for a president, can feel more like a president, then taking a walk with someone from the special operations community or the cia and the rose garden and
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getting rid of somebody you don't like, whether -- in the case of what we do now is we target assassinations. earlier, we just move them out or did operations. little operations. now we hit people. there is a weekly meeting in which they go through names of people to target, assassinate, including in some cases, an american, without any due process. it has been a wonderful movement -- i don't mean to be too sarcastic, but you know, this guy ended up in the same place and far too many times as you read and as i wrote, as bush and cheney were. thesean you explain what special ops forces are doing, both in iraq and syria? >> i really don't know. i know what i'm told, but i just don't know what the truth is. clearly, they're going to be engaged more, helping to plan operations, but we do a lot of dirty tricks in the world.
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in the firste iran decade of this year before the iranians began to talk seriously about getting rid of the nuclear weapons that don't exist, that never did exist. we were doing operations inside the iranian -- the borders and also we even when inside tehran with surrogates. we did monitoring for nagar activity, etc., etc. we have been deeply involved in that world in covert operations. how much first-hand stuff, i don't really have. i have not actually talk to tehran, butwas in we were doing a lot of stuff, including working with people who were doing stuff like blowing up mosques and trying to whack iranian scientists. one target i do know, the president has designated that he really wants to take out the head of isis. he is been a high priority
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assassination target for more than a year. we could be doing something like that, but we're certainly -- there is not much you can do in iraq because the iraqi army, you know, the usual story, they're going to run away. one of the great classic lies of america is them every year some two star general involved with training either the afghans were the vietnamese or the iraqi army, they come before congress and the two star looks them in the eye, the general in charge of training, and his promotion depends on not so much what he does, but what he says, i guess, and he tells the congress how wonderful it is, x number of divisions ready to fight. they nod. the army's cut and run and they're no good and they have not been. the iraqi army we have right now that we're talking so wonderfully about is not going to go near mosul. if we ever do go into mosul --
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there you are. yes, i'm sorry -- amy: re-suppressed by president obama's announcement today in germany? >> horrified. i don't think it is the way to go. i think it is just putting us -- as you mentioned in to the direction, we have been in this work and stare, against an idea, since 9/11 and how are we doing? hausa going? the amount of opposition has spread. has the hatred of america grown more intense? we are truly hated in the middle east and partly because of the way we fight our wars. with drone attacks and a lot of ,orce, the prisons that we did and abu ghraib was just one of many prisons. a lot of killing goes on by us. know, and here is how things have changed, for me, anyway. i'm writing the same kind of stories now about this president
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-- critical stories. somebody has to hold him him at least based on what i think is as good of evidence as i've ever had in all of the stories i wrote for "the new york times" in the 1970's. i was there for 6, 7, 8 years, a hotshot in the washington bureau. i wrote a lot of stories, when a lot of prizes -- won a letter prices. all of a sudden, the same stories, i wrote the stories anonymous then and am now, and some of the people i knew then i believe are so operating now. we can't do that. it is like the american press has moved to the right as many elements in this country, when you see with the sanders case, has moved to the left. it is a much more outspoken opposition to the way we run campaigns. and underneath that is, of those people who support sanders, also really dislike much more intensely the wars going on in the lives being told. -- lies being told.
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but you know, times have changed. amy: sy hersh, we're going to go to break and then come back to this discussion. we're speaking to pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist seymour hersh. he has a new book out called "the killing of osama bin , laden." we will talk about that, the indi government support hiding, with u.s. new, as well as many other issues. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: prince "nothing compares two u." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. tour on our 100 city marking democracy now!'s 20's
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anniversary. check for a list of dates and cities. we turn back to seymour hersh who is a new book out called "the killing of osama bin , laden." sy, i want to ask about the presidential race. last are at a debate in new hampshire, vermont senator bernie sanders accused former secretary of state hillary clinton of being "too much into regime change." >> but i think, and i say this with the respect, that i worry too much that secretary clinton is too much into regime change and a little too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. yes, we can get rid of saddam
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hussein, that destabilized the entire region. yes, we could get rid of gaddafi , a terrible dictator, that created a vacuum for isis. yes, we could get rid of assad to mhat would benefit isis. yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy. but before you do that am a yet to think about what happens the day after. >> with all the respect, you voted for regime change with respect to libya. you joined the senate and voting to get rid of gaddafi and you asked that there be a security council validation of that with the resolution. all of these are very difficult issues. amy: that is hillary clinton and bernie sanders debating in new hampshire a while ago. seymour hersh, if you could talk
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about this issue and this must recent news, charles koch, the republican mega-donor, saying he could see himself actually supporting hillary clinton over a republican nominee. >> well, i don't believe that for a minute, but that is another story, what koch said, i think it is just pressure. whoever heard of republican talking about nato is useless, which pretty much a lot of people i know believe it is pretty much useless. there are a lot of things that trump said are pretty remarkable. he would talk putin to putin, etc. it is a pretty interesting campaign on the republican side, internally eating of themselves. sanders is right, of course, that that issue. ason't think sanders is sound on foreign policy as i would love him to be, wish them to be. i don't think he quite understands the consequences -- i don't think -- he just hasn't done enough to make me
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comfortable. hillary, mye, favorite line about hillary clinton is, after gaddafi was executed, you know, he was killed by his own people, he was sodomized by swords, horrible death. she said on one show, we came, we saw, and he died -- with a laugh. that kind of talk is almost bizarre. here's what i think about this campaign. it is clear where my political thoughts are, but for me to say who i'm going to vote for, i don't think anybody -- i am not a political leader. but i will say something amazing is happening in this country. and for the first time, i do think it is going to be very hard for a lot of the people who support sanders, to support hillary clinton. times can change. there's a lot more time to go. we have months before the election, convention, etc. but at this point, i go back to the old days.
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you might not remember, we had a lot of talk about a third party in america, progressive third-party. it went nowhere. but it seems to me with what is going on now with these people 45 and under, the enormous support their giving to sanders, we know by polling, etc., it doesn't show up in the election results, recently did not show up in new york. but they are there. there is a whole group of young people in america, across the board, all races, etc., etc., who have had it with our system. there is something wonderful -- look, i have a lot of friends and a lot of good people there, but we all know it is chaos coming. here we have a guy running for president. this is something, i guess, a for bitten state, but the first democrat since i have been old,ing politics -- i am
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older and crankier than bernie. but it is the first democrat i can remember that actually did not have to go to the jewish community in new york to get money to run. that is something amazing. we may be able to actually change our policy let the israelis know there is going to have to be a settlement. not just divided, but a real peace settlement in that area. we are seeing some terrific changes happening in this election. as the democratic parties are moving to the left, a lot of contempt for the way the party manages to sell the people who are interested in sanders, that look at the chaos on the right. our system is basically breaking apart right now in this election. it isn only say, yay! great. it is a little bit like the new journalism with the tweeting and blogging that is clearly going
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to replace the newspapers, which are dying as we sit every day. it is sort of a new world coming. amy: sy, president obama appeared on fox news sunday a few weeks ago and he was asked what was the worst mistake of his presidency. this was his response. forrobably failing to plan the day after what i think was the right thing to do in intervening in libya. amy: can you respond, particularly, focus on hillary as secretary of state under president obama? you're justall, going have to take my word for it. gaddafi was a tame cat. the bush-cheney years. if you remember the history, we had a lot of trouble when bush and cheney -- i think normally
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would be embarrassed, should have been embarrassed by the lies they told the mistakes they made, let's put it that way, about the wmd's that saddam did not have an ongoing nuclear weapons system, which was known to an awful lot of people before we took over baghdad and discovered nothing. at that point, i think it was a year later in 2004, suddenly, gaddafi, after allegedly having -- we caught a ship full of some dual use goods and we stopped the ship that was going to tripoli with it, he suddenly --ounced he was giving up unilaterally going to give up his chemical arsenal and wmd's, nuclear plans are options, and it was a big victory at a very much needed time by the bush and cheney crowd. there was a victory that showed our policies working right. money was involved. covert money. a lot was going on. i had been doing a book about cheney for a long time. i can tell you, it was a
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considerable amount of cia activity involved to turn them around. i don't think, which is amazing, it is clear to me the president and hillary, the secretary of state, did not know about this secret agreement made. it is just amazing to me the one administration -- one of the things i learned from a friend, i think it was maybe for clinton that they worked for, this friend got a job, a high-ranking job in the government and the first thing you discovered all of the files related nothing significant that had happened, all of the agreements made in his area, was in the state department, had been cleaned out . nothing was left. said, there were going after a guy who been doing a what of good work for us, as horrible as he was, horrible human being, that things happen inside that country to the people, but he was actively working with us on the al qaeda issue and -- i don't believe al qaeda exists there.
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i think the al qaeda we talked about disappeared with bin ladin, just copycats and the like to call it al qaeda. but sunni jihadists and salaft ists extremists are spreading all over. but that is the story we all know. they did not really know what the hell had happen with gaddafi . they took out a guy that did not need to go. and the french were pushing it and we went along. it looked good. it was like putting a couple hundred guys and maybe more we don't know about into syria right now and many more than that into iraq, with god knows what is going to happen in both places. it is done without consulting the congress, which probably this commerce probably doesn't consulted. the constitution is not a republicans, even obama believes, seems to be a
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nuisance. we don't tell congress anything. we don't tell the people anything. the control of the media that goes on now, the major media, is, i think, much acute now. i can go days wondering why we don't do more aggressive reporting on certain things. amy: like what? what do you think needs to be more aggressively investigated right now? >> oh, i have gone absolutely batty about -- it is not about whether bush are al-assad is a good guy or bad guy, but this whole business that goes along with we know he used sarin. the fact of the matter is, the president did not go toward because he was told -- is that what about it in the london review, not only did chairman dempsey who was then chairman of the joint chiefs, and dempsey retired last fall, was always fighting the idea of putting special forces in an always against it, very interesting
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chairman and a very low-key, very bright. the day after he left his job, he went to teach. he has a chair or something of an appointment at duke university where he got a master's degree in fine arts. he is a yeates scholar. the new guy is in a different league. we have a new secretary of defense, too. katie bar the door, let's just go do it. i think the story -- i think what the president did what bush are al-assad on the sarin is a must like a blood lie because we know now from the jeff goldberg, long, long, long essay in the atlantic magazine that created so much news, obama just talked openly to him and in some ways, very remarkably. but in the middle of the argument, -- article, which many people do not read i have discovered, the president clearly -- he was talking to nobody else, goldberg was. all of a sudden, goldberg writes that general clapper, the head
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general in charge of all of intelligence, told the president very early after the sarin attack it was not a slamdunk. a slamdunk in the famous phrase that george tenet used to tell president bush that there were nuclear bombs there. it is a big significant word. it means you don't have a case. as you know, as many know, i also wrote that chairman dempsey on the day before the president decided not to bomb them also told the president that based on information he had from his -- the and colleagues chief general of england had relayed that information to him, that the samples we had. is hehe president did said, well, what he has told the american people is, we got a good deal on this because the syrians so they agreed to give up their arsenal. -- it wasn'thy
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that we did not have a case, it was a concession made and he was glad he did not bomb because look what happened. we got a good concession. i give a lot of lectures to journalism schools and speak to groups all over the world every year. even in the middle east where there are a lot of people interested in investigative journalism. the first thing i say is, before you write, read. there is a tournament -- tremendous amount of information. al-assad inherited it from his father, considered useless. constant attack -- under constant attack. mustard gas and or gas, the chemicals that make up nerve gas. one of them was taken above, in the province above aleppo shortly after the rebel war, the civil war began against them in 2011. the russians were helping them.
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the issue for us, there were talks between laptop and kerry, and it was raised -- lavrov and kerry, and it was raised too much before the sarin attack in august 2013 and june, there was a g20 conference and putin and president obama had a two-hour meeting in which they discussed syria, nonproliferation, nuclear weapons, other weapons, and clearly, it came up then. what was the problem? syria said, we want to get rid of this junk. we don't have the $1.2 billion it took to get rid of it. the russians kept on saying to us before this incident, before the alleged sarin attack, they kept on saying, look, we are not as rich as we use to be because the oil prices are going down in part because of american shale oil production around the world. you share it with us.
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we said, no. and that changed. on the night of the 30th or 31st, the day before the raid, the president exceeded to paying cost ofhunk of the getting rid of the weapons. the british parliament voted down any participation, the french were online and ready to take off. was the nextno, it day the bombing was supposed to begin. congress also had told them. we know this from something nancy pelosi said, then house speaker, they were going to have hearings on this whole issue after the bombing began and general dempsey, the one i wrote about who told them there was nothing there when it came to proving -- it had no relationship to the syrian arsenal. dempsey said he would testify honestly do congress and would raise the questions. you have to understand, i am not saying i know what happened. i am just saying in the article
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i wrote then and saying now, we had a crime. sarin was used. people died. not as many as was said. 1400 was an estimate. 380 is what happened. one is more than enough. the only villain we looked at, the only person we looked at was the syrian government when the united states had internal high-level cia reports that al-nusra and other extremist groups were getting the precursor chemicals needed to make sarin from the turks and also from the saudis. right now, 250 french tanks, i've been told, are headed for the war in yemen. financed by the saudis and by the uae. who was delivering them? we are. it is really strange. in any case, what i now know is we did supply a major merchant
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marine ship that was parked out in the mediterranean that was involved -- we paid for this. shiptons, moved to the where -- an american ship that had two large containers put into it at great cost, done quickly, decontaminated the stuff. guess what happened when we had all of that stuff coming in, all of this sarin and weapons and all of the rockets used to deliver weapons? we had a forensic analysis team there concluded this isn't what you're going to the government, but concluded -- this was six months later that the dna of the material they got rid of did not match anything we know to be in the syrian arsenal. that doesn't mean there isn't a rogue operation summer, but it sure changed his the story for me, the quick announcement that
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assad did it is simply not true and the president did not go anward, not because of agreement, but because he knew was the wrong thing to do and he also would not get back necessarily from congress. he has permitted this bloodline to be caps on told -- blood lie to keep on being told. he is never stopped -- never suggested there's a question about it. ,his is an a brief for bashar but what we pay our presidents to do. we don't tell them to spread or not to make it clear what the caveats are. that is what we do, not in this kind of world where it is so tense and there's so much trouble in the middle east anyway. we're driven by -- we're driven by instinctive cold war hatred of russia, and from a believe that syria, bashar has to go. i will tell you, the talks in geneva fail because the to go ton there b,shar
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the talks, but the opposition said, whatever happens, he can't run for election and the reality is you and i know -- a lot of people in the international world who are not pro-assad, the reality on the ground is, he would win an election because most of the sunnis see him as a much better alternative to the chaos that would exist if usrathing like isis or al-n or one of those crazy groups got and. we have the story wrong. it is a popular to say it. amy: sy hersh, i would ask about the foreign policy article -- elliot higgins cites video and other documentary footage questioning your piece, writing -- "there is no evidence of syrian rebel forces ever using this type of munition and only syrian government forces has ever been shown using them." >> tell that to the u.n.
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there have been a couple of studies done -- everything that has been said, there's something called the chemical -- i wrote it down because it is the prohibition, the prohibition of chemical weapons. organizations of weapons. none of them have ever accused all of these great groups that of done the investigations, that was of the chemicals are there and i will tell you, i'd like to write about highly classified stuff i've seen, but i have 18 -- i have seen documents from the highest level, involving overhead agent reports, israeli intelligence, all of our friends beginning in april or may of 2013, three performance before the incident in the use of sarin causedmascus that is so much trouble, 1400 allegedly
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killed. we've been reporting performance before that and what did the president -- i went to the white house. it's really which of the dia, it said clearly, great concern about the fact the turks -- the turkish army, as special branch, paramilitary police force who are right now killing pkk like crazy and turkey. like crazy. real massacres. dogan is doing. we look the other way. i don't know why we do, that we do. and also the saudis are supplying --sarin is made by taking to chemicals and melding them. it is really dangerous. with the syrians do in their arsenal, they put additives in it to make it less toxic and more reliable, easier to handle. it in the field, they just mix the stuff. the
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we have known that. we are known that performance before the incident in august 2013. i don't know who higgins is. all i know is a group that a man that itby one point was a professor for many years at m.i.t. and also served years as the chief and other missiles stuff to the chairman, the head ,f the navy -- head of the navy the chief admiral running the navy. he was an advisor there for many years. he knows what he is doing. his written report after report rebuking what mr. higgins said. at much of hisd stuff, higgins. amy: sy, when we come back from break, as we spend the hour with you, you were talking about saudi arabia, president obama just made his fourth trip there. i want to go to pakistan and
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talked about saudi government support, you write about this and your new book, "the killing of osama bin laden." for osama bin laden hiding in pakistan. we're talking to the pulitzer prize-winning journalist sy hersh, his new book, yes "the , killing of osama bin laden." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: cyndi lauper, her cover of a song by prince who died on thursday. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. toure on the 100 city marking democracy now!'s 20 anniversary. today, broadcasting from santa
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fe, new mexico. our guest for the hour is pulitzer prize-winning journalist seymour hersh. next week, will mark the fifth anniversary of the assassination of osama bin laden. this is president obama announcing the news of his death five years ago. >> today at my direction, the united states launched a targeted operation against that compound in about a bottom pakistan. a small team of americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. no americans were harmed. they took care to avoid civilian casualties. after a firefight, they killed osama bin laden and took custody of his body. amy: so that was president obama speaking and may 2011. your new book, titled "the killing of osama bin laden," you argue the official is how -- report of how osama bin laden was found and killed was
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deceptive. explain what you really think happen and talk about the role of saudi arabia, pakistan, and of course, the united states. >> one of the myths created was that we discovered where he was living. milesabad is 50 or 60 from the capital of islamabad. it is a higher elevation and in the summer, resort place for many of the people who take their vacations they're from the government. pakistani martha's vineyard, if you will. anyway, he was there -- what i thatis there was a walk-in in august 2010, i can say right now, a colonel in the regular army, not the isi, the pakistani intelligence service, which was a different group, he was an officer, had been passed over for general or whatever, and
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came into our embassy. we have a station chief there who is a quite come think i named jonathan bank. he went to him and said, we have had been laden dust in london for four years. -- bin laden for four years. he was picked up in the wentainous areas, where thought he was. he of it on the run since late into the we drove him mountain region. we have looked for him. we thought we had him in 2002. there was a firefight with the seals that nobody knows about. anally, we got him because of walk-in. you have to know, in the business of the cia protecting a walk-in is the most important thing. a walk-in, if you have a bunch of people somewhere in the basement, intelligence officers himing on trying to track through couriers, you let him think they did do a because that
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is just the way it works in the cia. they don't always tell the truth to the people that work for them will stop when it comes to protecting a source. i originally wrote much of this last yeardon review sometime, cost a lot of trouble than. what i did then, i was so naive, i had a dog that did not bark issue. i thought, i'm going to put the name of "bank" high and the story, maybe seven or eight paragraphs and the story and say, the walk-in went to john bank and i was going to take a chance that bank would not succumb to pressure. a new a lot about him. a very bright guy, very confident. i just did not think he would be trotted out by the cia to say, what is sy hersh writing about? the thought that i named him and would being
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important. but it wasn't. instead, they trotted out a retired guy that was writing a book. the book had been published. they just trashed him for the book, yet he will go on television and nobody asked about his previous lies. anyway, big deal. what is important is the story say,t is that -- i must when you do a story like i did, i did have more contact with people in the isi after i wrote -- i learned much more that was totally -- again a much more flesh than the skimpy bones i had. the first thing -- pakistani, high-level, berry close to the saudis. charge, headals in
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of the army and the pakistani intelligence service, or the two key guys for us. pakistan is very important to us because they have over 100 bombs. one of the big national security issues for us. where are the bombs? are they telling us the truth? are they keeping some out of the count? always our worry. we always worry about it. i was -- i would say one of the accute issues. there's always been a fear that one bomb would get transferred somewhere. one of our more rational fears in foreign policy. we work very hard at it. amy: you're talking about nuclear bombs, atomic bombs. ranging's nuclear bombs from small hand-held ones to the major, major ones. that mimic some of the high stuff we have.
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anyway, what happened as -- amy: i just want to say, we only have a minute ago go and i want to get to the issue that you allege that the saudi government was funding osama bin laden in abbottabad him in text and. >> saudi government, we got them in 2006, we learned about them in 2010 and killed them and murder them really and 2011. the saudis for those years, the pakistanis did not tell us because the first person they told when they got him through the isi in 2006 and put them in abbottabad, the first people they told were the saudis because the saudis paid a lot of money to the two generals and perhaps to others to keep it quiet, to keep it from us. they did not one of talking to osama bin laden. since i have written that, i learned that from americans, i have learned from isi people that one of the ways they moved money is they sent tankers to
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us. the saudis would send tankers of oil to the pakistanis for resale. you can reflect any ship in the ocean. it is an easy way to move money around. you can change ownership from pakistani to pakistani -- from saudi to pakistani -- and because 22nd. >> is a story we did not want to push too far publicly. but we actually -- we were never supposed to announce the killing in pakistan. they were supposed to take the body out and take it to the hindu clash mountains and a week or so later announced that we killed him in a drone raid. what the president did that night because of political pressure, because the worry about waiting a week, maybe some of the else would tell the story, he jumped ahead. it was reelection night was that i guess any president would do it. he jumped ahead. he left our two generals in charge of the bombs hanging. amy: seymour hersh, we will
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continue this conversation and posted online at [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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