tv Democracy Now PBS May 6, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
05/06/16 05/06/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: on the road at bellevue community college near seattle, washington, this is democracy now! >> i think the idea of a donald trump or ted cruz presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for this country. i will do everything in my power and work as hard as i can to make sure that that does not happen. if secretary clinton is the nominee, i will suddenly support her. amy: well, that's what bernie sanders says. but not all his supporters agree. today, we look at the new movement called, "bernie or bust." we'll host a debate with seattle city councilmember kshama sawant and with the former mayor of
seattle mike mcginn. then in a landmark ruling here in washington, a state judge has ruled a lawsuit can proceed against psychologists james mitchell and bruce jessen, two of the architects of the cia torture program. will the first victims of cia torture finally have their day in court? amy: we'll speak with attorney dror ladin of the aclu, which has filed the lawsuit on behalf of torture victims. and we'll also talk to former military intelligence officer colonel steve kleinman, who worked with mitchell and jessen at the military's survival, evasion, resistance, and escape school in spokane, washington. all that and more, coming up.
welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. dozens of civilians have been killed in an airstrike on a camp for internally displaced syrians in idlib province near the border with turkey. at least 30 people were reportedly killed, some of them children, and dozens more wounded. u.n. humanitarian affairs chief stephen o'brien said the bombing could be a war crime. it's still unclear who carried out the strike, with reports it was either syrian or russian planes. a witness condemned the attack. >> we are displaced people and people were set on fire. they set tents ablaze. followed theck announcement of expanded truce brokered by russia and the united states, which brought a
degree of calm to the embattled city of aleppo. but in a message to russian president vladimir putin, syrian president bashar al-assad said he still sought a total victory over rebels in aleppo, where fighting over the past two weeks has killed about 300 people. house speaker paul ryan, the highest-ranking elected republican in the country, says he is not ready to endorse presumptive republican presidential nominee donald trump. ryan made the comments in response to a question from jake tapper on cnn. >> you have said throughout this process you will support the republican presidential nominee, now you have a presumptive nominee, donald trump. all you support him -- will you support him? >> to be perfectly candid, i'm not ready to do that at this point. i am not there right now. and i hope to, though, and i want to, but i think what is read wired is that we unify this party. i think the bulk of the burden on unifying the pop -- party
will have to come from our presumptive nominee. donald trump released a statement that read -- "i am not ready to support speaker ryan's agenda. perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the american people." in a further sign of division , 2012 republican presidential nominee mitt romney said thursday he will skip the republican national convention in july. former presidents george w. bush and george h.w. bush will also skip the event, as will former candidate jeb bush and 2008 republican nominee senator john mccain. donald trump, who has sparked protests by calling mexicans rapists and vowing to make mexico pay for a border wall, posted a photo of himself on social media thursday eating a taco bowl in honor of cinco de mayo. the holiday commemorates mexican armies victory over france in 862. trump's caption read -- "the best taco bowls are made in trump tower grill. i love hispanics!"
journalist erin gloria ryan tweeted -- "of course donald trump eats taco bowls, the only mexican food that comes with a wall built around it." democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton's supporters have reportedly been targeting bush family donors in an effort to convince them to support clinton over trump. politico reports the clinton team's top targets include jeb bush's former finance chair, new york jets owner woody johnson. speaking thursday in east los angeles, clinton criticized trump's remarks on immigrants. >> we also not only have to work for comprehensive immigration reform, we have to that the kind of language coming from donald trump is hateful, and we need to repudiate it. amy: meanwhile, hundreds of protesters descended on east los angeles college to protest clinton's policies, including
her remarks calling some youths "super-predators" in the 1990's as well as her role in the 2009 honduras coup. one protester was escorted out while chanting, "she killed berta," a reference to environmentalist berta caceres, who was assassinated in honduras last month. >> you killed her! berta! edb amy: before her death, berta caceres herself had singled out clinton for criticism over her role in the 2009 honduras coup. in the race for the democratic nomination, clinton leads in the delegate count, but her rival vermont senator bernie sanders has vowed to remain in the race until the final primaries in mid-june. sanders campaigned in west virginia thursday ahead of next week's primary there. >> we have a major crisis. we have an epidemic of opiate
addiction and heroin addiction. when i heard this morning in mcdowell county was that almost all of the crime down there in one way or another was related moneygs, people needing to feed their habits and stealing a so forth and so on. this is a crisis which we cannot turn away from. with a deal with it. but in my view, the most effective way to deal with that is to understand that addiction is a health issue, not a criminal issue. amy: sanders remarks on the opiate epidemic come amid reports the late musical artist prince suffered from an addiction to painkillers. new reports say his friends sought urgent help from an addiction doctor one day before prince's death last month. the doctor, howard kornfeld, dispatched his son, who arrived to discover prince's lifeless body in the elevator at his estate. test results about the cause of prince's death are still pending.
in the canadian province of alberta, a massive wildfire exploded to 10 times its previous size on thursday. the fire has forced all 88,000 residents to flee fort mcmurray, in the heart of cada's oil sands. about 16% of canada's crude oil production is offline as companies have cut operations. over the course of one day, the fire spread from about 18,000 acres to more 210,000 acres, that's about 10 times the size of manhattan. scientists have linked increased wildfires to climate change. a palestinian woman has been killed and a number of others wounded in gaza amid a flare-up of violence between palestinian militants and israeli forces. israeli forces launched airstrikes in southern gaza earlier this week, saying they were responding to mortar attacks on israeli troops. a woman in her 50's was reportedly killed by an israeli tank shell. brazil's supreme court has
ordered the lawmaker who has led the attempt to impeach president dilma rousseff to step down. house speaker eduardo cunha has led the charge against rousseff, despite facing trial for corruption. his suspension appears unlikely to stop impeachment proceedings against rousseff. brazil has been engulfed in a major corruption scandal, but rousseff herself has not been accused of any financial impropriety. this week vice president michel temer, who would take over for rousseff, was ordered to pay a fine for violating campaign finance limits. turkey's prime minister has resigned in what's seen as the latest by the president erdogan to expand his power. the prime minister had split with erdogan over his attempts to increase presidential authority. turkey's main opposition leader criticized the prime minister's resignation. >> i should suddenly express
that the prime minister hate the way for authoritarianism by surrendering to the may 4 coup. but the right thing to do was to defend the duty was commission for by 23 million people. you should have stood by the national will and said, i was brought tohelm by people in a link they can ask me to step down. you should have openly resisted the may 4 alice cooper. amy: president obama has commuted the sentences of 58 federal prisoners as part of his push to ease harsh mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. thursday's announcement brings the total number of obama's commutations to more than 300, about a third of whom were saving life sentences. in illinois, cock county state's attorney anita alvarez has recused herself from the prosecution of chicago police officer jason van dyke for the fatal shooting of laquan mcdonald. the 17-year-old mcdonald was shot 16 times in october, 2014
but it took more than a year for , alvarez to announce murder charges against officer van dyke. alvarez has requested a special prosecutor in the case. she lost her reelection battle in march following an activist campaign to oust her over her handling of the shooting. alabama governor robert bentley is expected to sign into a law a measure banning abortion clinics from operating within 2000 feet of a k-8 public school. it's the same rule applied to sex offenders in alabama. the law would force at least two clinics in alabama to close. the alabama women's center in huntsville, alabama is located across from a school. it was forced to move there to comply with the state's sweeping anti-choice restrictions. and italy's highest appeals court has ruled stealing small amounts of food if you're hungry is not a crime. the case concerned a homeless man who was convicted of theft and sentenced to six months in jail for stealing $4.50 worth of
cheese and meat. the court overturned his conviction, saying he had taken the food "in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are the road at bellevue college near seattle, washington. with departure of ted cruz and john kasich, donald trump is the presumptive republican nominee for president. meanwhile, democratic challengers bernie sanders and hillary clinton are pressing on to next week's west virginia primary. despite sanders recent win in indiana, he trails clinton in the pledged delegate count by more than 300. add in superdelegates, and clinton is just under 200 delegates shy of the number needed to clinch the nomination. but neither sanders nor his supporters seem ready to concede. at a news conference on sunday, sanders appealed to the democratic party's superdelegates. >> it is virtually impossible
for secretary clinton to reach the majority of convention delegates by june 14 with pledged delegates alone. she will need superdelegates to take her over the top at the convention in philadelphia. in other words, the convention will be a contested contest. we believe that we are in a very strong position to win many of these remaining contests, and we have an excellent chance to win in california, the state with far and away the most delegates. where secretary clinton and i strongly agree and where every delegate to the democratic convention strongly agrees, is that it would be a disaster for this country if donald trump or some other right-wing republican were to become president of the united states.
therefore, in my view, it is incumbent upon every superdelegate to take a hard and objective look at which candidates stands the better chance of defeating donald trump and other republican candidates. and in that regard, i think the evidence is extremely clear that i would be the stronger candidate to defeat trump or any other republican. amy: today we're going to take a look at the new movement called bernie or bust. a recent poll found one out of four sanders supporters say they would not back clinton in a general election. about 70% say they would support her. speaking last week at a victory rally after winning primaries in pennsylvania, maryland, connecticut, rhode island, and delaware, hillary clinton appealed to sanders supporters. >> because whether you support senator sanders or you support
me, there is much more that unites us than divides us. [cheers] agree that wages are too low and inequality is too high, that wall street can never again be allowed to threaten main street, and we should expand social security, not cut or privatize it. democrats agree that college should be affordable to all, and student debt should not hold anyone down. [cheers] we democrats agree that every single american should and must have quality, affordable health care. [cheers] presidenthat our next must keep our country safe, keep our troops out of another costly ground war in the middle east.
and we democrats agree that climate change is an urgent threat. [cheers] and it requires an aggressive response that can make america the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. and we democrats agree on defending all of our rights -- civil rights and voting rights, workers rights and women's rights lgbt writes, and for people with disabilities. amy: the division among democrats who support bernie sanders versus hillary clinton recalls the 2008 presidential campaign and staunch clinton supporters who joined together under the acronym puma's, or party unity my ass, vowing never to back her then-rival barack obama. well, for more we are joined by two guests. mike mcginn is the former mayor
of seattle, serving from 2010 to 2013. he hosts a podcast on social change called, "you, me, us, now." he is a bernie sanders supporter, but will support hillary clinton if she becomes the nominee. kshama sawant is a socialist city councilmember in seattle. member of socialist alternative, a nationwide organization of social and economic justice activists. she also is a bernie supporter who says she will not support clinton. we welcome you both to democracy now! kshama sawant, you really started hold -- the whole bernie or bust or bust campaign. but i want to clarify, myself and social started, we did not launch the bernie or bust, we launched movement for bernie, bernie.org. it is really kind of a
bankruptcy strategy to say that all of the people, the millions of young people who are being politicized for the first time in their lives because of sanders message of a political revolution against -- should now all hunker down and support clinton. i think the analysis we need to have has to flow from some essential points. one is, this is a historic movement -- moment and movement since the occupy movement. we're seeing a tremendous fundamental shift in american consciousness, and that is in anger against corporate politics and a desire to fight against the establishment. on the other hand, you're seeing the ascendancy of trump, which i think is on everybody's mind. the rise of this right-wing ideology, islamophobia, bigotry. i absolutely find it terrifying. but my problem is if we're looking for a real strategy to break working people away from
trump, then what we have to do .s present a real alternative sanders is right, bernie is right, in poll after poll, systematically he has done remarkably well in terms of the fact that if he wants to be the democratic candidate, he will deliver a trump being defeat to trump. why is the democratic party establishment not doing everything in their power to promote his campaign? that is the question people should be asking and that is why i was a as a socialist we need an independent party for the 99% and a fantastic way to begin that process would be for bernie to run as an independent. amy: have you talk to him about this? >> yes. i think at this moment, as we all know, he has said he has indicated he will probably endorse clinton and clinton herself, you know, understandably, talking about how his supporters need to support her. but i would challenge this idea that all the supporters that
were behind her supporting obama, that is the same thing as bernie supporters supporting hillary this year. i don't think it is fundamentally the same situation at all. bernie is going for political revolution against a billionaire class. hillary is the academy of the political establishment that has promoted the interests of the billionaire class to the detriment of the interest of the working people. bernie is calling for single payer health care and clinton is the woman who said, well, you cannot do single-payer health care. and she is being honest. that is a rare moment of honesty for her. on the basis of supporting her and the establishment, no, you cannot win single-payer health care. unfortunate for us, you cannot defeat the right, either. , you are acginn diehard bernie soufiane -- supporter, but you feel differently if it was hillary clinton who would be the nominee. you would support her. >> yes, that's right.
i'm definitely an early bernie sanders supporter and would say a diehard one. i am not a diehard democrat by any means. that is one of the reasons i supported bernie. i believe i endorsed kshama in her reelection campaign justice last year in seattle. but i look at the differences between clinton and trump and what a disaster trump would be. and i look back on the election where, you know, i remember thinking al gore was to corporate and to washington. as i look at the lack of progress under bush, all of the mistakes that happened under bush, i would have liked al gore. one thing or with data sanders supporters, -- i would say to the center supporters, it is not the game, it is just a scoreboard and this is a high water mark for the movement that kshama sawant stands for a many things that i believe in and that we need to return power to
the working people and address racism and get really serious about climate change, and that energy can move to a l of other places besides this election and clearly, the differences between clinton and trump lead me to support clinton in this election. most distinct for you between clinton and trump? >> the dog was a became an air horn on racism. -- the dog whistle became an air horn on racism. i find it horrifying. i look at how diverse our city is and how we're struggling to work together to addre problems, and there are big divisions, i just look at a trump presidency as being so divisive and wrong for this country. hillary clinton clearly has shifted positions over the years. but a powerful movement i believe can lead and push her to the places where we would like to see the country go. amy: we'reoing to go to break and come back to this
eugene, oregon in the afternoon and in portland, oregon, in the evening. then on to minneapolis on monday, cambridge on tuesday and back home to new york on wednesday. we urge you folks to keep listening and watching democracy now! as we discuss the presidential election. in february, republican presidential front-runner donald trump came under criticism for wavering on whether or not he wants the support of the former ku klux klan leader david duke. he was speaking on cnn with jake tapper. trump refused to disavow duke supported the support of other white supremacists. >> i don't know anything about david duke, ok? i don't know anything about what you're talking about with white supremacy are white supremacists. i don't know. did he endorse me? i know nothing about david duke. i know nothing about white supremacists.
so you asking a question i'm supposed to be talking about people i know nothing about. >> the question from the anti-defamation league is, even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you, would you just say unequivocally, you condemn them and you don't want their support? >> well, i have to look at the group. i don't know what group you're talking about. you would not want to condemn a group a know nothing about. if you would send me a list of the groups, i will do research on them and certainly i would disavow if i thought there was something wrong. but you may have groups that are totally finand it would be very unfair. give me a list and i will let you know. >> i'm just talking about david duke and the ku klux klan here. know david, i don't duke. i don't believe i've ever met him. amy: that is donald trump being challenged by jake tapper on cnn, whether he would unequivocally disavow support from david duke and the ku klux
klan. our guests are the former mayor of seattle, mike mcginn, a bernie sanders supporter who him if the nominee work hillary clinton, will support her. we're also joined by kshama sawant, who is a socialist city councilmember here in seattle. she supports the bernie or bust campaign. here you have the republican frontrunner, the presumptive nominee, kshama sawant, who cannot quite get himself to say he would not accept the support of a klan leader. >> this is absolutely horrifying, the idea a right ring -- right-wing bigoted anti-immigrant islamaphobic multibillionaire could gain any traction in the minds of regular people. and what i find about this remarkable is not only that it is stomach turning, but it is
also terrifying in the potential it might hold not just for trump ascending in any given way -- i don't think he can win. i think clinton is likely to win. but what is scary about this, i think, is what most scary, the fact that any space for this kind of right-wing hateful agenda that is given in politics, and the political discussion and discourse, what it means is there's the potential for building an ongoing base for right-wing ideology and that scares me the most. if you look at what happened with the tea party ascending and 2010, the reason they made such game is not because america is turning right-wing, the mass of america is not. the mass of america is to the left of u.s. congress and will to the left of the clinton-dominated democratic establishment. what has happened, and that is what the tea party ascendancy shows, is people are angry at
the establishment, angry at the bailout of the bankers, the very bankers who almost completely destroyed the economy, and working people losing day after day. and people are looking for a way to fight back. bernie sanders campaign, the fact that tens of millions of people have rallied around his message for political revolution, this is absolutely distort. some of the speeches bernie has made are probably the most radical on mainstream's since decades ago. and ago speaking out against the war -- >> against the war in vietnam. transformed and radicalized an entire generation. we're seeing a similar phenomenon where an entire generation of working people, young people especially, teenagers, who are getting politically or getting transformed and radicalized. it is not just bernie. his campaign, the echo he has received is a sign that we are a
historic moment. that is why i would say for people who are scared of trump -- and i am one of them -- i think we have to think intelligently about this. supporting the very establishment that allowed to be created for the right-wing is like saying you're going to double down on a strategy that has failed in the past. mike said made a good point, he did support my campaign as a socialist, but i was running as a socialist alternative 2015 ine in 2013 and defiance of the democratic party establishment that controls this city. look at what happened in the state of washington. all the superdelegates in the state of washington are doubling down behind hillary, but what happened in the primary? every county in the state of washington went to bernie sanders in huge numbers. amy: why are the superdelegates going for clinton? >> that captures the character of the democratic party establishment.
the bulk of the establishment, you look at the senators, the congress members, superdelegates, all of whom are all on the side of clinton -- virtually all of them, virtually very few of them on the side of ernie -- that shows you the democratic party is out of touch with the base of tens of millions of people who are looking for a shift away from corporate -- amy: mike mcginn, you support bernie sanders will support hillary clinton if she can the nomination. does that concern you, the other alienation from the majority of people in your state who supported bernie sanders in the poll here, in the caucus here? quite aes concern me bit, and that is one of the reasons i'm a supporter of sanders. i'm looking for a word i could disagree with white kshama sawant was saying, the alienation of regular voters and regular people from the democratic party is a huge problem. this election has really exposed
it. in fact, the amount of success that sanders has, it is absolutely astounding. it is only going to become more and more as the years progress. if you look at the demographics of who his supporters are. but again, that energy can be used in 70 different places to elect -- can be used in summary different places, to elect local officials, to push for changes in state houses as well. and to bring pressure to bear on congress and a new president. and that is why, i will repeat what i said earlier, the presidential election is in a game just a scorecard. mark.s a high water this is a historic moment. as a young man, i was working for u.s. congressman in the reagan era. it really feels like it is changing. i can also say it is an elected official who is not the darling of the democratic establishment in the city of seattle. anybody who follows us knows that. i was pushing hard for change.
i needed the people behind me to make change. amy: explain how you beat an incumbent. >> i raised questions about a megaproject, a major double supported by the chamber and all the powerful interests. did beat an incumbent and win. i did not get much support from democratic elected leaders but i got supporters from leaders because of my platform. it in office, i needed that pressure from the public in order to go where i wanted to go enter college the things i wanted to accomplish. and so does any elected official. it is the movement that matters, ultimately, more than the elected officials. that thiswith kshama movement has to continue against inequality and racism in our anti--- the anti-immigrant stuff we are seeing from trump, but i was a two sanders supporters that the most move in here will be ensuring democrat who might
listen to us than having a republican who we can be assured won't, but take that energy to the state and local elections. take it to the ballot, which has been seeing great success this year in seattle, which is the threat of the public voting directly. high't think this is the water mark. i do not think the sanders campaign is a high water mark, it is the sign of an advancing tide we're going to continue to see changes that the democratic party will have to respond to or become irrelevant. amy: last month ahead of the new york primary, i want to cover a bernie sanders rally in the south bronx. thousands turned out for us. rosariods, i spoke to dawson, who been one who introduced him. i asked her about sanders' path to victory. >> this is it. i'm seeing a lot of people already starting to talk to their superdelegates and talk to these different people and going, hey, this is not ok.
what happened was, hillary lost in 2008 because of her iraq war vote. she lost because a lot of election politics that went on that left a sour taste in people smiles. she lost because of the delegates. so rather than go, let's take that out of the system, she just started to work for it and started to get them on her side. she started before the primaries having like over 400 delegates pledged to her. that is not ok. amy: so that was rosario dawson. a few weeks ago actress susan , sarandon caused a bit of controversy when she appeared on msnbc and talked about donald trump perhaps being a better option than hillary clinton. though she says she was misinterpreted. this is chris hayes speaking with susan sarandon. >> even a question in an election about choices, i think a lot of people think of themselves, well, if it is donald trump and hillary clinton
-- and i think bernie sanders with -- wouldhink bernie encourage people because he does not have any ego, but i think a lot of people are sorry. i just cannot bring myself to do that. >> what about you? >> i will see what happens. >> really? >> really. >> i cannot believe -- >> donald trump will bring the revolution immediately. if he gets in, things -- >> you're saying -- >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> don't you feel it is dangerous? >> if you think it is pragmatic to shore up the status quo right now, then you're not in touch with the status quo. the status quo is not working i think it is dangerous that we can think we can continue the way we are with the militarized police forces, the death penalty, the low minimum wage, with threats to women's rights, and think that you can't do something huge to turn that around. , a: that was susan sarandon
major bernie sanders supporter, speaking on msnbc. talk about ts whole approach, kshama. >> first of all, i think we have to be very clear. it would actually be dangerous and completely toxic for trump, someone like trump, to be the head of this country for us to have any version of a just society of a humane society. that is, the idea of having trump in the white house is completely antagonistic to the idea of building anywhere toward a just society. but i think the problem here is this. the problem is that the base of support that trump has succeeded in getting, that base is regular working people who are angry at corporate politics, angry at the trade deals, angry at the fact there facing joblessness and low-wage jobs and that the billionaires -- the irony, another billionaire is the one trying to drive them toward the
right wing ideology. but i think what is happening here is that, again, as you look at the example of the tea party, the logical salas he of nearly presenting clinton as the despiteive to trump, racism and rebecca tree that trump is latching on to, the vast majority of people who are supporting him are supporting him because they hate establishment politicians like clinton. it makes no logical sense for us to then turn around and say that the way to peel off all of the working people who are supporting trump is to present a very academy of the establishment that they are so -- amy: you're saying both trump and bernie sanders represent the antiestablishment? >> trump, not intentionally, and a very cynical way, yes. the vast majority people who are drawn toward sanders or trump
are people were angry at the establishment. really, if we fear the fact that trump is expensing a right and i fear that as much as anyone else does, then what we need to do is provide a left alternative to trump. amy: what do you see as his path to the presidency, sanders? >> right now i think the media pundits are right about one thing, if you look at the numbers in terms of getting the democratic party nomination, i don't think it is likely to happen. the question is, how do we move forward? i agree with michael that it is. just about this presidential election year. but we have to think about, what is the correct way to move our movement forward? where do we take our movement from this moment we are here, where sanders is unlikely to win the presidential nomination? does it make sense to simply say, no should all hunker down and support clinton? what i'm saying, in order to build a real movement, left
just supporting one presidential candidate istat the answer. ton if bernie sanders were become the president this year, that would not be enough. we would have to build a real mass movement. the question is, what makes sense for this movement that we're trying to build in terms of what strategy we are the presidential election? that is rammed to find from people are saying, if you're worried about mr. trump: support clinton. worried about trump, let's build a left alternative. amy: if he does not run as an independent? >> i mean, this is not -- amy: who will you vote for? >> i will vote for the most viable, most powerful left challenge -- amy: like who? >> if that is jill stein from the green, then that is who i will be supporting. my concern is, can we build a powerful left -- there was a
possibility of sanders and stein running together, let me tell you, that would be absolutely historic and i would wholeheartedly support that. amy: mike mcginn? >> my proton primaries come and primaries you put the candidate you love and in the general, you pick between who you think you like better. that is kind of the way the process works. then you have to take that energy and try to get that next person to win a primary, and come out of it. you want to get the people you love and the positions they can win. that takes a lot of work between elections. i reflect back on the gore-bush race. many people were skeptical of gore that he was too tied to the establishment. remember back then, how a comfortable it was to defend him against an attack from the left from nader that he was too tied to the big-money and status quo for looking -- doing things. i look back at the iraq war and climate, and i think out or
could have benefited us as compared to bush. that would be my fear here. i believe the clinton has some convictions that we could benefit from. i think trump has some convictions that scare thet of . amy: what advice do you have for hillary clinton? >> i think she needs to listen to the fact that young people in particular are just set up and disgusted with the system that is leaving them with so few choices, that lower class, you know, working-class people are getting hammered. we have a looming climate crisis. it is time for boldness. it is time to listen to the voices of the people that are really getting it hard and listen to the kids who have to grow up in this future that we have created. listen to them and go there. go toward the future, not protecting what has been, but where we need to go. amy: bernie sanders says he would support her clinton if she were the nominee. you disagree with drone candidate? >> i disagree with bernie on
several things. question ofed the climate change and conviction to fight big oil. it wears a conviction on the part of hillary clinton -- but where is the conviction of the particular clinton? she is supportive of fracking industry. we need a strategy to break away from big oil. we need to start building an independent party for the 99%. i encourage everyone to go to movement4bernie.org. we have to continue building our movement for independence from the democratic establishment. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. mike mcginn is the former mayor of seattle, and kshama sawant, the socialist city council member. we are broadcasting from seattle, washington. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, a major court decision here in washington that could hold those who are
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road broadcasting from the television studios of bellevue college just outside seattle. bellevue college, home of community radio station kbcs as well. here in washington state, last month federal judge justin quackenbush allowed a landmark lawsuit to move forward against the two psychologists who designed and implemented the cia torture program.
psychologists james mitchell and bruce jessen reaped more than $80 million for designing torture techniques used by the cia. the case was brought by suleiman abdullah salim, mohamed ben soud, two survivors of the cia program, and the family of gul rahman, who froze to death at a cia black site in afghanistan. all three men were subjected to torture techniques that mitchell and jessen created and helped implement for the cia. among the torture techniques were beatings, being held in coffin-sized boxes, and being hung from metal rods. this is suleiman abdullah salim speaking to the aclu about the long-term impacts of the torture he endured. amy: that's torture victim and
plaintiff suleiman abdullah salim speaking to the aclu. the headquarters of the psychologists' secretive military contracting firm mitchell jessen & associates, was headquartered here in washington state near the fairchild air force base. beginning in 2002, the cia hired the psychologists to train interrogators in brutal techniques, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and pain. both of the men had years of military training in a secretive program known as sere -- survival, evasion, resistance, escape -- which teaches soldiers to endure captivity in enemy hands. mitchell and jessen reverse engineered the sere
tactics for use on prisoners held in the cia's secret prisons. well, for more we're joined by aclu lawyer dror ladin who filed a lawsuit on behalf of torture victims. and we're also speaking with former intelligence officer colonel steve kleinman, who knew psychologists james mitchell and bruce jessen from his time at the sere school in spokane. we welcome you both to democracy now! i want first to go to dror ladin . explain the significance of this lawsuit and the judge's ruling. >> and every previous cia lawsuit involving the torture program, the government had always intervened, even before the suit got underway, to shut it down. they had always claimed that no matter how much information have previously been made public about cia torture, it was just too secret for courts to handle. this lawsuit, that did not happen. this is the first lawsuit that was filed after the senate released its torture report in which the senate subcommittee on intelligence exposed in enormous
amount of information about the cia's torture program. after thatame out, our clients decided they could finally try to seek justice for what was done to them. so this report, both disclose the torch of our clients as well as describing the role of mitchell and jessen in designing and implementing and profiting from their pain. amazingly in this lawsuit, the government did not try to shut it down, which meant mitchell and jessen were the ones who had to try and shut it down so we were in court two weeks ago to hear arguments about mitchell and jessen's attempt to get the case dismissed. in the first time ever, the district judge, judge quackenbush, denied entirely due to -- the request to dismiss. amy: explain who the plaintiffs are. >> there is suleiman abdullah salim, a tanzanian fishermen.
not only did he never pose a threat to the united states, you don't even have to take our word for it. the department of defense gave him a certificate after he up and held for five years, after he had been tortured. the certificate said that mr. salim does not pose a threat to u.s. forces or interest. even so, they destroyed his life with torture. he is now living in zanzibar with his wife and child. the second plaintiff is mohamed ben soud. he is a marble worker in libya. he also never posed any threat to the united states, and he was never charged with any crime. unfortunate, the third plaintiff -- it is his family that is the plaintiff because gul rahman was killed during his torture. so he never got to go home and try to rebuild his life. he froze to death on a bare floor after you been tortured for days. he finally succumbed stop them you. all of that is detailed in the senate report.
amy: steve kleinman, colonel steve kleinman, former military intelligence officer, you worked with mitchell and jessen at the sere school here in washington state in spokane. can you explain who they were and what your interactions were with them? >> i would be happy to. this may come as a surprise to most of your listeners, because it is easy to pretrade as as some greek tragedy where there are evil spirits moving across this gem political landscape when in fact, both retired lieutenant colonels mitchell and jessen, they were instrumental including arguably the best resistance to interrogation program in the world. the were motivated by mission of returning with honor. you mentioned earlier in the introduction about they ultimately then reversed engineered -- that is for the problem lies. it is not really reverse engineering because what we do
at a sere school, what we portray is the interrogation model. jessen and mitchell were instrumental in developing deconstructing what went on in the most brutal austere circumstances and in helping to design strategies to resist. that is the extent, although it is very important, that is the extent of their experience. the problem is, they are very bright individuals and again, decorated veterans of the united states air force, but what they did not understand was they were not interrogators. observed a real interrogation, were not involved with intelligence operations, were not involved in islamic or arabic or middle eastern cultural issues, but they found ,hemselves, by the approval literally, of the director of central intelligence, in the middle of what i described as a torture program without
hesitation. so it is interesting. if their story had ended upon the retirement from the air force, i think we would have seen them as heroes. rightfully so. i am not one to question their intentions. i'm quite certain they thought they were going to keep america safe. describedmethods has by your first guests, were brutal and heinous, in a scribble -- and it's usable. above that, they're not effective for soliciting information from detainees. amy: i want to turn to vice news in 2014, james mchell was interviewed and asked if the cia's so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, or eit , or designed to get actionable intelligence. this was his response. >> by making a bad cop that was bad enough that the person would engage with the good cop. i would be stunned if they found
any kind of evidence to suggest eit's, as they were being applied, yielded actual intelligence. jessen speaking to vice news. that was mitchell speaking to vice news. i want to go to the second part of that clip. >> to me, it seems completely ksm isble that slapping that, but sending hellfire missile into a families picnic and killing all of their children and killing granny and for a loteryone is ok of reasons. one of the reasons is, what about that collateral loss of life? the other one is, if you kill them, you cannot question them. amy: that is james mitchell. can you respond to that, dror ladin? >> what you have is an admission
that all they were doing -- for all the scientific language that was all dressed up in with learned helplessness and experiments they go back decades, really all of it was about inflicting an enormous amount of pain on people with the idea that if you abuse them enough and you broke them down enough, they would do whatever you wanted. whether you're talking about a bad cop in a chicago pd basement or whether you're talking about a secret black site, that is what this was. it was hurting people so much that they would do whatever you told them to do. between that and -- i don't think it exonerates mitchell's program in any way to say that drone strikes are also bad. drone strikes, they kill innocent people, and of course they're bad, but that doesn't make torture good. amy: colonel steve kleinman, were you always against torture? >> absolutely.
absolutely. i have a moral code. i'm a second-generation military officer. my father was a principled world war ii vet. he taught me how to sort out life. torture -- let's look at a couple of perspectives. let's say i had no moral compass whatsoever in a was just an intelligence officer interested in getting reliable information as quickly as possible. even then, torture would not be an option because we can demonstrate over and over again how pain, how physical and psychological and emotional pain inflicted on another person will lead to degradation of what we call executive functions. memory, judgment, decisions, ability to follow logical thought. in the early prime years, if you will, who studied some of the most horrific forms of interrogation, albert bitterman and others, they were shocked. dutch literally
shocked by how quickly things like isolation, sensory deprivation could introduce psychoses and thereby undermine really the validity of a detainee as a reporter. you cannot accept the fact -- you cannot cherry pick. if they provide bits of information to be true and you have to find it within stanza goal recalled that were generated by isolation and so forth, so torture -- amy: before we run out of time, i want to ask you, do you think it is enough to hold mitchell and jessen accountable, these two psychologists? >> absolutely not. i'm not going to defend for a moment what they did, but what i will defend is, they did not create policy in this country. we have a gentleman, george tenet of the cia. why did he not say, what a second, you're proposing a program for which we have no data to support it and you have no x earrings interrogations?
their people so far above doctors jessen a mitchell who made this possible and without them being held accountable, giving them medals of freedom to move on to their lives, it is a travesty i think. amy: we have to leave it there. colonel steven kleinman is a former military intelligence officer who trained soldiers in interrogation. and i want to thank dror ladin of the aclu. that does it for this program. i will be speaking tonight at seattle town hall at 7:30. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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