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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  August 22, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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[captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! bombs, our sons and daughters, what are they doing to us? what have we done to them? amy: the u.s.-backed saudi bombing of yemen continues as him and falls further into a humanitarian crisis. saudi forces recently bombed to popsicles, killing at least 14 children, and hospital run by doctors without borders, killing 19. >> you have no choice than to flee. no one wants to receive refugees.
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it is a real nightmare. amy: as secretary of state john kerry 60 saudi arabia, we will speak with angie coburn of -- andrew cockburn of harper's magazine and then a new exposé, charged with murder, but they did not kill anyone -- police did. the chicago reader has exposed 10 pieces since 2011 where police kill a civilian in chicago but charge an accomplice with the murder. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in louisiana, more than 100,000 people have applied for federal assistance as clean-up begins from last week's historic flooding. at least 13 people died in what the red cross has called the worst natural disaster in the u.s. since hurricane sandy.
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president obama is scheduled to tour flood-damaged areas on tuesday. louisiana governor john bel edwards says more help is needed for the recovery effort. >> typically by this point in a storm, i think red cross would be receiving a lot more donations. i think there would be more volunteers signing up. although we have some of that in place now, it would be very helpful if people would donate to the red cross, to the baton rouge area foundation, and also do, and volunteered to help people get back in their homes as quickly as possible. amy: in news from the campaign trail, longtime republican political operative paul manafort has quit his position as chair of donald trump's campaign. manafort's resignation came on friday. trump had appointed stephen bannon, the executive chair of the right-wing outlet breitbart news, to be his campaign's chief executive earlier in the week. manafort is facing questions about his years of political consulting in ukraine, where he advised former president viktor yanukovych.
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the new york times has reported that handwritten ledgers unearthed in ukraine show $12.7 million of cash payments that were slated to go to manafort -- although it is not known whether he ever received the money. meanwhile, the new york times is also reporting donald trump's companies have at least $650 million in debt. this is twice the amount that appears on publicly filed documents trump has released during his campaign. donald trump once told cnn, "i am the king of debt, i love debt." democratic nominee hillary clinton is taking criticism for not having held a news conference in more than eight months. this is clinton campaign manager robby mook yesterday on cbs. question here is whether secretary clinton has been taking questions of reporters, which she absolutely has. 300has been in more than interviews with reporters this year alone. she has been on your show, and
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we are going to continue to do that. there are a lot of different formats and which she can engage with reporters, whether it is one on one interviews or talking with her traveling press and reporters or a press conference. we going to look at all of those. amy: secretary of state john kerry is heading to saudi arabia as the obama administration faces increasing pressure for its support of the saudi-led war in yemen. this comes as up to 100,000 people gathered in the yemeni capital of sanaa saturday in support of houthi rebels and to protest the ongoing saudi strikes. the demonstration was one of the biggest in yemen since mass protests in 2011 forced former president and u.s. ally ali abdullah saleh to step down. over the past two weeks, the u.s.-backed saudi coalition has bombed a doctors without borders people, andlling 19 bombed two schools in northern yemen killing at least 14 , children.
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doctors without borders has since announced it will withdraw staff from six hospitals in the north of the country. u.s. support of saudi's includes refueling their jets in midair and assisting with target selection. the u.s. has also sold saudi arabia billions of dollars in weapons in recent years. in the last week, criticism of the u.s. role in yemen has grown as it has been revealed that targets the u.s. had asked the saudis not to strike had been hit anyway. the u.n. blames the saudi-led coalition for the majority of the conflicts' thousands of civilian casualties. this is connecticut senator chris murphy speaking about the u.s. role in yemen last week. imprint is an american on every civilian life lost in yemen. although the saudi's are dropping the bombs from their planes, they could not do it without the united states. it is our munitions sold to the saudi's, our planes refueling the saudi jets, and our intelligence helping the saudi's provide their targets. amy: the saudi-led coalition
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resumed airstrikes in the yemeni capital of sanaa last week after u.n.-sponsored peace talks ended without a resolution. we'll have more on yemen after headlines with journalist andrew cockburn, as well as human rights watch. in southern turkey, hundreds of mourners gathered yesterday for funerals after a bomber killed at least 50 people at a wedding party for a member of a kurdish political party. turkish president recep tayyip erdogan blamed isis for the attack. but some of the mourners threw bottles at police and chanted "murderer erdogan" -- a reflection of the belief that the turkish president's support for rebels fighting the syrian government has helped create the conditions that have allowed isis to thrive. also in turkey, members of the lgbtq community demonstrated peacefully on sunday to mark the murder of transgender rights activist and sex worker hande kader. kader's body was found on august 12 in istanbul. discrimination and violence against the lgbtq community is common in turkey.
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more than 40 transgender people have been killed there since 2008. vice president joe biden will be visiting turkey later this week. meanwhile, in syria, tensions are rising between the u.s. and syrian governments after syrian jets bombed a u.s.-backed militia while u.s. forces were nearby. the pentagon said friday it has increased its air patrols near the northeastern syrian city of hasaka and had "encouraged" syrian jets to leave. the u.s.'s main allies in syria a kurdish forces that, until now, have largely avoided conflict with the syrian government. that changed earlier this month when fighting broke out between the kurds and the syrian government for control of hasaka. a federal appeals court in new york has upheld the u.n.'s claim of immunity in a lawsuit brought by haitians seeking compensation for a cholera epidemic that killed more than 9,000 people. u.n. peacekeepers are accused of
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negligently bringing cholera to haiti during their deployment following the 2010 haitian earthquake. the u.n. claims it has immunity under a 1946 treaty, but the office of u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon acknowledged for the first time last week that the u.n. may have played a role in the epidemic. this is human rights activist camille chalmers talking about the reparations claim and the u.n.'s recent admission. a step this is forward, but an insufficient one that is coming very late because, above all, over these six years, more people have died, and we know the united nations could contribute to the eradication of this illness in our land. amy: philippines president rodrigo duterte has threatened to leave the u.n. after u.n. human rights experts urged him
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to stop extra-judicial killings by police. police have killed about 900 suspected drug traffickers since duterte was elected in may. during his campaign, he promised to fight crime, but human rights groups say many of those killed have been summarily shot or had nothing to do with the drug trade. more than 100,000 people have turned themselves in to police for drug offenses to avoid the prospect of a violent arrest. duterte made his comments in a speech on sunday and suggested he might invite china and others countries to form an alternative coalition to the u.n. >> what have you done for the world, mr. united nations? know, they would ask only five questions to prove they are stupid. amy: in maryland, baltimore county police say they will continue to withhold the names
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of the officers involved it the shooting of korryn gaines, a august 1 23-year-old african american mother shot by police in her apartment after an hours-long standoff. the officer who shot gaines has been assigned to administrative duties. there is body camera footage of the standoff prior to the shooting, but police claim there is no footage of the shooting itself. gaines livestreamed the beginning of the standoff on facebook before facebook responded to a police request to shut down gaines's account. the naacp legal defense and educational fund and activists have both questioned official police accounts of the shooting. her five-year-old son corey was also injured by a police bullet in the shootout. this is gaines's cousin creo bradley speaking last week at her funeral. >> our family wants justice for korryn gaines. we have unanswered questions that need to be answered. number one, the officer appears in the video to have a a-day
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camera on, but where is the footage? has aw that cody testimony or account of things that happened, which are contradictory to the stories being told. amy: meanwhile, in minnesota, the police officer who shot philando castile returned to work last week. last month, jeronimo yanez fatally shot castile, who is african american, during a traffic stop. castile's death was livestreamed on facebook by his girlfriend, diamond "lavish" reynolds, in an extraordinary video, in which she narrated the aftermath of the shooting while she was still in the car with a police officer pointing a gun at her and her four-year-old daughter as her , boyfriend lay dying next to her. the death sparked nationwide protests against police violence. yanez has been temporarily given an administrative position. a texas court has halted the execution of jeff wood, a man who never killed anyone, six days before he was set to die by lethal injection. the court's order on friday
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asked for further examination of a claim that a jury was improperly persuaded to give wood his sentence after testimony from a highly criticized psychiatrist nicknamed "dr. death." texas's felony murder statute, called the "law of parties," holds that anyone involved in a crime resulting in death can be held responsible. wood was sitting outside in a truck when his friend, daniel reneau, killed convenience store clerk kriss keeran in 1996. reneau was executed in 2002. the 2016 summer olympics held their closing ceremony in rio on but not before one more u.s. sunday athlete made history. 21-year-old claressa shields of flint, michigan, won her second consecutive gold medal in boxing -- the first u.s. woman to do so. the u.s. men's basketball team also continued their olympic dominance on sunday, taking gold for the sixth time in seven games. on saturday, the u.s. women's basketball team won their sixth straight gold medal. the women's team has not lost an
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olympic basketball game since 1992. meanwhile, ethiopian olympic runner risked his safety by raising his arms in an x as he won a silver medal and a marathon. that is used by ethiopian adjusters against human rights abuses by the ethiopian government. lilesa told her -- told reporters that the government might kill him for the gesture. in puerto rico, activists disrupted an entrepreneurial summit in san juan on friday to protest laws that give new residents and some business owners complete exceptions on a slew of taxes. the activists were also protesting against the promesa law, which creates a new financial control board to oversee the island's financial affairs. during the protests, activists carried banners reading "the people before the debt." the protest shut down event registration for parts of the day.
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and george curry, the legendary columnist, commentator and , champion of african american journalists has died at age 69. curry was born and grew up in alabama and began his career as reporter for sports illustrated and the st. louis dispatch. in the 1990's, george curry was the editor of emerge, a political and cultural publication with the tag line "black america's newsmagazine." curry was the first african-american to serve as president of the american society of magazine editors. his childhood friend bernard lafayette, the current chairman of the southern christian leadership conference, said -- "this is a tragic loss to the movement because george curry was a journalist who paid special attention to civil rights because he lived it and loved it." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. secretary of state john kerry is heading to saudi arabia as the obama administration is facing
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increasing pressure for its support of the saudi-led war in yemen. this comes as up to 100,000 people gathered in the yemeni capital of sanaa saturday to protest the ongoing saudi strikes and in support of houthi rebels. over the past two weeks, the u.s.-backed saudi coalition has bombed a doctors without borders hospital killing 19 people and , bombed two schools in northern yemen killing at least 14 , children. doctors without borders has since announced it will withdraw staff from six hospitals in the north of the country. after another saudi airstrike east of sanaa tuesday that killed survivors spoke out nine, against the saudi strikes. >> bombs of our sons and daughters, our friends, why are they doing this? what have we done to them? amy: according to the united nations, more than 3,700 civilians have have been killed in the yemen conflict since saudi arabia launched its offensive in march 2015.
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the united states has been a key backer of the saudi military bombing. earlier this month, the u.s. approved the sale of more than $1 billion dollars of new weapons to the saudis. since taking office, the obama administration has approved more than $110 billion in weapons sales to saudi arabia. while secretary of state john kerry is heading to saudi arabia, pressure is growing over the obama administration to cut off support for the saudis. bills have been introduced in both the u.s. house and senate to cut off funding to saudi arabia. last week, the new york times and the guardian editorial boards called for the u.s. and british governments to end their support for saudi arabia's war in yemen. in an editorial titled "america is complicit in the carnage in yemen" the times wrote -- "congress should put the arms sales on hold and president obama should quietly inform riyadh that the united states will withdraw crucial assistance if the saudis do not stop
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targeting civilians and agree to negotiate peace." to talk more about the situation in yemen, we're joined now by two guests. kristine beckerlee is just back from yemen, a fellow at human rights watch. and in washington, d.c., andrew cockburn is the washington editor for harper's magazine. his latest piece for harper's is headlined "acceptable losses: aiding and abetting the saudi slaughter in yemen." he is author of "kill chain: the rise of the high-tech assassins." we welcome you both to democracy now! let's begin with you kristine beckerlee, talk about what you saw in yemen. >> we were there as peace talks were breaking down and before the ramping up of air strikes. even though there was a cease-fire, violence was continuing, including coalition airstrikes. the thing that stuck out to me was that when you talk to activists, members of the houthi
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or ali abdullah saleh's political party, the way in which they talk about this were was not just the saudi's bombing yemen, it really was the saudi's and americans bombing yemen hear it if you said of drive through the streets of the capital, there is graffiti everywhere saying america's bombs are killing you many -- yemeni civilians. the u.s. approved the arms sale, and and we see the saudi-led coalition bombing a school, hospital, factory or the thing that stuck out to me was that these things are not being lost said tois, and yemenis me as soon as the deal was approved, what is this, and why is it being approved? the u.s. is not just selling arms to saudi's and that is that am a they are signaling and supporting saudi-led coalition's in this ongoing campaign, which has been devastating. amy: what do you understand john
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kerry is going to do in saudi arabia? >> the thing i hope he will do, and i do not know if he will, but i wish he would raise with the saudi-led coalition the fact that even though they said they would change their he hager, it has obviously not changed. -- they would change their the havey are, it obviously has not changed. it is really troubling because this is not rare anymore. you talk about a school and hospital being hit. the saudi have an led coalition was guilty of half the attacks on schools and hospitals in the first year of this. you talked about the doctors without borders being hit, this is the fourth time one has been hit. the thing that is quite striking is the saudi have a look coalition says to the u.s., ok, we are investigating, and they actually released initial results a couple weeks ago. in those investigations, they looked at two strikes with a hit talk is without borders hospitals. then you have them, two weeks
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later, hitting and other hospital, so we're not seeing a change in behavior that we need theee in complying with laws of war. it is not just about john kerry saying to the saudi's, clean up your game, it is about john kerry talking to saudi's about the fact that the u.s. itself is part of this, not just that the u.s. the selling weapons, it is that the u.s. is providing such crucial support that it itself is at war in yemen. conversationnot a of john kerry pointing a finger at the saudi's. it should be about the u.s. and the saudi heavenly coalition violating law in yemen and how we are going to stop it. obamaow can kerry or point the finger at sundry you be a -- at saudi arabia with the approved arms sale? >> exactly. a couple days ago, reuters had report that u.s. advisers were being pulled out of riyadh and they were going to move to
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bahrain or been a sort of clarity as to what the u.s.' actual role is in this ongoing campaign, it is sort of an acceptable for the u.s. to say the saudi-led coalition, we concerned about violations in yemen and continue to approved arms sales. and not only that, we continue to refuel coalition jets on bombing campaigns, and they continue to provide intelligence support. amy: talk about the weapons used. >> in one of the most egregious strikes that human rights watch documented and the u.n. documented was on a village in northern yemen. human rights watch researchers went to the village and found ruminants -- remnants of u.s. bombs in that market. we recorded 97 civilians having been killed and maybe 10 houthi fighters killed, but that is clearly disproportionate. of the 97, 25 kids were killed, and these were u.s. bombs used in this attack. human rights watch has also
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found u.k. bombs, to be fair, so it is not just the u.s. whose weapons are being used unlawfully. the thing that is very clear to us is that people are collecting these remnants after that is happening, and then it is not that difficult sometimes to see who actually built the bombs because it will still have barcodes on the weapons themselves. for the u.s. to say we are concerned about continuing violations and they are the ones giving the bombs and refueling the planes of providing intelligence support, they are in riyadh or bahrain providing continued assistance to the campaigns some it is not about pointing fingers at the saudi's. it is about saying what is your role in this campaign, and how are you going to investigate the strikes that have already happened? u.s. doingbout the investigations? a spokesperson for the u.s. central command tilde new york times this week that the u.s.
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has not conducted a single investigation into casualties, civilian casualties. >> that is incredibly concerning. it is an international legal obligation for parties of a conflict to do and best edition's in any strike were there are credible allegations that war crimes were committed and forces may have been involved. the fact that the u.s. is sort of continually booting it to the saudi's is not acceptable in terms of international legal analysis and in terms of what is required based on international law. it should be required for the american people. they should have the right to know how the u.s. has been involved in this war and the way doing thehe u.s. is investigations into a urine have conflict where unlawful strikes are routine. have conflict and where unlawful strikes are routine. it is an obligation, and we should be doing it here at the lack of transparency americans have had on this war is quite alarming.
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amy: what is human rights watch calling for? >> for the u.s. to do investigations into any strike in which it has been involved for a long time it we have also been calling for the suspension of arms sales to saudi arabia, which is why the most recent announcement is troubling for us. we have been saying for quite some time that continuing to sell arms and saudi is signaling what is going on in yemen. we are calling for the u.k. and thing.to do the same we are also calling for the saudi's to be suspended from the human rights council, because thomas speaking of investigations, one of the things we have set for a long time is that it is not just the saudi-led coalition in this were violating human rights here at we have documented about the houthi rebel group violating numerous human rights and international legal standards. what we're saying is what we really need is an international investigation into violations by all sides. the vehicles that sort of try to
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do that was the human rights council, but it was blocked. what happened was they said, ok, we're going to make a ye meni national commission, but that has been quite one-sighted and has not really done the work we need to meet international standards. we are saying that saudi arabia has no place on the human rights council, the human rights council. second, what they should be doing is creating an international investigative a-day into violations by all parties. and end kristine beckerlee, thanks so much for being with us from human rights watch, just returned from yemen weird when we come back, we will be joined by andrew cockburn. his piece in harpers, aiding and abetting the saudi slaughter in yemen. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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this is democracy now!,
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democracynow.org, breaking with the convention: war, peace, and the presidency. i'm amy goodman. we turn to andrew cockburn, and his latest piece for harbors us at one acceptable losses, aiding and abetting the saudi slobber and -- saudi slaughter in yemen. his piece began a few short years ago. yemen was just to be among the poorest countries in the world, 187ing 154th out of the nations on the it xp or one out of every five yemenis went hungry, one out of three went unemployed. every year, thousands of children die before their fifth birthday experts predict that the country would soon run out of water. such were the dire conditions of the country before saturday be a and least a bombing campaign in march 2015 am a which destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, hospitals, water tanks,
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gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. thousands of civilians, no one knows how many, have been killed or wounded, and along with the bombing, saudi's have and forth to blockade cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. year and a half into the work, the health system is largely broken down, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation. those are the words of andrew cockburn, the washington editor for harper's magazine. he joins us now from washington. ,elcome to democracy now! andrew cockburn. talk about the u.s. support for saudi arabia and was city arabia -- and what saudi arabia is doing. >> the u.s. support has been unconditional. there are behind the scenes grumbles that suggest they might tone it down a bit to but from the very beginning, the support has not only been consistent of
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supplying arms continually through the war and before the war, but also diplomatic support. the beginning of the war, the saudi's effectively sponsored a u.n. resolution which basically called for the other side, the houthi's, which control large hearts of the country, to unconditionally surrender or go back on to the area they came from. the u.s. supported that, which there was no way to a peaceful solution. at last fall, the dutch government introduced a resolution saying that there should be an independent investigation of war crimes by all sides in yemen. the u.s. again effectively took the lead and killing that initiative to make sure that did not happen.
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in researching this article, i talked to a very senior state department official, in a said, well, you know, did you do that? why did you do that? he said, well, we agreed with the saudi president who has been living in riyadh for most of the war. it is a very shocking story of just how casually we have ,nabled, the u.s. has enabled not just by supplying the weapons but by giving diplomatic backup to this ongoing sort of casual war crime. and what is saudi arabia the u.s. hoping to accomplish and yemen? >> that is a great question. the u.s., it is not clear at all. the saudis, in the article i go into some links into the background, but basically, they got freaked out at the thought that iran was establishing a
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beachhead on the southern border, which is really hysterical paranoia because iran was not really doing that. i mean, they were making some kind of connection with the houthis, a religious tribal minority living in northern yemen, but there is very little prospect of iran setting up bases. so the saudis got more and more sort of outraged as the houthis seemed to be taking over the country. and the u.s. can of went along with it. i was told very early on in the world, the deputy secretary of state went to riyadh, two weeks into the war, and they had already been using the u.s. yous, u.s.-supplied bombs, killing already dozens if not hundreds of civilians, destroying factories, and
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finally, he turns up in riyadh and asks, by the way, what are you trying to accomplish here? with the saudis effectively say is that we basically want to wipe out the houthis, end all iranian influence in yemen. the american was a bit shocked by that, i am told. you should certainly stop the houthis taking over the country the, and that effectively gave them carte blanche to continue this kind of mindless carpet bombing, in effect, that has been going on almost ever since. there has been a bit of a lull over the summer with peace talks going on. this was a desperately poor country with the terrible conditions. human rights people, humanitarian workers were desperately worried about yemen before a single bomb was dropped, and now thousands and
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thousands of bombs have been dropped, effectively destroying yemen. they have destroyed most of the health system, destroyed schools. human rights watch did an excellent report running up they successfully attacked economic targets that had nothing to do with any kind of war efforts, like data chip factories, power plants. it is an effort to destroy yemen, and that is what, as kristine said, we are part of that. it is our war, and it is shameful. yes, everyone is horrified by syria and what is going on there, and quite rightly so, and we had the picture of the syrian child that has gone viral. pieceday, there was a saying a picture of one syrian child went viral, but here are seven other children that are similarly affected. i thought, maybe they will mention the yemens. not so. seven other syrian children.
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but find a single picture in the new york times or any other magazine or media of any of the hundreds, if not thousands, of yemeni children, no one really knows how many that have been we did -- wounded or killed by the saudi bombings. amy: last august, the red cross president went to yemen. he said yemen, after five months, looks like syria after eight years -- no, he said yemen after five months looks like syria after five years. >> isn't that shocking? we have heard so much about syria. haveyou know, the saudis been on fast-forward, and us -- have to keep reminding of that, the war in yemen has been on fast-forward. it has done devastating damage to the country. iece, i asked a
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senior state department official, what was the saudi plan when they started this bombing campaign? what was the strategy? he got exasperated and said, plan? there was no plan. they simply bombed anything and everything. anything could be a target, trucks on the highway, convoys. when they did find a military target, they bonded and bombed it and bombed it again. it seems indiscriminately. interestingly, we have had the recent atrocities of the hospitals being hit, the fourth one hit last week, and the school. the route carrying food supplies, essential supplies from the port, they hit that as a way, effective means of increasing the hunger level and the general distress level in sanaa. this is a very cruel war that we're helping to wage.
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amy: u.s. connecticut senator chris murphy has spoken out against you as support for the saudi-that bombing campaign in yemen. he was speaking last week. >> there is an american imprint on every civilian life lost in yemen. why? because, though the saudi's are dropping the bombs from their planes, they cannot do it without the united states. it is our munitions sold to the saudis, our planes refueling the saudi jets, and it is our intelligence helping the saudis provider targeting. we have made a decision to go to war in yemen against a houthi rebel army that poses no existential threat to the united states. it is really wild to me that we're not talking more about this in the united states. debated congress is not a war authorization, giving president power to conduct this authorization and yemen. amy: he went on to say that
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congress can put an end to arm cells in saudi arabia here and what about this, andrew cockburn? is this about yemen or is it about president obama supporting the u.s. arms industry? >> well, it is very little to do with yemen. we do not care about human. groups in the state department and elsewhere do maybe. but we do not care much about yemen, and we do not care if we destroy it. what we do care about is the health and well-being of the u.s. arms industry. in 2010, theple -- u.s. announced the largest arms sale in u.s. history, which was a $60 billion sale of warplanes, f-15 jets, plus bombs and bombs guiding systems that they have been using ever since. if you look at hillary clinton
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put the released e-mails, you will find sort of random celebration. good news, a christmas present. this was all part of the strategy, which the obama administration has been doing since the beginning of increasing arms sales abroad. remember, it is not just the actual sort of things we think of as weapons, the bomber planes, the ft -- the f-15 planes, it is also the whole infrastructure that keeps them going. i looked into this, the huge contracts in place for service, to keep the whole machine running. excellentrphy in his statement mention one other thing, which is the fact that these planes are largely maintained by teams of american contract workers who are on the ground. you will find job opportunities in saudi arabia to maintain
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f-15 planes and everything is required to keep this war going. there are so many ways we are part of this. the $110 not just billion you mentioned. i could be wrong, but we roughly have 7000 people on the production line at the boeing plant in st. louis working on order.ge saudi a 15 i have seen a figure that, across the country in terms of subcontractors to make these planes, perhaps as many as another 30 or 35,000 workers around the country, a huge number of jobs and a huge amount of money. in a way, given the value system we have here today, it is really no surprise we are doing this. amy:, in june, a u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon removed the u.s. saudi backed coalition fighting houthi rebels and human from a blacklist of sources. he later acknowledged he was
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coerced into removing saudi arabia from the blacklist of forces responsible for killing children after the kingdom threatened to cut off funding to the u.n.. this is what he said. >> these crimes, horrors, no child should have to face. at the same time, i also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children have suffered grievously, as it if suggested to me, countries would defined many u.n. programs. children already at risk in palestine, south of sudan, syria, yemen him and so many other places would fall farther into despair. it is unacceptable for member states for this undue pressure. u.n.u.s. -- secretary-general ban ki-moon.
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andrew cockburn? >> well, isn't it shocking that a supreme international body has crumbled before disbanded regime, threatening that if you could do says us for killing children, we are going to starve a few more? that is disgraceful. i think they should have been -- well, it is an absurd joke that they should be on the human rights council, for a start. it is really a sick joke that these people should be allowed to say anything about human rights, you know, for all the reasons people know very well, not just what is going on in yemen, but everything that goes on in saudi arabia. amy: why is the u.s. relationship with saudi arabia sacrosanct, it seems? and what do you think of the media coverage of saudi arabia? >> well, the relationship goes
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to whenmean, go back the americans sort of forged the relationship in 1945 when roosevelt met with the king of saudi arabia and they really came to a deal. the u.s. would support the familyand keep his finance the country after .hemselves, keep them in power that was the deal. in exchange for a guarantee of cheap oil supplies for this country, and not many people know that, actually, up until 2002, they did subsidize the oil lookoil, saudi into this country. there are other things that go along with it. it would be very inconvenient for us to run huge bases in the doha and bahrain, if we were not allowed to fly over
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saudi arabia. permission, i was told. so things like that. the first and foremost, i think it is all about money. you know, this $110 billion we have been talking about, that is only under obama, let alone what has gone on a previous years. but the huge amount of money that washes into washington, revelations in recent days that the saudis give the clinton campaign, and a number of lobbyists in washington are on the saudi payroll. it is really a relationship aligned with gold. that sort of has become a matter of habit. i talk in the article about, for example, just outside riyadh, there is quite a big housing compound with several thousand part ofs whose job is
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the u.s. military training mission to the saudi armed forces. that has been there permanently since the early 1950's. it was agreed on at that historic meeting in 1945. the saudis pay $30 million a year to have this training mission, which is also, as it says in its mission statement, it's job is to sell u.s. weapons to saudi arabia. it is a relationship fundamentally built on arms sales. amy: i wanted to read to you next up from an article headlined, clinton foundation inors got weapons deals -- " the years before hillary clinton became secretary of state, the kingdom of saudi arabia contributed at least $10 million to the clinton foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she oversees with her husband to her just two month before the deal was finalized, boeing, which
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manufactures one of the fired or jets -- one of the fighter jets the saudi's are keen to require, contributed $900,000 to the clinton foundation," this according to a company press release. andrew cockburn? .>, terry is almost superfluous there you have it or the saudis put that money into the clinton foundation. boeing. in those e-mails i referred to earlier, they are saying, clinton and her staff are celebrating the giant weapons sale of f-15's, the weapons sale onto thethey say get boeing corporation and tell them the good news. someone once said the business of the u.s. government is to acquire arms at home and sell arms abroad. amy: finally, what do you think needs to happen?
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>> well, for a start, we should cut off and resign from this war . we are part of this war, so we should quit it we should not be supplying any more weapons. we should not be supplying anymore weapons. it is difficult, but was should suddenly cut off the flow of american contract workers. we should make it clear that we are not part of this. will bethe saudis hysterical about it, but we should make it clear we are doing that and are trying to work for some kind of peaceful solution before there is anything left of yemen, which not much is left as far as i can see at the moment. as yet, the saudi have a backed side has to stop the unconditional surrender of the houthis. on the other hand, the houthi
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allies to former president saleh , which is no angel himself, have to begin in some inducement, perhaps by is working with the iranians. -- we have top quit this war. it is unconscionable. amy: andrew cockburn, thank you for being with us, washington editor to harpers magazine. we both link to your latest piece. this is democracy now! when we come back, we go to chicago. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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by numbers, the police. we turn to a stunning new investigation published by the chicago reader. in 2012, two reportedly made off with millions of dollars and ran a different directions. sampson cross paths with an officer who gave chains and ultimately opened fire, killing the teen. louis arrived at the scene where his friend was shot and attempted to cross the police line. he was arrested for disorderly
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conduct, but in a shocking turn, kevin lewis was eventually charged with first-degree murder in the death of his best friend, even though it was the officer who killed sampson. louis was found guilty. he is now serving a 32-year sentence for armed robbery and a 20-year sentence for murder. louis recently said of the convictions, "i'm not perfect. but i don't deserve this." he is one of 10 people with similar cases, exposed in the new article headlined, "charged with murder, but they didn't kill anyone -- police did," in say policeocuments of killed at least 10 civilians in chicago but charged someone else with the murder. the article explores a little-known legal statute known as the felony murder rule, which can apply if a suspect in the felony is said to have set in motion a chain of events that led to the death of another person. for more, we're joined by the
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authors of the article. alison flowers is a journalist with the chicago-based invisible institute, which explores police misconduct complaints. she is the author of the recent book, "exoneree diaries: the fight for innocence, independence and identity." and sarah macaray,epdent , nali felth the nastrnational center for sarah, tell us the story of have uis ands -- of tevon lo his best friend. although the police admit they killed sampson, kevin is in prison for 32 years. .> good to be with you glad we are able to talk about these cases. as you mentioned, kevin lousis is one of 10 cases we looked at like this in cook county. the way he was held responsible boylston to the felony murder rule, a highly controversial
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legal document that relies on the theory of accountability. in the summation of a felony, someone sets into motion a chain of events that leads to the death of another individual. unfortunately, even though the law is highly controversial, it actually exist in the vast majority of states across the u.s. reliant on the felony murder rule, kevin lewis was charged with murder. these prosecutions are allowed for, because the felony murder rule was enshrined in illinois code. dealfused to take a plea on his friend's murder, and he was found guilty by a jury. amy: explain, if the officer has admitted killing marquee sampson . >> yeah, and the shooting was under highlyed questionable circumstances. the independent police review aboutity, when you read
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the investigation, so much relies on the officer's account that marquise sampson held his weapon on him. but the video is highly obscured. there is no situation in which it is clear that sampson ever pulled his weapon. the history is very important to take note of the the officer has more than 20 misconduct complaints on his record, one which involves improper use of a weapon. really, the whole finding of the shooting being justified was very much reliant on just the officer's account. also, the evidence that cited in the video, even though the shooting itself and the evidence cited is simply the fact that marquise sampson was allegedly holding his waistband, so the finding itself is very thin. amy: i want to turn to the case
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of tristan skaggs, convicted from a car theft turn into a felony murder. there was a police pursuit that resulted in a police killing of two suspects. scaggs was shot by police in the back and survived but was charged with the murder of the two accomplices. he says now of the charge, "at first i thought it was a lie. i thought to be charged with murder you had to kill , somebody." >> that is right. s --he case of tristan scagg amy: let me go to the clip. sorry, there is no clip. actuallyn scaggs narrowly escaped a murder conviction, but he was charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder up your he was in a stolen vehicle with friends. police descended on them with bullets. fired.70 shots were
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there was no fire between the boys in the car and the police officers, even though there were guns in the car. he witnessed his friends being shot. tristan ended up on the sidewalk outside the car, hands raised. three officers did not support his version of events that he was not armed and did not brandish a weapon at officers. and then he is shot in the back with an assault rifle by a chicago police officer. there is some very strong whistling which around that shooting, as well. he ends up in the hospital and wakes up later realizing he is been charged with the murder of his friends. quoten the story, you timothy jones, who wrote from menard correctional center in southern illinois. he was charged with felony murder after police in his pursuit fatally crashed into a car belonging to an innocent
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bystander to while chasing him. jones was 23 years old at the time of the incident. he writes, "i don't feel i should serve 28 years of my life for a car accident that i was not involved in. i feel as if i wasn't given a second chance, seeing that i was actually on a path that was leading me somewhere. i feel as if the police could have told the truth at my trial, and i would have been found not guilty. i feel the judge could have done more to help, too, but the system was built to destroy." explain that, please. >> the system is actually doing what it is designed to do. he is right about that. in illinois with the felony murder rule, death has to be foreseeable as a result of the predicate felony with a felony at the root of the killing. in other states, they have different clauses to protect against this. one thing is called in agency rule for the person who killed, you know, it has to be an agent of the defendant, so the have to be in the same group.
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a other places, the have protected person rule, where one suspect cannot be charged with the death of another. in illinois, we do not have any of that. what happens is that these killings, were maybe a police acted carelessly, over zealously, irresponsibly, or sort misconduct, ends up of, they can easily pass the blame onto a bystander, civilian, or someone who was a suspect in the felony that they were pursuing to begin with. it is pretty easy for prosecutors to charge someone under felony murder in this way in illinois for a police killing. to marquiseback sampson and kevin louis. has marquise name of
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birthday to had to don his arm. he was his best friend. >> yet, i think it is such a , because i think it unless two years, we have seen so much attention rock police shootings and police killings, and there has been a ton of attention focused around holding officers accountable and all the ways in which officers are not held accountable. i think what we see with these types of prosecutions is the particularly egregious way in which officers are not only not held accountable, but the very people alongside, people killed by police are the ones themselves held accountable and whose lives are snatched away. it is important to underline that policing snatches lives on the streets with many of these shootings we see as extrajudicial shootings here but look at when the judiciary is involved. one of the things timothy jones said is he things of jaclyn
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reynolds, the innocent bystander, because not only was her life lost, his was, too. police usingare this felony murder rule to protect their own misconduct? >> that is what we heard from experts about this, but it is really a red flag for misconduct when you see civilians or suspects being charged with the killing that they did not commit but that police did. it is a red flag for misconduct. here in chicago, we have a problem with that, but we know 97% of chicago police misconduct complaints go undisciplined. so there really is a problem of immunity where police officers face little discipline. amy: we have to leave it there. we will link to your piece in
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chicago reader. this is democracy now! this is democracy now!
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