tv Democracy Now PBS December 21, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
12/21/16 12/21/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we are announcing charges against four individuals committed a former state appointed machida state of pointed urgency managers, and to former employees of the city of flint. amy: michigan attorney general files criminal charges against four people for the role in the poisoning of flint's water supply. we will go to detroit for the latest. then to the call for clemency for imprisoned native american activist leonard peltier. >> the only thing i am guilty of his struggling for my people. i did not kill those agents. amy: he has been locked up for
40 years for a crime he says he did not commit. his supporters include amnesty international and many nobel peace prize laureates who are now pushing president obama to grant him clemency in what they say could be his last chance of getting out of prison alive. we will speak with peltier class attorney martin garbus and longtime friend norman patrick brown. we will look at the case of chelsea manning, who is also seeking clemency from president obama. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama announced tuesday a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling across wide swathes of the arctic and the atlantic seaboard. obama used an obscure 63-year-old law in a move that incoming president donald trump may not be able to reverse. the announcement bans all future
oil and gas leases for the arctic's chukchi sea, as well as the vast majority of the beaufort sea. canadian prime minister justin trudeau also announced a ban on new offshore drilling in canadian arctic waters on tuesday. obama and trudeau's announcements come as the world meteorological organization says 2016 is on track to be the hottest year on record, in part due to particularly high temperatures in the arctic. >> it does remain on track to be the hottest year on record. 2015 was the hottest year on record, before that 2014 was the hottest year on record. will break those records. temperatures in the arctic have been particularly high. was very, very low in the early part of the year. it was the lowest on record in october and november, indeed,
there were some days when normally you see it re-freezing and in fact it was not freezing at all. it is quite extraordinary what we have been seeing in the arctic. amy: president-elect donald trump's transition team has the state department's bureau of oceans, environment and science for information about its funding of international environmental groups. the move has sparked concern the new administration will slash funding for climate change programs. last week, widespread outrage forced trump's transition team to back away from a 74-part questionnaire it had circulated within the department of energy requesting the names of , employees working on specific climate-related projects -- a move many called the creation of an enemies list. donald trump has nominated billionaire and army veteran vincent viola to be the secretary of the army. viola is a retired army major and graduate of west point who is worth nearly $2 billion.
he's also the founder of a high-frequency trading company called virtu. high-frequency trading is a process in which financial firms use algorithms to execute rapid-fire trades, at a speed of a half a millionth of a second, in order to generate tiny profits on each transaction that add up to massive sums of money. critics have warned the scheme threatens the stability of global financial markets. viola is also the owner of the national hockey league's the florida panthers. donald trump's pick for national security adviser, retired lieutenant general mike flynn, is drawing criticism for having met with the head of austria's anti-immigrant freedom party, which was founded by nazis following world war ii. the nazi-linked party nearly won austria's presidential race earlier this month. flynn himself has previously come under fire for having retweeted an anti-semitic message during the campaign, and for having called islam a cancer and saying fear of muslims is rational.
a new investigation by politico reveals donald trump continuing to employ a private security and private intelligence team that he says expected to keep the private team in place after he becomes president. the move would but decades of tradition in which presidents and presidents elect rely on the secret service and the law enforcement, not private teams, for their personal security. in earlier investigation revealed trump's private security team has profiled protesters and sometimes used rough tactics. in one case, five protesters accused trump's security team of assaulting them during a protest in september full's to. in germany, police are carrying out a massive manhunt after 12 people were killed and 48 more wounded in berlin after a truck drove into a christmas market around 8:00 p.m. local time monday. police say they are now searching for a tunisian man, papers we found
inside the truck used in the attack. on tuesday, police released a pakistani asylum seeker who they had initially arrested as a suspect after they could find no evidence linking him to the attack. berlin residents packed into a church tuesday afternoon near the christmas market to mourn the victims. in turkey, police have arrested at least 13 people following the assassination of russia's ambassador to turkey, andrey karlov, by an off-duty turkish police officer in ankara monday. among those arrested were the shooter's mother, father, sister, and other family members. the owner of an apartment where the shooter once lived was also arrested. on tuesday, turkish authorities increasingly pinned the blame for the assassination on people loyal to exiled turkish cleric fethullah gulen, who lives in in the united states in the poconos. gulen called the accusations laughable. this is u.s. state department spokesman john kirby speaking tuesday about secretary of state
john kerry's meeting with turkey's foreign minister. >> the secretary in this conversation with the foreign minister did raise his concerns about some of the rhetoric coming out of turkey with respect to american involvement/support, tacit or otherwise, for this unspeakable assassination yesterday because of the presence of mr.gulen here in the united states. claim, ludicrous absolutely false. there is no basis of truth whatsoever. the secretary may day very clear in his discussions today with the foreign minister. amy: russia, iran, and turkey met in moscow tuesday to discuss the ongoing war in syria. neither the united nations nor the united states was invited to the meeting. this comes as the evacuation of eastern aleppo continues today. the u.k.-based syrian observatory for human rights, which opposes the syrian government, reports this morning
that 60 evacuation busses carrying up to 3000 people have been delayed for nearly 24 hours. back in the united states, in flint, michigan, new criminal charges have been filed in the ongoing flint water contamination crisis that exposed nearly 100,000 residents to high levels of lead. four former flint officials have been charged with criminal conspiracy to violate safety rules -- former state-appointed emergency managers darnell earley and gerald ambrose, and former city employees howard croft, a public works superintendent, and daugherty johnson, a utilities manager. this is michigan attorney general bill schuette announcing the charges. asthe tragedy that we know the flint water crisis did not occur by accident. no. flint was a casualty of arrogance, disdain, and a failure of management.
absence of accountability, shirking responsibility. we will proceed -- we will proceed to deliver justice and hold those accountable who broke the law. period. these are governor appointed emergency managers that we are charging today with 20-year felonies, and it is serious. as andy arena said, we are going up and we're going broader. amy: the flint water crisis began when flint's unelected emergency manager darnell earley , who was appointed by governor rick snyder, switched the source of flint's drinking water from the detroit system to the corrosive flint river. the water corroded flint's aging pipes, causing poisonous levels of lead to leach into the drinking water. residents continue to call for mission a good governor rick snyder -- michigan governor rick snyder to be charged full.
in seattle, a judge has ruled that eight children who have sued the state of washington for failing to protect them from climate change can have their day in court. the children, aged 12 to 16, are arguing washington state has violated its own constitution by failing to protect shared resources as required under the public trust doctrine. monday's ruling comes after a federal judge in eugene oregon -- eugene, oregon ruled a , similar case launched by young people against the federal government over its failure to protect them from climate change can also proceed. in iraq, as many as 1 million people are trapped inside mosul with increasingly limited access to food and drinking water, as the u.s.-backed iraqi military's campaign to retake the city from isis has slowed nearly to a halt. the campaign was launched in mid-october. u.s. officials are now saying the battle could last another two to four months. the united nations says 700 civilians were wounded by the ongoing fighting in the second week of december alone. tens of thousands of civilians have already been displaced. japan's highest court has ruled against residents of okinawa fighting the construction of a
new u.s. military base on the island. on tuesday, the japanese supreme court ruled the governor of okinawa had violated the law when he rescinded construction permits for the new base. the ruling clears the way for construction to resume. for decades, residents have called for the expulsion of u.s. troops from okinawa, which houses about two-thirds of the 50,000 u.s. troops currently stationed in japan. in the democratic republic of the congo, security forces shot and killed at least 26 protesters as crowds took to the tuesday streets of major cities to demand president joseph kabila step down after his second term expired monday at midnight. camilla seceded his father as president in 2001. scheduled elections in november were postponed, leaving no successor to kabila. indonesian police arrested more than 500 protesters in west papua calling for self-determination monday, which was the 55th anniversary of the first indonesian military invasion of west papua in 1961. this year, at least 5000
protesters calling for west papuan self-determination have been arrested by indonesian police. in jordan, four police officers and one suspect have been killed in a gun battle in the outskirts of the southern city of karak. the shooter was also killed. 10 people were killed in the same city sunday, after armed men opened fire against jordanian police officers and took people hostage at a medieval castle sunday. isis militants have claimed responsibility for sunday's attack. the late harlem born rapper tupac shakur will join the rock & roll hall of fame organizers said. he's considered to be one of the most influential figures in hip-hop. his mother was the leading political activist, part of harlem's branch of the black panther party. tupac shakur was killed at only 25 years old in an unsolved 1996 shooting in las vegas. "trapped."forming
other new inductees into the rock 'n roll hall of fame include joan baez and pearl jam. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today in michigan where new criminal charges have been filed in the ongoing flint water contamination crisis that exposed nearly 100,000 residents to high levels of lead. four former flint officials have been charged with criminal conspiracy to violate safety rules, including two former state appointed unelected emergency managers darnell earley and job ambrose. what's teedo former state appointed, to the former state appointed emergency managers, and two former employees of the
city of flint. these are governor appointed emergency managers that we are charging today with 20-year felonies and it is serious. as andy arena said, we are going up and we are going broader. what happens in the future -- this is what we do. we read that you males, we had interviews. we know how to put two and two together. is there sufficient probable cause that establishes a crime, then we charge it. we do not do it prematurely. this is a thorough investigation , fast-paced investigation. again, nobody is on the table, nobody is off the table. we are not out to nail anybody. if you have done something wrong, then you ought to be worried. if you have not done anything wrong, then you shouldn't worry. amy: that is ill schuette speaking on activists continue tuesday. to call for state executives, including michigan governor rick snyder, to be charged. flint mayor karen weaver issued a statement after the charges were announced, saying --
"i'm glad more and more people are being held accountable for this man-made water disaster. the leaders in charge at the time could have prevented this disaster, but they didn't. they did not protect the health and well-being of the citizens of this city and that's wrong. they didn't even listen when residents spoke up saying there was a problem. that is how we got here and everyone who had a role in allowing this tragedy to happen must face the consequences of their actions." the flint water crisis began when the city's unelected emergency manager appointed by governor snyder switched the source of flint's drinking water from the detroit system to the corrosive flint river. the water corroded flint's aging pipes, causing poisonous levels of lead to leach into the drinking water. earlier this month, the u.s. senate approved a bill granting $170 million to flint to help replace the pipes. for more we are joined now by nayyirah shariff, director of flint rising, a coalition of activists and advocates working
to fix the flint water crisis. also with us is curt guyette, an investigative reporter for the aclu of michigan who helped bring this crisis to light. his work focuses on emergency management and open government. his recent article for aclu of michigan is headlined "charges , against emergency managers underscore folly of shortsightedness that created flint water crisis." we welcome you both back to democracy now! i want to begin with curt guyette on this issue of the two emergency managers who were unelected, appointed by the governor of michigan, that then everyone who was elected becomes subordinate to -- like the mayor and the city council of flint. ofexplain the decisions darnell earley and ambrose, around the decision to change the water supply from one they had used for decades to the corrosive flint river. >> well, it was all in attempt
to save money. they said by using the flint river for two years while a new pipeline was being built, bringing water from lake huron to genesee county, they would save about $5 million. expenses,ge is to cut to bring the budget in balance. at any cost. in this case, the cost was the contamination of the city's water supply. one of the aspects of the charges that were brought by the attorney general was the fact that darnell earley allegedly allowed the water plant -- the flint water plant to begin treating water before it was physically ready to begin doing that job. but they were in such a rush to save money and use the river, that they went ahead before it
was safe. and that is one of the charges that was brought against earley for allegedly allowing that to happen. it is also tied into this bigger -- this this pipeline loan that was obtained, allegedly, through false pretenses. that is a major charges that were brought against all four of these individuals, was dissipating in this alleged scheme -- participating in this alleged scheme to obtain this loan under false premises. flint was maxed out and could not borrow any more money. there was pressure to get flint to participate in building this new pipeline, which is very questionable to whether it was needed at all. but there were such pressure to do it that they allegedly engaged in this scheme to obtain a loan under false pretenses that would allow flint to help finance it. amy: this is just an astounding
story, considering how many people have been made sick -- not to mention died. i want to turn to a clip of the former emergency manager darnell earley, who has now been charged. he is now the emergency manager of detroit public schools. as against democratic party has called for his termination from that position, citing his handling of the flint water crisis. he was questioned in october about his role in the switch to the flint river as a water source. >> it felt to me to implement the plan that had been approved by the council, and part of that plan included using the flint river as a water source. that was part of the organizational change in the water supply from detroit to flint river. >> did you think it might be dangerous? >> it did not fall to me to
second-guess that issue. there are always concerns when treating water, river water, is difficult to treat, but it was not my role to act as the person responsible for determining what that involved. amy: so that is darnell earley. he actually is no longer the emergency manager for the detroit public schools. he has been charged for his role as emergency manager in flint. nayyirah shariff, great to have you back on democracy now! your response to what he said and also what this means for your city? welcome all charges against anyone who was responsible for the largest public health disaster in the history of this country, we still don't have justice for flint. we still do not have safe water running out of our taps. we're still paying the water bill, one of the highest rates in the nation, for water we cannot use. next month they're going to
start shutting off water for people who are unable to pay their water bills. we still do not have the wraparound services that we need for our community moving forward. , this commenttte of the emergency manager of gerald earley, and then talk about the role from early when he was the emergency manager to ambrose, who has also been charged. the city council of flint demanding and voting that the city disconnect from flint, the corrosive water, back to the detroit water supply, and what was ambrose's term for that decision the next day? >> first of all, what darnell earley claimed in that clip was absolutely not true. the city council never voted on using the flint river. that was a decision made --
implemented by the emergency managers. so the council was out of that. so that was just not true. this was the emergency managers that did that. darnell earley was in office when detroit offer to keep selling flint water while the pipeline was being built. he rejected it. one thing that happened for quite a while were that officials for the state cap trying to claim -- cap tried to claim they did not have a choice but use the flint river because detroit kicked them off. that is also absolutely untrue. it was a decision that they made strictly in an attempt, a shortsighted attempt, to cut cost will stop the reason they were lying about that is because they were trying to avoid the responsibility for their actions. the responsibilities that are now coming home to roost for them. for jerry ambrose, you're
absolutely correct in that -- in march of 2015, the city council, because of the public outcry about what was going on with the water, voted to return to the detroit system. jerry ambrose said, no, it was inconceivable that they would do that. that basically, the bottom line was, they cannot afford to return to the detroit system and provide the city with clean, safe water. he also said at the time that the water was safe, even though by then there was a lot of evidence indicating already been the problems going on with the lead in the water. amy: i want to turn to jerry ambrose, flint's former alsocted city manager charged tuesday. this is ambrose addressing residents at a meeting in flint in march of 2015. do?hat did we >> did not tell us.
>> january. >> started immediately to address the problem -- >> without telling the public. >> amy: you were there, at that meeting c,urt? >> yes. amy: the day after flint, although they are now working for him, the city council, right, once he was put in as emergency manager, he no longer -- eventually, yes. amy: he said when they made this decision to go back to the detroit water supply, he called that decision incomprehensible. >> yeah. i think one of the telling things about that clip is just sort of the disdain he shows for the people he is supposed to be serving. the attorney general talked about the arrogance and the failure of management. and i think that clip kind of encapsulates that.
yeah, ambrose, absolutely was in a position to follow what the city council voted to do and allow the city to return to the detroit system. and refused to do so. ambrose is also charged with allegedly impeding an investigation into the legionnaires outbreak that is linked to the river water and has resulted in the deaths of at least 12 people so far. office a misconduct in charge, a five-year felony that he is also facing as a result of the attorney general's actions. heldcurt, you confronted croft. i want to go to that clip. this was a part of your -- this was a part of your documentary
on the one of the reasons that state and local officials regularly cited for the switch to the flint river is the detroit water and sewer, which have been supplying flint water supply, forced flint off the supply. however, you have obtained for the aclu of michigan a letter dated march 7, 2014, for emergency manager darnell earley to an official at detroit water. a letter that said, earley writing -- "thank you for the correspondence. which provides flint with the option of continuing to purchase water from dwsd. the city of flint has actively pursued using the flint river as a temporary water source. there will be no need for flint to continue purchasing water to serve its residents and businesses after april 17, 2014." so in this clip from your documentary "hard to swallow," curt guyette, you talk to howard
croft, flint's director of public utilities, and present them with a copy of earley's letter after croft tries to -- tried to explain why the city switched to the flint river for its water. >> talking about detroit that had over one million nose of infrastructure costs coming that we could see and we were kicked off their system. >> letter from darnell earley saying the city of flint has decided not to return -- not to continue using detroit water. correct? is that correct? >> i think the valuation has gone up to be state level on what were the best -- what the best course of action would be, now is the determination. >> all the way to the governor's office? >> all the way to the governor's office. amy: you are confronting howard croft, indicted yesterday, from your documentary called "hard to
swallow." the significance of what he said, curt guyette? >> well, you know, according to croft, the decision to use the river ultimately came out of the governor's office. that has been the only indication so far that that was the case. general said at his news conference yesterday, the investigation is continuing and it is broadening and going higher. so we will just have to wait and see where the investigation lead. but i do know when i asked the governor's former spokeswoman about the decision to use the river, she also lied and said -- amy: and her name is? >> sarah were full. at the time she was the governor spokesperson.
she also said that flint was kicked off of the detroit system. she did not give an honest answer when presented with the question of what the governor's role in making the decision to use the river was. amy: isn't true when ambrose left as emergency manager, he said one rule must remain in place, that flint remain attached to the flint river, the corrosive river, for a year after he left? >> actually, he issued an order saying that no previous orders issued by the emergency manager could be changed until one year after receivership ends. receivership does not end when the emergency manager leaves. thereceivership ends when advisory board that is appointed by the governor disbands. so technically, flint and a lot of other cities taken over by
the state, remain and receivership. for democracy has not yet returned to flint because of -- they're called the transition advisory board, remains in place with veto power over budgets and major contracts. so there is still a lot of state control being exercised. amy: nayyirah shariff, you live in flint. talk about what is happening now. the attorney general who announced the indictments of the four city officials, two of them emergency managers, has fought against a judges order to continue distribution of bottled water. is that right echo what is happening with the water now? >> we are still -- we still have water that we cannot use. unfortunately, our attorney general office is doing -- they are still fighting the federal
order to deliver water door-to-door to flint residents. they are still defending the emergency manager law in court. we still have this law, and it needs to be immediately repealed. amy: so how are people getting their water? >> well, there are a variety of ways. areas at still these thestate -- they're cut hours. people will go there to get water. they may rely on their neighbors to deliver water. like many seniors are still having trouble picking up water because they could not carry the water inside their homes. unfortunately, at this point, many of the donations have dried up because people around is he assumed that things are changing in flint. nothing has really happened.
it is getting worse. amy: the senate signed off on $170 million in federal aid package for flint. the figure also is supposed to include money for a national health registry for children exposed to lead. so what is happening with that money and what about this registry? do you have concerns? >> right now nothing has really happened. money,is federal it is still going to be issued by the state. the state, which is responsible for poisoning flint residents. so they could use this as an coercivety to force measures upon the city as -- as a quid pro quo to access this money. amy: finally, nayyirah shariff, you just went from flint to standing rock in north dakota.
we just have a minute, but why? what do you see as a connection between what is happening in north dakota and flint? stage ofwe are in this these water wars. hopefully, what is happening at standing rock -- we have these incorporations in these same ideology that is pushing for dapl. it is the same ideology that created the emergency manager law, this thing austerity and privatization, and resource extraction for short-term gains, without the impact -- without humanity being in that equation. i felt like i needed to have my body on the ground there is a show of support. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, nayyirah shariff, of the group flint rising, and, curt guyette, of the aclu michigan. we will link to "hard to swallow" the documentary you did
amy: tupac shakur was murdered at the age of 25 in an unsolved 1996 shooting in las vegas. used to be inducted into the rock 'n roll hall of fame. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on monday, president obama granted clemency to 231 prisoners -- the most individual acts of clemency granted in a single day by any president in u.s. history. obama pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes. he has now pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency and has shortened the sentences of 1176 people, including 395 serving life sentences.
most of the cases have involved people serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses. according to the white house, obama has commuted more sentences than the last 11 presidents combined. but obama has taken no action on several of the most high-profile prisoners seeking pardons or clemency. hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions asking president obama to release puerto rican independence activist oscar lopez rivera, army whistleblower chelsea manning, and native american activist leonard peltier. we will look at manning's case later in the show and oscar lopez rivera's later in the week. but first, we turn to the case of leonard peltier. this is a video from amnesty international which has been pushing for president obama to grant peltier clemency. the video is narrated by actor and activist peter coyote. >> i am everyone who ever died without a voice or a prayer. or a hope or a chance.
>> leonard peltier is a native activist to is been imprisoned for 40 years, serving two consecutive life terms for a crime he maintains he did not commit. in 1977, he was convicted of killing two fbi agents, ronald williams and jack kohler, during a shootout on the kind ridge reservation in south dakota. he was a member of the american indian movement founded in 1968 during the civil rights movement to advocate for the rights of native americans. the murders occurred at a time when aim supporters and residents of behind ridge are being intimidated and killed, allegedly by paramilitaries connected to the government. the climate of fear and terror prevailed. after two members were acquitted of the killings, witnesses were coerced by the fbi into saying they saw peltier shoot the agents.
ballistic's evidence that could have aided leonard's defense was hidden from his lawyers. >> the only thing i am don't you is the struggle of my people. i did not kill those agents. >> it was not a fair trial. the conclusion reached by the federal appeals judge that stated the prosecution withheld evidence favorable to the defendant, and the fbi used improper tactics in extraditing peltier and otherwise investigating and trying peltier 's case. >> i'm an old man. if i get out. >> leonard peltier has been 40 years of federal penitentiaries, often in solitary confinement. he is now 71 years old and and rapidly declining health. there are concerns he is not receiving adequate medical treatment, and his condition could be fatal. >> they're giving him the death penalty by leaving them in that type of environment. the man needs to have access to medical treatment.
if they're not going to get medical treatment to him, they need to release him as soon as possible. amy: that is a video from amnesty international, which is calling for president obama to grant leonard peltier clemency. the last voice was bruce smith a , former prison guard who worked at leavenworth federal prison where he met leonard peltier. peltier is now in prison in florida. to talk more about the case of leonard peltier, we are joined by two guests. martin garbus is one of the country's leading trial lawyers and lead counsel for leonard peltier. norman patrick brown is a longtime friend of leonard peltier's. he survived the 1975 pine ridge shootout. he is joining us from albuquerque, new mexico. martin garbus, lay out the case. you have asked president obama, or the white house, for a pardon for leonard peltier. 1975.victed in -- the evidence
in the case, a knowledge of the government and the federal judges, is that the fbi does not know who shot the two people, that the ballistics do not support the argument that leonard peltier did it. the important thing at this time you for your listeners, is to write to the president, amnesty international has a site that allows you to join their petition. over 100,000 people does far have joined the petition. there are about 300,000 additional letters, so this is a case of a man who has been in jail now for 44 years. six years in solitary. a case that one of the judges who presided in the case, the appellate judge, judge healy, said that peltier should be released because of the wrongful conduct of the judge. amy: explain what that conduct -- >> not producing, at the trial,
the ballistics, which show it could not have been peltier's gun said to the shooting. the wrongful conduct -- and the government and knowledge is it -- using false affidavit in the case and to extradite him from canada where -- this particular case, to other people were charged for the case, convicted of murder, both of those people were found innocent. amy: and he would have been tried alongside them, but he had fled to canada. >> yes. amy: so he was extradited tried separately. >> yes, but saying it was his gun, etc., etc. of theless, because wrongful conduct of the fbi -- amy: what was that? ballistics.ng they did not turn the ballistics over to the u.s. attorney. the other wrongful conduct was it was they who got the false
affidavits, if knowledge to to be false, and family court to be false. the only reason he was convicted was the political atmosphere of the time and, two, they succeeded the government and having the taste -- case tried before the new judge rather than the judge involved in the acquittal of the other two defendants. amy: i want to turn to leonard peltier in his own words describing what happened at pine daye on june 26, 1975, the when the two fbi agents were shot dead. >> i was down into the camp and heard some shooting going on by the ranch house. at first i paid no attention because there is a dam about a mile away and i used to hear shooting there every day. some it would be practicing with automatic weapons. we think it is some of the good and squads. we do not know for sure. sudden we heard people
screaming and hollering so we ran up there. we see what was happening in the shootout going out. i rented a house -- i ran into the house is because the were babies and women and children. i got them out of their and told them to get out of there. by this time we were shrouded in from 11:00lasted that morning until 7:00 that night. amy: that was leonard peltier in his own words. norman patrick brown, you were there that day in pine ridge. you survived the 1975 pine ridge shootout. can you describe what happened? yeah, amy, it was a horrific day. it was a tragic day. we lost three goodman that day. -- three good men that day. my role there was the youngest
fighter of a group of -- people who were in camp there, a spiritual encampment, there to people,their traditional people, and aim members from the brutality of the police goon squad, which were armed and trained by the fbi. been a toughit has life for many of us. i just want to state that from that day that the agents lost their lives, we have prayed for them continuously and we feel for their families. we're not happy about that day. i am not happy of that day. i was used as a federal witness. i was coerced. my rights were not respected. a constitutional right to a lawyer. my life was threatened post of
my mother's life was threatened also. my family. i basically said some things that were not true. i have since recanted those statements in court. in fact, the first two trials, leonard peltier's codefendants, one of the lawyers had asked the jurors who was the most believable witness, and they said norman brown. he said, see, norman, all of these years of suffering and the hardships of your life from this case is because of your statement that we created the self-defense statement that acquitted bob and deano that day. what i did that day, the shooting happened and iran up there and immediately were surrounded. we exchanged gunfire.
i was not there at the time that the agents lost their life. to this day, i don't want to know and i do not know, but one thing i want to say, amy, is that there is this demonization of leonard as a thug, as a murderous criminal. but that is far from the truth. he is a very kind man. a generous man. he is a very funny person. you know, his people knew him as a person that he is. he is very kindhearted. that is the reason why he went up to behind ridge, because the to pinead asked him -- ridge, because of elders had asked him to leave thid this. part of that group.
there were many of us that were part of that group. amy: norman, i want to ask -- >> -- amy: i went to ask martin garbus about the presence of the fbi that they. >> the united states civil rights commission was concluded that the fbi was an occupying force on the reservation. that the had free reign and were arresting people and beating people. and that was the situation when this started. one thing i would like to mention, this was the time of nixon, the time of alexander haig. they called out the military. they called out the military to shoot at the wounded knee indians who were encircled. so that you had, by the way, president clinton, we understand, was about to grant, and see when that happens, the fbi staged a demonstration outside the white house, 500 men with guns. first time that has ever been done. clinton drew back.
amy: i want to go to that interview that i did with president clinton and asked him about clemency. it was back in 2000. many of leonard peltier's supporters had high hopes that outgoing president bill clinton would pardon him before the end of his second term. on election day, november 7, 2000, i got a chance to question president clinton and i asked him if he had any intention of issuing a pardon for leonard peltier. what is your position on granting leonard peltier, the native american activist, executive clemency? >> well, i don't have a position i can announce yet. i believe there is a new application for him in there. when i have time after the election is over, i'm going to review all of the remaining executive clemency applications and, you know, see what mayor dictates. i will try to do what i think the right thing is based on the evidence. i've never had the time to sit down myself and review that
case. i know it is very important to a lot of people, maybe on both sides of the issue. i think iowa to them to give it an honest look. part of my responsibilities in the last 10 weeks of office after the election will be to review the requests for pardons and executive clemency and give them a fair hearing. i pledge to do that. amy: and you will give an answer in his case? >> i will decide one way or the other. any code that was president clinton election day 2000. we know which way he decided. mass protests by the fbi. bunch of a whole pardons. he had a man who had been a donor to clinton's campaigns. no question about the rightness of his conviction. amy: fugitive from justice living in switzerland. >> no support at all for his granting pardon -- clemency. then he did not get to peltier. clinton told us within the
period before he was going to step down, because of the election in 2000, that he would grant clemency to leonard peltier. it was clear it was the fbi demonstration -- and the fbi opposes now, and have started a letterwriting campaign to obama saying do not release him, do not release him. that is why it is so important that your viewers respond, either by going to the amnesty international's right, but by themselves writing to the president. amy:e see the fbi directors extremely powerful james comey, who may have tipped the election for donald trump -- >> if it is not done now, .resident trump highly unlikely the next pardon is 2014. leonard is sick. he will not make us to his next pardon. he will not make it through a trump presidency, i fear. amy: what word have you gotten from the white house? >> no word.
we estimate it to the pardon attorney's who then have to send it on to the president. we understand it has left the pardon office and now on the president's desk. amy: i want to thank you very much for being with us. i want to thank norman patrick brown for joining us from albuquerque. one of theus, leading trial lawyers in this country. we will continue to follow the call for clemency for leonard peltier as we do a series on high-profile prisoners that president obama is weighing their clemency. when we come back, we're going to look at the case of chelsea .anning full's top stay with u stay with us. ♪ [music break]
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. more than 100,000 people have signed a petition urging president obama to commute the sentence of army whistleblower chelsea manning. in 2013, manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 classified files and videos to wikileaks about the wars in iraq and afghanistan and u.s. foreign policy. manning has been held since 2010 and been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender identity. in a letter to president obama, chelsea wrote -- "i have served a sufficiently long sentence. i am not asking for a pardon of my conviction. i understand that the various collateral consequences of the court-martial conviction will stay on my record forever. the sole relief i am asking for is to be released from military prison after serving six years of confinement as a person who did not intend to harm the interests of the united states or harm any service members. i am merely asking for a first chance to live my life outside
the usdb as the person i was born to be." the words of chelsea manning. to talk more about chelsea manning, we're joined now by chase strangio, staff attorney at the aclu. chase strangio represents manning in a lawsuit against the department of defense for denial of medical care related to her gender dysphoria. welcome back to democracy now! talk about the call for clemency and where it stands now. of 6.5sea manning as years in custody, already longer than any whistleblower who released information in the public interest in the news media in the history of the united states. she has petitioned the president for clemency. like we heard about leonard peltier, i do not believe will survive much longer in custody -- certainly, not another three decades. amy: she has attempted suicide several times. >> she has.
she has lived through brutal conditions of solitary confinement at quantico. she was 22 years old when she was arrested, already living under trauma of anti-trans, er policies in civil society and in the military, not brutal conditions in custody. her life really does depend on obama taking action now. her supporters are calling on him to do so. amy: what have you heard from the white house? >> we have heard nothing from the white house. we are well aware of the fact that we have a month left before obama leaves office. chelsea herself is continuing to seek publicly -- we're continuing to draw attention to the fact that in our country, we regimes are mechanisms of debt and the longer she is subjected to the conditions that she is living under, the less likely it is that she will survive. the reality is that we have a
very limited amount of time to take action to save her. theobama, you know, can do right thing, not just for chelsea, but isn't a message into a future in which whistleblowers are going to be more important than ever. chelsea manning is a hero to many of us. i hope we -- amy: why is she a hero to you? >> because she is absolutely someone who stands up for what she believes is right. she speaks truth in the face of systems of injustice. she is the type of person we are one in need and our government and the next four years, certainly, and we should take action to protect the whistleblowers who very well may said democracy. she shared information that she believes i believe was in the public interest that allowed us to better understand the nature of injustice that our government was perpetrating in hour name, both here in the united date and around the world.
amy: i want to turn for a moment to another top story, to switch gears and ask you about another case. that is what is going on in north carolina today. the north carolina governor elect, democrat roy cooper, has called for a special session today to consider repealing house bill 2, which he is called one of the most discriminatory laws in the country. the law denies transgender people use of the bathroom, changing room, or locker room that matches their gender identity. can you explain what is going on , what is happening with the charlotte city council and -- it is the current governor mccrory who's in charge right now. >> current governor mccrory is in charge. the politicians in north carolina have brokered a deal whereby charlotte has repealed or nondiscrimination law and, apparently, today, mccrory has called a special session where in leadership has claimed, although somewhat backtracking they will repeal hb2.
two important things to note, one, hb2 was an unnecessary law that had nothing to do in reality with charlotte extending nondiscrimination protections. it was a loss fueled by fear and hate of trans people and a law that should have been repealed and never passed from its inception. the other thing to note is today, if hb2 is repealed, it is not because of the politicians in north carolina, not because of charlotte, it is because of leaders like reverend dr. barber of moral mondays, of the organizers in north carolina, trans people of color who put our lives on the line for justice. amy: i want to thank certainly cover this. chase strangio, staff attorney at the aclu. represents manning in a lawsuit is a department of defense and also against hb2. that does it for today's show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed
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