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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  January 13, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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01/13/17 01/13/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i would consider the principal threat to start with russia, and it would certainly include any nations that are nationsto intimidate around the periphery, regional nations nearby them, whether it be with weapons of mass destruction or i would call it unusual, unorthodox means of intimidating them. amy: donald trump's pick for secretary of defense, retired general james "mad dog" mattis , testified at his confirmation
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hearing that russia is a principal threat. he also said he supports the iran nuclear deal, which trump has repeatedly criticized. >> i think to publicly display what iran is up to, that their surrogates and proxies, their terrorist units that they support, to recognize the ballistic missile threat, to deal with the maritime threat, and to publicly make clear to everyone what they're doing in the cyber realm all helps to constrain iran. amy: we will host a roundtable discussion with andrew bacevich, author of "america's war for the greater middle east," trita parsi, president of the national iranian american council and author "losing an enemy: obama, iran, and the legacy of diplomacy," and with reporter aaron glantz, whose latest investigation asks "did defense , secretary nominee james mattis commit war crimes in iraq?" then earlier this week, at
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another confirmation hearing this one for senator jeff , sessions as attorney general, the head of the congressional black caucus slams the senate judiciary committee for making three black members of congress wait until the very end to testify. >> i want to express my concerns about being made to testify at the very end of the witness panels. to have a senator, a house member, and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the house of representatives is set to vote today on a measure that would pave the way for congress to quickly repeal the affordable care act, with no possibility of a filibuster by minority democrats in the senate.
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house speaker paul ryan worked thursday to reassure republicans who are nervous about overturning president obama's signature health care law without a plan in place to replace it. ryan can afford to see as many as 23 republicans defect and still pass a repeal measure. today's house vote comes after senators narrowly approved a budget reconciliation bill to begin repealing the affordable care act during a marathon debate that lasted into the early morning hours thursday. the senate vote was 51-48, with the entire democratic caucus opposed to a repeal. during the roll call, democrats rose one-by-one to voice objections, prompting the presiding officer, colorado republican senator cory gardner, to object that they were out of order. >> ms. cantwell. >> this is not -- >> debate is not allowed during the vote. the senate will be an order. >> ms. cantwell --
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>> no. >> debate is not allowed during a vote. >> mr. kaine. no. amy: democrats say nearly 30 million americans stand to lose health coverage if the affordable care act is repealed. supporters of the law are planning rallies in more than 40 cities across the country. during wednesday night's senate session, more than a dozen democrats voted against an amendment that would have allowed pharmacists to import drugs from canada, often at a fraction of the cost paid in the u.s. the amendment was proposed by vermont senator bernie sanders. sen. sanders: we're the only major country not to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry. so you can walk into a drugstore today and the price could be double or three times what you paid a year ago, and there is no law to stop them. they can and they will raise prices as high as the market will allow. and if people die as a result of
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that, not a problem for them. people get sick. not a problem for them. amy: among the 13 democrats who voted against sanders' amendment senator coryy's booker, who earlier on wednesday testified against senator jeff sessions' nomination to become attorney general. campaign fillings show senator booker received more than $250,000 in campaign funds from pharmaceutical companies from 2010 to 2016. elsewhere on capitol hill, the senate armed services donald -- heard testimony on from thursday donald trump's nominee for secretary of defense. retired general james "mad dog" mattis said at his confirmation hearing russia remains the principal threat faced by the united states, taking a much harder line on russia than the president-elect. >> with a long list of times we have tried to engage positively with russia. we have a relatively short list of successes in that regard. and i think right now the most
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important thing is that we recognize the reality of what we and weth with mr. putin recognize he is trying to break the north atlantic alliance, and that we take he integrated steps, diplomatic economic, military, and the alliance steps , working with our allies, to defend ourselves where we must. amy: repeatedly called for the u.s. military to be more lethal and said he supports the f 35 program, and other expensive weapons programs. following his hearing, the senate voted to support a waiver exempting mattis from a law requiring defense secretaries to be civilians for at least seven years. mattis retired from the military in 2013. the full house is slated to vote on the waiver today. we'll have more on general mattis' nomination for secretary of defense after headlines. the senate banking committee heard testimony thursday from retired neurosurgeon ben carson, donald trump's nominee for
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secretary of housing and urban development. under questioning from elizabeth warren, dr. carson refused to say whether he would allow donald trump's company to profit from hud loans. cox can you just assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit it are the president-elect or his family? >> it will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any american. >> i understand that -- >> it is for all americans, everything that we do. >> do i take that to mean that you may manage programs that will significantly benefit the president-elect? >> you can take it to mean that i will manage things in a way that benefits the american people. that is going to be the goal. amy: dr. carson also drew fire from civil rights groups over his response to a question about protections for lgbtq tenants in public housing. carson said he would enforce
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federal anti-discrimination laws but said, "i don't think anyone , should get 'extra rights'." donald trump's nominee for cia director on thursday reversed his position on torture, telling senators at his confirmation hearing waterboarding is illegal. mike pompeo previously claimed such so-called enhanced interrogation tactics were constitutional. this is pompeo being questioned by california democrat dianne feinstein. >> if you were ordered by the president to restart the cia's use of enhanced interrogation tech weeks that fall outside of the army field manual, would you comply? >> absolutely not. moreover, i cannot imagine that i would be asked that by the president-elect or then-president. promised in aump debate last february to "bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
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during his confirmation hearing thursday, congressman pompeo said he would continue monitoring iran's compliance with a nuclear agreement brokered in 2015. he previously said he wanted the u.s. to immediately scrap the nuclear deal. congressman pompeo is a strong proponent of expanding the prison at guantanamo. he's called for the expansion of domestic surveillance and has called nsa whistleblower edward snowden a traitor who should be put to death. in other intelligence news, the national security administration will share its vast archive of intercepted communications across all 17 u.s. intelligence agencies without first filtering the data to protect personal information. that's under new rules approved by director of national intelligence james clapper and attorney general loretta lynch. "the new york times" reports the changes will give all 17 u.s. spy agencies access to a vast trove of intercepted emails,
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phone calls, and satellite transmissions, many of which contain private communications of u.s. citizens. included are the fbi and drug enforcement administration, which focus on domestic intelligence. previously, the nsa was required to filter out irrelevant personal information before sharing intercepted communications with other agencies. the former british intelligence agent behind an unsubstantiated dossier about donald trump's activities and connections in russia has gone into hiding. christopher steele left his home south of london on wednesday, after the wall street journal identified him as the author of the 35-page memo alleging russia's government has compromising information that it could use to blackmail the president-elect. the memo was published by buzzfeed on tuesday, prompting outrage from donald trump and criticism from journalists who say the claims can not be verified. the british newspaper, the telegraph, quotes a friend of
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steele saying the former mi6 spy is "terrified for his and his family's safety." meanwhile, the justice department's inspector general has opened a review of how the fbi handled an investigation into hillary clinton's use of a private email server. inspector general michael horowitz's office said thursday the wide-ranging probe will include scrutiny of fbi director james comey, who announced 11 days before the november election that he had reopened a probe into whether clinton mishandled classified information. the fbi cleared clinton of criminal charges just two days before election day. many democrats, including former president bill clinton, have said comey's actions cost hillary clinton the presidency. earlier this week, comey told the senate intelligence committee he could not comment on reports that the fbi launched an investigation into donald trump's ties to russia ahead of november's election. that prompted many lawmakers to
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accuse comey of engaging in a double standard in support of donald trump. donald trump's name former new york city mayor rudolph giuliani as his administration top cyber security adviser. giuliani said thursday he will accept the position, but won't step down as ceo of his security consulting firm giuliani partners. he also plans to remain chair of the cybersecurity practice at the law firm greenberg traurig. speaking to politico on thursday, giuliani acknowledged he will be connecting business associates with president trump, but denied that presents a conflict of interest. because giuliani will serve as a volunteer rather than a federal employee, his position won't be subject to federal ethics laws. donald trump has named two more aides with ties to goldman sachs to top white house positions. anthony scaramucci, a top trump campaign fundraiser who began
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his wall street career at goldman sachs, will head the office of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs. and goldman sachs partner dina powell is expected to take a senior advisory role in the white house where she'll work closely with donald trump's daughter ivanka. scaramucci and powell will join at least three other former goldman sachs employees tapped for top jobs by the trump administration. human rights watch released its annual report on thursday, warning that the rise of donald trump and european demagogues threatens human rights around the world. human rights watch executive director ken roth cited trump as an example of a "new generation of authoritarian populists." >> trump's successful residential campaign vividly illustrated his politics of intolerance. sometimes overtly, sometimes through code and indirection, he spoke to many americans' discontent with stagnation and
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increasingly multicultural society in a way that breached basic visible's of dignity inequality. amy: roth said trump's rise has encouraged authoritarian leaders in countries including russia, turkey, the philippines, egypt and china. the obama administration thursday said it is ending it so far -- so-called wet foot, dry foot policy a move that cuban's it will save lives. -- under theicted long-standing policy, cubans interdicted at sea were returned to cuba, but those reaching dry land were allowed to stay and fast-tracked for permanent resident status. cuban officials have long opposed the approach, saying it encouraged cubans to risk a dangerous and often deadly ocean voyage to florida. in canada, indigenous activist neskonlith first nations chief arthur manuel died wednesday at the age of 66. for decades, art manuel fought
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for indigenous land and human rights, most recently during a visit to the standing rock sioux reservation where water protectors are fighting the dakota access pipeline. in 2010, democracy now! spoke with art manuel as he joined protests at the g20 summit in toronto. >> all around the world, there are like 370 million indigenous people globally, you know? the united nations passed the declaration called the human declaration on the rights of addition is people, 141 nations votedin favor, four against it. canada, the united states, australia, and new zealand. those are very key players in the g20 equation. those are the people that the indigenous people come to the streets to let the government know that you need to deal with indigenous issues, too. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez.
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welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. president-elect donald trump's pick for secretary of defense, retired general james "mad dog" mattis, testified thursday at his confirmation hearing before the senate armed services committee. general mattis' 41-year career in the marine corp included field commands in the persian gulf war, iraq, and afghanistan and began when he enlisted at age 19. in iraq, he led u.s. troops during the 2004 battle of fallujah, earning himself the nickname "mad dog" mattis. in may 2004, mattis ordered an attack on a small iraqi village that ended up killing about 42 people attending a wedding ceremony. mattis went on to lead united states central command from 2010 to 2013, but the obama administration cut short his tour over concerns mattis was too hawkish on iran, reportedly calling for a series of covert
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actions there. during thursday's confirmation hearing, mattis said russia was -- remains the principal threat facing the united states, taking a much harder line than trump. >> i would consider the principal threats to start with russia and it would certainly include any nations that are looking to intimidate nations around the periphery, regional nations nearby them, whether it be with weapons of mass ittruction or i would call unusual, and orthodox means of intimidating them -- unorthodox means of intimidating them. a the same time as the chairman erated out, we face now an where we are facing the terrorist threat. we're going to have to address that one. juan: general mattis repeatedly called for the u.s. military to be more lethal, and also said he supports the iran nuclear deal,
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which president-elect donald trump has repeatedly criticized. following his hearing, the senate voted to support a waiver exempting mattis from a law requiring defense secretaries to be civilians for at least seven years. mattis retired from the military in 2013. the house armed services committee is slated to vote on it today. -- the full house is slated to vote on the waiver today. the only other time in u.s. history that this waiver has been granted was in 1950, when congress waived the law for defense secretary george marshall. amy: also on thursday, kansas republican congressman mike pompeo went before the senate for his confirmation hearing as cia director. he has previously claimed waterboarding and other so-called enhanced interrogation tactics were constitutional. this is pompeo being questioned by democratic senator dianne feinstein. >> if you were ordered by the president to restart'the cias use of enhanced interrogation
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techniques that fall outside of the army field manual, would you comply? >> senator, absolutely not. moreover, i can't imagine that i would be asked that by the president-elect or then-president, but i voted for the change that put the army field manual in place as a member of congress, i understand that law very quickly, and and deeply aware that any changes to that will come through congress and president -- >> and regular order. >> absolutely, with respect to what is in the army field manual, there's no doubt in my mind about the limitations on place that only on the dod, but the central intelligence agency, and i will always comply with the law. amy: during thursday's hearing, pompeo also said he believes the intelligence agencies' claims that russia hacked the u.s. election. well, for more, we're going to a roundtable after break. we will be joined by aaron glantz as well as -- we will be
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joined by andrew bacevich, retired colonel and vietnam war veteran, as well as trita parsi, with the national iranian american council. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we are hosting a roundtable discussion, looking at president-elect trump's pick for defense secretary, retired general james mad dog mattis. mattis testified before the senate this week during his confirmation hearing on thursday. our guest are aaron glantz, senior reporter for the center for investigative reporting. his latest investigation is headlined "did defense secretary nominee james mattis commit war crimes in iraq?" also with us in d.c. is trita parsi, founder and president of the national iranian american council. he's the author of "a single roll of the dice: obama's diplomacy with iran."
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his forthcoming book "losing an , enemy: obama, iran, and the legacy of diplomacy." and in boston where we will start, professor andrew bacevich retired colonel and vietnam war , veteran. his latest book "america's war , for the greater middle east: a military history." professor, start off by talking about what you learned from the hearings and your thoughts on general mattis to be the next event secretary of the united states. >> well, what struck me most about the hearings was the lack of an interest in the recent past. the united states has been essentially engaged in an ongoing war that most people .ate from 2001 that war has taken us to afghanistan to iraq, and a lesser way to other countries, libya, somalia, yemen. i was struck by the fact none of the senators -- basically -- asked general mattis, welcome in
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general, how is it that we haven't won? we haven't won anywhere. winning in the sense of conclusively achieving our political objectives, however you might want to define those objectives. and given that we haven't one, what should we be doing differently? what would you do differently as defense secretary to compensate for this record in which the greatest military in the world, as we're constantly told, doesn't get the job done? during hisssor, testimony, general mattis repeatedly called for the u.s. military to be more lethal. your response to this infosys of his on the -- emphasis on his killing ability of the u.s. military? >> i do not see lethality is a problem. the lethality of u.s. forces is quite remarkable. we can kill lots of people.
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we do kill lots of people. we can destroy virtually anything we choose to destroy. the destruction that we have wreaked in the various theaters in which we have been engaged is really quite astonishing. but again, lethality, destruction, killing, does not seem to achieve our objectives. so my own sense is that a lack of lethality does not define the core problem. i think the core problem is much where to recognizing force is of value, where it is useful. and to distinguish that from situations in which war is not useful or is indeed counter productive. i think broadly speaking, the u.s. military's role -- u.s. military activism in various parts of the islamic world over the past several decades has been counterproductive. again, i find it disturbing that
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no member of the senate armed services committee is willing to acknowledge that record of failure and to ask our next secretary of defense what he thatses to do to amend sorry record. amy: i want to bring aaron glantz into the discussion to talk about the questions around their rack and wrote as a reporter at reveal asking "did defense secretary nominee james mattis commit war crimes in iraq?" layout what your allegation is
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and whether you think any of these issues were addressed yesterday. >> so general mattis' primary expense, indeed his only experience, is as a member of the united states marine corps where he served for 41 years. that is his experience. dr. bacevichas noted, we have been engaged in wars around the world in general mattis has been a leading battlefield commander in many of those theaters, including in the april siege of solutia where the u.s. marines killed -- fallujah where the u.s. marines killed so many people that the u.s. soccer soccer stadium had to be used for the dead. shooting at aid workers, destroying shopping centers, raising huge issues not only violations of the geneva convention or targeting protective groups, but also of proportionality. launchede battle was to get the people who killed four blackwater secured a contractors in a city of 300,000 same size as the oakland, california, or pittsburgh, pennsylvania, was
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leveled in response under the command of general mattis will stop that was not discussed at all during the hearing. either from an account ability perspective, which is what i would suggest in my article -- what's suggesting my article, questions that should be raised about whether or not he committed war crimes. even in a more limited way, what did you learn athe battlefield commander in iraq and how might youapply those lessons learned through those experiences as secretary of defense, is simply not raised at all during the hearing. ,uan: aaron, in that vein general mattis has been criticized in the past with some instance,tes, for 2005, saying of the telegram "it is a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." none of this came up in the hearings as well, right? >> i think that is a comment
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that doesn't trouble observers so much as the kind of thing that he said in front of a group of other marines, the kind of remark you might hear in military circles frequently. what concerns me was he played not only a critical role as the battlefield commander in full is your, but also afterwards when he was promoted to various other high-ranking positions. he served as a convening authority in court-martial proceedings against various marines who had been accused of atrocities. for example, in the haditha massacre where a group of marines went on a killing spree after one of their unit was killed. aey killed him according to "time magazine" investigation, dozens of iraqi civilians in their homes and also in a car and up on a ridge. general mattis dismissed the charges against many of the
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marines accused, personal intervening to clear their names before the justice system had run its course. and in the end, nobody connected of that massacre served a day in prison. in another case -- on amy: i want to go, aaron, to 2008, to what you're talking about. when we spoke to mcclatchy journalist to travel to but he the to interview survivors of the massacre. i want to turn to this short video posted on the mcclatchy website based on her reporting. memorize the places where his four brothers bodies late after they were killed by the u.s. marines. the family counts the day in 2005 and says it was a massacre of the brothers come along with 20 other people following a roadside bomb in haditha. marines raided the house and shot the unarmed men in their head in the back bedroom, the family said. now they are angry that no one
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is being held accountable. charges against six of the eight marines accused in the case were dismissed and one marine was found not guilty on all charges. >> they were innocent. >> reminders of their death are everywhere. the white plaster that sold in the bullet holes in the wall, gray spots now faded under a new paint job on the ceiling, and the closet where one brother was shot inside in up other's courts leaning against the wardrobe. amy: that was a mcclatchy journalist to travel to haditha. this was way back in 2008. talk about what came of this, aaron. >> as i was saying, in the end,
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only one person was convicted in connection to this massacre. duty, for dereliction of did not spend a day in prison. ultimately, there was really no justice for the victims of this massacre. and that was in part because of the role that general mattis played as the convening authority for basically the boss of the entire military justice process around this massacre, malan massacree of the iraq war. it is that the only case were he intervene. he also intervene in the case in where a disabled iraqi man was pulled out of his house and shot in the face by marines who then tried to frame him as an insurgent by placing a ,achine gun and a shovel on him on his dead body to make it look like he was an insurgent. general mattis in that case
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intervened and freed marines from prison after they had already been convicted in connection with that killing. so he has a record that really should have been examined during the hearing yesterday that senators did not ask about. juan: i would like to bring trita parsi into the conversation, founder president council.anian american another aspect that was touched on in the hearing was general mattis' view on the iran deal. he was removed at the certain point by the obama administration because of his hawkish views on iran. what is your response to how he answered questions on the orinda desk iran nuclear deal and the prospect, trump administration for the agreement? >> general mattis made it clear he would not have signed this agreement had he any choice.
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as a result of it not being in place, he argued the united dates needs to keep its word and as a result, respect it. a senior the fact member of the trump administration is coming out with that line, but i also want administration, the the trump administration, to undermine the deal is no longer the way they spoke during the campaign in which they would directly target the deal and walk away from it. as a result, bring about an international crisis that would put the united states in an isolated position. the more likely route for the trump administration to undermine this deal is to actually engage in provocative actions against the iranians in order to compel them to walk away from the deal. that way, get them to also end russian beingmore far more isolated. i'm not saying general mattis was setting the stage for that have a strategy, i'm just saying it is more likely we will hear
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comments of that kind from the trump administration precisely because they don't want to be seen as the guilty party once the deal falls apart, particularly if they then engage in a lot of provocative actions with the aim of compelling the iranians to walk away. amy: trita parsi, mattis led the u.s. central command from 2010 to 2013 under president obama, but he cut short his tour over concerns that mattis was too hawkish on iran, calling for a series of covert actions there. can you talk about what those covert actions were? >> i'm not entirely sure, but is is important understand between 2010 and 2013, that was the era in which both the iranians and the u.s. was engaged in a very aggressive pressure tactic against each other, massive tensions on the iranians. the iranians responded by aggressively accelerating a program, combined with a lot of covert actions on both sides,
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particularly on the u.s. side with cyberattacks, etc. but behind the scenes, however, the obama administration was looking for ways to engage the iranians and open up a secret channel, which by mid 2012, was successful. i think what happened at that point is the administration was very careful to make sure that those secret negotiations could be successful, which meant they had to actually toned down a lot of the other aggressive pressures as well as covert actions. the secret channel was cap extremely secret. i would not be surprised if general mattis had no idea about that. as a result, the recommendation he was giving and the pressure he put on the administration to take on a much more confrontational approach, vis-a-vis iran, simply did not match with priorities of the administration, mindful of the secret channel that actually was starting to bear fruit at the moment. juan: trita parsi, in december, you tweeted --
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why is mattis so obsessed with iran, in your view? >> well, if you are responsible for persian gulf security, it kind of comes with the territory that your singler focus is going to be on iran. the problem is, this point, we have moved into a new geopolitical situation. what i think mattis is thinking, particularly some of the answers that were given in the hearing seems to indicate come is a return toward posture in which the united states was to adopt a much more homogenate in the region, which would be those who challenge or question that hegemony, not those that necessary are active in destabilizing the region and destroying state institutions. as a result, your focus will be on air ran, a country that does challenge the homogenate, but
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staying silent on the role of saudi arabia the destabilizing role it is laying, particularly with its spread of so autism and radical islam. afism and radical islam. i have not found many comets by general mattis on what his views are on the role of saudi arabia. i was looking forward to hearing that at the hearing, but unfortunately, no one asked those questions. amy: before we get away from iran, i want to ask on a more tangential issue, though, trita about the president that died this week and after a decade-long career in the ruling elite and the significance of this and what it could mean for the united states. >> the immediate significance is he actively may help the moderates in this interests in the may elections this year, which will determine whether or hot he will be a two-term president or one term president -- rouhani will be a one term
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president or two-term president. theng lost someone like previous president who in his later years have become more approving of the moderate political agenda. he was at the end of the day, one of the pillars of the revolution and one of the people who could challenge so many of the conservative restrictions in that society and get away with it. having lost the person that had the capacity is likely going to be to the detriment of this movement in the long run unless someone else manages to step up to play that role. juan: i would like to go back to professor andrew bacevich in the discussion of the hearing yesterday. the porkbarrel nature of some of the questions of the senators raised to general mattis, including the liberal senator elizabeth warren, over what his attitude would be to specific defense department projects in their home states. >> i will answer the question,
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but first, could i make a brief comment on iran? knows so much more about this issue than i do him up but i would offer a slightly more optimistic scenario. let's remember the expectation was that the new administration was going to dump the air ran nuclear deal -- the iran nuclear deal. the fact we have the present defense secretary on the record saying he supports maintaining the detail is actually good news. come up atf a loaf half a loaf is better than none. i do expect that mattis in the administration more broadly will be skeptical about whether the nuclear deal can lead to a broader engagement between iran and the united states. but here is my little bit of optimism. to the extent that the focus of the trump administration is
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going to be on creating all of those millions of jobs that he has vowed to deliver in short order, the logic of engagement with iran economically is going to present itself. and the expectation that a deepening engagement with iran can have economic advantages redound to the united states could ultimately overturn the logic -- and i'm not denying the logic will step the logic that trita was describing ever renewed effort to impose american hegemony. i will leave that as it is. to your question, juan, i was chagrined at the extent to which quite a number of the members of the senate armed services committee provided there few minutes to pose questions,
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basically, pose questions that had to general mattis, hey, can you promise me that if you become secretary of defense that you are going to ensure that my states investment in the military-industrial complex is going to be protected? we heard that from senator blumenthal of connecticut, who went out of his way to get mattis on the record as saying he supported the building of more submarines, which just happened to be produced in connecticut. and senator warren from my state went through a long list of assets that are available here in massachusetts between labs and research facilities, wanted to make sure that mattis was on the record of saying he appreciated that, therefore, the expectation that our own contribution to the military industrial complex is going to be preserved. , can youew bacevich talk about the issue of the waiver?
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the senate just voted on this waiver, the significance of why we do have a rule in place in the united states of the defense secretary has to serve in civilian life for seven years and not be active duty, active mattis hasetired been there, what, he left in 2013, so he needed this waiver? if somehow he had to have a general be secretary of defense, i would probably say mattis may be better than most of the alternatives. he certainly is more of a reasonable figure, then let's say general flynn, was about to become the national security adviser. that said, as a matter principle, i think it is a bad idea. having a former general running pentagon. earlier on, aaron made mention of the fact that mattis' entire professional career, until his
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retirement, has been in the military. i have to say when you to appreciate the extent to which that kind of a professional background has a shaping, indeed i would say, a narrowing effect on a person's outlook all step if we decided to have someone who is a cardinal archbishop in the catholic church become secretary of defense, well, we would have some expectation that all those years spent in that very specific all-encompassing environment would have a profound effect on the outlook of that individual. i think that is true with military people. and my problem is that given where we are, our position in the world, given the absence of success of our military activism -- i don't think we need somebody who has that mindset. i think we need somebody as a defense secretary who can bring to the office greater creativity then general mattis manifested yesterday when he was responding
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to the questions of the senate armed services committee. he is a very conventional marine . that is not what we need right now. juan: aaron glantz, i would like to ask you, both you and andrew bacevich have mentioned general mattis' long career, more than 40 years in the military. but politico reported that his financial disclosure statement says that he is worth more than $10 million. apparently, all of this wealth was garnered just in a few years after he retired when he worked for, among other companies, general dynamics. your response to this issue of his sudden wealth after he left the military? have aone in common to senior military officer go into consulting after retirement, which is exactly what general mattis did. it is interesting that this is
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among the many other issues that wasn't really discussed during the hearing that could have been discussed instead of the porkbarrel projects that you are talking about. he could have been asked about these apparent conflicts of interest that might have developed as a result of his consulting work and how he might deal with them. on the issue of civilian control of the military, another point to consider is that not only are we talking about general mattis meeting a waiver to this law alsose back to 1947, but in addition to general flynn, the incoming national security advisor, we also have general kelly who is going to be most likely the secretary of homeland security, and then the head of the joint chiefs of staff will also be in the room, general dunford. there is going to be four confirmed inll are
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, andoom talking with trump to the point of narrowing, all of these different generals have their own perspective. but it does mean they are perspective that you might normally have in the room that will be missing because the overwhelming presence of retired and current military in the administration at a high level. amy: aaron glantz, do you think general bacevich -- sorry, do you think general mattis should be brought up on war crimes charges? >> i think it is something that we need to seriously explore here. as i said in my article, the case that i document regarding general mattis' command in fallujah resembles in many ways the case that the united states of america brought against general yamashita of japan following world war ii. he was not accused of directly
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perpetrating war crimes during world war ii, but he had command authority over japanese troops that did commit very serious war crimes in southeast asia. they involved very similar activities to the ones u.s. marines under general mattis' command committed in fallujah. this is the doctrine of command responsibility of the u.s. supreme court ultimately upheld the execution of general yamashita. other military commanders in yugoslavia and rwanda have been convicted under similar doctrines. i think this is something that really should be discussed thoroughly before his and atation is approved this point, doesn't look likely full. amy: i want to thank you all for being with us. i want to thank aaron glantz,
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senior reporter at reveal from center of investigative journalism. we want to thank andrew bacevich , professor emeritus at boston university, retired colonel and vietnam vet, and trita parsi, founder and president of the national iranian american council. when we come back, we returned to an earlier confirmation hearing this week. you will hear what many republican senators did not stay to hear, their colleagues and the house and the senate testifying -- in this case, around jeff sessions. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: on wednesday, the second day of confirmation hearings for president-elect donald trump's pick to lead the justice department of alabama senator jeff sessions faced
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unprecedented criticism, but only one republican on the committee remained to listen. if the others had stayed they , would have heard the voices we bring you today. new jersey democrat cory booker testimony, the first time a united states senator has opposed a fellow senator's nomination for a presidential cabinet post. he told the senate judiciary committee that sessions is unfit to become the next attorney general. >> if confirmed, senator sessions will be read are to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won't. he will be expected to defend equal rights of gay and lesbian and transgender americans, but his record indicates that he won't. he will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won't. he will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity, but the record indicates that he won't. juan: that was senator cory booker who was joined by louisiana congressmember cedric richmond, the head of the congressional black caucus, who
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slammed the senate judiciary committee, saying the decision to have three black members of congress testify at the end of hearing was the equivalent of being sent to the "back of the bus." behind him were other members of the congressional black caucus. court i want to express my concerns about being made to testify at the very end of the witness panels. to have a senator, a house member, and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus. amy: the civil rights legend congressmember richmond was referring to was 14-term democratic congressman john lewis of georgia, who also testified wednesday against senator jeff sessions' confirmation for attorney general. >> millions of americans are encouraged by our country's efforts to create a more inclusive democracy during the
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last 50 years, of what some of us call the beloved community. a community at peace with itself. they are not a minority, a clear majority of americans say they want this to be a fair, just, and open nation. afraid this country is headed in the wrong direction. they are concerned that some leaders reject decades of progress and want to return to the dark past in a power the law will used to the denied the freedoms protected by the constitution. the bill of rights and it's amendments, these are the voices i represent today. we can pretend that the law is blind. we can pretend it is evenhanded.
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but if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we are called upon daily by the people we represent to help them deal with unfairness in how the law is written and enforced. those who are committed to equal justice in our society wonder callsr senator sessions will me todayder what it meant in alabama when i was coming up back and post of the rule of law used to violate the human and civil rights for ,he poor, the dispossessed people of color. i was born and rural alabama, not very far from where senator sessions was raised. there was no way to escape or deny the chokehold of
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discrimination and racial hate that surrounded us. "whitehe signs that said waiting" "colored waiting." "colored colore been." segregation was the law of the land the ordered our society, in the deep south. any black person who did not cross the street when a white person was walking down the same sidewalk, who did not move to the back of the bus who drink from a white water fountain, who looked a white person directly in the eyes could be arrested and taken to jail.
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the forces of law and order in alabama were so strong, that to take a stand against this injustice we had to be willing to sacrifice our lives for our cause. ,ften the only way we could demonstrate that along the books -- a law on the books, by putting our bodies on the line and showing the world the unholy price we had to pay for dignity and respect. it took well organized, nonviolent dissent for the voting rights act to become law. it required criticism of this great nation and its laws to move toward a greater sense of equality in america. stand-in, we-in, had to march. and that is why more than 50
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years ago, a group of unarmed white,s, black and 1965, in anmarch 7, orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion, to walk from selma to montgomery, alabama, to dramatize to the nation and to the world that we wanted to register to vote. wanted to become participants the democratic process. we were beaten. , left bloody. some of us unconscious. some of us had concussions. some of us almost died on the bridge. responded,s president lyndon johnson responded, and the congress passed the voting rights act and it was signed into law on august
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6, 1960 five. we have come a distance. we have made progress, but we're not there yet. there are forces that want to take us back to another place. we don't want to go back. we want to go forward. randolph oftenp said, maybe our forefathers and are for mothers all came to different ships, but we are all in the same boat now. it doesn't matter how senator session may smile, how friendly he may be, how he may speak to who can we need someone stand up, speak up, and speak needor the people that help, for people who have been discriminated against. it doesn't matter whether they are black or white, latino,
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asian-american, or native american, straight or gay, , weim, christian or jews all live in the same house -- the american house. we need someone as attorney general who will look out for all of us, and not just for some of us. in ago civil rights icon and congressmember john lewis testifying wednesday against the confirmation of senator jeff sessions as attorney general of the united states. that does it for our show. this weekend i will be in vermont. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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>> "p. allen smith's garden to table" is brought to you by... mountain valley spring water. mountain valley spring water, america's premium water since 1871, has been bottled in glass at the same natural spring source for 140 years. more about mountain valley spring water at >> hey, it's a pizza party right out of the garden coming up right after this.


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