tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 20, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
06/20/12 06/20/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> if the military council insists, we will remain in the square. we insist to achieve the goals of our revolution. >> political crisis in egypt. tens of thousands of egyptians fill tahrir square to protest what they call a military coup. this comes as rival presidential candidates claim victory this week's election and the former dictator hosni mubarak's health
deteriorated. julian assange 6 political asylum in london at the ecuadoran asylum. we will speak with his attorney michael ratner. >> we've been going to the bradley manning hearings because what happened to bradley manning and what is still happening to bradley manning may very well and likely happen to julian assange. >> then we go to brazil for the largest united nations conference ever. we will speak to nnimmo bassey of friends of the earth. >> it has already been colonized. >> all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
former egyptian president hosni mubarak is reportedly on life support after suffering multiple strokes, adding new uncertainty to the ongoing turmoil surrounding egypt's transition to civilian rule. earlier reports said mubarak had already been declared clinically dead, but egyptian officials now say mubarak is in a coma and on a respirator. as the news of his deteriorating health spread, tens of thousands of egyptians gathered in cairo's tahrir square and outside the egyptian parliament in rallies called by the muslim brotherhood. the protesters denounced the ruling military council's recent decrees limiting presidential authority and assuming all legislative functions. both the muslim brotherhood candidate mohamed morsi and his opponent, ed shafiq have declared victory in the runoff vote. we will have more on the latest in egypt with sharif abdel kouddous after headlines. wikileaks founder julian assange has taken refuge in the ecuador embassy in london and asked for
asylum. assange and the move tuesday in a last-ditch bid to avoid extradition to sweden over sex crime accusations. earlier today police in london announced assange is now subject to arrest because his decision to spend the night at the ecuadorian embassy violated the conditions of his bail. assange is seeking asylum because he fears extradition to sweden may lead to his transfer to the united states or he could potentially face charges relating to wikileaks. we'll have more later in the broadcast. syrian forces continue to shell the besieged city of homs despite pleas to allow the free exit of trapped civilians. speaking at the united nations, the assistant secretary general urged the regime of bashar al- assad to stop attacks on civilian areas like homs. >> the situation in homs is particularly alarming. the tragic human suffering resulting from the as the lead in conflict calls for urgent and
concerted efforts to avoid a full-scale civil war. time is running out. the secretary general has repeatedly underscored the government of syria bears the prime responsibility to change course and fully implement the six-point plan. shelling and fighting against population centers by government forces, including tanks and helicopters, must stop immediately. >> u.n. observers remained idle in syria after halting operations to to unsafe conditions. in a briefing to the and security council, the head of the observer mission said his monitors were repeatedly attacked before he decided to suspend their mission. >> violence, including shelling and other incidents are coming much closer, and we have been targeted several times over the last few weeks. this violence in itself, but
also because it made it very difficult to execute the activities of my mission, led me to the decision a few days ago to halt the activities. >> more than 3000 people reportedly have been killed since the observers were deployed to syria two months ago. also speaking before the u.n. security council, the syrian ambassador to the u.n. said his government is committed to protecting its civilian population. >> on behalf of my government that syria care's not only about a couple hundred civilians trapped in some rebel strongholds of in homs, but the syrian government is totally
committed to protecting the lives of 23 million syrian civilians for the >> the violence in syria has fueled diplomatic tensions between us and syria allies russia and china. after new talks to the g-20 summit in mexico, president obama said the two sides remain far apart on a response to the violence. >> we had a very candid conversation. i would not suggest at this point the united states and the rest of the international community are aligned with russia and china in their positions, but i do think they recognize the grave dangers of all-out civil war. >> violence has erupted along israel's border area with the gaza strip and neighboring egypt, leaving scores dead. at least six palestinians have been killed in a number of israeli airstrikes over the past two days, including two teenagers. palestinian militants have also
fired several dozen rockets into israeli territory. the violence broke out monday when militants from egypt's sinai attacked israelis building a new separation barrier, killing one israeli. meanwhile in the occupied west bank, palestinians are accusing jewish settlers of setting fire to a mosque in a village near ramallah. the arson appeared to be the latest in a series of so-called price tag attacks in which settlers target palestinians to protest any efforts to remove settlement outposts. the latest round of international talks on iran's nuclear activities has ended in moscow with no new progress. iranian officials and diplomats from six world powers, including the u.s., met over two days. but all sides say significant gaps remain. iran is facing pressure to halt uranium enrichment and shut down a nuclear facility, while iran wants an end to u.s. and european union-backed sanctions. the eu is set to impose an oil embargo on iran beginning july
1st. on tuesday, the parties agreed to reconvene in turkey early next month to decide from there on whether to continue the talks. taliban militants have launched new attacks on afghan and nato military bases in afghanistan. eleven fighters struck military outposts in kandahar province with all of them losing their lives in the ensuing gun battle. four afghan officers and a foreign contractor were also killed in the attacks. pakistan is facing a political crisis after a supreme court ruled the country's prime minister is ineligible to hold office. on tuesday, the pakistani justices said the prime minister was disqualified from the post after he was convinced -- convicted of contempt in april for refusing to reopen fraud investigations against president zardari. >> he is disqualified as a member of parliament and consequently, as the prime
minister of the country. [unintelligible] furthermore, the election commission has been directed to issue [unintelligible] >> despite criticism from some who say only parliament can oust a prime minister, the ruling pakistan people's party appears likely to comply with the decision and pick a new prime minister. the latest crisis comes amid worsening relations between pakistan and the united states and protests within pakistan over chronic electrical failures. a new analysis by bloomberg news has concluded the nation's largest banks are receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer funded corporate welfare because governments are subsidizing artificially low interest rates. banks have been able to borrow at a lower cost because creditors can rely on government
intervention should a bank default. a recent paper by the international monetary fund estimates the subsidized interest rates end up saving banks 0.8% of their borrowing costs. according to bloomberg, that amounts to $76 billion in subsidies for the nation's 18 august banks per year, including $14 billion for jp morgan chase -- or 77% of the bank's income. on tuesday, jpmorgan chase ceo jamie dimon appeared before the house financial services committee to answer questions on the company's recent $3 billion loss in risky bets. democratic congressmember barney frank of massachusetts pressed him on whether he intends to take a pay cut to help cover the loss. >> did you say finally there would be some callbacks for compensation. you've also taken some responsibility. is your compensation on the table for consideration of clawbacks? >> it is reviewed by the board
-- >> it is a specific question. >> my compensation is 100% up to my board. >> you said there were the clawbacks for people responsible. it is your compensation in the pot that will be considered for that? >> i cannot tell my board what to do. >> the fisa amendments act would allow the government to continue the bush era practice of monitoring u.s. residents' raúl phone calls and emails without a warrant so long as one of the parties in communication is outside the united states. the senate intelligence committee passed a similar measure last month. the national security agency has refused to disclose how many americans have been monitored under the surveillance program on the grounds that such a disclosure would violate their privacy. the nsa made the assertion in
response to request from democratic senators ron wyden and mark udall. in a letter, the nsa's inspector general told the senators he cannot answer how many americans have been spied on because to do so "would itself violate the privacy of u.s. persons." in the first-ever hearing of its kind, a senate panel tuesday heard testimony on the psychological and human-rights implications of solitary confinement in u.s. prisons. senator richard durbin of illinois it opened a hearing by noting u.s. holds far more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic country. with tens of thousands of people in some form of restrictive housing. former death row prisoner anthony graves testified about the lasting effects of isolation, which he said drove some of his fellow prisoners to insanity and suicide. the use of solitary confinement has drawn increased attention -- attention of human rights advocates say it violates the
ban on cruel and unusual punishment be aired to an end thursday when we will be joined by anthony graves another guest to discuss his journey from texas death row to exoneration. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show on the political crisis in egypt. former president hosni mubarak has been moved from prison to an army hospital in cairo for he reportedly is unconscious and on life support. the military strongman ruled the country for 30 years until the was toppled from power during last year's uprising. earlier this month, he was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of protesters. senior officers have given various accounts of the 84-year- old mubarak's condition, but denied reports it was "clinically dead" as briefly reported by the state news agency. the news comes amid high tension
from the election of the presidential vote that the mubarak's former prime minister ahmed shafiq against the muslim brotherhood candidate mohamed morsi. results have not been given, but both sides have declared victory. >> we do not need anything from him or his family. we are tired of them. we're looking for it to good people ruling as. we do not need anything from his family. we need security, a decent life, freedom. >> tens of thousands of egyptians protested tuesday night in cairo's tahrir square in the rally, the muslim brotherhood. others protested outside egypt's parliament. the expressed outrage over the army's decree late sunday that it would seize all legislative powers. some have described it as a military coup. this is an egyptian parliament
member. >> we should stream into the streets. i'm calling on all free people from the army, police, state associations, all egyptians who are brave to come to tahrir square to protest. the military council will leave power in nine days. we will close streets, do whatever it takes to achieve our demands. it will be a civil, peaceful disobedience. >> for more on egypt, we go to cairo with sharif abdel kouddous. can you tell us what is happening to mubarak right now, reportedly in a coma, to what is happening in the streets, the reports of a military coup? >> well, this is a mubarak's help came in late last night. the state news agency, as reported, saying he was clinically dead.
this caused a huge flurry in the media. quickly, those reports were denied by his lawyers, senior members of the military council who said he was not clinically dead that had suffered a stroke or some kind of heart attack. there were varying reports. his health has deteriorated since he received his life sentence. he is in a military hospital. the news is being treated among skepticism. reports of mubarak's death have been swirling in the media since the beginning of this revolution, especially since he was taken into custody last year. we get been hearing rumors he died. when he was moved to present earlier this month, there were rumors he collapsed and was having trouble breathing. but now he is moved out of the prison and some think this is all just to get him out of the
prison and back into a hospital. it comes at a very sensitive time. tomorrow, we're going to learn who the winner of egypt's first competitive, are deadly competitive presidential election will be. both sides have claimed a victory. mohamed morsi has said he has won with 52% of the vote to 40% of ahmed shafiq. they back this up with very detailed documents from polling stations around the country which are stamped. there tally seems to coincide with most independent reports and most local media outlets. the, and shafiq campaign has denied he lost, saying their candidate won. we will find out for sure tomorrow. over and above that, what exactly, what powers will this president half? this handover of power that was scheduled for june 30 has really
been rendered meaningless by a sweeping set of amendments to the constitutional declaration that has been governing the country since march 2011. these were issued in a laterally by the supreme council of armed forces -- unilaterally by the supreme council of the armed forces. really, they entrench the military's power and strip the incoming president of any significant authority. of course we have to remember these amendments come just three days after the country's top court dissolve the popularly elected parliament and also after a decree by the ministry of justice the really returns elements of martial law to egypt and allows the military widespread powers of arrest and detention of civilians. most prominently perhaps of these constitutional amendments is it removes the president's role as commander in chief of
the armed forces. it gives that to the head of the supreme council, who is still -- effectively gives the military complete control over its own affairs. what this does really is creates the supreme council of armed forces as a fourth branch of state that is constitutionally separate from the presidency, the parliament, and the judiciary. the amendments also shelled the military from any kind of public oversight whatsoever -- shield the military from any kind of public oversight whatsoever. it also allows the military to act as parliament in the absence of a sitting parliament. they can issue laws by decree. they also tighten their grip on the right thing of the country's constitution. so they have an effective veto over any clause they might disapprove of. they can go further and dissolve the current assembly that was
formed by parliament just two days before it was dissolved, on very vague grounds, if it encounters with the calls an obstacle. the can handpick their own 100- member body telegraphed the permanent constitution. the military at -- that will draft the permanent constitution. to know exactly what they're looking for, what kind of protections they're looking for in the constitution, and that is to enshrine their political and economic privileges in the constitution. and to add insult to injury, they recently, the head of the advisory council to the military council said the incoming president may only serve for an interim period until a new constitution is written. above that, the military council announced the national defense council will be formed a 17
members, which will be headed by the incoming president. but of those 17, 11 our senior military commanders and decisions will be made by simple majority vote. really, all of these sweeping steps have release stripped the incoming president of any significant authority -- really stripped the incoming president of any significant authority. perhaps a fitting into this nonsensical transition that we have seen over the last 16 months. the country has no constitution, no parliament, and a president or incoming president that will have scant power. the military council is really controlling the key branches of state. >> the powers you describe, as you said, are quite sweeping. is there any way in which the incoming president can either come in any sense, either alter or overturn some of these amendments of the constitution?
>> well, the muslim brotherhood, who is widely expected to win the presidency tomorrow, has soundly rejected these amendments. they have also rejected the supreme court ruling to dissolve parliament. the army deployed troops around parliament building to prevent military police from entering the police over the weekend. we sought a massive protest yesterday that was called primarily by the muslim brotherhood but also other forces, political forces, but including revolutionary forces like the april 6 youth movement, and others. the square was packed by members of the muslim brotherhood who rejected these amendments. i think it was a show of force also to act as a warning in case ahmed shafiq is named as president that they return to
street protests. from a legal perspective, whether these amendments can be overturned is anyone's guess. the supreme council has been changing the rules as it goes along. it has issued laws by decree. there is no rules to the game right now. i am sure negotiations are probably under way. right now with the military council is acting with a lot of hubris and also what appears to be [unintelligible] they fear their power may be slipping. right now they hold all the cards in terms of the levers of power of the state. >> sharif, what role does the u.s. play in all of this? >> victoria nuland expressing concern. but words reallrarely match the
action. the u.s. policy toward egypt has really changed since before the uprising. they back the mubarak regime for decades. congress last year in the wake of the revolution added a provision that the state department had to certify the ruling military council was doing a transition to democracy. there was a security waiver issued by the obama administration that over the provision to continue the aid to egypt, despite the widespread human rights abuses by the army and security forces that came in the wake of the ngo crisis, where u.s.-funded ngo's were raided and closed down and the son of the transportation minister sam lahood was not
allowed to travel or leave the country. we see this continuation of u.s. policy or issues regarding regional concerns with israel and so forth have trumped human rights concerns. but many people here on the ground are asking for the u.s. to finally take a stand and perhaps have its actual policy match its words and have a significant cut off of aid given what had happened with what many are calling a constitutional coup. >> the number of people that came out to vote in this election this past weekend, can you talk about the boycott movement? the egyptian elections are looking a little bit like the u.s. elections and how little -- coffee people came out to vote. >> the egyptians have gone to the polls three times in this transition. each time they go, their vote
has been rendered meaningless. they went march 2011 and voted on nine amendments to the constitution and that was supplanted by constitutional declaration issued unilaterally by the military council just a few days later altered over 60 articles to the constitution. they voted last fall the much lower turnout and voted for parliament. that parliament has been dissolved, so those elections were rendered worthless. they have gone to the polls again with a lower turnout, we're not sure what the turnout is, to be clear, but close to about 50% some have predicted. we again see their vote has been rendered somewhat meaningless because the person they have been voted for -- they voted for has been stripped of power. there's a growing movement for boycotts, to spoiled ballots, to say there is a third choice and
do not have to pick between the two candidates that are represented. i mean, i don't know. egyptians find their vote means nothing, then there are other avenues of change. the runoff election we saw, really the enthusiasm of the streets -- i traveled around cairo and the delta to different polling stations. the enthusiasm was very low. you did not see the ubiquitous person proudly showing they voted by holding up their inkstand finger. there is a lot of confusion and apathy that has been fostered by this very nonsensical transition as well as the candidates themselves. it represents the authoritarianism of that state. the other, the muslim brotherhood, conservative islamist groups that has been
seen as abandoning the revolution in pursuit of its own interest in some ways. we will have to wait for the numbers tomorrow. everyone will be glued to this announcement tomorrow. it is a very close vote by all accounts. somewhere between 51%-49%. the decision is unappealable. everyone will be tune in tomorrow to find out who the incoming president is, even though his powers have been severely curtailed. >> sharif abdel kouddous, thank you for joining us. he is overlooking tahrir square in cairo and egypt. he is a "democracy now!" senior correspondent. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, julian assange has taken refuge in ecuador's embassy in london. he is seeking political asylum. the british police have issued an arrest warrant for him. we will speak with his lawyer
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> wikileaks founder julian assange has taken refuge in ecuador's embassy in london and asked for asylum. he made the move tuesday in a last-ditch bid to avoid extradition to sweden over sex crime accusations. earlier today, police in london announced assange is subject to rest now because his decision to
spend the night of the ecuadorian embassy violated conditions of his bail. assange is seeking asylum because he fears extradition to sweden may lead to his transfer to the u.s. for he could potentially face charges relating to wikileaks. an ecuadoran official said assange fears extradition "to a country where espionage and treason are punished with death penalty." ecuadoran government says assange can stay at the embassy for now as it reviews his request for asylum. in a statement, ecuador embassy said -- in 2010, ecuador invited assange to seek residency there, but quickly backed away from the idea, accusing him of breaking u.s. laws. in a moment, we will be joined by a member of julian assange's legal team. but first i want to turn to a
recent episode of his tv show, "the world tomorrow" in which he interviewed ecuadorian president rafael correa. >> president rafael correa, why did you want us to release all the tables? >> have nothing to fear. we have nothing to hide. your wikileaks have made us stronger as the main accusations made by the american embassy, due to our defense of the solvency of the ecuadorian government. indeed, we are nationalists. we do tiffany's sovereignty of our country. the wikileaks road about the power groups to seek help and report to foreign embassies. we have absolutely nothing to fear. let him publish everything they have about the ecuadoran government.
>> julian assange interviewing ecuadorean president rafael correa on his show to attack the world tomorrow." for more on his decision to seek asylum in the ecuador embassy, we're joined by michael ratner, president emeritus of the center for constitutional rights and lawyer for julian assange and wikileaks. welcome to "democracy now!" talk about this surprise move of julian assange. >> i was completely surprised. in fact, i got a text message from you that said, michael, julian assange has gone to the ecuadoran embassy. it surprised me. but if you look at what he was facing, i have been very and upset and nervous since he lost the decision in the high court of england on june 14. he is about to be extradited to sweden. sweden does not have bail. these are on allegations of sex
charges. allegations, no charges. but despite that, he would have been in prison in sweden. at that point, our view is there was a substantial chance the u.s. would ask for his extradition to the u.s.. you have him walking the streets and london under a bill condition, going to a jail in sweden where he is in prison. the u.s. false extradition. whatever time it takes him to fight the extradition in sweden, he is taken to the u.s. there's no chance to make political asylum application any longer. and also, once it comes to the u.s., we hold that bradley manning as to what will happen to julian assange. underground cell, abuse, torture, no ability to communicate with anyone, facing certainly a good life sentence with the possibility of one of these charges in the death penalty charge. he was in an impossible
situation. in my view, it is a situation of political persecution of gillian assange for his political activities. it fits in the asylum application procedure and of the declaration of human rights, which rafael correa is rafael korea or with the embassy in london was mentioning. his choices were terrible. not that they're so great right now. he is in the embassy in london. he has asked for political asylum. the ecuadorians will have to decide whether to give him political asylum or not. do, how does he then leave the embassy? that is a difficult question. the ecuadoran could ask the british for a safe passage to get him out of london and into ecuador. on the other hand, it is conceivable u.k. could arrest him if he tries to leave the embassy.
now he is in the embassy and having to stay there indefinitely until the situation can resolve. let me say the other situation was so terrible, in my view, the extradition to sweden, which was -- it is not about the charges in sweden. it is not about the allegations in sweden or the interrogation. i think if the u.s. tomorrow said, we will not be prosecuting wikileaks cordially in assange, delaware indictment, the grand jury is over, etc., etc., i do not think julian assange would have any issue about going to sweden for interrogation on these charges. what this is about is the u.s. want to get their hands on him and put him into an underground cell with no communications, give him life imprisonment. people have already called for his death. he was faced with a terrible
situation. considering he is a person who is exposed massive u.s. war crimes in iraq and afghanistan and wikileaks cables. >> extradition proceedings were to commence next week, june 28. the have any idea how long an application for asylum normally takes customer >> i am not sure i and a stand. >> the decision to send him to sweden. >> he would have had to be in sweden by july 7. as people in the u.s. know, if you apply for political asylum, they can take a week or two or three, four, five years. we do not know what that or will do. we know from what you played on president's rafael correa that it was sympathetic to wikileaks. some of those cables skewered some of the current government
in ecuador. in fact, u.s. ambassador lost his job for calling some part of the ecuadorean police corrupt. u.s. ambassador was kicked out. even though some of those secured some part of the accord during government, president rafael correa was willing to say, i believe in what wikileaks is doing. we need transparency and wikileaks is taking a positive step. >> you talked about the indictment against julian assange by the u.s., a grand jury, secret grand jury. what do you understand the u.s. once with julian assange? and why wouldn't they have moved on that while he was in britain? he was not walking a free man, but he was able to walk around during the day and home at night. >> for the u.s. to move within britain, it would have complicated matters a great deal. then he is facing a swedish
prosecution in the u.s. comes in and says, what happens to the u.s. indictment? then julian assange gets noted he has been indicted in the united states, and makes the situation more precarious. in addition, he probably would have been able to remain on the streets and london. in the u.s., it is understood that as soon as he got to sweden, he is in prison. those charges may not amount -- not charges, those allegations may not amount to anything once he testifies and gives evidence. then they can keep him in prison with this warrant. i also think if you look at this situation, sweden versus the u.k., the u.k. can take years to get some extradited. i forgot his name, but there was a young man who supposedly hacked into the pentagon computer to find out about ufo's 37, eight years and his extradition. it is a big country.
sweden, whenever we think of them, is justice system certainly seems to have some problems because to assange would be in jail without bail. also it is a smaller country and can be knocked around more by the united states. >> and why the u.s. would prosecute to in assange? it has nothing to do with these extra charge crimes. >> no, i think the sex charge crimes will be -- >> i should say allegations of sex charge crimes. he could possibly be let go. >> that is conceivable. when he said possibly let go, isn't or to understand he is in prison while that is going on. there were be someone in court, assuming there is an indictment, there be someone in court that says, we order you release. they would file the warrant and julian assange will not be able
to leave the court, would be back in prison and in the u.s. were only his lawyers will with him rich and i probably would not be able to say a word about what ever he said to me. the claim would be he is being investigated for espionage, for transmitting "secrets" of the u.s. government that were classified that could harm the united states in some way. that is what bradley manning is being looked out for under military law. that is what they would julian assange want to julian assange 4. there is a grand jury that has been going on since a least 2011. we of the stratfor emails. we recently have to people who have some association with wikileaks being questioned again by the fbi around julian assange and wikileaks. >> to is that? >> zimmerman and mccarthy.
one is from france and one is from iceland. in bradley manning's case, we have what came out -- >> the u.s. private who is accused of releasing tens of thousands of documents to wikileaks. >> right, he is in a court- martial proceeding in fort meade. as part of that court-martial proceeding, an fbi agent was asked about who else was being investigated. he said seven other civilians were being investigated with regard to wikileaks. who are they? he said, these are people who are managers or founders of wikileaks. we are talking about an active investigation, was probably an indictment already. this is what julian assange was facing, never to see the light of day again, in my view, if he is sent to sweden. it is not a great situation now. he is sitting in an embassy in
london. how does he get out? >> in response to the criticism, swedish authorities have said the european court of human rights would intervene if julian assange was to face "in human or degrading treatment or unfair trial" in the u.s. >> i'm not sure i understand that. european court of human rights only has jurisdiction over europe. once he is in the u.s., there's not much they can do. the european court recently came down with a major decision with muslim men. what they said was so negative and so outrageous, in my view, and such a denial of rights that i would not depend on european court of human rights. they basically disregarded the fact that people spend years in solitary in the united states, that they get licenses, that they have where they cannot
speak to each other. despite all of that evidence, the european court of human rights just approved the extradition of people from the united kingdom. >> let's go to julian assange in november after he lost his initial appeal. >> i have not been charged with any crime in any country. despite this, the european arrest warrant is so restrictive, that it prevents u.k. courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today. we will be considering our next step in the days ahead. the full judgment will be available on sweden versus assange.com. no doubt there been many attempts made to try and spin
these proceedings as they occurred today, but they are merely technical. please go to the website if you want to know what is really going on in this case. thank you. >> that was joined assange last november, michael ratner. >> he was talking about the restrictions on the arrest warrant and the case he lost in britain. this argument in britain was the swedish prosecutor had asked for his extradition and under the arrest warrant, needs to be a judge. the prosecutor has a bias because they want to prosecute. it went all the way up to the highest court in britain, which was a surprise to begin with. in the end, the highest court came down 5-2 against julian assange. i think most people, many of us think it was a political decision. they did not want to invalidate and other european countries
process for extraditing people under the european warrant. we lost that case and what many people would say was a political decision. that is when he was ordered to surrender and go to sweden. not go, he was picked up and put on an airplane and handcuffed, taken into sweden and taken to prison. the was as some point files are extradition warrant. as i said, he never really sees the light of day. >> on his show, julian assange asked rafael correa about the u.s. involvement in latin america. let's go to that clip. >> what to the ecuadorean people think about the united states and its involvement in latin america and ecuador? >> well, asevo morales says, the only country never to have a coup d'etat is the has not got .
[laughter] in any event, i would like to say one of the reasons that led to discontent was the fact we cut all the funding u.s. embassy provided to the police. before and even a year after we took office, we took a while to correct this, before there were hot key units fully funded by the u.s. embassy -- there were he is fully funded by the u.s. embassy, chose by the ambassador and paid by the u.s.. >> michael ratner, your response? >> president rafael correa got rid of the u.s. military base and ecuador. dave wikileaks campbell talked about the corruption of police with and ecuador. rafael correa korea said there were being paid by u.s. embassy. his great line is the only reason there is not a coup in the u.s. is there is no embassy
essentially to plant it. a good part of the world understands what bradley manning allegedly did and the importance of the publication by wikileaks of the diplomatic cable. obviously, not just in ecuador but yemen and cases my offices have been concerned with about rumsfeld in spain, which we see the u.s. interference all over the world. wikileaks exposed to the world not just the war crimes in iraq and afghanistan, but incredible hypocrisy in our own state department. >> any precedent for people staying in indices for years? it's not such great ones. the one that comes mostly the mine, the chinese that only state in the u.s. embassy for a couple of weeks, chen, because at every diplomat in the world saying let's do with the chinese and get them out of the embassy and into the u.s. we should only have that situation where people are going
to the ecuador embassy in santa the british, let's get him out and get in to ecuador. but the president i think of is a cardinal. he was the catholic in poland, opposition to the polish government's, took refuge in the u.s. embassy in spent 13 years in the embassy. there is precedent for very long times in the embassy. i want to see julian assange -- i want to see no prosecution in the u.s. i want him to see him be able to answer questions in sweden without the threat of immediate extradition to the united states. to deal with that and then what this world as a free person having really done an incredible service to the peoples of the world. >> michael ratner, a thank you for being with us, lawyer for julian assange and wikileaks. we're going to rio plus 20, rio
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> these are meeting in brazil for the start of the rio plus 20 earth summit, the largest united nations conference ever. the conference comes 20 years after the u.n. earth summit in rio de janeiro pledged to protect the planet by endorsing treaties on biodiversity and climate change. little has been done in the intervening years to reach developing goals in areas like food security, water, global warming, and energy. you and environment program executive director said leaders had to show more commitment now than they did 20 years ago. >> 20 years after rio, after all the negative trends we've described, we cannot stand before people and claim the last
20 years have succeeded in turning these trends around. >> all the negotiators have already agreed on a draft document to be approved by world leaders, many groups working on environmental and poverty issues have criticized the draft agreement saying it is far too weak. this is the greenpeace political director. a >> any progress see here and press conferences is about progress [unintelligible] >> to discuss the rio plus 20 summit and what is likely to come out of it, we go to rio to talk to kumi naidoo was flown in from south africa, its second director of greenpeace. -- he is executive director of greenpeace. can you talk about what you expect to come out of this summit, if anything?
mayor michael bloomberg who spoke tuesday in rio. >> the progress of the national and international levels has faltered, the fair is it the world's cities have forged ahead. the reason for that is clear. mayors, the great pragmatists on the world stage are directly responsible for the well-being of the majority of the world's people, just do not have the luxury of simply talking about change but not delivering it. >> kumi naidoo, your response to what mayor michael bloomberg had to say?
>> in the united states as well as the say south korea and other countries, in south korea we had an event with the mayor [inaudible] he presented a completely different vision. how they're trying to generate jobs. if you look to the u.s. as an example, there are so many signs of optimism at the local government level. but the reality is, the scale of the problem means we have to have national leadership of the highest level in every country. i think what the mayors are
doing [inaudible] the scale of the problem is insufficient. it is so big that it is just not going to be good enough for the challenges we face in terms of the filament and creating a more callous world. >> kumi naidoo, can you talk about the significance of the rio plus 20 question most important, what you think the world faces now around climate change with your enormous disappointment with the draft that is being passed around it was decided long before the meeting, this gathering, where tens of thousands of people are. what is at stake? the fact this is the largest even summit, and yet you do not see something coming out of