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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 24, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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12/24/14 12/24/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica this is democracy now! >> [chanting] >> protesters march in milwaukee after a prosecutor decides not to bring charges against a white police officer who fatally shot dontre hamilton, a mentally ill african-american man in april. we will go to milwaukee. then to guantanamo.
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to be doing everything i can to close it. it is something that continues to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world. >> six years after first promising to close guantanamo, president obama is beginning to release more men from the 13-year-old prison. this week, four afghans were sent home, but 132 men remain locked up. will guantanamo ever close? then we look at why a veterinarian from portland, oregon is still locked up in an east timorese jail after getting into the wrong taxi in september. and we end with a story of love, birth, and politics -- a story some are calling "diplomaculate conception." the wife of one of the members of the cuban five who was just released from prison after 16 years is expecting a baby, due in just two weeks, thanks to some unusual diplomatic moves. all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. police in missouri have fatally shot in 18-year-old black man just two miles from ferguson or an officer killed unarmed teenager michael brown in august. the victim has been identified as antonio martin. police say martin had pulled a gun on an officer who is conducting a routine check on a gas station. a woman identified as martin's mother said her son was with his girlfriend. no, they're not telling me nothing. >> what did the girlfriend tell you? >> they was walking and the police, i guess he started to run or something. the police started shooting. >> the mother said she was told her son was shot as he tried to
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run away. protesters gathered at the scene of the shooting overnight, leading to three arrests. the shooting in missouri comes as protesters in new york city have ignored a call to suspend demonstrations following the killings of two new york police officer's. york city mayor bill de blasio had estimates traders are a pause until after the funerals officers.ushed on tuesday, a crowd of several hundred marched through midtown manhattan to protest police brutality and racial profiling. shot.e cops have been apparently, by a crazed individual. it is necessary not to let that action become the face of this whole series of events because it is still young black men that are taking a beating and getting shot. >> earlier in the day, the mayor let a moment of silence for the two officers at city hall.
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meanwhile in houston, the shooting death of another unarmed african-american by police officer has led to another non-indictment. on tuesday, a grand jury cleared houston police officer juventino castro for the fatal shooting of 26-year old jordan baker. castro was off-duty and working as a private security guard when he shot and killed baker in january. castro says he tried to stop baker at a mall with a recent history of break-ins, and claims baker charged at him after the two got into a confrontation. baker was unarmed. at the courthouse, activist deric muhammad and jordan baker's mother, janet baker, denounced the non-indictment. >> welcome to ferguson, texas. out of 93 police killings, or halves -- there has not been one indictment. >> i've always said that i believe in god. it was friend, person said, justice delayed is not justice denied. when your child leaves and goes three blocks away from home --
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>> wow, three blocks. >> you expect them to come back. >> activists in houston have organized for a city-wide protest next monday. the baker family is calling for a federal investigation like those in other recent un-punished police killings unarmed african-americans -- michael brown, eric garner, and milwaukee's dontre hamilton. on tuesday, a group of milwaukee protesters staged a die-in at a local mall. they lay on the ground and read out loud 14 reasons why black lives matter -- 14 is the number of times dontre hamilton was shot. will go to milwaukee to talk more on dontre hamilton's case after headlines. the food and drug administration is easing a longtime ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men. men who've had sex with other men have been barred from giving blood since the dawn of the aids crisis in the early 1980's. the new rules will end the lifetime deferral period, but continue to bar donations from any man who's had sex with another within the previous 12 months. advocacy groups have campaigned
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for years to end the lifetime ban, saying it has no scientific reasoning. but many say the new one-year ban still falls short. in a statement, the group aids united called the policy change a step forward, but said it continues to perpetuate discrimination against gay and bisexual men. saying it was extremely disappointed, the group equality california said -- "this revised policy would continue to discriminate against gay and bisexual men with low risk factors based on their sexual orientation and would continue to unnecessarily prevent countless gay and bisexual men from making life-saving donations to the nation's blood supply. the obama administration's envoy for the effort to close guantánamo bay has resigned. clifford sloan, a washington lawyer, headed the state department's office of guantánamo closure for eighteen months. we'll have more on guantanamo later in the broadcast. republican congress member michael grimm of new york has pleaded guilty to tax fraud, but says he will not resign. on tuesday, grimm entered a guilty plea on a single charge of aiding in the preparation of
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a false tax return at his new york city fast-food health restaurant, healthalicious. as part of a plea deal, grimm admitted hiding over $900,000 in revenue and lying during a deposition. outside the courtroom, grimm told reporters he will keep his house seat after taking responsibility for his wrongdoing. >> if you do something wrong, you can never fully get past it until you accept responsibility for it, and that is what i'm doing, taking full responsibility so i can close this chapter of my life. i underreported the gross sales, receipts of the restaurant, to pay business expenses, including payroll for employees that were off the books. it is wrong. i should not have done it. and i'm truly sorry for it. >> the indictment grew out of a wider probe into grimm's campaign finances, which made national headlines when grimm threatened to throw a ny1 reporter off a balcony for asking him about the investigation. he'll face up to three years in prison at his sentencing in june. under house rules, members who
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plead guilty to crimes punishable by over two years in prison are supposed to refrain from casting votes or from taking part in committees. the movie studio sony will be releasing the controversial comedy, "the interview," after all. the film's release was cancelled last week following threats against theaters and a hack of sony's corporate data. the obama administration blamed north korea for targeting sony in response to the film's plot, which revolves around a cia effort to kill north korean leader kim jong-un. many experts have questioned the evidence of north korean responsibility for the hack, and the u.s. rejected north korea's demand for a joint probe. on tuesday, sony said "the interview" will be screened at art-house theaters around the country as well as on demand. and the world's first-ever treaty regulating the global arms trade has taken effect. the united nations arms trade treaty legally entered force
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today following its approval last year. it subjects exporters in the $85 billion global weaponry industry to strict criteria in an effort to prevent acts of genocide or terrorism. the u.s. is the world's largest weapons exporter. it signed the treaty last year, but the senate has not yet ratified it. in a statement, the group oxfam celebrated the treaty's implementation, saying -- "the arms trade treaty will transform the global arms business. it will no longer be acceptable to look the other way when arms are transferred to regimes that will use them to harm innocent people and violate their human rights." and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. in wisconsin, a prosecutor has decided not to bring charges against a white police officer who fatally shot a mentally ill african american man. in april, milwaukee officer christopher manney responded to
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a call about a man sleeping in a park. before manney arrived, two other officers had already spoken to the man, dontre hamilton, and found he was not causing a problem. but manney said hamilton resisted when he tried to frisk him, sparking a confrontation, during which hamilton grabbed manney's baton and hit him. manney opened fire, shooting hamilton 14 times. the shooting led to manney's firing for violating the department's policy for handling people with mental illnesses. but on monday, milwaukee county district attorney john chisholm said manney acted in self-defense. >> after carefully analyzing the investigation, the forensic evidence in the case, the law, in the conclusions about the local use of force expert in the report, i've come to the conclusion that criminal charges are not appropriate in this case and i'm releasing all the information related to this investigation so that you, the public, can see all of the facts
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related to this decision. >> the shooting of dontre hamilton has sparked mass protests in milwaukee including a highway shutdown friday which resulted in 74 arrests. one day later, milwaukee governor scott walker called up -- wisconsin governor scott walker called up the national guard to be on standby. on tuesday a group of protesters staged a die-in at mayfair mall. they lay on the ground and read out loud 14 reasons why black lives matter -- 14 is the number of times dontre hamilton was shot. on monday, his brother spoke outside the federal courthouse. family, they've cried too long. as a people, we are done crying. upre not going to cover injustice with our feelings. we're not going to be laid back
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and stay sheltered from justice. we deserve justice. my family, i love my family, i love my brothers. fight that we're going to endure. we are going to stay strong. we're not going to waiver. we're not going to let it pass. or not going to turn our back no more. >> meanwhile, the justice department has announced a federal review of the case. well, for more, we go now to milwaukee, wisconsin, where we're joined by democratic state representative mandela barnes. he joins us from the pbs station . we welcome you to democracy now! can you start off by giving our
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reaction to the decision not to indict the police officer who killed dontre a hamilton and explain what happened in the park as you understand it? >> first of all, i want to thank you for having me this morning. it is a very important issue and i'm glad we're getting some national attention on the issue. i was very disappointed when our district attorney chose not to .harge former officer manney i put in a phone call to the district attorney's office on friday. we typically have had a very good working relationship. he is someone i have respect for, still to this moment, but he is gotten this case wrong. last year, he got another case wrong, in my opinion, with a young man who was killed in a convenient store. he was shoplifting. after the m man was caught shoplifting, he returned every item he had to the store clerk. he was getting ready to leave the store and a number of men decided to take it upon
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themselves to place another level of justice upon this young man and they took him down, eventually killing the young man. there were no charges pressed against anybody. that was the first mark. this is the second marked with the non-charging of former officer manney. for officer manney to have lost his job, that means something terrible took place. something that warranted his termination. for him to not be criminally charged, that is beyond my imagination at this point. seeing that he acted in a capacity as an officer with negligence -- and i will say, in every form of the term, overkill -- he was the third officers to check on dontre hamilton and fired 14 shots into one individual. if you were to punch a person 14 times, you would disable that person. for him to have decided to take
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it upon himself to say, all right, well, i don't know if you checked with other officers to see what happened because -- i want to know the opinion of the other two officers. why did they leave the situation alone? for him to be the third person -- anybody would be aggravated if we were stopped by three officers in one day in the same place within a very short timeframe. and for person dealing with some form of mental illness, diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, to be a person in that mental state and for the officer to not have reacted appropriately or approached the situation appropriately, that is criminally negligent, in my opinion. you went against the rules and the training, and as a result, someone is dead now. at least -- at the least, there are some form of responsibility that has to be taken for the loss of another life, and that has not happened. i'm very disappointed with the decision of the district
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attorney. >> why did it take so long to even make a decision? this happened in april, months before the michael brown situation in ferguson or the eric garner killing in staten island, yet this decision has only come down now. >> right. what you see, when it takes this long, the decision, the decision has are ready been made. when it takes this long, it is a time period for the decision-makers to craft a response palatable for the public, or should be palatable to the public, but this is not justice. you can no way palatable injustice such as this one. >> in milwaukee police chief ed october, flynn announced he had fired officer christopher manney. >> christopher manney treated hamilton as though he were a dangerous criminal. instead of following his training in treating mr. hamilton as an edp. christopher manney's approach,
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including an out a policy pat down, was not based on individualized reasonable suspicion, but on an assumption of his mental state and his housing status. this intentional action, in violation of training and policy, instigated a physical confrontation that necessitated the use of deadly force. ofed on the conference internal investigation -- comprehensive internal investigation by the milwaukee police department, i charged officer manney with a violation of our core value 1.00 confidence in reference to his out of policy contact with mr. hamilton, which ultimately led to his within policy use of deadly force. based on the totality of the circumstances, including the aggravating and mitigating factors i have described, i
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signed in order terminating christopher manney from his employment with the milwaukee police department earlier today. >> that is milwaukee police chief flynn's decision to fire manney, stirring unrest among the department's rank and file. the milwaukee police association convened a no-confidence vote in flynn. the union has not disclosed the exact number of voters, but said it was a majority of the roughly 1,600 membership. can you talk more about this, representative mandela barnes? buts fired from the force, also he is been vindicated. he is not been indicted. >> that's why hamilton is dead, the intentional out of policy behavior of former officer christopher manney. that says enough. he acted in the capacity as a sworn officer. as a result of your action as a sworn officer that is not compliant with the code of conduct, a person is dead.
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for him to not receive any criminal charges, egg and, is beyond me. as farce the milwaukee police association, i'm disappointed that would take a no-confidence vote. if you were to take a no-confidence vote of police officers, you may see the same result when you see things like this -- again, it is not every officer. there are so many good officers. the overwhelming number majority of officers are good. however, you see situations like this play out when you have these bad actors and these bad actors are not properly reprimanded, it creates a coulter in a suspicion amongst the general population that the police in general are not acting in our favor, which isn't true, but if you have players like the milwaukee police association defending the behavior, then it would lead one to believe or lead one to question whose side they are really on. , thever political reason
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milwaukee police association felt the need to step in and be very antithetical to the opinion .f the populace it is remarkable, honestly. some things you just cannot defend. i don't see how they could defend this. officers don't just get let go. they don't just get terminated. this is not a usual occurrence. for chief flynn to step in a make the bold decision to terminate officer manney -- former officer manney's employment, that was a step in the right direction to build more confidence with the city of milwaukee police and the general public. however, the milwaukee police association, they need to step in a be very critical of chief flynn doing nothing but diminish of the step that she flynn has taken. representative barnes, first of all, the reaction among the citizens of milwaukee to this case, the protests that have been occurring in the blocking of the highway, the governor walker's decision to put the
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national guard on standby? >> governor walker is no stranger to protests and protesters. to signal he was going to call in the national guard, as he did almost four years ago when we saw what became act 10, it is a scare tactic. it is a way -- waste of taxpayer money. there is no indication yet of the protests were going to get out of hand, no indication that they would be violent. they had not been. there have been no arrests until the incident on the freeway. it is a shame we see not only governor walker, but also sheriff clark step in and feel the need to bring in additional forces. it is the same thing. i made a comparison that calling in the national guard on peaceful protesters is like an officer firing 14 shots at an unarmed man who sleeping in a park. this excessive use of force, this creation of fear amongst
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people, is what leads to the mistrust or the lack of trust for the general public and law enforcement. again, governor walker, sheriff clark, in my opinion, were both out of line for signaling the need to call in the national guard. it is unnecessary. it proved unnecessary. >> milwaukee county supervisor deanna alexander recently tweeted -- well, i broke down & bought myself a present: a breathe easy -- don't break the law" t-shirt! #wiright can you respond to that? >> yes. for the same reasons that she flynn basically said that he let officer manney go because of lack of confidence, unfortunately, as a person he was elected to public office, this shows -- again, it is ok if you want to be antithetical or the antagonist, but we're talking about human life right now. this shows in at her disrespect and disregard for human life.
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these were a man's dying words, "i can't breathe." these are air garner illustrious nine words, "i can't breathe." for her to step in and feel she needs to placate her constituents -- not even her constituency. but to placate her supporters, you can kowtow to any political persuasion as you wish. this is not a left or right issue. this is not a democrat were republican issue. >> she occupies a position that walker used to be in? no, governor walker was the county executive. she's a supervisor. her to display this utter disregard for human life to show she has no capacity to serve in public office. thisis honorable sleep -- is honestly somebody i disagree with fundamental on many issues
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will stop whenever i see her -- we are always able to have a cordial conversation, but this crosses the line. this is completely out of line to disrespect any human -- my twitter is going crazy now because some of you mentioned me in the same tweet as her. now my twitter is going crazy. there is no excuse for that type of behavior. finally, representative barnes, what is the recourse to offer those who are still seeking to get justice in the case of dontre hamilton and for his family? >> the federal investigation right now is the next up. it is were the hamilton family is bringing in the department of justice. and still just throwing whatever they can -- doing whatever they can to bring more attention to the situation. the more people that know about the situation, the more people
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feel a level of compassion and understand that an injustice was done and the fact that officer manney is not facing charges, criminal charges at least at the state level, is very unfortunate. at the family must keep on and keep pressing leaders, whether you are an elected leader or just a leader in our respective community. we have to continue to pay attention. we have to continue to put pressure and make sure we have policies in place that lead to create a stronger relationship with milwaukee police or police across the entire country in the populace. >> we want to thank you for being with us, wisconsin democratic state representative mandela barnes. speaking to us from the walkie. when we come back, we're talking t guantánamo. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> the united states has released four afghan prisoners from guantanamo bay. the four men will a purely be able to live without restriction. earlier this month, six other guantánamo prisoners were sent to uruguay for years after they were first approved for release. the transfer was the largest for a single group of guantánamo prisoners since 2009. meanwhile, the obama administration's envoy for the effort a close one time obey has resigned, clifford sloan a washington lawyer. he headed the state department's office of guantánamo closure for 18 years. speaking to cnn on sunday,
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president obama said he will do everything he can to close guantanamo. >> i'm going to be doing every thing i can to close it. it is something that continues to inspire jihadists in around the world, the fact that these folks are being held. it is contrary to our values and it is wildly expensive. we need to close that facility, and i'm going to do everything i can. >> with the latest release, there are 132 prisoners left at guantanamo. to talk more about the significance of this, we're joined now by pardiss kebriaei, senior staff attorney with center for constitutional rights. welcome to democracy now! so there have been the series of two groups who have been released from guantánamo. talk about their significance. all of these men were held for over a decade, for 12, 13 years without charge. they were all approved for release by the obama administration in 2009. the four men who would to
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afghanistan spent half of their in prison at guantánamo wedding for release. the significance, i think, in terms of uruguay in particular, it is the first latin american country, the first country is -- in latin america to offer safe haven to men who needed in order to leave guantánamo. president ortega has emphasized the fact he is doing this as a humanitarian gesture -- president mujica has emphasized the fact he is doing this as a humanitarian gesture. his expression of support, the fact that uruguay has come forward and taken six men, he released a letter stating the united states did not have enough information that these in conductingved or facilitating terrorist activities. so i think are the region, it is important and i think -- we hope there's more of an opening for more countries in south america and the region to come forward
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and take additional men who remain. there are 64 men, 132 still at guantánamo, who have been approved for release. most of him since 2009, so it is absolutely past time for these men to go home. we're approaching the 13th year anniversary of guantánamo january 11, the beginning of the 14th year that these men have been imprisoned. it is past time to close it. >> in an interview, the outgoing uruguay president. >> that isn't a prison. it is a kidnapping den. a prison until's objection to some system of law. presence of some sort a prosecutor, the decision of some judge -- whomever that may be. and a minimal point of reference from a judicial point of view. guantánamo has nothing. >> that was outgoing president
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mujica. one of the folks released their described his . beautiful country in uruguay. i study everyday. i can speak a little spanish and a know how to say saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday. , this wholeiaei issue of sloan resigning. could you talk about that and the speculation he was very unhappy with the pace of the releases, especially with the responses of the defense department to releasing the men and guantánamo? >> just on that point of the video you just showed, i think it is for important to know the american public never has direct exposure to the men themselves. i think if we were to have that kind of exposure -- and are citizens of the rest of the world that interact with former detainees who can go to panel
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discussions and have them talk about their imprisonment, who can have that exposure first-hand. we never get that in the united states. that is one of the reasons why i think these myths about who we of held in the fear mongering that continues to happen is allowed to continue. it is important to note. as far as sloan, i don't know we really have much insight into why he resigned. i think the point is administration needs to fill the position immediately. his played a critical role. it is the special envoy, the person tasked with negotiating transfers. he was appointed by president obama after the hunger strikes in 2013, after a couple of years where the office had been closed. since sloan had been in his position, there has been nearly two dozen transfers. so the pace of transfers has been what should be happening or we expect to continue to be happening.
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the administration needs to fill the position immediately. >> i want to turn a, sup president obama made about guantánamo while speaking to candy crowley on her last show on cnn over the weekend. >> a little less than 150 individuals left in this facility. we're going to continue to place those who have been cleared for release or transfer to host countries that are willing to take them. there is going to be a certain reducible number that are going to be really hard cases. we know they have done something wrong, and they are still dangerous, but it is difficult to mount the evidence in a traditional article three court. but we need to close that facility and i'm going to do anything i can. >> president obama, one of his first acts in office as president, way back in 2009, was to close guantánamo. congress opposed it. what can he do?
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he is done a lot on other issues right now, the issue of immigration, for example. what can he do in guantánamo? ofhe can continue the pace transfers until all of the men, not just those who are cleared right now, but all of the men did administration does not intend to charge are released. he has the authority under congress. their countries coming forward. there are a number of men -- this is largely a prison for yemeni detainees. over 80 of the 132 who are still there are from yemen some of those men want to go home. they should be able to go home. the administration is said it will review cases individually, case-by-case, should be looking at the specific circumstances of each of those people, and determining whether some of them can go home. some of them, frankly, want to go to third countries and should -- >> what can be done about that yemeni situation, where the government in yemen, given the
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continuing strife there, is really in a position to say, we're going to take all of these guys back? >> of the 64 that have been cleared, 55 for yemeni. these are many administration have determined to not pose the threat that required them to be detained at guantánamo. there is this myth that all of these people are guantánamo were ever engaging in terrorism to begin with. the idea there is a risk of returning to the battlefield is false. we need to be clear about that. there are administration officials themselves, the former commander guantánamo, said, easily, one third of the men there should not have been there. history and facts when you to be clear about in terms of who we have held their. >> it is quite amazing, and the last few weeks, this historic development, the u.s. and cuba normalizing relations. for the u.s. to have this piece of land, rent it from cuba, you
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would think since the u.s. has imposed this embargo for more than 50 years, what they would want to do with that piece of land is show cuba what they believe, with the us government believes democracy should look like, should be conducted like. instead, they have this prison where they have tortured and help men, many of them who have been clear for more than a decade. >> absolutely. in the context of discussion about account ability for torture, it is important to note and be clear when the u.s. releases people and sends them home, there is never a moment of acknowledgment of wrongdoing for having held them for 12, 13 years without charge, and having tortured them. we know torture has happened, not just in cia black sites, but military prisons like guantánamo. >> should the u.s. get guantánamo, this whole area back , back to cuba? >> the first up would be closing the prison and closing at the right way, not whittling the number prisoners down to some
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palatable number for the u.s. public. >> pardiss kebriaei, thank you for being with us senior staff , attorney with center for constitutional rights. when we come back, woman who gets in a cabinet small island nation called east timor ends up in prison. we will find out why. and in a remarkable christmas story is a prisoner returning to cuba sees his wife for the first time, gets to hold her for the first time in years. she is about to give birth to a baby in about two weeks. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> "happy christmas," john lennon and yoko ono recorded in 1971 with the harlem community choir. there is had, what can they do about the war question mark maybe they could just believe it is over. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> nearly two years ago a veterinarian from portland, oregon named stacey addison began a trip around the world starting in antarctica. but the trip turned into a nightmare soon after she arrived in east timor in september. on september 5, stacey was traveling in a shared taxi with another passenger she had never met. the other passenger asked the driver to stop at a dhl postal office to pick up a package. it turned out the package contained illegal drugs. soon after, the taxi was stopped by police.
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police arrested everyone in the car. more than three months later, stacey is still locked up in east timor. >> stacey was initially detained for five days and then released, but had her passport taken. she was then re-arrested on october 28. her family and friends have been waging an international campaign for her release. the state department said in response to democracy now's request for comment -- "we seek a prompt and transparent resolution to this case in accordance with timorese law. we continue to work with the government of timor-leste to ensure that she is given due process under the timorese legal system." we are joined now by two guests. on the phone from oregon is stacey addison's mother, bernadette kero. and here in new york is charles scheiner, the former national coordinator of the east timor & indonesia action network, etan. he has lived in timor-leste since 2001. he works as a researcher for la'o hamutuk, the timor-leste institute for development monitoring and analysis.
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let's first go to stacey's mom in oregon, bernadette kero. explain exactly what happened. stacey has been posting to facebook, her traveling, she was a veterinarian so she is always showing herself with animals around the world. and then, bernadette, what happened when she crossed from west timor into east timor? >> well, she had been traveling on the asian leg of her journey and her indonesian passport was about to expire, so she crossed into two more -- timor. renew herion was to indonesian passport, but spent a week or two in east timor. she heard it was a beautiful country. they had good [indiscernible]
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so she intended to tour the .ountry when she crossed the border, she was approached by someone to hire a car with another passenger, so she paid $10 to , and that is dili what transpired. the other passenger, as you said, asked to stop at dhl and picked up a package. apparently, there were some sort of tiff in the car was surrounded by police. everyone was arrested. thatally, they told stacey they needed to search her. they searched her, everything. her belongings, her ipad, even her and fill -- advil. they gave her a drug test. everything was negative.
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the driver and the other passengers said they did not know her, but she was taken to jail for five days before being brought before the judge. again, the other passenger in the driver testified -- and the driver testified before the judge that they did not know her. she was given conditional release. so she was able to be about dili for two months, but she didn't have her passport. during that time, she asked to be questioned repeatedly. she just wanted to cooperate to show she is nothing to do with it. so it was very shocking when she was arrested and actually put in prison. her whenid they tell they rearrested her, for the reasons for it? >> really, there was not much of
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the next donation. everything was very murky. the only explanation her lawyer received was that the previous prosecutor who since has been fired and removed and left the country, he had put in a month before an appeal that he did not agree with her conditional release. any kind.charges or apparently, it is legal that people there can be kept without a charge. oxley prosecutor has been thrown out, the judge has been thrown out, but stacey remains in jail. onant to turn to comment stacey addison made by
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timor-leste's former head of state and nobel laureate, jose ramos-horta. he was speaking to cnn. >> she was depressed. prison.herself in can expect not to be depressed. that she isis completely innocent. jose ramos-horta.me charles scheiner, can you put this in a bigger context? we don't cover east timor very much. we used to when it was occupied by indonesia for a quarter of a century and a brutal occupation i killed one third of the population. explain what is happening. you have lived there for more than a decade. has been's case -- she very unlucky, clearly. a combination of bad luck that is led to her still being in
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prison. she should be charged or release and have her day in court like anyone else. i think she action has been treated fairly well. she is depressed. nobody was to be in prison far away from their family and home. but if we're competitive and then in east timor u.s., there are about 400,000 in the u.s. and u.s. does not have 44 million times the population re-leste. the situation there, there are problems with the justice system. in stacey's case, there seems to be some progress in she may well be released in the next few weeks. but there are much bigger problems for the million timorese people who live in that country. problems of poverty, lack of rule of law, increasing distance between the small ruling elite and the great majority of the
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population. >> it became a country in 2002. >> right, after the indonesian occupation, which came after a must 500 years of portuguese colonial rule. there was a vote in 1999 and 2.5 years of united nations transitional government then timor-leste became a sovereign nation in 2002. it is only 12 years old. problems that many adolescents have of trying to figure out its identity, trying atfigure out looking short-term policies and short-term decisions rather than thinking about the future. as one of the most petroleum dependent countries in the world , except it doesn't have very , it has and natural gas a window of opportunity to use that money to benefit the lives of the people and to develop a more sustainable economy. unfortunately, it is not using the opportunity. >> i was going ask you, it has a relatively good size of a
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considerable surplus in terms of its oil revenues at this stage of billions of dollars in a fund and yet it is not utilizing that to improve the conditions of the people? >> right. timor-leste wisely realized before the first early getting money from oil and gas, which was in 2006, that that was temporary. the oil and gas was nonrenewable once it was extracted, they would not have it anymore and should not spend the money as fast as it comes in. they have spent about $5 billion out of the oil money. they've saved about $16 billion. they have already been through are used of about two thirds of the oil and gas reserves. in another five years when the oil and gas runs out, and the 95% of the state budget that it now pays for, it is about 80% of the entire economy. when that comes to 0 -- it is all ready dropping -- they will need that $16 billion. what is distressing to the
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organization i work for him to many people is that the $5 billion that has been spent has been invested in things like education, health care, basic sanitation -- the things that are needed to improve both people's lives and sustainable economy in the future. >> explain what stacey has been caught in right now. she is been held in pretrial detention. the prosecutor and the judge -- why of the been thrown out of the country. >> in the end of october, the prime minister went to the parliament in a closed meeting, which i think is not legal, and persuaded parliament to pass a we need tosaying have a thorough audit of the judicial system and all foreign advisersrs, judges, working in the judicial system should leave the country. then there was a same day resolution passed by the to the toce that -- by
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reports that. the court said we have separation of powers and the judges and prosecutors don't work for the parliament. the prime minister said, they work for me. a resolution was passed saying these people don't have valid visas anymore and have to leave within 48 hours. and they did. timor-leste, as a small new country, depends on foreigners for a lot of things, including some support in the court system. many of the foreigners who go there are not very good. it is not a question that these are wonderful judges who were doing a great job. the one was the prosecutor for stacey's case, who was a foreigner, is part of the problem of why she still imprisoned. he is gone now because the timorese prosecutor, who is doing a much better job, wishing her and taking statements, starting the process now, which will get her out of prison. >> i want to bring up stacey's
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mother back into the conversation. what can of contact have you had with your daughter and what has been the role of u.s. officials in east timor in terms of helping you gain her freedom? i can contact her once a week through the embassy. when they visit, i can e-mail them a letter and they print it out and she's able to write me a response, and they scan it back. that is my only contact, is once a week. she is discouraged. withas been ill gastrointestinal problems. quite severely, this last week. so that is my basic contact. the embassy has been very supportive.
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they usually call me after the visits and let me know. and we have been in touch through e-mail. so that is my contact. shiner, ie to mr. would agree totally that i've read a lot about the country and did not know much about it before this, but since, i've read quite a bit. and it had quite a history of struggles. and i think it is just unfortunate for, of course, my daughter, for our family, and for the country, this'll situation. because stacey is just the type of person, tourist, they could benefit their country. she wanted to see the local coulter. to thenterested in going
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sites, scuba, and all that. and a professional who, you know, loved to travel and had semester money to do it. >> we will continue to tell her story. bernadette kero, thank you for being here from oregon. dr. stacey addison's mom. stacey is in jail in east timor. we will have a link to her facebook on democracynow.org. charlie scheiner, thank you for , former national coordinator of the east timor and indonesia action network, etan. we end today's show with a story of love, birth and politics -- a wife of one of the members of the cuban five who was just released from prison after 16 years is expecting a baby, due just two weeks from now.
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gerardo hernandez, the baby's father, is one of the three former cuban intelligence agents released as part of a prisoner swap amidst thawing ties with cuba last week. while he was not allowed conjugal visits, hernandez was able to impregnate his wife by having his frozen sperm transferred to his wife in panama, a process authorized by u.s. officials, funded by the cuban government, and facilitated by a staffer for vermont senator patrick leahy. the process reportedly helped set a softer tone between cuba and the united states, which culminated in the resumption of diplomatic ties and the release of two u.s. prisoners, including usaid contractor alan gross. and gerardo hernandez and his wife, adriana perez, are now expecting a baby girl. senator leahy appeared on "today" to discuss what happened. >> ok, we will do this if you do that. we just didn't as a human -- as
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humans. ofto improve the conditions alan gross's prison cell. the major medic improvements. didn't release him, but major medic improvements. letter froma cursing she was pregnant and -- and we got a letter from her sexual pregnant and thanking us. i felt like a godfather or something. the joy on his face, especially the joy on hers, and they're going to have a little girl. >> senator leahy questioned yes longtime aide facilitated this. for more we're joined by martin garbus, who played a key role in this amazing story. he is a member of the cuban five legal team. "time magazine" calls martin garbus one of the best trial lawyers in the country, while the national law journal has named him one of the country's
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top ten litigators. were you there when the transfer of sperm was made? >> i was not. i think it speaks to the interest of cuban people, the interest of gerardo and his wife. they are an exceptional couple. over the years, we will learn more about them. he was a man who was in prison 16 years, did about three years in solitary confinement. never committed an infraction in prison. never committed an infraction in prison. it is a very difficult thing not to do something like that. visitedman -- i never him when he wasn't up. i never visited him when he did look for the future with he and his wife. one of the things i asked him about i said, how can you have this kind of attitude when you are in prison? in a maxima unsecured
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prison. he is educated man. most of those running them in prison did not have an education. >> he was spying not on the united states, worked with the u.s., smiling -- spying on and check cuban groups in the u.s. >> i said, how do get through every day? he said, i'm different than most of the prisoners in the prison system. he said a lot of them feel they took lives or sold drugs. i saved people's lives. because of me, people's lives on the island are saved. >> but how did this happen? >> this happen as part of the negotiation. >> how did they do it? did they free the sperm? >> i'm not free to talk about that. it was part of the negotiations with gross.
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readybans are more than to make sure that he did have to suffer the same situation as gerardo. >> were you involved with the situation -- is the baby going to look like you are him? [laughter] it is quite an interesting story. they're going to have their baby in about two weeks. gena. baby's name is it was nerve-racking somewhat for him to be sitting in jail while all of this is going on, not knowing how and when it was going to be disclosed. and hoping that his wife's health, while his -- >> it all came from her approaching senator leahy visiting cuba? >> yes. >> well, gerardo, thank you for sort of --martin garbus, thank
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you for sort of clearing that up. that does it for the broadcast. but very special happy birthday. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by
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