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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 11, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST

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11/11/15 11/11/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! withoutan be strong being involved in every civil war around the world. >> how would you respond? >> ronald reagan was strong but -- >> he walked away. he quit -- quick can i finish my time? >> why do you keep interrupting everybody? amy: in their fourth presidential debate, republican presidential candidates spar on
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foreign policy, military spending, and immigration, but the frontrunners all agreed on opposing the raising of the minimum wage. we will air debate excerpts and get response. then to "terror in little saigon." >> years after the vietnam war, a wave of terror and murder journalists. quick tell your father to stop what he is doing or he will pay the consequences. >> no one was ever charged. >> somebody knows. >> is shadowy group. amy: during the 1980's, five vietnamese american reporters were murdered in the united states. despite lengthy fbi probes, none of the victims' killers were ever brought to justice. could a stunning new documentary lead authorities to reopen the cases? we will speak to journalists a.c. thompson and rick rowley. all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the fourth republican presidential debate took place in milwaukee, wisconsin last night with a smaller field of candidates on stage. ate out of the 14 candidates took part in the main event after low poll numbers forced governor chris christie and mike huckabee to the so-called undercard debate. the first question of the night aresed on protesters who outside the venue to many $15 an hour minimum wage. donald trump, ben carson and marco rubio all rejected a minimum wage increase. trump said wages are already too high. >> taxes too high, wages too high, we're not going to be able to compete against the world. i hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. people have to go out. they have to work really hard and get into the upper stratum.
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amy: his remarks came as fast food workers walked off the job in hundreds of cities across the country the manning a $15 an hour minimum wage and union rights. here in new york, restaurant server gabrielle hatcher said the movement has broad support. >> this is support for a lot of different things. i know black lives matter was here. i think some people are wondering why they're here, but racial justice and economic justice are two sides of the same coin. when women have been color -- when women of color have been turned down. they are one and the same. there is no room for growth right now. i think that needs to change. amy: new york governor andrew cuomo has announced he will increase the minimum wage for state workers to $15 an hour, making new york the first day to do so. workers who serve food at the
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capitol also took part in the strike, joined by vermont senator in democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders who echoed their call for a $15 an hour minimum wage. hillary clinton has called raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has wrapped up a visit to washington. a day after meeting president obama at the white house, netanyahu met with lawmakers and addressed the democratic think tank center for american progress. his appearance comes as leaked emails reported by the intercept show cap censoring its own writers on the topic of israel. netanyahu has reportedly requested a record $5 billion in annual u.s. military aid, an increase over the $3 billion a year the u.s. already provides. ahead of netanyahu's visit, israeli moved to greenlight the expansion of israeli settlements in the west bank with 2200 new housing units. the move recalled a similar act
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i netanyahu just before a visit to israel by joe biden in 2010. the settlements are considered illegal under international law. but president obama reportedly did not raise the issue during his meeting with netanyahu monday. addressing the jewish federation of north america tuesday, netanyahu praised the meeting with obama, saying, "israel has no better friend than america." >> i had a very good meeting with president obama and i his commitmentte to bolster security. at a time when the middle east is becoming more dangerous than ever. and i also want to say that we are sharing so many things, the united states has given indispensable help to israel, that israel is returning that assistance almost on a daily basis in intelligence and in many other things. amy: two young palestinian cousins have been arrested and accused of stabbing and wounding an israeli security guard in
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east jerusalem. the guard shot and wounded the younger boy who was in separate 12. incidents tuesday, israeli forces killed two other palestinians accused of attempting knife attacks around jerusalem. meanwhile, the palestinian ma'an news agency reports israeli forces used live fire during a raid on the qalandiya refugee camp near the occupied west bank city of ramallah, wounding 13 palestinians. president obama is expected to sign a sweeping military spending bill, even though it restricts prison transfers from guantánamo. the national defense authorization act passed by the senate tuesday extends a ban on moving guantánamo prisoners to the united states, and sets new restrictions on transfers to other countries, including libya, syria, yemen, and somalia. white house spokesperson josh earnest said obama will likely sign the measure. >> our view of those specific andisions have not changed,
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what the president does believe, though, is there are a number of provisions in the nda that are important to running and protecting the country. so that is why i would expect presidentould see the signed the ndaa whenever it comes to his desk. that does not reflect a change in our position or the intensity of our position about the need to close the prison at president signed the ndaa whenever it comes to his desk. that does not reflect a change in our position or the intensity of our position about the need to close the prison at guantánamo bay and the need for congress to cooperate with us in doing so. amy: this with the obama ministry is expected to unveil its plan to close guantanamo. an american contractor detained by houthi rebels in yemen has died. the state department confirmed the death of john hamen tuesday but did not say how he had died. , in a defeat for austerity in portugal, an alliance of
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left-wing parties has topped the -- toppled the center-right government just weeks after it came to power. lawmakers from the socialist, communist, and left bloc parties joined together to vote down the government's austerity program, for to meet -- forcing the portuguese government to resign. the socialist party leader is now expected to become prime minister. the german airline lufthansa has cancelled about a third of its flights after a german court rejected a bid to stop a strike of cabin crew workers. the strike began friday over pay and retirement provisions. about 100,000 flights were canceled. the university of missouri has named its first interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity, and equity after protests over racism on campus forced two top officials to resign. president tim wolfe and columbia campus chancellor bowen loftin both announced they would step down after students of color on the football team joined the mounting protests.
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after the resignations, graduate students rallied tuesday, vowing to keep up the fight for racial justice on campus. meanwhile, an assistant communications professor has apologized and resigned her courtesy appointment at the university of missouri journalism school after a viral video showed her calling for some muscle to help remove a journalist from at a protest. quick can i talk to you? >> you need to get out. >> no, i don't. >> you need to get out. >> i actually don't. >> who wants delicate this reporter out of here? i need some muscle. amy: melissa click apologized for the incident, saying, "i regret the language and strategies i used." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the fourth republican presidential debate was held in milwaukee last night with a
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smaller field gracing the stage. eight out of the 14 candidates took part in the main event after low poll numbers forced new jersey governor chris christie and former arkansas governor mike huckabee to the undercard. donald trump and ben carson remained center-stage as the top front runners, despite ongoing controversy over statements by both and new questions over whether carson has embellished his life story. part of the main action tuesday came not at the podiums but right outside. hundreds of people staged a protest as part of a nationwide "fight for 15" day of action demanding higher pay and union , rights for fast-food and other low-wage workers. asked about the protests by debate moderator neil cavuto of fox business, the three top candidates -- donald trump, ben carson, and marco rubio -- all said they oppose a higher minimum wage. trump said he thinks wages are
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already too high. >> mr. trump, as a leading presidential candidate on this stage and one whose tax plan exams couples making up to $50,000 a year from paying any federal income taxes at all, are you sympathetic to the protesters cause since a $15 weight works out to about $31,000 he year? >> i can't be, neil. the reason i can't be is that we are country that is being beaten on every front economically, militarily. there is nothing that we do now to win. we don't win anymore. our taxes are too high. i have come up with a tax plan that many many people like very much. it is going to be a tremendous plan. i think it will make our country and our economy very dynamic. but taxes too high, wages too high, were not going to be able to compete against the world. i hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.
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people have to go out. they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum. but we cannot do this if we are going to give people the rest of the world. we just can't do it. >> so do not raise the minimum wage? >> i would not raise the minimum. >> after carson? >> people need to be educated on the minimum wage. every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. this is particularly a problem in the black community. of black teenagers have a job who are looking for one. highhat's because of those wages. if you lower those wages, that comes down. >> senator rubio? >> if i thought it was the best way to help people increase their pay, i would be for it, but it isn't. in the 21st century, it is a
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disaster. you're going to make people more expensive than the machine and that means all of this automation that's replacing jobs and people right now is only going to be accelerated. amy: in the biggest gaffe of the night, texas senator ted cruz stumbled and fell short when trying to name the five federal agencies that he would cut to fulfill his vow to reduce the size of government. the error recalled the infamous "oops" moment of a fellow texan, then-governor rick perry, during the 2012 campaign. five major agencies that i would eliminate, the irs, the department of commerce, the department of energy, the department of commerce and hud. in a 25 specific programs, that is on our website at tedc it is easy for everyone to say cut spending, but much harder and riskier to put out chapter and verse specifically the programs you would cut to stop bankrupting our kids and grandkids. amy: on government spending, senators marco rubio and rand
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paul sparred over the nation's military budget. >> either child tax credit increase and i'm proud of it. the pro-family tax plan i have will strengthen the most important institution in the country, the family. >> there's a point i would like to make here about the tax credits. we have to decide what is conservative and what isn't conservative. is it fiscally conservative to have a $1 trillion expenditure yet go where not talking about giving people back their tax money. he is talking about giving people money they did not pay. it is a welfare transfer payment. so here's what we have. is it conservative to have a $1 trillion interest repayments, a new welfare program that is a refundable tax credit? add that to marco's plan for $1 trillion in new military spending, and you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative. >> i know rand is a committed isolationist.
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i'm not. i believe the world is a stronger a better place in the united states is the strongest military power in the world. amy: rand paul later criticized fellow candidates for backing a no-fly zone in syria, which he said could spark a military confrontation with russia. as carly fiorina pushed back, donald trump drew boos from the crowd when he complained about fiorina interrupting. >> you can be strong without being involved in every civil war around the world. >> how would you respond? >> ronald reagan was strong -- walked away. he quit talking. >> can i finish my time? >> why did she keep interrupting everybody? >> yeah, i would like to finish my response. this is an incredibly important question. and the question goes to be, who
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do we want to be our commander-in-chief? d1 a commander-in-chief who says something that we never did throughout the entire cold war, to discontinue having conversations with the russians? amy: donald trump and jeb bush also sparred over russia's military campaign in syria will stop trump said he welcomed it. in,'s if putin wants to go and i got to know him very well because we were both on "60 minutes and we did very well that night, but -- you know that. if putin wants to go and knocked the hell out of isis, i'm all for it when i do percent and i can't understand how anybody would be against it. they blew up -- when a minute. they blew up a russian airplane. he could not be in love with these people. he is going in and we can go in and everybody should go in. as far as ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people and a group of countries, including germany, tremendous economic behemoth.
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why are we always doing the work? protecting ukraine and working, but we have countries that are surrounding ukraine that aren't doing anything. they say, keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going -- and we have to get smart. we can't continue to be the policeman of the world. we are $19 trillion will stop we have a country that is going to help. we have an infrastructure that is falling apart. our roads, our bridges, our schools, our airports, and we have to start investing money in our country. wrong on this. he is absolutely wrong. we're not going to be the world's policeman, but we sure as heck at her be the world leader. there's a huge difference. -- the ideaeading, it is a good idea for putin to be in syria? let isis take out assad and putin will take out isis? that is a board game. that is not how the real world
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works. we have to lead, we have to be involved. we should have a no fly zone in syria. they are barrel bombing the innocents in that country. if you're are a christian, increasingly in lebanon or iraq or syria come you're going to be beheaded. and if you're a moderate islamist, you're not going to be able to survive, either. we have to play a role in this to be able to bring the rest of the world to this issue before it is too late. fourthr more on the republican presidential debate that took place in milwaukee, we are joined by -- we will begin with jamil smith, senior editor at the new republic. he is also the host of intersection, a podcast about race, gender, and identity. his most recent piece at the new republic is headlined, "the black bogeyman cometh." before we talk about that, let's talk about what was happening inside and outside the hall. yes, they sparred on a number of issues. the smaller candidate pool now, the front runners. but what they agreed on is do not increase the minimum wage. you wrote about this. >> i found it interesting the
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first debate question was spurred by activists outside the building. i've never seen that before. i strongly doubt the minimum wage would have come up in the context that it had had the protesters not been voicing their concerns. obviously, the answers were expected. the republican platform is steadily against raising the minimum wage. president obama has come out for raising it to $10.10 an hour, --estly, $15 is a goal obviously, $15 is a goal. amy: in achieved in many cities. >> and other localities. i think ben carson's was most troubling. his own personal narrative is really all he has to sell. he doesn't have any political experience to speak up, so he goes back to his personal narrative which is based in a myth of coming up, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and moving forward. into, you know, prominence.
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basically, what people -- what ben said, african-american teenager unemployment is somewhere over 80%. he said only 19.8 percent of teens have jobs. the bureau of labor statistics states 25.6 is the unpleasant rate for teenagers for male black teens ages 16 to 19. i have no idea where he got that number. it really served as faulty argument about the minimum wage, depressing black employment. actually, history shows if you increase the minimum wage, you're going to not only put more money in the pockets of poor african-american families -- per capita, african-americans to make up a little bit more of people below poverty, but i think what you have is ben carson trying to say, hey, i made it, you can make it, to. and this is how you take it, by taking low-paying jobs are not
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paying jobs like i did and somehow magically ending up in the top echelon of america. it is a fantasy more than it is policy. amy: i want to stick with ben carson for a minute. you have written extensively about him. at the debate, dr. ben carson was questioned about recent news reports questioning the accuracy of his biographical record. >> dr. carson, to you, he recently railed against the double standard in the media that seems obsessed with inconsistencies and potential exaggerations in your life story, but look the other way when it came to then senator barack obama's. still as a candidate whose brand has always been trust, are you worried your campaign, which you've always said is bigger than you, is now being hurt by ou? cook's first of all, thank you for not asking me what i said in the 10th grade. i appreciate that. [applause]
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ask i would just forget that follow-up question. [laughter] is, wefact of the matter should vet all candidates. i have no problem with the vetted. what i do have a problem with is being lied about. and then putting that out there as truth. amy: that is dr. ben carson. jamil smith, you have been writing a lot about ben carson. talked about his biography and the controversy around it. thes interesting to see "wall street journal" local behind ben carson because they had one of the most damming reports concerning untruths not only in his biography "gifted hands," but in speeches he is given over the years. it is all part of painting this picture of ben carson as somebody who has achieved amazing the wonderful things, achieved the american dream when in fact -- amy: from detroit and poverty to
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being a leading researcher in this country. that's exactly. it is part of the lien of the legend of ben carson, which he has put in danger, frankly, by running for president. you see a man who has achieved great things in the medical field, but is now trying to take his legend to another level by running for president. whether it is to sell books or when the white house, i can't say for certain. i'm not inside the man's head. amy: both donald trump and ben carson are on book tours. >> what you see is it is sort of like the republican -- republican profit complex that you have, people running for office in then ending up with fox news contributor ships and book deals. that is what it will end up for for ben carson. i don't think the party would be so foolish to nominate him for
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president. but i think what you have when the stories are coming out, you know, i have been there. i was a black nerd, too. i get the idea you want to present yourself as more than are. there is a real temptation for that. but i think he has looked -- he has fallen victim to the temptation to buttress his personal narrative at the expense of the truth. amy: your piece is called, "the black bogeyman cometh [captioning made possible by democracy now!] republicans are looking for a new fully horton, but have to deal with ben carson first. explain. >> we of seemed since the inception of the southern strategy, and really cute in and then george hw bush atwater and hw bush's team ran the infamous at about fully horton, the massachusetts inmate who was on furlough under michael dukakis and when he was on furlough raped a woman twice and then never returned to
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prison. he was caught about a year later and is now serving a life sentence. and still is serving a life sentence. is thet you have there complex of the black for the man within republican politics has not gone away just because will he for his imprisonment, does it mean -- they haven't gone searching in this particular election cycle. they try to make black lives matter, the bogeyman of this election. i think what you have is a failure to make that stick because black lives matter has not actually advocated, as chris christie has said, for any cops to be murdered and it is easily searchable. i think in the digital era, it is hurting them. hings -- fax are at peoples bigger tips more than in the 1980's. you have the mexican immigrant
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who murdered a woman in san francisco. that did not really take hold in the new cycle. in my piece i recommend they look internally because they really need to deal with ben carson. they have their own problematic black and on their hands, so to speak. isyou have ben carson who presenting this false narrative of himself -- yes, some of the stories that have come out are a little sloppy, the political story was presented in a pretty sloppy way, which has given him an opening to say, "they are lying" and offer the rebuttal he did last night. but there is an underlying narrative of untruth in his campaign, and i think, you know, should they be unfortunate enough to nominate this guy, i don't think it will play very well in the general election. amy: we are talking to jamil smith, senior editor at the new republic. we will go to break and then talk with ann louise bardach about two of the leading residential candidates in the republican party.
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interestingly, both are cuban-americans. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at last night's debate, two of the republicans on the stage were cuban-american senators, ted cruz and marco rubio. ted cruz talked about his cuban roots in his closing statements will stop cook's 58 years ago, my father fled cuba. as he stood on the deck of that ferryboat, he looked back at the oppression and torture he was escaping and yet he looked forward to the promise of america. his story is our story. what ties americans together is we are all the children of those who risked everything for freedom. is in crisis i believe in america. and if we get back to the free market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country, we can turn this country around. i believe that 2016 will be an
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election like 1980, that we will win by following reagan's admonition to paint in bold colors, not pale pastels. we're building a grassroots army. i ask you to join us at and we, the people, can turn this nation around. amy: to talk more about ted cruz marco rubio, we're joined by ann louise bardach, who is reported on cuban-miami politics for more than 20 years. she's a contributor to politico magazine, where her latest piece is headlined, "prodigal son: marco rubio's complicated cuban legacy." she's the author of several books, most recently, "without fidel: a death foretold in miami, havana and washington." ann louise bardach, welcome back to democracy now! start with ted cruz and then move onto more extensive piece on marco rubio. tell us ted cruz's background. >> well, ted cruz is half cuban. andfather was born in cuba came here -- the story has
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recently been contested in "the new york times" to the extent the father made initial claims that he fought against batista, that he fought with the guerrillas of fidel castro. you know, but basically, the story line is that he did fight against the government or at least his sentiments were against the batista government and he gave the new rebels ago added. the particulars have recently been challenged and the degree of his activism, but he did come to the united states. i'm not sure if the salt was in the air as ted cruz told us last night were exactly what happened on that ship, but the father did get here. actually, and of course eventually, settled in canada, which is where ted cruz was born. the mother, the other hand, is entirely anglo.
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so he is half. he was not raised, like marco rubio, in a cuban or hispanic affluentnt and is not spanish speaker at all. spanish.campaign in so his background is very, very different than, say, october bill. amy: let's talk about marco rubio. you wrote an extensive piece in politico, "prodigal son: marco rubio's complicated cuban legacy." tell us who he is and does your version differ from what he says? up inl, marco rubio grew cuban miami. again, he also had a contested family narrative. both men have been challenged in the media about the veracity of their accounts because, of course, both men want to be known as families of anti-castro
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, anti-castro cubans, which is the leading demographic traditionally in south florida. and for many years, marco rubio said his family came to america to flee castro. but in fact, his parents actually came in may of 1956. it is true they were fleeing the tyrants, but the tyrant they were fleeing in 1956 could not have been fidel castro. it would be batista. in fact, in 1959 after the rebels did take control, rubio's beloved grandfather went back to cuba, lived and worked in cuba for a government ministry for one or two years and his mother went back on four different occasions. and then they made the final exodus to the united states. traditionalnot the
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what's called the -- the exiles of miami that became incredibly powerful, that really created the cuban-american miami political machine, for lack of a better word, that has turned out .o many successful politicians and of them, i would say this point, marco rubio's are most gifted. amy: interestingly, marco rubio was not asked about immigration at the debate. there was a very heated debate, and i want to turn to it, and then go back to marco rubio. let me go to that clip in the debate during -- when immigration came up, perhaps the most heated part of the night. candidates were asked about the recent 5th circuit court of appeals ruling upholding an earlier injunction blocking president obama's plan to protect up to 5 million people from deportation. we will hear from john kasich, jeb bush and ted cruz but first , donald trump.
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>> it was a two to one decision and it was a terrific thing that happened. and i will tell you, we are a country of laws. that? >> comment on yes. basicallyonald reagan said the people who were here, if they were law-abiding could stay. but what did not happen is we did not build the walls effectively and we do not control the border. we need to control our border just like people have to control who goes in and out of their house. but if people think that we are going to ship 11 million people who were law-abiding, who were in this country and somehow pick them up at their house and ship them out of mexico, to mexico, think about the families. think about the children. you know what the answer really is? if they then law-abiding, they pay a penalty, they get to stay, we've had -- we protect the
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wall. anybody else who comes over, they go back. and for the 11 nine people, come on, folks, we all know you can't pick them up and ship them across the border. it is a silly argument. it is not an argument -- it makes no sense. all in suggesting, we can't ship 11 nine people out of this country. children would be terrified -- >> mr. trump -- quick let me just -- company worth billions and billions and i don't have to listen to him. leave me. -- believe me. butr. trump, your said self mr. bush speak. >> thank you for allowing me to speak, donald, i appreciate that. what a generous man you are. ,2 million illegal immigrants to send them back, 500,000 a month is just not possible.
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and it is not embracing american values. and it would tear communities apart. it was in a signal that not the kind of country i know america is. >> i want to go back to the discussion we had a minute ago because what was said was right, the democrats are laughing. joinse if republicans democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose. know, i understand that when the mainstream media covers immigration, it doesn't often see it as an economic issue. but i can tell you for millions of americans at home watching this, it is a very personal economic issue. and i will say the politics of it will be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the rio grande. or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press. senator,cruz, texas
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wrapping up that part of the debate. interestingly, ann louise was not marco rubio asked about immigration, even though he was part of the gang of six who originally proposed immigration reform in the senate and has said now he would do away with daca. >> well, i think he truly dodged april at last night and is probably quite grateful today. immigration is a very tricky issue for both ted cruz and marco rubio, probably more rubio. ofio has had a history vacillating, hesitating, equivocating responses to immigration reform. when he was in the house in florida, he proposed some elements of the dream act. and then when he ran for senate against charlie crist in florida, he just said, no.
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he just want to completely no immigration reform. but when he got into congress, he was a member, as you said, the gang of eight, proposing a path toward citizenship. well, the blowback from the tea party, which you must remember that his victory in 2010 was owed a great tilt of the tea party. and the blowback was tremendous. he backed off and he is not come near it since. it is very tricky for him for a bunch of reasons. if what he is advocating today or the law for his parents -- remember, his parents were not , they wouldost 1959 not be in this country. what he is proposing. it would be very different for his own family. hishis family narrative of hard-working struggling parents is really the central narrative of his campaign.
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the other issue that almost everybody in the media misses or particularly in the anglo media, are the nuances of this. cuban-americans have a very special immigration policy. we call it the cuban exception. they benefit from the 1966 cuban adjustment act, which means if you are a cuban but no one else, you can become entitled to all kinds of benefits that lead to permanent residency and citizenship. we also have a wet foot/dry foot policy that any cuban that lands toe, you are, one in. every other immigrant from every other country gets the boot. for the life of me, i cannot understand with immigration being so important that not at a single debate are cruz and marco rubio asked is very important issue which so impacted their own families, which is the basis
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of their own narrative. and really hits of a very fundamental hypocrisy with immigration law. do we have an exception for just one ethnic group? so when you hear the republican party is against blanket amnesty, that is incorrect. they have supported a blanket amnesty, infirmity decades. but for just one ethnic group, and that is cuban-americans. amy: ann louise bardach we have to leave it there, though there is so much to talk about we want to have you back. she has reported on cuban-miami politics for more than 20 years. contributor to politico magazine, where her latest piece is headlined, "prodigal son: marco rubio's complicated cuban legacy." she's the author of several books, including "without fidel: , a death foretold in miami, havana and washington." ,nd thank you to jamil smith senior editor at the new republic. he is also the host of intersection, a podcast about race, gender, and identity. when we come back, we look at
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the terror in little saigon. you will come to understand what it is. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "finally here," by the roaring. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when journalists are killed for doing their job, their names often become known around the world, martyrs in the cause of media freedom. but we turn now to a series of killings that happened in this country but were all but ignored. during the 1980's, five vietnamese american reporters were murdered. the killings shared key traits. all five victims appeared to be deliberately targeted. all five worked for small outlets serving the vietnamese refugee community after the end of the vietnam war in 1975. all had either voiced support for vietnam's communists, or had published criticism of a
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right-wing paramilitary vietnamese exile group called the national united front for the liberation of vietnam, known as "the front." and despite a lengthy fbi investigation, none of the victims' killers were ever brought to justice. but now the case is being re-examined in the new pbs frontline documentary, "terror in little saigon." >> vietnam war, a wave of terror and murdered journalists and the vitamins american community. >> tell your father to stop what he's doing or he will pay the consequences. >> know it was ever charged. >> summit he knows who is responsible for these acts. >> a shadowy group. >> for them, the war does not end. >> with plans to raise an army. >> it takes money and support. >> and some of the records are stuck classified. ac thompson investigates this
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cold case, searching for answers across the united states and in thailand. >> do you think the bureau should reopen the investigation? amy: an excerpt of the new documentary, "terror in little saigon." the journalist duo of correspondent a.c. thompson and director rick rowley uncover new evidence potentially tying front members to the journalists' deaths and a u.s. government link that may have helped them evade justice. the front was allied with a group of former vietnamese military officers from the u.s.-backed army of south vietnam. they ran a militia out of thailand to try to restart the vietnam war. meanwhile here in the u.s., the front ran its own death squad, "the k9." in interviews with the filmmakers, five former k9 members concede they carried out assassinations against political opponents. one of the members admits the responsibility for two of the journalists martyrs. the documentary also reveals richard armitage, former deputy secretary of state under president george w. bush, helped the front's leader obtain u.s. citizenship.
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he contacted thai generals to back the front's efforts to establish its base in thailand. the fbi investigators suspected front members of carrying out the killings, but never made a single arrest. for more we are joined by the duo behind, "terror in little saigon," a.c. thompson and rick rowley. he was nominated for an academy award for best documentary feature for the 2013 film, "dirty wars." we welcome you both to democracy now! rick rowley, why did you take on this story? >> when a.c. first approach become i think his e-mail said something about, i have a story that might sound far-fetched you about a death squad operating with impunity in the u.s. in the 1980's. that was immediately intriguing. the more we dug into it, the more fascinating stories within stories were opened up. this is one of the muslim african unsolved domestic
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terrorism cases in u.s. history, and it is all but forgotten. a group at the center of these killings, five journalists, thirtysomething act of terrorism across the course of a decade, it wasn't done by isis or isil or foreign group overseas, it was a group at the center of all of this was a cold war militia that was part of the strange constellation of groups on america's side of the cold war during the 1980's. amy: i want to turn to a clip from "terror in little saigon." this is the beginning of the film and tells the story of houston newspaper editor dam phong nguyen, who was killed in 1982 in front of his home in houston. >> we tell ourselves that our work matters, that it is worth
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the risk, that it will be remembered. when another journalist is killed, we rush to tell their r life wasto say thei not wasted. and so it should not have taken this long to get here, over 30 years later, i have arrived at his decade. without a conviction or an arrest. just his headstone telling us dam phong died for journalism. >> my dad was always controversial. any time when you write the truth and the truth is not for sale, your controversial -- you are controversial. my dad got threats all the times. >> what do you remember about the day your father was killed?
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>> i wanted to know if you needed me to help them with the newspaper am a the delivery. and someonehome answered the phone. it was an american. i hung up. i thought i got the wrong number. i called him again. the same person introduced himself as a sergeant with the hpd and then he said, son, you need to come home quick there has been an incident. and then at that time, i knew it was over. >> houston police detectives are still trying to figure out who
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--led dam phong >> his son goodman old vhs tape. 24, 1982, this 44-year-old newspaper publisher and father of 10 was shot and killed in front of his home in houston, texas. son wants to do political work -- >> it is strange to see their young faces back then sang brave words for the camera. >> you die for his country, he died for the truth. >> it is as if their story is frozen in time without an ending . >> my father's body was lying right over there. the blood drift all the way inside. my mother was on the phone with him, so she heard everything. and said, honey, wait, i'd answer the door. my mom heard the voice that he talked to a person and then my father screamed. and then the gunfire began. >> there was an audible sound
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from the weapon. but no witness on the right. no witness in the front. >> the police never made an arrest, but his son's a his old papers are full of suspects. >> the clues are all here in his writing, and the newspaper. >> they tell me who was a dog investigator whose stories made him powerful enemies in the enemy's american community. >> he received threats all the time. i heard some of the threats that said, tell your father to stop what he is doing or he will pay the consequences. >> how many of these threats to her member getting on the phone that you heard? >> at least three a week. phongthe story of dam nguyen. a.c., you have been working on the story for several years. how is it that no one was
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brought to justice in these killings? >> that was one of a.c. the fundamental questions that we set out to ask. it was baffling to me when i started looking at these cases that you could have this wave of terror and no one would be arrested. >> intervention, you can see early on local police departments really did not know how to deal with these cases. they did not understand the political nature of them. they did not realize that these were terror cases early on and so they made crucial mistakes. the fbi started looking at these cases in the 1980's and for a long time in some fbi offices, there was another big mistake being made that these were chalked up again as sort of singular incidents that were not linked to one another. for example, in san francisco fbi office, the first killing happened in 1981. all the way to 1987, the fbi was acting as if there was no
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politics or that it wasn't an act of terror, and it wasn't linked to other cases. those were sort of crucial failings, i think, a law enforcement part. the on that, when the fbi started taking these cases seriously 15 years after the first killing a 1995, they really had trouble penetrating the inner layers of the groups there were looking at him at the front, and really getting people to spill the beans and really talk about what happened. amy: let's turn to another clip featuring former front member tran van be tu. >> i learned of a former front member who spent years in prison. he shot a man in orange county over statement he made to "the l.a. times" calling for dialogue . -- would-be assassins name he agrees to meet me at a hotel just off the expressway. shop.came out of this
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>> we try to get them in the car but he snapped my hand like this. he goes like this. died.ght maybe he >> no regret, no remorse. this was not attempted murder for be tu, it was an act of war. >> be tu says he split from the group before the shooting. you were recruited to join the k9 organization, is that right? >> right, right. >> it was her understanding that
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k9 was a hits what or some kind of secret operations squad, is that right? >> exactly. a secret unit, yes. >> each chapter had a group that was in the k9, houston, orange county msn was a? is that right? >> could be, yes. >> dam phong nguyen plus family thinks he is criticizing the front and i got him killed. does that sound accurate to you? >> what i heard. that's what i heard many, many .imes from our people >> do you know the name of the person who killed dam phong?
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amy: former front member tran van be tu. by interviewed thompson and "terror in little saigon." a few months before his death, dam phong nguyen went to thailand investigating its leader and the base. i focused on the front u.s. leadership. when i open the file, everything changes. application,nship he has an assumed name. the home address he cites belongs to an advisor for the u.s. national security council. and a surprising name shows up. richard armitage, a top and a gone official -- a top pentagon official. the documents also show the pentagon asked for the
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naturalization to be expedited. and the request is followed by six point pages that have been redacted for national security reasons. it is an application of a man who is been dead from his 30 years. what possible national security reason would keep them amy: a clip from "terror in little saigon." , more on armitage and what you discovered. >> when we spoke to former front members, we would say, hey, was the cia involved in this? was or someone helping you in the u.s. government? there would say, no, they do not help us, but the name richard armitage kept coming up. they would say, he was the person does seem to be supporting us. we can't armitage and we said, this is what we have been hearing, is ernie true to this? he said, i made an introduction between the leader of the front and the thai military.
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it was an in person, but i told the time military, hey, this is a great officer. i knew him, etc., etc. and we believed that introduction helped the front step up its base in thailand from what you try to invade vietnam on three occasions. armitage said, i warned and we are not supporting these guys officially through the u.s. government and i don't think this is a good idea, but he does seem to have made this introduction that really helped the group set up its cause. amy: rick rowley, the leaders of the front leaders of their community -- our leaders of the community today. >> one of the things that is kind of tragic, i think, looking at the stories as a journalist, he was getting death threats for weeks before he was killed. he had angry members were people of the front told him to stop publishing what he was publishing. he saw his killers coming and he let them come. he kept publishing because he thought his work was worth
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the risk. hewould be remembered after was gone. and if something happening, other journalists would walk to a story and pick up the threads of his reporting and would hold accountable the people who were responsible for his killing. but now, 30 years later, he was wrong. the terrorists one. his stories were all but forgotten. we think -- the houston police did not even translate the newspapers that he was publishing and yet the leaders of the group that were at the center of his criticism and his writing, they remained prominent. amy: a.c. thompson, the information you have gathered, is this going to cause the reopening of these terrorists o. his stories were all but forgotten. we murders? >> you know, i have no idea. i certainly think there are new leads should anyone want to follow them, there is no information. amy: we will have part two of this conversation online at i want to thank a.c. thompson
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and rick rowley for this remarkable documentary that aired on frontline, "terror in little saigon." that does it for our broadcast. 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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(bell rings) phil: since time in memorial, human beings have chosen to live in religious- or spiritually-based communities. today, with the dramatic rise of the religiously unaffiliated, both in the u.s. and in europe, long-standing attitudes towards spiritual communities appear to be changing. in this "global spirit" program, we will visit a community of zen buddhist monks in santa fe, new mexico and a community of youth activists in


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