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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 17, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/17/17 05/17/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: f from sann diego this is , democracy now! >> in a week after revelation after revelation, on a dayay whn we thought thinings could not gt any worse, they have. amy: another day, another major white house e scandal. president trump is now facing accusations he tried to impede the fbi's investigation of michael flynn by telling fbi director james comey "i hope you can let this go."
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did president trump obstruct justice? we will speak to john kiriakou, a retired cia agent who was jailed for blowing the whistle on the george w. bush administration's torture program. then as the trump administration's proposed to relax standards for border patrol agents, we look at major new developments in the case of anastasio hernandez rojas, a beaten immigrant who was and tasted that by u.s. border patrol in 2010 near here in san diegego. >> plelease help me. courts what u.s. border r agents did not witness, eyeyewitnessss videos of the incidenent t t the sounds of hernandez-r-rojas pleading and screaming for his life. amy: the u.s. government recently agreed to pay out $1 million to his family.
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now the inter-american commission on human rights is vowing to investigate his death. we will get the latest. plus, we look at how environmental activists here in san diego, california, are fighting to barry radioactive nuclear waste on the california popular beach. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're on the road in san diego, california. the white house was rocked by yet another major scandal tuesday after the "new york times" reported that president trump personally asked fbi director james comey to end the agency's investigation into trump's former national security advisor michael flynn. "the times" reports trump made the extraordinary request to comey during an oval office meeting february 14, one day
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after trump fired flynn for lying both publicly and privately about his contacts with russian officials. trump reportedly asked vice president mike pence and attorney general jeff sessions to leave the room before making the request to comey, saying -- "i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go." "the times" based its report on two sources who cited a memo written by then fbi director comey after the meeting. on tuesday night, jason chaffetz, the republican chair of the house oversight committee, called on the fbi to to turn over all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings of discussions between trump and comey. week after comey was fired amidst reports the fbi director was seeking additional of russia.
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senate floor,the new york democrat and senate minority leader chuck schumer told his colleagues history is watching. >> concerns about our national security, the rule of law, the independence of our nation's highest law enforcement agencies are mounting. in country is being tested unprecedented ways. i say to all of my colleagues in the senate, history is watching. amy: the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee, adam schiff of california, said comey should return to capitol hill to testify, and promised to subpoena all relevant materials. meanwhile, " "the new york time" is also reporting that president
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trump asked james comey during the february 14 oval office meeting to consider imprisoning journalists who report on leaks of classified information. in a statement, bruce brown of the reporters committee for freedom of the press wrote -- "no president gets to jail journalists. reporters are protected by judges and juries, by a congress that relies on them to stay informed, and by a justice department that for decades has honored the role of a free press by spurning prosecutions of journalists for publishing leaks of classified information." "the new york times" has reported that israel was the source of highly classified intelligence that president trump reportedly disclosed to russian foreign minister sergey lavrov and russian ambassador sergey kislyak at the white house last week. at a tuesday news conference, national security adviser h.r. mcmaster sought to minimize damage f from trump's s disclos. >> a yes or no question. did the president share classified information with the
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russians in that meeting? weas i mentioned already, don't say what is classified and what is not classified. what i will tell you again is what the president shared was wholly appropriate. in the russian president vladimir putin offered this morning to share with the u.s. congress a recording of the oval office meeting between trump, foreign minister lavrov, and ambassador kislyak. it is not clear whether such a recording exists. the trump administration part all u.s. media while allowing a photographer from the russian state media agency inside the oval office. the mounting white house scandals have led some lawmakers to openly discuss impeaching president trump. on monday, texas democratic congressman al green said trump should be removed from office for obstructing the fbi's investigation into russian meddling in the 2016 election. congress members maxine waters of california, tulsi gabbard of hawaii, keith ellison of minnesota, and other house democrats have also raised the possibility of impeachment.
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as has maine independent senator angus king, who spoke thursday evening with cnn''s wolf blitze. >> if these allegations, senator, are true, are we getting closer and closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment process? >> reluctantly, i have t to say yes, simply because instruction of justice is such a serious offense. amy: president trump welcomed turkish president recep tayyip erdogan to the white house tuesday, praising the authoritarian leader and promising to continue supplying turkey with u.s. weapons. erdogan praised trump's election victory as a legendary triumph, while objecting to t the administration's decision to arm syrian kurdish forces in thehe g militia. erdogan also repeated his demand that the u.s. extradite fethullah gulen, a turkish dissident living in the p pocons
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in pennsylvania whom erdogan , blames for leading a failed coup attempt in 2016. after tuesday's white house meeting, members of president erdogan's security detail attacked a peaceful protest held by anti-erdogan protesters outside the turkish ambassador's residence in washington, d.c. video of the incident shows men in suits punching and kicking protesters carrying the flag of the kurdish ypd party. nine people were hurt, with two of the protesters hospitalized with serious injuries. police made two arrests. in breaking news from afghanistan, gunmen armed with explosives have stormed the offices of the national television and radio station in jalalalabad. at leaeast two people have been killed a and more than a dozen woununded. officialals warn the e numbers f casualties is expected to rise. in iraq, the journalistic monitoring group airwars reports a u.s.-led coalition airstrike on mosul flattened a civilian
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home monday, killing eight members of a single family. the reported airstrike killed resident al-haj alaa al-safi, his wife, mother, sons, brother, and sister-in-law. in kansas, imprisoned army whistleblower chelsea manning walked free from fort leavenworth prison this morning after spendiding seven years behind bars for leaking more than 700,000 classified files and videos to wikileaks about u.s. foreign-policy and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 after she was convicted under the world war i-era espionage act. in january, president obama commuted her sentence shortly before leaving office. manning is already the longest-held whistleblower in u.s. history. meanwhile, puerto rican independence activist oscar lopez rivera is set to be freed freed today after 35 years in prison, much of the time spent
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in solitary confinement. in february, lopez rivera was transferred to serve the remainder of his sentence. he is slated to return or shockoe thursday, where he will be welcomed in a celebration featuring lawmakers of puerto rican descent, including those get there is and roberto maldonado. mexico, hundreds of journalaliss prototested outside the interior ministry tuesday to demand an end toto the violelence againsnt reporters and mediaa workers.. the prototest was held only hous after the funeral of award-winning joururnalist javir valdez, , who was kikilled by gn on monday. another journalist sonia , cordova, was also shot and wounded monday in a separate attack that left her son dead. on tuesday, multiple digital mexican media outlets also went on a 24-hour strike, refusing to publish anything but a black banner with information about assassinated journalists. this is award-winning journalist carmen aristegui speaking at the
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protest in m mexico city. >> f for us, v valdez has been converted into an emblematic case. his death should imply dp p ins for us. hot yeyear old as s and those eo are lost t their liveses on this pass shoululd be a dririving foe for us. no to ththe silence.e. no to o the self-censorship.p. notete to o the fear.. we havee couragege to keep informing,g, keep repoporting, p investigating, keep announcing, keep sharing opinions and speak out. speak out. speak out. amy: in britain, labour party leader jeremy corbyn on tuesday rolled out his party's manifesto ahead of a general election set for next month. the platform proposes raising taxes on corporations and the wealthiest 5% of earners. the revenue would go towards health care,versal in and to public university tuition, free child care, housing subsidies, and other programs. this is jeremy corbyn, speaking
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tuesday. >> because people want a country run for the benefit of the many, not the few. for the lastse -- seven years, our people have lived through the opposite. in britain for the rich and the elites in the vested interests. states,k in the united a federal judge in mississippi has sentenced a gulfport man to 49 years in prison monday for murdering a transgender teenager, in the first-ever hate crime prosecution involving a transgender victim. joshua vallum, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to killing 17-year-old mercedes williamson, was sentenced under the matthew shepard and james byrd, jr. hate crimes prevention act. in a statement, attorney general jeff sessions praised the sentencing, even though then-senator sessions voted against the hate crimes bill in 2009. williamson was one of at least 21 transgender people murdered in the u.s. in 2015. so far this year, at least 10
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transgender people have been murdered nationwide. in georgia, a panamanian immigrant has reportedly committed suicide in ice custody after he was held 19 days in solitary confinement.. federal authorities say they found 27-year-old jean jimenez-joseph unresponsive, with a sheet around his neck, early mondayay morning at the stewart detention center south of columbus. human rights advocacy group project south told democracy now! -- "the suicide of this young immigrant at stewart is a horrific tragedy that could have been prevented." stewart can hold more than 1700 people and is run by core civic, the private prison company formerly known as corrections corporation of america. a year-long investigation found deplorable conditions at the facility and lack of adequate access to mental healthcare. court records show judges there order more deportations than anywhere else in the country. critics call it the black hole of the immigration system and have called for its closure. in more news from georgia,
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prisons officials killed 45-year-old death row prisoner j.w. ledford with a lethal dose of the barbiturate pentobarbital early wednesday after the u.s. supreme court rejected a challenge to the method of the execution. lalawyers argugued there w was h risk the injection would not render ledford fully unconscious, exposing him to an unconstitutionally cruel and unusual death. the high court rejected that motion and denied ledford's request to be executed by firing squad. and in philadelphia, civil rights attorney larry krasner is positioned to become the city's next district attorney after overwhelmingly winning democratic primary elections on tuesday. krasner has represented protesters with black lives matter, act up, occupy philadelphia and other , progressive groups. he's a long-time opponent of capital punishment who's promised never to seek death penalty.
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krasner opposes police stop-and-frisk policies and told the intercept he hopes to create a team that will investigate and prosecute police and public officials for abuses. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in san diego, california. president trump is facing yet another major scandal. "the new york times" is reporting trump personally asked fbi director james comey to end the agency's investigation into trump's former national security advisor michael flynn. we are going to turn to republican senator john mccain. >> i think we have seen this
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movie before. i think it is reaching the point where it is a watergate size and scale and a couple of other scandals that you and i have seen. shoe a centipede that the continues to drop. every couple of days, there is a reallyect of this unhappy situation. amy: now we turn to new york democrat chuck schumer. >> in a week full of revelation after revelation on a day when we thought things could not get any worse, they have. by the report in "the new york times" that allege that the president tried to shut down an active fbi investigation into a close political associate. removedre only one day from stunning allegations that the president may have doubled -- the oldest classified
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information to a known adversary. concerns about our national law, the the rule of independence of our nation's highest law enforcement agencies are mounting. tested iny is being unprecedented ways. colleagues inf my the senate, history is watching. amy: "the new york times" reports that the president made the extraordinary request to james comey during an oval office meeting on february 14, one day after trump fired flynn for line publicly and privately about its contacts with russian officials. trump reportedly asked vice president mike pence and attorney general jeff sessions to leave the room before asking comey to drop the investigation
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mike flynn. after the meeting, comey wrote a memo quoting the president saying -- "i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go." in addition, president trump reportedly urged comey to consider jailing reporters for publishing classified information. trump fired comey last week days after he requested more resources for the fbi's probe into russian meddling in the 2016 election. on tuesday night, jason chaffetz, the republican chairman of the house oversight committee, called on the fbi turn over all memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings of discussions between trump and comey. "the times" report came just a day after the "washington post" revealed president trump had disclosed highly classified intelligence to russian foreign minister sergey lavrov and
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russian ambassador sergey kislyak at the white house. we are joined now by john kiriakou, who spent 14 years at the cia as an analyst and case officer. in he became the firirst cia 2007, ofofficial to publicicly confirm the bush administration's use of waterboarding. in january 2013, kiriakou was sentenceced to 2.5 years in n pn after pleading g guilty to confirming the identity of a covert officer to a reporter, who actually did not publish it. his memoir, which has just been published, is titled "doing time like a spy: how the cia taught me to survive and thrive in prison." john kiriakou, welcome to democracy now! thank you so much for joining us. can you respond to this latest scandal at the white house? , even gravelyvery
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concerned about the path this scandal seems to be taking. it is more like an onion than it is one single scandal. every time we peel one layer off the onion, there is another scandal underneath it. now we have members of congress talking about impeachmement. i think i impeachment, franklkls something that is a real possibility for something we ought to be discussing. i think it is pretty clear the president has committed obstruction of justice. let's face it. director comey is a player in washington.. hehe has been around the block. do we really think he released the most explosive memo he has knowing t that he wrote memos every time he spoke with president trump? lot moreis therere is a explosive information out there waiting to be released. amy: well, can you talk about exactly the significance of what
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comey's memo reveals that trump asked him to do on said were 14, in a meeting where, according to "the new york times," he told jeff sessions and i think it was the vice president to step out of the room, and t then asked comey to drop the investigation into his, well, fired national security adviser michael flynn? >> he asked the vice president to leave the room, to me, is damning information. that tells me the president knew exactly what he was doing, that he knew he was going to have to say something that was inappropriate and perhaps illegal, and he likely wanted no other witnesses. thatat way, whatever directorr comeyy eventually get out to sa, the president could say, "he is a liar." i think he overplayed his hand. he intimatated last week there
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were tapes of that conversation. i think congress should act immediately to subpoena ththose tapes if they exist. my guess is they're going to confirm director comey's version of that conversation. amy: i know congress is calling on comey to testify, which apparently he is willing to do. the significance of what this fired fbi director could say in one of these hearings? >> it was fascinating to me, amy, that director comey declined to testify in a closed session of the senate intelligence committee, but said he was willing to testify in an open session. that is potentially explosive. i think what many congressmen and senators on capitol hill expect is t that director comeys going to reveal the possibility that other crimes were committed, either by the president or by those around him. amy: and also the significance of the allegation that president trump revealed highly classified
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information to the russian officials, the foreign minister lavrov and russian ambassador kislyak? this is not illegal. the president can do what he wants to in this regard, is that right? >> that's right. the president has final declassification authority over all information controlled by the federal government. if you lee classified -- leaked classified information, it i is technicacally not a crime. it was certainly inappropriate. if you're going to leak classified information, my god, the last country you want to leak it to is the russians. it is goes deeper. i think it shows how impetuous this president is and how he gut,ently acts from his flies off the handle, does things before thinking them througugh. to me, it sort of makes it difficult to figure out how he can get through a four-year term
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going down this path.. this is one problem, one scandal after the other. is cumulative. it takes a toll. amy: let's turn to national security adviser h.r. mcmaster speaking yesterday. that isares information wholly appropriate. i should make maybe the statement here that the president wasn't even aware this information came from. he was not briefed on the source or method of the information, either. amy: that is the national mcmasteter,iser h.r. who had to come out yesterday after speaking the day before saying that none of the "new york times -- "the washington post" report was true. and yet you have president trump himself contradicting this. i wanted to ask you about the release of this classified information, which you point out the president can do, and
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compare it to your own case where you released unclassified information.n. john, would you give us the thumbnail history of what spent,d to you after you what, 14 years a at the cia as n analyst and a case officer? >> i blew the whistle on the torture program in december 20,007. the fbi investigated me fofor a fullll year in the determined i had not committed a crime and they close the case against me. when president obama was inaugurated, the cia asked him to secretly reopen case against me and i was investigated for another three years. i had no idea i was under investigation fofor the finalali was charged with five felonies, including espionage. that resulted from the passage of an unclassified business card to a journalist from "the new york times" and one from abc news, and the fact that i had told a reporter that a cia --
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former cia colleague of mine, who would never been undercover, had worked in the osama bin laden unit -- which i had not done in the first place. but that was good enough for three counts of espionage. mind you, those names were never made public. the names of the people i was accused of outing. but still, i faced 45 years in prison and ended up doing 23 months. what hasompare happened w with president trump right now. >> right. this is really a serious issue. the fact that he is president aside and that he is allowed to declassify information, there is a process you go through to declassify that information. you cannot just blurted out to the russians. what happens is the information goes back to the cia, the originating office. the cia will pull the relevant information out of the report,
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put it on a new blank sheet of paper, and then type of the top "secret releasable to russia." that way nobody gets in trouble. no methods or sources are revealed. everybody is happy and we can establish something of a liaison relationship with the russians. that is that with the president did. wasster said the president not aware of the source. if that is true, then shame on general mcmaster because that is his job to make e sure that the presidident is i informed. president ond the this i information and did not tell him the source or did not theey to the president secrecy of the source, then maybe we should be talking today about general mcmaster resigning. , "the newkiriakou york times" has a remarkable paragraph. they write -- "in private, three administration officials conceded they could not publiliy
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articulate their most compelling and honest defense of the president for divulging classified intelligence to the russians." "that mr. trump, a heathy and different reader of his briefing materials, simply did not possess ththe interest or ththe knowledge ofof the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would harm american allies." can you respond to that? >> i have never heard a white house staff say the president was too stupid or too ill-informed to h he broken t te law. and that is really what it comes down to. the truth is, he leaked highly classified information that he should not have leaked. it is one thing to say, hey, i'm the president, nobody can punishment for t that. it is another ththing entirely o deny he did it. we know he did it. he ought to own up to it. where i am disappointed is in
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the reaction of republicans on capitol hill. i understand party loyalty. this is washington, after all. that my god, you're to think about what is good for the country. this is certainly bad for the country. amy: can you talk about trump reportedly urging then fbi director comey to consider jailing reporters for publishing classified i information? i say this in all candor, i think he president very simpmply has neverer read a copy of the constitution. i think that is true. he just has no understanding and appreciation of the first amendment's protections for writ of of speech. with that said, there was a very dadangerous prerecedents that ws that during the obama administration when james rise in refused to testify -- james risen refused to testify in the trial of jeffrey steele.
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he refused to testify. the prosecution in the eastern district of virginia appeal to the fourth circuit court of appeals in the fourth circuit held that risen did have to testify. the case when to the supreme court and the supreme court said that risen had to testify. end,d not testify in the and attorney general holder did not prosecute him for not testifying. still, it was -- the precedent was set. the bigger issue is this increment till whittling away of our constitutional rights. her most important constitutional rights, quitting freedom of speech. this is something we have to put our foot down on and we have to fight it at every step of the way. whatcan you talk about your colleagues at the cia, another intelligence agency, are
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saying about what is happening right now? are saying about president trump and the trump administration? >> i've a friend in the cia who called me recentntly from overss and asked if i had been following the news. i said, oh, of course i have been following every detail. he said, did the american people realize how bad this is? i i said, i think they do. i think congress i is pretending that it is not bad. but i think the american people realize this president, so early in his term, is just simply out of control. he doesn't understand intelligence. he doesn't understand the purpose or use of intelligence. he does not like or trust the cia. the cia, for little while, was not sure how to respond to this. i think they will slow role this president. what i mean is, they know they can wait him out. cia senior officers in the hahave been in the organanizatin for 2020, 25, even 30 years.s.
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they have waited out other presidents. i think they believe they can wait out this one, that he won't be around for long. amy: can you predict what you think will happen? i mean, there is noise o on capitotol hill among them are cracked and some talk among republicans of the possibility of impeachment. dodo you think thahat is possib? >> i think it is possible. i don't yet think it is probable. i think what we need of the essence of a special prosecutor last i believe in 1999 or 1997, we need a special coununsel. we need a prosecutor who is able to really do an in-depth investigation and just see where the evidence leads us. i think that the evidence will lead us to several different crimes that have been committed by people around president trump . and who knows? perhaps there are crimes having been committed by president trump. we ought to really look at the
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republicans on capitol hill and gauge their support for this president. they reluctantly would a along with him when hehe finally came out of the republican primaries. there is not a whole lot of loyalty there. i think of even the republicans on capitol hill smell blood in the water, they will begin to turn. the first time a republican member of congress starts talking about impeachment, i think it is a slippery slope from there. amy: john, you spent 14 years at the cia as an analyst and a case officer. bush-era torture. i was wondering if you can talk about that, the information that you talked to a reporter about, though the reporter did not reveal any name of any agent from your conversation with him. you ultimately were jailed. talk about the substance of the information you are trying to get out. >> i said three things in the
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initial interview that i did with abc news in december 2007. i said the cia was torturing his prisoners. i said torture was official u.s. government policy, not ththe resultlt of our rogue cia offifr as preside bush had intimated. as of the torture program has been personally approved by the president himself. but that is not specifically why i was jaiailed. remember, the fbi determined what i had said was not a crime. they began digging and digging and digging until they finally were able to put something together. and what it wasas was a reporter for abc news had written to me asking for help in writing a book on the cia's rendition program. i told him i did notot know ananything about rendition or kw anyone involved. he sent me a list of a dozen names. i did not know anyone. he sent me a second list. i said, you obviously know the so much better than i do, i really can't help you. he finally said, well, in your first book, what about a guy you
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met in pakistan on the tarmac of an airport? i said, oh, you're talking about john doe. i don't know whatever happened to him. he is probably retired and living in virginia somewhere. that was a felony because i had confirmed the name of john doe. that happens in washington every single day. of "theick up a copy new york times" or "washington post," you're going to see classified information. david the trays gave the names of 10 covert officers to his adulterous girlfriend d and was now prosecuted. in my case, there was another cia officer, disgruntled cia officer, who provided this reporter with the names of seven covert officers. he was not prosecuted because he didn't blow the whistle on the torture program. , ththank you soou much for joining us. i want to spend more time with you on another point to really
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go into your book. john kiriakou spent 14 years at the cia as an analyst and case officer. kiriakou exposed the busush-era torture program and became the only official jailed in connection with it. his memoir has just been published called, "doing time like a spy: how the cia taught me to survive and thrive in prison." we are broadcasting from san diego. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. till one is just over the border from here. we are in san diego, california. we turn now to an unprecedented effort to hold the united states responsible for violence committed by its customs and border protection agents.
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seven years ago in may 2010, a mexican immigrant named anastasio hernandez-rojas tried to cross the border to return to san diego where he had lived for 25 years and had fathered five children. he was then stopped by border patrol agents. he would never see his children again. the agents initially said hernandez-rojas had become hostile and resisted arrest but eyewitness video showed the agents beat and taser him. footage of hernandez-rojas' death was obtained by reporter john carlos frey and aired in a 2012 pbs report by correspondent john larson. >> please, help me. >> what u.s. border r agents did not realize is that t eyewitness videos of the e incident caught e soununds of hernanandez-rojas screaming and pleadading for his lifefe. and now i never before seen eyewitness video of the incident
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raises new disturbing questions. the dark video reveals more than a dozen u.s. border agents standing over hernandez-rojas. it shows the firing of the taser. was hernandez-rojas, as the police suggested, combative when he was killed? or was he on the ground handcuffed? amy: that is video from the pbs program "need to know." the san diego coroner's office classified anastasio hernandez-rojas' death as a homicide, concluding he suffered a heart attack as well as "bruising to his chest, stomach, hips, knees, back, lips, head and eyelids, five broken ribs and a damaged spine." , despite these findings, the department of justice announced in there was insufficient 2015, evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or other federal charges against the agents. well, today, the family of anastasio hernandez rojas has reached another milestone in their quest for jujustice.
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just after this broadcast, the group southern border commununities coalition will hod a press conference to announce rojas' family has successfully filed a petition with the inter-american commission on human rights in washington, d.c. that right, the commission has agreed to open c case againsnst the u.s. government for the death of rojas. well, for more, we're joined now by christian ramirez, the director of southern border communities coalition and human rights director of alliance san diego. christian welcome to democracy , now! talk about this latest news. >> this is an unprecedented move by human rights organizations in the united states. this is the first time the united states government is facing accusations in an international forum for next are judicial killing. we are terribly saddened we had to reach this point in which we had to go to an international
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arena to seek justice as a result of seven long years of waiting for justice to be served first under the obama administration and now under the trump administration. the patient's in the family -- the patience and the family has run out. we've had no choice. the trump administration has three months to respond to the petition that was filed by the family event over a year ago. amy: what can this world body do, christian? >> what this body does is hold the u.s. government accountable. they cannot reopen any criminal investigation, but it is, in essence, a body that shames a member of the organization of american states for committing acts of human rights violations. it is important to note here that despite the fact of a long
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pattern of abuse to muted by u.s. border -- committed by u.s. border patrol, this is the first time we are fully successful in forcing the us government to respond to the inter-american commissision of human rights tht this international body can provide guidance to the us government, to make sure that ththese sorts of violations nevr occur in our country. to in essence, shame the united states government for not following its obligations before the organization of american states. last year, democracy now! spoke to bernardo hernandez rojas on the day his family announced they had filed a petition with the inter-american commission on human rights. to file with the interim commission -- inter-american commission, this petition to follow up on
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anastasio hernandez-rojas's case. it cannot be left like this. it is an injustice. for during these five years, we have also met other people who have gone through the same thing . and many things -- very similar things continue to happen at the border. we want this to stop. we want them to stop these injustices. and we want a response from the government as to what is happening with my brother's case and why have they not responded wiwith good news. hoped thepend why he commmmission would take on his brother's case. what i would like to come out of this is that the penalties be imposed on the officers that they stop doing this, that everybody -- well, it is already known what happened.
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injustices arey happening at the border. one of these is my brother's case, and they have not resolved anything. something is happening here. the agents do not want to show their face will stop it has not been possible to punish them. they, too, need to uphold the law. like any human being, they need to confront the justice system. if i commit a crime, i need to confront the justice system, and it should be that way for everyone across the board. amy: i want to play more from from pbs's "need to know" interview with a second eyewitness who had used her phone to document the beating of anastasio o hernandez-rojas. >> we did the vivideo tohe heandez-z-rojas attorney who would never seen it before. he said the critical moment is this o one. force andu're using you know you have to explain it
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or it has to appear some way to the people who are watching, you say, quit resisting. amy: that is from "need to know." christian, i wanted to ask about this latest news s that the trup administration is seeking to loosen hiring requirements to beef up border patrol. >> well, this is what is most ofubling about policies border enforcement in our country, amy. republicanshouse will move forward a bill to wave a polygraph testing for new recruits a customs and border protection. -- be have to remind reminded of the fact that we're talking about the largest law enforcement agency and also one of the most corrupt agencies in this country. law enforcement leaders have
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established a customs and border protection musust implement immediately a mechanism to hold its agents accountable in order to prevent corruption. at least 200 customs and border protection agents have been prosecuted for corruption in the united states. we're talking about an agency that has absolute powers, the largest agency in the u.s., and now the house republicans want to get rid of an absolutely necessary tool to ensure that whoever is wearing a badge and a gun and patrolling the vettedands, you know, is accordingly so so we don't have corruption and use of force issues like the one that claimed the life of anastasio hernandez-rojas and 50 other unarmed civilians along the borderlands under the obama administration. it is completely shocking to us that as our community's are demanding accountability, oversight, and transparency over the largest law-enforcement agency in the united states,
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that members of congress are playing with the idea of getting ensurea basic tool to that the men and women behind the uniform are vetted appropriately. polygraph testing is used by every single law enforcement agency at the federal, state, and local level when they recruit new members to their law enforcement organizations. and at the largest law-enforcement agency in the country, and one that has been tainted with use of force and corruption scandal, is simply shocking to us. amy: i wanted to move on right now, attorney general sessions and secretary of homeleland security john kelly recently visited the san diego-tijuana border where they vowed to crackdown on sanctuary cities and urged local officials to fully cooperate with federal immigration agents. this is sessions, followed by kelly, speaking at a news conference here in san diego
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last month. >> we would like our cities that are being tempted by this sanctuary ideology to reevaluate what they are doing. as i reported back in march, we have seen a dramatic reduction in illegal migration of across the southwest border. in fact, march apprehensions were 30% lower than february apprehensions. this is an overall reduction of 64% over last year. these numbers are lower because dhs and doj has shown we are serious about border security and enforcing our immigration laws. amy: immigrant-rights advocatess gathered near the near the u.s.-mexico border wall to protest sessions and kelly's visit to san diego, holding signs saying "immigrants make america great." last month, the department of justice threatened to cut off funding to california as well as eight cities and couounties acrs the unitited states, ramping up the trump administration's crackdown on sanctuary cities.
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well for more, we're also joined , executivemorones director and founder border angels. ,who do they talk to and who didn't they talk to? >> when they can, once again, they met with law enforcement, but not the community. the people most affected on both sides of the border, the voices that need to be heard the most, the people that see these issues every day are the people that are omitted. they're only talking to their colleagues in law enforcement, and not hearing from the people on the front lines, the people most affected. this is shameful because we're the ones who have been here forever. i am a native of this region, like a lot of other people. they don't take the time to hear our voices. they should be hearing the testimonies of the people that are most affected. amy: last month, a longtime migrant justice activist a
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border angels was found alive in mexico city after he disappeared five days earlier after calling for help on a facebook live video, saying his life was in danger. can you talk about what has happened to hugo castro since he is back in the united states, hospitalized? you just saw him? >> that's right. hugo is a longtime border angel come also a person that has lived in this region for a long, long time. i remember when i took them to the border about a month ago as he was going to join a caravan in mexico for human rights -- human rights or something as should be protected worldwide. suddenly, a few days later, he sends the video. it is a haunting video. we are terrified. hugo was born in california and has been active on these issues. he had had his life threatened about two month ago in tijuana because whatever program called sos migrante to have our haitian brothers and sisters that have
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been planning toto come to the united states, but h have settld in norththern mexico. hugo wasas finally found about a week after he disappearared. he wasas hospitatalized inin meo city and about a week after that, he was transferred to a hospital in san diego. he is doing a lot better. we don't know the details off exactltly what happened just ye. i have seen him several times. he is all beaeat up. he has broken riribs, leg, -- damage to his face and head. we are so glad he is alive. we are so glad he is found. he is getttting better every da. we appreciate the prayers and concern and cooperation of authorities on both sides of the border. we thought, like with mr. maybe he would not be found again or he would be found without life. but thank god he was found alive and he is here in san diego and getting bebetter every day. of: before we go, the work border angels, what you do and
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what kind of response you are getting now with the crackdown on immigrants, the response of support frorom communities? >> as you know, border angels has been around for more than three decades. it was founded here in san diego. never have we been busier than we are today. since november 8 when we were terrible news about donald trump, people have been pouring into her office and asking what is going to happen now. ofdaca.recipient whatat is going to happen when donald trump becomes president?" we had to say, he is so unpredictable for stuff you does not follow logical step 70 who has caused a tremendous amount of fear in the community. in ar angels is based working-class community with an elementary school across the street. and no mothers are scared to take their children to school because they fear what is going to happen to them because of their immigration status.
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documented and undocumented people are living in terrible fear. we don't know what is going to take place and we are border angels, like other organizations, are continuing to comfort, to give free legal advice to these communities. we a seen a dramatic increase in not only be fear, but people rising up. when we go out and put water in the desert, which we've been doing for more than 20 years, we would normally have 20 or 30 volunteers. now we are getting 300 and 400 volunteers to put water in the does are. we offer -- amy: water in the desert for people who are comining over the bordrder from mexicoco so they't die of -- don't die. we not encouraging people to come, but that is the only way they can come. they are desperate and crossing from mexico. unauthorizedhe migrant mexican -- x in migration has dropped, there are still people coming and dying.
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amy: we have to leave it there. but it is certainly an issue we will continue to folollow. enrique morones, executive director and founder, border angels. christian ramirez is the didirector of southern borderr communitieies coalition and humn rights director of alliance san diego. when we come back, we look at san onofre. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are ending this show here in san diego where environmental , activists are fighting plans ofstore 3.5 million pounds radio nuclear waste facility on a popular beach. there was a force emergency shutdown. the plant was fully closed in june 2013. now residents are fighting the permit issued by the california coastal commission to store the millions of pounds of nuclear
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waste in stainless steel canisters within 100 feet of the beach. the e facility began the decommissioning. we a are joined now by ray lutz founder of citizen's oversight. ,they have filed a lawsuit. we just have a few minutes. makes lane what is happening. >> this is a ridiculous move for this for-profit, companies. does for-profit company. now they have authorities to leave this year forever according to the department of energy because it is no alternative they say. her lawsuit, they do not investigate any alternatives and there other places, better places to put this than right here, right next to the beach. regulatorsernment plus corporate profiteers equals insanity. it all comes back down to the
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military-industrial complex forcing the mindset, trump mindset of we want to be first , as theselear world planes are very uneconomic. they should not be used at all. plus, we have all of this waste piling up at 100 places around the country, which virtually are terrorist targets now. we need as a community to look at and make sense of what these decisions are. if you leave it to the for-profit corporations like edison to decide these things that may be here for decades if not centuturies, based on theirr next quarterly report, you're going to get really bad decision-making. that is what it comes down to in this case. meanwhile, we of the $3.3 billion price tag they want the community to pay for this closed plant due to southern california edison's own mistakes. thehe design process for steam generators. shutdown in 2012 a radioactive leak. now we know it is because they
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were trying to upgrade this plant to try to get more out of it, pushing the design more than it should have been with the new steam generators. we are glad it shut down. is a great thing to have this waste generating plant shutdown, but now they want customers to pay for the plant for 10 years as if it is still operating. for them to even make a profit on it after their failure. amy: we have 10 seconds. what is a larger message you feel on this important test regarding decommissioning nuclear plants around the country dealining with their nuclear waste? >> this is the bigiggest human bladder of all time. these planes are uneconomic. they should all be shut down. we have got to really push hard to get this industry to stop. , thank you for being with us founder of , citizen's oversight. tonight i will be in los angeles
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speaking. thursday afternoon in los angeles at skylight bookss. 7:00 p.m. on thursday night i will be in santa barbara. go to democracynow.org for a complete listing. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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