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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 31, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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05/31/17 05/31/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! heardas at my desk when i a terrible sound and mccament contest. i did not know what happened to me. when i open my eyes, i found myself with blood coming out of my shoulder. it was a dreadful explosion. amy: a massive suicide attack in kabul, afghanistan has killed , more than 80 people and wounded over 350 when it exploded during rush hour traffic. no group has claimed
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responsibility so far. we'll go to kabul for an update from the director of afghanistan's first 24-hour news station, headquartered just miles from the blast. then to london to speak with amnesty international about a newly declassified pentagon audit that shows the u.s. army failed to keep track of more than $1 billion worth of weapons and military equipment sent to iraq and kuwait, including tens of thousands of assault rifles and hundreds of armored vehicles. ,e will also talk about syria where u.s. defense secretary james mattis says the u.s. is shifting to o annihilalation tas in i its fight againstst isis. >> our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against isis. it is a threat to all civilized nations and the bottom line is, we are going to move in an accecelerated and reinforced manner, throwow them on their bk
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foot. amy: but as the u.s. ramps up airstrikes, are syrian civilians are paying the price? and leaked documents reveal counterterrorism tactics were used at standing rock by the security firm tigerswan, hired by energy transfer partners. against water protectors who they call insurgents. we will speak with the intercept reporter broke the story and tara houska of honor the earth. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in afghanistan, a massive bombing near the german embassy in the capital kabul killed more than 80 people and wounded over 350 during rush hour traffic wednesday morning. no group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. though, the taliban said they are not responsible.
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officials have described today's bombing as one of the biggest blasts ever in kabul. it shattered windows more than a mile away from explosion's center and blasted a crater more than 13 feet deep into the ground. among those who were killed was aziz navin, who worked for the afghan tv station tolo tv, and mohammed nazir, who has worked as a driver for the bbc afghan service for four years and was killed this morning as he was driving his coworkers to the office. nearby hospitals were inundated with wounded patients after the blast. this is ghulamam mohammad. >> i wasas at my desk when i hed a terrible sound and becamame unconscious. i did not know what happenened o me. a few minutes later when i open my eyes, i found myself under the desk and blood coming out of my shoulder. it was a dreadful explosion. amy: today's bombing comes as the white house is weighing the pentagon's proposal to send thousands more u.s. troops to afghanistan. we will go to couple --kabul
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after headlines. president trump escalated his feud with german chancellor angela merkel on tuesday, taking to twitter to threaten germany over trade and nato. trump tweeted -- "we have a massive trade deficit with germany, plus they pay far less than they should on nato & military. very bad for u.s. this will change." trump's complaints comes after chancellor merkel called her meetings with trump at the g7 summit over the weekend disappointing and said europe had to take its fate in its own hands. euroropean allies have expressed particular frustration over trump's refusal to commit the united states to fulfilling its pledges to the landmark 2015 paris climate accord. "the new york times" reports trump's inner circle is fiercely divided on the paris climate accord, with chief s strategist steveve bannon and epa administrator scott pruitt demanding trump withdraw from the accord, while secretary of state rex tillerson n and trum's daughter and adviser ivanka trump are advocating for the agreement. on tuesday, , united nations secretary-general antonio guterres called on the u.s. to
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remain a party to the landmark agreement. alreadyte change are being felt around the world, and they are dangerous a and they ae accelerating. some argument today is that it is absolutely essential that the world implements the paris agreements and that we fulfill that duty with increased ambition. and the reason is threefold. climate change is undeniable. it is unstoppable. climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable. amy: former national security adviser michael flynn will turn over some subpoenaed documents to the senate intelligence committee as part of its investigation into whether the trump campaign colluded with russia to allegedly influence the 2016 election. flynn had previously said he would refuse to turn over any
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of the requested personal documents, saying he'd instead plead the fifth. now flynn says he will begin turning over documents that pertain to two of his businesses, as well as personal documents, as early as june 6. this comes as president donald trump's personal attorney, michael cohen, s said he would t comply with a house intelligence committee request for ininformation about his ties t o russian officials. meanwhile, president trump and the white house continue to complain about the use of anonymous sources in news reports about the ongoing investigation into the trump administration's ties to russia. this is white house press secretary sean spicer speaking about recent leaks about the tuesday investigation into trump's son-in-law and seninior adviser jared kushner's attempts to estabablish a back-channel of communication with russia. >> i'm not going to get into the what the president did or did not discuss. what your question assumes is a lot of facts that are not substantiated by anything but anonymous sources that are so
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far r being leaked out. amy: president trump has also complained about the use of unnamed sources, tweeting over the weekend -- "whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention names, it is very possible that those sources s don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. #fakenews is the enemy!" but on tuesday, trump re-tweeted a fox news article based exclusively on a single unnamed source who said kushner did not discuss a possible back channel with russia during a december meeting with russian ambassador sergei kislyak at trump tower. cnn is reporting president trump is expected to roll back some of the u.s.'s new diplomatic and commercial relations with cuba, which were brokered under the obama administration. unnamed u.s. officials say trump may reinstatate restrictctions n americans visiting cuba and bringing back k famous cuba goo, like cigars and rurum. officialals also say trump might demand the extradition of people
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-- might demand the extradition of people who have received political asylum in cuba, like assata shakur. before becoming president, trump's businesses violated u.s. embargo on cuba, sickly doing business in cuba in the late 1960's, then trying to cover it up. trump's company then called trump hotels and casino result -- resorts spinelli $60,000 in cuba during a secret is nestor to havana. at the time it was illegal under u.s. law just been any cororpore money in cuba. in the philippines, president rodrigo duterte a has sparked outrage after he told soldiers they could rape women with impunity in the region of mindanao, where duterte has declared martial law. in a speech friday, t the philippine presidedent said, "if you happen to have raped three women, i will own up to it," implying he'd cover for the soldiers and take responsibility himself for the rape. in the past, duterte has said he wished he'd been first in line in a a gang rape of a woman who
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was raped and d murdered in n te 1980's. in taiwan, the highest court has ruled against laws prohibiting lgbt couples from marrying, making taiwan poised to be the first country in asia to legalize marriage equality. the victory came after a longtime lgbt activist sued when he was prohibited from marrying his longtime partner. in its ruling the court wrote -- "the freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, once legally recognized, will constitute the collective basis, together with opposite-sex marriage, for a stable society." back in the united states, in cleveland, the police officer who killed 12-year-old t tamir rice has been fired, but not over the shooting of the african american boy. in 2014, officer timothy loehmann shot rice within two seconds of arriving at a cleveland park where rice was playing with a toy pellet gun.
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neither loehmann nor his partner, frank garmback, administered any first aid. when tamir's 14-year-old sister rushed to her brother's side, they tacklederer to the grgroun, handcuffed her, and put her in their cruiser. tamir died the next day. a cleveland police department investigation concluded the two officers did not violate department policies in killing the child. but on tuesday, officials said loehmann will be fired after a second investigation found he'd lied in his job application to the police department. tamir rice's mother samaria said -- "i am relieved loehmann has been fired because he should never have been a police officer in the first place -- but he should have been fired for shooting my son in less than one second, not just for lying on his application." in north carolina, undocumented grandmother juana luz tobar ortega is seeking sanctuary in an episcopal church today to avoid her deportation.
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ortega has lived in the united states since 1992, when she fled violence in guatemala. she works as a sewing machine operator at a textile factory near her home in asheboro, north carolina. since 2011, she's been reporting to annual required ice check-ins without problems. but this spring after president trump took office, ice officials instead ordered her to leave the country by today, may 31. instead, she is seeking sanctuary in efforts to remain in the uniteted states with her four childldren and two grandchildren. in new york benjamin , "yellow benjy" melendez, a gang leader who brokered a historic peace deal between rival gangs in the bronx and harlem, has died at the age of 65. melendez was a puerto rican nationalist who was radicalized by a young member of the black panthers. in 1971, he was the leader of the ghetto brothers gang when one the gang's members was murdered.
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in response, melendez called for the historic hoe avenue peace meeting, which de-escalated gang violence in new york city for at least a decade. and breaking news, a news websites has president trump has decided to pull out of the landmark 2015 paris climate accord. their reporting this breaking unnameded on two sources. it has not been confirmed by the white house or other news outlets. sources -- had direct knowledge made by republican billionaire who has -- globalclimate warming a hoax perpetrated by china. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in
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afghanistan, where a massive bomb blast in the capital kabul killed more than 80 people and wounded over 350 when it exploded during rush hour traffic wewednesday morning. no group has clalaimed responsibility for the attack. officialals have described tod's bombing as one of the biggest blasts ever in kabul. it shattered windows more than a mile away from explosion's center and blasted a crater more than 13 feet deep into the ground. nearby hospitals were inundated with woundeded patientnts aftere blast. this is ghulam mohohammad. >> i was at my desk when i heard a terrible sounund and became unconscious. i dididot know what happened to me and a few minutes later when i open my eyes, i found myself under the desk and saw blood coming out of my shoulder. it was a dreadful explosion. amy: tododay's bombing comes as the white house is weighing the pentagon's proposal to send
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thousands more u.s. troops to afghanistan. among those who were killed in the blast was aziz navin, who the afghan tv station tolo tv, and mohammed nazir, who has worked as a driver for the bbc afghan service for four years. for more we go to kabul now where we are joined via democarcy now! video stream by lotfullah najafizada, news news who losttolo one of their employees. we welcome you to democracy now! can yoyou describe whahat took e today? mornings 8:30 in the and i was in my offffice when i shook the building. i thought it was an earthquakek. and then there was a huge blast. ,e hear a lot of blasts probably dozens in the past two
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years. but this one was different. it was so loud. we got probably we were attatack, , and en w we realized it was a few hundrededeters away. unfortunately, one of my colleagues who was on his way to the office, lost his life. him thisuried afternoon. it was soo difficult for us s to fifind him. we had to o go andind his s dead bodies,ng over 50 dead which were at the hospital -- two hospitals by noon. most of the bodies were burned to death. some bododies, just a few bobody parts available beyond recognition. it was very tragic and barbaric attack. what is even more unfortunate, no one has claimed
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responsibility and the afghan government has failed to provide explanation as how this could have happened in the heart of the capital. we feel there is no accountability from the afghan governrnment's side. nermeen: could you tell us what we know so far about the other casualties? you say thatat some people, ther bodies were such that they could not be identified after the blast, but do we know anything about the other now 80 or more people who have died in this blast? than 80.certainly more there are no official numbers as of now, but could be around 100 or more because most t of the people wounded - -- so of them are in critical condition. they are sent to hospitals in different parts of the city. i think by tomorrow, we will be in a position to know how many people actually lost their
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lives. even 80 people plus, that is a huge number, especially when most of them are civilians, working-class people, who are going to these embassies, ngos, organizations, tv channels in this neighborhood -- which isn't area in theg nation's capital. it is certainly very difficult. amy: lotfullah najafizada, can you tell us about your own worker, aziz navin? he was killed in thiss explosio. aziz was a 22-year-old colleague of mine. he was dealing with i.t. stuff here, and a very bright man, ambitious. he always had a smile on his face. very committed to his work.
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officewalking to the when the attack happened. he was close by. he was killed on the spot. his body was taken to the hospital. this i is stuff thfifirst timemw hahave lost a colleague i in ats like this. cololleaguessof mymy tvvhe attacack targeteting tolo last year in january. for us, it is s not a first tim. it every time it happens, it is very heartbreaking and very difficult. amy: do you think it is significant this happened outside the german embassy in afghanistan? did you see it as an attack on the german embassy? theplomatic area, parts of german embmbassy w were affefecs well as s the french embmbassy.
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>> it has affected a lot off is thees, because this british embassy area, german embassy next door, indonesian embassy, french embassy, and a little bit further, the u.s. embassy. -- oneg afghan companies of the biggest telecom companies is badly affected. it is hard to say which embassy or which organization was this specific target. but what we know from afghan and u.s. military is that this truck full of explosives wanted to get into the green zone where ordinary afghans and ordinary vehicles are not allowed. so they wanted to get in and probably even closer to u.s. military base headquarters, presidential palace, an indian and theand so forth, u.s. embassy, of course.
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but it was stopped by an afghan guard asking for permits and papers. which i think they could not provide or it was not convincing. that was when the suicide bomber or bombers, we don't know how many were in the truck am a detonated the explosives. amy: we were particularly struck today watching the networks in the united states while, of course, it was mentioned of what just took place, just watching for hours, there was nothing in comparison to what happened in manchester -- the terrible explosion that killed 22 people, almost all programming stopped on that day. can you talk about what is happening in afghanistan and whether you think the news coverage -- i meaean, you're the news director for tolo news, but do youou think the kind of attas that we are sengng in afghanistatan todayay get enough
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international attention? >> of course it doesn't.t. afghan story is an old story for westerners. a lot of people lose their lives here on a daily basis, and they are nonot even report. this one was huge. it was in the capital. it made headlines, but it is about the number of the casualties and the importance the location, not about the afghan lives lost in this attack. it is not about how it has affected the society. i am very sad to say this, but the afghan story -- probably the syrian or iraqi stories are just about numbers when attacks happen. i hope i it will change again fr better one day, and you hear more about the human side of this. what happened today is definitely a tragic and huge
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attack, but this is not the only attack which happens in this country. on ase tens of afghans daily basis across afghanistan. and some of them are not even in the news, even locally, because of the amount of incidents and attack you see across afghanistan. nermeen: lotfullah najafizada, i would to go back to what you said earlier and what the news is adjusting, of course, the taliban has said they were not responsible for the attack. but some news outlets are reporting that the attack today was very similar to recent taliban attacks a and that more recently, for several attacks, the so-called islamic state or isis has claimed responsibility. could you say who you think might be responsible for the attack and what the motivationn might have been? understand,at i
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nobobody claims responsibility, paicularly thehe talibanan were yosee a lot ofof civilian casualtities during public ououy and public crcriticisism. -- fearing pubublic outcry and public criticism. if you had more military casualties, i'm sure you would see taliban and others rushing to claim credit and responsibility. well, the question is, who had suicide bobombers? andcan really trainin bombers bring trucks full of explosives into the capital? these terrorist groups who are active and have been doing this for many, many years. i am not going to name anyone. i do not think it is appropriate at this stage for me to blame someone. but i think, certainly, some of these terrorist groups who have been taking afghan lives for many, many years, and this is just one more. amy: let me ask you, the u.s. is
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considering -- president trump is considering sending thousands more troops to afghanistan. what effect willll that have? >> it will help the afghan forces and the afghan government not to lose e the war.r. i don'n't think the troops will help to win the war. it will probably prevent the situation from further deteriorating across afghanistan. and we see fighting across the country, and these troops are meant to be sent d differentnt afafghan military units so they can train and they can watatch afghan forces in their day-to-day operations and helpp them do the e job better. i think that is a good thing. whether this w will change the course, i n not sure. i don't think this will turn degreestan totally 180
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by a year or two. and 2018pecting 2017 to be very difficult because these troops, and the fact therr is a tension, and it is important for how long t these troops will be in the country, will make a difference. nermeen: before we concludede, quickly, can you comment on n te signifificance of this attack as well as the attack that took place in afghanistan on the first day of ramadan? we alslso know in iraq, in baghdad, there w were two massie attacks. why do a tax increase in this -- attacks increase in his holyy month h of ramadan? >> first of all, i don't believe that terrorists and groups who are in afghanistan -- no talk abouout 20 plus of them -- they .eally care about rondon or eid
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we always see atattacks happenig on such events in such days and such occasions. i don't think this has a a lot f impact. this is warar and this s is over polititi and power. he weaky to seek tyhe moment where the afghan forces cannnnot defend enough the country. that is where they hit and where they strtrike. withth seen so many attacks in e month of ramadan in the past years as well, duringg eid days. last year to just a couple of attackedre, taliban the kunda's province and took over the whole city. 2016, andly, in attack, you lost seven of your colleagues. news, led by you,
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decided to stay. your remarkablbly brave to continue this 24 hour news station headquartered in kabul. can you talk about t this decisn to be there on thehe ground? >> i i don't know what other choices we had, to be honest. we talked to all of our colleagues and over 9090% of thm were under immense family pressures to quit their jobs. them in the same and toldided to stay us w we should contitinue firmld continue witith evenen greater dededication and commitment. i am very proud to be one of them. i think this country has a future. this country has changed significantly. of this population is ununder 25. they dream for a better afghanistan. you can't build this country without giving sacrificess for
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clinging to the reality you have. people of my generation are very cocommitted for a better tomorrw for afgfghanistan, anand we acct sacrificeses like today, like te one we had last year, and will probably be even more in the future. amy: lotfullah najafizada, , we want to thank you so much for being with us news director for , tolo tv, a 24-hour news station headquartered in kabul, afghanistan. theyey, themselves, , lost one f their colleleagues today in the suicide bomb strike, which is being described as -- by a number of newsws organizationsn- a major car bomb explosion in the diplomatic area of kabul that has killed at least 80 people and wounded at least 350 others. this is democracy now! we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we turn now to an iraq were over 50 people were left dead after two suicide bombings. dozens were injured in the car bomb attacks in the capital baghdad. the first occurred just after midnight after - -- outside an e cream parlor a as famililies wok gathering to brereak their raman fast early on tuesday. hours s later, thehe second bomb detonated during the morning rush hour near a government building. isis has claimed responsibility for both explosions saying they targeted gatherings of shia muslims. the attacks come as thousands of families continue to flee mosul amid the u.s. and iraqi militaries' campaign to retake the city from isis.
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as many as seven hundred thousand civilians have already fled moselle amid months of fighting. amy: this comes as a newly declassified pentagon audit released last week which shows the u.s. army failed to keep track of more than $1 billion worth of weapons and military equipment sent to iraq and kuwait, including tens of thousands of assault rifles and hundreds of armored vehicles. the audit found improper record-keeping, including duplicated spreadsheets, handwritten receipts and a lack of a central database to track the transfers. the arms and equipment transfers were apart of the iraq train and equip fund, a program that ininitially appropriateded $1.6 billion under r the 2015 natioil defense authorization act to help iraqi forces combat the rise of the islamic state. to discuss these findings, we go to london where we're joined by patrick wilcken, amnesty international's arms control and human rights researcher. patrick, welelcome to democracy now! talk about what you found and what is pentagon documents reveal. >> thanks.
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audits a kind of worrying of the whole prorocess of the supply chain of over $1 billion worth of equipment. a lot of it weapons, as you said, going into kuwait and then snaking its way up and through toack to various -- iraq various army day pose. it found that there was no real centralized information source. oneu.s. military at any given point in time could not have an accurate assessment of the quantities and the location of equipment coming in. i think this is especially concerning because we have seen in previous dod audits that the situation is even worse on the iraqi side.
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once equipment is handed over to the iraqis, previous reports have shown that the iraqi warehouses are disorganized, even the iraqi officials don't know what is in some of the warehouses. there is an inventoried increment sitting in shipping -- equip men sitting in shipping crates. problems and deficiencies. and why we are concerned about this is there is a very long history of leakage of weapons supply to the iraqi army and that leakage is going o out to islamic state and the many, many other groups completely unaccountable armed groups who are committing atrocities and war crimeses, not just inn iraq, but syria as well. nermeen: can you talk about where you discovered much of this american military equipment, including assault rifles, among other things, stores in iraq and
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also for sale online? we have done a lot of systematic work. it is difficult to track individual weapons, but we have been looking at a lot of images and films of islamic state deploying weapons and also the shia militias that are now grouped under the mobilization units. and we have looked at what type of weapons that they are deploying. they are deploying weapons from all over the world, including fairly recently produced u.s. weapons. it is important to note u.s. supplies not just its own weapons, but ships soviet patent intons from eastern europe the theater of war in iraq. so there is a very eclectic mix of weapons that is being used by
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in iraqi army that reappears the arsenals of armed groups, asluding islamic state and more recent research showed, the various militias that have now been incorporated into the iraqi army -- militias that have themselves been accused of extremely serious human rights violations, executions, and torture, and the like. i think, you know, the problem is serious. it is recurring. previous audits have highlighted similar problems. is in great need of security assistance and has suffered terribly over the years with the occupation of one third of the country by islamic state, the wave of suicide bombings we are seeing continuing to affect ,hia neighborhoods in baghdad
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that assistance has to be provided with care and caution and the appropriate monitoring. otherwise, the u.s. and other coalition members will just be pouring fuel on to the fire. suggest a previous audits have also highlighted similar problems. what in this case has the pentagon said they're going to do to confront the situation and to master it? >> i think it is important to -- thestorically at this height of the insurgency after 2003.s occupation in the situation really got out of control at that point. the u.s. was -- shipped over one million small arms to the iraqi staunch theand insurgency, and they lost track of 190,000 of those weapons. many of the weapons were not registered at all. there was no system for really
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understanding what was going in to iraq. and that is the key recommendation from this occurrence reports, is the same as back in 2007. there is a neeeed for a centntralized system that incorporates all the information along a very complex supply vast, dealing with quantities of weapons and equipment. and that centralized system has to coordinate all of the various u.s. armed forces and army bases in the region, not just in iraq, but in the supply centerss inn kuwait. and without that, it is impossible, really, four the u.s. -- all of the iraqiqi authorities to knonow exactly wt is goioing in, wherere it is aty given point, and if it is secure, ultimately, or not being siphoned offff to these armed
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havoc thatt hahave wreaked and created such human suffering across the country for so many years most of a amy: patrick wilcken, is as like weapons manufacturers and isis are the beneficiaries of this $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment that the u.s. and iraq have lost track of. isis and weapons manufacturers. what about reducing arms sales and the arms flow to the region? >> i think the situation in iraq is very difficult. there is an acute security problem. the iraqi army did collapse in 2014. and the whole country was horrible -- vulnerable to groups. isis was camped on the outskirts of baghdad. there is a key issue to address and part of that is security
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assistance. i think the real problem here is how that assistance is being managed and audited. and without that, we will see that the lessons won't have been learned and this sort of assistance will only come back to haunt future u.s. administrations. amy: patrick wilcken, thank you for being with us amnesty , international's arms control and human rights researcher. when we come back, we go to syria and then to a new report from the intercept talkingng abt tigerswan being employed by energy transfer partners calling the water protectors the insurgency. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: benjamin yellow menendez has died at the age of 65. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. amy: we turn now to syria, were the associated press reports that the russian defense ministry has said a russian warship in a submarine have fired four crcruse missiles from the mediterranean to hit islamic state manpower and equipment you the syrian city of palmyra. this comes as a monitoring group says u.s. led airstrikes killed more than 100 civilians, including 47 children, on thursday and friday in the isis-held town of al mayadeen in eastern syria. the syrian observatory for human rights says the two rounds of strikes targeted the families of isis fighters and that the vast majority of the victims were women and their children. the u.s.-led coalition has acknowledged launching the airstrikes. on sunday, secretary of defense james mattis told cbs news "face
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the nation" the u.s. is shifting to "annihilation tactics" in its fight against isis. >> our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against isis. it is a threat to all civilized nations. in the bottom line is, we're going to move in an accelerated and reinforced manner, throw them o on their back foot. we have already shihifted from attrition tactic where we show them from one position to , toher in iraq and syria annihilation tactics where we surround them. amy: the united nations human rights chief has called on all countries operating air-forces in syria to take greater care to avoid civilian casualties. the u.n. high commissioner for human rightsts rupert coleville spoke friday. >> the rising death toll of civilians and injuries to them already caused by airstrikes suggest insufficient precautions
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may have been taken in the attack. and jujust because it is isil controlling g an area, does nont mean less care can b be taken, just because i it is a particularly unpleasant and horrendous group in charge, it going tomean those wrwrest control of an area from them should take any less care with civilians living in the area. no mean coke the journalistic monitoring group airwars estimates that u.s.-led coalition strikes in syria and iraq have killed between 3000 and over 5000 civilians in the past several years with a , significant spike in civilian casualties since january. the coalition has reportedly carried out some 9029 strikes in syria since 2014. recent attacks have hit civilian targets, including packed schools and mosques. amy: the united states and its allies are now reportedly preparing for a major offensive
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against raqqa -- the last urban stronghold of isis in syria -- raising concerns about increased civilian casualties. for more, we''re joined by murtaza hussain, a reporter at the intercept whose latest piece is headlined, "the u.s. has ramped up airstrikes against isis in raqqa, and syrian civilians are paying the price." thank you for being with us. al start your peace with the -aish family. >> they attempted fleeing raqqa in april and they were unfortunately killed in u.s. air strike, which killed a number of women and children who were outside the town in the suburbs of rocco. people living in and around extremelyfacing an dire situation of the moment. there targeted from the air and on the ground. amy: you have said, in fact, over 9000 strikes u.s. has
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heared out -- we don't very much about u.s. airstrikes. can you give us a sense of how that compares to russia, for instance, about which we hear all the time? >> in april, the was carried out a cruse missile strike after the chemical weapons attack in a small town in syria, but that was only one of many, many that haveof strikes happened since 2014 by the united states targeting out the syrian government, but militant groups in the country. the strikes have killed thousands and thousands of people. the russian government carried out a brutal campaign in aleppo to help the syrian government regain control of the city. it seems since january, the united states is in some ways copying the russian strategy of ramping up airstririkes with wht we have seen in corresponding increase in civilian casualties. the russian campaign was very brutal and took place in full view of the world.
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we're seeing a similar campaign by the u.s.s. as it seeks to tae isis out of raqqa. toy: what is your response those who say the u.s. is actually protecting civilians from isis by attacking raqqa? >> civilians are trapped in a desperate situation because isis is brutal towards people, including in raqqa. the u.s. campaign is supposed to be about liberating civilians and if it operates with wanton disregard for them, killing thousands of people, the moral boundaries start to evaporate because isis is killing these people for fleeing, and u.s. is killing them, many cases, for also -- while also trying to flee. any campaign to protect sillies needs to make sure they are not killed in these attacks. unfortunately, we're seen spiking death for his in syria from these strikes. the only thing you can conclude our the u.s. is loosening
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protections around the civilians. amy: tara houska murtaza hussain, they for being with us reporter at t the , , intercept. his latest piece is called "the u.s. has ramped up airstrikes against isis in raqqa, and syrian civilians are paying the price." this is democracy nonow!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. dr. we turn now to an explosive new investigation by the intercept that reveals how international private security firm tigerswan targeted dakota access water protectors with military-style counter-terrorism measures. tigerswan began as a u.s. military and state department contractor. it was hired by energy transfer partners, the company behind the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline. the investigation is based on leaked internal documents, which show how tigerswan collaborated closely with law enfororcement agencies to surveil and target the nonviolent indigenous-led movement. in the documents, tigerswan also repeatedly calls the water protectors "insurgents" and the
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movement an "ideologically driven insurgency." amy: the intercept a also repors tigerswan did nott limit themselveses to monitoriring activivists. they also o try to chhange t the narrativive about ththem on socl media.a. this is s a clip of f robert ri, who hosted a series of onlinine videos c critical of the pipelie protest movement without disclosing t that he was working for tigerswan. this clip is from a show that aired under ththe name " "defend iowa." >> as you have probobably heardd from a groupup of protesters frm stananding rock k formed a a can iowa countnty. ththeir stated goal l is to buia camp f from 22 people to at leat 100 by midsummmmer. they say they wantnt to develop nenew ways to fight pipelinine. let us b bclear. we are not a against peacefull protesting.. however, many of the members have been part of the distraction inin standing rock last year. theyey have in pososting regulay on social l media abouout how ty
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refused to be p part of s socie. ththat means constantly asking r money and supporort from locals. wewe're n not here to convince y should not bee welcomed did your community,y, we just want to mae you awaware of the full situatin to k keep you inforormed. you stay inill help the loop on what is happening with this s group. amy: that clip of robert rice who worked for tigerswan was discovered by the intercept. for more, we're joined by alleen brown who is a reporter with the intercept t and lead repororterf the article, "leaked documents reveal counterterrorism tactics used at standing rock to defeat pipeline insurgencies." a from washington, d.c., tara houska national campaigns , director for honor the earth. she is ojibwe from couchiching first nation. alleen, lay out what you found. received more than 100 documents from a contractor, alongside number of other informationa public
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requests that described in detail not only the tactics used by this private security firm, which include real surveillance, infiltration of pipeline effortt groups, and an to alter the narrative using the videos like this one featuring robert rice. amy: give us the history of tigerswan. >> tigerswan started out as a rival to the mercenary company blackwater during the war in iraq. it's employees are largely former special ops military guys. a lot of them coming from delta force. so these guys really came up, you know, thinking of their work as counterinsurgency work. so they think of these water
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protectors and describe them in the documents as -- compare them to jihadist terrorists, for example. nermeen: do you know when tigerswan started working with energy transfer partners, and whether what you discovered, does it demonstrate that what tigerswan did was in fact illegal? >> tigerswan started working with energy transfer partners after this incident where another private security firm sicced dogs on water protectors. amy goodman, of course, was there. amy: that was the video we showed from labor day weekend when the water protectors came up on the property where they did not expect to see the dakota access pipeline bulldozers, excavating what they called their sacred land, and the security guards unleashed dogs on the water protectors who were biting the people and the horses. right.
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so after that, tigerswan came on as sort of manager for all of these various small sticky firms -- security firms involved. they did not even receive a license to operate this security firm in north dakota, framing themselves as management and i.t. consultants rather than saying they provide no security work. amy: after your article was published in the intercept, north dakota indigenous activist and organizer kandi mossett posted a picture of a small device on facebook, writing -- "this bug was found under a table in a room at the prairie knights casino in october 2016. i do believe it's a violation of some sort for a hotel to bug their rooms. i'm sure this belongs to tigerswan. after reading 'the intercept' article i was reminded of this find." i would like to bring in tara houska, with honor the earth.
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she is ojibwe. spent a good deal of time at the resistance camps. your response to both what kandi wrote and found -- do you know about this but they found? into the overall article in the intercept. posting never people about various devices that were discovered, and i heard stories about them when i was at the camps. we were very aware of the fact that we were being surveilled heavily. to see this article come out just basically reinforced and showed, you know, this is what was really happening. there was conspiring happening between police officers in a private security firm. we were basically being treated as terrorists. this talk about destruction of standing rock -- we were trying to protect standing rock, protect the water. does it validate everything we were saying. nermeen: the article in the
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intercept -- sorry, the document that tigerswan prepared for energy transfer partners on what was happening at the camp at standing rock, it talked about the presence of palestinians that the resistance camp and the movements involvement with islamic individuals. they go want to say that this is a dynamic that requires further examination. currently, there is no information to suggest terrorist-type tactics or operations, however, with the current limitation on information low out of the camp, it cannot be rolled out. could you comment on that? >> throw the documents, we see the narrative, that houses the just we had weapons around camp when this is a completely unarmed resistance to discuss palestinians, try to paint this model of violence in these insurgency tactics. we gained the support from people all over the world.
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this is a very clear issue of people defending water. life.vement was water is so to try and do this, it created in turn this dynamic where as people going out and exercising our constitutional rights, the response was incredibly violent and brutal. and with people being treated as animals, being put into dog kennels, thihis is a very real thing that happened on u.s. soil. it is continuous treatment of indigenous peoples is the beginning of the relationship with the united states. one of the last armed conflict in the u.s. was with indigenous people, the so-called battle, but masassacre, atat wounded k s onone of thosese last momementse the u.s. used these types o of weaponons. this is s an ongoingng thing ann ongoingg nararrative of painting native people as violent. amy: i want to go to one of the documents referenced in the intercept these where aleen report,n an october 3
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tigerswan discusses how to use its knowledge of internal camp dynamics. they write -- "exploitation of ongoing native versus non-native rifts, and tribal rifts between peaceful and violent elements is critical in our effort to delegitimize the anti-dapl movement." see again a theme we and again in the documents, this noting rift in the movement. and framing that as important to tigerswawan's efforts at undermining the movement. , if you can respond to this? tigerswan started by, what, delta force person from delta force, exploiting tensions within the camp and what you experienced of this? is an entirely new community that was created.
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people coming together for a united cause, but obviously, coming from all walks of life. there were tensions that existed in camp, but this was a very unified front of people peacefully defending water and peacefully trying to change a narrative and trying to stop this corporate takeover of our ourral resources and contntinued survival. it does not surprprise me atat l those e tactics were being used, the divide and conquer method come at which has been employed against native people and now movements. they discussed how they're looking at other pipeline insurgencies. these are trying -- these are people trying to protect our water and just saying no. it tells us we have to be extremely unified and come together to remind ourselves continuously of what they're for. amy: is oil flowing through the dakota access pipeline? donald trump says he is against leaks, but not this kind. a carefully, there are been a
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few leaks and the dakota access pipeline. -- apparently, there been a few leaks and the dakota access pipeline. and ultimately's outlets, abc, cbs, say president trump is poised to pull the united states out of the landmark 2015 paris climate change deal. oil flowing at dapl and the climate change deal. the dakota access pipeline is not operational and it has already had a number of leaks, so oil is not flung in the sense of it being fully ready to go. but leakaks are already happeni. it is happening before it is even operating. accord, ithe paris is not surprise hearing from a president that basically said, we're going to turn this process into a rubberstamping situation and deregulate all of these resources. it is disappointing and i'm hoping that other world leaders step up and hold the u.s. accountable for this. amy: if it is not operating, how
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is it leaking? .> because they are testing it it is already leaking. .ara houska and alleen brown [captioning made possible by
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reyes: a currency in freefall and a country struggling to fight an aggressive rise in prices. i'm elaine reyes in washington, dc, and this is "americas now." first up, hyperinflation is defined byby inflation t that surpasses a rate of 50% a month for more t than 30 days straigh. we'll look at how venezuzuela is coping wh nunumberthat a a evenorse.. then, spiaiards o emigigte to tin n america but never t gogo of a dyingngish--to be burd baback home.

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