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tv   [untitled]    May 20, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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the loner show the real headlines with none of the mersey are going to live in washington d.c. now today's day sixty for the u.s. involvement in the war in libya and according to the war powers act that means it's time for congress to step in but why are we hearing crickets from capitol hill then a does the rule of law really mean anything in this country if the president power does continue to go unchecked on the next stories of the president also is hosting
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talks with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu in d.c. here today so tensions already high over obama's middle east speech yesterday is there any hope for a breakthrough to end the decades of conflict in the region then as you've probably heard by now there's a rapture coming we got the opportunity to ride along with members of the group who say that may twenty first is the end of the world as we know it's bring you details on all of that will make its host in our happy hour segment but before we get to the fun let's move on to our top story. the deadline has finally arrived it's day sixty of the intervention in libya according to the war powers act now it's time to decide if the u.s. should get out or get approval for congress to stay but neither obama nor congress seem to be acting on it so does this mean that america's laws about engaging in war simply don't matter archies lauren lyster has more. fifty eight. fifty nine. sixty i said at the outset that this was going to be
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a matter of days and weeks. the days have turned to months and in libya the battle rages on but in washington time has run out. and this rhetoric is running up against a real pro bloc thing gary you said you don't think the more power things as a war powers are the war powers act a resolution that says sixty days marks the deadline for an american president to pull u.s. forces from hostilities or get congress's approval for a formal declaration of war yet neither appear to be happening and according to the president publicly time seems to be the enemy only for someone else now time is working against gadhafi. he does not have control over his conference but it's unclear who or what has control over this one the law or the will of the president the. president did not seek operation of war begin with. nor really has
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there been much discussion of the war powers act nor does it seem there will be when pressed by the majority of congress not with leaders of the senate foreign relations committee saying there are no plans for action and top lawmakers like john mccain saying quote he's never recognized the constitutionality of the war powers act nor has any president which is only sort of true according to legal and political experts every president has expressed some concerns about its constitutionality but interestingly not a single president has questioned the sixty day rule hathaway says if obama does this would set a new precedent for combat by a president who campaigned on ending u.s. wars and abiding by constitutional law. still when it comes to work powers there's enough blame to go around absolutely congress doesn't take it seriously and president seven taken it seriously and us media don't take it seriously meanwhile
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u.s. drones fly over libya dropping bombs and the laws governing this type of mission seem to have flown out the window to it makes a joke at the idea of having laws that you can still go out in queues beautiful speeches as the president seems to do and talk about peace and justice the principles. as the clock strikes these six feet in the libyan intervention and the billions of reported three quarters of a billion dollars in the u.s. is third war with no congressional oversight or end in sight time is working against rhetoric and the rule of law in theory in reality in the nation's capital though no alarm appear. has to be going on lauren lyster arcane washington d.c. . so the clock is ticking down to day sixty of the war in libya and thus far the obama administration hasn't addressed the issue they haven't even made any moves to
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suggest that they might acknowledge it and a sharp reversal for the man who we saw campaigning to be the u.s. president. the war ignoring the law what it isn't convenient that is not who we are . it's not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists but pfizer court works the separation of powers works our constitution works we will again certain example for the world but the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers and that justice is not arbitrary. we have to wonder what example the us is setting by waging a war with nato against moammar gadhafi and i say the us not just the president because it takes the congressional branch to hold the executive branch accountable so far we've really only been hearing crickets coming from capitol hill rand paul and five other republican senators have vowed to take the issue to the supreme court but in terms of immediate action a call for a vote none of that has taken far so how can we be fighting
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a war of bring democracy to the libyan people all our government ignores subverts our own here to discuss this with me as per his fine chairman of american freedom agenda and a former associate deputy attorney general in the reagan administration bruce thanks so much for being here thank you for inviting me. who do you think is more to blame here obviously there's a lot of talk about expanded executive powers but congress also isn't really stepping up to the ball they're not doing their job and stay sixty and how come we don't see more members of congress pushed over your head of course goes to the political culture because this is not a novelty with president obama we had harry truman his early is the korean war who insisted that the war was a police action and he did not obtain any congressional authorization for war that ended up killing over thirty thousand americans and a far greater number who were injured we had president clinton who then began a war over bosnia serbia he went to congress tried to get an authorization couldn't get and he said well i just won't call it war so this is
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a longstanding problem so if you're trying to assign culpability it's really the american culture that is an embrace this psychology of empire the united states is exceptional meaning it doesn't have to comply with any laws in any international regime of legality of at all. all other countries must comply with and i think even the introduction here vastly understated the egregiousness of the violations president obama said when he was on campaign that if a president initiated war without congressional authorization he was flouting the constitution and his running mate joe biden said he wasn't being impeachable offense in fact kill biden when he was in the senate instead of being vice president said he would make it his life's mission to impeach and remove president george w. bush would be invaded iran without congressional authority so these are gross hippocratic oath for critical statements about devotion to the rule of law as the violated it is like on reason rules lawyer reserves and it shows that we as an empire have this own the ideal of the rule of law except for other people we can
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invade sovereignty we can put people on assassination list we can commit torture with impunity but other countries can't because we are the superpower i said oil empires share this earmark whether it was a soviet empire ottoman empire the chinese empire all of them have them and only a leader who can try to list the better angels of our nature can retreat from this precipice of lawlessness and arrogance and you talk about the libyan war it's not just one violation of the constitution that transpired today there's been three because it was initiated in violation of the war powers resolution says the president can do that only under three conditions one a decoration of war didn't happen to a specific statute authorizing didn't happen or three in response to an actual attack on the united states would then happen all or a lot of people are saying that course yes the it was unconstitutional from here on the very beginning but then what does that say that our country like i was asking how come people aren't more obsession or we can talk about international laws and
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there is constant hypocrisy when it comes to the u.s. trying to point to international laws when it applies to other countries but not our own but what about the american people talking about their own president violating their own constitution because there's an indifference who are the. timms the libyans not the united states who cares and even with all all so-called volunteer professional army you don't have like the vietnam war kids in college who whose fathers and mothers serve in the administration being summoned to go risk that last full measure of devotion so it's the voiceless underclass that's going to suffer the consequences not the people who feel comfortable and worry about american idol or some stupid idiot movie actors or whatever something like that and that's why there's no protest who's there's no harm there's no injury did anything is felt by the united states of america and moreover it's a muslim country it's not a christian country most of them lives don't matter it's that kind of callousness that induces this indifference but it come back again it's true of all empires that
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the in kochi a political culture of indifference to lawlessness in the name of national security you could call it crucifying the rule of law on a national security cross and that is the earmark of the united states today because we have only touched the surface of the lawlessness we're just talking about war we haven't talked about the state secrets we haven't talked about the yield legal interrogations putting people on the staff nation list detaining people for life without accusation or trial trying civilian crimes and military commissions just the endlessness of the violations of law that go under the banner of national security and that is what is far more horrifying than just the one isn't really horrifying and that's you know if you look at the picture as a whole that's what you see but i want to talk about president obama specifically to you as a constitutional law professor this is somebody who as we showed when he was campaigning always spoke about upholding the constitution of holding this rule of law and so what is it that happens once you get into the white house that makes
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someone willing to throw all of that out the window as the advisers are this is not this difference that mr president they spoke about the rule of law when he wasn't the president so what then how do you hear the president binns different because now he gets to assert the choir it's. the corrupting influence of power member lord acton power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely it's like and i don't want to draw the analogy too closely but the christians were all in favor of religious toleration when they were in the minority amongst the pagan roman empire then when they converted came constantine ok now it's a crime not to be a christian so once you get the hands on power then suddenly you believe that you're only benevolent and it can only be exerted for good so ease into libya why it is i don't see you being all these civilian lives my gosh if you get a second nobel peace prize for conducting more i mean truly george orwell has now reached its peak of the hackers in describing mr obama and in some sense because obama is a law professor he does teach consciously or had it it demonstrates the pervasiveness
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and the strength of this culture of dominance and empire which overrides even someone is area that is mr obama in complying in scrupulous regard for the constitution it doesn't matter power trumps everything how long is it going to take so the sixty days are out and congress hasn't done anything about it yet in the meantime obama isn't asking congress to approve any of these funds he's just taking it from the pentagon when are they going to be forced to actually make some kind of a decision because you're not just on this before the show to you it's very easy for members of congress to not have to vote on this because then they don't have to get their hands dirty they later and then you know and nobody can point a finger at them and say that you voted to support this conflict in libya if it ends up being poor but when it's going to come down to that liar well there's nothing that forces congress that if the voters you're suggesting read you sent e-mails telegram saying screen you shut this operation down been the members might
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vote there is at least a non-trivial number of members i've spoken to some of them who are eager to introduce a resolution a statute that would say no monies of the united states can be expended could be out the war in libya or elsewhere by. lation the war powers resolution that would shut things down you can't fight wars without any money now whether it goes any place or not it's still indeterminate and i say this is one of the true tragedies it's far more likely to succeed if the whole thing and delivery of blows up and civilians are being massacred and so huge mess and american this guy there crashes of our aircraft or something then people will wake up and say why god where are we now the longer the longer means a stalemate not so much in the public eye then i guess the easier any casualties are e.r.v. miniseries i want to thank you very much for joining us tonight thank you. and still to come president obama meets with netanyahu to discuss the decades old conflict between israel and palestine is there any hope for a resolution and how much influence does israel have on the less politics of the
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right. let's not forget that we had an apartheid. i think. either one well. we never got the shows to keep him safe get ready because freedom. a charmer over here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.
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new website with twenty four seven live streaming newscasts what think you about the ongoing financial hardship unlimited free high quality videos for download. and stories you may never find on mainstream news. media at least. meet the police in. motion more on our t.v. let's just say. hi guys welcome to sharon tell me about a show we've heard our guests have to say on the topic now i want to hear our audience just go on to you tube video response our twitter for part of the question that we
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post on you tube every monday and on thursday the show your responses we'd like your voice be heard. as israeli prime minister netanyahu engages in talks with president obama today it's clear the tensions are high and yahoo wasted no time expressing his disdain after obama's middle east was given yesterday so as the conflict between israel and palestine remains as complex as ever we can't help but wonder what exactly is the u.s. role argues christine for the story. it is a scene only too familiar in this region a protest on israel's border that leads. to violence. here it was the may fifteenth protest marking what palestinians call nakba or catastrophe the creation of the state of israel on this date in one nine hundred forty eight because for israel it was
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a matter of security according to dan paula co-director of the zionist organization of america i don't know what any country would do when people gather on your border and come across the violation of the law. but for palestinians it is the continuation of a seemingly endless fight for an independent palestinian state a fight in which u.s. leaders try time and time again to play a chief negotiator from president carter to reagan to george h.w. bush to president clinton george w. bush and now the obama administration has said we believe the borders of israel and palestine should be based on the nine hundred sixty seven lines with mutually agreed swaps. so that secure and recognized borders are stablished for both states an unusually blunt indorsement of an end to israeli occupation of arab land by u.s. president the idea was immediately rejected by prime minister benjamin netanyahu
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israel argues peace cannot come at the cost of its security with continued palestinian rocket attacks there is one thing both sides actually agree on when it comes to the u.s. role as mediator it approaches they say is all wrong american policy is built on misconceptions a wrong view of the causes of the conflict and a prescription that doesn't stand up to even the most casual scrutiny of the question is not why don't we have a solution at this point but why on earth should we expect to have a solution with this system as it is their use of money your with the jerusalem project says talk is cheap in the us says it's in gauged in the process of a two state solution but is funding and supporting behavior by israel it simultaneously working against it somebody bribing somebody to change their behavior doesn't work when you've spoiled them rotten a recent example in november
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the us offered several billion dollars in military assistance to israel if it put off the construction of jewish settlements for three months the regardless award obama say is or how he sees it and he sees it better than bush but what he does is the same the costs of peace are high high cost of broad and at home pro israel many accounting for between one quarter and one third of all donations to the major political parties a concern for many including former u.s. congresswoman cynthia mckinney they were at the executive branch they were what the legislative branch pro israel campaign contributors totaled nearly twelve million dollars in two thousand and ten far higher than other. major donors making increasing the pressure on israel a politically daunting prospect especially with elections eighteen months away. this is over but with the need to show support for the arab spring and
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a reconciliation between the two palestinian factions u.s. leaders may be feeling the pressure to make a push yet again christine for is now r t. let's clear the israel palestine issue has once again become the focus of all attention for those living through are watching the arab spring as well as those who listen to president obama's speech yesterday where he advocated for a return to the one nine hundred sixty seven borders with agreed swaps now the reaction thus far from the right has been the expected outrage the calls of betrayal never mind the fact that george w. bush bill clinton all proposed similar solutions before and today in a non betrayal move the president is meeting with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and he will be speaking at apac over the weekend but it's becoming a never ending political game here in the u.s. and it's one that cost u.s. taxpayers three billion dollars a year and what's mostly military aid so let's talk about why joining me to discuss
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it is medea benjamin co-founder of both code pink and international human rights organization global exchange and from our studio in new york jeff berkowitz former bush liaison to the jewish community i want to thank you both for joining me tonight now jeff i'm going to start with you because i just don't know where the criticisms come from but we keep hearing that obama doesn't really have a good relationship with israel that it's been rocky and now we're hearing calls that because he suggested he go back to one thousand sixty seven border lines that he is a tray or but if you know i haven't seen anything really change we're still giving israel three billion dollars in aid every single year i haven't seen any change in our policies so where do those critiques come from. i think it mostly comes from the language that the president uses and the real betrayal that i would argue happened yesterday was a betrayal by obama of the american people american people were expecting his speech about how he was finally going to engage in response to the arab spring and
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it was a good speech on the decent speech on that until he decides to wrongly interject the israeli palestinian conflict into it when the arab spring is fundamentally about arabs looking at their own leadership and saying we want to canonic opportunity we want freedom and liberty and how can the president turn from talking about how that is good in the in we we support that to talking about the palestinians and pointed israeli occupation in instead of the palestinians own leadership that has for so many years been denying them economic opportunity in the opportunity for you peace and prosperity because they're only willing to stop the terrorist war against israel's media do you think that you can really remove israel and palestine from the arab spring well of course not it's part and parcel of it and in fact it's the palestinians rising up and saying to their own leaders stop fighting between you and that's why we got fatah and hamas signing a unity agreement and instead of our leaders saying isn't that great now we can
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move ahead we have this pro israel lobby like a pac that has a stranglehold on u.s. policy it's now and it's one more excuse now for netanyahu to say we can't talk which is ridiculous and i think the american people are getting fed up with this never ending quote peace process that never leads to peace and it's because of the intransigence of the israeli government and because our policy has been like a lapdog to this little country israel well john i do wonder about that i mean you talked about you said that obama's speech was a betrayal to the american people because they didn't want to hear about israel but at the same time today he's meeting with prime minister netanyahu he also will be speaking at apac israel plays a huge role when it comes to domestic politics but why does it matter to the average american quite the opposite i think you might be able to argue that america's foreign policy towards israel makes the world much more dangerous for many americans. i wouldn't hardly disagree with that we have fundamental reasons
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and strategic reasons to stand with israel and most americans are pro israel that's why pro israel sentiment is so strong in washington among congress and senators of both parties obviously much more so among republicans that have a much more unified view on this than the democratic party does. unlike my my colleague in washington here i don't think that the moderate you allege moderate aligning himself with terrorists and hamas there are burst possible for israeli and american deaths are going to be is going to be good for the palestinian people the israeli people or the american people the americans want to see a president that will stand with our ally that is a strategic resource for us in the region and has strong cultural and democratic ties to our country as well but if you want to talk about deaths let's talk about gaza and the fact that israel invaded this country of gusev it is still under siege
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and killed fourteen hundred people and the us instead of saying oh my god how can you do that collective punishment the u.s. went along with israel and vetoed condemnation of israel in the united nations and this is happening constantly so the world is saying the u.s. of so hypocritical talk about democracy democracy all over the world but when it comes to israel it violates human rights of palestinians on a daily basis it builds separation walls like an apartheid south africa it maintains a siege of gaza that treats the us damien's as second class citizens and why do we unconditionally keep supporting israel it doesn't make sense i'm jewish i want to see the best for the israeli people but i also care about the palestinian people and our policy is all wrong you know you bring up gaza but rather what i'm not going to bring up other issues as well but if you talk about the u.s.s. liberty right i mean this is a situation where american citizens were killed why can't think of another example
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where we would just be silence and not really want truth and answers on that from any other country. to jump in on the gaza thing the israel disengage from gaza it was a perfect example of what's wrong with the the palestinian leadership right now because they had the opportunity to build something and to show the israelis that they that they could be a partner for peace to show the world that they could be you know they could provide for the palestinian people and provide economic development and instead they decided to use. the withdrawal to bomb an attack in three missiles into israeli towns unprovoked in without any reason so that's why israel had to go back in and defend itself and i think every country has a right to defend itself but until a policy and realize that the path to peace begins with actually believing in peace stop teaching hate to your children in school in your schools in your textbooks and on television and engaging with the israelis the israelis have have in obama's
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words you provided on clenched fists many times to the palestinian people including in two thousand under clinton in under the why you haven't they got there because i wanted i want to try to find there's a lot of people that prize it's not teaching american children and their schools that they should hate all muslims as well just give me a lot of good reason that why should we give israel three billion dollars in aid that's mostly military aid every single year when domestic services social services are being cut for americans right now. because the role of the federal government is to provide for the common defense and it is in our strategic interest for us to support our allies like israel in their support of our efforts to make this a safer world and more peaceful world by fighting terrorists and that's why we should do the role of social services and domestic services is best left to the state and local places that actually know best how to provide the services will exactly which is why we need those three billion dollars here at home so that our
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local communities that are suffering from these intense budget cuts can use it for health care and education infrastructure and things we need at home we shouldn't be supporting a real the government of israel the twenty third richest country in the world and a government that uses those funds to violate international law and infuse the palestinians under daily basis just last question before we have to wrap it up here so we are supporting as a country america supports the arab spring they support democracy in the middle east what happens if those leaders that are now democratically chosen aren't israel friendly well that's what's happening look at egypt now the egyptian or people are saying to their new transition government why you maintaining this siege on cars at the border between egypt and gaza and the government is having to rethink that policy and lift it because the people are saying we will not continue to do what israel tells us to do that hurts the palestinians so it's going to change the equation and the u.s. can no longer be supporting dictatorships just because they're friends with israel
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i want to thank you both for joining me sorry jeff we can squeeze one last word in there for you but thanks for joining me tonight now still to come on tonight shall we give our tool time on more of the washington post for their new plans to make a fuss and we could be just a few hours away from the end of the world a group claims of the rapture is going to happen tomorrow parties killing four has more on that and the fact. that we are. right. i think. we never got the says they're going to keep him safe. because their freedom.


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