tv The Big Picture RT August 21, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
a moment and as donald trump prepares to announce his big new afghanistan strategy as the auditor already been trading his campaign promise of no more stupid wars as brian prudent valerie urban and it's politics. it's one of the most incriminating photographs in the entire charlottesville neo nazi rally shows a group of white some provinces surrounding and then between an african-american school teacher named harris it's literally evidence of what appears to be a hate crime but more than a week after the attack in question no one has been taken into custody why my next guest has been hard at work trying to get an answer to that question joining me now is greg palast from foundation fellow investigative reporting filmmaker and creator of the new documentary the best democracy money can buy a tale of billionaires and ballot bandits greg welcome back. glad to be with you
tom it's always great to have you so you've been trying to get in contact with the f.b.i. for a week or longer about this photograph and you only heard back today what they say . ok well i should just tell you that zach de roberts the camera man and a great investigative journalist took these photos of deon dreyer harris a black school teacher being beaten with clubs rods brass knuckles you name it being kicked i don't know how you survived it we have those photos we've been trying to get them to the f.b.i. now oh they kind of got around to us after today that's nine days after this felony crime this brutal crime has happened still haven't heard from the charlottesville police we'd by the way we tried the tip line which is forever going to know where the f.b.i. but we got a call today and they said they kind of get on and they're trying to get now they're going to try to ask for the evidence we have not only given them the stone
cold evidence horrible pictures of this beating but we also have the names of two and maybe three of the perpetrators two of those are absolute identity locks because these guys these neo nazis are not exactly the sharpest knives on the drawer they posted zach's pictures on their facebook page and said look at me look at what i'm doing for our race so you know you and yet they didn't pick these guys up we've got confessions on facebook and i did tell the agent i don't want to mention the name he wasn't very happy about his own agencies lackadaisical shuffling along on this investigation and he was very concerned about the dead tip lines but also the fact that all this time the perps could could take off they could bury evidence and they've certainly taken down their confessions off facebook . anonymous thank you very much for your teams out there a capturing it and saving those facebook pages clearly the head of the justice
department a guy named jeff beauregard sessions does not feel that there's a lot of that there's any urgency in getting the people who nearly beat this schoolteacher to death we have the information see these ugly pictures also of greg palast dot com by zach to roberts and by the way one other thing zack roberts was by the way assaulted. by one of the guys that beat john three harris assaulted early in the day when he threw a what looks like half of a pool cue stick it at the at zach roberts trying to stop him from filming while so so greg you know a it seems that if if the people beating beating mr harris had had been muslim or if he had been white and they had been black i'm guessing that there would have been a very different response to this that said and not specifically the f.b.i.
but just in general on i'm wondering you know you go back to two thousand and nine george w. bush had commissioned an investigation and i believe the f.b.i. was at least a big part of it into you know there was one in a muslim terrorism and one into right wing terrorism and the right wing terrorism one you know report came out just a month or two after president obama was inaugurated and the right wing exploded fox news was hysterical right wing hate radio was like oh my to the point that obama polled the report which predicted something like this going on do you think that the that the shyness shall we say of law enforcement both city state and federal and in this case might be coming out of that kind of experience. you know they've got support on the right the media didn't make a big deal out of it that report never again saw the light of day etc well that
would require me to speculate but this i can tell you because i've worked with the justice department and the f.b.i. i remember i used to have a job before i became a reporter and i can tell you that i've never seen vesta geishas dragged along a shuffle along like this we're talking about a near murder. and inc and by the way we are cells of us assault charges to file by exactly roberts and. it's inexplicable except unfortunately by racial coloring if the victim you know you know if the victim were white that it would be that they'd be all over it they'd be all over it now so moving on to another investigation we've heard rumblings in recent weeks that the former f.b.i. director robert mueller says special investigation of the truck connections is zero in and on one specific deal with trump was involved in can you tell us about that. yes that now i'm putting on my justice department racketeering had that's what i
used to do is racketeering investigations and it looks like donald trump crossed into the racketeering zone back at the beginning of two thousand and eight he was building this financial disaster known as the trump soho hotel and. he got involved and one of the principals in the deal was a guy named felix safer a kind of russian mobster bully or alleged mobster bully turns out that felix a for is also a convicted felon financial crimes and he also beat someone severely. and unlike the nazis he got caught and was charged and convicted now thing is you cannot go to a bank and ask for money hundreds of millions of dollars which trump did if your partner is a convicted felon you have to disclose it which usually would kill the deal trump
found out that the safer was a convicted felon safer and hidden it from him but rather than trump doing what the law requires and what his contracts would require going to the banks and saying bad news fellows my partner's a convicted felon which is what he was supposed to do instead he demanded a meeting with the felon safer with this russian. character demanded a meeting with him and from the e-mails that we've gotten from the inside basically trump said you give me your share of the deal of your fees will still give you a piece of the action but we'll help you we'll go along with you hiding your involvement in this in this development. so and it is as long as you give me something and here's the weird thing here's the really weird one tom trump had this meeting in which he is discussing concealing financial information from the banks
this this on its face at least looks like bank fraud straight out and it looks like racketeering under the rico statutes right on its face and trump insisted that his kids evolve into don jr and eric attend the meeting now what kind of father forget the president forget the presidency forget whether he's you know of the crimes what kind of father brings his children to a racketeering conspiracy meeting wow that's that's amazing chris had that is absolutely amazing. greg we have we have about three minutes left i'm wondering your thoughts on this this whole kris kobach interstate cross-check effort just to kind of bring this back around to where you and i started oh yeah. well this is very important you can't book. i'll by the way i'll be september ninth in richmond virginia to discuss votes vote suppression or is which is the plight word
for vote theft right you know if your car gets stolen you don't say my car has been suppressed you say my car has been stolen this vote that the virginia is one of the three democratic states out of twenty eight states which are part of kris kobach so-called interstate cross-check system we go back to donald trump saying in the last election three million people voted twice obviously for hillary that explains his loss three million people voted twice what we're what we're concerned with is that the state of virginia has turned over with twenty eight other states turned over their voting lists to kris kobach this is the of valued white supremacist who is head. of donald trump's voter excuse me elections integrity commission if you can imagine they've turned over their voter rolls to him and the state of virginia with many other states have been using kris kobach
hit list of these supposed three million double voters i can tell you there's virtually not a real double voter on there because they would have arrested them but they are removing voters forty one thousand six hundred seventy three voters removed in virginia i don't distinguish this from the from the beating that harris got in charlottesville because if you if you take away someone's vote you also take away their government protection without the power of the vote you don't have the security of the state you know and i should add your movie about this is absolutely brilliant. so where are we at with kobach is still doing this by the way it is this middle they are with a k. and. kris kobach of kansas so if you for who he is just think k.k.k. but it's chris kobach of kansas is yes he's still running this show he's still while a lot of states have said oh they won't turn over their voter rolls most of them like mississippi louisiana and virginia are lying about it they have turned over their voter rolls to him he's creating
a super list for already he has ninety eight million names in his possession he's created a hit list of seven point two million names which he considers three million suspects or just seven million innocent americans except that they are guilty of one thing overwhelmingly the names are black hispanic and asian american and that's what it's all about because this in a city of hama nace. yeah it's what they've done is they've match common names people and i kid you not people like james brown jr and james brown sr as opposed to the same guy who voted twice it's a lie it's a con and worse it is a massive racial purge of the voter rolls in virginia mississippi georgia ohio michigan and unfortunately too many of the swing other swing states including arizona they are using this ugly racially poisonous list from kris kobach of kansas
to purge voter rolls in these republican controlled states in a couple democratic states elena wife virginia and massachusetts remarkable stuff greg palast it's always great talking with you greg thanks for dropping by tonight . you're welcome coming up donald trump has said for years that we should get out of afghanistan so why is he about to send thousands of additional troops to expand our occupation of that war torn country that i'm more into politics panel with brian pruitt and valerie urban right after the break. called the future we took. every the world series. and you'll get it on the old old. old according to jess.
the park in the world the world the world the stage we are definitely a place. you guys and i made a professional is our point to show you how archie america fits into the greater media landscape. all right we are a solid alternative to the. liberal or conservative and as you can see his bar graph we don't skew the facts either talking have left these talking head righties oh there you go. to look at world r.t. america is in the spotlight now every lead might have no idea how to classify as it actually took me way more time and i cared women. campaign version of. star and will still go to war presidential version of donald
trump is about to send thousands more troops to afghanistan so it's trump ever serious about nonintervention ism or was all that talk of just about it just one of his scams such as tonight's politics. with me for the ride span are brian pruitt contributor to red state and valerie irvin senior advisor to the working parties family and thank you both for being with us than i remember it and so in just a few hours from now donald trump will address the nation wide on television from fort myer virginia in that address he will announce a new strategy for the war in afghanistan one that will include sending four thousand additional troops to fight in what is now america's longest war by far so this is a big about face from trump if you go back to his twitter feed he's been calling for us to get out of afghanistan and other wars i would literally for we years going back to two thousand and eleven and the generals hijacked his foreign policy
or was all that anti interventionist talk just a big scam to begin with well you know as the old saying goes you campaign in poetry and you govern in prose and i think the president is coming up against that realizing that you know just it's between poetry and prose and this is the difference between killing people and not killing people at all i think it's the difference between deciding to completely abandon hopefully a fledgling democracy and fully committing and i think it's the worst it's a horrible situation and i think he's trying to get from the generals how do we manage this process. i think it's so much bigger than that i think when you look at how much money we've spent american taxpayer dollars eight hundred billion dollars and afghanistan over the past sixteen years let alone all the sons and daughters who came back in body bags i think this war is about money and at the end
of the day a lot of times wars are about who gets rich off of them and so i don't think this makes any sense i think this is our vietnam all over again. there is no strategy to win in afghanistan and i don't think it's possible well we already won in afghanistan we took down the government in three weeks this is been an occupation for sixteen years and i think occupation is actually the way to describe what this is and at some point if there is no discussion about talking to the taliban i mean like imagine that having a plan to sit down and try to work out whatever we think we can work out or get out altogether because i know who gets sent home in body bags they're working class you know men and women who had no place else to go but the military and many of these people we're sending over these troops we're sending over to afghanistan have been deployed four or five six times and this is just not
the way that we should run a military brian this this country afghanistan was the second poorest country in the world behind you know fossil at the time that we started the bombing their g.d.p. their annual g.d.p. had never exceeded two billion dollars in the modern history of the country two billion dollars i mean that's that's a small city in america right they have no democratic tradition at all never had democracy don't understand the concept by and large many of the people there they have one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world something like seventy percent of the population of afghanistan does not a reader right how can i mean i understand after having utterly devastated germany and japan during the war both countries that had a democratic tradition and a high literacy rate and good communication i understand bringing them back into democracy i don't understand how you build a democracy in afghanistan without
a hell of a lot more money than we spent with the marshall plan i don't think anyone does and i think what what you're seeing what we are all seen is america's best intentions. coming up a. it's hard reality you know it was it was hard to look at women being forced to be completely covered you know when in the opening days of that war and we thought that we had the opportunity to make things right saudi arabia does there right now we're not we're not invading saudi arabia that they didn't you know harbor osama bin laden so you know there was a what do you thing we were saudi arabia but i think that that's the unfortunate part there is no good answer here i mean you could the president could announce tonight that he's pulling every single member of the military out tomorrow and it still would be bad well the one thing that makes me think that there might be a possibility is george w. bush oddly enough i mean he's the one who created this mess but when george w. bush was before nine eleven in march of two thousand and one as i recall we
had and not just we i mean the biggest actually the country was taking the biggest hit on this was was russia there was an enormous amount of opium that was coming out of afghanistan they were the law they are the look world's largest producer and in two thousand in two thousand they had produce something like eight million tons or eight billion it was eight whatever it was i think it's million tons so mind boggling amount so george w. bush went to mullah omar talked to the taliban and i mean not him but the state department and said we'll give you forty million dollars if you burn the fields now in afghanistan forty million dollars i have a lot of money right there is a country with with an average. per capita income of less than seven hundred dollars a year and the opium production in two thousand and one went down to just a little over one one whatever the number was one hundred million tonnes or one ton or whatever i mean just as radical drop and as a result of that the price of heroin in russia in eastern europe and even in
western europe although there was more competition there that price you know doubled tripled quadrupled heroin addiction went down hiv went down all this stuff went out i mean we have a history of. going of intervening economically i think what we need to do is switch the focus to what's best for away from what's best for afghanistan and what's best for our troops and for america and i think hopefully we're going to see a little bit of a refocusing on what's best for our troops and whether that actually continues to involve them in that part of the world there is a time for a marshall plan kind of thing and yeah i mean what gives us the right to go into afghanistan and tell those people what's right for them it's like we created the mess that's over there right now and so i would i for one don't believe at this juncture in the world history that we should be going into countries and killing innocent people who have nothing to do with what's actually going on ok you echo
mice. and estimated forty thousand people took the street to the streets of boston mass saturday afternoon to protest a far right so-called free speech rally in that city's marine park only a handful of right wingers actually showed up for the rally but the massive counter protest was still a powerful expression of solidarity against white supremacy just a week after the charlottesville neo nazi rally in terrorist attack could we say that this massive counter protest was an overreaction or is it. is it ever possible to over react against nazis and white supremacy promises i mean don't we really need to ruthlessly fight back against them when ever they try to normalize themselves absolutely it was it was a really great moment after charlotte to charlottesville to see this happen in boston because that is the sentiment of the majority of the american people who were just just blown away by the president's response to you know
neo nazi klux klan and whatever they call themselves there's some very funny there's. irish right there but it's about hate and that's not what we as americans believe this country is all about and so i think that the president's getting this huge blow back and like it's maybe enlightening hopefully that the country is not you know buying into his his hate rhetoric or the. rhetoric you think he's getting it or you think the boston the boston rally was good for several reasons one it's great to always see democracy in action to the white nationalists want us to believe there's more of them they want us to believe that there's this millions and millions of racists out there i don't believe that about american i think the boston rally showed that these people these hate filled like evil people there's
not that many of them in america and that is the good takeaway or at least not that many of them willing to stand up in public without a mask or a hood yeah donald trump did the fossil fuel industry another big favor this weekend by disbanding the national climate assessment advisory committee at fifteen member panel was created by president george h.w. bush in one nine hundred ninety and was tasked with helping the federal government turn climate science into policy decision comes just a few weeks after the new york times published a draft document that was supposed to be included in the next climate assessment report according the times government scientists had to link that document because they were worried that the trump administration would suppress it is there really any doubt at this point who this administration serves and why conservatives whine about the deep state but this is ministration is completely in bed with fossil fuel oligarchy it seems like at least with regard to public and party they are the deep state. i completely disagree with you on this one i think all these commissions
they should all be disbanded like there's no use for them we need to focus on what we need to focus on having a debate about whether we're willing to make certain changes in the way we live our lives whether they're small or big chain. just to accommodate the reality of climate change so you know i've been on this program numerous times saying i'm not willing to make not really willing to bike twenty miles to work every day so you know i don't think that's what people are. but i personally think this is a great moment for the commission this particular commission to resist by by staying together oh really kind of a shadow commission i think they should call themselves something else whatever by keep working i mean just because trump way if some want and says be done it's not over and so i really do believe this is a moment to continue to resist in a very very meaningful way especially around climate and i think i think they can
turn this around and make it something else what's so amazing to me is that they actually leak to the report the reports we are looking at serious problems we're looking at massive refugee problems we're looking at famine we're already seen it frankly really in our war around the world we're already seen as a result of climate change and you know trillions of dollars of expense well i believe whatever is willing to speak out should continue to speak out and use a big microphone to do that because we are in a period of time that's very frightening the more leaking the better as far as i'm concerned as a conservative because we need to have these debates you know so so get the word out. i like the idea of the commission standard is the old british shadow cabinet government thing is it bryan valerie thank you both so much for thank you. and that's the way it is tonight and don't forget democracy is not a spectator sport get out there get active tag you're it.
thank you for new to the game this is how it works now the economy is built around corporations corporations run washington washington controls the media the media control over the voters elected businessman to run this country business equals power you must it's not business as usual it's business like it's never been done before.
the feeling to. the experience. that you get it on the. according to josh. come along for the wrong. they were. both all well. were well welcome to you good night my name a summer you know leave camp i'm named after and a descendant all of a general robert e. lee who probably i or his publicist. i'm not getting though he's actually
my great great great great great great third cousin. really but he never even tells me a birthday card right so he's you know what he's dead to me is dead. anyway both sides being named descended from les growing up in richmond virginia the capital of the confederacy and attending the university of virginia in charlottesville last week and i was also ten feet from the charlottesville terror attack as it happened so that is who i am and where i come from and what happened this week and i'm saying it's time to take down the statues of robert thought. well i'll tell you i'll tell you what we're going to have to take him down or i just move them all to a big building where anyone who wants.