tv Democracy Now WHUT September 26, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
09/26/12 09/26/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] ♪ from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we only one liberated because we are in a democracy. they have hijacked our democracy. >> in spain, thousands around the parliament. police charged the crowd. 35 are arrested and 60 are injured. then living under drones. >> droens cause death to
civilians and terrorized entire populations. >> we need to rethink our policies in light of the disastrous impact the drone strikes are having. >> in major new report on the secret war in pakistan says the effects have killed far more civilians than acknowledged. we will go to stanford and new york university. then we look at why the wisconsin gov. once you in a unionized referees back. >> who has it? who will they give it to? >> as replacement refs blow a critical call, we will speak to dave zirin.
all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. syrian rebels have bombed a military command building in damascus, the latest in a series of attacks targeting the regime of president bashar al-assad. the rebels claimed dozens of forces were killed, while the regime says several people were wounded. greek workers are holding their first general strike today. thousands of greeks are converging outside the parliament in athens. the general strike is expected to shut down many locations. meanwhile in spain, thousands of people surrounded the spanish parliament in madrid tuesday as the spanish government prepares to unveil further austerity
measures. police charged against demonstrators with batons and fired rubber bullets. 35 people were arrested and 60 were injured. president obama addressed the u.n. general assembly with a heavy focus on the wave of protests that have swept muslim countries and the killing of u.s. ambassador christopher stevens. obama condemned the anti-islam film that set off the unrest. >> i have made it clear that the united states government had nothing to do with this video. i believe its message must be rejected. it is an insult not only to muslims but to america as well. in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views are around the
world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. how do we respond? on this, we must agree there is no speech that justifies mindless violence. >> he also addressed ongoing tensions with iran. saying he hopes to resolve the nuclear standoff through diplomacy. >> just as it restricts the rights of its own people, the government continues to prop up a dictator in damascus and supports terrorist units abroad. it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful. let me be clear. america wants to resolve this issue. we believe there is still time and space to do so. >> secretary general ban ki
moon opened the general assembly with an appeal to end the bloodshed in syria. he also criticized israel for ongoing expansion in the occupied territories and repeated threats of war against iran. >> the continued force in the occupied palestinian territory seriously undermines efforts for peace. we must break this dangerous impasse. i also reject the language and threats of potential military action by one state against another. any such attacks would be devastating. it should remind us of the need for peaceful solutions and
respect of the united nations and international law. >> president mahmoud ahmadinejad is among the world leaders set to address the general assembly today. in an interview with cnn, he was asked about the claim he has called for wiping israel off the map. >> should israel be wiped off the face of the map? >> we say for occupation to be wiped off of this world. for war seeking to be and eradicated. we proposed a way. the pass is to recognize the right of the palestinians to self-governance. >> and activist has been sentenced to two months in prison for tearing up a picture of king hamad bin isa al khalifah. zainab al-khawaja already spent
a month behind bars earlier this year for taking part in a protest. her father is a leading activist who is currently serving a life sentence. bahrain is a key u.s. government ally in the middle east. a federal appeals court has rejected a challenge brought by several activists to a key component of arizona is controversial anti-immigrant law. it requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop before releasing them. the law went into effect last week. on tuesday, the circuit court of appeals in san francisco affirmed the decision. new york prosecutors have dealt a major blow to the controversial stop and frisk policy.
the change was adopted in july after prosecutors found many of those arrested were tenants of the buildings or invited guests who were wrongfully arrested. officials found police provided written statements indicating people were guilty of trespassing even though they later turned out to be innocent. the new policy appears to have had an impact in the bronx. previous data on the nypd policy has shown african american and latino men make up a hugely disproportionate share of those stopped by police. an anti-islam advertisement posted in new york subway stations has been the target of a campaign by activists. the ads read --
the ad was sponsored by a pro- israel group. in response, activists have affixed labels on top of the advertisement. meanwhile on tuesday, the egyptian-american activist and columnist was arrested at the time square subway station after attempting to spray-painted over teh ad. she was confronted by an employee of the advertisements sponsored before being detained by police and led away in handcuffs. two activists were arrested in texas tuesday. they continue their push to block construction at the keystone pipeline. activist are claiming to have thwarted construction efforts for most of the day after two
people locked themselves to a back hoe. they were pepper spray become a taser, and put in choke holds before being arrested. 8 activists remain locked in a treat village. -- tree village. in massachusett, video has emerged showing republican staffers making derogatory statements in a bid to block elizabeth warren. incumbent senator scott brown has criticized her for claiming she is part mid-american without providing documentation. on the video, they are seen making gestures and chant during a rally of supporters. she says she is appalled by the footage. >> [indiscernible]
>> those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> we welcome our listeners and viewers from around the country and the world. greek workers have launched their first general strike since the country's conservative-led coalition government came to power in june. greeks are converging today outside the parliament today in athens. protests are scheduled in over 60 cities. the nation's ports, airports, banks, schools, and tourist sites are all shut down. >> the european union will never be in europe for the workers then bent every country should
fight to detach itself from the european union. that is the movement that should be taking place. >> thousands of people surrounded the parliament to protest austerity measures. the occupy congress protest came as the conservative administration prepares to unveil further austerity measures on thursday. after hours of protest, police charged against demonstrators batons and fired rubber bullets. 35 people were arrested and 60 people were injured. this report was filed from madrid. >> we are surrounding the congress because we think the center of power in spain where we are governed from is here and the congress.
to date coincides with this month's congressional session. >> there are lots of reasons to be angry but especially the fact there are over 5 million unemployed. i am a student and i can only study because i have a scholarship. the elderly are being left with no medical care. >> [chanting] >> because of banking is a business where sometimes you make money and sometimes you lose some, they just distribute it up words. nothing for the people. when they lose money, they take from their pocket and put in offshore account. theo not understand how but
government bails them out. bail us out. do not cut education or health care. >> [chanting] >> i am here today because i fought for democracy here in spain when i was young. and 64 today. now i am fighting which has cost us so much sweat and blood. they are setting us back to where we were when i was a girl. when i was young, this is what we had. hunger. now we are going back to that. we are going in this direction because they will not touch their own salaries. >> [chanting]
>> i have come here today because i think we see every day people who have a chance to tell the politicians and the financial system that we have had it. it can't be that all the weight of this crisis is forced onto the people and workers. >> there has been a large scale police assault that makes no sense because it has been a protest with no violence. it is an unsustainable situation. we have no idea where we are going and it is troubling. there seems to be no remedy.
>> some of the voices from the protests tuesday in madrid. on thursday, the spanish government is expected to announce further austerity measures. the bank of spain has said the recession was deepening at its significance pace. when we come back, we will go to our correspondent in madrid and then stay with us. . stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. joining us from madrid is correspondent and independent journalist maria carrion. welcome to democracy now! tell us what is happening. >> as your viewers and listeners have been able to see, it is a very situation here in spain. this is just the latest of many protests we have been having here in spain in the last year. there will be many more coming.
people have lost faith in the government and have lost faith in the main institutions. we are facing 27 billion euros in social spending cuts every week the government unveils a series of new measures that affect primarily education and health and salaries and the welfare of spanish people. as we saw at the top of the hour, greece is an example of what is coming our way. that is why i think people are so enraged and worried because they see the measures impost on greece, portugal, or ireland having any sort of effect on the economy or people's welfare or unemployment. i think people are saying we do not want to head in that direction. >> you have spoken about some of
the effects on people already with the austerity measures in place. can you talk about housing and food? >> housing is a big issue because and the spaniards ended up buying houses or homes back during the main housing boom. and what has happened since then is first of all they bought these houses at very inflated prices. here we have over 25% unemployment so as people began to lose their jobs and as the housing payments went up, more and more people lost their homes. there has been a repossession of many, many homes. in spain, there is something very unique to our system.
once the bank repossesses your home and when you are evicted and you lose your home, you are still liable for the entire debt. which means not only are people on the streets or having to find alternative housing, but they also owe hundreds of thousands to the banks. this is aggravated by the fact that most of these banks are being bailed out right now which is about $130 billion because of their irresponsible lending practices. on the one hand, you have all of these repossessions and a social movement born out of this which is trying to stop these repossessions and negotiate with the banks and the name of the family's. on the other hand, you have a tremendous amount of poverty and
hunger. 22% of spanish households live in poverty and 11.5 million people are at risk of poverty. this means that a lot of people are having to go to food banks. a lot of these people are very embarrassed. food banks have had to change the way they look so people are not seeing to be going in and out by their neighbors. they look more like supermarkets to normalize the situation. there is a lot of hunger now as well and a lot of people at risk for homelessness. then you have education and the undocumented immigrants who no longer have any rights to healthcare.
you have a situation of increasing poverty in spain. that is the way that portugal and greece have gone as well. on the other hand, you have a loss of faith in the institutions. our finance minister was the head of lehman brothers when it collapsed. the former head of the imf who also was a finance minister under a banking giant that is now being bailed out to the tune of 23 billion euros. >> can you say something about ise role in the housing cris in particular? >> basically, he was asked to
handle this banking giant. it was basically several banks rolled into one that became this banking giant. he was asked to manage it. what happened was this banking giant basically had lent a lot of money to building companies that could not pay back the loans. and it also was landing and a lot of money to people who were mortgaging houses who could not return the money. it dug in south into a huge financial hole while at the same time not informing the government or the bank of spain or the right institutions. by the time he quit, it was asking for this huge public bailout. he is now being investigated by
the spanish national court for mismanaging this bank. >> maria carrion, we were in spain just after the announcement came down right at the time when the announcement came down that he would be investigated. we were interviewing some of the organizers of the movement. can you talk about how that movement is related to the current protests? is it? >> it is at the heart of these protests really. in spain, we have always had a very organized unions and social movement. basically, you have protests -- issue-based protest that would bring in hundreds or thousands
of people into the streets. the movement has brought everybody together. it also has mobilizing strategies with other organizations that the unions did not have. so they are able to organize protests almost overnight. they also have very creative strategies for protesting. i think the identification of financial institutions and their very close relationship with politicians is key. we are also having protest in front of banks or occupation of bank branches. you see them spontaneously. groupsn have a flamencflamenco
going in to protest home repossessions and singing songs about the bank's role in the crisis. the movement has really brought it to gather. >> i wanted to ask you the protesters who were arrested yesterday are apparently going to be charged with crimes against the state. can you explain what the implications of that r? >> the conservative government in power even before the protest took place they were already equating them to the 1981 could .981 whe so what has happened is those
who have been arrested are being charged with crimes against the nation for trying to occupy parliament while in session which is a crime. protesters always said we are just surrounding parliament. in any case, they are being charged with crimes against the nation and they will go before a judge. >> maria carrion, we want to thank you for being with us. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. as we move on to our next segment, -- >> we turn now to the obama administration's secret overseas drone war. >> drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.
they have been very precise strikes against al qaeda and their affiliates. we are very careful in terms of how it has been applied. i think there is this perception that we are sending in a whole bunch of strikes. this is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list, active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm facilities and bases, and so on. it is important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a tight leash. >> that was president obama defending the use of drones'. . while the administration has defended the program, a new joint report on the use of drones in pakistan reveals the
strikes have killed far more civilians than previously acknowledged. that have alienated the pakistani public and undermined international law. the new report is called, "living under drones: death, injury, and trauma to civilians from us drone practices in pakistan." this is an interview that the researchers did with one of the survivors. >> [on screen] >> the report also examined the under reported psychological impact of drone warfare, local community in waziristan.
giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma. they have to face the constant worry that they did the strike may be fired at any moment and the knowledge they are powerless to defend themselves. >> [on screen] >> the new study concludes most of the militants killed in the strikes have been low-level targets whose deaths have failed to make the united states a ny safer. for more, we are joined by two of the authors of the report. in california, we are joined by james cavallaro at stanford
university. here in new york, we are joined by sarah knuckey, a professor at new york university and a former adviser on extra judicial executions. why did you do this report to begin with? >> the dominant narrative that we received from the u.s. government and most accounts is that drones are surgically precise. we wanted to go to pakistan and speak with people who live in the areas where drones fly frequently. those who work in waziristan to ask them how it is impacting their lives. what we found is first of all there is significant evidence of civilian casualties. between 400 and 800 civilian
casualties since 2004. there is broad mental health impacts for people because they are unable to protect themselves from the drones that flight 24 hours a day. you never know whether it might hit your vehicle or your home or your children's schools. even though they felt they were safer than most civilians, they felt they were unable to go about their daily lives. people changed their daily practices. medical doctors will not go to a droned strike zone within six hours because they fear themselves being struck. when they drive their car, they feel this fear. some parents admitted they would not send their children to school at certain times. an extremely important community
mechanism for resolving disputes, there was a serious strike. they were hit so now people are afraid to meet in public spaces. >> can you say something about the significance of what are called secondary strikes and how that has prevented people going to areas where strikes have already occurred? >> there is no significant evidence of double taps or second strikes. it is because of this we were told by humanitarian organizations they do not attend it to drone strike areas within six hours. >> over the summer, a top human- rights official raised concerns
about legality speaking before the u.n. human rights council. >> it is unclear that all persons targeted are combatants or directly participating in hostilities. i remind states of their international obligation to take all precautions to ensure the use of drone's comply with international law. i urge them to conduct investigations that are credible and independent and to provide victims with a effective remedies. >> your response? >> it is very difficult to have a serious legal conversation because we are operating in an information black hole. for years, the u.s. government has refused to provide any information been bee. the u.s. government will not release even the department of
justice legal memorandum which explains the legal basis for the strikes. there has been a number of short speeches from officials. civil societies have been calling for years for the u.s. government to explain how it is in these strikes are lawful so far they have refused to do so with the depth we need. this concerns especially the double strikes that we mentioned earlier and the signature strikes where strikes are carried out on a person based on a pattern of behavior or life analysis. we do not know what criteria those strikes are carried out. there is a concern about whether it strikes are complying with appropriate precautions as well as discrimination between terrorists or civilians.
>> i went to bring in james cavallaro into the conversation. james, can you elaborate about the places you went to in pakistan, the number of people you spoke with, and what most surprised you compared to other reports that have come out on these attacks and their implication? >> we took two research ships to pakistan for a significant number of days each time. we were able to meet with about 70 individuals who had experienced drones and their very negative effects in a direct way. these were people who were struck by drones themselves or were seriously injured or people who have lost a close relative as in the video we saw earlier,
or they were people who've lived under the constant presence of drones. we also looked at online research, books, spoke with expert, journalists, analysts, and gathered as much information as we possibly could so that we could see and cross reference information to find out what was going on them back what we were able to do which is exceptionally difficult in pakistan was to speak with people who have direct life experience in communities in which drones hover 24 hours a day. you already mentioned the misinformation that unfortunately has been the dominant narrative of the administration regarding the number of civilian casualties. 1 finding we were able to include in the report is that the narrative of no civilian casualties is simply false.
above and beyond that, what we found -- this is something that really affected us and was something that we try to make as clear as possible. apart from the deaths and the injuries, there is a constant the fact that people who live in these areas of northwest pakistan -- their experiences, their effects are quite serious so everyone in the community feel and experience on a daily basis. drones flying overhead make a buzzing sound. you know vacant fire down at any time and if they can fire on anyone. if you are within distance of a strike, it does not matter that they are not striking new.
shrapnel and the blast of drones and the hellfire missiles that the fire, they do not discriminate. maybe the operators discriminate and how they discriminate is an open question. we can talk about that. wants the missiles hit, those in radius are subject to death or serious injury. the consequence of this are the psychological effects and also significant effects on local society. people are afraid to congregate in groups of three or four. people do not go to visit close friends or relatives. people do not go to funerals of community members. in short, there is a breakdown in basic social engagement that
we have documented. what it adds up to is that thousands of people living in a region where drones cause them to experience life as though they were in a war zone. the last time i checked, the united states has not declared war on pakistan. >> i want to go to a clip of a local resident explaining his views on the drones. >> [on screen] >> [on screen] >> now let's go to president obama earlier this month, publicly disclosing what he says is the criteria for carrying out drone strikes and targeted assassinations abroad. some of his most extensive comments to date.
>> it has to be a target that is authorized by our laws. threat that iseppa serious and not speculative. it has to be a situation where we cannot capture the individual before they move forward with a plot against the united states. our preference is always to capture because we can gather intelligence. a lot of the terrorist networks operate in very remote regions and it is very difficult to capture. and we have to make sure that in whatever operations we conduct, we are very careful about avoiding civilian casualties. >> those were president obama's comments days after 11 civilians
were killed during a drone strike in yemen. james cavallaro, can you respond to what he said in that interview? >> well, first, one of the biggest issues is that what president obama and the administration is asking us to do is to trust them. we are doing this very carefully. we're not going to tell you who we killed. we are going to deny that this program existed. trust us. we are following all the rules. as a citizen, that concerns me. one. two, the criteria that the president mentions all of which must be complied with for a strike to be legal, we have significant evidence demonstrating that there is
reason to doubt that those criteria have been met. he mentions that there must be an imminent threat that is posed. we know for instance that there have been people who have been on lists to be killed for periods that go on for days, weeks, or months. how is it that a person poses a threat for this time and it is not able to be captured? the discussion centers on which individuals are placed on target lists which i think diverts attention from where most of the killing has occurred which is in the signature strikes. something on the order of 2% of those killed have been identified as high-value
targets. which means 98% are not. those who are being killed on a routine basis unfortunately are either low-level combatants or civilians. what are the criteria for those strikes? is a pattern of life. it is what a drone operator in nevada or virginia or wherever that person may be seized on a video screen and what he or she believes constitute activity tha tis a threat to the united states in a situation where a person cannot be arrested, etc. that is the basis. that basis has not been made express. that basis has led to many civilian deaths. we have a lot of reasoning to question what the president has
said and that laws are being complied with. one of our principal recommendations is that all the information available the provided. this is something that has to be emphasized. "the new york times" reported in may of this year that the administration considers that all adult males killed in drone strikes are combatants. think about that for a minute. what it authorizes authorities to do is to kill first, knowing that who is killed afterward will be turned in combat and unless there is evidence of that person's innocence. i think that fact helps to explain the unreal numbers that
the government has been issuing to us for months and years. it is a fact that ought to cause us significant concern as citizens of the united states and as people who are concerned about what the most powerful government in the world is doing. >> you concluded in the report people who defend drone strikes do so on the basis that they get high-value target with minimal civilian casualties. but you also conclude in the report that u.s. strikes have facilitated recruitment to non- armed groups and motivated further violence attacks. can you elaborate on that? >> first of all, the strikes are extraordinarily unpopular in pakistan ending polling shows
some 75% consider the united states and enemy. the drum tracks had increased resentment toward this government -- the drone strikes have increased resentment toward this government been been a number of people said they wanted revenge, that their family members were killed, that there would be blood for blood, and it made them extremely angry toward the united states government. a number of professional people said they had known people motivated to join the taliban and afghanistan to fight against u.s. forces because of their anger. >> i wanted to ask you about international law and the message that is said to other countries. iran has unveiled a new indigenous long-range unmanned drone capable of flying over most of the middle east.
it has a range of over 1,000 miles and could be equipped with bombs and missiles. >> iran is one of an estimated 76 countries who are now developing or have drone technology. at the moment, u.s. exports have been fairly constructive because of export controls. many have been working hard to reduce those export controls. the pentagon just released information that some 66 countries would be given permission to purchase drones from united states manufacturers. the concerns are obvious. >> no other country uses drones to carry out strikes. >> and there has only been one unconfirmed report of another country and that was a reported
strike in egypt by israel. >> one was that? >> this year. >> we are going to leave it there. we want to thank you, sarah knuckey, co-authored the new report, "living under drones: death, injury, and trauma to civilians from us drone practices in pakistan." and james cavallaro, the director of the international conflict resolution clinic at stanford university. we will be back in a minute. ♪ ♪ [music break]
fever pitch monday night. substitute referee is it blew a call on a last-second game- winning touchdown. here is the replay. >> final play. caught! who has it? who do they give it to? touchdown! one guy goes up, the other said no time. has to be looked at because it's a score. officials down there in the pile looking. they are fighting down at the bottom of the pile. we must have a definitive call. >> that is the touchdown that dubbed theritics have
"fail mary." >> a packers guard went on twitter describing the call, later saying -- monday night's controversy has reached the highest level in government. president obama said -- meanwhile, wisconsin gov. scott walker took the side of hte unionized referees saying -- for mor eon the various sides in this dispute, we are joined by a longtime sports writer. dave, explain what is going on here. who is locked out? >> absolutely.
the referees who are locked out are part-time employees of the national football league. they have historic ally had pensions. the amount it would cost to get the regular referee's back is the same amount for a 30-second super bowl ad. it would be $62,000 per team per week. the nfl owners have decided to pursue this strategy as they have brought in a series of officials who are unskilled, untrained scabs who are over their heads on an nfl field. they have no idea what they are doing. monday night crystallized in front of a national audience the problems of corporate arrogance as well as unskilled, non-union
workers. >> can you explain why people like scott walker have come out in favor of the union? >> i would argue personally it is because scott walker might be a sociopath. this is someone who does not care there are untrained teachers in classrooms or untrained firefighters putting out fires in wisconsin. the bigger reason is because it scott walker like paul ryan are both green bay packers fans. they of the one team and the national football league that do not have a billionaire plutocrat in the owner's box. they are owned by over 200,000 fnas in a collective manner. >> i want to reiterate a comment from roger goodell about the pension issue.
he said -- your response? >> we are hearing this rhetoric in all walks of life. it is not dissimilar from mitt romney saying if you get sick, you should just go to the e.r. that is the same rhetoric that scott walker used in attacking the teachers and the firefighters and public workers in wisconsin. we are hearing this all across the american landscape painting forbes magazine put out its report about the incredible disparities that exist in this country. the growth of wealth for the 1%. it is just more of that rhetoric. roger goodell makes $20 million
of your. he does not need a pension payment this is one o. >> the lingerie football league clamming if fired several officiating crews. >> yes. i am going to guess the majority of listeners do not know what that is. they are better off for it. the lingerie football league, several of its referees are matriculated in the nfl making calls. there is a gap in the rule book. these same referees have been fired for incompetence which says something about the product on the field. this is such corporate arrogance. this would be like coca-cola
saying we do not need to carbonate are so that any more. >> 10 seconds. concussions? >> this risk their health and safety. the only thing that would end this lockout is if players insisted on a strike. keep an eye on that. >> thank you for being with us. his books include roger goodell ." our tour continues on wednesday in storrs, connecticut, at the university of connecticut student union theater at 7:30 pm, then on thursday in arlington, virginia, at the george mason university founder's hall, room 125, at 7:00 p.m. in the nau auditorium, south lawn commons university of virginia, then on saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the green festival in washington d.c., the baltimore book festival at 7:00 p.m., and on sunday at noon in richmond, virginia at 7:00 p.m. in norfolk, virginia, wrapping up our virginia leg of the tour on monday night, before heading to denver for the first presidential debate. democracy now is produced by mike burke, renee feltz, aaron mate, nermeen shaikh, steve martinez, sam alcoff, hany massoud, robby karran, deena guzder, amy littlefield,