Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  PBS  October 23, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

12:00 pm
10/23/15 10/23/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> and i recognize that there are many currents at work in this committee, but i can only statesmanship overcomes the partisanship. at some point we have to do this. deeply unfortunate that something as serious as what happened in benghazi could ever
12:01 pm
partisan political purposes. amy: democratic presidential front runner hillary clinton defends her record as secretary of state on the september 11, 2012 attack in libya that killed u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans. clinton was grilled for more than eight hours before the house select committee. we'll get reaction from melvin goodman, a former cia and state department analyst, and author of, "national insecurity: the cost of american militarism." then to europe, where the united nations is accusing the czech republic of committing systematic human rights violations of migrants and refugees >> the children were being separated from their children behind wire fences. they were having to see their parents being handcuffed. people are being strip-searched in order to take their money, essentially, because they are actually being charged for being
12:02 pm
detained. they are being wrongly detained in the first place, than having to pay for it. amy: we'll speak with the council of europe's commissioner for human rights nils moyzh-niks about the refugee crisis in europe, the dangers of mass surveillance, as well as his call for a full probe of the cia's secret prisons in europe. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. former secretary of state and current democratic presidential hopeful hillary clinton underwent a marathon day of testimony thursday before the house select committee probing the 2012 attack in libya, which killed u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. throughout the hearing, clinton defended her record on benghazi in the face of republican criticism, republicans say lenten ignored pre-attack warnings and misndled its aftermath, even though seven
12:03 pm
previous congressional probes have found no wrongdoing. clinton handled republican questions with a column to mean her and afterward, panel chair trey gowdy, republican commerce member of south carolina, admitted the hearing failed to turn up anything new. we will have more on the benghazi hearing after headlines. a u.s. soldier has been killed in iraq during a rescue mission targeting the islamic state. it's the first known combat death of an american servicemember in iraq since the u.s. withdrawal of 2010. u.s. forces officially reentered iraq last year under a training and advisory role. pentagon spokesman peter cook said the operation was a unique circumstance, not a signal of changing tactics. -- i would not suggest you look at this as some change in tactics on our part, this was a unique circumstance in which very close partners of the united states made a specific request for our
12:04 pm
assistance, and there was a deliberate process to analyze this situation and circumstances, and that is when the decision was made to move forward with this operation. amy: the u.s. says the rescue mission freed 70 captives from an isil prison, saving them from potential execution. russian president vladimir putin says the u.s. could be open to joint cooperation on bombing missions in syria. on thursday, putin said any military partnership with the u.s. could hopefully lead to a diplomatic opening for resolving the syrian conflict. >> i hope we will be able to. if the military people can come to know agreement between themselves, and they seem to be the most responsible people, it means a certain agreement can also be reached at the political level. amy: putin's comments follow a visit to moscow by syrian president bashar al-assad. russia launched airstrikes in syria last month, saying it was targeting the self-proclaimed
12:05 pm
islamic state, although, its attacks have hit assad's rebel foes. the group physicians for human rights says russian air strikes have damaged six syrian health facilities this month, killing at least four civilians and wounding six medical staffers. all the strikes were in rebel-held areas. secretary of state john kerry says he's cautiously optimistic on defusing the recent spate of violence in israel and the occupied territories. kerry spoke after meeting with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu in berlin. >> i come directly from several hours of conversation with prime minister netanyahu, and i would characterize the conversation as one that gave me a cautious measure of optimism that there may be some things that could be, next couple of days, put on
12:06 pm
the table which would have an impact, i hope, on the perceptions of everybody engaged that there is a way to defuse the situation and begin to find a way forward. amy: meanwhile at the united nations, deputy secretary-general jan eliasson said the current unrest would not be happening if palestinians had their freedom. >> this crisis would not have erupted, i suggest, if the palestinian people had the perspective of hope toward a viable palestinian state. if they had an economy that provides jobs and opportunities, if they had more control over their security on the legal administration processes that define their daily existence. in short, if the palestinians did not still live under a stifling and human getting occupation that has lasted a must-have for century. amy: a funeral was held in the occupied west bank thursday for
12:07 pm
veteran palestinian activist hashem azzeh. a medical doctor and olive grower, azzeh died from inhaling tear gas fired by israeli troops during a protest in hebron. he was well known in activist circles for years of organizing against the israeli occupation and harassment by jewish settlers. a more than week-long student protest over college tuition hikes continues in south africa. on thursday, thousands of students marched on the headquarters of the ruling african national congress in johannesburg. south african president jacob zuma has pledged to meet with student leaders and university heads to discuss protesters' demands. under the banner, "fees must fall," the demonstrations are among south africa's largest since the election of nelson mandela in 1994. president obama has followed through on a pledge to veto a $612 billion military spending bill passed by congressional republicans. the measure lets the pentagon sidestep mandatory sequestration budget cuts for the defense
12:08 pm
-- for the pentagon while the , cuts remain in effect for domestic programs. the bill would also make it more difficult to close guantánamo. >> sending a back to congress and i message to them is very simple -- let's do this right. we are in the midst of budget discussions. let's have a budget that properly funds are national security as well as economic security. let's make sure that we are able in a constructive way to reform our military spending to make it sustainable over the long term and let's make sure that in a responsible way, we can draw down the populations in guantánamo, and make sure the american people stay safe and we're not providing the kinds of agreements rules -- tools to terrorists. amy: republican congressmember paul ryan has formally declared for the house speaker's race. ryan confirmed his bid on thursday after securing support
12:09 pm
from the far-right house freedom caucus. ryan had said he would only be willing to run if he could be assured of wide support from divided republican factions. the house vote is expected next week. the obama administration is warning puerto rico faces a humanitarian crisis unless congress takes steps to address its crushing debt. the white house wants lawmakers to approve bankruptcy protection for the u.s. territory expand , medicaid and impose a control board to oversee puerto rico's finances. u.s. treasury counselor antonio weiss made the appeal before a senate panel. >> i can tell you with total confidence that puerto rico's fiscal crisis is escalating and it is very real. and without federal action, it could easily become a humanitarian crisis as well. congress should pass legislation already introduced that provides chapter nine protection to puerto rico's municipalities and
12:10 pm
public corporations, but congress should also authorize a broader, legal framework that allows for a comprehensive restructuring of all of puerto rico's outstanding debt. amy: another church has been set on fire in st. louis, the seventh in a spate of arsons over the last two weeks. the blaze at the shrine of st joseph follows deliberate fires at six predominantly black churches this month. st. joseph is the first that is primarily white. st. louis fire chief dennis jenkerson said officials are expanding their search for whoever is responsible. >> we recognize a pattern a week ago. like a said, it is starting to disturb a lot of people. we have a lot of people on the street. we hand build today up in the north area, making sure people were aware of the rewards being offered by various organizations, whether it is the state of missouri or crimestoppers. we will be back out again in the morning making sure we're going
12:11 pm
to expand our area of focus, because it looks like whoever is doing this has expanded theirs. amy: in florida, family and friends are seeking answers about a plainclothes officer's fatal shooting of african-american musician corey jones. police say officer nouman raja was in an unmarked cruiser when he stopped to investigate jone'' car, which had broken down. police said the officer was suddenly confronted by an armed subject and opened fire, killing jones. jones' family says he was carrying a gun but never fired it, and at one point tried to run away. on thursday, cory jones' brother and father demanded accountability. >> he was the kindest, the closest, the happiest person ever -- any person can ever imagine. >> so today, i need some answers. why.d to know
12:12 pm
why is my son gone today? why? amy: corey jones had been waiting for a tow truck when officer raja approached him. the family says they believe raja failed to identify himself as an officer. later on thursday, the family led a march of hundreds of protesters on palm beach gardens city hall. andverybody knows corey never, ever, ever, ever would go against the law. >> me, personally, i don't believe they say he did. i believe the story is not right. we are looking for the truth. we want answers. we want justice. amy: president obama has voiced support for the black lives matter movement for campaigning over the police treatment of african-americans. speaking at a panel discussion in washington, d.c. obama said , activists pointing to discrimination against african-american communities are raising a legitimate issue. >> i think the reason that the
12:13 pm
organizers use the phrase "blacklivesmatter" is not because they were suggesting nobody else's lives matter, rather what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that is happening in the african-american community that is not happening in other communities. legitimate issue that we have got to address. we as a society are particularly given our history, have to take this seriously. and one of the ways of avoiding the politics of this and losing the moment is everybody stepping back for a second and , uh, that the african-american community is not just making this up. and it is not just something being politicized. it is real, and there is a history behind it and we have to take it seriously. amy: president obama's comments appear to be his first in public
12:14 pm
on the black lives matter movement since it erupted across the country in the summer of 2014. the federal communications commission has voted to reduce the cost of prison phone calls for inmates and their families. the move imposes rate caps for in-state and long-distance calls that follows a campaign from advocacy groups seeking to end predatory phone calls for prisoners and her loved ones, sometimes with prison phone contracts have charged as much as $14 a minute on top of other fees. thegroup free press hailed decision saying "this will make a difference for millions of people who struggle to stay connected to loved ones, now they can do it without getting fleeced by unprincipled companies. in mexico is bracing for the worst ever hurricane recorded in the western hemisphere. the category five hurricane patricia is expected to make landfall on mexico's southern pacific coast. experts warn the storm could be potentially catastrophic.
12:15 pm
the world meteorological organization says the strongest typhoon, which killed 6300 people in the philippines in 2013. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. former secretary of state and current democratic presidential hopeful hillary clinton spent more than on thursday testifying eight hours before the house select committee probing the 2012 attack in libya, which killed u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans. throughout the hearing, clinton defended her record secretary of state on benghazi in the face of republican criticism. >> i would imagine i've thought more about what happened and all of you put together. i've lost more sleep than all of you put together. i have been racking my brain about what more could have been done or should have been done.
12:16 pm
and so when i took responsibility, i took it as a challenge and an obligation to make sure before i left the state department, that what we could learn, as i'm sure my predecessors did after beirut and after nairobi and after all of the other attacks on our facilities -- i'm sure all of them, republican and democrat alike, especially where there was loss of american life, said, ok, what must we do better? amy: the panel was the eighth such committee to investigate the benghazi attacks, and the hearings largely covered much of the same ground as previous proceedings. clinton supporters have criticized the republican-led effort as an attempt to damage the democratic front-runner's presidential campaign. in his opening statement, committee chair republican trey gowdy addressed those charges.
12:17 pm
quick madam secretary, i understand there are people, frankly, in both parties, who have suggested this investigation is about you. let me assure you, it is not, and let me assure you why it is not. this investigation is about four people who were killed representing our country on foreign soil. other democrats pushed back on the assertion, casting the continued investigation as politically motivated. referencing an interview gowdy did on sunday on cbs "face the nation," coming said gowdy was nothing truthful when he said he has zero interest in investigating the clinton foundation in clinton theme is other than for evaluating them for information. gowdy and cummings then had this tense exchange. >> you issued a subpoena dissenting blumenthal on may 19 2015 compelling him to appear for the position on june 1620 15 -- deposition june 16, 2015,
12:18 pm
unilateral without giving select committee members the ability to debate or vote on it. you said two armed marshals to serve a subpoena on mrs. blumenthal's wife in their home without having ever sent him a request to participate voluntarily, which he would have done. then, mr. chairman, you personally attended his deposition and personally asked him about the clinton foundation and you personally directed your staff to ask questions about the clinton foundation, which they did more than 50 times. now, these facts directly contradict the statements you made on national television -- >> with all due respect, they do not. we just heard e-mail after e-mail after e-mail about libya in benghazi that city blumenthal sent to the secretary of state. i don't care if you send it by morse code, carrier pigeon, smoke signals, the fact that he happen to send a by e-mail is
12:19 pm
irrelevant. what is relevant is that he was sending information to the secretary of state. that is what is relevant. with respect to the subpoena, if you had bothered to answer the telephone calls of our committee, he would not needed a subpoena. >> [inaudible] >> you need to make sure the entire record is correct. >> and that is exactly what i want to do. >> thing go ahead. >> i move we put into the record the entire transcript of sidney blumenthal. we're going to release the e-mails, le's to the transcript. that way the world can he had. amy: the obama administration has been criticized for its handling of the aftermath of the benghazi attack. the white house initially said the consulate was attacked by protesters denouncing a short american film insulting the prophet mohammed. but it later turned out the attack was carried out by well armed militants. they first attacked the diplomatic mission in a secret cia annex. republicans say clinton ignored pre-attack warnings and mishandled its aftermath.
12:20 pm
previous reports have been scathing over security failures and have led to firings at the state department, none have accused clinton or other top officials of wrongdoing. joining us for more is melvin goodman, former cia and state department analyst them a senior fellow at the center for international policy and director of the center's national security project. his latest book is, "national insecurity: the cost of american militarism." welcome to democracy now!. can you start off by talking about the significance of the hearing yesterday, what was learned, what wasn't learned, and what you think are the key questions to be asked that may have never been asked formally by any of these committees? >> thank you, amy. what was learned was irrelevant. what was relevant wasn't discussed. and it was those areas that concern me. why would the cia operating a base out of benghazi? why was the state department
12:21 pm
operating a transitional mission is a witty -- not a consulate -- in benghazi? why was abbasid or stevens, who is aware of the security situation in benghazi in the first place? so none of these questions have been asked. remember, when the plane flew these survivors out of benghazi to get them back to tripoli, for every state department official on that plane, there were five or six cia employees. and my sources tell me the cia was there to buy back weapons that we had given to mow market off in the first place. the question all of this begs, and this is where the clintons marks concerned me, is that we created a disaster in libya. it was the decision to conduct regime change, the decision to go after mo market off he. killer clinton welcomed that news with the words, we can, we saw, he died. what putin isk to doing in syria because remember, we had to tell the russians that we had very limited objectives,
12:22 pm
very limited mission in benghazi so that they would not be -- veto the u.n. resolution. essentially, putin find that our mission was really to go after could off the, creating this incognita, this chaos in libya. so it really needs to be discussed is what is the role of military power in the making a foreign-policy? why does hillary clinton think that libya is not a disaster? and why was there clinton pushing for the military role in libya and the first place? are important issues. as farce the hearings were concerned, she testified off and on for nearly 11 hours. she handles herself extremely well and she essentially exposed the fact that these were a group of republican doing their best to marginalize her and humiliate her. and they totally failed. amy: mel goodman, the justification at the time that g
12:23 pm
addafi was going to commit a massacre in benghazi? it was september 11, 2012, and i there is so little talked about about what actually was happening there am a that people don't realize exactly what the context was. >> well, in the wake of gaddafi 's debt, there was total chaos in libya. and essentially, there's a civil war being waged between forces in the western part of the country face around the capital tripoli, and forces in the eastern part of the country, based around benghazi. and what we have learned essentially over the last 34 years of foreign policymaking, that when you use military power in areas that are not stable, usually create a worse situation. israel invades lebanon in 1982, and the creation of hezbollah takes place. we armed the measure dean and this leads to groups like --
12:24 pm
even al qaeda. we go into iraq, there's the sunni awakening. now we're dealing with the islamic state. we took a very bad situation where there was factionalism in libya and made it much worse by removing the only person who seemed to hold it together, even though he did it with incredible violence and threat, but was holding that nation to the extent was a nation, gaddafi was holding a together. we were a major force in a major reason for the instability that took place. we should never have been in benghazi. all of the other international institutions had pulled out of benghazi. what we need to know is why stevens was there in the first place, what the cia was doing, and why there was virtually no security around the diplomatic facility -- which was just a transitional facility -- and because it was so, it was not even eligible for an upgrade
12:25 pm
insecurity. it did not come up on the radar screen. and to blame her for that is ridiculous. but to know what her position was on why military force was a good idea, is important, particularly, since she's going to be the democratic candidate. she established that last week in the debate. there's a very good chance she will be occupying the white house for four date years in the near term. amy: we're speaking to melvin goodman, a former cia and state department analyst about the questions, the key questions about u.s. presence in libya to begin with. the real lessons we can learn about what took place on september 11, 2012, don't start and end on that day. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
12:26 pm
12:27 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in 2012, then congressman dennis kucinich, democrat from ohio, spoke at a house committee hearing a month after the attack on the u.s. consulate and cia annex in benghazi. he stated, "the security situation did not happen overnight because of a decision made by someone at the state department." he went on to criticize u.s. policy in libya. >> we owe to the diplomatic corps who serves our nation to start at the beginning, and that is what i shall do. the security threats in libya, including the unchecked extremist groups are armed to the teeth, exist because our nation's bird on a civil war, destroying the security and stability of libya. , libyadefends gaddafi
12:28 pm
was not in a meltdown before the war. in 2003, gaddafi reconciled with committed the of nations by giving up his nation's pursuit of nuclear weapons. at the time president bush said gaddafi's actions in our country and world safer. during uprisings across the middle east in the arm spring, gaddafi made threats against benghazi. based on those verbal threats, we intervened. authority,itutional might add. we bombed libya and destroyed their army and obliterated the police stations. al qaeda expanded its presence host up weapons are everywhere. thousands of shoulder to air missiles around -- are on the loose. our military intervention led to greater instability in libya. any of us, democrats and republicans alike, made that argument to try and stop the war. it is not surprising given the inflated threat in the grandiose expectations inherent
12:29 pm
in our nation building and libya that the state department was not able to adequately protect our diplomats from this predictable threat. it is not surprising, and it is also not acceptable. we want to stop the attacks on our embassies? let's stop trying to overthrow governments. this should not be a partisan issue. let's avoid the hype and look at the residual asia in. interventions do not make us safe. they do not protect our nations. toy are themselves a threat america. amy: that was ohio congressman, former democratic presidential candidate, dennis kucinich testifying in 2012. this week is the fourth anniversary of the death of gaddafi who died close to a year before the benghazi attack. our guest is melvin goodman, former cia and state department analyst. senior fellow at the center for international policy and director of the center's national security project. can you follow-up on what dennis
12:30 pm
kucinich is saying and what you think are the critical lessons today that we have or have not learned, no goodman? >> i think he was spot on. i would go back to 2003 when we invaded iraq under false pretenses because it was a total corruption of the intelligence process, remember, gaddafi had been in power for about three decades. mubarak had been in decades -- in power for about two or three decades. libya was stable and egypt was stable. saddam hussein had been in power for several decades, and hours a certain stability in iraq. the important thing is, these countries were not national security problems for the united states. then we use military power in a totally unacceptable fashion in iraq, and this created the current situation that we are dealing with. in which you have total instability in lebanon, syria, in iraq. we now have a power we need to do with, and ran, and i give high praise to john kerry for the nuclear agreement with iran,
12:31 pm
but we helped to make around such an important player by going to war in afghanistan in an extended fashion which removed iran's enemy on the east and then going into iraq and removing saddam hussein, and ransom -- errant enemy on the west. we have been the source of tremendous instability. if you look at the middle east, and there is an apocalyptic character to what we're seeing, we are the major independent variable, and we do that because we use force. this belief in regime change, and sadly it does like to president eisenhower in 1953 when used american power in collusion with the british operation ajax to overthrow the only real democratically elected government iran has ever had. of course, kennedy followed this up in cuba with the bay of pigs, which the was called a perfect failure. then you jump forward or leap , democratically
12:32 pm
elected government but was socialist, so nixon and kissinger target that, go to reagan and around contract. if you look at american history, you have the united states essentially trying to create an empire with a base structure that involved over 800 facilities all over the world, no country that has more than a half-dozen facilities. britain and france can claim that informal colonial areas, russia can claim a few facilities in former soviet republics plus in syria, but it is the united states that has this huge facility, forward strategy to protect our in order to destabilize situations when it becomes convenient for the united states interest. this is wrong. amy: i daresay the obama administration was a they intervened in libya to prevent gaddafi, before 2012, committing a massacre of the libyan uprising in the same way they would say they have intervened
12:33 pm
in syria for the same reason, to prevent assad from killing his own people. your response to both in what would have been a peaceful alternative? >> in the case of libya, i think are could be an alternative because gaddafi negotiated with the united states in the past. in fact, a reference to gaddafi giving up his nuclear weapons is important because that was done a very jealous that -- very delicate, private negotiations and the cia played a role in that, even though that is not well known. is thatssential element we should realize that the use of military power should always be the last resort and, friendly, i think president obama understands that. i don't think he has been comfortable with the expansion of power when the so-called surge happen in afghanistan in 2009 anyone to west point to give the important speech that he gave, he made it clear that he was putting the troops in but it was temporary, and in 18 months with start taking them out.
12:34 pm
he knew he needed to get troops out of iraq. he wanted to get all of the troops out of afghanistan. he let from behind, according to that was, in libya, so somewhat halfhearted. at the fact is, we used military power in these places and now they are less stable than they were before. and to talk about nation building is particularly silly. we can't rebuild baltimore, so what are we going to do in aleppo in benghazi and tripoli? andave to be more balanced more restrained with our use of power. and hillary clinton should have been forced to discuss that yesterday, but i don't think that panel was interested in american national security. these were a bunch of gotcha questions i got this country nowhere. amy: you are a former cia and state department analyst. let's talk about the role of the cia, for example, in libya. the cia and the state department, are they merging? and is that in danger diplomacy when people in other countries
12:35 pm
think it is the same thing? >> well, i think the problem is even greater than that. the merger that is taking place, particularly under john brennan, is the merger between the cia and the pentagon. i left the cia in the 1980's because of the politicization of intelligence under bill casey and bob gates, but what john brennan has done is created the cia as a paramilitary institution that is really doing the bidding of the pentagon. he said in his confirmation hearings he was going to give up drone warfare, that that properly belongs in the pentagon. if we should be doing it at all, which is another question. not only has he not done that, we have expanded the use of the drones. now he is merging intelligence analysts and operatives which will further politicize intelligence. what i worry about is the cia that was greater by harry truman to challenge the pentagon, to challenge intelligence briefings by the pentagon, to try to get an understanding of why we need
12:36 pm
arms control and disarmament. and they're the cia and the state department, when we had arms control and disarmament agency which bill clinton got rid of, the cia did a very good work. if you look at the last 10 years, if you look at politicized intelligence, the phony case to go to war, people like mike morrow, deputy director who was called the bob gates of his generation by politico, and we certainly know what that means, the politicization of all the intelligence to invade iraq in a secret prisons come extra ordinary renditions, torture and abuse -- this is what needs to be addressed, but i think, frankly, president obama has been intimidated by this process , intimidated by the very military complex that eisenhower warned about in 1961. amy: melvin goodman, thank you for being with us, the issue some of them you raised we will raise with our next guest. melvin goodman is former cia and state department analyst. senior fellow at the center for international policy and director of the center's national security project.
12:37 pm
his latest book is, "national insecurity: the cost of american militarism." coming up, we turn to the council of europe's commissioner for human rights to talk about the refugee crisis in europe, the dangers of mass surveillance , as well as his call for a full probe of the cia's secret prisons in europe. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
12:38 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as violence in syria, iraq, afghanistan and parts of africa pushes a wave of refugees to seek shelter in europe, the united nations refugee agency reports a growing number of children have been forced into sex to pay for the continuation of their journey. now the united nations is accusing the czech republic of systematic human rights violations over its treatment of refugees. the u.n. said the czech
12:39 pm
government is committing the abuses in an effort to deter refugees from entering the the czech republic or staying there. rupert colville, spokesperson for the u.n. high commissioner for human rights spoke thursday in geneva. >> there appeared to be violations of the migrants and refugees, not isolated or coincidental, but essentially systematic. and this is basically to do with the fact that they are being detained pretty much as a matter of course, 40 days in some in otherich is just -- cases, way beyond that, or even beyond what the check legal system allows. many of them are not able to challenge the detention legally. amy: colville went on to describe the findings of a recent report by the czech ombudsperson who visited migrant detention centers and was shocked by what she saw. >> she described it as degrading
12:40 pm
treatment of parents and front of their children. there have been reports also that children were being separated from their parents behind wire fences, that they were having to see their parents being handcuffed, people are being strip-searched in order to take their money, essentially, because they are actually being charged for being detained. so they are being wrongly detained in the first place, then having to pay for it. amy: germany alone says it expects to take in between 800,000 and 1 million refugees this year. sweden has already taken in over 100,000 refugees this year, including 10,000 in the past week. with winter looming, authorities across europe are scrambling to find warm places for the refugees. refugees from iraq and syria are suffering in near-freezing temperatures in croatia. >> what we saw, it was very cold. help us, they offer us blankets, offer us food, drinks and many things.
12:41 pm
so we're very grateful to them. waiting tore just complete our journey to germany. >> it is very cold. we were freezing. the situation is really difficult. children are staying in the cold. people have been waiting your for the past two days. all they they sleep outside. children are getting sick. it is enough. we're all waiting for the borders to open so it is over. amy: to talk more about the refugee crisis, we are joined in studio by nils muinieks, the council of europe commissioner for human rights. welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. explain why these refugees are coming, the responsibility of the western countries they are fleeing to come and what needs to be done. >> this is not a new crisis. anyone who is been following what is going on in syria, knows country such as turkey, lebanon, jordan have been faced with huge
12:42 pm
-- with a huge arrival of refugees from syria. and the inadequacies of many national systems for asylum and refugee have been planed anyone on the ground. 's asylum system collapsed a number of years ago. italy has been saving hundreds of thousands of people in the mediterranean sea. it is only when it went further into europe that the rest of the countries began to take notice. the responsibility is to provide access to asylum for those who need protection, to not attain , thatas we just heard seeking asylum is not a crime and people should not be detained for doing so. and to get a faring -- fair hearing. is, this is very predictable that people would move and what we need is to ramp up resettlement's from the areas in and around the conflict so that people don't have to make these dangerous journeys, don't have to endure the suffering. if we're going to give them protection, why not help the move immediately to a safe
12:43 pm
place? amy: what about the united states? >> the united states can do much, much more. stateshear the united has taken several thousand syrians, this is shameful. this is a pitifully small number. when you hear that a country like armenia, very small, poor country, has received 10,000 syrian refugees, when you hear various countries in europe are taking hundreds of thousands of people to learn that america is taking several thousand from syria, i don't think it is worthy of america. i think america also has a special responsibility to politically help arrived at his solution in syria to end the conflict. because until that happens, we will see continued outflow of people. amy: earlier this month, the german politician, horst seehofer, the premier of the state of bavaria, called on the u.s. and arab states to take in more refugees. >> we need, ladies and german,
12:44 pm
quotas for refugees from war zones. and i would like to underline my support for the proposal from my parliamentary group, apart from all the other measures, we need to achieve a quota for refugees from war zones. also, ladies and gentlemen, we need to include countries in the distribution of these quotas which have been especially large responsibility to these refugees such as the united states and the arab countries. amy: we were just talking before about syria and libya and what the u.s. did in the interventions there. what is the link between those interventions, the u.s. military moving in, and refugees moving out? >> these people are fleeing terrorism conflict, barrel insofar asadings and america's politically implicated in one set of the other, militarily implicated in one set of the other, america has a
12:45 pm
special responsibility toward the people who afterwards are uprooted and flee for their lives. my job is to look at what is going on in 47 countries. so i cannot really speak to questions of what is going on in libya or syria, but we see the consequences in europe of political and military decisions made in this country's. amy: nils muinieks, your the commissioner for the human rights of europe. you are taking on a number of issues. i want to talk about surveillance, the first, secret prisons. >> this is a sordid story in europe that does europe shame. 10 years ago, more than 25 countries cooperated with the cia in the program of extra ordinary rendition, and there is been very little accountability and till now. we know it is quite well-documented there were secret prisons in poland, theuania, romania, and now
12:46 pm
victims of extreme their rendition are beginning to claim their rights through the european court of human rights. amy: is it fair to say extraordinary rendition is just a fancy term or white house term for kidnapping? >> it is kidnapping, unlawful detention, and torture. and it is a lack of the rule of law and the ability of people to defend their rights in any system, in any court system -- national or international. amy: why did these countries do it? what kind of information can you get from them? what are they responsible for revealing now? >> these countries cannot say this was the fault of the u.s. of course, the u.s. is advocated, but they facilitated the human right violations. and they should be accountable before their citizens and before international law. -- denied their participation, denied knowledge for many years, but that
12:47 pm
position is increasingly untenable because even after -- the cousin now you have these court decisions, you have growing admissions of, yes, there was something there but we did not know torture was going on. so there's still a lot of accountability and this can only -- true cut ability can only take place if u.s. cooperates with the other countries. amy: i want to ask you about masri. and to summer 2012, he won a landmark victory in european court. he was seized in macedonia in 2003 as part of a cia secret extra ordinary rendition program. he was beaten, sodomized, held in a secret prison in afghanistan for months before being abandoned by the cia on a hillside in albania. he explained his ordeal through a translator. >> they took me to this room and i had handcuffs and i had a blindfold and when the door was closed, i was beaten from all
12:48 pm
sides. i was hit from all sides. humiliated and then i just -- i could hear i was being photographed when i was completely naked. tied on myds were back -- to my back. i had a blindfold. they put chains to my ankles and back over my head, just like the pictures we have seen of guantánamo, for example. then i was drugged brutally into .he airplane and in the airport, i was thrown to the floor. i was tied to the floor and to
12:49 pm
the sides of the airplane. at some point when i woke up again, i found myself in afghanistan. i was brutally dragged off the airplane and put in the trunk of a car. i was thrown into the trunk of a car. amy: that is german citizen khaled el-masri. in december 2012, he won a landmark victory in european court. the ruling marked the first time a court of law has determined the cia treatment of terrorist suspects constituted torture and the first time a european state has been held liable for being complicit. this was a case that even the u.s. admitted openly it was a case of mistaken identity. he was a passenger on a bus. masri attorney welcomed the landmark decision. has been nine years and it
12:50 pm
is taken legal proceedings in three different countries, which provided no results for him. today, this court has confirmed what we knew all along, that his story was true, that he was a victim of an offense of extreme very rendition. and i think it is a major victory for europe and the cause of human rights in the world generally. amy: apparently was held for five months largely because the head of the cia antiterrorism centers al qaeda unit elite he was someone else, this according to a former cia official who refused to be identified. how typical is what happened to masri? >> we don't know because of the cloak of secrecy, but we know there are many people who are unjustly and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and transferred to guantanamo -- and some people were probably released and we don't know about their cases. a we have been adjudicated in european court of human rights.
12:51 pm
two who are voting guantánamo and poland was held a credible. there are several cases pending before the european court of human rights. these are not individual cases most of this is a pattern for which there's been honest no accountability in europe. amy: speaking last night, he said some 25 european countries have been complicit in the cia prisons and renditions. so how do you hold a probe? who does it? >> ideally, the country itself. macedonia was found guilty for failing to conduct in a festive --effective investigation. we have to keep holding their feet to the fire and say coming up to get to the bottom of this. some of the is guilty and has to be held accountable. italy, for example, did try a number of people, both local agents and -- they called for the indictment of a number of cia personnel, but afterwards,
12:52 pm
they were pardoned by the president, so those cases were discontinued. is, whatnk the key these incidents show is a complete lack of democratic oversight of secured he services. the security services, and later in surveillance, or doing whatever they wanted. nobody rang the alarm bell when they should have. amy: what should the u.s. do right now? >> the u.s. should cooperate with the countries such as poland and others that have been required by the european court of human rights, they should provide them information. they should also provide assurances his people will not be subject to the death penalty. the death penalty is outlawed in europe. and it should come clean and shed light on all of these misdeeds, the torture, the rendition so as to prevent it from happening again. amy: we're talking to nils muinieks, the commissioner for human rights for the council of europe.
12:53 pm
last month, nsa whistleblower edward snowden, pulitzer prize-winning journalist glenn greenwald and other privacy , activists launched a new campaign to establish global privacy standards. the proposed international treaty on the right to privacy, protection against improper surveillance, and protection of whistleblowers would require states to ban mass data collection and implement public oversight of national security programs. it would also require states to offer asylum to whistleblowers. it is being dubbed the "snowden treaty." edward snowden spoke about the need for the treaty via teleconference from russia at the september launch event in new york. >> this is not a problem exclusive to the united states or the national security agency or the fbi or department of justice or any agency of government anywhere. this is a global problem that affects all of us. amy: that is edward snowden. what do you think has to happen around mass surveillance? >> with a very negative trained now in europe were a number of countries are moving from targeted surveillance to
12:54 pm
untargeted surveillance, and this is quite dangerous. this means everybody is a suspect. what we need is we need strict rules on authorization of surveillance measures. we need to outlaw certain -- the use of certain technologies which cast a very wide and that and grab to indications of everybody in an area, everybody communicating with a certain person who might be suspected of terrorist activities am a but we need to beef up democratic oversight of security services. we need intrusive parliamentary committees. we need traditional authorization. we need to be assured that the security services are doing what they can, but operating within a framework of the role of lawful stop and we need to provide remedies -- effective remedies to those who have been done wrong, who have been unjustly surveilled and have privacy invaded. amy: who would be the police on
12:55 pm
this? >> there are various models in europe, but very often, to make a democratic, it has to be parliamentarian as well. you need members of parliament on the and keeping an i security services. very often you have expert panels assisting parliament, people who have technical expertise to know what they're being shown by the security services. and i think it is completely legitimate to get money to security services, to give them technological know-how, but we need to do the same to the overseers so they can really see and understand what is going on and keep an i on it. very often these overseers are -- they rubberstamp requests for surveillance. they don't really go into the meat of it. i asked in germany, for example, the people involved with authorizing surveillance 99%ests, they said 98% to of all requests are granted. to me, this shows the system is not effective. is edward snowden a patriot
12:56 pm
or a traitor, do you believe? >> i will be agnostic on that question, but i think he revealed serious human rights issues until then had not been known, and some of the solutions that his proposed i think are very much in line with what we have been advocating. amy: finally, a cease-fire agreed in the east of ukraine between the separatists and ukrainian government forces has been holding, but fears remain that fighting could resume. on thursday, russian president vladimir putin said that kiev was not upholding its end of the ukraine peace deal. >> is useless to endlessly blame russia for not fulfilling or not urging the authorities unrecognized republics of the south east of ukraine to do something in fulfillment of agreements. if the key positions of the minsk agreement are not fulfilled kiev authorities, and
12:57 pm
they are not fulfilled by the kiev authorities. amy: nils muinieks, you been spending a lot of your time on ukraine. what should we understand about it? >> ukraine is a human rights disaster zone. -- the humanen rights situation has deteriorated very seriously in the last year. the east of the country, which is held by the rebels, supported by russia, i was in an you ask and rebel occupied donetsk in july. they're very serious human rights issues, but that you manage a situation is also catastrophic. yet a lot of people have been displaced from a lot of people who are going hungry, who don't have access to clean water, to medicine, yet allegations of enforced -- forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture. and the west needs to support ukraine, but it also needs to hold into account for its human rights violations because it
12:58 pm
also has not done everything it can and sometimes there are some -- there are some military groupings which are also involved were implicated in him and rights violations. amy: we have to leave it there but we will continue to follow all of these issues. nils muinieks is the council of your commissioner for human rights. and that does it for our show. this news just in, democratic presidential candidate lincoln chafee has dropped out of the race for the democratic nomination for president. he is a republican turned independent turned democrat, former governor and senator of rhode island. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
12:59 pm
1:00 pm
>> funding for "christina cooks" is provided by astavita, manufacturers of skin defense complex, designed to help protect skin from free radicals with astareal astaxanthin and tocotrienol. astavita skin defense complex, more than skin deep. additional funding provided by kuhnrikon, manufacturers of the swiss-made duramatic pressure cooker, employing energy efficiency in the kitchen to help take the pressure off of cooking and cooks in creating naturally-prepared meals. and by ecover, where the environment starts in your home. ecover household cleaning and laundry products clean the dirty clothes hamper, the bathroom, and the kitchen sink ecologically. ecover, the power of nature. additional funding provided by martinelli's gold medal apple juice and sparkling cider. all-natural pure juice from u.s.-grown fresh apples, not

20 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on