tv Democracy Now PBS December 14, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
12/14/16 12/14/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the city has fallen in the forces again. most of the city has been destroyed. amy: with the aid of russian airstrikes, the syrian government has retaken control of the city of aleppo after four years of fighting. russia calls it a victory against terrorists. the united states has the syrian government siege of aleppo represents a modern evil. we will look at the crisis in syria and u.s.-russian relations at a time when the cia is accusing moscow of helping donald trump when the presidency.
we will speak to professor stephen cohen, who writes for the nation, and kenneth roth, head of human rights watch. then donald trump nominates former texas governor rick perry to have the energy department, a department perry once opposed to abolish even though he could not remember the department's name. >> it is three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education and the -- what is the third one? >> you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government, i would do away with commerce,ion, the -- and let's see -- i can't. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. donald trump has chosen former texas governor rick perry to be energy secretary.
governor perry famously attempted to propose to abolish the energy department, but then couldn't remember the agency during a live televised debate in 2011 when he was running for president. >> and i will tell you, it is three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and the -- what is the third one? let's see. >> five. >> ok, five. commerce, education, and the -- >> epa? >> epa, there you go. >> seriously? is epa the one you were talking about? >> no, sir. we were talking about the agencies of government. the epa needs to be rebuilt. >> you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government -- i would do away with the education, the -- commerce, and let's see -- i
can't. the third one, i can't, sorry. ooops. amy: that was rick perry during a televised debate in 2011. he later told reporters that the agency he had forgotten was the energy department. perry has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry, including serving on the corporate boards of both energy transfer partners and sunoco logistics, two companies behind the dakota access pipeline. both companies are owned by texas billionaire kelcy warren. perry joined the board of energy transfer partners in february 2015, only two weeks after he left office. that year perry received $365,000 from warren's companies. we'll have more on perry later in the broadcast. the energy department is defying donald trump's transition team, saying it will not provide the names of people working on the obama administration's climate policy. last week, trump's team circulated a 74-part
questionnaire at the department of energy, requesting the names of employees working on specific climate-related projects and the names of employees who have attended climate talks over the last five years. many have denounced the move as the creation of an enemies list. donald trump has reportedly picked montana congressman ryan zinke the position of interior secretary. zinke has denied scientists have proven the human impact on climate change. he's also long promoted mining and logging on federally held lands. the transition team had previously floated washington state congresswoman cathy mcmorris rodgers for interior secretary. the environmental protection agency has released its final report on the impacts of fracking, concluding after a six-year study that fracking does contaminate drinking water under some circumstances. the report found that all stages of the fracking process have the
potential to contaminate drinking water. it' fracking to date, and it comes after years of residents reporting that their water had been contaminated by the drilling process. heads of the nation's top technology companies, including apple, facebook, and amazon, are meeting with president-elect donald trump. increasing number of technology workers in at least one major company have said they will not participate in the creation of a national registry for people for majority muslim countries. one of trump's campaign proposals. hundreds of tech workers have signed on to a pledge titled "never again," saying -- "we refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the united states government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin." the company twitter has also said it would not participate in the creation of such database after being contacted by the intercept. in syria, a tentative ceasefire and evacuation plan for
civilians and anti-government rebels in eastern aleppo has reportedly collapsed this morning, as syrian government troops have seized near full control over aleppo. anti-government activists from the aleppo media center say syrian government shelling continues in the few rebel-held areas, although syrian government television claims the fire is coming from the rebels. the u.n. said at least 82 civilians, including women and children, have been shot on sight by syrian government troops in recent days. the syrian government offensive comes after eastern aleppo has been besieged and bombarded for months by government forces and russian airstrikes. anti-government activists, who first rose up against syrian president bashar al-assad in a inocratic popular uprising have called the fall of aleppo 2011, "doomsday." we'll have more on syria later in the broadcast.
the u.s. has reportedly halted the sale of some weapons to saudi arabia in mounting concerns about u.s. back to saudi led bombing campaign in yemen. since march 2015, more than 10,000 people have died in the ongoing conflict in yemen, the vast majority killed by saudi-led airstrikes. the u.s. has continued to sell warplanes and munitions to the saudi-led coalition throughout the war, and u.s.-made munitions have been found at the scene of saudi-led bombings where civilians have been killed. on tuesday, an unnamed official told reuters -- "we've decided not to move forward with some foreign military sales cases for air-dropped munitions, pgm's. that's obviously a direct reflection of the concerns that we have about saudi strikes that have resulted in civilian casualties." the ongoing war has also sparked a medical and hunger crisis. a new unicef report says in
yemen, a child dies every 10 minutes because of malnutrition, diarrhea, or respiratory-tract infection. the report also says yemen's most heavily bombed region, the saada governorate, now has the world's highest rate of stunting -- a symptom of chronic malnourishment in children. human rights watch says satellite imagery shows the burmese military intentionally razed rohingya villages in the state of rakhine. the united nations has called on burmese leader aung san suu kyi to intervene and halt the military campaign against the long-persecuted muslim ethnic group. the recent military campaign has reportedly included the rape and killing of civilians, as well as the use of helicopter gunships to open fire against rohingyas below. the entire area has been sealed by a military order in order to keep out aid workers and journalists. at least 10,000 rohingyas have been forced to flee into bangladesh to escape the violence, while others have fled
to nearby refugee camps. these are two refugees speaking from a camp in the capital of the state of rakhine. to eat here.thing our children are dying. we get support once in a month or two. how can we survive? >> we do not have good health care. we sleep in poor conditions. it is very hot and there are no good roads. we have nothing to eat. all of the food aid we had is gone now. most of the families here cannot afford to cook rice now. amy: in more news on burma, the committee to protect journalists is demanding authorities investigate the murder of crime reporter soe moe tun. he was a journalist for the local newspaper "daily eleven." he was in the process of investigating illegal logging and wood smuggling when his body was discovered tuesday along the side of the road. in mexico city, activists are
protesting the eviction of the autonomous community space chan-tee o-leen, which was violently raided last month by hundreds of riot police with military equipment, including two helicopters and a tank. the space was the oldest squat in mexico city located in the rapidly gentrifying downtown financial district. on monday, activists protested outside the attorney general's office to demand officials return the space to the community and close the cases against the 26 people who were arrested during the eviction on november 22. in financial news, wells fargo has failed for the second time this year. the living will or deliberate test, a key evaluation -- wells fargo has failed for the second time this year the living will regulatory test, a key evaluation established after the 2008 financial crisis. the test judges whether banks have plans in place to avoid crashing the global economy in the event of a bank failure. wells fargo also failed this test in april. wells fargo is already increasing scrutiny of wells fargo over its financing of the dakota access pipeline, as well as a massive scandal over the creation of 2 million fake accounts, which employees opened
in order to meet grueling sales targets. at standing rock in north dakota, water protectors fighting the dakota access pipeline are calling on morton county to drop an arrest warrant issued for brennon nastacio, the pueblo water protector who disarmed a dakota access security contractor attempting to infiltrate the resistance camps on october 27. a video shows nastacio convincing pipeline security contractor kyle thompson to stop pointing his ar 15 rifle at the native americans and then hand over his 30 round clip. thompson was later arrested by bureau of indian affairs police. but morton county went on to release thompson without charges and instead issue an arrest board for the water protector nastacio on charges of felony terrorizing. nastacio has also been placed on morton county's most wanted list. this is pueblo water protector brennon nastacio.
>> to be on morton county's most wanted list since me a message that marching county doesn't care about the people at camp. but kyle thompson come in and shoot everybody at camp than for me to disarm him. i hope that isn't the case, morton county. i hope they realize i saved lives that day. i approached cal thompson to disarm him because i was concerned about the safety of the camp. amy: in ohio, governor john kasich has vetoed a piece of antiabortion legislation that would have banned abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected, which is usually about six weeks into pregnancy. but he did sign into law tuesday another extreme piece of anti-choice legislation that bans the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even in the case of rape or incest.
the aclu has vowed to challenge the law, which it says is unconstitutional. meanwhile, in oklahoma, lawmakers have approved new regulations that will require all facilities with public bathrooms licensed by the state health department to post anti-choice signs advertising pregnancy crisis centers and other anti-abortion websites and information. starting in 2011, the signs would be required in all hospitals, restaurants, and public schools under the humanity of the unborn child act. the regulations were pushed by the anti-choice group oklahomans for life with the goal of "achieving an abortion-free society." and in bakersfield, california, more than 100 residents and family members gathered for a candlelight vigil tuesday night for francisco serna, a 73-year-old man who was shot seven times by police just after midnight on monday as he was taking a walk in his neighborhood. serna's family says he suffered from the early stages of
dementia, and that he would take walks at night when he was having trouble sleeping. police say they were responding to a call about an armed man walking around the neighborhood, but the police later admitted serna did not have a gun or any weapon. instead, the police said serna was carrying a crucifix. bakersfield is in kern county. in 2015, kern had the highest rate of police killings per capita of any county in the united states. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. with the aid of russian airstrikes, syria has taken near full control of the city of aleppo in a major defeat for forces hoping to topple syrian president bashar al-assad. before fighting began in 2012, aleppo was syria's largest city with population over 2 million. some of the first major peaceful protests against assad's rule broke out in aleppo in march 2011. but today, the city is in shambles after four years of fighting between syria and rebel
groups. a turning point in the battle of aleppo occurred in september 2015 when russia began carrying out airstrikes to aid the syrian government. negotiations are now ongoing for a truce to allow the evacuation of civilians living in the areas once held by rebel forces. an initial truce collapsed earlier today. ismael alabdullah, a volunteer with the syrian civil defence, or white helmets, said civilians had been executed by government forces. neighborhood.e enteredorces, when they these neighborhoods, the executed two people. victims, they were executed,
including 13 kids and seven women will stop all of them were executed. what we are now and what we , genocide will happen. that genocide will happen in the coming hours. amy: russia described the fall of aleppo as a victory against terrorists and jihadists, but the united states has decried the russian-backed offensive. u.s. ambassador to the united nations, some of the power, -- samantha power, said -- "aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later -- halabja, rwanda, srebrenica and now aleppo." the u.n. said at least 82 civilians, including women and children, have been shot on sight by syrian government troops in recent days. to talk more about syria as well as how the fall of aleppo in fact u.s.-russian relations we , are joined by two guests. kenneth roth is the executive
director of human rights watch. his new article for the new york review of books is headlined "what trump should do in syria." and stephen cohen, professor emeritus of russian studies and politics at new york university and princeton university. he is a consuming editor at the nation magazine. we welcome you both to democracy now! kenneth roth, what is happening in syria? >> were all focused on aleppo right now. aleppo has been the victim of several months of basically a starvation of everyone there. but to 250,000 civilians. it also has been the victim of ongoing bombardment by syrian and russian forces. what is notable about the way this war has been fought, and aleppo is no exception to this, is that the syrian-russian combination have not simply aimed at fighters on the other side -- which is what you're
supposed to do in war -- but deliberately targeted civilians in institutions like hospitals or markets and the like. the aim is to make life so miserable that people either flee or the enclave ultimately topples. that has been the tactic in other areas. now it has been successful in aleppo. this is a war crime strategy. ofhas been assad's method fighting the war from the outset. russia joined it a little over year ago when they joined in. we hope to that stage the greater precision that russian air force brought to the fighting would enable a more targeted approach. in fact, they just continue the policy of targeting civilians. we had hoped as of last night that for the remaining civilians in aleppo, as well as the fighters, apparently, that there would be an evacuation. that had been arranged. this morning, shia militia backed by iran blocked that deal and resumed shelling the area.
this is of deep concern because as you heard from the white helmets individual, there have been executions in aleppo when pro-government forces have entered. in particular, targeting the families of fighters. they're going will -- they're going door-to-door executing women and children as well as others who are there. there's a deep concern those who remain in eastern aleppo, if they cannot get out, they, too, face the summary executions. amy: are you accusing russia and syria of war crimes? >> absolutely. there are fighters on the ground today, principally either syrian -- forces backing syria on the ground have been iran and hezbollah. russia has been playing mainly an aerial role. often you cannot tell which plane is which. the combination of the assad -putin air forces have been
deliberately bombing civilians and civilian institutions. you speak to people in hospitals being targeted over and over again until ultimately the hospital is destroyed. sadly, this has been the strategy that putin and assad have pursued in syria. this is a blatant or crime. in this case, the deliberate purpose has been to target civilians. amy: professor stephen cohen? >> is anybody here old enough to remember the expression "fog of war"? i think it may have originated in world war i. when you get a war, if it very difficult time getting reliable information about what is going on. there are several narratives about the syrian civil proxy war, and that is what it is. a lot of great powers are would be great powers involved in syria.
the united states and russia are involved in a proxy war there. it is a civil war. the account mr. roth just gave is only one of two or three competing narratives. -- and in war,s innocents die -- he says the russians joined with the syrians in deliberate war crimes. this is based on very selective reports that come from sources that cannot be verified -- for example, the white helmet man that you had testified to this did not tell us how he knew that, how he observed it, how he escaped with his own life. moreover, there are people who doubt the reports that come from the white helmets, that they have an agenda. so the rest of us are left trying to weigh the different narratives. mr. roth is an extreme set of accusations.
what cements -- what samantha power said at the united nations over a long period of time cannot be taken at face value because she has performed are not as ambassador, but a propagandist for certain point of view. the problem here is, what is the alternative to ending the siege of aleppo? , andyou, amy, mr. roth "the new york times," have dropped the word jihadist and terrorist from your narrative. i do not know if you are aware you have done that. you may have done is because "the new york times," until september -- why was september important? because president obama had proposed to join with president putin and what mr. roth now calls were comes. a military alliance against the people holding aleppo captive. they called them terrorists.
when our department of defense sabotaged that potential, russian-american alliance in aleppo, in syria, suddenly the narrative -- and we're back to , "the new york times," for example, and many of us who depend on "the times" and "washington post" for information, suddenly changed their narrative. there were no longer any terrorist or jihadist in aleppo, the people called rebels. and since our nation began in rebellion against great britain, rebels have a rather positive connotation. think, this is i what the united states government told us until september, that terrorists were holding large parts of eastern aleppo. they were not letting innocent civilians use the multiple corridors out of the city that the russians -- yes, there is
plenty of testimony to this -- had opened up and guaranteed. that people could not escape the city because of these terrorists. then suddenly, when the american-russian, obama's plan to cooperate with putin disappeared, apparently, all of the jihadist and terrorists disappeared. so we're left today in a fog of war. butaps mr. roth is correct, i do not think is fully correct. we have two narratives. either we have witnessed the liberation of aleppo, and then we would say this is a good thing, or we're witnessing were crimes by the russians in the syrians in aleppo, which is a bad thing. i would ask mr. roth, if the russians had not done what he alleged they would do, what was the alternative to setting the people of aleppo free? amy: kenneth roth? >> let me begin with this fog of
war argument. when there is nothing to say, when there is nothing to defend, the fog oft to war. this is not fog of war. we know what is going on. human rights watch has teams on beirut,nd based in occasionally going into syria, in regular communication with people in aleppo and other places. we don't publish until we know exactly what is going on. this is not a matter of taking some jihadist propagandist and repeating it. we know exactly what is happening. there is no question that the bombardment has been targeting civilians and civilian institutions. there is no question the siege was starving everybody, including 250,000 civilians. fog of for, please. this is the reality. what could have been done yet though -- what could have been done yet though let's be specific. when people use that term, they generally refer to two groups.
islamic state or isis. isis is not in aleppo at all. the u.s. working with its kurdish allies is fighting isis in iraq, syria around rocco. russia, for the most part, and assad have largely been ignoring that fight. they've been focusing on aleppo. in aleppo, there are what are known as the moderate rebels and a group that the united states agrees is a terrorist, and a qaeda affiliate, until recently when a supposedly distanced itself from al qaeda typically known as al nusra. alnusra is typically small. u.s. has agreed with russia would like to see those people defeated. that,r you feel about however you feel about the other rebels, the issue here is it is not who wins, the issue is the method of warfare. the right way to proceed is you shoot at the combatants on the
other side. that is what the laws of war are all about. unfortunately, putin assad and assad have chosen to target the civilians who also lived there. it is a deliberate strategy. make life so miserable that ultimately the city has no choice but to capitulate. there is tremendous fear on the part of civilians in all of these enclaves your targeted and on the one hand they fear staring -- staying there because they are facing bombardment by the russian and syrian troops. on the other hand, they fear going into syrian hands because we know what happens in syrian prisons. we has seen extensive torture and executions. we have photos of thousands of people who have died in those prisons. if you are a young man, for example, you're facing a choice -- do you either risk your life in assad's detention facilities, or with their increasingly doing, forcing you to get into the syrian military and go to the front line and essentially a suicide mission. it is a very poor possibility.
many families are staying with their relatives who are fighters, and these are the people who are being first targeted by the pro-government forces that are coming in. this is not about, how do you defeat terrorists? this is about slaughter of civilians will stop we should keep that focus. amy: the united nations calls it meltdown of humanity, kenneth rot stephen cohen. roth's organization does god's work. no question about it. but for millennia, we have argued exactly what god's word is. one can support what human rights watch does with great enthusiasm, make a donation, urge mr. roth on, and still question his narrative.
absolutely verifiable sources. the reality is come he doesn't. he criticizes me for single "fog things" but their other that have to be taken into account. the charge that russia to liberally targets civilian -- to liberally target civilians and centers is part of the growing anti-russian line that has captured our politics and has led to this scandal. i think would be to step back for a minute and i will speak of my own involvement in human rights or civil war, because i'm older than both of you and i would have you at a disadvantage because i'm not sure you even remember these struggles -- you do, but i'm not talking about only in the south, but russia and elsewhere. to sending hisr air force to syria just over a year ago in september 2015, i think, set it at the united
nations, sent it to president obama -- set it at every press conference. during the three-year period prior to that, the u.s. claimed it was fighting the islamic state, and of course mr. roth is right, they're different terrorist groups fighting. syria, simental myra -- some in palmyra. during the years the united states claimed to have been fighting the atomic state, the islamic state gained more and more and more territory after the fall of libya were after we overthrew gaddafi. it gained more territory in a rack and gain enormous territory in syria. something new emerged in the world. a terrorist organization that had actually turned itself into a real state the meaning of his governing these territories, running municipal facilities, collecting taxes. this was something new and
exceedingly dangerous. so putin said we have a choice. who do we want in damascus, the capital of syria? , the presidentd of syria, or do we want the islamic state in damascus? this was the key difference with the u.s. the obama and have pursued a policy of overthrowing assad. killing with terrorists in syria, some of whom we have ,unded as mr. roth well knows because they claimed to be anti-assad, meant in fact as we ,ursued the war against assad russia decided it'd had enough because it believed syria was vital to its national security. it intervened in the war has been turned around. the united states has been on the wrong side of history from the beginning of this.
the united states has made its contribution since vietnam, at least, to the destruction of hospitals and civilian civilities, most recently in afghanistan. was it deliberate? i don't know. it was probably an accident. mr. roth's view, everything is certain and everything is deliberate. i am more problematic. look at what is happening in syria today. it is interesting. the russians and the syrian some months ago took back palmyra where the islamic state been chopping off heads in public, where it had lined up its victims and had young children, looked to be about 10, 11, 12, executed. reportedhuman rights that an protested that. in the syrians liberated the city. now palmyra is under siege again. the islamic state may take control of the city. what is the u.s. doing about it cap co this is what we should be asking.
amy: your response? >> let me finish my point. you filibustered, let me make my point. he is not mentioned those old, and whether the same thing is happening in moz oh -- mosul. there are verifiable reports that jihadist and mosul r fling because of the iraqi-american war. where are they going? they're going to syria. the united states has bombers in that area. they could stop these people from going to syria. i guess they're headed toward palmyra. why are they letting them go to syria? because possibly they want them to take back palmyra from the russians and the syrians. we don't know if that is true, but the american war was highly suspect -- role was highly suspect. rather than sitting here and saying russians committed war crimes -- look, one person's war crimes is another persons liberation.
on the front page of "the new york times" this morning there is a story -- by the way, americans are fighting from beirut. depending on different sources. the author makes an interesting point. she repeats what mr. roth says about people being executed by the syrian army. she goes on to say these can't be verified. two or three paragraphs later, she reports that people trapped in aleppo are welcoming the syrian army with jubilation. so even in "the new york times," which has not been very helpful, you see -- undoubtedly, part of what mr. roth said is absolutely true. part of it is part of the position that he has taken more gently -- generally, about russia being mainly responsible for virtually everything that that is happening in the world. in my judgment, the real threat to our national security at this moment, number one, is not
unfolding in syria, but in washington, d.c. >> let's get back to reality. the u.s. has been bombing isis in both mosul and in raqqa. saidssor stephen cohen jihadists r fling bozo will stop there's no question the u.s. is actively bombing in iraq. it is backed by government forces and kurdish forces on the ground in syria it is back puppet on a leak kurdish forces. progressingms to be slowly. if you look at what the russian role has been, a year ago russia retook palmyra from isis. these days, it is been focusing entirely on aleppo where there is no aleppo. there's a group called the institute for the study of war, which puts a very interesting map once meant to show her the bombardment is.
russian the bombardment. you can see these little explosives around aleppo and one or two around rocket war palmyra -- raqqa or palmyra. not onus of assad is isis. that is their choice. for me, the issue is how they fight the war. professor cohen says, i'm just making this up, they're targeting civilians. look at the hospitals. they are a good illustration. until september 2015, at a point where it was just the syrian air force and the skies, they were using the so-called barrel bombs which were imprecise weapons. canisters filled with shrapnel that would tumble to earth. since the russians enter the war, they have got precision weapons. you talk to the doctors, which i've done repeatedly, and they describe much more precise hits on hospitals.
this is not a mistake. this is over and over until the hospital is destroyed. there's no question these hospitals are being delivered early targeted. you can say, fog of war, but the last time i checked the only people in the sky over aleppo are the russians and syrians. amy: we have to go to break that we will come back to this discussion and issued a professor cohen has raised, washington, the russia-u.s. relationship. we are speaking with professor stephen cohen, taught russian studies at both new york university and princeton, now writes for the nation. and kenneth roth, executive director of human rights watch. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
exxonmobil, to be secretary of state. tillerson is known to have close ties to vladimir putin. the senatefocuses of confirmation hearings will be exxon's $500 billion oil exploration partnership with the , consider thement largest oil dylan history. it can only go through if the u.s. lived -- lists sanctions against russia, which they obama and administration imposed. the news of tillerson's foundation came days after the cia accused russia of meddling in u.s. election to help donald trump win. trump has rejected the cia's conclusion t decrying is ridiculous. still with us, kenneth roth, executive director of human rights watch and even one, professor emeritus of russian studies and politics at new york university and princeton university. stephen cohen, start with the elections. precise.e
amy: what we understand, what the u.s. allegations are around russian intervention in the elections. "the new york times" has a major top story, "hacking the democrats." >> i don't know where to begin. let me context it. because when you first had me on february 2014, i said we were headed for new cold war with russia and it would be more dangerous than the last one. that has happened. we now have three cold war fronts that are fought with possibility of hot war -- the baltic area, ukraine, and area. between two nuclear powers. things are very, very dangerous. we desperately need in this country a discussion of american policy toward russia. we cannot keep saying an untruth that this new cold war is solely the fall of putin. we need to rethink our policy
toward russia. that has been made even more impossible now with this slurring of anybody who disagrees from the official american position of how the cold war arose. the slurring began against people such as myself two or three years ago. we were called putin apologists. it moved on to even accuse henry kissinger of that and then of course when trump come along, this was a greatho are essentiay neil mccarthyites. we have his allegation that the russians deliberately -- i think there is more accident and miscalculation in history that mr. roth seems to think -- to liberally on the orders of putin hacked into the democratic national committee and not only in order to -- and here the narrative gets puzzling. the original intention was simply to throw american castracy into chaos,
disrepute on the american political system. and they realize they could throw the election to trump. now we have "the new york times," that used to be a newspaper we thought would protect us from these kinds of allegations, saying in an editorial that they did this, the russians did this because trump is surrounded by kremlin these. this is an extremely serious and reckless allegation that our new president is surrender by kremlin lackies. they don't name names, but we know what they mean. an editorial page and paul krugman, who won a nobel prize in once was my colleague at winston, it is astonishing to see what he now writes, says only because of what the russians did. what we have from the cia, which is no is divided, we know there are different opinions and the cia, we have yet to be presented
with a single fact. this "new york times" story, which is miss coverage of this whole episode, they do the same thing. they are assessments, which is judgment. they are allegations. but no one has produced how they know this with facts. did they tap into russian cell phones? do they have a mole in putin's inner circle telling them? today has satellite surveillance? -- do they have satellite surveillance? we don't know. there's a group of former serious intelligence officers called veteran intelligence officers for sanity will stop i don't know. you know them. they issued a report yesterday. i cannot judge it. i'm not an intelligence person in that sense. and they believe this was not hacking at all but leaking. does somebody leaked this stuff -- in other words, 70 from the united states. here we have no facts presented
by the cia. the fbi itself will not go along because it is a fact organization. it has to have evidence that is presented will in a court. we have the possibility, i don't know, but it is offered by credible people that this was not hacking but leaking. and the result is, we are having the new president called essentially a kremlin lackey. senator mccain has said, to his eternal discredit, that putin is able leak, a liar, innovator of countries, a man who is determined to destroy the american way of life. and if anybody doesn't agree with senator mccain, he is a liar. amy: he also calls putin a killer. do you agree? >> in warfare, yes -- mccain went on to say that putin had killingly ordered the
of a russian opposition who was shot down on a bridge. no one in moscow takes that seriously, not even the man's family. at the point we have here, amy, and this is exceedingly dangerous, is that we have a new except to practice of labeling anyone who dissents from american policy toward russia as a kremlin apologist. and i know very serious people who have become afraid to speak out now because they don't want to be -- amy: let's get connected roth's ryan,se, and also paul announcing support for an investigation whether to russia did have the elections. >> file means, there should be an investigation. you have to be careful when there are accusations against russia and the responses, new cold war. as if, let's not look into this, there might be a new cold war. in syria, we just discussed this. there has been putin's
involvement in the deliberate targeting of silliness. a major faux pas saying -- it was denied by the kremlin. spontaneous uprising. the truth is valuable when it is useful -- malleable and it is useful. i have no special insight into the hacking allegations. by all means there should be an investigation. i am concerned about trump's nominee for secretary of state. here is a guy, rex tillerson, who had a career and cozying up daughter kratz around the world in the name of big oil. he is developed very good relations with angola, new guinea, and with putin. i worry about whether a man like that who has put the interests of big oil at of everything outs is going to be able to pursue a foreign policy where in syria,
human rights was major part of it. one thing autocrats have in common is a general disregard for human rights. his is the person we want to charge of our foreign policy? chosene issue of he is and exxon's desire to have these sanctions lifted, the largest oil deal and not just u.s., but in world history if these sanctions are lifted, would benefit his company. >> clearly, exxonmobil did not like these sanctions imposed on russia because the adventurism of these little green men that had nothing to do with the kremlin. exxonmobil fought back. this is not a human rights issue. abouts raise questions what is the primary concern of rex tillerson ankeny really, after having spent his entire career a big oil, his professional life at exxonmobil,
suddenly switch hats and pursue other values as the head of the state department. amy: this issue that professor cohen raises of the new mccarthyism? a newis a way of saying cold war. just because you start accusing people who say bad things about putin, does not mean it is not true. these big labels do not help. let's look at the facts. who actually did act in ukraine? was it just a spontaneous uprising or was there a russian role in this? who is providing the precision weapons in syria targeting civilians and civilian institutions? nobody even pretense that our planes of the above aleppo other than russia with their syrian allies. you have to get to reality here. i don't think throwing around the names of new cold war accusing people of mccarthy tactics has anything to do with this. the facts are pretty ugly right now. amy: i presume, professor cohen, you have some concerns about donald trump. or any of them around his
relationship with or -- the relationship with or his professor and ration for putin. >> well, i am kind of startled by a number things mr. roth said. i don't like the way he dismisses everything i say as kind of a way of avoiding it by referring to a new cold war and what happened in ukraine. i don't figure really knows what happened in ukraine, but that could be a separate discussion between us. then he goes back to syria. what surprises me is a man who represents human rights, one of which is freedom of speech, or as roosevelt would say, freedom fear of freedom of speech, that we should stop this. let me finish. he has kind of mangled it.
i did not say that anybody who says something bad about putin is the target of this neil mccarthyism. i sit anyone who dissents from the orthodox account of how we ended up in this new cold war, if mr. roth things it is not a new cold war he is welcome to peopleought, it is the who speak out for being called apologists for putin. amy: we have 30 seconds. >> we're in the most dangerous confrontation with russia since the cuban missile crisis. it needs to be discussed. at the moment, it cannot be discussed because of these charges that everybody is a client of putin who disagrees with the mainstream opinion. it is coming from the senate, from "the new york times" and coming from -- i wish we had a second to say what the motives are. one motive is to keep trump from going to the white house.
another is to delegitimize him before he gets there. at the main motive -- you can hear it clearly -- is trump has said he wants cooperation with party that is war here against it is determined to stop it. the way you do it is level against putin the kinds of levelsions that mr. roth , so the rest of us say, we cannot have any cooperations with putin because he is a war criminal. >> i'm all for talking with putin -- in fact, my fees argues the key to syria is to put pressure on putin because assad would not be able to commit these atrocities without putin -- >> that is putting pressure. >> we never objected to the ongoing debate, the ongoing conversation, but it should not be with the kind of pressure which is all that putin listens to these days. >> for god sake. you base that on what?
your following russian politics -- let's be fact-based. >> i was tempered two years talk and talk and talk with kerry and lavrov. the only way he is made any change in syria is when the pressure mounts. amy: we have to leave it there. i want to thank you both for being a part of this discussion. stephen cohen professor emeritus , of russian studies and politics at princeton and new york university. kenneth roth is the executive director of human rights watch. when we come back, we look at trump's thicke to be the secretary energy, rick harry. stay with us. -- trumps kick to be secretary of energy, rick perry. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
the energy department, but then couldn't remember the name of the agency during a live televised debate in 2011. >> it is three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and the -- what is the third one? let's see. >> you can't name the third one? >> kid third agency of government -- i would do away with the education, the commerce -- let's see. i can't. amy: that was rick perry during the televised presidential debate in 2011. he later told reporters that the agency he had forgotten was the energy department. governor perry has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry, including serving on the corporate boards of both energy transfer partners and sunoco logistics, two companies behind the dakota access pipeline. both companies are owned by texas billionaire kelcy warren. perry joined the board of energy transfer partners in february
two weeks after he left office. 2015, that year he received $365,000 from warren's companies. in 2015, kelcy warren served as rick perry's campaign finance chair. to theted $6 million super pacs. for more we go to austin, texas, where we are joined by two guests. forrest wilder is editor-in-chief of the "texas observer." kiah collier is the energy and environment reporter for "texas tribune." her recent article is headlined "rick perry's energy legacy is , more complicated than you think." welcome to democracy now! let's start with forrest wilder. your assessment of rick perry, the former governor of texas, to be the head of -- wait, what was the name of the department? the energy department. that is the name that he couldn't remember when he said in 2011 who wanted to abolish it. your thoughts on this pick? >> i think a lot of us were astonished. there's been a lot of remarkable
political news in the trump transition, but picking the guy who forgot the department that he wanted to abolish is pretty incredible. i assume that perry doesn't now want to abolish the energy department that he is now probably going to head. i am sort of scratching my head a little bit about what trump sees in rick perry. as you noted, he has served on corporate boards after his governorship. it is texas, and the oil and gas business is huge here. politicians often cash out when they leave office. he was governor of texas for 14 years, the longest serving governor in texas history. but rick perry is not exactly a details guy. he is not a policy guy.
though he was in office for really long time, actually, his record of a congressman in terms of really big initiatives that he was responsible for, that you concert lycee rick perry's was on this program or policy, is quite short. i was thinking back about what were his major proposals. most of what i thought of were basically kind of pretty big failures. some won't be known outside of texas, but here there were big deals. for example, the trans-texas corridor was a proposal to build this very expensive network of toll roads and highways been involved public/private partnerships. amy: i'm going to interrupt because i want to give kiah collier a chance to respond and then we will continue this discussion of post it online. kiah collier, if you could talk about rick perry's close ties to kelcy warren, certainly, the center of a massive national controversy around the dakota access pipeline.
>> right. perry i think it's been pretty close to warren personally and professionally for a long time. kelcy warren has given him a ton of money, a ton of political support. when he stepped down as texas governor in 2015, shortly thereafter appointed to the board of energy transfer partners. explored those kinds of conference of interest in our peace -- piece. experts said he would probably have to step down from his or position on energy transfer partners if he is confirmed to have the energy department. amy: we will leave it there and do part two of this discussion and post democracynow.org it democracynow.org. at. kiah collier of "the texas tribune" and forrest wilder of "texas observer," thank you for joining us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by
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