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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  December 6, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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12/06/17 12/06/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: the united states has great strength and patience. but if it is forced to defend itself or allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. amy: could tension between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-il and lead us to nuclear war? as tensions between the u.s. and with great wrapup, we will discuss what nuclear war would look like. he is already famous, for another reason, as one of the world's most famous whistleblowers. >> my job as the nuclear war
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planner was to improve the eisenhower euro plan for strategic nuclear operations in general war with the soviet union. that was a low bar because the eisenhower plan was a diverse military plan. amy: that is daniel ellsberg, one of the world's most well-known whistleblowers. in 1971, he was a high level defense analyst when he leaked a top secret report on u.s. involvement in vietnam to "the new york times" and other publications that came to be known as the pentagon papers and played a key role in ending the vietnam war. few know that ellsberg was also consultant who drafted plans for nuclear war. in his new book titled "the doomsday machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner," daniel ellsberg reveals for the first time that he also made copies of top-secret documents from his nuclear studies -- an entire second set of papers in addition to the pentagon papers for which he is known.
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>> i want to awaken people to the dangers and the possibility of destroying most life on earth by general war, not just by terrorist or rogue nations. they did not change those dangers when the cold war ended. and now that we are back in a y are as intense as they ever were. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump is expected to announce today that the u.s. will recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel and initiate a process of moving the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. the move would upend decades of international peace efforts. the announcement has already sparked a massive international backlash, with leaders of britain, france, iran, jordan, egypt, turkey, the arab league, and other nations all criticizing the move. palestinian president mahmoud abbas warned of "the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process
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and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world." palestinians have called for three days of rage protests across the israeli-occupied territories. control of jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between israelis and palestinians. the israeli military seized control of east jerusalem in 1967 and has occupied the territory ever since. palestinians, however, have long seen jerusalem as the capital of their future country. since 1967, the u.n. security council and u.n. general assembly have passed dozens of resolutions calling for israel to end its occupation of east jerusalem. currently, 86 nations have their embassies in tel aviv. no country has an embassy in jerusalem. this is pope francis speaking tuesday. .> my thoughts got to jerusalem
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in this respect, i cannot hide my deep respect about the situation and has developed in the last days in a make an urgent appeal to everybody to respect the status quo the city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the united nations. i pray that wisdom and prudence can prevail to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world scenario already scarred by so many cruel conflicts. amy: back in the united states, michigan democratic congressmember john conyers has announced his resignation in the face of multiple accusations of sexual harassment. and im retiring today want everyone to know how much i --reciate the support incredible support i have received across the years from my supporters, not only in my district, but across the country as well. amy: conyers was speaking on a local detroit radio station.
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congressman conyers has been the longest-serving current member of the house and the longest-serving african-american in congressional history. multiple women have accused him of sexually harassing or groping them, including his former deputy chief of staff marion brown, who settled a sexual misconduct case against conyers for $27,000. brown said conyers invited her to a chicago hotel room in 2005, where he appeared in his underwear and demanded she touch him sexually. she says she was fired when she refused. this is brown speaking on nbc's "today show." >> i am taking a risk. the reason i'm taking a risk, it is important -- i want to be a voice. my ancestors, my grandmother, my mother, my daughter's camino, my granddaughter, i went her when she enters the workforce long when i'm gone, i want her to not sexism and gender
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inequality. i want to stand up and show it was worth -- it is worth the risk to stand up for all of the women in the workforce that are voiceless. ordinary women like myself with extraordinary challenges working in the workforce that are dominated by men. amy: congress member john conyers has endorsed his son to replace him. ian conyers, a state senator, will also run for the seat in the house of representatives. president trump is standing by his endorsement of alabama senate candidate roy moore, who has been accused by at least nine women of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers. one of the women says moore removed her shirt and pants, then touched her over her bra and underwear when she was 14 years old. she says she recalls thinking -- "i wanted it over with -- i wanted out. please just get this over with. whatever this is, just get it over."
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this is donald trump speaking tuesday. pres. trump: i think he is going to do very well. we don't want to have a liberal democrat in alabama, believe me. we want strong borders. we want stopping crime. we want to have the things that we represent, and we certainly don't want to have a liberal democrat that is controlled by nancy pelosi and chuck schumer. we don't want to have the for alabama. thank you all very much. amy: the republican national committee has recommitted money and resources to alabama's special election on december 12 after president trump tweeted his support for roy moore on monday. former white house chief strategist steven bannon campaigned for moore in alabama tuesday. meanwhile, "late night show" host stephen colbert lashed out at trump tuesday night for supporting roy moore. >> yes, we want stopping crime. we just not want stopping sexual assault.
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moore is grateful for trump support. sound teenage girls make when they see roy moore at the mall -- mah gah! amy: "the new york times" has published a massive expose of how disgraced hollywood mogul harvey weinstein built an industry-wide complicity machine to allow him to perpetrate rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment for decades. weinstein is now facing criminal investigation in multiple cities after more than 100 women came forward to accuse him. the expose chronicles how he was able to get away with the violence by building a web of lawyers, agents, journalists, editors, and publishers to help him cover his tracks and attack -- intimidate potential accusers. the piece says hollywood agents and managers repeatedly sent actresses to private meetings with weinstein, even though they knew full well about previous assaults. the article also says weinstein
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used his political connections to protect himself, often saying during the obama presidency -- "i know the president of the united states. who do you know?" a major new investigation by the intercept says the trump administration is weighing plans to create global network of private spies who would report directly to the white house and cia director mike pompeo. according to the investigation, the proposal was developed by erik prince, founder of the now-defunct private mercenary firm blackwater, and oliver north, a marine lieutenant colonel who oversaw the reagan administration's covert operation to divert money from secret arms sales to iran to right-wing death squads in nicaragua, a scheme now known as the iran-contra scandal. the intercept reports prince and north have pitched the private network of spies as a way for the white house to counter members of the intelligence community, or the so-called "deep state," whom trump claims
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are subverting his presidency. the intercept also reports the white house is considering another proposal to create a new global kidnapping and rendition program. erik prince advised president trump's transition team. he is also the sister of -- he is also the brother of education secretary betsy devos. after trump took office, prince publicly pitched a plan to privatize the u.s. war in afghanistan. another member of trump transition team, cia veteran john maguire, is also reportedly working with prince on the new private spies and global rendition plan. the intercept reports prince may have foreshadowed his new proposal in a 2016 interview on former white house chief strategist steven bannon's radio program, in which prince proposed reviving a version of the cia's vietnam war assassination scheme known as the phoenix program. phoenix like program.
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the phoenix program was a root canal done -- >> this is the phoenix program of vietnam? >> it was a vicious but very effective kill/capture program and in and that destroyed the viet cong as a military force. that is what needs to be done to the funders of islamic terror, and that would be even the wealthy heretical islamist billionaires funding it from the middle east and any of the illicit activities they are involved in. amy: that was erik prince last year. the white house, the cia, and erik prince have all rejected the intercepts expose. this is white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders. >> one issue this morning, the white house or the president, and any level, considering creating a global original spy network that would circumvent
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the u.s. intelligence apparatus serving the president outside of the normal and legally defined intelligence gathering mechanisms after >> on not aware of any plans for something of definition or anything somewhat to that at this time. i'm not going to answer ever hypothetical forever single-member. i'm sorry? >> is is something the president might consider? >> i have not asked him but it is not something currently in the works. amy: in honduras, the political crisis continues as the government is still refusing to release the results of the november 26 presidential election between incumbent president juan orlando hernandez and opposition candidate salvador nasralla. the opposition is calling for either a run-off election or a full recount of the vote. massive protests erupted over the weekend after the government-controlled electoral commission stopped tallying votes when the count showed nasralla ahead by more than 5 percentage points.
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after the delay, the electoral commission then claimed hernandez was ahead, sparking protests in which at least three people were killed. earlier this week, the honduran police mutinied against the government, saying it would no longer enforce a curfew and crackdown against protesters. on tuesday, a spokesman for the national police said the strike continues. >> the national police of firms its commitment before honduran society, and we are from that we hundred repress the people given that we are in debt to them and that is what we are commending a resolution for the political crisis the country is confronted. second, we outline we're not pursuing this for a lary increase as was previously mentioned. amy: in yemen, intensifying the bombing campaign following the killing of the former president. he was killed earlier this week i houthi rebels after he
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switched sides and through his support to the saudi led coalition. the saudi led coalition has launched dozens of airstrikes in the the houthis capital today. in washington, d.c., president trump's eldest son, donald trump jr., is set to testify this week to the house intelligence committee as part of the special investigation into alleged collusion between the trump campaign and russia during the 2016 election. this comes as special counsel robert mueller has revoked a bail agreement for trump's former campaign chair, paul manafort. mueller's investigators say that while manafort was out on bail, he worked with a russian colleague to ghost-write an editorial promoting manafort's political work with ukraine, thereby compromising the fairness of manafort's upcoming trial. russia has been banned from the 2018 winter games after the international olympic committee found its athletes were guilty of systematic doping. the ioc says individual russian athletes can still apply to compete in february's games in south korea, but they will have to participate wearing a neutral uniform.
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in california, a wildfire in ventura county north of los angeles exploded in size tuesday, burning 55,000 acres, destroying over 150 buildings, forcing 27,000 people to evacuate, and knocking out power for 250,000 residents. meanwhile, new fires have erupted across southern california, fanned by gusty santa ana winds. the fires are so bad, they appear in a nasa satellite photograph. in washington, d.c., dozens of indigenous leaders from alaska and other parts of north america will hold a protest at the capitol building today, demanding congress drop arctic drilling from their massive rewrite of the u.s. tax code. a little-known provision tucked into the senate's version of the tax bill would open one of the world's last pristine wildernesses -- the arctic national wildlife refuge in alaska -- to oil and fracked gas drilling. the arctic refuge is rich in biodiversity and home to
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caribou, polar bears, and musk oxen. it has also been home to indigenous people for thousands of years. you can go to to see our extended interview on the arctic while left refuge. colin kaepernick accepted the muhammad ali legacy award tuesday night. he helped spark a movement against racism and police brutality across the nfl, the national football league, after he refused to stand last your for the national anthem before an nfl game. this is colin kaepernick speaking after accepting the award tuesday night. award knowings the legacy of muhammad ali is that of a champion of the people and one who was affectionately known as the people's champ. i accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people. because if it were not for my love for the people, i would not have protested. if it was not for the support from the people, i would not be on this stage today.
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with or without the nfl's platform, i will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people. amy: after winning sports illustrated's mom at ali legacy award tuesday night, that was colin kaepernick speaking, he also spoke at the nation magazine's gay lover where he was honored last night. gala where he was honored last night. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. north korea is warning that u.s. actions are bringing the korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war. the warning came monday as the u.s. and south korea held massive war games, mobilizing warships, thousands of troops and some 200 u.s. planes -- many of them capable of deploying nuclear bombs. north korea's foreign ministry issued a statement calling trump a "nuclear demon." earlier this year, north korea said it would freeze its nuclear weapons program in exchange for
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an end to u.s. and south korean war games, an overture rejected by the trump administration. as tensions between the u.s. and north korea ramp up, today we are joined for the hour by a nuclear war planner to discuss what nuclear war would look like. he is already well-known for another reason, as of the one world's most famous whistleblowers. in 1971, daniel ellsberg was a high level military analyst when he leaked a top secret report that detailed the history of u.s. involvement in vietnam, including a secret dramatic escalation of troops and bombings in what looked like an unwinnable war. he photocopied and shared the 7000-page document with "the new york times" and other publications. the report came to be known as the pentagon papers and played a key role in ending the vietnam war. amy: well, few know that 10 years before, in 1961, daniel ellsberg was a consultant to the
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the white house, where he drafted secretary robert mcnamara's plans for nuclear war. in his new book just out this week titled "the doomsday machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner," daniel ellsberg reveals for the first time he also made copies of top-secret documents from his nuclear studies -- an entire second set of papers in addition to the pentagon papers for which he is known. dan ellsberg is also the author of a 2003 memoir about the pentagon papers and vietnam called "secrets," in which he did not discuss this other set of papers. he is the subject of the oscar-nominated documentary "the most dangerous man in america." dan ellsberg will be character in the forthcoming steven spielberg film about the pentagon papers, called "the post." when the come back from break, we will speak with dan ellsberg for the hour about nuclear war, the plants he drew up, what nuclear war would look like, and his history as the most famous
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whistle blower in america. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "we will all go together when we go" by tom lehrer. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we are joined by dan ellsberg for the hour. he is no for leaking the pentagon papers and 1971. today we learn about something else he did over the years. in fact, decades ago. writing up plans for nuclear war. his book details this just out this week, "the doomsday machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner."
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of top-secretpies reports for plans about nuclear war years before you copied the pentagon papers and released them to the press? >> essentially, my notes. not the entire plans themselves. but planes than unknown to the president to begin with, president kennedy, i briefed his in his first month in office on the nature of the plans and some of the other problems, like the delegation authority to theater commanders for nuclear war by president eisenhower, which was fairly shocking to george bundy, even though kennedy chose to renew that delegation as other presidents have. i was given the job of improving the eisenhower plans, which was not a very high bar, actually, at that time. they were the worst plants in the history of warfare. a number of people who saw them,
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very few civilians got to look at them. the joint to screw not really get the targets out of the general. there was a good reason for that. they were insane. they called for first strike plans, which was by order president eisenhower. he did not want any plan for limited war of any kind with the soviet union under any circumstances because that would enable the army to ask for enormous numbers of divisions or even tactical nuclear weapons to deal with the soviets. so he required the only plan for fighting soviets under any circumstances such as an encounter in the berlin corridor , the access to west berlin, or iran, which was already in a flashpoint at that point or use the floppy a -- yugoslavia. east germany, for example. however guest started, all-out war in the first initiation of nuclear worsening the soviets had not used nuclear weapons. and that plan called in our
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first strike for hitting every city -- actually, every town over 25,000, in the ussr, and every city in china. a war with russia would inevitably involve immediate attacks on every city in china. ,n the course of doing this there were no reserves. everything was to be thrown estimate -- as soon as it was available. not only the ussr, a captive nation, used europe, satellites, were to be hit and their air defenses for transport points, communications of any kind. they were to be annihilated as well as to i could not believe when i saw these the joint chiefs had ever calculated how many people they would actually kill. colonels who were friends of mine in the air staff told me
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they had never seen an actual figure four the total casualties. we had exact figures of the number of targets and how many planes would be needed, many calculations. but not victims. bobafted a question which komar sent to the joint chiefs in the name of the president. the question was, in the event of your carrying out your general nuclear war plans, which were first strike plans, how many will die? first i asked, in the ussr and china alone. by the way, it would be embarrassed to discover to say "we have to have more time. we have never calculated that." wrong and my friends were wrong. they came back with an answer quickly. people in the ussr and china alone. well, i said, how many altogether?
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a few days later, 100 million in east europe, the captive nations, another 100 million in west europe, our allies from our own strikes. depending on which way the wind blew. thirdr the wind blew, one 100 million in adjoining countries, neutral countries ore austria and finland afghanistan then, japan, northern india, so forth. a total of 600 million people. when the population the world was 3 billion. that was an underestimate of the casualties. 100 holocausts. it was clear they had not included -- i had not asked actually -- what the retaliation by russia would be against west europe. they thought of that time, wrongly, to have hundreds of weapons against the u.s. but they did have hundreds of
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weapons against west europe. west europe would go under any circumstance. if we were defending west europe, germany, for example, we were planning to destroy the continent in order to save it. 600 million. that was 100 holocausts. when i held the piece of paper in my hand that had a figure that they had sent out proudly to the president "here's what we will do," i thought, this is the most evil plan that has ever existed. it is insane. the weapons, the machinery that will carry this out, this isn't hypothetical plan that might have been conceived with the doomsday machine it was thought up at the rand corporation, my colleague. this is an actual war plan for how we would use the existing weapons, many of which i had seen already at that time. juan: dan ellsberg, the colossal carnage they were envisioning as a result of this first strike made doubly worse as you
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reveal by the fact that the image that we have that the president is the one who holds the switch or has his hand on the button is not true. that many people have the capacity to initiate a nuclear war. could you talk about that? >> to start with, even if we were only the president, no one man, no one nation, should have the ability even to threaten or at hisut 100 holocausts will. that machinery should never have existed -- and it does exist right now and every president has had that power and this president does have that power. with the recent discussion for that which is sized his sole authority to do that, don't take account of the effect he is the authority to delegate. he has delegated. every president has delegated. i don't know the details of what president trump has done since the cold war. every president in the cold war
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rights -- right through carter and reagan, delegated to theater commanders in case communications were cut off. that means the idea the president is the only one with sole power to issue an order that will be recognized as an authorized order is totally false. how many fingers are on buttons? probably no president has really known the details of that. i knew in 1961, for example, whom i worked as a researcher had delegated that to the seventh fleet down to very's commanders, and they in turn had delegated down to people. when you say how many altogether feel authorized? if their communications are cut off and that happened part of everyday the pacific when i was there, communications got better, but the delegations never changed. we have never allowed it to be possible that an enemy could
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paralyze our retaliation by hitting our president or our command and control. and neither did the russians. when president carter then-president reagan advertised the fact their plan emphasized decapitation, hitting moscow above all, which the french and british always planned to do, by the way with their smaller forces. and when i became clear, the russians instituted what they called a dead hand. a perimeter system which assured that if moscow was destroyed, other commanders would have the power and would be told to launch their strikes. there's even a plane to do that automatically by computer as a number of armed military always recommended to make the whole thing militarized, as in the doomsday machine. generally, they allow for lower level majors, colonels to decide the time has come, we have lost a commanders, time has come to
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go. that is almost certainly true in north korea right now. amy: so when you heard about president trump having that meeting with the joint chiefs of staff in the summertime, the one rex tillersony -- has not confirmed or denied this -- he called the president an moron," that was a currently in response to trump asking three times, if we have nuclear weapons, why don't we use them? >> he allegedly asked that. that inlegedly asked the campaign. the answer is, we will use them and he is using them right now. it is not a question of whether the president might use them. he is using them the way you use a gun when you pointed at the buddy and a confrontation. whether or not you pull the trigger. and both trump and kim are using their weapons and that encounter
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right now. as many presidents have done, as i discovered later -- there's a chapter in the book of a couple dozen, three dozen cases. mostly in secret where the president has pointed the gun, aside from wearing it ostentatiously on their hip at all times as a nato -- i think one of our commanders just said "oh, wheeze the weapons every day, every hour of the day." at the moment they are being pointed by two people who are giving very good imitations of being crazy. that is dangerous. i hope they're pretending. they might be attending. but to pretend to be crazy with nuclear weapons is not a safe game. it is a game of nuclear chicken. juan: this is an excerpt of president kennedy's address to the nation at the time of the cuban missile crisis. perhaps the closest the united states has ever come to nuclear war. >> good evening, my fellow
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citizens. this government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the soviet military buildup on the island of cuba. within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is in preparation on that imprisoned island. the purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the western hemisphere. amy: so that was president kennedy. your ownalk about experience of the cuban missile crisis? 1962.ober talk about what you were doing. this is before you will released -- you released the pentagon papers years later. >> i listen to the president
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announcing our missiles in cuba, , lateralled up my friend president of rand come and asked if he needed help. he said, and get on the next plane. i flew to washington and the next morning early, got into the pentagon -- the day the blockade was instituted -- no, the day before, actually. , for example, since i was a commanding control specialist -- that is how i got into landing -- what can the russians do with 30 something missiles on cuba? well, they can hit moscow -- i'm sorry, they can hit washington. chiefss what our joint would do. and they could hit various other places. that i knew would not paralyzed our responsibility and make it quickly carried out against all the cities in russia and china and so it would do them no good, but that is probably what they
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would do and so forth. i worked during that week. some knives i slept in the office of president -- sorry, assistant secretary defense on a couch in his office while i was on several task forces working for the executive committee of the national security council. spenthe next year i studying a great deal on that crisis with higher than top-secret access. and yet i did not learn many of the things that are most important about that crisis, which have taken decades and decades to come out of secrecy. for one thing i've concluded, contrary to what i thought at the time, both president kennedy and khrushchev were determined not to carry out the threat they were making of armed conflict, compared to the north korean crisis right now. imagine that both sides have decided they are absolutely not going armed conflict, only
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gesturing and breastbeating and trying to get the other side of back down. that is what was happening in the cuban missile crisis. yet to make the threats credible, khrushchev was maneuvering summer rains within -- submarines within the range of our forces armed with nuclear torpedoes we did not know they had. mockhey were subject to depth charges to bring them to the surface with our navy not knowing are facing submarines that can blow them all out of the water. kennedy, and the other hand, was moving troops exactly like those exercises. as a matter of fact, we had done exercises just before the crisis broke, of invading cuba -- not name to cuba -- the enemy they were against was announced to castro spelled backwards. here we were threatening to
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invade cuba. it was not a way to keep the cubans from acquiring a deterrent force, just as her exercises of invading north korea going on right now come asentially, don't seem well-chosen way to get kim jong-un to give up his deterrent capability. but that is what we were doing. the other thing i learned was come in the course of these maneuvers, we came within a hair's breath of growing the world, of having the planes i just described go into action. a nuclear submarine -- i should say a submarine that was armed with nuclear torpedoes, had the two top commanders who thought they were going to go down as a result of these mock depth charges government to pull them to the surface. the commander ordered the nuclear torpedo armed and ready for action against the destroyers or the cruiser. the second-in-command who's
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ascent was needed agreed with him. they were ready to go. it happened that a commodore in several summaries in the area was on that sub rather than some other one. it could have been one of the others but he was there. since he was a commodore, his ascent was also needed and he said no. and thanks to that, we did not blow a cruiser out of the water and cause the nuclear explosion that kennedy had already announced would cause an all-out attack on the soviet union. you onlyou said learned years later that khrushchev himself had delegated authority to these folks to start a war? >> some of the things we learned relatively recently in the 1990's and confirmed just in this century were that khrushchev had not only managed to get nuclear warheads to the cuba -- he had put in
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which, by the way, or the exact counterpart of what kim jong-un is trying to do now. khrushchev had decided his ability to destroy our allies directly with his medium-range missiles in europe, which we destroy, hend to could kill 100 million and more in europe. that did not seem to be phasing us. it wasn't getting us out of berlin. it wasn't getting us determined to keep access to berlin, even though doing that would force us to go to tactical nuclear war. have to have missiles in range of the u.s.. and so he moved missiles to cuba. medium ranged missiles that would be in range of the u.s.. anddoes not have a cuba now probably couldn't anyway in the case of cuba, so he is building s that can reach the u.s., even though he can already entirely and in
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japan. moreover, we had no idea at that time, though it was the most surveilled island in the history of the world -- satellites were flying over it, even low-level reconnaissance planes -- that managed not to discover he is put tactical nuclear weapons, weapons in cuba. he had done what we thought was in the kabul for a russian dictator who wanted central control of everything. he had delegated the use of those weapons against our invasion fleet to the local commanders. it is almost necessary onhnically you can't wait moscow if an invasion fleet is coming at you. but we do not think you would ever do that. his theory, khrushchev -- he was a smart man, actually. his theory was, they can't reach
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miami. these are only tactical, short range missiles. they can only blow the invasion fleet out of the water. kill 100,000 americans and let it stop there. it won't escalate further. when mcnamara learned that 30 years later he said, that is insane to think we can lose that many men and not go to war? it was insane. kim jong-un seems to have a similar believe that he could initiate war in south korea and keep it limited. that is insane. but it is no more insane that our plans to initiate nuclear war against russia, which would kill nearly everyone in the world. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to our conversation. we're talking with daniel ellsberg. yes, he leaked the pentagon papers in 1971, but his new book is called "the doomsday machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner."
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he was involved in planning for nuclear war. ellsberg reveals he also made copies of top-secret reports on plans for nuclear war. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "no more weapons" by steel pulse. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we're spending the hour with daniel ellsberg who leaked the pentagon papers in 1971. his new book is "the doomsday machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner." he reveals he also made copies of top-secret reports on plans
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for nuclear war. i want to turn to a clip from "he film "dr. strangelove directed by stanley cooper. he joked it could be a documentary. the black comedy was released in 1964 just two years after the cuban missile crisis. amy: the film centers on a nuclear crisis that begins when a u.s. bomber plane loaded with nuclear weapons is on a routine flight pattern near the soviet unions at the time when it receives orders to carry out "wing attack plan r," that's nuclear war, from lunatic general jack d. ripper, using the pre-delegated authority given to him in case of an attack on washington. much of the film takes place in the war room where the president meets his top pentagon advisors who want to proceed with the attack despite his hesitation. they hit a snag when the soviet ambassador informs them of russia's new weapon -- a doomsday machine that will destroy the entire world if they are attacked. so in this scene from the film, we are in the war room when the president's advisor, dr. strangelove, is asked to
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describe the doomsday machine based on a study he commissioned from the so-called "bland corporation." >> but how is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically and at the same time impossible to undo trigger? >> mr. president, it is not possible, it is essential that the whole idea of this machine the fierce to attack. because of the decision-making process which rules out human meddling, the doomsday machine is terrifying. it is simple to understand completely writable and convincing. >> gee, i wish we had one of those doomsday machines. amy: that's a clip from the 1964 film "dr. strangelove," about the doomsday machine, which is
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also the title of our guest daniel ellsberg's new book. "the doomsday machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner." bland -- igue at the mean, the rand corporation is the one who coined that term? kills so many people that no one ever would produce such a machine. he said it doesn't exist and it never would exist. he said that in 1959 and 1960 he was wrong. it did exist at that time and it has existed ever since. we did not know that for another 20 years. we did not know the weapons we had targeted in all of the cities -- by the way, i tried to change that undersecretary mcnamara. a withhold option against all of the cities. why killing the cities new the retaliation -- or for strike that would force them, which would cost them certainly do hit
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our cities inevitably, which they probably will do anyway. but this gives them no incentive to refrain from our cities. why are we hitting moscow? how do you possibly ever get the war stopped? or thed they surrender war and in any way if you though central command? it seemed to me some sense and there was a withhold option implementat "never" them. when cheney came in, he was does -- he was amazed at how many weapons were targeted still on moscow where talking about hundreds here, which seemed crazy to me. anyway, the system, however, as i have already said, they knew -- they did plan they're going to kill, i said 600 million, but actually they were not including the effects of fire. they never have because it is too incalculable in the weather and flammable materials and so forth. that is the biggest effect of
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nuclear weapons. the number would really have been at that time well over a billion plus. the soviet retaliation against europe. we're talking about over a billion people, one third of the u.s. population at that time. i've actually heard edward teller, one of the sources of dr. strangelove, fictional after, the father of the h bomb say, and most, thermonuclear weapons could cause the deaths ,f one third of the population very close to what the joint chiefs of staff. i thought of that as the glass two thirds full when i heard him say that. and the fact is, he was wrong. khan was wrong. nobody was perfect. it would be three-thirds. the weapons on the cities, that continued always, to be targeted on military targets in the cities. the cities would burn, nevertheless.
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,ot only would there be fire there would be smoke. the firestorms that would be caused by these simultaneous widespread fires, as in march 1945, there were only three so-called firestorms and world , where the fires were so widespread that they caused a column of air to rise very high into the stratosphere. and what had not contacted later before in 1980 three -- until 1983, was millions and millions, possibly 100 million tons of smoke and black soot would be lofted into the stratosphere where it would not be rained out and would spread quickly around the world and destroy or rather absorb most of the sunlight from reaching the earth. 70% of the sunlight, killing all of the harvests worldwide, and
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preventing any vegetation, starting everyone on earth essentially. nearly everyone, let me correct that. girl sagan when he was first reporting this in 1983, a century ago, said extinction was possible. extinction is very unlikely them so adaptable we can live on the tip of new zealand eating mollusks. but 98% or 99% of the people will go near extinction. close enough to be called a doomsday machine. and that is what both u.s. and russia have still on here triggers with the delegation, with launch on warning, with icbm's on both sides that are vulnerable to attack by the other, therefore, have the incentive to use them or lose them if there is a warning of an attack on the way.
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false warnings have occurred on both sides repeatedly come and gone into several minutes. -- sevenyears after years after the cold war was over, from your yeltsin for the first time was shown his briefcase. the buttons he would push to launch nuclear war from what was in fact under we general weather rocket that was mistaken for rocket that might be held at moscow for decapitation. he hesitated. hesitated long enough that the missile would have arrived in the decided it was a false alarm. if he had not come and we would not be here because the nuclear winter resulting from the attack on one side, or both, would have produced smoke that long ago would have starved us a nearly everyone else on earth. the countsyou hear
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now of the threats of north korea and the response of the president that he will rain fire and fury on the korean peninsula, what is your reaction to the nature -- i would think back in the 1980's, the public consciousness of nuclear winter, of the dangers of nuclear weapons seemed alike greater throughout the united states than it is today. >> these are the first threats that any american president -- american presidents have made many nuclear threats, as we said earlier. these were the first ones since the cuban missile crisis more than half a century ago against the nuclear weapons state. harry truman made nuclear threat 67 years ago against north korea, but north korea wasn't a nuclear state and. by the way, we did not need nuclear weapons to bring fire and fury the world had never dresdenept in tokyo and
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and hamburg. we burned north korea to the ground without using nuclear weapons at that time. left not a stick of man-made structure that is standing in north korea. so they all remember that if there president trump's age or older. he was four at the time. they can believe we would do that. but now they have nuclear weapons. if they were smart, they would not send them back at us because that would be sheer suicide for them. every man, woman, and child in north korea, as he has implied, would be killed. should we count they won't do that, that they won't retaliate to our strike? no. he is not going to take his nuclear weapons entirely out of korea as we have these exercises. he thinks he would be crazy to do that. it would be suicidal. that is not the kind of crazy he is. the kind he is is the kind we are, which is nuclear weapons are to be met or even printed
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with nuclear weapons, that better thanst is striking second and striking second is better than not striking at all. it is crazy, but we are shown that kind of craziness for 70 years. for you have called whistleblowers to come forward. i want to play a clip of, well, you have said that the army whistleblower chelsea manning, who is now out of jail, who spent seven years behind bars and leaked more than 700,000 classified files and videos to wikileaks about u.s. foreign policy and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 after she was convicted under the world war i-era espionage act. in january, president obama commuted her sentence shortly before leaving office. she was the longest-held whistleblower in u.s. history. after her release, manning spoke with abc news about her decision to become a whistleblower.
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>> all of this information, death, destruction, mayhem, eventually you stop -- i stopped seeing statistics and information and started think people. >> there are those who say you may have been motivated to get the information into the public sphere, but you might also have given it to our enemy. >> but i have a responsibility to the public. it is not just about -- we all have a responsibility. amy: that was chelsea manning. dan ellsberg, you have called in your book for other people to -- in positions to raise the alarm about nuclear weapons. you visited edward snowden and russia. what kind of information would you like to see released now? >> let me say first of all, chelsea madden -- chelsea manning and edward stone are heroes of mine. i can identify with them more than anyone else on earth because they went through the same process of challenge that i
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did and make the same kind of decisions. i would say to people who in her position or edward snowden's position, right now, if you are aware of documents and certainties documents exist in the pentagon, cia, and the white house, that show the true scale of the horrors, the damage, the devastation that occur if president trump or to carry out his threats of armed conflict, armed action against this nuclear state, against north korea, i'm sure, by the way, these exist. amy: you think it is going to be north korea? you think it can be russia? or it ran? >> of course. any of those. as president trump is moving us toward nuclear war, and ran, by talking about invoking the dealer probably restarting the nuclear program.
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the chance of war with iran would corrupt immediately, as was true have a century ago when in then iran and pentagon. we always considered initiating nuclear war in the case of conflict in iran was essential. we could not match the russians and that period. if you knew this, consider revealing that to congress and the press -- whatever the cost to you, even if the cost is what i faced, life in prison, what chelsea manning was charged with , actual possible life in prison. are at's worth of lies stake here. and i would say do what i wish i had done in 1961, which is put out those documents than or in 1964 before the pentagon were actually got started in a big way. don't wait, as martin luther king says, there is such a thing as too late. and he talked of the fierce urgency of now. this crisis right now may awaken
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people in the pentagon and in the public to the dangers we have been living with secretly for so long. amy: we have to leave it there. dan ellsberg, thank you for being with us. his new book, "the doomsday machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner." revealing to also made copies of top-secret reports on plans for nuclear war. and this last piece of news, "time" magazine has announced the 2017 person of the year goes to the women who've spoken out against sexual assault and harassment, sparking an international movement. they called in the silence breakers including hollywood actresses, journalists, farmworkers, and hotel cleaners. the announcement this morning comes after president trump claimed he was in the running for "time closed the person of the your. president trump has been accused of sexual assault by at least 16 women. and that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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