tv Democracy Now PBS January 29, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
01/29/18 01/29/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! ofevery day there is fear attacks and living has become dangerous to everyone. it is not safe to live in afghanistan anymore. amy: afghanistan marks a national day of mourning after an ambulance suicide attack killed 100 people saturday. the taliban claim responsibility. early this morning isis claimed responsibility for an attack that killed five. we will get an update from the news director of tolo news 24-hour news channel based in kabul. the michigan attorney general
has launched an investigation into michigan state and the entire board of directors of usa gymnastics is resigning after team dr. larry nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison for sexual assaulting and abusing more than 160 young female athletes. that as abundantly clear full and complete investigation of what happened at michigan state university from the president's office down, is required. this investigation is and will .ontinue to be independent it will be thorough. and it be transparent will be prompt. amy: we will talk to reporter the alesia, part of investigative team at the indianapolis star, who broke the story. and we will look at his latest piece "what is next for usa gymnastics? a long, tough road at best."
then we will speak with ari berman or concerns of the newly announced plans to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census. >> it determines who is counted, literally, who is counted in terms of congressional -- in terms of congressional representation, who is counted in terms of people getting resources, federal money, often,ent programs -- blacks, latinos, asian americans, low-income are undercounted already by the senses. 's new piece for rolling stone "how the gop rigs elections." all of that and more, coming up. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. afghanistan has declared a national day of mourning after over 100 people were killed in a suicide attack in the capital kabul saturday. the taliban has claimed
responsibility for the attack, in which militants detonated an ambulance packed with explosives in the middle of a crowded street. more than 235 people were also wounded. this is samim and mohammad, who each owns small shops near the side of the attack. >> every day there is fear of attacks here and living has become very dangerous to everyone. it is not taped to live in afghanistan anymore. >> it was a really dangerous blast and people were running everywhere. everyone was shocked. most of them were wounded by broken glass. amy: meanwhile in a separate attack today, 11 afghan soldiers were killed after isis militants stormed an afghan army base in kabul. after headlines, we'll go to kabul, afghanistan, for the latest on the attacks and the day of mourning. the entire board of directors of usa gymnastics is resigning, after team doctor larry nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually
assaulting and abusing more than 160 young female athletes, including olympic gold medalists, under the guise of providing medical treatment. michigan state university athletic director mark hollis has also announced he's retiring, only days after the president of michigan state , lou anna simon, resigned amid mounting questions about whether the university ignored dr. nassar's abuse. dr. nassar worked at michigan state university from 1997 until 2016. we will have more on dr. larry nassar's abuse, which is being described as the worst sexual abuse scandal in u.s. sports history, later in the broadcast. as the michigan attorney general has launched an investigation. president trump is expected to ask for $716 billion for military spending in the 2019 budget, a major increase over recent years. the proposed increase in -- comes after defense secretary
james mattis unveiled a new military strategy that focuses on countering, and potentially fighting, china and russia. meanwhile, the fitness-tracking company strava has inadvertently revealed highly sensitive u.s. information about secret military bases, when it published maps of the running and exercise routes of its users. the global heat maps show the running routes of soldiers in and around military bases, including in afghanistan, syria, iraq, and djibouti. while some of the bases were already known, others, such as a small compound to the southwest of the u.s. military base camp lemonier in djibouti, appear to be undisclosed black sites. demonstrators rallied outside the white house on saturday to protest against president trump's repeated efforts to ban refugees and citizens from some majority-muslim nations from entering the united states. the protesters also decried president trump's efforts to roll back protections for
immigrants, women, people of color, and lgbt people throughout his first year in office. lawmakers are battling over whether to classify a four-page document written by the california congress member devin nunes, cherub the house intelligence committee, in which he claims that under the obama administration, the at yasser veiled the trump campaign. the house intelligence committee asote to declassify the memo early as today. democratic lawmakers are accusing nunes of trying to undermine robert mueller's investigation into the trump campaign in trying to release the document. in honduras, u.s. backed president juan orlando hernandez was inaugurated for a second term on saturday amid massive protests denouncing widespread alleged voter fraud in the november 26 election. this is mario almendarez, one of the protesters. >> faith in the army and one
orlando's believe facing that dictator narco ship also protesting for the 39 dead, it's who were martyred for the simple act of protesting. for demanding the right to vote, which we went and cast our vote and we defeated the narco dictator come yet we defeated by and he has taken power relying on the armed forces and police. amy: the honduran military has killed dozens of protesters since the contested election on november 26. in albania, ten thousand protesters poured into the streets saturday to demand the resignation of albanian prime minister edi rama over accusations of corruption and links to organized crime. meanwhile, in russia, opponents of russian president vladimir putin held protests in cities across russia demanding a boycott of the upcoming presidential election, which they say is rigged. at least 180 protesters were arrested, including russian
arrested, including russian opposition leader alexei navalny. in germany, more than 10,000 people took to the streets of cologne on saturday to protest the turkish military bombing and ground offensive against the kurdish of afrin in northwestern syria. protesters also rallied in paris over the weekend to denounce the turkish military offensive in afrin. the syrian observatory for human rights says the offensive has killed at least 51 civilians, including five children from the same family. in new jersey, immigration and customs enforcement agents, known as ice, have detained two fathers as they were dropping their children off at school. on thursday, roby sanger was detained by ice after dropping his two daughters off at school, while gunawan liem was detained after he dropped his daughter off at the school bus stop. a third man, harry pangemanan, has taken sanctuary at the reformed church of highland park in new jersey after he says he saw undercover ice agents waiting outside his home as he was preparing to drive his daughter to school. all three immigrants are
originally from indonesia. meanwhile, a number of immigrant rights activists will be attending president trump's state of the union tuesday, at the invitation of progressive lawmakers. among those who will be attending, cesar espinosa, an immigrant rights activist in houston, texas, and amy gottlieb, an immigration lawyer and the wife of detained immigrant rights leader ravi ragbir. accompanyinnydia velazquez. and supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg has announced she will not be attending the state of the union. she's been a vocal critic of president trump. the justice department is seeking to add a question about whether people are u.s. citizens to the u.s. census. 2020 immigrant rights advocates have slammed the move, saying it will cause millions of people to not participate in the census, and therefore, further limit government services and
political representation in majority immigrant communities. the longtime investigative journalist roberparry has died at the age of 68. as a reporter at the associated press in the 1980's, he helped exposed how the reagan administration was secretly sending arms to iran in what became known as the iran-contra scandal. bob parry also revealed the role of the u.s.-backed nicaraguan contras in drug trafficking here in the united states. >> the contras became involved in drug trafficking in the 1980's, it was done poorly to help raise money for themselves. a were in a very unique position , working with the united states government on one side and then also becoming a way for south american drug dealers to move their supplies, their material, the contraband, up into the united states. became an the contras intermediary for that, they ao had some protection because they were working for the u.s. government and the u.s. government was very hesitant to blow the whistle on them. amy: that is robert parry
speaking on democracy now! in 2006. since 1996, parry ran the news website consortiumnews.com. in 2015, he received the i.f. stone medal for journalistic independence from the nieman foundation. and the times up and #metoo movement took center stage at the grammy awards sunday night. among the inspiring speakers was given mexican singer camilla cavallo who spoke about growing up as an immigrant and amanda justice for dreamers. >> tonight in this room full of music dreamers, we remember that this country was built by dreamers, for dreamers chasing the american dream. amy: another one of the most powerful speeches came from singer to nominate. >> tonight i am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist, but a young woman with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry.
artists, writers, assistants, publicist, cs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business. we are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. we come in peace, but we mean business. dare tryose who would and silence us, we offer you two words. time's up. that is singer janelle moent sunday night at the grammy awards. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in afghanistan, where islamic state militants have carried out an early morning attack on a military academy in the capital of kabul, killing at least 11 troops and wounding 16. this marks the latest in a wave of deadly attacks in kabul this
month. monday was already declared a national day of mourning in afghanistan after a taliban attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city on saturday, killing at least 103 people and wounding as many as 235. one week earlier, taliban militants killed 22 people at kabul's intercontinental hotel. last week, another six people were killed in an assault claimed by the islamic state on the office of aid group save the children in the eastern city of jalalabad. saturday's attack occurred in the heart of the most secure part of kabul. this is samim and mohammad, a dutch each own small shops near the site of the attack. ofevery day there is fear attacks here and living has become very dangerous to everybody. it is not safe to live in afghanistan anymore. >> it was a really dangerous blast and people were running
everywhere. some had received injuries on their head and some on their hand and everyone was shocked. most of them were wounded by broken glass. amy: these latest attacks come as the united states has stepped up its assistance to afghan security forces and its air strikes against the taliban and other militant groups. taliban spokesperson zabihullah mujahid said in a statement that saturday's bombing was a message to president trump. "the islamic emirate has a clear message for trump and his hand kissers that if you go ahead with a policy of aggression and speak from the barrel of a gun, don't expect afghans to grow flowers in response." the taliban refer to themselves as the islamic emirate. meanwhile, in a white house statement, president donald trump said saturday's bombing "renews our resolve and that of our afghan partners" to secure the country from militants and terrorists, and on the world to take decisive action against the taliban. trump also tweeted saturday -- "taliban targeted innocent afghans, brave police in kabul today.
our thoughts and prayers go to the victims, and first responders. we will not allow the taliban to win!" for more, we go to kabul where we are joined by democracy now! video stream by lotfullah najafizada, the news director of tolo news, a 24-hour news channel based in kabul. welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about what has taken place the last few days, this massive ambulance suicide attack on saturday that killed more than 100 people in the today in the midst of this day of mourning, another attack, this claimed by isis, killing 11 people? >> the country is going through a lot in the past week, as you said in your reporting. this indicates two things. one, there is resistance from the taliban and those who support the taliban, pakistan included, to resist the policy
of the u.s. government, president trump in particular. and second is in the winter season when there is less fighting in the battlefields, you see more high profile attacks in cities like kabul and jalalabad, where the office of save the children was attacked last week. a lot of our friends are heard. today i woke up to this gas fire on the military academy, which is in the neighborhood i live. it is unfortunate that we see a rise in casualties and attacks will stop to be honest, we really don't know what tomorrow awaits you, so there is an unprecedented level of violence happeninn the heart of the capital, which also suggests the lack of capability and also the failure of the afghan government and security institutions in particular to protect the city. juan: could you also talk about
-- there are many afghani's who are blaming pakistan for this new resurgence of these kinds of attacks, claiming that pakistan is in effect trying to use the taliban, especially the haqqani network wing of the network, as a means of getting back at the trump administration for its pressure? that the can say is taliban leadership are in and fori cities, instance, the intercontinental hotel attack, also the one in 2011, they could face confrontation with the pakistani orbers in pakistani people afghans living in pakistan. so i think the blame is very allied because -- a valid because you go after the people
who plan, finance, train some of these operatives who come and put such a tragic scene at play almost now every day in places like kabul. , i: lotfullah najafizada want to go to a clip. pakistan condemned a suspected u.s. drone strike last week which targeted an afghan refugee camp inside northwestern pakistan. officials there said the drone strike killed two alleged militants with the taliban-linked haqqani network. this is pakistan's foreign ministry spokesperson mohammad faisal. >> pakistan condemned the drone strike carried out by the resolute support mission yesterday, which targeted a refugee camp. pakistan continues to emphasize to the u.s., the importance of sharing actionable intelligence so that appropriate action is
taken against terrorists by our sources within our territory. pakistan has also been stressing the need of early repatriation of refugees as their presence in pakistan helps iran terrorist to morph among them. such unilateral actions are detrimental to the spirit of cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism. , couldtfullah najafizada you comment on that drone strike and also explain the role that pakistan is playing in your country in afghanistan? should ben casualties condemned everywhere, including pakistan. pakistani people were afghan refugees should be protected. not harmed in such attacks. but at the same time, militants should be targeted, and those who wage war. afghan people come also pakistani people, regardless of where they live and where they
are, i think the argument that what the afghan government has been saying for years, now the united states government as well, that the safe havens provided for the haqqani network, television, and other militant groups across the afghan border in pakistan, --uld be stopped because they have safe havens. they can travel to countries in the gulf, finance their missions, and to be up to continue to mourn. at the same time, it is important to know that there is a wide consensus now that a political settlement is the this 16,solution to 17-year-old conflict now. juan: i want to ask about the role of the afghan security forces. the united states has spent billions of dollars now as you mentioned, over 16 years trying to rebuild the afghan security
forces and yet they seem not to be able, even in the capital of thessure the safety residents and the citizens of afghanistan. policeafghan forces and and the intelligence agency, they are paying a very high price. some days we see reports of more than 20 of them die. for their country. it would be unfair to underestimate that. our securityp of agencies, of course, can be challenged and questioned. whether they are confident enough or not. for example, because of bad politics in this country, we haven't had a national security council, which is a weekly security meeting, which is the most important security meeting for the government, has that happened for the past two or three months simply because they
could not agree who to invite and who not to invite in that meeting. instead of that, ministers of intelligence chief, national security adviser's, and others, whose main job are to focus on security, are negotiating politics with political parties. that come in for sean, has contributed to this management of our forces. but it doesn't mean that what makeoldiers and police sacrifice on a daily basis across the country is not a valuable, is not something that we should not appreciate and understand. , can you explainjafizad this and let suicide attack, and a militant packed with explosives, where was it the significance of how it got in and who he killed?
>> it was one of the deadliest. there were two ambulances that they got into a hospital nearby and one of them left for one direction the other left for another direction, which was closer to the old ministry of interior building, admissions like the european union, embassy of sweden, and the netherlands, the dutch embassy, and homes to a lot of afghan mp's and other officials. checkriving at the police point, they stopped the ambulance asking where was going hospitalhere was the in that direction. and then once they were stopped and next to the checkpoint there for a lot of men waiting the registration into the police department.
and that is when it was exploded. so a lot of people who died were site,ext to the blast waiting to get into one of the government buildings. and also a lot of by passers, people coming to the nearby hospital. so a very crowded area. we still don't know how many people exactly are killed and wounded. i visited one of my friends in the area today who said that one of his relatives are still missing, and they don't know where he was killed in that attack us whether he was killed in that attack. his phones are not working. this is three days after the attack. you still don't know how many people were really killed. amy: in the number of yesterday's, what, over 14,000 u.s. troops and trump has promised to send well over 1000 more. can you talk about this ongoing war. with u.s., the long going more
in u.s.. and we see the toll of this in afghanistan with saturday, telegram claimed responsibility and it seems to be a robbery between taliban and isis. today, another attack and isis climbing responsibility. what about the u.s. role? that mention we don't have u.s. troops in the country today and your support, we have no army or police. to the detrimental future of afghanistan. that is detrimental to the civil society, for the government, president haqqani himself has that without the u.s. presence in the country, he won't be able to survive, his government, in six months. that is the dependency of our government and our society, to an extent. maybe not directly, but somehow to the presence of the american forces. what they do, these forces are
stationed througho the country helping and advising afghan forces who are engaged in about 34 provincest of every single day. that is the magnitude of violence and chaos. had 100,000, we u.s. troops and 50,000 nato troops. 150,000. we did not have this much violence. so we could say this is best it is quite a significant number, but not enough to be able to invite forces to fight this very widespread battle. juan: you say without the presence of even the u.s. troops that the present government could not stand. why is that? i mean, is it because the taliban do have much greater support in the population then we have been led to believe?
why is it the government cannot control an insurgency that is supposedly doesn't have much support? >> primarily because most of our spending, especially in the defense, directly coming from western governments, the u.s. in particular. if we take that money out, that is why said, you have no army or police in this country. the united states government is paying their salary on a monthly basis. the afghan government -- that is about $4 billion plus. and then, of course, there is other direct spending on the civilian side. u.s. aid is spending over $1 ,illion he year in this country which ups the economy to grow. so the country is so poor and of course there is this battle which is happening with support from other country -- countries,
but our government cannot stand that level of pressure. the support for the taliban is very, very low. it is below suggest 10%. and we have seen that throughout the past decade or so. is sonot that the taliban popular or other insurgent groups, it is just because other institutions are not as strong because we have through four decades of war, civil war, and chaos. government --e in amy: lotfullah najafizada come of we want to thank you for being with us, joining us from afghanistan's capital kabul, news director of tolo news, a 24-hour news channel based in kabul. when we come back, michigan's attorney general has launched an investigation into michigan state. the entire board of directors of usa gymnastics is resigning after the team dr., larry nassar, was sentenced up to 175
doctor larry nassar, who last week was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting and abusing more than 160 young female athletes, including olympic gold medalists, under the guise of providing medical treatment at michigan state university from 1997 until 2016. the university has faced widespread accusations of failing to investigate the accusations against him. now the entire board of directors of usa gymnastics is resigning, and michigan state university athletic director mark hollis has announced he is retiring, only days after the president of michigan state university lou anna simon resigned amid mounting questions about whether the university ignored reports of dr. nassar's abuse. meanwhile, michigan attorney general bill schuette announced he has launched an investigation of michigan state university, where nassar was a faculty
member and physician at an on-campus clinic. this is schuette speaking saturday. >> that a full and complete investigation of what happened at michigan state university from the president's office down , is required. is ands investigation will continue to be independent. it will be thorough. and it be transparent will be prompt. i don't need advice from the board of trustees at msu about .ow to conduct an investigation frankly, they should be the last ones to be providing advice given their conduct throughout this entire episode. their conduct throughout this entire episode speaks for itself. juan: this comes after dr.
nassar was sentenced last week to up to 175 years in prison by michigan judge rosemarie aquilina, following a week of blistering statements in court by 156 of his victims, including olympic gold medal-winning gymnasts aly raisman, simone biles, jordyn wieber and other female athletes. the women accused nassar of abuse, including exposing himself in front of them, rubbing his genitals against their bodies, and penetrating their vaginas with his fingers. this is rachael denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse larry nassar of sexual abuse, speaking in court. >> how much is a little girl worth? how much is the young woman worth? larry is a hard and determined sexual predator. i know this firsthand. at age 50 when suffered from chronic acting, larry sexual assault to me repeatedly under the guise of medical treatment for nearly a year.
he did this with my own mother in the room, carefully imperfectly obstructing her views or she would not know what he was doing. his ability to gain my trust and the trust of my parents, his grooming and carefully calculated brazen sexual assault was the result of deliberate, premeditated,ntentional, a mythological patterns of abuse, efore is reversed long walk through larry's exam room door, and was continued to be perpetrated, i believe, on a daily basis for 16 more years until i filed a police report will stop larry is the most dangerous type of the abuser. one who is capable of manipulating his victims through cold and calculated grooming methodologies representing the most wholesome entering external persona as a delivery means to ensure a steady stream of young chairman to assault. -- young children to assault. while larry is unlikely to live past his federal sentence, he is not the only predator out there. the sentence wasn't a message about how seriously abuse will
be taken. so i ask, how much is a little girl worth? amy: larry nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges. during his sentencing judge aquilina told nassar -- "i've just signed your death warrant." nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison after being convicted on child pornography charges in a separate case. congress also is investigating the matter. a house of representatives investigation will examine allegations of sexual harassment by officials in other sports, including swimming and taekwondo. well, for more, we're joined by mark alesia, a reporter with the investigative team at the indianapolis star that broke the story about dr. larry nassar's sexual abuse of gymnasts. his team also helped expose usa gymnastics' failure to report allegations of sexual abuse by coaches to authorities. alesia's most recent piece is titled "what's next for usa gymnastics? a long, tough road at best." welcome to democracy now! i think people around the country are just reeling from
this story. how is it conceivable that this went on for decades? one dr. and michigan state, clearly, you show goes beyond that, what is -- what is your of how many mothers and their daughters to families had leveled complaints against him as he abused so many, believed at least 160 young women? -- going as far back as 1997, i believe it was, adults toid go to report the abuse, and nothing happened. gymnasts went to police and nothing happened. canasts went to is you state title nine nothing happened. went to the gymnastics coach at michigan state university and nothing happened. said they women who
did not think they would be believed if they came forward right.were probably then for the rest, the survivors talked about this charismatic doctor who right. was a con man, the manipulator, who groomed girls with his olympic experience and using his fame to gain trust. and the girls, now women, often said they were uncomfortable with what he was doing, but they thought to themselves, if the great larry nassar is doing it, who am i to say it is wrong? so it continued. but it is important to note, there were people who came forward and there were adults who failed these children and probably could have stopped the spectacle that we saw the last two weeks in a michigan court.
juan: im wondering if you could talk about, again, why this happened -- clearly, usa gymnastics has a huge profile in olympic sports. was at the very fear that this money machine, this enormously influential sports, would be somehow or other scandalized that may have allowed these officials seek to keep this information down or look away from what these women were saying? because i am reminded very much of the penn state situation, the scandal of in-state. penn state football, joe paterno, was like the god of sports in pennsylvania. of course, one of his assistants, was abusing the athletes. a culture found was of fear, of secrecy throughout
usa gymnastics, not only at the elite level, but even to the club level. gymnastics is a judged sport. it is not like track and field where the top three finishers in the 100 meters goes to the olympics. power at usa gymnastics was concentrated in very few people. who work hard their entire lives, five through injuries, for a chance to be on the olympic team, did not want to russell any feathers. the other problem is, the olympic team, the gymnastics olympic team, is chosen by committee. it is not chosen by the scores they are awarded at the below the trials. they do have olympic trials, but a committee makes the decision. youhe message is clear that don't ruffle feathers or maybe you will find yourself off the
olympic team. it goes even further down than that, as a judged sport, maybe somebody does not want to ruffle feathers of a judge who might be judging a mid-level gymnastics meet. it is a situation where a lot of these gymnastic club owners, they are small businessmen. they did not want their clubs associated with child sexual abuse, so coaches are often just fired and told to just go away. and some of them went from club to club to club and continued abusing little girls. juan: mark, could you talk about how you came on to this story? because your investigative team, as often happens in investigative projects, was looking at another aspect, more how coaches were abusing athletes, then suddenly, someone came forward and changed the
direction of your investigation? >> yes. my colleague morrisette received a court case in a small town in southern georgia where usa gymnastics was being sued and accused of negligence by a woman who had been abused by a coach. the coach, years earlier, had been on usa or should have an on usa gymnastics radar after it received complaints about him, including one that said somebody do something about this guy or he is going to rape someone. from that court case, there were a lot of documents that we were able to follow to develop the story. we worked probably six months on a story with -- also with my colleague tim evans. we published on august 4 2016, story basically saying that usa gymnastics did not report all
complaints of abuse to authorities immediately, which of course, is what you should do. , midmorning, day of publication, we received any now from rachael denhollander. don't know if this is going to apply to what you're doing, i was abused by a doctor at usa gymnastics, not a coach. homehe invited us to her in louisville. my colleagues and i split up the various tips. ael toened to get rach follow-up on. i went down to louisville with a photographer. what we found was pretty much what the world saw when rachael spoke last week -- stay home to my mother of three, all five and under, a lawyer, a very well
spoken, very organized and diligent, and we thought, very sincere. and so from that, we wrote a story that also included a lawsuit, a civil lawsuit that was filed anonymously in california. the person who filed it later jamieut as olympian dantzscher. well, wethat, we -- received a lot of criticism from people who supported nassar and they let us know it, but there were also a lot of survivors who came forward. theirst two15 in or three weeks, then adjust snowballed -- then it just snowballed into the spectacle we saw last week with the searing the 56ny of one of girls. amy: it was just astounding.
i think they were going to have 60 the number just snowballed perhaps the most well-known of the women to speak out against larry nassar was olympic gold medalist aly raisman. this is part of her testifying in court. >> i'm here to face you, larry, so you can see i have regained my strength. i'm no longer a victim. i'm a survivor. now is the time to acknowledge every person who sits before us now, who perpetrated the worst epidemic of sexual abuse in the history of sports, who is going to be locked up for a long, long time, this monster was also the architect of policies and procedures that are supposed to protect athletes from sexual abuse. abusers, your time is up. the survivors are here standing tall and we are not going anywhere. amy: during her testimony, the old of the gold medalist aly raisman also attacked usa gymnastics and the u.s. olympic committee for allowing the sexual abuse to continue for decades.
years ago, but that is just the first reported incident we know of. if over these many years just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided post of need or usa gymnastics, nor the u.s. oc have reached out to express of the or even office support. not even to ask, how did this happen? what do you think we can do to help? why have i and others here, probably not heard anything from the leadership of the usoc? why has the united states olympic committee been silent? amy: gold medalist aly raisman. i want to turn now to donna markham, who testified in court against dr. larry nassar. she is the mother of former gymnast chelsea markham, who was sexually abused by nassar when she was 10 years old. chelsea went on to commit suicide in 2009. 2009, she took her own
life because she could not deal with the pain anymore. in marche 10 years that i lost my baby. she was 23 years old. she would be 33 now. and every day i miss her. every day. and it all started with him. it all started with him and just became worse as the years went by, until she could not deal with it anymore. amy: donna markham, the mom of chelsea markham, who took her own life after being sexually abused by nassar. as we wrap up, mark alesia, the judge in this case, a fierce advocate for the women, judge rosemarie aquilina, cleared her docket to allow more than 150 women to testify.
and also became very controversial when she said "i would allow some or many people to do to him what he did to others." can you speak about her and where this all leads? >> well, yes, she certainly has come under some criticism for how she conducted the sentencing hearing, but as someone who was there and knows some of the situation it was a where there was healing because of what she did, allowing all of these women to speak and to confront nassar, and i think that those two weeks catapulted this into people's consciousness. i mean, our reporting has been out there for quite some time and it took this woman after woman after woman, bravely giving, baring their souls and giving this searing testimony,
to get people's attention. future, usahe gymnastics has to move forward with an entirely new board. they have lost a lot of their sponsors. one of the people we spoke to for our story yesterday said that even if the implemented every -- the exact right rules and write policies as fast as possible, sponsors are still going to sit back and want to look and see how it is going. so that will take a while. and even if they do that, this person -- as this person said, they better have a good public relations strategy going into explain to the public why they are investing in usa gymnastics. amy: will others be criminally charge for covering up? >> that remains to be seen. michigan, as you reported earlier, michigan's attorney general is going to be
investigating the actions of michigan state. so far, as far as we know, usa gymnastics has only had a person it hired to come in to evaluate policies and has not been criminally investigated. although, i suppose it is possible something is going on behind the scenes that we don't know about foster amy: mark alesia, they are being with us, reporter with the investigative team at "the indianapolis star," which broke the story in 2016 about dr. larry nassar's sexual abuse of gymnasts. his team also helped expose usa gymnastics' failure to report allegations of sexual abuse by coaches to authorities. alesia's most recent piece is titled "what's next for usa gymnastics? a long, tough road at best." when we come back, a new question on the 2020 census? are you a u.s. citizen? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: "get out of your own way" performed by award winning band u2. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman wtih juan gonzalez. juan: on friday, the trump administration said its request to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 census is under legal review. the commerce department, which oversees the census bureau, now
faces a march 31 deadline to evaluate the legal basis for the controversial question's inclusion in the upcoming census. data from the once-a-decade census has major implications for shaping the political landscape. the population count is used to determine how congressional seats are distributed across the country and where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent. amy: critics warn that including a citizenship question on the census will deter undocumented residents from participating in the questionnaire out of fear that the government could use the information against them. for more, we're joined by ari berman, a senior writer at mother jones, a reporting fellow at the nation institute, and author of "give us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america." his new for piece for rolling stone "how the gop rigs , elections." ari berman, welcome to democracy now! are you a u.s. citizen? talk about it. >> it sounds like a simple question, but experts i have talked to say it will just roy -- given the claimant if you're
with the trump administration, nobody, but noncitizens and citizens, want to answer the question for fear of how it will be used by the trump administration. if this question is on the senses, it will massively depressed responses among immigrant groups that will be to fewer seats, fewer resources for areas that have lots of immigrants are particularly to a credit areas, places like new york and california, and it will shift power even more to republican areas that are whiter and were conservative. this has very, very profound implications for our democracy. the 2020 census is already facing extreme number of problems him and this will make it that much worse. juan: with the legal basis or, in terms of the constitution and congress, u.s. is supposed to count every person in the united states cannot every citizen. >> the senses is supposed to count every person in america, noncitizen or citizen, and it is a constitutionally edited
accurate count. if the census is manipulated or the count is done wrong, there is no wood to fix up because the census is supposed to be the final word that determines how spent. this is one ofow federal the most important things the federal government has done every 10 years since 1790, and facing president of threat -- unprecedented threats from lack of money to the people who might run it to this question about citizenship. it is a perfect storm. amy: who is behind it? >> if you look to the request is coming from, the department of justice run by jeff sessions they say they need this question to enforce the voting rights act, which is hysterical because the trump justice department has no interest in enforcing it, it is trying to sever the voting rights act. this is a smokescreen to try to depressed responses from immigrant communities so immigrant communities get far less resources than other commodities with the senses. amy: howdy answer those who say,
well, if this is about congressional representation, they should not have it, they are undocumented or they are not u.s. citizens? if it is about federal aid, they should not have it because they're not u.s. citizens? >> the constitution clearly says with regard to the census of all persons should be counted. there was a supreme court case that came out of texas where they dealt with this question. the supreme court clearly said eta zero unanimous opinion that districts should be drawn race on all people. everyone here deserves representation. everyone here counts. when summit goes to hospital, they don't ask your citizen or not. this would radically redefine america's is cited by asking if you are a citizen or not on the census. juan: i would ask about another topic, the issue of gerrymandering, especially in of gerrymandering, especially in several states. there are several court cases now that appear to be had it to
the supreme court cision on political gerrymandering. could you talk about -- gerrymandering has existed ever since districts have existed in the u.s. what is different about what is been happening in the last two years under the republicans and some local states? >> gerrymandering has gotten so much worse in recent years. with the maps being so sophisticated in terms of how they're drawn and republicans in particular targeting democrats in such sophisticated ways. you have situation in wisconsin, where my new piece in rolling stone is set, where in 2012, democrats won 51% of the votes in wisconsin but republicans picked up 60 of 99 seats in iraq's -- in the status of blue. republicans are getting a minority of votes but a majority of seats. that violates basic norms of american democracy. it violates the notion of one person, one vote. we like to think if you get the most votes come you're the winner. that is not how it works because of gerrymandering right now post of amy: explain the role of governor scott walker of wisconsin. wisconsin has been a test case,
the laboratory for the koch brothers and so many other people for destroying the progressive movement and corrupting democracy stuff scott walker led this effort. wisconsin, since he took over, has passed the worst germanic in the country. the worst foot suppression laws, and the worst dark money laws. what they're doing is systematically corrupting every letter of democracy to try to give republicans for power. they are turned a purple state, it gave birth to unions to social security, do so many other important progressive achievements, turned it into a laboratory for the coat others another big-money interests that have their way and decimated all the things that made wisconsin progressive state historically. this is the model that republicans want to export all across the country. that is why i said what i said my article, because what is happening is that major ramifications. able how is it they are through more sophisticated
gerrymandering able to get such large majorities, even though that minority vote? talk about the different methods they use. >> i talked about one state district in wisconsin that a 50-50 state district. what they did is they drew a ,istrict so a gop state senator his house remained in his democratic neighborhood, but all of his neighbors were drawn out of his districts. i've never even seen something like this. all of his democratic neighbors have been removed. instead, they gave him all of the republican countryside of racine and kenosha counties. that is how they've turned a 50-50 swing district previously into a firmly republican district. that is the cracking. i feel the packing is how republicans have gerrymandered all across. amy: what does this all mean for the 22 midterms? >> a lot of people think democrats are going to win, but democratic chances are going to
be heard by gerrymandering, by voter suppression, by dark money. regardless of what happens with the political parties, our democracy is under attack on 70 different fronts, from gerrymandering, but are suppression, unlimited corporate spending and that is what should worry all of us. no matter who wins the election, we're living in a rigged system right now. amy: ari berman, they get for being with us, reporting fellow a nation institute, author of "give us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america." we will link to your new piece for rolling stone "how the gop , rigs elections." democracy now! is hiring a full-time news fellow. some of your application on democracynow.org by february 5. 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 democracy now!]
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