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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  March 12, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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03/12/18 03/12/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> you kill one person, you get the debt realty in many states. or you get life imprisonment. think of it. drugsll 5000 people with because your smuggling them in a making a lot of money of people evenying and they don't put you in jail. they don't do anything. amy: president trump has reiterated his call to execute drug dealers, praising countries like the philippines and china. we will speak with the drug policy alliance. then social council robert mueller continues his probe into russian meddling in the 2016
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u.s. elections, we will take a look at washington's record of meddling in elections across the globe. we will speak to journalists and historian stephen kinzer. >> how do you think that people americansact when point a finger at them and say, your brutal dictatorship, you should have a democracy, a free regime. they say, we had a democracy here until you came in and over through it. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump sunday walked back his support for gun control measures that would increase the
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age a person can purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 oh stuff the reversal camusso trump administration said it will seek to arm and train teachers and school staffers with concealed weapons, while making modest changes to a federal program providing criminal background checks for gun buyers. 20 reversal -- trump's reversal comes less than two weeks after trump publicly proposed raising the minimum age of firearm purchases. pres. trump: you can buy a handgun -- you can't buy one. you have to wait until you are 21, beacon by the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18. i think it is something you have to think about. amy: instead of calling for expanding background checks, trump's proposal calls for education secretary betsy devos to head a commission that will recommend ways to harden schools against mass shootings like last month's massacre at stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, which killed 17 people. 14 students and three faculty. the commission was announced less than 24 hours after trump
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rally inmpaign pennsylvania -- "we can't just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees." in florida, republican governor rick scott has signed a series of gun measures, breaking from the national rifle association in the wake of last month's parkland massacre. the new restrictions will add a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases, will raise the minimum age to purchase firearms from 18 to 21, and will ban bump stocks that allow semiautomatic rifles to act like fully automatic machine guns. the florida law will also fund a program encouraging teachers and staff to carry handguns. governor scott did not use his line-item veto to quash the measure as florida's teachers union demanded. this is governor rick scott speaking friday just after signing the bill. >> i am an nra member. i will be an nra member when i'm not governor. i'm sure there are nra members that agree and some that do not agree with this bill.
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the way i think about it, i'm going to do what i think are commonsense solutions. the common sense things the fathers, the grandfather for the governor, we need to have law enforcement in our schools. we need more mental health counseling. amy: on friday, the national rifle association filed a suit seeking to block implementation of the deal, arguing it violates the second amendment. in northern california, police say a military veteran opened fire on a veterans' home in napa valley friday, killing three women before taking his own life following a standoff with police. the three victims -- jennifer gonzales, christine loeber, and jennifer golick -- worked for the "pathway home" nonprofit, which helps military veterans overcome ptsd and transition back into civilian life. the shooter, 36-year-old albert wong of sacramento, was a military veteran and former patient at the center who was kicked out of the program just days before the shooting spree after he allegedly threatened its employees. wong was honorably discharged from the u.s. army after serving
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more than three years' active duty, including a one-year deployment to afghanistan. he had a number of military decorations, including an expert rifle marksmanship badge. president trump has reiterated his calls for the u.s. to impose the death penalty on drug dealers, praising countries like the philippines, china, and singapore that apply capital punishment to drug traffickers. trump made the remarks during a campaign-style rally in moon township, pennsylvania, on saturday. pres. trump: when i was in china , and other places, by the way, i said, mr. president, do you have a drug problem? no, no, no, we do not. huh, the country, not much of a drug problem. i said, what do you attribute that to? well, the death penalty. amy: during the rally, trump also lashed out at potential rivals in the 2020 presidential election, including oprah winfrey and senators bernie
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sanders and elizabeth warren. trump also blasted nbc news political director chuck todd as a "sleepy eyed son of a bitch." and he mocked california democratic congresswoman maxine waters, saying she has a "very low iq." trump's rally in western pennsylvania came ahead of tuesday's special election for an open congressional seat. republican rick saccone is in a tight race with democrat connor lamb for pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, which trump carried by 20 points during the 2016 election. this special election is tomorrow. in syria, government forces are pressing an all-out assault on the besieged rebel-held damascus suburb of eastern ghouta. syrian ground forces advanced over the weekend, effectively cutting the territory into three parts. human rights groups say the assault has killed more than 1100 people in the last month. the u.n. estimates some 400,000 civilians remain trapped in eastern ghouta and are in desperate need of food, water,
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and medicine. the syrian civil defense rescue group, known as the white helmets, accused syria's government of using chlorine gas and incendiary white phosphorus munitions. syria's government denies using chemical weapons. meanwhile, turkish troops have massed on the outskirts of the kurdish-held northern city of afrin and appear poised for an invasion. over the weekend, thousands of afrin's residents fled the city and stepped up airstrikes by turkish warplanes. the british government has approved the sale of 48 advanced fighter jets to saudi arabia, despite protests by human rights groups who say the warplanes will add to war crimes committed by the saudi-led coalition in yemen. the u.s.- and british-backed saudi-led airstrikes and naval blockade have devastated yemen's health, water, and sanitation systems, sparking a massive cholera outbreak and pushing millions of yemenis to the brink of starvation. thousands and thousands of yemenis have been killed. in china, the national people's congress voted sunday to remove
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presidential term limits from the chinese constitution, clearing the way for president xi jinping to rule indefinitely. only two of the communist party's 3000 delegates voted against the change, which will also enshrine so-called "xi jinping thought" as part of china's constitution. president trump's former chief strategist, steve bannon, told members of a french far-right party that they should wear charges of racism and xenophobia as a badge of honor. bannon was speaking in lille at a convention of the national front, which is known for its anti-semitic rhetoric and anti-immigrant policies. >> let them call you racist. let them call you xenophobes. let them call you nativists. honor. as a badge of [applause] day we getry
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stronger and they get weaker. amy: bannon made the remarks in france on the heels of a trip to italy, where he lent his support to far-right parties who made significant gains during parliamentary elections earlier this month. on saturday, thousands of people marched through the streets of florence to remember a senegalese migrant and street vendor who was shot to death by an italian man just one day after the election. the killing came less than a month after a neo-nazi wounded six migrants in a shooting spree in central italy. at the vatican, pope francis warned that the politics of fear is leading to anti-immigrant violence in italy. faces the vast globalization and fear often turns against people who are foreign, different, poor as if they were enemies. there are countries were development plans are made, dictated by the fight against these people. amy: in colombia, voters went to the polls sunday in the first nationwide election that's seen members of the former farc rebel
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movement run for political office, as part of a historic peace agreement ratified last year. the election saw a strong showing by president alvaro uribe's democratic centre party. farc fared poorly, winning just super .4% of the vote. but as part of the peace agreement the farc will see ten of its members seated in parliament. in burma, amnesty international is warning that the burmese military is building bases on the sites of former villages where minority rohingya homes and mosques once stood. amnesty says the push may be aimed at deterring hundreds of thousands of rohingya from returning to burma's rakhine state from neighboring bangladesh, where they fled in 2017 amid a burmese military campaign of rape, murder, and arson that the u.n. has called a book example of ethnic cleansing. amnesty's report came as the national holocaust museum in washington, d.c., said it has revoked a prestigious human rights award to burmese de facto leader aung san suu kyi.
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back in the united states, education secretary betsy devos struggled on sunday to explain why schools in her home state of michigan are fairing poorly under the policies she championed. devos was speaking with lesley stahl on cbs's "60 minutes." >> the public schools in michigan, have they gotten better? >> i don't know. i can't say overall they have all gotten better. >> the whole state is not doing well. >> there are certainly lots of pockets where the students are doing well -- >> your argument if you take funds away, the schools will get better is not working in michigan. you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system here. >> i hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them. >> the public schools here are doing worse than they did. >> michigan schools be to do better, no doubt about it.
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amy: meanwhile "60 minutes" is , moving forward with plans to air an interview with adult film star stephanie clifford, also known as stormy daniels, about her alleged affair she had with in 2006. daniels agreed to the interview with host anderson cooper despite an arbiter's ruling last week that she's barred from talking about her relationship with trump. just weeks before the 2016 election, daniels accepted a $130,000 payout from trump's personal lawyer, michael cohen, in exchange for a non-disclosure agreement. "the wall street journal" reports the payoff could amount to a violation of federal election law. in new york city, about 100 demonstrators flooded in exhibit at the metropolitan museum saturday, throwing high enjoyed of pill bottles distorting hundreds of pill bottles into an exhibit on egyptian art in a protest against the opioid crisis. targeted a family, owners of the company that invented oxycontin. a recent escort magazine expose reveals how the family downplay
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the risks of the drugs addiction and exploited doctors confusion over the drug's strength. they have given a fortune to museums, including the met. and british, columbia canada, thousands of people marched in the city on saturday to protest the expansion of candor morgan's trans mountain pipeline. first nations and environmental activist say the project will expand highly polluting development in alberta's tarzan region while endangering communities around and expanded export terminal near vancouver. this is the executive director of the group indigenous climate action. >> in alberta, we assumed her sense of revoke part of the landscape for over 60 years. we have seen it contaminate a system, destroy our food sources, and really we can the spirit of our people. this march represents that resurgence system, destroy our d
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, breathing life into the spirit of our people to know we are not alone. that while we trai challenge the can of morgan have fun, we respect to hold the rights to those who have the right to say no, that have the rights to decide what happens in our backyard, inner territories. we have the right that clean, safe environment. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, 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. president trump has reiterated his calls for the u.s. to impose the death penalty on drug dealers, praising countries like the philippines, china, and singapore that apply capital punishment to drug traffickers. this is trump speaking in moon township, pennsylvania, on saturday. pres. trump: think of it. you kill 5000 people with drugs because you are smuggling them in and making a lot of money and people are dying and they don't
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even put you in jail. they don't do anything. but you might get 30 days, 60 days, 90 days. you might get a year, but you're not going to get -- and then you wonder why we have a problem. that is why we have a problem, folks. and i don't think we should play games. juan: during the speech, trump recounted conversations with chinese and singaporean leaders who, he said, solved their countries' drug problems by executing drug traffickers. trump has also repeatedly expressed admiration for philippines president rodrigo duterte and said he's done an "unbelievable job on the drug problem." last month, the international criminal court opened a preliminary investigation into accusations that duterte had committed crimes against humanity by overseeing the killing of up to 8000 people in his so-called war on drugs. amy: this is not the first time trump has called for executing drug dealers. earlier this month, he made similar remarks during a white
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house summit on the opioid crisis. on friday, "the washington post" reported the trump administration is studying new policy that could allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers for more, we are joined by widney brown, the managing director of policy at the drug policy alliance. her recent piece for the hill is headlined "trump's call for , death penalty is the wrong response to drug war." widney brown, welcome to democracy now! talk about what trump called for this weekend. >> basically, he is saying he wants to execute people who bring drugs into the country or otherwise sell drugs. the problem is come up supply-side initiatives have failed. we have a war on drugs that started in the 1970's. if it was a success, we would not be having an opioid overdose crisis today. of then the waning days obama administration, there seemed to be a consensus on moving forward to end the war on drugs, to begin trying to reduce
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the prison population. now the trump administration is clearly going in the opposite. >> direction exactly. trump and i think the attorney general or going back to weights we know that have failed, which has led to mass criminalization in the u.s. and devastated communities of color. it is then racially disproportionate the waste drug laws have been enforced. it is been a failure. we actually know how to save lives. let's be clear we have a crisis here, but we know how to say lives. that is implement harm reduction policies that allow people to use drugs safely, engage with them if they want to seek treatment, and move away from a criminal justice sector the public health sector focus. amy: let's go to president trump again speaking this weekend in moon township, pennsylvania. pres. trump: when i was in china , and other places, by the way, i said, mr. president, do you have a drug problem? no, no, no we do not. country, 1.4big
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billion people, right? not much of a drug problem. i said, what do you attribute that to? well, the death penalty. amy: and then i want to go to filipino president rodrigo duterte in his own words in 2016. he likened himself to hitler. >> hitler massacred 3 million jews. millionre is 3 [indiscernible] if germany had hitler, the philippines would have, you know, [indiscernible] amy: there is the philippine president duterte a comparing himself to hitler. last month, the international kernel court opening preliminary
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investigation into accusations he committed crimes against humanity by overseeing the killing of up to 8000 people in his war on drugs. president trump praised both china and the philippines. >> which is appalling. you do not tell your way out of the drug crisis. what happened in the philippines, you have death squads going around summarily rounding up or killing people based on allegations that they may use drugs. that is not how you solve a drug problem. and that we have a president who is saying, "i want to emulate this behavior," which one of the things we have seen in the u.s. because of the war on drugs is the of is a ration of due process and failed -- fair trial protection. we are ready have a problem in the u.s. the last thing you want to do with stimulating set even more undermine the rule of law here. juan: isn't a problem in the u.s. of drug trafficking these days even more so it is not the illegal substances, but the
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controlled substances, the chemicals like or the pills that are being dispensed by waysacists and doctors in that are creating a massive epidemic across the country. if you're talking about going after the drug dealers, you're talking about going up to the pharmacist and the doctors, not the people on the street selling drugs. >> exactly. clearly, we have in opioid crisis that started with prescription drugs. there has been a failure to regulate people who are on the drugs. they become addicted. they're cut off from the drugs and then they turn to street drugs will stop we're not putting a place for reduction measures that we could. they've injection site, needle exchange, access to naloxone they can save lives in the moment, plus engagement with treatment. the reason we're not doing that -- we are trying to do that, and needs to be much more, principally. but when you stigmatize people because they used drugs, then it is much harder to get them engaged with you. that is what we are trying to do
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their harm reduction strategies. amy: rolling stone writer jamil smith tweeted -- "i'll just reiterate that the state has no business killing people, and that the death penalty is a cornerstone of systemic racism. @potus isn't talking about killing the sacklers, or big pharma executives." this weekend, you had also this mass protest at the metropolitan where people threw pills because met askler's support the well as many exhibits around the country. they are the makers of oxycontin , as they don't put their name on that drug. >> i think what you have are two different issues. does the u.s. government effectively regulate the pharmaceutical industry? do they regulate both helping to distributed and how things are marketed? are they paying attention to that yet come i think what we're seeing is the answer is a clear no. the focus in terms of the war on that pharmaceutical
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companies, it is actually people who use and often smalltime pushers as well as some drug traffickers. the speaker, there are those. at the racism issue is profound in the u.s. the disproportionate policing of s lednities of colors ha to mass criminalization of people and those communities. that is now going to be addressed by the death penalty. the death penalty universally is been rejected. about 141 countries in the world no longer use the death penalty. the u.s. has been moving away from using the death penalty. now we see trump wanted to revive the death penalty. at the very time we know how many people have been found factually innocent who were on death row. that should give anyone pause. juan: can you talk about the example of portugal and how it responded to instruct problem early in the 21st century? >> in 2001, portugal had an overdose crisis, much smaller place for comparable to the
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terms of the present of the population to what we're having right now. they made a radical decision to decriminalize all drugs. they set up a committee where if you are found to be using drugs, you would go before this committee and they would decide whether you need a treatment were whether your drug use was fine. as a result, their overdose rates plummeted. their hiv conversion rates plummeted. universalr, they've health care. they have treatment available to people. so if you did that in the united date, you would not necessarily see all the positive outcomes, but the reactive decriminalizing means you would at least reduce the harms that are associated with criminalizing people, including everything from being accesse rated but also to housing, access to color ships -- scholarships, being able to get a job, voter disenfranchisement. what we would love to see are
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the benefits of actually health care treatment available to anyone. amy: i want to end with the words of the award-winning photojournalist who documented president rodrigo duterte's so-called war on drugs. he came into our studios and was winning an award here in new york. his life has been in grave risk as he goes out and photographs the killings on the street i military and vigilante, paramilitary groups of people they say are drug dealers. he described the situation on the ground. >> overwhelming what is happening in the philippines right now. peoplere close to 14,000 that have been killed in the drug war. been claimed have by police in police operations. 4000claim they have guild
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the rest are unexplained killings. those they say does their under .nvest -- under investigation some are vigilante killings. well, so many people have been killed. can say most of the killings are poor. caught withgetting millions of drugs, but they are alive. they get due process. they go to court. they are not dying. and these people, they get with four dollars worth of drugs. that is a life in the philippines. it is not fair. amy: that is the award-winning raffy lerma.st
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he faces many death threats as he documents what he is saying acrothe president rodrigo dutera has compared himself to hitler, probably talks about, boasts about the number of what he calls drug dealers killed. president trump has supported is doing.go duterte as we wrap up, we want to thank widney brown, managing director of policy at the drug policy alliance. we will to her piece in the hill called "trump's call for death , penalty is the wrong response to drug war." thank you so much for being here. when we come back, as the u.s. investigates russia meddling with the u.s. elections, we are going to take a look at u.s. history. we will speak with stephen kinzer, author of "overthrow america's century of regime to iraq."rom hawaii
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stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. a special counsel robert mueller continues his probe into russian meddling into the 2016 election, we take a look back at washington's record of meddling in elections across the globe. by one count, the u.s. has interfered in more than 80 foreign elections. between 1946 and 2000. and that does not count u.s.-backed coups and invasions. former cia director james woolsey recently joked about the u.s. record of meddling overseas during an interview with laura ingraham on fox news. >> have we ever try to meddle in other countries elections? >> oh, probably. but it was for the good of the system in order to avoid the communists from taking over. europe, the in greeks and the italians -- >> we don't do that now, though?
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>> well -- only for a very good cause. >> can you do that on a vine video? juan: the list of countries where the u.s. has interfered is long. in 1893, the u.s. helped overthrow the kingdom of a white . five years later in 1898, the us invaded and occupied cuba and puerto rico. a year later was the philippines. early 20th century interventions include nicaragua, haiti, the dominican republic, all in the 1910 -- nine amy: in 1953, the u.s. helped overthrow the iranian government was not a year later, in 1954, u.s. backed coup in guatemala overthrowing the democratically elected leader of guatemala. then in the 1960's come the list grew to include once again the dominican republic and, indonesia, and the congo. and that is just a partial list. even with the end of the cold
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war, u.s. interference overseas did not end. next week marks the 50th anniversary of the u.s. invasion of iraq to topple the government of saddam hussein. we now go to stephen kinzer, former new york times -- former "new york times" foreign correspondent and now writes the world affairs column for "the boston globe." he is the author of several books, including "overthrow: america's century of regime change from hawaii to iraq" and "all the shah's men." his latest, "the true flag: theodore roosevelt, mark twain, and the birth of american empire," was recently released on paperback. we welcome you back to democracy now! to talk, sadly, by the very same issue. i'm not quite sure where to begin, whether to go back to the beginning, but let's start since inwas 65 years ago in iran
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1953, march 1953, the u.s. was in full swi making plans for overthrowing the government of the democratically elected mohammad mosaddegh. can you talk about what the u.s. did in iran then? well known throughout iran, but most people in this country have no idea. century,in the 20th the people of iran begin moving toward democracy. it was a difficult struggle. finally, after the second world war, democracy did appear. the problem came when the iranians chose the wrong leader. they do something the united states never likes. they chose a leader who wanted to put the interest of his own country ahead of the interest of the united states.
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and that alarmed the west, particularly the united states. toaddegh's first move was nationalize iranian oil. we thought this would be a terrible example for the rest of the world. we did not want to start this process going in other countries. in order to set an example, the u.s. decided we would work with the british to overthrow the elected democratic government of iran. whoent a senior cre officer worked in the basement of the of air can embassy in iran, organizing the coup. the coup finally succeeded in the summer of 1953. mosaddegh was overthrown. more important, the democratic system in iran destroyed forever. this was not just an attack on one person, but an attack on democracy. and the reason why we attacked that democracy is the democracy produced the wrong person. we like elections and democratic processes, but they have to
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produce the candidate we like. otherwise, our approval disappears. amy: the person the u.s. sent in to her ran with the suitcases of money to begin the process, teddy roosevelt's grandson? >> that's right. sometimes i wonder of there's something genetic in the roosevelt family that predisposes them toward regime change. it is a quirk of history that the person who effectively projected the united states into the regime change your a at the beginning of the 20th century, teddy roosevelt, had a grandson who went to iran the 1950's and carried out a regime change operation there. there were similarities. you go on, i want to go to a part of veterans are from an upcoming documentary titled "coup 53" about the 1953 british american coup in iran and the overthrow of mosaddegh. it is directed by iranian physicist turned award-winning
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documentary filmmaker taghi amirani. , he wasman, mosaddegh our first democratically elected prime minister. >> nobody know who's mosaddegh was. >> in 1962, time magazine named him man of the year because he nationalized iranian oil and kicked the british out. >> mosaddegh came along and threw them out. they were gone. gone. iranian officials had rejected the rule. blood and bare hands. >> you had one lane dollars in cash, right? >> that's right. >> president roosevelt is prepared to do whatever he had to do it was given this mission by allen dulles to overthrow the democratic government of iran. no time has the cia engaged in any political
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activity or any intelligence activity. theas not approved at highest -- that was not approved at the highest level. amy: that last voice was that of allen dulles, head of the cia from 1952 to 1961. ,t the time his brother secretary of state dulles, was secretary of state. we're talking about the for thew of air ran british oil company that would later become british petroleum. is that right, stephen kinzer? >> yes host of that company is now called bp. so you're seeing long-term effects of these interventions and what you're seeing in a rant today, 100% ties back to what we did in 1953. we like to have this idea that these operations are discreet. they're not going to have any long-term effect. will remove one government, replace a favorable government in power, than anything will go
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fine. everybody will forget it. it won't have any long-term effect. if you look around the world, you can see these kinds of operations interfere in other countries politics, but the cia ,alls influence operations actually it only often wind up devastating the target country, but in the end, undermine the security of the united states. juan: stephen kinzer, i would like to move to nicaragua. most people are familiar with the reagan era, tends to overthrow the sandinista government or the evening during the roosevelt era of the attempts to get rid of sandino nicaragua.and rick and wal at the beginning of the 20 century, you talk about the efforts of u.s. government to overthrow the zelaya? >> zelaya was a fascinating figure. the most formidable leader nicaragua ever had. he was a flashing reformer. he was a liberal, a progressive.
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he built ports and roads, try to build of a middle class in the driveway. he brought the first automobile into nicaragua. the 1st street lights. he organized the first baseball league. he was a true modernizer. plus, he had one characteristic the u.s. really did not like, and that is he wanted nicaragua to have an independent foreign-policy. when he needed to raise money for a planned railroad across nicaragua, rather than seek loans from the morgan bank in the united states -- as we wanted him to do -- he floated the loan offers in london and in paris. the u.s. try to get those governments to for bid the offering of those loan agreements, but they refused host of sure enough, the money was raised and america became very alarmed. toaragua was trying diversify's international relations. it did not want to be just under the power of the united date, and that was a fatal decision by zelaya.
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once he decided he wanted to pull nicaragua out from under the thumb of the united states, he became a target. and we did overthrow him. that was the beginning of a interferenceerican in nicaragua. i think you can argue there is no country in the world where the cycle of american intervention in position of a dictator, rebellion, repression, and return of american power to impose another leader is so clear over such a long period of time the way it is in the grog were. amy: we're talking to stephen times" former "new are foreign correspondent, now writes the world affairs column for "the boston globe [captioning made possible by democracy now!] juan: i would ask you about another invasion that is really talked about these days. the invasion of the dominican republic in 1965 by lyndon johnson. and the efforts of the united states to control the affairs of
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the dominican republic over many, many years. obviously, there were two invasions of the dominican republic. there was one of the early part of the century that led to the rise of -- and then there was one after the fall of trujillo to attend regime change against the president who had been elected into office. >> you have placed a very well. if we remember this operation at all, we remember the american beacheslanding on the in the dominican republic. at the cause of that intervention was the foolish mistake of the dominican people of a lifting a leader who was unpalatable to the united states. he was a figure little bit like zelaya has been a century earlier and nicaragua. he did not want the dominican republic to be under the thumb of the united states. he wanted to be an independent country. this is something the u.s. could not tolerate. all of these movements and the -- hasan basin have been
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had as a fundamental part of their political program, measures to limit the power of foreign corporations in their countries. and often measures to limit the amount of land that foreigners can own in their country. these are the kinds of measures that are hateful to the american corporations that have gotten so rich from taking the resources of the caribbean basin and leaders who promote those policies always find themselves in washington's crosshairs. this is not just ancient history. we had an episode in honduras in 2009 where president who is ray much in this line trying to pose -- pull hunters away from subservience to thewe had an eps overthrown in a coup by the military, dragged out of his house in the middle of the night sent into exile. the u.s. was so happy, members of congress even went to honduras to congratulate the leader of the coup. and then just last year, a new election was held to ratify the
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results of the coup. the election was so fraudulent, that for the first time in the history of the organizational of american states, the oas called for a new election. in the leader of the oas had been denouncing attacks on democracy in venezuela and figured he could understand by wase something even worse done in honduras. unfortunately, the u.s. does not have that kind of shame and we cheered that election. we refused the call for new election. hundreds today is under the rule of a regime that is the product of a coup supported by the united states against an elected government. this is not something we used to do an ancient history. this is something happening right now. that is why those of us familiar with this history roller rise a little bit when we hear the outraged allegations that russia has been doing something so dastardly as to try to influence our politics. amy: can you take us on a brief
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thumbnail journey from the overthrow of hawaii, the spanish-american war, cuba, puerto rico, and the philippines -- all before the turn of the 20th century? >> this was a fascinating period and it really was the moment when the united states went from being what you could call a continental empire, that is inside north america, to being an overseas empire. torucial moment of decision the united states. it was that inevitable, but that was the choice we made. so in 1893, at the behest of sugar growers in hawaii, the united states promoted the overthrow of the hawaiian monarchy. the idea was hawaii would admittedly become part of the united states. they did not happen because there was a change of presidency in washington and the new president, grover cleveland, hated that intervention and did not want to take hawaii in. five years later in 1898 when
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grover cleveland was gone, the spanish-american war broke out. the united states became interested in the pacific because we destroyed the spanish fleet in the philippines that we decided we should take the philippines for ourselves. we became interested in the china market. --s was a real, fantastic for american business. american press was full of stories about how many nails we could sell in china for bigger the chinese to use nails. how much cotton we could sell. how much beef we could sell if we could get the chinese to eat beef. so we decided we needed stepping stones for china. and that was the moment when we decided, let's take hawaii as we have taken the philippines. that happened at the same time the united states was consolidating its rule over cuba and puerto rico. in cuba, we staged a presidential election. candidate we like.
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we found him in upstate new york. he spoke good english, which is always essential for the people we promote. we brought him back to cuba as soon as a "are the campaign was raped them of the other candidate dropped out, he became president of cuba. sure enough, six years later, the united states had to send troops to cuba to suppress protests against him. they occupied cuba for three more years. then they left. they had to come back again about six or seven years later in 1917 because again, the cubans had the temerity to elect a leader who was unpalatable to the united states. this was a great model for an idea, a concept, that has reverberated through the whole period since then, which is how your elections, but you must elect someone we like. otherwise, we're going to plan b. amy: we're going to go to break and then come back with stephen kinzer and then talk about james
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.oolsey's latest comment when asked on fox of the u.s. is still interfering with people's elections, he chuckles and says "only for a good cause." we're talking with stephen kinzer, former "new york times" foreign correspondent and now writes the world affairs column for "the boston globe." he has written "bitter fruit" and "overthrow america's century : of regime change from hawaii to iraq" and "all the shah's men." his latest, "the true flag: theodore roosevelt, mark twain, and the birth of american empire." back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. is stephen kinzer,
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former "new york times" foreign correspondent and now writes for "the boston globe." his latest "the true flag: , theodore roosevelt, mark twain, and the birth of american empire." juan: in terms of the spanish-american war and the bitter guerrilla war that ,eveloped in the philippines the birth of the anti-imperialist league in the united states. it was a widespread movement of americans opposed to this overseas empire. could you talk about some of the figures and the impact of the anti-imperialist league? we don't see that kind of organization these days, even of the u.s. empire continues to grow and make itself felt around the world. >> the story of the anti-imperialist league is a central part of my new book "the true flag." to be voyages of discovery.
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i'm looking for some really big story that shaped the world but we don't know about it. this is one. this is a story that has always completely dropped out of our history books. the anti-peerless league was a major force in american life in the period around 1898, 1900. it was based in boston, later moved to washington, had chapters all over the united states. some of the leading figures in the united states were members. the leaders of the enzyme desk &s league included peerless league included people like andrew carnegie and social ,ctivist like jane addams booker t. washington. grover cleveland was a member. it was really remarkable group will stop it staged hundreds of rallies, thousands of leaflets intensely lobbied in washington. an action he had quite an impact. this was a debate that seized the attention of the entire american people. should we begin taking territories outside north america or should we now stop
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now that we have consolidated our north american empire? everybody in the u.s. realized this was a huge decision. it dominated newspaper coverage. when the traitor by which you don't states took -- treaty by which the u.s. took qualm and puerto rico was brought before the senate, there was a 34 date of eight that is the center of my book. in this debate, you will see every argument on both sides that is ever been used for the last 120 years. ideaintervention is good or bad idea starts there. the anti-imperialist league later great role in that debate. interestingly enough, that treaty that sets us off on the path of global empire was passed in the senate by a margin of one vote more than the required two thirds majority. juan: in the most eloquent spokesman for the entire para list league was none other than mark twain, no?
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league waserialist none other than mark twain, no? had grown up with a partial image of mark twain. i thought of him as mr. nice that. a sweetheart. everybody's favorite old uncle who has nice curly white hair and tells funny stories that everybody laughs at. this is not correct all this is not the real mark twain. in eviscerating anti-imperialist. he was militant. he was intent. he is the best use to write an american fighting a foreign wars were carrying a polluted musket under a minute flight. even wanted to change the flag of the united states to change the stars to skull and cross bones symbols. i realized that we have a sanctified and bleached mark twain for public consumption. many of the quotes i used from twain in my book do not appear in many biographies or
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anthologies. that part of twain has been dropped out of his legacy. i am trained recovery because he speaks to us today. amy: it makes me wonder if his books will start to be taken out of libraries around the country. i want to go back to that clip we played earlier a former cia director james woolsey speaking just a few weeks ago with laura ingraham on fox news. >> have we ever try to meddle in other countries elections? >> oh, probably, but was for the good of the system in order to avoid communists for taking over. for example, in europe, the greeks and the italians -- >> we don't do that now, though? >> well -- only for very good cause. >> can you do that to a vine video? >> only for very good cause and in the interest of democracy. for a veryonly
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good cause and in the interest of democracy." is james woolsey. if you could talk about that and also the national endowment for is james woolsey. democracy and trump's proposal to cut it by something like two thirds in the 2019 budget. >> that was a great clip. i think maybe james woolsey is thinking richard helms who was convicted of lying in court for denying that the united states had tried to influence the election in chile. did not to lie, so he laughed. i saw him really trying to tell the truth, not trying to live. yes, it is true, we are so intervening in foreign elections. i think the once he is been thinking about our recent elections in bulgaria, mongolia, slovakia. the national endowment for democracy, which you mentioned, has taken over many of these functions from the cia. it is a pretty unknown agency.
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but it was founded by president reagan in the early 1980's for particular reason. you will remember at that time, the cia had been suffering from many scandals and could not operate the way it used to. so how are we going to influence foreign elections? we establish this national endowment for democracy, which is now funded at over one hundred $70 million year. that is all it does. it interferes in the politics of other countries. much of its money goes through something called the international republican institute headed by john mccain and the national democratic institute headed by madeleine albright. we have these relentless interventionists working under a larger bore that includes people like katrina lived who was in ukraine as assistant secretary of state handing out chocolate chip cookies to protesters, urging them to overthrow the government. elliott abrams who was involved in intervention in nicaragua and elsewhere during the 1980's. the national endowment for the has now taken on the job of
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interfering in the politics rather countries for what senator woolsey calls very good reasons. when there's a very good cause, to defend democracy. and like his phrase. he said something like willie to offer a very good cause. that is a flexible definition. every country can define what a good cause is from his point of view. so if you feel that you have the right to intervene in the politics of another country and try to shape the results of its election because it is a good cause, then you have to realize that other countries will make the same rational calculation. we cannot be outraged when other countries are doing on a smaller scale what we have taught the world how to do over more than 100 years. amy: which takes us to russia and russia's intervention in the united states elections, the allegations of that and what they're doing. so take this to the modern era when we're talking about cyber security, interfering with elections other countries and
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the response of the u.s. to russia doing this. outrage ofthe russian interference is a lot of crocodile tears. it is not a good thing. it is not good to interferes in the election of other countries. but it is not something that is ever going to go away. it is something the u.s. does relentlessly. i would pull back a little and ask ourselves, do we really think that russia shaped the outcome of this election? did russia tell us how to vote? did russia pour money into political groups the way we do in other parts of the country? democracy is under siege in this country, but when you make the list of who are the threats to democracy, russia is about number 25 on the list. higher on the list, your supreme court democratic party republican party, congress -- all of the institution's inside the united states that are eating away at our democratic core are doing much more to undermine the freedoms that we take for granted in any foreign
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intervention. juan: and, stephen kinzer, the information of out the methods that russia may have used to try to influence the elections, we would be crazy not to think this see a and the u.s. government has not employed the same methods used in social media and other countries, know? in elections around the world? juan: didn't woolsey make that very point. >> this is one of the main jobs of the national demo for democracy. officers and other countries and teaches them, how do you make computer list? how you organized a missed ration? how to start a newspaper? these are all of the building tools that we tried to spread in other countries where their governments where we don't approve. the national endowment for democracy published a report in 2013 to which they said, russia continues to be the priority country. soon after that, the russians
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banned national endowment from democracy -- for democracy from working in russia. is working in cozumel, serbia, moldova, working in ukraine, belarus. we are trying to foam at entire russia movement in countries all around russia with the aim ultimately, of having the big prize of somehow being able to turn russia into a country that would be subservient. amy: we have less than a minute, but you recently wrote about the u.s. political institutions, fbi, cia, state department so often target of progressives, concerned about these institutions. now being targeted by republicans. can you talk about this shift? >> one of my professors in college was howard zinn. he was always telling us the justice department and the fbi and cia were engaged in conspiracies against american freedom. now i'm hearing this from right
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wing republicans. it is an amazing role reversal. now those republicans who always wanted to defend the institutional strength of the united states want to rip down the institutions that undergird american democracy. so now we're thing the wrecking crew from the group of political operatives who used to believe that upholding institutions was the ultimate goal of the united states. devin nunes is sounding more like angela davis everyday. a remarkable change to see this coming out of the republican white house and republican congress. amy: what a way to en the show. you for kinzer, thank being with us. we will do part two and post it on democracynow.org as we did not talk about some of the countries that the u.s. overthrew democratically elected leaders from chile to guatemala to iraq back to the 19th century. that does it for our show. of "thekinzer, author
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true flag: theodore roosevelt, mark twain, and the birth of american empire."
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