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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 16, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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05/16/18 05/16/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! ismake no mistake, hamas pleased with the results from yesterday. i ask my colleagues here in the security council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? no one would. no country in this chamber would act with more restraint than israel has. amy: the united states is refusing to criticize israel after israeli forces shot dead at least 60 unarmed palestinian protesters in gaza monday and injured 2700. we will speak to norman
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finkelstein, author of "gaza: an inquest into its martyrdom." ben gina haspel moves closer to becoming the next head of the cia after five democrats announced that they would support her despite her role in the u.s. torture program and her refusal to describe torture as immoral. >> do you believe the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? i'm not asking if you believe they were legal. i am asking if you believe they were immoral. --cks senator, i believe cia did extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized. amy: plus, we will look at a nationwide rightwing effort to persuade union members to quit and stop paying dues. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the israeli military shot dead
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at least one more palestinian in gaza on tuesday, only one day after the israeli military massacred at least 61 unarmed palestinians, wounding 2700 more in a single day for protesting against the israeli occupation and the opening of the new u.s. embassy in jerusalem. the united states is refusing to criticize israel after the massacre. at the united nations, u.s. ambassador nikki haley has blocked a call for an international investigation into israel's actions. on tuesday, she repeatedly blamed the violence on hamas while praising israel for showing restraint. >> i asked my colleagues here in the security council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? no one would. no country in this chamber would act with more restraint than israel has. amy: that was u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley. she later walked out of the security council chamber when the palestinian ambassador to the u.n., riyad mansour,
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addressed the council. meanwhile, hospitals in gaza are continuing to struggle to deal with the thousands of patients who were wounded by the israeli military on monday and tuesday. this is ayman al-sahbani, the director of the emergency room at shifa hospital. >> the emergency department at received almost five hundred injuries while the capacity of the emergency department's 20 beds or 20 injuries. we're talking about 25 times above the capacity with all of the big challenges in the shortage in medicine and the medical supplies that reached critical lows. amy: the last six weeks, the israeli military has killed over 100 palestinians, wounding over 12,000. we'll have more on israel, gaza, and the u.s. response after headlines. president trump's nominee for
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cia director gina haspel appears to have won enough backing to be confirmed by the full senate after haspel came out saying the cia should never have undertaken its post-9/11 torture program. the senate intelligence committee is scheduled to vote today on whether to recommend at thes for confirmation full senate. among the democrats who have come out backing haspel's .irginia senator mark warner at her confirmation hearing last repeatedly refused to call the treatment of prisoners torture and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. but in a letter to the virginia senator, she admitted the cia torture program never should have existed in the first place writing "while i won't condemn those that made these hard calls and i have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world with the benefit of
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hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the cia should have undertaken." haspel is a 33 year cia veteran responsible for running a secret black site in thailand in 2002 where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways didn't her tenure. she also oversaw the destruction of the videotapes showing torture at the black site. we will have more on gina haspel later in the broadcast. north korea has canceled high-level talks with south korea today in protest of joint u.s.-south korea military drills currently being staged on the peninsula. the cancellation of today's talks also casts doubt on the proposed summit between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un in less than a month. the north korean state news agency called the u.s.-south korea air force drills deliberate military provocation. north korean leader kim jong-un also directly criticized trump's national security adviser john
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bolton for saying north korea could follow the so-called libyan model for nuclear abandonment. in a statement issued through the state news agency, kim called bolton's idea an "awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of libya or iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers." the joint u.s.-north korea -- the joint u.s. south korea to week will a terry drills, known as max thunder, involve fighter jets and aircraft from the u.s. air force, army, navy, and marine corps. north korea has long claimed the drills are rehearsals for a military invasion. on tuesday, the white house attempted to downplay the threat that north korea would cancel the proposed summit between trump and kim jong-un. this is state spokesperson -- state department spokesperson heather nauert. >> we are operating under the idea and the notion that the president's meaning is going forward with chairman kim month.
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>> if this doesn't meeting doesn't happen -- >> that is hypothetical. i cannot verify just yet. it is very on -- very early on in the process. amy: the trump administration is considering plans to hold immigrant children on military bases after they are apprehended crossing the u.s.-mexico border. the pentagon says staffers are looking at three potential military sites in texas and one in arkansas. the proposal is the latest signal the trump administration plans to separate immigrant parents from their children if they are apprehended crossing the border without authorization. in pakistan, an investigation by amnesty international has revealed how human rights workers are being targeted by digital attacks aimed at infiltrating their phones and computers, infecting them with malware, stealing their data, and subjecting the human rights workers to intensive surveillance. amnesty has not determined who is behind the digital attacks. in mexico, radio journalist juan
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carlos huerta was shot dead tuesday morning in the southern state of tabasco. mexican authorities say huerta's killing tuesday appeared to be related to his work as a journalist. he's the fourth mexican journalist killed so far this year, and his assassination came on the first anniversary of the killing of acclaimed journalist javier valdez last year. the parent company of fox news has reached a $10 million settlement over a series of racial and gender discrimination lawsuits involving current and former employees of the network. the settlement includes a lawsuit filed by now-former fox kelly wright and other employees, alleging "abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination." on tuesday, wright announced he was leaving the network. the $10 million settlement also resolves multiple gender discrimination lawsuits, including one in which a former reporter for fox 5 accused former fox news chair roger
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ailes of sexual harassment and of turning her down for a job because he didn't think she would have sex with him. uber and lyft have announced they will no longer require people who are sexually harassed or assaulted or raped by drivers into forced arbitration, meaning passengers, drivers, and employees of uber and lyft can now pursue public lawsuits over sexual harassment or sexual assault in court. this policy also means they won't have to -- dozens of drivers have been accused of sexually harassing or and raping passengers. former texas republican congressmember blake farenthold says he will not pay taxpayers back after he used $84,000 of public money to settle a 2014 sexual harassment lawsuit with his former communications director lauren greene. greene says farenthold blackballed her from politics
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when she accused him of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and creating a hostile work environment. teachers in north carolina are walking out of class today and marching on the state capitol in raleigh, as the nationwide teachers' revolt spreads to a sixth state. hundreds of schools in north carolina will be closed today, as teachers participate in the "march for students and rally for respect." teachers are demanding more funding for education an , increase in the number of school nurses, counselors, and social workers, and a statewide plan to reduce large class sizes and improve crumbling school infrastructure. and planned parenthood and the american civil liberties union of iowa have sued to block iowa from implementing the harshest anti-abortion law in the nation. the law outlaws abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that typically happens just six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women even realize they're pregnant. the law is slated to take effect july 1. this is former planned parenthood president cecile
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richards speaking on democracy now! >> iowa, i mean, this is one of those extreme abortion bans in the country. it is clearly unconstitutional. to put it in context, not only are they trying to now ban all abortions, they are trying to end sex education for young people in iowa, has shut down health centers that serve about 12,000 women in the state of iowa. this is not only an attack on abortion rights, it is an attack on affordable reproductive health care for people everywhere. 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. the united states is refusing to criticize israel after israeli forces shot dead at least 60 unarmed palestinian protesters taking part in the great march of return in gaza monday. more than 2700 palestinians were injured.
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at the united nations, u.s. ambassador nikki haley blocked a call for an international investigation into israel's actions. on tuesday, she repeatedly blamed the violence on hamas while praising israel for showing restraint. >> this is what is in danger of people of gaza. ise no mistake, hamas pleased with the results from yesterday. i asked my colleagues here in the security council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? no one would. no country in this chamber would act with more restraint than israel has. juan: during her remarks, nikki haley refused to place any blame on israel. she later walked out of the security council chamber when the palestinian ambassador to the u.n., riyad mansour, addressed the council. since palestinian protests began on march 30, israel forces have
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-- israeli forces have killed at least 112 palestinians and injured more than 12,000. during that time, there have been reports of just one injury to an israeli soldier. haley's comments have been widely criticized. on capitol hill, senator dianne feinstein said -- "i'm deeply disappointed in ambassador haley's decision to block a u.n. inquiry into yesterday's events. without question there should be an independent investigation when the lives of so many are lost." she also criticized president trump for moving the u.s. embassy in israel to jerusalem. amy: on tuesday come the two prosecutor of international criminal court said she is closely following the situation in gaza and would "take any " to prosecuteed crimes. meanwhile, the united nations human rights office has condemned the "appalling deadly violence" by israeli security forces in gaza. this is u.n. human rights spokesman rupert colville. >> lethal force may only be used
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in the measure of last, not first, resort. and only when there is an immediate threat to life or serious injury. orattempt to approach crossing or damaging the green line fence do not amount to a threat of serious -- to life or serious injury and not sufficient crimes for the use of live ammunition. amy: to talk more about the crisis in gaza, we are joined by norman finkelstein. his most recent book "gaza: an , inquest into its martyrdom." he is the author of many other books including "the holocaust industry: reflections on the exploitation of human suffering" and "knowing too much: why the american jewish romance with israel is coming to an end." norman finkelstein is the son of two holocaust survivors. welcome back to democracy now! talk about what has just happened in the last two days, in the last six weeks in gaza. the comments you post it from
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nikki haley and diane feinstein, nikki haley says that israel has shown remarkable restraint. so what does the picture look ike? more than 60 palestinians were killed. or actually over 2000 were injured. what happened on the israeli side? these demonstrations have been going on now for six weeks. over 100,000 have been killed. israel announced may 14 there injury" of an israeli soldier. one soldier after six weeks. apparently, incurred a scratch. now she says israel has shown amazing restraint.
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but all of the other witnesses say differently. respected witnesses. that is the international referred to israel's murderous overwhelmingly nonviolent protesters. the shadow british foreign thornberrymily referred to the slaughter that on may 14. gaza so i think at the very least, nikki haley is way out of what the most respected and also pro-israel figures have had to say. then we turn to diane feinstein. it is true her remarks are where asnt because public opinion has shifted on
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israel, congress has, up until now, proven to be an mobile. -- in mobile. there are significant developments down within the democratic party. the democratic party on the question of israel and palestine, it is changing. this is a critical moment because now the critical mass that has been reached and public opinion is finally registering in the democratic party. there are two reasons. is anecause israel evangelical christian state, and that is why it has a much support in the republican party and so much support among trump's followers in particular. so there is a natural recoiling by the democratic party toward the state of israel because of its allies in the united states. so there has been the shift.
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then there is the burnie-based. is the bernise base is a party is a pro-palestinian. that is causing a major shift within the party. so that, too, is a critical development. a positive development. fore feinstein, she called an investigation, with all the regard to the polls, an investigation we have to remember there had been many investigations already. it was after operation cast lead in 2008-2 thousand nine, it was the goldstone mission. after operation protective edge in 2014, it was the mission that by the new york state judge mary mcgowan davis.
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they all recommended there has to be some action taken. and all of it just died in bureaucracy. so although i don't think israel should get a free pass, i don't hold out any optimism that even if there were an investigation, it would go anywhere. the same thing with the icc. a i totally supportn icc investigation. it even if finally the chief prosecutor and even if she did undertake the investigation, at some point, it will either die inside the icc or go on an terminable he. -- what terms of this has happened in the past few days, whether this is really a turning point, on a scale of let's say the sharpeville massacre in south africa in terms of turning world opinion completely against a regime -- the previous attacks by israel
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were basically not as visible to the rest of the world on camera as this one was. and secondly, the difference was in previous attacks, the israel is were claiming hamas -- here you have unarmed protests with sling shots and molotov cocktails up against the total military force. and whether you think this is a turning point in terms of world opinion, being able to continue to ignore what is happening in gaza and palestine? >> i think that is the critical question. the sharpeville massacre in 1960, he was nonviolent protesters who were burning their pass cards. it was about 67 people, if my memory is correct, who were killed. here it was overwhelmingly nonviolent protesters come in this case, 62 or 63 who were killed. so it is roughly the same numbers, roughly the same scenario.
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the important point is it shows the power of nonviolent resistance and mobilizing public opinion. this is that the first time israel has targeted civilians. operations,ael's what it calls its operations, has overwhelmingly targeted civilians. so after operation cast lead in 2008-2009, the goldstone report shows the objective was to "punish, humiliate, and terrorize the civilian population" have always targeted civilians. in fact, if we were to look coldly at the facts, in the past six weeks, israel has killed a little over 100 palestinians. during operation cast lead in , in-2009, on the first day the first five minutes, israel
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killed 300 palestinian civilians. it was palestinians attending a graduation at the police academy. so as you point out -- and this is a critical point -- that the world is now in raged, indignant, outraged at a much lesser relatively speaking, a much lesser criminality displayed by israel. why is that? well, for the reason you already suggested. it is because it was nonviolent and israel had no pretext to justify its attacks. it was exposed to the world. he said at one point, it was in the wikileaks, he said, we don't
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do gandhi very well. it wasn't a facetious remark. his point was, we only have one tool in our box. the one tool is killing civilians. that is our only tool. and you need a pretext to do it. otherwise, it looks very bad in international public opinion. amy: that was the idea major general -- >> yes. that they need a pretext. and when they gush all along the pretext has been the hamas rockets, which in fact, are not rockets, just enhanced fireworks. but it gave israel the pretext. and now they don't have the pretext. they have been desperately, desperately trying to evoke the pretext. they killed a person close to hamas in malaysia, then they
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killed six hamas militants about three weeks ago. it was interesting, one of the reasons there were very few demonstrations yesterday, even though may 15 was supposed to be the culmination, it is because israel sent word through egypt that if there are those nonviolent demonstrations again, we're targeting hamas' leadership. it was reported in haaretz and other places. it is an interesting fact because israel did not attack during leadership operation cast lead. it did not attack hamas' leadership in 2014. but it dreads the nonviolent protest because it puts constraint on the amount of brutality it can inflict. so even though -- it is true,
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100 -- 63 people killed may 14, about 2000 injured, even though those are large numbers, we have to remember they only loom large because it was nonviolent. in the course of israel's other operations, that is what happens in the morning or in an afternoon on a typical day. amy: we have to take a break and we will come back to this discussion. our guest is the scholar norman finkelstein. his latest book is called "gaza: an inquest into its martyrdom." this is democracy now! back in a moment. ♪ [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. i want to turn to state department spokesperson heather not speaking on tuesday. close but go back to something we have covered extensively here and let's go back to the dire humanitarian situation in gaza. haveve had many gazans who suffered from the loss of medical care, not being able have access to enough medical care, not having enough access to electricity, food, jobs, many other things as well. the misery that is faced by people in gaza is because of a result of hamas. that is something we come back to. people want to blink israel for all of this that is going on over the past few weeks. let's take a look at the dire situation that people in gaza are facing, and that is the result of hamas' government. the: norm, people forget
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blockade, how the origins of the existing blockade around gaza as a result of israel's reaction to a democratic election that occurred in the palestinian territories. could you refresh the viewers minds about this and who is responsible for the humanitarian crisis? as thet of all, aaspected journalist amira h wanted out today in haaretz, the blockade in its27 years. it started in 1991 during the first intifada. the blockade was been significantly, qualitatively intensified after the hamas won the parliamentary elections. jimmy carter, an observer, called a completely honest and 2006.lections in january
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the immediate reaction of israel , followed by the united states and then the e.u., was to impose a brutal blockade on gaza, which at a certain point, even prohibited potato chips, baby chicks, chocolate from entering gaza. and then after hamas preempted a unitedrchestrated by the states, israel, and elements of the palestinian authority in 2007, israel ratcheted up the blockade of gaza. if he is responsible for the current crisis in gaza? first of all, we have to be clear -- let me start with who is responsible. as you no doubt are aware, there is been a proliferation of reports from the world bank, , theyarious u.n. agencies
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report report after after report. and there is a consensus -- there is a consensus the proximate cause of the horror in gaza, the proximate cause is the israeli blockade. it is not hamas. there might be some hamas responsibility, but it is so marginal, so minimal as compared to that blockade. now we have to be clear -- i don't want to get too dramatic about it, but we have to be clear about that blockade. number one, it is a flagrant violation of international law because it constitutes a form of collective punishment. 2012, the, since united nations -- these are very conservative bureaucrats who don't use -- they don't use political language.
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they start in 2012 by issuing a report in the interrogative, will gaza be livable in 2020? issued, a report was that then use the declarative. it said on its present trajectory, gaza will be un liveable in 2020. bear in mind, literally unliveable. these are u.n. reports by professional economists. robert kuyper.n. -- kuyper said, we're too optimistic. gaza past the a livability threshold years ago. unlivas we speak, it is eable. what does that mean concretely?
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is of gaza's drinking water contaminated. now bear in mind, of the 2 million people in gaza, one million or more, 51%, our children. one million or more are children. sara roy, the world's leading authority on gaza's economy, at the harvard center for middle eastern studies, in the latest edition of her standard work on gaza's economy, she says, innocent people, most of them poisonede slowly being by the water they drink. is a very respected, cautious economist -- or
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political economist, she calls herself. innocent people, most of them children, are slowly being poisoned. that is what gaza is today. ,ow, to get back to nikki haley she said, what country in the world would do anything different to protect their border? let's be clear. that is not a border. that is not a border fence. sociologist and the late sociologist said, gaza is the biggest concentration camp ever to exist. conservative, the british prime minister said, gaza is an open-air prison. haaretz, the most respected of
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israel's newspapers, referred to the palestinian ghetto. poised not on are the border, they are poised on -- call it a concentration camp, collett a ghetto, call it an open-air prison. the people of gaza, it is unusual in the world today, as out,nited nations pointed if gaza is different, that all of the other dimension crises. why? is there's a natural disaster like a drought, people move. if there is a human made disaster like area, people move. earths the only place on nliveable place is u and the people can't move. .hey can't leave
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they are trapped. that raises for me what is the fundamental question. even the human rights to israel'ss refer use of excessive force. they refer to israel's use of disproportionate force. implicit in that language is israel has the right to use proportionate force. israel has the right to use moderate force. in fact, leaving aside the legalities and the technicalities, let's just look at the picture raw. israel doesn't have the right to use any force. 2 million people, half of whom
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are children, are trapped, caged veable space,i sarahthey are to quote roy, "slowly being poisoned." unless you believe israel has the right to poison one million children, it has no right to use any force against the people of gaza. they have the right to break israel hashe cage created for them. amy: as we begin to wrap up, what do you think is the solution? >> there isn't a solution. there's a lot of talk about solutions. i think what we need to do now, we have to assemble an international team of respected jurists.
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i would include john do guard. i would include alfred. i would include james crawford. these are the top people in international law. plan toe to present a gazahe illegal blockade of most of israel was the protest to end. in fact, the people of gaza, of course, have the right to nonviolently protest. israel has no right to inflict that blockade. but for the sake of the people of gaza -- and let's just have a quid pro quo. the gazans will stop demonstrating, but you have to lift that blockade. i think a plan has to be presented by respected jurists, and then garner the support of the leadership in gaza -- which i think they can win -- and then from the u.n. community.
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in other words, no more investigations. we have had enough investigations. we need action. and that action means first and foremost that illegal, inhuman, and moral blockade of gaza has to -- immoral blockade of gaza has to end. amy: i want to thank you, norman finkelstein, for joining us. author and scholar. his most recent book, published earlier this year, is titled "gaza: an inquest into its martyrdom." he is the author of many other books, including "the holocaust industry: reflections on the exploitation of human suffering" and "knowing too much: why the american jewish romance with israel is coming to an end." to see our interviews with him when his book "gaza" him out in december, you can go to democracynow.org. ,his is democracy now! democracynow.org.
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we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this version by utah phillips. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: the senate intelligence committee is poised to endorse president trump's pick to head the cia gina haspel today. this clears her as director. democrats mark warner of
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virginia, joe manchin of west virginia, joe donnelley of indiana, bill nelson of florida and heidi heitkamp of north dakota have all expressed support for haspel. the only republicans who are not expected to vote for her are kentucky senator rand paul and arizona senator john mccain, a former prisoner of war who is battling stage iv brain cancer. haspel is a 33-year cia veteran who was responsible for running a secret cia black site in thailand in 2002, where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways during her tenure. she also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. amy: at her confirmation hearing last week on gina haspel repeatedly refused to call the cia's post-9/11 treatment of prisoners torture and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. but in a tuesday letter to the ranking democrat on the intelligence committee virginia senator mark warner, she admitted that the cia torture program never should have existed in the first place. she wrote -- "while i won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and i have noted the valuable
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intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world. with the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the cia should have undertaken." meanwhile, the senate intelligence committee is facing criticism after restricting access to a classified memo prepared by democrats detailing her role in advocating for torture and later destroying elated evidence. for more, we go to washington, d.c., where we're joined by ryan grim, washington bureau chief for the intercept. his latest story is headlined "ahead of vote on gina haspel, senate pulls access to damning classified memo." ryan, welcome back to democracy now! explain what this memo is all about as the senate intelligence committee is poised to vote to confirm gina haspel today or to recommend her to the full senate to vote. >> this was an extra ordinary situation where the person who
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was up for confirmation also is the acting director of the cia, therefore, is in control of what gets declassified. so what the public can review about her record. senators push back on the cia is a let's at least have dan coats, the director of national intelligence, make a decision on what can be classified or declassified. the cia rejected that. the cia was engaged in an aggressive public relations campaign to get haspel confirmed. so with the minority stuff from the democratic staff on the intelligence committee did, is drawing on the classified information that they have access to, they put together roughly a 23 page memo that outlined her role in running the black site and overseeing and advocating for torture, and her central role in destroying the evidence around that torture. they tried to keep it compact because senators are not known
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for sitting and reading long reports. trump gets made fun of for wanting everything to be one page, but there are not many senators who want more than that. but the problem was, it is classified. the solution they had previously was that it was in the basement in this room, senate security and aso you as a senator staffer could go down and review it. as a got closer to the vote on wednesday, the document was pulled and staff are restricted from seeing it. at that point, only a senator without the benefit of their staff could view it, but they .ad to request access to it under pressure, that was reversed and some staff were allowed to see it again. by then, the numbers were in haspel's favor. who knows if the senators were even when read it if you put it on their desk. the people who did read it said mnings extra ordinarily danin
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account for tenure. if you win it and decided, was hard to believe haspel would be confirmed. juan: it was bad enough her participation in terms of the torture and enhanced interrogation, but the whole issue of her being involved in the destruction of the tapes. could you talk about that? >> exactly. of was a central driver bureaucratic league -- to destroy they states. sometimes her role was cast, well, she was asked to do it by her boss. it was approved by lawyers, so why are we even putting this on her. theact, this was one of things she was most concerned about at the time. the bush administration white house, let that sink in, and porter goss, head of the cia at the time, were all opposed to the destruction of these tapes.
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the senior lawyers who were involved said, do not destroy these tapes. what haspel appears to have done is figure it out bureaucratic workaround where she found some low-level attorneys and asked them, does jose rodriguez have sole authority on his own to make a decision about what to do with these tapes and would it be legal for him to destroy these if he decided on his sole authority? yeah, iwyer said, suppose he has that authority. but she knew at the time that the policy was to preserve this evidence. she went around those lawyer -- those lawyers when around the white house, went around the senior leadership of the cia, and she and her boss just essentially, unilaterally among themselves, destroyed the tapes knowing once they were destroyed, the only thing that could be done was to ask for forgiveness -- which, as dooley,
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they realized they would get. amy: interestingly, the only thing we are getting around this issue is the soul controversy at the white house now with the aid saying, you know, it doesn't matter what mccain thinks, he is dying anyway and president trump, the white house, no one isluding the person herself, -- kelly sadler, the special assistant to the president, has publicly apologize for this comment. the important quote of the arizona senator is around the issue of torture, when mccain quoted haspel's role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing and her refusal to acknowledge torture's and morality is disqualifying, he wrote. talking tot to end on a very different issue, the issue of the primaries in pennsylvania yesterday. four pennsylvania house candidates that by democratic socialists of america won the
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democratic primaries in -- infantsa list of of primaries in pennsylvania. all four female candidates defeated mail candidates in tuesday's primary. >> this is a huge wake-up call for the democratic establishment. and one of the defeated democrats, even tried to hustle and run a write-in campaign to win the republican nomination at the last minute in southwestern pennsylvania because there were no republicans running unopposed . so he got, well, if i can get 10 votes or whatever, then i can get this nomination. that is how desperate the establishment was here to cling to power that they would do as toing so disgraceful
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try to get republican ballot. that failed. nebraska,ha, kyrgyzstan with a wrist support of a wide array -- kerry's been with the support of a wide array, but not the more established libertarian activist groups for she did not have the pro-choice groups, did not have a lot of the environmental group support that relies on washington for some of its political capital, she won anyway. she beat a former republican who had become a democratic congressman in a primary in omaha. that race and the others in pennsylvania will put to the test in november something the left has always said, that the way to win some of these swing seats is not with a former republican like brad ashford who sort of still is one and lost in 2016 and you're just want to run him again because you can't think of what else to do. no, actual put some videos for
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$15 minimum wage, medicare fraud, probably pro-choice, who believes in what she says, and then let voters make a choice between what they have on the ballot. now we get to see that play out in november. amy: ryan grim, thank you for being with us washington, d.c., , bureau chief for the intercept. we will lead to his latest piece at democracynow.org "ahead of , vote on gina haspel, senate pulls access to damning classified memo." juan: we end today's show looking at a new plan by a network of right-wing think tanks to convince members of public sector unions to stop paying dues. internal documents obtained by the guardian show the state policy network has launched a campaign to "cause public-sector unions to experience 5% to 20% declines in membership, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in dues money." the documents note -- "this can affect the resources and attention available for union leaders to devote to political action campaigns."
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the effort is backed by $80 million in funding from billionaires like the koch brothers, who expect a favorable decision from the supreme court this month in a case that could let workers who benefit from union-negotiated contracts can avoid paying union dues if they opt not to join the union. amy: the campaign comes amid major strikes by teacher unions in west virginia, kentucky, glum and arizona. today, a major walkout in order to leno. less than a week after a handful of democrats introduced the workplace democracy act that would repeal anti-union right-to-work laws, streamline union elections, and crack down on employers who punish employees for organizing unions. for more, we are joined in our new york studio by ed pilkington, chief reporter for the guardian in the u.s. his new report is an exclusive look at "how rightwing groups wielded a secret 'toolkit' to plot against u.s. unions." welcome back to democracy now! lay it out for us.
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>> i think what we're seeing is the trade union movement at a crossing point, i really crucial and vital moment. on the one hand, we're seeing the surge of activity by unions and the teacher strikes across the country from the latest in north carolina. on the other hand, they are facing the most existential threat in a generation in the upcoming u.s. supreme court a lot ofhich couldgut their membership, gut and coming resources commendably the powers as a major cornerstone of the left in america. at this time, this crucial time, we have obtained sort of documents that are extremely well-funded, $80 million coming from places like the coke ,rothers, the walmart fortune the bradley foundation from wisconsin. these are all very well resourced foundations coming from billionaire backers that
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are dedicated to introducing low taxes, small government, into attacking the trade unions. and they fund the state policy network, which is a nationwide kind of -- i kind of think of it as a spider's web of what they call think tanks. i think more of them as right-wing activist groups. they are planning an encouraging their members to carry out what they call a knocked out campaign. that is using supreme court rules -- it will be using the latest upcoming supreme court ruling, which is widely expected to go against the unions, to carry out direct mailing and electronic communication with trade union members. they will contact trade union members directly and encourage them to quit the members of trade unions and also to stop paying their fees and dues. juan: in some places like washington, oregon, the herb and door-to-door campaigns to get people to renounce their union
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number ships? >> in oregon and washington. one of the members of the state policy network of the freedom foundation, which is more like a right-wing activist group that i think 10, got a hold of a list of trade union members in -- and went door-to-door, knocking on doors saying, hello, we want you to know you have the right to stop being a member of your union, and encouraging people to actively quit and to stop paying her money. this could have major consequences for the trade union movements and in effect for the whole progressive movement in america because millions of dollars of resources are at stake is the potentially hundreds of thousands of trade union members. amy: the strategy document you obtained at the guardian from the state policy network says -- "to get employees to opt-out of their union," the documents say, "they first need to know they have a choice. a direct marketing campaign to union represented public employees that combines mail and digital outreach helps raise
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awareness and raise opt-out rates." it continues -- "access to lists of union members is essential to this project. the most common means of obtaining lists is through requests made under state public records laws." >> that's right. that is one of the more chilling aspects of this move i think. they are encouraging their network of members to go out, use freedom of information laws at state level, and by doing that, to obtain the private information of trade union public-sector members. notably, names, but also addresses. as i said, what they want to do is direct mail or electronically to medicate with those trade union members. to do that, they need a private information. we are already starting to see that. we have seen it in oregon and washington. there is evidence that other groups are trying to do it elsewhere in the country.
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post janus, the upcoming ruling, which is coming in a matter of days, if it goes against the unions, i would expect to see that kind of activity under freedom of information laws escalate right across the country. juan: presumably they are starting and preparing to act and mediately after the janus decision as to be able have an impact right away on union power in the upcoming november congressional elections? >> what is interesting about the literature we obtained is the terms in which they put it. they're not talking about just giving trade union members first amendment rights, which is the language in normal use. they're talking about politics. they're quite clear about this. they say if we can reduce the income coming in a trade unions, we will therefore be able to reduce the amount of political campaigning political activities they can do. so it is a direct assault on the progressive movement in america ahead of november. amy: talk about the supreme court decisions. >> this is going to be one of the first major moves, decisions and which neil gorsuch will be
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dissipating -- purchase of heading. it comes about because antonin scalia a action proposed this kind of legislation but after he died, it went to a 4-4 can of deadlock between the two sides of the court in the previous case collapsed as a result. now that gorsuch is there, the right-wing networks, the koch brother-backed groups have reinstated it. it is gone back up to the court under a different plaintiff janus. it is exactly the same case and will probably and honest certainly will see neil gorsuch go with a 5-4 conservative majority on the court and as a result, we will see a nationwide sweep against trade unions. amy: win is that expected to be handed down? >> it will have to be by the end of june, so to be a matter of any day now. amy: ed pilkington is chief reporter for the guardian in the u.s.
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his new report is an exclusive look at "how rightwing groups wielded a secret 'toolkit' to plot against u.s. unions." we will link to it at democracynow.org. democracy now! is accepting applications for our paid video production fellowships as well as a variety of paid internships. find out more at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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