tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 5, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
01/05/15 01/05/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica this is democracy now! >> many of you used to ask me over the months and the weeks when are you going to join the icc? i was telling you soon. and very soon. and it has happened. >> the palestinian authority has launched against the state of israel and we will not allow
getty of commanders -- >> in a move opposed by the united states and israel palestinian authorities have submitted a request to join the international criminal court and just days after the urine security council rejected the palestinian occupation. we will speak to ali abunimah of electronic intifada and phyllis bennis of the institute for policy studies. then to the lords of secrecy. >> over the last 12 years, we've seen a shift away from democratic dissipation -- dissipation. the people know less about what is happening. congress is much less involved. all of these vital decisions are taken secretly by national security elites. in the tools that has been used to accomplish that is secrecy. what people don't know, they cannot have any meaningful say in. >> as the first u.s. drone
strike of 2015 kills nine in pakistan, we speak to human rights attorney scott horton about the national security elite and america's stealth warfare. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now w\elcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. thousands gathered in new york city on sunday for the funeral of wenjian liu, one of the two police officers killed in a targeted ambush last month. liu's widow, pei xia chen, paid tribute to her husband. >> a caring son, a loving husband, and a loyal friend. you are an amazing man. even though you left as early, i believe he is still with us. his spirit will come to look after us.
he will keep an eye on us to protect us. he is my hero. >> new york city mayor bill de blasio also spoke, saying the whole city is heartbroken over the police officers' killings. >> all of our city is heartbroken today. we have seen it over these last two weeks. we've seen the pain from all walks of life, the sense of appreciation for the sacrifices of this family and of the ramos family. people who have never worn uniform, understanding what it means for these families. all of this city is feeling the pain right now and all of this city wants to left up the liu and ramos families. >> as de blasio spoke, scores of police officers outside the service again turned their backs on him, as they had previously
at the funeral of nypd officer rafael ramos, and at the hospital where the two officers were taken after the shooting. the officers' collective snub came despite orders from police commissioner bill bratton to respect the mayor. it was the latest in the nypd's protests against de blasio over his comments on police brutality and racial profiling. late last month officers launched a virtual work stoppage, reducing or halting summonses, tickets, and arrests. of de blasio, actions against police brutality and racial profiling continue nationwide. in new york city, a group of demonstrators staged a die-in friday outside the manhattan studios of right-wing news channel fox news. >> we're protesting specifically the treatment of the cases of police brutality in new york and around the country by right-wing media organizations, but that
extends to all major corporate media networks, which operate on a system of profit, not on issues of justice. talks we want accountability. we want fair news, which fox does not provide at all. the most recent incident being that they used audio sound bites over our protesting to say we were saying horrible things about nypd and that is not what we are out here for. we're not against all police, we just want accountability for the bad ones. >> in ohio, the death of a mentally ill african-american woman in police custody has been ruled a homicide. tanisha anderson's family had called the police for help as she suffered from a mental health episode in november. a coroner found tanisha anderson died "as a result of being physically restrained in a prone position by cleveland police." anderson suffered from heart disease, which was also listed as a factor in her death. her family now wants an independent prosecutor to investigate. israel has halted the transfer
of tax revenues to the palestinian authority in retaliation for its bid to join the international criminal court. on friday, palestinian officials submitted documents to join the icc in a move opposed by both israel and the united states. palestinian un ambassador ryad mansour said the pa will seek the prosecution of israeli officials for war crimes in the occupied territories. >> it is a peaceful option. it is a civilized option. it is an option that anyone upholds the law should not be afraid of. it is an option that we are seeking an order to seek justice for all the victims that have been killed by israel's occupying power. the last group of them, more than 500 children in gaza last summer.
more than 3000 children injured and thousands more civilians killed and injured. >> in response, the israeli government is holding up $127 million it collects on the pa's behalf as the occupier of the palestinian territories. the money is needed to pay salaries and provide public services. the palestinian authority opted to join the icc after the u.s. and israel successfully lobbied against a un security council measure calling for the establishment of a palestinian state by 2017. palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas says he is discussing plans to resubmit the statehood resolution despite the threat of a u.s. veto. we'll have more on this story after headlines. an egyptian court has ordered a retrial of three al jazeera journalists jailed for over one year. peter greste, mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed were convicted on terrorism charges including
spreading false news in support of the muslim brotherhood, deemed by the government a terrorist group. on thursday, egypt's court of cassation overruled the original conviction, citing procedural flaws. but the three will remain behind bars until their case is re-heard. after the ruling, family members of greste and fahmy called on the egyptian government to release and deport them to their home countries. crooks now that peter is essentially an innocent man, no longer a convict, it does layout room to move and steps to be taken. >> i can't even imagine he will stay for a year in prison. [indiscernible] to be deported to canada and be treated as a canadian citizen
and continue the trial there. i'm still waiting for americans to happen. >> a u.s. drone strike in pakistan has reportedly killed nine people. the victims were described as foreign militants in the north waziristan. around two dozen civilians were killed in afghanistan last week after shelling struck a wedding party. the deaths came and misreported fighting between afghan forces and taliban militants just days after the afghan military took over formal security control from the u.s.-led nato occupation force. the afghan military says it is investigating. the u.s. has expanded sanctions against north korea following the recent hack of the media giant sony pictures. on friday, president obama signed an executive order targeting north korean entities and individuals in what the white house called a first step in its retaliation. north korea has denied responsibility for hack, which released tens of thousands of sony emails and files.
the new sanctions come as private experts are raising doubts about north korea's responsibility. the security form norse says the attack could have been the work of a former sony employee working with other pro-piracy hacktivists. norse reportedly briefed the fbi last week. but the fbi says it stands by its assessment north korea was behind the hack. the fbi reportedly has begun helping mexican authorities with an investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in mexico. so far, the remains of only one student have been identified after authorities say police turned the students over to members of a local gang who killed them and burnt their bodies. nbc news reports u.s. scientists are helping to analyze forensic evidence. meanwhile, mexican authorities arrested 10 more local police officers to bringing the total number of people arrested to about 90.
most of them are police. last week, parents and colleagues of the missing students were honored in mexico seven must state by those marking the 21st anniversary of the uprising against the mexican government. a libyan-al qaeda suspect snatched from the streets of tripoli by u.s. forces has died in new york just over a week before he was due to stand trial. abu anas al-libi was accused of helping plan the 1998 bombings of u.s. embassies in africa. he was captured in tripoli in 2013 and interrogated on a naval ship in the mediterranean sea before being brought to new york where he was due to face trial next week. he died on friday of complications from liver surgery. libi was ill with hepatitis c at the time of his capture. his arrest sparked protests in libya in pressure on the beleaguered libyan government. jury selection begins today in the trial of boston marathon bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev. three people were killed and 264
were wounded when a pair of homemade bombs exploded near the race's finish line. tsarnaev faces 30 federal counts, including the bombing of a public place, malicious destruction of public property and use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death. he is accused of plotting the attacks with his older brother tamerlan, who died in a firefight with police. federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, a rarity for a federal case. thousands of undocumented immigrants lined up across california on friday to obtain driver's licenses for the first time. a law approved in late 2013 makes california the most populous state to provide driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. the measure drew wide support from police officials and insurance companies as well as immigrants' rights groups. a dmv spokesperson welcomed the law's implementation.
this is a very, very important day for dmv and for california in general because this is the first day people who are undocumented, residents of california come are able to obtain their license in a legal manner, because the implementation is a law that allows them to obtain a license. >> a judge in new york is expected to decide today whether to release documents considered by the staten island grand jury that shows not to indict nypd officer for the chokehold death of unarmed african-american air garner. garner's family has sued that witness testimony the full medical examiner's report and other records released. garner died after the officer wrestled him to the ground and other officers piled on top of him while he repeatedly said "i cannot breathe." daniel donovan said he is considering running for the house do you -- seat to be vacated by michael grimm.
former new york governor mario cuomo has died at the age of 82. he served three terms as democratic governor between 1983-1995. he died just hours after his run, current new york governor andrew cuomo, was sworn him cope for a second term. and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in a move opposed by the united states and israel, palestinian authorities have submitted a request to join the international criminal court and sign over a dozen other international treaties. riyad mansour, the chief palestinian observer at the united nations, submitted the diplomatic documents on friday. saying the palestinian authority will seek the prosecution of israeli officials for war crimes in the occupied territories. >> it is a peaceful option. it is a civilized option. it is an option that anyone who pulled the law should not be afraid of -- upholds the law
should not be afraid of, and an option that we are seeking in order to seek justice for all the victims that have been killed by israel's occupying power. the last group of them, more than 500 children in gaza last summer. more than 3000 children injured. and thousands more civilians killed and injured. >> one day after the palestinians moved to join the international criminal court israel announced it would withhold at least $127 million in tax revenue owed to the palestinian authority. the money is needed to pay salaries and provide public services. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu criticized the palestinian authority's move to -- of launching a confrontation. >> the palestinian authority has chosen to launch with the state of israel and we're not sitting
idly by. we will not allow the idf commanders to the international criminal court with the hague. the want to should face justice for the heads of the palestinian authority. the soldiers will continue to defend israel with might just as they defended us and we will defend them with the same determination and the same might. >> in washington, a state department spokesperson described the palestinian move to join the icc as "entirely counterproductive" saying it -- "badly damages the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace." in the west bank city of ramallah, plo official, wassel abu youssef said that palestinians would not relinquish their claims under israeli or u.s. pressure. >> the palestinian leadership and people will not give up on our palestinian core issues, the right to be free and
independent, the right to return, as well as the palestinian state with jerusalem as its capital. the american administration is competing with the occupying government by saying it will not send us aid money. this will not break the determination of the palestinian leadership and people until we obtain freedom and independence of palestine. >> the palestinian move to join the icc came just days after the un security council last week rejected a resolution demanding an end to the israeli occupation of palestinian territories within three years. of the 15 members of the u.n. security council, only the united states and australia voted against the measure. but it needed nine votes to pass, and only received eight after nigeria decided at the last minute to abstain from voting. the guardian reports both u.s. secretary of state john kerry and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu called nigeria's president, goodluck jonathan, to ask him to oppose the measure. the united states was expected to veto the measure if it passed. to talk more about the latest developments, we're joined now
by two guests. in washington, d.c., phyllis bennis is a fellow at the institute for policy studies. she's written several books, including, "understanding the palestinian-israeli conflict: a primer" and "calling the shots: how washington dominates today's united nations." and joining us via democracy now video stream, ali abunimah is the co-founder of the electronic intifada and author of the recent book, "the battle for justice in palestine." welcome both to democracy now! let's start with the significance of these developments at the united nations. begin with the un security council vote that ultimately did not support the israeli withdrawal from the palestine territories. >> good morning, amy. like many people, i was very relieved that the resolution failed. that might surprise some of your
viewers, but the devil is in the detail which is a very bad resolution written by the palestinian authority without any support from any other palestinian faction. it has been condemned by palestinian political figures and legal experts because in an attempt to avoid the american veto, it undercut and undermined and watered down very fundamental palestinian rights. if this resolution had passed, it would have superseded existing resolutions which are far stronger. i will give you just one example. in your headlines, you said this resolution calls for an end to the israeli occupation. that is the headline. in the small print, it does no such thing. it calls for a withdrawal of israeli security forces that a replacement with a third-party presence meaning american troops or nato troops, and it allows for the israeli
settlement to remain behind. so it doesn't even call for settlements to be dismantled and with drawn. that is why this resolution should not have passed and didn't. on the other hand, of course the reason the u.s. opposed it was not out of any concerns for palestinian rights but out of the obama administration's commitment -- unfailing commitment to do everything possible to thwart the palestinians no matter how they pursue their struggle, whether through the u.n. or exercising their legitimate right to self-defense and resistance. this is an american a administration that exceeds all of its predecessors in its tenacity and zeal in opposing the palestinians and helping israel to occupy, dispossess and killed them. >> last week, samantha power explained why the u.s. objected
to the un resolution on palestine. >> today's staged conference that -- confrontation will not bring the parties closer to achieving a two state solution. we voted against this revolution not because we are indifferent to the daily hardships or the security threats endured by palestinians and israelis, but because we know those hardships will not cease in those threats will not subside until the parties reach a conference of settlement achieved through negotiations. >> phyllis bennis, your response to what has taken place in it significance at the united nations security council? >> i think ali abnimah is absolutely right that this would not have ended the occupation. it was also never going to pass whether it was officially with a u.s. veto, if there had been nine votes or a u.s. no vote as a result of u.s. pressure to make sure there were not nine votes, the u.s. was not going to let this pass. i think what is far more significant is the decision of the palestinians after a great
deal of pressure on the leader of the palestinian authority to sign the documents to join international criminal or. that ultimately has far more consequence than does these kinds of resolutions in the security council. the possibility of the international criminal court which is a week agency right now, a thoroughly politicized agency but it is moving forward in the world and i think over time, we will see the court plane a greater role in international diplomacy as well as international jurisdiction over war crime. the possibility that israeli officials -- it isn't only military officials, as prime minister netanyahu indicated, it could also be an was certainly also be political officials as well as military, because things like settlements are war crimes as well as the direct war crimes committed in gaza will stop
people like the prime minister, the defense minister, are in the chain of command, so they would also be liable for being brought up on charges. now, they may say well, that will never happen. fine. let israel join international kernel court. israel is one of the outliers along with the u.s. and a few others, very few, who have refused to sign and ratify the court, to join the court, to place its own officials under the court's jurisdictions. it is really so convinced they would not have anything to fear let them join and find out. the fact the palestinians are joining an international is to to show in is important both for the substance and because this u.n. initiative overall including the security council resolution as far as it went, are major attacks on the legitimacy of the so-called diplomacy under u.s. control that has failed for the last 24 years. i think that is very important.
it put a number of european countries in the position of saying we are no longer going to accept the idea that washington gets to call the shots in the united nations on the question of palestine. that we are no longer going to be up to play in international role, that only the u.s. can determine what is a legitimate or illegitimate move by the palestinians to obtain freedom and independence and an end to occupation and apartheid. in that context, i think the important is far more on the level of the willingness of some european countries -- france comes to mind -- to stand up to u.s. pressure, to say, you know what? the kind of diplomacy that the u.s. has control for so many years has failed. we need a different kind of diplomacy that starts with international law. >> we're going to take a break and and come back to this discussion. also talk about the role of nigeria on the un security council.
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're going to turn to the response to the vote at the un security council. last week, palestinian officials criticized the rejection by the u.n. security council of a palestinian resolution calling for the establishment of a palestinian state. this is fatah spokesman ahmed assaf. >> unfortunately, the security council failed in approving the draft resolution calling for the end of the israeli occupation under a time frame. it happened because the security council failed in protecting its goals on which was founded in its principles, which it usually propagates. it happened because there's a great power in this world such a
protect and support the israeli occupation, which represents the highest level of terrorism. talks that was fatah spokesman ahmed assaf. our guests are phyllis bennis is a fellow at the institute for policy studies and ali abunimah is the co-founder of the electronic info taught a. >> we saw jordan, as usual, only one arab country on the council, jordan played the role of bringing to the council the palestinian draft resolution to trying get a vote. there were a lot of questions about why the vote was pushed last week other than now because with the new year there are two new members on the council malaysia and venezuela, who are replacing south korea and argentina, making the security council significantly more willing to move in a direction pushed by the palestinian -- >> and didn't jordan want to wait but the palestinian
authority wanted to push it forward? >> there are reports of that. i don't have the inside story on it. i think is important not to focus too much on the inside horsetrading issues to go on at all times. what was consistent here was the idea the u.s. is in a position to pressure other countries, particularly relatively weak in impoverished countries, that depend on the u.s. -- nigeria is not necessarily impoverished because of its oil, but it's people are certainly impoverished because of legacies of colonialism and war over oil in that country. one of the things that happened was we saw the tradition of the u.s. pressure -- in this case, another african country, nigeria -- the president of nigeria goodluck jonathan, was called not ali by the israeli leaders from whom nigeria is buying a significant amount of arms presumably that arms deal was very much on the agenda of the call from netanyahu to goodluck jonathan, he also was called a
secretary of state terri and are reports that president obama himself called goodluck jonathan the night before the vote. that would be consistent with long-standing u.s. have it, shall we say, of pressuring other countries at the u.n. there is the yemen president that stems back to the first gulf war in 1990 when yemen is one of only two countries, the other being cuba, who voted against endorsing the u.s. attack and invasion of iraq in what turned out to be 1991. at that time, as soon as the yemeni ambassador put down his hand after the vote, the u.s. ambassador was at his side saying, that will be the most expensive no vote you ever cast. three days later, the u.s. cut its entire a budget to yemen. that remark was picked up on a you and broadcast around the world. since that time, it has been known as the yemen president and the u.s. has used it over and over again to pressure threaten, and in many cases bright other countries to do
what the u.s. wants, and that is happen more on the question of palestine and israel than in the other question at the united nations. next to be clear, they did not vote against it like the u.s. and australia, but abstained -- >> and that was the loss from the nine but required date votes, which meant the u.s. no vote did not officially count as a veto, although, the difference between a no vote and a veto vote when the u.s. is still responsible for the failure of the resolution, doesn't really mean very much. >> ali abnimah, the response in the occupied territories. what this means, both the un security council and the icc and the attempt to join the icc. >> well, i can give you my response. i can't speak for other people. as i mentioned, there was a broad consensus in palestinian opinion against the content of the u.n. resolution, which abbas
's limited without palestinian consensus behind him and which undermined fundamental palestinian rights, and for the icc -- justice are these victims , the massacre in gaza, the israeli-american settlement in jerusalem and all the aspect of the israeli-american colonial projects in palestine -- palestinians deserve justice for that. they deserve to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice, but the membership of the icc must not be used as a political bargaining chip the way the illegitimate unelected palestinian authority has used it. one day we're going to sign the next day we are not going to sign. of course, i don't trust this palestinian authority leadership . and if they get some
insignificant promise from the united states, they may well free their membership or withdraw their signature or carry out some other maneuver. the other thing i would like to respond to something phyllis said earlier regarding the role of france versus the united states. i think it is mistake to cast france is the role of hero in the story against the villainous united states at the u.n. the content of this resolution, which was backed by france, is about guaranteeing israel's long-term future as a racist jewish state in palestine. the difference between the united states and israel is not that france supports palestinian writes and the u.s. opposes them. they only differ on how to secure israel's long-term future as an apartheid state. the obama administration supports netanyahu's vision of greater israel where israel
annexes the occupied territories, because that is what obama supports in practice. he is doing nothing to prevent that. france believes israel should continue to be a racist apartheid state, but with only -- on the within the 1940 by orders borders. and they should be shorn of sovereignty and religion dependence and not allow israel to claim a jewish majority democracy. that is the difference between france and the united states. france is not a friend of the palestinians. it did not support this resolution out of concern for palestinian rights. i think what people should take away from this soap opera at the united nations is that palestinians are not going to get justice from obama, they're not going to get justice from hillary clinton or elizabeth warren or whoever the next might
be coming down the line, and they're not going to get it from the u.n., and they're not going to get it from the european union which continues to arm israel to commit massacres against palestinians. they're going to get this from resistance legitimate resistance -- which includes a global solidarity movement, a critical global solidarity movement whose major and most effective expression at this moment in history is boycott divestment and sanctions. one thing people should take away from this is the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement has never been more necessary, never been more legitimate, and never been more urgent to put an end to this regime of apartheid and terror which the united states and its allies continue to support in palestine against millions of palestinian people. >> on friday, the united states
besides palestinian leaders for seeking to join the international criminal court. in a statement -- phyllis bennis, your response to that as well as to what ali has just laid out. >> ali is absolutely right that the critical factor is the bds movement globally. i think the fact of the strength, the rising strength of the bds movement, particularly in europe, is very much the reason for the french decision here. it is true that france is not a great friend of palestinian people and their certainty no heroes. i never said or thought that. what i think is true is the growing divide the between governments long-standing allies of the u.s. and their willingness to break with the
u.s. on these critical questions is very much a reflection of the rising strength of bds movements in countries around the world whether it be south africa or the out -- throughout europe or elsewhere. those two things are very much linked. i think the question of the international criminal court is fundamental because of the question of international justice. the idea that somehow peace or justice in any form is going to come as a result of pretending that the palestinians and israelis come to the table as equals, as if this was peru and ecuador, for instance, sitting at a table to resolve a border dispute, that is not what is going on here. what we have is on the one hand, this 23rd wealthiest country in the world, the only nuclear armed country in the middle east, the fourth most powerful military -- by far the strongest military in the region -- backed by the world's superpower on one hand, and on the other side of the table a stateless
population that is militarily occupied by another government without a state, without a military, without an economy to call its own, without control of its own airspace or waters were borders, etc. you can't call those two evil partners for peace -- equal partners for peace because you said them at the same table. that kind of negotiation is never going to work. i think the significance of this new move is to say to the world that is over. this kind of forced negotiation on a false premise is over because it has failed for 24 years. what we are looking to is in international movement centered by the social movements of people like the bds movement at its core, and the governments will over time change in response to the pressure from their own population eventually when enough governments change, the united nations will change. we saw that for a brief moment of eight months in the run-up to the war in iraq.
where the u.n. and some governments, for their own opportunist reasons, stood on the side of preventing war as the charter commands them to do. we may see that over time on the question of palestine. right now, the critical factor is what former u.n. special repertoire on palestine richard faulk has called the struggle for legitimacy. israel is losing the struggle for legitimacy. it is losing that battle the united states. and it is in the context of israel's twiddling legitimacy -- dwindling legitimacy that these moves take place. it is the loss of legitimacy now fundamental to israel's position. >> ali abnimah, the u.s. media's coverage of this, do you think it reflects the differences within palestine, the differences of opinion? >> no, of course it doesn't.
the routine mistake that is made is to equate the unelected is really haven't backed u.s.-financed palestinian authority with palestinians. that is a big mistake. the palestinian authority acts despite the palestinians. this is a palestinian authority engaged in a massive political crackdown against its opponents at home. this is a palestinian authority that is directly complicit in the ongoing siege of gaza. we haven't seen mahmoud abbas and his cohorts put a fraction of the effort into ending the siege of gaza that continues to kill people there -- children dying in house fires because there's only electricity three hours a day now in gaza in many parts of gaza. instead, they put all of their efforts into this barrage of a u.n. resolution that only shows their weakness domestically and
internationally. what palestinians are saying is that, you know, after all of these years of struggle and suffering, they're not prepared to give up their most basic rights for nothing more than a sandwich. if i may, i want to respond to the clip of the was official. i did not catch his name that you played. about how joining the icc doesn't help the atmosphere. i will tell you what doesn't help the atmosphere. was during the summer massacre in gaza when dozens of people were being killed every day by israeli bombs, when entire neighborhoods were being destroyed by israeli shelling. when during that time, the obama administration, president obama decided to resupply the israeli
military with bombs that continue to murder people in gaza. to put it mildly, that did not help the atmosphere. palestinians did not want a lecture from the american a administration that helped and continues to help to murder them and steal their land. the u.s. administration of barack obama has nothing to say that palestinian state a listen to. >> ali abnimah, thank you for being with us co-founder of the , electronic intifada and author of the recent book, "the battle for justice in palestine." and phyllis bennis is a fellow at the institute for policy studies. she's written several books, including "understanding the palestinian-israeli conflict: a primer" and "calling the shots: how washington dominates today's united nations." when we come back, we will be joined by attorney scott horton. stay with us.
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at least nine pakistanis were killed sunday in u.s. drone strike in north waziristan the first reported u.s. drone strike of 2015. news accounts of the strike are based on unnamed pakistani government and security officials. the obama administration said nothing so far. her years, the united states did not even publicly acknowledge the existence of the drone strikes. the drone program is just one example of the national security state's reliance on secret operations. the recent senate intelligence
committee report revealed another example. the shadowy network of oversee cia black sites where the u.s. held and tortured prisoners. report also noted the cia shrouded itself in a cloak of secrecy, keeping policymakers largely in the dark about the brutality of its prisoners interrogations. the agency reportedly deceived the white house, the national security council, the justice department, and congress about the efficacy of its controversial interrogation techniques. scott horton is human rights attorney and contributing editor at harper's magazine. he is also a lecturer at columbia law school. he is out with a new book called "the lords of secrecy: the , national security elite and america's stealth foreign policy." >> happy new year. >> who are the lords of secrecy? >> they are the leaders of the nations national security and
intelligence institutions. they are the people who have the power to create secrets under american law, and they use this power to enhance their own position in washington and to seize the ability to make radical decisions about national security matters - that used to be part of our democratic process. >> mike gravel, who at the pentagon or put the pentagon papers into the record making a public called on mark udall the outgoing colorado senator though it could be any senator for example, senator widen of oregon who is also been expressed deep concern about the torture report and intelligence, to make the whole report public. your thoughts on this? >> i think that is an important step. i would say the entire report needs to be public, although, i
think even those advocating that would agree there were probably be some reductions, names of individual personnel for example, names of countries of some sites. but i would go beyond that and say, also the panetta report needs to be made public. that is the document prepared inside the cia as the senate intelligence committee was preparing its study, which reaches, on the basis of the same materials, the same conclusion and shows even the cia does not believe what is being claimed in its name by director panetta as well as by the former directors. >> last month, outgoing democratic senator mark udall called for a purge of top cia officials implicated in the abuses and the ensuing cover-up, including current director john brennan. in stark language, udall accused the cia of lying. >> the cia has lied to us overseers in the public
destroyed and try to hold back evidence, spied on the senate made false charges against our staff, and lied about torture and the results of torture. and no one has been held to account. they are, right now, people serving in high-level positions at the agency approved, directed, or committed acts related to the cia's detention and interrogation program. it is bad enough not to prosecute these officials, but to reward or promote them and risk the integrity of the u.s. government to protect them is income brings up all -- incomprehensible. he president needs to purchase a ministration of high-level officials who were instrumental in the development and running of this program. >> that is outgoing democratic senator mark udall. do you think john brennan should be fired? do you think george bush, dick cheney, george tenet and others
should be put on trial? >> i will start with the cia and the senior leadership of the cia. about 100 years ago, famous german sociologist wrote the piece in which he said that national security bureaucracies will use secrecy to cover up their mistakes and errors, and as a result, and competent people will invariably rise to the top. this is a reason why use of secrecy has to be checked carefully. i think udall is correct. we see this very, very clearly in what has happened within our cia over the course of the last 10 years. people involved in this torture and black sites program rose absolutely to the top of the agency and they are still there. that are shocking. i think had the public known or had even most of the senior leadership in washington known what they did and their mistakes, they never could have achieved the position. i think it is obviously the case there should be a review of the
echelons of the agency to remove those who made serious errors and broke the law. i think there's a very, very serious question about john brennan. you may or may not have been involved in a program, recently said he was not, but he has misled the president and the congress about what is going on and responding to the committee report, he strode to a podium at the cia and shoveled an amazing load of falsehoods. obviously, untruthful statements in response. that is just shocking conduct that really should not be tolerated. and as for dick cheney and george bush? i really don't think i can add anything to what colonel wilkerson and richard clarke have said. i think if you look at the report, it provides very persuasive evidence that torture was used to produce false evidence to justify the invasion
of iraq. that is buried in footnotes in the report but it is there. it is very, very clear. that is a shocking and humiliating fact for the united states, in a fact that should have consequences. >> over the weekend, nine pakistanis were killed as far as we know and yet another drone strike, perhaps the first of 2015 the we don't absolutely know this. talk about drones in the art of stealth warfare. >> i think the use of drones are it is her significant. it points to the way we have redirected our entire attitude toward waging war today. we prefer covert war. we give the cia a greater a greater role in waging this war. the ca has become opposite of what it was intended to be. it is focused very heavily on operations, and many of them's just -- sustain like this drone
war, which is a 10 year war. this cia gets to exercise that control by saying everything a secret, covert, it can't be discussed publicly. as a result of saying that, the american people actually know much less about what is going on in pakistan and about the strikes and consequences of the strikes. and that is because of the american media hasn't been reporting on it. so we have not had the sort of policy discussion that we really should be having in this country about whether the use of drones in pakistan is effective or whether it makes sense in terms of u.s. foreign-policy. i think the case against drones is a very, very powerful case. certainly, in the case of pakistan. because in the bottom line, what you've seen since the drone war began, is a transition and public opinion and pakistan where the entire political spectrum is united against the united states, really, in a
believable feet for the u.s. to have accomplished. we turned a major nuclear power against us. and whereas these terrorist groups were operating at the margins in tribal society with friction with many of the tribal leaders, we of allow them to consolidate their relationship with the tribals by striking these areas and killing a large number and wounding a large number of people who are innocent or not connected to the terrorist's. it is called -- caused a bonding. that is all and for seen consequences. the perceivable consequences in the public debate probably would lead to a decision to discontinue this operation. >> you write about the path to was i wore -- quasi war. what is happening today? >> i think the most disturbing thing overall is the way the country now processes a case for a new war. i discussed at some length what
happened with respect to libya in 2011 and what has happened repeatedly now with respect to syria. historically, the administration would make a case for war. a president would go on television explain why things it is correct. congress would have debates and votes support or vote its opposition to the war effort. what we have now is a president a white house, that wants to avoid this sort of framing. we do not get the overall speeches from president obama anymore. and a congress that uses this as a political game. people want to score partisan points one way or the other. congress does not engage in it's important deliver to functions. -- deliberative functions. it has been short-circuited. >> speaking to "meet the press"
after the senate torture report was released, former vice president dick cheney said he would do it all again. >> with respect to trying to fi define torture, it is what al qaeda terrorist did on 9/11. there's no comparison to that and what we did with respect to enhanced interrogation. it worked for 13 years. we've avoided another mass casualty against the u.s. ended capture bin laden, captured an awful lot of the senior guys of al qaeda who were responsible for that attack on 9/11. i would do it again in a minute. >> "i would do it again in a minute." . >> that interview in my mind was striking for the ineffective with questioning was conducted. you saw no follow-up from truck todd to the statements, even though it is the same statements that cheney has made over and over again in which he assumes that torture techniques are effective when in fact all the evidence shows exactly the
opposite, and would in which he acts with depravity. the property and law means total indifference to serious -- depravity in law means total indifference to serious conduct innocent people. he was asked specifically about todd, the person picked up -- it was a result of mistaken identity. he was tortured to death in afghanistan in cia custody, and what was the response of cheney? he would do it again in a minute. and all of this is justified by 9/11. of course, that is nonsense morley. people coming so much of the air time in the united states to discuss this issue.
in my mind, is amazing. they command it. they've had the lion's share for many, many months. we see ineffective questioning. we do not see their statements being balanced by critics. >> are the official s afraid to go abroad? >> i interviewed two cia agents involved in the program who tell me they have been advised by the cia's legal counsel office that they should not leave the country. so i think there is obvious serious legal risk for anyone who's involved in this program to travel abroad. particularly, those involved in running the black site stations in poland, for instance, which is under criminal investigation right now, who were involved in the all mastery operation. >> scott, you have been looking at these issues in deep detail for years. was surprised to the torture
report? >> i would not say anything particularly surprised me. it was confirmation of what we've seen before. confirmation that actually the situation was worse than we had ever suspected before. but if anything surprised me a bit, it was the role of the media because one thing the senate committee did an excellent job of was research the way the cia had interacted with and manipulated the media -- including some very prominent journalists. names can up repeatedly in the report. what we saw was a repeated pattern in which the cia fed them false information in the form of leaks. i think this is a huge problem with national security reporting in the united states. generally, this idea of pseudo
leaks. they're telling them country of release -- telling them, don't release these but puts out false information. >> what needs to be done? >> a lot more information needs to be in the public sector. right now, we're just rounding in a sea of secrets. there is a need for much more information in real time to be available, so people can be well informed and can have a good, meaningful consequential discussion of these many issues. >> thank you for helping to inform us with your new book, "the lords of secrecy: the national security elite and america's stealth foreign policy." scott horton, human rights attorney and contributing editor at harper's magazine. that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
' unprecedented in human history. it's everywhere, in every country on every continent, and it affects virtually everything. the goods we buy the kind of jobs people do and where they do them, the safety of our homes and families. it's theft on a colossal scale. >> you could say that it's the crime of the century because you'd always be foolish to try any other kind of crime. if you're organized and you know what you're doing it is so profitable and it's so easy to get away with. it's just grown maybe a hundredfold in the last 25 years. >> the crime of the century