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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 1, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST

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[captioning made possible by democrcracy now!] ♪ from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> do you want rex tillerson on the job? >> he is here. >> do yoyou want him to stay in his job? >> thank you very much, everybody. amy: welell president trumpp replace rex tillerson with m mie pompeo? tom cotton to replace mike pompeo at the cia? we will speak with national
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security reporter marcy wheeler who says trump may fire tillerson but it is unlikely pompeo will be approved or the republicans can defend cotton's seat. the republicans vote on the tax plan as soon as today. a little-known provision that would open one of the worlds and wildernesses to oil fracking guess drilling. -- g guess drilling. is a great t man rights issue, becausese the right to survival is one ofof the first rightsts people shshould have. access to their food a and wate, and that is being seriously threatened in the arctic. amy: a new investigation found strong evidence that u.s. special operations forces massacred 10 unarmed civilians in somalia, despite claims they
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were armed enemy combatants. back-and-forth and kill these people, including children. those are people who were innocent and not al-shabab fighters. amy: we will speak with christina gololdbaum in mogadis, somalia, and on the trump impeachment. that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on capitol hill, the senate could vote as early as today on a republicanan tax plan that wod shower billions of dollars in tax cuts on the richest americans and corporations. their efforts have hit a snafu. when the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation said the bill would add $1 trillion to federal budget deficits over the next decade. it's report directly contradicts claims made by treasury secretarary steven mnuchin, wh's repeatedly claimed the tax cutss would pay for r themselves by stimulatining the economy.
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vintage and had proromised to release a treasury department analysis backing his claims, but he has yet to release any data, and treasury officials at the office of tax policy told "the new york times" they haven't been tasked with researching the bill's impacts. on thursday, the tax plan got a major boost whenen arizona republican senator john mccain said he'd vote in favor of the bill. critics say the tax cuts could trigger billions of dollars in cuts to medicare, including cutting off access to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. senator mccain's support for the bill came a day after his doctors said they'd discovered a second tumor in his brain. meanwhile, a little known provision within the republican tax bill would open one of the world's last pristine wildernesses -- the arctic national wildlife refuge -- to oil and fracked gas drilling. we'll have more on that provision later in the broadcast. the white house thursrsday denid reports that chiefef of staff jn kelly has developed a plan to push secretary of state rex
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tillerson out of his role and replacace him with cia dirirectr mi p pompeo. according to "the new york times," president trtrump would then pick cotton. that is republican senator tom cotton to replace pompeo at the cia. press secretary sarah huckababee sanders denied the reports but refused to say whether trump has confidence in tillerson. at the white house, trump did little to quell speculation over tillerson's future after briefly answering reporters' questions during a photo-op with bahrain's crown prince. >> do you want rex tillerson on the job, mr. president? >> h he is here. >> do you want him to stay in his job? >> thank you very much, everybody.. amy: more than 10000 senior foreign servrvice offirs h have left the state depepartment sine president trump took office, in what appears to be a forced exodus carried out by secretary of state tillerson. we'll have more on the chaos at the state department after headlines with national security reporter marcy wheeler. a top congressional democrat said thursday that s senator al franken should resign, after two more women accused franken of
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unwawanted sexual contntact. one of the new allegations, army veteran stephanie kemplin says franken cupped her breast at a uso event in 2003 as the pair posed for a photo, refusing to let go. the allegation came two weeks after radio broadcaster leeann tweeden posted a photo showing franken appearing to place his hands on her breasts over her kevlar vest while she was sleeping on a plane in 2006. they were both coming back from a uso tour. on thursday, congressmember joe crowley of new york, the chair of t the house democratic c cau, said franken should d leave the senate. meanwhile, in detroit, michigan, democratic congressmember john conyers has been hospitalized in what aides called a "stress-related" illness brought on by multiple accusations he sexually harassed or groped women, charges he denies. on thursday, house democratic minority leader nancy pelosi said conyers should resign. >> the various women who came forward to serve justice.
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i pray for congressman conyers and his family, a and wish them help. congressman conyers should resign. amy: on thursday, the woman who settled a sexual misconduct case against conyers spoke publicly for the first time about her ordeal. marion brown said conyers invited her to a chicago hotel room in 2005, where he appeared in his underwear and demanded she touch him sexually. she says she was fired when she refused. speaking on the nbc's "today show," brown acknowledged she broke a confidentiality agreement to come forward. , and theaking a risk reason i'm taking a risk is it is important. i want to be a voice. my ancestors, my grandmother, my mother, my daughters, my whendaughter, i want her she gets to the workforce long when i'm gone, i want her to not re sexismndoor -- endndu and gender inequalitity.
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i want to stand up foror all the women in the workforce that are voiceless, that women like myself, extraordinary challenges working in the workforce that has been dominated by men. amy: marion brown was speaking with "today" host savannah guguthrie. in the last 14 months, the program has fired two of its male anchors over sexual misconduct. in october 2016, nbc fired billy bush after he was heard in a 2005 tape laughing and egging on donald trump, as trump boasted about sexually assaulting women. and on tuesday, nbc fired its long-time "today" host matt lauer over multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault. on thursday, lauer offered a qualified apology, saying, "there are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain i have caused others by words and actions. some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to
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make me feel embarrassed and ashamed." "the new york times" reports one former nbc employee was summoned by lauer to his office in 20010, where lauer allegedly locked the door and sexually assaulted hehr until she passed out. in alabama, republican u.s. senate it candidate roy moore community fort undermining his campaign, after multiple women said he sexually harassed or assaulted them as teenagers. moore was speaking from the pulpit in a church in the city of theodore wednesday night. >> the liberals, they do not want conservative values. gay, bisexual, transgenender who wawant to chae our culture, or socialists who want to change our w way of li, putting man above god, and the government is our god. amy: after a late night talk
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show host sent a comedian to moore's event, he tweeted -- if you want to mock our christian values come down to alabama and do it man-to-man. he responded -- sounds great, let me know when you get some christian values and i will be there. after moore offered to save a pew for kimbaball -- kimmel he said, i'm leaving my daughters at home. the white house said thursday that president trump w will hola rally in pensacola, florida next week, four days ahead of a special election for an open u.s. senate seat in neighboring alabama, which pits democrat doug jones against republican nominee roy moore. music mogul russell simmons stepped down from his companies thursday after a second women charged him with sexual assault. scscreenwriter jenny l lumet sas simmons s forced her i into his apartment in 1991 and raped her. meanwhile, the glad sisters stage company severed its ties with playwright israel horovitz after "the new york times"
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reported at least nine women have accused him of sexual assault or rape. israel horovitz is the father of beastie boys co-founder adam horovitz, who told "the new york times," "i believe the allegations against my father are true, and i stand behind the women that made them." in honduras, at least one protester was killed and scores injured as police fired tear gas and charles discharge demonstrators. commission continued its delay in declaring a win to the election, , after earlrly resuls show that candidate with a significantly. hernandezjuan orlando had edged ahead of him, prompting mass rolla to charge the electoral commission with vote rigging. the pentagon said on that thursday u.s.-led airstrikes in iraq and syria have killed at least 800 civilians since the launch of a wawar against isis n 2014. the military's figure is vastly
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lower than estimates from human rights observers, including amnesty international. the journalistic monitoring group airwars says it has documented at least 5,961 civilians killed in iraq and syria by u.s.-led coalition attacks aimed at isis. in pakistan, at least nine people were killed after gunmen disguised as women in burqas stormed an agricultural college in a northern city, opening fire on students and workers. the taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which left 36 people injured. in yemen, tens of thousands of people rallied in the capital, calling for an end to the u.s.-backed saudi-led bombing , campaign and blockade. at least 130 children are dying each day from extreme hunger and .isease brought t on by the war back in the united states, an
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undocumented immigrant at the center of a high-profile murder trial used by transit and trump does president trump to attack sanctuary cities, has been acquitted. he was charged and a 2015 killing on a san francisco. . he was in n the united states after being depoported fivive t. his attorneys argued he found the gun and it accidentally discharged, with the bullet ricocheting off the ground steinle.riking a bordrder patrol agent shot and occurrered about 20 miles away from the u.s.-mexican border. migrant justice groups are demanding the killing be investigated. in the philippines capital
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manila, police opened fire with water can run -- cannons on more than 1000 activists thursday as they marched to the presidential palace, demanding the resignation of president rodrigo duterte. the activists blasted duterte for welcoming president trump to the philippines last month, and say he's presided over a bloody so-called war on drugs that's seen police and vigilantes carry out more than 7,000 extrajudicial killings. this is protester vencer crisostomo. >> we will not allow duterte. amy: this is just some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. begin today''s show with reports that white house chief of staff j john kelly has developed d a plan to push secretary of state rex tillerson out of his role and replace him with cia director mike pompeo. times" rereports presenent trump would then pick cotton, that is republican senator tom cotton to replace pompeo at the cia.
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cotton has been a key ally of the president on national security matters. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders denied the reports thursday, as did state department spokesperson heather nauert. >> i do not work at the white house, but what i can tell you is that chief of staff kelly called our department this morning and said that the rumors are not true, the reports are not true. he remains, as i have been told, committed to doing this job. he has got to serve at the pleasure of the president. this is a job he concern -- enjoys. he is continuing with his meetings and calls and has spoken with foreign minister gabriel and the un's secretary-general earlier today. he is continuing with a full schedule. amy: president trump did little to indicate he has confidence in tillerson. after posing for photographs with bahraini crown prince salman bin hamad al khalifa at the white house, reporters asked trump p about his plans to reple
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tillerson. >> do you want rex tillerson on the job, mr. president? >> he is herere. >> do you want him t to stay in his job? >> thank you very much, everyone. amy: tillerson's tenure at the state department has been rocky. he has been criticized for dramatically downsizing the department and gutting the diplomatic core. more than 100 senior foreign service officers have left the state department since president trump took office in what appears to be a forced exodus carried out by tillerson. tensions between the president and the secretary of state have spilled over to u.s. foreign-policy. in october, trump publicly undermined efforts at diplomacy with north korea initiated by the state department. after tillerson said the u.s. had two or three channels open to north korea's leadership and he was pursuing dialogue, trump responded by tweeting "i told , rex tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man. saveve your energy rex, we'll do , what has to be done!" tensions also flared between the two after reports that tillerson
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f-inglled trump, " an moron." trump responded in an interview, "if you did that i guess we'll , have to compare iq tests." well for more, we're joined in grand rapids, michigan by marcy wheeler, an independent joururnalist who covers natitiol security and civilil liberties. she runs the website her latest piece is heheadlined, "throwowing h2o on the pompeo to state move." welcome back to democracy now! layout what you understand is happening with tillerson summons to the white house. marcy: the claim is that tillerson is going to be ousted and mike pompeo who is currently in charge of the cia will be moved to the state department, and tom cotton who is a senator on the senate intelligence replace pompeod at the cia.
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that would be the equivalent of taking someone at the state department who is terrible but still better than pompeo, and putting in two similar people. they are both pro-torture, pro-gitmo. they have talked about prostituting journalists. the key issue is they are both willing to politicize the intelligence on iran in order to support a more belligerent stance against i iran. i sort of think that is what this is mostly about. as you said, tillerson has tried to keep diplomatic channels open with north korea, but has also the that iran is defyiying agreement obama put into place. both pompeo and cotton have made efforts to deny that. this, to me, feels like an effort to get real iran talks. this is senator tom cotton
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expressing his views on waterboarding in an interview. >> waterboarding is a torture. we do waterboarding to our own soldiers. >> the u.s. does not do it anymore. >> we have done it in the past. >> should we do it again? >> radio djs volunteer for it. >> would you accept wateterborn? >> if experienced individuals come to united states and say, this persoson has critical information n and this is the oy way we can get it, it is a tough call. manual, army field which instructs interrogators -- interrogations by u.s. officials, prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, waterboarding expressly being prohibited. pompeo has also supported torture and thwarted the publication of the torture report.
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you have there two people plus trump, because he came out in front of -- in favor of torture, who have affirmatively said they would welcome the return of the use of torture under the bush administration. the cia would probably be in charge of it again and would be back down the route of really counterproductive programs of trying to get intelligence from terror suspects and others. amy: talk about the significance of moving the cia director to the state department and then, rex tillerson, former head of the largest oil corporation in the world, as head of state, they talked about reorganizing. it is a massive getting of the department, that it is not as if he is not doing that for the president of the united states, that it was not the express intent that whoever was there would be doing. marcy: there is no reason to believe pompeo would do a better
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job. a couple of the things ontario has been accused of is bringing has beeninto -- pompeo accused of is bringing religion into public events. deemphasized diversity. really important at cia and state department, we would assume he would continue to do that there. tore is no reason at all believe that mike pompeo would start rebuilding the state department in a way that we need to happen. i think this is really about policy and really about especially iran. amy: so what is happening now with tillerson is this massive is engaging trump in, right? his answer to the reporters yesterday, i saying "rex is here," but will not answer whether he has confidence or whether he is firing him. this is similar to what we saw
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this summer with jeff sessions -- marcy: this is similar to what we saw this summer with jeff sessions. trump did very similar things, shaming sessions publicly, and sessions started moving towards opening an investigation into hillary clinton again. i think this is a very similar technique, that trump management managementump's style is to shame and humiliate his subordinates to get them on the policy he wants. he should not have that much control over cabinet officials, but this is his way of exercising that control. my bet is that he is trying to get tillerson into a far more belligerent standpoint against iran and north korea than he thinks is smart. he is using the press to do thatat. that is my read. amy: "the new york times"
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reported that president trump pressured senior senate republicans over the summer to mueller'ss probe -- probe, amid reports that investigators secret we -- recently questioned his son-in-law, jared kushner, for meeting with a russian during the presidential transition. marcy: this is one of the reasons why this is going to happen. i do not think pompeo is confirmable by the elections committee, because we have learned a lot more about his implication in the russian story . the kushner meeting was reported as kind of one e of the l last had to put mueller into place before this plea agreement that people have been talking about with mike flynn, and that suggests there is more news about to drop regarding mike flynn that i think is going
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to really dramatically change how republicans face the russian investigation. avoididingynn had been discussing plea agreements for months and months, and then in the last two weeks all of a sudden it seems like it will happen. mueller has more leverage over flynn in the last couple of weeks. keyay be tricky, because a witness in new york turned state's evidence and has information on flynn. flynn, we expect, is moving towards a plea agreement. expect that will add more pressure on trump, and i have been saying for months that the way to get to kushner is through flynn. a lot of the events in which flynn was involved, the meeting with survey kislyak -- survey connect closely with activities that kushner is known to be involved in, so that
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seems to be where things are moving. this pompeo munoz -- news seems impossible against that background, because pompeo has helped trump cover-up this russia thing. i do notot see bob corker and marco rubio, both senate foreign relations committee members, i do not see them supporting pompeo having a bigger role in the administration as this russia stuff opens up. amy: and flynn and turkey. can you explain what has been uncovered at this point? marcy: flynn was a consultant for the turkish government, but through some cutouts. discussedged to have on two different occasions a sickly kidnapping a cleric in pennsylvania that the turkish government considers one of their big enemies. they blame him for the coup earlier this year. that is one thing.
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kidnappinged about an american permanent resident on behalf of another government. the other thing is, there was a ay who was charged in sanctions avoidance laundering case in new york. basically, laundering money to get those two iran. that connects very closely with the turkish president. made a plea agreement basically, and that came out this week. the trial in which he is testifying. he is believed to have some information about flynn's efforts to free him on behalf of the turkish government. this is another case where flynn did not disclose these moneys. he was working as the transition national security adviser and
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being paid by a foreign government. there is a much stronger case against him on this turkish stuff even then on the russian stuff. so i think not only is it easier to charge him with this stuff, and that would be kind of similar to what happened to paul --afort, but also it would one of the things that has been reported to happen is it would implicate his son, mike flynn,jr. who was involved in some of these things, one of the motives that flynn might have is to keep his son out. amy: do you think thihis could account for all l these dedevelopments this weekek? could account for the further unraveling of president trump? tweeting out these racist, islam a phobic videos, talking about president obama once again as he led ththe birther movement, trup did.
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and all of the things he has done, that "pocahontas was quote comments in the midst of a navajo code talkers ceremony in the oval office in front of a portrarait of andrew jackson, al coming one after another, has republicans scratching their heads as well. marcy: i mean, it is hard to measure the next outrage from the president, but i do think hearing footsteps. i do think he continues to try to convince those around him that he is not in any risk with this investigation. that is ridiculous at this point. it is clear mueller is invevestigating him for obstruction or more. the attempt to distract attention, and i think this will segue into your next piece, he is also attempting to distract from the fact that he is about two in the name of tax reform, carry out this vast looting of the american poor and middle class.
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purposes, to distract from russia and the tax bill they are rushing through congress. amy: marcy wheeler, thank you so much for being with us. piece, link to your throwing water on pompeo to the state move. when we come back, we go to albuquerque, mexico, to talk about a little-known provision of the t tax overhaul that opens up arctic drilling. then we will go to mogadishu and talk about the latest on a massacre that took place. what was the u.s. involvement? finally, we will look at the impeach trump movement. [music break] [♪]
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amy: i know, i know, i know. here on democracy now. the senate could vote as early as today on a tax plan that would shower billions of tax cuts on the richesest americans. our amendments meant to win votes to pass the measure? one little-known provision would open one of the world's last pristine wildernesses -- the arctic national wildlife refuge -- to oil and fracked gas drilling. the arctic refuge is rich in biodiversity and home to caribou, polar bears, and musk oxen. millions of migratory birds gather there from across the world and whales reside just
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offshore. it has also been home to generations of indigenous people for ththousands of years. this is gwich'in tribal government member samuel alexander testifying last month during a senate committee on energy and natural resources hearing. >> when we talk about refuge, we tok about land, it is tied our language in our understanding of the world. caribou, we are connected to them and ththey recognize that. i hear the talk about development all the time. we need to develop this, develop that. i think we need a little bit of understanding about the sustainability of the life that we live in well and he. we are not sitting here and asking for anything. we needot saying, hospitals, schools, all these things. we are not saying, give us money . we are saying, let us live. amy: legislation to allow
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drilling in the arctic national wildlife refuge was quietly added d to the r republican n te bill meaning iindigenous , activists and environmentalists are now on the brink of losing their decades-long political battle over the refuge. hundreds of scholars from dozens of universities have signed a letter to congress that reads in part, "the arctic national wildlife refuge must not be auctioned off to big oil. its natural values far exceed any oil that may lie beneath the coastal plain. as scholars from across the united states and canada, we ask that you keep this cherished place and vibrant ecosystem protected for generations to come." well, for r more, we go now to albuquerque, new mexico where we're joined by subhankar banerjee, an activist and photographer, and lannan chair professor of art and ecology at , the university of new mexico. his new piece for tomdispatch is titled, "drilling, drilling, eveverywhere. will the trump administration take down the arctic refuge?" banerjee is the author of "arctic national wildlife refuge: seasons of life and
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land", and editor of "arctic voices: resistance at the tipping point." an exhibition of his arctic work, "long environmentalism in the near north" is on display at the university of new mexico art museum. subhankar banerjee, welcome to democracy now! , andus what is at stake why what is at stake is hidden in the tax bill that could be voted on as early as today. >> indeed. thank you for giving voice to the arctic refuge and showing the segment during the segment test -- senate testimony. , every are talking about crime about to be committed by the u.s. congress, and you need to start this. let me preface this by saying that the most significant story on our planet right now is actually the mass extinction and die off of cities with which we stare this -- species which with
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we share this planet. scientists are telling us we are in the middle of the fixed extinction, so what can we do? it is more complicated. the least we should do as an imperative, global ethical and parentage -- imperative is to not destroy. when it comes to the arctic national wildlife refuge, the coastal plain of the arctic is the biologically most diverse protected nursery in the empire. it is a nursery of global significance. i am a highing tower of academia. i have spent an enormous amount of time in that coastal plain,
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and have seen life be born, being nursed, in all seasons including winter. wheres the coastal plain 200,000 strong caribou herd that we were talking about give birth and nurse their young. that is the coastal plain where from six continents and the united states go therere to nure anand rear their young. i have experienced all of this personallyly out therere. the most beautiful way that the arctic refuge cocoastal plains s a nursing ground has been affected by the business, they , which in their language loosely translates to the simplest way for life begins. to turn the sacred way of life
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into an oil field at a time of extreme global climate change, george mondale calls climate grid down. it is s an epic crime. amy: explain how t this is being dealt with in the tax code, the tax bill today. called as what i have grand deception. for four decades, i guess alaskan congressman have usesed variouous techniques, intimidation, lying with deception, and this is their latest. this is not the first time they have tried to sneak this is part of the budget reconciliation process. in 1995, the bill passed but the president vetoed it. in 2005 again, they tried but maria cantwell through a valley
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in expert -- t through a valiant effort, stopped that process. in while theck it entire nation is focused on talking about the massive tax debt, they call it tax cuts given to the corporations and rich. we are struggling with debt. it stops the largegest environmt , the justice campaign of this nation has been going on for seven decades. this is a grand deception that must be -- the public should know about it and really there should be an outrageous outcry. you mentioned about the scholars. my colleague in canada and i ororganized this. we had 3 300
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scholars from nearly 100 institutions across the united states and canada. this is a grand deception going on. it should be taken out of the budget bill immediately. amy: alaska congressional members and the alaska governor, do they need to open up new areas to oil development to help alaska's struggling economy, which depends in large part on oil? can you comment? >> the way -- i will give a brief history. world war ii, the entire n north slope of alaska was kept off-limits to any kind of development from public landowners. became e aer alaska state in 1959 in 1960, the administration struck a deal. it was a compromise that creatad the arctic wildlife range which
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jimmy carter made it into a national wildlife refuge. what people did in 1960 was actually resend the public land rescind the public land. what jimmy carter did is he explicitly said that 95% of alaska would be open for oil and gas development. but we are talking about is the last 5% just the coastal plains of the arctic national wildlife refuge. instead of saying, we need to open up, they are saying we want it all. it is legally and ethically not right. other recent discoveries of oil have happened on state land. the arctic must be off-limits to
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development. does pass thenate tax bill today and this is in it , is it also in the house bill? what happens next? >> it is not in the house bill right now, so what will happen -- it is difficult to say -- but a lot of people are doing this so fast. let a just say this. first of all, arctic refuge drilling is not in the budget part of the house bill, the budget bill. it is in the senate if they pass it today. what will happen is that they will have to do what is called a conference comedy. that is the regular order. they will have to reconcile the differences between the bill across the two houses of congress. there is opportunity that there could be amendments introduced that could take out arctic
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drilling, and we are hoping that both democratic and republican lawmakers from the house and senate side will come to their senses and remove that. beyond that, let's say it even passes and the budget goes to the president's office,e, the president will sign it. beyond that, this is far from over, because this battle will go on for r the next four decad. what we arare doing, they are likely violating environmental laws, so the f fst thing t that will happen is legal lawsuits and environmental organizations and othehers are looking at tha. we wilill be fighting it on thte grouound. they are likely violating various laws, including the national environmental policy act and others by pushing this thing through a fast-track process. all of that will be looked at very carefully. we will be fighting this for the next decade. amy: thank you very much for
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being with us, professor of art and ecology at the university of new w xico, speaeaking to us frm albuquerque. when we come back, we will talk about what happened in somalia, u.s. involvement in a massacre that took placace of somali citizens -- civilians. [music break] [♪]
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amy: i am amy goodman. the pentagon is on the defensive after a new investigation revealed evidence that u.s. special operations forces massacred civilians in somalia earlier this year, allegedly firing on unarmed farmers and their families, then planting weapons beside the bodies to appear as though the people were armed members of al-shabaab. on wednesday, the pentagon released a statement that said, "after a thorough assessment of the somali national army-led operation near bariire, somalia, on 2017 and the associated august 25, allegations of civilian casualties, u.s. special operations command africa has concluded that the only casualties were those of armed enemy combatants." this statement came after "the daily beast" published an investigation wednesday on the bariire operation and its aftermath, and reported what eyewitnesses have said since the attack.
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the victims were farmers, and they were killed by american soldiers. >> american forces attacked us and killed these people, including children. those killed were farmers who were innocent and not al-shabab fighters. amy: in fact, after the attack, hundreds protested, and survivors refused to bury their dead until the somali government apologized and withdrew allegations that they were members al shabaab, and reportedly paid the victims' families as much as $75,000 each. all of this comes as the u.s. recently revealed it has some 500 troops in somalia, up from a reported 50 earlier this year, and on the death toll reported thursday, from a massive truck bomb attack in mogadishu in october rose from at least 350 to 512. for more we're joined by , christina goldbaum, an indpendant jouournalist based in mogadishu, somalia. today she joins us from nairobi, kenya. her new article in "the daily beast" is headlined "strong
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, evidence that u.s. special operations forces massacred civilians in somalia." welcome to democracy now! christina, you interviewed several survivors, as well as the somali army commander in charge of somali soldiers who assisted in this operation, and also somali intelligence officers, local leaders, and government officials familiar with this attack. can you lay out what you found? what happened this past summer? said, afters you this operation happened, there was a big upper in somalia. people were protesting in a town nearby where this happened. the families refused to bury their dead until the government admitted they were civilians. after that happened, they began looking into what exactly happened in that operation. this investigation included over 200 interviews of people who know about it and eyewitnesses. what i found was shocking.
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oftens.-africa command says u.s. soldiers are on the ground in somalia in africa are what they say is a company mission. we believe that in the course of these operations, u.s. soldiers are not in the line of fire. they are simply advising local forces. the first thing that shocked me was learning that in fact, u.s. soldiers who are part of this on thee -- mission were front lines and firing in addition to the somali soldiers, at the civilians. we learned that looking at the showcasing's that were found and immediately collected and brought to mogadishu, because these farmers are civilians and they wanted to make that clear. that is one thing that is very important to note. haveafrica commands will the public believe that u.s. soldiers are not in the line of fire and that is not the case.
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the second interesting fact is somalia is an incredibly complex environment. you have al-shabab militants in rural areas and a lot of rivalries in conflict with each other. you have a lot of farmers, totore lists, who are armed protect their resources and their farmland from rival clans and militias. it became clear to me in the course of this investigation that the u.s. special operators who carried out this operation did not understand that dynamic in the course of planning that operation. the ugandached defense forces contingent commander as part of the african union peacekeeping force. he had actually advised them against doing g this mission but he said he would not offer his soldiers. they went to a somali national army the grade who work -- brigade who were not trained by u.s. soldiers.
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approached the somali national army to help them with this operation. it became clear they were getting information from that leader of that brigade of the somali national army, a former al-shabab commander. a were getting information from a militia leader in direct rival way to the clan of the farmers who were killed. in addition toto that, they are theyusing a translator -- had an operation a year ago that had resulted in the death of 10 people that were not al-shabab. they were local militias of the u.s. was working alongside. it seems as if those individuals in particular had misled u.s. forces, and those u.s. forces had not significant -- suspiciously vented the information -- significantly vented the information they were getting. they approached the somali army
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commander numerous times before the operation to let them know they had arms and they were not al-shabab, but their arms were to protect them from a rival clan they believed would attack their farm. they wanted to make clear to the american special operators since we were in this town nearby, that they were simply farmers and were armed but not al-shabab. yet, that information was clearly not conveyed the u.s. special operators. i do not think the information they were getting in the lead up to this operation had been sufficiently vetted. if you read the statements that just came out, they will remind you they take every precaution to try to protect civilian lives. i would say that is not the case , this information was not sufficiently vetted. which is why 10 0 farmers, including one child, were killed
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during the course of this operation. amy: this happened on august 25 this past summer. --lain what people did then what the soldiers did, and which soldiers did this, laying weapons out next to the dead bodies? christina: yes. when the farmers approached the samarra -- somali national army commander, he had instructed them and told media, he instructed them to place their weapons in a house. if there is no surveillance, they would not be confused with arm should -- al-shabab. farmers placed their weapons in a house and after they were killed, shot and the survivors were brought to the scene where some of their fellow farmers were shot, they saw the some marley -- somali national army
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soldiers go into the house, collect the weapons that had been inside the house, and place them next to the bodies of the farmers who were killed. then they saw these three u.s. special operators taking photos of their bodies. it is important to note that usually if there is a firefight and a weapon is thrown maybe a foot or two from an enemy, but it is not unusual for a soldier to take that weapon and place it next to the body before taking a photo. however, these weapons were not placed on the battlefield during the course of a firefight. they were in a home on the instruction of a samarra -- instructor.nal army they were collected from the house and placedd, it is directy misleading. taking a picture of a farmer that was killed with a weapon in a house that he was not firing
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back, and this operation to prove he is an al-shabab minute -- militant, that is misleading. one thing that shocks me is the seemingly kind of cover-up of what happened. placing these weapons next to the bodies to diplomats in mogadishu pressuring the somali government to hide the findings of their own investigation of this incident, which proved these people were civilians. because of that investigation, that is why they paid these families at least $70,000 into aftermath. they would never do that if these people were al-shabab militants. amy: you are talking about each family got something like $70,000? where did the money come from? i talked to a number of government officials who gave me the figure between $60,000 and $70,000. a government official believes
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that is coming from the united states. that is only one person, but that is his strong belief. in the aftermath of this, heart of u.s. diplomats pressuring the somali government do not publish the findings of their investigation, we are paying these families wildly as compensation. that is one source, but it is clear that these families were paid in the aftermath of this event, which again would never happen if they were al-shabab combatants. you would never have protests if they were, and al-shabab putting the bodies of those killed to mogadishu and rerefusing to bury ththem. i cannot see any reason why al-shabab would do so. amy: the idea that the villagers took the bodies of the dead to mogadishu to prove that they were civilians and not al-shabab? christina: exactly. there has never been any incident in somalia where
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al-shabab brought their own militants to mogadishu and refused to bury them. that would be unprecedented and i do not know why they would do that. the elders of this particular clan were pressuring the somali government to admit they were civilians. they were being told they were al-shabab militants when they are not. that has never happened. i cannot see any reason why al-shabab would bring militants to mogadishu, or why hundreds of people would protest. it is clear in sub a -- in somalia that these people are thelians, which is why investigation found they are enemy armed combatants, and is really troubling. it makes me think that perhaps it is again this kind of cover-up of saying, these people -- in the course of my
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investigation is not the case. amy: finally, i want to ask you about a bombing that took place two months later, almost two months later. when the numbers have been adjusted to over 500 people killed in the twin bombs in mogadishu october 14, can you talk about -- is there any link between these two? there is not a link between these two. an article came out in the aftermath of the bombing that alleged one of the suicide bombers was somebody who had been radicalized after that operation. what happened is that t about a month afafter the incident where the farmers were killed, out to the town nearby, which this somali national army soldiers were attempting to hold from them, and retook the town, killing about t far it -- 40 sosoldiers. at the end of sepeptember, that
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entire area is in the hands of al-shabab. it is possible that the suicide bomber came from that area, but it is only because al-shabab retook the town nearby and perhaps one of their militants to mogadishu to carry out that bombing. amy: last question -- what directly has the pentagon told you inin your reporting on the massacre and what you are alleging is a u.s.-pentagon cover-r-up? i spoke to them a day before my article came out, and they told me the investigation was still ongoing. certainly, it is very suspicious that 30 minutes after my article published that they have come out to say about the investigation has finished and they found they were not civilians that were killed. 24 hours after the article came out and the dod was telling me
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the investigation was still ongoing. amy: christina gold bound, thank you so much for your reporting. independent journalists based in mogadishu. we will link to "the daily beast " piece at christina was joining us from nairobi, kenya. we end what they should -- with the effort to impeach donald trump. joined by constitutional attorney john boniface. welcome to democracy now. what is happening? >> there is significant momentum at the grassroots level, and among the members of congress who stood up and introduced those articles of impeachment,, 17 communities across the
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country calling for impeachment proceedings to begin against this p part -- president. millions of americans signing petitions, including ours. this campaign is designed to impress the constitution and our democracy i in the face of a constitutional crisis with the president trampling on the rule of law. amy: why in peach? john: impeachment power is what we have to remove a lawless president. , and is an investigation that is a a criminal investigation, whether or not the president or hisis associats have committed violations of federal or criminal law, but there is a separate issue that must go forward. that is an impeachment investigation, whether the president abused his power and the public trust. now we can see multiple violations, violations of the anticorruption provisions of the constitution, with obstruction
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conspiracy potential to collude with the russian government to interfere with our elections, abuse of the power, the list goes on and on. this president must be heldd accountable deder the law and that is through the impeachment process. amy: weston, massachusetts, what happppened? john: a community stepped forward and called for impeachment proceedings to begin. i think what is important now is we as a people stand up to defend our constitution and democracy in the faface of a president who so defies the rule of law. amy: john boniface, we will depart two of this discussion at democracy director of free speech for people. that does it for our broad cast. produced by mike burke, renee feltz, deena guzder, nermeen shaikh, carla wills, laura gottesdiener, sam alcoff, john hamilton, robby karran, hany massoud, charina nadura, amel ahmed and nat needham. mike di fillippo, miguel
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nogueira and paul huckeby are our engineers. special thanks to becca staley, julie crosby, hugh gran, david prude, ariel boone, vesta -- i am amy goodman. our websit
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