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tv   [untitled]    March 12, 2012 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT

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well i'm john arbonne in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture an american soldier killed sixteen unarmed afghan civilians how will this rampage affect u.s. afghan relations and is it time we withdraw from the country altogether plus a twist of the story that she was all concerned about the mental health of our soldiers also what shadow forces are behind a new bill in wisconsin a remote for profit education and answer coming out and in today it's an ideally
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take all of the republicans once again blocking eleven million struggling american homeowners from getting crucial assistance to keep their homes. you need to know this when george w. bush committed an international war crime by bombing and then invading afghanistan more than a decade ago he opened the gates a held for the people of that nation and for our soldiers and now the situation there is careening out of control over the weekend a u.s. soldier opened fire in a small village at around two am sunday morning shooting dead sixteen civilians including nine children some odd resident of the district described the scene to reporters saying i saw that eleven of my relatives were killed including my children and grandchildren the americans poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned though some eye witnesses say as many as three soldiers might have been
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involved in the massacre one soldier has surrendered in connection with the attacks which president obama referred to as tragic and shocking that soldier a qualified sniper was involved in an accident in two thousand and ten and suffered a traumatic brain injury and was ultimately deemed fit for duty course this atrocity perhaps the worst in the ten year long war is just the latest incident sure to spark another episode of violence in that unstable war and for a nation war torn nations a few weeks back and of a qur'an burning incident led to a wave of violence killing several american soldiers and afghan civilians the taliban has vowed to avenge these killings calling them a blood soaked and inhumane crime meanwhile at home sixty percent of americans now believe this war is not worth fighting so how much longer are we supposed to stay there and isn't now the time to start thinking about a saigon like withdrawal just get the hell out joining me now from los angeles robert greenwald filmmaker activist and founder of brave new films and eli clifton
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national security reporter with the center for american progress as think progress in a new york studios welcome to you both. thank you thanks for joining us robert military suicides are up the accused gunman has a brain injury and u.s. soldiers are doing increasingly disturbing things like forming kill squads desecrating bodies burning korans now this is this is the result of war fatigue. there's no question that it's the result of the tea. i mean in some ways time in we all know that human beings a dot meant to go through this process we try to train them we try to teach them but year after year this gentleman i think you've been in iraq for two or three tours now he was in afghanistan to commit this extraordinary atrocity he clearly cracked the military no services set up to be able to train people to be murderers and then also train them when to turn it off and you know it's just your heart
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breaks when you see what's going on there and as you started the program by talking about yes it's time to get out we went in for no good reason there's no explanation never defended our security and we've got to get out now eli the republicans are beating the drums for war in iran last week mitt romney wrote an op ed in the washington post which was criticized by the former head of mossad in the former head of the israeli intelligence service. as not continue not being accurate and is making the situation worse. what does this in regard to iran doesn't this show us how unpredictable and as robert just so eloquently said how a horrible war isn't and should give us pause before we you know just like john mccain you know bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb iran. it's well absolutely and already as you were referring to earlier the polling suggests that americans or the
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question i believe that they were asked was do you believe that the benefits have outweighed the costs both human and financial of this war which is now over ten years old and now yes over sixty percent of americans say it has not been worth it perhaps more significantly though we should look at the fact that republicans are now even least split on the war the first time that we've seen that in five years of polling data so that's a very interesting takeaway to it's to see it that there really is a shift in mentality here and we've seen that in the primary races newt gingrich has said that we aren't going to fix afghanistan and rick santorum seems to be coming around to a similar vein of talking about about the war in afghanistan so yeah i think that we are seeing some very tough questions and the american public finally confronting the fact that the situation in afghanistan doesn't seem to be getting a lot better robert as i just pointed out sixty percent of the american public say no you know time to end the war in afghanistan and get out. if this war isn't worth
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fighting yet the obama administration said twenty fourteen as their as their deadline. what can we do you're a master at this stuff to mobilize the american people to get to inform people of your rethink afghanistan documentary's brilliant what more can we do to awaken people and get them active in pushing this in ministration and legislators of both parties to to move toward a rat a more rapid pull a pullout of troops. well i think you made the important point there tom it has been both parties there's been a bipartisan agreement in washington for far too long that any and all of these problems can be solved if you invade and you occupy a country and the only solution we've been going to problem after problem country after country is a military solution so i think what people can do is what they are beginning to do hold their elected was officials responsible we did not elect you a senator or house member we did not send you to washington to provide more
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occupation more killing or tragedies for americans and afghanis and to say nothing of the extraordinary waste of billions and billions of dollars all in a cause that makes no sense in terms of it being a military cost you know when i was in afghanistan you get off the plane and you feel in your heart and his soul this is the third poorest country in the world and why did they need things that they need doctors and hospitals and roads and jobs and they don't need occupation. what would be the consequence to the united states and to the region and to afghanistan if the americans were to basically do a saigon to simply say ok we're already here and leave next month. well i don't think we've really seen much examination of what a scenario exactly like that would look at however what we are seeing is an
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increasing sort of cloud of uncertainty regarding the strategic partnership agreement now there was progress being made on this agreement between washington and kabul under which american military advisors and special forces would be staying in afghanistan after the twenty fourteen withdrawal deadline now i think there's serious questions about whether for starters afghan president hamid karzai has the political room to go through with that agreement but as we're seeing there's also a shifting sentiment in the united states toward having toward the u.s. commitment to afghanistan so i think that we're starting to see real questions about how long is the u.s. commitment going to go for how long are we going to see u.s. troops or in the case of advisors or a special forces of the strategic partnership agreement remain on the ground in afghanistan and i think from both sides both in afghanistan and in the u.s. political pressures are starting to say that people want to see this war drawn to a close. robert step huldah we changed
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the paradigm in the united states from always every military option is on the table response to. dennis kucinich talked about having a department of peace you know an actual advocate of a cabinet level saying hey wait a minute. any thoughts on further steps in that direction you talked earlier about the ins and the general insanity of war itself i refer to it as mass mental illness mass insanity what do we do. well as you well know tom you've been writing and talking about this for a while and thank you for that i think one of the things we need to do is not pleasant but we need to look at in the end say these wars are failures men and women are being killed they're being killed in afghanistan they killed in iraq that killed in vietnam and lives are not are being lost in vain we don't like to say that because it's painful but that's the truth and billions and billions of dollars
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are being squandered and until we begin to confront the fact these are failures total and complete failures from security points of view from our country's point of view from a moral right if you we're not going to be able to stop the next one from happening when they get up there again and start talking about the way to solve a rat is by bombing occupying and invading and robert thank you both for the great work i'm doing thank you for being here with us. much appreciated but afghanistan served as a lesson to all those who are calling for war with iran because it's very easy to release the dogs of war and much much harder to bring them back as one voice on the republican side speaking out against the war that's ron paul but that's not because he's courageous speaking out against the war basically doesn't cost him anything and may pick him up some of those on the other hand attacking mitt romney does questran. see ron paul is a libertarian and as
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a libertarian he believes that the marketplace should determine everything millions of decisions being made all the time better smarter than politicians the marketplace in fact in his mind is more important than what's good for america because the marketplace prevails it'll ultimately help america and selfishness is what drives the marketplace it's the most important part of it so ron paul is getting selfish that's a moral good in his universe he doesn't believe that romney is best for america we know this he stands strongly against many of romney's principles including war criminalizing drugs and other things but if he can suck up to mitt romney in the marketplace of the republican primaries ron paul can get some goodies he really wants and since libertarianism preaches the selfishness is the highest virtue then screw the country to get what you want is actually moral about proof a few weeks back the center for american progress published a study showing that ron paul has never attacked mitt romney in twenty debates ron paul to be attacked santorum twenty two times gingrich eight times perry and cain
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four times bachmann once romney zero so why is that check out what a campaign surrogate said and most of the sister. obviously our ultimate goal was for dr paul to be the nominee short of that there are various things we could we could go shoot for lots of different platform changes to the g.o.p. cabinet positions for our supporters the vice presidency whole variety of things he's doing this for you know to get some of the cabinet who might that be maybe rand paul ron paul is engaging in market politics he's not running for president to do what's best for the nation he's running as a business transaction for his son or his friends which makes sense since libertarians don't really care about what's best for the nation but what's best for business is i think what's best for the nation with all of that ron paul is considered a principled candidate to raise just how principled is a guy who has ulterior motives and is collecting campaign donations with no intention of ever winning the presidency. coming up after the break money talks in wisconsin as legislators are listening what is the shadowy koch brothers funded
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ocracy known as alec up to now in the badger state.
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more news today harlan says once again flared up. these are the images so-called seeing from the streets of canada. china operations are all. seen.
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in the screwed news the people of wisconsin no longer have the ear of their elected while makers instead that state legislators are being told what to do and how to do it by the koch brothers funded american legislative exchange council also known as alec and proof is downright spooky last week it was constant state assembly began debate on the senate bill one town which provides a generous tax break to private for profit schools all around the nation with the help of high powered lobbyists similar legislation is being pushed that promotes
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the interests of private for profit schools over the free public schools but this particular piece of legislation assembly bill one ten was extra special when democratic state representative mark polk and read the legislation he knew it wasn't the first time he had seen in fact he saw the exact same bill just months earlier while attending an annual conference for guess who the american legislative exchange council or alec the right wing think tank that writes corporate friendly legislation then hands it over to state lawmakers to pass in their respective state legislatures so representative and went on the floor to say this about assembly bill one ten. i went down to new orleans to the ella convention last august i remember going to a workshop in hearing a little bit about a build they did in florida and some other states part of their efforts to dismantle public education and there is a proposal to provide special needs scholarships. and lo and behold all this and i
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come back to wisconsin and look at some traduced get ready i know you have shock look on your face bill to do just that the exact model legislation now you're trying to me now is state representative mark polk and from wisconsin seventy eighth district represented polk and welcome back thank you tom thanks for covering alec a lot i think i think this is a very very important story for our viewers who don't know what alec has can you just give us a quick quick and dirty explanation here sure it's a corporate dating service for special interests and conservative legislators it's really billed as a policy change but it's funded by corporations it's for corporations and they provide model legislation to conservative legislators they introduced it in states and they passed it and it has nothing to do with the public good but it has everything to do about corporate profits and you you actually went down to louisiana and sat through one of these alec meetings how'd you get him. well i
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doing as a legislator i can join for one hundred dollars for a corporation to join it's more like twenty five fifty or one hundred thousand dollars but i joined specifically to get a password to get model legislation to deal to find out what alec was up to and i really appreciated i was down there this summer you know i had a conversation in fact if i right i had to keep walking during the conversation being followed by alec staffers at the time but i go to find out what they're up to and we kind of have a good idea of the roadmap they're going to take and a lot of these republican leaning states and i understand that at the alec meetings when legislation is being put together that is introduced in the state houses all across the united states and maybe at the federal level as far as we know that the legislators are sitting side by side with with corporate lobbyists or her representatives who have paid as you said a few hundred thousand dollars to be there and. as i recall you mentioned that they use the metaphor of the legislators or the football team and the corporate lobbyist
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so the coaches there was a texas legislator moderating a panel it was a bunch of see those from utility companies and from the industry and he said he goes to the legislators and the audience are you are a big football team you're the players and these are coaches to listen up and that the idea you're supposed to listen up you're supposed to take their model legislation you're supposed to introduce it and they're supposed to live happily ever after and that's the model that alec is the problem is they've tried to operate in the shadows for so long but this year because so many legislators just made sure is went republican they finally had it too much control and they overreached in wisconsin and florida a lot of other states and they're getting busted out for it and also there's a i think a progressive media infrastructure starting to form now and that it wasn't here maybe five years ago when they actually how long ago how long has alec been around . they go back twenty five thirty years i believe i've been involved about
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a decade following them i've joined for a few of those years during that time but you know for a while you just didn't really do like operate the shadows they don't want people to know what they're up to this session though because where as i understand it at the same level of republican legislatures that they were in one hundred twenty eight they have that many countries they're in control of that they're just moving this legislation under fettered and they're just overreaching it's anti-consumer it's anti collective bargaining advantage health care at the anti-education and you just see it over and over so i talk to legislators in arizona. minnesota new hampshire and other places who are all doing bills right now to try to get some accountability how does tearing apart the social fabric of the united states and tearing apart our social safety net benefit the transnational corporations and billionaires who are running now. well you know they see a free market in profit and everything so education the bill that you're referring to is a bill that really is trying to dismantle public education by offering taxpayer
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funded by watchers to private schools so essentially we're going to dismantle the public school system and just enrich private school in the goal is eventually to have a completely private school system throughout the country and that's this one type of bill they have all the collective bargaining attach we saw in wisconsin and we just had a rally with sixty thousand people this week and all of those attacks came from alan alda's potential not changes came from alex our photo id law changes came from alec in the list just goes on and on and on so it's about how can they expand corporate profits and corporate power by using their significant others the corporate legislator what has happened to you marco can for coming out about what was supposed to be secret and in fact to put an exclamation point the secrecy we know you're going we talked about this we want to alex web site they actually showed their model legislation now you go to their website it's all been scrubbed
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so i went on the other day because of that bill and like i remember that i'm going to go down though the amount of legislation but i went to the website and couldn't find a place for me to enter my password as a member so they actually took away the one benefit i guess of membership which is the ability to find their model legislation so now the only way you get it is in the shadows of the shadows you know some guy comes in live or is it a little box or something to you but i can't go to the web site and actually access that information because it was becoming too public so it's really a shadowy group it's really one of the strongest lobbying efforts i seen ever in my fourteen years in the legislature and that's why we're trying to figure out how to expose them more and more because i think people see what they're up to and it's only been corporate profits but it's not about individual citizens in the legislature in a state that it really people will not like their legislator going to alex conferences and introducing alec legislation are they coming after you. well i
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think what they did it when i was out there i got kicked out of a party you know they make sure you're not invited to many things but in wisconsin you know i actually relish in talking about it because for a decade i've seen this it's just grown and grown and grown and i'm glad that we're at a point where at a critical mass where we're finding other legislators in other states also talking about this willing to introduce something and willing to kind of put the the mark on them about what they're doing and we just want them to register as a lobbyist we just want to have transparency and i think the fact that they're trying to do things that are the way they are we want to we want to fight it in the states but they can't do much to me where i'm at as far as my district but they certainly are doing a lot of the bills that we as democrats and independents wind up voting for remarkable somebody should pass a law saying that if a legislator doesn't write the bill they have to you know where the the nascar patch of the corporation or something like that thanks so much for the great work that you're doing and for being willing to speak out like this i absolutely time
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any time thank you very much as strong caresses like representative pope can fight back against the alec corporatocracy in wisconsin the obama administration is following suit in texas in texas our democracy is up for sale as well billionaires like the koch brothers are quite literally writing our laws in every state of the nation they do this through the american legislative exchange council alec were mostly republican lawmakers sit next to corporate lobbyist fifty fifty to write laws was like those that would make it harder for poor people old people or students to vote because they don't vote for things billionaires want the justice department just blocked this new voter i.d. law in texas they said that it would disproportionately affect hispanic voters and also force people to pay fees to obtain an id to vote which according to the department of justice is a violation of the one nine hundred sixty five voting rights act actually according anybody who has half a brain oath alec is big in texas alan corporations have spent sixteen point two
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million dollars in state elections in the last decade there. this is the second most of any state in the nation and the texas voter id law that was blocked closely mirrors alex model id model legislation suppressing the vote is one of alex main causes why because you know if you can if you can push down enough democrats prevent them from voting like in florida in the two thousand race when the when the bush campaign jeb bush had katherine harris not eighty thousand african-americans on the voting rolls because they had names that were similar to felons who lived in texas nice excuse me get them off the rolls they will vote for democrats whether it's african-americans whether it's poor people whether it's older people whether it's students these are the demographic groups that these voter id laws target and they're doing it more than a dozen states like kansas wisconsin and tennessee where the brennan center for justice as many as five million people mostly democratic voters have already been
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kicked off the rolls and don't even know it so this shouldn't be surprising considering that alec was founded in one nine hundred seventy three by republican strategist paul weyrich who infamously said this. how many of our christians have what i call them bro good government they want everybody to vote i don't want everybody to vote elections are won by a majority of people they never happen from the beginning of our country every are not. going to help but go look bridging the elections why can't i go drop out go bowling ophiolites go down this this was the guy who put ronald reagan into office this was the guy who helped construct george w. bush's campaign this was the guy behind republican presidents for the last thirty years and this wind set it we just need to turn it all over to the corporations and keep out those awful pesky democrats from voting this mindset is the potential
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destruction of democracy in the united states. crazy alert go away goggle or michigan resident edgar geisler has a stalker he's big for the ring causing quite a stir. and. that's how. at seven o'clock in the morning he comes and babysits my car and i can't get in it and he even cases me up to the front door that's that's right for the last two months the terrible twenty five pound turkey has taken a perjurer and diesel is one causing a great deal of mayhem every day godzilla makes the commute from some woods nearby useless i was wary plucks loudly packs and claws i know often leaves early in the morning to avoid a run in or resorts to using a broom as a weapon fortunately for her the state's turkey hunting season opens next month and
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somebody tells you something tells me this is one turkey who may be destined for the thanksgiving table. world. science technology innovation all the rest of the immense from around russia we've dumped those you jerk coverage.
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