Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 7, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PST

8:00 am
01/07/13 01/07/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> let me say it as simply as i can. yes, in full accordance of the law and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the u.s. and save american lives, the united states government conducts targeted strikes against specific al qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft often referred to publicly as drones. >> president obama prepares to nominate john brennan to head
8:01 am
the cia. that the assassination czar, brennan has played a key role backing some of the most controversial post 9-eleven policies from the secret drone war to extraordinary rendition to wireless surveillance. we will look it the nomination for republican senator chuck hagel, fellow republicans have criticized him for views on iraq, iran, and israel. then, the steubenville rape case in ohio. >> we are anonymous. around mid august 2012, a party to present a small town in ohio known as steubenville. [indiscernible] kidnapping and rape of a 15- year-old girl. >> the hacker activist group anonymous has helped expose new details about a horrific high school gang rape case involving football players in ohio. all of that and more coming up.
8:02 am
this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. up to 18 people have been killed in the latest u.s. drone attacks on pakistan's tribal areas. the strikes hit what pakistani officials described as separate compounds belonging to the pakistani taliban in south missouri stan. the taliban commander was reportedly among the dead. the ongoing drone attacks come days after a federal judge ruled the obama administration is under no obligation to publicly disclose their legal justification. the american civil liberties union and the new york times had filed a lawsuit under the freedom of information act demanding u.s. government disclose the legal basis for launching drone strikes overseas. the suit was filed after the u.s. kill the american-born cleric anwar al awlaki in yemen despite having never charged him with a crime.
8:03 am
in upholding the obama at the ministration's right to secrecy, u.s. district judge colleen mcmahon expressed misgivings about the drone program itself writing -- the alice-in-wonderland nature some of the first details have emerged on the white house's effort to tackle gun control in the aftermath of last month's shooting massacre in newtown, connecticut. the washington buzz reports the task force overseen by vice- president joe biden is mulling
8:04 am
proposals include some reinstatement of the expired ban on assault weapons and high- capacity magazines, universal background checks for all gun buyers, a database to track the trajectory arms nationwide, more detailed mental health checks, and harsher penalties for carrying a gun near a school or giving one to minors. the administration is reportedly hoping to counter nra opposition by convincing gun retailers such as walmart that the new measures would help their profits. news of the proposals comes after yet another shooting in aurora, colorado, site of the nation's second worse than rampage last year after newtown. a gunman killed three people in and our colorado home on saturday before being shot dead by police. aurora is where suspect james holmes allegedly killed 12 people and wounded 58 others during a midnight movie screening in july. in aurora police spokesperson described the latest shooting. >> kept persisting on him coming
8:05 am
out and surrounding -- surrendering. he did not. then he came to a second story window with a gun and fired upon as a second time, this time shots were returned. the suspect was hit. he has been pronounced dead. we have sent people in and have confirmed there were three other victims inside who have all been pronounced dead at this time. >> colorado is set to open its largest shooting rage to date, the cheyenne mountain shooting complex, near colorado springs later this month. three weeks after the it newtown, massacre, former democratic congressmember gabby giffords of arizona has been among the latest visitors to the grieving connecticut town. she suffered major head injuries and nearly lost her life in the tucson shooting rampage that killed six people two years ago this month. on friday, she met with newtown officials before visiting with families of the newtown victims.
8:06 am
president obama has signed into law a measure providing $9.7 billion in initial federal aid for victims of superstorm sandy. the house approved a bill friday after house speaker john boehner canceled a vote on a wider $60 billion package, a move that sparked harsh criticism. as the smaller bill against on the house floor, democratic congressmember steny hoyer of maryland and the idea of velazquez of new york announced bronner's decision. >> while it is never too late to do the right thing, it is late that we're doing this thing. and we are doing only the bare minimum. >> it is indefensible that as americans continue to suffer from the impact of sandy, the house majority could not get their act together to bring the entire package to a vote. >> house speaker boehner says he will being the remaining $51 billion in relief to vote on
8:07 am
january 15. president obama is expected until the nomination today former republican senator chuck hagel of nebraska as a net secretary defense, replacing leon panetta. a vietnam war veteran and three- term member of the senate, he has faced criticism from right- wing foes over his positions on israel and dealing with iran, as well as from progressive critics for making denigrating comments about gays in government in 1998, for which only recently apologized. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell vowed a tough confirmation process for hagel. >> i think there will be a lot of tough questions of senator hagel, but he will be treated fairly by republicans in the senate. his views with regard to israel and iran and all the other positions he has taken over the years will be -- i think very much a matter of discussion during the confirmation process. >> during today's news conference, president obama is also expected to announce the nomination of counterterrorism adviser john brennan to head the
8:08 am
cia. he was a rumored pick for the job when obama was first elected in 2008, but was forced to withdraw from consideration amidst protests over his role at the cia under the bush administration. brennan has publicly supported this tsa's policies of so- called enhanced interrogation techniques and extraordinary rendition. he was the first obama administration official to publicly confirm drone attacks overseas and to defend their legalities. war on expected nominations of chuck hagel and john brennan after the headlines. the obama administration reportedly is considering keeping a residual force between three and 9000 troops in afghanistan after the formal withdrawal date of 2014. the wall street journal cited the new figures after previous reports suggested the u.s. is mulling a troop deployment of up to 20,000. bahrain top court has upheld the convictions of 13 opposition leaders on allegations of plotting to overthrow the u.s.- backed regime.
8:09 am
the activists were sentenced by military court in 2011, eight of them to live behind bars after leading massive protests against bahrain's sunni monarchy. today's ruling marks the end of their legal options after an appeals court upheld the convictions in september. another seven activists were also convicted in the initial case, but did not file appeals because they were tried in absentia. soon president bashar al-assad is vowing to continue his government's fight against rebel groups while ruling out talks with the armed opposition. in his first public address in six months, al-assad called syrian rebels a tool of foreign intervention. >> we are now in a state of war in every sense of the word. we are confronting a vicious, external war. this form of war is more fragmenting and more dangerous than conventional war because it does [indiscernible] it pulls us into carrying out
8:10 am
this plan. this war targets syria using a handful of syrians and many foreigners. it is trying to use us to tear down our trees and destroy our foundation. it is with pity this is happening with the help from some our own. >> al-assad said he is open a dialogue but only with those opposition groups tolerated by his regime. his appearance came days after the u.n. reported the death toll from nearly two years of fighting in syria has reached around 60,000. in the rebel-held town of aleppo, syria residents said his fellow citizens don't trust assad. >> any normal citizen listening to his speech heard him say that he asks for the refugees to return to their homes. at the same time he says he will not be deterred in fighting terrorism. how can a citizen go back, when they're being attacked with missiles and tanks? there is great contradiction in
8:11 am
the speech. we're at a point or citizens do not believe a word he says. >> in indiana, five men accused in the gang rape and death of a 23-year-old woman have appeared in court for the first time. the unidentified victim was raped on a moving bus in new delhi last month, dying from her injuries two weeks later. the case has sparked a nationwide call for reforms to increase punishment for rapists and prevent legal cases from languishing. at a candlelight vigil in india on sunday, hundreds of women pay tribute to the victim and demanded government action. >> i don't know how much security will increase. but i hope [indiscernible] >> later in our broadcast, we that took at a rape victi place in steubenville, ohio, a young student by football players. south africa has deployed up to 400 soldiers in the central
8:12 am
african republic in a bid to help the government of peter grubb led bands. the rebels have claimed a series of victories in recent weeks after accusing the government of violating a 2007 peace accord. it several other african countries including neighboring chad have sent troops to help fight the rebels. speaking from the capital, a spokesperson of doctors without borders with the central african republic's turmoil marks a silent crisis. >> so far we have labeled the crisis in the central african republic as a silent one because of the very poor health indicated that already existed, while a the same time for a limited attention for this crisis. even before the current crisis broke out, already very few developments, ngo's or support or business. this country at the best of times, many people could have
8:13 am
done with a lot of help. that situation is only one to become more complicated. >> the central african republic is among the poorest countries in the world despite having deposits of gold, diamonds, and uranium which are mined by foreign interests. canada's i'll know more movement expanded to the u.s. border on saturday with a series of blockades and actions. police closed the international bridge connecting ontario with michigan after hundreds of protesters marched from the rest of the canadian side. since the protests were also held a bridges, roads, rail lines, another border crossings across canada. the actions came one day after chief theresa spence announced she joined a meeting between canadian prime minister stephen harper and first nations leaders. spence has been on hunger strike since december 11, demanding a meeting with harper, an action that has helped spur the idle more movements called into a broader call for political transformation, indigenous rights, and environmental
8:14 am
justice. idle more organizers have called for a global day of action on january 11, the same day that spence is slated to meet with harper in the one month anniversary of her hunger strike. >> two major health care unions have announced a merger after previously teaming up with the health giant kaiser permanente a. the 85,000 member california nurses association will join the 10,000-member national union of healthcare workers for a new union entirely of workers in the health sector. both unions have waged strikes against kaiser in the last two years. the move is expected to stoke tensions with the two million- member service employees international union, with plans already in place to recruit the seiu's kaiser permanente workers in california. the seiu defeated the any h.w. in a bitterly contested vote among kaiser permanente california workers in 2011, but the national labor relations board called for an election after finding that the seiu had colluded with kaiser permanente to influence the outcome.
8:15 am
then the tories 10 supermax prison in illinois is officially closed its doors on the transfer of the last of its prisoners. prisoner advocates and della members led a campaign for the shuttering of the prison citing harsh conditions that included the use of long-term solitary confinement for a decade or longer. illinois governor announced its closure last year citing budgetary concerns. the american civil liberties union's national prison project praised the closure saying -- those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
8:16 am
president obama is expected today to nominate john brennan as the next director of the central intelligence agency and former republican senator chuck hagel as defense secretary. we begin by looking at john brennan. 25 year cia veteran who currently serves as obama's top counter-terrorism adviser. he has played a key role in the expansion of obama's secret drone war and has been dubbed by some to be the "assassination czar." he was a rumored pick when obama was first elected in 2008, but forced to withdraw from consideration amid protests over his role at the cia under george w. bush. brennan had publicly supported the ca's policies of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques and extraordinary rendition. joining us by videostream is marcy wheeler, investigative blogger who is written extensively about john brennan. she writes the website and joins us from michigan. tell us to john brennan is. >> if barack obama had the
8:17 am
equivalent of a dick cheney, someone who is involved in all of the national security decisions, is the last person to speak to obama before he makes these decisions, if we trust him, if we believe he actually asks obama decisions, the one to a centralized almost all of these decisions in terms of, it would be john brennan. and obama's first term, brennan has been the one who has been at obama's side for all of these national security decisions. >> i want to turn to his remarks last may when john brennan publicly confirmed the united states has used drones to conduct targeted killings overseas. >> president obama believes if done carefully, deliberately, and responsibly, we can be more transparent and still ensure our nation's security. let me say it as simply as i can. yes, in full accordance with the
8:18 am
law and order to prevent terrorist attacks on the united states and to save american lives, the united states government conducts targeted strikes against specific al qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft often referred to publicly as drones. i am here today because president obama has instructed us to be more open with the american people about these efforts. >> that is john brennan who president obama has said will be nominating to be head of the ca. marcy wheeler, your comments? >> what your leaders -- lister should know, john brennan has lied explicitly about drones in the past. he basically said there had been no casualties at all from drones. when he makes public statements, he had a famous press conference right after the killing of osama bin laden or he
8:19 am
made a lot of misleading statements as well. when john brennan says something, you should not necessarily believe him. we know from what he said in that speech there were specific details that were inaccurate. obama's notion of being transparent with john brennan, a proven liar, does not fly. moreover, given that we know now -- we did not know when he made this speech -- john brennan is the guy that basically, like a said, the last decision maker before obama signs off. he is a pretty big incentive to spend the process in such a way he is protected legally. if in fact they're not using rolls that would abide by international law, he has quite a bit of exposure. now he can claim to be transparent and make this speech about these great standards they're using -- which they're not. the speech he made does not account for signature strikes,
8:20 am
which involves patterns rather than specific intelligence. and protect him, but it is not transparency. the administration has repeatedly refused to be transparent on most basic issues with regard to their program. >> last may john brennan was the target of a protest by medea benjamin of codepink. she disrupted a speech as he defended u.s. drone strikes. >> over the years -- >> how many people are you willing to sacrifice? wiry line to the american people and not say how many innocents have been killed? >> thank you, ma'am, for expressing your views. they're all the time afterwards. >> in pakistan who is killed because he wanted to document the drone strikes. i speak out on behalf of al awlaki, 16-year-old born in denver, killed in yemen just because his father was someone
8:21 am
we don't mind. i speak out on behalf of the constitution, on behalf of the rule of law. i love my country. you are making us less safe by killing so many innocent people. >> that was medea benjamin of codepink as she was carried out of the hearing by security. marcy wheeler, what brennan was saying and what medea benjamin was protesting? >> medea benjamin referenced two 16-year-old son were killed, one of pakistani who was an activist basically against drone strikes and shortly after he made some public statements, he died in a drone strike. the second one, al-awlaki's, and she said, was an american citizen and he was killed in a drone strike just a couple of weeks after his father. it is funny because there have been recent common-sense where people in the administration,
8:22 am
anonymous people said, "that was an egregious mistake killing awlaki's sun." under the rules that brennan says are so protective, military aged mail are considered -- male or consider militia unless they're proven not to be. those are the kinds of standards we are using. whatever the story is for why abdel alec was killed, what you have is an american citizen who has no known ties to terrorism who got killed and one of our drone strikes presumably because he was a teenager and consider teenagers within the target. >> what about john brennan's role under george w. bush? >> so he was george tenants chief of staff, not to be the precursor to what is now called the national tourism center dollars counter-terrorism center.
8:23 am
he touched the early torture program. i think, more broadly, was involved in the targeting for the cheney's illegal warrantless wiretapping program when it was working without any legal sanction at all. as she sat at the top of this story, brennan was considered -- as you said at the top of the story, a briton was considered to lead the cia for years ago. we have learned about his role in drone strike since then and now it is supposed to be an acceptable candidate? i guess that is a testament to what kind of hard-nosed% barack obama has become and the degree to which his policies are really just a continuation of the bush- cheney policies. >> marcy wheeler, thank you for being with us. political blogger, joining us from michigan. we will continue to follow this news as we broadcast now, word has just come and the president obama will nominate john brennan
8:24 am
to the head of the cia. when we come back from the break, we'll look at his other nominee today, chuck caffall, the former senator of nebraska -- chuck hagel, the former senator of nebraska. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
8:25 am
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we turn now to look at chuck hagel, president of them is expected to nominate a former republican senator to become the next defense secretary. he is a vietnam veteran who represented nebraska in the senate from 1997-2009. he may face an uphill battle due to opposition from fellow republicans. after initially supporting the iraq invasion, he later joined democrats criticizing the war. he also supported cuts to the military budget. several prominent republican
8:26 am
lawmakers and commentators have criticized his past comments about israel. in 2008, he was quoted as saying -- on sunday, south carolina republican senator lindsey gramm criticized a go on cnn. >> chuck hagel is out of the means to my thinking, i think, on most issues regarding foreign policy. i expect the president to nominate people different. i'm going to vote for senator kerrey. i don't agree with him a lot, but i think he is in the mainstream of thought. if confirmed to the secretary of defense, chuck hagel would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense for the state of israel in our nation's history. not only has he said you should directly negotiate with iran, sanctions don't work, that is a must associate with a mass -- hamas, he was one of 12 senators refused to sign a letter to the
8:27 am
european union tried to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization. he has long severed his ties with the republican party. this is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us your support of of israel. i don't know what his management expenses regarding pentagon. i think it is a controversial choice. a >> speaking to meet the press last month, president obama defended senator hagel's record. >> i know chuck hagel. he is a patriot. he is someone who has done extraordinary work in the united states senate. he served this country with valor in vietnam. he is someone who is currently serving on my intelligence advisory board and doing an outstanding job. >> to talk more about the nomination of chuck hagel as secretary of defense, we are joined now by ali gharib writes a middle east blog on the daily
8:28 am
beast website. welcome to "democracy now!" talk about the controversy around hagel's in in today by president obama or nominated. >> they floated -- the administration floated his name last month and there's been a firestorm of criticism since then that is come mostly from right-wing republicans, but also a little from pro-israel democratics that is based around his views on israel, iran, some comments he made about a decade ago about a gay nominee to the ambassador the last to be ambassador, and just general right wing republican conservative voting record in his two terms in the senate. all of these attacks have been coming for about a month. just at the end of the month, obama finally defended him and we found out friday he was confirmed to be the likely
8:29 am
nominee, today or maybe tomorrow morning. >> talk about his record. what is the controversy about? talk about the three i's -- israel, iran, iraq. >> there's been a lot of articles recently written saying the republicans don't like him because was the first major republican to get a turn on the iraq war. he did vote to authorize the war, but was more skeptical than most going in. it is reported he voiced a lot of private concerns about that. going on to israel, he has a mainstream voting record where he voted to support military aid for israel, for example, the spoke critically about some israeli policies and refuse to do the kind of posturing and preening a lot of people on capitol hill do, signing every letter that aipac puts out. on iran, he had some skepticism about the efficacy of sanctions, which i think is pretty well founded. he also has expressed concern
8:30 am
about the potential consequences of a military strike in that we have not talked about that at all in our national discourse. i think that is a pretty well- founded concern, too. and so he has repeatedly been attacked for these things, was called an anti-semite in the weekly standard and other jewish groups. the man themself, let's go first to chuck hagel on iraq after initially supporting the wars, he became a vocal critic in 2007 and joined democrats opposing president bush's troops surge. >> there is no strategy. this is a ping-pong game with american lives. these young men and women that we put in iraq, anbar province, in baghdad, are not beings, their real lives. we better be damn sure we know we're doing -- all of us --
8:31 am
before we put 22,000 more americans into that area. >> that was 2007. ede same year his question b about iraq. >> do you think the the ministration believed the intelligence or read it? >> if you're referring to the war resolution 2002, that was not a resolution to go to war. that was a resolution that would empower the president of the united states to take military action if it was the last course of action he could take, the last resort after exhausting all the diplomatic efforts. i think we need to be clear on that. it was not a resolution to are not to go to war. second, your question about to our regret it? yes. if i had to vote again, i would vote against it. the fact is, the war in iraq was a war of choice.
8:32 am
saddam hussein was not in imminent threat to the united states or anyone else. the fact is, he did not control 60% of this country. we had overflights in the north and south, f-16's that would fly out of saudi arabia. he was slowly strangling in the 40% of his country. that was a needless commitment of american blood and treasury. if that vote was held again today, i would vote against it. >> that was chuck hagel, ali gharib. >> i think that sort of skepticism that he showed later on iraq is exactly what a lot of his critics are attacking him on iran. you had this funny thing where abraham foxman came out in two separate interviews a few weeks ago on the same day and a one he said that hagel's comments about the jewish lobby were borderline anti-semitic, and on the other
8:33 am
one he said it sounds like his open to the military option on iran so we don't see any reason to oppose him. >> i have asked quote. he said -- chuck hagel would not be the first, second, our third choice for the american jewish community's friends of israel. >> and on the same day he made that statement, he did an interview with israeli newspaper colorado "the times of israel," he said chuck hagel has come around to the president's position on supporting keeping the military option on iran open and therefore, there was not enough cause for concern to oppose his nomination as defense
8:34 am
secretary. that kind of gives you an idea of what all of this rhetoric has been about. it is about taking the hawkinhah perspective on iran. i think people are in for a rude awakening. as you've seen from the videos, chuck hagel is not exactly averse to sing out loud what he is thinking. >> i want to take on another issue, during an appearance on "meet the press" president obama was asked about comments senator hagel made 14 years ago regarding president bill clinton's nominee for ambassador to luxembourg, james c. hormel. senator hagel had questioned his qualifications for the position because he was "openly, aggressively gay." hagel apologizes for the remark last month. this is president obama's response. >> with respect to the particular comment, he apologized for it. i think it is a testimony to what has been a positive change over the last decade in terms of
8:35 am
people's attitudes about gays and lesbians serving our country. that is something i'm very proud to have led. i think anybody who serves in my administration understands my attitude and position on those issues. >> your response? >> there's been some lingering gay rights lobby groups and individuals who oppose chuck hagel, but some of the larger groups, human rights campaign is probably the most influential gay equality group in washington, can around after hagel's apology and said they welcome him into the fold and consider him an ally for gay equality. >> ambassador hormel was not as generous. >> he gave sort of an equivocal acceptance of hegel's apology where he said, he suggested strongly it was out of political expedience but said he hopes the remarks are genuine and that he
8:36 am
really has come around. it has been a mixed bag for hegel with a lot of the gay groups. there was an ambassador guest, another clinton ambassador in the late 1990's, rodent, but today in "politico" another openly gay ambassador, said he worked with check a goal and did not take great issue with him. these are progressive concerns with hagel's records that should be addressed in the confirmation hearing. there's the issue of a quality, which does bear on personnel issues in the military because now there is open service there and also lgbt family rise for service members. also, other issues like hagel's opposition to abortion. he previously opposed a bill that ended up passing that allows women service members to obtain abortions on base hospitals, even paying out of their own pocket. hagel oppose that. he should be vigorously question on those matters. another would be climate change.
8:37 am
he sort of doubled and climate change skepticism, a mixed record where he is gone back and forth. -- he has dabbled with climate change skepticism, a mixed record where he has gone back and forth. these are legitimate progress of concerns that should be addressed in confirmation by liberal senators. >> on the usa patriot act? >> i believe he voted for it and does have lingering concerns about those things. >> but voted against habeas corpus for all prisoners detained in guantanamo? >> yes. it is a mixed record. >> what about president obama choosing the republican to had defense? he had gates before. is there a sense that republicans are better on so- called defense or on war in the obama administration? >> this has been an issue i have been arguing about a lot of my
8:38 am
liberal democratic friends. i am not really a partisan myself, so i could care less which party holds cabinet positions. but for a lot, i think it is a point of pride, especially because it has been a continuing republican attack. i am personally not that concerned about it. there were some great liberal democratic candidates for this job who would have been good. i do think for the kind of unique challenges the next two years, withdrawn from afghanistan, paring down the military budget, and getting a sense -- sensible republican iran, these are upcoming challenges for our country. i think hegel is pretty well suited to those, especially on paring down the defense budget. i'm not so sure liberal democrat would be able to work republican members of congress to do with those issues the same way.
8:39 am
it is entirely possible and ashton carter or michele floor name. >> who is michele flournoy? the current no. 3 and ashton carter is the current no. 2. there also named as likely candidates for the post. it is entirely possible both of done the job. the politics of the job, the politics of the defense budget what they are, i think it would be politically helpful to have a conservative republican in that role. >> thank you for being with us, ali gharib, senior editor for open zion, a middle east blog. we will have a link on when we come back, we go to the rate case in steubenville, ohio, or 16-year-old woman was gang raped by members of the local high-school football team. anonymous hacked the website of
8:40 am
one of the football team members and put out a video online, has a young man talking about what happened to this woman. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:41 am
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. following the death of a young rape victim that galvanized tens of thousands of protesters in india, we turn out to the cases of from volunteer in the u.s. that until only recently generated national attention. that is the case of steubenville, ohio, where members of a high-school
8:42 am
football team allegedly raped an underage girl and possibly urinated on her unconscious body over the course of an evening of partying in late august. the young men chronicled their actions on social media sites such as facebook entries in the words such as "trunk group" and "rate" in their posts. one former football player tweeted -- in one video, an 18-year-old laughs about how unconscious the alleged rape victim was during the incident and refers to her as "the dead girl. >> she might have wanted it. that might have been her final wishes. [laughter] >> yawping she is dead? >> she's dead. >> but for many of the partygoers could delete their
8:43 am
incriminating posts, local crime blogger a alexandria goddard made copies and publicized them on her website. she was sued for defamation but the charges have since been dropped. many steubenville locals have criticized for in the victim for bringing that to the public attention to the football team. the head football coach has refused to bench his players, and reportedly advised them to delete any incriminating messages. now the cyberactivists group anonymous has launched a campaign to unmask what they say is the football-crazy town's attempt to cover-up the girl's sexual assault. last month, the group hijacked the football team's website and ran to release the personal data of school officials, coaches, and every player on the team if those involved in the suspected rape did not publicly apologize. in august, after the girl's parents reported the suspected rape, two football players were arrested and later charged with kidnapping and raping the 16- year-old girl.
8:44 am
they're scheduled to stand trial as juveniles in february. however on saturday, sheriff fred abdalla told protesters that no more suspects would be charged in the rate case. amidst boos from the crowds, he defended his department's commitment to prosecuting sexual offenders. >> i made a commitment to myself and i commend to this office in 1985, [indiscernible] raped or sexually abused young children. in the last 20 years, me and my officers have arrested over 200 plus individuals for sexually abusing children. and we taught our children -- we taught our children about
8:45 am
strangers all the time. >> than our share from abdalla who is under fire for his handling of the steubenville high school rape investigation. for more we're joined by three guests, from north carolina, monika johnson hostler. here in new york, kristen gwynne from. her recent piece is called, "how anonymous hacking exposed steubenville high school rape case." and by videostream, we're joined by "x" a member of anonymous. we welcome you all to "democracy now!" i want to begin with our guest here in the studio. kristin, explain this case -- the actual attack occurred in august. how we have come to learn about now in january? >> alexandria goddard was on the case from the beginning. she is from steubenville, ohio. she had been following the details and actual tracing tweets from a football players and athletes at the school
8:46 am
almost immediately after the charges were filed in august. she garnered the attention of the community on her blog. even in the comment section, a lot of people are saying either, yes, this is a football-crazed town or actually blaming the victim for what happened -- for what allegedly happened to her. after her blogging, the new york times wrote an article about it just a month ago chronicling the events of the evening. and the possibility that more people were involved. >> what is believed that took place that night? >> according to anonymous and the new york times, they're saying a 16-year old girl from a neighboring town in west virginia was taken to a series of party celebrating the end of this summer and the beginning of the football season. she was intoxicated or possibly date raped an unconscious, even, at one point, being carried by
8:47 am
football players from party to party and allegedly sexually assaulted and raped both at the parties and in between. anonymous is saying the sexual assaults may have even happened at the homes of assistant coaches to the football team as well as the prosecutor. >> the picture that has come out of two men holding this girl, dragging her -- a man holding her arms and one holding her legs. i want to bring into the conversation monika johnson hostler. if you could respond to what you've seen and heard described in this case, the fact the police chief as saying there will be no more indictments. there have been too young men who have been charged, and they will be tried as juveniles in a few weeks. >> thank you for having me.
8:48 am
i think my response, like most people is a guttural response, that this is a violent act right here in the u.s. where it appears for those of us who are not in ohio, it has taken a little longer for us to get the details. based on the description, i think most of us know if this were any other kind of case where there were onlookers or other people, that we would be considering holding those people who also witnessed and were a part of engaging in sexual assaulting or dragging this young woman from party the party as aiding and abetting, at least responsible in some capacity criminally, as well. >> is in some of this alleged to have happened at the home of the jefferson county prosecutor? >> that is what i understand, that it was at the home of a prosecutor. what i can say for the community in the state of ohio is, it
8:49 am
seemed early on the police chief at the time was readily open and willing for the attorney general to come in and take the case, which nothing is more than appropriate considering here in north carolina from a small town where everyone knows everyone and football is paramount to the community, that there be someone outside the community engaged in the criminal prosecution. >> a jefferson county prosecutor has recused herself from the case. presumably because of her son >> and ahas a local judge who said his granddaughter had been involved with one of the accused. >> what is the family of the but the same? the the young woman say she had no memory of that night? >> she said she did our remember anything pretty much after leaving her home and it was not until she saw the pictures herself that she understood or began to understand and piece together what had happened to
8:50 am
her that night. >> i want to turn to "x" from anonymous, a pseudonym for security reasons. can you turn to us -- can you tell us what is your group did? >> thank you for having me on today. it is important to understand this action involves three separate entities that are overlapping and corrugated, but separate. the cyber action, which involved the hacking and the cyber aspects were conducted by anonymous in a specific cell within anonymous. the ground protests, or two saturdays ago the last for two saturdays, were handled by occupy steubenville.
8:51 am
another part of the puzzle was locally. the disclosure platform which released just a copious amount of information. it is important to understand those three elements were involved. >> i just want to say, especially for radio listeners to cannot see, you're wearing a mask. your voice is masked as well as your name. why are you doing this anonymously? >> for security purposes. i have been on your show before. the last time i was on the air, i was still anonymous with a small "a" and i was apprehended shortly after i appeared on your show by the fbi. for a number of reasons, because i felt the prosecution was political against myself, i chose to flee into exile. i am in canada now.
8:52 am
my name is known to most people. you could research the and find out who i am. i have altered by apparent since have gone into exile. i took the name "x" because i kind of like it. >> has explained the video -- explain it to video that your group anonymous got ahold of, with this 12-minute video showed. >> it is apparent to anyone who can stomach watching of the entire 12 minutes. i, myself, we've been working night and day on this operation. i have watched it a dozen times and it makes me sick each time to watch it. i think it speaks for itself. these young men were sitting around immediately after the crime took place, which is clear from what they say in the video. one person even gets up at one
8:53 am
point and leaves in disgust and goes to check on the victim to see if she is ok. the victim is still nearby. the crime is still in progress, in essence, when this video was shot. and never people implicated in the video, including the subject of the video who implicated himself in this crime. i think the video speaks for itself i cannot imagine how the police do not see this as further evidence and do not levy charges against the people in the video. >> what are you, monika johnson hostler, calling for right now? right now to young people have been charged. there is a lot of community support for the football players. wasn't there reference in the video to duke and lacrosse players? >> there was.
8:54 am
i had to watch the 12-minute video in segments because it was sickening to my self to hear young men of this age talk about how did she was, and one alluded to if this was your watedaughter wife and 10 years, you would not be saying this and he said, yes, i would. it is sickening to hear the degree of which they go on and carry on about how much -- the correlation to duke was, she was raped more than the duke across players raped. what we're calling for is not just how this is handled in steubenville, ohio, but really asking america to look at ourselves and how we are handling sexual violence and rape in our country. i think we have been able to point our fingers and turn our heads to rapes that happen in other countries, and not hold ourselves accountable as americans to say, we have a
8:55 am
culture of rape where women and girls are still degraded and dehumanized. rape is not a fabric of this country bring out things centuries later we would be further along in our response. in terms of our overall response, we're calling for america to take a hard look at itself and think about the culture we are raising our kids in and the things we are allowing to happen by not acknowledging as a community, as a society, the importance of supporting the rape victim. i want to go back briefly to something you asked earlier about the rape victim recalling her story or what happened. what i like to point out your listeners and viewers is, oftentimes rape victims do not consider what happened to them right. just as kristen gwynne described, she was intoxicated and inebriated and was not able to recall what happened -- which is often the case we here with alcohol or drug facilitated rate. it is important before we blame
8:56 am
the victim, when the victim recalls their story in pieces, it is often because of cases like this where it is difficult to recall. >> kristen gwynne, can you talk about the role of social media and exposing the story first? >> social media has played an interesting role from the beginning. without it, is prosecuting the case at all would have been difficult because so much of the evidence was tweets and facebook posts and videos that could put up on youtube. but alexandra goddard takes screen shots of everything before the kids are smart enough to realize they need to delete them. she was able to compile evidence. >> and who is she? >> shias de blogger and also from the town. i guess she had a personal interest in investigating further because she said from the minute she heard about the case she believed the football
8:57 am
players were being treated specially because the town has a much invested in the team. and once anonymous caught hold of it, they took it further by exposing more tweets. and then, the video, which was just a stunning testament to the rape culture in america and in this town, in particular. >> finally, "x" can you talk about -- i'm looking at wired magazine. this isn't the first anti- pedophile project from the group. it doesn't talk about the past. >> i just want to point out one last thing on the steubenville
8:58 am
subject. there's more to this than just a rate been covered up because of football and because of legitimate revenue within that community. we've uncovered through anonymous a gigantic and lingering in steubenville -- mbling ring in steubenville. gambling, drugs. there is more to this. the story is about corruption. it is about a sick fascination with football. i encourage people to go and look at the information we have revealed. this goes deeper than just rape. >> we have 10 seconds. >> we are in operation by anonymous to uncover pedophiles and social media and about them and get them removed from social media and hopefully, arrested and convicted for their crime. >> "x", a ticket for being with
8:59 am
us, thank you to monika johnson hostler wit


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on