Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  July 29, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

3:00 pm
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! the very idea that he is being punished for coming out against war crimes and such cruelty by his fellow servicemen is disturbing. months, therly two judge overseeing the trial of bradley manning is delivering the verdict for the 25-year-old
3:01 pm
soldier accused of being behind the biggest leak in u.s. history. we will speak with independent journalist alexa o'brien. she has been in court every day since the trial began. and we speak with michael ratner. we will also discuss charges against edward snowden, who remains trapped in a moscow airport, even as the u.s. has promised not to torture him if he comes home. states has been so incredibly dominant, it can bully almost any country in the world. it is difficult to take it on, to reveal, as these people have, the massive surveillance system on its citizens. >> all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
3:02 pm
areorters of mohamed morsi calling for more protests after another mass killing by state forces. at least 72 people were killed on saturday when egyptian police opened fire on a muslim brotherhood rally in cairo. the attack came three weeks after 60 supporters were gunned down in a protest against morsi's ouster. the also came after thousands of egyptians turned out for dueling political rallies for and against the egyptian military. police were forced to open fire after demonstrators threw rocks, fired rounds, and marched on the bridge. the egyptian vice-president criticized what he called the excessive use of force and said he hopes to seek a peaceful solution. a muslim brotherhood
3:03 pm
spokesperson denounced the interim government, saying -- the interim government has warned morsi supporters that they will face action if they do not cease to protest. a u.s. drone strike in pakistan has killed at least six people. unverified reports say that the victims included a senior commander of the pakistani taliban. it was at least the 17th drone attack in pakistan this year. the associated press reported last week the u.s. has scaled back strikes to to pakistani objections. the ap says the white house has dropped the practice of signature strikes in which attacks can be launched on circumstantial patterns, such as a large gathering of military-
3:04 pm
age males. the presiding judge in the bradley manning trial is now deliberating on 21 charges, including aiding the enemy. it was the largest leak of classified information in u.s. history. on friday, supporters blocked the court martial. orthe question is whether not he did the right thing. that he is idea being punished for coming out against war crimes and cruelty by his fellow servicemen is really disturbing. >> over the weekend, protesters and dozens of cities held a day
3:05 pm
of action, calling for his release. we will have more on the trial after the headlines. the obama administration has assured russia and that edward snowden will not be executed or tortured if sent back to the united states. attorney general eric holder said that he does not face the death penalty and will not even if charged with additional crimes. the u.s. is prepared to issue him a passport valid for returning to the united states. we will have more on this on the broadcast -- later in the broadcast. in the mother of trayvon martin is hoping to influence gun laws. message to you is, please use my story.
3:06 pm
please use my tragedy. andse use my broken heart say to yourself, we cannot let this happen to anybody else's child. [applause] fulton's speech came two days after the lone person of color on the jury came for and said -- forward and said that she believes that the man got away with murder. the group common dreams defenders, have refused to leave daysenate buildings until and just the stand your ground laws.
3:07 pm
reporters, belafonte was asked for his message to governor scott. >> support the young people and tell him, if he is in touch with history, he should know this is just the beginning. i would suggest he deals with it now while there is still santee, peace, a willingness not to see anything go askew. if he pays attention now, he might present -- prevent it from escalating into something infinitely better. >> police initially barred the delivery of food to the sit-in, but they later changed their decision. north carolina governor pat mccrory is expected to sign a new law today that is being described as the harshest crackdown on early voting rights. the polet-issued id at
3:08 pm
and same-day registration would be required and would also drop a program that registers students when they are 18. the governor admitted that he had not read a section of the bill. 47 people have been killed and more than 200 wounded in a wave of bombings across iraq. it was the latest in a series of sectarian attacks that have brought iraq its worst violence since 2008. israel and palestinian authorities are resuming peace talks for the first time in three years. they have agreed to meet today after intense lobbying from john kerry. on the eve of the talks, israel agreed to release 104 palestinian prisoners. they are returning to the negotiation table despite the rejection of the freeze on all settlements in the west bank.
3:09 pm
the obama administration has announced plans to transfer two prisoners from guantanamo bay to algeria. the two were cleared for transfer as early as three years ago. they will be the first prisoners to be released since last fall, months before the ongoing hunger strike. according to military figures, 68 prisoners remain on hunger strike as of friday. the pentagon has now announced that its top official for dealing with prisoners will be stepping down to join the private sector. people were detained over the weekend as part of the summer heat direct action campaign for an marmot and justice. 44 people were arrested in a march on the brayton point coal plant in somerset, massachusetts, one of several plants being urged to close
3:10 pm
because the environmental concerns. the firm, environmental resources management, has come under scrutiny following the recent news of failed to disclose financial times of the tar sands in canada. exposeion was taken to their conflict of interest and relationships with big oil. president obama has offered to help to keystone xl opponents by questioning its ability to create jobs. speaking to the new york times, his major -- in address on climate policy last month he tied his decision on the pipeline to its net impact on global warming.
3:11 pm
at least seven people are dead after a shooting rampage near miami. the gun man, pedro vargas, set fire to his apartment building, killed six people, and took two hostage. a florida spokesperson announced that the standoff had come to an end. >> eight hours after the situation started, swat units moved in and shot and killed the suspect. at the time, the suspect was holding two hostages at gunpoint, and the decisions were made that action was to be taken immediately. the end result, seven people have lost their lives in the incident. six innocent victims and the shooter. now start the investigation of how and why this happened. >> according to police, vargas had no known criminal history.
3:12 pm
authorities say a prisoner has died from a hunger strike. however, authorities and that he was not taking place in the hunger strike and died from suicide. and a 1100 people prisons are said to be on a hunger strike after initial numbers of some 30,000. california prison clinics have been overrun with hunger strikeers in dire condition. police in than rouge, louisiana are under controversy for a sting campaign targeting homosexual men agreeing to have gay sex. arrest them for crimes against nature. at least a dozen arrests have been made since 2007. the men are being targeted even
3:13 pm
though the court struck down the anti-sodomy law years ago. theleveland, ariel castro, man who kidnapped and abused three women has agreed to a plea deal to spend life behind bars. he pleaded guilty to hundreds of kidnapping and rape charges. he fathered a six-year old daughter with amanda berry after raping her, and also forced her to miscarry several times through beatings and starvation. agreement, the plea castro avoids the death penalty. san diego mayor bob filner says he is entering two weeks of behavior therapy after multiple allegations of sexual harassment. multiple women have accused him of inappropriate conduct. he has refused calls to step
3:14 pm
down and on friday said he was seeking help. willginning august 5, i enter a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy, so that when i return on august 19, my focus will be on making sure i am doing right by the city in terms of being the best mayor i can be and the best person i must be. top aides have resigned since the scandal broke. the san diego police have set up a hotline to field complaints from his alleged victims. the san diego democrats voted last week for him to resign. the white house announced it will not announce a successor to ben bernanke until the fall. speculation is centered on janet yellen and larry summers.
3:15 pm
name has sparked opposition from conservative critics. he resigned as president of harvard university in 2006 amidst support from his suggestion that women have less in eight scientific ability than men. supporters of a jailed new york imam have called for his conviction to be struck down. the lawyers of yassin aref say that the fbi targeted him because they mistook him for an al-qaeda agent who was reportedly killed in an israeli strike in 2010. attorney addressed a rally in binghamton, new york. the loan a was that
3:16 pm
was from money-laundering from a missile, but he was never shown that. and he was told that that would spook him and wanted nothing to do with it. he even said he had no interest in supporting terrorism. >> new york activist lynne part in a march for peace from albany to binghamton. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a military judge when now consider the fate of army private bradley manning, accused to be behind the leak of the biggest classified leak in history. prosecutors made their closing arguments on thursday and the defense followed on friday. he is the first-ever defendant to face and aiding the enemy charge for leaking more than
3:17 pm
700,000 documents to wikileaks and other news agencies, and could case -- said a major precedent. the judge in the case is now deliberating over the 21 charges manning faces and has not said when she will rule. many of manning's supporters are dismissal of a possible guilty finding and to reduce the whistleblower sentence. on friday, whistleblowers block the gates of fort mcnair in washington, where offices are located. is not whether or not he was naive. >> the idea that he is being punished for coming out against war crimes and cruelty by his fellow servicemen is really disturbing. >> over the weekend, protesters
3:18 pm
around the world also held rallies to mark in international day of action calling for manning's release. for more, we are joined from fort meade, via video stream, with alexa o'brien. she is in her car outside the courtroom. she was the first to make transcripts of the proceedings publicly available when there were not available by the court. she was short listed for the martha gellhorn prize for journalism in britain.
3:19 pm
in new york, we are joined by michael ratner. a lawyer for julian assange and wikileaks. also therener was for the opening and closing arguments in the bradley m manng trial. welcome to democracy now! michael, start off by describing the scene in the courtroom on thursday and friday, and what the prosecution laid out, and then the defense. room,is a small court only 25 spectators. you are very close to bradley manning, almost as close as i am here to you. it is very small and compact. the prosecutor spent thursday on his summation, and he was not supposed to, and i will tell you why. there andul to sit listen to him to smear and go
3:20 pm
into a diatribe about the character of manning and also claiming why he did what he did, and then going after wikileaks, saying they are not a journalist. to sit there and painfully listen to these smears the entire day, everything from he is a traitor, he did this for pain, self-interested -- none of it is true. that is what his defense lawyer pointed out. when i say it took the whole day -- we were supposed to get both summations on thursday but i think the prosecutor purposely repeated things so that the press that night would only put in his characterization of manning. it was not until the next day until the defense destroy the idea that he was doing anything
3:21 pm
other than getting the information out to the american public about u.s. war crimes. o'brien, you have been there every day of the trial, including sunday, as the judge was delivering -- deliberating. can you talk about how the reporters were being treated by the military? >> we have a new public affairs officer here and we had armed guards basically roaming the aisles of the media operation center, but even more, a neighbor standing behind reporters, appearing on to our on to our-- appearing computers. it was shocking behavior. in "the reading a piece new york times" that describes was happening in the media
3:22 pm
let me see if i can find the words. >> i was here yesterday while the judge the liberated and the commander came up to me -- i am not allowed to name her or i could lose my press credentials. i am not allowed to identify them by name. she told me that she was the media person responsible for all the images of the saddam hussein captured, and that those photographs were taken with her camera. she understands how to manage the message. that is essential to this trial, how fort meade has managed the message by a lack of public
3:23 pm
access to court documents, the subject matter experts which is responsible for convening a fair and impartial trial for the accused, the first subject matter expert we had was a member of the prosecution. no one in the press knew that. it is what mr. rattner spoke about, the fact that the prosecution wants to make sure it makes the headlines, and eventually squeezes' any attention away from the defense. the fact is, if the trial were to be televised, if people could see bradley manning, how are earnest and sincere and sympathetic a character he is come up public opinion about the trial would change dramatically. thehe fact that you are at headquarters of the national security agency, fort meade, a thetary base, -- talk about
3:24 pm
trouble that you have with the internet, and what is your ability to work? describe what happens in the courtroom, in the media center, and can you go on-line there? the public affairs office here says it is because of commercial internet issues with comcast. we're not allowed to go on line. the fact of the matter is, we have to go outside in order to file. let's say something dramatic happens in the court room. we cannot publish anything, even send an e-mail. we have to leave the media operations center, get our phone out of the car, and then send something. e also have to look back -- there was a period of almost eight months when it was simply a small cadre of independent
3:25 pm
journalists where we did not have a media center where transcripts or pen and paper, and were tried to get as much information about a trial, and motions related to aiding the enemy, whether the government a case forto create the trial. it was a surreal experience. wasne of the court artists banned in the last few days from coming onto fort meade. >> that have to do with his conduct. he did send an apology letter. i will let him speak more specifically because i am not agree on what the content was. was related to to read about the prosecution. he has been banned. the judge said that she would reconsider because he sent this apology letter and explain himself, but because he could be
3:26 pm
banned from the base itself, not just the court martial proceedings, it is not yet clear but the garrison commander will do, whether he will sign the document banning him from the base itself, which would make the court martial ruling moot. you, duringto ask closing arguments, the military prosecutor ashden fein accused manning of betraying the nation and said --
3:27 pm
fein goes on to say -- alexa o'brien, talk about the actual charges that bradley manning faces? >> he is charged with 22 charges. in the trial portion, related to the offenses, he has pled to lesser included, and the government has accepted one of his pleas for the transmission of one diplomatic cable related to the banking corruption and ineptitude in iceland. he was only really tried on 21
3:28 pm
charges in that portion. if he is convicted on the government's case, he faces life plus 141 years. heat is already exposed to 20 years. the defense strategy has been to offset any greater offense to try to keep his plea to 10 or less, so that when they get to the sentencing phase, they can try to mitigate his sentence down as much as possible. werechael ratner, you there for the opening arguments, went back number of times, was there for the closing arguments. making the point of the prosecution made up -- took up a -- it isme on thursday
3:29 pm
not really the prosecution's problem, it is a problem for the reporters. the prosecution called him an anarchist seeking to make a splash, betrayed the u.s. trust. could brenda manning face the death penalty, even if the prosecution does not ask for it? >> aiding the enemy does carry the death penalty, even though the prosecution says that they will not give him more than life. the judge can do what she wants and she could give him the death penalty for that, correct. it is hard to describe how horrible that thursday was, some of the statements that the prosecution said. there was no evidence of that. the idea that he was a traitor came from a witness that never wrote anything down, clearly his it up, talking about
3:30 pm
attitude against the flag, that he did it for fame. that is ridiculous because manning's a lawyer claimed that he was trying to cover his tracks and stay anonymous. then the defense three different he had the that highest motives. before he wanted to go to iraq and save iraqis and fellow soldiers, they say he is idealistic. of course, after, he give this incredible day of testimony as these he leaked each of sets of documents. one of the most moving moments in the courtroom was on friday when they played exurbs of the collateral murder video, where
3:31 pm
you see the apache helicopter killing the journalists, and then firing on the van that is going to pick up the wounded people, using language saying basically, we got another target. >> this was the attack in baghdad by a u.s. apache helicopter in 2007. >> you have showed a number of times, a very moving thing. they ask, put yourself in the position of a 27-year-old watching that video and try not to remove yourself. nine people are killed. the implication was clear, and justifiably killed -- 12. think the total was the ship it may be. it may be.
3:32 pm
about this the way that the government talks about it, the defense said. most of the information, if not all, that had come out about that attack was not even classified. that was an incredibly stir moment in which the prosecutor is trying to say, these are bradley manning's motives. one interesting aspect is the aiding the enemy charge. they aree reasons painting wikileaks in a certain way, they want to say that manning, giving mr. wikileaks, knew that it would go onto the internet and that wikileaks is not a journalistic organization. therefore, manning did this with a motive, giving it to wikileaks, and if he had given it to the new york times. that was smashed to bits by the defense. they had a witness from harvard
3:33 pm
who said that wikileaks was a legitimate journalistic organization, there was a role for organizations like wikileaks for doing this, and that wikileaks does not put out everything it gets. it is discreet about what it puts out, it has had less than 1% of its documents declared less than accurate. the prosecution is trying to show manning in a certain way, wikileaks in a certain way, as two organizations that want to undermine the united states, rather than the whistleblowers they are. >> we have to go to break, but, alexa, i want to talk about the implications of journalists or all, particularly, the aiding the enemy charge. alexa o'brien is with us in her car outside the courtroom
3:34 pm
because no other accommodations could be made right now. she has been in the courtroom every day since the trial began, the first to make transcripts publicly available. and we are joined by michael ratner, the attorney for julian assange and wikileaks. ♪ [music break]
3:35 pm
>> the fate of bradley manning is in that hands of a military judge. i'm amy goodman. we are talking about the trial of bradley manning, now and hands of colonel denise lind.
3:36 pm
our guests are journalist alexa o'brien, who spent every day in the court room. she is sitting outside in her car in order to speak to us. we are also joined by michael ratner, attorney for julian assange and wikileaks. too, has been attending the manning trial. we also want to talk about the significance of how often wikileaks angelides assange were raised in this trial. is this a preparation for a next stage? alexa, talk about the list of witnesses, the significance of them, what you found most interesting. >> on the trial that we just finished? here we have the government bringing out their original classification authorities, and these are government witnesses that will testify the
3:37 pm
information that manning leaked was national security information and that it was closely held. but what was interesting was that, fundamentally, as the defense pointed out, these classification authorities often come from central command, they have aand, thatd interest in saying their classification determinations of the information was accurate. this is an important point, because we have to understand, manning is not on trial for actual harm. he is on trial for probable arm. so the government brought out witnesses that testified to those two alamance, but they also try to bring out witnesses who would say that manning was a bad soldier, as mr. rattner
3:38 pm
said, a trader, but except for iswman, who the defense ,mpeached for his credibility they have all said that manning was one of the best analysts, that he was the go-to analyst, a hard worker. they said that the government cannot have both ways. making at night and was also one of the best analysts. defense, and we had it an historic the locution by a law professor who was a defense expert on wikileaks, who talked to the judge in a candid
3:39 pm
manner about the threat to the delicate balance between national security reporting and the first amendment, if she found manning guilty of aiding the enemy. we have to remember, article 104, one of the two violations under the military code of justice, and applies to any person. it is beyond his duty as a soldier. this is really about every citizen in the united states. >> the ability to get information out, what you started doing in the trial, for people to understand how closely held the information was, you were the one providing the public with transcripts at the beginning. explain why the court was not doing this. >> this is a military court martial. it was herelieves --
3:40 pm
filed suit iney respect to this. she felt there was no first amendment legal precedent for public access to the court documents, so what she would do , mile athese very long minute recitations of the minutes into the record and deprive us of the media operations center, so we had to scribble these things down and our notebook. and this is not just the trial of brown demanding. we are talking about setting legal precedent for the future of national security reporting and whistleblowers. also beyond that, simply people using the internet, communicating in legally protected speech. the government is asserting in this case that, essentially, the enemy uses the internet, so if you publish intelligence, a the
3:41 pm
enemy with what is classified as intelligence, that is the definition. brought up on be the charge of aiding the enemy. that wery important should have had access to these it leans to a and record of her being deferential to t government and do whatever they can to manage the trial and the public perception about it. >> the judge is going to move out of her position after this. report from to a the washington post, she has been given an appellate judge job in the higher court, which i find extraordinary. i do not know if it is illegal, but it is interesting to me that she is going upstairs during the
3:42 pm
redraw going on, getting that promotion. it reminds me of the federal judge in the trial of daniel ellsberg, was offered to be the head of the fbi, secretly by the nixon administration. i do not see any stink from the media about the fact that denise lind is being offered a higher position. she is up there on the court when the manning conviction -- assuming it will be a conviction -- is reviewed. she will not sit on it, but her fellow judges will be there, and they will not want to reverse her. basically, it stinks. >> on the issue of aiding the enemy, what would you like to add? >> it is one of the most serious charges come at as it is life to death. basically, they say that you can aid the enemy by putting information up on the internet
3:43 pm
that is not classified, and because the enemy reads the internet, you can be accused of aiding the enemy. what person will actually start whistleblowing and give information to the media if they can get the death penalty? it also puts a journalist or publisher indirectly in the way of aiding the enemy. the government, understands, wikileaks, the new york times, washington post, anybody in the middle could be accused of aiding the enemy. it is part and parcel to the war on whistleblowers. reporter who recently said he did the need to testify because of reporter .rivilege >> he is a well-known new york times reporter who wrote a book
3:44 pm
about iran. >> the court's decision was that he has no right to testify. >> implicating sterling in the trial as a whistleblower. >> it should be a warning to every publisher and journalist out there. they say that he is inextricably involved in the crime, without him, the crime would not have occurred. so they say the journalist, who is reporting on the whistleblower, is inextricably involved with the crime. think about what message that sends to every publisher in the country about using sources. it is a terribly serious problem, one that makes me very upset that people are not now seeing that and applying this to wikileaks. quotationeading that from the prosecution saying bradley manning deliberately compromised information through
3:45 pm
wikileaks, knowing that they would release the information. what about the emphasis on julian assange and wikileaks in the court-martialing of bradley manning? was mentionednge 10 times in the morning of the prosecution's arguments. i was amazed. they want to use wikileaks as a nefarious organization to paint bradley manning of somehow having a bad intent, and secondly, they are trying to paint in the public's mind, what they have been doing in the justice department, the next zero to be uncovered it is probably the prosecution of wikileaks and julian assange. we think it is likely. you can look at this trial as the set up for getting julian assange indicted on this in
3:46 pm
direct aiding the enemy, etc. >> a lot side, before we leave the schedulewhat is. explain what will happen with the judge, and why this is even a judge to trial, not a jury trial. bymanning opted to be tried a military judge. he had the option of having a trial with enlisted personnel. -- juryook at history trials tend to be more partial to the accused. but here we have an accused who is gay in the military, and there is evidence of a struggle with the gender identity while in the iraq. the defense was concerned that manning could not get a fair trial with a panel of officers
3:47 pm
and enlisted personnel. the defense strategy has been to have the same judge that they could educate over the course of 18 months about a very asortant ideas like access it relates to the computer fraud and abuse act, and what manning said in february was not admissible to trial. she is aware that he made this statement. a jury would not have been aware of that. so there are important, strategic assets -- aspects to this alone. also, the jury in a military case is appointed by the convening authority, the general in charge of the proceedings. it is not randomly by choice of a pool. >> alex o'brien, the best place people can go to get your alexas, transcripts,
3:48 pm >> yes. >> we are awaiting the verdict of the court martial. she has been covering the trial daily. michael ratner, a lawyer for julian assange and wikileaks. michael, i want to ask you to stay with us after the break. we will be turning to developments about edward snowden. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
3:49 pm
3:50 pm
jj cale's "call me the breeze." died this weekend from a heart attack. he was 74 years old. we turn from the trial of bradley manning to edward snowden, who remains in the transit zone of the moscow international airport. the house narrowly rejected a proposal to block the national security agency possible collection of data of all calls placed in the u.s. keith alexander personally lobbied house members, reportedly calling their cell phones and opening with a joke, yes, i already have your number. muchreceived twice as campaign financing from the defense industry as those who voted against it. an analysis from maplight shows
3:51 pm
that defense cash was a better predictor of votes than party affiliation. the father of edward snowden, lon snowden, disagrees that the program that is some late are crucial for national security. >> i absolutely do not agree with that. certainly, we have the need for a strong intelligence community and conventional defense, but many of those people who would suggest that we must find these obscenely expensive programs that drive the massive private -- profits for companies like booz allen hamilton, and the turn of group, for which michael hayden is a principle, it is all about the money. if you look at the concerted effort by many of these congressmen, the peter king's of the world, michele bachmann, to demonize my son come into focus the issue on my son and not talk about the fact that they had a
3:52 pm
responsibility to insure these programs were constitutional. >> meanwhile, guardian columnist glenn greenwald said that he would soon publish details to confirm the nsa contractor edwards snowden's claim that analysts can listen to the phone calls of any american or even read president obama's e-mails. >> we are publishing a story this week which clearly sets forth what these programs are analysts of the nsa are able to do. they have trillions of telephone calls and e-mails that they have collected over the past few years. these programs are simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks do, where all they have to do is enter an e-mail address or ip address, and then it searches the database and allows them to listen to those calls or read those e-mails.
3:53 pm
they could look at the browsing history and who will search terms. it also alert them to further activity of people connected to those addresses do in the future, and it is all done with no need to go to acord, no need to get supervisor approval. there are legal constraints on how you can spy on an american. these systems allow analysts to listen to whatever e-mails or telephone calls, browsing history, word documents, an incredibly powerful and invasive tool. officials will be testifying before the senate on wednesday. i defy them to deny that these programs work exactly as i said. togreenwald is expected testify, not in person, but by video from brazil, in a separate congressional hearing, alongside other critics of nsa spying.
3:54 pm
later in the show, saxby chambliss of georgia disputed the report's. he is the vice chair of the senate intelligence committee. nsa up last week, spent a couple of hours with high-level and low-level nsa officials. what i have been assured of is here is no capability at nsa for anyone without a court order to listen to phone conversations or to monitor e-mail. we do not monitor e-mails, and that is what assures me that the reporting is incorrect. they used to be, but that stopped two or three years ago. i feel confident that there may have been some abuse, but if it was, it was pure accidental. >> all of this comes as attorney
3:55 pm
general eric holder sends a letter to the russian foreign minister, insisting the u.s. would not seek the death penalty against edward snowden and would issue him a limited validity passport good for direct return to the united states. they also offered assurances that they would not torture snowden. for more, we are joined by michael ratner, attorney for julian assange and wikileaks. michael, this letter that was sent by attorney general eric holder to his russian counterpart who says we will not torture or kill snowden. >> it is not worth anything and is laughable. it is sad that they have to write such a letter. in fact, it is meaningless. first of all, it is not the sincerely enforceable. and think about how the u.s.
3:56 pm
defines torture. the u.s. does not think anything in did under the bush era was torture, with the exception of waterboarding. so he could be subjected to every enhancement interrogation technique, lights on all the time, hot temperatures, cold temperatures, all of the enhanced interrogation techniques allowed under the view of torture. second, prolonged detention. it does not say that we will not put him in an underground cell and keep them there for the rest of his life. and it also says that he does .ot have the right to asylum this letter is meaningless, a pr ploy. from his quote more letter.
3:57 pm
>> is what i said. in the words of the diet state's statute, a portrait is illegal, but they have redefined it so that it can include in his interrogation techniques. he is aon for asylum, whistleblower, and one that has revealed important information about human rights violations by the united states. he is entitled to refugee status because of that. holder does not address that. >> the news that -- last week that he would be issued temporary asylum in russia. why is he still in the airport?
3:58 pm
>> i do not know. i just know what i read. paperwork has been filed or something. as far as we know, he is still in the airport. >> can he get a fair trial if return to the united states? >> absolutely not. think about if it bradley manning is getting a fair trial. snowden has a lot of support as well, but they are not getting fair trials. >> view as putting pressure on other countries. the airplane down of the bolivian president, not allowing him to fly through the air space of france and spain, fearing that snowden was aboard. >> it is the bully in the schoolyard. it is also illegal. it was illegal to force a presidential airplane to go down and land.
3:59 pm
secondly, it is illegal to interfere with someone the right to seek asylum. they could not interfere with his rights. >> we have to leave it there, michael ratner. that does it for our show.
4:00 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on