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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 21, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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11/21/18 11/21/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: i am not going to destroy the world economy and i'm not going to destroy the economy for our country by the foolish with saudi arabia. we are with h saudi arabia.. by the way, just everybody knows, i have no business whatsoever with saudi arabia. amy: president trump doubles down on his support for saudi
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arabia in the crown prince despite overwhelming evidence that journalist jamal khashoggi was assassinated at the direct order of crown prince mohammed bin salman. "the new york times" reports that top saudi officials considered using private companies to assassinate enemies order of crown prince mohammed a year before khashoggi's death. we speak with one of the reporters who broke the story, ronen bergman, author of "rise and kill first: the secret history of israel's targeted assassinations," a stunning book israeli intelligence officials tried to stop him from writing. >> this is a book about clandestine operations which focuses on targeted killings. in many other countries, this would be seen as illegal or e en if a country employs these tactics, people would be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it. in israeael, people are proud ty took these assignments. amy: then we look at the cost of
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war. nearly half a million people have died in the so-called u.s. war on terror. it has cost the united states nearly 60 in dollars. we will speak with professor neta crawford, lead author of a major new report from brown university. all that and more,e, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace reportrt. i'm amy goodman. president donald trump declared tuesday he would stand by saudi arabia over the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi, who entered the saudi consulate in istanbul, turkey, october 2 and was never seen again. in an extraordinary written statement riddled with exclamation points and subtitled "america first," trump wrote -- "it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't! that being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the
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murder of mr. jamal khashoggi. in any case, our relationship is with the kingdom of saudi arabia." trump's statement can even after "the washington post" reported last friday that the cia has high confidence that crown prince mohammed bin salman ordered khashoggi's murder. trump was asked by reporters tuesday why he was siding with saudi arabia over his own intelligence agencies. pres. trump: saudi arabia, if we broke with them, i think your oil prices would go through the roof. i have kept them down. they have helped me keep them down. right now we have low oil prices -- i would like to see go even -- it is ai think very simple equation for me. i'm about make america great again. and i'm about america first. amy: "america first" even though khashoggi was an american citizen. trump went on to falsely claim
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that saudi arabia was investing over $400 billion in the u.s. economy, while funding hundreds of thousands of jobs. but a new report from the center for international policy found investment from riyadh is respsponsible for less than 20,0 u.s. jobs a year and just a fraction of the investment cited by trump. trump's defense of the murder of jamal khashoggi drew condemnation from members of congress. virginia democratic senator tim kaine called the statement "yet another fawning prostration to a foreign authoritarian." some republicans, including senators lindsey graham and rand paul, have called for new sanctions on the saudi royal family. khashoggi worked as a columnist for "the washington post." in a statement, the newspaper's publisher and ceo fred ryan said -- "president trump is correct in saying the world is a very dangerous place. his surrender to this state-ordered murder will only make it more so. trump is placing personal relationships and commercial interests above american interests in his desire to continue to do business as usual with the crown prince of saudi
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arabia." on tuesday, trump denied he has any financial ties to saudi arabia. pres. trump: well, i have nothing to do -- just so you understand, i don't make deals with saudi arabia. i don't have money from saudi arabia. i have nothing to do with saudi arabia. i could not care less. amy: that contrasts with trump's comment at a july 2015 rally in which he declared -- "i like the saudis. i make a lot of money with them. they buy all sorts of my stuff." "the washington post" reports from's business t ties with saui arabia go back to the 1990's with saudi lobbyists spending $270,000 last year alone to book rooms at tromso tell in washington, d.c. in saudi arabia, human rights groups are warning that some of the kingdom's most prominent feminists have been tortured and sexually harasassed as thehey've been held withouout chararge and without access to a lawyerer.
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saudi officials began arresting the wowomen in midid-may, many f wh had spentnt years f fightinga ban on women drivers in saudi arabia.. both amnesty interernational a d human rights watchch say saudi guards routinely use beatings, electric shocks, sleep deprivation, and psychological torture against the women prisoners. in yemen, a new report by the charity save the children estimates 85,000 children under the age of five have died from acute malnutrition brought on by the u.s.-backed, saudi-led war on yemen. the finding came as residents of the yemeni port city of hodeida said the last two o days havaven the worst violence yet in a saudi-led offensive aimed at seizing the city from houthi rebels. hodeida resident maged ghaleb lost four daughters when a saudi coalition airstrike hit their home over the weekend. a fifth daughter was on life support in a hospital whose medical ststaff has mostly fled for fear of their lives.
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>> you can look at my house. i don't even have e a quarter oa kilo of wheat left. we are already dying of hununger and these airstrikes come and kill us and multiply our problems. we'rerealling on n all of thehe honorable peopople of the world from all religions, anyone who has a heart, to stop this bloodshed. we cannot take it. yemenis and their children are being murdered in cold blood. amy: save the children says food shipments through hodeida's port have already been seriously cucurtailed by the fighting, a d thatat any fthther declineneould lead dirirectly to faminine. the u.n. has called yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis in a half-c-century, with some 14 4 million people now at risk of famine. in afghanistan, a suicide bomb blast tore through a gathering of religious leaders in the capital kabul tuesday, killing at least 50 people and wounding over 70 others. the bomber targeted a group of
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muslim clerics in a wedding hall who'd gathered to observe the birthday o of the prophet muhammad. there wawas no claim of responsibility f for the attack, which was condemned by the television. -- taliban. recent similar bombings in kabul have been claimed by isis. on tuesday, homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen toured a stretch of the u.s.-mexico border wall in imperial beach, california, warning migrants the trump administration would likelely reject their claims of political asylum. >> wanting a job is not a basis for asylum under u.s. law. wanting to be reunited withh their family is not a basis forr asylum under u.s. law. wanting to live in the united states, not a basis of asylum under u.s. law. amy: she added the -- "the crisis is real and it is just on
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the other side of this wall." camusso trump administration says it would begin wiwithdrawining thousandsf soldiers and mobilized to the border ahead of the midterm elections and after a federal judge halted the trump administration's plans to bar migrants from seeking asylum unless they arrived at a legal u.s. port of entry. 29lowing that ruling, migrant families will be released from the south texas family residential center in dilley, texas. many of those released come from a region of central america known as the northern triangle, encompassing el salvador, guatemala, and honduras. the area is marked by widespread poverty and extreme gang violence. inin a statemement, amnesty international welcomed the releases as a positive step, but blasted the trump administration over its policy towards migrants, writing -- "it is unconscionable to criminalize mothers, fathers, and children who have lost everything. the administration must immediately abandon plans to build more detention centers and tent cities."
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in mississippi, where voters will head to the polls next week for a runoff senate election, newly surfaced photographs show incumbent republican senator cindy hyde-smith wearing a confederate army cap and posing with a vintage rifle, sword, and other confederate artifacts. the photos were from a facebook post hyde-smith published in 2014, which she captioned, "mississippi history at its best!" this comes after a viral video recorded just days b before the midterm elections shows hyde-smith praisining a campaign supporter with the words -- "if he invited me to a public hanging, i'd d be on the frfront ro"" mississippi was once considered the lynching capital of the united states, and hyde-smith's democratic opponent, mike espy, is african amecacan. in other mississippi news federal judge has blocked a , a harsh anti-abortion law from taking effect. the law, known as the gestational age act, was signed by mississippi republican
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governor phil bryant in march. it bans most abortions after 15 weeks, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. in his ruling declaring the law unconstitutional, u.s. district judge carlton reeves wrote -- "the fact that men, myself included, are determining how women may choose to manage their reproductive health is a sad irony not lost on the court." "the new york times" reports president trump wanted the justice department to criminally prosecute former fbi director james comey and hillary clinton. "the times" cites two unnamed sources who say trump's white house counsel, don mcgahn, only dissuaded the president after he warned such a move could lead to trump's impeachment. "the washington post" reports acting attorney general matthew whitaker was paid more than $1.2 million to lead a charity funded by dark money that bills itself as a nonpartisan watchdog, even as it worked exclusively to
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advance conservative causes. the charity, known as fact -- or the foundation for accountability and civic trust -- is a nonprofit that refuses to reveal its funding sources. but one of them is known to be conservative billionaire charles koch. whitaker worked as the charity's sole employee for three years, beginning in 2014, until he moved to washington to work as chief of staff to former attorney general jeff sessions. leaders of the u.s. fossil fuel industry knew as early as 1954 that carbon dioxide pollution accumulating in the atmosphere posed a growing threat to life on earth, but failed to warn the public. that's according to new research published by stanford historian benjamin franta in the journal nature climate change. franta found that in the 1950's, the american petroleum institute commissioned a study by a caltech scientist which concluded global carbon dioxide levels had risen by 5% in a century. it's the earliest known industry-funded research into climate change, and the findings led in part to a 1965 report by president lyndon johnson's
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science advisory committee on the threat posed by global warming. speaking to members of an oil industry conference that year, frank ikard, then-president of the american petroleum institute, warned -- "this report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action. the substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out." the american petroleum institute would instead go on to fund decades of climate change denial while fighting efforts to switch to renewable energy sources. the governments of the u.s. and canada are warning all romaine lettuce recently purchased or currently for sale is unsafe to eat in any form. the u.s. centers for disease control warns the lettuce is at risk of containing a dangerous type of e. coli bacteria and should be thrown away. last spring, an e. coli outbreak linked to romaine killed five people and sickened more than 200 others. that outbreak followed a decision by the trump
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administration to shelve water-testing rules crafted under president obama that could have prevented the outbreak. the foformer presidedent of micn state university has been charged with lying to police as they investigated crimes committed by dr. larry nassar, the former usa gymnastics team doctor convicted of sexually abusing hundreds of girls and young women. police say the former msu president, lou anna simon, lied when she said she told investigators she didn't know nassar was the subject of a 2014 title ix investigation into a campus sexual assault complaint. nassar was later cleared by msu of wrongdoing in that case. simon resigned last march, on the same day dr. nasser was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing over 150 people. simon faces two felony counts and two misdemeanor charges that could bring up to four years in prison. she's the third current or former msu official charged with covering up for dr. nassar.
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and here in new york, mujahid farid, a leading organizer in the push to release elderly people from prison, has passed away from cancer. he died tuesday at home surrounded by friends and family. farid founded the campaign release aging people in prison -- known as rapp -- when he was released from prison in 2011 after serving 33 years on a 15-to-life sentence. in a 2016 interview on democracy now!, he described rapp's message -- if the risk is low, let them go. >> one of the reasons that our campaign focused on the elderly is b because they present the of recidivism. if parole boards were really concerned about public safety, when a person comes up for release, these are the people who should be rereleased. we are asked to concerned d abot mass incarceration in general, the whole spectrum. but we thought focucusing on ths particular population, it would present us as the voice of
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reason and show how this punitive policy that is in place has really gone amok. amy: that's mujahid farid, who died tuesday at the age of 69. to see the full interview, go to and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and d viewers from around the country and around the world. despite overwhelming evidence that saudi journalist jamal khashoggi was assassinated at the order of crown prince mohammed bin salman, president trump stood by saudi arabia tuesday in an extraordinary written statement riddled with exclamation points and subtitled "america first," writing -- "it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't! that being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of mr. jamal khashoggi. in any case, our relationship is
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with the kingdom of saudi arabia." trump's statement came even after "the washington post" reported last friday that the cia has high confidence that crown prince mohammed bin salman ordered the assassination. despite this, trump repeated saudi claims that khashoggi was an "enemy of the state" and a member of the muslim brotherhood. this is trump speaking to reporters tuesday. pres. trump: i'm not going to destroy the world economy and i'm not going to destroy the economy for our country by being arabia.with saudi this is about america first. they are paying us $400 billion plus to purchase and invest in our country. that is probably the biggest amount ever paid to the united states. this is over a long period of time. it means hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars of investment and product. juan: trump's claims that saudi arabia it is investing $400
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billion in the united states are false. underreport found investment is responsible for fewer than 20,000 u.s. jobs the year and just a fraction of the investment side of itron. amy: saudi officials have tried to dismiss journalist jamal khashoggi's death as a rare, unauthorized killing, but a recent "new york times" report suggests the kingdom has sought out private companies to assassinate perceived enemies since the beginning of crown prince mohammed bin salman's rule. last week, "the times" reported top saudi intelligence officials close to bin salman considered a $2 billion plan to hire privatae intelligence operatives to assassinate prominent iranians. for more, we go to tel aviv, israel, where we are joined now by an israeli investigative reporter who helped break the story, ronen bergman. he has just written an exhaustive new book on the long, secretive history of israel's extrajudicial killing program.
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it's titled "rise and kill first: the secret history of israel's targeted assassinations." ronen bergman is a staff writer for "the new york times magazine" and the senior national security correspondent for yedioth ahronoth, israel's largest daily paid newspaper. his piece in "the new york times" is headlined "sasaudis close to crown prince discussed killing other enemies a year before khashoggi's death." ronen bergman, welcome to democracy now! let talk first about the latest news, president trump standing before reporters and explaining why he will continue to side with saudi arabia a and the cron prince of saudii arabia, despite the cia saying it is clear khashoggi was killed on crown prince mohammed bin salman's orders. can you respond to this and talk about the history of saudi arabia and assassination?
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>> sure. rhank you, amy, and juan, fo invited me to the show. i think what president trump tested -- what the french call -- he took one interest of the united states as he sees it, at least, to have this huge deal, alleged huge deal, with saudi arabia government, their funding of huge arms deal, and put this as only one consideration and put aside all of the rest -- human rights, the horrific operations who kill journalists in their territory in the consulate. i would say very conclusive saudi officials, stop the crown prince himself, were deeply involved, and said "i don't care about that." he is not the first one who did that. we saw it a few times or many
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times before, but it is reaeally done in a very blunt way. -- last weekshed in "the new york times," the case. this is not in operation by one saudi official. as early as march 2017, more ,han a year ago, the saudis former operatives of israeli and -- anan intelligence american businessman, who asked the saudis the fund project to cripple iranian economy. createreate somethihing -- a huge private intelligence organization that would use black operations too cripple iranian n economy. while they were didiscussing ths and on t the saudi side, the manager of these negotiations,
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the chief assistant to the crown prince, mbs, one of the saudi officials came to the israelis and americans and said, do you also do kinetics? they understood him and said, they do kinetics -- meaning to kill people. they said, who do you want us to kill? to taked, we want you out an iranian official. they asked, who? they said, we want you to take out a fefew iranians, includidig the commander of the quds force. this is probably the most important iranian official, the most powerful iranian intelligence operative. when the foreigners said, no, the people of saudi intetelligence, the official sa, maybe you can recommend us to someone. they recommended them a group of former special operations experts, british in london, who mimight do the kinetics.
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what this proves is as early as last year, early 2017, the kingdom of saudi arabia changed its policy. instead of diplomacy based mainly on bribes, money, and various things, very much away from secret operations of a targeted assassinations, they took a much proactive -- and evendered an [itched private businessman. this is a very unprofessional move to involve people who are not among grown forces and these kinds of sensitive operations. they asked them whether they are money. to take the ofn: ronen bergman, in terms this attempt by the saudi government to get involved in these kinds of assassinations, is it your sense -- israel, as
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you document in your book come has been practicing targeted assassinations now for decades. but i recall back in the 1960's or even going back to the 1950's, this was a rare situation. of anstance, in the story professor from columbia university, a dictator who had kidnapped off the streets of new york city, clubby university put on a, and he was plane to the dominican republic and thrown out of the plane, subsequently, the two assassins who had kidnapped him were themselves killed. this was considered a rare situation back in the 1950's and 1960's. can you talk about whether your senses governments are now increasingly resorting to this kind of assassination to settle their political aims? i'm thinking, for instance, the several assassinations with seem linked to russian dissidents by putin government.
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is this become a trend across the world? folks i think we need to differentiate. israel has been using targeted killings or than any other country since the second world war. enemies ordefined targets for targeted killings, either proliferators of weapons of mass destruction word terrorist -- or terrorists. this is killing political opponents. i think maybe someone in saudi beena saw what they have allegedly doing in the last three years, which is killing -- poisoning, shooting them, maybe got jealous of what the russians have been doing intimidating other rivals and d trying to do the same. in that case, the opeperation ws ,one in such an unprofessional
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so to speak, way, it was very easy to discover. the bestt is either thinking they can get away with everything. whatat we see, technology, the ability of the turkish intelligence to intercept phone conversations and conversations inside the consulate, the fact that everything is being monitored by cameras -- that makes operations for terrorists but also state-sponsored assassins, much harder these days. and here we have the crarackdown on the assassination [indiscernible] basicallytelligence cracking open the botched operation to kill mr. khashoggi.
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amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. i'm sorry, we're having some trouble with dropout. ronen bergman is speaking to us from tel aviv. we're going to end the segment back on the lawn with president trump when he was asked by cnn reporter jim acosta -- that's right, jim acosta, who because of a court order, has had his press pass given back to him. he asked president trump if he is letting saudi arabia get away wiwith murder. pres. trump: no, no. this is about america first. they are paying us $400 billion plus to purchase and invest in our r country. that is prprobably the biggest to the unitedid states. this is over a long period off time. it meansns hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars of investment and p product, and if you think i'm going to let russia have that money were
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those things, if you think i'm going to l let china make the military equipment -- hey, china and russia would love to make $100 billion worth of military equipmenent from saudi arabia. we h have the contractcts. they wanted those contracts. that would be a big fat beautiful gift to russisia and china. they're not goingng to get that gift. just so you undersrstand, it is about make america great again. it is about america first. we're going to stay with saudi arabia. amy: despite what even the central intelligence agency is telling him that the crown prince himself was responsible for ordering the assassination , both ankhashoggi immigrant to this country as well as a journalist, a columnist with "the washington post." both targets of president trump over his two years. we're speaking with ronen bergman and we will continue with him on his book "rise and
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kill first: the secret history of israel's targeted assassinations." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we are continuing our discussion with israeli investigative journalist ronen bergman. he is author of a stunning book on the long, secretive history of israel's extrajudicial killing program. "rise and kill first: the secret history of israel's targeted assassinations." it's a book that israeli intelligence officials desperately tried to prevent ronen bergman from writing. - -- ven extended bergman gained unprecedented
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access while writing the book, meeting with 1000 sources, from israeli political leaders and mossad heads to the assassins themselves. he also obtained thousands of classified documents illuminating the shadowy corners of israeli spy agencies. the dusty been to the targeted killing programs of israel, whwhich has assassinated more people than any other country in the western world since world war ii. it looks at the weight israel's assassination program has america's post-9/11 for policy program under bush as well as president obama. ronen bergman right on the prologue -- "nowadays, when the same kind of extrajudicial killing that israel has used for decades is being used daily by america against its enemies, it is appropriate not only to admire the impressive operational capabilities that israel has built, but also to study the high moral price that has s been id, for ththe use of such power." ronen bergman, thank you for staying with us.
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we're going to try to stick with you as long as we can hear you. in the note on your sources at the beginning of your book, you talk about how difficult it was to get access. you say a petition to the supreme court for an order forcing compliance with the law -- to get you information -- was dragged out over years with the complicity of the court, ended with nothing but an amendment to the law itself. the secrecy provisions were extended from 50 years to seven years, longer than the history of the state. not to speak to you. how did you get access to this information and what did you find? >> thank you. petition that day, one of the chieiefs of israeli intelligence, this was years ago comey said, don't worry, you will never get hold of these documents because when the state is 70, we will prolong it to 100 years. anand just last week, benjamin
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netanyahu, prolonged it to 90 years. so they are trying to keep these documents away from the public as to fortunately, for me and hopefully the readers of the many cap documents and share them with me. why did d they speak echo i thik facebook -- everyone has his own reason, but i think it is a common ground for why they speak. most of them come on the record. i think they spoke because they wanted to tell a story. they wanted to tell people off israel -- the people of the world, how and why did they take -- daring, steteering brave, controversial operations. they wanted to make sure after so many years in the dark, they wanted to make sure their part
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in history is been told. some of them told me, i'm telling you stuff that i did not even tell mymy wife. themthey spoke, many of repeated -- they were completely disconnected or not synchronized with each other, but they repeated one sentence, one quote from the babylonia which says "if someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first." and i think this was said that as an a alibi or justificatioio, this was said to explain mindset, to explain why have they done things that are considered to be controversial, if not more than that, because these people, the people they have killed, are considered to be a threat to the soul existence of the natation, to a possible risk for a second annihilation. they wanted these stories to be known. -- the reason for the moral
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and also how effective targeted killings are in the course of history. juan: i want to ask you, first of all come your book is mesmerizing. there so much detail and it is soso well writteten in ter o ofe various actions taken by the israeli intelligence forces. but i want to ask because you go into the early history, even before the establishment of the state of israel and clandestine and guerrilla organizations that were part of the liberation movement of the israelis back in those days. you say from the -- israeli intelligence from the outset occupied if shadowy realm, one adjacent to yet separate from the country's democratic institutions. the activities of the intelligence community, most of it under the direct command of the prime minister, took place without any effective supervision by israel's parliament or knesset or by any
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other independent external body. what damage has been done to the democratic institutions of israel as a result of this --ost parallel situation instead of the civilian controlling the military, it was a must as if the military or intelligence community control the government. >> well, a few things lost a first-come israel is a liberal democracy in the middle east. israel also faces severe threats and living under the trump of the holocaust. i think the new israelis, the jews lived in houston are those who came from the holocaust, they threw three main lessons. first, there is always going to be someone who wants to kill wem, that the other non-jews do nothing to help, and third, and guard it with whatever possible.
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when you have this at the back of your mind and every decade your crime nemesis, your chief toersary -- when they want eliminate you or call for your destruction and take physical actions to do this, then you are left with basically one conclusion or the israelis were up with one conclusion, rise and kill first. paying little to be to international law or norms and building these two sets of laws, one for regular manner and one for the intelligence community and the military. these were under strict orders of the political level. they were not doing whatever they wanted. but the political level didid nt use any kind of plausible denial. they actually ordered the use of special operations, way beyond enemy lines, planting several times. targeted killings in order to achieve goals.
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what are the goals? the goals are to prevent the next war, to try and enlarge the between one war to another, fdot to another, if not prevent the next war, and trying to combat the threats to the country without getting into an all-out battle. so kill the enemy instead of going to an all-out war because israel cannot stand these wars forever. you ask about the damage. of course, the democracy that adopts two sets of law, one for this i isd one secret, a problem. this is a highly legalized and moralized problem. and it clashes between these two sets of law. the people of israeli intelligence would say, yes, we knew that we are cleaning g the sewage. and everybody in israel also figures out what we a are doingn order to clean the sewage -- meaning dealing with our enemies.
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but there was no other way to go. amy: talk about the attempt toto assassinate yasser arafat and how far back they went, the former plo chairman, the multiple times the israeli military tried to kill him. you document different items in your book and have said -- "the hunt for the person who was codenamed the head of the fish, yasser arafat, was the most extensive and long term in the history of israeli intelligence." 1968,, it dates back to shortly after arafat was appointed not just the chief of but the ebola organization -- umbrella organization called the plo. they were desperate. they were sending arafat, groups pigeon to invade jordan and
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kill them. and end up in a catastrophe. the chief psychiatrist of the israeli navy can with what hee said is a solution, he saw the american movie "the mentoring candidate and said, i can do the same thing. palestinian, hypnotize him jason born, program him, and sent him to jordan to kill glosser arafat. not, the chief of israeli intelligence, military intelligence, took that seriously and gave him a palestinian prisoner who fit the profile the psychiatrist that would be suitable, gave him a training facility with live ammunition and for months the train that person until one night he said, ok, he is done, fully programmed. the palestinian crosossed the jordan river. after crossing, he signaled a ok to his master, the
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psychiatrist, and he carried the me and walkie-talkie and psychiatrist said, he is now going to kill arafat. this was something like 1:00 a.m. at 5:00 a.m. in the morning, the operative of israeli intelligence received a report from another agent that said someone, a palesestinian, came o a jordanian police station and told the policeman the stupid israelis. they hypnotized me but i was just playing a role. i am loyal to arafat. please take me to israeli jets to the palestinian authority. sometimes it looks more like inspector clouseau, a bit of a funny story. at the other stories were less funny. israel tried to kill arafat numerous times. do they ultimately succeed? there are many questions about arafat's final death, whether it was natural or not. let me just add that they
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tried many times, the peak of that was in 1982, when ariel sharon ordered to take down a commercial airline with hundreds of passengers on board in order to kill yasser arafat. but the chief of israeli air force rebuild against him. they did not want israel to be stained with this horrific war crime and did not want to violate the ethics of war, of the idf. they provide to the oper ation from happening. to your question, there is in a few reports about that. a few months before arafat's demise, israel prime minister ariel sharon met with president bush at the white house. the president told him, mr. prime minister, we heard there are plans -- that you have plans
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to kill yasser arafat, and we want you to promise us, promise me, you will not assassinate arafat. said, i see your poinint, mr. president. the president, understand, he said, i really want you to promise me you will not do that, twitch sharon said, mr. president, you're making a very strong argument. but the president did not let it go until prime minister sharon promised in his voice that he will not kill arafat. a few months later, arafat dies of a mysterious disease. i think in time, we will have the opportunity to tell the story behind that. in the meantime, thehe palestinians are convinced that mossad or israeli intelligence killed him. amy: what about you echo what do you think? time we will be able to tell the true story behind it. but i think if israel had done the, the reason to hide
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real story was not because of the palestinians, but because this would be a striking violation to a very clear promise by israeli pro-minister to an american president. amy: you also talk about how george w. bush adopted israeli tactics and then you say president obama would launch several hundred targeted assassinations. after september 11, prime minister sharon ordered all the israeli intelligence to open their door, to perform what was later called a striptease in front of american intelligence and show them everything they have on intelligence collection and targeted killings because he thought this would be the right move from the american armed forces and intelligence community to go for the global
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war on terror. much that was done by the e unid statates in the years after is based on israeli experience, know-how, and technology. i am saying that the u u.s., whe adopting these tactics, also needs to see the moral lesson, the moral price that israel has paid -- when you kill someone, even if that someone is stan himself, i believe someone is dying and you. when you have practically thousands of people, because of technology, because of severed -- excellent, thousands of people in israel have participated directly or indirectly in targeted killing operationsns. this is a a problelem. and the mostst important i think is that some of israeli leaders drew the long -- wrong conclulusion f from the remarkae successes of t their intelligene services. and they thought they can use these exotic capabilities to go
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to pinpoint operations way beyond enemy lines to kill people in order to solve every problem, not just tactical threats to yourr citizens, but also political problems, also historical problems, to hold history by its tail. therefore i think the story of rise and kill first of the eight years of research in 1000 interviews, if there is a lesson is that these operations have tactical meanings. they save lives. they are in fact -- that this is a story of a tactical success but also a very, very dangerous mr. teaeacher pololitical failu. bebecause once you think using force can solve everything, and you don't need to turn into diplomacy, into a real discourse with your adversary. amy: you talk about killing the devil himself. what about when you are killing innocent civilians? price --rse, the moral
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not just the moralal price, , te price paid for killing civilians, collateral damage, is horrendous. but when you come to these operatives and speak with them and they tell you, look, we were facing situations -- the book consists of many of these dramatic moments -- - when you know you have a window of opportunity to kill a hamas could jihadist organization who have already sent suicide bombers, that already killed and israelisews and you have a short window of opportunity to kill him before he sends more suicide bombs, and he is walking only among civilians, walking in a populated area, walking with his wife, then the operatives -- when i asked them, why did you permit collateral damage? they asked me back, so what would you do?
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if you do not kill him, you know many of your own people will be killed tomorrow. what do you do? amy: and what we see now -- we have to go now, but what we see now is how many hundreds of palestinians have been killed, defenseless people in protest. and in the end, the only prime minister, these are the prime minister, who was assassinated, was assassinated by a right-wing israeli fanatic. >> i agree. the fact he was not stopped was because nobody thought anyone could do that, no is really. amy: we want to thank you so much for being with us, ronen bergman israeli investigative , reporter. his new book "rise and kill , first: the secret history of israel's targeted assassinations." ronen bergman is a staff writer for "the new york times magazine" and the senior national security correspondent for yedidioth ahronoth.
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his piece in "the new york times" we will link to "saudis , close to crown prince discussed killing other enemies a year before khashoggi's death." we will be back in 30 seconds on the cost of war, the so-called war on terror has cost the united states close to $6 million and half a deaths in afghanistan, pakistan, iraq. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we end today's show with the cost of america's endless war in the middle east, as a new report reveals that nearly half a million people have died from violence in iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan since 2001, when george w. bush declared a war on terror in the wake of september 11. preses. bush: : this war o on terrorism is going to take a whwhile. and the american people mustst e patient. it is time foror us to win t first war of the 2 21st century decisively so that our children and our grandchildren can live peacefully into the 21st century. juan: president bush reform to it as a crusade. more thahan 17 yeaears later, te war in afghanistan is the longest war in u.s. history. a major new report from brown university's costs of war project has found that more than
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480,000 people have died from violence in iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan -- including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers, and civilians. several times as many people have died indirectly because of water loss, sewage and other infrastructural problems, and war-related disease. the wars of uprooted 21 million afghan, iraqi, pakistani, and syrian people who are now refugees of war or internally displaced. amy: cosostsf war also l looks t the ballooning f financial costs of the wars, with the u.s. spinning through 2019, including $6 trillion for veterans benefits and medical treatment over the next 40 years. interest costs would add an estimated $8 trillion in the next four decades. this comes as president trump has signed a $674 billion military budget bill in september for the 2019 fiscal year. for more, we go to neeta crawford, director of the costs of war project and author of the
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reports just out on both the financial costs and human toll of the global war on terror. she is a professor and department chair of political science at boston university. professor crawford, thank you for joining us. tell us what you have found at this point. >> we found after 17 years, these wars are at a stalemate and we have plans to keep going. we're going to spend probably another $100 billion over the next five years. that is in addition to the nearly six dollars trillion we've already spent and obligated. juan: in terms of the american people largely see these wars as winding down. obviously, more and more u.s. troops are pulled out. but yet, the death toll, especially in places like afghanistan, seems to be on the increase. >> that's right. in afghanistan, the number of
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suicide attacks by militants or the family between the militants -- the fighting between the militants and the forces of u.s. and the afghan military and police is increasing in some areas. in fact, the u.s. military sees this war as basically at a stalemate. and that is in part why the united states has moved toward negotiations with the taliban and. amy: can you talk about what y u did this report? and the astronomical cost, most importantly, human lives, but also the financial cost. >> well, we wanted to highlight both the cost to americans in terms of u.s. soldiers and sailorors who have lost theirr lives, about 7000 people, but in addition, remimind us all that contractors -- more contractors, in facact, have died because of their involvement in these wars then soldiers and sailors, and ththat, of course, manany thouss
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of civilians have been killed, wounded, and displaced. many millions have been killed, wounded, and displaced. one cup generally what happens, you mentioned the contractors, and the reason the american public rarely hears about this contractors that are brought into places like afghanistan and iraq generally employ people that are not americans. and so basically, the toll is internationalized and the amerco public does not really get a sense of what is going on. >> right. --ot of these wars externalized or displaced. think about the contractors from other places, but work for and are paid for by u.s. corporations. but other things a are externalized. fofor instance, , the health cae costs of the veterans. yes, billions are paid for the sorry, the 3'm
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million u.s. veterans that are home now, some of them are on disability. that is being paid for by the u.s. government, but some of are borne by the families of veterans. much of what is spent, we actually cannot account for are borne by costs other people. when people are injured or yes, wen war zonones, hear about it, but thahat is jut the tip of the iceberg i think in terms of direct and indirect that. amy: you talk about we hear about it, but there's so little coverage, for example, of what is happening in afghanistan yet according to a form's report, the u.s. actually dropped more bombs on afghanistan this year beganthen since the war list to report finding "according to u.s. air force central command data, manned and unmanned aircraft released 5213 weapons between january and the end of september 2018."
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do you think -- go ahead. >> these wars are e actually leaving g the war zones in rubb. your not mention pakistan yet. the united states has also been, through drone strikes and other actions fighting in pakistan, since 2002 in order to chase and defeat taliban, al qaeda, and no isis. the war zones are actually expanded from what we thought in now u.s. forces are operating between 80 to 90 countries all over the world. amy: and the relation between war and climate change? you say the pentagon is the single largest user of petroleum? >> that's right. between 2010 and 2015, the pentagon used about 105 billion barrels of oil onn average e eah
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year. they have try to economize because, obviously, that is expensive, but it is a single largest producer of greenhouse gases in the united states and abroad. juan: briefly, how are you able to conduct this research given how little attention the u.s. government or the afghan government actually pays to accounting the toll of people killed as a result of these battles anand these attacks? >> right. well, things haveve gotteten ha. for example, the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction who invevestigates u.s. operations, waste, for ways fraud -- fraud, has not been able to release to the american public figures that were previously known about the number offghan soldiers and police killed in thesese wars. so the afghan peoplele know ther
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soldiers are paying a high price in death and injury, but the american people don't know that. and we don't know how large even the afghan military is. there are other pieces of information that were previously available, which essentially have disappeared down a memory use or been sort of given to in a barrage of information, sort of a firehose of information so we can't fake out the relevant details -- kick out the relevant details. in a sense, it has b been harder to do these detatails becacause there's more information. , we will linkford to your report. tune in thursday, thanksgiving day, for a special broadcast with renowned dissident and linguist noam chomsky and the election of our right to me captain in brazil and how u.s. foreign-policy in latin america has led to the migrant crisis. onon friday, our exclusive repo, breaking the mediaia blockade ad
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moroccan occupied western say hera. four days in occupied western sahara, a relook inside africa's last colony. that is thursday and friday [captioning made possible by democracy now!] democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comm
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♪ hello and welcome back to nhk "newsline." i'm yoshi ogasawara in tokyo with the latest at this hour. we begin with a scandal that's been shaking japan's auto industry. nhk has learned the alleged financial malpractice involving nissan chairman carlos ghosn may have been designed to deflect criticism in france over his large salary. sources told nhk that ghosn's
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