Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 6, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
12/06/21 12/06/21 . democracy now! amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> four precious children were killed in yet another case of senseless violence in our schools. tonight we remember their names. hannah, justin, madison, and kate. amy: funerals in oxford,
8:01 am
michigan, have begun for the four students killed in last week's school massacre. on friday, the parents of the 15-year-old shooter were arrested after a manhunt. we will speak to the head of the gun control group brady, as well as a mother who lost her six-year-old son nine years ago in the 2012 sandy hook school massacre in connecticut. then killer robots. the biden administration has rejected calls for an international ban on the use of lethal autonomous weapons. >> killer robots will post an existential threat to humankind. they must be printable he prohibited desk probe into vliet prohibited. there will be morally, ethically, legally unacceptable. life and death decisions should not be degated to machines. should always meaningful human control over the use of force. amy: plus, we look at how the pentagon covered up a massacre in syria where a secretive u.s. special operations unit killed dozens of women and children.
8:02 am
we will also look at the strikes in yemen. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the omicron coronavirus variant is continuing to spread around the world, with cases detected in nearly 50 countries and nearly one-third of u.s. states. omicron's proliferation has led dozens of nations to impose new travel restrictions. beginning today, all international travelers entering the u.s. will have to take a coronavirus test 24 hours within their departure or proof they have recovered from covid-19 in the last 90 days. it's still unknown whether omicron poses more risk than other forms of the coronavirus, but top u.s. infectious disease expert dr. anthony fauci said sunday there are early indications it does not lead to more severe disease.
8:03 am
the world health organization has so far not reported any deaths linked to the omicron variant. it's unknown if the new variant overtake delta, which continues to make up most infections. here in the u.s., covid-19 hospitalizations continue to rise with nearly 110,000 daily infections reported. another series of demonstrations against covid restrictions took place over the weekend, including a rally of 40,000 people in vienna, austria, where a lockdown is starting today and vaccinations are set to become mandatory in february. in belgium, protesters clashed with police in brussels as they marched towards the eu headquarters. demonstrations also took place in spain, germany, the netherlands, and australia. in germany, outgoing chancellor angela merkel used her final video podcast as the country's leader to urge residents to get vaccinated amid a fourth covid wave.
8:04 am
>> take the malicious virus seriously. right now the omicron variant seems to be re infecous than the previous ones. get yourself vaccinated. it does not matter if it is your first shot work was to come every vaccine helps. amy: in jordan, a court sentenced five senior health officials to three years in prison sunday, over the deaths of 10 covid patients after a state hospital experienced an oxygen shortage in march. the deaths triggered anti-government protests across jordan. in the united states, the parents of the suspected michigan high school shooter are being held on a bond of $500,000 each after they were arrested on saturday after a manhunt in a detroit warehouse. james and jennifer crumbley pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter over last tuesday's mass shooting,
8:05 am
which killed four students and wounded seven other students and staff at oxford high school. their 15-year-old son was charged last week with terrorism, murder, and other counts. james crumbley and his and son went to buy the gun used in the massacre just days beforehand, and both parents are accused of giving their son access to a firearm even as he displayed obvious signs he was thinking about committing violent crimes. and he was only 15 years old. in burma, a court sentenced deposed civilian leader aung san suu kyi to four years in prison. she is accused of incitement and violating covid-19 rules, which have been blasted by rights groups as fabricated charges aimed at suppressing opposition. it's the first verdict of the nearly dozen charges leveled against aung san suu kyi by the military junta which overthrew her government in a february 1 coup. the biden administration is expected to announce a diplomatic boycott of the
8:06 am
upcoming beijing winter olympics. the move would mean u.s. athletes will still compete, but no u.s. officials would attend the games and is intended to send a signal over human rights abuses in china. it also would come amid growing concerns for star tennis player peng shuai, whose social media post revealing her sexual assault by a former politician was censored and who some say is being coerced by the chinese government. in indonesia, at least 15 people are dead and over two dozen are missing after mount semeru, one of island nation's most active volcanoes, erupted saturday, sending blistering hot ash and volcanic gas into the sky over the east java province. some 3000 homes and dozens of schools have been damaged. over 1700 people have been evacuated. rescue operations were suspended as the volcano continues to spew hot clouds of ash. in india, a funeral was held for the 15 civilians killed by
8:07 am
security forces in the northeastern border state of nagaland over the weekend. the majority of killings happened on saturday after security forces say they mistook a group of mine workers for armed fighters. more people were killed in ensuing protests. the state's chief minister is demanding the indian government repeal a contested law which allows government fighters to kill with impunity in parts of the country. pope francis returned to the greek island of lesbos this weekend to visit a refugee camp and call on the international community to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis of forced displacement, which he called a shipwreck of civilization. pope francis, who visited lesbos in 2016, lamented that little has changed since then as he spoke with refugees at the mavrovouni camp, which holds about 2300 people. >> it is easy to stir up public opinion, what do we feel about x nashville to --
8:08 am
economic agreements with the people have to pay come about covert deals to traffic in arms, favoring the proliferation of the arms trade? the remote causes should be attacked, not to poor people who paid the consequences or are used for political propaganda. amy: voters in n the gambia have reelected adama barrow as president of the small west african nation. it was the gambia's first election since former president yahya jammeh fled into exile in 2017, 22 years after he seized power in a bloodless coup. jammeh had refused to accept barrow's previous and was forced from power by a military alliance of other west african states. in south africa, about 1000 people took to a beach near port edward sunday, protesting plans by royal dutch shell to do seismic oil exploration in the eastern seaboard's wild coast, which environmentalists say will
8:09 am
threaten precious wildlife refuges. the action took place after a south african court on friday rejected an application filed by several advocates, including local fishermen and greenpeace africa to stop the expiration of petroleum systems in the region. this is a fisherman at sunday's protest. >> i don't think this is helping the economy, but just bringing destruction. here we can swim and do other things, but if shell is coming here, i don't think we will ever access this place. amy: in serbia, thousands of protesters blocked major roads and bridges in the capital belgrade and in other cities and towns in opposition to a saturday government-backed plan allowing the rio tinto corporation to build a massive lithium mine. protesters said they've had enough of widespread pollution and are demanding clean air, water, and food in serbia. >> of course we go out into the streets. the environment is the most important political question. it is not right that young
8:10 am
people stay out of politics. politics is everything that surrounds us. we are against all the corporations of the sort. amy: in the occupied west bank, israeli soldiers have shot dead a 16-year-old palestinian teen after he allegedly drove his car into a military checkpoint. the 18 -- teen was identified as mohammad nidal younis. this comes as human rights advocates are condemning the killing of a palestinian man, shot dead by israeli police after the man stabbed an israeli settler in occupied east jerusalem. al jazeera reports footage by bystanders showed israeli police continuing to shoot mohammad salima from point-blank range even after the 25-year-old had had been knocked to the ground and no longer appeared to pose further threat. president joe biden and vladimir putin are scheduled to speak via video call tuesday amid mounting tension over the military buildup at the russia-ukraine border. the u.s. and other ukrainian allies have warned russia could soon launch an offensive, with u.s. intelligence warning last week the kremlin could deploy as
8:11 am
many as 175,000 troops early next year. russia has rejected claims of an invasion and accused nato and others of escalating the situation. moscow has warned of consequences if ukraine joins nato. in chile, environmental advocates are demanding justice for javiera rojas, a land defender who was found dead with -- in late november. rojas' body had multiple wounds and was discovered in an empty home buried underneath a pile of clothes. she was known for leading protests against a thermoelectric project in northern chile. in 2016, she was involved in a campaign that successfully canceled a dam that would have stolen water from local communities and harm wildlife. two men, including rojas' partner, while her death is investigated. cnn fired star chris cuomo just
8:12 am
four days after the cable network suspended him amid revelations he helped his brother, disgraced former new york governor andrew cuomo, respond to accusations of sexual misconduct. one day after his suspension last week, a lawyer told cnn about another allegation of sexual misconduct against chris cuomo. the accusation was made by a former colleague, though it's not clear if that played a role in his firing. in september, chris cuomo's former boss at abc news, shelley ross, revealed he once touched her inappropriately at a public gathering. in washington d.c., over 100 masked white supremacists from the patriot front paraded in front of the lincoln memorial and on the national mall saturday evening. the demonstrators wore matching blue jackets, white neck gaiters, brown boots and hats, and khaki pants similar to those worn by far-right protesters in 2017's deadly "unite the right" rally in charlottesville. they held shields, upside-down
8:13 am
u.s. flags, and a banner that said "reclaim america." bystanders booed as the leader of the hate group gave a speech. over two dozen participants reportedly found themselves stranded after the bizarre display when their ride, a rented u-haul truck, was not able to fit all of them inside. and former senator and republican presidential contender bob dole has died at the age of 96 after a struggle with lung cancer. dole served four terms in th house of representatives before kansas voters sent him to the senate in 1969. he served three years as senate majority leader before resigning in 1996. unsuccessfully -- 1996 to unsuccessfully challenge then-president bill clinton's reelection. in april of 1990, dole led a congressional delegation to visit saddam hussein in baghdad. later that year, iraq invaded kuwait. dole would go on to support both the 1991 u.s.-led assault on iraq and the u.s.-led invasion in 2003. he attended the 2016 republican national convention, telling "usa today," "i'm a trumper."
8:14 am
he also supported trump's 2020 reelection campaign. president biden called him a friend and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff through thursday in honor of bob dole. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. funerals have begun in oxford, michigan, for the four students killed last week when one of their 15-year-old classmates opened fire in a rampage that also injured six other students and a teacher. the school shooting occurred shortly after the gunman was allowed to return to class after a meeting with school administrators and his parents over concerns he might commit violence. the student has been charged with terrorism and first-degree murder. authorities have also charged his parents, james and jennifer crumbley, with involuntary manslaughter. they were arrested friday after a dramatic manhunt.
8:15 am
they were arrested hiding inside an artist's studio in detroit. james crumbley and his and son went to buy the guused in the massacre just days beforehand, and both parents are accused of giving their son access to a firearm even as he displayed obvious signs he was thinking about committing violent crimes. republicans have responded to the school shooting by refusing to pass new gun control measures. on thursday, iowa senator chuck grassley blocked a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases. he claimed the bill was "hostile toward lawful gun owners and lawful firearms transactions." meanwhile, republican congressmember thomas massie is facing widespread criticism after sharing his family's holiday photo which shows massie and his family brandishing military-style rifles in front of a christmas tree. massie tweeted the photo on saturday, just four days after the michigan school shooting.
8:16 am
he included a caption reading, "merry christmas! please santa, please bring ammo." we are joined now by two guests. nicole hockley is the co-founder and ceo of sandy hook promise. nicole is the mother of six-year old dylan, a first grader killed in the 2012 mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school. kris brown is an attorney and the president of brady, one of the oldest gun violence prevention organizations in the country. we welcome you back to democracy now! thank you so much, both of you, for joining us. i wanted to begin with kris brown of brady. you have a situation now where you have pro-gun control president who is a democrat, both houses -- the senate and the house are democratic and have a majority of gun control
8:17 am
congressmembers and senators, and you have the gun -- nra at his weakest point ever. how is it possible they cannot get gun control legislation passed and what kind of gun control legislation do you think is necessary at this point. >> ia veryood question. we have an epidemic of gun balance in this country. the tragedy in michigan just drives home the incredible personal told that gun violence is taking on too many families across this country. congress needs to pass a broad array of policies step we need to enforce the law better and we have to rip the size the importance of responsible gun ownership in this country. but to answer your question, yes, we have a gun violence majority in the house.
8:18 am
gun violence prevention majority in the house. the senate has a rule called the filibuster. it is killing us. you need 60 votes to get cloture in the senate and we don't have, unfortunately, a 60 vote majority around gun violence prevention. that is why we need to end the filibuster if we're going to get commonsense laws like the brady law expanon that senator grassley held back for reasons that defy any sense of logic through and save lives. amy: nicole hockley, i can't even bear to go to you it is so painful, your loss nine years ago next week, losing her little boy in the sandy hook massacre. hoold would he have been today? >> he would be 15 now. unfounately, he will forever be six. that is what he was killed.
8:19 am
amy: i am going to put the same question to you. you had 20 children killed almost nine years ago in sandy hook. do you see any progress? and if you could respond to everything you saw unfold in michigan with now the parents of the shooter being charged, which is unusual with involuntary manslaughter, they had bought him this gun. his father, the day after thanksgiving. and when they had the school meeting, the day he opened fire in his school, hours before his parents said they wanted him in class. they did not tell the administrators -- not clear they asked -- he had access to a gun, not clear they knew it was in his backpack. and this horrifying text from his mother to him,"lol. i'm not mad at you, the only problem is
8:20 am
you got caught," when talking about the teachers turning him in when looking for a munition on his phone and having pictures of a bloodied body and expressing real alienation and horror when talking about his own pain. >> this is a horrible example of activity that happens all too often in america right now. that is why we teach children and the adults around them across the country and schools how to recognize the warning signs of someone who is at risk of hurting themselves and someone else, and how do you take action and intervene. i think between what the parents dead, -- there's a potential systemwide failure will be looked at what the investigation will be showing what might come to life, but it is heartbreaking to know this was an absolutely preventable act of violence. this was a child that clearly needed help and clearly should
8:21 am
not have had access to deadly firearms. that clearly should not have been in school that day. what he was posting on social media was enough to scare other students from not going to school that day, i think much more action should have been taken and, certainly, the parents -- this is not something you take lightly. we need everyone to take these warning signs seriously and to act immediately because this is how tragedies happen. and that is unfortately exactly what we thought michigan with significant loss of life and irreparable physical and mental health challenges that will affect the community forever. amy: how do you think they could have stopped this? >> where do start? they could have stopped this when yu first srted displang warning signs, by not allowing access for 15-year-old have access to a firearm of this nature. they could have stopped by searching him, by asking, "do
8:22 am
you have a gun on you"? taking them out of school and getting in the hope that the school was recommending he get. i have an issue -- i understand there's a strong gun culture in america and i respect responsible gun owners. they keep their firearms safely stored with a munition cap separately. this evidently was not the case because the boy was able to access the firearm and take it to school and for appearance, this could be a bonding exercise, understand that between family members but when a chi is clearly showing havioral issues, perhaps better choices than bonding over firearms. amy: it is astounding that on tuesday, a teacher found on ethan crumbley's phone a drawing that showed a semi automatic handgun pointing at the wor,
8:23 am
"thoughts won't stop, help me." >> that is a cry for help most of this is a boy who needed help. who was on a plan of action to hurt himself or others. he chose to hurt others. but that is a very overt morningside. that is a threat and should have been taken seriously and immediate action to make sure he was unable to go forward with the plan. amy: it was a drawing of a bullet with the words "blood everywhere" written above it and a person who seems to have been shot twice and is bleeding. >> that is a blatant threat. there many threads that are more covert that you have to react your gut, but what that shooter was displaying were incredibly over signs of imminent violence. that is what makes this even more unconscionable. amy: kris brown, you have -- i
8:24 am
mean, it is astounding to fathom 100 people killed from guns a day in this country with, what, another 230 shot and wounded? the massacres that take place in the schools, the number is also just astounding. no country in the world experiences something like that. talk about the u.s. policy on guns and how alone it is? >> i can tell you the u.s. policy on guns is much more lax than any other industrialized country. we also experience far more gun violence than any other industrialized country. when we look at the 100 visuals a day -- individuals a day plus 200 additional who are injured and the with the trauma of those injuries but the restf their
8:25 am
lives, it is unconscionable that we are not taking more action to address the issu because as nicole is saying, in many circumstances, not just a few, gun violence is entirely preventable. we need stronger policies. we need to ensure before any gun is sold in this country, a brady background check is done. and that is the bill pending in congress right now. that is one example of what we have to do. we have to have a director of the atf -- joe biden put one forward that was quashed by the nra with senators doing their bidding. he would have been one of the best directors in atf history. why do we need that? because the atf has not had a permanent director in decades in the enforcement function that they performed to protect americans across this country is huge. and finally, we need to focus on responsible storage of guns in
8:26 am
the home. we have more than 400 million guns in this home. more guns than people across this country. 5 million kids are victims today with loaded, unsecured guns. and we see e impact o that. not just in school shootings. 75% of school shooters get their guns from a home where there is not safe storage, but also in the rising rates of suicide across this country, especially with teens, and the eight kids a were killed or injured with guns in their own home. we have to take this seriously and actually move forward as a society, move forward with laws and enforcement to save fellow citizens. amy: i want to turn to a gun rights case last month. the supreme court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit bought by an nra-affiliated organization called new york state rifle & pistol association. they argue new york state has gun restrictions that violate the second amendment. the supreme court ruling could have ramifications for gun
8:27 am
control for the entire country. this is supreme court justice samuel alito asking about illegal firems on the subway in new york city. >> armed people on the streets of new york and the subways late at night, right now, aren't there? >> i don't know that there are a lot of armed people. >> no? >> people with illegal guns. >> that is what i'm talking about. how many illegal guns were seized by the new york police department last year? do you have any idea? >> i don't have that number, but i'm sure it is substantial. >> these people with illegal guns are on the subway. there walking around the streets. the ordinary law-abiding people i mentioned, no, they cannot be armed. amy: so that is new york senator -- solicitor being questioned by samuel alito. kris brown, talk about the
8:28 am
significance of this and the nra . i mean, it has -- the issues of bankruptcy, the issue of corruption at its lowest in and still democrats and republicans alike cower just a thought they would take aim at them, which clearly does not look like they can at this point? >> that is a very good question. look, the nra built its reputation led by when lapierre -- there was a struggle for power at the nra in the 1970's. unfortunate for all americans, love pier 1. ever since that time, he is been promoting really guns everywhere view of the second amendment and justice ali's questioning is a logical following of that false notion about the second amendment. in the colonies themselves, there were many -- this torque
8:29 am
will proceed and sit set forth in all you because briefs for the kinds of regulationshat existed with respect to storage of goods and homes and with respect to carrying guns in public places where it was assumed the state, that the government d an interest in protecting public safety by ensuring that not just anyone could carry a gun anywhere at anytime. and that is what is at stake with this case. it is about a central permitting system for the state of new york that just stands for the propositio that individuals carryi guns in public should state aeason, a good reason, and the state can review that an object would if they do not have of the reason to be caring again in public. so it is verconcerning because the president of this decision could mean permitting systems across this country are
8:30 am
overturned, that restrict who, when, and how individuals can carry guns in public. i can tell you as i went out in public, all too often, in states that do not have strong permitting systems, it is extremely concerning to be anding next to someo getting ready to speak when they have an ar-15 fully loaded strapped on them most of th is not an america i think any of us want. amy: nicole hockley, can you tell us about dynlan? next week will mark the ninth anniversary of the said hook massacre. and if you could tell us about sandy hook promise running the anonymous reporting system called say something for classmates of troubled people? sure. thank you for asking about my son. i have two children and their both the loves of my life. dylan was murdered in his first grade classroom. he is the reason that i have
8:31 am
helped launch sandy hook promise and work hard to create a safer future for my surviving son, but also for all children because i think that is what they deserve and they do not deserve to be shot down in their classrooms or live in fear of shootings in their schools or homes or communities. what we do as saint hook prome is we very much work with organizations like brady to support gun safety a mental health legislation to enforce the haters and provide appropriate access and responsibility. what we are also doing on the ground is behavioral change. we go to schools and train students and the adults around them how to recognize warning signs. one of the ways they can report those warning signs is to the say something anonymous reporting system. all of our programs are provided at no cost to schools nationally. for the anonymous reporting system itself, we currently are
8:32 am
in about 5000 schools, reaching about 2 million students as they see a warning sign or disturbing behavior, whether it be about violence or substance abuse or dating violence, they can suit a tip and are 24/seven rendered 65 trade crisis counselors triage that and work it with local school teams and local law enforcement whether it is a life safety o nonlife safety event to ensure that action is taken and help is given. we have averted countless suicides and also multiple school shooting plots. this is the work i do to honor the don i lost that was murdered as a hook and for all the children that survived and to help try to bring about a safer future for them. amy: nicole hockley, thank you for being with us, cofounder of sandy hook promise. mother of six year old dylan, a 1st grader killed in the 2012
8:33 am
massacre as sandy hook. kris brown is an attorney and the president of brady, one of the oldest gun violence prevention organizations in the country. named for jim brady, who was shot in the head in the assassination attempt against president reagan. he was the press secretary for reagan. next up, we look at how the pentagon covered of a massacre in syria were a secretive special operations unit killed dozens of women and children in an airstrike. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
8:34 am
amy: "ain't no sunshine" by bill withers. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. u.s. defense secretary lloyd austin has ordered a new high-level inquiry into one of the deadliest known u.s. airstrikes in recent years. in march 2019, a secretive u.s. special operations unit called task force 9 bombed the syrian town of baghuz, killing dozens of women and children. the bombing came as the u.s. was
8:35 am
attacking one of the last strongholds of the islamic state in syria. the military then spent 2.5 years covering up the attack, even know the high civilian death toll was almost immediately appare to military officials. one legal officer even flagged the attack as a possible war crime. u.s. military officials downplayed the death toll, delayed reports, and sanitized and classified evidence of civilian deaths. u.s.-led coalition forces also bulldozed the blast site. the pentagon reopened its investigation only after "the neyork tim" exposewhat happed. this ces as u. central command ackwledgedunday civians may so have en kill lasteek wh a u. dronstrike tgeted anlleg al qaeda leader. ware join noby priyaa motapahy, director of the project on armed conflict, counterterrorism, and human rights at columbia law school. she recently co-wrote a letter to defense secretary austin
8:36 am
calling on him to review the sibling death toll of u.s. air strikes in yemen in light of the military coverup in syria. professor, welcome to democracy now! why do we start off with syria. i mean, what it took to get this official investigation. explain exactly what you understand happened in march of 2019. >> thank you for having me. what we understand at this point really comes from "the new york times" reporting and they reported in march 2019, 70 individuals in baghuz were killed. a large number of them women and children. immediately after that airstrike, it was reported by at least one air force lawyer as a potential war crime, yet in that period between then and now, it seems like every effort to
8:37 am
investigate this strike, to reported up the chain to have very serious review happen of what occurred in the strike of why these women and children were killed to determine their status and whether or not this was a war crime, it seems like at every step these investigations failed. the efforts to report them failed. efforts to draw attention to the very seriousness has failed. so where we stand now is the pentagon has ordered yet another investigation into this incident. but what we really need to see is for this investigation to be credible, for it to be meaningful in any way, it would have to be different from any investigation we have seen at this point. whether that is to what happened in syria or really any investigation they have carried out elsewhere as well. amy: in addition to everything else, the bulldozing of the site
8:38 am
of the attack in march 2019. can you respond to this? also, the pentagon spokesperson john kirby saying no military and world works as hard as we do to avoid civilian casualties? start off with the bulldozing of the site, clearly to destroy the evidence. >> of course. first of all, the bulldozing of the site is just one piece of the larger puzzle. reagan, every aspect of what was supposed to happen failed. the site was bulldozed. records were apparently -- strike logs were also falsified or incorrectly registered. the strike was reported but no serious investigation happened. this is not the case of one little mistake, one extraordinary incident, one unique case where one thing went wrong. this really points to a crisis
8:39 am
of accountability in the pentagon. you see that by the fact the strike -- the area of the strike was bulldozed. in the control room, the reportindid not as it ould hav ge. in tms otheecord-eping, that also did not go the weight was meant to go. the way we are told those. we are told, and sheaid, ts mitary doemore tn any other miliry in th world to event cilian casualts, and ye -- ain and ain, thais not what we se we connue to see civians geing kill. thorgh invesgations a not happening. anthats a key rt ofha needs to hapn. w can you say, military's doing more than any other military under the world when you're not doing the basic elements needed to properly investigate what happens, why civilians are getting killed, and taking the basic steps to ensure it doesn't happen again?
8:40 am
if you're not properly investigating these types of incidents, then you're not able to make the corrections needed to make to ensure civilians don't get killed in the future. that is why we are looking not just at what happened in baghuz, but a 20 year record of civilian harm that has happened in syria but also in places like afghanistan, yemen, salia, and elsewhere. amy: i want to talk about yemen in a minute. can you talk about the secretive u.s. special operations unit called task force 9 that carried out this particular attack? >> really, what i know about task force 9 come again, comes from that "new york times" article. we found there was -- what we read from the article is there is a real lack of coordination between that task force and other parts of syncom the operating in syria come the same theater come in the same very small piece of land at that point in time.
8:41 am
what "the new york times" reported about task force 9 raises serious, serious questions. they reported the repeatedly described its operations as self-defse operations come even when there was no incoming fire come even when the troops were not on the ground. a number of other concerns as well were raised in the article. certainly no part of the investigation needs to be looking into what particular task force was doing -- not just in this one incident, but really in the variety of incidents. the variety of operations carried out. because it is very hard reading this article -- when i read this article, it was hard to think this is an isolated problem. it does not appear to be an isolated problem. it is hard to imagine these types of mistakes happening just as a one-off incident. amy: you mentioned other countries. let's talk about yemen.
8:42 am
there were air raids on the capital with reports of massive explosions in the city's northern neighborhoods. saudi officials said they targeted houthi military sites in retaliation for the rebel group's earlier drone attacks on sites in saudi arabia, including a major oil hub in jeddah. the latest violence comes after thousands of people marched through the streets of sanaa protesting u.s. support for the saudi-led military coalition. >> we the yemeni people took to the streets today to denounce the military escalation carried out by america, the economic blockade, and the continuation of aggression. we had thought when joe biden took office, he would keep his promises and stopping the war in yemen and open the airport in sanaa. they turned out all that talk was a lie. amy: talk abt what is happening in yemen, professor priyanka motaparthy. >> the war in yemen is in its
8:43 am
seventh year. let's remember this is first of all there is the war we are all familiar with that we see daily in the news which has caused massive humanitarian crisis and thousands of civilian casualties and where the u.s. has played a key role. support that continues to this day and under this administration. i'm sales to saudi arabia continue. counterterrorism partnerships with the emirates continue. the u.s. has done, in terms of the u.s. role, the u.s. is played a very harmful role in supporting this conflict at the same time as it is try to [indiscernible] certainly, the u.s. has a lot to do in terms of looking at the
8:44 am
harmful nature of its support to the conflict in yemen and really try to reach -- having there. amy: in the role overall of u.s. in yemen and who youhink needs to engage in this investigation? we're talking about one of the world's worst humanitarian crises in the world. >> yes, of course. first of all, the u.s. is supporting the saudi-led military coalition. let's remember the u.s. is carrying out its own military operations in yemen, it's counterterrorism operations in yemen targeting what he describes as al qaeda targets, potential isis targets. so there have also been civilians killed in those strikes that we have reported to the pentagon. so the u.s. has work to do looking at its role in
8:45 am
supporting one aspect of the conflict, but it al has work do examining and really being transparent about its role directly carrying out military operations. amy: you mentioned somalia. what most needs to be investigated there? >> again, as in afghanistan, as in syria, as in yemen, and somalia as well there have been many incidents where independent observers -- journalists and human rights groups -- have reported civilian deaths and injuries, as well as other civilian harms in u.s. operations in somalia. again, we only see the u.s. admitting fault, acknowledging his role in causing civilian deaths in just a very small fraction. there are number of incidents they have yet to take a serious look at. we're not aware of any harm, any i man's, of any compensation being paid to families where they have acknowledged causing
8:46 am
debts, killing members. amy: and afghanistan, we all now know about this drone attack in the last days -- during the u.s. aw from afghanistan because all the media was in kabul. would you say what we saw there and the admissions by the pentagon because of the reporters on the ground interviewing the family and finding out the number of children who were killed that this is an example of what happened and afghanistan for the last 20 years? >> you know, that strike was in many ways exactly what we have seen and afghanistan for the last 20 years were incorrect intelligence led to targeting and killing of civilians, in other cases civilians have been killed as collateral damage. but either way, there has been common response that these trucks were justified, that they were based on good intelligence,
8:47 am
they were righteous as i believe one general said. in this case, what is unique is, as you said, there were journalists in kabul who followed this story, who visited the family just shortly after that attack, was able to really pieced together in a very detailed way not only who was killed and the fact seven children were killed, some of them very, very young, but really pieced together the details of who this individual was who was apparently targeted. he was a humanitarian aid worker. what he was doing the data strike was carried out. and to get a counter narrative from the military in which they alleged he would to al qaeda steakhouse and was packing the car with explosives post up they were able to contrast these narratives, one of supposition and assumption about his hostile intent and the reality that he
8:48 am
was an aid worker. what is unusual is we were able to contrast these narratives and understand the truth of what happened in this case. there are many, many other cases of families living in more remote areas whose harm did not happen such an intense period where there was so much media scrutiny, and their cases did not get the same level of scrutiny, will not get the same response. at that is just a tragedy. amy: i went as give the drone whistleblower daniel hale. in july, the former u.s. air force intelligence analyst was sentenced to 45 months in prison. he has plead guilty to leaking government documents revealing the u.s. military's drone program. in november 2013, he spoke at a drone summit in washington, d.c., organized by codepink. >> one last thing i would just
8:49 am
like in a way to say i am sorry, i am not here for any good reasons most of the people in the audience who are victims, who are families of victims or had families that live in countries where u.s. militarism and specifically unmanned systems are conducting kinet strikes, i am sorryecause i am up here because i was for a time during my military career as an analysworking with unmanned systems, deployed to afghanistan. at the very least, you will deserve an apology. amy: that is daniel hale, the drone whistleblower, now being held added medication management unit in prison at united states
8:50 am
penitentiary marion in southern illinois. professor motaparthy, who should be in jail and who should be free? >> you know, amy, i think that question -- what we want to do is we want to understand why daniel hale did what he did, what motivated him, and what were the result. frankly, what he did was bring to the american people enter to the global public level of transparency about what was really happening in these drone strikes. the way civilian casualties were being undercounted through the systems that the list military was using. what he disclosed, among other things, was individuals who are not identified that were killed, people who were killed whose identity was not known, there were also been described as enemies killed. and that is how -- that is part
8:51 am
of the reason we consistently undercount the number of civilians killed in u.s. military operations overseas and understand them to be more successful or more justified than reality. daniel hale played a key part in exposing that undercounting of civilian deaths. certainly, he did a great service to the american public in exposing that information. amy: professor priyanka motaparthy, thank you for being with us, director of the project on armed conflict, counterterrorism, and human rights at columbia law school. the biden administration rejects calls for international ban on the use of lethal autonomous weapons. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
8:52 am
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show looking at how human rights activists and some countries are calling for an all-out ban on the use of lethal autonomous weapons, also known as "killer robots" that can make the final order to kill without a human overseeing the process. they are coming under review during high-level talks on the
8:53 am
convention of certain conventional weapons next week. "the washington post" reports at ast 30 cntries have called for a ban on killer robots. last tuesday, new zealand said it would join the international coalition demanding a ban, declaring "the prospect of a future where the decision to take a human life is delegated to machines is abhorrent." but so far, the biden administration has rejected calls to ban the use killer robots. during a united nations meeting in geneva thursday, the u.s. instead proposed establishing a code of conduct for their use. for more, we are joined by steve goose, director of human rights watch's arms division and cofounder of the campaign to stop killer robots. thank you for joining us. first explain what killer robots are and then talk about the u.s. role in fighting the ban. >> killer robots are a thing of the future. not the distant future.
8:54 am
these are weapons that take the human out of the loop. it is not the human who decides what to target and when to pull the trigger, but instead the weapon system itself does this through artificial intelligence and sensors and algorithms. not just a new weapon, it is a new form of warfare and not one that will be nice to humankind. amy: so explain who is developing them, who is using them come and what u.s. position is versus places like new zealand and other countries. >> there are have love countries vigorously pursuing research and allotment programs and that the acquisition of killer robots. u.s. is probably at the top of the list. others would be russia, israel, south korea, india. but there are others.
8:55 am
most any advanced military is developing weapons that would have greater amounts of autonomy. you take it all the way until you remove the human from the loop altogether or you draw a line weather is still meaningful human control. safeguard the ability to make the weapons. there rejecting any notion of a treaty that would have prohibitions or restrictions on the develop meant an acquisition a fully baton as weapons and instead are proposing measures that would allow the apposition of the weapons but have some regulations about how they are used. amy: there was that published piece on these of autonomous weapons to kill an iranian
8:56 am
nuclear scientist. can you talk about that? >> there's a lot of misunderstanding about what the killer robots may consist of and whether or not they exist today. systems that remove the human from the loop altogether are what you're trying to oppose and those do not yet exist. amy: can you talk about the geneva meeting that is taking place on certain conventional weapons. explain the recent report, "crunch time on killer robots." >> there diplomatic talks going on this week. last week and this week that are aimed at developing options for
8:57 am
work on what they like to call lethal autonomous weapons system. or laws. an unfortunate aplidin posted a five year review system which will take place next week. at this five-year review conference, they're supposed to look at what they have done in the st five years and plan for the next five years. it is a decision will have to be made about what to do on killer robots. and now looking at the various options that are out there. the majority of countries want to see a legally binding instrument. a new treaty that would have prohibitions and regulations on fully autonomous weapons. others are proposing a political declaration. others are proposing a code of conduct.
8:58 am
the problem with the code of conduct is it presupposes they will pursue these weapons and will just be a matter of how well you can regulate them. we think that is an approach that will result in these weons proliferating around the world and having the destabilizing effect that is all too easy to imagine. amy: i want to thank you for being with us. steve goose is the director of human rights watch's arms division and co-founder of the campaign to stop killer robots. that does it for our show. we hope everyone will join us on tuesday night december 7 at 8:00 p.m. eastern when we celebrate at democracynow.org our 25th anniversary. we will be joined by the birthday boy noam chomsky. that will be has 93rd birthday. we will also be joined by angela
8:59 am
davis, arundhati roy, the national book award-winning poet , winona laduke, danita vito, danny glover, and more. you can go to democracynow.org for details. that is december 7 at 8:00 p.
9:00 am
... [crowd clapping] crowd: nina, nina! nina, nina! nina, nina! nina! eric campbell: nina baginskaya is a 74-year-old great-grandmother who's become the icon of a revolution.

59 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on