Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 28, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
01/28/22 01/28/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> i am asking for your support, for your help because i fear for my life. amy: three years ago, mexican journalist lourdes maldonado pleaded with mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador for help because she feared for her life. on sunday, she was shot dead in
8:01 am
tijuana, becoming the third journalist killed in mexico this month. we will speak with the the committee to protect journalists. in sheikh jarrah, making a family, demolishing a home, we will speak to the palestinian poet and activist mohammed el-kurd. >> the punishment is the process itself. it is using your you, the prospects of your future to the lingering threat of homelessness at all times. this reality is not just -- it is a reality for hundreds of thousands of palestinians all across palestine. amy: and finally, "downfall: the case against boeing." a new documentary that just premiered at the sundance film festival looks at the two fatal crashes in ethiopia and indonesia that killed all 346 on board the boeing37 max plane >> eiopian alineslight ha
8:02 am
crasheshortly ter takef. >> two dayater after the send crashwe knew this plague w defecti in some manner. >> were greed, prophets more important than human life? >> we will speak to director rory kennedy and michael stumo whose daughter samya died in the ethiopian crash. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a russian foreign ministry official said thursday that the u.s. risked provoking a nuclear missile crisis with moscow and less restraint and productively and the growing conflict of ukraine is shown. the stark warning came as russia's top diplomat sergey lavrov formally rejected the u.s. response to rusa's dend that offered no new concessions. >> the main question is a clear
8:03 am
message that we consider further native state into the east and weapons deployment, which can threaten russian federation unacceptable. amy: i thursday, president biden warned ukraine's president in a phone call that russia could invade in february. the u.s. has called a committee to discuss it one day before russia said to take over the rotating presidency of the council. president biden confirmed thursday he would nominate the first black woman supreme court justice. he made the commitment at a white house event for retiring supreme court justice stephen breyer. meanwhile, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell warned biden against a nominee backed by the "radical left" as republicans indicated they would seek to draw out the confirmation process. president bynes has he will nominate the candidate by the end of february. the economic community of west african states is holding an emergency summit today to discuss the bloc's response to
8:04 am
the recent military coup in burkina faso. on thursday, coup leader lieutenant colonel paul-henri damiba gave his first televised address since he led a mutiny that deposed president roch kaboré monday. >> it is clear that the main priority remains security. we must significantly reduce the areas under terrorist influence and the impact of violence extremism by giving the security forces in the volunteers for homeland defense the will to fight and to go on the offensive. a mako -- amy: according to u.s. africa command, or africom, damiba received training on multiple occasions from the u.s. military. since 2008, african military officers trained at american so-called peacekeeping programs, have successfully led or attempted at least nine coups across west africa. in honduras, xiomara castro was sworn in thursday as the first woman president in the country's history.
8:05 am
thousands of supporters attended castro's inauguration ceremony at the national stadium in the capital tegucigalpa. during her speech, castro ordered free electricity for hondurans living in extreme poverty, vowed justice for berta cáceres and other murdered land and water defenders, and said her government will not continue to loot honduras. >> poverty increased by 74% to make us the poorest country and it latin america. this figure by itself explains the migrant caravan of thousands of people who flee to the north, mexico, and the united states looking for a place and a way to subsist regardless of the risk it applies to our lives. amy: castro's presidency marks the end of a brutal 12-year regime by the u.s.-backed right-wing national party, which first came to power after the 2009 u.s.-backed coup that overthrew castro's husband, president manuel zelaya. this comes as many are demanding outgoing honduran president juan orlando hernández be indicted and extradited to the united
8:06 am
states to face charges of aiding drug traffickers. like his brother. in japan, six people who developed thyroid cancer in the aftermath of the 2011 fukushima nuclear meltdown have filed a landmark lawsuit against the tokyo electric power company. the plaintiffs were aged from six to 16 at the time of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, which triggered one of the world's worst nuclear disasters. a court acquitted former executives from the utility company in 2019. meanwhile, a plan to release wastewater from the fukushima plant starting next year has sparked international condemnation. at least 70 people in southern africa were killed as tropical storm ana struck madagascar this week before slamming into mozambique and malawi. torrential rains triggered landslides and caused flooding that washed away bridges, submerged farmers' fields, and damaged tens of thousands of homes. the hardest hit was madagascar, where the u.n. says 1 million people are facing severe hunger from food shortages brought on by acute drought. last year, the world food programme warned madagasca
8:07 am
faced the rst-ever famine caus by climate change. meanwhile, one of the largest icebergs ever observed has bren up in t southern atlant ocean. when it drifted away from antarctican 2017, iceberg a68a was roughly the size of delaware, weighing in at an estimated 1 trillion tons. scntists warmelting icfrom the rg has dumd billionsf tons of fresh water into salty seas nr south georgia island, with unknown consequences for marine life and the environment. a federal judge in washington, d.c., has canceled oil and gas leases in the gulf of mexico, ruling the biden administration's auction of 80 million acres last year failed to sufficiently account for the climate crisis. it's a major victory for environmentalists who've been fighting what would have been the largest sale of offshore oil and gas leases in u.s. history. the los angeles city council has voted to prohibit new oil and gas wells and phase out existing wells within city limits. the measure also creates a
8:08 am
program to help oil and gas workers transition to jobs in other industries. los angeles council president nury martinez spoke ahead of wednesday's unanimous vote. >> for far too long neighborhood drilling has disproportionally affected the health of low-income communities of color. from free ways to power plants, we bear the brunt of pollution and climate impacts. amy: a 2021 study by university of southern california researchers found residents of majority-black and latinx communities in south los angeles who live near oil and gas sites have lower lung function, which may contribute to environmental health disparities. president biden goes to pittsburgh, pennsylvania come today to promote his recently passed $1 trillion infrastructure bill hours before his visit, a bridge connecting the regions where squirrel hill neighborhood collapsed. no injuries were reported at the time of this broadcast, but residents reported a strong smell of natural gas in the
8:09 am
area. the was coastguard has suspended his search for dozens of migrants are feared dead after their boat capsized off the coast of florida on saturday. five bodies have been found, while 34 people are still missing. one survivor was rescued earlier this week as he clung to the hull of the sinking boat, which had departed from the bahamas. oklahoma prison officials have carried out the first execution in the united states this year. 46-year-old donald grant was strapped to a gurney at the oklahoma state penitentiary in mcalester thursday morning and injected with a lethal cocktail of three drugs. he was declared dead at 10:16 a.m. grant had asked federal courts to halt his killing, saying oklahoma's lethal injection protocol presented an unconstitutional risk of pain and suffering. his requests were denied. this was oklahoma's third execution since the death penalty was reinstated after a six-year pause that followed a string of botched executions. last october, 60-year-old john marion grant convulsed and repeatedly vomited after he was administered a sedative in an execution that witnesses
8:10 am
described as drawn-out and tortuous. here in new york, workers at an amazon warehouse in staten island will vote on whether to unionize their workplace. the effort is being led by chris smalls, who amazon fired in march of 2020 after he organized a wildcat strike demanding sanitized workspaces, protective masks, and covid-19 tests for workers. the staten island amazon workers will vote on whether to join a grassroots worker group called the amazon labor union, which is unaffiliated with any national union. elsewhere in new york city, hundreds of street vendors led a march to times square thursday, demanding labor protections and for the city to stop issuing heavy fines to street vendors who haven't been able to get selling permits. bronx councilmember pierina sanchez is backing new legislation that would end the criminalization of street vendors and increase the number of vending permits. >> and sounds good, right?
8:11 am
it sounds ok. except you think about the fact there are 20 thousand st vendors on our streets today. all they want to do is feed their families. all they want to do is make ends meet. amy: and saturday marks 20 years since then-president george w. bush branded the nations of iraq, iran, and north korea the axis of evil during his first state of the union address. present book >> constitutes an axis of evil. amy: a little over a year later, the u.s. invaded iraq, despite lacking any evidence iraq had weapons of mass destruction. the attack was widely considered illegal under international law. according to the costs of war project at brown university, there have been over 180,000 iraqi civilians killed by direct violence since the u.s. invasion. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,
8:12 am, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show in mexico, where a wave of murders of journalists in the last two weeks prompted reporters and their supporters to take to the streets in protests nationwide. >> hear with a lot of greed because more than 100 journalists have been murdered in the last couple of years. no matter how many times we protested. i was in several protest. one in 2008, 1 right after the killing of javier valdes. despite all of our protest come the killing of journalists continue. i come with more sadness and indignation. amy: mexico is one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists. yesterday, people gathered in tijuana -- a city bordering the united states -- the funeral of four reporter maria guadalupe lourdes maldonado lópez, who was a well-known broadcast journalist and had already faced multiple attacks on her life when she was shot dead in front of her home sunday.
8:13 am
she was the third mexican reporter killed in the first weeks of 2022. on january 17, another tijuana journalist marie to -- margarito martínez, was shot dead in front of his residence after he had just returned from an assignment. he covered police and crime and worked as a fixer for international media. on january 10, the body of reporter josé luis gamboa was found in veracruz. he was stabbed to death. the murder of lourdes maldonado has drawn widespread attention. she was reportedly enrolled in a protection program for journalists overseen by the mexican government and had a panic button in her house. in 2019, she went to press briefing with mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador and pleaded for help. >> i am here asking for your support, for your help. i fear for my life. i know there's nothing i can do it is the corruption i'm experiencing in tijuana and with
8:14 am
this powerful person without your support, mr. president. amy: that was 2019. this is mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador responding this week to the murder of lourdes maldonado. >> i wanted to address this murder, deplorable and painful. like many other cases. at this one in particular were going to investigate thoroughly. i'm saying this because yesterday, there were reports that she was here, reports saying she went to the president asking for protection and now look what happened. as if we dismissed her, as if we did not care and left her without protection. amy: this comes as lourdes' dog refused to move from guarding the entrance to her home this week after she was killed. for more on the calls for mexican authorities to investigate these killings and what should be done, we go to speak with jan-albert hootsen. he attended lodes'funeral
8:15 am
yesterday. welcome back to democracy now! it is a horrible loss for so many, not only in mexico. you are at the funeral. can you describe it for us? you spent time with the family. telus who was there and what the family is demanding. >> nice to be here. yesterday i was that the. it was relatively small-scale event. i think there were about 40 people and at least half are journalist. it is a big story here in tijuana because most of the journalists in the city knew her. for them it was extra tragic. they had to grab -- gather at the graveyard and basically cor the murder of their own friend and colleague. thfamily of lourdes was there. there were family members from the united states, lived just across the border in san diego come and hear from tijuana. they spoke briefly with the
8:16 am
media and myself. they were asking for justice. her brothers said they for ve the people who did this and otherwise they're are very anxiously awaiting for the mexican authorities to provide them with an update about what happened. i think going back to your other question, what should be done? that is the first and that should be done. authorities here need to provide clarity on who might be involved and what might be the motive behind his killing because we don't know that. amy: can you talk about the kind of reporting that she did and also the fact she had a panic button in her house? >> sure. she was an online radio and television show host. she worked for a streaming provider. as such, she had several shows each week in which she was heard
8:17 am
commenting on local events. she never pulled any punches. it was about crime and security, tijuana being one of the most dangerous cities in mexico right now. she also addressed the murder of her colleague margarito martínez one week earlier. according to the authorities which i spoke with earlier this week, she was in rolled in a protection scheme and she had a panic button at home in her house, but a 7:00 p.m. when she got back when she was attacked, and she did not have the panic button with her. another thing when he more clarity about is the state authorities told me that she had regular police check ins, meaning a patrol car would check in with the residents every once in a while to see if she was ok. apparently, this was not enough and they were not present at the time she was attacked. this means whatever security measures the mexican state had provided her, they have been woefully insufficient. amy: one of lourdes maldonado's
8:18 am
last broadcasts was january 19. it was dedicated to tijuana photojournalist margarito martínez, who was assassinated outside his home last week. this is a clip of lourdes on her own program brebaje, meaning potion, paying homage to margarito, not knowing she'd be killed days later. >> margarito's death has left a big hole and a generalist of. he was recognized around the wor ld. he had tremendous knowledge. amy: jan-albert hootsen, we are trying to reach mexican journalist in tijuana but no one would come on. fearful for what it could mean, how much danger they face.
8:19 am
can you talk about the danger they face and what this federal protection program is for journalists and why one is needed in mexico, why it ione of the deadliest placein the world for media workers? >> sure. i was yesterday at the home of margarito martínez. i spoke with his wife for quite a long time. the place where he was killed, it is very chilling. you walk up to their home and there is a spot, very large spot at was clearly cleaned, with flowers and candles standing right next to it like a silent witness to what happened to margarito. the kind of journalism that margarito martínez specialized in was the crime and security beat. what he did is he would get up in the morning and listen to radio frequencies of the tijuana municipal and baja state police as well as the red cross.
8:20 am
when an incident would come in, tijuana has on average five homicides a day, he would jump in his car and go to the place where the incident was reported, get out as soon as he could, take pictures, drive back home, upload those pictures to one of the one or more of his many employers. that particular kind of journalism is quite dangerous in mexico, especially tijuana, because it happens very often when a journalist takes photos of these incidents, there might be someone there who does not like them to do it. for example, gang members are family members of the people who were killed, were shot. journalists will be followed, rested by the police. they might receive death threats. it is a daily struggle for people like margarito. one thing that is important and i think the mexican state needs to clarify is margarito actually
8:21 am
got in touch with the federal mechanism for protection of journalists and human rights defenders. that is an institution that functions under the coordination of the mexican federal government. it was created 10 years ago this year. it is a small institution that is focused on coordinating protection efforts with state governments and federal agencies. the problem with this mechanism is that it is woefully insufficient, highly centralized in mexico city, do not have any regional representati in mexico. and even if it did have enough money, which it really doesn't because it is only working with a bunch -- proximally over just 50 million u.s. dollars a year, even if it had enough money, and even if you have public officials working for it that were well-trained, still the issue of impunity. the issue of crimes not been properly investigated.
8:22 am
apologies for the background noise. there's a little bit of a siren. amy: we totally understand. can you talk about the effect of the u.s.-backed so-called war on drugs, its rise in mexico and whether it is connected to violence against journalists and human rights denders? >> there is a case about five years ago, the murder of a journalist in the northern mexican state of chihuahua. in the years after she was murdered, there been numerous investigations into the circumstances of her death. one of those investigations focused on the ballistic evidence and the people who looked into that. they were able to link the murder weapon, the pistol she was killed with directly to the united states. it was a gun that was boht across the border, smuggled into mexico, then used for numerous
8:23 am
crimes, including the murder. in the case of the murder margarito, baja state authorities have already been able to link that gun to at least five crimes and a high probability that gun, to come has been smuggled into mexico and used by criminal gangs here. i think we cannot see the violence against journalists in mexico as something independent from the war on drugs. the numbers that we have in that case the violence against journalistsxploded just at a time when mexico declared its u.s.-backed drug war against organized crime members. united states is a player in this violence, whether it likes it or not, because this is a transitional problem and we just have no other way than to view the war on drugs is probably the main factor that fuels this violence from a sort of
8:24 am
transnational/international perspective. amy: usa today today reports the mexican government estimates more than half a million guns are smuggled from the u.s. each year. can youend on that note, jan-albert hootsen? >> one of my colleagues wrote a book about that cold "the iron river." it is a phenomenon that apparently is unstoppable. there are so many guns flowing southward. there are hundreds if not thousands of gun storejust across the border. the ease with which smugglers can purchase guns in the united states and smuggle them over the border to mexico is staggering. thcurrent governmenunder lópez obrador has been very vocal about the united stas having ttake measures against that. i think it is a very small- tall order.
8:25 am
there isn't a lot of incentive currently to change it, despite all the mass shootings in the u.s., but i don't think there's any other way and to -- then to at least address this issue in a bilateral sense. amy: jan-albert hootsen, thank you for being with us, dutch journalist and mexico correspondent at the committee to protect journalists. speaking to us from tijuana, where lourdes maldonado was just memorialized at her funeral yesterday. she is one of three journalists to have been murdered in mexico so far this year in the first weeks of 2022. next up, we go to sheikh jarrah neighborhood where israeli forces recently evicted a palestinian family and demolished their home. we will speak to the sheikh jarrah resident mohammed el-kurd , well-known palestinian poet and activist.
8:26 am
stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
8:27 am
amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. an israeli court has rejected a petition by an family trebuild their home in the sheikh jarrah in occupied east jerusalem. a week after the israeli luke perry destroyed their home. generally 19, israeli raided the home of the family early in the morning when the family slept, there will members of the family were assaulted. at least six were arrested. a man in his daughter spoke about what happened. >> at 2:00 p.m., my son woke up and to be the army are entering the house. i could not leave the room. they came in and arrested me. they stepped on my back and the officer told me "i told you i would evict your home and that you leave your home like a
8:28 am
dog, barefoot." he told me to put my head down. i said, "i never put my head down." >> the house was demolished. my heart is broken. i don't know how to express myself. the housi was raised i now is torn up. everything is gone. it is so hard to see my father's hard work for 25 years is demolished. our memories, my father's heritageand his land -- everything is gone. even the cats and animals are gone. amy: at least another 18 palestinians were at the home in solidarity with the family were also detained. palestinian say it is the latest in a series of evictions and yet expropriating land for israeli settlers in violation of international law. we are joined by mohammed el-kurd, palestine correspondent for the nation and the author of the recently published book of poems "rifqa." his family's home is in the sheikh jarrah neighborhood of occupied east jerusalem. he ijoining us now from new york city. welcome back to democracy now!
8:29 am
can you explain what happened to the cilia family? before the israeli military destroyed their home, they said they would burn it down to avoid the eviction must of us whether home was destroyed. >> it is good to be back. we have all seen the videos of the home being demolished. it is important to note the occupation court ruled their land would be expropriated for "public use" for the building of a special needs school. doused did not have a demolition order on it. let many palestinians see this as is an act of events because the family stood its ground on eviction day and confronted the forces and said they would burn themselves alive should they be thrown out of their home. so the violence spectacle this
8:30 am
coming in and smacking down the doors at dawn der the cover of darkness and insulting the people is not just intimidating palestinians and resistance, but also to send a victory image that was very intimidating. this is an act of -- it must be pointed out this is illegal under international law given that israeli jurisdiction over posting land is illegitimate. amy: can you talk about the neighborhood of sheikh jarrah are you and your twin sister and other palestinians live? you have been detained many times with your family's home has not been destroyed. folks sheikh jarrah is one of the many neighborhoods facg
8:31 am
violence, dispossession systemic race to replace data palestinians by settlers. this is particularly a case that is been going on now for 50 years. our families have been going to court every single month try to defend our home, going up against billionaire-backed settler organizations. this is not a unique situation for our neighborhood. as happ -- it is happening all across palestine. our family still awaits a court decision to see whether or not they're going to remain in our homes. this is just the reality for many, many hundreds of thousands of palestinians. amy: what will happen to this family n? how long have they lived in their home? >> they have lived in their home for many, many decades, even before the israel occupation in
8:32 am
1967. many palestinians are working-class families with nowhere else to go, with no one to turn to, and their rendered homeless in the street. this is happening in the cold of winter, nonetheless. amy: can you talk about what is happening and related news in the occupied west bank where omar asaad was just killed, israeli forces -- it is believed to was 80 years old, palestinian-american. they stopped him while driving home then dragged him out of the car, gagged and handcuffed him, left him to die. what do you know about thi american citizen? >> know he has gone through what many palestinians have gone through of brutal zionist force. i believe he was killed by the israeli occupation forces.
8:33 am
you do not take an elderly eight-year-old man, gagged him, blindfold him, dragged him in the streets, leave him in the cold with intention to harm him. he was unresponse while the israeli forces were still there according to eyewitnesses. they just left him there to die. now the east rally military is going to investigate itself and find it has committed no crimes and no one is going to be punished for what happened to this elderly man who tragically was killed. amy: we usually speak to you in sheikh jarrah. can you talk about what has right to the united states? also, the anthology of your poetry, can you talk about why you named it "rifqa." >> i am here in the united states pursuing a masters degree. i have come also to write and publish writing in english about
8:34 am
ethnic cleansing in palestine. this is why the name of my book is called "rifqa." it is named after my grandmother who is dispossessed of her home in 1948 and again in 2009. has she been alive today, she would be facing the prospt of yet another act of violent displacement. this is also very true for the salia family whose home was just demolished. they once lived in the western part of jerusalem before they were forcibly expelled from their homes by zionist militias in 1948. this is their second time experiencing the same agony and the same at cleansing at the hands of the very same zionist militia, only under a different name this time. amy: let me also ask about what is happening in the negev region. >> thank you for bringing that up. it is important to note there are thousands of palestinian bedouins currently in the south of historic palestine that have
8:35 am
cultivated their lands and inhabited for decades on endet have not had their ownership " recognize" by the israeli government that are now facing displacement at the hands of the jewish national fund, which al jazeera journalists report is a quasi-government agency that has mandated with leasing and devotingand with jews only and owns 13% of israeli "state lands ." most were from a law that expropriated from refugees that were forced out of their homes in 1948. all of these thousands of palestinians, bedouins, today face the prospect of homelessness and also face a violent crackdown because they have said no time and again this effort by the janus -- which, by the way, many have called greenwashing.
8:36 am
they are recruiting palestinians to replace them with invasive species of trees. it is important to note the jnf is a charity registered in the united states as a charity organization, tax-exet organization that is cmitting international law violations are broad and thus violating american law. i want to echo the calls and demands for the global days of action made and called on by the activists in the south are facing dispossession. they are asking their demolition orders be ended, that deforestation efforts be ended and ethnic cleansing at-large must come to an end. there global actions all around the globe today and tomorrow in the day after tomorrow demanding an end to ethnic cleansing bit in the south hebron hills in jerusalem or the west bank.
8:37 am
amy: mohammed el-kurd, thank you for being with us, cost suncor -- palestine correspondent for the nation and the author of the recently published book of poems "rifqa." his family's home is in the sheikh jarrah neighborhood of occupied east jerusalem. when we come back, "downfall: the case against boeing." a new documentary just premiered at sundance that looks at the two fatal crashes of the billing 737 max in ethiopia and indonesia, killing all 346 people on board. we will speak with the director rory kennedy, as well as the father of one of the victims, michael stumo. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
8:38 am
amy: this is democracy now!,
8:39 am, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. relatives of passengers who died in a pair of fatal crashes of boeing 737 max jets in ethiopia and indonesia are urging attorney general merrick garland to reopen a $2.5 billion settlement that the trump administration reached with boeing in its final days in office last year. under the settlement, boeing avoids criminal prosecution over its role in two of the deadliest airplane crashes in recent years. attorney general garland held a video meeting with several family members on wednesday. the first crash occurred on october 29, 2018, when a lion air flight in indonesia crashed after taking off from jakarta, killing all 189 people aboard. just after five months later on march 10, 2019, an ethiopian airlines flight crashed minutes
8:40 am
after taking off from addis ababa. 157 people died. everyone on board. both planes were using a new flawed automated flight-control system that activated erroneously. the story of the boeing crashes and the company's push for profit over safety are told in a stunning new documentary "downfall: the case against boeing," which just premiered at the sundance film festival. this is an excerpt featuring garima sethi, the wife of pilot bhavy suneja who died in the crash of lion air flight 610 in indonesia. yusbandrepared s flig bag, chk his hedule, checked t with h colleag he waslying with. wehad a meal. it w the norl teamefore he ft foris fligh
8:41 am
tere lefti went bk t sleep. after f hoursi was expectg a ca from him. just nmal workg day
8:42 am
>>e ha a flighcontrol prlem. [phoings] >> i got call from e of his colleaes, "we are n able to find hisircraft. i didot wor. i knew my husnd. knew howe flew. was expeting a cl from h. thatas the norm followe i wasxpectinghat callrom hiinstead anyone else. after that, it has just been everyone. amy: that was the wife of the indonesian pilot of the lion air
8:43 am
flight that went down in 2019. and that excerpt is from the upcoming netflix documentary "downfall: the case against boeing." we're joined now by two guests. the films director of producer rory kennedy is an academy award nominated, emmy award-winning documentary film maker. and michael stumo is the father of samya stumo, who tragically was killed in the ethiopian airlines crash in march 2009. not six months after the indonesian flight. michael, i want to begin with you and i want to start off by sharing all of our condolences on the death of samya, who i had gotten a chance to meet when she was alive. beautiful young activist committed to social change. i wanted to give my condolences to your family. we had spoken with ralph nader, her grand uncle at the time, but i have not spoken to you and your wife.
8:44 am
thank you for joining us. >> thank you for letting me be here. amy: michael, you just met with merrick garland, the attorney general. before we talk about this really stunning documentary, i wanted to ask about this latest news, what you're calling for. >> the criminal settlement, the deferred prosecution agreement with boeing in the latter days of the trump administration after attorney general barr had left, caused surprise, anger, and grief among all the crash families are connected in a what that group globally just erupted in anger. they never talked to us despite me and my wife asking to speak to the doj of humans before. hey, what is going on? they said -- they deny there was an investigation. they denied there was.
8:45 am
we knew we had rights under the crime victims rights act to meet and confer with prosecutors and have a say in their investigation, in their decisions. they said there wasn't one. then all of a sudden on january 1, 2021, we find out, oh, there's a criminal settlement. this challenge by law professor paul casale, in expert in crime victims rights, alleges the crime victims rights act was violated. we want to reopen the dpa. we don't want justice to fight us on that. it is under new leadership with merrick garland. garland has in fact fought for victims rights in a prior life, in the past as a lawyer. we asked that he agree with us or at least not fight us on
8:46 am
asking a declaration that our rights were violated and we should have an opportunity to meet and confer and, in fact, we ultimately want this agreement we opened so that our input is reflected and it is not a hasty rush job at the end of an administration. amy: what is your since the attorney general will go? to summarize, the department of justice has charged boeing with criminal conspiracy to defraud the faa, federal aviation administration. boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion in fines and compensation but the arrangement allows the company to avoid criminal prosecution. >> yes. just one correction, boeing only paid 240 3.7 million dollars in fines. the rest of it was mostly to airline customers that they had harmed, where they owed the money anyway because of the grounding. so they drew that money plus a bit of money to families to make
8:47 am
it look like a bigger settlement. it was only 240 $3 million. as expected in the meeting, merrick garland was very empathetic, very sincere. he listened carefully. we did not expect them to say which way he was going in the meeting and he did not. amy: i want to bring rory kennedy into the conversation. this film is jaw-dropping. you go deep into boeing's history and essential into the cover-up. talk about why he decided to make "downfall: the case against boeing." and what you discovered as you investated this. >> thank you, amy. and i appreciate so much being on your show committing back here with you. like so many other, i followed this story where we witnessed two airplanes crash within five months of each other come the
8:48 am
same airplane, the 737 max, 346 people lost their lives. i wanted to know what happened. i wanted to know who knew what, who was responsible for these planes crashing, for these lives lo. and i wanted to ultimately make a documentary where we can learn from tse mistakes, hd those people accountable, and try ou best to ensure this does not happen again. amy: so take us through the two crashes. i mean, what was some of the most galling parts of this worthy blame that boeing placed on the pilots and also on the countries, as if to say in developing countries they just can't handle quite our planes. let me turn to another clip from the documentary "downfall: the case against boeing." it premiered friday at sundance. >> if you open airlines fligh
8:49 am
has crashed ortly ter taoff. >> twoays aer theecond crh, we kn this plane apared to defecti in some manner. >> greed for profits more important in human life? amy: it was their greed says garima sethi. you also see in this clip congress member defazio who led a deep investigation into what took place, the oregon congressmember. talk about first lion air and how boeing responded and then this unprecedented crash just months later, the same thing happens. >> one of the things that was shocking to me to discover and add the making of this film is that as far back as 2013, their meeting minutes that we document are shown in the found that show
8:50 am
boeing was trying to hide the existence of the mcat system to the faa, to the regulator. amy: explain. which no one knew, even the many technicians and the faa folks even knew what mcas was. >> worse than that, a lot of the pilots did not know what it was step so that mcat system was basically a computer system. this plane was built based on a model from 737 model that was built in the 1960's. it was basically retrofitted with larger engines because boeing wanted to get to market faster and wanted to save money. so they retrofitted -- they put these very large engines and the aerodynamics of the plane did not function properly in certain conditions.
8:51 am
so inste of rebuilding the planes, in an effort to save money, they decided to rely on this system, a computer stem to fix the problem. basically, what this give your system did was push the nose of the plane downward. the problem -- i mean, one of the many problems was that it relied on a single sensor, which is not consistent with regulations. you can't have one sensor that could have a catastrophic impact. that sensor broke. it isn't erroneous information to this computer system. and e nose of the plane cap wishing downward. every 10 seconds it would push downward. in the first plane, the lion air airplane crash, they did not even know the system was on the plane. we later find ou which was equally just blew me away, that
8:52 am
boeing kw based on their internal research that a pilot did not respond within four to 10 seconds of evidce of the system broken down, that the result would be catastrophic. and catastrophic needs the airplane would crash and everybody would die. so they knew that as far back as 2016 and they still put these planes up in the air. and, as you point out, after that first lion air crash, they blamed the pilot. even knowing it was the system that was faulty on his aircraft. so it was -- i mean, you can imagine garima, who we heard from, not only having to deal the loss of her husband who had committed himself to really protecting his passengers and
8:53 am
was an extraordina pilot, did not only have to deal with his loss but then to deal with this onslaught of press that suggested that her pilot husband was reonsible r this. amy: and so that was lion air. they could get away with that for as long as there wasn't the second crash where the same thing happened. in fact, these pilots, because of the first, though they were not trained in simulator, they were alerted to this mcas, which you said pushed the nose of the plane down, you had to act within 10 seconds turning off the system. they cannot deny it anymore. though it seemed like they were hiring more pr people, she point out and the documentary, then they were dealing with how to take these planes out of service
8:54 am
until they could figure it out. >> well, you know, the truth is, amy -- ok, so between the first crash and the second crash, the other thing -- an additional memo document is revealed in the lm, which is a territory that showed boeing and the faa knew this plane had a likelihood of crashing 15 times er the course of his lifetime. so that was the average out as once every two years. there would be a catastrophic crash like this. and they decided to keep the plane under the air knowing that. that to me absolutely is outrageous. to think we're putting our children, our families, ourselves on these airplanes and that boeing and the faa would allow a plane like this to go back in the air, again, in the
8:55 am
interest of saving money because to ground the plane would cause boeing millions and up to billions of dollars. but still after the second airplane crash -- first of all, they kept it in the air until three days when there were a number of other countries, including china and the european union thatrounded the rcraft. we only did that after three days here in the united states, and boeing still blamed the pilots after the second airplane crash. amy: talking about their stupidity. the whole thing was incredible. you also point out the corporate merger between boeing and a donald douglas played a key role. >> yes, this was back in the 90's. boeing is a company that i have huge respect for. it has been the driving force in our economy, really was on the
8:56 am
forefront of pushing the envelope and commercial air, allowing us to be able to travel all over the world after world war ii. it wasnvolved getting the rockets up to theoon. so it had this extraordinary history and has rlly focused historically on engineering, excellenceand safety. that all seemed to change when they merged with mcdonnell douglas. mcdonnell douglas was a flailing company. somehow the peopleho worked at mcdonnell douglas ended up -- one person interviewed said they bought boeing with boeing's money and somehow took charge of the company and really turned it into a company that prioritized profit over safety.
8:57 am
amy: michael stumo, the organizing that the families of the plane victims did, what you did going hearing after hearing to washington, d.c., this international community because one of the planes went down in indonesia, one in ethiopia. and the image of you standing behind the ceo of boeing in one of those hearings, each of you holding the pictures of your loved ones. talk about the organizing that has exposed so much of what boeing did. >> the crash happened on march 10, 2019. at the end of april, we learned the faa was planning to update pilot training for the max so they received another hour of computer training. we knew then that the fix was
8:58 am
in, they were trying to do minimal changes to get that max up in the air. we were on the floor -- i mean, we were just grieving. trying to recover. and then we realize, we have to go to washington. all the while my wife nadia and i were connecting with families my family members, crash families were reaching out to each other, connected in a whatsapp group, connected in other ways. nadia and i went to washington and met with 56 different members of the senate commerce committee and house transportation committee. amy: we have 20 seconds. >> same story every time. getting the families to washington with the pictures many times in front of the decision-makers was difficult amy: amy: but importt to let
8:59 am
them know what was at stake. 1 amy: we will continue to follow the pressure you're bringing on the attorney general and on boeing on what will come of samyais horror that took stumo whoó
9:00 am
(suspee music) ♪ i caut you wahing ♪ under t light ♪ c i reali ♪ ♪hey say 's easy to lve you bind ♪ ♪ i d't wannary ♪ ♪ut coverake thatest ♪ hold coage to yr chest ♪ don wanna wt for yo♪


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on