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tv   [untitled]  RT  July 27, 2010 11:01pm-11:31pm EDT

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live out of washington d.c. and tonight we'll look at the strategy in afghanistan in light of the latest damning leak because experts on the hill continue to push for more time and more money with the same failing strategy i'm beginning to wonder is the washington d.c. establishment simply missing the point and much of the mainstream media has already dismissed the latest weiqi leaks as irrelevant and information that everybody already knew but is this just an excuse to not question the war effort itself next are americans america's wealthiest and most highly taxed are notorious for avoiding paying their taxes at all with tim geithner announcing that the obama administration will allow the bush tax cuts to lapse meaning tax increases for the job earners is there any way to make them pay or is it time to head to something a little more simple something like a flat tax we're going to bait that issue and it is a llama phobia it's on the rise in america with some groups going so far as to advocate for the burning of the koran we'll have
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a pastor from the dove world outreach center go head to head with a palestinian blogger who says that they are spreading a message of hate and next it's time to look at all the latest news from the relationship world everybody knows that what happens in vegas stays in vegas but apparently women are more likely to follow this golden rule and who knew the many women also like to keep their clothes on while having sex we'll get to the bottom of the strange phenomenon but now let's move on to our top story. as washington continues to crane in the hope of the reactions to the leaks of more than ninety thousand classified documents on the war in afghanistan simply fade away the war still rages on and today the senate foreign relations committee held a hearing on the relationship between the afghan government and the taliban on the strategy for withdrawal so is anything going to change our to correspondent christine has the story. a glimpse into the way it really is on the
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battlefield now made more clear by the release of more than ninety thousand secret documents on wiki leaks dot org. they paint a portrait of an afghanistan aided by pakistan which is supposed to be helping the u.s. government they also demonstrate a point u.s. senator john kerry sums up the also calling the leaks unacceptable and illegal that after nearly nine years of war more than a thousand american casualties billions of u.s. taxpayer dollars. the taliban. appear to be strong as they have a stronger enemy means experts on policy in the middle east are calling for a stronger strategy asking for more time i think the first and we ought to do is just is to stop talking about twenty eleven and start talking about twenty four tane and more resources the second they want it is a big tactical hit on the taliban dr david kilcullen a counterinsurgency expert says in other words you have to do
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a lot of damage on the taliban before they'll be willing to talk a strategy that may sound familiar more money more troops and more time and if you do well there's no guarantee anything will change is it possible that this war is just unwinnable but certainly possible the thing is we want to know until we get to the point where we begin to pull out and we see if the afghan government is sustainable it looks rather do that significantly break from the one president obama announced in december and the lawmakers say they are listening many do not like what their hero now what point do we say that we camps we can't make this work u.s. senator ted kaufman not accepting the familiar strategy i'm not for spending one more dollar and one more american life until we have a conviction that we can get governance that's good enough this is not about resurrecting afghanistan with all due respect i care about afghanistan but the
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standard is not that we leave something better we just win the day we decide that we don't have carmen's that is good enough we should leave that day a pushback while others work to push ahead a tug of war within a real war with no end in sight christine for south r t. well christine joins me now in the studio to give us more details now christine you mention or showed us a clip of john kerry talking about the leak of these ninety thousand pages of internal reports from afghanistan to any of the other lawmakers talk about wiki leaks or bring it up john kerry was the only one to mention it he is the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee and he talked about it in his opening statements and it's he straight a little bit from what he said yesterday as soon as we came out with this information yesterday he said it doesn't matter how this information was obtained it just matters that it forces us to relook at the strategy and perhaps come up
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with a more urgent one today than the lightning words we were all excited right we're going to have today he pushed back a little bit he said the way that these that this information was obtained was illegal and it's an unacceptable and he also hinted at the fact that there will be an investigation into who leaked it he did however as you saw in my report still say. that the taliban is a strong as it has ever been as we saw in these leaks backtracking a little bit in his words interesting now they also were saying that the first thing they want to do here is they want to move the withdrawal timeline from two thousand and eleven from next year all the way to two thousand and fourteen whose idea was that originally well i think originally it was actually president hamid karzai idea there was a conference last week a one day conference in kabul called a call the conference and he said that he would be willing to take over security in two thousand and fourteen different from what president obama announced back in december about the twenty eleven deadline and so it wasn't just a counterinsurgency expert today dr kilcullen saying this but certainly
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a lot of people not only listening to the hearing but a lot of people on the members of the hearing of the committee rather are shocked we have us the thing is you know we've heard the obama administration we've heard general david petraeus all saying that this is just the beginning of the withdrawal process it's not all out all the troops pick up and leave but to say that even the withdraw. all can't police can't begin until two thousand and fourteen is that's quite the change you know and did it did the lawmakers do they argue about this did we hear it across party lines some of their ideas differ well we heard a lot from senator kerry we heard a lot from as you saw in my story from senator kaufman from delaware who's a democrat also who said we're not giving another dollar until we can see that something's going to work so there was a lot of arguing among amongst these senators and it didn't really have anything to do with party or anything i think they just brought these experts in this was the
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first hearing after all on the topic of reconciliation in afghanistan of the way working with other countries. so they didn't really even argue but they just wanted to hear from these experts what they thought about it so they can begin the research and begin the process of figuring out what to do next that's my problem with these hearings is those they always bring in the x. furred still sit there and then listen but nothing is ever really done after those and i don't know if this means anything but they all thought that this was one of the most enlightening hearings on afghanistan that they've ever had since the war started so i thought it was pretty interesting interesting well i guess we'll have to see if they actually decide to change anything for those christine filling us in on today's hearing moving on to the media after the initial outcry by the white house yesterday that the wiki leaks documents what compromise national security and the lives of american troops abroad today we're hearing a bit of a different tune now the white house and lawmakers have all hopped on the mainstream media bandwagon all of a sudden these leaks aren't such a big deal because well you know none of this stuff's really new everybody had
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heard of it before and sure those who follow the war closely have heard it all before but what about the average american are the media in the white house simply using the excuse of old information to ignore talking about the bigger picture of continuous the continuous and failing war that's unraveling before us and the policies that they refused to fit in. now joining me live is military intelligence analyst joshua joshua thanks for being with me you know like i said everyone has been saying oh nothing here is new and sure you and i could probably look at these documents and say the same things because we talk about this all the time you write about this all the time but for the average american person that probably doesn't watch the news maybe every now and then they tune into an obama speech do you think they knew everything we were talking about yesterday all the information that came out in these documents. i mean they mean on you think it might also be interesting to question if they still do. if someone doesn't know what's going on in the wars
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already which you can get i mean what these leaks tell us is you can get a pretty good idea of how the worst going by just reading the news because you don't need special information to get all of the problems that we're going into so if someone doesn't already know that i don't know if these leaks are really going to change your mind one way or another well that is another problem of course is our average americans even to pay attention to this story but i think that the mainstream media i think the white house also in this case i think they're taking advantage of that because they know the the american attention span is incredibly short they probably know that the average american's depth of knowledge when it comes to this war is not so deep after all and so i don't know tell me if you agree with me on this the now they're kind of using this excuse to say oh it's all old news and they're using that to just gloss over the fact that this war is failing. i think they're doing that to a certain extent i mean at the same time though there is damaging information in there these leaks do reveal information about how we handle security they give information about the pattern of movements of certain troops and they have then
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a five by name a lot of informants and a lot of afghans that we go to for insight into the country so i think part of the strategy behind them trying to brush this under the rug and kind of say you know move along nothing to see is that they don't want to expose those people and those methods to the broader outside world i mean they're better off with those staying secret so you don't buy the whole excuse that you know that's only goes up until december of two thousand and nine so none of those people today will be in danger. well we know the people there are still in danger i mean especially any of the afghans who got named one thing that i had been doing was going through and almost clicking at random on meeting summaries that are in there and they name full name last name and location of non-governmental afghans just regular people on the street that they talk to i mean that's incredibly dangerous to have that up on the internet where any insurgent with an internet connection can log on find that person identify where they live and then to punish them in some way for working
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with the u.s. i mean that's a very real danger yeah i mean these days every insurgent does have an internet connection believe it or not exactly twelfth century afghanistan so yeah i agree with you in terms of bringing out people's names could be dangerous putting them into danger but at the same time some of these just basic day to day stories there you know if this is something that's already known that's something that's already being reported on in the news is that show that we're over classifying everything that some of this doesn't need to be secret i mean some of it probably doesn't need to be secret but at the same time i think what it shows too is that most things that are secret a really boring at the end of the day the details of a meeting and how people when they are in what their security arrangements are they make for good atmosphere if you're writing a story but beyond that there's really no public interest in knowing where everyone was sitting at a jirga in some podunk village in southeastern afghanistan no one really cares about that where it matters is when that starts becoming public for our adversaries
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who can then take that information see how we try to work those things and then try to undermine them as a result that's the big reason why they're kept secret it's not because of these concerns that you know the whole country is going to fall because of this but because it protects what we do and it protects how we do it and you don't think that perhaps part of it is wanting to cover up instances where there are civilian deaths where the government isn't necessarily trying to tell exactly how many people were killed there you don't think it. trying to cover up some of our faults in afghanistan and why this war has gone down this endless downward spiral that it's on now i mean i can't it's accuse anyone of deliberately covering up civilian casualties i do know that a couple of people have dug up instances of accidental civilian deaths that were not publicly reported before and there are a lot of reasons for this one of them is that every single time there is in incidence of civilian casualties in afghanistan there are usually violent protests outside the nearby american base and those are surely difficult to deal with i
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don't blame the military for not wanting to deal with it it does clash with the need to keep information as public as possible and to keep the public as informed as possible about what's going on but i don't have anywhere to get answers about whether or not that's a deliberate attempt to deceive the united states or a short term consideration saying we really can't afford to deal with this right now let's try to keep it quiet but do you think we really can afford to keep dealing with this war right now i mean for example we have the house voting today on a new war spending bill for fifty nine billion dollars and you would think that at least just having the you know the magnitude of this really it's a more than ninety thousand pages worth of documents even if a lot of it is things are very you know that that would at least get people questioning the war questioning why we're even still using the word success as if that's something that can be achieved here. i mean i was asking that question in two thousand and seven so it's a little beyond that point far as i'm concerned but at the same time you know iraq
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was really expensive too and people despite it going really poorly for many many many years they kept voting to fund the war because they thought it would be winnable the top political leadership despite all of the bad news that we see in these cables and in these documents the top very top political leadership still seems to think for some reason that we can achieve what we're trying to achieve there that's probably what they're trying to get through congress. it could be that some of them might actually believe in and some of them might just be benefiting from you know continuous war and it could be lining their pockets as well josh thanks so much for joining us. so there you are coming up on the show the battle over full disclosure in those campaign ads running on your t.v. tonight i'm unplugged over the g.o.p. blocking a vote on the issue in congress and the debate over us cuts is also heating up in washington should the bush tax cuts be allowed to expire and could a flat tax ever work here in the u.s. what discuss it in just
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a moment. wealthy british style. time because we're already doing that with. their. markets why not. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike stronger for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to kaiser report on our. on january twenty first two thousand and ten the most conservative supreme court in decades to wipe away every single bit of
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campaign finance law this country had in the books and one fell swoop they defined a corporation as a person and they said that the us had absolutely no right to restrict their political spending and this ridiculous ruling opened up the door for corporations acting in their best interest of the shareholders to buy elections any way they please and you know what's best about it is they don't even have to tell anybody yet spend away in the shadows and the people will never ever know so today with no campaign finance laws on the books the senate actually voted down the disclosure act which would have required all political as that are aired independently of a party and the candidates to disclose their identity it's as simple as that if you're paying for it and you're advertising an idea just tell us who you are well the senate republicans will be having absolutely none of that since they voted it down today just spite the fact that yesterday obama try to appeal to them with with
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just a little bit of rationality a fruitless effort in my mind by explaining this flaw in the most basic most clear terms possible you'd think that making these reforms would be a matter of common sense particularly since they primarily involve just making sure that folks who are financing these ads are disclosed so that the american people can make up their own minds. sound like it or not think of that no longer would you see a pretty commercial touting the evils of a carbon tax paid for by quote americans for a wonderful future who the hell are they know how they passed this bill you would have actually known that this was bought and paid for by a corporation that they're acting in the interest of their sure holders and not the american people that is unless of course you're the n.r.a. who scored a key exemption but then allow the republicans and all who is he talking point just leave it to the democrats to give the republicans the most easy pass in the world
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on a very very important bill but you know what even with this exemption exemption it's still unbelievably shocking to me the republicans are against it this isn't even touch any corporations ability to buy elections they're still free to do that absolutely they just have to tell us who they are do we really live in a world where that's too much to ask and actually makes me sick the republicans voted against disclosure act which was even in its final form a watered down bare bones excuse for pain finance but somehow in the name of freedom for corporations they voted against the freedom of transparency the freedom of knowledge give me a break. well one of the next political battles sure to cost some heat in washington is that over taxes the bush tax cuts are set to expire next year and there are other bold statement treasury secretary tim geithner said that the obama
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administration fully intends to let them and and to allow the taxes for the wealthiest americans to rise as an effort to bring down the budget deficit now of course republicans even some democrats in fact probably most people that are wealthy are going to be up in arms once we get closer to the cutoff date but will taxing the rich more really help the deficit or will they simply find the necessary loopholes in the best accountants to get them out of pain so you know. what if we toyed with the idea of a flat tax if everybody was tracked an equal percentage would they then be more willing to pay it's working in russia so why not here in the us well joining me in this you discuss it is ryan ellis tax policy director at americans for tax reforms and christian dorsey director director of external and government affairs at the economic policy institute gentlemen thank you so much for being here now first i want to get your thoughts should these tax cuts for the rich be allowed to expire
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while they're extended for the middle class the lower classes. well first of all americans for tax reform we believe that this is not the time to raise taxes at all but nobody's taxes should go up that's what we're talking about here we're talking about raising taxes if all of the tax increases that are set to go into effect in january were in fact to go into effect it would probably be the largest tax increase in american history this is certainly not the time to do that and we think that we can keep taxes right where they are as a necessary precondition of getting back to economic recovery but what about the deficit that's right no one's talking about rolling back the tax cuts for everyone they're talking about rolling them back on the top two percent of income earners we're talking about people for whom the category starts at about one point four million dollars in the income and certainly they can afford to have a slight increase in taxation without doing anything to harm the nation's economic recovery certainly not doing anything to harm our job prospects and in fact providing much needed revenue to address the deficit issue that so concerns
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washington these days lots of things do you think americans would really be so post-a that because of the majority of americans that are suffering from the recession the ones that are unemployed are not the ones whose tax cuts are going to run out it's the members of congress the top one percent of the american population that's that's really not true first of all that we have a deficit because the government is spending too much money not because it's not collecting enough in tax revenues if you look at government projections even if all of the expiring time. really if even if all these tax increases are avoided over the next couple of years the government will still be collecting in taxes historically about what it's always collected in taxes spending is way way way above trend that's the first point secondly when you raise taxes on the top two marginal tax rates as you pointed out people that are just wealthy individuals are going to find tax shelters and other means in order to avoid those higher taxes which are really going to hit our unincorporated small businesses who filed the individual side of the code so proprietors as corporations and partnerships would bear the brunt of any higher marginal tax rate i'm happy to bring that up because
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you're right i definitely think that the wealthy in this country are just masters when it comes to avoiding having to pay their taxes they're the ones that can afford the the accountants that are going to tell them where all the loopholes are just today there was a story coming out about about senator john kerry who is going to be placing his new seven million dollar yacht at a dock in rhode island so that he can save five hundred thousand dollars in taxes so if we had a flat tax in the united states like so many other countries have do you think that would work would that make these rich people actually pay up well you know i mean you make people pay up by closing the loopholes that allow them to skirt their responsibility of john kerry weren't allowed to dock in rhode island versus home state of massachusetts we wouldn't be talking about this issue and the tax flat progressive or otherwise doesn't mean that congress is going to do the work to close every other loophole that exists to see people reduce their tax burden so all you get with a flat tax is allowing people who already make
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a lot of money and who don't have too high a tax burden to have a lower tax burden i don't really see how that math works out let's make it so they pay less which puts us further into a deficit problem and further increases the responsibility of the middle and lower class i just don't get ryan or you have flat fact and you are a flat tax than i even you know i think what we're getting at here is progress of it and that's the real goal here not to have necessarily. any rate you're graduated rates the goal that seems to be attained for here is progress seventy if you take a look at income tax collections over the last thirty years the income tax despite rates going down have gotten more and more and more progressive even as the top rate has gone down that's because as and as the economy expands and people move into higher and higher levels of income they're paying more and more taxes at the higher end you can achieve the same level of progress of any with a flat tax as you do with a graduated income tax as long as you have a broad base attached to it but with all due respect ryan's only focusing on the
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federal income tax which is just one piece of a person's tax burden you also have payroll taxes you also have state and local taxes which are by implementation much more regressive throughout society so long to consider this someone making you know that one point four million average income of the top couple percent their tax burden all combined is about thirty thirty one percent for a middle class person making forty thousand dollars a year their tax burden is about twenty five twenty six percent so this whole idea that the rich are shouldering a much bigger burden is just not supported by the facts because you know the federal income tax is just one piece all of the other taxes you pay your wallet just as much so a flat tax and asked if we were to have one in america you don't think it would help the economy you don't think that the notion of everyone pays an equal percentages is americana would make it more equal for everyone well it isn't about necessarily making it more equal for everyone the question is how do you best
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incentivize economic growth how do you have more jobs created more labor earning more capital created if you have lower marginal tax rates right now the top marginal tax rate is thirty five percent it's on its way to forty so it's way a little bit higher depending on the type of income that you are let's say we had a fifteen or twenty percent top flat rate if we had that we would be able to have lower marginal tax rates somebody looking to start that next business that next investment that next allocation of labor capital is going to get a higher after two. x. rated return because the marginal rate is lower that's what you really want to incentivize in america at the same time you can achieve the progress city that you want provided that you get the base right so how do we do that you know we did that we tried that that was what the two thousand and three tax cuts were all about two thousand and one in two thousand and three tax cuts were all about that very same rationale was used to as the defense for almost historically large tax cuts that were supposed to be a new engine of economic growth and job opportunities for wealthy americans and how
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did that turn out it doesn't seem that it worked out quite that way so i think somehow that mantra has got to be changed a little bit ryan because we've been there and we've done that and it didn't produce the results that we said it would so where do we go from here at this point now that these these bush era tax cuts are going to expire that they're going to and do you think that there's a way for them to close off all the loopholes like we're saying without instituting something like a flat tax is there a better way to fix it. well just to start sadly i'm not encouraged because it seems that in congress the whole idea of whether or not you cut spending seems to be very easy to talk about but when it comes to tax expenditures which are just like spending on discretionary programs no one wants to seem to deal with those issues you know we've got mortgage tax deductions which benefit wealthy folks more than they do folks who are less wealthy same thing with four a one k. retirement plans and and no one really wants to touch those things so i don't have a lot of confidence that congress is going to do the hard work to close loopholes
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that i think make our tax system so difficult to understand and why many people favor an alternative like the flat tax which unfortunately i think would make us we're not happy to say that because it sounds to me like our tax system is incredibly confident complicated and i don't really have the faith in our congress members to under you know to know that they understand how it works out there gentlemen thanks so much for being here all right just ahead tonight tool time we're calling out a politician for spreading fears about islam find out what he said in just a moment and there's a church group in florida that's calling for the burning of the qur'an eleven so we'll speak to the pastor behind this movement at a palestinian blogger who's opposed to the plan and just minutes. hungry for the full story we've got it fixed the biggest issues get a human voice ceased to face with the news makers on the.
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state provided citizens with. it's a. tough sell to. china. like. when the debt tight. like. right. to be killing hundreds. you're watching r t seven thirty in the morning here in moscow and these are the top stories down is going to roll at a manhunt in washington after the two u.s.
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military reports of the afghan war reveal civilian deaths former american soldiers say the country should focus on examining it's possible warfare mout that's not true expose them some claim to have received orders to kill everyone in sight if threatened. new sanctions on iran from the new u.n. chemical called on the fire from russia moscow says the move falls outside a recent new address of the nation and to undermine efforts to resolve the can bring in the nuclear issue. once you go in boston latinos living off charity slammed the government for doing nothing to help the country recover from the financial meltdown leaving many to fend for themselves they used to be the fastest growing group in economy but suffered more than other member states from the recession. and now for part two of the all you want to show and there are reports that hip hop.


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