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tv   [untitled]    February 22, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EST

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policies in afghanistan may be sinking america's longest war. the winners are are the corporations and the government people with power and with money and the losers are the simple words to life liberty and the pursuit of silence a new bill in congress looks to muzzle whistle blowers but it's more than national secrets that the u.s. has to worry about leaking it may be draining freedom as well. you are. up. to four to greece is set to receive its second bailout in as many years but money isn't everything and while the country gains financial support from the eurozone is it losing its own democracy in the process we'll question more. good evening it's wednesday february twenty second eight pm here in washington d.c. i'm lucy captain of and you're watching our team. but we begin today in afghanistan
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where at least seven people were killed and dozens wounded in clashes over the burning of a koran at a nato military base the protests spread across the country despite a u.s. apology for what it called a mistake now the demonstrations highlight the intensity over of local anger over the perception of foreign forces as flouting afghan customs and and salting their culture and while the koran burnings or photos of marines urinating on corpses for that matter are outrageous enough in their own right to spark anger anti-american sentiments in afghanistan is inherently tied to u.s. policy there and that policy includes the support for cross officials rogue militias secret jails and of course night raids and a journalist neil shea covers the region and he spoke to me earlier about the blowback from some of these policies we began with the issue of night raids take a look. it's been an issue since the beginning of the war and frankly. the afghan civilians afghans throughout the country do not appreciate the idea that foreign
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forces particularly western forces can drop into their homes and villages and cities at any time and really paid the very sacred privacy that afghans hold in those places so we've we've seen a struggle go on since the beginning of the war with western forces trying to capture suspects and in some cases kill them if at night and without any advance warning often this can lead to civilian casualties as well where people who are not involved in combat action at all are sort of the it casualties accidental casualties so there's been a lot of anger brewing for the last several years over this and yet despite that in that there's been several studies out there's then human rights groups a lot of people have raised warning about this in terms of civilian casualties coming about as a result of these arrays and yet the u.s. continues to call them one of the most effective and perseid counterinsurgency
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tools why is that i mean if there's such a blowback effect in terms of turning the population right continue to use this tactic. well that's it's it's an interesting point and it's a weird kind of mathematics that the nato forces are using with this and as you mentioned some experts who study this the use of nigerians have seen that as the increase the support among afghan civilians for the nato mission decreases so the more you need use night raids the less this million population is on your side but when i was last there in afghanistan a few months ago u.s. officials were telling me that despite this night raids were still considered the most effective and one of the safest methods for targeting specific insurgents and they cited their own statistics to say that they more often captured a person they were looking for then chilled or injured any civilians accidentally so even though it plays out in the media that we were seeing it today and now. the
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u.s. military and nato still think it's a good idea so they have not gotten to the point where they're willing to really examine it yet and possibly with that from until after now unfortunately this isn't the only policy that has some questionable consequences i want to sort of bring up b. reliance of the u.s. in an effort to counter a growing insurgency in afghanistan specially in northern afghanistan the u.s. has been relying on militias essentially in a clinton province that they now pose the taliban there where they do a pretty good job of i guess keeping the taliban back in the battlefield but have also been accused of committing agree just human rights abuses and really turning the local population against them. top a little bit about that i mean you know i thought we learned our lesson with the whole globe after fact that when we supported them which i had been against the soviets. yeah this is it this is one of the later efforts of the nato forces and particularly american forces to train not. police units police structures
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so that somebody will be and can control when nato starts to withdraw in two thousand and fourteen and in some cases earlier so it's sort of the latest and some see it as the most promising ever to. turn local civilians into their own police forces and a lot of times the available body of people to drawn into these police forces is of questionable questionable background questionable education and things like this so we've seen a lot of problems in not just canoes but all over afghanistan where these new local militias have gone haywire in some instances and what you're talking about is one of the more egregious examples but in other places they even though they're drawing salaries from the government they continue to on the side collect so-called taxes from the civilian population which means that they'll often go and sequester part
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of the local cotton crop so that's risking a lot of different problems with these these groups nobody seems to be able to control them entirely and it seems that the afghan people are suffering and. there's also this this instance it seems not only supporting these sort of the militia groups of questionable origin but some of our biggest allies in afghanistan for example. kandahar have been accused of again agreeing to a second rights violations torture and this is it i guess is the difficult question because on one hand you know nato forces certainly are are not going to be seen kindly on the ground in afghanistan together hand how does the population respond to the u.s. backing of these kinds of fakers. well it's really mixed it and it's often depends on where these particular afghan commanders for come from in the south particularly . whereas it is based as you just mentioned often those military commanders and
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police commanders are drawn from other parts of the country so they come to pull down from the north say and they will drop into a passion area where they don't have any relationship with people and generally that might be seen as good because they don't have any sort of bribery network they're not involved in local politics but on the other and they get down there they have no allies and they start to feel the set on all sides of the behave in ways that nato can't control so if we need to for better or worse and usually for worse it's numbed in with the people sides with and it many cases those are commanders military police commanders who do things that ultimately reflect badly on the nato effort and that happens all over the place nato hasn't been a good way to deal with that yeah so with this drawdown our reduction n.n.n. forces and place i mean do you get the sense from your experiences on the ground in afghanistan that the structure that's being left in place potentially deadly one
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essential you are a very dangerous one for stability in a country absolutely i think that it's going to be problematic but i don't see and i don't see another way of dealing with it really we nato is expressed its desire to leave afghanistan in more or less by two thousand and fourteen so it needs to put something in place and that's what we're seeing happen now and in in a lot of cases we end up where nato ends up taking figures we're not entirely clean and in some cases very shaky but there are too many other other ways to go about it there just aren't many people to choose from in that region all right well thank you so much for your time and i guess that's discussions like this help people sort of understand some of the their reasons behind the outrage to incidents like the koran burning and thank you so much like mr know us and a writer. but there nearly two years in custody for
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a soldier charged with the biggest leak of classified information in u.s. history will be formally arraigned tomorrow private first class bradley manning faces a life sentence for his alleged leak to the anti-secrecy group with leaks but critics warn that the u.s. is trying to make an example of the young soldier in order to dissuade others from releasing government secrets as well they call it a war against whistleblowers or black bradley manning is just one of many casualties artie's christine for as our response reports. nearly two years in waiting much of it in solitary confinement and private first class bradley manning strive is finally set to begin. among the twenty two charges filed against him aiding the enemy violating the espionage act and illegally transferring classified data to an unauthorized source . part of that was this video showing u.s.
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army pilots killing unarmed civilians including to avoid hers and points a video that had been classified by the u.s. military though the government accountability project just great access it never should have been you can't also cannot go around classifying criminal activity that is not proper classification and i haven't heard a single person claim that what the collateral murder video showed was not work on a sentiment manning seems to agree with in an online chat conversation he said he hoped his putting the information out there would prompt worldwide discussion that he wants people to see the truth a short time later bradley manning was arrested in the process becoming one of the clearest symbols to date of a new set of standards a system that now works against those who were port wrongdoing and protects those doing the wrong quite often in the name of national security the pendulum right now is still very much a post nine eleven time national hysteria and limited civil rights and liberties
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and she would no doubt was the justice department whistleblower in the case of the so-called american taliban john walker lindh i had advised not to interrogate him without an attorney and not to torture him and when i blew the whistle i ended up being put under criminal investigation referred to the state forests in which i'm licensed as a warrior and put on the no fly list but it always wasn't. this way in two thousand and two the time magazine person of the year was whistleblowers and although the government tried to have him put away for life daniel ellsberg was hailed as a hero by the public for leaking information that became known as the pentagon papers classified documents he helped author and revealed what was actually happening in vietnam. where he revealed to the public what the public should have known from the government itself important knowledge important knowledge now often
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stifled both on and off the battlefield and the military and is sexually assaulted or abused or even great she's supposed to go through the chain of command which will actually harm her instead of helping her outside of the military policies are also being drawn up to protect corporations the so-called whistleblower improvement act if passed would actually harm whistleblowers requiring them to report misconduct to their employer first before going to any regulatory agencies it would also remove any incentives to do so our government and. businesses are so intricately lns as hard to tell them apart both now working harder than ever to keep their secrets out of the public eye in washington christine for zero r.t. . so is there a war against whistleblowers or for that answer i spoke to chase mccarthy is the author of the book the passion of bradley manning and here's what he had to say
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about that assertion earlier today. so there is always a war against whistleblowers it's true that the obama administration has stepped it up considerably with twice as many espionage prosecutions as all previous administrations combined but from the outset i just want to make it clear that the real threat to our national security is not leaks or whistleblowers it's the extreme level of secrecy that we have in washington washington currently classified some seventy seven million documents a year which just on its face is very troubling had this just isn't a matter of i deals we have paid a very heavy cost for this level of extreme overclassification in the past ten years the rush to war in iraq was due in large part to government secrecy distortion and some downright lies and that is
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a war that has cost us dearly in blood and treasure as well as the people of iraq those are the costs of secrecy and we always have to keep that in mind when looking at whatever supposedly risks whistleblowers and leaks incur well and that's a good point but the same time that we ality is that we are in the midst of these wars and not just these hot wars but you know the war on terror and the thought that cyber war a threat so doesn't u.s. government also have a response ability to simply protect state secrets the name of national security. well secrets that are truly necessary to national security say nuclear launch codes or troop movements sure classify those i doubt even julian assange with four whiskeys that it would disagree with that statement but but classifying seventy seven million documents a year it's hard to see the rationale for that is just one raid great was
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a lower herself why was the helicopter gun site video classified to begin with isn't that something we ought to see something that americans ought to know about since that is our war you know the idea that government should just be a little bit transparent this isn't something that was cooked up by weekly leaks last week after all it was james madison who said a popular government without popular information is but a prologue to a tragedy or a farce this is a very old idea it's a very good idea. james madison to viewers just tuning in he was not known chomsky's teaching assistant in the summer of love he was the fourth president of the united states and the primary author of our constitution well i don't think there's a broader issue to sort of crackdown on dissent here i mean we heard earlier this month there is an anonymous top u.s. official who told the new york times anyone who criticizes the drone program is helping al qaeda think see it do you sort of see this perhaps
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a blur the line between activists and terrorists out there in the media or in the government. oh the government is this frequently try to blur that why anyone who opposes a government policy is the enemy behind the very cowardly guise of and i name it he will say something to some reporter i think we can brush that. we depend on leaks and knowledge most leaks are not punished just last month somebody leaked to major newspapers a look at the national intelligence estimate for afghanistan where a which painted a very ugly picture of how their world was going stalemate no progress it's a good thing that this was leaked this is critical for us to know if we as a nation are going to make an informed decision about this and whoever leaked it is
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not a traitor work criminal or helping terrorists that person is a good patriot good citizen just like bradley manning just when reda and daniel ellsberg are and yet traitor terrorists etc those are the kinds of terms we often see at least on for example the mainstream t.v. networks in regards to these folks who leak this information julian astonished controversial figure you know love him or hate him we as a network in fact have even been criticized for giving the guy a platform in the first place accused of being a sort of terrorist conspiracy just by getting this guy a voice do you see maybe an abdication on the part of at least the television news media in the us in terms of treating these kinds of leakers seriously. i do i think we have a deeply embedded mainstream news media not just in television but also in print media and instead of doing their job. and uncovering what their government is
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really doing and asking hard questions they are happy to act as stenographers most the time unfortunately i don't think our government or our media has learned very much in the past ten years and you see that both government and media are following much of the same script that got us into the iraq war this time changing the letter q to a letter. anyone who has seen the clip of erin burnett of c.n.n. talking with representative peter king of the the home and security committee of congress will will see this very clearly all right well as an unfortunate scenario and at the end of the day if the american citizens will suffer because we're the ones that depend on the media to get our news to get our information and to hold our government accountable information we're out of time but thank you so much that us chase image are the author of the pression the passion of bradley manning. and we often talk about the issue of u.s.
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double standards here in this program whether it's support for protesters in other countries amid violent crackdowns here at home or demands for transparency by foreign governments while our own is increasingly cloaked in secrecy and now this the white house praising aggressive journalism abroad while escalating its war against truthteller scared home and it all came to light this afternoon in an awkward but rather telling exchange in the white house briefing room the spokesman jay carney began the presser by praising the aggressive reporting of three western journalists who tragically died in syria this man similar statements were made by the vice president as well as the state department but here's jay carney earlier today. it's a reminder of the incredible risks that journalists take recall when anthony should be in the french photojournalist who was killed yesterday as well in order to bring . the truth about what's happening in a country like syria and he's right their deaths are undeniably tragic as is the
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bloodshed and the deaths of countless in of innocent civilians all across syria but in light of this administration's widening crackdown against whistleblowers right here at home those words frankly rule that hollow and apparently i wasn't the only one with that impression a.b.c.'s jake tapper decided to call the administration out on its double standards check out this exchange how does that square with the fact that this is restriction has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the cities by using the espionage act just to to take recent words to court here this seems to be a disconnect through the progressive journals of the court just don't want to say well i would hesitate to speak to any particular case for obvious reasons and i would refer you to the department of justice for their issues here that involve. highly sensitive classified information and i think. you know those are. divulging or to go divulging that kind of information is
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a serious issue and always has been so through to come out of broader should come out here well that's not at all what i'm saying gerri. except that's exactly what he said the problem here is that the war on whistle blowing isn't just about whether classified information is released the white house does talk a big game about press freedom abroad while back home it indicts whistleblowers and subpoenas to journalists who report their story and carney may have denied as being the case but it doesn't make it any less true and we often call attention to mainstream media failures here in this program but in this case i want to give credit where it's due jake tapper did what all members of the pressure be doing on a daily basis challenging power questioning authority and a bridge free press compromises one of america's greatest strengths and i only hope that other journalists follow suit and start doing their job. i will fresh protests broke out across greece today over harsh spending cuts that were a condition for its second bailout package the one hundred thirty billion euro
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rescue deal overt a chaotic default next month but has very little to calm fears about the country's long term economic and social future now greece is the birthplace of democracy but the harsh austerity conditions have some critics asking whether the country is turned into a colony of the eurozone the u.s. has little direct exposure to greek debt so the bailout means that this economy here is safe for now but the financial crisis a looms large and we may not be as isolated as we think from our greek counterparts that's a point of view that a journalist an independent independent journalist and truthout contributor jesse myerson takes and i spoke to him earlier today take a look here is part of that interview. it's not only a more extreme example of what's been going on here but it's a more first world example of what's been going on all over the world you know the the i.m.f. and the sort of major international engines of neo liberal capitalism have been treating the developing world the global south this way for decades you know haiti
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in liberia and all these places that they presume to bail out when they reach horrible fiscal conditions but what that entails is huge cuts to. social spending privatization of the commons obliteration of labor a huge very sharp decrease in labor in living standards and in wages and this kind of thing has been going on all over the world for you know in africa and in latin america and in southeast asia and greece is the first place that we really see. a big first world economy ostensibly a democracy a robust middle class white people being treated exactly the same way as as you know the i.m.f. and the world bank and everybody else have been treating the third world for some time so i think that that has sort of brought it home in the united states but we see in wisconsin and in indiana and in ohio
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a tax on labor rights we see the privatization of the commons here we see a shifting of responsibility for the financial crisis from the people who actually caused it to the people who suffer most from it in the united states and in greece because they can't pay back their debts it's just turned into a much more extreme thing there which is how come you see buildings torched in athens and i'm glad you brought that up because i think that they what i want to get into if you like for those of us who aren't economic experts and don't sort of focus on the ins and outs of this the word austerity sounds like some foreign term but you know whether or not you think it's that policy or bad policy especially taking away services and spending less on things that people are you still that results in ordinary he. well paying the price for an economic situation that wasn't necessarily their doing and that's something that we've seen echoed right here at home in the occupy wall street movement if you can just sort of bring the grease closer to our viewers for american viewers to understand why there are similarities between what occupy wall street wants and what greeks want. sure well i have some
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numbers here that i've written down so this latest deal is one hundred seventy two billion dollars going not to the greek people but to the holders of greek debt which is you know goldman sachs and deutsche bank and all of the big villains of the world plus one hundred forty one billion dollars in debt write down going to the same people and the conditions for this and this vote is going up early next week is a five hundred thirty million dollars cut in pensions so you know like grandma's going to be living on dog food two hundred twenty five million dollars in health education cuts six hundred sixty one million dollars in cuts to the health care system these are numbers that i can't even really comprehend because i myself am not an economics expert seven hundred fifty four million dollars in cuts toward medicine it's defaulting on the people right the country the government has the sovereign debt to big financial interests all over the world and rather than defaulting on those they've decided to default on their people and that is
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a condition that cannot be upheld by a democracy means people it's people power and to that end greece where which where as you know democracy started has given up its democracy has turned the government over to this guy papa de moss who you know is mystically referred to as a technocrat in the press but what that really means is a banker he's formally a vice president at the e.c.b. the european central bank which is the thing that controls for fiscal policy monetary policy all over europe so greece does not have sovereignty of fiscal policy which is the way that most people deal with big situations of debt and. they often have an elected government i'm sorry there on the time a very briefly greece is in a dire situation and the u.s. might do certain things that seem similar you know we're talking about cutting certain services we have bailed out large corporations but it's not exactly at the level of greece how long could it take for us to get to that situation when we got
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to that situation where. my wall street is going to be rioting and protesting against actual dire cuts and not just discussions of these cuts the united states has a much bigger economy than greece greece is a peripheral country and in europe so there's very very little danger that the united states would have to default on its loans but that doesn't mean the people in power won't use the situation the united states towards the shock doctrine right creating greater ease of accumulation of wealth for the already very wealthy at the expense of living conditions for the already very poor all right i think i think that's all the time we have for that now but i actually let's do one more question . i guess what's the biggest takeaway lesson here in terms of people who cause these a national crisis not necessarily paying a price the biggest takeaway is that what the world faces now and this is not just true in the developing world but also in the in the extremely wealthy world that
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what we need to do right now is exert all of our pressure on our ostensibly democratically elected governments to extricate themselves from the grip of the wealthiest financial interests whose sole. motivation is the infinite accumulation of wealth but that that situation is incompatible with democracy and we have to reclaim not reclaim we have to claim our country for democracy thank you so much jesse myers an independent journalist and contributor to truth out. and be sure to tune into the big picture tonight it's coming up in just a half an hour forget the love all you need is super pacs tom hartman i'll show you some of the real faces running for president at a bunch of benjamin's in jefferson's that's right super pacs raise more cash in the campaigns themselves which is a some big questions about democracy in this country later on he'll take on a conservative panel and discuss everything from brokered conventions to president obama's corporate tax plan all that on the big picture. well that does it for me
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this evening but you can always get more info on the stories that we've covered tonight on our web site lots of other stuff there as well just point that browser to our team dot com slash usa and of course all of the interviews and stories we cover today are posted in full on our you tube page that address is you tube dot com slash r t america and if you want to weigh in on anything the saw tonight don't be shy you can always get in touch with me on twitter just reach out to me my handle is at lucy catherine of one word i want to hear from you have a good evening and keep watching our team.


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