tv Headline News RT May 8, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm EDT
well coming up on our t.v. with the case against bradley manning somewhat veiled in secrecy a question comes to mind what exactly makes someone a whistleblower and are there really protections in place to help them all explore the case of who would remain silent just ahead. and debate continues over the merits of forceful back the nation's a recent court decision in oregon has decided that doctors have the right to make medical decisions for children without parents consent is this a case of protecting the child or wrongfully overstepping grounds were right. and in ohio if you can't pay your bills you just make it the book thrown at you people in the state are being imprisoned for not paying fines and tickets without even a hearing is this possible violation of the constitution also take
a look at ohio's debt or prisons later in the show. well it's wednesday may eighth four pm in washington d.c. i'm margaret hell you're watching r t. and starting off this hour whistleblowers earlier today pretrial hearings continued for the case against private bradley. book stands accused of leaking more than seven hundred thousand classified files and diplomatic cables to transparency organization wiki leaks now since his arrest manning has spent more than a thousand days in military prison much of which in solitary confinement without a trial now today is pretrial hearing was closed to the public and to the media and unprecedented move made in the name of national security now manning's treatment since as a rust has been part of what some are calling the war on whistleblowers which is punished government workers who speak out against waste fraud and abuse now under
the obama administration seven people so far have been prosecuted under the espionage act more so than any other presidency in history combined so just what makes the whistleblower and what are the rights and the provisions in place to protect those who come forward while our team is political commentator sam sachs brings us more today so called whistleblowers took center stage in the house government oversight committee three state department officials who oversight chairman darrell issa has deemed as whistleblowers are testifying on the events that happened in benghazi on september eleventh of last year there is a round up of various news outlets reporting on it today from c.b.s. news benghazi whistleblowers head to house committee from fox news republicans look to show cover ups as whistleblowers give benghazi testimony and from usa today benghazi whistleblowers to testify state defends its actions so you get the picture
at the hearing chairman i said made it clear that he expects whistleblowers to be protected these brave whistleblowers are in fact what makes this committee's work work. we are the committee that oversees and that lead for new whistleblower protection signed by this president the public has a right to hear their accounts and we more than any other committee in the congress must respect whistleblowers and work on a bipartisan basis always to protect them. well anyone who's been paying attention to what's going on the last four years and has seen the ruthless crackdown on whistleblowers by our government less think that what's going on here is rather odd the white house has gone after more whistleblowers and used the espionage act to do it than all other presidential administrations in history combined and how many of those whistleblowers were given a platform and chairman chairman ice's government oversight committee how many were
heralded in the media and given protection from retaliation and prosecution none no such credit was given a whistleblower thomas drake who exposed a massive illegal surveillance program on american citizens run out of the n.s.a. after nine eleven he was charged under the espionage act and faced thirty five years in prison before he eventually was like go with amused to misdemeanor sherman i said did run to the defense of drake or do you run to the defense of former cia agent john kiriakou who blew the whistle on torture within the agency for exposing this crime kiriakou was also charged under the espionage act he's now in prison serving thirty months and nothing for bradley manning either one of you exposed to the american people quote what happens and why it happens in our wars abroad he blew the whistle on this particularly disturbing video from baghdad where a dozen people including two reuters journalists were killed by an american apache attack helicopter manning is facing another secret pretrial today and has been in
detention for more than one thousand days the number of hearings held in chairman ises oversight committee on manning's detention zero. so what is going on here what's behind these stark differences in how whistleblowers are treated well for one we have to question whether or not today's benghazi hearing witnesses are actually whistleblowers there's a difference between on one hand exposing crime in wrongdoing and on the other hand second guessing decisions that were made or questioning political motivations that seems to be what's happening here also these so-called whistleblowers hold information that could be politically embarrassing to the obama administration and in particularly embarrassing to former secretary of state hillary clinton who might run for president a few years unfortunately thomas drake john kiriakou and bradley manning they had information that embarrassed both republicans and democrats who've been complicit in illegal surveillance and war crimes these men couldn't be exploited by one
political party or the other that's why they are where they are now and not sitting in front of chairman ices oversight committee instead so if you want to be a whistle blower if you want to expose moral wrongdoings in criminal activity well go for it unfortunately you just have to make sure there's a political agenda to hang your whistle on in washington same sex are to. well it's hard to see your child in pain but for many parents keeping up to date on vaccinations is considered by some in society a necessary obligation to keeping their kids healthy and that means a lot of shots on average american children now receive twenty six vaccinations by the age of two that is unless parents exercise their decision to opt out now organelle leads the country in the number of parents who choose to exempt their kindergartners from school required vaccinations and for most of the us parents do not have the right to make that decision for their children for religious or
medical reasons but last month the oregon state court of appeals ruled that the state would better equipped to make the decisions other than the parents and eight marion county children now the court ruled that the parents who had lost custody of their children a year prior do you know unspecified reasons did not have the legal right to exempt their children from required immunizations for religious reasons now vaccine refusers are seen by some as threatening public health but just what rights to parents have may be opposed to vaccines due to their own risk when it comes to making medical decisions for their children and when should the state step in when with me to discuss this in depth i'm joined by dr suggest the ready from atlanta hello dr reddy there so what is the line where is the line drawn for parents and their ability to exercise their discretion about what type of medical care is imposed on their child. well i think you know the parents obviously have the last say in virtually everything but when we look at vaccines that are known to save
lives i think here it's pretty much a no brainer the vaccines are helpful and if you ever have met anyone or know someone in a third world country who saw someone die or get very ill from a preventable disease they will tell you how important and lucky we are to be able to get vaccines universally in the u.s. well that's certainly an excellent point what does the law have to say you know about parents who want to opt out is there is there any legal anything on the books while in some states there are some laws that allow parents to opt out but you will see we actually have seen in medicine trends of you know children dying of things like whooping cough or pertussis in states where parents have opted out and i can only imagine if you're the parents of that child how bad them if you if you not vaccinate your child and they can contract in cough and die from it how terrible that must feel but there are some states from parents can do that but what we're
starting to see is when you don't vaccinate you see you lack herd immunity and so we're going to start seeing children you know who even though they got vaccinate are going to be exposed to things and may get ill because these other children are vaccinated and that's very concerning do you think that parents just are informed on the benefits of vaccines or are are these parents who are refusing to immunize i mean do they have a legitimate fear that it can threaten their child's health. well i have to think that anyone that doesn't vaccine their child is is thinking they're doing the best thing for their child but i have to think that that's not based on fact you know there was some concern about side effects of vaccines and things like autism but all of that has been really disproven over and over and over again and you know medically there is no question that the benefit of vaccines you know outweigh the small risks ok talk to me about the public health concerns when it comes to parents who don't vaccinate. well it's congress saying before the whole concept of herd
immunity you know we've almost a radical a lot of childhood diseases in the u.s. because we have such a high penetration or a high percentage of people who get vaccinated and if you if you start losing that we're going to start seeing out breaks like we've seen in california a preventable diseases so not that naming can become a big public health problem so it is a concern do you think that diseases that have have been eradicated they may make their way back into the mainstream if this trend picks up any more than it already has without a doubt you know there's some parts of the world where you know terrorist groups are preventing vaccination because they feel it's the western influence and we're starting to see things like smallpox smallpox outbreaks so absolutely this could become a problem ok dr reddy talk to me about those parents who they have a fear that there is going to be an impact cognitively on their child perhaps a link to autism for vaccination what would you say to them you know if they're
coming to you with these concerns what are what options do they have parents to come to those concerns and i think you have to have a good discussion with your health care provider whom i hope they would trust if you can't trust your physician you need to get a new physician but i think you have a discussion with them and you know all of us in medicine are pretty much going to say the benefits outweigh the risk and there really has been no proven link between vaccination and autism ok well can a doctor dr reddy can a doctor refused to treat a patient who opts out of vaccinating. we can say we were not going to treat someone are you going to limit their visits because if they're not if they're going to bring a disease to your office you're going to be worried about your other patients so if you have enough that reason you actually can say you know i think this is not going to work for me i'll take care of you until you find another physician and we call it dismissing the patient but that is possible ok well dr reddy we have to leave it there thank you so much for speaking with me that was dr sujatha reddy from atlanta
thank you well there is a new trend that's hitting small pharmacies across america with a significant punch the health insurance companies and big chain drug stores are cutting special deals now what does this mean for the mom and pop pharmacy left out of these big drug clinics well arty's honest as the church going to brings us the story. pharmaceuticals in the u.s. a major money maker. huge drug store chains are popping up on every street corner with multiple locations and list services when reid is writing aid whichever the big ones not that i prefer them but it's just that they're the only option from new jersey so we go to c.v.s. . one in new york when read but mostly c.v.s. competition for mom and pop shops is steeper than ever in places like the big apple where rent alone is sky high and neighborhood pharmacies are all but it stinks for
the city overflowing to join chains like this one the town drugstore symbolically was always at the center of american culture in american life and now as the big chains move in only the prices tend to go up but they squeeze the little guys out pharmacists however small pharmacies have more issues than just the increase of big box shops health insurance companies have been merging with drug stores taking away americans choice of where they can get their medicine if they fell at my location they would have to pass a fifty percent of the cost of their medication if they feel that c.v.s. they would only pay thirty percent of the cost of the medication sarah fraud who has had her shop in a small community in upstate new york for about six months offering personal attention and a more intimate approach she's built a good reputation with the locals fast right now. but the pharmacist says an increasing number of her patients have been learning they have no choice but to do
business elsewhere at a giant pharmacy across the street what they do is we just had one this week a woman came in she wanted to fill her prescriptions at our pharmacy she was sick of c.b.s. the long waits the lines the rude you know employees and we talk of prescriptions for her insurance card bill ditto for insurance found out she cannot fill anywhere besides c.b.s. moseyed hosey and runs a pharmacy new jersey and is faced with the same obstacle he says he has lost a fifth of his patients because of these deals the big stores are able to make negotiate their own contracts with insurance companies so that they get they get paid more than what we do and then. they when they purchase their medications they purchase them at a lower rate than what we purchased them that. even though there have been pushes from small pharmacy lobbying groups to get in the way of the tricks used by big chains huge corporations simply have more money to lobby their interests even if
sued they pay the fine and move on meanwhile the small businesses fight on to stay afloat allow us to compete freely with each other as businesses we go out of our way to give the best customer service and be as friendly as we can despite the pleas and obvious economic benefits of money staying in a community instead of corporate giants bank accounts they started in general and of the middle class story which sadly has been the macroeconomic story of the last really forty years here in the united states thanks actually enjoy a friendly neighborhood shops that used to be what made the american dream possible could soon be a thing of the past and as they see churkin or party new york. well some people just aren't liking facebook right now now the company finds itself in hot water as several progressive groups are planning on boycotting facebook by yanking their paid advertisements for at least two weeks the reason being a sees a series of ads funded by facebook's political lobbying group forward u.s.
backing to senators in part due to their support over expanded drilling in alaska and the contentious keystone pipeline now one and celebrates republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina for criticizing the president's position of the keystone pipeline now the other puts a spotlight on alaskan democrat mark baggage highlighting his support for additional drilling in the arctic national wildlife reserve the launch last month forward us has so far focused on immigration so what does that have to do with drilling critics say that these ads are a possible strategic move on behalf of immigration reform benefiting two senators that may face some political blowback if they vote yes on immigration progressive groups though they just aren't buying it the host of prominent groups including move on dot org democracy for america progressives united critical action and others have all come together denouncing these ads and we'll keep you updated as the story progresses. and now into ohio county jails some of that jails in the
states are imprisoning people for not paying fines or tickets according to the a.c.l.u. now many of those behind bars simply can't afford the fines and didn't receive hearings beforehand to determine if they're able to pay now the practice of jailing people for debts has been previously ruled unconstitutional so now that ohio state supreme court is getting involved when this issue be settled once and for all well arty's marine important iowa house more. a midwestern u.s. state. internationally recognized for being the battleground where on their next president is decided let's talk about the importance of ohio and in the battle for ohio state eighteen electoral votes mean so much elbows paid a lot of attention ohio ohio. you're probably going to decide the next president of united states for the past thirty six years no candidate has entered the white
house without winning this swing state while heigho undoubtedly wields an enormous influence in the arena of u.s. presidential politics the state is currently garnering headlines for its presence specifically the medieval type punishment being imposed on countless citizens who are drowning in debt according to a report released by the a.c.l.u. of ohio thousands of citizens are being locked behind bars because they are too poor to pay their debt and we saw some really troubling numbers one case that we looked at out of mansfield ohio there was a gentleman his crime against the community was he let his dog walk in his mobile home park without a leash he was fined thirty dollars and he ended up being found in contempt of court and was sent to jail for not paying for a thirty dollars fine fifty five year old jackdaw lee was incarcerated three times for failing to pay nine hundred dollars in fines every ninety days you had
a jail date. and if you were working well you're going to jail debt prisons violate the u.s. and ohio constitutions according to the a.c.l.u. most of the defendants weren't given hearings before being jailed for outstanding fines if the court had taken any time to ask whether or not they couldn't afford to pay that they would see that these were people who just simply cannot pay they were individuals who are homeless many haven't we. worked for months if not years people who are disabled people who are taking care of disabled family members these are people who are working and just don't feel like spending the money these are people who literally have no money people like dante stiles who is unemployed and says he often has to choose between feeding his two children or paying his fines. back and forth back and forth in court back before a concert here fifteen days here and while the cash strapped citizens are
incarcerated in gutters prisons. there fines keep growing like credit card interest it's just scribed as a vicious circle it was seven hundred thirty thirty seven dollars ok at the eleven days when i went back to court at the court course and pernod the public defended it went up actually two hundred dollars more than one point eight million ohioans reportedly live in poverty i want to get it behind me dolly lost his job last year after missing work for a ten day sentence in debtors prison just part of the job i was probably there not quite a month. i was expecting a paycheck so i'd gone in early to get a paycheck so i could go in and pay on my fine you know my release was terminated from my job dollie has received a fifty dollars credit for each of the sixteen days he was illegally in prison but most like styles have not and the state revered for predicting america's presidents
has garnered a new reputation for how it punishes the poor. archie ohio. well with the united states dumping tens of billions of dollars into the reconstruction effort in afghanistan more so than any other effort in u.s. history just use making sure that all that money is getting where it's supposed to go well this is been one of the toughest jobs of the ongoing conflict garnering serious concerns without blank check given to rebuilding this country and as americans transition out of control of security operations to afghans this job may become even harder now a special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction efforts john soco discussed this transition facing afghanistan as the american fleet even some some of the worrying trends that he's seeing in the way that the u.s. taxpayer dollars are used in the country the megane lopez was on hand and she joins me now here in the studio to break it down for me hi there meghan so we've heard
reports that the money the u.s. is giving to afghanistan because of the fraud and the corruption maybe going to the wrong hands what do you say to them well of their what the special inspector general says to that is that there is a lot of truth to what is being said there and what he was specifically referring to was the contractors so right now our money is shifting away from what we were spending on troops and things like that and it's actually going into these reconstruction efforts we have these contractors right now. in fiscal year two thousand and twelve for instance we awarded nine thousand seven hundred thirty three contracts now the problem is that those contracts aren't just for our primary contractors they're for subcontractors and we might be able to guarantee our primary contractors are the ones that are not dealing with insurgents for instance and possibly giving that money away to insurgents we have a lot of things that guarantee that but we don't have any guarantees that those
contractors who are sub contracting work out are actually not giving the money to insurgents and american enemies essentially well it sounds like governor. policy for these contractors factors then of the certainly so what type of auditing system do we currently have in place to put it check into balance and where this money is going that we're giving while the d.o.d. has india india is something that we've been talking about quite a lot on this program and it actually has section eight forty one and what that says is that it is a contract that actually as i was talking about forces contractors to disclose where that money is going and to sign on to something that says that they are not going to actually use that money to go to anything that is anti american activities so that's one thing to notice is that this inspector general report was very critical of the fact that contract doesn't go for far enough now one interesting point to note about this contract is that it happens for everything that is over one hundred thousand dollars now the problem with that is is that seven thousand
seven hundred thirty of those nine thousand seven hundred thirty three contracts so eighty percent essentially was under one hundred thousand dollars so they don't have to abide so essentially by the contract the regulations and the stringent kind of policies that the u.s. has in place for the other contractors that they give more money to it sounds like a lot of issues are at play here ok back and so this new report that was made public last week this watchdog group it's tracking us spending in afghanistan it skeptical that the coalition forces actually met that number that three hundred fifty thousand plus number of afghan security forces that they're supposed to leave in place what does the inspector general of have to say about this the inspector general and this audit specifically was very very critical of what was what with those numbers were so let's go over those numbers enlisting and training there was supposed to be a total of three hundred fifty two thousand afghan security personnel forces by
october of two thousand and twelve but as john soco actually said and i have a quick clip to play of it he said that those numbers are wildly inaccurate and here's why. we also have concerns about the accuracy of those numbers the defense department told us that there is no way for them to validate the n.s.a.'s personnel numbers these are often derived from reports prepared by hand by afghan troops it is hard to know if the afghan army and police are ready if we don't know how many there are. so as you just heard him say the problem is that we cannot collect the data in order to be able to be sure because there is no uniform method and i want to collect that just to be able to determine and also all to add on top of that the the kind of qualifications for what they're considering to be trained is folly so they're saying that anyone that is recruited is trained so those
numbers are very very unbalanced at the moment meghan a lot of information we're running out of time here but i want to take you back to those reconstruction efforts specifically how has the united states you know how is that money going towards the reconstruction effort if you could break that down for me ok the biggest problem the inspector general says to american the american mission in afghanistan right now is the fact that afghanistan is not making enough revenue right now afghanistan is bringing in two billion dollars in revenue the problem is that in order to be able to maintain the roads the bridges the hospitals that they are we are building they have to make between eight and ten billion dollars in revenue that's something that they're not going to make right now and that is very hard to see them make in the future so our reconstruction efforts are very questionable at this point does the special inspector think that the money has been well spent at this point he's questioning is really over the sustainability of this project he's saying that right now just to give you some reference where you
have spent five hundred fifty billion dollars in afghanistan so it's hard to say that all of that money has been well spent and though his problem is the biggest question of the reconstruction efforts in afghanistan right now is did the people want it they need it and a lot of those things those questions were not asked before we went into afghanistan and they're certainly not being asked right now so the problem is that there is just so much money that we are flooding into this country and very little that is actually being accomplished right now and another point that i would like to make is that the annual. amount as i was saying of afghan income for a personal afghan a person they're making five hundred forty dollars annually and that is so much information we have to leave it there thank you so much for joining me that was our correspondent. well that's going to do it for now for more on the stories we've covered go to youtube dot com slash our team america check out our website at r.t.
dot com slash usa you can also follow me on twitter it underscored j underscore how will stay tune for prime interest next. you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything is ok you don't know i'm tom harvey welcome to the big picture. of. some.
good afternoon to welcome to prime interest i'm terry and boring here in washington d.c. here's the stories that we're tracking today. the u.s. will pay china ahead of veterans and medicare recipients that's what house speaker boehner said yesterday pushing a new bill that would help prevent a u.s. debt default but president obama doesn't agree with your reasoning that any of the follow on promise is not as on debt repayment hurts u.s. credibility he said american families do not get to choose which bills to pay and which ones not to pay but don't tell that to the two hundred thousands to falters the job not to pay their mortgage is in two thousand and eight and two are approaching the three year anniversary of god and only a third of the bill has been employment.