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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 28, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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04/28/21 04/28/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new yorkthis is democracy now! pres. biden: american leadership must mean this new moment of advancing authoritarianism, including china to rival the united states and the determination of russia to damage and disrupt our democracy. amy: as president biden prepares to address a joint session of congress tonight for the first time, we spend the hour looking
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at biden's foreign policy record over his first 100 days in office and over the past five half-ntury. >> above allbide is anmpire potician. he belies questis of war 'really mter on aoral lel, but doe it effect because credibility, security, and estige? amy: we speak to the intercept's jeremy scahill aut his new sweepg investigati project "empire politici" about e biden's stances on war, militaris and the cia going back to the early 1970's when he was first elected as a senator in delaware. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. a warning to our audience, the next two stories contains
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descriptions and images of police violence. the fbi has opened a civil rights investigation into the police killing of andrew brown, jr. in elizabethtown, north carolina. an independent autopsy confirms brown, a 42-year-old black man, was shot five times by police, including in the back of the head. brown's family and their lawyers have only been allowed to see a 20-second video of the killing from a single body camera, which shows brown had his hands on the steering wheel of his car when he was shot dead. new surveillance video shows a group of officers in a car in the moments before brown was killed. a lawyer says just four seconds passed from the time they arrived on the scene and the time they fired shots. on tuesday, five people were arrested as protesters defied an 8:00 p.m. curfew in elizabeth city to demand justice for
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andrew brown. in california, recently released body-camera footage of the police killing of 26-year-old mario arenales gonzalez shows officers dealing on his back and shoulder until he looses consciousness, contradicting a previous account of the incident from police. officers had alleged gonzalez, who was from oakland, died the morning of april 19 after suffering a medical emergency during a scuffle while they attempted to restrain him. but the footage has revealed that gonzalez was standing alone in a park when officers arrived at the scene after receiving complaints of a man who was allegedly intoxicated. gonzalez calmly speaks to the officers before theyttempt to place his hands behind his back. he screams as police are trying to handcuff him. the officers then pin him face-down on the ground. one officer has his knee on gonzalez's back and another is
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kneeling on his shoulder for a few minutes until he becomes unresponsive. police also alleged gonzalez had died at the hospital, but the footage shows he stopped breathing on-site with one officer saying he had no-pulse. gonzalez's family held a press conference tuesday and demanded an investigation into his death. >> alameda police officers murdered my brother. my mother was heartbroken to see his last moments. mario was a kind and humorous man. he was a loving father and the caretaker of our brother with special needs. the police killed my brother in the same manner that killed george floyd amy: in international news, indiana's official coronavirus death toll topped 200,000 as its devastating second wave continues to grip the nation. 360,000 new cases were reported over the past day -- yet another record. researchers say the true number
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of cases and deaths is likely far higher. as international assistance starts to trickle in, medical supplies remain dangerously low and hospitals and cremation sites are overwhelmed. this is an ambulance driver in new delhi. >> new makeshift cremation platforms are being constructed because there areat the crematorium. if you platforms are being constructed and a few on the other site. amy: one group estimates at least 100 journalists in india have died of covid, close to half within the past two weeks. press freedom groups warn journalists are also facing increasing obstruction and censorship by the government of prime minister narendra modi. elsewhere, turkey announced a full nationwide lockdown to slow its own surge. turkey reported over 37,000 new infections over the past day, e fourth highest daily caseload in the world. brazil has rejected russia's sputnik v vaccine over concerns
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about its safety, citing a lack of quality control and efficacy data. the maker of sputnik v said the decision was politically-motivated, pointing to a report earlier this year that said u.s. government officials pushed brazil to turn down the vaccine. the world health organization has not yet approved sputnik v for emergency use listing. here in the u.s., the cdc issued new guidelines tuesday, saying fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors except for at large gatherings such as concerts or sports stadiums. this is president biden. pres. biden: beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask. amy: the seattle city council in washington passed a resolution urging president biden to stop u.s. efforts to block waivers for covid-19 vaccines.
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councilmember kshama sawant said -- "this resolution demonstrates our movement's rejection of the status quo of profit-driven vaccine apartheid and vaccine nationalism, and our fight for vaccine internationalism, for a people's vaccine!" meanwhile, a new washington post-abc news poll finds a quarter of women are worse off financially than they were before the pandemic versus 18% of men. and 27% of people of color say they are in a worse financial situation versus 18% of whites. the biden administration is proposing a $1.8 trillion plan to invest in education, healthcare, childcare, and paid family leave. biden will unveil the american families plan during his first address to congress this evening. the package would be funded in part through changes to the capital gains tax and a crackdown on tax evasion by the wealthy.
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biden is proposing an $80 billion funding increase for the irs over 10 years to fund that effo. white housofficials say the move could generate $700 billion over 10 years. if passed, individuals who earn more than $400,000 a year would face a higher likelihood of an audit on their taxes. in chad, at least five protesters were killed tuesday as calls grow for a transition to civilian rule. chad has been in a state of turmoil since the battlefield death of longtime president riss deby last week. on monday, chad's new military leaders, who toopower following deby's death, banned demonstrations and named the runner-up of recent presidential elections as the transitional prime minister. the military government has rejected talks with the rebel fighters accused of killing deby, who have been threatening to advance on the capital. in ethiopia, a senior government official says up to 200 people were killed this month in clashes between oromo and amhara communities, ethiopia's two
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largest ethnic groups. the fighting in the northern amhara region has reportedly displaced over a quarter-million people, including one small town that was completely rned in march. it's one of several flashpoints in ethiopia. in the tigray region, thousands of people have been killed since conflict broke out last november with widespread reports of war crimes, including sexual violence against women and girls. the fighting has led to food shortages and aid groups warn millions are at risk of famine. in burkina faso, two spanish journalists were killed monday in an ambush while on an anti-poaching patrol in the eastern region of the country. journalists david beriain and roberto fraile were working a documentary about poaching and or traveling with 40 people when an armed group attacked them on a road leading to the massive forested reserve of pama. any irish conservationist was always killed and at least four
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others were reported missing. the committee to protect journalists is demented a thorough and transparent investigation. in el salvador, pretrial hearings on the 1981 el mozote massacre are being held this week. nearly 1000 civilians from across seven villages were killed in the massacre carried out by u.s.- trained salvadoran military officers. one of the expert witnesses, stanford university political scientist terry karl, detailed the on-site presence of u.s. military advisor allen bruce hazelwood with the salvadoran army at the time of the massacre -- providing new insight into what karl referred to as a sophisticated cover-up of the events on behalf of the reagan administration and the salvadan military junta. >> the presence of an american advisor with salvadoran general rosa, whose name is allen bruce
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hazelwood. if this had been made public at the time, in my opinion and the opinion of other secretaries of state, this would have cut u.s. aid because this is illegal. amy: back in the u.s., democrats and voting rights advocates are raising concerns recently revealed census data will lead to an under representation of latinx residents as a result of former president trump's attempts to exclude undocumented people from the 2020 census. texas, florida, and arizona -- which all have growing latinx populations -- had been projected to gain one additional house seat each. while democratic states with large latinx populations, such as california and new york, lost seats. california congressmember norma torres tweeted -- "the trump administration did everything it could to prevent an accurate count in the 2020 census, and now californians are paying the price. the culture of fear he instilled within our communities jeopardizes billions in funding that our state deserves."
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meanwhile, new york governor andrew cuomo has asked the attorney general to look into legal options after new york came just 89 residents shy o maintaining all of its congressional districts. it lost a seat. the department of homeland security is limiting the power of immigration and customs enforcement agents to arrest immigrants in or near courthouses unless they present an imminent danger or a national security threat. meanwhile, dhs secretary alejandro mayorkas launched a probe to address the threat of domestic violent extremism within his department. in other immigration news, the group la resistencia is reporting an ice flight earlier this week transferred 64 asylum seekers from the u.s.-mexico border to washington state's northwest detention center -- a for-profit immigrant prison run by geo group.
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in medical news, oxford university researchers say their new anti-malaria vaccine proved highly effective at preventing disease among children in a small clinical trial in west africa. the vaccine showed up to 77% efficacy in a study involving 450 toddlers in burkina faso, where malaria is endemic. oxford researcher adrian hill said it's the first time a malaria vaccine has reached a goal set by the world health organization. >> they want a malaria vcine with 75% or more efficacy by 2030. we think we could do that. 77% is the highest yet and could really add to the existing tools that we use to control malaria. amy: malaria, which is caused by a mosquito-borne parasite, kills 400,000 people around the world each year, most of them small children. back in the united states, idaho's republican governor brad little signed into law a bill baring most abortions as soon as
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a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen as early as six weeks -- before many people know they are pregnant. however, the bill will only go into effect if a federal appeals court upholds another so-called heartbeat ban, prompting reproductive rights groups to accuse the governor of signing the law simply to appeal to his "radical followers." and in massachusetts, nurses at st. vincent hospital in worcester have been on strike for eight weeks to protest under staffing, nurse-to-patient-ratios, and cuts to support staff, which have jeopardized patient care and staff safety and caused over 100 nurses to leave the hospital. st. vincent hospital is owned by tenet healthcare, the third largest for-profit hospital company in the united states. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
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president biden is addressing a joint session of congress tonight for the first time. it comes on the eve of his 100th day in the white house. biden is expected to unveil his $1.8 trillion american families plan to expand educational opportunities, childcare, and paid family leave. biden is proposing to fund the plan in part by raising the capital gains tax for the nation's wealthiest households and cracking down on wealthy dodgers. while much of tonight's speech is expected to focus on domestic issues, we spend the hour today looking at biden's foreign policy record -- both as president and the past half-century. the intercept has just launched a sweeping project examining a half century of biden's stances on war, militarism, and the cia going back to the early 1970's
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when biden was first elected senator in delaware. the project is called "empire politician." it was created by the award-winning journalist jemy scahill, senior correspondent and editor-at-large at the intercept, which he helped found. later in the show, jeremy will join us. but first, we turn to a new video featuring jeremy produced by the intercept. >> we ha neverad a psident with a lger paper til than joiden. has tak so manyifferent positionon the se issues so many times throuout his careeri sometis wonderf den even kns amore whahe thinks aut a parcular ise. joeidenight telyou one thing on daynd reallbelieve it, andheext day he i dng e exact posite becau he s cut so side de that ybe we wl hear about isome years. above all, bid is empire politian. heelieves estions w d't rely mter on moral lel.
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t how does impact erica's edibilit secity, and prestige? >> the youest to fe in the u.s. sate nt year wl be th of docrat seph bid of delawa. closjoe bidebegahis run for thu.s. sate, ricrd nin was running a lawss adnistrati. >> wmust nev allowmerica to becomthe second stronst natu in in t world. closthe cis conductg secr cponents the werin vinam in rly onn his senate ceer,iden es up a subcommittee at isxamining the isef ameran war per. who hathe ght to send the american peoe into a w? bomes an iginal cponsor one of e most importa laws passeby the uted stat ngress on questionof war. >> t war pers act gw out of thegony of the vietnawar, based on constitional
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auority, congress passed a int resotion whiblige the prident toet coressional approv. biden comes a ry earlynd arcticric of the cia forhe peeption tt the ite hse d theia a rularly circumveing the s. coness. on the oerinac, bide comes totayadical warrior again leaking a whtleblors. jiy cter nominates outser to directoof the cia st of ted sensen, a friend of e coittee faly and advisor jfk cter said he was gng toain and the ci shrink , reducehe budg. buthen bid discors ted soreenroten affidat in pport ofanielllsbg when theentagonapers precution was happeng. danielllsberg s facing centurincrea in undethe pionage t. tesorens says erybody washgton tak classifd doments ho and the
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regurlyeak famore seitive doments tohe press e pentag papers. ted sorensen's nominaon was dead in e wateafter bin join the replicans. bidenas mor oessed by some random admissionrom a waington iider tt they had taken assifiedocuments home en heas abo actuay raing in theia. >> rublin aienclove wha he he to s. >> rean a bush take per in shington bide underands whathey wan to do. they wt to undo all of e ersight chanismshat were put in pce post-xon. bide beces a leang oppont of william cey. as bidenets to kw pple and isig on person retionship he star to back awayrom his n supsedly bedrock posions. he opposes wliam cas's nominati but ultately ves fowilliacasey.
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rougho cey's tenurewhich spans bh of rean's terms, you sebiden onhe one hand blasng caseynublic d privelyiteral llaboring to sl covert optis as an arican inrest. in somcase to llars bng ne witho t verlaws being foowed thajoe bide cospsored. is support grede in tony three, srks ntended toill the rket off he 1986. nicaraa, the rgan administtion beg finanng anrming thdeathquads and this wou ultimaty lead t the irona scanda does whaihink c be cled -- destarts tbrokereals. well, c suppo the confence, mreaga if you put this resictionn it. >> loong forwa to helpg o
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is one, o. >> he uld sa that isecause i'm great coromiser. yodo not cpromise th th's was. e biden vely on inhe array contra sndal camon and sd sicay reaganrobably should resi. rean givest now the infous speech iwhich he sayat the me, the staments, say w did notransferny arms r stages hea still tells mthat is true buthe fac and the eviden tell met is not >> reagan ves this logal gyastics sech. doest resona with? e bide >> takthe presidt at h word that he did not know. i accept him at his word. >> i19909 91, beces clear the u. is gointo go toar ainst ir. joe den srts raing ho ll abouthe war pers
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resolution get so fuous duri the bale with e whiteouse a sh utter ddain for congssional war wers tt he takes a principlestand and votes agast the ahorizati. bideactual lives t rret th he did t voten favoof th war because iended up being ry popul and was helpina sortf boost t americorale inhe postietnam e. >> aggreion is deated. e war or. bid almt ornight tranorms intone of t most hawkh figureon iraq polic innited stes congress. he becom a leadi vce callg for thoverthroof the aqi regime. it wl quire gu like yo to be backn the foot ithe desert ting the de of a tang sit-dn down sad. you s biden erging as empire guy- en the ce of
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the wharn former yugoavia, was an vocate the u. interving mitarily. biden wa the fsto callt a gecide posup athe same time, so rejted tions ts is jt a humatarian cse. bin would lk aboutt throhouthe 19's as defending erican pstige. >> weshouldo to belade and ha a japanese-gean style occupaon of th country >> abiden agiting f the ited stas to be litarily involv ithe rmer yuslav, haitia in the s. ar watchg as brutal jun, ath squa, overthw the mocraticly elected vernmentf the leist presiden aristide. bide is annterview whi he basilly says nody car abou hti. >>f haitquietl sunk in the ribbean rows of00 feet,t would t matterhole lot the world. >>he viethe stak in europe
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at sething t u.s. cod in by geing invoed. in the case haiti, uld have been purely humitarian in nature. th the clion ainisation, immers in thmonocle wednday scdule, suenly starts a series of wa and militaryctions. biden suprts alof them. he suppos bombinsome farin afghanisn wher maybe oma bin den had enecently. the i dector cos to stify, j biden ione of t setors srts to s,ew clarify wh is the gality o assassation? the problemith thidea tha americcan killhomever wants erever iwants hover it wan. th9/11 aacks hapn and the simple way to t it,oe bide jt sports most erything the bh adnistrati once inhe immediate termath. biden n oy votes in fav of
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e 2003nvasion d occupaon of iq he ays keyole in facitating a war bed on lies. >> no matt how lonit takes >> now asredent, jobiden saying will whdrawal all u.s. tros from ahanian. mr. den: i cclude it is me to e americ's loest war. >>hi does t mean t work is gngo complely and. when bid was vicpresiden biden wted to u the vy rces thaare at e tip of the spear oassassination opationsnstead of the largscale oop deplment. hes finay getting thear wagethe wae wantedt, whh is the c, spial erations fors thatre going to hundown and kilthe pele he deternes are e enemy. ifight had becomeresident0 years o, i thi it would ha be easier to predict some hi fute actionorolic behavi. cause ohis agebecause the potical ment we e i
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think there are some real wildcards and how biden is going to approach the world, including questions of war. amy: that was a new video produced by the intercept featuring jeremy scahill talking about his sweeping new investigative project "empire politician" about joe biden's foreign policy record over the half-century. jeremy joins us after the break. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: dar williams "the mercy of the fallen." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez. you can sign up for our daily news digest email by texting democracynow -- one word, no space -- to 66866 today. as president biden prepares to address a joint session of congress, we are looking today at biden's foreign policy record
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-- both in his first 99 days in office and over the past five decades. we are joined by jeremy scahill, co-founder of the intercept where he's a senior correspondent and editor-at-large. jeremy is also the host of the podcast "intercepted." he has just launched a new remarkable project titled "empire politician: a half-century of joe biden's stances on war, militarism, and the cia." jeremy is the author of several books, including "blackwater: the rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army" and "dirty wars: the world is a battlefield" -- also the name of his oscar-nominated film. jeremy, welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. white out you lay out the big picture for us, as you are doing in that video, what this project is doing and then how you see it fitting into what president
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biden represes today. >> and b, first of l, thank you for having me on an greetings to you, juan. and at the big picture, if you study joe biden's history, what you realize is the history of joe biden, particularly on matters of war, the cia, espionage, the balance of powers between the executive branch and the congressional branch, questions of civil liberty, the history of joe biden is really the history of the evolution of the american empire om the vietnam war to the present. what i think is significant is that joe biden, when he first reigned for senate in 1972, remarkably telegraphed what the sort of thrust of his argument about empire and war would be the next 50 years. that was that joe biden was not a militant opponent of the vietnam war. in fact, a great disdain for
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antiwar protesters. he tells a story about walking on his campus when he is in law school at the height of the vietnam war with some of his colleagues and they see fellow students protesting against the vietnam war. they called them a-holes. biden said he was big on flight jackets or tie-dye did not really have any moral qualms about the vietnam war. his issue is he thought it was based on the housing policy and was not executed in the correct manner. biden also really inflatedis involvement, which was also -- almost nonexistent in the civil rights movement of the 1960's. he onl later was forced to clarify that he personally supported it but that he was not doing sit ins himself after he made or sweeping claims. what you see as he starts his political career is biden is not really parts of the civil rights movement, has great disdain for the antiwar movement, but thinks
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the empire has made some mistakes in how it has extended itself in vietnam in particular. he gets elected to the senate. he is one of the youngest people in u.s. history, the youngest in modern history at the time to have been elected. he begins serving at age 30 years old. biden ends up on a couple of crucial committees at a crucial time in u.s. history. the richard nixon ministration was a lawless enterprise. you had not only the overt war in vietnam but secret components to the war in vietnam. you had the cia carrying out a spate of assassinations around the world coups, running guns, cultivating assetthat were criminals and thugs. for the first time since the creation of the cia in the aftermath of world war , congress was finally getting
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around to trying to cfront the cia and trying to impose restrictions and oversight of congress. biden ends up in two crucial roles. on one hand, he ends up being one of the senators studying war powers. that leads to an extremely important law getting past called the war powers resolution of 1973. biden is a cosponsor of that. the nixon white house decides this is a grave threat to executive power and they veto it and in the house ends up overwriting th veto so the war powers resolution which says congress has the right to declare war, not the president, puts restrictions on the president's ability to conduct military actions and certainly to deploy american troops without consulting with congress. on the other side, biden was one of the people who helped create the senate intelligence committee, which would be the first congressional body that
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was going to have jurisdiction over cia activities. amy, there is a sort of two-pronged part of this history. on the one hand, biden seems to understand very well what richard nixon did during his time in office and very well how out of control the cia was. on the other hand, biden as a new senator starts to get a taste for what it means to have access to power, powerful people, classified information, and he develops this very complicated relationship with the cia, sort of in public and aggressive interrogator of the cia denouncing its secrecy and withlding of information from congress. on the other hand, joe biden aids and abets the cia not only in pushing covert operations and sellg wars t biden senate colleagues, but also aiding the cia in emerging and continuing to this day war against
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whistleblowers and leakers. juan: jeremy, i wanted to ask you, joe biden is unique among presidents i guess sin the post-world war ii era in terms of his understanding of how congress works. if you look at the previous presidents from nixon, bill clinton, george bush -- the second george bush, jimmy carter , they all came into the white house as governors. herbert walker bush had a long history in the cia before becoming vice president. you have to go back to lyndon johnson to find a president who actually knows how congress works, knows how laws are passed, knows how you reach agreements to get legislation passed. but biden seems to suffer the same problem that johnson had. johnson could pass grade messick
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policy but when it came to foreign policy, whether it was vietnam or his invasion of the dominican republic in 1965 was extremely hawkish in foreign policy. i am wondering your sense of how you see biden moving forward in terms of the u.s. expanding the u.s. empire if they can still be talked about as an empire with possibilities of expansion? >> it is a great question. i will answer it by saying the white house is pushing as this sort of premier issue on war regarding biden, this notion that biden will end the war in afghanistan. it is important for accuracy's sake to recognize the plan that biden is implementing now was the plan that was developed by the trump administration. this basically the plan oniden 's desk when trump left office. biden said, i would have done
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this differently, but agreements are agreements. the trump administration signed this with the taliban so we will abide by it. their other policies where biden says we're not going to continue on with trump. he's playing a little bit with the notion the always keeps its agreement. i think what is interesting, and it comes to the heart of your question, when joe biden was vice president under barack obama, there were a handful of policy issues where biden sort of decided he was in the opposition and took a dissenting view. the first one was the first year of the obama-biden administration. obama's advisors, many of them wanted to surge u.s. troops in afghanistan and they ultimately did that. they wanted to engage in the coin doctrine, counterinsurgency -- which is another way of saying nation, that you have this large-scale military deployment, set up your own infrastructure, and you' basically writing an occupation regime in a country similar to
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what the u.s. did in other european allies in europe the aftermath of world war ii. biden says, wait a minute, i don't like what i am seeing. i don't think we should be having large-scale troop deployment. i think we should use our assassins, essentially. the cia, joint special operations command, a small footprint to conduct antiterrorist operation to hunt down people that we determine represent an oning threat to our national security. ultimately, biden loses in part that argument because what happens is obama decides to do both. he goes with the large-scale surge and he starts escalating the use of drones -- not just in afghanistan, as you know, juan, but many countries around the world. they basically mpower the cia and the joint special operations command is really streamlined implementers of emerging u.s.
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assassination policy. now that biden is president, essentially he is getting the war waged the way he proposed in 2009. he is going to pull out the large-scale u.s. military presence -- there are a few thousand troops, 16,000 contractors, on the ground. but what he is saying is he is going to keep the hit teams in the region to do surgical strikes. the risk for biden's he ends up in a scenario akin to what happened with president barack obama in 2014 where he actually has to redeploy u.s. troops to iraq in the battle against isis after having declarethe war over and initiated this made for television withdraw from iraq in 2011. to wrap this up, i think it is fascinating that biden has spent his entire life railing against executive overreach, demanding
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congress be in charge of declaring war, and he may well be presented with a conflict around the world where it will call a question to which joe biden shows a post joe biden commander-in-chief or joe biden who spent most of the past 50 years as a senator demanding that congress be given its proper authority. juan: i would ask you about another major foreign policy issue that biden would deal with, and that his relations with china. there's a very interesting column in today's "new york times" by thomas friedman, who is arguably one of the most influential -- can you hear me? >> yes, sorry. juan: this column today come he's argued one of the most influential voices of the u.s. neoliberal elite. his column is titled "is there a were coming between the u.s. and china?"
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he goes on to say -- "what has made this return to chinese, iranian aggressive nationalism more dangerous is that and each country, it is married to statelet industries, particularly the luke perry industries and it is emerging at a time when america's democracy is weakening." he does not mention the u.s. major defense industry and how our state is married to our defense industry, but he goes on to talk about taiwan as a major producer of the most advanced chips in the world in terms of artificial intelligence. he goes on to say, as much as you strategist are committed to preserving taiwan's democracy, they're even more committed to ensuring that tsmc, the big chipmaker in taiwan, does not fall into china's hands. he goes on to say, in a digitizing world, he who controls the best chipmaker will
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control a lot. it sounds like he is urging biden to draw a line on the issue of taiwan when the entire rld is ready recognizing at taiwan is legitimate a part of china. your sense of how biden will act when it comes to relations with china? >> juan, we just came off of an era under the trump administration where overt xenophobia and racism bece official u.s. policy. the biden team is still implementing many of the sort of underlying principles of the trump policy, if you will, but doing it in a more diplomatic manner. what isbsent, what is always absent from thomas friedman's columns for sure, but what is almost always absent from discussions about u.s. relationshipsith china, with russia, is the u.s. role in the
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world. there is no more hostile, threatening, powerful force in the world right now than the united states government. you always need to look through the lens of how other nations are responding to the united states. we cannot just say, oh, china is aggressively pursuing this technology, or, china is in countries throuout africa right now, and pretend it is some omius devopment that a major world power with 1/7 of the world's population would be interested in expanding its influence or securing its future. all discussions about china, discussions about russia regarding u.s. policy, leave out the role that the u.s. plays in destabilizing the world, but also provoking responses from other nations. having said that, i think one of the areas to watch that does not get a great amount of attention is the way the united states,
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china, and other world powers are battling for control of natural resources throughout africa. the united states has quietly over the past 10 or 15 years built up a kind of covert and semi-overt military presencen africa, while also flooding the zone with a lot of private business and contractors. china is doing the exact same thing. in fact, china, because it is not bound by any laws requiring is certified human rights practices, is really taking control of large parts of several african nations natural resource supply. this comes to the heart of technology, precious metals, and incredibly geo-strategical important location in the world. i think you are going to see a lot of pressure on biden to become much more belligerent, much more hostile to china.
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the people pushing him to do that are going to completely ignore and minimize the role the united states plays in provoking responses. from other powerful nations. amy: were going to go to break and come back to this discussion. we are talking to jeremy scahill, co-founder of the intercept, senior correspondent and editor-at-large. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. you can watch, listen, and read transcripts using our ios and android apps. download them for free from the apple app store or google play store today.
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and you can get our daily news digest, just text democracynow to 66866. we're continuing our discussion with jeremy scahill, who has just launched a massive new online investigati project titledempire politician: a half-century of joe bin's stances on war, milirism, and the cia." i want to go to the 1980's and also talk about how that links to joe biden today. in his address tonight and his first address to the joint session of congress, it is expected he will be mainly focusing on domestic policy. congress member alexandria ocasio-cortez says president biden is more progressive than many progressives expected. we are talking about his foreign-policy. today in the headlines we talked about a trial going on in el salvador on the 1981 massacre,
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the horrifying massacre around 1000 salvadoreans killed by the battalion that was a u.s. trained salvadoran military battalion. one of the expert witnesses, terry carl, professor at stanford, detailed the on-site presence of u.s. military visor hazelwood and some of the pretrial testimony. this is extremely significant what happened back then and today. this goes to media criticism. you had ray bonner at "the new york times" writing eventually about the massacre and within months, because of enormous pressure from the reagan administration, rosenthal then one of the chief said "the new york times" pulls him from covering central america because he is exposing what happened in el salvador. so you have the u.s. policy in el salvador, the support for the
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contras in guatemala with u.s. did in support of both the murders military and the paramilitary death squads, and then you look at what is happening today with from the very area, the number of immigrants who are fleeing nor in the connection between immigration today and u.s. policy and intervention of the 1980's. not to mention what is going on with venezuela with the biden administration saying they recognized that the democratically elected leader but the person that both president trump and before the democrats also supported. talk about the policy of yestyear determining today and how in some ways that is not changing and where you see openings. >> i think it is important to say because this portion of history often does not get mentioned that in terms of el salvador and u.s.
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administration, jimmy carter emerged, even though he had campaigned on a pledge to sort of confront dictatorships and to respect human rights, as the original supporter of the coup regime that took power in 1979 in el salvador and the subsequent killing of protesters started this civil war. carter, particularly his national security advisor, believed this is a communist minute-- at least they said it was. they said if we don't support this military regime in el salvador, we will end up with a sandinista style government, cuba is going to run the deck on central and latin america, and you have powerful voices in the catholic church such as archbishop oscar romero who himself was a conservative catholic until 1979 coup takes place, he writes to jimmy carter pleading with him not to suppt
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the military junta. jimmy's administration ignores therchbishop and his advisor rights to the pope and says, essentially, you need to shut oscar romero up. he is starting to sound like a climbing list and we warned him out this. a month after archbishop romero rights to carter up letter pleading with him n to send weapons to the junto, oscar romero is assassinated, shot through the heart well he was saying mass. a month after he writes to jimmy carter. joe biden at the time was a critic of the military junta in all salvador, but he also accepted the framework of the war against communism. biden could have become really militant voice, especially as a
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catholic, overly catholic politician, could havreally gone to town on the fact catholic nuns completing u.s. citizens, were being raped and murdered by what was effectively a client state of the united states. eventually, carter temporarily stops the aid to el salvador and he has defeated them in the election by reagan, biden rights to reagan in a very polite manner saying, i think we should maybe link our finding and arming of the salvadoran dictatorship to investigating the murders of american citizens. rter, on his way out the door, gives emergency resumption of luke perry gear -- military gear, weaponry to the junto. reagan takes power and the gloves come off and it is a massive bloodshed in el salvador
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sponsored in part by the united states. what you see is joe biden on the one hand denouncing the extrajudicial killings and murder and on the other hand trying to tinker on the edges of american policy, proposing, mr. reagan, i'll support financing this dictatorship -- and at the case of nicaragua -- i can agree to support the contras if we put this restriction on it or make sure they only spend it in this way. i think this was a crucial point of development for joe biden on questions of war. he almost never meets a were he does not support. the one time he did oppose a war in 19 anyone come he regretted it and it really became any ultra hug after it. in the 1980's, biden was making deals on these really dirty estions of dictatorship and death squads and he played a significant role in terms of his position in the senate in not having a very clear line in the
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sand drawn, we don't support dictators, we don't support that's what's. biden help because she compromises with reagan rather than just militantly opposing it. juan: going back to those carter years, could you talk about when carter named ted sorensen, the former kennedy advisor, as his cia director? what happened and how biden functioned their? >> this is a wild story. ted sorensen is nominated by jimmy carter to be cia director. the reason was -- carter said he basically wanted to cut the budget of the cia, ray nagin, his campaign actually put out a position paper implying jimmy carter intended to prosecute cia officers to engage -- to engage in lawless activities. when carter becomes president come the cia is not excited. carter nominates an outsider who
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happens to be a close friend of the kennedy family and kennedy famously had his conflicts with the cia. ted sorensen is introduced to joe biden as the person he was going to kind of shepherd him through the confirmation process in front of the intelligence committee. biden says to ted sorensen, i am more enthusiasti about y than y other nominee in the carter -- emerging carter white house. joe biden starts talking with senate republicans who wanted to kill the ted sorensen nomination for a number of reasons. one, the cia did not want him there. he was a cia outsider. no one wanted ted sorensen. two, there was this whisper campaign that ted sorensen was a pacifist to resisted the korean war. three, 10 sorensen was one of the people involved and the aftermath of the chappaquiddick incident where teddy kennedy was drunk and drove off a bridge,
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resulting in the death of a young woman. biden is sort of like playing defense for the carter white house at the time and trying t resolve the issues. biden is tipped off by republican colleague that ted sorensen had given -- written and affidavit in support of daniel ellsberg during the pentagon papers prosecution where ellsberg was facing more than a century in prison under the espionage act. biden gets wind of this and gets one of his staffers to dig up the this affidavit that wasn't even officially filed. they had to dig deep. the affidavit basically said everybody in washington leaks, it is the culture of the elite. ted sorensen also said, i took government documents on when i was writing my biography. this is a common practice. either way, many of the things that elite washington insiders are looking to "the new york
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times" and "the washington post" are far more sensitive than what daniel is barred leaked in the pentagon papers. biden hits the roof and start saying to jimmy carter, this domination is dead. at the end of the day, joe biden publicly says of ted sorensen when you killed his domination with republicans, i don't know what we should do with you. maybe you should even be prosecuted underhe espioge act yourself. pretend sorensen's, stating an open secret that government officials take on government documents and at the time were licking them for their own political purposes. at kicks off this relationship between biden and the cia where biden becomes one of the most aggressive senators in trying to go after leakers and whistleblowers, particularly when philip agee comes out, the former cia operative, and blows the whistle on covert operations around the world. joe biden secretly as the cia
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in pressuring the justice department to not only go after leakers and whistleblowers, but to go after defense lawyers representing whistleblowers or leakers who are putting in requests for documents as part of their defense. joe biden sponsored legislation to stop this practice of what they call gray mailing. basically saying will we arrest leakers or whistleblowers, their lawyers are requesting in discovery these documents from the u.s. government about the operations they were a part of and this could expose further secrets. so biden played a really crucial role in trying to create rule for federal whistleblower cases were defense lawyers were not allowed to subpoena documents that would assist them in the defense of their whistleblower or leaker client. biden goes on, even though h tries to kill raids nominee -- reagan's nominee, william casey,
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william casey, one of the most infamous notorious spies in american history, and biden had a number -- he basically said, these reagan people want to undo everything we did in the aftermath of richard nixon. they want to get rid of the war powers act. they want to circumvent the intellence community. amy: 20 seconds was not close william casey is a key player in this. buying tries to kill it unsuccessful, votes for casey, and then aids and events reagan's cia in pushing covert action, including defending the 1983 invasion of grenada. bite had a complicated relationship with the cia and his workings whistleblowers to this day. amy: congratulations on this massive project that has just been posted at the intercept. thank you for the exclusive use of running that video at the beginning, which people can watch.
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intercept senior correspondent and editor-at-large. the new project, "empire politician: a half-century of joe biden's stances on war, militarism, and the cia." jeremy scahill, our guest for the hour. çççññññññññññññññññññ
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