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

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democracynow.org 06/28/21 06/28/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! one of the main witnesses in the extradition casegainst wikileaks founder julian assange has admitted he made false claims against assange in exchange from a -- for immunity. then former presidential candidate and alaskan senator mike gravel has died at the age of 91. he was fiercely opposed to the
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vietnam war and draft and played a seminal role and at the release of the pentagon papers, spearheading a one-man push to read the document into the congressional record to get the papers into the public record. >> maybe hang on to the documents and never do anything about it and go on. pulls back and whispers in my ear and says, somebody wants to give you the pentagon papers. i said, man, were easy? he said, he's going to call us back. i get dressed up and go back to the office and i'm sitting waiting for this call. along comes this voices says, senator, would you read the pentagon papers as part of your filibuster. i says, yes. amy: we will feature a speech by mike gravel laying out how he received the pentagon papers and why he pushed for the release. then legal reporter and author adam cohen on supreme court
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"justice breyer's legacy-defining decision." >> if he decides to retire -- is 82 right now -- presidentiden would be able to fill his seat. if he doenot step down, there is very real chance a republan president later wl fill th seat and the conservative majority on the court will rise from 63 to 72 and be able to do even more damage to workers, for people, people of color, and other political groups in our society. amy: we will look at a major supreme court ruling against the united farm we will speak with camilla chavez, executive director of the dolores were to the nation. all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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iraq's military has condemned u.s. air strikes along the iraq-syria border as a breach of sovereignty. the pentagon says president biden ordered monday morning's assault on weapons storage facilities in syria and iraq in response to drone attacks by an iran-backed militia against u.s. troops and personnel in iraq. it's the second time biden has ordered airstrikes in the region. in a statement, the coordinating committee of the iraqi resistance promised to retaliate, adding -- "we will not remain silent over the continued presence of american occupation forces in iraq, which goes against the constitution, the parliament's vote, and the will of the iraqi people." the u.s. airstrikes came less than two weeks after the u.s. house of representatives voted to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force, which grants sweeping war powers to the president. former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison for the murder of
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george floyd. he is expected to serve 15 years of that sentence. his lawyers are also expected to appeal his april conviction. lawyers for floyd's family and minnesota's attorney general said that while the sentence does not serve justice, it provides some accountability for floyd's murder. floyd's family said the sentence was too light but they are looking toward the federal civil rights indictment. this is his brother rodney floyd. >> this right here, this 22 year sentence they gave this man, it is a slap on the wrist will stop we suffer a life sentence of not having him in our life. amy: in related news, u.n. high commissioner foruman rights michelle bachelet is calling on states in north america, europe, and latin america to take steps to dismantle racism and to "confront past legacies and deliver redress" as her agency released a report outlining the systemic nature of racism against people of african descent.
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the world health organization is urging even fully vaccinated people to continue wearing a mask, maintain social distancing, and take other precautions as more outbreaks linked to the delta variant spread around the world. >> delta is the most transmissible of the variants identified so far. has been attentive fight in at least 85 countries -- identified in at least 85 countries and spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations. amy: israel has reimposed an indoor mask mandate and other measures amid a new rise in cases. about half of those infected in a recent outbreak linked to the delta variant were fully vaccinated. meanwhile, india is reporting mounting cases of a related variant which has been dubbed "delta plus." in bangladesh, tens of thousands of migrant workers left the capital dhaka sunday ahead of strict stay-at-home orders going
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into effect this week. in australia, over 5 million people in and around sydney have been ordered to stay home for the next two weeks after an outbreak of the delta variant. indonesia set a new daily record of over 21,000 cases sunday. authorities say the current surge has brought the health system close to collapse. in russia, moscow and saint petersburg both set new records for daily death tolls this weekend. in south africa, president cyril ramaphosa announced new restrictions to deal with its surge. >> along witmany other countries on our continent africa, south africa is seeing a massive resurgence of infections . a curfew will be a pla from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. and all nonessential establishments will need to close by 8:00 p.m.
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the sale of alcohol, both for -site and off-site consumption is prohibited. amy: here in the united states, coronavirus cases and daily deaths continue to drop. the daily death toll now averages around 300, nearly all of them among unvaccinated people. according to an associated press analysis, just 0.1% of covid hospitalizations in the u.s. in may were due to breakthrough cases in vaccinated people and vaccinated people accounted for around 0.8% of covid deaths. president biden has promised to support afghanistan's central government even after the u.s. completes its troop withdrawal by a september 11 deadline. biden made the promise to afghan president ashraf ghani and abdullah abdullah, chairman of afghanistan's high council for national reconciliation, as the president ghani said after the
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white house meeting he hoped to engage the taliban in dialogue. >> it not the way to compel submission. we still call on to have a cease fire and to engage in a political process because of political settlement is the ultimate mechanism of endi a war. i think it is the best way of treating an enemy, turn them into a friend. amy: the visit came after the taliban doubled the territory under its control in just the last two months. in florida, the death toll has risen to nine people, with over 150 stillissing following the collapse of a high-rise apartment building in surfside last thursday. a 2018 inspection found the building had abundant cracking and spalling in its foundation, with engineers pointing to
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design flaws a insufficient wateroofing. npr is reporting a surfside official nonetheless told residents one month after the inspection report that the building was in very good shape. vice president kamala harris visited el paso, texas, friday for her trip to the u.s.- mexico first border since taking office. harris toured a customs and border protection facility and met with detained refugee children. harris called for a depolymerization of immigration policies as advocates condemned her statement earlier this month during her visit to guatemala, telling asylum-seekers do not come to the united states. in labor news, more than 2000 health care workers in cook county, illinois, are on strike demanding affordable health care and better pay, including temporary bonuses for front-line workers in situations made hazardous by the pandemic. friday's strike by service employees international union local 73 came a day after 1200
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chicago-area nurses held a one-day strike to demand safe staffing levels in cook county hospitals and clinics. the justice department filed a federal lawsuit against the state of georgia for a sweeping voter suppression law, which the suit says discriminates against black voters. this is kristen clarke, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division. >> these legislative actions -- record voter turnout across the state, particularly for absentee voting which black voters are now more likely to use than white voters. amy: the georgia law, which passed in march, adds new voter id requirements, shortens the window for absentee voting, severely limits ballot drop boxes, and grants the state power to intervene in elections in democratic counties.
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lawyers for the trump organization must present any final arguments on their client's behalf no later than today according to a deadline set by the manhattan district attorney's office. the da is expected to announce criminal charges against former president trump's business over its financial dealings involving top executive allen weisselberg . meanwhile, a former executive vice president for the trump organization told cnn trump "deserves to go to jail." white house aides drafted a proclamation last june to invoke the insurrection act as an president trump considered deploying thousands of active-duty troops in washington, d.c., to suppress the protests that followed the police killing of george floyd. that's according to "the new york times," which reports trump had to be talked out of the plan to invoke the insurrection act to call in the military. millions of people took to the
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streets around the world this weekend to celebrate lgbtq + pride. in turkey, police in riot gear came down on protesters, firing tear gas, and blocking streets where marches were taking place. thousands marched in mexico city, panama city, and in el salvador's capital san salvador, where there were also reports of police harassment during pride celebrations. here in new york city, two main events took place. new york city pride held a mostly virtual ceremony for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. the event also banned new york police from participating this year after years of advocacy from black and brown lgbtq community members. this year also marked the third annual anti-corporate, anti-police queer liberation march. >> corporate-free. this is about the roots of the movement. this is why we celebrate and also still remember to be active
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and fight for our rights that still need to be met. amy: there were reports of nypd agents attacking and pepper spraying revelers sunday night. in other news from new york, johnson & johnson has agreed to pay a settlement of up to $230 million over its role in fueling the opioid crisis. attorney general letitia james of new york announced as part of the deal with new york, j&j will no manufacture or sell opioids in the u.s. and that the funds from the settlement will go towards prevention, treatment, and education efforts in the state. the settlement also allows j&j to escape a major opioid trial starting this week in long island, new yo. and mike gravel, former democratic u.s. senator from alaska and two-time presidential candidate who read the pentagon papers into the congressional record, has died at the age of 91. gravel ran for the 2008 democratic presidential nomination as a vocal critic of
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the u.s. invasion of iraq war. during a 2007 presidential debate, gravel confronted then-candidate barack obama about using nuclear weapons. he switched from running as a democratic candidate to a libertarian one after opposing the military-industrial complex and imperialism that permeates the democratic party. later in the show, we'll air excerpts of mike gravel reading the pentagon papers in 1971 and speaking about events leading up to the historic reading. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to a major development in the case of wikileaks founder julian assange, who the u.s. state department is pushing to extradite from britain. assange faces up to 175 years in prison if rock to the united states, where he has been
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indicted for violations of the espionage act related to the publication of classified documents, which many say exposed u.s. war crimes. now one of the main witnesses in that extradition case has come forward to admit he made false claims against assange in exchange for immunity from prosecution. the revelation came in an interview with the convicted icelandic hacker siggi thordarson for a detailed article published by the icelandic biweekly "stundin." it suggests the u.s. justice department collaborated thordarson to generate the indictment for assange that was submitted to the british courts. u.s. prosecutors issued a new superseding indictment against assange in june 2020 that refers to thodarson as a "teenager" and iceland as "nato country 1" and says assange encouraged him to, among other things, "commit computer intrusion" and steal audio recordings of phone conversations between icelandic officials.
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the stundin article cites previously unpublished documents and chat logs showing how thordarson falsely presented himself as a prominent wikileaks representative. "studin" reports that in fact "all indications are that thordarson was acting alone without any authorization, let alone urging, from anyone inside wikileaks." for more, we are joined by jennifer robinson, human rights attorney who has been advising julian assange and wikileaks since 2010. she, like julian assange, is an australian citizen. welcome back to democracy now! can you lay out the significance of this latest revelation and what it should mn, you feel, for julian assange? >> this is just the latest revelation of how problematic the united states cases against julian assange. in fact, baseless. as you outlined in the introduction, the evidence from
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thordarson that was given to the u.s., including allegations of hacking, has now been on his own admission demonstrated to have been fabricated. not only did he misrepresent his access to julian assange and wikileaks and his association with juln assange, he has admitted he made up and falsely misrepresented to the u.s. that there was any association with wikileaks and any association with hacking. this is st theatest revelation to demonstrate why the u.s. case should be dropped. we have to begin with the pre-speech applications. free-speech groups, unanimously against and have announced this prosecution as a threat to freedom of speech in the united states. leaving that aside, the factual basis for this case has completely ball and apart. we have been falling for -- calling for this case to be dropped for a long time and this
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is the latest abuse demonstrated that shows why ought to be dropped. amy: why do you believe thordarson came forward now? natalie granted this exclusive interview to "studin" but also turnover never before chat logs and new documents of his time as i wikileaks volunteer. talk about his actual prominence within the organization or lack of it. >> i can only speculate as to why he would choose to come forward now. but as you know, in january, we won the extradition five. unfortunate, not on free-speech grounds but humanitarian grounds associated with this mental health in the present prison conditions he would face if extradited to the u.s. the u.s. under trump appealed that decision and we are still
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awaiting a decision from the british court. he remains in prison in the united states. this is just another indication. we have been calling for this case to be dropped. we have been asking the biden administration to drop the appeal and allow julian to return home to his family. i think the lest revelation will only contribute to that appeal to the biden administration to put an end to this case. perhaps he was motivated on those grounds. it is hard to say. amy: can you talk about icelandic officials who are now apparently speaking out and saying that the u.s. government is "trying to use things here in iceland and used people in our country to spin a web, a cobweb that would catch julian assange ?" it also reportedly was government essentially deceived icelandic officials. >> again, this is demonstrating
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the significance and problematic abuse we have seen throughout this case. not only are we looking at problematic evidence gathering within iceland, which officials have questioned the legality of, let's look at the other forms of abuse we have seen in the case. as we put in the extra during hearing, we know julian has been unlawfully spied upon come as a has his legal team. he has had legally privileged materials seized by the u.s. government as daniel ellsberg said in his evidence before the extradition court in the u.k. this kind of abusive connick by the us was back in a nixon administration to have the case thrown out for an abuse of process. in 2021, we are saying unlawful spine, seizure of legally privileged material, and a man who has admitted he lied to the fbi and the u.s. about the evidence from which the
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indictment is based. this should be more than enough for the united states and the biden administration to put this case to rest. it has gone on far too long. amy: you also have the situation where thordarson has been convicted of sexual abuse of minors and other crimes including financial fraud. he admitted to continuing his crime spree while working with the doj and the fbi. what is crucial to understand about his involvement with the u.s. government in trying to get julian assange extradited here were he faces 175 years in prison? >> i do think it is significant the initial indictment for julian assange related to the publications back in 2010-2011, chelsea manning publications. it was a secondndictment introduced by the trump administration based on thordarson's evidence. any lawyer can even any layperson would be looking at
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evidence from a convicted felon who had been convicted of forgery, fraud, and sexual abuse allegations associated with minors, that is a problematic source. now we have him admitting he lied to the fbi about that evidence. this raises serious concerns about the integrity of this investigation and the integrity of his criminal prosecution, answers question on to be as within the department of justice about this prosecution and the fact it is continuing at all. amy: what are you demanding right now, jennifer robinson? >> we have been asking for a long time the biden administration and the department of justice put an end to this case are principled free-speech grounds and to process grounds. this is the latest evidence to show why this case needs to be dropped. amy: jennifer robinson, thank you for being with us, human rights attorney who has been advising julian assange an wikileaks since 2010. speaking to us from australia.
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next up, we remember former presidential candidate and alaskan senator mike gravelle who has died at the age of 91. he was seminal in releasing the pentagon papers to the public. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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yuan, "memory" by barbra streisand. shield in 1970 three fundraiser for daniel ellsberg with yoko ono, the beatles, john lennon, ringo starr, and george harrison. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. mike gravel, the former presidential candidate and democratic u.s. senator from alaska died this weekend at the age of 9 he played a seminal role in the release of the pentagon papers, the 7000 pages of top-secret documents outlining the secret history of the u.s. work in
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vietnam. the liquid and up helping take president nixon come help end the vietnam war, lead to a major victory for press freedom. the papers were the two "the new york times" and "the washington post" by henry ellsberg, gravel spearheaded a one-man push to get the pages of the pentagon papers into the congressional record so it would become public record and anyone could read them and publish them. beacon press went on to do just that, publishing a seven-point set of the pengon papers. morrow, june 29, is the 50th anniversary of the y in 1971 when gravel read the pentagon papers into the record. he cried within seconds d could not continue. when he came out of the session, soone told him since he had started reading them, he could have to rest automaticallyut into the record.
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in 2007, i merated a panel with senator mike gravel and dan ellsberg and the head of the decompressed robert west, talking about how the pentagon papers were made public. here we are going to 1971 where mike gravel atmpted to read the documents into the record. >> i know of nothing in our history to be equal it for extent of failure and extent of loss in all aspects of the term -- man beings are being killed as i speak to you tonight, killed as a direct result of policy decisions we as a body have made . arms. arms are being severed.
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metal is crashing through human bodies. because of a public policy, this government, when they respond -- made such a sacrifice to preserve freedom and liberty in southeast asia. one may respond tugh sacrifice ourselves on the continent of asia so that we will not have to fight a similar war on the shores of america. one can make these arguments only if he has failed toead the pentagon papers. that is the terrible truth of it all. amy: in the midst of him speaking, he broke down crying. yes, that is democratic senator mike gravel attempting to read
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the pentagon papers into the record, the congressional record, 50 years ago. he died this weekend at the age of 91. in 2007 in portland, oregon, i moderated an event at the annual conference of the unitarian universalist church in portland, oregon, commemorating the publication of the pentagon papers by the beacon press, there publishing house -- one of the main speakers was alaska senator mike gravel. today we bring you his extensi remarks as he laid out how he received the pentagon papers from washington post journalist who in turn had gotten them from pentagon papers whistleblower dan ellsberg. >> let me pick up where he left off because there's a lot of -- i will talk fast but i want to get all of the details out because i know what you want to know is the inside skinny.
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you can read the broad lines, but it is what happened to both our lives at the time. dan calls my office and talks to my administrative assistant. i was down in the gym getting a massage. of course you can have staff come into the senate. this was hallowed ground. into the senate gym. he is knocking says, it is an emergency. he works his way to get into the massage stall and the masseuse pulls back a little and whispers in my ear, says "somebody wants to give you the pentagon papers." i says, man, where is the? he says, "he is going to call us back." i get dressed, sitting my office waiting for this call. along comes this boys and he says, senator, would you read the pentagon papers as part of your filibuster? i says, yes, please hang up was of the reason for that is i have
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a background in intelligence. when i was 23 years old, i was a top-secret control officer. i could classify declassified and i was 23 years old. here are the papers coming at me. i had a sense of what they were, a history -- a history. i had read with "the times" have publish. dan and i have other conversations. our memories are a little vague. he informed me about something i did not know and occasionally i did that with him when he was doing his memoir "secrets." we spent a couple of days, "oh, that is your interpretation." that is human beings. we all have a different read on some of the details. the long and short of it is, he called me in a few days and is angry. his like, why the hell have a use of papers? i said, why the hell have it you got them to me?
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ben bagdikian then contact my office. quite candidly, i did not know who ben was but he wanted to meet with me. so we meet someone secretively on the front steps of the capitol behind a column in broad daylight during session. ben is standing we're talking about how we're going to move the papers across. outcomes bob dole, one of enemies -- [laughter] he walks up and ben bagdikian is behind the column so he cannot be seen. i get rid of dole fairly fast. ben bagdikian had this plan, we would make someplace in the country, rock creek park. i say, wait a minute, i've a little more experience in this than youou. here's how we will transfer the papers. you will come at 12:00 at night under the marquee of the mayflower hotel in washington, d.c. come at 12:00, park your car there.
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i will come up with my car. we will open our trunks and we will pump the papers in an race of. that is the way we will do it before god and country and they won't even know what happened. group of alaskan natives,, there's our senator. they all went to talk with me. i'm trying to peel them away, i've got to run, i've got to run." we transfer the papers and i spent away, parked my car, came back in and ben and i had a coffee. i took the papers home. where you going to put them? i brought them home. i told my wife, "rita, have the pentagon papers right here." she said, what are you going to do? "we are going to put them under the bed and sleep on them." [laughter] we did. i am dyslexic. i could not read all those papers if it took me a year. i started calling staff in and said, look, come in and bring my
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toilet kit. don't tell your wife, you're just coming to the senator's house and i met them at the door. i said i have the pentagon papers. come in and you cannot leave until i leave. but i won't think ill if you don't come in because there are risks we don't know about. everyone said, "senator, let me have them." four or five people for two days were sleeping in the living room floor and we would go to the papers. the style i used in going through it, i was reading my little portion come the first part, the most historic and interesting part. i said, whenever you come across a name, show me the name. i would read around the context make a judgment if it should be excised or not. we did not just take a pencil, we took scissors and cut it out so they would be no misunderstanding. i have to bring the papers from my home to the capitol. i buy two flight bags, those
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without wheels, i get two of those to honor the papers. i spend the money, pack them up with two bags like that and i'm going to take them to the capitol. i am concerned. i call the vietnam veterans of america and say, i have a problem. i need someone to guard my office. i with the most disabled veterans you can find." [laughter] lo and behold, i trudge in -- i would not let my staff participate. i tried with two bags heavy and staff are walking with me and the cops, why the hell is the senator carrying his own bags? we walked to the end of the hall and there are about six or seven soldiers in uniform, ponytails, badges all over -- all in wheelchairs. they could do wheelies. i said "go get them, senator!" i about cried with a commitment of these human beings. they guarded the office.
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they would have thrown their bodies that anyone who tried to break in. i had the papers and made a deal . i wanted to read the filibuster. at a bit of an ego trip. i wanted to break strom thurmond's record in filibustering. i wanted to get two days, close to 48 hours and break his record. are you going to do that? most people don't know when julian long and those guys used to debate, they were tricking a lot of water and p on the floor, right on the senate floor. i'm a little more culture than that so i go to the doctor's office and tell them what is going on, i'm going to filibuster, he rakes me up with a colostomy bag with a little hose to my ankle and my administrative assistant's job is to bleed the colostomy bag. [laughter] it gets better than that. i have to get somebody in the
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chair because you can control the floor if you don't control the chair. i say, alan, i need help. i got the pentagon papers. you don't have to touch the papers, just get in the chair by 5:00 and we will turn around and you gestate in the chair as long as i'm filibustering. that was our plane. go to the doctor's office and get a colostomy bag. [laughter] he does that and i had a rubber mat. it was interesting to go into the dynamics of that. lo and behold, i come to the floor and trudging in with these papers, put them next to my desk. i was a freshman so i was way on the side. muskie had come up to me -- we were on the same committee. he looks down at the black bags and says, "mike, are those the pentagon papers?" it was just a joke but i'm
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looking at him, "my god." [laughter] lo and behold, here i am a nice guy. i know i'm going to be talking for a couple of days. i want to tell the staff of the senate, hey, call your wife because you're not getting out of here shortly. i lay on the korma poll. if you're familiar with the procedures, they have to stop -- start calling the role. there's only one other senator in the chamber, group and post of the democrat have gone to a banquet, republicans had gone home. there are two senators in the chamber. i lay out a quorum call and griffin walks up and says, mike, what are you going to do? i say, i'm contending my filibuster on the draft. i had always done that posed a filibuster for five months. they could only happen because mansfield set it up without anybody seeing his velvet hand. i said, -- he says, what are you
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doing at night? i say, the draft is about to expire and i want to make a really big show. he goes back to his desk and is thinking and thinking. i wait 30 minutes to let the staff notify they will be there part of the evening. lo and behold, i make the unanimous consent to remove the quorum call. he objects. the minute he did that, i knew i had been harpoon. all i could think, "good men don't win." i was so angry. he says, what are you doing? i started swearing, you cannot believe. by that time he knew something was afoot. he went to the republican cloakroom and said, "stay away from the senate. i'm sending my troops to go out and get the democrats to come back from the banquet." that goes on until 9:30, 10:00. we could not get a quorum. i am stuck. he says, senator, we are stuck.
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our attorneys think they have a plan b. we grab the bags, trudge back in the vietnam vets are out there and they notice something is serious afoot because a lot of media is following us. i sit down, what's our plan? go senator, there's not much hope that we have one precedent can follow. that is the precedent, the house in a minute. -- and a mac and activities. what they were doing, then go around country and they would immediately call a hearing so they could grab 70, pull them up, swear that men come get them to talk. he says, that precedent, -- mind you, i'm a freshman -- your chairman of the committee, subcommittee. of course, that was the buildings and grounds committee. [laughter] lo and behold, they say what you could do is convene a hearing of
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this committee and you would be still within the i'm rich of the senate. i said, fine, let's do that. we have to have somebody testify. we type up the notice i am chairman -- i'm calling hearing, slip it under the doors of the senators who are not there that i am notifying them of the hearing so that is covered legally. then the peace group calls congressman del from upper new york. he does not know what it is about. they tell him, senator gravel need you to testify at a very important hearing. he gets dressed comes down and we convene. by this time we are upstairs in one of the senate chambers, committee room. the whole fallon's of the media and congressman died comes up and i'm sitting with my two black bags my staff assisted and i gaveled the meeting to order. congressman, can help you?
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you want to testify? >> yes, i would like a federal building in my district stop i say, i know you need a federal building in your district and i would love to give you a federal building in your district but i have to tell you, our government is broke. we don't have any money to give you and let me tell you why because we are squandering all this money in southeast asia in the me tell you how we got into southeast asia and i pull out the papers and i am reading. [laughter] [applause] it gets better than that. i read for an hour. i'm dyslexic. there is no way in god's green earth that but i am reading. i've not slept for three or four days and i break out sobbing. it is about 12:00 at night. i am sobbing and can't get control of myself. here's what is going through my head. a journalist, one of the networks the next morning, "oh, this is a bizarre occurrence the night before."
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gravel was very bizarre, he cried." what i was sobbing over, had been to walter reed a month or more before to walk around and i could not take it emotionally to look at the wounded. so i can handle macro problems, but not micro. lo and behold, i kept saying to myself, my god, i love my country, my country is committing immoral acts. we are killing human beings. i am sobbing. dyslexic, i am reading rogue. i could follow the words in front of me. comes up to me says, senator, i think you have lost it. [laughter] i keep sobbing. he goes back and i try to get a hold of myself and i can't. he says, senator, put it in the record. i sobered up and said, "oh, yes, i am chairman of this committee." i moved to put all of these papers that i was going to read into record, put them into the record automatically.
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bang, they are in the record. that is how it officially got into the record of the united states of america. [applause] obviously, the media by that point are out there going, really? i put the papers back in and we are trudging back to my office and the media is following is "we want the papers!" we cut a deal. we got a copy because we want to hang on to a said. as we copy them, we will turn them to you and you set up a pool and copy them and distribute them to the world. that is what happened all night long and that is what made the supreme court decision move, which was at 11:00 or 12:00, that very day. what they did was they said you could not put on prior restraint , but you could if you're published, would be at risk. that is what happen. those that have published took the risks but they were not prepared to take the risks after that. we scoured the country -- this
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is where the media comes in. we could not find one major or minor or anybody that would touch the pentagon papers. we had an inkling maybe in presswood. with my staff and one other attorney, we go to boston. whoever was handling it -- i don't recall the time -- he says, senator, we have bad news. m.i.t. presswood touch with a 10 foot pole. i am crestfallen. he says, but i have good news. beacon press has got the money and they will publish it. [applause] they are downtown in bosto waiting for you if you want to come down and make the deal with them. i said, let's go.
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in a press conference shortly thereafter and that is when we announced we were going to do it. i was a unitarian even before this happened in alaska, i can't tell you what i feel for beacon press, for the unitarians, and dan ellsberg. dan quoted and likes to say when i was in service, i was going to be a spy but i wasn't going to get any action so i went into combat platoon leader. on the patch on my shoulder said "follow me." well, when i saw dan do what he did, all i can think of was coming here's a guy that is walking up the hill, taking his life in his own hands, the least i could do is follow dan ellsberg. amy: that is former alaska senator and two-time presidential candidate mike gravel describing in 2007 how he got the thousands of pages of the pentagon papers into the congressional record, which allowed them to be made public. mike gravel died this week and
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at the age of 91. to see the whole event i moderated before the unitarian universalist association general assembly with senator gravel, robert west, dan ellsberg, go to democracynow.org. coming up, legal scholar adam cohen on justice breyer's legacy -defining decision. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. we turn to prize-winning author adam cohen who has written a new piece for the atlantic headlined "justice breyer's legacy-defining decision." it examines the growing question of whether the supreme court justice should step down so that he can be replaced while there is a democratic president and democratic-run senate. justice breyer is now 82 years old, the oldest member of the high court. adam cohen is also author of "supreme inequality: the supreme court's 50-year battle for a more unjust america." welcome back to democracy now! why don't you lay out what this growing argument is. >> great to be here, amy. sure.
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as you mentioned, justice breyer is 82 years old, the oldest member of the court. this is a moment where if he retires, president biden will be able to replace him, the democrats control the senate, could put a much younger person in place and president biden said he would appoint a black woman,he first black womann the supreme court. if breyer does not retire, there's a real danger the democrats will le the control of the senate. it is a razor thin majority right now, literally, if something were god for bid to happen to brown or pat leahy or any democratic senators who are from states with republican governor who would appoint a replacement, if anything happened to these senators come the democrats will lose control of the senate and we know mitch mcconnell will not confirm any democratic appointment to the court. so if breyer does not step down
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now, there's a very real chance republicans will eventually fill the seat and maybe turn a6-3 conservative majority which has already been terrible into a 7-2 conservative majority. amy: i want to quote from dahlia lithwick "stop telling justice breyer to retire," saying "not only is it counterproductive, but it misses the point." lithwick argues -- "replacing a liberal justice with another liberal justice on a 63 court is important, but it's also small ball. if we do or don't want justices to time their own retirements in exceedingly political ways, there is a way to fix that -- implementing mandatory retirement ages or 18-year terms." adam cohen, your response? >> i'm a great fan of dahlia lithwick. i disagree for a couple of reasons. yes, it would be great to have fundamental -- as you mentioned. it would be great to have term limits,xpand the cords so we
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can get out of this 6-3 conservative majority, which i have to say is not representative of where the mayor can public is. the problem is, that is not going to happen. the senate right now is so reluctant to do even mainstream democratic things like sipe has a good infrastructure bill. the senate is not going to go along with expanding the court or term limits anytime soon. that means democrats have to start playing the same game the republicans have. the republicans have been amazingly productive at the small ward politics. in 2018, justice kennedy step down when he was 81, younger than breyer and that allowed president trump to fill that seat. republicans paid off their seats very effecvely. ruth bader ginsburg when she was
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still on the court, there were calls for her to step down when obama was president and the democrats control the house. she did not step down at her seat is now filled by president trump with amy coney barrett who could cast the deciding vote to overturn roe v. wade. i agree with dolly yet would be great to have forms but democrats two play the small boardgame, too. " out of turn to one of those decisions just made. yes, the supreme court's unionbusting decision last wednesday in which the justices ruled 6-3 that the california labor law violates the constitutional rights of property owners by giving union organizers access to workers on privately owned-farms during their work breaks. the ruling strikes down a crucial part of a landmark 1975 labor law that was the nation's first to recognize agricultural workers' rights to collective bargaining and grew out of efforts by the united farm workers to demand better pay and
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working conditions for california's agricultural workers. for more, in addition to adam cohen, we are joined by camila chavez, executive director of dolores huerta foundation, and the also niece of cesar chavez. thank you for joining us. chavez was the united farmworkers cofounder and now you continue the legacy with dolores huerta. can you respond to the supreme court ruling? >> yes. thank you for having me. i also want to say -- this ruling is a setback for the union for workers rights. [indiscernible] taking property is ridiculous and clearly a unionbusting position.
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allowing "physical invasion of land without compensation." we know when it comes to workers that live on the labor camps, they're living on private property. there scheduled to work -- shuttled. union workers would not have access to them. amy: if you could expand on this and the precedent set all over the country? >> there are times -- in the book you mentioned i wrote, i pointed out for the last 50 years, this court has been on the drive to expand the rights of corporations and to take away rights from workers, consumers, people of color, other disadvantage groups. that is what this is part of, that larger picture. it is a very broad expansion of the clause saying it is taking proper property for california
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tuesday the union organizers have a right to go onto an employer's property to organize workers. but that is just a crazy expansion of the law. in fact, the government allows all kinds to enter on private property like to do food inspections, inspections of nursery schools -- whathis means effectively is it is very hard for unions to organize, folks like the farmworkers, because it is hard to find if you cannot go to the workplace. you saw that in alabama when amazon had trouble reaching workers on the streets on their way to work. this is a real blow to union organizing. we have seen how union membership has been declining precipitously that really since world war ii. a big part is decisions like this from the supreme court that make it impossible for organize workers. amy: camilla chavez, back on the specifics of this, the 45-year-old california law that allowed unions to organize on farms -- what does this mean
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also for how it might affect workers when it comes to covid-19 vaccinations and other treatment of farmworkers? >> right. other agricultural workers have expressed the high risk exposure throughout the pandemic due to lack of preventative education, working conditions, ppe. transportation to and from work sites and overcrowded housing conditions. there was a steady by the labor center that showed workers in california industries warehousing, agriculture, food processing, meatpacking, they had a 30% increase in deaths related to covid. so we know they are not gting the information, e resources that they need. and i will say community-based
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organizations have had to step in to provide this information. many of the ordinations we work in collaboration with are going to the field and providing this information to the workers and wondering, is this now going to deny as that access of being able to provide them even with setting up vaccinaon appointments? we were the ones advocating that farmworkers be put at the top of the list of essential workers with health-care workers to be prioritized for vaccination. [indiscernible] governor newsom also invested millions of dollars for organizations, community-based grassroots organizations to provide this direct outreach regarding covid. amy: finally, adam cohen, as the
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supreme court term wps up, what are other cases you are looking at? >> there's a lot of damaging substance in the peline. the court accepted a case which could be the one used to overturn roe v. wade out of mississippi, and there have not been five votes to do that -- there may be now. there is also a harvard affirmative action case in which asian-american students are judging harvard selection process. there is a very real chance chief justice roberts, who does not like race-based of any kind, use the arbery case probably next year, possibly next year to nd affirmative action even in private education, maybe even more broadly. there is a lot of damage that even a 6-3 majority is likely to . amy: and expected to take of a transgender case? >> possibly. there is a transgender case they could take up in virginia and i could do a lot of damage there
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as well. again, we are seeing what a 6-3 court can do. a seven-to court would also preserve a conservative majority for many years, decades, can do a lot more damage across our society. amy: i want to thank you also much for being with us, adam con, writer and autr of "supreme inequality: the supreme court's 50-year battle for a more unjust america." we will link your piece in the atlantic "justice breyer's legacy-defining decision." i want to thk camilla chavez, executive director of dolores huerta foundation. that does it for the show. if you would like to sign up for our daily digest commits an old "democracynow" to 66866. text it to 66866. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by
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♪ hello. and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in new york. rescue crews in florida fear they may be running out of time. they're digging for a fifth day through the rubble of a condo building that collapsed. they've confirmed 11 people have died. they haven't been able to account for 150 others. the crews are hoping pockets of air may have formed in the debris. they're looking for any signs of life.

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