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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 14, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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amy: from new york this is democracy now! at least five people are dead in beirut after snipers opened fire on a protest. the violence comes as lebanofaces a devastating economic crisis. over the weekend, lebanon fell into darkness for 24 hours after the nation's electric gricollapsed. we will go to beirut for the latest.
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plus we will look at the ongoing probes into donald trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. the house january 6th committee subpoenas former justice department official jeffrey clark days after the senate revealed trump directly asked the justice department nine times for help to overturn the election. >> this president, former president, would have shredded the constitution to keep his office in the presidency. amy: and we will look at how an afghan interpreter who helped joe biden in 2008 has finally escaped from afghanistan with his family. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden has announced plans to keep the port of los angeles open around the clock in order to battle a global supply chain crisis that has idled container ships off the coast, driving up prices on
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food, fuel and consumer goods. the move will double the number of hours the port will remain open to relieve unprecedented supply chain bottlenecks. >> this is an across-the-board commitment going to 24/7. this is a first step in speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain. now we need the rest of the private sector chain to step up as well. amy: the labor department reported wednesday the consumer price index rose 5.4% in september compared to one year prior, partly driven by supply chain caused by the pandemic. to keep pace with inftion, the social security administration said yesterday it would boost benefits by nearly 6% next year. the world health organization has announced a new expert panel that will investigate the origins of the covid-19 pandemic. the advisory body will include 26 scientists from around the world, including one expert from the u.s. and one from china. w.h.o. director-general
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tedros adhanom ghebreyesus said the panel will also investigate the origins of future outbreaks. >> the emergence of new viruses withli the potential to spark a pandemic is a fact of nature. while covid is the latest such virus, it will not be the last. amy: in south africa, protesters gathered this -- gathered outside the embassies of the united states and several european countries, demanding they break a stalemate at the world trade organization and suspend patent rights on covid vaccines. the so-called "trips waiver" was first proposed by india and south africa over a year ago, and is primarily opposed by the u.k., germany and switzerland. the group msf, or doctors without borders, which joined the protests, says a handful of governments in the european union with strong ties to pharmaceutical corporations are choosing to put shareholder interests over the lives of people across the globe.
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msf added, quote, "the u.s. made a big, bold decision to support this groundbreaking trips waiver, but is now largely absent from the global effort to make it a reality." meanwhile, a dozen democratic u.s. lawmakers are calling on the biden administration to share moderna's covid vaccine technology with other countries to expand global vaccine production. the lawmakers note that a contract between moderna and the federal government grants the u.s. unlimited rights to vaccine data, including all key information needed to produce moderna's vacce. the lawmakers add quote "despite receiving huge sums of public funding from american taxpayers, moderna has refused calls to share its technology, including from the u.s. government." unquote. the united states reported nearly 1,900 new covid-19 deaths on wednesday. more than 62,000 people remain hospitalized with the disease. in florida, the department of health has levied a $3.5
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million fine on leon county after officials there required employees to show proof of vaccination. several other county governments, school districts and businesses are under scrutiny for defying a ban on vaccine mandates imposed by republican governor ron desantis. this comes as a new study by the kaiser family foundation finds the u.s. could have prevented 90,000 deaths over the last four months if more adults had been vaccinated. the biden administration has announced plans to build large-scale wind farms along most of the continental u.s. coastline. interior secretary deb haaland on wednesday announced plans to auction off leases to wind energy developers in waters off the coasts of california, oregon, the carolinas, as well as in the central atlantic, gulf of maine, and gulf of mexico. the biden administration hopes to see the u.s. produce 30,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind farms by 2030.
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a new report by the international energy agency finds that commitments by world governments to cut carbon emissions are nowhere near what's needed to avert climate catastrophe. the iea is calling on governments to move decisively to cut issions in half by 2030, far faster than what countries have pledgeunder the paris climate agreement. in washington, d.c., another 90 climate activists were arrested outside the white house wednesday, bringing -- demanding president biden take action to end the climate crisis. this is anthony lorenzo green, a washington, d.c. community organizer and city council candidate. >> we must repair the harm caused by environmental racism. we must have a world that no longer ballast of the coal, gas and oil industry. i know climate change is real because i live in a community where homes flood every year. amy: texas's
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republican-controlled house of representatives has approved a heavily gerrymandered redistricting map that severely diminishes the voting power of black and latinx communities while giving a disproportionate share of power to white voters. final passage came at around 3:30 a.m. local time in austin, capping 14 hours of debate. mother jones reporter ari berman tweeted in response, quote, "democracy is quite literally dying in the dark." the conservative-led u.s. supreme court appeared in favor of reinstating the death penalty for boston marathon bomber dzhokhar tsarnaev, after hearing arguments in the case wednesday. a federal appeals court overturned the execution last year but biden's justice department is arguing to bring back his death sentence. conservative justice amy coney barrett questioned the motivations of the federal government during the hearing. >> i'm wondering what the government's endgame is
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here. the government has declared a moratorium on executions but you are here defending his death sentences and if you win, presumably that means he is relegated to living under threat of a death sentence that the government does not plan to carry out. amy: during the 2020 presidential campaign, joe biden pledged to work toward eliminating federal capital punishment. in lebanon, heavy gunfights are going on in some of t worst violence in beirut in a decade -- in beirut in a decade. the protest, led by hezbollah, was calling for the removal of judge tarek bitar from the investigation into last august's devastating blast at the port of beirut. the blast killed more than 200 people. crics accuse the judge of bias. it's unclear who fired the shots at protesters. after headlines, we will go to beirut for the latest. in the czech republic, voters have defeated strongman populist prime minister andrej babis in weekend elections, after
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opposition parties formed alliances that received a majority of parliamentary seats. the scandal-ridden billionaire babis has attacked refugees and more recently appeared in the pandora papers, which exposed the covert financial dealings of politicians and other elites. in norway, a 37-year-old danish man used a bow and arrow to attack people in a small town west of oslo wednesday, killing five people and wounding two others. police described the suspect as a muslim convert who had previously been flagged for radicalization but authorities say the motivation for the attack is still unknown. wednesday's attack prompted police across norway to carry firearms. norwegian police are usually unarmed. it was norway's worst attack since a far-right white supremacist killed 77 people a decade ago. over 10,000 workers at john deere farm equipment plants across the midwest went on strike at midnight to fight
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for fair wages, pension benefits for all workers, and good working conditions. members of the united auto workers overwhelmingly rejected a proposed contract and say they will continue bargaining with the company until all their demands are met. in other labor news, tens of thousands of kaiser permanente employees in california and oregon have voted to authorize a strike amid stalled contract negotiations over pay and working conditions. health workers say the pandemic had led to mental health concerns, and severe staff shortages. this comes as some 60,000 film and tv workers with the international alliance of theatrical stage employees, tse, could go on strike starting monday if no deal is reached in the coming days to addrs the industry's low wages and overworking of crews. this is liz shuler, president of the afl-cio which is affiliated with iatse. >> we are fighting for the weekend. it is 2021 and yet these
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people are working overtime, answering the call, and yet the company is making pretty tidy profits but suddenlyy can't pay overtime. suddenly you can't have a meal break. you were ending your shift on a friday night and being called back saturday morning with less than eight hours in between. amy: many are referring to this month as 'striketober' due to the massive wave of work stoppages that are expected or already under way. meanwhile, workers at a dollar store in connecticut and multiple starbucks locations in buffalo, new york are organizing to form the first unions at their respective workplaces. starbucks announced they are closing two of the stores being unionized. the company called the move a coincidence. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. i am joined by nermeen shaikh.
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nermeen: welcome to our listeners and viewers around the world. amy: we begin today's show looking at the growing economic and political crisis in lebanon. earlier today, at least five people died and over a dozen were wounded in beirut after snipers attacked a protest where demonstrators were calling for the removal of the judge investigating last year's deadly port explosion. today's protest was in part organized by hezbollah. clashes continued in the streets of beirut for hours after the snipers first opened fire. the deadly attack comes just days after lebanon's state-run electrical grid collapsed resulting in a 24 hour nationwide blackout. while electricity has been partially restored, much of the country still faces long stretches without power. according to the world bank, lebanon is confronting one of the worst economic depressions in modern story. its currency has collapsed. there are massive food and fuel shortages.
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almosthree quarts of the population live in poverty and lebanois facina political crisis as investigations continue into last year's port explosion which killed at least 215 people and destroyed entire neighborhoods of beirut. we go now to beirut where we are joined by lara bitar. she is editor in chief of the public source, a beirut-based independent media organization. welcome to democracy now! explain what is happening to lebanon. lara: residents are being evacuated from their homes. children from their schools. as you correctly stated, unidentified snipers fired in a demonstration that was organized by hezbollah and their allies.
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these political parties have been trying to unseat the lead investigative judge from the investigation into the port explosion. nermeen: could you explain who the judge is and why there is such opposition to him carrying out this investigation? lara: far beyond the intricacies and details of this investigation, lebanon has a very long history, since the civil war, of unresolved political assassinations, bombings, and different types of violence carried out in wild sporadic fashion and often times we are unable to identify the culprits and we are unable to receive any justice. these continue with
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impunity. there is never any accountability and this was in the aftermath of the civil war, when warlords, now politicians continue under the same mechanisms and the same power struggles. whenever we have these outbursts or flashes, bits of violence in the city and outside, it is just a continuation of these decades long power struges between very polical forces, for the most part right-wing forces struggling for power amongst each other. moments of calm, when we have these national unity government's, most characterid by the political parties that gang up on the population, to decide -- divide the spoils amongst each other. as far as this judge is concerned, he is the second judge to be assigned to
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carry out this investigation. the judge that preceded him was forced to resign. it was found out he received a lot of death threats and was unable to carry out the duty he was tasked with. the allegation or the claim of hezbollah and their allies is that this investigation is being politicized, that the united states and their partners in lebanon are trying to exploit the investigation. a couple days ago, they inferred that this judge was leaning towards incriminating hezbollah. this is part of the reason why there is this attack on the investigation but it is important to note that right now, it is hezbollah, that is trying to impede investigations.
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all of the political parties that have ruled over ts country the past few decades are just as guilty. nermeen: could you explain the broader context both economic and humanitarian, in which this is occurring, the investigation as well as thisniper atck today? we gave some of the figures in our introduction, and now the world food program is saying that food prices have gone up by 628% in the last two years, the lebanese pound having lost 90% of its value, three quarters of the population living in poverty. you've said that the lebanon economy is based on debt. could you explain how this situation came about, and how successive lebanese governments are largely responsible? lara: i would just like to
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correct the record of one thing, because we have the public sports -- public source. we combed through unofficial lists and media reports a talked to families of the victims of the blast and what we found out is that 262 were killed in this blast,nd just to kind of rtray the lebanese state failures on one hand and complete disregard for human life and the explosion in the fires that have taken place. the how the administration stopd updating the list of casualties shortly after the blast took place and only accounts for 191 victims whereas pele are still dying from the blast. one pharmacist died exactly
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one year after the blast, on august 4, 2021. to get back to your question, lebanon right now is experiencing one of the most devastating economic crises, not only that the region has seen but the world. 79% of the population is living underneath the poverty line. this is up from close to 25% just three years ago. the situation for refugees who live in lebanon and have been for quite a while is even more disastrous, with figures reaching up to 90%. over the past two years, we finish three and sing severe power outages -- we'veeen experiencing severe power outages. as a matter of fact, it was
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surprising to most of us to find out that there was a power outage. this is how bad the situation is in lebanon right now. the nationwide power outage, most people were only giving -- getting an hour of electricity a day at most. this is impacting our access to water. our access to water, drinking water as well, and due to the shortages in fuel, diesel and so on, there has been major obstruction to all comedic a services and we have been faced with recurring shortages in petrol.
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the situation across the board is disastrous. public-sector employee wages have been inflated. education provided by public schools is at risk. it is not clear yet if there was going to be another school year. pretty much access to any basic services, commodities, a sick goods -- basic goods, it is hard for a majority of the possible -- of the population. amy: can you respond to the statement that lebanon is in one of the most -- one of the worst economic collapses in 150 years? lara: let me answer that question by talking about the formation of the most recent government, spearheaded by the
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billionaire prime minister. he is basically tasked with doing one thing in my opinion, which is to resume negotiations with the imf. to go back to the economy of banon beinbased on debt, this economy is nonproductive in any shape or form, alliant almost exclusively on a broad -- on abroad. over the past 30 years, it has been dependent almost exclusively on these loans from the imf, from the world bank, from the international community as well. this is what has gotten us into this disastrous situation to begin with.
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going back to the prime minister. he started resuming these negotiations with the imf, and the world bank and the imf and the international community at large have a lot of responsibility in what is happening with lebanon. in my opinion, the eventual bailout that will happen, which is just a bailout of the banks, similar to what happened in the united states in 2008 after the cup -- after the financial crisis there, we are hearing a lot of talk about sending off what remains of the state assets, further devastating the public-sector and limiting any possibility for a social or economic change. i am offended by the international community,@@
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which holds a huge responsibility in constantly allowing the politico -- the politics of the past to repeat themselves and preventing the will of the people to be assumed. amy: can you talk about the role right now of covid and how it is affecting the population, and also the victims of the beirut port blast holding a sit in at the palace of justice? lara: the families of the victims and people who were injured, almost 10,000 people were injured, over 1000 permanently disabled or maimed. they have not recved any kind of help from the ministry of health or anybody else. they've been left to fend on their own, because of the depreciation of the lebanese pound. they are unable to pay for
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their surgeries, unable to pay for medication. even the most basic medication is missing with sugar shortages. the crisis has created a two-tiered society. lebanon has always been an unequal society. one of the ways in which they have done that is through the subsidies program that has been mismanaged, and abused by certain classes of people. this is of course at the expense of the majority of the population that continues to be sinking deeper into poverty. the minimum wage is less than $40 per month and to talk about covid, the mismanagement of the vaccination program was
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really what was expected. the lebanese ministry of health decided to buy some of the most expensive vaccines, by using some of the world bank loans that they had received, about $40 million. less than 19% of the population is full vaccinated and the program in general was in complete disarray, mismanaged. some people were allowed to cut the line ahead of others. some of the most vulnerable of the population were placed at the end of the line, then we saw government officials at the very front. i assume that one of the
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reasons that lebanon hasn't been hit by the delta variant as hard as other countries is because some any people have already been infected. the number is around 700,000 people infected, but it is safe to assume that number is significantly higher since reporting has drastically reduced over the past few months and the covid-19 pandemic is not so much on the agenda anymore. nermeen: lara, could you talk about the broader health context in which this covid pandemic is playing out in lebanon? apart from the absence or mismanagement of vaccination, also the most basic medicine is not available and hospitals and clinics are on the verge of collapse. if you could respond and explain what is happening
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and elaborate on your earlier point about the international community's complicity in the present situation? if you could explain what you mean by that and what you think needs to happen? lara: sure. i think the health crisis in lebanon -- as you stated, even the most basic medications are no available in pharmacies anymore. people who have access could potentially buy some of this medication off the black market act exorbitant prices. for the majority, it is difficult to access life-saving medication. a fuchs -- a few weeks ago, cancer patients held a sit in because they have been prevented from continuing their treatments for quite a while.
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they haven't been able to access the medication they need. right now, honestly it is a gamble because you don't know if you get into a car accident if you will be transported to the hospital, whether they will have the basic tools and basic medication you might need and at the same time there is also an exodus of medical workers. doctors an nurses just like everybody else who has the ability to do so is fleeing the country in droves, so this is putting another burden on this sector. finally on that point, the social security system in lebanon is near bankrupt. almost one million people rely on the service to have a new procedures -- to have any procedures.
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as for my point on the international community. what i meant by that is in 2019, there were mass demonstrations. the demands were pretty simple. it was a complete rejection of what the political class has been doing in this country for decades, w they've been ruling and exploiting every industry, every sector. this is not to say that -- saw a very clear pathway and that they were going to topple this political and economic system but for a period of time, people
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thought that change might be possible, maybe not in the near future but a certain point. the french in particular, led by the french president, who had this initiative was playing hero and in the aftermath of the explosion and coming to beirut and making statements, no aid was given to the lebanese government without reform. we all know what reform means. it means further privatization, harsher austerity measures and a response that is in the benefit of the banking sector of lebanon, that is very powerful. that has a lot of sway in
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most if not all political decisions made by the establishment. the political class in lebanon would not be able to sustain itlf without financial assistance from countries like france and others. this political class is now preparing itself for elections next year. th would not be le to finance these elections or bribe people with basic goods and services had it not been for the financial assistance of the international community. amy: we want to thank you, lara bitar, editor and chief of the public source, a beirut-based independent media organization. coming up, we will look at how an afghan interpreter who helped rescue joe biden in 2008 has finally escaped with his family from afghanistan. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [music break]
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amy: "dreams of a dying city" by the lebanese musician rabih abou-khalil. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. an afghan interpreter who helped rescue then-senator joe biden when hwas stranded 13 years ago in afghanistan in 2008 made headlines this week when the wall street journal reported he and his family had escaped afghanistan. tens of thousands of people were evacuated by the united states and its allies between the tele-been takeover and the end of official efforts. many were left behind, including those who work in the u.s. government and military. a day after the evacuations ended, aman khalili, who
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worked as an interpreter with the u.s. army, made a public plea to biden in the wall street journal. just before we went to air today khalili described to , democracy now! his journey out of the country. aman: this is aman khalili. i am talking with you from qatar, the start of our travels in afghanistan that took us 144 hours to reach -- there was a guide. he drove me from my house to another safe house. lii was in the safe house for 50 days.
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after that, he called me and said we are going to move you out of afghanistan. we came back. we traveled from -- to the border with pakistan. we had a point of contact there. it was a desert with no bushes, no humans. [indiscernible] amy: that was aman khalili, speaking from qatar where he
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and his family are now, after their long trip out of afghanistan. for more on how it happened and the latest on others trying to escape, we are joined by the wall street journal reporter, dion nissenbaum. he broke the story, "afghan interpreter who helped rescue joe biden in 2008 escapes afghanistan." thank you so much for joining us from brussels. can -- can you start out by laying out the journey and what took place and exactly who he was working for at the time? dion: sure. aman worked for a contractor that provided interpreters to the u.s. military. he joined right after the u.s. toppled the government in 2001, worked for the military in a variety of capacities for many years and in 2008, he was working with the arizona national
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guard unit that was part of the rescue to save joe biden, chuck hagel and john kerry who were on fact-finding mission. he was left behind as you know. there were tens of thousands of people like aman, who were trying to get out. the army national guard unit contacted me in the waning days of the evacuation, that aman was being left behind. he was part of a special mission and he made that emotional appeal to the president, which in fact led to an official in the white house and the white house spokesperson saying we will get you out, we will honor your commitment. but in fact, the u.s. government was fairly limited in its ability to get him out after they withdrew their forces. the effort to get him out fell to this mishmash of private groups that had been
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working in the past few weeks to get people like aman out. everybody from the founder of blackwater, glenn beck, the conservative commentator who was flying christians and other afghan people out, they tried to help. eric planned to carry out a clandestine operation to g him out. glenn beck worked for a couple weeks to get him on a charter. the problem was that the taliban weren't allowing people out that didn't have passports, and most of aman 's family didn't have one. eventually aman and the arizona national guard folks who helping him turned to an afghan american and -- afghan american interpreter who worked in the military who had been getting people out across the border by land through these routes.
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it is a very risky effort. it took many days, weeks for them to work out this effort. what it shows is how difficult it is for the people like aman, who have the white house at their back to get out, but when the tele-been our posing and restrictions. amy: you mentioned blackwater. can you go back to 2008 when then senator joe biden was saved when his helicopter went down in that snowstorm with john kerry, and who it was that was guarding him? the significance of that moment, right after nesser square, the deadly assault by blackwater in iraq, where they opened fire and gunned down so many people, in an intersection in iraq. dion: to me, this is one of the more fascinating
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elements, the could essential end of war stories here. in 2008, blackwater held a stere apart a contract to provide diplomatic security to people like joe biden that were visiting the country. in 2008, blackwater was providing personal protection for these three senators on a fact-finding mission on these helicopters and they were flying back from a base in eastern afghanistan. they hit this snowstorm, white out conditions, they had to land in this valley. the blackwater team providing personal protection for the senators and then they had the army providing protection for the generals with them and the transporting. blackwater was providing security. this was just months after
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blackwater security in baghdad had killed 70 people in the square. i thought it was fascinating. i don't even think the senators at the time knew the blackwater was providing them security, but there they were, boasting about saving joe biden. he popped up again to try and offer to save them again. over the last few weeks of the withdrawal from afghanistan, erik prince was offering charter planes, for upwards of $6,000 or more. he never got many people out. he got maybe one charter out if that. he was one of those people making a lot of offers to help people. nermeen: dion, as you mentioned earlier, aman
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khalili had a rather curious and improbable alliance of groups working to get him out following the wall street journal report. refugee groups and the conservative commentator glenn beck with erik prince of blackwater. could you explain why you think that his case generated such widespread interest, among these groups that wouldn't necessarily be aligned, refugee groups working for him to escape, d the fact that there is such a large number of people, tens of thousands as you document in your own coverage, who are waiting to leave afghanistan and also in great danger and do not have the support of these groups? dion: i think this story
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resonated with me as a journalist and with so many people because the bottom line is this is an afghan interpreter who helped save joe biden in 2008 who was being left behind by president joe biden, and he made a personal plea for help. ethic it was just a personal story about someone that directly help the president who now needed the president help and the fact that it took so many groups trying some in different ways, and with the white house directly trying to help, shows the difficulty that these tens of thousands of other people that are still in hiding and still trying to get out safe. there e still americans trying to get out. there are still family members of u.s. service members trying to get out.
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there are still high-profile judges and lawmakers. i get emails every day from people looking for help, and the ways out are incredibly narrow right now. you need a passport, you need help and you have a whole variety of people that are carrying out quietly heroic operations every day, getting people out through iran, pakistan, trying to organize these charters. there are so many people that need help, like aman. he is representative of a group of people that are still appealing for help from america and anybody else that can help. amy: i was wondering if you could comment on the intersect which recently published a piece titled "the cia's afghan proxies accused of war crimes will get a new start in the u.s."
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they wrote the cia prioritized the evacuation of commandos and relatives, even as thousands of vulnerable former u.s. government official -- government and military employees and u.s. aid workers were left behind. most coverage of the cia efforts has been auditory but the zero units were known for deadly night raids that killed an untold number of civilians across afghanistan. the intercept documented 10 raids conducted by -- conducted in war dog province in -- in which at least 51 civilians, including children were killed, most in close range and execution style assaults. your response? dion: certainly the cia units have been very controversial for a long time. the intelligence agencies were running their own efforts during the last
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weeks. i did not have much visibility on what they were doing. the withdrawal was incredibly chaotic. there is so much criticism of the way the u.s. government handled getting people out, and so many people d been left behind that still deserve getting out of the country. i know that people are counting on the white house commitment to help them, beyond what they are doing right now. the u.s. government is very limited in what it n do. i know there are a lot of people who would like to see them do more for those left behind and continuing to honor the commitment of those that are stuck. nermeen: before we conclude, i would like to ask about what the present political and humanitarian situation in afghanistan is.
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just last week, on friday there was an attack on a shiite mosque in which several people were killed. the islamic state claimed responsible at the and the taliban has blamed the u.s. for the increasing presence of the islamic state in afghanistan. if you could comment on that and also on the humanitarian crisis in the country, the human has estimated a million children are at risk of starvation. dion: it is a difficult situation right now. i think the world is still trying to figure out when and how to interact with the taliban government. the u.n. continues to provide support. there are so many uncertainties right now, people watching the taliban closely or how they are dealing with economic situations, the treatment of women, the treatment of people that worked with the previous government and the
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u.s., these are essentially all unanswered questions. as you all know, the government turned the page quickly to other crises as they pop up. people they are still need help -- peop there still need help. amy: you can rest assure we will not forget. dion nissenbaum is a wall street journal reporter focused on u.s. policy in middle east. his wall street journal investigation is titled "afghan interpreter who helped rescue joe biden in 2008 escapes afghanistan". when we come back, we look at probes in donald trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. ♪ ♪ [music break]
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amy: these are orchestra, afghanistan's first all-female orchestra. this is democracy now! i am amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. the house committee investigating the january 6 insurrection has subpoenaed former justice department official jeffrey clark, whom donald trump considered installing as attorney general in the final weeks of his presidency because he supported subverting the election. this comes as information continues to come to light about trump's extraordinary efforts to stay in the white house after losing to joe biden. the senate judiciary committee recently revealed that trump directly asked the justice department nine times for help to overturn the election.
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the senate report states, "trump's efforts to use doj as a means to overturn the election results was part of his interrelated efforts to retain the presidency by any means necessary." one of trump's lawyers, john eastman, also wrote a two-page memo detailing how trump could essentially stage a coup by getting the electors from seven states thrown out, preventing biden from winning enough electoral votes. on wednesday, former acting attorney general jeffrey rosen testified in private for eight hours with the house committee investigating the january 6th insurrection. the committee is preparing to file criminal charges as soon as today if former trump advisor steve bannon misses a deadline to agree to testify and hand over documents. we are joined now by john -- bannon has been pardoned by donald trump. we are joined now by john nichols. he is a national-affairs correspondent for the nation.
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his latest article is titled "trump's coup attempt is far from finished." explain why people should care rht now, because trump is not president right now. john: he is not buhe certainly tried to remain president and we are getting more and more evidence of that. people should care because there is very little doubt at this point that donald trump is preparing to run for president in 2024. he was in iowa over the weekend, and you couldn't look at that rally, that event with all of the state republican leadership and senior members of the u.s. senate and not know that this was preparation for a presidential run in the first caucus state in the country. that is number one. we know that trump is going to run for president again, or at least we can make that assumption. he has taken full control of the republican party. it is absurd to suggest that donald trump doesn't have top to bottom control of the
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party at the national level and frankly at most of the state levels. he will, if he runs, be the republican nominee for president of the united states in 2024. finally, if he is the nominee, even if he loses, we know from his past behavior that on election night or the next morning, he will declare that he won and the only thing that stood in his way was fraud. because of this increasing control over the republican party, because of this increasing acceptance in the republican at the state level of this glide approach, we are looking at the prospect that trump will seek to implement exactly the strategy that he was trying to implement before january 6, again in 2024. nermeen: john nichols, you have argued that trump was impeached but he should have been convicted.
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if he had been convicted, he would have been prevented from running for another term, but could he have been convicted? john: this is an interesting question because as all of this new information comes out, what we are starting to see is that the house of represtatives and the u.s. senate did not have all of the evidence about donald trump's wrongdoings. what we now know is that he abused his position in ways that are jaw-dropping. the pressure he put on the department of justice, the clear strategy that he had developed to get the department of justice to say it was investigating fraud and then use that statement to get state legislatures under republican control to send alternatives to state electors was clearly part of an overall plan to upend the election result and retain the presidency.
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that might have had an impact on at least some republican senators. it might have led to a conviction. but you didn't get the conviction. what you got was the largest number of senators in history voting to convict a president who had committed high crimes and misdemeanors. now the question is, can we do anything going forward? amy: i want to turn to donald trump speaking on the sullen reports -- solomon reports podcast. >> the insurrection took place on january 3, the real insurrection, the crime of the century. that took place on november 3, not on january 6. amy: the real insurrection was election day. john nichols, the significance of this and the point that the voting rights attorney, marc elias makes, that there are so many voter suppression laws passing
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around the country right now to make it extreme lead difficult for particularly black and latinx populations to vote, that it will make it more possible that there will be charges of fraud and 70 makes a mistake because they are voting in the same way they have for years and suddenly they are wrong. john: there is no question that is exactly what is going on. donald trump is promoting a big lie. there are a lot of folks saying he is the former president, he's been called out as a liar. we know that. but the fact is he is succeeding. in state after state, republican officials, many of whom in the past stood up to him or at least didn't go along with him on everything, are falling in line. they are supporting these bogus audits and as you point out, they are supporting election and voter suppression strategies, that if implemented will make it
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dramatically easier for the republicans to upend election results or impact election results in 2024. this is a big deal, and people have to refocus on the whole of this story, refocus on donald trump's clear sedation, his efforts to overturn election results, and refocus on how to avert the voter suppression strategy. that is something congress can do by endorsing the for the people act and the john lewis voting rights advancement act. but also to hold trump to account. it is absurd to suggest as we learn more and more about donald trump's personal engagement in dramatic abuses of office, that congress does not revisit these issues. frankly the state officials did not revisit these issues as well. amy: just 30 seconds.
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the significance of the john eastman memo? john: it lays out the strategy that was being examined in 20 and it tells us what will be done in 2024 if action is not taken to hold donald trump to account and to avert voter suppression. amy: we want to thank you. there is much more to talk about with you. we will have you back on and we will link to your piece at democracynow.org. we send condolences to our producer, john hamilton on the death of his father, a professor of slavic languages and english tics who spent nearly three decades as assistant dean of the college of wake forest university. also a long time lou grass musician, affectionately known as banjo. that does it for our show. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for 2 positions: a director of finance and administration and a human resources manager. learn more and apply at democracynow.org.
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democracy now! is produced with renee feltz, mike burke, deena guzder, messiah rhodes, nermeen shaikh, maria taracena, tami woronoff, charina nadura, sam alcoff, tey marie astudillo, john hamilton, robby karran, hany massoud and adriano contreras. our general manager is julie crosby. special thanks to becca staley, miriam barnard, paul■oñ
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