tv Democracy Now PBS January 7, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
01/07/16 01/07/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> america is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to find climate change. frankly, approving this project would have undercut the global leadership. and that is the biggest risk we face. amy: two months after the obama administration rejected the keystone xl pipeline, transcanada fights back by suing the u.s. government while filing a separate action under nafta, accusing the obama administration of illegally blocking the keystone xl pipeline. should trade guilds trump washington's attempt to combat
climate change? we will speak with lori wallach. then to north korea. >> this act is a profoundly destabilizing for regional security and seriously undermines international nonproliferation efforts. i condemn it unequivocally. amy: the international community condemns north korea for conducting its fourth nuclear test, though the u.s. says north korea failed to conduct a hydrogen bomb test as claimed. we will get the latest and also talk about nuclear politics worldwide. then to the fort dix five. >> it gives us all hope, my family, me, my brothers. i have been taking care of my family since 15, taking care of six nieces and nephews, my mother, my father, my three brothers in prison. it has been hard, but that is not the hard part. the hardest part is having three innocent brothers in prison for
no reason at all. amy: three muslim brothers from new jersey who claim they were entrapped by the fbi made a rare appearance in court wednesday, nearly 10 years ago they were prosecuted i then u.s. attorney chris christie. we will hear why supporters of before dix five are calling for their life sentences to be lifted. all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in guatemala, police have arrested and indicted 18 ex-military leaders on charges of committing crimes against humanity during the decades-long, u.s.-backed dirty war against guatemala's indigenous communities. the ex-military leaders face charges of ordering massacres and forced disappearances during -- which led to more than a quarter-million deaths. many of the arrested former military leaders were backed by the united states, including manuel benedicto lucas garcia, a
former army chief of staff and the brother of ex-president romeo lucas. garcia had worked closely with u.s. military officials to develop a system of warfare in the highlands against guatemala's indigenous mayan communities, which involved decapitating and crucifying people. prosecutors also moved to have the immunity lifted for edgar justino ovalle maldonado, an ex-military leader who is now the right-hand man of incoming president jimmy morales. the arrests come six months after massive popular uprisings against a corruption scandal ousted the now jailed former president otto pérez molina, who was also formerly a u.s.-backed military leader during the country's dirty wars. the arrests come one day after acting president alejandro maldonado made a surprise announcement he was slashing the minimum wage for the manufacturing industry in certain areas.
video of the announcement shows acting president maldonado appearing to break down in the face of opposition, shouting at the protesters calling them leninists and bums. and a plane filled with guatemalans who have been deported from the united states just arrived in guatemala city, as the u.s. government carries out a national campaign of raids targeting families who have fled to the u.s. seeking asylum. one of the deported asylum-seekers, marvin solis, said he felt his rights had been violated. >> like the saying goes, one does harm and another bears the blame. some people truly deserve an opportunity over there and they are carrying out raids and with that, they in a violating people's rights. amy: transcanada corporation has sued the u.s. government over its rejection of the keystone xl pipeline. on wednesday, it filed a lawsuit in u.s. federal court alleging president obama's rejection of the pipeline exceeded his power under the u.s. constitution. transcanada also filed legal
action under the north american free trade agreement, or nafta, claiming the pipeline permit denial was "arbitrary and unjustified." it's seeking $15 billion as part of its nafta claim. president obama rejected the cross-border crude oil pipeline in november after years of review and one of the most vocal grassroots campaigns this country has seen in decades. we'll have more on this story with lori wallach after headlines. meanwhile, in california, governor jerry brown has declared a state of emergency wednesday in a los angeles neighborhood where an uncontrollable methane gas leak has spewed more than 150 million pounds of methane into the atmosphere. the declaration comes ten weeks after the leak was detected. environmental advocates are calling it the worst environmental disaster since the bp oil spill. methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that accelerates global warming. the company responsible, southern california gas company, says it could take three to four months to stop the breach. to hear more about the story, go
to democracynow.org to see our interview with erin brockovich. in texas, state trooper brian encinia has been indicted on perjury charges for lying about the traffic stop of sandra bland, the african-american woman who was found hanged in her jail cell three days after encinia arrested in july for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. authorities say she committed suicide, a claim her family rejects. on wednesday, a grand jury indicted encinia, saying they didn't believe his written statement that he had removed bland from the vehicle in order to conduct a safer traffic investigation. dashcam footage of the arrest shows encinia dragging sandra bland out of her car and threatening to "light her up." sandra bland can later be heard on video accusing the police officer of slamming her head into the ground. she said she had epilepsy, to which trooper encinia replies, "good."
the perjury charge against the thater is a misdemeanor carries up to $4000 fine and jail time. following the grand jury announcement, protesters condemned the grand jury for indicting encinia for perjury, and not the more serious charges of assault. >> to give them a slap on the list and give him a perjury is not a surprise to us, but it is also a hurt in a slap in the face of sandra bland's family. amy: last month, a grand jury declined to indict jailhouse officers in bland's death. her family has filed a wrongful death suit. to see our interview with them, go to democracynow.org. in china, trading was halted for the day for the second time this week after stocks plunged 7% in less than a half an hour. it was china's shortest trading day in 25 years. this comes as oil prices plunged to the lowest levels in more than a decade. a new report by the world bank
warns that the global economy risks facing a "perfect storm" in 2016, renewing fears about a new global financial crisis. in libya, at least 50 people have died after a truck bomb exploded outside a police training center in the western city of zliten. at least 100 more people were wounded in the blast at the al-jahfal training camp, which had served as a military base during the rule of ousted libyan leader muammar gaddafi. afghan officials say a u.s. drone strike killed at least five people on saturday in the eastern province of kunar. this comes as the u.s. military has disclosed the name of the army special forces soldier who was killed in helmand province earlier this week. 30-year-old matthew mcclintock of albuquerque, new mexico was , killed tuesday during a u.s.-afghan operation in the city of marja. he is the first u.s. soldier to die in afghanistan in 2016. he leaves behind a wife and infant son. in yemen, human rights watch is
accusing the u.s. backed saudi-led coalition forces of committing war crimes after the forces dropped cluster bombs on residential neighborhoods of the capital sanaa wednesday. the united states has reportedly sold internationally banned cluster bombs to saudi arabia, which are now being used in yemen, as part of the series of billion-dollar arms deals between the u.s. and the saudis in 2015. meanwhile, iran is accusing saudi arabia of attacking the iranian embassy in yemen amid escalating tensions between the two countries following saudi arabia's execution of shiite cleric sheikh nimr al-nimr. the cleric was executed saturday along with 46 others in saudi arabia's largest mass execution in decades. many of those killed were beheaded. back in the united states, alabama's chief justice has drawn criticism after insisting that state probate judges must refuse to order same-sex marriage licenses, despite the u.s. supreme court decision
legalizing marriage equality more than six months ago. untilnesday, moore said it is rolled, the state budget is -- judges are bound by an earlier alabama court order prohibited same sex marriage. but if the state judges follow that directive, rather than the supreme court decision, they could be held in contempt of court. currently, the majority of alabama's judges are issuing marriage licenses to all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, although judges in at least nine counties have shut down marriage license operations entirely in order to avoid the supreme court's ruling. in new york, eight medical marijuana dispensaries are opening across the state today. this comes after new york governor andrew cuomo signed legislation in 2014 legalizing medical marijuana. nearly half of all u.s. states now allow patients to use marijuana for medical purposes. -- medicinal purposes.
in michigan, protesters are increasing demands for governor rick snyder's arrest, following the announcement federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into lead contamination in the drinking water of flint, which causes permanent health impacts including memory loss and developmental impairment. the contamination began after an unelected emergency manager appointed by governor snyder switched the city's water source to the long-polluted flint river in a bid to save money. researchers at virginia tech who have been testing flint water say the city could have corrected the problem by better treating the water at a cost of as little as $100 a day. michigan governor rick snyder declared a state of emergency for flint wednesday, after learning of the federal probe. many are calling for criminal action against snyder himself, accusing him of knowing about problem far earlier and refusing to take action. newly released emails show
snyder's chief of staff dennis muchmore alerted the governor of the contamination problem more than six months ago, saying flint residents are "concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving. these folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us." on wednesday, celebrity singer cher joined the chorus of people calling for snyder's arrest to her more than 3 million followers, tweeting -- "gov. of michigan is a murderer. #jailforrick." in vermont, preparing for a rally for trump after he gave away more than 20,000 free tickets for a venue that holds only 1400 people. "ifington police chief said fish was holding a free convert and get away 20,000 tickets, we
would cancel the event at a public safety concerns. we're committed to accommodating the campaign because political speeches of the very essence of the first amendment." and in oregon, the northern paiute tribe has condemned the ongoing occupation of the malheur national wildlife refuge by white right-wing militia members. on saturday, self-styled right-wing antigovernment militia calling itself the citizens for constitutional freedom took over the wildlife refuge in support of two ranchers sentenced to prison for setting fires that burned federal land. leaders of the occupation include ammon and ryan bundy, the sons of nevada rancher cliven bundy, who refused to pay decades' worth of cattle grazing fees, prompting a standoff with federal rangers in 2014 in nevada. the militia has called for the federal land in oregon to be "returned to them." but leaders of the northern paiute tribe said that if the land should be returned to
anyone, it should be returned to the tribe. the tribe has rights to the land under a treaty signed by the us government more than a century ago. on wednesday, tribal council member jarvis kennedy contrasted the federal government's treatment of the armed militia members with the violent, forced removal of the northern paiute more than a century earlier. >> my name is jarvis kennedy. i've got a question for the world out there. eyes are onof the this little tribe. what if it was a bunch of natives that went out there and overtook any federal land? we were not removed, we were killed and ran off our land. marched in snow out there. hundreds of miles. when they finally let us go, we didn't have no place to go. our land was already taken. they gave us 10 acres at the city don't -- dump.
think about that. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. transcanada corporation has sued the u.s. government over its rejection of the keystone xl pipeline. on wednesday, it filed a lawsuit in u.s. federal court alleging president obama's rejection of the pipeline exceeded his power under the u.s. constitution. transcanada also filed legal action under the north american free trade agreement, or nafta, claiming the pipeline permit denial was "arbitrary and unjustified." it's seeking $15 billion as part of its nafta claim. president obama rejected the cross-border crude oil pipeline in november after years of review and one of the most vocal grassroots campaigns this country has seen in decades. at the time he said that , approving keystone would undermine global effort to stop climate change. >> america's dog global leader when it comes to taking serious
action to fight climate change. friendly, proving this project would have undercut that global leadership. that is the biggest risk we face. not acting. today we are continuing to lead by example. ultimately, if we're going to prevent large parts of this earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable and are lifetimes, we are going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them. and release more dangerous pollution into the sky. amy: the keystone xl pipeline would have sent 830,000 barrels of crude every day from alberta's oil sands to refineries on the u.s. gulf coast. transcanada's lawsuit comes just days before president obama's final state of the union address where he's anticipated to tout his controversial trans pacific partnership, or tpp, deal. the secretive trade pact between the united states and 11 pacific rim nations could govern up to 40% of the world's economy. after transcanada announced its lawsuit wednesday, the group
friends of the earth released a statement saying -- "this is why friends of the earth opposes the transpacific partnership and other trade agreements, which allow companies and investors to challenge sovereign government decisions to protect public health and the environment." democracy now! invited transcanada to join us on the show today, but the company declined citing pending litigation. in a statement, it said -- "transcanada has undertaken a careful evaluation of the administration's action and believe there has been a clear violation of nafta and the u.s. constitution in these circumstances." well, for more, we go now to washington, d.c., where we're joined by lori wallach, director of public citizen's global trade watch and author of, "the rise and fall of fast track trade authority." lori wallach, welcome to democracy now! talk about your reaction to the transcanada suit. >> well, what it boils down to is a foreign corporation deciding the u.s. taxpayers ought to give them $15 billion
because they don't like the outcome of our government decision that this pipeline was bad for our country and bad for the environment. and where they're going to get this money extracted from us is an extrajudicial, not u.s. court, not u.s. law, forum, the investor state tribunal allowed under nafta. and the u.s. has faced about a dozen of these attacks under nafta, all from canada, but we have 50 agreements that have this outrageous system -- hardly any of those countries with those agreements actually have investors here. so up'til now, we haven't lost one of these cases. however, the transpacific partnership overnight is limiting -- if implemented would double our liability. right now, 50 agreements, about 9000 companies, across
registered from one of those countries that we have the to attack our laws and these tribunals. overnight, the tpp would give 9500 more companies big multinationals from japan in banking and manufacturing, mining firms from australia, the right to do this. so this case, hopefully, is like the canary in the coal mine letting us know what we would be getting into. amy: in may, president obamainc. in beaverton, oregon where he defended the pending trans-pacific partnership trade deal. >> critics warn that parts of this deal would undermine american regulation, food safety, worker safety, even financial regulation. this does their making this stuff up. this is just not true. no trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws. amy: president obama also said the tpp improves on nafta. >> when you ask those, what do
you oppose about this trade the? they do say nafta. nafta was passed 20 years ago. that was a different agreement. in impact, this agreement fixes some of what was wrong with nafta by making labor and environmental provisions actually enforceable. i was just getting out of law school when nafta got past. , your responsech to president obama who was speaking at nike headquarters? >> first of all, the making stuff up, it is going to have to get shelved because not only is this attacked by transcanada on our domestic, democratic government decision not to have a pipeline the exact kind of not possiblycould happen -- well, it just did. $15 billion being demanded from a tribunal of three private sector attorneys -- it is investor state system, not judges. -- these are folks who rotate between one day suing the government for corporation
and the next day being the judge. and they all hear cases amongst them selves. they call themselves "the club." there is no outside appeal and no limit to how much money they can order a government to pay. if the government doesn't pay, by the way, the company has the right to seize government assets. tax dollars.r number one, this case is exactly the kind of case president obama said folks were making things up when they were worried about this. well, now, it has happened. but this follows one month after the u.s. congress, because the debbie geo threatened billions in trade sanctions, gutted another consumer law. i hate to tell folks that they did not know this in the grocery store, but as customer the weather country of origin labels we figure out where our me comes from, the wto said we can have those anymore, so congress at the face of the sanctions that, well, better get rid of that law. so two examples alive and real,
compared to what president obama promised. but more broadly, about the tpp, here's the thing folks need to know. the actual language that transcanada is using in this case, because they filed a brief, is the same language that word for word is replicated in tpp. so there are bells and whistles that up and changed between the investor statement which in nafta and tpp -- and many ways, tpp expands investor state. it allows more kind of challenges. hell, it even allows challenges of government contracts for foreign companies concessions on natural resources in foreign lands. that was not in nafta. however, the actual claims being made by transcanada, that language is word for word in the tpp. and you can see the analysis of that on our website tradewatch.org. you can use our analysis is basically a guided tour. amy: lori, can you explain why they're asking $15 billion?
question a lot of folks ask me. wait a minute, this is posted -- this is a 3 billion-dollar pipeline, how the heck can they be asking for $15 billion from us taxpayers? the answer is, under the outrageous investor state system, not only can a foreign corporation get all the special rights go around our courts, gore around our laws and demand compensation, but they don't just get money from what they have spent on a project, they get to get compensated for expected future profits. yep, they're calculating. the brief goes through this, what they think they would have made in the future for the lifetime of the pipeline had it been allowed, and that is what we taxpayers are supposed to give them because we had a democrat decision of our government that their commercial an international interest. amy: can you talk about how trade rules have affected how
countries can do with dina change? likened, what, 2014, the u.s. launched a wto challenge against india's solar incentives. >> there is been really terrific work done on this by sierra club, in rdc, 350.org -- if you go to their website, sierra club has a terrific report that goes systematically through all of the ways that are trade rules have undermined the efforts both to counter climate chaos, but also some of the adaptations, the efficiencies and energy policy we would like to take on. the overarching some of it is, there are three problems. one problem is, once we have a trade agreement with a country, we are no longer allowed to stop exports, for instance, liquid natural gas. it is deemed mandatory that we continue to send out energy. such of the extent, part of the answer to the climate disaster is we need to keep some carbon-based fuels not been
processed and shipped around, we lose the right as a policy to do that. zero quota. we're not allowed to limit trade. number two, the nontrade, the regulatory limits in all these trade agreements -- the rule is, every country has to change its domestic laws to meet all these nontrade rules. tpp has 30 chapters. only six have to do it for a. there's a whole chapter on services and it covers energy services. for instance, does not allow you in your policies to discriminate between how you regulate, say, fossil fuels versus wind or solar. if it is fuel, it is fuel. specific constraints around those kinds of energy and conservation policies, and then the third thing it does is it limits procurement policies you can have. typically, the government is the cutting edge and using our tax dollars when they're buying things for government to set up a market. car efficiency standards, fuel efficiency standards.
we all know the standards in our cars only by them. companies had a market to try to make efficient cars. so right now, for instance, we something called renewable portfolio standards or the government buys energy of us are percentage, it has to be from renewable sources. those kind of conditionality's are limited in the procurement chapter of an agreement like the tpp. basically, it hits the fuel industry, that's why they love it, on all grounds and handcuffing governments with her policy options. amy: since we have last talked, the wto issued a major decision around meat. can you explain it significance and how it fits into the story? >> that is what it was mentioning before. everyone, you go to the grocery store if you are a meat eater and you pick up the package and is has where the meat was born, raised, and processed. and that is a huge fight. it took 50 years for us consumer groups to action to get
mandatory country of origin labeling for meat. the farmwas enacted in bill in 2008. we have all been using that. it is very helpful because you know if there's been a few safety outbreaks summer, you know not to buy from there and helps with tracing because if, for instance, ambergris mixed from 50 different countries, you have to list all the country so it creates incentives to know where the need comes from as well as gives us consumers the information to make informed choices. the world trade organization recently issued a final ruling that law,s we cut out we're going to face billions in trade sanctions. the history of this is, the u.s. meatpacking industry plus the canadian and mexican counterparts did not want this law, and they tried it in federal court, try to fight is in congress, and it only took 50 years and we finally won. the law becomes a law for lan and the polling shows 90% of americans love that law. when they could not win in the democratic process of our courts, congress, these
interests went to a trade tribunal. mexico and canada challenged the law saying this violates the u.s. obligations of the wto. the tribunal, one tribunal after .nother, said, yes the u.s. government even change the law to address the technical tribunal pointed out and again, we lost the appeal. basically, canada and mexico at the end were in a position because this is how it works, to say the u.s. either kill the law were the $2 billion in trade sanctions every year. every year. for the right of knowing where our meat comes from. come percent, oh, my god, trade work, let's avoid sanctions and got the law. it is gone now. a live example of our day-to-day food, environment, being undermined by these agreements. if tpp is allowed to go through, imagine that on steroids.
we have the ability to stop teepee by getting our representatives now in his election coming up with there , butsensitive to voting no it is on us. in our country is where it can be stopped. we can do this. there are a lot of members of congress who don't like the agreement, but using this transcanada case, using the meat example, this is a real way we can help educate our neighbors, friends, but what the risk is. everyone knows tpp means more job off shoring and lower wages, but it is more than that. that is terrible, and it is all these other things too. if we educate people and name our housee members of of representatives to get commitments to vote no, we can avoid doubling down on this disaster. amy: lori wallach director of , thank you for being with us director of public citizen's , global trade watch. when we come back, the north korean bomb test. what does it mean? and what does it mean for nuclear politics worldwide? stay
amy: "burning down the house," talking heads. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. north korea is facing international condemnation after conducting a nuclear test on wednesday. north korea claims it successfully tested a hydrogen nuclear device for the first time but u.s. and international , experts have voiced doubts over the claim. seismic data shows wednesday's test was likely smaller than north korea's last nuclear test in 2013. north korean state media described the action as an act of self defense against aggressors. but the international community has widely condemned north korea. the un security council held an emergency two hour-meeting wednesday. secretary-general ban ki-moon described north korea's action as profoundly destabilizing. >> this act is profamily destabilizing for regional security and seriously undermines international
nonproliferation efforts. i condemn it unequivocally. dust sees -- sees nuclear. amy: china condemned north korea's nuclear test and called for a resumption of the six party disarmament talks which broke down in 2009. >> china's been making efforts testalize the do nuclear policies or actions maintaining the keys and stability on the korean peninsula and in northeast asia with a common interest of all parties concerned and also requires joint efforts by all parties list of the current situation shows the six party talks should be relaunched as soon as possible. it is of great importance, urgency and necessity to settle the nuclear issue to the six party talks framework.
amy: for the past seven years, president obama has practiced a policy known as strategic policy with north korea, but its effectiveness has come into question. three of north korea's four nuclear tests have come during his presidency. to talk more about north korea, we're joined by christine ahn, the founder and executive director of women cross dmz, a global movement of women mobilizing to end the korean war. last year she organized a delegation of women peace activists who crossed the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone between north and south korea. in a moment, we will speak to joe cirincione, the president of plowshares fund in washington. we're going first to christine in hawaii. talk about what you think north korea did this week. hi, amy, thanks for having me. we don't know. we will not get independently verified assessments of whether or not north korea did succeed in a hydrogen bomb will stop as you noted, there are lots of skepticism about whether they did in fact achieve in building
and testing hydrogen bomb. what i think this signals more than anything, we do know for certain that this is a complete failure of the obama administration's strategic patience, which is really just about waiting and seeing and waiting for the north korean regime to collapse. and what is really important for our listeners and u.s. audience to understand is that north korea did this test as a direct message to the united states, that they want -- i mean, it is a really bizarre way to extend a message, but they are unable to get the u.s. attention any other way. and they want to sit down and have talks. and what is important to understand is that this is in the context of an amended state of war. 1953 korean war never ended. it ended with a cease-fire and the signatories to that armistice agreement by which includes the united states on behalf of the united nations
command that included south korea, china, north korea. and they promised within 90 days to return to sign a peace deal. and 63 years later, that has never happened. i think that that is at the root cause of why there is this nuclear crisis, why there is militarization on the korean peninsula, why there is oppression on both sides of the dmz. we have to see through the framework of an amended korean war. amy: what would a peace treaty look like? >> i think it would look like what the terms of the armistice agreement outline, which is, one, no new weapons on the korean peninsula, that there is a peace deal that ensures the sovereignty that guarantees nonaggression pact. in the case between tprk and the race relations, the u.s. lift economic sanctions against country, that there are normalized relations, that, you know, they discuss the withdrawal of u.s. troops from
the korean peninsula -- which they are currently 28,000 troops still on the korean peninsula and south korea. that there are no more new military games that are conducted regularly between the u.s. and south korea. and i think that, you know, to really see a nuclear free korean peninsula, we have to have a korean peninsula that is free of war. i think it is really important to note the history of the introduction of nuclear weapons onto the korean peninsula. for 1, 53 years ago, i'm sorry, 63 years ago on january 7, the u.s. announced they had succeeded in producing a hydrogen bomb. i think that tells us a few things. one, it was conducted and tested during the korean war. we know that truman had considered dropping atomic bombs on the korean peninsula during the korean war. and we know that the korean war was a brutal, brutal war. but the point is, it was the u.s. in 1958 that first
introduced nuclear weapons onto the korean peninsula. they had it in south korea until 1991, until the disintegration of the soviet union. and north korea is the one that had appealed to the united states and the international community, which fell upon deaf ears, that the korean peninsula should be free of nuclear weapons. and so they did not really begin to pursue nuclear weapons until the soviet umbrella of nuclear -- nuclear imilap was to longer there. then there was the potential preemptive strike in the clinton administration that ultimately, you know, from that crisis led to the agreed framework north korea had agreed to freeze its nuclear program and exchange, the u.s. would provide light wire reactors and fuel and that, you know, there was the prospect -- at the end of the clinton administration, there was the prospect of finally signing a nonaggression pact. unfortunately, that was foiled
with the al gore/george bush debacle. and we know the recent history with the obama administration -- i'm sorry, with the bush and administration in which north korea landed on the list of axis of evil. north korea then watched how the u.s. militarily invaded and occupied iraq, what it did in afghanistan, and what it did to libya. and so i think -- you know, to say that north korea is pursuing a nuclear weapons program for self-defense is in a far cry. there are experts all over washington, d.c. and also of aul, including the ceo group that is the largest media conglomerate in south korea that says, let's d-link regime change with the nuclear talks. and i think we will get a genuine response from north korea if we can do that. amy: i want to bring joe cirincione into this discussion,
had of ploughshares fund, a global security foundation. author of, "nuclear nightmares: securing the world before it is oo late." you have north korea saying they tested a hydrogen bomb, that the significance of that is how much more powerful a hydrogen bomb is than the plutonium uranium bombs. the u.s. says they don't think they tested a successful one, but talk about the significance of this test and if you think there is some kind of peaceful solution here. this morning, we got word from reuters that south korea is in talks with the united states to deploy u.s. strategic weapons on the korean peninsula, according to south korean military official. >> yeah, let me talk about the test first and then the reaction that you are saying to it. from the beginning, it was pretty clear this was not a hydrogen bomb test, despite the
claim of kim jong-un, the leader of north korea. the seismic signature was just too small. and we know this because we have an international organization, an organization that has monitors and sensors that can detect any test anywhere in the world. in its registered at around six kilotons. that is about half the size of the hiroshima bomb. but nothing close to what you would expect from a hydrogen bomb. the reason you are worried about this is hydrogen bomb can be 1000 times more powerful than the hiroshima type devices. so even a handful of hydrogen bombs in north korea and hands would pose a huge threat, especially to south korea and japan and other countries if they developed longer-range delivery systems, which they don't have. so we're pretty confident of where they failed -- if there was even an attempt at a hydrogen bomb test.
but their other significance, they are still trying. this is therefore test. they got the bomb under george w. bush, so the bush policy to stop north korea failed. but they continued to keep the bomb under the obama administration. so the obama administration and to stop north korea from getting the bomb failed. this is a clear violation of international norm that we have had that nobody test nuclear weapons, no one else in the world has tested a bomb 1998. what do we do about this kind of thing? i think the answers you're getting from people like the wall street journal is fear mongering editorial in today's paper. and the washington post, the only answer is regime change. that this shows the only way to deal with this problem is what they proposed with iraq, that you have to go in and physically militarily overthrow the regime. nonsense. there is a way out of this. and although they did not test the hydrogen bomb, the shock
that north korea produced in the international system from their claim may enough to finally told the two powers that can actually do something about this into action. china, which has the most ability to put pressure on north korea, and the united states, which has the set of incentives that north korea actually wants -- it may jolt china and the united states of finally cooperate in a realistic and sincere effort to once again get north korea back to the negotiating table, brought -- drop the preconditions u.s. has set up, get north korea to drop its preconditions, and put together the kind of, nation of pressures and incentives we saw work so well with iran. remember, when we started talking with iran, that was a tight turn. people said it was impossible, we can never get them to stop. iran is dismantling its nuclear program today as we speak. you can do the same with north korea if you have a determined and focused global effort.
it is not just the u.s. that requires a it collaboration. amy: let's talk about the collaboration and the players, the biggest responses of course coming from south korea, japan, and of course there is china. >> yeah, so what you see in some of these countries -- this is a difficult right-wing reaction. the conservative element in south korea and japan use this to scare their populations to do an agenda they already want. so south korean politicians are saying it is time for south korea to get nuclear weapons. you hear similar echoes in japan. and that ripples around the united states and aware as i say, the wall street journal and washington post, are saying it is time to get tough. it shows we have to have more weapons, more military action not less. china is upset about this. china doesn't mind having north korea being a stick in the eye to south korea and japan and the united states, but they don't
want it upsetting its border regions. china has much bigger problems. look what happened to the stock market today. they want in extended period of peace and stability in the region so they can grow economically. they may be willing to clamp down more on north korea to try to rein them in, but they don't want to do that to such an extent that it destabilizes regime. they don't want a nuclear armed north korea, but what they want less is a destabilized or collapsed nuclear armed north korea. so they're trying to thread the needle. i think there's a role for the united states to play here with some of our other close allies, with help create a japan, to get talks going. the resin we have -- the lesson we have learned in the past few years, as you've learned from the clinton years, when you talk to north korea, you can does constrain the program. we stopped the bomb program for eight years with the clinton plan. it is when you don't talk to them that they start building
and testing and start firing missiles. you can't make the mistake that michael douglas made in fatal attraction with glenn close, thinking you can walk away from this problem. like glenn close, north korea will not be ignored. you sharetine ahn, do this assessment? >> i do. you one other thing that i think is important to put into geopolitical context is the u.s. pacific, to asia. although china may consider north korea to be a thorn in his side, they also does there also very concerned about the pivot to asia in which by 2020, which is an four years, the years will have -- the u.s. will have 60% of its air force enable capacity in the asia-pacific. in an effort to contain china. so north korea plays a very convenient bogeyman to justify greater militarization in the
region. you know, the recent bilateral deal that recently took place between south korea and japan, i think is alarming to both north korea and to china that these cold war lines are being drawn again and that, you know, the u.s. needs japan and south korea, you know, the unthinkable ship that they call japan, and the reach had that they call south korea, and its effort to contain a rising china. the timing of north korea's test i'm sure has something to do with that as they see the u.s. galvanizing its allies in its military buildup against its cold war enemies. amy: before i say goodbye to both, i want to ask a different question. christine ahn, it has to do with what happened late last month. japan and south korea reaching a deal at the so-called comfort women forced into sexual slavery by the japanese military during world war ii. the deal includes an apology from japanese prime minister
shinzo abe and a more than $8 million fund for survivors. many survivals say the deal falls far short of their call for japan to admit legal responsibility and pay formal reparations. your response? >> it is a travesty. it is a travesty that, basically, they are seeking to silence the surviving harmonies, the grandmothe that survived the sexual violence at the hands of the japanese military when they were young girls. and to basically silence them and their government from ever speaking up about justice for them. they never got a formal apology from japan. that is what they demanded. they are receiving $187,000 for survivor, and that won't even go directly to them. they are demanding the removal of the girl statue in front of the japanese embassy that the civic groups have put up and installed in which are being installed all around the world, including in san francisco, glendale. it is an abomination.
it is basically throwing these comfort women under the bus for this political expediency. it is amazing to me that this movement of comfort women, we are the ones that have, you know, galvanized the modern movement against sex trafficking, but also influenced really important laws today such as you and secure to counsel 1325 that mandates that women as the direct and greatest effects -- disproportionally impacted by war are mandate to be at the peacemaking table and these women who have galvanized this movement and have the most at stake and who have the most to say or not even informed, so they were not at the peace making table. i think that -- this should be called into question. amy: want to thank you both for being with us, christine ahn with women cross dmz, a global
movement of women mobilizing to end the korean war. and thank you to joe cirincione president of ploughshares fund, , a global security foundation. author of, "nuclear nightmares: securing the world before it is too late," and "bomb scare: the history and future of nuclear weapons." we will link to your piece on cnn.com is, "north korea doesn't have an h-bomb." when we come back, the fort dix five. ♪ [music break]
amy: "lucky devil," by the mekons. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on wednesday, three brothers convicted in the case of the fort dix five appeared in a courthouse in camden, new jersey, for a rare court-ordered hearing to determine whether they received a fair trial and effective representation from their lawyers. in 2008, the brothers -- shain, dritan, and eljvir duka -- were among five men from suburban new jersey who were convicted of conspiring to kill american soldiers at the fort dix army base. republican presidential candidate and new jersey governor chris christie then a , u.s. attorney, was responsible for prosecuting the case, and often cites it as one of his crowning achievements.
this is christie speaking in 2007 from the steps of the federal courthouse in camden new -- camden new jersey. supportshilosophy that and encourages jihad around the world against americans came to live here in new jersey and threatened the lives of our citizens through these defendants. fortunately, law enforcement in new jersey was here to stop them. amy: however, social justice activists and several media outlets have cast doubt on the prosecution. they also question the merits of the case, which involved two government informants who, over 18 months, befriended the dukas and attempted, unsuccessfully, to involve the brothers in a plot to attack the fort dix army base. only by ensnaring another friend of the dukas to agree to participate in an attack was the government able to make a case of conspiracy against the duka brothers, though none of them agreed to participate in or knew anything about the scheme. shain, dritan, and eljvir duka were found guilty of conspiracy to kill members of the military at fort dix and sentenced to life in prison.
in a video on the fort dix five produced by the intercept this past june, one of the government informants, mahmoud omar, said the duka brothers were innocent of any crime. >> i don't know nothing about those guys. and i said that in court, the dukas, they didn't do nothing and i never heard nothing from them. they are good and kind people. amy: that was the informant. now the brothers argue that they did not receive effective counsel, and that their court-appointed attorneys dissuaded them from testifying , which they wanted to do, at their trial. supporters from several social justice organizations held a vigil in support of the three duka brothers before wednesday's hearing. democracy now! was there. >> free the dukas now! fiveam with the fort dix support committee. we are in camden, new jersey. what is happening today, the fort dix 5, 5 muslim men who
were entrapped by the fbi and today, there is going to be a court hearing for three of the men, the brothers, the duka brothers. these three men were convicted of a conspiracy that they did not know about. they were given life sentences. hearing. very unusual the brothers have lost all of their appeals, lost in court, lost all of their appeals, but the judge has allowed -- they made another motion and the judge has allow them to argue on one of the issues of that motion about whether they were allowed to testify at their trial or not. >> i'm the youngest brother of the duka brothers. his hearing came about from the public defenders of my brothers had. they told my brothers not to testify during the trial. in my brothers were trying to testify, they wanted to testify. they did not want to listen to the attorneys. the attorneys kept telling them, don't testify, we're not prepared. this is my whole family hope,
me, my brothers. i've been taking care of my family since 15 years old, taking care of six nieces and nephews, the bills, my mother, my father, i three brothers in prison. it has been hard, but that is not the hard part. you hardest part is having 3% brothers in prison for no reason at all. i from the national coalition -- i would hope this case will shed light, but it is been quite significant prove religious bias in all of these cases. that individuals are essentially being criminalized for being muslim. clocks i for me, this is one of the
most heartbreaking cases, involving five young men who did nothing except, you know, enjoy themselves on a vacation in the poconos and then had their lives turned upside down because of the way that someone misinterpreted a videotape that they had given to a circuit city store to have duplicated. >> i am the mother of the three sons. my sons, you know, they are ,trong but especially dritan for six years he was in solitary. they were far away from you. it was very hard for me. , about two or three years now and solitary. it is like they are making the
mental. it is not of use, but it is abused by the brain. and it is very, very hard for me to listen to my sons suffer like this when they are innocent. we came to this country to support this country. my sons used to work on the roof post . >> in a few minutes, there will be a short statement and we will go in. we can no longer accept that the fbi is allowed to run around the country in a trap and surveillance muslims without any accountability and to continue to destroy muslim lives, their families, and the communities from which they belong. the family is lining up right now to go in the courtroom. >> i am here in solidarity with the fort dix five. i feel there is a great injustice being committed.
this is the context of islamophobia that is rampant in this country. it is early in the morning, cold, but we're here heated up for justice. >> and a member and organizer for justice. we're going in to show support of the fort dix five and the duka family. >> i am so happy when i see all of these people here. father of the duka brothers. we are going to see them and court today -- in court today, and i hope it will be altogether. i don't know mos. we're hoping for justice.
justice will prevail, god willing. amy: we only have 30 seconds, bob boyle, you are shain duka appellate attorney. >> these were young men, young muslim men who were trying to earn a living, who did have certain ideas, vocally critical of u.s. policies in muslim lands, but who did not engage in any illegal activity. it was only because of their religion and their thoughts that the fbi, with no proof of differenty, put two informants, entrapped them into various conversations, but still never were able to prove an agreement to do anything. these are young men are now serving life without parole under her rent is conditions foster amy: the results will be given out in march? >> they should be available in march. amy: we will leave it there, bob boyle, we will continue the conversation at democracynow.org
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