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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 15, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/15/21 06/15/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> we are absolutely thrilled reality has been relsed and present and has begun th reentry process. and from this point, we press on in the fight to get her a pardon from the admin. amy: nsa whistleblower reality winner is released from prison into a halfway house after
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serving over four years for leaking documents about russian meddling in the 2016 elections. we will speak to her attorney. then china is warning nato is adopting a "cold war mentality" after the military alliance singled out china and russia for criticism at its summit in brussels. we will speak to historian stephen wertheim. his latest piece "sorry, , liberals. but you really shouldn't love nato." >> psident biden at the nato summit set the united states has de a sacred oblation to defend the 30 members of nato, but does that mea t united stes is going to be defending europe, dominating security fears in that continent forever? and because into puerto rico, which suffered a massive blackout last week just days after the island's electrical system was privatized. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,
8:02 am, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. president joe biden has wrapped up a nato summit in brussels, belgium, ahead of a highly anticipated meeting with russian president vladimir putin in geneva on wednesday. as talks wrapped up, china accused nato of adopting a "cold war mentality" after biden successfully pushed the military alliance to declare china to be a security risk for the first time. nato leaders also criticized russia and called on moscow to withdraw troops from ukraine, georgia, and the republic of moldova. later in the broadcast, we'll speak with historian stephen wertheim. the world health organization warned monday the coronavirus is spreading faster than the global distribution of vaccines. who director-general tedros adhanom gebreyesus was responding to a pledge by leaders of the g7 to donate 1 billion vaccine doses toiddle- and low-income countries.
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that's just 613 million new doses on top of previously-pledged aid. >> this is a big help,ut we need more. and need them faster. more than 10,000 people are dying every day. during this press conference alone, more than 420 people will die. these communities need vaccines and a need them now, not next year. amy: the world health organization says billion doses are needed to fully vaccinate 70% of the world's popution. covid-19 infections are surging in at least 14 african nations, where confirmed cases rose by 26% in the first week of june. just 0.6% of africa's 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated. chile has ordered millions of residents of the capital santiago back into lockdown as intensive care units near capacity.
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that's despite south america's most successful vaccination program which has fully vaccinated nearly 60% of chileans. brazil has opened the copa america soccer tournament despite one of the world's worst covid outbreaks. brazil's health ministry has identified more than 40 covid cases connected with copa america, including 31 players or staffers. as the tournament kicked off in brasilia sunday, indigenous people marched in protest. >> we see the copa america as an effort to the 500,000 deaths due to the fascist government which denied the vaccine to the brazilian ablation, to indigenous peoples. amy: the unid states' death toll from covid-19 has topped 600,000 -- even as the number of daily deaths fell to its lowest level since a pandemic was declared in march of last year. that's the highest official death toll of any country in the
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world, though disease experts at the university of washington estimate the true u.s. death toll at over 924,000. on monday, vice president kamala harris traveled to south carolina to kick off her tour promoting vaccinations in southern states, several of which have vaccination rates under 50%. vice pres. harris: if you are vaccinated, you are protected. if your community is vaccinated, covid rates in your community will go down. amy: cdc data show u.s. coronavirus hotspots are clustered in areas with lower vaccination rates. meanwhile, vermont has become the first state to administer at least one vaccine dose to over 80% of its eligible population. vermont governor phil scott on monday said he was lifting all remaining coronavirus restrictions. >> because it is safe to do so and it is safe because of those who have done their part to keep the virus from spreading and
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stepping up to get vaccinated. in fact, no state in theation is in a better position to d this then we are. amy: former national security agency contractor reality leigh winner was released from prison on monday and will serve the remaining six months of her sentence in a halfway house. winner was arrested in 2017 and sentenced to five years in prison under the espionage act for leaking classified government information about russian interference in the 2016 election. prosecutors say winner received the longest sentence ever given by a federal court for unauthorized disclosure of government information to the press. after headlines, we'll speak with her attorney. on capitol hill, three senate republicans voted with democrats monday to confirm judge ketanji brown jackson to the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit. the court is widely seen as a steppingstone to a nomination to the u.s. supreme court. her confirmation came as senate
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minority leader mitch mcconnell said republicans would refuse to confirm any of president biden's nominees to the supreme court in 2024 should a vacancy open. mcconnell spoke monday with conservative talk radio host hugh hewitt. >> highly unlikely -- in fact, no, i don't think either party -- would confirm a supreme court nominee in the middle of an election. amy: during the same interview, senator mcconnell hinted he would also stonewall a biden supreme court nominee in 2023 said republicans take control of the senate. -- should republicans take control of the senate. a chicago police officer who joined the january 6 riot at the u.s. capitol has been arrested, becoming the 465th person charged in connection with the insurrection. officer karol chezwickore a chicago police department sweatshirt as he texted selfies of himself breaching the offices of senator jeff merkley.
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meanwhile weapons maker boeing , has resumed major campaign contributions to three republican congressmembers who voted to overturn the official certification of 2020's electoral college votes -- congressmember jack bergman, vicky hartzler, and steve scalise. boeing briefly stopped campaign contributions in the wake of the january 6 insurrection. marjorie taylor greene has apologized for appointing mask mandates -- comparing the mask mandates to the holocaust when over six among people work killed by nazi, germany. her comments came after she toured the holocaust museum in washington, d.c., on monday. in west virginia, the poor people's campaign led a "moral march on manchin" in charleston protesting democratic senator joe manchin's opposition to killing the filibuster. they also demand he reverse his opposition to the for the people act -- which would restore and expand the protections of the
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1965 voting rights act, gutted by a supreme court in 2013. this is the reverend william barber, co-chair of the poor people's campaign. >> we ain't in this heat to play. were here to bring street heat and moral heat to the legislative processes, the voices of the people in west virginia will be heard. we are nonviolent, but we ain't playing. we will fight for the soul of this democracy because wages are at stake him infrastructure is at stake, voting rights are at stake and we will fight for this democracy. amy: senators bernie sanders come ed markey, and other progressive lawmakers are rejecting a bipartisan infrastructure bill negotiated by democrats joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. it calls for $580 billion in news spending, which progressive
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congressmembers and climate , can say is needed to avert a climate catastrophe. meanwhile, dozens of youth activists marched across the golden gate bridge and descended to the home of house speaker nancy pelosi. this is 17-year-old ema govea, a member of the sunrise movement and one of the leaders of the march. >> they are not fighting hard enough to keep the climate in this infrastructure bill, to fight for the most well-funded -- possible. we understand the science. we know what is necessary. we are asking for their legislation to be at scale with the climate crisis. frankly, everything there putting forward is to water down and not enough. and because the protest came as california faces an historic
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drought with firefighters preparing for wildfire year. the anticipated could rival lester's record-breaking season. in rockton, illinois, a massive fire at a chemical plant is continuing to burn for a second day amid warnings of an unfolding environmental catastrophe. the chemtool chemical plant northwest of chicago erupted in flames monday morning, billowing thick black smoke, and prompting a mandatory evacuation order for all residents within one mile of the site. people within a three-mile radius have been ordered to wear masks to avoid respiratory irritation. rockton's fire chief said firefighters would allow the blaze to continue to burn for days in order to prevent hazardous runoff into the nearby rock river. in minneapolis, a driver slammed his car into a crowd of peaceful protesters who had gathered sunday at a vigil against police brutality, killing one person and injuring three others. the crash killed 31-year-old deona marie erickson, a mother
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of two small daughters. police arrested the driver, nicholas kraus, on suspicion of vehicular homicide. he's a 35-year-old white man with a history of domestic violence and at least five convictions for driving while intoxicated. protesters had gathered to demand justice for winston smith, a 32-year-old black father of three who was shot dead in minneapolis june 3 by members of a u.s. marshals fugitive task force. minnesota officials said smith fired a gun at officers, who returned fire, striking him multiple times. police say there is no video of smith's killing. a woman who was a passenger in the car disputed the police account, saying through her attorneys that she never saw a gun on smith and never saw one in his vehicle. in burma, the trial against deposed leader aung san suu kyi began monday. she faces a range of charges that the u.n. and others have condemned as politically motivated, including illegally possessing walkie-talkies and violating a state secrets law, totaling up to 15 years in
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prison. suu kyi's been under house arrest since she and other officials were ousted in a february 1 military coup. a local rights group says over 800 people have been killed and 4300 arrested since mass protests erupted in response to the coup. and the international criminal court is seeking authorization from the hague tribunal to open an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed as part of philippines president rodrigo duterte's brutal war on drugs. the crimes include murder, torture, and serious physical and mental harm. since 2016, duterte's war on drugs has claimed thousands of lives, including children. this is normita lopez, the mother of one of the victims. her 23-year-old son was killed in may 2017 for allegedly) resisting arrest during a sting operation. >> when i heard the news about the international criminal court, i was happy. i thought the case would no longer prosper. if we filed a case against
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duterte here, nothing would happen since he is the president and come in if you let everything. he can do anything to avoid getting in prison. when i heard the news about the icc, i became more hopeful. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the former national security agency contractor reality leigh winner was released from prison on monday. she was arrested in 2017 and sentenced to five years in prison under the espionage act for leaking classified government information. she worked at fort gordon in georgia as a contractor with pluribus international when federal law enforcement agents raided her house after determining she had given reporters at the intercept a secret document about russian interference in the 2016 election
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prosecutors told "the new york times" she got the longest sentence ever given by a federal court for unauthorized disclosure of government information to the press. reality winner was released from the federal medical center carswell, a prison in fort worth, texas, and will serve the rest of her sentence over the next six months in halfway house. reality's family and legal team say she should receive a pardon and are calling for her sentence to be commuted. last week, reality winner's mother billie winner-davis addressed biden on the "mehdi hasan show." >> my daughter has a petition for clemency with the united states and all it will take is for his signature to commute her sentence to bring her ho to us. i believe she deserves this. the trump administration persecuted reality so strongly because of the information that she released.
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and the continued silence from this administration is a continued persecution. amy: for more, we go to dallas to speak alison grinter allen, the lawyer handling reality winner's commutation and pardon process. welcome to democracy now! can you talk about reality being released -- except, not freedom, but to a halfway house? was her sentence in any way shortened by the white house, the justice department -- for this was simply her serving out her term as she continues to do in the halfway house? >> thank you for having me. no, this is the normal release process. the last six months of the sentence are usually spent in the reentry process, which includes halfway houses. there is an infrastructure all
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over the country of halfway houses that help people readjust to normal life after incarceration. juan: have you been able to speak to winner after she was released? do you have a since there is still a possibility for a pardon for her? >> i was fortunate to be there when she was released. she is in good health and excellent spirit. the pardon pross continues. the fight goes on regardless of whether she is in prison or not. she is a felon. she will have that on her record for life and a pardon can still do quite a bit to improve her circumstances. but we believe it is more important, probably, for the country. reality released a document that
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gave us information that we needed to know at a time that we absolutely needed to know it. she was in prison not because the information was a danger or put anyone in danger, she was in prison because of the insecurities of one man who was concerned about the validity of his election. as we saw from the last four years, absolutely nothing could put those insecurities at rest. juan: could you talk a little bit about exactly what happened? she was arrested by fbi agent's in her home in custer, georgia, back in june 2017 -- augustine, georgia, back in june 2017 after the intercept published an exposé. >> armed fbi agents came to her house and interrogated her in her own home largely in order to
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avoid the idea it was a custodial interrogation. they did not provide her with her miranda rights or an attorney, and eventually she admitted she was the one who leaked the documents and she never saw the light of day again. she was incarcerated, denied pretrial release, and basically forced into a plea agreement for the longest sentence ever given for a release of classified information. amy: let me ask you about a justice department official who is leaving. this according to ap, the justice department is tightening its rules around obtaining records from members of congress. attorney general merrick garland said amidst revelations the
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department under trump had secretly seized records from democrats and members of the media. garland's statement came as an official said the top national security official think it is john demers, plan to lead by the end of next week. he was sworn in a few exact for the subpoena of the democrats records, one of the few trump appointees who has remained in the biden administration. what is his involvement with reality's case? >> his involvement is pretty crucial, but it is certainly not -- is fairly clear the national security arm of the doj was very willing to be political. national security doj was running her entire prosecution. everything was coming from washington and it was very clear from the beginning that this was
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going to be basically something that can be made an example of, that reality could be made an example of an shown around two ice, any kind of release of confidential information, especially information that embarrassed the president. juan: in terms of the issue of embarrassing the president, wasn't at the intercept article that supposedly really provided -- reality provided documents for, there was an nsa report, 2017 that showed the agency was convinced that the russian general staff made intelligence directorate for the gre was responsible for interfering under the 2016 presidential election? >> exactly. we're not really sure when this
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information became top-secret because substantially, the conclusions of the intelligence had been made public under the obama administration. so it is not even clear when this information was made to be top-secret that reality released. amy: any other information for the biden administration? >> this is a wrong that can be set right. and for the health of the country, ihink it needs to be. we are living in such a divided society and we are not going to be able to start healing until we forgive our truth teller. and a pardon for reality is an excellent first step for the country to start healing. amy: alison grinter allen, thank you so much for being with us,
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attorney for reality winner, who has just been released to a halfway house and will serve out her term until november there unless pardon or sentence commuted. i want to end with the legendary whistleblower daniel ellsberg, the farmer defense analyst who leaked the pentagon papers in 1971, 50 years ago this week. we spent the hour with daniel ellsberg monday on democracy now! and afterwards, continued to speak with him and asked him about the former u.s. intelligence analyst daniel hale, who was unexpectedly arrested and jailed ahead of his sentencing which is scheduled for july 13. in march, he pleaded guilty to one count of violating the world war i-era espionage act for leaking classified documents about the secretive u.s. drone and targeted assassination programs. this is ellsberg speaking about daniel hale. >> i think what he did was very adrable. it was not only simply passing
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on some documents or information, but carrying on as he should the campaign against the murderous aspect of the campaign. admirably a way that very few officials have ever done i showing the moral courage to separate themselves from criminal activies and ongful activities of their own administration and resist them as well as exposing them. i would y he is a particularly admirable person, one who should not be put in prison for this. amy: to see the full hour with dan ellsberg as well as our post-show interview, you can go to next up, we turn to the historian stephen wertheim as the nato summit wraps up them he writes in "the near times call most quote -- rights "sorry, liberals.
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but you really shouldn't love nato." ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. china is warning nato is adopting a "cold war mentality" after the military alliance singled out china and russia for criticism during a nato summit in brussels. president biden successfully pushed nato, the north atlantic treaty organization, to declare china to be a security risk for the first time. in its final communique, nato leaders said -- "china's stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order." nato leaders also criticized russia and called on moscow to withdraw troops from ukraine, georgia, and the republic of moldova. this is president biden speang in brussels on mday. pres. biden: there is a growing recognition over the last couple of years that we have new
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challenges and we have russia that is not acting in a way that is consistent with what we had hoped, as well as china. amy: president biden spoke alongside nato secretary general jens stoltenberg, who also criticized china. >> we are concerned about china's coercive policies which stand in contrast to the values enshrined in the treaty. china has rapidly expanded its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and larger number of sophisticated delivery systems. nato leaders called on china to uphold its national commitments and to act responsibly in the national system, including in space, cyber, and maritime domains in keeping with its role as a major power. amy: the chinese mission to the european union responded to the nato summit by saying --
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"nato is slandering china's peaceful development and misjudging the international situation and its own role." today president biden is meeting with european union leaders before heading to geneva for his summit with russian vladimir does russian president vladimir putin on wednesday. we are joined now by the historian stephen wertheim. he is director of grand strategy at the quincy institute and a visiting faculty fellow at the center for global legal challenges at yale law school. he is author of the book "tomorrow, the world: the birth of u.s. global supremacy." he has a new article in "the new york times headlined" "sorry, -- "the new york times" headlined "sorry, liberals. but you really shouldn't love nato." welcome. why do you talk about the nato summit, this first ever hit on china and the wait was framed in the communiqué, is president
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biden leading to a new cold war, both with china and russia? >> it is nice to be with you. i am concerned the administration may be moving toward a quite hostileosture toward china and russia simultaneously. if it is doing so, it would be merely continuing a trend from the trump administration, i must say. that said, though i think you are right spotlight what was mostemarkable about the outcom of yesterday's nato summit, namely the identificaon of china is posing "systemic challenges" to the so-called rules-based international order. i do think it is quite worrying as far as the european members of nato are concerned.
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europe has for quite some time been reluctant to cast china as a threat for understandable reasons. many europeans, including the leading powers of germany and france, don't want to make a choice economically or otherwise between the united states and china were between the united states and russia. has been the united states that has been most concerned about the threats from both countries. so i think the nato communiqué reflects nato's desire to at least look like the european members are as concerned about china as the united states. but to the extent united states will indeed focus on competition with china under the longer-term, that heralds a turn toward asia and, therefore, away from europe. juan: stephen wertheim, i want
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as you about the systemic challenge -- ask you about the systemic challenge. the last time i looked, the united states had 800 military bases and installations in about 70 countries around the world. apparently, china only has four military bases anywhere in the world. argentina, a small one in djibouti which is part of the international campaign against piracy, one in myanmar, and one in to keuka stand. it doesn't sound like much of a threat to nato or the united states we not even mentioning turkey has expended all kinds of military bases as a member nation onato all around the world in recent years. so why is this obsession with presidents of the u.s., whether it is biden or trump, continuing
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to paint china some kind of a threat, not an economic competitor -- which it is in economic competitor -- but as a threat? >> well, it is worrying for the reason you say. the language of systemic competition and cllge to the rules-based ternational order seems to love all of -- lump all of the issues that china's rise, loves them altogether which seems to require a response in every domain. it china's record militarily is vastly different from that of even the united states over the last few decades, i'm sorry to say. it is not china that has scattered its troops all around the world on bases as you say or pursued missions to overturn regimes.
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china's behavior is very worrying in a lot of respect -- and i do think the united states and europe have a lot to cooperate on in terms of setting standards for technologies, predigital -- for digital, to set rules economically that my constraint chinese action to cooperate on climate change. there are plenty of things for the united states and europe to do together. that is valuable. and that will, to some degree, constraint chinese action and that is a good thing. but nato is a military alliance. we have to remember that. and so for nato to be casting china in this way suggests it does view china as something of a threat, although, the nato communiqué wasareful to use the word "threat" toward russia but to use the lesser -- less
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intense word "challenged was quote when it came to china. juan: i'm wondering if you can commenon the g7, the initiative calling bill back better for the world as a possible alternative to china's developing initiative? i don't think many people in the u.s. appreciate the impact that china's initiative has had in the developing world. and also had a period of the pandemic, its efforts to export vaccines. i think it is now china has already exported 700 million doses to the rest of the world, which is about what the g7 is promising to do in the future. and it -- my understanding it is providing 20 million vaccinations per day to his own people, whereas in thenited
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states -- how does this have an impact on how the rest of the world sees china? >> we saw the g7 on friday act as though it needs to really meet china's activity in both of these domains -- vaccines and development aid. and that could be a good thing if it ends up generating productive forms of competition, if it means the g7 become or generous with their provision vaccine doses, if it means development aid becomes more plentiful -- which it has not been from the west. this build back better for the world thing is mostly a slogan or hashtag.
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it has got an abbreviation, the three b's or whatever it is, before it really has substance. we will have to see what comes of it. the worrying aspect, though, would be that rather than create a kind of race to the top, we have a race to the bottom. and for the developing world, there are decreasing strings attack -- increasing strings attached. we need to only think back to the cold war to think about what may be in-store going forward if indeed this kind of intense security competition, something like a cold war, does set in between the west and china. on the one hand in a cold war, some members of the global south were able to use their leverage, use the interest of both sides to try to play them off
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each other and obtain more benefits. they could be good in certain circumstances, but sometimes they found out the superpowers were not pleased if they would take aid from one side and such aid was cast as a threat to the other side and could lead to even the overthrow of government. so at this early stage, i don't think we know which dynamic will prevail but i have to say the g7 did not come up with a terribly impressive number of vaccines that the members pledged to provide to the international facility that would be disturbing vaccines. it was under a billion doses. many, many more doses are needed, multiples of that number, in order to vaccinate the world. now perhaps this meeting will generate some momentum and further gains going forward, but
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disappointed a lot of people and there was a lot of criticism from the former u.k. leader gordon brown and who officials also amy: in trinidad, the united states pledged something like 500 vaccines to trinidad and tobago, china, 200,000. i want to ask you, in your piece in "the new york times" you write it has started to register in european capitals come along solicitous of american commitment. president macron of france has accused nato of experiencing brain-dead and proposed creating an independent european army -- independent of the united states. can you talk about this? there's a lot of backslapping in "oh, we are back together again" and his allies that trump said he wanted to get rid of, but you also have a lot of tension
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between european leaders and the united states, especially in the push against the pushback against china and russia. >> this is the main story, actually, of the nato summit. the narrative that nato wants to tell is about all of these actions that will be taken against china and russia but very little under the surface was this notion that arica's commitment to nato has come under question. on both sides of the atlantic, there is a reckoning with whether the interest of the united states and the interest of europe and its leading powers really do align so closely as to find them into this military alliance. so president biden wasn't ted on having a clear statement that america is back and he repeated that america is a sacred obligation, sacred commitment --
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his words -- to the collective defense of nato. at this comes after not only you trump presidency, but strings within european capitals to realize as german chancellor angela merkel t it, europe must take its destiny into its own hands and now strategic ptolemy has become the launch word in brussels where the idea is that in some fashion, it would be that eu, independent of the united states, outside of nato, that would become more of a force in security and military affairs. i think that is quite a sensible idea at this point in history. and i think biden understands his words about a sacred commitment matter much less and what america actually does -- not just under his administration, but long after.
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in addition to that, i think we have come to a kd of inflection point in the history of nato after the collapse of the soviet union. it is now very hard to see how nato could possibly expand any further. yesterday, the ukrainian president tried to send out a tweet that he had gotten these assurances that ukraine would indeed become a member of nato -- which it has been on a path, very slow path, since 2008. biden was not very thrilled with that, it seems, from the subsequent press conference in which she said, "well, ukraine has to meet its obligations to become a member. we will see." the jury is not out, essentially. i think we have come to appoint where it is just very plausible that ukraine and georgia would become nato members and really
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pose a risk of direct conflict with russia. so what the biden administration is not done is close the door on further expansion of nato. and that might be, ankly, a valuable step not just for the united states and for the other members of nato, but even for ukraine itself -- which is hoping for membership, but i fear it is led down a false path because the fact is that germany and france oppose ukraine's membership. they oppose it for very good reasons, because it risks conflict and further conflict given there is an ongoing conflict in eastern ukraine. amy: so president -- go ahead. juan: back in october, wrote a piece helen "america has no reason to be so powerful."
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i am wondering given before this huge military footprint of the united states around the world, once you have such a humongous military industrial complex, must always find enemies, doesn't it, to be able to justify his continued existence? and to what degree and the public or even some political leaders break away from the sense that the united states must be the policeman of the world? >> i should concern. i think the fact the united states had built up not just its military-industrial complex domestically but also its relationships and military positions globally, that explains a lot of the kind of inertia that we saw after the collapse of the soviet union when you would think the reason for being of this massive national security state had gone away. that said, i think we are seeing
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stirrings at least of change over the last decade or so. everyone has to understand now that we are no longer living in the unipolar moment of the 1990's when the united states was utterly dominant -- through that decade, it could cut its defense spending as a percentage of gdp only to emerge in a more unrivaled position than ever before by the end of the decade. well, the rest of the world has not exactly caught up, but other countries have asserted themselves and china, most of all, has dramatically risen economically with military growth to match its economic growth. so i think most people in washington, even if they don't agree with some of what i write, understand that real change is necessary and the united states
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cannot possibly continue to be the guarantor about half of the world against the other half of the world where most of humanity are. thus turning that half into explicit or implicit threats. amy: stephen wertheim, i would ask you about what is about to happen on wednesday, the biden- putin summit in geneva. in a new on nbc, putin criticized the u.s. for placing troops near the russia border. >> imagine that we released our troops into direct proximity to your borders. what would be your response? we did not do that. you conducted workings in alaska. god bless you. you crossed an ocean close to our borders and brought thousands of personnel and military equipment and you believe we are acting aggressively and somehow you are not. just look at that. pot calling the kettle black.
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amy: can respond to this and also the back and forth -- president biden calling putin a killer then nbc asked putin about that and he laughed and then when biden was asked about putin laughing, biden laughed? >> well, i do think both leaders are somewhat toning down the rhetorical barrages in advance other summit in that is probably a good thing. do want to give that it to the biden administration and the president in particular for staunchly defending the value of diplomacy and making a point -- the point of diplomacy is to meet with leaders of countries with whom we have issues. otherwise, we can pack itp in terms of our diplomacy. so that is exactly right. and he is trying to tone down i
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would say the overheated rhetoric and personal rhetoric toward vladimir putin. i hope the summit will prove productive beyond symbolism, which is not without value itself. but oader pattern, i think, needs to be considered by the u.s. policy. where indeed, the u.s. has placed troops and made defense commitments that now spend most of europe -- span most of your, going right on to the borders of russia and with ukraine having a potential path toward membership in the u.s.-led nato alliance. it isn't surprising -- indeed, was predicted by many people left and right and center back in the 1990's when nato expansion was first put on the table and first endorsed the senate in 1998 held a vote to
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admit the first three new members of nato. it was predicted at that time, people, my piece in yesterday's "new york times" cites i minnesota senator paul wellstone that the expansion of nato would be seen by russia, could not receive otherwise by russia except as a threat to itself, even as for some period of time it would not have the capacity to respond given its economic prevails in the wake of the collapse of the soviet union. and now that an expansionist been taken, too far. so we have created a kind of self fulfilling prophecy. in this is not to defend many of the actions that russia has taken, including the annexation of crimes in support -- crimea,
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but wise diplomats and political leaders will understand how other countries view their vital interest listen to those countries when they repeatedly make clear what those vital interests are. i fear we have set ourselves on a path of a self fulfilling prophecy in generating conflict. and what i worry about is if the united states in particular does not break this pattern, it sets itself up for the next 2, 3 decades -- my lifetime, my children's lifetime -- to be at best involved in intense standoffs with russia and china and perhaps others around the world. and at worst, it sets us up for great power war, for world war iii. is that really what the american people need for the rest of the 21st century? amy: historian stephen wertheim,
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thank you director of grand for being with us director of grand strategy at the quincy , institute. visiting faculty fellow at the center for global legal challenges at yale law school. we will link to your piece in "the new york times" "sorry, liberals. but you really shouldn't love nato." his book "tomorrow, the world: , the birth of u.s. global supremacy." a massive blackout just after the electrical system was privatized. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we end today's show in puerto rico, where more than 1 million lost power after power is mission privatized. luma energy formally took over management of the island's electric grid from the puerto rico electric power authority, or prepa, which was devastated by hurricane maria. luma said it also faced a cyberattack shortly before a fire. many people are facing ongoing
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blackouts or without power. the union for puerto rico electric our authority, prepa, thought to block the privatization. pushg no sady agen that inudes pvatition of blic assetlike t electril grid. is the fincial corol bod that ipromotinand posing t lumaontrac above the will of the pele, abov e thousas of peoe who righnow do n have pern thr homes. at is e reas we are re toda becse the brdides side theuilding ile it continue torop pensn, cutting the fundingf puerto rico's university, while continues to cut funds for education and health. y: for more, we go to adjuntas, puerto rico, to speak with arturo massol-deyá, who is the executive director of casa pueblo, a community-based natural resources conservation
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and sustainable development group. he is also a faculty member at the university of puerto rico. welcome back to democracy now! last time you are in our studio, now back in puerto rico. talk about the significance of this blackout and the privatization of the power company. >> i have to say the transition from public utility to luma has been happening for a year. right after they took over two weeks ago, puerto rico started confront different problems at different locations in multiple municipalities. it seems like luma has been unable to fulfill the responsibilities. from 2000 lines people these to have, down to 700 because of the austerity measurements. before hurricanearia. d now do to 300 in the prate compy. so iis iossiblto keep the
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system rning whout level of workrce. is credible instd omoving fward, w're going backrds. and peop are gting i hurrane mode- gettingeady, taking measurents for hurrane or earquake just went tough pueo rico. incredib. an: iant to asyou, in015 when this csis -- wh the bt crisis in puto rico finay erect into puic vi, i saidack thein a presention therown jewelf puertoico far as erican pitalismas conceed was epa. athe tim iwas thlargest blicly own utilitynderny rritor uer the.s. flag, and at thereas goingo be a privatizion effo. wonder if y can tal abo
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how ts developed and how now you're in a situation where not only are they trying to privatize -- has successfully begun to privatize the electrical system, but there preventing grassroots movements to develop solar energy? >> this is a classic example of disaster capitalism. all the austerity measurements come this investment on the public utility caused all the problems we confronted after hurricane maria and it was used as an excuse torivatizeyes. whathat saids toerpetrat thmodel of lonialism or ertoico by buildina prateonopolinstead of democratizing energy geration by hing peopnvesting in energy security, people insad of jt being nsumersecom prucers an partipate in
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power geration puerto co th isasical goi the opposi direction. what th're dng is rpetrati the sam ntlizednerggenerati set up basedn foss fuels. it is nogood forhe cmate or econoc activation. it is odor the for creang wlth bad on puert rico's expitation. this is going the wrong way. climate challenge we are facing in this planet. it is not good for self-determination of puerto rico. what we should be doing is building energy independence. energy self-sufficiency. people producing their own energy, participating in the whole power structure and
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putting puerto rico and a better position to make a political decision for our future -- even if we want to become a state, we need energy independence. if we want to become a republic -- independent state, we need energy independence as well. so it is not just a political discussion about self-determination. it is the actions that need -- weeed toak and t u.s. is not doing thei part do investnts for e local well basicallyust moy transfers touerto ri going direly to u.s. companies instead of puerto ricans. juan: i want to ask you, the labor unions in puerto rico planned a general strike and a response to the privatization of the power system. talk about the role of the
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unions, especially since the workers union had long had a history of being one of the most militant units but now most of its members have been laid off. >> yes. well, actually, the labor unions -- i think it was a great asset of the public utility and has been dismantled. so that is the weakest part of the private utility right now, the work or's is not there. preparing to confront the privatization. i think luma is doing the right thing -- i think they're not fulfilling their part and people are getting angry, desperate and need to take action somehow. amy: we want to thank you so much, arturo massol-deyá, speaking to us from puerto rico. we will continue what is following. that does it for our show. tomorrow we will be joined by
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the nation publisher to talk about the bidenputin summit and the new york city mayoral race and right choice voting. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013
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