tv Democracy Now LINKTV April 8, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT
homeland security department's inspector general and top aides ordered staff to hide damaging findings in reports of domestic violence and sexual misconduct involving dhs law enforcement officials. one report had found that at least 10,000 employees at customs and border protection, immigration and customs enforcement, the secret service, and the transportation security administration experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct at work. meanwhile, these agencies had a pattern of using cash payments, some up to $255,000,o settle sexual harassment complaints without instigating or disciplining the perpetrators. and president biden has signed a bill to ore up the finances of the united states postal service. the postal service reform ac ensures mail deliveries six days a ek, and eliminates a costly 2006 mandate that quired the usps to fund employee retirement benefits 75 yearin advance. this week, democratic lawmakers joined climate activists oside usps headquarters in a rally rejecting postmaster-general louis dejoy's decision to buy a new generation of gasoline-powered delivery trucks. massachusetts senator ed markey said the postal service should instead commit to purchasing 160,000 union-made electric vehicles. >> the postal service board of governors and the biden administration can't let this bad for business, bad for climate, bad for help, bad for
labor decisions stand. the usps should get rid of louis dejoy. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in an historic vote thursday, the senate confirmed federal appeals judge ketanji brown jackson to the united states supreme court, making her the first black woman and first public defender to serve on the high court in its more than 230 year history. vice president kamala harris, the first black woman to serve as vice president, presided over the vote as president of the senate. her scope on this boat, the yeas are 53, the nays, in this nomination is confirmed. amy: three republican senators supported jackson's nomination -- susan collins, lisa
murkowski, and mitt romney. the only black republican senator, tim scott, cast a "no" vote. the final vote was delayed when republican senator rand paul remained noticeably absent. he eventually voted from the senate's cloak room because he did not meet the senate dress code of wearing a tie. in fact, he was reportedly wearing a windbreaker. three other republican senators also voted no from the cloak room in casual attire -- jim inhofe, jerry moran, and lindsey graham, who was seen wearing a tie earlier in the day at a press conference but had changed into a polo shirt. judge jackson's confirmation followed four days of senate hearings last month when she described how her parents had faced racial segregation and said her path was clearer now because of civil rights laws. republicans used the confirmation hearings to raise issues that are not on the court's docket, like critical race theory.
they also questioned her sentencing record, including what they argued were light sentences she handed down in child pornography cases that democrats noted were in li with other judges. judge jackson currently serves on the d.c. court of appeals and will be seated as the 116th justice on the supreme court this summer after justice stephen breyer retires. yes again, for the first time in the court's 232 year history, whiteman will soon be in the minority on the high court. the court's balance of power will remain the same, with six justices appointed by republicans and three by democrats. for more on judge jackson's historic confirmation to become justice ketanji brown jackson, we are joined by michele goodwin, chancellor's professor at university of california, irvine and founding director of the center for biotechnology and global health policy. she is the host of the ms. magazine podcast "on the issues
with michele goodwin" and author of "policing the womb: invisible women and the criminalization of motherhood." she is joining us from boulder, colorado. welcome to democracy now! professor goodwin. first, your response to herstory being made. >> thank you for having me. it is a pleasure to be with you. this is a monumental moment in united states history. in over 200 years, there is never been a black woman on the court. there is never been any indigenous people or asian people on the court. there have been only five women to serve on the united states supreme court. let's let that sink in. 100 15 justices, she will be the 116th, there've only been five.
this is history making on so many different levels. there's much more that we will unpack in terms of what she experienced during the confirmation hearings, but this is a moment to celebrate but also a moment in our history to think and reflect on senate members of the judiciary committee, republican members of the judiciary committee, concerned about critical race history but made it themselves and their conduct. knowingly -- no one needs to look at books on critical race theory to look at the behavior of the committee and to question based on that kind of behavior whether that kind of history was also being made. amy: i want to go to a "washington post" op-ed thursday .
anita hill wrote about how during the confirmation hearing for clusters -- clarence thomas, "i was subjected to attacks on my intelligence, truthfulness, and even my sanity when i testified about my experience working for the nominee at the education and the equal employment opportunity commission. hill continued, "in some ways, the committee has changed her the better since then. there are no four women on the panel, even so, i was shocked by the interrogation of jackson, nominee with stellar credentials and work additional experience than any of the sitting justices when they were nominated. it was obvious that no matter how composed, respectful, or brilliant her responses, her critics only goal was to discredit her." i need a hill went on to say, "it should not be this way and it does not have to.
adopt and enforce standards as those that exist for taking testimony and federal court proceedings. questions to be relevant and well-founded, witness badgering should not be tolerated." can you respond to this? again, those are the words of anita hill. >> just coming up about 30 years since professor anita hill offered witness testimony in the confirmation hearings of justice clarence thomas, then judge thomas, and was treated to a badgering, treated to what some might call a flogging for coming forward with information about sexual misconduct while a pers was in office. justice thomas now. many people i think could relate to what anita hill experienced because inhe aftermath of that, we saw more women run for congress than ever before. i think there was a kind of
loathing about what she experienced. i think we have seen that even now because the polling has suggested that judge jackson is the most popular person to have been nominated and got through this confirmation process in more than a generation. i think the american people witnessed something they found to be abhorrent. to be clear, i'm not sure there are new rules to be necessary in order for that kind of conduct to have been brought in line through the use of the gavel. it was a process that was supposed to be regressed but not disrespectful -- rigorous but not disrespectful. it demeans the expectations and the professionalism of the senate amy: this is a really
interesting point. people may have been wondering why i was talking about polo shirts and windbreakers. there is a role that men have to wear suits and ties. they -- you had lindsey graham, senator paul as they waited for him, what was it, for almost half an hour, they poke their head in because they can't step out onto the floor, and they do a thumbs down. can you talk about what this means? >> i am glad you asked that question, amy. what we saw was spectacle. we saw spectacle in the confirmation hearings and spectacle in the voting process. and to understand this, it is worth thinking about this in historical context because we have not necessaly seen historical interruption. if you think about it, there's
never been a time that has been truly firmative in the united states history that since that deep apology to black women for the horrific treatment that they experienced during slavery, for that demeaning and awful experience that they had during jim crow. as much would want to read history books, it has been memorialized through video images of jim crow. there never been that moment to stop and say, "my goodness, this was horrific and we owe deep, deep apologies for institutions carrying that segregation, racist behavior, discriminatory behavior, violent behavior." the violence of lynching not only black man, but black women, too, wh people surrounding and having picnics and all that. that is in u.s. history. the spectacle at beating black women as their fighting for
equal wages and two-step patterns of discrimination involving education and so forth. the modern spectacle, we saw even with a woman who graduated with honors from harvard underaduate, harvard law school, who clerked on all levels of the federal judiciary, still the spectacle continues. there's something the american public saw, in the past, the narrative was that black people could never be qualified, black people could not be qualified for citizenship. what we saw was -- that even with the most highly qualified black woman commit merit still goes out the window and conduct continues. to be clear, that should be conduct that no one should be subjected to let by seeing this
happened to judge jackson, i think it really dispels so many have the stereotypes about black people deserving this kind of treatment, being undeserving of being elevated, one just cannot reconcile it given the behavior that we saw and given her great poise and accomplishments. amy: when the vote actually happened in the first african-american vice president presided as president of the senate, vice president harris, the applause was overwhelming. a standing ovation by the democrats and a few republicans like romney at the back. but most of the republicans walked out. >> it, to come is spectacle. is such shameful spectae because history records this -- let's be clear, this is not the republican party that most
people knew, even if people would have disagreed with certain republican policies, let's say a decade or two decades ago. i remind people that roe v. wade was a 7-2 opinion, so not close, but five of those seven justices were republican-appointed. justice blackmun who wrote that opinion was put on the court by richard nixon, by scott bush, the father of george h.w. bush, was the treasurer of planned parenthood. what we see today is not was the republican pary. what we see today is a configuration, a group of people who now are identified as republican but don't even have the values of what republicans had 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20's ago. they don't have a voting record of what republicans have. republicans used to support reauthorization of the voting rights act and there's much more
that wcould get into with regard to that. what we are seeing today is someing that i think republicans 20 years ago would call shameful. amy: went ruth bader ginsburg had her confirmation hearing, she talked extensively about her support for abortion. i think ultimately, she was overwhelmingly voted for i think including hatch. >> one of the things thais so disappointing about the confmation hearings is that when you look at tha record -- i have te transcpts, t videos of justice ruth bader ginsburg at her confirmation hearings -- they were terrific, they were modeled, they were the opportunity for us to learn re about her, to learn about how her experience influenced how she would become a justice for the people that she admired on
the supreme court, what her personal life had been and how that also shad who she was as a judge, she was able to talk about her work at the aclu, for example. she was able to talk about how as a judge she rularly visits the washington, d.c., jails and naturally took her clerks there to explain she never wanted to be far removed from the experices of average americans who ended up in the criminal justice system. she talked about how much she admired justice thurgood marshall and justice brennan. all of that came out beautifully -- it was terrific to observe as americans. we did not get that opportunity with judge jackson at all. it was a shameiven her brilliance, given the fact she will be the first person who had worked as a public defender -- a federal defender come to serve on the united states sueme court. we really did not get t opportunity that would have been a benefit for all americans to hear about, including coming
from the american south d what that must have meant to her family more than being the first african-american woman in this posion but simply what it really means to have grown up in the south for her parents and what that means in thinking about justice in the united states. a mako before we end, i would ask about your specialty. the whole issue of reproductive rights to continue on that point but at the state level because as all of this has been happening, i want to ask you about the near total ban of abortions the lawmakers in oklahoma just voted to approve this week. the bill that would make it a felony for form artion in most cases, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $100,000 that does not contain exceptions for rape or incest. it comes after the near total ban of abortions in texas. oklahoma republican governor kevin stitt expected to send
antiabortion legislation as described himself as the country's most pro-life governor. can you talk about this bill which is expected to be signed into law and the ration of other bills passed and republican-controlled states, not to mention what the supreme court is considering? >> these are horrific times for reproductive liberty, reproductive freedom. they are chilling times in general for the rule of law. what we have seen is that the rule of law has been made scorched earth. we have seen that through the supreme court and how it evaluated and the sb eight law that has the nostalgia of slavery age types of laws with the bounty hunter provision which is plucked right out of antebellum slavery with the slave act which were upheld by
federal court, including the united states suffering court. if you think about it, amy, and hope to come back onur show are we -- on your show where we do a deep dive, some of what is being trained in this new era of legislating against abortion rights are being plucked from jim crow, plucked from the age of slavery. you will see states going -- going after people who help people go to another state. that looks like white slavery laws, helping where they could be safe and have a healthy relationship, marriage, etc.. what these laws seek to do is at the state level, essentially undermine roe v. wade while roe remains the law of the land. roe v. wade has not been overturned by the supreme court. the easy states engage in the
kind of behavior -- but you see states engage in kinds of behavior that is unfathomable. if you think about brown v board of education, 1954, and imagine one year later, two years later, five years later, states like louisiana and oklahoma say, we don't have to abide by brown. that was brown v boa of education topeka kansas, we are oklahoma, missouri, louisiana. we can segregate and those laws do not aly to us. that is the era we are in right now a that is why it is so dangerous. i would say anybody was listening to us today are watching and who is concerned about reproductive health justice, you should also b concerned about voting rights. because the same people seeking to undermine reproductive freedom are also seeking to undermine the freedom to be able to vote. amy: professor michele goodwin,
thank you for being with us, chancellor's professor at university of california, irvine and founding director of the center for biotechnology and global health policy. host of "on the issues with michele goodwin" a podcast at ms. magazine, and author of "policing the womb: invisible women and the criminalization of motherhood." we were speaking to her in boulder where she is attending the congress on world affairs. next up, we look at the growing calls for russian to be tried for war crimes in ukraine as the u.n. innocently suspends russia from the human rights council. we will look at the double standard of international no law as president biden calls putin a work criminal and the question of where he would be tried. will the u.s. and russia had not signed onto the international criminal court with us.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the united nations general assembly voted 93 to 24 to suspend russia from the u.n. human rights council on thursday. 58 nations abstained from the vote. the resolution accused russia of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" in ukraine. the vote came just days after president biden said russian president vladimir putin should be tried for war crimes. pres. biden: he is a war criminal. we have to gather the information. with to continue to provide ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight. we have to gather all the details of this could have a war
crimes trial. this guy is brutal. what is happening in bucha is ouageousnd everyone sees it. a mako -- amy: president biden's call for putin to be tried for war crimes came after the publication of images of dead bodies in the streets of the ukrainian city of bucha, which was occupied by russian forces up until last week. ukraine and its allies have accused russia of carrying out atrocities there. russia has denied this claiming the deaths were staged or carried out by ukrainian forces after russia left the city. earlier this week, u.n. secretary general antonio guterres decried the killing of civilians of bucha and called for an independent investigation. >> i will never forget the horrifying images of civilians killed in bucha and i immediately called for an independent investigation to guaranteed effective accountability. a mako while president biden is calling for putin to face a war crimes trial, the united states has long opposed the international criminal court
which was created by the rome statute. the statue has been ratified by 123 nations but not the united states, russia, or ukraine. in 2020, donald trump went so far as to sanction senior icc figures involved in investigating possible u.s. war crimes in afghanistan. while biden removed these sanctions, he still refuses to submit to the authority of the international criminal court. we are joined now by the prominent german human rights attorney wolfgang kaleck. he is the general secretary of the european center for constitutional and human rights. his books include "double standards: international criminal law and the west." he's currently a scholar-in-residence at sorensen center for international peace and justice at cuny school of law here in new york. welcome to democracy now! if you can start off by talking about the significance of the expulsion of russia from the u.n. human rights council and then talk about where this war
crimes tribunal would take place, in particular, the u.s. and russia not being signatories to the icc. >> good morning, amy. there are several venues for accountability regarding the ukraine war. one is obviously the icc, the international criminal court in the hague. as you were right, neither russia nor the u.s. ratified and are signatories -- signature states, but there are other ways to take cases. one way, what happened here, so state referral. so let the when you was a signature -- the duane yeah was a signature state as well as u.k., referred the case of the ukraine situation to the chief prosecutor of the icc.
the chief prosecutor opened an investigation for this is restricted to war crimes. so the so-called crime of aggression is not covered by the investigation and that is due to the very weak legislation when it comes to war of aggression, crime of aggression because many states don't want to submit themselves under any kind of international jurisdiction. they want to lead the wars. war crimes can also be investigated under the principle of jurisdiction in a number of european and other states and so several prosecutors, including the federal prosecutor in germany, also offered investigations into the ukraine situation. last and not least, what you mention, what the discussion -- special criminal could be established -- tribunal could be established covering war crimes as well as crime of aggression.
that is where we are in the middle of a discussion about double standards. you just read the news and i listened to the new recent crimes in colombia. growing violence against indigenous communities, growing violence against social movements, the chief prosecutor the icc a couple of months ago put a halt to a preliminary inmination into the colombian situation. that is something. there's nothing to say into a series impartial, independent investigation when it comes to the suspicion of war crimes. nothing to say against that, but please, stop this double standard and establish a system with universal standards. a mako i mean, you have both the
icc, the u.s. not being a signatory. you have -- cooperating and sometimes but being deeply concerned about u.s. officials or u.s. soldiers being held to account by the same body and you have when they raised the outrage of landmines being used in ukraine, particularly meant to inflict harm on human beings. not only do you have to step on it, but you could be a ways away and these will blow up. the u.s. is not a signatory to the treaty that princess di once campaign so fiercely for comment the ban on landmines. clubs that is perfectly true. when it comes to the development
of the last 20 years, we have to attest the situation as a kind of erosion of international law and erosion of criminal law. that is not only due to the usual suspects, russia and china and the others, but also due to the attitude of western states and that includes the u.s. -- i'm in, the most important incident was the 2003 war against iraq which caused one million deaths, including the war crimes committed in this war , as well as the u.k. because the u.k. is also responsible for systematic torture in southern iraq. that is something i really cannot understand. you mentioned the human rights
-- regarding the human rights council. we also had the other u.n. resolution condemning the russian war. people are wondering, why did somebody states vote against it? including states that are considered as western allies, for example, india or south africa. there are a number of reasons of geopolitical reasons defendants of russian gas and oil, that is the one thing. but the other thing is, global southern states are not buying anymore, this western attitude of using international law only when it is serving their own interest and objecting it when it is against their interest. so that is the attitude that you roads --errodes, especially
international criminal law. international report will only get off the ground in the near future if western states agree to apply universal standards. and that means if it hits one of their allies, if it hits themselves, they have to buy into this. amy: i want to play for you a comment noam chomsky recently made in an interview with nathan robinson. he said "the world faces two tions in raine. >> one option is a negotiated settlement which will offer putin an esce, an ugly settlement. is it within reach? we don't know. we can only find out by trying. but that ione option. the only option -- the other option is to make explicit and clear to putin the small circl
of men around him that you have no escap you're goingo go to a war crimes trial no matter what you do. boris hnson just reiterated sanctions will go on no matter what you do. wh does that mean? it means go ahea and obliterate ukraine and the one to late the basis for a terminal war most of thosare the tw options. we are pickinghe second. in praising ourselves for our hair was uin doing it fighting russia to the last ukrainian. amy: that is professor noam chomsky speaking for his home in tucson, arizona. your response, wolfgang kaleck? >> i am not particularly agreeing to noam chomsky for one reason. i think international criminal justice is currently overestimated. i mean, on one hand, it is progress that people think of
accountability when there is evidence that war crimes have been committed. that is definitely a progress. as i said, has to become the standard. on the other hand, we are far away that putin and his inner circle are really put on trial. that requires years long investigations. we had the examples of many other cases. if you look at the record of international criminal art, -- courts, we have to say it is poor. it is poor because they did not even reach the highest ranks. that is because international law, especially the international humanitarian law, allows too much. in this case, we have to first of all prove that war crimes have been committed. as i said, there is a lot of
evidence. second, we have to prove that not only the soldiers or the officers on the ground are responsible for that, but we have to go up the chain of command to putin. although there is a lot of evidence that what happens in ukraine now is within a certain pattern of warfare of russia because we saw similar attacks against civilian population in other countries, but still yet to prove it. and that costs a while. we have to build the biden qualification of putin is war criminal is a political statement. t lawfully regard the standards of criminal law. and that requires more than people would think. in general, i would of course agree with chomsky in this
particular moment, the most important thing is to stop the war, and then maybe after a while, justice, international criminal justice might come. amy: wolfgang kaleck, thank you for being with us, general secretary of the european center for constitutional and human rights. he is in new york city. next upcoming update on the iran nuclear talks. is a deal within reach? stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
am this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. this week marks one year since talks resumed with iran over reviving the landmark 2015 nuclear deal which was abandoned by dald trump. inn interview with msnbc, secretary of state tony blinken said he was not certain a deal could be reached. >> overly optimistic at the prospects of getting an agreement to conclusion despite all the efforts we put into it and despite the fact i believe we would be -- our security would be better off, we are not there. >> time running out? >> time is getting extremely
short. amy: earlier this week, iran said the united states is responsible for a delay in talks with world powers aimed at restoring the deal. a foreign ministry spokesperson said monday talks in vienna are deadlocked over a few outstanding issues, including washington's designation of iran's islamic revolutionary guard as a terrorist organization. >> mr. biden and the white house have not made the decision and unfortunately they have held an entire agreement hostage to partisan and international matters. they're taking the same approach that has caused the failure of many international agreements. we are at the point where the united states must decide whether it wants to uphold trump's legacy just as it has done so far or if it wants to act responsible if not fully responsible government and have the agreement happen. amy: president biden is facing pressure from republican lawmakers as well as some democrats who oppose his efforts to restore the deal. 18 house democrats came out against a potential earlier this
week. we are joined now by trita parsi, executive vice president of the quincy institute for responsible statecraft. author of the book "losing an enemy: obama, iran, and the triumph of diplomacy" and "a single roll of the dice: obama's diplomacy with iran." recently wrote an article headlined "without the iran nuclear deal, war is on the horizon." talk about what happened this week and if you do see a deal inside. >> i do see ideal in sight. alst all of the issues have been resolved. the key remaining sticking point is the iranian demand the irgc be taken off one of the united states' terrorist list that it was added on by the trump administration in a deliberate act to make it difficult for a future president to come back into the deal. we have to be frank. district west by the iranians is rather meaningless in the sense
that does not carryuch substance. even if ere taken on that list, they remain on other u.s. terrorist lists, still treated as such by united states as well as by international businesses. for the iranians, they are not gaining much. the thing for the u.s., will be a high political cost, doing so in washington, protests from hawkish lawmakers in congress as well as some centrists. the issue at the end of this, more or less they are done with this one last thing could actually cause the whole thing to collapse. if it does so, i think it speaks to the state of the biden administration to pursue -- mistake of the biden administration to pursue and negotiate which has now taken more than a year rather than just going back into the deal through an executive order in the first week or days of biden taking office back -- amy: why is it so important, this iran deal?
even some israeli officials said they made a mistake. >> this deal back in 2015, sure -- insured not only the iranians had no pathway to a major weapon, but there would not be a military confrontation between the united states and iran. i think right now i believe -- oblique has been created if this deal is not struck, will continue to be in the same situation as we are today. mindful of the fact the deal is not currently fully in place. but that is a fallacy. the current status quo cannot survive a collapse of these negotiations. the only reason why we do not have an escalation right now is precisely because of the fact therere is still some hope the deal can be secured. if it is not, we will see escalation from both sides. though i do not believe either there is nothing to say this
escalation will follow the collapse of the deal will not bring about some form of a military confrontation of the region. amy: how has russia's invasion of ukraine impacted the peace deal negotiations and nuclear deal negotiations? >> first of all, the russians made a request about two or three weeks ago in which they wanted all sanctions -- that russia would be affected by to be lifted. that was a demand that was rejected by the u.s.. the only thing the u.s. and the others agreed to is whatever activities the russians would have as part of the deal would not be sanctioned by the united states and the west. but it had to be part of that -- that delayed at a roughly a week or so and ultimately resolved. right now the biggest problem is i tnk mindful of the war in ukraine and russian aggression there, the political cost yet again has reason for the biden administration. to strike this deal because republicans are making the
accusation that this is a deal that is dependent on putin. it certainly is not. the russians have a role in it but this is ultimately a negotiation between u.s. and iran themselves. amy: what about these fears you have of war on the horizon? why? and also all republicans are opposed to the deal, what about this group of democrats were opposing the deal and how significant is this? also interesting this week went obama for the first time return to the white house, in that case celebrating obama case, but it was this week. >> regarding the democrats have come out in opposition, iis important to keep in mind they are tremendously small numbers. only five people showed up. it shows mindful of the support that does exist in the country amongst the public for a renewal of the jcpoa, five or 15 members
of the democratic party, while not good, still very signifint minority, i think it is been a bit overstated in the media, the headlines give the impression this is a deal that's was the democrats. it certainly does not. in regards to escalatory risk, if there is a deal, the iranians will continue at 60% levels. they may escalate further. they will further expand nuclear program and pressure on the united states will increase to take action and reality is that by and large the u.s. ha run out of sanctions to impose on iran. one of the things the u.s. may do is, start targeting iranian oil tankers on the high seas. the iranians have roughly 25 million barrels of oil sitting on tankers. they cannot really sell them so they are storing them. the u.s. may take those tankers, confiscate them, sell the oil and keep the money. the u.s. has done this twice so far.
if that happens on a larger scale, there's a significant risk iranians will start retaliating militarily. if that happens, the u.s. already made it clear any such attack on u.s. troops will be treated as declaration of war. that is one out of many ways in which the two sides escalating in an effort to put pressure on each other and completely lose control of the situation, find themselves in a military confrontation. amy: do you think biden has the political will to push forward with this? that he has been different than trump on the iran nuclear deal? >> and striking a deal? i think the biden administration once to get a deal. i do believe the political will in the white house has not been anywhere near as strong as it was during obama's term. biden has not treated this as our priority. this is part of the reason why the biden administration did not go back into the deal during his