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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 3, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/03/22 05/03/22 ." [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> they are not going to get away with this. i don't care what i have to do, but they're not going to do this to me or america. there is more of us then there is them, and we are going to fight. amy: the supreme court has voted to overturn roe v. wade. this according to the news outlet politico, which has published an unprecedented
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leaked draft of the court's majority decision. in the document, justice samuel alito writes, "we hold that roe and casey must be overruled." we will speak to attorney kathryn "kitty" kolbert who argued the landmark 1992 planned parenthood v. casey case, as well as to law professor michele goodwin, author of "policing the womb." then as president biden seeks $33 billion more for ukraine, we will look at the dangers of u.s. military escalation with medea benjamin of codepink and george beebe of the quincy institute. he is the former head of russia analysis at the cia and a former advisor to vice president dick cheney. >> we are talking more and more openly about weakening russia's military, marginalizingussia' role, that russia's strategic defeat. th is a shift tt i thinis
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fraughwith danger, the escalation into direct u.s. -russian military conflict. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a majority of supreme court justices are prepared to overturn abortion rights according to a lead to supreme court draft opinion published by politico. the document is an internally circulated majority draft opinion written by justice samuel alito that would strike down roe v. wade entirely. the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. in the draft, alito moves to overturn planned parenthood v. casey, the 1992 decision that upheld roe v. wade. the draft majority opinion reads
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-- "roe was egregiously wrong from the start. we hold that roe and casey must be overruled. it is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives." the leaked opinion suggests five conservative justices would vote to overturn roe, with justices clarence thomas, neil gorsuch, brett kavanaugh, and amy coney barrett joining alito. hundreds of protesters rallied outside the supreme court monday evening after news at that broke. >> this is tearing apart everything we have worked for and all the change we have worked for to happen. it feels like all the work we put into was thrown in the garbage. it is ridiculous to me because of how far we have come for us to be set back in time. it feels like i jumped in a time machine and went back. amy: if roe is overturned, 13 states have so-called trigger laws that would make abortion
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illegal soon as the court rules. we will get the latest after headlines. ukrainian officials are attempting to resume the mass evacuation of civilians from mariupol after the mayor of the besieged city said more than 200 civilians, including about 20 children, remain trapped in a shelter under a massive steel plant. in odesa, a 14-year-old boy was killed after a russian rocket struck a strategically-important bridge in the black sea port city. elsewhere, ukrainian officials said at least nine civilians were killed by russian fire in the donetsk region the u.n.'s human rights office said monday the number of confirmed civilian deaths since the start of russia's invasion has topped 3000, though the real -- the death toll is likely much higher. today president biden is visiting a lockheed martin plant that manufactures into take missiles the u.s. is applying to ukraine. his trip comes after the pentagon said russian president
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vladimir putin could formally declare war on ukraine as soon as may 9. the russian holiday known as victory day, which commemorates the soviet union's defeat of nazi germany in 1945. a declaration of war would further free up putin to mobilize russia's reserve forces and draft more conscripts. so far putin has only referred to the invasion as a special military operation. we will have the latest on russia's invasion of ukraine later in the broadcast. the european union's top energy official has rejected a scheme by foreign companies to convert their payments for russian oil and gas into rubles. e.u. energy commissioner kadri simson said monday the arrangement violates european union sanctions imposed after russia's invasi of ukraine. >> [indiscernible]
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violation of the sanctions and cannot be accepted. amy: in berlin government , two ministers said monday germany was prepared to reverse its opposition to a ban on russian oil and is prepared to suffer the economic shock of an e.u. oil embargo. germany continues to import more -- about a quarter of the oil the concerns and just consumes and more than a third of the natural gas it consumes from russia. covid-19 cases are rising again in south africa in what public health officials worry could be a sign of things to come in other nations, including the united states. south africa's fifth coronavirus wave is being fueled by the ba.4 and ba.5 sub-variants of the omicron variant, which swept the world after it was first detected in southern africa last november. the latest variants have mutations that appear to help it evade people's immune responses to other variants, including earlier forms of omicron. in china, authorities reported
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58 new coronavirus cases in shanghai outside of areas of the city under strict lockdown. it's the latest blow to china's zero-covid strategy and comes after beijing canceled celebrations and public gatherings around the may day holiday in order to press ahead with mass-testing for millions of residents in china's capital city. new york city has raised its covid-19 risk level to medium, as cases continue a steady rise across northeastern states and elsewhere around the u.s. officially, new york is recording about 2500 new cases a day, but those numbers are likely a significant undercount due to the growth of at-home testing. on monday, mayor eric adams, who recently recovered from covid-19, said he isn't prepared to close down the city again, but would consider re-imposing public health measures like mask mandates and requiring proof of vaccination at some indoor venues. human rights groups say there is mounting evidence el salvador's
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authorities have been committing serious violations since a state of emergency was imposed in late march in response to rising homicides attributed to gangs. human rights watch and the salvadoran-based cristosal say at least two people have died in custody, while salvadoran media is reporting the death of at least three others. over 22,000 people have been arrested in just over one month with many relatives saying they aren't informed of their loved ones' whereabouts. there's also evidence of police and soldiers beating people in custody. thousands remain in pretrial detention, including dozens of children. the biden administration said monday it's disturbed by reports that a prominent critic of egypt's government died in the custody of security forces after he was forcibly disappeared in february. ayman hadhoud died a month after his arrest, but his family only learned of his death in mid-april when they were asked to collect his body from a psychiatric hospital in cairo. authorities claimed he died of a
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chronic heart condition, but leaked photos of the body suggest hadhoud had a broken skull and showed signs he was tortured before his death. on monday, state department spokesperson ned price responded to the reports. >> we are deeply disturbed by reports running the debt -- death and allegations of his torture while in detention. circumstances of his detention and treatment, of his death, we think require thorough and transparent, credible investigation without delay. we have made clear, including without egyptian partners, that human rights are our priority. amy: in january, the biden administration said it would cancel $130 million in military aid to egypt over human rights concerns. however, it made the pledge just days after the u.s. approved a far more massive sale to egypt worth $2.5 billion. president biden met monday with
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the parents of austin tice, a freelance journalist and former u.s. marine abducted in syria nearly a decade ago. in a statement, the white house said biden pledged to tice's family he would continue to work through all available avenues to secure austin's release. tice was working as a freelance journalist in 2012 when he was abducted while covering syria's civil war. later that year, a video posted to a pro-government web site showed tice blindfolded, looking distressed, and surrounded by men armed with machine guns. earlier this month, his mother debra tice told houston public media the biggest roadblock to securing her son's release is no longer the syrian government. she said -- "it breaks my heart to tell you, the syrians are not the obstacle now. the obstacle is really in washington d.c." to see our interview with the tice family, go to democracynow.org. the committee to protect journalists is demanding the release of ethiopian journalists
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dessu dulla and bikila amenu. the pair face the death penalty on charges of outrages against the constitution after they documented wars and human rights abuses committed in ethiopia's tigray and oromia regions. the call for their release came ahead of world press freedom day. at the vatican, pope francis paid tribute to journalists during his weekly address on sunday. >> wrote freedom day will be celebrated, i pay homage to journalists who pay in person for this right. last year, 47 journalist were killed and more than 350 were jailed around the world. a special thanks to those with courage keep us informed about humanity's wound's. amy: reporters without borders has ranked the united states 42nd out of 180 nations in its annual press freedom index, warning violations in the u.s. are increasing at a troubling
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rate. it cited -- "the disappearance of local news, the polarization of the media the weakening of journalism and democracy caused by digital platforms and social networks." hong kong's press freedom index ranking plummeted to 148th as china's central government adopted a national security law aimed at silencing independent voices. meanwhile, russia's press freedom ranking fell to near the bottom as the kremlin launched a massive disinformation campaign to support its invasion of ukraine, where officials say at least 20 journalists and media workers have been killed or injured. today is world press freedom day. much of new mexico is under a critical fire alert today after gusty winds and dry conditions pushed a massive wildfire toward the town of las vegas, home to 13,000 people. the fire is already on track to become the largest and most destructive in new mexico's recorded history.
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some 90% of the western united states is in drought, with officials warning of an extended wildfire season due to the worsening climate emergency. tennessee has halted five executions through the end of the year while an investigation is underway into the state's failure to properly test its lethal injection drugs. the execution of 72-year-old oscar smith was stopped yesterday an hour before smith was scheduled to be killed because the drugs hadn't been tested for the contaminants endotoxins, which could trigger respiratory failure or other distressing symptoms if injected. here in new york, amazon workers at a second staten island warehouse have rejected to form a union. there were 380 votes in favor while over 600 opposed. this comes a month after another adjacent amazon warehouse in staten island successfully formed amazon's first union in the united states. organizers vowed to keep fighting. this is derrick palmer, amazon labor union's vice president of organizing.
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>> we have been organizing, campaigning for a long time, putting a lot of work. we should not be discouraged at all. we have over 100 buildings throughout the u.s. that want to organize, want to unionize. we already set the tone with jfk. we just have to continue. that's what it is about. amy: to see our interview with derek palmer and kristian smalls, you can go to democracynow.org. eric milner, an attorney representing the amazon liver union, accused amazon of illegal unit busting tactics and promised to repeal the results. >> amazon stepped up the pressure in the last couple of weeks. they engaged in a lot of unlawful behavior, constant coercive meetings with employees . they disciplined organizers. they disciplined other workers for engaging in coercive activity. and they really made it
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difficult as possible. amy: and in oklahoma, a judge has ruled a lawsuit seeking reparations for the 1921 tulsa race massacre may proceed. tulsa county district court judge made the ruling monday in a packed courtroom a survivors -- as survivors looked on. all three survivors are over 100 years old. a white mob burn down what was known as black wall street, thriving african-american neighborhood. an estimated 300 african-americans were killed. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. when we come back, we look at the politico bombshell report that the supreme court has voted to overturn roe v. wade and planned parenthood v. casey. we will get response from the
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lawyer who are good casey, kathryn "kitty" kolbert, and author michele goodwin of "policing the womb." ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by democracy now! 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. amy: the supreme court has voted to overturn abortion rights, this according to a leaked draft opinion published monday night by politico. the document is an internally circulated majority draft opinion that was written by justice samuel alito that would strikeown roe v. wade, the landmark decision that guarantees feral
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constitutional protections of abortion rights foralf a century. in the draft, alito also moves to overturn planned panthood v. casey, a 1992 decision credited with upholding roe v. wade, writing -- "roe was egregiously wrong from the start. we hold that roe and casey must be overruled. it is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives." the leaked opinion suggests five conservative justices would vote to overturn roe. justice clarence thomas, neil gorsuch, brett kavanaugh, and amy coney barrett joining alito. cnn reports chief justice john roberts does not want to completely overturn roe v. wade but he would vote to uphold the mississippi law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
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if roe is overturned, 13 states have so-called trigger laws that would make abortion illegal as soon as the court rules. they are among the more than 26 states the guttmacher institute says are likely to ban abortion soon as possible -- alabama, arizona, arkansas, florida, georgia, idaho, indiana, iowa, kentucky, louisiana, montana, michigan, mississippi, missouri, nebraska, north dakota, ohio, oklahoma, south carolina, south dakota, tennessee, texas, utah, west virginia, wisconsin, and wyoming. for more we're joined by two guests. michele goodwin is chancellor's professor at university of california, irvine and founding director of the center for biotechnology and global health policy, author of "policing the womb: invisie women and the criminalization of motheood." also with us from portland, oregon, is kathryn "kitty" kolbert, longtime public interest attorney who argued the landmark case of planned parenthood v. casey before the
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u.s. supreme court in 1992, which is credited with upholding roe v. wade. she is co-founder of the center for reproductive rights and co-author of "controlling women: what we must do now to save reproductive freedom." we are going to go there in a second. are going to begin with you and just get your response to this astounding at every level, unprecedented release of a first draft of the decision, in this case, one that apparently was written in february and circulated to the court that went overturn roe v. wade, written by samuel alito. kitty respond to what you have read? >> iis a stunning opinion. let me say, i fully expected this crt would overrule roe in cases. there has always been since the confirmation of the trump justices, very strong likelihood
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this what happened. but i think the breath of the decision, the way they are articulating their views of this issue are so disturbing on a whole host of lels. first and foremost, they leave open the possibility of not just eradicating abortion rights, but of eradicatg all of the rights in which women have depended reproductive rights such as the ability to use contraception, the ability to be sexual with somebody of the same sex, the ability marry for same-sex couples. because what they say is the 14th amendment does not include a right to privacy and that unless there is a long history of support for those rights, it will not be considered within the protected interest police. that means any rights such as gay, which has been undermined by state laws for centuries
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prior to the ruling last decade, are in jeopardy and that is extraordinarily disturbing. let me add one more thing, amy. this is really disturbing for women on all levels. first and foremost, women and neatly facing unintended pregnancies need to know abortion is still legal in many places, all except texas ever perhaps oklahoma, but the day is coming it soon will not be. second, i think we need to figure out a way to make sure all of the women in that country who are so angry about this take political action. because the only way to respond is to vote out all of the republicans who ha made this happen at the state level, the federal level, and every level of our government.
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we need to do that as soon as possible. there are elections this month all the way through november. juan: kitty kolbert, we have listed the states that are ready to act as soon as this decision came down, but what about those states that would seek to in one way or another protect abortion for women? what do you see happening there? >> i think that is very good. it is important for us to realize, however, geographically, those who oppose abortion will stretch from say georgia on the way west to texas and from idaho all the way south to the mican border. therefore, the states that are protective are too oftenn the coast or far away from the places in which women will be unable to obtain procedures. the important thing is, women are going to have to travel long, long distances.
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even if there are safe access points. second, the ability to travel is limited to those people who have means. yes, it is great that cifornia and new york and illinois and a variety of other coastal states are protecting women's rights. i hope more and more will do so. but the important thing is, the women who are least able to travel, the women who are low income, who are you, were living in ral areas who do not have access to public transportation, for any number of reasons are unable to leave their jobs for three or four or five days in order to get across the country to exercise the reproductive rights, these women, the most vulnerable who are too often women of color -- let's be clear here because they suffer from discrimination in the health care system -- those
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women are significantly disadvantaged and we need to make sure, a, we help them in every way we can, but, b, we turn around the politics in the bad states so this no longer happens. juan: i would like to bring into the conversation as well michele goodwin, chancellor's professor at the university of california, irvine. welcome to democracy now!, professor. your response to this leaked decision of the supreme court? >> first of all, thank you so much for having me back on the show. this is unprecedented that there would be a leaked document coming from the united states supreme court. let's be clear, these are incredibly unprecedented times we find ourselves in the united states with an insurrection to overturn the results of an election last year and now with the supreme court seeking to
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potentially gut roe v. wade and planned parenthood v. casey. this is a first draft of an unpublished opinion so we don't exactly know what will happen. but very likely given this draft, we will see the undoing of roe v. wade. it is important understand with the undoing of roe v. wa what at stake in the united states for our democracy and the rule of law. if we look at this within the context of our democracy and the rule of law, see the potential for the supreme court to do a bit of cherry picking around equality issues come around privacy issues, that matters that relate to autonomy with people's bodies. you also see the supreme court seeking to skirt empirical data that has emerged in years since roe v. wade planned parenthood bk casey. what it crystallized is the world health organization has said abortion is as safe as a
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penicillin shot, one of the safest adeque procedures person can have. when we look at rates of mortality in the u.s., this opinion is absolutely shocking. as shocking and horrific as we see the state level antiabortion laws. a woman is 40 times more likely to die in the united states by carrying a pregnancy to term and by terminating it. if we fail to include that in our conversation, then we're missing what essentially is a death sentence for many women across the united states and girls. let me add one layer to that. for black women, there are 3.5 times more likely to die due to maternal mortality in u.s. and their white counterparts. that is a national figure. that does not tell us all we need to know when we actually look at states like mississippi, texas, alabama, louisiana where black women may be five times, 10 times, 17 times me likely to die in certain cities and counties in this -- those states
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than their white counterparts. this is not a partisanship, way beyond ideology we see coming from the supreme court. what we see is something very graphic in terms of what it will illustrate, in terms of maternal morbidity -- mortality. let me add one last piece to that as well. this is not something that is conjecturing. this is coming from data from the cdc in those states. this is already what is taking shape given the antiabortion measures that have taken place and at the last 10 years in those states. it is glaring, alarming, a this draft opinion shows just how egregious it is also amy: professor goodwin, i want to ask you two questions. this is so unprecedented. in the court's history, has there ever been a release of a draft? this is such a significant decision.
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but it has not come out. is it conceivable, given what has happened, that one of these justices might change their mind? that is number one. number two, this is the judiciary. i am looking at a tweet of tina turner was running for congress in ohio today -- nina turner who is running for congress in ohio today. instead of drafting fundraising emails tonight, our elected leaders should be in d.c. voting to codify roe and getting rid of the filibuster. so making roe v. wade the law of the land, legislative -- legislatively. if you could answer both? >> let me start with the second part, which is that making roe the law of the land, the women's protection help act is
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legislation that has been promulgated in congress, gone to the house but not been able to make its way through united states sene. it would codify roe. i shoulday for those who care about not just reproductive rights, but reproductive justice, roe doesn't go far enoughut this would be incredibly important, the passage of the women's health protectionct. it is sound legislation. it is important that legislation is enacted, absolutely. but to your first question, which is whether there might be a justice that could potentially change his or her mind. there is the potential for that to happen aft first drafts of opinions. there ar times in which justices that are moved to the other side of the vote. will thahappen with these particular justices? you know, amy, i think it is
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important that of the conversation that justice alito authored another important decisionhat was extraordinary and it was the hobby lobby case. in that case, justice alito also did similar dance, which is to say it is only abo thi particular decision, we can't look at it bond. that was striking down part of the affordableare act essentially, saying organizations, for-profit companies could have religious identities and those religious identities would allow them to reject part of federal law which is to make available through their insurance program contraception. there were a series of companies that said we find be religious, which was something the supreme court had never upheld before. secondly, we conflate contraception with abortion. therefore, the supreme court would essentially agree to the same and the supreme court dead
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and opinion that was wrien by justice alito. justice alito said, well, this only applies to companies that have these kinds of religious views. it does not expand beyond this, so a company cannot say we have religious views and we oppose let's say blood transfusion and therefore deny people who work for us from getting blood transfusions. a justice could change their mind and it is possible the women's patel -- health protection act, but neither of those things are happening today. juan: i want to go back to kitty kolbert. you wrote an opinion piece last year in "the new york times" otecting likelihood of roe v. wade being overturned by the court but you wrote "the end of roe enough harold the end of an era, launched a new strategy that protects the fundamental human rights to decide whether to have children and raise them in safety and dignity.
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could you expand on that and what you meant in terms of how the movement needs to move forward? >> sure. our movement for many years has depended on the court and has depended particularly on the u.s. supreme court to protect these rights. but our opponents have focused on the legislator -- focused on electing antiabortion legislators at the ste level and in congress. yes, we can turn this around. how? by electing people who supporwomen's equality, support reproductive justice and rights stop and who are committed in every single way to ensuring that women have access to safe, legal abortion and a whole group of freedoms that are necessary to protect their health. what does that mean?
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it needs we need to focus on electing championsorhoice. we can only do that by hard work. it took our opponents almost fiveeces to get ere they have gone but let's not forget this was tir strategy and we, too, can turn itround. but that means every single person listening has to commit themselves to working legislatively to flip from red to blue ste legislators and congresspeople. becausentil congress is able to act, until the senate has -- either changes the filibuster rule or elect 60 members whore with us on this issue, we are not going to see that kind of change on a national level step but we can see change at the vel -- state level. the states that are purple and make them blue. we can make sure we elect pro-choice governors and many
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states who can veto that legislation. is too late to make changes in many, many places right now but there is an election every six months in this country, and we need to be active and involved in those elections to make these changes. amy: there's been a very serious question about whether democrats, progressives will be particularly galvanized in the midterm elections. i mean, this certainly could be a big deciding factor, to say the least. kitty kolbert, i would put the same question of removing the filibuster to you about the possibilities right now as opposed to the long-term. we know that both manchin and sinema said they are opposed to that, but do you think there is a possible move in that direction? you have democrats controlling
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the presiden, the senate, and the house. >> well, i would hope so. if there's ever an opportuty to have them change their mind, this would present just one most of first of all, it is not going to happen without a huge public outcry. that means calling senators from your state and every other state as qckly and often as possible and make sure they hear our anger. but we also cannot fort that politians at all levels of our system vote on these issue and are controlled in the most part byur vote, so we need to send a message to the state legislators who have bought into the republican strategy and say it is time for you to find a new job. there are lots of gubernatorial races across the country, georgia, texas. one of the best messages we could send is to retir the
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governors in the states who are republicans who are anti-choice and say to the country, we are able to elect our people and we think this issue is just too important to ignore. amy: what about the significance of chief justice roberts? he would uphold the ban roe v. wade not willing to overturn roe v. wade? again, this is a draft. this has not been released. the final decision could come as late as the beginning of july. >> i would say, amy, it only takes five votes. five is the key number. more imporntly, thonly way the chief justice could uphold this ban is to say states have the ability to define viability on their own.
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that means the next state is going to say the ban starts at 14 weeks, 13 weeks, 12 weeks. there is no way under the current law for the chief justice to uphold the 16 week ban without so undermining roe and kc that they are essentially meangless. i really think that is a red herring. it is not something that is true to the way the law works and the rights we know are really controlled by five other conservative justices. i don't see any poker room. these are not people who are concerned about women's health and women's equali. have an agenda. they have be put on the court enact their agenda, and that is what they're doing. amy:athryn "kitty" kolbert, thank you for being with us, lawyer who argued the landmark case of planned parenthood v. casey before the u.s. supreme
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court in 1992, which is credited with upholding roe v. wade. she is co-founder of the center for reproductive rights and co-author of "controlling women: what we must do now to save reproductive freedom." thank you also to michele goodwin, chancellor's professor at university of california, irvine, author of "policing the womb." as president biden seeks $33 billion more for ukraine, look at the dangers of this military escalation with medea benjamin of codepink and george beebe of the quincy institute from also former advisor to vice president dick cheney. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "esto es cuba" by cimafunk. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. house speaker nancy pelosi has called for the strongest possible military response against russia. she made the comments in poland monday after she became the highest-ranking u.s. official to visit ukraine. during the meeting with ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy, nancy pelosi vowed the united states would keep backing ukraine militarily until the fight is done. >> we believe we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom. your fight is a fight for everyone. so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done. amy: nancy pelosi surprise trip to ukraine came just days after president biden asked congress
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for an additional $33 billion for ukraine. this comes as evidence grows the war any great is increasingly becoming a proxy war between the u.s. and russia. lloyd austin said the u.s. wants to see russia "weekend." over the weekend, russian foreign minister sergey lavrov said the u.s. and nato should stop arming ukraine if they're really interested in resolving the ukraine crisis. we're joined now by two guests. medea benjamin, co-founder of antiwar group codepink. she is in havana, cuba. george beebe, is grand strategy director at the quincy institute for responsible statecraft. his recent piece is headlined "tell us how this war in ukraine ends." he is the former director of russia analysis at the central intelligence agency and was
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special adviser on russia to vice president cheney from 2002-2004. he is the author of the 2019 book "the russia trap: how our shadow war with russia could spiral into nuclear catastrophe." george beebe, let's begin with you. you wrote the piece "tell us how this war in ukraine ends." why do you tell us? the latest news is it may well be a russian president vladimir putin will announce the war on ukraine on may 9. victory day in russia, when they beat the nazis in 1945. >> well, i think that is quite possible. the russians have been speculating for quite some time that putin might take the step of moving from what he has called the special operation in
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ukraine into a full-fledged and declared war, which would mean a national mobilization. widespread conscription of russian soldiers and their use in the battle in ukraine. what that would mean would be that russia would be gearing up for all-out war in ukraine. the context would be putin would argue this is not actually a war between russia and ukraine, that this is a much larger war between russia and the united states and nato. that is how russian elites and putin have been depicted in this conflict actually for many years, well before russia's actual invasion of ukraine on february 24. they think ukraine simply a pawn on it is much bigger geopolitical game and they think the stakes are astronomically
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higher to russia. they think this is a fight for russia's survival, that the stakes are existential. so if you're looking at this war and asking how does this end and when does it end,hat is the bedside because it suggests the russians are gearing up for a very long term conflict. and the same thing i think is going on on the american side. what we have seen in the last few weeks is rhetoric which more and more openly discusses our goal being victory over russia. russia's strategic defeat. the weakening of its military. the marginalization of russia as a player in the world. some u.s. officials, including president biden, have alluded to the possibility of putin leaving power, regime change. so what we're seeing i think on both sides is escalation. escalation in the objectives i
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think that they are seeking and with that escalation of objectives, i think the likelihood that this turns into a direct military clash between the united states and russia goes up. so this is a very dangerous moment i think. juan: george beebe, in terms of this new call for $33 billion in aid that president biden is made to congress for ukraine, this is an astounding amount of money. i looked at, for instance, u.s. foreign aid to the entire latin america and caribbean region has averaged over the last 60 years about $3 billion annually and yet many americans are so worried about the increasing flight of so many people from latin america across the u.s. border but yet we are giving so little aid to the countries there but somehow we come up
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with $33 billion? what is the signal the biden administration sending by such a huge request, a big portion of it being military aid but also direct foreign aid to ukraine? >> well, budgets of course are reflections of a government's priorities. you can't do everything. we do not have infinite resources, so you have to make choices about what is more important and what is less important. this is an enormous sum of money the biden administration is questing. it comes on top of a lot of money that has already been spent on this effort in ukraine, not just in the united states, but on the part of our nato allies as well. so this is a very big effort but also says something about where the biden administration's priorities really are on this. i think it is fair to say if you
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look at the numbers, there are very few things the biden administration thanks are more important -- thanks from one part my now the defeating russia. i don't think that accords actually with the priorities of the american people. i think that is to them to decide. juan: i want to bring medea benjamin into the discussion. i'm sorry -- well, i want to ask you further, there have been a prior attempt, obviously, at reaching a peace accord in ukraine, the minsk accords. you talk about what happened, why those minsk accords failed? >> well, the minsk accords go back to the outbreak of this war in ukraine back in 2014. that had its origins in a tug-of-war between the european union and to some degree nato on
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the one hand, and russia on the other hand. it was really about ukraine's geopolitical fate. european union have been negotiating with the ukrainian government for many months about an association. and i think that would allow greater trade and commerce and interaction between ukraine and the eu, and that held the prospect of a very bright economic future for ukrainians and a lot of ukrainians felt that was a wonderful thing. there are few populations in the world that d't lo forward to greater economic prosperity. at the terms of that association agreement essentially said to ukraine, you have to make a choice. either you have a very close and deepening trade relationship with the eu or with russia, but not both. you can't have the same depth of trading with both russia and the e.u. at the me time. the
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russians objected to that because they have long-standing relationships with ukraine, very deep economic relationships but also cultural and personal. looming behind this was the threat ukraine what essentially move into nato and the west at the expense of cordial relations with russia. for all kinds of reasons, the russians found that profoundly threatening, including to russia's vital security interests. this tug-of-war over ukraine tore the ukrainian country apart because there were people in the western regions of ukraine that were very, very european culturally and in their political orientation. there were parts of the eastern parts of ukraine that were largely russian-speaking and culturally russian and were more oriented tard relationships with russia. as the people and in western parts of ukraine urged ukraine
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turn westward, the people in the east felt threatened and objected. this eventually broke out into an actual civil war, violence erupted. the great powers got involved. the united states on the one hand and russia on the other hand. fighting broke out in russia intervene covertly, annexing crimea -- which have been part of russia up until the 1950's when then soviet premier kirchhoff gifted crimea from the russian federation to the ukrainian republic within the soviet union. and the russians took it back. this of course collapsed into this year's long war and the west try to find a way to end
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fighting. that ultimately resulted in the minsk accords, which were an attempt to try to find a settlement inside ukraine that allowed the regions in ukraine's east greater autonomy. it provided for the withdrawal of russian forces come the holding of elections in the east, the guarantees of language rights and easter parts of ukraine, the russian speakers felt ukrainian nationalists were violating the linguistic rights. this was never implemented largely because ukrainian nationalists were concerned this was ultimately a formula to allow russia to use the greater weight of the eastern regions within the ukrainian state to veto any membership of ukinian
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nato over time. i ink they we right. that is exactly why the russians found the minsk accords appealing, that this was a way of guaranteeing ukraine would not join nato over russian objections. that essentially fell apart as a result of the ukrainians were never willing to implement it and the russians were never willing to compromise in their insistence on those terms. that played a big role in producing where we are today. amy: in addition to george beebe , we have medea benjamin on the line from havana, cuba, cofounder of codepink. we're speaking to you in the week when president biden has asked for $33 billion more for mainly military aid, military weapons to ukraine. contrast that with a $22 billion asked for for all of the u.s. dealing with covid and that has
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been summarily rejected by the republicans and some democrats, far less than the $33 billi. but i want to ask you about that and the defense of terry lloyd austin talking about -- secretary defense lloyd austin talking about weakening russia and winning -- ukraine winning. overall, what you think needs to happen right now? >> i think it is terrible that the u.s. on all levels from the white house to congress are pushing this as either regime change or a winnable war when we know there is no winning in this. i what you're them talking about what compromises are they willing to make? i went to hear them saying they're going to put their efforts into negotiations. i want to hear them say they're going to separate humanitarian aid and military support for ukraine and get that manitarian aid approved.
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and i want to see the people of the united states understand that to support the people of ukraine and stop the fighting, we need not part billions of dollars more weapons in, but to say negotiations now. and that is why we're calling people to come out this weekend, next weekend, the following weekend, have rallies, download our flyers, get people to sign petitions saying we need to end war war this and not allow it keep spreading and turn into a nuclear holocaust. people can go to peacein ukraine.org to find more information. juan: how would you see the prospects for a stomach, for an agreement and what might that entail? >> certainly they have been outlined by zelenskyy himself anthe russians. i think united states is one of
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the greatest obstacles to gotiations. we have to recognize a neutral ukrain not expansion of nato, and demilitarization of the region. and i want to add one other thing, which is we are coming to the 40 year anniversary of the one million people out in central park saying no to nuclear weapons in 1982. we in the united states have to work with the people inside russia, no only to end this war in ukraine, but also to get sears out banng nuclear weapons li the u.n. treaty calls on the world to do. amy: let me ask george beebe, you have written the advent of the cyber age has made the escalation into direct east-west conflict much greater than during the cold war by doing -- while doing little to reduce its potential destructiveness. can you explain this and also
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just acknowledging that today president biden is in alabama at a lockheed martin plant, weapons plant? >> well, i think the advent of the digital era has change things in a couple of important ways. one is that media sphere, the information sphere. it has become increasingly segmented and social media, twitter and other platforms, i think encourage outrage. that is what gets attention online, not people who were saying, no, look, we have to look at this in a balanced way, it is complicated, we need to understand the dynamics of all of this. it doesn't tend to limit software that kind of complexity and reasoned evidence. the people that get attention are the ones that scream the loudest and promote -- provoke the most outrage.
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that makes the political context in which you can try to aim toward diplomatic settlements and things like that were difficult, not less. that is one part of the problem. the other part of the problem is the blurring of things that used to be relatively clearly delineated. espionage and warfare, for example. sabotage and strategic attacks. used to be in the old days, it was clear when you're gathering intelligence information, using human agents or taking photographs from satellites for airplanes or eavesdropping on phone calls of various kinds, the person who was on the oher end of those intelligence collection efforts new that was intelligence collection. amy: five seconds. >> today if you intrude on someone's computer network, you
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cannot only gather information but you can destroy that network. you can sabotage it. when you think about all the things connected to the internet, that becomes very dangerous in a crisis. amy: george beebe
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