tv [untitled] May 3, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT
the. old posts are essentially. osama bin laden may be dead but that doesn't necessarily mean mission accomplished for the us look into what the killing of us enemy number one could mean for america's war in afghanistan. and it's the fortieth anniversary of the biggest mass arrests in u.s. history the one nine hundred seventy one native crackdowns here in washington sunday only ten thousand and two war protesters arrested but with several wars and a faltering economy topping the agenda today why aren't more people taking their message to the streets and. the like states where's the. freest.
environment for the press in the world sir i mean really doesn't bother to tell that to the journalists arrested for exercising a very right to free speech as the world celebrates world's press freedom day see how the land of the free might just be the home of their oppressed. anything it's tuesday may third i'm lucy coughing up and you're watching our team. now bin laden is dead the bogeyman who drove us foreign and domestic policy over the last decade is now gone what exactly does that mean for the increasingly unpopular war in afghanistan or the seemingly endless perpetual war on terror for better or for worse war has defined america in the decade since the nine eleven attacks it has cost well over one trillion dollars not to mention thousands more
u.s. lives lost so yes bin laden is that but what if anything will change for america but join me now to discuss this from new york city of the esteemed katrina vanden heuvel editor and publisher of the nation magazine katrina it's such an honor to have you back on the program thank you so much for joining us i ask you what's changed in the modern is that our enemy is dead do you think this means anything will change in terms of u.s. foreign policy well let us hope it will i mean i think this is a moment or so reflection on where this country has been in these last ten years enormous costs you refer to to learn wars forty six thousand soldiers wounded and maimed hundreds of thousands of pakistani of these iraqis and i think it's an important moment to consider where we go from here and in my view this isn't a moment of opportunity. to end the war in afghanistan to find an expeditious end to this war and begin to do the tough regional international diplomacy that is
required and i think the president now has the political capital produce in this country is soft on defense soft on national security mean as corrupted or politics and i think he has an opportunity now to use the space and be courageous just speak to the country about how there is no rationale for this for an afghanistan but even if we look at the president's own remarks from a from sunday evening i mean he said it in announcing the bin laden's death that america has done what america does best that america has put its mind to something and achieved it and we saw a. people a funny thing taking to the streets i mean i was here in washington and i walked down to right outside of the white house and sahl of the students who were cheering and protesting and at that it occurs to me that we haven't really seen the sort of spontaneous reaction. in any other situation in our country over the past decade what are organized i would visit i would disagree i have to say i think you know in madison wisconsin in the month of february there were you had thirty days that
brought up this country and you're seeing more going out going on around the country i personally did not feel the night but mine was killed was a moment to celebrate i think it is understandable that certainly the families of those killed in this tragic horrific terrorist act such a relief such justice but i think again i come back to the point that this is a moment for reflection and i have to say that president obama in the speech he gave to the country it was not going to provide oh it was one that reminded us of a different purpose of it in america and it reminded us of what we can do if there is a real sense not of false one of shared sacrifice and respect for public workers the first responders the firefighters but the real problem is as you noted this country has been defined by the war on terror for these last years my view is that this should never been called a world tour and in calling it such a quick discussion of war footing terrorism is an odious tactic you cannot we were against a tactic intelligent policing intelligence diplomacy counterterrorism i do
think we will see a shift and that the celebrated might be the counterinsurgency tactics that have been. what general petraeus and others have tried to impose on our policies in afghanistan will now take a backseat counterterrorism has worked and i think we see the cost of a land war the even secretary of defense robert gates said it was quite a few weeks ago any adviser would vizor president commit to to lend more should have his head examined i think it is a moment to reply. as the national security template in this country which is not made this country safer or more secure and it is a different moment as you know in the middle east katrina what i preach and there but i appreciate the optimism and the sentiment and i do think that this is an important moment for this country to sort of step back and reflect on where it's up but the same time even today we saw the same old or the same war hawks on capitol
hill saying that you know what the killing of bin laden should not halt progress in afghanistan it should not change the momentum that we're seeing in afghanistan amar prem from just under lead but lieberman and countless others and it seems to me that it's almost like whatever you want to use the bin laden death to define as you find excuses but that with congressman peter king saying that torture through which we got information about the afghanistan situation it was either bin laden given the location is something that should be justified which is of course completely absurd i mean how do we how do we change the the doubters the sort of carl due respect r t as i understand it having spent some time with margarita simonyan seeks to offer alternative viewpoints what you just did was just parrot those on capitol hill who for the most part are discredited there are others on capitol hill whose voices just serve to be heard who are speaking out whether it's barney frank shelley pingree john kerry even joe biden who have supported counterterrorism versus counterinsurgency there are those in this country of one piece attention to
the polls the opposition to the war in afghanistan has gone mainstream i'm not talking progressive democrats not talking lefties talking independents and republicans and president obama has the opportunity and he understands what war has done to kill the reform presidencies lyndon johnson in vietnam that perfect example to change the template and i say it's not up to me when i say it is real it is to look at the facts and use this moment to reset the terms of the debate let us hope the reset in that area works better than the us russians. but that is a different issue which my husband stephen cohen i trust will certainly be on your show to discuss it i'm not trying to downplay what you're saying here but as someone who's also covered the hill for quite some time you cannot dismiss the certain opinions of various lawmakers who carry danica's to say i mean if we can of course all dismiss them but they can stand in the way of policy they can they can obstruct policy and they can obstruct change so how do we overcome that as
a people how do we overcome folks who may be stuck in cold war mentality or an pro-war mentality and get those lawmakers to shift their positions to actually affect real change in this country it is a very good question and you know i don't mean to suggest that you're just speaking about one segment because i'm also concerned about inside the administration it may well be that the administration takes a lesson from what we have seen and does not learn the lessons i many believe but i do believe change comes about when people inside the beltway inside washington d.c. see the disconnect between what they are doing and what is not working and again i come back to the fact that the staggering corruption now the pretext for war in afghanistan has been radically damaged up to stuff our merchants as a focus for the ongoing us management relations and i would suggest that the arab spring the nonviolent uprisings in parts of the or not all suggest how al qaeda is an olive ideology has been rejected and the possibility of sane realistic
national security thinkers to understand our future better aligned with those forces in the middle east in the arab world this country will be more secure and more aligned with the spirit which i believe someday we will finally achieve which is democracy and a more perfect union in this country how do you think you've written at length about sort of changing this narrative this war on terror rhetoric which really does sort of perpetuate ongoing endless conflict how do you go about starting to change that i mean you can. go back and undo time so how do you get a president to speak in terms and for elected leaders to actually speak in different terms in the media as well which unfortunately earlier in question i have to say that president obama has been careful and he was the night of the speech i just the other night first of all to say we are not waging war against islam but he has been careful not to use the war metaphor i think one needs to speak to
americans about safety what is real safety what is real security and that lend course these lend more is fighting terrorism i've done a little just witness and also witness how we captured bin laden and how al qaeda has disintegrated that did not come about through this hundreds of thousands of troops again and again i think so and i would make one last point if i could interesting discovery as first russia or so many countries around the world go into terrible economic times i still think the economy will be the central issue in the two thousand and twelve election even with these moments of victory around capturing bin laden but the costs the cost if you connect that to people's lives and they see that it's not really in the more security a global war won't make as much sense as very targeted focused security efforts that could appeal to the realist side of people at katrina one more question before
you have mentioned the language that president obama used his speech on sunday but the next day we saw secretary of state hillary clinton make a speech on public television and just a country where she didn't exactly seem to be using the same sort of soft tones that obama did in fact what i heard was sort of we will outwait the taliban bin laden is dead long live the war on terror are there divisions within the administration that could prevent substantive change and war policy from taking place. absolutely there are divisions and i think you know it will require the leadership of the president who cry or the leadership of others for example vice president biden very clearly in debates around afghanistan supporting a perry different strategy and it will require let's be honest a bench on the ground to show these policy makers the time is up and i didn't you know i mentioned pakistan look at you know what we will need to do in this country to manage that relationship going forward there as you know on the hill many
questions about the kind of aid given pakistan you know who knew it up its tiny i aside the security forces how could they not it was under their nose so that it seems to me comes the focal point the war in afghanistan simply exacerbates the central issue which is talk of our relationship with a nuclear armed pakistan and the region whether you know it always i have to say it always saddens me that we tend to be a little bit more reactive on the on capitol hill than proactive but a has has has been one succeeded in some ways i mean if you look at what's happened over the past decade we're at war as we discussed we've seen our civil liberties here in this country slowly eroded out of fear we've seen our international standing hurt by things like targeted assassinations by torture at guantanamo bay it in some ways it almost doesn't really how has that has had an intent by the been successful in some way it's terrorism you know it's about provoking fear and undermining
a country's best values in that reaction to the fear i do think we've seen a setback in the country in the last ten years in terms of abiding by our fundamental values condoning torture but you know what this is a resilient nation i would argue we have been threats more to tour existence and it is not too late to reset the possibilities and the national security framework of a country and in that there is hope and there is hope but i certainly hope that those in power and the men and women in america are genuinely listening katrina thank you so much for for taking the time times today as country and event and whoever editor and publisher of the nation magazine. now land of the free and home of the first amendment the united states of america is supposed to be a beacon for the rest of the world at least that's been the rhetoric of our politicians for a bunch of the past century and you may have a little bit of a difficult time shopping for a hallmark card in honor of this holiday but today believe it or not may third is
world press freedom day and to mark it pretty depressing statistic according to the latest global rankings of press freedom released by freedom house the us came in at twenty second in terms of freedom of the press ranking behind the likes of palauan dora st lucia even the marshall islands now granted it could be worse but since when did it could be worse become something to actually strive for as archie's christine for our reports freedom of the press isn't guaranteed when it comes to this country. yes it might be but back out. it's cranes is the pillar of american democracy and the cornerstone of a free society. freedom of the press united states has the. freest. environment for the press in the world certainly not of course. but journalists have been under attack in the united states their first amendment
rights violate their status as the washstands of democracy dismissed i myself have been arrested as a member of the press i've seen other brash arrested and they do the same thing they say move away from this area you know you have a right to be there then one should move to where they want you to go they still go ahead and arrest you while some journalists are arrested not covering an assignment i leave the street now i'm not ok your mothers have been detained while heading to an assignment. during the two thousand and two world bank meetings hundreds were arrested including journalists like deborah kahn it's hard. and. journalists say they're censored by the police because the press captures their
treatment of demonstrators so you know the media is a serious chechen balance against government tyranny sometimes it even gets physical. at this protest in new york police officer steal a reporter's camera. covering demonstrations is one thing. challenging america's so-called war on terror is another just down the hill it's a prize winning correspondent james rising subpoenaed by the justice department over confidential sources he could face jail time the more direct part is to frighten people in the government from talking and it's to have a chilling effect on potential whistleblowers in the government to make them realize that you know there's a big brother out there that will get them if they step out on wiki leaks founder julian assange labeled quote a high tech terrorist i vice president joe biden for publishing leaked u.s. government documents and a video showing u.s.
helicopter pilots shooting unarmed reporters in iraq he could be charged with espionage a move that is setting a dangerous precedent according to the committee to protect journalists the notion that somebody could be prosecuted for disseminating information under the espionage act in our view would open the door for subsequent prosecutions potentially of charles ramsey risk prosecution of journalist doesn't concern everyone hears and taking questions at the conservative political action conference what do you mean knowing that there are jails journalists i think there should be more in jail. i want the u.s. proclaims its press free this kind of repression has to stop or they have to be able to report to ensure. that we live in a democratic society carry media criticism understand the smart. watch when detained in the united states journalists are usually held for a few hours charged and then released but when arrested while covering u.s.
military operations abroad the consequences can be much more severe sometimes even deadly join us for that segment tomorrow in washington christine for. our team now earlier i discussed this issue with independent reporter joris brandon george an experienced firsthand what it's like to have his first amendment rights violated because part of my interview. well i think people have a certain amount of freedom of the press if they do their job according to what the government thinks it should be doing now when someone does the type of work i do which is often times cover you stray show. after events sometimes it may be controversy or. maybe not so much freedom. along with link the borders searches and they say we anywhere eight hours there are so many internet country hard to copy all of my business cards journal copy.
of it carry geisha. i have that in and of course i've been arrested a number of times documenting police brutality inspirations like. the like one in t c where people are protesting against. different policies in regards to climate change and it wars in the middle east yeah i was arrested in just doing my job so yes they are saying freedom of the press as long as the press is going along with the government's line that doesn't sound very free to me. just play devil's advocate here some folks might be watching this interview and then i say well maybe he's an activist of some sort maybe he did something to provoke these officers how do you defend yourself against charges like that just about every time that i've been arrested or every time i go to the border i have press credentials when i work and cover these stories. and what i'm working
carrying professional equipment usually have credentials and i'm operating within what should be by the rights as a journalist. and i take it keenly i see the sort of violations that person moment when i go to the border it's not just a person in an issue it's also the men an issue meaning unlawful search and seizure . so i mean my response is it does it doesn't matter if i am coding so it may be controversy or or a showing of viewpoints people may not agree with what matters is that i am acting within my rights as a journalist. why do you think this isn't something that we hear about so much that this isn't really discussed and terms of national conversation and that's just to throw into the mix in light of the recent wiki leaks scandal because so many folks are out on capitol hill talking about how was in the national interest and national security interest to sort of get whatever information they could about folks to what connections to wiki leaks about julian assange regardless of freedom of speech
rights and so. what is it that prevents this issue from being more prominent as it war on terror or is it just not having an interest in freedom of the press what's really behind this what really happened after september eleventh two thousand and one and was the creation of a sort of state of exception we're people sort of. little bit more and a little bit more and if we kind of really fault it you know from two thousand on it to the president. you know it's got your seen worse and worse in regards to searches and people just giving away their fundamental rights i think people in general think. you know this person of interest but i think if they really solved it details that people that are being searched the type of searches that are going on maybe they will never get rid of it and do you have the sense that anything has changed under president obama who at least according to campaign promises was
supposed to be the more gentle or version of u.s. foreign policy and domestic policy and then his predecessor. well i mean in regards to say the. ice immigrations and customs enforcement having the right to take people's electronic devices and copy them. go through them whatsoever with we just you know what we would don't really have any sort of process whatsoever other than a think like oh well we want to look at stuff we can copy and that's ups gotten worse. and for instance it's not just me it's not just like a journalist who's worked in the middle east he's worked up in protests and when he was being searched yet people like it's all mixed studies major is had their laptop sticks for two weeks liars were controversial clients having their cuter send their names on through an intake in any given back waiter who are software people and it's really funny you know i'm not like
a big big and of intellectual property rights one of the things about a bad case where we're there one person who owns this open source software developer he had he had the other stuff which was a violation of intellectual property rights he had things up encryption techniques that it had that maybe the government could you it's and taking this kind of this without going to any asset as with my case. i've actually been sued and had to do deposition you know court and howard and for them to basically hold michael put it actually they have to go through a court process and they don't but you can't it's like i'm in skis moment serial because they want a brewer so when it's all that brought up in like. this and this in some ways makes me feel that i'm almost like an agent of the state i'm doing my job i was independent journalist friend in jordan and from the netherlands. now forty years ago today more than thirty thousand protesters descended on washington d.c.
determined to shut down the government on the end of the u.s. war in vietnam and the police well they reacted by the time the demonstrations came to an end in the early ten thousand processors and they're behind bars are killing for as mark. rock. washington d.c. . may third one nine hundred seventy one more than two hundred thousand protesters in veterans converge in the capital to demand an end the war in vietnam the idea was to start a city down because the war wouldn't stop and the only way to stop the war was to was to stop the government and that was the slogan of the demonstration and that was by putting your bodies on the road and blocking traffic any better was there with his camera rolling tell me what circle looks like i may third one hundred seventy one or back in seventy one you know a lot of the people were staying around to concerts you know actually i was living
there off of new hampshire and street and so it was just a block or two to be here and there were just thousands of people that would just converge and then we would disappear back into our faces and we knew the turf and we knew the alleyway. but despite that i mean more than i think i'm not saying more than thirteen thousand people were arrested it was the largest arrests in the history probably in one day. and then i'm. pleased he's here again in class to disperse protesters then president richard nixon called in the military robert class with the police captain day and later the eighty second airborne came in and helicopters. and i was assigned as allies on with the commanding general of the eighty second airborne and paratroopers landed at the national monument but protesters wouldn't back down people trying everything to end the war and nothing
would end it and so this was like one of the last ditch effort and in a sense it was almost like an indian tribe a sort of like you know the image of may day was sitting bull density sitting bull was you know part of a massacre. so for us it was that last stand the last stand of dignity you know. trying to end the war. and it's time we were willing to abandon people willing to you know put their lives on the line to do that. i am on may third police arrested more than two thousand people we had made plans as to where we were going to be prisoners when they were arrested that day you line arena was one place the redskin practice field which was downed by r f k stadium was another there was several places where you could put a large number of people and that's where they were taken. when they were arrested
by the end of the day more than seven thousand have been arrested the largest number arrests in u.s. history but this year it's like at the bank and it was incredible i mean you can see when the police wade into the crowd at the justice department with their sticks and their mason and them from that you know someone starts dancing and then all of a sudden everyone is dancing everyone standing together and it was the same spirit here where they had incarcerated people where they threw them into a practice field like this you know people had to sort through their own you know the deal with finding food and keeping warm and and keeping spirits out and from that people went back to their houses houses went back to their communities and and spread that around and that was trying to let the legacy of that whole experience it was a last big antiwar demonstrations but it's it was
a beginning of the end for the. whole class and back are today haven't seen the magnitude of protests and pressure from their own government since made it despite america's decade long war in afghanistan and eight year presence in iraq i don't know whether it has to do. with an all volunteer army were people not being. drafted into the service nowadays there are less people affected by those wars that were affected by the previous wars in afghanistan. i don't know but you just you're not getting the numbers. that we used to get for those kind of devastation forty years ago protesters spilled the stats of the lincoln memorial converged on the national mall to take the nixon administration to task in question the legitimacy of the u.s. war in vietnam but today the wars in iraq and afghanistan continue the people are
now in the streets here in washington like they used to be in fort artsy washington d.c. . well unfortunately that has a for now for more on the stories we've covered this go to our to dot com slash usa as always check out our you tube page where all of the segments are available it's at youtube dot com slash r.t.m. erica of course as always you can follow me on twitter my username is our lucy captain of one word thanks for watching and have a great evening. but we. regularly. we have a global nuclear safety get ready.