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tv   [untitled]    December 5, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EST

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despite a host of criticism against the bill the u.s. senate unanimously passes the national defense authorization act but there is more to this legislation than meets the eye we'll tell you five things you should know about and. and what's in a name no matter if you call this military contractor blackwater the or even
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academy the fact is the organization still plays a major role in the war in afghanistan and their camp integrity is gaining even more pentagon support will discuss the role of private contractors in afghanistan coming up. and uncooperative u.s. senators fell five votes short of ratifying a u.n. treaty to protect the disabled this in spite of unflinching support by key republicans and an unexpected appearance by bob dole had we'll take a look on why a hundred senators couldn't agree up to a treaty that one hundred fifty five nations could. well it's wednesday december fifth four pm in washington d.c. i'm christine you're watching r t. starting off this hour yesterday in a vote of ninety eight zero the senate passed the national defense authorization
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act of two thousand and thirteen after five days of debate and hundreds of amendments considered many which in the senate were proud of the progress made and of the bipartisan support the bill had something rather rare these days on capitol hill the bill now now heads to a house senate conference committee where it will be discussed and differences between the house version of the bill and the senate version will be hammered out however what exactly is written in those six hundred eighty eight pages well some of it might surprise you archies was won't explains the national defense authorization act or the n.c.a.a. as it's commonly known as stablish is the budget for the u.s. military but the massive bill also has many other provisions with major implications for your freedoms and last night the senate unanimously passed the defense spending bill and a ninety eight zero vote now we have compiled the top five things you should know about this more than six hundred thirty one billion dollar bill and a number five contractor agreement this is things to an amendment sponsored by
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senator ron wyden and what it does is require the pentagon to disclose when it enters into indemnification agreements and this is where one party agrees to protect another party from being sued an example is the k.b.r. the largest military contractor portland jury rules that it must pay one hundred million dollars in damages for exposing veterans to toxic chemicals but the company is now suing the u.s. army corps of engineers because it says it's protected by an agreement with the pens a god and a number for cyber combat command this would require the pentagon to consult lawmakers if it wants to raise u.s. cyber command to an all out scum that and command in other words congress needs to know when warfare is shifting from cyber war to actual war. and i number three embassy security this provision would also raise up to a thousand marine corps personnel to provide security advisor with embassies this of course is in the wake of a tragedy in benghazi where a u.s.
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ambassador was among the americans killed in what was later determined to be a terrorist attack and a number two veteran mental health the suicide rate among members of the military is skyrocketing this past year there were more veterans suicide than total soldiers killed in afghanistan and iraq since those wars started an amendment to the n.c.a.a. would create a comprehensive suicide prevention program that would increase accessibility to mental health counseling in the department of defense and help mental health care providers get better training and then at number one a get mo detainee transfer ban now this one is raising the most concern in the white house this provision would permanently banned the transfer of detainees detainees from guantanamo bay to the u.s. now the white house has threads of you know any restrictions on its ability to transfer prisoners to other countries and that is exactly what this bill does well now that the bill has passed the senate it goes to
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a joint conference between the house and senate before it heads to the president's desk for his signature and as you've seen it many aspects of it are controversial so it's likely its current form could change in washington liz wahl. and you know leading up to this passage of the n.d.a. there has been quite a bit of discussion and debate at least here at r.t. about two sections of the bill section ten twenty one and ten twenty two and just how far the government can go in terms of detaining people indefinitely as of now anyone who the president determines to have substantially supported the taliban and al qaeda or associated forces may be designated as enemy combatants subject to indefinite detention and that includes u.s. citizens senator dianne feinstein a democrat from california tried to fix that getting in what's known as the feinstein amendment inserted into the bill now it states that an authorization to use military force a declaration of war or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention
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without charge or trial of a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the united states apprehended in the united states unless an act of congress expressly authorizes such detention while for those who have been fighting to get u.s. citizens removed from this indefinite detention clause this seemed like a victory but now several people are coming forward and saying not only does this not make things better it actually makes things worse let's get out of karl mayer an attorney with the mayor law group who's actually been representing chris hedges in the lawsuit over n.d.a. hey there karl with this in place let's just talk really quick about your case i mean does chris hedges still have a case before his position was that the n.d.a. could affect him directly as a journalist sense in years past he's had contact with people considered to be you know al qaeda taliban etc he's a u.s. citizen so is this case closed. thank you first of all for having me on christine pre-shared your. time this evening and now his case is not closed at all the fight
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goes on the fight is. still before the second circuit court of appeals we won below in the u.s. district court the judge in that case in our case so far judge forces declared the two thousand and twelve and the a entirely unconstitutional east of the provision that relates to detention of americans. civilians and citizens including hedges in terms of whether chris hedges still has a case right now it's really unclear from the text of the feinstein amendment because there's nowhere in the feinstein amendment and i'm reading directly from a copy of it that says that chris hedges or any other journalist would be entitled to a trial by jury another words it could be it could be interpreted as simply a trial which could be a military trial a trial before a military tribunal which is not a jury trial and that would be unconstitutional secondly the to the extent
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that it gets to two thousand and thirteen n.d.a. is not lost but till the president signs it and he's threatened to veto it it is not law so the hedges case is still alive we are in the midst of writing our brief in the second circuit will hear it so let's talk a little bigger picture here according to the a.c.l.u. the twenty sartain and here i might look like a sex because of the finds him on that but it breaks things up further talk about what this would change yes that's right this legislation gives with the gives with one hand and takes away with the other hand because what this legislation does is it even though it appears and there is a lot of cabinets that even though it appears to carve out u.s. citizens for protection and as well as green card holders it exempts everyone else from protection so. really what this what all the civil liberties groups are complaining about and what we believe to be the case as well is that you would
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still have a definite detention by the military of say illegally or aliens foreign mesh noles who are in the united states you know let's say you're a journalist in the united states you're a russian citizen but you're in the united states then you could be indefinitely detained by the military under this suppose it fix which is why all the major civil liberties groups were against the feinstein amendment because it makes things worse in many respects yes certainly there's in the military the power to sort of operate in this country you know the homeland battlefield idea is really interesting and it's kind of put that put that in writing there's a lot there's no karl because of the authorization for the use of military force which as we know that pass right after nine eleven and basically gives the president unlimited power inside and outside of the u.s. and if i'm not mistaken this is still in fact in effect can you one ravel this for us and what it means and sort of normal language here yes. i will do my best but
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i think it is an overstatement the administration wants to say this is a u m f it does give them unlimited power it does not be a u m f was only narrowly targeted to the people who are involved in planning nine eleven and executing nine eleven and al qaeda period that's all that's the only people who are targeted under the authorization of use for military force now the n.d.a. then expanded that everyone to journalists like yourself or to chris hedges or civilians or resident aliens or whomever any civilian in the united states and that is the problem with the n.d.a. if it goes way beyond the authorization for the youth use of military force and we're asking the courts to clarify all this you're right it's very difficult for the ordinary americans and your viewers world. to make sense of all this but where we are we've been very clear from the beginning we have
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a very clear principle that we're advocating for the courts which is the police the military does not police our streets in this country that's an interest constitutional doctrine and the military cannot be used to detain whether it be citizens. illegal aliens any civilian in the united states period end of story any civilian should not be detained in the united states of america and we think that is why even the new feinstein amendment is unconstitutional so if we have to challenge that we will but it hasn't been enacted yet and even as a fix it makes things worse for a lot of people because because what it does is it authorizes by statute makes clear by statute that for the first time the president can use military the military to detain people within the borders of the united states and that is not american unconstitutional now as far as the sort of the progression of what happens next the house and senate still need to go through and sort of find common ground before even sending the bill to the president so there will be a few differences they'll need to iron out but as you said you know the president
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has said he would veto this if language is left in the bill that prohibits him from transferring military prisoners held at guantanamo bay into civilian custody talk a little bit about why this is such a sticking point from some for both sides i mean why did the senate include this and why does the president say he would veto it if it's in the final bill. because again most of most of this legislation is all is all political posturing by people like lindsey graham who resembles more a rabid dog of a reason constitutional scholar he was he actually said the reason the kid close guantanamo is he doesn't want quote those crazy bastards and quote in the united states in last year he was quoted on the floor is saying anyone who is concerned about our civil liberties should shut up because they don't have a right to a lawyer if they're considered terrorists by senator lindsey graham so that's why graham put this want to put this in the republicans put this in. saying that we
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should close guantanamo i have warned you know to regarding you know a lot of times when you know regular people think of guantanamo bay they do think you know the worst of the worst the terrorists are held there but let's not forget that that a large number of people at one time of day right now have been cleared for release but just can't have not been released because of certain political situations and that the countries you know their country of origin so i think it's important to note here that a lot of these i think you said crazy bastards using lindsey graham's words are not exactly that that's right and that's and the same when lindsay graham says you are terrorists shut up you don't get a lawyer who is deciding what people have done in advance but that's what we have the courts for we have the courts so people can give due process in a fair trial so you know i think this is another terrible provision. i don't know
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whether it will cause the president to veto it i don't i don't think he will but whatever whatever he does it goes against obama's campaign promises to shut guantanamo one time and has been a shameful chapter in american history and it repeatedly been sanctioned and cited by the court for improper practices there so we. we are part of this process too as lawyers we are our second circuit case where the government is appealing judge force ruling which stated the n.b.a. is unconstitutional is coming up soon we might even have some more litigation surprises that will let our team know that. in the near future well we always appreciate that you know and let's not forget you know the president said he would veto it last year and ended up signing it on new year's eve so of course we will keep our eyes on all of this carl mayor attorney at the mayor law group thanks so much. well there is some food for thought more than two hundred a u.s. special operations forces have moved into
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a new home in afghanistan but instead of being housed in a military facility as they have in the past this group was put up in a compound owned and operated by the security company formerly known as block blackwater which then change its name to z. and is now called academy the base is called that camp integrity and is a more than four hundred thirty five thousand square foot forward operating base located not far from the kabul international airport now they say the reason for this new home is simply overcrowding that there wasn't space at existing facilities for the additional special special ops forces that would be coming in but economy got more than two hundred twenty two million dollars a no bid contract by the way which apparently covers things like food services pest control information technology and armed security services this contract by the way it runs through may twenty fifteen even though most u.s. forces are supposed to be home by twenty fourteen i want to talk more about the various implications of this with michael o'brian he's the author of the book
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america's failure in iraq intervention to withdrawal and he joins me now in studio hey there mike how are you doing i'm doing fine how are you i'm good at let me just ask you first i mean how common is this for you know military personnel to be housed sort of put up by private contractors to the best of my knowledge. not common at all it's not done i never heard of it i've never heard of such a thing you know the the you're in a foreign country you've got an american company will. you know the fact of the matter is when i was in iraq we had forward operating bases but they were all operated by the u.s. government you had contractors that. provided. you know construction support and you know the food and all the things that you listed there but they didn't you know and they built they might have built the bases and stuff like that but they didn't to the best of my knowledge this is a base that it's
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a black they own it it's their it's their base they probably have some kind of a land lease from the from the government of afghanistan i don't know the specifics of the deal but i've never heard of anything i've never heard of anything like this what about this aspect that it goes on that the contract a twenty two million dollar contract goes through may of two thousand and fifteen i mean do you think that tells us anything about what the future of this war with afghanistan will look like considering that we thought the majority of our forces would be home at the end of twenty fourteen well we're we're being told that all of our forces are going to be out of there by the end of twenty fourteen that's not going to happen or in a recent article of that ten thousand that there's plans of keeping about ten thousand troops over there. you know indefinitely iraq same thing i mean. all of our forces are not gone there are still a lot of them are there but it really big there's a couple things first of all is. i mean really why is this company still in
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business after the new source square massacre in september of two thousand and seven in baghdad why is the company still in business number one now certainly this is a company known for some of its contractors there shooting and killing multiple civilians oh yeah it's been known for stealing weapons when i mean why are they why are they still in business not only still in business but still trusted by the u.s. military and paid exorbitant amounts of money by the u.s. not exactly so if so that's one issue in the other issue is we are we are getting. into you know i talk about this extensively in my book and on my website but you know we're taken mercenary you know this is taking mercenary to another level it's a role reversal we have mercenaries operating on foreign soil out of american bases or out of their own compounds and safe houses but now it's a role reversal we have u.s. forces occupying. you know being be housed on
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a in facilities on a mercenary own base so the murder you know the tales where king the dog now in the mercenary company it's a mercenary company. you know it is what it is is now housing. u.s. forces and the whole thing about they do they were in a room and all that will i mean that i do i you know i've got a bridge to sell you know i mean i don't personally i think you know the name of this compound forward operating base camp integrity and environment and michael you'll be pleased to know if you're interested you can actually buy a t. shirt there are t. shirts we have one up on the screen here at camp integrity there it is. that is an oxy moron that's about as makes about as much sense as jumbo shrimp. i mean it is interesting i mean talk a little bit more i mean you talk sort of about the reputation of this this company but but what's the bigger picture here in terms of as you said you know the tail
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wagging the dog but these two factions which are really are supposed to be kept a little more distant not only working together but living together well there's no far wall where you know i'm i'm very familiar with government contracting so first of all you know after the miss or square massacre how come they still maintain a government contract how come they were not de barge is the term is from future government contracts. then now there are now there are. there is no wall there's no far wall there's not even a pretense of a separate. of of of. contract or supplier of services to you to the us government it's you know they're they're all they're almost as close to the term being in bed together as you can get i mean they're living together on the contractors compound yeah and not just that academy as it's now called gave the best deal this was so no bid contracts and i've got
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a copy of it right here and basically according to the rules you know you have to have somebody go through and say. because this was a no bid contract we have to make sure that it was a fair price was offered and you know it was the deal was good so from what we understand these these trips started being housed there in may of two thousand and twelve all this contract read to me when this was signed into law thirty one august of two thousand and twelve right so that is three months after they were already there and so what do you think the focus after the fact well it's nice to see it's nice to see that they didn't you know back date it or they actually you know put put the real date on it. but there's got to be. you know the i'm sure there's a contract you officer involved us go us army contracting officer with a warrant to sign these things and. you know i i i can't explain it i have to look at it i don't know the little cyrus herman that the cost of this
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government contractor fair and reasonable based on price and that's not so much the wording but the fact that it was signed after the decision was already not only made but after the consequences of the decision were in place and how do they know if it's a fair or reasonable thing to do what's called an independent government estimate to compare that was the justification that it had to be sole source or other than full open competition was an emergency was that the only vendor that could do that . and the other thing is to if they started doing it back then you know in may and signed it nor. august you know where is the justification to be interesting to see where the justification was for the. for the need for to house the these soldiers in that location at that time right away and there wasn't anything else that could be that could satisfy that requirement and and you'd have to you know that would be a lawyer request freedom of information act request an interesting thing to find
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out if we actually had real promise at a time do you have any idea michael of what these contracts are bases are like as compared to what regular military bases are like well i lived in a fog like i said i was in the the international zone formerly called the green zone in baghdad but i was on many many favs all around the country and i would venture to say they probably are very very much very much the same hesco barrier walls you know out in the middle of nowhere or on a piece of land i should say we are near the airport here in kabul probably a bunch of his co walls probably a bunch of t. walls probably didn't take much to build and then trailers prefab trailers with electrical and plumbing basic plumbing and internet cable yeah ok not a lot michael o'brien the author of the mail of america's a failure in iraq thanks as always for being here and sharing either insight great thanks for having me. well i want to talk now about an interesting thing that happened here in washington yesterday a vote taken by the u.s.
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senate to ratify a united nations treaty aimed at promoting and protecting rights of disabled people in the country and around the world is actually based on this country's own americans with disabilities act signed into law by george h.w. bush in one thousand nine hundred now essentially the ratification of this treaty would be a signal a push to the rest of the world to do what the united states has already done in terms of banning discrimination in terms of making buildings and transportation more accessible to those who for whatever reason need that extra assistance and encourages other countries to be more inclusive but by the way it doesn't change at all any u.s. laws already in place the issue even united to unlikely senators republican senator john mccain and democratic senator john kerry two men who also happen to both be veterans it just shows that you can't discriminate against the disable it. it says that other countries have to do what we did twenty two years ago when we
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set the example for the world and passed the americans with disabilities act i would remind my colleagues that virtually every major veterans organization in america. people who represent those men and women who have fought. and particularly. try to assist those with disabilities that are result of combat. well another veteran eighty nine year old former senator and presidential candidate bob dole was wheeled on the floor by his wife coming straight from the hospital don't also wrote a letter which senator mccain read aloud also urging the ratification of this treaty it needed sixty six votes or two thirds majority and it only got sixty one votes why you might wonder would anyone vote against a treaty that urges people to not discriminate against disabled people some of them who by the way became disabled fighting for this country in iraq or afghanistan
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well a theory started circulating that ratifying a u.n. treaty would harm the u.s. sovereignty and also would somehow interfere with those who chose to homeschool their children or send them to private school here's utah republican mike lee and i simply cannot support a treaty that threatens the right of parents to raise their children with the constant looming threat of state interference. former presidential candidate rick santorum whose young daughter bella is disabled called the outcome of victory saying that parents not guidelines of a treaty should be the prime factor in making decisions about those with disabilities now supporters of the united nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities have vowed to bring up the matter in the next congress and perhaps will have a chance to do so but it looks like they'll have to work even harder to convince republican lawmakers that supporting an end of discrimination and promoting inclusiveness will not in fact harm the country or
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a handful of people in it who homeschool their children capital account is up next on our team let's check in with lauren lyster to see what is on the agenda lauren everyone seems to be talking about this fiscal cliff is that what you guys are talking about at all today what do you think you think we're just going to these suckers and cover the same thing everybody else is covering no chance well people are having their eyes on the fiscal cliff or even the eurozone drama what else are they missing around the world say in i don't know let's pick a country japan we're going to have the c.e.o. former c.e.o. of a company you may know it's a japanese company called a live this maybe you had an olympus camera at some point in your life well he went from c.e.o. to whistleblower uncovering a one point seven billion dollar fraud he's going to talk about this and what it is symbolic of in terms of maybe japanese corporate health interesting i your producer dimitri and i were talking about it earlier sounds like he's got a very interesting story lauren lyster thanks as always thank you and that's going to do it for us for now but for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot
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