Democracy Now

Democracy Now!
A daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 1,100 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.
Updated: 7 hours 8 min ago

No Debate: Antiwar Voices Absent from Corporate TV News Ahead of U.S. Attacks on Iraq & Syria

Tue 07 55 AM

A new analysis of corporate TV news has found there was almost no debate about whether the United States should go to war in Iraq and Syria. The group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that of the more than 200 guests who appeared on network shows to discuss the issue, just six voiced opposition to military action. The report, titled "Debating How — Not Whether — to Launch a New War," examines a two-week period in September when U.S. involvement in Iraq and Syria dominated the airwaves. The report also finds that on the high-profile Sunday talk shows, out of 89 guests, there was just one antiwar voice — Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation. We speak to Peter Hart, activism director at FAIR.

The FBI vs. Martin Luther King: Inside J. Edgar Hoover's "Suicide Letter" to Civil Rights Leader

Tue 07 40 AM

It was 50 years ago today that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover made headlines by calling Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the “most notorious liar in the country." Hoover made the comment in front of a group of female journalists ahead of King’s trip to Oslo where he received the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest recipient of the prize. While Hoover was trying to publicly discredit King, the agency also sent King an anonymous letter threatening to expose the civil rights leader’s extramarital affairs. The unsigned, typed letter was written in the voice of a disillusioned civil rights activist, but it is believed to have been written by one of Hoover’s deputies, William Sullivan. The letter concluded by saying, "King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. … You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation." The existence of the so-called "suicide letter" has been known for years, but only last week did the public see the unredacted version. We speak to Yale University professor Beverly Gage, who uncovered the unredacted letter.

Return of the Ferguson War Zone? Missouri Enacts State of Emergency Ahead of Mike Brown Grand Jury

Tue 07 13 AM

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in advance of the grand jury’s pending decision in the Michael Brown shooting case. On Monday, Nixon issued an executive order to activate the state’s National Guard in response to what he called "the possibility of expanded unrest." Nixon cited the protests in Ferguson and the St. Louis area since Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The grand jury has been meeting for nearly three months, and protests are expected to escalate if they choose not to indict. But while state officials say they fear violence, protesters say they fear a return to the militarized crackdown that turned their community into a war zone. As the grand jury nears a decision and all sides prepare for the unknown under a state of emergency, we are joined by two guests: Jeff Smith, a New School professor and former Missouri state senator whose new book is "Ferguson: In Black and White," and Montague Simmons, chair of the St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle and a key organizer in the movement that has emerged since Brown’s killing.

Terror at the Top of the World: Is Climate Change Leading to More Attacks by Polar Bears in Arctic?

Mon 07 50 AM

We look at a new investigation by the Pulitzer Prize-winning website, InsideClimate News, titled “Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World." It tells the story of seven American hikers who went on a wilderness adventure into polar bear country in Canada’s Arctic tundra — and faced a harrowing attack. But despite taking proper steps to protect themselves, a polar bear came to their camp in the middle of the night and pulled one of the hikers out of his tent. Scientists say that climate change is greatly impacting polar bear habitat, which may be the cause of increased polar bear attacks on humans. We speak to Rich Gross, a Sierra Club guide on the trip, and Sabrina Shankman, a reporter with InsideClimate News and author of the new ebook.

Naomi Klein: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline, We Need Radical Change to Prevent Catastrophic Warming

Mon 07 29 AM

House lawmakers passed legislation Friday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline to bring carbon-intensive tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast. The Senate is expected to vote this week on a similar pro-Keystone bill backed by Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu. Landrieu is facing a tough battle to keep her seat in a runoff next month against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who also happens to be the sponsor of the pro-Keystone bill in the House. Landrieu spoke last week about her support for Keystone. We speak to Naomi Klein, author of "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate."

Immigrant Rights Activists Vow to Continue Fighting Deportations as Obama Prepares Executive Order

Mon 07 15 AM

As President Obama vows to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, we speak to two people who could be directly impacted by an executive order. Rosi Carrasco and her daughter, Ireri Unzueta Carrasco, are both members of Organized Communities Against Deportations. We first interviewed Rosi when she was about to get arrested during a protest at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 calling for Obama to stop deportations. She was born in Mexico and has lived in the United States for 20 years. Ireri was a DREAM Act activist and recipient of the Deferred Action program.

Is Obama's Immigration Plan Too Modest? Proposals Cover Less Than Half of Nation's Undocumented

Mon 07 10 AM

President Obama is considering issuing an executive action that could protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. According to The New York Times, Obama’s executive actions will not provide any formal, lasting immigration status, but many immigrants will receive work permits, which will give them Social Security numbers and allow them to work legally under their own names. Another key component could prevent the deportation of parents whose children are U.S. citizens. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González breaks down the numbers of who will benefit from this possible executive order.

Russell Brand on Revolution, Fighting Inequality, Addiction, Militarized Policing & Noam Chomsky

Fri 07 17 AM

For years Russell Brand has been one of Britain’s most popular comedians, but over the past 12 months he has also emerged as a leading voice of Britain’s political left. He has taken part in anti-austerity protests, spoken at Occupy Wall Street protests and marched with the hacker collective Anonymous. A recovering addict himself, Brand has also become a leading critic of Britain’s drug laws. He has just come out with a new book expanding on his critique of the political system. It is simply titled "Revolution."

As Dems Punt Vote on Loretta Lynch, Admin Faces Pressure to Include Girls in "My Brother's Keeper"

Thu 07 49 AM

Democratic lawmakers are meeting today to debate the way forward in the lame-duck session. One key issue will be the timing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch. It looks increasingly likely the hearing won’t begin until next year when the Republicans take control of the Senate. If confirmed as attorney general, Lynch would be the first African-American woman to hold the position. We are joined by one Lynch’s law school classmates, Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University and the founder of the African American Policy Forum. Crenshaw also discusses the latest in her campaign to include girls and women of color in Obama’s "My Brother’s Keeper" program, which calls on community groups and businesses to help men of color out of the criminal justice system.

Are Mexico's Missing Students the Victims of U.S.-Backed Drug War?

Thu 07 26 AM

Amidst outrage in Mexico over the disappearance of 43 students, we look at the U.S. role in the country’s violence. According to the Center for International Policy, the United States has spent approximately $3 billion to fund the so-called war on drugs in Mexico. Since the war on drugs began under President Felipe Calderón in 2006, more than 100,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence. U.S. support includes $2.4 billion in taxpayer funds through the Merida Initiative, launched as a three-year aid program for Mexican security forces under the administration of George W. Bush. The Obama administration has extended the Merida Initiative "indefinitely." We are joined by Laura Carlsen, director of the Mexico City-based Americas Policy Program of the Center for International Policy, and journalist John Gibler.

Mexico Burns as Outrage over Student Disappearances Sparks Protests Against State-Backed Violence

Thu 07 15 AM

Protesters in the Mexican state of Guerrero have set fire to the local legislature as outrage spreads over the disappearance of 43 students. The students from Ayotzinapa teacher’s college have been missing for nearly seven weeks after they were ambushed by police. Unrest has intensified since Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam announced Friday that suspects in the case have admitted to killing the students and incinerating their bodies at a trash dump. More than 70 people have been arrested in the case, including the mayor of Iguala, who is accused of ordering the police attack. Across Mexico, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in peaceful protests, while groups of demonstrators have laid siege to government buildings, burned cars and blocked highways. The parents of the missing students, meanwhile, have announced they will be traveling across parts of Mexico in three caravans to demand their loved ones’ return. We are joined from Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state, by John Gibler, an author and independent journalist. “I don’t think it’s possible anymore to talk about corruption,” Gibler says. “What we have is two sectors of an industry that have fully merged — the police and the organized crime gangs themselves.”

Why We Lost: Retired U.S. General Calls for Public Inquiry into Failures of Iraq, Afghan Wars

Wed 07 30 AM

Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, a retired three-star U.S. general who helped command troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, joins us to discuss his new book, "Why We Lost: A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars." Bolger writes: "I am a United States Army general, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism. It’s like Alcoholics Anonymous; step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem, to wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry." Bolger is now calling for a public inquiry along the lines of the 9/11 Commission to look into why the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone so poorly.

Obama Calls for Net Neutrality, But His Own Industry-Tied FCC Appointee Could Stand in the Way

Wed 07 16 AM

In a strong statement in favor of a free and open Internet, President Obama has called on the Federal Communications Commission to uphold the principle of net neutrality by classifying the Internet as a public utility. Obama said such protections would prevent Internet service providers like Comcast from blocking access to websites, slowing down content or providing paid fast lanes for Internet service. Obama’s proposal comes as his appointed FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the cellphone and cable industries, is considering breaking with the president on net neutrality. According to The Washington Post, Wheeler met with officials from Google, Yahoo and Etsy on Monday and told them he preferred a more nuanced solution. Wheeler reportedly said: "What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn’t affect your business. What I’ve got to figure out is how to split the baby." On Monday, protesters called on Wheeler to favor net neutrality as they blockaded his driveway when he attempted to go to work. Protests also took place in a dozen cities last week after The Wall Street Journal reported the FCC is considering a "hybrid" approach to net neutrality. This would apply expanded protections only to the relationship between Internet providers and content firms, like Netflix, and not to the relationship between providers and users. We discuss the ongoing debate over the Internet’s future with Steven Renderos of the Center for Media Justice.

Obama Reaches Climate Deal with China — and GOP Congress May Not Be Able to Stop It

Wed 07 08 AM

The United States and China, the world’s two largest polluters, have agreed on new target limits for greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. Announcing the deal in China with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Obama said the United States will set a goal of reducing carbon emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, a doubling of current reduction efforts. China has also made its first-ever commitment to stop emissions from growing by 2030. We are joined by Jake Schmidt, director of the International Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

StoryCorps Veterans Day Special: The Unlikely Bond Between a U.S. Soldier & Two Iraqi Boys

Tue 07 54 AM

On Veterans Day, we broadcast the voice of a veteran recorded with StoryCorps, the award-winning national social history project. Two years ago, StoryCorps launched the Military Voices Initiative recording the stories of post-9/11 military veterans and their families. And this Veterans Day, StoryCorps is releasing a series of animations and a radio special based on these interviews. We broadcast one of those stories stories told by Spc. Justin Cliburn, who deployed to Iraq with the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2005. While serving in Baghdad, Cliburn formed an unlikely friendship with two Iraqi boys who lived nearby. Cliburn speaks with his wife, Deanne, about the lasting impression the boys left on his life.