Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chomsky. Transcript. DirtyWars. TheTruthAboutAmerica’sSecret. Goodman. Scahill. Harvard. KennedySchool. 27 Apr 2013.

1.      Hello, everbody. Hello, welcome, welcome. My name is TimMcCarthy, and I’m a member of the faculty here atHarvardKennedySchool. This is an event where we will be celebrating the publication of Jeremy Scahill’s new book, DirtyWars. Sound of applaud. And in addition toJeremy who’s here with us today, we’re honoured to have you here, we also have two others americans legends, AmyGoodman fromDemocracyNow. Sound of applaud. And indispensableNoamChomsky fromMIT. Sound of applaud. I’m a programdirector at theCarterCenterOfHumanRightsPolicy at theKennedySchool, and we’re one of the cosponsors of today’s event, along withUCLAMass. Sound of applaud. TheamericanFriendsServiceCommittee ofMass. Sound of applaud. CambridgePeaceCommission. Sound of applaud. And community church ofBoston. Sound of applaud. I’d just like to ask everybody that turn your cellphones off or put in vibrate, and there’ll be no flashphotography. We have enough flash here in the room today. This event is being livestreamed [on]DemocracyNow. Also we’re making a video of it, which will be on theCarterCenterwebsite nextweek. I just wanted to say right now, we’re going to show a clip of a new movie based on the book, DirtyWars, that is actually tonight is going to be shown at theBostonIndependentFilmFestival atSommervilleTheater at6:30. It is sold out, so I don’t know if any of us will be able to get in if you don’t have tickets already. But this film will also be premiered nationwide on juneseventh, here inBoston on junefourteenth atRandallKendallSquareCinema. Today, we’re going to play a short clip as a way to introduce the speaker and the discussion, and we will play that clip now.
2.      [Trailer starts and ends.] Sound of applaud.
3.      I should mentioned that Jeremy’sbook, DirtyWars, will be, is being sold outside byHaymarketBooks, and afterwards Jeremy and AmyGoodman will stay for signing conversation after formal event is over. And now, without further ado, I’d like to introduceKateCrawford ofUCLAMass, who will introduce the rest of our panel today. Kate. Sound of applaud.
4.      Hi, everyone, thanks you so much for coming out today, and thanks to theCarlCenter and Harvard for having us here today. I’m short. Okay, there we go. So as you just saw in this [clip]. I’m so sorry, I’m KateCrawford ofUCLAMass. I run something calledTechnologyForLibertyProject at theUCLA here. And we work on a whole host of issue related to privacy, piracy and Technology. So we deal withGovernmentsurveillance a lot, you’re going to see how that links [] to the film and Jeremy’sbook in a moment. I’m going to talk quick, because I know you all came here for-Jeremy, -Noam and -Amy. Why is theUCLA cosponsoring this event? You heardRonWide in that clip talking about how we don’t even know what theUSGovernment’srules are for killing american citizens. We don’t know whole lot more about what the subject of the events that Jeremy’sbook covers. We don’t know exactly what our Government is doing in a variety of countries. We all know about theDroneWar. Jeremy’sbook will inform you about different kind of war, dirty wars that take place all over the world with plenty of different weapons and lots of different manœuvers, not just drones involving special operations forces in theCIA, and the american public doesn’t know largely anything about what’s going on. This is a real problem. We live in aDemocracy ostensibly, and so we should know what our Government is doing, what our taxdollar is [being] paid for. We should know whether our Government is breaking theLaw, for example. We don’t. Not only do we not know whether theGovernment are, sorry, what theGovernment’srules are for killing american citizens, we don’t know what theGovernment’srules are for killing in socalled signaturestrikes, which are the strikes that theCIA does at least in-Pakistan, also Yemen. These strikes kill people based on patterns of behaviour, not based on identity. So oftentimes, USGovernment does not even know who we’re killing. ACLU has been waiging both legislative and lobbyingcampaign legaljustification we have not thus far we have not upwards of I believe elevenlegalmemos that describe these authorisations. We don’t know. We’re in the dark. Essentially a lot of it is secret, that’s a real problem. So not only does ACLU care about this event because of that I want you to pay attention as you read his book to various strategies,  tactics and Technologies that are being deployed in the war of terror in this dirty world in various countries overseas, because those tactics, strategies and Technologies have a way of coming home. You know, we already seeing USdrones are beginning to invade air space, but that’s just scratching the surface of how foreign military operations have a way of migrating to domestic space. And towards that end, there’s a petition going out the room that my colleague, NancyMurray, has to some people. We here in theMass. are trying to pass threebills dealing with drones, licenseplatereaders and electronic piracy, so please sign those petitions. And if you end up with one of them at the end, please bring them to the front and you can hand them to me, I’ll be up here somewhere. So having said all of that, I’d like to introduceJeremy. I’m just going to be verybrief. You all know who he is. Jeremy’s the author ofBlackWater, NYTbestsellingbook on one of thelargest and themostsecretive, up until he wrote the book, mercenary companies in the world, run byEricPrince. Jeremy has covered numerous warzones for decades. He’s been inIraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia. And without further ado, I’d like to introduceJeremy, who’s a great friend of mine and a reallygreat guy. Sound of applaud.
5.      Scahill: I'm reallyhonoured to be here with both AmyGoodman and NoamChomsky. On my own Facebookpage, I listDemocracyNow as my university, because I learnedJournalism not from the classroom. I wouldn't have been able to be, you know, I was saying toProfessorChomsky, when we were walking, I've never been onHarvard and didn't actually spend much time in an actual classroom when I was technicallyenrolled in college anyway. So it's a little bit odd to be here. But I bring that up because I think that Journalism is a trade and should be accessible to people. And I learnedJournalism as an apprentice under the person that I think is a great journalist of our time, and that is Amy. And I had to stalkAmy before she would agree to let me come in and volunteer atDemocracyNow. I think she had, I was calling her and writing her letters, and I was saying, this was in themid90s, If you have a cat, I'll feed your cat. I'll wash your windows. And she had to decide whether, I think, to get a restraining order against me or to let me come in and volunteer for her. And, you know, she has just been such a dear friend and teacher for so long. And I like to think of the footnotes in my book as a tribute toProfessorChomsky, because one of the first things I do when I look at a book is to check out the notes in the index to see how serious the book is, how serious the author was about citing everyfact that he states in the book. And it was something that I verymuch learned readingProfessorChomsky'sbooks. And it's a real honour to be here with you, Noam. [12:09] We're here at a time when a popular democraticPresident, who is a constitutionallawyer by trade, has expanded, intensified, continued and, mostimportantly, legitimised, in the eyes of many liberals some of themostegregious aspects of what theBushadministration called its counterTerrorismpolicy and theObamaadministration continues to call its counterTerrorism and national securitypolicy. And despite the fact that this verypopular democraticPresident campaigned on a pledge to radically change the way that theUS conducted its business around the world and, upon taking power, issued a number of executive orders that were purportedly aimed at shutting down secret prisons, ending torture and closing Guantánamo, what has actually happened is that theObamaadministration has made cosmetic changes, tweaked the language, made a few adjustments to the detentionprogram, to the, what's called the targetedkillingprogram, but it's anything but targeted, as we've seen so often, it's an assassinationprogram. And this administration has sold the idea to many liberals in this country that this is a clean war, that it's a smarter war than the ones that were being waged by his predecessor. If you look at the administration'sclaims of bringing theIraqWar to an end, you have to examine what was onPresidentBush'sdesk the day he left office. It was the veryplain that PresidentObama implemented. It was already in motion. So this administration did not bring an end to theIraqWar; theBushadministration'splan was implemented. But also we've seen an expansion of CIA paramilitary activity inIraq over the past severalmonths. Thelargest embassy in the world is theUSembassy inBaghdad, and striketeams continue to operate out of it alongside thousands of mercenaryforces. InAfghanistan, theObamaadministration is waging twowars: the conventional war that you see through embeddedJournalism, and then the covert war that we seldomsee, which consists of special operations nightraids, dronestrikes and snatchoperations. InAfghanistan itself, theUSmilitary and theCIAcontinue to run detentionfacilities that are categorised as filtrationsites, so that people can be held incommunicado because they're not categorised as prisoners. They're categorised as potential intelligenceassets that can be used in interrogation to produce thenextnightraid or thenextdronestrike. Under this administration, USintelligenceagents utilise a secret prison that is buried in the basement of Somalia's USfunded NationalSecurityService. When RichardRowley, the director of our film, and I flew into-Mogadishu, -Somalia, in the summer of2011, and we landed in the airport, at the airport, atAdenAddeAirport, as the plane taxied and made its way to the gate we noticed what to us looked like a forward operating base that we had seen inAfghanistan . It was a largewalled compound with small hangars inside of it, and then a small cluster of buildings that resembled a small village. And it looked just like other forward operating bases, except that it had a pinkhue. It was sort of the, the walls had been pinkwashed on this building. And the Somalis called it thePinkHouse. And when we landed and we started asking our somali contacts, What's that building? they said, Oh, that's Guantánamo. That was the nickname that they had given for it. But what it was shorthand for saying, That's where the americans are based. And what it turns out it was, and I found this out from interviewing somalis who were liaisons with theCentralIntelligenceAgency and US military intelligence, is that theObamaadministration had initiated a targeted killing- and snatch-operation based out of that airport, where they were building an indigenous capability of somalis that could hunt down individuals that were suspected to be members of or members of alShabab, the somali militant group that pledged its allegiance to alQaeda. And these agents, I was told by the somalis that were helping theCIA to run this program, are lined up monthly and paid $200 in cash for being part of this targeted killcaptureoperation. In the case of captured prisoners, they take the ones that they determine to have intelligencevalue, and they hold them in the basement of this NationalSecurityServicesbuilding, which is a bedbuginfested gulag. Prisoners are notgiven access to the outside world. They are notgiven access to lawyers. TheRedCross, when I was onDemocracyNow talking about this when I came back fromSomalia, theRedCross said it was, had never heard of the facility. And then I gave them the address on the air and told them where they could go and find it. And, to my knowledge, they haven't followed up on it. But I discovered, I discovered that prison because I met a colleague inSomalia, who works for an international newsorganisation, who's somali, who had been put in that prison in retaliation for filming an operation that theUS-backed somali forces didn't want him taking pictures of. And he was put into that prison as a warning. And he said, when he was there, he saw american and french agents interrogating prisoners. So I started to investigate the story, and I found out that there was a prisoner namedAbdullahiHassan, who was a Kenyan of Somali descent, who was in that prison. And he had been snatched from his home inEastleigh, the somali neighborhood inNairobi, and shackled, hooded and driven toWilsonAirport inNairobi and then shipped toSomalia, where he was put in this basementprison. And we were able to get testimony smuggled out of that prison of him describing the story and describing how he was interrogated by american agents around the clock and how he hadn't seen a lawyer, can't communicate with his family and has no access to the outside world. When I called theCIA for comment on the condition of this prisoner, they confirmed that he had been snatched on orders from theUnitedStatesGovernment and that he was being held in that prison, and they said he was dangerous and it's good that he's taken off the streets. They said that he was one of the advisers to the then-head of alQaeda in eastAfrica, Saleh Ali Nabhan. And so, this man was snatched on orders from theUSGovernment while PresidentObama is in office, sent to a secret prison in the basement of aUSfundedagency, and then interrogated, at times byUSintelligence and military intelligence personnel. And theCIA did not dispute any of those facts that I reported. They simplysaid, Well, it's more that we sit in on debriefings with somalis when they're interrogating them. So, that is theReality of oneaspect of the renditionprogram, the secret prisonprogram. And I think it alsospeaks to torture and definitions of torture. So, PresidentObama and CIADirectorPanetta said in early2009 that we're out of the secret prisonbusiness, that we brought an end to torture. But what we know and what we can prove is taking place is a sort of backdoorcontinuation of the policy by tweaking it. In fact, it's verysimilar to the rendition program underPresidentClinton in the1990s. People try to heap everything, and say that the beginning of all the problems happened when Bush and Cheney were in power. Bush and Cheney continued many of theClintoneradoctrines on these core issues. PresidentClinton tried to assassinateSaddamHussein. PresidentClinton authorised cruisemissilestrikes that blew up a pharmaceutical plant inSudan and bombedAfghanistan, as well. Clinton sustained thelongest, initiated the longestsustained bombingcampaign sinceVietnam under the guise of the socalled noflyzones in the north and south ofIraq. And he alsoinitiated the renditionprogram. And so, PresidentObama spoke of bringing an end to all of these things, but then found a way to continue them. And as the surge happened inAfghanistan  and the drawdown happened inIraq, we saw theObamaadministration unveil what would become one of the lynchpins of its counterTerrorismpolicy, and that is the intensification of US drone wars. So, in Pakistan, the number of drone strikes increased exponentially under PresidentObama. He also began issuing a series of secret orders, at times throughGeneralDavidPetraeus, who was theCENTCOMcommander responsible for all military operations in theMiddleEast. And they started to issue what are called executeorders for joint special operations forces commandos, eliteSEALs, DeltaForce, ArmyRangers and others, to begin penetrating countries that were outside of the stated battlefields, like Yemen and Mali and Somalia and elsewhere in eastAfrica and theArabianPeninsula, and began constructing drone bases inSaudiArabia, inDjibouti, where theUS has its major hub of operations in eastAfrica. CampLemonnier was a french military base that was taken over by theUS. And so you had the expansion of these wars where you didn't have embedded journalists, you didn't have congressional hearings, and the administration tried to portray its drone wars as a smarter, cleaner war. But there is no such thing as a clean war. And what we see happening right now is that the signature strikes ... has become the tip of the spear ofUSpolicy in both Yemen and Pakistan, where you have what is almost, it's a grotesque form of precrime, where people, because of the region that they live, the fact that they are quoteunquote militaryaged males, and they may or may not have had association with certain people, makes them worthy of preemptive designation as terrorists. And so, when they are killed, and then we hear a report about elevenmilitants being killed or suspected militants being killed, oftentimes those are people that have been determined through the precrimeprocess, and that's even not the right term, because who knows if they were even going to commit a crime? When you're killing people whose identities you don't know, who you have no intelligence to speak of that they're actually involved with criminal activity or plotting terrorist acts, and you bomb them, what you've done in doing that is to create new enemies that have an actual legitimate grievance against theUnitedStates. Our actions in-Pakistan and -Yemen and -Somalia are going to come back to blow against us. It will be blowback. We will pay a price for our actions around the world. There is no clean war inYemen. There is no clean war inPakistan. When PresidentObama was asked about his resolve during the politicalcampaign, he said, “Ask the 22 or 30”, I forget which number, “leaders of alQaeda who have been killed under my administration about my sense of resolve.” And it's true. They've killed a number of leaders. The numberthreeman in alQaeda has been killed twentysomething times. There's SaidAlShihri. SaidAlShihri, who's one of the heads of alQaeda in theArabianPeninsula, by my count has died eighttimes this year, and just released a new audiotape lastweek. But there have been individuals that we're told are these notorious leaders of alQaeda that have been taken out, and some of them veryclearly have been involved with horrid activities. But for the most part, the end result of the dronepolicy has been to inflame hatred, to inspire new enemies. And a story that has affected me verydeeply, that I think should be of great concern to everyone in this country, is the story of what happened in september-and-october-of2011, when PresidentObama authorised operations inYemen that resulted in the deaths of threeUScitizens. Now, I want to preface what I'm about to say with this: I don't believe that we should ever view the lives of american citizens as worth more than any other people in the world. Sound of applaud. On aMorallevel, there should be no difference in how we view the killing of someone in a village inPakistan to how we view the killing of a kid born in DenverCO. But it is a relevant story to us here in theUnitedStates because it cuts to the heart of how far off the cliff we've fallen, particularly since[SeptemberElevenAttack], and under democratic and republican administrations alike. We now have a process in the chambers of power inWashington where a small group of men and women meet on tuesdays, and they call it TerrorTuesdays, to decide who's going to live and die around the world, to go over lists of people that are on the target list, off the targetlist. What's our intelligence on this person? What patterns of life has this person engaged in? Can they be made a legitimate target? And these meetings then result in briefings to the president of people that theCIA or the JointSpecialOperationsCommand want taken out. There are at least three separate killlists that are being run in theUSGovernment. TheCIA has a killlist. JSOC has a killlist. And then theNationalSecurityCouncil has a working group that also keeps its own list of highvalue targets. For all I know, there could be more, but those are the three that we know exist. And they've also developed something called the dispositionmatrix, which is an attempt to create a sort of algorithm for determining if someone could be captured or we need to kill them, if someone can be taken by cooperation with a local Government or we need to send in a team ofSEALs, if someone should be taken out by a drone strike or if we should try to seek to capture them through other means. This administration is normalizing the process of assassination as a central component ofUSpolicy for many generations to come. And I don't believe for a moment that if JohnMcCain had won the election or MittRomney had won the election, that you would see polls indicating that seventypercent of selfidentified liberals support drone strikes and that the support for it would drop only negligibly in the case of aUScitizen. I think that this has been a politicalcampaign to sell this idea and this program to liberals, and the results are going to be farreaching for generations to come. So, on this particular operation I started to tell you about, on September 30th, 2011, PresidentObama was presented with a choice byAdmiralWilliamMcRaven, who was the head of theUS special operations forces, and by theCIA. And it was a decision about whether or not he should kill an american citizen with a drone strike that had not -- and this citizen had not been charged with a crime and had not been indicted and had not had evidence publicly presented against him to back up the leaks that were being used to litigate the case against a man named Anwar al-Awlaki. There was no indictment. There was no charge. There was no evidence publicly presented against him. And on this day, September 30th, 2011, PresidentObama served as the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, and ultimately the executioner of aUScitizen who had not been charged with a crime, and authorised a drone strike that killed AnwarAlAwlaki and another US citizen namedSamirKhan, who was a pakistaniamerican fromNC. SamirKhan was widely believed to have been the editor-in-chief of Inspiremagazine, the publication of alQaeda in theArabianPeninsula. But I know the Khan family, and I spoke to his mother, SarahKhan, and she described to me the repeated visits of the FBI to their house beforeSamir'sdeath. And theFBI said, “There's no indictment againstSamir. He's not charged with a crime. We want to encourage you to get him to come home, but he hasn't done anything that we feel -- that we believe is unlawful. But we're concerned about who he might be with.” And so you have this american citizen killed in this operation who, the FBI was telling the family, hadn't been charged with a crime. After those two were killed, one Republican congressman said that, “Well, if Samir Khan wasn't on the kill list, it's still a bonus. It was a 'twofer,'“ he called it. So these two individuals were killed in this drone strike, and the response in Washington fell into two basic camps: silence or enthusiastic support. HillaryClinton, DianneFeinstein, JohnMcCain all rushed to celebrate the assassination of two US citizens. The only people on CapitolHill that made a peep after those killings were DennisKucinich, the former congressman fromOH, and RonPaul fromTX, who at the time was running an insurgent campaign for the republican nomination forPresident. CongressmanKucinich is an interesting character in this story, because he, when we first found out that they had americans on the killlist, which it happened because theWashingtonPost had published a story in january2010, DennisKucinich put forward a bill that said that theUnitedStatesGovernment does have the right to extrajudiciallyexecute its citizens withoutdueprocess. And onlysixmembers ofCongress signed onto that legislation, not a single senator. You know, it's ironic to watch the filibuster withRandPaul that day and some of -- and the tea party cavalcade or cavalry coming through there. Where were all of these people before the killings started in this way, when DennisKucinich was trying to actually get people to pay attention to it? Even after this killing, it wasn't an issue at all in most political circles, and certainly not in the politicalelitecircles inWashington. But then, two weeks later, another drone strike occurred inYemen. And this time, among the victims was a sixteenyearoldboy, whose only crime in life appears to have been that his last name was Awlaki and that his father was AnwarAwlaki. This was a kid who was born inDenverCO, in august of1995. He spent the first seven years of his life in the United States. And when he moved back to Yemen with his father and mother and his siblings, they were living in the family's home in Sana'a. And Nasser Aulaqi, his grandfather, Anwar's father, is an upstanding citizen. He is a man who came to theUnitedStates as aFulbrightscholar in1966 and adored and still adores theUnitedStates. He is a man who wanted his children to have a college education from theUS When he had come here to get his education, he wanted to stay, but he decided to devote his life to dealing with Yemen's water crisis, which is severe. And he built theDepartmentOfAgriculturalEngineering with money from theUSAgencyForInternationalDevelopment in Sana'a and was trying to raise his children to be academics or to be scientists or to be engineers. And when Anwar took a different path and became an imam -- and that's a whole story that I tell in the book of his, how he became who he was. That didn't happen in a vacuum. It had a lot to do with what theUS did after 9/11 that pushed him to become what he eventually was. But this boy, this teenage boy, AbdulrahmanAwlaki, hadn't seen his father since may of2009, because when his dad went underground, Anwar left his children with his father to raise. And this kid -- I looked through all of his Facebook posts, their family videos, talked to his friends -- was into hip-hop music. He had this huge unruly afro that his grandfather and his mother were constantly picking on him to cut. They wanted him to cut his hair. There's photos of him posing with his friends like rappers. We have one video where he's sort of in the streets reenacting a video game scene with his friends. And the videos that we've seen from their family show a gentle older brother to his younger siblings, and everyone we've talked to said that he was a quiet, gentle, smart boy. And this kid is living with his grandparents while his father has become public enemy number one, and the americans are hunting him with theCIA and JSOC. And his grandfather is raising him with dreams of sending him to theUS to go to university. And a few days before his father was killed, this kid runs away from home, from his grandparents' house. He stole the equivalent of $40 from his mother's purse. He packed a small bag. He hopped out the kitchen window. He boarded a bus in Babel Yemen, in the old city in Sana'a. And he took the bus to where he thought his father was, which was Shabwa province, the scene of repeated drone strikes by theUS trying to kill Anwar al-Awlaki. His grandmother told me that she was afraid when he left that it would be bait for theCIA, that they were maybe going to track his telephone calls, if he managed to get in touch with his father, or read his text messages. They also wonder if maybe theCIA was following him the whole time. When Rick -- when Rick and I, the director of our film, when we went into the Awlaki home in Sana'a the first time, all of the -- we couldn't find an open frequency to record the audio of the interview, because there were so many waves going through the house. They were being monitored from every angle. We couldn't find an open channel. So that family, we know, was being followed. But this -- and I tell the story about how AnwarAlAwlaki's youngest brother, Ammar, who works for an oilcompany, they approached him in Vienna, Austria, theCIA, and tried to pay him fivemillionsUSD to give up the location of his brother. TheCIA also found a bride forAnwarAlAwlaki, using a danish spy namedMortonStorm. They arranged a marriage forAnwarAlAwlaki, and so they supported his wife underground. But this kid, Abdulrahman, he's there. He's looking for his father. He's waiting inShabwaprovince. And he is there when his father is killed in a dronestrike, not in Shabwa but in the north of Yemen. And his grandmother called him and said, Abdulrahman, it's finished. You have to come home. Your father is dead. And he said, Yeah, I'm going to come home, but the roads are blocked, because the Arab Spring was happening, and there was a revolt againstAliAbdullahSaleh, theUS-backed dictator inYemen. So he couldn't make it back toSana'a, so he had to wait in his family's tribal province. And he went into a depression. And his relatives were saying, Abdulrahman, you need to get out and do something. Go out with your cousins. Go out with the other kids from the neighborhood. And one night they were all out, gathered in an outdoor restaurant at about 9:00, and a drone appeared above them and launched a missile and blew up sixteenyearold AbdulrahmanAlAwlaki, his seventeenyearold cousin Ahmed and all of the other kids that were with them. And when the reports came that this kid had been killed and was among the dead, a military, US military official leaked a story that he was twentyoneyearsold. And then the Awlakis had to produce the birthcertificate showing that he was born in august of1995 inDenverCO. And then they said that he was a suspected militant himself and that he was at an alQaeda meeting. And then they said he was actually collateral damage; he was killed because he was meeting with an Egyptian member of alQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula named Ibrahim al-Banna. And then AQAP releases a statement saying, That's a lie. Ibrahim al-Banna wasn't there, and he's still alive. And AQAP actually has a much better track record than theUSGovernment at deciding when the number two guy in alQaeda gets killed. I mean, they're generallyreliable when they say someone is alive or dead. And IbrahimAlBanna, as far as we know, is still very much alive. And so, then the question became: How was it that this kid was killed, this sixteenyearold UScitizen, who was not his father, who played video games, hung out in the Change Square with the nonviolent revolutionaries, had an afro, listened to hip-hop, and spent most of his time being an older brother and a goof-off? How is it that he was killed two weeks after his father? The coincidence just seemed impossible to take. And I've spent the past almost two years trying to get an answer to this question, Why was Abdulrahman Awlaki killed?, because, for me, the answer to that question says a lot about what kind of nation we are and what kind of nation we want to be. And yet, there are no answers. The Obama administration has never been asked about it. PresidentObama has never been asked about it at all of those press conferences. He has never had to face the direct question, even though he's in charge of the program. When RobertGibbs was asked by an enthusiastic young reporter namedSierraAdamson about why Abdulrahman was killed, RobertGibbs'sanswer was, He should have had a moreresponsible father. There is no, I can think of almostnothing moreshameful than blaming the killing of a child on who their parents are or were. The paying for the sins of your parent, it is a reprehensible, criminal idea, that you would blame the killing of a child on something that their parents had done when that kid wasn't even with his father. Then they tried to say, Well, he was sitting next to him. When HarryReid, the leader of the Senate, the Senate majority leader, was asked onCNN byCandyCrowley about the killing ofAnwarAwlaki, SamirKhan and AbdulrahmanAwlaki, his answer was that if there were any threeamericans that deserved to die, those three did. And I went afterHarryReid and tried to get him to answer, “When you said those three did, you realize that one of them was a 16-year-old boy who had never been charged with a crime and wasn't with the other two at the time?” And his office would never provide a response as to why he said that. And as the majority leader of the Senate, he has access to the intelligence on these strikes and refused to talk about it. Then I recently met a former senior official who was working on the kill program for the first -- the entire duration of the first term of Obama and was part of the process targetingAnwarAwlaki and at the highest level of theUSGovernment. And when I asked him what happened there, he said that theCIA and JSOC had told the president that Ibrahim al-Banna was alone. And he claimed we didn't know -- he said, We didn't know that the kid was there. And I continued to press him on that, and he said that John Brennan, who at the time was the senior adviser on counterTerrorism and homeland security, believed that either JSOC or theCIA had intentionally targetedAbdulrahmanAwlaki and that Brennan ordered a review of that strike to determine how it was that he was killed. No review certainly has been published, if it ever will be. And the official said he wasn't sure what ever happened with the review. But then he assured me, It all was, I'm sure, a big misunderstanding, an outrageous mistake. And I said, Well, if it was simply a mistake and he was collateral damage, why didn't you own it? Why don't you say it publicly? And he said to me, Look, we had just killed three american citizens in a two-week period, two of whom weren't even targets -- SamirKhan and AbdulrahmanAlAwlaki. That doesn't look good. It was embarrassing. “It was embarrassing” is themostcurrent answer we have as to why this administration has not answered how it was that a 16-year-old US citizen was killed in this drone strike. I'm looking forward to talking with Amy and Noam, and I want to wrap up by just saying something that brings things back locally here. You know, we all watched, of course, with horror what happened in your city, in Boston. And I've been thinking a lot about the way that theMedia coverage has unfolded, the leaks, the presumptions about motivation for these attacks. And we live in this society now where this other young man here who was -- his image was put around, and it's this student who was missing, and they said that he's a suspect, and now he's been found dead. And that family was dragged through the mud and tarred for something that their son had nothing to do with. And you saw the racism and the bigotry that grips people when these events happen. I was asked on this, about this when I was onMSNBC the other day byMartinBashir. He asked me to comment on this. And I said, Well, at the risk of seeming out of place on cablenews, I'm not going to speculate until we see actual evidence or information that indicates what's happened. And then, a few days after this Tsarnaevkid was taken into custody, something extraordinary happened. And that was a young man named Farea al-Muslimi from Yemen testified in front of theUS Senate. And I know Farea. I met him in -- I met him inYemen. And he's an extraordinary young man, incredibly articulate, sharp, manages to say scathing things about alQaeda in theArabianPeninsula and in thesamebreath turn it to theUS-backed Dictatorship. He's consistent in hisMorals. And he's such a young man, but he has a moral clarity that I wish so many of us had. And when he was asked about Boston, he said something that I think is profound, to the reporter who has a kid, a young man, in front of him whose own village was drone-bombed inYemen six days before he testified in front of theUSSenate. And he was live-tweeting the bombing of his village from textmessages he was getting from his relatives who were near the scene. And then he ends up in front of this powerful body in the United States, and reporters are asking him, What do you think of Boston?” And he said, The difference between you and me is that I condemn both of them. I condemn both of them. And it's profound, if you think of it. TheMedia coverage of the victims of that bombing has been outstanding, of the bombing in Boston. We know the names, the stories of heroes who responded. We know the future taken away from children and gradstudents, because theMedia, the journalists are doing their job. They're informing the public. They're humanising the people who were victimised and targeted in that bombing, because only if we have empathy for others and we realize the humanity of others can we actually muster up the strength to stand and do the right thing or to call for justice. If we had that kind of coverage of the victims in the drone bombing of Farea Muslimi's village, or we saw the humanity of Abdulrahman Awlaki and his teenage cousins who were bombed in an operation authorised by a popular, democratic, constitutionallawprofessorPresident, if we saw the humanity in the real widows ofBaghdad instead of being obsessed with the real housewives of-LosAngeles or -BeverlyHills or whatever, if we actuallysee them as humanbeings, then the game changes, the equation changes, because you don't view it through a nationalist lens, you don't view it through the lens of americanExceptionalism. You view it as all of our responsibility as humanbeings to stand up, even when someone is in power, especially when someone is in power, who you may have voted for, or who you like, or who you think is the lesser of two evils. That's when your principles are tested. You know, a society's values are not defined, our values are not defined by how we treat the rich and the powerful and the popular. It's defined by how we treat the least of our people, how we treat thepoorest. And it's also how we treat [that is] themostreprehensible. And so, I could talk for an hour about all the things that I think AnwarAwlaki did that were reprehensible. And I could talk about orders to target specific cartoonists. And we can talk about the smoke around his interactions with various people that theUS has determined to be terrorists. All, everything they've leaked in theMedia, maybe it's true. Maybe it's not. But if we are not going to give that man due process, then we should change our Constitution. We live in a different society then. We shouldn't project this idea that we have anything resembling the rule of law, unless it can apply in the most inconvenient of cases. That's the standard that we should be judged by. And that's our challenge. And it's the challenge of young people -- and there's a lot of young people in the room tonight -- to keep the struggle going to build a world where justice prevails and where humanity is recognised, with no difference between nationality or citizenship. Thank you.
6.      Goodman: What an honour it is to be here with-JeremyScahill and -NoamChomsky. And I wanted to start withNoam responding Jeremy's investigations and the description, putting it in the context of the history ofUSForeignPolicy.
7.      Chomsky: Well, I happened to get an email this morning from a person whom many of you know, FredBranfman. He's a counterpart ofJeremy from back in the[19]60s. He's the person who worked for years, with enormous courage and effort, to try to expose what were called the secret wars. The secret wars were perfectlypublic wars which theMedia were keeping secret, Government. And Fred, this was inLaos, was, he finally did succeed in breaking through, and a tremendous exposure of huge wars that were going on, a war in northernLaos attacking a peasantsociety that was so remote from what was happening in theIndochinaWars that many of them probably didn't even know they were inLaos. Actually, withFred, I met many of them in refugeecamps after a CIA mercenaryArmy drove them out from areas where they had been hiding in caves for twoyears under intense bombardment. He then proceeded to help expose the evenworse wars inCambodia and then the airwars, in general. Anyway, background. Onething he pointed, what he pointed, he's a great admirer ofJeremy's, I should say, for verygood reasons, which you've just heard and, I hope, will read and see. But Fred made an interesting point. He reminded me of a comment by a high american official back in1968, who Fred was trying to get to speak. It's noteasy to get these people to speak, but he did. And this official, he was asking him, Why is this intensive bombing going on of northernLaos? Nothing to do with the war inIndochina, just destruction of a poor peasantsociety, one of themostmalevolent acts of modernHistory, I think. And he finally, the official finally explained. He said, Look, there's a temporary bombing ofNorth, a cessation of the bombing of northVietnam, and we have all these planes, and we don't have anything to do with them. So we'll bombLaos. Okay, I think that's the lesson ofHistory that we should bare in mind in readingJeremy'sexposures of, first, Blackwater and the mercenaryArmy, and now JSOC, the socalled secretArmy, secret thesameway the secret wars were secret. If you have a reporter who's willing to, that has the courage and integrity to expose it, you can expose it. These resources are there. They're growing. They have a selfgenerating capacity. They're going to get larger and larger. They're going to want more and more to do. And if onetarget disappears, they'll be turned somewhere else. And as Jeremy hinted, they'll be turned here. And there's aHistory of that, too. If some of you want to read about it, there's a veryimportant book by a historian, very good historian, AlMcCoy, who, among other things, studied theHistory of drugs and torture and so on. But he's a philippine historian mainly, and he did a study of thePhilippineWar, theUScounterinsurgencywar in thePhilippines in the, over a century ago. It was a brutal, murderous war, hundreds of thousands of people slaughtered, a horrorstory. And he pointed out that, at the time, after the war was over, when the socalled pacification began, theUSforces were, theMarines mostly in those days, were using thehighestTechnology available to develop a surveillancesystem over the philippine society, so they could do what, what, by our standards now, at a primitive level, the kinds of things that Jeremy described. And they did. And it's turned the philippines into a, this is the philippines onehundredyearslater, have neverescaped from this. Philippine society is permeated by the consequences of this long terrorwar. But McCoy pointed out something else. He pointed out that these measures, from before theFirstWorldWar, were veryquicklypicked up domestically, both by theBritish and theUnitedStates, and applied to surveillanceandcontroltechniques within their own societies, the FBI here and so on. And now that's what we can expect, and signs of it are already around. The resources are there. They're selfgenerating. They're kept under a veil, so not toomuchinspection of them, though there could be, as you've seen. They're going to grow. They're going to develop. If the current targets disappear, they'll move on to new targets, because that's the nature of these systems, just like the planes who had nowhere to bomb, so they decided to send them to bomb northernLaos. And they'll come home. Alreadyhappening. And we can expect moreandmore of it. I think that's the historical background that should very much be kept in mind.
8.      Goodman: Jeremy?
9.      Scahill: [46:53] You know, there was a time when Amy and I, I think we were inMilwaukeeWisconsin, and we were. I'm fromMilwaukee, but we were doingDemocracyNow, the show, from there, and Amy had been on a speaking tour going all around the country and had given probably, you know, twohundredsspeeches in like 199days or something. I mean, it was this incredible tour that she was on. And in the middle of a show, she lost her voice in, I mean, had some coughing and then lost her voice. And it was this moment on the air no one knew what to do, because this, the voice we all listen to all the time all of a sudden like went sort of dead on the air. And I think there was a congresswoman or someone on the show, who was left to kind of deal with it. And Amy's like going like this, like -- and she's not -- she's just meaning, like, Let's go to break. But anyway, so, I think it's a product of as much great speaking as you do. One thing, though, in response to this, you know, I think that one thing that's important to keep in mind is that very little of what this administration or theBushadministration did was actually new ideas. They were old, existing ideas and resurrections of certain plans and programs. I mean, if you look at thePhoenixProgram in Vietnam, which was this assassinationprogram that was being run in Vietnam, there are veryserious parallels to what theUnitedStates was doing inIraq. You know, the dominant historical narrative is that the surge won theIraqWar. And GeneralPetraeus, had he not gone down for, you know, theonlything that seems to be capable of taking down the powerful is these sort of, you know, what they do in their topsecret chambers. They can wage all the socalled secret wars they want, but if they do something in their own secret life, then, you know, then you can bring them down. But Petraeus is often celebrated as this sort of hero who won theIraqWar because of the surge. But in reality, you had this merciless killing campaign that was being run by GeneralStanleyMcChrystal and AdmiralWilliamMcRaven, where they were just bumping off the leadership of any cell that would pop off -- pop up, but also just killing a tremendous number of people, in general. And so, you had military figures that grew up in a certain era with an understanding of these programs. And when Cheney and Rumsfeld came into power with Bush, they really saw, but even before 9/11 happened, saw the historical moment that they had in front of them to sort of redraw maps and implement a vision of the world where IranContra was a noble act and sort of the model for how theUS should be conducting its foreign policy. I don't know if you -- if many of you know this, but Cheney was in Congress at the time that Iran-Contra was being investigated, and he authored the minority report in the House defending Iran-Contra and viewed it as a sort of heroic, necessary action. And they had this view of the unitary executive, the idea that when it comes to these national security issues, that the White House is essentially a dictatorship and that Congress's only function is to fund the operations but not be involved with overseeing them or having any meaningful oversight of these operations. And PresidentObama really had an opportunity to roll back some of the executive branch power grabs that Bush and Cheney had engaged in. And instead, he sort of doubled down on them and has been waging this unprecedented war against whistleblowers and using theEspionageAct and reserving the right of the state to keep secret from the american people evidence that would indicate why someone was being assassinated, to keep secret -- to use the state secrets privilege in repeated lawsuits brought against former officials or torturers, having cases thrown out of court, using the full power structure of the executive branch in the same excessive way that was being used under Bush and Cheney.
10.   Goodman: Jeremy, you were talking aboutUSofficials. Can you talk about-McRaven and -Gardez?
11.   Scahill: [51:16] Well, that's one of the stories in the book, and also you'll see this in our film, one of the characters in our film is AdmiralWilliamMcRaven, who is, I think, one of themostpowerful military figures in modernUSHistory. McRaven is the current commander ofSOCOM, theSpecialOperationsCommand, in charge of all special operations activity across the globe in more than onehundredcountries. But McRaven was actually an original member of SEALTeam6, theNavalWarfareDevelopmentGroup. DEVGRU, it's called now. He was an original member ofSEALTeam6 and spent much of his career in the shadows of covert and clandestine US military operations. And he would have been forwarddeployed toAfghanistan shortly after[SeptemberElevenAttack], but he had injured his back in a parachuting accident at a training exercise inCalifornia, where there was a, where his SEALteam was based at the time. And so, instead of forwarddeploying to Afghanistan, Admiral McRaven was tapped byGeneralWayneDowning, who was coming up with the -- with the process for putting people on these kill lists after 9/11 and trying to take down all of the leadership of alQaeda or anyone that they could attach to the 9/11 attacks. And Downing askedAdmiralMcRaven to come and advise theNationalSecurityCouncil. People think of theNationalSecurityCouncil as this huge body. It's the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense and the secretary of state, and then staffers. But it really is just the core officials who dictate this policy. So, if theNSC is making decisions about targeted killing, it's really the principals that are doing national defense, national security, counterTerrorism. So McRaven became the adviser to the most powerful officials in theUSGovernment in developing how to implement the hunting down and killing ofOsamaBinLaden and others. And at the beginning, there were, by some estimates, between seven and two dozen individuals that were put on this list for, in the beginning it was kill or capture, but the emphasis was often on kill. And McRaven saw firsthand how theWhiteHouse worked, and he learned a great deal about the politics of an administration, because he was there helping to craft a policy that he would later then run when he became the head of all special operations forces. So, McRaven is there for a couple of years, and then ends up going to Iraq, where he was the deputy commander of theJointSpecialOperations Command underStanleyMcChrystal, who was veryclose to Dick Cheney. Cheney had gotten him a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations. And McChrystal was the commander ofJSOC for much of theBushadministration. McRaven is working underMcChrystal, running the kill campaign inIraq and coordinating all of these actions against against both the -- what was called alQaeda in Mesopotamia or alQaeda inIraq, AbuMusabAlZarqawi, and also going afterMuqtadaAlSadr's forces and others. So he sort of understood both ends of the game: how it was run in theWhiteHouse and then how it was implemented in the field. And when PresidentObama came into office, the two people who were responsible for the most covert, sensitive operations, being run by primarily Cheney and Rumsfeld, outside of the chain of command, were GeneralMcChrystal and AdmiralMcRaven. And they became the two mostinfluential figures in shaping theObamaadministration's counterTerroismpolicy. And, so, PresidentObama reallyempowered those forces and actually hadMcRaven in theWhiteHouse helping to shape the policy -- not just implement the military actions, but actually shaping policy. And most people had never heard ofAdmiralMcRaven. And, of course, he's now a kind of iconic figure because he commanded the raid that killedOsamaBinLaden. And, of course, Disney tried to trademarkSEALTeam6 after the bin Laden raid, it's a true story. But what I, the way that I discovered the identity ofAdmiralMcRaven was, in february of2010, there was a raid inGardez inAfghanistan , inPaktiaprovince. And a US special operations team had intelligence that there was a Taliban compound and that people living in a particular compound in this area were members of the Taliban who were plotting attacks against american forces. And they raid this compound in the middle of the night, and they end up killing a number of men and two pregnant women. And it turned out that this was not a Taliban family. In fact, they weren't even ethnic Pashtun; they were from a minority ethnic group in the province. And the man of the house was a senior Afghan police commander who had been trained by theUS forces. And his family showed me his documents. He had actually been trained by a private security company calledMPRI, which is made up of very, of highranking former military officials, intelligenceofficials and others. And so, these women were killed, this afghan policecommander who had fought withUSsoldiers against theTaliban and against theHaqqaninetwork in his province, and whose house was filled with pictures of him and USsoldiers smiling in these pictures, had just been killed. And when the commandos that, theUScommandos that raided the house realised that they had killed these women and that the men that they had killed were not in fact Taliban, and that what they were doing that night was the most antiTaliban of things they could have been doing, which was to be having a party with live music celebrating the naming of a child, the men were dancing and playing instruments, and it was this loud, boisterous party, and we have their cellphonevideo from that night. So, they raid this house; these people are killed. Instead of saying, Wow, we really messed up, and owning it, and that stuff happens everyday inAfghanistan . People are getting killed all the time that have no attachment whatsoever to the Taliban or alQaeda or the Haqqani network, and theUS will often just pay them a little bit of money and move on, and it never makes it into the papers. That wouldn't have been out of place. But instead of doing that, they dug the bullets out of the women's bodies, and then they told their commanders that what had happened in the compound that night was a Taliban ambush of this family and that they had come upon these women who had been killed by the Taliban. And then they, there were leaks saying that, well, no, this was actually an honour killing, and the women were killed by their own family members. And they put out a press release, and spokespeople made these statements saying that this, that theUS soldiers were essentially heroes that had gone in there and saved everyone else. But then, the family members, because they were a prominent family, one of the fathers of the women was the vice dean atGardezUniversity, who spoke fluent English, started calling reporters and telling people, you know, this is not what the -- what NATO is saying. Then a very great reporter named Jerome Starkey actually went down there, he writes for TheTimes ofLondon, and interviewed the familymembers and did a story saying that this was a NATOraid, he didn't know it was JSOC at the time, that this was a botched NATOraid and that NATO had tried to cover it up. And he told the story of these families. And when JeromeStarkey did this, NATO did something extraordinary: They named him in a press release and said, JeromeStarkey of theTimes ofLondon is lying. They actuallyaccused him of lying. And, I mean, that could have endedStarkey'scareer. And Starkey, to his credit, kept pushing and pushing, and ended up doing a number of stories and got close to that family. And Rick and I also went to this family and filmed with them, and you see this in our video, and tell this story and tell the story of what happened to Jerome Starkey, as well. So, Mediaattention is focused in now on this village and this onefamily'scompound. And eventually NATO calls up Starkey, and they said, We're about to put out a pressrelease. We're going to change our version of events. And they admit that their forces had killed, that NATOforces had killed these pregnant women and that the men were not Talibancommanders. So, the family told me and toldJeromeStarkey the same thing, which is that they got a call, and a person they believed was GeneralStanleyMcChrystal was going to be coming to visit them. And at the time, McChrystal was the commander of all US- and NATO-forces inAfghanistan. And they actually were plotting -- they wanted to kill General McChrystal. They wanted to stab him to death when he came into their home. And one -- and one of the men told me that “When they did this to my family, I wanted to put on a suicide vest and blow myself up among the americans.” Remember, these were US allies, and now they're saying, “I want a suicide vest, and I want to kill General McChrystal,” who was the leader of the war. And an imam at their local mosque said, “No, you're not to do that. You're to give him hospitality, like our people do, and you'll welcome him into your home and hear what he has to say.” So they thought that General McChrystal was coming to see them. They called Jerome Starkey. Starkey goes down there with his photographer, Jeremy Kelly, and they're waiting with the family, thinking that McChrystal is going to show up. And up pulls this convoy of vehicles with countless Afghan military officials and some americans interspersed with them. And in the center of this crowd is a guy with a name tag that says “McRaven” on it and has three stars on the lapel. And they've brought with them two sheep. And they approach the compound in the very place where the women had been killed and this police commander had been killed, and they offload these sheep, and they put a knife up to the sheep's neck, and they were going to sacrifice the sheep. And what they were doing was a ritual from these people's culture, the people who were the victims of this. And they were -- it was like a forgiveness ritual. So they were coming -- Admiral McRaven shows up with some sheep, after this family had been gunned down and then they -- and they had blamed it on the family and then said it was Taliban, and that. So, this is unfolding. This photographer, JeremyKelly, starts taking photos of, he didn't know who he was at the time, ofAdmiralMcRaven. And at the time, AdmiralMcRaven was the commander of the most elite, secretive US military force. And he shows up with the sheep in GardezAfghanistan, and they're offering to sacrifice it. And the american and afghan forces try to stop the photographer. They try to hit the camera away. They say that Starkey and JeremyKelly are not allowed in. But the family -- and it was so smart of them -- the family said, “No, we want him here as a witness, so that someone independent is here to know what goes on today.” And so they have photos, and Starkey took, in shorthand, all the notes of what McRaven said in the room that day. And McRaven admitted to the head of this household that it was his forces that had killed these pregnant women and the afghan policecommander. And he apologised. And then there were all these stories that went out onABCNews and others that the head of the household had accepted the apology. When I spoke to him, he said, I don't accept their apology at all. He said, The special forces did cruel things to us. They beat us. They ruined our life. They wiped out our Economy in our compound by taking away all of these people. And they killed our pregnant women. I wouldn't trade my twosons for the entire kingdom of theUnitedStates, is what he said. And another man chimed in, and he said, These are these commandos with beards. We call them the americanTaliban. And this is an antiTalibanfamily. And so, you know, when I watched the binLadenraidcoverage, and people started saying JSOC publicly, and we were showed that the dog was namedCairo and was a french, belgian malinois or whatever, and then we know what guns were used. And, you know, Rick and I talk about this all the time. We know everydetail that was leaked, and of course, a lot of it turned out to be nottrue, but that's for a different story. I was thinking, where was the coverage of like, wall-to-wall coverage of this operation that they did? Because that would give us a little bit more of a balanced picture of what happens in the thousands of nightraids that happen everyyear inAfghanistan  or in Pakistan or in countries that we're not even aware we're raiding right now. And so, that story, for me, reallyresonatedstrongly, because I think we only have a tiny fraction of understanding the extent of the kinds of operations that are being done on a daily basis around the world, and we often hear about them when they go the way that those in power want or when the version that they want publicised is the one accepted by powerfulMediaoutlets.
12.   Goodman: Noam, if you could respond to what Jeremy said. And also, you have written extensively about the killing ofOsamaBinLaden, and I was wondering if you could comment on that.
13.   Chomsky: [1:04:10] I've written plenty of unpopular articles, and one of themostunpopular had to do with the murder, notkilling, ofOsamaBinLaden. OsamaBinLaden was a suspect. There are principles, believe it or not, that are not only in theConstitution, but that go back to eighthundredsyears, toMagnaCarta, the foundations of angloamericanLaw. That's, I mean, they put it in narrow terms, but the general principle, including, Jeremy is quite correct, expansion of it to people other than our own citizens, is that a person can't be punished by theState without dueprocessofLaw and a speedytrialbyhispeers. That's a reasonable principle. It's in theConstitution. It was narrow if you look, so in the Constitution it didn't, naturally, it didn't apply to nativeamericans, it didn't apply to blacks, and it dubiouslyapplied to women, who at the time were considered property, notpeople. But over the years, it's been expanded. And unless it gets to the point where, that Jeremy was talking about, where it's just humanbeings, we can't call ourselves a civilised society. Anyway, those are the principles. OsamaBinLaden was a suspect. In fact, personally, I don't have any doubt that he was responsible, but my personal opinion is nothing that stands up in a court ofLaw. You have to have evidence. You have to have a trial, a serious trial. And it was prettyclear that theUSGovernment didn't want that. He was captured, apprehended, by, you know, themostskilled masters of war, to use the somali warlord'sexpression, that exist in the world, eighty of them, I think. He was defenseless. Thefirststory that came out was that they had to shoot him, because his wife lunged at theSEALs. Sound of laughter. And what could they do? You know, they had to kill everybody. But that story was later withdrawn. It was nothing. He was just apprehended, defenseless, murdered, body throw into the ocean, leaving obvious questions as to why. And the dangers of this operation, one of the aspects of this operation, so it was a criminal, in my view, just total complete criminal act. No justification. But, there's more to it than this. And I was kind of reminded of it when Jeremy talked about theYemenitestimony at theSenate. Now, those of you might have looked at the little, tiny report on that hidden in theNewYorkTimes. He said something else, this man who testified. He said that, for years, the alQaeda, the islamist radicals, alQaeda, they call them, had been trying to turn the people of this village against the americans. They didn't succeed, but you've succeeded with onedronestrike. You're creating more people to kill you, as you pointed out. And the same is true of theOsamaBinLadenassassination. First of all, the action itself was extremelyhazardous. TheNavySEALs who were sent in were under orders to shoot their way out if they got into any trouble. Well, if they had started, the pakistaniArmy is a professionalArmy, verycommitted, committed to the defense of the country, the sovereignty of the country. If they had been caught there and tried to shoot their way out, they wouldn't have been left alone. The american forces nextdoor would have come in in a massive force, and, you know, we might have been involved in a nuclearwar. I mean, it was quite possible. That was part of the threat. But there was something else that happened. Actually, it's been reportedrecently, I think inScientificamerican. But it was no, I mean, the way that they identified binLaden was through a fraudulent vaccinationcampaign. They had doctors posing to do a antipoliovaccination in a poor area of this town. Well, they pretty soon figured out it's not the poor area, it's the rich area, so they stopped the program in the middle, which is criminal in itself. Actually, running the program was criminal. You know, using a vaccinationprogram and doctors to try to apprehend a suspect. I mean, that violates principles going back to theHippocraticOath. But then they stopped it in the middle, because they thought they were in the wrong area. Morecrimes. Then they finallyidentified him. But one consequence of their actions was to, there is always in these societies serious concern about what outsiders, americans, are up to when they come in and start, you know, sticking needles in people and so on. It's alwaysthere. Takes a lot of work to overcome that hostility. And it was being overcome inPakistan. Now it's gone. They will not permit people to come in carrying out vaccinations. Polio is almostgone in the world. Pakistan is one of thelastplaces where it survives. Okay, we're encouraging the spread of polio. And as onecommentator pointed out, back to theYemeni in theSenate, one of these days, people are going to look at this crippled child and say, You did it to us. And you can guess what's going to happen then.
14.   Goodman: If you missed that testimony in theSenate, in the firstever Senatedronehearings of this young Yemeniactivist and freelance journalist, you can go to [Chomsky touches the leftshoulder ofGoodman.] Sound of laughter. Because lastwednesday we played it in full. And you can watch him and also read the transcript. But, Noam, I wanted to ask you to follow up on Jeremy's opening point around the killing, and closing point, the killing of americans versus people anywhere.
15.   Chomsky: [1:11:35] Well, Jeremy'spoint is exactlyright. And the murder ofAwlaki, and we should be honest about it, was. You take a look at theNewYorkTimes thenextday. There was a headline which said something like, West Celebrates Death of Radical Cleric. You know, good, we murdered a radical cleric. Then, concerns began to mount over the fact that he was an american. You know, bit of a problem if we go around killing americans. And that's prettyscandalous. I'll just reiterate what Jeremy said. It doesn't matter whether they're americans or whatever they are; they're people. Going back toMagnaCarta, the concept of people free of these, shouldbefree-ofStateterror, has been expanded over the years substantially. And it should be expanded to include people. They should be free ofStateterror. And I should say that I myself am kind of hesitant about some of the things I do myself. Right now I'm a plaintiff in a suit on the, against theNDAA, at least theNDAA proposals, Obama'slatest. TheNationalDefenseAuthorisationAct [] includes provisions which make it, which, optional for theGovernment, if it chooses, to place[US] citizens under indefinite detention in military prisons, which is an incredible crime. You know, again, back toMagnaCarta, muchworse. And ChrisHedges organised a suit to try to oppose this, and I signed on, but with reservations, because what difference does it make if they're [US]citizens? [Revealing aboutHedges.] I mean, the sameNDAAact authorised, in fact, makes it mandatory in some circumstances, for theGovernment to place nonamericans under indefinite preventive detention. Should be, that's what we should be, that's what we should be concerned with. This suit, incidentally, has taken an interesting course. Obama originally had said that he was opposed to those provisions in the act, but he would sign them. Then, when the case went to court, at the lowercourtlevel, theGovernmentcase, the plaintiffs won. The judge threw out theGovernmentprosecution, on the, because the prosecution refused to answer a simple question, Will these plaintiffs be subject to administrative detention? Could they be? And they refused to answer that, so the judge threw that out. Obama immediatelytook it to the higher court. That shows you how much opposed he is to it. It will work its way to theSupremeCourt. And given theSupremeCourt, theGovernment will probablywin. Well you know, these are things we should really be concerned about. It's not, if you want to know what, I'm sure you all know, but if you reallywant to know in detail what happens to noncitizens, read some of the testimonies. So for example, there's a recent book that came out by an australian, David[Hicks], I think his name is. Verymuch worth reading. He's a young man who was hiking around somewhere in northernAfghanistan. He was picked.
16.   Goodman: DavidHicks.
17.   Chomsky: DavidHicks, yeah. He was picked up by theNorthernAlliance, theUSallies. They sold him for bounty to the american forces. And then he describes his years inBagram and then atGuantánamo, and it was sevenyears. The torture, the sadism, the cruelty are just indescribable. These are american soldiers, you know, elite american soldiers. You just really have to read that to. I mean, if anybody knows americanHistory, it won't surprise you that much, but it's right in front of our eyes. And he said something quite interesting in his testimony, which I was struck by. He says the soldiers, of course, these guys were shackled, bound, you know, couldn't move, surrounded by all kinds of military police and so on. But he said the guards were afraid of the prisoners. He said the guards had been so brainwashed by whatever training they went through that they thought these prisoners were superhuman. He said that guards would come to his cell sometimes, he's shackled and, you know, so on, and ask him to perform some of his feats, like, you know, climb on the ceilings. Will you show us how you do it? Sound of laughter. And this kind of thing. And in fact, when they took them out to be interrogated, they'd have like a platoon of marines around them to make sure that they didn't carry out some incredibly monstrous act that these soldiers had probably seen in a videomovie somewhere. But he said they really were terrified of the prisoners. And that tells us something else about our own society. What are we doing to our own society when we're creating such terror and fear among ordinary people? I mean, it's kind of like having guns in, you know, armed policemen in schools. Is that what you want your children to see, that we live in a society where you have to have people with guns around to protect you from some unimaginable danger? And here, there's another serious, as far as american culture is concerned, something verymuch to be concerned about. This is a veryfrightened society, always has been. Goes back to colonial times. Verystriking. Today it is taking a remarkable form. If you look at the, you know, the gunculture, the people who are pressing for having guns are terrified. A lot of them are simplyterrified. They're like these guards standing outside the prison. What are they terrified of? You've got to have guns to protect theirselves from who? The federalGovernment, theUnitedNations, aliens, whoever it may be. Sound of laughter. We don't know what horrible force is coming after us, but we have to have guns to protect ourselves. I mean, put aside the fact the guns wouldn't do you any good and you'll probably kill each other, but the fear throughout the society is simplyincredible.
18.   Goodman: Jeremy?
19.   Scahill: [1:18:56] Just a couple of things in response to that. I was remembering, when you were talking aboutDavidHicks'sstory, this case that I came across inYemen of a journalist namedAbdulelahHaiderShaye. When PresidentObama first authorised the bombing ofYemen was in december of2009. The first strike that we know of authorised under theObamaadministration was on December 17th, 2009, inYemen. There hadn't been a bombing, aUSbombing, there, that we know of, since november of2002. Thefirstdronestrike, actually, that was conducted outside of afghanistan was inYemen in2002, and it killed a number of people, including aUScitizen namedKemalDerwish. And he actually was not, was notsupposedly the target of that strike, but they claimed that he had ties to a terrorcell called theLackawannaSix, which, like many of the plots we've seen lately, seemed to have been, in large part, the FBI breaking up its own plot, and which is reallyscandalous if you look at how many times this has happened and all these cases of entrapment. But so, PresidentObama starts, decides to start bombingYemen in december of2009. They do this strike on what they are told by the yemeniGovernment and byUSintelligence is an alQaedatrainingcamp and that there is this notorious alQaedafigure who's known to be in the camp. Well, it turned out that this guy, when we investigated it and went to Yemen and spoke to people that knew him and knew the infrastructure ofAQAP, that he was an old jihadist who had fought in the mujahideen war inAfghanistan  and had a very peripheral connection to alQaeda. So it seems like what happened is that, you know, theUSoutsources a lot of its intelligence gathering inYemen to notoriously corrupt Yemeni officials and agencies and to the Saudis, and the Saudis have their own war that they're waging inside of Yemen. TheUSbackedDictatorship ofAliAbdullahSaleh was playing multiple sides -- playing the saudis, playing theUS, playing various tribes inside the country. There were several occasions when Saleh fed theUS intelligence saying someone was alQaeda, and it turned out to being a political opponent of the regime that was being killed or assassinated by theUS on behalf, in the service of the dictator of Yemen. And so, in this case, on December 17th, 2009, they bomb this village, supposedly to kill this one guy, who does not seem to have been anything even vaguely resembling a senior alQaeda figure in the country. And after the missile strike happens, the Yemeni Government puts out a press release taking credit for the strike, saying it had conducted these air strikes. And theObamaadministration congratulated the Yemeni Government on taking the fight to the terrorists inYemen. A number of tribal leaders inYemen got phone calls from this small, poor Bedouin village called al-Majalah that these missiles had slammed into the area and had shredded people into meat. And these tribal leaders went there, and also a young -- this young journalist, AbdulelahHaiderShaye, who had done reporting and work for theWashingtonPost, forABCNews, for alJazeera. He was a very, very well-known journalist inYemen. And he was known because he was a brave guy who would go and actually interview alQaeda figures. Much of what theUnitedStates knows about certain leaders in alQaeda comes from the reporting ofAbdulelahHaiderShaye. You could look at one way and say he was a very valuable guy to have out talking to these people, because it helped theUSintelligenceofficials understand or operatives understand who it was they were supposedly trying to kill. But that's for a different story. So this guy goes there. These tribal leaders go there. And they take photographs of the missile parts. And they then show them, broadcast them on Al Jazeera and other outlets, and share them with Amnesty International. And AmnestyInternational has a weaponsexpert come in and analyse them, and they determined that they were, that it was a cruisemissileattack. And when Rick and I were inAbyanprovince, we had the parts filmed. They're still there in the desert, by the way. You can go, if you want to try to go to alMajalah, you can go there, and they're still in the middle of the desert, with “General Dynamics” and “Made in theUSA.” right there visible, and we show this in our film. We show the aftermath of this bombing and the missile parts that were still there, you know, well after the bombs had dropped. But theUS also, but the other bombs that they found there were clusterbombs , which of course are banned under international conventions. And the clusterbombs  are basically -- I saw the effect of them when theUS was using them in theKosovoWar in1999. I went to theNismarketplace after it was bombed inSerbia and saw the aftermath of it. They're like flying land mines, and they shred everything in its path into meat and limbs. And it is horrifying to see the aftermath of any bombing, but clusterbombs  are a particularly brutal weapon. And there were unexploded clusterbombs  that were left there, and after the bombing had taken place, some children were playing near a cluster bomb and picked one of them up, and it blew them to pieces, two days after the bombing had happened. So they take these pictures. They send them to Amnesty International. And these sheikhs, tribal sheikhs, organised a gathering to say that this is not the Yemeni Government that did this, because Yemen doesn't have these missiles. Amnesty does an analysis of them and determines that they were in fact US weapons and that only the United States could have been responsible for that bombing. And so, this sort of scandal was brewing inside of Yemen because the people who were killed there -- there were at least 46 people killed. Fourteen of the people killed were women, and 21 were children. When the Yemeni Parliament, which is a -- which is supported by the United States, went to investigate it, they listed all of the dead -- their ages, their names, their genders -- and I got a copy of that report and have the list of every single person that we know of that was killed in that strike. And we added it up, and it was 14 women and 21 children among the 46 dead, and in the pursuit of trying to kill this one person who the president of the United States had been told was this high-value target, who everyone inYemen says was an older mujahideen who had primarily done his jihad inAfghanistan  and not inside of Yemen. When this started to become public, this Yemeni journalist was going on Al Jazeera and was helping other USMediaoutlets report that story, that it was in fact a USstrike. US officials were denying it, and eventually then anonymously said, Yes, we were behind the strike, but GeneralDavidPetraeus said that no civilians were actually killed in the strike and that it's all a big exaggeration, which was veryoffensive to yemenis of all politicalstripes. And so, it was an enduring scandal. And this onejournalist was reallypushing this story, and he continued to report on other, on the expandingUSairwar inYemen. And one night, in the middle of the night, he was, in the middle of the day, he was out with a friend of his who was a political cartoonist, and they were shopping, and he was snatched by US-backed, US-trained counterTerrorismforces in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, and was taken to the politicalsecurityprison and was beatenbloody by the securityservices and told that he was to stop talking about the missilestrikes. And then they released him onto the streets. And what this journalist did was to go straight to AlJazeera and say, “I was just beaten by the politicalsecurityofficers, and they're trying to stop me from talking about theUS missile strikes that are happening in the country.” And soon after he did that, his house was raided by the CTU, the counterTerrorism unit, which is a JSOC- and CIA-trained entity. And they snatched him out of his home and disappeared him for 30 days. And no one knew where he was. And then they hauled him into a court that had been specifically set up by theDictatorship to prosecute journalists for crimes against the state, and was ultimately convicted of being an alQaeda facilitator, because he facilitated alQaeda members being able to speak to theMedia, and which -- I've talked to people inUSintelligence who actually also believe that this case is outrageous, because they said, You took off the streets one of the best reporters that we would read so we could actually understand what was going on inYemen, because of the notorious corruption of all of the informants. So he is put into this prison. He's put on trial, total shamtrial. His lawyers refuse to present a defense. No lawyer would represent him, at his own request, because he said, I don't want to recognise a shred of legitimacy of this process. And we have video of him when he is in prison. They bring him in front of the -- into the courtroom in a cell. They have him in a cage in a cell. And as they're pulling him away, he said, My crime is exposing the american missile attack on the tiny Bedouin village of alMajalah inAbyanprovince. They're putting me in jail because I exposed their cruisemissileattack. And he said, “This is what happens when Yemeni journalists are real journalists, and they pull him away, and they disappear him into this prison. There was so much outrage inYemen, from his tribe and fromHumanRightsorganisations and from mainstream civil society inYemen, that theDictator, AliAbdullahSaleh, had no choice but to issue a pardon againstAbdulelahHaiderShaye. This happens a lot inYemen. Someone gets arrests, the tribes protest, and then the person is released. It's a whole -- it's a game that's been playing out in that country for a long time. So, he's going to issue a pardon, and the official newsservice, theSabaNewsAgency, does a report saying that this journalist is going to be pardoned. That day, the dictator of Yemen receives a phone call from theWhiteHouse -- not from some liaison, not from secretary of state -- fromPresidentObama himself, personally. And PresidentObama tells the dictator ofYemen that he's deeplyconcerned about news that AbdulelahHaiderShaye is going to be released. And the pardon is torn up. And lest you think I'm making this up or I've just heard it secondhand, I know this because theWhiteHouse put it on their own website in a read-out of the phone call from that day. And when I called theStateDepartment to ask them -- this is a year-and-a-half after Abdulelah Haider had been in prison since this phone call, What is theUSStateDepartment's position onAbdulelahHaiderShaye? they said, Our position remains the same as that articulated by PresidentObama in that phonecall. We believe he should be kept in prison. So this journalist is in prison because of the president of theUnitedStates making a phone call and having his pardon ripped up. And he is not doing well in prison. I'm in touch with his family. He is, my understanding is that he's losing, he's starting to losehismind, which is verycommon with people that are kept in solitaryconfinement or in these conditions. And none of newsorganisations that worked with him in theUS, ABCNews, WashingtonPost and, none of them have said anything about his case. Where are they? When he's getting them sensationalist footage, when he interviewed Anwar al-Awlaki, they all wanted to broadcast his comments about Nidal Hasan, you know, who conducted the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas. And they wanted to ask -- they wanted to know what Awlaki said about the underwear bomber. You know why we know what Awlaki thought about that? Because Abdulelah Haider Shaye found him, interviewed him and published it in The Washington Post, on NBC. And yet, when he's in prison, they say nothing. It's shameful. It's shameful. And that's often what happens in these cases. Journalists -- journalists, like myself and others, we go into these countries. And, you know, I encourage people to read the acknowledgments in my book, because I tell you -- I name the names of all of the journalists inYemen and Somalia and Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world who made it possible for this story to be told. And they're the real heroes of this. Unfamous journalists, who report oftentimes not in English, take the great risks. People like me, I go in, and I can go somewhere for a few weeks or a month, and I depend on them to be able to tell these stories. And so, when something happens to one of our colleagues, Somalia, journalists are being gunned down in record numbers; inYemen, journalists are being thrown in prison. If we don't speak up when we have a platform and defend our colleagues, we should be ashamed of ourselves, and we should be ashamed to call ourselves journalists. Sound of applaud.
20.   Goodman: Noam, as we wrap up, this is the week that BushLibrary is being. Sound of laughter. Opened inDallas, where there is an evaluation, a reevaluation going on on his record. It's thetenthanniversary of the war inIraq. And today we're talking about the years of theObamaadministration. Can you talk aboutPresidentObama'srecord?
21.   Chomsky: [1:32:10] Well, let me tell you what I felt, and maybe some of the rest of you felt, when I saw the pictures of theBushLibrarypresentation. There was a group of men standing there, formerPresidents, the ones alive. Every one of them is a major criminal. Sound of applaud. Obama is continuing the grand tradition, shouldn't be a great surprise. And I guess the sentence that came to my mind at the time is actually fromThomasJefferson, who said once that, he said, “I tremble for my country when I think that god is Just, and some day will bring us to his judgement.” Well, if we can't them to some kind of judgement either, if not in the courts, at least in publicopinion, then it's kind of like what Jeremy said, We're not doing our duty just as responsible people. Sound of applaud.
22.   Goodman: And Jeremy, we're going to end with you. This is your second major book. Your first book was Blackwater TheRiseoftheWorld'sMostPowerfulMercenaryArmy, where you reallyreframed, you reframed the whole discussion about mercenaries and the privatisation of theUSmilitary. Suffice it to say, here we are, what, sixyearslater, and ErikPrince had to move, the founder ofBlackwater, toAbuDhabi, and you remain here in theUnitedStates. Sound of applaud. Less, and I wanted to ask, with this secondbook, and Jeremy is going to be signing afterwards, and I encourage everyone to get this book, not just for interesting summer reading, but that we can see a spring and a summer ofUSForeignPolicy. When we are informed, what a difference it makes to begin with those tools, to be empowered, to challenge what we. How we are represented in the rest of the world. But I want to ask you, Jeremy, finally, your new book is called DirtyWars TheWorldIsABattlefield. What are you hoping to accomplish with this book? And why you even call it DirtyWars?
23.   Scahill: [1:35:13] Onething that I think you'll notice if you read the book -- you know, I've talked to friends about the -- you know, when I wroteBlackwater. I think I've grown up a lot since I wrote that book, in a sense, because something really strange happened to me after I wrote Blackwater, and that was that I started to get emails and other electronic communications from people that had served in special operations forces or worked with theCIA -- not senior officials. I don't hobnob with the powerful ever. In fact, when I was talking about this official who told me what he said about the killing of Abdulrahman, I had to chase him around the campus of a university I found him on, and, you know, he did not want to speak to me. I had to sort of chase him. That's pretty much the only interaction I have with powerful officials is chasing them somewhere. But I started to get communications from operators and people that were doing these operations. And there was a sort of a pattern to them early on, and sometimes they would come to events and come up to me afterwards. And they would say, you know, a lot of them would say, I don't care very much for your Politics, but you were totally right about Blackwater. You know, I can't stand them. And I got to know people in that world, in that community, because they also were -- had problems with Blackwater and didn't like various actions or problems that the company's actions had caused for their units or the fact that they were getting paid so much more than the conventional soldiers -- whatever it was. But I started a dialogue with some of these people that continues to this day, and I've learned a tremendous amount from them about how these operations run. And what I tried to do in the book -- I mean, I hope I succeeded, to a degree, with it -- is to weave in and out of stories that show the complicated landscape of the killing fields and the men who do the operations on the ground, the figures who are identified as the targets, the civilians that are forced to live on the other side of the barrel of the gun or in the place where the bombs are going off, and to put it in a historical context. I think if you had asked me years ago what I think -- you know, what I wanted to accomplish or what I think should be done, I would have pretended to have an answer, because I think it's -- I was, you know -- I was bull-headed. I think that we, unfortunately, are only at the very beginning of a conversation that we have to -- that's urgent and that we have to have in this country about how far we, as a society, have let things go since 9/11 in the name of protecting our security. And I concur very much with what Noam said about being gripped by fear. You know, fear is a very powerful force. And if you don't figure out a way to confront it and not be owned by it, then things like thePATRIOTAct happen, and civil liberties get rolled back. And, you know, people say, Oh, NDAA, the people that are whining about that are crazy, and it's conspiracy theory, and all of these things. And you just have -- just study history. It starts somewhere. It starts with an idea, and then a crisis happens, and they implement the idea that's been laying around. You know, it's a veryageold concept. And my hope is that people use the book as actionable intelligence, which is actually an, you know, a term in theCIA or in the targeting business. But I want it to be actionable intelligence to work toward a democratic process of confronting our own fear and also holding those in power accountable, whether they're Democrats or Republicans. I think all of us should be defined not by the public pronouncements of politicians, but by what we do in response to the actions they're doing in our name. And that's the spirit I wrote this book in.

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