Democracy Now

Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 4 hours 24 min ago

"Psychological Torture is Enshrined in U.S. Law": Complicity in Abuses Began Long Before Bush

Tue 07 33 AM

As President Obama continues to reject a criminal probe of torture in the George W. Bush administration, former Vice President Dick Cheney has said he has no regrets about the torture of foreign prisoners, including innocent people. Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Cheney said, "I’d do it again in a minute." Cheney’s claim highlights a key question: Are top officials above the law — and will the impunity of today lead to more abuses in the future? We discuss the issue of impunity and the history of U.S. torture with Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of the books, "A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror," as well as "Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation." We are also joined by Steven Reisner, founding member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and psychological ethics adviser to Physicians for Human Rights.

After Duo Created CIA Torture Methods, Did World's Largest Group of Psychologists Enable Abuses?

Tue 07 11 AM

As a psychologist identified as the "architect" of the CIA’s torture program admits he personally waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, we look at allegations that the American Psychological Association — the largest association of psychologists in the world — secretly colluded with U.S. abuses. Speaking to Vice News, retired Air Force psychologist James Mitchell confirmed for the first time he personally waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Mitchell was hired to help create the interrogation program along with his partner, Dr. Bruce Jessen. The Senate report says Mitchell and Jessen were paid $81 million to help design the CIA’s torture methods, including some of the most abusive tactics. The Senate’s findings come as the American Psychological Association has launched a review to determine whether its leadership also played a role in CIA torture. The APA’s probe was prompted by revelations from Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative reporter James Risen. In his new book, "Pay Any Price," Risen reveals how after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, the APA formed a task force that enabled the continued role of psychologists in the torture program. There has been a deep division within the APA’s policy on interrogations for years. Unlike the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, the APA never prohibited its members from being involved in interrogations.

We are joined by two guests: Steven Reisner, a founding member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and psychological ethics adviser to Physicians for Human Rights; and Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of "A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror," as well as "Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation."

Emissions-Cutting Deal Reached at COP 20 Lima, But Will It Help Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change?

Mon 07 44 AM

After more than 30 hours of extended talks, a global agreement on climate change was reached over the weekend at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. Negotiators from nearly 200 countries agreed to a new deal that forms the basis for a global agreement on addressing climate change. Supporters say it marks the first time all nations have agreed to cut back on carbon emissions. The final draft says all countries have "common but differentiated responsibilities" to deal with global warming. The countries most dissatisfied with the outcome in Lima were those who are poor and already struggling to rebuild from the impacts of climate change. We host a roundtable with guests from three continents: in Peru, Suzanne Goldenberg, U.S. environment correspondent for The Guardian; in London, Asad Rehman, head of international climate for Friends of the Earth; and in New Delhi, Nitin Sethi, associate editor at Business Standard.

Black Youth-Organized Millions March NYC Draws Tens of Thousands in Movement's Biggest Protest Yet

Mon 07 28 AM

Saturday’s nationwide actions against police killings and racial profiling included a "Millions March" that drew tens of thousands to the streets of New York City. It was the largest single protest of the post-Ferguson movement and the culmination of daily actions in New York City since a grand jury elected not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. After gathering in Washington Square Park, a massive crowd spanned dozens of city blocks as it marched uptown before turning around and closing at police headquarters downtown. Democracy Now!’s Aaron Maté and Samantha Riddell were in the streets to speak to the protesters who came out, and the young black organizers who made it happen.

Why Are Our Sons Gunned Down? Parents of Black Victims of Police Killings Lead D.C. March

Mon 07 11 AM

Tens of thousands marched across the country on Saturday in the largest day of protest since the killing of Michael Brown set off a national movement four months ago. From Oakland to New York City, protesters called for indictments in the case of police officers who have killed unarmed African Americans and broader reforms to policing and criminal justice. In Washington, D.C., the families of slain African Americans led a rally and march on the White House. More than 10,000 people took part. We hear from Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, the parents of Michael Brown; Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner; Samaria Rice, the mother Tamir Rice; John Crawford Jr., the father of John Crawford III; Kimberly Ballinger, the partner of Akai Gurley; and Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of Amadou Diallo.

Activists: Climate Talks Have Done Nothing to Avert Catastrophe, But Hope Lies in People's Action

Fri 07 46 AM

We wrap up our week-long coverage from Lima at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where negotiators are hours away from the formal end of the talks. "If developed countries don’t put down the resources that the poor countries need to prepare for climate change to protect themselves from the real impacts they are facing already, then you are going to leave poor people around the world facing hunger, facing increasing poverty without being able to cope," says Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam. "Yet they didn’t create the crisis of climate change, and they don’t have the means of solving the problem of climate change on their own. So it is an issue of justice, an issue of human rights." We also speak with Dipti Bhatnagar, climate justice and energy coordinator at Friends of the Earth International, who helped plan a die-in at COP20 to call attention to those ignored in the global agreement under negotiation.

Pipe Dreams? Labor Researchers Say Keystone XL Project May Kill More Jobs Than It Creates

Fri 07 31 AM

While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has claimed that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would create 250,000 jobs, labor researchers say the jobs figures have been vastly distorted. We speak to Sean Sweeney, director and founder of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University, and Bruce Hamilton, vice president of Amalgamated Transit Union.

As Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement Grows, U.N. Negotiators Consider a "Zero Emissions" Future

Fri 07 24 AM

For the first time ever, delegates at the U.N. Climate Change Conference are talking about entirely phasing out fossil fuels by 2050, setting up a showdown with the energy industry that profits from their extraction. We speak to Jamie Henn of 350.org about the state of the U.N. talks, the world’s growing divestment movement, and President Obama’s comments casting doubt on the Keystone XL this week on "The Colbert Report."

Silencing Dissent: U.N. Bars Climate Protesters from Putting "Keystone," "Kerry" or "U.S." on Signs

Fri 07 19 AM

We speak with youth activist Alyssa Johnson-Kurts of the group SustainUS about rules at the United Nations Climate Change Conference that require protesters to submit banners and slogans for approval. She says the regulations bar mention of specific names, officials and projects. "We tried to submit a banner that would have an arrow with Keystone XL in one direction and a liveable future in the other direction, and they rejected that proposal," Johnson-Kurts says. Civil society faces increasing separation from what takes place inside the conference. "The irony of course is that very few restrictions are placed on the fossil fuel companies that come here," notes our guest Jamie Henn, co-founder and communications director of the climate group 350.org.

Former VP Al Gore Urges Obama to Reject Keystone XL as Kerry, Top U.S. Negotiator Stay Mum

Fri 07 17 AM

With an impassioned plea for climate action on Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry is the highest-ranking U.S. official to attend the annual U.N. Climate Change Conference since President Obama took part in the 2009 Copenhagen talks. While Kerry spoke for 30 minutes, he never addressed an issue on the minds of many: the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Kerry must make a final recommendation to Obama about whether the $8 billion pipeline should be approved. Amy Goodman speaks to former Vice President Al Gore, who attended Kerry’s speech, about why he wants Obama to reject the Keystone XL. She then tries to raise the issue with Kerry and top U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern, but both refuse to answer.

"We are on a Course Leading to Tragedy": At U.N. Talks, Kerry Delivers Urgent Plea on Climate Change

Fri 07 10 AM

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, has entered its final day of scheduled talks. Deep divisions remain between wealthy and developing nations on emission cuts and over how much the world’s largest polluters should help poorer nations address climate change. On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Lima and made an impassioned plea for all nations to work for an ambitious U.N. climate deal next year in Paris. Kerry said time is running out to reverse "a course leading to tragedy."

Peru's Deadly Environment: Host Nation of U.N. Summit is Among Most Dangerous for Land Defenders

Thu 07 42 AM

The United Nations Climate Conference is being held in Peru, which is now the world’s fourth most dangerous country for environmental defenders. Four were killed in September alone. In a brutal incident in a remote region of Peru’s Amazon rainforest, leading indigenous activist Edwin Chota was ambushed as he traveled to neighboring Brazil for a meeting on how to address the region’s illegal logging crisis. Illegal loggers allegedly killed and dismembered Chota along with his colleagues Jorge Ríos, Francisco Pinedo and Leoncio Quinticima. Chota is among at least 57 environmental activists who have been assassinated in Peru since 2002. The Peruvian government has recently passed legislation that rolls back forest protections, which has increased the pace of such murders. We are joined by Chris Moye, the environmental governance campaigner for Global Witness and author of their new report, "Peru’s Deadly Environment."

Peruvian Protester: My Brother Was Disappeared in 1993 at El Pentagonito, the Site of Climate Summit

Thu 07 35 AM

The U.N. climate summit in Lima is being held at the Peruvian army headquarters, known as "El Pentagonito." It is a site with a dark history, built in 1975 by the dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado. The army, under President Alberto Fujimori, later used the base to torture and interrogate political prisoners. We speak with Marly Anzualdo Castro, whose brother, Kenneth Anzualdo Castro, was disappeared in 1993 during Fujimori’s reign. Last year, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights determined the state was responsible for Kenneth’s forced disappearance. To this date, his whereabouts remain unknown. Anzualdo Castro joined Wednesday’s climate march in Lima holding a sign reading "No Olvidamos," which means "We don’t forget." Anzualdo Castro says her brother was committed to student activism. "I join young people today [at the climate protest] because my brother had that spirit," Anzualdo Castro says. "So for me it is a way to see him alive now."

From the Streets to the Suites, Protesters Call for Climate Justice at Corporate Gathering in Lima

Thu 07 29 AM

In Peru, thousands marched in Lima on Wednesday calling on world leaders at the United Nations climate summit to do more to tackle climate change. After the main march, hundreds headed across town in a spontaneous action against a corporate meeting called the World Climate Summit. Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz files a report from the streets.

Putting People Before Profit: Thousands March in Peruvian People's Climate March in Lima

Thu 07 16 AM

On Wednesday, climate justice activists from around world marched in Lima at the people’s climate march. We hear voices from Uganda, Mozambique, Australia, Canada, Peru, Nigeria and more. "We the people have come together to stand up against injustice. We are saying enough is enough," says Godwin Uyi Ojo, executive director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. "In the COP, negotiations are taking place. The developed countries are putting profit before people. And we say, ’No, you need to put people first, before profit."

"We Are Like the Walking Dead": Latin American Indigenous Groups Decry Corporate Destruction of Land

Thu 07 11 AM

As the United Nations Climate Conference in Peru enters its final phase, thousands of people marched in downtown Lima on Wednesday to call for action on global warming. We hear from some of the voices who took to the streets: frontline indigenous and rural communities from across Latin America who are among the most impacted by both the industrial practices that fuel climate change and the impacts of global warming.