Democracy Now! — Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary, retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, testified at his confirmation hearing that Russia remains the “principal threat” faced by the United States, taking a much harder line than the president-elect. He also said he supports the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has repeatedly criticized. Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council whose forthcoming book is titled “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Legacy of Diplomacy,” and Andrew Bacevich, retired colonel and Vietnam War veteran, offer comments.

Also on today’s show:

Trump’s Pick for Defense Sec’y Made Millions in Defense Industry After His 2013 Retirement
During the confirmation hearing for retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, several senators asked whether he would support Defense Department projects in their home states, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts). Mattis had a 41-year military career before he retired in 2013, and Politico reports his financial disclosure statement says that he is worth more than $10 million. Some of his wealth was garnered after he retired when he worked for General Dynamics, among other companies.

Sent to the “Back of the Bus”? 3 Black Members of Congress Testify at End of Sessions’s Confirmation
On Wednesday, at the second day of confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Justice Department, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions faced unprecedented criticism. But only one Republican on the committee remained to listen. If the others had stayed, they would have heard the voices we bring you today. New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker’s testimony marked the first time a United States senator has opposed a fellow senator’s nomination for a presidential Cabinet post. He was joined by Congressmember Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana), head of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said the decision to have three black members of Congress testify at the end of the hearing was the equivalent of being sent to the “back of the bus.” This segment features the full comments made by civil rights legend Congressmember John Lewis (D-Georgia), who also testified Wednesday against Senator Jeff Sessions’s confirmation for attorney general.

James Mattis Calls for U.S. Military to Be More Lethal at Defense Secretary Confirmation Hearing
Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, testified Thursday at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mattis’s 41-year career in the Marine Corps included field commands in the Persian Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. He led U.S. troops during the 2004 battle of Fallujah, earning himself the nickname “Mad Dog” Mattis. In May 2004, Mattis ordered an attack on a small Iraqi village that ended up killing about 42 people attending a wedding ceremony. He went on to lead United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013, but the Obama administration cut short his tour over concerns he was too hawkish on Iran.

Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

In other media:

A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media: Alexey Kovalev
A Russian journalist writes an open letter to American journalists, letting them know what they can expect in the next four years. He has said his article can be shared and reposted freely.


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