Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2015. Pretty exciting, right? Please do your part today. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2015.

Your Donation: $

Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Matt Taibbi: After Laundering $800 Million in Drug Money, How Did HSBC Executives Avoid Jail?

    Hsbc-1

    The banking giant HSBC has escaped indictment for laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and groups linked to al-Qaeda. Despite evidence of wrongdoing, the U.S. Department of Justice has allowed the bank to avoid prosecution and pay a $1.9 billion fine. No top HSBC officials will face charges, either. We’re joined by Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi, author of "Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History." "You can do real time in jail in America for all kinds of ridiculous offenses," Taibbi says. "Here we have a bank that laundered $800 million of drug money, and they can’t find a way to put anybody in jail for that. That sends an incredible message, not just to the financial sector but to everybody. It’s an obvious, clear double standard, where one set of people gets to break the rules as much as they want and another set of people can’t break any rules at all without going to jail." [includes rush transcript]

  • Matt Taibbi on the Unfolding Libor Scandal and What Sen. DeMint’s Departure Means for Fractured GOP

    Matt_taibbi

    News of HSBC’s $1.9 billion fine comes as three low-level traders were arrested in London as part of an international investigation into 16 international banks accused of rigging a key global interest rate used in contracts worth trillions of dollars. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. We’re joined by Matt Taibbi, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine and author of "Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History." Taibbi also comments on the departure of Republican senator and tea party favorite Jim DeMint of South Carolina. [includes rush transcript]

  • Exclusive: Native American Activist Leonard Peltier’s Jailhouse Plea for Long-Denied Clemency

    Leonard_peltier

    During the holidays, the atmosphere of goodwill and mercy traditionally extends all the way to the nation’s highest leaders, with presidents typically pardoning more prisoners than any other time in the year. On Friday, actors, musicians and activists are uniting to renew calls for clemency for one of America’s most well-known and longest-incarcerated prisoners: Leonard Peltier. The Native American activist and former member of the American Indian Movement was convicted of abetting the killing of two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Peltier has long maintained his innocence. Amnesty International considers him a political prisoner who was not granted a fair trial. We air a never-before-broadcast video of Peltier from an interview by German journalist Claus Biegert. [includes rush transcript]

  • After Rebuff by Clinton, Actor Peter Coyote Joins New Push to Sway Obama on Leonard Peltier Clemency

    Peter_coyote

    In a renewed push, President Obama is being urged to grant clemency to the legendary Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who has spent 37 years in prison. On Friday, singers Harry Belafonte and Pete Seeger will host a "Bring Leonard Peltier Home in 2012 Concert" at the Beacon Theatre in New York City to raise awareness of Peltier’s 37-year ordeal and plea for executive clemency from Obama. We’re joined by the acclaimed actor and narrator Peter Coyote, a longtime friend and advocate of Peltier. Coyote is a politically engaged actor and writer as well as an ordained Zen Buddhist priest. He recently narrated the recent Ken Burns mini-series, "The Dust Bowl." [includes rush transcript]