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“No More War”: Protesters Disrupt Ex-CIA Director Leon Panetta’s DNC Speech

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Protests on the floor of the convention continued on Wednesday. They reached a peak when former CIA Director Leon Panetta took the stage. While Panetta was criticizing Donald Trump’s appeal to the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, many delegates started chanting “No more war!” We hear Panetta’s remarks and speak to a Bernie Sanders delegate who took part in the protest.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Protests on the floor of the convention continued on Wednesday. They reached a peak when former CIA Director Leon Panetta took the stage. While Panetta was criticizing Donald Trump’s appeal to the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, many delegates started chanting “No more war!”

LEON PANETTA: Donald Trump asks our troops to commit war crimes; endorses torture; spurns our allies, from Europe to Asia; suggests that countries have nuclear weapons; and he praises dictators, from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin.

DELEGATES: No more war! No more war! No more war! No more war! No more war!

LEON PANETTA: Today—

DELEGATES: No more war! No more war! No more war! No more war!

AMY GOODMAN: Just after Leon Panetta stopped speaking, Democracy Now!’s Deena Guzder caught up with one of the delegates who took part in the protest.

ALEXIS EDELSTEIN: My name is Alexis Edelstein. I’m a delegate for California for the District 33. And I’m a Bernie delegate.

DEENA GUZDER: Who was speaking, and what happened here at the DNC right now?

ALEXIS EDELSTEIN: The former director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, was speaking. The Oregon delegation started to chant “No more war!” All the Bernie delegations, all 57 of them, states and territories, chanted “No more war!” with them. As soon as that kept going and going, the DNC shut off the lights to the Oregon delegation, almost as a way of showing that they want to silence them.

DEENA GUZDER: Why did this action happen when Panetta was speaking, in particular?

ALEXIS EDELSTEIN: The “No More War” action, plus, as you know, Leon Panetta is CIA. The CIA, you know, it’s supporting foreign wars nonstop, continuously, also initiating drone wars. Hillary Clinton is a warmonger. Hillary Clinton wants to continue all the wars in the Middle East. Hillary Clinton is with Israel on the Palestinian issue. We are for a free Palestine. Hillary Clinton wants to continue all acts of foreign insurgency. And Hillary Clinton, as the secretary of state, was also responsible in supporting the coup in Honduras. Myself being from Argentina, I’m very sensitive to Latin and South American issues. I was born under a military dictatorship in Argentina that was supported by Henry Kissinger. And Hillary Clinton is a supporter of Henry Kissinger. So, that’s why we’re very antiwar, anti-Hillary Clinton. Half of the budget goes to the war budget, to the defense budget, and that really sacrifices what else we can invest in infrastructure, education, healthcare, all the things that this country is lacking and that—what Bernie Sanders is fighting for.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Bernie Sanders delegate Alexis Edelstein. When we come back, we’ll host a debate between professors Michael Eric Dyson and Eddie Glaude. Stay with us.

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