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Archives for March 2005
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Democracy Now! - March 31, 2005 at 9:00am
John Bolton In His Own Words: Bush's UN Ambassador Nominee Condemns United Nations Democracy Now! airs rare footage of John Bolton speaking on Feb. 3, 1994 in New York criticizing the United Nations. "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories," Bolton said. "If it lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." Meanwhile, 59 former diplomats have written an open letter criticizing his nomination. Ex-Bush Official Warns the Administration: Don't Rush on the Road to Damascus We talk to Flynt Leverett who served as President Bush's senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from March 2002 to March 2003. Nat Hentoff: Terri Schiavo Suffered From "Longest Public Execution in American History." Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff and law professor Jamin Raskin discuss the case of Terri Schiavo, who died today (shortly after we went off the air). Two weeks ago courts order the removal of the feeding tube of the brain-damaged woman sparking a national debate. In a new column Hentoff wrote, "For all the world to see, a 41-year-old woman, who has committed no crime, will die of dehydration and starvation in the longest public execution in American history." [includes rush transcript]

Democracy Now! - March 30, 2005 at 9:00am
Family of Truckdriver Killed in Iraq Sues Halliburton For Wrongful Death In the first of what are expected to be several lawsuits, the family of Tony Johnson blames Halliburton for his death a year ago in Iraq. Halliburton is the primary contractor providing logistical support to the military in Iraq. Exclusive: Halliburton Employee Says He Was Gang-Beaten By Co-Workers at Baghdad Airport The father of an employee of Halliburton subsidiary KBR in Iraq is alleging that his son was gang-beaten by a group of fellow employees, known as the "Red Neck Mafia," at the Baghdad airport where he works as a security coordinator for KBR. We speak with Eli Chavez, the father of KBR employee Ronald Chavez. Famed Attorney Johnnie Cochran, 67, Dies Best known for representing O.J. Simpson, Cochran for years represented victims of police brutality and government oppression. In 1997 he won the freedom of Black Panther leader Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt who spent 27 years in jail for a crime he did not commit.

Democracy Now! - March 29, 2005 at 9:00am
Pulling the Plug: Rep. Tom DeLay and Terri Schiavo's Dad Supported Their Own Parent's Right to Die While the media has covered the Terri Schiavo case extensively over the past two weeks little coverage has been given to the history of two of the key players: Schiavo's father and Rep. Tom DeLay. Both men faced a similar dilemma years ago and both supported their parents right to die. We talk to reporters who broke these stories. U.S. Soldiers Accused Of Raping Iraqi Women Escape Prosecution On International Women's Day, Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg broke the story about how soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade accused of rape were able to escape the charges. The soldiers were from the same military unit whose troops fired on the car carrying freed Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena. "Social Security: Is It Really A Crisis?" A Debate w/ Paul Krugman, Michael Tanner, Josh Michah Marshall We play excerpts from a recent debate on social security between New York Times columnist and Princeton economist Paul Krugman, Michael Tanner of the CATO Institute and Josh Micah Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Democracy Now! - March 28, 2005 at 9:00am
NYPD Attempts To Criminalize Bike Riders Taking Part in Critical Mass On Friday, police arrested 37 riders and confiscated dozens of bicylcles. Last week, the city filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the group TIME'S UP! from promoting or advertising events that the city alleges to be illegal. The lawsuit also states that TIME'S UP! and the general public cannot participate in riding or gathering at the Critical Mass bike ride. Pablo Paredes Faces Court Martial For Refusing to Fight in Iraq On Friday, the Navy announced that Paredes will face a special court-martial, the military equivalent of a civilian misdemeanor trial. The charges against him include absence without leave and missing movement. Jailed War Resister Camilo Mejia on His 9-Month Jail Sentence, Torture in Iraq and Why He Refused to Fight Mejia was the first US soldier court-martialed for desertion and was ultimately sentenced to a year in jail. He was released in mid-February. Mejia spent six months in combat in Iraq where he witnessed the killing of civilians and the abuse of detainees. After He returned to the United States he decided never to return to fight in Iraq. He went into hiding to avoid redeployment and was classified as AWOL by the military. He spent five months underground.

Democracy Now! - March 25, 2005 at 9:00am
Naomi Klein Reveals New Details About U.S. Military Shooting of Italian War Correspondent in Iraq Three weeks after being shot by US forces in Iraq, veteran Italian war correspondent Giuliana Sgrena is released from a military hospital. New details are emerging about the killing of the Italian agent who saved her life. We speak with independent journalist Naomi Klein, who just returned from meeting with Sgrena in Rome. A Wolfowitz in Sheep’s Clothing? We speak with award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein about the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz, one of the administration's top neoconservatives and a chief architect of the invasion of Iraq. Kyrgyzstan Protests Topple Government Opposition protestors in Kyrgyzstan took over the presidential compound and other government buildings yesterday, effectively bringing President Askar Akayev's government to collapse. We speak with the director Asia Program at the International Crisis Group. Student Hunger Strike Secures Living Wage for Georgetown Workers After a three-year campaign, students at Georgetown University have won their fight to secure living wages for university workers. The campaign - known as the Georgetown Living Wage Coalition - culminated in a nine-day hunger strike by over twenty students before the university accepted almost all of the campaign's ten demands. We speak with one of the students who participated in the hunger strike.

Democracy Now! - March 24, 2005 at 9:00am
Red Lake Struggles to Cope with Shooting Tragedy Tribal and religious ceremonies are being held in the Red Lake Native American reservation in northern Minnesota following Monday's high school shooting that left 10 people dead. We speak with an indigenous rights activist who grew up in a neighboring reservation and we go to Minnesota to speak with a Bemidji community organizer. Phil Donahue: "We Have an Emergency in the Media and We Have to Fix It" Phil Donahue - one of the best-known talk show hosts in the history of television in the United States - joins us in our firehouse studio to discuss the state of the media in this country. Donahue's show was on the air for more than 29 years. In 2003, he was fired by MSNBC because he was allowing antiwar voices on the air.

Democracy Now! - March 23, 2005 at 9:00am
Wounded Spanish Journalist Olga Rodriguez Describes the U.S. Attack on the Palestine Hotel That Killed Two of Her Colleagues...

Democracy Now! - March 22, 2005 at 9:00am
The Case of Terri Schiavo: A Debate Between a Bioethicist and a Disability Rights Activist A Federal Judge has refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube after an unprecedented action by Congress to allow her case be reviewed by federal courts. We host a debate between a bioethicist and a member of a disability rights group, Not Dead Yet. Rep. Barney Frank: "Clearly Politics Was a Factor" in Terri Schiavo Legislation We speak with Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) who voted against the Terri Schiavo legislation. Frank says, "It is clearly wrong for the congress of the United States, this body of elected officials, driven more by ideology and by self-electoral considerations and advancement to other offices and re-election, shouldn't be trying to cancel out the decision made by the State of Florida." World Water Day 2005: Water Privatization in Stockton and Detroit To mark World Water Day 2005, we take a look at the issue of water privatization in this country in California and Michigan. We speak with activists from Stockton and Detroit and an independent filmmaker who produced the documentary, "Thirst."

Democracy Now! - March 21, 2005 at 9:00am
U.S. Broadcast Exclusive: Secret U.S. Plans For Iraq's Oil Spark Political Fight Between Neocons and Big Oil...

Democracy Now! - March 18, 2005 at 9:00am
No Child Left Unrecruited: Rep. Jim McDermott Seeks to Protect Students From Military Recruiters...

Democracy Now! - March 17, 2005 at 9:00am
Bush Names Iraq War Architect Paul Wolfowitz to Head World Bank President Bush named Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to become the new president of the World Bank. Woflowitz is one of the chief hawks within the Bush administration and was a leading architects of the Iraq war. We speak with journalist Jim Lobe and Njoki Njoroge Njehu of the 50 Years is Enough network. Kevin Martin Appointed FCC Chairman, Ken Ferree Named to Leading Post at Corporation for Public Broadcasting President Bush named conservative commissioner Kevin Martin to head the Federal Communications Commission. Separately, Ken Ferree was named as Chief Operating Officer for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. We speak with Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy. St. Patrick's Day Special: Irish Peace Activists Protest U.S. Use of Shannon Airport in Iraq War To commemorate St. Patrick's Day, we take a look at the use of Shannon airport by U.S. troops en route to Iraq as well as the case of three Irish peace activists recently acquitted after their arrest during a protest against President Bush.

Democracy Now! - March 16, 2005 at 9:00am
Justice DeLayed? Ethics Controversy Swirls Around House Majority Leader House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) - one of the most powerful members in Congress and a prolific fundraiser for his party - is again under fire for potential ethics violations. We host a debate with Chellie Pingree of Common Cause and Stephen Moore of the Free Enterprise Fund. Family of Rachel Corrie Sues Israeli Government and Caterpillar Inc. Two Years After She Was Crushed by Military Bulldozer Today is the second anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie - the American peace activist killed by an Israel military bulldozer when she attempted to block the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza. Now, her family is suing the State of Israel and Caterpillar - the U.S. firm that manufactured the bulldozer that crushed her. We speak with Rachel Corrie's father and older sister and the attorney representing them in the suit against Caterpillar. Rep. Adam Smith: "The Israeli Government Did Not Do a Satisfactory Investigation" Into Rachel Corrie's Death We speak with Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), who delivered a letter from the Corrie family to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, calling for an independent investigation into Rachel Corrie's death.

Democracy Now! - March 15, 2005 at 9:00am
AWOL in America: Why Over 5,500 U.S. Soldiers Discharged Themselves The Pentagon has estimated that since the start of the current conflict in Iraq, more than 5,500 U.S. military personnel have deserted. We speak with journalist Kathy Dobie who wrote the cover story for this month's issue of Harper's magazine titled "AWOL in America: When Desertion is the Only Option." Dobie says, "Some of them leave because they're unwilling to kill, some because of family and personal problems and some because of the unjust recruiting process." Three U.S. Soldiers Refusing to Fight Speak Out Against the Iraq War We speak with three U.S. soldiers who are refusing deployment to Iraq: Carl Webb, who is AWOL after refusing to report for duty when his term was extended under the military's "stop-loss" policy, Kevin Benderman who has been charged with desertion and is facing a court martial after refusing to return to Iraq and another soldier who served in Iraq and is now AWOL after refusing to return when he has called up for a second tour off duty The Invisible Wounded: Injured U.S. Soldiers Arrive Home Under Cover of Darkness We speak with journalist Mark Benjamin about the hidden casualties of the Iraq war: wounded U.S. soldiers. We look at how injured soldiers evacuated to the U.S. never arrive in the light of day as well as how veterans suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome receive inadequate and ineffective psychiatric care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Democracy Now! - March 14, 2005 at 9:00am
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Laurie Garrett Quits Newsday: "When You See News As a Product...It's Impossible To Really Serve Democracy" We speak with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett, who resigned from Newsday and ripped the paper's parent company, the Tribune Company, for putting profit over quality journalism. Garrett says, “If you trim back your staff, if you trim back your costs, and you put out a lower quality product, your stock value goes up. All across the news industry, we have seen this same phenomenon." State Propaganda: How Government Agencies Produce Hundreds of Pre-Packaged TV Segments the Media Runs as News According to a major expose in The New York Times, federal agencies under the Bush administration - from the State Department to Agriculture to the Transportation Security Administration - have been producing hundreds of pre-packaged TV segments that have been broadcast on local stations as real news. We speak with John Stauber of PR Watch, which has been tracking the rise of government and corporate-produced news for years.

Democracy Now! - March 11, 2005 at 9:00am
A Day of Mourning: Spain Marks Anniversary of March 11 Madrid Train Bombings Across Spain today, people are marking the first anniversary of the March 11 Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people and left more than 1,800 wounded. We go to Madrid to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent, Maria Carrion. Juan Cole and Osama Siblani on Middle East Politics, U.S. Media Coverage of the Region, and the Arab American Landscape We broadcast from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor - home to the first antiwar teach-in forty years ago this month. Also, the region surrounded by Detroit and Dearborn is home to one of the largest Arab communities in this country. We spend the rest of the hour looking at issues surrounding the Middle East, both in terms of U.S. foreign policy as well as here at home and how Arab Americans and Arab immigrants have been affected by the Bush administration's so-called war on terror. We speak with University of Michigan professor, Juan Cole and Osama Siblani, publisher and editor-in-chief of "The Arab American" newspaper. Arab American Publisher Says Bush Told Him in May 2000 He Planned to "Take Out" Iraq Osama Siblani, publisher of "The Arab American" newspaper, says George W Bush told him in May 2000 - before he was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate - that he is going to "take out" Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

Democracy Now! - March 10, 2005 at 9:00am
Political Activism or Grassroots Organizing? A Debate on the Future of Organized Labor In recent weeks, a group of some of the largest unions have begun considering leaving the AFL-CIO. At the center of the controversy is the issue of political activism and organizing: The AFL-CIO camp advocates directing more resources to the federation's political program while the SEIU and its backers want the focus to be on grassroots labor organizing. We host a debate with the AFL-CIO and UNITE HERE. Is the Democratic Party Turning to Anti-Choice Candidates to Attract Conservative Voters? Pro-choice activists are accusing the Democratic Party of abandoning its commitment to abortion rights and turning to anti-choice candidates in order to woo moderate and conservative voters. We speak with members of the National Organization for Women and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Immokalee Tomato Pickers Win Campaign Against Taco Bell The Coalition of Immokalee Workers - a group of tomato pickers from Florida - claimed a decisive victory in their national boycott of fast food giant Taco Bell to improve wages and working conditions. We speak with a farmworker with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and a member of the Student Farmworker Alliance.

Democracy Now! - March 9, 2005 at 9:00am
Is Bush Bringing Democracy to the Middle East? A Debate on U.S. Foreign Policy in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and More We host a debate on the question: Is Bush bringing democracy to the Middle East? We are joined by Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rahul Mahajan, an independent journalist and author and Farid Ghadry, the co-founder and current president of the Reform Party of Syria, a U.S.-based Syrian opposition party. Bush Nominates Fierce UN Critic and Unilateralist John Bolton As Ambassador to United Nations President Bush nominated John Bolton to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. We take a look at Bolton's record, his criticism of the UN and why his nomination stunned many in Washington with journalist Jim Lobe.

Democracy Now! - March 8, 2005 at 9:00am
Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai on the Environment, the War in Iraq, Debt and Women's Equality Today on this International Women's Day, we spend the hour with Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and first environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Her life story is a remarkable one. Wangari Maathai grew up in a rural village in Kenya. She excelled at school and eventually won a scholarship to attend university in the United States. After graduating with a degree in biological sciences she went on to earn a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1971, she received her PhD from the University of Nairobi, making her the first woman in eastern and central Africa to earn a doctorate. She then embarked on what would become a life-long campaign against the government-backed forest clearances in Kenya. In 1977, she founded the Green Belt Movement when she planted nine tree seeds in the yard of her house. In the following years, she succeeded in persuading women across Africa to do the same. Today, about 30 million trees have been planted across the continent to fight deforestation. Throughout her life, Wangari Maathai has campaigned on issues such as poverty, malnutrition, corruption, women's low economic status and the lack of media freedom in Kenya. She has also criticized the negative images of Africa in the Western media and the reluctance of rich countries to relieve Africa's debt.

Democracy Now! - March 7, 2005 at 9:00am
Il Manifesto Founder on Sgrena Shooting: This Was an Attack on Unembedded Journalism U.S. soldiers in Iraq shot at the car of Italian journalist - Giuliana Sgrena - killing the Italian intelligence agent who helped free her and wounding three others. Sgrena had just been released after a month in captivity by the Iraqi resistance. We go to Italy to speak with Luciana Castellina, a leading public intellectual and one the founders of Giuliana Sgrena's newspaper - Il Manifesto. Hizbollah Warns Against Withdrawal of Syrian Troops From Lebanon As the the presidents of Syria and Lebanon meet to approve a withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, Hizbollah calls for mass protests and warns of mayhem if Syrian troops leave. We speak with Lebanese activist Afami Kaddour about the current situation in Lebanon. Trial of Irish Peace Activists Opposed to U.S. Military Use of Shannon Airport Begins in Dublin The trial of five peace activists began Monday in Dublin, Ireland. The five were arrested on February 3rd, 2003 on charges stemming from an action at Shannon Airport - a civilian airport that has been transformed into a pit stop for the U.S military. They face up to 10 years in prison. We go to Dublin to speak with Ciaron O'Reilly, one of the activists on trial and Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Remembering Bloody Sunday: Thousands Mark 40th Anniversary of Selma Voting Rights March Today is the fortieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday - the historic voting rights march in Selma, Alabama when used billy clubs, tears gas and cattle prods to stop some 600 black marchers from reaching Montgomery in a bid for voting rights. We go to Selma, Alabama to speak with Joanne Bland, of the National Voting Rights Museum who attended the march 40 years ago.

Democracy Now! - March 4, 2005 at 9:00am
Harsh Medicine: New York Times Exposes How Private Health Care in Jails Can Be a "Death Sentence" for Prisoners We take an in-depth look at the for-profit health care in prison and jails in this country. The New York Times published a series titled "Harsh Medicine" based on a yearlong investigation of Prison Health Services, the nation's largest for-profit provider of prisoner medical care, that exposes how inadequate care has resulted in death and suicides by prisoners. Once-Jailed Syrian Father and Son Warn U.S. Attack Would Destroy "Not Only the Regime But the Country Itself" We continue our coverage of Syria with two Syrians who were once jailed in Damascus: a father and son. Leading human rights lawyer, Haythem al-Maleh, joins us from Syria and his son Iyas joins us from Dallas.

Democracy Now! - March 3, 2005 at 9:00am
Iranian Labyrinth: Author Dilip Hiro Talks About the U.S. Threats Towards Tehran The Bush administration has adopted a hard-line stance against Iran, repeatedly accusing President Khatami's government of trying to develop nuclear weapons and refusing to hold direct talks. We speak with veteran journalist Dilip Hiro, author of the forthcoming book, "Iranian Labyrinth," about the U.S. threats towards Tehran. Egyptian Feminist Nawal El Saadawi on Bush's 'Democratization' of Middle East: "We Were Fighting For Years...They Deprive Us of Our Struggle" Amid growing street protests, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has called on parliament to change the constitution to allow opposition candidates to run for president. We speak with famed Egyptian feminist, psychiatrist and author, Nawal El Saadawi. She has been jailed, threatened with death and now plans to run for president. Leading Syrian Human Rights Lawyer Blasts U.S. Foreign Policy of "Empire" in the Middle East As Washington's rhetoric towards Syria grows more hostile, we turn to a perspective seldom heard in corporate media: the perspective of Syrians who are not government officials. We go to Damascus to speak with Haythem al-Maleh, one of Syria's leading human rights lawyers.

Democracy Now! - March 2, 2005 at 9:00am
U.S. Court Reverses $54M Verdict Against Salvadoran Generals Convicted of Torture A 54.6 million dollar verdict against two retired Salvadoran generals accused of torture in their home country two decades ago was reversed this week by a federal appeals court which ruled that the victim's claims failed to meet a 10-year statute-of-limitations rule. We speak with one of the plaintiffs in the case who was tortured in El Salvador and one the lawyers in the suit. Sen. Leahy on Bush's Judicial Nominees: You Can't "Make The Judiciary An Arm Of The Republican Party" As the battle over President Bush's judicial nominees reopens in the Senate, we speak with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We also talk to him about restoring ties to the Indonesian military and 48 towns in Vermont that voted yesterday against war, calling for the Vermont National Guard be brought home. 48 Vermont Towns Vote Against Iraq War, Call for State's National Guard to Come Home In Vermont, 48 town meetings voted last night to condemn the war in Iraq and to call on political leaders to bring home the state's National Guard. We speak with an organizer with the Iraq Resolution Campaign that coordinated the town meetings. Supreme Court Abolishes Death Penalty For Juveniles in Landmark Ruling In a landmark decision on the death penalty, the Supreme Court abolished the execution of juveniles. We speak with a mother whose son was executed for an offense he committed when he was 17 and the sister of a murder victim who now campaigns against the death penalty, as well as the coordinator for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Democracy Now! - March 1, 2005 at 9:00am
Pro Syrian Lebanese Government Resigns Amid Mass Street Protests In an unexpected move, the Prime Minister of Lebanon announced his resignation in front of the country's parliament Monday, effectively terminating the rule of the current Syrian-backed government, as tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated outside. We go to Beirut to get a report. Haitian Police Open Fire on Thousands of Marchers Calling for Return of Aristide In Haiti, police opened fire on thousands of demonstrators who marched through the Bel-Air neighborhood of Port-au-Prince Monday to mark the anniversary of the coup that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and call for his return. We go to Haiti to speak with attorney Bill Quigley who attended the march. Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib: Detainees in Post 9/11 Sweep Allege Abuse in New York Detention Center Some of the Middle Eastern immigrants arrested in the days after 9/11 have alleged abuse at the hands of guards at a detention center in New York City. In a class action lawsuit, they detail these allegations, including humiliation, sleep deprivation, physical and sexual abuse. We speak with the New York Daily News reporter who reported on the story, the attorney in the suit and we go to Egypt to speak with one of the plaintiffs. Custer Battles: Why Won't the Justice Dept. Intervene to Reclaim Millions From Military Contractor in Iraq? Two company whistleblowers are charging in a lawsuit that military contractor Custer Battles defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars during work in Iraq. The Justice Department has declined to intervene in the suit. We speak with the Alan Grayson, the attorney in the case and investigative journalist, Pratap Chatterjee.

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