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Archives for April 2005
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Democracy Now! - April 29, 2005 at 9:00am
Bush Social Security Plan Cuts Future Benefits In a prime-time news conference, President Bush for the first time proposes to cut Social Security benefits as part of his plan to overhaul the retirement system. We get reaction from Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) Latin America in Revolt: Rice on Four-Country Tour As Leftist Victories Sweep Region As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice embarks on a five-day tour of Latin America, we take a look at recent developments in the region with several countries increasingly moving towards to left of the political spectrum. Real ID Act Attached to "Must-Pass" Spending Bill Imposes Anti-Immigrant Measures Congress is poised to pass a law billed as an antiterrorism measure that would have a significant impact on immigrant rights in this country. The bill is attached to a "must-pass" appropriations measure for troops in Iraq and tsunami relief. We take a look at the "Real ID Act" with Aarti Shahani of Families for Freedom. Rallies Planned Ahead of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Meeting On May 2, nearly all of the governments in the world will meet at the UN to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - a review conference that takes place every five years. We take a look at some of the rallies and marches planned ahead of the meeting to demand global nuclear disarmament.

Democracy Now! - April 28, 2005 at 9:00am
UN Human Rights Investigator in Afghanistan Ousted Under U.S. Pressure We speak with Cherif Bassiouni, a top human rights investigator in Afghanistan who was recently forced out of the United Nations under pressure from the U.S. just days after he released a report criticizing the US for committing human rights abuses. He says, "The U.S. has done an enormous disservice to the cause of human rights in Afghanistan simply because they wanted somebody who was going to look the other way on what their practices were." Iraq Through the Eyes of Unemebedded, Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Dahr Jamail, one of the few independent, unembedded journalists reporting in Iraq for months, joins us in our firehouse studio to discuss the siege of Fallujah, detention of Iraqis, so-called "reconstruction" and much more.

Democracy Now! - April 27, 2005 at 9:00am
Giuliana Sgrena Blasts U.S. Cover Up, Calls for U.S. and Italy to Leave Iraq In her most extended interview to date in the U.S., Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena blasts a Pentagon report that clears the U.S. soldiers who opened fire on her car, wounding her and killing one of Italy's highest ranking intelligence officials. Sgrena says, "It is important that the Americans press their government to tell the truth. Because it is in the interest of Americans, the truth. Not only of Italians." Howard Zinn: "To Be Neutral, To Be Passive In A Situation Is To Collaborate With Whatever Is Going On" We speak with legendary historian Howard Zinn, author of one of the most popular books on American History, "A People's History of the United States." In his youth, Zinn was a bombardier in World War II and participated in the Napalm bombing in France. He went on to dedicate his life to opposing wars of all kind. He was an active fighter in Civil Rights Movement and served as an advisor to the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. In the late 1960s, he traveled to Vietnam with Father Dan Berrigan during intensive US attacks and negotiated the release of US POWs. In fact, Howard Zinn was a part of most struggles for social justice in this country during his lifetime. He joins us in our firehouse studio.

Democracy Now! - April 26, 2005 at 9:00am
God's Politics: Frist Fights Filibuster on Judicial Nominees in "Justice Sunday" Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist delivered a taped speech Sunday at an event called "Justice Sunday: Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith," in which he again threatened to ban Democrats from filibustering Bush's judicial nominees. We speak with preacher activist Jim Wallis, author of "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It." War Resister Pablo Paredes Denied Conscientious Objector Status An investigating officer has recommended to deny Navy sailor Pablo Paredes' request for conscientious objector status. In addition, his request for Other than Honorable discharge in lieu of trial was also denied. His court martial is scheduled for May 11. Pablo Paredes he joins us on the line from California. Bush Meets Longtime Saudi Ally in Crawford President Bush met with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah for the first time in three years at his ranch in Crawford, Texas on Monday. The price of oil was the main topic of the talks. We speak with Middle East expert, professor As'ad AbuKhalil. Remembering Farouk Abdel-Muhti: Three Year Anniversary of Detention of Palestinian Activist Today marks the third anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of Palestinian human rights activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti. He was jailed for two years without charge. He died last summer just three months after being released. We hear an excerpt of an address he gave the day after his release.

Democracy Now! - April 25, 2005 at 9:00am
Getting Away with Torture? Human Rights Watch Calls for Accountability Into U.S. Abuse of Detainees Human Rights Watch is demanding that a special prosecutor be named to investigate Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet and other top officials for possible war crimes related to the torture and abuse of prisoners. We speak with Human Rights Watch special counsel Reed Brody. Birthday of Imprisoned Panchen Lama: The World's Youngest Political Prisoner Turns 16 On May 17th, 1995 the Chinese government abducted Gendun Choekyi Nyima who was then six years old and had just been recognized by the Dali Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama - which is the second most prominent holy man in Tibetan Buddhism. He turns 16 today. We speak with Robert Thurman of Columbia University. Ousted Ecuadorian President Gutierrez Exiled in Brazil Following Mass Uprising Ecuador's ousted president Lucio Gutierrez was flown to Brazil Sunday where he will live in exile following Congress's decision to remove him from office amid massive anti-government protests. We go to Quito, Ecuador to speak with a member of the Center for Economic and Social Rights. Fmr. Haitian Prime Minister Beaten in Prison as Interim Gv't Prepares to Charge Him in Connection with Political Killings The US-backed interim government of Haiti is preparing to charge former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune with having a role in a series of political killings in the town of St. Marc. in February 2004. Meanwhile, his family says he was badly beaten on Friday. We speak with a friend of Yvon Neptune, Jean-Jean Pierre.

Democracy Now! - April 22, 2005 at 9:00am
Report: ExxonMobil Spends Millions Funding Global Warming Skeptics A new investigation by Mother Jones magazine has revealed that ExxonMobil has spent at least $8 million dollars funding a network of groups to challenge the existence of global warming. We speak with the author of the report, a member of one the organizations that receives money from Exxon and a journalist covering environmental and climate change issues. The Armenian Genocide: 90 Years Later Turkey Continues to Deny the Extermination of a People This week marks the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide when more than a million Armenians were exterminated by the Young Turk government through direct killing, starvation, torture, and forced death marches. Another million fled into permanent exile. Almost a century later, Turkey continues to deny the genocide. We speak with Colgate University professor Peter Balakian, author of "The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response" and Zanku Armenian of the Armenian National Committee of America.

Democracy Now! - April 21, 2005 at 9:00am
Remembering Humanitarian Aid Worker & Activist Marla Ruzicka On Saturday 28-year-old Marla Ruzicka was killed in a car bombing. She was the founder of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict. Since the launch of the so-called war on terror, Marla spent most of her time in Iraq and Afghanistan documenting and recording the casualties of war. Haiti's Aristide Calls For His Restoration to Power We hear excerpts from a rare public appearance by ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. We also talk to Rep. Maxine Waters and Kate Orlovsky, student director at the Hastings Human Rights Project for Haiti. The group has just filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of Haiti's former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. U.S. Funding Iraqi Militias Led by Baathists As Part of Counter-Insurgency Operation We talk to Arun Gupta of The Indypendent on the proliferation of illegal militias in Iraq. The U.S. government is not only aware of these militias but is arming, training and funding them for use in their counter-insurgency operations.

Democracy Now! - April 20, 2005 at 9:00am
Pope Benedict XVI: Anti-War, Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice, Anti-Reform Conservative German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is chosen Pope. We get reaction from the editor of a journal of theology that Ratzinger founded, a woman theologian who helped launch an open conclave and wants more involvement of women in the church, Rabbi Michael Lerner, and a reporter with the world opinion roundup. Naomi Klein On The Rise of Disaster Capitalism "If the reconstruction industry is stunningly inept at rebuilding, that may be because rebuilding is not its primary purpose," writes Naomi Klein in the cover story of this week's Nation. "If anything, the stories of corruption and incompetence serve to mask this deeper scandal: the rise of a predatory form of disaster capitalism that uses the desperation and fear created by catastrophe to engage in radical social and economic engineering." Should U.S. Troops Withdraw Now From Iraq? A Debate Between Naomi Klein & Erik Gustafson Within what could generally be called the anti-war movement, there is a debate on whether or not to continue the demand for the US to pull its troops out of Iraq or to press for change in the role the military is playing within the country. We speak with Nation reporter Naomi Klein and Erik Gustafson of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center.

Democracy Now! - April 19, 2005 at 9:00am
The Oklahoma City Bombing Ten Years Later Bud Welch joins us from Oklahoma City to talk about the April 19, 1995 bombing that killed 168 including his 23-year-old daughter Julie. Welch made headlines for opposing the execution of Timothy McVeigh. Colin Powell's Former Chief Of Staff Calls John Bolton An "Abysmal" Pick To Be UN Ambassador The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote on Bolton's nomination as early as today. We talk to Steve Clemons of the TheWashingtonNote.com and John Nichols of The Nation about a series of allegations concerning Bolton abusing his authority at the State Department and Bolton's role in securing George W. Bush's victory during the 2000 Florida recount. New York District Attorney Forced to Drop Charges in High-Profile Arrest Case from GOP Convention The DA's office is expected to drop charges today against Joshua Banno -- an Arizona college student who was arrested seven months ago during the Republican National Convention. The DA is dropping the charges after photographs emerged showing Banno could not have been involved in the crime. He had been facing seven years in jail.

Democracy Now! - April 18, 2005 at 9:00am
An Hour With Mexican Writers Elena Poniatowska and Paco Ignacio Taibo on the Mexican Elections, the Zapatistas and President Bush...

Democracy Now! - April 15, 2005 at 9:00am
Debt Slavery? Congress Approves Bush's Bankruptcy Bill A major overhaul of the nation's bankruptcy laws won final congressional approval Thursday, in a move that will make it harder for Americans to rid themselves of debt by filing for bankruptcy. We speak with Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and David Swanson of DebtSlavery.org. War Tax Resistance: Refusing to Fund War on Tax Day Today is Tax Day - while millions of Americans are scrambling to file their income taxes on time, others are protesting the use of tax dollars to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by refusing to pay some or all of their taxes. We speak with a member of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. Chicano Leader Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales 1929-2005: "He Was the Fist. He Stood For Defiance, Resistance" Chicano political and civil rights activist Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales died Tuesday at his home in Denver, Colorado. He was 76 years old. We speak with his friend, columnist Roberto Rodriguez.

Democracy Now! - April 14, 2005 at 9:00am
NY Law Enforcement Caught Doctoring Video of RNC Arrests New York law enforcement is caught doctoring video of arrests made during the Republican Convention. We speak with Alexander Dunlop, whose charges were dropped after the edited video was exposed, his lawyer Michael Conroy as well as a member of I-Witness Video who helped find the footage that eventually vindicated Alexander. And we get response from the NYPD. Tariq Ali on Political Activism from Pakistan to Vietnam to Iraq A conversation with writer and activist Tariq Ali on more than four decades at the forefront of the antiwar movement. Ali has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics as well as five novels, and scripts for both stage and screen.

Democracy Now! - April 13, 2005 at 9:00am
Ex-State Dept. Intel Chief Calls Bolton "Kiss-Up, Kick-Down Sort of Guy" On the second day of the John Bolton's confirmation hearing as UN ambassador, former State Department intelligence director Carl Ford charged that in 2002, Bolton directed an abusive tirade at analyst Christian Westermann for questioning whether Cuba was developing biological and chemical weapons. We play excerpts of the hearing and speak with former CIA analysts Ray McGovern. New Docs Shed Light on Negroponte's Role in Honduras, Iran-Contra Affair The confirmation hearing of John Negroponte as National Intelligence Director open in Washington. We speak with Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive about newly declassified documents that provide a virtual day-to-day record of Negroponte's unique tenure as ambassador to Honduras during the early 1980s and his role in the Iran-Contra affair. We also speak with Tom Barry of the International Relations Center about the direction of the intelligence community. Anti-Castro Cuban Exile Tied to Deadly 1976 Airline Bombing Seeks Political Asylum in U.S. Luis Posada Carriles applied for political asylum Tuesday after spending the last 40 years trying to violently overthrow the Castro government. He has been tied to bombings that have killed at least 74 people and has been imprisoned in Venezuela and Panama. We talk to Cuban expert Peter Kornbluh about Posada's request and what it means for President Bush's "war on terrorism."

Democracy Now! - April 12, 2005 at 9:00am
Senators Grill Bolton on Past UN Comments, Politicizing Intelligence...

Democracy Now! - April 11, 2005 at 9:00am
Extreme Unilateralist or Strong Leader? A Debate on UN Ambassador Nominee John Bolton The confirmation hearings for John Bolton - Bush's choice for US ambassador to the United Nations - begin today in Washington. We host a debate with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies and Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation. Fmr. Honduran Human Rights Commissioner: "Impossible Negroponte Did Not Know About Human Rights Violations" in Honduras Senate confirmation hearings on John Negroponte's nomination to the post of National Intelligence Director are scheduled to begin Tuesday. We take a look at his record as U.S. ambassador to Honduras with a Honduran activist whose brother was disappeared by Honduran security forces, the former Honduran National Human Rights Commissioner and a filmmaker who has profiled human rights issues in Latin America. Venezuela: Revolution in Progress Today is the third anniversary of the failed coup attempt to overthrow democratically elected Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. We speak with filmmaker Matt O'Neil about his new documentary, "Venezuela: Revolution in Progress."

Democracy Now! - April 8, 2005 at 9:00am
The Funeral of Pope John Paul II As the funeral of Pope John Paul II takes place in Saint Peter's Square, we go to Rome to get a report on what is being called one of the most momentous funerals in world history. War Surgeon Gino Strada: "Media Not Interested in Human Tragedies" of War We speak with Dr. Gino Strada, a war surgeon and the founder of Emergency, a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to providing assistance to civilian victims of war. Three People Forcibly Removed From Bush "Town Hall" Meeting on Social Security As President Bush continues touring the country to promote his plans for overhauling social security, we speak with one of the three people forcibly removed from Bush's Town-Hall-Style "Conversation on Social Security," in Denver on last month. Undocumented Border Patrol Target Undocumented Immigrants We speak with Magdalano Rose-Avila, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project about the Minuteman Project, comparing street gangs to al Qaeda, Homeland Security and much more.

Democracy Now! - April 7, 2005 at 9:00am
Iraq's New President Jalal Talabani: Ally of CIA, Iranian Intelligence and Saddam Hussein...

Democracy Now! - April 6, 2005 at 9:00am
Gonzales Defends Patriot Act at Judiciary Hearing as Congress Mulls Renewal At a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the Patriot Act and urged Congress to renew controversial parts of the legislation that are due to expire this year. We go to an excerpt of the hearing. Florida Lawmakers Expand Law to Kill in Self Defense The Florida legislature Tuesday passed a bill allowing people to use deadly force in a public place if they have a reasonable belief that they are in danger of death or great bodily harm. We host a debate between a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and the executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Conservative 'Academic Bill of Rights' Limits "Controversial Matter" in Classroom Members of the Florida State legislature heard testimony Tuesday about the so-called "academic freedom" bill that would develop a statewide "bill of rights" for faculty to follow in the interest of delivering what they call a "fair and balanced" curriculum. We host a debate between the Florida legislator who introduced the bill and the President of the Faculty Union of University of South Florida. Columbia U. Prof. Rashid Khalidi: "Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Are Necessary For Unpopular and Difficult Ideas" After months of closed-door hearings a, faculty committee at Columbia University released a report that largely cleared professors of Middle Eastern studies of charges that they were intimidating students and stated that there was no evidence of anti-Semitism. We hear professor Rashid Khalidi speaking at a teach-in on academic freedom.

Democracy Now! - April 5, 2005 at 9:00am
Blood and Oil: The Rising Cost of Domination Oil prices have risen almost $15 a barrel since the year began, briefly topping a record $58 a barrel on Monday. While the Bush administration is fond of blaming oil prices on OPEC, the group says the pricing is beyond their control. We take a look at the current state of oil with Jim Paul of the Global Policy Forum and Michael Klare, author of Blood and Oil. Vigilantes or Civilian Border Patrol? A Debate on the Minuteman Project In Arizona, a group calling itself the Minuteman Project has stationed scores of men and women along the Mexican border in a controversial effort to track down undocumented immigrants. We host a debate with the media liaison for the Minuteman Project and the executive director of the Border Action Network. Remembering Japanese American Civil Rights Pioneer Fred Korematsu Japanese American civil rights pioneer Fred Korematsu has died at the age of 86. He was jailed during World War II refusing orders to be sent to an internment camp set up for U.S residents of Japanese ancestry. We air an excerpt of the documentary, "Of Civil Rights and Wrongs: The Fred Korematsu Story" and we speak with one of his attorneys.

Democracy Now! - April 4, 2005 at 9:00am
The Legacy of Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005) Millions across the world are mourn the death of Pope John Paul II. We examine his 26-year leadership of the Roman Catholic Church with Mary Segers, an expert on Catholicism and the Roman Catholic Church, journalist and author Angela Bonavoglia, and former Catholic priest Blase Bonpaine. Martin Luther King Assassinated 37 Years Ago Today Today is the 37th anniversary of the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. We hear an excerpt of his "Beyond Vietnam" speech that he delivered a year to the day before his death.

Democracy Now! - April 1, 2005 at 9:00am
The Zimbabwe Elections: Opposition Accuses Mugabe of Rigging the Vote Yesterday, parliamentary elections took place in Zimbabwe. Reports from the country say that the elections went off relatively peacefully. And for the first time- the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, was able to campaign openly. The party is the first to seriously challenge President Mugabe's government since Zimbabwe won independence in 1980. Taliban Country: Afghanistan 3 1/2 Years After the U.S. Invasion We talk to Sonali Kolhatkar, co-Director of the Afghan Women's Mission and filmmaker, Carmela Baranowska who was embedded with 800 U.S. Marines in one of the most remote and dangerous parts of Afghanistan. She made a film called Taliban Country which is a disturbing expose of American actions in that country. A Look At The Legacy of Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II is in what the Vatican describes as very grave condition and has been administered the last rites after suffering heart failure yesterday. The 84-year-old Pope reportedly decided himself not to go to the hospital.

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