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Archives for : September 2005

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Archives for September 2005
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Democracy Now! - September 30, 2005 at 6:00am
Longtime GOP Fundraiser and NPR Critic Elected to Head CPB Longtime Republican fundraiser Cheryl Halpern was elected the new chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting earlier this week. Halpern has overseen such government-funded media projects as Voice of America, Radio Marti in Cuba and Radio Free Iraq. She has also accused National Public Radio of anti-Israel bias. We speak with Celia Wexler of Common Cause. Local Public Access TV Under Attack From Trio of Congressional Bills Local public access television across the United States is being threatened by legislation introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Critics say the bills could eliminate the only source of funding public access providers receive and would take away control from local governments. We speak with Anthony Riddle of the Alliance for Community Media and George Stoney, who many consider the father of public access. [includes rush transcript] New Orleans Evacuees Blast Lack of Any Aid or Relief Weeks After Katrina A month after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, displaced New Orleans residents at the Radisson Hotel in New York City speak out about the lack of aid they have received and the continued difficulty of receiving any type of relief from the Red Cross. Head of Small Relief Agency Blasts Red Cross "Money Pit" We speak with Richard Walden, president and founder of Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based relief agency. In an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times this week titled "The Red Cross money pit," Walden writes that despite, "Giving so high a percentage of all donations to one agency (The Red Cross) that defines itself only as a first-responder and not a rebuilder is not the wisest choice." [includes rush transcript]

Democracy Now! - September 29, 2005 at 6:00am
DeLay Hammered by Campaign Finance Indictment, Steps Down as GOP Majority Leader A Texas grand jury on Wednesday indicted House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R - Texas) and two political associates, charging them with a conspiracy to violate Texas campaign finance laws. House Republicans gathered within hours of the indictment becoming public and chose Rep. Roy Blunt (R - MO) to replace DeLay as majority leader who was forced to step down because of House rules. We speak with the executive editor of The Texas Observer and independent journalist Doug Ireland. FBI Killing of Puerto Rican Independence Leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios Sparks Outpouring of Anti-US Sentiment We continue our look at the FBI killing of Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios. His killing has sparked an outpouring of anti-U.S. sentiment in Puerto Rico and fears that the Bush administration will launch a new crackdown on the Puerto Rican independence movement. We go to Puerto Rico to speak with a spokesperson for the Puerto Rican Socialist Front and an independent political analyst.

Democracy Now! - September 28, 2005 at 6:00am
Bush's "Brownie": Former FEMA Head Michael Brown Said He Warned Bush Directly Before Hurricane Struck The ousted director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, appeared before a special congressional panel set up by House Republican leaders to investigate the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. Homeland Security Chief Chertoff, Not Brown, Was Responsible For Federal Response To Huricane Katrina We speak Knight Ridder reporter Alison Young about the Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff's responsibilities and the shift of blame to former FEMA head Michael Brown. Lott's Bad Bet: Fomer Senate Majority Leader Blocked Moves to Protect Mississippi Coast Backed by the gambling industry, Republican Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi outmuscled army officials who tried to impose a moratorium on casino projects along the coast. We speak with Washington Post reporter Michael Grunwald. William Arkin on the Increasing Military Role in Emergency Response President Bush wants to use the hurricane to wipe out Posse Comitatus, which bans the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement. Former intelligence analyst William Arkin talks about the apparently growing role of the military in responding to natural disasters and other domestic crises. St. Patrick's Four Acquitted of Federal Conspiracy Charges Four Catholic peace activists have just been acquitted of felony conspiracy charges – the first case of this kind since the Vietnam War. We speak with two of the four activists whose charges stem from an antiwar action on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq.

Democracy Now! - September 27, 2005 at 6:00am
After the Hurricane: Where Have All the Prisoners Gone? More Than 500 From New...

Democracy Now! - September 26, 2005 at 6:00am

Democracy Now! - September 23, 2005 at 6:00am
Disaster Profiteering: Purging the Poor in the New New Orleans We speak with writer and author Naomi Klein about what some are calling the real looting of New Orleans. In this week's cover story in The Nation magazine, Klein reports on how the city's poorest evacuees are being kept out of thousands of perfectly livable empty homes. Blackwater Down: Fresh From Iraq, Private Security Forces Roam the Streets of an American City With Impunity In this week's cover story in The Nation, Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports on how mercenaries from private security firms like Blackwater USA and BATS are patrolling the streets in New Orleans. Big, Easy Iraqi-Style Contracts Flood New Orleans As Katrina's flood waters recede, government contractors are flowing into the Gulf Coast and reaping billions of dollars in pre-bid, limited bid, and sometimes no-bid contracts. We speak with Pratap Chatterjee, managing editor of, about his latest article titled Big, Easy Iraqi-Style Contracts Flood New Orleans. Massive Antiwar Protests Scheduled in Washington DC Saturday marks the beginning of three days of massive anti-war activities in Washington, DC. We speak with Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice about the upcoming events. Pacifica Station KPFT Weathers Hurricane Rita As hurricane Rita bears down on the Gulf Coast, we go to Houston to speak with the staff of Pacifica Radio station KPFT - one of the few radio stations still broadcasting in the city.

Democracy Now! - September 22, 2005 at 6:00am
St. Patrick's Four Trial: Civilian Resisters Face Federal Conspiracy Charges We speak with anti-war activist Peter De Mott, who is on trial as one of the St. Patrick's Four facing federal charges for protesting at a military recruiting center. Lawyer Bill Quigley, legal advisor for the activists, joins the discussion on the trial and also talks about his recent experience in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. NM Governor Richardson Calls Special Legislative Session to Investigate Price Gouging and Energy Cost We speak with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson about the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and why he is calling for Congress and President Bush to investigate price gouging at the gas pumps. Governor Richardson Calls For Tighter Border Security Governor Richardson shares his views on the increasing flow of migrants across the New Mexico border and his reasons for recently declaring a state of emergency in counties along the border. We also hear his reasons for calling for stronger border security and the need to work with Mexico on creating jobs. Governor Richardson Says He "Stands By Everything He Said and Did" in the Case of Accused Los Alamos Scientist Wen Ho Lee. Governor Richardson tells Democracy Now! that he "stands by everything he said and did" in the case of accused Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee. Richardson, then Energy Secretary, fired Lee - who was under investigation for espionage. Lee was ultimately cleared of those charges. Governor Richardson Calls for an Exit Strategy in Iraq and Stands by the Clinton-Era Sanctions Governor Richardson explains why he doesn't support an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, but instead calls for an exit strategy from the country. Richardson also says the UN sanctions imposed on Iraq during the Clinton administration were justified. Governor Richardson Would Likely Vote Against Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts Gov. Richardson says he would have difficulty supporting Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. He calls his earlier record on civil rights and affirmative action "troublesome."

Democracy Now! - September 21, 2005 at 6:00am
Cuba's Number 2, Ricardo Alarcon, Blasts 'Neoliberal' Katrina Response In an exclusive interview in the firehouse studio, Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban National Assembly, talks about the US government's handling of the hurricane and talks about Cuba's effective hurricane response system, saying, "Our Entire National Defense, Our Entire Army, And Our Entire Society Is Prepared To Defend Itself, Not To Attack Others, Not To Occupy Foreign Lands." Alarcon Demands Immediate Release of 'Cuban 5' : 'They Are Now Kidnapped' We speak with Ricardo Alarcon about the case of the Cuban 5 – five Cuban nationals arrested in 1998 and accused of being spies and a threat to US national security. Alarcon Defends Imprisonment of 'Independent Librarians' in Cuba, Cites Washington's Funding of Anti-Castro Groups in Havana Ricardo Alarcon responds to charges that Cuba is cracking down on 'independent librarians' and he calls for the immediate extradition of Luis Posada Carriles – the anti-Castro militant being held in Texas.

Democracy Now! - September 20, 2005 at 6:00am
Venezuela's President Chavez Offers Cheap Oil to the Poor...of the United States We play the rest of our conversation with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He spoke with Democracy Now! in his first interview in the United States. We ask him what evidence he has for his charges that the Bush administration has attempted to assassinate him and he reveals for the first time, details of a plan to offer of cheap oil to the poor...of the United States. Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai and Son of Executed Nigerian Activist Ken Wiwa Discuss Oil and the EnvironmentWe take a look at oil and the environment with Ken Wiwa - the son of Ken Saro Wiwa who was executed in 1995 by the Nigerian military dictatorship and Nobel Peace prize-winner and leading environmentalist Wangari Maathai.

Democracy Now! - September 19, 2005 at 6:00am
Hugo Chavez: "If the Imperialist Government of the White House Dares to Invade Venezuela, the War of 100 Years Will be Unleashed in South America" Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks on Democracy Now! in his first interview in the United States. Chavez discusses the war in Iraq, President Bush, the role of the media in the aborted coup against him and Venezuela's request for the extradition of Cuban anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles. Jesse Jackson: Venezuela "Invests in Its People...U.S. Invests In Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and a War that does not Make Sense in Iraq"The Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke Saturday night in New York City at an event with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Jackson said, "[The Venezuelan] government's priorities are to invest in its people. They subsidize oil, gas, health care and education and that's civil. We cannot subsidize our oil and education because we are investing in tax cuts for the wealthy and a war that does not make sense in Iraq. We need new values, we need to go another way."

Democracy Now! - September 16, 2005 at 6:00am
New Orleans Police Harass Independent Journalist As President Bush says he'll rebuild New Orleans, we speak with Hip Hop activist and independent journalist Rosa Clemente about the crackdown in the shelters. She describes being harassed by a New Orleans police officer while doing interviews at a Red Cross shelter. The Militarization of New Orleans: Jeremy Scahill Reports from Louisiana We go to Louisiana to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill who has been in New Orleans this past week. He has been looking into how the city has changed to a militarized zone and what that means for the residents who left. George Galloway vs. Christopher Hitchens on the Bush Administration Response to Hurricane Katrina We play an excerpt of a fiery debate Wednesday between British antiwar MP George Galloway and columnist and author Christopher Hitchens discussing the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. Trapped in New Orleans: Emergency Medical Worker Describes How Police Prevented Evacuation We speak with emergency medical worker Lorrie Beth Slonsky who was in New Orleans attending a conference when hurricane Katrina hit. She describes how she spent most of the next week in New Orleans trapped by the flooding - and the police.

Democracy Now! - September 12, 2005 at 6:00am
New Orleans Activist Points to Neglected Corpse as U.S. Military Passes Off Blame Democracy Now! reports from the streets of New Orleans. We speak with community organizer Malik Rahim who points out a dead body in his neighborhood that has been neglected since hurricane Katrina hit and we ask soldiers and police why it hasn't been picked up. New Orleans Resident Discusses Race and Looting at Circle K New Orleans resident Mike Howell is a "holdout" - one of those refusing to leave his home - in the French Quarter. He discusses the looting of a local grocery store saying, "this could happen in Santa Monica, California, it could happen on Long Island, New York, it could happen in Palm Beach, Florida...if people felt they were going to run out of food and water." New Orleans "Holdout" Compares U.S. Military Evacuating Residents to Nazi Germany A New Orleans resident discusses why she is refusing to leave her home in the French Quarter and describes how soldiers approached her house and asked her to leave: "It was kind of like being in Nazi Germany, [the U.S. military] came with guns and told us we had to leave our home. Very, very nasty, and said they would come back the next day and drag us out of our homes." New Orleans Resident Outlines the Seven Betrayals by Government and Rescue Operations New Orleans resident Mike Howell discusses how the federal and state government, relief organizations and aid agencies betrayed the people of his city in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. New Orleans Evacuee Compares Louisiana Shelter to Jail We go to Gonzales - between Baton Rouge and New Orleans - where a shelter has been set up for evacuees. One New Orleans evacuee compares the shelter to jail and says, "It ain't our fault that the hurricane came and we had to come here. Like we had to end up in a place that we got to be told what to do." Overkill: Feared Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans In addition to the thousands of military troops patrolling the streets of New Orleans, there are also scores of private soldiers that are now spreading out across the city, like those from the Blackwater Security firm. Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports. NY Firefighter in New Orleans : "This Is Much Worse, This Dwarfs 9/11" As the eyes of the nation remain focused on these devastated Gulf States, people across the country marked the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In Baton Rouge, some 300 New York Police and Firefighters held a commemoration ceremony. We speak with one firefighter about hurricane Katrina and 9/11.

Democracy Now! - September 9, 2005 at 6:00am
Is the Government Trying to Stem the Tide of Images From New Orleans by Threatening Journalists? Journalists covering New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina report that militarization in and around the city has hindered their work and threatened their physical safety. We hear from two journalists who were reporting in New Orleans recently. FEMA Promotes Pat Robertson Charity Soon after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, FEMA promoted a a list of charities on its website that were accepting donations for hurricane relief. One of the top three was Operation Blessing, an organization founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. We take a look at some of Operation Blessing's past dealings with Max Blumenthal of The Nation and Democracy Now! Co-host and Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez. Crisis Profiteering: Dick Cheney, Halliburton and Hurricane Katrina We get a report from Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill on Halliburton's role in reconstruction in the Gulf area, plus a survey of the current situation in New Orleans. Democracy Now! Engineer Mike DiFilippo Lends A Hand in Alabama and Mississippi Democracy Now! engineer Mike DiFilippo has been voluneentering with re-building efforts in Alabama and Mississippi. He joins us on the phone from Wiggins, Mississippi.

Democracy Now! - September 8, 2005 at 6:00am
FEMA Chief Brown: Former Head of the Arabian Horse Association Qualified to Manage Agency? We speak with Judd Legum from the Center of American Progress about FEMA's role in handling the catastrophe in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Why FEMA Failed: The Bush Administration and Disaster Relief As Republican leaders announced a joint House-Senate inquiry into failures surrounding the response to Hurricane Katrina, we take a look at why FEMA failed with staff writer Farhad Manjoo who writes, "Ideologically opposed to a strong federal role in disaster relief and obsessed with terrorism, the Bush administration let a once-admired agency fall apart." Politicizing Disaster Relief: How FEMA Overcompensated Florida Citizens in the Run-Up to the Presidential Election We look at FEMA's disaster response in Florida in the fall of 2004, and how the presidential election played a role in the distribution of hurricane aid there. Toxic Soup: The Deadly Floodwaters of New Orleans As the toxicity of the New Orleans' floodwaters grows worse, we look at the environmental and public health dangers looming in the city. We speak with a chemical toxicologist and independent water-consultant about the problems brewing in the water of New Orleans. Depleted Disaster Aid: Rejecting International Donations and the Using Of Resources in Iraq While international donations have been pouring in for victims of hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration has been somewhat reluctant to accept offers from countries like Cuba and Venezuela. We speak with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies about international donations and how essential resources have been stretched thin by the war in Iraq.

Democracy Now! - September 7, 2005 at 6:00am
Three Displaced New Orleans Residents Discuss Race and Hurricane Katrina We speak with three residents of New Orleans who were forced to flee - David Gladstone, Beverly Wright and Curtis Muhammad - about who gets saved and who doesn't and even the question: will New Orleans be rebuilt? Radio Astrodome: Independent Media to Provide Critical Info for Displaced New Orleans Residents Independent media activists are setting up a low-power radio station at the Houston Astrodome to provide critical information to hurricane Katrina evacuees. We speak with those working on launching the station and the challenges involved.

Democracy Now! - September 6, 2005 at 6:00am
New Orleans Residents Rescue Their Neighbors in Absence of Government Response Democracy Now! producer John Hamilton spent the past several days in Louisiana. He filed a report from the flooded streets of New Orleans as he rode in a boat with locals searching for survivors in their community. Bush Nominates Roberts to Replace Rehnquist as Chief Justice With the eyes of the nation firmly focused on the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, there have been major developments in the battle over the future of the Supreme Court with the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist and President Bush's decision to nominate John Roberts to replace him. We speak with Bruce Shapiro of The Nation and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. African American Residents Tell Story of Survival, Blast Racially-Skewed Government Response Democracy Now! producers get reports from African-American survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. We hear from a woman at the convention center and a record store owner from the city's Algiers neighborhood. [includes rush transcript] Missing in New Orleans: Voices of Those Seeking Loved Ones We get an update from a few people we previously heard from who are searching for missing loved ones hit by hurricane Katrina. We are also joined in the studio by a war resister seeking discharge from the Texas National Guard who has family missing in New Orleans. [includes rush transcript]

Democracy Now! - September 5, 2005 at 6:00am
Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff Refuses To Resign Over Handling Of Hurricane Katrina Relief Michael Chertoff appears on Meet the Press and defends the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana Offical: The Federal Gov't Has Abandoned Us On Sunday Aaron Broussard, the president of Jefferson Parish appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and accused the federal government of abandoning the people of New Orleans. He broke down crying, as he recalled how the mother of one of his colleagues died after waiting days to be rescued. Survivors From New Orleans Speak Out About Week of Horror We go to Louis Armstrong airport in New Orleans where thousands of hurricane survivors are staying. The airport has become a triage center where the oldest, the youngest and the sickest lay desperate for help. Kanye West: "Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" On Friday night, Grammy-award winning hip-hop superstar Kanye West delivered a blistering critique of President Bush and the administration”s response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. "I hate the way they portray us in the media," West said. "If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food." Rev. Al Sharpton: President Bush's Response "Inexcusable" More public figures have spoken out, lambasting the government”s slow response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Reverend Al Sharpton spoke in Houston on Saturday and said that race played a role. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's Desperate Plea For Help New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin expresses outrage and frustration during an interview last week by a local New Orleans radio station. Nagin demands greater effort and quicker delivery New Orleans Activist Malik Rahim Blasts Mayor Nagin Malik Rahim, veteran of the Black Panther Party in New Orleans, is interviewed in the Algiers neigherborhood by Democracy Now! producers. Rahim talks about what should have been differently. DN! Producers Describe the Devastation in New Orleans & The Survivors In Baton Rouge Democracy Now! producers John Hamilton and Sharif Abdel Kouddous join us from Baton Rouge. On Saturday they made it into New Orleans to witness what's left of the devastated city. ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: An Hour-Long Special on John Roberts, President Bush's Nominee to Be Supreme Court Chief Justice In this hour-long online special we examine the legal background and history of Judge John Roberts. Earlier today President Bush nominated Roberts to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court replacing the late William Rehnquist, who died at the age of 80 on Saturday.

Democracy Now! - September 2, 2005 at 6:00am
Nightmarish Scenes at New Orleans Convention Center We begin our special coverage of Hurricane Katrina by going to New Orleans to hear the voices of refugees stranded outside the city's Convention Center. As camera crews passed by on Thursday hundreds of stranded people started chanting for help. Daily News Reporter in New Orleans: Scope of Destruction Much Worse Than 9/11 We go to New Orleans to speak with New York Daily News reporter Tamer El-Ghobashy. He reports from outside one of the main refugee centers in New Orleans - the Super Dome, where as many as 30,000 people sought shelter. White House Response to Gulf Coast Disaster Sparks Criticism President Bush is coming under increasing criticism for his slow response to what is now being described as one of the worst natural disasters in the country's history. We play some of the president's remarks as well as excerpts from a White House news conference. Race in New Orleans: Shaping the Response to Katrina? Race and class loom large in the critical discussion of the federal response to the impact of hurricane Katrina. We speak with two African-American activists about the poor communities that have been hit hardest by the hurricane. Desperately Seeking Loved Ones Missing in New Orleans With communication lines down in the areas hit by the hurricane, there are thousands of people with no word about their loved ones in the area. We hear the voices of worried family and friends broadcasting their messages to those missing. Historian: Government Relief Efforts to 1927 Mississippi Flood Faster Than Katrina We go back to the spring of 1927 when the Mississippi River flooded after weeks of incessant rains. While the federal government response was well-coordinated, African Americans were rounded into work camps by land owners and prevented from leaving as the waters rose.

Democracy Now! - September 1, 2005 at 6:00am
Bill Quigley in New Orleans Hospital: "No Water, Sick, Call Somebody for Help" We go to New Orleans and Law Professor Bill Quigley who is trapped in Memorial Hospital with hundreds of other people. There is no water or electricity in the hospital and relief efforts have yet to reach them. The Drowning of New Orleans: Hurricane Devastation Was Predicted The New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote three years ago, "It's only a matter of time before south Louisiana takes a direct hit from a major hurricane. Billions have been spent to protect us, but we grow more vulnerable every day." We look at the lack of infrastructure preparedness in the Big Easy. Homeland Emergency: Disaster Relief is Suffering Under New DHS Bureaucracy The Department of Homeland Security is spending billions on domestic spying and counter terrorism – is disaster relief getting sidelined? We look at the first major test of the massive homeland security bureaucracy with Matthew Brzezinski, author of Fortress America. "Katrina's Real Name is Global Warming" As the Bush administration promotes regulations that allow more pollution from power plants, we look at the increased impact of human-induced global warming in the form of extreme weather events such as Hurricane Katrina.

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