Democracy Now! July 24, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! July 24, 2002
Series Title:
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What do Ariel Sharon, George Bush, Boeing, Bell helicopter, and McDonald Douglas have in common? Stanley Cohen. He's suing them all on behalf of Palestinian Americans for racketeering and war crimes Banks plunge as Congress probes Enron ties: Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase shares go into free fall as Congressional investigators show how the two biggest US banks helped Enron disguise its debts. And, as the Bush administration halts funds to the UN population fund and launches a new adoption campaign, a look at forced sterilization, forced foster care, and child exclusion measures for families on welfare and families of color here in the US All that and more coming up. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 CONGRESS INVESTIGATES CITIGROUP AND JP MORGAN CHASE FOR ROLE IN ENRON SCANDAL Congress yesterday turned its attention to the role banking giants Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase played in the Enron scandal. Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase shares went into free fall as congressional investigators showed how the two biggest US banks made $200 million in fees for transactions that helped Enron and other energy companies boost their cash flow and hide debt. Congressional investigators Tuesday laid out evidence that the banks were knowing participants in Enron's efforts to make its debts appear as trades through the use of "prepaid" energy contracts. Senior executives from both banks defended their actions, telling the congressional inquiry that "prepay" transactions were legitimate financing structures used widely on Wall Street. But the chairman of the subcommittee on investigations Senator Carl Levin said the banks "knew what Enron was doing, assisted Enron in the deceptions, and profited from their actions". Guest: Charlie Cray, director of the Corporate Reform Campaign at Citizen Works Contact: Guest: Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 WHAT DO ARIEL SHARON, GEORGE BUSH, BOEING, BELL HELICOPTER, AND MCDONALD DOUGLAS HAVE IN COMMON? STANLEY COHEN. HE'S SUING THEM ALL ON BEHALF OF PALESTINIAN AMERICANS FOR RACKETEERING AND WAR CRIMES Israel is facing searing international criticism after an Israeli F-16 dropped a one-ton, laser-guided bomb on a densely populated neighbourhood in Gaza City. The bombing killed a Hamas leader as well as nine children and five other civilians. Whitehouse spokesman Ari Fleischer said President Bush "believes the heavy-handed action does not contribute to peace." But he also said President Bush has been and will continue to be the first to defend Israel, and he didn't mention that the F-16 used in the attack was American-made. But some people in this country are trying to hold the White House and US arms manufacturers accountable. New York attorney Stanley Cohen recently filed a lawsuit against Israel and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President George Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, several US arms manufacturers and a number of U.S. based churches and ynagogues that have supported settlements in the West Bank. The suit charges the defendants with a series of individual acts and conspiracies-- some dating as far back as 1982 and the massacre at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon. It will seek damages and injunctive relief for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and racketeering. The plaintiffs will include Palestinian Americans who have been killed, injured, and tortured; who have been denied medical treatment; whose businesses and homes have been estroyed and whose homes and lands have been taken to establish illegal settlements in Palestine. Guest: Stanley Cohen, New York attorney for Palestinian plaintiffs IN STUDIO 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 AS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WITHDRAWS FUNDS TO THE UN POPULATION FUND CLAIMING IT FUNDS FORCED ABORTION IN CHINA, A LOOK AT COERCIVE WELFARE LAWS, FORCED STERILIZATION AND FORCED FOSTER CARE HERE IN THE US In a move that inspired shock and anger around the world, the Bush administration announced Monday it is withdrawing $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund. The Fund provides family planning and reproductive health services in 142 countries. According to UNFPA, the funds would have prevented two million unwanted pregnancies and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths. The US is the only country ever to deny funding to UNFPA for non-budgetary reasons. The Bush administration claims the UNFPA provides aid to Chinese government agencies that force women to have abortions. This in spite of a recent State Department fact-finding mission which concluded there is no evidence that the program knowingly supports coercive abortion programs. But the administration does not need to look as far as China for evidence of coercive reproductive policies, forced sterilization, forced foster care, and child exclusion policies. Today we're going to talk to a legal scholar and social critic who traces a direct line between the eugenics movement, the forced sterilization of black women, and the way the current welfare laws in this country attempt to coerce poor women into having few or no children at all. For example, the welfare programs in 23 states deny benefits to children born to a family on welfare. The federal "Illegitimacy Ratio program" gives a bonus of $20 to 25 million to the top five states that decrease their ratio of out-of-wedlock births. But we start with Stirling Scruggs, spokesperson for the United Nations Population Fund. Guest: Stirling Scruggs, spokesperson for the United Nations Population Fund Guest: Dorothy Roberts, legal scholar and social critic. She is author of "Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty," which received the 1998 Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America, and most recently, "Shattered Bonds: the Color of Child Welfare." She is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. Contact: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
July 24, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
July 24, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. July 24, 2002
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