Democracy Now! Ju;y 10, 2002

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Democracy Now! Ju;y 10, 2002
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In a speech delivered yesterday to a Wall Street crowd of CEOs and business leaders, President Bush says it's corporate executives not the system that has to change. This, as his own business practices come under scrutiny. Today, we have a discussion with former Worldcom and Enron employees, scholars, and corporate crime-watchers. And then, protesters storm the stage in Barcelona, Spain and shout down U.S. Secretary Of Health And Human Services Tommy Thompson as he speaks at the 14th annual World Aids Conference. All that and more coming up. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: STORY: SOA protesters go to trial Thirty-seven human rights activists appeared in federal court this week to stand trial for protesting at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas in Columbus, Georgia. Ten thousand people gathered peacefully last November at the gates of Fort Benning. They face up to six months in federal prison and $5,000 in fines if convicted of trespassing. All ten of the protesters who pled not guilty on the first day were found guilty. Yesterday, one protester pled not guilty and was found not guilty. The trials are expected to last until the end of the week. Guest: Shannon McManimon, SOA defendant from Philadelphia Contact: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 BUSH'S WAR ON GREED: TWO FORMER EMPLOYEES OF SOME OF THE BIGGEST CORPORATE CRIMESTERS REACT President Bush stood before an elite corps of Wall Street executives yesterday and vowed to "end the days of cooking the books, shading the truth, and breaking our laws." Bush's speech came on the crest of a wave of corporate scandals, some of which reach as high up as the White House. The speech was intended to distance the Administration from these scandals as well as to quell the fears of jittery investors. But critics said the Bush reform plan was more rhetoric than substance, a watered-down version of Democratic proposals circulating in Congress. Wall Street also seemed unimpressed. Stocks continued to drop throughout Bush's address. Yesterday's address was Bush's first major policy speech in months on a subject other than the so-called war on terror. Some key proposals of the Bush plan include: doubling the maximum prison term for corporate fraud, strengthening laws that criminalize document shredding, and expanding the Securities and Exchange Commission. All these proposals are either already on the books or vastly weaken current Democratic proposals. For example: the Bush proposal calls for $100 million in additional funding next year for the SEC; Senate Democrats want to add nearly $300 million. Bush suggested expanding the prison sentence for corporate fraud to 10 years; a competing Democratic proposal would bump that number up to 30. By far the greatest emphasis of Bush's speech was on executive responsibility, not on reforming the system. He explained: "I'm calling for a new ethic of personal responsibility in the business community Tougher laws and stricter requirements will help. Yet, ultimately, the ethics of American business depend on the conscience of America's business leaders." Bush offered these remarks even as rumors swirled of his own corporate misdeeds when he was an oil company director in the late 80s and early 90s. Bush dismissed these rumors at a press conference Monday, saying they were nothing more than a political attack. He added, "Sometimes things aren't exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures." MDV Tape: George Bush speaking on Wall St Guest: John Allario, former Enron manager, founder of, a website that designs and sells angry anti-Enron apparel to benefit ex-Enron employees. He is currently working for a company called Cycle America, leading bike tours through Colorado, Wyoming, and other states. He worked at Enron for six years, one month, and nineteen days before he was laid off by cell phone, while at lunch on Monday, December 3, 2001 Contact: Guest: Cara Alcantar. Cara was laid off last week after working for Worldcom for 4 years. She had expected to spend her life working at the company, because, she says, she really enjoyed it. 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 BUSH'S WAR ON GREED: cont'd Guest: Charles Lewis, Founder and Executive Director, The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization in Washington that concentrates on ethics and public-service issues. It has been described by one publication (the Washington Journal) as a "watchdog in the corridors of power". The Center was among the first to begin investigating Bush's days as a director of Harken Energy. They published two explosive reports, one in October 2000 on Bush's multiple violations of security law during his time at Harken; the other in April 2001 on the insider trading deal that made Bush millions. Contact: Guest: Tyson Slocum, Research Director, Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy & Environment Program. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded by Ralph Nader in 1971. Contact: Guest: Charles Derber, author of Corporation Nation and professor of Sociology at Boston College. His current work focuses on globalization, corporate power and populist politics. Other books include: The Wilding of America; Power in the Highest Degree; The Nuclear Seduction; and Money, Murder and the American Dream. 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:45-9:58 PROTESTERS STORM THE STAGE AND SHOUT DOWN U.S. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TOMMY THOMPSON'S SPEECH AT THE WORLD AIDS CONFERENCE Today is the third day of the at the world's biggest AIDS conference, which has brought over 15,000 delegates from around the world to Barcelona. Protesters stormed the stage and shouted down U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson as he spoke at the conference on Tuesday, demanding that the US take action on global AIDS. This, as the AIDS conference heard alarming new forecasts yesterday. One study by the Kaiser Family Foundation predicted HIV infections among the young could soar by more than 70 percent by the end of the decade. 95 percent of HIV infections are in the developing world, where access to new antiretroviral drugs is extremely limited. Only 0.1 percent of the 28.5 million people infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa have access to modern drugs. On the first day of the conference, the World Health Organization announced it must reach 3 million people in developing countries with antiretroviral treatments by 2005. But activists at the conference insist that if this goal is to be met, the US has to commit to fighting AIDS. Yesterday activists told Tommy Thompson to stop preventing other countries from trying to produce generic drugs and to supply adequate funds to the U.N.'s Global Fund to fight AIDS. The Global Fund needs $10 billion each year. In his speech, Thompson said the United States was "leading the world in its support for the fund" by committing $500 million. But most of his words were drowned out by the protesters. Today, AIDS activists in Barcelona are targeting Coca-Cola, which is the largest employer in sub-Saharan Africa. Coke does not provide medical coverage for the AIDS infected workers for the 100,000 workers. Lets go now to that protest in Barcelona yesterday. It was recorded by Davey-D of Pacifica station KPFA's "Hard Knock Radio." MD Tape: Activists disrupt US Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson's speech at World AIDS Conference in Barcelona Guest: Asia Russell, ACT-UP Philadelphia, speaking at the press conference after the protest Guest: Sipho Mthati, Education Coordinator of Treatment Action Campaign of South Africa, speaking at the press conference after the protest Guest: Mandela Matona, Treatment Action Campaign of South Africa 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
July 10, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
Ju;y 10, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. July 10 , 2002
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