Democracy Now! August 9, 2002

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Democracy Now! August 9, 2002
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The International Monetary Fund Will Lend Brazil $30 Billion: as Treasury Secretary Paul O Neill ends his Latin America tour, the IMF will lend debt-laden Brazil more than it has ever provided any other country. The Bush Administration s Plans to Topple Saddam Hussein: Leaders of 6 so-called Iraqi opposition groups are in Washington today for meetings with the Bush administration on its plan for attempting to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. When Public Media Becomes State Media: President Bush bypasses the vacationing Senate and nominates Republican fundraiser Cheryl Halpern to the board of the Corporation For Public Broadcasting. Holding Exxon Accountable For Abuses In Indonesia: The US State Department urges a US court to dismiss a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil for grave human rights abuses committed by Indonesian security forces in the war-torn Aceh province. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: ACTIVISTS DISRUPT DICK CHENEY S SPEECH ON CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY More than 300 people demonstrated against Vice President Dick Cheney in San Francisco earlier this week. He was speaking at the posh Commonwealth Club. Inside the gathering five people were arrested, when they disrupted the talk, chanting corporate crook. We are now joined by one of those activists who was inside the club. Guest: Andrea Buffa, an activist with the San Francisco based group Global Exchange. 9:07-9:20 AS TREASURY SECRETARY PAUL O NEILL ENDS HIS LATIN AMERICA TOUR, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ANNOUNCES IT WILL LEND DEBT-LADEN BRAZIL ANOTHER $30 BILLION, MORE THAN THE IMF HAS EVER PROVIDED ANY OTHER COUNTRY The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday announced it will lend debt-laden Brazil another $30 billion. That is more than the IMF has ever provided any other country. Brazil s currency has lost a third of its value this year. Part of this is because investors are threatening to pull out if the Worker s Party presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wins in October. He is currently leading in the polls. Lula told thousands of cheering supporters last week: "We will not be held hostage to the demands of foreign investors and world markets: we will alleviate poverty before appeasing markets. But the IMF loan requires the future government to maintain the tight fiscal regime imposed by the present government until 2005. Several thousand people protested on Thursday as Treasury Secretary Paul O Neill left Argentina for Washington at the end of his first Latin American trip which included Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Guest: Maria Luisa Mendonca, director, Social Network for Justice and Human Rights 9:21-9:40 WHEN PUBLIC MEDIA BECOMES STATE MEDIA: PRESIDENT BUSH BYPASSES THE VACATIONING SENATE AND NOMINATES REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER CHERYL HALPERN TO THE BOARD OF THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING President Bush bypassed the vacationing Senate and installed Cheryl Halpern on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Halpern is vice chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a major Republican fundraiser, and serves on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is responsible for spreading US government propaganda around the world through government broadcasts, including Voice of America. Today we re going to have a discussion about the state of public broadcasting in this country. Guest: David Barsamian, author of The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting and founder and director of Alternative Radio, an independent weekly radio program produced in Boulder, Colorado. Most recently he wrote Propaganda & the Public Mind: Conversations with Noam Chomsky Contact: Guest: Pat Aufderheide, author of The Daily Planet: Critic On The Capitalist Culture Beat and Communications Policy in the Public Interest: The Telecommunications Act of 1996. She is director of the Center for Social Media at American University in Washington, D.C. and a director of the Independent Television Service Contact: BRITISH MP MEETS WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN AS IRAQI OPPOSITION GROUPS MEET WITH STATE DEPARTMENT British Labor MP George Galloway met with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein yesterday in Baghdad. He described the Iraqi leader as calm and determined. This comes as leaders of 6 so-called Iraqi opposition groups are in Washington today for meetings with the Bush administration on its plan for attempting to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Then talks are being hosted by Senior State Department and Pentagon officials. And though Vice President Dick Cheney hasn t answered a question from a journalist in more than 80 days, he will speak to the groups via video conference on Saturday. The opposition figures say they see the invitation as a positive sign that the Bush administration is taking them seriously. Iraqi opposition leaders have not met with a U.S. vice president since a session with Vice President Al Gore in June 2000. Last month, the Pentagon agreed to fund what it called covert operations of the Iraqi National Congress, a London-based group led by Ahmed Chalabi that is favored by some Pentagon officials and members of Congress. Former CIA director James Woolsey s law firm Shea and Gardener is the paid representative of the group in Washington. Under the Clinton administration, the INC received the lions share of more than $78 million in tax payer dollars to bring down Saddam Hussein. Guest: George Galloway, British member of parliament with the Labor Party who just met with Iraqi president Saddam Hussein Guest: Andrew Cockburn, veteran journalist and documentary maker who has worked extensively in Iraq. Along with his brother Patrick he is co author of Out Of The Ashes: The Resurrection Of Saddam Hussein 9:50-9:59 THE US STATE DEPARTMENT URGES A US COURT TO DISMISS A HUMAN RIGHTS LAWSUIT AGAINST EXXON MOBIL US envoy to the Middle East Anthony Zinni is in Indonesia s Aceh province this week. On Wednesday he held talks with the military chief of Indonesia's Aceh province as part peace talks between Jakarta and separatist rebels. Meanwhile, the State Department is urging a federal court judge to dismiss a human rights lawsuit against Exxon Mobil over its operations in the war torn province of Aceh. The oil and gas rich region has been struggling for independence from Indonesia since 1976. The lawsuit was filed last year by the Washington-based International Labor Rights Fund, on behalf of 11 Acehnese villagers. It claims that ExxonMobil is responsible for grave human rights abuses committed by Indonesian security forces in Indonesia's war-torn Aceh province. Exxon Mobil, the world's largest corporation, has extensive operations in Aceh and works closely with the Indonesian military. While the State Department could have remained neutral in the case, it came down squarely on the company's side, saying the case could harm Washingtons so-called campaign against terrorism. The Department s action on the case comes amid a major push to normalize military relations with Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Democracy Now called the State department yesterday but they said they could not join us on the show. We also called Exxon Mobil but our calls were not returned. Guest: Jeff Vogt, International Labor Rights Fund, the Washington DC based group that is bringing the suit against Exxon Mobil on behalf of 11 Indonesian villagers Contact: Guest: Radhi Darmansyah, Acehnese activist and international affairs coordinator of SIRA, the Student Referendum Information Center. He is based in Washington DC ---

Date Recorded on: 
August 9, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
August 9, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. August 9, 2002
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