Democracy Now! March 7, 2003

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Democracy Now! March 7, 2003
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pResident Bush: US will call for U.N. Security Council vote whether or not US has votes lined up; News conference scripted and reporters silenced: a report on the President s first primetime press conference in 1 and 1/2 years; Air Force admits at least 54 cases of rape and sexual assault at Air Force Academy scandal called bigger than Tailhook: we ll talk to two survivors; If women ruled the world, would there be war? A roundtable discussion a day before thousands of women march on Washington

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06: President Bush last night held his first primetime news conference in over a year and a half. White House officials had billed the address as an important turning point in the War on Terror. But after only a brief reference to the captured alleged al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Bush turned his attention to Iraq. He left no doubt the US will invade Iraq with or without Security Council backing. He claimed over and over that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is a direct threat to the American people. Bush s news conference came just hours before chief U.N. weapons inspectors deliver a report to the U.N. Security Council today. The report is expected to be positive. On Wednesday, Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix said for the first time that Iraq is engaging in ''real disarmament.'' But Bush tried to undermine the report before the inspectors could give it. Without offering any evidence, Bush claimed over and over that Iraq has not disarmed. Bush also erased any doubt about whether the US will call a vote at the U.N. Security Council next week: Tape: President Bush, speaking to reporters last night The news conference came just one day after France, Russia and Germany declared they will block passage of any new Security Council resolution that paves the way for war. Yesterday China joined forces with the three, saying it sees no new need for a new resolution. Guest: Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports from Baghdad 9:06-9:07 One-Minute Music Break 9:07-15: President Bush last night held his first primetime news conference in over a year and a half. It was scripted and reporters who would have asked hard question s were either banned from the conference or relegated to the back row. Not a single reporter asked a question about the monumental story the London Observer broke on Sunday, that the US is spying on U.N. Security Council Members. But President Bush had a thing or two to say about alleged Iraqi government spying: Tape: President Bush, speaking to reporters last night Guest: Russell Mokhiber, editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. He co-authors the weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert Weissman 9:15-9:20: Air Force Secretary James Roche testified before the Senate Armed Service Committee yesterday that the Air Force has found at least 54 cases where women have been raped or sexually assaulted at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Republican Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado said the situation is worse than the 1991 Tailhook scandal in which more than 80 women said they were assaulted by drunken pilots at a convention. The story broke when the Denver newspaper Westword and Denver's KMGH-TV and reported the experiences of several female cadets who said they were disciplined or "hounded out" of the academy after reporting sexual assaults by male cadets. The initial trickle of allegations has turned into a flood. A spokesman for Allard said the senator had received 25 as of yesterday. One former cadet??? said the atmosphere is so bad, 'they need to prepare freshman female cadets for being raped, if not physically, then mentally.' Since 1996, nearly 100 women have reported sexual assaults on a confidential campus hot line. The school investigated just 20 of the cases. But to date the most serious punishment any male cadet received was dismissal. Republican Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado, has accused the academy's top commanders of mishandling the rape allegations and said they should be removed. But a spokesman for Roche issued a statement refusing to blame anyone but the climate at the academy that has evolved over time. Today we are going to talk to a woman who was sexually assaulted as a student and as a faculty member at the Air Force Academy, and the founder of the advocacy group Survivors Take Action Against Abuse by Military Personnel. But we start with the reporter who broke the story. Guest: Julie Jargon, staff reporter with the WestWord, a weekly newspaper in Denver. She wrote the 10,000 word piece The War Within: As America prepares to invade Iraq, female Air Force cadets wage their own battle that first brought attention to the situation Guest: Dorothy Mackey, founder of Survivors Take Action Against Abuse by Military Personnel. She is a nine-year career Air Force officer, during which time she was subjected to a year of physical, sexual and emotional assaults by 2 senior officers from the Inspector General's office. Link: Major Susan Archibald, former Air Force Academy cadet and faculty member 9:19-9:20 One Minute Music Break 9:30-9:58: Thousands of women from throughout the United States will say no to war tomorrow, at a rally and march for International Women s Day in Washington DC. "This could be the week that determines whether there will be war or peace" said Medea Benjamin, co- founder of CodePink for Peace, a women s anti-war group and one of the organizers of the rally, war will be devastating for Iraqi women and children and will make our families less safe here at home. That s why we re determined to stop this war." CodePink and has held a daily vigil in front of the White House since November 2002. NOW, CodePink and several other women s groups held weeklong actions in D.C. including delivering pink slips to Bush, Cheney, Powell and Condolezza Rice and sending Thank You flowers to the embassies of Chile, France, Germany and Russia. Pink slips were also sent to the offices of Senators Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein and to members of Congress who have ignored their anti-war constituents. Pink badges of courage were sent to Congress members who have shown bravery in supporting peace. Well, today, we will have a special round table discussion on war and its impact on women s lives. Last night we spoke with four women who have written and taught about the devastating effects of war. We asked: If women ruled the world, would there be war? Guest: Susan Griffin is a writer and social thinker. Her most recent book, The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of their Virtues, (Fall 2001) was a best seller. She also wrote A Chorus of Stones which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Griffin was nominated for a MacArthur Genius grant as well as an Emmy for her play Voices. She will be addressing the anti-war rally in celebration ofInternational Women s Day on March 8th Guest: Maxine Hong Kingston is an author and professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her latest novel is The Fifth Book of Peace, a book she is calling A peace book for our times. She will address the anti-war rally in celebration of International Women s Day on March 8th. Guest: Sunera Thobani is a professor of Women s Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Thobani is an outspoken critic of US foreign policy. Speaking at a women s conference soon after the Sept 11th attacks, Thobani said: "Today in the world, the United States is the most dangerous and the most powerful global force unleashing horrific levels of violence From Chile to El Salvador to Nicaragua to Iraq, the path of U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood. Guest: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a historian and professor of Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies at California State University, Hayward. She is the author of Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960-1975 and Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie. Other books include The Great Sioux Nation, Roots of Resistance and Indians of the Americas. She is writing a third memoir, Norther: Re-Covering Nicaragua, about the Reagan years, and a historical novel based on the life of Belle Starr, the Oklahoma bandit queen. 9:41-9:42 One Minute Music Break 9:42-9:58 continued. 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogiera and Alex Wolfe. Mike Di Filippo is our engineer and webmaster.

Date Recorded on: 
March 7, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
March 7, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., March 7, 2003
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