Democracy Now! June 11, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! June 11, 2003
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Hour 1: US Occupation Forces Draw up New Rules for Press Censorship of Iraqi Media. Officials say the code is not intended to censor the media, only to stifle intemperate speech, but Iraqi journalists who endured censorship under Saddam Hussein are protesting the decision; The U.S. and U.N. Refuse to Provide Protection for Witnesses of Massacres: Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. "We keep asking the [UN] Human Rights Commission for an inquiry and investigation into [the mass graves] I don t know why it s delayed because we do believe in peace with justice but there is a lot of argument that they don t want to exchange stability for justice"; Former Congressmember Cynthia McKinney Speaks about the War Abroad and the War at Home. All Americans are being asked to sacrifice so that a few can get butter while the masses get guns. Hour 2: As Attacks on US Soldiers Continue in Iraq We Talk to Robert Fisk who Just Returned from Fallujah. Britain Independent s chief foreign correspondent discusses the growing revolt among Iraqis, the so-called road map to peace in the Middle East and on his meeting with Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Rantissi; Shock Radio/TV Host Michael Savage Sues Online Critics. Websites, and face $500,000 for backing a boycott organized by GLAAD.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:20 US Occupation Forces Draw up New Rules for Press Censorship of Iraq Media Freedom s untidy. These are the words Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld uttered when faced with increasingly difficult questions at a Pentagon Press briefing on April 11. Rampant looting had broken out across Baghdad. Buildings were set on fire all over the city. Workers at the Baghdad National museum had fled and the museum was being gutted of its archaeological treasures. Rumsfeld told reporters: It s untidy. And freedom s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." Evidently, the same rule will not apply to the free Iraqi press. Last week, US occupation forces devised a code of conduct for the Iraqi press. Officials say the code is not intended to censor the media, only to stifle intemperate speech that could incite violence and hinder efforts to build a civil society. Material deemed provocative will be threatened or shut down. The decision has drawn protests from Iraqi journalists who endured censorship under Saddam Hussein and were punished if they strayed beyond the official line. Dozens of daily and weekly newspapers have sprung up in the capital since the fall of Saddam s regime in April. The Washington Post describes the situation as a raucous rush of unfettered expression. * Borzou Daragahi, freelance reporter in Baghdad. He broke the story on the new US code of conduct for the Iraqi media, in the Associated Press. Link: 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40 Former Congress Member, Cynthia Mckinney, Speaks about the War Abroad and the War at Home The Congressional Budget Office predicted yesterday that the federal budget deficit will top $400 billion this year. The estimate is twice what the office projected in January. Economists said the soaring deficit is a result of President Bush s tax cut and increased defense spending related to the war in Iraq. Last weekend, former congress member of Georgia, Cynthia Mckinney, spoke at an event in Washington D.C. About the war abroad and the war at home. * Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Representative, speaking on May 31, 2003 in Washington, D.C. 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58 Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Dr. Sima Samar, Speaks about Security, Reconstruction and Mass Graves in Afghanistan Afghanistan is in a state of chaos. The latest developments: Hundreds of peacekeepers held a memorial service in Kabul yesterday to honor four German soldiers killed in the deadliest attack yet on the multinational force. The four soldiers and an Afghan civilian were killed on Saturday in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul. Nearly 30 peacekeepers and several Afghan bystanders were injured. Also yesterday, US troops came under attack on the Pakistani border. They killed four suspected Taliban members in the ensuing three-hour gun battle. The day before, attackers fired four rocket-propelled grenades at an Afghan government post in the same region. Those are only the attacks we hear about as they happen. But Barry Bearak reports in The New York Times Magazine that sniper ambushes on Afghans employed to clear landmines occur almost daily. It is no secret that outside of the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan is run by warlords. Bearak s 7,000 word piece in the The New York Times Magazine was the cover story. The cover blared: Warlord-i-stan, with a close-up picture of His Excellency Ismail Khan -- ruler of the ancient city of Heart. The warlords control their own armies, with tanks and artillery, and refuse to disband them to help form the fledgling Afghan national army. Most of the warlords have at one time or another been on opposing sides in civil war Dr. Sima Samar is the chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. During the six-month interim Afghan government, Dr. Samar served as the Minister for Women's Affairs. According to the Guardian of London, Dr. Samar led a group of women to confront the warlords during the loya jirga to choose the new Afghan government exactly one year ago. Dr. Samar set the tone when she said: "This is not democracy. This is a rubber stamp. Everything here has already been decided by those with the power. This jirga includes all the warlords. None of them is left out." Then, her deputy, Taj Kokar, and a group of women delegates confronted the former president Burhanuddin Rabbani. Kokar asked, "Why have you killed and raped our women? Why do we have so many widows in this country?" President Hamid Karzai turned her down for the post of Women s Affairs Minister in the new government after conservative religious factions launched a campaign of slander and intimidation against her. Today, in Washington, D.C., Dr. Samar receives a new United Nations human rights award. * Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20: An article in the Independent of London on June 6 begins like this: From high over Iraq yesterday, President George Bush cast his Olympian eye over ancient Mesopotamia after praising the Americans in Qatar who had "managed" the war against Saddam Hussein. But far below him, on a dirty street corner in a dirty town called Fallujah that Mr Bush would prefer not to hear about, was a story of American blood and American power and American boots smashing down the front gates of Iraqi homes. "She's got a gun," an American soldier shouted when he caught sight of a woman in her backyard holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle. "Put it down! Put the gun down!" he screamed at her. The soldiers were hot and tired and angry. They'd been up since 3am, ever since someone fired a grenade at a lorry-load of troops from the 101st Airborne. You could see why Mr Bush chose to avoid any triumphal visits to Iraq. Survivors of the ambush were among the soldiers yesterday, remembering the early hours as only soldiers can. "They fired a grenade at a two-and- a-half ton truck full of the 101st Airborne and then straffed it with AK fire and then just disappeared into the night," one of them told me. "The guys were in a terrible state. One of our soldiers was dead with his brains hanging out of his head and his stomach hanging out, and there were eight others in the back shouting and pulling bits of shrapnel out of their legs." Before dawn, the Americans came back to wash their comrades' blood off the street. Then they returned once more to deal with the people who live in this scruffy corner of the old Baathist city of Fallujah. * Robert Fisk, Independent reporter, recently back from Fallujah, Iraq 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 ROBERT FISK CONT D 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58: He calls gays and lesbians perverts. Immigrants he says are from Turd World Nations. He calls Asians little soy eaters. And filthy rats is how he describes his critics of his show. We are talking about shock radio and TV jock Michael Savage who is at the center of a new free speech lawsuit. But the lawsuit is not over his controversial remarks on his nationally syndicated radio show or on his MSNBC but on what his online critics have said about him. Savage became the center of controversy in March when MSNBC hired him to host a weekly show. He was hired shortly before Phil Donahue was fired. Donahue said after he was let go, The hiring of Mike Savage, Dick Armey and Joe Scarborough suggest a strategy to out-Fox FOX. When MSNBC announced the hiring of Savage, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation launched a campaign to urge advertisers to boycott the show. As a result, Procter & Gamble, Dell Computer Corporation, Casual Male, The Sharper Image and two others withdrew from sponsoring Savage's show. Similar campaigns targeted advertisers on Savage s national radio show. Now Savage s radio distributor Talk Radio Network is suing three websites that have critiqued his show and supported the boycotts. The websites, and face a $500,000 lawsuit. According to a report on the news website Alternet, the suit charges that by endorsing a boycott of advertisers called for by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation the groups are causing Savage financial damage by unjustifiably interfering in his business relationships with program advertisers. The suit also charges defendants with violating the US Copyright Act by rebroadcasting portions of the program and by parodying images of Savage. Yesterday we tried to reach Michael Savage, representatives at Talk Radio Network and the network s attorney. They did not return our calls. But we do have a clip recorded on Michael Savage s radio show on February 27, 2003 responding to critics who were backing the boycott of his show. * Michael Savage, recorded on his radio show February 27, 2003 Link: * Thomas Leavitt, founder of the website which is being sued by Michael Savage s radio distributor Talk Radio Network Link: Tape: Michael Savage, recorded on his radio show December 9, 2002 * John Sonego, director of communications for GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Link: * Paul Levy, attorney with Public Citizen representing the website being sued by Talk Radio Nation, the network that broadcasts Michael Savage s radio show. Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
June 11, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
June 11, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., June 11, 2003
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