Hour 1: Democracy Now! Airs Excerpts from the The Panama Deception an Academy Award-Winning Documentary Which Tells the Story of the December 1989 U.S. Invasion of Panama. The documentary uncovers the hidden reasons for this internationally condemned attack and provides a devastating critique of the mainstream media and its complicity with the official government line. Hour 2: Senate Finance Committee OKs Senior Prescription Drug Bill. Senior groups say the bill aids pharmaceutical industry without adequately covering seniors; Is Depleted Uranium Creating a New Nuclear Danger in Iraq? A debate on DU between Nuclear Policy Research Institute President Helen Caldicott, radiation physicist Geoffrey Sea and Dr. Thomas Fasy; Former Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Dylica Pagan on Vieques and the Independence Moment. Pagan spent nearly 20 years in prison for her involvement in the Puerto Rican Independence movement.
8:00=8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:05 Headlines 8:05-8:58: Today, on Democracy Now! we air the academy award-winning documentary: The Panama Deception. On December 19, 1989, U.S. troops invaded Panama with the stated purpose of ousting the man the media loved to hate, General Manuel Noriega. After 1986, Noriega s relationship with Washington took a turn for the worse. The Irancontra scandal forced three of his closest U.S. ties to leave the government. U.S. foreign policy quickly shifted against and Noriega went from friend to foe. During the attack, the U.S. unleashed a force of 24,000 troops equipped with highly sophisticated weaponry and aircraft against a country with an army smaller than the New York City Police Department. But the mainstream media failed to uncover the hidden reasons for this internationally condemned attack. The Panama Deception provides a provocative, well-documented analysis of U.S. relations with Panama and a devastating critique of the mainstream media and its complicity with the official government line. Produced and directed by Barbara Trent, The Panama Deception was banned in Panama but it won an Oscar here in 1992 for Best Documentary as well as numerous other awards. * Tape: The Panama Deception Produced and directed by Barbara Trent. Link: http:// www.empowermentproject.org 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:04 Headlines 9:04-9:05 One Minute Music Break 9:05-9:15: The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation last night that the Bush administration says will help all older Americans pay for prescription drugs. The bill will also expand the role of private health plans in treating the nation's senior citizens. The measure would offer subsidies to help Medicare's 40 million recipients buy insurance for medicine or to obtain the same drug coverage through private health plans, such as preferred-provider networks. A vote on the Senate floor may come as early as next week. While both Republicans and Democrats have embraced the bill, there are critics among senior citizen groups. We are joined by Phil Mamber is the President of Massachusetts Senior Action Council, an affiliate of the Alliance of Retired Americans. * Phil Mamber, President, Massachusetts Senior Action Council Link: http://www.masssenioraction.org 9:20-9:45: The nuclear arms watchdog group, Nuclear Policy Research Institute is warning of possible health risks to Iraqi civilians over the use of depleted uranium anti-tank shells used in Iraq. The group recently called on the Bush Administration to fully cleanup areas contaminated by DU in Iraq. Depleted uranium is considered to be the most effective anti-tank weapon ever devised. It is made from nuclear waste left over from making nuclear weapons and fuel. The public first became aware the US military was using DU weapons during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. But it had been used as far back as the 1973 Yom Kippur war in Israel. During the first Persian Gulf War, the U.S. used 320 tons of munitions made with depleted uranium. The Air Force fired roughly 750,000 rounds from A-10 aircraft. The Army fired over 50 of DU ammunition from Abrams tanks. The effects of depleted uranium have been long debated. The Pentagon denies depleted uranium poses health or environmental risks. Many environmentalists say it is a radioactive carcinogen that has caused large spikes in cancer in areas like Iraq. This weekend The Nuclear Policy Research Institute is hosting a major conference in New York on depleted uranium. <sum> Helen Caldicott, President of Nuclear Policy Research Institute and former President of Physicians for Social Responsibility. She is a pediatrician and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on nuclear disarmament. <sum> Link: http://www.nuclearpolicy.org/* Thomas Fasy,, Associate Professor of Pathology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine * Geoffrey Sea, health physicist. He is the former executive director of the International Foundation on Radiation, Ecology and Health. From 1981-1986 he served as health and safety consultant for the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers Union where he worked with employees at three of the nation s depleted uranium manufacturing plants. 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58: Puerto Rican activist Dylcia Pagan spent nearly 20 years in federal prison on charges of seditious conspiracy. She was captured on April 4th, 1980 and imprisoned with other comrades for participating in the underground wing of the Puerto Rican Independence movement. Pagan was born and raised in New York City. She studied cinematography and sociology at Brooklyn College where she founded the Puerto Rican Students Union. Throughout her incarceration, Pagan remained active in the struggle as a prisoner of war resisting the illegal occupation of her homeland by the United States. She is working on a documentary about other Puerto Rican women who are being held as political prisoners. She lives in Puerto Rico and her parole terms only allow her to travel twice a year so we re particularly pleased to have her in the studio. * Dylcia Pagan, former Puerto Rican political prisoner 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press, Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.