Democracy Now! January 16, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 16, 2002
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Accounting giant Arthur Anderson fires a partner it says led the shredding of Enron documents. Money and connections bought Enron power. Can they buy it innocence as well? : A Nigerian woman is sentenced to death for adultery; if she loses her appeal, she will be buried up to her waist in sand and stoned to death : continuation of a conversation with two World War II conscientious objectors profiled in a new documentary, The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 MONEY AND CONNECTIONS BOUGHT ENRON POWER. NOW, AS THE COMPANY UNRAVELS IN SCANDAL, CAN THEY BUY IT INNOCENCE AS WELL? The plot of the Enron scandal thickens. Yesterday, Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm accused of bungling Enron Corporations audit, fired its partner in charge of reviewing the companys books. Anderson said it had ordered the destruction of thousands of documents and e-mail messages after learning that the Securities and Exchange Commission had begun an investigation of Enron's accounting. Interestingly, George W. Bush was himself the subject of an SEC investigation into energy trading a decade ago. In 1990, Bush sat on the board of directors of Harkin Energy Company and on their audit committee. Just before the company announced a $23 million loss, Bush sold some $850,000 worth of stock, which he later used to purchase the Texas Rangers baseball team. As in the Enron case, the SEC investigated the possible insider deal. But it brought no charges. Perhaps this isnt surprising: the head of the SEC at the time was appointed by Bush the elder. And the SECs general counsel at the time, James Doty, actually helped to engineer George W. Bush to buy the Texas Rangers with the Harkin stock money. Doty also hails from the lawfirm, Baker and Botts, the lawfirm of former Secretary of State James Baker fame. James Baker, one of the most prominent figures in the first Bush administration, represented George W. Bush in the legal battle for the presidency. Baker and Botts is also implicated in todays Enron scandal. It is the same law firm that produced President Bushs appointee Lee Rosenthal, the Texas judge who was assigned to the employee and shareholder lawsuits against Enron. Just last week, Judge Rosenthal denied a motion to freeze the assets of Enron executives and board members. She has since recused herself from the case.GUEST: ANDREW WHEAT, Research Director, Texans for Public Justice 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 A NIGERIAN WOMAN IS SENTENCED TO DEATH BY STONING FOR ADULTERY After years of pressure from womens rights activists in the US and around the world, the White House has finally paid lip service to the plight of women in Afghanistanwhen it is politically expedient to do so. And now we turn to another country that the US and its transnational corporations have major oil interests in. In a case that could be as damaging to Nigeria as the hanging of writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian woman has been sentenced to death by stoning for the supposed crime of adultery. If her appeal does not go through, she will be buried to her waist in the sand and killed by public stoning with stones as big as fists. Last October Safiya Hussaini, who is 35, was sentenced in a court in the Nigerian state of Sokoto, based on the word of the father and her pregnancy. Initially Hussaini claimed she has been raped and was convicted under the most severe interpretation of Islamic sharia law. For a man to be convicted, he must confess or there must be witnesses. Hussaini's alleged rapist was acquitted. Hussaini says it is because she is poor and a woman that she will be executed for having a child. But in an appeal to the court yesterday, Hussaini said her baby, now 11 months old, was fathered by her former husband, not the married man who she says raped her. If she can prove it was not adultery, she could be acquitted, since having a husband's child after divorce is not an offence under sharia law. Husseini won a reprieve until March in her appeal yesterday, but international outrage over her case, and the moral police force in Nigeria, is growing. Over 75 members of the European parliament have urgently petitioned the Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to stop the execution, calling the punishment "inhuman, barbaric and cruel". Although Nigeria has inflicted harsh sharia punishments, including hangings and amputations, nobody has yet been stoned to death. GUEST: ASMA ABDEL HALIM, womens rights activist and lawyer from Sudan 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 THE VOICES OF CONSCIENCE: CIVIL RIGHTS AND AFRICAN LIBERATION ACTIVISTS WHO OPPOSED THE GOOD WAR, PART II Yesterday we spoke to the co-producer of a new documentary airing on PBS this week, The Good War And Those Who Refused To Fight It which tells the story of conscientious objectors who refused to fight "the good war. World War II is largely considered the most popular war of the century, but while 16 million Americans served in the military during World War II, nearly 43,000 Americans refused to fight. We do not often hear the stories of these men, and especially not in wartime. After the events of September 11th there has been a renewed media campaign of patriotism and gratitude for all war veterans. Today we will continue our conversation with two World War II conscientious objectors and civil rights activists. Bill Sutherland joins us in our studio: he is co-author of the book Guns and Gandhi in Africa: Pan African Insights on Nonviolence Armed Struggle and Liberation in Africa. He is a lifelong African liberation activist who splits his time between Tanzania and the US. George Houser is also with us, he is the founder of the AmericanCommittee on Africa, now called Africa Action, and the longtime executive secretary of the Congress of Racial Equality. GUEST: GEORGE HOUSER, World War II conscientious objector and civil rights activist GUEST: BILL SUTHERLAND, World War II conscientious objector and African liberation activist PHONE: IN STUDIO 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
January 16, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 16, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. January 16, 2002
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