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Democracy Now! May 30, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 30, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 
PZ0450.174
Description: 

THE FBIS MISSED MESSAGES: WHY THE GOVERNMENT DIDNT KNOW WHAT IT KNEW

9:00-9:01 Billboard: The F.B.I. director acknowledges for the first time the September 11 attacks might have been preventable. Well talk about the reorganization and why the government didnt know what it knew.And, as Attorney General John Ashcroft announces a roll-back on CoIntelPro restrictions on domestic spying, well have a debate on racial profiling, civil liberties and national security. All that and more on Democracy Now!, the exception to the rulers. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: STORY: STREET MEDIC SENTENCED TO 6 MONTHS IN JAIL FOR WORKING AT A PROTEST A street medic has been sentenced to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine for working at a non-violent protest in Long Beach, California. Her crime was unlawful assembly and wearing a mask with the intent to commit a crime. Sarah Roberts is an animal rights activist, but worked as a medic at a May Day protest last year. Protesters say she was arrested along with almost one hundred protesters after the Long Beach police began firing on the crowd with rubber bullets. She began serving her prison term immediately upon sentencing last Thursday.Guest: Julie Roberts, sister of Sarah Roberts, an animal rights activist who was sent to prison for 6 months for unlawful assembly and wearing a mask with the intent to commit a crime. Julie is an organizer with ACORN in New Jersey. 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 THE FBIS MISSED MESSAGES: WHY THE GOVERNMENT DIDNT KNOW WHAT IT KNEW F.B.I. director Robert Mueller III acknowledged Wednesday for the first time the September 11 attacks might have been preventable if officials in his agency had responded differently to all the pieces of information that were available. As recently as May 8, Mueller told a Senate hearing there was nothing the agency could have done to prevent the attacks. Mueller said as a result of the FBI failures he is overhauling the FBI to aim more resources toward its new primary mission: the prevention of new terrorist operations.The FBI will more than double the bureau's anti-terror forces, and permanently devote nearly a quarter of the bureau's workforce to counterterrorism units. The bureau will also hire 900 linguists, computer experts, engineers and scientists over the next few months. Dozens of CIA employees will be placed in FBI field offices around the country. The overhaul is in response to increasing revelations over what the FBI knew before September 11. Last week, Minneapolis FBI agent Coleen Rowley wrote a caustic, 13-page letter to Mueller accusing FBI headquarters of hampering the investigation into alleged 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui. She says officials at FBI headquarters resisted seeking search warrants and admonished agents who sought help from the CIA. In the other well-known example, FBI agent Kenneth Williams wrote a memo on July 10, 2001 in which he expressed his concerns about a number of Arab flight students he was monitoring in Phoenix, Arizona. He did not specify the students had any links to al-Qa'ida, but he raised the prospect that the terror network could use American flight schools to train its members to launch attacks on US targets Democracy Now! contacted FBI headquarters yesterday to request an interview, but our calls and faxes were not returned. Tape: Robert Mueller, head of the FBI, at a press conference held Wednesday Guest: Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter, and author of an article in the current New Yorker magazine, Missed Messages: why the government didnt know what it knew. 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9/21-9:40 DOES ARAB NATIONAL PLUS FLIGHT SCHOOL NECESSARILY EQUAL THREAT? AS ASHCROFT SLASHES COINTELPRO RESTRICTIONS ON DOMESTIC SPYING, A DEBATE ON RACIAL PROFILING, CIVIL LIBERTIES AND NATIONAL SECURITY FBI director Robert Mueller III expressed regret on Wednesday about the FBI headquarters handling of a memo from its Phoenix office about a large number of Arabs seeking training at a U.S. flight school. The memo was written by FBI agent Kenneth Williams and dated July 10, 2001. Williams expressed his concerns about a number of flight students he was monitoring in Phoenix, Arizona. He did not specify the students had any links to al-Qa'ida. But he raised the prospect that the terror network could use American flight schools to train its members to launch attacks on US targets.The memo caused a furor in Washington last month, and Mueller said at the news conference on Wednesday that midlevel FBI managers should have immediately given the memo to top officials who might have recognized its significance. But the memo and the subsequent furor should raise not only the question about what the FBI and Bush administration could have done to prevent the September 11 attacks, but also questions about racial profiling. Does Arab national plus flight training necessarily equal threat? Should the FBI be authorized to investigate any Arab national involved in flight training? Meanwhile, Attorney General John Ashcroft is set to announce today that FBI agents will have new latitude to monitor Internet sites, libraries and religious institutions without first having to offer evidence of potential criminal activity. Under the old rules, agents had to show they had probable cause or information from an informer that crimes were being committed to begin counterterrorism investigations. Those restrictions were adopted after disclosures of domestic F.B.I. spying under the old Cointelpro program, and for 25 years they have been among the most fundamental limits on the bureau's conduct. ACLU director Laura Murphy said: "The government is rewarding failure when the F.B.I. fails, the response by the Bush administration is to give the bureau new powers, as opposed to seriously look at why the intelligence and law enforcement failures occurred."Today were going to have a debate on racial profiling, civil liberties, and what is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks Guest: Hussein Ibish, Communications Director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.Contact: www.adc.org Guest: Victoria Toensing (pronounced TUNsing), founding partner of the Washington law firm diGenova & Toensing. From 1984-1988, she served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Justice Department. In this capacity, she established the departments Terrorism Unit and managed the Federal government's efforts to prosecute those responsible for the hijacking of TWA 847, the bombing of Pan Am 830 and the takeover of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. She also served as Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. Guest: David MacMichael, former CIA analyst and an analyst for the National Intelligence Council from 1981-1983. He is also a founding member of the Association of National Security Alumni, an organization of former CIA and FBI officers devoted to the reform of the intelligence system. (We had absolutely no effect and we disbanded at the end of the Cold War) 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 A DEBATE ON RACIAL PROFILING, CIVIL LIBERTIES AND NATIONAL SECURITY, contd 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 30, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 30, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
Keywords: 
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Distributor: 
WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 30, 2002
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