Democracy Now! July 19, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! July 19, 2002
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New documents reveal a Pentagon program's shocking plans to promote using psychopharmacological weapons and mind-altering drugs including Valium sprays, chemical cocktails, hallucinogens, fast- acting anti-depressants, and animal traquilizers. Then, the Justice Department secretly charters an airlift to deport 131 Pakistani detainees held for in INS detention centers for months. Not one was been charged with terrorism. And as Pakistani Ahmad Omar Sayeed Sheikh appeals death sentence in murder of Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl, a look at Sheik's links to the Pakistani intelligence service All that and more coming up. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 150 NIGERIAN WOMEN END THEIR UNPRECEDENTED PEACEFUL PROTEST AGAINST CHEVRON, WINNING MAJOR CONCESSIONS; NEW REPORT REVEALS LATINOS ARE INCARCERATED FOR DRUG OFFENSES AT THIRTEEN TIMES THE RATE OF WHITE YOUTH Over 150 Nigerian women ended their peaceful protest against Chevron in Escravos today. Fifteen women were arrested. The women had occupied Chevron's main oil export facility for ten days, halting the movement of oil and trapping hundreds of U.S., British, Canadian and Nigerian workers inside. The women maintained control of the terminal by threatening to remove their clothes, a powerful traditional shaming method which would have humiliated Chevron in the eyes of the community. The Niger Delta is one of the poorest places in Nigeria despite its oil wealth. Nigeria is the world's sixth-largest exporter of oil and the fifth-largest supplier to the United States. After days of negotiations, company executives agreed to build schools, clinics, town halls, electricity and water systems in villages of rusty tin shacks. The company also agreed to give jobs to at least 25 residents and help build fish and chicken farms. The protest inspired other women to seize four other oil facilities in the region. Anyakwee Nsirimovu is executive director of Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He talked about who these women are and why they were protesting. Guest: Anyakwee Nsirimovu, executive director of Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Nigeria NEW REPORT REVEALS LATINOS ARE INCARCERATED FOR DRUG OFFENSES AT THIRTEEN TIMES THE RATE OF WHITE YOUTH And, a new report shows that Latino and Latina youth are incarcerated for drug offenses at thirteen times the rate of white youth. The study is the first ever national analysis of Latino and Latina youth in the juvenile justice system. Guest: Marisa Demeo, regional counsel for Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of the groups working with Building Blocks for Youth Initiative, the group which commissioned the study. She spoke at a news conference at the Press Club in Washington announcing the results of the study Thursday. Contact: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 VALIUM, HALLUCINOGENS, ANTI-DEPRESSANTS, AND CHEMICAL COCKTAILS: A NEW REPORT DETAILS THE PENTAGON'S PLANS FOR A PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGICAL ARSENAL FOR USE IN THE US In a 1971 book called "The Futurological Congress," Polish writer Stanislaw Lem portrayed a future in which disobedience is controlled with hypothetical mind-altering chemicals he dubbed "benignimizers". In the opening scene of the book, police attack protesters outside an international scientific convention with hallucinogenic agents. As the protesters and bystanders are saturated with the agents, they are overcome by delusions and feelings of complacency and love. Well, new revelations suggest Stanislaw Lem may have been more a prophet than a fiction writer. A small, Texas-based nonprofit has obtained Pentagon reports revealing shocking plans to promote psychopharmacological weapons and mind-altering drugs. According to a report the Sunshine Project obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program conducted an extensive review of medical literature and new developments in the pharmaceutical industry. The report concludes, "the development and use of [psychopharmacological weapons] is achievable and desirable." The drugs that Lem called "benignimizers" are called "calmatives" by the military. The military was supposed to remove such drugs from its stockpiles following the adoption of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993. But the Pentagon has other plans. They include using everything from valium sprays, hallucinogens, chemical cocktails, and fast- acting anti-depressants, to animal tranquilizers and a host of drugs that didn't make it past the FDA because of excessive side-effects. According to the Sunshine Project, some of the techniques discussed in the report have already been used by the US in the so-called "War on Terrorism". This, as Washington beats the drums of war and marches towards an invasion of Iraq, because Iraq allegedly possesses biological weapons. Democracy Now! called the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Project to ask them to join us today, but the calls were not returned. Guest: Edward Hammond, bioweapons expert at the Sunshine Project, a small international NGO that works to avert the dangers of biological weapons. The Project's name refers to how biological weapons break down and are rendered harmless by exposure to bright sunlight. Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SECRETLY CHARTERS AN AIRLIFT TO DEPORT 131 PAKISTANIS IMPRISONED FOR MONTHS According to United Press International, South Asian diplomats say the U.S. is planning to deport scores of Pakistanis. According to the report, the diplomats said the names of 70 detainees to be sent back to Pakistan had already been finalized and there was a list of another 124 to 200 probable names. The diplomats say none had any apparent links to terrorism. Most have been detained for overstaying their visas or other immigration infractions. The report says 24 Pakistanis had been arrested over one recent 48 hour period in Atlanta alone. Last month, the Justice Department secretly chartered a Portuguese jet to deport 131 Pakistani prisoners. The prisoners had been arrested for various petty charges and immigration infractions since September 11th, and held for months at INS detention facilities around the country. None had been charged with links to terrorism. They were all flown to Louisiana and boarded onto the jet. The men and one woman were led to the plane in handcuffs. Many did not want to go. According to the Washington Post, one man lay down on the tarmac, and another had to be carried onto the plane. Seconds before the plane was about to taxi, a man whose wife had obtained a court order preventing his deportation was removed from the plane. But when the flight touched down 20 hours later, about 50 detainees dropped to their knees and pressed their foreheads to the tarmac in thanks. Since September 11th, US authorities have detained 1,200 people, mainly Arabs and South Asians. Not one of these has been charged with terrorism. According to figures released by the Justice Department last year, 300 of those detained in the United States were from Pakistan, more than from any other country. We're joined right now by an ACLU lawyer who spoke with many of the Pakistanis before they were airlifted out of the country. Guest: Ahilan Arulanantham, staff counsel at the ACLU Immigrants Rights Project IN STUDIO 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 AS AHMAD OMAR SAYEED SHEIKH APPEALS HIS DEATH SENTENCE FOR MURDER OF WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER DANIEL PEARL, A LOOK AT SAYEED SHEIK'S LINKS TO THE PAKISTANI INTELLIGENCE SERVICE The lawyer for Ahmad Omar Sayeed Sheikh asked a Pakistani provincial court today to overturn his client's conviction and death sentence in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The Pakistani government announced the sentence on Monday. Sayeed Sheikh is a leading Islamic fundamentalist with reported ties to groups such as the Jaish I Muhammad, al Qaeda and the Taliban. His appeal claims the verdict was based on "fake, false and provenly planted evidence." Today we're going to look at the history of the Pakistani intelligence service and its links to Sayeed Sheikh and other Islamic fundamentalist groups. In the current issue of CovertAction Quarterly, Dr. Hamid Hussein writes, "Omar started to talk about his ISI links when the United States demanded his extradition Most likely, he will be sentenced to death in a Pakistani court and the sentence will be quickly carried out." Guest: Dr Hamid Hussain, author of a piece, "Lengthening Shadows: The Intelligence Agencies of Pakistan" in the CovertAction Quarterly this summer IN STUDIO Lower Third: CovertAction Quarterly Contact: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
July 19, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
July 19, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. July 19, 2002
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