Democracy Now! August 21, 2002

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Democracy Now! August 21, 2002
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Robert Fisk on Palestine to Iraq to Afghanistan: the suicide of Fatah leader Abu Nidal in Baghdad, and the anarchy that reigns in Afghanistan as Bush pushes for a new war Progressive Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is trounced in controversial primary: an extended roundtable discussion on how she was targeted by the Israeli lobby 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:07-9:20 ROBERT FISK ON PALESTINE TO IRAQ TO AFGHANISTAN: THE SUICIDE OF FATAH LEADER ABU NIDAL IN BAGHDAD, AND THE ANARCHY THAT REIGNS IN AFGHANISTAN AS BUSH PUSHES FOR A NEW WAR The head of the Iraqi Secret Police told reporters in Baghdad today that Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Nidal committed suicide as Iraqi agents attempted to take him in for interrogation. According to the official, he died by shooting himself in the mouth in his Baghdad apartment. Reports of Abu Nidal s death emerged earlier this week but there has been confusion about the circumstances in which he died. Nidal was once declared America s most wanted terrorist long before Osama bin Laden. The Iraqi government says Nidal had entered Iraq illegally and was carrying a false Yemeni passport. Iraqi officials today displayed photos of his dead body, as well as forged passports and ID cards, and weapons found at the apartment. Iraq s Secret Police chief said coded messages were found in the apartment revealing Abu Nidal was on the payroll of a foreign country. Reports on Tuesday suggested he had established contacts with what the Iraqis described as Kuwaitis plotting against Iraq. Reports of his death first emerged in al-Ayyam newspaper published in the West Bank, which said Abu Nidal died on Friday. The White House welcomed his death, describing him as "one of the most craven and despicable terrorists in the world". Abu Nidal was head of the Fatah-Revolutionary Council, which Washington had labeled the world's most feared terrorist organization before the rise of al-Qaeda. He is accused of the attacks on the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985 when 18 people were killed. He is also linked to several attacks in France in the 1980s, including a bomb attack on a Paris synagogue and a machine-gun assault at a Jewish restaurant, in which several people were killed. Guest: ROBERT FISK, is a veteran journalist for the Independent newspaper in London. He just wrote a piece called Gun for hire who has already died at least twice about the death of Abu Nidal. He also just returned from Afganistan where he did a series. Contact: 9:21-9:40 PROGRESSIVE GEORGIA CONGRESSWOMAN CYNTHIA MCKINNEY, TARGETED BY ISRAELI LOBBY, IS TROUNCED IN CONTROVERSIAL PRIMARY For the second time this summer, a leading Congressional critic of U.S.-Israeli policy was defeated at the polls. Early this morning five-time incumbent Rep. Cynthia McKinney conceded to former state judge Denise Majette in Georgia s Democratic Primary. McKinney is Georgia s first African-American Congresswoman. Lobbying groups and the mainstream media turned the highly contested race into a battle over Middle East policies. Pro-Israeli government lobbies heavily supported Majette, while the mainstream media focused overwhelmingly on McKinney s Arab and Muslim supporters. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported thousands of Republicans voted in the open Democratic primary in an effort to oust McKinney. More than 22 times as many voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary than in the Republic primary. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Majette had received 58 percent of the vote. In her concession speech early this morning, McKinney was unapologetic. She said: "In Congress, doing what is right is not always easy. Sometimes you have to stand up to seemingly unbeatable odds -- speak truth to the most powerful interests -- to do what is right." McKinney's loss echoed that of Alabama Rep. Earl Hilliard, who was defeated by Artur Davis in June. In both cases, a black Congressional critic of Israel was defeated by a black political newcomer, who was backed by the Israeli lobby. In another highly watched Georgia primary, four-time Representative Bob Barr was soundly defeated by Rep. John Linder. The two incumbents were forced to run against each other to due to redistricting. Barr was one of the most conservative members of Congress. He led the drive to impeach President Clinton. GUEST: Kharabia Rayford, McKinney outrreach coordinator, political activist and musician organizing the "We Love Cynthia McKinney Freedom Ride." GUEST: Rep. Earl Hilliard (D-Ala) GUEST: Norman Finkelstein, author of The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering GUEST: Paul Findley, former Congressman from Illinois and author of They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby 9:41 9:58 CYNTHIA MCKINNEY, cont d 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
August 21, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
August 21, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. August 21, 2002
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