Colin Powell addresses the UN Security Council to argue for a first-strike attack on Iraq; most of his claims can t be verified; Powell claims Iraq is harboring Al Qaeda terrorists, but leaves out evidence implicating US allies; we hear responses from Baghdad, France and Cameroon; United for Peace and Justice sues the NYPD for the right to march against war on Feb. 15
9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20: Secretary of State General Colin Powell spoke before the United Nations Security Council yesterday. He made the case for a first-strike attack on Iraq, by presenting satellite photographs, tapes of intercepted conversations between Iraqi military officers, and information from Iraqi defectors and people seized in Afghanistan and elsewhere since September 11. Powell s 70-plus minute presentation can be boiled down to a few main points. Powell says Iraq possesses extremely dangerous weapons of mass destruction; Iraq is systematically trying to deceive UN inspectors and hide prohibited weapons; and Iraq is harboring terrorists, including Al Qaeda. But much of Powell s presentation is impossible to verify. Powell s speech was peppered with assertions like: Our sources tell us, or we know that... . Defectors and detainees were not named. An article on the front page of The New York Times reads: Powell s Trademark: Overwhelm Them, referring to the infamous Powell doctrine of using overwhelming force. Britain s Financial Times dubs Powell s presentation on Iraq an effective performance . Powell also resorted to drama at times. At one point, he held up a vial filled with white power and said less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax shut down the US Senate in the fall of 2001. He referenced the 2001 anthrax attacks despite the fact there is no evidence Iraq anything to do with it. France and Russia said the evidence only strengthened the case for further inspections. France and Germany proposed doubling or tripling the UN presence in the country. Iraq rejected the presentation as a fraud. But Britain pronounced Iraq in grave new breach of Security Council resolutions. Spain s Prime Minister urged the Spanish Parliament to back Spain s uncompromising support the US even before Powell spoke. But some Members of Parliament stood with posters reading War, No. Ten Eastern European countries put out a statement backing the U.S. They are all aspiring to NATO membership. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Turkey said he will ask Parliament to open the country s bases to thousands of American troops. Well today we re going to take an in-depth look at Powell s speech. We ll hear some excerpts from Powell. We ll hear the response the Special advisor to Saddam Hussein gave late last night in Baghdad. We ll be joined in our studio by United Nations expert Phyllis Bennis and others. We thought we d start with the first piece of evidence Powell presented, audio clips he played just minutes into his presentation. Powell says the clips are communications between Iraqi military officers that were intercepted by the US government. In the first conversation, two officers speak on the day before UN weapons inspections resumed. One says they still have a modified vehicle. The other appears surprised and says QUOTE I m worried. You all have something left. The other replies. We evacuated everything, we don t have anything left. To give us a taste of these conversations, we ll play a few seconds from the second audio piece Powell played. Then Powell will explain it. Tape: Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell addressing the U.N. Security Council, 2/5/ 03 Guest: Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, specializing in Middle East and United Nations issues She is the author of the book Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis, http://www.ips-dc.org/Guest: James Paul, Executive Director of the Global Policy Forum. He has also worked as a writer and consultant with projects for Human Rights Watch, Oxford University Press, Physicians for Human Rights, and many others. He was awarded the World Hunger Media Award in 1987 and he received a Peacemaker award from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1996. He is an editor of the Oxford Companion to Politics of the World and his most recent book is Humanity Comes of Age. Link: http://www.globalpolicy.org/Guest: As`ad AbuKhalil, (Ah-sad Abu-Ka-Lee), he is the author of Bin Laden, Islam and America s New War on Terrorism and the forthcoming "The House of Bush and the House of Saud." He is a professor of political science at California State University at Stanislaus. NOTES: HE WANTS TO RESPOND ABOUT HOW POWELL TRANSLATED THE PHONE CONVERSATIONS. He will also respond in detail to the alleged Iraq- Al Qaeda links. 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:20-9:45: At the United Nations Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell put forward new details in an attempt to connect Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda. Powell s case centered on Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin. Last May al-Zarqawi visited Baghdad for medical treatment and Powell claimed he accompanied by 24 other Al Qaeda affilates. And al-Zarqawi is believed to be a leader of the group Ansar al-Islam which is based in northern Iraq, a region which is not under Baghdad s control. Ansar al-Islam has vowed to overthrow Saddam Hussein s government but Powell alleged Hussein had backed the group. The Financial Times reported that US officials have not drawn the conclusions expressed by Powell. Before yesterday s speech, one described the assertion of a link based on Mr. al-Zarqawi s presence in Baghdad as an inferential leap. UK officials, whose conclusions are based on the same intelligence as that available to the CIA, remain unconvinced that links are more than circumstantial. The New York Times also reported that Powell withheld some critical details including the discovery by intelligence agencies that a member of the royal family in Qatar operated a safe house for Zarqawi. Qatar is seen as an important ally providing air bases and a command headquarters for the American military, The Times reported that Qatari royal family member was Abdul Karim al-Thani provided Qatari passports and more than $1 million in a special bank account to finance the network. Tape: Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell addressing the U.N. Security Council, 2-5-03 Guest: As`ad AbuKhalil, (Ah-sad Abu-Ka-Lee), he is the author of Bin Laden, Islam and America s New War on Terrroism .and the forthcoming "The House of Bush and the House of Saud." He is a professor of political science at California State University at Stanislaus. Tape: Gen. Amir Saadi, Special advisor to Saddam Hussein, speaking late last night in Baghdad. Guest: Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent in Baghdad Link: http://www.iraqjournal.org Tape: Dominique de Villepin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, speaking to the U.N. Security Council, 2-5-03 Tape: Francois-Xavier Ngoubeyou, Cameroon Foreign Minister, speaking to the U.N. Security Council, 2-5-03 Guest: Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, specializing in Middle East and United Nations issues She is the author of the book Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis, Guest: James Paul, Executive Director of the Global Policy Forum. He has also worked as a writer and consultant with projects for Human Rights Watch, Oxford University Press, Physicians for Human Rights, and many others. He was awarded the World Hunger Media Award in 1987 and he received a Peacemaker award from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1996. He is an editor of the Oxford Companion to Politics of the World and his most recent book is Humanity Comes of Age, http://www.globalpolicy.org/9:50-9:58 United for Peace and Justice sues the NYPD for the right to march against war on Feb. 15. A coalition of New York and national organizations opposed to war in Iraq have gone to court for the right to march past the Untied Nations at an anti-war rally set for Feb. 15. Yesterday the group, United for Peace and Justice, sued the city of New York after the police denied for denying a march permit claiming the decision violated the group s First Amendment rights. United for Peace co-chairperson Leslie Cagan says the suit was filed after the New York police refused to grant the coalition a permit to march anywhere in the city on Feb. 15. In the federal suit, the group said a march across from the United Nations on First Avenue was an "essential" element of the planned anti-war demonstration, given the UN's role in the Iraq situation. The city has allowed huge marches pass by the UN before. In 1994 a rally marked the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion and two anti-nuclear rallies were held in 1982 and 1988. Guest: Leslie Cagan, co-chair of the United for Peace and Justice Coalition, http://www.unitedforpeace.org 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogiera and Alex Wolfe. Mike Di Filippo is our engineer and webmaster.