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Democracy Now! March 12, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! March 12, 2003
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 
PZ0517.117b
Description: 

Did Pakistani intelligence officials fake the arrest of alleged Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?: Foreign journalists in Pakistan begin to question Pakistani intelligence officials. We ll have a report from Islamabad; Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic is assassinated: We go to Belgrade for a live report from Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill; Angola, Guinea, and Cameroon: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover and US-based Africa advocacy groups are calling on these Security Council members to stand firm against US pressure; Searching Jenin, Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion : Suzanne Barouds reads a personal accounts of survivors from Jenin

9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 Did Pakistani intelligence officials fake the arrest of alleged Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?: Foreign journalists in Pakistan begin to question Pakistani intelligence officials. We ll have a report from Islamabad. Foreign journalists are accusing Pakistan s intelligence service of faking the arrest of alleged Qaeda lieutenant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Pakistani agents announced they arrested Mohammed several days ago in the city of Rawalpindi; the White House claims Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks. But journalists have begun to question whether the arrest was real. On Monday, Pakistan s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) held an unprecedented news conference to try to quell the questions. Officials played a grainy video they claimed showed the arrest. But according to Reuters, few journalists were convinced. The video never showed Mohammed's face nor any sign of a struggle. Many said it looked like a crude reconstruction. On Tuesday, former ISI chief Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul told Reuters he believes Mohammed was actually arrested some time ago in a different city. Another intelligence source said Mohammed had been arrested three days before, from the Tench Batta suburb of Rawalpindi. Rumors of Mohammed's arrest had circulated in Pakistan for months, but were consistently denied. Gul said news of the arrest appeared to have been leaked at a critical time, just as Pakistan was facing huge U.S. pressure to support a U.N. Security Council vote authorizing war on Iraq. Gul said the raid was conducted much too casually to have been real. Police didn t even properly surround or secure the house. Some are accusing Pakistan of staging the raid to give it leeway to abstain in a U.N. vote on an Iraq war. The Pakistani government is under massive domestic pressure to oppose war on Iraq. On Monday night, a senior ruling party official shocked British and American diplomats in Islamabad when he told Reuters the government had decided to abstain in the vote. Pakistan wasn t the only country to benefit from Mohammed s very publicized arrest. The Bush administration also had something to gain. On the Monday after the raid, the Wall Street Journal s top editorial headlined, Al Qaeda on the Run: Who says the war on terror isn't going well? That Thursday, President Bush opened a highly unusual press conference with an announcement on the arrest. The Reuters article appeared yesterday. Today, it looks as though not one major Western paper has picked up the story. We re joined right now on the telephone from Islamabad by the Reuters Bureau Chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Simon Denyer. * Simon Denyer, Reuters Bureau Chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan. He wrote a story published yesterday called Pakistan Accused of Staging Bin Laden Aide Arrest . He was one of the journalists present at the unprecedented press conference held by Pakistan s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)) on Monday. Link to article: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/ISL285340 Tape: President George W. Bush, speaking at a March 6th press conference 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:35 Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic is assassinated: We go to Belgrade for a live report from Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill Breaking news: The Serbian Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic, was assassinated today in the capital, Belgrade. The pro-reform, pro-Western leader was shot in the stomach and in the back outside government offices and died of his wounds in hospital. Unconfirmed Serbian media reports say that two people were arrested at the scene of the shooting. Djindjic was a key leader of the revolt that toppled former President Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000. We go to Belgrade for a live report from Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill who is in Belgrade. * Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent 9:35-9:45 US groups urge African UN Council members to oppose Iraq plan Angola. Guinea. And Cameroon. These three African countries have been at the center of the world s attention this week. They all sit on the United Nations Security Council and are under an enormous amount of pressure from both the U.S. and opponents of war in Iraq. And now prominent African-Americans including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Danny Glover, as well as a number of Washington, D.C.-based advocacy groups focused on Africa, are calling on the three nations to oppose a U.S. invasion of Iraq. A letter was recently to the three nations that warned a war in Iraq QUOTE "will have devastating economic and social consequences for the most impoverished and most vulnerable citizens and countries throughout the world." The letter also argued that HIV/AIDS should be QUOTE receiving the attention and resources that have been devoted instead to debating and designing interventions against Iraq. According to a recent report by the Inter Press Service, of the three nations Angola is considered the most likely to go along with the U.S. Angola sells much of its oil to U.S. companies and is in need of economic aid from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, where Washington holds great influence. Guinea, which receives military aid from Washington, is also considered more likely to vote with Washington. Cameroon has been considered a staunch ally of French President Jacques Chirac. * Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action Link: http://www.africaaction.org * Njoki Njoroge Njehu, director of 50 Years is Enough Link: http://www.50years.org/9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 Searching Jenin, Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion : Suzanne Barouds reads personal accounts of survivors from Jenin The Israeli State Prosecutor's Office represented the Israeli film censorship board on Sunday and asked the High Court to maintain a ban on the film Jenin, Jenin. The film documents the Israeli invasion of the Jenin refugee camp in April of last year. Estimates of the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli range from 52 to several hundred. Some Palestinians fought back and about two dozen Israeli soldiers were also killed. On Sunday, the state argued the film purports to be a documentary, but instead portrays Israeli soldiers as brutal war criminals who are committing genocide. The Documentary Creators Forum and the film s director, Mohammed Bakri, are petitioning the court to lift the ban. They say it is a violation of freedom of speech and artistic expression, and undermines the public's right to hear the film s message. Director Mohammed Bakri has also been sued by five Israeli reserve soldiers, who accuse Bakri of libellously portraying them as war criminals. During and immediately after the invasion, Israel cracked down on the flow of information. Journalists were not allowed in the camp, and Israeli propaganda officials immediately got to work. They succeeded in spinning news coverage of the invasion into a single question: did Israeli soldiers purposefully massacre hundreds of civilians? News outlets haggled over the number of people killed instead of the known fact that Israeli soldiers had killed unknown numbers of innocent people. Well, I recently had the opportunity to talk to journalist Ramzy Baroud. Baroud is the editor of a new book called Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion, 2002. He is also the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. Baroud coordinated a network of independent Palestinian journalists, who were able to sneak into the camp, interview residents, and smuggle the interviews out. The interviews have been published in Baroud s new book. In a few minutes, Suzanne Baroud will read some of the accounts. But first, I asked Ramzy Baroud why he put the book together. * Ramzy Baroud, editor of Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion, 2002 and Editor-in-Chief of the palestinechronicle.com. He was born in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza. The first intifada erupted there when he was a teenager. * Suzanne Baroud, assistant editor of Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion, 2002 and managing editor of palestinechronicle.com. She taught History of Western Civilization in a high school in Ramallah from 1990-1993, during the first intifada. 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogueira and Elizabeth Press. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.

Date Recorded on: 
March 12, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
March 12, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
Keywords: 
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Distributor: 
WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., March 12, 2003
Rights Summary: 
RESTRICTED. Permissions, licensing requests, Curriculum Initiative, Campus Campaign and all other inquiries should be directed to: Mark Torres, Archives Director, 800-735-0230, Mark@PacificaRadioArchives.org
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