Democracy Now! October 16, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! October 16, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Iraq Journal: A rare visit to the birthplace of Saddam Hussein. Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports from Takrit; Sniper politics: Does the technology exist to find the D.C. sniper? The Bush Administration and the NRA are opposing ballistic fingerprinting legislation that would trace the bullet to the gun; The militarization of the police: The Pentagon is called in to track down the D.C. sniper; Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis: Filmmaker Estela Bravo talks about her new film Fidel: The Untold Story which includes Alice Walker, Muhammed Ali, Angela Davis, Nelson Mandela, Harry Belafonte and others

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:05 Headlines 9:05-9:11: In Iraq millions took to the polls yesterday to express their support for President Saddam Hussein. According to government officials, Hussein received 100 percent support from the over 11 million registered voters who cast ballots. There were no candidates on the ballot, no party ticket to choose from -- there wasn t even a question. People were simply asked to mark one of two boxes: yes or no. The last time a referendum was held on the Iraqi leader was in 1995, when he received 99.96% yes votes. Iraq said the overwhelming support sent a message to the Bush administration that Iraqis will not accept an American occupation. Yesterday Jeremy Scahill was one of a handful of foreign journalists who was granted a rare tour of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein. With filmmaker Jacquie Soohen he filed this report after their visit to Tikrit. This is the fifth installment in our Iraq Journal series. Tape: Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent in Tikrit, Iraq Links: Iraq Journal: 9:11-9:20: The search for the serial sniper in the Washington D.C. area has renewed calls for a national ballistic fingerprint system that supporters say could quickly link bullets found at shooting scenes to a suspect. Bullets and shell casings fired from a handgun contain unique markings-- like fingerprints which can be used to link specific handguns with gun crimes. Ballistics or gun fingerprinting proposals require that handguns be test-fired before they are sold, and that its unique fingerprints be entered into a computer database that will be accessible to law enforcement. Senator Charles Schumur (D-NY) has announced he will introduce federal legislation to create such a registry. But creation of the registry is coming under intense criticism from the Bush Administration and the National Rifle Association. Yesterday Bush s press secretary Ari Fleischer said the president opposes the push for firearms fingerprinting because he is unconvinced of the technology s accuracy and is concerned about gun owners privacy. Phone Guest: Eric Gorovitz, policy director for the Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence Links: Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence: 9:20-9:21 One-Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40: The Pentagon will begin patrolling the skies over the nation's capital with secret surveillance planes to help catch the sniper in the Washington area. War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld agreed Tuesday to deploy RC-7 Airborne Reconnaissance Low planes that are equipped with special sensors and detection capabilities. This development comes as the Bush Administrations has called upon Congress to relax or repeal the law that forbids the military to get involved in civilian law enforcement. Their target is the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which says, in effect, that soldiers may not ride in posses or, more precisely, arrest and try civilians Phone Guest: Christopher Pyle, teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. He is the author of "Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, 1967-1970." Pyle is a former army intelligence captain who blew the whistle on military surveillance in 1970 by publishing a pair of articles in Washington Monthly. 9:40-9:41 One minute music break 9:41-9:58: Today marks the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Three years earlier Fidel Castro had led a popular revolution on the island and he remains the president today, despite countless CIA assassination attempts. The Cuban leader is also the subject of a new documentary called Fidel: The Untold Story by filmmaker Estela Bravo, an American filmmaker who has lived and worked in Havana for many years. Bravo obtained rare interviews with Castro and exclusive footage from the Cuban State archives. Castro is seen swimming with bodyguards, visiting his childhoold home and school, joking with his friend Nelson Mandela, meeting with Elian Gonzalez, and celebrating his birthday with the Buena Vista Social Club. The story unfolds through the words of Alice Walker, Sydney Pollack, Ted Turner, Muhammed Ali, Harry Belafonte, Angela Davis, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Ramsey Clark, Wayne Smith and others. Studio Guest: Estela Bravo, has made 26 documentary films since arriving in Cuba in 1966. Currently she is making "Operation Peter Pan," about the 14,000 Cuban children who were sent to the United States by their parents to escape the Cuban revolution. Lower Third: Fidel Filmmaker Links: First Run Icarus Films: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
October 16, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
October 16, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., October 16, 2002
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