Democracy Now! March 21, 2003

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Democracy Now! March 21, 2003
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Tens of thousands of US troops race through southern Iraq seizing oil installations as the bombing of Baghdad continues: a report on civilian casualties from Baghdad; Former CIA officials call for intelligence officers to leak documents that challenge Bush Administration propaganda: we ll talk to 27-year CIA veteran Ray McGovern; US attack plans for Iraq are modeled on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: a discussion of Shock and Awe

8:00-8:01 Billboard: 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:20: The ground war has started. Tens of thousands of U.S. and British ground forces are racing through southern Iraq in an attempt to seize the city of Basra and key oil installations. In the Faw peninsula, U.S. Navy and British commandos have seized oil shipping and pumping facilities along the Persian Gulf. The Marine 1st Expeditionary Force is moving toward seizing control of Iraq's southern oil fields, where several wells were reported to be ablaze. A US helicopter crashed early today just south of the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. Four U.S. crew members and eight British Royal Marines were killed. The helicopter went down after encountering haze from a burning oil field. We are just learning that a U.S. soldier died in combat a few hours ago. U.S. forces killed at least 14 Iraqi soldiers in fierce fighting at key oil installations. The US attacks from the air continue. Bombs rained down on Baghdad last night. Pentagon sources say in Baghdad 24 Tomahawk missiles targeted strongholds of Iraq s elite Special Republican Guard, as well as Iraqi President Saddam Hussein s main presidential palace and the offices of Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. The official Iraqi news agency said 37 civilians were wounded in the raid. It appears the U.S. military has yet to unleash the major air campaign they have dubbed shock and awe. The Washington Post is reporting that some U.S. officials believe the opening attacks yesterday struck a bunker where Saddam Hussein and one or two of his sons were sleeping. One administration official said evidence shows Hussein was at least injured in the attack or possibly killed. A source close to Hussein told the Washington Post that the man who appeared on TV after the first attacks was not Saddam Hussein. Iraqi sources said the president was safe. Yesterday, we were able to reach independent journalist Mei Ying Welsh in Baghdad as the bombing resumed. She described what its like to be under US bombing, and talked about her experience meeting the civilians who were injured in the first US bombing. Guest: Mei Ying Welsh, independent journalist 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40: Last week the Los Angeles Times reported on a stunning classified document from the State Department. It was titled "Iraq, the Middle East, and Change: No Dominoes. It debunked the Bush Administration s claim that a U.S. attack and occupation of Iraq would lead to a democratic Iraq, and then help bring democracy to much of the Middle East. The report was top secret and was never supposed to be seen by the public. The Bush administration obviously had little incentive to leak the report which challenged one of the stated goals of the war. And today the world would not know about the report if officials had not secretly leaked the document to reporters. If a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has its way, more officials within the Intelligence community will soon begin leaking documents that shows the Bush administration is slanting intelligence to support its case for war with Iraq. The group was formed two months ago by five CIA veterans. Currently the group consists of 25 members from the entire defense community (including the DIA, CIA, Army Intelligence, and the State Department Intelligence Group). Guest: Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran who briefed top Reagan administration security officials before retiring in 1990. He is one of the founders of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Contact: Daniel Ellsberg, calling in from a protest in Washington, D.C. Ellsberg is the former Pentagon official who leaked a 7,000-page top secret study of US decision-making in Vietnam, which later became known as the Pentagon Papers. He is author of Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58: Shock and Awe. These are the words the Pentagon is using to describe its planned air campaign in Iraq. Though the invasion has started and bombs are raining down on Baghdad, it appears the shock and awe part of the campaign hasn t gotten underway. The idea of Shock and Awe is to shatter Iraq "physically, emotionally and psychologically" by raining down on its people at least 300 missiles a day. That would mean that each day, Baghdad would be bombarded by more missiles than were launched during the entire 40 days of the 1991 Gulf War. In January, when the plan was first leaked, a Pentagon official told the CBS News: "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad." The plan was born several years ago, when seven former cold war warriors gathered to rethink US war strategy. The group was co-chaired by Harlan Ullman, a retired navy destroyer commander. In 1996, the group published its findings in a book called Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance. Chapter one of the document reads: Shutting the country down would entail both the physical destruction of appropriate infrastructure and the shutdown and control of the flow of all vital information and associated commerce so rapidly as to achieve a level of national shock akin to the effect that dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese. Yesterday s Christian Science Monitor reports author and co-chair Harlan Ullman is holding up the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a model. He said: "a society that was prepared to die was turned around." Independent journalist Russell Mokhiber questions Ari Fleischer in a White House press briefing on Feb. 19th, 2003. He asks how it is possible to protect civilians under the Shock and Awe battle plan. Guest: Jaime Havenar, independent researcher who wrote the first study of Shock and Awe. The report is published on the Not In Our Name website. Contact: 8:58-8:59 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 21, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
March 21, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., March 21, 2003
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