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Democracy Now! March 26, 2003

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Program Title:
Democracy Now! March 26, 2003
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 
PZ0517.127b
Description: 

How oil interests obscured U.S. government focus on Saddam Hussein s dictatorship: A look at the role of Bechtel and Halliburton; UK + US = United to Kill Us All: An ordinary Iraqi citizens speaks out on the war from Baghdad near where U.S. forces bombed a busy market killing 15; Could protesting become a form of terrorism?: Oregon and Tuscon consider new so-called anti-terrorism laws. Meanwhile direct action protests against war continue across the country.

9:00-9:01 Billboard: 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20: A unit of the Houston-based oilfield services giant Halliburton Co. has won a major contact to fight oil well fires and to repair damage to oil wells in Iraq. The value of the contract was not disclosed. And the firm is also in the running for a major contract to rebuild Iraq after the U.S. finishes its attack. Halliburton s ties to the Bush administration and Iraq are deep. Its former CEO is Dick Cheney, the man who is currently the Vice President and who also was Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War. Halliburton is one of only five companies who were invited to bid on a major project to rebuild much of Iraq after the invasion. Bechtel is another one of the five. It too has a long history related to Iraq. In fact some say its failed business endeavors may have lead to the first Gulf War. Recently unclassified documents reveal that the Reagan administration, including current War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, sought to build close ties to Saddam Hussein s regime in order to secure the construction of a billion-dollar oil pipeline for the Bechtel corporation. And a new report by the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network charges that U.S.-Iraqi relations worsened in the late 1980s not because Iraq used chemical weapons on the Iranians, nor because Iraq gassed its own Kurdish people, nor even because Iraq invaded Kuwait, but because Hussein rejected the Bechtel pipeline deal. Today we will look at Halliburton and Bechtel. [Note: this segment is broken into two sections with a live report from Baghdad in between] * Jim Vallette, co-author of the new study, Crude Vision: How Oil Interests Obscured US Government Focus On Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein. He is research director for the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. * Pratap Chatterjee, independent journalist who has done extensive research on Halliburton. His latest piece for CorpWarch is titled Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War Links: Crude Vision: How Oil Interests Obscured US Government Focus On Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein : http://www.seen.org/pages/reports/crude.shtml Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War : http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=6008 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:35: And we have just gotten through to Baghdad where the Iraqi information ministry has just reported US forces have bombed a busy market north of Baghdad. Reuters Television correspondents say at least 15 burned corpses are lying in the poor residential area. One correspondent said the missiles apparently struck apartment blocks. Several shops and apartment buildings are badly damaged and cars nearby are on fire or smoldering. Just before daybreak, coalition forces bombed the main Iraqi television station in Baghdad, shutting down all transmission for a few hours. Iraqi Television has been broadcasting news conferences as well as images of US POWs and of dead American soldiers, which has outraged the Bush administration. Iraqi TV is now back on the air. CBS news is reporting US forces used a new high-powered microwave weapon in the attack. The e-bomb emits a burst of electromagnetic energy to disable or destroy electronic equipment. The Pentagon said it has no information on the issue. * Gazwan al Mukhtar, an Iraqi citizen who lives in Baghdad. He is a retired engineer. 9:35-9:50 Bechtel & Halliburton Cont d * Jim Vallette, co-author of the new study, Crude Vision: How Oil Interests Obscured US Government Focus On Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein. He is research director for the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. * Pratap Chatterjee, independent journalist who has done extensive research on Halliburton. His latest piece for CorpWarch is titled Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War 9:50-9:58 Could protesting become a form of terrorism?: Oregon and Tuscon consider new so-called anti-terrorism laws. Meanwhile direct action protests against war continue across the country. As millions protests around the world against war, state and local governments are quietly taking steps to limit the right to protest. In New York, city officials rejected a permit to allow a massive anti-war protest in February citing national security grounds. In Oregon, the state legislature is considering creating a new crime of "terrorism." According to the Oregon ACLU, the current bill is defined so broadly that protesters could be subjected to life in prison if they participated in a demonstration or strike that attempts to disrupt commerce, transportation, educational, or governmental institutions. In Arizona, the city of Tuscon has put forward a plan that would rewrite local laws regulating public demonstrations. If passed, protesters would need to obtain a permit 60 days in advance. And protest organizers would also have to cover the cost of police presence and any other related city expenses. A new group called Free America was formed last week to oppose this move. Meanwhile direct actions protests against war are continuing in the U.S. The Village Voice website published an article last night titled Peace Activists Planning to Disrupt Manhattan. It begins: Taking their cue from protesters in San Francisco, who shut down that city's financial district last week with a wave of raucous street blockades, marches, and sit-ins, activists in New York including many from more mainstream groups are calling for widespread civil disobedience in midtown Manhattan this Thursday. Their aim is to disrupt "business as usual." The actions include a mass die-in at 8 a.m. at Rockefeller Center to protest "media collusion and corporate profiteering from the war." (Rockefeller Center houses NBC and General Electric, among other companies.) There are also plans for roving traffic blockades at intersections and other "creative disruptions" outside the offices of media firms, oil companies, and military contractors, starting at 7 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. Guest: Susan Russell, Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Guest: Ted Hand, founder of the group Free America in Tuscon Guest: Mark Milano, a spokesperson for the M27 Coalition, an umbrella group for over thirty groups planning massive non-violent civil disobedience all over New York City this Thursday. Guest: Gordon Clark, National Coordinator of The Iraq Pledge of Resistance and former Executive Director of Peace Action. Links: Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association: http:/www.ocdla.org M27 Coalition: http://www.m27coalition.org Iraq Pledge of Resistance: http://www.peacepledge.org 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
March 26, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
March 26, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
Keywords: 
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Distributor: 
WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., March 26, 2003
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