Democracy Now! June 11, 2003

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Democracy Now! June 11, 2003
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US Occupation Forces Draw up New Rules for Press Censorship of Iraqi Media. Officials say the code is not intended to censor the media, only to stifle intemperate speech, but Iraqi journalists who endured censorship under Saddam Hussein are protesting the decision; The U.S. and U.N. Refuse to Provide Protection for Witnesses of Massacres: Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. "We keep asking the [UN] Human Rights Commission for an inquiry and investigation into [the mass graves] I don t know why it s delayed because we do believe in peace with justice but there is a lot of argument that they don t want to exchange stability for justice"; Former Congressmember Cynthia McKinney Speaks about the War Abroad and the War at Home. All Americans are being asked to sacrifice so that a few can get butter while the masses get guns.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:20 US Occupation Forces Draw up New Rules for Press Censorship of Iraq Media Freedom s untidy. These are the words Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld uttered when faced with increasingly difficult questions at a Pentagon Press briefing on April 11. Rampant looting had broken out across Baghdad. Buildings were set on fire all over the city. Workers at the Baghdad National museum had fled and the museum was being gutted of its archaeological treasures. Rumsfeld told reporters: It s untidy. And freedom s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." Evidently, the same rule will not apply to the free Iraqi press. Last week, US occupation forces devised a code of conduct for the Iraqi press. Officials say the code is not intended to censor the media, only to stifle intemperate speech that could incite violence and hinder efforts to build a civil society. Material deemed provocative will be threatened or shut down. The decision has drawn protests from Iraqi journalists who endured censorship under Saddam Hussein and were punished if they strayed beyond the official line. Dozens of daily and weekly newspapers have sprung up in the capital since the fall of Saddam s regime in April. The Washington Post describes the situation as a raucous rush of unfettered expression. * Borzou Daragahi, freelance reporter in Baghdad. He broke the story on the new US code of conduct for the Iraqi media, in the Associated Press. Link: 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40 Former Congress Member, Cynthia Mckinney, Speaks about the War Abroad and the War at Home The Congressional Budget Office predicted yesterday that the federal budget deficit will top $400 billion this year. The estimate is twice what the office projected in January. Economists said the soaring deficit is a result of President Bush s tax cut and increased defense spending related to the war in Iraq. Last weekend, former congress member of Georgia, Cynthia Mckinney, spoke at an event in Washington D.C. About the war abroad and the war at home. * Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Representative, speaking on May 31, 2003 in Washington, D.C. 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58 Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Dr. Sima Samar, Speaks about Security, Reconstruction and Mass Graves in Afghanistan Afghanistan is in a state of chaos. The latest developments: Hundreds of peacekeepers held a memorial service in Kabul yesterday to honor four German soldiers killed in the deadliest attack yet on the multinational force. The four soldiers and an Afghan civilian were killed on Saturday in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul. Nearly 30 peacekeepers and several Afghan bystanders were injured. Also yesterday, US troops came under attack on the Pakistani border. They killed four suspected Taliban members in the ensuing three-hour gun battle. The day before, attackers fired four rocket-propelled grenades at an Afghan government post in the same region. Those are only the attacks we hear about as they happen. But Barry Bearak reports in The New York Times Magazine that sniper ambushes on Afghans employed to clear landmines occur almost daily. It is no secret that outside of the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan is run by warlords. Bearak s 7,000 word piece in the The New York Times Magazine was the cover story. The cover blared: Warlord-i-stan, with a close-up picture of His Excellency Ismail Khan -- ruler of the ancient city of Heart. The warlords control their own armies, with tanks and artillery, and refuse to disband them to help form the fledgling Afghan national army. Most of the warlords have at one time or another been on opposing sides in civil war Dr. Sima Samar is the chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. During the six-month interim Afghan government, Dr. Samar served as the Minister for Women's Affairs. According to the Guardian of London, Dr. Samar led a group of women to confront the warlords during the loya jirga to choose the new Afghan government exactly one year ago. Dr. Samar set the tone when she said: "This is not democracy. This is a rubber stamp. Everything here has already been decided by those with the power. This jirga includes all the warlords. None of them is left out." Then, her deputy, Taj Kokar, and a group of women delegates confronted the former president Burhanuddin Rabbani. Kokar asked, "Why have you killed and raped our women? Why do we have so many widows in this country?" President Hamid Karzai turned her down for the post of Women s Affairs Minister in the new government after conservative religious factions launched a campaign of slander and intimidation against her. Today, in Washington, D.C., Dr. Samar receives a new United Nations human rights award. * Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
June 11, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
June 11, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., June 11, 2003
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