Friday, October 07, 2005

Democracy Now: Robert Dreyfuss, Phyllis Bennis: Grace Lee Boggs, Larry Johnson, Danny Schechter, Christine of Pop Politics


Baradei and IAEA Win Nobel Prize
The International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, have won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. The Committee said it chose Baradei and the IAEA "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.'' Washington has long been at odds with Baradei for his consistent challenge to US claims, particularly about alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

US Threatens Nicaragua
The United States is threatening political groups and politicians that Nicaragua will lose millions of dollars in aid from Washington if any moves are made to bring down the US-backed president, Enrique Bolaños. In a move reminiscent of US intervention in Nicaragua in the 1980s, the US deputy secretary of state, Robert Zoellick, is in the capital Managua this week to head off the possibility of the Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega, returning to power. The Nicaraguan national assembly has been debating a proposal to impeach Bolaños over campaign finance violations. He was elected in 2001. Zoellick said that $4billion in debt forgiveness and a $175million grant to Nicaragua would be withheld if Bolanos is impeached. After the 1979 Sandinista revolution, the US organized, armed and funded death squads in Nicaragua known as the Contras.

Cuba Commemorates Victims of 1976 Airplane Bombing
Thursday marked the 29th anniversary of the bombing of a Cuban airplane killing all 73 people on board. One of the men accused of involvement in that bombing remains in US custody--Luis Posada Carriles. Hundreds of people gathered at Havana's main cemetery to remember the victims, which included the entire Cuban national fencing team. Cuba and Venezuela want Posada extradited to Venezuela to face charges for the plane bombing.

The above three items are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and were selected by Jonah, Liang and Kendrick. Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):

Headlines for October 7, 2005

- Terror Plot Alleged Against NY Subway System
- ABC News: Plot Involves 19 Operatives With Briefcases
- Baradei and IAEA Win Nobel Prize
- Bush: God Told Me To Invade Iraq, Afghanistan
- Rove Faces Grand Jury for Fourth Time
- Mudslides Kill Hundreds in Central America
- US Threatens Nicaragua
- Fujimori Seeks to Return to Peru as President

Bush Announces Renewed War on "Islamo-Facism," Rejects Demands for U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq

President Bush firmly rejected demands for a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and tried to refocus America's attention on the threat from Islamic extremism. We speak with investigative reporter Robert Dreyfuss, author of "Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam." [includes rush transcript]

Pentagon Analyst Pleads Guilty in AIPAC-Israeli Spy Case

Larry Franklin, a top Pentagon analyst, plead guilty to handing over highly classified intelligence to members of the pro-Israeli lobbying group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC. Franklin also admitted for the first time that he handed over top-secret information on Iran directly to an Israeli government official in Washington. We speak with investigative reporter, Robert Dreyfuss. [includes rush transcript]

UN Nuclear Watchdog ELBaradei Wins Nobel Peace Prize Months After U.S. Tries To Force Him From Job as Head of IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief Mohamed ElBaradei have won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We speak with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute of Policy Studies.

GE Strikes A Deal to Clean Up PCBs in the Hudson

Federal authorities and General Electric have struck a deal on dredging polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, contaminated sediment from the Hudson River. We have a discussion between an EPA administrator and an attorney from Riverkeeper.

Brandon e-mails to note Grace Lee Boggs' "Eliminate Poverty, Empower The Poor" (The Boggs Center):

"If you want to eliminate poverty, you have to empower the poor, not treat them as beggars."
This advice from Venequelan President Hugo Chavez, offered during a sitdown interview with Democracy Now while he was in New York for the UN opening, is as timely as the oil that Venequela will soon start delivering at below market prices to poor communities and schools in the U.S.
Unlike liberal Democrats and most U.S. radicals, Chavez views the elimination of poverty not as something that governments or politicians do or promise to do for people but as a participatory process through which people transform themselves and their reality simultaneously. That is also how MLK, after being confronted with the urban rebellions in the last three years of his life, began viewing the struggle against poverty.
Chavez described the process by which Venezuelans are currently struggling to eliminate poverty. In poor neighborhoods all over the country thousands of people join Urban Land Committees. These committees draft a map of their neighborhood then go house by house, family by family, assessing the problems, e.g. lack of running water, the condition of the houses, number of children, health care. Using financial and technical resources and equipment provided by the government, they interact with the technical commissions on water, energy and electrical supplies.

Wally e-mails to note Larry Johnson's "The Plame Case" (CounterPunch):

Want to know one reason why the CIA has been unable to recruit spies? Just reflect on how a potential recruit would react to the outing of Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operations officer.

The investigation into which administration officials compromised Plame, wife of former US ambassador Joseph Wilson, is nearing completion. Lost in the recent spurt of press reporting, however, is the fact that the outing of Ms. Plame (and, as night follows the day, her carefully cultivated network of spies) has done great damage to US clandestine operations-not to mention those she recruited over her distinguished career.

Ms. Plame, a very gifted case officer, was a close colleague of mine at CIA. Her dedication and courage were made abundantly clear when she became one of the few to volunteer to asume the risks of operating under non-official cover-meaning that if you get caught, too bad, you're on your own; the US government never heard of you.

The supreme irony is that Plame's now-compromised network was reporting on the priority-one issue of US intelligence-weapons of mass destruction. Thus, it was made clear to all, including active and potential intelligence sources abroad, that even when high-priority intelligence targets are involved, Bush administration officials do not shrink from exposing such sources for petty political purpose. The harm to CIA and its efforts to recruit spies instinctively wary of the risks in providing intelligence information is immense.

Danny Schechter goes over the "IT'S A THREAT!" "Maybe" "or maybe not" nature of Bully Boy in the News Dissector today (too long for an excerpt, worth reading). We'll note this shorter item:

Mark Crispin Miller is circulating this:

October 6, 2005 -- After it was reported that Karl Rove had agreed to give further testimony to the Grand Jury investigating the CIA leak, Rove's attorney Robert Luskin denied his client had received a target letter from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, a formal "heads up" sent to individuals who are about to be indicted. However, it is being reported from well-informed sources throughout Washington that 1) target letters have been sent to Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and Ari Fleischer; 2) Rove has agreed to testify and possibly agree to a plea bargain agreement in return for his testimony against other targets of the criminal probe; 3) Cheney and Bush may be named as unindicted co-conspirators; 4) Bush's "war speech" before the National Endowment for Democracy and a late Thursday afternoon report that "19 operatives" have arrived in New York City to place bombs on subway trains are blatant attempts by the White House to divert attention from the impending indictments against the Bush White House. The main stream media is just beginning to take notice that a "Watergate-level event" is about to occur in Washington.

Martha e-mails to note this from Thursday's News Dissector:


I will be screening WMD at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY, on Sunday, October 9, at 1 PM. The next weekend, I will be in London for a screening at the Everyman Theater in Hampstead on Sunday, October 16, at 3 PM, and the next evening at 6:45 PM at the Ritzy in Brixton. The following weekend, I'm off to the Frankfurt Book Fair to take part on a human rights panel.

And actually, today's News Dissector, the framework Danny's using to explore the evaporating "PANIC! WE HAVE INFO!" cry of the Bully Boy reminds me of the opening of WMD.

Lynda's e-mail's re: Christine's noting Court TV's new list of "memorable movie journalists" in "Reporters Caught on FIlm" (Pop Politics):

Walter Burns (Cary Grant) comes in at number 4 for His Girl Friday (1940), but Hildy Johnson, played by Rosalind Russell in the same film version, didn't make the list.

I'm disappointed there's no mention of newspaper reporter Ann Mitchell, played by Barbara Stanwyck in Frank Capra's Meet John Doe (1941). But perhaps I should just be grateful it didn't include either Sabrina Peterson (Julia Roberts) or Peter Brackett (Nick Nolte), competing Chicago newspaper reporters in I Love Trouble (1994) -- which I nominate as one of the Worst Movies Ever about journalists.

Ann Mitchell always seemed, to me, to be the "everyman" (everywoman) of that Capra film. Cooper's Doe is really a blank slate but Stanwyck's Ann is in line with George Bailey. Consider it a thought to start the weekend on.

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