Episode #318: Plant The Evidence
First Broadcast: 6/30/03 Show began at 2:00:16 AM, a few seconds in progress.
The first topic is media analysis: specifically, three articles in the June 18, 2003, edition of the New York Daily News.
"Losses In The War On Terrorism", p. 9, a chart counting U.S. casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq. First: By grouping these two military adventures together, this perpetuates the fraudulent idea that there is somehow a connection between Iraq (and specifically Iraq under Saddam Hussein) and the Al Qaeda groups who were in Afghanistan--and consequently the hijackers who crashed those airplanes on September 11, 2001. The only connection that exists is in the minds of the war criminals in the White House who planned these overseas expeditions. And yes, if you violate the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention, and five different sections of the Constitution in your drive to bomb one country into submission and wage an agressive undeclared war against another, that does indeed make you a war criminal. Second: If you're going to make a chart involving these two countries anyway, don't the 3000+ civilians killed in Afghanistan and the 3000- 7000+ civilians killed in Iraq also count as "losses", perhaps even more in need of publicity now to prevent them from only being remembered as faceless others who are only known to Americans as "regrettable" statistics?The second topic is about remarks made by Ray McGovern, a man who worked for the CIA for 27 years as an analyst and served under Presidents Kennedy through Bush senior. In an interview with William Rivers Pitt (who also wrote War On Iraq, a book featuring an interview with former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter), McGovern highlights the appalling lack of evidence which the current administration has used to justify its war on Iraq; and how there is a very real possibility that the reason why the U.S. is now refusing to let the U.N. inspect for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because a) those alleged weapons don't exist, and the U.S. doesn't want the U.N. to come to that conclusion, or b) the U.S. needs time to plant these weapons first so that the U.N. can find the "proof" that Bush, et al, have said is there all along. If a senior CIA employee is concerned that the Bush White House may have lied, and might be lying now to the American public to gain its approval for the second Iraq war, shouldn't the rest of us be concerned as well? Shouldn't impeachment now be a serious option?
"Blair fibbed on war, say 2", p. 21: U.S. and British troops have been on the ground in Iraq since March, April, May, June, and going on July of this year, and they still have not found any evidence of "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq. Not only that, but much of the alleged "evidence" which was presented before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has turned out to be either false or misleading, most specifically a document purported to be proof a nuclear weapons program in Iraq (a document which was mentioned in George W. Bush's State of the Union address this year) which was since been acknowleged by the U.N. and the U.S. to be a forgery. The issue is considered so serious in Britain that Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a recall and the possibility of being forced out of office before the end of the year for lying to the British public. Now, if Tony Blair was working with the same "evidence" as George W. Bush, shouldn't Bush be facing impeachment here for lying to the American public? Isn't this story important enough to warrant a better placement in the paper than on the bottom of page 21?
"People power, Iranian style", p. 34: In this editorial on the current wave of student-led protests in Iran, the Daily News writes: "Iran's problems were not created by the U.S., but by leaders of an Islamic revolution that has run out of steam." The News obviously forgets 20th Century history. Why did an Islamic revolution occur in the first place? To overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of the Shah, that's why. And who was always a friend to the Shah? The United States, who backed him up with financial and military aid from 1953 up to his exile in 1979, that's who. And how did the Shah take over the leadership of the Iranian government in 1953? In 1953, the CIA (and MI6) organized a coup to throw out Iran's democratically-elected Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh (who nationalized Iran's oil industry), and install the Shah (who divided up most of the oil between British and American interests), that's how. So, isn't it very possible that Iran would not be in the condition it is today if the U.S. had not interfered with its government 50 years earlier? Shame on you, Daily News, really. P.S.: I know, Mossadegh wasn't killed; he died under house arrest in Ahmad Abad, Iran, in 1967.
Episode #319: Laughter In The Press Pool
First Broadcast: 7/7/03
This week, we do an in-depth examination of a press conference given by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on June 30, in which he 1) answers a different question than the one the first reporter asks him; 2) says that 70 countries have been asked to send troops to Iraq, yet can only name two out of the three (besides the U.S.) who actually do have troops there now; 3) denies that "guerilla warfare" is occuring in Iraq; 4) says that Iraq is not a "quagmire", and refuses to say what he does think it is, even though he tells one reporter "I'm not going to repeat it ... We'll get the transcript." Well, Free New York got the transcript, all right, so you can see for yourself how your tax dollars are paying for obfuscation and evasion of the worst kind. No guerilla warfare, my ass. Get out of Iraq! Impeach Bush!
Episode #320: Can You Impeach A Man That Was Never Actually Elected?
First Broadcast: 7/14/03
This week, reporter David Bear (no small relation to Connie Bear from Episode #258) delivers some probing questions to White House Spokesdragon Ari Dragon, and the dragon, of course, gives answers that dodge the questions as best he can. Specifically, they discuss the revelation that the White House is now admitting that Bush's statement in this year's State of the Union address about Iraq trying to acquire uranium from Africa (i.e., "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") is false! Strangely enough, the White House web site doesn't have the transcript of this briefing on line--the briefing was on July 7, but the site's listing of transcripts skips from July 4 to July 11, overlooking the 7th entirely! Coincidence? Anyway, this admission that George W. Bush made a false statement based on a forged document (and the later blaming of the CIA for that statement ending up in Bush's speech) which was meant to persuade the Congress and the American public to back Bush's war against Iraq--it brings up many questions, not the least of which is Who in the White House knew that this allegation was false, and when did they know it? What other statements were false? And, since it was obvious to anyone who could read that Iraq, since 1998, had neither the capacity nor the material to re-start their nuclear weapons program, according to both Scott Ritter (former UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq) and the Center for Constitutional Rights, shouldn't Bush have known that the statement he made in January was patently false on its surface? Or was he deliberately lying to everyone in order to make his case for war? I smell impeachment.
Episode #321: Who Put The Words In?
First Broadcast: 7/28/03 Opening animation cut off.
The words I mean are "the sixteen words" from George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, which are: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The big problem with this is that no evidence of any such intent or transaction exists, and the intelligence which the U.S. presented as evidence to back up its case was found to be a forgery by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the White House itself finally admitted that this was a forgery this month--conveniently, four months after the U.S. went to war against Iraq, and two months after the "major combat operations" in Iraq ended. So far, two people in the administration (CIA director George Tenet and deputy National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley) have said they should have taken those 16 words out--but who put those words in? That's what I want to know. In the meantime, Dennis Kucinich has 10 questions for Vice President Dick Cheney, and Howard Dean has 16 questions for George W. Bush, all about the 16 words, the quality of U.S. pre-war intelligence, and the lack of any so-called "weapons of mass destruction" found in Iraq to date. I think we all deserve some answers at this point, don't you?
Episode #322: Market Fundamentalism
First Broadcast: 8/4/03 Show began at 2:00:37 AM. Show ended exactly at 2:28 AM, cutting off the episode about 30 seconds before the end.
So, John Poindexter--the man who was convicted of lying to Congress about his role in orchestrating Iran-Contra during the Reagan administration--is now quitting his latest Defense Department job after a near universal uproar over his most recent project: setting up a futures market on terrorist attacks in order to predict where they might happen next. "Efficient, effective and timely," indeed. But what else can you expect from an administration that would rather pay other countries to use their armies as our mercenaries in Iraq, rather than use that money to help out states like California (or cities like New York) which are facing tremendous budget shortfalls here at home? What else can you expect from a "President" who dodges questions at every press conference, and planned to wage war against Iraq well before the American people or the Congress ever debated the issue, way back in March 2002, when he shouted to Condoleezza Rice in a meeting, "Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out!" Can we impeach Bush yet? [P.S.: California's deficit this year is $38 billion, not $60 billion; and Wayne Madsen only wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth, while Jean-Charles Brisard wrote the book itself.]
Episode #323: It's Really Dark
First Broadcast: 8/25/03
Repeated: 3/8/04 Transmission started at 2:00 AM with color bars, then back to "Coming Up at..." bumper for a few seconds, then back to our episode from the beginning.
This week, we present our special "Blackout" edition, since it was taped during the massive power outage which crippled New York City on August 14-15, 2003, the longest and most widespread power outage in North American history. We tour a small portion of the Lower East Side, touching on Orchard Street, Delancey Street, Avenue A, and Tompkins Square Park, before finally ending up behind an anonymous building when the lights finally came back on, 29 hours after they first went out. Who's to blame for it all? We still don't know. And as long as New York still has a governor who's completely gung-ho about power privatization, we may never get the straight story until after he's gone.
Episode #324: A Billion Dollars A Week!
First Broadcast: 9/1/03
Yes, $1 billion a week, or $4 billion a month: that's how much the U.S. is spending on its military operations in Iraq at the moment. Either way you slice it, it's at least $50 billion a year (and probably much more, depending on who you ask) that's being wasted on the occupation of a country that never attacked us. It's money which could be better spent on so many useful things instead, like repairing roads, bridges, and tunnels, upgrading mass transit, training security personnel at airports, increasing funding for education at all levels, grants for the arts--anything besides the needless killing of Iraqis and Americans alike. Did Bush lie to get the country into this mess? Yes. Should he be impeached? Yes! Will he ever be impeached as long as Republicans control both houses of Congress? I doubt it very much. Maybe the only way to get the job done is to make sure someone else enters the White House in 2005...
Episode #325: "It's Like Chicago"
First Broadcast: 9/8/03
Which is what Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Iraq is like at night. Of course, he was referring to the lights in the skyline, though the analogy might still be appropriate if you compare it to Chicago in the 1920's during the era of Al Capone. According the newspaper Iraq Today, many areas of the country are very unsafe (and that's even by military standards); and according to the "dear raed" blog, the American troops there aren't all helping to make the country any safer either. How long before all the U.S. troops are pulled out of Iraq? Not soon enough! P.S.: For more information on the concepts of sasha and zamani, and their relation to recent history, please consider reading Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen, which is probably more informative than all the history textbooks you ever read combined.
Episode #326: "Apple : Cedar Block"
First Broadcast: 9/15/03
Two years after the events of September 11, 2001, and George W. Bush refers to it at every chance he can get, according to a very insightful article in the Washington Post, "Bush Cites 9/11 On All Manner Of Questions." Not only does Bush bring it up whenever possible (citing it in speeches about "energy policy, ... campaign fundraising, tax cuts, unemployment, the deficit, airport security, Afghanistan and ... Iraq," according to the above article), but he also continues to mislead people by perpetuating the myth that Iraq had something to with those attacks. As recently as September 7, Bush had the audacity to say this:
And for America, there will be no going back to the era before September the 11th, 2001 -- to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.
He said this in a speech about Iraq! What is he implying? That Iraq is part of that same "enemy" that attacked the U.S. on September 11th? The Washington Post, again, confirmed that this is having an effect on public perception: "On the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, seven in 10 Americans continue to believe that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had a role in the attacks, even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of this." Further:
Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown University professor of linguistics who has studied Bush’s rhetoric, said it is impossible to know but "plausible" that Bush’s words furthered such public impressions. "Clearly, he’s using language to imply a connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11th," said "There is a specific manipulation of language here to imply a connection." Bush, she said, seems to imply that in Iraq "we have gone to war with the terrorists who attacked us."
Enough of this nonsense! And enough of media outlets not pointing out that the only connection between Iraq and 9/11/01 is in Bush's head! The next time you hear Bush mention September 11th for no good reason, stand up and boo! And the next time you see a news story that mentions Iraq and Afghanistan collectively as part of "the war on terror," call up that paper or TV station and complain! How are people going to make informed decisions if people in government continually mislead them, and people in the media don't question that? Every day I get more reasons why Free New York needs to stay on the air...