We look back at 2004 including the presidential race, the continuing war in Iraq, the U.S.-backed coup in Haiti, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the deaths of Ronald Reagan and Yasser Arafat, the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami and much more. Voices include:
Ali Abunimah, Jean Bertrand Aristide
John Ashcroft, George W. Bush
Wesley Clark, Richard Clarke
David Cobb, David Cole
Howard Dean, Ani DiFranco
Steve Earle, Robert Fisk
Michael Franti, Whoopi Goldberg
Margaret Hassan, Seymour Hersh
Jeremy Hinzman, Dolores Huerta
Dahr Jamail, John Kerry
Dennis Kucinich, Lila Lipscomb
Rahul Mahajan, Jimmy Massey
Wangari Maathai, Zell Miller
Yanar Mohammad, Michael Moore
Bill Moyers, Ralph Nader
Barbara Olshansky, Condoleezza Rice
Randall Robinson, Arundhati Roy
Donald Rumsfeld, Rev. Al Sharpton
Mordechai Vanunu, Maxine Waters. [includes rush transcript]
SPEAKER: The President of the United States.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Since we last met in this chamber, combat forces of the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Poland and other countries enforced the demands of the United Nations, ended the rule of Saddam Hussein and the people of Iraq are free. [ 1/21/04__]
DAVID KAY: If there weren’t stockpiles of weapon, there must have been a production process which required plants, required people and would have produced documentation.
AMY GOODMAN: David Kay.
DAVID KAY: But we have seen nothing that would indicate large scale production. [ 1/27/04__]
HOWARD DEAN: We’re going to Washington DC to take back the White House! Yeeeeeeaah! [ 1/20/04__]
JEREMY SCAHILL: The democratic candidates wrapped up their campaigning in New Hampshire last night, before the invasion of Iraq. Five of the democratic candidates promoted one of the Bush Administration’s key justifications for the war —- the allegation that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Governor Dean, why did you say in March, 2003, that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction? Governor Dean? Why did you … -—
HOWARD DEAN: I thought he did.
JEREMY SCAHILL: What intelligence did you base that on?
HOWARD DEAN: I talked with people who were knowledgeable, including a series of folks who worked for the Clinton Administration.
JEREMY SCAHILL: Were you wrong?
HOWARD DEAN: Maybe. I don’t know. [ 1/27/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Senator Kerry, quick question. You said Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons when other nations wouldn’t try. What intelligence was that based on?
JOHN KERRY: I don’t know — I don’t know what quote you have. I don’t know what you are —- when did I say that? -—
AMY GOODMAN: In October. You said he had chemical and biological weapons —
JOHN KERRY: No, I never said he was developing nuclear. I believe I said —
AMY GOODMAN: You said "Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons, when most nations …"
JOHN KERRY: Attempting to, because he did. He did attempt to. [ 1/27/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Today, a Democracy Now! exclusive. Correspondent Jeremy Scahill questions Wesley Clark.
JEREMY SCAHILL: In Yugoslavia, you used cluster bombs and depleted uranium, and I want to know if you are president, will you vow not to use them.
WESLEY CLARK: I will use whatever it takes that is legal to protect the men and women in the US forces.
JEREMY SCAHILL: Even against civilians like in the Nis marketplace.
WESLEY CLARK: They were not used against civilians.
JEREMY SCAHILL: And why bomb Radio Television Serbia? Why did you bomb Radio Television Serbia? You killed 16 media workers, sir. [ 1/26/04__]
JOHN KERRY: I love New Hampshire!
AMY GOODMAN: For the second time in a week, John Kerry scores a victory in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, winning New Hampshire. Howard Dean comes in a distant second, but remains defiant. [ 1/28/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: At this hour the streets of Port-au-Prince are barricaded. President Aristide and his wife, Mildred Aristide are inside the palace, armed gangs, paramilitaries are moving closer towards the capital of Port-au-Prince. We turn to the palace, where I just got off the phone with the First Lady of Haiti, Mildred Aristide.
MILDRED ARISTIDE: The situation is quite critical. The thugs and the FRAPH and military who are heavily armed in the north are sending messages repeatedly on the airwaves in Haiti that they stand ready at any moment to storm Port-au-Prince. [ 2/28/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: From Pacifica Radio, this is a Democracy Now! exclusive.
MAXINE WATERS: He was kidnapped. He said he was forced to leave Haiti. [ 3/1/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Did US security forces kidnap Haitian President Aristide? We’ll speak with congress member Maxine waters and Aristide’s close friend, TransAfrica founder, Randall Robinson.
RANDALL ROBINSON: He said, tell the world, it’s a coup, it’s a coup, it’s a coup. [ 3/1/04__]
JOURNALIST: Representative Waters is claiming on Pacifica stations on the west coast that Aristide was led away in handcuffs by US marines, and claiming that the marines were part of a coup to remove him. I wonder if either one of you would gentlemen would comment on her comment or claim?
DONALD RUMSFELD: I’m trying to pick the right words. If you’re asking me, did that happen? The answer is no.
JOURNALIST: But any embellishment?
DONALD RUMSFELD: I think not today. [ 3/1/04__]
JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE: They forced me to leave Haiti — it was a kidnapping which they call a coup d’état of something which is for me. It was not a resignation. It was a kidnapping under the cover of a coup d’état. [ 3/8/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: It’s been an historic 48 hours. Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has defied Washington, returning to the Caribbean. Late last night, I returned to New York after a trip that began Saturday when I accompanied a delegation of US and Jamaican officials who set off from Miami Florida on a mission to escort President Aristide and his wife, Mildred, back to the Caribbean. On the plane, I asked President Aristide why he believes the US wants him gone.
JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE: Ask the US the question, they will answer you. I can have opinions, but I will not answer for them. For instance, we are the first black independent country in the world, and we just celebrated 200 years of independence last January 1. Those who want to invest in killing democracy, in bloodshed, they don’t accept you as an elected president. We’ve had 32 coups d’état, plus the last one, 33, in our 200 years of independence. Our goal was not to move from coup d’état to coup d’état anymore, but from elections to elections. Free, fair and democratic elections. That wasn’t the goal. They went back to coup d’état. [ 3/15/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! In a rebuke to the Bush Administration, the Supreme Court has ruled that while the executive branch technically has the power to designate enemy combatants, prisoners have a right to challenge their detention in court. In one opinion, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote, quote, "We have long since made clear that the state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation’s citizens." We’re joined now by Barbara Olshansky, to talk about these landmark rulings, attorney with the Center for Constitution Rights.
BARBARA OLSHANSKY: We brought this case as a habeas petition, really trying to get the principle established that these folks have a right to a day in court. Basically, some due process, because the position of the Bush Administration was that these folks could be held without charge, without trial, without any access to a court, ever. And we really wanted to make sure that there was some judicial check on the executive’s actions here. And that these folks got to make their claim in a court, somewhere, anywhere in the world. The court held yesterday that the habeas statute, our statute that guarantees the right of a person to test the legality of their detention, that that right extends to everybody. The statute says people, and it means people. And it extends to everywhere that the government acts. So, that the government, and government officials can’t ever be beyond the reach of the federal courts, really a basic, core principle of our democratic institutions. [ 6/29/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Ten US soldiers and at least 50 Iraqis were killed in one of the most turbulent days yet in US occupied Iraq. The number of US troops killed since Washington’s invasion is now over 600, and the number of casualties in just one year is an astonishing 12,000. That figure does not include a hidden casualty that up until last week had gone unnoticed: exposure to depleted uranium. Today, an explosive exposé by Juan Gonzalez, in the New York Daily News.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Yes, Amy, our report which we have been working on for several months found the first four of nine soldiers from the 442nd military police of the New York National Guard, were found with depleted uranium, contaminated with depleted uranium. They are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.
SGT. AGUSTIN MATOS: While I was out there, I experienced a fever one night. Ways fine in the day. It hit me. It totally knocked me out. I was in bed. I could not get out. I can’t remember exactly what the fevers were. But I also had — I was urinating blood when I was out there. It wasn’t good. It was not a good place to be when you were sick like that.
U.S. SOLDIER: I was positive for 6.1 nanograms of uranium, and 6.0 nanograms of — what is that — coralade [sic]. [ 4/5/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Former president Ronald Reagan dies at the age of 93. While most of the country and media focus on Reagan the man, we’ll look at policies and history of the Reagan era. From Iran-Contra to nuclear weapons, to the bloody conflicts in Central America. [ 6/7/04__]
RONALD REAGAN: They are our brothers, these freedom fighters, and we owe them our alliance. They are the moral equal of our founding fathers.
AMY GOODMAN: We begin with Father Miguel D’Escoto, a Catholic priest based in Managua, Nicaragua. He was Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister under the Sandinista government in the 1980’s.
FATHER MIGUEL D’ESCOTO: Reagan is now dead, and I for one, would like to say only nice things about him. I’m not insensitive to the feelings of many US people mourning President Reagan, but as much as I sincerely pray that god in his infinite mercy and goodness forgive him for having been the butcher of my people, for having been responsible for the deaths of some 50,000 Nicaraguans, we cannot and should not ever forget the crimes he committed. [ 6/8/04__]
RONALD REAGAN: I’m pleased to tell you today that I have signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re getting a call directly in right now from Rafah.
MOHAMMAD OMAR: Right now in the hospital at moment where thousands of people — are coming in at the moment. There’s a large number of injured people coming at this moment. The injured people of Rafah. There are children without legs and without parts of their bodies. According to the Israeli media, they mentioned they are going to demolish many, many houses. They are suffering from lack of oxygen tanks in the hospital. There’s only one room for emergencies. It’s too difficult to have operations for more than one person. It’s too difficult, really, too difficult.
AMY GOODMAN: Mohammad Omar, I want it thank you for being with us at the hospital now, the reports at least 13 people killed in Rafah, with the Israeli military missile striking a Rafah protest of thousands. [ 5/19/04__]
MORDECHAI VANUNU: I am Mordechai Vanunu, the man behind the publicized article from October 5, 1986, the article about Israel’s nuclear weapons. [ 8/18/04__]
HEIDI NORTON: Well, we are just at this very moment turning the corner and arriving in front of the city hall, the municipal building, and I see, it looks like well over a hundred people standing outside. Everybody’s got big smiles on their faces. And people are holding flowers and it looks like a huge party — balloons, rainbow flags, lots of happiness.
AMY GOODMAN: And so, when will you actually marry?
HEIDI NORTON: We will hopefully get married today. Geena and I will — after we apply for the marriage license, we’ll go to the probate court and ask for a waiver, and hopefully we’ll get the whole thing taken care of today so that we can have a private ceremony tonight at home. [ 5/17/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: From Pacifica Radio, broadcasting from Washington, D.C., this is Democracy Now!
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: There is a war going on. It’s not the one we see on TV everyday. It’s a war on women.
AMY GOODMAN: In what could be the largest Washington demonstration in U.S. history, over a million people descend on the nation’s capital to oppose Bush administration policies on women’s reproductive rights.
DOLORES HUERTA: We have a responsibility to carry the message of choice, not just to our friends, but to those who do not understand. We have to hand carry that message to make sure that they understand that women have a right to their own bodies, that women have a right to their own lives. We know that our job is a big one. Not only do we have to fight for ourselves, for our daughters, for our granddaughters, for our neighbors, we also have to fight for immigrant women, for working women —
AMY GOODMAN: Delores Huerta.
DOLORES HUERTA: For those women that are being killed in Juarez, Mexico. The women that work in the sweatshops. These are part of our burden; but you know, we have the power. We are showing it here today. Because today this march has been a call to action. [ 4/26/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: We go to Baghdad, to independent reporter, Robert Fisk.
ROBERT FISK: One thing that is happening on the ground is that the reporting of Iraq has reached a point where hardly any journalists leave Baghdad and some of them don’t even leave their hotels. One of the reasons why the Bush administration is getting away with so much at the moment is that the degree of anarchy, the sheer size of the area of Iraq outside government or American control is being hidden from ordinary people. We do not realize, though we should, the degree to which the country of Iraq is outside the control of the new American-established government of Iyad Allawi. You know, we promised the people here democracy and we’re giving them now martial law, telephone tapping, mail opening, special raids on houses. Forget about habeas corpus. The big problem at the moment is that the degree of violence across the country is not getting across. [ 7/16/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: One year after President Bush landed on an aircraft carrier with a huge banner reading, "Mission Accomplished," imprisoned Iraqis are being tortured and humiliated at the hands of U.S. troops. We’ll speak with Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Seymour Hersh about another explosive expose’.
SEYMOUR HERSH: It’s a total war crime. It’s a crime against humanity. It’s a crime against the Geneva convention. And — and, of course, it’s also dangerous, in a rational world, to the presidency itself. Because if you don’t inflict values at the very beginning, you do end up, down the road, with the kind of abuses we had. And that’s, I think, the story in a nutshell. Somebody who worked for Condoleezza Rice (these are — I’m talking about people in the White House) got in touch with me and told me that, in fact, there had been a lot of concern about prisoner abuse much earlier. So, what you have — if you want to talk about how Abu Ghraib began — what you have is a attitude that these people are not humans. Dehumanization — we do that in war all the time; but you also have an attitude that it doesn’t matter what you do. [ 9/14/04__]
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: There was no silver bullet that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks.
AMY GOODMAN: Condoleezza Rice testifies before the 9/11 Commission.
RICHARD BEN-VENISTE: Isn’t it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 p.d.b. warned against possible attacks in this country; and I ask you whether you recall the title of that p.d.b.?
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States." [ 4/9/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking about Nicholas Berg, beheaded in May in Iraq, and we’re talking with his father, Michael Berg.
MICHAEL BERG: The basic reason my son died is that George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld have taken the arrogant position that they are the leaders of the world, and that they can do anything they want to do. They’ve passed that attitude down to the people who work for them, who have passed it down to the people in the field, and that’s why we have situations like Abu Ghraib. But worse than that, we have the deterioration of our own constitutional rights on our own soil, yet alone on soil in foreign country that once was sovereign where we don’t belong. And they just think that they can do anything that they please and so far, they’ve gotten away with it very well. [ 8/24/04__]
LILA LIPSCOMB: I don’t like speeches because I don’t like to try to read and remember. And I don’t think that I need to have a speech, because I lived this. Christmas of 2002 was the last time I saw my son alive. My family was together, and shortly after January, he told me that when he went back home to Savannah he was being deployed to Kuwait, with the specific instructions of going to Baghdad. And if any of you remember anything there was nothing said anywhere in the United States at that time about going over to Kuwait or Baghdad or anything. My son had asked me not to tell anybody. It was the first time in his seven years of military career that he never spoke those words to me. [ 8/2/04__]
MICHAEL MOORE: Last night I’m walking into the convention and I run into Bill O’Reilly. But I asked him the question that I would like to ask George W. Bush. The question I’d like to ask him is: Would he be willing to sacrifice one of his daughters tonight —
CROWD MEMBER: Yeah!
MICHAEL MOORE: To secure Fallujah? And that’s what I asked Bill O’Reilly. May we — may we take the life of your child tonight so that we could secure Fallujah? Would you do that, Bill?
CROWD MEMBER: No, no.
MICHAEL MOORE: Because, you see, I support a draft. I support a draft, and we need to bring back the draft. We need to have a draft that says —
CROWD MEMBER: Including them.
MICHAEL MOORE: Anybody who makes over $150,000 a year, anybody who is a corporate executive, and anybody who works in the media, their children must go first. Their children must go first. [ 8/2/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman, and in Canada this is The Current on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the U.S. Since I’ve been invited by CBC radio’s The Current to guest host, we thought we’d try to blend these two programs together for a first-time-ever simultaneous broadcast. Two U.S. soldiers are seeking refugee status in Canada as conscientious objectors. Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey arrived in Ontario separately earlier this year hoping to make Canada their new home.
BRANDON HUEY: I wasn’t naive to the fact that I could be deployed to fight in a war; but I did have this image growing up that I would be sort of — a good guy, if you will, and fighting for just causes and fighting to defend my country, and after I got out of basic training, and when I realized that basically the U.S. had attacked a country that was no threat to them, in an act of aggression, it shattered that myth
JEREMY HINSMAN: I was faced with the proposition of going to Iraq. And based on all the pretenses and rationale that we — we, the U.S., gave for invading, none of them held true. There were no weapons. There was no link between the secular Ba’athists al Qaeda and fundamentalist Islamic terrorists and the notion of installing a puppet regime doesn’t really sound like democracy to me. And I just couldn’t bring myself to kill or be killed for the sake of that. [ 10/15/04__]
JOHN KERRY: I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty.
AMY GOODMAN: On day one of our special coverage: Breaking with Convention, War, Peace, and the Presidency. All of this week, we’re broadcasting from Cambridge Community Television, in historic Cambridge just across the river from the Fleet Center where the Democratic Party is preparing to anoint John Kerry as the party’s nominee.
BARRACK OBAMA: It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs. The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores. The hope of a young, naval lieutenant, bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta. The hope of a mill worker’s son, who dares to defy the odds. The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name, who believes that America has a place for him, too.
AMY GOODMAN:Barak Obama is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Illinois. Political analysts say his speech secured his status as a rising star within the party. [ 7/28/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Sharpton, do you think that Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards should be expressing more dissent against the war, against the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, where most of the delegates stand here?
AL SHARPTON:I think that they have responsibility to win, but I think they should also deal with the question of Iraq. [ 7/29/04__]
RUSS FEINGOLD I regret that the Democratic platform says that the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act is something that was okay. The Bush administration claims that there’s nothing wrong with the PATRIOT Act. The fact is that PATRIOT Act is a terrible intrusion into the rights of every American.
AMY GOODMAN: In the same way that the platform doesn’t come out against the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, it does not make a clear statement against war.
RUSS FEINGOLD I think that’s a mistake. I think the war was a mistake. I think the platform should say that the war was a mistake.
AMY GOODMAN: Senator Feingold, the only senator to vote against the U.S.A.. PATRIOT Act. [ 7/29/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Another lawmaker who was not invited to speak at the convention was Los Angeles congress member Maxine Waters. She’s been very outspoken in her criticism of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, like Feingold, as well as the PATRIOT Act. Are you going to be addressing the convention?
MAXINE WATERS: No. Not at all.
AMY GOODMAN: Why not?
MAXINE WATERS: Too liberal. I think the Democratic Party has long since been a party of debate; but neither is the Republican Party. I mean, I don’t even fight about the platform anymore, because we don’t even attempt to have a platform that speaks to all of the diverse issues. The platform now is simply pro forma_. It is something that is done as a relic of conventions, but it doesn’t mean anything. And so, no, there is no dissent. There is no debate. [ "7/29/04":_SLASHLINK__]
LU BAUER: As far as I know, we are the only ca — the only delegation that’s at this point unanimously voting for Dennis Kucinich. People had said that Dennis wouldn’t get as much of a response as Howard Dean did, but the minute he came in, everybody was on their feet. It was really good.
DENNIS KUCINICH:This administration rushed us into a war based on distortions and misrepresentations. We must hold them accountable. [ 7/29/04__]
CHANTING CROWD:One, two, three, four, we don’t want your racist war. Five, six, seven, eight, we don’t want your war machine!
AMY GOODMAN: Nearly 1,000 people are arrested in a series of direct actions protesting the Republican Convention.
JEREMY SCAHILL: They blocked buses full of delegates, they held a shut-up-a-thon at FOX News, and they marched without permits. All of this, and George W. Bush hasn’t even arrived in New York yet.
SHAHID BUTTAR: This is an uprising of the non-violent variety by the people of New York and their allies across the country who found ourselves moved to come here, and demonstrate our convictions. [ 9/1/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: We go from the streets of New York to Madison Square Garden.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Vice President Dick Cheney accepted his party’s nomination and Democratic Senator, Zell Miller, delivered the keynote address on the third day of the Republican convention.
ZELL MILLER:It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest! [ 9/2/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: While Miller and Cheney were speaking, a pair of unlikely spectators were sitting in the stands at Madison Square Garden, the famed writer, Arundhati Roy, author of, among other books, The God of Small Things.
ARUNDHATI ROY: Actually, you know, I don’t know what to say; because it felt like being in a cult, a place where there’s some kind of chanting which veered between chilling and corny. I’m still confused by the ritual it was, but I’m sure it was actually chilling, ’cause to be in a place which is where the richest and most powerful people in the world meet to plot the next war, the next massacre, the next bombing.
AMY GOODMAN: Hi, where are you from?
BILLY JACK HARLOW: From San Antonio.
AMY GOODMAN: What are your names?
BILLY JACK: Billy Jack and Therese Harlow.
AMY GOODMAN:Are you delegates?
BILLY JACK HARLOW: I’m an alternate delegate.
AMY GOODMAN: What did you think tonight?
BILLY JACK HARLOW: I thought Vice President Cheney was awesome. Sure did.
AMY GOODMAN: What most impressed you?
BILLY JACK HARLOW: I think his articulation of the facts, and George Bush’s convictions, and John Kerry’s contradictions. I think he showed very concisely the differences.
AMY GOODMAN: What are the differences?
BILLY JACK HARLOW: You know them as well as I do. The differences are George Bush is really for the people, John Kerry is for whatever people are telling him what to be for for that moment.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think that George Bush and John Kerry are that different in their attitudes to the invasion and occupation of Iraq?
BILLY JACK HARLOW:You watching the same TV I am? I’m guessing you might not be, because there’s a huge difference. John Kerry changes from whoever is interviewing him to whoever is interviewing him. I don’t change, and my president doesn’t change.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you watch?
BILLY JACK HARLOW: I’m sorry?
AMY GOODMAN: What do you watch?
BILLY JACK HARLOW:I watch FOX News. I don’t know what you guys watch.
ARUNDHATI ROY:You know, the man says that he only watches FOX News. That explains everything, doesn’t it? I mean, you really come to the heart of jingoism and then you understand why these things can only be resolved through war in a way, or they try to resolve them through war, because it’s so terrifying to see the product of lies, of the media’s lies, the American media’s lies. [ 9/2/04__]
RALPH NADERLook at our media. Have we ever had more stations and cable channels? Have we ever had less opportunity to speak in other than sound bites heading for a decade of sound barks? After November 2, it’s not the end. It’s just the end of the beginning. We’ll continue out of the box between now and inauguration... There will always be a least-worst between the Democrats and Republicans, every four years, every two years. And least-worst means that you exert no pull on the least-worst, and, therefore, your own influence and your own impact is self-limited.
AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader was on the ballot in 34 states this year, including at least half a dozen battleground states. He claimed he would take more support from Republicans than Democrats. [ 11/3/04__]
JOHN EDWARDS He voted against funding for meals on wheels for seniors. He voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King. He voted against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. It’s amazing to hear him criticize either my record or John Kerry’s. [ 10/6/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: John Edwards, Dick Cheney, in their first and only vice-presidential debate.
DICK CHENEY: Now, if they couldn’t stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to Al Qaeda? We’ve made significant progress in Iraq. We’ve stood up a new government that’s been in power now only 90 days. [ 10/6/04__
RAHUL MAHAJAN: It turns out everything about the planned transfer of sovereignty in Iraq on June 30 has been a deception. It’s not a transfer of sovereignty. It’s not a signpost on the road to a democratic Iraq. And, it turns out, even the date was wrong.
ALI ABUNIMAH: What has surprised me is the vehemence of feeling about Iyad Allawi, that how could anyone who was openly working with the C.I.A. and British intelligence since the 1970’s ever be a legitimate leader for Iraq? [ 6/28/04__]
DICK CHENEY: I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11, but there’s clearly an established Iraqi track record with terror. [ 10/6/04__]
JIMMY MASSEY: I would say my platoon alone killed thirty-plus innocent civilians.
AMY GOODMAN: Twelve-year marine veteran, Jimmy Massey joins us on the line from North Carolina.
JIMMY MASSEY: A car would roll up to our checkpoint. And prior while we were still in Kuwait, we had actually made up Arabic road signs to place out in front of our checkpoint area warning the Iraqis to slow down. That didn’t help. We would verbally tell them, 'stop' and we would fire a warning shot. When we would light the cars up, you know, we would go through and search the dead occupants as well as the vehicles, and we would find nothing that directly linked them to any type of terrorists. They were just average civilians that were trying to flee out of Iraq — or excuse me — out of Baghdad, out of the city limits because of the invading American force. They were scared. But with the intelligence reports that we were given, it was very hard for us to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. We ultimately started looking at everybody in Iraq as a potential suicide bomber or terrorist from women to children to old men. We didn’t know who the enemy was. [ 5/24/04__]
GEORGE W. BUSH: Our enemies are innovative and resourceful. And so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by Yanar Mohammed. She is the Director of the Organization of Women’s Freedom, a group that works to stop atrocities against Iraqi women. One of the organization’s main projects is the development of a battered women’s shelter in Baghdad to protect women who are fleeing from violence and honor killings.
YANAR MOHAMMED: In Baghdad we had our demonstration on the fourth of this month. We said we need safe streets for women. And our recognition of why it’s unsecure is because the occupation is still there. The U.S. troops, and that is attracting all sorts of terrorism from all over the world. Now, our cities, our neighborhoods, have turned into daily battlefields between the U.S. troops and military resistance. Women cannot leave their homes for work, for studying, for even the streets have turned into unsafe places because of the inhumane practices against women by the rising Islamism. And it’s not safe anymore. That’s why we demanded for the immediate leaving of the U.S. troops from Iraq, as a prerequisite for any change towards peace. What we see now happening in Iraq are consecutive failures, one after the other, for the U.S. administration. They just cannot make it work. Whatever government they’re bringing is totally rejected by the people, and all kinds of opposition to it, political opposition, and other kinds of opposition that’s military. Some of it is local, but some of it is coming from abroad because of their holy jihad against the Americans, we are paying the price, and Iraqis are being killed by hundreds every day. We think this needs to be stop and there’s no way it can stop if the U.S. troops do not leave. Some people would say, how would you have security if there is no army to protect you? We tell them there is nothing worse than what we are facing now. Hundreds of innocent civilians being killed every day is something that we don’t want to see anymore. U.S. troops have to leave now, immediately. [ 9/13/04__]
JOHN EDWARDS: It’s been a long night, but we’ve waited four years for this victory. We can wait one more night. [cheering] Tonight John and I are so proud of all of you who are here with us and all of you across the country who have stood with us in this campaign. John Kerry and I have made a promise to the American people that with this election every vote would count and every vote would be counted.
AMY GOODMAN: George Bush’s campaign is claiming victory in the presidential election. The Kerry camp says every vote must be counted. This on this morning after the election, CNN and the other news organizations are saying the race is too close to call. International election monitors reported some problems at the polls. The International Herald Tribune reported observers from the European-based Organization for Security and Cooperation said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan and the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela. [ 11/3/04__]
JOHN KERRY: We worked hard and we fought hard, and I wish that things had turned out a little differently. America is in need of unity, and longing for a larger measure of compassion. I hope President Bush will advance those values in the coming years.
AMY GOODMAN: The showdown is over. Or some would say, it’s just beginning. [ 11/4/04__]
GEORGE W. BUSH: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That’s what happened after the 2000 election. I earned some capital. I have earned capital in this election, and I’m going to spend it for what I — what I told the people I would spend it on. [ 11/5/04__]
JOHN ASHCROFT: Only God, no other kiiiiiiiings, let the mighty eagle sooooooooar. This country’s far too young to diiiiiie.
AMY GOODMAN: John Ashcroft singing his own composition "Let the Eagles Soar," the Attorney General of the United States. I’m Amy Goodman. This is Democracy Now! And the Attorney General and Commerce Secretary Don Evans have both announced they are resigning from President Bush’s cabinet. Ashcroft was widely criticized by civil liberties groups and seen as one of the most divisive members of the Bush administration. He shepherded the USA PATRIOT Act through Congress. He oversaw the detention of thousands of Arabs and Muslims after September 11. In December 2001, he warned senators that criticism of the government’s tactics "only aids terrorists." And he dismissed critics of the PATRIOT Act as "hysterics." We are joined now by David Cole, Professor at Georgetown Law School.
DAVID COLE: I think it’s safe to say that he’s even worse as an attorney general than he is as a singer. And that he has shown, you know, from day one, really, and even before day one, an absolute tin ear for the constitutional freedoms and principles that this country is based upon. [ 11/10/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: The funeral of Yasser Arafat is underway. A helicopter carrying the body of the Palestinian leader has landed at the West Bank headquarters compound in Ramallah where he spent his final years as a virtual prisoner. […] We have just reached Kristen Ess on the line in Ramallah, who is a reporter for the website PalestineNet.Org. I want to just get a description of what is happening there now, the funeral for Yasser Arafat currently underway.
KRISTEN ESS: There are thousands of people who have crammed through every gate that they could get through, to try to walk with the coffin of Arafat when it was airlifted in…It’s just been a really hard time for everyone, and at the same time, the Israeli military has continued its invasions of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, not giving anyone a break. [ 11/12/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: This news from Iraq, an NBC cameraman has caught on videotape a U.S. Marine shooting dead an unarmed and wounded Iraqi prisoner in a mosque in Fallujah. I want to warn you, this is disturbing footage.
MARINE: He’s faking he’s dead!
MARINE: He’s breathing.
MARINE: He’s faking he’s dead. [ 11/16/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: Independent journalist, Dahr Jamail is reporting that Red Cross officials in Iraq are now estimating 800 Iraqi civilians have been killed during the siege on Fallujah.
DAHR JAMAIL: The official with the Red Cross does claim that the 800 number is the most conservative estimate they would put out to the media at this time. However, he did go on to say in that interview that this is extremely conservative, that this doesn’t take into account people buried under the rubble of homes, and other horrendous things that have happened there…This is continuing to be confirmed by accounts being told by refugees that I have been interviewing who continue to stream out of Fallujah or the camps set up in the desert around the city. One man in particular reported that there were so many dead bodies on the ground, no one could bury them and the stench was unbearable. He said — he claimed that U.S. soldiers were dropping some of the — excuse me — some of the bodies into the Euphrates River that runs right nearby Fallujah and that other bodies were being pulled by tanks to the soccer stadium and left there. So, as time drags on, as the siege drags on in Fallujah, we expect more of these type of stories to be coming out. [ 11/17/04__]
RICHARD CLARKE: You may remember Fallujah; it was the city that we had to liberate in order to hold elections. If anyone has seen film of Fallujah since we liberated it, and film of inside Fallujah is very hard to get because the United States Military is not allowing journalists in very much. But some film has made its way out of Fallujah. Fallujah might participate in an election in January, but not in January of 2005. In order to liberate the city to hold an election we destroyed the city where 300,000 people had called their home. [ 12/8/04__]
LES ROBERTS: So that 100,000 estimate that you heard was taking the 32 neighborhoods excluding Fallujah because it was so weird and so bad and saying, if these 32 neighborhoods represent the whole country of Iraq, and we worked very hard to take a sample that did, we believe approximately 100,000 people died…So that’s why in our report, we said, we think that the number is around 100,000, at least, but it could be much higher. We say it could be much higher because we excluded that Fallujah number. [ 11/1/04__]
MARGARET HASSAN: Please help me. This might be my last hours. Please help me. Please, the British people, ask Mr. Blair to take the troops out of Iraq.
AMY GOODMAN: Margaret Hassan, pleading for her life on videotape. Yesterday Margaret Hassan’s husband, Tahsin, appealed to the kidnappers to tell him the whereabouts of his wife’s body.
TAHSIN HASSAN: I am Tahsin Hassan, husband of Margaret Hassan. I have been told that there is a video of Margaret, which appears to show her murder. The video may be genuine, but I do not know. I beg those people who took Margaret to tell me what they have done with her. [ 11/17/04__]
MARK BENJAMIN: As of mid-September, if you take actually Afghanistan and Iraq together, there were 17,000 soldiers who were injured or ill enough to be put on airplanes and flown out of theater, and none of those casualties — and I call them casualties, because they fit the Pentagon’s definition of casualties — none of those casualties appear on any public casualty list. [ 11/10/04__]
DONALD RUMSFELD: I, and I know others, stay awake at night with concern for those at risk, with hope for their lives, for their success, and I want those who matter most, the men and women in uniform and their families, to know that. [ 12/23/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: President Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice yesterday as he continues to reshape his cabinet for his second four-year term. The controversy continues to rage over the fairness and accuracy of the November 2 presidential elections. Stories are still emerging from state like Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and New Mexico, of widespread problems with vote counting, voter suppression and malfunctions of electronic voting machines. Now, three candidates in the 2004 presidential race are demanding recounts. Not one of them is John Kerry. We are joined right now by David Cobb, lawyer from Texas, now lives in California, Green Party presidential candidate in this election.
DAVID COBB: we will be demanding a full statewide recount of every ballot cast that we can get our hands on in the state of Ohio. I want to stop for a moment, back up and really give some context to this story, because corporate media is attempting to manufacture consent around the lie that this was a clean and fair election. The reality is that this was not a clean and fair election. Far from it. There is a litany of problems, not only the problems that you mentioned in terms of the voting equipment themselves, but the clear and obvious civil rights and voting rights violations that occurred in this election. [ 11/17/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: The U.S. occupation in Iraq is getting daily headlines around the world, but a conflict that is rarely mentioned, especially by the U.S. media is what’s happening in the Sudan. What the U.N. calls a campaign of ethnic cleansing, tens of thousands of black Africans have been slaughtered, and some one million have fled their homes in the Sudan’s Western Darfur region after attacks by Arab militias armed by the Sudanese government.
JULIE FLINT: The facts speak for themselves. You have a massive tragedy. In just a year, a million people displaced in a year. Those are huge numbers. 30,000, we’re told, dead. The number is absolutely huge. The potential for 350,000 people to die this year. I don’t give a damn whether you call it ethnic cleansing or genocide. The international community has to do something about this.
AMY GOODMAN: Julie Flint, an independent journalist, wrote a Human Rights Watch report, just finished a trip to the Sudan. [ 6/23/04__]
JOHN BUDD: A lot of the villages and small towns there are reporting up to 80% of the people have been killed.
AMY GOODMAN: The death toll from Sunday’s devastating tsunamis in the Indian Ocean has now topped 40,000. It’s expected to grow higher. [ 12/28/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: The death toll has topped 67,000 in Asia and East Africa. The World Health Organization is warning that the spread of disease, specifically malaria and cholera could end up killing tens of thousands more people.
ENELE SOPOAGA: Had the people been more prepared, we wouldn’t be talking about losses of lives by now. It’s — it’s so ironic that we — at this age we are talking about gadgets, technological gadgets and all sorts of innovations that we have not put in place the capacity to address the vulnerability of these island countries and poor countries in the Indian Ocean. We should be ashamed of ourselves. We should be ashamed. The world should be ashamed of itself, to living parts of the islands of the world, particularly those are most vulnerable at this level of situation.
AMY GOODMAN: Enele Sopoaga, the Permanent Representative of Tuvalu at the United Nations, and representing the Alliance of Small Island States. [ 12/28/04__]
OLE DANBOLT MJOES: The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to awards the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004 to Wangari Matthai for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. [ 10/8/04__]
WANGARI MAATHAI: As the first African woman to receive this prize, I accept it on behalf of the people of Kenya and Africa, and indeed, the whole world. [ 12/10/04__]
AMY GOODMAN: We end our look back with a look at Bill Moyers, who retired this month.
BILL MOYERS: I am older than almost all of you and am not likely to be around for the duration; I have said for several years now that I will retire from active journalism when I turn 70 next year. But I take heart from the presence in this room, unseen, of Peter Zenger, Thomas Paine, the muckrakers, I.F. Stone and all those heroes and heroines, celebrated or forgotten, who faced odds no less than ours and did not flinch. I take heart in your presence here. It’s your fight now. Look around. You are not alone. [ 12/24/04__]