Today, part two of our special look back at 2005, including the devastating Katrina hurricane, Cindy Sheehan & Camp Casey, the 60th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the political crackdown in Haiti, the Sept. 24 anti-war protest in Washington D.C., the genocide in Sudan, the death of Rosa Parks, the Israeli pullout of Gaza and much more.
Featuring the voices of:
George Bush, Scott McCellan
Alfred Ross, Nancy Northup
Ralph Neas, Debo Adegbile
Kofi Annan, Andrew Revkin
Jan Egeland, Nelson Mandela
David Miller, Jacques Rogge
Tony Blair, George Galloway
Ajmal Masroor, Dahr Jamail
Patrick Cockburn, Yanar Mohammed
Antonia Juhasz, Seth Donnelly
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Johanna Berrigan
Jan Vande Putte, Paul Tibbets
Tadatoshi Akiba, Sunao Tsuboi
Ramsey Clark, Cynthia McKinney
Edward Mortimer, Salih Booker
Roland Martin, Mahmoud Abbas
David Matar, Ali Abunimah
Peter Jennings, Stan Glantz
Lt. Gen. William Odom, Cindy Sheehan
Ann Wright, Nadia McCaffrey
Patricia Roberts, Becky Lourey
Charlie Anderson, Mimi Evans
Andrea Hackett, Ray Nagin
Bill Quigley, Tamer El-Ghobashy
Hurricane Katrina Survivors, Olivia Johnson McQueen
Henry Alexander, Damu Smith
Kanye West, Tuti Sheiban
John Hamilton, Floyd Simeon
Michael Brown, Judd Legum
Pat Robertson, Bernardo Alvarez
Chris Hedges, Hugo Chavez
Tom DeLay, Jake Bernstein
Doug Ireland, Patrick Fitzgerald
Larry Johnson, Harriet Miers
Arlen Specter, Robert Fisk
Oprah Winfrey, Rev. Jesse Jackson
Julian Bond, Beatrice Manz
Moeen Cheema, Tariq Ali
Stanley Tookie Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Kevin Fagan, Donald Rumsfeld
Yousri Fouda, Jeremy Scahill
Reed Brody, Peter Kornbluh
Scott Horton, Tony Lagouranis
Gareth Peirce, Dahr Jamail
Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, Lt. Col. Barry Venable
Patrick Leahy and John Conyers. [includes rush transcript]
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Today, part two of our look back at 2005, the stories and struggles that shaped the world.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The decisions of the Supreme Court affect the life of every American, and so a nominee to that court must be a person of superb credentials and the highest integrity. I have found such a person in Judge John Roberts. [ 7/20/05__]
SCOTT McCLELLAN: He has no memory of ever joining or paying dues to the Federalist Society. He has no recollection of that. He has participated in events and panel discussions. He has given speeches at Federalist Society forums, but he doesn’t have any recollection of ever paying dues or joining the organization.
ALFRED ROSS: Well, Roberts, whether he’s paid his dues or not, was prominently listed in the 1997/1998 leadership directory published by the Federalist Society itself. So it is very difficult to believe that he didn’t have any membership. He was on the Steering Committee. The important question is not whether he paid dues as a member or not. The question really at stake here is where does Roberts and his Federalist Society cronies plan to steer our ship of state. If one looks at the history of the Federalist Society, which was established at the inspiration of Robert Bork in the early 1980s, their entire trajectory has been to move our judicial system in an extremely radically right wing direction. [ 7/26/05__]
NANCY NORTHUP: Well, Americans who care about women’s reproductive health and decision-making should be concerned about Judge Roberts’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. As you talked about before, he has in his legal career advocated for the reversal of Roe v. Wade_. [ "7/20/05":_SLASHLINK__]
RALPH NEAS: From 1981 to 1993, the Reagan and Bush administrations did everything possible to turn back the clock on civil rights protections for women, for minorities, for people with disabilities and older Americans. It looks more and more with every passing day and with every passing revelation that John Roberts was at the epicenter of all of these efforts during the 1980s and early 1990s. The American people have a right to know precisely what his role was. [ 7/29/05__]
DEBO ADEGBILE: John Roberts’ positions, though, consistent with the Reagan administration, do raise questions at this time about how he would interpret the Voting Rights Act as it sits today. [ 8/8/05__]
KOFI ANNAN: I call on the world community to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol and to act quickly in taking the next step. There is no time to lose.
AMY GOODMAN: In Kyoto Japan, rallies are being held to mark the anti-global warming treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol. The global treaty aims to slow the rate of global warming by forcing nations to reduce carbon emissions. 141 countries have signed the treaty but several key nations have refused to sign it include the United States.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Kyoto is in many ways unrealistic. Many countries cannot meet their Kyoto targets. The targets themselves were arbitrary and not based upon science. [ 2/15/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, The New York Times reported that a White House official who once led the oil industry’s fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming. [ 6/9/05__]
ANDREW REVKIN: Essentially scientists from a dozen agencies and other officials from a dozen agencies spent months on these reports coming up with language that they thought framed the issues correctly, as far as the science goes, so when they put in a line that said the earth is experiencing significant climate — significant change, environmental change right now, they meant that. It’s a real thing. It’s pretty unassailable fact. And in that instance, he changed the word "is" to "may be." [ 6/20/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: In Niger, 3.3 million people, including almost a million children, are facing starvation after a drought and locusts wiped out last year’s harvest.
JAN EGELAND: We have a full-blown emergency in Niger. Children are dying from hunger. It was all predictable. And only now, these days in mid-July, when the images come on television of dying, starving children, do we receive the funding we need. [ 8/1/05__]
NELSON MANDELA: In a few days’ time, the leaders of the G8 nations will meet in Scotland. They will face perhaps the most critical question that our world has had to face: How do we remove the face of poverty from our world?
AMY GOODMAN: In the wake of the concerts calling on the world’s richest countries to Make Poverty History, the Group of 8 Nations begins its three-day summit Wednesday in Gleneagles Scotland. [ 7/5/05__]
DAVID MILLER: Things have been made worse by the summit, but the commitments which they gave in their rhetoric, none of them have been met. [ 7/11/05__]
JACQUES ROGGE: The games of the 30th Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of London. [ 7/6/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: A series of bomb blasts ripped through the London subway system during rush hour this morning. As many as seven separate blasts have been reported. At least one double decker bus was also reportedly blown up, with witnesses describing it like a can of sardines being ripped open.
BOMBING WITNESS: They just peeled a big hole off the top of the roof, so that there were bits of the train scattered all over the tracks. You know, dead bodies lay by the side of the tracks.[ 7/7/05__]
ANGELO POWER: People started saying prayers, praying to God, panicking, breaking the carriage windows with their bare hands. [ 7/7/05__]
TONY BLAIR: Here at the summit, the world’s leaders are striving to combat world poverty and save and improve human life. The perpetrators of today’s attacks are intent on destroying human life. [ 7/7/05__]
GEORGE GALLOWAY: But it would be entirely dishonest to pretend that this came out of nowhere, inexcusable, but not inexplicable. Sadly, all too explicable and explained, even before we did it, by the anti-war movement. We said this would not make the world a safer place, it would make the world a more dangerous place. [ 7/8/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the 27-year-old Brazilian man shot and killed Friday by London police investigating the bombings, may sue over his death.
AJMAL MASROOR: And the fear amongst the minority communities, such as Muslims, is the fear of reprisal. Many mosques have been attacked, many individuals have been attacked. One person was beaten to death. [ 7/25/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday a massive car bombing in Baghdad killed 27 people, almost all children. An American soldier was also killed in the blast. Elsewhere in Baghdad, another dozen Sunni Muslims were found dead after being arrested by Iraqi police over the weekend.
Meanwhile a new study from an Iraqi humanitarian organization is estimating that 128,000 Iraqis have been killed since the U.S. invaded in March 2003, over half of them women and children. And Iraq’s Interior Ministry told The New York Times today over 8,000 civilians have been killed in insurgent attacks between August and May. We’re joined right now by independent journalist, Dahr Jamail.
DAHR JAMAIL: The situation in London, four bombings, four bombs, and so many civilians killed. That’s become almost an average day in Iraq. And yet, we look at the disparity of the coverage, which this incident is really telling in the disparity that’s ongoing with this, where so many civilians, every single day in Iraq, are being killed, the infrastructure in shambles, the country on fire. And where is the coverage? It’s becoming more and more difficult as time goes on to even find it. [ 7/14/05__]
PATRICK COCKBURN: The most striking feature of the last year is that things have got progressively worse. Most of Iraq is really a bloody no-man’s land now. The transfer of power last — a year ago to the interim Iraqi government, which was billed as a great turning point, turned out to be no such thing. It’s one of a series of turning points that have been presented, such as the capture of Saddam Hussein, the transfer of power, the capture of Fallujah, last year the elections. And Iraqis have seen their lives get worse and worse over that period. And there’s no reason that anything should get any better. [ 6/29/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: We go directly to Baghdad right now to speak with feminist Yanar Mohammed. She and other women protested on Sunday in Central Baghdad saying that they feared lawmakers would approve a, quote, "fascist, nationalist and Islamist constitution that would strip women of many of their rights."
YANAR MOHAMMED: All our fears have been realized. It is decided that Islam will be the main source of legislation. In other words, women have turned into second-rate citizens. [ 8/23/05__]
ANTONIA JUHASZ: Women’s rights in Iraq under Hussein had been some of the best, certainly in the Middle East, and had been guaranteed, as I said, under the Hussein-era constitution. Now much of that is very much up in play as the negotiations seem to be putting significantly more attention onto Islamic law. There is, however, a very powerful women’s rights movement in Iraq that is fighting very aggressively to stem that tide. [ 8/12/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: We warn you: Some of the images we’ll be showing right now are extremely graphic. On Saturday, hundreds of Haitians gathered for the funeral of Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme, a popular community leader who lives in Cite Soleil, one of the most economically depressed neighborhoods of Port au Prince. Wilme was killed last Wednesday when U.N. troops attacked the Cite Soleil in a pre-dawn raid. Although the raid has received little attention, local residents say it might have been the deadliest attack carried out by U.N. troops since they’ve been stationed in the Haiti last year. According to the residents, the U.N. troops entered the area about three in the morning and opened fire. Eyewitnesses report the UN troops used helicopters, tanks, machine guns, tear gas in the operation.
RESIDENT OF CITE SOLEIL: A lot of innocent civilians were killed, and there are even some people that they kill and just take them with them. One of the worst things that happened is that they killed like a mom with two of her children, and they are still — the bodies are still there.
SETH DONNELLY: What we found actually when we went into the community the day after the operation was widespread evidence that the troops had carried out a massacre. We found homes, which when we say homes, we are talking basically shacks of wood and tin, in many cases, riddled with machine gun blasts, as well as tank fire. The holes in a lot of these homes were too large just to be bullets. [ 7/11/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: Today, Haiti’s first democratically elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, lives in forced exile in South Africa. He was overthrown a year and a half ago in what he calls a "modern-day kidnapping in the service of a coup d’etat backed by the United States." [ 7/28/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Our guest is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. He is the former chief of staff of Colin Powell as Secretary of State. He served as his chief of staff from 2002 to 2005.
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Aristide was the person who needed to be removed from Haiti, and even he understood that. In the conversation he had with our ambassador, he understood that. He knew that he was the lightning rod, and that if he didn’t remove himself from the island, there was going to be a lot of bloodshed.
AMY GOODMAN: This was not the overall sentiment of the Haitian people, and he said it was the U.S. that pressed him to leave, that pushed him out, that put him onto this plane with U.S. military and security. He had no idea where was going until he was dumped in the Central African Republic.
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I can’t imagine a man like Aristide, whose will to power is excessive, even obsessive, saying anything differently. [ 11/22/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: Meanwhile, Haitian Priest Gerard Jean-Juste, a leader in Aristide’s Lavalas Party, was arrested last week and charged with the assassination of journalist Jacques Roche, even though he was in Miami at the time of the murder. Father Jean-Juste is now being held incommunicado. Amnesty International has announced it considers him a prisoner of conscience. [ 7/28/05__]
JOHANNA BERRIGAN: We had the opportunity to visit him twice this week, once on Tuesday and then again yesterday. He is still very spiritually strong and very committed and determined to continue the struggle for justice and democracy. But he, based on my previous visits with him, is very physically weak and sick. He’s in a lot of pain and clearly fatigued. [ 8/26/05__]
NOBEL COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON: The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 is to be shared in two equal parts between the International Atomic Energy Agency, I.A.E.A., and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei. 10/7/05__]
JAN VANDE PUTTE: We’re really shocked, because the atomic agency has been responsible for over 50 years to promote the spread of nuclear technology. And this is the cause of the spread of nuclear weapons. [ 10/11/05__]
PAUL TIBBETS: We executed our turn away as we had been directed. The bomb blast hit us. It hit us in two different shock waves, the first being the stronger. [ 8/5/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: This weekend marks the sixtieth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are commemorations being held in Japan and many other countries around the world, including here in the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima; three days later Nagasaki was hit. Over 200,000 people died in the atomic bombings of the cities. [ 8/5/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Joining us in our studio today, here in New York is the Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba.
TADATOSHI AKIBA: I hope that the United States will start heeding to the majority opinion of the Americans. In a recent poll, 66% of Americans felt that no nations should have nuclear weapons for the safety of the world, and therefore, just as a democratic country, if the government starts listening to this voice and to the rest of the world, which overwhelmingly want nuclear weapons eliminated, I think that the world would be a much safer place and happier place. [ 5/2/05__]
SUNAO TSUBOI: When the atomic bomb was dropped, I was near the Hiroshima City Hall, about one kilometer away from the ground zero. I’ve seen so many Hibakusha wounded, injured and killed in blood and in burns. It was like hell on earth. After so many years, I’ve survived, but I have many, many illnesses: A plastic anemia, angina, colon cancer, prostate cancer.
No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki! No more Hibakusha! No more war! [ 8/5/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: In Washington DC, between one and three hundred thousand gathered for the city’s largest anti-war demonstration since the Vietnam War. Thousands more marched in London, Copenhagen, Damascus, Helsinki, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities and towns. [ 9/26/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: This is the former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark.
RAMSEY CLARK: The Nuremberg judgment calls the war of aggression the supreme international crime. [ 9/26/05__]
REP. CYNTHIA McKINNEY: But just as sure as an ill wind now blows, it doesn’t have to be so. The people united can stop wars. We can stop injustice, and we can stop indifference. The people united can tear down the mightiest walls of oppression. These ill winds have brought us high crimes and more than misdemeanors. [ 9/26/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! Power, Politics and Resistance in 2005. Stay with us.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, DemocracyNow.org. Our New Year’s special: Power, Politics and Resistance in 2005.
AMY GOODMAN: A new United Nations report on Sudan criticizes the government and its militia of systematically abusing and killing civilians in the country’s western Darfur region. But the report concludes that the Sudanese government did not pursue a policy of genocide.
EDWARD MORTIMER: The government and its Janjaweed auxiliaries are responsible for an appalling series of crimes against civilians in Darfur. These people were being raped, robbed, driven out of their homes, killed in a number of cases, as you say, and even when there were rebels, the use of force was totally disproportionate. So they say this probably amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
SALIH BOOKER: We have to reject the conclusion of the report with regard to the issue of genocide…This is genocide. That’s why it’s important that you call it what it is. Otherwise, there’s no point in having an International Convention on Genocide. There’s no point in saying, "Never again," as we did at the 60th anniversary of the Holocaust or the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. [ 2/2/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, the funeral for African American publisher and entrepreneur, John H. Johnson, was held in Chicago. Johnson died last week at the age of 87. He was widely regarded as the most influential African American publisher in American history and a pioneer in media and business.
ROLAND MARTIN: I do not consider him to be the greatest black publisher in the history of our industry. I consider him to be one of the greatest publishers. I think if there was a Mount Rushmore of the media magnates, I believe that John H. Johnson’s bust would be alongside Henry Luce, David Sarnoff, Bill Paley, Ted Turner, and the other icons of our industry. [ 8/16/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip began officially today. Gaza’s currently home to Gaza is currently home to 8,500 Israeli settlers and 1.4 million Palestinians.
GUSH KATIF SETTLEMENT RESIDENT: No matter what happens, we’re not leaving this place because it’s our country. We can’t give it to the — to our enemies. So, we are going to stay here and fight.
MAHMOUD ABBAS: We want for the settlers and the army to leave in peace and security without any undue incidents.
AMY GOODMAN: Thousands of soldiers are deploying today to inform residents of the 21 Gaza settlements and four of 120 West Bank settlements that they have two days to move out voluntarily.
DAVID MATAR: And this whole process of expulsion of Jews from the communities in the land of Israel is — implies that there are places in this world where Jews are not allowed to live.
ALI ABUNIMAH: This is a giant theater piece designed to convince the world that Israel is taking steps towards peace, that it’s making enormous sacrifices. I have no doubt that there are settlers who genuinely don’t wish to leave Gaza, and let’s remember they have been put there by the Israeli government. The extremist ideology, the really hate-filled ideology that we heard the settler expressing earlier in the show has been encouraged and incited for decades by the Israeli government. [ 8/15/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: ABC News anchor, Peter Jennings, has died at the age of 67. He led the network’s nightly newscast from 1983 until April. On April 5, he confirmed on his show that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
PETER JENNINGS: I wonder if other men and women ask their doctors right away, "Okay doc, when does the hair go?" At any rate, that is it for now on world news tonight. Have a good evening. I’m Peter Jennings. Thanks and goodnight. [ 8/8/05__]
STAN GLANTZ: None of the coverage I’ve seen really talked about the fact that he was killed by the tobacco industry and that he died a very premature and quite horrible death because he was addicted to nicotine. [ 8/9/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: What’s wrong with cutting and running? That’s the question asked by retired Army general, William Odom, about the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq.
LT. GEN. WILLIAM ODOM: In war, as well as in politics and diplomacy, one has to know when to withdraw and when to attack. And this was a misguided attack, and it requires a strategic vision and moral confidence to turn it around, the earlier the better. But as the evidence piles up, I think my judgment is being borne out. [ 10/4/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: An immediate withdrawal of our troops in Iraq or the broader Middle East, as some have called for, would only embolden the terrorists. [ 8/25/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: We turn now to the story of Cindy Sheehan. A year and a half ago, Sheehan’s oldest son, Casey, was killed in Iraq. He was 24 years old. Sheehan is now in Crawford, Texas, taking part in a vigil near President Bush’s vacation ranch. She has asked for a meeting with the President, but so far the White House has said no. [ 8/12/05__]
CINDY SHEEHAN: He doesn’t have any children in harm’s way. You know, if there are more soldiers and marines killed today, he won’t have to worry him if one of them is his daughter, you know, because he’s insulated. He’s safe. Nobody in this administration and Congress has to worry about their children. And if I have to stay out here all month in this heat, it’s not anything compared to what our soldiers are going through and what the people of Iraq are going through. [ 8/10/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: You know, listen. I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. She feels strongly about her — about her position, and I — she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has the right to her position. [ 8/12/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: From Pacifica, this is Democracy Now! We are broadcasting on location in Crawford, Texas, outside President Bush’s ranch. We’re here at Camp Casey. [ 8/19/05__]
ANN WRIGHT: You’re almost setting up field operations, but field operations for peace, not war. [ 8/19/05__]
NADIA McCAFFREY: I had to be here. I had to support Cindy. I had to support the mothers. I came because what she started is very important. I think it’s going to make history. [ 8/19/05__]
PATRICIA ROBERTS: Whatever his reasons that he feels it was for my son to die and all the rest of the troops to die and to be out there, that’s not the point anymore. Although I’m against that, all he can do is redeem himself by bringing the troops home. [ 8/22/05__]
STATE SEN. BECKY LOUREY: Matthew Scott Lourey would have been 42 this last July 28th. He was a true American hero. He did not have to go back the second time, but he knew that he was needed to protect his troops. [ 8/19/05__]
CHARLIE ANDERSON: I want to know why I was sent into an unnecessary war without body armor in an unarmored Humvee. I want to know why there wasn’t even enough ammunition for me to protect myself. [ 8/19/05__]
MIMI EVANS: My son is going to Iraq based on lies, and it’s very clear — I wanted to believe and my son wanted to believe, too, but nothing has come forward — nothing, to show any of us mothers that our sons are going there to fight for a noble cause. [ 8/19/05__]
ANDREA HACKETT: All of us mothers have a certain code that we go by, and that is that our children are first, okay? Our children come first. And when they are harmed based on a war that’s based on lies, we’re going to be angry. And that’s what Cindy is here to ask the President at least answer her question. Now, why is it that the President can’t come out and answer her question? [ 8/22/05__]
PATRICIA ROBERTS: I believe that this is a poor man’s war. They have solicited the minorities to go in, and if you look at all of the rates and you look at all the statistics, you have had more minorities die in this war than you have had anything else. [ 8/22/05__]
CINDY SHEEHAN: And if we leave August 31 without the President speaking to us, it’s going to keep on. It’s growing. It’s organic. It’s here, and nothing is going to stop it. [ 8/19/05__]
MAYOR RAY NAGIN: Ladies and gentlemen, I wish I had better news for you, but we are facing a storm that most of us have feared…Every person is hereby ordered to immediately evacuate the City of New Orleans, or if no other alternative is available, to immediately move to one of the facilities within the city that will be designated as a refuge of last resort. [ 8/29/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: New Orleans and the Gulf region remain in a state of catastrophe following the devastating Hurricane Katrina. At least 80 percent of New Orleans is underwater. The city has no electricity and little drinkable water. Officials say New Orleans will be uninhabitable for weeks. On Tuesday, two levees broke, flooding areas of the city that had appeared to survive the storm. [ 8/31/05__]
MAYOR RAY NAGIN: This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans. They are thinking small, man, and this is a major, major, major deal. [ 9/5/05__]
BILL QUIGLEY: You are talking about tens of thousands of people who are left behind, and those are the sickest, the oldest, poorest, the youngest, the people with disabilities and the like, and the plan was that everybody should leave. Well, you can’t leave if you’re in a hospital. You can’t leave if you’re a nurse. You can’t leave if you are a patient. You can’t leave if you’re in a nursing home. You can’t leave if you don’t have a car. [ 8/31/05__]
TAMER EL-GHOBASHY: There are throngs of people, easily in the tens of thousands, maybe forty to fifty thousand people, in my estimation, standing on this plaza trying to get to a very narrow area where they’re being escorted to the buses. I haven’t seen one bus leave yet. 9/2/05__]
HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: These babies. Six and eight months. The people- just walking past us.
HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: No food, no water, no nothing. Whatever we have, we have been taking it. That’s the only way we can survive.
HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: We got the food right here. Let me show you right here! This is where they got the food.
HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: Hey! Hey!
HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: Look! Right here, look! They won’t give us nothing! Nothing! Look! Look! They won’t give us none. We ain’t drinking no ice water! Nothing!
HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: It’s not about low income, this is not about rich people, poor people. It’s about people. Nobody wants to hurt anybody in this city. Nobody wants to hurt these people who have these businesses. We need a little air and a little food and water, for God’s sakes. That’s it.
HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: There is nobody in charge. The National Guard, the police, there is nobody. Somebody needs to come take charge and put organization and get these people to safety, to get them clothes, the basics things that they need to live from day to day. [ 9/2/05__]
OLIVIA JOHNSON McQUEEN: We heard about people being killed down here. People were saying that bodies were just lying out in the street. They were shooting each other. The military was shooting. One of my neighbors said the military guy shot at him. So that’s what made me now want to come down. [ 9/6/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Federal relief officials have played almost no role. The head of FEMA, Michael Brown, admitted on CNN last night his agency didn’t even know that thousands of hungry refugees were inside the Convention Center. Residents continue to break into stores in search of everything from food and water to guns to luxury items. 9/2/05__]
HENRY ALEXANDER: Nobody here but us. And we just have to look out for one another. All your politicians, they want to get on TV and talking about feeding this person and feeding that person. We ain’t seen nothing over here yet. [ 9/6/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The White House announced it would have zero tolerance for looters, even for those taking essential items needed to stay alive. [ 9/2/05__]
DAMU SMITH: Well, I want zero tolerance for that kind of language being used by leaders of our government to discuss poor people, poor black people, who are trying to survive in the — under the most desperate, insane circumstances. I want zero tolerance for thousands of our troops being sent to Iraq when we need them here. [ 9/2/05__]
KANYE WEST: I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they’re looting. If you see a white family, it says they’re looking for food…George Bush doesn’t care about black people. [ 9/5/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: In Biloxi, Mississippi, the first federal aid arrived only yesterday, three full days after the storm wiped out entire sections of the city. In smaller towns in Mississippi help has still not arrived. [ 9/2/05__]
TUTI SHEIBAN: We left for the hurricane and came back Monday night, hoping that we could help some people because, I don’t know, looking at the response to this storm, particularly initially, there wasn’t a lot of outside help. So we decided that really it was up to the people of Jefferson Parish to take the parish back. [ 9/6/05__]
JOHN HAMILTON: What I saw from the federal government was a grand total of three boats, border patrol agents on three boats: two airboats and one flat-bottom boat. And I saw far more of a response from citizens who had just taken it upon themselves to go and pluck people out of their homes. And they plucked about a dozen out on Saturday. [ 9/5/05__]
FLOYD SIMEON: We don’t have any government response here. Everything that’s taken place has taken place by volunteers and citizens in the area. Why aren’t there 50 inflatable boats in the water working a grid making sure all these people are out of here? Why is it just volunteers? That’s the only people you see around. [ 9/6/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: FEMA Director, Mike Brown, is in charge of all federal response and recovery efforts in the field. [ 9/1/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job! [ 9/5/05__]
REPORTER 1: Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, has called for your resignation, and I’m wondering if you have a response to that?
MICHAEL BROWN: The President’s in charge of that, not me.
JUDD LEGUM: Well, right at the top you have Michael Brown, and as you mentioned, he was the Commissioner of Judges at the International Arabian Horse Association. To give you an idea of what he did there, he spent a year investigating whether a breeder performed liposuction on a horse’s rear end.
SCOTT McCLELLAN: This is an attempt by some in this room to engage in finger pointing and blame game, and I’m just not going to do that. [ 9/8/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Christian televangelist Pat Robertson set off an international firestorm this week when he called for the assassination of Venezuela’s democratically elected president, Hugo Chavez.
PAT ROBERTSON: We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
BERNARDO ALVAREZ: Mr. Robertson calls that U.S. government covert operative murder President Hugo Chavez is a call to terrorism.
PAT ROBERTSON: He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.
CHRIS HEDGES: Robertson, along with most of the radical Christian right, endorses violence as a kind of curative for the satanic movement, secular humanism, liberalism, Islam, whatever it is that they see outside the gate.
PAT ROBERTSON: We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. [ 8/24/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: And televangelist Pat Robertson, his call for your assassination. What do you demand now? What is your response to that?
PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ: Well, as a matter of fact, Robertson is not acting alone. He’s just conveying, in a perhaps desperate manner, the thinking of those people closer to Mr. Bush. This is the voice of the most radical of the extreme right wing in the U.S. [ 9/20/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!'s New Year's special, part two of Power, Politics and Resistance. Stay with us.
AMY GOODMAN: We continue with our New Year’s special: Power, Politics and Resistance in 2005.
JUAN GONZALEZ: A Texas grand jury on Wednesday indicted House Majority leader Tom DeLay and two political associates on charges of conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme.
REP. TOM DELAY: It’s a charge that cannot hold up even under the most glancing scrutiny. This act is the product of a coordinated premeditated campaign of political retribution. The all too predictable result of a vengeful investigation led by a partisan fanatic.
JAKE BERNSTEIN: This is the first time in over a century, I think, that a Leader in the Congress has been — sitting Leader in the Congress has been indicted. And the fact that he had to step down is nothing short of extraordinary. [ 9/29/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: Last week, it was disclosed that Senate Majority Leader, Dr. Bill Frist, was under federal investigation for a stock sale.
DOUG IRELAND: The government case against H.C.A. was basically that the Frist family company kept two sets of books and fraudulently over-billed the government. [ 9/29/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: A U.S. District judge ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller jailed yesterday for refusing to reveal her confidential sources to a special prosecutor investigating who in the Bush administration leaked a covert C.I.A. officer’s identity. [ 7/7/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: For the first time in 130 years, a White House staff member has been indicted for crimes committed in the office. On Friday, Lewis Libby was indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to F.B.I. agents during the C.I.A. leak investigation. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced the indictment Friday afternoon. [ 10/31/05__]
PATRICK FITZGERALD: He was just passing gossip from one reporter to another at the long end of a chain of phone calls. It would be a compelling story that would lead the F.B.I. to go away, if only it were true. It is not true according to the indictment.
AMY GOODMAN: On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called on Karl Rove to resign.
LARRY JOHNSON: Well, at a minimum, if Bush was serious about protecting this nation’s security, he should turn to Karl Rove and ask for his resignation. His clearances should be pulled, because there’s no doubt now that he was involved with helping pass the name and mishandle classified information. [ 10/31/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: With the eyes of the nation firmly focused on the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, there have been major developments in the battle over the future of the Supreme Court. On Saturday, the ailing Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, passed away. He’ll be buried on Wednesday. His death leaves a powerful vacancy at the helm of one of the three branches of government. President Bush moved quickly in naming his desired replacement for Rehnquist: Judge John Roberts, the man Bush had already selected to fill Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat. [ 9/6/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: This morning, I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Harriet Ellan Miers to serve as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court…I believe that senators of both parties will find that Harriet Miers’s talent, experience and judicial philosophy make her a superb choice to safeguard the constitutional liberties and equality of all Americans.
HARRIET MIERS: If confirmed, I recognize that I will have a tremendous responsibility to keep our judicial system strong. [ 10/3/05__]
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER: I’m sorry to hear that Miss Miers has decided to remove her name from consideration. ..The way Harriet Miers has been treated is really disgraceful.
RALPH NEAS: I have never seen anything like this. This has been an astonishing spectacle. The President was attacked from within his own base, and he was pounded day after day, as was Harriet Miers. He basically surrendered. It was an abject total capitulation to the rightwing special interest groups. [ 10/28/05__]
ROBERT FISK: If you go to war, you realize it is not primarily about victory or defeat, it is about death and the infliction of death and suffering on as large a scale as you can make it. It is about the total failure of the human spirit. But we don’t show that, because we don’t want to. And in this sense, journalists, television reporting, television cameras are lethal. They collude with governments to allow to you have more wars, because if they showed you the truth, you wouldn’t allow any more wars. [ 10/20/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Last year, the prominent British medical journal, Lancet, published a study estimating that over 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died because of the war. The study determined that the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the U.S. invasion.
ROBERT FISK: I know the mortuary officials well enough for them to trust me by showing me the screen figures. And in July, it is a fact that 1,100 Iraqis were — died by violence in just July. I was there in August. So on one Monday morning, there were nine bodies brought to the mortuary. Death by violence by 9:00 a.m. At 12:00, there were 26, including a young woman who was brought in with her hands tied behind her back, shot three times in the brain and a baby shot in the face. These are real figures. These are real people. This is not extrapolation. This is the reality. [ 12/14/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has died at the age of 92. It was 50 years ago this December that she refused to relinquish her seat to a white man aboard a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks was arrested and convicted of violating the state’s segregation laws. [ 10/25/05__]
OPRAH WINFREY: I remember my father telling me about this colored woman who had refused to give up her seat . And in my child’s mind, I thought, "She must be really big." [ 11/1/05__]
REV. JESSE JACKSON: Her legacy is secure, her work unfinished. I came into Detroit last night, 75,000 Negros walking in the cold to see her body. If they don’t vote on Tuesday, they wasted her time. [ 11/3/05__]
JULIAN BOND: She became such an icon in American history and popular culture that the Neville Brothers immortalized her. They sang, "Thank you, Ms. Rosa. You were the spark that started our freedom movement. Thank you, Sister Rosa Parks." [ 11/1/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Rescue efforts continue halfway around the globe in Guatemala, where mudslides have buried towns in up to 20 feet of mud. More than 650 people are confirmed dead, 1,400 still listed missing and believed to have been buried alive. The government is considering declaring certain areas to be mass graves. [ 10/11/05__]
BEATRICE MANZ: The people are facing a natural disaster right now, but for decades they faced a human-made tragedy; and the military’s responsibility in, you know, hundreds of massacres, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and a genocide in that country creates, obviously, a mistrust and a very, very poor image, to say the least. [ 10/11/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The death toll from Saturday’s massive earthquake in South Asia has topped 42,000. 10,000 people are believed to have died in the capital of the Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. The United Nations estimates 2.5 million people have been left homeless. About a thousand hospitals have been completely destroyed. [ 10/11/05__]
MOEEN CHEEMA: But nobody has any idea what has happened in the more remote villages. Even in the best of times, I mean, these areas that we have been tracking through, there are very few jeep tracks. These are fairly inaccessible areas, and whole villages have apparently been wiped out because of landslides and mudslides.
TARIQ ALI: You know, what’s shocking is that people couldn’t be rescued from villages and remote places or Muzaffarabad and Balakot, as well, where the roads were cut off and the only way to reach them was by helicopter, and the country’s president, General Musharraf, was saying, "We don’t have enough helicopters," but in neighboring Afghanistan there’s a whole fleet of bloody helicopters which could have been diverted to help people in need, rather than being used for purposes of war. [ 10/10/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to the case of death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams. In just under two weeks, on December 13, the 51-year-old Williams is scheduled to be executed by the State of California. Williams is a convicted murderer , co-founder of one of the country’s most notorious street gangs, the Crips. But since his incarceration he has also become a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated children’s author and a vocal advocate against gang violence. Williams’ life now largely rests in the hands of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who has the power to commute the death sentence.
STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Being a Crip was all I knew. I thought there was nothing else. I dreaded life after Cripping. I dreaded that. But I say to any individual who is in a gang that if you have enough courage to get into a gang, you should have equally enough or even more to get out of it. [ 11/30/05__]
STEVEN ORNOSKI: He was executed by lethal injection shortly after midnight. He was pronounced dead at 0035, military time.
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: There was nothing there that made me go against the will of the people.
KEVIN FAGAN: They yelled, "The State of California just killed an innocent man!" which is the first time I ever heard any outburst in the death chamber. [ 12/13/05__]
DONALD RUMSFELD: We know that Al Jazeera has a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again. [ 11/29/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The British government has threatened to use the Official Secrets Act to sue newspapers that publish contents of a leaked memo in which President Bush allegedly discusses bombing the Arabic satellite network Al Jazeera.
YOUSRI FOUDA: Even if I begin to agree or accept any allegation against Al Jazeera, which I totally refute, I certainly — no decent human being on earth would even begin to justify murdering journalists. [ 11/23/05__]
JEREMY SCAHILL: And the point here is that the United States, in all of the journalists, and there are at least 13 that have been killed by the United States in Iraq, they either rule it a justified killing or they rule it a mistake. And there is a lot of information to indicate that these are not mistakes. [ 11/29/05__]
REPORTER: Mr. President, recently Amnesty International said you have established, (quote), "a new gulag of prisons around the world beyond the reach of the law and decency."
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I’m aware of the Amnesty International report, and it’s absurd. It’s absurd allegation. [ 6/1/05__]
REED BRODY: Abu Ghraib was just the tip of the iceberg. The mistreatment of Muslim prisoners has been widespread in three countries, at these so-called secret locations where the C.I.A. is holding suspected al Qaeda leaders, as well as in the dungeons of third countries to which the United States has rendered detainees. [ 4/25/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: At the request of U.S. officials, the Washington Post did not disclose the location of the Eastern European prison.
PETER KORNBLUH: But the Post obviously capitulated to kind of suspect arguments by very high U.S. officials. [ 11/8/05__]
SCOTT HORTON: And itâ€™s interesting that this debate comes back to Vice President Cheney, because, in fact, from all weâ€™ve seen so far, people focus on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld as the source of torture policy within the administration. Thatâ€™s not really correct. [ 10/27/05__]
TONY LAGOURANIS: We were using dogs in the Mosul detention facility which was at the Mosul airport. We would put the prisoner in a shipping container. We would keep him up all night with music and strobe lights, stress positions, and then we would bring in dogs. [ 11/15/05__]
GARETH PEIRCE: We have not seen anything like this before. It’s absolutely breathtaking, audacious, unlawful kidnapping of vast numbers of people. [ 2/1/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Today marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. assault on the Sunni city of Fallujah, when U.S. and Iraqi military forced out the town’s residents, bombed hospitals and buildings, attacked whole neighborhoods, and denied entry to relief workersâ€¦ 10,000 buildings were destroyed, with thousands more seriously damaged. This is Dahr Jamail speaking on Democracy Now! just under a year ago.
DAHR JAMAIL: I have interviewed many refugees over the last week coming out of Fallujah, different times from different locations within the city. The consistent stories that I’ve been getting have been refugees describing phosphorus weapons, horribly burned bodies, fires that burn on people when they touch these weapons. And they’re unable to extinguish the fires even after dumping large amounts of water on the people. [ 11/8/05__]
LT. COL. STEVE BOYLAN: I know of no cases where people were deliberately targeted by the use of white phosphorus. [ 11/8/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: That was Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan, speaking on Democracy Now! last Tuesday. But the Pentagon was caught in a lie after it was revealed that an official Army publication called Field Artillery magazine had disclosed the Army had, in fact, used white phosphorus as a weapon. The magazine in its March/April issue reported, quote, "We fired â€˜shake and bakeâ€™ missions at the insurgents using W.P. [white phosphorus] to flush them out and H.E. [high explosives] to take them out." On Tuesday, Lieutenant Colonel Barry Venable, another Pentagon spokesperson, admitted on the BBC that white phosphorus was used as an offensive weapon to target insurgents.
LT. COL. BARRY VENABLE: And may be used against enemy combatants.
BBC REPORTER: Can you confirm, then, that it was used as an offensive weapon against enemy troops during the siege of Fallujah?
LT. COL. BARRY VENABLE: Yes. It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants. [ 11/17/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: President Bush has admitted he secretly ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without ever seeking constitutionally-required court-approved warrants. The President initially refused to answer any questions about the secret program, but on Saturday he spoke openly about it and defended the practice.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY: This warrant-less eavesdropping program is not authorized by the PATRIOT Act, it’s not authorized by any act of Congress, and it’s not overseen by any court. According to the reports itâ€™s being conducted under a secret presidential order, based on secret legal opinions by the same Justice Department, lawyers, the same ones who argued secretly that the president could order the use of torture. Mr. President, it is time to have some checks and balances in this country. We are a democracy. We are a democracy. Let’s have checks and balances, not secret orders and secret courts and secret torture, and on and on. [ 12/19/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The "I" word has returned to Washington. Seven years to the week after the House of Representatives impeached President Clinton, discussion of the possible impeachment of President Bush has reached a new high.
REP. JOHN CONYERS: On the closing hours of the session over the weekend, I introduced House Resolution 635, which creates a select committee to investigate the administration’s intent to go to war before they received congressional authorization and manipulation of pre-war intelligence and encouraging and countenancing torture of detainees and retaliating against critics and to make recommendations regarding possible grounds for impeachment. [ 12/21/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: That does it for our year-in-review: Power, Politics and Resistance in 2005.
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