Tuesday, August 30, 2011

  • Vermont Radio Station Provides Crucial Details for Flooded Residents amidst Historic Devastation

    Splash_image20110901-8727-10u4k2b-0

    As Hurricane Irene bore down on Vermont on Sunday, the national media missed the story. Across the state, rivers rose to record levels, washing away 200-year-old covered bridges, communications and roads. Residents across the state lost internet. Radio Vermont WDEV broadcasters Ken Squier, Eric Michaels, Lee Kittell, Tom Beardsley and the station meteorologist Roger Hill stayed on the air for 24 straight hours, providing a link to stranded citizens and communities. Running on generators and with no internet, WDEV became the lifeline between communities that were cut off on all sides, as citizens provided one another with news, information and reassurance. As Vermont and northern New York were submerged, national media pronounced the storm over, and a dud. We speak with Ken Squier, owner of WDEV, an 80-year-old family-owned independent music, news and sports station that serves northern Vermont. Squier has been a fierce critic of media consolidation and advocate for independent media — albeit commercial media. [includes rush transcript]

  • Ex-Bush Official Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: "I am Willing to Testify" If Dick Cheney is Put on Trial

    Splash_image20110901-27879-4q5322-0

    As former Vice President Dick Cheney publishes his long-awaited memoir, we speak to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. "This is a book written out of fear, fear that one day someone will 'Pinochet' Dick Cheney," says Wilkerson, alluding to the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was arrested for war crimes. Wilkerson also calls for George W. Bush and Cheney to be held accountable for their crimes in office. "I’d be willing to testify, and I’d be willing to take any punishment I’m due," Wilkerson said. We also speak to Salon.com political and legal blogger Glenn Greenwald about his recent article on Cheney, "The Fruits of Elite Immunity." "Dick Cheney goes around the country profiting off of this sleazy, sensationalistic, self-serving book, basically profiting from his crimes, and at the same time normalizing the idea that these kind of policies…are perfectly legitimate choices to make. And I think that’s the really damaging legacy from all of this," says Greenwald. [includes rush transcript]

  • Army Ranger Widow Confronts Rumsfeld over His Lies that Convinced Her Husband to Join the Military

    Splash_image20110830-16511-36yrqb-0

    We speak with the widow of a U.S. Army Ranger who confronted former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about her husband’s suicide on Saturday. Ashley Joppa-Hagemann introduced herself to Rumsfeld during a book signing by handing him a copy of her husband’s funeral program at a base south of Tacoma, Washington. She says Rumsfeld inspired her husband to join the Army after 9/11, but he later became disillusioned with the reasons for the war. Her husband, 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Jared Hagemann, killed himself ahead of what his wife says was his eighth deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. His body was found on June 28, 2011, at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. More than 18,000 soldiers returned to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord from combat tours last year. And while the Army says it is trying to shore up mental health services there, Joppa-Hagemann questions its success. "I want to confront the man whose lies led my husband to join the military, and so many other soldiers," says Joppa-Hagemann. "That’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what I did." [includes rush transcript]