Today, part one of our special look back at 2005, including George W. Bush’s inaugeration and protests against election fraud, the occupation of Iraq, the conviction of attorney Lynne Stewart, the appointment of John Bolton to the UN, the revelation of Deep Throat, the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen for killing the three civil rights workers in 1964, and much more.
Featuring the voices of:
Colin Powell, Allan Nairn
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Jessie Jackson Jr.
George Bush, Ossie Davis
Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte
Dahr Jamail, Robert Fisk
Ghazwaan Al-Mukhtar, George Galloway
Barbara Boxer, Condoleezza Rice
Robert Byrd, Peter Kornbluh
John Negroponte, Alberto Gonzales
Orrin Hatch, Ted Kennedy
Lynne Stewart, Bill Quigley
Tom DeLay, Ken Goodman
George Voinovich, John Bolton
Giuliana Sgrena, John Stauber
Tim Rieser, Ricardo Alarcon
Jose Pertierra, Scott McClellan
Bill Moyers, Timothy Karr
Jim Shultz, Carlos Mesa
Mike Gravel, Jennifer Dohrn
Donald Rumsfeld, Mike Honda
Amy Hagopian, Simbi Veke Mubako
Wellington Chibebe, Flash Sharrar
Michael Scherer, Magdalano Rose-Avila
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Cindy Sheehan
John Conyers, Claire Short
Chris Chafe, Linda Chavez-Thompson
Bernie Sanders, Carolyn Goodman
Steven Schwerner, Ben Chaney
and Keith Beauchamp.
Tune in Monday, January 2 2006 for Part 2 of our look back at 2005. [includes rush transcript]
AMY GOODMAN: Today a Democracy Now! special. Power, Politics and Resistance: A Look Back at 2005.
COLIN POWELL: I have never seen anything like this, flying over Banda Aceh and seeing how the wave came ashore pushing, everything in its path — cars, ships, freighters overturned — all the way up to the foothills and then starting up the foothills until finally the waves came to a stop. I cannot begin to imagine the horror that went through the families and all of the people who heard this noise coming and then had their lives snuffed out by this wave. [ 1/5/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The confirmed death toll from the Indian Ocean earthquake continues to rise more than a week after the disaster first hit. According to the United Nations, nearly 140,000 people have died, and officials say that number is likely to rise well over 150,000. The worst hit country to date is Indonesia, whose government now says more than 94,000 people have died. In Aceh, the most devastated area, the situation remains extremely dire with humanitarian officials accusing the military of preventing aid distribution. [ 1/3/05__]
ALLAN NAIRN: The Red Berets, the special forces of the Indonesian army, the most feared units who specialize in torture and kidnapping and political rape and who are also trained by the U.S. Green Berets…They are now getting directly involved in the distribution of aid. I just spoke to an Acehnese activist just returned from West Aceh, who said that aid supplies are being taken directly to the Kopassas and S.G.I. barracks. These barracks are torture centers where Acehnese are routinely brought in and worked-over for interrogation. And now these supplies are being piled up there. [ 1/14/05__]
CLERK: Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the well-known and great State of Ohio seems to be regular in form and authentic. It appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 20 votes for President. Dick Cheney for the State of Wyoming received 20 votes for Vice President.
DICK CHENEY: For what purpose does the member from Ohio rise?
REP. STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES: I, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a representative from the State of Ohio, and Senator Barbara Boxer, a senator from California, have objected to the counting of the electoral votes of the State of Ohio on the ground that they were not under all of the known circumstances regularly given.
REP. JESSE JACKSON, JR: Today’s objection is not about an individual, but our institutions. It’s not about Republicans, but our republic. It’s not about Democrats, but our democracy. It’s about an election result. It’s not about an election result, but about an election system that’s broken and needs to be fixed. [ 1/7/05__]
MARK CRISPIN MILLER: There was election fraud — extensive election fraud in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. But there was also election fraud throughout the nation, places as different as West Virginia, Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, even in solidly Democratic states. [ 11/4/05__]
SEN. GEORGE VOINOVICH: It is time to put this election to rest. Editorial boards from Ohio newspapers, many of which endorsed Senator Kerry agree, as well. The so-called recount effort is a circus that needs to pack up and leave town. [ 1/7/05__]
PAT ROAN: I am Pat Roan. I’m from Dallas, Texas. I love Bush. I love his family, and I love America. [ 1/21/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The inauguration is expected to be the most lavish in history. An estimated $40 to 60 million will be spent over four days of celebrations, which include nine inaugural balls, three candlelight dinners, a rock concert, extravagant receptions, numerous other parties.
Washington DC is filled with more than 7,000 law enforcement agents from over 100 federal, state and local agencies; roadblocks have been set up across DC, and large portions of the city have been closed off ahead of the inaugural parade. [ 1/20/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Well, a few seconds before President Bush was sworn in by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a group of three activists from Eugene, Oregon, disrupted the ceremony.
CAROL MELIA: We left, stood up, left our seats, walked out into the aisle and shouted, "Stop the war!"
THREE PROTESTERS IN UNISON: Stop the war! Stop the war! Bring home the troops! Stop the war! Stop the war! 1/21/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States. [ 1/21/05__]
ELAINE CASSEL: The bleachers for the parade route have been open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. I understand that now you have to pay $60 to get a bleacher seat. [ 1/12/05__]
CHARLES HOMER: My name is Charles Homer. I’m from Brandywine, Maryland, and I’m here to protest the inauguration of the war President, George Bush.
LINDA WORDEN: President Bush’s message is that we’re going to stay on track with the war in Iraq. It’s our duty and obligation to help other people that are not as free as we are. [a href="http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/21/1531219&mode=thread&tid=25">1/21/05]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We are led by events and common sense to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depend on the success of liberty in other lands. [ 1/21/05__]
OSSIE DAVIS: They are loyal to their commander-in-chief, and I am loyal to mine. My commander-in-chief is Martin Luther King, Jr.
AMY GOODMAN: Actor and civil rights activist, Ossie Davis has died. He was 87 years old. Offense 87 years old. Along with his wife, Ruby Dee, he was a renowned civil rights activist and an unforgettable figure in the African American struggle for equality. [ 2/7/05__]
MAYA ANGELOU: He existed. He existed. He belonged to us. He exists in us.
HARRY BELAFONTE: He despaired at the present state of our nation. He detested the lies and deceit that found favor in the minds and the hearts of a vast number of our citizenry. Our nation’s arrogant and mindless imperial march toward global domination deeply concerned him. [ 2/14/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The United States has no right, no desire and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else. That is one — that is one of the main differences between us and our enemies. [ 2/3/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: In Iraq, the country has gone into a state of lockdown two days ahead of the national elections. The borders are being closed. A dusk-to-dawn curfew is being put in place. Roads are being closed down. [ 1/28/05__]
DAHR JAMAIL: There have been ongoing attacks on polling stations. Just in the last 24 hours in Iraq, there’s been at least 15 people killed in attacks on polling stations, as they’re being set up for Sunday’s polling process. [ 1/28/05__]
ROBERT FISK: I counted 30 incoming mortar rounds quite close to us as I walked to one polling station in Jadriya within two minutes. All these families sometimes are bringing along their children, carrying their babies in their arms going to vote. The Shiites decided to vote.
So what this election has done has not actually been a demonstration of people who demand democracy. They want freedom of a different kind, freedom to vote, but also freedom from foreign occupation. [ 1/31/05__]
GHAZWAN AL-MUKHTAR: The election was shoved down our throat. The election is held under the occupation. The occupying power has modified the basic rules on Iraq as to who is an Iraqi and who is not. [ 1/31/05__]
GEORGE GALLOWAY: An election held under foreign military occupation is always, by definition, utterly flawed. But one which is held in the kind of conditions in which this one is being held is flawed beyond redemption. [ 1/31/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: President Bush’s nominee to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice faced more than nine hours of questioning from the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. [ 1/19/05__
SEN. BARBARA BOXER: And I personally believe — this is my personal view — that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Senator, I have to say that I have never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. [ 1/19/05__]
SEN. ROBERT BYRD: Dr. Rice is responsible for some of the most overblown rhetoric that the administration used to scare the American people into believing that there was an imminent threat from Iraq. [ 1/26/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!’s look back at 2005.
AMY GOODMAN: Our Democracy Now! special, a look back at 2005: Power, Politics and Resistance.
AMY GOODMAN: Lebanon’s army has been put on high alert after former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was killed in a massive bomb explosion Monday. At least 13 other people were killed, 135 wounded in the blast that marked the bloodiest attack in Lebanon since the end of the civil war. Yesterday we reached Robert Fisk.
ROBERT FISK: I arrived at the bottom of the road. Many people were running in the other direction, some of them had blood on their clothes and obviously in a state of considerable distress. And I turned the corner towards the — into carnage. There were cars burning, in all I counted 22 at the end of about a half hour there. Pieces of body parts in the road. I saw two, three people in all burning inside vehicles. There was a very big man lying on the pavement, whom I thought must have been a passer-by. I realized a few hours ago, actually, it was almost certainly Rafik Hariri…
Obviously, America is lining up Syria as the culprit, the person who — which killed Hariri. Many Lebanese would believe that, as I have said many times since this crime occurred. That might be a bit simplistic. I’m not saying that the Syrians were not involved. The Syrians know everything that goes on in Lebanon. Therefore, did they not know that this huge bombing was going to take place? Important question. [ 2/16/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I am pleased to announce my decision to nominate Ambassador John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence.
AMY GOODMAN: Negroponte played a key role in coordinating U.S. covert aid to the Contras, who targeted civilians in Nicaragua, and shoring up a C.I.A.-backed death squad in Honduras.
PETER KORNBLUH: Battalion 316 was the Honduran military special forces elite unit. It certainly became a death squad, contrary to what Negroponte said. [ 2/18/05__]
JOHN NEGROPONTE: Whatever activities I carried out, whatever courses of action I recommended in Honduras, were always entirely inconsistent — were entirely consistent with applicable law. [ 4/13/05__]
PETER KORNBLUH: He must have been well aware that the C.I.A. was working extremely closely with this particular unit. [ 2/18/05__]
ALBERTO GONZALES: I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States. [ 2/15/05__]
SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Some of my colleagues are trying to unfairly blame Judge Gonzales for abuses committed by renegade soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But Judge Gonzales, of course, was not in charge of the soldiers in the field.
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY: How can the Senate possibly approve the nomination of Mr. Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, the official who symbolizes our respect for the rule of law, when Mr. Gonzales is the official in the Bush administration who, as the White House Counsel, advised the President that torture was an acceptable method of interrogation? [ 2/2/05__]
ALBERTO GONZALES: So help me God. [ 2/15/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart was found guilty on all five counts of aiding terrorists and lying to the government on Thursday in a case that reverberated with defense lawyers around the country. Stuart was convicted of smuggling out messages from her jailed client, Shiekh Omar Abdel Rahman.
LYNNE STEWART: We are not giving up, obviously. We are going to fight on. This is the beginning of a longer struggle.
LYNNE STEWART: In a democracy, people sometimes are willing to just cave in to Big Brother, and in a time of fear, which this certainly is, to say I will believe whatever the government says, because that’s the safest way to be. [ 2/11/05__]
PROTESTER: No Aristide, no peace! Yes Aristide, yes peace!
AMY GOODMAN: To mark the anniversary of the coup, chanting "Aristide for life," the thousands of protesters marched peacefully to demand Aristide’s return. As the demonstrators rounded a corner at a Bel-Air intersection, police opened fire killing as many as three people.
BILL QUIGLEY: All of a sudden, about 30 minutes into the demonstration, as thousands of people were coming down this street, there was just a series of booms from the police, and people scattered and screamed. There were people down in the street. They showed pictures on the television last night of somebody who had the back half of their head blown off. There was other people who were beaten by the police, but it was just shot after shot after shot. [ 3/1/05__]
REP. TOM DELAY: To friends, family and millions of people praying around the world this Palm Sunday weekend: Don’t be afraid, Terri Schiavo will not be forsaken. [ 3/29/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: A federal judge has denied the request of Terri Schiavo’s parents to order the reinsertion of a feeding tube for the severely brain-damaged woman.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: This is a complex case with serious issues, but in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life.
KEN GOODMAN: It’s a tragedy, and it’s a tragedy that unfortunately is being exploited for purposes that I’m troubled by deeply… The fact of the matter is research on people who are in a PVS shows they never, ever recover the way the Congressman suggested Terri Schiavo might. [ 3/22/05__]
CODE PINK PROTESTER: No to Bolton! He does not represent our interests! He does not represent global security!
SEN. RICHARD LUGAR: The Chair calls for order. [ 4/12/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: President Bush nominated John Bolton to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. [ 3/8/05__]
JOHN BOLTON: The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost ten stories today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. [ 3/31/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: But Bolton’s nomination has stunned many in Washington. [ 3/8/05__]
SEN. GEORGE VOINOVICH: I believe that John Bolton would have been fired, fired, if he had worked for a major corporation. This is not the behavior of a true leader who upholds the kind of democracy that President Bush is seeking to promote globally. [ 5/13/05__]
IAN WILLIAMS: The question is just how much negotiation you can do with John Bolton, because John Bolton is to diplomacy what Jack the Ripper was to surgery. [ 8/2/05__]
JOHN BOLTON: The United Nations is one of the most inefficient intergovernmental organizations going. UNESCO is even worse, and others go downhill from there. [ 4/12/05__
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: So today I have used my constitutional authority to appoint John Bolton to serve as America’s ambassador to the United Nations. [ 8/2/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The Associated Press has obtained a videotape of kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena pleading for her life. On the tape Sgrena is seen sobbing and clasping her hands. She says, "You must end the occupation. It’s the only way we can get out of this situation." [ 2/16/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: A state funeral was held today in Rome for the Italian intelligence official shot dead by U.S. forces in Iraq. Last Friday, the soldiers in Iraq shot at the car of Italian journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, killing the secret service intelligence official and wounding three others. Italian intelligence official Nicola Calipari was killed as he tried to protect Sgrena from the bullets. Sgrena was wounded in the shoulder. [ 3/7/05__]
GIULIANA SGRENA: I was there, and I can testify that they just shot us without any advertising, any intention, any intent to stop us before.
AMY GOODMAN: They say the soldiers used hand and arm signals, flashed white lights and fired warning shots to get the driver to stop.
GIULIANA SGRENA: No, they didn’t. [ 4/27/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Up to 200,000 mourners filled St. Peter’s Square Sunday at the Vatican to mark the passing of Pope John Paul II.
MARY SEGERS: This is an extraordinary papacy that we have witnessed, all 26 years of it. [ 4/4/05__]
SOPHIE ARIE: This morning we have seen the full pomp and circumstance of what’s being described as the biggest funeral in the history of the Vatican. [ 4/8/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Conservative German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Tuesday to succeed Pope John Paul II to lead the Catholic Church.
MARY HUNT: We know that he’s been the power behind the throne in the last decade, at least of the most recent papacy. And it’s pretty clear that the hegemony of his worldview is what has triumphed here. [ 4/20/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Lawyers for the Pope have asked President Bush to declare the pontiff immune from liability in a lawsuit that accuses him of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys by a seminarian in Texas. [ 8/18/05__]
REPORTER: The televised images from Baghdad prompted celebrations from Iraqi Americans all across the United States.
IRAQI AMERICANS: USA! USA! USA! USA!
AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday the New York Times featured an extensive front page investigation, detailing the extent that prepackaged news releases produced by the federal government are being used by television stations all across the country.
JOHN STAUBER: In the more than ten years that I have been investigating and reporting on the widespread use of public relations as news, there’s never, ever been a story like this.
REPORTER: In suburban Detroit hundreds of Iraqi Americans marched triumphantly through the streets. [ 3/14/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The headline in the right wing New York Post today reads "Brit Fries Senators in Oil." That was their take on the appearance of the fiery antiwar British politician George Galloway before a U.S. Senate committee yesterday, where he defended himself against accusations he took kickbacks from Saddam Hussein’s government.
GEORGE GALLOWAY: Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are the trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq’s wealth. Have a look at the real Oil for Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months, when $8.8 billion of Iraq’s wealth went missing on your watch. [ 5/18/05__]
DAHR JAMAIL: Fallujah, which was the symbol of the resistance in Iraq to the U.S. occupation and throughout the Middle East at that point is now 70% estimated to be bombed to the ground, no water, no electricity. People who want to go back into that city have to get retina scans, all ten fingers fingerprinted, then they’re issued an ID card. People inside the city are referring to it as a big jail. It is a horrendous situation, and we still have hundreds of thousands of refugees as a result. [ 4/28/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Memorial services are planned for this weekend to remember the life of 28-year-old humanitarian aid worker and activist, Marla Ruzicka. She was killed in Iraq last week by a car bomb on one of Baghdad’s most notorious roads.
TIM RIESER: Marla was unique. She gave more of herself to more people than anyone I ever expect to meet, and took more risks just to help people than anyone I expect to meet. [ 4/21/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: The city of Los Angeles has elected its first Hispanic mayor in over a century: Antonio Villaraigosa, a son of a Mexican immigrant.
FERNANDO GUERRA: You know, in terms of Latino politics, this is a trend that’s been happening here in Los Angeles, where we have seen more and more Latinos get elected at the federal, state and local level. [ 5/18/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: A chief terrorist with long ties to U.S. intelligence agencies is seeking asylum in the United States. The F.B.I. has evidence linking him to an airline bombing that killed 73 people. The question is: What is the U.S. government going to do? We are talking about the notorious militant Cuban exile, Luis Posada Carriles. [ 5/9/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: As we turn now to the President of the Cuban National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon.
RICARDO ALARCON: After 9/11, the United States, this administration, established a policy that make it mandatory for every nation in the world to deny refuge, protection, not only to terrorists, but to friends of terrorists, to those who protect terrorists. There is an exception. The exception is Dade County, specifically the City of Miami. [ 5/9/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, in an El Paso, Texas, immigration court, Judge William Abbott rejected a request by Posada’s lawyer that he be released on bond.
JOSE PERTIERRA: Well, what’s significant about the decision, however, is that curiously the Department of Homeland Security, rather than charging in its charging document, called a "Notice to Appear," rather than charging Posada Carriles as a terrorist, it charged him only as having entered without inspection. [ 7/27/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Powell, stepping down as chair of the Federal Communications Commission, ending a contentious four-year term. [ 1/24/05__]
SCOTT MCLELLAN: We do have concerns about the deficit, and we need to keep our budget on track to keep our economy growing and keep the budget on track to be able to cut the deficit in half by 2009. And that’s why we outlined a very responsible budget that held the line on spending elsewhere. But what we did for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I believe, was level fund it. [ 6/22/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Bill Moyers.
BILL MOYERS: As you know, CPB was established almost forty years ago to set broad policy for Public Broadcasting and to be a firewall between political influence and program content. What some on its board are now doing today, led by its chairman, Kenneth Tomlinson, is too important, too disturbing, and yes, even dangerous for a gathering like this not to address it.
AMY GOODMAN: In an op-ed piece in the Washington Times_, the chair of the CPB, Kenneth Tomlinson, wrote "The image of the left-wing bias of 'NOW,' unchallenged by balancing point of view on Public Broadcasting’s Friday evening line-up, was unhealthy, indeed is jeopardized essential support for public TV." [ "5/16/05":_SLASHLINK__]
TIMOTHY KARR: Tomlinson is not alone at the CPB there. The new chair, the person who replaced him, Cheryl Halpern, the vice chair, Gay Hart Gaines, are Republican Party operatives who were chosen for these positions, not based on their experience in Public Broadcasting, but on their loyalty to the White House.
AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this year it was revealed that Tomlinson hired a Republican operative to monitor the political leanings of shows hosted by Bill Moyers, Tavis Smiley, and Diane Rehm. [ 11/16/05__]
BILL MOYERS: It is a very serious inside job. All the attacks on Public Broadcasting in the past have come from outside. They’ve come from the Nixon White House, from Newt Gingrich when he was Speaker of the House, and they’ve been rebuffed because the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was led by principled Democrats and Republicans who took seriously their job of resisting pressure from Congress and the White House to influence Public Broadcasting. [ 6/22/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!’s year in review.
AMY GOODMAN: We continue with our two-day look back at 2005.
AMY GOODMAN: We move now to Latin America’s poorest nation, Bolivia, where tens of thousands of people marched on the capital La Paz. At issue is President Carlos Mesa’s attempt to push through a law giving large corporations and investors greater control of the country’s significant natural gas resources. [ 5/17/05__]
JIM SHULTZ: The capital of La Paz is essentially blockaded. There is a demand for the congress to be closed for this constituent assembly, which is essentially a national constitutional congress, to be held, and the first order of business in their demands is that gas and oil resources of the country be put back in the hands of the people, be recovered from the corporations. [ 5/25/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: After weeks of massive protest that have crippled large sections of the country, President Carlos Mesa appeared on national television.
CARLOS MESA: I have made the decision to present my resignation from the office of President of the Republic. This is a resignation that has only one objective, the objective that Bolivian society keeps in mind that the sacrifice has to be genuine, and it cannot be any other thing. [ 6/7/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: One of the great mysteries of American politics appears to have been solved: the identity of Deep Throat, the secret source that helped the Washington Post unravel the Watergate scandal.
AMY GOODMAN: Deep Throat was Mark Felt, the number two man in J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I.
SEN. MIKE GRAVEL: Occasionally a courageous person will step forward and put his career and life at risk to tell the truth to the American people, tell the truth via the media, obviously. And that’s what Mr. Felt did. [ 6/2/05__]
JENNIFER DOHRN: I was followed night and day by the F.B.I. I had my apartments, several apartments, wiretapped. Apartments next to me were rented by F.B.I. agents who kept continuous 24-hour surveillance of every sound made in my apartment.
So, that’s the legacy of Mark Felt. The legacy should be to look at his responsibility for acts that authorized repression, murder, imprisonment of people for life, Herman Bell, David Gilbert, Leonard Peltier, and took away civil rights from people who were dissenting. [ 6/2/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: On Monday, under intense government pressure, Newsweek magazine retracted a story that claimed U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Koran by flushing the holy book down the toilet in front of detainees.
DONALD RUMSFELD: I think it was Mark Twain who said that something that’s not true can speed around the world three or four times in a matter of seconds, while truth is still trying to put their boots on. And people have said, 'My goodness why does it take so long for someone to come back and have the actual facts?' Well, it takes a long time to be truthful, to be responsible. It takes a long time to review 25,000 documents.
NEWSWEEK SPOKESPERSON: We say that we feel terrible. I have expressed my sympathy in my editor’s note this week to all of the people, all of the victims of the violence, to the U.S. service men and women who were put in harm’s way. It is something that we feel awful about. [ 5/18/05__]
DONALD RUMSFELD: People need to be very careful about what they say and just as people need to be careful about what they it do. [ 5/17/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Newly declassified documents released by the F.B.I. reveal detainee claims of Koran desecration by U.S. guards at Guantanamo as early as 2002. The documents were obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and include numerous summaries of F.B.I. interviews with prisoners. [ 5/26/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The Pentagon is working with a private company to create information dossiers on millions of young Americans to help identify college and high school students as young as 16 to target for military recruiting. The massive database includes an array of personal information, including birthdates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying. The Pentagon has hired the Massachusetts-based company BeNow to run the database, apparently in an effort to circumvent laws that restrict the government’s right to collect or hold citizen information by turning to private firms to do the work.
REP. MIKE HONDA: What is possible right now, because of No Child Left Behind was amended to require school districts, public schools to divulge personal information, private information of minor students without the consent of parents. And if a school district or school denies military recruiters of those information, they shall lose federal funding. [ 6/24/05__]
AMY HAGOPIAN: We can’t physically stop them, and we can’t legally stop them, but we can stand at the doors and explain that they’re not welcome, as can every high school in the country. Somebody obviously needs to challenge this legally, but that’s a hard task. [ 5/25/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The Chicano political and civil rights activist Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales has died. He was 76. Gonzales was an iconic leader in the movement for justice and equality for Mexican-Americans in the Southwest.
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ: Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huertas, they represented something very special for us as a people, and we could probably see them as perhaps the heart, you know? He was the fist. That is the Crusade for Justice. It stood for defiance, resistance. [ 4/15/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: We turn to the situation in Zimbabwe, where a government-sponsored urban clearance campaign is the center of a heated debate within the country and around the world. President Robert Mugabe says "Operation Murambatsvina" is a clean-up operation intended to rid the capital, Harare, of illegal structures and crime. The government said it would step up a new housing program to benefit those left homeless.
SIMBI VEKE MUBAKO: Well, the campaign is slum clearance, basically. It’s getting rid of slums, which have mushroomed around our big cities, and illegal trading, which had also mushroomed throughout our big cities. And the result of all of those illegal structures has been an increase in crime, an increase in disease.
AMY GOODMAN: Critics see the campaign as a move to drive out political opposition and punish those who supported the opposition group, called Movement for Democratic Change, in recent parliamentary elections.
WELLINGTON CHIBEBE: The situation is pathetic, to say the least. What is said or what is portrayed on television to give an impression that these people are staying in nice tents or are given adequate medication is not true. It’s unfortunate that the powers that be would want to play around with people’s brains and play football with the victims of disaster. [ 6/30/05__]
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: A dangerous state of lawlessness exists along the Southwestern border, and it’s becoming increasingly volatile. The federal government’s inability to stem the illegal traffic flowing across the border has shifted substantial financial and social burdens to residents of the border region. Recent action by Minutemen along the Arizona border provided the nation with an image of the frustration felt by many Americans.
FLASH SHARRAR: America is under siege, not only by the Mexican people, but by terrorist groups. If America thinks that 9/11 was just a pastime, it’s going to happen again, and they’re going to come through the Southern borders of America.
MICHAEL SCHERER: Hundreds of people are dying every year in the desert. Thousands of people a day are being forced to walk 10-20 miles through a rather hazardous desert just to get jobs that President Vicente Fox in Mexico says they should be able to get, that American business says they should be able to get, that the President of the United States, George Bush, says Americans don’t want. [ 7/14/05__]
MAGDALANO ROSE-AVILA: Well, I think that it’s kind of incredible that American citizens can go to the border, many of them armed, and intervene in what is a legal process between the Border Patrol and undocumented immigrants that are coming here. [ 4/8/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: Ousted Haitian president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, held a rare press conference Tuesday in South Africa, where he is living in exile. He maintained that he is still the elected president of Haiti.
JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE: Who can expect free, fair and democratic elections in Haiti with thousands of Lavalas in jail, exile and hiding? Free, fair and democratic elections must be organized in an environment where the huge majority of Haitian people is neither excluded nor repressed as they have been up until today. [ 4/21/05__]
CINDY SHEEHAN: I believe the Downing Street memo proves that our leaders betrayed too many innocents into an early grave. The lives of the ones left behind are shattered almost beyond repair. I also believe an investigation into the Downing Street memo is completely warranted, and the necessary first step into righting the wrong that is Iraq and holding someone accountable for the needless, senseless and avoidable deaths of many thousands. [ 6/17/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The text to the minutes of the secret briefing was published by the Sunday Times of London last month. In the briefing, Richard Dearlove, then-director of the British intelligence agency, MI6, told Blair that the U.S. had already made plans to attack Iraq. According to the leaked minutes, Dearlove said the U.S. attack would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD." He went on to say "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." [ 6/6/05__]
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There is nothing farther from the truth. My conversations with the Prime Minister was how can we do this peacefully, what could we do, and this meeting, you know, evidently that took place in London happened before we even went to the United Nations or I went to the United Nations.
REP. JOHN CONYERS: It now appears that the President was planning to go to war, from both information we have received inside his administration and now outside of it, and that is the importance of the Downing Street memo and the detail that is now coming out of it. [ 6/15/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to our guest in the studio, joined by one of Britain’s leading critics of the invasion of Iraq — Clare Short — best known for resigning her cabinet-level position as Secretary of State for International Development in Tony Blair’s government over the British involvement of the Iraq invasion.
CLARE SHORT: It’s quite a thing to leave your government and conclude that your Prime Minister has been deceiving you and the nation. So, I still felt, even though the rush to war had been wrong, if we internationalized the reconstruction, if the people of Iraq got a better future out of it, that rush might be forgiven. But the failure to prepare for afterwards, the chaos, the criminality, the looting, the continuing death, the unemployment, the lack of electricity and water, is a complete disaster. [ 2/15/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: Two of the largest unions in the AFL-CIO have officially left the labor federation to protest the state of the nation’s labor movement. [ 7/26/05__]
CHRIS CHAFE: I think that we got to this point because we are ten years into the Sweeney administration and we continue to see really horrendous conditions persist for American workers. [ 7/22/05__]
LINDA CHAVEZ-THOMPSON: We, I think, all agree that organizing and politics are the two primary concerns that we have, and that we have to concentrate. I think there’s only the difference of where we concentrate the monies first. [ 3/10/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: There will be two labor federations in the United States. There will probably be clear political differences between them that develop over the years. And so I think that the competition is probably good for the American labor movement. [ 7/28/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: In a midnight vote, Congress narrowly approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA. The final vote, 217–215 in the House, the closest margin possible as a tie vote would have blocked approval. [ 7/29/05__]
REP. BERNIE SANDERS: The bottom line here, even before we get into all of the details of CAFTA, is that our entire trade policy, whether it’s NAFTA, whether it’s permanent normal trade relations with China, has been an absolute disaster. In this case it will be, in my view, a disaster for the people of Central America, but it’s also a disaster for the people of the United States of America. [ 7/1/05__]
JUAN GONZALEZ: Yes, a big defeat for organized labor that put a lot of effort into it, and also the AFL unions threatened that any Democrat that backed CAFTA would not get their support. [ 7/28/05__]
CAROLYN GOODMAN: Well, I’m going to Mississippi. And the reason I’m going is because there’s going to be a court case tomorrow.
AMY GOODMAN: Jury selection began yesterday in the 41-year-old case of the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964 by members of the Ku Klux Klan in Philadelphia, Mississippi. African American civil rights worker, James Chaney, and two white civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were part of the voter registration campaigns of Mississippi Freedom Summer. [ 6/14/05__]
STEVEN SCHWERNER: We know that in 1964, if it was only Jim Chaney who was missing, it never would have made national news, and that there were many other identified and unidentified black bodies found in the search for the three young men.
CIRCUIT JUDGE MARCUS GORDON: Edgar Ray Killen, in count one, it’s the sentence of this court that you serve 20 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections. [ 6/24/05__]
BEN CHANEY: I think that a conviction here is not the end because there’s still individuals in this community who were involved in this case, and they are walking around free and acting as if their lives are still intact and nothing’s happening. [ 6/14/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: On June 1st of this year, 50 years after Emmett Till’s mutilated body was found in the Tallahatchie River, federal investigators unearthed the teen’s casket in search of clues in a murder case that helped kindle the Civil Rights Movement.
KEITH BEAUCHAMP: It is very important to understand that these type of acts are still going on in this country today, and it’s so important that young people, my peers, get involved with the movement that still exists. [ 8/26/05__]
AMY GOODMAN: The first half of Democracy Now!'s year in review, a look at the stories and struggles that shaped the world in 2005. Join us Monday for part two: Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey, Hurricane Katrina, the London bombings, war, anti-war protest, the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, and much more.