Monthly Archives: March 2004

Benjamin Bradlee

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The Washington Post’s Benjamin Bradlee still lives an editor’s life. It began in the 1960s when he lifted the Post out of its doldrums and went on to steer reporters through the elaborate investigation that blew open the Watergate scandal. He made the decision to print the Pentagon Papers, and in fact looks back at that time as the beginning of “a great sea-change in this country,” a time when he says America started “to lose faith in its leaders.”

From Johnson’s Vietnam, through Reagan, Bush and the Iran-Contra scandal, and on to Clinton and Monica, Bradlee says that lying has become a part of the leadership landscape, and it is democracy that has suffered.


Benjamin Bradlee, Vice President at Large of The Washington Post.

The 9/11 Blame Game

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The hot seat played host to many high level backsides yesterday. In this week’s 9/11 commission hearings, former and current secretaries of defense and state testified about what they knew about America’s vulnerability to terrorism in the years and months preceding September 11th. As a bipartisan panel peppered the witnesses with questions both affable and accusatory, most of the queries focused on whether Presidents Clinton and Bush had the “actionable intelligence” necessary to use military force against Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network.


Peg Ogonowski, widow of John Ogonowski, captain of American Airlines Flight

Larry Johnson, former deputy director of the State Department’s Office on Counter-terrorism under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton

David Frum, co-author of “An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror.”

Reliving the Horrors of Haiti

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When Edwidge Danticat was two, her father left her in Haiti for a better life in America. When Edwidge was four, her mother left, so by the time she joined her parents in New York, Edwidge had lived most of her childhood in Haiti with relatives.

Her latest novel takes us back to that time, exploring the poetry, the pain and the complicated family connections that exist between Haiti and its American Diaspora.
“The Dew Breaker” takes us inside the previous lives of those who were tortured, and those who did the torturing. Both are haunted by the memories of the crimes. Both confront different truths. So Haitian-Americans even today wonder about the past while they witness today’s upheaval of the Caribbean Island nation.


Edwidge Danticat, author of “The Dew Breaker.”

Iraqi Casualties of War

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The Pentagon has kept a close tally of the number of U.S. military killed and wounded in Iraq Since the bombs first fell on Baghdad. But the number of Iraqi casualties remains a mystery. “We don’t count bodies,” General Tommy Franks said early in the conflict. But others do, and the accounts vary wildly.

Anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 Iraqi civilians may have died so far. Behind each number is a life lost and a Iraqi mourned by a family member or neighbor. In the landscape of modern warfare, civilians are paying a higher price. The body count used to be a gauge of the winners and losers in warfare. But without accurate information, the numbers are open to interpretation.


William Arkin, columnist for “The Los Angeles Times” and military analyst for NBC

Carl Conetta, project director, Project on Defense Alternatives at the Commonwealth Institute

Marla Ruzicka, founder of CIVIC (Campaign for Innocnet Victims in Conflict) researching collateral damage in Iraq

Brigadier General Mark Hertlin, deputy commander of the First Armoured Division of the U.S. Army, stationed in Iraq

White Collar Crime

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Gordon Gecko would be proud of Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, the business who embraced his idea of greed.

The only trouble is that they got caught. In the case of Tyco, the chief executive went to court to face accusations over his $6,000 shower curtain, and videos of a million dollar birthday party complete with Roman guards. But now the party’s over. Stock prices crashed and thousands of employees have found themselves jobless and penniless.

While many argue that long jail sentences are what’s needed for convicted CEOs, others counter that taking away their money, forcing them into community service might be better solutions. We discuss crime and punishment and the white collar sentence.


Eric Yaffe, former federal prosecutor and current attorney for corporate clients

Foster Winans, former Wall Street Journal reporter convicted of insider trading

Rob Davis, former Enron employee.

A Spring Offensive

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Kathy Gannon, AP Bureau Chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, currently a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations

Alan Cullison, has covered Afghanistan and al Qaeda for the Wall Street Journal, currently a Neiman Fellow at Harvard University

David Rohde, reporter for the New York Times, based in Islamabad.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

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Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is dead. The spiritual leader of the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, was killed, early this morning, by an Israeli missile strike in the Gaza Strip. Israeli security forces say Yassin was “personally responsible” for suicide attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis.

His assassination, reportedly authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, has sparked widespread calls for revenge across Gaza and the West Bank. Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets, and Hamas has reportedly said that by killing Yassin, Israel has “opened the gates of hell.”

Israel’s targeting of a high-level Hamas official is not unprecedented, but, some say, the sheikh’s death could prove a deadly turning point in the Middle East conflict.


Taghreed El Khodary, correspondent for Al Hayat, LBC
Television and stringer for The New York Times

Nadav Eyal, political reporter for Maarvi Newspaper

Tom Rose, publisher and CEO of The Jerusalem Post

Ghassan al-Khatib, Palestinian Labor Minister

American Jezebel

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Colonial era preacher, midwife and mother of 16, Anne Hutchinson just didn’t seem to know a woman’s place. She was called an “American Jezebel” for publicly teaching and interpreting scripture. A century and a half before the American Constitution erected a barrier between church and state, Anne Hutchinson defended herself against judges who proclaimed God was on their side. Banished from Massachusetts, Hutchinson helped establish religious tolerance in the new colony of Rhode Island.


Eve LaPlante, author of “American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defeated the Puritans.”

Talking Politics With Joe Trippi

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The man behind Howard Dean’s run has worked on a total of six presidential campaigns and has lived to tell about it. He says life on the campaign trail can be grueling and thankless but what fuels staffers who live on no sleep and little money is the belief that they can make a difference. With the primary campaign now over, Trippi believes he still has a movement to lead. And so he’s turning once again to the internet to reach out and rally the troops for this November and beyond.


Joe Trippi, former campaign manager for Howard Dean.

All Girl Radio

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When a young person hits the teen years nothing’s more important than being part of the crowd, and the crowd, in many places, is listening to music. So what’s the message when much of that music portrays women solely as vehicles for sex?

A group of girls in Dorchester, Massachusetts got tired of hearing words like ‘ho’ and ‘bitch’ on the radio, and decided to do something about it. With some help, they started their own radio station where they choose the hits and call the shots. Although they’re only on the air 4 hours a week and their signal only reaches a mile at best. They are no longer willing to be defined by 50 cent and Ludakris. They’re taking back the airwaves. Time for a little respect on All Girl Radio.


Larry Mayes, Director of the Log School in Dorchester, Massachusetts (617-474-1232), or call Seth Gitell 617-635-4000)

Stephanie Alves, one of the founders of Radio LOG

Lola Oladimeji, teenage D.J. on Radio LOG.