Program Notes for Left Out (May 18, 2004)

Welcome to Left Out on WRCT 88.3FM. Left Out presents news and opinions from a perspective left out of the mainstream media. Left Out is co-hosted by Robert Harper and Danny Sleator. Today's program is produced by Jay Thurber. Listeners are welcome to call us at 412 621-WRCT (9728) or 412 268-WRCT (9728), or to send email to


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Guest: Dan Fine

Dan Fine is a doctor who spent most of his career in the Pittsburgh area. Since retiring from medical practice in 1996, Dr. Fine has spent most of his time in efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. Here what he wrote:
For many years worked to prevent nuclear war, and end the damage to the environment and diversion of resources needed for human needs, resulting from war and the preparation for war. Since January 1995, engaged almost full-time in work for Nuclear Abolition, nuclear non-proliferation and end to nuclear testing. Active in behalf of Physicians for Social Responsibility and W. PA Campaign for a Comprehensive Test Ban, now renamed Abolition 2000: W. PA Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Two articles by Dan Fine: Topics to touch on:

Responsibility for the Iraqi Prison Scandal Lies at the Top

Seymour Hersh's investigations into the treatment of Iraqi prisoners continues in an article entitled "The Gray Zone" in this week's New Yorker. Hersh's article alleges that the true origin of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners lies with a "black" military program called "Copper Green" that authorized the use of sexual humiliation as a technique for obtaining cooperation from prisoners. The program, which was authorized by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, was intended as a means for the Pentagon to bypass the CIA's handling of intelligence in Iraq. Hersh's primary source, an unnamed senior CIA official reacted to Rumsfeld's denials by saying "Some people think you can bullshit anyone." Hersh alleges that the infamous photographs, which exposed the extent and nature of the treatment to the world, were deliberately posed and taken by Military Intelligence officials with the intention to blackmail prisoners into cooperation and to threaten new detainees. Major General Antonio Taguba's report on the scandal states that 60 percent of the prisoners are innocent civilians; the International Committee of the Red Cross alleges 90 percent innocent.

The Pentagon and CIA continue to officially deny Hersh's story. For example here's a CNN story entitled " Pentagon: Hersh report 'journalist malpractice'. Hersh stands by the story and is confident that it will all come out eventualy.

Here's a link to Al Jazeera's web site, which we promised on the air.

On the air, we referred to this editorial that appeared in the Army Times: A failure of leadership at the highest levels

Justice Department Chooses Prison Abuser to Help with Iraqi Prison System

This article in The Nation by Dan Frosch exposes Lane McCotter, who has been involved in a number of prisioner abuse scandals, as both a public official in Utah, and as executive of a private prison operator. McCotter was selected by the Justice Department to work with them on reconstructing the prison system in Iraq. This story seems to have gotten no coverage in the mainstream media. Here's how the article begins:

.... description of abuse that lead to the death of a prisioner omitted ....

The chilling incident made national news not only because it happened to be videotaped but also because Valent's family successfully sued the State of Utah and forced it to stop using the device. Director of the Utah Department of Corrections, Lane McCotter, who was named in the suit and defended use of the chair, resigned in the ensuing firestorm.

Some six years later, Lane McCotter was working in Abu Ghraib prison, part of a four-man team of correctional advisers sent by the Justice Department and charged with the sensitive mission of reconstructing Iraq's notorious prisons, ravaged by decades of human rights abuse.

The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012

A 1992 story by Charles J. Dunbar, Jr. of the Army War College entitled "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012" is receiving some attention recently. It seems to us that it is entirely possible that the Bush administration will refuse to cede power in the event that they lose or appear certain to lose the next election. This is consistent with a Reagan-era executive order, formulated by many of the current members of the Bush administration, to suspend the Constitution in a time of crisis.

Misc (if necessary)


Truth Out
Common Dreams
Information Clearinghouse
Tom Paine
The Independent
The Guardian

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Robert Harper
Last modified: Thu May 20 23:08:27 EDT 2004