BlueHummingbird News - Archive

Archived News Articles: NMD and Global Policy - 2nd Qtr. 2004

At Salon: March 31, 2004
Creepier than Nixon By David Talbot
The man who brought down Richard Nixon says Bush and "co-president" Cheney are an even greater threat to the country.
As Richard Nixon's White House counsel during the Watergate scandal, John Dean famously warned his boss that there was "a cancer on the presidency" that would bring down the administration unless Nixon came clean. In his new book, "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," Dean warns the country that the Bush administration is even more secretive and authoritarian than Nixon's -- in fact, he writes, it's "the most secretive presidency of my lifetime." "To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is undemocratic is an understatement," he adds. "I'm anything but skittish about government, but I must say this administration is truly scary and, given the times we live in, frighteningly dangerous." ...

Opinion at Salon: March 31, 2004
That audacious Richard Clarke By Karen Kwiatkowski
The Bush-Cheney campaign is riding a rickety horse to November: Their approach to war on terror.

At The Santa Barbara Independent: April 1, 2004 issue
Thinking Unthinkable Thoughts by Nick Welsh
Theologian Charges White House Complicity in 9/11 Attack
... David Ray Griffin ... his latest book, The New Pearl Harbor ...

From The Washington Post: Thursday, April 1, 2004; Page A01
Top Focus Before 9/11 Wasn't on Terrorism By Robin Wright
Rice Speech Cited Missile Defense
On Sept. 11, 2001, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to outline a Bush administration policy that would address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday" -- but the focus was largely on missile defense, not terrorism from Islamic radicals. ...

From The NYT: April 2, 2004
Bush Aides Block Clinton's Papers From 9/11 Panel
WASHINGTON, April 1 — The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Thursday that it was pressing the White House to explain why the Bush administration had blocked thousands of pages of classified foreign policy and counterterrorism documents from former President Bill Clinton's White House files from being turned over to the panel's investigators. ...

From The Independent: 02 April 2004
'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes'
Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened. She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie". Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege"...

At Salon: April 2, 2004
Condi Rice's other wake-up call By David Talbot
Former Sen. Gary Hart says he, too, warned Rice about an imminent terror attack on two occasions before 9/11.
Hart: " ... George Bush -- and this is often overlooked -- held a press conference or made a public statement on May 5, 2001, calling on Congress not to act and saying he was turning over the whole matter to Dick Cheney. So this wasn't just neglect, it was an active position by the administration. He said, "I don't want Congress to do anything until the vice president advises me." We now know from Dick Clarke that Cheney never held a meeting on terrorism, there was never any kind of discussion on the department of homeland security that we had proposed. There was no vice presidential action on this matter. In other words, a bipartisan commission of seven Democrats and seven Republicans who had spent two and a half years studying the problem, a group of Americans with a cumulative 300 years in national security affairs, recommended to the president of the United States on a reasonably urgent basis the creation of a Cabinet-level agency to protect our country -- and the president did nothing! ... "

From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS at The NYT: April 2, 2004 5:19 p.m. ET
Government Issues Warning of Summer Bomb Plots in U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Trains and buses in major U.S cities may be targeted this summer by terrorists using bombs hidden in bags or luggage, federal counterterrorism officials have told law enforcement and transportation officials in a nationwide bulletin. ...

From Reuters: Fri Apr 2, 2004 05:24 PM ET
White House to Let 9/11 Panel See Clinton Papers

At Common Dreams: Published on Friday, April 2, 2004 by NOW with Bill Moyers
Ex-Nixon Aide John Dean Tells Bill Moyers that Bush Should Be Impeached

At Buzzflash: April 6, 2004
Will the 2004 Election Be Called Off? Why Three Out of Four Experts Predict a Terrorist Attack by November by Maureen Farrell

From the Associated Press at The Guardian: Wednesday April 7, 2004 9:01 PM
Gov't Eludes 9/11 Accountability, Blame By PAULINE JELINEK
WASHINGTON (AP) - America's leaders must ``search their soul'' over whether they failed the country on Sept. 11, 2001, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says. Accepting blame is something else altogether. In the two and a half years since al-Qaida terrorists hijacked airplanes and killed nearly 3,000 Americans, there have been no announced firings, demotions or resignations at the CIA, FBI, immigration service, White House, State Department, Pentagon or any other federal agency. ...

From WORLD NEWSSTAND, Medium Rare: April 7, 2004
In an ignominious capitulation to the White House the leaders of the 9/11 Commission traded two and a half hours of testimony by Condoleeza Rice in public under oath in exchange for a written promise not to ask anymore White House persons to testify in public or under oath. ...
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld needs to be recalled to clear up the confusion about the scrambling of jets. Most researchers, including this one, had assumed the longstanding procedure for scrambling jets whenever air traffic control reported a suspected or actual hijacking or lost contact with a plane was still in place on 9/11. Conflicting timelines provided by the FAA, NORAD and DOD did not agree on when the FAA reported the hijackings or when the jets were actually scrambled (too late to have done any good even if they could have found and identified the hijacked planes).
This led researchers to reason that someone must have given an order not to follow the longstanding procedure. Thus the hunt began for the person who gave the order for the jets to “stand down.” In the June 2002 issue of Aviation Now, it was finally disclosed that the longstanding procedure was not in place on 9/11! It had been superseded by an instruction from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued on June 1, 2001. The new procedure called for the FAA administrator (at that time Jane Garvey), not air traffic control, to contact NORAD and request military assistance. NORAD then was to determine what resources (jets) were available and then contact the National Military Command Center (NMCC) which in turn would get the personal approval of the Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld) for authority to scramble the jets.
Rumsfeld says he was at his desk in the Pentagon and had no knowledge of any hijackings until the Pentagon was hit. (Did he have his phone off the hook?)
Finally Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold, commander of the Continental U.S. Norad Region (Conar), at Tyndall AFB, Fla. issued the order to scramble two jets from Otis Air Force Base saying he would get the required approval (from Rumsfeld) later. The jets arrived in the New York area after a hijacked plane hit the second tower. Rumsfeld and others need to explain why such a cumbersome and time-consuming procedure, with all its built-in delays, was instituted. ...

From Asia Times: Apr 8, 2004
9-11 AND THE SMOKING GUN Part 2: A real smoking gun - By Pepe Escobar
If the 9-11 Commission is really looking for a smoking gun, it should look no further than at Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad, the director of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) at the time. In early October 2001, Indian intelligence learned that Mahmoud had ordered flamboyant Saeed Sheikh - the convicted mastermind of the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl - to wire US$100,000 from Dubai to one of hijacker Mohamed Atta's two bank accounts in Florida. A juicy direct connection was also established between Mahmoud and Republican Congressman Porter Gross and Democratic Senator Bob Graham. They were all in Washington together discussing Osama bin Laden over breakfast when the attacks of September 11, 2001, happened. ... In December 2002, Graham said he was "surprised at the evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the [September 11] terrorists in the United States ... It will become public at some point when it's turned over to the archives, but that's 20 or 30 years from now." He could not but be referring to Pakistan and Mahmoud. If Mahmoud was really involved in September 11, this means the Pakistani ISI -"the state within the state" - knew all about it. And if the intelligence elite in Pakistan knew it, an intelligence elite in Saudi Arabia knew it, as well as an intelligence elite in the US. ...

From The Washington Post: Thursday, April 8, 2004; Page A04
9/11 Panel: Bush White House Withheld Papers By Dan Eggen
Commission Is Demanding Terrorism-Related Documents From Clinton Era
The commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks announced yesterday that it has identified 69 documents from the Clinton era that the Bush White House withheld from investigators and which include references to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and other issues relevant to the panel's work. The White House turned over 12 of the documents to the commission yesterday, officials said. But 57 others, which were not specifically requested but "nonetheless are relevant to our work," remain in dispute, according to a commission statement. The panel has demanded the documents and any similar ones from the Bush administration. ...

From FDCH E-Media at The Washington Post: Thursday, April 8, 2004; 1:45 PM
Transcript: Rice's Testimony on 9/11
Following is the text of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 panel: ...

From The NYT: Published: April 9, 2004
Clarke's View: 'A Massively Different Interpretation' By CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS
WASHINGTON, April 8 — Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief in President Bush's National Security Council, said on Thursday that his former boss, Condoleezza Rice, had a radically different interpretation from his of the events surrounding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, even though they basically agreed on the facts. In a telephone interview hours after Ms. Rice completed her testimony before the commission investigating the attacks, Mr. Clarke described a White House operation that had been pointedly and repeatedly warned of a mounting terrorist threat but did little to address it. ...

Comment at The Chicago Sun-Times: April 9, 2004
Chilling implications from a cool, collected Rice BY DEBRA PICKETT
Condoleezza Rice says she's asked herself a thousand times if there was anything she could have done to prevent the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. And the answer every time, apparently, has been no. Which is either really impressive or simply terrifying. ... Not only did she not apologize for anything, she pretty much denied anything had gone wrong, national security-wise. She laid some blame on the FAA, the FBI, the Pakistanis, past administrations and, of course, those namby-pamby civil libertarians who -- pre-Patriot Act -- tried to prevent the government from spying on Americans by keeping the FBI and CIA separate. ''The real lesson of Sept. 11,'' she said, ''is that the country was not properly structured.'' ... Question after question, Rice deflected any suggestion that the administration had failed to take the threat of terrorism seriously enough or to act on information they'd received, in the summer of 2001, about the possibility of attacks in the near future. ... Rice looked attorney Richard Ben-Veniste dead in the eye as he began to ask her questions about the Aug. 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing, a document that's been characterized as having warned the president about the possibility of terrorists planning to hijack commercial planes within the United States. What was the title of that document, he kept asking. The title, which had been kept secret until Thursday morning, was "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the U.S." "There was nothing in this memo that suggested an attack was coming," Rice said evenly. ... Basically, all Rice would tell the commission about threats and warnings was that if someone had told her who was planning to do what on which flights heading where, and given her a detailed plan for how to stop them, she'd have acted on it. ...

At The BBC: Friday, 9 April, 2004, 03:20 GMT 04:20 UK
'US is bigger threat than terror'
Globalisation and the US pose a more serious threat to the world than war and terrorism, according to a BBC poll. ...

From The Washington Post: Saturday, April 10, 2004; Page A05
Briefing on Al Qaeda Included Specifics By Walter Pincus and Dan Eggen
White House Says Declassification of Pre-9/11 Document Will Be Delayed
The classified briefing delivered to President Bush five weeks before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks featured information about ongoing al Qaeda activities within the United States, including signs of a terror support network, indications of hijacking preparations and plans for domestic attacks using explosives, according to sources who have seen the document and a review of official accounts and media reports over the past two years. ...

At Newsday: April 10, 2004
Disputing Rice testimony BY KNUT ROYCE AND TOM BRUNE
WASHINGTON -- The FBI on Friday disputed National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's testimony that it was conducting 70 separate investigations of al-Qaida cells in the United States before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. ... the FBI Friday said that those investigations were not limited to al-Qaida and did not focus on al-Qaida cells. FBI spokesman Ed Coggswell said the bureau was trying to determine how the number 70 got into the report. ... Coggswell .. said that those 70 investigations involved a number of international terrorist organizations, not just al-Qaida. He said that many were criminal investigations, which terrorism experts say are not likely to focus on preventing terrorist acts. And he said he would "not characterize" the targets of the investigations as cells, or groups acting in concert ...

From AP: Apr 10, 8:04 PM (ET)
Bush's Pre-9/11 al-Qaida Memo Released By SCOTT LINDLAW
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - President Bush was told more than a month before the Sept. 11 attacks that al-Qaida had reached America's shores, had a support system in place for its operatives and that the FBI had detected suspicious activity that might involve a hijacking plot. ...

At The BBC: Saturday, 10 April, 2004, 23:45 GMT 00:45 UK
US 'al-Qaeda memo': Full text
"Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US" ...

From AP at Yahoo: Mon, Apr 12, 2004 12:56pm ET
Putin Calls for Demilitarization of Space By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin on Monday reaffirmed his support for the demilitarization of space but added that Russia must be ready to counter others' moves to the contrary. ... "For many years, space has been part of military-political rivalry," Putin said Monday. "Now we must do everything to demilitarize space and turn it into the arena of peaceful cooperation." ... "We will be striving to prevent space from being an arena of military-political confrontation, but we all understand very well that this situation still exists now and will continue to exist for quite a long time," Putin said. "We are taking it into account and will continue to take that into consideration in the future." ...

From SpaceDaily: Apr 13, 2004
X-45A UACV Demonstrator Drops Inert Bomb
Edwards AFB - The Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) program conducted a weapons separation test of an inert bomb from a X-45A technology demonstrator, marking the first time that an unmanned aircraft has released a weapon from an internal bay, and the first time that a weapon has been released from a high-speed, high-performance, unmanned aircraft with a stealthy shape. ...

At April 14, 2004
Redaction Alert! by Justin Raimondo
White House edits Aug. 6 presidential briefing, then claims it's been 'declassified.'

From Reuters: Thu Apr 15, 2004 02:33 PM ET
Purported Bin Laden Tape Offers Europe Truce, Not U.S. By Ghaida Ghantous
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - An audio tape purportedly by Osama bin Laden and aired on Arab TV Thursday offered a truce to Europeans if they withdrew troops from Muslim nations but vowed to continue fighting the United States and Israel...

From AP at My Way News: Apr 15, 11:21 PM (ET)
Europe Rejects Purported Bin Laden Truce By JILL LAWLESS
LONDON (AP) - Key European nations, including Iraq war opponents Germany and France, vigorously rejected a truce offer purportedly from Osama bin Laden on Thursday, saying there could be no negotiating with his al-Qaida terrorist network. ...

At MSNBC: 1:37 p.m. ET April 16, 2004
The war of words over war in space By James Oberg

At April 17, 2004
Rise of the Machines by Conn Hallinan

At The Baltimore Chronicle: April 17, 2004
Some Dare Call It Treason: Wake Up America! by Dr. Robert Bowman, USAF Ret.

From The NYT: April 18, 2004
Pre-9/11 Files Show Warnings Were More Dire and Persistent
" ... after three weeks of extraordinary public hearings and a dozen detailed reports, the lengthy documentary record makes clear that predictions of an attack by Al Qaeda had been communicated directly to the highest levels of the government. The threat reports were more clear, urgent and persistent than was previously known. ... "

From CBS MarketWatch: 1:50 PM ET April 18, 2004
Rice: Terrorists may strike at U.S. vote
Result in Spain could prompt attacks, Bush advisor warns
WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- The United States is monitoring for possible terrorist attacks aimed at affecting the November presidential election, national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice said Sunday. "I think that we do have to take very seriously the thought that the terrorists might have learned, we hope, the wrong lesson from Spain," Rice told "Fox News Sunday." ...

By AFP at SpaceDaily: Nov 18, 2003
X-45A J-UCAS Begins Block 2 Flight Demonstrations
... The Boeing X-45A and the Northrop Grumman X-47A are tools for demonstrating the initial technical feasibility of the J-UCAS concept. Boeing and Northrop Grumman are now developing the next generation of vehicles (the X-45C and X-47B, respectively) to demonstrate the military utility and operational value of the J-UCAS concept.

From AP at Yahoo: Sun, Apr 18, 2004 8:27pm ET
Robot Plane Drops Bomb in Successful Test
LOS ANGELES - A robotic plane deliberately dropped a bomb near a truck at Edwards Air Force Base on Sunday, marking another step forward for technology the U.S. military hopes will one day replace human pilots on dangerous combat missions. Under human supervision but without human piloting, a prototype of the Boeing Co.'s X-45 took off from the desert base, opened its bomb bay doors, dropped a 250-pound Small Smart Bomb and then landed. ... The X-45A was preprogrammed with the target coordinates and used the satellite-based Global Positioning System to adjust its course. Horton, who was sitting 80 miles from the target, authorized the drone to drop the bomb, which was released from 35,000 feet as the plane flew at 442 mph. ... Boeing hopes to build hundreds of the X-45 planes, which would cost $10 million to $15 million each.

From the Associated Press at Yahoo: Mon Apr 19, 3:55 PM ET
Rantisi Killing Boosts Hamas' Popularity By Lara Sukhtian and Ibrahim Barzak
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas has become more secretive and strapped for cash, but also more popular as a result of Israel's attempt to crush the group, including the assassination of two leaders in a month. ...

From Reuters: Tue Apr 20, 2004 08:59 AM ET
Mubarak: Arabs Hate U.S. More Than Ever
PARIS (Reuters) - Arabs in the Middle East hate the United States more than ever following the invasion of Iraq and Israel's assassination of two Hamas leaders, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in comments published Tuesday. Mubarak, who visited the United States last week, told French newspaper Le Monde that Washington's actions had caused despair, frustration and a sense of injustice in the Arab world. "Today there is hatred of the Americans like never before in the region," he said in an interview given during a stay in France, where he met President Jacques Chirac Monday. ...

From AFP at SpaceWar: Apr 20, 2004
Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force
WASHINGTON (AFP) A senior Republican lawmaker said Tuesday that deteriorating security in Iraq may force the United States to reintroduce the military draft. "There's not an American ... that doesn't understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future," Senator Chuck Hagel told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-occupation Iraq. ...

At the Chicago Reader: April 23, 2004
9/11: He Saw It Coming By Michael Miner
"Paul Bremer ... the 9/11 commission should bring him in to testify. ... "We concluded that the general terrorist threat is increasing," Bremer said ... The Bush administration had been in power just about a month at this point, but Bremer had already seen enough to draw some conclusions about it. ... "The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh, my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this?' That's too bad. They've been given a window of opportunity with very little terrorism now, and they're not taking advantage of it. ... " ... "

From Slate: Friday, April 23, 2004, at 3:41 PM PT
Our Hidden WMD Program By Fred Kaplan
Why Bush is spending so much on nuclear weapons.
The budget is busted; American soldiers need more armor; they're running out of supplies. Yet the Department of Energy is spending an astonishing $6.5 billion on nuclear weapons this year, and President Bush is requesting $6.8 billion more for next year and a total of $30 billion over the following four years. This does not include his much-cherished missile-defense program, by the way. This is simply for the maintenance, modernization, development, and production of nuclear bombs and warheads. ...

Opinion at The Tehran Times: April 24, 2004
Again, Why George W. Bush Must be Tried as a War Criminal by Bob Fitrakis

From The NYT: April 26, 2004
Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam
LUTON, England, April 24 — The call to jihad is rising in the streets of Europe, and is being answered ... Hundreds of young Muslim men are answering the call of militant groups affiliated or aligned with Al Qaeda, intelligence and counterterrorism officials in the region say. ... "Iraq dramatically strengthened their recruitment efforts," one counterterrorism official said. ...

At The Independent: 26 April 2004
Lawyers try to gag FBI worker over 9/11 By Andrew Buncombe

From The Wilderness: April 26, 2004 1400 PDT
by Michael C. Ruppert
(FTW) -- FBI whistleblower and former translator Sibel Edmonds, who has appeared on 60 MINUTES and recently been interviewed in many of the largest newspapers in the world has something to say. We know already that Senator Charles Grassley has found her credible and that she has charged the government with lying for stating that it had no knowledge of the possibility that Al Qaeda might use hijacked airliners as weapons against buildings. She was placed under a gag order restricting her from speaking with the press about that knowledge by John Ashcroft in October of 2002 and she has pushed the envelope of that order in a multitude of recent interviews. The government has just moved to keep Edmonds from giving a deposition in response to a subpoena. So scared of what she might say is the Bush administration that the Department of Justice has moved to impose the rarely used “State Secrets” privilege to prevent Edmonds from giving a deposition in a 9/11-related lawsuit. ...

From The Associated Press at MSNBC: 12:57 p.m. ET April 27, 2004
U.S. confident in defense against North Korea missiles
WASHINGTON - The chief of the military’s missile defense programs said Tuesday he expects to be able to protect all of the United States from a North Korean attack by the end of 2004, but said failures in two upcoming tests could mean “big problems” for the controversial program. ...

From the Washington Post: Wednesday, April 28, 2004; Page A08
Bush, Cheney Prepare for 9/11 Questioning By Mike Allen and Dana Milbank
President Bush has met with White House aides and has been consulting with Vice President Cheney in preparation for Bush and Cheney's appearance before the Sept. 11 commission tomorrow morning, administration officials said yesterday. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush's aides have decided not to allow a recording or make a transcription of the appearance, in part because of the classified information that will be discussed. The 10-member commission will be allowed to have one staff member present to take notes. ... The great care being taken by the White House -- it has required that the two men appear jointly, in private, and not be under oath -- reflects the political and governmental significance of tomorrow's meeting. ...

From Newsweek at MSNBC: May 03, 2004 - May 10 issue
9/11 Commission: The Panel Tones It Down By Michael Isikoff
Fearing that their high-profile inquiry was being dragged into election-year politics, 9/11 commission chair Tom Kean and vice chair Lee Hamilton made powerful private pleas to fellow commissioners to tone down the rhetoric and avoid politically charged questioning ... Bush (who spent hours prepping for the session) gave a matter-of-fact account of his pre-9/11 actions, insisting there was little in the urgent intel warnings he got that summer pointing to an attack inside the United States. (Cheney got few questions—and volunteered little.) "I don't think there was a single moment of tension," Hamilton said. "We weren't there to challenge him or ask any contentious questions designed to contradict him." ... "We have to build a consensus," Hamilton said. ... The White House too now appears to want a strong, bipartisan report—apparently to use as leverage on Capitol Hill to push for controversial changes, such as the creation of some sort of domestic intelligence agency.

From The Washington Post at the Houston Chronicle: April 28, 2004, 9:55PM
ACLU reveals its lawsuit over Patriot Act provision By DAN EGGEN
WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union disclosed Wednesday that it filed a lawsuit three weeks ago challenging the FBI's methods of obtaining many business records, but the group was barred from revealing even the existence of the case until now. ... "It is remarkable that a gag provision in the Patriot Act kept the public in the dark about the mere fact that a constitutional challenge had been filed in court," said Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal director. "President Bush can talk about extending the life of the Patriot Act, but the ACLU is still gagged from discussing details of our challenge to it." ...

From The Los Angeles Times at the Houston Chronicle: May 2, 2004, 12:44AM
Secret searches rise across U.S. under Patriot Act
WASHINGTON -- Underscoring changes in domestic surveillance allowed under the USA Patriot Act, the Justice Department said in a report released today that it conducted hundreds more secret searches around the United States last year under foreign intelligence surveillance laws. The department said the use of covert search powers, which were enhanced under the Patriot Act, shows how federal investigators have stepped up the war against terrorism in the United States over the last 32 months. But civil liberties groups expressed concern over the increase because the targets of the searches are given fewer legal protections than suspects in normal criminal cases. The process of obtaining approval and executing the searches and surveillance also is shrouded in secrecy. ...

At Salon, excerpt from his new book: May 3, 2004
The cult that's running the country By Joseph Wilson

At The Washington Post: Thursday, May 6, 2004; 2:45 PM
FAA Managers Destroyed 9/11 Tapes By Sara Kehaulani Goo
Recordings Contained Accounts of Communications With Hijacked Planes
Six air traffic controllers provided accounts of their communications with hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, on a tape recording that was later destroyed by Federal Aviation Administration managers, according to a government investigative report issued today. It is unclear what information was on the tape because no one ever listened to, transcribed or duplicated it, the report by the Department of Transportation inspector general said. ... the second manager said he destroyed the tape between December 2001 and January 2002 by crushing the tape with his hand, cutting it into small pieces and depositing the pieces into trash cans around the building ...
At The NYT: May 6, 2004
F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Statements By Matthew L. Wald

From the Baltimore Chronicle&Sentinel: May 7, 2004
Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds Calls Current 9/11 Investigation Inadequate
by Jim Hogue
" ... there are certain instances where the Bureau is being asked by the State Department not to pursue certain investigations or certain people or certain targets of an investigation--simply citing "diplomatic relations." And what happens is, instead of targeting those people who are directly related to these illegal terrorist activities, they just let them walk free. .... to this day there has been no real investigation ... "

From Reuters at Yahoo: Fri May 7, 2004 11:33 AM ET
Senate Panel Clears $422.2 Billion Defense Bill By Vicki Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee approved a $422.2 billion bill authorizing next year's defense programs, up 3.4 percent or $21 billion from this year, the committee said on Friday. ... The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee also is working on its bill, and both the full Senate and House are expected to debate the measure later this month. The House bill is expected to call for increasing the Army by 30,000 troops and the Marines by 9,000 ...

At The NYT: May 8, 2004
Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S. By FOX BUTTERFIELD
Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates. ...

From the NYT at the Sydney Morning Herald: May 10, 2004
Battlefield space: out of the silo
It's not Star Wars, but a new anti-missile system has raised as bitter a debate, writes James Glanz.

From Reuters: Mon May 10, 2004 11:11 AM ET
Rumsfeld Criticized by Influential Military Paper By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The independent Army Times newspaper, read widely in the U.S. military, on Monday suggested Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon civilian and military leaders should be removed over the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal. "This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential -- even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war," the private weekly newspaper said in an editorial. ...

At Reuters: Mon May 10, 2004 12:26 PM ET
Bush Says U.S. Owes Rumsfeld 'Debt of Gratitude'

From TheStraitsTimes: May 10, 2004
Pull funds from US, Mahathir urges Arabs By Reme Ahmad
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's just-retired prime minister has not lost his taste for cooking up controversial views. Now Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is calling on Arabs and Muslims to withdraw their US-dollar deposits from the United States, and to use oil as a weapon against the world's only superpower. ...

From Reuters: Thu May 13, 2004 02:10 PM ET
U.S. Missile Shield Won't Work, Scientist Group Says By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The multibillion-dollar U.S. ballistic missile shield due to start operating by Sept. 30 appears incapable of shooting down any incoming warheads, an independent scientists' group said on Thursday. A technical analysis found "no basis for believing the system will have any capability to defend against a real attack," the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a 76-page report titled "Technical Realities." The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency rejected the report, whose authors included Philip Coyle, the Defense Department's top weapons tester under former President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2001. ...

At the Washington Post: Friday, May 14, 2004; Page A02
Book Details U.S. Protection Of Former Nazi Officials By Charles Lane
Declassified government documents shed new light on the secret protection and support given to former Nazi officials and Nazi collaborators by U.S. intelligence agencies in the years following World War II ... The book, "U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis" ... by historian Norman J.W. Goda ...

From The Observer: Sunday May 16, 2004
US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp by David Rose and Gaby Hinsliff
Senator urges action as Briton reveals Guantanamo abuse
Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp ...

From AP at Yahoo: Tue May 18, 8:44 PM ET
9/11 Panel Scolds Ex-Police, Fire Chiefs By DEVLIN BARRETT
NEW YORK - The former police and fire chiefs who were lionized after the World Trade Center attack came under harsh criticism Tuesday from the Sept. 11 commission, with one member saying the departments' lack of cooperation was scandalous and "not worthy of the Boy Scouts." ...

From The NYT: May 20, 2004
Material Given to Congress in 2002 Is Now Classified By ERIC LICHTBLAU
WASHINGTON, May 19 - The Justice Department has taken the unusual step of retroactively classifying information it gave to Congress nearly two years ago regarding a former F.B.I. translator who charged that the bureau had missed critical terrorist warnings, officials said Wednesday. Law enforcement officials say the secrecy surrounding the translator, Sibel Edmonds, is essential to protecting information that could reveal intelligence-gathering operations. ...

From AP at USATODAY: Posted 5/19/2004 5:36 PM Updated 5/19/2004 6:03 PM
U.N. Security Council calls on Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian homes
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With the United States abstaining, the U.N. Security Council Wednesday demanded that Israel halt the demolition of Palestinian homes and condemned the killing of Palestinian civilians near a Gaza refugee camp. The decision by the United States, Israel's closest ally, to allow the adoption of a critical resolution reflected the Bush administration's displeasure at Israel's foray into Gaza. The final vote was 14-0 with one abstention. ... The latest tragedy came Wednesday as Israel's military fired tank shells into a large crowd of Palestinian protesters, killing at least 10 people, most of them children and teenagers near the Rafah refugee camp. The Arab world and European leaders condemned the strike, while President Bush withheld immediate judgment. ...

From Reuters: Thu May 20, 2004 12:01 AM ET
Israel Defies World Outcry, Expands Gaza Offensive By Nidal al-Mughrabi
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - Israel defied international fury at the killing of nearly 40 Palestinians in the Rafah refugee camp, a militant stronghold, to expand its bloodiest Gaza Strip raid in years on Thursday. ... President Bush urged restraint from the Jewish state ... Troops pushed into the Rafah districts of Brazil and As-Salam, along the border with Egypt, where the army says it is hunting tunnels used by smugglers bringing weapons for a Palestinian revolt since 2000. ...

From AP at The Guardian: Friday May 21, 2004 9:01 PM (UK)
U.S.: Our Support for Israel Still Strong By BARRY SCHWEID
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration said Friday its support for Israel remains strong even though it did not veto a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned recent actions in Gaza by the Jewish state. ``I don't want to disappoint anybody,'' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. ``But I think it's clear that U.S. support for Israel is going to stay strong. We have always supported Israel strongly.'' ...

From Newsweek at MSNBC: 3:34 p.m. ET May 21, 2004
Double Standards? By Michael Isikoff
A Justice Department memo proposes that the United States hold others accountable for international laws on detainees—but that Washington did not have to follow them itself
May 21 - In a crucial memo written four months after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Justice Department lawyers advised that President George W. Bush and the U.S. military did not have to comply with any international laws in the handling of detainees in the war on terrorism. ...

At Reuters: Fri May 21, 2004 06:15 PM ET
U.S. Seeks UN Exemption from New International Court By Evelyn Leopold

At The Sydney Morning Herald: May 22, 2004
Bulldozers keep up demolition in Rafah By Ed O'Loughlin
Israeli bulldozers backed by tanks and helicopters continued to destroy roads, greenhouses and homes in Rafah yesterday despite reports that they were withdrawing after 41 people were killed in three days of fighting. ...

By Press Associates, Inc. at Workday Minnesota: May 23, 2004
Fire Fighters excluded from 9/11 testimony
NEW YORK — The independent commission probing the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington decided not to hear from the worker group that lost more lives than anyone else to the terrorists: The Fire Fighters. ...

From Arab News: 24 May 2004
Israeli Troops Attack UN Official by Hisham Abu Taha
JERUSALEM — Israeli troops raided the office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the West Bank town of Jenin and detained a UN official for three hours, an UNRWA statement said yesterday. According to the statement, Israeli troops broke into the UNRWA office for the Jenin Camp Reconstruction Project on May 20, and fired a shot in the direction of the senior project manager, Paul Wolstenholme. Soldiers then blindfolded, handcuffed and detained Wolstenholme for three hours and threatened him, the statement said. UNWRA pointed out that this was the second time Israeli troops forcefully entered the Jenin office. On Nov. 22, 2002, an Israeli soldier shot and killed Iain Hook, then the UNRWA project manager. ...

From AP at My Way News: May 24, 1:19 PM (ET)
Nuclear Experiment Planned in Nevada
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Government scientists plan to conduct an underground nuclear experiment Tuesday at the Nevada Test Site, the National Nuclear Security Administration said. The subcritical experiment, dubbed "Armando," will involve detonating high explosives around plutonium in a steel sphere while X-rays, radar and lasers chart the behavior of the radioactive element in a non-nuclear explosion. ... "Armando" is the 21st subcritical experiment at the test site, and the third in a series. Its predecessors, "Mario" and "Rocco," were conducted in August and September 2002. ... The experiments technically do not violate the treaty because no critical mass is formed and there is no full-scale nuclear explosion. ... The U.S. has observed a nuclear testing moratorium since 1992, but has not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The Bush administration and Congress last year reduced from three years to two years the time it would take to resume full-scale nuclear tests. The last subcritical experiment, "Piano," was conducted Sept. 19, 2003, by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

From AP at Excite: May 25, 10:05 PM (ET)
Report: al-Qaida Ranks Swelling Worldwide By BARRY RENFREW
LONDON (AP) - Far from being crippled by the U.S.-led war on terror, al-Qaida has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks, a report said Tuesday. Al-Qaida is probably working on plans for major attacks on the United States and Europe, and it may be seeking weapons of mass destruction in its desire to inflict as many casualties as possible, the International Institute of Strategic Studies said in its annual survey of world affairs. Osama bin Laden's network appears to be operating in more than 60 nations, often in concert with local allies, the study by the independent think tank said. Although about half of al-Qaida's top 30 leaders have been killed or captured, it has an effective leadership, with bin Laden apparently still playing a key role, it said. ...
From AP at Excite: May 25, 10:07 PM (ET)
AP: Terrorists Planning Summer Attack By CURT ANDERSON
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials have obtained new intelligence deemed highly credible indicating al-Qaida or other terrorists are in the United States and preparing to launch a major attack this summer, The Associated Press has learned. ...

From Reuters: Sat May 29, 2004 12:36 PM ET
Rumsfeld Says 'War on Terror' Just Beginning By Larry Fine
WEST POINT, New York (Reuters) - The United States' declared war on terror is closer to the beginning than the end, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told graduates of the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday. ...

From Haaretz: Mon., May 31, 2004 Sivan 11, 5764 Israel Time: 23:04 (GMT+3)
IDF razes 20 additional Palestinian homes in Rafah raid By Arnon Regular
Israel Defense Forces troops razed some 20 Palestinian houses adjacent to the Phildelphi route in the southern Gaza Strip in a pre-dawn raid along the Israeli-Egyptian border Sunday, Palestinian sources said. Residents of the demolished homes joined hundreds of other refugees living in makeshift tents, schools and mosques in Rafah in south Gaza. The IDF spokesman confirmed that it demolished some houses but refused to give details, saying only, "The IDF destroyed several houses in Rafah." ...
At Haaretz: Tue., June 01, 2004 Sivan 12, 5764 Israel Time: 03:07 (GMT+3)
Amnesty: Israel guilty of war crimes in Rafah home demolitions By Nathan Guttman

From CBS News: June 2, 2004 22:11:28
Bush, Atty Powwow Over CIA Leak
WASHINGTON, (CBS/AP) President Bush has consulted an outside lawyer in case he needs to retain him in the grand jury investigation of who leaked the name of a covert CIA operative last year, the White House said Wednesday. ...

At Capitol Hill Blue: Jun 3, 2004, 05:28
Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative's Name
Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert CIA operative's name to a journalist in an attempt to discredit her husband, a critic of administration policy in Iraq. ...

From Reuters: Thu Jun 3, 2004 12:02 PM ET
Tenet Resigns as Head of CIA By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CIA Director George Tenet, who presided over spectacular lapses in U.S. national security, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, has resigned and will leave in July, President Bush announced on Thursday. Tenet, who also faced fierce criticism over his agency's handling of Iraqi intelligence, including a now famous prediction that the case for war against Iraq was a "slam dunk," broke the news to Bush at the White House on Wednesday night. ... He (Bush) very quickly lauded Tenet for his seven-year tenure at the spy agency. ... Tenet will continue as CIA director until mid-July, when his deputy John McLaughlin will become acting director, Bush said. "He's done a superb job on behalf of the American people," Bush said. "And I will miss him."
At The NYT: June 4, 2004
Tenet Resigns as C.I.A. Director; 3 Harsh Reports on Agency Due

At Capitol Hill Blue: Jun 4, 2004, 06:15
Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides By Doug Thompson, Publisher

At FindLaw's: Friday, Jun. 04, 2004
The Serious Implications Of President Bush's Hiring A Personal Outside Counsel For The Valerie Plame Investigation By JOHN W. DEAN

From The L.A. Times at the Chicago Tribune at Yahoo: Sat Jun 5, 9:40 AM ET
FBI details new plan on intelligence By Richard B. Schmitt
The FBI pressed ahead Friday with plans to restructure its intelligence operations, even as the announced departure of CIA Director George Tenet stirred debate over the future shape of the nation's intelligence agencies. ... FBI officials said Tenet's resignation and the new proposal, unveiled by Mueller at a congressional hearing Thursday, were coincidental. "The proposal was not meant to blunt anything," Maureen Baginski, the FBI's executive assistant director in charge of intelligence, said at a briefing for reporters. "The proposal really is the next logical step in developing the program." Baginski--a former Russian teacher whom Mueller hired from the National Security Agency a year ago--stands as the presumed leader of the beefed-up intelligence organization, which would require congressional approval. Since joining the FBI, she has given the bureau a crash course in how to build an intelligence apparatus. ... She also is overseeing the hiring of hundreds of new intelligence analysts to assess threats and is helping develop a career track for analysts to raise their profile compared with the bureau's better-known corps of special agents. ...

At The BBC: Monday, 7 June, 2004, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
US 'not bound by torture laws'
A Pentagon report last year argued that President George W Bush was not bound by laws banning the use of torture, according to the Wall Street Journal. The document also argued that torturers acting under presidential orders could not be prosecuted, the paper said. The report was written by military and civilian lawyers for US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. ...

At Reuters: Mon Jun 7, 2004 10:38 AM ET
Experts: Americans Would Trade Rights for Security By Ellen Wulfhorst

Interview at Monday Morning: Issue No.1641 Monday, June 07, 2004
Boutros Boutros-Ghali: ‘Israel, American aircraft carrier in the heart of the Middle East’

At Capitol Hill Blue: Jun 8, 2004, 08:19
How Big Brother Is Watching, Listening and Misusing Information About You

At The Washington Post: Wednesday, June 9, 2004; Page A01
Ashcroft Refuses to Release '02 Memo By Susan Schmidt
Document Details Suffering Allowed In Interrogations
Opinion at The Washington Post: Wednesday, June 9, 2004; Page A20
Legalizing Torture

From The Associated Press at ABC News: June 9, 2004
AP: 9/11 Panel's Report Slams FBI, CIA
Sept. 11 Commission's Final Report Sharply Criticizes FBI, Intelligence Agencies
WASHINGTON — Hoping to avoid partisan attacks, the Sept. 11 commission has drafted a final report that avoids placing blame on individuals in the Bush or Clinton administrations but sharply criticizes the FBI and intelligence agencies for missteps prior to the catastrophe. ... A separate section detailing the panel's recommendations remains under intense review, with no agreement yet on the widespread measures needed to shore up the communications breakdowns that allowed the hijackers to succeed, the commissioners said. ... Among the ideas under consideration is a domestic intelligence agency modeled after Britain's MI5. ... The bipartisan panel's final report is due July 26. ... The commissioners who spoke to the AP said the panel wants to avoid blaming individuals to avert charges of partisanship that could undermine their work. ... "The restrictions on the FBI after Watergate prohibiting them from modernizing and computerizing their data systems (and) from keeping track of watchlists and investigations" were among the biggest obstacles to terror prevention, Lehman said. "It made it impossible for the FBI to share information even within the bureau." ... Other sections of the final report will detail the CIA's missteps, including a failure to recognize the threat posed by al-Qaida and an overreliance on suspect sources for information. The commission has attributed the problems in part to the loose-knit nature of the intelligence community, which didn't always cooperate because CIA Director George Tenet lacked adequate authority.

From AP at CNews: June 9, 2004
Global military spending soars: peace group By MATT MOORE
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - World military spending surged during 2003, reaching $956 billion US, nearly half of it by the United States as it paid for missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror, a prominent European think tank said Wednesday. The money has been effective in waging war, but threats of terror and weapons of mass destruction still exist, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Military spending rose by 11 per cent, which the group called a "remarkable increase." The amount was up 18 per cent from 2001. ...

At the Center For Constitutional Rights: June 11, 2004
Working Group Report on Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism: Assessment of Legal, Historical, Policy, and Operational Considerations - 6 March 2003
Also: HTML version at Findlaw

From USA TODAY: Posted 6/10/2004 10:38 PM Updated 6/11/2004 7:56 AM
Document warns Guantanamo employees not to talk By Toni Locy
WASHINGTON — Military and civilian employees at the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were warned recently not to talk with attorneys who represent detainees held there, according to a document prepared by the legal office of the Army-led task force that runs the facility. The document, obtained by USA TODAY, says that soldiers and interrogators are not required to give defense attorneys statements about the "personal treatment of detainees" or any "failure to report actions of others." It also says that refusing to cooperate with defense attorneys "will not impact your career." The warning — titled "Interaction with Defense Counsel" — has surfaced at a time when the treatment of the nearly 600 detainees at Guantanamo is under scrutiny because of the abuse and sexual humiliation of Iraqis in U.S. custody at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, former commander at Guantanamo, went to Iraq last year to share interrogation techniques used in Cuba. ...

From The Washington Post: Friday, June 11, 2004; Page A06
Bush: U.S. Expected to Follow Law On Prisoners By Dana Milbank and Dana Priest
President Is Pressed On Interrogations Memo
SAVANNAH, Ga., June 10 -- President Bush said Thursday that he expects U.S. authorities to follow the law when interrogating prisoners abroad, but he declined to say whether he believes torture is permitted under the law. ... An Aug. 1, 2002, Justice Department memo from the Office of Legal Counsel to White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, says torturing suspected al Qaeda members abroad "may be justified" and that international laws against torture "may be unconstitutional." The Defense Department used the Justice memo in crafting a similar March 2003 memo. ...
Also at The Washington Post: Friday, Jun 11, 2004; 10:17 AM
White House Briefing A Tortured Non-Denial, By Dan Froomkin

At The Washington Post: Sunday, June 13, 2004; 6:30 PM
Justice Dept. Memo Says Torture 'May Be Justified' By Dana Priest
Aug. 1, 2002, memorandum (pdf)

Opinion at The NYT: June 15, 2004
Travesty of Justice By PAUL KRUGMAN
No question: John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in history. ...

At Centre for Research on Globalisation: 15 June 2004
The 9/11 Cover-up Commission, by Joyce Lynn

From The NYT: June 16, 2004
Panel Investigating 9/11 Attacks Cites Confusion in Air Defense By PHILIP SHENON
WASHINGTON, June 15 - The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks has found that the Pentagon's domestic air-defense command was disastrously unprepared for a major terrorist strike on American soil and was slow and confused in its response to the hijackings that morning, according to officials who have read a draft report of the commission's findings. The officials said the draft had been circulated in recent days among commission members and at the Pentagon in preparation for public release of the report at a hearing on Thursday. ... the report finds an emergency order from Vice President Dick Cheney authorizing the hijacked planes to be shot down did not reach pilots until the last of the four commandeered jetliners had crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania, after a struggle between terrorists and passengers aboard that plane. ... Commission officials said that Norad and the F.A.A. believed that elements of the criticism in the draft report were wrong or exaggerated, and that they were pressing for last-minute corrections. ... The commission's public hearings this week - Wednesday on Al Qaeda and the development of the Sept. 11 plot, Thursday on the chronology of that morning and how Norad, the F.A.A. and other agencies responded to the attacks - are the last the panel is scheduled to hold before it delivers a final, all-encompassing report late next month. ...

From Reuters at The New Zealand Herald: 16.06.2004 1.00pm
US Senate backs Bush on new nuclear weapons
WASHINGTON - The United States Senate on Tuesday backed the Bush administration's plan to study a new generation of low-yield and earth-penetrating nuclear weapons, rejecting concerns that the research could spur an arms race. ... The vote came as the Senate debated a bill to authorise US$422 billion in defence programmes for next year and an additional US$25 billion to fund operations in Iraq. The version of the bill the House of Representatives passed last month contained the weapons research money. ...

At The Christian Science Monitor: from the June 16, 2004 edition
Back to the future: new US-Russia arms race By Scott Peterson

From Reuters: Thu Jun 17, 2004 03:34 PM ET
Report Says U.S. Has 'Secret' Detention Centers By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is holding terrorism suspects in more than two dozen detention centers worldwide and about half of these operate in total secrecy, said a human rights report released on Thursday. Human Rights First, formerly known as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, said in a report that secrecy surrounding these facilities made "inappropriate detention and abuse not only likely but inevitable." ...

From The Guardian: Saturday June 19, 2004
Bush told he is playing into Bin Laden's hands By Julian Borger in Washington
Al-Qaida may 'reward' American president with strike aimed at keeping him in office, senior intelligence man says
A senior US intelligence official is about to publish a bitter condemnation of America's counter-terrorism policy, arguing that the west is losing the war against al-Qaida and that an "avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked" war in Iraq has played into Osama bin Laden's hands. Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, due out next month, dismisses two of the most frequent boasts of the Bush administration: that Bin Laden and al-Qaida are "on the run" and that the Iraq invasion has made America safer. In an interview with the Guardian the official, who writes as "Anonymous", described al-Qaida as a much more proficient and focused organisation than it was in 2001, and predicted that it would "inevitably" acquire weapons of mass destruction and try to use them. He said Bin Laden was probably "comfortable" commanding his organisation from the mountainous tribal lands along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. ... He believes President Pervez Musharraf cannot advance much further into the tribal areas without endangering his rule by provoking a Pashtun revolt. "He walks a very fine line," he said yesterday. ... Anonymous, who published an analysis of al-Qaida last year called Through Our Enemies' Eyes, thinks it quite possible that another devastating strike against the US could come during the election campaign, not with the intention of changing the administration, as was the case in the Madrid bombing, but of keeping the same one in place. "I'm very sure they can't have a better administration for them than the one they have now," he said. "One way to keep the Republicans in power is to mount an attack that would rally the country around the president." ...

From The Associated Press at ABC News: June 21, 2004
9/11 Panel: U.S. Must Centralize Agencies
WASHINGTON — A member of the Sept. 11 commission predicts the panel will support centralization of the nation's intelligence agencies as the only way to prevent future terrorist attacks. ...

At June 21, 2004
9/11 communication failures still baffle FAA, Defense officials By Chris Strohm

Commentary at From The Wilderness: JUNE 21, 2004: 11:00 PDT
Peak Oil Revisited – The Bill Collector Calls by Michael C. Ruppert

From Reuters: Tue Jun 22, 2004 07:33 PM ET
U.S. Doubles Its Count of 2003 Terrorism Casualties By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration on Tuesday more than doubled its count of people killed and injured by international terrorism in 2003 as it revised a faulty report used to argue it was winning the war on terror. The administration said international terrorism killed 625 people last year, up from the 307 it reported on April 29 but below 2002's 725 fatalities. It found 3,646 were wounded last year, above the 1,593 initially cited and the 2,013 in 2002. The errors in the State Department's "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report embarrassed the administration and dented its claim to be prevailing in the war on terrorism, a key part of President Bush's re-election strategy. ...

From AP at My Way News: Jun 22, 10:11 PM (ET)
Bush Claimed Right to Waive Torture Laws By TERENCE HUNT
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush claimed the right to waive anti-torture laws and treaties covering prisoners of war after the invasion of Afghanistan, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized guards to strip detainees and threaten them with dogs, according to documents released Tuesday. ... "I have never ordered torture," Bush said. ... Bush had outlined his own views in a Feb. 7. 2002, document regarding treatment of al-Qaida detainees from Afghanistan. ... "I accept the legal conclusion of the attorney general and the Department of Justice that I have the authority under the Constitution to suspend Geneva as between the United States and Afghanistan, but I decline to exercise that authority at this time," the president said in the memo, entitled "Humane Treatment of al-Qaida and Taliban Detainees." ...

At ABC News: June 23 , 2004
Anonymous and Angry By Jake Tapper
Unnamed CIA Official Takes Aim at Bush’s War on Terror
A new book written by a senior CIA official using the pseudonym "Anonymous" offers a scathing indictment of how the United States is fighting the war on terror. ... the book, Imperial Hubris ... "I wrote it because I think America is in trouble," he said. "We have not yet appreciated the dimensions of the problem or the size of the problem." He also slams the war in Iraq, calling it "an avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat." "Anonymous" was formerly in charge of the CIA's efforts to track down Osama bin Laden. ...

From NBC News at MSNBC: 9:03 a.m. ET June 24, 2004
CIA insider says U.S. fighting wrong war By Andrea Mitchell
Anonymous career officer makes bold claims in book about U.S. war on terror
A career CIA officer claims in a new book that America is losing the war on terror, in part because of the invasion of Iraq, which, he says, distracted the United States from the war against terrorism and further fueled al-Qaida’s struggle against the United States. The author, who writes as “Anonymous,” is a 22-year veteran of the CIA and still works for the intelligence agency, which allowed him to publish the book after reviewing it for classified information. ... The real enemy, he asserts, is the radical form of Islam that bin Laden and his followers espouse. And he calls for escalating the level of violence in the war against al-Qaida.
Anonymous: " ... I think we are, for various reasons, loath to talk about the role of religion in this war. ... "
Mitchell: "You call for some very tough actions here. You talk about escalating our war against them, and you say in your book that killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes. This killing must be a Sherman-like razing of infrastructure. You talk about civilian deaths. You talk about landmines. Is that really what we have come to in this war on terror?"
Anonymous: "I think we've come to the place where the military is about our only option. We have not really discussed the idea of why we're at war with what I think is an increasing number of Muslims. ... And quite frankly, in Iraq and in Afghanistan we've applied that military force with a certain daintiness that has not served our interests well." ...

Commentary at Foreign Policy In Focus: June 25, 2004
Congress Overwhelmingly Endorses Ariel Sharon's Annexation Plans By Stephen Zunes
On Wednesday, June 23, 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, endorsed right-wing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s efforts to colonize and annex large sections of the Palestinian West Bank, seized by Israel in the June 1967 war. ...

At ThoughtCrime News: 29th June 2004
The New Pearl Harbor, Interview With Michael Meacher, MP (audio)
also at:
The New Pearl Harbor, Interview with David Ray Griffin (audio)

Commentary at Buzzflash: June 29, 2004
The Founding Fathers Meet George Bush by Maureen Farrell

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