Archived News Articles: NMD and Global Policy - 3rd Qtr. 2004
Commentary at The Houston Chronicle: July 2, 2004, 10:05PM
Where the war really is 'about oil' By PAUL ROBERTS
From Reuters at Lycos: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 5:42 a.m. ET
ElBaradei Seeks to Press Israel on Nuclear Issues By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - U.N. nuclear watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei hopes to get Israel to begin talks on ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons, whether it admits to having them or not, when he flies to the Jewish state on Tuesday. Under its policy of "strategic ambiguity," Israel neither admits nor denies having nuclear weapons. But international experts believe Israel has from 100 to 200 warheads based on estimates of the amount of plutonium its reactors have produced. ElBaradei had wanted to get the Israelis to abandon their ambiguity policy, Western diplomats said, but Israel has made clear this was impossible at present. "There are no signs of a policy change in Israel," said a diplomat close to the International Atomic Energy Agency. ... Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This means it is not obliged to show or declare its nuclear facilities or activities to U.N. inspectors. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Jul 06, 2004
Australia to sign missile defence deal with US
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill will be in Washington on Wednesday to sign an agreement with the United States to help develop a controversial missile defence shield. ...
From NBC, MSNBC and news services at MSNBC: 2:04 p.m. ET July 08, 2004
Ridge warns of higher terror risk before election
Reports say al-Qaida aims to disrupt vote, he says
WASHINGTON - There is an increased risk of a large-scale terrorist attack against the United States by al-Qaida prior to the Nov. 2 election “in an effort to disrupt our democratic process,” Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Thursday, citing “credible” but non-specific intelligence. ... Despite the new information, the government is not raising its color-coded terror alert status because of the lack of specificity about possible targets, he said ...
At The NYT: July 9, 2004
Bin Laden Is Said to Be Organizing for a U.S. Attack
By David Johnston and David Stout
WASHINGTON, July 8 - Osama bin Laden and his chief lieutenants, operating from hideouts suspected to be along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, are directing a Qaeda effort to launch an attack in the United States sometime this year, senior Bush administration officials said on Thursday. ...
Commentary at AntiWar: July 9, 2004
Our Broken System by Sibel Edmonds
From The Guardian: Friday July 9, 2004
Sharon tells UN he wants a Middle East free of nuclear arms By Chris McGreal
Israel and the UN's nuclear watchdog reached a public understanding yesterday with Ariel Sharon committing himself to the vision of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. ...
Mr ElBaradei set aside attempts to get Israel to abandon its policy of refusing to admit it has nuclear weapons, in favour of persuading it to open up its nuclear reactors to UN inspection. ... But, as expected, Israel said it would not sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty or permit UN oversight. For his part, Mr Sharon pressed the IAEA chief for stronger action over Iran's suspected efforts to produce enriched uranium. ...
From The Guardian: Friday July 9, 2004
International court rules against Israel's wall By Matthew Taylor
Palestinian leaders today said they would seek UN sanctions against Israel after the international court of justice ruled that the barrier being built around the West Bank was illegal and should be pulled down. Announcing its findings, the court said the "security wall" infringed the rights of Palestinians, adding that Israel should pay compensation for the damage it had caused. ... Reading the ruling, Judge Shi Jiuyong said that 14 out of the 15 judges had agreed the barrier was illegal, and called on the UN to take action to stop further building work on it. ... However, Israeli officials insisted they would not accept the court's ruling, saying the barrier provided a vital security bulwark against Palestinian suicide bombers. ... The Israeli position was supported by the US administration, which argued that the international court of justice was not the right place in which to address the issue. ... Although the court's opinion is only advisory, today's ruling will increase international pressure on Israel, and was branded "historic" by Palestine. ...
From Reuters: Sat Jul 10, 2004 05:23 AM ET
Israel Asks U.S. for Support at U.N. Over Barrier By Megan Goldin
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel has asked Washington to intervene to prevent any United Nations Security Council resolution after the U.N.'s highest court ruled its West Bank barrier illegal, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said on Saturday. ...
From AP at Yahoo: Sat Jul 10, 6:36 AM ET
U.S. Firm Supplied Nuclear Black Market By GEORGE JAHN
VIENNA, Austria - An investigation of the black market supplying nations wanting nuclear arms has spread to more than 20 firms — some of them North American — the chief of the U.N. atomic agency told The Associated Press Friday. A senior diplomat identified one of the firms as U.S. based. ...
From The NYT: July 11, 2004
A Secret Conference Thought to Rule the World
By Alan Cowell and David M. Halbfinger
SINCE its first meeting 50 years ago, the Bilderberg conference, a secretive gathering of global power brokers, has inspired layer upon layer of conspiracy theories, which it has done little to dispute. Over the years, the deeds laid at the conference's devious door have included the creation of the European Union, the invasion of Iraq and the bombing of Serbia - all to service its most cherished goal: the creation of a world government.
The conspiracy theories bubbled to the surface anew last week, after it was reported that a well-received speech by Senator John Edwards at the conference last month in Stresa, Italy, was one reason for his selection as John Kerry's vice-presidential running mate. Is the Bilderberg confab now molding domestic American policy?
From The Guardian: Tuesday July 13, 2004
US in talks over biggest missile defence site in Europe By Ian Traynor in Warsaw
The US administration is negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic over its controversial missile defence programme, with a view to positioning the biggest missile defence site outside the US in central Europe. ...
From Reuters: Tue Jul 13, 2004 08:39 PM ET
CIA's Acting Chief Says Threat Highest Since 9/11 By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The terrorist threat against the United States in the run-up to the November election is as serious as at any time since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, acting CIA Director John McLaughlin said on Tuesday. ...
At Centre for Research on Globalisation: 13 July 2004
Coup d'Etat in America? by Michel Chossudovsky
From The Associated Press at MLive: 7/14/04 4:12 AM
U.S. opposes Palestinian resolution demanding Israel accept world court ruling on West Bank barrier By EDITH M. LEDERER
From AP at CBC News: 04:46 PM EDT Jul 16
U.S. House wants aid cut to countries that hand Americans to war crime courts
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. economic aid could only flow to countries that have agreed not to surrender Americans to a world court for prosecution of war crimes, under a measure the U.S. House of Representatives approved Thursday. The 241-166 vote by the Republican-controlled chamber expanded the current prohibition on military aid to such countries. The target of the amendment was the International Criminal Court, which began operating last year in The Hague, Netherlands. It is a permanent court that is supposed to enter cases involving genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity when the countries involved cannot work out a solution on their own. ...
The provision was added to a $19.4-billion foreign aid bill. ... About 90 countries have signed agreements with the United States, pledging they will not surrender Americans to the court. ... Ninety-four countries have ratified the treaty that created the court, including Canada and all members of the European Union. The court has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in any country that has joined the court. The United States, Russia, China, Israel, Iraq and many Arab countries have not joined. ...
From Inter Press Service News: Jul 16, 2004
Bush Extends Jihad Against UNFPA By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON (IPS) - In what critics are calling its latest slap at women and multilateralism, the administration of U.S. President George W Bush announced Friday that the 34 million dollars Congress had earmarked for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) will be used for other purposes. The decision, which marks the third year in a row the administration has withheld congressionally appropriated funding to UNFPA, was not unexpected, particularly given the administration's efforts to fire up its Christian-right-wing base in advance of November's presidential election. ...
From Reuters: Tue Jul 20, 2004 07:42 PM ET
UN Assembly Tells Israel to Tear Down Barrier By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to demand that Israel obey a World Court ruling and tear down its West Bank barrier. The vote in the 191-nation assembly was 150-6, with 10 abstentions. All 25 European Union countries voted in support of the Palestinian-drafted measure after its Arab sponsors approved a series of amendments proposed by the EU bloc over days of intense negotiations. However, the United States, Israel's closest ally, voted "no" after U.S. Deputy Ambassador James Cunningham warned that the resolution was unbalanced and could further undermine the goal of a Middle East in which Israeli and Palestinian states live side by side in peace. ... Israeli also voted 'No' and denounced the vote. ...
From Reuters: Tue Jul 20, 2004 08:32 PM ET
Bush Says: 'I Want to Be the Peace President' By Adam Entous
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Reuters) - After launching two wars, President Bush said on Tuesday he wanted to be a "peace president" and took swipes at his Democratic rivals for being lawyers and weak on defense. ... But a few hours later, at an evening rally in St. Charles, Missouri, Bush warned "the world will drift toward tragedy" if America shows "weakness." ...
Commentary at The Guardian: Thursday July 22, 2004
The Pakistan connection By Michael Meacher
There is evidence of foreign intelligence backing for the 9/11 hijackers.
Why is the US government so keen to cover it up?
From Reuters UK: Thu 22 July, 2004 15:37
9/11 panel points to Bush and Clinton failings By Alan Elsner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. leaders and intelligence agencies have failed for many years to grasp the gravity of the threat posed by radical Islamists and suffered from a collective "failure of imagination," the commission investigating the September 11 attacks said in its final report. The report issued by the 10-member commission on Thursday pointed to "deep institutional failings" and missed opportunities by both the Bush and Clinton administrations to thwart the hijackings carried out by al Qaeda operatives which killed almost 3,000 people in 2001. The commission recommended appointment of a national intelligence director and creation of a national counter-terrorism centre to better coordinate and share information about future terrorist threats. ...
From AP at The Chicago Sun-Times: July 22, 2004
9/11 panel faults 'failure of imagination' BY HOPE YEN
WASHINGTON-- The United States government could not protect its citizens from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because it failed to appreciate the threat posed by al-Qaida operatives who exploited those lapses to carry out the deadliest assault ever on American soil, the chairman of the Sept. 11 commission said Thursday. ... While faulting institutional shortcomings, the bipartisan report does not blame President Bush or former President Clinton for mistakes contributing to the 2001 terrorist attack, Bush administration officials familiar with the findings said. ... "Had we had any inkling whatsoever that terrorists were about to attack our country, we would have moved heaven and earth to protect America," Bush said. "I'm confident President Clinton would have done the same thing. Any president would." ...
At MSNBC: 1:18 p.m. ET July 22, 2004
Report slams 'deep' failings in government
Sept. 11 panel recommends intelligence czar
The 9/11 Commission Report also: http://www.9-11commission.gov/
From Reuters: Thu Jul 22, 2004 06:21 PM ET
CIA Rebuffs 9/11 Commission Criticism By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA defended itself against criticism in the Sept. 11 commission report released on Thursday and said it had repeatedly warned of the possibility of terrorists using hijacked planes before the 2001 attacks. ...
From Reuters: Thu Jul 22, 2004 08:05 PM ET
Bush Seeks to Limit Political Damage from Report By Steve Holland
GLENVIEW, Ill. (Reuters) - President Bush said on Thursday that many of the failings in U.S. defenses identified by the Sept. 11 commission developed before he took office in 2001 as he sought to limit the political damage from the report. ...
Commentary from Slate at MSN: Thursday, July 22, 2004, at 3:56 PM PT
Show Me the Money By Fred Kaplan
The 9/11 commission's report is superb, but will it change anything?
The biggest puzzle about the 9/11 commission's report is why Thomas Kean, the panel's chairman, said at the start of his press conference this morning that the U.S. government's failure to stop the attack on the World Trade Center was, "above all, a failure of imagination." It was a strange comment because the actual report—a superb, if somewhat dry, piece of work—says nothing of the sort.[*] The failure was not one of imagination but rather of incentives. It turns out that many individuals, panels, and agencies had predicted an attack uncannily similar to what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. The problem was that nobody in a position of power felt compelled to do anything about it. ... Sometimes the problem isn't so much budgets or bureaucracy as sheer bungling. The report tells us that, from Jan. 20 through Sept. 10, 2001, the CIA gave George W. Bush over 40 President's Daily Briefs that mentioned the growing threat from Bin Laden. The report also reveals that, after the famous Aug. 6 PDB, the National Security Council held no meetings about terrorism. Nor was the commission able to find any indication, between Aug. 6 and Sept. 11, of any discussion between Bush and his top advisers about the possibility of an al-Qaida attack in the United States. ...
[*Note: Quote from the report, chap. 11 "Foresight - and Hindsight":
"We believe the 9/11 attacks revealed four kinds of failures: in imagination, policy, capabilities, and management."]
From The Alex Jones Show at Alex Jones' Prison Planet: July 22 2004
Ministry of Truth at Work Again: 9/11 Whitewash Commission attempts to spin Bin Laden family exodus down the memory hole
At The Washington Post: Thursday, July 22, 2004; Page A01
War Funds Dwindling, GAO Warns By Jonathan Weisman
Pentagon Needs Billions More This Year in Iraq, Afghanistan
From AP at Pioneer Press: Thu, Jul. 22, 2004
Alaska Interceptor First in Defense System By RACHEL D'ORO
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A ground-based missile interceptor was installed Thursday in Alaska's Interior - the first component of a national defense system designed to shoot down enemy missiles. Crews at Fort Greely lowered the 55-foot-long, three-stage interceptor into one of six silos built behind a double perimeter fence reinforced by heavy barbed wire. ... Congress has appropriated more than $10 billion for the missile defense system for the next fiscal year, and Missile Defense Agency estimates for 2004-2009 run as high as $53 billion. ... A group of independent economists estimates the entire system could cost as much as $1.2 trillion ...
From AP at CBS News: July 23, 2004
Congress OKs $417B For Defense
WASHINGTON - (CBS/AP) Congress used overwhelming votes to ship President Bush a $417.5 billion measure for defense in a day that highlighted lawmakers' bipartisan approach to the military — and their divisions over many domestic programs. The Senate approved the Pentagon spending bill 96-0 and the House followed suit by 410-12. The legislation included $25 billion for the next few months of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and a 7 percent boost for other defense programs. ... The bill is the first of the 13 annual spending bills for the government's next budget year — which starts Oct. 1 — to clear the Republican-led Congress. Lawmakers were eager to pass it before going into their six-week recess, which began Friday. ...
Editorial at WSWS.org: 24 July 2004
What the 9/11 commission report ignores: the CIA-Al Qaeda connection
From The Washington Post: Tuesday, July 27, 2004; 1:53 PM
Kerry Calls for 9/11 Commission to Extend Its Work
By William Branigin and Michael D. Shear
BOSTON, July 27 -- Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry called Tuesday for extending the mandate of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying it should keep working for an additional 18 months to help ensure that its recommendations are implemented. Speaking at a campaign stop in Norfolk, Va., the four-term senator from Massachusetts said, "Now that the 9/11 commission has done its job, we need to do our job. . . . Leadership requires that we act now." ... "Backpedaling and going slow is something that America can't afford," Kerry said. He said the commission's report cannot be treated "as something that you hope will go away . . . because this threat won't go away." If he had been president last week, Kerry said, "I would have immediately said to the commission, yes, we're going to implement those recommendations, and we want you to stay on the job at least another 18 months to help make sure we do the job." ...
From Capitol Hill Blue: Jul 28, 2004, 08:09
Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior By TERESA HAMPTON
President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned. ...
At CNN: July 28, 2004: 8:34 AM EDT
CEO pay hikes double
Corporate Library survey finds median raise for S&P 500 CEO was 22.18% in 2003.
... It said four S&P 500 companies -- Apple Computer .., Oracle .., Yahoo! .. and Colgate-Palmolive .., upped their CEO pay by well over 1,000 percent. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Jul 28, 2004
Boeing Swings Back To Profit As Defense Orders Surge
Chicago IL (AFP) - Boeing said Wednesday it swung back to the profit column with net earnings of 607 million dollars in the second quarter, compared with a 192-million-dollar loss a year ago, on a rise in defense contract revenues. ...
From The Financial Times: July 28 2004 20:12 UK
Oil price at 21-year record as fears grow
By Carola Hoyos and Kevin Morrison in London and Arkady Ostrovsky in Moscow
Oil prices hit 21-year highs on Wednesday as fears grew about interruptions to world oil supply. The sharp increase came as Yukos, one of Russia's biggest oil companies, threatened to halt production and concerns grew over whether the world's limited spare oil capacity would be able to satisfy growing demand in a tight market. ...
From The NYT: July 29, 2004
I.R.S. Says Americans' Income Shrank for 2 Consecutive Years By David Cay Johnston
The overall income Americans reported to the government shrank for two consecutive years after the Internet stock market bubble burst in 2000, the first time that has effectively happened since the modern tax system was introduced during World War II, newly disclosed information from the Internal Revenue Service shows. The total adjusted gross income on tax returns fell 5.1 percent, to just over $6 trillion in 2002, the most recent year for which data is available, from $6.35 trillion in 2000. Because of population growth, average incomes declined even more, by 5.7 percent. Adjusted for inflation, the income of all Americans fell 9.2 percent from 2000 to 2002, according to the new I.R.S. data. ... The unprecedented back-to-back declines in reported incomes was caused primarily by the combination of the big fall in the stock market and the erosion of jobs and wages in well-paying industries in the early years of the decade. ... Before the recent drop, the last time reported incomes fell for even one year was in 1953. ...
From Reuters: Thu Jul 29, 2004 01:50 PM ET
Unhappy Workers Should Take Prozac --Bush Campaigner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A campaign worker for President Bush said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better. ...
From AFP at The Age: July 25, 2004
Israel plant a second Chernobyl: Vanunu
Israel's nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has warned that the Middle East is at risk of a "second Chernobyl" in the event of an accident at the Jewish state's aged Dimona plant, a newspaper reported. ...
From Reuters: Thu Jul 29, 2004 02:16 PM ET
Israel's Sharon Ties Disarming WMDs to Mideast Peace By Matt Spetalnick
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday Israel would only reconsider the need for its "deterrent capability" when there is peace across the Middle East and its neighbors abandon weapons of mass destruction. The Jewish state refuses to admit or deny it has nuclear weapons under a policy of "strategic ambiguity," but international experts estimate it has an arsenal of 100 to 200 warheads, making it one of the biggest atomic powers. ... "It could be that one day when we arrive at a comprehensive peace and everyone disarms completely, we will also be ready to consider taking steps," Sharon told a meeting of his right-wing Likud party in Tel Aviv. But he said Israel still faced an "existential danger" from numerically superior regional enemies and that the United States, its main ally, had made clear the Jewish state "is not to be touched when it comes to its deterrent capability." ... Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the U.N. watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, said Sharon told him during a visit to Israel this month he could discuss ridding the region of nuclear arms but only as part of a broader peace process in the future. ...
From The Washington Post: Saturday, July 31, 2004; Page A01
U.S. Shifts Stance on Nuclear Treaty By Dafna Linzer
White House Resists Inspection Provision
In a significant shift in U.S. policy, the Bush administration announced this week that it will oppose provisions for inspections and verification as part of an international treaty that would ban production of nuclear weapons materials. For several years the United States and other nations have pursued the treaty, which would ban new production by any state of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons. At an arms-control meeting this week in Geneva, the Bush administration told other nations it still supported a treaty, but not verification. Administration officials, who have showed skepticism in the past about the effectiveness of international weapons inspections, said they made the decision after concluding that such a system would cost too much, would require overly intrusive inspections and would not guarantee compliance with the treaty. They declined, however, to explain in detail how they believed U.S. security would be harmed by creating a plan to monitor the treaty. ...
The U.N. Conference on Disarmament includes 66 countries as members. It had announced its intent to start negotiations this year toward a verifiable international agreement known as the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) that would ban production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons. ...
On Thursday, Jackie Wolcott Sanders, the U.S. representative, said the United States would support the treaty, but without a way to verify compliance. The State Department later released a statement saying that an internal review had concluded that an inspection regime "would have been so extensive that it could compromise key signatories' core national security interests and so costly that many countries will be hesitant to accept it." Furthermore, "even with extensive verification measures, we will not have high confidence in our ability to monitor compliance with an FMCT." Bush administration officials would not elaborate on the statement or on the U.S. position, except to say they would send a delegation to Geneva to better explain the position to the conference. But the conference goes on recess in early September, leaving virtually no time to begin formal negotiations on the treaty before the end of the current presidential term. Since the disarmament conference can adopt a treaty only by consensus, the American position makes it highly unlikely that a verification system will be included in a future agreement. ...
While declaring nonproliferation a priority, however, the administration has opposed other arms-control treaties that rely on inspection regimes. In 2001, the administration opposed attempts to create an inspections regime for the Biological Weapons Convention. It has signed an arms-reduction deal with Russia that doesn't include new verification mechanisms, and in its first year in office, the administration pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
Commentary at ConsortiumNews: July 31, 2004
Bush's 'Broken Toys' By Robert Parry
The key institutions that are intended to supply the U.S. government and the American people with accurate information – the intelligence community and the news media – have become "broken toys" largely incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities, a predicament that has worsened during the Presidency of George W. Bush. ...
From The NYT: July 31, 2004
U.S. Will Cut Farm Subsidies in Trade Deal By ELIZABETH BECKER
GENEVA, July 30 - The United States yielded to pressure from developing countries on Friday and agreed to make a 20 percent cut in some of the $19 billion in subsidies it pays to American farmers each year, as members of the World Trade Organization met round the clock here to win approval for a new deal governing world trade. Working until 4:00 a.m. on Friday, Robert B. Zoellick, the United States trade representative, reached an agreement to cut subsidies for such crops as corn, rice, wheat and soybeans. He also reached an accord with four cotton-producing countries in West Africa for eventual cutbacks in subsidies paid to American cotton growers. ...
From CNN: Saturday, July 31, 2004 Posted: 11:15 AM EDT (1515 GMT)
Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster'
(CNN) -- A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding. Retired Gen. Tony McPeak, the Air Force chief of staff during the first Gulf War, delivered the Democratic radio address supporting implementation of the 9/11 commission's recommendations for national security. ... he said, Bush has "alienated our friends, damaged our credibility around the world, reduced our influence to an all-time low in my lifetime, given hope to our enemies." ...
Commentary at AntiWar: July 31, 2004
John Kerry's Pure Wind by Scott Sutton
From Reuters: Sun Aug 1, 2004 04:25 PM ET
U.S. Says Al Qaeda Targeting IMF, World Bank, NYSE By Alister Bull
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States raised the security alert level to high for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange and companies in the New York area on Sunday after intelligence signaled a possible al Qaeda attack. ...
At Scoop: 2nd August 2004, 4:04 pm
Open Letter To Thomas Kean - Chairman Of The 9/11 Commission - From FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
From Reuters: Tue Aug 3, 2004 03:12 PM ET
Ridge Defends 'Three-Year-Old' U.S. Terror Alert By Mark Egan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The warning that key U.S. financial centers may be attacked by al Qaeda was based largely on three-year-old information, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said on Tuesday, but he insisted the threat was still real. ... Ridge denied there was any political motivation behind raising the terror alert when President Bush and his Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry are neck-and-neck in polls ahead of November's presidential election. ...
From The Associated Press at The Boston Globe: August 3, 2004
Snow urges raising US debt ceiling
WASHINGTON -- The United States could face the prospect of not being able to pay its bills this fall unless Congress raises government borrowing authority now capped at $7.4 trillion, Treasury Secretary John Snow said yesterday. ... The White House last week said it expected this year's federal budget deficit to clock in at $445 billion -- less red ink than it estimated earlier this year. The Congressional Budget Office is predicting a $477 billion deficit. In any case, the deficit would be a record in dollar terms.
From AP at CBS News: August 5, 2004
Bush Signs $417B Defense Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) President Bush signed a $417.5 billion wartime defense bill Thursday providing an additional $25 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, body armor for troops and reinforced Humvee vehicles. "With this legislation America's military will know that their country stands behind them as they fight for our freedom and as they spread the peace," Mr. Bush said. "No enemy or friend can doubt that America has the resources to prevail," he said. "And we will." ...
From PRNewswire, White House Press Office at Yahoo: Thurs. August 5, 11:31am ET
Remarks by President Bush at the Signing of H.R. 4613, The Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005
From The Guardian: Thursday August 5, 2004
US abuse could be war crime By Vikram Dodd and Tania Branigan
Red Cross says Tipton Three may have case
Repeated abuses allegedly suffered by three British prisoners at the hands of US interrogators and guards in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba could amount to war crimes, the Red Cross said yesterday. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 06, 2004
Mayor of Japan's Hiroshima slams 'egocentric' US on bombing anniversary
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AFP) - The mayor of Japan's city of Hiroshima slammed the United States on Friday, the 59th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing which killed tens of thousands of people here, for continuing to develop nuclear arms.
"The egocentric world view of the US government is reaching extremes," mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said in an address at a ceremony to mark the August 6, 1945 World War II bombing by the United States. "Ignoring the United Nations and its foundation of international law, the United States has resumed research to make nuclear weapons smaller and more usable," the mayor said. Meanwhile, the chain of violence and retaliation around the world showed no end, he said. "Reliance on violence-amplifying terror and North Korea, among others, buying into the worthless policy of 'nuclear insurance' are salient symbols of our times," he said. ...
Commentary at The Guardian: Friday August 6, 2004
You show yours, I'll hide mine By Simon Tisdall
" ... What the US did, in effect, was to torpedo a new global treaty banning the production and supply of materials essential to the building of nuclear weapons. It is known as the fissile material cut-off treaty. ... Its main aim is to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the cornerstone of the international effort to curb the spread of WMD. It is specifically aimed at nuclear-armed states such as India, Pakistan and Israel which are not party to the NPT. But by seeking a global halt to the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons, its wider overall aim is to reduce the chance of such materials being obtained by irresponsible regimes or non-state terror groups. ... as the US knows very well, any new treaty is all but unenforcable without effective monitoring and verification. ... At the nub of the issue is Washington's fundamental objection to opening up American military bases and industrial plants to international, especially UN, inspection. ... In 2001, for this same basic reason, the Bush administration scuppered a proposed inspections regime to police the biological weapons convention, again to Britain's great dismay. For much the same reason, perhaps, key aims of the 1997 chemical weapons convention (CWC) remain unfulfilled. Between them the US and Russia possess more than 97% of the world's known chemical weapons material, but neither will remotely meet the 2007 deadline for its full destruction, according to the US government accountability office. ... For much the same reason, the Bush administration has set aside the comprehensive test ban treaty and is pressing ahead, beyond international scrutiny and in defiance of the NPT, with the development of new generation nuclear weapons. ... The very same US government that [says it*] went to war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein did not fully comply with UN weapons inspections unilaterally rejects similar control over its own WMD arsenal." [*my note]
From The NYT: August 8, 2004
Diplomacy Fails to Slow Advance of Nuclear Arms By DAVID E. SANGER
KENNEBUNKPORT, Me., Aug. 7 - American intelligence officials and outside nuclear experts have concluded that the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts with European and Asian allies have barely slowed the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea over the past year, and that both have made significant progress. In a tacit acknowledgment that the diplomatic initiatives with European and Asian allies have failed to curtail the programs, senior administration and intelligence officials say they are seeking ways to step up unspecified covert actions intended, in the words of one official, "to disrupt or delay as long as we can" Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. But other experts, including former Clinton administration officials, caution that while covert efforts have been tried in the past, both the Iranian and North Korean programs are increasingly self-sufficient, largely thanks to the aid they received from the network built by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the former leader of the Pakistani bomb program. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 08, 2004
Israel distributes radiation pills to residents near nuclear reactor
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli authorities began distributing iodine anti-radiation tablets Sunday to thousands of residents living near the controversial Dimona nuclear reactor. ...
From AFP at Channel News Asia: 09 August 2004 1600 hrs (GMT + 8 hours)
Nagasaki remembers atomic bomb, urges US to ban nuclear weapons
TOKYO : The mayor of Nagasaki urged the United States to help rid the world of nuclear weapons, 59 years to the day after a US plane dropped an atomic bomb over the Japanese city, effectively ending World War II. The attack on the hilly port city on Kyushu island in southwest Japan killed 74,000 people and came just three days after the United States unleashed the world's first atomic bomb used in war on the city of Hiroshima. ... "So long as the world's leading superpower fails to change its posture of dependence on nuclear weapons, it is clear that the tide of nuclear proliferation cannot be stemmed," Iccho Ito said in his annual declaration to more than 5,000 people at the city's peace park. "People of America: The path leading to the eventual survival of the human race unequivocally requires the elimination of nuclear arms. The time has come to join hands and embark upon this path," he said, speaking near the epicentre of the blast. ...
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended the ceremony and pledged to "make utmost efforts towards the abolition of nuclear weapons." ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 10, 2004
Ex-US general urges Canada "just say no" to missile defence
At Centre for Research on Globalization: 27 July 2004
Space bombs by Alfred Lambremont Webre
Despite US denials, proposed Ballistic Missile Defense structure lends itself to weapons in space. US Missile Defence is part of a US strategy to convert Canada into a war-fighting client of the United States permanent warfare state. ...
At Reuters: Tue Aug 10, 2004 02:30 PM ET
Republican Lawmaker Goss Nominated as CIA Chief By David Morgan
At Centre for Research on Globalization: 3 July 2004 (revised July 5)
White House Nominee to Head the CIA has Dubious Links to the Terror Network
by Michel Chossudovsky
From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS at The NYT: August 11, 2004 7:49 a.m. ET
Goss Was Once Latin America Operative
From The NYT and Reuters at The Sydney Morning Herald: August 12, 2004
Doubts on Bush's pick for CIA chief
The former spy named by George Bush to become head of the CIA initially resisted efforts in Congress two years ago to create an independent commission to investigate the September 11 attacks, Democrats say. ...
From Newsweek at MSNBC: 6:39 p.m. ET Aug. 11, 2004
Goss’s Wish List By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Aug. 11 - Rep. Porter Goss, President Bush’s nominee to head the CIA, recently introduced legislation that would give the president new authority to direct CIA agents to conduct law-enforcement operations inside the United States—including arresting American citizens. ...
At Reuters: Wed Aug 11, 2004 08:16 PM ET
Filmaker Moore quotes Goss on lack of CIA credentials By David Morgan
From Reuters: Fri Aug 13, 2004 04:53 PM ET
Oil Soars to Record Highs on Shock Fears By Richard Mably
LONDON (Reuters) - Fears of an oil shock deepened on Friday as crude set new highs, underpinned by fresh evidence of strong Chinese demand and worries about sabotage in Iraq. ... China on Friday said crude imports into the world's second biggest oil consumer held strong in July at growth rate of 40 percent over July 2003. ... OPEC is already pumping at 25-year-high of 30 million bpd in a bid to replenish world oil inventories before the winter demand period of the fourth quarter. ...
At The Independent: 14 August 2004
US trade deficit hits $56bn record as exports tumble By Susie Mesure
Commentary at "Rigorous Intuition" Blogspot: Sunday, August 15, 2004
The Coincidence Theorist's Guide to 9/11
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 15, 2004
Bush to announce massive troop pullout from Europe, Asia
WASHINGTON (AFP) - President George W. Bush's planned announcement Monday of the withdrawal of up to 100,000 US troops from Europe and Asia is part of a years-long process to adapt the military to post-Cold War threats, leading lawmakers said Sunday. ... The United States has about 100,000 troops deployed in Europe and about the same number in Asia, outside Iraq and Afghanistan. There are about 70,000 troops in Germany, 37,500 in South Korea and 48,000 in Japan. The president is scheduled to make a speech Monday at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. The New York Times reported Sunday that the president will announce that he supports the Defense Department reorganization which would see up to 70,000 troops withdrawn. He will also say that it could affect an additional 100,000 military support staff and family members in the regions, the report said quoting an administration official. ... One of the plans calls for stationing a second aircraft carrier group -- on top of the one led by the USS Kitty Hawk -- in the Asia-Pacific region to deal with the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, officials said.
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 16, 2004
More than 230,000 US troops assigned to bases around the world
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has more than 230,000 troops permanently assigned to bases around the world, with the largest concentrations in Germany, Japan and South Korea, according to Pentagon statistics. The numbers do not take into account the roughly 145,000 troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...
From Reuters: Tue Aug 17, 2004 02:29 PM ET
Kerry Seen Cutting Spending on Missile Defense By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If Democrat John Kerry becomes president he could cut up to a third of the annual $10 billion in spending on missile defenses, but overall defense expenditure would stay high, analysts said this week. Burgeoning budget deficits and the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to limit growth in new weapons spending, regardless of who wins. And the costs of military personnel are expected to keep rising under either a Republican or Democratic president. ... Joe Nadol at JP Morgan Securities predicted U.S. defense companies will generate double-digit earnings growth over the next two years due to rising budgets. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 18, 2004
Bush defends anti-missile system, slams its opponents
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AFP) - President George W. Bush on Tuesday defended an anti-missile defense system and took a swipe at those who oppose the controversial program. Bush visited a Boeing military equipment factory in this northeastern city and noted that the company had installed "the first ballistic missile interceptor into its silo at Fort Greely, Alaska. It's the beginning of a missile defense system that was envisioned by (the late former president) Ronald Reagan, a system necessary to protect us against the threats of the 21st century," Bush said. "We want to continue to perfect this system, so we say to those tyrants who believe they can blackmail America and the free world: 'You fire, we're going to shoot it down'," he said. "I think those who oppose this ballistic missile system really don't understand the threats of the 21st century. They're living in the past. We're living in the future. We're going to do what's necessary to protect this country." ...
The anti-missile system is among Bush's priorities. The administration insists that even an imperfect system could dissuade other nations from developing long-range missiles. The Pentagon plans to deploy some 10 missile interceptors in Alaska and California this year. Bush has approved 10 billion dollars for the project in the 2005 defense budget, which totals 400 billion dollars.
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 18, 2004
Rumsfeld says missile defense shield to be ready by year's end
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States will have a limited defense against incoming ballistic missiles by the end of this year, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Wednesday in prepared remarks, calling it a "triumph of hope and vision over pessimism and skepticism." ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 18, 2004
Russian defense minister says US anti-missile system is no threat
MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday the creation of a US anti-missile defense system posed no threat to Russia. ... The Russian defense minister said he had been informed in 2000 that the US was planning to build ballistic missile interceptors in Alaska, adding that Russia was creating its own missile defense system. "We have our own plans to develop strategic nuclear and space forces. I can assure you that the plans that we have will be rigourously carried out and observed," he said. ...
From Reuters: Tue Aug 24, 2004 02:23 PM ET
Israel Urged to Change Stand on Geneva Convention By Mark Heinrich
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Hoping to avoid sanctions, Israel's attorney general wants Israel to consider applying to Palestinians the Fourth Geneva Convention safeguarding the treatment of occupied people, a spokesman said Tuesday. ...
From Reuters: Tue Aug 24, 2004 02:44 PM ET
Rumsfeld, Military Leaders Faulted in Prison Abuse
By Charles Aldinger and Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top Pentagon officials and the military command in Iraq contributed to an environment in which prisoners were abused at Abu Ghraib prison, according to a report released on Tuesday by high-level panel investigating the military detentions. The outside four-member panel headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger found that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff failed to exercise proper oversight over confusing detention policies at U.S. prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "Command failures were compounded by poor advice provided by staff officers with responsibility for overseeing battlefield functions related to detention and interrogation operations," the report said. "Military and civilian leaders at the Pentagon share this burden of responsibility." The panel did not find that Rumsfeld or military leaders directly ordered abuse such as stripping prisoners naked and sexually humiliating them. It said, however, that the abuses were not carried out by just a few individuals, as the Bush administration has consistently maintained. Schlesinger said there were 300 cases of abuses being investigated, many beyond Abu Ghraib. "So the abuses were not limited to a few individuals." He said there was "sadism" by some Americans at Abu Ghraib. ...
From Reuters: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:07 PM ET
British Lawmakers Plan to Impeach Blair
LONDON (Reuters) - A group of British lawmakers plan to invoke a parliamentary procedure last used more than 150 years ago to impeach Prime Minister Tony Blair over the war in Iraq, British newspapers said on Thursday. ...
From Reuters: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:29 PM ET
Militants Eyeing Seaborne Attack, U.S General Says By Caroline Drees
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - It is "only a matter of time" before militants try to launch a seaborne attack on the United States, but threats of terrorism are greater abroad because they are avoiding hardened U.S. targets, a senior U.S. military official said on Wednesday. General Ralph "Ed" Eberhart, who as head of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) is responsible for defending U.S. land, sea and air, also said North Korea posed the greatest threat to the United States of any country -- as opposed to non-state actors such as al Qaeda -- even as Washington tries to negotiate with Pyongyang. Eberhart, who is also head of the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said the danger of a seaborne attack was one reason why he advocated a modification of NORAD's bi-national mission to include the seas as well as the skies. ... "As you know, we are building missile defense capability predominantly for North Korea. I'm sure they're a wild card in our book," he said. ...
From Xinhua News Agency at SpaceDaily: Aug 27, 2004
China Calls For Preventing Outer Space Arms Race
Geneva (XNA) - China called Thursday for international consensus and a legally-binding agreement on preventing an arms race in outer space. China's Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, Hu Xiaodi, told delegates to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament here: "In our view, the priority concern is to further consolidate an international consensus on prevention of weaponization and an arms race in outer space in the form of a legal commitment or a legal instrument." Hu introduced two informal papers - initiated jointly by China and Russia - outlining the two countries' concerns over the lack of definition and verification of arms in outer space and concluding that verification will be highly difficult in terms of cost and technology. Hu said a verification protocol may be needed in the future. ...
From SPX at SpaceDaily: Aug 27, 2004
US Army's Tactical High Energy Laser Shoots Down Mortar Rounds
Redondo Beach CA (SPX) - The Tactical High Energy Laser, built by Northrop Grumman for the US Army, shot down multiple mortar rounds Aug. 24, proving that laser weapons could be applied on the battlefield to protect against common threats. ... The THEL demonstrator was designed, developed and produced by a Northrop Grumman-led team of U.S. and Israeli contractors for the US Space & Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala., and the Israeli Ministry of Defense. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 27, 2004
Israel plays down failure of missile test in US
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli officials tried to downplay Friday the failure of a joint test with the United States of a new missile system designed to intercept incoming missiles.
The Arrow-2 missile system failed to destroy the detachable warhead of an incoming missile fired by a US Airforce aircraft in a test off the coast of California on Thursday. ...
From The BBC: Friday, 27 August, 2004, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Bush gives CIA chief new powers
US President George W Bush has given the CIA director new powers, including some control over other intelligence agencies, the White House says. He signed executive orders that would also launch a national counter-terrorism centre. Spokesman Scott McClellan said the CIA chief would have temporary authority to act as national intelligence director. ...
From The CBS Evening News: August 27, 2004 6:58pm ET
FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case
(CBS) CBS News has learned that the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- "roll up" someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. ...
From Cox News Service at The Palm Beach Post: Monday, August 30, 2004
Bush says war on terror can't be won By Ken Herman
TAYLOR, Michigan — President Bush, who will be hailed at his party's national convention this week as a great wartime leader, said in an interview aired Monday that the war on terror cannot be won. "I don't think you can win it, but I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world," Bush told NBC's "Today" show. "Let's put it that way. I have a two-prong strategy. On the one hand, it's to find them before they hurt us. And that's necessary. I'm telling you. It's necessary." Bush said that part of the effort is going well. "I mean, we are dismantling al-Qaeda as we knew it," he said. The second part of the strategy, Bush said, "is to spread freedom and liberty." He declined to predict when the war against terror might end. "When we succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan it's the beginning of the end for these extremists because freedom is going to have a powerful influence to make sure your kids can grow up in a peaceful world," he said. ...
At MSNBC: 8:59 a.m. ET Aug. 30, 2004
Bush sees war against terror that never ends
From AFP at Yahoo: Mon Aug 30,11:36 PM ET
Republicans say US ready to take on China, North Korea
NEW YORK (AFP) - President George W. Bush's Republican party warned the United States would not tolerate aggression from North Korea or any Chinese military moves against Taiwan. On day one of their national convention, the party adopted a tough-talking platform that hailed Bush's war on terrorism and vowed no let-up in his efforts to realign global priorities and push for democracy around the world.
In the section on Asia, the Republicans took special aim at China, expressing "profound disagreements" on human rights, over Taiwan and on Beijing's "outdated path" of seeking to develop advanced weaponry. "We deny the right of Beijing to impose its rule on the free Taiwanese people. All issues regarding Taiwan's future must be resolved peacefully and must be agreeable to the people of Taiwan," the party said. "If China violates these principles and attacks Taiwan, then the United States will respond appropriately," it warned. "America will help Taiwan defend itself."
They also gave a no-nonsense warning to North Korea, part of Bush's "axis of evil" and accused by Washington of operating a nuclear weapons programme in violation of a 1994 agreement. "North Korea lies outside of the international system. Americans have shed their blood to stop North Korean aggression before and remain prepared to resist aggression today," the party said. ...
Flash presentation from Freedom Underground:
Pentagon Strike 9/11/01
From Reuters UK: Tue 31 August, 2004 19:29
Bush says war on terror can be won By Caren Bohan
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - One day after saying the war on terror could not be won, President George W. Bush has sought to calm a political storm over his comments, saying America would prevail. On the second day of the Republican convention on Tuesday, Bush found himself on the defensive as the campaign of his Democratic challenger, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, took aim at the president's comments to a television interviewer suggesting the war on terror was not winnable. ...
From Reuters: Tue Aug 31, 2004 06:16 PM ET
Changing Tack, Bush Says Terror War Winnable By Caren Bohan
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - President Bush said on Tuesday the war on terror could be won by America and explained away an earlier comment that it could not be by blaming his lack of articulation. ... "We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war we did not start, but one that we will win," Bush told the American Legion, the nation's largest veterans group. "It's a different type of war. We may never sit down at a peace table, but make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win," he said in a speech which repeated this refrain four times. ...
From The Associated Press at ABC News: Sept. 1, 2004
Kerry Says U.S. Will Win War on Terror
John Kerry Says U.S. Will Win War on Terror, Challenges President Bush on Miscalculation Remark
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Keying in on President Bush's recent suggestion that victory against terrorism might be impossible, presidential candidate John Kerry was declaring that he has a plan to defeat those who threaten the United States. In a speech to the American Legion on Wednesday, Kerry was highlighting Bush's recent admission that his administration "miscalculated" how fiercely insurgents would fight after the initial "catastrophic success" of U.S. troops in Iraq, campaign advisers said. And he was taking issue with the doubts Bush raised about whether the war on terror can be won. ... "Let me tell you something: We can, we must and we will win the war on terror," Kerry said...
From KRT at The Sydney Morning Herald: September 2, 2004 - 9:06AM
Bush has made the world more dangerous: Kerry
At Centre for Research on Globalisation: 2 September 2004
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Blunder at the Republican Convention:
The Nixon-Humphrey Presidential Debate Never Took Place by Michel Chossudovsky
From CNN: Friday, September 3, 2004 Posted: 2:34 PM EDT (1834 GMT)
Historians dispute Schwarzenegger's convention comments
VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Austrian historians are challenging California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for telling the Republican National Convention that he saw Soviet tanks in his homeland as a child and that he left a "Socialist" country when he moved away in 1968. ...
At Project Censored:
Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2002-2003
From AFP at SpaceWar: Sep 03, 2004
Nuclear fuel ships leave Britain bound for US
LONDON (AFP) - Two cargo ships designed to carry nuclear fuel left Britain on Friday bound for the United States where they are due to pick up a consignment of plutonium, according to environmental group Greenpeace. ...
Opinion at the NYT: September 10, 2004
No Accountability on Abu Ghraib
After months of Senate hearings and eight Pentagon investigations, it is obvious that the administration does not intend to hold any high-ranking official accountable for the nightmare at Abu Ghraib. It was pretty clear yesterday that Senator John Warner's well-intentioned hearings of the Armed Services Committee are not going to do it either. James Schlesinger, who was picked by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to head a civilian investigation of Abu Ghraib and seems determined to repay the favor, gave unhelpful testimony that included an incredible statement that there was no policy "that encourages abuse." He told that to the same senators who had heard earlier from a panel of generals that the Central Intelligence Agency was still refusing to account for its practice of hiding dozens of prisoners from the Red Cross. Mr. Rumsfeld personally approved that violation of the Geneva Conventions and other international treaties on at least one occasion. ...
Op/Ed from PBS, Now With Bill Moyers at Information Clearing House: 09/10/04
Circle Of Accountability By Andrew Meier, Sherry Jones and Bill Moyers
It has taken three years for the details of the terrorist plot of 9/11 to emerge. The fateful turns that led to the attacks have finally entered the public discourse. Their lessons, however, have yet to be learned. The first lesson is that the highest officials in government did not want us to know the truth. ...
From AFP at Australian Broadcasting Corp.: Friday, September 10, 2004 6:27am(AEST)
US's defeat a matter of time: Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has vowed in a statement that the United States would be defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan. The video statement, broadcast on Al Jazeera, comes two days before the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. "The American defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan has become just a question of time, God willing," Zawahiri said. ...
From AFP at Channel News Asia: 12 September 2004 0141hrs (GMT + 8 hours)
US mourns, vows revenge on September 11 anniversary
NEW YORK : The United States recalled the horror of the September 11 attacks with tears and defiance, in sombre ceremonies shadowed by fresh terrorist threats, fighting in Iraq and a divisive presidential election campaign. In a live radio address from the Oval Office, where he was joined by victims' relatives, President George W. Bush used the third anniversary of the attacks to pledge an unrelenting hunt for terrorists around the world. "The United States is determined to stay on the offensive and to pursue the terrorists wherever they train or sleep or attempt to set down roots," Bush said. "We know that there is still a danger to America, so we will not relent until the terrorists who plot murder against our people are found and dealt with," he added...
From The Washington Post: Tuesday, September 14, 2004; Page A01
$3 Trillion Price Tag Left Out As Bush Details His Agenda By Mike Allen
The expansive agenda President Bush laid out at the Republican National Convention was missing a price tag, but administration figures show the total is likely to be well in excess of $3 trillion over a decade. A staple of Bush's stump speech is his claim that his Democratic challenger, John F. Kerry, has proposed $2 trillion in long-term spending, a figure the Massachusetts senator's campaign calls exaggerated. But the cost of the new tax breaks and spending outlined by Bush at the GOP convention far eclipses that of the Kerry plan. Bush's pledge to make permanent his tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of 2010 or before, would reduce government revenue by about $1 trillion over 10 years, according to administration estimates. His proposed changes in Social Security to allow younger workers to invest part of their payroll taxes in stocks and bonds could cost the government $2 trillion over the coming decade, according to the calculations of independent domestic policy experts. And Bush's agenda has many costs the administration has not publicly estimated. For instance, Bush said in his speech that he would continue to try to stabilize Iraq and wage war on terrorism. The war in Iraq alone costs $4 billion a month, but the president's annual budget does not reflect that cost. ...
From The Washington Post: Tuesday, September 14, 2004; Page A02
Test of Missile Defense System Delayed Again By Bradley Graham
The Pentagon's last hope of flight-testing critical new elements of an antimissile system, before activating the system this autumn, appeared to vanish yesterday with the disclosure that the next flight test has been postponed until late this year, well past the November election. The Air Force general in charge of the program said the setback will not affect plans to begin operating the system in the next month or two. But the delay leaves the Pentagon pressing ahead with a system that will not have been flight-tested in nearly two years -- and never with the actual interceptor that will be deployed. The postponement also comes against the backdrop of a wide disparity in estimates about the system's likely effectiveness that has emerged among key Pentagon officials. ... Since the last flight test in December 2002, a number of critical hardware and software changes have been incorporated into the system, and officials have counted on the next test to gather critical data about the system's accuracy and reliability. Democratic lawmakers and other critics of the system accused the administration yesterday of playing politics with the test schedule, seeking to avoid the risk of an embarrassing flop during the presidential campaign. ...
At The Telegraph: (Filed: 14/09/2004)
Art show sees Europe as 'new Roman Empire' By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels
From San Francisco Bay View: Sep 16, 2004
UC Regents lose control of nuclear weapons program by Leuren Moret
Five admirals, Carlyle Group and Rand take over, Part 1
" ... U.S. nuclear weapons program for decades at the nuclear weapons labs: Berkeley, Livermore and Los Alamos. The program remained under a no-bid University of California management contract for 61 years. In a stealth takeover by the Carlyle Group, facilitated by five admirals, the management contract will be transferred next year to the University of Texas, where the military and the Carlyle Group will have control. A new “ramping up” of the nuclear weapons program is underway, with program funding at the highest level ever - even higher than during the Cold War – extending nuclear weapons into outer space, into the very atmosphere that makes life on earth possible, and with no “real” enemy in sight. ... One year ago, Admiral Linton Brooks, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) under DOE, informed California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and the UC Regents that the management contract for the nuclear weapons labs would be put up for competitive bid for the first time, with the award to be made in 2005. ... Admiral Brooks also informed the Board of Regents that “we’re back in the bomb business” because Los Alamos had just produced the first plutonium “pit” since Rocky Flats closed down. He indicated that they would be making “mini-nukes” only, and nuclear weapons testing would start at the Nevada Test Site in 2005. An hour later, and 45 miles away, he announced to Livermore employees that “we’re back in the bomb business” and they would be making big ones, little ones and more. ... "
From The Sunday Herald: 19 September 2004
Fury as bomb-grade plutonium sets sail for France from US By Rob Edwards
WEAPONS-grade plutonium, sufficient to make up to 40 nuclear warheads, is expected to be loaded onto two armed British ships in the US this week and then carried across the Atlantic to France. The US plan to send 140 kilograms of bomb-grade plutonium for processing in France will be the most controversial nuclear shipment for years. Throughout its two-week voyage, the plutonium will be protected by British military forces. When it arrives at the port of Cherbourg it is expected to be greeted by protesters. ... The US and French governments argue that the aim of the shipment is to get rid of “surplus” weapons plutonium by making it into a fuel for nuclear power stations. This is part of an agreement between the US and Russia that both countries will get rid of 34 tonnes of plutonium from “excess” nuclear warheads. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Sep 28, 2004
Kyrgyzstan intercepts illegal plutonium sale
BISHKEK (AFP) - Kyrgyz security forces have foiled an attempt to sell 60 containers of plutonium-239, which is used for making nuclear weapons, a national security committee spokeswoman said Tuesday. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Sep 28, 2004
Pentagon announces billion-dollar plan to build five Afghan army bases
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon notified Congress Tuesday of plans to build five bases in Afghanistan for the Afghan National Army at a cost of up to one billion dollars. ...
At 9/11 Review:
Stanley G. Hilton has filed a class action lawsuit in Federal court in Northern California against against high officials in the current Bush administration (including the federal government, Bush, Cheney, Rice, Mueller, Tenet, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft), for complicity in aiding and abetting and facilitating the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks. ...
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