THE CHICKEN HAWKS
(Not a rock group....)
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
August 14, 2008
US: Russia must keep its word
to leave Georgia
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer, 7 minutes ago
The United States challenged Russia to keep its word to end a crushing
invasion of U.S.-backed Georgia, siding decisively with the former Soviet
republic and rejecting Russian justifications.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, headed for emergency meetings on
the crisis in Europe and in the Georgian capital, said Russia's now-weeklong
military action in Georgia is a throwback to darker Cold War times.
"The message is that Russia has perhaps not accepted that it is time to move
on from the Cold War and it is time to move to a new era in which relations
between states are on the basis of equality, and sovereignty and economic
integration," Rice said Wednesday.
She met Thursday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has led the
European pressure campaign on Russia, at his summer residence in Toulon,
France. From there she was going to Paris to meet with French Foreign
Minister Bernard Kouchner; on Friday she is flying to Tbilisi, Georgia.
The Bush administration is reeling from the near collapse of its closest
friend among the former Soviet republics, a strategic Black Sea nation that
is an emerging pathway for undeveloped energy reserves and that has worn
its zeal for America and the West as a badge of honor.
As the United States mustered humanitarian aid for Georgia, President Bush
demanded that Russia end all military activity inside its neighbor and
withdraw all troops sent in recent days onto Georgian territory.
Bush announced that U.S. military assets and personnel would be
deploying into the conflict zone. Though they are only going on a
humanitarian mission, he made a point of noting that "we will use U.S.
aircraft, as well as naval forces" to distribute supplies. He warned Russia
not to impede relief efforts in any way.
All this appeared designed to answer criticism that Bush has not done enough
to stand by his 2005 pledge, made from the center of Tbilisi before tens of
thousands of citizens, to "stand with" the people of Georgia.
Amid some fear that Russian troops may be setting up for some type of
medium-term occupation of parts of Georgia or even have intentions to press
on to its capital of Tbilisi, Bush promised Wednesday to "rally the free
world in the defense of a free Georgia."
Speaking in grave tones in the Rose Garden, Bush decried Moscow's apparent
violation of a cease-fire agreement.
He demanded that Russia "keep its word and act to end this crisis."
"The United States stands with the democratically elected government of
Georgia and insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia
be respected," he said.
The president postponed Thursday's planned start of a two-week Texas
vacation for a couple of days to monitor developments.
A Russian military convoy defied a cease-fire agreement Wednesday and
rolled through a strategically important city in Georgia, where officials
claimed fresh looting and bombing by the Russians and their allies.
The Kremlin announced Thursday that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
was meeting with the leaders of Georgia's two separatist provinces, South
Ossetia and Abkhazia.
"One can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity because,
I believe, it is impossible to persuade South Ossetia and Abkhazia to agree
with the logic that they can be forced back into the Georgian state," Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
Russia and its small neighbor had agreed Tuesday to a French-brokered
cease-fire to end the dispute that began over two pro-Russian breakaway
territories. The United States accuses Russia of pressing the war far
beyond the initial conflict zone and threatening the democratically elected
government in Georgia.
"I have to say that the reports are not encouraging about Russia's respect
for this cease-fire," Rice said.
U.S. officials have had difficulty determining exactly what's happening on
the ground in Georgia, despite considerable intelligence resources. U.S. spy
satellites have been repositioned to refocus on the conflict area.
Rice said Moscow is harming its standing in the world and eligibility for global
clubs whose eligibility depends on responsible behavior, but she made no
explicit threats about U.S. retaliation.
"This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia where Russia can
threaten its neighbors, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get
away with it," Rice said. "Things have changed."
July 10, 2008
Iran tests more missiles as
U.S. vows to defend allies
By Alistair Lyon
Iran tested more missiles in the Gulf on Thursday, state media said, and the
United States reminded Tehran that it was ready to defend its allies.
The United States, which accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear arms, said after
Iran test-fired nine missiles on Wednesday that there should be no more
such tests if Iran wanted the world's trust. An intelligence official in
Washington said there had been a second test and that it was small.
U.S. leaders have not ruled out military options if diplomacy fails to assuage
fears about Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran says is only to produce
Israel, which has long been assumed to have its own atomic arsenal, has
sworn to prevent Iran from emerging as a nuclear-armed power. Last month
it staged an air force exercise that stoked speculation about a possible
assault on Iranian nuclear sites.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he favored diplomatic pressure
and sanctions, but: "Israel is the strongest country in the region and has
proved in the past it is not afraid to take action when its vital security
interests are at stake."
Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, has vowed to strike back at
Tel Aviv, as well as U.S. interests and shipping, if it is attacked, asserting
that missiles fired during war games in the Gulf included some that could hit
Israel and U.S. bases in the region.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on a visit to the former
Soviet republic of Georgia that no one should doubt Washington's
commitment to protect its allies.
"We are also sending a message to Iran that we will defend American
interests and ... the interests of our allies," she said.
Rice said a planned U.S. missile defense shield, to be partly based in the
Czech Republic and Poland, would dampen any threat of an attack from Iran.
Russia opposes the project.
Iranian state TV and radio said the Revolutionary Guards -- the ideologically
driven wing of Iran's armed forces -- had fired ground-to-sea, surface-to-surface and sea-to-air missiles overnight. Long-range missiles were also
"The ... maneuver brings power to the Islamic Republic of Iran and is a lesson
for enemies," Guards Commander-in-Chief Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted
The missile tests have rattled global oil markets. In late afternoon trading,
oil prices surged $6, with some traders talking of a potential third missile
test. Crude prices have hit a series of record highs this year partly over
Iran has threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for Gulf oil
exports, if it is attacked. Thursday's exercises involved divers, speedboats
and the launch of a high-speed torpedo called Hout, state media said.
China urged restraint, and did not echo Western rebukes over the missile
firings. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said he welcomed the
prospect of fresh talks on the nuclear program. Iran is China's third
biggest crude oil supplier.
The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have offered
Iran incentives to curb its nuclear work. Tehran rejects their demand to
suspend uranium enrichment.
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is expected to meet
Iranian officials for talks on the package, but no time or place has been
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the six powers would be
"extremely precise" on the issue of enrichment. "Yes to dialogue, but there
must be an answer on uranium enrichment, halting it," he said.
China and Russia, which is building Iran's first, and so far only, nuclear
power plant, have been resisting U.S.-led calls for expanding U.N. sanctions
on the Islamic Republic.
Sanctions have made Western firms increasingly wary of investment.
France's Total said on Thursday it would not invest for now in a big gas deal
due to the risk. Iran brushed off the impact, saying it has enough cash from
oil to carry out the project itself or find other interested parties.
"We will proceed with development with or without them," Iranian Oil
Minister Gholamhossein Nozari told journalists when asked about the latest
comments from Total....
January 22, 2008
Study: False statements
By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found
that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of
false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two
years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated
campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process,
led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public
Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of
the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that
the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.
"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of
intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.
The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found
that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and
administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions
that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or
obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.
"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass
destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles
Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism
staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush
administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous
information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in
military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."
Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration
during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security
adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld,
Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz
and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.
Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction
in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was
second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.
The center said the study was based on a database created with public
statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information
from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and
The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands
of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage
creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up
to war," the study concluded.
"Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have
since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far
too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of
the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation
of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.
On the Net:
Center For Public Integrity: http://www.publicintegrity.org/default.aspx
Fund For Independence in Journalism: http://www.tfij.org/
* * * * *
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth they can be
depended upon to meet any national crisis.
The great point is to bring them the real facts.
-- Abraham Lincoln
* * * * *
July 29, 2007
Condi Rice Spurned
by Major Papers
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote an opinion piece about Lebanon
and offered it to major newspapers both here and abroad.
But in a sign of the major media’s dislike of Bush administration foreign
policy, not one of the papers agreed to publish it.
“Think about that — every one of the major newspapers approached
refused to publish an essay by the secretary of state,” Joel Brinkley, a
professor of journalism at Stanford University, writes in the San Francisco
Chronicle. Brinkley suggested Rice’s influence had dwindled.
Rice enlisted the aid of John Chambers, chief executive officer of Cisco
Systems, and together they wrote about public/private partnerships that
might help rebuild Lebanon following last summer’s conflict there.
Price Floyd, until recently the State Department’s director of media affairs,
said the essay was sent to papers including The Wall Street Journal and the
New York Times. When there were no takers, the department tried a foreign
newspaper, the Financial Times of London, but again there was no interest.
“As a last-ditch strategy, the State Department briefly considered
translating the article into Arabic and trying a Lebanese paper, but finally
they just gave up,” writes Brinkley, a former foreign policy correspondent
for The New York Times.
“Floyd said: ‘I kept hearing the same thing: There’s no news in this.’ The
piece, he said, was littered with glowing references to President Bush’s wise
leadership. ‘It read like a campaign document.’”
Brinkley opines that Rice’s waning influence can be attributed in part to her
department’s failure to achieve significant positive results, especially
regarding Iraq, Iran, Darfur, Russia, and Venezuela.
Recalling a round-the-world trip Brinkley took with Rice soon after she took
office 2 1/2 years ago, he said back then crowds enthusiastically greeted
Condi, interviewers peppered her with questions about a possible White
House run, and “one reporter in India told her she was ‘arguably the most
powerful woman in the world.’"
Do You Really Know Condi? Find Out the Real Story — Go Here Now.
October 5, 2006
Condi Rice: More Sordid
By Robert Scheer, AlterNet
The Foley cover-up should not be allowed to obscure the latest evidence
of administration deceit: that Rice was briefed before 9/11.
They are such liars. And no, I am not speaking only of the dissembling GOP
House leaders led by Speaker Dennis Hastert who, out of naked political
calculation, covered up for one of their own in the sordid teen stalking case
of Rep. Mark Foley.
Call me old school, but I am still more concerned with the Republicans
molesting Lady Liberty while pretending to be guarding the nation's security,
an assignment that they have totally botched. The news about the Foley
cover-up, while important as yet another example of extreme hypocrisy on
the part of the Republican virtues police, should not be allowed to obscure
the latest evidence of administration deceit as to its egregious ineptness in
protecting the nation.
On Monday, a State Department spokesman conceded that then-National
Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice had indeed been briefed in July 2001 by
George Tenet, then-director of the CIA, about the alarming potential for an
al-Qaida attack, as Bob Woodward has reported in his aptly named new book,
"State of Denial."
"I don't remember a so-called emergency meeting," Rice had said only hours
earlier, apparently still suffering from some sort of post-9/11 amnesia that
seemed to afflict her during her forced testimony to the 9/11 commission.
The omission of this meeting from the final commission report is another
example of how the Bush administration undermined the bipartisan
investigation that the president had tried to prevent.
Surely lying under oath in what was arguably the most important official
investigation in the nation's history should be treated more seriously than
the evasiveness in the Paula Jones case that got President Bill Clinton
impeached. Nor is it just Rice who should be challenged, for Tenet seems to
have provided Woodward with details concerning the administration's
indifference to the terrorist threat that he did not share with the 9/11
In his book, Woodward described an encounter between Rice and Tenet, in a
near panic about a rising flood of intelligence warnings just presented to him
by top aide Cofer Black. Tenet forced an unscheduled meeting with Rice on
July 10, 2001, because he wanted the Bush administration to take action
immediately against al-Qaida to disrupt a possible domestic attack.
"Tenet ... decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately.
Tenet called Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, from the car
and said he needed to see her right away," Woodward reports. "He and Black
hoped to convey the depth of their anxiety and get Rice to kick-start the
government into immediate action." A mountain of evidence proves that the
Bush administration did nothing of the sort.
Now, if Rice truly does not remember that now-confirmed meeting -- which
was apparently first reported in the Aug. 4, 2002, issue of Time magazine in
an article titled "Could 9/11 Have Been Prevented?" -- wouldn't that
indicate she didn't take it that seriously? Not remembering confirms her
inattention to terror reports at a time the Bush administration was already
fixated on "regime change" in Iraq.
Rice is famously sharp and has an awesome memory. Considering the trauma
of 9/11 and its effects, it is inconceivable that Rice would not recall such an
ominous and prescient briefing by Tenet and Black, especially after the 9/11
commission forced her to document and review her actions in those crucial
It is, however, as she stated Monday, "incomprehensible" that she, then the
national security advisor to the president and the person most clearly
charged with sounding the alarm, would have ignored the threat. But ignore it
the administration did, and then later tried to lay the blame on the Clinton
administration, which, Rice claimed at the 9/11 commission hearings, lied
when it said it had given the incoming White House team an action plan for
"We were not presented with a plan," Rice infamously argued under
questioning from former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., but instead were given a
memo with "a series of actionable items" describing how to tackle al-Qaida in
Such weaseling would be funny if the topic were not so serious. But there is
no way Rice can squirm out of this one, despite her impressive track record
of calculated distortion on everything from Iraq's nonexistent WMDs to
the trumped-up ties between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
Can there be any better case for turning over control of at least one branch
of Congress to the opposition party so that we might finally have hearings to
learn the truth of this matter, which is far more important, and sordid, than
the Foley affair?
Robert Scheer is the co-author of The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About
< < < FLASHBACK < < <
March 25, 2003
1991: In Few Days, the Mood Shifted
‘WHY HADN’T WE WON YET?’
By Kate Aurthur, New York Times
THE 1991 PERSIAN GULF WAR began at roughly the same moment that
the United States first found itself the world’s remaining superpower, and
the conflict would provide a ready means for the nation to understand its
The war delivered – at least in the short term – a certain victory, a popular
president and new conclusions about such things as the utility of
international coalitions, the role of the media in wartime, and even the
wisdom of stopping short of Baghdad and leaving Saddam Hussein in power.
Not surprisingly, those conclusions were recorded in various books written by
the stars of the first gulf war – in 1992 by Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkoph
(It Doesn’t Take a Hero), in 1995 by Colin L. Powell (My American Journey),
and in 1998 by former President George H.W. Bush and his national
security adviser, Brent Scowcroft (A World Transformed).
But as the United States once again finds itself at war with Iraq, some of
those conclusions have a new, sometimes eerie resonance amid the failures of
diplomacy, the role of the media and the clear pursuit of unfinished business
this time around.
Excerpts from the three books follow:
The Media Spectacle
DESERT STORM was the first war fought in the 24-hour news cycle, and
CNN negotiated with the Iraqi government to allow its team to stay in
Baghdad. Television and print coverage was subject to strict rules by the
Pentagon print coverage was subject to strict rules by the Pentagon under
the aegis of national security. The reports of journalists in combat zones
were reviewed before release.
“I was harsh, but I was also convinced that our own newspaper and TV
reports had become Iraq’s best source of military intelligence. We had
already cut off all other sources.”
– H. Norman Schwarzkoph
“The euphoria of the first day actually created a problem. Reports by CNN’s
Wolf Blitzer from the Pentagon made it seem as if all that remained was to
organize the victory parade. I called Pete Williams, the Defense
Department’s spokesman. ‘Pete,’ I said, ‘tell Blitzer and these other press
guys to cool it. This is the beginning of a war, not the end of a ballgame.’
In this age of instant information, people tended to expect instant result.
Over the next few days, the mood shifted quickly from euphoria to a funk.
Why hadn’t we won yet? Was something wrong?”
– Colin L. Powell
COALITION BUILDING AND THE U.N.
In the days after Iraq invaded Kuwait, the first United Nations Security
Council resolution condemning Iraq passed 14-0. President Bush and his
advisers worked to find ways to prevent Saddam Hussein from taking over
the oil wells of Saudi Arabia.
“There is a historical Arab propensity to try to work out ‘deals.’ Even though
we knew the Saudis well, and trusted them, we could not be completely
certain what course they would take. In these early hours of the crisis, with
so much going on, I had to wonder if, under pressure, they might be inclined
to strike some kind of behind-the-scenes arrangement with Saddam.... We
had to have our Arab allies with us, particularly those who were
threatened the most – the Saudis.”
– George H.W. Bush
“That, in turn, had led directly to our August discussions of a ‘new world
order.’ From that point forward, we tried to operate in a manner that would
help establish a pattern for the future. Our foundation was the premise
that the United States henceforth would be obligated to lead the world
community to an unprecedented degree, as demonstrated by the Iraqi crisis,
and that we should attempt to pursue our national interests, wherever
possible, within a framework of concert with our friends and the
– Brent Scowcroft
“‘I’ve already been on the phone with the Arab leaders,’ the president said....
‘They still tell me they can find an Arab solution.’ He sounded unconvinced.
‘But whatever we do, we’ve got to get the international community behind
– Colin Powell
“I wanted to make absolutely sure that if we took on Saddam, we would win
not only on the battlefield but in the history books – and that included Arab
history books. This was not strictly speaking a military concern. But we had
to avoid giving the impression that Western ‘colonialists’ had unilaterally
imposed their will, and I was determined to plan smart.”
– Norman Schwarzkopf
STOPPING SHORT OF BAGHDAD
After 38 days of the air campaign, the ground war began. Iraqi troops
capitulated quickly, and Saddam Hussein ordered a withdrawal from Kuwait.
The road from Kuwait City back to Iraq became known as “the Highway of
Death,” as it provided a wide-open target for the Air Force to strike as
the Iraqi military retreated. The United Nations directive that the
coalition forces end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait was fulfilled.
“A few hours later Powell called to confirm: ‘The president will make his
announcement at 9 o’clock, but we won’t actually stop until midnight. That
makes it a 100-hour war.’ I had to hand it to them: They really knew how to
package an historic event.”
– Norman Schwarzkopf
“President Bush had taken to demonizing Saddam in public just as he had
Manuel Noriega. ‘We are dealing with Hitler revisited,’ he said on one
occasion, and described Saddam as ‘a tyrant unmoved by human decency,’ I
suggested to Cheney and Scowcroft that they might try to get the
president to cool the rhetoric. Not that the charges were untrue, but the
demonizing left me uneasy.... Our plan contemplated only ejecting Iraq
from Kuwait. It did not include toppling Saddam’s dictatorship. Within
these limits, we could not bring George Bush Saddam Hussein’s scalp. And I
thought it unwise to elevate public expectations by making the man out to be
the devil incarnate and then leaving him in place.”
– Colin Powell
“I will confess that emotionally I, like so many others, would have liked to
see Saddam Hussein brought to some form of justice. He may still be....
Despite what we may see in ‘Rambo’ films, catching and bringing to justice
someone like Saddam is not a simple task.... I’m not sure that even with a
full-scale invasion we would have over found Saddam in the large armed
camp that is Iraq.”
– Norman Schwarzkopf
“Apprehending him was probably impossible.... We would have been forced to
occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus
unilaterally exceeding the United Nations mandate, would have destroyed
the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to
establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could
conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”
– George H.W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft
February 16, 2003
MILLIONS WORLDWIDE RALLY
Estimated 750,000 gather in London
to show opposition
By Glenn Frankel, The Washington Post
LONDON - Several million demonstrators took to the streets of Europe and
the rest of the world yesterday in a vast wave of protest against the
prospect of a U.S.-led war against Iraq.
The largest rallies were in London, Rome, Berlin and Paris – the heart of
Western Europe – where the generally peaceful demonstrations illustrated
the breadth of opposition to U.S. policies among traditional allies. But there
were also protests in dozens of other cities on five continents in an
extraordinary display of global coordination.
In London, a sea of protesters estimated by police at more than 750,000
flooded into Hyde Park and clogged streets for several miles in what
observers and organizers said was probably the largest political
demonstration in British history. It was aimed not just at President Bush
but also at Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, who has been Bush’s
staunchest ally in the campaign against Iraq but who is besieged by
opposition at home from virtually every part of the political spectrum....
Nearly 1 million people turned out in Rome, where Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi has also supported the U.S. position. Between 300,000 and
500,000 people demonstrated in Berlin, at the largest rally since the fall of
the Berlin Wall in 1989. About 100,000 demonstrators poured through the
streets of Paris. Germany and France have emerged as the most vocal
opponents of military action against Iraq.
In Brussels, tens of thousands of protesters braved freezing temperatures
and fierce winds. Many residents placed white handkerchiefs in windows of
homes, stores and pubs as an expression of support.
Patricia Tarabelsi, 23, an American student, said she couldn’t help but feel
uneasy as anti-American sentiment has intensified in Europe. “It makes you
feel like your country’s a target,” she said, “and I don’t really think
Americans back home realize just how angry the world is at us right now.”
There were also demonstrations in Ukraine, Bosnia, Cyprus, Ireland, the
Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Greee, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Japan,
India, Bangladesh, Hungary, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and
In Baghdad, tens of thousands of Iraqis, some carrying Kalashnikov assault
rifles, demonstrated in support of Saddam Hussein. “Our swords are out of
their sheaths, ready for battle,” read one of the hundreds of banners....
In Damascus, Syria, protesters chanted anti-U.S. and anti-Israel slogans as
they marched to the People’s Assembly building.
About 2,000 anti-war protesters, both Jews and Palestinians, marched in
a peaceful procession in central Tel Aviv that lasted about 90 minutes.
Many waved Israeli and Palestinian flags and carried pictures of gas
masks and placards reading:
“Drop Bush not Bombs.”
* * *
February 16, 2003
U.S. RALLIES BRING OUT THOUSANDS
TO PROTEST WAR
NEW YORK - Thousands of anti-war demonstrators packed more than 20
blocks near the United Nations headquarters yesterday, the largest of an
estimated 150 peace rallies across the nation that filled city streets with
banners, chanting and people from all walks of life.
“Just because you have the biggest gun does not mean you must use it,”
Martin Luther King III told demonstrators in New York as he stood
before an enormous banner reading: “The World Says No To War.”
Protests were held across the nation, from Maine to Hawaii, and from Texas
And around the world – including many in the capitals of America’s traditional
allies - similar rallies drew well over a million people in protest of possible
U.S. military action against Iraq.
“Peace! Peace! Peace!” Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said
as he walked from a church service to a meeting with Kofi Annan at the
“Let America listen to the rest of the world – and the rest of the
world is saying, ‘Give the inspectors time.’”
Organizers of the New York rally estimated the crowd at anywhere from
375,000 to 500,000. New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond
Kelly said about 100,000 people were in the crowd....
Other demonstrators, including about 1,000 in Manhattan, supported the
possibility of U.S. military action.
“I want him to defeat the evil in Iraq, no matter what it takes,” said Gerry
Timler, 72, who carried a sign reading, “God Bless America and President
* * *
VETERANS FOR PEACE
Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice
Veterans for Peace, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational and
humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war. VFP was
founded in 1985 by ex-service members committed to sharing the horrors
We know the consequences of American foreign policy because once, at a
time in our lives, many of us carried it out. We find it sad that war seems do
delightful, so often, to those who have no knowledge of it. We will proudly,
and patriotically, continue to denounce war despite whatever misguided sense
of euphoria supports it.
* * *
February 14, 2003
Former Iraqi nuclear scientist speaks out
By Dr Imad Khadduri
A former Iraqi nuclear scientist who was instrumental in Iraq's nuclear
weapons programme in the 1980s and early 1990s has charged that recent
allegations concerning the competence and progress of the Iraqi nuclear
weapons programme are baseless and untrue. In a series of three articles
published by YellowTimes.org, Imad Khadduri paints a dismal picture of
Iraq's scientific community, with many scientists and engineers unemployed
and scrounging for work, after the Kuwait War and subsequent allied
bombing reduced any nuclear hopes to rubble. Khadduri also charges Khidhir
Hamza, a former Iraqi scientist with whom Khadduri worked, with
fabricating and exaggerating his importance in Iraq's nuclear programme in
the book Saddam's Bombmaker.
Shortly after Yellowtimes.org published Khadduri's third article on 7
February 2003, in which he refuted US Secretary of State Colin Powell's
allegations, made at the UN Security Council two days earlier, that Iraq was
continuing with its nuclear weapons programme, the site was shut down by its
hosting company for "technical reasons".
Below we publish all three of Khadduri's articles.
Iraq's nuclear non-capability
The war storm swirled by the American and British governments against
Iraq, particularly the issue of Iraq's nuclear capability, raises serious doubts
about the credibility of their intelligence sources as well as their non-scientific and threadbare interpretation of that information. It is often
stated that lack of insider information on this matter is scarce. Perhaps it is
not too late to rectify this misinformation campaign.
I worked with the Iraqi nuclear programme from 1968 until my departure
from Iraq in late 1998. Having been closely involved in most of the major
nuclear activities of that programme, be it the Russian research reactor in
the late 1960s, the French research reactors in the late 1970s, the Russian
nuclear power programme in the early 1980s, the nuclear weapons programme
during the 1980s and, finally, the confrontations with UN inspection teams in
the nineties, it behoves me that I may ridicule the present American and
British allegations about Iraq's nuclear capability.
It would be interesting to start my discourse in 1991. A week before the
cessation of two months of saturation bombings of the target-rich Iraq, it
came to the attention of the Americans that a certain complex of buildings
in Tarmiah that was carpet bombed, for lack of any other remaining
prominent targets, exhibited unusual swarming activity by rescuers the next
morning. When they compared the photographs of that complex with other
standing structures in Iraq, they were surprised to find an exact replica of
that complex in the north of Iraq, near Sharqat, which was nearing
completion. They directed their bombers to demolish that complex a few
days before the end of hostilities.
My family, along with the families of most prominent Iraqi nuclear scientists
and the top management of that complex, were residing in the housing
complex. These two complexes were designed for the Calutron separators,
the method used by the American Manhattan Project to develop the first
atomic weapons that were dropped by the Americans on Japan.
At the end of 1991, and after the infamous UN inspector David Kay got hold
of many of the nuclear weapons programme's reports, whose documentation
and hiding I was in charge of until the start of the war, the Americans
realized that their saturation bombing had also missed a most important
complex of buildings, at al-Atheer, that was the centre for the design and
assembly of the nuclear bomb. A mere one bomb, thermally guided, had hit
the electric substation outside the perimeter of the complex, causing little
The telling revelation about these two events is the dearth of any
information, until 1991, in the coffers of the heavily subsidized American and
British intelligence services about these building complexes. More
importantly, they had no idea of the programmes that they harboured, which
were on full steam for the previous 10 years.
What really happened to Iraq's nuclear weapons programme after the 1991
Immediately after the cessation of hostilities, the entire organization that
was responsible for the nuclear weapons project was directed to the
reconstruction of the heavily damaged oil refineries, electric power stations
and telephone exchange buildings. The developed expertise of the several
thousand scientific, engineering and technical personnel manifested itself in
the impressive restoration of the oil, electric and communications
infrastructure in a matter of months.
Then, the UN inspectors were ushered in. The senior scientists and
engineers among the nuclear personnel were instructed many times on how to
cooperate with the inspectors. We were also asked to hand in to our own
officials any reports or incriminating evidence, on pain of severe punishment,
including the death penalty, for failing to do so.
In the first few months, the clean sheets were hung up for all to see. When
the scientific questioning mounted, our scientists asked to refer to the
scientific and technical reports that had been amassed during the 10 years
of activity. But a crucial error was committed, in that an order was issued to
return the project's documents, which had been travelling up and down Iraq
in a welded train carriage, for depositing in their original location. That is
where David Kay pounced on them in the early morning hours in September
1991. Among the documents were those of al-Atheer and the bomb
In the following few years, the nuclear weapons project organization was
slowly disbanded; by 1994, its various departments were either elevated to
independent civilian industrial enterprises or absorbed into the Military
Industrial Authority under Hussein Kamil, who later escaped to Jordan in
1996 and then returned to Baghdad where he was murdered.
Meanwhile, the brinkmanship with the UN inspectors continued. At one
heated encounter, an American inspector remarked that the nuclear
scientists and engineers were still around, accusingly hinting that they may
be readily used for a rejuvenated nuclear programme. The retort was, "What
do you want us to do to satisfy you? Ask them to commit suicide?"
In 1994, a report surfaced claiming that Iraq was still intent on
manufacturing a nuclear bomb and had been continuing this work since 1991.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors brought the
report to Baghdad, demanding a full explanation. Being responsible for the
proper issuance and the archiving of the scientific and engineering reports
for the nuclear weapons project during the 1980s, my opinion on the
authenticity of the report was requested. The report was well written, most
probably by someone who had detailed knowledge of the existing
documentation procedures. However, it was immediately pointed out to the
IAEA inspectors that certain words used in the report would not normally be
used by us, but by Iranians, and an Arabic-Iranian dictionary was brought in
to verify our findings. The IAEA inspectors never referred back to that
During these years, the spectre of hyperinflation began to appear. In the
following years it would spell the end of the careers of most of Iraq's
nuclear scientists and engineers.
In 1996, Hussein Kamil, who was in charge of the spectrum of chemical,
biological and nuclear programmes, announced from his self-imposed exile in
Amman that there were hidden scientific caches in his farm in Iraq.
Apparently, he had his security entourage stealthily salvage what they
thought were the most important pieces of information and documentation in
these programmes. The UN inspectors pounced in, and a renewed, strenuous
series of confrontations unfolded until they were asked to leave Iraq in
In the final years of the 1990s, we struggled hard to produce a satisfying
report, to the best of our knowledge (and sometimes memory), for the IAEA
inspectors on the whole gamut of Iraq's nuclear activities, including the
weapons programme. The IAEA finally issued its report in October 1997
mapping in great details these activities and vaguely raising some "politically
In the meantime - and this is the gist of my discourse - the economic
standing of the Iraqi nuclear scientists and engineers (along with the rest of
the civil servants and the professional middle class) had crumpled
pathetically to poverty levels. Even with occasional salary inducements and
some flimsy benefits, many of this highly educated elite had been forced to
sell their possessions just to keep their families alive. Needless to say, their
spirits had sunk very low and their cynicism had risen high.
A relatively few had managed to leave Iraq. But, because of family ties,
poverty and fear of the brutal security apparatus, the majority are too
frightened even to consider a plan of escape. Their previous determination
and drive of the 1980s have been crushed by the harsh economic realities,
their knowledge and experience rusting with age and distance from research
and work in their fields.
Until my departure from Iraq in late 1998, and having often visited most of
the newly created industrial enterprises commandeered by the previous
nuclear scientists and engineers, as well as the barely-functioning Nuclear
Research Institute at Tuwaitha, one cannot but notice the pathetic mere
shadow of their former selves. The dreaded fear of those who work in them
is that of retirement - on a pension equivalent to 2 US dollars per month.
Yet, the American and British intelligence services, more likely tainted by
war-hungry political considerations, seem to blow a balloon full of holes.
A consignment of aluminium pipes may, perhaps, could and might possibly end
in kilometres-long (according to Western scientists) highly technical
centrifugal spinners. One would hope not to put it beyond the intelligence of
the US and British intelligence services to, for once, point out to their
leaders that there are no remaining qualified Iraqi staff to set up and run
these supposed enrichment spinners.
Last month, on a recent guided tour by journalists to a suspected, maybe,
possible uranium extraction plant in Akashat in western Iraq, an Iraqi
pointed to the demolished buildings and asked a rhetorical, tongue-in-cheek
question: "Who would make any use of these ruins? Maybe your experts
would tell us how."
While the Iraqi nuclear scientists and engineers have not committed suicide,
the difference between that and their present existence is, by now, is
Bush and Blair are pulling their publics by the nose, once again covering their
hollow, patriotic jingoism with shoddy intelligence. But the two parading
emperors have no clothes.
** This article was originally published by Yellowtimes,org on 21 November
is full of lies
The book Saddam's Bombmaker, recently published by Khidhir Hamza,
recounted the author's 22 years of experience with the Iraqi Atomic
Energy Commission (IAEC). Hamza exaggerated to a great extent his
own role in the nuclear weapons programme. As I personally know the
author and have worked with him during these two decades, I wish to
clarify the following untruths and misinformation that have been
postulated by him in his book.
There is a huge difference between those who worked with the government
for scientific and professional reasons despite being under the sharp sword
of government security agencies, and those who try to hide their fear with a
fig leaf. A few scientists who believed in their work realized the slippery
road they were treading and tried to leave before and after the 1991 Gulf
War. While some were able to flee Iraq, others, such as Dr al-Shahrastani
(who was also charged with other offences), ceased his work despite the
penalty of death given to such rebellious actions.
But when the bells of fear first started to ring in Hamza's mind in 1974,
when he prepared the first nuclear weapons project report at the request of
the government, he decided to stay in Iraq until it was convenient for him to
go abroad. In the 1970s and 1980s, it would have been much easier and less
risky to leave, yet he wallowed in Iraq in nice Mercedes cars while attending
scientific conventions with lavish stipends. He kept deluding himself, as he
naively mentions in his book, that the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) or the CIA would contact him and magically whisk him out of Iraq as
if on a flying carpet.
Even though he was the head of the physics department in the nuclear
research centre for 10 years during the 1970s, his deep inner fear of
radiation prevented him from ever entering the reactor hall or touching any
scientific instruments, probably because of his continual fear of an electric
jolt that he experienced as a child, as his book mentions.
Hamza's aversion to scientific experimentation drove him to insist on
working solely on the highly theoretical three-body-problem during the
1970s, far removed from any of the initial work on fission that was carried
on during that period at the Iraqi Nuclear Research Centre. He did not, even
remotely, get involved in any scientific research, except for journalistic
articles, dealing with the fission bomb, its components or its effects. The
testimony to this is the recorded archive of the IAEC for the 1970s that
point to the efforts of others in this field, and none to the self-proclaimed
At the end of the 1970s, he completely refused to take any responsibility in
the Iraqi-purchased French research reactor, and left that task to the
great Egyptian scientist, Dr Yehya El-Meshad, who was assassinated by the
Israeli secret service Mossad in Paris in 1980.
After he again withdrew from any leadership responsibility for the nuclear
weapons project which started in earnest in 1980 in direct response to the
Israeli attack on the OSIRAK reactor, leaving it to one of Iraq's great
physicists, Hamza was merely assigned the gaseous diffusion project. He did,
in fact, spend some effort in buying the fine filters needed for that project,
but his fear of entering the project hall was a cause of many hilarious puns.
In the mid 1980s, Hamza was asked by Hussein Kamil to write a report on the
progress of the weapon programme to present to the government. In
response to this report, the whole programme was put under the control and
guidance of Hussein Kamil himself in 1987. The pace of work accelerated
immensely until 1991. However, during that time, the "bombmaker" was
kicked out of the programme at the end of 1987 after he was accused of
stealing a few air conditioning units from the building assigned to his project.
This he conveniently omitted to mention in his book, but cited frequent
travels abroad to garner assistance and equipment, while in fact he was an
outcast in the project and did not attend any seminar or brainstorming
sessions during that intense period.
The "bombmaker" did make a great deal in his book of his role in building the
al-Atheer weapon manufacturing centre during the late 1980s, while in fact
he was going round in circles doing nothing at the Tuwaitha Research Centre,
as a mere has-been, and did not even have office space in al-Atheer. He was,
in fact, assigned the peripheral job of writing a report on the American
Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) project and spent his time collecting
whatever information was available in the library from newspapers and
scientific journals. He spent all his time during these critical years in the
library and, in 1989, was made a sort of consultant, still loosely attached to
the IAEA, but also taught at a university two days a week, far removed from
any bomb making.
In addition, he was thoroughly annoyed and bitter because of the CIA's
rejection of his appeal for them to take him, through the auspices of the
Iraqi National Congress representative in the north of Iraq, where he fled
alone, leaving his family behind, in 1994. He pathetically thought that the
CIA was not aware of his miniscule role in bomb making, especially after the
weapon programme's scientific report fell in the hands of the IAEA
inspectors in 1991. He claimed to be a repository of secrets while in fact he
was only regurgitating them. Worse than that, he claims in his book that in
1995 the CIA fabricated a story published in an English newspaper about his
submitting a report on the supposedly continuing Iraqi nuclear programme
just to ferret him out of his hiding place. Being a teacher at that time at a
Libyan university is not a place to hide, to say the least.
The extent of his fear climaxed when the Iraqi government sent his son to
Libya to persuade him to return. He rejected his son's appeals and again
scrambled to Europe, knocking desperately at the doors of the IAEA and the
CIA, who again gave him the cold shoulder. But then, it is most probable, the
CIA reconsidered his case in the light of the escape of Hussein Kamil to
Jordan and his revelation of yet more hidden technical reports at his chicken
farm in Iraq. The CIA thus hoped that Hamza might fill in some small gaps in
information and took him under their wings, helping him and his family to
settle in the US under their protection and strings.
I can only recall the image of "the bombmaker" straggling for two decades
during the 1970s, the 1980s and early 1990s with his tail between his legs,
looking over his shoulders and running to whomever gave him a piece of bone
with some meat on it, then suddenly springing from his cocoon at the end of
the 1990s as a Don Quixote with an American mask. Brandishing his wooden
sword in the small arena afforded to him by the CIA, he counted on the
silence of his colleagues, either out of fear of the Iraqi security agencies or
the blind cruelty of the American ones, not to expose his phoney claims in his
book, which may be rendered as a repayment to the CIA for their services to
him. His appearances on the weekly American talk shows are truly a
reflection of his present allegiances.
The reader might question the motive of my writing on this sensitive subject
and the personal tack apparent in it. All I can say is that, even if silence is
golden, not to speak out at this time against such fallacies would be the stuff
*** This article was originally published by Yellowtimes.org on 27 November
* * *
The nuclear bomb hoax
In his speech in front of the UN Security Council on 5 February 2003, US
Secretary of State Colin Powell did not offer any credible new evidence
concerning Iraq's nuclear weapons capability, which Bush and his entourage
continue to wave as a red flag in front of the eyes of the American people to
incite them shamefully into an unjust war.
On the contrary, the few flimsy so-called pieces of evidence that were
presented by Powell regarding a supposed continued Iraqi nuclear weapons
programme serve only to weaken the American and British accusations and
reveal their untenable attempt to cover with a fig leaf their threadbare
arguments and misinformation campaign. The false and untrue pieces of
Powell, in a theatrical query, asked why the Iraqi scientists were asked to
sign declarations, with a death penalty if not adhered to, not to reveal their
secrets to the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) inspection teams.
Exactly the opposite is true. The four or five, as I recall, such declarations,
which I read in detail, held us to the penalty of death in the event that we
did not hand in all of the sensitive documents and reports that may still be in
our possession! Had Powell's intelligence services provided him with a copy of
these declarations, and not depended on the testimonies of "defectors" who
are motivated solely by the desire for self-promotion in the eyes of their
"beholders", and availed himself to a good Arabic translation of what these
declarations actually said, he would not, had he in any way been abiding by
the truth, mentioned this as "evidence".
This is exactly the cause of the second untruth brandished by Powell: that
Iraq is hiding or is still working (it is hard to discern from the tangle of his
word what is really meant) on its "third" uranium enrichment process by
referring to the cache of documents seized in the house of Faleh Hamza.
Faleh, according to my interpretation of the above declarations, did not
consider the reports on his work to be covered under this declaration for
the following reason: Faleh did dabble during the 1980s at the Physics
Department in the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre itself - but not under
the nuclear weapon programme activities which came under the label of the
PetroChemical 3 (PC3) programme - with the uranium laser enrichment
process using a couple of medium range copper lasers.
His low-key research concluded that it was not yet viable to pursue this line
of enrichment on a production scale and the whole project folded up after it
reached a cul-de-sac in 1988. He packed up and then joined the PC3 working
on the Calutron enrichment method in 1989. Furthermore, this was well
documented and explained in our final report to the IAEA inspectors in late
1997, which they confirmed and referred to in their own final report on the
Yet, fully aware of this fact, the James Bondian and insulting manner with
which UNMOVIC (following in the footsteps of their CIA-infiltrated
UNSCOM predecessors) invaded the home of Faleh and searched it, even the
private belongings of his family, in the glare of the cameras, added insult to
injury and exponentially increased Faleh's position vis-a-vis the authorities
who were trying to protect the scientists from such American theatrics.
Arrogantly, the Americans are wondering why other scientists are not coming
forward. Even worse, Blix chose to wave this torn flag in front of the
Security Council in his report on 27 January 2003. This fact alone was one of
the reasons I have decided to come out. Even Mohamed Baradei, the head of
the IAEA, chided Blix the following day for not taking into account the
IAEA's knowledge on this matter, which was that the 3,000 pages of
documents were financial statements and Faleh's own lifetime research
work, and had nothing to do with the nuclear weapons programme. That is
why he kept them at his home. It was becoming apparent that Blix was
succumbing to the American pressure tactics and leaned over backwards to
provide them with flimsy "proof" at the expense of his supposed fairness and
mandate as a UN official. Powell grasped even this straw.
Powell only accused but did not provide any evidence that Iraq had tried to
get nuclear-grade fissile material since 1998. He vainly gave the impression
that everything was set and readily waiting for just this material to be
acquired and that the atomic bomb would be rolling out of the other door. He
did not bother to ask himself the following questions:
Where is the scientific and engineering staff required for such an enormous
effort when almost all of them have been living in abject poverty for the
past decade, striving simply to feed their families on 20 US dollars a month,
their knowledge and expertise rusted and atrophied under heavy
psychological pressures and dreading their retirement pension salary of 2 US
dollars a month?
Where is the management that might lead such an enterprise? The previous
management team of the nuclear weapons programme in the 1980s exists
only in memories and reports. Its members have retired, secluded
themselves, or turned to fending for the livelihood of their families.
Where are the buildings and infrastructure to support such a programme?
The entire nuclear weapons programme of the 1980s has been either bombed
by the Americans during the war or uncovered by the IAEA inspectors. It is
impossible to hide such buildings and structures. Powell should only take a
look at North Korea's atomic weapons facilities, or perhaps even Israel's, to
realize the impossibility of hiding such structures with the IAEA inspectors
scouring everything in sight.
Powell need only ask those on the ground, the IAEA inspectors delegated by
the UN upon America's request, to receive negative answers to all of the
questions above. Instead, he chose to fabricate an untruth.
Finally, the infamous aluminium pipes that are supposed to be used in a
centrifugal enrichment process. Powell and Bush should be able to relax
regarding this point, for they would have at least a 10-year attack period
before Iraq would be able to militarize these pipes.
According to the "American experts" themselves, such a process would need
kilometres of strung out, highly tuned, delicately controlled spinners to fulfil
their ill-wish for Iraq. Not to be noticed by their satellites, PowerPoint
presentations and coloured arrows would then be an intelligence folly. This is
not even mentioning the lack of a stable electric power supply in Iraq or the
phantom of highly technical staff to run these kilometres long "very high
grade and expensive" mortar casings that are not made to US military
standards. Perhaps Powell's grievance was, "How dare Iraq think of such
Powell said: "Let me now turn to nuclear weapons. We have no indication that
Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons programme." This
verges on being humorous. But as the Arabic proverb goes: The worst kind of
misfortune is that which causes you to laugh.
**** This article was originally published by Yellowtimes.org on 7 February
2003. Shortly after it was published, Yellowtimes.org was shut down by its
hosting company for "technical reasons".
*Imad Khadduri has an MSc in Physics from the University of Michigan
(United States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor Technology from the
University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Khadduri worked at the Iraqi
Atomic Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998. He was able to leave Iraq in
late 1998 with his family. He now teaches and works as a network
administrator in Toronto, Canada. He has been interviewed by the Toronto
Star, Reuters, and various other news agencies in regards to his knowledge
of the Iraqi nuclear programme.
February 17, 2003
U.S. MAY SEEK PLAN
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that
a confrontation with Iraq is inevitable.
By Gina Holland, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Faced with broad opposition to war at the United Nations,
President Bush’s national security adviser said yesterday that the White
House might push a new U.N. plan to force a showdown with Saddam Hussein.
Condoleezza Rice said it was becoming more obvious that the Iraqi president
would not disarm voluntarily and that the United Nations was letting him get
away with it.
“Continuing to talk about more time and more time and more time is simply
going to relieve pressures on the Iraquis to do what they must do,” Rice said
on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The administration was evaluating all options after being rebuffed Friday at
the U.N. Security Council, where members lined up behind France’s call for
more weapons inspections and against military action.
Rice said on “Fox News Sunday” that the administration may ask the United
Nations to take up a new resolution authorizing force against Iraq, although
she said action was already sanctioned by a previous resolution.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on the same program that the resolution
being presented this week by the United States and Britain would likely call
for “definitive progress” in Iraq’s disarmament.
“If that’s rejected, thin I think the United States of America is going to
have to make some difficult decisions,” McCain said.
Rice, however, said: “We have not drafted the resolution. We’re working it
with different parties, with our friends.”
The United States, she added, was ready to go to war with or
without U.N. support....
“Putting this off is not an option,” Rice said.
France has led a formidable bloc calling for extended inspections and wants
to wait on a resolution at least until March 14. Inspectors are to report on
March 1 to the 15-member council.
Rice said a confrontation was inevitable with Saddam.
“Sooner or later, we believe sooner, the Security Council is going to have to
say that he has not taken that final opportunity to comply, and the Security
Council is going to have to act, or the United States will have to act with a
coalition of the willing,” Rice said on Fox....
March 14, 2003
Fake Iraq documents
'embarrassing' for U.S.
From David Ensor, CNN Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Intelligence documents that U.S. and British
governments said were strong evidence that Iraq was developing nuclear
weapons have been dismissed as forgeries by U.N. weapons inspectors.
The documents, given to International Atomic Energy Agency Director
General Mohamed ElBaradei, indicated that Iraq might have tried to buy 500
tons of uranium from Niger, but the agency said they were "obvious" fakes.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell referred to the documents
directly in his presentation to the U.N. Security council outlining the Bush
administration's case against Iraq.
"I'm sure the FBI and CIA must be mortified by this because it is extremely
embarrassing to them," former CIA official Ray Close said.
Responding to questions about the documents from lawmakers, Powell said,
"It was provided in good faith to the inspectors and our agency received it in
good faith, not participating ... in any way in any falsification activities."
"It was the information that we had. We provided it. If that information is
inaccurate, fine," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press" last Sunday.
"We don't believe that all the issues surrounding nuclear weapons have been
resolved [in Iraq]," he said.
How were forgeries missed?
But the discovery raises questions such as why the apparent forgeries were
given to inspectors and why U.S. and British intelligence agents did not
recognize that they were not authentic.
Sources said that one of the documents was a letter discussing the uranium
deal supposedly signed by Niger President Tandja Mamadou. The sources
described the signature as "childlike" and said that it clearly was not
Another, written on paper from a 1980s military government in Niger, bears
the date of October 2000 and the signature of a man who by then had not
been foreign minister of Niger in 14 years, sources said.
"The IAEA has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts
that these documents -- which formed the basis for the reports
of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger -- are not
in fact authentic," ElBaradei said in his March 7 presentation to the U.N.
Close said the CIA should have known better.
"They have tremendously sophisticated and experienced people in their
technical services division, who wouldn't allow a forgery like this to get by,"
Close said. "I mean it's just mystifying to me. I can't understand it."
A U.S. intelligence official said that the documents were passed on to the
International Atomic Energy Agency within days of being received with the
comment, " 'We don't know the provenance of this information, but here it
If a mistake was made, a U.S. official suggested, it was more likely due to
incompetence not malice.
"That's a convenient explanation, but it doesn't satisfy me," Close said.
"Incompetence I have not seen in those agencies. I've seen plenty of malice,
but I've never seen incompetence."
Who made the forgeries?
But the question remains -- who is responsible for the apparent forgeries?
Experts said the suspects include the intelligence services of Iraq's
neighbors, other pro-war nations, Iraqi opposition groups or simply con men.
Most rule out the United States, Great Britain or Israel because they said
those countries' intelligence services would have been able to make much
more convincing forgeries if they had chosen to do so.
President Bush even highlighted the documents in his State of the
Union address on January 28.
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently
sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," Bush said.
U.S. officials said that the assertion by the president and British
government was also based on additional evidence of Iraqi efforts to obtain
uranium from another African country.
But officials would not say which nation and a knowledgeable U.S. official
said that there was not much to that evidence either.
March 17, 2003
BUSH, ALLIES SEND U.N. AN
ULTIMATUM ON IRAQ
Three leaders vow last-ditch effort at diplomatic end
By Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post
LAJES, Azores – President Bush and leading allies demanded yesterday that
the United Nations act today on a resolution authorizing the use of force
and that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein agree to “full and immediate
disarmament” or face the onset of war.
“Tomorrow is the day that we will determine whether or not diplomacy can
work,” Bush said in an appearance with Prime Ministers Tony Blair of Britain,
Jose Maria Aznar of Spain and Jose Durao Barroso of Portugal after a one-hour meeting.
“We conclude that tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world.”
Bush, Blair and Aznar avoided saying they had given up on the 15-member
Security Council, and promised to make a last-ditch effort to persuade a
majority of members to support the resolution.
The leaders’ options now appear to be limited to losing a vote on a resolution
they have jointly sponsored to authorize the use of force, or withdrawing
the measure and declaring they do not need United Nations approval to wage
After their brief meeting, Bush and the other leaders walked immediately to
a set of podiums to read statements clearly prepared beforehand. Bush
announced the ultimatum, denounced Saddam’s “history of mass murder” and
vowed that “Iraq’s liberation would be the beginning, not the end, or our
commitment to its people.”
Bush also raised again the possibility that Saddam could leave Iraq, although
administration officials view that “as highly unlikely. “Saddam Hussein can
leave the country, if he’s interested in peace,” Bush said.
“You see the decision is his to make.”
The United States has massed more than 200,000 troops in the Persian Gulf
region, most of them lining the Iraqi border with Kuwait and ready to move.
More than 30,000 British troops are also expected to participate.
Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday
morning, said that “we are approaching the point where further delay helps
no one but Saddam Hussein.”
Additional delay, Cheney said, would give Saddam time to “position his forces
to attack” and to “try to mount terrorist attacks” against the United
In three weeks of intense diplomacy since the resolution was introduced,
Bush and Blair failed to win the nine of 15 security votes necessary for
passage, as one nation after another resisted a deadline of today as too
short, and refused to authorize an invasions before first settling additional
disarmament tests for Iraq by U.N. inspectors.
France, Russia and Germany have been most prominent in opposing the use of
Yesterday, Bush and other senior member of his administration directed
much of their ire at France, which has threatened to veto the measure.
Bush, on March 6, was asked at a news conference whether he would demand
a vote on the resolution even if it appeared doomed to failure. He replied,
“You bet,” and said it was time for council members to “show their cards.”
Asked yesterday whether the vote would be canceled, Bush said with obvious
irritation, “France showed their cards....They said they are going to veto
anything that held Saddam to account. So cards have been played.”
Citing the French “track record” over a number of years, Cheney said “they
have consistently opposed attempts to hold Saddam Hussein responsible.”...
March 17, 2003
BUSH: TODAY IS
‘MOMENT OF TRUTH’
Allies are prepared to act no matter what U.N. does
The New York Times
LEJAS, Azores – President Bush and the leaders of Britain and Spain issued
an ultimatum to the U.N. Security Council yesterday, declaring that the
diplomatic effort to win support for disarming Iraq would end today. They
made it clear that they were ready to start a war to depose Saddam
Hussein, with or without United Nations support.
After a hurried meeting at an air base on Terceira island in the eastern
Atlantic, the leaders declined to say directly whether they would force a
vote on the Security Council resolution they have sponsored declaring that
Saddam must disarm, or withdraw it.
That decision, they said, would come today after one more attempt to
persuade the six undecided members of the Security Council to vote to
approve military action, and last-ditch pressure on France to refrain from
exercising the veto it had threatened.
But Bush made it clear yesterday that the outcome at the United
Nations made little difference, and that military action would begin
“We concluded that tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world,” Bush said.
The leaders’ statement came only hours after France proposed to give Iraq
roughly 30 days to comply with inspections, but left vague what would happen
at the end of that period.
Vice President Dick Cheney rejected the proposal: “It’s difficult to take
the French serious and believe that this is anything other than just further
March 18, 2003
IRAQ’S ‘TYRANT WILL
SOON BE GONE’
By Richard W. Stevenson, The New York Times
WASHINGTON - President Bush said last night that Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein has 48 hours to go into exile or face attack from the United States
and a handful of allies.
“The tyrant will soon be gone,” Bush vowed as 250,000 American troops
stood poised to strike.
In an address to the nation, Bush said the Iraqi leader and his two sons must
leave the country. He warned diplomats, aid workers and journalists in Iraq
to get out of harm’s way immediately...
For the president, the speech marked the end of a long period of diplomacy
aimed at convincing skeptical allies like France and Germany, as well as the
U.N. Security Council, that force would be necessary to disarm Saddam.
That diplomatic effort ended in failure and Bush was sharply critical last
night of both France and the Security Council.
The United States now faces a war with only Britain, among allies, giving
significant military support....
March 18, 2003
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
By Fred Eckhard
Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations
UN Headquarters, New York
IRAQ: WITHDRAWAL OF UN INTERNATIONAL
>> The withdrawal of UN international staff from Iraq is continuing in
accordance to the authorization given by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on
>> The Secretary-General had informed the Security Council of that decision
based on information which he had received from the United Kingdom and
United States authorities regarding the continued safety and security of
United Nations personnel.
>> At the end of the operation, more than 300 international staff will have
departed. These are international staff in Iraq from the United Nations
Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Office of the Iraq
Programme and United Nations agencies, programmes and funds implementing
the Oil for Food Programme.
>> In addition, the Secretary-General has authorized United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), which patrols the demilitarized zone
between Iraq and Kuwait, to withdraw....
>> As a result of the withdrawal, all United Nations activities in Iraq will be
suspended until further notice. However, the Secretary-General has stated
that the United Nations will find a way to resume its humanitarian activities
to help the Iraqi people and do whatever it can to provide them assistance
IRAQI OIL EXPORTS UNDER UN PROGRAMME NET
$340 MILLION IN PAST WEEK
>> According to the Office of the Iraq Programme, during the week of March
8 through 14, Iraqi oil exports reached 12.7 million barrels generating
approximately $340 million.
>> Asked about what would happen with the Oil for Food Programme in
case of conflict, the Spokesman answered the UN’s Oil for Food Programme
has the government of Iraq as a partner. In case of conflict, Eckhard added,
it would be up to the Security Council to redefine the programme’s mandate
and operating modalities. The Spokesman added that the Secretary-General
is particularly eager to see that there is a continuation of the Oil for Food
Programme, which is a big network to deliver a massive amount of
>> Eckhard said that, in the event of war, we would want to see the goods
that are currently in the pipeline be delivered by UN staff to the Iraqi
population once the hostilities have ceased....
>> Asked about the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people now, the
Spokesman said in case of conflict, according to international humanitarian
law, the primary responsibility for meeting the humanitarian needs of the
population falls on the occupying power. In a second phase, once the
hostilities had ended, the UN agencies and their NGO partners could then
move in and get to work.
>> Eckhard stressed that UN operations were temporarily suspended and
that UN agencies were ready to go back to work as soon as possible....
The United Nations (www.un.org)
March 18, 2003
Probe for Iraqi weapons should
UNMOVIC's Hans Blix briefing reporters
Speaking on the day the last United Nations weapons monitors were
withdrawn from Iraq, the top inspector, Hans Blix, today said he feels the
inspections should not have been stopped at this stage.
"I don't think it is reasonable to close the door to inspections after three
and a half months," Mr. Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), said in answer to
questions during a briefing of the UN Correspondents Association in New
York. He added that he did not think Security Council resolution 1441,
adopted in November, foresaw such a short inspection time.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday ordered the withdrawal of all
UN personnel, including UNMOVIC inspectors, after receiving information
from the United Kingdom and United States regarding the continued safety
and security of UN personnel in Iraq.
Mr. Blix, who is to discuss a work plan of remaining disarmament issues
tomorrow at the Security Council, also said the inspectors had never
asserted that Iraq had any remaining weapons of mass destruction, only that
there were a lot of things unaccounted for. It would be interesting, he
added, to see what would come out when people go in and can go anywhere
and examine the sort of intelligence the inspectors never had access to.
He also said he did not think Iraq would use chemical or biological weapons in
a war with a US-led coalition, although it had the know-how to produce and
deliver chemical weapons.
"I think it is unlikely they will do that because I think world public opinion,
which they study quite a lot, is in large measure feeling that going to war is
too early," he said. "So there is a fair amount of scepticism about armed
action. That scepticism would turn immediately around if they used chemical
weapons or biological weapons. My guess is they would not."
Asked if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government would care if it was
about to be overthrown, he said: "Some people care about their reputation
even after death."
United Nations website (www.un.org)
March 19, 2003
WORLD BRACES FOR
Saddam’s decision to stay called ‘final mistake’
From New York Times and AP Dispatches
In prelude to war, Saddam Hussein mocked an American ultimatum yesterday
to surrender power and leave Iraq, and the White House said Saddam had
thus made his “final mistake.”...
At a series of top-level meetings, Saddam warned the “American, English and
Zionist invading aggressors” that they faced defeat.
Using the Islamic references and the anti-Israeli virulence that have been a
dominant feature of his recent speeches, he predicted a “holy war” that
would wipe out the ranks” of invading U.S. troops.
Iraq’s envoy of to the United Nations, Mohammed Al-Douri, called the
ultimatum “madness,” and said this was the first time in history that the
president of one nation had ordered another to leave his own country.
In Baghdad, Saddam’s elder son, Odai, issued a statement calling Bush
“unstable” and saying he “should give up power in America with his family.”
In Washington, Fleishcher said, “Saddam Hussein, if he doesn’t leave the
country, will make his final mistake.”
March 19, 2003
UN Children's Fund warns of war's
disastrous potential for Iraqi youngsters
By Carol Bellamy, United Nations
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) issued a stark warning today
that the most vulnerable of Iraq's children may not have the strength to
survive the impact of war.
"Conflict could very well have disastrous consequences for Iraqi children,"
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. "Malnourished children,
children who have not been immunized, children who are displaced from their
homes - all these children are at very high risk."
Noting that children make up half the population of Iraq and that UNICEF
had carried out nutrition and immunizations programmes to boost the
resilience of the most vulnerable children, Ms. Bellamy added: "But still the
questions remains, will they be strong enough to survive?"
There was no way of knowing how many children might perish during war or
its aftermath, since that would depend on how long war lasts and how it
affects civilian infrastructure, Ms. Bellamy said. But, she warned, "children
will die in this war. That's a fact. The question is how many children we can
protect. That has got to be a priority for all of us now."
UNICEF said it had positioned thousands of tons of emergency relief
supplies in Iraq and neighbouring countries to help mount a rapid response,
including essential medicines, water purification tablets, therapeutic milk and
other life-saving supplies.
Following the withdrawal of UN international staff from Iraq on Tuesday,
UNICEF's work in the country is now in the hands of its 160 national staff
Effects of Sanctions
"What we are doing is destroying
an entire society. It is as simple
and terrifying as that."
-- Denis Halliday (former UN coordinator of the Oil-for-Food Program
and Nobel Peace Prize nominee)
The lack of clean water is the single biggest killer of children, the sick, and
the elderly. The majority of patients in Iraq's hospitals are stricken with
amoebic dysentery, gastroenteritis and other waterborne diseases. The
effect of the 1990 Persian Gulf War was the destruction of much of the
water delivery and sewage treatment infrastructure.
The U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the
country's water supply after the Gulf War ended.
The sanctions repeatedly prevent the country from importing necessary
spare parts and chemicals for the water treatment plants by declaring them
'dual usage'. The hospitals lack equipment and medicines to treat their
patients according to their medical needs as we heard and saw first hand
when we visited hospitals in Baghdad and Basrah.
Hundred thousands of Iraqi people died as a consequence of military attacks
and sanctions against the country. And still they are dying every day because
of simplest diseases. Mostly those who can least resist the combined
pressures of malnutrition, infections and diseases -- the elderly and young
children, women during pregnancy and childbirth.
Perhaps the most tragic causes have been the unavailability of clean water
THE IRAQ WATER PROJECT
The Iraq Water Project (IWP) is a project of Veterans for Peace, Inc,
a national, veterans Peace & Justice organization based in St. Louis, MO. Our
main partners in the IWP are Life for Relief & Development, a non-profit
organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the world, and
the Committee in Solidarity with the People of Iraq (CISPI) who raise
community awareness of the suffering of the Iraqi people and substantial
funds for the IWP.
Thousands of families now have access to clean water
The Iraq Water Project has so far sent three teams of veterans to Iraq who
paid for their own expenses and worked alongside the Iraqi laborers
repairing water treatment plants. We are proud to announce that thanks to
the IWP six water treatment plants in different cities and provinces of Iraq
are now again serving clean water to more than 85,000 people....
But many more still don’t
As a consequence of bombing and sanctions the ordinary Iraqi people were
impoverished and many of them deprived of basic necessities of life.
Especially children, women during pregnancy and childbirth, the sick and the
elderly are dying from simplest diseases and the lack of medicine. Access to
clean drinking water is one of those basic necessities and we are determined
to continue our work to end the sanctions and rebuild more water plants until
the sanctions are lifted.
bird in the world
sits sadly on a broken branch
and sweetly sings a song to the
– James VanHise, Fragments
March 25, 2003
PROBE SOUGHT OF PENTAGON
ADVISER RICHARD PERLE
By Jeremy Pelofsky
WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - A senior U.S. Democrat has called for
an investigation of Richard Perle, an architect of the war on Iraq, for
possible conflicts of interest in his roles as corporate adviser and Pentagon
Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, asked the Pentagon's inspector general to probe
Perle's work as a paid adviser to bankrupt telecommunications company
Global Crossing Ltd. and his guidance on investment opportunities resulting
from the Iraq conflict.
"I am aware of several potential conflicts that warrant your immediate
review," Conyers said on Monday in a letter to the Defense Department's
inspector general, Joseph Schmitz. The letter was made available on
"Mr. Perle is considered a 'special government employee' and is subject to
government ethics prohibition -- both regulatory and criminal -- on using
public office for private gain," Conyers' letter said.
Perle did not return a call seeking comment on Tuesday but has said he has
always followed ethics rules. A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department
declined to comment. Standard practice is for the inspector general to
review such requests and determine whether an investigation is warranted.
"The president is confident that all laws will be followed by all people
who are on all commissions," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said in
response to a question about Perle at his daily news conference.
Perle chairs the Defense Policy Board, created in 2001 to advise the
Pentagon, but has no official policymaking role and is not paid.
A leading Washington hawk, he has played an influential role in developing
the Bush administration's blueprint for ousting Iraqi President Saddam
Critics have questioned Perle's activities when not advising Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
GLOBAL CROSSING REVIEW
Perle signed on to help Global Crossing, a bankrupt operator of an
international fiber-optic network, win U.S. approval to sell a 61.5 percent
stake to Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Singapore Technologies Telemedia
The plan has run into trouble with the Committee on Foreign Investment in
the United States. Including Rumsfeld and other top national security
officials, the panel can block mergers and acquisitions it feels could harm to
Global Crossing began talks to restructure the deal after the committee
raised concern that its network would be controlled by a company with
strong ties to China. Hutchison is majority owned by Hong Kong's richest
man, Li Ka-shing.
Perle has said he would be paid $125,000 for his advice and another
$600,000 if the government approves the deal.
An article in The New York Times cited a March 7 affidavit in which Perle
discussed his "unique perspective" on national defense and security and said
he had contacted a government official on Global Crossing's behalf.
"The fact that Mr. Perle may be reconsidering filing the affidavit does not
alter the existence of the alleged conflict," Conyers said, citing the
Conyers also asked the Pentagon to probe reports that Perle participated in
a conference call sponsored by Goldman Sachs (GS) to discuss investment
opportunities emerging from the war in Iraq and that he received stock
options from a company doing business with the U.S. military.
"I would submit that it is a conflict of interest for a high-ranking
government official to be proffering advice on how to profit from the war,"
A Goldman Sachs spokesman had no immediate comment.
Conyers also pointed out that Perle sits on the board of Autonomy Corp. ,
which lists the U.S. Army and military as customers, and received stock
© 2003 Reuters
March 31, 2003
MISSING IN ACTION
Governments have trained hundreds of thousands of weapons
scientists. And nobody knows where they are.
By Chana R. Schoenberger and Emily Lambert
THE SOVIET UNION trained 100,000 weapons scientists before the Cold
War’s end. No one knows exactly where they all are. Toss in the two dozen
other nations with active or dormant nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
programs, and you have a scary game of “Where Are They Now?”
It only takes a handful of white coats to set up a bomb factory or disease
lab. “For a few bucks and with a few people who know what they’re doing, [a
state] can really raise havoc,” says Edward Badolato, an international
security expert with the Shaw Group. These countries have created the
Most of the world’s weapons scientists speak some Russian, as the Soviets
had by far the biggest program. After the Cold War many retired; others
went off to grow potatoes. Hundreds emigrated, mainly to the U.S.,
Western Europe, and Israel.
The FSB, a descendant of the KGB, claims to monitor the former scientists,
but Russia hands are skeptical. Several global programs, funded mainly by
the U.S., employ Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh scientists.
The U.S. will spend $39 million this year on the program for 6,000 of them.
Dismantled its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs in 1989.
The 1,000 or so scientists were steered toward other jobs, at universities
or as retail clerks. The government tries to track the nuke experts, but it
can’t snoop too closely in a democracy.
Several dozen went mercenary, hiring themselves out to Libya to help build
Two top officials in the Pakistani program recently were detained on
suspicion of passing nuclear secrets to al-Qaeda. Pakistani scientists are
thought have helped Iran get its nuclear program started by building a gas
centrifuge in the 1990s, as well as aiding North Korea.
One sales brochure recently turned up advertising the services of the main
Pakistani centrifuge site for equipment sales and “consulting.”
Russia and China helped build North Korea’s weapons program in the 1970s
and 1980s. In addition to 3,000 native scientists, the country may have 2 to
4 Russians on retainer to work on its nukes, of which it may have one or two
Some 600 bioweaponeers on staff. Saddam has long ties to French nuclear
scientists, some of whom built the reactor that Israel bombed in 1981, as
well as to German and British firms.
Saddam probably employs a small handful of Russian scientists. They’re most
likely middle managers; if Saddam had a top guy, he would have a bomb by
Tens of thousands of scientists work on all areas of weapons development,
though some work was supposed to be cut back after a 1972 biowarfare
agreement, which China signed in 1984.
It is alleged to be producing viruses at Lop Nor in Central Asia.
The U.S. tries harder to track its scientists. Since last year the 1,000 labs
working with weapons potential germs have had to register with the Centers
for Disease Control or other agencies, and every scientist who wants to
work on the bugs must get an okay from the Department of Justice, which
vets researchers against intelligence databases.
Perhaps 100,000 scientists work for the Pentagon developing
weapons of mass destruction.
Anyone with a nuclear weapons security clearance must file paperwork
annually and alert the government about all foreign travel.
< < < FLASHBACK < < <
September 25, 2002
RICE ON IRAQ, WAR
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice talks with Margaret Warner
about Iraq, the United Nations, the United States' new pre-emptive
strike doctrine and recent criticism from Democratic leaders.
MARGARET WARNER: Welcome, Ms. Rice, thanks for joining us.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Thank you. It's nice to be with you.
MARGARET WARNER: As I'm sure you know, the Senate Majority Leader,
Tom Daschle, went angrily to the Senate floor today and accused the
president of politicizing this debate about going to war. What's your
response to that?
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: The president has never politicized this concern
about war and the national security of the American people. . . .
MARGARET WARNER: Now, the Hyde resolution also ties this to the War
Powers Act, and would require the president to report back to Congress
every 60 days. Would the president accept that?
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, as you know, it has long been traditional in
these matters that the president is willing to act consistent with the War
MARGARET WARNER: Now there are also some Democrats - this is not in
the Hyde proposal - that somehow want to come up with language that would
in some way - I don't want to say obligate the president - but would tie this
use of force to first going through the U.N. and trying to get the weapons
inspectors back in. How would the White House feel about that?
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, we think it would be a mistake for the United
States Congress to somehow tie its action to U.N. action. The president is
going to the United Nations through the Security Council.
He has made that very clear; he has made very clear that we want a U.N.
Security Council Resolution that will finally deal with the problem of Iraq and
hold Iraq accountable, but he's also said that if the United Nations Security
Council cannot find a way to act, then the United States and other states
that may wish to go with us will have to find a way to act.
The key here is that the United States is leading the world toward a
solution to the Iraq problem. The United States needs to speak with a
united voice - executive and legislative branches.
And the United States needs to speak so that the U.N. knows that
America is capable of acting with or without U.N. authorization.
Nonetheless, the president is committed to going to the U.N. and trying to
work this out, but we think it would be a mistake to tie American action
somehow to U.N. action. . . .
MARGARET WARNER: Let's turn now to the new national security
doctrine that you all rolled out last Friday and I understand you had a great
role in drafting.
And, as you know, there's been a lot of criticism particularly about the
doctrine of pre-emption which you laid out in writing, and let me just - I'm
going to read you just one - this comes from the French president, and he
actually spoke even before you rolled this out - the piece of paper - but he's
called the whole doctrine extraordinarily dangerous - "As soon as one
nation claims the right to take preventive action, other countries will
naturally do the same."
What do you say to that?
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, I would say that the idea of preventive action
is not a new concept. In fact, the idea that you have to wait to be attacked
to deal with a threat seems to us simply to fly in the face of common sense.
The United States has always reserved the right to try and diminish or to
try to eliminate a threat before it is attacked. It simply wouldn't make sense
to sit and wait to be attacked if you thought that you could eliminate a
threat. . . .
Now, to be sure, anticipatory self defense, or preemption has to be used
carefully. One would want to have very good intelligence. You probably would
have wanted to try a lot of other means before you move to eliminate the
threat in this way --
MARGARET WARNER: Let me close by asking you a couple of questions
about the joint inquiry into the pre-9/11 intelligence failures because you
just referred to the attack without warning.
You had said back in May, "I don't think anybody could have predicted
that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World
Trade Center, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile."
Now, as you know, the joint inquiry found otherwise; they found there was a
lot of historical evidence that, one, terrorists planned and were capable of
attacks in the U.S. - and two, that they talked a lot about using airplanes as
weapons. Given everything that has come out, do you still believe that the
attacks were unpredictable?
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Yes, I do still believe that the attacks were
unpredictable. Look, the 1998 reports that apparently some intelligence
analysts looked at and made an analysis that perhaps al-Qaida wanted to slam
planes into buildings were simply not made available to the Bush
We weren't here in 1998, and I think you have to look at the fact that this
was among a host of other intelligence analyses that suggested that car
bombs and attacks against nuclear plants, and other means of terrorism were
But the fact is when I spoke in May about what was presented to the
president on August 6, it is absolutely the case that what was presented to
the president and what was analyzed for him and what was analyzed
throughout the administration was traditional methods of hijacking - in fact
that the hijacking might be to try and win release of al-Qaida prisoners or
something like that.
There wasn't any mention or analysis of people slamming planes into
buildings; it simply wasn't there.
MARGARET WARNER: I guess the question these hearings brought up is
whether there should have been more information available to you - that
there was a whole problem of coordination, there were all these disparate
pieces of information out there -- that the U.S. Government was not
structured in a way to really respond, that the FBI agents in the field
didn't know George Tenet of the CIA declared war on al-Qaida.
I mean, you know the litany and I just wonder if you as the National
Security Adviser, who's responsible for making sure that all these agencies
ultimately coordinate for American security - that in retrospect you feel
that perhaps you just didn't -you all didn't and the Clinton Administration
before you - appreciate really the urgency of the threat and the need to
change things to deal with it.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I think people appreciated the urgency and the
threat, and I think both we and the Clinton Administration were trying to
deal seriously and aggressively with al-Qaida - but we have learned since
September 11, that there was inadequate intelligence sharing for a host of
traditional and cultural and in fact reasons going to the very nature of who
we are about what the FBI and the CIA could share.
And we know that now. It's why Director Mueller - Director Tenet - the
president in the creation of a Homeland Security Department - are moving t
o fix the stovepiping that obviously did exist. Everybody knows now that
there was inadequate intelligence sharing prior to 9/11.
We've learned a lot of lessons from that. And organizational changes are
being made to deal with that. A Homeland Security Department would, for
instance, be a place that all of the vulnerabilities of the United States could
be analyzed, that the intelligence that's coming in could be matched and
mapped on to those vulnerabilities and that responses could be programmed
and taken; that simply didn't exist in 1998, didn't exist prior to September
We really do believe that the key here is to try and take what we've learned
and to move forward and to make those organizational changes, and they are
MARGARET WARNER: Condoleezza Rice, thanks so much.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Thank you very much.
Online NewsHour: Rice on Iraq, War and Politics -- September 25,
* * *
October 10, 2002
What She Really Said...
Condoleezza Rice at the
by KURT NIMMO, CounterPunch
On October 1, Dubya's National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice,
delivered a speech at the exclusive Waldorf Astoria in New York. Members
of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research were in attendance.
The Manhattan Institute is a CIA-sponsored far right "think tank"
(founded in 1978 by William Casey, who subsequently became Reagan's CIA
director). The Manhattan Institute concerns itself with such things as
"welfare reform" (dismantling social programs), "faith-based initiatives"
(blurring the distinction between church and state), and "education reform"
(destroying public education).
It is curious Rice would deliver a speech before the Manhattan Institute,
considering the organization's close relationship with Charles Murray, a far
right ideologue who wrote The Bell Curve in 1984, a book that essentially
argues black people are genetically and intellectually inferior to white
Rice's speech consisted of a series of generalities related to various aspects
of the Dubya Doctrine. These sorely need translation and clarification. What
follows is a series of quotes lifted from Rice's speech, followed by
“Foreign policy is ultimately about security -- about defending our
people, our society and our values, such as freedom, tolerance,
openness and diversity.”
She is only partially right. Certainly, US foreign policy is about security --
the security of the only remaining post-colonialist super-power and the
multinational corporations it fronts. This alliance is increasingly confronted
with global resistance to its greedy desire for unimpeded access to labor and
Freedom, tolerance, and diversity have nothing to do with it -- in fact, these
lofty (and, in a predatory global business sense, impractical) ideals are
significant obstacles. Even so, they sound inspirational when laced through an
Orwellian speech delivered by a Dubya functionary with a Chevron oil tanker
named after her.
“President Bush's new National Security Strategy offers a bold
vision for protecting our nation that captures today's new realities
The ideological foundation of Bush's National Security Strategy is simple:
the US will no longer tolerate economic rivals such as Germany and Japan or
possible military rivals such as China and Russia.
As Dubya's NSS document outlines, "America will act against such emerging
threats before they are fully formed." Or, as Dick Cheney said when he
worked for Dubya's daddy, "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival that poses a threat on the order of that posed
formerly by the Soviet Union."...
“We will defend the peace by opposing and preventing violence by
terrorists and outlaw regimes.”
But only terrorists and outlaw regimes the US disagrees with. US-backed
terrorist states -- Israel, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and
others -- have nothing to worry about, so long as they don't get any funny
ideas like Saddam Hussein. If they insist on going their own way like
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, well, there will be trouble, maybe even a
whole lot of dead people.
US allies -- or, more appropriately, client states -- are defined by their
obedience, not their values. Iraq is a perfect example of a client state that
became an "outlaw regime" after it served its usefulness and its leader
became troublesome and disobedient.
The message of the brutal sanctions imposed on Iraq over the last decade is
simple: the people of Iraq will suffer for allowing themselves to be ruled by a
cruel dictator who once received ample US aid (including chemical and
“Pre-emption is not a new concept. There has never been a moral
or legal requirement that a country wait to be attacked before it
can address existential threats. As George Shultz recently wrote,
‘If there is a rattlesnake in the yard, you don't wait for it to
strike before you take action in self-defense’.”
"Pre-emption" is a clinical substitute for "first strike."
Immanuel Wallerstein had something to say about this: "First strikes are
against international law. First strikes are immoral. If it is a political
error, we may survive that. An error in law (of this magnitude)
undermines the very possibility of law. And an error in morality (some
call it a sin) is one that transforms us, not visibly for the better."
As for rattlesnakes -- they usually don't bite unless threatened. Of course,
it helps as well not to feed them, encourage them, and make sure they don't
end up in the front yard.
“What none of us should want is the emergence of a militarily
powerful adversary who does not share our common values.”
In other words, if a third world nation is against the IMF, World Bank,
structural adjustment programs, "lower marginal tax rates," sweatshop
conditions for workers, and US military bases -- the only "common values"
worth consideration -- the leader of that nation will be deposed, possibly
In the not too distant past, troublesome leaders were often assassinated by
the CIA or its surrogates: Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam, Rafael Leonidas
Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Salvador Allende in Chile, and Zia ul-Haq in
Pakistan. In the future, truly fortunate leaders who have fallen from grace
will be allowed to share a prison cell with Manuel Noriega.
“The United States will fight poverty, disease and oppression
because it is the right thing to do -- and the smart thing to do.
We have seen how poor states can become weak or even failed
states, vulnerable to hijacking by terrorist networks -- with
potentially catastrophic consequences.”
This sincerely transcends the boundaries of doublespeak. In fact, the US is
doing precisely the opposite of what Rice says here.
As the Institute for Economic Democracy points out, the World Bank, IMF,
NAFTA, GATT, the "military colossus" of the United States is in fact
insisting "other nations reduce their education, reduce their health care,
eliminate supports for industry, reduce the wages of an already impoverished
labor force... developing countries [are] expected to lower their living
standards and export more minerals, lumber, and food, all to pay debts that
did little for their economic development... for the enrichment of a
reconstituted financial aristocracy, the emerging corporate mercantilists,"
otherwise known as multinational corporations. . . .
The US, following the path blazed by the NSS document and its architects,
will create more "poverty, disease and oppression," not less.
“At the core of America's foreign policy is our resolve to stand on
the side of men and women in every nation who stand for what the
president has called the "non-negotiable demands of human dignity"
- free speech, equal justice, respect for women, religious
tolerance and limits on the power of the state.”
Except in Saudi Arabia, of course. So strong is the sense of "human dignity"
in Saudi Arabia that women are severely discriminated against in
employment, education, and family relationships. Even small infractions by
women -- such as drinking orange juice in public -- are punished by the al-Mutawa'een, or the religious police, usually with beatings.
By late September 2000, at least 104 Saudis and foreigners had been
beheaded, exceeding in nine months the total of 103 that Amnesty
International recorded in 1999. The government does not allow criticism of
its policies or any independent thought or activity that might challenge the
status quo. The minority Shi'a Muslim community is at constant risk of
indefinite detention without charge or trial. For its respect of "human
dignity," Saudi Arabia receives $3 billion a year in military aid from the
The "non-negotiable demands of human dignity" are only cited when an
enemy, such as Saddam Hussein, is to be vilified. No such criticism is
forthcoming for "democracies" such as Israel, a nation that continually
violates UN resolutions and severely curtails the most basic human rights of
Palestinians. As a reward, the US showers $2.1 billion in military aid and
$600 million in economic support on Israel per year.
US foreign policy, as Condi Rice would have it, is not designed to ensure
"human dignity," but rather to erect authoritarian bulwarks against the
aspirations of millions of people in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Central and
“We do not seek to impose democracy on others, we seek only to
help create conditions in which people can claim a freer future for
themselves. Germany, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South
Africa, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey show that freedom
manifests itself differently around the globe -- and that new
liberties can find an honored place amidst ancient traditions.”
Condi may wish to ask the people of Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey --
or the people who fall under the purview of these favored nations -- about
the condition of their freedom.
In Indonesia, torture is commonly used to punish, intimidate, extract
confessions or extort money from suspected supporters of independence
movements and people involved in land and labor disputes. So freedom-loving
was the government of Indonesia in 1975 that it invaded East Timor and --
with US provided equipment and Henry Kissinger's blessing -- killed
200,000 people for the crime of demanding independence.
When the East Timorese population voted against continued integration with
Indonesia in 1999, militia thugs and Indonesian security forces killed an
additional 2,000 people. As a reward for slaughtering voters in East Timor,
Indonesia was the largest recipient of US foreign aid among East Asian
countries in 1998-2002, according to the Congressional Research Service and
the Library of Congress.
In South Korea, under the dictates of the National Security Law, students,
activists, trade unionists, publishers, and others are arrested and detained
for belonging to student or activist groups with left-wing views and ideas.
According to Amnesty International, political prisoners are often detained
without a warrant, deprived of sleep for several days, questioned throughout
the night, threatened and sometimes beaten. At least three criminal
suspects are reported to have died in custody between late 1997 and the
early months of 1998 as a possible result of ill treatment.
As for Turkey, the Anti-Terror Branch of the Security Directorate of
Turkey's Ministry of the Interior is notorious for torturing and mistreating
political detainees and prisoners. "Torture methods are constantly updated
and improved to inflict pain but to avoid marks or bruises that can be
documented by human rights groups within Turkey or state forensic doctors
filling out mandatory detention medical reports," reports Human Rights
Kurds, which comprise approximately 20% of the Turkish population, suffer
immensely. 30,000 Kurds fighting for national self-determination have
died at the hands of the Turkish military since 1984. Considering
Turkey's impeccable human rights record, the US has decided to reward the
nation with $17.5 million in military aid.
“We have the ability to forge a 21st century that lives up to our
hopes and not down to our fears. But only if we go about our work
with purpose and clarity. Only if we are unwavering in our refusal
to live in a world governed by terror and chaos. Only if we are
unwilling to ignore growing dangers from aggressive tyrants and
The US will focus on the "growing dangers" and "deadly technologies" of
official enemies -- members of a proscribed "axis of evil," such as Iraq, Iran,
Syria, and North Korea (a list that will undoubtedly grow and shrink as new
enemies are created and eliminated).
The terror of client states will continue to be rewarded with ample foreign
aid; meanwhile, in America, the corporate media will conceal or gloss over
any uncomfortable facts, such as the daily murder of Palestinians or the
5,000 children who die every month in Iraq as a direct result of US and
UN imposed sanctions.
"The goal of conservative rulers around the world, led by those who occupy
the seats of power in Washington, is the systematic rollback of democratic
gains, public services, and common living standards around the world," writes
Condoleezza Rice's vision of the 21st century is one of perpetual war,
incessant conflict devised to capture the planet's natural and human wealth
for a very small number of people while impoverishing the rest. In the post-Cold War era -- now that the US has no rival, no counter balance -- the
gloves are off and the sky is the limit.
Now talk of nuclear war is bandied about as if it were nothing more than
another tool for conquest. As the US gears up for the second salvo in this
war -- against the people of Iraq -- fear, loathing, and hatred of the US
government and its leaders grows.
If anything is certain about the future Bush, Rice, and the chicken hawk
neocons have mapped out for us, it is that we can expect more war, more
terrorism, more suffering -- and maybe, with nuclear weapons -- the use of
which Dubya put back on the table with his Nuclear Posture Review earlier
this year -- the end of the planet as we know it.
"We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or
uphold human rights," Robert Bowman, Vietnam veteran and bishop of the
United Catholic Church in Melbourne Beach, Florida, writes.
"We are hated because our government denies these things to people in
Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational
corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in
the form of terrorism and in the future, nuclear terrorism."
– Kurt Nimmo is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New
Mexico. He can be reached at: email@example.com. . .
Kurt Nimmo: Condoleezza Rice at the Waldorf Astoria
Condoleezza Rice, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
Chevron; Charles Schwab;
What’s a girl gotta do to get a 130,000-ton oil tanker named after her? Ask
Condi Rice. The new national security adviser so charmed Chevron’s board of
directors that they named one of the company’s tankers after her. In
addition to sitting on Chevron’s board, Rice was also a director at two other
multinationals——brokerage firm Charles Schwab and insurance company
Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for
* Transamerica Corp.’s foreign parent company is Aegon NV, Netherlands
Presidential Profile: George W. Bush's Cabinet
PEACE ON EARTH - GOOD WILL TO MEN
December 25, 2002
N. KOREA STARTS
NUCLEAR PLANT REPAIRS
Official blames U.S. ‘hawks’ for growing crisis
By Christopher Torchia, Associated Press
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea ratcheted up its standoff with
Washington yesterday, starting repairs at a long-frozen nuclear reactor and
warning that U.S. policy is leading to an “uncontrollable catastrophe” and
the “brink of nuclear war.”...
North Korea officials removed U.N. seals from more nuclear facilities and
began repair work at a reactor that had been frozen since 1994, a U.N.
agency said. The North Koreans will need “a month or two” to make their
Soviet-designed 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon operational, said Mark
Gwozdecky, chief spokesman at the U.N. International Atomic Energy
Agency in Vienna.
Alarming governments around the world, North Korea has swiftly taken steps
toward a possible reactivation of nuclear facilities that experts believe were
used to make one or two weapons in the 1990s. . . .
North Korea, which has accused the United States of plotting an
invasion, has said it is willing to settle the nuclear issue if Washington
signs a nonaggression treaty.
The North’s defense minister, Kim Il Choi, said in a report on KCNA, the
North Korean news agency, that “U.S. hawks” were “pushing the situation
on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war.”...
The North’s nuclear facilities at Yongbyon were at the center of a crisis in
1994 that some say nearly led to war.
Conflict was averted when North Korea agreed to freeze the facilities in
a deal with the United States.
But Pyongyang said Dec. 12 that it planned to reactivate them to produce
electricity because Washington had failed on a pledge to provide energy
sources. U.S. officials say the primary purpose of the facilities is weapons
In South Korea, President-elect Roh Moo-hyun appealed to Russia, China
and Japan for help in finding a peaceful solution....
June 28, 2002
Return of the Vampire:
Elliot Abrams Named to
Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Thursday named
Elliott Abrams, who was involved in the Iran-contra scandal during Ronald
Reagan's presidency, to a senior position at the White House National
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice announced that Abrams had
been appointed to the position of senior director for democracy, human
rights and international operations. The position does not require Senate
In 1991, Abrams pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of
withholding information from Congress related to the Reagan
administration's secret scheme to sell arms to Iran and use the
proceeds to fund the Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua's leftist
government. He received a pardon from the president's father, the then
President George Bush.
Abrams admitted that he withheld from the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in
October 1986 his knowledge of Lt. Col. Oliver North's Contra-assistance
"I consider this one of the most bizarre appointments imaginable," said
Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, an independent
policy research organization.
The White House said Bush had confidence in Abrams. "Mr Abrams is
eminently qualified for his new position. He is the best person for the job,"
said White House spokesman Sean McCormack.
The appointment followed Bush's nomination of two controversial
conservatives to work on Latin American policy. One of those was Cuban-born
conservative Otto Reich, Bush's nominee to head Latin American policy at
the State Department as assistant secretary of state for Western
Reich, a controversial member of the Cuban-American exile lobby, ran the
Reagan administration's Office of Public Diplomacy from 1983 to 1986. The
office was accused of using illegal means to promote public support for the
Nicaraguan Contra rebels. Democratic senators have vowed to oppose the
appointment of Reich, a corporate lobbyist for rum producer Bacardi who
favors tightening the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.
Bush picked Roger Noriega, an aide to North Carolina Republican Sen. Jesse
Helms, as U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, the
hemispheric forum of 34 nations. Bush has made a point of emphasizing the
importance of good North-South relations.
Birns said the selections represented "a very dangerous trend for the
future of U.S.-Latin American relations" at a time of rising nationalism in
"It clearly is a very provocative move," he said.
The Hawks Squawk:
Open Letter to the President
19 February 1998
Dear Mr. President,
Many of us were involved in organizing the Committee for Peace and
Security in the Gulf in 1990 to support President Bush's policy of
expelling Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.
Seven years later, Saddam Hussein is still in power in Baghdad. And despite
his defeat in the Gulf War, continuing sanctions, and the determined effort
of UN inspectors to fetter out and destroy his weapons of mass destruction,
Saddam Hussein has been able to develop biological and chemical munitions.
To underscore the threat posed by these deadly devices, the Secretaries of
State and Defense have said that these weapons could be used against our
own people. And you have said that this issue is about "the challenges of the
Iraq's position is unacceptable. While Iraq is not unique in possessing these
weapons, it is the only country which has used them -- not just against its
enemies, but its own people as well. We must assume that Saddam is
prepared to use them again. This poses a danger to our friends, our allies,
and to our nation.
It is clear that this danger cannot be eliminated as long as our objective is
simply "containment," and the means of achieving it are limited to sanctions
and exhortations. As the crisis of recent weeks has demonstrated, these
static policies are bound to erode, opening the way to Saddam's eventual
return to a position of power and influence in the region. Only a determined
program to change the regime in Baghdad will bring the Iraqi crisis to a
For years, the United States has tried to remove Saddam by encouraging
coups and internal conspiracies. These attempts have all failed. Saddam is
more wily, brutal and conspiratorial than any likely conspiracy the United
States might mobilize against him.
Saddam must be overpowered; he will not be brought down by a coup d'etat.
But Saddam has an Achilles' heel: lacking popular support, he rules by terror.
The same brutality which makes it unlikely that any coups or conspiracies can
succeed, makes him hated by his own people and the rank and file of his
military. Iraq today is ripe for a broad-based insurrection.
We must exploit this opportunity.
Saddam's long record of treaty violations, deception, and violence shows that
diplomacy and arms control will not constrain him. In the absence of a
broader strategy, even extensive air strikes would be ineffective in dealing
with Saddam and eliminating the threat his regime poses. We believe that
the problem is not only the specifics of Saddam's actions, but the continued
existence of the regime itself.
What is needed now is a comprehensive political and military strategy for
bringing down Saddam and his regime. It will not be easy -- and the course
of action we favor is not without its problems and perils. But we believe the
vital national interests of our country require the United States to:
>> Recognize a provisional government of Iraq based on the principles and
leaders of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) that is representative of all
the peoples of Iraq.
>> Restore and enhance the safe haven in northern Iraq to allow the
provisional government to extend its authority there and establish a zone
in southern Iraq from which Saddam's ground forces would also be
>> Lift sanctions in liberated areas. Sanctions are instruments of war against
Saddam's regime, but they should be quickly lifted on those who have freed
themselves from it. Also, the oil resources and products of the liberated
areas should help fund the provisional government's insurrection and
humanitarian relief for the people of liberated Iraq.
>> Release frozen Iraqi assets -- which amount to $1.6 billion in the United
States and Britain alone -- to the control of the provisional government to
fund its insurrection. This could be done gradually and so long as the
provisional government continues to promote a democratic Iraq.
>> Facilitate broadcasts from U.S. transmitters immediately and establish a
Radio Free Iraq.
>> Help expand liberated areas of Iraq by assisting the provisional
government's offensive against Saddam Hussein's regime logistically and
through other means.
>> Remove any vestiges of Saddam's claim to "legitimacy" by, among other
things, bringing a war crimes indictment against the dictator and his
lieutenants and challenging Saddam's credentials to fill the Iraqi seat at the
>> Launch a systematic air campaign against the pillars of his power -- the
Republican Guard divisions which prop him up and the military infrastructure
that sustains him.
>> Position U.S. ground force equipment in the region so that, as a last resort,
we have the capacity to protect and assist the anti-Saddam forces in
the northern and southern parts of Iraq.
Once you make it unambiguously clear that we are serious about eliminating
the threat posed by Saddam, and are not just engaged in tactical bombing
attacks unrelated to a larger strategy designed to topple the regime, we
believe that such countries as Kuwait, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, whose
cooperation would be important for the implementation of this strategy, will
give us the political and logistical support to succeed.
In the present climate in Washington, some may misunderstand and
misinterpret strong American action against Iraq as having ulterior
political motives. We believe, on the contrary, that strong American action
against Saddam is overwhelmingly in the national interest, that it must be
supported, and that it must succeed. Saddam must not become the
beneficiary of an American domestic political controversy.
We are confident that were you to launch an initiative along these line,
the Congress and the country would see it as a timely and justifiable
response to Iraq's continued intransigence. We urge you to provide the
leadership necessary to save ourselves and the world from the scourge
of Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction that he refuses to
Hon. Stephen Solarz
Former Member, Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives
Hon. Richard Perle
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Former Assistant Secretary
Hon. Elliot Abrams
President, Ethics & Public Policy Center; Former Assistant Secretary of
Richard V. Allen
Former National Security Advisor
Hon. Richard Armitage
President, Armitage Associates, L.C.; Former Assistant Secretary of
Jeffrey T. Bergner
President, Bergner, Bockorny, Clough & Brain; Former Staff Director, Senate
Foreign Relations Committee
Hon. John Bolton
Senior Vice President, American Enterprise Institute; Former Assistant
Secretary of State
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Hon. Richard Burt
Chairman, IEP Advisors, Inc.; Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany; Former
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs
Hon. Frank Carlucci
Former Secretary of Defense
Hon. Judge William Clark
Former National Security Advisor
Paula J. Dobriansky
Vice President, Director of Washington Office, Council on Foreign
Relations; Former Member, National Security Council
Managing Attorney, Feith & Zell P.C.; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Negotiations Policy
Director, Center for Security Policy; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Nuclear Forces
Executive Director, New Atlantic Initiative; Research Fellow, American
Hon. Fred C. Ikle
Former Undersecretary of Defense
Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Zalmay M. Khalilzad
Director, Strategy and Doctrine, RAND Corporation
Sven F. Kraemer
Former Director of Arms Control, National Security Council
Editor, The Weekly Standard
Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Former Special Advisor to
the Secretary of State
Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern and Ottoman Studies, Princeton
R. Admiral Frederick L. Lewis
U.S. Navy, Retired
Maj. Gen. Jarvis Lynch
U.S. Marine Corps, Retired
Hon. Robert C. McFarlane
Former National Security Advisor
Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Robert A. Pastor
Former Special Assistant to President Carter for Inter-American Affairs
Editor-in-Chief, The New Republic
Former Senior Director of International Economic Affairs, National Security
Director of National Security Programs, Nixon Center for Peace and
Freedom; Former Director, Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State
Hon. Peter Rosenblatt
Former Ambassador to the Trust Territories of the Pacific
Hon. Donald Rumsfeld
Former Secretary of Defense
Executive Director, Project for the New American Century; Former
Executive Director, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
President, The Potomac Organization; Former President, The Hudson
Hon. Helmut Sonnenfeldt
Guest Scholar, The Brookings Institution; Former Counsellor, U.S.
Department of State
Hon. Caspar Weinberger
Former Secretary of Defense
Literary Editor, The New Republic
Hon. Paul Wolfowitz
Dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS; Former Undersecretary of Defense
Director, Middle East Program, AEI; Research Fellow, American Enterprise
Dov S. Zakheim
Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense
Organization affiliations given for identification purposes only. Views
reflected in the letter are endorsed by the individual, not the institution.
-- Open Letter to the President - 2-19-98
From Al Martin Raw
Return of the Animal Farm
by Al Martin
The Bush Cabal's Liability Control Group is Back
The New Bush Administration continues to resurrect the Old Bush
According to recent press reports, the infamous, sinister and dreaded Elliot
Abrams has been appointed to the National Security Council as senior
director for democracy, human rights and operations. Not to be forgotten is
the fact that Elliott Abrams is a liar par excellence - and a known shredder
Elliott Abrams actually originated the phrase "Shadow Government"
designating the machinations of the Bush Cabal during the Iran Contra
During the Reagan-Bush Administration, former Assistant Secretary of
State Elliott Abrams was in charge of a propaganda office in the State
Department known as the Inter-American Affairs Office, ostensibly set
up to provide a liaison between the Nicaraguan contras, the CIA and the
National Security Council.
Within the purview of the Inter-American Affairs office, Abrams was
responsible for dispensing duly authorized Congressional humanitarian aid to
the Nicaraguan contras. At the time, Congress made three separate
appropriations totaling $300 million in 1985 and 1986 for so-called
During the Hughes Commission probe of 1988, Congressman Hughes
discovered that the State Department could only account for $27
million of the $300 million expended.
As Hughes reported in his final summary report, which was then forwarded
to the general counsel of the Tower Commission, the remaining $273
million seemed to have disappeared into a variety of "CIA-connected offshore accounts."
All the major participants had code names during Iran-Contra. Elliot
Abram's official code name was "The Snake." His equally sinister
underling, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Kozak was code-named "The Weasel."
Bill Casey, then director of the CIA, often thought up these codenames
himself. Casey admitted publicly before he died that the code names he used
were based on his perception of people's characters.
Around 1985, Clair George, then deputy Director of the CIA, was in charge
of all CIA sanctioned narcotics operations.
Clair George, by the way, was one of the passengers in that Twin Beech
Baron aircraft that Miami Customs inadvertently forced to land at Tamiami
Airport in November 1983. A sizable quantity of cocaine was found in the
plane, and Clair George was actually the so-called "high ranking unnamed CIA
official" that the FBI didn't want to name in the famous 12B-151 FBI
The last time I had seen Clair George, in 1985, he told me that Bill Casey's
opinion of Elliott Abrams was that he thought that Abrams "had all the
intestinal fortitude of a bowl of jello."
Casey also said that if Elliott Abrams was just given a few volts of electro-shock he'd "sing like a friggin bird."
It should also be mentioned that Elliot Abrams' other claim to fame was the
December 10, 1985 meeting with Manuel Noriega. He met Noriega along with
Michael Kozak and Bill Walters in the conference room of the Hotel
Intercontinental in Panama City to discuss Noriega's grievances that he
wasn't being paid enough per kilogram of cocaine that was passing through
his country. This was pursuant to Oliver North's "guns for drugs" operation.
That meeting was Elliott Abrams' one claim to fame - and even that meeting
didn't go well.
Elliott Abrams didn't want to give Noriega any extra money, because by
this time, (December 1985), Bill Casey and George Bush were growing
nervous about the administration's closeness to somebody they were seeing
as increasingly unreliable. So Abrams was sent down to placate Noriega.
By the way, Noriega was still upset about a lot of the little things that had
happened to him. There was the $5 million of his money that Oliver North
swiped that was supposed to be given to Don Aronow to build those
gunboats for the Panamanian Navy.
No one seems to know where the five million actually went. It was five million
When North left Noriega in Panama City, he stopped in San Jose Costa, Rica
to see Joe Fernandez, the Costa Rican CIA Station Chief.
It's interesting to note that later that day there was a $2 million cash
deposit to the North-controlled account of Intercontinental Industries
S.A. of San Jose, Costa Rica. The deposit was made into their account at
the Banco de Popular. This was discovered by interviewing the general
manager of the Dominican branch of the Banco de Popular, during a related
Bill Walters, who was also "negotiating" with Noriega, is of course Bush's
newly appointed "drug czar."
The logical conclusion is that George Bush Jr. is trying to put together the
old RAG-1 (Restricted Access Group 1). He is reassembling the group of
which Elliott Abrams and Dickie Armitage were former members. There
was also Frank Carlucci, then National Security advisor and then Assistant
Secretary of State Bernard Aronson.
Restricted Access Group 1 was chaired by the Vice President, George
Bush Sr. It was the highest restricted group that existed in the Iran-Contra operations. It directly reported to the Vice President, who was
after all ultimately in charge of all Iran-Contra operations, insofar as all
Iran-Contra operations were consolidated under his office.
RAG-1 had monthly meetings and they communicated with each other. They
acted as the Vice President's and Bill Casey's eyes and ears throughout all
the other agencies,. They were the ultimate group that controlled political
and legal liability for the Reagan-Bush administration vis-a-vis Iran-Contra
activities. They were the ultimate liability control group.
They enforced directives by making recommendations to the Vice President
which would then be forwarded to Director Casey. The recommendations
would include the destruction of documents, the prosecution or
inconveniencing of people who knew too much, and they would even make
recommendations that individuals be liquidated.
What individuals were to be pressured, harassed, exiled, intimidated, falsely
convicted of something. Who was to be set up. Who would be made a
scapegoat. And what other suppressive activities were to take place within
the RAG-2 group. The RAG-2 Group included George Terwilliger of the
Department of Justice and Bobby Gates of the CIA.
The linkage between the groups was their mandate. The reason that
Restricted Access Groups exist is that every Restricted Access Group has
deniability from the Restricted Access Group below it. It's ultimately to
build buffers between those at the very top actually running an
illegal covert operation of state and those who are charged with
the execution of said policies. This was the original concept to maintain
deniability as espoused by "Wild Bill" Donovan.
In the future we should look for future appointments like George
Terwilliger, Frank Carlucci and Bernie Aronson, any of the old RAG
characters, to see how many of them are brought back into the Bush Jr.
These include old cabalists like former DCI Robert Gates, former Deputy
Attorney General George Terwilliger, former White House Counsel and
George Bush Sr.'s personal counsel C. Boyden Gray (AKA "Charles Smith"
of October Surprise fame) - all document shredders par excellence.
Those familiar with secretarial skills measured by WPM, or typing (Words
Per Minute) will understand that future candidates for Bush Administration
positions must now list their DPM on their curriculum vitae.
Salary bonuses will be offered for speeds above 100 DPM. A special
DPM test will most likely be administered: how many Documents Per Minute
can you shred, otherwise known as DPM?
The reappointment of former Bush Cabalists demonstrates that Bush Family
members -George Sr., George Jr., Jeb, Neil, Prescott and Wally -
are still concerned to this day about their Iran-Contra liability.
We would challenge those who would maintain that Iran-Contra is past
history because the liability it represents is still very much with us.
Furthermore, the second reason that this Restricted Access Group is being
put together again is to manage political and legal liability vis-a-vis the
United States Government's current covert and illegal operation to rearm
The reconstitution of this access group would indicate that even more
egregious covert illegal activities in the future are going to take place - an
acceleration of the rearming of China in order to make China the New
Designated Enemy of the 21st Century. This policy will be stepped up and
even more egregious acts will be committed.
This frightens some people. The concept of a RAG-1 Group being put back
together frightens some people who know too much about the Bushes -- both
past and present. This usually indicates that assassinations or liquidations
will begin to take place.
When the original RAG-1 Group was put together during Iran-Contra
years, it was immediately thereafter that citizens who knew too much
began to die under clouded circumstances. (See Chapter 15 of "The
Conspirators" on the deaths of Johnny Molina and George Morales).
Suddenly there was a spate of prosecutions. People who know too much like
Michael Riconosciuto are incarcerated on questionable evidence.
So what are the names of the Control and Cover-up Crowd?
Look for the return of the "Snake," the "Weasel" and other operatives
with similar Animal Farm-like names. It will validate our assertions that Bush
is attempting to reassemble a liability control group.
And what does it mean?
The current operation to illegally arm China is going to be ratcheted up and it
will take on decidedly more sinister overtones.
~ ~ ~
AL MARTIN is America's foremost whistle-blower on government fraud and
corruption. A retired US Navy Lt. Commander and former officer in the
Office of Naval Intelligence, he has testified before Congress (the Kerry
Committee and the Alexander Committee) regarding Iran-Contra.
Al Martin is the author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra
Insider" (2001, National Liberty Press, $19.95; order line: 1-866-317-1390.)
He lives at an undisclosed location, since the criminals named in his book
have been returned to national power and prominence.
His column "Behind the Scenes in the Beltway" is published regularly on Al
Martin Raw: Criminal Govt Conspiracy (www.almartinraw.com).
# # #
HAWKS vs. DOVES
~ ~ ~
WHICH FLOCK WILL YOU FLY WITH?
A) THE HAWKS ?
B) THE DOVES ?
PERSONS OF ALL NATIONALITIES, RACES, SEXES, AGES, AND
RELIGIONS ARE FREE TO ASSEMBLE AND TO EXPRESS YOUR
THE CATBIRD’S FORUM
STILL NOT DECIDED?
Then, GO TO
An Octopus Named Wackenhut
Birds in the Lobby
Birds on the Power Lines
Birds that Drink from Cesspools
Boeing, Boeing, Bong!
Down the Rabbit-Hole
Drowning in Think Tanks
Nests in the Pentagon
Parrots in the News Room
Pimps to Power
Stealing Your Nest Eggs
Tarnished Wings: The Greed at Lockheed
The American Red Double-Cross
The Eagle Awakes
The Eagle Hooded
The Indonesian Connection
The Nests of Osama bin Laden
The Nuclear Nests
The Secret Nests
The Sinking of the Ehime Maru
The Stephen Friedman Flock
The Story of Enron
The Strange Saga of BCCI
The United Defense Industries Matrix
Thorns in the Rose Garden
Uncle Sam’s Guinea Pigs
Who’s Guarding the Hen House?
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