For the first time, The Observer can reveal the truth behind Katharine Gun's alarming revelations of spying at the UN which have plunged the Government into crisis
A former member of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet has asserted that British intelligence services monitored United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's telephone conversations in the period leading up to the war in Iraq in 2003. Allegedly, this was done by placing bugging devices in Mr. Annan's office.  In addition, Richard Butler, the former U.N. chief weapons inspector for Iraq, has said that while he was serving in that position his calls from the U.N. were monitored by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Russia. He said that when he wanted to make unmonitored calls, he would leave the U.N. building to do so. 
A lesson in 'disappearing the dead'
It has been interesting to watch the media reaction to a report commissioned by Pentagon security analysts on worst case scenarios for global climate change. The report would never have seen the light of day if it had not been leaked to the business magazine Fortune. Three weeks after the report was covered in Fortune, the British Observer covered it again, unleashing a spate of Internet news stories but very little coverage in US major dailies or TV news. What coverage there was tended to downplay the study's scenarios as "extremely unlikely."
Scientists counter Bush view: Families varied, say anthropologists
When planning war, military officials have various targets: enemy combatants, their support forces, the surrounding civilian population, and their national infrastructure. But there are other targets as well, although these are not always discussed publicly. Among the most important of these is public opinion, both the world at large, and the highest priority - that of their own public. This holds true especially in a democracy, when one is fighting a war of choice - as in invading another country - instead of fighting a war of national survival.
Ret. Gen. Tommy Franks says 50,000 American dead would be "OK"
The primary organization representing American anthropologists criticized President Bush's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Thursday and gave a failing grade to the president's understanding of human cultures.
"The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution," said the executive board of the 11,000-member American Anthropological Association.
Bush has cast the union between male and female as the only proper form of marriage, or what he called in his State of the Union address "one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization."
American anthropologists say he's wrong.
"Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies," the association's statement said, adding that the executive board "strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples."
"If it costs 500, that's OK, or 5000, OK, or 50,000, that's OK with me."
In recent months, US news organizations have rushed to expose the Bush administration's pre-war failings on Iraq. "Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper," declared a recent headline in The Washington Post. "Pressure Rises for Probe of Prewar-Intelligence," said The Wall Street Journal. "So, What Went Wrong?" asked Time. In The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh described how the Pentagon set up its own intelligence unit, the Office of Special Plans, to sift for data to support the administration's claims about Iraq. And on "Truth, War and Consequences," a Frontline documentary that aired last October, a procession of intelligence analysts testified to the administration's use of what one of them called "faith-based intelligence."
[...] The Times's Judith Miller has been the subject of harsh criticism. Slate, The Nation, Editor & Publisher, the American Journalism Review, and the Columbia Journalism Review have all run articles accusing her of being too eager to accept official claims before the war and too eager to report the discovery of banned weapons after it. Especially controversial has been Miller's alleged reliance on Chalabi and the defectors who were in touch with him. Last May, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post wrote of an e-mail exchange between Miller and John Burns, then the Times bureau chief in Baghdad, in which Burns rebuked Miller for writing an article about Chalabi without informing him. Miller replied that she had been covering Chalabi for about ten years and had "done most of the stories about him for our paper." Chalabi, she added, "has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper."
[...] In the period before the war, US journalists were far too reliant on sources sympathetic to the administration. Those with dissenting views — and there were more than a few — were shut out. Reflecting this, the coverage was highly deferential to the White House. This was especially apparent on the issue of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? the heart of the President's case for war. Despite abundant evidence of the administration's brazen misuse of intelligence in this matter, the press repeatedly let officials get away with it. As journalists rush to chronicle the administration's failings on Iraq, they should pay some attention to their own.
Wal-Mart a big giver to 2004 U.S. election
With insurgents in control of Haiti's second-largest city, Cap Haitien, and a series of towns across the north, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide said thousands could die if the rebels, led by a former death squad commander and a former police chief, are allowed to reach teeming Port-au-Prince.
But Aristide's political opponents -- who have distanced themselves from the armed revolt but share its aim of getting the president out -- on Tuesday rejected a U.S.-backed deal brokered by diplomats. Under the proposal, Aristide would give up some of his powers and form a new government.
More than 60 people have died in clashes that began on Feb. 5 when the rebels, a collection of gangs and former soldiers, began the revolt by overrunning Gonaives, a city north of Port-au-Prince where Haiti's slaves declared independence from France in 1804.
The United Nations warned of a growing humanitarian crisis in northern Haiti, where food, water and fuel supplies were running short. Looters took 800 tons of food destined for schools health centers from a World Food Program warehouse after rebels seized Cap Haitien on Sunday.
Aristide, a former Roman Catholic priest whose role in a popular uprising that ousted Haiti's dictatorship in the 1980s made him a hero to the nation's poor, became the country's first freely elected president in 1991 and was re-elected to a second term in 2000.
But his political opponents have accused him of human rights violations and corruption. The rebel forces include former pro-Aristide gangs that have turned against the beleaguered president, who has vowed to serve out his term until 2006.
Wal-Mart, the largest company in the U.S., looks set to pass a new milestone this year: It is well on its way to becoming the biggest business contributor to the 2004 election campaign.
After years of little involvement in federal politics, the Arkansas-based retail giant is currently the largest corporate donor through its political action committee (PAC), having doled out nearly $1.3 million to federal candidates until the end of January, according to Politicalmoneyline.com.
Bush's McCain Strategy Redux
When not busy buying heavy drapes to hide a marble statue of justice because the sculptor saw fit to chisel her female form partially nude, the Attorney General seems to exhibit an uncommon interest in what goes on below the waist of American Womanhood.
Deputy min. questions Palestinian 'genetic defect' Supreme Court decision may limit access to terror cases
Maybe it's all a clever trap by the Bush campaign to move the presidential debate to matters of national security. But if the past is any guide, it's better to force Bush to take responsibility for his whole campaign, overt and not-so-overt, than to let him float above it all while his surrogates slash and burn. Just ask John McCain.
Justices Agree to Hear Two Deportation Cases Court Cancels Roe V. Wade Consideration
"We are moving toward an entire system of secret justice," says Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Supreme Court Blocks Execution of Texas Inmate
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Oral arguments on a motion to reconsider the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 31 years ago have been canceled by a federal appeals court, which will now only review written pleadings in the case.
Monday's move represented an about-face by justices on giving Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade fame a chance to argue before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that her landmark abortion case should be reopened and reversed, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.
Congress Is Urged to Pass Amendment to the Constitution
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court, acting on a case that has become a cause celebre among capital punishment opponents, overturned the death sentence of a long-serving Texas inmate who claimed prosecutors played dirty and withheld evidence at his trial.
C.I.A. Chief Reports to Senate on Threats Facing U.S.
WASHINGTON -- President Bush backed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage Tuesday, saying he wants to stop activist judges from changing the definition of the "most enduring human institution."
C.I.A. Was Given Data on Hijacker Long Before 9/11
WASHINGTON (AP) -- CIA Director George Tenet said Tuesday that the al-Qaida terror group, seriously damaged itself, has spread its radical anti-American agenda to other Islamic extremist groups that now pose the greatest threat to the United States.
Nader, the Trimtab Candidate Nader: Always Ready for His Closeup Israeli women keep eyes on army
WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 -- American investigators were given the first name and telephone number of one of the Sept. 11 hijackers two and a half years before the attacks on New York and Washington, but the United States appears to have failed to pursue the lead aggressively, American and German officials say.
Court Won't Hear 9 / 11 Secrecy Challenges Pentagon opens criminal probe of Halliburton's pricing Japanese Critics File Suit on Deployment Rod Paige Criticizes Teachers Union
Four senators have expressed concern that the actions of a new Republican appointee, who pulled references to discrimination based on sexual orientation off an agency's Internet site, are at odds with statements he made as part of his confirmation hearing.
Scott J. Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, recently removed references about sexual orientation discrimination from a complaint form and an educational pamphlet for federal employees that were posted on the agency's Web pages. The independent agency's mission is to protect federal whistleblowers and government workers from retributions in the workplace, and Bloch's action brought protests from gay rights groups.
The senators, in a letter to Bloch, said the removal of the reference "appears inconsistent" with assurances that Bloch, as a presidential nominee, gave the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
"During the confirmation process, you assured us that you were committed to protecting federal employees against unlawful discrimination related to their sexual orientation," the senators wrote. "We are concerned that the recent changes to OSC publications might give federal employees the opposite impression and we ask that you reaffirm your previously stated commitment and advise us of steps you will take to inform federal employees of their rights and remedies under the law."
US 'does accept climate threat'
Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" during a private White House meeting with governors on Monday.
U.S. Sends Marines to Protect Haiti Embassy Nader Defends Candidacy as Democrats Criticize Decision to Run Noam Chomsky: A Wall as a Weapon
"The administration is a prisoner of its own determination not to do anything that would affect the lifestyle of US citizens."
According to this report, "The threat [of climate change] to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism." President Bush said in a Feb. 8 2004 interview with Tim Russert that "the President of the United States' most solemn responsibility is to keep this country secure." On June 4, 2002, Bush dismissed a report put out by his administration warning that human activities are behind climate change, saying only "I read the report put out by the bureaucracy." In March, 2001, Bush unilaterally repudiated the Kyoto treaty calling for mandatory reduction of greenhouse gases by industrial nations.
Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..
A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.
The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.
'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'
The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.
Bush bypasses Senate to install judge
Camp Delta prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, on the south-eastern tip of Cuba, is surrounded by fine white sand and and a turquoise Caribbean sea. Despite the natural beauty of its surroundings the camp has become a monument to the US war on terror after the September 11 attacks, with up to 680 people locked up without charge, without access to a lawyer, and not knowing the evidence against them.
Soldiers 'took turns to beat Iraqi captives'
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Friday named Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, bypassing Senate Democrats who were blocking his nomination because of his criticism of the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.
Pryor, whose term on the Atlanta-based court will expire at the end of 2005, has called the Roe v. Wade decision upholding the right to abortion as "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history."
He also signed a brief filed with the Supreme Court in a Texas sodomy case saying that if a law forbidding sex between homosexuals were overturned, it could pave the way for "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography and even incest or pedophilia."
BRITISH soldiers took turns to kick and punch hooded Iraqi prisoners on the night they allegedly beat one of them to death, it was claimed today.
Suit Against Ashcroft Claims Department has Bungled War on Terror US is Trying to Overthrow Me, Says Venezuelan Leader Chalmers Johnson: Tokyo Lets Loose Lapdogs of War U.S. General Maps New Tactic to Pursue Taliban and Qaeda
Americans Hear About their 500 Dead Soldiers. What About the 10,000 Dead Iraqi Civilians?
Pak Military Joins US Forces In Anti- Al-Qaeda Operation In Afghanistan New operation launched in tribal areas Special Department Of Defense Briefing on Provincial Reconstruction Teams In Afghanistan Japan throws off pacifist cloak and once again hoists nationalist flag of militarism
General Barno, a West Point graduate who assumed command last October, said cooperation with Pakistani forces on the Afghan border had increased, especially in the past six to eight weeks. American officials say they believe that Mr. Bin Laden is hiding in the mountainous border region.
Using a harsh, century-old British method, Pakistani forces have handed local tribal leaders a list of villages suspected of sheltering members of Al Qaeda. If the tribe refuses to hand over the suspects, the Pakistani Army threatens to punish the group as a whole, withdrawing funds or demolishing houses.
"That they're confronting the tribal elders and they're holding them accountable for activities in their areas of influence is a major step forward," General Barno said.
How America Doesn't Vote
A joint British and American spying operation at the United Nations scuppered a last-ditch initiative to avert the invasion of Iraq, The Observer can reveal.
Signs grow Iraq may be slipping into civil war, alleged al-Qaida letter brings threat closer to home In economy, 'new' isn't 'improved'
One outcome of this year's presidential election is already certain: people will show up to vote and find they have been wrongly taken off the rolls. The lists of eligible voters kept by localities around the country are the gateway to democracy, and they are also a national scandal. In 2000, the American public saw, in Katherine Harris's massive purge of eligible voters in Florida, how easy it is for registered voters to lose their rights by bureaucratic fiat. Missouri's voting-list problems received far less attention, but may have disenfranchised more eligible voters.
The Thief of Baghdad
What we're witnessing is something new and unpredictable: a historic convergence of economic, cultural, political and technological trends that have seriously eroded the typical worker's earning power and economic stability.
Back when Dick Cheney was fiddling with salt shakers, Ahmad Chalabi, a smooth-talking and wealthy young Iraqi M.I.T. graduate, was founding the Petra Bank in Jordan.
As Mr. Cheney moved up in the capital, Mr. Chalabi was tripped up in Jordan by a small matter of embezzlement from his own bank. Jordanian officials have said that the crime rocked their economy and that they paid $300 million to depositors to cover the bank's losses. By the time Mr. Chalabi was convicted and received a sentence of 22 years of hard labor, he was a fugitive in London.
During the early 90's, when Mr. Cheney was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Chalabi was in a full courtship press with Washington's conservative and journalistic elites. He saw them as a springboard for his triumphant return to Iraq.
After 9/11, his passionate desire to take out Saddam coincided with that of conservatives. All they needed for their belli was a casus, so Mr. Chalabi obligingly conned the neocons.
Mohammed ElBaradei: Saving Ourselves From Self-Destruction
Bush's United States implicate us in the disastrous example they provide to the world. And John Kerry carries our hopes at the same time as those of his own people.
"Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," said N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, which prepared the report. "More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that's a good thing."
Many members of Congress have been pushing for a cut in income taxes, but they've been unsure how to pay for it. Fortunately, I've figured out an answer: with a tax increase. Let's cut income taxes by 10% and finance it with a 50-cent-per-gallon hike in the gasoline tax.
Did Bush Spike Probe of Pakistan's Dr. Strangelove?
A federal appeals court in California blocked the execution of Kevin Cooper Monday just before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection in San Quentin Prison. The state of California then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the execution but the high court turned down the state's appeal.
Flashpoints Interview with John C. Bonifaz (Audio, interview at 31:10)
BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast and Tariq Ali discuss how the Bush administration stopped an investigation that might have revealed Pakistan's top nuclear scientist helped share nuclear secrets with Iran, North Korea and Libya.
Fox's Brit Hume to win National Press Foundation's Broadcaster of the Year award
John C. Bonifaz is the author of Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush. He is a MacArthur fellow and founder of the National Voting Rights Institute
Brit Hume is the Fox news anchor who said that "statistically speaking, U.S. soldiers have less of a chance of dying from all causes in Iraq than citizens have of being murdered in California."
US image abroad will 'take years' to repair
The climate could change radically, and fast. That would be the mother of all national security issues.
Global warming may be bad news for future generations, but let's face it, most of us spend as little time worrying about it as we did about al Qaeda before 9/11. Like the terrorists, though, the seemingly remote climate risk may hit home sooner and harder than we ever imagined. In fact, the prospect has become so real that the Pentagon's strategic planners are grappling with it.
Since returning home, he has faced a seemingly unrelenting succession of disclosures and attacks that appear to get worse with each passing day. What the albatross was to the ancient mariner, Cheney is fast becoming to George W Bush's re-election chances.
The fact, independent of the findings of any commission, is that not everyone was wrong.
I, for one, was not. I did my level best to demand facts from the Bush administration to back up their allegations regarding Iraq's WMD and, failing that, spoke out and wrote in as many forums as possible in an effort to educate the publics of the United States and the world about the danger of going to war based on a hyped-up threat.
In this I was not alone. Rolf Ekeus, the former head of the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, has declared that under his direction, Iraq was "fundamentally disarmed" as early as 1996. Hans Blix, who headed UN weapons inspections in Iraq in the months before the invasion in March 2003, stated that his inspectors had found no evidence of either WMD or WMD-related programs in Iraq. And officials familiar with Iraq, like Ambassador Joseph Wilson and State Department intelligence analyst Greg Theilmann, both exposed the unsustained nature of the Bush claims regarding Iraq's nuclear capability.
Stu Cohen, a 28-year veteran of the CIA, wrote in a statement published on the CIA Web site on Nov. 28, 2003, that the Oct. 2002 National Intelligence Estimate "judged with high confidence that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles in excess of the 150-kilometer limit imposed by the UN Security Council. … These judgments were essentially the same conclusions reached by the United Nations and a wide array of intelligence services - friendly and unfriendly alike."
I worked with Cohen on numerous occasions during this time, and consider him a reasonable man. So I had to wonder when this intelligence professional, confronted with the totality of the failure of the CIA to accurately assess the WMD threat, wrote that he was "convinced that no reasonable person could have viewed the totality of the information that the intelligence community had at its disposal - literally millions of pages - and reached any conclusions or alternative views that were profoundly different from those that we reached."
[...] Like Cohen and the intelligence professionals who prepared the October 2002 NIE, I was intimately familiar with vast quantities of intelligence data collected from around the world by numerous foreign intelligence services (including the CIA) and on the ground in Iraq by UN weapons inspectors, at least until the time of my resignation from Unscom in August 1998. Based on this experience, I was asked by Arms Control Today, the journal of the Arms Control Association, to write an article on the status of disarmament regarding Iraq's WMD.
The article, "The Case for Iraq's Qualitative Disarmament," was published in June 2000 and received broad coverage. Its conclusions were dismissed by the intelligence communities of the United States and Britain. But my finding - that "because of the work carried out by Unscom, it can be fairly stated that Iraq was qualitatively disarmed at the time inspectors were withdrawn [in December 1998]" - was an accurate assessment of the disarming of Iraq's WMD capabilities, much more so than the CIA's October NIE or any corresponding analysis carried out by British intelligence services.
I am not alone in my analysis. Ray McGovern, who heads a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, or VIPS, also takes umbrage at Cohen's "no reasonable person" assertion. "Had he taken the trouble to read the op-eds and other issuances of VIPs members over the past two years," McGovern told me, he would have found that "our writings consistently contained conclusions and alternative views that were indeed profoundly different - even without having had access to what Stu calls the 'totality of the information.' And Stu never indicated he thought us not 'reasonable' - at least back when many of us worked with him at CIA."
Scott Ritter was one of the few people who pushed for an open debate about the Bush administration's WMD claims. He was punished for it by the corporate media, which settled on a theme of mental illness for ad-hominem attacks aimed at discrediting him.
On 13 September 2002, on what CNN calls its "flagship morning news program", host Paula Zahn told Ritter, "People out there are accusing you of drinking Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid." An opinion piece in a major newspaper attacked Zahn's broadside -- in Canada.
Barry Bearak picked up on the Ritter-as-psycho theme with a 5000-word piece in the 24 November 2002 edition of the New York Times magazine entitled "Scott Ritter's Iraq Complex". One blog summed up the results of the attacks succinctly and accurately: "The NYT Magazine has a long article this week on Scott Ritter, who doesn't really seem to have a lot of credibility left."
Jim Lobe: Co-Chair of Bush Panel Part of Far Right Network
Tim Russert, the Grand Inquisitor of Sunday morning, is scheduled to have George W. Bush in the witness chair for a full hour on the next Meet the Press. He's a lucky man--Russert, that is. This will be high drama, as the nation's politerati--and millions of others--watch to see if Russert gives Bush the hot-seat treatment.
There is, of course, much to ask Bush about. Did he decide to use military force against Iraq before 9/11? Where are the WMDs he insisted were there? Why is he using phony budget numbers? Did he engage in less-than-proper business dealings before he entered politics? Why he has misled the public while promoting his policies on stem cells research, global warming, and missile defense? Why has he opposed certain homeland security measures and not adequately funded others? It's a long list, and I'm sure Russert is busy preparing his own queries. But in an unsolicited act of kindness, I have crafted eight questions for Russert--several on matters in the news, a few on issues that have received less attention. And, Tim, since you always like to display your source material when you ask the tough questions, feel free to call me, and I'll send you the citations or the clips. Unlike many of Bush's WMD assertions, these questions are based on real evidence.
- In October 2002, during a speech in Cincinnati, you said that Saddam Hussein had a "massive stockpile" of biological weapons. But the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq did not report there was any "massive stockpile" of bioweapons in Iraq. And this past Thursday, CIA director, George Tenet said, "We said we had no specific information on the types or quantities of [biological] weapons, agent, or stockpiles at Baghdad's disposal." So if the CIA did not say there was a "massive stockpile" of biological weapons in Iraq, what was your basis for asserting a stockpile existed? Did you know something the CIA did not? Did you overstate the intelligence?
- In December 2002, you said, "We do not know whether or not [Hussein] has a nuclear weapon"--a remark suggesting that Hussein might have one. But the National Intelligence Estimate said that he did not have a nuclear weapon and that it would take Iraq five to seven years to produce a nuclear weapon--and then only if its nuclear weapons program was "left unchecked." This past week, Tenet said, "We said Saddam Hussein did not have a nuclear weapon." Was it not misleading to tell the public that "we don't know" whether Iraq had a nuclear weapon, when, in fact, we did know?
- Before the war, you said Hussein was "dealing" with al Qaeda. On May 1, you called Hussein an "ally" of Al Qaeda. At a press conference in July 2003, you were asked to provide evidence to back up your claims that Hussein had been working with al Qaeda. You replied,
"Yes, I think, first of all, remember I just said we've been there for 90 days since the cessation of major military operations. Now, I know in our world where news comes and goes and there's this kind of instant--instant news and you must have done this, you must do that yesterday, that there's a level of frustration by some in the media. I'm not suggesting you're frustrated. You don't look frustrated to me at all. But it's going to take time for us to gather the evidence and analyze the mounds of evidence, literally, the miles of documents that we have uncovered. "
That is, you said that investigators were still looking for evidence. But the question was, what evidence did you have at the time that you made those prewar claims that al Qaeda and Hussein were in cahoots? You did not answer that question then. Can you tell us what evidence you had for saying that Hussein was an "ally" of al Qaeda?
- In July 2001, US intelligence produced a warning that read, "Based on a review of all-source reporting over the last five months, we believe that UBL [Usama bin Laden] will launch a significant terrorist attack against U.S. and/or Israeli interests in the coming weeks. The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning."
This was less than two months before the horrific 9/11 attacks. According to the final report of the joint inquiry on 9/11 conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees, this warning was prepared for "senior government officials." The committees did not publicly say who received the report, and they said this was because the CIA would not permit them to tell the public which "senior government officials" were warned. The committees were angry about being gagged this way. But committee sources did tell reporters that this report was sent to the White House.
Why wouldn't your administration tell the public who saw this warning? Did you or any of your national security team see this report? If so, what did you or they do in response? If this report did not make it to you or your senior aides, wouldn't you consider that a terrible mistake and want to find out who was responsible for that?
- In your Air National Guard records, your annual performance review, dated May 2, 1973, says that you did not report for duty to your home base for an entire year. When this was disclosed during the 2000 campaign, your campaign said that you had spent part of that time doing service at an Air National Guard base in Alabama. But the commander of that base said--and recently confirmed--that you never showed up there. In 2000, your campaign promised to produce the names of people whom you served with in Alabama and who could vouch for your presence at the base there. It never did so. Why not? Can you now give us names of men or women with whom you served in Alabama?
- During the year in question, you lost your flight status and were grounded for failing to submit to an annual physical examination. In 2000, your campaign aides said that was because you were in Alabama at the time and your personal doctor was in Houston. But the Boston Globe noted, "Flight physicals can be administered only by certified Air Force flight surgeons." Not personal physicians. And there were military physicians stationed in Alabama, where you were living for part of that year. Why did you not take a flight physical? Why did your campaign put out an explanation that was wrong?
- By your own account, you returned to Houston after the November election of 1972. Yet the records show you did not report in to your Air National Guard base there for six months--not until after that performance review noted you had been missing for a year. Why not? What were you doing during that time?
- When you ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1978 in Texas, you gave an interview to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper. You were asked about your position on abortion, and this is how that newspaper reported your answer: "Bush said he opposes the pro-life amendment [which would outlaw abortion] and favors leaving up to a woman and her doctor the abortion question." Sixteen years later, when you ran for governor in Texas in 1994, you campaigned as an antiabortion conservative. Few people seem to realize your position on abortion changed 180 degrees. Please tell us, when did you change your view on abortion and why?
Gallery Slammed for Painting Mocking Howard-Bush Ties Jim Lobe: Co-Chair of Bush Panel Part of Far Right Network No energy execs on task force, court told Cheney faces impropriety claims
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush's choice to co-chair his commission to investigate intelligence failures prior to the Iraq War is a long-time, right wing political activist closely tied to the neo-conservative network that led the pro-war propaganda campaign.
Federal appeals court Judge Laurence Silberman, who will share the chairmanship with former Virginia Democratic Senator Charles Robb, also has some history in covert operations.
In 1980, when he served as part of former Republican president Ronald Reagan's senior campaign staff, he played a key role in setting up secret contacts between the Reagan-Bush campaign and the Islamic government in Tehran, in what became known as the ''October Surprise'' controversy.
Fresh revelations about a shooting trip taken by US Vice-President Dick Cheney and a Supreme Court judge are fuelling renewed allegations of impropriety.
A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton's Campaign
Roger Stone, the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000, is financing, staffing, and orchestrating the presidential campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton.
Bush administration denies Grammy-nominated musicians visas because they are Cuban
Five Cuban acts nominated for Grammy Awards, including Ibrahim Ferrer of the Buena Vista Social Club, have been denied U.S. visas needed to attend Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles, a top Culture Ministry official said Thursday.
A parking lot effect?
Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.
Spewing from factory stacks and car tail pipes, carbon dioxide is the poster child of "greenhouse gases." Most scientists long ago concluded that CO2 is the single biggest cause of climate change and that cutting its output is the best way to slow global warming.
So why are a tiny but growing number of atmospheric scientists taking a hard look at parking lots? Because, they say, land-use changes have at least as much, and perhaps even greater, impact on climate change than CO2. It's a radical idea that has heated up the scientific community and is prompting a wider look at the forces behind climate change. The effect on public policy could be enormous.
A British teenager has narrowly escaped jail after sparking a nuclear panic by hacking into a top secret United States weapons laboratory.
Joseph McElroy, 18, who on Monday was ordered to serve a 200-hour community punishment order, bypassed the facility's electronic security systems with sophisticated software he had developed and nicknamed Deathserv.
McElroy wanted to use the advanced network's power to download and store films and music from the internet.
|Total AD/ACDUTRA as of 69 May 26||2d Lt, 226 days|
|Total AD/ACDUTRA as of 70 May 26||2d Lt 313 days|
|Total AD/ACDUTRA as of 71 May 26||2d Lt - 43 days, 1st Lt - 3 days|
|Total AD/ACDUTRA as of 72 May 26||1st Lt 22 days|
CAMP PENDLETON -- A former Marine guard testified yesterday that it was common practice in Iraq to kick and punch prisoners who didn't cooperate -- and even some who did.
The Bush administration issued its proposed FY 2005 Budget on Monday as a follow-up to Bush's State of the Union address, in which Bush is supposed to have "laid out ambitious goals for the future, behind which all Americans can unite," according to the White House.
The stated top priority of the budget is "Winning" the so-called "War on Terror," which is used to justify spending $401.7 billion on the Pentagon -- "a 35% increase over FY 2001 levels and a 7% increase over the FY 2004 enacted level."
The budget also seeks to make Bush's tax cuts permanent, includes a 9.7% increase in so-called "Homeland Security", and includes $274 million for "Biosurveillance."
The White House followed up on Tuesday by releasing a list of 128 programs targeted for cuts or elimination under the new budget.
According to the New York Times, the list includes programs such as drug treatment centers, secondary school counselors, and modernization of the air traffic system. But after eliminating 65 programs and gutting 63 others, the total savings would only add up to $4.9 billion -- while the federal deficit will hit $521 billion this year, according to the Times.
According to Forbes, the list of programs to be gutted ranges from "education equity for women to combating alcohol abuse, a problem President George W. Bush faced himself." Also targeted are "programs to improve writing skills, teach economics and foreign languages, and promote literacy in prison."
Also targeted for elimination according to Forbes are "a program that provides residents of poor areas access to computers and training, [...] recreation programs for the disabled, [and] aid for migrant farm workers [...] Olympic scholarships, arts in education, and a program for native Alaskans and Hawaiians called 'exchanges with historic whaling and trading partners' would also be scrapped."
The budget prominently features photos of Bush posing with African-Americans. But according to Forbes, the Bush administration wants to kill "a program that documents the history of the 'Underground Railroad,' which helped many African Americans escape slave states prior to and during the Civil War."
Defense budget doesn't include funds for Iraq, Afghanistan Congressional Leaders Call for Truly Independent Review of Iraq Intelligence Bush Budget Cuts Environmental Funding by 7 Pct U.S., China Are on Collision Course Over Oil
A funny thing has happened. While the war on terrorism has dominated headlines, the great engine of globalization has kept moving
A non-proliferation charade?
Sixty-seven years ago, oil-starved Japan embarked on an aggressive expansionary policy designed to secure its growing energy needs, which eventually led the nation into a world war. Today, another Asian power thirsts for oil: China.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- In the past couple of months, Iran has agreed to sign additional protocols with the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, for intrusive and surprise inspections of its nuclear facilities. It is a measure the United States insisted upon, fearing that Iran's ultimate motive is to develop nuclear weapons.
Another little-noticed item -- though of enormous significance from the perspective of global nuclear non-proliferation -- was that Mohammad El Baradei, head of the IAEA, urged Israel, on Dec. 12, 2003, to scrap its nuclear weapons.
Israel's possession of nuclear weapons is one of the world's worst-kept secrets, a source of grave concern for its Arab neighbors, and one of the reasons underlying Iran's continued pursuance of its own nuclear program.
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Last modified: Thu May 20 11:49:47 CDT 2004