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UQ Wire: 9/11 Truth Events
Half of New Yorkers
Believe US Leaders Had
Foreknowledge of Impending 9-11 Attacks and
Consciously Failed To Act; 66% Call For New Probe of
Unanswered Questions by Congress or New Yorks
Attorney General, New Zogby International Poll Reveals
In unending efforts to
protect America the Beautiful and her beloved Americans, and
nationals from around the world, since April of 1998, Mary has been a continuous, quintessential
The only result has been for the corrupt officials to be protected, supported and promoted and for
Mary to be subjected to unending daily harassment, an extreme "mobbing" hostile work
environment, continuous animus, bias, prejudice, reprisals and retaliations, trumped up allegations,
and numerous bogus interrogations and investigations, at taxpayers' expense, requiring her to file
two separate Whistleblower Retaliation complaints at the Merit Systems Protection Board and a
Title VII Civil Rights Violations Lawsuit at the U. S. District Court in Miami, resulting in litigation
The 9/11 truth movement has just taken a giant leap towards dismantling the lies of September 11.
It is clear that at least five if not six training exercises were in operation in the days leading up to and on the morning of 9/11. This meant that NORAD radar screens showed as many as 22 hijacked airliners at the same time. NORAD had been briefed that this was part of the exercise drill and therefore normal reactive procedure was forestalled and delayed.
The large numbers of 'blips' on NORAD screens that displayed both real and 'drill' hijacked planes explain why confused press reports emerged hours after the attack stating that up to eight planes had been hijacked.
The drill scenario also explains a comment made by air traffic control personnel which was featured in a July 2004 BBC television report. The controller is told that a hijacked airliner is heading for New York and responds by saying, "is this real world or an exercise?"
What were the drills called and what was their nature?
1) OPERATION NORTHERN VIGILANCE: This was planned months in advance of 9/11 and ensured that on the morning of 9/11, jet fighters were removed from patrolling the US east coast and sent to Alaska and Canada, therefore reducing the amount of fighter planes available to protect the east coast.
2) BIOWARFARE EXERCISE TRIPOD II: Rudolph Giuliani let the details of it slip in his testimony to the 9/11 Commission. FEMA arrived in New York on September 10th to set up a command post located at Pier 29 under the auspices of a 'biowarfare exercise scheduled for September 12. This explains why Tom Kenney of FEMA's National Urban Search and Rescue Team, told Dan Rather of CBS News that FEMA had arrived in New York on the night of September 10th. This was originally dismissed as a slip of the tongue. Giuliani was to use this post as a command post on 9/11 after he evacuated WTC Building 7. As we reported back in January, Giuliani knew when to leave WTC 7 because he got advanced warning that the Trade Towers were about to collapse. "We were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was gonna collapse," Rudolph Giuliani told Peter Jennings of ABC News. How did Giuliani know the towers were about to collapse when no steel building in history had previously collapsed from fire damage?
3) OPERATION VIGILANT GUARDIAN: This exercise simulated hijacked planes in the north eastern sector and started to coincide with 9/11. Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, NORAD unit's airborne control and warning officer, was overseeing the exercise. At 8:40am she took a call from Boston Center which said it had a hijacked airliner. Her first words, as quoted by Newhouse News Service were, "It must be part of the exercise." This is another example of how the numerous drills on the morning of 9/11 deliberately distracted NORAD so that the real hijacked planes couldn't be intercepted in time.
4) OPERATION NORTHERN GUARDIAN: The details of this exercise are still scant but it is considered to be part of Vigilant Guardian, relating to simulating hijacked planes in the north eastern sector.
5) OPERATION VIGILANT WARRIOR: This was referenced in Richard Clarke's book 'Against All Enemies'. It is thought to have been the 'attack' component of the Vigilant Guardian exercise.
Another example of how air defenses were purposefully kept preoccupied so they couldn't protect New York. The Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, based at Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona, were just eight minutes away from New York and could have intercepted both Flight 11 and Flight 175.
Under NORAD procedures that date to the Cold War, two F-16 fighters from the 177th were parked around the clock on the Atlantic City runway. Pilots waited in a nearby building, ready to scramble.
But on the morning of 9/11, the F-16's were performing bombing runs over an empty stretch of the Pine Barrens near Atlantic City after being decommissioned from their usual role of protecting the skies of the east coast.
It was only after both trade towers were hit that the two F-16s landed and were refitted with air-to-air missiles, then sent aloft.
Now that we have established how NORAD were confused, delayed and distracted by the numerous wargames, the next question to ask is who if anyone was aware of which planes were 'real world' and which planes were 'exercise'? The answer to this question will provide us with the name of the individual who ran the operatonal execution of the 9/11 attack.
Cheney was initially taken by the secret service to an underground bunker in the White House called the Presidential Emergency Operations Center.
From there, according to CNN, Cheney directed the US government's response to the unfolding attack.
Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta was in the Presidential Emergency Operating Center with Vice President Cheney as Flight 77 approached Washington, D.C. On May 23, 2003 in front of the 9/11 Commission, Secretary Mineta testified:
"During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, "The plane is 50 miles out." "The plane is 30 miles out." And when it got down to "the plane is 10 miles out," the young man also said to the Vice President, "Do the orders still stand?" And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, "Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?"
As the plane in question hit the Pentagon, what else can we conclude but that the 'order' was not to shoot down the aircraft and to let it find its target.
Mineta stated that he did not know what the 'order' was because he wasn't there when it was made.
After the Pentagon was hit, Cheney was transfered to another bunker in what the Philadelphia Daily News describes as 'the underground Pentagon'.
Site R, a highly secure complex of buildings inside Raven Rock Mountain near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., close to the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line and about seven miles north of Camp David, is a 53-year-old facility conceived at the start of the Cold War as an alternate command center in the event of nuclear war or an attack on Washington.
The bunker is built into a mountain hillside and is virtually camouflaged to the naked eye. The location betrays itself by the vast gaggle of satellites, microwave towers and antennae that festoon the perimeter. Inside the facility there are computer filled caverns and communication and tracking technology that would put a James Bond movie to shame.
The entire facility is guarded by heavily armed military police.
Within hours of 9/11 unfolding, five choppers had landed on the facility's helipad and top officials such as Paul Wolfowitz were ushered in to join Cheney in the command bunker.
Site R - also known as Raven Rock or the Alternate Joint Communications Center is from where vice-President Dick Cheney ran the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. Cheney's command superceded the orders of the Pentagon, the FAA or the White House.
In May of 2001, by
presidential order, Cheney was handed direct control of all
wargame and drill operations. This meant he was solely in charge
of the overlapping NORAD drills and wargames on the morning of 9/11,
that prevented Standard Operating Procedure from being
implemented, and any of the hijacked planes being intercepted.
September 11: What You
"Ought Not To Know"
Document 199-I And The FBI's Words To Chill The Soul
Thursday, September 9, 2004
by Greg Palast
As Mike Ruppert will
delinate in his upcoming book "Crossing the Rubicon"
there were at least five "Training Exercises" in
progress on the morning of 9-11-2001. Each and every one, and any
others we may not yet know of, was under the control of Vice
President Dick Cheney. "He was running a completely separate
Command, Control and Communications system which was superceding
any orders being issued by the NMCC [National Military Command
Center], or the White House Situation Room."
In May of 2001, by presidential order, Richard Cheney was put in direct command and control of all wargame and field exercise training and scheduling through several agencies, especially FEMA. This also extended to all of the conflicting and overlapping NORAD drills on that day.
The TRIPOD II exercise being set up on Sept. 10th in Manhattan was directly connected to Cheney's role.
A number of public officials, at the national and New York City levels, including then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, were aware that Flight 175 was en route to lower Manhattan for 20 minutes and did nothing to order the evacuation of or warn the occupants of the South Tower. One military officer was forced to leave his post in the middle of the attacks and place a private call to his brother -- who worked at the WTC -- warning him to get out.
1 ) MILITARY EXERCISE
NORTHERN VIGILANCE: Transferred most
of the combat ready interceptors and possibly many AWACS from the north
east into northen Canada and Alaska. This explains,in part, why there were
only eight ( 8 ) combat interceptors in the NE on 9/11.
2 ) NON-MILITARY BIOWARFARE EXERCISE TRIPOD II: FEMA
arrived in NYC on 10 Sept 2001 to set up the command post for FEMA,
NEW YORK CITY AND DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE on Manhattan's
3 ) WARGAME EXERCISE, VIGILANT GUARDIAN: This exercise
simulated hi-jacked planes in the northeast sector. The 9/11 commission
made only mention of this single exercise. The
commisssion said its purpose was to intercept Russian bombers.
4 ) WARGAME EXERCISE, VIGILANT WARRIOR: This exercise
simulated hi-jacked planes in the northeast sector.
5 ) WARGAME EXERCISE NORTHERN GUARDIAN: This exercise
simulated hi-jacked planes in the northeast sector.
Cat Stevens Calls U.S.
Thu Sep 23, 2004
By Paul Majendie
Wednesday, September 22,
If suicide bombers come to America, they are likely to be carrying biological, chemical or nuclear weapons with them, according to an Al Qaeda memo discovered by Pakistani authorities, claims a report. Joseph Farahs G2 Bulletin, an online subscription intelligence news service, says that Pakistan President Pervez Musharaf, under heavy American pressure, has once again instructed his security and intelligence chiefs to focus on jihadi suicide volunteers this time because of a memo showing they will be used to carry weapons of mass destruction. The report says, The President, himself under the constant shadow of militants threatening to assassinate him, reacted to a coded memo discovered during a recent raid on pro-Al Qaeda activists in Karachi, by sharing parts of the memos alarming contents with friendly governments. Topping the memos list stands the US, although European countries are also specified as preferred targets. Unlike many other discoveries of terrorist documents, this memo has an added factor causing more than the usual concern. The memo details a number of ideas and options for attacking the West with WMDs by using suicide volunteers. Related to this memo is a Spanish decision, voiced by Interior Minister Antonio Alonzo, to assign close to 2,000 security agents to a training and deployment programme on the danger of nuclear, chemical and bacteriological terror attacks. Information from Russia passed on to the Pakistani intelligence and security service, following the disaster at the Beslan school, has contributed even more tension to the situation. The Russians claim many of the so-called Arab mujahideen killed during the attack on the school had visited Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan on several occasions. Similar claims and information came from the UK where law-enforcement agencies are still in the midst of their recent anti-terror operation that began last month. Several of those apprehended in the UK are of Pakistani origin with strong ties to anti-Musharaf forces. The report quotes a well-connected source in Islamabad as having told Western diplomats that he captured document included phrases not immediately and correctly analysed. One such phrase says: Aamaliat banika. It was later learned that banika actually means Panica, or panic, and Aamaliat means operation. Experts on terror attempts to hit the US with WMDs further analysed the sentence and associated it to a 1968 Hollywood production titled Panic in the City. The movie describes in detail a terrorist plan to build a nuclear bomb by using easily available materials and working in the basement of a Los Angeles home. In the movie, an agent sacrifices his life to fly the bomb away from the city to the open ocean where it explodes, sparing Los Angeles. The report also quotes supporters of Osama Bin Laden to have said on numerous occasions that their chief had studied over the years a variety of Western fictional material, and it is quite possible this movie was one of the Hollywood productions he actually viewed. In recent years, several TV and movie productions dealt with similar scenarios, such as in the TV series 24 and the movie titled The Sum of All Fears. According to the report, Interest in suicide bombers who may be carrying WMDs has increased since the discovery of the memo and evidence of a possible Pakistani terrorist connection to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt. Western intelligence agencies are convinced Pakistan is now the No. 1 producer of jihadi suicide candidates and that many of Pakistans madrassas and militant mosques are hosting an ever-growing number of Muslim foreigners. The presence of non-Pakistanis in the militant milieu of many mosques and religious schools, mostly those near and in the Peshawar region, is a reason for major concern. Recently Pakistani mullahs and imams have begun to describe suicide attacks in India in terms such as a three-year success story, making it clear to their disciples suicide bombings are a morale booster to the larger Muslim world.
House May Revive Parts of
Patriot Act II
Wed Sep 22, 2004
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - House Republicans plan to revive portions of the
Justice Department's "Patriot Act II" draft in
legislation to address the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations to
strengthen America intelligence capabilities, The Associated Press has
In a draft of the House GOP legislation obtained by The Associated
Press, many of the provisions were similar to the draft copy of the
"Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003" that a nonprofit group
said had leaked out of the Justice Department in January 2003.
Ex-FBI Translator Sues U.S.
Wed Sep 22, 2004
By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - An FBI contract linguist who
alleged there were security lapses in the bureau's translator program
sued the Justice Department on Wednesday to
compel its inspector general to disclose results of an investigation into
The inspector general, Glenn Fine, has said he would work toward
releasing parts of his office's investigation involving Sibel Edmonds, who
was fired in April 2002. The report, classified at the "secret" level, has
circulated among the FBI, Justice Department, the 911 Commission and
some lawmakers on oversight committees.
"We're continuing to work aggressively with the FBI and the department
to produce an unclassified version of this report," said Paul K. Martin,
the deputy inspector general. "This lawsuit will have no impact on our
efforts to achieve that end, efforts that are ongoing and vigorous."
Martin noted that his office cannot lawfully release the report because it
was based on material classified as secret by the FBI. Under federal
rules, the classifying agency must agree to the information's disclosure.
Edmonds alleges she was fired after complaining to FBI managers about
shoddy wiretap translations and telling them that an interpreter with a
relative at a foreign embassy might have compromised national security
after the Sept. 11 attacks by passing information from an FBI wiretap to
the target of an investigation. She filed her lawsuit in U.S. District Court
for the District of Columbia.
FBI Director Robert Mueller already has disclosed that Fine's
investigation did not conclude the FBI retaliated against Edmonds. But
Mueller has acknowledged in a letter to lawmakers that he was
concerned by Fine's determination that Edmonds' allegations "were at
least a contributing factor in why the FBI terminated her services."
Edmonds' lawsuit, filed under the Freedom of Information Act, said the
inspector general's office on Aug. 12 rejected her request for records
about her case but did not respond to her administrative appeal Aug. 31
and therefore "wrongfully withheld the relevant records."
Martin said the inspector general's office told Edmonds in its Aug. 12
denial that she could appeal the decision through the Justice
Department's Office of Information and Privacy.
This summer, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton threw out a related
lawsuit by Edmonds challenging her firing, ruling that Edmonds' suit
might expose government secrets that could damage national security.
Walton said he was satisfied with claims by Attorney General John
Ashcroft (and a senior FBI official that the lawsuit
could expose intelligence-gathering methods and disrupt diplomatic
relations with foreign governments. The judge said he could not explain
further because his explanation itself would expose sensitive secrets.
Edmonds' lawsuit over her records was assigned to a different judge,
Activists Find More E-Vote
By Kim Zetter
Sep. 22, 2004
Voting activist Bev Harris and a computer scientist say they found more vulnerabilities in an electronic voting system made by Diebold Election Systems, weaknesses that could allow someone to alter votes in the election this November.
FBI's Anti-Terror 'October
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2004
(CBS) Convinced that al Qaeda is still
determined to disrupt the U.S. fall
elections by an attack on the
homeland, FBI officials here are
preparing a massive counter-offensive
of interrogations, surveillance and
possible detentions they hope will
disrupt the terrorist plans, reports
CBS News Correspondent Jim
FBI field offices and Homeland
Security agencies will be advised of
"extraordinary measures" that will go
into place "beginning the first week of
October through the elections."
CITY SCRAMBLING TO HANDLE
By JEREMY OLSHAN
September 21, 2004 -- If terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb in the city, as many
as 1 million people will have to be tested and treated for radiation and officials
will confront mass hysteria that could cause as many casualties as the device,
But more than three years after the 9/11 attacks, the city Health Department only now is creating a plan to
deal with a doomsday scenario.
The department says it will award a $150,000 contract later this year funded by the federal Department
of Homeland Security for a step-by-step blueprint detailing the city's reaction to a nuclear disaster.
The "request for proposals" from experts bidding on the contract says the new protocols will complement
current disaster plans, but notes that in the case of mass screenings, there are "no federal or other guidelines
to respond to this type of demand."
Elected officials yesterday questioned why it took so long to start planning for a possible nuclear attack.
"I'm concerned with what's presently in place while we await the results of this RFP process," said
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee. "Apparently, we're not as far along
as we thought."
A spokesman for the Health Department said that the city had been planning for nuclear attacks even before
Sept. 11, but this is the first effort to coordinate a wide variety of agencies.
The spokesman added that the new program will be "the first of its kind on any level, city, state or federal."
Depending on the magnitude of an attack, officials want to be capable of establishing two screening centers
in each borough and testing up to 1 million people within 72 hours.
Once those who are contaminated are identified and quarantined, treatment might range from a simple
shower to a battery of vaccinations.
In the case of a dirty bomb, which is a conventional explosive device that scatters radioactive materials,
those exposed would have to be tracked for decades.
Panic may be more dangerous than the attack itself, said Graham Allison, a former assistant secretary of
defense and the author of "Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe."
A small nuclear bomb carried in a backpack could cause as much devastation as the bomb that virtually
destroyed Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II.
"The fact that we're getting around to this three years after 9/11 seems implausible," Allison said.
"But once a nuclear bomb is in your city, there is very little you can do. We need to focus on preventing the
attack before it occurs."
Two men believed to be of Arab origin tried to enter Costa Rica over the weekend using extremely well-crafted false documents, Immigration Director Marco Badilla said Monday. "We cannot confirm that we are dealing with terrorists, but neither can we discount the possibility that they have some link to that type of group." Badilla said the men were expelled on Sunday on a flight to Honduras with a stop in El Salvador. They were supposedly headed to Canada, though it was unclear here if they had disembarked in any of those countries. Badilla said the men were found to have Jordanian passports identifying them as Ismail Mohamad Nassar and Fawas Ne Meh Mousa. They had presented immigration officers with documents from Belgium and France identifying them as Maximilien O. Regout L.R.M and Sylvain Marcel Hurel Yannic. "We classified them as presumed Jordanians because we did not trust any of the documents they carried, which were adulterated or false, but of very high qualify," Badilla said. He said they had been quickly deported "for convenience, because we do not want to have people like that here" and in order to avoid the bother of a court case. If they are detained in order to accuse them of using a false document, that's a slow judicial process," he said.
Three Years after the
Anthrax Letters, Are We Safer?
By Edward R. Winstead
September 17, 2004
Fears of nuclear test by
North Korea rise
Recent blast creates suspicion that Pyongyang may raise the stakes by holding a
nuclear test before the US presidential election on Nov 2
By Joo Sang Min
SEOUL - A mysterious explosion in North Korea's remote north-east has
sparked fears that the region could be in for an 'October surprise' before the
US presidential election in November.
U.N. Official: 40 Nations
Can Make Nukes
Monday September 20, 2004
By GEORGE JAHN
Associated Press Writer
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - More than 40 countries with peaceful
nuclear programs could retool them to make weapons, the head
of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Monday amid new
U.S and European demands that Iran give up technology
capable of producing such arms.
Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic
Energy Agency, suggested in a keynote address to the IAEA
general conference that it was time to tighten world policing of
nuclear activities and to stop relying on information volunteered
Beyond the declared nuclear arms-holding countries, ``some
estimates indicate that 40 countries or more now have the
know-how to produce nuclear weapons,'' ElBaradei said. ``We
are relying primarily on the continued good intentions of these
countries, intentions, which ... could ... be subject to rapid
Secrets of Porter Goss:
CIA, Fraud & Patriot Act
by AL MARTIN
Whistleblowers Call For
Disclosure Of Govt's Iraq Deceit
Daniel Ellsberg, Former CIA, FBI Officials Say Americans Need Full Disclosure of Lies, Cover-ups, and War's Projected Costs in Lives & Dollars
Pentagon Sets Up HQ to
Sept. 20, 2004
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has established a
new military headquarters whose mission is to defend the nation's
capital and to assist civil authorities in responding to a terrorist attack
The Joint Forces Headquarters for the National Capital Region is based
at Fort McNair, a small Army post in Washington on the banks of the
Anacostia River whose fortifications did not stop the British from invading
in 1814 and burning the White House and Capitol.
The idea of the new Joint Forces Headquarters is not to fend off foreign
armies but to prevent if possible and respond to, if not surprise
attack by terrorists using nuclear, chemical, biological or other
unconventional means, Army Maj. Gen. Galen B. Jackman said
"There are vulnerabilities in the nation's capital," he said without being
One of those vulnerabilities is the proximity of the White House, the
Capitol and other government buildings to commercial air traffic, as
shown by the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.
Jackman is commander of the new headquarters. The deputy
commander is Rear Adm. Jan Gaudio, who also is commandant of the
Naval District of Washington, which provides support services to naval
installations within a 100 mile radius of the Pentagon.
Jackman and Gaudio briefed reporters Monday about the arrangement
and the new operations center, where they can monitor a broad range of
information from the FBI and other government
The new outfit also has a mobile command center, a $3.2 million truck
chocked full of computer, telephone, TV and other communications to
enable Jackman or others to travel to the scene of an emergency and
remain in touch with the secretary of defense as well as other agencies.
The idea is to improve the military's ability to coordinate a post-attack
response, as well as complicate a potential attacker's planning by
varying the placement and visibility of security measures, Jackman said.
Before Sept. 11, 2001, the military organizations in Washington focused
largely on ceremonial activities like a presidential inauguration, as well
as installation management.
Now they are being asked to focus also on homeland defense. Even the
U.S. Army Band, for example, is now trained to provide administrative
medical support in the event of an attack.
There is a wide range of military forces based in the Washington area,
but none in large numbers. The Army has its 3rd Infantry Regiment, the
famed "Old Guard" best known for sentry duty at the Tomb of the
Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the Army's 12th
Aviation Battalion, which has 18 Black Hawk helicopters based at Fort
Belvoir, Va., south of the capital.
Also in the area is an Army engineer company with special training in
rescuing people from collapsed buildings, as well as a bomb disposal
unit at McNair that is trained to respond to nuclear, chemical,
conventional and improvised explosive incidents anywhere in the capital
Jackman's organization is subordinate to U.S. Northern Command, a
military headquarters in Colorado set up after the Sept. 11 attacks to
coordinate land defense of the United States. Air defense is the
responsibility of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
The only area of the country with a joint force headquarters devoted
specifically to its defense is Washington.
A ceremony Wednesday will mark the official activation of Joint Forces
Headquarters for the National Capital Region, but it already has been put
to work several times in recent months. It set up a joint task force to
respond to the discovery of the deadly poison ricin last February on
Capitol Hill, for example.
Senators Seek More Power
for Intel Chief
Sept. 20, 2004
By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - More than a dozen current and former members of
the Senate Intelligence Committee say a leading bill to overhaul the
intelligence community won't give the proposed national intelligence
director enough power to do the job effectively.
In a letter to the leaders of the Governmental
Affairs Committee on Monday, the 14
senators said the panel's current proposal
does not give the new director enough
authority to take charge of the daily
operations of the 15 agencies that make up
the U.S. intelligence apparatus.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the
Governmental Affairs panel, led by Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine,
is scheduled to complete the legislation that she drafted with the
committee's top Democrat, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.
A congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some
senators believe the Collins-Lieberman bill would allow the new director
to "task" or direct various agencies who are part of the intelligence
community. But they want the bill to go a step further and give the
director day-to-day operational control, the aide said.
The 14 Republican and Democratic senators say it's necessary to
ensure the director is in charge and accountable.
Since the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks released its
report in July, Congress has been working to draft legislation to
restructure the intelligence community before adjourning for the Nov. 2
President Bush has supported the creation of a new,
more powerful national intelligence director, but significant debate has
centered on how much power that person should have.
Chechen warlord threatens
more attacks after Beslan
Richard Balmforth (Reuters)
Moscow, September 17
Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev who
claimed responsibility on Friday for the
Russian school siege in which more than 320
hostages were killed, half of them children,
threatened further attacks by any means if he
Basayev, Russia's most wanted man,
expressed regret for the bloody outcome in
Beslan, which he blamed on the Kremlin. But
he made clear there would be no let-up in
rebel attacks in the future in the campaign for
an independent Chechnya.
"We are not bound by any circumstances, or
to anybody, and we will continue to fight as is
convenient and advantageous to us, and by
our rules," he said in an unrepentant statement published on a rebel Web site.
Basayev's statement appeared on www.kavkazcenter.com a day after
Russian President Vladimir Putin ruled out negotiations with Chechen rebels.
Basayev, taking up Putin's charges of links between Chechen separatists and
a wider international network of terror, pointedly denied any links with
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
"I don't know bin Laden. I don't get money from him, but I wouldn't turn it
down," he said.
The heavily-bearded Basayev has been fighting Russian forces for most of
the past 13 years and has been behind many sensational Chechen rebel
Pakistan tightening noose
around Al Qaida militants near Afghan border
-A Jordanian passport discovered by Pakistani troops from a hideout of foreign militants in South Waziristan tribal region has raised suspicions its holder may have links with Abu Moussa Al Zarqawi, the mastermind behind attacks in Iraq, military sources said as they claimed the noose was tightening around Al Qaida linked militants.
The passport carries the name of Abdullah Khalid Mohammad, born at Al Zarqa in Jordan, which is also the birthplace of Zarqawi.
It was found this month during a search of the hideout, which was destroyed in the June military operation in Shakai area north of Wana, the main town in South Waziristan. That operation left some 65 foreign and local militants dead.
"Investigators are trying to find whether the man has links with Zarqawi. There is a possibility that he is a blood relation of Zarqawi and may be his brother," an intelligence source said.
The army took a team of foreign and local journalists to Shakai after a briefing in Wana during which a senior General said the military had considerably limited the operational ability and space of Al Qaida linked foreign fighters in the rugged region along the Afghan border.
"We have eliminated a number of terrorists' hideouts in the region and ... their operational space has been reduced to a considerable degree," Major General Niaz Khatak said.
Military officials said troops discovered a cellar during inspections of one of the destroyed hideouts in Shakai and found computers, arms and ammunition as well as documents including the passport of the Jordanian national.
"We are investigating who this Jordanian is and whether he is one of the Al Qaida operatives," a military official said.
Since the June offensive, the counter-terrorism operations have been expanded to other areas, with jets destroying last week a militant training campnear Wana, killing some 50 mainly Uzbek and Chechen fighters.
Military spokesman Major Gen. Shaukat Sultan said troops and militants were trading fire in Karwan Manzai area near Khanigurram on Saturday.
"The exchange of fire is going on between security forces and miscreants and one or two soldiers have been injured," he said.
CIA Officer: al-Qaida
Efforts Still Lag
Senior CIA Officer Says Bad Decisions, Understaffing Stifle Efforts to Stop Bin Laden, al-Qaida
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON Sept. 17, 2004
September 14, 2004
Secrecy in the Bush Administration
Sep. 18, 2004
Official: 245 votes not counted until weeks after August primary
TAMPA, Fla. - A total of 245 electronic ballots weren't counted in Hillsborough County until more
than two weeks after the Aug. 31 state primary, an elections official said.
The error came when a staffer incorrectly set up an ATM-style touchscreen voting machine,
Hillsborough County Elections Supervisor Buddy Johnson said. No outcome was altered by the
ballots found Friday, but touchscreen critics worry about problems in a state the decided the
presidency in 2000 by 537 votes.
"What they lost was about half of what elected the president in 2000," said Reggie Mitchell, election
protection director at People for the American Way Foundation.
Critics like Mitchell's group want electronic machines to have a paper trail, but equipment makers
contend that the devices accurate.
"We're very disappointed this happened. That's the bottom line," Johnson said. He assured voters that
the error wouldn't be repeated for the presidential election Nov. 2.
The machine made by Sequoia Voting Systems was used for early voting at a library, but was left in
test mode, he said. That means votes were recorded and stored but not counted initially.
Johnson said the votes were found as his staff found the number of people who signed in to vote at
the precinct was more than the number of ballots cast there.
"It didn't make a lot of sense that there was that many undervotes," Johnson said.
The county had 118,699 votes cast in the primary, but there were close contests. In the Republican
primary for state House District 47, Kevin Ambler defeated Bill Bunkley by 130 votes.
Hillsborough had other primary problems that delayed final until Sept. 1. Johnson's office met the
statutory requirements for getting results to the state, which has now recertified vote tallies to include
the 245 votes.
Iraq had no WMD: the final
Julian Borger in Washington
Saturday September 18, 2004
Army Spokesman Denounces
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
September 9, 2004 - Three years after the tragic events of
September 11, 2004, most police officers, firefighters, EMTs and other first responders in the
United States still do not have the ability to communicate with each other during a time of crisis,
according to testimony delivered this week to the U.S. House of Representatives by New York
Metropolitan Fire Commissioner William Fox and Gene Stilp, a volunteer firefighter, EMT and
vice president of the Dauphin-Middle Paxton Fire Company #1, in Dauphin, Pennsylvania.
CIA Officer: al-Qaida
Efforts Still Lag
Fri Sep 17, 2004
By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A senior CIA officer says bad
decisions, understaffing and infighting among intelligence agencies
stifled efforts to stop Osama bin Laden and his
network. More than three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the agency
remains short-staffed, he says.
In an unusually critical campaign for a government employee, Mike
Scheuer has spent much of the last three months publicly criticizing his
agency. Most government officials wait until they retire, as former
National Security Council aide Richard Clarke did.
In July, Scheuer, head of the CIA's bin Laden unit until 1999, published
his best-selling book "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War
on Terror." Then, he was only identified as "Anonymous."
Last week, Scheuer sent the Senate Intelligence Committee a six-page
letter accusing senior career civil servants of failing to ensure the
"optimal performance" of the U.S. intelligence community and of missing
opportunities to stop bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist group and prevent the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Scheuer lists 10 management and leadership problems in the letter,
delivered just before the confirmation hearing of President Bush's
nominee to run the CIA, Rep. Porter Goss,
R-Fla. A congressional source provided a copy to The
Associated Press this week.
"There has been no systematic effort to groom al-Qaida expertise among
Directorate of Operations officers since 11 September," Scheuer writes,
referring to the CIA's most famous division, its clandestine service.
"Today, the unit is greatly understaffed because of a 'hiring freeze' and
the rotation of large numbers of officers in and out of the unit every 60 to
He says experienced officers do less work and become trainers for
officers who leave before they are qualified for the mission. Senior CIA
managers running operations against al-Qaida have made pleas for more
officers, Scheuer says.
The CIA declined to comment on Scheuer's statements.
An intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
Scheuer met numerous times with a commission investigating the Sept.
11 attacks and made the criticisms found in his letter. The official said
the clandestine service has more officers working against al-Qaida at
headquarters and overseas than before the Sept. 11 attacks, and also
has more expertise on al-Qaida.
At his confirmation hearing, Goss said he reached conclusions similar to
Scheuer's and sees a need to improve the CIA's human intelligence
capabilities: "They are our best bet for dealing with the war on terrorism,"
In his letter, Scheuer details past intelligence woes. He says the CIA
initially suppressed a 1996 report about al-Qaida's unsuccessful efforts
to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that an abbreviated version was
circulated within the intelligence community following internal protests.
He also describes disputes between the CIA and another intelligence
agency over access to al-Qaida communications intercepts.
Scheuer complains that the bin Laden unit was ordered to disband in
spring 1998, leading many there to look for jobs just before the East
Africa embassy bombings in August. Then-CIA Director George Tenet
intervened and kept the unit open.
Scheuer says intelligence officers were transferred at critical times, and
the military wouldn't provide U.S. special-operations experts to help plan
actions against al-Qaida.
When Scheuer wrote his book, he was initially only allowed to be
identified as "Anonymous." He did a series of television interviews with
his face darkened and print interviews on the condition he not be
identified. Gradually, his identity has come out.
In an AP interview in June, speaking anonymously, the author said he
saw a "denigration in my responsibilities" over the last five years. This
week, his editor, Christina Davidson of Brassey's Inc., said he is
considering leaving the agency.
"The anonymous author of Imperial Hubris is very close to resignation for
a number of reasons, including denial of interviews," said Davidson, who
is still bound by an agreement with the CIA not to identify Scheuer.
Judge Orders U.S. to Find
By the Associated Press
Friday 17 September 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to find and make public by next
week any unreleased files about President Bush's Vietnam-era Air National Guard service to resolve a
Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Associated Press.
U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. handed down the order late Wednesday in New York. The AP
lawsuit already has led to the disclosure of previously unreleased flight logs from Bush's days piloting
F-102A fighters and other jets.
Pentagon officials told Baer they plan to have their search complete by Monday. Baer ordered the
Pentagon to hand over the records to the AP by Sept. 24 and provide a written statement by Sept. 29
detailing the search for more records.
Terrorism Response Plans
Will Not Protect Many Americans, New Academy Study Finds
Plans destined to fail because they dont account for all of the risks people would face
Despite all the talk of
homeland security, sneaking into the U.S. is scandalously easyand
on the rise.
India's new government has
scrapped an anti-terror law on the
grounds the legislation, which gives sweeping powers to the
police, is being misused.
A government statement says the cabinet, headed by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, has decided to replace the
Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) with a new law.
It says the new law - the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act -
will incorporate "certain provisions to deal with various facets
of terorism", although the statement did not elaborate.
Chechen rebels 'own up to
Friday September 17, 2004
The Chechen rebel leader, Shamil Basayev, today claimed
responsibility for a string of recent terrorist attacks in Russia,
including the Beslan school siege, according to a Chechen
Two Men Face Terror
Charges in U.S.
Swpt. 16, 2004
By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A Palestinian with links to the 1993 World Trade
Center bombing and an Egyptian were charged Thursday with providing
financial support for terror groups and recruiting would-be terrorists,
including alleged al-Qaida plotter Jose Padilla.
A 10-count federal grand jury indictment
returned in Miami charges Adhan Amin
Hassoun and Mohamed Hesham Youssef
with providing material support and conspiracy
to provide material support to terrorist
organizations. Both men already are jailed
Hassoun in Florida and Youssef in Egypt.
According to the indictment, Hassoun wrote
checks totaling $53,000 between 1994 and
May 2002 to charities and individuals with ties
to terrorism. From a base in Broward County, Fla., Hassoun also
allegedly recruited people in the United States for Islamic "jihad," or holy
war, in Afghanistan, Somalia, Chechnya and Kosovo.
"This indictment alleges that an individual living here in the United
States, enjoying all the freedoms that our society has to offer, was
secretly plotting to support murder and terror being perpetrated by violent
jihadists overseas," Attorney General John Ashcroft said.
Among those allegedly recruited by Hassoun was Padilla, a former
Chicago gang member and Muslim convert now being held by the United
States as an enemy combatant. Several law enforcement officials,
speaking on condition of anonymity for legal reasons, confirmed that
Padilla is the individual referred to in the indictment as "unindicted
Padilla, who attended al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan, was
arrested in May 2002 in Chicago on suspicion of plotting to detonate a
radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States.
The government now says al-Qaida leaders were skeptical about that
plot and instead wanted Padilla along with suspected al-Qaida
member Adnan G. El-Shukrijumah to fill multiple apartment buildings
with natural gas and blow them up. Padilla is being held at a Navy brig in
According to the indictment, phone conversations picked up through
electronic surveillance showed that Hassoun said in 1999 that he was
providing financial support and travel guidance to Youssef and Padilla.
Hassoun also allegedly wrote a $1,000 check to another person with
Padilla's name on the memo line; on a separate occasion, Youseff told
Hassoun that Padilla "went to the area of Osama."
Prosecutors have said that Padilla trained at the al Farouq training camp
in Afganistan, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had set up operations.
The government previously has described Hassoun as a member of
Al-Gama Al-Islamiyya, an international terrorist organization connected
to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and
The indictment describes numerous intercepted telephone conversations
between Hassoun, Youssef and others in which they allegedly talked in
code about terrorist support and activities. At one point in 1996, Youssef
told Hassoun he is "ready for trade immediately" and Hassoun
responded, "By God, there is now trade in Somalia ... get yourself ready
to go down there to see," according to the indictment.
A bit later, Hassoun said "there is jihad" in Somalia.
The charges say Hassoun wrote checks to a number of organizations,
including Muslim charities such as the Holy Land Foundation and Global
Relief Foundation, that prosecutors say were intended to finance terrorist
Holy Land and seven of its leaders have been charged with supporting
the Hamas terror organization; Global Relief has been designated as a
terrorism financier by the Treasury Department.
Hassoun was also a member of another Islamic charity, Benevolence
International Foundation, whose assets have been frozen by the
Hassoun was arrested and charged last year with lying to federal agents
about his activities, immigration violations and illegal possession of a
Hassoun and Youssef each face up to 30 years in jail on the material
support and conspiracy charges. Hassoun also faces additional prison
time on the other charges; Youssef is serving a prison sentence in Egypt
on a terrorism conviction in that country.
Poll: Should AIPAC
Register as the Agent of a Foreign Government?
New Israeli spy probe has
a 30-year history, insiders say
By Jim Lobe
Senate Panel Votes to
Derail New OT Rules
Thu Sep 16, 2004
By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A Senate committee voted Wednesday to scuttle
new rules that critics say would deny overtime pay to millions of
workers, as Democrats won the latest round in their election-year bout
with President Bush over the issue.
The 16-13 vote by the Republican-run Senate Appropriations Committee
came less than a week after the GOP-led House embarrassed Bush by
approving a similar measure.
Despite the twin rebukes by Congress, the provision could well
disappear when House-Senate bargainers write a final version of the
spending bill to which it was attached. GOP leaders and the White
House will dominate that part of the legislative process.
$350 MILLION RICO LAWSUIT
FILED OVER ASPARTAME
A $350 million class action lawsuit was filed on September 15, 2004 in United States District Court in San Francisco, California, case no: C 04 3872. This class action racketeering (RICO) lawsuit was filed against the NutraSweet Corporation, American Diabetes Association, Dr. Robert H. Moser and John Does 1-50. Plaintiffs maintain that this lawsuit will prove how deadly the chemical sweetener aspartame is when consumed by humans. Contained in the lawsuit is the key role played by current Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld in helping to get aspartame pushed through the FDA.
Putin Moves to Strengthen
Sep 13, 2004
By MARA BELLABY
MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin on Monday demanded an overhaul of
Russia's political system, including an end to the direct popular election of
governors, saying the changes were needed to combat terrorism.
. . . the Russian leader's proposals focused largely on electoral
changes. Putin said he would propose legislation abolishing the election of
local governors by popular vote. Instead they would be nominated by the
president and confirmed by local legislatures. He said the change was needed
to streamline and strengthen the executive branch to better combat terror.
Proof US Tested Rabies As
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
The Thought Police and the
American Community Survey
by John W. Whitehead
N.Korea Says Blast Was for
Sep 13, 2004
By Jack Kim
SEOUL (Reuters) - A huge explosion in North Korea last week was a deliberate
blast to pave the way for a hydro-electric dam, Pyongyang said Monday.
Washington and Seoul have said the explosion was unlikely to have been a
nuclear weapons test. South Korean media said an accident at an underground
munitions depot or a weapons factory was a likely explanation for possibly two blasts.
A British minister visiting Pyongyang said late Monday that the North Korean authorities had agreed to allow
foreign envoys to visit the scene and see for themselves.
Huge blast in North Korea
fuels nuclear bomb fears
By Anne Penketh
13 September 2004
September 12, 2004
Atomic Activity in North Korea Raises Concerns
By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
U.S. Says N.Korea Blast
Probably Not Nuclear
Sun Sep 12, 2004
By Martin Nesirky and Vicki Allen
Nuclear Bomb Tested In N
Big Blast, Mushroom Cloud Reported In N Korea
By Kim Miyoung and Paul Eckert
Turkey Furious At Massive
US Assault On Iraqi City
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
The Independent - UK
Kremlin 'Morally' To Blame
For Beslan Massacre - US Neo-Cons
By Neil Mackay
The Sunday Herald - UK
The report by the
Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of
Congress, said the Postal Service must revise its guidelines on
how it handles future anthrax threats.
Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he believes Osama bin Laden is still alive although he has no proof and thinks his al-Qaida terror group remains a threat. Powell said: "We believe he is still alive. I can't prove that. But he clearly is hiding as best he can. He is on the run. He is not popping up on television and he is not showing himself in a way that he could be captured."
WTC to sue Saudis over
SAUDI Arabia is to be sued in a $4 billion lawsuit by the owner of the World
Trade Centre it emerged today on the third anniversary of the September 11
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that it planned
to join in a lawsuit filed a week ago by Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, a bond
trading firm that lost two-thirds of its workers in the trade centre attack
which killed nearly 3000 people.
The lawsuit has named Saudi Arabia, al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and other
accused terrorists, along with financial institutions and charitable
organisations that allegedly raised money for terrorism efforts.
U.S. soldier convicted of
torture in Iraq
Baghdad, Iraq, Sep. 11 (UPI) -- A U.S.
military intelligence soldier in Iraq has been
sentenced to 8 months in prison for taking part
in torturing detainees in Abu Ghraib prison.
A U.S. court martial Saturday in Baghdad
handed down the sentence against Spec. Armin
Cruz, 24, of Plano, Texas, after he pleaded
guilty to abusing prisoners and conspiracy to
cover up the abuse.
Cruz, the first U.S. military intelligence soldier to
be tried in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse case,
was also demoted to private and given a
During the one-day, two-session trial, defense
lawyers tried to justify Cruz's behavior at the
prison by saying he was emotionally affected
when one of his friends was killed in a mortar
attack at the prison outside Baghdad.
Seven other American soldiers were tried in
U.S. martial courts in Iraq and the United States
after being charged of abusing Abu Ghraib
Twenty-six others, including three retired
soldiers, have been charged in the same scandal
case, but have yet to be tried.
Repeated often enough, Bushs roll call of rhetoric sounds
like the truth--call it true lies if you like--but in the end, its
simply counterfeit conservatism.
By Scott D. OReilly
Iraq invasion a 'major blunder' in fight against Al-Qaeda:
Expert: Iraq invasion gave Al-Qaeda free propaganda
Taliban Chief Phoned U.S.
on '98 Strike
Fri Sep 10,10:44 PM ET
By WILLIAM C. MANN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A day after former President Clinton sent cruise missiles against al-Qaida targets in Afghanistan, the leader of that country's ruling Taliban militia telephoned
the State Department and offered to talk, according to a State
Department message disclosed Friday.
Little came of the contact, although Mullah
Mohammed Omar counseled the department
that the United States would never be
accepted as a friend of the Muslims unless
Congress forced Clinton to resign.
Clinton announced Aug. 21, 1998, that he had
sent cruise missiles "to strike at the network
of radical groups affiliated with and funded by
Osama bin Laden, perhaps
the pre-eminent organizer and financier of
international terrorism in the world today."
The attacks were to retaliate for the bombings
of two U.S. embassies in Africa two weeks earlier that killed 231 people.
Bin Laden, mastermind behind the al-Qaida terror network, was blamed
for those as well as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
He had established training camps in Afghanistan under Omar's
protection. His camps and a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan,
that was thought to have been connected with bin Laden were targets of
the cruises. Bin Laden and his comrades escaped.
After Sept. 11, U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan and in a brief campaign
brought down the Taliban government and put bin Laden to flight. Both
Omar and bin Laden remain at large.
The message, drafted by Michael E. Malinowski, then the head of the
State Department's Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh desk,
reported what is believed to be the first and perhaps only U.S. contact
with the rabidly anti-American Muslim cleric.
After a translator confirmed that the caller on an open State Department
line was Omar, the message said, "Malinowski noted that we had much
to speak about, especially the continued presence of Osama bin Laden
in Afghanistan and the threat that bin Laden posed to Americans."
"Omar replied that, while he had no particular message for us, he was
open to dialogue," the message said. "Malinowski suggested that open
telephone lines were inappropriate for that serious dialogue."
The message was provided to The Associated Press by the National
Security Archive, an independent nongovernmental research group based
at George Washington University that collects previously secret
government documents. The archive said it obtained the document
through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In summarizing his conversation with Omar, Malinowski said the Afghan
"parroted some of bin Laden's hard-line views" but listened to U.S.
arguments on why Clinton ordered the attacks against Afghanistan and
Sudan and "the reasons why bin Laden's continued activities were not in
the interest of the Afghan people."
"Omar warned that the U.S. strikes would prove counterproductive and
arouse anti-American feelings in the Islamic world," the message said.
They could spark more, not fewer, terror attacks, it said.
In another section, Malinowski wrote, "He said that in order to rebuild
U.S. popularity in the Islamic world and because of (Clinton's) current
domestic difficulties Congress should force President Clinton to resign."
At the time, Clinton was under intense pressure of his affair with former
White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Some Republicans suggested
that he may have sent the missiles to divert attention from the scandal.
The Taliban leader told Malinowski he knew of no evidence that bin
Laden had planned our carried out terror attacks from Afghanistan.
"Malinowski replied that there was considerable evidence against bin
Laden, and that the evidence was solid," the message said. "He noted
that Omar and the Taliban should be well aware of what bin Laden had
been up to in Afghanistan."
"Omar conducted himself in a careful and controlled manner,"
Malinowski wrote. "At no time did he bluster or threaten."
In a paragraph marked "comment," Malinowski said: "Omar's contact
with a (U.S.) official is rather remarkable, given his reclusive nature and
his past avoidance of contact with all things American.
"It is indicative of the seriousness of how the Taliban view the U.S.
strikes and our anger over bin Laden."
Fired Park Police Chief
Denies Info Leak
Thu Sep 9, 7:28 PM ET
By MADISON PARK, Associated Press Writer
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Fighting to get her job back, fired U.S. Park
Police Chief Teresa Chambers testified Thursday that she did not divulge
classified information when she complained her agency was short on
money and staff.
Chambers, who is viewed as a whistleblower by supporters and a
troublemaker by opponents, took the stand at a hearing of the U.S.
Merit Systems Protection Board, a quasi-judicial agency that protects
the rights of federal workers.
Chambers said she would have felt derelict in her duties had she not
publicly raised concerns about a $12 million budget shortfall and staffing
problems after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"Our public needed to know," Chambers said.
But Paul Hoffman, the deputy assistant secretary in the Interior
Department who dismissed Chambers, accused her of demonstrating
very poor leadership" and "disregarding policies."
The Park Police patrol many landmarks in the nation's capital and
elsewhere, including the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Chambers was suspended and placed under a gag order on Dec. 5, a
few days after telling various news media that she had been forced to cut
back on patrols because her officers were required to guard national
When asked about security dangers at the nation's monuments,
Chambers said, "It was and is a real threat."
Hoffman testified Thursday that Chambers had improperly disclosed
budget figures and staffing levels, and had potentially endangered the
national icons and their visitors. He said nothing short of dismissal would
have been appropriate.
The hearing resumes Tuesday, with a ruling likely to take one to three
FBI Whistle-Blower Warns
of Too Many Leads
UPDATED - Thursday September 09, 2004 7:39pm
Washington (AP) - Former FBI counterterrorism chief Larry Mefford,
who worked with Rowley in the Minneapolis bureau from 1992 to 1995,
questioned her credentials to speak as an expert on terrorism, saying that was not
the focus of her career. "In today's world, with the threats we face today and the
danger those threats pose, I don't think I'd ever say we have too much
information," he said. "I do agree the challenge is what you do with the information
once you get it."
Rowley said that she worked on terrorism issues both as legal counsel and special
Rowley also said events in Iraq have shown she was correct in her 2003 letter to
FBI Director Robert Mueller warning that an invasion could heighten terrorism
threats in this country.
"Unfortunately, new enemies have been created," she said.
10 September 2004
Al-Qaeda number two vows US defeat is a "matter of time"
Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri appeared in a video broadcast on the eve of the third anniversary of September 11, vowing that defeat for US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was a matter of time. And he warned that Americans would not be safe while their government "commits crimes against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine," according to Al-Jazeera television, which screened the tape late Thursday. "The American defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan has become just a question of time, God willing," the fugitive Egyptian cleric said on the tape. "In the two countries, the Americans are between two fires: if they remain there they will bleed to death, and if they withdraw they will have lost everything." Wearing a white turban and with an assault rifle at his side, Osama bin Laden's right-hand man said armed Islamists he described as Al-Qaeda's mujahedeen had foiled US forces in Iraq and left them hiding in the trenches in Afghanistan. US President George W. Bush sent in troops to Afghanistan to hunt down bin Laden and his operatives in his self-declared "war on terrorism" after the September 11, 2001 attacks and then invaded Iraq in March last year. Zawahiri -- an eye surgeon by training who now has a 25 million dollar US bounty on his head -- was last shown in a video broadcast almost the same time a year ago walking with bin Laden in a green mountainous area. CIA analysts have begun studying the latest videotape to try to determine when it was made and whether it contains any hidden messages, a US intelligence official said. Al-Jazeera, which often receives messages from militant groups including Al-Qaeda, gave no information about the latest recording or how it came into the station's possession. "In Iraq, the mujahedeen foiled the American plan after the interim government showed such weakness," said the 53-year-old Zawahiri, regarded by the United States as the terror group's ideologue and main strategist. He claimed that Al-Qaeda's mujahedeen were in control of "the entire east and south of Afghanistan" with the support of the people. "The Americans are dug into their trenches and refuse to come out to face the mujahedeen, despite their provocations by bombing and besieging them." He said the Americans and other foreign troops simply "defend themselves with air raids." "In Kabul, the Americans and the peacekeeping forces are the target of rocket attacks by the mujahedeen are constantly in fear of martyr (suicide) operations," Zawahiri added. According to Al-Jazeera, which said it did not screen the entire tape, Zawahiri warns the Americans that "the era of security is over." "They will no longer be safe while their government does not stop committing its crimes against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine." Earlier Thursday, at least three rockets were fired at the Afghan capital, an International Security Assistance Force spokesman said, with witnesses saying at least one person was wounded. The attacks came two days after campaigning began for next month's landmark presidential election in Afghanistan. In neighbouring Pakistan, security forces smashed a suspected Al-Qaeda training camp Thursday in a remote tribal area near the Afghan border, killing some 50 militant fighters, the military said. The US intelligence official said that while there was little doubt that the man on the tape was Zawahiri, analysts would look for references that might date when the video was made and examine it for hidden messages. Al-Qaeda has been suspected of secretly conveying messages about operations to its followers through video and audio tapes aired on television. Since September 11, 2001 Zawahiri has surfaced occasionally in taped messages calling for attacks on the United States -- most recently on February 24 in messages on Arabic television stations.
Suicide bomber in minivan
carried out Jakarta attack
UPDATE - JAKARTA - A suicide bomber in a
Daihatsu minivan packed with explosives was
responsible for an attack at the Australian embassy in
Jakarta on Thursday that killed nine people,
Indonesian police said today.
"According to witnesses, the bomb was in a car that
we have identified as a green Daihatsu Zebra. It
exploded right away so we have assumed the
perpetrator was still in the car," Suyitno Landung,
head of the police criminal investigation department,
told El Shinta radio station.
JAKARTA Sept 9 - A
powerful car bomb exploded outside the Australian
embassy in Jakarta on Thursday, killing at least nine people and wounding 173
in an attack Indonesian police blamed on al-Qaeda-linked militants.
The blast came days ahead of presidential polls in the world's most populous
Muslim nation and exactly a month before Australia's general election. It blew
a large hole in the embassy's fence and left a deep crater in the road outside.
Bush Team Pitch: Vote For
Us Or Die
His Moral Cowardace
HasGuided Him All Along
By Josh Marshall
The new revelations about President Bush's shirked Air National Guard
service will continue the campaign debate about physical bravery. But with
Bush, the real issue isn't physical bravery but moral cowardice.
We have a more immediate sense of what physical bravery and cowardice
are. In fact, when we speak of bravery and cowardice, the physical variety is
almost always what we,re talking about. It's whether or not you can charge
an enemy position while you,re being fired at. It's whether you,re
immobilized by the fear of death.
Moral cowardice is more complex. A moral coward is someone who lacks
the courage to tell the truth, to accept responsibility, to demand
accountability, to do what's right when it's not the easy thing to do, to clean
up his or her own messes. Perhaps we could say that moral bravery is
having both the courage of your convictions as well as the courage of your
Dems Praise House Vote on
Fri Sep 10,12:04 PM ET
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A House vote to overturn new Bush administration
rules on which workers qualify for overtime pay was hailed by Democrats
trying to convince undecided voters they are the party that better
protects worker rights.
In a sharp rebuke to President Bush, the House
voted 223-193 Thursday to stop the Labor Department
from carrying out the new rules. House Democratic leader Nancy
Pelosi called it a "rare victory for middle-class Americans."
"President Bush's overtime regulations will affect 6 million workers," with
some losing 25 percent of their incomes, Pelosi said.
http://www.dol.gov/esa/ U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration
New Questions On Bush
Documents Suggest Special
Treatment for Bush in Guard
By Katharine Q. Seelye & Ralph Blumenthal
The New York Times
Thursday 09 September 2004
Thursday, September 9,
2004. 8:31am (AEST)
Iran confirms move to end nuclear activities
Iran has confirmed it is offering European
representatives and the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) a compromise deal that would see
an end to its more questionable nuclear activities.
911 - The Last Pieces To
Lawmakers Introduce 9/11
Tue Sep 7, 5:40 PM ET
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Several lawmakers used Congress's first day back
from summer vacation to push for adoption of all the Sept. 11
commission's recommendations for revamping the intelligence
community as a means to deter terrorist attacks.
"This bill would enact bold and comprehensive
reform that changes the status quo, because
the status quo in intelligence and diplomacy
has failed us," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., who
introduced the 280-page legislation along with
Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Republican
Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Arlen
Specter of Pennsylvania.
Reps. Chris Shays, R-Conn., and Carolyn
Maloney, D-N.Y., will introduce a House
Lawsuit Uncovers New Bush
The Associated Press
Tuesday 07 September 2004
Russia Threatens to Strike
Sep 8, 2:58 PM (ET)
By STEVE GUTTERMAN
Police confiscated 11
containers of uranium enrichment
material from Meyer's factory. They were then sealed
and transported to a secure site at the Pelindaba nuclear
research plant near Pretoria.
The items do not constitute a weapon of mass
destruction, but they are essential components in the
process to enrich uranium to make it suitable for nuclear
Reports said the arrest of the men in
South Africa took place in
cooperation with security agencies
from Europe and America.
The Americans have expressed their
concerns that Khan (photo) may have helped Iran and
other countries with their nuclear programs. Some of the
nuclear weapons, they fear, may have been obtained by
terrorist groups such as al Qaeda. Khan, who was in
charge of Pakistan's nuclear program from 1976 to
2001, was pardoned by Pakistani President Pervez
Musharraf in February for transferring nuclear technology
to other countries, including North Korea.
2 Germans are charged with
VANDERBIJLPARK, South Africa
An inquiry into a global nuclear smuggling ring widened Thursday as two Germans were charged by a South African court with illegally exporting equipment to enrich uranium, a key ingredient for making bombs. The Germans, Gerhard Wisser, 66, and Daniel Geiges, 65, permanent residents of South Africa, appeared before a local court on four counts of contravening the Nuclear Energy Act and a law banning the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Their arrests followed that of a South African businessman over his alleged involvement in a nuclear smuggling network believed to be linked to the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan and aimed at helping Libya develop atomic weapons. Files on the arrests said the two Germans "unlawfully and intentionally imported, held in transit and exported goods" that "may contribute to the design, development, production, deployment, maintenance or use of weapons of mass destruction without a permit." The three other charges relate to the possession, manufacture and export of equipment for the enrichment of uranium. The case against the two men was postponed in a Vanderbijlpark regional court, about 80 kilometers, or 50 miles, south of Johannesburg, for a formal bail application on Tuesday. The two men were not asked to plead. Last Thursday, Johan Meyer, a South African businessman, was arrested for his alleged links to the international network. He was charged with possessing sensitive nuclear-related equipment and clandestinely importing and exporting nuclear material. But the charges were abruptly dropped on Wednesday, and the Germans were arrested the same day, fueling speculation that Meyer had agreed to cooperate with officials in exchange for immunity. The two men are to remain in police custody until further hearings are held. German prosecutors detained Wisser last month on suspicion of having served as an intermediary in 2001 between the international network and a South African company designated to deliver equipment like centrifuge pipes used in the enrichment of uranium to Libya. Khan admitted in February to helping Libya, Iran and North Korea develop their weapons programs; he was later granted a pardon from President Pervez Musharraf. Libya announced late last year that it was abandoning attempts to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons after months of secret negotiations with London and Washington.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell called atrocities in Sudan's troubled Darfur region genocide and demanded a thorough UN probe into the crisis, hastening moves toward international sanctions on the Khartoum government. Powell told a Senate hearing that evidence compiled by the United States "concluded that genocide has been committed in Darfur and the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility, and that genocide may still be occurring." The Sudanese government has been accused of arming and backing Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, that have rampaged through the country's western Darfur region. An estimated 50,000 people have been killed and 1.4 million more uprooted in a campaign against black Africans that started out as an attempt to put down a rebel uprising launched in February 2003. In Nairobi, Sudan's deputy parliamentary speaker Angelo Beda said Western powers were "playing with the word genocide" as a pretext to "come in with occupying forces for the sake of oil." Sudan produces around 250,000 barrels a day of oil, and the government recently announced considerable discoveries of the resource in Darfur. But a spokesman for the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement, Abdelhafiz Mustafa Musa, called the US move "a welcome development," saying the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed "continued to kill innocent civilians." The proposed US resolution would call Khartoum to cooperate fully with an expanded African Union (AU) force and for cessation of Sudanese military flights over the Darfur region. The resolution also provides for international overflights to monitor Darfur.
Wednesday, September 8,
Putin Lashes Out at the U.S.
By Simon Saradzhyan
President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of undermining Russia's
struggle against terror by meeting with Chechen separatists and rejected calls
for a public inquiry into whether authorities mishandled the hostage-taking in
Putin told a group of Western policy analysts Monday night that his
administration has repeatedly complained about meetings between U.S.
officials and representatives of Chechen separatists, but to no avail.
Washington has invariably responded with "we will get back to you" or "we
reserve the right to talk with anyone we want," Putin told the group during a
wide-ranging policy discussion at his residence outside Moscow, according
to CNN's account of the meeting.
The president often looked grim but spoke calmly, participants said.
Putin said Washington's approach reflects a Cold War mentality among
some U.S. politicians. He said negotiations between Moscow and Chechen
separatists would be like negotiations between the West and al-Qaida, said
Guardian reporter Jonathan Steel, who attended the 3 1/2-hour meeting.
"Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the
White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him
so he leaves you in peace? Why don't you do that?" Putin said, according to
"You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these
bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?" he said,
Putin's comments shed further light on who he had in mind Saturday when he
lashed out at those who assist terrorist efforts to "tear off a big chunk of our
country" because they "think that Russia, as one of the greatest nuclear
powers of the world, is still a threat, and this threat has to be eliminated."
Putin was speaking in a televised address to the nation.
Moscow has criticized a decision by a U.S. court to grant asylum to Ilyas
Akhmadov, foreign minister in the rebel government.
Putin reportedly bears a personal grudge against British Prime Minister Tony
Blair for a British court's refusal to hand over Akhmad Zakayev, envoy to
Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov. Denmark earlier refused to
extradite Zakayev as well.
Putin said Monday night that the terrorists' goal was to ignite clashes
between Ossetians and the Ingush to try to destabilize the entire North
"There's a Yugoslavia variant here," Putin warned, according to notes taken
by participant Eileen O'Connor, The Washington Post reported. "It would be
difficult to imagine the consequences for the rest of the world. Bear in mind
Russia is a nuclear power."
While ruling out negotiations, Putin also flatly rejected calls for a public
inquiry into Beslan -- despite the fact that flaws in the command and control
of federal forces deployed to tackle the crisis were clear as television
broadcast footage of chaos Friday.
Moreover, Putin dismissed an inquiry by parliament, which has the right to
conduct independent investigations, saying it could become "a political
"If that happened, it would not be very productive," Putin was quoted by The
Guardian as saying.
In previous mishandled crises, like the Kursk submarine sinking, Putin waited
for an official investigation or internal probe to determine who was at fault in
mishandled crises and then fired them.
In the case of Beslan, there will be an internal inquiry "to establish the
chronicle of events and find out who is responsible and might be punished,"
The president made it clear, however, that he does not fault the crisis
headquarters for deciding to storm the school after two bombs exploded
inside and the terrorists started firing at fleeing hostages.
He praised the courage of the commandos who went in, knowing that many
would be killed. A record 10 elite troops died, many in civilian fire, as they
tried to shield fleeing children, according to The Washington Post.
Putin revealed that security officers on the scene had intercepted radio
exchanges among the terrorists. He read out an exchange: "What are you
doing? Why? I hear some noise. What's going on? I'm just in the middle of
shooting some children."
"They were bored, so they shot children," Putin said, according to The
Federal Security Service deputy director Vladimir Pronichev led the crisis
headquarters, Gazeta reported. Pronichev had the same role during the
Dubrovka hostage crisis in 2002, when commandos managed to kill all the
hostage-takers before they could detonate their explosives.
This time, however, lack of organization and flaws in command and control
were obvious on the ground.
It remains unclear, for example, why local vigilantes were allowed to man the
one and only security perimeter, allowing them to open fire and charge
toward the school ahead of commandoes trained to storm buildings and take
Putin insisted that he saw no link between Beslan and the situation in
Chechnya, striking the table with the side of his right hand to make the point.
He conceded that federal forces have committed human rights violations in
Chechnya, but like the torture by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, they were not
sanctioned from the top, The Guardian reported.
"In war there are ugly processes that have their own logic," he said.
"Just imagine that people who shoot children in the back came to power
anywhere on our planet. Just ask yourself that, and you will have no more
questions about our policy in Chechnya," he said.
Putin said the Kremlin will continue to push ahead with a plan to transfer
more authority to the pro-Moscow Chechen administration.
"We will strengthen law enforcement by staffing the police with Chechens,
and gradually withdraw our troops to barracks, and leave as small a
contingent as we feel necessary, just like the U.S. does in California and
Texas," he said.
While focusing on Beslan and terrorism, Putin also said he will implement his
vision of democracy in Russia.
"We'll do this at our own pace," he said, according to CNN.
"In Russia, democracy is who shouts the loudest," he said. "In the U.S., it's
who has the most money."
NATO and Russia on Tuesday agreed to boost cooperation in the fight
against terrorism after a spate of attacks on Russian soil, Reuters reported.
Putin on Tuesday decided to postpone his visit later this week to
Germany because of the Beslan hostage-taking, the Kremlin press service
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was expected to offer intelligence and humanitarian assistance to Russia after the Beslan hostage tragedy in talks with visiting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. n a telephone conversation between Sharon and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday the two leaders spoke of the need to exhange more intelligence information to battle the threat posed by extremist groups after the Beslan tragedy. More than 300 people, many of them children, were killed in the bloody end to the standoff at a school in the southern Russian republic of Ossetia, which borders the mainly Muslim republic of Chechnya. "The prime minister said that we must join together in order to fight against the dangerous terrorist phenomenon which does not distinguish between adults and children," said a statement from Sharon's office.
U.S. Military Deaths in
Iraq Pass 1,000
Sep 7, 5:09 PM (ET)
By HAMZA HENDAWI
Bush Shifts Fissile
Material Ban Policy
THE GRINCH THAT STOLE
LABOR DAY FROM VETERANS
WorkingForChange.com & Morphizm.Com
Monday, September 6, 2004
by Greg Palast
In celebration of the working person's holiday, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has
announced the Bush Administration's plan to end the 60-year-old law which requires
employers to pay time-and-a-half for overtime.
NO OVERTIME IN BAGHDAD
Putin warns of
Pressure for action rises
Jonathan Steele in Moscow
Monday September 6, 2004
South Korea's admission of
nuclear experiments raises uncomfortable questions
BY DONALD MACINTYRE
Vanderbijlpark - A South African businessman was charged on Friday with trafficking nuclear material that was reportedly destined for Asian countries, notably Pakistan. Johan Meyer, 53, appeared in a court in this town south of Johannesburg a day after his arrest on charges of being in possession of nuclear-related material and of illegally importing and exporting nuclear material. He was arrested on charges that he was building a nuclear weapon, said Meyer's lawyer Heinrich Badenhorst. Press reports said that Meyer, who lives in Pretoria, was a member of an international ring involved in the smuggling of nuclear components to Asian countries, Pakistan in particular. According to the charge sheet, Meyer is accused of acquiring material between November 2000 and November 2001 that could have contributed to the design, development, manufacturing, deployment, maintenance and use of weapons of mass destruction. It also states that Meyer had acquired equipment, material and plans for the design and use of gas centrifuges, used to enrich uranium, the key ingredient in nuclear bomb-making. Meyer owns an engineering plant in the town of Vanderbijlpark, located some 80km south of Johannesburg. Investigators said the probe into violations of South Africa's law on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was ongoing and did not rule out further arrests.
2004/09/04 20:10 KST
North Korea Reiterates Opposition to Terrorism
PYONGYANG, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is "steadfastly" opposed to terrorism, its
foreign ministry said Saturday, denouncing a string of recent terrorist attacks in Russia.
Afghans face violent short
cut to democracy
Fri 3 September, 2004 10:01
By Simon Cameron-Moore
KABUL (Reuters) - A Taliban bombing campaign is expected to herald Afghanistan's historic
presidential polls on October 9, but after a quarter-century of foreign occupation, civil war, and
Taliban rule, Afghans are philosophical.
Close to 1,000 people, including civilians, election workers and aid workers, as well as combatants,
have been killed in the past 12 months as the Taliban, al Qaeda and their allies have stepped up their
campaign of violence.
Bin Ladens wealth
not behind terror attacks
Judge Drops Charges in Mich. Terror Case
Thu Sep 2, 7:26 PM ET
DETROIT - Acting at the request of prosecutors, a federal judge on
Thursday threw out the terrorism charges against two men convicted last
year in a case once hailed by the Bush administration as a major victory
in the war on terror.
But U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said the
two, as well as a third man, must stand trial
again on charges of document fraud.
The judge's decision came after the Justice
widespread prosecutorial misconduct in the
case and asked the judge to dismiss the
terrorism charges against two men accused
of being part of a Detroit terror cell.
"It is an inescapable conclusion that the
defendants' due process, confrontation and
fair trial rights were violated," Rosen wrote
Thursday. "There is at least a reasonable
probability that the jury's verdict would have
been different had constitutional standards
Rosen said the prosecution's "understandable
sense of mission and zeal to obtain a
conviction" in the wake of the Sept. 11
attacks "overcame not only its professional
judgment, but its broader obligations to the
justice system and the rule of law."
The government's change of heart, outlined in court papers Tuesday,
came after a monthslong court-ordered review of documents connected
to the case. The Justice Department uncovered several pieces of
potentially exculpatory evidence that should have been given to the
defense before trial.
Karim Koubriti, 26, and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi, 38, were convicted in
June 2003 of conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism and to
engage in fraud and misuse of visas and other documents.
A third man, Ahmed Hannan, 36, was convicted of only the fraud charge,
and Farouk Ali-Haimoud, 24, was acquitted.
The defense Thursday praised the decision to drop the terrorism
charges, but said the misconduct was severe enough to warrant a
dismissal of the fraud charges as well.
"Obviously, we're still going to pursue our claim that the charges should
be dismissed, but we're also going to be prepared for trial," said
Elmardoudi's attorney, William Swor.
White House blocked probe of Sept. 11-Saudi link:
top US senator
Sun Sep 5, 5:38 PM ET
The White House blocked a
investigation into alleged links between the Saudi government and two
September 11, 2001, hijackers, a top US senator wrote in a book.
Florida Senator Bob Graham, the Democrat
who co-chaired Congress's probe into the
September 11 attacks, wrote that Saudi
government agents were part of a support
network in the United States for two hijackers
who took part in the devastating strikes, the
Miami Herald reported Sunday.
But President George W. Bush's
administration and the Federal Bureau
of Investigation blocked Congress's
investigation into the alleged ties, Graham
wrote in "Intelligence Matters," a copy of
which the Herald obtained.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry
called for an immediate
"independent investigation" into the
allegations "to determine if the very agencies
charged with investigating the war on terror
have been compromised by White House
"These are serious allegations being made by a well respected and
informed leader," said Kerry, who is challenging the Republican
president in the November 2 election.
"If the White House and the FBI did in fact block an
investigation into the ties between the Saudi government and the 9-11
hijackers, then this would be a massive abuse of power," he said in a
The congressional panel's staff concluded that Omar al-Bayoumi and
Osama Bassan, two Saudis living in San Diego, California, were Saudi
government agents who gave significant financial support to two
hijackers, wrote Graham, a former Democratic presidential candidate.
Al-Bayoumi was receiving money from a contractor for Saudi Civil
Aviation, and his monthly allowance from 465 dollars to 3,700 dollars in
March 2000, the book says.
His pay increased after he helped hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid
al-Mihdhdar find apartments and make contacts in San Diego before
they took flying lessons, Graham wrote.
But Graham wrote that congressional staff were stopped by the White
House and the FBI from conducting interviews for the investigation,
according to the Herald.
"It was as if the president's loyalty lay more with Saudi Arabia than with
America's safety," Graham wrote.
In his book, which is to be released Tuesday, Graham says some
details of the agents' alleged financial support were part of 27 pages from
the September 11 panel's final report that were blanked out by the White
House, the Herald said.
But Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the independent commission
that investigated the September 11 attacks, told Newsweek magazine
that the non-congressional panel was able to interview Al-Bayoumi and
cleared him of links with the hijackers.
The independent panel released its own report in July.
Pakistani officials dismissed a top American counterterrorism official's claim of progress in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, saying Monday that Pakistan does not have any information on the al-Qaida leader's whereabouts. The top government spokesman, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, said the recent comments about bin Laden by J. Cofer Black, the U.S. State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, were a "political statement." "We don't have any information about bin Laden," Ahmed said. A senior Pakistani security official who attended meetings with Black and other U.S. officials last week in Islamabad said Black did not share information "about any possible hideouts of Osama."
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