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WeB-LOG after 9/11 continued


WHY W. DOESN'T GO TO CHURCH.
Empty Pew
by Amy Sullivan
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=vKO1twmWG2Uvnyi2qoWQfW==

http://www.google.com/search?num=50&q=counterfeit-Christians

 

Patriot Act II -- LEGISLATION
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:S.2845:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:H.R.0010:

http://www.cnss.org/ Center for National Security Studies (Protecting Civil Liberties and Human Rights)
http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFreelist.cfm?c=206&ContentType=&ContentStyle=1&num=1000
http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/index.html
http://www.ombwatch.org/article/archive/1
http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/#resources
http://action.eff.org/

http://www.911review.org/Wiki/PatriotAct2.shtml
http://www.infowars.com/police_state.html

House 9/11 Bill Will Set Up A Database On All Americans, Create National ID Card
http://www.gunowners.org/a100404.htm

http://speaker.house.gov/911ImplementationAct.pdf
House Democrats Decry GOP Intel Bill
Sep. 24, 2004
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - House Republicans say legislation they introduced
Friday will make America safer by including the Sept. 11 commission's
suggestions to improve intelligence, immigration and national security.

Democrats decried it as a partisan bill that expands government powers
too far.

Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., called the 335-page proposal "the most
comprehensive effort yet introduced that deals with the problems
uncovered by the 9/11 commission."

The House Republican bill includes creation of a national intelligence
director and counterterrorism center, new anti-terror and immigration
enforcement powers, stronger identity theft and money-laundering
preventive measures and other recommendations the GOP links to the
report of the independent committee that investigated the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks.

"The bill represents the best thinking of those most knowledgeable about
the intelligence community and the problems that beset it," said Rep.
Christopher Cox, R-Calif., chairman of the
House Homeland Security Committee.

Some lawmakers already are opposing the measure, saying
Republicans refused to work with Democrats to develop a bill that would
represent both sides.

"Instead of acting in a bipartisan manner, the Republican leadership is
introducing a bill, written behind closed doors, that attempts to score
partisan points and goes far outside the recommendations of the 9/11
Commission," said the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi of
California.

"It's as if the commission's recommendations have been supersized with
irrelevant fat and lard, representing a wish list of past reactionary
proposals that would diminish our civil liberties," added Rep. John
Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the
House Judiciary Committee.

Two House members, Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Carolyn
Mahoney, D-N.Y., say the House instead should be working on Senate
legislation, which members of the Sept. 11 commission endorsed. That
bill is being pushed by Sen. Susan Collins,
R-Maine, chairwoman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee,
and the committee's ranking Democrat, Joe
Lieberman of Connecticut.

"We are seeking a vote on the House floor on a clean, bipartisan bill that
is true to the spirit of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations," Shays
and Mahoney said in a joint statement. "The Collins-Lieberman bill has
been endorsed by the 9/11 Commission, and it deserves to be brought
before the full House. "

The GOP legislation will be broken up and dealt with by different House
committees next week. Hastert said he wants committee consideration
finished by Friday.

"We plan on having this bill on the floor the week after," he said. "After
that, we hope to complete work and send legislation to the president
before the election."

Hastert said the new intelligence director would have "full budget
authority" but would not be in complete control of the intelligence
community's budget, contrary to the Sept. 11 commission's
recommendation.

Similar to a plan offered by the president, the House bill says the
intelligence director "shall develop and present" the intelligence budget
to the president but only provide guidance to intelligence agencies when
it comes to budget making. The director would participate in budget
development for the military intelligence agencies and provide guidance
for intelligence agencies outside of the National Intelligence Program.

The national intelligence director would also have to get approval from the
White House's Office of Management and Budget to take funds or
personnel from one area and move them to another.

The Sept. 11 commission called for the intelligence director to have full
hiring and firing power over the intelligence community. Under the House
bill, the national intelligence director would be able to nominate the CIA
director, while nominations of the directors of the
National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and the
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency would require the national
intelligence director's concurrence.

However, the director would only have to be consulted on nominations for
the Defense Intelligence Agency director and the intelligence directors at
the FBI and the State, Treasury, Energy and
Homeland Security departments.

The Senate will take up its version of the Sept. 11 commission
recommendations next week, which deals mostly with creating the
national intelligence director and a national counterterrorism center.
Senators expect to address other commission recommendations
through amendments on the Senate floor.

If the House and Senate offerings differ, members of the two bodies must
come together in a joint negotiating committee to come up with final
language for a bill to be sent to President Bush for his
signature.

 

Judge Rules Against Patriot Act Provision
Wed Sep 29, 2004
By Gail Appleson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Surveillance powers granted to the FBI under the Patriot Act, a cornerstone of the Bush Administration's war on terror, were ruled unconstitutional by a judge on Wednesday in a new blow to U.S. security policies.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, in the first decision against a surveillance portion of the act, ruled for the American Civil Liberties Union in its challenge against what it called
"unchecked power" by the FBI to demand confidential customer records from communication companies, such as Internet service providers or telephone companies.

Marrero, stating that
"democracy abhors undue secrecy," found that the law violates constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable searches. He said it also violated free speech rights by barring those who received FBI demands from disclosing they had to turn over records.

Because of this gag order, the ACLU initially had to file its suit against the Department of Justice under seal to avoid penalties for violation of the surveillance laws.

Although the ACLU's suit was filed on behalf of an Internet access firm, the ruling could apply to other entities that have received FBI secretive subpoenas, known as national security letters.

The ACLU said that the Patriot Act provision was worded so broadly that it could effectively be used to obtain the names of customers of Web sites such as Amazon.com or eBay, or a political organization's membership list, or even the names of sources that a journalist has contacted by e-mail.

"This is a landmark victory against the Ashcroft Justice Department's misguided attempt to intrude into the lives of innocent Americans in the name of national security," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

"Even now, some in Congress are trying to pass additional intrusive law enforcement powers. This decision should put a halt to those efforts," he said.

He said the suit was one of the ACLU's legal battles to block certain sections of the Patriot Act that went "too far, too fast."

The FBI has had power to issue national security letters demanding customers records from communication companies since 1986. These letters do not require court supervision, but the FBI could at first only seek such private information if the subject was suspected of being a foreign spy.

In 1993, Congress expanded the powers further to include people who communicated with suspected spies or terrorists.

But a section of the Patriot Act -- a controversial law the Bush administration pushed through Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to help it battle terrorism -- gave the FBI even more power to obtain information through these letters.

In his ruling, Marrero prohibited the Department of Justice and the FBI from issuing the national security letters, but delayed enforcement of his judgment pending an expected appeal by the government. The Department of Justice said it was reviewing the ruling.

The decision is the latest blow to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that terror suspects being held in U.S. facilities like Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can use the American judicial system to challenge their confinement. That ruling was a defeat for the president's assertion of sweeping powers to hold "enemy combatants" indefinitely after the Sept. 11 attacks.

http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/rulings/04CV2614_Opinion_092904.pdf

 

The decision is the second time a judge has ruled unconstitutional part of the Patriot Act, a package of prosecution and surveillance tools passed shortly after the terrorism of Sept. 11, 2001.

In January, a federal judge in Los Angeles struck down a section of the act that made it a crime to give "expert advice or assistance" to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations. The judge said the language was too vague, threatening First and Fifth Amendment rights.

In a blow to the Justice Department's post-Sept. 11 powers, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero on Wednesday struck down the provision that also let the FBI gather phone and Web customer records but barred service providers from ever disclosing the search took place.

While Marrero
called national security of "paramount value," he also called personal security equal in importance and "especially prized in our system of justice."

Marrero said
the law violates the Fourth Amendment because it bars or deters any judicial challenge to the government searches, and violates the First Amendment because its permanent ban on disclosure is a prior restraint on speech.

He noted that the Supreme Court recently said that
a "state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."

The Justice Department will likely appeal a court ruling that declared unconstitutional a Patriot Act provision allowing secret and unchallengeable searches of Internet and telephone records, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday.

 

9/11 Panel Wants Clauses Taken Off Bill
Thu, Sep 30, 2004
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Sept. 11 commission on Thursday urged
House Republicans to remove immigration restrictions and new law
enforcement powers from a bill that carries the commission's
recommendations for reorganizing U.S. intelligence agencies.

"We're very respectfully suggesting that provisions which are
controversial and are not part of our recommendations to make the
American people safer perhaps ought to be part of another bill at another
time," commission leader Thomas Kean told a news conference in the
Capitol.

The House has begun moving its version of the bill through five
committees, and Republican leaders expect to have the full chamber
vote on it next week.

In the Senate, the parallel bill deals only with creating the job of national
intelligence director and creating a national counterterrorism center, both
recommended by the commission that investigated Sept. 11. But the
House bill goes farther by including increased anti-terrorism proposals
and expanded penalties for illegal immigration and money-laundering.

John Feehery, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said
House Republicans think "all of these provisions are directly linked to the
commission report."

"We think they will all make the country safer and we're moving forward
through the process," Feehery said. "We've gone through the
committees, we're going to get to the floor and then we'll get to
conference and that will decide what ultimately can be accepted and
can't be accepted by members of both bodies."

If the Senate and House pass different bills, a compromise version must
be worked out in a joint House-Senate committee and then agreed to by
both chambers before it can go to the White House for the president's
signature.

The Sept. 11 commission contended that the nation's 15 military and
civilian intelligence agencies' failure to cooperate precluded an effective
defense that might have prevented the 2001 terror attacks on New York
and Washington. The panel recommended creation of a national
intelligence director to control and coordinate all the agencies.

In addition, the commission called for more safeguards at home, such as
setting national standards for issuance of drivers' licenses and other
identification, improving "no-fly" and other terrorist watch lists and using
more biometric identifiers to screen travelers at ports and borders.

While Kean said some of the House immigration and border security
provisions "are very, very good and do come right out of our report and
we support those very, very strongly," but others are "much more
controversial and those are the ones we're concerned about."

Commission vice-chairman Lee Hamilton specifically pointed out "alien
removal provisions" as one of those issues.

One of the things the House bill would do is deny immigrants certain
court appeals, including banning court reviews of claims that an illegal
immigrant would be tortured upon return to his or her home country.
American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Timothy Edgar
called that part of "the enactment of a hard-line anti-immigrant policy."

The Bush administration opposes that provision, Justice Department
spokesman Mark Corello said Thursday.

Hamilton said, "We respectfully submit that consideration of
controverisal provisions at this late hour can harm our shared purpose of
getting a good bill to the president before the 108th Congress adjourns."

Congress' legislative process will highlight the problematic portions,
Feehery said. "We'll find out what is controversial and what is not
controversial," he said.

Hamilton and Kean — who were joined by several other members of the
commission — again endorsed the bill being debated in the Senate,
called upon both chambers to push ahead with changing their oversight
structures and said the new national intelligence director should have full
budget and hiring and firing power.

The House, Senate and White House disagree on how much power the
intelligence director should have.

"If you're not going to create, for instance, a strong national intelligence
director with powers both appointive and over the budget, don't do it,"
Kean said. "It's not going to be any better than what you have now."

 

Think the latest Republican plan for a national sales tax in place of income taxes is a good idea?
http://www.itepnet.org/ - http://www.itepnet.org/sale0904.pdf
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:H.R.0025:
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&q=H.R.-25+Linder


Oct 5, 2004
National Guard Hands Over More Bush Papers
By MATT KELLEY
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than a
week after a court-imposed deadline to turn
over all records of President Bush's military
service, the Texas Air National Guard
belatedly produced two documents
Tuesday that include Bush's orders for his
last day of active duty in 1973.

The orders show Bush was on "no-fly" status for his last days of duty
because he had been grounded almost a year earlier for skipping an annual
medical exam.

The files, released to The Associated Press under a Freedom of Information
Act lawsuit, are orders for Bush to appear for two stints of active-duty
training: a 1971 exercise in Canada and eight days of duty in July 1973.

The records released Tuesday are the fifth set of documents related to Bush's
Vietnam-era National Guard service to be released in response to the AP
lawsuit. The federal judge overseeing that case ordered the Pentagon to
disclose all of Bush's records by Sept. 24. Tuesday's four pages of records
were the second set of files released after that deadline.

The Texas Air National Guard did not explain
the delay in releasing the records.

The 1973 orders come from the most controversial period in Bush's years in
the Texas Air National Guard. After May 1972, Bush skipped training for six
months, failed to appear for the required physical examination, got permission
to train at an Alabama unit whose commanders say he never showed up and
put in a flurry of training in 1973 in an effort to meet minimum requirements
before leaving for Harvard Business School.

Bush has insisted he fulfilled all of his Air National Guard duties and says he
is proud of his service. Democrats have criticized Bush's Guard performance,
saying he shirked his duties in his final years in the service.

By July 1973, Bush was finishing a four-month stretch that included 40 days
of active-duty service and drills. The orders released Tuesday direct Bush to
report for equivalent active-duty training for eight days in July 1973.

The equivalent-training notation means Bush
was making up for active-duty training he
either had already missed or would be
unavailable for in the future. The orders do
not say what Bush would be doing since he
could not participate in the job code listed
on the orders - F-102A fighter pilot.

The last day of the orders is July 30, 1973,
Bush' final day in the Texas Air National
Guard. Previously released documents
include a form Bush signed that day stating
he had been counseled on his plans to leave
his Texas unit because he was moving out of
the area.

Bush started Harvard Business School in
September 1973 and the Texas Air
National Guard honorably discharged Bush
into the Air Force Reserves, effective Oct.
1 of that year. The Air Force discharged
Bush in November 1974.

The records released Tuesday also include
orders for an August 1971 training mission
in Canada, where Bush impressed his
commanders. An evaluation written nine
months later said Bush's "skills as an
interceptor pilot enabled him to complete all
his ADC (Air Defense Command) intercept
missions during the Canadian deployment
with ease."

 

Oct 1, 2004
More than 350 people who have committed crimes or are suspected of terrorist links have been arrested in a federal crackdown on foreigners with visa violations, part of a broader effort to prevent al-Qaida from disrupting U.S. elections. Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a Homeland Security Department component known as ICE, are matching identities of visa violators nationwide with names on secret government terrorism databases in hopes of finding al-Qaida operatives. "We're intensifying it in the days leading up to the election," ICE spokesman Dean Boyd said Friday. Since its inception in June 2003, ICE's Compliance Enforcement Unit has opened more than 5,200 investigations of visa violators nationwide. Of those apprehended, 359 are considered "priority arrests" - those with possible links to terrorism or known criminal histories. The FBI has conducted more than 13,000 interviews this year in an effort to gather intelligence about the potential plot, with more to come.

Oct 4, 2004
The nationwide average price for gasoline rose closer to $2 a gallon the last week and
diesel fuel hit a new high for a second week, the government said Monday.
http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.asp

 

Commentary: Bush’s Police State
Just sitting next to a friend who expresses an anti-Bush opinion can get
you into big Secret Service trouble in George W. Bush’s United States.
By Frederick Sweet
http://www.interventionmag.com/cms/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=891

 

Air Force Looks at New Microwave Weapon
Mon, Oct 04, 2004
By JAMES HANNAH, Associated Press Writer

DAYTON, Ohio - The Air Force expects planes will be able to fire
non-lethal microwave rays at enemy ground troops with the help of a new
superconducting generator system developed at Wright-Patterson Air
Force Base after about 25 years of research.

Heavy, inefficient generators have been a
hurdle to the development of airborne
microwave weapons, which create a
disabling burning sensation.

Microwaves could be used to control large
groups of enemy fighters without killing them
or disable electronics-dependent enemy
weapons, said Philip Coyle, senior adviser
for the Center for Defense Information.

The Air Force is preparing to award a $22
million contract to a private contractor to
construct and demonstrate the new electrical generating system by
2009.

"We finally have the materials where we're ready to build this generator,"
Lt. Col. JoAnn Erno, chief of the power division of Air Force Research
Laboratory's Propulsion Directorate, said Monday.

Microwaves — high-powered electromagnetic beams that can rapidly
heat water molecules — and other directed-energy weapons could bring
advantages to the battlefield in places like Iraq (news - web sites) and
Afghanistan (news - web sites), where U.S. troops have had to deal with
hostile but unarmed crowds as well as dangerous insurgents.

Aside from paralyzing potential attackers or noncombatants like a
long-range stun gun, the weapons could disable the electronics of
missiles and roadside bombs or even disable a vehicle in a high-speed
chase, developers say. The weapons emit a pulse of energy and can
destroy semiconductors with a surge of volts.

Erno said conventional generators, which have heavy copper coils, are
large, heavy and less efficient in producing power than the
superconducting generators. Planes carrying conventional generators
would have to fly at low altitudes and be in danger of being shot down by
small-arms fire, she said.

"We can't take those airborne," Erno said. "What we have to do from the
Air Force side is to produce much smaller superconducting generators."

Powered by a turbine engine, the new generators are about the size of a
small beer keg and designed to produce five megawatts of power.

The generators have lightweight metal foils coated with superconducting
material that carry many times more current and are more efficient,
making possible an electric power system strong enough for microwave
weapons and light enough for airplanes.

Erno said the system would probably be used on cargo planes such as
C-130s. With a superconducting generator, the system will weigh about
half of its current 20,000 pounds, which is the equivalent of about eight
Toyota Corollas.

"They've got something going there," said Ivan Oelrich, director of
strategic security programs for the Federation of American Scientists, a
private group dedicated to ending the arms race and avoiding the use of
nuclear weapons. "What they're trying to do is doable."

However, Oelrich said that to operate a diesel engine to power the
generator will require a lot of fuel, adding weight and cost to the
operation.

"If you're going to use it continuously, then the fuel will be the big weight
factor," he said. "To operate a thing like that requires a few tons of fuel
per hour."

Oelrich also questioned whether the Air Force had considered a less
efficient, but less expensive superconducting system. He said the
proposed system could be expensive to maintain and might require
multiple backup systems.

Coyle said it is not yet known how effective microwave weapons will be.
For example, he said, it may take a lot of microwaves to disable just a
few enemy weapons, and microwaves may not be effective in battling
small numbers of insurgents in urban areas because the fighters hide
and seek cover behind buildings.
http://www.afrl.af.mil/ Air Force Research Lab

 

Doctor in Anthrax Probe DrawsScrutiny
By Associated Press

October 3, 2004

WELLSVILLE, N.Y. -- Dr. Kenneth Berry, whose
homes were searched by federal agents
probing the unsolved 2001 anthrax attacks,
may have drawn the attention of investigators
because of his penchant for inventing or
exaggerating his credentials, a newspaper
reported Sunday.

John Moustakas, a lawyer representing Berry,
said the doctor's attempts to get patents for
systems to detect and counter the spread of
biological weapons may also have drawn
scrutiny from federal agents.

The New York Times, citing unnamed federal
law enforcement officials, reported that the
investigation of Berry has found nothing that
would implicate him in the attacks. Berry has
not been charged with any crimes.

On Aug. 5, agents descended on Berry's home
in Wellsville and a former apartment in western New York, as well as
his parents' summer home on the New Jersey shore. An FBI
spokesman said the searches were part of the anthrax investigation.

That same day, Berry, who founded an organization in 1997 that
trains medical professionals to respond to chemical and biological
attacks, was arrested after a domestic dispute in Point Pleasant
Beach, N.J., authorities said.

At Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, where Berry worked until
2001 as head of the emergency room, former co-workers say Berry
told them he was "connected" in Washington and could be called
upon to help protect the country from bioterrorism.

On his Web site, Berry claims to have done most of his third and
fourth years of medical training at Yale University School of
Medicine, but the college has no record of Berry ever attending.
Berry received his medical degree from American University of the
Caribbean School of Medicine in 1983.

Another bioterrorism expert, William C. Patrick III, told the Times that
Berry had once misrepresented himself as a contractor with the
Defense Threat Reduction Agency in order to take a course on the
use of germs like anthrax as weapons.

Moustakas said Berry's acquisition of patents, including one in 2001
for a system to detect the release of hazardous material inside or
near a building, could have drawn the FBI's attention. Berry's latest
patent, obtained this year, is for a detection system that can
identify nuclear, biological or chemical hazards in a large area.

Five people died and 17 were sickened in the fall of 2001 in the
anthrax mailings that targeted government and media officials. The
attacks unsettled a nation already reeling from the Sept. 11 terror
attacks.

In August, Berry lost his job as an emergency room doctor at the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

 

S. Korea Told Not to Conduct Nuke Tests
Sun Oct 3, 2004
By SOO-JEONG LEE, Associated Press Writer

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea must not
conduct any more nuclear experiments without notifying the United
Nations, because any secret nuclear activity, however
small, is a matter of "serious concern," the U.N. nuclear chief said
Sunday.

The comments in Seoul by Mohamed
ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic
Energy Agency, came after North Korea
(news - web sites) warned that the South
Korean experiments had disrupted a dialogue
between the two Koreas.

"It will be impossible to expect any
development of inter-Korean relations unless
the truth about South Korea's secret nuclear
experiments is probed," the North Korean
news agency KCNA said Saturday, citing an
unidentified Pyongyang official.

 

Zarqawi Does Not Exist
by VictorP
There are three possibilities:

1) The one-legged Jordanian thug who is semi-literate, threatens
Shi’ites, and is a squat fellow with tattoos on his arms, is the most
elusive super-villain ever -- an inspiration to the next generation of thugs.

2) The real Zarqawi is long dead, but a composite Zarqawi who is
literate, urbane, has been created by Iraqi resistance groups who
seek to terrorize the United States and the puppet government they
have set up in Iraq -- an inspiration to the next generation of Iraq
avengers.

3) The real Zarqawi is long dead, but a literate, tall fellow with two
legs and no tattoos on his arms has been created by US military
intelligence as a straw man to justify everything about the Iraq war.
However, a rogue group has hijacked the US Zarqawi identity and
is responsible for the beheadings -- an inspiration to copycats and
future groups to do the same.

An analysis of the audio messages delivered by the four different
“Zarqawis” indicates the third scenario to be the most likely, given
the distinctly American and non-Arabic expressions and themes in
the various statements.
http://www.libertyforum.org/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=news_international&Number=292808372

 

Three years after the lack of coordination among federal security agencies contributed to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has failed in its effort to create a single, comprehensive "watch list" of suspected terrorists, according to a government report.
http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/OIG-04-31_Watch_List.pdf
http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=89

 

Under the Bioterrorism Act, the U.S. government is requiring 420,000 food handling companies within the United States and abroad to register all products with the FDA. The measure took effect earlier this year, but officials delayed its full implementation until Nov. 1 to allow companies more time to register. In August, the FDA estimated that only a little more than half of the 420,000 companies had registered.

Only 6 percent of Russia's estimated 600 tons of potentially vulnerable nuclear materials have been secured -- enough to make thousands of nuclear bombs. The security manager at one of Russia's largest nuclear processing centers reported that guards routinely patrol without ammunition and a Russian businessman was charged last year with offering $750,000 for stolen weaponsgrade plutonium for sale to a foreign client.
http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Features/Nuclear_Terrorism/index.shtml

 

10/1/2004
An audio tape from Ayman al-Zawahri has called for organised resistance against what he describes as invading crusaders in the Muslim world. The man's voice on the tape, aired by Aljazeera on Friday, also said it was the "duty of every Muslim to liberate Palestine". Al-Zawahri, a senior leader of al-Qaida, also called for attacking US interests. "In Palestine, we are not only facing the Jews but also the anti-Islam international alliance headed by the US crusaders. "So, fighting Jews and leaving America without being attacked will not make the Americans or the crusaders lessen their aggression against us." The speaker also urged Muslims "not to wait any longer, otherwise, we will be devoured, one country after the other". On Friday night, an unnamed intelligence source told AFP that CIA analysts concluded the audio tape was authentic and the voice indeed belonged to al-Zawahri. 'Don't wait' "The youth must not wait for anyone and must begin resisting from now and learn a lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan and Chechnya," al-Zawahri said. In addition to the US and Britain, al-Zawahri mentioned Australia, France, Poland, South Korea and Japan, saying they had all participated in the occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya and gave Israel its "means of survival". "O Muslim youths! This is our message to you. If we die or get captured, follow the path and do not betray Allah and the Prophet," al-Zawahri said. The audiotape was the second to surface in less than a month. On 9 September, Aljazeera broadcast a videotape of al-Zawahri proclaiming that the US will ultimately be defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US Central Intelligence Agency determined with a high degree of confidence that the videotape was authentic. The US government has offered up to $25 million for information leading to his killing or capture.

The inflammatory appeal coincided with the suicide bombing of a Shia mosque in Pakistan which killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens - a sectarian attack which officials said might also have had al-Qaida links. More than 1,000 people were in the mosque in Sialkot, 100 miles south-east of Islamabad, when a man rushed in and detonated a briefcase bomb. Twelve people died instantly and the blast left a 2ft deep crater. No group claimed responsibility, but Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Pakistan's information minister, said the attack could have been in retaliation for last weekend's killing of a Sunni militant leader, Amjad Hussain Farooqi, who had high-level al-Qaida links. The bombing caused a violent reaction in Sialkot, and riot police were sent to quell a stone-throwing mob which set fire to police vehicles and chanted slogans against the government. Sunnis comprise about 70% of Pakistan's population, Shias 20%.

 

It Was a Rout
By William Rivers Pitt
Friday 01 October 2004
There was a President on that stage in Florida on Thursday night, and his name was not George.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/100204Z.shtml

 

ROME -- An Italian judge indicted six men suspected of involvement in a group to recruit
militants for suicide attacks on US-led forces in Iraq, news reports said yesterday.
Abderrazak Mahdjoub, an Algerian, and five others will stand trial on Feb. 22 in Milan, the
ANSA news agency said.

 

Iraq Chaos 'Has Made World More Dangerous'
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels
The Telegraph - UK
9-30-4
A former top adviser to Tony Blair and the intellectual father of the Iraq war
recanted yesterday, admitting that the removal of Saddam Hussein had made
the world a more dangerous place.

Robert Cooper, a British diplomat who helped shape Mr Blair's global
doctrine of humanitarian interventions, told the Dutch Volksrant newspaper
that the region was sliding out of control.
http://www.rense.com/general57/rchao.htm

 

Something Is Rotten In The State Of Florida
By Andrew Gumbel
The Independent - UK
9-30-4
http://www.rense.com/general57/states.htm

Diebold Rep Now Runs Elections
By Kim Zetter
Sep. 30, 2004
http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65120,00.html

Europeans, Others Face Tighter U.S. Entry Checks
Thu Sep 30, 2004
By Carolyn Koo
http://news.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=6380281

A new corporate villain - drugmakers?
A number of charges against the pharmaceutical industry damages its credibility and further erodes public support.
By Gregory M. Lamb | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Big Pharma is in danger of joining Big Oil and Big Tobacco as one of the bad boys of American industry.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0920/p11s02-ussc.html

LaRouche: 'The Number One Issue in the Presidential Debates Is George W. Bush's Mental Illness'
September 27, 2004
In his 219-page clinical diagnosis of the President's mental condition, Dr. Frank concluded that Mr. Bush suffers from a range of serious, albeit curable conditions. These include: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); untreated and uncured alcoholism (what is frequently referred to in lay terms as "dry drunk"); an omnipotence complex; paranoia; an Oedipal Complex; sadism; a mild form of Tourette's Syndrome; and a diminished capacity to distinguish between reality and fantasy.
http://www.larouchepac.com/pages/press_releases_files/2004/040927_bush_mental.htm

 

Al Qaeda seeks tie to local gangs
By Jerry Seper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A top al Qaeda lieutenant has met with leaders
of a violent Salvadoran criminal gang with
roots in Mexico and the United States —
including a stronghold in the Washington area
— in an effort by the terrorist network to seek
help infiltrating the U.S.-Mexico border, law
enforcement authorities said.
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040928-123346-3928r.htm

 

Document: Bush Leaves Military Service
Thu, Sep 30, 2004
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The White House said seven months ago that it had
released all the records on President Bush's
stateside military service during the Vietnam War, yet new records are
still dribbling out as Election Day approaches.

The White House on Wednesday night
produced a November 1974 document
bearing Bush's signature from Cambridge,
Mass., where he was attending Harvard
Business School, saying he had decided
not to continue as a member of the military
reserve.

The document, signed a year after Bush left
the Texas Air National Guard, said he was
leaving the military because of "inadequate
time to fulfill possible future commitments."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan
said the resignation was found in connection
with a lawsuit brought by The Associated
Press. The White House said the document
had been in Bush's personnel file and that it
had been found by the Pentagon.

Earlier Wednesday, the White House said
Bush never was disciplined while serving in
the Texas Air National Guard, never failed a
physical and never asked his father or family
friends for help to get him into the Guard.

The White House assertions came in
response to a dozen questions submitted
by AP in light of new records detailing
Bush's Guard service and allegations that
have surfaced this election season.

The president's critics say he got help getting into the Guard and was
treated with kid gloves once he became a guardsman. Democrats
question why Bush was never punished for skipping a required medical
examination or missing drills for six months in 1972.

Bush has maintained he fulfilled all of his National Guard requirements
and served honorably.

AP asked whether Bush ever participated in a disciplinary process
during his Guard service, whether he ever received a critical report or was
ever present for a conversation in which his performance, conduct or
physical condition were raised by a superior officer.

"No and this is clear from the president's records, which have been made
public," the White House said in an e-mail response.

The Texas Air National Guard stripped Bush of his pilot status in August
1972 for failing to take the annual medical exam required of all pilots.
Former Air National Guard officials say it was rare for a pilot to skip his
physical exam.

"No," the White House replied when asked whether Bush ever failed a
medical exam in the Guard or had a medical problem that would have
temporarily or permanently disqualified him from flying.

The White House said, "The president did not ask his father or family
friends for assistance" in getting into the Texas Air National Guard during
the Vietnam War.

The AP filed lawsuits in federal court and state court in Texas seeking
any additional records of Bush's Guard service after the White House
said in February that everything had been released.

Documents released since then include Bush's official flight logs as a
fighter pilot, showing he spent more than 300 hours in military jets but
had shifted to a two-seat training jet several times in his final weeks as a
pilot in 1972. Bush spent 40 percent of his flight time in training jets or
simulators during the first four months of 1972, double the percentage for
the previous five months.

"There could be many reasons why an individual pilot would fly in a
training plane, including availability of the planes," the White House said
in its written response.

Bush needed to take a physical exam by the end of July 1972 to keep
flying. But he skipped the physical and his commanders grounded him in
August 1972. Bush never flew for the military again.

The White House said Bush skipped the exam because he expected a
transfer to an Alabama unit which did not have the F-102A jets Bush
was trained to fly. Bush has said he went to Alabama to work on the
unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Winton Blount, a family friend.

"The president was transferring to Alabama to perform equivalent duty in
a non-flying capacity, making a flight physical unnecessary," the White
House said.

The White House did not answer whether Bush disobeyed a direct order
to take the exam. Bush won final approval to train for three months with
an Alabama unit a month after he had already been suspended as a
pilot.

The Bush National Guard document is available at:
http://wid.ap.org/documents/bush/040930guard1.pdf

 

Kyrgyzstan Nabs Man on Plutonium Charge

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Sep 29, 2004 -- A man was
arrested for trying to sell plutonium in an undercover investigation, the Kyrgyz
security agency said Tuesday amid rising worries of a growing black market trade
in radioactive materials.

National Security Service agents posing as buyers arrested the man on Sept. 21
after confirming that he was in possession of plutonium-239, agency spokeswoman
Chinara Asanova said.

Asanova did not say how much of the radioactive material - which can be used in
atomic weapons and as a reactor fuel - was confiscated. But she said it was held
in 60 small containers.

The suspect's identity was not released.

Plutonium-239 is not used in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in central Asia, Asanova said, and it
was not known where it was obtained.

The National Security Agency is concerned about rising interest in radioactive materials in the black
market, she said.

Earlier this year, it arrested Arzykul Usupov, 49, who allegedly tried to sell nearly 4 ounces of the highly
toxic material cesium-137, which could contaminate large areas if used as part of a "dirty bomb,"
Asanova said.

Another man, Atamyrza Biyaliyev, 48, was arrested for alleged cooperation with Usupov.

The two were looking for foreign buyers, apparently after finding out that terrorist organizations might be
interested in such material, Asanova said.

In July, Usupov was sentenced to five years in prison and Biyaliyev to two years.

Kyrgyzstan has inherited radioactive waste sites from the Soviet nuclear industry that contain 6,002,824
cubic feet of radioactive uranium waste. The sites are poorly secured and also pose a threat to the
region's drinking water reservoirs.


By KADYR TOKTOGULOV Associated Press Writer

 

Death for USS Cole bombing

Brian Whitaker
Thursday September 30, 2004
The Guardian

A Yemeni court sentenced two men to death and jailed four
others yesterday for their roles in a bombing which killed 17
American sailors and almost sank a 540m guided-missile
destroyer.

The USS Cole was refuelling in Aden harbour on October 12
2000 when two men sailed an explosives-laden dinghy alongside
it and blew themselves up.

One of those sentenced to death, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, is
regarded as mastermind of the attack but was tried in his
absence because he is held by the US at an undisclosed
location.

Jamal al-Badawi, a 35-year-old Yemeni also sentenced to death,
was said to have received instructions for the bombing from
Nashiri.

Fahd al-Qusaa was sentenced to 10 years. He allegedly bought
the inflatable dinghy used in the attack.

Another Yemeni, Maamoun Msouwah, was given eight years for
assisting Badawi, forging identification cards and handling funds.
Ali Mohamed Saleh and Murad al-Sorouri received five years
each for forging identity papers.

 

IGNORE DANGER SIGNS OF THE COMING FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE AT YOUR OWN RISK
PART 1
By: Devvy
September 28, 2004
http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd66.htm

 

September 28, 2004
The price of oil, which has been inexorably rising for the past two years, finally broke through the $50-a-barrel mark Tuesday, reaching a new milestone as some analysts warned that there was nothing to stop prices from rising even further. Fueling these gains is an exceptional alignment of events: record high demand, historically low spare capacity, and a set of potentially destabilizing events in some of the world's top oil regions, countries ranging from Iraq and Russia to Venezuela and Nigeria, to name but some. "The market is looking for a new equilibrium point, and no one knows where that will be," said Jamal Qureshi, an analyst at PFC Energy, a Washington-based oil consultancy. "We still have a way to go. I wouldn't be surprised to see $60 a barrel." Crude oil for November delivery jumped as high as $50.47 a barrel in early Tuesday morning trading, and although its price retreated somewhat, it remained close to $50, closing at $49.90 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 26 cents. Oil prices, which are up nearly 55 percent this year, have doubled in two years.

 

WASHINGTON, Sept 28, 2004 -- Today 50 former high- level diplomats, generals and admirals declared President Bush has made America less safe and called for his ouster.
http://www.diplomatsforchange.com/press/

 

Sep 28, 2004
Minister: N. Korea Has Nuclear Deterrent
By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- North Korea says it has turned the plutonium from 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods into nuclear weapons to serve as a deterrent against increasing U.S. nuclear threats and to prevent a nuclear war in northeast Asia.

Warning that the danger of war on the Korean peninsula "is snowballing," Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon provided details Monday of the nuclear deterrent that he said North Korea has developed for self-defense.

He told the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting that Pyongyang had "no other option but to possess a nuclear deterrent" because of U.S. policies that he claimed were designed to "eliminate" North Korea and make it "a target of preemptive nuclear strikes."

"Our deterrent is, in all its intents and purposes, the self-defensive means to cope with the ever increasing U.S. nuclear threats and further, prevent a nuclear war in northeast Asia," he told a news conference after his speech.

 

Sep 28, 2004
The destruction caused by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne have prompted the largest relief effort ever [more than 911] undertaken by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Hurricane Jeanne, the fourth storm to hit Florida in six weeks, makes Florida is the first state to get pounded by four hurricanes in one season since Texas in 1886.

U.S. Oil Hits $50 on Nigeria Supply Fears
Mon Sep 27, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices reached a record $50 a barrel on Monday as Nigeria emerged as the latest focus for worries about supply in an already tight worldwide energy market.
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=6346690

 

The U.S. Supreme Court said on Tuesday that it would decide whether the government can take a person's home or business for a private development project intended to boost tax revenues and revitalize a local economy. The court already has given governments broad power to take private property through eminent domain, provided the owner is given "just compensation." But in recent years more cities and towns have been accused of abusing their authority, razing nice homes to make way for parking lots for casinos and other tax-producing businesses. In many cases cities are pushing the limits of their powers to accommodate wealthy developers. In the latest case, Susette Kelo and several other homeowners in a working-class neighborhood in New London, Conn., filed a lawsuit after city officials announced plans to bulldoze their homes to clear the way for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices. The residents refused to budge, arguing it was an unjustified taking of their property. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case early 2005, with a ruling due by the end of June 2005.
http://www.ij.org/media/private_property/connecticut/index4.html

 

Fannie Mae whistleblower to testify before Congress
Tue Sep 28, 2004
By Mark Felsenthal

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The man who blew the whistle to U.S. regulators about
Fannie Mae's accounting practices will appear before a congressional panel next week, a Capitol
Hill aide said on Tuesday, as the company revealed it had discussed a possible earnings
restatement with regulators.
http://www.reuters.com/financeNewsArticle.jhtml?type=bondsNews&storyID=6357795
http://www.ofheo.gov/ Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight

 

Sep 27, 2004
Oil prices reached a new high and sent stocks lower Monday, pushing the Dow Jones industrials back below 10,000. As a barrel of light crude for November delivery settled at $49.64, up 76 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange, stock investors grew more fearful that rising energy prices would slice into corporate profits. Monday's close for crude broke the previous record settlement price of $48.88 set Friday, and prices reached $49.75 earlier in the session, marking the highest intraday trading level ever recorded.

 

U.S. workers are paying more for health insurance and receiving less than they were four years ago and the situation is particularly acute in several states important in the presidential race, said a consumer group that has been critical of President George W. Bush. Families USA also noted the number of people without insurance jumped significantly since Bush took office, with more than 85 million people uninsured at some point during 2003 or 2004.
http://www.familiesusa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Are_You_Better_Off&printer_friendly=1

 

Reagan's Son Warns Bush: 'Stop Hijacking My Father's Reputation'
By Jenifer Johnston
The Sunday Herald - UK
http://www.rense.com/general57/stop.htm

 

Sep 27, 2004
Trial Ordered in Fla. E-Ballot Lawsuit
By JACKIE HALLIFAX
Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Just five weeks before Election Day, a federal appeals court Monday revived a lawsuit demanding that all Florida voters who use touchscreen machines receive a paper receipt, in case a recount becomes necessary.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals told a federal judge in Fort Lauderdale to reopen the case, which could affect 15 Florida counties whose electronic voting terminals do not issue paper records.

It was not immediately clear if the case could be decided before the Nov. 2 presidential election.

The three-judge panel in Atlanta wrote that Judge James Cohn misapplied a 35-year legal doctrine when he threw out the lawsuit filed by Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla.

 

Sep 27, 2004
By CURT ANDERSON
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of hours of untranslated audio recordings from terror and espionage investigations, despite large increases in money and personnel for translations since the 2001 terror attacks, a Justice Department audit released Monday said.

In addition, the audit by Glenn A. Fine, the agency's inspector general, found more than one-third of al-Qaida intercepts authorized by a secret federal court were not reviewed within 12 hours of collection as required by FBI Director Robert Mueller.

"Our audit highlighted the significant challenges facing the FBI to ensure that translation of key information is performed timely and accurately," Fine said.

The audit was completed in July in classified form. The version released Monday was edited to remove sections classified as "secret" by the FBI.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 123,000 hours of audio in languages associated with terrorists still had not been reviewed as of April 2004, the audit found. In addition, more than 370,000 hours of audio associated with counterintelligence had not been reviewed.

This backlog existed even though money for the FBI's language services had increased from $21.5 million in fiscal 2001 to about $70 million in fiscal 2004. The number of linguists had risen from 883 to 1,214 over that period.

The FBI also is not meeting Mueller's requirement that all al-Qaida communications collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act be reviewed within 12 hours of interception. During April 2004, the audit found, 36 percent of such communications were not even received at FBI headquarters within 12 hours.

The audit found that the FBI still lacks language personnel necessary to do all the needed translation work, and limitations in its technology, especially computer storage capacity, also cause problems that lead to backlogs.

Critics said the audit shows the FBI's translation capability is far from adequate.

"Three years after the worst terrorist attack on American soil, the overall effectiveness of a major investigative tool in our antiterrorism arsenal is still in doubt," said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The Justice Department's translation mess has become a chronic problem that has obvious implications for our national security."

The audit made 18 recommendations for the FBI, many of which already have been implemented, Fine said. FBI officials told auditors they are hiring linguists as quickly as they can be found in such languages as Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Chinese, Turkish and Kurdish.
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/audit/FBI/0425/index.htm

 

Sep 27, 2004
Israel May Not Be Able to Destroy Nukes
By PETER ENAV
Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear installations with a single air strike as it did in Iraq in 1981 because they are scattered or hidden and intelligence is weak, Israeli and foreign analysts say.

Israeli leaders have implied they might use force against Iran if international diplomatic efforts or the threat of sanctions fail to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said this month Israel is "taking measures to defend itself" - a comment that raised concern Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike along the lines of its 1981 bombing of an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak near Baghdad.

Speculation has also been fueled by recent Israeli weapons acquisitions, including bunker-buster bombs and long-range fighter-bombers.

Israel's national security adviser, Giora Eiland, was quoted Monday by the Maariv daily as saying Iran will reach the "point of no return" in its nuclear weapons program by November rather than next year as Israeli military officials said earlier.

Concern about Tehran's nuclear development intensified last week when Iran's Vice President Reza Aghazadeh said Iran has started converting raw uranium into the gas needed for enrichment, an important step in making a nuclear bomb.

The declaration came in defiance of a resolution passed three days earlier by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, demanding Iran freeze all uranium enrichment - including conversion. The group's 35-nation board of governors warned that Iran risked being taken before the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear development program is aimed at generating electricity. Israel and other countries, including the United States, doubt that.

Recent Israeli weapons purchases could be crucial in a possible strike.

In February, Israel received the first of 102 American-built F-16I warplanes, the largest weapons deal in its history. Military sources say the planes were specially designed with extra fuel tanks to allow them to reach Iran.

In June, it signed a $319 million deal to acquire nearly 5,000 U.S.-made smart bombs, including 500 "bunker busters" that can destroy six-foot concrete walls, such as those that might be found in Iranian nuclear facilities.

Military and strategic analysts in Israel and abroad say even with the new weaponry, Israel lacks the ability to carry out a successful strike against Iran's nuclear installations.

"You have to have solid intelligence, you have to know what to hit ... The intelligence on Iran is very weak," said Alex Vatanka, an expert on Iranian security issues at Jane's Sentinel Security Assessments in London.

Israeli strategic analyst Reuven Pedatzur pointed to a claim last year by Iranian opposition figures that foreign intelligence services have been unaware of two of the Iranian nuclear facilities.

"There is no good intelligence on Iran, and this is the proof," he said. "Any Israeli attack on Iran would cause huge political damage, and in the end, the program would proceed."

After Israel attacked the Osirak reactor, it came in for worldwide criticism. Arab opposition to an Israeli strike against Iran - particularly if it appeared to be unprovoked - would likely be widespread and intense. It could lead to attacks against Israeli and Jewish institutions abroad and condemnations from the United Nations.

Other difficulties in attacking Iran's nuclear facilities include their dispersal throughout the country, their sophisticated defense systems and the likelihood that some of the installations have been replicated, said Cliff Kupchan, vice president of the Nixon Center in Washington, a former Clinton administration Iranian expert who met with Iranian officials during a visit there last year.

Kupchan said IAEA threats to impose sanctions on Iraq are unrealistic, because U.N members, including those with fledging nuclear programs, such as Brazil, would be reluctant to back them.

Sanctions against Iranian oil production are also unlikely when world demand is about 80 million barrels per day, prices are sky-high, and the only surplus capacity - about 2 million barrels per day from Saudi Arabia - is heavy oil the market usually shuns. Iran exports about 2.6 million barrels per day.

Kupchan said if diplomacy fails, there may be no choice but for the United States to lead a concerted military campaign against Iran. "If the U.S. moves aggressively, it won't be sanctions, it will be a coalition of the willing," he said.

Speaking at the United Nations last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom appeared to back him up.

"The time has come to move the Iranian case to the Security Council in order to put an end to this nightmare," Shalom said.

 

Sep 27, 2004
Lebanon's Top al-Qaida Operative Dies
By HUSSEIN DAKROUB
Associated Press Writer

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- The alleged top al-Qaida operative in Lebanon who was captured in a security operation that broke up a terrorist network died of a heart attack Monday, hospital and security officials said.

Ismail Mohammed al-Khatib, who was in his early 50s, was hospitalized in the morning after suffering a cardiac arrest, but died from a second attack in the afternoon, said officials at Bahanes Hospital, 18 miles outside Beirut.

An Interior Ministry statement said al-Khatib suffered from "a breathing problem" on Sept. 21 and was treated by a doctor and given the "appropriate medication." His sickness recurred Monday after which he died of a "massive" heart attack, the statement said.

Al-Khatib was one of two top operatives of al-Qaida's organization captured by Lebanese authorities Sept. 17 along with 10 other suspects. The other one was Ahmed Salim Mikati.

At the time of the arrest, Lebanon's top prosecutor called al-Khatib "the head of al-Qaida organization in Lebanon" and said he and Mikati were planning simultaneous bombings of the Italian and Ukrainian embassies in Beirut. Both countries are part of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. They also allegedly planned to assassinate employees in Western embassies in Lebanon and wanted to attack Lebanese security and judicial targets.

Al-Khatib was also suspected of trying to recruit fundamentalists to carry out attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. Mikati had been in contact with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who is the most wanted militant in Iraq, to arrange recruitment, officials said.

Shortly after news of al-Khatib's death spread, about 300 residents of his hometown of Majdal Anjar in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley staged a demonstration.

Protesters briefly blocked the highway linking the Lebanese capital of Beirut with Syria's capital, Damascus, near the Masnaa border point, witnesses said.

The demonstrators smashed windows of shops in the area, the witnesses said. Lebanese and Syrian troops deployed in the area and reopened the road late Monday.

Prosecutor-General Adnan Addoum said Mikati was behind other crimes in Lebanon, including an attack on a McDonald's restaurant in Beirut in April 2003, as well as attacks on U.S. and British interests last year. Mikati has been condemned to death in absentia by a Lebanese military court.

 

North Korea Delegate Warns of 'Snowballing' War Danger
Sept. 27, 2004
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea's
chief delegate to the United Nations General
Assembly said on Monday the danger of war on the Korean peninsula is
"snowballing" and accused the United States of destroying the basis for
negotiations on Pyongyang's nuclear program.

In a speech to the United Nations, Choe Su Hon, head of the North
Korean delegation, also held out the possibility that the six-party talks
could be resumed if Washington agreed to reward Pyongyang for
freezing its nuclear activities and questions are answered about South
Korea's atomic experiments.

Choe dismissed as "only guessing and rumor" signs that Pyongyang
may be preparing a ballistic missile test.

He told a rare press conference North Korea had last tested a missile in
1998 and said it was obvious "we have the capability to produce various
kinds of missiles...We don't have anything to hide on that."

North and South Korea have been divided since the Korean War ended in
1953 and Choe said "the danger of war is snowballing owing to the U.S.
extreme moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and threats of preemptive
strikes against it."

North Korea's formal name is the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea.

Choe repeated claims the North had weaponized the fuel from 8,000
reprocessed spent fuel rods, which experts say could boost its nuclear
cache from one or two bombs to eight bombs.

He charged that South Korea could not have carried out recently
revealed unauthorized nuclear experiments in 1982 and 2000 without
U.S. assistance and said this must be clarified.

"It could not be possible that South Korea conducts such experiments
without U.S. technology and without the approval of the U.S.," he said.

China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States are trying to
persuade the North to scrap its nuclear program in exchange for security
guarantees and energy aid.

The latest in a series of six-way talks had been planned for this month,
but North Korea said last month talks with the United States were
pointless.

In his U.N. speech, Choe accused the United States of "further
intensifying its hostile acts against the DPRK in a more undisguised
way, even openly announcing there would be no reward" if Pyongyang
froze its nuclear programs.

For these and other reasons, "the basis of negotiations ... has been
completely destroyed," he said.

Choe repeated the North's willingness to freeze its nuclear programs but
said "this is possible only when the U.S. itself rewards (Pyongyang) for
our freeze."

The Bush administration has vowed it will not reward Pyongyang for
halting a nuclear program that it promised to stop in a 1994 agreement
that it has since reneged on.

However the administration agreed to provide the North with fuel and
food.

Seoul raised eyebrows when it recently disclosed that its scientists
enriched a small amount of uranium in 2000 and separated plutonium in
1982 -- activities forbidden to South Korea as a signatory of the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is
investigating Seoul's nuclear experiments.

 

When the U.S. Justice Department opened an investigation a year ago into how the journalist Robert Novak obtained the name of a covert CIA operative for publication in his syndicated column, we had two basic concerns. The first, the need for a truly independent inquiry, was addressed belatedly with the naming of a special prosecutor to pursue accusations that unidentified Bush administration officials illegally leaked the woman's undercover role in an effort to stifle criticism of Iraq policy by her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson IV.

Unfortunately, our second, overriding fear has become a reality. The focus of the leak inquiry has lately shifted from the Bush White House, where it properly belongs, to an attempt to compel journalists to reveal their sources. In an ominous development for press freedom and government accountability, a federal judge has ordered a New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, to testify before a grand jury investigating the case and to describe any conversations she had with "a specified executive branch official." The subpoena was upheld even though neither Miller nor The Times had any involvement in the matter at hand - the public naming of an undercover agent. The decision also takes the absolutist position that there is no protection whatsoever for journalists who are called to appear before grand juries. This chilling rejection of both First Amendment principles and evolving common law notions of a privilege protecting a reporter's confidential sources cries out for rejection on appeal. Novak has refused to say whether he received a subpoena. But other journalists have acknowledged getting them, and some have testified about their
contacts with I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. They say they did so with his consent, but consent granted by government employees under a threat of dismissal hardly seems voluntary. Again, none of these journalists were involved in the initial public identification of Wilson's wife. If a White House official intentionally brought about publication of the name of a CIA operative to silence criticism on Iraq, it was a serious abuse of power. The investigation's legacy should not be a perverse legal precedent that makes it easy for prosecutors to undo a reporter's pledge of confidentiality, discouraging people with knowledge of real abuses to blow the whistle to the press.

 

Sun 26 September, 2004
By Friedel Rother

LONDON (Reuters) - Police say they are holding four men under anti-terrorism legislation after
a tip-off from a newspaper, which said the suspects tried to buy explosives for a dirty bomb.

Police said they acted on information provided by the News of the World newspaper, which said
one of its reporters had infiltrated a gang trying to buy radioactive material for a Saudi Arabian who it
said might be linked to al Qaeda.

The tabloid newspaper said the Saudi was prepared to pay 300,000 pounds for a kilogramme of
'red mercury', a mysterious radioactive substance which is said to have been developed by Russian
scientists during the Cold War.

The paper said one of its reporters made contact with an Indian-born banker and a Somali -- the
head of the gang -- who wanted to buy bomb-making material for a client in the Middle East who
they said supported "the Muslim cause".

One member of the gang told the newspaper's undercover reporter that the bomb-making material
was intended for use either in Britain or the United States.

 

Pakistani security forces say they have killed the country's
most wanted terrorist.

Pakistani Information Minister, Sheikh Rashid, says Amjad
Farooqi, who had a $US300,000 bounty on his head, was
killed in a gunfight with security forces in Nawabshah in
southern Sindh province.

Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf, had named Farooqi as
the "Pakistani mastermind" of an assassination plot on his
convoy by two suicide bombers last December, which killed
more than 12 people.

Farooqi, a key member of the al Qaeda network in Pakistan,
is also believed to have been involved in the kidnap-murder of
Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, in Karachi in early
2002.

27/09/2004

 

Syria, at UN, Says Israel Behind U.S. War on Iraq
Mon Sep 27, 2004
By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Syria on Monday accused Israel of inciting the United States to
invade Iraq to distract attention from its own actions in the region, where it retains its grip on the
Palestinian territories won in a 1967 war.
http://news.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=6344049

 

Troops angry over no-hookers plan

RHEIN-MAIN AIR BASE, Germany, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. troops
stationed in Germany are upset over plans to change the
Uniform Code of Military Justice to make paying for sex a
punishable offense.

In Germany, unlike other areas of the world where U.S. troops
are stationed, prostitution is legal and women who choose the
world's oldest profession are taxed like any other workers. They
also are given regular health checks.

Pfc. Marty Conyers of the 464th Replacement Detachment on
Rhein-Main told the European edition of Stars & Stripes
changing the UCMJ would be unfair to troops.

"It would be different if it were some third-world country that
had no jobs and no opportunity, and women were forced into
it," Army Sgt. Adam Z. Pastor said. "It's a little bit pushy to
enforce that law here."

Military wife Dana Molnar advises defense officials to stop
fretting over troops's sex lives.

"It seems like we can spend our time worrying about more
important things," she told the newspaper.

Defense officials have drafted an amendment to the manual on
courts-martial that would make it an offense for U.S. troops to use
the services of prostitutes, said Charles Abell, a Pentagon
undersecretary for personnel and readiness.

If approved, that would make it a military offense under the Uniform
Code of Military Justice to have contact with a prostitute, Lt. Col.
Ellen Krenke, an Abell spokeswoman said later. The draft rule is
open to 60 days public comment after being published in the Federal
Register, she said.

Additionally, the military is reviewing regulations and procedures for
placing off-limits those businesses where such activities take place
and working with Justice Department officials to tighten rules on
contractor misconduct.

 

Army Sends Weaponless Reserve Unit To Iraq

About 800 members of the 98th Army Reserve Division from Rochester, New York will begin a year-long
mission in Iraq next month.

The unit, which normally trains reserve and active-duty soldiers in the U.S., will find itself training Iraq's new army.

The 98th is a non-combat unit that doesn't even have its own weapons or vehicles.

"This is a hard war and we, frankly, inside the Army Reserve have been not properly prepared for it", said the chief of the U.S. Army Reserve.

 

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, about 100 employees of a little-known branch of the Defense Department called the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and some of the country's most sophisticated aerial imaging equipment have focused on observing what's going on in the United States. Their work brushes up against the fine line between protecting the public and performing illegal government spying on Americans. Secrecy expert Steven Aftergood, who oversees a project on government secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists. "What it all boils down to is 'Trust us. Our intentions are good," he said. Adds Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington: "As a general matter, when there are systems of public surveillance, there needs to be public oversight." "If they deviated from their own rules, how would it be discovered?" asks secrecy expert Aftergood. "I am not satisfied that they have an answer to that question." Aftergood notes that while intelligence budgets have increased dramatically in the last five years, congressional oversight budgets have not.

 

RFID Tracking Devices To Go In Consumer Clothes
From Katherine Albrecht
http://www.rense.com/general57/RFIDtrackingdevicestogo.htm

 

NH widow fights 9-11 estate challenge linked to President Bush
by Tom Flocco
http://tomflocco.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=79

 

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1312540,00.html

 

What Are the Origins of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?
A recent accounting scandal at Freddie Mac that resulted in the
replacement of three of the company's top executives has lead to
mounting concerns over the privileged status these GSEs enjoy in the
marketplace.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the only two Fortune 500 companies
that are not required to inform the public about any financial difficulties
that they may be having. In the event that there was some sort of
financial collapse within either of these companies,
U.S. taxpayers could
be held responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in outstanding
debts.

http://hnn.us/articles/1849.html

 

Crude Oil Rises to Record Close of $48.88 as Ivan Cuts Supplies
Sept. 24, 2004
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000006&sid=aPVwWXHvLa6I&refer=home

 

Fri Sep 24, 2004
WASHINGTON - Porter Goss was sworn in Friday to head the CIA. But Goss would not be expected to be kept on as director if Democrat John Kerry were to win the White House. He is considered a top candidate, however, if President Bush is re-elected, to take on the new job of national intelligence director that Congress is considering creating. The Senate approved his nomination Wednesday as CIA director by a vote of 77-17 over protests from some Democrats who said he had too many Republican ties for a job that requires independence.

 

UN atomic agency calls for nuclear-free Middle East, North Korea
Fri Sep 24, 2004

VIENNA (AFP) - The United Nations atomic
agency called for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and for North
Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs.

The 137-nation International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) also passed a resolution on
fighting "nuclear and radiological terrorism", in
which it called for a global effort to stamp out
the illegal trafficking of nuclear materials.

On the last day of its week-long annual
conference, the IAEA passed a resolution that
"affirms the urgent need for all states in the
Middle East to forthwith accept the
application of full-scope agency safeguards to all their nuclear activities
... as a step in enhancing peace and security in the context of the
establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone".

The IAEA's call for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, which was
adopted by consensus, did not name Israel specifically but was clearly
aimed at the Jewish state, which is thought to be the only nation in the
region with atomic weapons, estimated at up to 200.

An IAEA member, Israel neither confirms nor denies that it has nuclear
weapons and is the only state in the region which has not signed the
international nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

The agency also called on North Korea "to completely dismantle any
nuclear weapons program" and to allow international inspectors to return
to monitor nuclear activities there, after they were kicked out in
December 2002.

North Korea, which says it has nuclear weapons, withdrew in January
2003 from the NPT, which sets the safeguards the IAEA is meant to
enforce.

Chang-Beom Cho, South Korea's ambassador to the
IAEA, said North Korea "must give up all its nuclear weapons and
related programs, including its uranium enrichment program in a
thorough and transparent manner ... so that this issue does not arise
again in the future".

Under a compromise deal worked out under US moderation, Israel
agreed to support the resolution calling for nuclear-free zone in the
Middle East in return for an Arab proposal for the IAEA to discuss
"Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat" being shelved until next year.

The resolution was passed in time for the Israeli delegates to leave for
the start of the Jewish Yom Kippur festival, the holiest day in the Jewish
year.

But the head of the Israeli atomic energy commission, Gideon Frank,
stressed Israel's view that there must be an overall peace agreement in
the Middle East before the creation of a nuclear-free zone and that "no
progress compromising national security is viable".

Meanwhile Egypt's IAEA ambassador, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, insisted
a nuclear-free zone in the region was "something that cannot wait until
there is a just and comprehensive peace but it is the very axis (of such a
peace)".

This year's IAEA conference saw a showdown on Tuesday between the
UN watchdog and Iran, which defied an IAEA ultimatum to immediately
halt all uranium enrichment activities.

The United States has accused Tehran of engaging in an "unrelenting
push toward nuclear weapons capability".

The IAEA's 35-nation board of governors had last week adopted a
resolution for Iran to "immediately" suspend all parts of the nuclear fuel
cycle.

But Iranian atomic energy chief Reza Aghazadeh said this week that
Tehran had begun the conversion of substantial amounts of uranium ore
into the gas needed to enrich uranium, which makes nuclear fuel for
reactors but can also be used to produce the explosive core of atomic
bombs.

The IAEA has set a deadline of November 25 for a definitive review of
Iran's nuclear program. Washington is pushing for Iran to be sent before
the UN Security Council, which could impose punishing sanctions.

Later on Friday, the IAEA adopted a resolution calling for greater border
and security cooperation in the face of potential terrorist attacks using
nuclear or radiological weapons.

Also passed by consensus, it called on "all member states to continue
to provide political, financial and technical support... to improve nuclear
and radiological security and prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism".

It came in response to growing fears that extremist groups could use
nuclear materials to build a "dirty bomb", a device which would spew
radioactive debris over a city, making parts of it uninhabitable for years.

IAEA records point to a dramatic rise in the smuggling of radiological
substances, the raw material for a dirty bomb, and the United States
claims that the Al-Qaeda extremist network is seeking to acquire such
weapons.

The resolution followed others adopted since the September 11 attacks
in the United States in 2001.

In other developments at the conference, the IAEA elected a new board
of governors and cleared the way for Chad, Mauritania and Togo to join,
bringing the watchdog's members to 140.

 

Gorbachev Says Iraq War 'Undermined' Law
Thu Sep 23, 2004

LONDON - Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Thursday
condemned the U.S.-led campaign toward war in Iraq
as an affront to democracy, saying it undermined international law.

"I regard the invasion of Iraq as undermining
international law and undermining
democracy because millions of people
spoke out against it," said the Nobel Peace
Prize laureate during a visit to London. He
added the war "was done without the
mandate of the U.N. Security Council."

Gorbachev said in the age of international
terrorism it was necessary to destroy
nuclear weapons, not just control them.

He acknowledged that military intervention,
with U.N. approval, was necessary where
terrorist infrastructures exist, but argued
terrorism should be fought by stopping its
financial backers and alleviating world
poverty.

Gorbachev visited Britain in support of the
WMD Awareness Program — a network of
non-governmental organizations which aims
to fight against the proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction.

Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1990 for helping bring an end to the
Cold War.

 

Thursday, September 23, 2004
From dart guns to germ aerosols, U.S. Army researched biowarfare
By Scott Shane
The Baltimore Sun

FORT DETRICK, Md. — For years, in
total secrecy, they studied the black art
of bioterrorism.

They designed deadly, silent biological
dart guns and hid them in fountain pens
and walking sticks. They compressed
lethal bacteria into suit buttons that
could be worn unnoticed across
borders. They rigged light fixtures and
car tailpipes to loose an invisible spray
of anthrax.

They practiced germ attacks in airports
and on the New York subway, tracking
air currents and calculating the potential
death toll.

But they weren't a band of al-Qaida
fanatics, or enemies of any kind. They
were biowarriors in the U.S. Army's
Special Operations Division at Fort
Detrick.

From 1949 to 1969, at the jittery height of the Cold War, the division tested
the nation's vulnerability to covert germ warfare — and devised weapons for
secret biological attacks if the United States chose to mount them.

A few years ago, its story — never before told in detail — would have
seemed a macabre footnote to U.S. history.

Now, after the Sept. 11 attacks, the anthrax mailings and a steady stream
of government warnings on terrorism, the fears of the 1950s have returned,
and the experiments of Fort Detrick's covert bioweapons makers suddenly
resonate in a new era. In the biological realm, there is little that any terrorist
group could concoct that Fort Detrick's "dirty tricks department," as
veterans call it, didn't think up decades ago.

But because of the division's scant record-keeping and the fast-disappearing
ranks of its aged scientist-warriors, the knowledge it acquired is being lost
to history.

Dead in 25 seconds

One of the few survivors is Wallace
Pannier, 76, who remembers standing
in a Frederick County field watching
sheep shot with what the Army called a
"nondiscernible bioinoculator" — a dart
gun. The bosses demanded a dart so
fine that it could penetrate clothing and
skin unnoticed, then dissolve, leaving
no trace in an autopsy.

"If the sheep jumped, that meant
people were going to jump, too," said
Pannier, now living a quiet life tending
his flowers and shrubs in Frederick,
Md.

Once perfected, the dart gun
astonished those who saw it in action.
Charles Baronian, a retired Army weapons official, recalls a demonstration
at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"Twenty-five seconds after it was shot, the sheep just fell to the ground,"
said Baronian, 73. "It didn't bleat. It didn't move. It just fell dead. You couldn't
help but be impressed."

The rest of the Army's offensive biological weapons program thought big:
500-pound anthrax bombs that could contaminate entire cities. But the
Special Operations Division — known at Fort Detrick by its initials, SO —
studied biowarfare on a more intimate scale, figuring ways to kill an
individual, disable a roomful of people or touch off an epidemic.

Code name MKNAOMI

The existence of the SO Division was revealed only six years after it shut
down, in a 1975 Senate investigation into CIA abuses. Senators wanted to
know why the CIA had retained a lethal stock of shellfish toxin and cobra
venom after President Nixon's 1969 order to destroy all biological weapons
stocks. They found that the poisons had come from the SO Division under a
CIA-Army project code-named MKNAOMI.

But records show that even CIA bosses were stymied as they tried to get
the facts on the SO Division. "The practice of keeping little or no record of
the activity was standard MKNAOMI procedure," a CIA investigator wrote.
The military offered little help, he added: "The Army has no records on
MKNAOMI or on the Special Operations Division."

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Baltimore
Sun, the Army said no records of the Special Operations Division could be
found. Nor is there any mention at the National Archives, which reclassified
Fort Detrick's old biowarfare records after the Bush administration ordered
agencies to withhold anything that might aid terrorists.

Few SO Division veterans are still alive. Fewer still are willing to describe
their work.

"I just don't give interviews on that subject," said Andrew Cowan Jr., 74, the
division's last chief, who is retired and living near Seattle. "It should still be
classified — if nothing else, to keep the information the division developed
out of the hands of some nut."

Proud of their work

But it is possible to assemble a patchwork portrait from documents obtained
by The Sun under the Freedom of Information Act, Senate investigative files
and private document collections, including the National Security Archive in
Washington and even the Church of Scientology, which long collected
material on government mind-control research.

And a few Detrick retirees who worked in the SO Division or collaborated
with it spoke sparingly about what they know. Most are proud of their work,
pointing out that the Soviet biological program was much larger and also
developed assassination tools.

The veterans say that if the biological devices they made were used against
humans, they never learned about it. But it is impossible to be certain, they
say, because the program was strictly compartmentalized: One worker
didn't know what another was doing, let alone what CIA or Special Forces
did with the bioweapons.

The 1975 Senate investigation revealed that the SO Division supplied
biological materials for several planned CIA attacks, none of which was
successful.

Toxin-laced toothpaste

In 1960, the CIA's main contact with the SO Division, Sidney Gottlieb,
carried a tube of toxin-laced toothpaste to Africa in a plot to kill Congolese
leader Patrice Lumumba. But the CIA station chief balked and pitched the
poison into a river, a congressional investigation later revealed.

Records suggest, though they do not prove, that the SO Division also
supplied germs for CIA schemes to kill or sicken Cuban leader Fidel Castro,
and that it came up with the poisoned handkerchief that the agency's
drolly-named Health Alteration Committee sent to Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul
Karim Qasim in 1963. (He survived.)

Army Special Forces also asked the SO Division to design biological
assassination weapons. Fort Detrick's engineers delivered five devices —
including the dart gun — collectively known as the "Big Five." But records of
what Special Forces did with the weapons remain classified, said Fort Bragg
archivist Cynthia Hayden.

Biowarriors were ready

If the work sounds sinister today, there were doubters at the time, too. A
1954 Army document says high-ranking officials — including George Merck,
the pharmaceutical executive and top government adviser on biowarfare —
wanted to shut down the SO Division because they considered it
"un-American."

But Fort Detrick's rank and file rarely voiced such doubts. "We did not sit
around talking about the moral implications of what we were doing," said
William Patrick III, a Fort Detrick veteran who worked closely with the SO
Division. "We were problem-solving."

And if the orders came to unleash the weapons, Fort Detrick's biowarriors
were ready.

During the Vietnam War, William Walter, who supervised anthrax production
at Fort Detrick and worked with the SO Division on projects, asked British
intelligence agents for blueprints of the office occupied by North Vietnamese
leader Ho Chi Minh. Plotting a covert germ assault is easier if the room's
cubic footage and ventilation system are known, he says.

"We thought if the president of the United States wants to kill somebody, we
want to be able to do it," said Walter, now 78 and retired in Florida.

No way of knowing

A gun or a bomb leaves no doubt that a deliberate attack has occurred. But
if someone is stricken with a sudden, fatal illness — or an epidemic slashes
across a crowded city — there is no way of knowing whether anyone
attacked, much less who.

That was the key conclusion of the Pentagon's Committee on Biological
Warfare in a secret October 1948 report on covert biowarfare.

At the time, the United States feared a shadowy global enemy, organized in
secret cells overseas and on U.S. soil: Communists. Echoing today's fears,
the report said the United States "is particularly vulnerable" to covert germ
attack because enemy agents "are present already in this country [and]
there is no control exercised over the movements of people."

Extraordinary secrecy

Although it emphasized the threat to America, the report called for offensive
capability. "Biological agents would appear to be well adapted to subversive
use since very small amounts of such agents can be effective," the report
said. "A significant portion of the human population within selected target
areas may be killed or incapacitated."

Seven months later, in May 1949, the Special Operations Division quietly
opened at Fort Detrick.

Even within the tight-lipped world of Fort Detrick, the SO Division's secrecy
was extraordinary. "Most of the people [at Fort Detrick] didn't know what
was going on in SO," Pannier said. Fanning out across the country, SO
Division officers played the role of bioterrorists in an era before the word had
even been coined. Their usual mock weapons were two forms of bacteria,
Bacillus globigii (BG) and Serratia marcescens (SM).

Scientists thought both were harmless, though later research found that SM
could cause illness or death in people with weakened immune systems.

In an elaborate 1965 attempt to assess how travelers might be used to
spread smallpox, SO Division officers loosed BG in the air at Washington
National Airport and at bus stations in Washington, Chicago and San
Francisco, then tracked its movement using air samplers disguised as
suitcases.

Tracking travelers' routes, Fort Detrick scientists plotted on a U.S. map the
smallpox cases that would result from a real release.

The next year, without alerting local officials, SO Division agents staged a
mock attack on the New York subway, shattering light bulbs packed with
BG powder on the tracks.

"People could carry a brown bag with light bulbs in it and nobody would be
suspicious," Pannier said. "But when [a bulb] would break, it would burst.
The trains swishing by would get it airborne."

The SO Division's report concluded that "similar covert attacks with a
pathogenic agent during peak traffic periods could be expected to expose
large numbers of people to infection and subsequent illness or death."

Offensive implications

Understanding U.S. vulnerability may have been the main purpose of such
experiments. But defensive findings had offensive implications. No one had
to tell experimenters that Moscow, too, had a subway.

If the subway tests could be explained as defensive, there was no such
ambiguity in the SO Division's development of covert biological weapons.

Mysterious characters from Fort Bragg and the CIA came and went at the
SO Division, leaving wish lists and checking progress.

Most CIA records on the SO Division apparently were destroyed in 1973 by
Gottlieb, the agency's liaison to Fort Detrick. But declassified invoices the
division submitted to the CIA give a sense of the work.

Germ dispensers could be concealed in many objects, such as the exhaust
system on a 1953 Mercury. ("It might look like a smoky, oil-burning car,"
Pannier said.) There were invoices for fountain pens, even "1 Toy Dog, 98
cents."

And there were supplies for a "Buster Project." One plan for the dart guns
was to knock out guard dogs so U.S. agents could sneak into foreign
facilities.

But dogs were not the primary target of the SO Division's creative efforts.
"The requirements of the Army Special Forces were the driving force defining
SOD activities, and Special Forces' interest included a number of weird
things, definitely among which was assassination," a CIA retiree told an
agency investigator in 1975, according to a declassified report.

Devoted to assassination

The former CIA man referred to the arsenal that came to be called the Big
Five. "The Big Five program was devoted to assassination," said Patrick,
who worked closely with the SO Division as chief of product development at
Fort Detrick. He calls it "the most sensitive program we ever created at
Detrick," and says its details should still be kept secret because they might
be useful to terrorists and "embarrassing to the United States."

Detailed descriptions of the Big Five remain classified. But documents show
that they included at least one version of the biological dart, dipped in
shellfish toxin and fired from a rifle using a pressurized air cartridge.

Among the other Big Five weapons: a 7.62 mm rifle cartridge packed with
anthrax or botulinum toxin that would disperse in the air on impact; a
time-delay bomblet that would release a cloud of bacteria when a train or
truck convoy passed; and a pressurized can that sprayed an aerosol of
germs. The fifth is described in unclassified documents only as an "E-41
disseminator."

Of all the old bioweaponeers, Patrick is the only one who still has ties to
U.S. biodefense programs, working as a consultant and trainer. But he said
the government has made little effort to learn from the work of the Special
Operations Division and the larger biowarfare program.

Although bioengineering today could produce more virulent pathogens,
"nothing has changed" in the most challenging part of covert biological
attack: delivering germs so that they infect people, Patrick said.

"The problem today is there's a huge disconnect between what us old fossils
know and what the current generation knows," Patrick said. "The good
doctors at CDC [the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
don't have a clue about aerosol dissemination, and the military is not much
better."

Walter, in Florida, agreed with Patrick's diagnosis. But he said it's fine with
him if the dark lessons of Fort Detrick's early days are lost forever.

"When we all die off, that's it," he said. "If anybody with bad intentions got
hold of the things we had, it would be disastrous."

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&q=MKNAOMI


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