Saddam's WMD Have Been Found
Post April 26, 2004
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
New evidence out of Iraq suggests that the U.S. effort to track down Saddam Hussein's missing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is having better success than is being reported. Key assertions by the intelligence community that were widely judged in the media and by critics of President George W. Bush as having been false are turning out to have been true after all. But this stunning news has received little attention from the major media, and the president's critics continue to insist that "no weapons" have been found.
In virtually every case - chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missiles - the United States has found the weapons and the programs that the Iraqi dictator successfully concealed for 12 years from U.N. weapons inspectors.
The Iraq Survey Group (ISG), whose intelligence analysts are managed by Charles Duelfer, a former State Department official and deputy chief of the U.N.-led arms-inspection teams, has found "hundreds of cases of activities that were prohibited" under U.N. Security Council resolutions, a senior administration official tells Insight. "There is a long list of charges made by the U.S. that have been confirmed, but none of this seems to mean anything because the weapons that were unaccounted for by the United Nations remain unaccounted for."
Both Duelfer and his predecessor, David Kay, reported to Congress that the evidence they had found on the ground in Iraq showed Saddam's regime was in "material violation" of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, the last of 17 resolutions that promised "serious consequences" if Iraq did not make a complete disclosure of its weapons programs and dismantle them in a verifiable manner. The United States cited Iraq's refusal to comply with these demands as one justification for going to war.
Both Duelfer and Kay found that Iraq had "a clandestine network of laboratories and safe houses with equipment that was suitable to continuing its prohibited chemical- and biological-weapons [BW] programs," the official said. "They found a prison laboratory where we suspect they tested biological weapons on human subjects." They found equipment for "uranium-enrichment centrifuges" whose only plausible use was as part of a clandestine nuclear-weapons program. In all these cases, "Iraqi scientists had been told before the war not to declare their activities to the U.N. inspectors," the official said.
But while the president's critics and the media might plausibly hide behind ambiguity and a lack of sensational-
looking finds for not reporting some discoveries, in the case of Saddam's ballistic-missile programs they have no excuse for their silence. "Where were the missiles? We found them," another senior administration official told Insight.
"Saddam Hussein's prohibited missile programs are as close to a slam dunk as you will ever find for violating United Nations resolutions," the first official said. Both senior administration officials spoke to Insight on condition that neither their name nor their agency be identified, but their accounts of what the United States has found in Iraq coincided in every major area.
When former weapons inspector Kay reported to Congress in January that the United States had found "no stockpiles" of forbidden weapons in Iraq, his conclusions made front-page news. But when he detailed what the ISG had found in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last October, few took notice. Among Kay's revelations, which officials tell Insight have been amplified in subsequent inspections in recent weeks:
A prison laboratory complex that may have been used for human testing of BW agents and "that Iraqi officials working to prepare the U.N. inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the U.N." Why was Saddam interested in testing biological-warfare agents on humans if he didn't have a biological-weapons program?
"Reference strains" of a wide variety of biological-weapons agents were found beneath the sink in the home of a prominent Iraqi BW scientist. "We thought it was a big deal," a senior administration official said. "But it has been written off [by the press] as a sort of 'starter set.'"
New research on BW-applicable agents, brucella and Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever, and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin that were not declared to the United Nations.
A line of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, "not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of 500 kilometers [311 miles], 350 kilometers [217 miles] beyond the permissible limit."
"Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited Scud-variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the U.N."
"Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1,000 kilometers [621 miles] - well beyond the 150-kilometer-range limit [93 miles] imposed by the U.N. Missiles of a 1,000-kilometer range would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets throughout the Middle East, including Ankara [Turkey], Cairo [Egypt] and Abu Dhabi [United Arab Emirates]."
In addition, through interviews with Iraqi scientists, seized documents and other evidence, the ISG learned the Iraqi government had made "clandestine attempts between late 1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300-kilometer-range [807 miles] ballistic missiles - probably the No Dong - 300-kilometer-range [186 miles] antiship cruise missiles and other prohibited military equipment," Kay reported.
In testimony before Congress on March 30, Duelfer, revealed that the ISG had found evidence of a "crash program" to construct new plants capable of making chemical- and biological-warfare agents. The ISG also found a previously undeclared program to build a "high-speed rail gun," a device apparently designed for testing nuclear-weapons materials. That came in addition to 500 tons of natural uranium stockpiled at Iraq's main declared nuclear site south of Baghdad, which International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman Mark Gwozdecky acknowledged to Insight had been intended for "a clandestine nuclear-weapons program."
In taking apart Iraq's clandestine procurement network, Duelfer said his investigators had discovered that "the primary source of illicit financing for this system was oil smuggling conducted through government-to-government protocols negotiated with neighboring countries [and] from kickback payments made on contracts set up through the U.N. oil-for-food program" [see "Documents Prove U.N. Oil Corruption," April 27-May 10].
What the president's critics and the media widely have portrayed as the most dramatic failure of the U.S. case against Saddam has been the claimed failure to find "stockpiles" of chemical and biological weapons. But in a June 2003 Washington Post op-ed, former chief U.N. weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus called such criticism "a distortion and a trivialization of a major threat to international peace and security."
Lt. Gen. Amer Rashid al-Obeidi (left) and Lt. Gen. Amer Hamoodi al-Saddi (right) speak to an unidentified French intelligence officer at the Baghdad International Arms Fair in April 1989, and another French officer listens in (behind al-Saadi, facing camera)
The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction concluded that Saddam "probably has stocked at least 100 metric tons (MT) and possibly as much as 500 MT of CW [chemical warfare] agents - much of it added in the last year." That assessment was based, in part, on conclusions contained in the final report from U.N. weapons inspectors in 1999, which highlighted discrepancies in what the Iraqis reported to the United Nations and the amount of precursor chemicals U.N. arms inspectors could document Iraq had imported but for which it no longer could account. Until now, Bush's critics say, no stockpiles of CW agents made with those precursors have been found. The snap conclusion they draw is that the administration "lied" to the American people to create a pretext for invading Iraq.
But what are "stockpiles" of CW agents supposed to look like? Was anyone seriously expecting Saddam to have left behind freshly painted warehouses packed with chemical munitions, all neatly laid out in serried rows, with labels written in English? Or did they think that a captured Saddam would guide U.S. troops to smoking vats full of nerve gas in an abandoned factory? In fact, as recent evidence made public by a former operations officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority's (CPA's) intelligence unit in Iraq shows, some of those stockpiles have been found - not all at once, and not all in nice working order - but found all the same.
Douglas Hanson was a U.S. Army cavalry reconnaissance officer for 20 years, and a veteran of Gulf War I. He was an atomic demolitions munitions security officer and a nuclear, biological and chemical defense officer. As a civilian analyst in Iraq last summer, he worked for an operations intelligence unit of the CPA in Iraq, and later, with the newly formed Ministry of Science and Technology, which was responsible for finding new, nonlethal employment for Iraqi WMD scientists.
In an interview with Insight and in an article he wrote for the online magazine AmericanThinker.com, Hanson examines reports from U.S. combat units and public information confirming that many of Iraq's CW stockpiles have indeed been found. Until now, however, journalists have devoted scant attention to this evidence, in part because it contradicts the story line they have been putting forward since the U.S.-led inspections began after the war.
But another reason for the media silence may stem from the seemingly undramatic nature of the "finds" Hanson and others have described. The materials that constitute Saddam's chemical-weapons "stockpiles" look an awful lot like pesticides, which they indeed resemble. "Pesticides are the key elements in the chemical-agent arena," Hanson says. "In fact, the general pesticide chemical formula (organophosphate) is the 'grandfather' of modern-day nerve agents."
The United Nations was fully aware that Saddam had established his chemical-weapons plants under the guise of a permitted civilian chemical-industry infrastructure. Plants inspected in the early 1990s as CW production facilities had been set up to appear as if they were producing pesticides - or in the case of a giant plant near Fallujah, chlorine, which is used to produce mustard gas.
When coalition forces entered Iraq, "huge warehouses and caches of 'commercial and agricultural' chemicals were seized and painstakingly tested by Army and Marine chemical specialists," Hanson writes. "What was surprising was how quickly the ISG refuted the findings of our ground forces and how silent they have been on the significance of these caches."
Caches of "commercial and agricultural" chemicals don't match the expectation of "stockpiles" of chemical weapons. But, in fact, that is precisely what they are. "At a very minimum," Hanson tells Insight, "they were storing the precursors to restart a chemical-warfare program very quickly." Kay and Duelfer came to a similar conclusion, telling Congress under oath that Saddam had built new facilities and stockpiled the materials to relaunch production of chemical and biological weapons at a moment's notice.
At Karbala, U.S. troops stumbled upon 55-gallon drums of pesticides at what appeared to be a very large "agricultural supply" area, Hanson says. Some of the drums were stored in a "camouflaged bunker complex" that was shown to reporters - with unpleasant results. "More than a dozen soldiers, a Knight-Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman, and two Iraqi POWs came down with symptoms consistent with exposure to a nerve agent," Hanson says. "But later ISG tests resulted in a proclamation of negative, end of story, nothing to see here, etc., and the earlier findings and injuries dissolved into nonexistence. Left unexplained is the small matter of the obvious pains taken to disguise the cache of ostensibly legitimate pesticides. One wonders about the advantage an agricultural-commodities business gains by securing drums of pesticide in camouflaged bunkers 6 feet underground. The 'agricultural site' was also colocated with a military ammunition dump - evidently nothing more than a coincidence in the eyes of the ISG."
That wasn't the only significant find by coalition troops of probable CW stockpiles, Hanson believes. Near the northern Iraqi town of Bai'ji, where Saddam had built a chemical-weapons plant known to the United States from nearly 12 years of inspections, elements of the 4th Infantry Division found 55-gallon drums containing a substance identified through mass spectrometry analysis as cyclosarin - a nerve agent. Nearby were surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, gas masks and a mobile laboratory that could have been used to mix chemicals at the site. "Of course, later tests by the experts revealed that these were only the ubiquitous pesticides that everybody was turning up," Hanson says. "It seems Iraqi soldiers were obsessed with keeping ammo dumps insect-free, according to the reading of the evidence now enshrined by the conventional wisdom that 'no WMD stockpiles have been discovered.'"
At Taji - an Iraqi weapons complex as large as the District of Columbia - U.S. combat units discovered more "pesticides" stockpiled in specially built containers, smaller in diameter but much longer than the standard 55-gallon drum. Hanson says he still recalls the military sending digital images of the canisters to his office, where his boss at the Ministry of Science and Technology translated the Arabic-language markings. "They were labeled as pesticides," he says. "Gee, you sure have got a lot of pesticides stored in ammo dumps."
Again, this January, Danish forces found 120-millimeter mortar shells filled with a mysterious liquid that initially tested positive for blister agents. But subsequent tests by the United States disputed that finding. "If it wasn't a chemical agent, what was it?" Hanson asks. "More pesticides? Dish-washing detergent? From this old soldier's perspective, I gain nothing from putting a liquid in my mortar rounds unless that stuff will do bad things to the enemy."
The discoveries Hanson describes are not dramatic. And that's the problem: Finding real stockpiles in grubby ammo dumps doesn't fit the image the media and the president's critics carefully have fed to the public of what Iraq's weapons ought to look like.
A senior administration official who has gone through the intelligence reporting from Iraq as well as the earlier reports from U.N. arms inspectors refers to another well-documented allegation. "The Iraqis admitted they had made 3.9 tons of VX," a powerful nerve gas, but claimed they had never weaponized it. The U.N. inspectors "felt they had more. But where did it go?" The Iraqis never provided any explanation of what had happened to their VX stockpiles.
What does 3.9 tons of VX look like? "It could fit in one large garage," the official says. Assuming, of course, that Saddam would assemble every bit of VX gas his scientists had produced at a single site, that still amounts to one large garage in an area the size of the state of California.
Senior administration officials stress that the investigation will continue as inspectors comb through millions of pages of documents in Iraq and attempt to interview Iraqi weapons scientists who have been trained all their professional lives to conceal their activities from the outside world.
"The conditions under which the ISG is working are not very conducive," one official said. "But this president wants the truth to come out. This is not an exercise in spinning or censoring."
For more on WMD, read "Iraqi Weapons in Syria"
Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight.
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Iraqi Weapons in Syria
Post April 26, 2004
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
On Dec. 24, 2002, nearly three months before fighting in Iraq began, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accused Saddam Hussein's regime of transferring key materials for his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs to Syria in convoys of 18-wheel trucks to hide them from U.N. weapons inspectors. "There is information we are verifying, but we are certain that Iraq has recently moved chemical or biological weapons into Syria," Sharon told Channel Two television in Israel.
Before talking about this on Israeli television, Sharon gave detailed information to the Bush White House on what Israel knew and what it suspected. Insight has learned, however, that once the information was handed over to the U.S. intelligence community, officials at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) swept it aside as lacking credibility.
In May 2003, just as major combat operations in Iraq were winding down, new reports surfaced in Israel, this time alleging that convoys of Iraqi water tankers carrying WMD components crossed the border into Syria repeatedly between Jan. 10 and March 10. The tankers reportedly were met by Syrian special forces and escorted to the heroin poppy fields of a Syrian-controlled area in Lebanon's Bek?a Valley, where their contents were dumped into specially prepared pits and buried. Again, INR discounted the reports, U.S. officials tell Insight.
Reports of Iraqi WMD winding up in Syria were not just coming from the Israelis. In October 2003, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, revealed that vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to Saddam's forbidden WMD programs had been shipped to Syria before the war. It was no surprise that the United States and its allies had not found stockpiles of forbidden weapons in Iraq, Clapper told a breakfast briefing given to reporters in Washington. "Those below the senior leadership saw what was coming, and I think they went to extraordinary lengths to dispose of the evidence," he said.
"We have had six or seven credible reports of Iraqi weapons being moved into Syria before the war," a senior administration official tells Insight. "In every case, the U.S. intelligence community sought to discount or discredit those reports."
This January, after he returned to Washington from Iraq, where for six months he had served as the CIA's top gun with the Iraq Survey Group hunting for Saddam's banned weapons, David Kay said he had uncovered evidence that weapons material had been moved to Syria shortly before the war. "We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he told the Sunday Telegraph in London. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."
Another piece of this puzzle was provided by a Syrian intelligence officer in letters smuggled to an antiregime activist living in Paris named Nizar Nayouf. In one letter the source identified three locations in Syria where WMD materials had been buried under an agreement between the Syrian and Iraqi leadership. Two of the sites were specially dug underground bunkers and tunnels. The third site was a factory operated by the Syrian air force in the village of Tal Sinan, located between the cities of Hama and Salimiyyah. In a follow-up letter dated Jan. 7, Nayouf's source provided more details on these locations, along with a map, and alleged that some of the weapons had been moved out of Iraq in ambulances.
So are Saddam's WMD stockpiles in Syria? When Insight asked the CIA if it was investigating these and other reports, a spokesman acknowledged there was "some evidence that way" and that the United States was "looking at all types of possibilities," but vigorously discouraged further inquiries. Administration officials tell Insight that the refusal to report on Syria's complicity with Saddam's regime stems from a "pro-Syria bias in the State Department and some elements of the intelligence community, whose threshold for evidence on Syria is suspiciously high."
Shoshana Bryen regularly escorts groups of retired U.S. military flag officers (admirals and generals) to Israel for meetings with senior Israeli political and military leaders, as well as intelligence officials. "We went to Israel just before the war and just after," she tells Insight. "Both times, Israeli intelligence officials told us, yes, WMD were definitely in Iraq, and that they had been sent to Syria." The Bush administration was trying to downplay these reports, she believes, "because if Iraqi weapons are in Syria, we're going to have to do something about it, and they don't want another war."
Return to "Saddam's WMD Have Been Found"
Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight.
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>> OUR FRIENDS THE CHINESE
Chinese diplomats rush past lab guards
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Two Chinese diplomats, away from their Los Angeles consulate improperly, recently sped their vehicle past a Los Alamos National Laboratory guard post near classified facilities in what U.S. officials think was an intelligence mission, The Washington Times has learned.
The diplomats, identified as Hua Yu and Bo Lai, were on an intelligence-gathering mission that is raising new worries of Chinese nuclear spying against the United States, according to U.S. officials familiar with the incident.
According to an incident report, the diplomats sped a white Ford Escort past a guard post at the New Mexico facility at about 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 26.
Security guard Joseph Chavez was at the post at the time and reported that the car "ran his post at a high rate of speed," the report said.
The white Escort, rented in Colorado, was stopped a short distance from the post by three Los Alamos security police on Pajarito Road. The diplomats were questioned, and their car was searched.
Mr. Hua and Mr. Bo identified themselves as Chinese diplomats posted to the consulate in Los Angeles.
"At this point, we briefed the gentleman on the fact that Pajarito Road was closed to the general public, and [they] were escorted out of the area," the report states.
Kevin Roark, a spokesman for Los Alamos, confirmed that the incident took place and said no apparent compromise of security occurred.
Pajarito Road also is the site of two sensitive facilities, Mr. Roark said. One is the Critical Assembly Facility known as Technical Area-18, and the other is the Plutonium Research Facility, known as Technical Area-55.
Both facilities are used for classified nuclear-weapons activities at Los Alamos, part of the Energy Department's nuclear-weapons program.
"They were asked for identification. They were briefly questioned as to what they were up to. Their vehicle was searched, and after that, they were promptly escorted off the road," Mr. Roark said.
He declined to comment on whether the FBI was notified. An FBI spokesman could not be reached for comment.
A State Department official said the Chinese diplomats did not notify the department's Office of Foreign Missions before the visit to Los Alamos, a violation of U.S. rules.
Chinese diplomats are barred from traveling outside a 25-mile radius of their embassy or consulate and must obtain permission from the State Department before any other travel.
Xiao Mei, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, said the two diplomats were visiting New Mexico in preparation for the visit to Santa Fe by a Chinese official.
Miss Xiao said she did not know whether the two men had gone to the Los Alamos laboratory, but they might have been trying to visit a museum at the facility.
"We all know this is a sensitive area," she said. "But the museum is public."
Los Alamos was the scene of a major U.S. nuclear-spying scandal in the late 1990s when Chinese-American nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee, who worked at Los Alamos, was accused of supplying nuclear secrets to China.
Mr. Lee denied being a spy but was convicted of mishandling classified information, including top-secret computer tapes that were never found.
A CIA damage assessment later concluded that the Chinese had obtained secrets on every U.S. nuclear warhead, including the W-88, a small warhead that U.S. intelligence thinks has been copied for use on China's new short-range and long-range missiles.
U.S. officials said the incident involving the two diplomats was an intelligence-gathering mission, with the men probably testing Los Alamos security to see how guards react. Such information is useful for other intelligence-gathering activities, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The diplomats also might have been trying to recover material left by an agent or planning to meet with an agent, the officials said.
Mr. Roark said the guard post was one of several recently added to the Los Alamos complex as part of post-September 11 security upgrades.
It was the second time in the past six months that Chinese diplomats based in Los Angeles ended up in legal trouble.
Late last year, a Chinese official posted to the Los Angeles consulate was charged with speeding as he drove more than 100 mph in San Bernardino County. The incident resulted in a diplomatic protest note being sent to the Chinese Embassy in Washington.
One U.S. official said Washington expelled neither that Chinese official nor the two diplomats in the Los Alamos incident because of concerns that doing so would trigger expulsions of U.S. intelligence personnel in China.
A classified U.S. intelligence report produced in 1998 stated that China was one of the most aggressive intelligence threats against U.S. nuclear facilities.
"China represents an acute intelligence threat" to the Department of Energy, the report said. "It conducts a 'full-court press' consisting of massive numbers of collectors of all kinds, in the United States, in China and elsewhere abroad."
The report noted that Chinese intelligence gathering at the nuclear-weapons laboratories usually involves exploiting "natural scientist-to-scientist relationships."
"Chinese scientists nurture relationships with national laboratory counterparts, issuing invitations for them to travel to laboratories and conferences in China," it said.
U.S. officials said there has been no change in the report on Chinese activities targeting nuclear facilities.
10 U.S. Contractors in Iraq Penalized
By MATT KELLEY
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ten companies with billions of dollars in U.S. contracts for Iraq reconstruction have paid more than $300 million in penalties since 2000 to resolve allegations of bid rigging, fraud, delivery of faulty military parts and environmental damage.
The United States is paying more than $780 million to one British firm that was convicted of fraud on three federal construction projects and banned from U.S. government work during 2002, according to an Associated Press review of government documents.
A Virginia company convicted of rigging bids for American-funded projects in Egypt also has been awarded Iraq contracts worth hundreds of millions. And a third firm found guilty of environmental violations and bid rigging won U.S. Army approval for a subcontract to clean up an Iraqi harbor.
Seven other companies with Iraq reconstruction contracts have agreed to pay financial penalties without admitting wrongdoing. Together, the 10 companies have paid to resolve 30 alleged violations in the past four years. Six paid penalties more than once. But the companies have been awarded $7 billion in Iraq reconstruction contracts.
"We have not made firms pay the price when they screw up," said Peter W. Singer, a former Pentagon official who worked on a task force overseeing military and contract work in the Balkans.
"But it's not the company's fault if it has a dumb client. I'm not blaming the companies, I'm blaming the government," said Singer, now a fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
The contracts are legal because the Bush administration repealed regulations put in place by the Clinton administration that would have allowed officials to bar new government work for companies convicted or penalized during the previous three years.
Spokesmen for the companies defended the contracts, saying the penalties often were for violations committed years ago or by subsidiaries unrelated to the ones working in Iraq. Spokeswoman Pamela Blossom said AMEC, the convicted British firm, wrote new company ethics rules after its punishment.
"None of the people involved are with the company any more," said Blossom, whose firm paid $1.2 million in fines for contract fraud on projects in California and Missouri. "We're a much better company now."
Federal regulations require government contractors to have a "satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics." The government can ban unethical companies from getting new contracts through a process called debarment.
Companies often avoid debarment by agreeing to settle misconduct cases and pay penalties without admitting guilt. AMEC was the only one of the 10 punished Iraq contractors ever debarred, and it was banned for just one year.
If a U.S. company is not on the list of banned firms, it can compete for Iraq work, said Army Maj. Gary Tallman, a spokesman for the Iraq contract management office.
"If they pay their fine or do what they have to do to get off a debarment list, they are back in good standing and eligible to compete," Tallman said.
The Clinton administration tightened contracting rules shortly before leaving office in 2001, instructing officials that repeated violations of federal laws would make a company ineligible for new contracts. Officials still would have been able to award contracts to punished companies for overriding reasons such as national security.
The Bush administration suspended the new rules during its first three months in office, and revoked them in December 2001. Business groups had objected to the Clinton changes, arguing it was unfair to deny contracts for reasons unrelated to how well a firm could do the work.
The two largest government contractors in Iraq, Bechtel Corp. and Halliburton Co., have paid several penalties in the past three years.
Halliburton paid $2 million in 2002 to settle charges it inflated costs on a maintenance contract at now-closed Fort Ord in California. Vice President Dick Cheney's former company did not admit wrongdoing.
Halliburton took in $3.6 billion last year from contracts to serve U.S. troops and rebuild the oil industry in Iraq. Halliburton executives say the company is getting about $1 billion a month for Iraq work this year.
Federal authorities also are investigating whether Halliburton broke the law by using a subsidiary to do business in Iran, whether the company overcharged for work done for the Pentagon in the Balkans and whether it was involved in an alleged $180 million bribery scheme in Nigeria. The company admitted in 2003 that it improperly paid $2.4 million to a Nigerian tax official.
Bechtel paid more than $110,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department in 2000 and 2001 to settle alleged safety and environmental violations. Bechtel has prime construction contracts in Iraq worth more than $2 billion.
"We were chosen on ability and cost," Bechtel spokesman Howard Menaker said.
Bechtel also hired three subcontractors in Iraq that have been fined more than $86 million in the past four years, though none had been banned from getting new contracts. Bechtel spokesman Francis Canavan said the company would reject subcontractors that are on the no-contracts list.
Other punished contractors include:
-American International Contractors Inc., which paid $4.7 million in fines in 2000 after pleading guilty to bid rigging on a U.S.-funded water project in Egypt. AICI has part of a $325 million contract to rebuild Iraq's transportation systems, has a share of a $500 million contract for emergency construction needs in the Pentagon's Central Command region, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan, and is in a partnership that has a $70 million construction contract at Al-Udeid air base in Qatar, used to support troops in Iraq. An AICI official who spoke to the AP declined to comment or give his name.
-Fluor Corp., which paid $8.5 million to the Defense Department in 2001 to settle charges it improperly billed the government for work benefiting its commercial clients. The company did not admit guilt. Fluor and AMEC created a joint venture that has $1.7 billion in contracts to rebuild Iraq's electricity, water, sewer and trash removal infrastructure.
-Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., which paid a $969,000 fine in 2002 for environmental damage in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Bechtel awarded the company a subcontract to clear the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock also pleaded guilty to price fixing on Army Corps of Engineers contracts in 1988. A company spokesman did not return messages seeking comment. Bechtel's Canavan said Bechtel told the Corps of Engineers it planned to hire Great Lakes Dredge & Dock when it applied for the contract.
- Northrop Grumman Corp., whose Vinnell Corp. subsidiary was awarded a $48 million contract to train the new Iraqi Army last year. Northrop Grumman has been penalized $191.7 million in the past four years, including $750,000 paid to the Pentagon in 2000 in a case involving allegations of providing faulty replacement parts for the JSTARS airborne surveillance system. A Northrop Grumman spokesman referred questions to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which said it excludes only companies banned by the federal government.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Justice Department to Investigate Judiciary Memo Scandal
By Jesse J. Holland Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 26, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department on Monday asked the new U.S. attorney in New York to investigate how Republicans got access to Democrats' computer memos in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A report by the Senate sergeant-at-arms earlier this year faulted two of committee chairman Orrin Hatch's former employees for the intrusion into the Democrats' computer documents. It says 4,670 files were found on a GOP aide's computer, "the majority of which appeared to be from folders belonging to Democratic staff."
Democrats have called for an outside investigation, and the Justice Department on Monday sent the case to David Kelley, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Kelley, a Democrat, took James Comey's position as U.S. attorney after Comey left to become deputy attorney general, the No. 2 job at the Justice Department.
Kelley is "an experienced prosecutor of the highest integrity and independence," said Assistant Attorney General William Moschella in a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "We are confident the investigation will be handled in a thorough, fair, impartial and professional manner."
The Justice Department would not comment beyond the letter to Leahy.
"This is a serious matter that deserves and requires careful investigation," said Leahy, who requested the investigation. "The Senate sergeant-at-arms made a good start with his investigation and report. With the powers available to a federal prosecutor, this matter can now be more thoroughly investigated, so that those who engaged in criminal conduct may be brought to justice."
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called the appointment "a very good first step" and said Kelley is "independent" and "without conflicts."
"The only thing missing is for (Attorney General) John Ashcroft to recuse himself to avoid any potential conflict of interests," Schumer said.
Added Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas: "If there is to be an investigation, I'm encouraged to know that the decision will be made by professionals, not partisans. Now, perhaps, the Senate Judiciary Committee can get back to work."
The report by Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle's office blamed the intrusion on former GOP aides Manuel Miranda, who worked for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, and Jason Lundell, a clerk who worked on nominations for Hatch. Miranda resigned during the dispute. Lundell left last year.
"The matter had to be referred to someone to review. I expect that any fair-minded, apolitical law enforcement professional will quickly conclude what legislators could not:...that no crime was committed," Miranda said. "I hope that this referral includes the charges of corruption filed against Democrat senators with the DOJ Office of Public Integrity."
Conservatives say the memos prove the Democrats colluded with liberal groups over which Bush nominees to block. One ethics complaint has been filed against Democrats Sen. Richard Durbin, of Illinois, and Sen. Edward Kennedy, of Massachusetts, based on the leaked information.
N. Korea Won't Open Border for South Aid
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN
Associated Press Writer
DANDONG, China (AP) -- North Korea balked Monday at opening its heavily armed border to relief trucks from rival South Korea, even as international aid groups sought more help for thousands injured or made homeless by a massive train explosion.
As a cold rain fell on the devastated community of Ryongchon, relief workers warned that more food, blankets and medicine were needed immediately in the impoverished nation.
Video released by the United Nations showed patients squeezed two to a bed in shabby hospitals, with compresses over their eyes and facial injuries from being struck by a wave of glass, rubble and heat in Thursday's blast.
Aid workers said North Korea was short of even basic equipment like sutures and intravenous drips, and that donated goods were being used up as quickly as they could be supplied.
The Red Cross distributed a three-month supply of antibiotics, anesthetics and bandages to North Korean hospitals over the weekend, but "according to the hospitals, they have already used these medical supplies and have requested more," said Niels Juel, an official for the agency who is based in Beijing.
The casuality toll stood at 161 dead and more than 1,300 injured by the explosion of oil and chemicals, aid agencies said.
"The overall health system ... is very strained," said Brendan McDonald, a U.N. aid coordinator in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. Electrical power and water supplies are "all inadequate," he said.
The Red Cross launched an emergency appeal Monday for $1.25 million in aid for North Korea. "Some families have lost all their belongings," Juel said. "Also, the water and sanitation system in that area would need to be restored."
Days after the catastrophe, details were still only trickling out from the secretive, communist North. Aid workers who first arrived in Ryongchon on Saturday described seeing huge craters, twisted railroad tracks and scorched buildings.
Nearly half of the dead were children in a school torn apart by the blast, and the disaster left thousands of residents homeless, the aid workers said.
One worker who toured a hospital in the nearby city of Sinuiju said that injured children lay on filing cabinets because there weren't enough beds. The hospital was "short of just about everything," said Tony Banbury, Asia regional director for the U.N. World Food Program, after his visit Sunday.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday the United States will give financial assistance to North Korea in response to the disaster but gave no further details.
The Bush administration is working with the United Nations and "we will be making an offer," Powell said.
Japan, Russia, Australia are among the countries that have already offered to send supplies. Neighboring China dispatched truckloads of tents, blankets and food across its border over the weekend.
But North Korea's border with South Korea remained sealed.
At a cargo depot near Seoul, Red Cross trucks loaded with medical supplies, bottled water, clothes and packages of instant noodles were awaiting the green light. But North Korea was hesitant Monday about allowing them across the Demilitarized Zone that has separated the two Koreas for over half a century.
The Pyongyang government also didn't respond to a South Korean offer to unload ships carrying relief goods at ports near Ryongchon.
Officials from North and South Korea planned to meet in the northern city of Kaesong on Tuesday to discuss relief operations.
"It is most important to have the relief goods arrive in the site of the explosion as quickly as possible," said South Korean Prime Minister Goh Kun. "By land or by sea, a quick means of transportation should be found."
The South Korean public has also mobilized, with civic groups and the news media launching donation campaigns.
The Koreas were divided at the end of World War II. Their border remains sealed after the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended without a peace treaty.
North Korea's Communist government relaxed its normally intense secrecy as it pleaded for international help. It has blamed the disaster on human error, saying the cargo of oil and chemicals ignited when workers knocked the train cars against power lines.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
>> WOULD YOU TRUST THEM?
North Korea Vows It Won't Transfer Nukes
By AUDRA ANG
Associated Press Writer
BEIJING (AP) -- North Korean officials angrily denied U.S. accusations that they might sell nuclear weapons to terrorists and offered to freeze a plutonium-based nuclear program in exchange for aid, an American researcher who visited the North said Saturday.
However, the officials wouldn't confirm whether Pyongyang has a second, uranium-based weapons program, a key sticking point in talks with the United States and other governments, said Selig S. Harrison of the Center for International Policy in Washington.
The comments, similar to previous North Korean offers, did not appear to represent any new concession that might revive progress in the six-nation talks aimed at persuading the North to eliminate its nuclear program.
North Korean leaders criticized U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's suggestion during a visit to China this month that the North might sell weapons to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network or other terror groups, Harrison said.
Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun said North Koreans "denounce al-Qaida," said Harrison, who returned from Pyongyang on Saturday and was en route to Washington.
"We are opposed to all types of terrorism and will never transfer our nuclear material to anyone else," he quoted Paek as saying. "Our nuclear program is solely for our own self-defense."
Harrison also met this week with Kim Yong Nam, the country's No. 2 leader; Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan and Lt. Gen. Ri Chan Bok, chief military liaison officer at the Demilitarized Zone on the border with South Korea.
According to Harrison, Kim Yong Nam said North Korea trades in missiles, but would never allow a transfer of nuclear material to al-Qaida or anyone else.
Harrison, a specialist in North Korean affairs, has visited the North six times since the 1980s.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Iraqis Want Sovereignty Restored but Welcome U.S. Security Assistance, Iraqi Minister Says
By Edith M. Lederer Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 26, 2004
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Iraqis want "complete sovereignty" restored on June 30 but will welcome U.S. assistance for security and will seek additional help through the United Nations, Iraqi Governing Council member Nesreen Berwari said Monday.
Berwari, the minister of public works who was the target of an assassination attempt last month, said Iraqis must take control and make decisions on "day-to-day life," including budgets and "how to move the country politically."
But they will need help with security, stabilization and building democratic institutions, and are seeking such assistance from the United Nations, she said.
"The situation so far doesn't look positive on the readiness of the world to support Iraqi security. The only country who is committed is the United States, and we're going to take that commitment and we welcome others. We need others to take part of it, too," Berwari said.
The shape of an Iraqi interim government expected to take power from the U.S.-led coalition on June 30 is still being formulated with help from U.N. special adviser Lakhdar Brahimi, who is scheduled to brief the Security Council Tuesday on his recent trip to Baghdad.
Brahimi has called for disbanding the 25-member U.S.-picked Governing Council on June 30 and replacing it with a government led by a prime minister, president and two vice presidents.
The council is expected to start debating a new U.N. resolution dealing with the interim government next month, and a number of potentially contentious issues already have emerged, including how much sovereignty that government will have.
Another issue is whether the Security Council will need to authorize the continued presence of the U.S.-led coalition force now in Iraq as well as a new, separate force whose sole job would be to protect returning U.N. staff. The United States recently started soliciting countries to contribute to this U.N. protection force.
"It's very important that the Iraqi people receive complete sovereignty," Berwari said. "What that means is decisions at local level should be done by Iraqi people. National decisions should be done by the national government. There are some issues that the Iraqi people will need support with, like security, like stabilization, and democratization."
But Chile's U.N. Ambassador Heraldo Munoz said that regardless of the name, "there will be limited sovereignty anyhow because this will be a government that will be chosen as part of a political agreement and not as a result of direct elections."
The government's main duty will be to oversee the election process "so Iraqis can vote freely in January," he said.
Berwari said she was "very happy and positive" about the way a caretaker government was being selected. But she added that Iraqis should not have too many expectations about the new government and should focus instead on electing a permanent government in January.
She said the temporary laws adopted by the Governing Council to guide the transition need more details and shouldn't be scrapped or changed as some have suggested, stressing that this would be "a mistake that will cause us time and energy."
The coalition made "mistakes" a year ago in the critical area of security, including delaying giving responsibilities to Iraqis to handle security and disbanding the Iraqi army, Berwari said.
FBI Agent Says Plastic at Bombing Scene Matched Barrels Found at Terry Nichols Home
By Tim Talley Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 26, 2004
McALESTER, Okla. (AP) - Charred bits of plastic that fell from the sky after the Oklahoma City bombing are chemically similar to plastic barrels found at the home of Terry Nichols, a federal investigator testified Monday at Nichols' murder trial.
Four of the 55-gallon barrels sat within arms' length of Nichols' jury as FBI agent Richard Buechele, who worked at the agency's crime lab in Washington when the bombing of the federal building occurred, testified about their chemical composition.
Buechele said the plastic shards and the barrels found at Nichols' Kansas home days afterward were both high-density polyethylene plastic.
FBI agent Gregory Carl said investigators found the small pieces of plastic in debris on top of the Journal Record Building, located across a parking lot from the federal building, four days after the bombing.
The April 19, 1995, bombing killed 168 people. The convicted mastermind, Timothy McVeigh, was executed in 2001.
During Monday's testimony, the jury got a close look at wreckage of the truck used in the bombing.
Jurors leaned forward in their chairs and stood to view the twisted and charred parts, including sections of the truck's frame, a 250-pound chunk of the rear axle and pieces of the vehicle's shattered engine.
Nichols, 49, was convicted in 1997 on federal charges in the bombing and was sentenced to life in prison. He is now on trial in Oklahoma state court on murder charges that could bring the death penalty.
Prosecutors have said they expect to rest their case on May 3 or 4.
Nichols' attorneys are expected to put the FBI crime lab itself on trial and argue that the forensic testimony in unreliable because of laboratory contamination and mishandling of evidence.
>> PROGRESS REPORT?
State could save $150 million from Medicare discount card
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The state's prescription-drug program for low-income elderly will save up to $150 million over the next two years from Medicare's new discount drug card program, officials said.
The Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly - or PACE - will automatically enroll about 150,000 recipients who qualify for a discount card sponsored by the program.
"We will save about $150 million between June 2004 and March 31, 2006, on spending of $1 billion," said Tom Snedden, the director of PACE. "That's not bad."
The cards provide percentage discounts on the price of some medications, but the additional feature that stands to benefit PACE is a $600 credit toward purchase of medications for low-income cardholders.
The savings will allow PACE to waive some $6 co-payments that the low-income recipients otherwise pay to the state program. Qualifying individuals make less than $12,569 per year, and couples less than $16,862.
Cards are free to low-income Medicare beneficiaries. While higher-income people can be charged up to $30 per year for a card, Snedden said the state will offer a drug card free to every Pennsylvanian on Medicare.
Gary Miller, a spokesman for the Department of Aging, said PACE officials were not ready to detail those plans, but would do so in the coming days.
Beginning Thursday, the Medicare Web site will provide drug price comparisons and tell Medicare recipients where they can use the various cards. The same information will be available from operators at 1-800-MEDICARE.
Enrollment begins May 3, and the discount cards can be used starting in June. Different pharmacies will accept different cards and companies can start marketing the drug cards in May.
The cards are intended as a temporary measure until prescription drug insurance under Medicare begins in 2006. The Bush administration says Medicare clients who use the cards should save 10 percent to 25 percent off their prescription drug costs. Critics say the percentages will be much lower.
In Pennsylvania, 17 companies plan to offer discount cards that will provide savings through the end of the year. In the last six weeks of the year, Medicare beneficiaries can choose to either renew their cards or select one from a different company for discounts during 2005.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Israel Identifies New Hamas Leader
By MARK LAVIE
Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Mahmoud Zahar, a 53-year-old Egyptian-trained physician whose son was killed in an Israeli airstrike, was identified by Israel on Monday as the new Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials signaled he won't be targeted for death if the militant group halts suicide attacks.
Hamas, however, refused to reveal the name of its leader for fear he will be assassinated like his two predecessors.
Late Monday, two Palestinians were killed in an incident near the Mughazi refugee camp in central Gaza. Palestinian security officials said there was an explosion followed by machine gun fire. First reports said the two were killed when a rocket they were setting up exploded prematurely. The Israeli military said it had no forces in the area.
Also Monday, Israeli troops killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy and seriously wounded a 15-year-old girl near Israeli settlements in Gaza. The girl, described as mentally retarded, had wandered into a restricted area.
The Palestinian attorney general said he would speed up prosecution of dozens of suspected collaborators with Israel and search for those who helped Israel kill Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi on April 17. Fifty-three alleged informers are in Palestinian custody awaiting trial.
Rantisi, the successor of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, himself assassinated by Israel, had taken extreme precautions, but Israel spotted him when he made a rare visit home and killed him in with a missile attack.
Hamas declared after Rantisi's death that it would not disclose the name of his replacement. However, speculation centered on Zahar - Rantisi's deputy, Yassin's personal physician and for years one of the most visible and uncompromising Hamas spokesmen.
Three Israeli newspapers on Monday identified Zahar as the group's new leader. Several days ago, Zahar told reporters Hamas would not disclose the name of the new leader but did not deny he had the title.
Israel's military chief, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, told the Yediot Ahronot daily the new Hamas leader had inherited the post "automatically" and reluctantly accepted the position. Yaalon also signaled Israel would avoid attacking him as long as the group remains quiet.
"He doesn't want it, and he is apparently avoiding making decisions, and he is apparently avoiding terrorism," Yaalon said. "Anyone who doesn't use terrorism against us, we do not deal with."
Yaalon did not identify the Hamas leader, but military officials said he was referring to Zahar. The officials said it is impossible to identify the leader with certainty because of Hamas' fluid leadership structure.
Zahar has escaped two Israeli attempts on his life, most recently in September when his eldest son and a bodyguard were killed. Zahar rejects any settlement with Israel and compromise with the Palestinian Authority.
In Washington, the CIA declined to comment on whether Zahar is the new Hamas leader.
In the Gaza violence, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the back by Israeli army fire and died, Palestinian medical workers said. The boy was among several youths who had climbed sand dunes to watch soldiers deployed around the Israeli settlement of Nissanit in northern Gaza.
Witnesses and Palestinian security officials said the boys were about 700 yards from an Israeli watchtower when the teen was killed.
Military officials said soldiers used non-lethal means to disperse stone throwers near a settlement and did not know about a boy who was shot.
Medical workers also said a 15-year-old, mentally handicapped girl was seriously wounded after approaching the Israeli settlement of Morag near the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza.
Military officials said soldiers saw a woman running toward the settlement in an area off-limits to Palestinians, assumed she was attacking the settlement and opened fire after she ignored calls to stop and warning shots. They said the settlement has been a frequent target of Palestinian militants.
Morag and the other 20 Jewish settlements in Gaza and Israeli military installations would be removed under Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "unilateral disengagement" plan. However, Palestinians suspect Sharon's real agenda is to trade the small settlements in Gaza for a permanent hold on most of the West Bank, where 90 percent of Israeli settlers live.
In an interview Monday on the Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel, former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians should not cooperate with the Israeli withdrawal.
He also harshly criticized President Bush, who gave backing to the main points of Sharon's plan.
"America has now no credibility at all," Abbas said.
On Sunday, members of Sharon's Likud Party vote in a referendum on the withdrawal plan. Polls indicate that the outcome will be close.
Interviewed on Israel TV during an independence day broadcast Monday evening, Sharon was confident that by this time next year, "we will be in the midst of disengagement from Gaza. This is good for Israel, good for Israel's security, good for the economy and good for peace, which I believe will come one day."
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Oily energy promises
By Milton R. Copulos
Burger King says, "Have it your way." But where energy and the environment are concerned, John Kerry goes them one better. He says, "Have it both ways."
Mr. Kerry's promises are certainly impressive. For example:
* Mr. Kerry says he will cut U.S. oil use by 2 million barrels per day by raising the CAFE standard -- the federal government's mandatory fleet fuel efficiency rule for cars and light trucks -- to 36 miles per gallon by 2015.
* He says he will provide $2 billion a year in new incentives for alternative fuels and advanced automotive technologies. He says he will spend $1 billion a year on new "clean coal" technologies and will have the U.S. generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
*And that's not all. He will make "Big Oil" foot the bill.
It all seems too good to be true -- because it is.
Take for example, Mr. Kerry's claim he will eliminate 2 million barrels a day of oil use -- roughly equivalent, he is quick to note, to our Persian Gulf imports -- by improving automobile mileage. For several reasons, the numbers don't compute.
First, most cars on the road in 2015 will be incapable of achieving the 36 mpg Mr. Kerry wants. The median lifespan of automobiles in the U.S. is 16.9 years. This means, at best, only around 16 percent of the fleet would be affected.
Second, Americans have increasingly opted for larger vehicles like SUVs. To achieve Mr. Kerry's target, either enormous gains would be needed on SUV fuel efficiency, or the buying public must forgo the beloved behemoths.
Third, Mr. Kerry does account for growth of the automotive fleet -- the reason oil consumption for transportation has jumped 46.4 percent over the past three decades despite doubled fuel efficiency. Autos are nearly twice as efficient, but there are more than twice as many on the road.
So what's the bottom line?
Assuming Mr. Kerry's target is met, the best we could do is to reduce transportation-sector oil consumption by a little less than 890,000 barrels per day -- assuming no new automobiles or light trucks are added to the fleet.
The math on Mr. Kerry's incentives for new automotive technologies and clean coal is just as wrong. He says he will use oil and gas royalties to pay for his incentives. Unfortunately, they're already spoken for.
In 2003, $150 million in federal oil and gas royalties went to the Historic Preservation Fund. Almost $172 million went to the Indian Tribes. Another $899 million went to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and more than $753 million to the Reclamation Fund. More than $1 billion went to the states.
In some years, there was still enough left in the federal share of royalty income after such payments to underwrite Mr. Kerry's $3 billion in proposed incentives. But in many others, there was not. Moreover, if the federal share of royalty income is diverted from general treasury revenues to other purposes, it would have to be made up from somewhere.
Also, Mr. Kerry insists he will continue restrictions on drilling offshore, in Alaska and in other "environmentally sensitive" areas. He doesn't seem to understand that if you don't drill, there is no oil or gas production to generate royalties.
This contradictory approach to energy and the environment also extends to coal, which Mr. Kerry would promote with incentives while calling for restrictions on carbon emissions that would make burning the fuel difficult if not impossible.
In supporting his claims about shifting to renewable energy for electricity generation, Mr. Kerry proudly points to California, which, he notes, gets more than 13 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. While this is true, the reason is that California is one of the largest consumers of hydroelectric power from the huge federal dam system. Almost 90 percent of its "renewable" electric power generation comes from this source. With geothermal power included, they account for 99.9 percent of California's "renewable" electricity generation.
But geothermal sites are limited, and last I looked no one is building a new Hoover Dam. That leaves wind, solar and biomass. Electricity from these sources, however, is between 2 and 5 times more expensive than conventional technologies. Mr. Kerry doesn't mention that. Nor does he mention routine environmental opposition to wind power projects.
In the final analysis, Mr. Kerry's energy and environmental plan is long on promises, short on practical solutions. It brings to mind an old Wendy's burger slogan: "Where's the beef?"
Milton R. Copulos was a member for 12 years of the National Petroleum Council, the top-level advisory body on oil and gas, and has been an adviser to four energy secretaries.