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BULLETIN
Saturday, 7 February 2004

>> WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD? READ AND WEEP?


Democrat Attacks on Contractors
Posted Feb. 2, 2004
By John Berlau
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Critics protest that to be big-time government contractors, companies must operate a revolving door between themselves and the bureaucracies with which they work, effectively freezing out their smaller competitors.


Henry Waxman is outraged. Outraged. The Democrat from California who, as ranking minority member of the House Government Reform Committee, did his best to block investigations into Clinton scandals such as Chinagate is demanding investigations into what he calls irregular contracting of the Bush administration for reconstructing Iraq. Specifically, Waxman and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) charge in a letter to the Iraq Program Management Office that "these contracts have created two massive fiefdoms" for Halliburton Co. on oil services and Bechtel in electricity and other public works.

The letter criticizes the Iraq reconstruction program for its plans to award more indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts - those "in which the total amount of work and specific projects to be completed are unknown at the time and bid of the award. When an ID/IQ contact is put out to bid, there is no real opportunity for price competition because the projects under the contract have yet to be defined." Waxman and Dingell conclude that these practices are "deliberately precluding meaningful price competition" and "in effect doling out monopolies." They also claim that "taxpayers will pay a high price for this imprudent approach."

Criticisms of contracts such as these are common from left-wing activists. Many have pounced on the Halliburton contract, noting that Dick Cheney was the company's chief executive officer before he was vice president, despite the fact that Cheney divested himself of interest in the company. Meanwhile there are some on the right, and some independent observers, who also take issue with the federal-contracting process. But they say the outrage expressed by Waxman and other partisan Democrats is very selective; for while Halliburton's long-term contract may be problematic, it is typical of the new world of federal contracting that began in the 1990s. Clinton-era reforms have, according to critics, led to a lack of oversight, to cost overruns and other abuses. And taken together with long-standing barriers to competition, such as favoritism for unionized firms, the Clinton changes have prevented competition from innovative firms and small businesses.

The Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group strongly critical of the postwar contracts awarded to Halliburton and others, says the problems result from the Clinton-Gore changes. "In recent months, many policymakers have inquired about Iraq reconstruction contracts," says a report from the group. "What most people do not realize is that those contracts are not anomalies - in fact, they simply reflect the flawed federal-contracting system that exists today. Favoritism, waste, abuse and even fraud are far more likely today because of the systemic reduction of oversight and transparency in government contracting over the past decade."

Some conservatives are even calling Waxman's bluff and asking for a congressional investigation. A recent Army investigation found that Halliburton did not overcharge for gasoline from Kuwait, although the company announced in January that it had fired two employees for taking kickbacks from Kuwaiti subcontractors. A Halliburton spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that this was unrelated to the gasoline issues, and that the company told the Pentagon promptly about the employee impropriety.

Says David Williams, vice president for policy at the right-leaning Citizens Against Government Waste, "Maybe Halliburton's innocent - we're not making that determination. What we're saying is investigate it, because that's the least that you can give the taxpayers." But, he adds, don't just stop at Halliburton and Iraq reconstruction. "Every dollar needs to be scrutinized, and if there is any question whether there are misdoings, it needs to be investigated."

Not only are the types of contracts Halliburton now has in Iraq a direct result of procurement "reforms" pushed through under Vice President Al Gore's program to "reinvent government" but, according to the Website of the General Services Administration (GSA), the ID/IQ contracts of the type being used in Iraq and in many civilian agencies "were initiated in large part by the National Performance Review" under Gore.

Many Republicans signed on too with legislation such as the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996. These new proposals came, in part, in response to reports of the Pentagon paying ridiculously high prices for ordinary commercial items such as hammers. If agencies were given more flexibility to negotiate in the commercial marketplace, it was said, they could save the government bundles of money. The new philosophy was reflected in the Clinton administration's Federal Acquisition Regulation, which states that government buyers "may assume if a specific strategy, practice, policy or procedure is in the best interests of the government and is not ... prohibited by law, executive order or other regulation, that the strategy, practice, policy or procedure is a permissible exercise of authority."

It was in this new era that Halliburton's controversial contracts developed. In the 1990s the Army created its Logistic Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), which designs multiyear ID/IQ contracts, the initial process being competitive. Companies submit proposals and bids, but after a bid is taken the Army can buy a number of services, such as electricity and food preparation, from the winning company for a specified number of years without going through another bid process. And these winning contractors are on call to the Army anywhere in the world. In 1997, Halliburton lost out on a bid for the LOGCAP contract to the Reston, Va.-based DynCorp, a company that derived almost its entire income from government contracts. But the Army still gave Halliburton a no-bid contract to set up some bases in the Balkans. And Halliburton so impressed government leaders that Gore gave it a "Hammer" award for efficiency.

Meanwhile DynCorp, as Insight's Kelly Patricia O'Meara has reported [see "DynCorp Disgrace," Feb. 4, 2002], became mired in scandal after some of its employees were accused of raping Bosnian girls as young as 14. Although Halliburton had paid a $2 million fine in the late 1990s based on fraud allegations involving its work on a California base, something which Waxman has made much of, given its overall record as compared to that of DynCorp it hardly was surprising or unusual to contract watchers that Halliburton won the LOGCAP contract when it was up for bid again in 2001. And it was under the terms of this pre-war contract that the Army chose Halliburton to put out oil fires in Iraq in the spring of 2003 without going through an additional bidding process.

The Army had an arguable justification for this because of the urgency of the war. "Suppose the wells had been torched and the Army, following Waxman's advice, had begun a long, complicated, competitive-bidding process to find a company to put out the fires," writes Byron York in National Review. The Democrats assuredly would not have patted the Bush administration on the back for letting the oil wells burn.

ID/IQ contracts such as Halliburton's seem to have the most justification when the military is concerned because of the emergency conditions under which it sometimes must work. But such contracts are now extremely common in domestic agencies as well, Insight has found. The National Park Service alone lists 237 of these contracts in a database. It signed a five-year contract, for instance, with McLean, Va.-based Science Applications International Corp. for unspecified "transportation and implementation tasks at various National Park Services areas throughout the United States, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands."

As the Project on Government Oversight report explains, ID/IQs such as this "are not actual contracts for specific work. Rather, they are agreements by the government to award an unspecified amount of future work to approved contractors - the federal-acquisition equivalent of a hunting license. Requirements for competition on such awards are extremely weak, effectively allowing billions of dollars worth of noncompetitive contracts." The contracts have a guaranteed minimum the government must pay for initial services along with a maximum the government might pay for add-ons. The National Park Service contract cited above has a minimum of $25,000, but a maximum of $2 million.

The 1990s were boom years for contracting. The Clinton administration was fond of claiming it had shrunk the number of federal employees to a total lower than when John F. Kennedy was president. But counting contracted employees the number of full-time workers getting their checks for the civilian side of government grew sharply. Brooking Institution scholar Paul Light estimated the size of the contractor workforce, or as he calls it the "shadow government," to be 5.6 million in 1999. But, as he wrote in The True Size of Government, no one really knows the actual size. "The government knows virtually nothing about its shadow - the ever-expanding number of politically well-connected contractors who are taking more and more work from federal employees," Light wrote. "Neither the Office of Personnel Management nor the Office of Management and Budget has ever counted the full-time equivalent nonfederal workforce, let alone analyzed its appropriateness."

This increase in contractors still could be justified as helping the taxpayer because the government would not be responsible for the health care or pensions of the contract workers. But contracting also has its own costs that can mushroom out of control if not watched carefully, experts warn.

Certainly such contracting is very big business and watched on Wall Street. In late 1998, Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), an information-technology firm based in El Segundo, Calif., put itself on the proverbial map by winning what was called "the Super Bowl of government contracts" - a 15-year megacontract to modernize the computer systems of the IRS with a maximum price tag of $7 billion. Acquiring this contract and beating out competitor Lockheed Martin was reported in the Los Angeles Business Journal as "the corporate equivalent of hitting a ball clear out of the park."

But it seems to have struck out in actual performance. The Treasury De-partment's IRS Oversight Board recently documented delays and huge cost overruns and recommended removing CSC as the contractor if improvements aren't made soon. The problems have highlighted the questionable circumstances under which CSC received the contract.

The contract was awarded by IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, whose administration of the bureau was ethically troubled. As Insight has detailed, Rossotti held on to millions of dollars of stock in American Management Systems (AMS), the company he cofounded and ran before going to the IRS, despite the fact that AMS had ongoing contracts with the agency.

Indeed, CSC's modernization contract also came under fire in 2000 when the company hired Karla Pierce, the Kansas secretary of revenue, since Kansas was a major client of AMS and now it looked to some as though Rossotti was giving a quid pro quo. Pierce had defended Rossotti's firm at a time when its overhaul of the Kansas tax system was being criticized by Kansas legislators and the company was being sued by the state of Mississippi for negligent work in a lawsuit that turned out to be successful. CSC, after hiring Pierce, sent a statement to Insight saying it was "impressed by [Pierce's] significant accomplishments," but nowhere did the statement deny that Rossotti used influence to get Pierce the job [see "A Taxing Dilemma," April 23, 2001, and "IRS Boss Snagged Clinton Waiver," May 7, 2001].

After media scrutiny resulting from Insight's stories, Rossotti finally sold most of his AMS stock about a year before he left the IRS in 2002. He now works at the Carlyle Group, a private investment-equity firm staffed with influential Democrats and Republicans that, Washington Technology magazine says, also is one of the 40 biggest government contractors in information technology.

Meanwhile, in late 2003, the oversight board blasted CSC's work. The board wrote in a report that "virtually all of the projects with a major impact on improving customer service and IRS' internal operations and productivity were experiencing serious delays and cost overruns." CSC, the board reported, "did not demonstrate that it had the depth of leadership and experience to carry out its responsibilities" and "did not supply the important thought and program leadership it was engaged to deliver." InfoWorld quoted a CSC spokesman who said the company was "making considerable progress" on the modernization.

Regardless of the board's scathing critique, thanks largely to the IRS contract, CSC now is one of the largest government contractors in the United States. It ranked fifth on Washington Technology's top 100 federal contractors in information technology, with government contracts worth almost $2 billion for the year covered. And CSC used its new fortune to buy the troubled DynCorp in 2003 and likely will be a presence in military contracting as well.

Because the jobs of many contracting officers were cut from federal agencies in the 1990s as part of Gore's "reinventing government," increasingly one of the giants is designated the "prime contractor," leading a team of other large and small contractors. Such is the case with CSC and the IRS. This "bundling" of tasks into one megacontract has made it particularly hard on small businesses to get bids unless they partner with the giants. In the spring of 2002, President George W. Bush told a conference of women entrepreneurs that he would work sharply to reduce contract bundling. "Wherever possible, we're going to insist that we break down large federal contracts so that small-business owners have got a fair shot at federal contracting," he said. But small-business owners say the bureaucrats still are moving slowly on this presidential priority.

And what really irks many small businesses is that the new procurement policies can benefit large foreign firms more than U.S. small business. Democrats in Congress have tried to ban contractors that establish subsidiaries or move their headquarters to foreign locales such as the Caymans to escape high U.S. taxes. Yet when Bush tried to limit some Iraqi postwar work to the firms from countries in the coalition forces, Democrats such as Waxman and Dingell cried foul. In their letter, these congressmen said they were miffed at the policy because "Canada, Germany and France do have contractors that could compete effectively for these contracts, with a lower cost to taxpayers." But given the fact that, according to the London Independent newspaper, captured documents show that Saddam Hussein managed to bribe French government officials, it would seem obvious that there may be good reason to keep French firms an arm's length away, say national-security experts.

Although big contracts are hard to get, giant contractors can be even harder to get rid of, placing further barriers to many other U.S. firms that want to compete [see "What Does It Take to Lose a Contract?" March 18, 2002]. The GSA lifted a suspension that barred MCI, formerly WorldCom, from seeking new contracts. This ban had been established because of that company's bankruptcy and deception of shareholders, yet now GSA awarded it a contract for new phone lines in Iraq. In a January press release, Citizens Against Government Waste names GSA as its "Porker of the Month" and says MCI's contracts "put taxpayer dollars at risk and amounted to a hidden government bailout of the company." According to Williams of the watchdog group, "The fact that they kept on getting government contracts really sounded an alarm to us as to why. Why was this not being competitively bid? Why isn't there an open competition for this, because there obviously wasn't."

To be big-time government contractors, companies almost have to mirror the bureaucracies with which they work - and operate a revolving door between themselves and those bureaucracies. The government freezes out competition by giving contractors mandates that have nothing to do with efficiency for taxpayers, such as racial quotas and "green practices." And there also is a bias toward unionized firms, says Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund. "Federal-government power and resources are being marshaled effectively to drive people into unions," he says.

While Bush issued an executive order getting rid of "project-labor" requirements on federally funded projects that forced unionization of workers, he hasn't touched the Davis-Bacon Act, a law requiring workers on federal construction projects to be paid "prevailing wages" determined by unions, or the alleged union shenanigans that go along with it. Determining the prevailing wage is a process fraught with fraud, Gleason says. "The unions get together with the companies that are unionized, and they fix the price at an artificially high rate, and that becomes the prevailing wage, and then nonunion firms can't bid on those projects," he says. "Small businesses, women, minorities and, often, the most-productive companies are deprived of the opportunity to work." In fact the sponsors of Davis-Bacon in the 1930s had clear racist motivations, publicly saying the law was to keep "colored labor" out of federal contracts.

The Bush administration has said it wants to outsource as many as 800,000 federal jobs to save money for taxpayers. But Gleason warns that the savings may not be achieved with laws such as Davis-Bacon that price out small firms. Similarly, others warn that savings will evaporate without restoring some oversight. "Full and open bidding" must be restored, says the Project on Government Oversight report.

The report recommends: "Establish a bidding process that is open to large and small contractors. Strict oversight should ensure that the lack of full and open competition was necessary under the circumstances, including instances when an agency awards a sole-source, limited bid, or classified contract or acquisition. ... Restore 1980's-era procurement laws [as under Reagan-Bush] that ensured as many contracts as possible were fully competed and therefore the government received the best deals."

John Berlau is a writer for Insight magazine.

************

Here, according to Government Executive magazine, are the top 10 private contractors to the federal government in terms of the dollar value of contract awards in fiscal 2002:

1. Lockheed Martin Corp. -- $22,868,969

2. Boeing Co. -- $19,569,810

3. Northrop Grumman Corp. -- $10,231,037

4. Raytheon Co. -- $7,522,196

5. General Dynamics Corp. -- $7,264,308

6. United Technologies Corp. -- $4,117,346

7. Computer Sciences Corp. -- $4,090,770

8. Bechtel Group Inc. -- $3,603,148

9. SAIC -- $3,466,739

10. Carlyle Group -- $2,166,233

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DynCorp Disgrace
Posted Jan. 14, 2002
By Kelly Patricia O Meara
Published: Monday, February 4, 2002

Americans were seen in Bosnia as defenders of the children, as shown here, until U.S. contractors began buying children as personal sex slaves.


Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia.

According to the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) lawsuit filed in Texas on behalf of the former DynCorp aircraft mechanic, "in the latter part of 1999 Johnston learned that employees and supervisors from DynCorp were engaging in perverse, illegal and inhumane behavior [and] were purchasing illegal weapons, women, forged passports and [participating in] other immoral acts. Johnston witnessed coworkers and supervisors literally buying and selling women for their own personal enjoyment, and employees would brag about the various ages and talents of the individual slaves they had purchased."

Rather than acknowledge and reward Johnston's effort to get this behavior stopped, DynCorp fired him, forcing him into protective custody by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) until the investigators could get him safely out of Kosovo and returned to the United States. That departure from the war-torn country was a far cry from what Johnston imagined a year earlier when he arrived in Bosnia to begin a three-year U.S. Air Force contract with DynCorp as an aircraft-maintenance technician for Apache and Blackhawk helicopters.

For more than 50 years DynCorp, based in Reston, Va., has been a worldwide force providing maintenance support to the U.S. military through contract field teams (CFTs). As one of the federal government's top 25 contractors, DynCorp has received nearly $1 billion since 1995 for these services and has deployed 181 personnel to Bosnia during the last six years. Although DynCorp long has been respected for such work, according to Johnston and internal DynCorp communications it appears that extracurricular sexcapades on the part of its employees were tolerated by some as part of its business in Bosnia.

But DynCorp was nervous. For instance, an internal e-mail from DynCorp employee Darrin Mills, who apparently was sent to Bosnia to look into reported problems, said, "I met with Col. Braun [a base supervisor] yesterday. He is very concerned about the CID investigation; however, he views it mostly as a DynCorp problem. What he wanted to talk about most was how I am going to fix the maintenance problems here and how the investigation is going to impact our ability to fix his airplanes." The Mills e-mail continued: "The first thing he told me is that 'they are tired of having smoke blown up their ass.' They don't want anymore empty promises."

An e-mail from Dyncorp's Bosnia site supervisor, John Hirtz (later fired for alleged sexual indiscretions), explains DynCorp's position in Bosnia. "The bottom line is that DynCorp has taken what used to be a real positive program that has very high visibility with every Army unit in the world and turned it into a bag of worms. Poor quality was the major issue."

Johnston was on the ground and saw firsthand what the military was complaining about. "My main problem," he explains, "was [sexual misbehavior] with the kids, but I wasn't too happy with them ripping off the government, either. DynCorp is just as immoral and elite as possible, and any rule they can break they do. There was this one guy who would hide parts so we would have to wait for parts and, when the military would question why it was taking so long, he'd pull out the part and say 'Hey, you need to install this.' They'd have us replace windows in helicopters that weren't bad just to get paid. They had one kid, James Harlin, over there who was right out of high school and he didn't even know the names and purposes of the basic tools. Soldiers that are paid $18,000 a year know more than this kid, but this is the way they [DynCorp] grease their pockets. What they say in Bosnia is that DynCorp just needs a warm body -- that's the DynCorp slogan. Even if you don't do an eight-hour day, they'll sign you in for it because that's how they bill the government. It's a total fraud."

Remember, Johnston was fired by this company. He laughs bitterly recalling the work habits of a DynCorp employee in Bosnia who "weighed 400 pounds and would stick cheeseburgers in his pockets and eat them while he worked. The problem was he would literally fall asleep every five minutes. One time he fell asleep with a torch in his hand and burned a hole through the plastic on an aircraft." This same man, according to Johnston, "owned a girl who couldn't have been more than 14 years old. It's a sick sight anyway to see any grown man [having sex] with a child, but to see some 45-year-old man who weighs 400 pounds with a little girl, it just makes you sick." It is precisely these allegations that Johnston believes got him fired.

Johnston reports that he had been in Bosnia only a few days when he became aware of misbehavior in which many of his DynCorp colleagues were involved. He tells INSIGHT, "I noticed there were problems as soon as I got there, and I tried to be covert because I knew it was a rougher crowd than I'd ever dealt with. It's not like I don't drink or anything, but DynCorp employees would come to work drunk. A DynCorp van would pick us up every morning and you could smell the alcohol on them. There were big-time drinking issues. I always told these guys what I thought of what they were doing, and I guess they just thought I was a self-righteous fool or something, but I didn't care what they thought."

The mix of drunkenness and working on multimillion-dollar aircraft upon which the lives of U.S. military personnel depended was a serious enough issue, but Johnston drew the line when it came to buying young girls and women as sex slaves. "I heard talk about the prostitution right away, but it took some time before I understood that they were buying these girls. I'd tell them that it was wrong and that it was no different than slavery -- that you can't buy women. But they'd buy the women's passports and they [then] owned them and would sell them to each other."

"At first," explains Johnston, "I just told the guys it was wrong. Then I went to my supervisors, including John Hirtz, although at the time I didn't realize how deep into it he was. Later I learned that he had videotaped himself having sex with two girls and CID has that video as evidence. Hirtz is the guy who would take new employees to the brothels and set them up so he got his women free. The Serbian mafia would give Hirtz the women free and, when one of the guys was leaving the country, Hirtz would go to the mafia and make sure that the guys didn't owe them any money."

"None of the girls," continues Johnston, "were from Bosnia. They were from Russia, Romania and other places, and they were imported in by DynCorp and the Serbian mafia. These guys would say 'I gotta go to Serbia this weekend to pick up three girls.' They talk about it and brag about how much they pay for them -- usually between $600 and $800. In fact, there was this one guy who had to be 60 years old who had a girl who couldn't have been 14. DynCorp leadership was 100 percent in bed with the mafia over there. I didn't get any results from talking to DynCorp officials, so I went to Army CID and I drove around with them, pointing out everyone's houses who owned women and weapons."

That's when Johnston's life took a dramatic turn.

On June 2, 2000, members of the 48th Military Police Detachment conducted a sting on the DynCorp hangar at Comanche Base Camp, one of two U.S. bases in Bosnia, and all DynCorp personnel were detained for questioning. CID spent several weeks working the investigation and the results appear to support Johnston's allegations. For example, according to DynCorp employee Kevin Werner's sworn statement to CID, "during my last six months I have come to know a man we call 'Debeli,' which is Bosnian for fat boy. He is the operator of a nightclub by the name of Harley's that offers prostitution. Women are sold hourly, nightly or permanently."

Werner admitted to having purchased a woman to get her out of prostitution and named other DynCorp employees who also had paid to own women. He further admitted to having purchased weapons (against the law in Bosnia) and it was Werner who turned over to CID the videotape made by Hirtz. Werner apparently intended to use the video as leverage in the event that Hirtz decided to fire him. Werner tells CID, "I told him [Hirtz] I had a copy and that all I wanted was to be treated fairly. If I was going to be fired or laid off, I wanted it to be because of my work performance and not because he was not happy with me."

According to Hirtz's own sworn statement to CID, there appears to be little doubt that he did indeed rape one of the girls with whom he is shown having sexual intercourse in his homemade video.

CID: Did you have sexual intercourse with the second woman on the tape?

Hirtz: Yes

CID: Did you have intercourse with the second woman after she said "no" to you?

Hirtz: I don't recall her saying that. I don't think it was her saying "no."

CID: Who do you think said "no"?

Hirtz: I don't know.

CID: According to what you witnessed on the videotape played for you in which you were having sexual intercourse with the second woman, did you have sexual intercourse with the second woman after she said "no" to you?

Hirtz: Yes.

CID: Did you know you were being videotaped?

Hirtz: Yes. I set it up.

CID: Did you know it is wrong to force yourself upon someone without their consent?

Hirtz: Yes.

The CID agents did not ask any of the men involved what the ages of the "women" were who had been purchased or used for prostitution. According to CID, which sought guidance from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate in Bosnia, "under the Dayton Peace Accord, the contractors were protected from Bosnian law which did not apply to them. They knew of no [U.S.] federal laws that would apply to these individuals at this time."

However, CID took another look and, according to the investigation report, under Paragraph 5 of the NATO Agreement Between the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia regarding the status of NATO and its personnel, contractors "were not immune from local prosecution if the acts were committed outside the scope of their official duties."

Incredibly, the CID case was closed in June 2000 and turned over to the Bosnian authorities. DynCorp says it conducted its own investigation, and Hirtz and Werner were fired by DynCorp and returned to the United States but were not prosecuted. Experts in slave trafficking aren't buying the CID's interpretation of the law.

Widney Brown, an advocate for Human Rights Watch, tells INSIGHT "our government has an obligation to tell these companies that this behavior is wrong and they will be held accountable. They should be sending a clear message that it won't be tolerated. One would hope that these people wouldn't need to be told that they can't buy women, but you have to start off by laying the ground rules. Rape is a crime in any jurisdiction and there should not be impunity for anyone. Firing someone is not sufficient punishment. This is a very distressing story -- especially when you think that these people and organizations are going into these countries to try and make it better, to restore a rule of law and some civility."

Christine Dolan, founder of the International Humanitarian Campaign Against the Exploitation of Children, a Washington-based nonprofit organization, tells Insight: "What is surprising to me is that Dyncorp has kept this contract. The U.S. says it wants to eradicate trafficking of people, has established an office in the State Department for this purpose, and yet neither State nor the government-contracting authorities have stepped in and done an investigation of this matter."

Dolan says, "It's not just Americans who are participating in these illegal acts. But what makes this more egregious for the U.S. is that our purpose in those regions is to restore some sense of civility. Now you've got employees of U.S. contractors in bed with the local mafia and buying kids for sex! That these guys have some kind of immunity from prosecution is morally outrageous. How can men be allowed to get away with rape simply because of location? Rape is a crime no matter where it occurs and it's important to remember that even prostitution is against the law in Bosnia. The message we're sending to kids is that it's okay for America's representatives to rape children. We talk about the future of the children, helping to build economies, democracy, the rule of law, and at the same time we fail to prosecute cases like this. That is immoral and hypocritical, and if DynCorp is involved in this in any way it should forfeit its contract and pay restitution in the form of training about trafficking."

Charlene Wheeless, a spokeswoman for DynCorp, vehemently denies any culpability on the part of the company, According to Wheeless, "The notion that a company such as DynCorp would turn a blind eye to illegal behavior by our employees is incomprehensible. DynCorp adheres to a core set of values that has served as the backbone of our corporation for the last 55 years, helping us become one of the largest and most respected professional-services and outsourcing companies in the world. We can't stress strongly enough that, as an employee-owned corporation, we take ethics very seriously. DynCorp stands by its decision to terminate [whistle-blower] Ben Johnston, who was terminated for cause."

What was the "cause" for which Johnston was fired? He received his only reprimand from DynCorp one day prior to the sting on the DynCorp hangar when Johnston was working with CID. A week later he received a letter of discharge for bringing "discredit to the company and the U.S. Army while working in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina." The discharge notice did not say how Johnston "brought discredit to the company."

It soon developed conveniently, according to Johnston's attorneys, that he was implicated by a DynCorp employee for illegal activity in Bosnia. Harlin, the young high-school graduate Johnston complained had no experience in aircraft maintenance and didn't even know the purposes of the basic tools, provided a sworn statement to CID about Johnston. Asked if anyone ever had offered to sell him a weapon, Harlin fingered Johnston and DynCorp employee Tom Oliver, who also had disapproved of the behavior of DynCorp employees.

Harlin even alleged that Johnston was "hanging out with Kevin Werner." Although Werner had no problem revealing the names and illegal activities of other DynCorp employees, Werner did not mention Johnston's name in his sworn statement.

Kevin Glasheen, Johnston's attorney, says flatly of this: "It's DynCorp's effort to undermine Ben's credibility. But I think once the jury hears this case, that accusation is only going to make them more angry at DynCorp. In order to make our claim, we have to show that DynCorp was retaliating against Ben, and that fits under racketeering. There is a lot of evidence that shows this was what they were doing and that it went all the way up the management chain."

According to Glasheen, "DynCorp says that whatever these guys were doing isn't corporate activity and they're not responsible for it. But this problem permeated their business and management and they made business decisions to further the scheme and to cover it up. We have to show that there was a causal connection between Ben's whistle-blowing about the sex trade and his being fired. We can do that. We're here to prove a retaliation case, not convict DynCorp of participating in the sex-slave trade.

"What you have here is a Lord of the Flies mentality. Basically you've got a bunch of strong men who are raping and manipulating young girls who have been kidnapped from their homes. Who's the bad guy? Is it the guy who buys the girl to give her freedom, the one who kidnaps her and sells her or the one who liberates her and ends up having sex with her? And what does it mean when the U.S. steps up and says, 'We don't have any jurisdiction'? That's absurd."

The outraged attorney pauses for breath. "This is more than one twisted mind. There was a real corporate culture with a deep commitment to a cover-up. And it's outrageous that DynCorp still is being paid by the government on this contract. The worst thing I've seen is a DynCorp e-mail after this first came up where they're saying how they have turned this thing into a marketing success, that they have convinced the government that they could handle something like this."

Johnston is not the only DynCorp employee to blow the whistle and sue the billion-dollar government contractor. Kathryn Bolkovac, a U.N. International Police Force monitor hired by the U.S. company on another U.N.-related contract, has filed a lawsuit in Great Britain against DynCorp for wrongful termination. DynCorp had a $15 million contract to hire and train police officers for duty in Bosnia at the time she reported such officers were paying for prostitutes and participating in sex-trafficking. Many of these were forced to resign under suspicion of illegal activity, but none have been prosecuted, as they also enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia.

DynCorp has admitted it fired five employees for similar illegal activities prior to Johnston's charges.

But Johnston worries about what this company's culture does to the reputation of the United States. "The Bosnians think we're all trash. It's a shame. When I was there as a soldier they loved us, but DynCorp employees have changed how they think about us. I tried to tell them that this is not how all Americans act, but it's hard to convince them when you see what they're seeing. The fact is, DynCorp is the worst diplomat you could possibly have over there."

Johnston's attorney looks to the outcome. "How this all ends," says Glasheen, "will say a lot about what we stand for and what we won't stand for."

Kelly Patricia O'Meara is an investigative reporter for Insight.
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A Taxing Dilemma
By John Berlau
Published: Monday, April 23, 2001
When it was revealed that Dick Cheney would be running for vice president on the GOP ticket with George W. Bush, Cheney was pummeled with questions about potential conflicts of interest that might result from his holdings in Halliburton Corp., the oil-services company Cheney headed before he was tapped as Bush's running mate. Cheney sold the stock and turned over his unvested options to an independent administrator to give the proceeds to charity.

When Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill announced he was going to keep his $100 million in stock and options in Alcoa Corp., where he had been chairman and chief executive officer, he was subjected to intense scrutiny in the media, including Insight (see "The $100 Million Misunderstanding," April 2-9). O'Neill did an about-face and announced on ABC's This Week that he would divest.

In sharp contrast, hardly a peep has been uttered, even from Republicans, about a Clinton-administration holdover who owns millions of dollars of stock in a company that has millions of dollars of contracts with the very agency he heads.

Charles O. Rossotti was appointed by Bill Clinton to head the IRS in 1997. His background in technology and business won praise at the time from both Republicans and Democrats. Rossotti had been chairman of American Management Systems (AMS), a Fairfax, Va.-based information-technology consulting firm that he cofounded after a stint as one of Robert McNamara's famed "Whiz Kids" at the Defense Department's Office of Systems Analysis. With the IRS computer systems in disarray and gross abuses of taxpayer rights unearthed during congressional hearings, members of Congress were eager to have a "manager" at the helm of IRS rather than another political tax attorney.

So eager, apparently, that the Senate Finance Committee agreed to let Rossotti keep his stock in AMS, even though the company was providing computer software and data-processing services to the IRS. At his confirmation hearing Rossotti promised Sen. William Roth of Delaware, then-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, that he would divest "if AMS decides to bid for more work from the IRS beyond existing GSA contracts, or successor contracts of similar scope." He also said he would do his best to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. "No one has, I do not think, a greater interest than I do in ensuring that no one believes, at this stage in my life, that I have taken on this job in order to further any particular interest of my own," Rossotti said.

Yet in a press release dated Nov. 7, 1997 - just four days after he was confirmed as IRS commissioner on a Senate vote of 92-0, but in a convenient interlude before he was sworn - Rossotti praised the achievements of AMS in a company press release announcing his IRS confirmation and AMS resignation. "This is an exciting time for AMS," Rossotti said, sounding like the major shareholder he is, in this release distributed to the business press by the PR Newswire service. "Within the next year, AMS is expected to reach $1 billion in revenues. The company will have nearly 9,000 employees working with leading organizations around the world, including the largest banks, telecommunications firms, government organizations, health-care providers and utilities. The outlook for the business is excellent, and I am confident that AMS' management team will continue the company's successful track record."

This statement, and other questionable actions such as putting state tax chiefs whose agencies contracted with AMS in top IRS positions, has raised questions among critics about how independent Rossotti really is of his former company.

"I think that in this case the line between public interest and his private interests is, at a minimum, blurred," says Mark Levin, president of Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative public-interest legal group. "All the more reason to follow the lead of Mr. O'Neill and Mr. Cheney and so many other officials" who have divested themselves of large holdings in companies where they were executives.

According to his most recent financial-disclosure forms (filed in May 2000), at the end of 1999 Rossotti and his wife, Barbara, owned between $16 million and $80 million in AMS stock. In 1998, the New York Times reported that he was the largest individual shareholder in AMS, a company that last year had revenues of $1.28 billion.

At press time Rossotti had not responded to Insight's request for an interview. But Rossotti's spokesman, Frank Keith, tells Insight that his boss has no plans to divest: "He's done an incredible job of running the Internal Revenue Service, which is as large as most corporations. And he's done it successfully within the ethical constraints of his executed recusal statements."

Levin says there must not be a double standard in ethics for Bush appointees and Clinton holdovers such as Rossotti. "What Treasury Secretary O'Neill did stands in stark contrast to what Rossotti hasn't done and still refuses to do, which is divest himself of interest in a business that raises at least the appearance of a conflict," Levin says. "I think this is a snapshot of the difference between the Clinton and Bush administrations."

Former senator Roth tells Insight Rossotti's decision not to divest is still fine with him. "In today's world, it's almost impossible to avoid any perception of conflict of interest and you've got to get people that are qualified," Roth says. "I think we also have to have a little more confidence that a typical person is going to do what's right. i We're extraordinarily fortunate to have a man of his caliber." Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who replaced Roth as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee after the Delaware Republican was defeated last November, has praised Rossotti for improving customer service by putting more IRS personnel on the taxpayer hot lines. He gave Rossotti an "A" for managing the agency in a recent Wall Street Journal article. But Grassley is a stickler for ethics, and a Senate Finance Committee staffer tells Insight the chairman is likely to review the issue, particularly if AMS is bidding for more IRS business than was under contract when Rossotti was confirmed.

"Grassley's good government," the staffer says. "I think you could certainly say that it's something that the Finance Committee is going to want to understand better."

And the scrupulous Grassley may have a lot to investigate. The IRS' Keith says that the agency signed three new contracts with AMS in 2000 that will pay the company more than $17 million this year. Keith stressed that the new contracts were "add-ons" to an existing contract with the IRS to provide financial-management systems. This means Grassley may be asking Rossotti whether the add-ons violate his pledge to the Senate Finance Committee in 1997 to divest if his old company did additional business with the agency.

Keith claims Rossotti recused himself "on matters relative to that financial-management system and the financial reports we must issue each year." But a Senate aide also tells Insight that there has been tension between the IRS and its parent agency, the Treasury Department, concerning whether Rossotti should recuse himself from dealings with these financial-management contracts. "The IRS is arguing that the conflict should be waived," the aide says. "Treasury is having problems with that. I believe it's still an ongoing issue between the two staffs."

Critics say that even if Rossotti were recusing himself he still would not be able to perform his duties without ethical question as long as he owned all that stock. And if he were to recuse himself from every issue that may affect AMS, he would be taking himself out of important agency decisions that he was appointed to manage. "The problem is that, particularly with an agency like the Internal Revenue Service or the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Drug Enforcement Administration, you're talking about serious, powerful enforcement agencies," says Levin. "There must be absolute certainty in the public's mind that there is no conflict of interest and no appearance of a conflict of interest. The problem here is that it's hard to say with a straight face that there wasn't at least an appearance problem."

AMS contracts with the IRS are not Rossotti's only problem with conflicts, say critics. In the early 1990s, AMS began modernizing and integrating tax systems for state revenue departments. State tax collectors always have had an important relationship with the IRS. They frequently share data and cooperate on investigations. In addition, the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act, passed by Congress in 1998, gave state officials and certain private-sector specialists an incentive to come to work for the IRS.

Previously, top-paying IRS posts other than the commissioner had to be filled by career IRS employees. But the new law gave the commissioner the authority to hire executives for 40 positions from outside the agency and pay all the way up to the vice president's then salary level of $175,000 - still less than what many private-sector firms pay professionals, but a substantial pay raise for state officials.

In 1998, soon after the law was passed, Rossotti hired two state tax chiefs. He named Kansas Secretary of Revenue John LaFaver as the IRS deputy commissioner for modernization. Val Oveson, chairman of the Utah State Tax Commission, was made national taxpayer advocate. Both officials since have left the IRS: LaFaver now is director of the Treasury Department's Tax Advisory Program; Oveson is a senior director in the Salt Lake City office of Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Neither returned phone calls from Insight.

The rub is that, coincidentally or not, both officials oversaw agencies that had hired AMS to overhaul the tax computer systems of their respective states. The contracts together totaled almost $100 million, according to a 1999 Wichita Eagle article that noted the connections of these men to Rossotti's old firm. An IRS spokesman told Investor's Business Daily (IBD) that Oveson was found by an executive search firm and that both men passed ethical checks within the Treasury Department.

But the arrangement still seems odd to Mississippi Commissioner of Revenue Ed Buelow, who successfully sued AMS for breach of a contract to overhaul Mississippi's tax system. "It may not be technically wrong, but to me it's not proper," Buelow tells Insight. "To me the impropriety of it would be somewhat apparent. It's just too much of a coincidence: Out of 50 commissioners, why did those two get picked. Why wasn't it one of the other 47 that didn't have a contract. i If I had been in the position that Mr. Rossotti's in, I would have been somewhat reluctant to consider someone to whom I had a contract in the private sector for a top job with the IRS."

Another state official who found the hirings suspicious was Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley. A staunch Democrat, Hensley often criticized the governor and his appointees such as LaFaver. But in 1999 he also launched a volley against Rossotti, an appointee of his own party's president. "It looks almost like a pipeline," Hensley told IBD in 1999. "You cooperate with AMS, and you can move on to the IRS."

LaFaver responded by saying that Hensley's charge was "absolutely preposterous" because there was no way LaFaver could have known when he signed the contract with AMS that Rossotti would be IRS commissioner more than two years later. The question, say critics, is whether Rossotti was rewarding key state officials whose states gave AMS huge contracts. And AMS did use LaFaver's status in its marketing. In a sales brochure, as well as on its Website, AMS featured this quote: "The real results of this partnership will be the creation of the best tax incentives for any firm to locate and prosper in Kansas." The author of that commercial endorsement then was identified as "former Kansas Secretary of Revenue and current Deputy Commissioner of Modernization, U.S. Internal Revenue Service."

Tom Morgan, a professor of law who teaches legal ethics at George Washington University, sees nothing wrong per se with Rossotti hiring officials who happened to have steered big contracts to AMS. At the same time, he criticizes AMS' use of LaFaver's IRS status as a sales tool. "An implication of saying that you're going to withdraw from involvement is also a kind of representation that your company, from which you're currently benefiting, should not trade on the fact that you are IRS commissioner or that your deputy is a customer of the company," says Morgan. "That implies something that you've warranted is not true - namely, that there's some connection between the commissioner and the company."

AMS did not return Insight's repeated phone calls requesting comment.

Questions again surfaced last November when LaFaver's successor as Kansas secretary of revenue, Karla Pierce, announced she was leaving Kansas to go to work on the IRS computer-systems modernization project as an employee of Computer Sciences Corp., the lead contractor. In speaking to Insight, Hensley alleged, "There's a quid pro quo here." Pierce, a longtime employee of the Kansas Department of Revenue, had been project manager when the AMS overhaul began. She and LaFaver would meet with Rossotti when he came to Kansas as AMS chairman for quarterly status reports, according to IBD. Pierce defended AMS when the company's work was under attack by Kansas lawmakers of both parties after a rash of late refunds. Mississippi officials also say she tried to thwart their efforts to get information about the AMS problems in Kansas.

"I don't question that there's a connection and that he helped her get that job," says Armin Moeller, a partner at the Jackson, Miss., office of Phelps Dunbar, LLP, who represented Mississippi in the lawsuit. "Karla Pierce was a key player in defending AMS to the hilt. Karla Pierce was a key player in not cooperating with us."

Mississippi Commissioner Buelow agrees. "In my dealings with Miss Pierce, she conducted herself more as an employee of AMS than she did as a commissioner of revenue of a sister state," he says. "She was totally uncooperative as far as trying to help us, quite contrary to other states. [Other states and Mississippi] always shared information and tried to help each other find out how your project's doing. She wouldn't cooperate, she wouldn't return telephone calls. When I filed suit, she called me and told me if that would require her to do any testifying she wasn't going to do it, and she wasn't going to do anything at all to help us."

A Computer Sciences Corp. public-affairs officer did not return Insight's telephone calls and an e-mail inquiring about these matters. The IRS' Keith said he had "no information" concerning whether Rossotti had any input or influence over the company in the hiring of Pierce. Insight tried to reach Pierce directly at the company's Federal Sector Division at Falls Church, Va. An operator said no one with the name Karla Pierce was in the employee database.

Although Mississippi had contracted with AMS in 1993 to modernize and integrate the state's entire system of various taxes, by "April 1999 not a single tax-collection software program was operational," the lawsuit said. Buelow charged that AMS had misrepresented its work and diverted resources to other states. A jury found AMS guilty of breach of contract and, because the state had included lost revenue in its damages, ordered AMS to pay the state $475 million - one of the largest jury verdicts in the country last year. The state and AMS eventually settled for $185 million, $32 million of which - plus nearly $4 million in litigation costs - had to be charged against quarterly earnings. AMS currently is suing one of it insurers for not paying a settlement to the state before trial.

Some in Kansas think that Pierce may have saved AMS from a similar fate there and claim to see a connection to her new job. The Kansas tax system that AMS modernized seems to be running well now and received an award from the Federation of Tax Administrators. But, in 1999, refunds took nearly twice as long, on average, to be processed as the year before, according to a state legislative audit. Delinquent notices were sent out erroneously and lawmakers were flooded with calls from angry taxpayers.

Pierce defended AMS at the time, blaming the problem on legislative changes and the difficulty of finding temporary employees. But many lawmakers put much of the blame on AMS, saying that a multimillion-dollar system should have been able to handle the changes in tax law. Some wanted to follow Mississippi's lead and sue.

"When there was a lawsuit in Mississippi, that was the same time we were having lots of problems and many of us were suggesting that maybe we ought to be doing the same thing," recalls Kansas state Rep. Tony Powell, R-Wichita, a member of the House Tax Committee. "Even though things have improved at the department now, I'm not convinced it's because of this new tax system. i I still have questions as to whether this contract was a good deal."

But AMS touted Kansas in promotional materials as an example of its success with favorable quotes from LaFaver and Pierce. "Our vision will be achieved when we put the customer first every time," Pierce was quoted as saying in a brochure next to her picture. In news stories about the Mississippi case, AMS officials also cited the Kansas project as proof of their competence.

Another connection Rossotti still has to AMS is through his wife, Barbara. Barbara Rossotti, a partner at the Washington law firm of Shaw Pittman, which represented AMS, attended the trial in Mississippi and participated in the mediation and settlement conferences between the state and AMS, according to Buelow and Moeller. The latter recalls Barbara Rossotti giving very specific instructions about terms of the settlement. "She was acting almost as inside and outside counsel," Moeller says. "It was clear to me that when you speak to her, you're speaking to a real player. It seemed to be a bit different than your typical lawyer-client relationship."

Moeller says he was surprised to see her playing such an active role in the case, given that her husband was supposed to be distancing himself from the company. "It seemed clear to us she was there as his [IRS Commissioner Rossotti's] proxy," Moeller says. "As a partner at Shaw Pittman, she could work on all kinds of things. The bottom line was she was working on this."

Barbara Rossotti did not return Insight's repeated phone calls. The IRS' Keith insists her representation of AMS posed no problems. "Why, if the commissioner has executed a viable and rigorous recusal process to separate himself from any dealings with AMS in his capacity as the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, would his wife's employment have an impact?" Keith asks.

Moeller concludes, "All indications are that Charles Rossotti is a major influence, if not the primary influence, on AMS."

These are serious matters. The 1998 IRS Restructuring and Reform Act gave Rossotti a five-year term that will not end until November 2001, but it also provides that "the commissioner may be removed at the will of the president." Tom Fitton, president of the conservative ethics watchdog group Judicial Watch, thinks Rossotti's ties to AMS, as well as the allegedly politicized audits of many conservative groups critical of the Clinton administration that continued during his tenure (see sidebar, p. 12), justify his removal. The IRS commissioner's actions "raise the appearance that Rossotti and his family are working for AMS rather than the American people," Fitton says. "The taxpayer should have full faith and confidence that the IRS is not acting on behalf of any special interest, whether it be politicians like Bill Clinton or big businesses like AMS."

*****POLITICAL AUDITS REVISITED*****

During the mid-nineties, a long list of conservative groups and Clinton critics were subjected to audits by the IRS. It seemed to many that every time someone on the right - from the Western Journalism Center to Paula Jones - criticized the president, they would be visited by the IRS and put through the turmoil and fear of a government audit.

Many traced these allegedly politicized audits to IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson, who President Clinton appointed in 1993. Richardson was an accomplished Democratic fund-raiser and a close friend of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was a determined partisan who served on the president's transition team and, while boss of the IRS, even attended the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

So it was hoped that when Charles Rossotti, an information-technology executive with good managerial skills and no apparent ties to the Clinton administration, came aboard in 1997 the rash of audits would stop.

But as long as Clinton was in power the suspicious audits continued. In May 2000, less than two months after a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation found "no credible evidence" of politically motivated audits during Clinton's tenure, the nursing home owned by Juanita Broaddrick - who alleged that Clinton raped her while he was Arkansas attorney general - was subjected to an audit from the IRS. Then, in August, Katherine Prudhomme, a woman who grilled Al Gore in New Hampshire about the Broaddrick case, found out from the IRS that she owed $1,500 in back taxes just hours before she spoke at a rally in front of Hillary Rodham Clinton's New York campaign headquarters. (The IRS has resolved Prudhomme's case in her favor, but Broaddrick's case continues, according to Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch, the public-interest law firm now representing both women.)

The National Center for Public Policy Research, a group critical of the Clinton administration's environmental policies, received a new audit in 2000 after getting a clean bill of health from an earlier audit in 1996. Bill O'Reilly, who ripped into Clinton every weeknight on Fox News, was audited three years in a row after he began hosting The O'Reilly Factor. And the Heritage Foundation and Citizens Against Government Waste, two nonprofit organizations audited in 1996 for sending out fund-raising letters signed by presidential candidate Bob Dole that the IRS deemed too political, did not get closure on their cases until after the November 2000 elections.

But according to Rossotti, a former Robert McNamara "Whiz Kid," politicized audits never were a problem during the Clinton years. Upon release of the Joint Committee report, Rossotti issued the following statement: "With this report, I think we can safely lay to rest concerns that the resources of the IRS have been diverted for political purposes." His spokesman, Frank Keith, tells Insight that Rossotti stands by that statement today.

At least one member of the congressionally created National Commission on Restructuring the IRS finds Rossotti's comments very disturbing. "It suggests he's part of a cover-up rather than getting to the bottom of this," says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and an informal adviser to the Bush administration. "Those obviously targeted political audits are a scandal, and if Rossotti doesn't get them stopped and uncovered - if Rossotti's not capable of doing that, if he continues to cover up - he should resign or be asked to leave." - JB
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GOVERNMENT ETHICS - IRS Boss Snagged Clinton Waiver
By John Berlau
Published: Monday, May 7, 2001
Two weeks ago when Insight was reporting potential conflicts of interest involving IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti's large holdings in a company that does millions of dollars' worth of business with his own agency (see "A Taxing Dilemma," April 23), the IRS said not to worry. Rossotti is recused from dealing with the huge government contracts of American Management Systems (AMS), the company that he cofounded and of which he remains the major shareholder, said Frank Keith, the IRS' national director of communications. "The commissioner has executed a viable and rigorous recusal pro-cess to separate himself from any dealings with AMS," Keith insisted.

Now Insight has learned that in December 2000 the Clinton administration blew a very large hole in the wall that is supposed to separate Rossotti, whom Clinton appointed as commissioner in 1997, from dealing with his old company. Along with the last-minute pardons and "midnight regulations" that the administration rushed through in its last two months, it also issued a waiver of conflict-of-interest rules that allows Rossotti to participate in decisions that directly could affect the AMS bottom line. Insight has obtained a copy of that waiver.

Signed on Dec. 11, 2000, by Clinton's deputy Treasury secretary, Stuart Eizenstat, the waiver allows Rossotti to join in discussions and decisions about the IRS' Custodial Accounting Project, which uses an automated financial-management system and software provided by AMS. "I have determined that your disqualifying financial interest in the Custodial Accounting Project [CAP], which arises from your ownership interest in American Management Systems Inc. [AMS], is not so substantial as to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the services that the government may expect to receive from you with respect to the CAP," Eizenstat wrote. Clinton's man noted that, without this waiver, federal law "would preclude [Rossotti] from participating in the CAP because certain decisions would have a direct and predictable effect on your financial interest in AMS."

Eizenstat, now a partner at the hugely powerful Washington law firm of Covington & Burling, did not return Insight's telephone calls asking why the waiver was necessary.

The conflict-of-interest waiver allows Rossotti to participate in "budget and resource-allocation issues, the prioritization of the CAP and high-level design and architecture issues." It gives him the power to decide how much money will go to the project and, indirectly, to AMS, say experts.

At press time, the IRS had not returned Insight's telephone calls for comment about the newly revealed waiver and other issues that have surfaced.

And this is no minor matter, say ethics specialists. Rossotti called the Custodial Accounting Project "critical" to IRS' ongoing computer-system modernization in testimony to a House subcommittee on April 4. The IRS has asked Congress for $50 million for the project in fiscal 2002 alone. Overall, the Bush administration's budget gives the IRS an 8 percent funding increase in 2002, double the 4 percent average re-quested for all agencies. The additional funds reflect the computer modernization.

Because so much of this money could flow to AMS - scheduled to be paid more than $17 million this year by the IRS, according to IRS spokesman Keith - some have expressed concern. "I always want to be certain that government officials are avoiding conflicts of interests, but I won't jump to any conclusions," Rep. Ernest Istook Jr., R-Okla., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees IRS funding, tells Insight through a spokeswoman.

Officials of some of the watchdog groups that insisted Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill divest his $100 million worth of Alcoa stock (see "The $100 Million Misunderstanding," April 2-9) now say that Rossotti's situation is more serious than O'Neill's would have been had he not agreed to sell the stock. "The point there [with Alcoa] was that there was very little the Treasury Department could do that would not impact Alcoa, and I think eventually Secretary O'Neill came around to that conclusion," says Larry Noble, executive director of the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics. "I think the same principles apply [to Rossotti], a little bit more directly here in the sense that the IRS is doing business with AMS."

Charles Lewis, the executive director and founder of the Center for Public Integrity who called strongly for O'Neill to divest, says Rossotti should follow O'Neill's lead. "If O'Neill should have divested, then clearly this guy should divest," Lewis tells Insight. "The O'Neill stuff that came up about Alcoa was really speculative about things that might involve Alcoa. This is an instance with Rossotti where the company has direct dealings with the government [agency], and it's headed by their former chairman. ... This is much more specific, much more real, because this is a direct vendor with the agency, and he's not taken any of the various steps one would take to create an arms-length distance."

Lewis also is disturbed that the Clinton-Eizenstat waiver could make the potential for conflict even greater. "Rossotti has gotten a waiver and can in fact be involved in conversations about his old company," he says. "He clearly has a problem."

The founder of the Center for Public Integrity worries that "there could be the perception that this company is flourishing because their former chairman is the head of the IRS and that they're getting favorable treatment inside the IRS." Lewis also is concerned that Rossotti's large holdings might tilt IRS employees to favor AMS. "They all know about his association and substantial source of his personal wealth, and that's not a fact lost on bureaucrats whose job it is to survive and know these things."

And apparently AMS hasn't hesitated to throw its weight around the agency. According to Tax Notes, a well-respected weekly journal that covers tax policy, AMS Chairman and then-CEO Paul Brands and other AMS executives met with IRS officials in May and "expressed concern that the IRS was reluctant to procure upgrades and new releases of AMS' financial software." The AMS executives accused the IRS officials of being slow to make decisions about purchases of AMS products because Rossotti was commissioner, but did not "provide any specific instances of such actions by IRS personnel," according to the article written by veteran tax reporter George Guttman.

AMS has not returned Insight's many phone calls about the Tax Notes article or other matters related to potential or alleged conflicts of interest in these matters.

Lewis admits it's possible that AMS actually could be getting less-favorable treatment than other IRS vendors because of Rossotti's millions of dollars worth of holdings, but he thinks that's unlikely. "I don't have any evidence of heartrending hardships brought on companies whose executives joined the administration of whichever party," Lewis says.

Some see the extensions AMS keeps getting to a contract from the late 1980s to provide the IRS with an automated financial system as evidence that it may have been getting special treatment from the agency. The IRS had stressed that the $17 million in one-year contracts the agency signed with AMS last year were "add-ons" to the existing contract and did not violate Rossotti's pledge to divest if AMS pursued new business with the IRS. But insiders wonder why the IRS keeps buying these add-ons without taking new bids or offers from AMS' competitors.

"It could be that what they're doing is extending contracts as a way to get around the problem of issuing new contracts or going out for bids," says Noble of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Meredith McGehee, senior vice-president of the government-ethics advocacy group Common Cause, says these appearance issues will continue to haunt Rossotti as long as he refuses to divest. "When you have the commissioner of a very high-profile agency holding stock in a company that's doing business with that agency, obviously it raises concerns," McGehee tells Insight. Mentioning the allegations of IRS' hiring of state tax chiefs as a reward for steering business to AMS, McGehee says, "I would not ever be able to tell what the truth is. But the point is the questions are being raised, and having the questions raised is part of what damages the public confidence here."

Insight meanwhile has learned that John LaFaver, the Kansas secretary of revenue who contracted with AMS and then was hired by Rossotti as the IRS' deputy commissioner of modernization, has left for the private sector. He recently became vice president for state and local solutions at AMS, which had used his favorable comments about the company in a marketing brochure while noting his status at the IRS. Reached at AMS headquarters in Fairfax, Va., LaFaver tells Insight, "I don't think I'm going to comment." He says he doesn't remember whether he made the endorsement of AMS as Kansas revenue secretary or IRS deputy commissioner.

As Insight previously reported, Karla Pierce, LaFaver's successor who defended AMS when lawmakers were blaming the company for a rash of late tax refunds and erroneous delinquent notices, recently was hired as director of organizational transformation for the IRS' modernization project by the agency's lead contractor, Computer Science Corp. (CSC). After the deadline for Insight's first article, CSC sent a statement saying that "CSC was impressed by her significant accomplishments as secretary" of revenue in Kansas. But nowhere did the statement deny allegations that Rossotti used input or influence to get Pierce the job.


Posted by maximpost at 10:53 PM EST
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S'pore-based firm named in Libyan nuclear probe
But parts it supplies also meant for 'generic' use
By CHEN HUIFEN
(SINGAPORE) An international probe into the seized centrifuge parts that were meant for Libya's nuclear weapons programme has thrown up the name of a Singapore-based company.
Bikar Metal Asia Pte Ltd, a raw materials trading subsidiary of a German company, was said to have supplied parts to a Malaysian firm that had shipped the cargo.
But officials have so far deemed the components to be 'generic' or 'dual-purpose parts that can be used in any number of applications'.
When contacted yesterday, a Bikar spokesman said he is shocked by the link. 'Please understand that I also have to look into the issue,' the spokesman said. 'My first official comment is that we definitely have not supplied sensitive materials.'
Bikar said it will issue a press statement today.
A subsidiary of Bikar Metalle of Germany, Bikar is primarily involved in supplying aluminium products. The company imports raw materials from Europe and sells them to the region. It was incorporated here in 1999.
In 2002, the company generated a net profit of about $81,400 on a turnover of about $4.9 million.
Malaysian officials said yesterday that Bikar had supplied raw materials to Scomi Precision Engineering (Scope) - which is being investigated for a cargo that was seized by Italian authorities on a Libya-bound ship, BBC China, on Oct 4 last year.
The five containers with centrifuge components bore Scope's name when they were seized.
Centrifuges may be used for legitimate purposes in the waste water treatment, pharmaceutical or petrochemical industries. They can also be used in enriching uranium to produce nuclear energy.
Earlier news reports said that a Sri Lankan businessman, BSA Tahir, had helped negotiate a RM13 million contract for Scope to supply 14 semi-finished components to a Dubai-based company, Gulf Technical Industries (GTI).
The shipment was to be done in four consignments, between December 2002 and August 2003. Bikar was said to have supplied the raw materials to Scope for the order.
Malaysian authorities are working with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the investigation.
'We were told that it was for the oil and gas industry,' Scope's factory manager, Che Lokman Che Omar, said in an AFP report. 'We produced strictly according to the drawings provided by GTI.'
Mr Lokman added that the factory, set up in 2001, derived 80 per cent of its turnover from GTI during its first year of operation. But the company had since expanded and now serves other overseas customers in the oil, gas and auto industries. None of them are from Libya, the Middle East or North Korea, he said.
Scope is a subsidiary of oil and gas services company Scomi Group, which is controlled by Kamaludin Abdullah, the only son of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. It is listed on the Second Board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.
The Malaysian government has rejected claims by CIA director George Tenet that the factory under investigation is part of a nuclear black market network.
In a speech in Washington, Mr Tenet said the international proliferation network headed by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan had been dealt a crushing blow by his exposure, noting that several of his senior officers are in custody and that 'Malaysian authorities have shut down one of the network's largest plants'.
A senior Malaysian official flatly rejected Mr Tenet's claim, saying the factory under investigation has not closed and that US intelligence could not be trusted.
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Malaysia denies role in nuclear smuggling
By John Burton in Singapore
Published: February 7 2004 4:00 | Last Updated: February 7 2004 4:00
Malaysia yesterday rejected suggestions that it might have played a key role in an international nuclear technology smuggling network after George Tenet, the CIA director, said "one of the network's largest plants" was in the country.
The assertion by Mr Tenet came after Malaysia said it was investigating Scomi Group, a company owned by the son of the country's prime minister, for possibly supplying centrifuge parts for Libya's nuclear weapons programme.
In a speech on intelligence issues on Thursday, Mr Tenet apparently sought to commend Malaysia by saying that "Malaysian authorities have shut down one of network's largest plants." He refused to identify the plant when later asked whether he was referring to Scomi.
The reference, however, has embarrassed Malaysia. "To say it is the largest part of a network is totally inaccurate. It is coming from a CIA director who is discredited - he screwed up the intelligence going into Iraq," a senior Malaysian official told Associated Press.
Malaysian officials said there was no evidence suggesting Scomi manufactured centrifuge parts for export to Iran and North Korea as part of the underground nuclear network organised by Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's leading nuclear scientist.
They also said they were satisfied that the Scomi centrifuge parts had dual-use applications in the medical or petrochemical industries. Centrifuges can be used to enrich uranium in nuclear weapons programmes. Scomi said because the order was for parts only, it had no idea of their "end-use".
Malaysia yesterday sought to deflect attention by claiming that Bikar Metal Asia, a Singapore-based subsidiary of German company Bikar Metalle, supplied raw materials to Scomi and was being investigated. Bikar Metal confirmed that it had supplied aluminium sheets and steel components for industrial use to Scomi Precision Engineering, which made the centrifuge parts, but was unaware of any link to Libya's nuclear programme.
Scomi said it received a $3.4m (?2.7m, ?1.8m) order in 2002 to supply "14 semi-finished components" for Dubai-based Gulf Technical Industries. The deal was arranged by BSA Tahir, a Sri Lankan businessman, who "is the subject of an investigation by Malaysian, American and British intelligence authorities over his alleged involvement in the supply of nuclear technology to Libya", said Scomi.
The Malaysian police said Scomi built a factory outside Kuala Lumpur to handle the contract, "which was said to be a legitimate transaction".
Scomi's link to Libya was discovered when crates containing the centrifuge parts were found on a Libya-bound ship seized last October under the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative programme. Najib Razak, Malaysian deputy prime minister, said the issue was not raised by John Bolton, the US undersecretary of state for arms control, during his visit last month.
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German firm linked to Libyan nuke programme denies wrongdoing
6:00pm Sat Feb 7th, 2004
A German metals exporter toay denied any wrongdoing after being linked to a Malaysian firm under investigation for allegedly supplying parts for Libya's nuclear programme.
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Malaysians reject US claim over nuclear role for factory
ROHAN SULLIVAN IN KUALA LUMPUR
THE Malaysian government yesterday rejected the assertion by the CIA director, George Tenet, that a plant under investigation for making centrifuge parts for Libya was one of the largest servicing the international black market in nuclear technology.
Scomi Precision Engineering, which is linked to the son of the prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, insisted yesterday it was an unwitting participant in any illicit trade, and opened its doors to journalists in a bid to show it had nothing to hide.
The factory manager, Che Lokman Che Omar, said the parts that the CIA alleges were intended for Libya's nuclear programmes were indistinguishable from hundreds of components the company makes for the auto and oil and gas industries.
"To me, they were just normal parts," Mr Che Lokman said. "I have been using these machines for 15 years, and I have made many more difficult parts."
Rohaida Ali Badaruddin, a spokeswoman for the company, known by its acronym SCOPE, said it made sure its contract indemnified it from "any illegal activity". However, it did not ask what the components would ultimately be used for or check its customers' background, she said.
SCOPE is a precision-engineering subsidiary of the Scomi Group, whose majority shareholder is Kamaluddin Abdullah, 35, the prime minister's only son.
The firm made "14 semi-finished components" for the Dubai-based Gulf Technical Industries and shipped them between December 2002 and August 2003 in a $3.4 million (?18.5 million) deal negotiated by a Sri Lankan middleman, BSA Tahir.
Malaysian and western officials say Mr Tahir is an associate of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist accused of selling nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
In a speech in Washington on Thursday, Mr Tenet said Mr Khan's global network had been dealt a crushing blow by his exposure, noting that several of his senior officers are in custody and "Malaysian authorities have shut down one of the network's largest plants".
A senior Malaysian official flatly rejected Mr Tenet's claim, saying the factory has not closed and that US intelligence could not be trusted.
The CIA and Britain's MI6 said the deal involved supplying centrifuge components for Libya's uranium enrichment programme. The parts, in boxes bearing SCOPE's name, were in a shipment seized in Italy in October en route to Libya.

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CIA chief wrong on plant closure in Malaysia
Raymond Bonner NYT
Friday, February 6, 2004
SHAH ALAM, Malaysia Did American intelligence get it wrong? And on something that was visible without sophisticated satellites or cloak-and-dagger work, but to the naked eye?
In his speech in defense of American intelligence-gathering at Georgetown University on Thursday, the director of central intelligence, George Tenet, pointed to what he described as success against the black-market nuclear proliferation network run by the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
"Malaysian authorities have shut down one of the network's largest plants," Tenet said. He repeated the assertion when answering a question: "The Malaysian government has closed the facility."
Categorical. Unequivocal. But, it appears, wrong. And if this was one of the networks "largest" plants, it does not appear to have been a very threatening network.
"It's business as usual," said Rohaida Ali Badaruddin, as she led a group of reporters, mostly Malaysian, through the spanking-clean, highly modern, air-conditioned Scomi Precision Engineering facility on Friday afternoon. The company has been accused of being part of the network that made the centrifuge components on a ship, the BBC China, that was seized last October on its way to Libya.
"We are still doing our manufacturing - milling, turning, cutting," said Badaruddin, the director of communications for the Scomi Group, the parent company of Scomi Precision Engineering, which has only 24 employees.
The factory's manager, Che Lokman Che Omar, said that the parts were "not very sophisticated, not very complicated." He added, "I have made more difficult parts many times before."
If someone came along today and wanted the same parts that were seized on the ship, the company could make them, he and Badarrudin agreed.
And might not have any reason to be suspicious - just as the company was not suspicious the first time.
In 2001, Scomi Group, a chemical, oil and gas trading and manufacturing company, was approached by a Dubai company, General Technical Industries, with an order for 14 centrifuge components. Scomi was in an expansion mode and decided to use this opportunity to set up Scomi Precision Engineering, Badaruddin said.
A two-year contract, worth about $3.5 million, was signed in December 2001, and the company began working in an airy 3,100 square-meter, or 33,000 square-foot, facility in the massive industrial park in Shah Alam, about 25 kilometers, or 15 miles, north of Kuala Lumpur. It bought modern machines from Britain, Japan, France and Taiwan.
It also needed the raw materials and bought high-quality aluminum from a German company, Bikar Metalle, through its Singapore subsidiary, Bikar Metal Asia. As the investigation into the nuclear network has expanded, and Scomi's involvement has become public, the Malaysian government on Friday tried to shift the focus to Singapore. It leaked the name of Bikar Metal Asia, which was prominently mentioned on the front page of the New Straits Times, the Malaysian newspaper that is controlled by the ruling party.
In Singapore on Friday, the managing director of Bikar Metal Asia, Thorsten Heise, confirmed that his company had sold aluminum tubes to Scomi Precision Engineering. But he said that his company had no idea what they were going to be used for. "If you sell your car, and someone uses it to commit a crime, are you responsible?" he asked. He was visibly angry and said that he was considering legal action against the New Straits Times for ruining his company's reputation.
Scomi officials also said that they had no idea where the components they were making were going to end up. They were so-called dual-use items, which means that they had legitimate uses as well, in this case in the oil and gas industry.
The company invited journalists to tour the plant to show that the company has nothing to hide, Badaruddin said. It was a striking display of corporate openness, even more so in a country and region where corporate and public officials are not accustomed to aggressive reporting. The New York Times
Copyright ? 2002 The International Herald Tribune
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Gov't denies nuclear link but local company under probe
10:33am Thu Feb 5th, 2004
The police are investigating a company controlled by a son of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over allegations that it was involved in supplying parts for Libya's nuclear weapons programme. However, they denied any government involvement in producing nuclear components.
Four consignments shipped out
Factory in Selangor
Call for independent inquiry

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Ashtray or nuclear component? Malaysian machinists say it's impossible to say
ROHAN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer
Friday, February 6, 2004
(02-06) 19:10 PST SHAH ALAM, Malaysia (AP) --
The blue-shirted workers say they thought they were making parts for the oil and gas industry. The CIA says this nondescript factory on the outskirts of Malaysia's largest city was, in fact, churning out components for Libya's nuclear weapons program.
Malaysia has become the latest nation caught in a widening probe into the global black market in nuclear know-how and equipment, triggered by Pakistan's admission that its top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, sold technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Managers at the Malaysian factory owned by Scomi Precision Engineering, or SCOPE, opened their doors to journalists Friday in an effort to prove their contribution to nuclear proliferation -- if any -- was unwitting.
The case raises questions about export and trade regulations on so-called "dual-use" items, components for illegal technology that are indistinguishable from common machine parts to all but the experts.
"To me, they were just normal parts," said Che Lokman Che Omar, manager of the SCOPE factory. "I have been using these machines for 15 years, and I have made many more difficult parts."
Around him, technicians worked on tooling machines, carving precision edges onto bits of aluminum and stainless steel destined for car parts and industrial tubing.
Four months ago, according to the CIA and Britain's MI6, similar parts were found in boxes marked with SCOPE's name aboard a ship bound for Libya. Investigators say the parts were for centrifuges, machines that can be used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons production.
Scomi Precision Engineering's majority shareholder is the son of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The government rejected CIA Director George Tenet's assertion that SCOPE was one of the largest plants servicing a nuclear black market.
"To say it is the largest part of a network is totally inaccurate," a government official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It is coming from a CIA director who is discredited -- he screwed up the intelligence going into Iraq."
According to Malaysian police, SCOPE built its Shah Alam factory to fill an order from the Dubai-based Gulf Technical Industries, which negotiated a $3.4 million contract through a Sri Lankan middleman named B.S.A. Tahir.
Between December 2002 and August 2003, SCOPE shipped four consignments to the Gulf company, according to SCOPE's parent company, the Scomi Group.
Using designs from the customer, SCOPE made 14 parts from high-grade stainless steel and aluminum obtained from the Singapore branch of a German supplier, Che Lokman said. He said 15 Malaysian contractors did the work, their employment terminated when the contract was filled.
Scomi group spokeswoman Rohaida Ali Badaruddin said the Gulf company never told SCOPE what the parts were for, and SCOPE never asked.
"We make sure we are indemnified against any illegal activity in the contract," Rohaida said, but the company makes no background checks of clients or inquires about the end-use of products it make.
Rohaida said SCOPE complied with government regulations in shipping the parts found in the Libya-destined crates. While an export permit is required for "sensitive items," none was sought in this case because nothing appeared out of the ordinary, she said.
Tahir, the middleman, visited the factory several times, as did engineers from Dubai, Che Lokman said. "To my memory," he said, Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Khan, never came.
But a Malaysian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AP that Khan visited Malaysia several times -- including to attend Tahir's wedding.
National police chief Mohamed Bakri Omar said his Special Branch started investigating the Tahir-arranged deal after the CIA the MI6 informed them about the Libya shipment last November.
Che Lokman said Malaysian police first came to the factory "two or three weeks ago" and that no foreign investigators had visited. He also said there were up to 30 other companies in Malaysia able to make the components in the Dubai deal. SCOPE is the only company identified as under investigation.
He said the factory currently has several clients, Malaysian and international, but declined to give details citing confidentiality.
Rohaida said SCOPE's services were precision milling and cutting, and its engineers do not have the expertise to know the use of the items they are making. If the company received a similar order to the one SCOPE filled for the Libya shipment, it would have no reason to turn it down. "Milling and cutting is the same today as it was before," she said.
Malaysian authorities say they are satisfied that the components built by SCOPE may have had medical or petrochemical uses. But U.S. and European officials have told AP the components from Malaysia were highly sophisticated and would have few uses other than nuclear enrichment.

Posted by maximpost at 8:35 PM EST
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Le suicide judiciaire d'Alain Jupp? atteint Jacques Chirac
Alain Dumait - samedi 07 f?vrier 2004
envoyer cet article ? un ami
Alain Jupp? a laiss? ses amis politiques vitup?rer contre une d?cision de justice, et, par l? m?me, men? une surprenante campagne contre le principe m?me de l'ind?pendance des magistrats. Quand, vendredi dernier 30 janvier, est tomb?, ? 14 h 20, dans la salle d'audience du tribunal correctionnel de Nanterre, le jugement le condamnant ? mort politiquement, il aurait mieux fait de s'en prendre aux vrais responsables, c'est-?-dire, outre lui-m?me, son avocat et aussi son p?re en politique, un certain Jacques Chirac.
Car un accus?, quel qu'il soit, jusqu'au dernier moment de l'audience publique, conserve la libert? de choisir, au moins, les moyens de sa d?fense. Et Alain Jupp?, dans cette affaire, a ?t? tr?s mal conseill? par l'avocat personnel de Jacques Chirac, Ma?tre Francis Szpiner, sur l'instigation duquel, jusqu'au bout, il a pris le parti de nier les faits, pourtant ?vidents et d'ailleurs reconnus comme tels par plusieurs de ses adjoints. ? savoir que, jusqu'en 1995, date de la premi?re ?lection ? la pr?sidence de la R?publique de Jacques Chirac, la Mairie de Paris a bel et bien ?t? utilis?e non seulement comme un quartier g?n?ral permanent de campagne mais ?galement comme une vache ? lait.
Tout le monde, y compris les trois magistrats du tribunal de Nanterre, sait bien que les sept emplois fictifs reproch?s ? l'ancien adjoint aux finances de la Mairie de Paris, pris en charge par la ville de Paris et aussit?t mis ? la disposition du parti, ne constituent qu'une goutte d'eau dans un oc?an de turpitudes.
Bien s?r, comme l'avait fait en son temps son adversaire politique Henri Emmanuelli dans l'affaire Urba, il ?tait possible ? Alain Jupp? de plaider de larges circonstances att?nuantes. Il n'?tait qu'un maillon d'une cha?ne... Les mauvaises habitudes ?taient anciennes (1977, date de la premi?re ?lection de Jacques Chirac ? la Mairie de Paris)... Les lois sur le financement des formations politiques ?taient r?centes (? partir de 1988)... La loi criminalisant la prise ill?gale d'int?r?t des hommes politiques n'a ?t? vot?e, sous le gouvernement
d'?douard Balladur, qu'en 1995...
Si telle avait ?t? sa ligne de conduite, il aurait pu obtenir l'indulgence du tribunal, sous la forme d'une condamnation ferme mais limit?e dans le temps, peut-?tre m?me assortie d'un sursis, et sans inscription sur son casier judiciaire de toute in?ligibilit?.
Chirac n'est plus le garant de l'ind?pendance des magistrats
Au lieu de quoi, il a non seulement ni? l'?vidence, m?pris? le tribunal (en lui demandant la permission de ne pas assister ? la premi?re semaine des d?bats), mais encore il a lui-m?me cru devoir donner ? son affaire le maximum de r?sonnance en annon?ant, comme une menace, qu'un jugement s?v?re pour lui l'am?nerait ? quitter la vie politique. C'?tait un d?fi absurde et inutile que des juges normalement ind?pendants ne pouvaient pas ne pas relever.
Il est ? la fois tragique et comique de voir un homme dont tous ses ? amis ? vont r?p?tant qu'il est de la trempe des grands chefs d'?tat commettre une telle erreur de jugement. D'autant que personne ne conteste par ailleurs sa rapidit? intellectuelle. Quand il ?tait ? l'ENA, sortant de la prestigieuse ?cole Normale Sup?rieure, il ?tait m?me surnomm? Amstrad, du nom d'un ordinateur qui a eu son heure de gloire mais qui est aujourd'hui au cimeti?re de l'informatique. Comme lui, Alain Jupp? fonctionne vite. Mais son logiciel psychologique et politique laisse souvent ? d?sirer...
? sa d?charge, il ne pouvait pas faire autrement que de prot?ger Jacques Chirac dont il ?tait, au moment des faits, le subordonn?, comme a tenu ? le noter dans son jugement le tribunal de Nanterre. En disant qu'il ne savait pas, il pouvait aussi soutenir, a fortiori, que Jacques Chirac ne savait pas non plus. Mais, apr?s le jugement du 30 janvier, qui l'accable pour avoir solennellement menti, c'est le chef de l'?tat lui-m?me qui se retrouve en premi?re ligne.
Les juges du tribunal de Nanterre ont eu raison de rappeler dans leurs attendus qu'il ?tait grave, pour un ?lu, de tromper la confiance du peuple souverain en se livrant ? des actes condamn?s par le Code p?nal ou ?lectoral, et plus encore de la part d'un ?lu issu des meilleures ?coles de la R?publique, ancien Premier Ministre...
Tous les partis politiques - ? l'exception notable du Front national - ont ?t? touch?s c'est vrai par ? les affaires ? (termes pudiques pour d?signer les crimes et d?lits commis par des ?lus). ? gauche, ? l'exception d'un dossier qui doit ?tre plaid? ? Bayonne au mois de mai, les proc?dures sont presque toutes purg?es. Mais c'est loin d'?tre le cas du c?t? de l'UMP qui, dans les deux ann?es qui viennent, aura au moins cinq autres proc?s ? haut risque politique ? affronter.
L'ind?pendance des juges du tribunal de Nanterre peut constituer un exemple pour beaucoup d'autres. Il n'est pas s?r qu'en poussant ses amis ? d?noncer la soi-disant partialit? des juges, Jacques Chirac ait fait le bon choix...



Posted by maximpost at 4:55 PM EST
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North Korean kidnap attempt: Press conference with Mr Kim, leading human rights campaigner in North Korea and China
February 6 2004
Press conference: 10 am Wednesday 11th February, Committee Room W1, Parliament
Chaired by David Drew MP
A recent kidnap attempt on the North Korean defector who handed Mr Kim documentary evidence of chemical weapons testing on North Korean prisoners confirms North Korea's desperation to cover up the extent of its human rights abuses. The details of this kidnap attempt will be given at the press conference.
Mr Kim Sang Hun received these documents before this kidnap attempt and as one of the foremost human rights experts and activists on North Korea in the world, he appeared on the recent BBC2 programme Access to Evil: This World (broadcast on February 1).
He attests to the authenticity of this document showing that North Korea is transferring political prisoners from camps for chemical experimentation. He has helped over a hundred North Koreans escape by reaching embassies in Beijing and through other Asian countries and has also personally interviewed hundreds of North Koreans. He is highly active in campaigning for refugee status for North Koreans and for the release of aid workers in China. In 2003 he was honoured in Time Magazine Asia as an Asian Hero.
Mr Hiroshi Kato is Secretary General of the Japanese organisation Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, one of the most active groups helping North Koreans in China. Mr Kato was himself detained and mistreated by the Chinese who threatened to send him to North Korea and deny all knowledge of him if he did not co-operate. His colleague Mr Noguchi was arrested in December 2003 in China with two North Koreans. The Chinese authorities have said he may face a sentence of up to ten years. As North Koreans in previous cases involving Japanese aid workers have been repatriated, Mr Noguchi is refusing release unless the North Koreans are allowed to travel to a safe third country.
Mr Kim and Mr Kato will speak and answer questions on the situation facing North Koreans and aid workers in China and the situation in North Korea itself. In the run up to the new six way talks on North Korea, they will be emphasising the need for the international community to address the dangers the regime poses to the North Korean people as well as to the outside world. They will also be available for interview during the rest of their visit to London from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th February.
Please contact CSW if you would like to attend the press conference.
A picture of Mr Noguchi is available.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The desperate conditions in North Korea have prompted numerous North Koreans to make the difficult journey across the border to China. However, once in China they face different horrors. Lacking legal status, they are highly vulnerable to criminal elements and exploitative employers. Women are often sold into prostitution or as brides, at times unwittingly. Once `married' the man considers her his property and may keep her under lock and key, abusing her physically and sexually, even renting her out or selling her on to other men.
Tragically these women have few alternatives. They have nothing to escape to. If they go to the police, or are turned in by their husband, they will be sent back to North Korea.
The Chinese policy of repatriating North Koreans results in returnees facing torture and cruel imprisonment. Those who have been in contact with missionaries or South Koreans are subject to especially harsh treatment. Christians are likely to be executed or sent for life to hard labour camps. A number of eyewitness accounts report that women who are found to be pregnant by Chinese men are subject to forced abortion where this is possible or, where the pregnancy is more advanced, are kept in detention until they give birth, when their baby is them smothered to death in front of them.
Despite the harshness of the Chinese line towards the refugees, there are aid workers and missionaries who risk their own safety to shelter North Koreans. Moved by compassion they provide shelter and food to protect those arriving in China from such dangers. However, China is determined to eliminate the refugee situation and has staged a severe crackdown.
Part of the strategy is to destroy the network that provides humanitarian care to the North Koreans. Thus, China has placed bounties on the heads of aid workers in the area and arrested and sentenced many who have sheltered and escorted escapees.
China is in breach of its obligations under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This goes beyond flagrant violation to even punishing those who provide the protection that it is obligated to guarantee.
In December 2003 the Chinese authorities arrested Mr Takayuki Noguchi of the Japanese humanitarian organisation Life Funds for North Korean Refugees. Mr Noguchi, 32, who is responsible for international relations for the organisation, is being held in Nanning Prison in Guangxi in China.
Two North Koreans were arrested with Mr Noguchi. One is a woman in her 40s who was born in Tokai Region, Japan and taken to North Korea by her mother. The other is a man in his 50s who was born in West Japan and moved to North Korea in the early 1960s. Mr Noguchi has been anxiously pleading for intervention to secure the protection of the two refugees from repatriation.
A spokesman for the Chinese Government publicly stated that the investigation is ongoing and that Mr Noguchi could be subject to a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment.
Alongside concerns about abuses by the Chinese, human rights groups including CSW are deeply concerned about the widespread and systematic human rights violations occurring in North Korea. There are believed to be more than 100,000 people in prison camps inside North Korea. Among the many violations of basic rights are the systematic use of torture and the use of arbitrary and brutal imprisonment, characterised by violence, extreme deprivation, starvation food rations, intense forced labour, frequent accidents and disfigurement and high death tolls.
Further grave sources of injustice are the lack of due process, the regular use of arbitrary and public execution and the punishment of whole families for the crime of one family member.
The severity of the repercussions against individuals and their families mean that North Korea has largely succeeded in silencing reports of the atrocities committed within its borders. Alongside this, the extreme isolation and secrecy of the state has prevented the flow of information out of the country, while restricting freedom for external monitors to enter and assess the country.
More information on Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, including the full text of their press statement is available at www.northkoreanrefugees.com .
To view the Time Magazine article on Kim Sang Hun visit http://www.time.com/time/asia/2003/heroes/kim_sang_hun.html .

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N Korea denies chemical tests
North Korea has denied allegations it tests chemical and biological weapons on political prisoners.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said the allegations were part of a United States-inspired "lie".
On Sunday, the BBC aired a documentary in which a former North Korean army intelligence officer said he had seen prisoners gassed to death.
US officials believe North Korea has chemical and biological weapons programmes.
Prisoners were like pigs or dogs. You could kill them without caring whether they lived or died
Kwon Hyok, North Korean defector
North Korea's official KCNA news agency targeted the US for the claim regarding chemical weapons testing.
"It is spreading a lie about the 'test of chemical weapons on prisoners'. This shows what a base anti-DPRK (North Korea) smear campaign the Bush group is engaged in," it said.
"It is a trite method of the present US administration to use those defectors for inventing lies and justifying a war of aggression under that pretext," the statement continued.
The BBC's documentary, shown on the series This World, interviewed defector Kwon Hyok, who said he was chief guard at North Korea's "Prison Camp 22", in Haengyong near the border with Russia.
Kwan Hyok told the programme that entire families had poisonous gases tested on them in glass chambers. He said scientists would observe the process through the glass.
The BBC reporter, Olenka Frenkiel, said she had independent confirmation that the defector was genuine, and documentation referring to the transfer of a prisoner for human experimentation.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3461935.stm
Published: 2004/02/05 13:06:56 GMT
? BBC MMIV
---------------------------------------------------------------
Within prison walls
By Olenka Frenkiel
Reporter, This World
Kwon Hyok is one of about 4,000 North Korean defectors living in Seoul, South Korea.
Locations of secret prison camps, or Gulag, are marked in black
Most escaped because of hunger, fear, torture, imprisonment or a simple hatred of the regime.
But Kwon Hyok is not one of those. In 1999 he was a North Korean intelligence agent stationed in Beijing when he was persuaded by the South Koreans to defect.
Six years before, in 1993, Kwon Hyok says he was Head of Security at prison camp 22 in Haengyong, an isolated area near the border with Russia.
Camp 22 is one of a network of prisons in North Korea modelled on the Soviet Gulag where hundreds of thousands of prisoners are held.
Most of them have been charged with no crime. They are there because of the "Heredity Rule".
Prisoners were like pigs or dogs. You could kill them without caring whether they lived or died
Kwon Hyok
"In North Korea, " Kwon Hyok explains, "political prisoners are those who say or do something against the dead President Kim Il-sung, or his son Kim Jong-il. But it also includes a wide network of next of kin. It's designed to root out the seeds of those classed as disloyal to North Korea."
In prison, says Kwon Hyok, "there is a watchdog system in place between members of five different families. So if I were caught trying to escape, then my family and the four neighbouring families are shot to death out of collective responsibility."
Torture, he says, was routine. "Prisoners were like pigs or dogs. You could kill them without caring whether they lived or died.."
"For the first three years" he explained " you enjoy torturing people but then it wears off and someone else takes over. But most of the time you do it because you enjoy it."
Human experimentation
But Kwon Hyok had something else he wanted to tell.
I had no sympathy at all...I felt they deserved to die
Kwon Hyok
He says he witnessed chemical experiments being carried out on political prisoners in specially constructed gas chambers.
"How did you feel when you saw the children die?", I asked.
His answer shocked me.
"I had no sympathy at all because I was taught to think that they were all enemies of our country and that all our country's problems were their fault. So I felt they deserved to die."
Verification
There have been many rumours of human experimentation on political prisoners in North Korea. But never has anyone offered documentary proof. Until now.
In Seoul I met Kim Sang-hun, a distinguished human rights activist.
He showed me documents given to him by someone else completely unrelated to Kwon Hyok. He told me the man had recently snatched them illicitly from Camp 22 before escaping.
Kim Sang Hun is convinced the documents are not forgeries
They are headed Letter Of Transfer, marked Top Secret and dated February 2002 . They each bear the name of a male victim, his date and place of birth. The text reads: "The above person is transferred from Camp 22 for the purpose of human experimentation with liquid gas for chemical weapons."
I took one of the documents to a Korean expert in London who examined it and confirmed that there was nothing to suggest it was not genuine.
But I wanted to run a check of my own with Kwon Hyok. Without showing him the Letter of Transfer, I asked him very specifically, without prompting him in any way.
"How were the victims selected when they went for human experimentation? Was there some bureaucracy, some paperwork?"
"When we escorted them to the site we would receive a Letter of Transfer," he said.
Sadly, as long as these reports continue from defectors, and as long as the North Korean government continues to deny all allegations of human rights abuse, while refusing to allow access to its prisons, such allegations cannot be dismissed or ignored.
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Access to Evil was broadcast in the UK on Sunday, 1 February, 2004 at 2100 on BBC Two.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/this_world/3440771.stm




>> PICTURES AT...NEXT GENERATION? LOVING FAMILY MAN?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3203523.stm

North Korea's secretive 'first family'
By Sarah Buckley
BBC News Online
A series of recent memoirs by former cooks, a bodyguard and the sister of one of the lovers of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il have all served to conjure up a lurid portrait of a mercurial and extravagant dictator.
Kim won power thanks to his father - will the succession be so simple?
But besides detailing Mr Kim's lifestyle, they have also given important indications as to who may go on to succeed the 61-year-old leader - if one of the world's most secretive, and arguably most dangerous, regimes survives.
Analysing events inside North Korea is notoriously difficult, and the question of succession is mired in doubt and speculation.
Click here to see Kim Jong-il's family tree
What does seem widely agreed upon is that Kim Jong-il has produced an indeterminate number of children with a string of women.
Only one of these is known to have married him - Kim Young-sook, chosen for him by his father.
But his eldest son was born to another woman - North Korean movie star Sung Hae-rim, who suffered from depression and died in Moscow last year.
For a long time, analysts assumed that Kim Jong-il's most likely successor would be this boy - Kim Jong-nam.
Pyon Jin-il, editor of the Korea Report Tokyo, said he believed this was still the case.
"North Korea is a feudalistic country. Under feudalism the eldest brother is the heir of the father," he said.
But many believe Kim Jong-nam ruined his chances in 2001, when Japanese officials caught him trying to sneak into Japan using a false passport, an incident which caused severe diplomatic embarrassment to Pyongyang.
They argue that one of Kim Jong-il's sons with his "favourite" consort, Ko Young-hee, is the anointed successor.
The question is which son: Kim Jong-chul, or his younger brother Kim Jong-woong?
Many analysts believe Kim Jong-chul is the most likely, if only because he is the elder.
But a Japanese sushi chef who worked for Kim Jong-il for 13 years believed Kim Jong-woong to be the heir apparent because he considered his older son "like a girl".
Other key players are Kim Jong-il's younger sister, Kim Kyung-hee, and her husband Chang Song-taek - one of the North Korean leader's closest aides.
But Katy Oh, co-author of North Korea Through the Looking Glass said: "Kim Jong-il will be shrewd enough that his power will not go to his brother-in-law's family."
The reclusive nature of North Korea's ruling party makes it difficult for analysts to know for certain what is going on.
Ms Oh said North Korea's ruling family was probably so keen to keep out of view because a public face makes things like foreign travel difficult.
"The more exposed they are, the more trouble."


Kim Jong-il
Tales from dissidents and past aides have created an image of Kim Jong-il as an irrational power-hungry leader who allows his people to starve while he enjoys dancing girls and cognac.
Click here for full profile
But the sister of Sung Hae-rim - one of Kim Jong-il's former partners - has painted a different picture. She describes him fondly in her memoir, The Wisteria House, as a devoted father and sensitive, charismatic individual, although she admits even those closest to him were fearful of him.
Click here to return
Chang Song-taek
Kim Jong-il's brother in law is also believed to be one of his closest confidants. He is vice-director of an extremely powerful government department - the Organisation and Guidance Department. Earlier this year, high-profile defector Hwang Jong-yop described him as "the number-two man in North Korea". The South Korean publication Wolgan Chosun said he has a "genius brain".
But his career has not been without its vacillations. Having rapidly climbed the party career ladder, he was suddenly demoted in the late 1970s to secretary of a steel works in Nampo. It is thought this was because Kim Jong-il worried he was abusing his power.
He is said to inspire considerable fear. On an trip to the South last October, Mr Chang overslept and reportedly had to be woken by a South Korean as his North Korean colleagues were too scared to do it.
He is married to Kim Kyung-hee, Kim Jong-il's younger sister (born 30 May, 1946). Often referred to as the "First Lady", she is a senior member of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) - North Korea's ruling (and only) party - but is rarely seen in public.
According to the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo, Kim Kyung-hee has been living separately from her husband for some time. The couple have a daughter.
Click here to return
Ko Young-hee
Little is known about Ko Young-hee. Born in Japan to ethnic Koreans, she is said to have caught Kim Jong-il's eye while working in a state dance troupe. She is said to be his favourite consort and is the mother of two possible successors, Kim Jong-chul and Kim Jong-woong.
A North Korean army document released last year and seen in the South showed an "idolising campaign" had begun to raise Ko's status. The report referred to an "esteemed mother" who was the "most loyal" companion to Kim Jong-il.
Earlier this month, a Japanese newspaper reported that she was in a serious condition after suffering head injuries in a car crash in late September.
But South Korea's largest daily newspaper, The Chosun Ilbo, said Ko was suffering from the recurrence of the cancer for which she has already reportedly received treatment in Europe.
Click here to return
Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-nam, 32, is Kim Jong-il's eldest son.
Sung Hae-rang, the sister of Kim Jong-nam's mother Sung Hae-rim, has written in her memoir The Wisteria House that Kim Jong-il was extremely fond of Kim Jong-nam and was pained to be parted from him when he was away.
Like his half-brothers, Kim Jong-nam studied in an international school in Switzerland.
However, he is thought to have ruined his chances of succession after Japanese officials caught him trying to sneak into Japan using a false passport. He told officials that he was planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
Click here to return
Kim Jong-chul
Kim Jong-chul, 22, studied at an international school in Switzerland. He works in the WKP propaganda department.
Some analysts believe he is being groomed as Kim Jong-il's successor. His mother, Ko Young-hee, is said to be the North Korean leader's favourite consort, and he is fulfilling the same role in the WKP that Kim Jong-il did when his father was grooming him as leader.
However, Kenji Fujimoto, the pseudonym of a Japanese sushi chef who spent 13 years cooking for Kim Jong-il, has written that the leader considered his second son "no good because he is like a little girl."
Click here to return
Kim Jong-woong
Kim Jong-woong, 18, is the second son of Kim Jong-il and Ko Young-hee. Like his older brother, he is thought to have been educated abroad.
A Japanese sushi chef who worked for Kim Jong-il for 13 years up to 2001 believes Kim Jong-woong is the heir apparent. He said that he "resembled his father in every way, including his physical frame".
But Pyon Jin-il, the editor of the Tokyo-based Korea Report, argues that at 18, he is too young to be nominated successor.



------------------------------------------------
>> MALAYSIA WATCH
Malaysia PM's '100 days' test

By Jonathan Kent
BBC, Kuala Lumpur
Sunday marks 100 days since Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi took office.
The new leader has a reputation for being a "clean pair of hands" and a man who cares about ordinary folk.
When Mr Abdullah - whom Malaysians affectionately call Pak Lah - took office last October, his late mother was just about the first person whom he went to see.
Kailan Hassan, who died last week, reminded the new leader: "Don't forget the people at the bottom."
Mr Abdullah seems to have taken her words to heart.
He has already started to distance himself from some of the excesses of his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Expect no repeats of mega projects with which the spendthrift Dr Mahathir littered Malaysia - the formula one circuit, the outsized international airport in the middle of nowhere, the world's tallest buildings, the empty stadia, the disused film village, the ostentatious new city of government in Putrajaya, and the multimedia super corridor that's yet to lead anywhere much.
Dr Mahathir enjoyed nothing more than to lecture the world from the stage that he had built for himself; in contrast Mr Abdullah prefers to do things quietly.
Singapore thaw
There are few better illustrations of this than the dramatic thaw in relations between Malaysia and its sibling neighbour Singapore.
For the first time we've had a prime minister speaking about the things that affect ordinary people
Andrew, Malaysian voter
The two have been trading insults since they split in 1965, and Dr Mahathir happily kept the war of words going.
Mr Abdullah prefers diplomacy and in January paid a low key visit to his Singaporean opposite number Goh Chok Tong.
Within weeks Mr Goh popped over to Malaysia to celebrate Lunar New Year, and the next day the two men were playing golf together.
There's not much sign of any improvement
R Sivarasa, human rights activist
The former Singaporean High Commissioner to Malaysia, Kesavapany, says the new PM's first 100 days have been "marked by goodwill and rapprochement".
"Hopefully the leadership on both sides of the Causeway will make use of this moment in history to rebuild ties and build a solid foundation for the future," Mr Kesavapany says.
Such a rapprochement is long overdue for in truth Singapore and Malaysia each benefit from the other's success.
Rallying support
At home, Malaysians are waiting for a sign that the autocratic rule of Dr Mahathir is being replaced with a gentler touch.
"There's not much sign of any improvement on that front," says R Sivarasa, director of the Malaysian human rights group, Suaram, and an opposition politician.
"The police have continued to restrict opposition attempts to hold rallies," Mr Sivarasa says.
"And the country's former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim still languishes in jail - serving 15 years for abuse of power and sodomy charges that few here believe him guilty of."
Mr Abdullah is unlikely to take any chances before a general election he's expected to call within weeks.
He was appointed, not elected, prime minister and he needs not just to win, which is a virtual certainty, but to win well so that he can claim a strong personal mandate.
So he's busy rallying support for his coalition National Front government.
Chinese 'revelations'
He's wooing Malaysia's ethnic minorities - Chinese, Tamil and tribal - telling them that Malaysia is as much for them as for the Malay majority.
He's even let it be known that he is one-quarter Chinese - like Malaysia itself.
It's a striking departure from decades of Malay ethno-nationalist rhetoric under Dr Mahathir.
Mr Abdullah is also out to persuade the rural Muslim Malay voters who deserted his party at the last election in 1999 to return.
So he's putting their concerns - small businesses, agriculture and rural development - at the top of the political agenda.
"This is an electorate that the Mahathir administration had neglected in the past," says Terence Gomez, one of Malaysia's leading economists.
"By responding to their needs so actively this is an avenue for him to draw support from this electorate and at the same time address a serious problem that needs to be rectified within the economy," Mr Gomez says.
Malaysians 'impressed'
Before Mr Abdullah took over I gathered a small group of Malaysians together to get their views.
They were sceptical. Pak Lah was a "yes" man, they said, weak, just a puppet of his former master Dr Mahathir.
Three months on they've changed their tune.
"For the first time we've had a prime minister speaking about the things that affect ordinary people," says Anthony, who works with disadvantaged groups.
Even his friend Andrew, who back in October expressed little faith in the new man, said he was impressed.
Tackling corruption
Their main concern however is corruption.
If Mr Abdullah is to keep his promise to fight it he'll need a very strong mandate at the polls because he'll be taking on some very powerful people.
Corruption grew largely unchecked under Dr Mahathir.
It stops government from functioning effectively, deters business, frightens away foreign investors, and really angers the people.
Mr Abdullah has above all else set himself up as its enemy - and he's probably the only leader Malaysia has, or is likely to have for a generation, who seems to have the will to tackle it.
If it doesn't happen now then the country may find itself eclipsed, as other East Asian nations, not least China, race ahead.
Mr Abdullah has already started on the "ikan bilis", or the small fry, among the police and civil servants.
But Mr Sivarasa is still waiting to be convinced that the new leader is as good as he seems.
"If he's serious about corruption he'll go ahead and deal with those in his government that Malaysia's former head of prosecutions said should face charges," Mr Sivarasa says.
"Then we'll decide."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3466273.stm
Published: 2004/02/07 00:47:03 GMT
? BBC MMIV
------------------------------------------------------
>> AHEM...
Nuclear scandal still begs questions

By Zaffar Abbas
BBC Islamabad correspondent
If Pakistan was hoping that, after investigations into proliferation allegations and a public admission by its top scientist of leaking nuclear information abroad, the controversy would go away, it has certainly not happened.
Questions are still being asked at home and abroad about the level of proliferation and, more importantly, about who else might have been involved in transferring nuclear know-how to countries like Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Serious doubts have been raised about the government's claim that a handful of scientists acted on their own, without the involvement of the civilian and military establishment.
The widely-held view is that because of the controlled nature of the Pakistani establishment, it would not have been possible for individuals to transfer nuclear technology to a third country.
For the first time, President Pervez Musharraf has given some details of Pakistan's covert nuclear weapons programme to substantiate the government's claim that top scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan acted on his own to pass details to other countries.
He says Mr Khan, as sole authority for running the clandestine operation to illegally acquire nuclear technology and know-how for Pakistan in the past, took advantage of his position to sell some of the information to other countries.
Blue-eyed boy
If President Musharraf's explanation is to be believed, it all happened when Pakistan was covertly developing its nuclear weapons programme; and only a handful of people were directly involved to ensure a high level of secrecy.
According to him, when Pakistan embarked on its nuclear weapons programme in 1976, it was a closely guarded secret between Dr Khan and then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
STREET REACTION
The military is definitely involved. One can't clap with one hand
Syed Kosar Ahmed, Peshawar
With the change of government, military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq and Dr Khan shared the information for several years, and the civilian head of state became the third player in the late 1980s.
Other than these three, no-one - including successive prime ministers - was informed about the exact nature of the weapons programme until it became overt in 1998 when Pakistan carried out its first nuclear tests.
It was during this period that Mr Khan was considered the blue-eyed boy of the Pakistani establishment.
He was given authority to develop contacts with Europe's underworld that was illegally dealing in nuclear technology; creating a team of scientists and officials who were assigned to this clandestine operation.
For years they worked to bring to Pakistan technology and know-how to establish a uranium enrichment facility outside Islamabad, the Khan Research Laboratories.
Monetary benefits
Some of these people also developed contacts with countries like Iran, Libya and North Korea, who were also seeking nuclear weapons.
In return for huge monetary benefits, they provided them with information that was only meant for Pakistan.
Dr Khan's appearance on TV to admit responsibility for leaking nuclear information has shattered those who saw him as a national hero
While admitting that there may have been intelligence lapses, President Musharraf believes that because of Mr Khan's stature it was not possible for anyone to doubt his intentions.
"During this period it was not difficult for someone like him to carry the centrifuge design with him," he said.
He says there was no physical transfer of hardware, only designs.
President Musharraf says the only motivation for these scientists was money.
Two ex-army chiefs have also been questioned.
General Aslam Beg, who was the army chief during the most crucial period of 1988-92, and General Jehangir Karamat, who headed the military in the mid-1990s, were asked about their involvement. President Musharraf says they have been cleared by the investigators.
Demoralising effect
So if President Musharraf is to be believed, these few scientists deceived the Pakistani establishment, particularly the powerful military and its intelligence agencies. They made hundreds of millions of dollars by selling nuclear know-how to three different states.
Some analysts believe a more thorough investigation is required to establish that only 11 scientists and officials were involved.
The proliferation controversy has shocked the country. Its demoralising effect on most Pakistanis can be compared to the country's defeat in the 1971 war with India, which led to the creation of Bangladesh.
Dr Khan's admission of responsibility has virtually shattered those who regarded him as a national hero.
President Musharraf's explanation that national heroes cannot be protected when the country's own prestige is at stake has gone some way to satisfying people at home.
However, it may not be enough to satisfy the international community, particularly the international atomic agency IAEA.
Perhaps at some stage Islamabad will have to share its findings with the international community to convince the world that the Pakistani establishment was neither involved in the past, nor will ever share its nuclear knowledge with any other country.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/3464073.stm
Published: 2004/02/05 23:14:03 GMT
? BBC MMIV

--------------------------------------------
>> BIDEN WATCH...

1/28/04
Iran: Washington, Tehran Hold Rare Talks on Sidelines Of Davos
By Golnaz Esfandiari
In a rare high-level meeting between Iran and the United States, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and U.S. Senator Joseph Biden held 90-minute talks on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Analysts say the meeting marks an important first step toward improved ties between the two nations.
Prague, 27 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and U.S. Senator Joseph Biden did not comment on the nature of their talks on 23 January on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
But Iran's Foreign Ministry has since said the meeting was not planned, and said the U.S. senator himself approached the Iranian delegation to propose a meeting with Foreign Minister Kharrazi.
Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 Iranian revolution and the U.S. hostage crisis. Tensions further increased in 2002, when U.S. President George W. Bush labeled Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as an "axis of evil" intent on attaining weapons of mass destruction.
Although diplomats from both sides have reportedly held secret talks on Afghanistan and Iraq in the past, last week's private meeting between Biden and Kharrazi took place on the sidelines of the heavily publicized World Economic Forum. Observers say the talks signal a step toward improved ties between the United States and Iran.
Hooshang Amirahmadi heads the American-Iranian Council, an advocacy group based in Princeton, New Jersey. He says the fact the meeting took place in a relatively public setting is important in and of itself, and shows Iran's leadership is changing its attitude regarding dialogue with the United States. "I think both the Iranian and the U.S. government are slowly showing signs of readiness for meeting in public, and the meaning of this is that both sides are getting ready to enter a sort of dialogue," he said. "The other meaning is that the Iranian side is showing more signs of readiness for normalization of issues with the U.S. -- in fact, it means that the Iranian leadership has come to the conclusion that meeting, holding talks and discussions with the U.S. in public is not a problem. This a very important point."
Amirahmadi added that the Davos meeting between Kharrazi and Biden -- an influential member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- could lead to more such meetings between lawmakers from the two countries. "I'm sure that [during last week's discussion] there were also talks about a possible meeting in the near future between a group of Iranian [parliamentarians] and representatives from the U.S. Congress. This is a step Mr. Biden has been pursuing for a long time."
But the United States has continued to voice concern about Iran's nuclear program, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- who has the last word in all matters related to the Islamic Republic -- has always strongly rejected any negotiations with the United States.
Iran's former ambassador to the United Nations, Said Rajayi Khorassani, says he believes that this time, Khamenei gave his consent to the Kharrazi-Biden meeting. "I suspect that Kamal Kharrazi would not have met with a U.S. senator without informing President [Mohammad Khatami] and other top officials," he said "I'm certain that the supreme leader knew about the meeting and had also agreed with it."
Gary Sick is a professor of Middle East politics at New York's Columbia University and was the principal White House aide for Iran during the 1979 revolution and hostage crisis. He says the high-level meeting is a hopeful new step on a long road to rapprochement. He notes, however, that Biden was not officially representing the U.S. government -- meaning the talks, while important, stop short of signaling a major diplomatic breakthrough. "Of course this is not the executive branch [conducting the talks]. So I do not see this necessarily as a breakthrough in terms of direct U.S.-Iran discussions or negotiations -- that would be with the executive branch, not with the Congress," he said. "But I do think that this is an important step, I think it signals a willingness on both sides to conduct such talks. But it really is very much up to the president and the members of the State Department and the executive branch to decide whether they are prepared to undertake such meetings and I think that has not been resolved yet."
Following last month's massive earthquake in Bam -- which prompted the United States to send humanitarian aid and temporarily lift sanctions -- some analysts speculated that so-called "earthquake diplomacy" might help ease tensions between the two countries. But top officials from both sides have drawn a clear distinction between humanitarian issues and politics, and have set a number of preconditions for any future talks.
Rajayi Khorasani, the former UN ambassador, says the talks between Kharrazi and Biden could ultimately lead to the resumption of political negotiations between the two countries. "I think this is the first step in breaking the ice; it's possible that this step will lead to other steps, [other meetings] at the level of U.S. congressmen and senators," he said. "No [U.S.] government official has entered the scene yet. But further contacts, which I believe could take a few months, could open new horizons for other talks and meetings that finally could lead to political negotiations. Not in the preliminary stages, though."
Gary Sick of Columbia University says a resumption of ties between the two countries anytime soon is unlikely. "I do not see a very strong likelihood that full reconciliation and resumption of diplomatic relations is really in the cards at the moment," he said. "I think it's going to happen and I think it could happen rather quickly if people on both sides were willing to demonstrate some goodwill. But you have to remember, first of all, it is an election year in the United States, and people generally don't win votes by being nice to Iran. And secondly, it is a double election year for the next 18 months or so in Iran, and again you don't win very many points in Iranian politics by opening up to the United States."
Sick says that as the United States seeks to expand its presence in the Middle East, normalized ties with Iran will become more and more necessary. "I do think there is a process under way. There is no question in my mind -- or, really, very many people's minds -- that the United States, because of its presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, actually needs to develop a neighborly relationship of some sort with Iran. And I think that's going to happen but I don't see it happening, say, in the next few months," Sick said.
Government officials in the United States and Iran have yet to comment publicly on last week's meeting.

(Alireza Taheri, a senior correspondent with Radio Farda, contributed to this report.)

Copyright (c) 2004 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Lebanese minister to prepare "secret file" on missing Iranians
Fri Feb 6,11:59 AM ET Add Mideast - AFP to My Yahoo!
BEIRUT (AFP) - A Lebanese minister and former official of a Christian militia allegedly connected with the 1982 disappearance of four Iranian diplomats claimed not to know if they were alive, but said he would prepare a secret file for Beirut and Tehran.
AFP Photo
AFP
Slideshow: Mideast Conflict
The pledge by Administrative Development Minister Karim Pakradouni means the Lebanese government will likely be drawn into complex negotiations on the second phase of a prisoner swap between the country's Shiite militia Hezbollah and its arch-enemy Israel.
"I do not have a definite answer ... I hope that they are alive," Pakradouni, who heads the right-wing Christian Phalangist party, told reporters after meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi.
Kharazi arrived Thursday to probe the fate of the Iranians who disappeared as they passed through territory controlled by Christian militiamen with links to Israel during the country's 15-year civil war. Iran believes the men are now in Israeli hands.
"The answer to this 22-year-old question is absolutely not easy ... To find the truth is a very difficult mission since the event is very old and those who could testify are dead or have left Lebanon," Pakradouni said.
"I want to prepare a file in absolute secrecy. When I have credible and useful information ... I will put it at the disposition of the Lebanese and Iranian governments," he said.
Kharazi, who is being accompanied by relatives of the missing Iranians, later insisted he believed the four are in Israel and indicated he was counting on the next phase of the prisoner swap to free them.
"According to our information, our diplomats were kidnapped in a region north of Beirut occupied by Israel in 1982. They were then taken by boat to Israel where they are being held," he told a press conference.
He added that Lebanese President Emile Lahoud had promised to provide Tehran with more information after Samir Geagea, a jailed leader of a disbanded Christian militia group, the Lebanese Forces, was questioned.
He complained Pakradouni had given him "insufficient" information on the fate of the Iranians.
Israel freed 400 Palestinians and some 30 other Arabs, mainly Lebanese, on January 29 and handed over the bodies of 59 other Lebanese killed fighting its occupation forces, in exchange for an Israel businessman and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah.
Israel is itself seeking information on the fate of a missing airman shot down over Lebanon in 1986.
But until it receives hard information the fate of navigator Ron Arad, it is refusing to free longtime Lebanese prisoner Samir Kantar, who is serving multiple life sentences handed down in 1980 for killing an Israeli family.
Hezbollah, which is backed by Tehran, has also also said it believes the Iranians were held by the Christians until 1990 before they were turned over to Israel.
Israel denies holding them and insists they were killed almost immediately and buried under a building in Beirut.
Accounts by former Christian militia members published in the Lebanese press Friday also said the four Iranians were gunned down shortly after their capture.
Kharazi is also expected to meet with Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah during his two-day stay.

-------------------------------------------------------
washingtonpost.com
Business, Science Clash at Medical Journal

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2004; Page A02
An analysis critical of the growing use of an expensive medicine used for dialysis patients was turned down by the most widely circulated medical journal in the field after its marketing department objected, according to an e-mail from the journal's editor to the article's author.
Three senior scientists had reviewed the analysis and approved it for publication, Joseph Herman, executive editor of Dialysis & Transplantation, wrote to author Dennis Cotter, president of a nonprofit health research group in Bethesda.
"Unfortunately, I have been overruled by our marketing department with regard to publishing the editorial," Herman added. "As you accurately surmised, the publication of your editorial would, in fact, not be accepted in some quarters . . . and apparently went beyond what our marketing department is willing to accommodate."
Cotter questioned whether patients benefited from increased doses of Epogen, which increases levels of red blood cells in patients with kidney problems. The federal government is considering whether to provide Medicare patients with higher doses of such treatments, which could cost hundreds of millions of additional tax dollars.
The journal's publisher, Deborah Carver, reversed the decision after Cotter protested, but Cotter said he would rather publish the article elsewhere. The initial rejection, however, has highlighted concerns that research, publication and analysis of scientific data are being influenced by drug industry pressures.
"The public should be very concerned about the pervasive influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the way science is done and on the academic medical community," said Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School. "Most journals are absolutely dependent on advertising from drug companies, and they are not going to offend them."
Dialysis & Transplantation's editorial advisory board included researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, and dozens of other doctors at academic and government hospitals across the country. Christopher Blagg, a Seattle nephrologist who is on the board, said he believed the marketing department rejected the article because it wanted to avoid offending Amgen Inc., which makes Epogen.
"I have no knowledge of this article or this data," said Kelly Stoddard, a spokeswoman for Amgen. "Any decision about what they publish is entirely up to them."
Cotter, president of Medical Technology and Practice Patterns Institute Inc. in Bethesda, said he was "amazed" by the journal's rejection. "This was very damaging to us, because we had hoped to have this thing appear in the literature in February. Medicare right now is reviewing its policy," he said. He forwarded the e-mail he received from Herman, the editor.
A call to Herman was returned by his boss, Linda Lewis, editorial director of Creative Age publications, which owns Dialysis & Transplantation. She said that "a mistake" had been made by the journal's associate publisher, Tom Blackstone. The company describes the journal as "the world's largest (and oldest) renal care journal with a specific focus on clinical application."
"The associate publisher, who has been with the magazine for 25 years, felt he had cause for turning down the article," said Lewis. "He's also the marketing director. . . . He made that decision, unfortunately, and we felt it was the wrong decision."
Cotter's analysis concluded that higher doses of Epogen did not extend patients' lives, and may not be worth the added cost. Normally, said Cotter, the medicine costs an average of $5,000 to 6,000 per year per patient. Increasing patients' red blood cell levels further could double the cost. Since there are 100,000 to 120,000 patients getting such treatment at any one time, Cotter said, higher doses for large numbers of people could translate into hundreds of millions of extra dollars for Medicare.
While cost was a factor, Cotter said, his principal concern is his finding that patients on higher doses of Epogen actually seem to have higher death rates.
This could be because these patients were sicker, because there was a problem with the drug, or because of some underlying problem that had not been identified, he said.
"Our primary issue is patient safety," he said. "Anyone that claims that higher [doses] result in longer survival is not correct."
Brian Pereira, a nephrologist who is president of the National Kidney Foundation, said there was an ongoing debate in the field over the appropriate red blood cell level for patients with kidney problems.
"To date, there is no prospective, randomized study that shows higher [doses] are better," he said. A national database showed that people with higher levels of red blood cells tend to do better, he said.
"It's associated with higher survival," said Pereira, who is also a professor at Tufts University.
Regardless of where the science leads, Blagg, the journal board member, said he disapproved of the way the journal handled the matter.
He told editors that a full airing of the debate would have been possible if they had published the article, if necessary with a contrasting article written by a scientist who disagreed with Cotter.
The larger question raised by this case is whether it happens elsewhere. Pereira said that top journals would never compromise their editorial independence. But Angell said that with the exception of the New England Journal of Medicine, virtually no other journal could survive if advertisers pulled out.
Other editors, she said, might deal similarly with the same pressures -- but be more discreet.
"They are going to come up with excuses for going along with the companies that are a lot less candid than this editor," she said. "This editor must be pretty close to retirement or doesn't like his job very much."

? 2004 The Washington Post Company
---------------------------------------------

washingtonpost.com
Lights Are Coming On, Slowly, in Iraq
Citizens Frustrated by Continuing Problems With Power Generation, Distribution
By Jackie Spinner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2004; Page A16
BAGHDAD -- During eight months of reconstruction work, occupation authorities in Iraq have tried to reverse decades of political favoritism by distributing electricity more equitably throughout the country. Iraq now generates slightly more electricity than it did before the war, and with this city of 5 million people no longer hogging the supply, many cities that had little power under Saddam Hussein are glowing again.
"Our policy is fair allocation across the nation," said Robyn McGuckin, the Coalition Provisional Authority's deputy senior adviser for electricity.
Getting the electricity flowing has been one of the occupation authority's top priorities, and the pace of the project has been one of the main sources of frustration for Iraqis.
Immediately after the war, the U.S. Agency for International Development assumed responsibility for overseeing reconstruction of Iraq's electrical grid and hired Bechtel National Inc. as the initial contractor to make repairs and add capacity. In August, the military brought in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to share oversight duties with USAID. The engineer corps picked Fluor Corp., Washington Group International and Perini Corp. to work on 26 projects around the country, and IPA Worldwide Services to buy generators.
Lt. Col. Joseph P. Schweitzer, director of operations for the Corps of Engineers, said commanders brought the corps in because of concerns "that we were going to lose the consent of the Iraqi people if we did not do something significant to improve the power generation."
The obstacles have been enormous, according to the engineers and contractors working in Iraq. Security ranks high on the list, as insurgents continually sabotage power lines and attack repair teams -- most recently killing two French subcontractors near Fallujah on Jan. 5.
But there are other problems as well: postwar looting by Iraqis, poor planning by Americans for the massive reconstruction, unrealistic expectations about how quickly things could be done, too little money and the state of disrepair of the entire electrical infrastructure.
"This is just the most amazing mess," said Clifford G. Mumm, a Bechtel executive supervising the company's work in Iraq. "But it's not unlike what people found when they went to East Germany after the Berlin Wall fell, or in Kosovo."
Col. Lem DuBose, commander of the Corps of Engineers mission in another key Iraqi sector -- oil -- said of the general state of industry here: "If Iraq was a used car, Saddam sold at the right time. Everything was falling apart."
The World Bank estimates that it will cost $12.1 billion to restore and improve the country's electrical capacity, more than twice what Congress appropriated last fall.
Mumm said it would be impossible to give Iraq all of the electricity it needs, at least in the short term. The country's entire power grid is technically capable of generating about 10,000 megawatts, but only about half of it works, Mumm said.
Occupation officials say they hope to give Iraq 6,000 megawatts of generating capacity -- the same amount of power that the city of Baltimore typically uses -- but a World Bank report says that goal "will be difficult to achieve without the addition of significant emergency generating plants." The occupation authority has no plans to install such plants, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office.
"Once the system is . . . back up, there is not an adequate distribution system," Mumm said. "Power in Iraq will be a long story."
At the same time, the overall condition of the system is gradually improving. With output surpassing prewar levels, the engineers have been able to shut down parts of the system for winter maintenance.
"Generating units at power plants are like vehicles in a small fleet," the occupation authority's McGuckin explained. "You have to change the oil and check the sparks every couple of thousand of miles -- in this case thousands of megawatt hours -- to keep things running well."
Brig. Gen. Steven Hawkins runs the Corps of Engineers efforts to restore electricity from a Baghdad mansion with a sweeping marble staircase and spectacular view of the Tigris River. Using $1 billion in Iraqi funds, the corps has restored five major power plants, erected 200 transmission towers and created a security force of 1,500 officers to guard oil facilities.
Hawkins said that, although he was still unable to meet the expectations of the Iraqi people, "it's better than it was. It's getting better every day."
For example, in the past few months, the southern port city of Basra has enjoyed uninterrupted power almost 24 hours a day. Before the war, it was getting only a few hours of power a day.
Engineers are working to route some of that electricity to Baghdad, where the power flickers on and off in three-hour intervals. But saboteurs keep attacking the transmission lines. Mumm said in some cases attackers have left signs reading, "Stop sending our power to Baghdad."
The result, he said, "is surplus generation in the south we're not able to tap."
But in Baghdad, many people say they cannot understand why it is taking so long to get power restored, especially when the Electricity Ministry began sending out power bills last month for the first time since the war.
"They want 350 Iraqi dinars," said Qasim Zubaidi, 35, who owns an exchange shop in the Karada district. "For what? For no electricity?"
Amar Sabah, 25, who owns an electrical supplies shop, said people have lost patience. "They are tired of this game," he said. "Saddam also used electricity to keep people busy with something to think of so that they'll not ask about other things."
Under Hussein, the system of electrical distribution was anything but democratic. "Thugs could threaten or bribe substation operators to withhold electricity from one area and provide uninterrupted electricity to other areas," said Lt. Col. Taras "T.J." Jemetz, who is in charge of the Corps of Engineers projects in central Iraq. "Saddam was known to punish residents of areas that fell out of his favor by withholding electricity to those areas."
To eliminate such favoritism, the Army engineers are installing a centralized computer system that will alert government officials if power at regional distribution points is disrupted. The new system was up and running last week at a refurbished substation in Baghdad.
"This does not eliminate the corruption aspect, but at least provides the capability to know that there is a problem," Jemetz said.
In dozens of interviews last month, engineers and contractors described the challenges they face every day.
Rockets and bullets rain down almost nightly outside the secured compound in Baghdad where the contractors and engineers live. They sleep on cots in palaces that have gold-plated faucets in the bathrooms, but no heat. They stay up late drinking nonalcoholic beer left over from the holidays and poring over plans to restore the electrical grid one transmitter at a time. Everyone is exhausted, red-eyed and dirty by the end of the day because there is so much work to do.
Rhett Hubbard, a civilian engineer for the Corps of Engineers, said that the security situation was so uncertain that he had adopted a 30-minute rule. A power plant operator back home in Portland, Ore., Hubbard is in charge of repairing electrical substations in Baghdad. When he visits the stations, however, he doesn't linger. "I try not to spend more than 15 to 30 minutes at a maximum," he said, adding that he has at least six bodyguards at each job site.
North of Baghdad, Bechtel and Fluor are finishing a power plant project begun under Hussein, whose government had purchased huge turbine generators with funds from the U.N.-administered oil-for-food program. The equipment sat in a neighboring country for two years and is only now being installed.
"Nothing is easy here right now," said Cecil Whitehouse, a civilian overseeing the project for the Army engineers.
When the project started in October, Whitehouse and his crew drove to the site from Baghdad every day, a risky commute. So in November, the corps and its contractors moved to the desolate site.
Just outside the perimeter of the plant, in the shadow of the massive transmission towers, Iraqis live in mud huts that have no electricity.
Muhamed Abdul-Jabbar, a project manager at the power station for the Electricity Ministry, said he initially didn't tell his friends or family that he was working with the Americans, fearing that he might be seen as a traitor. He has since changed his mind.
"I see suffering," he said in broken English. "Everywhere there was suffering. The American companies come here, and we want to increase electrical energy. Power is very good."

Special correspondent Omar Fekeiki contributed to this report.
? 2004 The Washington Post Company


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Hatfill Lawyers Given Go-Ahead
By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2004; Page A15
Attorneys for former Army scientist Steven J. Hatfill can move forward with efforts to determine whether federal officials improperly leaked information tying him to the probe of anthrax-laced mailings in 2001, a federal judge ruled yesterday.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said the lawyers can attempt to question journalists to get "the ball rolling" in Hatfill's civil suit against Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, the Justice Department and the FBI.
Walton also dealt Hatfill's attorneys a setback. He agreed to let the government put off for six more weeks answering or providing any government information to Hatfill in the civil case. Government lawyers maintained that the anthrax investigation is at a critical stage and sought a six-month delay in answering the lawsuit, which Walton deemed too long a wait.
Walton said the Justice Department failed to convince him that responding to Hatfill's suit would jeopardize its investigation into the mailing of anthrax-laced letters to media and government offices in the fall of 2001. The mailings killed five people and sickened 17 others.
Hatfill, who has not been charged, filed his lawsuit in August, contending that the federal government violated his privacy, ruined his reputation and destroyed his chances of employment by illegally leaking private information about him to the media and suggesting that he was the source of the anthrax. The former biological weapons scientist has denied any wrongdoing.
The suit accuses officials of a "coordinated smear campaign" starting in August 2002, when Ashcroft called Hatfill "a person of interest" in the case. News reports about Hatfill have quoted unnamed federal law enforcement sources.
Mark Nagle, chief of the civil division for the U.S. attorney's office, told the judge yesterday that responding to Hatfill's suit now would put the government in the dangerous position of confirming or denying facts about its investigation.
Walton said he saw no harm in letting Hatfill's attorneys attempt to identify anyone who improperly leaked information about the case.
"I do agree with Mr. Hatfill that, based on what he's alleging, he's been injured . . . and is going to continue to be injured, " the judge told the parties. "To insist he remain in limbo indefinitely . . . until the crime is solved is a problem."
Mark Grannis, one of Hatfill's attorneys, said the Justice Department's argument that it is protecting national security and a criminal investigation is just a ruse.
Seeking the names of confidential sources from journalists could trigger a legal battle. In a similar case in federal court in Washington, former nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee in December won a judge's order that reporters answer questions in depositions. Most have refused, and the issue appears headed for an appellate court.
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Case Against Ex-CIA Agent Is Dismissed
Associated Press
Saturday, February 7, 2004; Page A08
HOUSTON, Feb. 6 -- A federal judge dismissed an indictment against a former CIA operative who was convicted of selling arms to Libya, after prosecutors decided they would not pursue a retrial.
A 1983 conviction of Edwin Wilson, now 75, for shipping 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives to Libya was thrown out late last year. At his trial, Wilson maintained he was only doing what the CIA asked him to do.
Wilson is jailed at a federal penitentiary in Allenwood, Pa., on two other convictions. He will be eligible for release this fall, Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo said in Washington.
A federal court in Virginia convicted Wilson of exporting firearms to Libya without permission and sentenced him to 10 years. A New York court sentenced him to 25 years, to run consecutively with the Virginia term, on offenses involving claims he conspired behind bars to have witnesses and prosecutors killed.
In a scathing opinion Friday, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes said the government failed to correct information about Wilson's service to the CIA that it acknowledged internally was false. Federal prosecutors informed Hughes earlier Friday they would not seek a retrial.
Corallo said the decision to dismiss the Texas case was based in part on "the difficulty of marshaling the facts and witnesses after 21 years."
Wilson's attorney, David Adler, said the government did the right thing by not seeking a retrial. He said Wilson would not have received a fair trial because a number of witnesses in the Texas case have died.


Posted by maximpost at 4:12 PM EST
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>> PREDATOR'S BALL?

Iran hosting global terrorist conference
Event includes Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida allies
Posted: February 7, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Editor's note: JosephFarah's G2 Bulletin is an online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com - a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for the last 25 years.
? 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Just as the U.S. State Department approves wider contact with Iran and as members of Congress begin planning the first official trips in 25 years, Tehran is sponsoring a 10-day conference of major terrorist organization beginning next week.
The purpose of the conference is to discuss anti-U.S. strategy.
Among the groups headed to Iran to participate are: Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida allies Ansar Al Islam.
The conference, dubbed "Ten Days of Dawn," is designed to mark the 25th anniversary of the return to Iran from exile of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the revolution that ousted the shah of Iran in 1979.
Officials said the conference, ordered by Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, marks Iran's investment in sponsoring Islamic insurgency groups in the Middle East, Asia and South America.

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>> COVERUP?
Proof That Tehran Backed Terrorism
Posted Feb. 4, 2004
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Nineteen U.S. Air Force personnel died here when terrorists attacked with a truck full of explosives. Freeh testified it was planned, funded and sponsored by Iran.
As a former Iranian intelligence officer was providing testimony in a courtroom in Germany detailing operational ties between the September 11 hijackers and the government of Iran, lawyers from the U.S. departments of State and Justice and appeals-court judges in Washington were working hard to overturn a law that has allowed victims of terrorism to sue foreign governments for sponsoring terrorist crimes that have killed Americans.
The measure, known as the "Flatow amendment," was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October 2000. Terrorism experts believe it has had a sobering effect on terrorist sponsors, including Iran and Libya, because it has made them financially accountable for the crimes of their proxies by awarding damages to victims from frozen assets held in the United States.
The simple message of the Flatow amendment is this: If you direct terrorist groups to kill Americans, you will pay. Damage awards to victims from Iranian government assets in the United States in some 50-odd cases now top $3 billion.
Among those victims have been U.S. hostages held in Lebanon, the families of U.S. citizens killed by Iranian government proxies in suicide bombings in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and the families of the 241 U.S. Marines who were killed when an Iranian government agent rammed a truck full of explosives into their barracks outside of the international airport in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983 [see "Invitation to September 11," Jan. 6-19].
Now the U.S. government, apparently without the consent or knowledge of the Bush White House, is about to engage in what observers call "an act of unilateral disarmament" that will comfort state sponsors of terror, especially Iran.
"We always knew the State Department was against these lawsuits and tried to scuttle them from day one," a representative of a group of victims' families tells Insight. "At every step of the way, they intervened - whether to block efforts to discover where frozen Iranian government assets were held, or how we could get them released once we found them on our own."
But in the opinion of congressional sources, the attorneys for the victims and the family members themselves, the decision handed down by Judge Howard Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Jan. 16 is an act of judicial activism that violates the will of Congress and delivers an overwhelming victory to terrorist states. "By vacating the Flatow amendment pure and simple, the U.S. government is sending a crystal-clear message to the terrorists: Go right ahead," said one attorney who has followed these cases for several years.
Pleading the case to repeal the law was Peter D. Keisler, an assistant attorney general in the Bush administration. He was assisted by U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Roscoe C. Howard Jr. and Mark A. Clodfelter, a legal adviser to the secretary of state.
"We ran this up the flagpole and went through the whole interagency process before sending our recommendation up to the Solicitor General's Office," an official involved in the litigation tells Insight. "The solicitor general approved our approach and set out the guidelines for our appeal."
If true, that would be astonishing. Barbara Olson, the wife of U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, was among those killed during the 9/11 attacks when American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon by al-Qaeda hijackers. As solicitor general, Ted Olson vigorously has defended every aspect of the U.S. war on terror, including the USA PATRIOT Act and the government's right to detain illegal combatants for indefinite periods without access to counsel. When pressed about who had authorized their appeal, government attorneys interviewed by Insight declined to respond.
Lawyers from the State and Justice departments argued that the law crafted by Congress, and vetted by their own attorneys at the time, allowed victims of terrorism to sue in U.S. courts but not to seek damages because the language provided "no private cause of action against foreign governments." In response to questions from Insight, they insisted that the distinction was not just "splitting legal hairs." But attorneys who helped write the legislation contested that view and revealed that State Department attorneys made last-minute "technical changes" to the bill that required victims of terrorism to sue "officials, employees and agents" of a foreign state, rather than the government itself.
"We had no objection to that change during the conference," one of the attorneys told Insight, "because they are one and the same thing. But what they are saying now is that Congress is a bunch of incompetents who don't know how to draft legislation. We'll be back in a year's time with a much more muscular bill."
These are not lawsuits like any other. They involve U.S. foreign policy, national security and the rights of victims of murderous crimes to seek redress under the law.
What makes the decision by Judge Edwards and the active intervention of the State and Justice department lawyers particularly odious, lawyers and family members of victims tell Insight, is the potential cost in human lives it could entail. As President Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, weakness or the perception of weakness invites attack.
The shabbiest treatment of all was reserved for the families of the 19 U.S. airmen and Air Force personnel who lost their lives when Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists drove a truck bomb into the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in June 1996. After keeping them waiting two weeks for their day in court, Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson sent some 100 family members back to their homes around the country in mid-December after she single-handedly attempted to block the testimony of former FBI Director Louis Freeh [see "Is Khobar Towers Testimony Being Silenced," posted Dec. 17, 2003].
Freeh already had testified in open session on Oct. 8, 2002, to the Joint Intelligence Committee about involvement of the Iranian government in the Khobar Towers bombing and told Insight when he first appeared in Robinson's courtroom on Dec. 2, 2003, that he planned to give the same testimony. But Robinson kept disappearing from her own courtroom for brief, unexplained recesses. When she returned, she read out long lists of questions, apparently dictated to her by others, that raised objections to Freeh's testimony and to every other witness the victims' attorneys tried to call. A longtime observer of the court called Robinson's courtroom behavior "disingenuous" and "out of line" and "in violation of federal rules of evidence."
To family members, Freeh had become a hero. "He was the only man in Washington during this whole thing who gave a damn," said Katherine Adams, mother of U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Adams, a pilot who had been taking another officer's tour of duty in Saudi Arabia so he could stay home with his wife while she was having a baby. "He was the only man who kept his word to the families, who cared, who met with us. [President] Clinton never did anything, except to show up for a photo op," Katherine Adams says.
When Robinson finally allowed the former FBI director to testify to an empty courtroom on Dec. 18, Freeh got straight to the point. "My own conclusion was that the [Khobar Towers] attack was planned, funded and sponsored by the senior leadership of the government of Iran," he said. Freeh's breathtaking conclusion, and the hard evidence of the Iranian government's role in the attack, is widely seen as far more compelling than the evidence used by the Bush administration to justify the war in Iraq. Making all evidence public could increase pressure on the administration to move militarily against Iran, a step most observers agree the administration would prefer to avoid.
Robinson also took the unprecedented step in a terrorism case of disqualifying the most qualified nongovernmental witness on Iranian government funding of terrorism, Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, in a written order handed down Jan. 27. Clawson has testified in more than a half-dozen lawsuits against the government of Iran, providing hard data culled from Iranian government reports on state budgets allocated to international terrorism. Robinson ordered that his testimony be "stricken in its entirety" because Clawson would not reveal all the sources for his expert opinion on Iranian government sponsorship of terror. Clawson was unable to attend one hearing, an affidavit shows, because he was scheduled for all-day briefings at CIA headquarters in McLean, Va.
Sources familiar with the U.S. government investigations tell Insight that Iran "supplied the explosives" for the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa that killed more than 200 persons, and designated top terrorist operative Imad Mugniyeh as their liaison to Osama bin Laden's groups.
U.S. intelligence agencies consistently have argued that Iran could "not possibly" have a connection to al-Qaeda or to Sunni Muslim terrorist networks because Sunnis and Shias "do not talk to one another." And yet, a handful of intelligence analysts resisted this consensus view and compiled "B-Team" reports on al-Qaeda/Iran contacts for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith. After an Oct. 26, 2001, briefing, Wolfowitz expressed astonishment that this information had been kept from him, and he asked to be given more information as it became available. Instead, the Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who compiled the report, Kai Fallis, was fired by his superiors.
"What has been done is incredibly hypocritical," says Stephen Perlis, a lawyer involved in a dozen similar cases, including the original Flatow case. "They used the Flatow amendment to facilitate rapprochement with Libya by resolving the Pan Am 103 case, but now they want to destroy it when it applies to Iran."
As the war on terror progresses, the Bush administration is seeking to put pressure on hard-line clerics in Iran, deter their use of terror, stop weapons of mass destruction and encourage pro-democracy forces - at least, that is what the president says. But the message sent by the repeal of the Flatow amendment, and by the refusal of the State Department to back up the president's promise to support the pro-democracy movement in Iran, suggests a policy process the president does not control, say former National Security Council officials.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight magazine.
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Breaking News: Is Khobar Towers Testimony Being Silenced?
Posted Dec. 17, 2003
By Scott L. Wheeler
Published: Tuesday, December 23, 2003
A senior government official says the State Department is interfering with a civil lawsuit, creating setbacks for family members of victims of the 1996 bombing of a military barracks in Saudi Arabia. The official, who spoke on condition that he not be named, told Insight that the State Department is taking "active measures" to prevent family members of some of the 19 victims of the Khobar Towers bombing from proceeding with a civil court case that alleges Iran sponsored the bombing and seeks a judgment against the Islamic nation which the State Department itself lists as a country that sponsors terrorism.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and the former head of the FBI's counterterrorism unit, Dale Watson, had been slated to testify in the trial and had even shown up in court to testify on one occasion but were told they couldn't appear, even though lawyers for the victims said they had received permission from the Justice Department for their testimony to go forward. In court, attorneys stated that there was another agency that had not granted permission and was holding up the testimony. The government official, who does not work for the State Department but who does have dealings with it on matters pertaining to terrorism, told Insight that State was the agency holding up testimony and attempting to prevent it from occurring altogether. "First they did everything they could to prevent Freeh and Watson from testifying," the official says, "and now they are putting pressure on the judge to dismiss the case."
A spokesman for the State Department said that "We reviewed the request without objection," but could not say when the Justice Department was notified of State's clearance of testimony by Freeh and Watson.
Another source close to the Justice Department told Insight that U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the boss of presiding judge U.S. Magistrate Deborah Robinson, was approached by the State Department and told that the Khobar Towers case was "still under investigation" and a "matter of national security" and that the case should be dismissed. When asked about allegations that the State Department applied pressure on the judge, a department spokesman told Insight, "We do not discuss ongoing cases."
Last Friday, after two weeks of hearing testimony, Robinson indicated her desire to dismiss the case even if Freeh and Watson are allowed to testify. "What evidence will be presented to make the trial worth holding over?" the judge asked attorneys for the families of the victims. Freeh and Watson both had concluded and previously had testified in other venues that Iran's assistance in the Khobar Towers bombing amounted to state sponsorship of the attack.
Robinson, however, raised questions over whether testimony of the two would divulge "classified" information. Attorneys responded that they only intended to pursue information provided by Freeh and Watson that already had been made public in other court depositions. The government official says that claims of national security in this case are "specious at best. This is about the State Department putting the interests of Iran and Saudi Arabia ahead of that of their own citizens." Testimony by the two former FBI officials is viewed as the cornerstone of the case for the family members and, according to several attorneys without an interest in the outcome of the case, would go well beyond the evidence necessary to win in a case where the defendant doesn't show up and put on a defense.
On Tuesday the court learned that the Justice Department had agreed to allow testimony from Freeh and Watson to go forward. However, family members of victims of the Khobar Towers bombing said they were disheartened by Robinson's statement about whether the family members who previously were scheduled to testify would be allowed to testify. Last week the judge told the victims' family members who had traveled at their own expense to testify at the trial to just "go home." Marie Campbell, wife of Air Force Sgt. Millard Dee Campbell, fighting back tears, told Insight, "It hurts a lot to have to prepare to testify about the loss of my husband" and then to be told "to just go home." Campbell says being involved with the lawsuit "may be the only justice we get" for the attack.
"My tears never stop," said Jennie Haun, wife of Air Force Capt. Timothy Haun, another Khobar Towers victim.
"We have so many things that make us suffer. Our loved ones were murdered and we only want what little bit of justice this provides," Haun told Insight. Haun also was scheduled to testify but says that after what happened in court yesterday she sees a chance for "a little bit of peace" slipping away.
Attorneys for the victims' families had no comment.
Scott L. Wheeler is a contributing writer for Insight.
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Invitation to September 11
Posted Dec. 22, 2003
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2004

The spider holes where terrorists and the nation-states who back them hide from public view lie in the murkiest recesses of the murky world of intelligence. Rarely do victims of terrorist attacks get to face their attacker, let alone know his identity, especially when the attacker is a foreign government. Individual terrorists such as Osama bin Laden or Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (aka "Carlos the Jackal") - who openly boast of their evil deeds and thus can be tracked, targeted and eventually taken out - are the exception, not the rule.
Or so said the conventional wisdom until a recent groundbreaking public trial in a federal courtroom in Washington that blew the lid off the world's most elusive terrorist sponsor: the Islamic Republic of Iran. That legal action was brought by the families of the 241 U.S. Marines who were killed when terrorists crashed an explosives-filled truck into their barracks near the Beirut airport on Oct. 23, 1983. It raises disturbing questions concerning some of our most basic assumptions about the war on terror.
New intelligence revealed at the March 2003 trial, and independently confirmed by Insight with top military commanders and intelligence officials who had access to it at the time, shows that the U.S. government knew beyond any reasonable doubt who carried out the bombing of the Marine barracks 20 years ago and yet did nothing to punish the perpetrators. Even more disturbing is the revelation, which Insight also confirmed independently, that intelligence then available and known within the government gave clear forewarning of the attack. But this warning never was transmitted to operations officers on the ground who could have done something to prevent or reduce the impact of the devastating assault.
Among the intelligence information initially uncovered by Thomas Fortune Fay, an attorney for the families of the victims, was a National Security Agency (NSA) intercept of a message sent from Iranian intelligence headquarters in Tehran to Hojjat ol-eslam Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, the Iranian ambassador in Damascus. As it was paraphrased by presiding U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth, "The message directed the Iranian ambassador to contact Hussein Musawi, the leader of the terrorist group Islamic Amal, and to instruct him ... 'to take a spectacular action against the United States Marines.'"
Rear Adm. James "Ace" Lyons was deputy chief of naval operations for plans, policy and operation at the time and remembers well when he first learned of the NSA intercept. It was exactly two days after terrorists had driven a truck laden with military explosives into the fortified Marine barracks complex just outside the Beirut airport and detonated it, producing the largest, non-nuclear explosion in history, the equivalent to 20,000 pounds of TNT. "The director of naval intelligence carried the transcript to me in a locked briefcase," he tells Insight. "He gave it to me, to the chief of naval operations, and to the secretary of the Navy all in the same day."
At trial, Lyons described the general contents of the message. In a personal tribute to the slain Marines and their families, he had obtained a copy of the NSA transcript and presented it in a sealed envelope to the court. "If ever there was a 24-karat gold document, this was it," Lyons said, "This was not something from the third cousin of the fourth wife of Muhammad the taxicab driver." Lamberth accepted the still-classified NSA intercept into evidence under seal to protect NSA sources and methods. It was the first time in nearly a dozen cases brought against the government of Iran by victims of terrorism that material evidence emanating directly from the U.S. intelligence community was brought forward in such a direct manner.
The existence of this intercept - just one of thousands of messages incriminating the governments of Iran, Syria and Saddam Hussein's Iraq (among others) in deadly terrorist crimes against Americans - long has been rumored. Insight reported in May 2001 on similar electronic intelligence that unequivocally revealed how Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat personally ordered Palestinian terrorists to murder U.S. diplomats Cleo Noel and George Curtis Moore after a PLO commando took them hostage in Khartoum, Sudan, in March 1973 [see "Arafat Murdered U.S. Diplomats," June 25, 2001].
Then as now, the release of such information shocks many Americans who find it hard to believe that the U.S. government could have had such clear-cut indications of impending terrorist acts and done nothing to stop them or to punish those responsible. And yet that is precisely what the intelligence indicates. And the reasons, far from some dire government conspiracy, appear to be the laziness and incompetence of intelligence officials and bureaucratic gatekeepers who failed to pass on information to the political appointees or Cabinet officers making the decisions.
The message from Tehran ordering Iranian-backed terrorists to attack the U.S. Marines in Beirut was picked up "on or about Sept. 26, 1983," Lamberth said, noting it was nearly four full weeks before the actual bombing. With all that lead time, why did no one take steps to protect the Marines or to head off the attack? "That's a question I've been waiting 20 years for someone to ask," Lyons tells this magazine.
Insight has learned that the CIA station in Damascus received a copy of the terrorist message almost as soon as it was intercepted and transmitted it back to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. "The response I heard back from headquarters was, 'The Marines? We don't want to know about the Marines,'" a former CIA officer who saw the intercept and was involved in transmitting it to his superiors tells Insight.
Marine Col. Tim Geraghty, commander of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit then stationed at the Beirut Airport, tells Insight that he never received a warning or even a report based on the message, although he was well aware that his Marines had become "sitting ducks" to hostile militias on the ground. "Generally, yes, we knew the problem," he said, "but we never received anything specific."
This was not because the CIA was stonewalling him, Geraghty believes. "I became personal friends with Bill Buckley, who was CIA station chief in Beirut, and he was giving me everything he had. But we never got a warning mentioning a possible attack on the barracks or mentioning Iran." And yet, as Geraghty himself learned at the trial, such warnings indeed had been picked up and they were very specific indeed.
For one thing, there was no other place but the barracks near the airport where a "spectacular operation" could have been carried out. It was the only major Marine bivouac in all of Lebanon. And then, there was the mention in the intercept of Hussein Musawi by name and the group he then headed, Islamic Amal - a precursor of what later became known as Hezbollah. Both were under direct Iranian-government control. But as former CIA officer Robert Baer tells Insight, in this case the warning "did not mention a specific time or place and so was not considered [by CIA managers] to be actionable." Because of this, the warning never was sent on to Beirut, where Buckley could have passed it on to Geraghty. Until 9/11 such a lack of specificity was a standard excuse.
Michael Ledeen, author of The War Against the Terror Masters, was working as a consultant to the Department of Defense at the time of the bombing. The failure to share intelligence "drove a change in the structure of the intelligence community," he said at trial, "because what they found was that we should have seen it coming, we had enough information so that we should have seen it coming [but] we didn't because of the compartmentalization of the various pieces of the intelligence community. So the people who listen to things weren't talking to the people who looked at things weren't talking to people who analyzed things and so on." That failure, he said, led CIA director William Casey to establish the Counter-Terrorism Center, a new, cross-discipline unit whose sole purpose was to prevent terrorism and, when that failed, to fight back against terrorists.
After the Beirut attack the intelligence on Iran's involvement all of a sudden looked different. And yet, despite evidence that Ledeen categorized as "absolutely convincing," the Reagan administration not only didn't fight back, but within three months of the attack secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger ordered the Marines to leave Beirut altogether, opening the United States to accusations that it had "cut and run" and inviting terrorists to have at Americans with impunity.
Exactly why that happened is still a mystery to many of the participants, Insight discovered in interviews with Weinberger, former Navy secretary John F. Lehman, former deputy chief of naval operations Lyons, Geraghty, former CIA officer Robert Baer and others. To Baer, a self-avowed "foot soldier" in the war on terror, "The information we had on the Iranians in 1983 was infinitely better than anything we had on Saddam Hussein." The failure to retaliate for the attack "was all politics."
For example, the CIA managed to identify the Hezbollah operative who built the bomb in the truck. "His name was Ibrahim Safa. He was working with the Pasdaran - the Iranian Revolutionary Guards - out of the southern suburbs of Beirut," Baer tells Insight. "In the hierarchy of things, he was just a thug who'd found God. He'd been a bang-bang man in the civil war in the 1970s who knew explosives."
One option available to military planners was to target the actual planners of the operation, such as Safa, but that was rejected because of the congressional ban on assassination. "Assassination was forbidden, so we couldn't target individuals, the heads of Hezbollah," Ledeen recalls. "We would have had to go after Hezbollah training camps and kill a lot of innocent civilians." That was something Weinberger says neither he nor the president wanted to do.
Soon the primary target became the Sheikh Abdallah barracks in Baalbek, the capital of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. A former Lebanese-army barracks, it had been taken over by Iran's Pasdaran and was being used to train Hezbollah and house Iranian troops stationed in Lebanon. "We had the planes loaded and ready to take out the group," says Lyons, referring to Hezbollah and their Iranian masters in Baalbek, "but we couldn't get the go-ahead from Washington. We could have taken out all 250 of them in about one-and-a-half minutes."
President Ronald Reagan was demanding retaliation, and asked the U.S. Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to draw up target lists, Lehman tells Insight. According to several participants, the Syrian government also had played a role in the plot and several named Syrian officers were suggested as potential targets, as was the Syrian defense ministry.
"It is my recollection that I had been briefed on who had done it and what the evidence was," Lehman says. "I was told the actual names of the Syrians and where they were. I was told about the evidence that the Iranian government was directly behind it. I was told that the people who had done it were trained in Baalbek and that many of them were back in Baalbek. I recall very clearly that there was no controversy who did it. I never heard any briefer or person in the corridor who said, 'Oh maybe we don't know who did it.'"
Insight has learned that, within three weeks of the attack, enough intelligence had been gathered to determine exactly where and how to hit back, and a counterstrike package was briefed directly to the president. Planners say it included eight Tomahawk missiles launched from the battleship New Jersey against the Syrian defense ministry and other command targets in Syria. Carrier-based A6-A Intruders were assigned to bomb the Sheikh Abdallah barracks in Baalbek in a joint strike with the French, who had lost 58 marines when their own barracks, known as the "Drakkar," was bombed just minutes after the U.S. Marines. It also included selected "snatches" of Syrian officers based in Lebanon who had helped carry out the operation.
Coordinates already were being programmed into the Tomahawks, and the A6 pilots and snatch teams were being briefed, say the intelligence and defense officials Insight interviewed, when someone pulled the plug. By all accounts, that someone was Weinberger.
In his memoirs, Weinberger made clear that he had opposed deployment of the Marines to Beirut in the first place because they were never given a clear mission. He also expressed regret - which he repeated in an interview with Insight - that he had not been "persuasive" enough at White House meetings to convince the president to withdraw the Marines before the October 1983 attack occurred. "I was begging the president to take us out of Lebanon," he tells Insight. "We were sitting right in the middle of the bull's-eye."
Weinberger believed the United States should only deploy U.S. troops in situations where "the objectives were so important to American interests that we had to fight," at which point, the United States should commit "enough forces to win and win overwhelmingly." Those conditions were not present in Lebanon in 1983, he argued. But Weinberger was overpowered by secretary of state George Shultz, who argued at the White House meetings that the United States could not afford to give the impression it would "cut and run" after the attack since that would only encourage the terrorists. As it soon did.
Speaking with Insight, Weinberger insists today that the only reason the United States did not retaliate for the October 1983 attack on the U.S. Marines "was the lack of specific knowledge of who the perpetrators were. We had nothing before the bombing, although I had warned repeatedly that the security situation was very bad. We were in the middle of the bull's-eye, but we didn't know who was attacking the bull's-eye."
Weinberger insists that he has "never heard of any specific information. If I had known, I wouldn't have hesitated" to approve retaliatory action. "Clearly the attack was planned. But it was hard to locate who had done it out of all the different groups. The president didn't want some kind of carpet bombing that would kill a lot of innocent civilians. There were so many groups and not all of them were responsible to the government of Iran. All we knew was that they were united in their hatred of America."
Weinberger's account surprised several other participants who had firsthand knowledge of the intelligence information. "Perhaps Weinberger was never given the intercept by his staff," one participant suggested.
At the time highly classified NSA material such as the Damascus intercept would have been given to the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Gen. John Vessey, and to the military aide to the secretary of defense, who would determine whether the secretary would be apprised of the information personally. Weinberger's aide at the time was Maj. Gen. Colin Powell.
But Vessey tells Insight he has "no recollection" of seeing the intelligence on Iran's involvement in the attack. "It is unbelievable to me that someone didn't bring it through the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency up to me and the secretary of defense." Somewhere along the line, the system broke down. "I just don't know what happened," Vessey says. Sources close to Powell suggest the intercept never made it into the president's daily briefing.
On Nov. 16, 1983, Weinberger received a telephone call from Charles Hernu, the French minister of defense, informing him that French Super-Etendard fighter-bombers were getting ready to attack Baalbek. In his memoirs, Weinberger states that he "had received no orders or notifications from the president or anyone prior to that phone call from Paris," which he said gave him too short a notice to scramble U.S. jets.
This reporter was covering the fighting between Arafat and Syrian-backed PLO rebels in Tripoli, Lebanon, at the time, and vividly recalls watching the French planes roar overhead en route to Baalbek. The raid was a total failure.
Whatever the reasons behind the refusal of the United States to join that French retaliatory raid, there can be no doubt that the terrorists and their masters took the U.S. failure to retaliate as a sign of weakness. Just five months later, Iran's top agent in Beirut, Imad Mugniyeh, took CIA station chief William Buckley hostage and hideously tortured him to death after extracting whatever information he could. Since then, notes former Navy secretary Lehman, Osama bin Laden has "directly credited the Marine bombing" and the lack of U.S. retaliation as encouraging his jihadi movement to believe they could attack the United States with impunity.
"The first shots in the war on terror we are in now were fired in Beirut in October 1983," says Geraghty. "The [Bush] administration is now doing exactly what we need to be doing, attacking the enemies of freedom where they live instead of letting them attack us in our home." But the failure to strike back against Iran and Syria in 1983 was a dreadful mistake, he says. "This was an act of war. We knew who the players were. And, because we didn't respond, we emboldened these people to increase the violence."
Never again.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight magazine.
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A Marine 'Peacekeeper's' Story
Posted Dec. 22, 2003
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2004
Steve Edward Russell, an E-5 sergeant with the 2nd Marine Division out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., was in the guard post directly in front of the lobby when he heard a loud snap, "like a two-by-four breaking" out by the main gate. When he turned to look, he saw a large Mercedes water truck coming through the open gate, leaning heavily as it swerved around barriers. Russell fiddled briefly with his sidearm, but realized it was not loaded - in keeping with the rules of engagement for this "peacekeeping" mission. Then he saw that the truck was coming straight for him.
He made eye contact with the driver - a man in his mid-twenties with curly hair and an olive complexion, wearing what looked like a camouflage shirt - "and the only thing on my mind was to warn." He began running, screaming to Marines who were milling around to get out, but got one last look at the driver. He had "a sh--ty grin, a smile of success you might say." Russell made it to the other side of the building when the truck exploded, wounding him severely.
As he gave his testimony to a courtroom packed with family members of victims, Russell exploded with 20 years of guilt for not having been able to stop the truck. "I hope I've done some good today," he said, "and if I step down right now and drop dead I'd be happy because I've been a good Marine."
Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight.
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Defector Points Finger at Iran in September 11 Plot
Posted Feb. 4, 2004
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2004
An Iranian defector stepped forward to provide key testimony in the trial of an alleged 9/11 conspirator, a 31-year old Moroccan named Abdelghani Mzoudi, just hours before a German court was preparing to drop all charges against him. The defector, Hamid Reza Zakeri, told a court in Hamburg on Jan. 30 that a Mzoudi colleague, 9/11 hijacker Ziad Samir al-Jarrah, met in Iran with Zakeri's former bosses at the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS), Iran's intelligence service, two years before the September 11 terrorist attacks. "I saw him at a training camp in eastern Iran with [Lebanese terrorist] Imad Mugniyeh and [top al-Qaeda operative] Saef al-Adil," he said.
Mzoudi himself was in Iran for training in 1997, Zakeri says. The Germans had charged Mzoudi with providing material support to the al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg that included al-Jarrah and two other 9/11 hijackers, but they were preparing to drop the charges before Zakeri stepped forward with new information. Insight first published Zakeri's allegations of an Iranian government link to the 9/11 conspiracy last year [see "Defector Alleges Iranian Involvement in Sept. 11 Attacks," posted June 10, 2003, at Insight Online]. At the time, the CIA responded to Insight inquiries regarding Zakeri's credibility by calling him a "serial fabricator."
Zakeri claimed that he met with a CIA officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, in July 2001 and provided warning of the 9/11 attacks. The CIA acknowledged the meeting, then claimed Zakeri had provided no credible evidence of a terrorist plot against the United States. But German prosecutors and the German intelligence agencies who have interviewed Zakeri don't appear to share that assessment. Germany's counterespionage service, the Bundeskriminalamt, supplied prosecutors with a 30-page transcript of its interview with Zakeri on Jan. 21, prompting the court to halt Mzoudi's trial and expected release.
In his original interview with Insight, which was picked up by American media organizations only after Zakeri's name surfaced in the German 9/11 trial on Jan. 21, the former MOIS operative said he personally handled security at two meetings between top al-Qaeda operatives and Iranian officials held in Iran just months before the September 11 attacks.
Zakeri's information dovetailed in many respects with an earlier report on Iran's al-Qaeda ties produced by the Defense Intelligence Agency that Insight first revealed in November 2001 [see "Iran Cosponsors Al-Qaeda Terrorism," Dec. 3, 2001]. Both reports have been spiked until now.
Zakeri backed up his original account of the two meetings between al-Qaeda and Iran with a document signed by Hojjat-ol eslam Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, who headed the Intelligence Department for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The letter, dated May 14, 2001, carried instructions from Khamenei to his Intelligence Ministry regarding relations with al-Qaeda.
In a follow-on interview with Insight just hours before he appeared in the Hamburg courtroom on Jan. 30, Zakeri reiterated his earlier allegations that Saad bin Laden, eldest son of the Saudi terrorist, and bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, both came to Iran in the months prior to the 9/11 attacks to discuss the logistics and strategy of a major attack on the United States with Iranian intelligence officers.
Saad bin Laden "spoke good English" during his talks with MOIS officials when he came to Iran four months and seven days before 9/11, Zakeri tells Insight.
Another top al-Qaeda operative, Saef al-Adil, currently is in Iran, Zakeri tells Insight, where he has met with the deputy military commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Gen. Mohammad Baqr Zolqadr. Training of al-Qaeda operatives by the IRGC took place at the "Fathi Shiqaqi" camp to the northeast of Iran, he adds. Shiqaqi was the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iranian-backed terrorist group, until Israeli intelligence operatives assassinated him in Malta in October 1995. Shiqaqi was replaced as head of PIJ by Ramadan Shallah, who left a teaching job at the University of South Florida where he had worked alongside professor Sami al-Arian, now awaiting trial in the United States on terrorism-related charges.
U.S. officials say they believe Saad bin Laden currently is in Iran, where he is being given refuge and safe harbor, but repeated requests to the Iranian government to hand him over for trial have gone unanswered. The Iranian government says only that a number of al-Qaeda operatives crossed into Iran from neighboring Afghanistan and that they currently are awaiting prosecution for unspecified violations of Iranian law.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight.
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Stacking the Deck Against Science By Kristen Philipkoski
Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,62119,00.html
02:00 AM Feb. 03, 2004 PT
Under the guise of promoting sound science, the Bush administration is advancing a policy that could make it more difficult for federal agencies to protect health and the environment, U.S. scientists say.
A White House Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, bulletin (PDF) drafted in August 2003 would allow the government to hand-pick scientists to second-guess scientific research, opponents say. The text of the bulletin says its purpose would be to ensure that all research affecting federal regulations, such as environmental or health advisories, would be thoroughly peer reviewed by unbiased researchers.
But scientists feel the government is commandeering a term that is near and dear to their hearts.
Peer review is the backbone of all serious science. It's a process by which top experts in a given field examine research for flaws, and often send it back to researchers for more work before it's disseminated to the public. But scientists say the White House version of peer review would allow the government to stack review committees in favor of the government and industry.
"It wouldn't be peer review as we're used to," said William Schlesinger, president of the Ecological Society of America, which represents 8,000 scientists in academia, government and industry.
The OMB bulletin would require that peer reviewers be "independent of the agency" involved when it comes to "significant regulatory information." Experts receiving funding from the agency involved, who have performed multiple peer reviews for that agency in recent years or just one review on the same topic, would be eliminated as potential reviewers.
That would eliminate the top experts in a given field, scientists said in letters responding to the bulletin.
"Anyone really good has done some science and made a conclusion," Schlesinger said. "If you eliminate those people, probably the researchers did multiple reviews because they were recognized as being good at it. (Also,) anybody any good on an issue is always looking for research funding."
Many also complain that the bulletin does not address ways to combat conflict of interest when it comes to researchers working in the private sector.
Opponents of the bulletin also said the definition of "significant" or "especially significant" regulatory information was so broad that it could lead to an unmanageable number of federally mandated peer reviews.
The OMB did not return repeated phone calls, and it's unclear when the OMB will advance the bulletin or if it will be revised.
Five congressmen and members of the Committee on Science wrote a response to the bulletin saying items as disparate as Alan Greenspan's decisions on interest rates, Veterans Affairs drug prices and weather warnings could fall under this rule and require peer review.
"When the National Weather Service predicts a major storm, it has immediate implications for businesses and governments in affected areas," they wrote (PDF). "It would appear completely unworkable, however, to obtain peer review of this information on a regular basis."
The peer-review proposal could dangerously slow down the process of warning the public about health dangers, said Winifred DePalma, regulatory affairs counsel for Public Citizen.
"This is explicitly taking control over when the public health and environmental agencies can make an announcement to the public," DePalma said. "You would have to go through peer review before disseminating that information to the public unless peer review is waived."
Respondents to the bulletin are divided between industry and scientific or environmental groups. For example, the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association and the Industrial Minerals Association favor the proposal. The American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences and the Natural Resources Defense Council oppose it.
Opponents also say the measure is trying to fix something that's not broken.
"There's nothing wrong with the system," said Georges Benjamin, president of the American Public Health Association. "People might not like the way the good science comes out, so they want to look for an opposition to second-guess it. I don't know what OMB's motives are, but I think they've got a solution looking for a problem."
"It is really amazing that OMB has not pointed out a single instance of bad rule-making or decision-making based on (scientific) information," DePalma said.

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Andrew Jewett
Science & the promise of democracy in America - D?dalus Fall 2003
Andrew Jewett, a visiting scholar at the American Academy in the academic year 2002-2003, is a lecturer in history at Yale University. He is completing a book on the understanding of scienti?c democracy in early-twentieth-century America.
http://www.amacad.org/publications/fall2003/jewett.pdf


The intellectual skirmishes known as the science wars have centered on whether scienti?c facts and theories are socially constructed. This is, of course, a substantive argument over meaningful issues: the nature of truth, the possibility of objective knowledge, and the proper methodology for scholarly inquiry. But why in the past decade has debate over this particular set of abstract questions become so acrimonious, so deeply politicized? And why has the debate erupted most stridently in the United States?
Commentators sometimes claim that sociological factors explain the intensity of the conflict, and that this philosophical quarrel gains its emotional tenor from an underlying struggle over academic turf. Thomas F. Gieryn argues, for example, that sociologists and literary theorists are trying to portray their own disciplines as the only sources of authoritative judgment-an assertion that physicists, chemists, and biologists naturally dispute. The science wars, he writes, are a series of "credibility contests in which rival parties manipulate the boundaries of science in order to legitimate their beliefs about reality and secure for their knowledge-making a provisional epistemic authority that carries with it influence, prestige, and material resources."1
For Gieryn what is really at stake is social status. But I am not convinced. I believe that the science wars express something more than a substantive debate over epistemological issues, and something deeper than a dispute over academic status. What we are witnessing is a new chapter in an ongoing struggle over the meaning of modern science for American democracy.
This is a struggle that took shape in the ?rst half of the twentieth century, especially during the 1920s and 1930s. The vigorous debates of that period about the political meaning of science inform today's political, institutional, and cultural climate, and by reconsidering them we may discover the deep roots and true stakes of the science wars today. In the late nineteenth century, a few Americans began to argue that the nation could best guarantee its political health by expanding its scienti?c institutions. After the turn of the century, an increasingly broad group of academics- some based in the natural sciences but most in the social sciences, philosophy, history, and educational theory- were joined in this endeavor by journalists and educators outside the academy who agreed that science held great social promise.
This group of `scienti?c democrats' included (to name only a few of the most famous) the philosopher John Dewey, President Herbert Hoover, the physicist Robert A. Millikan, the anthropologist Franz Boas-and Vannevar Bush, the electrical engineer who directed the wartime effort to build the ?rst atomic bomb.2 They constituted a large proportion, perhaps even an outright majority, of those Americans engaged in research, study, and writing during the ?rst half of the twentieth century. And, although their views were far from uniform, they shared enough ideas that we can consider them a social movement.
For the scienti?c democrats the most salient fact of American life during the Gilded Age was the spread of egoistic and self-seeking behavior. As the frontier closed and the economy industrialized, the nation seemed increasingly indanger of developing some of the most feared solvents of a republican society: a permanent class of dependent wageearners and an economically parasitic elite.
One response was the Social Gospel movement in American Protestantism. Theologians of this bent emphasized that the path to individual salvation ran through social salvation, and they advocated for, among other moralities, the worker's right to a living wage and safe working conditions. Other responses included socialism and trade unionism. But the scienti?c democrats felt that none of these programs could adequately address the political challenges of an industrial society. Since most of these democrats had been raised in evangelical Protestant environments, they still believed that personal benevolence was central to solving the nation's industrial woes. They therefore rejected what they saw as the narrowly material goals of the socialists and the trade unionists. Yet they also moved away from institutional Protestantism, believing that it was still tainted by a stringent Calvinist emphasis on self-denial and failed to explain how benevolence, by itself, could transform a complex industrial society. The "major problem of life," as Ralph Barton Perry put it, was to foster simultaneously "sentiments" and "modes of organization" by which "human suffering may be mitigated, and by which every unnecessary thwarting of human desire may be eliminated."3
To solve this problem, the scienti?c democrats proposed a return to the scienti?c method, as they understood it. (By the standards of contemporary physics or biology, what they meant by `science' was quite broad-it implied a general commitment to the experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of a variety of phenomena, both natural and social.) In their optimistic view, modern science had proved its power in practice, by harnessing natural resources and creating new inventions such as the steam engine and the rail- road, creating an industrial society with the potential to overcome scarcity. The task now was to apply the methods of modern science to the improvement of social organization itself. The application of such methods might allow the nation to close the gap between its professed ideals and the realities of industrial social life, by organizing a new kind of political community that was capable of enlightened self-rule.
By taking as givens both political democracy
and an industrial system based on extensive personal interdependence, the scienti?c democrats were forced to reject the nineteenth-century equation of civic virtue with economic independence. In effect, the scienti?c democrats neatly severed the two halves of what Sacvan Bercovitch describes as the nineteenth-century American model of "representative selfhood": "independence of mind" and "independence of means."4 What virtue, they asked, was economic independence supposed to have protected in the ?rst place? Their answer was intellectual freedom, a social-psychological state that allowed the individual to participate constructively in collective action and decisionmaking. The problem, as they saw it, was to restore the intellectual freedom that had been lost during the rise of the industrial economy. According to Lyman Bryson, "scienti?c or objective thinking" was the source of "the only kind of freedom that is worth having, the freedom to use the mind in all its untrammeled strength and to abide by clearly seen conclusions." And in order to keep the people from "suffering at the hands of those who have knowledge and would use it against them," Bryson continued, society had to provide for "common ownership" of such "effective thought." Science would protect the public against not only errors in judgment, but also "enslavement" by the more knowledgeable. 5 Universal access to science would liberate the public from its mental bondage. To modern ears, the scienti?c democrats' program may sound as deeply authoritarian as the intellectual tyranny they feared. But the now common charge that these ?gures imposed a concrete ethical system under the cover of absolute neutrality misses the point, for the scienti?c democrats de?ned intellectual freedom in far different terms than we do. Scholars have long noted that Progressive Era reformers developed a positive notion of political freedom, in which removing obstacles to action was only the ?rst step toward making freely chosen action possible. The scienti?c democrats understood intellectual freedom in equally positive terms, conceiving it as the possession of suf?cient resources to think effectively in a social setting, rather than as merely the absence of coercion. "No man and no mind," Dewey wrote in 1927, "was ever emancipated by being left alone."6 Freedom was a product of social relations, not of the escape from them. Meanwhile, science seemingly reinforced the point that an attitude of pure neutrality or pure self-seeking was counterproductive; what characterized science as a cultural practice was the participants' emotional commitment to the pursuit of collective truths.
During its ?rst phase, in the years before World War I, the movement for scienti?c democracy centered on two goals. The ?rst was increasing the cognitive and social authority of science. This meant familiarizing the public with the inevitability of industrialization, as well as expanding the predictive power of the physical and social sciences, establishing these disciplines on a ?rmer professional basis, and strengthening the universities with which these disciplines were increasingly associated. Despite internal divisions, the nascent movement united during these early years behind a general program of persuading Americans that a commitment to `science'-however vaguely de?ned-promoted social integration and the only kind of democracy compatible with an industrial society. The second shared goal prior to World War I was more subtle, though equallyconsequential: rede?ning how scienti ?c inquiry itself was understood. Nineteenth-century American interpreters of science offered a narrowly empirical reading based on the work of Francis Bacon, as ?ltered through the writings of the Scottish common-sense realists. They held that all individuals possessed a truth-?nding faculty that could perceive the orderly, lawful structures of the universe, just as the eye perceived light and shape. Scienti?c facts were like objects to be collected or discovered, available to all and requiring little analysis beyond systematic classi?cation. The scientist was like a pioneer on the prairie, struggling to organize the elements of an inhuman but morally responsive nature.7
But to the scienti?c democrats it was abundantly clear that morally normative facts were not simply strewn about the landscape to be collected and assembled by any frontiersman. The general public consistently got the facts wrong, and, more importantly, consistently read the social implications of even the most well-established facts-in particular, the irreversible rise of the industrial economy-incorrectly. Abandoning common-sense realism, then, the scienti ?c democrats developed a range of new theories based on the work of European thinkers such as John Stuart Mill, Karl Pearson, and Ernst Mach. These theories, typically designated either positivism or pragmatism, held that the production of scienti?c knowledge required coordinated effort by specially trained individuals.
When these scienti?c democrats invoked objectivity as a characteristic of scienti?c knowledge, they meant neither that the knowledge was absolutely certain nor that the generalizations would necessarily hold permanently true. As one researcher summarized recently, "All the great scientists of the last hundred years (and some much earlier ones) have in one place or another clearly stated that their purpose was to create plausible theoretical models for the organisation of experience and that these models must not be considered representations of absolute reality."8 Objectivity, for these theorists, meant that scienti?c knowledge was as immune as possible to the influence of the observer's own desires. Science was, in the new theories, most fundamentally a means of error correction, producing not perfect truths but simply the best available truths. In the wake ofWorld War I, a new variant of scienti?c democracy appeared,
endorsed by such ?gures as Dewey, Perry, Bryson, and Eduard C. Lindeman. Rather than leave the organization of society to the political-economic conclusions of a small group of scienti?c experts, this group of `deliberative democrats' wanted to engage the public in the intellectual freedom represented by science. If science was the preeminent form of free communication, then it was also the preeminent means by which the social organism could alter itself democratically. By Dewey's account, "Society not only continues to exist by transmission, by communication, but it may fairly be said to exist in transmission, in communication."9 Even if substantial socialization of property was the wave of the future, the process would attain political legitimacy only through the public's active intellectual participation. The deliberativists agreed with their predecessors that the scienti?c method as such was value neutral, in that it neither forced any particular values nor produced facts that were inherently normative. Yet they suspected that the scienti?c methodologies inherited from
their European predecessors were themselves part of the social problem; science would have to be puri?ed or Americanized so that it could perform its appointed task of buttressing democratization. So the deliberativists set out to create not merely a new science but what they often called `a science of science'-a methodologically self-conscious form of inquiry that, by going beyond both realism and positivism, would automatically generate democratic knowledge. The most influential formulation of this idea was Dewey's instrumentalism. This philosophy held that all intellectual constructs and even the scienti?c method itself were merely tools for the achievement of human values, available for use by any and all actors in the pursuit of any and all conceivable ends. A purely methodological conception of science had positive consequences for the organization of intellectual life. It allowed the specialized disciplines to claim scienti?c authority without stepping on each other's toes. In lieu of transcendent or universal principles, standards of explanation could be determined locally, according to the speci?c characteristics of the phenomena under investigation. It also provided a quasipolitical role for a new group of scienti ?c democrats: ?rst- and secondgeneration immigrants, almost all of them Jews. These ?gures were deeply committed to the tenets of democracy, but found the United States far less egalitarian and open than it proclaimed itself to be. Suspicious of crass business values, and harboring idealized images of the highly integrated Old World communities they or their parents had left behind, they faced what one historian has called a standing ideological challenge "to relate the myth of America to the context and conditions of modern America."10 Tools of inquiry that retained their validity no matter who cre-ated or used them offered an important means by which they could help close the cultural gap.
On the other hand, installing this methodological de?nition of science at the heart of American democratic theory forced a split between institutionally committed religious thinkers-no matter how supportive they were of modern science's ?ndings-and scienti?c democrats. A strict insistence on scienti?c methods ruled out reference to biblical authority or mystical visions as guides to political action. The program of the deliberative democrats was, in this regard, radically secular. And because it denigrated in principle the beliefs and religious convictions held by many ordinary Americans, the movement was never able to win the democratic support its own vision demanded.
The ascendancy of the movement to create a scienti?c democracy did not in any case last long. The Great Depression, the rise of fascism and Nazism, and America's entry into World War II and subsequent emergence as a global power with a large standing army presented formidable new challenges to the ideal of a deliberative democracy. By the 1950s, with new support in all quarters for research and a seemingly endless Cold War underway, the language of scienti ?c democracy had lost much of its critical edge.
The rhetorical identi?cation of science with democracy remained a staple of Cold War rhetoric, but in the publicly visible invocations of this equation, both science and democracy were de?ned in strictly material fashion and shorn of the deliberative idealism championed by Dewey.11 Defenders of science had jettisoned Dewey's emphasis on science as a tool for the pursuit of human values in favor of rigorous new theories of objectivity that gained their support from the work of the logical empiricists in the new ?eld of philosophy of science. The new, postwar emphasis was summarized by Harvard economics professor John D. Black, writing that the growth of science secured a new Bill of Rights for Americans: To every man shall be given a job suited to his abilities, or a shop of his own in which to turn out products or services needed by his fellow men, or a piece of land upon which to make a living for his family. To every woman shall be given a home or these same opportunities. To every father and mother shall be given the same opportunities for their children to be well-fed and educated and successful as are given to any other children. No man or woman is entitled to any share of the world's goods larger than he produces; but he shall be given an opportunity to produce according to his abilities and his ambition and a necessary minimum of food, clothing, and shelter, regardless of his means; and the child shall not be denied an equal opportunity merely because of the poverty of the parent.12
Such a deeply chastened consensus set the stage for an inevitable reaction. When the ideological pressures of the Cold War eased in the early 1960s, a new generation began to wonder why consumption and military spending were politically untouchable. The situation was galling, in part, precisely because educated middle-class Americans- and the generation of the 1960s was no exception-had entertained such lofty political hopes for science and the universities. Faced with the argument that not even those scientists funded by the Department of Defense bore responsibility for the use of their discoveries, many social critics turned against the language of scienti?c objectivity itself. Believing that they were forced to choose between democratic values and the bene?ts of science, many Americans were prepared to reject the dream of the scienti?c democrats and their Enlightenment- inspired vision of a society modeled on the intellectual freedom of scientists. As they entered academia, these critics retained their focus on science as the ideological core of the American social and political system. Assuming, as had the scienti?c democrats, that intellectual and institutional change were causally linked, they insisted that the critique of objectivity offered a theoretical lever for moving society toward social justice. In fact, historian Edward A. Purcell, Jr., writes, the "most characteristic and signi ?cant intellectual endeavor of the Sixties" was the "attempt to reevaluate the nature of science: to analyze its sociological bases, to illuminate its political functions, and, above all, to deny its pretensions to exclusive and total access to truth." The goal was to "dethrone objectivist science as the supreme intellectual authority."13
And as the conservative ascendancy of the 1970s and 1980s swept away hopes of social reconstruction, the critics redoubled their efforts to unmask the pretensions of science to enlighten and liberate. Meanwhile, defensively minded scientists dug in their feet and took a stand for the possibility of objectivity, even if they personally sought different political goals than those articulated by Black. The outspoken entomologist Edward O. Wilson wrote in a characteristic recent passage that "The propositions of the original Enlightenment are increasingly favored by objective evidence, especially from the natural sciences."14 The stage was set for the science wars. Still, the original vision of scienti?c democracy has yet to disappear fully from the American scene. Despite the sound and fury of contemporary arguments in the academy, the prospect that science can have cultural as well as material bene?ts for ordinary Americans has not entirely lost its hold on the national imagination. And while it seems unlikely that any group of academics will ever voluntarily surrender its hard-won claims to institutional authority, the time may come again when America's natural and social scientists, leaving behind the disputes of the 1990s, undertake a new joint effort to redeem the promise of American democracy under the banner of intellectual freedom.
1 Thomas F. Gieryn, Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 337.
2 I use the term `democrat' in a relatively loose sense to refer to those who rejected authoritarian solutions to the nation's problems and who retained a place for universal suffrage and the consent of the governed. We have, of course, come to see many of their proposals as something less than democratic in the wake of the New Left's renewed emphasis on the value of political participation.
3 Ralph Barton Perry, "Realism in Retrospect," in Contemporary American Philosophy, ed. George P. Adams and William P. Montague (New York: Macmillan, 1930), 187-209, 206.
4 Sacvan Bercovitch, "The Rites of Assent: Rhetoric, Ritual, and the Ideology of American Consensus," in The American Self: Myth, Ideology, and Popular Culture, ed. Sam B. Girgus (Albuquerque, N.Mex.: University of New Mexico Press, 1981), 5-42, 13.
5 Lyman Bryson, The New Prometheus (New York: Macmillan, 1941), 74, 82, 99, 107.
6 John Dewey, "The Public and Its Problems," in John Dewey: The Later Works, 1925-1953, vol. 2, ed. Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1988), 340.
7 Historians have demonstrated that science flourished in the nineteenth-century state only where it was linked ?rmly to the colonization of the continent. The government scientist was, in many cases, a pioneer in actual as well as metaphorical terms, accompanying various expeditions to work in relatively unpopulated areas on the frontier. See Philip J. Pauly, Biologists and the Promise of American Life: From Meriwether Lewis to Alfred Kinsey (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000), esp. 44-70.
8 Ernst von Glasersfeld, "Comment on Neil Ryder's `Science and Rhetoric,'" Pantaneto Forum 10 (April 2003), .
9 John Dewey, "Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education," in John Dewey: The Middle Works, 1899- 1924, vol. 9, ed. Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1976), 7.
10 Sam B. Girgus, "The New Covenant: The Jews and the Myth of America," in The American Self: Myth, Ideology, and Popular Culture, ed. Girgus, 105-123, 111.
11 As Rebecca Lowen shows in her study of Stanford University, Creating the Cold War University: The Transformation of Stanford (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), evenduring the depths of the Cold War there were scientists who fought against a militaristic reading of their enterprise. The socio-political meaning of science has always been contested, both inside and outside the scienti?c disciplines. David Hollinger discusses scienti?c intellectuals' participation in the cultural battles of the midcentury in "Science as a Weapon in Kulturk?mpfe in the United States during and after World War II," in Science, Jews, and Secular Culture: Studies in Mid-Twentieth-Century Intellectual History (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 155-174.
12 John D. Black, Design for Defense: A Symposium of the Graduate School, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Washington, D.C.: American Council on Public Affairs, 1941), 40.
13 Edward A. Purcell, Jr., "Social Thought," American Quarterly 35 (Spring/Summer 1983): 80-100, 84.
14 Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), 8.
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Wendy L. Freedman
on the age of the universe
Wendy L. Freedman, a Fellow of the American Academy since 2000, has been appointed as the next director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, where she is presently a faculty member and astronomer. For almost a decade she has been one of three principal investigators using the Hubble Space Telescope to determine the rate at which the universe is expanding. With a group of Carnegie Astronomers, she has recently begun a project to study dark energy.
http://www.amacad.org/publications/winter2003/freedman.pdf

How did the world begin? How old is it? Do mysterious and invisible forces determine its fate? Surprisingly enough, such questions are now at the forefront of scienti?c research.
Over the past century, old ideas about the cosmos and our place in it have been dramatically overturned. We now know that the Sun does not occupy the center of the universe, and that in addition to our own Milky Way, space is ?lled with hundreds of billions of other galaxies. Even more astonishingly, we know that the universe itself is expanding everywhere, and that as space expands, galaxies are being swept apart from each other at colossal speeds.
In the last few years, tantalizing hints have begun to appear that the expansion of the universe is even accelerating. These results imply the existence of a mysterious force able to counter the attraction of gravity. The origin and nature of this force currently defy explanation. But astronomers have reason to hope that ongoing research will soon resolve some of the deepest riddles of nature.
It was Edwin Hubble, a Carnegie Astronomer based in Pasadena, California, who ?rst learned that the universe was expanding; in 1929, he discovered that the farther away from our Milky Way galaxies are, the faster they are moving apart. A few years before, Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity had published a mathematical formula for the evolution of the universe. Einstein's equations, like Hubble's observations, implied that the universe must once have been much denser and hotter. These results suggested that the universe began with an intense explosion, a `big bang.'
The big bang model has produced a number of testable predictions. For example, as the universe expands, the hot radiation produced by the big bang will cool and pervade the universe-thus we should see heat in every direction we look. Big bang theory predicts that by today the remnant radiation should have cooled to a temperature of only 3 degrees above absolute zero (corresponding to a temperature of -270 degrees Celsius). Remarkably, this radiation has been detected. In 1965, two radio astronomers, Arnold Penzias and Robert Wilson, discovered this relic radiation during a routine test of communications dishes, a discovery for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize.
The current expansion rate of the universe, known as the Hubble constant,determines the size of the observable universe and provides constraints on competing models of the evolution of the universe. For decades, an uncertainty of a factor of two in measurements of the Hubble constant existed. (Indeed, determining an accurate value for the Hubble constant was one of the main reasons for building the Hubble Space Telescope.) However, rapid progress has been made recently in resolving the differences. New, sensitive instruments on telescopes, some flying aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, have led to great strides in the measurement of distances to galaxies beyond our own. In theory, determining the Hubble constant is simple: one need only measure distance and velocity. But in practice, making such measurements is dif?cult. It is hard to devise a means to measure distances over cosmological scales accurately. And measuring velocity is complicated by the fact that neighboring galaxies tend to interact gravitationally, thereby perturbing their motions. Uncertainties in distances and in velocities then lead to uncertainties in their ratio, the Hubble constant.
Velocities of galaxies can be calculated from the observed shift of lines (due to the presence of chemical elements such as hydrogen, iron, oxygen) in the spectra of galaxies. There is a familiar analogous phenomenon for sound known as the Doppler effect, which explains, for instance, why the pitch of an oncoming train changes as the train approaches and then recedes from us. As galaxies move away from us, their light is similarly shifted and stretched to longer (redder) wavelengths, a phenomenon referred to as redshift. This shift in wavelength is proportional to velocity. Measuring distances presents a greater challenge, which has taken the better part of a century to resolve. Most distances in astronomy cannot be measured directly because the size scales are simply too vast. For the very nearest stars, distances can be measured using a method called parallax. This uses the baseline of the Earth's orbit, permitting the distance to be calculated using simple, high-school trigonometry. However, this technique currently can be applied reliably only for relatively nearby stars within our own galaxy.
In order to measure the distance of more remote stars and galaxies, astronomers identify objects that exhibit a constant, known brightness, or a brightness that is related to another measurable quantity. The distance is then calculated using the inverse square law of radiation, which states that the apparent brightness of an object falls off in proportion to the square of its distance from us. The effects of the inverse square law are easy to see in everyday life-say if we compare the faint light of a train in the distance with the brilliant light as the train bears down close to us. To get a sense of the (astronomical) scales we are talking about, the nearest star to us is about 4 light-years away. One light-year is the distance that light can travel within a year moving at the enormous speed of 186,000 miles per second. At this speed, light circles the Earth more than 7 times in 1 second. For comparison, the `nearby' Andromeda galaxy lies at a distance of about 2 million light-years. And the most distant galaxies visible to us currently are about 13 billion light-years away. That is to say, the light that left them 13 billion years ago is just now reaching us, and we are seeing them as they were 13 billion years ago, long before the Sun and Earth had even formed (4.6 billion years ago). Until recently, one of the greatest challenges to measuring accurate distances was a complication caused by the pres-ence of dust grains manufactured by stars and scattered throughout interstellar space. This dust, located in the regions between stars, absorbs and scatters light. If no correction is made for its effects, objects appear fainter and therefore apparently, but erroneously, farther away than they actually are. Fortunately, dust makes objects appear not only fainter, but also redder. By making measurements at more than one wavelength, this color dependence provides a powerful means of correcting for the presence of dust and allowing correct distances to be derived.
Currently, the most precise method for measuring distances is based on the observations of stars named Cepheid variables. The atmospheres of these stars pulsate in a very regular cycle, on timescales ranging from 2 days to a few months. The brighter the Cepheid, the more slowly it pulsates, a property discovered by astronomer Henrietta Leavitt in 1908. This unique relation allows the distance to be obtained, again using the inverse square law of radiation-that is, it allows the intrinsic brightness of the Cepheid to be predicted from its observed period, and its distance from Earth to be calculated from its observed, apparent brightness.
High resolution is vital for discovering Cepheids in other galaxies. In other words, a telescope must have suf?cient resolving power to distinguish individual Cepheids from all the other stars in the galaxy. The resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope is about ten times better than can be generally obtained through Earth's turbulent atmosphere. Therefore galaxies within a volume about a thousand times greater than accessible to telescopes from Earth could be measured for the ?rst time with Hubble. With it, distances to galaxies with Cepheids can be measured relatively simply out to the nearest massive clusters of galaxies some 50 to 70 million light-years away. (For comparison, the light from these galaxies began its journey about the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs on Earth.)
Beyond this distance, other methods- for example, bright supernovae or the luminosities of entire galaxies-are employed to extend the extragalactic distance scale and measure the Hubble constant. Supernovae are cataclysmic explosions of stars near the end of their lives. The intrinsic luminosities of these objects are so great that for brief periods, they may shine as bright as an entire galaxy. Hence, they may be seen to enormous distances, as they have been discerned out to about half the radius of the observable universe. Unfortunately, for any given method of measuring distances, there may be uncertainties that are as yet unknown. However, by comparing several independent methods, a limit to the overall uncertainty of the Hubble constant can be obtained. This was one of the main aims of the Hubble Key Project.
This project was designed to use the excellent resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope to discover and measure Cepheid distances to galaxies, and to determine the Hubble constant by applying the Cepheid calibration to several methods for measuring distances further out in the Hubble expansion. The Key Project was carried out by a group of about 30 astronomers, and the results were published in 2001. Distances measured using Cepheids were used to set the absolute distance scale for 5 different methods of measuring relative distances. The combined results yield a value of the Hubble constant of 72 (in units of kilometers per second per megaparsec, where 1 megaparsec corresponds to a distance of 3.26 million light-years),with an uncertainty of 10 percent. (The previous range of these measurements was 40 to 100 in these units.) Unlike the situation earlier, all of the different methods yield results in good agreement to within their respective measurement uncertainties.
The Hubble constant is the most important
parameter in gauging the age of the universe. However, in order to determine a precise age, it is important to know how the current expansion rate differs from past rates. If the universe has slowed down or speeded up overtime, then the total length of time over which it has been expanding will differ accordingly. Is the universe slowing down (as expected if the force of gravity has been retarding its expansion)? If so, the expansion would have been faster in the past before the effects of gravity slowed it down, and the age estimated for the universe would be younger than if it had always been expanding at a constant rate.
Indeed, this deceleration is what astronomers expected to ?nd as they looked further back in time. The calculation for a Hubble constant of 72 and a universe with a slowing expansion rate yields an age for the universe of about 9 billion years. This would be ?ne, except for one not-so-small detail from other considerations: the measured ages of stars.
The best estimates of the oldest stars in the universe are obtained from studying globular clusters, systems of stars that formed early in the history of our galaxy. Stars spend most of their lifetimes undergoing the nuclear burning of hydrogen into helium in their central cores. Detailed computer models of the evolution of such stars compared with observations of them in globular clusters suggest they are about 12 or 13 billion years old-apparently older than the universe itself. Obviously, this is not possible.
The resolution of this paradox appears to rest in a newly discovered property of the universe itself. A wealth of new data over the past few years has begun to evolutionize cosmology. Probably the most surprising result is the increasing evidence that instead of decelerating as expected, the universe is accelerating! One implication is the existence of a form of energy that is repulsive, acting against the inward pull of gravity. Astronomers refer to this newly discovered universal property of the universe as `dark energy.'Before the expansion of the universe was discovered, Einstein's original mathematical equation describing the evolution of the universe in general relativity contained a term that he called the cosmological constant. He introduced this term to prevent any expansion (or contraction) of the universe, as it was thought that the universe was static. After Hubble discovered the expansion, Einstein referred to the cosmological constant as his greatest blunder. He had missed the opportunity to predict the expansion.
However, a recent discovery suggests that, although the universe is expanding, the term in Einstein's equation may have been correct after all: it may represent the dark energy. In a universe with a Hubble constant of about 70, and with matter contributing one-third and dark energy providing approximately twothirds of the overall mass plus energy density, the resulting estimated age for the universe is 13 billion years, in very good agreement with the ages derived from globular clusters.
It is too soon yet to know whether the existence of dark energy will be con- ?rmed with future experiments. But to the surprise of an initially skeptical community of astronomers and physicists,several independent observations and experiments are consistent with this theory. Perhaps most exciting is the prospect of learning more about an entirely new form of mysterious energy, a property of the universe that to date has evaded all explanation.
The dark energy observed is smaller by at least 10 billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion times than the best theories of elementary particle physics would predict from ?rst principles. Hence, by studying the behavior of the universe, astronomers are posing new challenges to fundamental physics. It is often the case in science that as old questions are resolved, novel, perhaps even more exciting, questions are uncovered. The next decade promises to be a fruitful one in addressing profound questions about the nature of the universe we live in.
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Oil: The illusion of plenty
By Alfred Cavallo

One hundred and twelve billion of anything sounds like a limitless quantity. But in terms of barrels of oil, it's just a drop in the gas tank. The world uses about 27 billion barrels of oil per year, meaning that 112 billion barrels--the proven oil reserves of Iraq, the second largest proven oil reserves in the world--would last a little more than four years at today's usage rates.
In the future, 112 billion barrels will likely prove even shorter-lived. In the United States, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and larger homes are deemed essential. As the underdeveloped world industrializes, demand for oil by billions of people increases; China and India are building superhighways and automobile factories. Energy demand is expected to rise by about 50 percent over the next 20 years, with about 40 percent of that demand to be supplied by petroleum.
Ever-increasing supplies of low-cost petroleum are thought to be vital to the U.S. and world economies, which is why the invasion of Iraq and the belief that controlling its 112-billion-barrel reserve would give the United States a limitless pipeline to cheap oil were so dangerous. The war in Iraq will definitely have an effect on the U.S. and world economies, but not a positive one. The invasion, occupation, and rebuilding of Iraq will cost the people of the United States both blood and treasure. But more to the point, Iraq could be a fatal distraction from many fundamental and extremely unpleasant facts that actually threaten the United States--one of which is the finite nature of petroleum resources.
Petroleum reserves are limited. Petroleum is not a renewable resource and production cannot continue to increase indefinitely. A day of reckoning will come sometime in the future. The point at which production can no longer keep up with increasing demand will mean a radical and painful readjustment globally to everyday life.
In spite of that indisputable fact, people behave as if the global petroleum supply is unending. Predictions of the exhaustion of oil reserves seem to have lost all credibility. The public assumes that inexpensive oil will be available essentially forever. The idea that petroleum resources are finite and that petroleum production might peak in the near future seems to have vanished from all discussions of energy policy in Congress, in the press, and even among public interest groups.
This surreal situation is due to several factors. One, certainly, is that pessimists have cried wolf too often. Forecasts of imminent shortages of oil, food, and other natural resources are confounded by the enormous display of material goods that envelops consumers in the West. For most people, the market price of any commodity is what signals shortage or plenty. Time and again, collapsing oil prices have succeeded rising oil prices, leading to the belief that oil will always become cheap again. That oil supplies are currently abundant and inexpensive and have been for nearly 20 years, and that the models used to predict peak oil production are not easy to understand, appear to ignore economic factors, and are based on proprietary data, explain to some degree the present feeling of permanent abundance.
In reality, the differential between petroleum production cost and market price is so large that market price cannot be used as a measure of resource depletion. For example, the variation in the average price of oil between 1998 ($10 per barrel) and 2000 ($24 per barrel) had nothing to do with depletion of reserves and everything to do with an attempt to exercise "market discipline" by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
But the most important reason there seems to be an unending supply of oil is the activity of non-OPEC producers. Oil production is immensely lucrative. Large amounts of petroleum have been and will continue to be produced outside the Middle East at costs that are very low, $5-$10 per barrel, compared to the desired OPEC price range of $22-$28 per barrel. The opportunity to realize extraordinary profits provides irresistible pressure to produce as much oil as possible, as soon as possible.
Yet oil is a finite resource, and there are only so many places to look for it. Sooner or later petroleum production will decline, so sooner or later the prophets of depletion will be correct. The question then becomes: Can a peak oil forecast be made that is useful to the petroleum industry and to consumers, one that will alert them to the problems and allow for a redeployment of resources?
Answering that question requires an understanding of why the world's rising petroleum needs are being met without skyrocketing prices or supply shortages.
Everyone knows that the science and technology underpinning computers, telecommunications, and medicine have advanced dramatically over the last 20 years. The proof is everywhere, from ever more powerful personal computers, to increasingly sophisticated cell phones, to new medical imaging technologies and pharmaceuticals.
Unknown to most people, however, advances in geological sciences and petroleum technologies have been equally profound and dramatic. Since the 1970s, plate tectonics has been providing a uniform framework for understanding the geology of the Earth's surface (including petroleum formation). Much as X-ray and nuclear magnetic resonance tomography examine structures within the human body non-invasively, three-dimensional seismography now allows potential oil-bearing formations to be evaluated in great detail. Nuclear magnetic resonance probes are used to determine porosity and hydrocarbon content as well as to estimate the permeability of these formations. Petroleum deposits are being brought into production on the continental shelves off Texas, Brazil, and West Africa in water up to 8,000 feet deep--areas that were, until recently, inaccessible. Technological advances like sub-sea terminals, directional drilling, and floating production, storage, and offloading ships have been developed to exploit smaller, previously uneconomic or unreachable deposits. Sophisticated science and technology coupled with unparalleled profitability has provided the foundation for the wide availability of oil.
Yet the same advances in geology and engineering that have provided consumers with seemingly limitless petroleum also allow much better estimates to be made of how much oil may ultimately be recovered. After a five-year collaboration with representatives from the petroleum industry and other U.S. government agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed a comprehensive study of oil resources. The "USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000" is the first study to use modern science to estimate ultimate oil resources. [1]
The importance of this assessment is difficult to overstate. Previous world oil resource evaluations have ranged from crude "back-of-the-envelope" calculations to estimates based on proprietary databases, and have often lacked enough detail to allow a comparison between production and estimated reserves. We now have credible, easily accessible long-term production records and science-based resource estimates for all of the important oil producing regions in the world--crucial for understanding how oil production might evolve over time.
The USGS assessment allocates reserves to three separate and distinct categories. The first is "proven reserves," or petroleum that can be produced using current technology. The second category is "undiscovered reserves"--oil deposits that are highly likely to exist based on similar areas already producing oil. The third category is "reserve growth" and represents possible production from extensions of existing fields, application of new technology, and decreased well spacing in existing fields. Oil in this last category can be extracted much less rapidly than oil in the proven and undiscovered categories. (For purposes of determining the approximate year of peak or constant output, the best that can be hoped for is that all proven reserves are produced and all undiscovered reserves are found and produced as rapidly as needed. Petroleum from reserve growth, produced at much lower rates, can be ignored. According to the USGS, it is available only to lengthen the period of peak production or to reduce the decline in a field's output.)
As of January 1, 1996, OPEC's proven and undiscovered reserves amounted to about 853 billion barrels, while similar non-OPEC reserves were 769 billion barrels, according to the USGS assessment. Based on actual production patterns in many non-OPEC oil producers, output can increase until there remains between 10 and 20 years of proven plus undiscovered reserves (as determined by the USGS), at which point a production plateau or decline sets in, depending on the reserve growth that is actually available.
Given that non-OPEC production rates are nearly twice as great as OPEC rates, and assuming stable prices and 2 percent per year market growth, non-OPEC production will reach a maximum sometime between 2010 and 2018 based on resource limitations alone (assuming complete cooperation of producers and that all undiscovered oil is actually found and produced as rapidly as needed). [2] Once this happens, OPEC will control the market completely, and it is unlikely that production will increase much longer.
Yet this simplistic analysis is too optimistic. There is no such thing as "non-OPEC oil," but rather U.S. oil, Norwegian oil, and oil produced by various other countries. In particular, about 39 percent of non-OPEC proven plus undiscovered reserves are located in the former Soviet Union. It is only a matter of time before these countries reach an agreement with OPEC on how to divide the oil market, at which point the current illusion of unlimited oil resources will end, not due to resource constraints but to political factors.
Yet the U.S. public, industrial and political leaders, environmentalists, and policy-makers in general do not believe that they need to be concerned with the finite supply of oil and its unfavorable (from the U.S. perspective) geographic distribution. As noted earlier, the overwhelming majority behaves as if inexpensive oil will be readily available far into the distant future.
This attitude is reflected in U.S. policy toward Iraq. One might expect that a major consequence of the U.S. conquest of Iraq would have been full control of Iraqi oil reserves, reducing or eliminating the ability of OPEC to set prices, and giving the United States a permanent--because oil is forever--overwhelming strategic advantage. It would allow the United States to dictate production rates and lower prices, which would serve two important aims. Reduced prices would reward consumers in the West, buying their support for U.S. policies. It would also deprive oil producers of the revenues with which they could challenge the U.S. domination of the Middle East. Oil prices could be expected to drop to between $15 and $20 per barrel once existing Iraqi fields were refurbished and large new deposits were developed.
However, lower prices would stimulate consumption and decrease the incentive to develop more inaccessible reserves, essentially those of the non-OPEC producers. If non-OPEC producers fail to develop those harder-to-get-at reserves, peak oil production will more likely occur earlier, at the front end of the 2010-2018 forecast. So the very success of the current effort to seize control of the Middle East would doom U.S. imperial ambition to failure within the next 10 years, from an oil supply standpoint.
This scenario is now implausible given the bitter Iraqi resistance to U.S. occupation, and it is not clear when Iraqi production might reach, much less significantly exceed, its pre-invasion level.
To understand what may unfold, given current levels of sabotage and chaos in Iraq, one must examine how the petroleum marketing system has changed over the past year, and in particular the role that OPEC producers have played.
In 2002, Iraqi oil production averaged two million barrels per day. The United States must have understood that an attack might interrupt production, which would in turn cause a large increase in the price of oil. Since this would have a severe negative impact on the world economy, it would further inflame anti-American sentiment throughout the world and even turn U.S. voters against the enterprise. The conclusion: Lost Iraqi production had to be replaced. Thus, an agreement was reached with OPEC to stabilize the markets by increasing production levels as needed.
In March 2003, the Saudi oil minister reassured the International Energy Agency of Saudi Arabia's longstanding policy and practice of supplying the oil markets reliably and promptly, and highlighted the collective responsibility that producing countries have shown in addressing the concerns of world oil markets. This was most likely viewed as a temporary measure, as it was assumed that Iraqi production would be restored and expanded rapidly after the United States took charge.
In addition to the impending interruption of Iraqi production, in early 2003 Venezuelan oil production was far below its OPEC quota due to a conflict between populist president Hugo Chavez and the business community; Nigerian production was also depressed by civil strife.
OPEC rose to the occasion (or, more likely, felt compelled to rise to the occasion, given the huge U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf in preparation for war) and increased production by about 3.2 million barrels per day--equivalent to the production of the Norwegian North Sea sector--virtually overnight, more than compensating for lost Iraqi, Venezuelan, and Nigerian production.
About 65 percent of the increase came from just two countries, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; Saudi Arabia alone contributed more than half and probably controls what remains of any spare production capacity.
The critical role that OPEC, in particular Saudi Arabia, plays as the swing producer for the world oil market is clearly evident from this episode, which allows one to quantify the ability of the Saudis to affect the world oil market and the world economy.
The U.S. assault on Iraq has not undermined the power of OPEC and Saudi Arabia. On the contrary, it has if anything enhanced that power. This will not change until Iraqi oil production significantly exceeds its pre-invasion level. Thus, even in the short term, and on the most cynical level, U.S. Iraq policy vis-?-vis oil has been a failure.
Oil supplies are finite and will soon be controlled by a handful of nations; the invasion of Iraq and control of its supplies will do little to change that. One can only hope that an informed electorate and its principled representatives will realize that the facts do matter, and that nature--not military might--will soon dictate the ultimate availability of petroleum.
Alfred Cavallo is an energy consultant based in Princeton, New Jersey.
1. T. Ahlbrandt (project leader), "The USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000." The assessment is available at www.usgs.gov and on compact disc. A detailed analysis using the assessment appears in Alfred Cavallo, "Predicting the Peak in World Oil Production," Natural Resources Research, 2002, vol. 11, pp. 187-195. Production statistics, based on data from the International Energy Agency, are available in a variety of trade publications, including Oil and Gas Journal, World Oil, and Petroleum Economist.
2. The most popular method used to predict a peak in oil production is in M. King Hubbert's monograph, Energy Resources: A Report to the Committee on Natural Resources, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, Publication 1000-D, December 1962. Hubbert noted that resource production often (but not always) could be described by a logistic growth curve, and used oil production records and estimates of proven oil reserves made by the American Petroleum Institute's Committee on Petroleum Reserves to estimate the year of U.S. peak production. Hubbert does not discuss the assumptions implicit in his model, among which are stable markets, excellent profitability, and affordable prices for oil. See also Colin Campbell and J. H. Laherrere, "The End of Cheap Oil," Scientific American, March 1998, pp. 78-83. The Oil and Gas Journal has also recently published a series of articles discussing the future of petroleum and its alternatives. See Bob Williams, "Special Report: Debate Over Peak Oil Issue Boiling Over, With Major Implications For Industry, Society," Oil and Gas Journal, July 14, 2003.
? 2004 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
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The Imminence Myth
From the February 16, 2004 issue: What the Bush administration really said about the threat from Iraq.
by Stephen F. Hayes
02/16/2004, Volume 009, Issue 22

THE Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, my hometown newspaper, unintentionally broke some news on its website last Thursday after Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet defended his agency in a speech at Georgetown University.
"In his first public defense of prewar intelligence, CIA Director George Tenet said today that U.S. analysts never claimed Iraq was an 'imminent threat,' the main argument used by President Bush for going to war."
I followed the debate over the Iraq war closely and wrote about it extensively. Yet somehow I missed what, according to the Journal-Sentinel, was the "main argument" for the war: an "imminent threat" from Iraq.
The Tenet speech got similar treatment in newspapers and on broadcasts throughout the country. But was this line--8 words out of the 5,400 he spoke--really the "gotcha" moment the media would have us believe? Hardly.
Here is what Tenet actually said, speaking of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate:
This estimate asked if Iraq had chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. We concluded that in some of these categories Iraq had weapons, and that in others where it did not have them, it was trying to develop them.
Let me be clear: Analysts differed on several important aspects of these programs and those debates were spelled out in the estimate.
They never said there was an imminent threat. Rather, they painted an objective assessment for our policy-makers of a brutal dictator who was continuing his efforts to deceive and build programs that might constantly surprise us and threaten our interests. No one told us what to say or how to say it.
With the hundreds of stories over the past year about how CIA analysts were influenced and pressured to adjust their analyses to fit the Bush administration's political agenda, one might think the most important news from this passage was found in the last sentence. This is especially so since Tenet is the fourth person in the past two weeks to reject explicitly the allegations that politicized intelligence came from the CIA. The others: Iraq Survey Group head David Kay; former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Richard Kerr, the official tapped by Tenet to conduct an in-house CIA review of prewar intelligence; and Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, a panel that has just completed its own review of prewar intelligence.
"We've interviewed over 200 people, and not one person to date in very tough interviews has indicated any coercion or any intimidation or anything political," says Roberts, whose committee will be distributing its 300 pages of findings next week. "And that was also replicated or agreed to by Dr. Kay, who had 1,400 people under his command."
That conclusion was not terribly important to most journalists covering the speech. Instead, headlines screamed that Tenet's analysts had not concluded Iraq presented an "imminent threat," and the reporting implied that the CIA director's words somehow conflicted with the public case made by the Bush administration.
It's worth dwelling on that for a moment. It should not be terribly surprising or newsworthy even that the CIA never deemed Iraq an imminent threat. If agency analysts had ever concluded that an attack from Iraq was "about to occur" or "impending," to use the dictionary definition of imminent, it's fair to assume that they would have told the president forthwith, rather than holding the information for inclusion in a periodic assessment of threats. And the president would not have taken 18 months to act to protect the nation.
In fact, the case for war was built largely on the opposite assumption: that waiting until Iraq presented an imminent threat was too risky. The president himself made this argument in his 2003 State of the Union address:
Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans--this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes.
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.
It didn't take long for the media to get it wrong. One day after Bush said we must not wait until the threat is imminent, the Los Angeles Times reported on its front page that Bush had promised "new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime poses an imminent danger to the world." Also, "Bush argued that use of force is not only justified but necessary, and that the threat is not only real but imminent." Exactly backwards.
Is this nitpicking? After all, there were occasions when, under badgering from the media about whether the threat was "imminent," administration spokesmen Ari Fleischer and Dan Bartlett responded affirmatively. And various administration officials described the threat as "grave" or "immediate" or "serious" or "unique" or "gathering." What's the difference? The administration clearly sought to communicate that Saddam Hussein posed a threat we could no longer tolerate.
In doing so, of course, Bush administration officials were considerably less melodramatic than their predecessors in the Clinton administration. Who can forget then-Defense Secretary Bill Cohen's appearance on ABC's "This Week" on November 16, 1997, when he hoisted a 5 lb. bag of sugar onto the interview table. "This amount of anthrax could be spread over a city--let's say the size of Washington. It would destroy at least half the population of that city," Cohen warned dramatically. He then produced a small vial of a substance he likened to VX. "VX is a nerve agent. One drop from this particular thimble as such--one single drop will kill you within a few minutes."
In their prepared speeches, in the National Security Strategy, in media appearances, Bush administration representatives mostly avoided such hype. They did consistently advocate preempting the Iraqi threat--that is, acting before it was imminent. That's precisely what was controversial about their policy.
Senator Ted Kennedy, for one, objected. The day after the 2003 State of the Union address, he introduced a short-lived bill that would have required the administration to show that Iraq posed an imminent threat. It was the administration's willingness to go to war even while conceding that the threat was not imminent that provoked opponents of the war. Inspections could continue, the critics urged, because there was no imminent danger.
But in the present politically charged season, positions have shifted. Many of the same people who criticized the Bush administration before the war for moving against a threat that was not imminent are today blaming the administration for supposedly having claimed that Iraq posed an imminent threat.
There are serious questions to be answered about the prewar intelligence on Iraq's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. But, as Tenet noted last week, "you rarely hear a patient, careful or thoughtful discussion of intelligence these days."
Stephen F. Hayes is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard.

? Copyright 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

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Civil Rights Undermined by Antidiscrimination Laws
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,110482,00.html
By David E. Bernstein
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (search). The accomplishments of the civil rights movement in achieving a more just and equal society are undoubtedly well worth celebrating.
However, these achievements have not come without costs. In particular, it's worth pausing to consider the growing threat more recent and draconian anti-discrimination laws pose to American civil liberties.
While the civil rights laws of the 1960s were generally sensitive to civil libertarian concerns, contemporary antidiscrimination laws often are not. For example, in deference to freedom of association and privacy considerations, the 1964 Act prohibited discrimination only in public facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and theaters. Newer laws, however, often prohibit discrimination in the membership policies of private organizations ranging from large national organizations like the Boy Scouts of America to small local cat fanciers' clubs.
The framers of the 1964 Act also were sensitive to religious freedom, and wrote into the law a limited but important exemption for religious institutions. Many recently enacted state and local laws, however, contain no religious exemption. Moreover, courts have unnecessarily stretched the definition of "discrimination" to force religious groups and individuals to conform to secular social norms. For example, courts have required conservative Christian schools to retain teachers who become pregnant out of wedlock. The schools' attempts to ensure their teachers are proper religious role models have been interpreted as invidious sex discrimination.
The authors of early federal civil rights legislation also cabined the laws' intrusions on civil liberties by limiting coverage to race, national origin, religion, and, sometimes, sex. In the past two decades, however, the federal government has prohibited discrimination based on family status, age and disability in a variety of contexts. Meanwhile, state and local antidiscrimination laws go even further, covering the obese, the ugly, and the body-pierced, cohabitating unmarried couples, and even (in Minnesota) motorcycle gang members.
In yet another show of concern for civil liberties, Congress exempted landlords from the 1968 Fair Housing Act (search) if they rented four or fewer units and lived on the premises. This "Mrs. Murphy exception" is a reasonable compromise between the goals of antidiscrimination law and privacy concerns. Recently, however, the laws of several jurisdictions have been interpreted to ban discrimination in the selection of roommates. And the Fair Housing Act's ban on discriminatory advertising has been interpreted so broadly that it's almost impossible to convey useful information in a real estate advertisement.
It's illegal, for example, to advertise that a house is in a neighborhood with many churches, lest the advertisement be interpreted as expressing an illicit preference for Christians. For fear of liability, some realtors even avoid using such phrases as master bedroom (either sexist or purportedly evocative of slavery and therefore insulting to African Americans), great view (allegedly expresses preference for the nonblind), and walk-up (supposedly discourages the disabled).
Federal civil rights laws were once intended to ban only actual discrimination. Modern law, however, attempts to ensure that no member of a protected group is subjected to a "hostile work environment," a "hostile educational environment," or even a "hostile public environment." The result has been a wild proliferation of speech and behavior codes throughout the nation's workplaces, universities, and other public spaces. Surely the authors of the 1964 Civil Rights Act never imagined that the law could be used to ban all "sexually suggestive" material from a workplace. But that's exactly what a federal judge did in one of the leading "hostile environment" cases.
Forty years ago, Congress responded to the moral urgency of ending Jim Crow (search) and bringing African Americans and other minorities into the American mainstream by enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, the primary justification for antidiscrimination laws has shifted from this relatively limited goal to an authoritarian agenda aimed at eliminating all forms of supposedly invidious discrimination. Such a goal cannot possibly be achieved-or even pursued-without grave consequences for civil liberties.
Today, we need to accept that attempting to totally eradicate discriminatory attitudes and actions is not feasible if we want to preserve civil liberties. Preserving the liberalism that defines the United States, and the civil liberties that go with it, requires Americans to show a certain level of virtue, including a phlegmatic tolerance of those who intentionally or unintentionally offend and sometimes--when civil liberties are implicated--even of those who blatantly discriminate.
Admittedly, asking Americans to display a measure of fortitude in the face of offense and discrimination is asking for a lot. But in the end, it is a small price to pay for preserving the pluralism, autonomy, and check on government power provided by civil liberties.

David E. Bernstein is a professor of law at George Mason University and the author of "You Can't Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws" (Cato Institute, 2003)

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Iraq Raid Yields Cyanide Linked to Al Qaeda
Saturday, February 07, 2004
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,110749,00.html
WASHINGTON -- U.S. forces in Iraq found seven pounds of cyanide (search) during a raid late last month on a Baghdad house believed connected to an Al Qaeda (search) operative, U.S. officials said.
The cyanide salt was in either one or several small bricks, and U.S. officials said they believe it was to have been used in an attack on U.S. or allied interests. Cyanide is extremely toxic and can be used as a chemical weapon, although it was unclear if the cyanide was in a form that could be used that way easily.
The raid took place on Jan. 23, a defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was unclear if anyone was captured in the raid. Parts for making bombs also were found in the house, the defense official said.
The house was inhabited by a suspected subordinate of Abu Musab Zarqawi (search), U.S. officials said. Zarqawi is a Jordanian whom CIA officials have described as a senior associate of Usama bin Laden (search).
Zarqawi is believed to have tried to direct Al Qaeda operations inside Iraq, although it is unknown if he is in the country now.
He also is connected with Ansar al-Islam (search), an Islamic extremist group from northern Iraq. He and his followers are believed to have sought cyanide and other chemical weapons for use in attacks in the past, American officials say.
U.S. officials say they have mounting evidence to suggest Zarqawi has had a hand in multiple attacks in Iraq, including those on a mosque in Najaf, the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and Italy's paramilitary police station in Nasiriyah.
Another alleged Al Qaeda member, Hassan Ghul, detained this year while trying to enter northern Iraq, is believed to have met with Zarqawi to plan attacks against U.S. and coalition forces, said another U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity.
Now in U.S. custody, Ghul is believed to be cooperating with interrogators. He is known as a facilitator who can move people and money around and is the highest-ranking member of to Al Qaeda have been arrested in Iraq.
The U.S. official said Ghul also is thought to have worked closely with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who officials say masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The official said attacks in Iraq for which Zarqawi is a suspect include a truck bomb in August that hit U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing 23 people; a car bomb that exploded outside a mosque in Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf and killed more than 85; and a suicide truck bombing in November that devastated Italy's paramilitary police headquarters in southern city of Nasiriyah, killing more than 30.
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Musharraf reportedly aware of nuke technology transfers
2004-02-04 / Associated Press /
The father of Pakistan's nuclear program told investigators he gave nuclear weapons technology to other countries with the full knowledge of top army officials, including now-President General Pervez Musharraf, a friend of the scientist said yesterday.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, told the friend he hadn't violated Pakistan's laws by giving "disused centrifuge machines" and other equipment to Iran, North Korea and other countries, the friend told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
"Whatever I did, it was in the knowledge of the bosses," Khan's friend quoted him as saying last week. Khan also told the friend that two former military chiefs - General Mirza Aslam Beg and General Jehangir Karamat - and even Musharraf were "aware of everything" he was doing.
"I am also convinced that (Khan) couldn't act unilaterally," the friend said.
Military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan denied Musharraf was privy to any transfer of nuclear technology or authorized Khan to do it.
"It is absolutely wrong," Sultan said. Musharraf "was not involved in any such matter," he said. "No such thing has happened since he seized power in 1999."
Musharraf has headed the army since 1998, and before that held a number of top positions in the military.
Khan, who gave Pakistan the Islamic world's first nuclear bomb, was removed Sunday from his post as scientific adviser to the prime minister after he confessed to investigators he had leaked nuclear secrets to other countries.
Khan's admission has shocked many in Pakistan, and raised questions about how Khan could have spread nuclear technology without consent of the military - which has often ruled Pakistan since the country gained independence from Britain in 1947.
The two retired army chiefs, Karamat and Beg, have told investigators they didn't authorize nuclear transfers. Musharraf and other government officials have repeatedly ruled out official involvement in proliferation.
Meanwhile, officials said yesterday that Khan smuggled high-tech centrifuges - used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons - and other equipment to Iran, Libya, North Korea and Malaysia through an international black market network.
"In some cases, chartered planes were used to smuggle out centrifuge machines and other sophisticated equipment to these countries," a senior government official told AP.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said two "individuals" from Sri Lanka and Germany operated on behalf of Khan.
"This practice began in the 1980s and continued at least until 1997," the official said.
Pakistan began its probe into allegations of nuclear proliferation in November after Iran and Libya gave information to the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
So far, investigators have questioned two former heads of the army, scientists, engineers and security officials to determine whether they knew about the leak of nuclear technology to other countries.
Authorities are focusing on seven suspects - three scientists including Khan and four former security officials at Khan Research Laboratories, or KRL, a nuclear weapons facility named after Khan.
Investigators told Pakistani journalists Sunday that Khan didn't sell nuclear technology for personal gain.
But two intelligence officials said Tuesday that money was a motivation.
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? 2001-2004 Taiwan News. All Rights Reserved.


China ready to open classified diplomatic files
2004-01-21 / Associated Press /
China's secretive communist government says it has declassified thousands of diplomatic documents from the 1940s and 1950s, offering a glimpse into its early years in a move it frames as part of the country's opening to the world.
The first cache of 10,000 items from the Foreign Ministry's diplomatic archives includes telegrams on establishing relations with Moscow after China's 1949 communist revolution, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday. It said most come from between 1949 and 1955.
The state-controlled newspaper China Daily cast the decision as "an indication of social progress and the country expanding to the outside world."
"It is not easy to take the first step," said Li Jiasong, the archives' former director-general, quoted by China Daily.
The newly opened files include directives and speeches by then-Premier Zhou Enlai, who also was the country's foreign minister, and documents from international conferences, Xinhua said, citing Zhang Sulin, a ministry archivist.
It wasn't clear how comprehensive the files would be or whether they include material about such sensitive issues as the 1950-53 Korean War, when China fought alongside North Korea against U.S.-led United Nations troops.
Anyone who wants to see them must apply 20 days in advance, the government said. It didn't say how officials would decide what applicants would be allowed to see.


China to open up secret files from politically sensitive 1950s
2004-01-20 / Associated Press /
Offering a rare glimpse into its early years, China's secretive communist government said yesterday it has declassified thousands of diplomatic documents from the 1940s and 1950s.
The first cache of 10,000 items includes telegrams on establishing relations with Moscow following China's 1949 revolution, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said most come from 1949-55.
It wasn't clear how comprehensive the files would be or whether they cover such sensitive issues as the 1950-53 Korean War, when China fought alongside North Korea against U.S.-led United Nations troops.
The ministry is opening the files under rules requiring historical records to be opened to the public 30 years after they are compiled, Xinhua said.
"Archives should serve the state interests and the public," Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing was quoted as saying.
The newly opened files include directives and speeches by then-Premier Zhou Enlai, who also was foreign minister, and documents from international conferences, Xinhua said, citing Zhang Sulin, a ministry archivist.
Anyone who wants to see them must apply 20 days in advance, the report said. It didn't say how officials would decide what applicants would be allowed to see.
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? 2001-2003 Taiwan News. All Rights Reserved.

Private property amendment on agenda for PRC legislature
2004-02-05 / Associated Press /
China's nominal legislature will convene March 5 for a session expected to enshrine the notion of private property in the communist nation's constitution.
The government announced the March 5 session of the National People's Congress via the official Xinhua News Agency in a report yesterday that also said the legislature's companion body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, would convene two days earlier.
The CPPCC is an advisory body that helps the Beijing leadership know what is happening in far-flung regions.
The government typically does not announce the date of the National People's Congress session until a few weeks before it takes place.
The legislature has little real power and largely carries out the directives of the ruling Communist Party, but is an opportunity for delegates from different regions to exchange views - and be feted in the hulking Great Hall of the People, Chinese communism's flagship building.
This year's NPC will be less dramatic than last year's, when President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao - both top party officials - were installed in their equivalent government posts as part of a generational leadership change.
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? 2001-2004 Taiwan News. All Rights Reserved.


Former BBC man pleads guilty
2004-01-31 / Associated Press /
A former director of BBC Worldwide Ltd. has admitted accepting bribes from two men who helped secure contracts from the broadcaster for the production of toys including those based on the BBC children's program "Teletubbies," officials said yesterday.
Jeffrey Everard Taylor, 42, pleaded guilty on Thursday to accepting 2.65 million Hong Kong dollars (US$339,743) from Daniel Jonathan Berman and Sydney Edels, who acted on behalf of toy suppliers, Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption said.
Berman, 31, director of supplier Eurasia Management Services Ltd., or EMS, and Edels, 59, director of the Hong Kong-based EMS Asia Ltd., both pleaded guilty to offering Taylor the money, the anti-graft agency said in a statement.
Berman and Edels received payments totaling 6.46 million Hong Kong dollars (US$828,200) from the five toy manufacturers awarded the BBC Worldwide order between July 9, 1999 and Oct. 18, 2001. Part of the money was directed to Taylor, according to the anti-graft agency.
The three defendants, who were remanded in custody pending sentencing on Monday, could each face a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a fine of 500,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$64,000), it said.
The toy suppliers, which made toys and bags based on characters including those from the "Teletubbies" show, generated the bribes by inflating their invoices, the agency said.The defendants' lawyers did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press.
BBC Worldwide is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC.
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? 2001-2004 Taiwan News. All Rights Reserved.


Hong Kong politicians accuse government of colluding on reforms
2004-01-16 / Reuters /
Pro-democracy politicians accused the Hong Kong government yesterday of colluding with Beijing to delay and limit any election reforms.
Though capitalist Hong Kong was promised a high degree of autonomy when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997, many politicians fear the Beijing government will set limits on how far democratic reforms can go.
"You are asking the central government to build a bird cage and once it is built, Hong Kong people will live inside," Lee Cheuk-yan told Chief Secretary Donald Tsang during a meeting of the Legislative Council.
"Where is the high level of autonomy for Hong Kong people?"
The Hong Kong government last week said it would not make a move on constitutional reforms without first consulting Beijing, drawing howls of protests from democracy groups who said it was ignoring the wishes of the people.
The government said it has to clear up legal and technical issues before it can hold public consultations, but opponents say it is stonewalling on growing calls for democratic reforms because they clearly unsettle China's communist leaders.
Tsang told lawmakers that talks will begin with Chinese officials in Beijing on the city's political reforms after the Lunar New Year holidays, which begin on January 22. He did not specify any dates.
Unhappy with their Beijing-backed leader Tung Chee-hwa, most Hong Kong people want direct elections for the chief executive and all their legislators from 2007.
Hong Kong's constitution, which was agreed by Britain and Beijing before the city was handed back to China, allows the possibility of direct elections from that date "if there is a need."
But it does not spell out who determines if reforms are needed, or at what pace, other than to say it should be gradual, which pro-democracy forces interpret to mean that Beijing wants no major changes at all.
Tung said last week his government would hammer out broad principles and legal issues with Beijing before opening the issue for public consultation.
China's leaders fear growing calls for more political self-determination in Hong Kong could spread to the mainland and shake their grip on power.
Tsang promised to seek the views of the community in coming months and convey Hong Kong residents' aspirations for more and quicker democracy to Beijing.
"We will be open and take into account all views. We don't have any preconceived ideas, we want frankness," Tsang said.
"Any views they want me to convey to Beijing, I will gladly do so, we will reflect them to the central government."
But some lawmakers were not convinced.
They slammed the government for seeking what could be exhaustive legal opinions from Beijing which may not settle the only truly important question at hand: Will China agree to give more democracy to Hong Kong?
"If we go through such a process, even your grandchildren will not see universal suffrage," said lawmaker Emily Lau.
Lawmaker Margaret Ng said: "This is not consultation but taking instructions from the central government."
Nearly 100,000 people took to the streets on New Year's Day to press for more democracy and recent public opinion polls show overwhelming support for more voting rights.

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? 2001-2003 Taiwan News. All Rights Reserved.

Taiwan ready to send team to PRC over 'spies'
2004-01-19 / Reuters /
China has again called on the United States to oppose any separatist moves by Taiwan, which said yesterday it wanted to send a delegation to the the PRC to meet eight men accused of spying.
"China urged the United States to abide by its promises and continue to oppose any activities of the Taiwan authorities aimed at Taiwan independence," Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan as saying on Saturday.
"China has noticed U.S. President George W. Bush's clear stance of adherence to the one-China policy...opposing any word or activity of the Taiwan authority to change the status quo of Taiwan and the U.S. authority has reiterated this stance several times," Kong said.
China on Saturday accused President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of using a planned referendum alongside elections in March to prepare for a formal declaration of independence.
"This is a one-sided provocation to the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, and its essence is to use the referendum to realise Taiwan independence in the future," Xinhua quoted the cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office as saying.
Chen outlined plans on Friday for the referendum which he said was aimed at preventing China from attacking Taiwan and from unilaterally changing the political status quo.
In Taipei, an official said Taiwan wanted to send a delegation to China to meet eight men locked up after being accused of being spies for the island.
China paraded seven of the men before reporters on Friday in an apparent move to embarrass Chen, but Taiwan says the men are businessmen, not spies.
"We want to negotiate with the Chinese side to allow a group, including lawyers, relatives and members of the Straits Exchange Foundation, to go to China and see the people who are under arrest," said Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, which is Taiwan's top China policymaking body.
The delegation would provide legal assistance to the detainees and try to secure their return, Chen said.
Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, which handles communications with Beijing in the absence of diplomatic ties, sent a written request to its opposite number - the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait - on Saturday, Chen said.
An estimated one million Taiwan citizens live in China and Taiwan businesses have invested up to US$100 billion in the there since the 1980s.
On a visit to China last week, U.S. General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reaffirmed that the United States was against any change in the status quo with regard to Taiwan, echoing President George W. Bush's line to Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) last month during a meeting in Washington.
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U.S. looks at reopening Iraq-Israel oil pipeline
Pentagon asks Israel about feasibility of reactivating Mosul-Haifa facilities

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Posted: February 7, 2004
12:46 p.m. Eastern
Editor's note: Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin is an online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com - a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for the last 25 years.
? 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
The U.S. has asked Israel to report on the feasibility of pumping oil from the Kirkuk wells to the refineries in Haifa.
G2 Bulletin reported exclusively last April that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon offered to reactivate the old Mosul-Haifa oil pipeline in a move certain to bring sharp reactions in an already tense Middle East. The U.S. request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
The original pipeline was built by the Iraqi-British oil company in the late 1920s and early 1930s and was among the main targets of the 1936-1939 Arab revolt.
The pipeline carried Iraqi crude oil to the Haifa refineries on the Mediterranean. From there it was shipped to Europe. But the facility was constantly attacked by Arab guerrillas. Most often it was targeted by Sheikh Az-Adin Kassem, who was finally killed in an engagement with British forces.
Kassem is buried in Haifa, and his name was adopted by Hamas as a symbol of heroism. The defense of the pipeline gave birth to the organization of Jewish underground forces which cooperated with the British and formed special night squads led by legendary Bible-carrying British officer Charles Orde Wingate.
A Christian hero of the Israeli military legacy, Wingate was killed in Burma during operations in 1944.
Immediately following the news report of Israel's readiness to cooperate with the U.S., Iraq and Jordan on reactivating the pipeline closed down in 1948, the Az-Adin Kassem Brigades issued a warning that they would never allow the plan to materialize.
Sources in Amman said the Jordanian intelligence agency warned both the Jordanian and the Israeli governments that pro-Iraqi and pro-Palestinian terrorists might focus their hostile attention on the proposal.
Turkey is also reportedly concerned over the Israeli idea.
Turkish experts believe that Israel plans to revive the pipeline, a potential rival to the pipeline linking the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq with the Turkish Mediterranean port of Yumurtalik.
They also say that the Mosul-Haifa pipeline has been closed for 55 years, and it could not be able to meet the world's demand for oil. But it might be activated with a $3 billion investment in a period of five to six months.
If the Iraqi-Israeli pipeline is reactivated, very little will remain for repair, he said, adding that although the pipeline was closed in 1948, its route is very comfortable and its hydraulic projects are ready.
The annual capacity of the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline is 71 million tons, while the capacity of the Mosul-Haifa pipeline is 5 million tons.
The new pipeline would take oil from the Kirkuk area, where some 40 percent of Iraqi oil is produced, and transport it via Mosul, and then across Jordan to Israel. The U.S. telegram included a request for a cost estimate for repairing the Mosul-Haifa pipeline that was in use prior to 1948. During the War of Independence, the Iraqis stopped the flow of oil to Haifa and the pipeline fell into disrepair over the years.
The National Infrastructure Ministry has recently conducted research indicating that construction of a 42-inch diameter pipeline between Kirkuk and Haifa would cost about $400,000 per kilometer. The old Mosul-Haifa pipeline was only 8 inches in diameter.
Iraq is one of the world's largest oil producers, with the potential of reaching about 2.5 million barrels a day. Oil exports were halted after the Gulf War in 1991 and then were allowed again on a limited basis to finance the import of food and medicines. Iraq is currently exporting several hundred thousand barrels of oil per day.
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U.S. Taxpayers Could Back Iraqi Reds
Posted Feb. 6, 2004
By J. Michael Waller
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Iraqi Communists take to the streets of Baghdad to celebrate the capture of Saddam Hussein. Effort is afoot to finance them with U.S. tax dollars.
With the Soviet Union gone, who is to take up the communist cause in Iraq? If some in the U.S. relief effort have their way, it will be the American taxpayer. As U.S. officials continue to map out a strategy to help Iraqis build a democratic system, some are urging that the Iraqi Communist Party be made a beneficiary of U.S. aid and assistance programs. Some American operatives in the political reconstruction process even claim to see the communists as the anchor of Iraq's fractious secular political parties and a bulwark against Islamist fundamentalism.
Leading the charge, sources at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) tell Insight, is the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a private, taxpayer-funded group chaired by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright that is chartered to promote democracy abroad. The NDI has won bipartisan praise for its work in the former Soviet bloc and the developing world, but by supporting the Iraqi Communist Party, friends say, the NDI is embarrassing itself and the United States.
The initiative likely will raise the ire of USAID administrator Andrew Natsios, an Army veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Natsios is trying to revamp USAID in an effort to return it to its original purpose as an instrument of national-security policy.
As senior Iraqi communists publicly hinted to their loyalists that they were prepared to use violence against American and Coalition forces and that they were organizing front groups and infiltrating civil organizations across Iraq to gain political power, some American aid workers nonetheless were convinced that the communists are committed to European-style social democracy. "At present, the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) boasts the most significant organizational structure of the secular parties," NDI Middle East director Leslie Campbell wrote in a January bulletin by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "With dues-paying members and small offices nationwide, the credibility of long opposition to Saddam, and a newly adopted European-style social democratic platform, the ICP could anchor a secular democratic coalition that could rally some former Iraqi National Congress parties and the newly formed or reinvigorated parties of moderate, secular Governing Council members."
The Governing Council, the standing group of leaders of tribal, religious, regional and political groups, is designed to become a transitional government under the Coalition Provisional Authority led by U.S. Ambassador L. Paul Bremer. At first the ICP refused to collaborate, but then Communist Party Secretary General Hamid Majid Mousa was given a seat on the council.
While appearing to cooperate publicly, the ICP Central Committee wrote a letter to its faithful in October 2003 explaining that it would use its position on the Governing Council to wage political warfare from within, to complement its fight from the outside. "Our Party," the letter said, "has regarded the Council as an arena of struggle rather than being a final, fixed and definitive authority.... Our Party can play a more influential role from within this process, to push in the required direction, while struggling, from without, to mobilize the people to effectively ensure that the process develops in the right direction. It is, in this sense, an arena of struggle because diverse forces and sides are influencing the political process both inside and outside the Council."
But NDI seems to treat the Communists as a representative voice of secular Iraqis. The group issued an on-site assessment report in July 2003 that stated, "When asked if the military or the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) should withdraw from Iraq, most people expressed a sentiment similar to the one we heard from a former secretary general of the Iraqi Communist Party, 'If the CPA were to withdraw from Iraq, there would be a civil war and democrats would have no chance.'"
That isn't what the party has been telling its cadres at home and its comrades abroad. On April 10, 2003, the day after U.S. and Coalition forces toppled Saddam Hussein, the ICP issued a statement denouncing the Americans, de-manding "an immediate halt to the war" and "ending U.S. unilateralism." Mousa told the radical Italian paper Il Manifesto in June, "If the U.S. wants stability for the country, then it should accept our solution."
"And if they don't agree," asked the Il Manifesto questioner, "would you then be ready to fight?" Mousa avoided the question, replying, "We are now acting in a legitimate and peaceful way."
For now. But the party reserved the right to fight the Americans. On July 9, Iran's Communist Tudeh Party journal Tareeq Al-Shaab ran an interview with "Comrade Salam Ali," a member of the ICP Central Committee, who assailed the Americans as "occupiers" who were denying the Iraqi people their sovereignty. Ali appeared to threaten the liberators: "Failing to respond to the just demands of the people can only intensify sentiments of anger and resistance against U.S.-British occupation." Another senior ICP official, Raid Fahmi, made a similar veiled threat in an interview with the Communist Party USA weekly paper: "We are for a speedy end to the occupation and the creation of an Iraqi provisional government. It should arrange for the transfer of power from the occupying power and prepare the withdrawal of troops. Of course if the Americans don't respond, each party could resort to other forms of struggle."
Although U.S. officials say the ICP has been behaving responsibly, they add that the Communists would be foolish to do otherwise. For the first time in its 70-year history, the ICP is able to operate freely throughout Iraq without fear of persecution. Well-organized, well-trained, and supported from abroad, the party maintained networks of clandestine front organizations inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq and abroad. It was the first to publish a regular newspaper after the U.S. liberation, even as the Coalition was struggling to establish a credible daily of its own. For now, the ICP is content to pursue the nonviolent road. In its October letter to members and followers, the ICP Central Committee explained, "Resisting occupation is not limited to employing violent means in struggle, but rather includes various forms of peaceful political struggle." Ironically, the ICP owes its survival to American and British forces. "In the '90s the party reconstituted itself in Iraqi Kurdistan and after the Gulf War in 1991 the Party worked publicly there" under the protection of the U.S./U.K.-enforced northern no-fly zone, Raid Fahmi told the People's Daily World. "We had our own headquarters, publications, several radio stations and a television station," and an Arabic-language newspaper as well. The overthrow of the Hussein regime brought new opportunities too.
Since April, Fahmi said, "The Party has reorganized. We had a large number of comrades abroad. We were present in practically every European country and everyone was doing an enormous job. We had an underground structure that was working in Baghdad and southern Iraq. So when the regime collapsed, the Party was able to be on the ground very rapidly. Because we [were] already publishing our paper in Kurdistan, we could rapidly get it to Baghdad. We are now starting radio broadcasts from Baghdad."
That organization has allowed the ICP to infiltrate new political and social institutions, including human-rights groups, and provoke them to take and maintain an anti-U.S. position while benefiting from U.S. protections. "A lot of effort has been put into rebuilding the democratic and trade-union movement," the ICP's "Comrade Ali" told the Iranian Communist Tudeh Party. "Women, youth and student organizations have emerged in the open, after long decades of clandestine work."
A senior Pentagon official says the Coalition Provisional Authority and USAID lack the means to screen the ICP, Islamist agents and other troublemakers from receiving taxpayer funds. "It's pretty hard to screen them out when people in the middle USAID machinery want to bring them in," he said.
The ICP and its front groups set about undermining U.S. and British leadership. According to Comrade Ali, "Workers are flexing their muscles, setting up their national trade unions and protesting the rampant unemployment. The first dem-onstration against violations of workers' rights by a U.S. multinational company took place last month in Basra and was organized by the Workers Democratic Trade Union Movement." That movement is a front of the ICP, according to the People's Daily World.
Reaching out beyond its own membership, the ICP has set up "local Political Coordinating Committees which encompass various political organizations, to help with mobilizing the people, representing their interests and articulating their demands," says Comrade Ali. The coordinating committees are working against - not with - the Coalition, he told his Iranian counterparts: "There is an ongoing political battle on the ground, in all major cities, with the occupation authorities that are trying to usurp the people's legitimate right to elect their own representatives to bodies of local government." That said, skeptics within USAID are wondering how their colleagues can justify financing the ICP.
Shaping Iraq's secular culture also is high on the ICP agenda. "The party is also helping with efforts to revive and support various cultural activities, sponsoring theatre, art and folk groups, especially young talents," according to Comrade Ali. "In the current circumstances, under the existing climate of freedom, the Iraqi political forces, including our Party, are in almost unanimous agreement that violent means are not the most appropriate and effective," the party Central Committee said in its October letter, "as long as peaceful means have not been exhausted."
The Iraqi Communist Party says it is depending on the international antiwar movement - the same movement that tried to save Saddam Hussein - to protest for the U.S. and the Coalition to get out of Iraq. Says Comrade Ali, "Active solidarity by peace movements all over the world is therefore of great importance."

J. Michael Waller is a senior writer for Insight.

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SPIEGEL ONLINE - 07. Februar 2004, 17:46
URL: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,285429,00.html
Sicherheitskonferenz

Rumsfelds emotionaler Tadel
Aus M?nchen berichtet Severin Weiland
Auf der Sicherheitskonferenz in M?nchen hat US-Verteidigungsminister Donald Rumsfeld nichts zur?ckzunehmen. Im Gegenteil. Er verteidigt den Krieg gegen den Irak und r?ffelt die Berichterstattung der Medien. Manche Schreiber h?tten die Koalition der Willigen mit Saddam Husseins Regime gleichgesetzt.
DDP
Rumsfeld in M?nchen: Der Verteidigungsminister wollte nicht klein beigeben
M?nchen - Donald Rumsfeld hat diese Geschichte schon einmal erz?hlt, zuletzt bei seinem Besuch in S?dkorea im vergangenen Jahr. Ein amerikanischer Journalist kennt sie. "Nothing new", sagt der Mann von der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters. Doch hier in M?nchen, wo die Frage, warum sich Deutschland nicht an einer milit?rischen Stabilisierung des Irak beteiligt, insgeheim in der Luft liegt, bekommt die Geschichte eine ganz besondere Bedeutung.
Pl?tzlich, mitten in seinen Ausf?hrungen, spricht der US-Verteidigungsminister von jener jungen s?dkoreanischen Journalistin, die ihn bei seinem Besuch auf der Halbinsel fragte, warum S?dkoreas Truppen um die halbe Welt reisen m?ssten, um ausgerechnet im Irak stationiert zu werden.
Korea ist weit weg, aber es hat auch etwas mit Deutschland zu tun. Als die Amerikaner Westdeutschland vor den Russen sch?tzten, gaben in den 50er Jahren Zehntausende von US-Soldaten f?r den nichtkommunistischen S?den Koreas ihr Leben. Das sagt Rumsfeld nat?rlich nicht. Er erz?hlt nur die Geschichte S?dkoreas und vom Namen eines Football-Sportlers seiner High-School-Mannschaft, der auf dem Mahnmal in S?dkorea steht. Am letzten Tag dieses Krieges sei er gestorben, sagt der US-Minister in den Saal hinein.
Seine Stimme schwankt mit einem Mal. Dann hat er sich wieder in der Gewalt und man wei? nicht so recht, ob das nun eine Geschichte f?r das heimische Fernsehpublikum war oder sich Rumsfeld wie einst Helmut Kohl von den Emotionen hat mitrei?en lassen.
Die Distanz bleibt
Auf jeden Fall zeigt das Beispiel, wie sehr ein Teil der Europ?er und der Amerikaner aneinander vorbeireden, hier in M?nchen. Denn Rumsfelds s?dkoreanische Episode ist im Kern eine Geschichte von Solidarit?t, von Beistand und nat?rlich auch von der Entt?uschung eines Amerikaners f?r das Unverst?ndnis, das ihm entgegengebracht wird.
In M?nchen versuchen die Beteiligten nach vorne zu blicken. Die Spannungen der Vergangenheit, die kaum ein Jahr alt sind, bleiben dennoch unterschwellig pr?sent. Der deutsche Au?enminister Joschka Fischer macht noch einmal klar, dass sich die Bundesregierung im Falle des Irak "durch den Gang der Ereignisse in ihrer damaligen Haltung best?tigt" sieht. Verteidigungsminister Peter Struck betont, dass Multilateralismus kein "l?stiges Beiwerk oder Zugest?ndnis an kleinere Partner" sei, dass auch Amerika nicht ohne starke Partner auskommen k?nne.
Fischer hat auch seine Zweifel an einem Nato-Einsatz deutlich gemacht. Deutschland werde keine Truppen entsenden. Er hat aber auch angek?ndigt, dass es im Falle eines Nato-Einsatzes keine Blockade der Deutschen geben wird. Rumsfeld kann also einen Punktsieg verbuchen, auch wenn ein formeller Beschluss zu einem Irak-Einsatz erst im Juni in Istanbul auf dem Nato-Gipfel zu erwarten ist.
Fischer hat in M?nchen eine neue Nahost-Initiative vorgelegt, ein breiter Ansatz, der die USA und die Europ?er aneinander binden soll. EU und Nato, so will es Fischer, sollen eine Schl?sselrolle im Friedensprozess spielen. Das ist ein gewagter Ansatz. Einer, der wie viele andere in Nahost im Papierkorb enden k?nnte.
AP
Struck und Fischer: Starkes Europa liegt in US-Interesse
Rumsfeld nimmt Fischers Vorschlag nur indirekt auf. Im Juni, wenn sich die Nato zum Gipfel in Istanbul trifft, sollte die Ausweitung des Mittelmeer-Dialogs "oben auf der Tagesordnung stehen", sagt der Amerikaner. Mehr nicht.
Was den Sinn des Krieges angeht, weicht Rumsfeld keinen Millimeter. 25 Millionen Menschen im Irak, weitere 25 Millionen in Afghanistan seien befreit worden. Rumsfeld ist sich seiner Sache sicher. Wenn die Saat der Freiheit im Nahen Osten aufgegangen sei, werde sie sich ausbreiten, sagt er. Er verweist auf das Beispiel Japans und Deutschlands nach dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Rumsfeld, das ist erkennbar, will wie Fischer und Struck keine Schlacht der Vergangenheit schlagen. So vergisst er nicht zu erw?hnen, dass Japan Truppen in den Irak, Deutschland nach Afghanistan entsandt hat.
Aber er will auch nicht klein beigeben vor jenen, die den Krieg nach wie vor f?r falsch halten und sich durch die bis jetzt nicht aufgefundenen Massenvernichtungswaffen in ihrem Zweifel an dem eigentlichen Kriegsgrund best?tigt sehen.
Und so bringt er das Beispiel Libyens auf, das k?rzlich Inspektionen zugestimmt hat. Rumsfeld stellt eine These auf. "Wenn der Irak den Schritt getan h?tte, den Libyen geht, dann h?tte es keinen Krieg gegeben." Er wei? nat?rlich, dass die Welt in den letzten Wochen dar?ber geredet hat, dass die F?hrung in Tripolis wohl nicht so nachgiebig geworden w?re, wenn nicht der Krieg im Irak gewesen w?re. So ist auch diese Rumsfeld-These eine, die zu seinen Gunsten ausf?llt.
Die Nato vom Mars aus gesehen
Rumsfeld hat in der Sache nichts zur?ckzunehmen. Er verteidigt die Strategie des pr?vemptiven Krieges. Diese habe es schon immer gegeben, sie sei nichts Neues. Auch die Situation der Nato will er nicht in einem schlechten Licht sehen. Daf?r hat er einen typischen Rumsfeld-Vergleich parat: Jeder Affe auf dem Mars, der auf die Erde blicke, w?rde sehen, dass die Mitglieder der Nato die gleichen Interessen und Werte vertrete. Er sei jetzt 71 Jahre alt und habe manches Auf- und Ab in der Allianz schon erlebt. Das sei schon fast "ein Muster", sagt er.
Rumsfeld hat in M?nchen nichts gesagt, was er nicht schon an anderer Stelle gesagt h?tte. Nur eines ist deutlicher geworden: Wie sehr die Entt?uschung noch nachwirkt, dass mit Deutschland einer der engsten Verb?ndeten im vergangenen Jahr von der Fahne ging.
REUTERS
US-Soldaten im Irak: Schockierende Gleichsetzung
Als ihn der deutsche Botschafter in Washington, Wolfgang Ischinger, fragt, ob nicht das derzeit in vielen Telen der Welt schlechte Ansehen der USA eine Hypothek f?r den Vermittlungsprozess im Nahen Osten sei, sagt er: "Das ist eine harte Frage."
Und dann holt er aus zu einem Exkurs. Der f?hrt ihn zu den arabischen Fernsehsendern, schlie?lich auch zur Presseberichterstattung in Deutschland. Da seien Artikel geschrieben worden, die den Eindruck erweckt h?tten, es sei eigentlich gleichg?ltig, wer im Irak gewinnen sollte. Diese Gleichsetzung sei "schockierend" gewesen, sagt Rumsfeld, "wirklich best?rzend."

? SPIEGEL ONLINE 2004
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* Portfolio : la carri?re d'Alain Jupp?


UMP : le d?part pr?vu de M. Jupp? entrouvre la voie ? M. Sarkozy
LE MONDE | 07.02.04 | 14h01
Le parti r?unit ? Paris, dimanche 8 f?vrier, son congr?s pour lancer la campagne des ?lections r?gionales. Peu disert sur la condamnation du maire de Bordeaux, le ministre de l'int?rieur entend s'y investir et montrer qu'il est indispensable ? la formation chiraquienne et au gouvernement.
L'image a tout juste quatorze mois et elle semble d?j? jaunie. Flanqu? de Jean-Claude Gaudin et de Philippe Douste-Blazy, Alain Jupp? vient d'?tre ?lu ? la pr?sidence de l'Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP) avec pr?s de 75 % des suffrages.
Il triomphe. C'?tait le 17 novembre 2002, au Bourget (Seine-Saint-Denis), lors du premier congr?s de l'UMP. Pr?s de 20 000 militants applaudissaient ? tout rompre. Dimanche 8 f?vrier, 10 000 d?l?gu?s, les m?mes pour la plupart, se retrouvent, porte de Versailles, ? Paris, pour le deuxi?me congr?s du parti chiraquien. Officiellement, ils valideront les listes de leurs candidats aux ?lections r?gionales des 21 et 28 mars. Rituellement, ils feront un nouveau triomphe ? leur pr?sident, apr?s sa condamnation par le tribunal de Nanterre dans l'affaire du financement du RPR. Mais, avec neuf mois d'avance sur le calendrier, la succession de M. Jupp? hantera tous les esprits.
"GENTIL, GENTIL"
Car c'est lui qui, ? sa fa?on, a ouvert la course ? sa succession en annon?ant, mardi 3 f?vrier, sur TF1, qu'il faut "un nouveau pr?sident ? l'UMP" et qu'il entend "pr?parer un vote tout ? fait serein". Il pr?cise les r?gles de ce "passage de t?moin", le 6 f?vrier, dans un entretien ? Sud-Ouest. "Je n'ai pas ? d?signer mon successeur. Il va y avoir des ?lections, elles seront libres et transparentes, elles l'ont ?t? la premi?re fois."
Pour l'heure, aucun candidat ne s'est encore d?clar?, mais un nom revient dans toutes les conversations : Nicolas Sarkozy. Entre le 30 janvier, date du jugement de M. Jupp?, et le 3 f?vrier, o? il a annonc? qu'il conservait ses mandats et la pr?sidence de l'UMP jusqu'en novembre 2004, le ministre de l'int?rieur est rest? en retrait. L'?pisode du printemps 1997 est s?rement revenu ? la m?moire de M. Sarkozy : apr?s la dissolution de l'Assembl?e nationale et l'?chec retentissant de la droite aux ?lections l?gislatives de juin, M. Jupp? avait, pour la premi?re fois, manifest? des vell?it?s de d?part. "Jamais je n'ai pens? qu'il se retirerait d?finitivement", affirme le ministre de l'int?rieur.
Depuis le commencement de cette crise au sein de l'UMP, M. Sarkozy - qui ne devait pas prendre la parole dimanche - n'a qu'un souci : montrer qu'il est indispensable. Tant au parti, o? rien ne peut se jouer sans lui, qu'au gouvernement, et donc ? Jean-Pierre Raffarin, qui mesure ? quel point la popularit? de son ministre de l'int?rieur rejaillit sur sa propre action ? la t?te du gouvernement. "L'UMP est sensible au fait que M. Raffarin est un bon chef et que M. Sarkozy est le moteur de cette popularit? ? l'int?rieur du parti", r?sume un d?put? chiraquien.
Pour l'heure, M. Sarkozy observe, non sans plaisir, cette situation. "Je n'ai qu'une ambition, tout faire pour participer ? la victoire de mon camp aux ?lections de mars", rel?ve-t-il, avec une modestie inhabituelle. Pour les semaines ? venir, M. Sarkozy a noirci les pages de son agenda de r?unions publiques. R?clam? dans la plupart des r?gions par les t?tes de listes UMP, il r?pondra ? un maximum d'invitations, ? commencer par celle de Xavier Darcos, t?te de liste en Aquitaine, sur les terres de M. Jupp?.
Le num?ro deux du gouvernement est convaincu d'une chose : se porter en premi?re ligne dans la bataille ?lectorale ne peut que lui profiter. Un ministre lui recommande d'ailleurs d'adopter, dans les mois qui viennent, un comportement "gentil, gentil". "Si M. Sarkozy veut prendre l'UMP, personne ne pourra l'en emp?cher. Pas m?me le premier ministre", ajoute-t-il.
SOLUTION N?GOCI?E
Dans le contexte politique actuel, la majorit? des responsables de la droite partage cette analyse. M?me les plus farouches adversaires du ministre de l'int?rieur l'admettent : "Sarkozy a les moyens de prendre le parti s'il le d?cide." Les adh?rents ?lisant le pr?sident du parti au suffrage direct, sa victoire ne souffre gu?re de doutes aux yeux de la plupart de ses dirigeants. Aussi plusieurs voix commencent ? se faire entendre en faveur d'une solution n?goci?e pour l'?lection ? la pr?sidence du parti. "Je ne crois pas ? la possibilit? de passer en force pour imposer le successeur d'Alain Jupp?, explique un dirigeant de l'UMP, proche du maire de Bordeaux. Je sais que certains en ont la tentation contre Sarkozy, mais ce serait une erreur fatale qui nous ferait perdre l'?lection pr?sidentielle de 2007."
Reste le r?le d?volu ? M. Raffarin. Le r?sultat des ?lections r?gionales permettra de mesurer, pour partie, le niveau de sa cr?dibilit? au sein de la droite. Durant les quatre journ?es qui ont secou? l'UMP, il n'avait pas dissimul? qu'en tant que chef de la majorit? il ?tait pr?t ? prendre le relais en cas de retrait imm?diat de M. Jupp?.
Le maire de Bordeaux ayant choisi d'"organiser" un repli progressif, les conditions de la passation de pouvoir ont chang?. "Il ne pourra se pr?senter que s'il signe un accord politique avec Sarkozy. Un conflit entre le num?ro un et le num?ro deux du gouvernement n'est pas concevable", note un ministre. "M. Raffarin ne peut y aller que s'il est s?r de gagner. Perdre contre Sarkozy serait catastrophique pour lui", insiste-t-il.
Le 29 janvier, ? la veille de la condamnation de M. Jupp?, les deux hommes ont d?n? ensemble, avec leurs ?pouses, ? Angoul?me. Ont-ils, ce soir-l?, scell? une alliance en vue de cette ?ch?ance ?
Yves Bordenave

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 08.02.04
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Ce qu'Alain Jupp? d?clarait sur les affaires, la justice et les "p?ch?s" du PS avant sa condamnation
LE MONDE | 07.02.04 | 14h01
"Le seul souverain est le peuple (...). Qu'en est-il des juges, d?s lors qu'ils constituent ? leur tour un "pouvoir"", d?clarait-il dans un livre d'entretiens publi? en 2001.
Depuis le milieu des ann?es 1980, Alain Jupp? a fait, ? plusieurs reprises, des d?clarations sur la moralisation de la vie politique, les affaires et le r?le des juges. Le Monde en donne de larges extraits.
Le financement des partis : "Je regrette que nous ayons tard? ? mettre en place un cadre l?gal.
"
"Faut-il faire payer par les contribuables les campagnes des partis politiques ? J'?tais moi-m?me pour un syst?me lib?ral parce que la r?glementation ne me semblait pas mettre ? l'abri des combines. Personnellement, je reconnais que j'ai ?volu? sur ces questions-l?." (Lib?ration, 6 novembre 1987)
"On a atteint un bon ?quilibre dans le domaine du financement des partis politiques. La suppression des dons des personnes morales -aux partis- est une fausse bonne id?e parce que c'est le retour ? un encouragement de la corruption." (Grand Jury RTL-Le Monde, 9 octobre 1994)
"C'est ? partir de 1988 qu'on a commenc? ? s'attaquer au probl?me. On a b?ti petit ? petit un cadre qui est devenu plus strict. Je me suis trouv? aux responsabilit?s durant cette p?riode-l?. Qu'ai-je fait ? J'ai naturellement demand? aux gestionnaires du RPR de se mettre en conformit? avec les lois successives. Si j'ai eu un tort, c'est sans doute d'avoir abord? ce dossier de mani?re trop g?n?rale et de ne pas l'avoir r?gl? imm?diatement. (...) On n'en sentait pas l'urgence comme on la ressent aujourd'hui ! L'interdiction totale du financement des partis politiques par les entreprises priv?es date de 1995. Avant 1995, une entreprise pouvait contribuer au fonctionnement d'un parti politique. Ces contributions ont pu prendre des formes diverses que l'on pensait, ? tort, admises (...)
Le financement des syndicats : "des centaines de fonctionnaires travaillent pour les syndicats"
"Je regrette que la soci?t? fran?aise ait tard? collectivement ? s'interroger sur le co?t de fonctionnement de la d?mocratie et que nous ayons tard? ? mettre en place ce cadre l?gal. Les Fran?ais savent que ces pratiques ?taient un fait g?n?ralis?es. La mise ? disposition de personnes par une administration ou une collectivit? ?tait tr?s r?pandue. Il y a plusieurs centaines de fonctionnaires qui sont pay?s par leur administration d'origine et qui travaillent, en fait, dans des syndicats ou des associations priv?es." (Le Point, 26 septembre 1998). M. Jupp? a repris ces critiques, le 3 f?vrier, sur TF1.
"En 1995, on a ?t?, ? mon sens, trop loin en interdisant totalement les dons des entreprises." (Entre quatre z'yeux, entretien avec Serge July, Grasset, 2001)
Le partage des responsabilit?s avec Jacques Chirac : "C'est moi qui suis en cause."
"La justice n'est pas une affaire de sentiment. Quand on a ?t? le patron - passez-moi l'expression -, il faut assumer ses responsabilit?s." (Le Figaro, 26 ao?t 1998)
"Avant tout, je souhaite rappeler qu'il s'agit d'un probl?me de financement et de fonctionnement d'un parti. Il ne s'agit en aucun cas d'une affaire personnelle". (Le Figaro, 26 ao?t 1998)
"Il s'agit d'un probl?me de r?mun?ration du personnel et d'emplois dits fictifs. J'esp?re que cela sera trait? avec un certain sens de la relativit?." (Le Figaro, 26 ao?t 1998)
"Quant au fond, j'ai assum? mes responsabilit?s au RPR ? une p?riode, je l'ai dit, qui a ?t? une p?riode de transition. On est pass? d'un ?ge ? un autre." (Le Point, 26 septembre 1998)
"C'est moi qui suis en cause. J'assume mes responsabilit?s de secr?taire g?n?ral de 1988 ? 1995, puis comme pr?sident de 1995 ? 1997. Vous me permettrez de ne pas faire de proc?s d'intention aux juges." (Le Figaro, ao?t 1998).
Les hommes politiques face ? la justice : "Je ne suis pas un adepte de la th?orie du complot."
"Je me suis fix? une r?gle que je crois n'avoir jamais enfreint, c'est de ne pas commenter les d?cisions de justice. (...) C'est un fondement de la d?mocratie. (...) Ce n'est pas au premier ministre de commenter des d?cisions de justice. Si je le faisais, je crois que j'enfreindrais un principe d?mocratique fondamental. J'ajoute que cette s?r?nit? de la justice doit aussi r?gner ? l'int?rieur de l'institution judiciaire." (TF1, 17 mars 1996).
"Il faut convaincre nos concitoyens que la justice est ?gale pour tous et que le pouvoir n'intervient pas dans les affaires sensibles." (Le Figaro, 23 mai 1997)
"Je ne m'y attendais pas -? la mise en examen dans l'affaire du financement du RPR-. D'autant que les chefs retenus sont durs. Tr?s durs. Les termes employ?s frappent au c?ur et ? l'esprit." (Le Figaro du 26 ao?t 1998).
"La justice a son temps propre. Je me pr?pare ? une longue ?preuve." (Le Point, 26 septembre 1998)
"Je ne suis pas un adepte de la th?orie du complot -des juges-. Je respecte les institutions de mon pays. Je souhaite que la justice se fasse dans la s?r?nit?." (Le Figaro, 26 ao?t 1998)
"La premi?re chose qui me choque, c'est la pression m?diatique qui s'exerce sur les hommes politiques pour qu'ils abandonnent leur charge au moment o? il sont mis en examen, voire avant m?me qu'ils le soient. Depuis qu'Edouard Balladur a formul? et appliqu? la r?gle de la d?mission imm?diate de tout ministre en examen, on a m?me donn? aux juges d'instruction le pouvoir de faire et de d?faire les gouvernements !" (Entre quatre z'yeux, entretien avec Serge July, Grasset, 2001)
"Le seul souverain est le peuple ; c'est donc le suffrage universel, direct ou indirect, qui conf?re la l?gitimit? d?mocratique (...) Qu'en est-il des juges d?s lors qu'ils constituent ? leur tour un -pouvoir'' (...) et qu'ils prennent leurs d?cisions -au nom du peuple fran?ais'' ?" (Entre quatre z'yeux, entretien avec Serge July, Grasset, 2001)
L'amnistie : "L?gif?rer pour apurer le pass?, les Fran?ais y sont-ils pr?ts ?"
"Il ne faut pas abuser des amnisties. Mais je ne suis pas pr?sident de la R?publique." (Lib?ration du 5 mai 1995).
"Faut-il l?gif?rer pour pr?ciser encore les r?gles en vigueur, pourquoi pas ? Par exemple, la question du statut de l'?lu. L?gif?rer pour apurer le pass?, les Fran?ais y sont-ils pr?ts ?" (Le Point, 26 septembre 1998).
L'affaire de l'appartement parisien : "Je reste droit dans mes bottes."
En juillet 1995, Alain Jupp? s'?tait expliqu? dans le "20 heures" de TF1, sur son appartement parisien dont le loyer ?tait jug? inf?rieur ? ceux du march? : " Je n'ai rien cach?, il n'y a eu aucune irr?gularit?, aucune entorse, je paie un loyer normal pour le type d'immeuble que j'habite (...) -Je suis- " profond?ment bless? par tout cela. -...- J'ai fait de l'int?grit? dans ma vie politique une r?gle de tous les jours, ainsi que dans ma vie personnelle. (...) Je ne me laisserai pas impressionner par toutes les campagnes qui vont continuer (...) Je reste droit dans mes bottes. -Je refuse- les le?ons de morale de professeurs de vertu qui feraient bien de balayer devant leur porte. (...) Si elle estime qu'il y a mati?re, que la justice fasse son travail ! Croyez bien que personne ne contrarierait son action, et je m'y engage personnellement. (...) Il y a un procureur, qu'il instruise sa plainte. " En janvier 1996, le tribunal administratif de Paris n'avait pas autoris? de poursuites contre M. Jupp?.
Les affaires et la gauche : "Le PS a p?ch? de mani?re industrielle."
"[ Nous avons ] la gauche la plus pourrie au monde." (Le "Grand jury RTL-Le Monde", 22 janvier 1989 )
"Ce n'est pas moi qui vais pr?tendre que seul le PS a p?ch?, mais il a p?ch? de mani?re industrielle." (Europe 1, 21 avril 1991)

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M. Schwartzenberg veut poursuivre les ministres
Roger-G?rard Schwartzenberg, d?put? (app. PS) du Val-de-Marne, a ?crit, samedi 7 f?vrier, au garde des sceaux pour lui demander d'engager des poursuites contre les ministres qui, en commentant le jugement d'Alain Jupp?, "ont enfreint l'article 434-25 du code p?nal". Cet article dit que "le fait de chercher ? jeter le discr?dit publiquement sur un acte ou une d?cision juridictionnelle dans des contidions de nature ? porter atteinte ? l'autorit? de la justice est puni de 6 mois d'emprisonnement". Pour le d?put?, "la loi doit ?tre respect?e par les citoyens en g?n?ral et les ministres en particulier", et ceux qui ont critiqu? la d?cision dans l'exercice de leurs fonctions devraient m?me relever de la Cour de justice de la R?publique.

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 08.02.04
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Pour l'Elys?e, le probl?me de la succession "ne se pose pas" aujourd'hui
LE MONDE | 07.02.04 | 12h14
L'ump , parti du pr?sident ? "Oui, je pense bien !", s'exclame un proche conseiller de Jacques Chirac, tout en nuan?ant aussit?t ce cri du c?ur : " C'est le parti de la majorit? qui soutient l'action du pr?sident et du gouvernement.
" Alors que le deuxi?me congr?s de la grande formation de droite se tient, dimanche 8 f?vrier, ? Paris, l'Elys?e a bien l'intention que l'UMP continue ? jouer ce r?le, m?me si Alain Jupp? a annonc? qu'il en quitterait la pr?sidence en novembre.
Premier souci de M. Chirac, ?teindre la guerre de succession qui s'annonce, pr?figurant celle qui se jouera pour la pr?sidentielle de 2007. " Le probl?me ne se pose pas, puisqu'Alain reste jusqu'en novembre, veut croire l'un des plus proches conseillers du pr?sident de la R?publique. Il se poserait s'il avait pris une autre position." C'est-?-dire si M. Jupp? avait imm?diatement abandonn? la pr?sidence de l'UMP. C'est d'ailleurs la premi?re fonction que M. Jupp? a laiss? tomber. Mais il est l? jusqu'en novembre, " ce qui laisse plus de six mois pour r?gler le probl?me. ?a se pr?cisera apr?s les vacances d'?t?", estime-t-on ? l'Elys?e. Que les candidats suppos?s ou r?els se le tiennent pour dit : " Personne n'est en mesure de r?gler le probl?me aujourd'hui." Autrement dit, le bal des pr?tendants a beaucoup agac? " alors qu'il y a d?j? tellement de probl?mes ? r?gler avant". Notamment passer le cap des ?lections r?gionales et europ?ennes en mars et juin. A l'Elys?e, on compte beaucoup sur M. Jupp? pour ?tre ? la barre du parti ? ce moment-l?.
M. Chirac a toujours franchi une ?tape apr?s l'autre. Cette r?gle est d'autant plus sage qu'il y a d?sormais, dans le jeu, une inconnue nomm?e Jupp?. "Les choses ne sont pas aussi tranch?es qu'on veut le dire. Jacques Chirac l'a conseill?, oui, mais il y a des situations ?volutives", admet un vieux conseiller du pr?sident. M. Jupp? esquisse d?sormais une strat?gie de d?fense bien diff?rente de celle qu'il avait adopt?e lors du proc?s sur le financement du RPR, en octobre 2003. Certains de ses amis pensent qu'il aurait tout int?r?t ? arriver en appel d?gag? de ses mandats ?lectifs - maire de Bordeaux, voire d?put? de la Gironde - pour montrer au juge qu'il ferait amende honorable. " C'est une jurisprudence non ?crite. Les tribunaux sont plus indulgents quand la personne a quitt? ses mandats", assure l'un d'entre eux.
Sur France Bleu Gironde, vendredi, le pr?sident de l'UMP a d'ailleurs laiss? entendre qu'il pourrait quitter, selon un calendrier qu'il n'a pas pr?cis?, la mairie de Bordeaux. " Mais ce n'est pas ce qu'il a dit mardi soir ? la t?l?vision", s'?tonne un conseiller et ami de Chirac. "Si vous vous appliquez ? vous-m?me et par avance la peine d'in?ligibilit?, ce n'est m?me pas la peine de faire appel, s'insurge-t-il. On ne s'inflige pas une peine qu'on conteste."
Quoi qu'il en soit, M. Jupp? a promis de garder la maison UMP jusqu'en novembre. " Je maintiendrai la coh?sion", a-t-il dit sur France Bleu Gironde. Ce parti est " loyal", estime un cacique de l'ex-RPR : "Jusqu'au jour o? il pensera que Chirac est d?pass? et qu'il faut passer ? autre chose."

B?atrice Gurrey

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 08.02.04
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Les autres pr?tendants possibles ? la pr?sidence de la formation chiraquienne
LE MONDE | 07.02.04 | 14h01
Jean-Louis Debr?
Pr?sident de l'Assembl?e nationale, 59 ans
Ecart? du gouvernement Raffarin, il a gagn? en autonomie et en visibilit? depuis qu'il s'est install? au perchoir de l'Assembl?e, contre la volont? de l'Elys?e, qui souhaitait r?server le poste ? Alain Jupp?.
Ses critiques ? l'?gard de M. Raffarin - qu'il soup?onne de lorgner l'Elys?e - en font le chef de file d'un front antilib?ral qui pourrait un jour devenir un courant au sein de l'UMP. Cette gu?rilla contre le premier ministre, qu'il a r?cemment trait? de "boutiquier", lui vaut davantage de sympathie ? gauche que dans son propre camp.
Mich?le Alliot-Marie
Ministre de la d?fense, ancienne pr?sidente du RPR, 57 ans
C'est la derni?re pr?sidente du RPR, dont elle n'a jamais accept? la disparition, en septembre 2002. Elue en 1999, au suffrage direct des militants, elle s'?tait impos?e contre le candidat de l'Elys?e, Jean-Paul Delevoye, ce qui lui a valu un brevet d'ind?pendance ? l'?gard du chef de l'Etat et la sympathie de la base. Ses proches sont persuad?s qu'elle seule est ? m?me de contrer une offensive de Nicolas Sarkozy sur l'UMP. "Je -le- pourrais, reconna?t-elle, mais je n'en ai pas envie." Une mani?re d'avouer qu'elle y songe.
Philippe Douste-Blazy
Secr?taire g?n?ral de l'UMP, 51 ans
L'ancien pr?sident du groupe UDF de l'Assembl?e nationale (1997-2002) a ?t? l'un des principaux organisateurs de l'UMP au c?t? d'Alain Jupp?. D?s 2001, il pr?nait le ralliement des centristes ? la cause de Jacques Chirac. Elu au poste de num?ro trois du nouveau parti chiraquien en novembre 2002, il a, depuis, multipli? les visites dans les f?d?rations du parti, nourrissant l'espoir de se tisser un r?seau de partisans. Le retrait annonc? de M. Jupp? r?veille en lui des ambitions qu'il tente vainement de dissimuler.
Fran?ois Fillon
Ministre des affaires sociales, du travail et de la solidarit?, 49 ans
Le ministre des affaires sociales a r?ussi ? faire oublier qu'il fut un proche de Philippe S?guin pour devenir un soutien de Jacques Chirac. Fort de son succ?s sur le dossier des retraites, M. Fillon a conquis une certaine notori?t? et renforc? son poids au sein de l'UMP. Pourtant, il n'est jamais all? au bout de ses ambitions, ?chouant dans la conqu?te de la pr?sidence du RPR en 1999, et renon?ant ? constituer un courant sur la base de son club, France.9. S'il souhaite contrer M. Sarkozy, il devra ?largir la base des ses soutiens.
Herv? Gaymard
Ministre de l'agriculture, 43 ans
Ce pur chiraquien n'a gu?re de mal ? faire avancer ses dossiers aupr?s du pr?sident de la R?publique, qui a mis la ruralit? au programme de sa campagne de 2002. Fid?le et discret, M. Gaymard est l'un des quadrag?naires sur lesquels M. Chirac compte pour renouveler le personnel politique. Il a ?t? l'un des promoteurs de la cr?ation de l'UMP et figure parmi les proches de Jacques et Bernadette Chirac. Sa femme, Clara, est la fille du professeur Lejeune, d?couvreur du g?ne de la trisomie 21 et militant contre l'avortement, un ami du couple Chirac.
Dominique Perben
Ministre de la justice, garde des sceaux, 58 ans
C'est le plus proche d'Alain Jupp? parmi les pr?tendants ? sa succession. Aux avant-postes de la cr?ation du parti chiraquien au sein du club Dialogue et initiative, il pourrait ?tre le garant d'une succession en douceur. Ancien secr?taire g?n?ral adjoint du RPR (1990-1993), il sait faire fonctionner un parti sans avoir le charisme du chef. Alors qu'il s'est engag? dans la conqu?te de Lyon aux municipales de 2007, la pr?sidence du parti chiraquien pourrait s'av?rer un handicap dans une ville r?put?e centriste.
* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 08.02.04

Posted by maximpost at 3:10 PM EST

Nuclear Controversy, Elections Loom as Malaysia's New Leader Steps Out of Predecessor's Shadow

By Patrick McDowell Associated Press Writer
Published: Feb 7, 2004
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Exceeding many expectations, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has stamped his authority on Malaysia since becoming prime minister 100 days ago - but a nuclear scandal, personal tragedy and looming elections signal a harder road ahead.
Though he'd held high positions for decades, Abdullah remained an enigma to most Malaysians when he was sworn in Oct. 31, succeeding the larger-than-life Mahathir Mohamed, who retired after dominating this Southeast Asian country for a generation.
In the previous four years, Abdullah's self-effacing style and nice-guy reputation as Mahathir's deputy contrasted sharply with the combative Mahathir, and many Malaysians wondered what kind of new leader they were getting.
They saw a devoted family man when Abdullah flew to his hometown hours after taking office and knelt at his mother's feet, seeking her blessing.
Over the next three months, he stepped out from the shadow of his ex-boss and won public support by tackling some of the down-to-earth problems from Mahathir's grandiose era - police corruption, inert bureaucracy and cronyism.
"I'm not aware that I was going through a honeymoon period," Abdullah said Saturday on the eve of his 100th day in office. "But there will be challenges ahead, I'm very sure."
They included two hammer blows over the past week.
His revered 79-year-old mother, Kailan Hassan, died of natural causes Monday. Abdullah wept at her funeral, striking a well of public sympathy.
On Thursday, Malaysia was swept up in the nuclear proliferation scandal uncovered when Pakistan admitted that its top atomic scientist had leaked weapons technology and know-how to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
Police disclosed that an engineering company controlled by Abdullah's only son, Kamaluddin Abdullah, is being investigated for making centrifuge components destined for Libya's nuclear weapons program.
The company, Scomi Precision Engineering, denies that it knew the parts would be used for nuclear purposes. They were ordered by a Dubai-based firm through a Sri Lankan middleman married to a Malaysian.
Abdullah vowed Thursday that the probe will be conducted "without fear or favor." His son owns 53 percent of the parent company, Scomi, but has no management role. Police said that the company is cooperating fully with the investigation.
The magnitude and impact of the scandal remain to be determined. For now, Malaysians appear content to size up Abdullah and take a break from the confrontations that Mahathir relished.
Ideris Maidin, a taxi driver, wasn't impressed with Abdullah's bland style Thursday during a speech in Kuantan, 160 miles east of Kuala Lumpur, but he liked the substance.
"Mahathir liked big projects and big statements," Ideris said. Abdullah "seems to be more interested in pleasing the public by making improvements in the civil sector, the police and government efficiency."
Mahathir ended 22 years in office in deep controversy, asserting at a summit of Muslim leaders that Jews rule the world.
Though Mahathir's trademark attacks on everything from globalization to Western-style democracy won notoriety, he turned this former tin-and-rubber-producing backwater into one of Asia's richest countries. For a time, Malaysia was home to the world's tallest buildings.
Abdullah has promised to build on the economic achievements, but his eye is on the grass roots.
Abdullah found public favor by shelving a rail project that Mahathir had granted to a favored tycoon, and by launching a royal commission into reforming the police. One commissioner will be the former chief justice who Mahathir sacked during a clash with the courts in 1988.
Abdullah faces his biggest test by leading the ruling coalition in general elections expected by mid-year.
His goal will be to roll back gains made in 1999 by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which runs two of Malaysia's 13 states. The party advocates harsh Islamic law, scaring moderate Muslims and the large, non-Muslim ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.
If Abdullah checks the fundamentalists, he should sail through subsequent internal elections in his party. But if the Islamic opposition gains another state, Abdullah could face a party leadership challenge, with his premiership at stake.
"He's shown that in his own very sort of courteous, civil way that he's his own man," said Chandra Muzaffar, a think-tank head who worked with Abdullah on economic policy in the 1980s. "But after the election, people are going to expect results."
AP-ES-02-07-04 0548EST


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chatterbox Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2094992/
Get Your Bush Docs Here!
Ron Suskind posts the evidence online.
By Timothy Noah
Posted Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at 8:55 AM PT
What's at the end of the paper trail?
The various revelations in Ron Suskind's book The Price of Loyalty are based largely on a trove of 19,000 documents that former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill gave him. Some have criticized Suskind for striking a Faustian bargain in which he accepted at face value O'Neill's often comically outsized self-regard in exchange for the information O'Neill was in a position to provide about the inner workings of the Bush White House (which might be summed up by the formula, "Crude Political Calculation + Discipline = Success"). But whatever his personal failings and shortcomings as Treasury secretary (some of them previously documented in Chatterbox's "O'Neill Death Watch"), O'Neill is a smart and principled man whose blunt storytelling, supplemented by Suskind's independent reporting, provides what is by far the most vivid and valuable accounting of this administration. And unlike the typical White House memoirist, O'Neill made sure the public would have the documents to back up his description of what he saw.
Suskind has now begun the process of putting those documents online. Today he has posted 20 documents touching on some of his book's more striking revelations. He plans to release roughly the same number of documents on a weekly basis for some time to come. Suskind says that this trove--a sort of "The Smoking Gun" for policy wonks--will eventually include many newsworthy documents that, due to constraints of time and narrative, he failed to use in his 328-page book. As with these initial 20 documents, they will cover all aspects of government policy, not just economic matters.
One document that seems likely to become news (even though the book's allusions to it have thus far attracted little notice) is a memo by Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, excoriating corporate governance in America. (It was written March 4, 2002, in response to the Enron implosion.) Many of Greenspan's complaints--expressed, for once, in plain English--would not be out of place in The Nation. To wit:
CEOs, under increasing pressure from the investment community to meet elevated expectations, in too many instances have been drawn to accounting devices whose sole purpose is arguably to obscure potential adverse results.
Greenspan says that Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, which Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers in 1998 praised as "the single most important innovation shaping [America's] capital market," are a sham:
So long as the corporate duty to disclose is viewed as limited to conforming to GAAP, disclosures will remain inadequate. ... [A]bsent a fundamental change in the perception of the duty to disclose, firms will have incentives to continue to game the accounting system.
Greenspan also discusses the harmful effects of stock options:
The Federal Reserve staff estimates that the substitution of option grants for cash compensation added about 2-1/2 percentage points to reported annual growth in earnings of our larger corporations between 1995 and 2000. One must assume that this led to some misallocation of the nation's capital assets especially in the high-tech sector.
He concludes:
[C]hanges in critical areas of governance to align CEO interests more closely with those of shareholders in our judgment are essential and, indeed, overdue. The stock market has begun to place a premium on corporate disclosures that inspire trust. Government policy can, and should, reinforce this powerful market incentive.
Judging from Greenspan's tone, the Corporate Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, signed into law a few months after he wrote this memo, does not go nearly as far as he'd like. It established a new accounting oversight board, but did not, for instance, require corporate expensing of stock options.
Other highlights from Suskind's documents:
White House budget director Mitch Daniels stating confidently in a February 2001 memo that "the president's budget is so fiscally conservative that the government will be able to retire all of the roughly $2 trillion in debt that is financially practicable to retire by 2011. ... [A]fter 2007, projected surpluses will be larger than the annual amount of maturing debt." The Congressional Budget Office currently puts the federal budget deficit at $375 billion and projects a deficit of $162 billion in 2011.
Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman making a last-ditch plea in March 2001 that Bush "indicate that you are exploring how to reduce U.S. Greenhouse gas emissions internally and will continue to do so no matter what else transpires. Mr. President, this is a credibility issue (global warming) for the U.S. in the international Community." Bush brushed her off, pledged not to regulate carbon emissions, and papered over his inaction with a voluntary greenhouse program that he no longer even bothers trying to tout. (Indeed, his State of the Union didn't mention the words "environment," "pollution," "natural resources," "clean air," or "clean water" at all.)
National Economic Council chairman Larry Lindsay picking a fight with O'Neill (about Treasury estimates on the proposed tax cut) a mere five days after Bush's swearing-in. Both men would be pushed out within two years.
Chatterbox will be returning to the Suskind documents frequently in weeks to come. This fishing expedition's just getting started!
[Update, Feb. 6: Treasury Secretary John Snow informed Congress today that some of the documents in Suskind's possession "contain classified information" and that Treasury shouldn't have cleared these for O'Neill to haul off. (According to Suskind, none of the documents is stamped, "classified.") In the Feb. 7 Washington Post, Dana Milbank and Lucy Shackelford have spokeswoman Anne Kolton saying that no steps will be taken to prevent the documents' publication or to punish O'Neill or Suskind. (Kolton, incidentally, is not the Treasury spokeswoman who in a February 2001 memo urged O'Neill to stay "monotonously on-message." That was Michele Davis.) Suskind told Milbank and Shackelford, "I have no intentions to publish anything that would compromise national security." Apparently none of the classified information to which Snow refers appears in the documents Suskind has posted thus far.]


Timothy Noah writes "Chatterbox" for Slate.
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>> KAUS AND EDWARDS CW...
Three = a Trend!
A fuller picture of Kerry starts to emerge.
By Mickey Kaus
Updated Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at 11:34 AM PT
Michael Kinsley seems to share kausfiles' enthusiasm for Sen. Kerry. ... Key point for Kerry profilers to identify: What made him change from bold boat commander to almost obsessively non-courageous politician? Did he take so many risks in Vietnam he that was determined never to take another risk again? ... 3:28 PM
The CW now holds that the extended, multicandidate primary tussle is helping the Democrats in general and Kerry in particular. (See, e.g., today's The Note.) Does this mean that Terry McAuliffe will now be demanding that Dean, Clark and Edwards stay in the race? ... 11:50 A.M.
Hula! Hula! Hula! Due to possibly offensive choreography accompanying a blog reference to "credulous puffers," kausfiles has been replaced with Hawaiian-themed entertainment. Back shortly. ... 11:18 P.M.
City of Lakes blogger Greg Abbott has totaled up the popular votes received by each Democratic candidate so far. (He omits Iowa, where the raw "pre-viability" vote isn't readily available). Kerry's ahead, obviously (with 39%). The surprise is how well Edwards is doing (24%) compared with Clark (15%) ...[You're not giving up, are you?-ed. Not when Kerry has a grand total of 11 percent of the delegates he needs to win, no.] 11:07 P.M.
ABK404: Here's a larval but highly promising Anybody But Kerry blog, and here's a skeptical "We're not really going to end up with Kerry are we?" blog. .. 12:14 P.M.
Will Saletan argues that when it comes to going negative on the Democratic frontrunner, "Edwards is being way too subtle ...to hurt Kerry." I agree. But that was also true of the oh-so-subtle anti-Kerry messages Saletan discerned in Edwards' debate performance a week ago. ... I can't help but thinking that Bill Clinton would have carved Kerry up and smiled while he was doing it. That may be one way that Edwards ain't Clinton. ... (This point was made by, yes, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough a week ago. It may also be made in Michelle Cottle's TNR comparison of Edwards and Clinton--I don't know because Cottle's piece is locked behind a subscriber firewall, reducing its impact by a factor of ... what? 50X? 100X? [You don't subscribe to TNR Digital?--ed It's another damn "username" and password to remember.]) ... P.S.: If Edwards is going easy on Kerry so as not to blow his chances of being Kerry's running mate, isn't this a vain hope? Kerry, if he wins, is unlikely to pick Edwards because a) Kerry's a vain man and won't want a running mate the press will continually say is a better speaker and campaigner than he is; and b) like virtually all candidates, Kerry will want a #2 who can go negative on the opposing party while he remains above the fray. But that's exactly what Edwards has shown he can't or won't do, for fear of blemishing his goody-goody image. (See Lieberman, Joe, 2000 general election.) ... Update: also c) kf hears semi-reliably that Kerry's polling shows that Edwards on the ticket doesn't win any states for Kerry, even in the South--while Evan Bayh does win Indiana (which is hard to believe, Indiana being a pretty Republican state). ... Might as well go after him, John! ...10:56 A.M.
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Democratic Enemies List
Kerry's simple-minded populism shows his is a camaign about nothing.

BY HOLMAN W. JENKINS JR.
Saturday, February 7, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST
If this column sounds like one four years ago, that's because Democrats are running against their usual list of "enemy" industries. The party's standard trope is that you're being denied things you need and deserve because enemies are keeping them from you, cheap drugs being today's case in point.
Let's make sense of the industry once more for a Democratic presidential cadre now reaching a high pitch of populist dudgeon. There's a reason analysts, investors and pharmaceutical reps talk about a "pipeline." In one end goes a bunch of money, and out comes a dribble of products years later. The metaphor is also useful in understanding drug pricing. Whatever comes out the end, whether it's nose drops or a chemotherapy drug, is priced at whatever level will allow its maximum contribution to recouping all the money that went into the front end of the pipe.
Abbott Labs demonstrated this effect when it recently raised the price of its aging AIDS drug, Norvir, by 400%. Activist groups were outraged, never mind that Abbott froze the old price in place for charity groups and continues to make the drug available at cost in developing countries. Abbott was accused of "greed." But wait? Wasn't it already stipulated that drug companies were maximally greedy? How could a change in Abbott's greed state account for a change in pricing strategy?
In fact, Abbott was recently saluted by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation for making cheap drugs available in Africa. But Norvir, introduced in 1996, is no longer a drug of choice. Instead it's been relegated to a "booster" role in cocktail therapies consisting of new, higher-priced drugs from rival manufacturers (though much of the therapeutic benefit actually comes from combining their pricey products with cheap Norvir).
Abbott saw other drug makers generating large revenues from its drug and is attempting to tilt more of the revenue flow from treating AIDS back to itself. Other companies will respond by cutting their own prices a bit to maintain market share and maximize their own revenues. Which goes to show what a competitive market AIDS drugs are, with 12 essential medicines now on the World Health Organization list.
Drug companies are in the business of funding large R&D establishments, which typically account for a bigger share of total costs than manufacturing and distribution. That's why companies can charge high prices to rich, insured Westerners and next to nothing to poor Africans--because any price that's even a penny above current manufacturing cost produces at least some revenue to support the research bill.
Now we come to the politics. It's tempting to say in these circumstances, "Hey, we can mandate lower prices for Medicare, treating American retirees the way we treat AIDS sufferers in Africa, because drug companies will keep making and selling drugs even at a much lower price as long as it's higher than current manufacturing costs."
That's right, and the price of drug company stocks will crash instantly, and no more capital will be available to research new products.
This is not really hard to understand, and certainly our Ivy League-educated Democratic presidential candidates can understand it. Were any of them to land in office, you can bet their threats against the drug industry would be quickly filed away in a circular keeping place until the next election. President Kerry wouldn't want to bear the political cost of its collapsing stock values, massive layoffs and the media reporting the folding up of research into cures for diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
If this were only Mr. Kerry's problem we might wonder about the IQ behind his campaign rhetoric. Instead we are forced to wonder about the contempt nearly the whole Democratic field seems to feel for the Democratic base.
No demagogue, left or right, fails to present himself as champion of the great, victimized majority against some tiny and exploitive elite. This argument is convenient for two reasons. Difficult issues like health-care financing, involving real tensions between hard-to-reconcile goals, can be reduced to utmost simplicity: On one side are the legitimate claims of voters who want cheaper drugs or whatever; on the other are the illegitimate claims of those who "stand in the way."
Populist claptrap serves another purpose, visible on the very persons of the candidates: They swell with confidence and invulnerability when posing as defenders of the "little guy" rather than as champions of the party's own array of special interests and voting blocs (which is what they are).
The force really at work is fear--fear on the part of Democratic leaders that they have nothing to offer; fear that their party's captivity by groups tied to existing programs forecloses any chance of innovative thinking. Notice that the party did not even wait for eight years of unrivaled Clinton prosperity to expire before Al Gore, in a panic, reverted to what a Washington Post editorial called "primitive business bashing" as a substitute for saying what some Democratic lobby group somewhere wouldn't like. Notice what a miserable disappointment even Howard Dean has been in this regard.
Notice, too, the wonder of John Kerry, an asterisk six weeks ago, who reached his present eminence based on the repetition of meaningless phrases: "I know something about aircraft carriers for real." "Bring it on." "Don't let the door hit you on the way out."
There is, literally, nothing else to the Kerry campaign. He's the default option of Democratic voters after the amazing rise and fall of Howard Dean, with the mother of all buyer's remorse coming down the pike about a minute or two behind. That's too bad but as a party they asked for it--and will keep doing so until they stop relying on the mindless naming of "villains" in place of dealing honestly with the voters whom they claim to represent.

Mr. Jenkins is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. His column appears in the Journal on Wednesdays. He is also editor of OpinionJournal's Political Diary, a new premium e-mail service. Click here for subscription information and sample columns.



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Kerry 'Bundlers'
The campaigns of Howard Dean and John Kerry, two Democrats who have opted out of the public financing system, have released lists of top fundraisers who have collected individual contributions in "bundles" of $50,000 or $100,000. For the primary season so far, Dean has 14 $100,000 bundlers and 18 $50,000 bundlers; Kerry has 32 $100,000 bundlers and 87 $50,000 bundlers. (In addition, Kerry has made a personal loan of $6.4 million to his campaign.) Use this search engine to find information about Dean's and Kerry's bundlers.

Your search resulted in 119 records.

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Faraj Aalaei CA CEO Centillium Communications Communications & Electronics Telecommunications
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Clay Constantinou NJ Dean, School of Diplomacy Seton Hall University Other Education Workers
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Pat Sarma NJ President Access Methods Inc. Communications & Electronics Computers
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Jeff Soukup CA Chief Financial Officer PlanetOut.com Communications & Electronics Computers
Peter Stamos NY President SP Capital Management Finance, Insurance & Real Estate Finance & Investment
Thomas Steyer CA Managing Director Farallon Capital Management Finance, Insurance & Real Estate Finance & Investment
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Nancy Tellem CA President CBS Entertainment Communications & Electronics Media & Media Entertainment
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Stanley Toy M.D. CA Doctor Cal Western Emergency Medical Group Health Health Professionals
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Dwain Wall DC Consultant Hotels.com Miscellaneous Business Entertainment
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Mark Weiner RI President Financial Innovations Miscellaneous Business Misc. Manufacturing & Distributing
Tom Wheeler DC former President & CEO Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) Communications & Electronics Telecommunications
Richard and Daphna Ziman CA Chairman & CEO Arden Realty Finance, Insurance & Real Estate Real Estate

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Mad cow case suspected in Saudi
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Saudi who visited Britain in 1996 is suspected of having contracted the mad cow disease and is being treated in a Jeddah hospital, reports said.
Daily Okaz quoted medical sources as saying "the patient is undergoing thorough medical tests to verify initial indications that he might be suffering from mad cow disease especially that the symptoms were alarming."
The sources said additional tests will be made to determine if he has actually contracted the disease.
"The mad cow disease is not contagious and the patient does not pose any threat on others," the sources added.
They noted the unidentified patient stayed in Britain for a while in 1996 and that he might have contracted the disease there.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
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Arabs: US fuelling Iraq sectarianism
CAIRO, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The 22-nation Arab League Saturday accused U.S. occupation authorities in Iraq of fuelling sectarianism and factional divisions among Iraqis.
A report prepared by the League's secretariat general and published Saturday in Cairo's mass-circulation daily al-Ahram sounded the alarm over "the dangers of sectarian fuelling campaigns which started spreading since the beginning of the U.S. occupation."
The report, which was distributed to all League members, warned that "sectarianism is taking strong hold in Iraq and at all levels."
"The sectarian structure of the Iraq Governing Council contributed to the stimulation of sectarianism and factionalism at all levels including jobs in the administration and in the newly-created official departments in Iraq," the report said.
It also cautioned that the federal system that Iraqi Kurds are seeking to establish "will usher in the eventual partitioning of Iraq."
The 50-page report was based on a study conducted by an Arab League team led by the League's assistant secretary general, Ahmed Bin Hali of Algeria.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
------------------------------------------------------------

Jordan aborts forgery of $20 million
AMMAN, Jordan, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Jordanian authorities have foiled an attempt by three Pakistanis to forge $20 million.
Daily al-Rai said Saturday the Department for Combating Corruption affiliated to general intelligence was informed a Pakistani national has showed a money dealer forged $100 bank notes, asking him to circulate them.
The authorities were informed of the attempt and apprehended the Pakistani and two of his compatriots. Officials said the suspects were in the process of forging $20 million for circulation in the Jordanian market.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Analysis: Why Schroeder quit as SPD leader

By ROLAND FLAMINI, Chief International Correspondent
COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Gerhared Schroeder?s sudden resignation as leader of the Social Democratic Party Friday came as a surprise even to many senior SPD members. In his announcement, the chancellor said he wanted to be free of the burden of also running party affairs in order to concentrate his energies on the government?s recently launched program of economic and social reforms.
The opposition, predictably, was quick to interpret Schroeder?s latest move as a sign of desperation. Christian Democrat party leader Edmund Stoiber called on the chancellor to resign, and to make way for new elections.
But to some observers it looked like a shrewd political tactic. After a long period of indecision, of fits and starts, Schroeder may at last be coming to grips with the political reality that there is no escape from forcing the Germans to swallow some very strong medicine. By resigning as party leader, these observers say, Schroeder is sending the message that he is serious about the reforms.
If so, it is going to take all the chancellor?s reputed public relations skills to sell the targeted cutbacks in social benefits and services to a dismayed and indignant German public.
A drastic streamlining of the legendary but extremely costly social "net" that takes care of every German from birth to the grave is crucial to the country?s economic recovery. And while it is true that the German economy is showing some signs of improvement, the reforms continue to be necessary.
Schroeder?s decision came at a time when his reform program was losing steam. For example, the introduction of fees for health services were being undermined by an increasing list of exemptions from paying them. At the same time, the cost of an ageing society continues to increase faster than the pay-as-you-go pensions system.
"This is the first attempt to reform the biggest social system in the world, and it makes sense that Schroeder should want to devote all his energies to it," a source close to the SPD said Friday. But whether a "I have to be tough for your own good" approach will reverse Schroeder?s downward slide in the polls is another story. With elections in the spring-summer of 2006, he has less than two years to see positive results.
The problem for Schroeder, one commentator wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper Friday, is that "such social policies can hardly serve to secure majorities. But in the best case a government can persuade the public that hard measures are necessary, but that supposes a steady and reliable policy approach. If anything, it?s a move he should have made before: It may be too late."
Schroeder is not the first SPD chancellor to give up the party leadership, but the precedent is not very promising. As chancellor, Helmut Schmidt handed control of the SPD to Willy Brandt -- and lived to regret it. Brandt moved the party to the left in the hope of undermining the Green Party, a maneuver that contributed to the SPD?s defeat in the 1982 German elections and to the return of the Christian Democrats under Helmut Kohl.
This time the switch could help Schroeder?s chances, observers say. If he has any hope at all of re-election, his party must first win the state elections in North Rhine -- Westphalia -- in the spring of 2005. In this respect, Schroeder?s successor, party secretary Frany Muntefering has a key role to play in Schroeder?s chances of survival. An efficient and indefatigable politician, Muntefering is from Westphalia with -- analysts say -- a strong power base in that state.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
White House Watch

By PETER ROFF, UPI Senior Political Analyst

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- George W. Bush entered the White House with the expectation that he would be the president who put the "M" back into the Office of Management and Budget.
Prior to Bush, most OMB's director seemed more concerned with the enormous task of producing the federal budget, almost $2.5 trillion for fiscal year 2005. From all appearances the management part of the job largely functioned on autopilot, lacking clear direction and with reforms merely tinkering at the margins.
Whether it was President Reagan's Grace Commission investigating government waste, fraud and abuse or former Vice President Al Gore's "reinventing government" initiative, the White House appeared aware of the problem but ill equipped to do anything about it.
On of the biggest hurdles anyone who wishes to manage the federal government more efficiently is Washington's attitude toward problem solving. It is all too often, as James Payne described in his book "The Culture of Spending," evaluated in terms of dollars budgeted or dollars spent rather than performance and results.
As the first M.B.A. president, Bush is perhaps more sensitive to management issues than any of his immediate predecessors. His first OMB director, Mitch Daniels, began his career in the political world, moving in mid-life into senior executive positions in the U.S. operations of one of Eli Lilly, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers. Under his leadership, the OMB, at the direction of the president, began the laborious process of turning the federal government by 2008 into a results-oriented organization.
Under Bush, the watchword has been performance. Administration managers are asked, as they evaluate and monitor programs, costs, service levels and government assets, to consider whether programs work and, if not, what can be done to improve them.
The Bush management agenda has five parts: strategic management of human capital; increased competitive sourcing; improved financial management; greater investment and reliance on technology; and the integration of program budgets and performance.
To further these objectives, the administration inaugurated the President's Budget Performance Integration Initiative, to analyze all federal programs, scoring them for effectiveness and establishing performance standards.
The five-year project, which is a little more than half way complete, analyzing 20 percent of programs each year, will produce, senior officials hope, will produce real cost savings as well as greater efficiency that will help the president meet his deficit reduction target, cutting it in half as a percentage of gross domestic product in the next five years.
This is a politically arduous task, with many Democrats and some Republicans unwilling to go along because they view the operations of the federal government from a spending-based rather than performance-based perspective. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., described the FY '05 budget proposal as "taking a meat cleaver to vital domestic programs, cutting funding for environmental, agricultural, transportation and justice programs" even though the cuts the administration is proposing are relatively minor. In more than a few cases, the amount simply to cuts in the rate spending goes up instead of fewer dollars being spent in FY '05 than in FY '04.
Clearly, any effort to change the way government performs requires changing the way Washington thinks, the culture of the city.
The Bush administration wants managers to ask questions like "What are we accomplishing," and "How might we get the same results for less money" as well as calling for tighter, clearer, faster financial information. White House officials say the analysis thus far, of just half of federal spending, shows a level of erroneous payments approaching $40 billion. The total figure, some fear, could go as high as $100 billion when the process is complete.
Once the process is complete the cost savings can be applied, they believe, to deficit reduction, better spending on programs that work or additional tax cuts -- all of which would have the support of the American people.
The administration is moving forward, as quickly as it can and as slowly as the political process requires. Because every government program provides the reason for re-election to at least one member of the House or Senate, much of the management tinkering must be done through executive order; otherwise politics will intrude on the cause of reform.
The effort took a significant step forward Wednesday when the president issued an executive order outlining a new system for federal real property management telling agency heads to designate a "Senior Real Property Officer" from among their senior managers.
The SRPO's are tasked with developing asset management plans that include efforts to identify and categorize all real property "owned, leased or otherwise managed" by the federal government.
A basic step in the private sector for Intel or Boeing or Wal-Mart; a giant leap forward in the application of sound management principles for the federal government.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> POLICY WATCH...1

Senate Banking Chairman Proposes New Regulator for Home-Loan Giants
By Jeffrey McMurray Associated Press Writer
Published: Feb 7, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Banking Chairman Richard Shelby said Saturday he will move to eliminate the regulator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and replace it with a stronger, more independent federal watchdog for the home-loan giants.
The Alabama Republican's announcement was made in an address prepared for an American Bankers Association conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He said he expects his Senate panel will take up the legislation next month.
Shelby had been vague in the past about his desire to beef up regulation in response to accounting problems at the government-sponsored corporations. In his remarks Shelby said the current regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, isn't capable of properly supervising them.
"The agency was, in many regards, designed to fail in its mission," Shelby said. "We cannot tolerate inadequate and ineffective regulation of entities as important to the U.S. home mortgage market as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
An advance copy of the lawmaker's speech was given to The Associated Press.
The Bush administration has sent to Congress its plan for enhanced regulation, which would essentially move OFHEO from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Treasury Department. Shelby said his legislation will do far more, making the regulator independent of either agency.
"This new regulator should have the power to quickly and forcefully remedy problems that are detected," Shelby said.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both publicly traded corporations, were created by Congress to pump money into the multitrillion-dollar home mortgage market by buying home loans from banks and other lenders and bundling them into securities for sale on Wall Street. Both have grown rapidly in recent years and are among the nation's largest financial institutions.
Federal regulators ordered Freddie Mac to pay a record $125 million fine in December for alleged management misconduct and violation of its public trust in its $5 billion misstatement of earnings.
Fannie Mae's accounting practices are also under review. Regulators are pushing to split Fannie Mae's top executive position to diminish the concentration of power.
On the Net:
Fannie Mae: http://www.fanniemae.com
Freddie Mac: http://www.freddiemac.com
Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight: http://www.ofheo.gov
AP-ES-02-07-04 0812EST
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> POLICY WATCH...2


Out of the Asylum, into the Cell
http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.19467/pub_detail.asp
By Sally Satel, M.D.
Posted: Friday, November 14, 2003
ON THE ISSUES
AEI Online (Washington)
Publication Date: November 1, 2003
Prisons have become default mental-health treatment centers to the severe detriment of those experiencing genuine mental illness. Properly treating--rather than criminalizing--mental illness requires reforming our fragmented mental healthcare system and relaxing regulations to encourage patients to seek treatment.
A new report by Human Rights Watch has found that American prisons and jails contain three times more mentally ill people than do our psychiatric hospitals. The study confirmed what mental health and corrections experts have long known: incarceration has become the nation's default mental-health treatment. And while the report offers good suggestions on how to help those who are incarcerated, a bigger question is what we can do to keep them from ending up behind bars at all.
The Los Angeles County jail, with 3,400 mentally ill prisoners, functions as the largest psychiatric inpatient institution in the United States. New York's Rikers Island, with 3,000 mentally ill inmates, is second. According to the Justice Department, roughly 16 percent of American inmates have serious psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia, manic-depressive illness, and disabling depression.
Life on the inside is a special nightmare for these inmates. They are targets of cruel manipulation and of physical and sexual abuse. Bizarre behavior, like responding to imaginary voices or self-mutilation, can get them punished-and the usual penalty, solitary confinement, only worsens hallucinations and delusions.
How did we get here? Actually, with the best of intentions.
Unfulfilled Promises
Forty years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Centers Act, under which large state hospitals for the mentally ill would give way to small community clinics. He said of the law that the "reliance on the cold mercy of custodial isolation will be supplanted by the open warmth of community concern and capability."
Kennedy was acting in response to a genuine shift in attitudes toward the mentally ill during the postwar years. The public and lawmakers had become aware of the dreadful conditions in the state hospitals, largely through expos?s like Albert Deutsch's book The Shame of the States and popular entertainment like the movie The Snake Pit, both of which appeared in 1948. In addition, Thorazine, an anti-psychotic medication, became available in the mid-1950s and rendered many patients calm enough for discharge.
Between Kennedy's signing of the mental health law in 1963 and its expiration in 1980, the number of patients in state mental hospitals dropped by about 70 percent. But asylum reform had a series of unintended consequences. The nation's 700 or so community mental-health centers could not handle the huge numbers of fragile patients who had been released after spending months or years in the large institutions.
There were not enough psychiatrists and healthcare workers willing to roll up their sleeves and take on these tough cases. Closely supervised treatment, community-supported housing, and rehabilitation were given short shrift. In addition, civil liberties law gained momentum in the 1970s and made it unreasonably hard for judges to commit patients who relapsed but refused care. Those discharged from state hospitals were often caught in a revolving door, quickly failing in the community and going back to the institution. And they were the lucky ones-many others ended up living in flop-houses, on the streets or, as Human Rights Watch has reminded us, in prison.
Real Reforms
Reforms like segregating mentally ill prisoners in treatment units would help. Of course, the ultimate solution is keeping psychotic people whose criminal infractions are a product of their sickness out of jails in the first place. This requires a two-part approach. The first entails repairing a terribly fragmented mental-health care system. The most important change would be liberating states from the straitjacket of federal regulations surrounding the use of money from Medicaid and Medicare-programs that account for two-thirds of every public dollar spent on the mentally ill.
These regulations force many states to make rigid rules dictating what services will and will not be reimbursed, which forces practitioners and administrators to perform bureaucratic gymnastics to circumvent them. For example, Medicaid will not pay for clinicians who provide "assertive community treatment"--a system in which professionals work as a team, making home visits, checking on medication, and helping patients with practical day-to-day demands. Yet such teams have been proved to reduce re-hospitalization rates by up to 80 percent.
Relaxing regulations would be great progress in helping those mentally ill people who seek treatment. Unfortunately, about half of all untreated people with psychotic illness do not recognize that there is anything wrong with them. Thus the second part of any sensible reform would be finding ways to help patients who have a consistent pattern of rejecting voluntary care, going off medication, spiraling into self-destruction or becoming a danger to others.
One approach is encouraging their cooperation with "treatment through leverage." This process, not new but underused, involves making social welfare benefits, like subsidized housing and Social Security disability benefits, conditional to participation in treatment.
A more formal approach is to have civil courts order people to enter community treatment. New York State's Kendra's Law, named in memory of a woman killed in 1999 after being pushed into the path of a subway train by a man with schizophrenia, is a good model. From 1999 to 2002, about 2,400 people spent at least six months in mandatory community treatment under the law.
And for those who end up committing crimes, some states have developed special mental-health courts that can use the threat of jail to keep minor offenders with psychosis in treatment and on medication at least long enough for the offenders to make informed decisions about treatment. Such efforts may get help from Washington: last month the Senate approved a bill authorizing $200 million for states to develop more mental-health courts and other services for nonviolent, mentally ill offenders; it awaits action in the House.
For many thousands of mentally ill people, America has failed to make good on John F. Kennedy's promise of forty years ago. Releasing them from the large state institutions was only a first step. Now we must do what we can to free them from the "cold mercy" that comes with criminalizing mental illness.

Sally Satel, a psychiatrist and resident scholar at AEI, is coauthor of the forthcoming One Nation under Therapy.
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>> POLICY WATCH...3


Can Medicare and Medicaid Promote More Efficient Health Care?

By Joseph Antos
Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2003

TESTIMONY
Federal Trade Commission/Department of Justice (Washington)
Publication Date: September 30, 2003
Thank you for inviting me to appear before you. I am Joseph Antos, the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. I am also adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I have previously served as the assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and earlier held several research and management positions in the Health Care Financing Administration, the precursor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The views I present today are my own and do not represent the position of the institutions with which I am associated.
Federal, state, and local governments account for 45 percent of the $1.7 trillion that will be spent in the health sector in 2003. Medicare will spend over $260 billion this year for some 40 million elderly and disabled people. Medicaid, which is funded jointly by the federal and state governments, will spend over $275 billion for about 50 million people, including some who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
As impressive as those numbers are, they understate the influence that Medicare and Medicaid have on the health care of all Americans. Medicare's administrative requirements shape the business environment for physicians, hospitals, and other providers across the country, and changes in the Medicare program have spillover effects on the rest of the market. Medicaid also has substantial impact on the health system, particularly in the long-term care market.
Some of those spillovers from federal health insurance programs have improved the functioning of the health system and benefited most consumers. For example, Medicare's adoption of prospective payment for hospital services during the mid-1980s caused a massive shift in the way hospitals manage their patients that lowered lengths of stay and cut unnecessary costs. The more efficient use of inpatient services led to an expansion in the use of outpatient facilities and promoted technologies that could treat more severe conditions without having to admit the patient to the hospital.
More often than not, however, Medicare and Medicaid have failed to promote innovation and efficiency in the health sector. Reforms are often met with political gridlock, resulting in the maintenance of the status quo even when conditions in the market are changing dramatically. Even modest initiatives are likely to be controversial because of the enormous financial leverage that Medicare and Medicaid have over the rest of the health system.
The government faces a conflict of interest as a major purchaser of health services and a regulator of the health system. In a period of rising budget deficits, for example, the government-as-purchaser might reduce provider reimbursements spending in ways that result in higher overall health care costs (with those costs borne by beneficiaries or others in the private sector) and worse health outcomes for patients. The Medicare reform debate seems particularly affected by a policy myopia that focuses on budget impact rather than the effects of proposals on broader outcomes for the elderly and the health system as a whole.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are promoting vigorous competition within a large and growing health sector. The objective, as expressed by Chairman Timothy Muris of the FTC, is lower prices, higher quality, greater innovation, and enhanced access to care. However, the FTC and the DOJ are both fighting this battle with one hand tied behind their backs. Medicare and Medicaid continue to rely on regulation and micromanagement rather than competition and consumer choice, and that is a dominant factor in the business environment of the health sector. The FTC and the DOJ should make this point strongly to Congress and the Administration.
The federal government could do more to promote consumer information and efficient health care delivery within Medicare and Medicaid, with positive spillover effects for the private health system. Even seemingly simple actions, such as more widely disseminating data on health care providers, pose considerable technical, legal, and political challenges. Other actions, such as giving Medicare beneficiaries more choices among competing health plans, require broader program reforms that have been the subject of many years of debate. Moreover, some policies might yield short-term improvements in the federal programs while undermining broader efforts to empower consumers and improve health care. The discussion that follows considers each of those points in the context of the Medicare program.
Improving Consumer Information
Consumers make numerous decisions regarding their health care. Many consumers have a choice of health plan or insurance program, offered through their employer or available in the non-group market, as well as the choice to go without coverage. Every consumer at some point picks a primary physician or other caregiver. Increasingly, consumers with health problems are taking an active part in deciding their course of treatment.
Each of those decisions is improved if objective, reliable, timely, accessible, and understandable information is available. Information on price, quality of care, patient outcomes, access to services, and customer satisfaction may all be needed to make a wise decision. However, consumer-friendly information is frequently not available when the need arises. Sadly, many people continue to make health care decisions the old fashioned way, by asking the advice of a friend or relative who has no special expertise in the matter.
The government could help remedy this acute information deficiency by more effectively utilizing the resources that Medicare already has at its disposal. The government is in a better position to collect and disseminate health sector information than private companies. Medicare requires all providers to report certain information as a condition of payment. Moreover, those data are available from nearly every provider, making the information relevant to all consumers.
Caution in developing useful measures of health care performance is needed. Care must be exercised to avoid violating individuals' rights to privacy or jeopardizing the confidentiality of sensitive information from providers and health plans. Government should also avoid the temptation to use clinical information in overly prescriptive ways in Medicare or more broadly. Large variations in practice patterns across the U.S. clearly indicate that medical care is inefficient in many local areas. But the de facto imposition of national standards runs the risk of stifling innovation and imposing cookie-cutter medicine on patients.
Medicare contracts with nearly every health care provider in the U.S. and has a vast, under-utilized storehouse of information from billing records on beneficiaries, their use of health services, and the providers of those services. In addition, Medicare has information based on facility inspections and mandatory reporting that measure some of the capabilities of health care facilities and their performance in terms of patient outcomes.
Although there are technical and legal barriers to the use of those data, they can in concept be the basis for important information for consumers (including people who are enrolled in private insurance), purchasers (including employers and state governments), and providers of health care. Issues that might be addressed include:
? Tracking the effectiveness of treatments over time,
? Measuring the performance of individual providers or health plans, and
? Determining how the health system adapts to changes in its environment (including changes in policy, clinical practice, and the incidence of disease).
Several decades of research have been invested in making better use of Medicare data, but progress has been slow. Legal and confidentiality issues impede access to data files. The analysis is often complicated and the data must be carefully interpreted if it is to be useful. Moreover, the program's commitment to this research has been limited.
Some provider-specific information has been published that could be useful to all health care consumers. From 1986 through 1992, Medicare published a "report card" on hospitals, reporting patient outcomes for certain health conditions for every acute care hospital in the country. (Former Medicare administrator Bruce Vladeck discontinued that report on the grounds that it misstated the performance of inner city hospitals.) Medicare currently publishes outcomes-based report cards for nursing homes and dialysis facilities, and a report on the quality of home health care available now for agencies in 8 states is scheduled to go nationwide in late 2003.
Medicare's existing database is a valuable resource that was costly to develop. It should be exploited as fully as possible, giving the widest possible access to analysts in the private sector who are likely to develop a variety of useful measures and insights into the quality of care offered by providers. Groups such as the Leapfrog Group, and other coalitions of purchasers, would incorporate data from Medicare to inform their purchasing decisions if those data were more usable and accessible.
Other applications might also be developed if the data were more generally available. Measures of performance from Medicare are good indicators of the overall performance of providers. Competing health plans could be given an overall quality assessment by combining information from each physician and hospital participating in the plan's provider network. Combined with information on plan premiums, such an assessment would be a useful guide to consumers who have a choice of health plans. This type of analysis is exceptionally challenging and is unlikely to be undertaken without full cooperation between the government and private entities.
Improving Consumer Choice
The ongoing debate in Congress over Medicare reform reflects the tension between the program's regulatory roots and the growing demand for long-needed improvements. Beneficiaries in traditional Medicare cannot use their purchasing power to demand a drug benefit, as they can in private insurance markets. The only recourse is political. It literally takes an act of Congress to make even modest changes to Medicare.
Previous legislation intended to promote competition among health plans and choice for consumers through the Medicare+Choice (M+C) program. That program is a failure. It failed to attract new types of health plans, such as preferred provider organizations (PPOs). It failed to retain the health maintenance organizations (HMOs) that were already participating in Medicare, and half of those HMOs dropped out of M+C within a few years. As a result enrollment in private health plans fell. This year only 13 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in M+C plans. The rest are in traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
This record does not mean that competition cannot work in Medicare. On the contrary, competition has yet to be tried. The problems of M+C are simply new variations on the problems of the regulatory Medicare model that has increasingly failed to meet the expectations and needs of consumers and providers alike. Those problems include:
? Unrealistic prices. M+C plans receive a capped payment that is unrelated to the actual cost of providing care. In recent years, most M+C plans received 2 percent annual payment increases while health costs rose at 8 to 10 percent a year, virtually guaranteeing that most plans will drop out of the program. Traditional Medicare is an uncapped entitlement to federal payment. The program relies on administered prices that give health care providers strong incentives to increase the use of covered services.
? Administrative inflexibility. It has been said about Medicare that if something is not mandated, it is prohibited. Congress specifies in detail the benefits that must be offered and other conditions that must be met by health plans and providers for reimbursement. Medicare's benefit package remains largely unchanged after 38 years despite advances in medical science and changes in consumer demand because Congress has failed to take action.
? Unstable business climate. The only certainty about Medicare is that there will be major unpredictable changes every year. Congress micromanages the program through legislation, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) micromanages the program through fiat. The resulting unstable business environment is a major barrier to plan participation.
Medicare must be reformed if we are to meet the needs of seniors and get the best value from taxpayers' dollars. The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) provides an immediately usable model of competition that is responsive to consumer demand, successfully controls cost, and provides strong protections for beneficiaries. Under FEHBP, beneficiaries are free to select from a variety of health plans, with federal payments subsidizing about 75 percent of premiums subject to a cap. Beneficiaries who enroll in more expensive plans pay higher premiums. The plans are free to design and manage their benefits in ways that will attract enrollees and limit spending growth.
Unlike Medicare, FEHBP has had a drug benefit and PPOs for many years--innovations that were adopted without new legislation. Unlike Medicare, consumers have a wide choice of health plans and there has not been a mass exodus of plans from FEHBP. Every FEHBP beneficiary has a choice of 12 national plans and, in most cases, a number of local HMOs. About 39,000 Medicare beneficiaries are expected to lose their M+C plans in 2004, which is a big improvement from preceding years. In contrast, FEHBP will be adding 17 new health plans in 2004. Unlike Medicare, FEHBP gives reasonable incentives to plans and beneficiaries to control costs. As a result, the growth of spending under FEHBP has averaged 6.5 percent annually over the past two decades (measured on a per capita basis), while Medicare spending has grown by 6.7 percent annually.
An FEHBP-style reform for Medicare would dramatically alter the incentives in the current program that drive up cost without a commensurate increase in value. Giving seniors an effective market voice would create powerful new incentives for health plans and providers to seek more cost-effective care. With new flexibility under the reformed program, plans would begin to compete on the basis of price, quality, access, convenience, and service, rather than price alone. Beneficiaries would be able to transfer to another health plan if they were discontented with the performance of their current choice, an option not available to most Medicare beneficiaries today.
Because Medicare is such a dominant actor in the health sector, this type of reform would have positive spillover effects in the private market. Business and clinical practices would begin to change, placing greater emphasis on value. Such spillovers have been documented in markets experiencing growth in managed care as providers change their practice styles to satisfy the dominant payers, and the impact of Medicare reform is likely to be even stronger. The structure of health care delivery is likely to evolve and improve for everyone under a less regulatory, consumer-driven Medicare program.
Promoting Innovation
As the dominant purchaser in the health sector, Medicare has substantial market power. That power to affect the market is magnified because it acts as the de facto federal health regulator, establishing conditions of participation that health plans and providers must satisfy to receive Medicare reimbursement. With that much control, Congress can force dramatic changes in the health sector through Medicare policy if it musters the political will. But such actions often sow the seeds of their own destruction through unexpected, undesirable consequences that are not sustainable politically, socially, or economically. That is, Congress can make pigs fly--but not for long.
In the debate over a Medicare prescription drug benefit, concern about federal spending has resulted in various proposals to control costs by limiting drug prices. Some policymakers favor direct price controls, euphemistically referred to as price negotiation that would be conducted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Others support indirect means of establishing price controls. The Senate bill, for example, includes a fallback plan in certain geographic regions that would effectively require a federal price list for pharmaceuticals. Proposals to allow individuals and commercial distributors to import pharmaceuticals (often called reimportation) attempt to lower U.S. drug prices to levels established in countries that have their own price controls.
Medicare's market power ensures that the program could set pharmaceutical prices at levels well below those available to even the best customers in the private sector. If past practice is a guide, HHS would establish an initial federal price schedule for the thousands of drugs used by Medicare beneficiaries--literally every prescription drug on the market in every dosage form, strength, and packaging. An inflation factor would ratchet up the entire price structure after the first year, as is the case with the physician fee schedule.
Negotiations would be necessary whenever a new drug appeared on the market. The Secretary would be able to withhold access to any new pharmaceutical, a powerful threat that could lead to low prices for new drugs under Medicare. However, there are bad side effects with this policy prescription:
? Competition from generics and therapeutically similar drugs would no longer force down prices of branded drugs under a rigid federal price structure.
? Delaying the entry of a new drug onto the federal formulary could hurt some patients.
? If Medicare set prescription prices at very low levels, manufacturers will try to raise prices to private purchasers, including most people under age 65.
? The threat of a low launch price set by the government would deter the research and development of potentially valuable or life-saving drugs, particularly those that treat illnesses associated with older age groups.
A competitive approach can strike a better balance between lowering prices and promoting innovation. This is the conceptual basis of the House prescription drug provisions, and it relies on the proven ability of competing private plans to negotiate substantial discounts and manage the cost of the benefit.
If private drug plans are placed at risk for the cost of providing prescription drugs to their Medicare enrollees, they have a strong incentive to limit cost growth. The plans can act on that incentive if they are given the flexibility to manage the benefit aggressively. With a wide choice of plans, beneficiaries will be able to select a plan that meets their needs--and change plans if they are dissatisfied.
The budget savings from top-down regulation are immediate and seductive. But the consequences of such an approach are long-term and serious, discouraging the research and development that could lead to more effective and potentially cost-saving drug therapies. Even in the near term, lower prices for Medicare could mean higher prices for everyone else. Instead of creating an elaborate new price-setting scheme that can have dire consequences for health care, Medicare should rely on the proven ability of pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) to manage costs through careful benefit design and effective price negotiation.
Conclusion
Government policies implemented through Medicare and Medicaid directly impact the health care, and ultimately the health, of every American. Those programs are the largest purchasers of health services, and for that reason alone would be able to dictate the terms under which services are delivered, even if they were private health plans. However, the legal authority to compel consumer, providers, and health plans to modify their behavior conveys a far greater responsibility on Congress and the managers of those programs to consider the greater public good in establishing policies and procedures. Regrettably, that is often not the case. Actions that might achieve important policy goals for Medicare or Medicaid impose inefficiencies on the private health sector or unnecessary constraints on consumers.
The Medicare reform debate brings to light many of these conflicts. Congress has a second chance to design a competitive Medicare program that will work and that can begin to transform the health sector. Reforms should give more flexibility to health plans and beneficiaries alike. Restrictions on the number and types of plans that may compete in Medicare, and on the way those plans design and manage the benefit, should be relaxed. The government should work hard to overcome its well-deserved reputation as a bad business partner by reducing administrative burden and opening lines of communication. And the government should shed the conceit that it can control a complex and inherently unpredictable health system by the application of more and better laws and regulations.

Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at AEI.
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>> MART WATCH...

SAL UNDER SIEGE
By JENNY ANDERSON
February 7, 2004 -- EXCLUSIVE
The American Stock Exchange's leading associations of traders, and at least one board member, have asked Amex Chairman Sal Sodano to resign when a deal to sell the exchange is completed, The Post has learned.
The group met with Sodano on Wednesday in his office and asked that he leave when the NASD completes a deal to sell the Amex, which it bought in 1998, back to the owners.
"Our executives serve at the pleasure of the board," said Amex spokeswoman Mary Chung. "Their primary focus is to see this sale through and not be distracted by rumors. Everyone will have a chance to vote on this deal shortly, and that is what they are focused on."
The movement is significant because it includes the traders - market makers, specialists and floor brokers - who represent the core businesses of the exchange.
While these groups do not have the power to remove Sodano - only the Amex board can do that - they asked Sodano to bow out, rather than force the membership to seek a petition for his ouster, sources said.
It is far from certain that such a petition would be successful, as many traders work for firms that would not allow them to sign a petition.
Seat owners and members have expressed frustration over a number of problems at the exchange.
Leading the list of their grievances is Sodano's more than $22 million pay package, negotiated in 1999 by the NASD. They are also miffed about delays in technological improvements, poor communication from management about the fate of the exchange and a bonus given to Amex Vice Chairman Anthony Boglioli for his role negotiating a deal with the NASD that some members say should have been disclosed more fully.
Already a number of options traders have shrunk their business on the Amex or abandoned it altogether.
Among them are Goldman Sachs's Spear Leeds Kellogg and Van Der Moolen.
The deal to give the exchange back to the Amex membership corporation is expected to be completed soon.
It will mark the end of a long sale process.
In June, the NASD struck an agreement in principle to sell the Amex to Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR.
That deal hit the skids as the Amex lost significant market share in options trading and regulatory problems surfaced in a damaging SEC report.
Soon after GTCR backed out, the NASD and Amex announced a deal in which the exchange would be sold back to the Amex Membership Corporation.
NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc
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ITALIAN COPS SEARCH
UBS OFFICES
Reuters
February 7, 2004 -- MILAN - Italian tax police searched two UBS offices in Milan yesterday to investigate a 420-million euro bond the Swiss bank bought from Parmalat five months before the dairy group went insolvent, a judicial source said.
UBS is the latest financial institution to have its offices searched by authorities investigating the food giant's multi-billion-euro accounting scandal.
"We can confirm as expected that Italian investigators have visited our offices in Milan in connection with the investigation into Parmalat. We are fully cooperating," a UBS spokesman said in London.
Ten people are under arrest and at least 28 are under investigation in the case, which U.S. regulators have called one of the world's biggest frauds. No charges have been brought.
Milan prosecutors investigating for market rigging are trying to establish how much banks that helped Parmalat issue some eight billion euros in bonds knew about the state of its finances.
The search warrant asked tax police to gather documents on the 420 million euros of bonds the bank said it bought from Parmalat last July, the judicial source told Reuters.
A report on Parmalat's finances by its new auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, found that only 130 million euros of the bond's proceeds went to the food group's operations.
The other 290 million euros went into a tax-related scheme that involved buying for that sum bonds issued by a Cayman Islands unit of Banco Totta, itself a Portuguese subsidiary of Spain's biggest bank Santander Central Hispano.
For reasons not explained, the Totta bonds' repayment was linked to Parmalat's own credit quality so that if the food group defaulted on its debts they would become worthless, PWC said.
NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc.


Posted by maximpost at 11:53 AM EST
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Reports
http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/npr/vol09/93/93kamp.pdf

Second Tier Proliferation: The Case of Pakistan and North Korea
by Guarav Kampani

Pakistan's alleged trade of sensitive uranium enrichment technologies for North Korean Nodong missiles highlights the broad range of problems caused by proliferation in South Asia. South Asia is not simply a likely site of a potential nuclear war in the future; it is now also a potential supplier of sensitive nuclear and missile technologies. Islamabad's nuclear-for-missile trade with North Korea indicates the extent of Pakistani resolve to create an operational nuclear strike force against India. The exchange also violates Pakistan's solemn assurances to the international community that it would abide by global nonproliferation norms.

In this report, Gaurav Kampani of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) reviews the open-source evidence about Pakistan's alleged nuclear and missile links with North Korea. Kampani argues that these links pose vexing questions about nuclear decisionmaking institutions and procedures in Pakistan. Kampani contends that the evidence leads one to question the extent to which military decisions on strategic policy in Pakistan are subject to review by civilian authorities and rival governmental institutions. The report concludes with a preliminary assessment of how the new disclosures about trade with North Korea might affect U.S.-Pakistani relations, and contends that Pakistan's proliferation behavior demonstrates the dangers of over reliance on sanctions to manage proliferation.
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The mysterious world of Pakistan's Dr Strangelove
By Jan McGirk
07 February 2004


"The whole point of the doomsday machine is lost ... if you keep it a secret," ranted Dr Strangelove in Stanley Kubrick's dark, satirical film four decades ago. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the newly disgraced father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme, seems to have taken this advice to heart, blithely distributing nuclear secrets and components over a period of many years to Iran, Libya and North Korea. But the full extent of his largesse and the full explanation for it remain matters of urgent doubt.

This week's televised humbling of Dr Khan transfixed Pakistani viewers in much the same way as the unveiling of the Hutton report gripped Britain. Like Hutton, it has left many people wondering precisely how much of the truth remains untold. Following weeks of rumours and speculation, Dr Khan admitted on Wednesday's evening news to decades of systematic leaking, right under the noses of MI6 and the CIA, not to mention Pakistan's own all-seeing military spies, the ISI (InterServices Intelligence Agency).

Like Lord Ryder of Wensum's "unreserved" apology to the Government on behalf of the BBC, Dr Khan's mea culpa was abject to the point of being absurd. He said: "I have chosen to appear before you to offer my deepest regrets and unqualified apologies ... There was never ever any kind of authorisation for these activities by the government. I take full responsibility for my actions and seek your pardon."

This last request was granted within 24 hours. "I have decided to pardon Dr A Q Khan, who is our national hero but has made mistakes, which is unfortunate," announced President Pervez Musharraf. "Whatever I have done, I have tried to shield him." But it is hard to believe that this will draw a line under the affair.

Dr Khan is one of the most revered figures in Pakistani public life, as well as one of the most mysterious, and his fall has sent shockwaves through the nation. Born in Bhopal in India in 1935, he moved to Pakistan in 1952, five years after the end of the British Raj. By then, the atrocities of Partition had seared an indelible mark into his imagination, and memories of train compartments stuffed with Muslim corpses undoubtedly still play a significant part in his world-view. A vast painting, depicting red flames and the last train to Pakistan, still dominates his study wall.

After graduating from Karachi University, he moved to Europe for further studies. In the early 1970s, he found a job at a uranium enrichment plant in the Netherlands run by the British-Dutch-German consortium Urenco. In 1976, he left in a hurry for Pakistan.

He was subsequently convicted in absentia by a Dutch court of attempted espionage relating to Urenco's centrifuge blueprints and sentenced to four years in prison, only for the judgment to be overturned on appeal. Yet Dr Khan had returned to Pakistan with enough knowledge to set in motion what had hitherto been considered beyond the nation's reach: a nuclear weapons programme.

India had first tested a nuclear bomb in 1974. Dr Khan promised the then President, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he could bring Pakistan back to parity with its enemy, if the government could promise him unqualified support. Both promises were kept. Pakistan tested its first nuclear bomb in May 1998 (a fortnight after India's Hindu fundamentalist government re-tested theirs), and the strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction was installed on the subcontinent. The fact that the two neighbours had already fought three conventional wars made this nuclear muscle-flexing look like warm-up exercises. But Dr Khan wasn't bothered. He was by then famous and, despite an official civil servant's salary of ?1,500 a month, spectacularly wealthy.

To many, even now, he remains a hero. The Gulf News newspaper hailed him this week as a man who achieved "mission impossible". He "outsmarted the western establishment, beat the system, and built the bomb". For three decades, at the top secret Kahuta Research Laboratories on the outskirts of Islamabad, Dr Khan boosted uranium to weapons-grade and obtained enough of it to fuel his government's nuclear ambitions. Once the bomb was unveiled, he made no secret of the fact that he had acquired nuclear hardware by hook or by crook, irrespective of the threat of sanctions. He said: "If you stop me from buying from Pakistan, then I will buy elsewhere. But I will buy it, because I need it. And I can buy it."

His nation rewarded him with countless official decorations - including 13 solid gold medals - and many more public honours. His image - wreathed in roses or electron rings - is a common sight on billboards and the sides of lorries that rumble down the Grand Trunk Road. And the main roundabout of every city in Pakistan pays permanent homage to him: not with anything so humdrum as a statue, but with a lumpy fake mountain rendered in concrete, usually labelled with a neon atomic power sign and flanked by a scale model missile of the Ghauri (which turns out to be a knock-off of a North Korean design). Every passer-by knows that this mound represents the Chagai Hills, the desolate site in Baluchistan where the 1998 test blasts took place.

But Dr Khan's obvious delight in his exalted position made him enemies, not least within the atomic establishment, where some consider him to be an intellectual lightweight with a megaton ego, prone to exaggerating his expertise. "Most of the scientists who work on weapons are serious," says Munir Ahmad Khan (no relation), the former head of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. "They [other weapons scientists] are sobered by the weight of what they don't know. But Khan is a showman."

A H Nayyar, a physicist in Islamabad, is not an admirer of the national hero. He said of Dr Khan, who is considered a metallurgist rather than an atomic genius: "He is hard-core nationalist and a very ambitious person. He is in it for fame and money."

Resentful colleagues are thought to have been responsible for divulging a steady stream of details of his grand lifestyle to the opposition press in recent months, forcing the government to launch an investigation into his business affairs.

Everyone now knows about his collection of vintage cars, his four luxury homes in Islamabad, his real- estate in London, the new house he presented to a fortune teller who regularly reads his palm. (We don't know, however, if the fortune teller predicted the current debacle.) We also know about the million-dollar wedding receptions he hosted for his two daughters, and the luxury hotel he built in Timbuktu, Mali, named after his wife - the Hendrina Khan Hotel.

And we know, if we didn't know already, about his overweening ego. He narrowly failed to persuade the former dictator General Zia ul-Haq to rename a big city Qadeerabad in his honour. But he did succeed in getting the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) renamed as the Khan Research Laboratories (also KRL). More recently, Dr Khan has invested huge sums into patching up the dilapidated tomb, near the Jhelum river, of Shahabuddin Ghauri - the founder of the Slave Dynasty that ruled 13th-century Delhi and namesake of Pakistan's ballistic missile. Dr Khan has become convinced that he is one of Ghauri's descendants.

"People go out of their way to show their love and respect for me," said Dr Khan last year. "It is very gratifying." Perhaps such pride was bound to be followed by a fall.

Sure enough, in 2001, al-Qa'ida documents were seized in Afghanistan, which suggested that Dr Khan's prot?g?s had been briefing Osama bin Laden's associates in nuclear matters. These scientists were conservative Muslims, verging on extreme fanaticism. One had once written a thesis that included an estimate of the minimum temperature of the flames of Hell.

Under pressure from the United States, President Musharraf sacked Dr Khan from KRL and launched an investigation into his affairs. Then, last year, the Iranian government admitted to the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it had received help from Dr Khan in its secret nuclear weapons programme - and had given him a villa on the Caspian Sea, together with lucrative fishing rights, in return. Pakistan's nuclear investigation began. Evidence has since emerged of the scientist's links with Libya and North Korea as well.

Finally, after months of intense pressure during which his frequent foreign trips were stopped and FBI agents reportedly sat in with senior Pakistani military intelligence on some eight hours of interrogations, the suave atomic hero caved in and owned up to decades of deception.

It is now clear that, from the late 1980s through to the mid-1990s, Dr Khan was not only developing nuclear technology but selling it as well. Sources close to Pakistan's investigation say he set up front companies to enable nuclear transfer, and a money trail has led to offshore accounts linked to Dr Khan or his brother in Dubai. Analysts in Washington have dubbed him the "Johnny Appleseed of centrifuges" after the Dutch design turned up in Iran and Libya.

The real motive, Dr Khan claims, was to deflect world attention from the nuclear progress of Pakistan and as a gesture of support to other Muslim countries, rather than to amass personal wealth. In his 12-page confession Dr Khan added the defence that he offloaded lots of duds, mostly surplus or outmoded centrifuge parts or rough sketches of machinery. Such details will be of less interest to many people than whether he acted - or is deemed to have acted - alone.

In Dr Khan's confession he insisted that he masterminded the covert trade in nuclear spares and technology single-handedly. Many observers find it hard to believe that a scheme to profit from nuclear proliferation could have escaped the attention of an autocrat such as General Musharraf. As one adage goes, "Not a single leaf moves in Pakistan without the knowledge of the army."

Malaysian authorities are questioning a Sri Lankan businessman about the trade; three other suspects are linked to Germany. Companies in South Africa, Japan and the Netherlands may be involved. There has even been loose talk of Saudi Arabia seeking nuclear warheads.

In Pakistan, meanwhile, 11 of Dr Khan's underlings are still being detained and interrogated. It is possible that Dr Khan's public contrition may clear them. But whether the world at large will be convinced by the glib sequence of confession and pardon is a different matter. "I can think of no one who deserves less to be pardoned," said David Kay, the former US chief weapons inspector, in Washington.

No details of Dr Khan's amnesty have been disclosed, nor is there any sign that he will expected to relinquish the money he earned from his trade. Analysts suggest he will be allowed to retire quietly in Islamabad if he stops the trade and never speaks about the nuclear black market again. The important thing, from the military establishment's point of view, is that the official pardon precludes a public trial, which might have opened a whole can of radioactive worms.

There was something painfully uncomfortable about the camouflage-jacketed President Musharraf as he sat with Dr Khan, grim-faced and silent, during the televised confession. A close aide to the President claimed that the normally cool-headed warrior wept when he learnt of the full extent of Dr Khan's lucrative sideline. He is probably not alone in his pain. Ordinary Pakistanis revere Dr Khan as a great patriot and innovator who put himself at risk to obtain the nuclear grail, and Islamist political parties have threatened a national strike to protest against his humiliation. But there is no way around it: if it is established that Pakistan's most celebrated scientist really has been single-handedly flooding the world with nuclear arms for the sake of personal enrichment, then his reputation will go into freefall.

The Indian press is gloating about the demise of the "Pak Bomb Daddy"; Western intelligence agents are desperately trying to establish how much damage he did before his fall. But he still has his supporters. Dr Khan's elder daughter, Dina, abruptly left the country with a satchel of documents, determined to prove that her silver-maned father is "a scapegoat" for more politically astute cronies in Islamabad. She insists he kept nothing hidden from top military commanders and the intelligence agency.

Meanwhile, Pakistan insists on withholding documents from the IAEA and will not countenance any outside nuclear inspections. And, in a final show of defiance, President Musharraf has said that Pakistan will test fire a new ballistic missile next month: the Shaheen II, which has three times the strike range of anything in the present arsenal. "This country will never roll back its nuclear assets," President Musharraf said. "It can never be done."

As for Dr Khan himself, he has been taking brisk walks in Islamabad's woody Margalla Hills, which one of his houses adjoins. He generally walks with his pockets stuffed with peanuts or sugar lumps. "I am the kindest man in Pakistan," he boasted after the Baluchistan bomb tests, when he was trying to dispel the image of a mad scientist bent on annihilation. "I feed the ants in the morning. I feed the monkeys." He still does. But it is the thought of what else he may have distributed that is feeding the most fevered nightmares of Western security analysts who, in a reversal of Dr Strangelove's cinematic premise, have belatedly learnt to start worrying and loathe the bomb.
7 February 2004 00:06


? 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

Pak opposition wants N-scam probe
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's opposition parties yesterday demanded a parliamentary inquiry into a scandal in which the country's top scientist has confessed he sold nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
The Pakistan Muslim League of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accused President Pervez Musharraf of a cover-up and said the scandal had made Pakistan a "laughing stock".
The Pakistan People's Party of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto questioned the authenticity of the dramatic televised confession on Wednesday by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the country's atomic weapons programme.
Khan said he acted independently in leaking secrets as head of Pakistan's nuclear programme from the 1970s.
On Thursday, Musharraf pardoned the scientist, saying he remained a national hero despite passing secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
However, Western diplomats and local commentators said Khan could not have acted independently and that it appeared he had been used as a scapegoat for the army.
An opposition leader, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said Musharraf was trying to save his government by putting the blame on Khan and a few associates. He said this would not satisfy Pakistanis or critics abroad.
"It really concerns and worries me that this is not the end of the story," Nisar said. "It could be a long tortuous and a very ominous process for the state of Pakistan.
"The people of Pakistan clearly feel that the apology and confession obtained from Dr Qadeer Khan were obtained under pressure, while the world feels the whole process has basically been a cover-up." Nisar is a former minister and a close aide of Nawaz Sharif, who has lived in exile since being overthrown by Musharraf in a bloodless 1999 coup.
Nisar said Musharraf had clearly given in to foreign pressure, leaving Pakistan vulnerable and a global laughing stock.
"We need to raise this issue in the parliament," he said.
Nisar's criticism was echoed by Farhatullah Babar, a spokesman for Benazir Bhutto, who like Sharif lives in exile.
"The matter does not end here. Unless a parliamentary inquiry is held, questions will continue to be asked about the authenticity about Dr Qadeer Khan's confessional statement," he said.
"The question then would arise of what were the security agencies and the intelligence agencies, which were responsible for overseeing the work of the scientists, doing?"
Musharraf has insisted neither the government nor the military were involved in leaking secrets and rebuffed calls for an independent inquiry into any military role in the leaks.
He said Pakistan would not hand over any documents or allow UN supervision of its atomic programme.
Washington has urged Pakistan to stop proliferation to "rogue" states but has publicly backed Musharraf, a key ally in its battle against Al Qaeda and allied Islamic militants.
n A motion was filed to a Pakistani court yesterday against the `detention' of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Ehsamul Haq, brother of Dr Khan's ex-principal secretary, filed a habeas corpus petition yesterday in the country's Lahore High Court, demanding the scientist should not be handed over to any other country.
"We have filed the petition because we have been denied access to him (Khan). If the government is honest then they should let him speak his conscience," said Haq, whose elder brother, retired-major Islamul Haq, is among the six detained scientists and officials from Kahutta Research Laboratories (KRL).
Families of four other officials have already filed similar petitions. The hearing will be held on February 9.
Haq's lawyer, Mohammed Ikram Chuadhry, said he requested the court to take Dr Khan's plea on the same date. - Agencies

photo:Protesters hold posters of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan during a rally yesterday in Multan. Religious parties staged small rallies across Pakistan in sympathy of disgraced top nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. - AP


Posted by maximpost at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 7 February 2004 12:15 AM EST
Permalink
Friday, 6 February 2004



>> MALAYSIA DOSSIER CONTINUED...

http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,233991,00.html?

MALAYSIAN PLANT IN NUCLEAR CONTROVERSY THROWS OPEN ITS DOORS FOR INSPECTION
Nothing but a machine parts factory?
By Leslie Lau
IN A quiet corner in the industrial heartland of Shah Alam, 24 workers continued to work at the Scomi Precision Engineering factory yesterday.
It is business as usual at Shah Alam's Scomi factory, which is reportedly under probe for links to the global black market in nuclear technology. -- AP
The plant is at the centre of a major controversy after CIA director George Tenet on Thursday described it as one of the largest links in disgraced Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's network of black-market nuclear parts.
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has promised the police would probe without fear or favour.
Yesterday, Deputy Premier Najib Razak also promised a comprehensive investigation.
Officials from the small factory said it provides precision engineering services to the oil and gas and automotive industries.
Malaysian investigators said the same thing.
But in a speech at Georgetown University on Thursday, Mr Tenet said the Malaysian authorities, through information provided by the CIA, had shut down one of the largest plants in Dr Khan's network.
He went on to say that the CIA had stopped deliveries of uranium enrichment centrifuges, in an apparent reference to the seizure last October of parts made by the Malaysian plant that were bound for use in Libya's secret nuclear weapons programme.
Yesterday, the factory threw open its doors to journalists to prove that it was merely a machine tools plant.
It repeated assertions that it did not know the 'end use' of the parts it supplied.
The factory is owned by Scomi Precision Engineering, a subsidiary of Scomi Group - a company whose controlling shareholder is the only son of the Prime Minister.
The factory continues to make 'machine tool parts' for foreign customers, who the company said cannot be named because of contractual reasons.
Mr Kamaludin Abdullah, the Prime Minister's son and controlling shareholder, holds no management position in the company.
'We are not the subject of an investigation. Our customer is. We are facilitating government investigations. We entered the contract in good faith,' said Ms Rohaida Ali Badaruddin, senior corporate communications manager of Scomi Group.
She told this to reporters, who were taken on a tour of the plant at the heart of an ongoing investigation by the Malaysian Special Branch, the CIA and MI6.
Malaysian investigators have revealed that Scomi Precision Engineering had entered into a contract to supply 14 different unfinished machine parts to a company named Gulf Technical Industries (GTI), which is based in Dubai.
The contract was brokered by Sri Lankan national B.S.A Tahir, who is based in Dubai and the subject of an international investigation into his role as a middleman in the Pakistani scientist's nuclear proliferation network.
Dr Khan had confessed to selling nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea, but was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf.
Last October, the Italian authorities seized the last of four consignments of parts manufactured by Scomi from a ship bound for Libya.
But the company asserted that it entered into a contr- act for what it thought was legitimate business.
'The parts we made for GTI were mostly very small. I believed the parts could have been used for the oil and gas industry,' said factory manager Che Lokman Che Omar, a 15-year veteran in making machine tools for the oil and gas industry.
Extending the palm of his hand to show the estimated sizes of the parts which US intelligence said were centrifuge components, he said there were thousands of different parts in machines used by the oil and gas industry.
The factory is an unremarkable place, where employees work on lathes and other machines to cast, shape and mill precision tools in what seems to be a leisurely pace.
'We did not know what the parts were for. If you show me a machine part now, I will not be able to determine what it is for,' Mr Che Lokman said.


>> HURRAH FOR MI6 AND CIA AND BEEB?
WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Jonathan Kent
"Malaysian politicians have often hit problems with their families being involved in things"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3463611.stm

Malaysia PM urges nuclear probe
The probe could be embarrassing for the prime minister
Malaysia's prime minister has told police to investigate "without favour" allegations his son had a stake in a company making nuclear parts for Libya.
Abdullah Badawi said there was nothing to fear from the truth.
Police say foreign intelligence warned them that Malaysian centrifuge parts were on a Libyan-bound ship last year.
The company, controlled by Kamaluddin Abdullah, made the parts after being told they were for oil and gas work, a spokesman said.
"We received the drawing for the part and made it according to the drawing. We were told these parts were for the oil and gas industry," factory manager Che Lokman Che Omar told reporters.
The BBC's correspondent in Kuala Lumpur, Jonathan Kent, says that the Malaysian media have been slow to draw attention to the links between Scomi and the prime minister's son.
The Malaysian government has denied that the country in any way contributed to the spread of nuclear technology.
KAMALUDDIN ABDULLAH
Only son of PM Abdullah Badawi
Educated at Cambridge University
Owns controlling stake in Scomi, no management role
"Investigations so far showed that not one company in Malaysia has the ability to manufacture a complete centrifuge unit," Malaysia's Inspector General of Police Mohammad Bakri Omar said in a statement.
"This requires technological capability and high expertise in the field of nuclear weapons," Mr Bakri said.
Analysts say the news of Scomi Precision Engineering's involvement in the probe could be embarrassing to Mr Badawi, who was only appointed prime minister last October.
Businessman investigated
Mr Bakri said the tip-off was received by British and US intelligence services in early November.
He said the CIA and MI6 claimed the parts had been found a month earlier on board a ship heading to Libya during a stopover in Italy.
"The components were said to have been placed in wooden boxes labelled Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn Bhd (Scope). Scope is a subsidiary of Scomi Group Bhd," said a police statement.
Scomi - a medium-sized oil and gas company - said Scope had been awarded a contract to provide tooling services to a Dubai-based firm.
In a statement, the company said it shipped the components in four consignments to Dubai between December 2002 and August 2003.
Scomi said the contract had been arranged by BSA Tahir, a Sri Lankan businessman who is currently under investigation in Malaysia. They were not told the "end-use" of the components.
"The company was recently informed by the Malaysian police that Mr Tahir is currently the subject of an investigation by Malaysian, American and British intelligence authorities over his alleged involvement in the supply of nuclear technology to Libya," said Scomi.
A high-level government source noted that any firm knowingly involved in the clandestine nuclear trade was unlikely to label its cargo with its own name.
Mr Bakri said Mr Tahir was co-operating in the investigation and was not under arrest.




SCOMI GROUP BERHAD (Company No. 571212-A)
Suite 5.03, 5th Floor,
Wisma Chase Perdana,
Off Jalan Semantan,
50490 Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia
Tel: (603)-7490 5000
Fax: (603)-7490 5131
Website : www.scomigroup.com.my
Email : info@scomigroup.com.my
Subsidiary Companies
KOTA MINERALS & CHEMICALS SDN BHD (KMC) (Company No. 81755-D) SCOMI SDN BHD (Company No. 203569-X) SCOMI PRECISION ENGINEERING SDN BHD (Company No. 501863-X) SCOMI TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS SDN BHD (SCOTS) (Company No. 468923-A) SMAS RENT-A-CAR SDN BHD (SMAS) (Company No. 113247-D) KOTA MINERALS & CHEMICALS SDN BHD (KMC) (Company No. 81755-D)
HEADQUARTERS
No. 1-1, Block C1, Dataran Prima, Jalan PJU 1/41, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Tel : (603)-7880 6118 Fax : (603)-7880 8918 / 7880 8919 Website : www.kmc-msia.com
KEMAMAN BRANCH
Warehouse No. 18, Letter Box No. 72, Kemaman Supply Base, 24007 Kemaman, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia. Tel : (609)-863 1212 Fax : (609)-863 1189
LABUAN BRANCH
Asian Supply Base, Ranca-Ranca Industrial Estate, Letter Box No. 82023, 87030 Labuan F. T., Malaysia. Tel : (6087)-413 108 Fax : (6087)-414 136
MIRI OFFICE
Lot 2164, 1st Floor, Block 5 MCLD, Seberkas Commercial Centre, Jalan Pujut-Lutong 98000, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. Tel : (6085)-650 821 Fax : (6085)-654 822
SCOMI SDN BHD (Company No. 203569-X)
Lot. 519, Jalan TUDM, Kampung Baru Subang, P.O. Box 7299, 40710 Shah Alam, Selangor Malaysia. Tel : (603)-7846 4516 Fax : (603)-7846 4521 Website : www.scomi.com
SCOMI PRECISION ENGINEERING SDN BHD (SCOPE) (Company No. 501863-X)
No. 28 & 30, Jalan Beliong 15/11, Section 15, 40000 Shah Alam, P.O. Box 7299. 40710 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel : (603)-7846 4516 Fax : (603)-7846 4521
SCOMI TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS SDN BHD (SCOTS) (Company No. 468923-A)
Suite 5.03, 5th Floor, Wisma Chase Perdana, Off Jalan Semantan, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel : (603)-2080 5066 Fax : (603)-2080 5009
SMAS RENT-A-CAR SDN BHD (Company No. 113247-D)
HEADQUARTERS
Off Jalan Semantan, Damansara Heights, Tel : (603)-2080 5066 Fax : (603)-2080 5009
Website : www.smasrac.com.my
KL MAIN OUTLET
Ground Floor, Wisma SMAS, 21, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel :(603)-2148 1199 Fax :(603)-2148 3487
KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OUTLET
Counter B11, Arrival Hall, K.L. International Airport, 43900 Sepang, Malaysia. Tel : (603)-8787 6688 Fax : (603)-8787 4168
PENANG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OUTLET
Arrival Hall, Airport Terminal Bayan Lepas, 11900 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Tel : (604)-645 2288 Fax : (604)-644 0076
SABAH OUTLET
Kinabalu Rent-A-Car, Lot 3.60, Kompleks Karamunsing, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia. Tel : (6088)-232 602 Fax : (6088)-242 512
Copyright ? 2003 SCOMI GROUP BERHAD. All Rights Reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Black market for nuclear weapons covers bigger area than suspected
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/world/story/0,4386,233698,00.html?

A network of fantastic cleverness, it involves businessmen, companies and perhaps state bodies, says IAEA chief
VIENNA - The global nuclear black market may be far bigger than suspected.
The errant scientist, Dr Khan, was decorated with Pakistan's top civil award.
Investigations into Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, who has confessed to selling secrets abroad, have revealed a smuggling network that one US official described as 'a hydra-headed monster with its tentacles all over the world'.
The Pakistan-led black market uncovered by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) might only be 'the tip of the iceberg', nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed El-Baradei said yesterday.
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan 'was not working alone', he told reporters in Vienna.
Dr El-Baradei has spoken of the existence of a nuclear black market of 'fantastic cleverness'.
THE MASTERMIND
HOW SMUGGLERS WORKED
* Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme, is said to have headed a smuggling ring operating in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
* It involved middlemen in Germany, the Netherlands, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates - and possibly other states as yet undisclosed.
* They typically worked with Iranian, Libyan and North Korean diplomats, who would identify each country's needs for know-how or equipment.
* The 'middlemen' would then place orders for sensitive equipment, often with manufacturers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and other European countries. Many of these companies could have been unaware of the end destination or purpose of what they were selling.
* The deals, possibly worth hundreds of millions of dollars, could have been in a variety of forms - from floppy disks carrying sensitive drawings to centrifuge parts by the thousand for nuclear enrichment.
HOW LEADER WAS CAUGHT
Events leading to Dr Khan's arrest:
* Nov 20, 2003: The International Atomic Energy Agency identifies Pakistan as a probable supplier of nuclear technology to Iran.
* Dec 23: Pakistan says several of its nuclear scientists could have been motivated by 'personal ambition and greed' to share sensitive technology with Iran, but officials insist the government never authorised the transfers.
* Jan 18, 2004: A total of 11 Pakistani laboratory scientists and security officials are detained, but some are later released.
* Jan 28: Intelligence officials say Dr Khan had black-market contacts and was unable to account for funds in personal bank accounts.
* Jan 31: Dr Khan is fired from his position as a senior government adviser.
* Feb 1: Officials say Dr Khan has confessed to giving away technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
* Feb 4: Dr Khan apologises on national television, says the government was not involved and pleads for forgiveness.
WHAT GAVE HIM AWAY
Money was the scientist's downfall:
* Dr Khan's annual salary as the head of the Khan Research Laboratories was just US$2,000 (S$3,400) a month.
* He was found to be controlling a series of bank accounts with 'large amounts' of money in Dubai and other locations.
* He lived lavishly, with palatial homes in Pakistan as well as properties abroad, including a hotel named after his wife, Hendrina, in the West African state of Mali.
Sources: AP, Reuters
'It's obvious that the international export controls have completely failed in recent years,' he told the German Der Spiegel daily late last month.
He was speaking in an interview after Pakistan admitted that its top scientists were involved in the illicit transfer of nuclear technology.
'A nuclear black market has emerged, driven by fantastic cleverness. Designs are drawn in one country, centrifuges are produced in another, they are then shipped via a third country and there is no clarity about the end-user.
'Expert nuclear businessmen, unscrupulous firms and perhaps also state bodies are involved. Libya and Iran made extensive use of this network,' said Dr El-Baradei.
The head of the Vienna-based United Nations agency has also expressed alarm at the discovery in Libya of a set of drawings on how to develop nuclear weapons.
The drawings were found by an IAEA team that recently was allowed full access to Libyan nuclear facilities.
Dr El-Baradei said the drawings represented proof of an underground trade in nuclear weapons technology.
'What we have seen...obviously is very unsettling because we have those kinds of drawings circulating around the world,' he said.
'That points to this network of black market proliferators and that's really the most serious worry right now.'
Media attention has so far focused on Dr Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme, aiding Iran, Libya and North Korea.
But Western diplomats said it could not be ruled out that other countries had also been customers of his network of nuclear 'middlemen'.
Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda has shown interest in acquiring nuclear technology but experts have so far dismissed the possibility of terrorists acquiring any on the black market although the potential remains of them doing so.
'If the black market could transfer technology from Europe to Pakistan in spite of all these sanctions and embargoes, that same black market of smugglers can also pass on materials from this lab to terrorist groups,' said Dr A.H. Nayyar, a nuclear physicist and head of the Pakistan Peace Coalition.
In a further probe into the alleged transfer of technology to other countries, Pakistan has arrested five scientists and officials from the Khan Research Laboratories, its top nuclear facility formerly headed by Dr Khan.
Dr Khan is emerging as the head of the smuggling ring which is believed to have been the main supplier of nuclear know-how and equipment through middlemen over three continents.
Diplomats said the middlemen, responsible for meshing supply and demand for sensitive nuclear technology, operated in Germany, the Netherlands, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates - and possibly other countries as yet undisclosed.
These middlemen typically worked with Iranian, Libyan and North Korean diplomats stationed abroad, who would identify their country's needs.
The intermediaries would then procure the orders, often ordering sensitive parts from manufacturers who are unaware of the end destination or purpose of what they were selling.
Diplomats say hundreds of millions of dollars have changed hands over the past 15 years, in deals that are as easy to hide as a floppy disk storing sensitive drawings or as bulky as thousands of centrifuge parts for nuclear enrichment, a key part of building a weapon.
'It's not as big as the automotive industry, but it's certainly bigger than the tiddlywinks industry,' a diplomat said. -- AP, Reuters
---------------------------------------------------------
>> REMEMBER THIS?

December 9, 2003
Sale of Nuclear Plant to China Puts German Aide on the Spot
By RICHARD BERNSTEIN
BERLIN, Dec. 8 -- A little over 10 years ago, when Germany's foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, was the minister for the environment in the state of Hesse, he was one of the most visible leaders in a successful fight against a nuclear enrichment plant built by the industrial giant Siemens and almost ready for operation.
Now Mr. Fischer finds himself in an embarrassing position over his nonopposition to the sale to China of the same plant, which never went into operation -- a deal that was announced last week by Germany's chancellor, Gerhard Schr?der, during an official visit to Beijing.
Mr. Schr?der, in China with a group of German business leaders, told reporters that the government would have no legal reason to prevent the sale of the plant, and Mr. Fischer has resisted pressure from within his own Green Party to oppose the chancellor's decision publicly.
Mr. Fischer, who met with Mr. Schr?der at lunch on Sunday to discuss the nuclear sale, said last week that sometimes "bitter decisions'` had to be made.
But to many in the news media and among the public, Germany's willingness to sell nuclear technology abroad clashes too conspicuously with the German government's official anti-nuclear-power position. Indeed, the present policy is for all 19 of the nuclear power plants now operating in this country to be shut down eventually.
A month ago, the environment minister, J?rgen Trittin, one of three members of the Green Party who hold cabinet posts in Mr. Schr?der's coalition government, attended the closing of the first of the plants, in Stade, near Hamburg.
In Beijing last week, Mr. Schr?der, asked at a news conference about the pending nuclear deal, said, "I've always said that the company that wants to sell this plant has a right to claim a license for the deal, provided the plant is not used for military purposes." He cited Chinese assurances that Beijing had no intention of putting the plant to military use and that, in any case, it would not be possible to do so. Consequently, he continued, "In my opinion in this case, we do not have any possibilities for a political decision; the law has to be implemented."
The Siemens plant, costing about $220 million, has sat unused since construction ceased 12 years ago. According to experts in Germany, it is a fuel-rod-enrichment plant that could be used to make weapons-grade materials only if it were combined with another rare enrichment technology, which China, already a nuclear power, does not have.
China has offered roughly $55 million for the plant, a sum that has already provoked sardonic commentary in the German press. "Everything Must Go!" was the headline in Die Tageszeitung over the weekend, likening Germany to a discount department store.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company



--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Soldiers say Saddam's capture justifies war
By Chris Brummitt
Associated Press
TIKRIT, Iraq -- For Staff Sgt. Isaac Day and many other soldiers serving here, ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein made the war worthwhile -- regardless of whether anyone ever finds weapons of mass destruction.
"I'm glad we got Saddam," said Day, of Tarpon Springs, Fla. "When I grow old I can tell my grandchildren that we liberated this country."
That was a sentiment expressed in dozens of interviews with soldiers stationed near Tikrit, Saddam's hometown and a center of resistance to the U.S. occupation.
"Saddam lived in splendor while the rest of his people had to fend for themselves," Maj. Paul Lehto of Kingston, Mass. said over lunch here.
Despite widespread resistance from some of America's oldest and closest allies, President Bush launched the war last March because Iraq allegedly possessed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. Senior administration officials also said Saddam wanted to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program which was cut short by the 1991 Gulf War.
However, no such weapons have been found. David Kay, who led the weapons search after the end of active combat, has said he doubted that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction in recent years.
"My satisfaction came when we were riding through from Kuwait and all these children were shouting `America is number one'," said Staff Sgt. Temu Gibson from Schenectady, N.Y.
Most of the 130,000 American troops stationed in Iraq have access to the Internet and other media and are aware of the growing political storm over the failure to find any weapons.
A number of them say Saddam's brutality to his own people justified the war.
"I have a shoebox full of pictures of people who have gone missing over the last 30 years," said one soldier who asked to be identified as Mac. "And people are getting all tied up over the WMD issue. Coming here was the right thing to do."
Still, the ongoing attacks by insurgents and the continuing loss of American lives underscore the political problems facing the Bush administration over the absence of any weapons of mass destruction.
Lt. Jerry England said it appeared that Bush had "played on the fear" of weapons of mass destruction in arguing the case for war. "It was a harder case to sell without them," said England, from Overland Park, Kan.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tanker deal faces new reviews
By Matthew Daly
Associated Press
Three additional reviews have been ordered by the Pentagon of the plan for Boeing Co. to lease and sell 100 jets to the Air Force for use as air-refueling tankers.
The Defense Department says the Air Force can't proceed with the contract, which already has been suspended for two months pending an investigation, until reviews by the Pentagon general counsel, the Defense Science Board and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces are completed.
The new reviews are expected to take at least three months, Defense Department spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said Thursday.
The Pentagon's inspector general had been looking into the case since questions arose late last year about ethical issues surrounding the way Boeing pursued the multibillion-dollar contract.
While that investigation is now completed, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently ordered up the additional reviews, saying it was important that all aspects to the deal be thoroughly looked at.
"We are proceeding in an orderly and systematic way to try to come to the truth as to what took place," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. "I assure you that if there has been wrongdoing, as there appears to have been, we will take appropriate action."
His comments came under questioning from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the leading critic of the deal. McCain assailed the "incestuous relationship that went on between Boeing and the United States Air Force."
Boeing spokesman Doug Kennett said Thursday that Boeing has halted its discussions with the government about the contract until the three studies are concluded.
The Air Force says it needs the new tankers, based on Boeing's 767 jetliner airframe, as a first step in replacing its aging fleet of 544 tankers, which are used to refuel bombers, fighters and other planes in midair. Most of the tankers are at least 40 years old.
Congressional supporters say they are the confident the deal will proceed, despite the latest setback.
"This will only serve as validation, because we're convinced that the Defense Science Board will see the urgent need for replacing our tanker capability," said George Behan, chief of staff to Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., a key backer of the deal.
Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Virginia-based Teal Group said Boeing can take heart from the fact the tanker deal appears to remain very much alive. He called it reassuring for the company that it's still on the agenda.
"Three months, in the larger scheme of things, doesn't matter all that much," he said.
Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher, who took over when Phil Condit resigned Dec. 1 amid the contract flap, told reporters last month he had been spending a lot of time at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill "trying to deal with this perception that we're a bunch of crooks."
A week before Condit stepped down, Boeing fired two top executives who were involved in the deal, saying then-chief financial officer Mike Sears had improper discussions about a possible job at the company for senior Air Force procurement official Darleen Druyun in 2002 when she was in a position to influence the Boeing contract decision. Druyun was hired a few months later as deputy general manager of Boeing's Missile Defense Systems unit.
Boeing shares rose 80 cents to close at $44.36 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
AP Business Writer Dave Carpenter in Chicago contributed to this report.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cross-border drug trafficking ring busted
2004-02-06 / Central News Agency /
The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau said yesterday it has cooperated with Japanese law enforcement officers in busting a cross-border drug trafficking ring attempting to smuggle 113 kilograms of amphetamines from China to Japan.
With information provided by MJIB agents, Japanese law enforcement officers managed to arrest two masterminds of the trafficking ring in Yokohama Tuesday and seized the large quantity of amphetamines hidden in a container, MJIB officials said, adding that the seizure was worth an estimated NT$1.9 billion at street value.
The two arrested suspects were identified as Liu Fang-cheng, a 49-year old man from Taiwan's Chiayi County, and Takeshi Sakai, a naturalized Japanese man of Taiwan origin.
MJIB officials said the ring had traffickers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan with the aim of smuggling China- and Hong Kong-produced amphetamines to Japan in the guise of legitimate chemical products.
The MJIB informed Japanese law enforcement authorities of all relevant information in early January, the officials said, and a joint investigative team formed by the MJIB, Japanese police authorities, as well as Tokyo and Yokohama customs officers, kept close tabs on the ring's activities.
Japanese law enforcement officers then discovered a suspicious container delivered from the southern Chinese port city of Shenzhen to Yokohama January 27. They arrested Liu and Sakai when the duo were claiming the container February 3 and later uncovered the contraband drugs hidden in the container.
Over the past month, some 20 MJIB agents have been mobilized to investigate the case, the officials said, adding that Japan mobilized more than 80 investigators.
"The two sides have held many rounds of videoconferences to discuss various technical details and Japan sent liaison officers to Taiwan to work out various investigative plans," an MJIB official said, adding that the case set a good model for international cooperation in drug busting.
Japanese law enforcement authorities announced the raid on the drug trafficking ring simultaneously with the MJIB. It was the largest drug seizure in Japan in two years.

Posted by maximpost at 11:26 PM EST
Permalink

>> MALAYSIA DOSSIER...

Malaysian premier's son linked to nukes probe
By Anil Netto
PENANG, Malaysia - Disturbing foreign press reports that a firm controlled by the son of the Malaysian premier is being probed for allegedly supplying parts for Libya's nuclear-weapons program come amid a swirl of recent revelations regarding the existence of a complex international black market in nuclear parts. Such reports come at a particularly inopportune time for the prime minister's ruling coalition, which is gearing up for a general election.
The allegations about Malaysia surfaced this week in foreign media reports about Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who admitted to the unauthorized transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
According to these reports, the parts from Malaysia were in boxes labeled "Scope", otherwise known as Scomi Precision Engineering, a subsidiary of Scomi Group, the mid-size oil company controlled by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's son, Kamaluddin.
Scomi said it had won a contract, arranged by B S A Tahir, a Sri Lankan businessman now under investigation, to ship 14 "semi-finished components" to Gulf Technical Industries, a customer in Dubai. The deal was worth RM13 million (US$3.4 million) and comprised four consignments that were shipped between December 2002 and August of last year, the company said. However, the company said it was not told of the "end use" of the components, while the Malaysian government, for its part, flatly denied that the country had in any way contributed to the spread of nuclear technology.
US and British intelligence had reportedly warned Malaysian police in November that Malaysian centrifuge parts were on a Libyan-bound ship. Malaysian Special Branch police reportedly began the investigation after they received this information, and late on Wednesday, Inspector General of Police Mohamed Bakri Omar issued a statement that initial investigations into the alleged manufacturing and shipment showed that Scope did not have the technology or expertise to build a centrifuge. He also said that "nuclear experts found it difficult to ascertain positively that the components were parts for centrifuge units".
Malaysia, a signatory to international nuclear-weapons non-proliferation treaties, has a small government-backed program for developing nuclear technology for medical and industrial uses. However, Bakri stated that no plant in Malaysia is capable of producing a complete centrifuge unit.
Still, opposition politician Lim Kit Siang said Bakri's statements were not helpful as there was no categorical denial for the accusations, nor did he address the question as to whether Malaysia was part of a wider international nuclear-black-market network.
Implications of an investigation
The investigation is likely to put the ruling coalition on the defensive and embarrass Prime Minister Abdullah, whom the media have projected as Mr Clean. Abdullah himself has welcomed the probe, although headlines such as "Malaysia PM's son in nuclear link" may dent his international stature and provide fodder for the opposition. Abdullah's coalition has been tipped to win easily in snap elections, widely expected to be held next month even though the current term does not expire until November.
As for Malaysia's nuclear-weapons concerns, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report on Tuesday saying that its director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, has put the focus on an emerging and sophisticated "nuclear black market" in weapons technology. "Considerable light on the global network has come from the IAEA's ongoing verification of nuclear programs in Iran and Libya," he said. He stressed that the picture emerging so far has not implicated governments, but rather points to individuals involved in illicit trafficking of material and equipment.
Investigations in Malaysia are likely to be clouded by a potential conflict of interest. As Lim pointed out, Scope is a subsidiary of Scomi, which in turn is controlled by Abdullah's son, while the police, on the other hand, come under the control of the Home Ministry, a portfolio held by Abdullah.
Even then, initial press reports regarding the investigation may not carry as much weight as it seems, and if the attention the media are giving the story continues, it may quickly lose its steam. Few Malaysians were even aware of the unfolding story as the mainstream media marginalized the news item. The general reaction among Malaysians posting comments on a weblog was that this was a storm in a teacup and just more knee-jerk reaction from the Americans, while others felt there was more than meets the eye. On Thursday, the top-selling English daily, The Star, relegated the story, which flashed around the world, to its second page along with Bakri's comments. And only on Friday did it mention that Abdullah's son was a controlling shareholder in Scomi.
Instead, newspapers in Malaysia ran a front-page report on Thursday announcing the appointees of a royal commission created to "come up with ways to turn the Royal Malaysian Police into a credible force".
Police corruption takes the lead
The name of this new body - "The Special Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police" - appears to be something of a euphemism. The Star sugar-coated the real issues the commission will have to grapple with: corruption, abuse of power, human-rights violations, custodial violence and deaths, shootings of suspected criminals on the streets, and a review of crime-fighting and prevention human resources to cope with a recent spate of violent crimes.
Former chief justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah heads the 16-member commission, but already some quarters have expressed reservations about the preponderance of establishment personalities many of whom have little experience in human-rights issues. Other criticisms centered on the fact that the commission is only an ad hoc body, whereas a permanent structure is needed to oversee the police and stamp out corruption in its ranks. Dzaiddin himself, when he was at the helm of the judiciary, promised much in the way of reforms, but in the end failed to enhance the public perception of the independence of the judiciary.
His commission will have its work cut out for it. The credibility of the police nosedived in 1998 when jailed ex-deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim showed up in court with a black eye he had received while in police custody. It was later revealed that then-police chief Rahim Noor had ordered Anwar to be blindfolded and bound before assaulting him in police custody on the night of his arrest. An ailing Anwar remains incarcerated, serving prison terms totaling 15 years, while Rahim was sentenced to two months in jail.
Meanwhile, public gatherings continue to be banned and the police have come down hard on attempts by reformasi supporters to regroup in public.
Since he came into power in November, Abdullah has ridden on a wave of public support for his fight against corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency. His December 29 announcement to set up the royal commission to review police operations showed that he is very much in touch with the pulse of the public.
In an AsiaBarometer Survey of 800 Malaysians in peninsular Malaysia made available to Asia Times Online, the overall level of trust in government and public institutions was rated fairly high in all major institutions except for the police and the legal system.
Political scientist Professor Johan Saravanamuttu observed that the central government won 91 percent overall trust (with 50 percent trusting it a lot, the remainder trusting it to a degree), the army chalked up 89 percent (50 percent trusting it a lot), and parliament 89 percent (39 percent). The police, on the other hand, recorded a relatively low 75 percent overall trust, with only 31 percent trusting it a lot, and the legal system posted 84 percent (31 percent).
The survey also revealed that political corruption stood as the No 1 problem in governance, with 60 percent regarding the government as having failed in dealing with this issue. "This is true despite the strong trust showed to government institutions," noted Johan.
Not surprisingly, Abdullah's rhetoric has focused much on corruption and involves a review of the police ahead of the general election. He desperately wants to win the election easily in order to legitimize his rule after taking over from his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad. But given that his own support base is still uncertain, perhaps even more so after the Scomi allegations, few people are betting on reforms that will rock the boat.
(Copyright 2004 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact content@atimes.com for information on our sales and syndication policies.)
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>> JAKARTA WATCH...
Iraqi oil and troubled waters for Megawati
By Bill Guerin
JAKARTA - Reports in an Iraqi newspaper allege that Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri is one of several leading international figures who received money from a political slush fund aimed at buying political support for the tyrannical Saddam Hussein regime.
Megawati has yet to respond to the allegations, though a palace spokesman has confirmed she is aware of them. The president appeared on a list of more than 270 public figures, politicians, companies and organizations around the world accused of receiving bribes in the form of commissions from sales of Saddam's oil.
The Iraqi Governing Council has ordered an investigation into allegations that Saddam paid millions of dollars in bribes to foreign politicians and political organizations. The council is to set up a commission of inquiry after the allegations in reports published in the Baghdad-based daily al-Mada.
The Iraqi Oil Ministry also claims the documents published in the newspaper are authentic and that it intends to ask Interpol to help with criminal action against those involved in "the theft of state assets". The ministry is talking tough and says the documents show how Saddam squandered the country's oil wealth on people "who had supported him and turned a blind eye to the mass graves and injustice inflicted on the Iraqi people".
According to the documents from the former State Oil Marketing Organization, the bribery network reached out to some 46 countries, including Indonesia.
Experts say none of those involved would have actually received oil, but instead, the right to buy the oil at a discounted price, which could be resold to a legitimate broker or oil company at an average profit of around 50 US cents a barrel. Megawati, the documents allegedly show, received vouchers for 8 million barrels of oil.
Presidential candidate and People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Amien Rais is also named on the list. Rais at first refused to comment but when asked by Agence France-Presse on Wednesday confessed to being "flabbergasted ... Why am I included in the list out of the blue? It's big slander," Rais was quoted as saying. The report says Rais received 4 million barrels of oil.
Yet another highly placed member of the Jakarta elite, Arifin Panigoro, deputy chairman of Megawati's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), was quoted as saying this week that Megawati and the Ba'ath Party in Iraq had a close relationship. "It was normal. They were very close to Megawati," the tycoon said.
Panigoro admitted that his oil company Medco had bought oil from Iraq but said it was "pure business" and was done with UN permission. "The oil purchase from Iraq had nothing to do with President Megawati," he was quoted as saying.
The relationship between Indonesia and Iraq goes back a long way. International trade sanctions were enforced on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Prior to the ensuing 1991 Gulf War, Jakarta had signed a memorandum of understanding for a counter-trade deal with Baghdad through which Indonesia would import 30,000 barrels of oil a day from Iraq in exchange for commodities such as textiles, timber, tin and crude palm oil. A similar deal is now being implemented with Libya. But the Iraqi agreement was frozen after the Gulf War.
Al-Mada said the documents, which cover 1999 only, were recovered from Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization, the commercial wing of Saddam's government responsible for selling oil. The contracts were all awarded from late 1997 until the US-led war last March and ostensibly fell within the United Nations-sanctioned oil-for-food program that allowed Iraq to sell oil in exchange for humanitarian needs.
Under the UN deal, Iraq had been entitled since 1996 to export crude oil in six-monthly intervals to finance imports of humanitarian supplies such as food and medicine.
Although a major exporter of crude oil, Indonesia imports some cheaper higher-sulfur crude to feed its refineries. It bought oil from Iraq and in return sold Indonesian-made goods, mostly foodstuffs, to Iraq.
The food-for-oil trade deal with Iraq was very profitable for Indonesia, especially in helping to boost the latter's export of non-oil commodities. Only local Indonesian companies could participate in the program and they first had to acquire the UN's approval before being able to export their goods to Iraq. However, despite the great enthusiasm expressed by many local exporters toward the food-for-oil deal, Indonesia had never been able to meet the export value to Iraq completely because of under-capacity in its factories.
Another possible candidate for the Indonesian presidency is retired Lieutenant-General Prabowo Subianto, a son-in-law of former president Suharto. Prabowo had been living in Jordan after being discharged in 1998 by the Indonesian military in connection with his role in the abduction of pro-democracy activists in the last months of Suharto's rule.
Though Prabowo is not named in the list, a company owned by him was among nine bidders for part of a newly negotiated food-for-oil deal between Jakarta and Iraq in 2000. Baghdad had sought to double the value of its oil-for-food trade deal with Jakarta to $1 billion. Under the deal, Indonesia would buy crude oil from the Basrah oilfield and refine it into fuel in Indonesia.
Iraq holds the second-biggest proven crude reserves after Saudi Arabia and has developed a mere 15 of its 73 known oilfields. Iraqi oil officials are now keen to cooperate with foreign companies to find and exploit new sources of crude, and this year are to announce the parameters for foreign investment.
Indonesia's state oil and gas company, Pertamina, has been in from the start. PT Elnusa, a Pertamina unit, holds a contract awarded by Iraq's Sabah al-Shammery & Partners, or SAPCO, to drill 60 new oil and natural-gas wells and will start drilling in Block III in the Western Desert near Basrah in late February.
Saddam awarded the block, which is estimated to contain 3 million barrels of crude oil, to Pertamina in late 2002. The plan to start exploration last March was thwarted by the US-led military invasion that toppled Saddam, and Pertamina now plans to begin oil and gas exploration in Iraq this month, investing about $24 million over the next three years.
Pertamina is also keen to explore for oil in the Tuba Block, which is estimated to hold even larger oil reserves. Pertamina was concerned that the new government might suspend the contract, after contracts with Russia and China were reportedly put on hold, but the new Iraqi government gave the company the go-ahead last November to restart the project.
After resuming crude production last June, Iraq was exporting an average of 1.54 million barrels a day in December and by the end of that month had generated $5 billion in earnings from oil sales. Oil is almost as expensive now as it was on the eve of the Iraq war, when prices hit a 13-year high of $38 a barrel. Prices have soared by 13 percent, to more than $33, after touching $36.
Oil (and gas) has also been a major revenue earner for Indonesia, making up 29 percent of the country's foreign-exchange earnings. Crude-oil production now stands at 1.16 million barrels per day (bpd), lower than the 1.317 million bpd quota set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Though Indonesia's exploration plans are unlikely to be affected by the corruption claims made by the Iraqis, the political implications for Megawati could be troublesome indeed. A senior member of the Iraqi Governing Council, Naseer al-Chaderji, has warned, "We asked the Justice Ministry to launch an investigation, take measures against the Iraqis who took part and examine what could be done internationally to pursue foreigners involved."
The allegations are already having major political ramifications in Bulgaria, where President Georgi Parvanov, like Megawati, is one of those named. He has denied the reports, but opposition figures are calling for his resignation.
Megawati and her administration were outspoken and vocal opponents of the US-led invasion of Iraq, as was Russia, which got the biggest set of contracts, followed by France. The difference, however, and one that may prove to be a major problem for Megawati ahead of the general election, is that neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor French President Jacques Chirac was accused of receiving the money directly.
(Copyright 2004 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact content@atimes.com for information on our sales and syndication policies.)




>> 6 WAY VIEWS...


China, U.S. Differ Over N. Korea Weapons
By GEORGE GEDDA
ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON (AP) - China and the United States disagree over a key part of North Korea's nuclear capabilities, a U.S. official said Friday, a dispute that could give the North Koreans a diplomatic boost in sensitive talks later this month.
China has refused to accept the U.S. contention that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons based on highly enriched uranium, the official said. North Korea has acknowledged it has a plutonium-based program but denies it is developing a uranium-based one.
The administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. diplomats have told Beijing its position is not helpful.
American negotiators are concerned that China's stand could benefit Pyongyang heading into six-party talks to be held Feb. 25 in Beijing on the overall North Korean nuclear program.
Besides the United States and North Korea, the discussions also will include China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.
The Bush administration is seeking a complete and verifiable elimination of the North's nuclear capability. Officials have said it is difficult to see how such an agreement can be reached if Pyongyang continues to maintain that it has no uranium program.
The Bush administration says that intelligence information confirmed the uranium program in 2002, and that a senior North Korean official acknowledged its existence in October of that year during a meeting with U.S. diplomats.
But North Korea has since denied making any such statements and apparently is hoping that China, by casting doubt on the U.S. contentions, will help discredit them.
Chinese officials could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.
The Bush administration has frequently praised China for its leadership role in attempts to resolve the North Korea nuclear impasse. Beyond that, China has said it supports the U.S. goal of a Korean peninsula without a nuclear program.
North Korea says it is willing to dispose of its plutonium-based program, the only one it claims to have.
China and the United States have other differences involving North Korea, but they do not appear to be as serious. China, for example, has suggested the United States make concessions in its approach to the North.
It also has been more enthusiastic than the United States over North Korea's willingness to freeze its plutonium-based program.
In December, Secretary of State Colin Powell called that proposal "positive," but the administration has since played down its significance.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said last week, "We're not seeking or asking for a freeze. We're looking for elimination of the programs."
Strained U.S. relations with North Korea worsened considerably in 2002 when U.S. officials said intelligence information disclosed a uranium-based program.
U.S. officials said the program violated a 1994 North Korean pledge not to develop nuclear weapons - part of a broader commitment that also included freezing its plutonium-producing program and placing it under international inspection.
After denying the administration's assertions in 2002, North Korea became increasingly confrontational. Over time, it expelled U.N. nuclear inspectors, withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, restarted an idle nuclear reactor and said it had begun reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods to produce plutonium.
Multilateral talks in Beijing in April and in August of 2003 on the nuclear impasse were inconclusive. Officials have indicated they expect no major breakthroughs in the talks later this month.
The United States believes North Korea already has one or more plutonium-based nuclear weapons and is concerned that, if left unchecked, the country could develop many more, giving it the potential to blackmail adversaries or export its nuclear technology.
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North Korea: Japan prepares sanctions noose
By Tom Tobback
BEIJING - Japanese lawmakers are expected to approve a bill on Friday enabling the government to impose economic sanctions on any country considered a threat to Japan's security - read North Korea. The bill amends the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law and would allow Tokyo to halt trade, block cash remittances to North Korea and even halt ferry service.
Sanctions are not in the offing, as yet, but if imposed, they could have a serious economic impact on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Remittances alone from pro-Pyongyang Koreans and Japanese in Japan are said to amount to tens of billions of yen annually, a major source of income for Pyongyang. Japan is also the DPRK's third-largest trading partner, after China and South Korea.
The possibility of sanctions, however, represents important political leverage for Tokyo against Pyongyang in the context of the current nuclear crisis. But for Tokyo the leverage is even more important in its efforts to resolve the case of a dozen Japanese citizens and their families abducted by North Korea in the 1970s. The best guess is that they were abducted to train North Koreans, possibly espionage agents, in Japanese language skills and behavior.
The abduction issue has been dominating bilateral relations and preventing improvement since DPRK leader Kim Jong-il admitted that 13 Japanese citizens were abducted in the 1970s and five were still alive in the DPRK. That was in 2002 during the historic visit of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Pyongyang.
Lawmakers in the Lower House of parliament, the Diet, overwhelmingly approved the measure on January 29, though the Japan Communist Party voted against it. On Friday, overwhelming approval by the Upper House is expected, clearing the way for the government to impose sanctions.
Koizumi has said of the possible economic sanctions, "It is good to have various cards" to play in relations with North Korea, but he added that his government is not yet considering actually applying sanctions.
The DPRK Foreign Ministry called it a "wanton violation" of the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration of September 2002, warning: "As Japan sows, so it shall reap."
Sanctions threat could keep Pyongyang in talks
The possibility of sanctions, however, will be an added incentive for Pyongyang not to walk out of the recently agreed-upon second round of six-party talks in Beijing on February 25 without making some kind of progress. Besides North Korea, the talks will include South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Japan is the closest US ally in this standoff with Pyongyang, but unlike the US, it is a significant trading partner of the DPRK. North Korean exports include fish, marine products and minerals; it imports machinery, electronics and manufactured goods.
Under the sanctions, Tokyo would be able to stop all bilateral trade, halt the remittances to Pyongyang from DPRK sympathizers in Japan, and impose other restrictions on the flow of money and goods to and from North Korea. It could also bar trips by the Mangyongbyon-92 ferry, the main direct link between the two countries. Cargo shipping could also be stopped.
Until 2002, Japan was the DPRK's second-largest trading partner, after China. Japan has lost this position to South Korea, which has continued to expand its trade with the North despite the current crisis. According to South Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) statistics for 2002, the DPRK's trade with Japan represented US$369 million, or 12 percent of its total foreign trade, including inter-Korean trade.
In fact, in 2002 the DPRK exported more to Japan - $234 million worth - than it imported - $135 million - while it ran huge trade deficits with China and South Korea. In October 2003, one year after the nuclear crisis erupted, South Korea reported that trade between Japan and the DPRK had hit a record low of only $134 million over the first six months of 2003.
Trade between Japan and the DPRK has been facilitated by the presence of a large ethnic-Korean community in Japan, and an equally important source of income for Pyongyang is the remittances these Koreans send back home. Of the 700,000 descendents of the Koreans who were not repatriated after World War II, about one-third are said to support the DPRK. These Chongryun (Chosen Soren in Japanese) are organized in the General Association of Korean Residents.
The organization had been running its own network of schools and universities in relative peace until September 2002, when Koizumi brought home the news on the abductees after he returned from his historic visit to Pyongyang. Right-wing Japanese groups attacked several Chongryun-related offices, and it is reported the Chongryun headquarters in Tokyo has been put under constant police guard.
Koreans under threat in Japan
Pyongyang calls the association of Korean residents in Japan "a diplomatic mission for friendship with the Japanese people in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the DPRK and Japan", and it has strongly protested the right-wing "terrorism" against Chongryun. As the crisis over the abductions and nuclear threat worsens, Chongryun is losing support among the Koreans in Japan, and the organization is reportedly lowering its pro-Pyongyang propaganda (tuning) in an effort to maintain credibility.
There are no direct flights between Japan and the DPRK; Chongryun's main link with the socialist motherland is North Korea's Mangyongbyon-92 ferry that runs between the North Korean port of Wonsan and Japan's port of Niigata. A few months after the start of the nuclear crisis, Japanese police alleged that the ship was being used as a communications vehicle, engaged in espionage communications with DPRK agents in Japan. Police later added accusations of smuggling missile parts on the ferry.
When the Mangyongbyon-92 scheduled its first visit to Japan last June after the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) crisis, the Japanese authorities announced they would inspect the ship upon arrival. In this move, Pyongyang saw the beginning of sanctions, pushed by the United States, and protested that the ferry had a purely humanitarian mission: to allow Koreans in Japan to visit the DPRK. The trip was canceled; one reason might have been decision of the fuel supplier in Niigata to stop servicing the DPRK vessel. Japan does not run a similar ferry service.
The ferry eventually arrived in Niigata on August 25, and 110 Japanese officers searched the ship for seven hours - they found no contraband or customs violations. They did find several safety violations but gave a conditional permission to leave the port, so as not to complicate the first round of six-party talks that was scheduled two days later in Beijing. During the next two visits to Niigata in September and October, more than 500 police officers were deployed to keep Japanese demonstrators at a distance.
The main reason for this anti-DPRK sentiment in Japan is the abduction issue, which turned out to be a major obstacle to improving bilateral relations after Koizumi's ground-breaking trip to Pyongyang in September 2002. Kim Jong-il's admission about the abducted Japanese was widely seen as a quid pro quo for Japan's apology for its colonial rule over Korea, paving the way for a huge compensation package that Pyongyang is desperately anticipating.
Koizumi underestimated abduction issue
Koizumi, however, underestimated the emotional reaction of the Japanese public, and the abduction issue, which the DPRK regards as a closed case, has since then dominated bilateral relations. The five surviving abductees were allowed to return to Japan, but their families remained in Pyongyang. Some observers argue that Japanese society failed to place this in the proper context and that the case of abductees was by far outweighed by Japan's own wartime crimes against Koreans.
The DPRK Foreign Ministry said: "The Japanese authorities are making much fuss about the issue of abduction of a few Japanese, although they have not probed the truth behind hideous human-rights abuses Japan committed against the Koreans in the past and compensated for them."
When Koizumi recently claimed Tok Islet (Takeshima in Japanese) as Japanese territory, after Seoul decided to publish a postage stamp showing this group of rocks, Pyongyang saw this as proof of Japan's reviving militarism and moves "for the re-invasion of Korea and the rest of Asia", and mentioned it in the same breath with Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on New Year's Day. The shrine, a memorial to Japan's war dead, is also considered to be a memorial to war criminals.
Making it legally possible to apply sanctions against Pyongyang, Japan has chosen a path of confrontation with the DPRK - a dramatic change from Koizumi's bold initiative a year and a half ago to visit Pyongyang to settle the issues of the past and start a more constructive relationship. The DPRK has said it will regard sanctions as a declaration of war, so Tokyo will definitely think twice before applying such sanctions to counter a threat to Japan's security.
Tom Tobback is the creator and editor of Pyongyang Square, a website dedicated to providing independent information on North Korea. He is based in Beijing.
(Copyright 2004 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact content@atimes.com for information on our sales and syndication policies.)

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Analysis: N. Korea eases defiant stance
By Jong-Heon Lee
UPI Corresponden
SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Since they began in 2000, the ministerial talks have given North and South Korea a chance to work on reconciliation, but instead they have been largely overshadowed by rows over the North's nuclear program and the South's close ties with the United States.
The past 12 rounds of the on-and-off Cabinet-level negotiations produced little progress in easing decades-long military tensions.
At this week's talks, however, the North stepped back from its defiant stance and made some concessions, agreeing to hold high-level military talks to discuss ways to reduce tension.
North Koreans also accepted the South's demand to work for the success of multilateral negotiations to end the nuclear crisis.
It was a major departure from Pyongyang's long-held stance that it would not discuss the nuclear standoff and any other security issues with the South.
Analysts say the change in attitude by the North was largely motivated by a sense of crisis as international pressure is increasing over its nuclear weapons drive.
"North Korea appeared to think that time is not on its side," said Cheon Seong-whun, a researcher at the Korean Institute for National Unification, a government-run think tank.
"Pyongyang seems to feel increasingly cornered in the world community in the wake of revelations that a top Pakistani scientist had sold nuclear technology to North Korea," he said.
The progress is also attributable to Seoul's strategy to link the nuclear issue to economic aid for starving North Koreans, Cheon said.
At this week's four-day session, which ended Friday, the two Koreas agreed to hold high-level military talks in the near future to help ease military tensions and discuss ways to prevent accidental clashes.
The military dialogue, chaired by general-level officers, would deal with preventing clashes on their western sea border, where the two nations engaged in deadly gun battles during the past years.
The two Koreas held their first defense ministers' talks in September 2000. But they failed to open a second round of talks because North Korea had dismissed Seoul's repeated proposals for another meeting.
In recent years, South and North Korean Navy vessels have clashed at the disputed sea border of the Northern Limit Line, around which lucrative blue crab beds lie. Tensions have risen sharply in that zone for May-June and October-November crab seasons, when North Korean fishing boats often move into the contested waters in search of crab beds.
The NLL, a U.N.-imposed Korean maritime border established after the Korean War, has served as a neutral zone to avoid possible armed clashes. But the North says that it does not recognize the border, insisting on its own sea border far south of the NLL and including South Korean islands.
Seoul has aggressively sought high-level military dialogue with Pyongyang amid security concerns in the wake of Washington's decision to pull thousands of U.S. troops from the heavily fortified border with the North.
"The establishment of high-level channel between the two militaries is necessary to reduce tensions on the peninsula and ease security jitters in the South," said Kim Tae-hyun, a professor at Chung-Ang University in Seoul.
The North's 1.1 million-member People's Army, the world's fifth largest military force, has nearly twice the number of South Korean's military. Under North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's "army-first" policy, the military serves as the backbone of Kim's totalitarian rule. The country spends about 30 percent of its gross domestic product on the military.
South and North Korea also agreed to work together to make the upcoming six-way nuclear talks "fruitful" for a peaceful solution to the 15-month stalemate over Pyongyang's nuclear arms program.
The second round of the nuclear talks, involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, is scheduled to begin Feb. 25 in Beijing. The first round, last August, ended without significant progress.
North Korea had refused to discuss the nuclear issue with South Koreans, saying the dispute was "a product of the U.S. hostile policy" toward Pyongyang.
South Korea Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said his government hopes the six-nation talks will generate an outcome in which North Korea "publicly declares" it will dismantle its nuclear programs.

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North Korea: It's taking too long
By David Albright & Holly Higgins
After the September 11 attack on the United States, President George W. Bush embraced a wide range of multilateral initiatives to shore up the international coalition against global terrorism. But the Bush administration has remained surprisingly hardline where North Korea is concerned. For instance, in an Oval Office interview with Asian news editors on October 16, 2001, Bush said he was "disappointed" in North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Il, adding that Kim should lead his people into the modern era and "assume the responsibility of a good leader."
North Korea's response to this comment was predictable. A few days later, the Korean Central News Agency issued a statement rejecting U.S. calls for renewed diplomatic talks, adding that Bush would "pay dearly."
The current stalemate in the two countries' relationship is particularly unfortunate. If that stalemate could somehow be overcome, it might be possible to speed up nuclear inspections in North Korea--an essential element in the 1994 U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework, designed to ensure that North Korea does not have nuclear weapons.
In the 1990s, the U.S.-North Korean relationship seemed to lurch from crisis to crisis, even as both sought solutions to the security issues plaguing the Korean peninsula. Despite those difficulties, progress was made, starting with the U.S. decision in 1991 to unilaterally withdraw its nuclear weapons from South Korea. The Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula soon followed. A broad set of initiatives between North Korea and the United States and its allies grew dramatically and covered almost every security issue facing the Koreas.
Yet the Bush administration is right to emphasize the importance of early progress on nuclear inspections in North Korea--the current schedule is too long. The inspection schedule, set in the Agreed Framework, was tied to progress in the construction of the first of two light-water reactors to be built at Kumho, now much delayed.
Conducting inspections before they are called for by the construction schedule could require offering North Korea some incentives. Those incentives could take many forms, including the supply of electricity by South Korea, as many nuclear and policy experts on Northeast Asia have suggested.
Getting off on the wrong foot
When President Bush met South Korean President Kim Dae Jung at the White House last March, few could have expected that Bush's remarks and demeanor during their joint press conference would be so damaging. Bush said he doubted that North Korea would live up to its international agreements, which many interpreted as a criticism of Kim's sunshine policy--the South Korean policy of engagement with the North aimed at resolving their outstanding political, security, and economic issues. Kim Dae Jung won the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize, largely for his efforts to implement the policy and for his historic summit meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang in June of that year.
Although Bush did not claim that North Korea was violating the Agreed Framework, his comment was interpreted as criticizing that agreement as well. Certainly, the Bush administration is much more critical of the agreement than the Clinton administration was.
Several senior Bush officials maintain that North Korea has one or two nuclear weapons and is committed to hiding that fact. They believe North Korea wants to delay the "day of reckoning" that inspections would cause. A few senior military officials in the region also believe that North Korea still intends to reunite the Korean peninsula by force.
These officials rarely offer new information to support their claims, and their views may or may not reflect any new information. They may simply represent the most hawkish U.S. intelligence agency assessments. But because of the uncertainty of available information, it is prudent to assume that North Korea could have one or two nuclear weapons. Conducting inspections would be the best way to find the truth.
Last June 6, after a four-month policy review, Bush announced that he had directed his national security team to "undertake serious discussions with North Korea on a broad agenda": improved implementation of the Agreed Framework relating to North Korea's nuclear activities, verifiable constraints on North Korea's missile programs, a ban on its missile exports, and its adoption of a less threatening conventional military posture.
North Korea, which was not consulted before this public announcement, felt slighted that the United States had unilaterally set the agenda. On June 20, North Korea issued a statement accusing the United States of attempting to put "conditions" on the resumption of negotiations by adding the question of conventional forces to the agenda: "The U.S. side, while proposing to resume negotiations without preconditions, unilaterally set out and opened to the public topics of discussion . . . before both sides sat together. [North Korea] cannot but interpret the U.S. administration's proposal for resuming dialogue as unilateral and conditional in its nature and hostile in its intention."
Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Seoul in late July. While conventional forces would be on the U.S. agenda, he said, the United States was prepared to meet North Korea "anywhere, anytime, and without preconditions." But this statement did not lead to the resumption of talks.
At an impasse, each country has expressed frustration that the other appears to be ignoring its political constraints. Privately, U.S. officials wonder what it would take for North Korea to believe the United States is sincere. The Bush administration has consistently said that it does not want to merely restate the Clinton policy. Officials wonder whether North Korea secretly wants to derail the process by de-legitimizing their administration. On the other hand, North Korea has questioned whether the United States will ever establish diplomatic relations with Pyongyang or whether it intends to follow through on its commitments under the Agreed Framework.
North-South relations
On September 2, North Korea suddenly announced that it would renew its dialogue with South Korea, which had become a casualty of the U.S.- North Korean stalemate. At a fifth round of inter-Korean ministerial talks in mid-September, the Koreas agreed to restart the inter-Korean family reunions that had been a major accomplishment of the 2000 summit.
Soon after, however, North Korea canceled the family reunions as well as the next round of talks. After a lengthy public dispute about venue, North and South Korean negotiators met for a sixth round in mid-November, but accomplished little.
In particular, North Korea offered no insight into when Kim Jong Il would visit South Korea--although Chairman Kim had promised to make a reciprocal visit after President Kim and he held their June 2000 summit in Pyongyang.
The South's President Kim desperately needs the North Korean leader's visit to bolster support for his sunshine policy and for his government as well. Since last spring Kim's political fortunes have waned. Prohibited from seeking reelection in 2002 and reeling from North Korea's refusal to make significant concessions, Kim has faced a number of political crises in recent months.
In September, the National Assembly passed a no-confidence motion against Unification Minister Lim Dong-won, Kim's top adviser, widely considered the architect of the sunshine policy. Then Kim's entire Cabinet resigned, forcing him to appoint a new government. This crisis brought to the surface South Korea's deep misgivings about whether it was receiving enough in return for its concessions and assistance to North Korea. Nonetheless, Kim remains steadfast in his desire to implement the sunshine policy. Quoted in Chosun Ilbo on October 31, he called it "an historic mission," and said there were no alternatives.
Fighting terrorism
North Korea's lukewarm reaction after the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center also generated suspicion--particularly because North Korea remains on the U.S. government's list of countries that sponsor terrorism. North Korea condemned the terrorist attacks as "very regrettable and tragic," but critics said this gesture was not enough. As reported by the Associated Press on October 31, Thomas Hubbard, U.S. ambassador to South Korea, urged North Korea to join in international anti-terrorism efforts: "North Korea has stated their opposition to terrorism and criticized the September 11 attacks. But they haven't supported the international coalition that is trying to fight terrorism. The North Koreans are missing an opportunity to play a responsible role by not joining us."
On November 12, perhaps in response to such criticism, North Korea signed two anti-terrorist treaties-- the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages. It could be an important step to the removal of North Korea from the list of states sponsoring terrorism--its listing has prohibited it from receiving a wide range of international aid and loans for development. In mid-November, North Korea issued a statement saying it would cooperate with the international community, "firmly adhering to the principled position on terrorism in the future."
Still, North Korea severely criticized South Korea for putting its armed forces on a higher state of alert after the September 11 attack, even though the South repeatedly said the action was not taken to threaten the North. The complaint was seen by U.S. officials as another reason to remain skeptical of North Korea's commitment to the war on terrorism.
On the other hand, critics of the current U.S. policy believe the administration should be more accommodating. Leon Sigal, a North Korean specialist at the Social Science Research Council in New York, believes the United States should be holding senior-level consultations with North Korea: "If the Bush administration can cooperate with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt on terrorism, why not North Korea as well?"
KEDO rolls on, but what about inspections?
Meanwhile, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) is now making steady progress as it prepares to build two light-water reactors in North Korea. After several years of activity, it has built roads, a harbor, and support facilities. North Korea and KEDO members have had productive discussions on nuclear safety. In September, North Korea issued a construction permit, and major construction on the reactor complex has finally started.
One senior KEDO official estimates that KEDO will have completed a "significant portion of the [light-water reactor] project" by the first half of 2005, and will then be ready to receive key nuclear components. Under the Agreed Framework, North Korea must come into compliance with its IAEA safeguards agreement before those components are delivered.
The original schedule envisioned conducting the inspections in the late 1990s and finishing both reactors by 2003--and the completion date could slip again. KEDO still faces tough negotiations with North Korea over several issues, including liability and the possible need to refurbish North Korea's electrical grid, which is in extremely poor condition.
Although North Korea is expected to comply with its safeguards agreement, no one knows for sure whether it will do so. It has failed to cooperate with the IAEA on a range of verification issues, raising concerns that it may not be completely cooperative when the inspection process resumes. In addition to inspecting North Korea's known nuclear infrastructure, the IAEA will also have to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear sites or activities.
As recently as October 17, the IAEA said it had not made any significant progress in verifying that North Korea had come into compliance with its safeguards agreement or that North Korea had not produced more plutonium than it declared in the early 1990s. IAEA Director General Mohammed El Baradei said in an October 17 Reuters interview: "We are still where we had been a year ago. We continue to verify the freeze of the existing facilities but we haven't really made any progress with regard to verification of the past program."
In early November, however, North Korea said it would allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Isotope Production Laboratory at Yongbyon, a facility suspected of being involved in plutonium separation. Whether North Korea will allow the inspectors to investigate past activities at the facility remains unclear.
Because inspections are tied to construction milestones, as things stand the IAEA may not begin the verification process until about 2005. The IAEA's director general and senior staff estimate that it will take three to four years to conduct inspections, so the inspections might not be finished until 2008 or 2009. If pressed, though, the IAEA could act more quickly and still do the inspections adequately.
Such a delay could open the way for disruptions in the Agreed Framework's delicate balance, which could also impair the inter-Korean peace process. Mistrust of North Korea remains high in general, and from time to time the North is accused of having hidden nuclear weapons facilities (see "Under Mt. Chun-Ma," page 58).
And what if the verification process were to fail? The IAEA can only determine whether North Korea is in compliance with its safeguards agreement if it cooperates. North Korea is still deeply suspicious of the IAEA.
Given the timeline, it would be prudent for the Bush administration to try to help jump-start IAEA inspections. In his July 26, 2001 testimony before the House Committee on International Relations, Charles Pritchard, a senior State Department official, said: "Improved implementation of the Agreed Framework provisions related to North Korea's nuclear activities was one of the administration's top priorities. [North Korean] cooperation with the IAEA will become increasingly important. Although the date for delivering key nuclear components is still in the future, [North Korea] must begin active cooperation soon, to avoid serious delays in the KEDO project."
A bilateral approach
Prudence alone recommends not relying solely on the IAEA to determine whether the Korean peninsula is free of nuclear weapons. A complementary approach, based on a step-by-step process of creating North-South nuclear projects and mutual nuclear inspections, could provide valuable insurance.
The 1991 Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula calls for a joint inspection agency--the Joint Nuclear Control Commission. However, the commission has not met since 1993. North and South Korea could now reconsider mutual inspections, either formally through the commission, or informally through political and scientific channels.
Given the difficulty in implementing the Joint Declaration, a bilateral system may be best approached in an incremental way. A series of confidence-building measures could lead to a comprehensive bilateral inspection regime. Examples might be joint seminars on inspections; written assurances that North Korea intends to permit IAEA inspections anywhere, anytime; joint civil nuclear cooperation; and reciprocal visits by senior political leaders to nuclear facilities. Even if a bilateral regime were not fully realized, these steps could make significant contributions to achieving transparency and increasing cooperation.
On the other hand, a bilateral approach would risk duplication and competition with the IAEA regime. If not managed effectively, it might even provide North Korea with a pretext for delaying the fulfillment of its obligations under the Agreed Framework. And it cannot serve as a substitute for the work of the IAEA, which must still certify North Korea's compliance with its safeguards agreement.
But a bilateral approach could increase the chance that the IAEA would achieve its inspection goals and provide an independent check on its results. Bilateral inspections might start sooner and accomplish many of the same tasks, dramatically shortening the time needed by the IAEA to verify compliance. North and South Korea might be able to resolve outstanding nuclear issues more quickly and confidently than the IAEA and North Korea could. A bilateral approach might also provide early warning if North Korea does not intend to comply with its obligations.
South Korea might also be willing to provide North Korea with economic and political incentives for early cooperation on verification issues. Although these incentives would need to be evaluated carefully, they could be justified if they resulted in new initiatives.
Getting back on track
The relationship between North Korea and the United States is again plagued by serious misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and false expectations. Both sides repeatedly call on the other to make the first move, but neither has made a significant gesture. In a November 28 interview with Reuters, President Kim said: "I hope that both sides, the United States and North Korea, will be able to sit face to face and discuss these issues."
Many experts on North Korea believe that it would not take much to restart discussions between the United States and North Korea. But both sides have to find a way out of the current impasse. With so much attention devoted to the war on terrorism, however, the administration is stretched thin. The United States needs to make a concerted effort to launch a new round of bilateral negotiations with North Korea and to help foster inter-Korean reconciliation.
When it is frustrated by the glacial pace of U.S. engagement, North Korea often engages in provocations that raise tensions and cause further delays. On the other hand, North Korea has responded positively to positive U.S. steps.
Although the Bush administration should be commended for raising the importance of inspections, it must recognize that under the Agreed Framework, North Korea is not yet required to permit them. The United States and its allies should try offering North Korea something in return for early compliance--perhaps a supply of electricity from South Korea. Since 1998, North Korea has been asking for energy to compensate for the long delay in finishing the light-water reactors.
North Korea should be invited to rejoin the IAEA, which it quit in 1994 after the Board of Governors passed a resolution suspending civilian technical assistance. Restoring technical assistance could be an attractive incentive for North Korea, and might improve the relationship between the IAEA and North Korea as well as offer more opportunities for productive interactions between the North and South Korean nuclear establishments.
There are many ways to achieve progress on the Korean peninsula. But it will not happen unless the United States is willing to take part in initiating forward movement. If the Bush administration chooses not to do so, we may have to wait for North Korea to perturb the agenda.
David Albright is the president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). Holly Higgins is a research analyst at ISIS. Albright is the co-editor of Solving the North Korean Nuclear Puzzle (2000).
Sidebar: Under Mt. Chun-Ma
According to an August 2001 article in Shin Dong-A, a South Korean magazine, Choon Sun Lee, a senior North Korean military official, escaped from North Korea in 1999 and was captured by Chinese authorities and interrogated. Despite efforts by South Korea's intelligence service to bring him to South Korea, China sent him back to North Korea where, according to the magazine, he was probably executed. The magazine claims to have received a copy of the Chinese interrogation report, which was obtained by the South Korean intelligence service.
According to Choon, North Korea operates a secret uranium processing site underneath Mt. Chun-Ma. He said the tunnel entrance to the nuclear site is large and extends back into the mountain about 2.5 kilometers before it turns right and goes another kilometer to the main underground site, which is composed of many large rooms. The facility went into operation in 1989, he said.
His description of the site is detailed, although portions are technically ambiguous. ISIS conducted its own independent analysis and sent the article to several colleagues and knowledgeable officials for their opinions. The consensus is that the facility is most likely dedicated to turning uranium ore into yellowcake, a first step in preparing uranium for use in the nuclear industry. North Korea has said that it has operated uranium processing, or "milling," facilities at Pakchon and Pyongsan, and this site could be a back-up facility.
The site may also contain an underground mine, although the report says uranium ore is trucked in. The product of the facility is sent by helicopter to an underground storage facility in a valley called Pyung-An-Nam An-do Joo-si Gyo-Chang-do (translator's transliteration).
The site under Mt. Chun-Ma is about 30 kilometers from Kumchang-ni, which was the location of a suspected underground reactor or plutonium separation plant that the United States inspected in 1999 and again in 2000. Both visits revealed only an empty tunnel complex.
When the United States was first negotiating access to Kumchang-ni, U.S. officials told their North Korean counterparts that they wanted to inspect an underground facility in the general area. The North Koreans became nervous, according to one account. But when the U.S. officials told them it was the Kumchang-ni facility, the source said, North Korean officials were visibly relieved. Could the North Koreans have been worried about the discovery of the facility under Mt. Chun-Ma?
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will likely need to inspect the sites mentioned in the article once it starts its verification effort under the schedule in the Agreed Framework. Although North Korea is not under any obligation to apply IAEA safeguards to these facilities, if it refuses to permit an inspection, the IAEA will not be able to determine that it is not in violation of its commitments.
D. A. & H. H.
?2002 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
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The Future of Preemption
From the February 16, 2004 issue: The death of the Bush Doctrine has been wildly exaggerated.
by Max Boot
02/16/2004, Volume 009, Issue 22
Nations and alliances should move early to deal with crises while they are still ambiguous and can be dealt with more easily, for delay raises both the costs and risks. Early action is the objective to which statesmen and military leaders should resort.
--Wesley Clark, "Waging Modern War" (2001)
THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL PART of President Bush's National Security Strategy, unveiled in September 2002, was its mention of preemptive action against "emerging threats before they are fully formed." This has been described by foreign policy mandarins as a diplomatic earthquake that has overthrown decades, if not centuries, of devotion to the doctrines of containment and deterrence. Iraq was widely seen as the test case of this "radical," uniquely "neoconservative" approach.
Now that the occupation of Iraq is approaching the one-year mark, with still no chemical, biological, or nuclear stockpiles found, but plenty of Americans and Iraqis getting killed, learned commentators are proclaiming that the preemption doctrine has disappeared as thoroughly as Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction. As early as last summer, Morton Abramowitz, a respected former ambassador and assistant secretary of state, wrote in the Washington Post, "Preemption policy toward 'rogue states' has been eroded." Now, in the Australian, Gideon Rose, managing editor of Foreign Affairs, writes, "The Iraq mission is . . . likely to be the first and last example of preemption in action."
In light of David Kay's report that prewar U.S. intelligence about Saddam's WMD "was all wrong, probably" and various other embarrassments suffered by the Bush administration, as well as the continuing deaths of American soldiers, these arguments cannot easily be dismissed. In fact Kay himself says, "If you cannot rely on good, accurate intelligence that is credible to the American people and to others abroad, you certainly cannot have a policy of preemption." But rumors of the death of preemption are much exaggerated.
In the first place, preemptive war--or even preventive (some say preventative) war where no threat is imminent--was hardly invented by the Bush administration. It has long been an accepted option not only for the United States, but for other nations as well. In his new book, "The Breaking of Nations," Robert Cooper, a career British diplomat who is now a senior European Union official, writes that "the War of the Spanish Succession, fought to ensure that the crowns of France and Spain were not united . . . was a preventative war. No one attacked Britain; but if Britain had allowed the two countries to unite it would by then have been unable to deal with an attack from the resulting superpower."
You don't have to reach back to the 18th century for instances of preventive military action. In 1962 the Kennedy administration seriously considered a military strike to take out the Soviet missiles in Cuba, even though it was highly unlikely they would ever be fired against the United States. Kennedy wisely refrained from launching World War III, but he did undertake a naval blockade (he called it a "quarantine"), which is regarded under international law as an act of war.
Recent U.S. history is replete with smaller-scale instances of preventive action, from the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 to the invasion of Grenada in 1983. In neither case had there been a direct attack on the United States; the threats being addressed (the rise of communism in the Dominican Republic, the cultivation of Grenada as a Soviet and Cuban base) were largely speculative, and many critics charged that they were being blown out of proportion. But Presidents Johnson and Reagan, respectively, thought the dangers grave enough to risk American lives.
More recently, in 1993-94, the Clinton administration seriously considered launching a war to prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons. Clinton didn't act that time, but in 1998 he did launch strikes against al Qaeda training bases in Afghanistan, a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, and various Iraqi military installations. The attack on Afghanistan might be seen as a punitive strike since it came after al Qaeda had bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. But the Sudan strike was mainly preemptive. As recounted by former National Security Council staffers Daniel Benjamin and Steve Simon in their book "The Age of Sacred Terror," the pharmaceutical plant was targeted because it was suspected of making chemical weapons for al Qaeda. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said he wanted to take it out before nerve gas showed up on the New York City subway.
The Clinton administration launched another preventive war the following year by attacking Serbia in cooperation with its NATO allies. When the military operation started, the ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars was only just beginning. The NATO action, as Gen. Wesley Clark later testified, "was designed to preempt Serb ethnic cleansing and regional destabilization" (italics added). We are today keeping thousands of soldiers in Bosnia and Kosovo, not because there is a war going on but to avert another war from breaking out.
Yet many pundits argue with a straight face that the Bush administration invented preemption. What the Bushies did is simply bring out into the open and make explicit what had been implicit all along: "To forestall or prevent . . . hostile acts by our adversaries," in the words of the National Security Strategy, "the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively." It may be argued that it was unwise to turn what had been de facto into de jure policy. There is no question that, with its bold declaration, the National Security Strategy has alarmed much of the world and some of the American public. It's given rise to nightmare scenarios in which the United States goes around, willy-nilly, invading countries on trumped-up charges and other countries, too, invade their neighbors under the banner of preemption.
The fact that neither has come to pass since the Iraq war last year is hardly proof that such fears are unfounded, but it does, at the very least, indicate they are overblown. India isn't about to nuke Pakistan, claiming a right of preemption. Nations take life-or-death decisions based on their own circumstances, not on what the United States does. The National Security Strategy has not shredded international law or age-old norms of international conduct. The exact conditions that applied in the war on Iraq--a decade-long history chockfull of instances where Saddam broke promises and violated international law--do not apply elsewhere, which helps explain why Bush targeted Iraq and not other rogue states like Iran or North Korea (or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia).
The alarm created by the Bush Doctrine is not entirely a bad thing. It's not only our friends who are worried. So are our enemies. This helps explain Muammar Qaddafi's sudden willingness to give up his WMD arsenal, lest he too wind up in a spider hole trying to evade Delta Force. This may also explain the Iranian mullahs' willingness to accept greater international scrutiny of their nuclear program.
How does this balance out? Do the deterrence benefits of preemption outweigh its public relations costs? Does the image of strength that America projects in the Middle East offset the image of lawlessness that America projects in Europe? At this point it's impossible to say. But whether or not American leaders continue to trumpet a policy of preemption (Bush did not mention it last month in his State of the Union address), it will remain in the presidential toolkit because there is no other plausible alternative for dealing with the mega-dangers we now face. To quote Robert Cooper again: "It would be irresponsible to do nothing while even one further country acquires nuclear capability. Nor is it good enough to wait until that country acquires the bomb. By then the costs of military action may be too high. Hence the doctrine of preventative action in the U.S. National Security Strategy."
But what about the costs of preventive action? Aren't they also too high, as numerous critics of the Iraq war assert? Again, it's impossible to say, because we don't know what would have happened had Saddam Hussein remained in power. It's possible that the policy of containment would have worked, but it seems unlikely. Remember that containment was failing before Bush came into office. Russia, France, and other countries that would sing the joys of sanctions as an alternative to military action in 2002-03 were strongly lobbying, before military action was on the table, to relax or lift sanctions altogether. And the United States and Britain likely would have gone along at some point, if only because the costs of containment were so high. Containment kept tens of thousands of troops surrounding Iraq and dozens of warplanes patrolling the no-fly zones. It also meant conniving in a policy under which the Iraqi people were starved of milk and medicine even while Saddam continued to build all the palaces his sick heart desired. The "oil-for-palaces" program, as one military wag dubbed it, was not a sustainable long-term policy, morally or politically. Something had to give.
Based on what we now know, Saddam had kept at least the nucleus of his WMD program intact, waiting for the day when world attention would wander and he would be free to rebuild his fearsome capacity. According to David Kay's testimony, he was concentrating on developing long-range missiles, in the expectation that warheads would come later. The fact that his nuclear program was less advanced than was commonly believed does not mean he was harmless. As the examples of Iran, Libya, and North Korea demonstrate (all instances where the CIA underestimated WMD development), it is distressingly easy these days to buy nuclear-weapons technology on the black market. Given Iraq's oil wealth, if sanctions had been relaxed, Saddam Hussein would have had the financial resources to become a nuclear menace overnight--as he had almost succeeded in doing before the 1991 Gulf War. It would have been irresponsible of President Bush not to act. (Incidentally, Bush is pilloried by Democrats for not acting on much sketchier evidence before the attacks of September 11.)
None of this is meant to excuse the intelligence lapses that occurred before the war or the nation-building lapses that occurred afterwards. Both are real problems. Bush's commitment to launch an independent probe is a good sign. The United States desperately needs to improve its intelligence and peacekeeping capabilities, though it must be said that no intelligence agency or nation-building bureaucracy could possibly achieve the level of prescience demanded by America's critics. In particular, if as David Kay suggests, Iraqi generals and possibly even Saddam Hussein himself were fooled by corrupt scientists into thinking that they had WMD, how was the CIA supposed to conclude otherwise?
Still, the criticisms of Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, et al., for their prewar claims regarding weapons of mass destruction carry a good bit of sting. The American public and especially other nations may well be wary, absent ironclad proof of a sort that rarely exists, about accepting a future administration's claims that another nation poses a WMD or terrorist threat. This, however, remains mainly a theoretical danger since, for now at least, there is a considerable degree of unanimity between America and its major allies that both Iran and North Korea pose unacceptable risks of nuclear proliferation. Bush has had no problems in getting 10 allies, including Germany and France, to join the Proliferation Security Initiative aimed at forestalling such dangers--another relatively unheralded example of preventive action.
Which is not to say that Bush could get Germany and France to agree to an invasion of Iran or North Korea, even if he were so inclined, which he's not. Yet the fundamental reality is that failed states and rogue states are the biggest challenges faced by the West in the post-Cold War era. There is no reason to think that either deterrence or sanctions are sufficient to deal with these threats. That leaves preemption--a policy urged by no less an authority than Wesley Clark before his foray into politics. Obviously, if the only thing preemption can mean is an Iraq-size occupation, it is not an option that can be hauled out very often. But what if preemption is understood to include military strikes, coalition occupations, and political/diplomatic action?
Many critics and even some supporters of the Bush administration have fostered the illusion that preemption means large-scale military actions on the model of Afghanistan or Iraq, period. This is not what the Bush administration itself intends. While preemptive military action has received all the attention, it actually forms only a small part of Bush's National Security Strategy. Just look at the chapter headings of the strategy: "Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity," "Strengthen Alliances to Defeat Global Terrorism and Work to Prevent Attacks Against Us and Our Friends," "Work with others to Defuse Regional Conflicts," "Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction," "Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through Free Markets and Free Trade," "Expand the Circle of Development by Opening Societies and Building the Infrastructure of Democracy," "Develop Agendas for Cooperative Action with the Other Main Centers of Global Power," "Transform America's National Security Institutions to Meet the Challenges and Opportunities of the Twenty-First Century."
Many of these priorities--in particular, expanding capitalism and democracy--are "preemptive" in the broadest sense: They are intended to transform other societies so they will not threaten us in the future. This is not just lofty rhetoric. As seen from Bush's continual harping on the need to spread democracy to the Middle East, the president views this as a major priority, because he understands that catching terrorists isn't enough. We need to stop new recruits from joining the terrorist cause. This is the kind of preemption that should have the widest possible support not only from the president's usual backers but also from Democrats and the French.
Specific actions to push regime change in places like Iran and North Korea are far more controversial. But, whatever happens in Iraq, the United States retains a host of options when it comes to advancing the cause of freedom in nonmilitary ways--by supporting political dissidents, stepping up radio and television broadcasts, and using economic and diplomatic pressure to undermine totalitarian regimes. In other words, the sort of strategy we pursued against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. That policy was hardly limited to passive "containment," as some revisionists now claim. Ronald Reagan waged political, economic, and moral warfare on the "evil empire," and even sponsored proxy wars, but he prudently refrained from direct military attacks. His is a preemptive strategy we can and should apply around the world today.
Timely intelligence about WMD programs in other countries is not strictly essential to this policy. We should aim to hasten the demise of the regimes of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Kim Jong Il because those regimes' very existence threatens the people of those countries, neighboring states, and, indirectly, the United States, regardless of their precise current chemical, biological, or nuclear capacity. The regimes themselves are weapons of mass destruction. If this policy had been carried out a little more aggressively before 2003--if George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush had provided more support to anti-Baathist Iraqis--an invasion of Iraq might never have been necessary.
Of course military action can never be ruled out, not least because the very threat of armed intervention makes our diplomacy much more potent. But military action doesn't have to mean hundreds of thousands of troops garrisoning a state for decades. The Israelis showed in 1981, when they bombed Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor, how effective a pinprick strike can be. If the Israelis hadn't acted, the world would have faced a nuclear-armed Iraq when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1991. Unfortunately, various rogue states have taken note of the Osirak example and have taken pains to shield their WMD facilities from air strikes. But during the past two decades the American military's targeting capabilities have advanced immeasurably. The Osirak option remains viable, especially if coupled with a limited insertion of ground troops to direct the airstrikes and oversee the eradication of the suspect facilities.
Special Forces, with or without airstrikes, form another powerful tool to be used against our foes. They are in fact hunting suspected terrorists around the world every day. Not even John Kerry could possibly disagree with this example of preemption.
What about full-scale occupation and nation-building? Is this off the table after Iraq? By no means. In the first place the utility of this option might seem very different in a few years' time if, knock on wood, Iraq becomes a functioning democracy. In the second place, the trend toward international occupations of failed states started long before Iraq. Since the end of the Cold War, Cambodia, Somalia, East Timor, Haiti, Kosovo, Bosnia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, the Solomon Islands, and Afghanistan have been occupied for varying lengths of time by foreign peacekeepers. Western countries, including the United States, have no choice but to try to restore some semblance of order in these failed states, lest their problems give rise to WMD development, terrorism, contagious disease, or refugee flows. The trick is to intervene in such a way that the United States doesn't wind up shouldering a disproportionate share of the costs, as it has in Iraq. The obvious answer--easy to formulate, hard to execute--is to build more of an international consensus behind such interventions. This may not have been possible in the case of Iraq, since Gerhard Schr?der and Jacques Chirac were dead set against military action, but it should be more doable in other instances.
In the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs, Lee Feinstein and Anne-Marie Slaughter argue for revising international law--which currently respects national sovereignty above all--to create an obligation for outside intervention should a state commit crimes against humanity, develop WMD, or shelter terrorists. They argue that "the biggest problem with the Bush preemption strategy may be that it does not go far enough," because it doesn't advocate a global "duty to prevent" wrongdoing.
These aren't the ravings of crackpots, warmongers, or neocons. Feinstein served in the Clinton State Department and today is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Slaughter is dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and president of the Society of International Law. They're both liberals, but they realize there is an overwhelming imperative for "early and effective collective action" when "faced with the prospect, as in Iraq, of a brutal ruler acquiring nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction."
Here's a counterintuitive possibility: The Iraq war, by showing the limits of national sovereignty, may wind up expanding preemptive interventions rather than extinguishing them. Sure, this is speculation. But while it may be premature to suggest that the ideas advocated by Feinstein and Slaughter will become reality, it's no more premature than claiming that preemption is finished. In all likelihood, it's only just begun.
Max Boot is Olin senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
? Copyright 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.
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It's Not Always What You Know
From the February 16, 2004 issue: In the nonproliferation arena, political failures outweigh intelligence blunders.
by Henry Sokolski
02/16/2004, Volume 009, Issue 22
BOTH ZEALOUS CRITICS and supporters of President Bush's war against Saddam seem finally to have agreed on one thing--the Central Intelligence Agency goofed. The president's own Iraq weapons sleuth, David Kay, now asserts that our intelligence on Iraq was simply wrong, that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction in 2003. This intelligence failure must be corrected, it is argued, lest we make fresh mistakes against the strategic weapons programs in North Korea and Iran. Hence, President Bush's announcement last week of a special panel to investigate our intelligence agencies' performance on Iraq.
Implicit in all this is a belief that our government cannot succeed in its fight against proliferation of WMD unless our information on other countries' covert weapons programs is dramatically improved. "Pristine intelligence--good, accurate intelligence--is a fundamental benchstone of any sort of policy of preemption to even be thought about," as David Kay said. This seems plausible. What serious policymaker would insist on getting less intelligence?
Ultimately, however, the clamor for more specific proliferation information is wrongheaded. Washington's problem isn't its sorry supply of good tactical intelligence on covert strategic weapons programs. Such intelligence has rarely been good and is unlikely to get much better. Instead, the challenge in nonproliferation has been the dearth of senior officials willing to respond to the generally sound strategic warnings our intelligence agencies produce years before any proliferation becomes a crisis. Far from heeding such warnings, policymakers often wish them away. This unwillingness to act on early intelligence warnings is the exact opposite of the problem everyone is now focusing on.
Our intelligence agencies have in fact never been very good at pinpointing specific proliferation activities. U.S. intelligence got cold-cocked by the Soviets' first nuclear test in 1949; by India's nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998; by Israel's nuclear weapons deception efforts in the 1960s; and by Iraq's, Iran's, Pakistan's, and North Korea's strategic weapons programs in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. All these tactical intelligence failures, though, were predictable. Unlike monitoring conventional arsenals--military forces that are hard to hide and rarely worrisome unless they're quite large--tracking small (but more deadly) covert missile, nuclear, biological, and chemical programs is highly prone to error. That's why the spread of these latter capabilities is a much greater threat than the acquisition of more common military systems.
Trying to fix this intelligence weakness--the presumed aim of the Iraq intelligence investigations--may not be a fool's errand, but it's unlikely to succeed. Certainly, by the time our intelligence agencies could ever prove they knew exactly what other nations had in the way of strategic weapons capabilities and identified precisely where these capabilities were, the only options left to reverse what they had discovered would be to bomb or bribe--extreme measures neither of which is very attractive.
Washington has long grappled with this truth. In some cases, it has done well. With Taiwan's, South Korea's, and Ukraine's nuclear weapons aspirations and the large-rocket ambitions of Argentina, Iraq, Egypt, and South Africa, U.S. officials chose to act upon receiving the earliest strategic intelligence warnings. None of these countries completed the programs it began; all were quietly nipped in the bud.
More often, though, U.S. officials have taken a more cowardly course, downplaying initial proliferation reports, especially when they involved nations Washington wanted to engage. Thus, U.S. officials were skeptical of the early intelligence that highlighted Israel's nuclear program in the 1960s, Iraq's and South Africa's nuclear weapons activities in the late 1970s, Pakistan's nuclear weapons efforts in the 1980s, and Iran's and North Korea's in the 1990s. Early evidence of China's, Russia's, and, more recently, Pakistan's illicit strategic assistance to these nations was similarly viewed with reservation.
This caution did little to encourage intelligence analysts tracking these proliferators. Thankfully, though, after 9/11, this reluctance receded: For the first time, a president publicly emphasized the desirability of acting against proliferators whenever and wherever practical. This helped put fighting proliferation back on the policy map, but it also had a downside: The increased interest in reporting proliferation developments focused attention on what little tactical information we had.
In the case of Iraq--a nation with a clear intent and history of acquiring and using strategic weapons capabilities and a persistent and annoying habit of openly defying U.N. inspections and dismantlement resolutions--policymakers and intelligence analysts leaned forward, emphasizing specifics that turned out to be wrong. Many of Saddam's strategic weapons capabilities, it now appears, were either dismantled in the early 1990s or bombed during Clinton's second term.
This gaffe is hardly good news, but it's not nearly as bad as Washington pundits are making it out to be. As they see it, the lesson to be learned (and, if we are not careful, to be driven home by the newly announced investigations) is that the United States must be more cautious in acting against proliferation, lest it repeat the Iraqi error. And what error was this? Attacking Saddam on the basis of insufficient proliferation intelligence.
Yet, surely, this was not our key mistake. Instead, it was waiting as long as we did to act against Saddam's strategic weapons ambitions and his hostility to us, the U.N., and his own population. We had abundant strategic intelligence on this, and had it for two decades or more, but we chose to ignore it. Instead, we actually supported Saddam financially and militarily and sent him the dual-use goods he needed to pursue his strategic weapons programs.
Had we taken a different course when the first intelligence reports emerged about his nuclear ambitions 25 years ago (and his subsequent military buildup), we might have been able to avoid not just one, but both wars we waged against him. The problem wasn't a lack of intelligence on Saddam's strategic weapons programs. It was a lack of will to use the sound strategic warnings we had.
Certainly, before investigations get underway and recommendations start flying to centralize our intelligence agencies further and spend ever more money on more layers of management and new sources of intelligence, we would do well to focus on our uneven use of accurate early warnings. In the end, knowledge of proliferation specifics is the least of our problems.
Henry Sokolski is the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and editor with Patrick Clawson of "Checking Iran's Nuclear Ambitions" (Army War College, 2004).
? Copyright 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.


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USAWC STRATEGY RESEARCH PROJECT
"ALL NECESSARY MEANS" - EMPLOYING CIA OPERATIVES IN A WARFIGHTING ROLE
ALONGSIDE SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES
by
COLONEL KATHRYN STONE
United States Army
Professor Anthony R. Williams
Project Advisor
The views expressed in this academic research paper are those of the
author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the
U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or any of its agencies.
U.S. Army War College
CARLISLE BARRACKS, PENNSYLVANIA 17013
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ABSTRACT
AUTHOR: Colonel Kathryn Stone
TITLE: "ALL NECESSARY MEANS" - EMPLOYING CIA OPERATIVES IN A
WARFIGHTING ROLE ALONGSIDE SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES
FORMAT: Strategy Research Project
DATE: 07 April 2003 PAGES: 55 CLASSIFICATION: Unclassified
In response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001, the President -- as both Commander-in-Chief and as authorized by Congress in Joint Resolution 23 -- ordered our armed forces into combat in order to disrupt and defeat the global terror network. The President concomitantly signed a Presidential Finding directing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to use all necessary means to destroy Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. As a consequence of these orders, CIA paramilitary operatives have been performing a warfighting role alongside Special Operations Forces (SOF) in the war against terrorism. This strategy research paper explores the respective roles and missions of the CIA and SOF, their legal authority to execute their assigned missions, the policy advantages and disadvantages of integrating their warfighting operations in combat, and the legal and operational ramifications of such integrated combat operations. The paper concludes that integrated combat operations between the CIA and SOF are an appropriate template for warfare in certain situations, provided we develop and adhere to clear, well-understood criteria to manage this CIA-SOF warfighting relationship.
The war against terrorism is a fight for the preservation of our national interests and values, our way of life, and the very future of our country. We must employ every element of national power -- all necessary means -- in its prosecution. While managing the CIA-SOF warfighting relationship will present significant challenges, those challenges can be minimized in a manner that both preserves the combatant commander's flexibility and capitalizes on each agency's strengths and capabilities.

PREFACE
This paper is dedicated to Judge Advocates everywhere who toil industriously but unremarked in loyal support and defense of our country and the rule of law.
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"ALL NECESSARY MEANS" - EMPLOYING CIA OPERATIVES IN A WARFIGHTING ROLE
ALONGSIDE SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES
I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.
?Nathan Hale
This research paper looks at the separate roles, missions, and responsibilities of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) paramilitary operatives and the Department of Defense (DOD) Special Operations Forces (SOF); the new and apparently ad hoc policy of integrating their operations together in combat; and the legal ramifications of such warfighting integration. This paper will be based on open source materials and media accounts of the CIA's involvement in the war against terrorism. This paper is intended as a general discussion vehicle for those legal issues associated with the employment of CIA paramilitary operatives in a warfighting role alongside SOF, and does not purport to speak with any operational authority regarding the conduct of CIA activities; nor does it discuss the wide range of traditional CIA activities that might be involved in the war against terrorism.
On September 11, 1999, a small number of operatives from the CIA were in Afghanistan. They were there in a non-combat mode for the purpose of recruiting sources, supporting anti- Taliban warlords and their operations, liaising with members of the Northern Alliance,1 and generating intelligence on Osama bin Laden2 and his Al Qaeda3 terrorist organization. 4 Two years later, on September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorist hijackers who flew three airliners into both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked airliner, heading in the direction of Washington, D.C., crashed instead in a rural section of Pennsylvania.5 These terrorist acts6 killed over 3000 people and caused an estimated national economic loss of over $ 33 billion.7 The evidence soon concluded that these acts of terrorism -- which amounted to an act of war8 -- were committed by members of the terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda, and masterminded by Osama bin Laden.
On September 14, 2001, the United States Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing the President of the United States, George W. Bush, to "use all necessary and appropriate force" against those who were involved in the terrorist attacks that occurred against the U.S. on
2
September 11, 2001.9 Close in time, President Bush signed a Memorandum of Notification* ordering the CIA to "use all necessary means" to destroy bin Laden and Al Qaeda.10 Consequently, CIA paramilitary teams were on the ground in Afghanistan "within days" of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, "trained not just to observe conditions but if need be to change them," according to the CIA Deputy Director for Operations.11 President Bush's Finding ordering the CIA to "use all necessary means" to destroy bin Laden and Al Qaeda meant the inserted CIA officers were legally free to identify Taliban and Al Qaeda targets for the Northern Alliance to attack; to accompany Northern Alliance and U.S. SOF units (when they arrived) on their combat missions against the Taliban; and to call in U.S. airstrikes against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.12
On September 24, 2001, a few days after the Presidential Finding, President Bush, acting pursuant to his Constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander-in- Chief and Chief Executive, ordered the deployment of various combat equipped and combat support forces to several foreign nations in the Central and Pacific command areas of operations in order to prevent and deter further acts of terrorism.13 Two weeks later, on October 7, 2001, President Bush announced that he had ordered the U.S. military to begin strikes against Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and Taliban14 military installations in Afghanistan in order to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.15
CIA paramilitary operatives entered Afghanistan on 26 September 200116 ahead of U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) in order to link up with Northern Alliance17 forces, secure helicopter landing zones for follow-on SOF, and guide SOF teams -- who arrived with their arsenal of laser target designators to enable U.S. aircraft to strike Taliban positions -- to the enemy.18 These CIA officers were inserted ahead of the SOF because of their ability to get on the ground quickly, their language skills and knowledge of the terrain, and their existing contacts with anti-Taliban groups.19 At the same time, U.S. military forces continued to flow quickly into Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and the Arabian Sea, while the CIA continued to increase its activity in the region, adding logistics hubs, communication sites, and command and control centers and capabilities. All of this CIA paramilitary activity -- identifying targets, accompanying the Northern Alliance and SOF into combat, calling in airstrikes -- amounts to a warfighting role in the war against terrorism that continues today.
* Commonly known as a Presidential Finding.
3
CURRENT UNITED STATES POLICY
OBJECTIVE (ENDS)
The President's strategic objective is to win the global war on terrorism by employing all instruments of national power at his command, not just military power: "We will direct every resource at our command - every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence and every necessary weapon of war - to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network."20 The important point about the President's objective ("end") is that the war on terrorism is global in nature and directs multiple elements of U.S. national power against all terrorists who threaten U.S. interests; the war is not just about the destruction or capture of Al Qaeda.21 This integration of all elements of national power is also one of the unifying themes of the 2002 National Military Strategy (pre-decisional draft) - to integrate military activities and operations with activities across the interagency spectrum.22
WAYS
Although CIA operatives have worked with U.S. military forces in the past,23 their current warfighting operations in Afghanistan constitute the Agency's "most sweeping and lethal" covert action since its statutory founding in 1947 and signal a major return to the Agency's paramilitary involvement in armed conflicts.24 This new policy, or course of action -- using CIA paramilitary operatives in a warfighting role alongside SOF (e.g., calling in airstrikes, accompanying SOF and Northern Alliance groups on combat missions, and other clandestine combat operations) -- epitomizes the President's determination to win the war on terrorism using all elements of national power, and constitutes "unprecedented" coordination between the CIA and SOF military units.25
According to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, administration officials have said that President Bush has "pledged to dispatch military units to take advantage of the CIA's latest and best intelligence."26 For example, according to one reporter, Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writer, it took just 316 SOF soldiers* to oust the Taliban from power, with nearly every Ateam including one or two CIA operatives.27 Priest even describes a mission briefing given by a CIA operative to both CIA and SOF personnel.28 Other U.S. sources have said that SOF have been "seconded" to the CIA for paramilitary operations in Afghanistan.29 In his book, Bush at War, Bob Woodward quotes the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard B. * Eighteen A-teams, four company-level units and three battalion-level commands, all reporting to a Joint Special Operations Task Force in Karshi, Uzbekistan, 100 miles north of the Afghanistan border.
4
Myers, as telling President Bush, "We're ready to put Special Forces on the ground with CIA forces."30 Woodward also quotes "Hank," the CIA's counterterrorism special operations chief, as saying in a message to CIA assets in the field that, among other things, "we are fighting for the future of CIA/DOD integrated counterterrorism warfare around the globe . . . [w]hile we will make mistakes as we chart new territory and new methodology, our objectives are clear, and our concept of partnership is sound."31
Regardless of who is seconded to whom, however, it is clear that the war in Afghanistan highlights not just the tight integration, but also the erosion of distinctions between SOF and the CIA in the war against terrorism. Past administrations made more of an effort to differentiate between military combat activities and CIA missions.32 In the war on terrorism, however, the Bush Administration has gradually blurred these distinctive lines in response to an asymmetrical, non-State threat that requires greater coordination and cooperation among intelligence, military, and law enforcement officials.33
RESOURCES/MEANS
To accomplish his strategic objective and resource this course of action, President Bush ordered the use of all necessary means.34 This order in turn generated an operationally-driven ad hoc relationship between CIA paramilitary operatives and SOF on the ground in Afghanistan that resulted in improved lethality and agility on the battlefield stemming from each group's distinct contribution to warfighting. For example, Jim Pavitt, head of the CIA's clandestine service, acknowledged publicly in a speech that the CIA's covert operations inside Afghanistan immediately after September 11 paved the way for follow-on SOF and the resulting rout of the Taliban in the fall of 2001.35 Clearly then, working together, the CIA's and SOF's respective capabilities complimented each other in a manner sufficient to ensure the defeat of the Taliban. According to one author, this new type of operation involving "fastmoving CIA paramilitary teams" and SOF may well "serve as a model for future encounters against terrorism in other parts of the world . . . [t]he dramatic success of specialized use of reconnaissance weapons and a dynamic, small-unit combat strategy obviated" the need to deploy large numbers of ground troops.36
Clearly, the full spectrum dominance bought with this CIA-SOF integration of warfighting capabilities has produced a new, successful battlefield synergy. Improving the ways of warfighting by integrating all means has resulted in a synergy that has not only succeeded, but that has transformed the traditional view on the prosecution of armed conflict.
5
RISKS
This multidimensional integration is not without significant legal and operational risks, however. The CIA and SOF communities possess very distinct identities and mandates, with separate legal authorities, operating structures, and methods of organization. Though this relationship between the DOD and CIA has been successful to date, and was praised by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (who was also Secretary of Defense in the mid-1970s) in February 2002 as "good as I've ever seen it . . . They've got a darn good record . . . .,"37 the relationship has not been without problems that deserve attention. To understand the context of these problems and their associated issues, however, this paper must first review the statutory basis, and roles and missions, of the DOD, SOF and the CIA.
DOD AND CIA AUTHORITIES AND MISSIONS
Separate groups of Constitutional authorities, statutory authorities and responsibilities, and executive orders separate the CIA and DOD/SOF, which in turn delineate separate divisions of responsibility for national security.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Legal Authority
Constitutional. The legal authority for the existence of the armed forces is set forth in Articles I and II of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, Article I, Section 8, provides that the Congress shall have the power to raise and support Armies, to provide and maintain a Navy, and to make rules for the government and regulation of the same. Article II, Section 2, provides that the President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.38 Statutory (U.S. Code). While the U.S. Constitution provides the overarching genesis of authority for the armed forces, Title 10 of the United States Code fills in the blanks by codifying in more concrete terms the statutory authority, and broad missions and functions, of DOD.39 Roles and Missions DOD Writ Large. Of more practical daily use is the delineation of DOD's mission statement in DOD Directive 5100.1, Functions of the Department of Defense and its Major Components. Specifically, as prescribed by higher authority (i.e., U.S. Code Title 10), the DOD "shall maintain and employ Armed Forces to: Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; ensure, by timely and effective military action (emphasis added by author), the security of the United States, its possessions, and areas vital
6
to its interests; and uphold and advance the national policies and interests of the United States.40
SOF. Wartime special operations conducted by U.S. armed forces are as old as the American Revolutionary War, in which General George Washington approved a plan for several of his soldiers to capture the traitor Benedict Arnold and return him to American control.41 In 1986, as part of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act,42 Congress consolidated all SOF from all the services into one new command, the U.S. Special Operations Command. This reorganization resulted in large part from the failed 1980 Desert One operation to rescue American hostages in Iran, which exposed shortfalls in the training and equipping of SOF and highlighted in tragic form the neglect that the covert side of warfare had suffered for far too long.43
SOF forces conduct special operations missions and activities in war and peace, either independent from or integrated with conventional military operations.44 While special operations encompass the use of small units in direct or indirect military actions, they are usually focused on strategic and operational objectives, which are frequently shaped by political-military considerations, thereby requiring "clandestine, covert, or low-visibility techniques and oversight at the national level."45 SOF units consist of combinations of specialized personnel, training, equipment, and tactics that exceed the routine capabilities of conventional military forces.46 Importantly, unless otherwise directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, a special operations activity or mission is supposed to ["shall"] be conducted under the command of the unified combatant commander47 in whose geographic area the activity or mission is to be conducted.48 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's recent change establishing the U.S. Special Operations Command as both a supported and supporting command may require a change to Title 10 of the U.S. Code.
The current National Military Strategy of the United States provides that the Armed Forces "are the Nation's instrument for ensuring our security," their primary purpose is to "defeat" threats of violence against the U.S. should deterrence fail, and their foremost task is to "fight and win our Nation's wars."49 The Pre-Decisional Draft of the 2002 National Military Strategy of the United States of America, dated 19 September 2002, continues the theme of the previous strategy by stating that our national military objectives remain, among other things, to "defend the Nation" and "win the Nation's wars."50 However, the Constitution does not dictate how (ways) our country should be protected, or what our national security establishment should specifically look like. This flexibility in national defense has produced various statutory and regulatory forms
7
of national security organization, to include the National Security Act of 1947,51 which is codified in portions of Titles 10, 32 and 50 of the United States Code.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Legal Authority
Statutory (U.S. Code). The legal basis for the CIA is set forth in the National Security Act of 1947, which established the CIA and the DOD, among other agencies.52 Constitutional. Intelligence operations are as old as our Nation, as noted in the 64th Federalist, which "commended" the new U.S. Constitution, in granting power to the President to make treaties, for providing the means (resources) "by which the President could `manage the
business of intelligence in such a manner as prudence may suggest.'"53
Roles and Missions
Definition of Covert Action. One of the CIA's several missions, among other duties and responsibilities related to intelligence functions, is to conduct special activities approved by the President.54 Special Activities were defined by President Reagan in Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities, dated December 4, 1981, and still in effect, as "activities conducted in support of national foreign policy objectives abroad which are planned and executed so that the role of the United States Government is not apparent or acknowledged publicly."55 In fact, no agency except the CIA may conduct any special activity unless the President directs such, and the CIA itself must have a Presidential Finding in order to conduct special activities or covert action.56 The U.S. military may also conduct special activities during a time of war declared by Congress or during any period covered by a report from the President to the Congress under the War Powers Resolution.57
According to one author, Executive Order 12333's reference to "special activities" is a euphemism for "covert action."58 In fact, 10 years later, in the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991, Congress provided a detailed definition of covert action that closely resembles the definition of "special activities" in Executive Order 12333, specifically: an "activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include . . . traditional . . . military activities or routine support to such activities."59 This language -- the definition of covert action in the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act -- is mirrored in Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 413b(e)60and remains
8
the controlling legal definition for covert action today, even though Executive Order 12333 -- and its definition of "special activities" -- remains effective as well. In plain language, then, covert action is action designed to produce certain results in foreign countries without such action being clearly and openly identified with the United States. Accordingly, because it can be a convenient and stealthy tool for the execution of foreign policy, covert action has been the traditional tool of U.S. Presidents when confronted with problems that have not responded to other tools of statecraft pressure.61 Former Director of Central Intelligence Stansfield Turner explained it best when he stated, "Covert action is not intelligence. Covert action is the conduct of foreign policy. Its object is to affect the course of events, not to inform our policy makers about events."62 Further, the most extreme form of covert action -- paramilitary operations -- can be described as secret wars, according to David Isenberg, a research associate at the Washington-based Cato Institute Project on Military Procurement.63 Legal Authority for Covert Action. Interestingly, the National Security Act of 1947 did not explicitly indicate that the CIA as an agency should or would engage in covert action, nor did it specify therein that covert action is one of the CIA's assigned missions.64 In fact, nowhere in the Act was covert action mentioned, although some have argued that the Act's legislative history indicates an intention for the CIA to collect intelligence by engaging in espionage (vice covert action) abroad.65
Accordingly, the CIA's covert action mission, and underlying capability attendant thereto, have an ambiguous foundation. Nevertheless, successive Presidential administrations have found statutory authority for the CIA to conduct covert action in an obscure phrase in the agency's basic charter, wherein the "CIA is given the duty `to perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.'"66 The U.S. Congress "acquiesced" in this interpretation;67 and early National Security Council directives during the Cold War instructed the CIA to conduct paramilitary operations as part of the U.S. effort to contain the former Soviet Union.68 During the 1950's, "more and more covert operations were assigned to the CIA because State and Defense did not want to do them in the open or because the simplest and fastest way to get something done was to assign the job to the secret arm."69
Interestingly, the CIA's first general counsel, Lawrence R. Houston, who helped draft the Act establishing the CIA, has stated that the clause permitting the CIA to engage in "such other functions" referred only to intelligence collection and not to covert action, and that the CIA was stretching the law's original intent by using the "such other functions" clause to justify covert action.70 According to Houston, "all during this drafting of the Act, all during the presentations to
9
congressional committees, there was no mention of covert action. . . It was entirely intelligence . . . That was [to be] the sole product."71 After the Act was passed into law, however, and at the request of Truman administration officials, Houston wrote a legal opinion stating that the CIA could legally execute covert action if the President gave it a directive to do so and if Congress funded the action. 72
Thus began the dawn of CIA covert actions, and U.S. Presidents have "systematically employed [the CIA] as a mechanism through which they can . . . carry out military actions (emphasis added) without the armed forces."73 The Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991, codified in Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 413 and discussed above, further solidified in statute the definition of, and authority to conduct, covert action. One type of covert action that closely resembles military action is the CIA's paramilitary operations, or, according to one author, "unconventional warfare: to support or stimulate armed resistance elements in their homeland against the regime in power, or to employ irregular troops to invade a country and unseat its regime - or a combination of both."74 The President may not authorize the conduct of a covert action, however, unless he determines such an action is necessary to support identifiable foreign policy objectives of the United States and is important to the national security of the United States. That determination must be set forth in a written finding.75 Further, each finding must specify each agency or other U.S. Government entity that is authorized to fund or otherwise participate in any significant way in such covert action,76 and no finding may authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States.77 CIA Support to Military Operations. While America's history of covert action dates back to the colonial era, when Revolutionary officials conspired with certain Bermuda officials to "obtain" a store of gunpowder from the Royal Arsenal at Bermuda,78 the "CIA's" history of support to U.S. military operations is also not new, but began immediately upon the birth of the CIA's predecessor agency.
"CIA" support to military operations originated during World War II, with the creation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which built for its own use a covert paramilitary force.79 OSS officers ran commando operations in Europe, acted as guides in the Allied landings in North Africa in 1942, conducted sabotage to support the Allied landings in Normandy in 1944, established effective intelligence sources and networks, provided technical and logisticalsupport to resistance groups and fighters, and worked to coordinate paramilitary activities with conventional military operations.80 Of note is the fact that OSS agents also received instructions from military commanders, and "reported on the results of sabotage missions and the effectiveness of Allied bombing."81 According to Charles D. Ameringer in his book, U.S. Foreign
10
Intelligence - The Secret Side of American History, OSS field activities were under the control of the theater commanders.82
CIA paramilitary operatives continued to operate with U.S. military forces in Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War, and in recent years the Agency has actually been tasked to provide direct support to military operations and deployments.83 With the exponential growth in U.S. military peacekeeping deployments in the 1990s, there was a concomitant need by the Armed Forces for ever more tactical intelligence support, and President William Clinton supported that need by issuing a 1995 Presidential Order (Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) - 35) instructing the Intelligence Community to provide the military with the tactical intelligence it needed.84 During a visit to CIA headquarters a few months after issuing PDD-35, President Clinton explained his directive and emphasized that the intelligence community's "first priority was to support `the intelligence needs of our military during an operation,' and that commanders in the field needed `prompt, thorough intelligence to fully inform their decisions and maximize the security of our troops.'"85
According to CIA officials, however, this resulted in a "diversion of shrinking national strategic (emphasis added) intelligence resources to growing, tactical (emphasis added) missions."86 Despite other warnings from intelligence community officials that DOD budgetary cuts were forcing the armed forces to "trim [their] tactical intelligence programs" and thereby shift their work to the "national" intelligence services, Congress did not resist this "shift of national means to tactical ends."87 Whether this is a smart move in the long run is not within the scope of this paper. However, as will be discussed later in this paper, U.S. Central Command is successfully fighting the war against terrorism by using the CIA, a national strategic resource (means), in an operational/tactical-level warfight (ways) in order to achieve both the President's strategic objective (win the war on terrorism) and the operational-level objective (disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a safe haven for terrorists and destroy the military capability of the Taliban and Al Qaeda).
COVERT ACTION WITHIN DOD
Integrated CIA-SOF combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom have transcended the typical forms of unconventional warfare performed by each agency and have even been described as a new template for warfare. Despite the successful resurgence of CIA paramilitary covert action in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, however, one CIA veteran has told Bob Woodward of the Washington Post that the CIA is "not fully equipped or trained" to perform the high-risk operations that President Bush directed in his Presidential Finding
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ordering the CIA to "destroy bin Laden and Al Qaeda," since the Directorate of Operations, which runs covert actions, "has been out of the business of funding and managing lethal covert action" since the end of the Cold War.88 This opinion, although certainly not dispositive, is not new. Back in 1987, Allan E. Goodman, relying on former CIA Director Stansfield Turner's contention that a majority of espionage professionals believe that covert activities detract from the CIA's primary mission to collect and analyze intelligence, proposed that covert action should be limited to paramilitary operations and given to the Department of Defense.89 Even earlier, in 1975, Harry Rositzke championed the transfer of paramilitary covert action (a subset of covert action) to the Department of Defense based on his belief that the "self-defeating amalgam of covert action and secret intelligence in one organization was key to the CIA's ineffectiveness."90 It would seem that the CIA has never seen a time in its history when someone has not been declaring the ineffectiveness of its covert actions, as many others over the years have also called for the transfer of paramilitary covert actions to the Department of Defense. Rositzke's proposal to transfer the CIA's paramilitary operations to DOD makes somewhat more sense than Goodman's proposal to limit all covert action to paramilitary covert action and also transfer such to DOD. By limiting covert action to only paramilitary action, Goodman's proposal would remove from the CIA's arsenal those non-paramilitary intelligence tools that are not appropriate for DOD or any other government agency to execute, such as influence operations, press placements, exfiltration operations, etc. Limiting covert activities to paramilitary operations would also severely restrict the President's ability to conduct effective foreign policy. In addition, the transfer of covert paramilitary operations to DOD would confront the military with an operational problem for which it has no prior history - i.e., the possibility that a military operation would have to be undertaken in the context of official deniability. If the covert military operation was of vital interest to U.S. security but also extremely sensitive, the President would be vulnerable to the unfortunate possibility that one day he might have to choose between abandoning military personnel in the field in order to maintain plausible deniability, or acknowledging the covert activity, with all the second and third order affects attendant thereto.
This leads to another issue. The use of formal military force to conduct a covert military operation amounts to an act of war in terms of international law. If such an operation were undertaken and was somehow discovered and publicized, the President would not only lack plausible deniability, but unless he was prepared to punish severely the military personnel involved (which would be extremely difficult to do if he directed or "permitted" the operation), the Nation would face de facto and de jure a condition of war that had not been authorized by
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Congress. By using the CIA, or some other non-military organization to undertake such missions, the President at least fuzzes the legal issue of an act of war. While it is true that CIA covert actions can themselves amount to an act of war, the President can use the CIA to engage in an act of war without U.S. fingerprints. This capability lies in the CIA's lap for a reason.
The following example is illustrative and assists our analysis here. U.S. intelligence sources discover an Al Qaeda command and control headquarters in a friendly country, and the President decides it must be destroyed. If responsibility for paramilitary covert action were to lie with the Department of Defense, then the President would direct the Secretary of Defense to conduct a deniable covert operation to destroy the terrorist headquarters. Technically, the Department of Defense could execute the mission with minimal difficulty. SOF possess the required skill-sets and would need only to render anonymous their fingerprints: no uniforms or other identification tags associated with the U.S., and no weapons traceable back to the U.S. Operationally, however, several roadblocks present themselves.
By entering the friendly country with military forces in execution of a military mission, the U.S. has committed an act of war even though our interest lies not with them but in the terrorist headquarters. [Note: This is so regardless of whether the mission is executed by SOF in a covert mode or in a public mode, or whether it is executed by CIA paramilitary operatives, for that matter]. The Secretary of Defense's tasking to U.S. Special Operations Command to execute this covert action ("act of war"), however, works smoothly only if we can get SOF into and out of Pakistan without their being noticed. In that case, we have a de facto war that is deniable. If any of the SOF are captured or killed, however, we have a de jure act of war. Most of the world has come to look at CIA de facto wars as a way of life because most powers benefit from their own CIA-equivalents operating in foreign countries, with nothing to be gained politically by claiming an act of war when another's covert action is discovered. The world, however, is not likely to tolerate the U.S. throwing its regular military muscle around in a covert fashion. The world will rightly ask: Where does it stop? If the U.S. employs SOF to conduct deniable covert action, then is the next step a clandestine tomahawk missile strike, or maybe even a missile strike whose origin is manipulated to conceal U.S. fingerprints? By abdicating their open identification as U.S. military personnel, SOF would forfeit their Geneva Conventions status. This is important not just because of their loss of entitlement to prisoner of war status should they be captured, but also because of their loss of lawful combatant immunity against charges of spying, or murder for anyone they killed in the operation. SOF in this scenario could also be considered unlawful combatants.
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There is another consequence if SOF forfeit their U.S. identity in a covert military operation. If they are killed, the lack of evidence associating them with the U.S. would preserve the President's plausible deniability option, and the dead SOF personnel would not be affected because they are, after all, dead. If SOF are captured, however, the issue is more difficult. The President could continue to plausibly deny the operation in spite of claims by the captives that they are U.S. military personnel, although such claims would undoubtedly muddy the political waters, create a public relations challenge, and embarrass the President. The more significant aspect to the President's decision to continue denying the operation would be that the SOF captives could expect to receive no protection or help from the U.S. If the CIA were to conduct the operation, however, these issues disappear because CIA paramilitary operatives are trained -- from their first day in that specialty -- to accept as part of their mission the requirement to operate in the "cold," without protection or help from their Government. It is unlikely that the Secretary of Defense or anyone else could lawfully order SOF personnel to conduct a covert action that would require them to forfeit their Geneva Convention status in order to retain deniability. Clearly a commander could issue a lawful order to SOF to conduct a covert operation, but no one can order military personnel to forfeit their status asotherwise lawful combatants in the execution of that mission. This is problematic. Covert actions are not covert if they lose their anonymity and deniability. SOF personnel, however, although permitted to reduce their operating profile like any good soldier, can be required only to maintain the secrecy of their mission, not to actively hide their military identity to their detriment. Accordingly, the Department of Defense would be seriously limited in its ability to execute successful covert military operations that are anonymous and deniable. This dilemma could be solved if there is found within the SOF ranks a sufficient number willing to forfeit this status. The method used to solicit such "volunteers," however, is fraught with the dangers of undue influence, peer pressure, traditional military values, the U.S. public's long-standing expectations of how their SOF sons and daughters will be treated at the hands of the enemy, and, perhaps most important, informed consent.
Lastly, some form of legal instrument would likely be needed to empower and direct the Department of Defense to conduct the type and scope of covert actions heretofore conducted under the CIA's domain. Regardless of the necessary legal mechanism, however, the issues discussed above highlight the complications associated with tasking the Department of Defense to conduct covert actions. In the 2004 defense budget Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld provided the U.S. Special Operations Command with more budget authority and manpower to enable it to assume an expanded strategic military role. Recent press reports have speculated
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that this new role will include covert actions similar to the CIA's. If this is so, this change in roles and missions for SOF should be approached with great caution and informed analysis.
LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS OF INTEGRATED CIA-SOF WARFIGHTING
There are a number of profound legal and operational issues associated with integrating CIA and SOF warfighting operations, and then managing that integrated relationship on the battlefield. This remains so whether the operation is CIA-led, with SOF seconded to the Agency, or vice versa, with SOF in the lead and CIA seconded. These issues are categorized in the following discussion under the general subheadings of Deniability, Lawful Action, Geneva Conventions, and Command and Control. As these issues are discussed below, it is important to keep in mind that in integrated CIA-SOF warfighting, SOF are still conducting military operations. The CIA paramilitary operatives are usually also performing military operations. Further, although the CIA paramilitary operatives maintain their covert cover, SOF hide only the mission and not their U.S. identity, although they have every right to reduce their profile through lawful means. A collateral effect during integrated operations is that SOF often become the CIA paramilitaries' operational cover.
DENIABILITY
While some covert CIA operations receive extensive support from various military units and DOD agencies, in general the intent is for the CIA's covert operations -- because of their very purpose and nature -- to avoid overly close identification with the U.S. Government.91 Nevertheless, the more often we integrate CIA and SOF operations on the battlefield, the more we subject the covert action to an overly close identification with the U.S. Government, with resultant "deniability" problems. In contrast, stand-alone SOF operations demonstrate a public commitment of U.S. military forces to protect our national interests, though the specifics may remain secret or receive little scrutiny. Such secrecy, however, at times provides SOF the opportunity to operate closer to the edge of the law.92
"Paramilitary operations are the noisiest of all covert actions."93 Add to that noise the presence of U.S. military forces alongside CIA paramilitary operatives, and one runs the risk of making the covert action more visible to its enemies. As the size of the operation increases, secrecy becomes more problematic, particularly if military or paramilitary forces are involved. Forces mean people, and people talk.94 As the size of the operation increases, it also becomes more complicated, with the attendant possibility that something will go wrong. For example, the end of the covert Iran-Contra operation began when a "single American survived an airplane crash."95
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LAWFUL ACTION
Another issue associated with integrated CIA-SOF warfighting operations is the lawfulness of each agency's methods of operations. CIA covert paramilitary operations may be contrary to customary international law or the laws of the country in which the activity is taking place, whereas U.S. military forces routinely operate in the public domain in a legally based forum requiring them to follow international law, with all the attendant scrutiny and Mondaymorning second-guessing. When the CIA and SOF operate together on the battlefield, the legal distinctions regarding operating authorities and procedures, and accountability, can become blurred. While these blurred boundaries are of significant concern, they can be overcome through situational awareness and adherence to proper governing (legal) authorities. Given that some rogue countries and non-State entities such as Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have threatened the United States and its allies and friends with death and destruction, the U.S. must be prepared to take whatever action it deems necessary in order to protect our vital interests.96 Nevertheless, the employment of the CIA and DOD in protecting such interests must be consistent with national law. Whereas U.S. military operations are more easily proven to be in compliance with both national and international law because they occur in the public domain, this is not the case with CIA covert operations.97 Covert actions do not imply that U.S. law is superior to that of another country's, or that of international law, but that, instead, there are overriding national interests (vital interests) that must be protected outside the framework of international law and regular diplomatic relations.98
While there is a statutory requirement for CIA covert actions to comply with U.S. national law,99 there is no parallel statutory requirement for such actions to comply with international law. According to Ronald Kessler in Inside the CIA - Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency, it is the job of the Directorate of Operations (the CIA Directorate that undertakes covert action) to "break the laws of other countries."100 Stansfield Turner, CIA Director during the Carter Administration, stated in 1996, when comparing the CIA to the FBI, a law enforcement agency, that "The FBI agent's first reaction when given a job is, `How do I do this within the law?'," whereas the CIA agent's first reaction when given a mission is, "How do I do this regardless of the law of the country in which I am operating?"101 When William Webster became Director of the CIA after the Iran-Contra affair, however, he reemphasized the need to ensure CIA activities complied at a minimum with U.S. national law, if not international law. One of his policy imperatives was to make sure that every proposal from the White House and National Security Council not only made sense, but also complied with established U.S. law and precedent. He did this by testing every covert action proposal "against a set of unvarying
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questions: Does it fall within U.S. law? What would happen if it became public? Will the public understand it? Finally, will it work?"102
The DOD, on the other hand, is legally bound to execute its military operations in accordance not only with national law but also the international treaties governing the laws of armed conflict to which the U.S. is a signatory. Further, U.S. government policy dictates that U.S. military forces must "comply with the law of war during all armed conflicts, however such conflicts are characterized, and with the principles and spirit of the law of war during all other operations."103 This policy edict is important for two reasons: First, the laws of war generally apply only to international armed conflicts between nation-states (and organized resistance movements under certain circumstances);104 second, the laws of war usually do not govern the conduct of military personnel against non-State actors in law enforcement operations.105 Thus, even though the U.S.-led war against terrorism is not an international armed conflict between nation-states, U.S. military forces must adhere to the international laws of war as codified in the various Geneva and Hague Conventions.
The CIA, however, is under no similar requirement regarding international law. This provides the U.S. with tremendous flexibility when it implements foreign policy. Because of the additional legal constraints imposed on the DOD, however, we must be careful to maintain a well-delineated separation between the CIA and DOD when they integrate their battlefield operations.
Accountability and control of CIA paramilitary covert actions on the battlefield are just as vital as they are for SOF operations if all such activities are to remain legitimate instruments of U.S. foreign policy. Accountability and control demonstrate that regardless of the mixture of CIA-SOF forces on the battlefield, their integrated operations are compatible with our democratic form of government because they are conducted with accountability and adherence to the law.106 For CIA covert activities to remain a viable option in furtherance of our national security, they must also have the support of the American people in overarching concept, if not the details. In this regard, the CIA is ultimately accountable to the American people -- whether directly, or through the Congress.107
This accountability and control are assured because, as discussed previously, the U.S. Code mandates that covert actions not be contrary to the U.S. Constitution or our Nation's laws.108 This also means that CIA operatives remain subject to international norms, human rights laws, and war crimes prosecutions, should they get themselves into that situation.109 This accountability is further ensured in that, as noted earlier, CIA covert actions must be authorized
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by the President, and the Agency must report to the House and Senate Intelligence committees for accountability and oversight purposes.110
GENEVA CONVENTIONS
During the U.S. Civil War, the Lincoln Administration commissioned Francis Lieber, a professor at Columbia College, to draft a code of the laws of war, which became the basis of The Hague and Geneva Conventions, to which the United States is a signatory.111 In 1863 Mr. Lieber advised President Lincoln and the Union Army that guerrillas, spies, and saboteurs could be summarily shot.112
Because CIA personnel operate without uniforms or identification as U.S. Government officers -- even though their arsenal includes airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial Predators armed with Hellfire missiles, all typically thought of as military equipment -- they are not normally afforded the protections of the Geneva Conventions, whereas regular military forces are. In a combat operation where CIA and SOF forces are tightly integrated, the result could be that, if captured, the SOF soldiers are afforded Geneva Convention protections while the CIA operatives are not; further, CIA operatives might even be considered by the enemy to be unlawful combatants. Worse, the intermingling of CIA and SOF forces/operations could result in our enemy, unable to distinguish between the two groups, categorizing all captives as unlawful combatants.
While this lack of lawful combatant status is a condition that CIA paramilitary operatives work under daily, such is not the case for U.S. military personnel. Further, from a practical standpoint, should such a dilemma arise, would U.S. officials be willing to stand up and say, "the SOF captives are prisoners of war entitled to Geneva Convention protections, but the CIA operatives you are holding captive are not"? Are U.S. officials equipped with such moral courage? How would the American public react to such a statement, even if they knew the officials spoke the truth about the status of the CIA captives? Additionally, how would we explain the presence of CIA operatives with military forces but, more importantly, if we decide to officially acknowledge their presence on the battlefield, how would we categorize their status: lawful combatants (even if they are not wearing uniforms or distinctive insignia)? Noncombatants? Entitled to Geneva Conventions protections? There may be no good answers to these questions when we must resort to protecting our national interests through CIA paramilitary operations.
In some conflicts, such as the current war against terrorism, the issue of whether Geneva Convention status applies to SOF but not to CIA operatives may be irrelevant in law, though not
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irrelevant in diplomatic relations and on the political stage. As noted earlier, the laws of war generally apply only to international armed conflicts between nation-states (and organized resistance movements under certain circumstances).113 This means that the Geneva Conventions apply normally when nations fight. So, if members of an integrated CIA-SOF team are captured by a State actor (e.g., a member of the Armed Forces of a hostile country) during an international armed conflict, the CIA operatives normally would not be entitled to prisoner of war/Geneva Conventions status, whereas the military team members would, so long as they do not meet one of the exceptions, such as acting as spies or saboteurs in hostile territory. If that same CIA-SOF team is captured by a non-State actor, such as a terrorist group, the military members are technically not prisoners of war but are instead crime victims - hostages, in fact, subject to immediate release under Geneva Convention III.114 In such a case, the U.S. could legally demand that all of the captives, both CIA operatives and SOF, be immediately released. The U.S. could also argue on the stage of world opinion that all captives -- whether CIA or SOF -- should be treated by their non-State captors in accordance with the Geneva Conventions as a matter of policy, just as the U.S. does even when a conflict does not rise to the level of an international armed conflict. That argument is likely to fail, however, given the Bush Administration's decision to classify all Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters as unlawful combatants not entitled to prisoner of war status, although the Administration's policy is to treat them in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions.
COMMAND AND CONTROL
As a consequence of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986,115 Unified Combatant Commanders116 are charged with overseeing all military operations in their regional areas of responsibility, whether conducted by conventional military forces or SOF.117 Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 162(a)(4) states with more specificity that, "except as otherwise directed by the Secretary of Defense, all forces operating within the geographic areaassigned to a unified combatant command shall be assigned to, and under the command of, the commander of that command."118 Further, a combatant commander is responsible to the President and to the Secretary of Defense for the performance of missions assigned to that command.119 To implement this authority in military regulations, DOD Directive 5100.1, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components, assigns the combatant commanders with the command function to employ forces within that combatant command as he considers necessary to carry out missions assigned to the command.120 Of additional note is the fact that commanders of commands and forces assigned to a combatant command are
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under the authority, direction, and control of, and are responsible to, the combatant commander on all matters for which the combatant commander has been assigned authority.121 Stated more succinctly, the combatant commander has the responsibility for missions in his geographical area of command, and commands all military forces assigned to his area of responsibility. The combatant commander, however, has no specific statutory authority over other U.S. Government personnel in his area of operations, such as CIA paramilitary operatives. Accordingly, when CIA paramilitary operatives are integrated with SOF in a warfighting operation in a combatant commander's area of operations, the combatant commander has no authority over those CIA paramilitary operatives -- whose very presence in that integrated mix is in furtherance of a military mission -- unless the President has given him such authority. This lack of authority over all participants in the combatant commander's military mission can potentially but not necessarily handicap the combatant commander's statutory responsibility to the President and Secretary of Defense to accomplish his assigned missions. Accordingly, this potential problem must be addressed up front in the planning stages of every military operation in which integrated CIA-SOF operations may be employed. One way to resolve this potential problem would be to place CIA paramilitary assets directly under the authority and control of the regional combatant commanders. One journalist, Nathan Hodge of Defense Week, has opined that in wartime the CIA Director is "supposed to put all CIA assets within a given command region . . . under the operational control of the regional commander in chief" because the CIA is mainly an intelligence gathering agency, with military operations not one of its core, or traditional competencies.122 Hodge reinforces his opinion on this matter with his assertion that when the CIA receives information of value to U.S. commanders, it should turn such information over to the "professional" [U.S. military] warfighters.123 Hodge also asserts that even though officers from the CIA's predecessor agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), worked under military commanders in World War II, the CIA in Afghanistan today is conducting its own campaign independent of U.S. Central Command. Hodge proposes that this is consistent with the CIA's pattern of "resisting subordination to military command," and he cites as examples the CIA's covert paramilitary actions in Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador during the 1980s, where the CIA completely bypassed the Combatant Commander of U.S. Southern Command.124 Hodge fails to note, however, that all such CIA operations are undertaken at the order of the President, the Commander-in-Chief.
Another opinion in a vein similar to that of Hodge's is that of Michael Vickers, a former Army Green Beret and CIA official and now the Director of Strategic Studies at the Center for
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Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. According to a press report quoting Mr. Vickers, all of the CIA operatives in Afghanistan, including the operators of the Predator drones, are supposed to report to U.S. Central Command, but they also report to the CIA's Near-East Division, which is responsible for Afghanistan and Pakistan.125 However, Vickers notes that not all CIA paramilitary operatives have diligently consulted with, much less reported to, their military commanders, leading to some friction.126
In an article written before and independent of Hodge's, Douglas Waller, writing for Time magazine, made some additional observations. According to Waller, after Vietnam and the scandals of the 1970s, the CIA practically disbanded its paramilitary force, and when they subsequently needed paramilitary experts for their own covert actions against the Soviets in Afghanistan or to train contra rebels in Nicaragua, the Agency "borrowed" Army Green Berets or Navy SEALs, or hired retired SOF on a contract basis. Waller also noted that, in the past two years, CIA Director George Tenet has expanded the CIA's paramilitary force to the point where, according to one intelligence source cited by Waller, "the CIA is practically creating its own army, navy and air force."127
Another way to resolve this potential problem (i.e., the combatant commander's lack of direct authority and control over CIA paramilitary operatives in his area of responsibility) is for the CIA paramilitary operatives to maintain their separate (CIA) line of authority but be required to coordinate and consult directly with the combatant commander when they will be part of an integrated CIA-SOF warfighting operation. This option is more practical and realistic in a large scale military operation such as the global war on terrorism. For example, it is working successfully in Afghanistan today, although on an ad hoc rather than a formalized (required coordination and consultation) basis. In his book Bush at War, Bob Woodward describes how "Hank," the CIA's counterterrorism special operations chief met with General Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. Central Command, and made it clear that the CIA paramilitary teams in Afghanistan would be "working for Franks," somewhat contrary to recent practice, as "partners" with the military.128 This option will not only help to reduce the potential problem discussed above, but will preserve the combatant commander's operational flexibility to capitalize on the strengths that each agency (CIA and DOD/SOF) brings to the battlefield by applying the force most advantageous to successful mission accomplishment.
In further support of this option, CIA operatives are reportedly working "hand in glove" with SOF and have provided a "crucial eyes-on-the-ground capability," while still reporting through CIA operational channels.129 CIA paramilitary operatives are small in number, flexible, and generally freer from bureaucratic hierarchies than their SOF counterparts, who must usually
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jump through 18 food chains, 20 levels of paperwork and 22 hoops before they can take action.130 CIA operatives are able to use cash and other favors, such as supplying modern combat gear, to buy loyalty and information from tribal warlords in Afghanistan, whereas military forces do not possess such legal authorities.131 Another advantage to using CIA paramilitary operatives is that their ability to pinpoint the enemy is in many cases more humane than a fullscale military assault because the result will generally be fewer civilian casualties.132 In a war against terrorists, where the enemy does not wear uniforms and intermingles with the local populace, CIA paramilitary operatives are better able to distinguish the "good guys from the bad guys" and thus identify the right targets.133
Nevertheless, close cooperation and intermingling between the CIA and SOF is fraught with danger given their respective cultures, operational modes, sources of information, and oversight structures.134 For example, the CIA did not always obtain landing rights from neighboring countries before it moved its teams into Afghanistan, and it was free to ignore the traditional military requirement when going into combat to be backed up with an extraction plan and search-and-rescue teams. If the CIA teams got into any trouble, they were on their own.135 Integrated CIA and SOF warfighting operations, accordingly, invite significant legal and operational issues associated with deniability, legality, Geneva Conventions status, andcommand and control. These issues can be minimized or even overcome, however, if this integrated relationship is managed in a coordinated manner that best preserves the combatant commander's flexibility in battle by capitalizing on the strengths and capabilities that each agency brings to the fight.
ADDITIONAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH INTEGRATED CIA-SOF WARFIGHTING.
Three additional concerns associated with integrated CIA-SOF warfighting merit comment.
CAPABILITIES-SHIFTING
We must be careful to capitalize on what the CIA brings to the fight, not give them a military mission to execute in DOD's stead. While the CIA's covert paramilitary capability is a valuable and attractive means of operation compared to the usual "noise" of military combat operations, both agencies must be careful to ensure that their integrated operations do not negatively affect the positive capabilities of each. For example, is CIA-SOF warfighting integration true capabilities-shifting, i.e., a reasonable means of "outsourcing" by the National Security Council in order to use the CIA as supplemental warfighters alongside SOF? Or, is such integration merely burden-shifting from the DOD to the CIA based on the CIA's high-speed
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low-drag flexibility and reduced span of complexity? If it is burden-shifting by the DOD, how would this affect DOD writ large as the various military departments transform themselves to deal more effectively and efficiently with future threats? These policy implications suggest strongly that we must capitalize on each agency's strength and capabilities in combat, not cannibalize each other's missions or shift unwanted burdens.
CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT
It is difficult for Congress to provide effective oversight of integrated CIA and SOF operations, as different sets of committees with disparate agendas and jurisdictions attend this issue. The ways by which the U.S. Congress funds and oversees both the CIA and DOD may not be optimized to support their evolving and overlapping mission in the war against terrorism.136 Further, it is already difficult to provide effective and seamless oversight of intelligence activities and military operations abroad;137 to attempt to do so over shared missions imposes an even greater challenge. For covert operations to remain a legitimate national tool, however, this very accountability and control are vital. The fact that Congressional oversight will be more difficult does not militate against the viability of integrated CIA-SOF combat operations as a legitimate tool of U.S. foreign policy.
TARGETING
Both SOF and CIA personnel on the ground in Afghanistan have provided "real-time and near-real-time" targeting data - using either laser designators or radios and laptops to call in global positioning system coordinates to U.S. aircraft flying over the battlefield.138 Yet there were difficulties in a few of the new targeting tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that had to be hurriedly fielded between the CIA and DOD, and even though the targeting tactics, techniques, and procedures were improved on the battlefield as the war progressed, "as many as a dozen opportunities to strike high-value but time-critical targets" were lost in the first weeks of the war in Afghanistan.139 Some of these problems were due to interoperability issues between the CIA and DOD, while others were due to "the length of the decision loop - the time required from when a sensor detects a target to when it can be identified and approved by a human operator."140 Nevertheless, when compared to each other, the CIA's targeting process isusually quicker, more fluid, and encompasses fewer decision-makers in its "trigger-pulling chain of command" than DOD's141 According to one anonymous senior defense official in November2002, today's military is still not designed to move with speed or agility, despite its success in Afghanistan.142
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Target engagement in integrated CIA-SOF operations involves another major coordination concern, namely, the increased difficulties in preventing friendly fire incidents on battlefields where other government agencies are operating, like Afghanistan. For example, during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in March 2002, CIA assets operating on the ground wanted large No Fire Areas over each of their positions, "many of which covered key terrain of interest" to the joint and coalition unconventional warfare and special reconnaissance teams.143 The use of large No Fire Areas would have denied these unconventional warfare and special reconnaissance teams the flexibility they needed to engage targets in those areas. To address this problem, Coalition Joint Task Force - Mountain (CJTF-Mountain) employed Restricted Fire Areas instead. Restricted Fire Areas enabled the approving ground tactical commander to engage targets he deemed necessary, while facilitating unconventional warfare and special reconnaissance team movement and allowing the commander to set the conditions for future engagements,144 and continuing to provide friendly fire protection for all concerned. Keeping up to date with all of the CIA assets and non-government agency personnel on the ground and their changing locations was often a significant challenge, however. Although CJTF-Mountain executed an incredibly effective and successful targeting plan while meeting the legitimate concerns of the CIA and non-government agencies, this issue is critical. To prevent fratricide on a battlefield such as that confronted in Afghanistan, where there is no clear front or rear, all participants must work together before the fight to establish interoperable communications in targeting cells and intelligence fusion centers, as well as same-meaning terminology - with all forces clear on the operational terminology and the meaning of those terms.145
RECOMMENDATION
In order to win the war on terrorism decisively and with dispatch, the President should continue this new policy of employing CIA paramilitary operatives in a warfighting role alongside SOF in combat. To better manage this new policy, however, the CIA and DOD should jointly develop clear, well-understood procedures that ensure close and effective coordination and that provide for the seamless sharing of battlefield information.
Interagency coordination and cohesion of strategy are the vital links in this new template for warfare.146 To implement this new policy and ensure a seamless sharing of battlefield information and a consolidated unity of effort on the battlefield, the Joint Interagency Coordinating Group at each combatant command should develop or expand as appropriate the following:
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Joint Interagency Coordinating Groups. These groups, headquartered at each unified combatant command, should be composed of liaison officers from any and all organizations that can potentially be helpful to the combatant commander.
Interagency Coordination Annex (Annex V).147 An Annex V should be included in every combatant command contingency plan to ensure the integration of all pertinent instruments of national power into the combatant commander's deliberate planning process, and to articulate the combatant commander's criteria for entry and exit conditions for other U.S. Government agencies during an operation. Annex V should also serve as the combatant commander's vehicle to identify major missions and tasks for interagency coordination; to identify interagency issues arising with each phase of military operations; to develop follow-on interagency politicalmilitary planning; and to request other relevant interagency activities.148 New Procedures to Govern Integrated Operations. These procedures should address doctrine, training, policies, and coordination, to ensure their synchronization on the battlefield. Herein lies a thorny thicket of command and control issues, which should be resolved in a manner that provides the combatant commander with more sharply focused unity of command, and the requisite authority -- however defined and accomplished -- over CIA operatives during combat operations to accomplish his assigned tasks. Unity of command necessarily requires clearly defined authorities, roles, and relationships.149 If CIA operatives are going to be involved in warfighting missions on the battlefield, then they should be responsible to the combatant commander in some organized and formal shape or form.
Laws of War. A working group should be established to formally develop procedures to protect SOF forces from inadvertently violating the Laws of War when they intermingle their operations with CIA operations. This working group should also study and develop legal bases to protect CIA paramilitary operatives and associated SOF from allegations that they are unlawful combatants (this is an issue only for periods of legally recognized armed conflict). Training Plan. An interagency training plan should be developed to delineate and incorporate coordination measures.
Training Exercise. An interagency training exercise should take place to validate the training plan and coordination measures.
Memorandum of Understanding. This memorandum of understanding should be between the CIA and DOD (and any other agency as deemed necessary) and should outline the authorities and responsibilities of both agencies when they operate together in combat in order to ensure unity of effort.
25
Although there is no overarching interagency doctrine that specifies or even dictates the procedures and relationships governing all organizations involved in interagency operations, Joint Publication 3-08, Interagency Coordination During Joint Operations, and Presidential Decision Directive-56, Managing Complex Contingency Operations, provide useful general guidance and procedures for planning and managing complex operations.150
CONCLUSION
Changed international realities require the U.S. to adapt its response to transnational threats by employing CIA paramilitary operatives in a warfighting role alongside SOF. According to former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham, Democrat - Florida, "The type of combat we're likely to be in from now on is not World War II, with mass tank attacks, but rather this type of small-unit operation where good intelligence, operational intelligence is the key to your success. . . . We've asked the question [about coordination] consistently . . . and we've gotten . . . increasingly positive statements about the close and effective relationship between intelligence and war fighters."151 This integration blurs organizational boundaries, however, and for policy reasons, legal protections, and operational effectiveness, we must develop new procedures to deal with these blurred boundaries. Further, there is a concomitant need for both groups to maintain a well-delineated separation between themselves. Without this separation, we risk losing the political and military value of covert operations, and invite the perception that we are attempting to avoid customary international law and the laws of war by disguising SOF operations as CIA operations or, more likely, vice versa. Because America's political-military activities are increasingly colored by self-imposed legal constraints as well as the weight of world opinion, choosing between CIA covert action, military action, or a combination of the two, presents important and difficult challenges to America's senior policy-makers. Competing interests must be weighed and balanced, and compromises will surely have to be made.152 In that the political object to be had by war will affect not only the level of effort to be made but also the conduct of the operations, it is also appropriate to quote Carl von Clausewitz, who rejected the idea that there is only one "best path to victory, finding instead that `many roads lead to success.'"153
Word Count = 10,740
26
27
ENDNOTES
1 In October 1996, Uzbek and Tajik factions in the geographical northern third of Afghanistan formed the "Northern Alliance" to combat the Taliban. Since then the Northern Alliance became known as the umbrella grouping of anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan. See "Country Profile: Afghanistan," World News Digest, 29 August 2002; available from http://www.2facts.com/ancillaries/index/c00002.asp.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002. See also "Afghanistan - Countrywatch;" available from http://www.countrywatch.com/cw_topic.asp?vCOUNTRY=1&SECTION=SUB&TOPIC=POPCO&T.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002.
2 Osama bin Laden is an Islamic fundamentalist believed by intelligence officials to be the leader of Al Qaeda, an international terrorist network. See Endnote 6, supra. Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia in 1957 to a Yemeni-born Saudi billionaire. Osama bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1991 after aiding groups opposed to the reigning Fahd family, taking his $250 million inheritance with him. Bin Laden's sworn hostility to the United States purportedly stems from Saudi Arabia's 1990 decision to permit the U.S. to station troops on Saudi soil after Iraq invaded Kuwait. Bin Laden has issued fatwahs (religious rulings) encouraging Muslims to kill Americans. See "Facts on Osama bin Laden," World News Digest, 29 August 2002; available from http://www.2facts.com/ancillaries/index/b00222.asp.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002.
3 Al Qaeda (Arabic for "the base") is an international terrorist network formed around 1987 by Osama bin Laden and militants from the Egyptian Islamic Jihad as a base for their worldwide crusade. See "Facts on Osama bin Laden," World News Digest, 29 August 2002; available from http://www.2facts.com/ancillaries/index/b00222.asp.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002. Al Qaeda "terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics . . . The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children." See "World Trade Center and Pentagon Terrorist Attacks: Transcript of Bush's Speech to Congress," World News Digest, 27 September 2002; available from http://www.2facts.com/stories/index/2001227310.asp.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002.
4 Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 40. See also Bob Drogin, "U.S. Had Plan for Covert Afghan Options Before 9/11," Los Angeles Times, sec. A, p. 14 (1074 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. 5 United Airlines Flight # 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers fought back against four terrorists who had hijacked the airliner. Passengers learned from cellular telephone calls with family members and friends on the ground that three other airlinershad been hijacked minutes earlier and flown into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Because the terrorists had turned Flight # 93 back east, away from its intended West Coast destination, passengers believed the hijackers were trying to fly the plane back to a target in the D.C. area when they fought back. Several months later, U.S. officials said that captured senior Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah had told them that Flight 93 was intended to hit the White House on 11 September 2001. See "White House Target of Flight 93, Officials Say," CNN.COM, 23 May 2002; available from http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/05/23/flight.93/index.html; Internet; accessed 17 March 2003.
28
6 An "act of terrorism" means an activity that involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State . . . and appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 3077, Definitions (Section 3077 is a part of Chapter 204, Rewards for Information Concerning Terrorist Acts and Espionage). DOD Directive 2000.12, DOD Antiterrorism/Force Protection (ATFP) Program, 13 April 1999, defines "terrorism" as the "calculated use of violence or threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological." Department of Defense, DOD Antiterrorism/Force Protection (ATFP) Program, Department of Defense Directive 2000.12 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, 1 April 1999).
7 Amy Westfeldt, "9/11 Cost for NYC Tops $33 Billion," The Patriot-News, 13 November 2002, sec. A, p. 8. The total worldwide economic loss impact has been estimated to top $600 billion, a "strategically significant" event according to remarks made by a speaker participating in the Commandant's Lecture Series at the Army War College in 2002.
8 "The deliberate and deadly attacks, which were carried out yesterday against our country, were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war." See "Hijacked Jets Destroy World Trade Center, Hit Pentagon: Text of President Bush's September 12 Statement," World News Digest, 13 September 2001; available from http://www.2facts.com/stories/index/2001226370.asp.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002. See also United States Congress, Report on Actions Taken to Respond to the Threat of Terrorism Communication from the President of the United States Transmitting a Report, Consistent with the War Powers Resolution and Senate Joint Resolution 23, to Help Ensure that the Congress is Kept Fully Informed on Actions Taken to Respond to the Threat of Terrorism, 107th Cong., 1st sess., 25 September 2001. This report became House Document 107-127. See also United States Congress, Senate Joint Resolution 23: Authorization for Use of United States Armed Forces, 107th Cong., 1st sess., 14 September 2001. This joint resolution became Public Law on September 20, 2001 (see P.L. 107-40). 9 United States Congress, Senate Joint Resolution 23: Authorization for Use of United States Armed Forces, 107th Cong., 1st sess., 14 September 2002. This joint resolution became Public Law on September 20, 2002 (see P.L. 107-40).
10 Bob Woodward, "Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role," The Washington Post, 18 November 2001, sec. A, p. 1 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 29 August 2002. See also Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, sec. 413b (2002).
11 Jim Pavitt, Deputy Director for Operations, Central Intelligence Agency, Text of Address to Duke University Law School Conference (as delivered), 11 April 2002; available from http://www.cia.gov/cia/public_affairs/speeches/archives/2002/pavitt_04262002.html; Internet; accessed 17 March 2003. See also Maxim Kniazkov, "CIA Creates Super Secret Hit Team to Target Terrorists Abroad," Agence France Presse, 4 June 2002, p. 1 (547 words) [database online]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
12 Ibid., 101, 134-135.
29
13 United States Congress, Report on Actions Taken to Respond to the Threat of Terrorism Communication from the President of the United States Transmitting a Report, Consistent with the War Powers Resolution and Senate Joint Resolution 23, to Help Ensure that the Congress is Kept Fully Informed on Actions Taken to Respond to the Threat of Terrorism, 107th Cong., 1st sess., 25 September 2001. This report became House Document 107-127. See also Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist No. 74: The Command of the Military and Naval Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the Executive," Federalist Papers, from the New York Packet, 25 March 1788 ("The President of the United States is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States.").
14 On September 27, 1996, members of the Islamic Taliban (Religious Students Movement), a Moslem fundamentalist group composed largely of former theology students, displaced the ruling members of the Afghan Government and declared themselves -- the Taliban -- the legitimate government of Afghanistan. The Taliban were never recognized by the United Nations. See "CIA -- The World Factbook -- Afghanistan;" available from http://www.cia.gov.cia/publications/factbook/geos/af.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002.
See also "Afghanistan - Countrywatch;" available from http://www.countrywatch.com/cw_topic.asp?vCOUNTRY=1&SECTION=SUB&TOPIC=POPCO& T.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002.
15 "Bush's Address Announcing Military Strikes Against Afghanistan: Text," World News Digest, 11 October 2001; available from http://www.2facts.com/stories/index/2001228130.asp.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002.
16 The CQ Researcher, Intelligence Reforms, Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 25 January 2002, vol. 12, no. 3. See also Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 139.
17 See Endnote 1, supra.
18 Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 101, 134, 141. See also Associated Press, "CIA Plays High-Profile Military Role in Afghanistan with US-CIAShadow Army," Associated Press Worldstream, 20 May 2002, p.1 (379 words) [database online]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002; and Evan Thomas and Colin Soloway, "A Street Fight," Newsweek, 29 April 2002, sec. International, p. 30 (2596 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. See also Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 193.
19 Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 101, 134.
20 "World Trade Center and Pentagon Terrorist Attacks: Transcript of Bush's Speech to
Congress," World News Digest, 27 September 2002; available from http://www.2facts.com/stories/index/2001227310.asp.html; Internet; accessed 29 August 2002.
21 Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 90.
22 Richard B. Myers, National Military Strategy of the United States of America (Pre- Decisional Draft) (Washington, D.C.: The Pentagon, 19 September 2002).
30
23 See generally Pat M. Holt, Secret Intelligence and Public Policy - A Dilemma of Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1995), 149-156.
24 Bob Woodward, "CIA Told to Do 'Whatever Necessary' to Kill Bin Laden," The Washington Post, 21 October 2001; available from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wpdyn/ A27452-2001Oct20; Internet; accessed 26 September 2002. See also Associated Press, "CIA Plays High-Profile Military Role in Afghanistan with US-CIA-Shadow Army," AssociatedPress Worldstream, 20 May 2002, p.1 (379 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis- Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. See also generally Ronald Kessler, Inside the CIA - Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency (New York: Pocket Books, 1992); and Charles D. Ameringer, U.S. Foreign Intelligence - The Secret Side of American History (Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1990).
25 Bob Woodward, "CIA Told to Do 'Whatever Necessary' to Kill Bin Laden," The Washington Post, 21 October 2001; available from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wpdyn/ A27452-2001Oct20; Internet; accessed 26 September 2002. See also Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 166.
26 Ibid.
27 Dana Priest, "'Team 555' Shaped a New Way of War; Special Forces and Smart Bombs Turned Tide and Routed Taliban," The Washington Post - Final Edition, 3 April 2002, sec. A, p. 1 (4014 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
28 Ibid. "Phil [from the CIA's analytical branch] gave a briefing on the mission: The next day, the team [SOF Team 555] would join up with commanders allied with Massoud's successor, Gen. Mohammed Fahim, the Northern Alliance's defense minister. . . . First, they [Team 555] were to help U.S. warplanes destroy the Taliban front line around that airfield. Then, they were to search for and destroy Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in the 35-mile stretch south to Kabul. Finally, they were to help the alliance seize Kabul . . . When Phil introduced [the team members] to Bismullah Khan at their next safe house . . . he said, `Here's the Special Forces team I've been promising you.'" See also Jonathan Weisman, "CIA, Pentagon Feuding Complicates War Effort," USA Today, 17 June 2002, sec. A, p. 11 (1534 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
29 Bryan Bender, Kim Burger, and Andrew Koch, "Afghanistan: First Lessons," Jane's Special Reports, 14 December 2001; available from http://www.janes.com.html; Internet; accessed 12 September 2002.
30 Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 166.
31 Ibid., 202.
32 Thom Shanker and James Risen, "Rumsfeld Weighs New Covert Acts by Military Units," The New York Times, Late Edition - Final, 12 August 2002, sec. A, p. 1 (1604 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
33 Ibid.
34 See Endnote 19, supra.
31
35 Jim Pavitt, Deputy Director for Operations, Central Intelligence Agency, Text of Address to Duke University Law School Conference (as delivered), 11 April 2002; available from http://www.cia.gov/cia/public_affairs/speeches/archives/2002/pavitt_04262002.html; Internet; accessed 17 March 2003. See also Bob Drogin, "U.S. Had Plan for Covert Afghan Options Before 9/11," Los Angeles Times, sec. A, p. 14 (1074 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
36 J. Daniel Moore, "CIA Support to Operation Enduring Freedom," Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, vol. 28, iss. 3 (Jul-Sep 2002): 46 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 29 August 2002.
37 Ron Kampeas, "CIA's Paramilitary Scores Successes," Associated Press Online, 20 May 2002, p. 1 (968 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. See also Bryan Bender, Kim Burger, and Andrew Koch, "Afghanistan: First Lessons," Jane's Special Reports, 14 December 2001; available from http://www.janes.com.html; Internet; accessed 12 September 2002 ("U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has denied any coordination problems, saying the CIA forces on the ground `are tucked in very tight with the U.S. military.'")
38 See Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8; and Article II, Section 2.
39 See generally Armed Forces, U.S. Code, Title 10 (2002).
40 Department of Defense, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major
Components, Department of Defense Directive 5100.1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, 1 August 2002), 4.
41 The mission to capture Arnold was aborted when Arnold's change in travel plans made his capture impossible. See "Intelligence Operations (Wartime Special Operations)," 2 October 2002; available from http://www.cia.gov/csi/books/warindep/intellopos.html; Internet; accessed 2 October 2002. Other examples of special operations in the colonial era include Major Robert Rogers, who led the New England Companies of Rangers in the French and Indian War; Francis Marion (aka the "Swamp Fox"), a guerilla leader during the American Revolutionary War; and Sergeant Ezra Lee, who used an oak submersible to attack a British frigate in New York Harbor in August 1776. See United States Special Operations Command, Special Operations in Peace and War, United States Special Operations Command Pub 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Special Operations Command, 25 January 1996), 2-2.
42 Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, Public Law 99-433, 99th U.S. Congress, October 1, 1986, codified at U.S. Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part 1, Chapter 5. With respect to Special Operations Forces in particular, see Unified Combatant Command for Special Operations Forces, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 167 (2002).
43 Rowan Scarborough, "Rumsfeld Gives `Blank Sheet' to Update Special Operations," The Washington Times, 21 November 2002, p. 15.
44 For a list of special operations activities, see Unified Combatant Command for Special Operations Forces, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 167(j) (2002). See also United States Special Operations Command, Special Operations in Peace and War, United States Special Operations
32
Command Pub 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Special Operations Command, 25 January 1996), 3-2 - 3-6.
45 United States Special Operations Command, Special Operations in Peace and War, United States Special Operations Command Pub 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Special Operations Command, 25 January 1996), 3-1.
46 Ibid, 1-1.
47 The term "unified combatant command" means a military command which has broad, continuing missions and which is composed of forces from two or more military departments." Combatant Commands: Establishment, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 161(c)(1) (2002).
48 Unified Combatant Command for Special Operations Forces, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 167(d) (2002).
49 John M. Shalikashvili, National Military Strategy of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: The Pentagon, September 1997), 5.
50 Richard B. Myers, National Military Strategy of the United States of America (Pre-Decisional Draft) (Washington, D.C.: The Pentagon, 19 September 2002), 14.
51 National Security Act of 1947, Public Law 235, 61 Stat. 496, July 26, 1947, codified in various portions of Titles 10, 32, and 50 of the U.S. Code.
52 Ibid.
53 Harry Rositzke, The CIA's Secret Operations (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1977), xviii. See also John Jay, "Federalist No. 64: The Powers of the Senate," Federalist Papers, from the New York Packet, 7 March 1788; and Article II, Section 2, Constitution of the United States, which provides the President with the power to make treaties, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
54 All duties and responsibilities of the CIA shall be related to the intelligence functions set out in paragraph 1.8 of Executive Order 12333; and as authorized by the National Security Act of 1947, as amended; the CIA Act of 1949, as amended; and other appropriate directives or other applicable law. See Executive Order 12333--United States Intelligence Activities, paragraph 1.8, 46 Federal Register 59941, 3 CFR, 1981 Comp., p. 200; also available from http://www.cia.gov/cia/information/eo12333.html; Internet; accessed 29 September 2002. See also George J. Tenet, The Authorities and Responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence as Head of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Director of Central Intelligence Directive 1/1(Washington, D.C.: Director of Central Intelligence, 19 November 1998), para's 7.a, 7.c.
55 Ibid.
56 Executive Order 12333--United States Intelligence Activities, paragraph 3.4(h), 46 Federal Register 59941, 3 CFR, 1981 Comp., p. 200; also available from http://www.cia.gov/cia/information/eo12333.html; Internet; accessed 29 September 2002.
57 Ibid.
33
58 Pat M. Holt, Secret Intelligence and Public Policy - A Dilemma of Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1995), 136.
59 Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991, Statutes at Large 105, sec. 602, 443 (1991) [Public Law 102-88, 14 August 1991]; See also War and National Defense, National Security: Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 413b(e) (2002); and Pat M. Holt, Secret Intelligence and Public Policy - A Dilemma of Democracy, (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1995), 136.
60 War and National Defense, National Security: Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 413b(e) (2002).
61 Charles D. Ameringer, U.S. Foreign Intelligence - The Secret Side of American History (Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1990), 392.
62 Stansfield Turner, "Intelligence and Secrecy in an Open Society," The Center Magazine
XIX, no. 2 (March/April 1986): 4.
63 Ibid.
64 John M. Oseth, Regulating U.S. Intelligence Operations (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1985), 36. See also generally National Security Act of 1947. Get cite.
65 Ronald Kessler, Inside the CIA - Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency (New York: Pocket Books, 1992), 237.
66 John M. Oseth, Regulating U.S. Intelligence Operations (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1985), 136. See also Sec. 102(d)(5) (50 U.S.C. 403-3) of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, at Public Law 235, 61 Stat. 496, July 26, 1947.
67 John M. Oseth, Regulating U.S. Intelligence Operations (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1985), 136.
68 Ibid, 36.
69 Harry Rositzke, The CIA's Secret Operations (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1977), 155.
70 Ronald Kessler, Inside the CIA - Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy
Agency (New York: Pocket Books, 1992), 237-238.
71 Ibid, 238.
72 Ibid.
73 Harry Rositzke, The CIA's Secret Operations (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1977), xvi.
74 Ibid, 152.
34
75 War and National Defense, National Security: Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 413b(a) and (a)(1) (2002). See also Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991, Public Law 102-88 [H.R. 1455]; 14 August 1991; title VI, sec. 503. See also footnote 9, supra.
76 War and National Defense, National Security: Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 413b(a)(3) (2002).
77 Ibid, 413b(a)(5). See also Pat M. Holt, Secret Intelligence and Public Policy - A Dilemma of Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1995), 158.
78 "Intelligence Operations (Covert Action)," 2 October 2002; available from http://www.cia.gov/csi/books/warindep/intellopos.html; Internet; accessed 2 October 2002.
79 J. Daniel Moore, "CIA Support to Operation Enduring Freedom," Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, vol. 28, iss. 3 (Jul-Sep 2002): 46 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 29 August 2002.
80 Ibid. See also Charles D. Ameringer, U.S. Foreign Intelligence - The Secret Side of American History (Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1990), 168.
81 Charles D. Ameringer, U.S. Foreign Intelligence - The Secret Side of American History (Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1990), 168.
82 Ibid.
83 Ibid.
84 Central Intelligence Agency, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence:
Origin and Evolution (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, September 2001), 13.
85 Ibid.
86 Ibid.
87 Ibid, 14.
88 Bob Woodward, "CIA Told to Do 'Whatever Necessary' to Kill Bin Laden," The Washington Post, 21 October 2001; available from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wpdyn/A27452-2001Oct20; Internet; accessed 26 September 2002. See also Evan Thomas and Colin Soloway, "A Street Fight," Newsweek, 29 April 2002, sec. International, p. 30 (2596 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002; and Bob Woodward, "Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role," The Washington Post, 18 November 2001, sec. A, p. 1 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 29 August 2002.
89 Alan E. Goodman, "Reforming U.S. Intelligence," Foreign Policy, no. 67 (Summer 1987): 131, 133. See also John C. Green, Secret Intelligence and Covert Action: Consensus in an Open Society, Strategy Research Project (Carlisle Barracks: U.S. Army War College, 19 March 1993), 29.
35
90 Harry Rositzke, "America's Secret Operations: A Perspective," Foreign Affairs 53, no. 2 (January 1975): 344-345, 348. See also John C. Green, Secret Intelligence and Covert Action: Consensus in an Open Society, Strategy Research Project (Carlisle Barracks: U.S. Army War College, 19 March 1993), 29.
91 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-26.
92 The ideas for this sentence came from William M. Arkin, "Warfare; Dressed -- and Equipped -- to Kill," Los Angeles Times, 4 August 2002, p. M1 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 29 August 2002.
93 Harry Rositzke, The CIA's Secret Operations (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1977), 166.
94 Pat M. Holt, Secret Intelligence and Public Policy - A Dilemma of Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1995), 159.
95 Ibid. This begs an obvious political question: What happens if the operation fails, or is compromised? It depends on the nature of the operation, of course. For example, the U.S. might find itself in the position where it must abandon its operatives rather than admit U.S. complicity. Or, the President might face a crisis, such as the failed Desert One mission in April of 1980, that contributes in part to the loss of his office in the next election. This question, although meaningful, addresses an issue that is beyond the scope of this paper.
96 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-26 - 27. See also generally The White House, National Security Strategy of the United States of America 10-12 (2002); available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nssall.html.
97 By their very nature and purpose, CIA covert operations reflect an inability -- or perhaps an unwillingness -- to accept the constraints of acting openly within legal norms and, ipso facto, challenge the traditional U.S. values of openness and respect for the sovereignty of other nations. See "Special Ops; Exploring New Uses is Appropriate," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), 19 August 2002, sec. A, p. 10 (432 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. See also Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-27.
98 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-26. However, the secrecy of such covert actions, as necessary as they are, and as well understood as that necessity is by other law-abiding nations, does deprive the U.S. of demonstrable evidence that all of our actions in protecting our vital interests are consistent with either national or international law
99 War and National Defense, National Security: Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 413b(a) and (a)(1) (2002).
36
100 Ronald Kessler, Inside the CIA - Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency (New York: Pocket Books, 1992), 3.
101 Quoted in Benjamin Wittes, "Blurring the Line Between Cops and Spies," Legal Times, 9 September 1996, p.20. See also Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-9; and Unified Combatant Command for Special Operations Forces, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 167 (2002); and Department of Defense, Functions of the Department of Defense and its Major Components, Department of Defense Directive 5100.1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, 1 August 2002) 4, 10-11.
102 Ronald Kessler, Inside the CIA - Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency (New York: Pocket Books, 1992), 188.
103 Department of Defense, Law of War Program, Department of Defense Directive 5100.77 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, 9 December 1998), para. 5.3.1. 104 See Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded and Sick in Armed Conflict in the Field, 12 August 1949, art. 2, 6 U.S.T. 3114, 3118, 75 U.N.T.S. 31, 33; Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, 12 August 1949, art. 2, 6 U.S.T. 3217, 3220, 75 U.N.T.S. 85, 88; Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 12 August 1949, art. 2, 6 U.S.T. 3316, 3318, 75 U.N.T.S. 135, 137 [Geneva Convention III]; Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August 1949, art. 2, 6 U.S.T. 3516, 3518, 75 U.N.T.S. 287, 289 [Geneva Convention IV].
105 Brigadier General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF, "International Law and Terrorism: Some
`Qs and As' for Operators," The Army Lawyer, Department of the Army Pamphlet 27-50-357
(October/November 2002): 24.
106 Charles D. Ameringer, U.S. Foreign Intelligence - The Secret Side of American History (Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1990), 392.
107 John C. Green, Secret Intelligence and Covert Action: Consensus in an Open Society, Strategy Research Project (Carlisle Barracks: U.S. Army War College, 19 March 1993), 14. See also Robert M. Gates, "CIA and Openness," Vital Speeches of the Day LVIII, no. 14 (1 May 1992): 430-431.
108 War and National Defense, National Security: Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 413b(a)(5) (2002).
109 Ron Kampeas, "CIA's Paramilitary Scores Successes," Associated Press Online, 20 May 2002, p. 1 (968 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. See also War and National Defense, National Security: Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions, U.S. Code, Title 50, section 413b(a)(5) (2002).
110 War and National Defense, National Security, Accountability for Intelligence Activities, General Congressional Oversight Provisions, U.S. Code, Title 50, sec. 413(a) (2002). See also
37
Ron Kampeas, "CIA's Paramilitary Scores Successes," Associated Press Online, 20 May 2002, p. 1 (968 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. 111 Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Rhode Island, "Letter to the Editor: Abraham Lincoln and Al Qaeda," American Heritage, October 2002, 10-11.
112 Ibid.
113 See supra note 105.
114 Brigadier General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF, "International Law and Terrorism: Some `Qs and As' for Operators," The Army Lawyer, Department of the Army Pamphlet 27-50-357 (October/November 2002): 24-25, 29. See also generally supra note 105.
115 Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, Public Law 99- 433, 99th U.S. Congress, October 1, 1986, codified at U.S. Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part 1,
Chapter 5.
116 Commanders of Combatant Commands: Assignment; Powers and Duties, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 164 (2002).
117 Susan Schmidt and Thomas E. Ricks, "Pentagon Plans Shift in War on Terror: Special Operations Command's Role to Grow with Covert Approach," The Washington Post, 18 September 2002, p. 1 [database on-line]; available from https://www.us.army.mil/portal/jhtml/earlyBird/Sep2002/e20020918pentagon.htm; accessed 18 September 2002.
118 Combatant Commands: Assigned Forces; Chain of Command, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 162 (2002).
119 Commanders of Combatant Commands: Assignment; Powers and Duties, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 164(b)(1) (2002). The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 makes the following statement of policy: "In enacting this Act, it is the intent of Congress, consistent with the congressional declaration of policy in section 2 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401) - . . . (3) to place clear responsibility on the commanders of the unified and specified combatant commands for the accomplishment of missions assigned to those commands." See Joint Chiefs of Staff, Unified Action Armed Forces (UNAAF), Joint Publication 0-2 (Washington, D.C.: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 10 July 2001), I-2.
120 Department of Defense, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components, Department of Defense Directive 5100.1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, 1 August 2002), 11.
121 Commanders of Combatant Commands: Assignment; Powers and Duties, U.S. Code, Title 10, sec. 164(d)(1) (2002).
122 Nathan Hodge, "CIA's Predator Behavior is Cause for Concern," Newsday, 6 June 2002, sec. Viewpoints, p. A49 (979 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
38
123 Ibid. Hodge's viewpoint is consistent with Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) - 35 issued by President Clinton, which instructs the Intelligence Community to provide military commanders with the tactical intelligence they need in operations. See Central Intelligence Agency, Center for the Study of Intelligence. Central Intelligence: Origin and Evolution (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, September 2001), 13. 124 Nathan Hodge, "CIA's Predator Behavior is Cause for Concern," Newsday, 6 June 2002, sec. Viewpoints, p. A49 (979 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
125 Jonathan Weisman, "CIA, Pentagon Feuding Complicates War Effort," USA Today, 17 June 2002, sec. A, p. 11 (1534 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
126 Ibid.
127 Douglas Waller, "Inside the CIA's Covert Forces," Time, 10 December 2001, p. 56 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 29 August 2002.
128 Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 193-194.
129 Bob Woodward, "Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role," The Washington Post, 18 November 2001, sec. A, p. 1 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 29 August 2002.
130 The idea, and number figures, for this sentence and its point of view came from Thom Shanker and James Risen, "Rumsfeld Weighs New Covert Acts by Military Units," The New York Times, Late Edition - Final, 12 August 2002, sec. A, p. 1 (1604 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
131 Ron Kampeas, "CIA's Paramilitary Scores Successes," Associated Press Online, 20 May 2002, p. 1 (968 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002. See also Thom Shanker and James Risen, "Rumsfeld Weighs New Covert Acts by Military Units," The New York Times, Late Edition - Final, 12 August 2002, sec. A, p. 1 (1604 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
132 The CQ Researcher, Intelligence Reforms, Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 25 January 2002, vol. 12, no. 3.
133 Ron Kampeas, "CIA's Paramilitary Scores Successes," Associated Press Online, 20 May 2002, p. 1 (968 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
134 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-14.
135 Evan Thomas and Colin Soloway, "A Street Fight," Newsweek, 29 April 2002, sec. International, p. 30 (2596 words) [database on-line]; available from Lexis-Nexis; accessed 29 August 2002.
39
136 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-4.
137 Ibid.
138 Bryan Bender, Kim Burger, and Andrew Koch, "Afghanistan: First Lessons," Jane's Special Reports, 14 December 2001; available from http://www.janes.com.html; Internet; accessed 12 September 2002.
139 Ibid.
140 Ibid.
141 Dana Priest, "CIA Killed U.S. Citizen in Yemen Missile Strike," The Washington Post, 8
November 2002, Sec. A, p. 1.
142 Vince Crawley and Amy Svitak, "Execution or Act of War: CIA Attack on Al-Qaida Leader
Surprises Pentagon, Brings Up Ethical Concerns," Army Times, 18 November 2002, p. 10.
143 Lieutenant Colonel Christopher F. Bentley, "Afghanistan: Joint and Coalition Fire Support in Operation Anaconda," Field Artillery (September-October 2002): 10.
144 Ibid.
145 These comments are based on the author's personal experience and discussions with Lieutenant Colonel Christopher F. Bentley in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan from December 2001 through June 2002. Lieutenant Colonel Bentley served as the Division Fire Support Coordinator (DFSCOORD), and the author served as the Staff Judge Advocate, for Coalition Joint Task Force - Mountain/10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry).
146 See generally Joint Chiefs of Staff, Interagency Coordination During Joint Operations, Joint Publication 3-08 (Washington, D.C.: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 9 October 1996).
147 Ibid.
148 The ideas regarding Annex V are derived in part from Rick Westermeyer, "Theater Interagency Operations," briefing slides with scripted commentary, Carlisle Barracks, U.S. Army War College, December 2002. See also generally Joint Chiefs of Staff, Interagency Coordination During Joint Operations, Joint Publication 3-08 (Washington, D.C.: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 9 October 1996).
149 Joint Chiefs of Staff, Unified Action Armed Forces (UNAAF), Joint Publication 0-2 (Washington, D.C.: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 10 July 2001), xiii. 150 See Joint Chiefs of Staff, Interagency Coordination During Joint Operations, Joint Publication 3-08 (Washington, D.C.: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 9 October 1996); and The White House, Presidential Decision Directive/National Security Council 56, Managing Complex Contingency Operations (May 1997); available from http://carlislewww.
army.mil/usacsl/divisions/pki/Political/Planning/interagency.htm; accessed 5 March 2003.
40
See also Association of the United States Army, Handbook for Interagency Management of Complex Contingency Operations (Washington, D.C., 13 August 1998); available from http://www.ausa.org/RAMPnew/PCR-PDD56Handbook.doc.htm; accessed 5 March 2003. This handbook is intended to institutionalize the mechanisms mandated by Presidential Decision Directive (PDD)-56. The procedures therein were derived from lessons learned from past U.S. participation in complex contingency operations and subsequent improvements made in the interagency planning process. The handbook provides a guide for those in the interagency that are or will be involved in planning such operations.
151 Chuck McCutcheon, "Intelligence Authorization Calls for Greater Reliance on Spies and New Technology," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 15 December 2001, p. 2993. 152 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S. (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, January 16, 2001), p. CRS-29.
153 Suzanne C. Nielson, "Political Control Over the Use of Force: A Clausewitzian Perspective," The Letort Papers, U.S. Army War College (May 2001): 17, quoting Carl von Clausewitz, On War, trans. and eds. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), 94. No serious research paper by a student at the U.S. Army War College can neglect to include a quote from Clausewitz.
41
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Pentagon to Alter Military Tribunal Rules
U.S. to Tell Attorneys When Listening In on Talks With Guantanamo Clients
By John Mintz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 6, 2004; Page A11
In response to complaints from civil libertarians, Pentagon officials said yesterday that they will change some of the rules governing the work of lawyers representing alleged al Qaeda and Taliban fighters before military tribunals.
Under the new rules, attorneys for the defendants who will be tried before the special military courts at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be notified when their conversations with clients are electronically monitored by military officials, a Pentagon source said. The old rules had not clarified whether the defense lawyers would be informed about such eavesdropping.
The government's ability to listen in on attorney-client talks was one of many provisions of the tribunal rules denounced by human rights groups, some foreign officials and legal organizations such as the American Bar Association.
With rare exceptions, conversations between defense attorneys and their clients are confidential under military and civilian law. Last year, when military officials drew up the rules allowing the electronic monitoring of attorney-client sessions, some defense lawyer groups said they would refuse to participate.
Yesterday, some legal experts welcomed the rule changes but said they do not go far enough.
"These are certainly positive changes, and not simply cosmetic changes, but they're unlikely to have much impact" in persuading defense attorneys to take part in the tribunals, said Eugene R. Fidell, a military law expert who represents a U.S. Army Muslim chaplain who was stationed at Guantanamo Bay and is accused of security breaches. A much larger inequity in the rules, he said, is that convictions can only be appealed up the Pentagon's chain of command to the president, instead of to civil courts.
"These changes don't alter the fundamentals of that equation in the rules," Fidell said.
Air Force Maj. John Smith, spokesman for the Pentagon's Office of Military Commissions, said: "We're tweaking and making some clarifications and modifications to the rules. . . . I think the changes will be well received." The altered rules will be announced soon, he said.
Some military lawyers, including a number of Defense Department lawyers assigned to the tribunals, also have voiced concerns about the regulations. To date, six of the 680 detainees at the U.S. Navy prison at Guantanamo Bay have been designated eligible to stand trial before military tribunals.
One previous rule will remain: It requires that the monitoring of attorney-client conversations be undertaken only for security or intelligence reasons, and any information derived will not be given to the prosecution. But the new regulations include a provision that only military officials responsible for security, and not prosecutors, can order such eavesdropping, sources said. A bureaucratic wall will be erected to prevent migration of that information to the prosecution, one official said.
The old rules suggested defense lawyers could not ask for trial delays for personal or professional reasons, but the new rules allow that. The previous procedures suggested private defense lawyers would be constrained in working on the cases with their home offices, but the new rules make clear that they may do so.
Military officials say the rules allowing listening in on attorney-client sessions are comparable to procedures governing the U.S. Bureau of Prisons when it confronts security problems or assists in intelligence investigations.
Twenty civilian lawyers have applied to represent defendants before tribunals, which the Pentagon calls commissions. Only four have passed background checks that will allow them to take part, officials said.
? 2004 The Washington Post Company

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>> OUR FRIENDS IN CANADA...CSIS WATCH...

CALLING THE KANGAROO COURT
The following arrived in an email report from the courtroom where Ernst Zundel is seeking his release. At issue appears to be a deliberate attempt by CSIS to frame and smear Zundel because of his unpopular views. The judge in the case, himself a former CSIS official, is clearly trying to swing the case in CSIS favor and has refuised to recuse himself despite the obvious conflicts of interest. In virtually every instance where Zundel's lawyer attempted to ascertain just WHY Zundel had been declared a terrorist even though he has no criminal record, the judge sustained an objection based on "National Security".
Read the following report yourself, and you will get a good idea of just how afraid of Zundel the CSIS has become. More to the point, for you Canadian readers, this will illustrate the covert activities your own government is using against you.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can't Tell You -- National Security
TORONTO. January 26, 2004. For the second day in a row, defence lead counsel Peter Lindsay questioned a representative of the Canadian Intelligence Service (CSIS) on the witness stand in the Zundel hearing in Toronto. Mr. Lindsay got CSIS spokesman Dave Stewart to explain that a summary prepared for the then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Denis Coderre) and the Solicitor General Wayne Easter) last spring was a balanced document.
In questioning that was frequently interrupted by CSIS counsel Murray Rodych, lead Crown Attorney Donald MacIntosh and the judge Mr. Pierre Blais, all of whom seemed to run interference for witness Dave Stewart, Mr. Lindsay slowly revealed a picture of a skewed document which suppressed material favourable to Mr. Zundel. This was the information on which the ministers based their May 1, 2003 certificate declaring Ernst Zundel a "terrorist" and a threat to the security of Canada.
Today, especially, a repeated disruptive chorus stymied Mr. Lindsay in his questioning. "Objection: National security," Justice Department lawyer Donald MacIntosh would say.
"Objection sustained," Mr. Justice Blais, a former Solicitor-General and CSIS boss would respond. The judge had been asked by Douglas H. Christie, Mr. Zundel's former leader counsel to recuse himself on the basis of a "reasonable apprehension of bias" last fall, but he had refused.
After considerable argument, Friday, Mr. Lindsay had won the right to cross-examine Mr. Stewart. As a spokesman for an "adverse" party, the witness, under the rules of the Province of Ontario, can be cross-examined in direct questioning; that is, he can be questioned more aggressively and confrontationally than is customary with one's own normally friendly witness.
"Is it a fact that Mr. Zundel has no criminal convictions in Canada, despite having been here from 1958 to 2000?" Mr. Lindsay asked. Mr. Stewart agreed.
"It would appear that the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor-General were not told that Mr. Zundel had no criminal record after living here for 42 years," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"Not in this document," Mr. Stewart admitted.
"Are you able to explain to us why it was not put in the summary that Ernst Zundel had no criminal record?" the dogged Mr. Lindsay pursued.
"I did not write the summary," the CSIS spokesman answered. "The authors would have felt that it didn't need to be included in the summary," he added.
Mr. Lindsay questioned Mr. Stewart extensively about people mentioned in the summary whose guilt-by-association with Mr. Zundel serves, in the Crown's argument, to blacken Mr. Zundel's character.
In one of the numerous occasions when the witness was excluded, while the judge and lawyers argued procedure, Mr. Justice Blais asked; "It would be helpful for me to know why it is important that the summary mentions that some people have no criminal record."
"It's important," Mr. Lindsay replied, "because the witness said Friday that the report purports to be a balanced document as to why Mr. Zundel is a threat to the security of Canada. If so, it would present information on both sides. Yet, the document didn't mention that Ernst Zundel had no criminal record. Your Lordship has examined secret evidence that I have no knowledge of. I'm trying to undermine the fairness of CSIS. How fair has CSIS been? That's going to be a repetitive theme."
Mr. Lindsay then took the witness through a list of persons mentioned as associates of Mr. Zundel, eliciting the fact that most had no criminal record.
"Marc Lemire is mentioned in the summary. Does Mr. Lemire have a criminal record, sir?" Mr. Lindsay queried.
"There's no indication in the summary," Mr. Stewart admitted.
Mr. Lindsay also drew from the witness a reluctant admission that several of the people mentioned as Zundel associates were no longer politically active, including Wolfgang Droege, a founder of the Heritage Front and George Burdi, a former racialist firebrand and skinhead musician.
Mr. Stewart admitted that he'd read only about half of the voluminous material presented with the report. "Would there be someone at CSIS who has read more of it," Mr. Lindsay asked.
"Your Lordship ruled that the names of CSIS agents and the RCMP should not be revealed in the interests of national security," Murray Rodych objected.
Arguing for his right to question which had already been severely restricted, Mr. Lindsay said: "My friend called no witnesses. He strongly objected to the calling of Mr. Stewart until faced with an order from the judge and he opposed cross-examination.
"Do you know anyone at CSIS who quite likely has read more of the material than you have?" Mr. Lindsay again asked the witness.
"The witness should not be permitted to say whether others have more information. My friend is engaged in a fishing expedition?" Mr. MacIntosh argued.
"Have any of the people Mr. Zundel associated with been classified as a danger to the security of Canada?" Mr. Lindsay asked the witness.
"I don't know," Mr. Stewart admitted.
"Mr. Zundel lived in Canada from 1958 to 2000," Mr. Lindsay continued. "When did he begin to be a threat to the security of Canada?"
"That goes to operations and is classified," Mr. Rodych, the CSIS lawyer, objected.
"We know the answer: May 1, 2003," when the certificate of national security was served on Mr. Zundel, Mr. Justice Blais interrupted. "You're going nowhere. You're being tricky," he scolded Mr. Lindsay.
"I don't think, with respect, it's appropriate to call me tricky," the lanky defence lawyer retorted. "CSIS believes Mr. Zundel is a danger to the security of Canada," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"That's correct," Mr. Stewart responded.
Eventually, Mr. Stewart revealed that CSIS began to consider Mr. Zundel a threat to national security in 1990.
Entering on the explosive ground that lies at the heart of this case -- the animosity of CSIS to Mr. Zundel and the whole right wing -- Mr. Lindsay inquired: "Did CSIS play any role in the creation of the Heritage Front?"
"Not to my knowledge," the CSIS spokesman said.
"Didn't a gentleman named Grant Bristow play a major role in the development of the Heritage Front?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"I recall the name, but I would say no," the witness replied.
"Was Grant Bristow an agent of CSIS," Mr. Lindsay continued.
Justice Department lawyer Donald MacIntosh was on his feet. "It's irrelevant. It's not connected to whether the certificate is reasonable, not whether it's true, but reasonable," he said, re-stating the incredible low threshold the Crown has to meet the triumph in this case.
"The question about Bristow's being an agent is not allowed," the judge ruled.
"Whether Bristow is an agent of CSIS goes to the fairness of CSIS. The Service makes a big production of the role and dominance of the White Supremacist Movement and Mr. Zundel's influence in it. If CSIS played a role in it, it would be significant."
"I don't think it's acceptable. We're not going to enter that territory. I accept the submissions of Mr. Rodych. I already made a decision on naming employees of CSIS and the RCMP" Mr. Justice Blais, the former boss of CSIS, ruled, temporarily sandbagging the defence counsel.
Pursuing another tack, M. Lindsay asked: "The summary refers to Mr. Zundel's book The West, War and Islam. Mr. Zundel was charged with spreading false news with this book. Did you know Mr. Zundel was acquitted of this charge? Did the summary provide the results?"
"I don't believe it does," Mr. Stewart admitted.
The CSIS summary to the ministers mentioned that Pastor Butler, a Zundel acquaintance was among those charged with conspiracy to overthrow the U,.S. government. "Does the summary bother to mention that the defendants were found not guilty by an Arkansas jury?" Mr. Lindsay demanded.
"It does not," Mr. Stewart again had to admit.
"But the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor-General were not informed that they had been acquitted. The ministers were given incomplete information?"
"That's correct," Mr. Stewart acknowledged.
"Does CSIS believe that Mr. Zundel has engaged in terrorism, that he is a terrorist?" Mr., Lindsay asked.
"Yes," the CSIS spokesman replied.
"What if I suggest to you that Mr. Zundel is a rightwing extremist but not a terrorist?" Mr. Lindsay continued.
Then, Mr. Lindsay dropped his bombshell. Reading from CSIS Director General Ward Elcock's testimony to the Commons Subcommittee on National Security, November 24, 2003, he said: "Mr. Zundel is certainly a widely known extremist on the rightwing side. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call him a terrorist. An extremist he certainly is."
"Is he testifying on behalf of CSIS," Mr. Lindsay asked.
"I don't know," Mr. Stewart responded lamely. "I don't know the precise context of what Mr. Elcock is testifying to here. There are many definitions of terrorists."
Mr. Justice Blais hurriedly adjourned the hearing for lunch wanting to know the document on which Mr. Elcock was being questioned by Joe Clark in the committee hearing. The hasty adjournment rescued the witness.
After lunch, Mr. Lindsay pursued the allegation that Mr. Zundel is a threat to national security because he's seen as a beacon to the White Supremacist Movement. Mr. Lindsay pointed out that the movement had been in decline in Canada since 1994. Yet, Mr. Zundel had remained in Canada from 1994 to 2000.
"Then, did Mr. Zundel's threat to the security of Canada end in 1995?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"No. If Mr. Zundel's activities continue as they were prior to 1995, he'd be a threat to the security of Canada
"So, the logical conclusion is he would be less of a threat since 1995," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"I see your point," Mr. Stewart admitted. "It's difficult for me to say if an individual would have less impact."
Under questioning, Mr. Stewart admitted that the CSIS summary, which made much of Mr. Zundel's use of the mails for distributing "hate literature", failed to tell the ministers that, in 1982, Mr. Zundel's mailing privileges had been restored after a one year suspension on just such allegations.
The afternoon ended with a tense exchange about the dramatic charges in Andrew Mitrovica's book Covert Entry: Spies Lies and Crimes Within Canada's Secret Service.
"Did CSIS ever intercept Mr. Zundel's mail?" the defence lawyer asked.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," the unsmiling former boss of CSIS ruled.
"Did CSIS have an agent named John Farrell?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," the unsmiling former boss of CSIS ruled.
The book Covert Entry suggests that "Mr. Zundel's mail had been intercepted by CSIS," Mr. Lindsay stated.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
"CSIS ordered Mr. Farrell to temporarily stop intercepting mail to Mr. Zundel," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
On page 140 of the book, there's the suggestion that the May, 1885 bomb "delivered to Mr. Zundel's home had been intercepted by CSIS," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
"There's the suggestion that CSIS was aware of the bomb?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
The book suggests "that CSIS knew of the potential bomb and did not alert Metro police, the post office or Mr. Zundel."
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
"There is the suggestion that Mr. Farrell raised the issue with CSIS about the danger to passengers on airplanes" that might have transported the bomb.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
Court resumes Tuesday, with Mr. Stewart on the stand.
In another development, Mr. Lindsay will appear in the Federal Court of Appeal (330 University Avenue) in Toronto, Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to argue a motion seeking a stay of proceedings pending an appeal against Mr. Justice Blais's denying disclosure to the defence of the names of CSIS and RCMP agents involved in preparing the Zundel case. -- Paul Fromm
TORONTO. January 26, 2004. For the second day in a row, defence lead counsel Peter Lindsay questioned a representative of the Canadian Intelligence Service (CSIS) on the witness stand in the Zundel hearing in Toronto. Mr. Lindsay got CSIS spokesman Dave Stewart to explain that a summary prepared for the then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Denis Coderre) and the Solicitor General (Wayne Easter) last spring was a balanced document. In questioning that was frequently interrupted by CSIS counsel Murray Rodych, lead Crown Attorney Donald MAcIntosh and the judge Mr. Pierre Blais, all of whom seemed to run interference for witness Dave Stewart, Mr. Lindsay slowly revealed a picture of a skewed document which suppressed material favourable to Mr. Zundel. This was the information on which the ministers based their May 1, 2003 certificate declaring Ernst Zundel a "terrorist" and a threat to the security of Canada.
Today, especially, a repeated disruptive chorus stymied Mr. Lindsay in his questioning. "Objection: National security," Justice Department lawyer Donald MacIntosh would say.
"Objection sustained," Mr. Justice Blais, a former Solicitor-General and CSIS boss would respond. The judge had been asked by Douglas H. Christie, Mr. Zundel's former leader counsel to recuse himself on the basis of a "reasonable apprehension of bias" last fall, but he had refused.
After considerable argument, Friday, Mr. Lindsay had won the right to cross-examine Mr. Stewart. As a spokesman for an "adverse" party, the witness, under the rules of the Province of Ontario, can be cross-examined in direct questioning; that is, he can be questioned more aggressively and confrontationally than is customary with one's own normally friendly witness.
"Is it a fact that Mr. Zundel has no criminal convictions in Canada, despite hjaving been here from 1958 to 2000?" Mr. Lindsay asked. Mr. Stewart agreed.
"It would appear that the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor-General were not told that Mr. Zundel had no criminal record after living here for 42 years," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"Not in this document," Mr. Stewart admitted.
"Are you able to explain to us why it was not put in the summary that Ernst Zundel had no criminal record?" the dogged Mr. Lindsay pursued.
"I did not write the summary," the CSIS spokesman answered. "The authors would have felt that it didn't need to be included in the summary," he added.
Mr. Lindsay questioned Mr. Stewart extensively about people mentioned in the summary whose guilt-by-association with Mr. Zundel serves, in the Crown's argument, to blacken Mr. Zundel's character.
In one of the numerous occasions when the witness was excluded, while the judge and lawyers argued procedure, Mr. Justice Blais asked; "It would be helpful for me to know why it is important that the summary mentions that some people have no criminal record."
"It's important," Mr. Lindsay replied, "because the witness said Friday that the report purports to be a balanced document as to why Mr. Zundel is a threat to the security of Canada. If so, it would present information on both sides. Yet, the document didn't mention that Ernst Zundel had no criminal record. Your Lordship has examined secret evidence that I have no knowledge of. I'm trying to undermine the fairness of CSIS. How fair has CSIS been? That's going to be a repetitive theme."
Mr. Lindsay then took the witness through a list of persons mentioned as associates of Mr. Zundel, eliciting the fact that most had no criminal record.
"Marc Lemire is mentioned in the summary. Does Mr. Lemire have a criminal record, sir?" Mr. Lindsay queried.
"There's no indication in the summary," Mr. Stewart admitted.
Mr. Lindsay also drew from the witness a reluctant admission that several of the people mentioned as Zundel associates were no longer politically active, inclkuding Wolfgang Droege, a founder of the Heritage Front and George Burdi, a former racialist firebrand and skinhead musician.
Mr. Stewart admitted that he'd read only about half of the voluminous material presented with the report. "Would there be someone at CSIS who has read more of it," Mr. Lindsay asked.
"Your Lordship ruled that the names of CSIS agents and the RCMP should not be revealed in the interests of national security," Murray Rodych objected.
Arguing for his right to question which had alrady been severely restricted, Mr. Lindsay said: "My friend called no witnesses. He strongly objected to the calling of Mr. Stewart until faced with an order from the judge and he opposed cross-examination.
"Do you know anyone at CSIS who quite likely has read more of the material than you have?" Mr. Lindsay again asked the witness.
"The witness should not be permitted to say whether others have more information. My friend is engaged in a fishing expedition?" Mr. MacIntosh argued.
"Have any of the people Mr. Zundel associated with been classified as a danger to the saecurity of Canada?" Mr. Lindsay asked the witness. "I don't know," Mr. Stewart admitted.
"Mr. Zundel lived in Canada from 1958 to 2000," Mr. Lindsay continued. "When did he begin to be a threat to the security of Canada?"
"That goes to operations and is classified," Mr. Rodych, the CSIS lawyer, objected.
"We know the answer: May 1, 2003," when the certificate of national security was served on Mr. Zundel, Mr. Justice Blais interrupted. "You're going nowhere. You're being tricky," he scolded Mr. Lindsay.
"I don't think, with respect, it's appropriate to call me tricky," the lanky defence lawyer retorted. "CSIS believes Mr. Zundel is a danger to the security of Canada," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"That's correct," Mr. Stewart responded.
Eventually, Mr. Stewart revealed that CSIS began to consider Mr. Zundel a threat to national security in 1990.
Entering on the explosive ground that lies at the heart of this case -- the animposity of CSIS to Mr. Zundel and the whole right wing -- Mr. Lindsay inquired: "Did CSIS play any role in the creation of the Heritage Front?"
"Not to my knowledge," the CSIS spokesman said.
"Didn't a gentleman named Grant Bristow play a major role in the developm,ent of the Heritage Front?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"I recall the name, but I would say no," the witness replied.
"Was Grant Bristow an agent of CSIS," Mr. Lindsay continued.
Justice Department lawyer Donald MacIntosh was on his feet. "It's irrelevant. It's not connected to whether the certificate is reasonabvle, not whether it's true, but reasonable," he said, re-stating the incredible low threshold the Crown has to meet the triumph in this case.
"The question about Bristow's being an agent is not allowed," the judge ruled.
"Whether Bristow is an agent of CSIS goes to the fairness of CSIS.the Service makes a big production of the role and dominance of the White Supremacist Movement and Mr. Zundel's influence in it. If CSIS played a role in it, it would be significant."
"I don't think it's acceptable. We're not going to enter that territory. I accept the submissions of Mr. Rodych. I already made a decision on naming employees of CSIS and the RCMP" Mr. Justice Blais, the former boss of CSIS, ruled, temporarily sandbagging the defence counsel.
Pursuing another tack, M. Lindsay asked: "The summary refers to Mr. Zundel's book The West, War and Islam. Mr. Zundel was charged with spreading false news with this book. Did you know Mr. Zundel was acquitted of this charge? Did the summary provide the results?"
"I don't believe it does," Mr. Stewart admitted.
The CSIS summary to the ministers mentioned that Pastor Butler, a Zundel acquaitance was among those charged with conspiracy to overthrow the U,.S. government. "Does the summary bother to mention that the defendants were found not guilty by an Arkansas jury?" Mr. Lindsay demanded.
"It does not," Mr. Stewart again had to admit.
"But the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor-General were not informed that they had been acquitted. The ministers were given incomplete information?"
"That's correct," Mr. Stewart acknowledged.
"Does CSIS believe that Mr. Zundel has engaged in terrorism, that he is a terrorist?" Mr., Lindsay aksed.
"Yes," the CSIS spokesman replied.
"What if I suggest to you that Mr. Zundel is a rightwing extremist but not a terrorist?" Mr. Lindsay continued.
Then, Mr. Lindsay dropped his bombshell. Reading from CSIS Director General Ward Elcock's testimony to the Commons Subcommittee on National Security, November 24, 2003, he said: "Mr. Zundel is certainly a widely known extremist on the rightwing side. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call him a terrorist. An extremist he certainly is."
"Is he testifying on behalf of CSIS," Mr. Lindsay asked.
"I don't know," Mr. Stewart responded lamely. "I don't know th precise context of what Mr. Elcock is testifying to here. There are many definitions of terrorists."
Mr. Justice Blais hurriedly adjourned the hearing for lunch wanting to know the document on which Mr. Elcock was being questioned by Joe Clark in the committee hearing. The hasty adjournment rescued the witness.
After lunch, Mr. Lindsay pursued the allegation that Mr. Zundel is a threat to national security because he's seen as a beacon to the White Supremacist Movement. Mr. Lindsay pointed out that the movement had been in decline in Canada since 1994. Yet, Mr. Zundel had remained in Canada from 1994 to 2000.
"Then, did Mr. Zundel's threat to the security of Canada end in 1995?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"No. If Mr. Zundel's activities continue as they were prior to 1995, he'd be a threat to the security of Canada
"So, the logical conclusion is he would be less of a threat since 1995," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"I see your point," Mr. Stewart admitted. "It's difficult for me to say if an individual would have less impact."
Under questioning, Mr. Stewart admitted that the CSIS summary, which made much of Mr. Zundel's use of the mails for distributing "hate literature", failed to tell the ministers that, in 1982, Mr. Zundel's mailing privileges had been restored after a one year suspension on just such allegations.
The afternoon ended with a tense exchange about the dramatic charges in Andrew Mitrovica's book Covert Entry: Spies Lies and Crtimes Within Canada's Secret Service.
"Did CSIS ever intercept Mr. Zundel's mail?" the defence lawyer asked.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," the unsmiling former boss of CSIS ruled.
"Did CSIS have an agent named John Farrell?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," the unsmiling former boss of CSIS ruled.
The book Covert Entry suggests that "Mr. Zundel's mail had been intercepted by CSIS," Mr. Lindsay stated.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
"CSIS ordered Mr. Farrell to temporarily stop intercepting mail to Mr. Zundel," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
On page 140 of the book, there's the suggestion that the May, 1885 bomb "delivered to Mr. Zundel's home had been intercepted by CSIS," Mr. Lindsay continued.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
"There's the suggestion that CSIS was aware of the bomb?" Mr. Lindsay asked.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
The book suggests "that CSIS knew of the potential bomb and did not alert Metro police, the post office or Mr. Zundel."
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
"There is the suggestion that Mr. Farrell raised the issue with CSIS about the danger to passengers on airplanes" that might have transported the bomb.
"Objection: national security," Donald MacIntosh snapped.
"Sustained," Mr. Justice Blais ruled.
Court resumes Tuesday, with Mr. Stewart on the stand.
In another development, Mr. Lindsay will appear in the Federal Court of Appeal(330 University Avenue) in Toronto, Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to argue a motion seeking a stay of proceedings pending an appeal against Mr. Justice Blais's denying disclosure to the defence of the names of CSIS and RCMP agents involved in preparing the Zundel case.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>> AHEM...

Reformers implore Sistani to Intervene in Iran Crisis
Ali Nourizadeh of the Saudi newspaper ash-Sharq al-Awsat reports today that more than 400 Iranian writers and cultural figures, along with some members of parliament, have penned a letter to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf, requesting that he express his opinion on the "massacre of democracy and the transformation of parliamentary elections into a mere stage play."
They wrote, "We have followed with appreciation your courageous positions in calling for the holding of free, fair, and direct elections in Iraq, where the population did not have, until the fall of the Baath regime, the right to own a shortwave radio. That is, holding free elections that can escape foreign influence is a difficult matter if not an impossible one. Nevertheless, your excellency is insisting that the first and last word in the matter of choosing rulers and representatives belongs to the Iraqi people. How wonderful it would be if your excellency would express your opinion regarding the farce that some in your native land of Iran are attempting to impose on its people, who are wide awake, under the rubric of "elections." Najaf has always been a support for freedom lovers in Iran, for in the Constitutional Revolution [of 1905-1911], your righteous predecessors such as Mirza Na'ini, Akhund Khurasani, and Allamah Mazandarani, supported the devotees of liberty in Iran. Without their famous fatwa, the people would not have been able to bring down the tyrant Muhammad Ali Shah."
They refer as well to the positive role of the Najaf clerics in Iran's oil nationalization movement under Prime Minister Mosaddegh. They then complain that Iran is presently one big prison and that major clerics such as Ayatollahs Montazeri and Tabataba'i Qomi are under house arrest. [Montazeri is in trouble for rejecting the Khomeinist doctrine of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent, which says that clerics must directly rule the state. Sistani also rejects this doctrine, and would be under house arrest if he were in Iran.] They describe the exclusion of more than 2500 reformist candidates from running as a [political] "massacre", and pointedly say that many of those excluded are followers of Sistani in religious affairs [rather than of Khamenei]!
Iran is currently undergoing a constitutional crisis. The clerical Guardian Council excluded some 4000 of 8000 announced candidates from running in the February 20 elections, including large numbers of sitting members of parliament, on the grounds that they were insufficiently faithful to the ideals of Ayatollah Khomeini. Once elections are actually held, they appear to have been relatively free in Iran in recent years, but the ability of clerical conservatives to exclude candidates and to overturn legislation has crippled the once-flourishing reform movement in parliament. On appeal, some of the exclusions were reversed.
Still, a third of the Iranian parliament has resigned in protest against the Guardian Council's power play. President Khatami has threatened to postpone the elections.
On Wednesday, Supreme Jurisprudent Ali Khamenei intervened, saying that elections would be held, if necessary under the armed supervision of the Revolutionary Guards, on the scheduled date, thus slapping down Khatami. But he also permitted the Ministry of Intelligence, where Khatami supporters have some influence, to review the candidate exclusions and overturn those it wished, and promised that the ministry's decision would be final. Reformers are unconvinced that the Feb. 20 elections can possibly be fair, nevertheless.
The reformers' reference to the Constitutional Revolution, which instituted the first elected parliament in Iran and first challenged absolutist rule, is extremely provocative, since it casts Khamenei in the role of the tyrant Muhammad Ali Shah. And the call for another intervention on the side of constitutionalism and the rule of law from Najaf is striking for its invocation of historical parallels.
I don't know if Sistani will respond to this appeal. He has his hands full with the situation in Iraq, after all. But this could get very interesting indeed.
posted by Juan Cole at 2/5/2004 09:03:54 AM



Al-Hakim: Presidential Council OK
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and a member of the US-appointed Interim Governing Council, has according to AFP given his assent to the presidential council proposed by Adnan Pachachi and the Sunnis.
Pachachi had suggested a rotating 3-man presidency, which would appoint the prime minister and the cabinet, and would have a veto over laws passed by parliament. In essence, the presidential council would function as a sort of small Senate, but confusingly placed in the executive branch. It would itself be elected by the transitional parliament. It would be expected to have a representative from each of the three major ethnic groups, Shiites, Sunni Arabs, and Kurds.
Al-Hakim said, "The idea of a sovereignty council is not rejected from our side." He is further quoted as saying, "The reason to have this council is to solve a problem. If we want to talk more frankly, the Iraqi people have concerns. The Kurds suffered from injustice, they have fears and they would like to occupy different [government] positions." He continued, "Everyone should be reassured, we want to reassure them all and we want everyone to participate actively in this period until a constitution is drafted and elections are held . . . The number of members [in the presidential council] should be studied. If the problem can be solved by three members, let it be three; if it's five, then it should be five, and if more are needed, then there should be more."
I think this idea of a multi-person rotating presidency is a horrible idea, guaranteed to cause gridlock in the executive branch. If they want a senate to over-rule the Shiite majority in the parliament, they should just create a senate. One executive is enough.
Meanwhile, the London daily al-Hayat quoted Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani as warning on Wednesday, "A difficult confrontation is coming next, with the forces of evil that wish to prevent Iraqis from enjoying their right to a free and democratic life." The article gives no context for this statement, so it is hard to know what exactly he is warning against, but it may be a reference to the Sunni radicals, of the sort who seem to have been responsible for the massive Irbil bombings on Sunday.
The same newspaper said that Iraqi Islamic Party leader Muhsin Abdul Hamid said that he finds the prospect of a civil war in Iraq unlikely.
posted by Juan Cole at 2/5/2004 09:03:33 AM



Sistani Aide: Loose Federalism not in Iraq's Interests
BBC Monitoring picked up a radio interview in Cairo on Sawt al-`Arab on Wednesday with an aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani named Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim Bidali, conducted by Fawzi al-Jundi. Some brief excerpts:
Bidali "With respect to the issue of elections, His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani says they should be held before the date they had chosen [May 31] - within the coming days. That is Ayatollah Al-Sistani's opinion . . . "
Al-Jundi But many members of the Governing Council oppose early elections in Iraq, at least at this stage, because the security situation is deteriorating?
Bidali They have finally been convinced that the meeting of UN envoys and Iraqi experts is an excellent idea.
Al-Jundi If the United Nations decides that elections should be held at a later stage, how will you react?
Bidali "There would be contacts and discussions on various issues. We see the situation on the ground and we will seek alternatives if they rejected this proposal. However, we cannot say at this point what we will do then. We must wait for the report of the UN envoy and then we will decide . . . "
Al-Jundi There are reports circulating about proposals to establish a federation based on ethnic or sectarian division. What sort of federal system do you support?
Bidali We have no specific opinion on the issue of an [loose] Iraqi federation, but we do not believe that it would be in the interests of Iraq . . . "
posted by Juan Cole at 2/5/2004 09:02:05 AM



Tension in Najaf between SCIRI and Sadrists
Hamza Hendawi of AP recently reported on the rising tensions between the followers of young radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and other Shiite factions in Iraq.
In my own view, such tension is a side effect of the rise of the Shiites to political prominence. As the community becomes a prime source of power, the struggle to control it will intensify.
Hendawi's report is borne out by a piece in Xinhua on Tuesday 2/3, which says that tensions are high in Najaf because of disputes between the Sadrist militia and the Badr Corps of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, in part over control of the shrine of Imam Ali. Its reporter wrote, '"The shrine of the Imam Ali (the forth caliph at the Islamic State) is closed to visitors for days now, and the situation is very tense," [Aswad] Al Abayachi said and advised us to return immediately to Baghdad.'
The word on the street in Najaf, according to Xinhua, is that Muqtada al-Sadr, 30, has lost the political spotlight to Sistani, 73, recently and wants to regain it. Also, it was alleged that Sadr was using his office inside the Imam Ali Shrine complex at Najaf as a court in which to try people. Followers of Sistani demanded that the office be closed, provoking the tension.
Xinhua said, "Some Iraqi newspapers mentioned lately that the IGC gave Al Sadr a 48-hour deadline to cancel the court that he formed and close the prison that came with the court and hand the detainees to the government. They pointed out that the Council had decided to send a special delegation to Najaf to mediate between the two disputing parties.
Many observers expect tensions among Shiites to peak during the upcoming Ashura mourning ceremonies, in which emotions run high and tens of thousands of pilgrims will come to Najaf and Karbala.
posted by Juan Cole at 2/5/2004 09:01:20 AM

-----------------------------------------------------------


>> IRAQ MONEY FLOWS...HOW NOT TO INJECT?...

Mohammed Assem Abu Darwish
January 15, 2004
Lebanonwire
Lebanese authorities confiscate $15 million worth of Iraqi currency aboard private jetliner
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan 15, 2004 (AP WorldStream via COMTEX) -- Lebanese customs authorities have confiscated more than US$15 million worth of new Iraqi dinars that came to the country aboard a private plane from Baghdad, security officials said Thursday.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 19.5 billion dinars (US$15.6 million) were confiscated aboard the Lebanese-owned Magic Carpet plane late Wednesday.
Authorities detained three Lebanese businessmen who were aboard the plane and are being questioned at the Financial Prosecutor's office, the officials said. The three were identified as Richard Jreisati, Mohammed Assem Abu-Darwish and Michel Mukattaf.
Some officials said the notes might have been brought to money exchange companies in Lebanon.
An official with Magic Carpet, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the plane was not carrying illegal items. He said those responsible for what is put on the plane are the authorities in the country where the plane took off.
The confiscation came a day before Iraq's old bank notes - bearing former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's portrait - became obsolete following a three-month period to exchange them for the new currency.
Magic Carpet, which began chartered flights from Beirut to Baghdad after the collapse of Saddam's government in April, recently resumed flights after a gap in the summer due to attacks on some planes flying to or from Baghdad International Airport.
Magic Carpet officials have said another reason for ceasing flights to Iraq was that American occupation authorities refused to give them licenses.
It recently resumed the flights.

By BASSEM MROUE Associated Press Writer
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Iraq riches whisked to Syria
By Paul Martin -THE WASHINGTON TIMES 19/1/04
PARIS -- Syria's Central Bank and the Medina Bank in Lebanon are holding at least $2 billion in cash, as well as gold bullion and platinum, that was smuggled out of Iraq, according to a letter written on the stationery of the Syrian army's intelligence department.
The letter says $1.3 billion was deposited in the Syrian Central Bank in an official "presidency" account, while another $700 million was placed in the Medina Bank. The document does not state the value of the gold and platinum, although it says these are also in the Syrian Central Bank.
The handwritten letter to a Syrian exile in Europe, which also bears what appears to be the official stamp of the Syrian army intelligence department, says the deal was struck not long before a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq early last year.
The document was sent to Nizar Nayouf, an exiled Syrian human-rights activist and past winner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Press Freedom Prize who is living in Paris.
While the claims in the letter could not be further verified, Mr. Nayouf, a journalist and democracy activist who was released from a Syrian prison in May 2001, said past information provided by the same person had proved reliable.
The letter names two members of the Lebanese parliament as go-betweens.
One of them is Emil Lahoud, son of the pro-Syrian president of Lebanon. The second is Talal Arsilan, a member of the minority Druze ethnic group. A third go-between is listed as Karim Bakr Adouni, who is described as head of the al Qata'ib Party.
The letter says the go-betweens met with three top Syrian security chiefs before they left on their secret trip to Baghdad.
One security chief is listed as Gen. Ghazi Kanaan, Syria's former chief of military intelligence in Lebanon, who has since been put in charge of Syria's political security department. Other sources say Gen. Kanaan helped provide means of transporting the money and precious metals across the Iraqi-Syrian border.
The other senior Syrian officers are listed in the document as Brigadier Zulhimmah Shalish, who is believed to be the chief of President Bashir Assad's Special Guards, and Gen. Ristom Ghazali, the chief of Syrian intelligence in Lebanon.
Lebanon has been under varying degrees of Syrian domination for more than two decades.
American authorities have long suspected that Syria took Saddam Hussein's money into safe custody shortly before the war. The Treasury Department sent senior investigators to Syria in October and again this month, demanding that the Syrians open their books.
Saddam is believed to have stashed vast sums of money around the world, including funds that he and close associates siphoned from the United Nations' oil-for-food program beginning in 1996.
Money deducted from officials' salaries supposedly to support Saddam's Ba'ath Party is also unaccounted for.
Saddam's son Uday hauled away about $1 billion from the Iraqi Central Bank in three trucks just as the war started, but coalition officials say most of that money has been recovered. It was headed toward Syria when intercepted, they say.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell went to Syria soon after the war ended and publicly warned Mr. Assad to cooperate in tracking Iraqi fugitives and money.
Mr. Assad has become much more active lately in seeking to reduce American pressure. He recently made the first official visit to neighboring Turkey after decades of tension over the latter's pro-Western stance.
Mr. Assad also made the first official Syrian presidential visit to Britain in December 2002 as the United States and Britain were preparing for the war in Iraq.
"The U.S. has Syria firmly in its sights," said one analyst, "and Assad may feel compelled to admit the Iraqi money is there, if only to reduce American pressure for changing his regime."

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Iraq Council Says Lebanon to Release Money
By Associated Press
January 31, 2004, 11:27 PM EST
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Lebanon has agreed to return to Iraq $15.6 million that it confiscated from a plane at Beirut's airport in early January, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council said Saturday.
Mouwafak al-Rubaie spoke to reporters about the cash after talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Airport officials seized the money -- 19.5 billion Iraqi dinars -- after it was found on a private plane that flew in from Baghdad on Jan. 14.
One of the Lebanese businessman on the plane, Mohammed Assem Abu Darwish, who was arrested and then released, was quoted as telling police that the money was to pay mainly for armored cars to protect Iraqi officials.
"We discussed many issues, including the issue of money in dinars held in Beirut," al-Rubaie said of his Hariri meeting. "This issue is in its final phase. God willing, this money will be released and returned to Iraq."
Al-Rubaie said Lebanon had also promised to return the funds that Iraq deposited in Lebanese banks during the regime of ousted President Saddam Hussein. But he did not give a date for when this would happen.
Lebanese authorities have said the money will be returned when Iraq has a sovereign government. Lebanon has not given a figure for the money, but the U.S. Treasury has said it amounts to $495 million.
Also Saturday, Al-Rubaie met Lebanon's top Shiite Muslim cleric, Ayatollah Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.
He said Fadlallah wanted to see a quick end to the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, and that he explained to the sheik the process by which the occupying powers are scheduled to hand over authority to an Iraqi government on June 30.
Copyright ? 2004, The Associated Press
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>> IRAQ MONEY FLOWS...2

Lebanon May Unfreeze Iraqi Assets in Beirut Banks
A member of the Iraqi Governing Council said Lebanon will return the Iraqi millions in its banks, but he gave no indication of when it will happen.
Mouwafak al-Rubaie met the speaker of Lebanon's parliament, Nabih Berri, together with fellow Governing Council member Younadem Kanna.
"The talks were good, and we spoke about the Iraqi money held in Lebanon. We heard good comments that Iraqi money in Beirut will be released," al-Rubaie said. He did not elaborate.
In May, a U.S. Treasury official said Lebanon had US$495 million in Iraqi funds from the years when President Saddam Hussein was in power. Lebanon has acknowledged it has Iraqi money, but it has not released a figure. Its authorities have said the money will be returned when Iraq has a sovereign government.
In November, Iraqi Finance Minister Kamel al-Gailani said in Beirut that Lebanon and Iraq were developing a means of returning the Iraqi assets.
Al-Rubaie's comments came a day after he and Kanna held talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus about the Iraqi funds in Syrian banks, which are estimated at US$300-500 million.
Kanna said afterward that Assad told him "the Iraqi money that exists in Syria is secure and will be turned over to Iraqi authorities."
But Kanna reported Assad as saying the money would be given to an elected Iraqi government, not the current U.S.-appointment administration.
It is likely that Lebanon, which is close to Syria's diplomacy, will adopt the same position.
Relations between Lebanon and the U.S.-appointed Governing Council have been cool because of Lebanon's strong opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Lebanon still has not recognized the council as representing the Iraqi people.
The two-day visit of al-Rubaie and Kanna comes two weeks after Lebanese authorities confiscated 19.5 billion Iraqi dinars (US$15.6) from a private plane that flew to Beirut from Iraq.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry said the money was to be used for government purchases. A Lebanese businessmen on the plane, Mohammed Assem Abu Darwish, told investigators the money was to pay mainly for armored cars for Iraqi officials.
Al-Rubaie and Kanna did not say whether they spoke to Berri about the confiscated dinars.(AP)
Beirut, Updated 03 Feb 04, 09:01
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Salameh: Government cannot force return of Iraqi money
Baghdad official wants funds repatriated
Ousted regime is said to have hidden some $550 million in Lebanese banks
Karine Raad
Daily Star correspondent
Lebanon's Central Bank has no authority to force the return of more than $550 million deposited in the country's banks by the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, said the bank governor Riyadh Salameh on Thursday.
Salameh said that Parliament would have to pass a law to provide such authorization.
He said, "Transactions between Iraqi authorities, the proprietors of the funds, and the Lebanese (banks) were governed by existing laws and left to the discretion of the banks themselves."
Iraqi Governing Council member Mowaffaq al-Roubaie said after meeting with Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on Saturday that Lebanon had agreed to return the funds. He put the total at some $495 million, but Salameh said that "the
sum exceeds $550 million, deposited in over 20 private Lebanese banks."
Beirut has never been opposed to the repatriation of the funds, but wanted to wait until a permanent government was installed in Iraq, which currently has only the temporary Governing Council overseen by the US-led coalition.
Salameh said that the Central Bank had done nothing more than inform the interim Iraqi authorities of the funds deposited in the country.
Another stumbling block has been that funds claimed by Iraq were also frozen in Lebanon to cover debts owed by the former regime to Lebanese businesses.
Salameh declined to say how much money there might be, adding that the Central Bank was not involved in the matter.
Meanwhile, State Prosecutor Adnan Addoum decided on Thursday to lift a ban forbidding Mohammed Abu Darwish, foreign affairs official of the disbanded Lebanese Forces Party Richard Jreisati, and customs agent Zawdo Zouein from leaving the country. The three men were detained in connection with the transfer of $15.6 million worth of Iraqi dinars into the country.
Addoum will meet Friday with Iraq's charge d'affaires, Tahseen Olayan, who will provide additional documents linked to the case.
In a separate development, Addoum announced on Thursday that the leader of the disbanded Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea, was in good health and receiving regular medical attention. Geagea, who is serving a life sentence with hard labor at the Roumieh Central Prison, was transferred to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Hazmieh several days ago for regular clinical tests.
In regard to the Cotonou airplane crash, Addoum received a letter from the French investigating team saying that they had evidence that the airplane was the same one that landed on a weekly basis in the Beirut International Airport (BIA) and that it met the required safety standards. The team said that the Boeing, which crashed in Cotonou on Dec. 24, 2003, was not the same aircraft that had been banned by BIA authorities.
Similarly, the state prosecutor referred to Central Criminal Investigations two complaints lodged by Public Works and Transport Minister Najib Mikati against the New TV station for holding him responsible for the crash in news bulletins.
Addoum instructed that the complaints be included in investigations into "violations to administrative systems" at the BIA civil aviation directorate-general.
As for recent developments in the Al-Madina Bank case, Assistant State Prosecutor Rabia Ammash Qaddoura will interrogate the bank's executive secretary Rana Qoleilat on Tuesday. ? With AFP
Copyright?Daily Star
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Gebran Tueni: Only in Lebanon Are Accusations of Bribery, Corruption Ignored
The entire world was shaken by the lists of officials bribed by Saddam Hussein's ousted regime and France and Jordan, among others, have begun judicial proceedings against the suspected recipients of bribes including free oil coupons, Gebran Tueni noted Thursday.
Only in Lebanon would an accused - whether guilty or innocent - sleep with no remorse regardless of charges of embezzlement, money laundering, illegal financial transactions or Saddam's bribes, which overnight turned their recipients into millionaires, An Nahar's general manager wrote in his weekly column.
Tueni boldly recalled that President Lahoud's son had been implicated in the scandal unveiled in Baghdad by Iraq's Governing Council. "In any other country, if a president's son, an MP or a public figure had been put on such a list, the judiciary would have risen and the individual would have acted to prove his innocence. But not in Lebanon," Tueni remarked sarcastically.
Only one of the alleged recipients of bribes, former MP Najah Wakim, has denied the charges, drawing a retort from the publisher of Iraq's Al-Mada newspaper who said the list was "real and official" and pledged to confront in court those seeking to discredit the disclosure.
Tueni asked why the Lebanese judiciary had not acted until now, adding that the allegations were damaging to Lebanon in the run-up to municipal elections, presidential elections and finally general elections next year.
"Unless the guardians of this state of institutions and the rule of the law feel that these are unimportant issues and they do not owe any explanation to the public opinion," he said.
Separately, Tueni chastised the government for allowing Hizbullah to act as the only player in the festivities marking the return of Lebanese prisoners from Israeli jails.
He questioned why other groups, such as the Communist Party, a key contributor to the resistance whose activists were among the bodies repatriated in last week's swap, were excluded from the official reception.
"We had hoped that Hizbullah would not kidnap the event, but unfortunately it did," Tueni wrote. "While observing the reception, we felt as though we were in Hizbullah-land or the Republic of Hizbullah."
Tueni congratulated the Lebanese for the swap, but recalled with anger that Lebanese released from Syrian jails were greeted by "military personnel that whisked them to further detention" in contrast with the heroes' welcome afforded to those returning from Israeli prisons.
Click here for the full text of Tueni's editorial

Beirut, Updated 05 Feb 04, 19:13
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>> IRAQ MONEY FLOWS 3...
Vote of confidence in Iraq's economy
Despite political unrest, nation's financial system appears to be holding firm
By Stephen J. Glain, Globe Staff, 2/6/2004
WASHINGTON -- With anxiety growing as Iraq hurtles toward self rule, the country's fledgling financial system is proving itself surprisingly resilient, and foreign investors remain eager for a stake in the war-torn nation. The US decision to transfer sovereignty over Iraq to a local government by July 1, sooner than occupation officials had expected a few months ago, has triggered fears of a political vacuum that could destabilize the country. But Iraq's currency, the dinar, has held steady against the dollar, and foreign firms appear undaunted by the country's vast political risk and enormous unpaid debt.
The advent of foreign banks in Iraq, signaled this week by the Iraqi central bank's selection of three banks eligible to open branches in Baghdad, should help alleviate a serious capital crunch, US officials say. The three banks -- HSBC Group, Standard Chartered Bank, and the National Bank of Kuwait -- are the first to be eligible for licenses to provide a full range of financial services in the country.
"Any economy goes nowhere without a banking sector, so that's the first place to invest your money," said Bill Barron, managing director, global head of equity research at Deutsche Asset Management Ltd. "HSBC and Standard Chartered have the expertise and the Middle Eastern network, so it's no surprise they got in. I'm surprised there were no US banks, but it's only a matter of time before Citibank and the others plant their flags there."
Iraq is engulfed in a political clash between the US-led coalition running the occupation and the country's powerful Shiite elite over how to select the country's first sovereign government since the fall of Saddam Hussein. While the United States favors a complex series of caucuses, the majority Shiites prefer direct elections -- a process that would give them greater influence over the character and policies of the new administration. Tensions surrounding the negotiations and an increase in sectarian and ethnic unrest have raised concerns that the abbreviated transition could end in a violent power struggle.
Despite such fears, the Iraqi people -- by not selling dinars for dollars, the currency of choice in uncertain times -- are casting an implicit vote of confidence in the future. A team of US Treasury and Iraqi banking officials in Baghdad last summer hammered out an ambitious overhaul of the country's financial system that appears to be holding firm. They established an independent central bank, a currency exchange that replaced Iraq's old notes, a foreign investment law that allows non-Iraqis to own 100 percent of most companies and banks, tax codes for corporations and individuals, and customs duties.
The stable dinar is one of the coalition's success stories and a badly needed attraction for foreign investors. Since Baghdad fell, the dinar has actually strengthened, from 1,200 to the dollar to just 900 last month before easing back to 1,200. This week, the Iraqi central bank announced it would remove interest rate controls, a sign of growing confidence in the economy's ability to evolve without government intervention.
"Overall, the accelerated schedule has had a positive impact," said John Taylor, the US Treasury Department's undersecretary for international affairs.
There won't be enough time, Taylor said, to tackle the most politically challenging of Iraq's economic reforms: the dismantling of price supports on food and energy products. Under Hussein, generous subsidies on everything from bread to university educations helped the regime keep Iraq's sometimes restive population in line; removing subsidies prior to the handover could prompt a destabilizing round of inflation, say economists.
When US Treasury officials arrived in Baghdad last year, they were issued a World Bank report on the liberalization of 24 ex-Soviet economies that concluded the faster a command economy was unburdened of its subsidies, the less painful would be the recession that follows. Largely for political reasons, both US and Iraqi officials decided to keep the most sensitive of price supports in place.
"From an economist's point of view, you hope to move quickly" against price supports, said Peter McPherson, president of Michigan State University and the leader of the US Treasury team in Baghdad. "But there are trade-offs. I understand the pressure they're under."
Stephen J. Glain can be reached at glain@globe.com.
? Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.
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Weapons of Mass Hysteria
If anything, the war was about 100,000 corpses too late.
The United States has lost less than 350 American dead in actual combat in Iraq, deposed the worst tyrant on the planet, and offered the first real hope of a humane government in the recent history of the Middle East -- and is being roundly condemned rather than praised for one of the most remarkable occurrences of our age. Yet a careful postbellum anatomy of the recent WMD controversy makes the original case for the war stronger rather weaker.
1. A Weapon of Mass Destruction. There were four unique factors in the calculus involving Saddam Hussein and his so-called weapons of mass destruction: (1) Saddam Hussein had petrodollars to buy such strategic weapons; (2) He had acquired and stockpiled such arms and used them in war against Iran and in peace against his own people; (3) He had a long history of aggression against the United States -- from Gulf War I to trying to assassinate an American president; and (4) His Baathist police state had a systematic policy of hiding such weapons, from both the United States postwar intelligence gatherers and the U.N. inspectors.
Therefore as long as Saddam Hussein was in power it mattered little what the professed status of his chemical and biological arsenal was at any particular time, since our only certain knowledge was that he had a proven desire and ability to purchase, recreate, and use them on any given day -- and that day would be mostly unknown to everyone outside of Iraq. He may have had thousands of tons of weapons in 1980, hundreds of tons in 1990, and tens of tons in 1995, almost zero in 2003 -- and yet once again perhaps hundreds in 2005 and thousands again in 2010. Thus the clich? that Saddam Hussein himself was the weapon of mass destruction was in fact entirely accurate.
Throughout this war there has been consistently fuzzy nomenclature that reflects mistaken logic: WMDs are supposedly the problem, rather than the tyrannical regimes that stockpile them -- as if Tony Blair's nuclear arsenal threatens world peace; we are warring against the method of "terror" rather than states that promote or allow it -- as if the Cold War was a struggle against SAM-6's or KGB-like tactics; September 11 had nothing to do with the Iraqi war, as if after 3,000 Americans were butchered through unconventional and terrorist tactics the margin of tolerance against Middle East tyrannical regimes that seek the weapons of such a trade does not diminish radically.
2. Casus Belli. The threat of WMDs may have been the centerpiece of the administration's arguments to go to war, but for most of us, there were plenty of other -- and far more important reasons -- for prompt action now.
Let us for the nth time recite them: Saddam had broken the 1991 armistice agreements and after September 11 it was no longer tolerable to allow Middle East dictators to continue as rogue states and virtual belligerents. Two-thirds of Iraqi airspace were de facto controlled by the United States -- ultimately an unsustainable commitment requiring over a decade of daily vigilance, billions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of sorties to prevent further genocide. He had defied U.N. resolutions; and he had expelled inspectors, demanding either enforcement or appeasement and subsequent humiliation of the international community.
It really was an intolerable situation that in perpetuity thousands of Kurds and Shiites were doomed on any given week that American and British planes might have been grounded. Saddam had a history of war against Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, and the United States, destroyed the ecology of the Mesopotamian wetlands, gassed his own people, and relented in his massacres only to the degree that the United States monitored him constantly. Should we continue with the shameful litany?
Well, in addition, in northern Iraq al Qaedists were battling the Kurds. Old-line terrorists like Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal were at home in Baghdad. Husseinite bounties subsidized suicide-murdering in Israel. A number of accounts had cited relationships between al Qaeda and Baathist intelligence. Iraq, in fact, was already at a critical mass. Faced with a brutal unending U.N. embargo and the loss of its airspace, it was descending into a badland like Afghanistan. The amorality is not that we took him out, but that after 1991 we waited about 100,000 corpses too long.
3. "Intelligence" is rarely intelligent. It is regrettable that two successive administrations apparently (inasmuch as the complete truth really does await translations of the Iraqi archives, a complete inquiry of former Baathists, and assurances from Syria) have had no accurate idea of the extent, or lack thereof, of the Iraqi WMD arsenal. But incomplete or faulty intelligence -- both hysterical overreactions or laxity and naivet? -- is not rare when nations go to war.
We were fooled by Japan in 1941 and had no idea that its enormous fleet was a few hundred miles off Hawaii. The Soviet absorption of Eastern Europe caught utopians off guard in 1945-6. Everyone underestimated Mao's resilience ("Who lost China?"). MacArthur's "infiltrators" across the Yalu River turned out to be several Chinese armies. We know only now that the Soviets cheated on several major arms agreements -- and had WMD arsenals far beyond what was disclosed. Its nuclear accidents and WMD catastrophes are still clouded in mysteries. Remember the Missile Gap of the 1960 election that helped to elect John Kennedy? Yet Cuba, we now learn, had more ready nukes than even Curtis LeMay imagined. The British surely had no warning about the Falklands invasion. An American ambassador gave the wrong message to Saddam Hussein in summer 1990, precisely because the CIA had no clue that Saddam Hussein was gearing up to invade Kuwait. Libya and Iran were further along with their nuclear programs than the CIA dared to imagine. Ditto North Korea. Who knew that Pakistan has been running a nuclear clearinghouse? The point is not to excuse faulty intelligence, but rather to understand that knowing exactly what the enemy is up to is difficult and yet almost never acknowledged to be so.
4. The wages of bluffing. If present stockpiles of WMDs are discovered not to have been present in Iraq in spring 2003 or to have been transported to Syria, it is probably because of deception inside Iraq itself. Either Iraqi weapons procurers and scientists may have misled an unhinged Saddam Hussein or Saddam knew he had no arsenal and yet deliberately misled the U.N. In other words, if the world decides that such a monster cannot have such weapons (as the U.N., in fact, did in several resolutions), and such a monster chooses for whatever bizarre reasons to avoid disclosing information about them, then either one acts on logical inferences or does not -- and thus accepts the wages of such defiance.
I am sorry that the United States has established a hair-trigger reputation in matters of deadly agents of mass destruction -- but apparently other rogue nations now believe that the burden of proof is no longer on us to establish that they have them, but rather on them to ensure the world that they do not. And that is not necessarily a bad thing if we ponder that the lives of thousands may hang in the balance.
5. WMD deterrence. So it turns out that the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the subsequent effort to take out Saddam Hussein have had a powerful effect on such arsenals far beyond Baghdad. Without the removal of the Baathists, Libya would never have confessed to its nuclear roguery. Without the recent war, Iran would never have professed a desire to follow international protocols. Without the recent conflict, Pakistan would never have investigated its own outlaw scientists.
Whether we like it or not, the precedent that the United Sates might act decisively against regimes that were both suspected of pursuing WMD acquisition and doing nothing to allay those fears, has had a powerful prophylactic effect in the neighborhood. Only in this Orwellian election year, would candidates for the presidency decry that the war had nothing to do with the dilemma of WMDs -- even as Libya, Iran, and Pakistan by their very actions apparently disagreed.
6. Cost-benefit analysis. A decade-long U.N. trade embargo, coupled with occasional U.S. strikes (the 1999 Desert Fox operation may have killed 4,000 Iraqis) probably led to as much damage and death as the recent war -- but without either freeing the Iraq people or finally ascertaining the exact nature of Saddam's chemical, biological, and nuclear arsenal. Once Saddam Hussein took Iraq down the path of tyranny, invasion, and WMD acquisition, then it was not a question of stopping him without losses, but simply finding the most economical way to rid the world of his regime at the least cost in lives. When reckoned over a 30-year era, the recent war will have seemed humane in comparison to what transpired between 1975 and 2003.
Again, I am sorry that David Kay's preliminary findings suggest an intelligence lapse; but that sorrow is mitigated by the recognition that there are tens of thousands of rotting skulls in the deserts of Iraq -- the work of a psychopath and his sons, who, thanks to the belated efforts of the United States, have now been put permanently out of the business of mass death.
7. WMD paranoia. While conventional arsenals kill far more than chemical or biological weapons, the latter hold a particular horror for us all given the stealthy nature of microbes and gas, and their theoretical ability to kill us en masse without the scream of an artillery shell or burp of a machine gun. Illogical perhaps, but true nonetheless is our paranoia about these horrific weapons. My grandfather who was mustard gassed in the Argonne, coughed out horrific tales of yellow clouds; rarely artillery bursts that killed most of his friends. The Chinese demand reparations from Japan over the brutality of Unit 731 in a way they do not even concerning the Rape of Nanking. A few grains of Ricin empty the Capitol in a way a random artillery shell or abandoned M-16 would not.
Unconventional weapons, in other words, by their very nature of stealth, horrific death, and the failure of conventional military deterrence scare people -- especially in the present context of asymmetrical warfare where rogue states and terrorist cells seek them precisely to nullify Western military advantage. This is not to excuse WMD paranoia, but only to suggest, for example, that Colin Powell's excursus to the U.N. might in retrospect been inaccurate in all its details, but nevertheless a well-meaning effort to ensure the United States did not experience something like the cloud in Kurdistan -- or unconventional and unpredictable acts analogous to September 11.
8. History's verdict. The morality of a war, perhaps tragically so, is usually judged by the way it was waged and its aftermath. Thus while historians quibble about whether Roosevelt "knew" about December 7, most care little because they accept Japanese aggression and the ultimate success and morality of our efforts to defeat it. Conservatives harp that President Clinton neither went to the U.N. nor the U.S. Senate to bomb Serbia; but their objections to his preemption rightly fell on deaf ears because the real moral question was rather to stop genocide and end the reign of a mass murderer. Most of us did not care a whit about Monica, but appreciated deeply the Clinton effort (way too late) to stop the slaughter in the Balkans and finally to show some displeasure with Saddam Hussein.
This is not an argument to ignore concerns over dissimulation, but rather to appreciate that when confronted with an ogre the moral issue sometimes is ending his reign and leaving millions safe and free in his wake, rather than quibbling over the legal basis to do so.
In contrast, we talk still about an exaggerated Gulf of Tonkin resolution precisely because the ensuing war became morally questionable, was often waged nonsensically, and was ultimately lost -- resulting in millions of dead in vain, refugees, and internees. Had we acted wisely in Vietnam, created a South Korea-like state within three years, and today be witnessing a Saigon similar to Seoul, the Gulf of Tonkin legislation would be seen instead as an irrelevant if improper effort to prompt needed action to save millions from Communism rather than the disingenuous catalyst that led to quagmire.
Again, this is not to suggest the ends justify the means, but rather to acknowledge that there are always deeper reasons to go to war than what lawyers, diplomats, and politicians profess. Those underlying factors are ultimately judged as moral or immoral by history's unforgiving logic of how, and for what reason, the war was waged -- and what were its ultimate results. We live in a sick, sick West if we investigate Mr. Bush's and Mr. Blair's courageous efforts to end Iraqi fascism, while ignoring the thousands of Europeans and multinational corporations who profited from his reign of terror.
Postmortem. If the United States went to war with Iraq only because of the threat of WMDs; if the mass murdering of Saddam Hussein was found on examination to be highly exaggerated; if we had some secret plan for stealing the oil of Iraq, if Saddam Hussein posed no future threat to the United States or its allies; if the war resulted in a worse future for Iraq, the United States, and the surrounding Middle East; and if the administration deliberately constructed false intelligence evidence to advance such an unnecessary war that resulted in misery rather than hope, then an apology is needed now. But so far, that has simply not been the case.
The real outrage is instead that at a time of one of most important developments of the last half-century, when this country is waging a war to the death against radical Islamic fascism and attempting to bring democracy to an autocratic wasteland, we hear instead daily about some mythical rogue CIA agent who supposedly faked evidence, Martha Stewart's courtroom shoes, Michael Jackson's purported perversion, and Scott Peterson's most recent alibi. Amazing.

http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200402060837.asp



>> IRAN WATCH...

Iran Acquires Cruise Missile
From DEBKA-Net-Weekly 143 Jan 30, 2003
February 6, 2004, 8:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran`s threat to Gulf shipping
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary regime last month marked the 25th anniversary of its victory over the Shah by launching a sophisticated missile dubbed Raad and its accompanying advanced radar system designated DM-3b. Minister of defense Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani led the ceremony in full naval dress uniform.
The official handout described the radar system as navigating and guiding the combatant missile in its final stage. The medium-range Raad missile is equipped with a self-guidance device. Shamkhani enthused: the two systems manufactured in Iran's state aviation industry further enhance the capabilities of Iranian armed forces.
What the handout did not reveal was that Raad is no ordinary coastal or shipboard projectile but a cruise missile, capable of halting Personal Gulf shipping by blockading the Hormuz Strait. It can also choke off incoming and outgoing sea traffic via the Shatt al-Arb, Iraq's only exit point for its oil exports and entrance for its vital imports.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 's Gulf sources report launching bases for the new missiles are going up at four places on Iran's Gulf coast: the northern end at Bandar a-Khomeini opposite the mouth of the Shatt al Arb and facing Kuwait and Bahrain, at Bushehr, site of its nuclear reactor, at the big Bandar Abbas naval base and Revolutionary Guards headquarters, and at Bandar e-Lengeh west of Qeshm Island.
From these installations, Iranian missiles will cover the tanker and merchant ship lanes leading into the Persian Gulf from the Indian Ocean through the Gulf of Aden.
A fifth launching base will be located on the small highly-strategic island of Great Tumb situated just north of the Hormuz Strait at the mouth of the Gulf.
According to our military experts, the locations of the new Raad missile bases betray both aggressive intent and determination to defend Iran's Gulf shore from assault by warships or hostile marine landings. Iran's military command appears to be preparing the country's national defenses for an anticipated American attack in the course of 2004 or early 2005.

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Russia Sells Iran AVLIS System for Advanced Uranium Enrichment
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
August 28, 2003, 9:31 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency - IAEA - put out a disturbing report this week confirming earlier DEBKAfile revelations that traces of uranium enrichment activity were found in samples at Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, 290 km south of Tehran, evidence that Iran was in the process of building a nuclear arsenal.
Agency officials admit that Tehran is in clear non-compliance with its nuclear safeguard obligations and may even have laid itself open to a complaint to the UN Security Council and the threat of sanctions.
In issue Number 120, published on August 8, DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources reported exclusively that in the second week of July Russia secretly delivered the components of the AVLIS (atomic vapor laser isotope separator) system aboard unmarked military transports.
This accelerated and environmentally clean process of uranium enrichment was first developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, for the US Department of Energy in the 1970s. In 1998, the Iranians were reported working on their own AVLIS. The version supplied by Russian is apparently based on more advanced technology. While the US energy department suspended AVLIS development in 1998, the Russians appear to have stepped up production, counting on an expanding future exports to governments bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, North Korea, India and Pakistan.
The Russian components came with Russian technicians for assembling the apparatus and teaching Iranian nuclear technicians how to use it.
According to the information obtained by DEBKA-Net-Weekly , AVLIS has been installed at two of Iran's uranium enrichment facilities, Natanz and Moallen Kalayeh. The latter is Iran's most secluded subterranean nuclear plant, buried under the Albroz Mountains 40 km north of Tehran. In its tall tunnels, Iran carries out its most secret tests.
Moallen Kalayeh used to be a small rural village. Today it is a closed township populated by hundreds of scientists and technicians. It is also one of the most heavily protected places in the country. The Iranians are putting the new equipment to work at top speed at the peak of their effort to build up a stock of enriched uranium sufficient for a nuclear device before September 8, when the Nuclear Atomic Energy Agency's board convenes in Vienna to discuss the Iran report.
Tehran has also been racing against the clock to forestall decisions at the six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program that began in Beijing August 27, before they impede Iran's related progress towards a nuclear weapon. Attending the talks are the US, the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and China, the host.
According to our Moscow sources, Russian military circles as certain that without that AVLIS would not have been consigned to Iran without the okay of President Vladimir Putin. He would have seen the delivery as a means of getting round his promise to President George W. Bush not to send Iran spent nuclear rods to fuel the Bushehr nuclear reactor and a way of compensating Iran for this letdown.
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>> TERROR FILES CONTINUED...

Video shows al-Qaida attack preparation
NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- ABC News says it discovered video footage of al-Qaida terrorists preparing for, and executing, an attack has been discovered on the Internet .
The six 15-minute videos appear on the Web site of the Islamic Center for Studies and Research and implicate the men responsible for a Nov. 8, 2003, suicide bomb attack on a residential compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 17 people.
The tape shows men training in military camouflage uniforms with a stockpile of advanced weapons.
Also shown are building plans and surveillance photos of the target and the location of security guards, who were the first to be killed in the attack.
The tape also shows a bomb being built in a training camp in Saudi Arabia. Next to the device is a radio transmitter, which indicates how the bomb was detonated.
The only men whose faces are shown are two individuals who are described as the eventual suicide bombers.
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Tape Shows Purported Saudi Militant Plot
By TAREK AL-ISSAWI
ASSOCIATED PRESS
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - A video purported to be from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network shows Saudi militants planning, training for and carrying out what it claimed was the Nov. 8 bombing of a housing compound for foreigners in the Saudi capital that killed 17 people.
The 90-minute video, viewed on an Islamic Web site by The Associated Press in Dubai, shows a vehicle driving up to what it says is the Muhaya compound in Riyadh before loud explosions and gunfire erupt. That portion is blurry and badly lit, and the building is not visible.
It was not possible to verify the video's authenticity. However, it uses language similar to past statements attributed to al-Qaida, and the training scenes are like those seen in videos of al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan. The Web site that showed the video has released other seemingly credible al-Qaida statements.
In October, an al-Qaida-style recording surfaced on the Internet that included what was described as audio of militants launching May 12 attacks on Western housing compounds in Riyadh that killed 26 people and the nine attackers. Bits of video also were accessible with it, but the only clip allegedly of the assault itself showed a black screen with text identifying gunshot noises as a recording of the start of the attack.
The new video contains excerpts from several of bin Laden's previously broadcast comments, as well as the words of other al-Qaida members and Khattab, a Saudi-born Chechen military leader who was killed by Russian forces in 2002.
Militants are seen training with rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles, and in hand-to-hand combat.
The video also showed training courses on bomb-making and displayed detonators, timers and wires. It calls the training camp al-Battar and says it is on the Arabian peninsula.
American and Saudi officials blamed al-Qaida for the attack on the Muhaya compound. Although Arabs and other Muslims were living in the compound, the video claimed it housed members of the CIA as well as other Americans. No Americans were killed in the attack.
"If we wanted to destroy the country, then attacking institutions beneficial to the people is much easier than killing a single American," said a man who identifies himself as Nasser bin Hamed al-Harbi, allegedly one of the two suicide bombers.
The video showed men purportedly carrying out reconnaissance of the compound, and said the attack was rehearsed repeatedly and computer-simulated.
Some of the footage clearly came from a handheld camera. Two voices could be heard praying as the vehicle moved, moments before the sound of an explosion.
Some members of the team that attacked the compound were believed to have escaped.
In one scene on the video, more than 10 men are shown, most of them covering their faces with ski masks or Arab headscarves, carrying RPGs, semiautomatic weapons, grenades and AK-47 semiautomatic rifles. The video also showed the two purported suicide bombers.
Some militants were shown spraying the vehicle dark blue with light blue stripes along the sides. Saudi authorities said the vehicle used in the attack had been painted to resemble a Saudi security vehicle, with a dark blue body and light blue markings.
"The mujahedeen target only the crusaders. As for the infidel leaders, their day will come, God willing," a masked man identified in a subtitle as Abdul Aziz al-Moqrin said on the video, holding an assault rifle.
Al-Moqrin is on a Saudi list of most-wanted terror suspects. He has been identified in newspaper reports as the mastermind of the attack.
Saudi Arabia has been under pressure to show it is more active in fighting terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

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>> PA WATCH...

Something important is happening in the PA
By Nazir Majally
Something important is happening on the Palestinian street, especially among the second and third generation of its leadership, as relates to Israel and the conflict and the vision of the future of the Palestinian Arab people. The change appears to be genuine, and also strategic.
There's no doubt that those in Israel who ought to know what is happening there are aware of this. But for some reason, this knowledge is not being expressed in a correspondingly practical policy. And as usual, the Palestinian side is not making an effort to expose these important developments to the public.
Imad Shakur, one of the Palestinian Authority chairman's many advisers, described the prevailing attitude in the territories in a courageous article published in the mass-circulation Arab newspaper A-Sharq al-Awsat last week. In it, he calls not just for a halt to the intifada, but also for the dismantling of all the armed organizations, including the Fatah Tanzim. He even expresses contempt for the term "the blessed intifada" and severely criticizes the leadership that refuses to recognize its mistakes and is not internalizing the changes in the world and the region. Shakur reminds his readers of the fate of President Saddam Hussein, who promised to wage a victorious war against the United States. He argues that a genuine and dignified solution to the Palestinian matter can only come from a drastic change in the patterns of thinking and governing to move toward a real democratic and pluralistic system.
Anyone who knows the Palestinian leadership from up close, including Arafat's inner circle, knows that Shakur's article is not expressing solely his opinion. As a matter of fact, it was reprinted in full in the PA's main newspaper, Al Ayam, which is published in Ramallah and edited by Akram Haniya, one of Arafat's closest advisers; in the competing Al Quds, published in Jerusalem; and also in the Jordanian newspaper A-Ra'i and became the talk of the day there, too. It is also known that the article was seen by Arafat and Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) prior to its publication and they did not prevent it from being published.
Clearly, many Palestinians, including some of the leaders, think the same way, and this is not such a recent development. It's known that the first Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), opposed the intifada from the start and sought to stop it. Others have referred to it as a death blow to the Palestinian people. And some spoke, even then, of the foolish mistake at Camp David when the Palestinians rejected the Clinton-Barak proposal. At a later stage, they began to organize in order to promote these ideas.
These people did not concentrate solely on today's diplomatic-security situation. They also thought about the future of the Palestinian people. At their meetings, which were held openly, they talked not just about reforms but also about how to establish a special Arab state in democratic and pluralistic Palestine, and about a free and thriving economy. They cited Japan and Germany, which were compelled to dismantle their armies following the surrender in World War II, and how they have since become economic and technological superpowers. They talked about Israel in terms of cooperation instead of hostility, in terms of envy instead of hatred.
But every time they decided to openly publicize their positions, something happened that caused them to postpone the publication to a later time. The first time it was the siege on Arafat. The second time it was the Seder night terror attack in Netanya, to which Israel responded with a reoccupation of all the Palestinian cities. The third time, it was another terror attack and another occupation. And the idea was quashed. Until now, when it has been brought out in the open.
How Israel relates to this development is important. Will it understand and respond with encouraging initiatives - or will Israel ignore it?
The writer is a journalist and Israeli affairs analyst for the Arab media, including A-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, Abu Dhabi Television and Al-Arabia Television.
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>> TERROR FILES...ATTA ROOMMATE...


HAMBURGER TERRORPROZESS
Im Zweifel f?r Mzoudi
Von Matthias Gebauer
Nach monatelangen Querelen ist der im zweiten Hamburger Terrorprozess angeklagte Abdelghani Mzoudi ein freier Mann - aus Mangel an Beweisen gegen den mutma?lichen Helfer der Todes-Piloten. Das Gericht lie? jedoch keinen Zweifel daran, dass dies keinesfalls Mzoudis Unschuld bedeute.
DDP
Abdelghani Mzoudi: Schweigen nach dem Freispruch
Hamburg - Es war Punkt 11.37 Uhr, da war der mutma?liche Terror-Helfer Abdelghani Mzoudi ein freier Mann. Viel gegens?tzlicher allerdings h?tten die Reaktionen in den Minuten nach dem spektakul?ren Freispruch kaum sein k?nnen. "F?r Sie, Herr Mzoudi, mag dieser Tag ein Grund zur Freude sein", sagte der Vorsitzende Richter Klaus R?hle gewohnt k?hl, "doch ein Grund zum Jubeln f?r die Justiz ist es keinesfalls." Ganz anders sah das freilich der Verteidiger des jungen Marokkaners. Mit breitem Grinsen sprach der kurz nach dem Richter von einem "gro?artigen Tag f?r die Justiz", die sich nicht als willf?hriger Vollstrecker der internationalen Terrorbek?mpfung habe missbrauchen lassen.
Die Wahrheit liegt wohl irgendwo in der Mitte. Die Richter machten in ihrer Urteilsbegr?ndung deutlich, dass sie nach dem Rechtsgrundsatz "im Zweifel f?r den Angeklagten" entschieden hatten. F?r eine Verurteilung wegen Beihilfe bei den Attacken vom 11. September 2001 und der Mitgliedschaft in der Terror-Gruppe um die Todespiloten Atta und Co. "reichte es einfach nicht", wiederholte Richter R?hle mehrmals. Zweifelsohne aber bleibt nach dem Freispruch des Angeklagten nicht nur f?r das Gericht ein bitterer Beigeschmack, denn sie sind nach R?hles Worten "von der Unschuld des Angeklagten keineswegs ?berzeugt".
Revision ist bereits eingereicht
F?r Bundesanwalt Walter Hemberger ist der Angeklagte noch immer ein "gef?hrlicher Terrorist", der an den Anschl?gen in den USA beteiligt war. Aus diesem Grund wolle er umgehend eine Revision gegen den Freispruch pr?fen. Die Nebenkl?ger im Prozess lie?en sich nicht so lange Zeit. Keine zwei Minuten nach dem Urteil hatte der Richter bereits per Fax den Revisionsantrag des Berliner Rechtsanwalts Andreas Schulz auf seinem Schreibtisch.
Doch neben all den bewertenden Aussagen reichte schon die Urteilsbegr?ndung des Richters aus, um den komplizierten Ablauf des Prozesses bis hin zum Freispruch zu verstehen. Punkt f?r Punkt schilderte Richter R?hle, warum der weltweit beachtete Prozess scheiterte. Letztlich habe die mehr als 30-t?gige Gerichtsverhandlung mit mehr als 50 Zeugen und Hunderten von Beweisdokumenten keine ausreichenden Beweise f?r den Vorwurf ergeben, dass Mzoudi die Anschl?ge mit vorbereitete, so R?hle. "Nur sie wissen, was Atta und Co. ihnen von den t?dlichen Pl?nen erz?hlt haben", sagte R?hle zu Mzoudi. Doch auch wenn die Anschl?ge eines der "schrecklichsten Verbrechen in der Geschichte der Menschheit seien", k?nne es in einem Rechtsstaat "nur aus Gr?nden der S?hne" keine Verurteilung geben.
Pr?gel f?r die Schlapph?te
AP
Richter Klaus R?hle: Freispruch trotz Belastungsmaterial
Danach schilderte R?hle die vielen Zweifel, die das Gericht letztlich zum Freispruch f?hrten. Von Beginn an seien die Beweise der Ankl?ger d?nn gewesen. Lediglich einige Geld?berweisungen an die sp?teren Attent?ter und die Erledigung kleiner Gefallen konnten die Fahnder gegen Mzoudi vorbringen. Ebenso erwiesen sich Zeugenaussagen, die Mzoudi zuerst als fanatischen Eiferer gegen das Weltjudentum erscheinen lie?en, am Ende ?bertrieben und wenig ?berzeugend. "Die Planung des 11. Septembers war eine Geheimaktion sondergleichen", f?hrte R?hle aus. Nach Meinung des Gerichts habe Mzoudi deshalb auch ebenso gut nichts von den Pl?nen seiner Freunde wissen k?nnen, obwohl diese zumindest die Endphase der Anschlagsplanung in der gemeinsamen Wohnung koordinierten.
Doch nicht nur die Ankl?ger bekamen zu Prozess-Ende Pr?gel. Richter R?hle widmete einen ganzen Teil seines Vortrags der Arbeit der internationalen Geheimdienste. Die US-Dienste aber auch die deutschen Sicherheitsbeh?rden hatten immer wieder wichtige Beweise und potentielle Zeugen wie den Drahtzieher Ramzi Binalshibh vom Gericht ferngehalten - weil dies entweder die nationale Sicherheit der USA oder auf deutscher Seite die Kooperation mit den US-Beh?rden gef?hrde. R?hle zog am Ende seiner pers?nlichen Erfahrung mit den Diensten eine ern?chterte Bilanz: "Wir m?ssen es hinnehmen, dass der Angeklagte freigesprochen wird, obwohl an verschiedensten Stellen ganz offenbar belastendes Material vorliegt".
Ein Richter zwischen vielen St?hlen
Bei der Urteilsverk?ndung war Klaus R?hle der gesamte Druck anzumerken, der auf einem Richter liegt, der gegen einen potentiellen Beteiligten des Massenmords vom 11. Septembers verhandelt. Einem Richter, von dem viele nur ein hartes Urteil verlangten, der aber selber durch und durch Jurist ist und Fakten braucht. Immer wieder verteidigte er sich und seinen Senat. "Wir sind in dem Verfahren an die Grenzen der Wahrheitsfindung gesto?en", sagte er in Bezug auf nicht vorgelegtes Beweismaterial, "doch wir haben es uns nicht leicht gemacht".
Fast geriet die Urteilsbegr?ndung des Senats zu einer Entschuldigungsrede. "Manche Menschen, vor allem in den USA, werden dieses Urteil mit Fassungslosigkeit oder gar Wut aufnehmen", gestand R?hle ein, "andere werden das Urteils als Niederlage gegen den internationalen Terrorismus sehen." R?hle betonte, dass Gericht sei besonders von dem Auftritt der Angeh?rigen der Opfer und ihrem Leid beeindruckt gewesen sei. "Der Schrecken des Terrors ist nicht gebannt", sagte der Richter. In dem Hamburger Verfahren aber sei es ausschlie?lich um die Schuld des Angeklagten gegangen und nicht um ein "Fanal gegen den Terror".
Die offene Schuldfrage
Der einzige, der am Donnerstag eisern schwieg, war der Ex-Angeklagte selber. Beim Freispruch im Gerichtssaal zeigte Abdelghani Mzoudi kaum eine Regung und starrte auf den Boden. Erst als ihm sein Verteidiger ermuntert auf die Schultern klopfte, grinste er kurz. Danach verschwand er wie gewohnt in den Gerichtsg?ngen. Auch auf der Pressekonferenz sagte er nichts, weder zu seinem Fall noch zu seinem Befinden. "Er ist einfach ein sehr zur?ck haltender Mensch", sagte sein Verteidiger. Auf die Frage, ob er seinen Mandanten auch pers?nlich f?r unschuldig halte, schwieg auch er. Trotz des Freispruchs vom Donnerstag ist diese Frage genauso offen wie zu Prozessbeginn.

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MZOUDI-FREISPRUCH
Bundesanwaltschaft will Urteil anfechten
Das Urteil im zweiten Hamburger Terrorprozess ist gefallen. Das Gericht befand, Abdelghani Mzoudi k?nne keine Beteiligung an den Anschl?gen vom 11. September nachgewiesen werden, und sprach den Marokkaner frei. Die Bundesanwaltschaft will jetzt vor den Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe ziehen.
Terrorprozess: Freispruch f?r Mzoudi
AP
Grund zur Freude: Abdelghani Mzoudi
Hamburg - Die Anklage hatte die H?chststrafe von 15 Jahren Gef?ngnis gefordert, die Verteidigung Freispruch beantragt. Die meisten Prozessbeobachter hatten den Freispruch erwartet. Das Hamburger Oberlandesgericht hatte im Dezember ?berraschend den Haftbefehl gegen Mzoudi aufgehoben, weil es eine vom Bundeskriminalamt ?bermittelte anonyme Zeugenaussage als entlastend wertete.
Die Bundesanwaltschaft will jetzt Revision einlegen. "Wir sind davon ?berzeugt, dass sich der Angeklagte der Mitgliedschaft in einer terroristischen Vereinigung und der Beihilfe zum Mord schuldig gemacht hat", sagte Bundesanwalt Walter Hemberger nach den Urteil. Man wolle allerdings zun?chst die schriftliche Urteilsbegr?ndung des Gerichts abwarten, sagte Hemberger.
Unmittelbar vor der Urteilsverk?ndung hatte das Gericht einen noch am Morgen eingebrachten Antrag der Nebenklage auf Wiedereintritt in die Beweisaufnahme abgelehnt. Nebenkl?ger-Anwalt Andreas Schulz hatte den Vorsto? damit begr?ndet, er gehe davon aus, dass es in der US-Regierung eine ge?nderte Meinung ?ber die Freigabe von Vernehmungsakten ?ber den wichtigen Zeugen Ramzi Binalshibh gebe. Er forderte deshalb ein erneutes Rechtshilfeersuchen an die USA. Das Gericht war dagegen der Ansicht, es gebe keine Hinweis darauf, dass die US-Beh?rden nun eher bereit seien, Geheim-Informationen herauszugeben.
Nach Ansicht der Anklage und der Nebenkl?ger war Mzoudi als Mitglied der Hamburger Terrorzelle um den Todespiloten Mohammed Atta in die Anschlagsvorbereitungen eingebunden. Die Anklage hatte die H?chststrafe von 15 Jahren Gef?ngnis gefordert, die Verteidigung Freispruch beantragt. Das Gericht hatte im Dezember ?berraschend den Haftbefehl gegen Mzoudi aufgehoben, weil es eine vom Bundeskriminalamt ?bermittelte anonyme Zeugenaussage als entlastend wertete. Das Gericht ging davon aus, dass diese Aussage von Binalshibh stammte.
An den Angeklagten gewandt, sagte der Vorsitzende Richter Klaus R?hle in der Urteilsbegr?ndung w?rtlich: "Herr Mzoudi, Sie sind freigesprochen, es ist aber kein Grund zum Jubeln." R?hle betonte, der Freispruch sei nicht erfolgt, weil das Gericht von der Unschuld ?berzeugt sei, sondern weil die Beweise gegen den Angeklagten nicht ausgereicht h?tten. Daher gelte der Grundsatz "in dubio pro reo" (im Zweifel f?r den Angeklagten).
Was Mzoudi von der Hamburger Terrorzelle tats?chlich ?ber die Anschlagsvorbereitungen f?r den 11. September gewusst habe, das wisse nur er, nicht aber das Gericht.
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REAKTIONEN
Schily ?ber Urteil entt?uscht
Der Bundesinnenminister hat sich im ZDF entt?uscht ?ber das Hamburger Urteil im zweiten Terroristenprozess ge?u?ert. Gleichzeitig k?ndigte Schily an, dass der freigesprochene Mzoudi im Visier der Sicherheitsbeh?rden bleibt.
Berlin - Bundesinnenminister Otto Schily (SPD) hat den Freispruch des Marokkaners Abdelghani Mzoudi im Hamburger Prozess um die Anschl?ge vom 11. September 2001 als entt?uschend bezeichnet.
"Es ist nat?rlich entt?uschend, dass hier ein Urteil in diese Richtung ergangen ist", sagte Schily im ZDF-"Heute Journal" am Donnerstagabend. "Ich teile die Auffassung des Generalbundesanwalts, dass durchaus gute Aussichten bestehen, das freisprechende Urteil in der Revisionsinstanz zu ver?ndern. Er m?sse jedoch zun?chst die Unabh?ngigkeit der Justiz respektieren, sagte Schily.
Der im zweiten Hamburger Terroristenprozess frei gesprochene Marokkaner Abdelghani Mzoudi bleibe aber im Visier der Sicherheitsbeh?rden k?ndigte Schily zugleich an. Es m?ssten die erforderlichen Vorkehrungen getroffen werden, um die Sicherheit der Menschen in Deutschland zu gew?hrleisten.
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IN HAMBURG UNERW?NSCHT
Innensenator will Mzoudi abschieben
Der Hamburger Innensenator Dirk Nockemann will den vom Terrorverdacht freigesprochenen Marokkaner Abdelghani Mzoudi "so schnell wie m?glich" abschieben.
Hamburg - "Ich habe die Ausl?nderbeh?rde angewiesen, die Ausweisung zu pr?fen", sagte Nockemann nach dem Urteil. Die Beh?rde solle mit Hochdruck an dem Fall arbeiten: "Es gibt keinen vorrangigeren Fall als Mzoudi", sagte der Politiker von der Partei Rechtsstaatlicher Offensive.
Sein Wunsch sei, "sofort abschieben, denn der Mann ist gef?hrlich". Der Status von Mzoudi nach dem Freispruch sei "geduldeter Ausl?nder". Nockemann sagte, die Ausl?nderbeh?rde m?sse f?r ihre Entscheidung nun auf die schriftliche Urteilsbegr?ndung warten. "Grunds?tzlich ist es m?glich, dass die Ausl?nderbeh?rde abschiebt, auch wenn das Gericht freigesprochen hat", sagte der Innensenator. Die Beh?rde m?sse pr?fen, was im Urteil ?ber ihn stehe. Die Entscheidung "kann sich ein paar Tage hinziehen", meinte er.
Nockemann sagte, der 31 Jahre alte Marokkaner sei gef?hrlich. "Er war in Afghanistan und hat eine Schie?ausbildung gemacht, weil er k?mpfen will", stellte der Politiker fest. Auf die Frage, ob Mzoudi von der Polizei nun besonders ?berwacht werde, sagte Nockemann: "Wir wissen, was die islamistische Szene tut und Mzoudi ist Teil dieser Szene".
Der konservative Politiker forderte von Bundesinnenminister Otto Schily einen Gesetzentwurf, wonach eine Ausweisung auch schon bei Terrorverdacht m?glich sein soll. Bisher hei?e es im Ausl?ndergesetz, "es m?ssen Tatsachen belegen", dass ein Ausl?nder in Terroraktivit?ten verstrickt ist, ehe er abgeschoben werden darf.
Mzoudis Anw?ltin G?l Pinar sagte dazu: "Herr Mzoudi wird l?nger hier sein als Herr Nockemann im Amt". Mzoudi soll f?r seine Zeit in der Untersuchungshaft entsch?digt werden. Die Kosten des Verfahrens zahle die Staatskasse.
Nach seinem Freispruch darf Mzoudi die Hansestadt nicht verlassen. Er m?sse im Zust?ndigkeitsbereich der Hamburger Ausl?nderbeh?rde bleiben und jederzeit erreichbar sein, sagte der Sprecher der Hamburger Innenbeh?rde, Marco Haase am Donnerstag. Mzoudi habe ein beschr?nktes Aufenthaltsrecht in Form einer Duldung.

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>> GERHARD WATCH...

Gerhard Schr?der quitte la pr?sidence du SPD
LEMONDE.FR | 06.02.04 | 18h56
Le chancelier allemand tente ainsi de sortir de la crise provoqu?e au sein du parti social-d?mocrate par les r?formes ?conomiques et sociales du gouvernement.
Confront? ? une baisse persistante de sa cote de popularit? et au vif m?contentement de nombre de ses partisans face ? son programme d'aust?rit? ?conomique, le chancelier allemand, Gerhard Schr?der, a cr?? la surprise, vendredi 6 f?vrier, en renon?ant ? la pr?sidence du Parti social-d?mocrate (SPD).
Le chancelier a propos? que Franz M?ntefering, 64 ans, chef de file du groupe parlementaire SPD au Bundestag et l'un de ses proches alli?s, lui succ?de ? la t?te du parti. Dans la foul?e, le secr?taire g?n?ral du SPD, Olaf Scholz, 45 ans, fortement contest? par la base sociale-d?mocrate, a ?galement d?missionn? de ses fonctions.
Gerhard Schr?der tente ainsi de sortir de la crise ouverte par une fronde de la base du SPD face ? sa douloureuse r?forme de l'Etat-providence, qui frappe de plein fouet son ?lectorat. "Je vais me concentrer sur mon travail de chef de gouvernement", a indiqu? Gerhard Schr?der, 59 ans, lors d'une conf?rence de presse surprise, vendredi, ? Berlin.
Gerhard Schr?der a assur? qu'il restait attach? ? la mise en ?uvre de ses r?formes ?conomiques et que son d?part de la pr?sidence du SPD lui permettrait de mieux s'y consacrer. "L'Allemagne est engag?e dans l'un des plus importants processus de r?forme de son histoire d'apr?s-guerre", a tenu ? rappeler le chancelier, qui estime que "certains probl?mes de communication internes" au sein du SPD sur ce sujet justifient une nouvelle r?partition des t?ches.
Le choix de Franz M?ntefering n'est pas innocent, ce dernier ?tant plus populaire que Gerhard Schr?der aupr?s des militants de base du parti. Il pourrait ainsi servir de "paratonnerre" face aux critiques.
PROFONDE CRISE D'IDENTIT?
La fronde monte depuis plusieurs mois chez les militants du parti, qui vont affronter une ann?e ?lectorale charni?re, avec notamment cinq scrutins r?gionaux et huit scrutins municipaux. Sans compter la prise de distance de la puissante conf?d?ration syndicale allemande (DGB), traditionnellement li?e au SPD, qui est prise ? contre-pied par la politique d'aust?rit? du chancelier.
La base craint plus que tout le vote-sanction d'un ?lectorat d?boussol? par les r?formes ?conomiques et sociales mises en place par le gouvernement "rouge-vert" pour r?former l'Etat-providence issu du "miracle ?conomique" de l'apr?s-guerre. R?forme de la sant? demandant surtout aux patients de mettre la main au portefeuille, baisses d'imp?ts aux effets incertains, moindre indemnisation des ch?meurs : "Le seuil de tol?rance pour les gens est atteint", avait estim? il y a quelques jours le porte-parole du SPD pour les affaires ?conomiques, Rainer Wend.
Plus de 43 000 adh?rents du parti ont rendu leur carte en 2003 et le dernier sondage en date de l'institut Forsa cr?dite le SPD de seulement 24 % d'intentions de vote, le plus bas niveau depuis que Gerhard Schr?der est ? sa t?te, contre 50 % pour l'opposition conservatrice CDU.
Les appels ? des mesures drastiques pour enrayer cette descente ont ?man? ces derni?res semaines des rangs m?mes du SPD. Plusieurs hauts responsables sociaux-d?mocrates ont pr?conis? un remaniement minist?riel, un changement ? la t?te du SPD, ou tout bonnement un changement de politique.
Vendredi, pour la premi?re fois, un haut responsable du parti, la pr?sidente du SPD en Hesse, avait r?clam? du chancelier qu'il quitte la pr?sidence f?d?rale. La situation au SPD est "tr?s grave", avait estim? Mme Andrea Ypsilanti. D'autres voix exigent ?galement un remaniement minist?riel.
La semaine derni?re, le chancelier avait sembl? faire un geste en direction des contestataires en annon?ant "la fin des r?formes douloureuses" et en bloquant un projet de la ministre de la sant?, qui voulait taxer davantage les personnes sans enfants afin de financer l'assurance-d?pendance. Gerhard Schr?der avait eu beau parler de "mesure isol?e", sa d?cision avait ?t? interpr?t?e comme un changement de cap politique.
LA CDU AUX AGUETS
Pour l'opposition, sa d?mission de la pr?sidence du SPD t?moigne d'une "perte d'autorit? sur toute la ligne". La pr?sidente de l'Union chr?tienne-d?mocrate (CDU), Angela Merkel, y voit le "d?but de la fin pour le chancelier et le d?but de la fin pour le gouvernement".
"Je ne redoute pas une quelconque perte d'autorit?", a affirm?, vendredi, Gerhard Schr?der. Pourtant, les experts de la vie politique allemande estiment que son d?part de la t?te du SPD pourrait ?tre de nature ? affaiblir le chef du gouvernement. "C'est une r?action de panique, estime ainsi Frank Decker, politologue ? l'universit? de Bonn. Je ne vois pas comment le parti va pouvoir se d?brouiller avec cette chute de popularit? dans l'opinion. S'il continue ? perdre des ?lections r?gionales, ce gouvernement tombera avant la fin de la l?gislature", en 2006.
En revanche, les milieux ?conomiques se montrent satisfaits, ? l'image de Stefan Schneider, ?conomiste ? la Deutsche Bank. "La question est : est-ce que cette d?cision acc?l?rera le rythme des r?formes ? s'interroge-t-il. L'interpr?tation positive, c'est que Schr?der aura davantage de temps ? consacrer ? son programme de r?formes. M?ntefering a fait du bon travail en tant que chef du groupe parlementaire. (...) Il sera mieux ? m?me de contr?ler la situation."
Gerhard Schr?der est devenu pr?sident du SPD en 1999, ? la suite de la d?mission d'Oskar Lafontaine, qui avait aussi abandonn? ses fonctions de ministre des finances. Il cumulait les casquettes de chef de parti et de chancelier depuis avril 1999, mais a toujours ?t? un "marginal" au sein du SPD, la base l'ayant affubl? du surnom de "camarade des patrons" en raison de ses bonnes relations avec certains grands industriels. Son programme de r?formes, l'"Agenda 2010", vise ? relancer l'?conomie en d?r?glementant le march? du travail et en coupant dans les d?penses de protection sociale.
Le non-cumul des deux postes a d?j? connu un pr?c?dent, lorsque Helmut Schmidt avait succ?d? en 1974 ? la chancellerie ? Willy Brandt, laissant ce dernier conserver la pr?sidence du parti. Cette exp?rience s'?tait mal termin?e pour les sociaux-d?mocrates : Helmut Schmidt avait ?t? mis en minorit? par les conservateurs men?s par Helmut Kohl alors qu'il ?tait confront? ? une fronde du SPD hostile ? certaines r?formes ?conomiques et sociales et ? sa prise de position en faveur de l'implantation en Allemagne des missiles am?ricains Pershing face aux SS-20 sovi?tiques.
Avec AFP et Reuters
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>> L'AFFAIRE CONTINUED...

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L'"affaire Jupp?" domine le premier grand d?bat t?l?vis? de la campagne
LE MONDE | 06.02.04 | 13h21
Le tirage au sort lui a conf?r? la septi?me place, la derni?re des intervenants pr?sents, jeudi 5 f?vrier, sur le plateau de TF1. Le secr?taire g?n?ral de l'UMP, Philippe Douste-Blazy, remplace Alain Jupp?, son pr?sident, pour ce premier d?bat t?l?vis? de la campagne r?gionale - suivi par 8 millions de t?l?spectateurs, selon la cha?ne - auquel participent Fran?ois Hollande (PS), Marie-George Buffet (PCF), Dominique Voynet (Verts), Olivier Besancenot (LCR), Fran?ois Bayrou (UDF) et Jean-Marie Le Pen (FN).
"Ai-je cinq fois le temps de parole de mes pr?d?cesseurs ?", commence M. Douste-Blazy, alors que la discussion s'est imm?diatement engag?e sur "l'affaire Jupp?". Cinq ? Le maire de Toulouse croit alors pouvoir trouver en M. Bayrou un soutien. Il ne l'obtiendra jamais.
M. Douste-Blazy d?fend la d?cision de Jacques Chirac de ne pas saisir directement le Conseil sup?rieur de la magistrature (CSM) pour enqu?ter sur les pressions dont se sont plaint les juges du tribunal de Nanterre. "Il y aura une mission parlementaire, explique-t-il. Lorsque la pr?sidente de ce tribunal sera devant nous, il faudra lui poser trois questions (...) et surtout : "Est-ce que vous avez des preuves, Madame la pr?sidente ?"". "C'est tr?s grave ce que vous faites", l'interrompt Mme Voynet. "C'est une entorse ? la s?paration des pouvoirs, ce n'est pas au Parlement de contr?ler la justice", rench?rit M. Hollande.
Quelques minutes plus t?t, M. Le Pen s'est empar? du sujet. Citant "l'affaire du foulard" et "l'affaire du RPR", le chef du parti d'extr?me droite a cibl? son discours sur ce qu'il appelle "deux tabous"- "l'immigration et la corruption" -, revenant ainsi aux fondamentaux du discours du Front national. Pas une seule fois il n'intervient sur "l'ins?curit? sociale", qui est pourtant la th?matique officielle de son parti dans la campagne des r?gionales.
M. Bayrou, lui, est bien d?cid? ? ne faire aucun cadeau ? ses "amis" de l'UMP. "D?sormais, le parti gouvernemental vit enti?rement autour des affaires d'un c?t? et de la guerre de succession de l'autre", d?clare-t-il, en ?voquant "un climat malsain". "Le malaise vient de ce que les Fran?ais ont l'impression que ceux qui paient les r?formes, ce sont les plus fragiles", poursuit-il.
"CYNISME"
Face ? la division de la droite, les repr?sentants de la gauche prennent soin de ne pas s'agresser. M. Besancenot, qui se pr?sente comme "un des rares, sur le plateau, ? gagner moins de 8 000 francs par mois", mod?re ses piques. Quand M. Douste-Blazy affirme que "ce pays reprend confiance, ce gouvernement s'est occup? des plus modestes", tous s'indignent. "Il faut arr?ter !", s'exclame Mme Buffet. Mme Voynet d?nonce un "m?lange de dilettantisme et de cynisme -qui- n'est pas acceptable" et M. Besancenot l?ve les yeux au ciel.
M. Hollande insiste sur le message qu'il veut avant tout faire passer : "S'il y a une chance ? saisir, c'est bien ces ?lections qui viennent, pour ?tre utile (...) si on veut que ce gouvernement soit arr?t?." Pour Mme Buffet, ce doit ?tre aussi "un vote pour que la gauche redevienne une gauche populaire, une gauche des cit?s et des entreprises". M. Besancenot y voit l'occasion de mettre fin aux "subventions publiques ? des groupes industriels qui font des b?n?fices mais licencient quand m?me".
Isabelle Mandraud et Caroline Monnot

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 07.02.04
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Alain Jupp? ?voque son d?part de la mairie de Bordeaux "le moment venu"
LE MONDE | 06.02.04 | 13h21
Dans un entretien au journal "Sud-Ouest", il pr?cise sa nouvelle strat?gie de d?fense pour son proc?s en appel.
Apr?s avoir annonc?, mardi 3 f?vrier, sur TF1 son retrait programm? de la pr?sidence de l'UMP, ? l'?ch?ance du congr?s du parti ? la fin 2004, Alain Jupp? ?voque, dans un entretien accord? vendredi 6 f?vrier, ? France Bleu Gironde, un ?ventuel d?part de la mairie de Bordeaux et de la communaut? urbaine.
"Pour ce qui concerne Bordeaux, j'exercerai mes responsabilit?s de maire et de pr?sident de la communaut? urbaine, explique l'ancien premier ministre, et puis, le moment venu, selon un calendrier que je n'ai pas encore arr?t? en d?tail, le conseil municipal d'un c?t?, le conseil de communaut? de l'autre d?lib?reront et voteront" pour ?lire un nouveau maire et pr?sident. "J'ai ?t? heureux, poursuit-il, de consacrer une partie de ma vie ? cette ville (...) C'est toujours dur d'envisager de passer la main, mais bon, c'est la vie." Ces propos redonnent du cr?dit ? l'hypoth?se d'un retrait progressif qui avait ?t? ?voqu?, dans son entourage, au moment o? M. Jupp? s'interrogeait sur son avenir, apr?s sa condamnation.
Dans un autre entretien, publi? le m?me jour dans le quotidien Sud-Ouest, il indique, que "quelle que soit la d?cision de la cour d'appel, il est clair que, pour moi, rien ne sera jamais plus comme avant". M. Jupp? juge, notamment, que son retour au gouvernement, qui avait ?t? ?voqu? par certains, est, "aujourd'hui, totalement exclu". "C'est vraiment un point sur lequel on peut ?tre clair", a-t-il ajout?.
Abordant le sujet de sa succession ? la t?te de l'UMP, il affirme ne pas vouloir en ?tre l'organisateur. "Je n'ai pas ? d?signer mon successeur. Il va y avoir des ?lections, elles seront tout ? fait libres et transparentes (...) Il n'y a aucun barrage contre qui que ce soit", affirme-t-il. Sur TF1, le 3 f?vrier, il avait expliqu? vouloir " profiter de ces quelques mois (...) pour organiser la rel?ve, passer le t?moin".
"JE L'ASSUME"
Dans ces deux entretiens accord?s vendredi, M. Jupp? semble confirmer un changement de strat?gie de d?fense (Le Monde du 5 f?vrier). "Si j'ai commis une erreur, voire une faute c'est que je n'ai pas ?t? assez vite pour remettre de l'ordre dans les finances du RPR. Peut-?tre n'ai-je pas ?t? assez rigoureux, pas assez attentif. Je l'assume", d?clare-t-il ? Sud-Ouest. Le maire de Bordeaux se dit "pr?t bien s?r ? -s'- en expliquer davantage" devant la cour d'appel. "J'esp?re dans ce second proc?s pouvoir expliquer un certain nombre de choses que je n'ai peut-?tre pas bien expliqu?es dans le premier", a-t-il pr?cis?.
D?cid? ? conserver un profil "modeste", M. Jupp? - qui se dit "touch?" par les d?clarations de MM. Fabius et Emmanuelli - refuse "de porter un jugement sur les lois que nous avons vot?es". Mais il souligne que "toutes les juridictions ont toujours une marge d'appr?ciation dans l'application des lois. La jurisprudence cr?e aussi du droit".
M. Jupp? pr?cise que qu'il avait d?cid?, "dans la journ?e de lundi, seul, en -son- ?me et conscience" de ne pas mettre fin ? sa carri?re politique. Une mani?re de d?mentir l'effet des pressions de Jacques Chirac. Toutefois, cet aveu teinte d'ambigu?t? les manifestations de ferveur militante, mardi 3 f?vrier, auxquelles M. Jupp? avait assist? avec ?motion.
Christophe Jakubyszyn


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M. Dupont-Aignan "surpris de la surprise"
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, d?put? (UMP) de l'Essonne, a estim?, vendredi 6 f?vrier sur l'antenne de RTL, que les juges de Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) "ont fait leur travail"en condamnant Alain Jupp?. Il a d?nonc? le "comportement clanique" qui r?gne, selon lui, ? l'UMP. Le fondateur du club Debout la R?publique d?clare avoir "?t? surpris de la surprise". "Chacun doit balayer devant sa porte", a-t-il indiqu? en commentant les d?clarations du premier ministre, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, qui, le 30 janvier, s'?tait dit "surpris" de la d?cision des juges.
"Notre responsabilit? est de conforter la loi que l'on vote et ceux qui l'appliquent", a-t-il poursuivi, tout en d?plorant que "les hommes politiques, surtout s'ils ont des fonctions ?lev?es, critiquent la justice". M. Dupont-Aignan a annonc? qu'il serait candidat ? la succession de M. Jupp? ? la t?te de l'UMP, en esp?rant que cette ?lection ne consistera pas "? transmettre un fief".

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 07.02.04
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Le CSM "regrette" d'avoir ?t? tenu ? l'?cart par Jacques Chirac
LE MONDE | 06.02.04 | 13h21
A la suite d'une r?union houleuse, jeudi 5 f?vrier, le Conseil sup?rieur de la magistrature a publiquement exprim? son d?saccord apr?s la cr?ation par le chef de l'Etat, pr?sident du CSM, d'une mission d'enqu?te administrative sur les pressions ?voqu?es par les magistrats du proc?s Jupp?.
Les mots peuvent sembler mesur?s. Mais la d?marche est exceptionnelle. Dans un communiqu? publi? jeudi 5 f?vrier, le Conseil sup?rieur de la magistrature (CSM) a marqu? clairement son d?saccord avec la cr?ation, par le pr?sident de la R?publique, d'une commission d'enqu?te administrative charg?e de faire la lumi?re sur les pressions ?voqu?es par les juges de Nanterre lors du d?lib?r? du jugement d'Alain Jupp?.
"Le CSM rappelle qu'il lui revient d'assister le pr?sident de la R?publique dans son r?le de garant de l'ind?pendance de l'autorit? judiciaire, conform?ment ? l'article 64 de la Constitution", souligne d'abord ce communiqu?.
Le CSM "regrette de ne pas avoir ?t? consult? avant la cr?ation d'une commission administrative charg?e d'enqu?ter sur des faits qui font l'objet d'une information judiciaire". Il "prend acte qu'il sera tenu compl?tement inform? des r?sultats de ces investigations et consult? pour avis". Et souligne enfin qu'il est "d'ores et d?j? saisi par le chef de l'Etat d'une demande d'avis sur les mesures qui pourraient ?tre prises pour mieux garantir l'autorit? judiciaire contre la mise en cause injustifi?e de tel ou tel de ses membres". Le 25 novembre 2003, Jacques Chirac a en effet saisi dans ces termes le CSM ? la suite de la demande de r?cusation d'une juge parisienne au motif de sa religion juive suppos?e.
Dans le langage raffin? de cette institution de la R?publique, on ne peut gu?re faire plus ferme ? l'adresse du chef de l'Etat, qui est aussi le pr?sident du CSM. Depuis quelques jours, la justice vit sous le feu des critiques des responsables politiques. L'entretien accord? au Monde par Dominique Rousseau, qui est la premi?re expression publique de l'un des membres du CSM, a r?v?l? l'ampleur de l'exasp?ration du monde judiciaire (Le Monde du 6 f?vrier). Pour M. Rousseau, professeur de droit constitutionnel, la d?marche pr?sidentielle constitue "une v?ritable entorse ? l'Etat de droit", dans lequel "on ne cr?e par du fait du prince une institution ad hoc hors de celles pr?vues".
DES SENSIBILIT?S VARI?ES
Dans ce contexte, le CSM a v?cu jeudi l'une des journ?es les plus tendues de son histoire. Dans les derni?res quarante-huit heures, les partisans d'une r?action publique du Conseil ont d? batailler pour obtenir satisfaction. Le CSM doit composer avec des sensibilit?s vari?es. Parmi ses seize membres, il compte des personnalit?s d?sign?es par le pr?sident de la R?publique, ceux de l'Assembl?e nationale et du S?nat. Il comprend un procureur g?n?ral (r?vocable en conseil des ministres), des procureurs, des juges du si?ge, ind?pendants, un professeur d'universit?. Si l'affaire Jupp? a cr?? une fracture entre les partisans d'une r?action ferme ? l'initiative chiraquienne et les autres, d'autres initiatives gouvernementales r?centes avaient au contraire rassembl? les membres du CSM. Ce fut le cas de la cr?ation, par le ministre de la justice, de la commission pr?sid?e par Alain Cabannes, charg?e de r?fl?chir ? la d?ontologie des magistrats. Dans ce pr?c?dent cas aussi, le CSM aurait d? ?tre l'organe naturellement d?sign? par le pouvoir politique : charg? de donner son avis sur les nominations de la magistrature, il est ?galement comp?tent pour traiter de la discipline des juges. C'est sa jurisprudence disciplinaire qui sert de r?f?rence pour sanctionner les manquements au devoir de r?serve, les insuffisances professionnelles ou les d?bordements de la vie priv?e des magistrats.
L'apr?s-midi de jeudi a commenc? par une explication de texte. Les conseillers du chef de l'Etat et du premier ministre charg?s de la justice, Laurent Lemesle et Denis Rapone, accompagn?s du directeur de cabinet du garde des sceaux, Patrick Hubert, sont venus devant le CSM "d?passionner" le climat et justifier la d?marche du chef de l'Etat. "Nous avons pens? au CSM, envers lequel il n'y a aucune m?fiance", ont-ils dit en substance, tout en rappelant que face ? la "gravit?" des faits ?voqu?s par les juges de Nanterre, le pr?sident avait voulu agir vite. Mais si cette premi?re r?union s'est d?roul?e dans une ambiance courtoise, celle qui a suivi fut beaucoup moins sereine. Suspensions de s?ance, prises ? partie menaces de d?mission, le CSM a tangu?. Apr?s une longue discussion, une prise de position collective a finalement pu avoir lieu. Au final, le communiqu? est tout ? la fois une fa?on de replacer le CSM au c?ur des institutions r?publicaines, une adresse aux responsables politiques, et un message de soutien ? une magistrature malmen?e.
A Bordeaux, o? il ?tait venu assister ? la prestation de serment de la nouvelle promotion de l'Ecole nationale de la magistrature (ENM), le ministre de la justice, Dominique Perben, a tenu ? pr?ciser le r?le de la mission d'enqu?te administrative dont sont charg?s les trois plus hauts magistrats fran?ais, Renaud Denoix de Saint-Marc (Conseil d'Etat), Guy Canivet (Cour de cassation) et Fran?ois Logerot (Cour des comptes). A c?t? de l'information judiciaire confi?e par le procureur de Nanterre ? deux juges d'instruction, cette mission, assist?e de plusieurs corps d'inspection, devra se pencher sur les dysfonctionnements qui ont pu se produire entre les diff?rents services de l'Etat. Elle pourrait aussi ?tablir des pr?conisations permettant aux juges qui rencontrent des pressions de conna?tre la conduite ? tenir.
"VERS LE BLOCAGE"
Les trois hauts magistrats, qui ont commenc? ? travailler, n'ont pas l'intention de g?ner l'instruction judiciaire en cours. Mais, ? l'issue de la journ?e de jeudi, il semble que leur travail soit moins ais? que pr?vu. "On s'achemine tout doucement vers le blocage de cette mission", analyse un magistrat. Entendus les premiers, avec la pr?sidente du tribunal de Nanterre, les trois juges qui ont statu? sur le sort d'Alain Jupp? n'avaient, selon plusieurs sources, pas tous l'intention de coop?rer. Samedi, seront ? leur tour convoqu?s devant la mission le procureur de Nanterre, Bernard Pag?s, le procureur g?n?ral de la cour d'appel de Versailles, Henri Desclaux, ainsi que le premier pr?sident de cette cour, Vincent Lamanda. Mais celui-ci est ?galement membre du CSM.
Nathalie Guibert

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 07.02.04
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Les juges de Jupp? boudent la commission administrative
Avec AFP.
[06 f?vrier 2004]
Les juges de Nanterre qui ont condamn? Alain Jupp? ont refus? de s'exprimer devant la commission administrative cr??e ? l'initiative de l'Elys?e, a-t-on indiqu? aujourd'hui de source judiciaire.
Les juges se sont rendus ? la cour de cassation pour une premi?re audition par la commission mais ils ont indiqu? qu'ils r?servaient leurs d?clarations aux juges charg?s de l'instruction sur cette affaire, a indiqu? cette source, confirmant une information donn?e ce matin par un quotidien.
La commission administrative a ?t? charg?e d'enqu?ter sur les pressions et les ?coutes t?l?phoniques dont les trois juges auraient fait l'objet.
Selon une autre source judiciaire, les trois juges ont ?crit ? la commission pour s'informer du contenu de la lettre de mission de cet organe et les textes l?gislatifs qui lui permettent de se saisir de l'affaire.
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JUSTICE Le Conseil sup?rieur de la magistrature s'?meut que la cr?ation d'une mission d'enqu?te administrative ait ?t? saisie de l'affaire du tribunal de Nanterre
Le CSM ?regrette? que Chirac l'ait ignor?
Guillaume Perrault
[06 f?vrier 2004]
La d?marche n'est pas banale. Elle est m?me unique dans les annales. Hier Val?ry Turcey, membre du Conseil sup?rieur de la magistrature (CSM) et ancien pr?sident de l'Union syndicale des magistrats, a lu un communiqu? devant la porte du si?ge de cette v?n?rable institution. Dans ce document rendu public au terme d'une r?union pl?ni?re, le CSM a ?regrett?? de ne pas avoir ?t? consult? sur la cr?ation d'une mission d'enqu?te administrative au sujet d'?ventuelles pressions au tribunal de Nanterre.
Les 16 membres du CSM en avaient d?battu hier apr?s-midi au cours d'une s?ance pr?vue de longue date. Cependant, en d?but de soir?e, un membre de l'institution assurait au Figaro que ?plusieurs d'entre-nous, hostiles ? cette d?marche, ?taient d?j? partis lorsque la discussion a eu lieu?. Et ce membre du CSM de d?noncer ?un v?ritable coup de force !?.
Charg? par la Constitution d'assister le Chef de l'Etat, ?garant de l'ind?pendance de l'autorit? judiciaire?, le CSM - compos? en majorit? de magistrats ?lus par leurs pairs - a d'abord auditionn? hier trois collaborateurs des plus hautes autorit?s de l'Etat : le directeur de cabinet du garde des Sceaux, le conseiller charg? de la justice ? Matignon et son homologue ? l'Elys?e.
Ces trois hauts fonctionnaires se sont efforc?s de dissiper leurs craintes : non, ont-ils assur? en substance, la mission d'enqu?te administrative annonc?e dimanche par Jacques Chirac n'a pas pour objet de les court-circuiter. Avant d'ajouter que les deux instances sont compl?mentaires.
?Les membres du CSM seront inform?s r?guli?rement des progr?s de l'enqu?te administrative sur d'?ventuelles pressions au tribunal de Nanterre?, a d'ailleurs pr?cis? hier le ministre de la Justice, Dominique Perben. Le pr?sident de la R?publique demandera ensuite au CSM son avis officiel sur les faits, comme la Constitution lui en donne la possibilit?.
La tentative d'apaisement ?tait-elle l'aveu d'une maladresse ? De nombreux magistrats s'?taient ?tonn?s que le ministre de la Justice ne saisisse pas l'Inspection des services judiciaires ou le pr?sident de la R?publique le CSM (nos ?ditions du 3 f?vrier). Apr?s une courte h?sitation, les syndicats de magistrats avaient fait part de leur ?tonnement. Dominique Rousseau, professeur de droit nomm? en 2002 au CSM par le pr?sident de l'Assembl?e nationale de l'?poque, Raymond Forni, a m?me estim?, dans une interview accord?e hier au Monde, que la mission d'enqu?te cr??e par Jacques Chirac ?tait ?une v?ritable entorse ? l'Etat de droit. (...) Dans l'Etat de droit, on ne cr?e pas du fait du prince une institution ad hoc, hors de celles pr?vues. Aucun texte constitutionnel, l?gal ou r?glementaire, ne pr?voit? l'initiative que vient de prendre le pr?sident de la R?publique.
?On cr?e depuis toujours des commissions d'enqu?te sans qu'un texte pr?voie cette pratique, r?torque l'entourage du chef de l'Etat. Le probl?me n'?tait pas juridique mais politique : l'Inspection des services judiciaires est sous l'autorit? du garde des Sceaux. Si Dominique Perben l'avait saisie, on aurait aussit?t soup?onn? une volont? d'?touffer l'affaire. C'est pourquoi on a choisi trois hauts magistrats ? l'ind?pendance incontest?e.?
Pourquoi au moins ne pas saisir le CSM, comme l'avait fait Fran?ois Mitterrand en 1995 quand le juge Halphen avait ?t? victime de pressions ? ?Ce pr?c?dent n'en est pas un, r?pond-on ? l'Elys?e. En r?alit?, Fran?ois Mitterrand avait pos? une question tr?s pr?cise : ?Le dessaisissement d'Eric Halphen est-il justifi? et porte-t-il atteinte ? son ind?pendance ?? Aujourd'hui, quelle question aurait-on pu poser au CSM ? on ne sait pas encore si les soup?ons de pressions sont fond?s ou non !?

-----------------------------------------------
AFFAIRE
Halliburton : une enqu?te pour corruption ouverte ? Washington
E. D.
[06 f?vrier 2004]
L'enqu?te visant notamment la soci?t? fran?aise Technip et l'am?ricaine Halliburton - que Dick Cheney, le vice-pr?sident des Etats-Unis, dirigeait jusqu'en 2000 - vient de conna?tre un premier rebondissement outre-Atlantique. Alors qu'? Paris le juge Renaud Van Ruymbeke est saisi du dossier depuis plusieurs mois, la section du d?partement de la Justice charg?e des violations de la loi anticorruption a ouvert, courant janvier, une enqu?te sur d'?ventuels pots-de-vin vers?s par Halliburton pour la r?alisation d'un complexe gazier au Nigeria, comme l'indique le site Internet de l'hebdomadaire Newsweek. Dans le m?me temps, la SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), le gendarme des march?s financiers am?ricains, s'est lanc?e dans une v?rification (?probe?) sur les m?mes faits.
L'affaire, r?v?l?e en juin dernier par Le Figaro et d?velopp?e dans les m?dias am?ricains ces derni?res semaines, porte sur le paiement de 180 millions de dollars de commissions occultes vers?es entre 1995 et 2002 par un consortium charg? de construire le complexe industriel de Bonny Island, au Nigeria. Ce consortium est d?nomm? TSKJ du nom des quatre soci?t?s qui le composent : Technip, l'italien Snamprogetti, l'am?ricain Kellog - filiale de Halliburton - et le japonais JGC. Le juge Renaud Van Ruymbeke, qui est saisi d'une enqu?te pour ?corruption d'agent public ?tranger et abus de biens sociaux?, tente d?sormais d'identifier les v?ritables destinataires de cette somme. Il est toutefois acquis qu'elle a servi ? r?mun?rer un interm?diaire du nom de Jeffrey Tesler, un avocat britannique, choisi par la filiale de Halliburton. Concernant Dick Cheney, un rapport du parquet de Paris transmis ? la Chancellerie ? l'automne dernier ?tablissait que l'?ventualit? ?d'une mise en cause? du vice-pr?sident des Etats-Unis en sa qualit? d'ex-PDG de Halliburton jusqu'en 2000 n'?tait pas ? exclure (voir Le Figaro du 20 d?cembre).
Interrog? d?but janvier par le quotidien Dallas Morning News, l'entourage du vice-pr?sident am?ricain s'?tait refus? ? toute d?claration. Une position renouvel?e hier, un de ses porte-parole indiquant n'avoir ?aucune information sur cette question?. Reste ? savoir d?sormais si les proc?dures fran?aises et am?ricaines, totalement ind?pendantes, ne risquent pas d'interf?rer. Mais, pour l'heure, personne n'a encore ?t? interrog? ? Washington, o? la justice s'est pour l'instant content?e de r?clamer des documents ? la filiale de Halliburton.
Le juge Van Ruymbeke a, pour sa part, entendu de multiples personnes, mais surtout lanc? deux commissions rogatoires sur les comptes de Jeffrey Tesler en Suisse et ? Monaco. R?cemment, il a aussi recueilli les d?clarations d'un ancien dirigeant de Technip. Sur proc?s-verbal, celui-ci lui a expliqu? que le paiement des commissions aurait valu ? la soci?t? japonaise JGC une sanction administrative dans son pays, ce qui confirmerait le caract?re illicite de ces r?glements. Sollicit?e par Le Figaro, celle-ci n'a pas apport? de r?ponse.
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>> ELECTION NOTES...

Kerry fought for insurer that donated to him
By John Solomon
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sen. John Kerry intervened to keep open a loophole that had let a major insurer divert millions of federal dollars from the nation's most expensive construction project, then received tens of thousands of dollars from the company in the next two years, documents show.
American International Group (AIG) paid Mr. Kerry's way on a trip to Vermont and donated at least $30,000 to a tax-exempt group that Mr. Kerry had used to set up his presidential campaign. Company executives also donated $18,000 to his Senate and presidential campaigns, according to records obtained by the Associated Press.
But Mr. Kerry, the current leader of the Democratic presidential race, said there was no connection between his actions in 2000 and the donations in 2001 and 2002.
Responding to an AP report Wednesday about the donations, the Massachusetts senator said he had worked to block the legislation because it would have cost Boston's "Big Dig" project $150 million. The legislation in 2000 aimed to close a loophole that had allowed the insurer to divert millions of federal dollars from the project.
The entire Massachusetts delegation "fought to hold on to $150 million for the Big Dig, which is the most important single project in Massachusetts and New England, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the industry," Mr. Kerry said.
He said he had opposed the insurance industry on other legislative issues, including bankruptcy changes and terrorism insurance.
But some government watchdogs said Mr. Kerry's story is a textbook case of the Washington special-interest politicking that he rails against on the presidential trail.
"The idea that Kerry has not helped or benefited from a specific special interest, which he has said, is utterly absurd," said Charles Lewis, head of the Center for Public Integrity that just published a book on political donations to the presidential candidates.
"Anyone who gets millions of dollars over time, and thousands of dollars from specific donors, knows there's a symbiotic relationship," Mr. Lewis said. "He needs the donors' money. The donors need favors. Welcome to Washington. That is how it works."
The documents obtained by AP detail Mr. Kerry's effort as a member of the Senate Commerce Committee to persuade committee chairman Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, to drop legislation that would have stripped $150 million from the Big Dig project and ended the insurance funding loophole.
Mr. Kerry actually was critical of the loophole but didn't want money stripped from the project because it would hurt his constituents who needed the Boston project finished, Kerry campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said.
Instead of Mr. McCain's bluntly worded legislation, Mr. Kerry asked for a committee hearing in May 2000. Mr. Kerry thanked Mr. McCain at the start of the hearing for dropping his legislation, and an AIG executive was permitted to testify that he thought the company's work for the Big Dig was a good thing even though it was criticized by federal auditors.
Asked why Mr. Kerry subsequently would accept a trip and money from AIG in 2001 and 2002 if he was concerned by the investment scheme, Ms. Cutter replied: "Any contributions AIG made to the senator's campaign came years after the investigation."
The New York-based insurer, one of the world's largest, declined to comment on its donations to Mr. Kerry, simply stating, "AIG never requested any assistance from Senator Kerry concerning the insurance we provided the Big Dig."
In September 2001, AIG paid an estimated $540 in travel expenses to cover Mr. Kerry's costs for a speech in Burlington, Vt., according to a Senate report filed by Mr. Kerry.
A few months later in December 2001, several AIG executives gave maximum $1,000 donations to Mr. Kerry's Senate campaign on the same day. The donations totaled $9,700 and were followed by several thousand dollars more in the next two years.
In spring 2002, AIG donated $10,000 to a new tax-exempt group, the Citizen Soldier Fund, that Mr. Kerry formed to lay groundwork for his presidential campaign. Later that same year, AIG gave two more donations of $10,000 each to the same group, making it one of the largest corporate donors to Mr. Kerry's group.
The insurer wasn't the only company to donate to Mr. Kerry's new group that had connections to the Big Dig -- a plan to alleviate congestion in downtown Boston by building an eight-to-ten-lane underground expressway directly beneath the existing six-lane Central Artery.
Two construction companies on the project -- Modern Continental Group and Jay Cashman Construction -- each donated $25,000, IRS records show.
----------------------------------------------------------------
AP Exclusive: Three times, Kerry nominations and donations coincided

JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writers
Thursday, February 5, 2004
(02-05) 23:26 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --
At least three times in his Senate career, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry has recommended individuals for positions at federal home loan banks just before or after receiving political contributions from the nominees, records show.
In one case, Kerry wrote to the Federal Housing Finance Board to urge the reappointment of a candidate just one day before a Kerry campaign committee received $1,000 from the nominee, the records show.
"One has nothing to do with the other," said Marvin Siflinger, who contributed around the time of Kerry's Oct. 1, 1996, recommendation that he be reappointed for another term to the board.
Kerry's office, like the nominees, insists the timing of the donations and the nominations was a coincidence.
"Sen. Kerry recommends dozens of very qualified individuals each year without regard to their politics or contributions. In this case each of the individuals were highly qualified for the jobs they were appointed to and served with distinction," spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said.
"John Kerry is grateful for their support, and we should be thanking them for their service, not questioning it," she added. "The timing of the contributions was completely circumstantial."
But a longtime government watchdog says it is common for Washington appointees to donate just before or after they are nominated.
"This is just business as usual in Washington," said Larry Noble, the former chief lawyer for the Federal Election Commission who now heads the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. "Kerry is out there saying he is not being part of that game, yet he is the product of the same money system."
With Kerry more vocally portraying himself on the presidential campaign trail as an opponent of special interest money in Washington, scrutiny of his dealings with donors and special interests has increased among his rivals and the news media.
Noble said while Kerry long has advocated campaign finance reform, he also has benefited from the big money system he now distances himself from on the campaign trail. "It's like a game where you say the people who support me just want good government, but the people who support my opponent are special interests," he said.
When he first ran for the Senate, Kerry promised voters he would carefully choose nominees on merit.
"I will act as a persistent watchdog over presidential appointments to ensure that only people of integrity, ability and commitment hold positions of power in our national government," Kerry wrote in a June 1984 fund-raising appeal.
All three of the people Kerry recommended got the positions they sought on various boards of Federal Home Loan Banks in Boston and New York that provide money for home mortgages.
Kerry's recommendations went to the five-member Federal Housing Finance Board, the regulatory body that votes on the final selections. Recommendations come from members of Congress, the White House and trade associations.
Siflinger, who was a state housing finance official when Kerry was Massachusetts lieutenant governor, was first appointed to the bank board in Boston during President George H.W. Bush's presidency and in 1996 sought Kerry's help to get reappointed.
"You normally seek the support of prominent people who are respected. Certainly in this instance I sought the support of Senator Kerry and I sought support of other members of the congressional delegation," Siflinger said in an interview Thursday.
Siflinger made his first donation to Kerry's Senate campaign committee in 1995 more than a year before his reappointment, according to Federal Election Commission records. His most recent donation to Kerry was several weeks ago, Siflinger said.
Investment banker Derek Bryson Park says it's "pure happenstance" that he made a pair of $1,000 donations to Kerry a month before the senator's Dec. 29, 1998, letter recommending Park for a position at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
"I got assistance from both ... Democrats and Republicans" in attaining the bank board post, Park said.
The only political donations Park made to federal candidates around the period of his appointment were to Kerry, according to FEC records.
"I've been fortunate to be invited to Senator Kerry's home and we've had a number of meals together and get-togethers," said Park, who got to know Kerry through a longtime supporter of the senator.
Former congressional staffer Patrick Dober said that "there's absolutely no relationship" between his $408 donation nearly three months after Kerry's Oct. 9, 1998, recommendation to the federal bank board. Kerry's letter praised Dober for having "worked closely with my office" on "the banking crisis in the early 1990s."
At the time, Dober worked for Boston Capital, a real estate financing and investment firm co-founded by Kerry supporter Jack Manning. Manning, who has donated more than $800,000 to the Democratic causes over the past 14 years, gave $65,000 in 2001 and 2002 to a tax-exempt political group Kerry set up.
Dober says he thinks his $408 for tickets to a Kerry fund-raiser is the only contribution he's ever made to Kerry.
"There was a fund-raiser for Kerry and they had James Taylor and Robin Williams playing," Dober recalled. "My wife and I said this looks like fun. The tickets were a hundred bucks and a $2 service charge, so my wife and I went with another couple and I wrote the check."
Associated Press writer Pete Yost contributed to this report.


-----------------------------------------------------------
The Pragmatists' Primary
Desperately seeking electability.
By Michael Kinsley
Posted Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at 12:26 PM PT
Democrats are cute when they're being pragmatic. They furrow their brows and try to think like Republicans. Or as they imagine Republicans must think. They turn off their hearts and listen for signals from their brains. No swooning is allowed this presidential primary season. "I only care about one thing," they all say. "Which of these guys can beat Bush?" Secretly, they believe none of them can, which makes the amateur pragmatism especially poignant.
Nevertheless, Democrats persevere. They ricochet from candidate to candidate, hoping to smell a winner. In effect, they give their proxy to the other party. "If I was a Republican," they ask themselves, "which of these Democratic candidates would I be most likely to vote for?" And by the time this is all over, most of the serious contenders will have been crowned the practical choice for at least a moment. First it was Lieberman the Centrist. "I'm actually for Dennis Kucinich," a Democrat might say, "because I like his position on nationalizing all the churches. But I'm supporting Joe Lieberman. His views on nearly everything are repellent to me, and I think that's a good sign."
Then the General entered the race. And I don't mean General Anesthesia. A man in uniform, Democrats thought. People like that sort of thing, don't they? And yet he's a Democrat. Or at least he plays one on TV. True, on most issues he has either no known position or two contradictory positions. But he says he can requisition those missing parts. And he's a General. Talk about pragmatic! But when the General traded in his uniform for a fuzzy sweater, he suddenly looked less General-like than Al Sharpton.
Some Democrats cheated and looked into their hearts, where they found Howard Dean. But he was so appealing that he scared them. This is no moment to vote for a guy just because he inspires you, they thought. If he inspires me, there must be something wrong with him. So, Democrats looked around and rediscovered John Kerry. He'd been there all along, inspiring almost no one. You're not going to find John Kerry inspiring unless you're married to him or he literally saved your life. Obviously neither of those is a strategy that can be rolled out on a national level. But he's got the r?sum?. And gosh, he sure looks like a president (an "animatronic Lincoln," as my Slate colleague Mickey Kaus uncharitably described him).
So, it's a deal? Probably, but just to be completely businesslike, Democrats are taking the opportunity to check out John Edwards. He certainly is good-looking, though maybe not in a presidential way. He lacks the uniform, but he has a Southern accent, which is almost as good if you're trying to seduce those non-liberals. Aspiring pragmatists also have noted recent press reports that Edwards has a stunning ability to sway an audience. I'm not looking to be swayed myself, our Democrat thinks. No need to sway me this year; my views don't matter, even to me. But swaying the heathenry would be good.
And Edwards is a first-term senator who never held office before. Thus he offers almost no experience, which is just the right amount. No political experience at all makes you look silly running for president, as Wesley Clark is discovering. But experience is also a disadvantage in American politics. All politicians, including incumbent presidents, campaign against Washington insiders and the political establishment. But it's a bit more convincing if you're a relative newcomer. Also, experience means a record of past votes and speeches. This limits your ability to invent yourself for the needs of today. As Kerry is discovering, even the most uninteresting two decades in the Senate can provide rich material simultaneously for Bush operatives trying to convince voters that you are a dangerous liberal and for primary opponents trying to convince voters that you are not one.
As each candidate takes his turn in the pragmatists' spotlight, he gets beaten up a bit, irritates supporters of the other candidates, and gives the Bush troops a chance for some early target practice.
If political pragmatism is defined as thinking like a Republican, it's no surprise that Republicans do it better. Four years ago, in a roughly analogous situation, it was decided that the Republican candidate for president should be the less impressive of the two political sons of the man who had most recently lost them the White House. A far from obvious choice. Decided by whom? If you're going to be pragmatic, that's just the kind of question you don't ask. It was decided, OK? On the issues that divided their party, his views were hard to fathom and stayed that way. He was rich in valuable inexperience. And so, with one voice, millions of Republicans shouted a mighty, "Well, I'm glad that's settled."
The process the Democrats are putting themselves through resembles John Maynard Keynes' famous description of the stock market. The game isn't to figure out which stocks are most likely to do well, but to figure out which stocks other investors think are most likely to do well. And these other investors are thinking of other investors and so on. Keynes thought this helped to explain the volatility of stock price. Your judgment about other people's judgment, let alone other people's judgment about other people's judgment, is inherently less certain and more subject to breezes of false or true insight and information than your judgment about your own judgment.
Something similar may be going on in the Democratic primaries. But the analogy breaks down, because only the Democrats are intent on figuring out what other people want. Republicans know what they want.

Michael Kinsley is Slate's founding editor.






>> NEW YORK CITY AND BLOOMBERG WATCH...

KILLING HOUSING
By JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN
February 5, 2004 -- OVER the veto of Mayor Bloomberg and despite the pleadings of prominent nonprofit housing developers, the City Council yesterday passed its Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. The new law holds landlords responsible for the presence of lead paint and dust and sets up a stringent schedule for inspection, removal and clean up. While a few of the law's features are good - requiring better procedures in handling lead dust, for example - others spell disaster for rehabilitating affordable housing.
One of New York City's greatest triumphs of the last two decades has been the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of units of affordable housing in once desperate neighborhoods. The South Bronx, Bedford-Stuyvesant and others flourish today because of the huge public and private investment in housing that began in the second Koch administration.
The lead-paint law will jeopardize further investment, say nonprofit housing developers, particularly in small, 20- to 40- unit occupied buildings in fragile neighborhoods. These are precisely the neighborhoods the City Council claims to be helping.
And while the comeback of many neighborhoods has been astonishing, the scale of what still needs to be done remains immense. Michael Lappin, president of the Community Preservation Corp., estimates that 1.4 million housing units "need ongoing access to capital" for new plumbing, windows, boilers and other repairs.
The "key thing," he argues, is to rehabilitate "occupied buildings that are still habitable. We don't want to wait until conditions become so bad that gut rehab becomes the only option."
Yet by making landlords solely responsible for the existence of lead-based paint, the bill sets excessively high legal standards of liability and deters rehabilitation. Indeed, the law permits landlords to be sued even when there is no lead paint in the building. If a child's blood is found to have elevated lead levels, the law presumes that the child's residence has lead - until the owner can refute the presumption in a contested proceeding, either in court or to a city agency.
The law gives tenants and tort lawyers a clear path to sue property owners, even those who are not at fault. Such liability will choke off insurance, which is already hard to come by in many neighborhoods.
Ronay Menschel, chairman of Phipps Houses, says that the bill is an "invitation to expand tort litigation that will waste precious resources to no good effect." The insurance industry has indicated very clearly, she notes, that "they're not going to provide insurance, particularly for small buildings owned by small-property owners."
The withdrawal of insurance in declining urban neighborhoods during the 1960s and 1970s nearly killed off American cities. At the time, few elected officials understood what was happening. Now our City Council is deliberately setting up the conditions for yet another withdrawal.
The bill's supporters scoff at these arguments, saying that responsible landlords have nothing to fear. Yet Phipps Houses has already been sued under the previous law for lead exposure in properties that were built in the last five years. "It cost us money to file papers just to have the suits dismissed," says Menschel. "A wave of litigious activity is going to waste resources that can be better applied to housing improvements."
Indeed, a consortium of nonprofit developers has produced a list of endangered projects: some 1,900 apartments slated for $70 million to $85 million in rehabilitation investment to begin over the next nine months. Their regular insurers warned them that the bill will imperil their ability to get liability protection on these occupied, pre-1960 buildings.
"If we can't get insurance or can't get insurance at a price the building could afford, we won't be able to do the rehabilitation," says CPC Executive Vice President John McCarthy.
Mayor Bloomberg pointed out another problem in his veto letter: Because the bill's onerous provisions are triggered by the presence of children, it may lead to increased discrimination against families with children. This has happened in Massachusetts, which has a very strict tort liability law on lead paint hazards.
City Council Speaker Gifford Miller has said he will amend the law if it proves to be as egregious as nonprofit developers say. But, of course, by that point both insurance and capital will have fled, as they often have before.
The mayor is now the best hope for affordable housing here: His housing and health agencies will write the regulations to implement the law, and may be able to limit the damage from the bill.
New Yorkers are lucky that this administration fully understands the importance of revitalized low- and moderate-income neighborhoods to the city's well-being.
Julia Vitullo-Martin is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc.

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Publication:The New York Sun; Date:Jan 14, 2004; Section:Editorial & Opinion; Page:9
Public Housing's Difficult Future
By JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN Ms. Vitullo-Martin is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
One of the largest and most serious housing and development issues in New York City receives almost no attention in the press: and that's public housing. It only gets extensive coverage when something bizarre or potentially violent occurs,or better yet,both.For example,the press immensely enjoyed writing about the full-grown male Bengal tiger and the 5-foot-long crocodile that were discovered in October living in a 5-bedroom apartment in the Drew Hamilton Houses in Harlem.
Yet by any objective measure, the New York City Housing Authority is important -- and huge.With its 345 projects holding 181,000 units and housing about 175,000 families, it owns one of every 13 rental units in the city. And the demand for its housing is impressive: Over 146,000 families are on its waiting list.
Nycha is by far the largest American housing authority, managing one out of every seven public housing units in the country. And because New York, unlike most cities, deliberately sited its projects throughout the city, including in middleincome neighborhoods, it now has many low-income, sometimes decaying projects smack in the middle of gentrifying development. (New York thereby avoided the far greater calamity of excessive concentration of low-income,non-working households in neighborhoods from which working families then flee.)
Some projects,such as the landmarked Harlem River Houses in Manhattan and the Williamsburg Houses in Brooklyn, make good neighbors.They are well maintained and reasonably well managed.Others, such as Coney Island Houses, have nearly destroyed their neighborhoods with violent crime,drug dealing,and rampant vandalism.
Good neighbors or bad, all Nycha projects face a difficult future.The federal government,which has often played a ruinous role in public housing,has pretty much settled on a strategy of capped funding toward local authorities. In other words, while authorities will continue to get some federal funds, they have for several years been under increasing pressure to cover their expenses with rental income, just like any landlord.
In particular, the federal "modernization" funds that paid for capital improvements have been seriously restricted. This would be fine if public authorities were also allowed, like private landlords, to make their own decisions about tenant eligibility,rent levels,eviction policies, rehabilitation standards, etc.
Nycha has the resources and properties on its own to make some profitable transactions that could subsidize its poorer tenants. But, of course, authorities such as Nycha have long labored under the whims of the federal government, whose decades of contradictory and coercive federal policies have undermined the original high ideals behind public housing.
The idea of the 1937 Wagner-Steagall Act was to free working families from their dark,primitive,disease-ridden,overcrowded tenements, and house them instead in clean, if austere, modern buildings engineered with modern plumbing. Tenants were to pay a modest rent -- 25% of their income -- while accumulating enough savings to make a down payment on homes of their own. Public housing, much like the Depression's public assistance, was thought to be transitional.
Even before the 1937 Wagner-Steagall Act, Nycha erected the first governmentbuilt and -financed housing project. First Houses,a masterfully rehabilitated row of old tenements on the Lower East Side,was completed in 1936.However,the genius of its design lay in a principle that Nycha -- and all other housing authorities -- quickly abandoned. Every third tenement was demolished, thereby admitting the light and air that had always been missing, beforethe remaining tenements were extensively rehabilitated.
First Houses is in good shape today because Nycha has cared for it well and, though Nycha officials deny any favoritism, they have not housed their most troubled families there. Of First Houses' 168 residents, 23% are minors. Indeed, 47% of the 112 families in First Houses are headed by people 62 years or older. Only 14% of the families are on welfare -- as compared with 21% of all Nycha families.
Nycha has fought hard -- against bitter opposition by advocates in New York and bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, D.C. -- to maintain income diversity and working families in its projects.This is in startling contrast to nearly every other big city system. These systems became housing of last resort primarily for the desperately poor with no place better to go. An impressive 38% of Nycha families work.Yet here's the long-term problem: The average rent for all households is $302, which cannot possibly cover proper repair and maintenance.
Even if national politics were to change substantially,producing both a Democratic president and Democratic Congress, federal policies will probably never again favor generous subsidies to housing authorities. Because everyone has known this for a long time, most cities have responded by demolishing bad projects and taking advantage of federal programs,primarily Hope VI, that reward privatization efforts.
Proudly abstaining from large-scale demolition, saying all its projects are sound, Nycha has barely dipped its toe into Hope VI. Hope VI funding requires projects to be scaled down in size or density and replaced with low-rise,preferably owner-occupied townhouses, sometimes mixed with renters. (Nycha has one Hope VI program in Far Rockaway, in Queens, and another in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, in Brooklyn.) Yet Nycha is the one authority in which privatization has a chance of working -- because Nycha owns good properties in good neighborhoods.
During the first Bush administration, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Jack Kemp, passionately espoused home ownership for public housing tenants. However, he made a serious miscalculation that the tenants did not make.The housing he wanted to sell them was undesirable. He ineptly tried selling bad properties in bad neighborhoods to poor people, who lacked the income to make ongoing mortgage payments, much less cover capital improvements.
Nycha has a different situation altogether. It owns good properties, and it has many hard-working, ambitious, potentially home-owning households, who would make good neighbors in a mixed-income development. Old-fashioned, ugly projects mar many neighborhoods in New York.The federal government has offered one way out via Hope VI -- a first step to privatization and home-ownership.
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Posted by maximpost at 8:49 PM EST
Permalink
Thursday, 5 February 2004


>> FRENCH MAFIA?

---------------------------------------------------------
Chirac Rapped for Naming Own Court Probe
ASSOCIATED PRESS
PARIS (AP) -
President Jacques Chirac was on the firing line Thursday for creating his own panel to probe allegations that judges who convicted a close political ally in a party financing scandal came under pressure before the verdict.
Chirac bypassed the body charged with assuring the judiciary's independence and instead named a special commission to investigate the case that grew out of former Prime Minister Alain Juppe's trial and conviction.
"It's a veritable twisting of a state of law," said Dominique Rousseau, a member of the High Council for the Magistrature, or CSM, speaking to the daily Le Monde. The French constitution calls for the CSM to investigate irregularities in the judicial system.
Juppe, a leading political figure in France, was found guilty last Friday of a leading role in a scheme to fill the coffers of Chirac's conservative party when both men served at Paris City Hall.
Juppe was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence and banned from holding political office for a decade - a sentence suspended by his appeal. Juppe is a lawmaker and mayor of Bordeaux.
Meanwhile, the presiding judge in the Juppe case, Catherine Pierce, claimed that she and her two colleagues had been threatened and harassed before they issued the verdict.
A criminal investigation was opened in Nanterre, the Paris suburb where the trial was held. However, Chirac quickly named a three-judge panel to carry out its own investigation.
Parliament also opened an inquiry - and drew criticism from opposition Socialists who said the legislature had no business meddling in an affair that clearly falls within the judicial branch's domain.
Chirac served as Paris mayor from 1977 to 1995, and there had been efforts to question him in the Juppe case, in which city funds were used to pay personnel of Chirac's Rally for the Republic Party, now known as the UMP. However, Chirac is protected by presidential immunity - which he will lose if not re-elected in 2007.

---------------------------------------------------------------
The News International Pakistan, 23 January 2003
Anti-corruption group cites Chirac over
kickbacks
BERLIN: Publishing its 2003 report on corruption around the world on Wednesday, the
international watchdog group Transparency International (TI) had words of criticism for French
President Jacques Chirac, noting that "a significant number" of legal actions had been set in motion
against members of his entourage.
"President Jacques Chirac has seen a significant number of legal actions taken against
people in his entourage" over affairs stretching from the 1970's to the 1990's, and was himself involved
in controversy in 2001 over the buying of travel tickets with secret government funds, the report said.
The allegations against members of Chirac's entourage "concerned the period when he was president of
his own party, the Rally for the Republic (RPR), and mayor of Paris," the TI report said. Before being
elected president in 1995, Chirac headed the RPR, which he founded, from 1976 to 1994, and served as
the Paris mayor from 1977 to 1995.
The report noted that the allegations against Chirac from the 1970's, 80's and 90's included
"illegal financing of political parties and electoral campaigns via kickbacks for public works projects"
as well as "the rigging of electoral rolls in order to influence local elections."
http://www.jang.com.pk and http://www.jang-group.com

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Most French back Jupp?: poll

PARIS, Feb 5 (AFP) - A clear majority of the French public supports the decision by former prime minister Alain Juppe to stay in politics pending his appeal against a conviction for illegal party funding, according to a poll Thursday.
In the IFOP survey in Le Figaro newspaper, 62 percent of those questioned approved Juppe's decision, announced in a television interview Tuesday, and 38 percent opposed it. Among voters for Juppe's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, support jumped to 89 percent.
Some 65 percent of the public said Juppe was convincing and 63 percent said he was sincere.
However a majority - 55 percent - also thought the decision would have a negative impact for the UMP in regional elections in March, and 57 percent said it would have a negative impact for President Jacques Chirac.
Juppe was put under pressure to leave the presidency of the UMP - as well as his seat in the National Assembly and the mayorship of Bordeaux - after being sentenced on Friday to an 18 month suspended jail term and a 10 year bar on elected office.
But on Tuesday he told television viewers that his punishment was excessive and that he was staying in politics to fight the verdict on appeal.
The former prime minister is a close ally of Chirac. He was found guilty of organising the payment of party workers with Paris municipal funds when Chirac was the capital's mayor.

? AFP

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Jupp? touch?
Former French prime minister Alain Jupp?, loyal party chairman of president Chirac's centre-right UMP party, is at the centre of France's latest corruption scandal. Hugh Schofield profiles the technocrat so supposedly sharp he became nicknamed Amstrad.
Presidential hopeful Jupp? said he would leave politics if found guilty.
Convicted last Friday of illegal party funding and barred from public office, Alain Jupp? is a gifted leader of the French right whose efforts on behalf of his political mentor, President Jacques Chirac, have twice proved his undoing.
Between 1995 and 1997 it was to implement Chirac's presidential promise to modernise French society that Jupp? embarked on a campaign of social reforms - leading to strikes, an early election and his departure as one of the most unpopular prime ministers in recent history.
But well before that Jupp? was Chirac's financial director when the president was mayor of Paris, and in that capacity connived in a system of illegal funding that allowed party functionaries to be paid out of municipal and private company funds.
Jupp?'s trial was the closest magistrates have come to investigating Chirac's own role in the scandal, but his lieutenant remained loyal to the last. While denying knowledge of the illegal funding, Jupp? admitted that "as the boss I must assume my responsibilities."
Chirac - the real boss at the Hotel de Ville - would not be touched. The cost of this loyalty came clear last Friday when the court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre gave Jupp? an 18-month suspended prison term - which under election rules bears an automatic period of "ineligibility from public office."
Jupp? said before the verdict he would leave politics if barred from office - in addition to the presidency of Chirac's Union for a Popular Majority (UMP) party, he is a member (MP) of the National Assembly as well as being mayor of Bordeaux - but his decision to immediately appeal the sentence has put the its application on hold.
No longer "ensemble": Jupp? with ambitious rival Nicolas Sarkozy (left).
The precociously intelligent son of a southwestern farmer - his bald head seems to vindicate his reputation for braininess - Jupp? went to the elite forcing-ground that is the National Administration School (ENA) and was talent-spotted by Chirac when he was prime minister in 1976.
When Chirac broke with then president Val?ry Giscard d'Estaing and set up his party, the Rally for the Republic (RPR) - the precursor to the UMP - Jupp? went with him, serving loyally through the party's crises, splits and electoral rebuffs in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1993 he performed a trick which less able operators missed when he agreed to become foreign minister under Chirac's arch-rival Edouard Balladur.
As the RPR broke into rival camps, Jupp? said he was "loyal to Balladur, faithful to Chirac," and kept in with both.
After Chirac's presidential victory in 1995, Jupp? was the obvious choice as prime minister - but apart from his reforms it was his typecasting as a cold and intellectual technocrat that cost him the popularity of the voters.
Advised to see a communications specialist, he had one session then stopped, saying he "hated having someone explain in an hour what I can understand in 15 seconds." After his resignation he said, "it is always easier to smile than to reform. I tried to reform. I did not try to smile."
But Jupp?'s most important achievement was to come. Operating out of the public eye, he spent five years painstakingly making the alliances and political arrangements that in 2001 would see the birth of the UMP and a year later the centre-right's triumphant return to power.
Admired if not always loved in the party, he has been Chirac's personal choice to replace him if he steps down from the presidency in 2007 - and a counterweight to the openly ambitious Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who Chirac mistrusts.
But his sentence makes it hard to see how Jupp? can make it to the top. Though the appeal means he can in theory keep alive his hopes, he must remain for at least another year in political limbo - with the words of the judge that he "deceived the confidence of the sovereign people" ringing in the ears of the French public.

? AFP
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Juppe guilty of RPR Paris scam
but appeal postpones sentence
PARIS, Jan 30 (AFP) - In a verdict with major implications for France's governing centre-right, one of President Jacques Chirac's top political allies - former prime minister Alain Juppe - was found guilty Friday of illegal party funding and barred from public office.
Juppe, who at 58 now heads the pro-Chirac Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, was given a 18-month suspended jail term by the court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre - a sentence which under electoral rules means an an automatic disqualification from public office for at least five years.
The former prime minister had threatened to leave politics if disqualified from office, ruling himself out of contention to succeed Chirac after 2007 presidential elections and setting off a potentially bitter period of in-fighting within the UMP.
However, he immediately launched an appeal, which meant the entire sentence was put on hold. Juppe's political future thus was likely to remain in limbo until the appeal hearing, which could be at least a year away.
Juppe did not react as the verdict was read. His lawyer, Francis Szpiner, called the ruling "open to criticism and unjust".
The former prime minister was convicted of "taking illegal benefits" in the biggest case yet to come to court centring on allegations of financial irregularities during Chirac's 18-year tenure to 1995 as mayor of Paris.
Then head of Chirac's Rally for the Republic (RPR) party - the UMP's precursor - as well as financial director at Paris city hall, Juppe was found to have arranged for the payment of RPR staffers with municipal funds between 1998 and 1995.
During last September's trial he denied the accusations, saying he only became aware of the system in 1993 and then put a stop to it. But one of his former colleagues told the court that "everyone knew" about the illegal payments.
Twenty-six other people faced charges in the trial, including two former RPR treasurers and businessmen accused of paying RPR salaries in order to get access to municipal contracts. Most were convicted and given suspended prison terms.
Juppe served as Chirac's first prime minister from 1995 but his attempts at social reform led to strikes and he lost office to the Socialist Lionel Jospin in the 1997 election. He was then instrumental in the formation of the UMP and the centre-right's successful fight back in 2002.
Described once by Chirac as "the best from among us," he has a close relationship with the president who is widely presumed to want him as his successor. However critics say he is a cold intellectual who lacks the charisma necessary to carry him to the top.
Commentators said that Juppe alone has been able to control the rival Gaullist, pro-European and liberal factions of the UMP, and that he is also seen by Chirac as the best way of thwarting the presidential ambitions of the popular interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy.
The charges in Juppe's trial dated from a time when all French poliical parties were resorting to underhand methods to finance themselves. Chirac himself has avoided judicial investigations into how much he knew of the payment scam by claiming presidential immunity.

? AFP
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Juppe judge targeted by death
threats, break-ins, phone taps
PARIS, Feb 2 (AFP) - France was in political turmoil Monday over the conviction on corruption charges of former prime minister Alain Juppe, as three separate investigations were launched into claims that the judge who sentenced him was the target of phone taps and threats.
The speaker of the National Assembly Jean-Louis Debre announced plans for a parliamentary enquiry into allegations made Saturday by judge Catherine Pierce that her offices were broken into and her computer tampered with during the run-up to Friday's verdict.
The enquiry came after President Jacques Chirac ordered an investigation under three top judges, and the justice ministry began proceedings to determine if criminal charges can be brought.
The row over the alleged interference drew attention away from the separate debate over the future of Juppe himself, the head of Chirac's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party who has been widely tipped as a centre-right candiate for presidential elections in 2007.
Juppe, 58, was found guilty of illegally paying party workers with funds belonging to Paris city hall and given an 18-month suspended prison term and a ten-year bar on holding public office. However he immediately announced an appeal, which put the sentences on hold.
France's political world was awash with speculation about Juppe's intentions, with commentators saying his resignation from the UMP could open up a period of fierce in-fighting, just seven weeks before important regional elections.
Juppe, who is also mayor of the southwestern city of Bordeaux and a member of the National Assembly, confirmed that he would announce his decision Tuesday.
"I have had a good think. I respect the court. Tomorrow probably on television I shall tell the French what I have decided. Till then I hope you will understand that I am keeping it to myself," he told supporters who gathered to wish him well at the Bordeaux city hall.
Prompting speculation that he is urging Juppe to stick it out in the hope of quashing the verdict on appeal, Chirac told journalists in Marseille that his protege was a "political figure of exceptional quality, competence, humanity and honesty. France needs men of his quality."
Chirac's left-wing opponents said that he himself had been indirectly damaged by the Juppe verdict, because during the period when the illegal payments were being made - the late 1980s and early 1990s - the president was the mayor of Paris and Juppe his financial director.
"Given what the judge said there can be no doubt at all that when Jacques Chirac has completed his term in office, at some time or other - by some manner or another - he will face judicial proceedings," said Socialist leader Francois Hollande. Chirac is currently protected by presidential immunity.
Rumours were circulating about who could have ordered the alleged phone taps at judge Pierce's offices in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, with memories reawakened of another magistrate - Eric Halphen - who complained of harassment while looking into corruption at Chirac's party.
In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, Pierce said, "Our offices ... received regular 'visits' over these last months ... Our work computers were gone through. We also think our telephones - including our personal ones - were tapped.
"We don't know who was behind all this. We simply came to the conclusion that a lot of people wanted to know what would be our decision," she said.
The state prosecutor in Nanterre said that two preliminary police investigations were already set up earlier this month. The first followed the receipt of a threatening letter in which the author said that if Juppe was not barred from office he would face justice "by force if necessary."
The second investigation was into an incident in which a workman was found dismantling the ceiling in Pierce's office. The man told police he was trying to make his way into the next-door office, whose lock had broken.

? AFP
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Who broke the judge?
Eric Halphen is the name of the French investigating magistrate who embarassed president Jacques Chirac by calling him for questioning over the alleged corruption scam at Paris city hall when Chirac was mayor of the capital.
Judge Halphen, like other magistrates who took on the mighty in France, is no more -- or rather, is no longer practising his profession.
This year he published his own account of the uncovering of the scandal known as that of "Les HLMs de Paris". Sept ans de solitude (Seven years of solitude), published by Deno?l, is a deeply disturbing read, and strongly recommended to anyone interested in understanding just why France has become so notorious in Europe for its institutionalised corruption.
Halphen, although he does not say so clearly, took leave of his job after failing to take his case to what he thought was its ultimate conclusion: the indictment of Chirac, who refused to be interrogatedby Halphen, on the legally justified basis that a president, while in office, cannot be questioned in such an investigation.
The magistrate then soon failed in his next enterprise -- that of getting elected in this year's legislative elections as a representative of the maverick centrist politician Jean-Pierre Chev?nement. Along with his sheepish physical appearance, Halphen cuts a somewhat sad figure, a man who one realises, by reading his book, has been broken somewhere inside by his harrowing experiences probing into one of France's biggest corruption scandals.
The facts which he outlines almost begger belief.
Firstly, in the extent of the already widely-reported scam which he was charged with investigating; it seems that hardly a single public building contract in and around Paris escaped the rule that construction companies were successful only if they paid a kick-back to Chirac's RPR party henchmen. The sums were huge, and transited around the world in an elaborate network of secret bank accounts, often in 'fiscal paradises' like Litchenstein, Switzerland or the Isle of Man.
Just how much the brazen system financially benefited political funds or individuals is not clear, but the sums involved were huge.
Secondly, in the account of the overt personal intimidation and professional sabotage suffered by Halphen, which is so outrageous that even a fiction writer might not have dared such a plot was, in fact, possible. The intimidation included disguised threats to him and his family, phone taps, secretly taken pictures of his love life, frightening notes left under the windscreen wipers of his car.
For much of the time during his seven-year investigation the RPR party was in government, and Halphen describes political manouevering of police and prosecution officials to thwart his activities.
Halphen is convinced, as are most newspaper readers, that financial corruption scams are common to all parties, and he is as scathing about the attitude of Socialist ministers as he is about those of the right. He suggests that despite the laws passed in recent years to clean up the illegal practices of party funding, little or nothing has changed and -- more sadly -- ever will.
It is here that Halphen, with whom one can only sympathise until then, strays off the track. Reading between the lines, one is struck by the dilemna he feels after having had his ideals in French justice shattered (he was one of the longest-serving French examining magistrates), and yet he is unable to denounce the fundamental flaws in the system which allowed this to happen.
He is almost smug in his assertion that he is about to surprise his reader by claiming that he wishes no radical reform of the French justice machine, and he makes this comment after some 200 pages of detailed description of a bankrupt and corrupt beaurocracy. For, if he was to suggest otherwise, the role of the examining magistrate comes under question.
Rather, Halphen contents himself to outline the inherent overwork and ultimate impotence of the magistrates, who in France lead all serious criminal investigations. There is, he appears to admit, no cure in sight to prevent the abominable story he recounts happening again.
The many, many disturbing issues he raises should be the subject of urgent reform, of public outrage and political shame. In many countries, his book would create a scandal and a political crisis. Less clear is whether it's France, or Halphen, who lost the plot.
Graham Tearse
Editor
Expatica France
graham.tearse @expatica.com
21 November 2002
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Chirac's private enemy No 1
He is France's most popular politician; he is permanently in the public eye parading his roster of successes as minister of the interior; he is young, able and ambitious. But Nicolas Sarkozy has one problem: he is on collision course with the president. Hugh Schofield reports.
The heart of the tension is Sarkozy's clear aim to become president in 2007.
French newspapers chose 14 January to trumpet the ill-concealed state of warfare that has broken out between Jacques Chirac and the man who would replace him.
"Sarkozy lays siege to the Elysee," ran the front page of the left-wing Lib?ration. "Why Sarkozy is doing all he can to get himself fired," blazoned the popular daily Le Parisien, while the pro-government Le Figaro asked: "Is Sarkozy going too far?"
At the heart of the mounting tension lies the 49 year-old minister's manifest desire to take over at the next presidential elections in 2007.
Since November 2003, he has made no attempt to hide his hopes. Asked on a television show if he thought much of the presidency, he replied "Oh yes, and not just when I am shaving."
In another interview he said presidents should be limited to two mandates - and that old politicians should give way to a new generation.
The target of the message was not hard to read because Chirac is 71, half way through his second term and considering a third. The president began his career in the mid-1960s.
And while on an official visit to China earlier this month, Sarkozy had teeth gnashing once more in the Elysee when he was quoted asking Chinese President Hu Jintao, "What is it like taking over as number one when like you one has spent ten years as number two?"
In a system where ministers doff their caps his behaviour is provocative.
In January he was flexing his political muscles again - offering a buffet dinner for 100 parliamentarians from Chirac's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party and last Wednesday appearing in a press conference to report on his ministry's achievements for 2003.
The news was good - a 3.4 percent drop in reported crime - and there was more grist to the presidential mill when commentators said Sarkozy's chosen method of communication - a live broadcast from his ministry in Paris - reminded them of Charles de Gaulle.
On policy the minister has also marked his own territory, publicly disagreeing with the president on the hot issue of affirmative action. While Chirac has stuck to the view that discriminating in favour of Muslim immigrants is unFrench, Sarkozy has said it is vital to encourage integration.
His supporters warn: three years till the presidential race is a long time.
In a political system in which ministers are expected to doff their caps to the head of state, his behaviour has been deliberately provocative.
What vexes the Elys?e is that Sarkozy's opinion ratings remain in the high 60s - oustripping Chirac by several points - and that makes him hard to touch.
"In an increasingly complex political universe, Nicolas Sarkozy travels with simple ideas. He wants to be president of the republic. Not very original, but he has decided to get there by the shortest route possible," said Lib?ration in an editorial last Wednesday .
Insiders at the Place Beauvau - the ministry building that conveniently lies a few hundred metres across from the Elys?e palace - say Sarkozy is well aware of the effect he is having. "Chirac doesn't hate me," he was quoted as saying in Le Monde newspaper last week,
"it is worse: he fears me."
But even his supporters are warning that he risks over-reaching himself, and that the three years till the next presidential race are a long time in which to sustain a political guerrilla campaign without at some point taking return fire.
Nicolas Sarkozy - hot seat hotshot
As one insider at the Elysee told AFP: "He is acting a little too much in a hurry."
This could mean that the young pretender will soon ease off the pressure, calculating that having laid down a marker for the election he is now clearly seen by the public as one who is "presidentiable" - fit for the job.
January 2004
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Juppe victim of 'communists': Berlusconi
BRUSSELS, Feb 5 (AFP) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi expressed support Thursday for embattled former French premier Alain Juppe, and launched a stinging attack on "political justice" and "communism."
Berlusconi - no stranger to legal problems himself - won polite applause from an audience of rightwing delegates after the tirade which accompanied an expression of solidarity with Juppe, convicted of corruption last week.
"There is another form of communism. It is communism without communism," he told a congress of the European People's Party (EPP) in Brussels, without specifying which countries he was criticizing.
"It is the most dangerous form, because it is the least visible .. That means one disowns one's own past, that one washes ones hands piously of all the crimes of the communist regimes .. while keeping the communist methods."
Such methods include "seeking to eliminate the political adversary, not by the vote or by democracy, but by resorting to political justice, as it used to be in certain countries and as it continues to be in certain countries."
Berlusconi concluded his tirade, launched at a meeting held in the European Parliament, by saying: "Allow me to address a message of soliarity with Alain Juppe, whom I know and whom I respect deeply."
Juppe, a close ally of President Jacques Chirac, confounded predictions of his departure from politics Tuesday, announcing he will remain at his elected posts until his appeal against a conviction for illegal party funding.
Berlusconi, known for his inimitable rhetorical style, was hit by new legal problems last month after a top court removed his immunity from prosecution on corruption charges.

? AFP

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Ex-French PM Cresson faces EU fraud case
BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (AFP) - Belgian prosecutors have decided to drop most charges against former French prime minister Edith Cresson, although she will still face court over one fraud indictment, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The charges stem from a corruption scandal which sparked the collapse in 1999 of the European Commission, the EU executive of which Cresson was a member.
Cresson, who was French prime minister from 1991 to 1992, was indicted last March on charges of cronyism during her time as a member of the Brussels-based EU executive in the late 1990s.
She was specifically accused of organising the hiring by her department of Rene Berthelot, a personal friend and retired dentist, from 1996-1997, who was allegedly paid some EUR 150,000 (USD 188,000) for a fictitious job.
According to a spokeswoman, the only indictment on which prosecutors are pursuing Cresson relates to a number of allegedly counterfeit orders mandating missions or tasks to be carried out on the commission's behalf.
The Belgian daily Le Soir reported that the allegedly false documents involve expenditure of about EUR 7,000 to Berthelot.
"The prosecution is asking that Mme. Cresson and a civil servant be sent to court for 13 mission orders" which are suspected of being counterfeit, said Estelle Arpigny, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office.
Prosecutors are set to propose that all other charges be dropped, she said, adding that a decision in the case is likely "in the coming weeks or the coming months".
The 1999 Brussels fraud scandal sparked the collapse of the commission headed by Jacques Santer, whose successor Romano Prodi has battled to clean up the EU executive's tarnished reputation.
As well as the alleged fraud involving Berthelot, Cresson was also alleged to have given benefits to a French company in work carried out in connection with an EU training programme of which she was in charge.

? AFP
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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Q & A: Chirac's corruption battle
France's President, Jacques Chirac, has been accused of corruption during his time as Mayor of Paris and as president of the Gaullist RPR Party.
Judges investigating the allegations wanted to question him, but have been thwarted by Mr Chirac's claim to presidential immunity, causing one of them to resign in disgust.
BBC News Online's Alexandra Fouch? looks at what that means for Mr Chirac and French politics ahead of this year's elections.
What are the allegations against Chirac?
There are several cases under investigation, of which the four biggest are:
Paris public housing (or HLM) contracts backhanders: This investigation, initially opened by Judge Eric Halphen in 1994, concerns bribes allegedly paid for the allocation of public housing contracts, which are thought to have contributed to the financing of the RPR and other political parties. The allegations against two people close to Mr Chirac - the late Jean-Claude Mery and Michel Roussin - prompted prosecutors to ask how much he knew about the scam.
Chirac's career
1976-1994: RPR President
1977-1995: Mayor of Paris
1974-1976 and 1986-1988: Prime Minister
Since 1995: President
In September, the Court of Appeals threw out the case because of procedural flaws, but replaced Judge Halphen, with another magistrate, Armand Riberolles, who observers say may be able to resume the investigation.
Cash-for-tickets, linked to bribes on secondary school contracts: Backhander payments are also reported to have been made in return for contracts to refurbish secondary schools in the Paris region. The scheme, thought to have been put in place in the late 1980s, is said to have benefited all major political parties.
Once again, Mr Roussin and Mr Mery were implicated, leading the investigation, which opened in 1997, in Mr Chirac's direction.
In July it was revealed that large sums of cash, allegedly totalling almost 2.4m francs ($320,000), had been used to pay for trips for Mr Chirac and his family and close colleagues between 1992 and 1995. He says the money came from his personal allowances, but investigators believe it may have been one way of spending the illegal commissions.
Fake RPR jobs: This investigation, opened in 1996 by Judge Patrick Desmure, relates to fictitious jobs given to members of Jacques Chirac's RPR party by private firms - who would be granted public contracts in return - and the Paris town hall between 1988 and 1995. It is alleged Mr Chirac knew of the arrangement.
Sempap fraud: This investigation, which began in 1997 and is headed by Judges Armand Riberolles and Marc Brisset-Foucault, examines allegations of fraud and favouritism towards the Sempap company, responsible for the Paris town hall's printing requirements between 1986 and 1996 while Mr Chirac was mayor.
Can Chirac claim presidential immunity?
Under France's constitution, the president can be prosecuted during his term only for high treason and only by the High Court of Justice, which is called by parliament and is made up of 12 deputies and 12 senators.
Legal glossary
Cour de Cassation: France's highest civil and criminal court
State Council: France's highest administrative court
Constitutional Council: Rules on the constitutionality of laws and on the interpretation of the constitution
High Court of Justice: the only court able to judge a serving president
However, the constitution is silent on offences committed before the president's accession to power - in Mr Chirac's case when he was Paris mayor or heading the RPR.
A ruling by the Constitutional Council in 1999 said that even then, the president could claim immunity.
But there are no provisions in the constitution for the president appearing as a witness in legal cases. This led to extended legal wrangling as the president repeatedly ignored judges' summons to face questioning.
The Cour de Cassation gave a final ruling in October which upholds and refines the Constitutional Council's decision.
It says Mr Chirac cannot be prosecuted or called as a witness against his will during his term of office, though after that it is open season. But some believe by then - especially if Mr Chirac is re-elected in 2002 - it will be too late.
This decision so disgusted Judge Eric Halphen that he resigned from public office. He has compared Mr Chirac's actions to those of former US President Richard Nixon and said that justice did not exist in France.
What is all this doing for Mr Chirac's career?
Although he has yet to announce whether he is running for a second term, Mr Chirac is thought likely to seek re-election.
His popularity has so far not suffered in the polls and his likely opponent, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, has not exploited the sleaze card against him.
His daughter and her former partner have already been questioned, and other close family and aides, including the first lady, may be asked to appear before the investigators.
This would be certain to create controversy but might some observers say may very well increase the sympathy vote in Mr Chirac's favour.
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Judge Drops Chirac Corruption Probe
By Elaine Ganley
Associated Press
April 26, 2001
The judge investigating a corruption scandal that appeared to be closing in on President Jacques Chirac has dropped his pursuit of the chief of state, news reports and judicial sources said Thursday. Judge Eric Halphen filed his decision Wednesday to stop pursuing the president, saying it falls outside his jurisdiction, judicial sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The sources were confirming a report that first appeared in Thursday's edition of the regional newspaper l'Est Republicain.
Halphen's decision came just a month after he had summoned the conservative president to appear as a witness in the case, which involves a kickback scheme centering on Paris City Hall when Chirac served as mayor of the French capital from 1977 to 1995. Chirac refused to appear before the judge, with his office saying the summons violated the constitutional separation of powers.
According to the French Constitution, a president is protected from being brought before judicial bodies while he is in office. But it says nothing about his answering a summons as a witness, with no charges weighing on him. Only the High Court of Justice, a special body that judges officials for crimes committed while in office, is in a position to go forward with the investigation, Halphen said, according to Le Monde newspaper.
A Socialist lawmaker, Arnaud de Montebourg, has pressed for the special court to take up the case, but there is no indication it will do so. Halphen's summons in March for Chirac to testify as a witness drew a rash of criticism from Chirac's conservative allies and injected a dose of acrimony into already tense relations between the conservative president and his Socialist prime minister, Lionel Jospin. The two men are seen as likely contenders in next year's presidential election. Halphen cited both the Constitution and the Jan. 22, 1999, decision of the Constitutional Council in his decision to keep Chirac out of the case, which he has been investigating since 1994.
The case centers on allegations that bribes were extracted from building contractors, in part to help finance Chirac's conservative Rally for the Republic party and other political parties. Some 50 people have been placed under formal investigation -- a step just short of being charged. ``There now exist indications making it probable that Jacques Chirac could have participated, as player or accomplice, in the commission of infractions,'' Le Monde quoted the judge as saying in his decision. Halphen began investigating Chirac in earnest after he was directly implicated in a videotaped account from a key figure in the case, Jean-Claude Mery, released after Mery's death. Mery's account was corroborated earlier this month by Francois Ciolina, former deputy director of the public housing office that was part of the alleged scheme. Ciolina is among those under investigation.

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M. Chirac rattrap?
LE MONDE | 31.01.04 | 11h28
LA JUSTICE a donc tranch?. Sans trembler devant les cons?quences politiques ?ventuelles de sa d?cision. C'est, en effet, une condamnation cinglante que le tribunal correctionnel de Nanterre a inflig?e ? Alain Jupp?, vendredi 30 janvier. Mais, au-del? de l'homme, c'est un syst?me qui a ?t? condamn?.
Un syst?me dont le b?n?ficiaire ?tait Jacques Chirac, alors pr?sident du RPR et maire de Paris.
M. Jupp? est donc reconnu coupable de prise ill?gale d'int?r?t dans l'affaire des emplois fictifs du RPR pris en charge frauduleusement par la Ville de Paris entre 1988 et 1995, lorsqu'il ?tait ? la fois secr?taire g?n?ral du RPR et adjoint charg? des finances ? la Mairie de Paris. L'actuel pr?sident de l'UMP ?cope de dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis. Cette condamnation entra?ne automatiquement dix ans d'in?ligibilit?, sous r?serve qu'elle soit confirm?e en appel.
Ce jugement est un r?quisitoire contre M. Jupp? (lire pages 6 ? 8), les juges n'h?sitant pas ? rappeler cruellement ? l'int?ress? que les valeurs de la R?publique sont au c?ur de l'enseignement des grandes ?coles o? il s'est form?. Mais, bien au-del? du sort de l'actuel maire de Bordeaux, c'est tout le syst?me de financement occulte du RPR gr?ce ? la Mairie de Paris durant les ann?es 1980-1990 qui a ?t? condamn? par le tribunal de Nanterre. Ainsi, tous les responsables politiques poursuivis avec Alain Jupp? sont ?galement condamn?s ? des peines de prison avec sursis allant de sept ? quatorze mois.
Le seul qui manque ? l'appel est celui qui, alors, pr?sidait le parti gaulliste et ?tait le maire de Paris : Jacques Chirac. Le jugement du tribunal de Nanterre est sur ce point sans ambigu?t? : M. Jupp?, souligne-t-il, "?tait directement subordonn? au pr?sident du mouvement". Et, comme chacun le sait, celui-l?, pr?cis?ment, est ? l'abri de la justice tant qu'il si?gera ? l'Elys?e. L'affaire dans laquelle est condamn? Alain Jupp? est, en effet, celle dans laquelle le juge Patrick Desmure avait constat? l'existence de "faits susceptibles d'?tre reproch?s ? M. Chirac ? titre personnel". Prot?g? par son statut de pr?sident de la R?publique, Jacques Chirac n'est aucunement ? l'abri de poursuites une fois qu'il aura quitt? l'Elys?e.
Au d?tour d'une petite phrase, le jugement de Nanterre ?nonce donc, clairement, ce que personne n'ignore, notamment les int?ress?s : Alain Jupp? paye pour Jacques Chirac. Si le premier est condamn? p?nalement, la justice assure sans ambigu?t? que le second est responsable moralement. Voil? le chef de l'Etat pr?venu : le jugement condamnant Alain Jupp? donne la mesure de celui qu'il pourrait subir ? son tour quand il ne sera plus ? l'abri de l'immunit? pr?sidentielle.
Le pr?sident de la R?publique est rattrap? par son pass? de chef de parti. Un pass? qui n'est pas digne de la morale r?publicaine qu'il est cens? incarner ? la place qui est la sienne. La politique ne saurait se placer au-dessus de la justice, sauf, comme le rappelle le jugement de Nanterre, ? "tromper la confiance du peuple souverain". Et, aujourd'hui que les magistrats font ?tat des intimidations dont ils auraient ?t? la cible, on voudrait ?tre certain qu'? la tromperie ne s'est pas ajout?e la barbouzerie.

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 01.02.04
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Les faits contre Jupp?
LE MONDE | 03.02.04 | 15h31
"CETTE AFFAIRE montre que la France est un pays en voie de d?veloppement d?mocratique dont les ?lus n'ont pas encore int?gr? psychologiquement l'id?e d'ind?pendance de la justice." Le propos n'est pas d'un gauchiste, mais de Dominique Barella, pr?sident de l'Union syndicale des magistrats, syndicat majoritaire et mod?r?.
Il r?sume sobrement l'invraisemblable r?action de la plupart des responsables de la droite fran?aise au lendemain de la condamnation d'Alain Jupp? ? dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis et dix ans d'in?ligibilit?, pour prise ill?gale d'int?r?t dans l'affaire des emplois fictifs de la Ville de Paris.
Le premier ministre, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a donn? le ton en d?clarant sa "surprise" devant ce jugement "provisoire", tandis que son ministre d?l?gu? ? l'enseignement scolaire, Xavier Darcos, parlait d'une "condamnation ? mort politique". Josselin de Rohan, pr?sident du groupe UMP du S?nat, n'a pas h?sit? ? s'indigner "qu'on puisse traiter quelqu'un de cette qualit? comme un malfaiteur". Eric Raoult, vice-pr?sident de l'Assembl?e nationale, a d?nonc? ce "jugement disproportionn?, hypocrite et cynique".
Quant au pr?sident de la R?publique - th?oriquement "garant de l'ind?pendance de l'autorit? judiciaire", selon l'article 64 de la Constitution -, non seulement il n'a pas rappel? chacun au respect de la chose jug?e, mais il n'a pas h?sit?, lundi 2 f?vrier, ? louer publiquement les "qualit?s exceptionnelles" d'Alain Jupp?, notamment son "honn?tet?".
C'est peu de dire que ces d?rapages sont stup?fiants. Car enfin, les faits sont t?tus. Et, au-del? de la connotation plus morale que strictement juridique de l'un ou l'autre de ses attendus, le jugement rendu le 30 janvier ? Nanterre confirme et condamne l'existence d'un syst?me ill?gal de financement d'un parti politique - le RPR, ? l'?poque pr?sid? par Jacques Chirac et dont Alain Jupp? ?tait secr?taire g?n?ral - par la Ville de Paris, dont les deux hommes ?taient alors maire et adjoint charg? des finances.
La prise ill?gale d'int?r?t pour laquelle Alain Jupp? est condamn? est tr?s simplement d?crite ainsi par les juges de Nanterre : de septembre 1990 ? mai 1995, alors qu'il avait la charge et la responsabilit? de contr?ler et d'ordonner les d?penses aff?rentes aux employ?s de la ville, il a pr?sent? lors du vote des budgets annuels de la Ville de Paris une masse salariale comprenant les d?penses aff?rentes ? sept personnes "qu'il savait ?tre en r?alit? mises ? la disposition du RPR".
Autrement dit, pendant des ann?es, les contribuables parisiens ont pay?, sans le savoir, les salaires de permanents du RPR. Selon la formule de l'actuel maire de la capitale, Bertrand Delano? (PS), "un clan a mis la main sur la ville, sur les fonds d'une collectivit? locale ? travers des emplois fictifs". Le pr?judice, selon les services municipaux, s'?l?ve ? 1,2 million d'euros. Tels sont les faits sur lesquels Alain Jupp? et les dirigeants du RPR poursuivis ? ses c?t?s ont ?t? condamn?s.

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 04.02.04
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La majorit? sp?cule sur l'?ventuel remplacement du pr?sident de l'UMP
LE MONDE | 29.01.04 | 12h28
Personne n'en parle, mais tout le monde y pense. Et si Alain Jupp? ?tait condamn?, vendredi 30 janvier, ? une peine de dix ans d'in?ligibilit? par le tribunal correctionnel de Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) et se retirait de la vie politique - comme il l'a annonc? le 13 janvier ? "?a parcourt tous les esprits, mais personne ne peut imaginer qu'il mette un terme ? sa carri?re.
Ce serait v?cu comme un traumatisme consid?rable", explique Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, l'un des porte-parole de l'UMP. "Ne serait-ce que par d?cence, je n'ose m?me pas imaginer un tel sc?nario", confie-t-il. La g?ne est si forte que la plupart des dirigeants de la droite n'acceptent d'aborder le cas Jupp? que sous couvert d'anonymat.
Comme pour conjurer le mauvais sort, nombreux sont ceux qui refusent d'envisager le pire, tandis que d'autres pronostiquent "un v?ritable tremblement de terre". "Ce 30 janvier constitue un vrai rendez-vous politique qui, pour la droite, peut avoir des cons?quences plus importantes que le r?sultat des ?lections r?gionales", redoute un des principaux chefs de la majorit?. Un proche collaborateur d'un ministre important se montre plus cat?gorique : "Jupp? condamn?, c'est la droite qui est d?capit?e", l?che-t-il, envisageant d?j? "les turbulences tr?s fortes" qui ne manqueraient pas de secouer "la chiraquie".
FRONT ANTI-SARKOZY
Les responsables de la droite n'en doutent pas : en pr?venant qu'il fera "autre chose" s'il est in?ligible, le maire de Bordeaux n'a pas prononc? une phrase en l'air et il se retirera bien de la vie politique. "Il a pes? ses mots. Il n'est pas du genre ? lancer n'importe quoi", assure Eric Woerth, d?put? de l'Oise et tr?sorier de l'UMP. Tous admettent - "pro" ou "anti" Jupp? - que le retrait du pr?sident du parti chiraquien ouvrirait une crise dont la droite sortirait ?branl?e. Cr?dible ou pas, cette situation risque d'avoir une cons?quence : d?clencher une guerre ouverte entre ceux qui r?vent de prendre les commandes d'un parti que Jacques Chirac a con?u comme une machine ? gagner l'?lection pr?sidentielle.
Deux candidats semblent en mesure de s'imposer : Nicolas Sarkozy bien s?r, que beaucoup consid?rent largement favori aupr?s des militants, et Jean-Pierre Raffarin, seul capable de rivaliser face au ministre de l'int?rieur aux yeux de plusieurs responsables. L'entourage de M. Sarkozy feint de s'interroger : "Nicolas a-t-il r?ellement envie d'y aller ?" Mais personne n'est dupe. Surtout pas les purs chiraquiens de l'UMP, qui n'ont pas de plus grand souci que d'emp?cher le num?ro deux du gouvernement de r?ussir une OPA sur le parti. Pour mener ? bien cette entreprise, certains pourraient constituer un "front du refus contre Sarkozy" regroupant tous ceux qui s'inscrivent dans cette d?marche, de Fran?ois Fillon ? Renaud Dutreil en passant par Herv? Gaymard, Xavier Darcos, Roselyne Bachelot, Philippe Douste-Blazy et quelques autres grands notables de la droite parlementaire.
Mais ? les entendre, cette option n'a donn? lieu ? aucune concertation. Comme si, finalement, l'?ventuel retrait de M. Jupp? n'avait jamais ?t? s?rieusement envisag?. Au si?ge de l'UMP, le sujet reste tabou. "Nous n'avons pas la moindre bribe d'information", jure un responsable du parti chiraquien tout en avouant "n'avoir jamais abord? la question" avec l'int?ress?.
Si l'on s'en tient aux statuts de l'UMP, le vide serait momentan?ment combl? par Jean-Claude Gaudin, vice-pr?sident de l'UMP depuis sa cr?ation, le 17 novembre 2002. Il assurerait l'int?rim jusqu'au congr?s du parti, pr?vu en novembre 2004. Pour "l?gale" qu'elle soit, cette solution permettrait surtout de parer au plus press?. "A l'UMP, tant chez les militants qu'aupr?s des cadres et des ?lus, le seul chef qui puisse esp?rer une r?elle l?gitimit? doit ? la fois rassembler les centristes, les lib?raux et les ex-RPR. Pour l'heure, le seul capable de r?soudre cette ?quation, c'est Alain Jupp?. En son absence, il n'y a que le premier ministre, chef de la majorit?, qui pourrait au pied lev? le remplacer", pr?dit ce d?put? proche de M. Chirac. Et il n'est pas le seul. "En dehors de Jupp?, il n'y a que le premier ministre pour prendre la direction du parti et le mettre en ordre de marche en vue des ?ch?ances ?lectorales du printemps", estiment de concert plusieurs membres de la commission ex?cutive du parti, selon lesquels M. Raffarin devrait, dans ces conditions, cumuler les deux fonctions.

Yves Bordenave

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 30.01.04
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Alain Jupp? "reconnu coupable", le syst?me RPR condamn?
LE MONDE | 31.01.04 | 13h19 * MIS A JOUR LE 02.02.04 | 17h15
Le pr?sident de l'UMP a ?t? condamn?, vendredi 30 janvier, ? une peine de dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis et dix ans d'in?ligibilit? dans l'affaire du financement du RPR. Il a d?cid? de faire appel. Les juges de Nanterre ont soulign? que, ? cette ?poque, il "?tait directement subordonn? au pr?sident du mouvement".
En condamnant Alain Jupp?, vendredi 30 janvier, les juges du tribunal de Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) ont sanctionn? un homme, mais aussi un syst?me. Justifiant par "la gravit? des faits" dont l'ancien secr?taire g?n?ral du RPR - aujourd'hui pr?sident de l'UMP - "est reconnu coupable" la peine de dix-huit mois d'emprisonnement avec sursis qui lui est inflig?e et les dix ans d'in?ligibilit? qui en d?coulent, les magistrats ont d?nonc? avec s?v?rit? les "arrangements ill?gaux" gr?ce auxquels le parti gaulliste a fait r?mun?rer son personnel par des entreprises et par la Mairie de Paris.
Le jugement, qui invoque la "soumission ? la loi" que la Constitution exige des partis politique, souligne que "la nature des faits commis est insupportable au corps social" et que M. Jupp?, qui "?tait investi d'un mandat ?lectif public", a "tromp? la confiance du peuple souverain".
Sans mettre en exergue le fait que le parti mis en cause - le RPR - et la collectivit? publique flou?e - la Ville de Paris - ?taient tous deux plac?s, au moment des faits vis?s (1988-1995), sous l'autorit? de Jacques Chirac, les juges ont d?sign? avec nettet? la responsabilit? du pr?sident de la R?publique dans les d?lits poursuivis : le jugement indique que M. Jupp? ?tait alors "directement subordonn? au pr?sident du mouvement", r?actualisant ainsi avec force la menace judiciaire qui p?se toujours sur le chef de l'Etat, mais que son immunit? et sa r??lection avaient pouss? dans l'ombre depuis deux ans.
La condamnation de M. Jupp?, dont l'avocat a annonc? qu'il ferait appel, appara?t comme l'?pilogue logique d'un proc?s qui avait pris en d?faut sa d?fense laconique et celui d'une affaire dont les d?veloppements ont, peu ? peu, encercl? le pr?sident avec son principal lieutenant.
Ouverte en 1996, l'enqu?te, men?e par le juge Patrick Desmure, a mis en ?vidence le "syst?me" instaur? de longue date par les dirigeants du RPR pour pallier l'absence de financement officiel des partis, puis, ? partir de 1988, pour en contourner les r?gles l?gales - la premi?re loi fut adopt?e cette ann?e-l?, sous un gouvernement dirig? par M. Chirac ; la plus r?cente, promulgu?e en 1995 sous le gouvernement Balladur, dont M. Jupp? ?tait membre, est celle qui pr?voit l'in?ligibilit? dont il est aujourd'hui frapp?...
R?sumant leurs d?couvertes, les enqu?teurs de la police judiciaire concluaient, dans un rapport rendu au juge le 25 mars 1999, que les malversations commises au profit du RPR "ne proc?daient pas d'initiatives imputables exclusivement ? l'encadrement interm?diaire du mouvement politique consid?r?, mais du fonctionnement d'un syst?me d?lictueux - organis? - avec l'aval de ses instances dirigeantes". Les policiers, qui estimaient le produit total des infractions ? plus de 2,4 millions d'euros, consid?raient d?s ce moment que les documents saisis - dont des courriers sign?s ou annot?s en 1993 par le futur chef de l'Etat - permettaient de "pr?sumer la connaissance du m?canisme incrimin? par le secr?taire g?n?ral du RPR et le pr?sident du RPR, Jacques Chirac".
Un mois plus tard, le juge Desmure entrait dans les annales de la Ve R?publique en ?tant le premier magistrat ? ?voquer explicitement les infractions p?nales qui pourraient ?tre reproch?es ? un chef de l'Etat en exercice si celui-ci n'?tait pr?serv? par son inviolabilit? constitutionnelle. Dans son "ordonnance d'incomp?tence" du 15 avril 1999, il constatait l'impossibilit? de le poursuivre, mais affirmait l'existence de "faits susceptibles d'?tre imput?s ? M. Chirac ? titre personnel". La Cour de cassation ayant, depuis lors, affirm? l'immunit? du pr?sident en la limitant ? la dur?e de ses fonctions, le dossier a ?t? scind? et une enqu?te distincte ouverte (officiellement contre X...) pour r?unir, l'heure venue, les charges retenues contre M. Chirac et prononcer sa mise en examen une fois qu'il ne si?gera plus ? l'Elys?e.
Dans cette perspective, la d?cision rendue vendredi, qui rappelle le lien hi?rarchique qui existait entre le chef de l'Etat et M. Jupp?, laisse peu d'incertitude quant ? l'issue de cette seconde proc?dure : le m?me tribunal pourrait-il, pour les m?mes d?lits, condamner moins s?v?rement l'homme qui pr?sidait le parti que celui qui lui ?tait "directement subordonn?"?
Ainsi, le jugement de Nanterre marque le double ?chec des calculs ?lys?ens qui visaient ? installer le favori en position d'h?ritier et ? pr?server, derri?re lui, M. Chirac des avanc?es de l'enqu?te.
D?s 1997, c'est ? l'Elys?e que s'organisa la d?fense de M. Jupp?, au lendemain de la d?faite ?lectorale qui avait caus? son d?part de Matignon. Alors secr?taire g?n?ral de la pr?sidence, Dominique de Villepin y avait constitu? une cellule informelle qui incluait l'avocat Francis Szpiner, d?fenseur de M. Jupp? et conseil de M. Chirac dans les affaires sensibles, et qui tenta de convaincre d'autres protagonistes de revendiquer seuls la responsabilit? du syst?me d?couvert. Ni Robert Galley, ancien tr?sorier du RPR, ni Michel Roussin, ancien directeur du cabinet de M. Chirac, n'ont accept? de se sacrifier - le second, mis en examen en 1998, a d'ailleurs ?t? mis hors de cause avant le proc?s.
Depuis mai 2002, l'Elys?e a continu? de veiller ? la d?fense du prot?g? du pr?sident. Le remplacement du procureur de Nanterre, Yves Bot, qui avait lanc? l'enqu?te, fut l'un des signes visibles de cette sollicitude : nomm? en f?vrier 2003, son successeur, Bernard Pag?s, a abandonn?, ? quelques mois du proc?s, la moiti? des charges retenues jusqu'alors contre M. Jupp? : celles relatives aux permanents du RPR salari?s par des entreprises. Plus discr?tement, l'in?ligibilit? m?canique qu'encourait ce dernier par les effets automatiques de la loi de 1995 y fut d?tect?e et examin?e avant l'audience. Dans ce contexte d'int?r?ts imbriqu?s, les confidences livr?es par l'ancien premier ministre au Nouvel Observateur, en novembre 2002, n'ont cess? d'alimenter les conjectures. Relatant une conversation "les yeux dans les yeux" avec M. Chirac dans la perspective d'un proc?s, M. Jupp? assurait l'avoir pr?venu en ces termes : "Je dirai ce que je crois devoir dire." Les juges de Nanterre ne s'en seront pas content?s.
Herv? Gattegno


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Le jugement pour les chefs d'entreprise
Dix-neuf chefs d'entreprise ?taient poursuivis pour abus de biens sociaux ou abus de confiance dans le proc?s des emplois fictifs du RPR, pour avoir accept? de prendre en charge les salaires de personnes travaillant exclusivement au service du mouvement gaulliste. Un grand nombre d'entre eux avaient fait valoir, pendant les d?bats, qu'ils avaient ?t? victimes d'un "chantage" de la part du RPR, qui aurait fait d?pendre l'attribution des march?s publics auxquels ils soumissionnaient de l'embauche de ces salari?s fictifs.
Parmi ces chefs d'entreprise, treize ont ?t? condamn?s ? six mois d'emprisonnement avec sursis : Christian Kerherno, Fran?ois Rosset, Bernard Forge, Jacques Petey, Yann Le Dor?, Michel Cottot, Claude Sale, Guy Barbat du Clozel, Michel David, Jean Guillou Keredan, Michel Romestain, Jean-Claude Moillard et Philippe Jung.
Six ont ?t? relax?s. Il s'agit de G?rard Moulin, Richard Cabeza, G?rard Becquet, Laurent Cohen, Knut Gross et Jean-Claude Zemmour.

* ARTICLE PARU DANS L'EDITION DU 01.02.04


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More Information on Corruption

http://www.globalcorruptionreport.org/download.shtml

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Europe de l'Ouest
Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Danemark, Espagne, France, Grande-Bretagne,
Gr?ce, Hollande, Irlande, Islande, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norv?ge, Pologne,
Portugal, Su?de, Suisse
V?ronique Pujas
Vue d'ensemble
La corruption, sujet d'int?r?t public, occupe maintenant une place privil?gi?e dans le programme politique de l'Europe de l'Ouest. Il y a plus d'informations diffus?es sur la corruption, et les scandales impliquant des hommes et des partis politiques sont largement couverts par les m?dias.
Les ann?es 2001-2002 sont marqu?es par l'importance croissante accord?e par les milieux politiques et les m?dias aux questions relatives ? la transparence financi?re et ? la bonne gouvernance au sein de l'entreprise. Dans le cadre de la ? guerre contre le terrorisme ? au lendemain des attaques du 11 septembre, la lutte contre le blanchiment d'argent s'est intensifi?e. La lutte contre le crime organis? et pour le contr?le des paradis fiscaux a enregistr? des progr?s rapides dans le nouvel environnement international ; de m?me, la coop?ration entre les syst?mes judiciaires et les polices des pays de l'Europe occidentale a profit? de cet environnement favorable pour se renforcer. La faillite de la soci?t? Enron aux ?tats-Unis est l'une des principales raisons qui ont amen? la bonne gouvernance au sein de l'entreprise ? occuper la premi?re place dans le programme politique.
Les partis au pouvoir ont d? faire face ? des all?gations de corruption dans nombre de pays de la r?gion, notamment en Allemagne, en France, en Italie et au Portugal. L'impact politique de ces all?gations n'?tait pas le m?me partout ; en ce qui concerne le gouvernement allemand, il a fait ?tablir pour adoption une liste noire de la corruption avant les ?lections qui devaient se d?rouler vers la fin de l'ann?e ; quant au pr?sident fran?ais, il a ?t? r??lu en d?pit des all?gations qui ont continu? ? alimenter le d?bat sur l'opportunit? ou non de lever l'immunit? pr?sidentielle. Des all?gations de corruption en Italie ont provoqu? un long conflit entre le Premier ministre et la justice, conflit qui se poursuit encore aujourd'hui. Parall?lement, les modifications que le gouvernement Berlusconi a introduites dans la l?gislation semblent servir surtout ses propres int?r?ts tout en occultant la responsabilit? de l'ex?cutif.
306132_p099a114 1/07/03 9:55 Page 99
Le niveau de fraude et de blanchiment d'argent perp?tr? dans et ? travers les ?tablissements financiers du secteur priv? suscite une inqui?tude croissante. En Espagne, une enqu?te criminelle a ?t? ouverte pour faire la lumi?re sur un des plus grands scandales qui ait touch? le secteur bancaire europ?en depuis bien des ann?es. Partout dans la r?gion, la cr?dibilit? du secteur priv? est devenue un th?me politique central.
Malgr? la forte influence de la soci?t? civile ? travers la r?gion, peu d'ONG s'occupent sp?cifiquement de lutter contre la corruption. Et m?me si la corruption fait souvent la une des journaux, le public r?agit diff?remment. Les partis populistes ont remport? des succ?s ?lectoraux dans certains pays, en partie parce que les citoyens ont ?t? d?senchant?s par une ?lite politique corrompue.
Aux niveaux international et r?gional
En 2001-2002, les initiatives qui ont eu le plus grand impact dans la lutte contre la corruption en Europe de l'Ouest sont pour l'essentiel l'oeuvre d'institutions internationales et transnationales telles que l'Organisation de coop?ration et de d?veloppement ?conomiques (OCDE), le G8 et l'Union europ?enne (UE). Il est peut-?tre plus commode pour les ?tats individuels d'?viter d'avoir ? traiter directement les questions politiques sensibles en les d?l?guant aux institutions internationales. Le caract?re transnational de la corruption ne fait que confirmer le fait que le probl?me ne peut ?tre le plus efficacement combattu qu'en renfor?ant la s?curit? internationale et la coop?ration entre les syst?mes judiciaires. Ratifi?e par tous les ?tats membres ? l'exception de l'Irlande, la Convention de l'OCDE contre la corruption est en voie d'?tre progressivement int?gr?e dans les lois nationales, m?me si pour l'heure, seuls quelques cas de corruption font l'objet d'une enqu?te dans le cadre de cette convention. Un groupe de travail a ?t? constitu? pour assurer un suivi de la situation, et ? la premi?re phase des ?valuations, il a critiqu? l'application de la l?gislation dans plusieurs pays, obligeant les gouvernements ? amender leurs lois en accord avec la Convention. Cependant, la phase 2 du suivi qui a pour but d'examiner l'application de la Convention, a d?marr? avec une lenteur d?cevante. Les r?visions ont commenc? en 2001 et devaient ?tre men?es au rythme de sept ou huit par an ; mais dans la premi?re ann?e et demie, seules quatre r?visions ont ?t? effectu?es1. Sans l'appui des gouvernements de l'OCDE au processus de suivi, il y a de fortes chances que la Convention ne soit pas appliqu?e convenablement.
La liste noire ?tablie par le groupe d'action financi?re, qui d?signe les juridictions financi?res qui ne coop?rent pas dans la lutte contre le blanchiment d'argent, continue d'?tre une source de pression. ? la fin du mois de f?vrier 2002, les autorit?s des ?les anglo-normandes de Jersey et Guernesey ont d?cid? de collaborer avec les pays de l'OCDE en vue de renforcer la transparence de leur syst?me financier2.
Rapport mondial sur la corruption 2003 100
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Des sept juridictions restant sur la liste des paradis fiscaux r?ticents ? coop?rer, trois sont en Europe de l'Ouest : il s'agit d'Andorre, du Liechtenstein et de Monaco3.
L'un des principaux th?mes du sommet du G8, tenu ? G?nes, en juillet 2001, ?tait ? le crime organis? transnational ?. La corruption est li?e ? un grand nombre d'autres ? crimes internationaux ? n?cessitant des interventions analogues ; la corruption, le blanchiment d'argent sale, l'immigration clandestine, le terrorisme et le crime technologique ont tous ?t? abord?s en tant que ph?nom?nes mondiaux ? combattre gr?ce ? la coop?ration internationale4. Le fait que la corruption soit trait?e comme un probl?me mondial marque un tournant d?cisif.
Les ?v?nements du 11 septembre ont renforc? la coop?ration entre le pouvoir judiciaire, la police et les services de renseignements des quinze ?tats membres de l'Union europ?enne, mais ils ont eu en partie pour corollaire de restreindre les libert?s civiques (voir acc?s ? l'information, page 111). Des mesures abord?es depuis des ann?es mais rest?es bloqu?es pour des raisons politiques et techniques sont maintenant int?gr?es dans un plan de lutte contre le terrorisme et le crime organis?. Le plan a introduit formellement la corruption dans tous les textes concern?s. Par exemple, en novembre 2001, une nouvelle directive sur le blanchiment d'argent a ?t? adopt?e ; elle oblige les ?tats membres ? combattre le blanchiment du produit de tous les crimes graves, y compris la corruption.
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L'importance des poursuites judiciaires contre les affaires de corruption, de priv? ? priv?, a re?u une grande attention m?diatique en 2001, car les tribunaux britanniques jugeaient le plus grand scandale de corruption de ces vingt derni?res ann?es. L'affaire ?tait d'autant plus importante que la d?couverte de la corruption dans le secteur priv? et sa poursuite devant les tribunaux suscitent bien moins d'int?r?t que la corruption dans la fonction publique. Il est vrai que l'Organisation de coop?ration et de d?veloppement ?conomiques (OCDE) consid?re la Grande-Bretagne comme l'un des pays qui affiche la plus grande volont? d'engager des poursuites judiciaires, mais force est de constater que moins de dix affaires de corruption, de priv? ? priv?, ont ?t? port?es devant les tribunaux en vingt ans.
On a pris toute la mesure de la corruption, de priv? ? priv?, lorsque le PDG de la soci?t? Hobson, une entreprise alimentaire, a ?t? traduit en justice pour avoir d?tourn? 2,4 millions de livres (3,8 millions de dollars am?ricains) du compte bancaire d'une filiale pour proroger un contrat lucratif avec la soci?t? ? Cooperative Wholesale Society ? (CWS). Deux responsables de la CWS ont ?t? reconnus coupables d'avoir re?u chacun des pots-de-vin d'un million de livres (1,6 million de dollars am?ricains). Ils ont ?t? condamn?s ? une peine d'emprisonnement ferme de trois ans et demi et au remboursement des pots-devin et des frais de justice. Le juge a ordonn? le report du proc?s du PDG de L'achat de contrats en Grande-Bretagne 306132_p099a114 1/07/03 9:55 Page 101 Rapport mondial sur la corruption 2003 102 Hobson, car les jur?s n'ont pas pu rendre un verdict concluant dans son cas. L'affaire sera de nouveau jug?e en janvier 2003. Les principaux faits se sont d?roul?s en 1995, date ? laquelle expirait l'accord de la soci?t? Hobson aux termes duquel il devait approvisionner 800 magasins de CWS en produits alimentaires de sa marque. Le PDG de la soci?t? Hobson, Andrew Regan, affirme avoir ?t? contact? par un homme d'affaires qui lui aurait offert de n?gocier la prorogation de l'accord par l'interm?diaire de ses contacts au si?ge de la CWS. Les 2,4 millions de livres (3,8 millions de dollars am?ricains) vers?s ? l'homme d'affaires ont ?t? imput?s au compte ? frais de courtage ?, mais le tribunal a d?couvert que l'argent ? transit? par des banques suisses avant de parvenir ? des soci?t?s implant?es aux ?les Vierges britanniques dont les propri?taires et b?n?ficiaires sont des cadres de CWS.
Les soup?ons ont commenc? lorsque l'administrateur de la soci?t? Hobson a ?t? surpris de voir que le contrat de CWS avait ?t? prorog?. Regan lui assura ? qu'il n'y avait pas de quoi s'inqui?ter. (...) Les conseillers financiers de Hobson ont consid?r? [la transaction] comme un coup ?. Quant ? l'administrateur, il n'?tait pas convaincu et a demand? qu'on enqu?te sur les 2,4 millions de livres d?pens?s en ? frais de courtage ?. Un tel proc?s comporte des difficult?s ?videntes. Il faut que la soci?t? l?s?e veuille porter plainte aupr?s de la police. Dans une affaire o? l'image de la soci?t? risque de souffrir davantage que la perte subie dans l'op?ration de corruption, il est difficile de prendre la d?cision de solliciter l'intervention de la police. En outre, les accus?s et les t?moins faisaient partie d'un r?seau d'int?r?ts conflictuels, ce qui incite peu ? rapporter certains faits ou ? engager des poursuites p?nales. Ceux des employ?s qui sont au courant des malversations et qui peuvent donc signaler des faits importants craignent d'?tre poursuivis pour complicit?. Le scandale Hobsons-CWS a co?ncid? avec les ?tapes pr?liminaires d'une r?forme globale des lois r?primant la corruption en Grande-Bretagne et dont les dispositions ont pr?s de cent ans d'?ge. La r?forme a commenc? en f?vrier 2002, avec l'int?gration de la Convention de l'OCDE dans la l?gislation britannique, ? l'instigation surtout de la Commission de s?lection de la Chambre des communes sur le d?veloppement international charg?e d'enqu?ter sur la corruption, commission au sein de laquelle Transparency International - section Royaume-Uni - a jou? un r?le d?terminant. La loi de 2001 contre le terrorisme, le crime et la s?curit? stipule que la corruption est passible de poursuites partout o? le crime est commis, aux termes des lois britanniques. La d?finition de l'infraction doit ?tre clarifi?e dans le projet de code p?nal qui ?tablira un seul d?lit de corruption avec, pour la premi?re fois, une d?finition statutaire de ? l'acte de corruption ?. Cette d?finition s'appliquera tant au secteur public que priv?. Une attention sera accord?e ? la cr?ation d'un nouveau d?lit de ? trafic d'influence ?, qui est plut?t sp?cifique au secteur priv?. On esp?re que ces am?liorations augmenteront le nombre de poursuites p?nales contre la corruption en Grande- Bretagne. Toutefois, pour qu'elles produisent un impact significatif dans le secteur priv?, elles doivent s'accompagner de la reconnaissance par tous qu'il est plus important d'?radiquer la corruption dans l'int?r?t ? long terme d'une soci?t? que de chercher ? ?viter un scandale dans le court terme.
Catherine Courtney
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Le mandat d'arr?t europ?en est une autre illustration de la nouvelle approche commune europ?enne. Introduit pour lutter contre les crimes internationaux, notamment la corruption, il remplace les proc?dures d'extradition et permet ? un mandat d'arr?t lanc? dans n'importe quel pays de l'Union europ?enne d'?tre reconnu et ex?cut? dans tous les autres ?tats membres de l'UE. Les ministres de l'Union europ?enne se sont entendus politiquement sur le mandat en d?cembre 2001, mais le processus posait probl?me. Le premier ministre italien, Silvio Berlusconi, n'a accept? de le signer que sous la forte pression des autres ?tats membres. Il s'y opposait parce que des dispositions relatives au blanchiment d'argent, ? la corruption et ? la fraude fiscale y ?taient incluses. Par ailleurs, si les Parlements doivent ratifier le mandat, cela peut retarder son entr?e en vigueur (pr?vue en janvier 2004.)
En outre, il y a une institutionnalisation progressive des organismes de lutte contre la corruption cr??s par l'UE. Europol (l'Office central de police criminelle de l'Europe) lance une politique de recrutement ? grande ?chelle et la prorogation des accords de coop?ration entre les services de renseignements des ?tats membres, alors que Eurojuste, son pendant au niveau de la justice europ?enne, a ?t? cr?? en 2001. Le bureau europ?en charg? de la r?pression de la fraude gagne en cr?dibilit? surtout apr?s avoir r?v?l?, en mars 2002, qu'il ouvrait une nouvelle enqu?te sur de possibles irr?gularit?s de proc?dures au sein des institutions europ?ennes5. Finalement, avec la Banque mondiale et le Fond mon?taire international, l'Union Eeurop?enne s'est engag?e ? introduire des strat?gies de lutte contre la fraude dans le cadre de ses programmes d'aide au d?veloppement. Le Conseil de l'Europe continue de mettre l'accent sur l'efficacit? institutionnelle des lois et institutions nationales contre la corruption, notamment ? travers le Groupe de travail des ?tats contre la corruption. La Convention p?nale sur la corruption a obtenu un nombre suffisant de ratifications (14) pour entrer en vigueur en juillet 20026. Le Conseil de l'Europe poursuit ?galement le programme OCTOPUS qui vise le renforcement de la bonne gouvernance en introduisant des dispositions contre la corruption dans les pays de l'Europe de l'Est qui demandent ? entrer dans l'Union europ?enne. La perspective de devenir membre de l'UE peut s'av?rer ?tre la meilleure incitation possible pour amener les gouvernements ? am?liorer leurs syst?mes d'int?grit?.
Le processus d'int?gration europ?enne et son impact sur la lutte contre la corruption d?pendent non seulement des politiques intergouvernementales - qui, ? leur tour, d?pendent de la volont? politique nationale - mais aussi de leur mise en oeuvre par les ?tats. Malheureusement, l'engagement est moins ?vident au niveau national. Les r?ponses ind?cises de certains ?tats aux initiatives internationales, telles que les r?ticences initiales de l'Italie ? signer le mandat d'arr?t europ?en, d?notent les r?sultats d?cevants d'un certain nombre de pays de l'Europe de l'Ouest dans leur lutte nationale contre la corruption.
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Au niveau national
L'ann?e derni?re, la lutte contre la corruption s'est vu accorder diff?rents niveaux de priorit? au sein des gouvernements de l'Europe de l'Ouest. Alors que les cas de corruption successifs au sein de l'?lite politique en Allemagne et en France alimentent les d?bats politiques dans ces pays, en Espagne la corruption ?tait moins ? l'ordre du jour puisque le public ?tait focalis? sur les activit?s du Mouvement s?paratiste basque (ETA). Les sondages effectu?s en 2001 ont permis de constater que la corruption avait moins d'importance compar?e au terrorisme, consid?r? comme un probl?me ? r?gler en priorit?7.
Les questions touchant ? la corruption au niveau national sont politiquement sensibles selon qu'il s'agit d'une ann?e ?lectorale ou non. La France ne fait pas exception ? cette r?gle, et avec les ?lections tenues entre avril et juin 2002, les m?dias se sont fait l'?cho de nombreux cas d'utilisation des fonds publics ? des fins personnelles. C'est ainsi que le pr?sident Jacques Chirac a vu beaucoup de membres de son entourage interpell?s par la justice. La p?riode en cause ?tait celle o? Jacques Chirac ?tait ? la fois pr?sident de son parti politique, le Rassemblement pour la r?publique (1976-1994), et maire de Paris (1977-1995).
Les accusations portaient notamment sur une campagne ill?gale et le financement des partis avec des pots-de-vin vers?s sur les travaux publics (l'affaire des HLM de Paris et l'affaire des lyc?es de la R?gion ?le-de-France) ; les contrats publics d'impression (l'affaire Sempap); l'utilisation de fonds municipaux de Paris pour payer les salaires du personnel travaillant pour le parti et la manipulation des listes ?lectorales pour influer sur les votes de quartier8. En 2001, les nouvelles accusations ?taient encore plus accablantes. En juillet 2001, Chirac a ?t? accus? d'utiliser la caisse noire (qui sert normalement ? financer les activit?s des services de renseignements ou les augmentations de salaires du personnel proche du Premier ministre) pour r?gler ses frais de voyages personnels9. Les accusations et le refus de Chirac de t?moigner dans la plupart des affaires susvis?es n'ont fait que cristalliser le d?bat sur la lev?e de l'immunit? pr?sidentielle et l'entrave ? la justice. Au d?but de la campagne ?lectorale de f?vrier 2002, Didier Schuller, conseiller r?gional qui a vite grimp? au sommet au sein du parti de Chirac et qui s'?tait enfui sept ans plut?t ? Saint-Domingue, suite ? des accusations de corruption, est revenu en France. Sa r?apparition a relanc? le d?bat public sur le financement ill?gal des partis politiques ; on lui reprochait d'avoir utilis? l'argent obtenu par la corruption pour financer le parti de Chirac10.
En Allemagne, ? la suite du scandale sur le financement des partis auquel l'Union d?mocratique chr?tienne est m?l?e depuis 1999, le Parti socio-d?mocrate (SPD) au pouvoir, s'est emp?tr? dans son propre scandale financier, en mars 2002. Les dirigeants du SPD ? Cologne ont ?t? accus?s d'avoir re?u d'entreprises donatrices 260 000 ? (257 000 dollars am?ricains) entre 1994 et 199911. Bien que cela date de quelques ann?es, ce scandale a permis de relever le niveau de conscience du public, la
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corruption municipale ?tant d?sormais reconnue comme syst?mique en Allemagne. Le gouvernement britannique a ?t? confront? ? une s?rie de scandales li?s au financement des partis en 2001-2002. Les m?dias ont enqu?t? sur plusieurs affaires importantes dans lesquelles des contrats gouvernementaux ont ?t? octroy?s ? des compagnies ou des d?cisions prises en leur faveur, notamment ENRON qui a fait des dons au parti travailliste au pouvoir. Il n'existe aucune preuve qui permette d'affirmer que les d?cisions gouvernementales ont ?t? directement influenc?es par ces dons, mais en essayant de se sortir de l'embarras, le parti annon?a qu'il allait mettre sur pied un comit? charg? d'enqu?ter sur tous les dons sup?rieurs ? 5 000 livres (7 800 dollars am?ricains)12. En ?cosse, le Premier ministre Henry McLeish, leader du parti travailliste du gouvernement d'alors, d?missionna en novembre 2001, accus? de d?tourner les revenus financiers du Parlement et de ne pas d?clarer ses revenus13. N?anmoins, le gouvernement britannique a fait un pas de plus que les autres pays de l'OCDE, lorsqu'il vota en f?vrier 2000, la nouvelle l?gislation contre la corruption pour se conformer ? la Convention contre la corruption de l'OCDE14. Contrairement ? la l?gislation des autres pays de l'OCDE qui d?clare ill?gale la corruption des fonctionnaires ?trangers, cette nouvelle loi d?clare ?galement ill?gal le paiement de facilitation. La Conf?d?ration des industries britanniques (CBI) a r?prouv? l'interdiction des paiements de facilitation - de petits paiements pour ? faciliter ? les services gouvernementaux de routine - pour la simple raison que cela pourrait placer les compagnies britanniques dans un d?savantage concurrentiel. Le gouvernement britannique a r?torqu? qu'il n'y avait aucune raison d'exempter de tels paiements et a fait remarquer qu'une ? culture de paiements de facilitation constitue un obstacle pour les gouvernements des autres pays qui essaient de combattre la corruption sous tous ses aspects15 ?. L'Irlande ?tait r?put?e ?tre ? l'un des pays les plus corrompus d'Europe ? dans un rapport ?tabli en avril 200216, ? la demande d'une organisation caritative bas?e en Grande-Bretagne. La publication du rapport a co?ncid? avec de longues proc?dures initi?es aupr?s des tribunaux en rapport avec une enqu?te sur les sommes vers?es aux hommes politiques irlandais, notamment l'ancien Premier ministre Charles Haughey, et des all?gations d'irr?gularit?s impliquant des personnalit?s politiques c?l?bres.
Les all?gations de corruption et de d?tournement de fonds publics mais aussi les probl?mes ?conomiques ont port? un coup fatal au Parti socialiste portugais au pouvoir pendant six ans. La crise a donn? lieu, en mars 2002, ? des ?lections g?n?rales anticip?es que le parti au pouvoir a perdues.
Bien que le niveau de corruption dans les pays scandinaves soit comparativement bas, des all?gations de corruption ont ?t? rapport?es et des scandales r?v?l?s. Au Danemark, des all?gations de d?tournement de fonds au Farum Council, une autorit? locale au nord de Copenhague, sont devenues un probl?me national surtout que le gouvernement l'avait d?crit comme un mod?le de gestion financi?re17.
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Face au nombre de scandales li?s ? la corruption dans les pays de l'Europe de l'Ouest, les gouvernements ont pris diverses mesures pour restaurer leur int?grit?, mais entre la rh?torique de la r?forme et l'efficacit? des actions entreprises il y a un foss?. Le nouveau gouvernement italien du Premier ministre Berlusconi en est une bonne illustration. Berlusconi ?tait charg? de la mise sur pied du programme de travail intitul? ? Lutte contre le crime international ? de la r?union du G8 ? G?nes, en 2001. Dans le m?me temps, alors qu'un certain nombre de ses collaborateurs et lui-m?me ?taient sous le coup d'accusations de corruption et de truquage de la comptabilit?, il transforma la lutte contre la corruption en une lutte contre les juges d'instruction. Fin 2001, le Parlement a adopt? une nouvelle loi qui a entrav? s?rieusement le travail des juges. En effet, la publication des comptes truqu?s ne constituait plus un d?lit en Italie ; ce changement d'attitude pourrait encourager fortement les activit?s de blanchiment d'argent18. Les magistrats travaillant sur les affaires de corruption et la mafia n'?taient pas encore au bout de leur peine puisque leurs escortes leur ont ?t? aussi retir?es19. Le S?nat a adopt? une r?forme du Haut Conseil de la justice, qui est dot? d'un pouvoir disciplinaire sur le judiciaire20. La r?forme changera la composition du Conseil et pourrait avoir un impact sur l'ind?pendance des juges d'instruction. En janvier 2002, le rapporteur sp?cial des Nations unies sur l'ind?pendance des juges et des avocats a lanc? un appel ? Berlusconi dans lequel il exhortait son gouvernement ? respecter les principes de base des Nations unies sur l'ind?pendance de la justice21.
L'absence de r?formes importantes dans le financement des partis politiques, et surtout l'absence d'une structure d'investigation ind?pendante de contr?le sur les proc?dures comptables des partis politiques sont des sujets qui continuent de poser le probl?me de la l?gitimit? des partis politiques en Europe de l'Ouest. Dans la plupart des pays, la r?forme de la fonction publique ?tait insuffisante dans le cadre de la lutte contre la corruption. En Allemagne, le fait que le projet de loi sur la libert? d'information ne progresse pas et la d?cision prise en 2001 de supprimer le bureau du procureur f?d?ral charg? de la justice disciplinaire pourraient r?duire les risques pour les fonctionnaires corrompus22. ? cela, il faut ajouter le fait que la plupart des pays europ?ens manquent soit de programmes de protection des t?moins, soit de strat?gie globale de protection des d?nonciateurs.
Des conflits d'int?r?ts apparaissent r?guli?rement au grand jour dans les d?mocraties de l'Europe occidentale et concernent surtout des personnalit?s politiques ayant des int?r?ts dans l'industrie priv?e. En l'occurrence, on a d?couvert r?cemment en France qu'un membre de l'Autorit? charg?e du contr?le de l'audiovisuel d?tenait une part importante du capital d'une grande agence de presse qui n'est autre que l'ancienne soci?t? Vivendi23. Cela cr?e ?galement une situation ambigu? en Italie o? Berlusconi d?tient une part importante des actions de la t?l?vision nationale. Les proc?dures de privatisation soul?vent aussi des pr?occupations du m?me ordre. Depuis 1996, la privatisation des soci?t?s de t?l?communications et
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Ces derni?res ann?es, l'Allemagne a connu des scandales financiers dans lesquels les principaux partis politiques ?taient impliqu?s. Pourtant, au printemps 2002 a ?clat? un autre scandale o? des hommes politiques de la ville de Cologneont accept? des ? dons ? de la part de soci?t?s, en ?change de contrats de construction d'une usine de traitement des ordures et d'autres projets de construction ? grande ?chelle. Mais ? y regarder de plus pr?s, on a d?couvert tout un syst?me d'octroi de pots-de-vin et de dons politiques en ?change de contrats publics. Apr?s plus de dix ans de grands scandales dans le pays, le gouvernement f?d?ral a modifi? progressivement les dispositions relatives au financement des partis ; il a, par ailleurs, soumis au Parlement plus r?cemment, en avril 2002, un projet portant ?tablissement d'une liste noire qui reprendrait les entreprises douteuses prises la main dans le sac ? distribuer des pots-de-vin, ? utiliser la main-d'oeuvre ill?gale ou m?l?es ? des entreprises de corruption. Sur cette base, le march? des contrats publics serait interdit ? ces entreprises pendant trois ans. Il appartiendrait alors au d?partement f?d?ral charg? de la gestion des contrats publics d'inscrire lesdites entreprises sur la liste noire ou de les en retirer une fois ?tabli qu'elles ont suffisamment retrouv? une ?thique de gestion.
L'Allemagne a pris des dispositions depuis le milieu des ann?es 1990, tant au niveau f?d?ral que local, pour interdire les march?s publics aux entreprises douteuses (et en tout cas criminelles.) Mais ces ? D?crets sur la pr?vention de la corruption ? qui contiennent bien des techniques de gestion des risques courants ne sont pas vraiment appliqu?s. Le nouveau projet du gouvernement sur l'?tablissement d'une liste des entreprises ? douteuses ? est le bienvenu pour renforcer la lutte contre la corruption, mais il faut que les r?gles soient appliqu?es avec plus de rigueur notamment celle qui interdit les march?s publics ? certaines entreprises. Malheureusement, le projet a rencontr? une opposition. Il a ?t? bloqu? ? deux reprises par la Chambre haute du Parlement allemand (Bundesrat) domin?e par l'opposition. Ceux qui s'opposent au projet de loi estiment que les conditions d'inscription sur la liste noire sont arbitraires, que les entreprises peuvent ?tre sanctionn?es ? tort et que certains aspects du projet de loi sont potentiellement anticonstitutionnels. Cette opposition a provoqu? une surprise g?n?rale d'autant plus que certains ?tats allemands sous administration du principal parti d'opposition avaient op?r? des listes noires similaires pendant un certain temps. Malgr? cet ?chec, les tenants de la lutte contre la corruption en Allemagne ont continu? ? exercer des pressions en faveur du maintient effectif de la liste. Il est probable que le projet de loi sera vot?, en septembre 2002, par la Chambre haute avec des amendements. L'id?al serait que pareille liste soit accessible au public, qu'elle soit g?r?e par une institution ind?pendante et qu'elle soit soutenue par les chambres de commerce et la fonction publique. Limiter l'acc?s du public ? cette liste et laisser aux seuls fonctionnaires g?rant les march?s publics le pouvoir de d?terminer les entreprises ? faire figurer sur cette liste noire revient ? cr?er d'autres possibilit?s de corruption. Par ailleurs, il faudrait des proc?dures faciles et rapides pour inscrire une entreprise sur la liste noire ; ensuite, suivrait une enqu?te pour d?terminer si les faits retenus contre l'entreprise sont suffisants pour une mise en examen. Il devrait ?tre aussi facile que
?tablissement d'une liste noire en Allemagne
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des syst?mes bancaires espagnols a suscit? de nombreuses all?gations de corruption, surtout au regard des liens ?troits unissant les directeurs des nouvelles entit?s et certains membres du gouvernement.
De nombreux pays ont fait des progr?s dans la lutte contre le blanchiment d'argent. C'est ainsi qu'en Suisse, le Bureau suisse charg? d'?tablir des rapports sur le blanchiment d'argent (MROS) a re?u, fin 2001, plus de dotations en personnel afin de renforcer son efficacit?. Un accord de coop?ration entre le MROS et son partenaire ? Monaco a ?t? rendu public en janvier 2002. En France, de nouvelles mesures de renforcement de la lutte contre le blanchiment d'argent ont ?t? prises, en mai 2001, en consolidant les P?les ?conomiques et financiers, un dispositif institutionnel qui regroupe en son sein des juges sp?cialis?s dans le crime financier et le grand banditisme. Le personnel s'est depuis plaint de l'insuffisance des effectifs24. Malgr? l'ind?pendance du judiciaire promise par les ministres fran?ais de la Justice au cours des enqu?tes portant sur les activit?s des hommes politiques, nombreux sont les juges charg?s de grands dossiers qui ont d? quitter pour diverses raisons la magistrature ou ceux appel?s ? d'autres fonctions ? la fin de 2001 et au d?but de 2002. Eva Joly qui pilotait l'enqu?te sur l'affaire Elf Aquitaine a d?missionn? de son poste comme l'avaient fait ?ric Halphen, charg? du dossier des HLM de Paris et Anne-Jos? Fulg?ras, ancienne directrice du d?partement des finances du tribunal de Paris. Laurence Vichnievsky, ancienne collaboratrice d'Eva Joly, a ?t? affect?e ? un autre poste au sein du syst?me judiciaire25. Ces d?parts ont fait beaucoup de bruit d'autant plus que les protagonistes ont publi? des livres dans lesquels ils ont exprim? des r?serves sur la lutte contre la corruption en France, en particulier, et en Europe de l'Ouest, en g?n?ral.
Le secteur priv?
En 2001-2002, la lutte contre la corruption a connu une ?volution majeure ; en effet, on est de plus en plus conscient que la corruption sape la l?gitimit? et la stabilit? des institutions et march?s financiers. La corruption n'est ?tudi?e qu'en partie, d?plorent les analystes au d?but des ann?es 1990 ; l'attention serait exag?r?ment port?e sur la dimension politique et pas assez sur les r?les des acteurs finan-
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rapide de retirer une entreprise de la liste noire, ? condition que celle-ci puisse prouver qu'elle est retourn?e ? une ?thique de gestion efficace. Les efforts visant ? renforcer la transparence en Allemagne pourraient se fonder sur cette liste noire. Elle inciterait les entreprises ? mettre en place une ?thique de gestion efficace, ?vitant ainsi que d'autres scandales comme celui de Cologne ne portent pr?judice ? la politique allemande.
Bj?rn Rohde-Liebenau
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ciers et ?conomiques. Mais d?sormais, la corruption fait l'objet d'une attention particuli?re, dans et ? travers les m?canismes internationaux de financement. Ces deux derni?res ann?es, un certain nombre de facteurs ont contribu? au d?veloppement de la corruption en Europe de l'Ouest. La chute des actions d'Internet ? la fin des ann?es 1990 constitue l'un de ces facteurs ; le deuxi?me facteur, ce sont les all?gations selon lesquelles il existerait des comptes secrets pour blanchiment d'argent ? Clearstream, une institution financi?re luxembourgeoise dont se servent les banques pour blanchir les transactions financi?res26. Le facteur le plus significatif a ?t? l'annonce de la faillite d'Enron ? la fin de l'ann?e 2001. L'affaire Enron a permis aux populations de prendre davantage conscience que les entreprises, les cabinets d'audit et les banques pouvaient se rendre complices pour truquer les comptes de soci?t?s et donner de fausses informations aux march?s financiers.
En Grande-Bretagne, la fraude, y compris l'enqu?te et les poursuites judiciaires, aurait co?t? au pays jusqu'? 13,8 milliards de livres (21,4 milliards de dollars am?ricains) par an. Dans le Rapport annuel 2000-2001 du Comit? consultatif sur la fraude, un organe ind?pendant cr?? par l'Institut des experts comptables de l'Angleterre et du pays de Galles, il est rapport? que la fraude commerciale est ? de plus en plus li?e ? la corruption et au blanchiment d'argent organis? par le grand banditisme27 ?.
Les enqu?tes sur la corruption ? la banque espagnole BBVA ont provoqu? l'un des plus grands scandales qui a affect? le secteur bancaire europ?en pendant des ann?es. L'enqu?te criminelle qui a d?marr?, en avril 2002, a port? sur les activit?s de la Banco Bilbao Vizcaya avant sa fusion avec la Argenteria Bank en 1999. La banque aurait d?tenu 225 millions d'euros (223 millions de dollars am?ricains) dans des comptes secrets ? Jersey, au Liechtenstein et en Suisse. Ces comptes secrets auraient servi ? favoriser la fraude, le d?tournement de fonds et le blanchiment d'argent. De l'argent qui aurait ?t? ?galement utilis? pour financer les campagnes respectives du pr?sident v?n?zu?lien, Hugo Ch?vez, et de l'ancien pr?sident p?ruvien, Alberto Fujimori. Vingt-trois anciens cadres et membres du conseil d'administration de la BBVA, qui avaient d?missionn? en cours d'ann?e, ont ?t? cit?s dans l'enqu?te men?e par le Juge Baltazar Garz?n28.
Dans une autre affaire c?l?bre en Espagne, des accusations de fraude importante dans une soci?t? charg?e de la gestion de fonds, fraude qui serait li?e au blanchiment d'argent et au versement de pots-de-vin, ont abouti ? la d?mission de la pr?sidente de la commission de la Bourse et du ministre d?l?gu? aux Finances. En effet, plus de 100 millions d'euros (99 millions de dollars am?ricains) en fonds investis dans la soci?t? Gescartera ont disparu. Des enqu?tes ont ?t? diligent?es au Parlement et au tribunal de grande instance sur une affaire qui a touch? de hauts fonctionnaires de la Bourse, du gouvernement et de l'une des plus importantes organisations caritatives d'Espagne29.
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L'indice de corruption des pays exportateurs de TI, dat? de mai 2002, a soulign? le r?le jou? par les soci?t?s multinationales bas?es en Europe de l'Ouest dans la corruption au niveau des pays en d?veloppement (voir page 351). L'indice a indiqu? que les industries d'armement et de construction ?taient le plus souvent les principales sources de pots-de-vin vers?s par les soci?t?s des pays exportateurs30. Plusieurs soci?t?s multinationales de construction, notamment les soci?t?s anglaises, fran?aises, allemandes, italiennes et suisses risquent des poursuites judiciaires dans le cadre de l'enqu?te en cours contre le ? Lesotho Highland Development Authority ?.
Si l'affaire du Lesotho est un exemple rare dans lequel une soci?t? europ?enne est poursuivie pour corruption dans le cadre de la l?gislation nationale d'un pays en d?veloppement, l'int?gration progressive de la Convention contre la corruption de l'OCDE dans les l?gislations nationales des pays est en voie de faire de la corruption ? l'?tranger une entreprise de plus en plus risqu?e. Et pourtant, l'indice de corruption r?v?le ?galement que la sensibilisation ? la Convention de l'OCDE est en progression. La sensibilisation massive passe par une coop?ration accrue entre les journalistes d'investigation des pays en d?veloppement, les ONG et les procureurs g?n?raux des pays de l'OCDE.
Certaines soci?t?s de l'Europe de l'Ouest sont plus impliqu?es dans la lutte contre la corruption, en partie, pour r?agir ? la Convention de l'OCDE. En Allemagne, la soci?t? des chemins de fer, Deutsche Bahn, a reconnu, en d?cembre 2001, que ses propres investigations ont identifi? plus de 200 cas de corruption. Il y avait suffisamment de preuves dans 25 de ces cas pour transmettre les r?sultats aux procureurs31. Un mois plus t?t, les procureurs de Frankfurt avaient annonc? qu'un ancien chef du d?partement de l'approvisionnement ? la Deutsche Bahn avait ?t? arr?t? pour corruption, en m?me temps que trois des directeurs d'une soci?t? fournisseur32. Dans le cadre de sa lutte pour ?radiquer la corruption et suivant les conseils de Transparency International Allemagne, la Deutsche Bahn a nomm? son propre m?diateur contre la corruption ; celui-ci devra travailler en collaboration avec les procureurs.
La soci?t? civile
Le travail de sensibilisation a peu ?voqu? la question de la corruption en Europe de l'Ouest malgr? l'importante pr?sence de la soci?t? civile. Cette d?saffection pour la corruption se retrouve dans les dossiers des sections nationales de Transparency International dans la r?gion, dont l'importance est l'exception plut?t que la r?gle. Un certain nombre d'ONG de la r?gion font n?anmoins campagne sur des questions ayant un int?r?t g?n?ral pour la lutte contre la corruption dont notamment la libert? d'information et la r?glementation des march?s financiers.
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Il existe d?sormais, dans la plupart des pays occidentaux, des lois donnant au public un droit g?n?ral d'acc?s aux documents des administrations publiques. Le devoir de transparence s'?tend aux institutions de l'Union europ?enne1. Les m?diateurs europ?ens ont fait un certain nombre de d?clarations en 2001 dans lesquelles ils ont reproch? aux organes de l'Union europ?enne de ne pas divulguer les informations. Lesdits documents comportent un rapport dans lequel il est reproch? au Conseil des ministres d'avoir refus? de donner libre acc?s ? des documents traitant de la justice et des affaires nationales. C'est ainsi qu'une nouvelle r?glementation europ?enne sur l'acc?s du public aux documents de l'Union europ?enne est entr?e en vigueur, en d?cembre 2001. Par ailleurs, le Comit? des ministres du Conseil de l'Europe a fait circuler des recommandations en f?vrier 2002 sur la l?gislation relative ? la libert? d'information2.
Deux pays, l'Allemagne et la Suisse, font exception dans la r?gion ? l'image g?n?ralement positive de la l?gislation sur la libert? d'information, car aucun de ces pays n'a vot? des lois nationales sur la libert? d'information. Le projet de loi introduit au Parlement en Allemagne en 2001 a ?t? bloqu? suite ? l'opposition de l'administration et du secteur des entreprises. Quatre des seize ?tats f?d?raux allemands ont adopt? la l?gislation sur la libert? d'information, mais avec des dispositions restrictives ; cependant, beaucoup d'?tats f?d?raux (notamment la Bavi?re, la Hesse et la Saxe) ont vot?, l'ann?e derni?re, contre les lois sur la libert? d'information. Le Parlement suisse s'est prononc? en faveur de l'introduction de la l?gislation sur la libert? d'information, et une consultation publique sur la question a ?t? organis?e en mars 2001. Le public ?tait en g?n?ral pour le droit ? l'acc?s ? l'information m?me si quelques r?serves ont ?t? ?mises, notamment par les entreprises publiques qui craignaient la perte de comp?titivit?. Des d?bats sont toujours en cours sur le projet de lois3. En Grande-Bretagne, le gouvernement a mis du temps ? appliquer la loi sur la libert? d'information, adopt?e en 2000. En novembre 2001, il a annonc? que le droit g?n?ral du citoyen ? l'information n'entrerait en vigueur qu'en 2005. Pour la p?riode allant jusqu'en 2005, un calendrier a ?t? mis au point pour que les pouvoirs publics fassent conna?tre leurs ? plans de divulgation ? ; ces plans doivent syst?matiquement d?finir la programmation de la diffusion des informations4. La r?ticence de ces gouvernements tranche avec la rapidit? et la vigueur des mesures prises fin 2001 dans les pays de l'Europe de l'Ouest, au lendemain des attaques du 11 septembre. La capacit? des gouvernements ? contr?ler l'information de la presse et ? utiliser la surveillance ?lectronique a ?t? renforc?e. Les services de renseignements et de police ont un libre acc?s au courrier personnel et aux services ?lectroniques des fournisseurs d'acc?s, et les renseignements personnels rassembl?s par les autorit?s comp?tentes sont d?sormais conserv?s dans un dossier pendant une p?riode plus longue. On peut se demander si les nouvelles dispositions contre la corruption, mises en place dans beaucoup de pays europ?ens, ne vont pas entraver les libert?s, mais aussi l'acc?s ? l'information. Entre-temps, la libert? de la ligne ?ditoriale et le journalisme d'investigation sont menac?s par la crise profonde que traversent la radiodiffusion et la t?l?vision dans beaucoup de pays de
l'Europe de l'Ouest ; en effet les
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L'acc?s ? l'information dans les pays de l'Europe occidentale
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Ce n'est pas parce que les m?dias se sont particuli?rement int?ress?s aux scandales de corruption et que les journalistes se sentent de plus en plus ? habilit?s ? ? mener des enqu?tes sur les hommes politiques que le journalisme d'investigation re?oit davantage de ressources. Toutefois, l'int?r?t manifest? par les m?dias est loin d'?tre le m?me ; par exemple, beaucoup de journalistes fran?ais ?taient r?ticents ? enqu?ter sur la corruption politique et cela tranche avec le style de journalisme autoritaire et controvers? pratiqu? dans certains autres pays d'Europe occidentale. ? preuve, la d?saffection manifeste des m?dias fran?ais pour la responsabilit? financi?re au niveau politique pendant la campagne ?lectorale de 2002. Les hommes politiques se servent souvent des accusations de corruption comme outil politique, et profitent ainsi de l'int?r?t que les m?dias leur portent ; mais cette pratique peut, au contraire, finir par rendre le public sceptique. La corruption qui touche les hommes politiques et l'instrumentalisation des all?gations de corruption a non seulement fait perdre confiance au gouvernement et sap? la l?gitimit? des partis politiques et de leurs dirigeants, mais elles ont fini par entra?ner une d?saffection progressive du public ? l'?gard de la politique. S'agissant des ?lections, il y a eu des r?actions mitig?es devant le nombre d'articles parus dans la presse sur des scandales li?s au versement ou ? l'accepta-
Rapport mondial sur la corruption 2003 112
principales cha?nes de radiodiffusion et de t?l?vision publiques et priv?es doivent se battre pour pr?server l'ind?pendance de la r?daction. En Italie, le Premier ministre poss?de trois des plus grandes cha?nes de t?l?vision priv?es et, en sa qualit? de chef du gouvernement, il contr?le ?galement les trois cha?nes publiques5. En France, une douzaine de journalistes ont ?t? poursuivis en 2001 pour avoir publi? des articles d'enqu?te sur les affaires d'int?r?t public, notamment les scandales politiques et les questions sur les violations de la ? pr?somption d'innocence6 ?.
S'agissant de la cyber-administration, beaucoup d'administrations centrales et locales ont soutenu la r?volution num?rique ; elles publient sur Internet, pour le compte des services gouvernementaux, un nombre consid?rable de documents tir?s de publications et de bases de donn?es. Des sites Internet officiels et des services de cyber-administration sont, en g?n?ral, plus d?velopp?s dans les pays de l'Europe du Nord que dans ceux du Sud7. Les Prix de l'Europe ?lectronique pour l'innovation dans la cyber-administration ont ?t? lanc?s en novembre 2001. Leur objectif est de mettre en relief et de promouvoir les efforts r?alis?s par les administrations europ?ennes aux plans national, r?gional et local dans l'utilisation de la technologie de l'information pour am?liorer la qualit? et l'accessibilit? des services publics.
1 www.privay_international.org/issues/foia/foiasurvey.
html.
2 cm.coe.int/Stat/E/Public/2002/adapted_texts/
recommendations/.
3 www.ofj.admin.ch/themen/affprinzip/intro_d.htm.
4 www.lcd.gov.uk/foi/imprp/amrep 01.htm.
5 Economist (Grande-Bretagne), 25 avril 2002.
6 www.ifex.org.
7 europa.en.int/information_society/eeurope/.
index_en htm.
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tion de pots-de-vin et ? d'autres formes de corruption. Les partis populistes tels que le Lega Nord en Italie (membre du gouvernement de coalition de Berlusconi) et le Front national en France (dont le leader, Jean-Marie le Pen, ?tait face ? Chirac au second tour des ?lections pr?sidentielles) ont tir? profit des votes de protestation contre la corruption au sein de l`?lite politique. Parce qu'ils ont en partie critiqu? les hommes politiques ?lus pour leur sens peu ?lev? de la morale, ces partis ont obtenu un soutien accru lors des r?centes ?lections. Mais ? l'?vidence, nombreux sont les citoyens qui ne se sont pas servis de leurs votes pour sanctionner les hommes politiques impliqu?s dans des affaires de corruption, comme en t?moignent l'?lection de Berlusconi en Italie, en mai 2001, et la r??lection du pr?sident Chirac en France, en avril 2002.
En Italie, les grandes manifestations qui ont eu lieu, en f?vrier 2002, ont permis d'?valuer le niveau de soutien ? la croisade contre la corruption, lanc?e dans les ann?es 1990, contre l'?lite politique impliqu?e dans la corruption syst?mique. Malgr? la forte connotation politique donn?e ? ces organisations et rassemblements par une forte pr?sence des militants de partis d'opposition, ils ?taient organis?s pour marquer le d?saccord des citoyens avec la fin de la politique Mani Pulite (mains propres) qui avait suscit? l'espoir de voir se mettre en place un nouveau syst?me politique non corrompu. Quarante mille personnes ont assist? ? une manifestation ? Milan33. Malheureusement, la campagne lanc?e par le Premier ministre Berlusconi contre les juges d'instruction ayant accumul? plusieurs dossiers contre lui, a ?t? renforc?e par sa victoire aux ?lections g?n?rales de 2001 qu'il a remport?es avec une large majorit? des voix.
Les organisations de la soci?t? civile elles-m?mes sont accus?es de corruption. Au Danemark, le pr?sident des employ?s de l'industrie, au sein du syndicat g?n?ral des travailleurs et du Fonds de retraite, Willy Strube, s'est suicid? apr?s avoir ?t? accus? d'utiliser les ressources financi?res du syndicat ? des fins personnelles34.
1 Les rapports par pays sur l'implantation de la Convention anti-corruption de l'OCDE (les deux
phases de surveillance ) sont disponibles sur le net au site www.oecd.org/EN/document/o,,EN
-document -88-3-no-3-16889-88,00.htlm.
2 www.oecdobserver.org/news/fullstory.php/aid/648/Guernsey_and_jersey_commit_to_cooperate_
with_the oecd_to_address_harmful_tax_practices.html.
3 www.oecd.oecd.org/EN/document-22-nodirectorate-no12-28534-22,FF.html.
4 www.7.utoronto.ca/g7/evaluations/2001 gensa.
5 Le Monde (France), 2 mars 2002.
6 conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Cadreslistetraites.htm.
7 www.cis.es/baros/mar2429.htm.
8 Le Monde (France), 29 mars 2002.
9 Le Monde (France), 4 juillet 2001.
10 Guardian (Grande-Bretagne), 6 f?vrier 2002.
11 Le Monde (France), 9 mars 2002.
12 BBC News, 22 mai 2002.
13 Guardian (Grande-Bretagne), 9 novembre 2001.
14 La l?gislation a ?t? introduite comme une partie de la loi de 2001 contre le terrorisme, le crime et la
s?curit?.
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