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Tuesday, 25 May 2004

Russia, Iran To Complete Deal On Nuclear Fuel
25 May 2004 -- The head of Russia's Atomic Energy Agency, Aleksandr Rumyantsev, says that Russia and Iran will complete a pact this summer requiring Iran to return all spent fuel from a new nuclear reactor to Russia.
Russia has overridden U.S. opposition to its construction of an $800-million reactor at Bushehr in Iran. But it has sought to alleviate U.S. concerns that Iranian scientists could extract weapons-grade plutonium from spent fuel.
Iran, with the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia, says it needs nuclear energy to meet booming demand for electricity and to keep oil and gas reserves for export.
Once the protocol is signed, Russia will ship reactor fuel to Iran. Spent fuel is to be sent back to a giant storage facility in Siberia.


Feeling the Heat
As Iran's Joyless Generation awakes, the theocracy shudders.

"I don't compare myself with ten years ago. I compare myself to what I could have and don't". So spoke Tannaz, a 20-year-old university student to a New York Times reporter touring Iran. "There's no joy here," she said, summarizing the feeling of the first generation of Iranians to grow up exclusively in the Islamic Republic. Iranians of Tannaz's generation and mine speak of their hopes "melting" as Iran's leaders replaced reform with a renewed revolutionary trance.
Iran's youth represent 70 percent of Iran's population of 70 million. It is the only pro-American generation in the Middle East. And, it is ready for democracy. As the Joyless Generation awakes, the theocracy shudders. And so does Islamism throughout the region. The Joyless Generation may not abandon their religion in their lives, but even in the cradle of theocracy, they do believe that it should not be in the realm of the state.
Each week since the Islamic Revolution a quarter century ago, a prominent cleric has led public prayers and delivered the official state sermon. On Friday, May 13, 2004, it was the turn of Ayatollah Ahmed Jannati, secretary of the Council of Guardians. The Council of Guardians is the body that determines who can participate in an election, and who is banned from Iran's "democracy". Delivering his sermon, Jannati spoke to the new parliamentarians who owe their positions to his approval. "Creating jobs is among the economic issues of priority", Jannati told them. "If the people are hungry they would hardly resist the difficulties and enemies."
In other words, Iran's leadership no longer speaks of political reform. Instead, the clerics will concentrate on economic problems, falsely believing that Iranians will then surrender their quest for freedom. Ironically, it is Jannati and his close political allies, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Expediency Council chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who are most responsible for the Islamic Republic's economic catharsis. In the 1980s, under their stewardship, Iran experienced "one of the sharpest economic declines in the twentieth century", according to a leading analyst. Simultaneously, they encouraged a "jihad" baby boom and promoted an "autarkic Islamic economy". Two decades later, Jannati and his fellow clerics face an army of the unemployed that increases at a rate of 800,000 persons per year.
Jannati alludes to what every Iranian knows. The Islamic Republic's enemies are not external, but rather internal: The Joyless Generation. Iran's leaders are so insecure that they imprison students like Ahmed Batebi, languishing in prison for the crime of being photographed holding his own bloody shirt in the wake of a police beating. What is joy and tolerance to Tannaz and her generation is "cultural corruption" to Jannati. For all practical purposes, Jannati and Tannaz don't speak the same Persian. Tannaz's belief in the bankruptcy of the Islamic Republic's system represents the views of perhaps seventy percent of Iranian society; Jannati's uncompromising attitude is shared by only ten percent. The remaining 20 percent might still hold out some hope that the Islamic Republic is capable of reform, but this group diminishes daily.
Iran's post-revolutionary generation is aware of basic realities: the irreconcilability of theocracy with reform, whether economic as preached by Rafsanjani, or political as preached by President Mohammad Khatami. Theocracy corrupts not only the temporal sphere but also spiritual spheres. It is the Islamic Republic's ideology which prevents the Iranian people from fulfilling their desire to join the concert of nations. Such awareness is the cornerstone upon which a new Iran can be built. A free Iran can be the keystone to regional reform.
At a time when there is growing consensus to support a "Middle East forum to bring together governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations" to discuss reform, as reported by the Washington Post, acknowledgement of the waves of change in Iran would be a sure investment. Support for Iran's Joyless Generation, rather than any faction within the Islamic Republic's leadership, would bring a high rate of return in terms of both prosperity and security.
A democratic Iran in harmony with the world and its own historic and cultural heritage will be a significant step forward on the path towards stability in the Middle East. Security and democracy, intertwined with rights for men and women, are twin necessities.
Iran is experiencing a new dawn. The Iranian people are looking Westward for support. The choice is clear: Jannati or Tannaz. There can be no hybrid between the two. There can be no d?tente with the theocracy. There can be no Chinese model, in which the West bolsters trade but allows a small clique of rulers to stifle political change. It's time for the West to decide. Will Iran become a regional model of democracy, or will Washington's willingness to engage with theocrats cause it to lose the support of a generation?

-- Ramin Parham, editor of Iran Institute for Democracy, is an independent commentator based in Paris.

World: Can Oil Prices Fall, Given The Rapidly Rising Demand?
By Mark Baker
World oil prices are high, and oil consumers like Europe and the United States are complaining. They are putting pressure on oil producers to increase supply and ease price pressures. But there's not much that can be done in the short term. Oil supplies are tight and demand remains unexpectedly strong.
Prague, 25 May 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Big oil consumers like the United States and the European Union are becoming increasingly nervous over what they see as excessively high world oil prices.
Average oil prices have risen to more than $40 a barrel in recent days -- prices not seen since the first Gulf War more than a decade ago. The rise is threatening to scuttle a global economic recovery before it can even get started.
In the United States, the run-up in oil is forcing gasoline prices sharply higher. Americans -- who are highly dependent on their cars -- are so sensitive to gasoline prices it might even cost President George W. Bush his reelection in November."I would say it's quite likely that in the medium term -- over the next two to three or four years -- prices will indeed flip back into the mid-20s range [$22-$28 dollars a barrel] on the basis of what we know about growing non-OPEC supply."
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury John Snow has been blunt in recent comments. He told an international gathering of finance officials over the weekend that a price of $40 for a barrel of oil was "unwelcome:"
"Current energy prices are unwelcome. We'd like to see energy prices recede. It's important that energy prices -- since they play into the growth rate for the global economy -- be at a level that complements growth," Snow said.
He and his colleagues in the EU, Japan and other major consumer areas would like to see prices fall to $22 to $28 a barrel. This is a price band that producers like the OPEC oil cartel say they aim at as fair to both producers and consumers.
But are the high oil prices here to stay? Has demand outstripped supply so much that average prices -- for example, of $25 a barrel -- are no longer realistic?
RFE/RL posed that question to oil demand and supply experts at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris. The IEA closely monitors developments in the oil market and publishes each month the highly influential "Oil Market Report."
Antoine Halff is an IEA specialist in oil demand. He declined to comment directly on oil prices, but sounded downbeat about a drop in prices. He tells RFE/RL that global demand has risen unexpectedly rapidly in recent months and is unlikely to slow anytime soon.
"We've been through a period of a few years when oil demand growth was quite slow. And some analysts had speculated that we had entered a new era of slower growth in oil consumption and with the changes in the economy and so on. But this year, [we have] seen a return to a very steep pace of growth in oil consumption," Halff said.
Halff says the biggest factor in demand these days is China and its rapidly growing economy. The economy of the world's most populous country is now rising at an unprecedented rate of almost 10 percent a year. The IEA estimates this translates into increased Chinese oil demand of as much as a million barrels a day.
Oil suppliers -- both inside and outside OPEC -- have tried to raise output to meet this demand, but Halff says China's need for oil shows no immediate signs of abating.
"If you hadn't had the increase in Chinese demand that we've experienced in the past few months, it's quite likely that the increase in non-OPEC supply would have been enough to push the price down and it would have put pressure on some OPEC members to defend their market share and it would have translated into a decrease on the call on OPEC [and lower prices]," Halff said.
Halff says another big factor is the United States, where a recent, relatively rapid economic recovery is pushing up demand for diesel fuel. This is used by trucks to ship goods around the country.
David Fyfe, Halff's colleague at the IEA, appears less pessimistic on price. He agrees that demand from China could keep pressure on prices keen. But he points to rising output from non-OPEC countries -- particularly Russia and West Africa -- that he says could eventually dampen price pressures.
"I think there is a danger in extrapolating $40-a-barrel prices. We're in a fairly tight market. We're in a fairly jittery market at the moment, but the fundamentals of supply and demand, with fairly buoyant non-OPEC supply growth this year and for the next two to three years, suggests to us that that tightness in the market should ease," Fyfe said.
Non-OPEC producers include Russia, the Caspian states, and major suppliers in Northern Europe, West Africa, and North America. They account for around two-thirds of world oil output.
"I would say it's quite likely that in the medium term -- over the next two to three or four years -- prices will indeed flip back into the mid-20s range [$22-$28 dollars a barrel] on the basis of what we know about growing non-OPEC supply," Fyfe said.
That says little, however, about the short term. Prices in the past two days alone have jumped some $2 a barrel -- amid growing concern over tightening supplies. Whatever happens, it looks like a long, hot summer for oil consumers and a boom for producers.

Iraqi weapons pipeline probed
By Bill Gertz
The Pentagon is investigating reports that Iraqi weapons are being sent covertly to Syria and that they are fueling anti-U.S. insurgents training there, The Washington Times has learned.
The shipments include weapons and explosives sent by vehicles that were detected during the past several months going to several training camps inside Syria, which has become a key backer of anticoalition forces in Iraq, according to defense officials familiar with reports of the shipments.
One defense official said the pipeline was uncovered as part of efforts to discover what happened to Iraq's arms programs -- conventional as well as weapons of mass destruction.
"Everyone seems to have forgotten that there was the prospect of ongoing traffic in munitions ... that could then be re-imported into Iraq with quite considerable effect," the official said. "We are pursuing the extent and location of that."
The weapons are traveling by covered trucks and unmarked vans along routes that appear to have been set up before the U.S.-led military invasion of Iraq last year.
The night-time deliveries are reported to include small arms, bombs and explosives pilfered from some of the several thousand weapons depots scattered throughout Iraq. The Pentagon has identified more than 8,700 weapons dumps and is continuing to find caches almost daily, officials said.
The arms and explosives come back into Iraq with the Syrian-based insurgents and terrorists, the officials said.
Camps were set up by former officials in the Saddam Hussein regime and are being used to train foreign fighters who are continuing to flow into Iraq to conduct attacks on U.S. and allied forces, the official said.
Homemade bombs fashioned from artillery shells and other military ordnance stored in Iraq have caused hundreds of casualties among coalition forces.
The Syrian border with Iraq is under intense surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies and patrols involving U.S. and allied military forces. Electronic surveillance includes unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite reconnaissance.
The weapons smuggling, however, appears to be done by Iraqis and others who have found ways to avoid the surveillance.
Some defense and intelligence officials said goods related to Saddam's chemical, biological and nuclear programs were sent covertly to Syria before the war.
Several thousand foreign fighters have infiltrated from Syria into Iraq, according to military officials who disclosed the flow to The Times last month.
The 600-mile desert border between Syria and Iraq has been a key smuggling route for decades, and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has facilitated the foreign fighters' movement, providing travel papers and weapons in some cases.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that Syria and Iran "have been unhelpful to what it is we're trying to do in Iraq."
Mr. Rumsfeld said Syria's "dictatorship" opposes the development of a free political system in Iraq.
Mr. Rumsfeld said the border is easily crossed "and people, terrorists, have come across that border."
"Syria has been recalcitrant with respect to freeing up Iraqi assets that were frozen in their country, and large portions of it have been disappearing," Mr. Rumsfeld said.
Mr. Rumsfeld said recent sanctions imposed on Syria are an attempt to pressure its government to change its behavior.
He said he thinks that "it is ... appropriate that Syria not be rewarded."
"The hope is that through discussion, and debate, and consideration, diplomacy, that Syria will recalibrate its direction," he said after a speech at the Heritage Foundation.
"Whether that will happen, I don't know. I wish I did know. But in the meantime, we've got to make sure that they do as little damage to what we're trying to accomplish in Iraq as possible."
On May 11, the Bush administration announced new sanctions against Syria, noting Damascus' support for terrorists and its failure to keep anticoalition fighters from crossing into Iraq.
The sanctions bar U.S. exports to Syria and restrict Syrian assets held in the United States. They were imposed after Damascus failed to address U.S. concerns about support for terrorists and about Syria's arms programs.
President Bush said in announcing the sanctions that Syria's government "must understand that its conduct alone will determine the duration of the sanctions."
Mr. Bush also noted that insurgents "bent on sowing terror continue to cross into Iraq from Syria."
The export ban is expected to keep about $100 million in goods from going to Syria.
Signed into law in December, the sanctions were imposed under the 2003 Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act. The act called on Syria to close borders to military and equipment and anti-U.S. militants headed to Iraq.

U.S. Finally Spending Iraq Construction Funds
Outlay Doubles in 2 Months as Iraqis Arrive to Work Despite Security Fears
By Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 25, 2004; Page A11
A senior official responsible for overseeing rebuilding efforts in Iraq said yesterday that spending on construction has surged in recent weeks, despite continuing security problems that have kept Iraqi workers away from the job.
At a Pentagon briefing, David Nash, a retired admiral managing the spending of U.S. tax dollars, said more than $4 billion has been obligated to specific projects, about double the amounts reported two months ago.
The upbeat assessment came just weeks after the Pentagon and the U.S.-led occupation authority in Iraq were stung by criticism from lawmakers that little of the $18.4 billion allocated by Congress for the effort last year had been spent.
Nash said yesterday that at one point in recent months only about a quarter of the Iraqis working on reconstruction were showing up because of the continuing violence in the country. "Yes, it's had an impact on how many people show up to work," Nash said. "Security is having an impact on us."
But he said that more than 8,000 Iraqis, three-quarters of those scheduled, arrive for work daily and that the work is accelerating.
Some Americans and other Westerners working for U.S. contractors left Iraq over the past several weeks because of the deteriorating security situation, he said. "The contractors have showed up with great vim and vigor, and in fact they're at work," Nash said during a half-hour briefing. "So things are going very well."
He said authorities are "putting in place" up to $75 million in new construction projects every week. Briefing documents from his Program Management Office show that about $3 billion was obligated to construction projects by the end of last week, compared with about half that amount a month ago. Spending has been heaviest on electricity and water projects.
Critics acknowledged some improvements in the reconstruction effort, including the delivery of electricity and fresh water to Iraqis. But they said yesterday's briefing appeared oriented to create a favorable impression in the weeks leading up to the handover of limited authority to an Iraqi government on June 30 and in the months leading up to the U.S. presidential election.
"They're clearly trying to put the best face on this," said Tim Rieser, chief Democratic clerk for the Senate Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, which is monitoring the spending. "Yet by any objective measure they're falling far short of what they said they were going to do when they asked for all this money."
The coalition had planned on spending nearly $8 billion through March.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the subcommittee's ranking Democratic member, said the future of reconstruction efforts hangs in the balance because the country remains so dangerous and many contractors and Iraqis are still afraid to work.
"Security is quickly becoming the X-factor that is impeding and complicating the reconstruction effort," Leahy said in a statement. "Many people predicted these problems back when the Administration made its request for far more money than it could effectively spend. The reality on the ground is illustrative of the many needless mistakes that have created the mess we face today."
Nash said he is "very enthusiastic, very positive" about the overall direction of reconstruction. He estimated that $5 billion worth of projects will be underway by July 1, when Iraqis are scheduled to be largely in control of the country.

? 2004 The Washington Post Company

Shiite Scientist Likely to Be New Iraqi Prime Minister
By Robin Wright and Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 25, 2004; 5:48 PM
The United Nations is closing in on a slate for the new Iraqi government that is likely to be headed by Hussain Shahristani, a Shiite nuclear scientist who spent years in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison for refusing to participate in Saddam Hussein's nuclear program and is now the leading candidate to become prime minister in the first post-Hussein government, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.
U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and U.S. presidential envoy to Iraq Robert D. Blackwill are still in the final throes of working out the "complicated geometry" of dividing power among Iraq's disparate ethnic and religious factions, a senior administration official in Baghdad said today. But Brahimi has met several times this month with Shahristani, who said in an interview today that he would reluctantly accept the job if asked.
"If they consider my participation essential, I'll try to convince them otherwise," said Shahristani, 62, who was educated in London and Toronto. "But if they're not convinced and they ask me to take a role . . . I cannot refuse. I must serve my people."
Shahristani has little political experience. Unlike many other Iraqis who lived in exile, he was not active in opposition political parties, choosing instead to focus his energies on humanitarian aid projects. But he does possess an important connection on Iraq's new political scene: He is close to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the country's most-powerful Shiite cleric, whose support is essential for the viability of an interim government.
Shahristani, who has described himself as an adviser to Sistani, said he has met with the grand ayatollah several times since the fall of Hussein's government. Shahristani said Sistani has played a "very, very constructive" role in Iraq over the past year.
Iraqi officials familiar with Brahimi's mission said Shahristani's lack of political affiliation could be an asset, allowing him to serve as a bridge between various factions that will be jockeying for power in the run-up to elections early next year.
Shahristani, who has a doctorate in nuclear chemistry, served as the chief scientific adviser to Iraq's atomic energy commission until 1979, when Hussein took over as president. Hussein ordered Shahristani to shift his focus from nuclear energy to nuclear weaponry. When he refused, the president ordered Shahristani tortured and jailed.
He spent a decade in the Abu Ghraib prison, most of it in solitary confinement. He managed to escape in 1991 and fled with his wife and three children to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. When Hussein's army pushed into Kurdistan, he and his family crossed into neighboring Iran, where he spent three years working with Iraqi refugees. He and his family eventually moved to Britain, where he found work as a visiting university professor.
He crossed into Iraq two days before Hussein's government fell to deliver aid to the city of Karbala. Since then, he has divided his time between Karbala and the southern port city of Basra, working on humanitarian projects in both places.
"I've been actively working to help the Iraqi people to free themselves from Saddam's tyranny, but I have always concentrated on serving the people and providing them with their basic needs rather than party politics," he said.
Iraqi officials familiar with Brahimi's mission said it was an April 29 op-ed piece Shahristani wrote for the Wall Street Journal that piqued the attention of the U.N. envoy. Titled "Election Fever," the piece criticized the U.S. occupation authority for failing to prepare for elections sooner and for promulgating an interim constitution that was drawn up behind closed doors. He called for the government taking power on June 30 to have limited powers aimed at preparing the country for elections -- a position advocated by Sistani.
"The new provisional government should only be a caretaker government to prepare for elections," he wrote. "It should not indulge in negotiating military, economic or political treaties or agreements that will bind legitimately elected governments in the future."
Although U.S. officials say negotiations have not been concluded, particularly for the cabinet positions, Shahristani has emerged as by far the most attractive candidate for prime minister. "The game has not played out yet, but Shahristani is the candidate to beat," said a senior State Department official.
An Iraqi who knows him well called Shahristani "a captain of men," despite his lack of political leadership.
Brahimi is now expected to announce the interim government line-up -- for prime minister and the three ceremonial positions of president and two vice presidents -- by Monday or Tuesday, said the senior administration official in Baghdad.
The jobs could be contentious -- or dangerous. A new Gallup poll of 3,444 Iraqis showed that nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) believe their lives or the lives of family members would be in danger if they were viewed as cooperating with the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.
In the quest to establish an interim government that will have credibility among both Iraqis and the international community, Brahimi and Blackwill have done a wide sweep of new names. Among the others to emerge for a top job is Sinan Shabibi, governor of the central bank whose father was one of the founders of modern Iraq in the 1920s after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
? 2004 The Washington Post Company

18,000 Potential Al Qaeda Said at Large

The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 25, 2004; 2:18 PM
LONDON - Far from being crippled by the U.S.-led war on terror, al Qaeda has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks, a report said Tuesday.
Al Qaeda is probably working on plans for major attacks on the United States and Europe, and it may be seeking weapons of mass destruction in its desire to inflict as many casualties as possible, the International Institute of Strategic Studies said in its annual survey of world affairs.
Osama bin Laden's network appears to be operating in more than 60 nations, often in concert with local allies, the study by the independent think tank said.
Although about half of al-Qaida's top 30 leaders have been killed or captured, it has an effective leadership, with bin Laden apparently still playing a key role, it said.
"Al Qaeda must be expected to keep trying to develop more promising plans for terrorist operations in North America and Europe, potentially involving weapons of mass destruction," IISS director Dr. John Chipman told a press conference releasing "Strategic Survey 2003/4."
At the same time it will likely continue attacking "soft targets encompassing Americans, Europeans and Israelis, and aiding the insurgency in Iraq," he added.
The report suggested that the two military centerpieces of the U.S.-led war on terror - the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - may have boosted al-Qaida.
Driving the terror network out of Afghanistan in late 2001 appears to have benefited the group, which dispersed to many countries, making it almost invisible and hard to combat, the story said.
And the Iraq conflict "has arguably focused the energies and resources of al Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counterterrorism coalition that appeared so formidable" after the Afghan intervention, the survey said.
The U.S. occupation of Iraq brought al Qaeda recruits from across Islamic nations, the study said. Up to 1,000 foreign Islamic fighters have infiltrated Iraqi territory, where they are cooperating with Iraqi insurgents, the survey said.
Efforts to defeat al Qaeda will take time and might accelerate only if there are political developments that now seem elusive, such as the democratization of Iraq and the resolution of conflict in Israel, it said.
It could take up to 500,000 U.S. and allied troops to effectively police Iraq and restore political stability, IISS researcher Christopher Langton told the news conference.
Such a figure appeared impossible to meet, given political disquiet in the United States and Britain and the unwillingness of other nations to send troops, he said.
The United States is al-Qaida's prime target in a war it sees as a death struggle between civilizations, the report said. An al Qaeda leader has said 4 million Americans will have to be killed "as a prerequisite to any Islamic victory," the survey said.
"Al-Qaida's complaints have been transformed into religious absolutes and cannot be satisfied through political compromise," the study said.
The IISS said its estimate of 18,000 al Qaeda fighters was based on intelligence estimates that the group trained at least 20,000 fighters in its camps in Afghanistan before the United States and its allies ousted the Taliban regime. In the ensuing war on terror, some 2,000 al Qaeda fighters have been killed or captured, the survey said.
Al Qaeda appears to have successfully reconstituted its operations by dispersing its forces into small groups and through working with local allies, such as the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front in Turkey, the report said.
"Al Qaeda is the common ideological and logistical hub for disparate local affiliates, and bin Laden's charisma, presumed survival and elusiveness enhance the organization's iconic drawing power," it said.

? 2004 The Associated Press
Koreas hold rare high-level military talks

SEOUL, South Korea -- North and South Korea opened high-level military talks Wednesday aimed at reducing tensions amid a deadlock over the communist North's nuclear weapons programs.
Generals from the two militaries met at the communist North's east coast Diamond Mountain resort, just north of the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone that has separated the rivals since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, according to a South Korean Defense Ministry spokeswoman in Seoul.
Officials will discuss ways to avoid naval skirmishes along the west coast during the May-June crab catching season, when fishing boats from the two Koreas jostle for position along the poorly marked maritime border.
The Koreas fought deadly naval gunbattles there in 1999 and 2002, both in June.
New clashes could derail fragile international efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons development.
South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun was optimistic about progress at the one-day meeting.
"The prospects for the talks are not so bad. Accidental naval clashes in the West Sea must be prevented in whatever format," Jeong told reporters on Tuesday.
The West Sea is known as the Yellow Sea outside Korea.
The five-member South Korean delegation is being led by Rear Adm. Park Jung-hwa; the North's five-member team is reportedly headed by Army Maj. Gen. An Ik-san.
The United States, two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia are trying to hold a third round of six-nation talks by the end of June to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs, but a date has yet to be fixed.
The two Korean militaries seldom hold talks, although their governments have expanded economic and political exchanges in recent years.
The defense ministers of the Koreas met in September 2000, following that year's unprecedented inter-Korean summit.
But the North had typically rejected the South's call for high-level military talks, allowing only colonels to meet and limiting their discussions to economic exchanges.
The Koreas officially remain in a state of war since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty. Their border is guarded by nearly 2 million soldiers, including 37,000 U.S. troops in the South.
North and South Korea often accuse each other of violating the western maritime border. The South recognizes a border demarcated by the United Nations after the end of the Korean War, but the North claims a boundary farther south.

World: Freedom House Says 'New Divide' Formalized By EU Expansion
By Ron Synovitz

EU: Reuniting and dividing?

Freedom House, a U.S.-based pro-democracy group, has issued its latest annual report as part of an ongoing, decade-old study on democratic transition in the former communist world. RFE/RL takes a closer look at the "Nations in Transit 2004" report.
Prague, 25 May 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Freedom House, a U.S.-based group that monitors democracy around the world, says there is a widening "democracy gap" between the European Union and former communist states further east that continue to lag behind on reforms.
Freedom House released its report, "Nations in Transit 2004," in New York late yesterday. The report says the enlargement of the European Union on 1 May has formalized a "new divide" between the stable democracies of Central Europe and the Baltics on the one hand, and reform laggards further to the east on the other."Freedom House found that the non-Baltic post-Soviet states have regressed over the life of the study. Russia has registered the most significant decline in scores since last year, with Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Ukraine also showing significant downturns."
Kristie Evenson is the director of Freedom House's Budapest office. She explains that the latest report is part of an ongoing study that began nearly 10 years ago.
"The 'Nations in Transit' study is an attempt to be systematic at looking at the transition process in Central and Southeast Europe and in the Eurasia region. The study has a consistent set of methodology -- or a framework -- which looks at key areas of political development. Everything from media, to 'free and fair elections,' to differences in judicial reform, etc. The study is a good way to begin benchmarking progress, or [a lack of progress], in areas which have been determined to be important for overall reform and democratic transition," Evenson said.
The methodology Evenson refers to includes a "democracy score" based on a 1-7 scale. The democracy score is an average of subcategory ratings that Freedom House researchers have given each country after reviewing electoral processes, civil society, independent media, governance, corruption and legal frameworks.
A score of 1 represents the highest possible level of democratic development in a particular country, while a score of 7 represents the lowest score.
Evenson tells RFE/RL that the most recent report in the ongoing study reveals there have been regressions on democratic reforms in most former Soviet republics.
"Freedom House found that the non-Baltic post-Soviet states have regressed over the life of the study. Russia has registered the most significant decline in scores since last year, with Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Ukraine also showing significant downturns. Continued poor performance was documented throughout the Central Asian countries, which include some key U.S. allies. The editor of the 'Nations in Transit' report, Amanda Schnetzer, says that while there were some bright spots in the past year -- especially in Georgia -- the longer-term outlook for democracy in the non-Baltic former Soviet states remains bleak," Evenson said.
Although Russia's democracy score of 5.25 was a better ranking than Belarus (6.54), Azerbaijan (5.63), and all five former Soviet republics in Central Asia (ranging from 5.67 to 6.8), Evenson says Freedom House remains concerned about democratic regression in Russia.
"Worrisome setbacks in Russia continue. It's been noted [that there has been] a backslide in key areas of democratic practice. According to our 'Nations in Transit 2004' [report], President [Vladimir] Putin's policies have sought to centralize power, leaving little room for a vibrant civil society, independent media or political opposition. While Russia has emphasized the importance it places on maintaining strong ties to the West, it is headed in an increasingly authoritarian direction," Evenson said.
Armenia's score of 5.0 reflects what Freedom House calls a worsening of the ratings for electoral process and independent media. That score reflects serious irregularities that were noted by international observers at presidential and parliamentary elections last year.
By comparison, Georgia's overall score of 4.83 includes criticism of what Freedom House calls "fraudulent parliamentary elections" last year. But Evenson notes that the readiness of the Georgian people to mobilize peacefully and defend democratic values has resulted in an improved rating for civil society in Georgia.
"'Nations in Transit 2004' suggests some cause for concern regarding Armenia's democratic trajectory, particularly in the areas of free and fair elections, independent media, and human rights. Georgia's performance since the 'Rose Revolution' of last November suggests more promise in this regard," Evenson said.
Out of all the countries examined, Turkmenistan received the lowest overall score with 6.88. It was followed closely by Belarus with 6.54; Uzbekistan with 6.46; Kazakhstan with 6.25; Tajikistan with 5.71; and Kyrgyzstan with 5.67.
"Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor says that Western leaders must renew efforts to support political and economic reform in the postcommunist countries," Evenson says. "At the same time, they must press slow-to-reform governments harder for tangible improvements in securing basic rights, promoting free and independent media, supporting the rule of law, and introducing effective and transparent governance."
In the final analysis, Freedom House says that the findings of this year's "Nations in Transit" study make clear that much remains to be done to extend the benefits of liberal democracy and free markets to the majority of postcommunist countries in Europe and Eurasia.

Here are the democracy scores published by the Freedom House for the non-Baltic former Soviet republics and some of the reasons given for the rating.

Belarus (6.54) -- "Belarus saw its ratings worsen in two 'Nations in Transit' categories: civil society and corruption. Local elections in March 2003 were conducted as a largely ceremonial event and predictably confirmed the political hegemony of the president. The government intensified its attacks on civil society and the independent press, and introduced a new 'state ideology' that had a particularly negative impact on academic freedoms. The government has failed to address the spread of corruption in the public sector, and the public's perception of corruption has increased considerably."

Russia (5.25) -- "Russia experienced the greatest overall decline of any country covered in 'Nations in Transit 2004,' with ratings worsening in five out of six categories covered by the study. The December 2003 State Duma elections capped a year in which the central government continued to tighten its grip over all aspects of Russian political life. The authorities used public resources and state-funded personnel to guarantee the overwhelming victory of the pro-Kremlin party in elections to the lower house. As Putin continues to crack down on all sources of opposition and to limit public space and debate, he will undermine the very democratic institutions and practices that could help the country deal with the enormous challenges it faces."

Moldova (4.88) -- "Democratic practice in Moldova continued to decline in the period covered by 'Nations in Transit 2004,' with the country receiving worsening ratings in the areas of electoral process, civil society, independent media, and governance. The ruling Communist Party achieved victory in flawed local and regional elections in 2003. Overall public support for the party actually slipped during the year, but the opposition remained fragmented and lacking in resources. Efforts to settle the Transdniestrian conflict continued, but Russia failed to comply with commitments to withdraw its armaments and munitions from the breakaway region. The persistence of weak governance, widespread corruption, and a fragile system of checks and balances also marked the year."

Ukraine (4.88) -- "Political life in 2003 was guided by the upcoming 2004 presidential election. Growing pressure against opposition parties and politically active NGOs, a persistent lack of transparency in policy making, and the presidential administration's efforts to pressure Parliament, the Cabinet, and the courts led to ratings declines in four out of six areas covered by 'Nations in Transit.' President Leonid Kuchma sought guarantees that he will not face criminal proceedings if he leaves office and pursued changes to the Constitution that would limit the authority of any future president and/or eliminate direct presidential elections."

Azerbaijan (5.63) -- "With events in 2003 once again highlighting the authoritarian nature of government in Azerbaijan and the extent of government control over civil society and the media, the country received declining ratings in four out of six categories covered by 'Nations in Transit.' President Heydar Aliyev's public collapse and subsequent health problems in 2003 ended his rule. Internal fissures in the government were muted as President Aliyev's son Ilham was appointed prime minister and became the ruling party's presidential candidate. Cracks within the opposition could not be similarly bridged. The opposition's claims of electoral fraud and its refusal to accept the official election results resulted in violent clashes with the authorities. Government efforts to exert greater control over civil society and the media were also evident."

Armenia (5.00) -- "Armenia's ratings for electoral process and independent media worsened in 'Nations in Transit 2004.' International observers noted serious irregularities in presidential and parliamentary elections in 2003. The authorities also failed to ensure that the country's leading independent media organizations were able to resume broadcasting before the elections. Media freedom was further threatened by the inclusion of strict libel laws within Armenia's new criminal code. International organizations continued to highlight human rights abuses, but welcomed the abolition of the death penalty. Corruption and weak governance remained serious threats to Armenia's democratic development."

Georgia (4.83) -- "Fraudulent parliamentary elections in 2003, and the ensuing political crisis that culminated in President Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation may constitute a turning point in the development of Georgian democracy. Although this change of power demonstrated the fragility of Georgia's democratic institutions, the events also showed the readiness of the people to mobilize in a peaceful and organized way to defend democratic values, thus leading to an improvement in the country's 'Nations in Transit' rating for civil society. This, as well as strong leadership by the opposition, the independent media, and civil society, factored heavily in the success of the 'Rose Revolution.' The incoming government was fast to reestablish public order, working within the limits of the Constitution. Nations in Transit ratings declines in the areas of governance and corruption suggest the extent of the challenges ahead."

Turkmenistan (6.88) -- "Fallout from the 2002 assassination attempt against President Saparmurat Niyazov continued in 2003. The country's economy weakened further, despite claims by the government to the contrary. Political oppression, already severe, further increased. And the country's international relations with neighbors and major powers in the region deteriorated. Overall, prospects for the country's future remained depressing. Turkmenistan's governance rating worsened in 'Nations in Transit 2004' owing to President Niyazov's continued efforts to make government officials and institutions operate only at his behest."

Uzbekistan (6.46) -- "In 2003, Uzbekistan remained one of the most authoritarian countries to emerge from the Soviet Union. Controls over the media continued to stifle freedom of expression. Administrative functioning remained excessively politicized. The absence of judicial independence continued to present serious impediments to commerce and liberty. And flagrant violations of human rights called into question Uzbek government commitments to international standards of promises of lasting reforms."

Kazakhstan (6.25) -- "Kazakhstan's ratings for independent media and corruption worsened in 'Nations in Transit 2004.' The elections for local councils in September enabled the regime to install its favored candidates, who will play a crucial role in securing a favorable outcome in the elections of the lower house in 2004. Although the government withdrew a draft law that ambiguously defined NGOs and restricted their ability to accept foreign funding, no noticeable improvement took place in the civil sector in 2003. The government refused to release the highly regarded journalist Sergei Duvanov from prison. The president and close family members continue to wield control over all key positions within the government and economic sector."

Tajikistan (5.71) -- "A June 2003 plebiscite paved the way for constitutional amendments that allow President Emomali Rakhmonov to stand for reelection for two additional seven-year terms. The flawed nature of the referendum resulted in a worsening of Tajikistan's 'Nations in Transit' rating for electoral process. Corruption and a lack of confidence in the market and the state continued to scare away the levels of international capital required for a full economic recovery, leading to a 'Nations in Transit' ratings decline for corruption. However, the government did make progress in securing the country from banditry, hostage taking, and terrorism, as reflected in a slight 'Nations in Transit' rating improvement for governance."

Kyrgyzstan (5.67) -- "In 2003, the opposition demanded President [Askar] Akayev's resignation over the 2002 killing of unarmed opposition demonstrators in the southern town of Kerben. Various opposition groups and parties united for the first time in criticism of Akayev's policies and widespread corruption among his cronies. After Parliament adopted a law granting Akayev lifetime immunity, the president confirmed he would step down in 2005. Attacks on the media continued, and the country's governance system remained ineffective and unaccountable."

General Sanchez abgel?st, Generalin Karpinski suspendiert
Die amerikanischen Streitkr?fte ziehen Konsequenzen aus den Foltervorw?rfen gegen US-Gener?le im Irak. General Sanchez, Oberbefehlshaber der Truppen im Irak, wird ausgewechselt und Brigadegeneralin Karpinski, Kommandeurin der Milit?rpolizei, vom Dienst suspendiert
Sieht sich als S?ndenbock: Karpinski
Washington - Beide Gener?le werden mit Vers?umnissen im Foltergef?ngnis Abu Ghureib in Verbindung gebracht. Generalleutnant Ricardo Sanchez wird vorgeworfen, er sei pers?nlich bei Verh?ren Gefangener dabei gewesen und habe von Folterungen gewusst. Das Wei?e Haus sprach am Dienstag von einem routinem??igen Wechsel nach 13 Monaten. Pr?sident George W. Bush sagte, Sanchez habe hervorragende Arbeit geleistet und sei eine lange Zeit in Irak gewesen.
Pentagonsprecher Larry Di Rita wies einen Zusammenhang zu den Misshandlungen in Abu Ghureib zur?ck. Gegen den General waren am Wochenende schwere Vorw?rfe laut geworden, die von der Armee zur?ckgewiesen wurden. Als Nachfolger f?r Sanchez ist der stellvertretende Generalstabschef George Casey im Gespr
Sanchez: Routinem??iger Wechsel
Vom Dienst suspendiert wurde die zust?ndige Kommandeurin der Milit?rpolizei, Janis Karpinski. Sie ist im Rang eines Brigadegenerals. In ihrer Funktion war sie auch f?r das Gef?ngnis Abu Ghureib westlich von Bagdad verantwortlich, in dem es zu zahlreichen physischen und psychischen Misshandlungen kam. Karpinski wurde bereits unmittelbar nach Bekanntwerden des Skandals Ende April abgemahnt und in die USA geschickt. Nun wurde ihr auch das Kommando ?ber die 800. Brigade der Milit?rpolizei entzogen, wenn auch zun?chst nur vorl?ufig. Karpinski wird vorgeworfen, den Gef?ngnisalltag nicht ausreichend ?berwacht und die ihr unterstellten Soldaten nicht diszipliniert zu haben.
Nach der Nachricht von ihrer Suspendierung kritisierte sie erneut, dass sie als S?ndenbock in dem Skandal herhalten solle. Ihre Vorgesetzten h?tten wiederholte Anfragen nach einer Verst?rkung der unterbesetzten Milit?rpolizei in Abu Ghureib abgelehnt.
In der vergangenen Woche verurteilte ein Milit?rgericht in Bagdad den Soldaten Jeremy Sivits wegen Misshandlungen in Abu Ghureib zur H?chststrafe von einem Jahr Gef?ngnis und unehrenhafter Entlassung aus den Streitkr?ften. Sechs weitere Soldaten sollen demn?chst vor Gericht gestellt werden.


Die menschliche Nebelmaschine
Von Thomas Hillenbrand, New York
Jedes Mal, wenn George W. Bush den st?ndigen Kampf mit seiner Muttersprache verliert, erblickt ein neuer "Bushism" das Licht der Welt. Auch Herausforderer John Kerry produziert denkw?rdige Zitate - dass er fehlerfreies Englisch spricht, macht die Sache nicht besser.
US-Demokrat Kerry: "Menschlicher Nebel"
New York - "Mehr und mehr unserer Importe kommen aus dem Ausland." Das Online-Magazin "Slate" dokumentiert diese als Bushisms bekannt gewordenen Zitate des US-Pr?sidenten seit mehreren Jahren. Und der Amtsinhaber, der zurzeit wahlkampfbedingt viele Reden h?lt, liefert stetig Nachschub. Mal begl?ckt er Bushism-Fans mit Aussagen, die sich einer allzu linearen Logik entziehen ("Mein Job ist, sozusagen, ?ber das Jetzt hinauszudenken") oder er erfreut sie mit frontalen Angriffen auf die englische Sprache als solche ("They misunderestimated me").
Der weit gereiste Diplomatensohn John F. Kerry hat gegen?ber seinem Yale-Kommilitonen Bush den Vorteil, die englische Sprache vollst?ndig zu beherrschen. Wer sich je einer Kerry-Rede ausgesetzt hat, stellt allerdings schnell fest, dass dies nicht unbedingt ein Vorteil ist. Bush neigt zu schr?gen, daf?r aber erfreulich kurzen Sentenzen. Kerry hingegen ist ein Freund des Schachtelsatzes. M?chtig sind die Wortgeb?ude, welche der Senator auft?rmt, und um seinen Zuh?rer zus?tzlich zu beeindrucken, verstuckt Kerry sie mit einem ?berma? an Adjektiven und Floskeln. Dass er zudem betont langsam spricht und dabei dreinschaut wie Baumbart der Ent, macht die Sache nicht besser. Reichlich Potenzial f?r Spott und H?me scheint also vorhanden.
Das haben sich auch die Journalisten von "Slate" gedacht. In der Hoffnung, den Erfolg der Bushisms wiederholen zu k?nnen, unterh?lt das Magazin neuerdings eine Rubrik mit Kerryisms. Dort finden sich t?glich Zitate wie dieses:
"Lassen sie mich lediglich sehr schnell sagen, dass diese schrecklichen Misshandlungen irakischer Gefangener, welche die Welt nun gesehen hat, v?llig unakzeptabel und unentschuldbar sind. Und die Reaktion der Regierung, vor allem des Pentagons, kam zu langsam und war nicht angemessen. Ich glaube, der Pr?sident muss garantieren, dass die Welt eine Erkl?rung erhalten wird. Was dort geschehen ist, hat unseren Soldaten, die mit gro?er Tapferkeit und noch gr??erem Heldenmut und ich denke ausgezeichnet, dienen, Schaden zugef?gt. Und es untergr?bt zudem Amerikas eigene Anstrengungen in der Region."
Aus dieser Kerry'schen Langversion entfernt Slate-Autor William Saletan in der Folge alles, was seines Erachtens ?berfl?ssig ist:
"Lassen sie mich lediglich sagen, dass die Misshandlungen irakischer Gefangener v?llig unakzeptabel sind. Und die Reaktion der Regierung war nicht angemessen. Ich glaube, der Pr?sident muss eine Erkl?rung [abgeben]. Was dort geschehen ist, hat unseren Soldaten Schaden zugef?gt. Und es untergr?bt zudem Amerikas Anstrengungen in der Region."
Diese sprachhygienische ?bung soll belegen, dass Kerry viel redundantes, gestelztes Zeug quasselt. Ganz fair ist dieses Vorgehen allerdings nicht. Sprachpolizist Saletan muss tats?chliche Kerry-Zitate zun?chst langwierig redigieren, um deren Autor als Dampfplauderer zu "entlarven". Zudem entfernt "Slate" nicht nur F?llstoff ("ich denke", ich glaube"), sondern ver?ndert auch die inhaltliche Aussage ("vor allem des Pentagons").
Rhetorik-Talent Bush: "They misunderestimated me"
Ist das komisch, so komisch gar wie die Bushisms? Deren Faszination lag darin, dass man den ungeschminkten George W. Bush zu sehen bekam. Der Mann hat wirklich gesagt, dass "mehr Handel mehr Kommerz bedeutet". Da musste textlich nichts frisiert werden. Zu Saletans Ehrenrettung muss man wiederum anf?hren, dass er sich ein besonders schwieriges Ziel ausgesucht hat. John Kerry ist einfach zutiefst unkomisch. Auch der vielk?pfige Pressestab des Senators bem?ht sich seit Monaten, etwas Humor in den Kandidaten Kerry hineinzuredigieren. Bisher ohne erkennbaren Erfolg.
Lustig oder nicht, Kerrys Zitate sagen einiges ?ber den Mann aus. Eine kleine Archivsuche gen?gt, um eine Reihe k?rzerer Bonmots zutage zu f?rdern, die man ebenfalls unter dem Oberbegriff Kerryisms zusammenfassen k?nnte. Ihr gemeinsamer Nenner: Der demokratische Senator schafft es, jeder noch so einfachen Frage auszuweichen. Einige Beispiele:
Kerrys Antwort auf die Frage, ob er einen Spritfresser der Marke Chevrolet Suburban in der Garage stehen hat:
"Die Familie hat einen. Ich habe keinen."
Kerrys Antwort auf die Frage, warum er gegen zus?tzliche Finanzmittel f?r US-Soldaten im Irak gestimmt hat:
"Tats?chlich habe ich f?r die 87 Milliarden Dollar gestimmt, bevor ich dagegen gestimmt habe."
S?tze wie diesen verwenden die Republikaner in ihren Wahlkampfspots, um Kerry als "Flip-Flopper" hinzustellen - als einen der erst H?h und dann Hott sagt. "New York Times"-Kommentator David Brooks verh?hnt den Senator wegen seiner oft allzu wolkigen Aussagen als "John Kerry, den menschlichen Nebel". Es ist schon paradox: Eigentlich sollte es Kerry der Wortgewandte sein, der George den Stammler vorf?hrt; tats?chlich ist es Bush, der mit seinem sprachlichen Defizit punktet.
A bis Z: Das Bush-Analphabet (Archiv) (17.08.2001)
Aus Sicht der Bushhasser sind die Bushisms zwar der Beweis daf?r, dass der Amtsinhaber ein Kretin ersten Grades ist. Mit den Ansichten eines Politikers, der nicht einmal richtig sprechen kann, so deren g?ngige Meinung, muss man sich gar nicht erst auseinander setzen. Vor allem in l?ndlichen Teilen der USA wird dem Pr?sidenten die Neigung zum frakturierten Hauptsatz aber nicht als Schw?che ausgelegt, sondern als positiver Charakterzug. Bush, so die Wahrnehmung, ist keiner von diesen Washingtoner Sprachakrobaten; er ist ein straight talker. Au?erdem: Kann jemand, der so viele Lacher produziert, ein ?bler Bursche sein?
Bushisms sind ein Bonus, Kerryisms ein Malus. Nat?rlich hat Kerrys Verhalten viel mit seiner zwanzigj?hrigen Sozialisation in Washington zu tun. Wie die meisten Spitzenpolitiker h?tet er sich vor allzu klaren Aussagen, auf die er sp?ter festgenagelt werden k?nnte. Doch auch wenn man Kerry diese "Umwelteinfl?sse" in Rechnung stellt, ist es erstaunlich, wie sich die "Nebelmaschine aus Boston" (Brook) selbst bei politisch unverf?nglichen Fragen gewohnheitsm??ig ein Hintert?rchen zimmert. Mitunter wirkt das pathologisch. Als Kerry k?rzlich w?hrend eines Kurzurlaubs in Idaho gefragt wurde, ob er denn heute Ski oder Snowboard fahren werde, antwortete der Senator:
"Es ist ein Ski-Tag, ein Teil des Tages."


Machete im Handgep?ck
Von Lisa Erdmann
Terrorangst herrscht l?ngst auch auf See. Um Horrorszenarien wie Attentate auf Kreuzfahrtschiffe zu verhindern, hat die Uno-Schifffahrtsorganisation Imo einen weltweit verbindlichen Sicherheitskodex entworfen, den Reeder und H?fen ab 1. Juli einhalten m?ssen. Die Bundesregierung und die L?nder schaffen es bis dahin nicht mehr, die notwendigen Gesetze zu erlassen.
Container Terminal in Bremerhaven: 95 Prozent des weltweiten Warentransports laufen per Schiff
Hamburg - Nichts ist mehr undenkbar seit dem 11. September 2001. Wenn Terroristen Flugzeuge in Hochh?user steuern, warum sollen sie nicht ein vollbesetztes Kreuzfahrtschiff oder eine F?hre in die Luft jagen? Zum Beispiel w?hrend der Olympischen Spiele in Athen, wenn die "Aida Aura" als offizielles G?steschiff des deutschen NOK mit ?ber 1200 G?sten an Bord im Hafen von Pir?us liegt?
So weit hergeholt sind solche Szenarien nicht, gab es doch schon vor al-Qaida Terroristen, die Kreuzfahrtschiffe kaperten: 1985 entf?hrten militante Pal?stinenser die italienische "Achille Lauro" und 1961 kaperten portugiesische Rebellen die "Santa Maria".
Noch viel mehr als die Personenschifffahrt macht den Terrorfahndern die Containerbef?rderung Sorgen. Ein versenktes Schiff in der Elbe k?nnte etwa den Hamburger Hafen, den zweitgr??ten Containerhafen Europas, tagelang blockieren. Mehrere versenkte Schiffe in wichtigen H?fen k?nnten den Welthandel zeitweise zum Erliegen bringen. Denn bis heute werden 95 Prozent der Waren weltweit in Containern verschickt. Millionen dieser Boxen sind rund um den Globus unterwegs. Unm?glich sie alle auf ihren Inhalt zu ?berpr?fen. Die 16.000 Container etwa t?glich im Hamburger Hafen werden zwar alle auf Radioaktivit?t ?berpr?ft. Aber durchleuchtet werden grade mal hundert St?ck von ihnen. Waffen, Drogen, Sprengstoff k?nnen rund um die Welt transportiert werden, ohne dass es jemand merkt.
Gep?ckkontrolle am Seehafen Kiel: Jeder Koffer der Kreuzfahrtg?ste wird durchleuchtet, ab Juli auch versiegelt
So wunderte es die Experten auch wenig, als im Oktober 2001 im s?ditalienischen Seehafen Gioia Tauro ein h?chst verd?chtiger blinder Passagier in einem Container entdeckt wurde. Nur die Ausstattung der Box erstaunte: Bett, Heizung, Toilette, Satellitentelefon und Laptop. Der ?gypter hatte mehrere Sicherheitsausweise von US-Flugh?fen bei sich. Ob er tats?chlich, wie vermutet, ein Terrorist war, konnte nie gekl?rt werden. Nach Zahlung einer Kaution tauchte der Mann unter.
Im Oktober 2002 ver?bte al-Qaida einen Anschlag auf den franz?sischen Tanker Limbourg vor der K?ste Jemens und einen Monat sp?ter gab es Warnungen vor einem angeblich in Europa bevorstehenden Anschlag auf eine F?hre. Die USA dr?ngten die Imo nun, schnell zu handeln. Strengere Regeln sollten her.
Der ab dem 1. Juli 2004 weltweit verbindliche ISPS-Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security) soll nun Terroranschl?ge verhindern oder doch zumindest deutlich erschweren. Der neuen Richtlinie zufolge m?ssen H?fen und Schiffe weltweit k?nftig besondere Sicherheitsstandards erf?llen, um ein entsprechendes Zertifikat zu erhalten. H?fen, die wegen Sicherheitsm?ngeln kein Zertifikat erhalten, droht der wirtschaftliche Untergang. Sie werden als "unsichere H?fen" eingestuft. Schiffe, die solche H?fen anlaufen, k?nnten zum Beispiel ihren Versicherungsschutz verlieren. Schiffe, die von dort kommen, m?ssen k?nftig, insbesondere in den USA, zeitaufwendige und damit teure Kontrollen ?ber sich ergehen lassen. Im Zweifel m?ssen sie sogar mit einem Einlaufverbot in US-amerikanische H?fen rechnen.
Hektische Betriebsamkeit vor Ende der Frist
Die Imo hat den Beschluss aus dem Dezember 2002 als historisch bezeichnet. Innerhalb von 18 Monaten sollten die Regeln in nationales Recht umgesetzt werden. In den deutschen H?fen herrschen sechs Wochen vor Ablauf der Frist noch hektische Bauarbeiten. Da werden etwa Z?une gezogen und Lichtmasten aufgestellt. Koordiniert und ausgearbeitet werden die neuen Standards von den jeweiligen Hafensicherheitsbeauftragten, den jeder Hafenbetreiber nach dem Code nun haben muss.
Luxusurlaub an Bord der MS Europa: Ein Sicherheitsoffizier ist Pflicht
Bei der Hamburger Hafen- und Lagerhaus Aktiengesellschaft (HHLA) ist das Jens Weber. Wie das Sicherheitskonzept an den HHLA-Kais genau gestrickt ist, will er bis auf die sichtbaren Teile wie Absperrungen und Code-gesicherte Drehkreuze nicht verraten. Die Geheimniskr?merei geh?rt zur Terrorabwehr dazu. Er r?umt allerdings ein, dass nicht alle Risiken auszur?umen sind. "Wenn hier jemand mit einem Panzerfahrzeug ankommt, dann schafft der es nat?rlich auf das Gel?nde zu kommen." Er will den Hamburger Hafen allerdings auch nicht als Hochsicherheitstrakt sehen, sondern vergleicht die Sicherheitsma?nahmen eher mit denen an einem Flughafen. Das Zertifikat f?r einen "sicheren Hafen" hofft er im Juni zu erhalten.
Auch alle Schiffe ?ber 500 BRZ (Bruttoraumzahl) m?ssen ab Juli einen Sicherheitsoffizier an Bord haben. Sie m?ssen wie ihre Kollegen im Hafen Gefahrenabwehrpl?ne vorlegen. Darin sollen Angaben ?ber Sperrbereiche an Bord, Verhaltensregeln im Notfall und H?ufigkeit von Sicherheitsstreifen an Bord stehen. Die speziell ausgebildeten Offiziere sollen darin auch auf verschiedene Bedrohungsszenarien eingehen: Was tun bei einem Angriff auf See oder bei der Entf?hrung des Schiffes?
W?hrend die gro?en deutschen Seeh?fen den ISPS-Code bereits fast vollst?ndig umgesetzt haben, hinkt der Gesetzgeber noch hinterher. Denn im f?deralen Deutschland ist dieses Verfahren kompliziert. Daf?r braucht es n?mlich ein Bundesgesetz und - da die H?fen in den Zust?ndigkeitsbereich der Bundesl?nder fallen - noch jeweils die Landesgesetze. Aber die Regelwerke haben bislang erst den Status "Referentenentwurf" erreicht. Bis die jeweiligen Gesetze g?ltig sind, gehen noch sechs bis neun Monate ins Land. Was aber Lothar Bergmann, Chef der Hafensicherheitskommission in Hamburg, f?r nicht weiter tragisch h?lt. "Wir brauchen die Gesetze nicht eher, weil wir ohne Zwangsandrohungen auskommen." Bu?gelder, meint er, m?ssten sicher kaum verh?ngt werden, weil die H?fen und Schiffseigner selber ein wirtschaftliches Interesse daran haben, die Vorschriften einzuhalten und als sicherer Hafen zu gelten. "Da gibt es nur verschwindend wenige Ausnahmen."
So bietet der gr??te deutsche Kreuzfahrt- und F?hrhafen in Kiel mit 1,3 Millionen Passagieren bereits seit Beginn dieser Kreuzfahrtsaison am 1. Mai allen ihn anlaufenden Kreuzfahrt-Reedereien Sicherheitschecks nach ISPS-Standard an. Die britische Reederei des Clubschiffs "Aida Blu" hat f?r das Einschiffen in Kiel Anfang Mai das volle Programm eingekauft: Das Schiff am Kai liegt hinter einem bewachten Zaun, die Koffer der Reisenden werden durchleuchtet bevor sie aufs Schiff gelangen, Proviant-Lieferanten werden gecheckt, Passagiere m?ssen wie am Flughafen durch einen Metalldetektor gehen und ihr Handgep?ck ?berpr?fen lassen.
HHLA-Sicherheitschef Jens Weber: Ein Restrisiko bleibt
F?r den Hafen ist der ISPS-Code ein dicker Kostenfaktor. Vor allem die Personalkosten schlagen zu Buche. Der Security-Chef des Kieler Hafens, Volker Dziobeck, hat 20 Mann einer speziell zugelassenen Wachfirma im Einsatz, die das Gel?nde sichern, solange ein Schiff wie die "Aida blu" am Kai liegt, Personen- und Gep?ckkontrollen durchf?hren. Gefunden wurde bislang nur einmal was: "Ein Mann hatte eine Machete im Reisekoffer. Was er damit vorhatte, wissen wir nicht. Er hat uns erz?hlt, dass er immer mit dem Ding reist", sagt Dziobeck. Die Waffe musste an Land bleiben.
W?hrend die amerikanischen H?fen eine Milliarde Dollar f?r Antiterrorma?nahmen von der US-Regierung erhielten, gab die Bundesregierung kein Geld. Die H?fen m?ssen ihre Investitionen, die sich bei der HHLA zum Beispiel im zweistelligen Millionenbereich befinden, umlegen: Auf den Reeder und damit bei Kreuzfahrten und F?hrpassagen auf die Reisenden und bei Containern auf die Verbraucher.


Memo on the Status Report on the War on Terrorism
May 25, 2004
To: Interested Parties
From: Robert O. Boorstin
The U.S. war in Iraq has helped to revitalize and motivate the al Qaeda network and risks to Westerners have increased. That's the conclusion of a new report released by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. This is particularly important given the president's invoking of the global war on terrorism to justify the administration's actions in Iraq.
Highlights from Institute's annual Strategy Survey are given below. A summary is available here.
Al Qaeda fully functioning, growing. "The Madrid bombings in March 2004 suggested that al Qaeda had fully reconstituted, set its sights firmly on the U.S. and its closest Western allies in Europe, and established a new and effective modus operandi that increasingly exploited local affiliates." Furthermore, al Qaeda still has a functioning leadership despite the deaths or capture of key figures. Al Qaeda has more than 18,000 potential terrorists in more than 60 nations around the world.
Iraq used as al Qaeda recruiting tool. Iraq has become the new magnet for al Qaeda's recruiting efforts. Up to 1,000 Islamic fighters from foreign nations have infiltrated Iraqi territory, where they are co-operating with Iraqi insurgents. "In counter-terrorism terms, the intervention has arguably focused the energies and resources of al-Qaeda and its followers." Progress against al Qaeda "is likely to accelerate only with currently elusive political developments that would broadly depress recruitment and motivation."
Iraq has split the coalition. The war in Iraq has diluted "the global counter-terrorism coalition that appeared so formidable following the Afghanistan intervention in late 2001." "Politically, it split the U.S. and major continental European powers, leaving the United Kingdom uncomfortably in the middle, and induced uncertainty in other governments about the extent of any contribution to the post-conflict effort."
Failure in Iraq would be a strategic nightmare. "A failed Iraqi state would be a strategic nightmare for the U.S. and the West... It is key to regional security - and the stability of the international system - that the U.S. and its allies get Iraq right." "The U.S. is realizing the awful truth that the first law of peacekeeping is the same as the first law of forensics - every contact leaves a trace. Unfortunately, too many bad traces have been left recently, and many good ones will be needed for the U.S. to recover its reputation, its prestige and therefore effective power."

Robert O. Boorstin is the senior vice president for national security at the Center for American Progress.

Predicting Presidential Performance:
Is George W. Bush An Active/Negative President Like Nixon, LBJ, Hoover and Wilson?
Friday, May. 21, 2004
Many political scientists believe it is possible to predict presidential performance. While no one can predict future events, the future performance of those who occupy the Oval Office can be ascertained, at least in a general fashion.
Political scientist James David Barber first showed the analytical and predictive potentials of psychology in studying presidents with his classic, The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House. This work, originally published in 1972, has been republished and updated on four occasions.
Barber first wrote -- long before Richard Nixon's troubles had fully unfolded but based on his scrutiny of Nixon's personality and character traits -- that Nixon would self-destruct in his second term. Since then, Barber has tested and retested his analytical tools, applying them to all the modern presidents up to and including George Herbert Walker Bush.
In retirement, Professor Barber did not apply his techniques to either Presidents Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. But shortly after 9/11, curiosity prompted me, to see how the incumbent president fared under Barber's predictive analysis. The results were anything but comforting.
Professor Barber's Analytical Framework
Before I offer the results of my analysis, a bit of background is essential.
While no system is infallible, and typologies have their weaknesses, Barber's prophetic results have proven extraordinary, for he has been uncannily prescient with his method. He takes five common elements -- character, worldview, style, power situations, and climate of expectations -- and using these elements he has assembled clusters of presidents since Theodore Roosevelt within which he finds a number of repeating baseline characteristics.
Social scientists often employ obtuse terms that appear less than user friendly, and Professor Barber is no exception. Yet when one actually becomes familiar with the jargon, it proves quiet handy. So it is with Barber's grouping of past presidents.
It is not possible to do justice to Barber's work in summary form, but those who are interested can examine his work for themselves. For my purposes, an overview suffices: At least a few key concepts -- and some of Barber's jargon -- are necessary to broadly understand his approach.
Barber has catalogued presidents based on the similarity of their personalities and character traits. His first baseline is to describe them as either "active" or "passive" regarding their work. This he determines by looking at how much energy they invest in the work of the presidency. For example, Lyndon Johnson was a human dynamo; Calvin Coolidge slept eleven hours every night and took naps during the day.
The second baseline for Barber is how presidents react toward their work: "positively" or "negatively." Generally speaking, he seeks to determine if their political experiences are satisfying. To quote Barber, "The idea is this: is he someone who, on the surfaces we can see, gives forth the feeling that he has fun in political life?"
Examples of president who had fun notwithstanding the burdens of power are Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan -- placing them on the positive side of Barber's typology. No doubt Barber would have found Bill Clinton there as well
-- except perhaps toward the difficult end of his second term.
Barber's four categories are active/positive (Example: FDR), active/negative (Example: Nixon), passive/positive (Example: Reagan) and passive/negative (Example: Jefferson).
It is the active/negative group that is the most troubling.
The Troubles of Active/Negative Presidents
Active/negative types, broadly speaking, are aggressive in pursuing their political and policy aims, yet they get little true emotional reward from undertaking these endeavors.
In addition to Richard Nixon, Barber says Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, and Lyndon Johnson were active/negatives -- all presidencies that did not end well.
In his book and his other writings, Barber has noted that for active/negative types that "[l]ife is a hard struggle to achieve and hold power" -- one in which they are "hampered by the condemnations of a perfectionist conscience."
"[A]ctive/negatives pour energy into the political system, but it is energy distorted from within," Barber notes. He found that these presidents are "much taken up with self-concern," and they always want to know if they are "winning or losing, gaining or falling behind."
Active/negative evaluate themselves "with respect to virtue." They view their actions (if not the world) as being good or bad. Their "perfectionistic conscience" provides no room for growth through experience, for they expect themselves to be good at all they undertake. Their ethics result in "denial of self-gratification," for these men see themselves as self-sacrificing rather than self-rewarding. They are "concerned with controlling [their] aggression ... reining in [their] anger."
These presidents are capable of generating "tremendous energies for political domination." They are also uniquely stubborn men, who become more rigid and inflexible as they proceed, for they become caught up in their own self-righteousness. And as Barber says, they mask their decisions not to budge, their rigidity, in whatever rhetoric is necessary, so that they can ride the tiger to the end. They also are our most secretive presidents.
Failure by these presidents is predictable because their flawed perceptions are often risky, they are gamblers, and their rigidity can easily plunge the nation into a tragedy. This occurred with Wilson -- whose presidency was marred by a failed peace accord, a disintegrating economy, and refusal to admit the impact of a debilitating stroke. It occurred with Hoover -- who ineffectively presided over the nation's most devastating economic depression. And it also occurred with Lyndon Johnson -- his Vietnam debacle and withdrawal from reelection. Finally, and most obviously, it occurred with Nixon -- forced to resign after Watergate .
With such presidents there is always "the potential for grievous harm," Barber warns, observing that while the nation has survived several such presidents, this is "cold comfort to those individuals and families who suffered for what these Presidents did."
Barber admonishes that when we find ourselves with an active/negative president, we have a situation that cannot be ignored -- for all such presidents are potentially dangerous.
Is George W. Bush An Active/Negative President?
There is little doubt in my mind that George W. Bush is an active/negative president. Based on the available information, he strikes me as a perfect fit. But because one of Bush's aides, a political scientist who has observed Bush at close range, sees him as otherwise, it caused me to take an even closer look.
Former Bush White House aide John J. DiIulio, Jr., a respected academic, has said he thinks that Bush is an "active/positive," because "he loves the job and is very energetic." Although DiIulio is not a presidential scholar (by his own admission), his comment caused me to examine his observation -- and my own.
DiIulio appears to be using shorthand because loving the job, per se, is not one of the criteria upon which Barber relies. And DiIulio appears to base his conclusion on Bush's public face -- and on an event DiIulio attended with Bush -- rather than on Bush's typical day to day behavior.
Barber's active/positive criteria requires a "relatively high self-esteem [with] ... an emphasis on rational mastery," which is not Bush. Bush no doubt loves being head of state, enjoying the pomp of his high office, as well as the politics of the presidency. Yet there is no evidence he even likes being head of the government (for it involves far more intellectual rigor than Bush enjoys). In fact, Bush is like Nixon in that he gets out of the White House every chance he has to do so.
There is an abundance of evidence (from simply watching television coverage of the seldom smiling, often annoyed, forehead-wrinkled Bush) that demonstrates that Bush reaps a "relative[ly] low emotional reward" from the job -- to quote one of Barber's active/negative criteria.
Indeed, Bush clearly fits many of the traits that Barber relies upon to define his active/negative presidents. For example, Bush has a "compulsive quality, as if ... trying to make up for something or escape from anxiety in hard work." Consider how he has immersed himself in continuous campaigning throughout his first term, while Cheney minds the store.
Continuing with Barber's criteria, Bush is clearly "ambitious, striving upward and seeking power." Indeed, few presidents have been so anxious to risk their political capital to enhance their power as Bush did in the 2000 Congressional races.
In addition, Barber notes that the active/negative president "has a persistent problem in managing his aggressive feelings." Bush seems to deal with his through strenuous exercise -- running and weight training -- which, for him, have (laudably) replaced alcohol as a way to "blow off steam."
Overwhelming Evidence Shows Bush Is An Active/Negative
In sum, I don't believe Professor DiIulio's judgment that Bush is an active/positive president is borne out by the facts. In my judgment, we do, in fact, have another active/negative president -- with all the attendant problems that appears to entail, based on Barber's analysis.
And if I am right, that bodes ill. George W. Bush has taken huge risks during his first term -- with his unprecedented tax cuts, his disregard for humongous budget deficits, and a preemptive and largely unilateral war in Iraq. At the same time, he stubbornly refuses to admit to so much as a single mistake. Under Barber's model, though, we have seen nothing yet. If this active/negative president gets a second term, Barber's model predicts these traits -- love of risk and dislike of admitting error -- will only become more aggravated.
Not since Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon has the nation been exposed to an active/negative presidency. It is not something to look forward to without the greatest vigilance.
As information about John Kerry unfolds in the coming weeks and months, it will be interesting to examine him by Professor Barber's predictive tools. Stay tuned.
What Do You Think? Message Boards

John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, is a former counsel to the president.


La chronique d'Eric Fottorino
Fahrenheit Bush
LE MONDE | 24.05.04 | 13h09
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On n'ira pas jusqu'? ?crire que ce fut l'?v?nement majeur du week-end, mais tout de m?me : samedi, quelques heures avant le sacre de Michael Moore ? Cannes, George W. Bush a tent? une ultime pirouette pour d?crocher le grand prix d'interpr?tation, cat?gorie comique.
D'apr?s les d?p?ches dat?es de Crawford, Texas, o? le pr?sident catastrophe poss?de son ranch de cow-boy, une malencontreuse chute de v?lo lui a br?l? le cuir.
Le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche n'a pas indiqu? ? quel degr? Fahrenheit la peau de Bush avait chauff?. La nouvelle venue quelques heures plus tard de la Croisette l'aura port?e ? coup s?r ? une incandescence plus forte encore.
Samedi donc, escort? de son m?decin - comme s'il avait pr?vu la suite -, "W" p?dalait sur sa b?cane tout-terrain.
L'accompagnaient aussi un collaborateur militaire et un agent secret. Sinc?rement, vu le palmar?s de l'arm?e am?ricaine et des services de renseignement depuis le 11 septembre 2001, on comprend qu'il soit tomb? de v?lo avec pareils ?nergum?nes dans son sillage.
Heureusement, le "doc" veillait. On ignore si, apr?s la gamelle de son patron dans une pente, il a sorti une mignonnette de whisky, comme dans les bons vieux westerns avec John Wayne.
Le communiqu? a seulement signal? des blessures b?nignes au visage, ? la main droite (celle qui dit "Je le jure") et aux genoux, (r?put?s peu flexibles chez George Bush).
Il y a des jours comme ?a. Les sp?cialistes en oies du Capitole jureront plus tard que cette chute pr?sageait celle survenue ? Cannes lorsque Michael Moore et son Fahrenheit 9/11 mont?rent au firmament du cin?ma.
Quant aux m?morialistes des bas - plut?t que des hauts - pr?sidentiels, ils ont d?j? ?tabli un navrant inventaire pour l'ex-jeune premier de la Maison-Bush : ?corchures ? la figure apr?s avoir aval? de travers un bretzel en janvier 2002 ; chute d'une trottinette ? moteur alors qu'il rendait visite ? ses parents dans le Maine, en juin 2003.
Que de maladresses ! Vous l'imaginez, Bush, une arme ? la main ? M?me avec un colt de cin?ma, il serait capable de se tirer dans le pied.
Michael Moore, alias Michael Humour, a d'ailleurs esp?r? en toute sinc?rit? que nul n'annoncerait sa r?compense ? "W" pendant qu'il croquait des biscuits sal?s. Pareil impair aurait r?veill? ses br?lures. Gare au sel sur le "play", aurait dit Gainsbarre.
Le Fahrenheit mooresque ravive le souvenir d'un autre Fahrenheit, 451 celui-l?, ?crit jadis par Ray Bradbury et adapt? ? l'?cran par Fran?ois Truffaut.
Dans une soci?t? gla?ante et glac?e, la seule chaleur venait des lance-flammes qui tuaient les livres et les id?es.
Au milieu de cet autodaf?, le soldat du feu Montag grimpait dans la hi?rarchie en br?lant Proust et Balzac, avant que, saisi de remords et gagn? par l'amour, il rejoigne le pays des hommes-livres. P?tris de lettres, ils apprenaient chacun une ?uvre par c?ur pour conserver en eux le sens du beau et celui des valeurs.
D'un Fahrenheit ? l'autre, du conte grave au documentaire bouffon, perce la m?me inqui?tude. Dans son r?le de b?te analphab?te, quel livre "W" pourrait-il retenir, lui pour qui chaque mot est une arme pour mentir ?



par Dominique Dhombres
T?l?vision : Michael Moore est un clown qui dit la v?rit?
LE MONDE | 24.05.04 | 13h09
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La main sur la bouche comme un enfant pris en faute. Vous avez tous vu ce r?flexe instinctif saisi par les cam?ras du monde entier.
C'est le geste spontan? de Michael Moore, assis dans la salle du Palais des festivals, ? Cannes, au moment o? il apprend qu'il vient de remporter la Palme d'or pour Fahrenheit 9/11.
Il est surpris, plus que cela m?me, boulevers?. "Qu'est-ce que vous avez fait ?", balbutie-t-il. Quelques minutes plus tard, il se reprend et lance, pince-sans-rire : "Mince ! J'allais oublier de remercier mes acteurs. Merci George Bush, Dick Cheney, et surtout Donald Rumsfeld pour la sc?ne d'amour !" Il s'agit, on l'a compris, des photos tr?s sp?ciales prises ? la prison d'Abou Ghraib, en Irak, sinon sur l'ordre expr?s, du moins avec le consentement du secr?taire ? la d?fense, qui a feint ensuite de les d?couvrir. Evidemment, cette "sc?ne d'amour" ne figure pas dans Fahrenheit 9/11 pour la bonne et simple raison que le r?alisateur ignorait tout de ce scandale lorsqu'il a achev? son film.
Mais peu importe. Cet humour-l? est d?vastateur.
Evidemment, Michael Moore est de mauvaise foi. Il voue ? George Bush une haine profonde, inexpiable, qui se nourrit de tous les ressentiments possibles et imaginables. Il est n? ? Flint (Michigan), si?ge de la plus grande usine du groupe General Motors, aujourd'hui disparue. Enfant, Moore ?tait pr?destin? ? travailler chez le constructeur automobile. Il a ?chapp? ? son sort en devenant journaliste. Il d?teste chez Bush le fils de famille quasiment d?linquant et presque analphab?te que sa famille et son milieu ont propuls? ? la Maison Blanche, un lieu sacr? aux yeux de ce patriote.
Lui, il vient de la classe ouvri?re. Et il en joue, bien s?r. Il en rajoute m?me, avec sa bedaine, ses bermudas extra-larges et sa casquette de base-ball ?ternellement viss?e sur le cr?ne. Il avait fait un effort pour Cannes, mais il ressemblait toujours, dans son smoking, ? l'ours de Flint qu'il entend bien rester.
Evidemment, Michael Moore est de bonne foi. Il croit r?ellement que Bush junior n'aurait jamais d? entrer ? la Maison Blanche, qu'il a vol? son ?lection, et qu'il r?tablira la conscription, s'il est r??lu, pour poursuivre sa guerre imb?cile en Irak. Les clowns, et Michael Moore en est un, et de taille, n'ont que faire de la bonne ou de la mauvaise foi. Il leur arrive aussi de dire la v?rit?.
dominique dhombres


Magical History Tour
Bush can't learn from the past if he can't see it.
By William Saletan
Posted Monday, May 24, 2004, at 11:57 PM PT
In press conferences, TV ads, and interviews this year, President Bush has manifested a series of psychopathologies: an abstract notion of reality, confidence unhinged from facts and circumstances, and a conception of credibility that requires no correspondence to the external world. Tonight, as he vowed to stay the course in Iraq, Bush demonstrated another mental defect: incomprehension of his role in history as a fallible human agent. Absent such comprehension, Bush can't fix his mistakes in Iraq because he can't see how--or even that--he screwed up.
Here's how Bush, in his speech this evening, described Iraq's place in history:
In the last 32 months, history has placed great demands on our country, and events have come quickly. Americans have seen the flames of Sept. 11, followed battles in the mountains of Afghanistan ... We've seen killers at work on trains in Madrid, in a bank in Istanbul, in a synagogue in Tunis, and at a nightclub in Bali. And now the families of our soldiers and civilian workers pray for their sons and daughters in Mosul, in Karbala, in Baghdad. We did not seek this war on terror, but this is the world as we find it. We must keep our focus. We must do our duty. History is moving, and it will tend toward hope or tend toward tragedy.
The description is almost biblical. The narrative--"this war on terror"--is a moral test arranged by higher powers. Postwar Iraq, like 9/11, Madrid, and Bali, is "the world as we find it," not as we made it. "History," not Bush, has placed the demands of occupation on our country. "Events," not Bush's mistakes and their consequences, have come quickly. We must focus on the "duty" defined by our situation, not on how we got here.
Bush's ignorance of his part in the tragedy infects everything he says. "The swift removal of Saddam Hussein's regime last spring had an unintended effect," he observed tonight. "Instead of being killed or captured on the battlefield, some of Saddam's elite guards shed their uniforms and melted into the civilian population. [They] have reorganized, rearmed and adopted sophisticated terrorist tactics." Note the passive construction. The mistake isn't that Bush failed to prepare for guerrilla tactics commonly adopted against occupiers. It isn't even a mistake; it's an "unintended effect." The cause of that effect is Saddam's "swift removal," not Bush or anyone in his administration who engineered the removal.
Is Bush embarrassed that a year of occupation has failed to substantiate his claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and links to global terrorism? No. He hasn't even noticed. "I sent American troops to Iraq to defend our security," he repeated tonight, adding, "Iraq is now the central front in the war on terror ... This will be a decisive blow to terrorism at the heart of its power and a victory for the security of America and the civilized world." Never mind the emerging evidence that North Korea, not Iraq, was engaged in the kind of WMD proliferation that Bush attributed to Saddam. In his speech, Bush simply repeated that Iraq was the headquarters of terrorists who "seek weapons of mass destruction."
For a still more airbrushed version of history, consider Bush's account of his relationship with the United Nations. "At every stage, the United States has gone to the United Nations to confront Saddam Hussein, to promise serious consequences for his actions, and to begin Iraqi reconstruction," the president asserted. Forget the part where Bush reneged on his pledge to call a Security Council vote on the use of force. Forget the part where he invaded Iraq against the wishes of a majority of the council.
When the gap between reality and Bush's happy talk becomes too painful for his party to bear, he does try to close that gap. But he never faces up to the extent of his errors. "Our commanders had estimated that a troop level below 115,000 would be sufficient at this point in the conflict," he said tonight. "Given the recent increase in violence, we will maintain our troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary." 138,000? Everyone knows this is grossly inadequate, as evidenced by bombings, assassinations, and hostile takeovers of cities. We can't maintain order with current troop levels. Most analysts think then-Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki was right that hundreds of thousands of troops were needed to do the job. But all Bush concedes is that the number can't be less than 115,000. Meanwhile, Bush promises to have American officers "oversee the training of a force of 260,000 Iraqi soldiers, police and other security personnel."
In some recent battles against insurgents, "the early performance of Iraqi forces fell short," Bush conceded tonight. "Some refused orders to engage the enemy. We've learned from these failures, and we've taken steps to correct them. ... Successful units need to know they are fighting for the future of their own country, not for any occupying power. So we are ensuring that Iraqi forces serve under an Iraqi chain of command." Well, sort of. According to testimony by administration officials, Iraqi troops will answer to an Iraqi general. But that general, in turn, will serve under an American general. The occupying power still holds the chain.
Bush further boasted, "At my direction ... we are accelerating our program to help train Iraqis to defend their country." To a reflective person, "accelerate" means we could have done this faster but didn't. That's a crucial mistake, given that we're running out of time. But to Bush, acceleration just means things are getting better.
When you deceive yourself about the past, it's easy to deceive yourself about the future. A month from now, Bush vowed, "Our coalition will transfer full sovereignty to a government of Iraqi citizens. ... By keeping our promise on June 30, the coalition will demonstrate that we have no interest in occupation." Er, almost no interest. Iraq's generals will still answer to ours. And we'll hold the strings to $20 billion in reconstruction aid. "To ensure our money is spent wisely and effectively, our new embassy in Iraq will have regional offices in several key cities," Bush decreed. "These offices will work closely with Iraqis at all levels of government to help make sure projects are completed on time and on budget." That's a lot of control and certainty for a non-occupying power to assert. It sounds almost like, well, dictation. "America will fund the construction of a modern maximum security prison," Bush went on. "When that prison is completed, detainees at Abu Ghraib will be relocated."
Blind to the false promises he has already made, Bush adds others. U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi "intends to put forward the names of interim government officials this week," said Bush, ignoring widespread reports that Brahimi will miss that deadline. Bush also assured the public that "we have a great advantage" in Iraq: "Our coalition has a clear goal, understood by all: to see the Iraqi people in charge of Iraq for the first time in generations." Understood by all? Bush seems unaware that even before the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, the most reliable Iraqi poll--a poll to which his own Coalition Provisional Authority submitted questions--found that most Iraqis want coalition soldiers to get out.
Bush, being Bush, thinks abstractions and good intentions will conquer such unpleasant facts. To Bush, they aren't even facts; they're illusions. The reality is the great narrative of the war on terror, whose infallible course is set by a higher power. "The way forward may sometimes appear chaotic; yet our coalition is strong, and our efforts are focused and unrelenting, and no power of the enemy will stop Iraq's progress," Bush insisted tonight. Close your eyes, and you can almost see it.

William Saletan is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War.

Posted by maximpost at 11:45 PM EDT

Drug Smuggler Claims He May Have Snuck 9/11 Hijackers into US
By Scott Wheeler Staff Writer
May 24, 2004

( - An Iranian man recently convicted of drug trafficking, is also suspected of money laundering and smuggling people from Iraq, Iran, Syria and Jordan into the United States. According to federal court documents, Mehrzad Arbane also told a former associate turned government informant in October of 2001 that he "may have smuggled two of the hijackers who flew the planes into the towers in New York on September 11, 2001."
In the shadowy world of terrorist groups and those who enable their activities, it's doubtful that any comprehensive records are kept on the identities of people secreted into the United States, thus the uncertainty over whether Arbani actually did help members of the 9/11 terrorist team.
Arbane was convicted May 13 in U.S. District Court in the southern district of Florida for conspiracy to import 261 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. He is now expected to stand trial in New York for harboring illegal aliens, including two from Iran, according to government officials.
Court documents obtained by state that Jairo Velez, who "was well known for his ability to smuggle cocaine from Colombia to Mexico and into the United States," met Arbane in 1999 and the two began joint operations to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
But two years later, Velez became a government informant and supplied court testimony to help prosecutors convict Arbane. Velez' motivation, according to the documents, was driven by his nervousness over comments by Arbane about his possible involvement in smuggling two of the Sept. 11 hijackers into the U. S.
"It was at this point that Velez decided to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement," according to the court documents.
The investigation into Arbane's activities continues, but it's unclear how and whether the government is attempting to confirm a link between Arbane and some of the 9/11 hijackers.
The 261 kilograms of cocaine was seized from an apartment in Ecuador that had been rented by Arbane. A three-judge panel in Ecuador tried and acquitted Arbane on drug charges, according to court papers, but when Arbane returned to the U.S., he was arrested and tried in Florida because he and Velez had met in Miami to plan the transfer of the cocaine from Ecuador to the U.S.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the U.S. government has become increasingly concerned about certain South American nations harboring terrorist elements.
Seven months after the worst terrorist attacks in American history, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage made reference to South America while asking the U.S. House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee for more money to fight the war on terror.
"Ecuador , we believe, we have got in the tri-border area a bit of a problem with al Qaeda itself and some Hezbollah elements. We do need cooperation, and frankly we are afraid as we squeeze Colombia with hopefully the assistance and support of the Congress, that like a balloon, some of the problems might balloon out in other areas. We want to do what we can to try to keep Ecuador from ballooning out," Armitage told House members.
According to the State Department, Hezbollah is "known or suspected to have been involved in numerous anti-U.S. terrorist attacks" and "receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran and Syria."
Brian Fairchild, a retired CIA operative who is currently with the Higgins Counter-terrorism Research Center based in Arlington, Va., told that the fact that the drug smuggling operation for which Arbane has been convicted and the alien smuggling operation for which he's been charged contain a Middle East element may be more than mere coincidence.
"We know that terrorist organizations have hooked up with drug trafficking organizations and we have known for some time about the alien smuggling link to terrorism," Fairchild said.
Arbane has not been charged with any terrorism-related crimes but government sources have told that Arbane's alien smuggling operation was responsible for countless numbers of people who likely would have been flagged had they tried to enter the U.S. legally.
"Even if he is not part of a terrorist organization, he could still be used for their purposes," Fairchild told .
The revelations about the Arbane case come at a time when the FBI has reportedly notified law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for suicide bombers who may be inside the U.S. The Bush White House is also reportedly braced for attempted attacks inside America during this presidential election year, especially after bombings at a Madrid train station ended up costing Spain's incumbent administration the election in March.
Fairchild said terrorist organizations are becoming more effective in the ways that they reach the U.S. "We know they are associated with drug smugglers to make money for the jihad - but even more alarming would be if they are piggy-backing on the drug smugglers' networks to facilitate getting their people, materials and possibly even weapons of mass destruction into the country.
"That is a scary force multiplier," Fairchild added.
How CIA torture death of terrorists in 1983 prevented capture of world's most dangerous terrorist

Secret 1983 interrogation deaths set back CIA counterterror efforts and capture of terrorist who has resurfaced with links to Al Qaeda
By Anthony Kimery
Exclusive to
The torturing to death of terrorists by CIA operatives like the killings of suspected terrorists detained in Iraq and elsewhere at the hands of CIA officers, isn't new. Suspected terrorists were tortured to death by CIA officers in Beirut 20 years ago. Those murders were a resounding intelligence disaster the CIA was supposed to have learned from - the terrorists were killed before they could provide any useful intelligence on a terror mastermind who has eluded the CIA ever since and whose capture today is a top anti-terror priority of the Agency. Indeed, he's considered the most dangerous terrorist in the world.
To prevent a recurrence of that intelligence debacle, the CIA was supposed to have put procedures in place to prevent interrogations from ever getting so out of hand again. But, as has been revealed in recent weeks, those procedures appear to have been ignored. Furthermore, intelligence officials told HSToday that just like 20 years ago, some terrorists in custody today have also died during brutal interrogations before providing any useful intelligence.
A top US intelligence official who understands the importance of the lessons that were learned from the incident in Beirut 20 years ago is CIA Director George Tenet. He was the staff director of the Senate intelligence committee at the time the committee learned of the botched interrogations in Lebanon. He also assisted the committee in overseeing the CIA's assurance that from then on CIA officers would be trained in non-lethal interrogation techniques.
Two members of the intelligence committee at the time are Sens. John Warner (R-Va.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). According to congressional sources, during closed hearings on the Iraqi Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal the two lawmakers pointedly asked the CIA why the interrogation techniques put in place in the wake of the Beirut fiasco 20 years ago had not been followed.
The prohibition on violent interrogations was put in place after two rookie CIA paramilitary officers tortured to death two Palestinian terrorists who had been arrested by Lebanese police on suspicion of having been involved in the April 18, 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut that killed eight employees of the CIA, including chief Middle East analyst Robert C. Ames and Chief of Station Kenneth Haas. They were two of the CIA's best Middle East terror experts.
In total, 63 people were killed, 17 of whom were Americans. It was the first major act of terrorism against Americans. The mastermind behind it was Imad Fayez Mugniyah. Counterterrorists familiar with the matter say Mugniyah likely could have been captured had the CIA officers interrogating the two Palestinians not killed them before they could provide actionable intelligence on Mugniyah's whereabouts.
Consequently, the CIA secretly promised the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence when Tenet was the Committee's staff director that it had put procedures and training programs in place to prevent a recurrence of what happened in Beirut. Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) agreed not to bring criminal charges against the two CIA officers, and the entire matter was classified secret.
Former CIA officials told HSToday the CIA had been especially eager to interrogate the terrorists. "We thought they could help us get our hands on Mugniyah ... this time it was personal, which might have made the guys that did the interrogation just a little over zealous," one candidly put it.
According to classified CIA information on what happened in Beirut in 1983 made available to HSToday, the two "new [CIA Staff Officer] recruits" - one of whom was nicknamed "Crunch" because of his known penchant for physical violence - "[had] no Middle East experience." They were working as "CIA staff paramilitary officers ... on assignment in Beirut" under the supervision of the Deputy Chief of Operations [DCO] for Near East and South Asia."
The classified information states as a matter of fact that the two officers "murdered [the] Lebanese Palestinians who had been arrested by Lebanese Government authorities on suspicion of involvement in the [April 18, 1983] bombing of the US Embassy, Beirut."
The secret materials describe what happened: "Lebanese authorities allowed the CIA officers access to the prisoners, and the CIA officers electro-shocked, tortured, and then beat the suspects to death."
The classified summary of the killings emphasized that it was "a clear-cut case of a gross violation of US and Lebanese law and CIA regulations which prohibit any CIA officer from participating in or condoning the use of torture and other physical interrogation techniques, and to protest and leave if a foreign government should attempt to or actually engage in such activity in the presence of US officers."
Indeed. The actual language used by the CIA in a document spelling out the Agency's policy on interrogation subsequent to the 1983 torture deaths states: "The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation is prohibited by law, both international and domestic; it is neither authorized nor condoned. The interrogator must never take advantage of the source's weaknesses to the extent that the interrogation involves threats, insults, torture or exposure to unpleasant or inhumane treatment of any kind."
Continuing, the CIA memo on interrogation notes that "experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain cooperation of sources. Use of force is a poor technique, yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear. Additionally, the use of force will probably result in adverse publicity and/or legal action against the interrogator (et al) when the source is released. However, the use of force is not to be confused with psychological ploys, verbal trickery, or other nonviolent and non-coercive ruses employed by the interrogator in the successful interrogation of reticent or uncooperative sources."
According to the secret summary, The DCO "was very upset about [the incident], and said the Lebanese Government had protested to the CIA and the [State Department], and wished to detain the CIA officers for trial." The DCO "said the Lebanese Government also quietly protested the murders in a diplomatic note."
But, the classified summary points out, "the CIA and the US Government refused to turn the CIA officers over to the Lebanese, and they were instead brought back to the US," whereupon "the CIA investigated ... and fired the two employees. The case was referred to the US Attorney General for criminal prosecution, but the decision was made to suppress the investigation and public knowledge of the incident, and not to prosecute the officers involved ... on national security grounds."
According to a letter from a CIA Deputy General Counsel, criminal charges were never pursued against the two fired CIA officers because "identification of vulnerable foreign assets and sensitive overseas operations [might be disclosed which] could cause serious harm to individuals as well as to the national security of the United States." Specifically cited were "foreign liaison relationships and details of joint operations" and "other sensitive operational details of overseas operations."
The killings of the two terrorists was an intelligence disaster from which the CIA never recovered. For 20 years, up until 9/11, Mugniyah was behind attacks that killed more Americans than any other terrorist or terror group. He was considered to be the most dangerous terrorist in the world. Some authorities believe he still is. A founder of Hizbollah, Mugniyah has left a blood-strewn trail that the CIA has doggedly tried to follow since the US Embassy bombing in Beirut. Prior to 9/11, the trail led to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, leading some senior US counterterrorists to suspect Mugniyah played a pivotal role in that attack.
"For all we know, Mugniyah may be the real brains behind Al Qaeda," one intelligence official told HSToday.
More recently, Mugniyah is believed to have been involved in the train bombings in Madrid, the thwarted chemical bomb plot in Jordan, and the insurgency in Iraq. Counterterrorists who spoke to HSToday said the CIA considers his capture to be its top anti-terror priority, even above the capture or killing of bin Laden.
In its zeal to find him, however, the lessons the CIA were supposed to have learned from the still classified fatal interrogations in Beirut in 1983 seem to have been forgotten. According to US counterterrorists, the CIA has so severely tortured Al Qaeda members that they died before any useful intelligence was given up on Al Qaeda leaders still at large.
"It's been a replay of what happened in Beirut in `83," one said.
But the CIA may not be able to dodge criminal charges being leveled against the officers involved in the latest deaths as it did in 1983. The CIA Inspector General and the Department of Justice are investigating the deaths during interrogations of at least three terrorists detained by the US military at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and at a detention facility in Afghanistan. The interrogations allegedly involved physical torture in violation of interrogation techniques approved by the DoJ and CIA which took a page from the lessons learned from the catastrophe in Beirut 20 years earlier.
Facing Congress and Justice
The Justice Department's refusal to bring criminal charges in the 1983 killings is in glaring contrast to its aggressive handling of the deaths of terrorists during interrogations by the CIA in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said the Justice Department is prepared to prosecute any civilians or military personnel suspected of criminal conduct in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Speaking to reporters, Ashcroft would not confirm whether the Defense Department or CIA had formally referred any individual cases to federal prosecutors.
"We will follow evidence and act in accordance with evidence," Ashcroft said. "We will take action where appropriate."
The CIA today faces potentially intelligence damaging public disclosures of details on its secret Al Qaeda interrogation program as a result of criminal prosecution of its officers for the killings at Abu Ghraib and in Afghanistan. The spy agency also faces tough questioning about why the lessons learned in Beirut in 1983 and the subsequent policies that were put in place to prevent lethal interrogations weren't adhered to.
"It's d?j? vu all over again," one intelligence source commented.
Indeed. The CIA was supposed to have put procedures in place to prevent torture from ever happening again. The classified CIA materials made available to HSToday on the 1983 killings states "new [CIA] recruits [began to be] trained in how to handle hostile interrogations and [to] prevent other excesses," meaning deadly torture.
The CIA had assured the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1989 when the committee was made aware of the 1983 killings that its agents were now being trained in interrogation methods that would prevent a recurrence of what happened in Lebanon. The Committee learned of the murders when a decorated CIA Senior Operations Officer brought them to the Committee's attention while providing the Committee with information on another matter.
As was the case in 1983, in the latest CIA-linked torturing to death of suspected terrorists, lawmakers also weren't immediately briefed. The only report on the matter was classified and never mentioned to either the armed services or intelligence committees. It wasn't until that report, and accompanying photographs of prisoner abuse, were leaked to the media that the deaths became public. The 1983 incident, on the other hand, was intentionally classified and the DoJ's criminal investigation ordered dropped, according to classified CIA information.
CIA officials finally briefed the Senate intelligence committee on instances of fatal CIA interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan during a closed hearing on May 5. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a CIA official told The New York Times "there were a small number of prisoners at Abu Ghraib who are of interest to CIA, and a small number of CIA officers would periodically visit the prison to interrogate them."
Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) asked: "Why were we not told in a classified briefing why this happened, and that it happened at all? That is inexcusable; it's an outrage."
The CIA initially admitted that its Inspector General had two longstanding probes of deaths of two prisoners at Abu Ghraib, but later said there are actually three CIA-linked deaths that are being investigated - two at Abu Ghraib and one in Afghanistan, and that the CIA IG has shared his findings with the Department of Justice.
Other deaths and torture under the top secret CIA program to interrogate Al Qaeda members has been disclosed to the House and Senate intelligence committees in closed hearings, congressional sources told HSToday. And as was the case involving the 1983 murders, the intelligence committees weren't told about the latest deaths due to torture until the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal became public, the sources said.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said he was concerned that the administration had not alerted Congress. "If we're going to be part and a partner in this war on terror, then we ought to be completely briefed, not just briefed on things they want us to hear," he said.
"We need to know why we weren't told what went on ... The Congress ... has been kept completely in the dark," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters following a closed-door briefing by Army officials before the Armed Services Committee.
The Lessons Not Learned
"What happened in Beirut [in 1983] was supposed to have been a lesson in what not to do," a former counterterrorist explained, noting, "the purpose of interrogation is to extract intelligence that can be acted on ... torturing your subject to death does you no good if he hasn't given you the information you need."
Similarly, in May Sen. Carl Levin stated prior to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison that the deaths there and in Afghanistan were "counterproductive to the goals" of obtaining useful intelligence through interrogation.
Counterterror authorities agreed. And some didn't hide their willingness to torture terrorists to death: "We damn sure want to make sure we get the intel from them that we need," as one put it. "That's the whole purpose of interrogation."
After the 1983 interrogation disaster, the CIA overhauled its interrogation practices to make sure such an intelligence failure never happened again. The revelations of CIA involvement in the torturing to death of suspected terrorists held at the Abu Ghraib prison and in highly classified facilities operated by the Agency around the world, though, indicates the CIA relaxed the policies on interrogation it instituted in the aftermath of the 1983 killings.
Still, several of the counterterrorists who spoke to HSToday explained that "the interrogators are supposed to know just how far they can go without killing the subject in order to get out of him the intelligence they need."
The officials told HSToday "the terrorists [interrogated by the CIA at Abu Ghraib, and in Afghanistan] died before giving up the information that was being sought ... it's a screw up as disastrous as the killings in Beirut [in 1983] ... Mugniyah has slipped through their hands again ..." one said.
The CIA program
The lethal CIA interrogations at Abu Ghraib were part of a top secret CIA program to interrogate captured Al Qaeda members using proscribed techniques authorized by the CIA and the Department of Justice, using the 1983 terrorist torture deaths as a template of what not to do.
The Abu Ghraib interrogation program was merely an expansion of the tightly guarded CIA operation, and was run by an elite new unit of the military established last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Its mission is to interrogate prisoners in military custody in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
The Pentagon operation uses covert resources controlled by the Special Operations Command that were secretly left in place after a congressionally unauthorized and scandal-ridden 1980s program called the Intelligence Support Activity was dismantled and some officers running it secretly court martialed. Rumsfeld and other senior Pentagon and Bush Administration officials felt the new program could expand on the scope of the CIA's operation.
The elite and super-secret new Pentagon anti-terror unit was easily established because of the ISA resources that had been kept intact. A former Army Special Forces officer who was a member of the old ISA, and a former member of the Special Operations Command Judge Advocate General's office, told HSToday the capabilities and assets of the ISA "were never done away with ... The ISA was disbanded in name only ... its capabilities live on," one of the sources said.
For a while, the CIA cooperated with the Pentagon's ISA successor, known as a Special Access Program, but backed off when it became evident that violent interrogations and other abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib by soldiers who were not part of the program but nevertheless acting on orders from Army intelligence officials who were, began to get out of hand. The CIA became concerned that its secret Al Qaeda interrogation operation would be exposed and subject to congressional and criminal inquiries, which is exactly what has happened.
"You know, Tenet was there back when the CIA was told to get its act together after the Beirut incident," a senior CIA counterterrorist said. "More than anyone else, he should have known the consequences of rough interrogations. He should have put a stop to it when he realized things were getting out of control at Abu Ghraib, where we shouldn't have been involved to begin with - our involvement there was a recipe for disaster. He should have known it would jeopardize our secret Al Qaeda detention operations."
The CIA's Inspector General and the DoJ are now probing the deaths of three suspected terrorists during interrogation by CIA officers at Abu Ghraib. The investigations were launched to determine whether the interrogations used techniques not authorized by rules approved by the CIA and DoJ.
According to the Washington Post, "the methods ... are so severe that senior officials of the FBI have directed its agents to stay out of many of the interviews of the high-level detainees ... The FBI officials have advised the bureau's director, Robert S. Mueller III, that the interrogation techniques, which would be prohibited in criminal cases, could compromise their agents in future criminal cases ..."
An intelligence source was quoted by the Post as saying "some people involved in this have been concerned for quite a while that eventually there would be a new president, or the mood in the country would change, and they would be held accountable. Now that's happening faster than anybody expected."
Intelligence sources told HSToday the CIA was especially "hell bent" on torturing the Al Qaeda members it had secretly "rounded up" because it wanted to "get everything they could on Mugniyah" in particular.
A Very Dangerous Terrorist
Last October, Cofer Black, the State Department's under secretary for counterterrorism and former head of the CIA's counterterrorism center, had a message for Mugniyah during a CNN interview: "We will never forget you. We will eventually bring you to justice."
Capturing Mugniyah has been a driving force behind the CIA's secret detention of Al Qaeda leaders. The CIA considers the subduing of Mugniyah to be the "ultimate prize" in the war on terror, an intelligence official familiar with the matter said.
A Lebanese borne Shiite Muslim, Mugniyah "is the most dangerous terrorist we've ever faced. He's a pathological murderer," Bob Baer, a longtime CIA officer who hunted Mugniyah in the 1980s and 1990s, said during a May 1, 2002 interview with "60 Minutes II."
"Mugniyah is probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we've ever run across, including the KGB or anybody else," Baer said. "He enters by one door, exits by another, changes his cars daily, never makes appointments on a telephone, never is predictable. He only uses people that are related to him that he can trust. He doesn't just recruit people. He is the master terrorist, the grail that we have been after since 1983."
Former CIA officials familiar with the 1983 killings said the murders "dramatically" impaired the CIA's ability to thwart a slew of subsequent bloody bombings by Mugniyah, including the bombing just six months later of the Marine barracks in Lebanon that killed 241 US servicemen. In September 1984, Mugniyah was credited with the car bombing of the new, more secure US Embassy in East Beirut that killed two Americans and 20 Lebanese.
A founder of Hizbollah, Mugniyah was central to the seizure of Western hostages in Beirut during the 1980's. The stalemate over gaining their release was a major headache for the Reagan Administration, which eventually became entangled in the illegal arms for hostages deal with Iran to secure their freedom. Iran was - and still is - a supporter of Hizbollah, and Mugniyah has strong ties to Iranian government extremists.
Mugniyah also is believed to have been behind the June 25, 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment building near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where American, Saudi, French, and British troops were housed. Nineteen were killed and hundreds were injured. Mugniyah also is suspected of having engineered the kidnapping and brutal murder of William Buckley, the CIA Chief of Station in Beirut, and Lt. Col. William Higgins, a Marine officer serving with UN forces in Lebanon.
Tracking Mugniyah has been difficult. He effectively obliterated records of his existence and has always managed to stay steps ahead of the CIA. Several attempts to capture him were tried, but each failed because of incomplete intelligence, a former CIA officer said. Even the only two known photographs purported to be of him are in doubt because the CIA believes Mugniyah has had plastic surgery to disguise his appearance.
"Mugniyah has changed his physical appearance. He's had plastic surgery. He's apparently changed also his fingerprints and his eye color, and I'm not sure we know what he looks like nowadays," said Michael Ledeen, a terrorism expert who served as a consultant to the National Security Adviser and as Special Adviser to the Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan.
The importance the CIA places on capturing Mugniyah cannot be overstated. The State Department had a $25 million reward for information leading to his arrest long before millions less was offered for bin Laden and his top lieutenants.
The reward for Mugniyah's capture stems from his conviction by a US court for masterminding the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847. On board that flight was 23-year-old US Navy Petty Officer Robert Stethem, who was brutally beaten before being shot to death and his body thrown out the plane's door onto the tarmac of the Beirut airport where the plane was forced to land for refueling. Stethem's wounds were so terrible his body had to be identified by fingerprints.
Mugniyah's reign of terror didn't stop there. He also was the "architect of the hijacking of Kuwait Air [Flight] 422" on April 5, 1988, according to a "top secret" US State department report provided to HSToday. During that 16-day-long hijacking, the nine terrorists who commandeered the plane, which was flying to Kuwait from Thailand, killed two of the more than 100 passengers, threatened repeatedly to blow up the airliner, and forced the crew to fly to Iran, Cyprus, and then to Algeria, where the hijacking ended on April 20.
Largely silent for more than a decade, Mugniyah's reemergence is cause for great concern to US counterterrorists, several of whom told HSToday intelligence indicating Mugniyah linked up with Osama bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attacks suggests he may have played a role in that horror.
Intelligence further ties Mugniyah to Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, a bin Laden associate known to be aiding Shiite militants in Iraq and who also, it is believed, was involved in the recent rail bombings in Madrid and the foiled chemical bomb plot in Jordan. Zarqawi beheaded civilian contractor Nick Berg in the widely publicized video of Berg's execution.
Former CIA counterterrorists say it's a long shot that the 9/11 attacks might never have happened had Mugniyah been captured 20 years ago, "but it's possible," one speculated.
"9/11 happens. And I remember walking into the kitchen that morning, turning on the TV, and staring at that plane, flying into the World Trade Center. And at that instant, I thought, `Is this guy involved? Did he have a hand in the planning? What would have happened if we had gotten him,' " 60 Minutes II was told by former SEAL platoon commander Tom Short, who was to have led a July, 1996 mission to capture Mugniyah. President Clinton aborted the top secret mission when intelligence collectors couldn't be certain Mugniyah would be onboard the cargo ship the SEALS and other commandoes were set to raid.
Former CIA officer Robert Baer added: "What would it have meant the last few years if Mugniyah had been out of commission? I think you could go a long way toward unraveling or even preventing a September 11th, by getting a person like this."
What past and present CIA officers do agree on is not only would many deadly terrorist attacks over the last 20 years had been prevented had Mugniyah been captured, but the organized Shiite uprising US military forces in Iraq today are battling also might have been avoided. Intelligence is said to show "Mugniyah's hand" in the organizing and arming of the Shiite militants who have been responsible for the rapidly increasing death toll of US military personnel in Iraq.
"Remember, he, too, is a Shiite ... there's sympathy there," one of the former counterterrorists said.
"We have information that he went into Iraq from Iran ... and is busily organizing the terror network inside Iraq," Ledeen said.
In late 2002, US officials testified to the Senate intelligence committee that US and Canadian intelligence agencies had learned Mugniyah had directed a Hizbollah cell in Vancouver. Vancouver was the location of a cell of terrorists linked to bin Laden who were plotting millennium attacks in the US when authorities broke up the group.
Confirming media reports that describe Mugniyah as the "suspected" chief of Hizbollah's security arm, the top secret State department intelligence report clearly identifies him as the head of Hizbollah's "security apparatus" - the group's terrorism arm.
The report also indicates what US intelligence officials have been quoted speculating about Mugniyah, and that is he's supported by, and given sanctuary in, Iran. In August 1988, members of Mugniyah's security apparatus met with unidentified officials there. The classified State department report says the meeting "is almost certainly related to hostage issues." At that time, the Reagan Administration was still working to seek the release of some of the hostages Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad - to which Mugniyah also has been linked - had kidnapped.
Other classified terrorist intelligence information shown to HSToday also discusses Iran's backing of Middle East terror groups. US intelligence believes Iran and Syria both supported Mugniyah's 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut.
Today, intelligence officials say Iran is providing assistance to the Iraqi Shiite militants Mugniyah has been linked to helping.
"The Iranian intelligence service has not only facilitated the presence of al Qaeda in Iran, but it is also hosting Imad Mugniyah and his associates," St. Andrews University professor Magnus Ranstorp has been quoted as saying. Ranstorp is considered one of the leading experts on Hizbollah and Mugniyah.
Last September, Hassan Rohani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told ABC News he had never heard of Mugniyah.
D?j? Vu for the CIA
Twenty years after two CIA officers tortured terrorists to death in Beirut, the CIA again finds itself embroiled in investigations of complicity in the deaths of two suspected terrorists in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. The CIA's involvement was first disclosed in a fifty-three-page report leaked to noted investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, portions of which Hersh revealed in an article in the May 10 issue of The New Yorker.
Eager to right its wrongs in Beirut back in '83 when its men on the ground there screwed up, the CIA may once again have become overly zealous in getting intel on Mugniyah, and I'm not so sure I blame them," a former CIA counterterrorist said.
The report leaked to Hersh was completed in late February by Major General Antonio M. Taguba, but was never intended for public release. Hersh writes that "its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of `sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses' at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company of the 800th Military Police Brigade [MPB], and also by members of the American intelligence community."
However, Gen. Taguba testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 11 that his "task was limited to the allegations of detainee abuse involving MP personnel and the policies, procedures and command climate of the 800th M.P. Brigade," and recommended that a separate investigation be opened into interrogation practices by intelligence authorities."
The involvement of the CIA and military intelligence further emerged in the Article 32 proceedings against Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II, one of six members of the 800th MPB who face court martial for allegedly abusing Iraqis detained at Abu Ghraib. In letters and e-mails to family members made available to news organizations, Frederick repeatedly noted that the military-intelligence teams, which included CIA officers, linguists, and interrogation specialists from private defense contractors, appeared to run interrogations at the Abu Ghraib prison.
In November, Frederick wrote that an Iraqi prisoner under the control of the CIA and its paramilitary employees, was brought to his unit for questioning. "They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag and packed him in ice for approximately twenty-four hours in the shower ... The next day the medics came and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm and took him away."
Frederick said the dead Iraqi was never entered into the prison's inmate-control system "and therefore never had a number."
Prisoners under the CIA's control at Abu Ghraib were known by regular Army personnel assigned to the prison as "ghost detainees." They were held without any accounting for them, including "their identities, or even the reason for their detention." They regularly were "moved around within the facility to hide them" from Red Cross teams.
A CIA spokesman said he didn't know whether one of the deaths connected to the CIA that is being investigated by the agency's Inspector General is the Abu Ghraib prisoner Frederick says died during a CIA interrogation.
In January, Frederick wrote in a letter home that "I questioned some of the things that I saw ... such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell - and the answer I got was, `This is how military intelligence [MI] wants it done." ... MI has also instructed us to place a prisoner in an isolation cell with little or no clothes, no toilet or running water, no ventilation or window, for as much as three days."
Continuing, Frederick said military intelligence officers "encouraged and told us, `Great job,' they were now getting positive results and information."
In his report, Taguba said "personnel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to `set the conditions' for MI interrogations." CIA and Army intelligence officers "actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses."
Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the General in charge of US prisons in Iraq who has been relieved of duty, confirmed Frederick's claims. She said in interviews last week that she suspected soldiers involved in the torture were acting with the encouragement, if not at the direction, of military intelligence units that ran the special cellblock used for interrogation. She also said CIA employees were involved in the interrogations.
Following media reporting that military intelligence and the CIA were overseeing interrogations, it was disclosed that the CIA had actually established a top secret operation in which Al Qaeda leaders and members are imprisoned at secret locations controlled by the CIA where they are interrogated.
The location of CIA interrogation centers and the identities of the terrorists held at these centers is so sensitive that the four leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees do not know them, Congressional sources said, adding the committees weren't told about the conditions under which prisoners are held or the techniques of interrogation used. The CIA merely told Congress it does not engage in torture as a tactic of interrogation.
In public testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, the CIA stated only that it "provides intelligence support to the military and law enforcement entities involved in interrogating detainees."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon officials took a queue from the CIA and created a similar classified operation outside the purview of regular military chains of command, much like the Pentagon did when it created the ill-fated Intelligence Support Activity in the 1980s. Indeed, today, all military intelligence activities are supposed to be overseen by the office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight. This office is responsible for ensuring "that all activities performed by intelligence units and all intelligence activities performed by non-intelligence units, are conducted in compliance with Federal law and other laws as appropriate."
Oversight authority also rests with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence, and the Army Intelligence and Security Command. Additionally, all military services' intelligence agents, some of whom work under commercial cover, are supposed to be tasked by the Defense Intelligence Agency's Defense HUMINT Service (DHS), which was chartered in 1992 to bring all military human intelligence collection under one umbrella.
The new Pentagon anti-terror unit, however, is overseen only by top Pentagon leaders. Problems emerged when regular military personnel not involved with the secret operation and not trained in interrogation were ordered to "soften" up Abu Ghraib prisoners marked for interrogation. That's when the abuse documented in the photographs seen around the world began to unhinge the Pentagon and CIA's classified terrorist detention operations.
When Rumsfeld, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone - the official overseeing the Pentagon's secret operation - and other top Pentagon leaders were asked by the Senate Armed Services Committee who gave the orders related to interrogations at Abu Ghraib, it was evident that they were having a hard time answering in a way to avoid not disclosing either their or the CIA's top secret operations.
Rumsfeld admitted in his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee only that the intelligence-related interrogations at Abu Ghraib were indeed the responsibility of "military intelligence."
In response to questions put to then Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in March, 2002, Wilson said only that "the Army is the lead department for the interrogation of detained personnel, with DIA and other Intelligence Community personnel attached to the joint interrogation operations" at the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (JIDC) set up in Abu Ghraib prison. The 205th Military Intelligence Brigade was tasked with getting the Abu Ghraib JIDC up and running.
With both criminal and Congressional investigations of the CIA's involvement in interrogations that have resulted in death publicly underway, intelligence sources fear there may be public disclosures of intelligence collection operations that could seriously impair the CIA and other Intelligence Community efforts to identify and thwart further horrific acts of terrorism on American soil.
"The bottom line," one of the sources said, "is some of these interrogations stretched the boundaries of what the CIA is allowed to do, and now it's come back to bite them, only this time the consequences may be more damaging than the lesson the Agency was supposed to have learned [in Beirut 20 years ago]."

Additional Reading:

CIA Workers May Face Criminal Charges

CIA Investigates Death of Three Detainees

Sergeant Says Intelligence Directed Abuse

Memo Gave Intelligence Bigger Role

Detention, Interrogation That Opened Door to Methods Used at Abu Ghraib

Torture: As Futile as It Is Brutal

Violations of Culture, Religion Suggest Help From Higher-ranking Sources


- U.S. shocks Seoul by surprise withdrawal of brigade for Iraq
- Syrians, missile parts in train explosion which registered 3.6 on Richter scale
Syrian technicians accompanying unknown equipment were killed in the train explosion in North Korea on April 22, according to a report in a Japanese newspaper. A South Korean intelligence official said that if the report were true, the cargo most likely included military chemicals used to make rocket fuel. The train explosion recorded 3.6 on the Richter scale,
- Kim's personality cult intensifying following train blast
- U.S.: Pyongyang waging psychological warfare on South via the Internet
- N. Korean defectors' Internet radio faces shutdown due to terror threats
- An Intelligence Debacle?
Posted May 24, 2004
In 1983, two untrained CIA paramilitary officers tortured to death two suspected accomplices of a notorious terrorist who'd been arrested by Lebanese authorities on suspicion of involvement in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. The killings of the two terrorists before any useful intelligence could be given up was an intelligence disaster from which the CIA never recovered. Read Anthony Kimery's report on "How CIA torture death of terrorists in 1983 prevented capture of world's most dangerous terrorist" at Homeland Security Today and learn why those same mistakes may be hurting efforts to capture al-Qaeda leaders today.

Russia's Most Wanted
by Alicia Burns,

Digital Freedom Network
Forbes magazine recently unveiled its list of the world's richest people, and astonishingly, Russia claimed 36 billionaires. The number of billionaires in the country now exceeds that of New York City, and is growing at an "astonishing pace" according to the Independent. Such an increase in wealth would seem to be a positive, both for those named to the list and for Russia. Unfortunately, Russia's wealthiest citizens are denouncing their inclusion, claiming it opens them up to government investigation and surveillance, especially if they are publicly critical of President Vladimir Putin. Currently, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the CEO of Yukos oil and Russia's wealthiest citizen is awaiting trial on charges of tax evasion, and several other prominent citizens are in the same predicament.
"In our country, discussing personal wealth only causes stress," one person named on the list told Vedemsoti, a Russian business paper, on the condition of anonymity, reported Others named on the list tried to downplay their inclusion as well, most suggesting that Forbes overestimated their wealth. In the former Soviet Union, being rich and a critic of Vladimir Putin can be dangerous.
According to the Hoover Digest, the origins of Russia's suspicion of wealth could be the result of the post-Soviet distribution of state-owned property, which occurred almost immediately after the collapse. The limited number citizens with any funds during such a tumultuous time allowed those engaged in black market operations during the empire to purchase legitimate enterprises, and so some of the assets sold by the government ended up in the hands of those with less than perfect dealings. Consequently, a class of oligarchs, as they are known today, developed and made a small group of people (some honest, some dishonest) extremely wealthy. As this group was developing, accumulating wealth and influence, some disagreed with the direction of the Putin government and spoke out, with unfair and harsh consequences.
Foremost among President Putin's political rivals is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia's richest man, CEO of Yukos Oil, and oft-mentioned potential political candidate. Arrested in October 2003 on charges of fraud and tax evasion despite the fact that Yukos was the first Russian company to adopt western Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), to report its earnings in U.S. dollars, as well as to create an international board of directors. Given these innovations, it is unlikely that a CEO who initiated and supported these measures would have something to hide. Interestingly, he was a contributor to rivals of President Putin, namely the classically liberal Yablonko and Union of Right Forces parties. His influence went far beyond industry, though, and that is the reason for his arrest. A prominent philanthropist and owner of Moscow News, an independent, classically liberal-minded news weekly, Mr. Khodorkovsky and President Putin did not see eye-to-eye. A website started by supporters for Mr. Khodorkovsky ( detail both his and Yukos's persecution at the hands of the Russian government.
Mr. Khodorkovsky is not the only one in such a situation. Platon Lebedev, also a Yukos shareholder, as well as chairman of Group MENATEP, a Russian financial firm, was arrested in July 2003, on similar trumped up fraud charges. The media is another favorite target for Mr. Putin, and so far he has arrested media moguls Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky after they interfered in government attempts to control the media. According to the Guardian Unlimited, Mr. Putin accused the men of being liars and thieves." Interestingly, Mr. Berezovsky had previously supported Mr. Putin, helping with his election campaigns, but relations between the two men soured in the months immediately preceding the arrest.
Everyday citizens applaud Mr. Putin's actions, associating the oligarchs with the disorder and chaos that reigned in the period immediately following the fall of Communism. His veiled attempts at silencing his enemies work because instead of worrying about their president's abuse of power, Russians view the arrests of oligarchs as the corrupt and greedy being brought to justice. They can't be blamed for their perceptions either. With the arrests of Mr. Khodorkovsky, Mr. Berezovsky and Mr. Gusinsky, President Putin effectively silenced his enemies in the media, and augmented the power and credibility of state-run news organizations. According to the Washington Post, the state-run media mainly wields its influence through television, and newspapers have a marginal role in disseminating news to the population at large, but the intimidation of the press regardless of format is disturbing and contrary to democratic society.
For Russia's wealthiest citizens, making the Forbes list puts their professional and personal lives in a precarious position. If they attempt to use their considerable wealth and influence against the wishes of the state, they could find themselves in the position of Mr. Khodorkovsky and his brethren. If they do not speak out, their chances of being investigated decrease, but the fact remains that in Vladimir Putin's Russia, anyone who is perceived to be bigger than the president is a potential target. Instead of working with business leaders to develop economic opportunities that can improve the lives of the majority of citizens, the Russian government works to keep itself in power.


Broken Engagement
The strategy that won the Cold War could help bring democracy to the Middle East-- if only the Bush hawks understood it.

By Gen. Wesley Clark

During 2002 and early 2003, Bush administration officials put forth a shifting series of arguments for why we needed to invade Iraq. Nearly every one of these has been belied by subsequent events. We have yet to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; assuming that they exist at all, they obviously never presented an imminent threat. Saddam's alleged connections to al Qaeda turned out to be tenuous at best and clearly had nothing to do with September 11. The terrorists now in Iraq have largely arrived because we are there, and Saddam's security forces aren't. And peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which prominent hawks argued could be achieved "only through Baghdad," seems further away than ever.
Advocates of the invasion are now down to their last argument: that transforming Iraq from brutal tyranny to stable democracy will spark a wave of democratic reform throughout the Middle East, thereby alleviating the conditions that give rise to terrorism. This argument is still standing because not enough time has elapsed to test it definitively--though events in the year since Baghdad's fall do not inspire confidence. For every report of a growing conversation in the Arab world about the importance of democracy, there's another report of moderate Arabs feeling their position undercut by the backlash against our invasion. For every example of progress (Libya giving up its WMD program), there's an instance of backsliding (the Iranian mullahs purging reformist parliamentarians).

What is certainly true is that any hope for a "domino theory" rests with Iraq's actually becoming something that resembles a stable democracy. But here, too, there has been little progress. Despite their heroic efforts, American soldiers have been unable to make the country consistently stable and safe. Iraq's various ethnic entities and political factions remain deeply divided. Even the administration has concluded that the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council lacks credibility with the ordinary Iraqis it is intended to represent. The country's reconstituted security forces have been ineffectual--indeed, in some cases, they have joined the armed resistance to our occupation. The ease with which the demagogue Muqtada al-Sadr brought thousands to the streets and effectively took over a key city for weeks has sparked fears that an Iranian-style theocracy will emerge in Iraq. And the American and Iraqi civilian death tolls continue to mount.

Whether or not you agreed with the president's decision to invade Iraq--and I did not--there's no doubt that America has a right and a duty to take whatever actions are necessary, including military action, to protect ourselves from the clear security threats emanating from this deeply troubled part of the world. Authoritarian rule in these countries has clearly created fertile ground for terrorists, and so establishing democratic governance in the region must be seen as one of our most vital security goals. There is good reason, however, to question whether the president's strategy is advancing or hindering that goal.

President Bush's approach to Iraq and to the Middle East in general has been greatly influenced by a group of foreign-policy thinkers whose defining experience was as hawkish advisors to President Reagan and the first President Bush, and who in the last few years have made an explicit comparison between Middle Eastern regimes and the Soviet Union. These neoconservatives looked at the nest of problems caused by Middle East tyranny and argued that a morally unequivocal stance and tough military action could topple those regimes and transform the region as surely as they believed that Reagan's aggressive rhetoric and military posture brought down the Soviet Union. In a March 2002 interview on CNN, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, one of the main architects of the Iraq war, argued that the moral judgment that President Bush made "very clear, crystal clear in his State of the Union message" in which he laid out the Axis of Evil is "exactly the same kind of clarity, I think, that Ronald Reagan introduced in understanding the Soviet Union." In a speech last year, Defense Department advisor Richard Perle made the comparison even more explicit: "I have no doubt that [Bush] has the vision that Ronald Reagan had, and can envision, can contemplate change on a very large scale in Iraq and elsewhere across the region."

This dream of engineering events in the Middle East to follow those of the Soviet Union has led to an almost unprecedented geostrategic blunder. One crucial reason things went wrong, I believe, is that the neoconservatives misunderstood how and why the Soviet Union fell and what the West did to contribute to that fall. They radically overestimated the role of military assertiveness while underestimating the value of other, subtler measures. They then applied those theories to the Middle East, a region with very different political and cultural conditions. The truth is this: It took four decades of patient engagement to bring down the Iron Curtain, and 10 years of deft diplomacy to turn chaotic, post-Soviet states into stable, pro-Western democracies. To achieve the same in the Middle East will require similar engagement, patience, and luck.

Inspiring smoke screens

Just as they counseled President Bush to take on the tyrannies of the Middle East, so the neoconservatives in the 1980s and early 1990s advised Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush to confront the Soviet Union and more aggressively deploy America's military might to challenge the enemy. As an Army officer in and out of Washington, I met many who would later star in the neoconservative movement at conferences and briefings. They're rightly proud of serving under Ronald Reagan, as I am. And as someone who favored a strong U.S. role abroad, I received a good deal of sympathy from them. As has been well documented, even before September 11, going after Saddam had become a central issue for them. Their Project for a New American Century seemed intent on doing to President Clinton what the Committee on the Present Danger had done to President Carter: push the president to take a more aggressive stand against an enemy, while at the same time painting him as weak.

September 11 gave the neoconservatives the opportunity to mobilize against Iraq, and to wrap the mobilization up in the same moral imperatives which they believed had achieved success against the Soviet Union. Many of them made the comparison direct, in speeches and essays explicitly and approvingly compared the Bush administration's stance towards terrorists and rogue regimes to the Reagan administration's posture towards the Soviet Union.

For them, the key quality shared by Reagan and the current President Bush is moral clarity. Thus, for instance, long-time neoconservative writer and editor Norman Podhoretz, after noting approvingly that Bush's stark phrase "Axis of Evil" echoes Reagan's "Evil Empire," wrote in Commentary magazine: "The rhetorical echoes of Reagan reflected a shared worldview that Bush was bringing up to date now that the cold war was over. What Communism had been to Reagan in that war, terrorism was to Bush in this one; and as Reagan had been persuaded that the United States of America had a mission to hasten the demise of the one, Bush believed that we had a mission to rid the world of the other."

In the neoconservative interpretation, Reagan's moral absolutism allowed him to take on the Soviet Union by any means necessary: Because he recognized the supreme danger the Soviets posed, he was willing to challenge it with a massive military buildup. In this understanding, the moral equivocation of Carter and his predecessors left them satisfied with the failed, halfway strategy of containment. Only when Reagan changed the moral template of the conflict, their argument goes, was America able to get past the weak pieties of containment and rid the world of Soviet tyranny.

Likewise, as Perle has argued, Bush's moral certainty allowed him to recognize Islamic tyranny for what it was (a manifestation of evil) and unfetter American might to defeat it, which meant deploying the military to enact regime change. "Had we settled for containment of the Soviet Union," Perle wrote in December 2002, "it might still be in business today. Are we--and millions of former Soviet citizens--not better off because the United States went beyond mere containment and challenged the legitimacy of a totalitarian Soviet Union? The ideological and moral challenge to the Soviet Union that was mounted by the Reagan administration took us well beyond containment. If containment means that a country such as Iraq, that is capable of doing great damage, is left unhindered to prepare to do that damage, then we run unnecessary, foolish and imprudent risks."

In justifying his policy towards Iraq, Bush himself echoed Perle.

"Moral clarity," President Bush said in his 2002 commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy, "was essential to our victory in the cold war. When leaders like John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan refused to gloss over the brutality of tyrants, they gave hope to prisoners and dissidents and exiles and rallied free nations to a great cause ... We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America will call evil by its name. By confronting evil and lawless regimes, we do not create a problem, we reveal a problem." Never mind that the regime the administration was most intent on confronting was the one in the region that had perhaps the least to do with the events of September 11 or the immediate terrorist threat.

And the neoconservative goal was more ambitious than merely toppling dictators: By creating a democracy in Iraq, our success would, in the president's words, "send forth the news from Damascus to Tehran--that freedom can be the future of every nation," and Iraq's democracy would serve as a beacon that would ignite liberation movements and a "forward strategy of freedom" around the Middle East.

This rhetoric is undeniably inspiring. We should have pride in our history, confidence in our principles, and take security in the knowledge that we are at the epicenter of a 228-year revolution in the transformation of political systems. But recognizing the power of our values also means understanding their meaning. Freedom and dignity spring from within the human heart. They are not imposed. And inside the human heart is where the impetus for political change must be generated.

The neoconservative rhetoric glosses over this truth and much else. Even aside from the administration's obvious preference for confronting terrorism's alleged host states rather than the terrorists themselves, it was a huge leap to believe that establishing democracies by force of Western arms in old Soviet surrogate states like Syria and Iraq would really affect a terrorist movement drawing support from anti-Western sentiment in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

Perhaps most fundamentally, the conditions of the Middle East today are vastly different from those behind the Iron Curtain in 1989. And the fact is that the Soviet Union did not fall the way the neoconservatives say it did.

Red herring

The first thing to remember about American policy towards the Soviet Union is that we never directly invaded any nation under Soviet control. In the early 1950s, some in America saw the expansion of communism as an inevitability which must not only be resisted by force but also rolled back. And for a time during the Eisenhower administration, there was brave rhetoric about such an effort. Struggling resistance movements survived from year to year in the Baltics, Romania, and the Ukraine. And immigrant dissident groups in the United States kept up the political pressure on Washington to consider a more confrontational strategy. But any real prospect of rollback died as Soviet tanks crushed the Hungarian Revolution in 1956.

Instead, the foreign policy consensus coalesced around containment, an idea which had been in the air since the early post-war period, when George Kennan, then a veteran American diplomat, published his seminal Foreign Affairs article "The Sources of Soviet Conduct." Kennan argued that the Soviet system contained within it "the seeds of its own decay." During the 1950s and 1960s, containment translated that observation into policy, holding the line against Soviet expansion with U.S. military buildups while quietly advancing a simultaneous program of cultural engagement with citizens and dissidents in countries under the Soviet thumb.

These subtler efforts mattered a great deal. The 1975 Helsinki Accords proved to be the crucial step in opening the way for the subsequent peaceful democratization of the Soviet bloc. The accords, signed by the Communist governments of the East, guaranteed individual human and political rights to all peoples and limited the authority of governments to act against their own citizens. However flimsy the human rights provisions seemed at the time, they provided a crucial platform for dissidents such as Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov. These dissidents, though often jailed and exiled, built organizations that publicized their governments' many violations of the accords, garnering Western attention and support and inspiring their countrymen with the knowledge that it was possible to stand up to the political powers that be.

With the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s, it became clear once more that it would be the demands of native peoples, not military intervention from the West, that would extend democracy's reach eastward. Step by step, the totalitarian governments and structures of the East lost legitimacy in the eyes of their own citizens and elites. The United States and Western Europe were engaged, of course, in assisting these indigenous political movements, both directly and indirectly. Western labor unions, encouraged by their governments, aided the emergence of a democratic trade union movement, especially in Poland. Western organizations provided training for a generation of human-rights workers. Western broadcast media pumped in culture and political thought, raising popular expectations and undercutting Communist state propaganda. And Western businesses and financial institutions entered the scene, too, ensnaring command economies in Western market pricing and credit practices. The Polish-born Pope John Paul II directed Catholic churches in Eastern Europe and around the world to encourage their congregants to lobby for democracy and liberal freedoms.

Such outreach had profound effects, but only over time. In his new book, Soft Power, the defense strategist Joseph Nye tells the story of the first batch of 50 elite exchange students the Soviet Union allowed to the United States in the 1950s. One was Aleksandr Yakovlev, who became a key advocate of glasnost under Gorbachev. Another, Oleg Kalugin, wound up as a top KGB official. Kalugin later said: "Exchanges were a Trojan horse for the Soviet Union. They played a tremendous role in the erosion of the Soviet system...they kept infecting more and more people over the years."

Of course, military pressure played a vital role in making containment work. But we applied that pressure in concert with allies in Europe. In the 1980s, for instance, President Reagan began the deployment of intermediate range missiles in Europe as part of NATO. It was a political struggle in the West, but we engaged NATO and made it work.

Rising Soviet defense spending aimed at competing with the United States may have hastened the economic decline in the Soviet Union, helped convince the Russian generals that they couldn't compete with U.S. military technology, and strengthened Gorbachev's hand as he pushed for glasnost. But this end-game challenge of Reagan's would have been ineffective had 40 years of patient Western containment and engagement not helped undermine the legitimacy of the Communist regime in the eyes of its subjects. It was popular discontent with economic, social, and political progress, and people's recognition of an appealing alternative system, that finished off the repressive regimes of Eastern Europe, and eventually the whole Soviet Union. No Western threat of force or military occupation forced their collapse. Indeed, subsequent examination by Germany's Bundeswehr has shown that the East German military remained a disciplined conscript organization that could have effectively responded to Western intervention. But these governments were unable to resist focused, strongly-articulated popular will.

What the West supplied to the people of the East was, as former Solidarity leader and Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek told me, very simple: hope. They knew there was a countervailing force to the occupying Soviet power which had repressed them and subjugated their political systems. Democracy could reemerge in Central and Eastern Europe because of a several decades-long dance between popular resistance and cautious Western leaders who moved ever so carefully to provide support and encouragement without provoking the use of repressive force by the Communist governments in reaction or generating actual armed conflict between East and West.

So, when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire," or stood before crowds in Berlin and proclaimed "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," he was reaching a receptive audience on the other side of the wall. The neoconservatives persist in seeing a vast difference between Reagan's policy of confronting the Soviets and previous American administrations' tack of containing it. In fact, it was precisely those decades of containment and cultural engagement that made Reagan's challenge effective.

A long way from Prague

Bush, of course, has accompanied his invasion of Iraq with similarly bold and eloquent rhetoric about the prospect of peace and democracy throughout the Arab world. But it is hard to exaggerate how differently his words and deeds have been received in the Middle East, compared to Reagan's behind the Iron Curtain. While heartening some advocates of democracy, Bush's approach has provoked perhaps the fiercest and most alarming anti-American backlash in history. To take but one example, a March poll conducted by the Pew Center found that the percentage of people in Muslim countries who think suicide bombings are justified has grown by roughly 40 percent since the American occupation of Iraq. Even the most Western-friendly, pro-democratic media outlets in countries such as Jordan and Lebanon now openly question whether the Americans are anti-Islamic crusaders bent on assisting the Israeli occupiers of Palestine. This is a long way from Prague, circa 1989.

The reaction of the Middle East to America's invasion of Iraq should hardly have been surprising. Only willful blindness could obscure the obvious fact that the political and cultural conditions in the Middle East are profoundly different than those in the states of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. To one degree or another, the values and forms of democracy were part of the historic culture of the states of Central and Eastern Europe: There were constitutions and parliaments, in one form or another, in the Baltic States, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere before World War II. In some cases, these precedent experiences with democracy dated back into the 19th century.

This is evidently not the case in the Middle East. The Enlightenment never much penetrated the Ottoman frontiers, and so the great conflicts of faith versus reason and the value of each individual and his conscience which defined Western civilization were largely screened out there. Modern states in the Middle East emerged after the Ottoman Empire crumbled, and except in the cases of Turkey and Lebanon, there was nothing comparable to a Western democracy. Instead, "state socialism" was eventually imposed upon tribal and colonial heritages in many Arab states--replacing the Ottoman Empire with Western-drawn boundaries, authoritarian rulers, and, at best, pseudo-democratic institutions. Through it all, Islam--with its commingling of secular and religious authorities, and the power of its mullahs and its more fundamentalist, anti-Western sects--remained a significant force. As the example of Iran shows, elections and parliaments can be subverted by other means of control.

Nor is the desire for Western culture anywhere near as pronounced in the Middle East as it was behind the Iron Curtain. At the height of glasnost, American rock'n'roll bands toured the Soviet Union, playing to sold-out arenas of fans. By contrast, even many educated Muslims, who resent the yoke of tyranny under which they live, find much of American culture shocking and deplorable. Central European countries had enjoyed a culture of secular education and Western music and art dating at least to the late Renaissance, privileges and luxuries that ordinary citizens fought for centuries to gain access to. For much of the population of Central Europe, the Soviet darkness which descended in the late 1940s was something so fundamentally alien to the underlying culture that its overthrow can in hindsight be seen as close to inevitable. In the Middle East, periods of cultural openness can only be found in the fairly distant past.

Finally, the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia felt the extra sting of being ruled by an outside imperial force--Russia. By contrast, the tyrants of the Middle East, like Assad in Syria, the Al Sa'ud dynasty in Saudi Arabia and, indeed, Saddam Hussein, are all locally grown and can draw on some amount of nationalism for support. The imperial powers that most residents of the Middle East remember are, in fact, Western powers. And today's Western governments, including the United States, have long supported these Middle East strongmen. Whether we should have or should continue to do so is open to debate. What is not is that our sponsorship of these regimes has made the citizens less willing to believe our intentions are honorable. This is made all the more difficult because our strongest ally in the region, Israel, is seen by most Arabs as the enemy. It is then perhaps not surprising that opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that Osama bin Laden is far more popular among potential voters in Islamic states than George W. Bush.

Arab people power

Seeking to intervene and essentially impose a democracy on a country without real democratic traditions or the foundations of a pluralist society is not only risky, it is also inherently self-contradictory. All experience suggests that democracy doesn't grow like this. But we are where we are, and we must pull together to try to help this project succeed.

First, and most obviously, we need to avoid an impending disaster in Iraq. The current situation there is not only alarming in itself, but may also be creating a negative rather than positive dynamic for democracy in the Middle East. In the short term, we must significantly increase U.S. troop strength to restore and maintain stability. In the medium term, our European allies must share the burden--which will only happen if we share decision-making with them. And in the long term, we must draw down U.S. troops. A massive American military presence in the heart of the Middle East, after all, can only increase support for terrorism and undercut the position of indigenous pro-Western reformers.

We must also recommit ourselves to a real peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. We should measure success on the progress we make, not merely on final resolution. We must also recognize that here, the neoconservatives had it backwards: The "road to Jerusalem" didn't run through Baghdad at all; rather, until real progress is made towards resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue in a way that respects both sides, all American efforts to work within the region will be compromised.

Democracy and freedom have been ascendant in most parts of the world for at least the last 15 years, and it's hard to imagine that they aren't also destined to take root in the Middle East. But to play a constructive role in bringing this about, we must understand the facts on the ground and the lessons of history clearly. Our efforts should take into account not just the desire for freedom of those in the Middle East, but also their pride in their own culture and roots and their loyalty to Islam. We should work primarily with and through our allies, and be patient as we were during the four decades of the Cold War. More than anything else, we should keep in mind the primary lesson of the fall of the Soviet Union: Democracy can come to a place only when its people rise up and demand it.

Instead of brandishing military force and slogans about democracy, we must recognize what our real strengths and limitations are. In this part of the world, American power and rhetoric tend to produce countervailing reactions. Demands and direct action are appropriate in self-defense, but in a region struggling to regain its pride after centuries of perceived humiliation by the West, we should speak softly whenever possible. If we really want to encourage forms of government to emerge which we believe will better suit our own interests, then we have to set a powerful example and act indirectly and patiently--even while we take the specific actions truly necessary for our self-defense.

We should also recognize that it is not merely democracy itself--a popular vote to elect a government--that we seek for the Middle East, but rather more enlightened, tolerant, and moderating decisions and actions from governments. The tolerance, aversion to aggression, and openness which we hope to see emerge from a democratic transformation in the Middle East will require much more than just censuses, election registers, polling booths, and accurate ballot counts. We must avoid what Fareed Zakaria calls "illiberal democracy," governments which are elected but which routinely ignore constitutional limits on their power and deprive their citizens of basic rights and freedoms. Only by creating a system of pluralistic and overlapping structures and institutions that check the power of their leaders can the nations of the Middle East avoid this fate.

Any attempt to build democracy in the Islamic world must begin by taking into account Islam itself, the region's major source of culture, values, and law. There has been no "Protestant reformation" within the Muslim world. The teachings of the Koran tend to reflect an absolutism largely left behind in the West. When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that he would not accept the emergence of a theocratic state within Iraq, he gave voice to a profound concern: that even in Iraq, one of the more secularized Arab states, the majority of people look to Islam for their values and beliefs. (Indeed, Saddam himself in his final years in power increasingly turned to religious rhetoric to shore up support among his impoverished people). Inevitably, any lasting constitution there must entail compromises that reflect popular values. Hopefully, a form of government can emerge that reflects Islamic notions of rights, responsibilities, and respect but that is also representative in nature, reflects popular sovereignty, and retains the capacity to make pragmatic decisions.

There are, after all, some reasons to be optimistic. One Islamic country in the Middle East that has made the transition to democracy is Turkey. But it did not do so overnight. After decades of tight military supervision of the political process, during which the United States and Western Europe embraced the country as part of NATO and urged subtle reforms, Turkey has only within the last few years overcome the last obstacles to full democracy. Spurred by a broad national desire to join the European Union, Turkish voters approved constitutional amendments which, among other things, separated the Turkish military from politics, and today an avowedly democratic but openly religious party runs the government and enjoys strong popular support. Algeria, a country only recently racked by fundamentalist violence, has taken tentative steps in this direction, as have Jordan and Bahrain.

Nowhere in the Middle East has the public demand for freedom been more striking than in Cyprus, 60 miles from the Syrian coast. For 30 years, the Christian Greek and Muslim Turkish sides of the island have been divided by a 120-mile "green line," the equivalent of the Berlin Wall. Last month, 40,000 Turkish citizens (a fifth of the population of the Turkish portion of the island) marched against their long-time authoritarian leader, Rauf Denktash, in favor of a U.N.-drafted unification plan with the Greek side. This upwelling of popular demand was not the result of American military action; the protests were only the latest in a series that started long before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. What motivated the Turkish Cypriots was a simple desire for a better life. The Greek side of the island will be joining the European Union next month. Citizens on the Turkish side didn't want to be left behind. Indeed, 65 percent of them voted for the U.N. plan (though the Greek side rejected it). We must do everything we can to encourage others in the Middle East to do as the Turks of Cyprus have: to step forward and demand change. We must strengthen the liberal institutions in these countries and aid embryonic pro-democracy movements, using every tool we have and creating some new ones. In this effort, we will have to rely heavily on the proven capacities of groups one step removed from the U.S. government, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, and the International Republican Institute. But I also believe there is a need for a cabinet- or sub-cabinet level agency designed to support and evaluate the kind of political and economic development efforts that can prevent later crises and conflicts. This will require substantial budget authority as well as research, development, and operational responsibilities.

We must also recognize that to be successful, we're going to need our European allies. Europe is closer to the Middle East geographically and more enmeshed with it economically. It is home to millions of Middle Eastern immigrants, who are a natural bridge across the Mediterranean. It is not so strongly associated with Israel in the minds of Arabs as we are. And yet, its very proximity gives Europe at least as much incentive as we have to fight terrorism and work for a stable, democratic Middle East. This makes the Bush administration's belittling and alienating of Europe all the more perplexing.

With Europe as our partner, we can also think more ambitiously and inventively than we can alone. One possibility is to offer select Middle Eastern countries the chance at membership in our most valuable alliances and organizations--the incentive that roused the Turkish Cypriots. The desire for the benefits of joining alliances like the European Union are there. I remember a conversation I had in 1998 with King Hassan of Morocco. He told me of his desire to join the European Union in order to have the European highway system extended into his country. Realistically, neither the European Union nor NATO will be in a position to expand for many years to come, having recently added many new members. But it should be possible to create adjunct regional organizations or associate memberships, such as the "Partnership for Peace" program that brought former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO's orbit. Middle East countries that sign up would get certain commercial and security benefits in return for shouldering responsibilities and making democratic reforms.

The Bush administration seems to understand the potential of this approach, even as its own unilateralist impulses undermine the possibility. Late last year, senior administration officials began talking about a "Greater Middle East Initiative" in which Western nations would offer Arab and South Asian countries aid and membership in organizations such as the WTO in exchange for those countries' making democratic reforms. It was exactly the right tack but required a subtle, consensus-building approach to implement. Yet instead of consulting with Islamic countries and with European allies who had been making similar plans, the administration developed the plan all on its own, in secret, and when a copy was leaked to the Arab press, it caused a predictable backlash. Europeans groused and Arab leaders with no interest in democratic reform used the fact that America had developed the plan unilaterally as a convenient excuse to reject it out of hand. The State Department had to send diplomats out to do damage control so that the president can talk about the idea in a series of speeches next month.

We need to take the American face off this effort and work indirectly. But there are some American faces that can be enormously useful. Among our greatest assets during the Cold War were immigrants and refugees from the captive nations of the Soviet Union. Tapping their patriotism toward America and love of their homelands, we tasked them with communicating on our behalf with their repressed countrymen in ways both overt and covert, nursing hopes for freedom and helping to organize resistance. America's growing community of patriotic Muslim immigrants can play a similar role. They can help us establish broader, deeper relationships with Muslim countries through student and cultural exchange programs and organizational business development.

We can't know precisely how the desire for freedom among the peoples of the Middle East will grow and evolve into movements that result in stable democratic governments. Different countries may take different paths. Progress may come from a beneficent king, from enlightened mullahs, from a secular military, from a women's movement, from workers returning from years spent as immigrants in Western Europe, from privileged sons of oil barons raised on MTV, or from an increasingly educated urban intelligentsia, such as the nascent one in Iran. But if the events of the last year tell us anything, it is that democracy in the Middle East is unlikely to come at the point of our gun. And Ronald Reagan would have known better than to try.

Gen. Wesley Clark, U.S.A. (Ret.), was Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, from 1997-2000, and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004.
Saudi Oil Minister Says Oil Prices'Fair'

AP Business Writer
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- Saudi Arabia's oil minister, the most powerful voice in OPEC, said Monday that he believed $30-$34 per barrel was a "fair and reasonable price" for oil in the United States, though he added that the group had no plans to change its preferred benchmark price range of $22-$28.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi also denied any differences within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries over Saudi Arabia's pledge over the weekend to supply up to 2 million barrels a day in additional crude oil if the market demands it. Saudi Arabia, which has the world's largest proven crude reserves, wants only to ease concerns about the reliability of oil supplies, he told a news conference in Amsterdam at the end of a three-day conference of oil producing and consuming nations.
U.S. oil prices have surpassed $40 a barrel in recent weeks due to fears about instability in Iraq and other oil-rich Gulf countries, bottlenecks in gasoline production at American refineries, and an unforeseen rise in global demand.
Although crude futures retreated early Monday, they recovered and surged ahead later in the day. Contracts of light U.S. crude closed up $1.79 per barrel at $41.72, in in New York. July contracts of North Sea Brent crude rose $1.59 per barrel to $38.10 by the evening in London.
U.S. crude typically trades at a premium of several dollars above the price of OPEC's benchmark blend of crudes. The OPEC benchmark stood at $36.40 on Friday, the most recent day for which the group complied information.
OPEC members are concerned that prices are too high, Naimi said. He proposed on Friday that the group raise its production ceiling by at least 2 million barrels, or 8.5 percent, when its members meet June 3 in Beirut. In an interview with pan-Arab daily al-Hayat published Sunday, he said OPEC should go even further and raise its ceiling by 2.3 million-2.5 million barrels a day.
In the interim, Naimi has signaled Saudi Arabia's willingness to provide more crude of its own, independent of what OPEC decides to do. Stable oil prices were the collective responsibility of all crude producers and consumers, and Saudi Arabia was just doing its part, Naimi said.
OPEC supplies about a third of the world's oil, but Saudi Arabia is the only country with significant untapped production capacity. OPEC is currently pumping 2.3 million barrels above its daily production ceiling of 23.5 million barrels.
Nine of OPEC's 11 members held informal talks Saturday ahead of the energy conference in Amsterdam, amid expectations that they would agree to lift the group's output ceiling. The Nigerian and Kuwaiti oil ministers did not attend, and the others deferred action until their Beirut meeting, saying that any decision needed to be unanimous.
Although Naimi played down any dispute within OPEC, his independent assurances on oil supplies appeared to have upset his Iranian counterpart, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, and possibly others. Zangeneh said Sunday that it was important for OPEC to reach consensus as a group on oil production levels.
Naimi, together with Zangeneh and Qatar's Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, agreed at their joint news conference that OPEC had no plans to raise its desired $22-$28 price range. However, Zangeneh said he preferred to see prices at the upper end of that range.
Naimi said that a "fair and reasonable price" must reflect several factors, including an adequate return for oil investors and the cost of exploring for new oil fields to replace those being depleted.
? 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Gaza Paradox
Israel is damned if it stays, damned if it goes.

Sunday, May 23, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

JERUSALEM--The father of an Israeli soldier recently killed in Gaza blamed his son's death on Ariel Sharon and his refusal to evacuate the strip. The same day, paradoxically, another grieving father whose son died in the same battle denounced Sharon for his very willingness to withdraw.
These pained accusations followed a turbulent two weeks that began with the murder of a pregnant Jewish woman and her four daughters by Gaza gunmen on the same day Sharon's own party rejected his Gaza detachment plan, and concluded with Palestinians brandishing the body parts of Israelis soldiers killed in Gaza. The trauma of these events has riven Israeli society between the two irreconcilable positions expressed by the bereaved parents. The right believes that the best way to fight terror is to maintain Israel's occupation of Gaza and the beleaguered Jewish settlements there, while the left claims that terror will only end with Israel's complete evacuation and the renewal of talks with the Palestinians. Both sides, however, are tragically and disastrously wrong.
Threatened with destruction since its birth, Israel exists thanks to an unwritten agreement between the state and its citizens. Israelis allow the state to send them off to battle, and perhaps to die, but only when a solid majority of them believe that their vital security is at stake. If most Israelis consider a confrontation unnecessary or avoidable, they will simply refuse to fight. Such is the situation in Gaza today where a commanding majority of the population is no longer willing to risk their--or their children's--lives defending 7,500 settlers from the million Palestinians surrounding them. They do not regard Gaza as part of their spiritual and historical homeland, nor see how Israel can remain within the densely populated strip and retain its Jewish and democratic character. By insisting on perpetuating the status quo in Gaza, then, the right threatens to undermine the implicit pact that binds Israeli society--which enables the state to survive.
The left, on the other hand, holds that the recent deaths of 13 Israeli soldiers in Gaza were a direct result of the government's settlement policy and its refusal to seek Palestinian partners for peace. The 13, however, died not defending settlements but destroying tunnels used to smuggle explosives into Gaza, and the factories that produce Qassam rockets. Those explosives killed 10 Israelis in a suicide-bomber attack on the coastal city of Ashdod, and the rockets have struck Jewish towns and villages outside of the strip. Israel's withdrawal from Gaza will do nothing to lessen these threats--on the contrary, it will almost certainly enhance them, enabling the Palestinians to acquire even deadlier missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv.
Further escalation would result from resuming talks with Arafat and his Palestinian Authority. Arafat, who publicly congratulated the Hamas "martyrs" of Gaza and called for a million more like them to liberate Jerusalem, has also stressed the need to drive Israel forcibly from Gaza and deprive it of a peaceful pullout. Any attempt to grant the PA responsibility for security in Gaza will likely repeat the experience of Bethlehem, on the West Bank, where a similar experiment led to the last two suicide bombings in Jerusalem and 18 Israeli dead. Both of the bombers came from Bethlehem.
Clearly Israel cannot remain in Gaza, but neither can it negotiate a phased withdrawal. The evacuation that the bulk of Israelis demand, therefore, can only be accomplished unilaterally while acting to maintain Israel's deterrence power. Israel will also have to reserve its freedom to frustrate weapons smuggling into Gaza by land and by sea, and to strike at terrorist targets inside the strip. Though proposals have been raised for deploying international peacekeepers in Gaza, such a force will surely lack the mandate and the means for effectively rooting out terror, and will probably serve to shield the Palestinians as they continue firing at Israel. Someday a Palestinian leadership may emerge that is capable of ensuring a quiet border, but until it does, there can be no substitute for preserving Israel's ability to defend itself, by itself, from Gaza.
One can only sympathize with the anguish of fathers who have lost their sons in Gaza--I, too, have a son serving in the territories--but that compassion must not obscure Israel's course. At all costs, Israel must avoid repeating its hasty retreat from Lebanon in May 2000, which emboldened the Palestinians to launch their terror war four months later. Rather, Israel must withdraw from Gaza but in a way that cannot be interpreted as a victory by the Palestinians and that allows the IDF to continue operating freely. The challenge Israel now faces in Gaza is thus similar to America's in Iraq: how to pull out gradually, prudently, all the while maintaining the message that terror will never go unpunished.

Mr. Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, is author of "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East" (Oxford, 2002).

Potemkin Convention
Kerry's nomination gambit makes a mockery of campaign finance "reform."
Monday, May 24, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT
Thank you, John Kerry. The news that the Massachusetts Senator may delay accepting the Presidential nomination until several weeks beyond the Democratic Party's late-July Boston convention exposes two truths that the political class hates to admit.
The first is that the party conventions are now little more than free advertising vehicles. They long ago lost all political drama, but this year one of them may not even nominate a candidate. The next step would be for the media finally to agree not to cover them, though we probably won't because these week-long affairs have also become the equivalent of cardiologist conventions for the political press. We get to see old friends and eat well on expense accounts.
Even better, this Kerry trial balloon exposes campaign-finance limits as a monumental farce. The Kerry camp is considering this maneuver so it can keep raising and spending money as long as possible without having to abide by spending limits that kick in once a party formally nominates its candidate.
Of course, the late July date was the Democratic Party's own choice--and it was selected precisely so it would let the nominee accept matching federal campaign funds a month earlier than President Bush, who will be nominated in late August. The assumption had been that the Democratic candidate would have run out of cash by this summer, but Mr. Kerry has been raising more money than he expected. In other words, Mr. Kerry embraced the rules when they helped him but now wants to ignore them when they don't.
This is always the way with campaign-finance limits. Politicians endorse them to sound holier-than-thou but then immediately turn around and exploit or invent loopholes and exceptions. No sooner had the McCain-Feingold reform that was supposed to ban big-dollar contributions become law last year than such billionaire reform supporters as George Soros were pouring cash into the loophole spending vehicle known as "527s."
This spectacle has become gross enough that some of the reform cheerleaders in the press corps may finally be catching on. In a column last week, even David Broder of the Washington Post sounded disillusioned. "Once again, unanticipated consequences of new rules are largely subverting their intended purposes," he wrote. "It is virtually impossible to control the flow of money from the private sector into the political world." Now he tells us.

China's Future: Constructive Partner of Emerging Threat?
By Ted Galen Carpenter and James A. Dorn.
Washington D.C.: Cato Institute, 2000. 378 pp.
In the introduction of "China's Future," editors Ted Galen Carpenter and James A.
Dorn count the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and the release of the
COX Report as the latest, most essential sources of tension between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC). Only within the hyperactive, unpredictable context of U.S.-PRC relations could such major events have faded into the background since the book was published at the end of 2000.

In that short time span, the Hainan island incident, the defection of a senior Chinese military officer, U.S. weapons sales and assertions of security assistance to Taipei,
the detainment of American citizens in mainland China, and President Chen Shui-bian's stopover in New York have already pushed the Belgrade incident and the COX Report back into the archives of tense moments.

But this pattern of destabilizing events reaffirms the relevance of the central question in "China's Future": Can the People's Republic of China become a constructive partner
with the United States? In this compilation, 15 distinguished contributors examine from four major perspectives the prospects for the emergence of a peaceful mainland China.

Part I looks at the political, philosophical, and economic foundations of the PRC,
as well as the transformations that occurred during the post-Mao era. In the first chapter, Mao Yushi discusses the successes and failures of Chinese economic policy over the past five decades. Mainland China's attempt to nationalize its economy realized only a few years of prosperity before misallocation of national resources and The Great Leap Forward in 1959 led to famine and economic turmoil. Not until after a second period of social and economic calamity during the Cultural Revolution (1966 -76) did Beijing finally open to outside trade and initiate the free market reforms that have helped modernize its economy.

Liu Junning's chapter focuses on the post-1978 emergence of liberal thinking.
The Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and the "Beijing Spring" in 1998 both signaled
a reawakening of the liberal political ideas that were rampant in China during the first
half of the century. Liu writes mainland China is today "witnessing a period of gradual withering of communist ideology and the totalitarian regime coupled with social and cultural disintegration." Finally, William McGurn describes the influence of what he calls "the Gang of Three"-Mao, Jesus, and F.A. Hayek-on the modern Chinese landscape.

Part II discusses the United States' China policy and the need for Washington to formulate a consistent view that recognizes both U.S. national security interests and the long-term benefits of engaging the mainland. Editor Galen's account of the decline of America's strategic partnership with mainland China reflects the Bush administration's recent cooling off of relations with Beijing. Fortunately, according to Selig S. Harrison's chapter, a cooling off will unlikely lead to a greater confrontation. He writes that Beijing's priority is with growing its domestic economy, and it could hypothetically pose a threat in the future "only if one makes assumptions that are highly questionable."

Some Americans have argued that mainland China's entrance into the World Trade Organization (WTO) will disrupt the U.S. economy and potentially cost American jobs. However, as we see in Part III, there are few who argue that WTO membership won't significantly improve mainland China's economy and human rights, and strengthen the hands of those who seek democratic reform. In addition, as Mark A. Groombridge points out in his chapter, lowered tariffs on U.S. imports and greater access to the burgeoning Chinese market will greatly benefit the American economy in the long run.

Finally, in Part IV, several contributors speculate on the future of mainland China.
Two scenarios emerge as the most likely: First, the gravity of Hong Kong and Taiwan will pull mainland China in the direction of freedom and democracy. Second,
Communist authorities, for fear of losing their grip on power, will seek to quash the
free-market economy in Hong Kong and bring Taiwan back into its fold. Former Ambassador to the PRC James R. Lilley writes that "Today, two forces pull and push
at the world. Pushing the world closer together is the growing economic interdependence and globalization of marketsˇK On the other hand, nationalism cuts into economic integration and tries to pull the world apart."

Human Rights in Chinese Foreign Relations:
Defining and Defending National Interests

By Ming Wan. Philadelphia, Penn.: University of Pennsylvania Press,
2001. 192 pp.
If you dig straight down in American soil you won't eventually end up in China. That's
a geographic fiction. But the two countries are polar opposites in a number of other ways, like how they think about human rights. The Communist regime on mainland
China has long espoused the fallacy of universal human rights values; the United States has long championed the freedom of all people to say what they think, worship any god, and choose those who lead them. At times, the prospect of tunneling between the
two countries seems more plausible than finding middle ground in their human rights ideologies.

However, Ming Wan, public and international affairs scholar at George Mason University, writes evenly and objectively to let readers understand both sides of the debate. "Human Rights in Chinese Foreign Relations: Defining and Defending National Interests" begins with a detailed analysis of the Chinese definition of human rights and follows with four chapters on how Beijing defends its interests in its relations with the United States, Western Europe, Japan, and the United Nations human rights bodies.

In the Chapter Two, following the introduction, Wan explains why the Chinese leadership and the Chinese public respectively resist and fail to demand human rights reform. For Communist officials the reason is obvious: In democratic societies, authoritarian leaders seldom retain good jobs. For the common people, the reason is
not so obvious. Wan sort of puts it this way: The Chinese suffered greatly during past periods of Communist instability and they remember what it was like to live without economic freedom (which emerged only several decades ago). In short, it's not that mainlanders undervalue human rights, it's that they'd rather preserve the status quo and try to enrich themselves than risk instability by demanding broader reform.

In Chapter Three, Wan describes the history of Sino-American human rights interaction. During the normalization of U.S.-PRC relations in the 1970s, there was a general understanding between both sides that political and ideological differences would be overlooked in order to form a united front against Soviet expansion. Not until the 80s,
as tension settled between Washington and Moscow (and China's opening revealed its poor human rights record to Western media), did human rights emerge as a diplomatic issue. But only after the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 and the ensuing international outcry was U.S. foreign policy explicitly linked to mainland China's human rights, primarily by an annual review of the PRC's most-favored-nation trading status. Interaction between human rights and strategic and economic issues has since floated between confrontation and cooperation, and will remain an important U.S. diplomatic consideration in the future, according to Wan.

Mainland China's poor human rights practices didn't register on Western Europe's
radar during the 1970s, either, due to inadequate information and European respect
for the continuity of China's ancient civilization, according to Wan's assessment of
Sino-European relations in Chapter Four. Although European countries acknowledged mainland China's human rights deficiencies in the 80s and 90s, economic and strategic interests, commercial incentives from Beijing, as well as Europe's own indefensible colonial past in Asia and Africa prevented the EU from taking a more activist stance. Japan's involvement, as we see in Chapter Five, has been and remains minimal. It has acted as a moderator at times, or as an interested third part, and has been supportive
of multilateral human rights watchdogs like the UN Human Rights Commission, but tends to avoid confrontation with the mainland. Not entirely surprising, considering Japan's past atrocities committed against Chinese and Tokyo's current symbiosis with Beijing.

Finally, to avoid censure from the United Nations, Beijing learned early on how to throw its political and economic girth around and let non-Western developing nations pick at the fat. With its claque of supporters, the mainland has managed to defeat anti-PRC resolutions almost without failure. Human Rights is succince, readable, and full explanation. And with only 146 pages of text, it can be finished in a day - but have a fresh highlighter, you'll want to take notes.


Prison Visits By General Reported In Hearing
Alleged Presence of Sanchez Cited by Lawyer
By Scott Higham, Joe Stephens and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, May 23, 2004; Page A01
A military lawyer for a soldier charged in the Abu Ghraib abuse case stated that a captain at the prison said the highest-ranking U.S. military officer in Iraq was present during some "interrogations and/or allegations of the prisoner abuse," according to a recording of a military hearing obtained by The Washington Post.
The lawyer, Capt. Robert Shuck, said he was told that Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez and other senior military officers were aware of what was taking place on Tier 1A of Abu Ghraib. Shuck is assigned to defend Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II of the 372nd Military Police Company. During an April 2 hearing that was open to the public, Shuck said the company commander, Capt. Donald J. Reese, was prepared to testify in exchange for immunity. The military prosecutor questioned Shuck about what Reese would say under oath.
"Are you saying that Captain Reese is going to testify that General Sanchez was there and saw this going on?" asked Capt. John McCabe, the military prosecutor.
"That's what he told me," Shuck said. "I am an officer of the court, sir, and I would not lie. I have got two children at home. I'm not going to risk my career."
Shuck also said a sergeant at the prison, First Sgt. Brian G. Lipinski, was prepared to testify that intelligence officers told him the abuse of detainees on the cellblock was "the right thing to do." Earlier this month, Lipinski declined to comment on the case.
So far, clear evidence has not emerged that high-level officers condoned or promoted the abusive practices. Officers at the prison have blamed the abuse on a few rogue, low-level military police officers from the 372nd, a company of U.S. Army Reservists based in Cresaptown, Md. The general in charge of the prisons in Iraq at the time has said that military intelligence officers took control of Abu Ghraib and gave the MPs "ideas."
A Defense Department spokesman yesterday referred questions about Sanchez to U.S. military officials in the Middle East, warning that statements by defense lawyers or their clients should be treated with "appropriate caution." Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the senior military spokesman in Iraq, said Sanchez was unavailable for comment last night but would "enjoy the opportunity" to respond later.
At the April hearing, Shuck also said Reese would testify that Capt. Carolyn A. Wood, who supervised the military intelligence operation at Abu Ghraib, was "involved in intensive interrogations of detainees, condoned some of the activities and stressed that that was standard procedure." The hearing was held at Camp Victory in Baghdad. The Post obtained a copy of the audiotape this past week, and it was transcribed yesterday.
In the transcript, Shuck said Reese was disturbed by the military intelligence techniques.
"He noted that there were some strange doings by the [military intelligence]," Shuck said. "He said, 'What's all this nudity about, this posturing, positioning, withholding food and water? Where's the Geneva Conventions being followed."
'Not a Secret'
Shuck noted that the abusive tactics used in Tier 1A of Abu Ghraib were not a secret.
"All of that was being questioned by the chain of command and denied, general officer level on down," Shuck said. "Present during some of these happenings, it has come to my knowledge that Lt. Gen. Sanchez was even present at the prison during some of these interrogations and/or allegations of the prisoner abuse by those duty [non-commissioned officers]."
Reese, 39, a reservist from Pennsylvania who works as a window-blind salesman in civilian life, did not testify that day because he had invoked the military version of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Reese, who did not respond to an e-mail sent to him in Iraq yesterday, has not been granted immunity in exchange for his testimony. He did provide a sworn statement to military investigators early in the case, but he did not say that Sanchez was aware of the abuses.
Gary Myers, the civilian attorney for Frederick, said he is asking the military to add investigators to his legal team so he can track down Reese and other witnesses, several of whom have been reassigned to military posts throughout Iraq. Myers said he will also request that immunity be granted to a number of military personnel who he said have firsthand knowledge of what took place in Tier 1A.
"We intend to seek immunity for a myriad of officers who are unwilling to participate in the search for the truth without protecting themselves," Myers said yesterday. "We are definitely interested in talking to Captain Reese."
Attorney Paul Bergrin, who represents another of the charged MPs, Sgt. Javal S. Davis, said the soldiers were simply following the lead of military intelligence officers.
"There are no ifs, ands or buts," Bergrin said. "They did order it. They were told consistently, 'Soften them up; loosen them up. Look what's happening in the field. Soldiers are dying in droves. We need more intelligence . . . '
"Nobody put it in writing; no one's going to be stupid enough for that. My client went to Sergeant Frederick and questioned him: 'Should we be following these orders?' And Sergeant Frederick said, 'Absolutely. We're saving American lives. That's what we wear the uniform for.' "
The hearing at Camp Victory took place several weeks before the story broke into public view with the airing of abuse photographs on April 28 on CBS's "60 Minutes II." Chain-of-command responsibility has now become a key unanswered question in the scandal.
"All we have now is the government reacting after the fact with a bunch of pictures and want to whitewash this and accuse six enlisted soldiers of misconduct and yet hide the fact of what was condoned at the time," Shuck said during the hearing.
Responsibility and Accountability
Sanchez told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that he was "horrified at the abusive behavior" at Abu Ghraib.
"We must fully investigate and fix responsibility, as well as accountability," for the abuses, Sanchez testified. "I am fully committed to thorough and impartial investigations that examine the role, commissions and omissions of the entire chain of command -- and that includes me. As a senior commander in Iraq, I accept responsibility for what happened at Abu Ghraib, and I accept as a solemn obligation the responsibility to ensure that it does not happen again."
Sanchez visited the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade's operation, which encompassed Tier 1A at Abu Ghraib, at least three times in October, according to Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, who was in charge of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq as commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade. That month, the serious abuses documented in published photographs -- naked detainees shackled together, a guard posing with a prisoner on a dog leash -- began.
In an interview yesterday, Karpinski said the number of visits by a commanding general struck her as "unusual," especially because Sanchez had not visited several of the 15 other U.S. detention facilities in Iraq.
Karpinski has said that she is being used as a scapegoat for the command failures at Abu Ghraib.
The general, a reservist from South Carolina, said she was not present during Sanchez's visits because her brigade had surrendered authority over that part of the prison to intelligence officers. She said she was alerted as a courtesy while the three-star general was planning to travel to the prison. Karpinski added that Sanchez might have visited without her knowledge after the intelligence officers were given formal authority over the entire prison on Nov. 19.
"He has divisions all over Iraq, and he has time to visit Abu Ghraib three times in a month?" Karpinski asked yesterday. "Why was he going out there so often? Did he know that something was going on?"
Sgt. Samuel Provance, a military intelligence soldier who worked at Abu Ghraib, told The Post that enormous resources began to pour into the interrogation operation in October and November. Provance said new personnel -- including some from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- came in suddenly to beef up interrogations.
Karpinski said the resources arrived after Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, then commander of the U.S. military prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo, visited Abu Ghraib between Aug. 31 and Sept. 9. She said Miller told her he wanted to "Gitmo-ize" Abu Ghraib's operation because the intelligence gathering there was not producing the desired results. Miller has said he never used that phrase.
"I think General Miller's visit gave them ideas, inspired them, gave them plans, told them what they were succeeding with in Gitmo," Karpinski said. She added that intelligence officers were "under great pressure to get more actionable intelligence from those interrogations."
Karpinski said she believes that intelligence officers were central to the abuses because the MPs arrived in mid-October at the prison, just weeks before serious abuses began. The general also said she believes officers in the military intelligence chain of command knew what was going on, and that Sanchez later tried to shift the blame to her unit, in January, after an MP reported the abuse and provided photos to military investigators.
"I didn't know then what [Sanchez] probably knew, which was that this was something clearly in the MI, maybe that he endorsed, and he was already starting a campaign to stay out of the fray and blame the 800th," Karpinski said. "I think the MI people were in this all the way. I think they were up to their ears in it. . . . I don't believe that the MPs, two weeks onto the job, would have been such willing participants, even with instructions, unless someone had told them it was all okay."
'Rules of Engagement'
On Wednesday, Pentagon officials testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that a female Army officer identified only as "Captain Woods" drafted a set of interrogation "rules of engagement" used in Iraq. Those rules had been posted at Abu Ghraib by October, and became public during hearings into the abuses at the prison.
The list shows two sets of procedures -- those approved for all detainees and those requiring special authorization by Sanchez. Among the items requiring approval from Sanchez were techniques such as "sensory deprivation," "stress positions," "dietary manipulation," forced changes in sleep patterns, isolated confinement and the use of dogs.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said at a May 12 hearing that some of those techniques went "far beyond the Geneva Conventions." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld countered that they all had been approved by Pentagon lawyers.
Wood was the head of the military intelligence unit that controlled the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib. On Friday, the New York Times reported that Wood's unit developed aggressive rules and procedures while it was stationed in Afghanistan and imported them to Iraq.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Sanchez noted that the military has initiated seven courts-martial against those involved, and more charges may be brought.
"The Army Criminal Investigation Division investigation is not final, and the investigation of military intelligence procedures by Major General [George D.] Fay is also ongoing," Sanchez testified.
Sanchez said he issued policies in September that required soldiers to conduct all interrogations in a "lawful and humane manner with command oversight." In October, he said he distributed a memo titled "Proper Treatment of Iraqi People During Combat Operations." He said he reissued the memo on Jan. 16 after learning about the abuse allegations, and later issued policies emphasizing the need to treat all Iraqis with dignity.
Correspondent Scott Wilson in Baghdad and staff researcher Margot Williams contributed to this report.

? 2004 The Washington Post Company
Chalabi calls U.S. mission 'a failure'

By Guy Taylor
Former Bush administration ally Ahmed Chalabi yesterday said although U.S. forces successfully liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein's regime, the subsequent military occupation of the country "has been a failure."
Mr. Chalabi, whose home and offices in Baghdad were raided last week by U.S. troops and Iraqi police, said the administration has turned on him because he refuses "to have Iraq become a state of terror run by covert action agencies under diplomatic cover."
"That is the reason that all this is happening," he told ABC's "This Week." He also appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press," CNN's "Late Edition" and "Fox News Sunday."
Mr. Chalabi, whose Iraqi National Congress (INC) -- a coalition of anti-Saddam political parties -- was funded by the United States until recently, denied having given phony intelligence to U.S. officials on Saddam's weapons programs before the war and flatly dismissed accusations that he has worked as a spy for Iran.
"It's not true, it's a false charge, it's a smear," he told ABC, saying the accusation had been promoted by CIA Director George J. Tenet. Mr. Chalabi then appeared to challenge Mr. Tenet to a faceoff over the matter before U.S. Congress.
"Let Mr. Tenet come to Congress, and I'm prepared to come there and lay out all the facts and all the documents that we have," Mr. Chalabi said. "Let Congress decide whether this is true or whether they're being misled by George Tenet."
Further, Mr. Chalabi said he's "mystified" by accusations that agents within the INC deliberately gave U.S. officials bad information on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, which composed the backbone of President Bush's case for invading Iraq.
Mr. Chalabi's increasingly combative stance toward the United States has been perceived by some as an effort to distance himself from the U.S. authorities in order to gain favor with Iraqis.
When "Meet The Press" host Tim Russert asked whether he will seek office in Iraq, Mr. Chalabi said, "No, I am not a candidate for any government office."
U.S. lawmakers expressed distrust toward Mr. Chalabi yesterday.
"He's very smart. He understands power politics as well as anybody in this country," Sen. Chuck Hagel, Nebraska Republican, told CNN.
"But I think what we have here is a guy who has a record. ... Trouble has followed him everywhere he's been," Mr. Hagel said. "There were a number of us who warned this administration about him -- people in the State Department, others who dealt with him, King Abdullah of Jordan."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called Mr. Chalabi a "charlatan" and a "manipulator."
"I don't believe he's a man you can trust," she told CNN. "We made a horrendous mistake in providing him with tens of millions of dollars and enabling him to build a corps of infiltrators, allegedly to give us intelligence, which in many cases was deeply flawed."
Mr. Hagel, who also is a member of the intelligence committee and of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the accusations that Mr. Chalabi shared U.S. secrets with Iran "as serious as it gets."
"What is again so ironic," Mr. Hagel said, is that he was "on our payroll for years."
Both Mr. Hagel and Mrs. Feinstein said Congress would investigate the charges that Mr. Chalabi passed classified information to Iran.
Mr. Chalabi said he has met with Iranian officials the same way other Iraqi politicians in Baghdad have.
"But we have passed no secret information, no classified documents to them from the United States," he told NBC. "Furthermore, we have not had any classified information given to us by the United States."
Meanwhile, the FBI has opened an investigation into whether U.S. officials illegally transmitted state secrets to the INC, according to a report in today's editions of Time magazine.
The magazine quotes a senior U.S. official as saying Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief Aras Karim Habib are suspected of giving Iran "highly classified data" that "was known to only a few within the U.S. government."
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi yesterday in Tehran denied that Iran had received any secret information from Mr. Chalabi.
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police seized computers and files during raids on Mr. Chalabi's home and offices on Thursday, two days after U.S. officials announced that the Pentagon had cut off $340,000 of monthly funding to the INC.
Before the war, the Bush administration appeared to be grooming Mr. Chalabi as a potential leader of post-Saddam Iraq. U.S. officials now seem eager to push him out of the picture before the June 30 deadline to return the country to Iraqi sovereignty.
Mr. Bush is expected to deliver a speech tonight laying out strategies for the transfer of power from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to a newly appointed interim Iraqi government. The new government will take over from the Iraqi Governing Council until nationwide elections are held early next year.
Mr. Chalabi, who founded the INC while living as an exile in London during the early 1990s, has been a member of the Governing Council since it was created by U.S. authorities in Baghdad upon the overthrow of Saddam's regime.
In a letter last week to L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, Mr. Chalabi's lawyers condemned the raid on his house and demanded financial restitution and an inquiry.
"This tawdry action, committed by Iraqi policemen under the command of United States soldiers and several men who were identified as part of the FBI and the CIA, was illegal and unwarranted," the lawyers, Markham & Read of Boston, wrote in the letter, excerpts of which were published by Reuters yesterday.
"We hereby demand that you cause to have promptly returned to him all property taken from his home and his office. ... We will, once the physical damage is assessed, present a bill for the damages," the letter says.

Iraqis say they want louder say in nation's government

By Sharon Behn

BAGHDAD -- Frustrated Iraqi leaders say they're being cut out of negotiations over who will head the country after the June 30 transfer of power and warn that the process will lack legitimacy unless it is led by Iraqis.
U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to make a decision regarding the makeup of a new government within a week -- one month before it is scheduled to take over from the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC).
"The IGC is like a snowman that's melting," said Defense Minister Ali Allawi, who is not sure whether he will have a position in the post-turnover government and Cabinet.
Council member Mahmoud Othman said no names have been formally presented to IGC members as candidates for the interim government, which will rule until elections are held in January 2005.
"We have heard names, but no one has set down the names. Until now, Mr. Brahimi and the Americans have not agreed on the names," Mr. Othman said. He said the main negotiations were taking place between the United States and the United Nations, with consultations with Iraqi leaders taking place on the side.
The Associated Press said yesterday that Mr. Brahimi is nearly settled on who will fill the Cabinet but remains undecided on the two most sought-after jobs -- president and prime minister, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
Some current Cabinet ministers and council members -- including former Sunni diplomat Adnan Pachachi -- are expected to stay on in some capacity, but others will be out of work July 1.
"There should have been trilateral negotiations, but there weren't. The way it's being done, I'm sure the Iraqis will not like it," Mr. Othman said. "It all depends on the names chosen.
"In the end, Iraqis won't follow orders, but if an Iraqi leader asks them, they will do it. Until now, the Americans don't understand that."
Mr. Allawi said despite the fanfare, he does not expect much to change June 30.
"Three elements of sovereignty will not change," he said, citing control over the security apparatus, control of Iraq's national budget and the level and scope of Iraq's government.
"Right now, there is a parallel administration in the palace," he said, referring to the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Saddam Hussein's former palace. "And this may be transposed to the U.S. Embassy. Advisers are welcome as advisers, but ongoing supervision reduces sovereignty."
Each Iraqi minister is backed by a U.S.-appointed adviser, leading many Iraqis to suspect that the Cabinet has little say in the actual decision-making processes.
If Iraqis are not given a clear say in the formation of the new leadership, Mr. Allawi warned, "not just the street, but the elite will ask what are the intentions of the coalition, and where is it all heading."
Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, son of the former king of Iraq whose name has been mentioned as a part of the new government, said Mr. Brahimi has retreated from his earlier insistence that the government be made up purely of technocrats.
"That would work in a stable, quiet country," he said, but at this stage, "Technocrats don't have the political depth needed" to lead the nation.
Mr. al-Hussein said the worst that could happen politically would be to have a "government presenting itself as sovereign and independent when there is a great risk it is going to be neither."
"The worst thing is to present it as sovereign and have nothing change. I fear that mistake is going to be made."
The IGC was never widely accepted in Iraq because its members were appointed by the Americans and because many of them lived abroad during much of Saddam's dictatorship.
Many IGC members are also angered over last week's raid on the offices of council member Ahmed Chalabi, a former close ally of Pentagon officials who has fallen out of favor. Mr. Chalabi has been highly critical of U.S. policies in recent weeks.
"For somebody like that to talk against the U.S., it's too much for the United States. They can't tolerate it, they think he crossed the red line," Mr. Othman said.
"But the way they did it, a raid that breaks things, was not appropriate. It was humiliating, [and] the timing was wrong, 10 days away from a new government" being announced.
As for Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shi'ite cleric who has taken a violent stand against the coalition, Mr. Allawi said his ultimate objective was to play a part in Iraq's future.
"He wants to translate his street creds, as it were, into political and religious status. He wants to be one of the kingmakers, or the king."

The disgrace of the United Nations

By Nat Hentoff
Only 10 years after the genocide in Rwanda -- a horror that Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan, the head peacekeeper at the United Nations, could have stopped -- Human Rights Watch, at the beginning of May, delivered to the U.N. General Assembly a detailed report from the killing grounds in Darfur, a province of Sudan that is becoming thenew Rwanda.
The grim list of atrocities documented "how Sudanese government forces have overseen anddirectly participated in massacres, summary executions of civilians, burnings of towns and villages, and the forcible depopulation of wide swathes of land" inhabited for generations by black African tribes.
The black victims are Muslims, as are the Sudanese government's accomplices in this genocide -- the Arab Janjaweed militias. Moreover, Bertrand Ramcharan, the United Nations' own high commissioner for human rights, told the Security Council that "some senior Sudanese officials privately admitted for the first time that Sudan had 'recruited, uniformed, armed, supported and sponsored' the (Arab) militias that have carried out the worst excesses in Darfur."
So what did the august U.N. Security Council do to stop this genocide -- as it utterly failed to do in 1994 when 800,000 Rwandan citizens were massacred?
On May 7, the 15 nations on that feckless body said, after reading the report, that they would "discuss" the matter again in June.
A week later, from the busy killing fields, Zenaib Jabir, mother of a 3-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, told Jonathan Clayton of the Times of London of how the Janjaweed, attacking her village in Darfur late one night, killed her husband and the other men, all unarmed, who were trying to defend the village.
She was gang raped. "I fought, but was not strong enough," she said. When she broke free, her children were gone. "I have no idea what happened -- if they are dead or alive. I have not seen them since. I think about them all the time." If they are alive, like other children kidnapped by the Janjaweed in these raids, her son and daughter have been sold into slavery.
On April 7, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had said of the massacres and rapes in Darfur that "the international community cannot stand idle." On the same day, President Bush declared, "I condemn these atrocities."
As a result of this pressure, including the horrific reports from Human Rights Watch, a 45-day cease-fire was supposed to start on April 11 between the government of Sudan and two groups -- the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. Those forces are trying to protect the black African farmers being killed on the ground and bombed from the air by the Sudanese government.
The cease-fire didn't even last a day.
Further evidence of U.N. uselessness surfaced on April 23, when its Human Rights Commission refused to denounce the government of Sudan. It merely mumbled "concern" about blood-soaked Darfur.
Then, to compound the shame of the United Nations, on May 4, guess who was re-elected to a three-year term on the U.N. Human Rights Commission? The newly re-approved member, seated while the killings continued, is the Sudanese government in Khartoum. Walking out in disgust on that day, Sichan Siv, the American ambassador to the council, said that "the United States is perplexed and dismayed by the decision to put forward Sudan -- a country that massacres its own African citizens."
And what did Mr. Annan say about the election of Sudan, and then about the Security Council's May 7 silence on the genocide? Not a word. This happened even though after Rwanda he piously had said, "Never again!"
What about the African governments on the Security Council? Surely they were more concerned about the killings and rapes of black Africans in Darfur?
In The Washington Post on May 8, Colum Lynch reported, "Council diplomats said the council's African governments -- Angola, Algeria and Benin -- opposed action (against the government of Sudan), arguing (with extraordinary irresponsibility) that it would constitute interference in a member state's internal affairs."
While the United Nations again disgraces itself, the Times of London reports that it's "hard to think that the misery could get any greater but the rains are on the way, and the few aid workers in the area say that will bring more disease, more suffering."
And starvation.
I do think Mr. Bush cares, as he did in trying to push Sudan into a peace treaty with the black Christians and animists in the South, who were, for so long, killed and enslaved by government forces. But, given the complete failure of the United Nations in this case, what is Mr. Bush going to do now to prevent another chorus, a decade from now, from keening "never again"?

That's More Like It, Mr. President
On Iraq and the economy, he has a strong grasp of detail.
It's been a rough stretch for President Bush. The story in Iraq turned sour in key cities like Fallujah and Najaf. Then the Abu Ghraib prison scandal hit. The economy has turned up, but nobody seems to notice.
In a few public events -- such as the Tim Russert interview on Meet the Press -- the president has sometimes appeared halting and defensive. But not so at the White House this past Thursday.
At a press briefing I attended in the Roosevelt Room, George W. Bush showed a side of himself we haven't seen in a while. He was tough, decisive, and strong. He communicated commanding visions on both Iraq and the economy, and he had a strong grasp of detail.
Bush's confident side doesn't always come through. But on this day, smack between a Capitol Hill appearance to bolster Republican morale and an Oval Office meeting with his generals, the commander-in-chief was in charge.
Bush stated at the outset that he was very optimistic about the war on terror -- that he believed the U.S. has "a good strategy to achieve the objective of a free Iraq." He noted that there have been tough moments, and tough images on television. But he made it clear that he's unyielding in the pursuit of his wartime goals.
On the economy, he said there would be no tax increases. Nor would there be economic isolationism on trade. He repeated his support for personal-retirement accounts to reform Social Security, and emphasized a commitment to stopping frivolous lawsuits.
"I inherited a bad economy," he said, noting that former GE CEO Jack Welsh advised him in late 2000 that recession was imminent. "So we acted immediately after taking office to make the U.S. the best place to do business in the world."
I asked the president why the polls don't give him more credit on the economy. You'd think they would, given that the Bush tax cuts ignited an economic boom, along with record corporate dividend payments and recent breakout job-creation. Bush said there's more work to do in getting the message out, but he quickly added that "difficult TV imagery" has created negative thoughts, putting risk capital on hold. Clearly, Bush sees the link between Iraq and the economy.
I also asked the president if he would veto the pork-barrel highway bill before Congress. He left this door open, but it wasn't clear he understood the symbolic importance of this vote. Sixty-five percent of likely voters, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, say lower federal spending is today's top fiscal priority. To control government spending, more Americans put their trust in Kerry (41 percent) than Bush (40 percent).
The president was more decisive on oil. "If Congress would pass my energy bill, we'd have 1? million more barrels a day," he asserted.
Bush believes the root cause of $40 oil is rising demand from a strong global economy, and he refuses to sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He believes that's a political gimmick. He noted that in 2000, President Clinton sold oil from SPRO at $35 a barrel. The price briefly fell to $28, but climbed back to $35 only a few weeks later.
According to SPRO, the reserve will remove about 8 million barrels from the market for its inventory in the next three months. That's about 100,000 barrels a day. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, is pushing for an OPEC production increase of 2? million more barrels a day. Clearly the president is relying on his Saudi influence.
But the former oil man suggested an interesting scenario. Should the future price of oil drop below the spot price (they are nearly equal now), it would make sense to hold back purchases and lower the oil cost by using futures. He called this an oil hedge. Traders call this backwardization. It's a rare president who understands this level of detail.
Will events turn around in Iraq? More U.S. troops are headed into the war zone, and the president is outlining a detailed strategy on the June 30 transition to Iraqi sovereignty. How about the economy at home? The low-tax Bush boom certainly has legs. Economists who expect a second-half slowdown will be very surprised when the recovery speeds up.
The president does have more to do, however. He should make a strong effort to hold down government spending and keep renewing his pledge to hold low tax rates where they are. He should work hard to connect with the politically powerful investor class, emphasizing his goal of expanded personal savings accounts.
There will be numerous polls between now and November, but the democratized stock market will ultimately tell the story. Just as a declining market foreshadowed Al Gore's defeat four years ago, a rising market in the next five months will accurately predict a big Bush victory.
-- Larry Kudlow, NRO's Economics Editor, is CEO of Kudlow & Co. and host with Jim Cramer of CNBC's Kudlow & Cramer.

Posted by maximpost at 12:11 AM EDT
Saturday, 22 May 2004


Bigfooted in Baghdad
Why won't Paul Bremer let Iraqis investigate the Oil for Food scam?
Saturday, May 22, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT
Most Iraqis remain grateful to America and its coalition partners for liberating them from Saddam. But anyone wondering why they so eagerly await the June 30 handover of sovereignty should consider the flap over how to investigate the U.N.'s corrupt Oil for Food Program.
Saddam's bureaucrats, it turns out, kept meticulous records of this epic bribery scheme. And the Iraqi Governing Council, understandably eager to expose those guilty of defrauding their country, launched an investigation some months ago. Yet in the middle of this probe, coalition regent L. Paul Bremer muscled in to wrest control of it from the Iraqis. Alas, this has been all too typical of Mr. Bremer's reluctance to let Iraqis take more responsibility for their own governance.
The IGC probe is without question a serious effort. Claude Hankes-Drielsma, a former PriceWaterhouse executive of impeccable credentials, has been working as an adviser to the Council, which hired KPMG auditors and the law firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to pore over program-related documents. The KPMG team has made a number of trips to Iraq, and Mr. Hankes-Drielsma has testified before Congress on the matter. There's a lot more to find out, as Claudia Rosett's latest dispatch suggests.
But somewhere along the line Mr. Bremer decided to redo the audit tender, and last week the Coalition Provisional Authority announced it had hired Ernst & Young to do the investigation. No offense to the skills of Ernst & Young, but we can find no rationale for this move to scrap months of work other than delaying the Oil for Food investigation at a politically sensitive time when Mr. Bremer and other members of the Bush Administration are trying to enlist U.N. help in Iraq.
That's certainly how Mr. Hankes-Drielsma sees it: "This new investigation (which is being paid for by the Iraqi people) is a smokescreen--it is clearly politically motivated and has the purpose of creating confusion and further delay." We should add that when we called the CPA about this a while back, a spokesman gave us false information about the nature of the audit tender the CPA had requested, saying the IGC would remain in control.
Such controlling behavior has been sadly typical of Mr. Bremer's tenure, even when there aren't upcoming Security Council votes at stake. Sources tell us he asked the IGC to delay word of its deal on the interim constitution, and sure enough he himself later made the main announcement. The absence of an Iraqi face at the daily Baghdad press briefings held by Brigadier-General Mark Kimmitt and CPA spokesman Dan Senor has also been notable, and has contributed to the image that this is just an "occupation."
The issue of an Iraqi "face" is key. Mr. Bremer appointed the Governing Council but then gave it far too little tangible or even symbolic power. Had its members been given more de facto control over day-to-day affairs for the past year, we're guessing there would have been less pressure for the de jure sovereignty handover that will now have to precede any legitimizing Iraqi elections.
On Monday Izzadine Saleem, who held the rotating Presidency of the IGC, became its second member to be assassinated. The leaders who've been working with the U.S. to build a new Iraq have taken real risks, and they have shown wisdom and competence in drafting the Middle East's most liberal constitution and economic laws. They also assembled the one unit of the new Iraqi Army--the 36th Battalion--that can currently be counted on to fight. They deserve more respect than both Mr. Bremer and the antiwar press have so far accorded them.

Saudis win old Russian contract for oil in southern Iraq

Thursday, May 20, 2004
BAGHDAD - Iraq has granted a contract to Saudi Arabia to search for oil in southern Iraq.
The contract had been made previously with a Russian firm by the regime of Saddam Hussein, Middle East Newsline reported.
The Iraqi Oil Ministry has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia for the exploration of energy near their joint border. Officials said that under the agreement Saudi Arabia would dig 46 oil wells in southern Iraq.
The exploration would take place in existing oil fields. They included Al Qurna, Bazrgan, Majnoon, Omar River and southern Rumaila.
Russia's LukOil has sought to develop the Qurna field. Several months before the U.S.-led war against Iraq, the Saddam Hussein regime canceled the contract with LukOil.

Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.

Views Differ on How Iraq Power Transfer
May 20, 4:56 PM (ET)
By The Associated Press
Bush administration officials gave somewhat conflicting accounts Thursday of what they expect to happen in the remaining few weeks before the handover of political power to an Iraqi interim government on June 30:
- Secretary of State Colin Powell said he believes U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is getting closer to picking people who will serve in the new government. Brahimi has been working closely with Iraqis and with Robert Blackwill, an aide to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, to come up with acceptable names.
Powell said that once Brahimi brings forward his slate of officers, the Bush administration will take it to U.N. Security Council and to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "for all of us to take a look at and examine the quality of these individuals."
Powell said he is confident that the United States can - at that point - win approval of a U.N. resolution that will endorse the new Iraqi interim government.
- White House spokesman Scott McClellan offered a streamlined version of events, saying simply of the people Brahimi picks: "I expect they will be the caretaker government."
McClellan repeatedly sidestepped questions about President Bush's own role in the selection process, saying only that Bush was "well aware" of conversations between Brahimi and the U.S. occupation authority in Iraq.
The White House spokesman also declined to say whether Bush already knows who Brahimi's picks will be.
- A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Brahimi will consult with Security Council members, Arab countries and others before disclosing his selections.
As a result, it is considered unlikely that the selections will encounter significant opposition, said the official.

New evidence: Saddam's WMD in Lebanon
Weapons transferred to Syria before war, then to Bekaa Valley
Posted: May 20, 2004
5:00 p.m. Eastern

? 2004
Over the last few months, the U.S. intelligence community has received new evidence a sizable amount of Iraqi WMD systems, components and platforms were transferred to Syria in the weeks leading up to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.
But chances are the Bush administration won't be releasing this information for a while.
The convoys were spotted by U.S. satellites in early 2003, but the contents of the WMD convoys from Iraq to Syria were not confirmed.
Confirmation later came from Iraqi scientists and technicians questioned by a U.S. team that was searching for Saddam's conventional weapons. But all they knew was the convoys were heading west to Syria.
But over the last few months, U.S. intelligence managed to track the Iraqi WMD convoy to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
Through the use of satellites, electronic monitoring and human intelligence, the intelligence community has determined that much, if not all, of Iraq's biological and chemical weapons assets are being protected by Syria, with Iranian help, in the Bekaa Valley.
The Syrians received word from Saddam Hussein in late 2002 that the Iraqi WMD would be arriving and Syrian army engineering units began digging huge trenches in the Bekaa Valley.
Saddam paid more than $30 million in cash for Syria to build the pits, acquire the Iraqi WMD and conceal them.
At first, U.S. intelligence thought Iraqi WMD was stored in northern Syria. But in February 2003 a Syrian defector told U.S. intelligence the WMD was buried in or around three Syrian Air Force installations.
But intelligence sources said the Syrians kept dual-use nuclear components for themselves while transferring the more incriminating material to Lebanon.

Editor's note: WorldNetDaily brings readers exclusive, up-to-the-minute global intelligence news and analysis from Geostrategy-Direct, a new online newsletter edited by veteran journalist Robert Morton and featuring the "Backgrounder" column compiled by Bill Gertz. Geostrategy-Direct is a subscription-based service produced by the publishers of, a free news service frequently linked by the editors of WorldNetDaily.
About Those Iraqi Weapons . . .
From the May 31, 2004 issue: The inspectors never were able to account for all of Saddam's weapons. So the question is, what happened to them?
by William Kristol
05/31/2004, Volume 009, Issue 36

"A year after the war began, Americans are questioning why the administration went to war in Iraq when Iraq was not an imminent threat, when it had no nuclear weapons, no persuasive links to al Qaeda, no connection to the terrorist attacks of September 11, and no stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons."

--Edward M. Kennedy, April 5, 2004

"There were no weapons of mass destruction."

--Howard Dean, April 4, 2004

SENATOR KENNEDY and Governor Dean speak as Democrats. They speak as opponents of the war in Iraq. But on the issue of Saddam Hussein's weapons capabilities--the tyrant's development, possession, and threatened use of chemical, biological, and nuclear arms--they also speak as standard-bearers of the conventional wisdom. Over the last several months, ever since David Kay stepped down as head of the Iraq Survey Group and told us that "we were almost all wrong" about Saddam's arsenal, what was once a universally accepted truth (Saddam had weapons of mass destruction) became an apparently self-evident fiction (Saddam had no such weapons). It seems the whole world now agrees that Saddam rid his country of weapons stockpiles shortly after the first Gulf War ended in 1991. With respect to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), at least, there was really nothing to worry about.
But what if that judgment, too, is wrong? Just as wrong, in fact, as was the assumption that Iraqi WMD would be found quickly and easily? Senator John Kerry, interestingly, has been cautious. As recently as April 27 he commented, "Who knows if a month from now, three months from now, you find some weapons? You may."
The truth is Kennedy is right, at least in one regard: There are many questions that deserve answers. Here are a few we would like to pose--both to those who, like Kennedy and Dean, are so certain Saddam was weaponless in March 2003, and also to the Bush administration, which has been virtually mute, and has not explained what it has found and what it now believes to have been the truth about Iraqi WMD.

* Where did the sarin come from? Last week the Pentagon reported that two U.S. servicemen were hospitalized in Baghdad for exposure to nerve agents. The soldiers were part of an American convoy that came across an unmarked 155 millimeter shell lying on the side of a Baghdad street. When the soldiers attempted to disarm the makeshift bomb, it exploded, spilling out part of its poisonous contents. The shell later tested positive for sarin, the poison developed by the Nazis and used by Saddam against the Kurds in Halabjah in 1988.

The shell in question appears to have been made prior to the first Gulf War. The terrorists who planted the bomb may not have known it contained the deadly poison. But the claim always was that Saddam had not fully relinquished or done away with his pre-Gulf War arsenal. And if the terrorists didn't know the bomb contained sarin, because the casing had no distinctive markings, doesn't that suggest an effort at deception? Doesn't it also suggest that there could have been--and could be--many more of these shells around?

The New York Times wasn't worried: "No one can be certain" whether the bomb "did really contain sarin," it editorialized. Besides, "finding some residual weapons that had escaped a large-scale destruction program would be no great surprise--and if the chemicals had degraded, no major threat." But it now seems the bomb did contain sarin. And we do not know that there are only a few such "residual" weapons. Do we?

* How did Jordanian terrorists apparently obtain chemical weapons? Last month the Jordanians thwarted a terrorist attack in Amman. A terrorist cell linked to Abu Musab al Zarqawi--previously connected to Saddam--planned to explode trucks carrying 20 tons of poison chemicals outside the headquarters of the Jordanian intelligence service. The Jordanian authorities said the blast could have killed up to 80,000 people and wounded around 160,000. Where did the chemicals come from?

* Who is killing Iraqi weapons scientists? In closed testimony to members of Congress earlier this year, David Kay reported that Saddam Hussein's top scientists have been targeted for assassination. Terrorists and Baathists have killed nine prominent scientists since April 9, 2003. All those killed had worked in one way or another on Baathist weapons programs. All had been questioned by the Iraq Survey Group.

* What has Charles Duelfer discovered? Until January 2004 David Kay led the Iraq Survey Group, the 1,400-member team of scientists charged with discovering easily hidden weapons in a country of 27 million people that's roughly the size of California. In his testimony before Congress, Kay said he believed Saddam had destroyed his weapons stockpiles prior to the American invasion in March 2003. Hans Blix, the former head of the U.N. inspection team, agrees. This helped establish the conventional wisdom that Iraqi weapon stocks would never be found because they never existed.
But the Iraq Survey Group did not end with David Kay's departure. In fact it is still plugging along, now under the leadership of Charles Duelfer, who told Congress in March that "the picture is much more complicated than I anticipated going in." And that it's too soon to reach "full judgments with confidence." Because "we have yet to identify the most critical people in any programmatic effort." What's more, "Many people have yet to be found or questioned, and many of those we have found are not giving us complete answers."
Duelfer has other problems. His team has "recovered millions of documents," but millions were also destroyed in the chaos that engulfed Baghdad following liberation. Also, the documents are "often mixed up." Which means research is "extremely difficult." And Duelfer is understaffed. He especially lacks Arabic speakers. Hence only a "tiny fraction" of the recovered files have been translated. Duelfer is reported to be much less confident than Kay that Saddam had done away with his WMD.
The Bush administration can answer, or can begin to answer, all these questions. But having professed such certainty about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction before the war, the administration now seems intimidated by the new conventional wisdom that Saddam had done away with his WMD. Yet we do know that Saddam had weapons after the Gulf War in 1991, and of course United Nations inspectors spent much of the next six years destroying some of them, despite repeated efforts at concealment and deception by Saddam. The inspectors never were able to account for all of Saddam's weapons. So the question is, what happened to them? No one has adequately answered that question. Not Kay. Not Blix. Not Howard Dean or Ted Kennedy. Not the Bush administration. Maybe we just got one answer: Some of those weapons are still there in Iraq, and they're being used against our troops.

--William Kristol
? Copyright 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.
What Went Wrong
The flaw in Seymour Hersh's theory.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2004, at 9:52 AM PT
The most surprising thing about Seymour Hersh's latest New Yorker essay on the Abu Ghraib depravities is surely its title. It is headed "The Gray Zone." Can that be right? It seems to be generally assumed that the work of the sniggering video-morons is black and white: one of the very few moral absolutes of which we have a firm and decided grasp.
But Hersh's article wants to argue that the fish rots from the head, as indeed it very often does (even though, metaphorically speaking, one might think that the fish's guts would be the first to decay). And in order to argue this top-down process, he decides to propose that it began with Sept. 11. "In a sense," as he himself cautiously phrases it, this could arguably be true. As he reports:
Almost from the start, the Administration's search for Al Qaeda members in the war zone, and its worldwide search for terrorists, came up against major command-and-control problems. For example, combat forces that had Al Qaeda forces in sight had to obtain legal clearance before firing on them. On October 7th,the night the bombing began, an unmanned Predator aircraft tracked an automobile convoy that, American intelligence believed, contained Mullah Muhammed Omar, the Taliban leader. A lawyer on duty at the United States Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida, refused to authorize a strike. By the time an attack was approved, the target was out of reach.
Hersh has reported this tale before, along with the furious reaction that Donald Rumsfeld displayed when he heard the news. And, as he further reminds us, the Washington Post "reported that, as many as ten times since early October [2001], Air Force pilots believed they'd had senior Al Qaeda and Taliban members in their sights but had been unable to act in time because of legalistic hurdles."
These, and many other bureaucratic and butt-covering obstacles, according to Hersh and others, engendered such frustration at the top of the Pentagon that ruthless methods were discreetly ordered and discreetly applied. Thus, from the abysmal failure to erase Mullah Omar comes the howling success in trailer-porn tactics at Abu Ghraib.
More than one kind of non sequitur is involved in this "scenario." And very obviously, the conclusion can exist quite apart from the premises. (There would have been sadistic dolts in the American occupation forces in Iraq, even if there had not been wavering lawyerly fools in the Tampa center that was monitoring Afghanistan.) One needs to stipulate, once again, that the filthy images from Abu Ghraib are not bad because they look bad, but bad because they are bad. Yet is it as obvious as it seems that only the supporters of the war have any questions to answer here?
I ask this because, in the news cycle that preceded the Iraq atrocities, the administration was being arraigned from dawn until dusk for the offense of failing to take timely measures against the Taliban and al-Qaida. I hardly need to recapitulate the indictment here. We had our chance to see it coming, and to see where it was coming from, and the administration comprehensively blew all these chances, from the first warnings of suicide-hijacking to the cosseting of Saudi visa applicants. I might add that I completely agree with all these condemnations and wrote about many of them (including the spiriting of the Bin Laden relatives out of the country during a "no-fly" period imposed upon the rest of us) at the time.
But there is no serious way of having this cake and scarfing it. I remember a debate I had with Michael Moore--the newly crowned king of the Cannes Film Festival--at the more modest location of the Telluride Film Festival in 2002. Ridiculing the Bush administration's policy, he shouted that it had gone into Afghanistan to get Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar. "Mission NOT accomplished!" he added, to roars of easy applause. I asked myself then, and I repeat the question now: Would the antiwar camp have approved the measures necessary to ensure those goals? If they will the end, will they will the means? Would they taunt that lawyer in Tampa, as they taunt the supporters of regime change, with living a quiet life at home while others die in the field? Isn't the refusal to take out the leaders of al-Qaida a bit of a distraction from the struggle against al-Qaida?
As it happens, dear reader, I know the answers to those questions as well as you do. And that is partly why the Abu Ghraib nightmare is such a source of demoralization and despair. Thugs and torturers, who are always on tap in limitless supply, do their work in the dark and, when caught, plead exceptional circumstances. It's as if they are on an urgent self-appointed mission. But the battle against Islamic jihad will be going on for a very long time, against a foe that is both ruthless and irrational. This means that infinite patience and scruple and intelligence are required, as well as decisiveness and bravery. Given this necessary assumption, all short-cut artists, let alone rec-room sadists, are to be treated, not as bad apples alone, but as traitors and enemies. If Rumsfeld could bring himself to say that, he could perhaps undo some of the shame, and some of the harm as well.


So a Sarin-infected device is exploded in Iraq, and across the border in Jordan the authorities say that nerve and gas weapons have been discovered for use against them by the followers of Zarqawi, who was in Baghdad well before the invasion. Where, one idly inquires, did these toys come from? No, it couldn't be. ...

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship.



In the Middle East, Its Good Fences for Bad Neighbors
May 18, 2004, 10:49 PM (GMT+02:00)

Marking the invisible Iraq-Syrian Desert border with a manmade barrier.

Manmade barriers are springing up around the Middle East at points where manmade conflicts are most intractable. Be they security fences, earthworks, moated ramparts, steel walls, razor wire - or combinations thereof, their purpose is to apply division and separation to breaking up difficulties into manageable elements. Will this device work? Some think it's worth a try.
Israeli forces who drove into the southern Gaza Strip town of the terrorist hotbed of Rafah's Tel Sultan early Tuesday, May 18, came with giant engineering corps bulldozers. Earth banks were speedily thrown up to isolate from their environment the spaces in which Israeli armored and infantry units are hunting for wanted terrorists, cut off their escape routes and provide perches for Israeli snipers lying in wait for escapees.
Last Tuesday, May 11, after an Israeli armored personnel carrier was blown up, banks were raised to protect and conceal the units looking for the remains of the six-man crew killed in the blast. Two days later, after a second APC blew up, earthworks helped protect units who were scouring sections of the Philadelphi Route for the remains of their five dead comrades against Palestinian harassment. Another two Israeli soldiers were nonetheless shot dead.
These earth barriers - and the large-scale wall under construction down the West Bank-Israeli border - are not only found separating Israelis from Palestinians. In Iraq, US forces are finding them useful for besieging guerrillas and al Qaeda terrorists in Fallujah and for blockading Moqtada Sadr's militiamen at flashpoints in Najef and Karbala.
The largest American military barrier project of all is now underway to seal Iraq against the incursions al Qaeda and Arab fighters from Syria, especially the truck convoys carrying ammunition. The American barrier strategy resembles the new Israeli tactic for sealing off the Egyptian-Israeli-Gaza border against Palestinian smugglers. Both are aim at plugging cross-border leaks with one important difference: in the great Syrian Desert, terrorists find their way across the border overland, while in Rafah, Palestinian smugglers tunnel their way through underground.
According to DEBKAfile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly 's military sources, the American barrier was well advanced before the Rafah operation began.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources report that the earthwork barrier American engineering units together with US and Jordanian engineering firms are throwing up will stretch 500 miles from the conjunction of the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi borders in the south to the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi border junction in the north.
The first segment is going up in the al Qaim province through which most of the illicit traffic passes from Syria to Iraq at a point opposite the Syrian Jabal al Tanf mountain, at the foot of which Wadi Shal runs from Syria into western Iran. The first project is a bulwark to block this dry river wadi. Next, a barrier will be raised opposite the Syrian town of Abu Kamal where the Euphrates flows from Syria into Iraq. The section from the Jordanian border to the Euphrates will be 200 miles long.
From the Euphrates, the barrier will turn north, traversing regions roamed for thousands of years without hindrance by nomadic Arabs. It will circle round the towns of Mosul and Sinjar from the west and wind up at the point where southern Turkey meets the Iraqi Kurdish town of Zako.
According to our sources, the "wall" will be composed of five elements: A. An earthwork raised at its highest point to 3 meters, tall enough to block the path of four-wheeled drive vehicles. B. Deep trenches to prevent the crossing of light and heavy vehicles, to be dug in places where the earthwork cannot be raised to a sufficient height because of the lie of the land. C. Reinforced concrete cubes to block the many gulches and crevasses riddling the area. D. Water obstacles to obstruct river traffic. E. Electronic sensors scattered along the barrier's length that will serve the same function as an electronic fence. F. The unit in charge of the barrier's operation will have the use of a fleet of light spy and surveillance aircraft, helicopter gunships and drones. Its command center and air fleet will be linked to the spy satellites continually orbiting over Syria and Iraq.
US Ground Commander Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who fought hard for the wall, has admitted the structure cannot be completely impermeable. But by obstructing vehicular movement, it can substantially cut down the volume of illicit traffic entering from Syria.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 's military experts note that the project shares the same shortcoming as every other American endeavor in Iraq, a chronic shortage of military personnel to man and maintain it against sabotage. The itinerant Syrian-Saudi tribes, who subsist on smuggling and who have been helping Syrian intelligence infiltrate anti-US fighters and weapons into Iraq, have roamed the region unrestricted by boundaries from time immemorial. In just a few weeks, they will suddenly find themselves on either side of a dividing wall. Their first instinct will be to knock it down by one means or another, such as a powerful water cannon that can force a breach in the structure. They will not be deterred by ground or air patrols, any more than the Palestinian weapons smugglers will be halted permanently by any Israeli barrier.



Making News: US Troops Raid Chalabi's House
In Baghdad today, US soldiers raided the home of the man who was the Pentagon's choice to run post-war Iraq. A member of Iraq's Governing Council, Ahmad Chalabi was also a favorite of Vice-President Cheney. Chalabi says today's raid stemmed from his criticism of UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and calls for greater Iraqi sovereignty. Rod Nordland, Baghdad Bureau chief for Newsweek, reports on American motives and methods.

The Chalabi Mystery

What's behind the raid earlier this week on the home of Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress? CBS News claims that "senior U.S. officials have told 60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl that they have evidence Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi has been passing highly-classified U.S. intelligence to Iran":
The evidence shows that Chalabi--who was once seen as the man likely to lead Iraq by White House and Pentagon officials--personally gave Iranian intelligence officers information so sensitive that if revealed it could, quote, "get Americans killed." The evidence is said to be "rock solid."
If this is true, however, one wonders why Chalabi hasn't been arrested. Several reports, including CBS's, suggest that a big problem is the people who surround Chalabi. CBS: "Sources told Stahl that one of Chalabi's closest confidantes--a senior member of his organization, the Iraqi national congress--is believed to have been recruited by Iran's intelligence agency, the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS)--and is on their payroll."
The Washington Post doesn't mention spying, but it does say some INC members have been arrested on corruption charges. "One of them is Sabah Nouri, whom Chalabi picked to become the top anti-corruption official in the new Iraqi Ministry of Finance":
For several months, U.S. officials have been investigating people affiliated with Chalabi's INC and possible ties to a scheme to defraud the Iraqi government during the currency exchange that took place from Oct. 15 to Jan. 15, according to three U.S. officials who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
When auditors early this year began counting the old Iraqi dinars brought in and the new Iraqi dinars given out, they discovered that there was a difference of more than $22 million.
Nouri accused bank cashiers of stealing the money. In February, he organized mass arrests of these cashiers, prompting protests from worker rights groups. The cashiers, mostly women, said they did nothing wrong and accused Nouri of trying to cover up a different conspiracy, the sources said.
London's Daily Telegraph has yet another angle:
Ahmad Chalabi is in possession of "miles" of documents with the potential to expose politicians, corporations and the United Nations as having connived in a system of kickbacks and false pricing worth billions of pounds.
That may have been enough to provoke yesterday's American raid. So explosive are the contents of the files that their publication would cause serious problems for US allies and friendly states around the globe.
And "a U.S. defense official in Washington told The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity that the raid resulted from suspicions that Mr. Chalabi was blackmailing people involved in the disbanded U.N. oil-for-food program, the subject of several graft investigations."
It's also true that Chalabi has enemies in the U.S. government, most notably the State Department. It's hard to know what to make of all this, but perhaps it will become clearer in the weeks ahead.
Agency: Chalabi group was front for Iran

May 21, 2004, 7:29 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence to pass disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources.
"Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the United States through Chalabi by furnishing through his Information Collection Program information to provoke the United States into getting rid of Saddam Hussein," said an intelligence source Friday who was briefed on the Defense Intelligence Agency's conclusions, which were based on a review of thousands of internal documents.
The Information Collection Program also "kept the Iranians informed about what we were doing" by passing classified U.S. documents and other sensitive information, he said. The program has received millions of dollars from the U.S. government over several years.
An administration official confirmed that "highly classified information had been provided [to the Iranians] through that channel."
The Defense Department this week halted payment of $340,000 a month to Chalabi's program. Chalabi had long been the favorite of the Pentagon's civilian leadership. Intelligence sources say Chalabi himself has passed on sensitive U.S. intelligence to the Iranians.
Patrick Lang, former director of the intelligence agency's Middle East branch, said he had been told by colleagues in the intelligence community that Chalabi's U.S.-funded program to provide information about weapons of mass destruction and insurgents was effectively an Iranian intelligence operation. "They [the Iranians] knew exactly what we were up to," he said.
He described it as "one of the most sophisticated and successful intelligence operations in history."
"I'm a spook. I appreciate good work. This was good work," he said.
An intelligence agency spokesman would not discuss questions about his agency's internal conclusions about the alleged Iranian operation. But he said some of its information had been helpful to the U.S. "Some of the information was great, especially as it pertained to arresting high value targets and on force protection issues," he said. "And some of the information wasn't so great."
At the center of the alleged Iranian intelligence operation, according to administration officials and intelligence sources, is Aras Karim Habib, a 47-year-old Shia Kurd who was named in an arrest warrant issued during a raid on Chalabi's home and offices in Baghdad Thursday. He eluded arrest.
Karim, who sometimes goes by the last name of Habib, is in charge of the information collection program.
The intelligence source briefed on the Defense Intelligence Agency's conclusions said that Karim's "fingerprints are all over it."
"There was an ongoing intelligence relationship between Karim and the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, all funded by the U.S. government, inadvertently," he said.
The Iraqi National Congress has received about $40 million in U.S. funds over the past four years, including $33 million from the State Department and $6 million from the Defense Intelligence Agency.
In Baghdad after the war, Karim's operation was run out of the fourth floor of a secure intelligence headquarters building, while the intelligence agency was on the floor above, according to an Iraqi source who knows Karim well.
The links between the INC and U.S. intelligence go back to at least 1992, when Karim was picked by Chalabi to run his security and military operations.
Indications that Iran, which fought a bloody war against Iraq during the 1980s, was trying to lure the U.S. into action against Saddam Hussein appeared many years before the Bush administration decided in 2001 that ousting Hussein was a national priority.
In 1995, for instance, Khidhir Hamza, who had once worked in Iraq's nuclear program and whose claims that Iraq had continued a massive bomb program in the 1990s are now largely discredited, gave UN nuclear inspectors what appeared to be explosive documents about Iraq's program. Hamza, who fled Iraq in 1994, teamed up with Chalabi after his escape.
The documents, which referred to results of experiments on enriched uranium in the bomb's core, were almost flawless, according to Andrew Cockburn's recent account of the event in the political newsletter CounterPunch.
But the inspectors were troubled by one minor matter: Some of the techinical descriptions used terms that would only be used by an Iranian. They determined that the original copy had been written in Farsi by an Iranian scientist and then translated into Arabic.
And the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded the documents were fraudulent.
Copyright ? 2004, Newsday, Inc. |

Chalabi, ancien prot?g? du Pentagone, aurait livr? des informations ? l'Iran

Les Etats-Unis enqu?tent sur Ahmad Chalabi, le dirigeant du Congr?s national irakien, pour d?terminer s'il aurait fait passer des informations sensibles ? l'Iran, a indiqu? vendredi un responsable am?ricain, au lendemain de perquisitions dans ses locaux ? Bagdad.
"Il existe des ?l?ments montrant que Ahmad Chalabi a fait passer des renseignements sensibles ? l'Iran et une enqu?te est en cours", a indiqu? ce responsable sous couvert de l'anonymat, qui n'a pas pu pr?ciser la nature des informations qui auraient pu ?tre transmises ni la p?riode concern?e.
M. Chalabi aurait personnellement pass? ? des agents iraniens des informations tellement sensibles qu'elles auraient pu "mettre la vie d'Am?ricains en danger", avait affirm? la cha?ne CBS jeudi. Les preuves contre Chalabi, toujours selon la cha?ne, sont "en b?ton".
L'entourage de M. Chalabi a qualifi? ces accusations "d'absurdes", et d?nonc? une manoeuvre de la CIA pour le discr?diter.
Ces r?v?lations ont co?ncid? avec des perquisitions men?es jeudi ? Bagdad au domicile et dans les bureaux de M. Chalabi, actuellement membre du Conseil de gouvernement transitoire irakien, par la police irakienne.
Les responsables am?ricains insistent sur le fait qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une op?ration am?ricaine, bien que des soldats am?ricains aient ?tabli un cordon de s?curit? autour des locaux ? fouiller.
Le porte-parole de la coalition Dan Senor avait notamment martel? jeudi qu'il s'agissait "d'une enqu?te irakienne, de perquisitions men?es par des Irakiens et c'est le r?sultat de mandats d'arr?t irakiens".
En revanche, pour le Conseil de gouvernement transitoire irakien, c'est la coalition qui est clairement responsable des perquisitions, a affirm? vendredi ? l'AFP un des participants ? une r?union extraordinaire de l'ex?cutif.
Et le conseil a d?nonc? ces op?rations "injustifi?es" et apport? son "soutien total" ? Ahmad Chalabi.
Consid?r? jusqu'? r?cemment comme l'homme du Pentagone en Irak, M. Chalabi, un chiite la?que, avait r?cemment appel? le pr?sident George W. Bush ? transf?rer sans d?lai la souverainet? au peuple irakien.
Il s'est f?licit? vendredi des perquisitions chez lui, qui devraient lui ?tre b?n?fiques, en termes d'image, aupr?s de l'opinion publique irakienne. Il a estim? que ces op?rations demand?es par les Etats-Unis, montraient son engagement envers l'ind?pendance de l'Irak.
"Ce que les Am?ricains ont fait revient ? me faire d?cerner une m?daille par les Irakiens", a d?clar? M. Chalabi dans un entretien diffus? par la cha?ne de t?l?vision Al-Arabiya de Duba?. Ces perquisitions ont "effac? tout ce qui a ?t? dit sur mes relations avec les Am?ricains, cela a d?montr? que j'?tais avec les Irakiens", a-t-il assur?.
La Maison Blanche, comme le Pentagone, se sont d?marqu?s ces derniers jours de leur ancien prot?g?. Le secr?taire adjoint am?ricain ? la D?fense Paul Wolfowitz avait d?j? annonc? mardi que les Etats-Unis allaient cesser de financer son parti.

Raid on Chalabi Puts 'NYT' Even More on the Spot
Still waiting for that corrective editor's note.

By William E. Jackson Jr.
(May 21, 2004) -- In a front page New York Times article this morning, David E. Sanger quotes a senior U.S. intelligence official's assessment of Ahmad Chalabi's information on weapons of mass destruction, which was distributed so avidly by the Times itself in the run-up to the Iraq war: "useless at best, and misleading at worst."
Yesterday, American and Iraqi forces raided and ransacked the Iraqi National Congress leader's office in Baghdad, completing his fall from grace as what the Times terms a "favorite" of the Bush administration. Today, two front-page articles in the paper, and an editorial titled "Friends Like This," take a harsh view of Chalabi. One would never know that the Times itself once relied on him heavily for its "scoops" on Saddam's WMD stockpiles.
In fact, one must painfully recall the now famous May 1, 2003, e-mail to the paper's Baghdad Bureau Chief John Burns from star Times reporter in Iraq, Judith Miller, who wrote: "I've been covering Chalabi for about 10 years, and have done most of the stories about him for our paper. ... He has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper."
Oh, how quickly the Times forgets its friends, Chalabi must be thinking today.
Describing Chalabi, Sanger wrote today: "He became a master of the art of the leak, giving new currency to the suspicions about Mr. Hussein's weapons." Leaks? Who was his favored drop? Miller of the Times, although there were many others.
And in today's Times editorial: "Before the war, Ahmad Chalabi told Washington hawks exactly what they wanted to hear about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction ... Much of the information Mr. Chalabi had produced was dead wrong. He was one of the chief cheerleaders for the theory that Iraq had vast quantities of weapons of mass destruction. ... But he can't be made a scapegoat.
"The Bush administration should have known what it was doing when it gave enormous credence to a questionable character whose own self-interest was totally invested in getting the Americans to invade Iraq. ..."
Left unsaid is that the Times should have known better, as well. Yet, incredibly, the paper of record has never run a corrective editor's note to clean up the mess that Miller made for the Times' integrity.

William E. Jackson Jr. has been covering this subject for E&P since last spring. He was executive director of President Jimmy Carter's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control, 1978-80. After affiliations with the Brookings Institution and the Fulbright Institute of International Relations, Jackson writes on national security issues from Davidson, N.C.

COR?E DU NORD Le premier voyage de Koizumi remonte ? septembre 2002
Visite controvers?e du premier ministre japonais ? Pyongyang
Tokyo : R?gis Arnaud
[22 mai 2004]
Junichiro Koizumi se rend ? Pyongyang aujourd'hui pour la seconde fois afin de rencontrer le leader nord-cor?en Kim Jong-Il. Mais ce voyage promet d'?tre nettement plus controvers? que sa premi?re visite au ?royaume ermite? en septembre 2002.
A l'?poque, le premier ministre nippon avait saisi une occasion historique de rapprochement entre les deux pays. Il avait r?ussi ? ramener au pays natal cinq des ressortissants japonais kidnapp?s par les services secrets nord-cor?ens pendant la guerre froide, et avait esquiss?, ? coups de promesses d'aide humanitaire, un d?but de r?chauffement diplomatique. Des bonnes paroles qui s'?taient envol?es avec la sortie de la Cor?e du Nord du Trait? de non-prolif?ration nucl?aire, et la menace d'un programme de r?armement visant notamment le Japon. C?t? nord-cor?en, Pyongyang n'avait pas dig?r? de voir les cinq Japonais ?lib?r?s? ne jamais rentrer en Cor?e du Nord, contrairement ? l'engagement pris par Tokyo que leur s?jour au Japon ne serait que temporaire.
Cette fois, apr?s des mois de n?gociations, Junichiro Koizumi est parti ? Pyongyang r?cup?rer le plus grand nombre possible de membres des familles de ces kidnapp?s rest?s en Cor?e du Nord, soit huit personnes. ?D?but mai, des diplomates nord-cor?ens ont rencontr? leurs homologues japonais ? P?kin. Les Japonais ont expliqu? que Junichiro Koizumi ?tait pr?t ? se rendre ? Pyongyang pour r?gler la question des otages?, explique l'?ditorialiste Takao Toshikawa. Ce volontarisme a ?norm?ment surpris le gouvernement de Pyongyang, qui a estim? qu'un tel geste ?tait suffisant pour que Kim Jong-Il rel?che les familles des kidnapp?s sans perdre la face?, ajoute-t-il.
Une initiative tr?s critiqu?e jusque dans le propre camp de Junichiro Koizumi. Le premier ministre n'a-t-il pas plus ? perdre qu'? gagner en se rendant ? Pyongyang ?
La lib?ration de quelques Japonais ne fera pas la lumi?re sur le cas des dizaines d'autres Japonais kidnapp?s et disparus sans laisser de traces, estiment certains. Par ailleurs, le geste de Junichiro Koizumi n'aura aucun effet sur le programme d'armement nucl?aire nord-cor?en, estime le quotidien Nihon Keizai.
Enfin et surtout, nombre de Japonais estiment que ce voyage, pr?par? dans la h?te ? quelques semaines des ?lections s?natoriales, est avant tout un ?coup m?diatique? destin? ? faire appara?tre le premier ministre sous un jour favorable. Et ? faire oublier le scandale de retraites impay?es qui vient de toucher plusieurs hommes politiques dont Junichiro Koizumi lui-m?me, coupable de n'avoir pas r?gl? ses cotisations pendant sept ans.
Le sort de Charles Robert Jenkins suscite particuli?rement l'int?r?t de Tokyo, Washington et Pyongyang. En 1965, cet officier am?ricain a d?sert? son camp et ralli? les troupes communistes. Plus tard il a ?pous? Hitomi Soga, une des kidnapp?es japonaises, avec qui il a eu deux enfants. Hitomi Soga est revenue ? Tokyo avec Junichiro Koizumi en 2002, et aimerait que sa famille la rejoigne. Mais si son mari est autoris? ? entrer au Japon, il devra sans doute ?tre remis ? la justice militaire am?ricaine et ?tre jug? devant une cour martiale. Au moment o? les inculpations se succ?dent apr?s le scandale des s?vices inflig?s aux prisonniers de la prison d'Abu Ghra?b, en Irak, Washington n'est pas dispos? ? faire preuve de cl?mence. ?Le minist?re des Affaires ?trang?res japonais ne parle absolument pas du cas Jenkins. ?a veut dire qu'il ne sera pas du voyage de retour?, parie l'?ditorialiste Takao Toshikawa.


DPRK FM Spokesman Refutes U.S. "Report on Human Rights and Democracy"
Pyongyang, May 21 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK gave an answer to a question put by KCNA Friday as regards the U.S. recent release of a "report on human rights and democracy" in which it again slandered the DPRK. He said:
The U.S. Department of State in its "report on human rights and democracy" issued on May 17 absurdly asserted that the human rights issue in the DPRK has become an object of international debate and it is being taken up by the six-party talks, assessing as it pleased the human rights situation in at least 100 countries and regions.
It admits of no argument that the U.S. far-fetched assertion was prompted by a sinister political aim to force the DPRK to change its inviolable socialist system.
The U.S. is pressurizing the DPRK to accept the CVID as regards the nuclear issue and taking pains to egg its allies on to lay a siege to the DPRK under the pretexts of "human rights" and "democracy."
GIs' maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners that shocked and infuriated the international community brought to light the hypocritical nature of the U.S. as the world's biggest violator of human rights and a graveyard of human rights.
It is the view of the fair public opinion that the U.S. has neither qualification nor moral right to talk about "human rights" or "democracy."
Yet, the U.S. is impudent enough to pull up not a few countries over their human rights performance or democracy, unaware of how other countries paint it. This only glaringly reveals the shameless nature of the Bush group.
No smear campaign on the part of the U.S. can ever shake Korean-style socialism centered on the popular masses under which the leader, the Party and the people are single-heartedly united.
The situation in Iraq where confusion, disorder, bloodshed and violence are rampant due to the U.S. aggression and wanton interference and tragic happenings in various other countries prove with added clarity that human rights precisely mean sovereignty and the loss of sovereignty leads to contempt, disgrace and humiliation.
The DPRK will as ever protect as the apple of the eye the inviolable Korean-style socialism, the Korean people's choice and life and soul, and never allow anyone to vilify it.

AP: Database Measured 'Terrorism Quotient'

May 20, 7:25 AM (ET)

NEW YORK (AP) - Before helping to launch the criminal information project known as Matrix, a database contractor gave U.S. and Florida authorities the names of 120,000 people who showed a statistical likelihood of being terrorists - sparking some investigations and arrests.
The "high terrorism factor" scoring system also became a key selling point for the involvement of the database company, Seisint Inc., in the Matrix project.
Public records obtained by The Associated Press from several states show that Justice Department officials cited the scoring technology in appointing Seisint sole contractor on the federally funded, $12 million project.
Seisint and the law enforcement officials who oversee Matrix insist that the terrorism scoring system ultimately was kept out of the project, largely because of privacy concerns.
However, new details about Seisint's development of the "terrorism quotient," including the revelation that authorities apparently acted on the list of 120,000, are renewing privacy activists' suspicions about Matrix's potential power.
"Assuming they have in fact abandoned the terrorist quotient, there's nothing that stops them from bringing it back," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the technology and liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union, which learned about the list of 120,000 through its own records request in Utah.
Matrix - short for Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange - combines state records and data culled by Seisint to give investigators fast access to information on crime and terrorism suspects. It was launched in 2002.
Because the system includes information on people with no criminal record as well as known criminals, Matrix has drawn objections from liberal and conservative privacy groups. Utah and at least eight other states have pulled out, leaving Florida, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The AP has received thousands of pages of Matrix documents in records requests this year, including meeting minutes and presentation materials that discuss the project in detail.
Not one indicates that Matrix planners decided against using the statistical method of determining an individual's propensity for terrorism.
When the AP specifically requested documents indicating the scoring system was scrapped, the general counsel's office for Florida state police said it could not uncover any.
Even so, people involved with Matrix pledge that the statistical method was removed from the final product.
"I'll put my 26 years of law enforcement experience on the line. It is not in there," said Mark Zadra, chief investigator for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
He said Matrix, which has 4 billion records, merely speeds access to material that police have always been able to get from disparate sources, and does not automatically or proactively finger suspects.
Bill Shrewsbury, a Seisint executive and former federal drug agent, said the terrorism scoring algorithm that produced the list of 120,000 names was "put on the shelf" after it was demonstrated immediately following Sept. 11, 2001.
He said the scoring system requires intelligence data that was fed into the software for the initial demonstration but is not commonly available. "Nor are we interested in pursuing that," he said.
The Utah documents included a Seisint presentation saying the scoring system was developed by the company and law enforcement officials by reverse engineering an unnamed "Terrorist Handbook" that reveals how terrorists "penetrate and in live our society."
The scoring incorporated such factors as age, gender, ethnicity, credit history, "investigational data," information about pilot and driver licenses, and connections to "dirty" addresses known to have been used by other suspects.
According to Seisint's presentation, dated January 2003 and marked confidential, the 120,000 names with the highest scores were given to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, FBI, Secret Service and Florida state police. (Later, those agencies would help craft the software that queries Matrix.)
Of the people with the 80 highest scores, five were among the Sept. 11 hijackers, Seisint's presentation said. Forty-five were identified as being or possibly being under existing investigations, while 30 others "were unknown to FBI."
"Investigations were triggered and arrests were made by INS and other agencies," the presentation added. Two bullet points stated: "Several arrests within one week" and "Scores of other arrests." It does not provide details of when and where the investigations and arrests took place.
Phil Ramer, who heads Florida state police's intelligence division, said his agency found the list a useful starting point for some investigations, though he said he could not recall how many. He stressed that the list was not used as the sole evidence to make arrests.
"What we did with the list is we went back and found out how they got on the list," Ramer said.
Dean Boyd, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a descendant of INS in the Department of Homeland Security, said he could not confirm that INS used or was given the list.
Although Seisint says it shelved the scoring system - known as high terrorist factor, or HTF - after the original demonstrations in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, the algorithm was touted well into 2003.
A records request by the AP in Florida turned up "briefing points," dated January 2003, for a presentation on Matrix to Vice President Dick Cheney and other top federal officials delivered jointly by Seisint, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida's top police official.
One of the items on Seisint's agenda: "Demonstrate HTF with mapping." Matrix meeting minutes from February 2003 say Cheney was briefed along with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
In May 2003, the Justice Department approved Seisint as sole data contractor on the project, citing the company's "technical qualifications," including software "applying the 'terrorism quotient' in all cases."
"The quotient identifies a set of criteria which accurately singled out characteristics related to the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks and other terrorist events," said a memo from an Office of Justice Programs policy adviser, Bruce Edwards. "This process produced a scoring mechanism (that), when applied to the general criminal population, yields other people that may have similar motives."
A spokeswoman for the Office of Justice Programs declined to comment.
Ramer, the Florida agent, said the scoring system was scrapped because it was "really specific to 9/11," and not applicable for everyday use. Also, he said, "we didn't want anybody abusing it."
Seisint Inc., is a Boca Raton, Fla., company founded by a millionaire, Hank Asher, who stepped down from its board of directors last year after revelations of past ties to drug smugglers.
AP Investigative Researcher Randy Herschaft contributed to this report.
On the Net:
Lying into the Mirror
Misunderstaning the war on terror.

We have adopted our enemies' view of the world

Shortly after moving to Washington from Rome -- we're talking late Seventies -- I did a long interview with Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan about the Carter administration's foreign policy. At a certain point, Moynihan elegantly summarized what had happened to us: "being unable to distinguish between our friends and our enemies," he said, "Carter has adopted our enemies' view of the world." So, it seems have many of our policymakers in their panicky and incoherent decisions regarding Iraq.
First, the matter of the "abuses" of the prisoners. Maybe the temperature of the rhetoric has cooled enough for us to address the most important aspect of the debacle: Torture and abuse are not only wrong and disgusting. They are stupid and counterproductive. A person under torture will provide whatever statements he believes will end the pain. Therefore, the "information" he provides is fundamentally unreliable. He is not responding to questions; 99 percent of the time, he's just trying to figure out what he has to say in order to end his suffering. All those who approved these methods should be fired, above all because they are incompetent to collect intelligence.
Torture, and the belief in its efficacy, are the way our enemies think. And remember that our enemies, the tyrants of the 20th century, and the jihadis we are fighting now, are the representatives of failed cultures. Our greatness derives from the superiority of our culture, and we should, as the sports metaphor goes, stick with what got us here.
Second, our defeat in Fallujah. I had hoped that the tactic of enlisting Sunni leaders to assist in the defeat of the jihadis would accelerate the terrorists' defeat and enable us to round them up and clean out the city. But it turns out that it wasn't a tactic at all; it was a strategic retreat. Today, throughout the region, everybody knows that the bad guys outlasted us. We were forced out. The Sunni generals (the first of which, unforgivably, was one of Saddam's henchmen) just told everyone to cool it for a while, and the bad guys are now reorganizing for the next assault. Instead of smashing the terrorists, we set ourselves up for more casualties.
Worse yet, some of the crackpot realists in our military and their exhausted civilian commanders in State and Defense, have convinced themselves that this is the way to go, and they are now whispering to one another that we should adopt "the Fallujah model" in future engagements.
If that holds, then we have lost. Because it means that we have surrendered the initiative to the terrorists and will not destroy them in future engagements. That adds up to actively encouraging the enemy to attack us.
Third, is the decision to launch a preemptive strike against Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress. Our enemies -- religious fanatics and other advocates of tyranny -- have long dreaded the emergence of an Iraqi leader with unquestioned democratic convictions, someone at once deeply religious and yet committed to the separation of mosque and state. Yet the State Department's and the CIA's Middle East gangs have hated him and fought him for more than a decade, because he is independent and while he is happy to work with them, he will not work for them. Moreover, he has often proved more knowledgeable, as when, in the mid-Nineties, he informed CIA that one of their fatuous little coup plots had been infiltrated by Saddam's agents. They laughed at him, but not for long. Soon thereafter an Iraqi intelligence officer called the CIA man in charge of the operation on his "secret" cell-phone number to say "listen carefully and you'll hear the final screams of your coup leader."
I am not sure if CPA -- including State and CIA officials -- has spent more man hours fighting Chalabi than fighting Moqtada al Sadr, but it's probably pretty close, and in any event somebody should ask Viceroy Bremer why he massed so much firepower to break into Chalabi's house and Kanan Makiya's house, and the offices of the INC, instead of doing the same to Moqtada, who at last account was still free to mobilize the masses of his faithful to kill us. Is this not proof positive of the total inversion of sound judgment of which Moynihan spoke so elegantly a quarter-century ago?
Now the usual unnamed intelligence sources are whispering to their favorite journalists that they have a "rock-solid case" showing that Chalabi was in cahoots with the Iranians. This, coming the same crowd that told President Bush they had a "slam-dunk case" on Iraqi WMDs, should arouse skepticism from any experienced journalist, but it doesn't (another grim sign that confusion reigns supreme in Washington these days). It's a truly paradoxically accusation, since the refusal of the American government to provide Chalabi with support and protection for the past decade is what drove him to find a modus vivendi with Tehran in the first place. And Chalabi is not alone in dealing with the Iranians and their representatives in Iraq; it is hard to find any serious organization or any serious leader of any stripe -- Kurdish, Shiite or Sunni, imam, mullah, or Ayatollah -- who doesn't work with the Iranians. How could it be otherwise? We have shown no capacity to defend them against Iranian-supported terrorists. And terror works. Finally, it's hilarious to see this crowd of diplomats and intelligence officers attacking an Iraqi for talking too much to Iranians, when Powell's State Department and Tenet's CIA has been meeting with Iranians for years.
As I once wrote, the war against Saddam is nothing compared to the war against Ahmed Chalabi.
All of this is the inevitable result of the fundamental misunderstanding of the war against the terror masters. It is a regional war, not a war limited to a single country. Since we refuse to admit this, we are unable to design an effective strategy to win. Deceiving ourselves, we lie to the mirror, saying that defeats are really victories, that Baathists are our friends and independent minded Shiites are our enemies, and that appeasement of the mullahs will end their long war against the United States.

Has anyone told the president?

Suri State of Affairs
Another "dynamic" duo.

By Lorenzo Vidino

In the eyes of many terrorism experts, Nicholas Berg's tragic beheading has elevated Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to a level approaching that of Osama bin Laden. The comparison seems appropriate, as Zarqawi, like bin Laden, has surrounded himself with other powerful extremists and several valuable contacts in the jihad underworld.
Bin Laden chose a well-connected Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahiri, as his deputy in order to take advantage of Zawahiri's widespread network of terrorists and political knowledge. By the same token, Zarqawi appears to be teaming up with Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a man who, so far, has not attracted much attention, but whose influence on Zarqawi cannot be overlooked. According to Italian military intelligence, both Zarqawi and Nasar are currently in Iraq, masterminding attacks there and throughout the world.
Nasar, better known by his nome de guerre, Abu Musab al-Suri, is well known to Spanish authorities, who wrote extensively about him in the September 2003 indictment of the Madrid al Qaeda cell. A Syrian veteran of the Afghan war against the Soviets, he spent several years in Madrid in the mid-1990s and acquired Spanish citizenship by marrying a Spanish convert. While in Spain, he befriended a fellow Syrian, Imad Eddin Yarkas, the leader of the Madrid cell. Both had fled Syria in the beginning of the 1980s after the Syrian regime violently cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood.
But while Yarkas immediately went to Spain, Suri went to Afghanistan, where he met bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden's mentor and one of the founders of al Qaeda. According to the Spanish indictment of the Madrid cell, when al Qaeda moved to Sudan in 1991, Suri remained in Afghanistan, traveling sporadically to Khartoum to meet with bin Laden. In 1995 he moved to Europe and lived between Madrid and London, where he was one of the leading minds of the local Islamist scene now referred to as "Londonistan."
But upon realizing that British authorities suspected his involvement in the 1995 Paris Metro bombings, Suri decided to move back to Afghanistan, where he ran a terrorist training camp. According to Spanish authorities, while in Afghanistan Suri maintained contacts with both Osama bin Laden and former Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Suri also became Emir of the Syrians associated with al Qaeda, a title that proves his importance in the organization. The man who facilitated Suri's move to Afghanistan was another Syrian national, Mohamed Bahaiah, whom Spanish authorities have described as "bin Laden's courier in Europe" and who used to travel in Spain extensively.
Bahaiah is just one of Suri's contacts in Spain. Suri maintained a network of operatives there and he is now believed to have masterminded the March 11 train bombings in Madrid. Information provided by some of the individuals detained in relation with the attacks has shown that an intermediary of Suri traveled to Spain at the end of 2003. According to police inquiries, after arriving in Spain, the intermediary made contact with one of the bombers and passed on to him instructions from Suri. After staying in Spain for a few days, the messenger left for London, where Suri had instructed him to activate sleeper cells. Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Suri in relation with the Madrid bombings. If this information is confirmed, it would be definitive proof that the Zarqawi network was behind the Madrid attacks.
But aside from his terrorist contacts throughout the world, Suri's importance lies in the profound political and religious influence he wields over Zarqawi. While Zarqawi is a high school dropout with scant knowledge of world affairs, Suri has a long history of writing about politics and is a Koranic expert who boasts a large following in the radical Islamic underworld. During his stay in London, Suri was one of the editors of the ultra-radical Al Ansar magazine, which for years published propaganda from dozens of Islamic terrorist groups. On one instance, Al Ansar published a fatwah that justified the killing of children and women in Algeria by the Algerian terrorist group GIA. The fatwah was issued by the Palestinian cleric Abu Qatada, a man that Spanish authorities have described as "Bin Laden's ambassador to Europe" and who also served as editor-in-chief of Al Ansar.
A further glance at Suri's extremist ideology is provided by tapes of his sermons that were seized in the apartment of a member of an Algerian terrorist cell dismantled by Italian authorities in Naples in 2000. The tapes reveal Suri's deep hatred for Shiites, whom he considers deviators from pure Islam. While other al Qaeda leaders have expressed their contempt for Shiites but nonetheless cooperated with Shiite groups, Suri categorically rejects any form of cooperation between Sunnis and Shiites. In fact, he points at the "negative influence" that Shiite groups have had on the Palestinian struggle, as some groups like Hamas have decided to work with Shiite groups like Hezbollah. This same contempt for Shiites can be seen in a letter written by Zarqawi last February, in which he openly incited a sectarian war in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites. Zarqawi urged his followers to carry out attacks against Shiites because they "have declared a subtle war against Islam."
The letter reveals the influence that the older and better-educated Suri has on Zarqawi, who did not express any anti-Shiite sentiment while working closely with the Iranian government (as revealed by the confessions of Shadi Abdallah, a terrorist linked to Zarqawi who was arrested in Germany). Just as Zawahiri's ideas influenced bin Laden's actions and worldview, then, it appears that Zarqawi is acting in accordance with Suri's views. It is too early to say whether -- with bin Laden and Zawahiri reportedly relegated to Waziristan -- Zarqawi and Suri have become the world's most dangerous terrorist duo. It's also too early to say whether Iraq will represent for them what Afghanistan represented for the other duo. But it is clear that the two have managed to operate undetected for almost a decade and are now reaping the fruits of their work. It is now extremely important to understand Suri's ideas in order to penetrate Zarqawi's violent mindset.

-- Lorenzo Vidino is a senior terrorism analyst at the Investigative Project, a Washington-based counterterrorism institute.


Grading Bush's Economic Team
From the Spring 2004 issue of the International Economy: What they've done and what they might do in a second term.
by Fred Barnes
05/18/2004 12:00:00 AM
ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S initial economic team, Larry Lindsey, the head of the White House's National Economic Council, famously didn't get along with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. They needed a referee on policy disputes--deputy White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. The budget chief, Mitch Daniels, delighted in twitting Congress for its excessive spending. Glenn Hubbard knew his way around Washington and was the most assertive chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers since Alan Greenspan held the job in the mid-1970s. As Commerce Secretary and Bush's best friend, Don Evans played a quiet role. More than anything else, the first economic team produced ideas and proposals, all promoted aggressively.
Now consider Bush's current economic team. Treasury Secretary John Snow and Stephen Friedman, the White House economic coordinator, are allies. Unlike O'Neill, Snow is an effective salesman of Bush's policies. Bolten is now budget chief and concentrates on good relations with Congress. Gregory Mankiw, the new chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is publicity-shy after sparking a flap over the loss of American jobs overseas. Evans remains as Commerce secretary and plays a more prominent role as a public voice in Bush's reelection campaign. More than anything, this team produces consensus. Bold new ideas? Hardly a one.
If Bush is reelected in November, this team--followers, not playmakers--is expected to remain in place. They are ready to push Bush's radical but old ideas for reforming Social Security with private investment accounts and increasing savings through a new type of retirement account. They are committed to not raising taxes. Except for Evans, they are full-blown free traders. But not one of them has a favorite idea he is pushing aggressively, as Lindsey did with tax rate cuts in 2001 and Hubbard with cutting the tax on dividends in 2003.
But watch Josh Bolten. There are murmurings inside the Bush administration about a push next year for budget austerity to shrink the deficit. Bush has chafed at criticism from conservatives over his Medicare prescription drug benefit for the elderly and his signing of a bloated farm subsidy bill. Even Bush's Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry, claims to be a fiscal conservative by comparison. So Bush is considering a course reversal. Both Snow and Mankiw, known as budget hawks before joining the Bush administration, can be helpful here. But Bolten is the key figure.
He has spent a year mastering the budget and shunning a major role on other economic issues. He is, an associate says, "still transitioning from behind-the-scenes staffer to a principal." Bolten is a trusted adviser to Bush, having left Goldman Sachs in 1999 to become policy director of Bush's first presidential campaign. And now he is coming out of his shell. Earlier, as a White House aide, Bolten rarely talked to reporters, though he knew many from the campaign. Now he's available to the press. In a second Bush term, Bolten is positioned to become a top economic spokesman for the administration, especially as champion of spending restraint. He, perhaps alone among Bush's economic advisers, will have an issue.
Congress is a problem. The economic team has little clout on Capitol Hill. And the Bush White House has a poor record of standing up to Republicans. When the House and Senate passed separate tax bills last year, the President and his aides preferred the Senate version, which called for a three-year phase-out of the tax on dividends. Chairman Bill Thomas (CA) of the House Ways and Means Committee, however, wanted to trim the tax rate on dividends and capital gains to 15 percent. When Thomas met with Snow and Friedman, he dominated the negotiations and blew their objections away. Persuading congressional Republicans, much less Democrats, to ratify deep spending cuts will require smart, disciplined leadership. That means Bolten.
Fiscal austerity is an old idea. Why are there no new ideas? There are two reasons, one understandable, the other worrisome. "It's a less creative period," says a senior administration official. "I'd rack that up to where we are in the cycle." That's the election cycle. Bush is running for reelection on a single economic issue: tax cuts that have successfully spurred economic growth and, finally, job creation. The president is playing up his plan for Social Security reform less than he did in 2000. He's distracted from domestic issues by his focus on the war on terrorism and the struggle for democracy in Iraq. Fine.
The other reason is that Bush economic officials are wary of being fired or slapped down. A Republican consultant in Washington refers to the "Lindsey factor." Former NEC head Lindsey was fired along with O'Neill in 2002. O'Neill was a contrarian, ill-suited for the Treasury post. But Lindsey was simply a scapegoat. His only sin was having put a public price tag on the intervention in Iraq, a figure higher than the White House was willing to concede. The effect of his firing was to discourage individualism among Bush advisers and stifle fresh ideas.
Then came the Mankiw affair last February, which had the same effect. Gregory Mankiw, once the youngest Harvard professor with tenure, had already learned it wasn't safe to talk about the dollar. When asked about it, he simply declines any comment. But he hadn't realized that "outsourcing" of jobs was an explosive subject. When he treated outsourcing as benign, the White House pointedly failed to support him. Later, a friendly economist spoke to Mankiw by phone. "I had the distinct impression he was reading from talking points," the economist said. "He didn't want to say anything that wasn't pre-approved."
What Mankiw had said was hardly incendiary. It merely reflected mainstream economic thinking. The Economic Report of the President, which Mankiw authored, contained this sentence: "When a good or service is produced more cheaply abroad, it makes more sense to import it than to make or provide it domestically." Asked about this during a White House briefing, Mankiw reported to have labeled outsourcing "a good thing."
His answer was actually more elaborate than that. "Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," he said. "We're very used to goods being produced abroad and being shipped here on ships and planes. What we're not used to is services being produced abroad and being shipped here over the Internet or telephone wires. But does it matter from an economic standpoint whether values of items produced abroad come on planes and ships or over fiber optic cables? Well, no, the economics is basically the same. More things are tradable than were tradable in the past and that's a good thing."
The White House felt differently. Scott McClellan, the press secretary, argued that the economic report, despite its name, wasn't really the president's. Nor did Bush himself defend Mankiw. "The way they treated Mankiw, it was like blood in the water," said Bruce Bartlett, an economist who worked in the Reagan administration. It was left to Snow, more experienced in Washington than Mankiw, to come up with a way to discuss outsourcing. It's a four-step approach, first empathy for those who lost jobs, then economic growth as the source of new jobs, then job training, and finally a denunciation of "economic isolation" as harmful to American producers. The word "outsourcing" is never mentioned.
The economic team meets over lunch each Wednesday. The sessions are collegial. Vice President Cheney often sits in. Cheney, by the way, is a close friend of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan. They normally agree, but Cheney is less worried than Greenspan about the potential impact of deficits. The economic policymaking process is well run with Friedman in charge. Let's examine the five players:

Josh Bolten. He is building a powerful base at the Office of Management and Budget and could emerge as the most influential budget director since Richard Darman in the elder Bush's administration. He has hired two hard-core free market conservatives for his staff--economist J.D. Foster and Steve McMillan, a former aide to Senator Phil Gramm, an advocate of smaller government. Bolten is getting more acquainted with outside economic advisers. One ally is John Cogan of Stanford, who was twice offered the budget post and turned it down.

Gregory Mankiw. He may not speak out in public much these days, but he has influence internally. The biggest single fight was between Mankiw and Evans on protectionism. Mankiw, a tenacious free trader, is the major counterweight to Evans, who represents his constituency, the business community. On both rolling back the steel tariff and trying to force China to make currency changes, he prevailed over Evans. Mankiw believes China is better left alone on currency matters for the time being.

John Snow. He is a pleasant surprise, a perfect antidote to O'Neill. He's proved adept at dealing with finance ministers from G7 countries, notably Britain's Gordon Brown. He's done well in touting the economic recovery. He's adroitly taken the lead on issues such as tort reform, pension reform, and regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And he's developed a close relationship with the White House--and not just Friedman. He regularly invites Bush aides to private lunches at Treasury. Among others to come: political director Karl Rove, domestic policy adviser Harriet Miers, and lobbyist David Hobbs. But a fount of new ideas Snow is not.

Stephen Friedman. He is known in Washington as the Invisible Man. He neither gives speeches nor appears on TV interview shows. He differs sharply from Lindsey in being well organized and running crisp meetings--and also in being no ideologue. "He takes his role as honest broker to an extreme and rarely promotes his own agenda," says a former White House policy official. He is popular with other officials. His role has been enhanced by Rove's attention to political matters. The absence of new ideas to vet has also allowed Rove to be less of a factor on economic issues.

Donald Evans. He has emerged as the Outside Man, along with Snow a spokesman for the administration on the economy. He rebuts and criticizes Kerry. His speech texts are distributed by the White House, which wasn't the case until recently. He shows up frequently on TV. His public role "has evolved because he's good at it," says a White House official. "I'm not surprised at how well he's done. He's a smooth talker." His economic views are conventional. He's a corporate conservative with protectionist tendencies. On substance, he's still not a heavyweight.
THERE'S A MYSTERY at the core of what happens in economic policy in a second Bush term. Greenspan must be replaced as Fed chief by 2007 and the fact of his impending retirement is well known to Bush and his aides. Yet the White House isn't close to thinking about a replacement. "We like to plan for the future, but that's a little far out even for us," says Rove. Bush announced his reappointment of Greenspan as Fed Chairman out of the blue in April 2003, if only to quash speculation about his intentions. Now, on the eve of a possible second Bush term, there's nothing but speculation. It's a mystery that won't be solved until after election day.
Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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

Why trade matters in a time of war: Promising steps by U.S. and EU against protectionism | Finally, a breakthrough. A bold European commissioner backs the U.S. on an important policy matter even though he will be slammed as "unilateralist" by leaders of his own country, France. Then another commissioner joins him and the U.S., also turning his back on the status quo types at home. Suddenly it looks as though a joint European-American effort stands a chance of paying off. And suddenly it also appears that the world's nations may march forward together to vanquish a common enemy.
This is the sort of story line that forms the dreams of members of the National Security Council. It is the reality of the past week. The European commissioner who made the move was Pascal Lamy, the trade commissioner. The man joining him was Franz Fischler, his agricultural counterpart.
The proposal came after a sustained push by Robert Zoellick, the U.S. trade representative. The struggle is on the field of trade. And the common enemy is protectionism.
In the media, the trade story runs parallel to the foreign policy story -- two lines that never touch. But the two are, of course, related. A review of U.S. trade diplomacy in recent years reminds us that even the smallest trade agreements can mean much at a time of war and terror.
Start with last week's news on agriculture. Lamy offered to eliminate farm export subsidies, a significant share of the subsidies available to European farmers. The step may mean nothing. It may just be one of the zigs in the tedious zigzag of trade politics. Still, the Lamy offer contains enormous potential for good, both on the diplomatic and the political fronts.
When the Doha talks collapsed so resoundingly last summer at Cancun, the damage went beyond trade. Hostility on the part of developing countries toward Europe, Japan and the U.S. seemed to reinforce whatever hostility many were already feeling. There has been, especially, the feeling that it is "the West versus the rest" -- the rest often being Muslim.
U.S. farm protectionism is not as extensive as some developing countries imagine. The average U.S. tariff on farm imports is 12 percent, compared with a global average of more than 60 percent. But what protectionism there is as in Europe is significant, and has strengthened the West's reputation as an agriculture hypocrite.
Western agriculture subsidy reduction is one of the main demands of developing countries. So this new offer represents a significant concession. It also demonstrates that the Europe-U.S. rift is not as large as advertised; it certainly shows that the U.S. is not quite the unilateralist it is made out to be.
Then there is the obvious economic and political potential of subsidy reduction. Farmers in developing nations can sell more. Their economic success generates forms of wealth that can compete with petro-wealth, always a good thing. Overall, the nations become more stable and friendlier.
Another positive U.S. step was Congress' post-Sept. 11, 2001, passage of a new version of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, allowing African countries to bypass tariffs. The AGOA contributed to a dramatic increase in exports to the U.S. from Lesotho, triple in two years. A free-trade agreement with Jordan resulted in 30,000 new trade-related jobs there. Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar all have worked recently with the U.S. to improve trade relations.
Yet another bit of trade progress, though of a different kind, may come if Saudi Arabia joins the World Trade Organization. As Brink Lindsey, author of a study on trade and war, points out, pulling Saudi Arabia into the WTO club means that suddenly the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will find it has a competitor for Saudi affections, itself a change that bodes well for global stability ("The Trade Front: Combating Terrorism with Open Markets," Cato Institute.
In the same way that freer trade helps, protectionism continues to hurt. The WTO recently issued a preliminary finding that the U.S. was violating international law with its outrageous cotton subsidies. The U.S. is appealing, although reduced cotton subsidies at home would benefit cotton farmers in countries the U.S. wants to see stable: Mali (population 90 percent Muslim), Chad (51 percent Muslim) or Burkina Faso (50 percent Muslim).
The reason for the appeal is obvious: The ideal of free trade remains one of the hardest policies to sell domestically in any country. It is especially hard to sell to farmers, who, whether in deepest France or deepest Iowa, tend to perceive the notion as mind-bendingly elitist. When Brazil went to the WTO on cotton, for example, Alan Guebert, of the Bloomington, Ill., Pantagraph offered a farmer's description of the move: "Brazil just kicked major U.S. farm butt." To some, freer trade is not a force for peace; it is cause for (trade) war.
Nonetheless, there are signs that U.S. farmers are increasingly ready to concede ground -- more good news.
Freer trade and prosperity cannot do everything. They certainly cannot, all by themselves, stop terrorists. Indeed, trade has to be linked to a push for democracy; otherwise it can merely fund terror. Still, limited as trade diplomacy may be, it has value.
Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Amity Shlaes is a columnist for Financial Times . Her latest book is The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americans Crazy and What to Do About It.

>> THE U.N.

Kofi's cover up

Despite U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's promises to fully investigate the scandal in the Oil for Food program, United Nations officials have been doing their level best to conceal information from investigators and the public. The office of Benon Sevan, the outgoing boss of the program, has sent at least three letters to companies who participated in it urging them not to hand over documents to investigators without first clearing their release with the United Nations. Unfortunately, while Mr. Sevan has continued to stonewall, Ambassador Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), is undercutting efforts by the Iraq Governing Council to conduct its own audit of the program.
One of Mr. Sevan's letters was sent to a firm called Cotecna Inspection SA, which for five years had responsibility for verifying that relief shipments provided through the Oil for Food program actually reached Iraqis in need. Cotecna once employed Mr. Annan's son, Kojo, according to scholar-journalist Claudia Rosett, who has played a major role in exposing the scandal. Mr. Sevan's letter to Cotecna warns that all information "shall be treated as confidential and shall be delivered only to United Nations authorized officials."
Coming from Mr. Sevan, this should raise red flags. A veteran U.N. bureaucrat, he has been at the very heart of the scandal ever since his name turned up in records found in former dictator Saddam Hussein's Oil Ministry in Baghdad. The records suggest that Mr. Sevan was given a voucher enabling him to receive 11.5 million barrels of oil as a result of Saddam's manipulation of the program -- enough to earn him a profit of up to $3.5 million. Mr. Sevan, who is retiring at the end of the month, has refused to respond to press questions about his management of the program.
In his own defense, Secretary-General Annan has repeatedly asserted that he didn't know about the myriad problems in the program. He may want to take a look at some of the more than 50 reports put together by the United Nations' own Office of Internal Oversight Services -- reports that he refuses to release to Congress. Just one of these reports (which was published earlier this week on the Web site www., produced in 2002, goes on for close to 20 pages about U.N. malfeasance in the handling of the Cotecna contract. According to Mr. Annan, all of these problems will be fixed thanks to the work of the United Nations' own investigative team headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Don't believe it. Given the fact that Mr. Volcker lacks subpoena power, his investigation will likely go nowhere.
Meanwhile, Claude Hankes-Drielsma, who is heading the IGC's investigation, told this newspaper yesterday that he continues to face interference from the CPA's Mr. Bremer. Mr. Hankes-Drielsma suggests that Mr. Bremer is motivated by concern that public attention to the scandal will undermine support for transferring responsibility for Iraq to the United Nations on June 30. Whatever the motivation, his refusal to release funds to pay for continuing the IGC's audit of the Oil for Food program is delaying this critical investigation. Mr. Bremer should reverse course and permit the IGC's investigation to proceed.


Very U.N.-Attractive
A leaked audit gives hints of the Oil-for-Food corruption.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT
In the scandal over the U.N. Oil-for-Food program in Iraq, Kofi Annan's main line of defense has been that he didn't know. Perhaps he should take a closer look at internal U.N. Oil-for-Food audit reports, more than 50 in all, produced by his own Office of Internal Oversight Services--the same reports he's declined to share with the Security Council, or release to Congress.
One of these reports has now leaked. It concerns the U.N. Secretariat's mishandling of the hiring of inspectors to authenticate the contents of relief shipments into sanctions-bound Iraq. (Obtained by a journalist specializing in the mining industry, Timothy Wood, a copy of this report can be found at
Reflecting the findings of a U.N. internal audit conducted during the sixth year of the seven-year Oil-for-Food program, the report focuses on one contractor hired directly by the U.N. Secretariat: Swiss-based Cotecna Inspection SA. This is the same company that, while bidding against several rivals for its initial Oil-for-Food contract in 1998, had Mr. Annan's son, Kojo, on its payroll as a consultant. Both Mr. Annan and Cotecna's CEO, Robert Massey, have insisted that the contract was strictly in accordance with U.N. rules.
Although this report doesn't mention Kojo, it does go on for 20 pages about inadequacies and violations in the U.N.'s handling of the Cotecna contract. The report explains that "the Contract had been amended prior to its commencement, which was inappropriate" and recounts that within four days of Cotecna signing its initial lowball contract for $4.87 million, both Oil-for-Food and the U.N. Procurement Division had authorized "additional costs" totaling $356,000 worth of equipment.
The U.N. auditors say this "contravened the provisions of the Contract," and that Cotecna (not the U.N., which was using the Iraqi people's money) should have paid the extra costs. Within a year of the start of Cotecna's services, its contract was further amended to add charges above those initially agreed to, including a hike in the "per man day fee" to $600 from an initial $499. This higher fee "was exactly equal to the offer of the second lowest bidder," say the auditors, adding that the Procurement Division and Oil-for-Food "should have gone for a fresh bid."
The report also describes understaffing of inspection agents at entry points and a lack of procedures to verify actual attendance by inspectors. Protesting that lax staffing "violates not only the Contract, but also affects the performance of the services," the auditors note that the Oil-for-Food office had "been aware" of this problem for some years, but hadn't fixed it. Despite the $1.4 billion in commissions collected by the U.N. to run Oil-for-Food, there was no one from the U.N. to keep an eye on Cotecna agents in Iraq. The report warns that "in absence of a contract manager, there can be no assurance that the services provided were in consonance with the spirit and letter of the Contract." The report adds that in north Iraq, where at some hours there were no inspectors on the job, the result was "huge differences between the figures for goods reported to have arrived by the U.N. agencies and the Contractor."
There are further critiques, such as "Inadequate understanding" and "Unprofessional conduct" by Cotecna, and "Inadequate coordination" by the U.N. Yet after the report's April 2003 submission--and three months before handing over the reins of Oil-for-Food to the Coalition Provisional Authority--the U.N. Secretariat signed a new $9.79 million contract for Cotecna.
A U.N. spokesman says all the internal audit reports on Oil-for-Food have now been turned over to the U.N.-authorized inquiry headed by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. But under terms drawn up by Mr. Annan, Mr. Volcker not only lacks the power of subpoena, but must submit his own report directly to Mr. Annan. And guess who has the final say over what we get to see--or not see. Why, Mr. Annan, of course.
Ms. Rosett is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Hudson Institute. Her column appears here and in The Wall Street Journal Europe on alternate Wednesdays.


U.N. Investigates Oil-For-Food Corruption

May 20, 8:24 PM (ET)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The independent panel investigating alleged corruption in the multibillion-dollar U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq said Thursday it was pursuing claims of misconduct by U.N. staff and seeking access to Iraqi records.
Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, appointed last month by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to lead the inquiry, said he expected to compile his first interim report on allegations of misconduct by U.N. staff within three months.
A "broader examination" of the U.N.'s administration of the program will be completed within eight months, he said.
But Volcker cautioned that a full investigation likely will require at least a year.
(AP) Paul Volcker, chairman of the independent panel on oil-for-food program speaks at a news ...
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"The part that we expect will take the longest ... is what went on in Iraq with the contractors, with the overcharging, the undercharging, kickbacks, smuggling ...," Volcker said.
The inquiry's initial activities included a visit to Baghdad last week by a three-man team trying to establish contact "at appropriate levels" in the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led coalition, he said.
While Volcker said the inquiry's priority was to investigate allegations of misconduct by U.N. staff, he said discussions about accessing Iraqi records "as needed" were under way with the board of the Supreme Audit Authority of Iraq, its accounting firm and the coalition.
"Those records are particularly important for identifying the conduct of outside contractors and the flow of funds," Volcker said.
Earlier Thursday, U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police raided the residence of Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, a member of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council. Police seized computers, documents related to the oil-for-food program, a report by the Oil Ministry to the Governing Council and letters from the council, Chalabi said in Baghdad.
(AP) Paul Volcker, chairman of the independent panel on the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq, speaks at...
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Volcker said he would like to see any relevant oil-for-food documents taken from Chalabi's home.
U.S. and coalition officials recently accused Chalabi of undermining their investigation into the oil-for-food program. The U.S.-backed investigation has collected more than 20,000 files from Saddam Hussein's old regime and hired the American accounting firm Ernst & Young to review them.
But Chalabi launched his own investigation, saying an independent probe will have more credibility, and has appointed his own accounting firm. Chalabi took an early lead in exposing alleged abuses of the oil-for-food program.
Volcker, however, said he believes the U.N. probe "is the central, authoritative investigation ... If not, we will have failed."
The oil-for-food program, which began in December 1996 and ended in November, was launched to help Iraqis cope with U.N. sanctions.
The former Iraqi regime could sell unlimited quantities of oil provided the money went primarily to buy humanitarian goods and pay reparations to victims of the 1991 Gulf War. Saddam's government decided on the goods it wanted, who should provide them and who could buy Iraqi oil - but the U.N. committee overseeing sanctions monitored the contracts.
During the seven-year program, Iraq exported $65 billion worth of oil, and $46 billion of that went to the oil-for-food program.
Allegations of corruption in the program surfaced in January in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Mada, which published a list of about 270 former government officials, activists, journalists and U.N. officials from more than 46 countries suspected of profiting from Iraqi oil sales that were part of the U.N. program.
The General Accounting Office, the U.S. Congress' investigative arm, estimated in March that Saddam's government pocketed $5.7 billion by smuggling oil to its neighbors and another $4.4 billion by extracting kickbacks on otherwise legitimate contracts.
Annan launched an internal inquiry in February but canceled it in March to allow a broader, independent examination as allegations of massive corruption in the U.N. program grew, calling the world body's credibility into question.
Annan has said any U.N. staff members failing to cooperate with the inquiry will be fired.


Fed Official Sees Gradual Rate-Hike Cycle

Thursday May 20, 7:50 PM EDT
By Chris Stetkiewicz
SEATTLE (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve should be able to push short-term interest rates up at a gradual pace unless economic events catch it by surprise, a top official at the central bank said on Thursday.
"Economic developments over the next year are reasonably likely to be consistent with a gradual adjustment of policy," Federal Reserve Board Governor Ben Bernanke told a luncheon sponsored by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank and the University of Washington.
"As we look ahead, core inflation appears likely to remain in the zone of price stability during the remainder of 2004 and into 2005," he added.
Bernanke's comforting comments on inflation, which helped boost prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, were echoed by Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert McTeer.
McTeer, who is not among the voters this year on the Fed's policy-setting panel, told the Houston World Affairs Council he was not "overly concerned" on inflation, although a recent pickup in price increases had gotten his notice.
Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan also spoke on Thursday as he accepted an award in Philadelphia, but he did not touch on the outlook for the U.S. economy or interests rates.
The Fed has held overnight borrowing costs at a 1958 low of 1 percent since last June, but a strong pickup in hiring and a quickening in the underlying rate of inflation has financial markets bracing for higher rates.
Many economists think the Fed will bump up the key federal funds rate as soon as its next meeting at the end of June.
"The target fed funds rate has been at 1 percent for quite a while. Certainly, it has to make you wonder whether it's inflationary; and until inflation started being hinted at in the numbers I wasn't particularly concerned," McTeer said.
"I'm not overly concerned now, but it is something central bankers are paid to watch," he added.
After their last interest-rate meeting on May 4, Fed officials said they thought they would be able to move rates up "at a pace that is likely to be measured."
Bernanke said that language represented "a forecast about the future evolution of policy, not an unconditional commitment."
"Although I expect policy to follow the usual gradualist pattern, the pace of tightening will of necessity respond to evolving economic conditions, particularly the strength of the ongoing recovery in the labor market and developments on the inflation front," he said.
Bernanke pointed to a number of factors he said should help restrain inflation -- slack in the labor market, rapid gains in productivity, intense business competition, a recent strengthening of the dollar, and strong profits that could allow firms to absorb some rise in production costs.
In addition, he said that while expectations for near-term inflation had risen, perhaps in response to rising energy costs, longer-term expectations appeared well contained.
However, like McTeer, he said the speed-up in inflation over the first few months of the year had caught his notice -- calling it "a matter for concern" -- and said inflation data should be monitored closely.
Over the past 12 months, the so-called core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 1.8 percent, a big acceleration from the 38-year-low 1.1 percent rate that prevailed as recently as January.
Bernanke tried to tackle the concerns of some economists who have said the Fed has waited too long to begin raising interest rates and has already stoked inflationary pressures.
He argued that the central bank had not fallen behind the curve because market-set rates had already moved higher in anticipation of Fed action as strong economic data rolled in.
Bernanke said the market moves should help curb inflation risks, although the Fed would have to validate market expectations by increasing short rates "at some point."
"A significant portion of the financial adjustment associated with the tightening cycle may already be behind us," he said, referring to the rise in market interest rates.

?2004 Reuters Limited.



"Fahrenheit 9/11" : un film de guerre pour chasser George W. Bush
LE MONDE | 18.05.04 | 14h03
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L'auteur de "Bowling for Columbine", Michael Moore, signe un pamphlet efficace qui vire parfois ? la propagande.
Documentaire am?ricain de Michael Moore (1 h 55.)
Apr?s le dessin anim? (Shrek) et le documentaire (Mondovino), un nouveau format a fait son entr?e dans la comp?tition : le mat?riel de propagande ?lectorale. La raison d'?tre de Fahrenheit 9/11 est unique et omnipr?sente tout au long du film : emp?cher la r??lection de George Walker Bush en novembre.
Pour arriver ? cette fin, Michael Moore a produit un film de pr?s de deux heures, dont il n'a tourn? qu'un tiers environ. Le reste provient de bandes d'actualit? que le r?alisateur a remont?es, comment?es et illustr?es musicalement, transformant les traces de l'histoire des Etats-Unis de novembre 2000 ? avril 2004 en mat?riau cin?matographique. L'id?e ?tant d'?voquer une soci?t? qui glisse vers le totalitarisme, d'o? le titre, inspir? du roman d'anticipation de Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (mais, ? la fin du film, Michael Moore cite 1984, de George Orwell).
Il arrive que l'alchimie op?re par le simple jeu du montage et du commentaire. La s?quence pr?g?n?rique rappelle le grand tour de montagnes russes que fut la nuit du 7 novembre 2000. On y voit Ben Affleck et Stevie Wonder entourer le candidat d?mocrate, Al Gore, c?l?brant sa victoire. Suivent rapidement les cartes de Floride virant au bleu (la couleur des d?mocrates) sur toutes les cha?nes, avant que Fox News n'inverse la tendance. Et l?, Michael Moore glisse une incise : saviez-vous que le responsable de l'information sur Fox News ?tait le beau-fr?re de George Bush ? L'efficacit? dramatique est incontestable. Mais de la r?ponse ? cette question d?pend aussi une part non n?gligeable de l'int?r?t que l'on porte au film.
Les liens entre le clan Bush et l'empire de Rupert Murdoch sont de notori?t? publique, tout comme le r?le de Fox News dans le contentieux post-?lectoral am?ricain en novembre 2000. L'information ?tait ? la disposition de qui voulait en prendre connaissance. Mais Moore ne s'adresse pas aux lecteurs du New Yorker ou du New York Times, il aspire ? convaincre les petites gens, ses concitoyens de Flint (Michigan) qui n'en finissent pas de survivre, les familles qui ne peuvent voir leurs enfants partir pour l'universit? qu'apr?s les avoir vus partir pour l'arm?e.
Avec sa structure strictement chronologique, sa p?dagogie brutale et explicite, Fahrenheit 9/11 fait d'abord ?uvre de propagande. Les chapitres, divis?s avec une r?gularit? scolaire, se succ?dent : la premi?re ann?e du mandat de George W. Bush, le 11 Septembre, l'intervention en Afghanistan, le vote du Patriot Act, la guerre en Irak.
Lorsque Moore dresse un tableau impressionnant des accointances entre la famille Bush et l'industrie p?troli?re texane d'une part et les familles Saoud et Ben Laden d'autre part, il se rapproche du journalisme d'investigation t?l?vis?, avec ses documents dactylographi?s en gros plan, ses experts qui prof?rent leur opinion avec une assurance que le reste de l'humanit? leur envie. Parfois, Moore glisse des commentaires quasi subliminaux : il explique que George W. Bush et un camarade ont ?t? suspendus de la garde nationale du Texas parce qu'ils avaient omis de passer leur visite m?dicale... avant de faire entendre l'introduction de Cocaine, par Eric Clapton. Mais l? encore, pas d'informations nouvelles, juste la mise en relation de faits connus et, pour les plus anciens d'entre eux, souvent oubli?s.
La s?quence consacr?e au 11 septembre 2001 rel?ve plus du cin?ma. La catastrophe n'est montr?e qu'en contrechamp - les visages des passants en larmes, les millions de feuilles de papier qui volent dans le vent de l'incendie - avant que l'on passe ? une s?quence en temps r?el : M. Bush sur l'estrade d'une classe d'?cole primaire, en Floride, o? il vient promouvoir la lecture, avec sur les genoux l'ouvrage My Pet Goat ("Ma Biquette"). Lorsqu'il arrive dans la classe, il sait d?j? qu'un avion a percut? l'une des tours du World Trade Center. En pleine lecture, un collaborateur lui annonce - selon Moore - que "le pays est attaqu?".
Le pr?sident des Etats-Unis reste muet pendant plus de cinq minutes, son album illustr? sur les genoux, pendant que l'entourage t?moigne d'une agitation croissante. Mais pendant tout ce temps, Michael Moore ne peut se taire et tente de reconstruire le monologue int?rieur de George W. Bush, monologue dont l'expression du pr?sident des Etats-Unis ne laisse pas deviner l'existence.
Un v?ritable am?ricano-centrisme triomphe dans la derni?re partie, tout enti?re consacr?e aux souffrances des soldats am?ricains en Irak et de leurs familles. L?, Moore renoue avec les techniques de ses premiers films. On le voit ? l'?cran, il intervient. Il se poste sur le trottoir devant le Capitole et propose aux parlementaires d'inciter leurs enfants ? s'engager dans l'arm?e. Mais ces provocations ont chang? de nature. Moore est devenu une c?l?brit?, les gens l'appellent par son nom avant m?me qu'il se soit pr?sent?, et il ne fait plus syst?matiquement preuve de l'humilit? ostentatoire qu'il exhibait nagu?re. C'est que Michael Moore n'est plus seulement cin?aste, il a trouv? le r?le de sa vie : l'homme qui chassa George W. Bush de la Maison Blanche.

Thomas Sotinel


Amerika verst??t seinen Lieblingsiraker
Von Dominik Baur
Einst war er der Liebling des Pentagon: Die US-Regierung hatte dem Exilpolitiker Ahmed Tschalabi bei der Gestaltung des Nachkriegsirak eine gewichtige Rolle zugedacht. Doch mittlerweile ist das Mitglied des Regierungsrates in der Gunst der Amerikaner tief gesunken. Jetzt haben US-Soldaten sogar sein Haus auf den Kopf gestellt.
Metapher f?r den tiefen Fall Tschalabis: Bei der Razzia ging ein Bild des Politikers zu Bruch
Hamburg - Die Soldaten kamen am Morgen. Rund hundert Angeh?rige der US-Streitkr?fte z?hlten Augenzeugen vor dem Anwesen des Irakischen Nationalkongresses (INC) in Bagdad. Gemeinsam mit irakischen Polizisten sowie einigen FBI- und CIA-Agenten st?rmten sie das Haus von Ahmed Tschalabi und die B?ror?ume des INC, des Parteienb?ndnisses, das einst im Londoner Exil gegen Diktator Saddam Hussein gek?mpft hatte. Tschalabi war damals der Favorit der US-Regierung, wenn es darum ging, wer den Nachkriegsirak f?hren sollte. Was Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan war, sollte Tschalabi im Irak werden.
Drei von Tschalabis M?nnern nahm das US-Milit?r fest. Computer, Akten und Gewehre schleppten die Soldaten aus den B?ros. Als sie abgezogen waren, zeigte sich Reportern, so berichtet die "New York Times", nur noch ein Bild der Verw?stung: eingetretene T?ren, auf den Kopf gestellte M?bel und - wie bezeichnend - zerbrochene Bilder des INC-Chefs Tschalabi. Die Razzia zeigte wohl so deutlich wie kein anderes Ereignis, wie tief der fr?here Liebling der US-Regierung im Laufe des ersten Nachkriegsjahres im Irak gefallen ist.
Sprecher der amerikanischen Streitkr?fte lehnten jeglichen Kommentar zu der Aktion ab. Das sei eine interne Angelegenheit der Iraker. Ein irakischer Richter hatte zuvor mehrere Haftbefehle gegen Tschalabi erlassen. Der Vorwurf: Der Politiker soll eine Untersuchung ?ber Korruption unter dem "Oil for Food"-Programm der Vereinten Nationen behindert haben. Schon 1992 war der ?u?erst reiche Gesch?ftsmann in Abwesenheit von einem jordanischen Milit?rgericht wegen Betrugs verurteilt worden, nachdem eine von ihm gegr?ndete Bank pleite gegangen war.
Tschalabi lieferte die gew?nschten Beweise
Tschalabi freilich sieht das anders: Die US-Zivilverwaltung wolle Druck auf ihn aus?ben, behauptet er, weil er vollst?ndige Souver?nit?t f?r das irakische Volk eingefordert habe. Auch dass die US-Zivilverwaltung j?ngst Aufgaben an ehemalige Mitglieder von Saddams Baath-Partei vergeben hat, war auf seine scharfe Kritik gesto?en. "Wenn jemand aufsteht und seine Standpunkte unabh?ngig und nachdr?cklich vertritt, scheinen die Amerikaner das nicht zu m?gen", sagte heute ein Sprecher nach der Razzia.
"Rein irakische Angelegenheit": US-Soldaten vor dem Tschalabi-Anwesen
In der Tat distanzieren sich die USA schon l?nger von dem Mitglied des irakischen Regierungsrates. Erst vor kurzem hatten sie monatliche Zahlungen von 340.000 Dollar an den INC-eigenen Geheimdienst eingestellt - jene Einrichtung, von der sich die Bush-Regierung vor dem Krieg mit vermeintlichen Beweisen ?ber Massenvernichtungswaffen im Besitze von Saddam Hussein hat versorgen lassen.
Solange der INC das gew?nschte Material lieferte, stand Tschalabi bei US-Verteidigungsminister Donald Rumsfeld und seinem Vize Paul Wolfowitz hoch in der Gunst. Die Zusammenarbeit lief gut. Auch noch im April 2003, als US-Soldaten in Bagdad die Saddam-Statue st?rzten: Das Pentagon flog Tschalabi und seine 600 Mann starke Miliz damals in den Irak ein - und konnte auf deren verl?ssliche Unterst?tzung z?hlen. Tschalabis Leute sp?rten beispielsweise etliche Mitglieder des gest?rzten Saddam-Regimes auf. Er selbst wurde mit einem Sitz im Regierungsrat belohnt.
"Die Leute wollen einen S?ndenbock"
Doch schon mit der Ankunft im Irak begann Tschalabis Abstieg. 46 Jahre hatte der 59-J?hrige im Exil gelebt, in Bagdad fehlte ihm jede Hausmacht. Der Stand des in den USA ausgebildeten Mathematikers in der Heimat ist schlecht. Ihm h?ngen verschiedene Korruptions- und Betrugsvorw?rfe an, Versuche, sich mit wichtigen Personen wie Gro?ajatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani gut zu stellen, scheinen bisher wenig gefruchtet zu haben. Umfragen zeigen: Kaum einem Politiker misstrauen die Iraker so sehr wie Tschalabi.
"Let my people go": Tschalabi bei der Pressekonferenz nach der Razzia
Aber auch in Washington begann Tschalabis Stern schnell zu sinken. Sp?testens als sich die "Beweise" ?ber Saddams Arsenal an Massenvernichtungswaffen nicht mehr halten lie?en, machte sich im Pentagon gro?e Ver?rgerung ?ber den Verb?ndeten breit. Ihm so viel Macht zu unterstellen, dass er die gesamten amerikanische Regierung h?tte t?uschen k?nnen, sei "unfair und verbl?ffend" zugleich, verteidigte sich Tschalabi vor ein paar Wochen im Gespr?ch mit dem "Time"-Magazin. Seine Erkl?rung ist sehr einfach: "Es ist Wahlkampf, und die Leute wollen einen S?ndenbock."
Der s?kulare Schiit reagierte auf den Liebesentzug aus Washington seinerseits damit, dass er nach neuen Freunden Ausschau hielt. Zunehmend suchte er Kontakt zu den anderen Schiiten des Regierungsrates. Gemeinsam mit ihnen weigerte er sich Anfang M?rz, die ?bergangsverfassung zu unterzeichnen, da diese noch nicht den Segen der beiden Gro?ajatollahs von Nadschaf bekommen hatte. F?r seine weiteren politischen Ambitionen setzt Tschalabi offensichtlich auf das schiitische Ticket - auch wenn er selbst behauptet, er strebe ?berhaupt kein Amt in einer k?nftigen Regierung an.
Nach der Razzia heute gab sich der schillernde Politiker wieder ganz als Opfer: Bei einer Pressekonferenz hielt er den Reportern das Foto von sich selbst hin, dessen Glasrahmen zu Bruch gegangen war. Die Soldaten und Polizisten h?tten ihn aus dem Bett gerissen, klagte Tschalabi, in seinen B?ros h?tten sie sich aufgef?hrt wie die Vandalen und dann auch noch eine wertvolle Koran-Ausgabe mitgehen lassen. Der US-Verwalter im Iral, Paul Bremer, habe wohl den verstand verloren schimpfte er.
Zum Schluss machte sich Tschalabi noch einmal daf?r stark, dass die USA den Irakern die vollst?ndige Herrschaft ?ber ihr Land ?bergeben sollten. Und als ob er ausgerechnet ein amerikanisches Gospel anstimmen wollte, rief er: "Let my people go. Let my people be free."



Ground Zero Funds Often Drifted Uptown
Money Also Went to Luxury Apartments
By Michael Powell and Michelle Garcia
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 22, 2004; Page A01
NEW YORK -- Six months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress approved an $8 billion program to repair this city's damaged office towers, build apartment buildings and finance the rebirth of the financial district.
But two years later, city records show that much of the money, dubbed Liberty Bonds, has gone to developers of prime real estate in midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and to builders of luxury housing.
Local and state officials -- over the objections of their own downtown development chief -- gave one developer $650 million from the Liberty Bonds to erect an office tower for the Bank of America near Times Square, miles from the shattered precincts of Ground Zero. According to city records, another developer got $113 million to build a tower for Bank of New York in Brooklyn. One of the few projects downtown has gone to actor and sometime developer Robert De Niro, who picked up nearly $39 million from the bonds in November to build a boutique hotel in Tribeca, directly north of Ground Zero.
Congress designated $1.6 billion of the Liberty Bonds for rental housing. Nearly all the money from those bonds has gone to prominent developers to build luxury apartment towers in the neighborhoods around Ground Zero, accelerating its transformation into one of New York's richest neighborhoods, the city records show.
Local political leaders, urban planners and neighborhood residents have sharply criticized these spending choices, saying that wealthy developers shouldn't need subsidies to build office towers in midtown -- where private construction is booming -- or luxury housing downtown. The new luxury towers will contain just a small percentage of apartments for the tens of thousands of moderate-income residents who live in Lower Manhattan.
"Explain to me why helping Bank of America build a tower on one of the most expensive pieces of property in the world is a good use of these moneys?" said state Sen. Liz Krueger, whose district encompasses 42nd Street at Sixth Avenue, where that tower is to rise. "We've gotten free federal money and, instead of building affordable housing, it's become a race between the most powerful groups in the city to claim it."
In the frenetic months that followed the terrorist attacks, Congress worked fast to assemble financing to rebuild the area around Ground Zero. In a rare move, Congress allowed private developers to receive proceeds for commercial projects from interest-free, tax-exempt bonds sold on the municipal bond market. While the Liberty Bonds were backed by the federal government, state and local officials selected the projects that would receive the money.
Congress put few conditions on the Liberty Bond program, but the program's advocates said the intention was clear -- and it was not for luxury apartments and commercial projects far from the site of the World Trade Center. In fact, the program stipulated that New York's governor and the city's mayor had to deem a downtown project "not feasible" before diverting money for use elsewhere in the city.
"We didn't put a lot of strings on the Liberty Bonds, but more should have gone for jobs and affordable housing," said U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, (D-N.Y.). "A lot of this money has been spent on projects that fit the letter of the law but not the spirit."
The city's Industrial Development Corp. was designated to hand out the commercial Liberty Bonds. The corporation's executive director, Barbara Basser-Bigio, said that city and state officials wanted to jump-start the broader city economy and that some of the projects would not have been built without the assistance. "Our top priority is to create office space," she said. "We are looking to stimulate the economy through the creation of jobs and enhance business districts throughout the city."
New York officials also say that critics are missing the urgency felt in the weeks after the attacks to retain businesses in the city, especially Lower Manhattan, which remains the nation's third-largest central business district.
"Downtown was hemorrhaging in those days," said Carl Weisbrod, a former top city development official and now president of the Alliance for Downtown New York. "It was critical to stabilize the residential and commercial communities."
'Rebuild, Renew, Enrich'
The first recovery aid began to flow to New York in the weeks immediately after the terrorist attacks. The Bush administration tapped $3.5 billion in community development block grants, a federal program usually reserved for economic development in poor communities. Of this money, $300 million was quickly directed to a program to retain companies tempted to flee from downtown Manhattan. Auditing firm Deloitte & Touche got $17 million, Bank of Nova Scotia got $3 million, and Bank of New York received $40 million. American Express got $25 million even without threatening to leave its 3 World Financial Center home. Other federal money intended for small businesses ending up going to investment-house brokers and traders.
In March 2002, Congress started to move beyond this initial emergency patchwork and created the Liberty Bond program. (This week the Senate approved an extension of the Liberty Bond program, and the legislation is now headed to the House.)
City officials applauded, saying the bonds would spark the redevelopment of downtown. "The Liberty Bonds will rebuild, renew and enrich Lower Manhattan," Gov. George E. Pataki (R) said at the time.
Myriad agencies are involved in the effort. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., a joint state-city agency, has taken the lead in the rebuilding but was given no power over the Liberty Bonds. Separate city and state development agencies -- including the city's Liberty Development Corp. and the New York City Industrial Development Agency -- sell the bonds and provide the proceeds to developers.
The corporations' records show the agencies gave $400 million from Liberty Bonds to World Trade Center leaseholder Larry A. Silverstein to rebuild an office tower near Ground Zero, which he is doing even though he has no prospective tenants. The state set aside money for a downtown convention center and gave funding to De Niro and his partners for their six-story, 83-room boutique hotel 10 blocks north of Ground Zero.
But the commercial market downtown continues to sputter. The vacancy rate today hovers at 15 percent, more than twice what it was four years ago.
By the middle of 2003, no other developers had stepped forward to build downtown, city officials said. Officials at the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. argued for holding the Liberty Bonds in reserve and waiting for the downtown market to pick up.
But city and state development officials who controlled the Liberty Bonds turned their eyes elsewhere and provided funding for the Bank of America building and the Bank of New York office tower.
Developer Bruce C. Ratner, who is constructing the bank building, has also received $243 million from Liberty Bonds for the construction of a tower for Pace University and New York University Downtown Hospital. Media tycoon Barry Diller received preliminary approval for $80 million to build the corporate headquarters for his company, IAC/InterActiveCorp., which includes Ticketmaster, in the Chelsea neighborhood.
John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., criticized those awards, saying that Congress did not intend the Liberty Bonds for the more prosperous precincts of midtown. He told the corporation board last year that the bonds eventually "will be needed for the World Trade Center site itself and the surrounding area."
Rental Market Subsidies
The parceling out of $1.6 billion in Liberty Bonds to finance luxury housing has proved no less contentious. The downtown housing market slumped briefly after Sept. 11 but then swiftly rebounded. Today three-bedroom apartments near Ground Zero rent for $6,500 a month -- and sell for more than $1 million. Manhattan residential occupancy rates -- more than 95 percent -- are higher than before the terrorist attacks, according to real estate statistics.
Yet the state and city agencies that award the bonds -- the New York State Housing Finance Agency and New York City Housing Development Corp. -- awarded nearly all the residential Liberty Bonds to subsidize the rental market.
Common Cause New York reported that 30 percent of the state's residential share of Liberty Bond proceeds went to Leonard Litwin, who is a major campaign contributor to Pataki.
State housing officials said that political favoritism played no part in their decisions and that loans were handed out "on a first-come, first-served basis." Litwin, they say, had projects in the works and simply got in line when the Liberty Bonds came available.
"Market rents had gone down, and it was a market necessity," said Gary Jacob, a vice president of Glenwood Management Corp., Litwin's real estate firm.
Many urban planners doubt the economics of this argument, noting that Litwin put up a huge equity share in these projects, an indicator of his good financial health. But these planners save their most furious criticism for the state's Housing Finance Agency, which decided to waive its own guidelines requiring that developers who get public bonds set aside 20 percent of the apartments for families with low or moderate incomes.
Instead they required that Liberty Bond developers designate just 5 percent of the apartments for families of moderate income, which is defined there as $80,000 a year for a family of three.
A year ago, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg laid out his master plan for rebuilding Lower Manhattan, saying he wanted to preserve its economic and residential diversity. But Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, who has overseen much of the development, now says that goal is difficult to achieve.
"It's an admirable goal to have a mixed-income community, but maybe over time it's shifting," he said in an interview, adding that affordable housing in downtown Manhattan requires a deep subsidy. "Maybe this isn't the best use of scarce dollars," he continued. "We have to look at the trade-offs."
Surveys have shown that many residents want the federal recovery money used not just for affordable housing but also for economic development, schools and parks in downtown Manhattan.
"I constantly wonder what Congress will make of our lavish subsidies for some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country," said David Dyssegaard Kallick, an economist and senior analyst with the Fiscal Policy Institute, a think tank funded by foundations and labor. "It just seems shocking."

? 2004 The Washington Post Company
HHS Wants to Shift Bioterror Funds
$55 Million Would Be Taken From State Projects to Help Prepare 21 Cities
By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 21, 2004; Page A23
The Bush administration is finalizing an agreement with U.S. postal workers to help deliver antibiotics or antidotes within 48 hours of a biological attack to 21 major cities, including the District.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson informed key lawmakers yesterday that he intends to take $55 million from state bioterrorism projects to pay for the new program, dubbed the "Cities Readiness Initiative." In addition to paying for the training of letter carriers, the money would be spent installing sophisticated disease surveillance equipment, purchasing vaccines and building new quarantine stations at U.S. airports, according to documents prepared by Thompson's staff.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, praised the move, saying that in a time of tight federal budgets it makes sense to shift money to "high-risk cities" most likely to be targeted by terrorists.
But several governors, lawmakers and public health leaders immediately protested what Shelley A. Hearne, head of the Trust for America's Health, a nonpartisan public health advocacy group, called a "shell game" with potentially dangerous consequences.
"We should not be in a situation of robbing Peter to pay Paul," she said. Tapping letter carriers to deliver emergency supplies is an "innovative idea with great possibilities," she said, but it should not be paid for with money promised to states.
Under Thompson's plan, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska would lose more than $4 million, said Mary C. Selecky, health secretary of Washington state and president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. In that region, only Seattle is deemed a priority city; it would receive $830,000.
"The redirection has consequences," she said, complaining that federal officials have repeatedly changed priorities and the instructions they have given states.
"First, we were asked to prepare for an all-hazards approach," but then got sidetracked by the last year's push for an extensive smallpox immunization program, she said. "Now we're being told we're getting less next year so the national priority of these 21 cities can be funded."
Relations between the states and HHS have grown increasingly tense in recent weeks with the two sides squabbling over bioterrorism money. Thompson has accused states of being slow to spend the money Congress has allocated, but Selecky and other state officials noted that the Bush administration has not yet issued grant-writing guidance for money that is due to go out on Sept. 1.
Part of the reason for the dispute centers on how government accounting works. State health departments do not "draw down" federal dollars until they have received a bill -- for a new piece of lab equipment, for example. In many instances, Selecky said, the money is pledged but states have not yet requested reimbursement.
"They still haven't defined what preparedness is," said one frustrated public health leader who asked not to be named for fear of exacerbating the situation. "If we had all agreed on what we were going to do, there could be some rational deployment of resources."
Within hours of sending his request to lawmakers on the appropriations committees, Thompson received letters of protest from a bipartisan group of senators and the National Governors Association.
"We shouldn't have to choose between filling the national vaccine stockpile or having a warning system at the state and local level," said Sen. Evan Bayh, the Indiana Democrat who drafted the senators' protest letter to Thompson. "That's a false choice and a manifestation of the budget problems we have."
At least one Senate Appropriations Committee member, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), "strongly objects to taking money away from states," according to a spokeswoman. He will urge Specter to deny Thompson's request, she said.
The Cities Readiness grants would be spread over 16 states, ranging from $5.1 million for New York to $690,000 for Pittsburgh and St. Louis. The District would receive $830,000; no community in Maryland or Virginia is on the list.
George Gould of the National Association of Letter Carriers said his union supports the voluntary plan for letter carriers to deliver emergency medical supplies. Postal workers will be trained in handling the materials and in security, he said.

? 2004 The Washington Post Company

Posted by maximpost at 1:22 AM EDT
Thursday, 20 May 2004

Testimony of Larry Diamond to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC, May 19, 2004 Chairman Lugar, Senator Biden, Distinguished Members, Ladies and Gentlemen: As you all well understand, the United States now faces a perilous situation in Iraq today. Because of a long catalogue of strategic and tactical blunders, we have failed to come anywhere near meeting the post-war expectations of Iraqis for security and post-conflict reconstruction. Although we have done many good things to eliminate tyranny, to rebuild infrastructure, and to help construct a free society and democratic political system, the overall ineptitude of our mission to date leaves us--and Iraq--in a terrible bind. If we withdraw our military forces precipitously in this security vacuum, we will leave the country at the mercy of a variety of power-hungry militias and criminal gangs, and Iraq will risk a rapid descent into one or another form of civil war. If the current situation persists, we will continue fighting one form of Iraqi insurgency after another with too little legitimacy, too little will, and too few resources. There is only one word for a situation in which you cannot win and you cannot withdraw: quagmire. We are not there yet, but we are close. The scope for a good outcome has been greatly reduced as a result of the two insurgencies that we now confront in Iraq. One of these, in the Sunni heartland, has been festering since the end of the war, but has picked up deadly momentum in recent months and then took on a new ferocity with the grisly murder of the four American contractors in Fallujah on March 31. The other, in the Shiite heartland, broke out shortly thereafter when the radical young Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, launched a violent uprising after the Americans badly bungled the long-delayed imperative of confronting his violent network. Add to this the awful news of grotesque humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by our own forces, and you have a profoundly deteriorating and potentially disastrous situation for the United States. I will not dwell long on how we got to this perilous point, but a few observations are necessary. In any situation of occupation or imperial dominion, there is always a tension
between control and legitimacy. The less control you have or can impose as an occupying power, the more you need legitimacy and voluntary cooperation. In many parts of its colonial empire, Britain addressed this challenge through the system of "indirect rule," which used local rulers to maintain control and gradually devolved more power through elections and local self-rule. As a result of this, Britain needed less troops relative to population than other colonial powers. United Nations peace implementation missions have addressed this problem in part through the mobilization of international legitimacy, via UN Security Council resolutions, and in part by developing explicit and transparent timetables for the transfer of power back to the people through elections. But even in these UN or other international trustee missions, success has depended in part on the presence of a sufficiently large and robust international force to keep (and in some instances impose) peace. In Iraq, we have had too little legitimacy, but also in some ways to little control as well. We insisted on maintaining full political control from the start, but we did not have sufficient control on the ground, through adequate military force, to make our political and administrative control effective. Thus we could not meet popular expectations for the restoration of security and basic services like water and electricity (though progress we did make on all of those fronts). Because we did not deliver rapidly enough (and it could never truly have been rapidly enough to meet the inflated public expectations), because it was always an American administrator out in front decreeing and explaining, and because the Iraqi people did not see new Iraqi political leaders exercising much effective responsibility, the American-led occupation quickly developed a serious and growing legitimacy deficit. Many things could have relieved this deficit. For example, if we had pushed more reconstruction funding out to local military commanders, through the rather effective CERP (Commanders' Emergency Reconstruction Program) channel, and if we had given some real authority and funding to the local and provincial councils we were establishing around the country, Iraqis might have seen more progress and found emerging new forms of Iraqi authority with which they could identify. We might have also made more progress by organizing actual elections, however imperfect, at the local level where the people were ready for it and the ration-
card system provided a crude system for identifying voters. In the few places where this mechanism was employed, it worked acceptably well--before CPA ordered that no more direct elections be held (for fear of giving the impression that it would be possible to hold national elections soon--which it would not have been). Even so, the local governance teams did a pretty good job in many cases of finding ways to choose, and then later "refresh", the provincial and local councils. Sadly, the CERP funding was terminated prematurely, and the Local Government Order, defining the powers of provincial and local governments, sat around at CPA for months in various states of development and imminent release, while the local councils dawdled and dithered without much of anything to do, and ominously in some cases, without getting paid for months at a time. Within the CPA itself, I think historians will find that there was an obsession with centralized control, at the cost of the flexibility and devolution that might have gotten things done more quickly and built up more legitimacy. So we had serious problems of security, reconstruction delivery, and legitimacy. We failed to ameliorate these by putting enough resources in (particularly enough troops) and by giving Iraqis early on more control over their own affairs. Now we are transferring control soon to Iraqis, and that is truly the only hope for rescuing a rapidly deteriorating situation. But in transitional politics, as in all other politics, timing is crucial, and what could be achieved by a certain initiative at one moment in time may no longer be possible months or years later, when the parameters have shifted and the scope for building a moderate center may have been lost. ********** One June 30, governing authority will be transferred to an Iraqi Interim Government, terminating the occupation authority, the CPA (or Coalition Provisional Authority). Despite all the violence and turmoil--which the Baathist spoilers, external jihadists, and Islamist extremists have always intended to escalate in the run-up to the transition--that transfer is going to happen on schedule. A United Nations team, led by special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, is in Iraq now for a third visit, completing work to select the members of the Iraqi Interim Government. As the interim constitution (called the Transitional Administrative Law) provides for, the government will be led by a prime minister and cabinet, with some oversight and symbolic authority being
exercised by a presidency council of a president and two vice-presidents. But there will be no law-making parliament until elections are held, by the end of next January, for a transitional government. Rather, Mr. Brahimi plans to return again to help mediate the selection after June 30, through indirect means, of a widely representative national conference of some 1000 to 1500 delegates, which will discuss national problems and select a smaller consultative assembly to advise the cabinet. This plan is not without some serious problems. It is easy for Iraqis to agree in principle on elections to choose a transitional government, even if many parties plan to try to rig or mutilate those elections in practice. But having the United Nations select the interim government, even a so-called "technocratic" government of non-partisan officials, risks a whole new set of legitimacy problems. Everyone who loses out in the bid for interim power will complain bitterly that the selections were illegitimate. The problem is that the method that some of us within CPA preferred--having Iraqis select the national conference delegates before June 30, and having that body then choose an assembly which would choose the prime minister and presidency council--is just not feasible given the pressure of time and the deterioration in the security situation since the end of March. Thus, many key members of the twenty-five-member Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), which has exercised some advisory authority alongside the CPA Administrator, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, since last July, are denouncing the plan and calling for the IGC to continue, perhaps in expanded form, as a kind of senate or consultative body with some authority. Some of the political parties on the IGC that are pushing this line are powerful players because, independent of whatever popular support they command, they have large, armed militias whose cooperation, or at least forbearance, the Coalition needs now more than ever if it is to survive this treacherous period. The next step in the timetable will be the organization of elections by January 31 of 2005. To do this, Iraq will need an independent electoral commission, a law to define and structure that body's authority, and a law to define the electoral system for choosing members of parliament. A separate UN team, led by the head of the UN electoral assistance division, Carina Perelli, has been in Iraq working on all these issues. Its work has been slowed by the upsurge in violence,
and by the group's decision to invite any and all Iraqis to apply in writing for one of the seven Iraqi slots on the commission. In the current chaos, it is going to be a real challenge to appoint and train an electoral commission with sufficient credibility, independence, and competence to organize decent elections by the January deadline. Fortunately, they will have considerable assistance from the UN. But if the violence is not brought under control, they will not even be able to move around the country to set up local and regional offices, much less prepare for the crucial tasks of registering voters and parties. Even if the violence subsides to a degree that permits the administrative work to proceed, the Electoral Commission will need to tackle the question of how to level the political playing field, which will otherwise be dominated by political parties that are already ruling (in Kurdistan) or that have been receiving huge amounts of money and other assistance from Iran. The Interim Government's structure, powers, and functions are to be spelled out in an Annex to the Transitional Law. This Annex will be written through negotiations this month. During my final weeks in Iraq, I encountered in speeches and meetings around the country some vigorous and frequent objections to specific provisions of the Law, particularly article 61 C, which gives any three provinces (and there are three predominantly Kurdish provinces) the ability to veto the final constitution in the referendum. Many Arab Iraqis are in fact quite upset about this and other provisions, which they feel give too much veto power to the Kurds. These Iraqis object as well to other features of the Law, and to the lack of public discussion over its final provisions before it was adopted (unanimously) by the Governing Council. If we did not have the crisis of mounting violence in the country, and now the new crisis over the treatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, we would probably be dealing with a crisis over the Transitional Law. Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the most important Shiite religious and moral leader in the country, and some of his key followers have been quite outspoken in rejecting the Law and demanding changes. Indeed, Muqtada Sadr's remarkable success in mobilizing many thousands of supporters in March-April-May is the direct result of the crisis between the CPA and the Governing Council on the one hand and Sistani (and the Hawzah, or senior Shiite clergy) on the other. At long last the isolated Muqtada could claim, as he indeed did, that he was "Sistani's Striking Arm." This way one crisis led directly to the other.
Here is another manifestation, in sharp relief, of the legitimacy problem. The negotiations over the Annex provide a new opportunity to address this problem, and given the high threshold for amending the Law once it comes into effect, perhaps the last realistic opportunity in the transitional period. We should seize this opportunity as part of a broader strategy of building up the more moderate Shiite political and religious establishment as a counterweight to Muqtada al-Sadr. ***** All counter-insurgency efforts ultimately depend on winning the larger political and symbolic struggle for "hearts and minds." Though he has gained in popular support in recent weeks, Muqtada Sadr--a fascist thug with only the thinnest Islamist religious credentials, who is reviled by much of the Shiite population and religious establishment--cannot win the broad bulk of Iraqi "hearts and minds," even in the Shiite south. Neither can the diehard Baathist remnants of Saddam's regime, who, in connivance with external jihadists such as Al-Qaeda, have been driving the insurgency in the Sunni center of the country. Indeed, one of the fascinating, potentially destructive, but also potentially positive elements in the fluid political situation we confront is that there is no coherent political and military force in Iraq that is capable of rallying, and for any meaningful period of time, sustaining, broad popular support. No single force can win in Iraq, but the United States could lose, and very soon. Even before the outbreak of the scandal over US forces' degrading, disgraceful abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison, Iraqi patience with the American occupation was dwindling rapidly. More and more Iraqis have been coming around to the view that if we cannot give them security, jobs, and electricity, why should they continue to suffer the general humiliation and countless specific indignities of American forces occupying their land? What seemed possible six weeks ago, and certainly three months ago, is not necessarily feasible today. Clearly, the option of sending in a significantly more troops to combat the insurgency and defeat the diehard and spoiler elements is dead. It is now clear that the Bush
Administration--which has never been honest with itself or the American people about what would be needed to succeed in Iraq--is not going to up the ante for the United States in that kind of way in an election year. Moreover, even introducing two more divisions--which would still leave our overall troop strength far below the 250,000 or so that many military experts believed was the minimum necessary to bring and maintain order in post-war Iraq--would so strain the capacity of our armed forces that it would require drastic measures. So we are stuck in Iraq for the moment with too few troops to defeat the insurgency and way too many for a growing segment of deeply disaffected Iraqi public opinion. Thus we have basically opted to live with the city of Fallujah under the control of insurgents, hoping the Iraqi force we have quickly stood up there will at least contain and dampen down the problem. And we are slowly trying to take back some of the facilities and installations that Muqtada Sadr's al-Mahdi Army has seized in the past few weeks and months, while so far avoiding a decisive confrontation with Muqtada himself (so as not to inflict civilian casualties or damage the religious shrines). If there is any chance of decent governance emerging in Iraq in the near to medium term, I believe we are going to have to defeat the insurgency of the Mahdi army. But we can only do so if we work with Iraqi Shiites of at least somewhat more moderate and pragmatic political orientations, and most of all with Ayatollah Sistani. No Iraqi commands a wider following of respect and consideration, and has more capacity to steer political developments away from violence and extremism, than Sistani, who insists on free elections as the basis of political legitimacy. In fact, there are many Iraqi forces with whom we can work. But the tragedy is that the most democratic among them do not have sizable armed militias at their command, and for the most part, have not had the money, time, training, and skill to build up broad bases of support. At least four political parties represented on the Governing Council do have some basis of support in the country. The problem is that two of these are the ruling parties of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) and the KDP (the Democratic Party of Kurdistan), and their influence largely ends at the borders of that region, while the other two forces, SCIRI and Da'wa, are backed in various ways by the Iranian regime
and, despite the moderation they have evinced in Baghdad, appear to favor one or another form of Islamic fundamentalist regime. Each of these four parties has its own militia with probably at least 10,000 fighters, and in the case of the two Kurdish Peshmerga forces, maybe each several times that number. If Iraq has elections with these forces, and many other private armed forces, controlling various strongholds, and without a superior neutral force on the ground to rein them in, the elections are not going to be free and fair. There will be a war for dominance along the margins of different strongholds, opposing candidates will be assassinated, electoral officials will be intimidated, ballot boxes will be stolen--it will be a nasty business. Beyond this, there is the danger that if the militias are not demobilized before the Americans withdraw, other political forces would arm in self-defense, or more precisely--if you consider that in many parts of rural Iraq, every male over 14 already has a Kalishnikov (or at least older) rifle--they will acquire heavy weapons, in preparation for the coming war for Iraq. Then you would have a truly awful mess, in which different parties, tribes, and alliances would have their own armies contesting violently for local, regional, and perhaps ultimately national dominance, with every neighboring country in the region intervening on behalf of its favored group or groups. This would be what Thomas Friedman calls "Lebanon on steroids"--a hellish (and possibly like Lebanon, protracted) civil war in which no central government could exert coherent authority. Such a scenario could spawn disastrous humanitarian and political consequences. There would be thousands, possibly tens or even hundreds of thousands, of Iraqi casualties. In the chaos, terrorism and organized crime would thrive. Anti-Americanism, which is already gaining momentum in Iraq, would take on an entirely new breadth and intensity. We would be blamed for this, even if the instigators were more properly located in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and most of all Iran. The only alternative to civil war or another truly brutal and total dictatorship is a political system based on some kind of constitutional, consensual power-sharing bargain. Any plan to break up the country, explicitly or implicitly, into its constituent ethnic or religious pieces will
inevitably bring massive bloodshed, much of it regionally driven. And any effort to simply hand power over to a reconstructed Baathist dictatorship would be violently, and I am sure successfully, resisted by both the Kurds and the Shia. Any scenario that is even vaguely positive--that avoids the disaster of total war or total dictatorship--must involve key elements of democracy: negotiations, mutual concessions and compromise, delineation of individual and group rights, sharing and limiting of power, and elections in which different political parties and independents contest to determine who will exercise power. However, elements of democracy do not necessarily add up to democracy, and the situation has deteriorated to the point that we need a strong dose of realism about what is possible. The two best-organized parties in the Shiite South, SCIRI and Da'wa, are not democratic political parties. That is why they have heavily armed militias that are already flexing their muscles. That is why they are being backed by hardline conservative elements in the Iranian regimes. And doubts are even raised about whether the two Kurdish parties, who fought a war for political control in Kurdistan during the 1990s, will tolerate electoral competitors. In the last few months, their militia forces have been involved in acts of ethnic cleansing to push out from Kirkuk Arabs who were settled there by Saddam Hussein in his campaign of "Arabization." This violent preemption of the intended process of peaceful, judicial dispute resolution is hardly a reassuring sign. Much of the country's politics remains, literally, tribal. Particularly in the rural areas, loyalties are mobilized and delivered by tribal sheikhs, and alliances are built on these foundations. So can blood debts be incurred and avenged deep into the future as a result of violence against a member of the tribe. Inevitably in emergent democratic politics, important political formations will be constituted from among Iraq's many tribes. In fact, one of the potentially more moderate and democratic political party formations--the Iraqi Democratic Gathering, based largely in the Shiite south--has its base among a vast network of tribes that do not want to see Iraq or any part of it dominated by Iran or forces loyal to the Iranian regime. If other parties play by the rules of the democratic game, so will this one. If elections are to be fought by more violent methods, I do not expect that these tribes, which are already heavily
armed, will sit on their hands and wait to be bullied and shot. The establishment of the Fallujah Brigade as a solution to the insurgency there was probably the least bad option, but it comes at a price. In effect, we created (or fully legitimized) a new sectarian militia, small for now, but probably the best trained of them all. Similarly, by encouraging SCIRI's militia, the Badr Brigade, and the Da'wa militia to attack Muqtada's Mahdi Army in Najaf and Karbala (again, probably a necessarily evil), we will also pay a heavy price. To the extent they do our bidding, we will owe them something. I am suggesting, then, two points. First, the chance for any kind of decent, peaceful, constitutional order heavily depends on what happens to the militias. Unless they are to some considerable extent demobilized and replaced by the armed forces of a new and legitimate Iraqi state, the near-term political future will be very rough. But the militias that would need to be demobilized for this to happen have in fact been strengthened enormously in their bargaining leverage vis-?-vis the United States as a result of the disintegration of recent weeks. Now, we need them, and their cooperation and assistance, more than ever. So we are in less of a position to ask of them painful concessions--not to mention compelling those concessions by force. Since the beginning of the year, we have been negotiating with the principal militias a comprehensive DDR plan for "disarmament, demobilization and reintegration" of their fighters into the new Iraqi police and armed forces and the civilian economy. To succeed, any DDR plan has to rely heavily on positive incentives (jobs, pensions, status in the new armed forces) for those militias that agree to cooperate, and force to demobilize those militias that will never cooperate. The Mahdi Army clearly falls into the latter category, which is why it is so important that it be defeated now. But it was always questionable whether the other four largest militias would really fully demobilize and disarm, rather than warehouse their heavy weapons while taking up positions, temporarily, in the new armed forces. With the country in the state it is and our leverage so much reduced, demobilization--if it happens at all--is likely to be much more superficial, and even to concede to the integration of whole militia units into the police and armed forces, with their command structures more or less intact. In that case, the new and truly
independent Iraqi state that is so desperately needed will not emerge. Rather, it will parceled out among and become a captive of these preexisting armed groups. Probably the big winner then, at least initially, will be Iran, which has seeded the whole Shiite south with arms, weapons, propaganda, and thousands (by one estimate, 14,000) intelligence agents. I am not sure, at this point, that there is any way to prevent a scenario something like this. To do so would require a sizable and credible international--which is to say, largely American--force on the ground in Iraq for some time to come. And the way things are going, we are likely to find ourselves in something of a race to see who demands the withdrawal of American forces first, the Iraqi public or the American public. Even if American troops are able to stay in large numbers for another year or two to help provide security, I doubt they are going to be given the authority, or that they would be able to muster the legitimacy within Iraq, to really confront these other militias--even assuming that the Sadr insurgency is somehow defeated, and that the Fallujah insurgency is at least contained. We are in an utterly Hobbesian situation, as we always are in such post-conflict settings, in which the balance of force will shape all the other political parameters. If we do not succeed in standing up Iraqi police and military forces that are loyal to the state of Iraq, and not to this or that party, militia, or warlord, there will be no hope for even a semi-democratic political system. But creating any kind of coherent Iraqi armed forces will take years (by some estimates, two to five years), and the prospect is rising that an Iraqi government will demand (possibly under popular pressure) that American forces be withdrawn well before that. Then (absent a new international force that is nowhere on the horizon), the only force that Iraq could fall back on to maintain order would be the major party militias, and the only question would be whether they could work out among themselves some modus vivendi that gives each a relative monopoly of power within some region or locality, while sharing power at the center. That would be better than all-out civil war, but lacking any roots or constraints in a rule of law, it would be highly susceptible to descent into civil war if the elite bargains were to shatter. And it would still be very bad for most of the Iraqi democrats we have sought to help in politics and civil society--decent people, with ideas and ideals, who placed their faith in our own professed commitment to
stay the course to help build a democracy in Iraq. One silver lining is that the overall national situation is highly unlikely to revert to the kind of coherent, total dictatorship that the country has suffered under the Baathists in particular. There will be a profusion of power centers. Even if these are not democratic in themselves, the interaction among them will provide some pluralism, some space for democratic discourse and action--if the country does not drown in bloodshed, and if some kind of self-sustaining constitutional bargain can be struck among them. That is risky, but not impossible. What Is To Be Done? The only way out of this mess is a combination of robust, precise, and determined military action to defeat the most threatening, anti-democratic insurgency--led by Muqtada Sadr and his Mahdi Army--combined with a political strategy to fill the legitimacy vacuum as rapidly as possible. The Bush Administration has taken two vital steps in the latter regard. First, it has sought to improve the international legitimacy of our mission, and our ability to find a transitional solution that will be credible and acceptable to the largest possible number of Iraqis--by giving the United Nations and its special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, a leading role in the process. Ambassador Brahimi is an extraordinarily able, imaginative, and fair-minded mediator; I could not imagine a better candidate for this arduous task. One reason why he is the right person for the job is that he has a habit of doing something elementary that our own CPA has not done often and well enough: listening to Iraqis themselves, and as wide a range of Iraqi opinion as possible. The second essential, correct decision of the Administration is to hold to the June 30 deadline for transferring power to an Iraqi interim government. One of the few positive things that has been suppressing Iraqi frustration and even rage over the occupation has been the prospect of a return to Iraqi sovereignty on June 30, and the promise of elections for a transitional government within seven months after that. It is vital that we adhere to the June 30
deadline. There is no solution to the dilemma we are in that does not put Iraqis forward to take political leadership responsibility for the enormous challenges of governance the country confronts. They cannot do it alone, but they must take the lead, and Iraqis must see that Iraqis are taking the lead. We should stop talking about "limited sovereignty." Iraqis have suffered enough humiliation. They need the dignity of knowing that they will be able to assert control over their own future after June 30, even if this will obviously be limited on the security side by the presence of some 150,000 international troops. We need to embrace a number of other steps that will advance three key principles or goals: building legitimacy for the transitional program, increasing the efficacy of emergent Iraqi control, and improving the security situation in a more lasting way. All three of these goals require an intensive effort at rebuilding the now decimated, fragmented, and demoralized Iraqi state. Here, briefly, are my recommendations: 1. Disavow any long-term military aspirations in Iraq. We should declare unambiguously that we will not seek any permanent American military bases in Iraq. (No Iraqi parliament in the near term is going to approve such a treaty, anyway). Iraqis fear that we harbor long-term imperial intentions toward their country. This would help to allay this fear. 2. Establish a clear date for an end to the military occupation. We should declare that when Iraq is at peace and capable of fully providing for its own security, we intend to withdraw all American forces from Iraq. We should set a target date for the full withdrawal of American forces. This may be three or four years in the future, but setting such a date will convince Iraqis that we are serious about leaving once the country is secure--that the occupation, in every respect, will come to a definite end. 3. Respond to the concerns about Iraqi detainees. We need an independent investigation of the treatment of Iraqi detainees, with international participation, and we should release as many detainees as possible for whom we do not have specific evidence or a strong and credible suspicion of involvement in insurgent or criminal activity. This has been a profound grievance of Iraqis virtually since the end of the war, and it has been a major factor feeding the Sunni insurgency. 4. Reorganize and accelerate recruitment and training of the new Iraqi police and armed forces. Police training in particular has been an astonishing disaster. There is no hope of avoiding renewed oppression and/or civil war in Iraq unless we can stand up Iraqi police and armed forces that are independent of party and religious militias and answerable to the new, and ultimately democratically elected, Iraqi government. We can
no longer allow ourselves to be hampered by divided responsibilities, bureaucratic face-saving, and resource constraints. We must find the best, most experienced experts and give them all the resources they need to get the job done. 5. Proceed vigorously with our plan for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of the principal armed militias into the police and armed forces. There cannot be free and fair elections in Iraq--or even sustainable peace--if the most powerful forces in the country are a variety of competing and antidemocratic religious and political party militias. The most radical and antidemocratic militias, particularly Muqtada Sadr's Mahdi Army, must be isolated, confronted, and defeated--disarmed by force, or the credible threat of force. With the militias of the Kurdish Peshmerga, SCIRI, Dawa, and other political parties that have indicated their willingness to play in the political game, we need to complete negotiations that have now been underway for several months. We will have a much stronger hand in these negotiations if we compel the Mahdi Army to disarm, rather than offering to merge it into the new police and armed forces. Outside of Kurdistan, which is a special case, militia fighters should be merged into the new police and armed forces as individuals, not as organized units with their command structures intact. 6. Get more money flowing to our Iraqi allies. In particular, we should increase the pay of the Iraqi Army and police, giving them a stronger incentive to risk their lives to join up and stick with us. We might also want to increase the pay of the provincial and local councils, and most of all, we should make sure that all of these Iraqis who are part of the newly reemerging Iraqi state get paid in a timely fashion. There are several other steps we can take to address our debilitating deficits of legitimacy with the Iraqi people and the international community: 7. Make the new Iraqi Interim Government dependent on some expression of popular consent. It is a pity that time did not permit the proposed Iraqi national conference and consultative assembly to be chosen well before June 30, so that one of these two more representative bodies could have elected the presidency council, the prime minister, and the cabinet. However, it is vital that the plans for indirect election of these bodies proceed after June 30. Once the consultative assembly is chosen by a large national conference, it should have the ability to interpellate the prime minister and cabinet ministers, and even to remove them, at least through a "constructive vote of no confidence" (which brings down the government only if there is a simultaneous majority vote for a new government). 8. Aim as much as possible for instruments of democratic control, even in the interim period. I do not think the Governing Council should continue in its current form. It has its own severe legitimacy problems, due to widespread Iraqi perceptions of its inefficacy and corruption. If some members of this Council have real bases of popular support, they should be able to demonstrate this within the national conference, to win election to the consultative assembly, and to exercise influence through that more democratic means. And one or members of the GC may wind up being appointed to positions in the
presidency council or the new government. 9. Provide for the appointment of an Iraqi Supreme Court, according to the Transitional Administrative Law, as soon as there is a consultative assembly that could confirm the appointments. If the spirit and practice of constitutionalism is to develop in Iraq, it must do so from the beginning of the reemergence of Iraqi self-rule. The Prime Minister, Cabinet, or Presidency Council should not each decide for itself what is constitutional. There must be a neutral arbiter, and it should no longer be the US or the UN. The TAL provides for the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council to propose three nominees for each of the nine vacancies on the Supreme Court, with the Presidency Council then nominating and the transitional parliament confirming. This new method would involve only a minor modification to be codified in the TAL Annex. 10. Codify the domestic and international arrangements for Iraq in a new UN Security Council Resolution. This resolution should recognize the Iraqi Interim Government and its right to name its own representation at the UN. Beyond this, however, a UN Security Council resolution should also recognize whatever temporary "status of forces agreement" is reached between the US and the Interim Government, hopefully with UN mediation or participation. UN involvement and recognition of this element might then make it possible for a number of other countries to contribute troops to help maintain peace and security in Iraq until the country can fully manage its own security. 11. We should do something in this period to acknowledge the grievances over the Transitional Administrative Law. The TAL is the most liberal and progressive basic governance document anywhere in the Arab world. Iraqis can take great pride in many of its features, such as the bill of rights. However, there is intense controversy over a number of its provisions, including the degree of minority rights and the balance of power between the center and the provinces and regions. At a minimum, we should emphatically acknowledge that the TAL is only a temporary document, that Iraqis will be fully free and sovereign to write a new permanent constitution (and this declaration could also be incorporated into a new UN Security Council Resolution). It might be possible, however, to go further, and encourage the key parties to negotiate soon, in the Annex to the TAL, some modest amendments that might address some of the most serious objections that have been raised. Finally, we need to continue to think act more innovatively in the quest to build as democratic a political system as possible. 12. We should invest in supporting moderate, secular Shi'a who draw support from parties, movements, and associations that don't have muscular militias. Hopefully, a fair process of selection of national conference participants will put many of these new faces forward. 13. We urgently need to level the playing field with respect to political party funding. The big parties either sit on huge resources, or are getting lavish funding from
neighboring states, particularly Iran. More independent and democratic political parties are begging us for support. As soon as an Independent Iraqi Electoral Administration is established, we should help it create a transparent fund for the support (in equal amounts) of all political parties that pass a certain threshold of demonstrated popular support, and we should fund it generously (perhaps with an initial infusion of $10 to 20 million). Unless the gross imbalance in access to funding is established, there will not be anything approaching free and fair elections. Senators, we should in fact do much more. As I have said, we should have had significantly more troops in Iraq--perhaps twice as many more as we now have there. We should apologize explicitly for our scandalous treatment of Iraqi detainees, and we should hold accountable everyone in the chain of command who was in a position to prevent it and stop it, and did not. I have tried to recommend here steps that are achievable within our resources, timetable, and overall strategy. These steps largely comprise a political strategy for improving the legitimacy of the transitional program in Iraq, and the legitimacy and efficacy of the new Iraqi Interim Government. But none of these steps will amount to much if we do not make much more progress in securing the country. For a long time now, it has been clear that the three great challenges of restoring security, reconstructing the economy, and rebuilding the system of government are intricately intertwined. We cannot revive and rebuild the economy, generate jobs and electricity, and get a new Iraqi government up and functioning unless we dramatically improve security on the ground. But we cannot improve security unless we have a more credible and legitimate framework for governance. The initiative of the UN mission, working with the CPA, holds out some promise of progress in the latter regard. But we have a lot of hard work to do on the security front as well, and we are not going to get there unless we put some of the worst thugs and spoilers out of business, beginning with the Mahdi Army. On both the security and political fronts, the choices we make and the actions we take between now and June 30 will have diffuse and lasting consequences for the future political order in Iraq. (Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, served as a senior advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad from January to March 2004)

The "Post Conflict" Lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Anthony H. Cordesman Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy Center for Strategic and International Studies May 19, 2004
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Executive Summary The current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan has exposed the fact that there is a serious danger in the very term "post conflict:" It reflects critical failures in American understanding of the world it faces in the 21st Century, and in the nature of asymmetric warfare and defense transformation: * First, the US faces a generational period of tension and crisis in the Middle East and much of the developing world. There is no post conflict; there is rather a very different type of sustained "cold war." The "war on terrorism" is only part of a period of continuing tension and episodic crises in dealing with hostile extremist movements and regimes. At a minimum, the US faces decades of political and ideological conflict. More probably, the US and its allies will deal with constantly evolving and mutating threats. These will involve steadily more sophisticated political, psychological, and ideological attacks on the West. They will be sustained by massive economic problems and demographic pressures that create a virtual "youth explosion, and by the regional failures of secularism at both the political and ideological level. The "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan are actually "battles, " and the keys to victory lie in a sustained US campaign to help our allies in the region carry out political, economic, and social reform; in supporting efforts to create regional security and fight terrorism, and in checkmating and containing hostile movements and nations. * Second, defeat or victory in this struggle will be shaped largely by the success of American diplomacy, deterrence, and efforts to create and sustain alliances that occur long before military action. They will also be shaped by US ability to reach out to the UN, international organizations, and moderates in the Islamic world and other challenged areas. US efforts to create favorable strategic outcomes in asymmetric conflicts and in conflicts involving any form of nation building must be conducted in a political environment shape by information operations on a continuing and global basis. Victory can only come through the equivalent of a constant program of political, psychological, and ideological "warfare" that is design to win a peace more than to aid in the military phases of a conflict. A climate of trust and cooperation must be established before any given clash or war takes place. * Third, no matter how well the US adapts to these realities, it will have to make hard strategic choices which should be made well before it uses military force. The present contest between neoconservatives and neoliberals to see who can be the most self-deluded, intellectually ingenuous -- and use the most naive and moralistic rhetoric -- is not a valid basis for either war or dealing with its aftermath. Iraq and Afghanistan are both warnings of the complexity, cost, and time required to even attempt to change national political systems, economies, and social practices. Long before one considers any form of "nation building," one must decide whether such activity is practical and what the strategic cost-benefits really are. In many cases, it will not be worth the cost of trying to deal with the aftermath of overthrowing a regime and carrying out any form of occupation. When the objective is worth the cost, both the executive branch and Congress must honestly face the fact that the results will still be uncertain, that 5-10 years of effort may be required, and that the end result will often be years of occupation and low intensity conflict, as well as years of massive economic aid. * Fourth, preparation and training for the security and nation building phases of a conflict require that planning, and the creation of specialized combat units and civilian teams with suitable resources and regional expertise to carry out the security and nation building missions, take place long before the combat phase begins. Success requires the battle plan and US military operations to be shaped to aid nation building and create security after the enemy's regime and armed forces are defeated. It requires the ability to make a transition to security and nation building activity as US forces advance during the combat phase and long and before "victory." It requires political campaigns designed to win hearts and minds of the peoples in the nation to begin before combat starts. * Fifth, in more cases than not, the aftermath of conventional conflict is going to be low intensity conflict and armed nation building that will last months or years after a
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conventional struggle is over. As Iraq and Afghanistan show that it's the war after the war that counts, and which shapes US ability to win conflicts in any grand strategic sense. * Sixth, the US cannot succeed through a mix of arrogance and ethnocentrism. The US is not the political, economic, and social model for every culture and every political system. It has much to contribute in helping trouble nations develop and evolve, but they must find their own path and it will not be ours. In most cases, economic and physical security; dealing with the educational and job problems created by demographic change, and creating basic human rights will be far more important that trying to rush towards "democracy" in nations with no history of pluralism, no or weak moderate political parties, and deep religious and ethnic divisions. Evolution tailored to the conditions and the needs of specific countries, can work; revolution will inevitably prove to lead to years of hardship and instability. The idea that the US can suddenly create examples of the kind of new political, economic, and social systems it wants in ways that will transform regions or cultures has always been little more than intellectual infantilism, and Iraq provides all the proof the US can ever afford to acquire. What is to Be Done: The Broader Grand Strategic Lessons of the Iraq and Afghan Conflicts If the US is to succeed in the conflicts that are likely to shape much of the 21st Century, it must learn from both its successes and mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Strategic engagement requires an objective - not an ideological - assessment of the problems that must be dealt with, and of the size and cost of the effort necessary to achieve decisive grand strategic results. Neither a capabilities-based strategy nor one based on theoretical sizing contingencies is meaningful when real-world conflicts and well-defined contingencies require a strategy and force plan that can deal with reality on a country-by country basis, rather than be based on ideology and theory. * There is no alternative to "internationalism." There may be times we disagree with the UN or some of our allies, but our strategy must be based on seeking consensus wherever possible, on compromise when necessary, and on coalitions that underpin virtually every action we take. * Great as US power is, it cannot substitute for coalitions and the effective use of international organizations, regional organizations, and NGOs. In order to lead, we must also learn to follow. We must never subordinate our vital national interests to others, but this will rarely be the issue. In practice, our challenge is to subordinate our arrogance to the end of achieving true partnerships, and to shape our diplomacy to creating lasting coalitions of the truly willing rather than coalitions of the pressured or intimidated. * At the same time, armed nation building is a challenge only the US is currently equipped to meet. While allies, the UN, and NGOs can help in many aspects of security and nation building operations. They often cannot operate on the scale required to deal with nation building in the midst of serious low intensity combat. * Deterrence and containment are more complex than at the time of the Cold War, but they still are critical tools and they too are dependent on formal and informal alliances. * War must be an extension of diplomacy by other means, but diplomacy must be an extension of war by other means as well. US security strategy must be based on the understanding that diplomacy, peace negotiations, and arms control are also an extension of - and substitute for - war by other means. It is easy for a "superpower" to threaten force, but far harder to use it, and bluffs get called. Fighting should be a last resort, and other means must be used to limit the number of fights as much as possible. * Military victory in asymmetric warfare can be virtually meaningless without successful nation building at the political, economic, and security levels." Stabilization" or "Phase IV" operations are far more challenging than defeating conventional military forces. They can best be conducted if the US is prepared for immediate action after the defeat of conventional enemy forces. Both in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US wasted critical days, weeks, and months in engaging in a security effort before opposition movements could regroup or reengage. It left a power vacuum, rather than exploited one, and it was not prepared for nation building or the escalation of resistance once the enemy was "defeated."
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* Force transformation cannot be dominated by technology; manpower skills, not technology, are the key. The military missions of low intensity combat, economic aid, civil-military relations, security, and information campaigns are manpower dominated and require skilled military manpower as well as new forms civil expertise in other Departments. Human intelligence can still be more important than technical collection, local experience and language skills are critical, and the ability to use aid dollars can be more important than the ability to use bullets Simply adding troops or more weapons will not solve America's problems any more than trying to use technology to make US forces smaller and more cost-effective will. The missions that are emerging require extremely skilled troops with excellent area skills, far more linguists, and training in civic action and nation building as well as guerilla warfare. * Technology-based force transformation and the revolution in military affairs are tools with severe and sometimes crippling limits. The ability to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (IS&R) coverage of the world is of immense value. It does not, however, provide the ability to understand the world, deal with complex political issues, and fight effectively in the face of terrorism, many forms of low intensity conflict and asymmetric warfare, and the need to deal with conflict termination and peace making or protect nation building. In practice, there may be a need to make far more effective use of legacy systems, and evolutionary improvements in weapons and technology, to support "humancentric" forms of military action requiring extensive human intelligence and area skills, high levels of training and experience, and effective leadership in not only defeating the enemy in battle but winning the peace. * "Jointness" cannot simply be an issue for restructuring the US military, and is far more than a military problem. It must occur within the entire executive branch, and on a civil-military level as well as a military one. An advisory National Security Advisor is a failed National Security Advisor; effective leadership is required to force coordination on the US national security process. Unresolved conflicts between leaders like Secretary Powell, and Secretary Rumsfeld, the exclusion of other cabinet members from key tasks, insufficient review of military planning, and giving too much power to small elements within given departments, have weakened US efforts and needlessly alienated our allies. The creation of a large and highly ideological foreign policy staff in Vice President's office is a further anomaly in the interagency process. The US interagency process simply cannot function with such loosely defined roles, a lack of formal checks and balances, and a largely advisory National Security Advisor. "Jointness" must go far beyond the military; it must apply to all national security operations. * Policy, analysis, and intelligence must accept the true complexity of the world, deal with it honestly and objectively, and seek "evolution" while opposing "revolution." The US cannot afford to rush into - or stay in - any conflict on ideological grounds. It cannot afford to avoid any necessary commitment because of idealism. What it needs is informed pragmatism. One simple rule of thumb is to stop over-simplifying and sloganizing - particularly in the form of "mirror imaging" and assuming that "democratization" is the solution or even first priority for every country. The US needs to deal with security threats quietly and objective on a country-by-country and movement-by-movement basis. The US must also seek reform with the understanding that progress in economic reform, dealing with population problems, and improvements in human rights may often not only be more important in the near term than progress towards elections, but that "democracy" is purposeless, or actively destructive, unless viable political parties exist, political leaders have emerged capable of moving their nations forward toward moderation and economic development, and enough national consensus exists to allow different ethnic, ideological, and religious factions to function in a stable pluralistic structure. Finally, the US must act with the understanding that other societies and cultures may often find very different solutions to political, social, and economic modernization. * Stabilization, armed nation building, and peacemaking require a new approach to organizing US government efforts. The integration of USAID into State has compounded the problems of US aid efforts which had previously transferred many functions to generic aid through the World Bank and IMF. There was no staff prepared, sized, and training to deal with nation building on this scale, or to formulate and administer the massive aid program required. Contractors were
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overburdened with large-scale contracts because these were easiest to grant and administer in spite of a lack of experience in functioning in a command economy and high threat environment. US government and contractor staff had to be suddenly recruited - often with limited experience - and generally for 3-12 month tours too short to ensure continuity in such missions. This should never happen again. Denial of the importance and scale of the mission before the event in no way prevents it from being necessary when reality intervenes. * New capabilities are required within the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Department of Defense for security and nation building missions. It does not matter whether these are called post conflict, Phase IV, stabilization, or reconstruction missions. The US must be as well prepared to win a peace as it is prepared to win a war. It must have the interagency tools in place to deal with providing security after the termination of a conflict, and to support nation building in terms of creating viable political systems, economic stability and growth, effective military and security forces, and public information system and free press. This requires the National Security Council to have such expertise, the State Department to have operational capability to carry out such a mission, the Department of Defense to have the proper military capabilities, and other agencies to be ready to provide the proper support. The US must never again repeat its most serious mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It must make security and nation building a fundamental part of the planning and execution of military operations directed at foreign governments from the start. A clear operational plan for such activity must be prepared before military operations begin, the costs and risks should be fully assessed, and the Congress should be fully consulted in the same way it is consulted before initiating military operations. The security and nation-building missions must begin as combat operations proceed, there must be no pause that creates a power vacuum, and the US must act from the start to ensure that the necessary resources for nation building are present. * Our military strategy must give interoperability and military advisory efforts the same priority as jointness. The US needs to rethink its arms sales and security assistance policies. The US needs to pay far more attention to the social and economic needs of countries in the Middle East, and to work with other sellers to reduce the volume of sales. At the same time, it needs to work with regional powers to help them make the arms they do need effective and sustainable, create local security arrangements, and improve interoperability for the purposes of both deterrence and warfighting. The US needs to recast its security assistance programs to help nations fight terrorism and extremism more effectively, and do so in ways that do not abuse human rights or delay necessary political, social, and economic reforms. * The US needs to organize for effective information campaigns while seeking to create regional and allied campaigns that will influence Arab and Islamic worlds. The US needs to revitalize its information efforts in a focused and effective way that takes advantage of tools like satellite broadcasting and the Internet while working directly in country. The US, however, can never be an Arab or Islamic country. It needs to work with its friends and allies in the region to seek their help in creating information campaigns that reject Islamic radicalism and violence, encourage terrorism, and support reform. The US should not try to speak for the Arabs or for Islam; it should help them speak for themselves. * The US private sector and foreign direct investment should be integrated into the US security strategy and efforts to achieve evolutionary reform. The US has tended to emphasize sanctions over trade and economic contact in dealing with hostile or radical states, and assign too low a priority to helping the US private sector invest in friendly states. A "zero-based" review is needed of what the US government should do to encourage private sector activity in the Middle East. * Current methods of intelligence collection and analysis, cannot guarantee adequate preparation for stabilization operations, properly support low intensity combat, or properly support the nation-building phase. The US needs to fundamentally reassess its approach to intelligence to support adequate planning for the combat termination, security, and nation building phases of asymmetric warfare and peacemaking operations. It is equally important that adequate tactical intelligence support be available from the beginning of combat operations to the end of security and nation building operations that provides adequate tactical human intelligence support,
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combined with the proper area expertise and linguistic skills. Technology can be a powerful tool, but it is an aid - not a substitute - for human skills and talents. * New approaches are needed at the tactical and field level to creating effective teams for operations and intelligence. Tactical intelligence must operate as part of a team effort with those involved in counterinsurgency operations, the political and economic phases of nation building, and security and military advisory teams. It is particularly critical that both intelligence and operations directly integrate combat activity with civil-military relations efforts, US military police and security efforts, the use of economic aid in direct support of low intensity combat and security operations, the training of local security forces and their integration into the HUMINT effort, and the creation of effective information campaigns. * Current methods of intelligence collection and analysis, and current methods of arms control and inspection, cannot guarantee an adequate understanding of the risks posed by proliferation. The US needs to fundamentally reassess the problems of intelligence on proliferation and the lessons Iraq provides regarding arms control. Far too much the media coverage and outside analysis of the intelligence failures in Iraq has focused on the politics of the situation or implied that intelligence failed because it was improperly managed and reviewed. There were long standing problems in the way in which the CIA managed its counterproliferation efforts, and institutional biases that affected almost all intelligence community reporting and analysis on the subject. * The US has agonizing decisions to make about defense resources. The fact that the current Future Year Defense Plan does not provide enough funds to allow the US cannot come close to fund both its planned force levels and force improvement plans is obvious. Everyone with any experience stopped believing in estimated procurement costs long ago. What is equally clear now, however, is that the US faces years of unanticipated conflicts, many involving armed peacemaking and nation building, and must rethink deterrence in terms of proliferation. This is not a matter of billions of dollars; it is a matter of several percent of the US GNP. * Limit new strategic adventures where possible: The US needs to avoid additional military commitments and conflicts unless they truly serve vital strategic interests. The US already faces serious strategic overstretch, and nothing could be more dangerous than assuming that existing problems can be solved by adding new ones - such as Syria or Iran. This means an emphasis on deterrence, containment, and diplomacy to avoid additional military commitments. It means a new emphasis on international action and allies to find substitutes for US forces. One final reality - the image of a quick and decisive victory is almost always a false one, but it is still the image many Americans want and expect. One thousand or more dead in Iraq is hardly Vietnam, but it must be justified and explained, and explained honestly - not in terms of the ephemeral slogans. The budget rises and supplements of the last few years are also likely to be the rule and not the exception America may well have to spend another one percent of its GNP on sustained combat and international intervention overseas than any American politician is willing to admit. America faces hard political choices, and they are going to take exceptional leadership and courage in both an election year and the decades to come. They require bipartisanship of a kind that has faded since the Cold War, and neither neo-conservative nor neo-liberal ideology can help. Moreover, America's think tanks and media are going to have to move beyond sound bites and simple solutions, just as will America's politicians and military planners. Put differently, it not only is going to be a very tough year, it is going to be a very tough decade. What is to Be Done: The Need for Near-Term Actions in Iraq and the Middle East At this point, the US lacks good options in Iraq -- although it probably never really had them in the sense the Bush Administration sought. The option of quickly turning Iraq into a successful, free market democracy was never practical, and was as absurd a neoconservative fantasy as the idea that success in this objective would magically make Iraq an example that would transform the Middle East.
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The key to the success the US can now hope to achieve is to set realistic objectives. In practice, these objectives are to create an Iraqi political structure that will minimize the risk of civil war, develop some degree of pluralism, and help the Iraqis take charge over their own economy. This, in turn, means a major shift from trying to maintain US influence and leverage in a post sovereignty period to a policy where the US makes every effort to turn as much of the political, aid, and security effort over to Iraqis as soon as possible, and focuses on supporting the UN in creating the best compromises possible in creating Iraqi political legitimacy. The US should not abandon Iraq, but rather abandon the effort to create an Iraq in its own image. Other measures are: o Accept the fact that a universal, nation-wide "security first" policy is stupid and impractical, and that the US needs to isolate and bypass islands of resistance, and focus on creating a legitimate Iraqi government that can unify Iraqis and allow nation building to work. This means relying on containment in the case of truly troubled and high insurgent areas, and focusing on security in friendly areas. o Accept the fact there is no way to "drain the swamp." At this point, there simply is no way to eliminate cadres of insurgents or to disarm the most threatening areas. Fallujah and similar areas have too much popular support for the insurgents; there are too many arms that can be hidden, and too many points of vulnerability. This does not mean the US should give up fighting the insurgents or its efforts to disarm them. It does mean the US must accept that it cannot win in the sense of eliminating them or turning hostile areas into secure and disarmed areas. o Rush aid to the Iraqi security forces and military seeking more friendly Arab aid in training and support, and provide as broad a base of Iraqi command as possible. Forget contract regulations on buying equipment. Deliver everything necessary and worry about the details later. o Continue expanding the role of the Iraqi security forces. Understand that their loyalties will be divided, that putting them in charge of hostile areas does not mean they can be expected to do more than work out a modus vivendi with the insurgents, and that the end result will often be to create "no go" or limited access areas for Americans. The US cannot afford to repeat the Israeli mistake of assuming that any Iraqi authority in hostile areas can be counted on to provide security for Americans. o Walk firmly and openly away from the losers in the IGC like Chalibi. Open up the political structure and deal with Shi'ite oppositionists, Sunni insurgents, ex-Ba'athists to the maximum degree possible. Drag in as many non-IGC leaders as possible, and give Ibrahimi's council idea the strongest possible support. Lower the US profile in shaping the political future of Iraq as much as possible and bring in as broad a UN international team as possible. o Focus on all of the Shi'ites, not just the friendly ones. Make this a critical aspect of US diplomatic efforts. Let the Iraqi Shi'ites deal with Sadr and stay out of internal Shi'ite disputes, except to help insure security. Quietly reach out to Iran to create whatever kind of dialogue is possible. o Push Sunni Arab states into helping Iraq's Sunnis and in helping to deal with the political issues involved by quietly making it clear that they will have to live with the aftermath of failure and that the US presence and commitment is not open-ended. o Zero-base the failed contracting effort for FY2004 US aid to put Iraqi Ministries and officials in charge of the aid process as soon as possible, with Iraqis going into the field and not foreign contractors.
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o Reprogram funds for a massive new CERF program to enable US military commanders to use dollars instead of bullets at every opportunity. Make the focus of US control over aid whether Iraqis spend the money honestly and effectively, and not on US control, plans, and objectives. o Zero-base the US embassy plan to create the smallest staff practical of proven area experts, with the clear message to the Iraqis that not only are they going to be in charge, but non-performance means no US money and no continuation of US troops and support. End the image of a US end of an occupation after the occupation. o Develop a long-term economic and military aid program as leverage to try to influence Iraqi decision making over time. Have the ministries manage the process, not USAID or contractors. Focus on whether the Iraqi efforts are honest and produce real results. Do not try to use aid to force Iraq into US modes and methods. o Accept the near total failure of US information operations. Stop giving all CPA/CJTF-7 press conferences, and put an Iraqi on the stage with the US spokesmen. Stop all procounsel-like press conferences where the US seems to be dictating. Make an Iraqi spokesman part of all dialogue, and give them the lead as soon as possible. Subordinate US and Coalition spokesmen as soon as possible to Iraqis in press conferences and briefings that are held in Arabic. o Look at the broader failures of US policy in the region. Revitalize the Road Map and the Quartet in the light of Sharon's problems. Deal with the reality that there are two failed sets of political elites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that settlements should be unacceptable and not just terrorism. o Abandon the Greater Middle East Initiative in its present form. Do not add another strategic and policy blunder to the present situation by appearing to call for regime change and seeking to dominate the region. Focus on a broad cooperative initiative worked out with the EU and where the EU puts pressure on the Arab League. Stop talking about region-wide democracy and liberty before there are responsible political parties and the other reforms necessary to make democracy work. Focus on a country-by-country approach to reform that considers human rights, economic welfare, and demographic issues to be at least as important as elections. Stress cooperation in "evolution;" not random efforts at "revolution." Prepare for the fact that nation building may still fail, and position the US to use the threat of withdrawal as leverage. Make it clear that the US can and will leave Iraq if the Iraqis do not reach agreement on an effective interim solution and if they do not proceed with reasonable unity to implement the UN plans. The US position should be that the US is ready to help an Iraq that will help itself, and that it supports a true transfer of sovereignty. It should make it clear to Iraq and the world, however, that the US has a clear exit strategy. It has no interest in bases or control over Iraqi oil. It has no reason to stay if Iraq become unstable, devolves into civil war, or ends up under a strong man. The US can live with a weak or unstable Iraq, and Iraq still will have to export oil at market prices and will still be far less of a threat than Saddam's Iraq.
Index INDEX.......................................................................................................................................................0 THE SECURITY PROBLEMS THAT DRIVE THE NEED FOR CONTINUING ENGAGEMENT.0 STRATEGY, GRAND STRATEGY, AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE US GOVERNMENT CIVIL AND MILITARY EFFORT............................................................................................................2 LESSONS FOR INTELLIGENCE AND ANALYSIS............................................................................11 THE NEAR TERM SITUATION IN IRAQ............................................................................................12 WHY THE US HAS ALREADY "LOST" SOME ASPECTS OF ITS BATTLES IN FALLUJAH AND WITH SADR................................................................................................................................................................13 LOSING A WAR OF ATTRITION IN A "PERFECT STORM" OF NEGATIVE IMAGES?...............................14 THE LACK OF COALITION AND IGC POLITICAL LEGITIMACY.............................................................15 TURNING A NON-TERRORIST THREAT INTO A REAL ONE.....................................................................15 PARALYZING MUCH OF THE EFFORT TO WIN HEARTS AND MINDS.....................................................15 A NEGOTIATED SOLUTION MEANS LIMITING THE SCALE OF DEFEAT.................................................15 A CLASSIC MILITARY SOLUTION CANNOT WORK................................................................................17 WHAT THE US SHOULD DO NOW IN IRAQ.....................................................................................18 AVOID STRATEGIC OVERREACH.....................................................................................................20 The Security Problems that Drive the Need for Continuing Engagement US intervention in Iraq -- like its role in the war in Afghanistan, the broader struggle against terrorism, and the Arab-Israel conflict -- must be seen in the context of continuing region-wide problems that will take at least 10-20 years to resolve, and which are spilling over into Central, South, and East Asia. At the same time, the history of the modern Middle East shows that the way in which these forces will play out is normally highly national. No one can deny the reality that Arab and Islamic culture are powerful regional forces, or that the rhetoric of Arab unity still has powerful influence. The fact remains, however, that history shows most demographic, social, economic, and political problems play out at a national level. Solutions are found, or not found, one nation at a time, and there is little historical evidence since the time of Nasser that any one nation may serve as an example that transforms the others. This scarcely means that short-term American success in Iraq is unimportant. It does mean that the forces shaping the region are far too powerful to play out quickly or be deeply influenced by a single case. Regardless of how well or how badly America does in Iraq - and in the other three wars it is involved in it faces decades in which: * Internal tensions will lead to violence in many states.
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* Demographic momentum will increase demographic pressure on virtually every nation for at least the next three decades. * Economic reform will come slowly, particularly in reaching the poor and badly educated. * Political evolution may succeed over time, but there is - as yet -- no foundation for sudden democracy or political reform. Stable political parties, the rule of law, human rights, willingness to compromise and give up power, and all the checks and balances that allow our republic to function, are still weak. Attempts at reform that outpace the ability of societies to generate internal change will lead to revolution and new - and generally worse - forms of authoritarianism or theocracy. * Islamic extremism and terrorism may never come to dominate more than a handful of states, but they will mutate and endure for decades after Bin Laden and Al Qaida are gone and only sheer luck will prevent them from dominating at least some states or at least posing a critical challenge to some regimes. * Anger and jealousy at the West and against the US in particular, may fade some if the US can find a way of helping to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, and can succeed enough in Iraq so that it is not perceived as a modern group of "crusaders" and an occupying enemy. This anger will not, however, disappear. It may well be compounded by the backlash from cultural conflicts over immigration and a steadily growing gap between the wealth of the West, and living standards in much of the MENA region. The fact that the future of Iraq and the Middle East will be as difficult, complex, and time consuming as its past, however, does not mean that the US can disengage from the region. Neither do the facts that US influence will be far more limited than we might like, that reform and change will be driven by local values and priorities, and that there will often be set backs and reversals. America is not involved in a "clash of civilizations." It is, however, on the periphery of a clash within a civilization that affects their vital strategic interests, that can lash out in the form of terrorism and extremist attacks, and which deserves an active US role on moral and humanitarian grounds. Like the Cold War, the fact America faces what could be half a century of problems, and can neither foresee nor fully shape the future, in no way allows Americans to stand aside. Like it or not, the US is also involved in a war of ideas and values in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and there is no easy dividing line between the Middle East, the general threat of Islamic extremism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the war in Afghanistan, and instability in Central and South Asia. We will be a target regardless of how active we are in the region. The events of "9/11" have made part of the threat as obvious as the
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previous points have shown the need for outside aid and encouragement. Terrorism can reach anywhere in the world, and sometimes will. Strategy, Grand Strategy, and the Organization of the US Government Civil and Military Effort In fairness to the Bush Administration, only one of the four wars the US now faces - Iraq - can be called "optional." Afghanistan came as the result of a major attack on the US. The problem of terrorism had arisen long before "9/11," and US involvement in Arab-Israeli conflicts is inevitable unless a true and lasting peace can be achieved or the US abandons an ally. Even Iraq is "optional" largely in retrospect. The Bush and Blair governments may have politicized some aspects of the assessment of Iraqi proliferation, but virtually all experts felt the threat was more serious than it has proved to be. Moreover, it seems doubtful that Saddam's Hussein's Iraq would not have triggered another regional conflict at some point, just as it is doubtful that most of Iraq's present internal problems would not have surfaced at some point in the future even if the US, Britain, and Australia had never invaded. The end result, however, is the US does not face the possibility of fighting two major regional contingencies - the strategic focus of both the first Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration. The US instead faces the reality of actually fighting three low intensity conflicts and deep strategic involvement in a fourth. Moreover, the US still faces the risk of involvement in major regional conflicts. These risks include Iran, North Korea, Taiwan, and Columbia. American military planning and strategy must be reevaluated in terms of this situation and many of the lessons that grow out of US experience in Iraq apply to the other wars as well: * Strategic engagement requires an objective - not an ideological - assessment of the problems that must be dealt with, and of the size and cost of the effort necessary to achieve decisive grand strategic results. Neither a capabilities-based strategy nor one based on theoretical sizing contingencies is meaningful when real-world conflicts and well-defined contingencies require a strategy and force plan that can deal with reality, rather than theory. The US does not face a world where all problems were solved by the end of the Cold War. It does not face a world it can control or predict in the future. It must constantly adapt to the tasks at hand and those it can immediately foresee, not base its plans on hopes and strategic slogans. The US must pursue strategies and tactics that reflect the fact that many of the conflicts we are now involved in cannot be resolved by defeating a well defined enemy and involve political, social, and economic forces that will take years, if not decades to run their course. Iraq, at best, will be an unstable and evolving state for a decade after we leave. At worst it could be the subject of strong anti-American feelings in the Gulf and Arab world.
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The war in Afghanistan is mutating in ways that are beyond our control and nation building so far is failing. The war on terrorism is not a war against Al Qaida but against violent Islamic extremism driven by mass demographic, economic, and social forces in a region with limited political legitimacy. It may take a quarter of a century to deal with. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems years away from peace, and the last peace process has shown how tenuous and uncertain even a seemingly successful peace process can be. * "Superpower" has always been a dangerous term. The resulting exaggeration of US capabilities and strategic focus on bipolar threats and "peer rivals" misses the point. The real problem is being a global power with limited resources - a problem that Great Britain encountered throughout the 19th century. The world already is multipolar. There are severe limits to what the US can do, and how many places it can do it. Coalitions and alliances are more important than ever. There is no alternative to "internationalism." There may be times we disagree with the UN or some of our allies, but our strategy must be based on seeking consensus wherever possible, on compromise when necessary, and on coalitions that underpin virtually every action we take. Our rhetoric can no longer be simply American or be driven by domestic politics; it must take full account of the values and sensitivities of others. Our military strategy must give interoperability and military advisory efforts the same priority as jointness. In order to lead, we must also learn to follow. We must never subordinate our vital national interests to others, but this will rarely be the issue. In practice, our challenge is to subordinate our arrogance to the end of achieving true partnerships, and to shape our diplomacy to creating lasting coalitions of the truly willing rather than coalitions of the pressured and intimidated. * Great as US power is, it cannot substitute for coalitions and the effective use of international organizations if at all possible. The term "superpower" may not be a misnomer, but it certainly does not imply US freedom of action. At the same time, most NGOs and international organizations are not organized for armed nation building and face severe - if not crippling - limitations if they are targeted in a low intensity combat environment or by large-scale terrorism. * At the same time, armed nation building is a challenge only the US is currently equipped to meet. While allies, the UN, and NGOs can help in many aspects of security and nation building operations. They often cannot operate on the scale required to deal with nation building in the midst of serious low intensity combat. Armed nation building requires continuing US military and security efforts, and civil and economic aid programs. Security and nation building not only require new forms of US "rapid deployment," but major financial resources and the development of new approaches to providing economic aid and the necessary contract support.
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* Deterrence and containment are more complex than at the time of the Cold War, but they still are critical tools and they too are dependent on formal and informal alliances. The need to create reliable structures of deterrence must also respond to the reality of proliferation. The problem no longer is how to prevent proliferation, but rather how to live with it. The US needs to develop more mobile forces that are better tailored to rapid reaction, power projection in areas where the US has limited basing and facilities, and capable of dealing better with the kind of low intensity combat dominated by terrorists or hostile movements that require an emphasis on light forces and HUMINT, rather than heavy forces and high technology. Military intervention cannot, however, be the dominant means of exercising US military power. The problem is to find better ways to use the threat of US military power to deter and contain asymmetric conflicts, and new kinds of political and economic threats. War avoidance is just as important in the post-Cold War era as it was during it. * War must be an extension of diplomacy by other means, but diplomacy must be an extension of war by other means as well. US security strategy must be based on the understanding that diplomacy, peace negotiations, and arms control are also an extension of - and substitute for - war by other means. It is easy for a "superpower" to threaten force, but far harder to use it, and bluffs get called. Fighting should be a last resort, and other means must be used to limit the number of fights as much as possible. * Military victory in asymmetric warfare can be virtually meaningless without successful nation building at the political, economic, and security levels. These "stabilization" or "Phase IV" operations are far more challenging, however, than defeating conventional military forces. They also probably can best be conducted if the US is prepared for immediate action after the defeat of conventional enemy forces. Both in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US wasted critical days, weeks, and months in engaging in a security effort before opposition movements could regroup or reengage. It left a power vacuum, rather than exploited one, and it was not prepared for nation building or the escalation of resistance once the enemy was "defeated." The Quadrennial Defense Review was right in stressing the risk asymmetric warfare posed to the US in spite of its conventional strength. It failed, however, to look beyond the narrow definition of the problems of direct combat to the problems of containment and deterrence, conflict termination, and armed nation building. Much of today's problems in Iraq stem from the fact that the Defense Department and the Bush Administration were as badly prepared for conflict termination, nation building, and low intensity threats after the defeat of Saddam's regular military forces, as they were well prepared to carry out that defeat. The price tag also involves more than dollars and includes some share of responsibility for every US body bag being flown out of Iraq. To a lesser degree, the same is true of the situation in Afghanistan, and the problem is scarcely new.
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The US failed in both nation building and Vietnamization in Vietnam. It failed in Lebanon in the early 1980s. It failed in Haiti, and it failed in Somalia. The stakes, level of involvement, and the costs to the US may have been far lower in some of these cases, but the fact remains that the US failed. * Force transformation cannot be dominated by technology; manpower skills, not technology, are the key. The Afghan War led to an emphasis on a method of using airpower that could not secure the country or deal with Taliban and Al Qaida forces that quickly mutated and dispersed. The Iraq War began with heavy conventional land forces and soon became a heavy air-land battle. It was all airpower, armored, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (IS&R) and precision through late April. As such, it showed that high technology forces could decisively defeat lower technology conventional forces almost regardless of force numbers and the kinds of force ratios that were critical in past conflicts. Yet, the US has since been forced to virtually reinvent the way in which it uses its forces since the fall of Saddam's regime. Technology and netcentric war -- and an emphasis on destroying enemy hard targets and major weapons systems -- failed when the problem became conflict termination, armed nation building, and low intensity warfare. The military missions of low intensity combat, economic aid, civil-military relations, security, and information campaigns are manpower dominated and require skilled military manpower as well as new forms civil expertise in other Departments. Human intelligence can still be more important than technical collection, local experience and language skills are critical, and the ability to use aid dollars can be more important than the ability to use bullets. This requires a fundamental reexamination of US force plans and force transformation concepts. For decades, the US has sought to use technology to substitute for defense spending, for force numbers, and for manpower numbers. During the conventional phases of both the Afghan and Iraq conflicts, suggestions were made for further force and manpower cuts and further efforts to achieve savings in defense spending by acquiring transformational technology. Technology has been, is, and will be critical to American power and military success. It is extremely questionable, however, that the US has any credible way of using technology to make further force and manpower cuts without taking unacceptable risks. Creating the proper mix of capabilities for asymmetric warfare, low-intensity conflict, security and Phase IV operations, and nation building requires large numbers of skilled and experience personnel. It is manpower intensive, and technology is at best an aid to - not a substitute for - force size and manpower numbers. This problem is further compounded by the fact that the US does not have a single major transformational weapons system or technology under development which now seems likely to be delivered on time, with the promised effectiveness, and at even half of the unit life cycle cost originally promised. The US has made little
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meaningful progress in the effective planning and management of the development and procurement of advanced military technology in the last quarter century - at least in the sense of being able to integrate it into realistic budgets and force plans. While the US has shown it can transform, it has not shown it can plan and manage transformation. For at least the next half decade, the US must also deal with the backlog of maintenance and service requirements created by its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with the fact it must retain and modernize far more of its so-called legacy systems that it now plans. * Technology-based force transformation and the revolution in military affairs are tools with severe and sometimes crippling limits. The ability to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (IS&R) coverage of the world is of immense value. It does not, however, provide the ability to understand the world, deal with complex political issues, and fight effectively in the face of terrorism, many forms of low intensity conflict and asymmetric warfare, and the need to deal with conflict termination and peace making or protect nation building. The ability to use precision weapons, helicopter mobility, and armor to destroy enemy conventional forces and blow fixed targets up "24/7" is also of great tactical value, but it does not mean that defeating enemy conventional forces really wins wars. The US is as bad at knowing what to blow up in terms of strategic targeting and many aspects of interdiction bombing as it was in World War II. There also are good reasons to question whether many aspects of "Netcentric" warfare are little more than a conceptual myth, concealing the military equivalent of the "Emperor's new clothes" in a dense forest of incomprehensible PowerPoint slides than cannot be translated into procurable systems, workable human interfaces, and affordable Future Year Defense Plans. In practice, there may be a need to make far more effective use of legacy systems, and evolutionary improvements in weapons and technology, to support "humancentric" forms of military action requiring extensive human intelligence and area skills, high levels of training and experience, and effective leadership in not only defeating the enemy in battle but winning the peace. This, in turn, means creating US military forces with extensive experience in civil-military action and which can use aid as effectively as weapons - dollars as well as bullets. It also means redefining interoperability to recognize that low technology allied forces can often be as, or more effective, as high technology US forces in such missions. * Simply adding troops or more weapons will not solve America's problems any more than trying to use technology to make US forces smaller and more cost-effective will.
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Manpower quality is at least as important as manpower quantity, and they require suitable increases in the strength of military and civil units. The problem is not boots on the ground, but the capability of those wearing the boots. The missions that are emerging require extremely skilled troops with excellent area skills, far more linguists, human intelligence experts, experts in urban and low intensity warfare, military police, security experts and experts with training in civic action and nation building. Personnel are require who can train local personnel in security, police functions, and well as guerilla warfare. Many of these personnel and forces, however, would have little value in a Korean or Taiwan contingency. The US needs to pause and think out the issue of quality before it does anything about force quantity. The fact is that 200,000 under-trained troops in Iraq would not be better than 150,000, and having F-22s instead of F-15s would be pointless. * "Jointness" cannot simply be an issue for restructuring the US military, and is far more than a military problem. It must occur within the entire executive branch, and on a civil-military level as well as a military one. The Iraq War has shown that the end result of allowing small cadres in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Vice President, and National Security Council was to allow ideological cadres to bypass the US national security process in ways that led to critical failures in key strategic tasks like conflict termination and nation building. More broadly, similar failures have occurred in virtually every aspect of US strategic engagements and diplomacy, including critical areas like counterproliferation and the Arab-Israel peace process. To date, this lack of "jointness" in the Bush Administration's national security team has had many of the same effects as a similar Department of Defense-driven breakdown in the interagency process during the period in which critical decision were made to carry out a massive US building up in Vietnam. An advisory National Security Advisor is a failed National Security Advisor; effective leadership is required to force coordination on the US national security process. Unresolved conflicts between leaders like Secretary Powell, and Secretary Rumsfeld, the exclusion of other cabinet members from key tasks, insufficient review of military planning, and giving too much power to small elements within given departments, have weakened US efforts and needlessly alienated our allies. The creation of a large and highly ideological foreign policy staff in Vice President's office is a further anomaly in the interagency process. The US interagency process simply cannot function with such loosely defined roles, a lack of formal checks and balances, and a largely advisory National Security Advisor. "Jointness" must go far beyond the military; it must apply to all national security operations. * Policy, analysis, and intelligence must accept the true complexity of the world, deal with it honestly and objectively, and seek "evolution" while opposing "revolution." The US is involved in four very complex wars, each of which requires the most objective intelligence and analysis that is possible. There is no room for
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ideological sound bites or overly simplistic solutions, and force transformation cannot cut some mystical Gordian knot. The US cannot afford to rush into - or stay in - any conflict on ideological grounds. It cannot afford to avoid any necessary commitment because of idealism. What it needs is informed pragmatism. One simple rule of thumb is to stop over-simplifying and sloganizing - particularly in the form of "mirror imaging" and assuming that "democratization" is the solution or even first priority for every country. The US needs to deal with security threats quietly and objective on a country-by-country and movement-by-movement basis. The US must seek reform with the understanding that progress in economic development, raising the living standards of the ordinary citizen, dealing with population problems, and improvements in human rights may often not only be more important in the near term than progress towards elections, but that "democracy" is purposeless, or actively destructive, unless viable political parties exist, political leaders have emerged capable of moving their nations forward toward moderation and economic development, and enough national consensus exists to allow different ethnic, ideological, and religious factions to function in a stable pluralistic structure. Finally, the US must act with the understanding that other societies and cultures may often find very different solutions to political, social, and economic modernization. The US cannot afford to carelessly abuse words like "Islam" and "Arab," or ignore the sensitivities of key allies like South Korea in dealing with the threat from the North. It cannot afford to alienate its European allies or lose support in the UN by throwing nations like "Iran" into an imaginary "axis of evil." It needs nations like Saudi Arabia as an ally in the struggle against movements like Al Qaida, and it cannot afford to confuse terrorist movements driven by different and largely neo-Salafi beliefs with terms like Wahhabi, any more than it can afford to act as if Al Qaida somehow dominated a far more complex mix of different threats. The US needs a nuanced pragmatism that deals with each nation and each threat individually and in proportion to the threat it really presents. It must give regional and other allies a proper role and influence in decision-making rather than seek to bully them through ideology and rhetoric. It needs to engage the checks and balances of the fully interagency process, of area and intelligence professionals, and seek a bipartisan approach with proper consultation with the Congress. * Stabilization, armed nation building, and peacemaking require a new approach to organizing US government efforts. It is not clear when the US will have to repeat stabilization and nation building activities on the level of Iraq. It is clear that that the civilian agencies of the US government were not adequately prepared to analyze and plan the need for the political, security, aid, and information programs needed in Iraq, and to provide staff with suitable training and ability to operate in a high threat environment. The State Department was prepared to analyze the challenges, but lacked both
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planning and operational capability and staff prepared to work in the field in a combat environment. The integration of USAID into State has compounded the problems of US aid efforts which had previously transferred many functions to generic aid through the World Bank and IMF. There was no staff prepared, sized, and training to deal with nation building on this scale, or to formulate and administer the massive aid program required. Contractors were overburdened with large-scale contracts because these were easiest to grant and administer in spite of a lack of experience in functioning in a command economy and high threat environment. US government and contractor staff had to be suddenly recruited - often with limited experience - and generally for 3-12 month tours too short to ensure continuity in such missions. It is a tribute to the CPA and all those involved that so much could be done in spite of the lack of effective planning and preparation before the end of major combat operations against Iraq's conventional forces. The fact remains, however, that this should never happen again. Denial of the importance and scale of the mission before the event in no way prevents it from being necessary when reality intervenes. o New capabilities are required within the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Department of Defense for security and nation building missions. It does not matter whether these are called post conflict, Phase IV, stabilization, or reconstruction missions. The US must be as well prepared to win a peace as it is prepared to win a war. It must have the interagency tools in place to deal with providing security after the termination of a conflict, and to support nation building in terms of creating viable political systems, economic stability and growth, effective military and security forces, and public information system and free press. This requires the National Security Council to have such expertise, the State Department to have operational capability to carry out such a mission, the Department of Defense to have the proper military capabilities, and other agencies to be ready to provide the proper support. The US must never again repeat its most serious mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It must make security and nation building a fundamental part of the planning and execution of military operations directed at foreign governments from the start. A clear operational plan for such activity must be prepared before military operations begin, the costs and risks should be fully assessed, and the Congress should be fully consulted in the same way it is consulted before initiating military operations. The security and nation-building missions must begin as combat operations proceed, there must be no pause that creates a power vacuum, and the US must act from the start to ensure that the necessary resources for nation building are present. * The US needs to rethink its arms sales and security policies. The US still is selling massive amounts of arms to the region with more attention to the dollar value of sales than to their impact on local societies, the need for interoperability and effectiveness, and changes in security needs that increasingly focus on internal security.
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The US signed $13.3 billion worth of new arms sales agreements with Middle Eastern countries during 1995-1998, of total sales to the region of $30.8 billion. Most are still in delivery or early conversion and require extensive US advisory and contract support to be effective. The US signed another $17.2 billion during 1999-2002, out of a worldwide total of $35.9 billion. All of these latter sales require extensive US advisory and contract support. At present, almost all of these sales are going to countries with poorly integrated arms buys, and low levels of readiness and sustainability. They are also being made in ways that offer only limited interoperability with US forces. The sheer volume of these sales also does as much to threaten regional security as it does to aid it. The US needs to pay far more attention to the social and economic needs of countries in the Middle East, and to work with other sellers to reduce the volume of sales. At the same time, it needs to work with regional powers to help them make the arms they do need effective and sustainable, create local security arrangements, and improve interoperability for the purposes of both deterrence and warfighting. At the same time, most countries now face internal security threats that are more serious than external threats. The US needs to recast its security assistance programs to help nations fight terrorism and extremism more effectively, and do so in ways that do not abuse human rights or delay necessary political, social, and economic reforms. * The US needs to organize for effective information campaigns while seeking to create regional and allied campaigns that will influence Arab and Islamic worlds. The integration of the US Information Agency (USIA) into the State Department, and major cutbacks in US information and public diplomacy efforts, have deprived the US of a critical tool that works best when regional efforts are combined with well-funded and well-staffed efforts at the embassy and local level. The US needs to revitalize its information efforts in a focused and effective way that takes advantage of tools like satellite broadcasting and the Internet while working directly in country. The US, however, can never be an Arab or Islamic country. It needs to work with its friends and allies in the region to seek their help in creating information campaigns that reject Islamic radicalism and violence, encourage terrorism, and support reform. The US should not try to speak for the Arabs or for Islam, it should help them speak for themselves. * The US private sector and foreign direct investment should be integrated into the US security strategy. Far too often, the US ignores the role that the US private sector can and must play in achieving evolutionary reform. The US has tended to emphasize sanctions over trade and economic contact in dealing with hostile or radical states, and assign too low a priority to helping the US private sector invest in friendly states. A "zero-
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based" review is needed of what the US government should do to encourage private sector activity in the Middle East. * The US has agonizing decisions to make about defense resources. In spite of major recent increases in defense spending, even the present force plan is unsustainable in the face of the combined funding burdens of operations, modernization, and transformation. The fact that the current Future Year Defense Plan does not provide enough funds to allow the US cannot come close to fund both its planned force levels and force improvement plans is obvious. Everyone with any experience stopped believing in estimated procurement costs long ago. What is equally clear now, however, is that the US faces years of unanticipated conflicts, many involving armed peacemaking and nation building, and must rethink deterrence in terms of proliferation. This is not a matter of billions of dollars; it is a matter of several percent of the US GNP. * The US must limit new strategic adventures where possible: The US needs to avoid additional military commitments and conflicts unless they truly serve vital strategic interests. Regardless of the outcome of the reevaluation of force transformation recommended earlier, it will be two to three years at a minimum before the US can create major new force elements and military capabilities, and some change will take at least five to ten years. The US already faces serious strategic overstretch, and nothing could be more dangerous than assuming that existing problems can be solved by adding new ones - such as Syria or Iran. This means an emphasis on deterrence, containment, and diplomacy to avoid additional military commitments. It means a new emphasis on international action and allies to find substitutes for US forces. Lessons for Intelligence and Analysis Current methods of intelligence collection and analysis, cannot guarantee adequate preparation for stabilization operations, properly support low intensity combat, or properly support the nation-building phase. The US needs to fundamentally reassess its approach to intelligence to support adequate planning for the combat termination, security, and nation building phases of asymmetric warfare and peacemaking operations. The same jointness is needed in the intelligence community effort to prepare for asymmetric warfare that is needed in the overall interagency process, and to ensure that the analysis given to policymakers, planners, and operators fully presents the problems and challenges that must be dealt with in stabilization and armed nation building. There must never again be a case in which the Department of Defense filters or rejects community-wide analysis or priority is given to intelligence for military operations in ways that prevent adequate intelligence analysis and support being ready for the stabilization and nation-building phase. It is equally important that adequate tactical intelligence support be available from the beginning of combat operations to the end of security and nation building operations that provides adequate tactical human intelligence support, combined with the proper area expertise and linguistic skills. Technology can be a powerful tool, but it is an aid - not a
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substitute - for the human skills and talents necessary to support low intensity combat, expand the role of tactical human intelligence, and do so in the context of supporting aid efforts and civil military relations, as well as combat operations. At the same time, civilian intelligence agency efforts need to be recast to support nation building and security operations. Iraq and Afghanistan have also shown that tactical military intelligence must operate as part of a team effort with those involved in counterinsurgency operations, the political and economic phases of nation building, and security and military advisory teams. It is particularly critical that both intelligence and operations directly integrate combat activity with civil-military relations efforts, US military police and security efforts, the use of economic aid in direct support of low intensity combat and security operations, the training of local security forces and their integration into the HUMINT effort, and the creation of effective information campaigns. In the future, this may require a far better integration of military and civil efforts in both intelligence and operations than has occurred in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The Near Term Situation in Iraq It may not be as apparent in the US as it is in the Arab world, but several weeks of travel in the region indicate that the course of the fighting in Fallujah and Najaf are perceived in much of Iraq and the Arab world as a serious US defeat. This is not simply a matter of shattering an aura of US military invincibility; it is a growing shift in political attitudes and in the prospects for political change in Iraq. It is also all too clear that any idea the US is engaging in "post-conflict operations" is little more than a farce. The shock of Saddam's fall produced a brief period of near paralysis in the Iraqi opposition to the US and the Coalition. By August 2003, however, a state of low intensity conflict clearly existed in Iraq, and the level of this conflict has escalated ever since January of 2004. In fact, this follows a pattern that makes the very term "post-conflict operations" a stupid and intellectually dishonest oxymoron. As we have seen in Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon, Cambodia, and many other cases, asymmetric wars do not really end. Nation building must take place on an armed basis without security and in the face of adaptive and innovative threats. The reality is that this is a far more difficult aspect of "transformation" than defeating organized military resistance, and one for which the US is not yet prepared. Senior US officials have been in a continuing state of denial about the depth of support for this conflict. They have misused public opinion polls like the Zogby and ABC polls and they have ignored the fact that the ABC poll conducted in February found that roughly two thirds of Sunnis and one third of Shi'ites opposed the US and British invasion and found it to be humiliating to Iraq. Senior US officials have ignored the fact that roughly one-third of Sunnis and two-thirds of Shi'ites support violence against the Coalition and want the Coalition forces to leave Iraq immediately. They talk about a small minority of Iraqis because only a small minority have so far been actively violent -
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a reality in virtually every insurgent campaign and one that in no way is a measure of support for violence. A year into the "war after the war," far too many US officials are still in a state of denial as to the political realities in the Middle East. They do not see just how much the perceived US tilt towards Israel and Sharon alienates Iraqis and Arabs in general. They do not admit the near total failure of US information operations, and the fact that Iraqis watch hostile Arab satellite TV stations and rely on papers filled with misinformation and conspiracy theories. They talk about "success" in aid programs measured in terms of contracts signed, fiscal obligations, and gross measures of performance like megawatts; not about actual progress on the ground the kind that can really win hearts and minds. They cannot understand that US calls for "liberty," "democracy," and "reform" have become coupled to images of US interference in Arab regimes, the broad resentment of careless negative US references to Islam and Arab culture, and conspiracy theories about control of Iraqi oil, "neoimperialism," and serving "Zionist" interests. The fact these perceptions are not fair is as irrelevant as US tactical military victories that are often political defeats. The present mix of armed nation building and low intensity conflict takes place in a region shaped by such perceptions. This is why the photographic evidence of US mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is so devastating. For many in the region, it validates every criticism of the US, and vastly strengthens the hand of Islamic extremists, Sunni insurgents, Shi'ite insurgents, and hostile media and intellectuals in both the Arab world and Europe. The time has come to face this reality. There was never a time when neoconservative fantasies about the Middle East were anything but dangerous illusions. Those fantasies have killed and wounded thousands of American and Coalition allies, and now threaten the US with a serious strategic defeat. It may not be possible to avoid some form of defeat, but the US must make every effort to do so, and this means junking the neoconservatism within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Vice President's office, and the NSC and coming firmly to grips with reality. Why the US Has Already "Lost" Some Aspects of its Battles in Fallujah and with Sadr The US is scarcely defeated in either a military or a political sense, but it is suffering serious reversals. The Iraqi insurgents do not have to win battles in a tactical sense; they merely have to put up a determined enough resistance, with enough skill and courage, to show their fellow Iraqis and the Arab world that they are capable of a determined, strong and well-organized effort. Many of their fellow Iraqis will perceive any determined resistance as a "victory" against the world's only superpower. If the Sunnis in Fallujah, and Sadr in Najaf, continue to show they can survive a US military threat--and that they can force the US and Coalition into a posture of
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containment and compromise--they will be able to change the rules of the game in nation building as well as in the fighting. They will score a major victory at the political level while they effectively create "no go" areas and sanctuaries. They will do so even if they do have to end open confrontation and turnover some weapons and activists. Solutions like the "Fallujah Brigade" are de facto defeats for the US in both military and political terms. They signal a coming struggle for power in which hostile elements of both Arab Sunnis and Shi'ites will be much stronger than the US and its allies previously estimated. They also create a national political climate in which the Coalition is perceived as lacking any clear plan or goals, the Interim governing Council is divided and lacking in legitimacy, the Iraqi security forces are seen as ineffective, and the UN becomes both a tool for insurgent pressure and a potential target. Losing a War of Attrition in a "Perfect Storm" of Negative Images? The fighting during April 2004 has also created a climate in which the US and its allies are seen as being in the middle of a war of attrition that they are losing. The totals of US, allied, and friendly Iraqi killed and wounded have already reached the point where Iraqi insurgents and foreign extremists have every reason to perceive the Coalition as politically and strategically vulnerable - an image reinforced by the steady loss of support for the war and a continued effort in Iraq in US and allied public opinion polls. Hostile Iraqi losses to date can be sustained indefinitely. As a result, the mix of Coalition and friendly Iraqi casualties, sabotage and paralysis of the aid process, and growing political uncertainty at the edge of the transfer of sovereignty act as a virtual road map for future battles in Iraq and later battles against US military and nation building operations in the rest of the world. The end result is to show that an Arab asymmetric force can delay and possibly checkmate the strongest Western military power that Arabs are not weak or passive, and that Arabs can "take back their homeland." It will take a new public opinion poll to determine just how much the "perfect storm" of negative events since February has changed opinion inside Iraq, but it seems almost certain that events in Fallujah and dealing with Sadr have sharply cut support for the US among moderate Iraqi Arabs. (The fact the Kurds have nowhere else to go--and have to be friendly--means they should be largely excluded from polls analyzing how Iraqi attitudes are affecting the war.) It seems equally certain that this drop is compounded by the flood of Arab images of Iraqi civilians suffering in the fighting, the images of mistreatment of Iraqi POWs, and newscasts that claim every US use of a modern weapon is a careless use of excessive force. These images are clearly having a powerful impact throughout the Sunni world -- strongly reinforced by Israeli military action and statements that make the constant Arab media linkage between the US and Israeli occupations steadily more damaging. Furthermore, similar images are being portrayed in Iran and it seems likely that Iranian opinion is turning away from the US.
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The Lack of Coalition and IGC Political Legitimacy The last few weeks of resistance have sharply undercut the already low political legitimacy of the CPA, the US approach to nation building, and the Interim Governing Council. Iraqis and the region perceive the US as lacking any credible plan of action and as being "forced" to turn to the UN. The "pro-American" Iraqis have been divided and weak, and have been unable to rally the Iraqi people. The end result is that the US ability to convey "legitimacy" has been sharply undercut at precisely at the time the US needs legitimacy for its June 30 turnover. In addition, US ties to some members of the IGC are becoming steadily more damaging--particularly the image of US ties to "losers" like Chalibi. Turning a Non-terrorist Threat into a Real One Iraq has become a natural battleground for Islamic insurgents and "volunteers" of all persuasions. There is no meaningful evidence that Iraq was a focus of terrorism before the war, or a primary focus early in the fighting. Over the last few months, however, the outside presence and support for insurgents has increased. Over the last few weeks, it has become all too clear that such support is paying off well in terms of American and allied casualties, and in boosting the image of Islamic resistance as being able to take on the US. Iraq was never a magnet for terrorism before the war, and only a limited magnet before Fallujah and Sadr. It has become a major magnet now. Paralyzing Much of the Effort to Win Hearts and Minds Much of the aid and economic development program has been paralyzed, and the economic security of the Shi'ite areas and oil exports is now far more at risk. The US reliance on contractors, rather than Iraqis, makes everyone involved in aid and reconstruction a natural target. The use of contract security has created the image of mercenary forces, and efforts to win hearts and minds in troubled areas have essentially collapsed, as they have in some formerly "friendly areas" as well. The flood of aid that should have helped win hearts and minds during a critical period of political transition is often little more than a trickle. A Negotiated Solution Means Limiting the Scale of Defeat The end result is close to a no win situation for the US: Any negotiated solution effectively legitimizes the Sunni and Shi'ite hard-line opposition, while weakening the IGC-- exposing the fact the US is now trying to turnover power to "mystery men" on June 30, who cannot have legitimacy because they have no identity. This compounds the problems inherent in the Ibrahimi approach, which effectively says that the government of June 30 will not have legitimacy until a popular council takes
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place, and that a real government and constitutional base must be voted on by the Iraqis and not from the legacy left by the CPA/IGC. In effect, the period of political illegitimacy or non-legitimacy is now extended long beyond June 30th, and the period in which Iraqis must compete for power by both political and violent means will now extend through all of 2004 and much of 2005. This political struggle has several key characteristics: * The game has no clear rules. There are "maybe" milestones and objectives that are undefined. * Federalism and power sharing is up in the air, and even if an interim allocation of power to a President, Prime Minister, and Vice Premiers takes place, it is only for an interim period and does not affect struggles over money, power, land, etc. The ethnic divisions between Arab, Kurd, Turcoman, and other minorities are not really resolved. The same is true of divisions between Sunni and Shi'ite, and religious and secular. * There is no economic underpinning for political stability, and far too many jobs are dependent on aid and paid security positions. Iraq now has a "bubble" economy, not real reconstruction, and Iraqis know this. Some 70% expressed fear over their future job security in the ABC poll in February. * No Iraqi leaders now have broad popular political support in public opinion polls, including Sistani. Most have powerful negatives - often more negative than positive. There is usually intense competition within given factions, and leaders have a growing incentive to show their independence from the Coalition. A near political vacuum exists where there are strong incentives to seek support from ethnic or religious factions and demagogue the way to victory. * No political party has significant popular support, and nearly 70% of Iraqis opposed political parties in the ABC poll in February, largely because of the heritage of the Baath. * More Iraqis support a strong leader as an interim solution than "democracy," although no one is clear on who such a strong leader will be. * No Iraqi leader is as yet organizing for the series of elections to come, aggressively trying to create popular political parties, or making efforts to capture the media. The peaceful political struggles necessary to create the groundwork for democracy are being subordinated to political struggles within the IGC, efforts to game Ibrahimi's political efforts, and challenges from the outside. * Many potential Iraqi leaders have every reason to fear losing in the coming struggle for power, and no clear plans exist to coopt the Sunni insurgents and
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Shi'ite "Sadrs" into the system. Hostile areas and factions are largely excluded from the political process under the illusion they are too small to really matter. The US still seems to be trying to stage-manage the creation of a secular democracy of friendly moderates, but true legitimacy is the government Iraqis want, not the one the US and Western reformers want. * There is no meaningful chance of "security first." The political and nation building process will almost certainly have to go on in the midst of terrorism and low intensity conflict through 2006. Elections will be extremely difficult, hostile areas will continue to exist, and governance will be under continued attack. * The rush to create Iraqi armed forces and security forces suitable for a post conflict Iraq has left tens of thousands of untrained and poorly equipped men recruited locally on an ethnic, religious, and tribal basis. No clear plan seems to exist for giving them the training, equipment, and facilities they need on a timely basis. The rule of law is erratic and often local. * Politics may fascinate politicians, but Iraqis live with governance. The creation of 25-27 functioning ministries, governorates, and urban governments will affect every aspect of daily life and security. The plans to create effective governance will lag far behind the transfer of sovereignty on June 30--and extend well into the winter of 2004 and beyond. A Classic Military Solution Cannot Work In retrospect, the US might have been far better off to act decisively in hot pursuit in both Fallujah and in dealing with Sadr. Certainly, the military effort and the causalities would have been far smaller, the political momentum of support for the insurgents would not have had time to build, and any criticism would have been tempered with reluctance to challenge the US again. That was then, however, and this is now. The US can defeat any given group of Iraqi insurgents and largely secure any area it occupies with sufficient strength. However, any military solution that involves serious combat with a Sunni or Shi'ite faction is now likely to be the kind of "victory" that creates a new firestorm over excessive force, civilian casualties, and collateral damage. At the same time, the US cannot hope to use such combat to kill or arrest all of the Sunni, Shi'ite, and foreign insurgents that exist now and many tactical victories are likely to create more insurgents than they destroy. As the US learned in Vietnam, tactical military victory without political victory is large irrelevant. As in Vietnam, the US also cannot afford to loose the largest ethnic faction. In Vietnam, the US arguably lost the war when it lost the Buddhists. In Iraq, the key is to avoid losing the Shi'ites. Any US arrest or killing of Sadr at this point means creating an instant martyr that will have a powerful impact on many young Shi'ites in Iraq, and militant Shi'ites all over the world -- pushing them towards some form of alignment with Sunni
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insurgents. A serious fight from a now cold start against a well-organized resistance in Najaf would be a disaster, triggering much broader Shi'ite alignments against the US. What the US Should Do Now in Iraq At this point, the US lacks good options -- although it probably never really had them in the sense the Bush Administration sought. The option of quickly turning Iraq into a successful, free market democracy was never practical, and was as absurd a neoconservative fantasy as the idea that success in this objective would magically make Iraq an example that would transform the Middle East. The key to the success the US can now hope to achieve is to set realistic objectives. In practice, these objectives are to create an Iraqi political structure that will minimize the risk of civil war, develop some degree of pluralism, and help the Iraqis take charge over their own economy. This, in turn, means a major shift from trying to maintain US influence and leverage in a post sovereignty period to a policy where the US makes every effort to turn as much of the political, aid, and security effort over to Iraqis as soon as possible, and focuses on supporting the UN in creating the best compromises possible in creating Iraqi political legitimacy. The US should not abandon Iraq, but rather abandon the effort to create an Iraq in its own image. Other measures are: o Accept the fact that a universal, nation-wide "security first" policy is stupid and impractical. The US needs to isolate and bypass islands of resistance, and focus on creating a legitimate Iraqi government that can unify Iraqis and allow nation building to work. This means relying on containment in the case of truly troubled and high insurgent areas, and focusing on security in friendly areas. o Accept the fact there is no way to "drain the swamp." At this point, there simply is no way to eliminate cadres of insurgents or to disarm the most threatening areas. Fallujah and similar areas have too much popular support for the insurgents, there are too many arms that can be hidden, and too many points of vulnerability. This does not mean the US should give up fighting the insurgents or its efforts to disarm them. It does mean the US must accept that it cannot win in the sense of eliminating them or turning hostile areas into secure and disarmed areas. o Rush aid to the Iraqi security forces and military seeking more friendly Arab aid in training and support, and provide as broad a base of Iraqi command as possible. Forget contract regulations on buying equipment. Deliver everything necessary and worry about the details later.
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o Continue expanding the role of the Iraqi security forces. Understand that their loyalties will be divided, that putting them in charge of hostile areas does not mean they can be expected to do more than work out a modus vivendi with the insurgents, and that the end result will often be to create "no go" or limited access areas for Americans. The US cannot afford to repeat the Israeli mistake of assuming that any Iraqi authority in hostile areas can be counted on to provide security for Americans. o Walk firmly and openly away from the losers in the IGC like Chalibi. Open up the political structure and deal with Shi'ite oppositionists, Sunni insurgents, ex-Ba'athists to the maximum degree possible. Drag in as many non-IGC leaders as possible, and give Ibrahimi's council idea the strongest possible support. Lower the US profile in shaping the political future of Iraq as much as possible and bring in as broad a UN international team as possible. o Focus on all of the Shi'ites, not just the friendly ones. Make this a critical aspect of US diplomatic efforts. Let the Iraqi Shi'ites deal with Sadr and stay out of internal Shi'ite disputes, except to help insure security. Quietly reach out to Iran to create whatever kind of dialogue is possible. o Push Sunni Arab states into helping Iraq's Sunnis and in helping to deal with the political issues involved. Quietly make it clear that they will have to live with the aftermath of failure and that the US presence and commitment is not open-ended. o Zero-base the failed contracting effort for FY2004 US aid. Put Iraqi Ministries and officials in charge of the aid process as soon as possible, with Iraqis going into the field and not foreign contractors. Accept the fact that it is far better to move more slowly and imperfectly on Iraqi terms, with some degree of Iraqi corruption, than to waste billions more on security, failed US projects, and immense overhead costs. o Reprogram funds for a massive new CERF program to enable US military commanders to use dollars instead of bullets at every opportunity. Make the focus of US control over aid whether Iraqis spend the money honestly and effectively, and not on US control, plans, and objectives. o Zero-base the US embassy plan to create the smallest staff practical of proven area experts. Give the clear message to the Iraqis that not only are they going to be in charge, but non-performance means no US money and no continuation of US troops and support. End the image of a US end of an occupation after the occupation.
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o Develop a long-term economic and military aid program as leverage to try to influence Iraqi decision making over time. Have the ministries manage the process, not USAID or contractors. Focus on whether the Iraqi efforts are honest and produce real results. Do not try to use aid to force Iraq into US modes and methods. o Accept the near total failure of US information operations. Stop giving all CPA/CJTF-7 press conferences, and put an Iraqi on the stage with the US spokesmen. Stop all procounsel-like press conferences where the US seems to be dictating. Make an Iraqi spokesman part of all dialogue, and give them the lead as soon as possible. Subordinate US and Coalition spokesmen as soon as possible to Iraqis in press conferences and briefings that are held in Arabic. o Look at the broader failures of US policy in the region. Revitalize the Road Map and the Quartet in the light of Sharon's problems. Deal with the reality that there are two failed sets of political elites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that settlements should be unacceptable and not just terrorism. o Abandon the Greater Middle East Initiative in its present form. Do not add another strategic and policy blunder to the present situation by appearing to call for regime change and seeking to dominate the region. Focus on a broad cooperative initiative worked out with the EU and where the EU puts pressure on the Arab League. Stop talking about region-wide democracy and liberty before there are responsible political parties and the other reforms necessary to make democracy work. Focus on a country-by-country approach to reform that considers human rights, economic welfare, and demographic issues to be at least as important as elections. Stress cooperation in "evolution;" not random efforts at "revolution." Prepare for the fact that nation building may still fail, and position the US to use the threat of withdrawal as leverage. Make it clear that the US can and will leave Iraq if the Iraqis do not reach agreement on an effective interim solution and if they do not proceed with reasonable unity to implement the UN plans. The US position should be that the US is ready to help an Iraq that will help itself, and that it supports a true transfer of sovereignty. It should make it clear to Iraq and the world, however, that the US has a clear exit strategy. It has no interest in bases or control over Iraqi oil. It has no reason to stay if Iraq become unstable, devolves into civil war, or ends up under a strong man. The US can live with a weak or unstable Iraq, and Iraq still will have to export oil at market prices and will still be far less of a threat than Saddam's Iraq. Avoid Strategic Overreach One final reality - the image of a quick and decisive victory is almost always a false one, but it is still the image many Americans want and expect. One thousand or more dead in
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Iraq is hardly Vietnam, but it must be justified and explained, and explained honestly - not in terms of the ephemeral slogans. The budget rises and supplements of the last few years are also likely to be the rule and not the exception America may well have to spend another one percent of its GNP on sustained combat and international intervention overseas than any American politician is willing to admit. America faces hard political choices, and they are going to take exceptional leadership and courage in both an election year and the decades to come. They require bipartisanship of a kind that has faded since the Cold War, and neither neo-conservative nor neo-liberal ideology can help. Moreover, America's think tanks and media are going to have to move beyond sound bites and simple solutions, just as will America's politicians and military planners. Put differently, it not only is going to be a very tough year, it is going to be a very tough decade.

Posted by maximpost at 11:35 PM EDT

U.N.'s Refugee Chief Faces Internal Inquiry
Sexual Harassment Alleged by Staffer
By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 19, 2004; Page A11
UNITED NATIONS, May 18 -- Ruud Lubbers, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, acknowledged on Tuesday that he is the target of an internal U.N. investigation into an allegation of sexual harassment.
The probe stems from a formal complaint filed by a female U.N. staff member that the former Dutch prime minister harassed her at a U.N. meeting in December. Lubbers, 65, issued a statement in which he denied the charges, saying "there was no improper behavior on my part."
Lubbers said that the woman, whose name has not been released, filed the complaint on April 27, more than four months after the alleged incident at a Dec. 18 meeting in Geneva. Lubbers said five other U.N. staff members were present at the meeting.
The revelations, which were first reported by the New York Times, came as Lubbers arrived in Washington for a meeting with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. The visit was intended to draw awareness to the refugee crises in Chad, Sudan and other trouble spots that have been overshadowed by the war in Iraq.
Lubbers referred to the sexual harassment charges in prepared remarks at the start of a news conference at the National Press Club, but he declined to respond to questions on the matter. Instead, Lubbers provided an overview of his recent visits to refugee camps in Iran, Afghanistan and Chad -- where more than 120,000 Sudanese have sought refuge from a government-backed campaign to depopulate Sudan's Darfur province.
He charged that the U.S.-led wars against Iraq and al Qaeda have heightened the threat to the United Nations' humanitarian relief workers around the world. He blamed President Bush for widening the rift between the West and the Muslim world in his quest to battle terrorism.
"Terrorism and al Qaeda, in particular, are real problems. But we must avoid becoming paralyzed by this monster," Lubbers said. "We've been damaged by the 'axis of evil' -- this Manichean vision of the world as split between the 'good' and the 'evil.' Unfortunately, like others we are paying the price for this."
Asked by a reporter if his message has been overshadowed by the harassment charge, he said that he did not believe it has.

? 2004 The Washington Post Company

N. Korean rail explosion foiled missile shipment to Syria

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
A North Korean missile shipment to Syria was halted when a train collision in that Asian country destroyed the missile cargo and killed about a dozen Syrian technicians.
U.S. officials confirmed a report in a Japanese daily newspaper that a train explosion on April 22 killed about a dozen Syrian technicians near the Ryongchon province in North Korea. The officials said the technicians were accompanying a train car full of missile components and other equipment from a facility near the Chinese border to a North Korea port.
A U.S. official said North Korean train cargo was also believed to have contained tools for the production of ballistic missiles. North Korea has sold Syria the extended-range Scud C and Scud D missiles, according to reports by Middle East Newsline.
"The way it was supposed work was that the train car full of missiles and components would have arrived at the port and some would have been shipped to Syria while others would have been transported by air," an official said.
Officials said the North Korean shipment to Syria was not meant to have contained chemical or biological weapons. They said foreign rescue crews summoned to the train explosion did not report any chemical contamination.
The explosion was said to have been caused by a collision of two trains. The collision downed an electrical power line, the sparks from which detonated the fuel from the train.
On May 4, the Tokyo-based Sankei Shimbun quoted a military source that reported the death of the Syrian technicians. The newspaper said North Korean military personnel, wearing protective suits, removed the vestiges of the destroyed equipment meant for Syria.
The technicans were representatives of Syria's Center for Scientific Research, which has been cited for helping develop that country's weapons of mass destruction program. The technicians were said to have been trained in North Korea to operate the equipment.
Sankei said the bodies of the Syrians were flown home by a Syrian aircraft, which had arrived in Pyongyang to deliver aid supplies. The newspaper said North Korean personnel were also killed in the explosion.
Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.


Bush Rushing to Show Iraq Handover Strategy

May 19, 8:50 PM (ET)
By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An interim Iraqi president, prime minister and other top ministers should be selected in the next two weeks, President Bush said on Wednesday as he prepared to lay out for the American public his strategy for handing sovereignty to Iraqis.
Rushing to stem eroding support at home and abroad for his Iraq policies, Bush discussed with his Cabinet and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi plans for what he called a "full transfer of sovereignty" to an Iraqi interim government on June 30 backed by a new U.N. Security Council resolution.
Berlusconi came to Washington to press Bush to give Iraqis more say over their security forces and military facilities after the handover. While Berlusconi suggested there was a broad consensus, senior Bush administration officials said the interim government would have limited authority in some areas and Iraqi forces, while overseen by fellow Iraqis, would still fall under a U.S.-led command.
In a public address next week, Bush plans to lay out in more detail the course for the remaining month and a half before the scheduled transfer, administration officials said.
Spreading violence and a prison abuse scandal have pushed the president's approval ratings to new lows and he is eager to show Americans he is on top of the situation with time running out before the handover deadline.
Officials said Bush would discuss his Iraq plans when he meets privately with fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Bush said he expected decisions to be made in the next two weeks on who will become the new Iraqi prime minister and president, and assume the two positions of deputy president.
Berlusconi proposed an international conference on Iraq be held before elections in January.
He also suggested the president of the interim Iraqi government visit New York in July to meet members of the U.N. Security Council and representatives from coalition member countries.
"It's a very convincing plan," said the Italian leader, a leading ally in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. "We agreed on all of these future possibilities."
Bush is increasingly confident of winning support for a new U.N. resolution that would recognize the interim government, even though details about its makeup and authority have yet to be settled.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he expected action "soon" on the resolution. Washington wants it passed before June 30. McClellan said U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will also "come back with some names for that interim government soon."
Bush is trying to counter growing concerns inside and outside his administration that the occupation is failing and that he has no strategy to improve the situation.
At G8 talks last week, the foreign ministers of major industrialized countries challenged the United States to transfer real power to Baghdad in the handover.
France, which last year blocked U.N. approval of the U.S. invasion, said Washington must give up control over local forces, while Italy said a new government must have a say over American troop tactics.
Bush administration officials have said the Iraqis would have responsibility for administering the country on June 30, the official end of the occupation.
But they want security to stay under the leadership of the United States, and regulations promulgated by the Coalition Provisional Authority may stay in place until elections in January 2005.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told Congress earlier this week that Iraqi troops, although under U.S. command, would be permitted to opt out of any operation.
Bush plans to shift control of oil revenues and the Iraq Development Fund to the new Iraqi leadership, officials said.

(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan, David Morgan and Thomas Ferraro)
No Consensus on Iraq Bioweapons Labs -White House

May 19, 10:47 PM (ET)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It remains unclear whether the CIA was wrong about Iraq's purported prewar mobile biological weapons laboratories, the White House said on Wednesday, disputing a comment by Secretary of State Colin Powell.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said it was still not known why Iraq had the rolling labs. They had been described in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq as part of an effort to build weapons of mass destruction.
"The latest that has been said by the intelligence community is that there is no consensus. There is disagreement on what the use of those biological laboratories were for," McClellan said at a briefing.
He said that an independent commission appointed by the president to look at prewar intelligence related to weapons of mass destruction would take another look at the laboratories.
Powell expressed regret on Sunday for having made claims in a U.N. Security Council speech now known to have been "inaccurate" and "wrong."
"When I made that presentation in February 2003, it was based on the best information that the Central Intelligence Agency made available to me," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"It turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading. And for that, I am disappointed, and I regret it," he said.
As recently as January, Vice President Dick Cheney cited the discovery of two trucks as "conclusive" evidence of the mobile labs described by Powell. But CIA Director George Tenet later told Congress he had warned Cheney not to be so categorical about the discovery.


The dilemmas of Iran's policy toward Iraq
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

As the occupation forces battle Shi'ite insurgents in several Iraqi cities, most notably in the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf in what a United States general has admittedly described as a "minor uprising", the question of Iran's policy toward post-Saddam Hussein Iraq looms particularly large in the policy circles of Washington and London.
Is Iran playing a cooperative or subversive role in Iraq today, or both at the same time, and, if so, which side has the upper hand? What is the nature of the connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the current Shi'ite rebellion spearheaded by junior cleric Muqtada al-Sadr? General Mark Kimmitt, the top military spokesman in Baghdad, has recently said he can't answer whether Muqtada's fighters are state-sponsored. He is quoted by Associated Press, however, as saying that it would be a mistake to call Muqtada's militia Iranian-backed, manned or controlled. But an increasing number of policy experts and members of the US Congress are joining Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who has repeatedly accused Iran of "meddling" in Iraq. Critics of Iran, particularly those affiliated with the pro-Israel think-tanks in Washington, nowadays can be found aplenty on TV news programs blaming Iran's revolutionary guards for setting up training camps on the Iran-Iraq border for Muqtada's "terrorists", as well as bankrolling the latter's military campaign against the occupation armies.
Iran's officials deny these allegations and insist, in the words of Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations, "We seek a stable Iraq, the return of sovereignty and the establishment of a democratic and representative system." Backing words with action, these officials point at Iran's "goodwill" mediation effort tacitly approved by Washington and initiated at London's request, and blame the occupation forces for derailing it with their premature offensive against Muqtada's militiamen.
In fact, Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, incensed by the desecration of holy cities in the hands of US forces, has lashed out at "shameless and stupid" US policy in Iraq, predicting, just as he had prior to Iraq's invasion last year, that "sooner or later, the Americans will be obliged to leave Iraq in shame and humiliation". The ayatollah's tone is clearly different from, to put it mildly, that of Iran's moderate president, Mohammad Khatami, who recently criticized Muqtada, albeit indirectly, for inciting rebellion and thus jeopardizing the "security and well-being of Shi'ites in Iraq". Last year, Muqtada, the scion of a powerful clerical family, was shunned by Khatami and yet warmly embraced by Ayatollah Khamenei, notwithstanding the unconfirmed reports that Muqtada's mentor, Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri, who remains in exile in Iran, appointed Muqtada as his representative in Iraq.
On the whole, however, Muqtada evokes mixed feelings in Iran and is viewed with caution, particularly by those who emphasize his occasional anti-Iran diatribe as evidence of his lack of trustworthiness. Iran's critics in Washington, however, contend that Muqtada is firmly in Iran's camp and his tactical maneuvers against Iran are to shield him from being labeled as Iran's stooge. It may well be that Iran is increasingly enamored of Muqtada's militant anti-Americanism and his militiamen's ability to withstand the US assault to eradicate them from the scene, tilting increasingly in his direction irrespective of their minor misgivings about him. A pro-Muqtada drift inside Iran may actually be in the offing, which can be nipped in the bud if - and only if - his "minor uprising" is uprooted in the near future by America's military might.
The question of Iran's attitude or response toward the "al-Sadr phenomenon" must be couched in the larger framework of Iran's intention in Iraq. There are strong indications of an Iranian "mixed-motive game" in Iraq, where the compliant tendency of cooperation with the US design for a transitional government inclusive of Shi'ite politicians runs in tandem with a parallel tendency to foment problems for the US government, which has labeled Iran as part of its "axis of evil" and has pressured the world community to deny Iran access to peaceful nuclear technology, not to mention the United States' complicity with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to eradicate Palestinian rights in a carefully orchestrated step-by-step strategy.
As a regional power distressed by a post-September 11, 2001, security belt stretching from Iraq to Afghanistan to bases in Turkey and neighboring Central Asia, Iran's national-security interests logically dictate against the entrenchment of US power in Iraq, which has so far translated into new bases near Iran's borders. Iran's options are limited, however, and in the effort to stymie Washington's perceived "neo-imperialist" objectives, Iran's policymakers have pursued a complex, multi-faceted agenda vis-a-vis Iraq that runs the gamut. It includes covert and overt activities, networking with the Kurds, Sunnis, and the various Shi'ite organizations and centers of authority, such as the Dawn Party and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose military wing, Badre Brigade, was trained in Iran over a two-decade period.
There is nothing either illogical nor necessarily contradictory about overarching politics of influence, tapping into various sources inside Iraq, nominally committed to the political process promising to bring majority rule by the Shi'ites down the road and, simultaneously, sowing the seeds of rebellion, both to offset the anti-Iran momentum of the US might and to enhance Iran's diplomatic leverage with respect to not just the US but also other powers, notably Saudi Arabia, jockeying for influence in Iraq.
Meanwhile, in light of Iran's official anti-imperialist ideology and formal commitment to the struggle against a US-based unipolar world order, inevitably the issue has been raised in Iran's policy circles as to whether or not Iraq has the potential to become the tombstone for American empire. The stakes in Iraq are, indeed, very high not just for the Iraqi people or the occupation forces, but also Iraq's neighbors, including Iran, which must balance its fears and concerns and the opportunities afforded in today's Iraq. The problem is the script-in-action nature of the fluid and highly unpredictable political process in Iraq, the difficulties of sorting out short-term versus long-term impact and policy consequences, eg of backing or not backing the present Shi'ite rebellion, and the equally difficult task of reconciling Iran's militant ideology with the status quo dimensions of Iran's current Iraq policy.
Concerning the latter, in light of an open admission of certain Iranian foreign-policy officials about the convergence of Iranian and US interests in Iraq, particularly with respect to a federal system based on rule of majority, Iran is hard pressed between the Scylla of its own ideology mandating continuous anti-American and anti-imperialist courses of action and the Charybdis of its national-security interests counseling alliance-type cooperation with the United States toward a peaceful, and fully integrated, Iraq. This "double bind" is somewhat aggravated by the persistent suspicions about America's ultimate aim in Iraq, ie, the reasonable fear that a successful military campaign in Iraq can only embolden Washington to heed the call of its pro-Zionist pundits narrating about "total war" or "war to war". Hence the prognostication of America's future military behavior has been factored in Iran's policy reaction toward Iraq, causing what appears to be a paradoxical policy wherein contradictory elements of cooperation and subversion go hand in hand.
As a clue to the "internal wisdom" of the Iranian system, on the other hand, the clerically dominated ruling elite has successfully disarmed Washington's ability to manipulate Iranian politics in the name of democracy, principally by the not-so-quiet "revanchist" parliamentary coup of this past February, which excluded the liberalist politicians and set up a more unified, and coherent, system, self-immunized from influences from the without. This "regrouping", dictated mainly though not exclusively by the welter of national-security worries, may turn out to haunt the ruling elite at some point in the future, but for now it has enhanced the process of foreign-policy making by centralizing it. One of its side-effects, unfortunately, has been a relative poverty of security discourse in Iran, at least at the public level, as evidenced by the paucity of discussion of vital national-security issues and concerns in Tehran's dailies.
For the moment, however, that appears to be a minor price to pay for what is really at stake with respect to the US-Iran games of strategy spanning the entire region; the game, complex in nature and containing various security, geo-strategic and geo-economic components, and input by several other players, both regional and non-regional, requires a flexible and creative response from Iran, tuned to the survival strategy of Iran and its short-term and long-term role in the region and beyond. It requires, among other things, subtle and sophisticated risk management, so that, to single out one example, its exploitation of the anti-American Shi'ite uprising does not backfire and lessen mainstream Shi'ites' political influence in Iraq or, vice-versa, its status quo approach does not turn it blind to the historic opportunity at the present time to steepen the intrusive Western superpower in a deeper quagmire offsetting its anti-Iran proclivity.
As there is no quick fix in Iraq, the clerical rulers of Iran have clearly opted for a complex agenda that may one day sink in the quagmire of its own incoherence, but for now that danger is glued together by the paradoxical realities of Iraq indicating a long-term presence of US power and, with it, the ongoing nature of US-Iran games of strategy wherein each side seeks to contain the other side. While the ultimate drift or consequence of this "reciprocal containment" strategy is far from certain, one thing is for sure: the hidden hands of Iran in Iraq will continue to sow positive and negative influence no matter what.

Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) and "Iran's Foreign Policy Since 9/11", Brown's Journal of World Affairs, co-authored with former deputy foreign minister Abbas Maleki, No 2, 2003.
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.
Seoul may send Iraq troops, GIs from DMZ to go
By David Scofield

While South Korea remains steadfast in discussing commitments - and not the immediate dispatch of 3,000 long-promised troops to Iraq - the United States has made good on its promise to mobilize its forces in Korea to contend with "changing global threats and new force projection technologies" in Iraq. Washington says it will redeploy 3,600 infantry troops from the 2nd Infantry Division, currently stationed a stone's throw from North Korea along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), to Iraq by mid-summer.
Recently reinstated South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, impeached by his opponents on March 12 but restored by the Constitutional Court last week, remains outwardly committed to dispatching troops to Iraq. But with the overwhelming victory of his supporters in Our Open Party (OOP) in general elections on April 15, his backers increasingly are calling on the government to rethink the offer to assist the US in Iraq, many parts of which are again war zones.
Ostensibly, atrocities committed by US guards at Abu Ghraib prison and civilian casualties throughout Iraq, especially during the campaign in Fallujah, have provided the most recent justification for demands that the government reverse its decision to send troops. But the true reason probably has less to do with human rights abuses in Iraq than it does with a tradition of national myopia and anti-US sentiment - more specifically, feelings against the United States Forces, Korea (USFK).
(In another ugly but not uncommon incident over the weekend in Seoul, some US soldiers were arrested after one GI apparently stabbed a Korean civilian in a nightclub district. What makes this unusual is that South Korea's "progressive" Internet news media are equating it with US abuse at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, where Iraqi prisoners were tortured by US guards. This incident has been especially poignant as it happened only three days before yesterday's May 18 memorial of the Kwangu Massacre, a city in the country's southwest. In 1980, less than a year after former dictatorial leader Park Chung- hee was assinated, newly self installed president Chun Doo-won ordered Korean Special Forces soldiers to re-take the city of Kwangju by force after students, leftisits and unionists had siezed control demanding an end to the military's hold on political power. The soldiers killed between 500-2000 people, an event that many Koreans believe the United States was either directly involved in, or turned a blind eye to.)
Groups of South Korean lawmakers, and a few of its many non-governmental organizations (NGOs), justify their anti-dispatch stance on feelings of moral outrage at US conduct in Iraq, but these same groups remain mute when confronted with evidence of far more heinous injustices being inflicted on the people of North Korea, less than 100 kilometers from South Korea's capital. Condemnation of US human-rights violations in Iraq offer convenient cover for motives that have less to do with the protection of the world's most vulnerable, than with narrow domestic political objectives - Abu Ghraib being nothing more than a convenient backdrop of moral outrage for Korea-centric policies.
The South Korean government may, as it continues to promise, dispatch troops to Iraq, but the composition of this dispatch will have little to no effect on the security situation on the ground. Those lawmakers who support a dispatch, largely for reasons relating to domestic politics and "defense on the cheap" - which is what the US symbolizes to many of South Korea's more pragmatic elected officials - do not necessarily support a dispatch comprising primarily combat troops. South Korea presently has more than 700 medical and engineering troops in Iraq, but has not committed combat troops capable of conducting operations and maintaining sector security. Many feel that the next dispatch, currently planned to include more than 1,400 combat troops of the 3,000 total, should be redesigned with a heavier emphasis on re-construction, and not security.
The N Iraq deployment area is relatively safe
But as benevolent as soldiers dedicated to reconstruction sounds, this noble objective is unlikely to be met. Putting aside the fact that reconstruction cannot be effectively implemented before local security has been achieved, the location of South Korea's planned troop dispatch requires little reconstruction. It is in the far north of Iraq in areas that have been under Kurdish control since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991. Likely locations for Korea's 3,000 troops are Irbil and Sulaimaniya, areas far beyond Saddam Hussein's supporters' effective reach, and as such, area that were not targeted in bombing campaigns last spring. Both are presently secured by only 300 US troops.
In times of battle, half-hearted allies can be worse than non-allies. If South Korea, after much indecision and hand wringing, decides to "honor" its promise in a strictly perfunctory manner, as seems likely, the result will be greater headaches for the US command in Iraq than no participation at all. If South Korea commits combat troops but decides that they will maintain only a small, isolated pocket of sparsely populated land in the far north, the net effect of their contribution of 3,000, would be the freeing of only 300 US combat troops for other areas - a grossly inefficient exercise.
There is another factor beyond South Korea's propensity to involve itself in international efforts only when assured that the pay-off will exceed the contribution many fold - South Korea's participation in the Vietnam conflict comes immediately to mind - and that is cost. South Korea spends less than 3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense, a fact that is painfully obvious to anyone who happens by its infantry camps, or who has witnessed the dilapidated equipment South Korea's rank and file soldiers are assigned. Maintaining 3,000 troops more than 7,000 kilometers away from South Korea will require a tremendous outlay of resources - resources that would be better used to upgrade and re-focus its own domestic defenses.
The re-deployment of 3,600 US troops from South Korea may be just the beginning. The return date for these troops has also not been set, and some analysts believe this could well be a one-way trip out of the country. President Roh's belief in domestic and foreign policies independent of the United States requires a more Korea-centric approach to defense and military matters. The original agreement to dispatch troops was made not out of any belief in a "50-year blood relationship between the ROK and the US", as is sometimes articulated by officials from both countries old enough to recall the Korean War (1950-53), but out of concern that to appear less than a supportive US ally would weaken America's resolve to maintain the perception of a strong bi-national defense, effectively undermining a central pillar of economic stability in South Korea.
(The US maintains about 37,000 troops in South Korea, mostly in Seoul, and a roughly equal number of dependents, contractors and related personnel. Most will be moving out of the major US base in Seoul to other locations in South Korea, and some may leave the country entirely, though the exact number and deployment timetable is unknown.)
Placating the US is tired strategy
But doing just enough to placate the US and ensure the continued perception of American protection of South Korea and the real economic benefits this generates, is a tired strategy, and ultimately counter-productive for South Korea.
The United States would be wise to take this opportunity to encourage South Korea's self-first (oddly reminiscent of North Korea's juche) philosophy and encourage the nation to move forward in developing a policy consistent with changing national attitudes and developing an indigenous military structure to match. South Korea has become a resource sink for the United States in terms of budget outlay, equipment commitments and human resource allocation. The US can not afford to maintain bases, equipment and personnel in a country that has become increasingly hostile to its presence, and whose citizenry views them as anachronistic with contemporary perceptions of North Korea and its leadership.
South Korea and the United States should use this opportunity to take the first tentative steps toward a more equal relationship long demanded by Roh and an increasing majority of South Korean people, by using this initial re-deployment as a first stage in the complete removal of the USFK and in doing so, the overlord perception it invokes. In return, South Korea can more fully focus on its immediate domestic concerns, of which it has many, by creating domestic solutions to problems long mitigated by the presence of US troops, and proving to its people the fidelity of a progressive intra-Korean agenda independent of perceived United States interference.
David Scofield, former lecturer at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University, is currently conducting post-graduate research at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield.

(Copyright 2004 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact for information on our sales and syndication policies.)

North Korea 101
The new college activism.
By Rachel Zabarkes Friedman
Last week, students at Stanford University sponsored their second annual North Korean Human Rights Week, a four-day program of speakers and other events designed to educate Stanford students about the plight of North Korean citizens. A few weeks before that, about 50 students gathered at Indiana University to listen to a panel of human-rights activists, policy experts, and North Korean defectors speak about the brutality of Kim's regime. Earlier this spring, a nationwide campus movement called Liberation in North Korea, or LiNK, was launched to be a "street team for the North Korean people," distributing information about human-rights violations there through a variety of channels. So far there are LiNK chapters at several dozen colleges.
Call it a trend: Across the country, students are beginning to take steps to increase awareness on their campuses about conditions -- i.e., starvation, isolation from the outside world, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and mass death -- in the Democratic People's Republic.
This wouldn't have been possible a decade ago. Although our knowledge of what goes on in North Korea -- by most accounts the world's most secretive regime -- remains incomplete, over the past several years increasing numbers of defectors and humanitarian organizations inside the country have enabled experts to start piecing together a picture of daily life there. The details are horrific: According to the recent congressional testimony of Suzanne Scholte, president of the Defense Forum Foundation, the regime "daily murders at least 42 people in [its] political prison camps and 391 through starvation." The North Korean government holds an estimated 200,000 political prisoners, and at least one million North Korean citizens have died of starvation since the mid-1990s.
And then there are the defectors' accounts. Take the story of Hae-Nam Ji, who testified almost a year ago before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Imprisoned for two years just for singing a South Korean song, she was tortured, sexually abused, and tried to kill herself while in jail. After her release, unable to make a living by selling her blood -- literally, to transfusion centers -- she escaped to China, hoping to make it to South Korea. But in China, after a series of steps and missteps, she found herself in government hands and was returned to North Korea, where she was jailed again. She made it the South on a second escape attempt, but only after tremendous hardship was she finally able to taste freedom.
Such astonishing figures and first-hand accounts have gradually made their way around policy circles and received a fair amount of attention in Congress. But according to Debra Liang-Fenton, executive director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a bipartisan group devoted to generating interest in the issue and improving life for the North Korean people, the awareness level of the public at large is still quite low. While most Americans know of North Korea as a nuclear threat, she says, few know as much about the regime's tyranny.
That goes for college students, too. Liang-Fenton says, "A lot of the students I had come into contact with just weren't aware that there was a serious human-rights problem in North Korea. They knew about the nuclear issue because that's what's covered in the media... Their knowledge of human rights there was very limited, if it existed at all."
Jack Rendler, vice chair of HRNK, agrees. "Human rights get quite a bit of attention in college classes, human rights in North Korea not at all. It's encouraging how many courses have integrated the norms and principles of universal human rights. But in terms of North Korea, it's like everywhere else -- it's not on the radar screen."
But that may not be the case for long. On top of its many other activities -- which include testifying before Congress and administration officials, producing reports on human-rights violations, and educating the public both here and abroad through op-eds, articles, and forums -- the committee recently launched a college-action campaign, designed to bring the issue of North Korean human rights to college campuses. HRNK helped students at Stanford organize their weeklong series of events, and cosponsored the forum at IU. They've also teamed up with students at Georgetown, Harvard, and Cornell, among others, to plan and carry out similar programs.
At Indiana University, HRNK worked directly with undergraduate music major Daniel Levin, the driving force behind the event. Levin first caught a glimpse of life in North Korea from an article describing alleged gas chambers used on prison-camp inmates. "I saw the concentration camps in North Korea and the whole human rights issue there as a pretty direct parallel to the Holocaust," he says. "Growing up always think, if I were there then, I would have done something to prevent it from happening. I saw this article and thought, 'It's happening again, something needs to be done.'"
Levin did an Internet search for groups working on North Korean human rights, and came across a post on NRO's The Corner about HRNK. He got in touch with the committee to ask whether they would bring North Korean defectors to campus -- he thought about how powerful it had been when Soviet defectors came to speak to students -- and they told him they were about to do just that.
So Levin approached Darrin Nix, the president of a non-partisan honors society that hosts speaking events at IU, and asked his group to host an HRNK panel. Nix agreed, and the event took place on April 6.
Nix, an undergraduate economics major also studying in the business school, admits that he didn't know much about human rights in North Korea until the panel, and says that at IU, "North Korea was non-issue until named [as part of the Axis of Evil] in President Bush's State of the Union address." Nix thinks the unusually long question-and-answer session at the HRNK event demonstrated the degree of interest among students, roughly half of whom knew very little about what life is like there.
Since then, Levin has continued his work to raise awareness on campus about human rights abuses in North Korea, and Nix has gotten involved as well. Nix says what he took away from the panel was the importance of motivating ordinary Americans pressure to our government to take what measures it can to loosen Kim's repressive grip. He also learned that one of the most important ways for us to pressure Pyongyang is through our relationship with China.
Some estimate that as many as 300,000 North Koreans have escaped to China and remain stranded there, without resources to make the dangerous trip to Seoul and fearful that the Chinese will capture and repatriate them. As the case of Hae-Nam Ji illustrates, their fear is entirely justified. Although China is a party to an international convention mandating the protection of refugees who will face imprisonment or torture back home,
Beijing insists that the North Koreans within its borders are economic migrants, and gives priority to a treaty with Pyongyang mandating their return.
One recent case that made it into the Western press involved Seok Jae-hyun, a South Korean photographer who in January 2003 went along to document what he and others hoped would be the first in a wave of boatlifts taking refugees from North Korea to South Korea by way of China. But Chinese authorities found out about the plan, and when Seok and the roughly 50 refugees with him reached the Chinese port of Yantai, police were there to greet them. Seok was arrested and spent 14 months in a Chinese prison; the refugees remain in jail in China -- who knows whether they'll make it out.
According to Rendler, students in the IU crowd who didn't know much about North Korea were blown away by the defectors' stories. Some of those who asked questions "were stunned by people having to live on grass for ten or twelve years, competing with one another for a frog or rat -- and by the beatings, and the torture." Some couldn't believe that a regime "could be so repressive that there would be no alternate political beliefs, no opposition, no freedom of thought."
These are the kind of horrific stories that move people to action -- students like Daniel Levin, Darrin Nix, and others. Back in October, Christian students at UC Berkeley formed a group called Students Praying for North Korea, and pooled $400 of their own money to hold an on-campus event at which they watched documentaries, related personal experiences, and prayed for North Korean citizens and refugees. LiNK, the intercollegiate group, has "caught on fire," Liang-Fenton says, in the weeks since it was formed.
These students are in turn working to further involve their peers. LiNK's website describes events and educational projects going on at schools all over the country. The Stanford group has made it a priority to encourage students to write letters to Congress in support of the North Korean Freedom Act of 2004, which calls, among other things, for increased radio broadcasting in North Korea (and the smuggling in of radios on which to listen), greater diplomatic pressure on China to stop catching and repatriating North Korean refugees, and the granting of U.S. asylum to North Korean refugees.
Last year, Hae-Nam Ji concluded her congressional testimony with a plea: "I would like to ask the human right expose the human right abuses inflicted by the feudal and corrupt North Korean government to the world so that the people in North Korea could escape from a life of humiliation and live freely as soon as possible." As she understands, public outreach is the first step toward improving life for North Koreans. Thanks to groups like HRNK, that potentially lifesaving work is well underway.

-- Rachel Zabarkes Friedman is an NR associate editor.

Protected Speech
by Michael Levi

Only at TNR Online
Post date: 05.19.04
In late April, Israel released Mordechai Vanunu, a scientist imprisoned nearly two decades ago for revealing state secrets that exposed Israel's nuclear weapons program. Vanunu emerged unrepentant, embraced by activists the world over as a beacon of truth and resistance. In their eyes, Israel's nuclear program was a wrong, so Vanunu had done an unquestionable right.
But whatever one thinks of Vanunu or Israel, his release underscored a truth far more disturbing than anything he had to say about Israel: Had Mr. Vanunu worked in a North Korean, Iranian, or Syrian weapons program, he would never have even had the chance to commit his original crime. Only in the free and open states whose possible pursuit of weapons of mass destruction worries us least--states like Germany or Canada or Israel--can we have confidence that scientists will blow the whistle on any covert weapons programs. In those states that worry us most, those scientists are controlled in ways that make such defections unlikely. The international regime for nonproliferation needs to confront this untenable situation.
That much was effectively accepted before the Iraq war, when the world united in demanding that Saddam Hussein turn over weapons scientists for questioning by international inspectors and also allow their families to be free from intimidation. The request was based on sound technical grounds: WMD programs, especially in their early stages, and particularly those for chemical or biological arms, can be effectively hidden from sophisticated inspection teams. Equally important, the world was not confident that it could reliably assess so-called "dual-use" equipment, applicable to civilian or military tasks. Insiders, it surmised, might be able to clarify that difference.
Whether that scheme was effective is still up for debate. The United States contends that Hussein never gave proper access to scientists. Others insist that he did, and that the scientists simply weren't saying what the United States wanted to hear. Either way, there remains a consensus assessment that free interviews of weapons scientists are valuable to international inspections.
And yet for so many repressive countries, open speech by potential weapons scientists is impossible. Securing interviews in Iraq required a special U.N. Security Council resolution. The international treaties governing weapons of mass destruction endow scientists with no special rights or responsibilities to expose illegal weapons programs. In some states, scientists wanting to speak out would have no channel for dissent. In others, they could speak out only on pain of their and their families' death or disappearance. Scientists in Iran or Syria who choose to squeal can only dream of being treated as Vanunu has been.
This can and must be changed. As a first step, a coalition led by the United States should establish a special standing program to absorb weapons scientists who expose illegal weapons programs. Those states should offer permanent immigration for the scientists and their families so that they can speak out without fear of retribution at home. (Before the recent Iraq war, the Senate tried to establish a program like that for Iraq. It was approved the day after the war began.)
But national programs won't be enough. If the U.S.-led coalition is too small, it could appear illegitimate, and even friendly states may call foul; rogue states that reject the intrusions may find a sympathetic audience. Information extracted through this approach might also be viewed suspiciously by the international bodies that monitor nonproliferation commitments--witness the (appropriate) skepticism given to U.S.-managed defectors by international inspectors before the Iraq war.
And even with broad support, there may be problems. If too many scientists take advantage of the program, the United States and its friends may be unable to absorb them. Conversely, scientists in closed societies will have no way of knowing about the protection programs, and thus will never defect.
The solution is to embed this scheme in the treaties that underlie the nonproliferation regime. All state signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, and the Chemical Weapons Convention, should be required to allow free interviews with any of their scientists, like those Vanunu managed to give. Any violation of that commitment would be considered a violation of treaty obligations, no different from a refusal to allow inspectors into a suspect facility. To give this more teeth, all states would be required to admit some quota of scientist whistleblowers and their families, relieving some burden from the United States. They would explicitly repudiate the unfortunate implication of the U.N. Convention on Refugees, which holds that since scientists in illicit weapons programs are violating international law, they are not entitled to refugee protection. At the same time, routine weapons inspections visits would be used to publicize the protection program to scientists, providing a means to penetrate closed societies.
To accept this arrangement would be to erode state sovereignty in ways that many Americans--and others--find discomforting. But a small sacrifice of American control could yield far more useful concessions from other states. Next time, instead of hearing from a whistleblower like Vanunu in an open and democratic ally like Israel, we might learn from a scientist in Syria or North Korea or Iran.

Michael Levi is Science and Technology Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

Democrats Criticize Management Contracts
Conflicts of Interest In Iraq, Report Says
By Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 19, 2004; Page A17
Democrats called on the Bush administration yesterday to cancel contracts with private companies hired to oversee $1.7 billion in public works projects in Iraq, saying the companies have conflicts of interests and cannot be trusted to spend the government's money wisely.
Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.) and Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.) said their research showed that some of the management companies hired by the Coalition Provisional Authority have a tangle of close financial ties to the construction and engineering firms they are supposed to monitor.
Among the companies cited were Parsons Corp. and CH2M Hill Inc., engineering and construction businesses that received a $28.5 million contract in March to manage four other contractors. The report said that Parsons is a partner of one of those other contractors, Fluor Corp., on "a $2.6 billion joint venture to develop oil fields in Kazakhstan."
CH2M Hill does business with Fluor and two other contractors on the project, Washington Group International Inc. and AMEC Inc., the report said. In one project, CH2M Hill and Washington Group International are "integrated partners" on a $314 million contract with the Energy Department.
Those and other details were included in a brief report called "Contractors Overseeing Contractors: Conflicts of Interest Undermine Accountability In Iraq." In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, they said the administration has "abdicated its responsibility to ensure that U.S. taxpayers' dollars are spent wisely."
The Democrats said they would introduce amendments to the defense authorization bill to end the contracts and require the Pentagon to provide the management oversight.
"These contractors are being asked to carry out essential government oversight functions, including defining and prioritizing project requirements and actually overseeing the work of construction contractors," the Democrats said in their letter. "It is not appropriate for contractors to exercise these functions -- particularly in view of significant conflicts of interests among these companies."
In a written statement, Parsons said the relationships would have no bearing on the ability of the company to manage the project and that it operates under the supervision of U.S. government personnel.
CH2M Hill did not return phone calls. Jerry Holloway, a spokesman for Fluor, described Iraq as a "fishbowl" and said all the companies there are under great scrutiny. He said the business relationship between Fluor and Parsons has no bearing on their activities in Iraq. "Our contract is with the Defense Department to support the CPA," he said. "That's who we're accountable to."
Defense Department spokesman Glenn Flood said the management contracts are in keeping with a long trend toward use of private companies to provide a wide variety of services. Though he would not speak directly about activity in Iraq, he said the Defense Department has no problem with the oversight of contractors. "The military should focus on its core mission, which is fighting wars and winning battles," Flood said.
Wyden said the companies in Iraq have no incentive to "take out a sharp pencil' and protect taxpayers. "You have a situation," he said, "where there is a cozy nest of interlocking financial interests."

? 2004 The Washington Post Company

"Wir brauchen Uno-Blauhelme im Irak"

Kurz vor dem Gipfel der Arabischen Liga stellt der Botschafter ?gyptens in Berlin, Mohammed al-Orabi, im Interview mit SPIEGEL ONLINE eine Beteiligung arabischer Soldaten unter Uno-Oberkommando im Irak in Aussicht. Von der deutschen Regierung fordert er "neue Ideen" im Nahost-Friedensprozess.


Mohammed al-Orabi ist seit 2001 Botschafter ?gyptens in der Bundesrepublik. Von 1994 bis 1998 arbeitete er an der Gesandtschaft seines Landes in Israel, davor diente er dem sp?teren Uno-Generalsekret?r Butros Butros Ghali als Privatsekret?r
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Herr Botschafter, die Situation im Irak wird immer gef?hrlicher. In US-amerikanischen und britischen Zeitungen taucht inzwischen auch das Wort "Exit Strategy" auf. Gibt es eine Abzugsstrategie, die Sie unterst?tzen w?rden?

Mohammed al-Orabi: Ja, wir w?rden einen Abzug der Koalition unterst?tzen. Aber es gibt Bedingungen, die erf?llt werden m?ssen. Es w?re sehr gef?hrlich, einfach alles stehen und liegen zu lassen, und zwar f?r die ganze Region. Auf diese Weise w?rden die USA nur einen weiteren Krisenherd hinterlassen, ohne ihre Mission erf?llt zu haben. Das w?rde auch den Interessen der USA widersprechen. Die USA sollten deshalb behutsam zu Werke gehen und auf den Rat ihrer Freunde h?ren.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Was raten Sie denn den USA?

Orabi: Wir haben von Anfang an gesagt, dass der Irak eine einzigartige Nation, ein Mosaik verschiedenster Gruppen ist. Es war unserer Meinung nach ein Fehler, dass die USA fr?hzeitig die irakische Armee aufgel?st haben. Man h?tte hier von den deutschen Erfahrungen mit der erfolgreichen Integration der DDR-Volksarmee in die Bundeswehr lernen k?nnen. Ich glaube, die USA haben den Irak-Krieg ohne eine eindeutige Vision f?r die Zukunft begonnen. Die Vereinten Nationen sollten deshalb jetzt nach und nach ?bernehmen. Die Iraker brauchen, nach den schrecklichen Erfahrungen von Bombardements und den Misshandlungen in Abu Ghureib erst einmal Zeit, ihr Selbstbewusstsein wieder aufzubauen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Gibt es denn im Irak auch eine Rolle f?r die arabischen Staaten, wie es Bundeskanzler Schr?der k?rzlich andeutete?

Orabi: Ich glaube das nicht. Wir wollen das Problem l?sen helfen, nicht noch mehr ?l ins Feuer gie?en. Dass arabische Truppen Recht und Ordnung in irakischen St?dten sch?tzen, kann ich mir nicht vorstellen; sie w?rden sich verteidigen, vielleicht auch schie?en m?ssen. Das w?rde unweigerlich zu Animosit?ten unter den Arabern f?hren. Es w?re allerdings annehmbar, wenn einige arabische Truppen unter Uno-Flagge in den Irak gingen. Aber eine multilaterale Truppe allein aus arabischen Soldaten, die die Italiener oder Polen abl?st, w?re ein Problem. Was wir im Irak brauchen, sind die Vereinten Nationen, sind Uno-Blauhelme, die nicht als Besatzungsmacht angesehen werden, sondern als Friedenstruppen ins Land kommen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Woher kommt Ihr Optimismus, was die Uno angeht? Schlie?lich war das Uno-Hauptquartier im Irak bereits Ziel eines der verheerendsten Anschl?ge im Land. Islamistische Gruppen betrachten auch die Uno als feindlich. Glauben Sie, dass sich das ?ndern w?rde?

Orabi: Ja, denn die Iraker denken immer mehr an ein normales Leben, an den neuen Irak, an die Zukunft. Sie haben genug gelitten und w?nschen sich geregelte Verh?ltnisse.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Haben die USA in ihren Augen eigentlich noch irgendeine Legitimation im Irak zu sein? Die mutma?lichen Massenvernichtungswaffen wurden nie gefunden. Dann kam es zu den Misshandlungen von Abu Ghureib.

Orabi: Es tut mir Leid, das sagen zu m?ssen, aber die moralische Glaubw?rdigkeit der USA br?ckelt in der Region. Das ist nicht in unserem Interesse, denn wir brauchen ein starkes Amerika mit einem guten Image. Wir brauchen sie als ehrlichen Makler. Zurzeit gehen die USA noch von falschen Voraussetzungen aus. Seit dem 11. September 2001 fragen sie: "Warum hassen sie uns?", anstatt die richtige Frage zu stellen, die da lautet: "Warum haben die Attent?ter getan, was sie getan haben?". Es geht in Wahrheit um einen Mangel an Gerechtigkeit. Das hat auch Bundespr?sident Johannes Rau kurz nach dem 11. September gesagt. Das m?ssen die USA verstehen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Kann es denn im Irak nach dem Fehlstart ?berhaupt noch ein Happy End geben?

Orabi: Wenn die USA nicht einsehen, dass sie in einiger Hinsicht falsch lagen, wird es kein Happy End geben. Ein kuweitischer Parlamentarier hat neulich gesagt: Die USA verhalten sich wie jemand, den man davor warnt, dass er gegen eine Wand f?hrt, und der, anstatt zu bremsen, nach dem Unfall sagt: Du hattest Recht. Dem stimme ich zu.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Die USA hatten zun?chst eine sehr ablehnende Haltung gegen?ber einem Engagement der Uno. Sehen Sie hier einen Wandel?

Orabi: Es gibt durchaus Anzeichen, dass sich mittlerweile auch die USA eine starke Rolle der Uno im Irak w?nschen. Das neue Denken scheint zu sein: OK, wir haben unsere Mission erf?llt. Jetzt sind die anderen dran.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Am kommenden Wochenende wird - h?chst wahrscheinlich - der Gipfel der Arabischen Liga stattfinden. Ist das eine B?hne, von der aus die Araber ihre Vorstellungen der Rolle der Uno im Irak beschreiben k?nnen?

Orabi: Ja, durchaus. Ich denke, wir sollten den Irakern den Eindruck vermitteln, dass es bald an der Zeit ist, dass sie ihre Angelegenheit wieder selbst bestimmen. Wir werden diese Forderung auf unserem Gipfel vertreten. Wir arabischen Staaten k?nnen auch dabei helfen, zum Beispiel indem wir irakische Polizisten ausbilden. Jordanien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate tun das bereits, ?gypten w?re sicher dazu bereit. Wir k?nnen auch eine Rolle beim wirtschaftlichen Wiederaufbau spielen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ein weiteres gro?es Thema auf dem Gipfel der Arabischen Liga werden Reformen in den arabischen Staaten sein. An dieser Frage ist das eigentlich f?r M?rz geplante Treffen bereits einmal gescheitert. Gibt es eine Reformagenda, auf die sich alle arabischen Staaten einigen k?nnen?

Orabi: Ich mache mir keine Sorgen wegen der Reformen in der arabischen Welt. Wir haben damit bereits vor vielen Jahren begonnen. ?gypten beispielsweise hat seine Wirtschaftspolitik schon Anfang der Neunziger modernisiert. Wir haben eine freie Presse, Ministerinnen, Botschafterinnen, und so weiter. Die internationale Forderung nach Reformen in der arabischen Welt war, als sie erhoben wurde, Teil der US-Kampagne gegen den Irak. Es war ein Versuch, den Krieg zu rechtfertigen. Dass die USA glaubten, wenn Saddam erst gest?rzt ist, wird die Demokratie sich in die Nachbarl?nder ausbreiten, war aber naiv. Ich glaube nicht, dass man in absehbarer Zeit im Irak eine Demokratie nach westlichem Vorbild haben wird. Nicht morgen, nicht ?bermorgen, und auch nicht unmittelbar nach dem 30. Juni, wenn die Souver?nit?t an das irakische Volk zur?ckfallen soll. Wir stehen hier erst am Beginn eines langen Prozesses. Was den arabischen Gipfel angeht: Wir wollen alle Reformen. Aber wir wollen keine Panzer.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Sie wollen aber auch nicht die Art von Reformen, die den USA im Rahmen ihres Projektes vom "Greater Middle East" vorschweben, oder?

Orabi: Ich sehe keine Notwendigkeit f?r ein solches Projekt. Wir brauchen kein Modell f?r unsere Entwicklung. Jedes unserer L?nder hat seine eigenen Erfahrungen und wird sich daran orientieren. Die USA sollten nicht mit dem Feuer spielen, sondern rational vorgehen. Reformen werden kommen - aber graduell und von innen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Welche Bedeutung hat es in diesem Zusammenhang, dass Bahrein, Saudi-Arabien und der Jemen bereits angek?ndigt haben, nicht am Gipfel der Arabischen Liga teilzunehmen?

Orabi: Das hat nichts mit den Reformen zu tun. Der K?nig von Bahrein wollte schon am urspr?nglichen Gipfel nicht teilnehmen. Wir hatten noch so gut wie nie einen Gipfel mit vollst?ndiger Pr?senz aller F?hrer. Da gibt es Terminprobleme und ?hnliches.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Am Montag war die US-Sicherheitsberaterin Condoleezza Rice in Berlin. Unter anderem ist sie hier mit dem pal?stinensischen Premier Ahmed Kurei zusammengetroffen. Ist das ein Versuch von Seiten der USA, ein wenig Glaubw?rdigkeit zur?ck zu erlangen?

Orabi: Auf jeden Fall.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ist der Versuch erfolgreich?

Orabi: Ich glaube, es funktioniert. In den vergangenen zwei Jahren haben die USA den Friedensprozess allein mit den Israelis diskutiert. Da ist dieses Gespr?ch ein Fortschritt. Was gestern passiert ist, k?nnte ein erster Schritt zur Wiederbelebung des Friedensprozesses gewesen sein. Das Problem ist nat?rlich, dass der israelische Ministerpr?sident Ariel Scharon seine eigene Roadmap verfolgt. Aber die ?u?erungen von Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schr?der und Bundespr?sident Johannes Rau zum Konflikt sind richtige und wichtige Signale. Wir sind m?de, die ganze Welt ist m?de. Wir wollen, dass es endlich Frieden gibt in Nahost. Wir sollten ein neues Kapitel aufschlagen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Gerade hat der K?nig von Jordanien, Abdullah II., in einem Interview mit der "New York Times" den pal?stinensischen Pr?sidenten Jassir Arafat aufgefordert zu pr?fen, ob sein Verhalten der pal?stinensischen Sache noch dienlich ist. Was halten Sie von dieser verklausulierten R?cktrittsforderung?

Orabi: Jassir Arafat ist das Symbol des pal?stinensischen Widerstandes schlechthin, nicht nur der Pr?sident. Die ?u?erung des K?nigs von Jordanien bezieht sich also zun?chst einmal wohl nur auf Arafats Rolle als Staatsoberhaupt. Aber meiner Meinung nach sollte diese Entscheidung dem pal?stinensischen Volk obliegen. Das Beste w?re, wenn es dort bald freie Wahlen g?be.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Wie steht es um die M?glichkeiten der Bundesrepublik, am Nahostfrieden mitzuwirken? Liegt eine besondere Bedeutung in der Tatsache, dass das Treffen zwischen Condoleezza Rice und Arafats Premier Kurei in Berlin stattgefunden hat?

Orabi: Ja, und das sage ich nicht, weil ich hier Botschafter bin. Deutschland genie?t in unserer Region gro?e Glaubw?rdigkeit und hat gute Beziehungen zu den Arabern und den Israelis. Deutschland kann sagen, was Recht und was Unrecht ist, und jede Seite wird zuh?ren. Manchmal sollte die Bundesrepublik diese Stimme ruhig etwas deutlicher und lauter erheben. Der Deal zwischen Israel und der Hisbollah, den Deutschland vermittelt hat, ist ein Beispiel f?r die M?glichkeiten, die Ihr Land im Nahen Osten hat. Wir warten auf weitere Ideen!

Das Gespr?ch f?hrten Claus Christian Malzahn und Yassin Musharbash

Another gene genie out of the bottle

May 19th 2004
From The Economist Global Agenda

The European Commission has lifted a five-year moratorium on genetically modified produce, by allowing the sale in Europe of one type of modified corn. But the battle by producers of such crops to win governments' and consumers' acceptance is far from over

Get article background

EARLIER this month, opponents of genetically modified (GM) crops were celebrating a decision by Monsanto, a giant biotechnology firm, to drop its plans to market the world's first strain of GM wheat. Before that, in March, greens were cheered by a decision by Bayer, another biotech giant, to scrap plans to sell GM maize (sweetcorn) in Britain. Nevertheless, the environmentalist lobby has been suffering at least as many setbacks as victories in its drive to rid the world of "frankenfoods". A report in January by ISAAA, a research body partly funded by the biotech industry, shows that the worldwide acreage of GM crops continues to grow sharply (see chart). And on Wednesday May 19th, it was the biotech firms who were celebrating, when the European Commission ended a five-year-long moratorium on imports of any new GM produce.

The European Union had approved a number of GM crops until late 1998, but growing public concern over their supposed environmental and health risks led several EU countries to demand the moratorium. By late 1999 there were enough such countries to block any new approvals of GM produce. Under pressure from the biotech firms, and from America and other big growers of GM crops, the EU then persuaded the anti-GM countries to replace the moratorium with a scheme in which all products containing GM ingredients would have to be labelled as such, and those ingredients traceable to their source.

This label-and-trace scheme came into force last month. However, some EU countries have continued to resist approving new GM crop varieties. So, under the Union's rules on such matters, the decisions on each case have passed to its executive arm, the European Commission. Its decision on Wednesday was to approve imports of a variety of maize which has been modified by a Swiss firm, Syngenta, to incorporate a gene found naturally in soil bacteria that makes it resistant to attack by the corn borer--an insect that can devastate crops. However, the decision does not mean that Syngenta's maize variety can yet be grown in the EU itself.

Last year, while the EU members continued to argue among themselves, three of the largest producers of modified crops--America, Canada and Argentina--filed a complaint at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about the moratorium, arguing that it was an illegal trade barrier because there is no scientific basis for it. Though the three plaintiff countries will be pleased by Wednesday's announcement, they are expected to continue pressing their complaint at the WTO, since the EU may well drag its feet on considering other applications for GM-crop approval. Furthermore, it still hasn't given its approval for the planting of modified crops on EU soil.

As more studies have been completed on the effects of GM crops, the green lobby's case against them has weakened. Little evidence has emerged of health risks from eating them. And, overall, the studies have shown that the environmental effects of modified crops are not always as serious as the greens claim. Nevertheless, environmentalists continue to find fault with such studies and argue that they are inconclusive.

While Americans seem happy enough to consume food made from GM crops, opinion polls continue to show that European consumers dislike the idea. Their resistance has waned somewhat as the green lobby has struggled to find evidence to support its case. But Europeans seem to be taking the attitude that, since there remains the slightest possibility of adverse consequences and since it is not clear how they, as consumers (as opposed to farmers and biotech firms), benefit from GM crops, they would rather not run the risk. So, while the European Commission's decision means that tins of modified sweetcorn can now be sold across all 25 EU states, it is still not clear whether supermarkets will stock them, nor if consumers would buy them.

So far, European food manufacturers and retailers, fearful of losing customers, have tended to avoid putting GM ingredients--even those approved before the EU moratorium--in their products. But this may not be so easy in future. Though GM crops still represent only a fraction of the world's agricultural output, their planting is growing at double-digit annual rates. One of the world's biggest producer countries, Brazil, gave in to pressure from its farmers last September and approved the planting of a variety of GM soyabeans. The country is fast becoming to such agricultural commodities as soyabeans what Saudi Arabia is to oil: a swing producer, whose decisions can sway the world market.

Up to now, food manufacturers and retailers, and thus their customers, have not had to pay a big premium for GM-free ingredients. But this may change if present trends continue and it gets harder to find non-GM sources for such ingredients as soya oil and maize syrup. Thus, despite the recent decisions by Bayer and Monsanto to drop some of their GM products, it seems likely that Europeans will find foodstuffs carrying the EU-mandated warning labels on their supermarket shelves. GM-free foods will, of course, continue to be on offer--though they are likely to start costing more, as "organic" foods already do. Though it will be a long time before they are as laid-back about GM foods as Americans are, Europe's nervous consumers may increasingly be forced to choose between their phobias and their wallets.

Copyright ? 2004 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.


Posted by maximpost at 10:46 PM EDT
Monday, 17 May 2004

Report: Syrians, 'equipment' were in N. Korea train blast

Special to World
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Syrian technicians accompanying unknown equipment were killed in the train explosion in North Korea on April 22, according to a report in a Japanese newspaper.
A military specialist on Korean affairs revealed that the Syrian technicians were killed in the explosion in Ryongchon in the northwestern part of the country, according to the Sankei Shimbun. The specialist said the Syrians were accompanying "large equipment" and that the damage from the explosion was greatest in the portion of the train they occupied.
The source said North Korean military personnel with protective suits responded to the scene soon after the explosion and removed material only from the Syrians' section of the train.
The technicians were from the Syrian technical research center called Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Scientific (CERS). Although CERS was established to promote science and technology development, it has been viewed as a major player in Syria's weapons of mass destruction development program
The source said it was not known whether the cargo was the source of the explosion or whether it had exploded following a separate explosion on another section of the train.
As many as 10 Syrians and accompanying North Koreans were killed, according to the report. The bodies of the Syrians were taken home on May 1 by a Syrian aircraft, which had come to Pyongyang to deliver aid supplies.
The Syrians and North Koreans who transported the victimrs were also reportedly wearing protective suits similar to those worn by the North Korean military figures who arrived on the scene immediately after the accident, the source said.
The United States and other countries have expressed concern that Syrian and North Korea are developoing Scud-D missiles, as well as chemical and biological weapons.
Concerning the cause of the explosion incident, the DPRK has explained that a train carrying fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate and a railroad tank carrying petroleum were being shunted, and, in the process, came into contact with electrical wires, due to carelessness.

Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.

Public portraits of Kim's current wife signals rise of her son, Kim Jong-Chol

Kim Jong-Il's current wife, Ko Yong-Hi. Weekly Post
Portraits of Kim Jong-Il's current wife, Ko Yong-Hi, have been displayed recently at N. Korean military units and are seen as evidence of a new personality cult, a Japanese daily reported. The move is seen as preparation for one of her two sons as Kim's successor. An intelligence official said the report seems valid, adding that the North has already launched a campaign to idolize Ko as "Beloved Mother."

EU will ignore U.S. sanctions
on Syria
Sunday, May 16, 2004
LONDON - The European Union has decided to ignore U.S. sanctions on Syria.
EU officials said the Bush administration's decision to impose economic sanctions on Damascus would not affect plans by Brussels to increase trade with Syria. They said the EU planned to maintain a high-level dialogue with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to facilitate the signing of a trade agreement.
On Sunday, European Commission Vice President Loyola de Palacio was scheduled to arrive in Damascus to meet Assad and other Syrian leaders.
Officials said the discussions would focus on the role of Syria in a regional energy network. Syria exports natural gas and has proposed serving as a way-station for the transfer of Egyptian gas to Europe.
Spain, which invited Assad to Madrid in early June, has criticized the U.S. sanctions on Syria. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos said Europe and Spain must cooperate in supporting Syria as a Euro-Mediterranean partner.
"Sanctions don't ensure the appropriate climate for a constructive understanding, but they increase factors of tension in the region." Moratinos said. "They have to develop and defend the fruitful relations with Syria."
Britain was the only EU member to support the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Damascus. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said his government shares U.S. concerns over Syria's weapons of mass destruction programs and its harboring of groups deemed terrorists.
"We have concerns also about WMD, terrorism, human rights and cooperation over Iraq," Dean MacLaughlin, a spokesman for Blair, said. "We expect Syria to take these concerns seriously. In particular, we expect Syria to take a constructive approach to the situation in Iraq and work with us to restore stability and aid Iraq's reconstruction."
But the British goverment ruled out imposing similar sanctions on Damascus. London has sent a series of military delegations to discuss cooperation with Syria, but does not export lethal weapons to Damascus.
"We have similar objectives and concerns to the U.S., but we pursue those through a policy of critical and constructive engagement which allows us to encourage and support reform while talking frankly and robustly about issues of concern," MacLaughlin said. "Sanctions are a matter for the EU as a whole, not individual countries."
Political sources said senior figures in Blair's Labor Party have urged the prime minister to disassociate from Washington's policies in the Middle East. They said a key area where Britain should not follow the United States regards sanctions against Syria.

Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.
Strategists call for Israeli strikes against expanding WMD threat

Friday, May 14, 2004
TEL AVIV - Leading strategists in Israel have proposed preemptive strikes against the expanding threat posed by weapons of mass destruction arsenals in the Middle East.
A report, entitled "Israel's Strategic Future," called such strikes an option in preventing the formation of a WMD coalition. The report said the Jewish state has been threatened by a biological or nuclear first-strike that seeks to exploit Israel's small space and high population density.
"To meet its ultimate deterrence objectives - that is, to deter the most overwhelmingly destructive enemy first-strikes - Israel must seek and achieve a visible second-strike capability to target approximately 15 enemy cities," the report, presented to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said.
The report marked the last phase of Project Daniel, sponsored by the Ariel Center for Strategic Studies, part of the College of Judea and Samaria. The contributors to the report included [Res.] Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, the former director of research and development at Israel's military and Defense Ministry, Middle East Newsline reported.
The report also urged the Israeli military to reduce the priority assigned to conventional warfare without impairing its superiority over any enemy coalition. The report said Israeli strategy must be revised to address the expanding threats from what it termed terrorism and long-range WMD attacks.
One option, the report said, would be to target an enemy WMD regime.
"The tools for preemptive operations would be novel, diverse and purposeful; for example, long-range aircraft with appropriate support for derived missions; long-range high-level intervention ground forces; long-endurance intelligence-collection systems; long-endurance unmanned air-strike platforms," the report said.
"Ranges would be to cities in Libya and Iran, and recognizable nuclear bomb yields would be at a level sufficient to fully compromise the aggressor's viability as a functioning state. All enemy targets should be selected with the view that their destruction would promptly force the enemy to cease all nuclear/biological/chemical exchanges with Israel."
The report called on Israel to operate a multi-layered ballistic missile defense system as well as establish a second-strike capability. Such a missile defense should include a Boost Phase Intercept capability as well as enhanced real-time intelligence acquisition, interpretation and transmission.
The report said that despite the prospect of a WMD attack, the principal existential threat to Israel was a conventional war mounted by a coalition of Arab states along with Iran. But such a war, the report said, could be facilitated by the development of WMD and result in nonconventional weapons strikes against the Jewish state.
"Irrespective of its policy on nuclear ambiguity vs. disclosure, Israel will not be able to endure unless it continues to maintain a credible, secure and decisive nuclear deterrent alongside a multi-layered anti-missile defense," the report said.
The report said advanced weaponry would enable Israel to reduce its defense expenditure while enhancing effectiveness and lethality in conventional warfare. The report cited the need for increased weapons range, precision, warhead efficiency; electronic warfare, reduced infrared and radio frequency signatures.
The report also stressed the need for real time tactical and strategic intelligence within a command, control, communications, computer and intelligence [C4I] system. The technologies cited to combat strategic threats included ballistic missile defense, early-warning satellites, combat unmanned air vehicles and deep-strike forces.
"There is no operational need for low-yield nuclear weapons geared for actual battlefield use," the report said. "There is no point in spreading - and raising costs - Israel's effort on low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons given the multifaceted asymmetry between Israel and its adversaries."
Israel must also maintain its policy of refusing to acknowledge nuclear capability, the report said. The report said such a policy should be revised in the future if an enemy state turns nuclear.
The report asserted that the development of an Arab and Iranian nuclear weapons program required 20 years while that of a long-range missile would need 12 years. But once development is completed, the report said, the production and acquisition of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles would entail a short process. Any country could build an arsenal of 100 atomic bombs within four years of the assembly of its first nuclear weapon.
"Israel will have to maximize its long-range, accurate, real-time strategic intelligence," the report said. "Israel will have to maximize the credibility of its second-strike capability. Israel will have to develop, test, manufacture and deploy a BPI [Boost Phase Intercept] capability to match the operational requirements dictated by enemy ballistic missile capacities -- performance and numbers."
The report also called on Israel to deploy recoverable and non-recoverable stealth UAVs to suppress enemy air defenses, electronic warfare, intelligence-gathering and strikes. The military was also urged to develop a second-strike land or sea nuclear capability.
To finance such an effort, Israel must cooperate with the United States, make better use of U.S. military aid and eliminate obstacles to U.S.-Israel defense trade. One option was for Israel to consider revising its defense strategy to account for an expanded U.S. military presence in the Middle East.
The report urged Israel to seek U.S. cooperation for a joint BPI project, something the Defense Department has refused. Another option was for the United States to "participate technologically and financially in Israel's multi-layered missile defense efforts as fully as possible."
Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.

Another Israeli APC destroyed in Gaza

Special to World
Thursday, May 13, 2004
GAZA CITY - Palestinian insurgents destroyed another Israeli armored personnel carrier in the Gaza Strip.
It was the second time in as many days that insurgents destroyed an Israeli APC in the Gaza Strip. The APC was carrying a a ton of explosives that blew up and killed all five crew members in the combat vehicle along the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip.
"An armored personnel carrier, responsible for the detonation of the tunnels, was struck and subsequently exploded while preparing to detonate a tunnel," an Israeli military statement said. "The explosion was apparently a result of an RPG fired at the force."
The blast on Wednesday evening tore apart the U.S.-origin M113 APC and pieces of the vehicle as well as parts of the bodies of soldiers flew into the adjacent Palestinian refugee camp of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing.
"We don't really know what happened yesterday," Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told a news conference outside Rafah on Thursday. "This is being investigated."
The destruction of the two Israeli APCs has sparked what military sources termed an intensified effort to locate and eliminate Palestinian insurgency strongholds in the Gaza Strip. The sources said the military plans a series of combined armored, infantry and air operations in the Gaza Strip over the next few days. They said the navy would also participate in the missions.
"We have to think of the following day," Lt. Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati infantry brigade's reconnaissance unit, said. "After three or four hours of sleep, the soldiers are preparing for the next operation."
The APC destroyed on Wednesday was part of a convoy on patrol along the Egyptian-Gaza Strip border to detect tunnels full of explosives that connect Rafah to neighboring Egypt and meant to destroy Israeli armored vehicles.
The lead vehicle in convoy, an armored D-9 bulldozer, was disabled by a mine and two soldiers were injured.
When the APC moved to help, it was struck by what appeared to be a rocket-propelled grenade that blew up the explosives inside the vehicle. The explosion took place along an eight-kilometer 20-meter wide border route called "Philalelphi." Military sources said this area was the most violent in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"We conducted hundreds of such operations in the past and there were no casualties," Winter said. "But we always knew that this could happen."
Israeli troops and combat vehicles came under fire by Palestinian insurgents as they searched for the bodies of the Israeli casualties.
Ya'alon said that in the fighting Israeli troops killed nine Palestinians, seven of them in an AH-64A Apache helicopter missile strike. He said Egyptian authorities allowed Israeli military representatives to search for the Israeli bodies on the Egyptian side of the border.
So far, Israel's military detected and destroyed at least 11 tunnels in 2004. Military sources said Southern Command had increased patrols along the Egyptian border in wake of intelligence that Palestinian insurgents were trying to smuggle Soviet-origin Katyusha rockets into the Gaza Strip.
On Tuesday, an M113 APC was destroyed by a mine detonated by Palestinian insurgents in Gaza City. Six Israeli soldiers were killed and Palestinian insurgents made off with the parts of the bodies of the Israelis as well as subsystems of the M113.
On late Wednesday, Jihad returned the body parts in a deal arranged by Egypt. At the same time, Israeli troops and combat vehicles left the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, the target of an earlier Israeli attack on Palestinian weapons laboratories.
Israeli military sources said the success of Palestinian attacks on Israeli APCs reflect training and explosives relayed by Hizbullah. They said Hamas and Jihad insurgents have been trained in the production of mines, rockets and other weapons.
Palestinian sources said 24 Palestinians have been killed in fighting with Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since Tuesday, at least 10 of them in Rafah on Thursday. Overnight Thursday, Hamas gunners fired a Kassam-class short-range missile toward a community in Israel. An Israeli woman was injured.
Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.

US Pushes World Court Immunity Amid Iraq Scandal

By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is pursuing its campaign to protect Americans from International Criminal Court jurisdiction even as it deals with the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal that may involve some of the very war crimes the court was created to handle.
So far 89 countries have signed agreements with Washington promising that Americans accused of grave international offenses, including soldiers charged with war crimes, will be returned to U.S. jurisdiction so their cases can be decided by fellow Americans rather than international jurists.
Other states may soon be added, officials said this week.
"It's never been our argument that Americans are angels," one senior U.S. official told Reuters.
"Our argument has been if Americans commit war crimes or human rights violations, we will handle them. And we will," he added.
The permanent court was established in 2002 after ad hoc institutions dealt with war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
But President Bush opposed it and insisted on so-called Article 98 agreements under which countries guaranteed not to surrender Americans to ICC prosecution.
With military and civilians on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in 100 countries, Washington must preserve its independence to defend its national interests worldwide, U.S. officials said.
This position is coming under new scrutiny following publication of photographs showing U.S. army soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
The photos have fueled international outrage and severely damaged U.S. credibility. U.S. officials promise the guilty will be punished but rights experts worry prosecutions will focus on lower-ranking soldiers, not their superiors.
"The political reality is that its going to be harder now to persuade democratically elected leaders to immunize the U.S. military from war crimes prosecution," said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.
While some states may be more reluctant to sign the bilateral immunity agreements, it is unclear they can avoid it, said Anthony Dworkin, London-based editor of the Crimes of War Project Web site .
U.S. law prohibits military aid to countries that do not sign immunity accords and Washington has used this lever to exert "enormous pressure" on countries to sign, he said.
Some legal experts disagree with the use of Article 98 agreements and question government insistence that U.S. military interrogation rules in Iraq and elsewhere comply with the Geneva Convention.
Washington "is reluctant to test its interpretation" before international jurists, Dworkin said.
"All of us are appalled by those prisoner abuse photos and we need to address them," a U.S. official said.
"But the idea that the ICC would come in and judge whether we did enough ... that's where the politicization comes and where those who might have opposed the Iraq war in the first place could use that as an opportunity to whack us," he said.
Another official said: "You can't get out of these things by having somebody go to trial in international court. The only way to repair our authority and reputation is to show that we find the behavior abhorrent and are going to punish it."
Europe has resisted U.S. pressure and countries with major concentrations of U.S. forces, like Germany, Japan and South Korea, have not signed immunity pacts with the United States.
Copyright ? Reuters 2004. All rights reserved.

No military draft in post-Saddam Iraq

Friday, May 14, 2004
BAGHDAD - Iraq's interim government has agreed that the nation's new military will be based on voluntary service.
Iraqi officials said the Interim Governing Council has determined that Iraq will not renew the draft employed by the former regime of Saddam Hussein. They said the military will be based on an all-volunteer force similar to the United States and European Union countries.
In Amman, Jordan continued to train Iraqi police and security forces. On Thursday, a class of 500 police officers completed training and underwent graduation in Amman, Middle East Newsline reported.
Iraq has been training to complete the first phase of its new army, composed of 27 battalions. This calls for three light infantry divisions in a 40,000-member army.
Officials said Iraq could decide on a second stage of development that would expand the army to 60,000. Baghdad also plans to restore the nation's navy and air force.
"Iraq is passing through a very difficult security phase and all efforts should be focused on putting an end to the state of chaos by building effective security forces capable of restoring stability in the country," Iraqi police chief Maj. Gen. Taleb Abbas said.
So far, Jordan has trained and graduated 1,900 Iraqi police officers at Amman's police academy. Jordan agreed to train 32,000 Iraqi policemen by the end of 2005.
Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.

No Way to Run a War
The Democrats are guilty of ideological confusion and the Republicans of disdain for reflection.

Monday, May 17, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

Though America has condemned the cruelties of Abu Ghraib, they remain nonetheless a symbol of the inescapable fact that the war has been run incompetently, with an apparently deliberate contempt for history, strategy, and thought, and with too little regard for the American soldier, whose mounting casualties seem to have no effect on the boastfulness of the civilian leadership.
Before the war's inception, and even after September 11, the Bush administration, having promised to correct its predecessor's depredations of the military, failed to do so. The president failed to go to Congress on September 12 to ask for a declaration of war, failed to ask Congress when he did go before it for the tools with which to fight, and has failed consistently to ask the American people for sacrifice. And yet their sons, mainly, are sacrificed in Iraq day by day.
When soldiers are killed because they do not have equipment (in the words of a returning officer, "not enough vehicles, not enough munitions, not enough medical supplies, not enough water"), when reservists are retained for years, and rotations canceled, it is the consequence of a fiscal policy that seems more attuned to the electoral landscape of 2004 than to the national security of the United States. Were the U.S. to devote the same percentage of its GNP to defense as it did during the peacetime years of the last half-century, and the military budget return to this unremarkable level, we would be spending (apart from the purely operational costs of the war) almost twice what we are spending now.
The year-and-a-half delay between action in Afghanistan and Iraq mobilized the Arabs and the international left, weakened the connection with September 11, and prompted allies who would have been with us to fall away. The delay was especially unconscionable because it was due not merely to normal difficulties but to the aforementioned military insufficiencies and to indecision masquerading as circumspection. Once the Army and Marines were rolling, their supply lines were left deliberately unprotected, and are vulnerable to this day. Why? Why do the generals, in patently identifiable top-down-speak, repeatedly state that they need nothing more than the small number of troops (for occupying such a large country) that they are assigned? Why do they and the administration steadfastly hold this line even as one event cascading into another should make them recoil in piggy-eyed wonder at the lameness of their policy?
From the beginning, the scale of the war was based on the fundamental strategic misconception that the primary objective was Iraq rather than the imagination of the Arab World, which, if sufficiently stunned, would tip itself back into the heretofore easily induced fatalism that makes it hesitate to war against the West. After the true shock and awe of a campaign of massive surplus, as in the Gulf War, no regime would have risked its survival by failing to go after the terrorists within its purview. But a campaign of bare sufficiency, that had trouble punching through even ragtag irregulars, taught the Arabs that we could be effectively opposed.
Mistakenly focused on physical control of Iraq, we could not see that, were we to give it up, the resultant anarchy might find a quicker resolution than the indefinite prolonged agony through which our continuing presence has nursed it. Seeking motivation after the fact, we decided to make Iraq a Western-style democracy, and when that began to run off the rails, to make Iraq the mere model for a Middle East filled with Western-style democracies. Of course, instead of a model to inspire them (of which they have many, such as Switzerland), what the Arabs need is first the desire, and then a means to overcome the police states that oppress them, neither of which a reconfigured Iraq, were it possible, would supply. Japan and Germany are often cited in defense of this overreach, but rather than freeze our armies in place and set them to policing and civil affairs as we fought through the Second World War, we waited until we had won.
Having decided to remake a country of 26 million divided into warring subcultures with a shared affection for martyrdom and unchanging traditions, the administration thought it could do so with 100,000 troops. Israel, which nearly surrounds the West Bank, speaks its language and has 37 years of experience in occupation, keeps approximately (by my reckoning) one soldier on duty for every 40 inhabitants and 1/13th square mile, and the unfortunate results are well known. In Iraq we keep one soldier per 240 inhabitants and 1.7 square miles. To put this in yet clearer perspective, it is the same number of uniformed police officers per inhabitant of the City of New York. But the police in New York are not at the end of a 9,000-mile supply chain (they live off the land at Dunkin' Donuts), they do not have to protect their redoubts, travel in convoys, maintain a hospital system, run a civil service, reform a government, build schools, supply electricity, etc. And, most importantly, they do not have to battle an angry population that speaks an alien language, lives in an immense territory, and is armed with automatic weapons, explosives, suicide bombers, and rocket-propelled grenades. Imagine if they did, and you have Iraq. Imagine if then the mayor said, "We don't need anything further, it's just a question of perseverance: Bring it on," and you have the Bush continuum.
Leaving out entirely our gratuitously self-inflicted inability to deal with major contingencies in Asia, this has been the briefest summary of mismanagement, a full exposition of which could fill a thick and very unpleasant book. But to these failings the left offers no better alternative, for if the right has failed in execution, the left's failure, in conception, is deeper.
John Kerry may say one thing and another, but no matter how the topgallants break in the Democratic Party, its ideological keel is a leaden and unthinking pacifism, a pretentious and illogical deference to all things European, and the unhinged belief that America by its very nature transforms every aspect of its self-defense into an aggression that justifies the offense against which it is defending itself. After the enemy has attacked our shipping, embassies, aviation, capital, government and largest city, and after he has slit the throats of defenseless stewardesses, and crushed and immolated three thousand unwary men, women, and children, those who wonder what we did wrong are not likely to offer a spirited defense.
Their allergy to military expenditure assures that, unlike Republicans, who provided just enough to accomplish an arrogant plan if nothing went wrong, they would not provide enough to accomplish a humble plan if everything went right. They say that war is not the answer, and, meaning it, profess their faith in special operations. But are we to credit their supposed indignation that in the early Bush presidency there was a shortage of covert insertions into sovereign states, a dearth of assassinations, the absence of close cooperation with the intelligence services of dictatorships, and insufficient funding for black operations? Or to take seriously the crackpot supposition that this was a war for oil, the price of which, since the war, has gone up? And why then did we not invade Venezuela? It's closer, and the food is better.
With nothing to offer but contradictions and paralysis, they and their presidential aspirant have staked their policy on a mystical and irrational prejudice against unilateralism. This is a new thing under the visiting moon, an absurdity propounded by the very same people who often urge the U.S. to unilateral action when it refrains, for example, from interventions in Africa to fight genocide or AIDS. In what way is America, moving in concert with Britain and Spain to invade Iraq, more unilateral or less multilateral than France moving in concert with Germany and Belgium to oppose it? And does a wrong act cease to be wrong if others join in, or a right cease to be right if others do not?
Just as many Republicans detest the idea of international governance but glow at the prospect of empire, many Democrats are reliably anti-imperialist yet dewy-eyed about world government. Thus, Sen. Kerry's only non-secret policy for the war is a bunch of mumblings about the U.N. and our "allies," presumably the ones who are not with us at the moment in Iraq. It is they and the U.N. who in the fairy dust of multilateralism will solve this most difficult problem. But in fact they neither can nor will do any such thing. Either Sen. Kerry knows that his strategy is just a cover for simple, complete, and ignominious withdrawal, or he does not know, which is worse.
Though the parties have been incompetent, nothing but politics keeps them from correcting their deficiencies, and at a point like this, even if professional politicians are incapable of knowing it, explicit and decisive correction would be the best politics. The situation need not remain intractable if once again respect is accorded to certain fundamentals.
The military must be reconstituted so that it has a surplus of power without having to choose between transformation and tradition, quality and numbers, heavy and light: All are necessary. This is expensive, and would require more plain speaking and less condescending manipulation from those who govern, but would allow for the quick and overwhelming application of force, unambiguous staying power, coverage of multiple contingencies, and, most importantly, deterrence. It is always better to deter an enemy than, by showing weakness, to encourage him to take the field.
In addition to more aggressive unconventional, police, and paramilitary operations against the fragmented terrorist legion, we must strengthen civil defense. Although striking a thousand targets is easier than defending ten million, it isn't possible to control every laboratory and closet in the world. If the social cost and hundreds of billions of dollars annually necessary for a probabilistically effective defense against weapons of mass destruction appear a great burden, they pale before an unrestrained epidemic or a nuclear detonation in a major city.
In the Middle East, our original purpose, since perverted by carelessness of estimation, was self-defense. To return to it would take advantage of the facts that the countries in the area do not have to be democracies before we require of them that they refrain from attacking us; that a regime with a firm hold upon a nation has much at stake and can be coerced to eradicate the terrorist apparatus within its frontiers; and that the ideal instrument for this is a remounted and properly supported U.S. military, released from nation building and counterinsurgency, its ability to make war, when called upon, nonpareil.
The Kurds and Shia of Iraq could within days assert control in their areas. We already have ceded part of Sunni Iraq: What remains is to pick a strongman, see him along, arrange a federation, hope for the best, remount the army, and retire, with or without Saudi permission, to the Saudi bases roughly equidistant to Damascus, Baghdad, and Riyadh. There, protected by the desert, with modern infrastructure, and our backs to the sea, which is our metier, we would command the center of gravity of the Middle East, and with the ability to strike hard, fast and at will, could enforce responsible behavior upon regimes that have been the citadel of our enemies.
In a war that has steadily grown beyond expectations, America has been poorly served by those who govern it. The Democrats are guilty of seemingly innate ideological confusion about self-defense, the Republicans of willful disdain for reflection, and, both, of lack of imagination, probity, and preparation--and, perhaps above all, of subjecting the most serious business in the life of a nation to coarse partisanship. Having come up short, both parties are sorely in need of a severe reprimand and direct order from the American people to correct their failings and get on with the common defense.
Mr. Helprin is a novelist, a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute.

U.S. stymies interrogators: Direct questions, isolation only options

Monday, May 17, 2004
The U.S. military has restricted techniques for eliciting information from detainees in Iraq.
Officials said Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, has restricted options for use in interrogations at the Abu Gharib facility north of Baghdad. They said the new policy - ordered on May 13 amid the U.S. Army's investigation of interrogations at Abu Gharib - banned the use of techniques meant to pressure detainees to provide information to military intelligence.
One banned technique was the practice of forcing detainees into physically stressful positions. Until Sanchez's decision, such a technique required approval from the commanding general.
[On Monday, a car bomb exploded near U.S. military headquarters in Baghdad and killed Iraqi Governing Council head Abdul Zahraa Othman, Middle East Newsline reported.
Earlier, the Shi'ite Mahdi Army, employing grenade and mortar fire, drove an Italian military force from a base in the southern city of Nasseriya.]
"What is said is simply we will not even entertain a request, so don't even send it up for a review," a senior U.S. Central Command official said.
Officials said the only option left to interrogators after Sanchez's review was the isolation of the detainee for up to 30 days. They said this technique also required approval from the commanding general.
The Sanchez review came after a decision in October 2003 to ease restrictions imposed on U.S. military interrogators. Officials said the October policy provided greater options for interrogators - after approval from commanders - to force detainees to sit, kneel or stand in abnormal positions.
U.S. officials said the military has developed an interrogation plan that included the acquisition of background information on Iraqi prisoners for use in questioning. In addition, the military drafted a series of approaches meant to respond to the level of cooperation exhibited by the detainee. In all, the army manual lists 53 techniques for interrogation.
Military intelligence officials, providing the first open details in a Defense Department briefing on May 14, described the process undergone by a detainee after his capture and imprisonment in Abu Gharib, where thousands of Iraqis were being held. They said the detainee would be screened by military intelligence in cooperation with military police.
Military intelligence and military police then would examine the detainee and determine whether he should undergo interrogation. Officials said such a decision would depend on the tactical information required by commanders. They said the priority of commanders has focused on information that could protect U.S. troops and civilians.
The officials said the first task of the interrogator was to gather information on the detainee and draft what they termed an analyst support package and an interrogation plan. The plan included the type of information sought from the detainee as well as the approach to take with him.
In most cases, officials said, interrogators have taken the direct approach and merely ask questions. They said this approach elicited information in 95 percent of cases.
"Or if you're not talking or we think you're deceptive, we might think you might be a different person and say, 'Now I'm not sure," a Central Command official said. "'You're - aren't you so and so?' One of those approaches would be laid down."
The Central Command official said interrogators would require permission for any technique not on what he termed an approved list. One such technique that has required approval, he said, was forcing the detainee to stand for a period of time. In some cases, such requests would be relayed to the judge advocate general to determine whether such a technique was not banned by the Geneva Conventions.
The Bush administration has been besieged by U.S. media reports that Pentagon officials approved a special classified interrogation unit in Iraq to obtain information from Iraqi or foreign insurgents. One of the reports asserted that senior Pentagon officials authorized the use of harsh interrogation techniques against a Syrian national believed to have been sent to bolster the Sunni insurgency against the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.
"It is our position, and has been from the very beginning, that we don't address these things because the one time you don't say something, that's the one time you're essentially confirming it," Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said.
But officials acknowledged that interrogations have been hampered by a block in the flow of information from battlefield units to Abu Gharib. They said this has prevented combat units from obtaining important information from detainees that could help operations.
The official said interrogations at Abu Gharib have yielded important information that later helped capture key Iraqi officials, including deposed President Saddam Hussein. Other information obtained through interrogation included the routes of Al Qaida-inspired foreign volunteers who arrived to fight the U.S. military in Iraq as well as the location and network of improvised explosive devices.
"We have gotten some great information on additional terrorist threats in Iraq, on radical Sunni Islamists working with former regime elements and how that working relationship takes place," an official said. "And we've also gotten some key information on terrorists. I'm going to put it as tactical: their techniques, tactics and procedures; their command and control structure; and how that's coming together there in Iraq. We've also gotten some great information on key personalities."

Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.

Lawyer enforces rules for prisoner treatment
By Katarina Kratovac
Associated Press
FALLUJAH, Iraq -- A U.S. military lawyer assembled the guards at the jail on the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment's desert base to convey the latest orders: it is no longer permissible to hood Iraqi detainees. Blindfolds will suffice.
The practice was banned by the U.S. command after the scandal erupted over treatment of inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. With the international outcry over the abuse captured in photographs shown worldwide, the Marines are being extra careful to go by the book in their handling of suspects.
"Sandbagging is now prohibited," said Capt. Jamie McCall, referring to the practice of putting bags over the heads of Iraqi suspects rounded up in raids or captured in combat.
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh law school, McCall, 29, is a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
The battalion sees him as their in-house lawyer, and commander Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne calls McCall his "legal beagle."
"I am here to answer their questions about all legal issues," said McCall, from Wilmington, Del.
These days, McCall is busier than ever.
The scandal over the Army's treatment of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison -- less than an hour's drive from this battalion's base -- shocked many Marines who take pride in their elite training and credo.
"Those people who did this will absolutely face some stiff penalties," Byrne said.
The first defendant goes on trial Wednesday in Baghdad.
However, the Marine record in Iraq is not spotless. Two Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif., face courts-martial on charges including assault and dereliction of duty in the death of an Iraqi prisoner in their custody last year in the southern city of Nasiriyah.
Before getting to Abu Ghraib, McCall said, each Iraqi detainee passes two levels of screening -- at the detention center with the unit that captured him, then, if initial questioning determines his detention should continue, at a division-level detention.
Only after division screening shows "compelling evidence" that prisoners should be held are they taken to a third-level prison such as Abu Ghraib, where a magistrate court sits and decides the fate of each prisoner, McCall said.
Photographing any prisoner -- many troops have personal digital cameras in Iraq -- goes against rules of conduct and is strictly banned, McCall says.
Before deployment, Marines were "schooled up on the rules of engagement, law of war, what does and does not constitute hostile intent," McCall said. "And above all, the Geneva Conventions."
Once in Iraq, "we all carry a rules of engagement card" -- a yellow card with lists of these definitions, McCall said.
When officially speaking of the enemy, the Marines go by the book, using tongue twisting acronyms like FRE for Former Regime Elements, NCF for Non-Compliance Forces, ACF or Anti-Coalition Forces, and lately, AIF for Anti-Iraqi Forces.
But in April, during the urban warfare with insurgents in Fallujah, a Sunni stronghold some 35 miles west of Baghdad, the enemy became simply the "bad guys."
During Fallujah battles, Marines blamed the insurgents for "abusing law of war."
"It was unbelievable," McCall said. "They transported weapons in ambulances marked with the Red Crescent, stored up arms in mosques and hospitals, fired at us from mosques and shrines."
Still, Fallujah insurgents were considered "illegal combatants" and as such had to display a "hostile intent," not simply brandish a firearm, before they could become a target of the Marines.
Rules of engagement differ elsewhere.
In the southern city of Najaf, where U.S. troops battle a renegade Shiite cleric's militia, the al-Mahdi Army in its uniform black dress and headscarves, the group is perceived as a "hostile force."
"All I have to do is see a guy in that uniform, he does not even have to see me, he does not have to have a weapon in his hand, he goes down," Byrne said.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sex Abuse Is Poor Interrogation Tool, Israelis Say

By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Sexual humiliation of the kind practiced by U.S. military police at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq does little to help interrogators gain useful information from prisoners, Israeli counter-terrorism experts said Monday.
Israel, perhaps unique in having public debate and legal guidelines on the use of physical coercion against suspects, does not use Abu Ghraib-type methods despite its close ties with the United States on security matters, they said.
"Under questioning, a terrorist should be made to yield. Sexual abuse goes too far by breaking him, so it's not an option," Ami Ayalon, former chief of Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service, told Reuters.
"A broken man will say anything. That information is worthless."
The United States is reeling from revelations that low-level personnel at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad piled naked Iraqi detainees on top of one another and photographed them simulating sex acts.
New Yorker magazine said the abuses were ordered by U.S. military intelligence as part of the effort to gather information on Iraqi insurgents through interrogation. The Pentagon denied this, calling the scandal an isolated incident.
For many in Israel, the case recalled charges by a Lebanese guerrilla leader, Mustafa Dirani, that he was sodomized by an Israeli interrogator while in captivity in the mid-1990s.
Ayalon said the Dirani case was exceptional as he had been held by Israeli military intelligence, whose top-secret foreign missions secure it virtual freedom from judicial scrutiny, while the Shin Bet works in Israel and the Palestinian territories under strict Supreme Court guidelines.
Under court restrictions, the Shin Bet can use "moderate physical pressure," including sensory deprivation and shaking short of causing permanent damage, on so-called "ticking bombs" -- suspects it believes know about imminent attacks.
"The Shin Bet has professionalism and oversight, so everyone keeps to these methods. They are effective enough," Ayalon said, adding that interrogators undergo almost three years of Arabic and psychology training before confronting their first suspect.
According to New Yorker correspondent Seymour Hersh, some of Abu Ghraib's abused inmates may have been photographed in the hope they could later be blackmailed into becoming U.S. informants. Israel depends on a vast network of collaborators in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to help its hunt for Palestinian militants waging a 3 1/2-year-old revolt with suicide bombings.
Palestinian advocates say collaborators are recruited on the offer of pay or after Israeli authorities withhold favors such as travel permits, an account confirmed by Shin Bet sources.
But sexual blackmail is almost unheard of.
"An informant risks being caught and killed by his countrymen, so he will only be effective if he works of his own free will, feeling it is worth his while," said Menachem Landau, a retired Shin Bet supervisor of Palestinian collaborators. "Someone acting out of fear will be unreliable and could even end up attacking his handler to clear his name."

Copyright ? Reuters 2004. All rights reserved.


Donald Rumsfeld personnellement mis en cause dans le scandale des tortures en Irak
LEMONDE.FR | 16.05.04 | 08h56 * MIS A JOUR LE 16.05.04 | 22h02
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Le secr?taire ? la d?fense am?ricain a lui-m?me approuv? un projet destin? ? autoriser l'usage de m?thodes d'interrogatoire non conventionnelles pour obtenir des renseignements au sujet de l'insurrection irakienne, croit savoir le "New Yorker". Ces m?thodes, d'abord utilis?es en Afghanistan aupr?s de membres d'Al-Qaida, puis ? Guantanamo, sont ? l'origine du scandale des tortures inflig?es aux d?tenus irakiens de la prison d'Abou Ghraib, explique l'hebdomadaire sur son site internet.
Donald Rumsfeld est ? nouveau dans la tourmente. Selon un article du New Yorker ? para?tre lundi 17 mai et d?j? accessible sur le site internet de l'hebdomadaire, les tortures inflig?es dans la prison d'Abou Ghraib par des militaires am?ricains ? des d?tenus irakiens ont r?sult? d'une d?cision approuv?e secr?tement en 2003 par le secr?taire ? la d?fense.
L'auteur de cet article, Seymour Hersh, qui, avec la cha?ne CBS, avait r?v?l? le scandale d'Abou Ghraib, ?crit que les "racines" de cette affaire "ne reposent pas sur les penchants criminels de quelques r?servistes, mais sur une d?cision approuv?e l'an dernier" par M. Rumsfeld.
Cette d?cision visait ? "?tendre les limites d'un programme hautement secret, destin? ? l'origine ? la chasse d'Al-Qaida, aux interrogatoires de prisonniers en Irak", poursuit Seymour Hersh dans les colonnes de l'hebdomadaire new-yorkais, citant des officiers du renseignement actifs ou ? la retraite.
Ces officiers ont confi? au journaliste que ce programme "encourageait la coercition physique et les humiliations sexuelles de prisonniers irakiens, dans une tentative d'obtenir plus d'informations sur l'insurrection grandissante en Irak".
Selon l'auteur de l'article, le projet, class? secret, autorisait ? tuer, ? capturer ou ? interroger les personnalit?s dites de valeur dans le cadre de la "lutte antiterroriste". Largement utilis?es en Afghanistan, ces pratiques ont ?t? appliqu?es en Irak avec davantage de mod?ration et uniquement - dans un premier temps - dans la traque de Saddam Hussein et la recherche des armements non conventionnels.
A mesure que l'insurrection gagnait en intensit? et que les pertes am?ricaines s'accumulaient, Donald Rumsfeld et Stephen Cambone ont d?cid? de les ?tendre aux interrogatoires pratiqu?s dans la prison d'Abou Ghraib, affirme le New Yorker. Le projet aurait ?t? approuv? et mis en oeuvre l'?t? dernier ? la suite des attentats qui ont vis? en ao?t le si?ge des Nations unies ? Bagdad et l'ambassade de Jordanie.
"Attrapez ceux qu'il faut et faites-en ce que vous voulez", constituait l'ordre de mission des militaires charg?s des interrogatoires, toujours selon les sources cit?es par l'hebdomadaire.
Cette d?cision aurait ?t? ?labor?e par Stephen Cambone, sous-secr?taire ? la d?fense pour le renseignement, puis approuv?e par Donald Rumsfeld et par le chef d'Etat-major interarm?es, Richard Myers. "La solution ent?rin?e par Rumsfeld et appliqu?e par Stephen Cambone ?tait d'?tre plus dur avec les Irakiens qui se trouvaient dans le syst?me carc?ral et qui ?taient soup?onn?s de prendre part ? l'insurrection", ?crit Seymour Hersh.
Il cite ?galement le g?n?ral Geoffrey Miller, commandant du centre de d?tention et d'interrogation de la base navale am?ricaine de Guantanamo, ? Cuba, qui s'est rendu ? Bagdad en ao?t. L'officier, selon le New Yorker, aurait recommand? de "guantanamo?ser" le syst?me des prisons en Irak.
Mais, poursuit l'hebdomaire, Donald Rumsfeld et Stephen Cambone "ont ?t? plus loin" en autorisant des m?thodes "non conventionnelles" ? Abou Ghraib, notamment par le recours ? des humiliations sexuelles sur les hommes, pour leur soutirer des renseignements qui faisaient d?faut aux Etats-Unis pour r?primer l'insurrection.
La CIA, qui avait approuv? l'usage de techniques "sp?cifiques" pour les interrogatoires de dirigeants d'Al-Qaida apr?s les attentats du 11 septembre 2001, s'est oppos?e ? leur application en Irak a et ? refus? d'y coop?rer, selon le New Yorker.
Apr?s l'ouverture d'une enqu?te militaire sur Abou Ghraib en janvier dernier, il a ?t? d?cid? de pr?senter une version officielle des faits ne faisant pas mention du programme secret, selon le New Yorker, seulement de "gamins devenus incontr?lables", en l'occurrence les sept militaires actuellement inculp?s.
Une porte parole du Pentagone, Laurence Di Rita, a qualifi? samedi l'article de "saugrenu, avec un air de conspiration et rempli d'erreurs et de conjectures anonymes". "Aucun responsable du d?partement de la d?fense n'a approuv? quelque programme que ce soit con?u pour r?sulter en de tels abus comme ceux vus sur les photos et videos r?centes", a-t-elle affirm? dans un communiqu?.

Avec AFP et Reuters


Les s?vices perp?tr?s ? Guantanamo auraient ?t? film?s

Les s?vices perp?tr?s contre les prisonniers du centre de d?tention am?ricain de Guantanamo ? Cuba ont fait l'objet d'enregistrements vid?o, selon un ancien d?tenu britannique, cit? dimanche 16 mai par l'hebdomadaire dominical The Observer. Tarek Dergoul, 26 ans, un des six Britanniques lib?r?s de Guantanamo en mars dernier, s'exprimant pour la premi?re fois sur la mani?re dont il avait ?t? trait? pendant sa d?tention, a affirm? avoir ?t? victimes de s?vices, qui ont tous ?t? film?s. "Il y avait toujours un type derri?re filmant ce qui se passait", a-t-il d?clar?, selon l'Observer. L'ex-prisonnier britannique a affirm? avoir subi des humiliations et des passages ? tabac, racontant notamment un ?pisode o? il ?tait confront? ? cinq militaires am?ricains. "Ils m'ont projet? du gaz au poivre ? la face et j'ai commenc? ? vomir, a-t-il affirm?. Puis ils m'ont attaqu? et clou? au sol, me mettant les doigts dans les yeux, me poussant la t?te dans les toilettes et tirant la chasse." "Ils m'ont ensuite ligot? comme un animal, se sont mis ? genou sur moi, me donnant des coups de pied et des coups de poing. En fin de compte ils m'ont sorti encha?n? de la cellule pour me conduire dans la zone de r?cr?ation o? ils m'ont ras? la barbe, les cheveux et les sourcils", a-t-il encore racont?. Le porte-parole du centre de d?tention de Guantanamo, le lieutenant-colonel Leon Sumpter, a indiqu? ? l'Observer que les enregistrements vid?o ?taient faits afin de pouvoir ensuite ?tre supervis?s par des officiers sup?rieurs. Tous les enregistrements sont conserv?s dans les archives de la base, a-t-il pr?cis?, selon le journal. Le r?cit de Tarek Dergoul a imm?diatement relanc? les appels au gouvernement britannique de faire pression sur les Etats-Unis pour obtenir la publication des enregistrements. "Le gouvernement doit demander que ces vid?os soient livr?es et la v?rit? sur ces all?gations tr?s s?rieuses ?tablie une fois pour toutes", a d?clar? le porte-parole pour les affaires ?trang?res du parti lib?ral-d?mocrate, Menzies Campbell. Deux autres d?tenus britanniques lib?r?s ont ?crit au pr?sident am?ricain, George W. Bush, pour lui exposer les abus et mauvais traitements inflig?s, selon eux, pendant les interrogatoires. - (AFP.)


Cotes de confiance en baisse sensible pour George W. Bush et Tony Blair

La politique men?e par George W. Bush ne satisfait plus que 42 % des Am?ricains, score le plus bas jamais enregistr? depuis son arriv?e ? la Maison Blanche, r?v?le un sondage publi? samedi 15 mai par le magazine Newsweek. En plein scandale des tortures inflig?es aux d?tenus irakiens de la prison d'Abou Ghraib, 57 % des personnes interrog?es d?sapprouvent en outre sa gestion du dossier irakien.
Au Royaume-Uni, les sp?culations au sujet de l'avenir politique de Tony Blair risquent de prendre un nouveau tour apr?s la publication dimanche d'un sondage selon lequel 46 % des Britanniques jugent que le chef du gouvernement devrait d?missionner avant les prochaines ?ch?ances ?lectorales. L'?tude d'opinion, r?alis?e par l'institut Yougov pour le compte du Sunday Times, ajoute que 22 % des personnes interrog?es souhaitent son d?part apr?s ces ?lections, qui devraient avoir lieu dans un an, alors que 20 % souhaitent son maintien au 10, Downing Street. Qui plus est, 61 % des Britanniques disent ne plus faire confiance au premier ministre, alors que 36% expriment un avis contraire. Malmen? jusque dans ses propres rangs depuis le d?but de la guerre en Irak, Tony Blair a qualifi? vendredi de "futilit?s" les sp?culations au sujet de son avenir ? la t?te du gouvernement. - (Reuters.)
Acheter les droits de reproduction


Iraker in US-Haft zu Tode gefoltert

Nach dem Schock ?ber die Misshandlungsbilder kommt aus dem Irak ein neuer schlimmer Verdacht gegen die US-Truppen. SPIEGEL TV liegen schriftliche und m?ndliche Belege vor, wonach ein 47-j?hriger Iraker in amerikanischer Haft zu Tode gefoltert wurde. Die Amerikaner sollen versucht haben, den Fall zu vertuschen.
Jaleels Leiche: Deutliche Spuren von Gewalteinwirkung
Berlin - F?r die amerikanischen Truppen war der Fall des Irakers Asad Abdul Kareem Abdul Jaleel reine Routine. Nachdem der 47-j?hrige Familienvater am 9. Januar 2004 in der amerikanischen Milit?rbasis Al Asad westlich des Ortes Khan Al Baghdadi gestorben war, f?llte ein US-Mediziner einen Totenschein aus. Offenbar ohne detaillierte Untersuchungen und laut Dokument auch ohne Obduktion diagnostizierte der Pathologe Luis A. Santiago, dass der Mann im Schlaf gestorben ("died in sleep") sei. Samt dem Totenschein ?bergaben die US-Truppen die Leiche kurz darauf dem Internationalen Roten Kreuz.
Zuvor hatten amerikanische Truppen den angesehenen Stammes-?ltesten auf offener Stra?e festgenommen und zur amerikanischen Milit?rbasis Al Asad westlich des Ortes Khan Al Baghdadi gebracht. Angeblich bestand der Verdacht, der Festgenommene geh?re dem irakischen Widerstand an. In dem Gef?ngnis innerhalb der Basis sollen die Soldaten Asad Abdul Kareem Abdul Jaleel massiv unter Druck gesetzt haben. Ein Mitgefangener beschrieb gegen?ber SPIEGEL TV detailliert, wie der 47-J?hrige f?nf Tage lang auf sadistischste Weise gefoltert wurde. Von den Misshandlungen h?tten US-Soldaten auch Fotos gemacht, so der Zeuge.
Am 9. Januar dieses Jahres starb Asad Abdul Kareem Abdul Jaleel in der US-Haft. An der Version eines nat?rlichen Todes jedoch gibt es erhebliche Zweifel. Ein irakischer Gerichtsmediziner, der den Leichnam des Mannes von den US-Streitkr?ften ?bernahm, best?tigte gegen?ber SPIEGEL TV in Bagdad eindeutig Folterspuren am K?rper des Verstorbenen diagnostiziert zu haben. Bilder des Toten belegen zudem, dass der Mann entgegen den US-Angaben sehr wohl obduziert wurde. Die Narben auf dem Oberk?rper deuten daraufhin, dass dies westliche ?rzte durchgef?hrt haben.
Tiefdunkle Bluterg?sse am ganzen K?rper
Familienvater Asad Abdul Kareem Abdul Jaleel mit seinen Angeh?rigen: An bestialischer Folter gestorben?
Die Bilder der Leiche lassen auch den Laien deutliche Gewalteinwirkung leicht erkennen: An beiden K?rperseiten sind gro?fl?chige, dunkle Bluterg?sse zu sehen, die von Schl?gen stammen k?nnten. An den Handgelenken und an den Unterschenkeln sieht man ebenfalls Bluterg?sse, die vermutlich auf tagelange Fesselungen zur?ckgehen. Auf dem R?cken zeugen Wunden von Schl?gen oder anderen Arten von Gewalteinwirkungen. Auch andere Schnittwunden im Brustbereich deuten auf Verletzungen hin, die kaum "nat?rlich" zu nennen sind.

Stellen sich die Verdachtsmomente gegen die US-Truppen als wahr heraus, bek?me der Folter-Skandal um US-Soldaten eine dramatische Wendung. Geht es bisher um gewaltsame Misshandlungen von Gefangenen und erniedrigende Verh?rmethoden, m?sste pl?tzlich wegen unterlassener Hilfeleistung, Totschlags oder gar Mord ermittelt werden. Auf die beteiligten Soldaten und deren Vorgesetzte k?men harte Strafen zu und die US-Armee im Irak w?re noch mehr Hass und Rachgel?sten als bisher schon ausgesetzt. Zwar gibt es schon jetzt mehrere Ermittlungsverfahren wegen ungekl?rter Todesf?lle im Irak und auch in Afghanistan - doch die US-Armee beharrt darauf, dass in keinem der Verfahren die Schuld von Soldaten habe nachgewiesen werden k?nnen.

Den SPIEGEL TV-Recherchen zufolge ist der Fall des Familienvaters Jaleel im besetzten Irak keine Seltenheit. Angestellte des Gerichtsmedizinischen Instituts in Bagdad best?tigten, dass sich unter den Toten, die das Internationale Rote Kreuz im Auftrag der Amerikaner an sie ?bergebe, immer wieder auch Folteropfer befinden w?rden. Allerdings sei es den irakischen Gerichtsmedizinern untersagt, eigene Untersuchungen anzustellen, sobald ein amerikanischer Totenschein vorliege - auch, wenn die Angaben ?ber die Todesursache offensichtlich falsch seien.

US-Armee schweigt

Allein in Bagdad, so Mitarbeiter des Instituts, w?rden w?chentlich etwa f?nf Leichen mit Totenscheinen der US-Streitkr?fte eingeliefert. G?ngige Praxis der Amerikaner sei, dass beispielsweise Leichen aus dem Gef?ngnis Abu Ghureib als Opfer von Granatenangriffen auf das Straflager deklariert w?rden. So sei dies allein in der vergangenen Woche bei 26 Leichen von H?ftlingen geschehen, obgleich nur ein Teil dieser Leichen die f?r Granatenangriffe typischen Verletzungen aufgewiesen habe, so die Mitarbeiter.

Im Fall des 47-j?hrigen Asad Abdul Kareem Abdul Jaleel scheint es mittlerweile auch eine interne Ermittlung der US-Truppen zu geben. Zeugen berichteten, dass sie von US-Soldaten zu den Vorg?ngen in der amerikanischen Milit?rbasis Al Asad befragt worden sein. Seit mehreren Tagen versuchte SPIEGEL TV zudem, eine Stellungnahme von den zust?ndigen Stellen der Armee in Bagdad zu bekommen. Bisher allerdings blieben sowohl m?ndliche als auch schriftliche Anfragen unbeantwortet.

SPIEGEL TV zeigt den Bericht am Sonntag, 16. Mai, um 22.55 Uhr auf RTL
Putins zwielichtiger Kraftmeier
Von Alexander Schwabe
Nach dem Bombenattentat auf Pr?sident Achmed Kadyrow kursieren in der russischen Teilrepublik Tschetschenien wilde Ger?chte ?ber die Auftraggeber. Die Macht im zerst?rten Land liegt nun bei Ramsan, dem Sohn des Ermordeten. Der passionierte Boxer unterh?lt eigene Todesschwadronen und gilt als Folterknecht von Putins Gnaden.
Unpassender Auftritt: Ramsan Kadyrow und der russische Pr?sident Putin (r.)
Der Auftritt im Kreml passte gar nicht zur gewohnten Erscheinung von Ramsan Kadyrow, 27. Wenige Stunden nach der Ermordung seines Vaters Achmed, 52, des Pr?sidenten Tschetscheniens, trat er vergangenen Sonntag an der Seite des russischen Pr?sidenten Wladimir Putin im Kreml vor die Kameras - statt im Anzug, oder wie sonst oft in Uniform, zeigte er sich in einem blauen Sportdress.
Ramsan Kadyrow, von Putin zum stellvertretenden Regierungschef ernannt, ist der neue starke Mann in Tschetschenien - auch wenn Sergej Abramow bald nach der Bluttat zum ?bergangspr?sidenten bestellt wurde.
Wie einst Saddam Husseins Sohn Kussei die Elitetruppen der Republikanischen Garden befehligte, so steht auch Ramsan einer mehrere Tausend Mann starken Eliteeinheit vor. Wie f?r die Republikanischen Garden, so ist der Begriff Sicherheitstruppe auch f?r Ramsans Soldaten eine Besch?nigung. Die dem Rebellenf?hrer und fr?heren tschetschenischen Pr?sidenten Aslan Maschadow nahe stehende Exilzeitung "Chechen Times" schreibt, die Kommandos seien zu R?uberbanden verkommen, sie raubten, entf?hrten und mordeten - m?glicherweise unter direkter Beteiligung ihres obersten Befehlshabers.
Sicherheitschef Ramsan Kadyrow: Parallelen zu Kussei Hussein
Anfang des Jahres berichtete die britische Zeitung "Guardian" von einem 27-j?hrigen Tankstellengehilfen, der von Ramsan pers?nlich misshandelt worden sein soll. Nachdem sie ihn drei Tage lang im Keller eines Hauses in der Ortschaft Hosi Yurt verpr?gelt hatten, sei der Sicherheitschef pers?nlich in die Zelle getreten, in der drei weitere M?nner festgehalten wurden. "Wei?t du wer ich bin?", habe Ramsan gefragt.
Boxer und Folterer
Der Befragte, der Ramsan aus dem Fernsehen kannte, bejahte. Daraufhin habe ihm der Pr?sidentensohn, der sich auch als Boxer versucht, auf den Kopf geschlagen und ihm in den Unterleib getreten. "Sie schlugen mich und brachen mir die Nase", sagte das Opfer weiter. Er sei schlie?lich frei gekommen, weil seine Familie der Polizei drei AK-47-Gewehre als L?segeld ?berbracht habe.
Dynamo-Stadion Grosny: Explosion am "Tag des Sieges"
Hosi Yurt ist ein Ort des Schreckens. "Ich hatte schlimme Dinge ?ber den Ort geh?rt", sagte der Tankstellengehilfe gegen?ber dem "Guardian". Kadyrows Sicherheitsdienst verh?rt dort unliebsame Tschetschenen auf Verbindungen zu antirussischen Rebellen. Oder man h?lt sie schlicht fest, um von Angeh?rigen L?segeld zu erpressen.
Die Methoden sind skrupellos: "Ich habe von Leuten geh?rt, die dort 40 Tage lang mit Metallstangen geschlagen wurden", sagt der Tankwart, "sie zerschmettern einem auch die Enden der Finger". Regierungssprecher Abdulbek Vakheyev sagte dazu lediglich, Ramsan habe noch nie an Folterungen teilgenommen. Der Gefolterte dagegen sagt: "Wenn ich die M?glichkeit h?tte, w?rde ich Ramsan eigenh?ndig t?ten."
Achmed Kadyrow stirbt durch eine Landmine
Die Schl?gertrupps Ramsan Kadyrows, gef?rchtet als "Kadyrowzis", haben die Arbeit ?bernommen, die fr?her der russische Inlandsgeheimdienst FSB erledigte. "Bisher gab es marodierende russische Einheiten, die in H?user eindrangen, raubten, vergewaltigten und mordeten, jetzt verlaufen die S?uberungen wie in der Stalinzeit: gezielt und heimlich", sagt Ekkehard Maass von der deutsch-kaukasischen Gesellschaft in Berlin.
Komplott- und Rachetheorien
F?nf Tage nach dem blutigen Anschlag im Dynamo-Stadion in Grosny ist noch immer unklar, wer hinter der Ermordung des Pr?sidenten steckt. Die Ermittler kommen nicht weiter. Niemand hat sich bisher zu dem Anschlag bekannt.
Kadyrow-Beisetzung in dessen Heimatort Zentoroj
Nach Angaben des stellvertretenden Innenministers Kadayew hatte der russische Geheimdienst FSB die Trib?ne zwei Mal ?berpr?ft, so dass die Mine kurz vor Beginn der Gedenkfeier anl?sslich des 59. Jahrestags des Sieges ?ber Hitler eingeschmuggelt worden sein muss. In tschetschenischen Zeitungen kursiert die Verschw?rungstheorie, ein Komplott zwischen Ramsan und Putin habe Kadyrow und sechs weitere Menschen das Leben gekostet.
Laut "Chechen Times" ist der Statthalter Moskaus zu selbstherrlich geworden, habe seine Begehrlichkeiten zu sehr auf die ?leink?nfte der Republik gerichtet und ?ber Geb?hr nach Unabh?ngigkeit gestrebt. Allein Ramsan soll gewusst haben, wo der Vater im Dynamo-Stadion von Grosny genau Platz nehmen w?rde. Die t?dliche Explosion wurde von einer kleinen Landmine ausgel?st, die direkt unter dem Sitz des Pr?sidenten angebracht worden war.
Nach Ansicht Ahmed Sakajews, Maschadows Vertreter in Europa, steckt Sulim Jamadaew, ein enger Freund Ramsans, hinter dem Anschlag. In angetrunkenem Zustand hatte er sich vor wenigen Tagen mit Ramsan gestritten. Es kam zu Sch?ssen, Jamadaew verletzte den Freund am Bein. Aus Freunden seien Feinde geworden. Behandelt wurde Ramsan in einem Moskauer Krankenhaus - weshalb er bereits wenige Stunden nach dem Attentat an der Seite Putins im Kreml auftreten konnte.
Tschetschenien: Trauer und Verzweiflung
Aus Furcht vor Rache habe Jamadaew - in Zusammenarbeit mit dem milit?rischen Geheimdienst GRU den Kopf des Kadyrow-Clans get?tet.
Nach Einsch?tzung der russischen Regierung haben tschetschenische Rebellen den t?dlichen Anschlag vom vergangenen Sonntag ver?bt. Bereits vor zwei Jahren waren am "Tag des Sieges" 43 Menschen bei einem Bombenanschlag in Kaspiisk im benachbarten Dagestan gestorben. Sergej Fridinski, stellvertretender Generalstaatsanwalt in Moskau, vermutet den oder die T?ter von Grosny unter fr?heren Widerstandsk?mpfern, die Ramsan Kadyrow in seine ber?chtigte Sicherheitstruppe aufgenommen hatte.
Putins Tschetschenien-Strategie
Grosny: Russische Soldaten patrouillieren durch die tschetschenische Hauptstadt
Trotz Ramsans miserabler Reputation setzt Russlands Pr?sident Putin weiter auf die Kadyrow-Schiene. Seine Strategie: Der schmutzige Job, den tschetschenischen Widerstand zu brechen, sollen nun Kadyrows Truppen ?bernehmen. Das Kalk?l: Die russische Bev?lkerung toleriert den von ihm begonnenen zweiten Tschetschenienkrieg eher, wenn Tschetschenen von Tschetschenen get?tet werden, anstatt von russischen Soldaten - das Prinzip "Teile und Herrsche" gilt auch in Grosny.
Um die Kontinuit?t seiner Politik zu unterstreichen, entschloss sich Putin diese Woche gar, ?berraschend nach Grosny zu reisen. Als er in einem Hubschrauber ?ber dem Alltag der tschetschenischen Bev?lkerung stand, zeigte er sich erschrocken, wie sehr das Land durch den Krieg ruiniert worden ist. "Es sieht schrecklich aus", sagte Putin und versprach die tschetschenische Polizei um 1125 Mann zu verst?rken und Wirtschaftsexperten f?r den Wiederaufbau in die Region zu entsenden.
Folgen des Krieges: Ruinen in Grosny
Ob sich Putins Strategie auszahlt, scheint fraglich. Seit Ramsan Sicherheitschef in Tschetschenien ist, verging kein Jahr, in dem es nicht zu einem Mordanschlag auf den verhassten Kadyrow-Sohn kam. Dabei wurde er wiederholt verletzt. Auf einer von Rebellen betriebenen Website hei?t es, man m?sse nicht Nostradamus sein, um das Schicksal Ramsans vorauszusehen. Sollte er am Wahltag im September noch leben, sei das ein gro?er Erfolg f?r Moskau. "Es gibt einfach zu viele Menschen in Tschetschenien, die bereit sind, zu sterben, um ihn los zu werden", hei?t es weiter. Die Reaktion Ramsans ist nicht weniger brachial. In einem Interview mit der vom fr?heren Kreml-Berater Gleb Pawlowski gegr?ndeten russischen Internetzeitung "" sagte er: "Ich werde diese Banditen und Terroristen zerquetschen."
Malaysian Officials Deny Claims of Abuse
By JASBANT SINGH Associated Press Writer
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Government ministers on Monday denied claims by suspected Islamic extremists that they were routinely abused by Malaysian police interrogators.
Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said comparisons of the treatment of Malaysian detainees to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison would be "very naughty."
Noh Omar, deputy security minister, said he met with detainees a few weeks ago and that no prisoner claimed being abused.
The charges of abuse were made by detainees in a human rights document obtained last week by The Associated Press that provides the most detailed accounts of alleged abuses since Malaysia began rounding up suspected terrorists nearly three years ago.
The government is holding about 100 people at a prison camp under security laws that allow indefinite detention without trial. About 70 of those are alleged Islamic militants, many of them suspected members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a group linked to al-Qaida and blamed for attacks that have killed hundreds of people in Southeast Asia.
Security officials previously said interrogations of the suspects gained information about plots to bomb U.S. and other Western interests in neighboring Singapore and about Malaysia's role as a meeting point for senior al-Qaida operatives involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Thirty-one of the detainees signed a complaint that was lodged with the government's Human Rights Commission. They listed 57 types of abuse they claimed to have been subjected to.
Noh disputed the accounts. He said that during a visit to the prison camp April 29, he spoke to every inmate and heard no complaints.
"None of them alleged to me that they were mistreated," Noh told reporters. "They only said they have repented and they want to be released soon to reunited with their families."
He said he would meet with international human rights activists if they wish. The New York-based Human Rights Watch is planning to issue a report on the treatment of Malaysian detainees Wednesday.
"I think these accusations are just to smear our country's name," Noh said. "They want to portray our situation like Iraq. Just because we have a camp where we hold detainees without trial, they think our methods are the same as U.S. methods."
The allegations were compiled by independent local activists from inmate complaints and handed to the Human Rights Commission in January. The panel said it did not investigate and passed the document to police officials, who have repeatedly denied condoning mistreatment of prisoners.
Unlike the scandal involving abuses at U.S. detention camps in Iraq, there is no independent corroboration, such as photographs or testimony from non-detainee witnesses.
The complaints range from verbal attacks and denial of religious freedoms to long periods of solitary confinement and physical abuse and humiliation.
Detainees charged they were routinely slapped, kicked and spat on during interrogations. One said his beard was set afire. Some said they were forced to perform demeaning tasks such as massaging interrogators' feet.
Lim Kit Siang, leader of the opposition in Parliament, said Monday that the government should conduct a thorough investigation.
"The Malaysian government has rightfully taken a stand condemning the abuse, torture and humiliation of Iraqis," Lim said. "We should also make sure that there is no such mistreatment of our own prisoners in Malaysia."

2004-05-17 15:57:28 GMT

Copyright 2004
The Associated Press All Rights Reserved


When the Bank of China Wakes

By Desmond Lachman Published 05/14/2004

Judging by recent global market jitters, Napoleon might very well have been referring to the Bank of China and the global economy when he uttered his famous warning some two hundred years ago that "when China woke the world would shudder." However, it is unlikely that even Napoleon would have anticipated the complexity of the choices now facing China's policymakers as they try to engineer a soft landing for their economy. Nor would he likely have foreseen how vital a Chinese soft landing would be for the continued health of the global economy.
The importance of China to the global economy derives not so much from the size of its economy but from the fact that China has continued to grow at a remarkable 9 percent annual rate at a time that the rest of the world half-slumbered. As a result, while China accounts for only 4 percent of world GDP, it has accounted for as much as 15 percent of the world's GDP growth and almost 20 percent of the growth in world exports and imports.
These figures understate the importance of China's role as the locomotive for its neighbors, including Australia and Japan, which have become increasingly dependent on the 40 percent growth rate in Chinese imports. They also understate the importance of China as the dynamo for the boom in international commodity prices, including aluminum, copper, petroleum, and soybeans, which have helped keep Latin America's economies afloat.
No less impressive is the importance that China is assuming in the international capital markets as its external sector has strengthened and as foreign capital has flooded into China. By April 2004, China's holdings of US Treasury bonds approached US$400 billion, while it now accounts for almost 12 percent of each new auction of US Treasury paper. Were China to withdraw from the US Treasury market for any reason, ripples would be felt globally as US interest rates would be forced sharply higher.
The immediate risk that China now poses to the global economy is that it simply cannot continue growing at its recent torrid pace without stoking domestic inflation. In particular, it is difficult to see how China might sustain the 19 percent rate of industrial output growth or the 43 percent rate of overall investment growth that it registered in the first quarter of 2004. Inflation at the consumer level is already ticking up to 5 percent, while the growth in China's monetary and credit aggregates is now exceeding 20 percent.
Recent pronouncements by Chinese policymakers clearly suggest that they have become increasingly concerned about the risk of an overheated economy. However, they recognize that they are not equipped with the normal monetary policy instruments that would increase the prospects of a soft-landing for the economy. Indeed, the Bank of China recognizes that there are clear limits to the use of interest rates to cool the economy in the context of a currency that remains pegged to the US dollar.
Any attempt by the Bank of China to raise interest rates in such a context would tend to be neutralized by further encouraging the large inflow of "hot money" from abroad. And the Bank of China is not willing to contemplate a large revaluation or the floating of the currency that would restore potency to interest rate policy for fear of losing China's present international competitive advantage. Chinese policymakers view the maintenance of an undervalued currency as vital to generate the much-needed urban employment that might solve their chronic problem of rural unemployment.
Instead, in their effort to slow the economy, the Chinese authorities are being forced to regress to the blunt instrument of administrative credit and investment controls, whereby the government dictates to the banks to whom and how much they might lend. Apart from representing a retreat from the move to a more market oriented economy, such administrative controls constitute a hit-and-miss way of slowing the economy and heighten the probability that China has a hard landing.
For China's sake one can only hope that the Chinese policymakers follow through on their pronouncements to cool China's economy soon before the imbalances in that economy get worse. From a global perspective, one can only pray that they are blessed with good luck in applying the crude tools at their disposal to reign in an overheated Chinese economy without precipitating a hard landing that would be so damaging to the world economy.
Desmond Lachman is a frequent contributor. He recently wrote for TCS about it being Time for a New Broom at the IMF.

Time for a New Broom at the IMF

By Desmond Lachman Published 03/25/2004

Horst Koehler's hasty departure as the IMF's Managing Director has already started the horse-trading amongst the European nations to whom tradition has assigned the task of nominating a successor. It would be the greatest of pities if in that horse-trading the Europeans lost sight of the fact that perhaps never before has the IMF been in need of more basic reform. For the IMF now has practically nothing to say about the key global exchange rate issues of the day. Moreover, in recent years, the IMF's bread and butter business of lending to crisis-stricken countries has run amok.
Set up in the shadow of the Great Depression by the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement, the IMF's basic mission was supposed to have been that of "promoting exchange rate stability, maintaining orderly exchange rate arrangements, and avoiding competitive exchange depreciations." In particular, the IMF was to have been the bulwark against a repetition of the destructive competitive depreciations of the 1930s that were thought to have been a major factor in the length of the Great Depression.
Yet today, the IMF offers little leadership in addressing the burning currency issues of the day that have eerily come to resemble those of the 1930s. What, if anything, has the IMF been saying about the fact that the three major global economies -- Europe, Japan, and the United States -- simultaneously want weaker currencies? Does the IMF even raise an eyebrow when Japan engages in massive purchases of US dollars, to the tune of US$100 billion in the first two months of 2004, with the explicit objective of weakening the yen? Or could the IMF be more conspicuously silent about the fact that a host of Asian countries, led by China and India, maintain currencies that are grossly undervalued by any reasonable measure?
One would hope that in their deliberations, the European nations seek a new IMF chief, who might provide the intellectual leadership so sorely needed to deal with today's difficult global exchange rate issues. For only then can one expect the IMF to get back into the game of promoting orderly exchange rates, so necessary for enhancing global prosperity.
The Europeans also might wish to nominate a new IMF chief who would restore order to the chaos in IMF lending to "emerging market" countries. Since the 1995 Mexican peso crisis, the IMF has abandoned the normal limits that used to apply to the amount of money it would lend to a country in distress. Instead, it has lent tens of billions of dollars to countries on the grounds that "exceptional circumstances" prevail. The net result of this approach has been huge bailouts that provide incentives for investors and governments alike to behave in an irresponsible fashion, since they assume that they will be saved from the consequences of their mistakes by the IMF's largesse. It has also eliminated any semblance of transparency in the IMF's lending operations and it has undermined the IMF's balance sheet. This latter point is epitomized by the fact that Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey now account for three quarters of the IMF's outstanding loan portfolio.
The fact that the IMF is now forced to lend Argentina very sizeable amounts of money in order to ensure that Argentina does not default on its past IMF loans should raise basic questions about the wisdom of the IMF's current lending policy. In particular, it should raise the question as to whether the IMF should not revert to its pre-1995 type of access limit policy, whereby there were strict ceilings upon the amount that the IMF could lend to any individual country. Such a change in policy would effectively restrict the IMF to its original role of a catalytic lender for the emerging markets.
Given the IMF's highly hierarchical structure and the very long tenure of its Managing Director's appointment, it is not often that one has the opportunity to change the IMF's basic direction. In today's increasingly complicated financial market world, it would be a crying shame if Europe's leaders did not grasp this opportunity to effect real change at the IMF.


2nd ID elements to move from Korea to Iraq

By Matthew Cox
Times staff writer

With no other fresh combat forces available, the Army is planning on pulling soldiers from 2nd Infantry Division out of Korea and sending them to Iraq.
One of the 2nd ID's two maneuver brigades is slated to deploy to Iraq as part of a larger force to replace the 20,000 soldiers the Pentagon recently extended to deal with increasing violence there, said a Pentagon planner, who requested that his name not be used.
It would be the first time in more than 50 years that U.S. military used the 2nd Infantry's two brigades for a mission other than the defense of South Korea.
Pentagon officials maintain that the movement of one brigade will have little impact on South Korea's ability to defend itself from attack from North Korean forces.
"The South Korean army is a capable force, unlike it was in the 1950s," said the Pentagon planner.
The 2nd ID is part of a force of about 37,000 troops that the U.S. maintains in South Korea. The South Korean Army has about 560,000 soldiers, compared to North Korea's force of 1 million soldiers.
U.S. carrier battle groups in the region and three Marine Expeditionary Force units stationed at Okinawa could help in the event of an attack, the planner said.
While no date has been set yet, the brigade from the 2nd ID would likely deploy about the end of June when the 1st Armored Division 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment are slated to pull out, he said. Those units were scheduled to redeploy in April, but were ordered to stay in Iraq up to 90 additional days because of escalating violence..
Joining the 2nd ID force for the year-long tour would be elements of the 10th Mountain and two companies from the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which serve as opposing force soldiers at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., the planner said.

Posted by maximpost at 8:50 PM EDT
Saturday, 15 May 2004

The Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Scandal:
It Shows Why the Court Must Decide In Favor of Judicial Review in the Guantanamo Cases
Thursday, May. 13, 2004

As is evident from the frantic positioning of Republican and Democratic politicians, the scandal arising from the abuse of Iraqi prisoners is likely to have far-reaching political consequences. Less obvious, but no less important for the long-term, are the legal consequences that may well flow from the military's unconscionable treatment of those it has taken into custody.
Right now, the Supreme Court has before it the cases involving the Al Qaeda suspects detained at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba -- as well as the two American citizens, Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, being held on U.S. soil. These cases raise a historic question: Can the Executive Branch unilaterally designate these detainees as "enemy combatants"; hold them indefinitely without charging them with any crime; fail to treat them as prisoners of war; and refuse them access to counsel - all without the possibility of review by the judiciary?
After the Iraqi prisoner abuse revelations, the prospect of this kind of unreviewable detention is all the more frightening. Even with military court-martial a possibility, the Iraq abuses occurred. Without any court watching, what will happen in U.S. prisons, run by our country in our name?
What limits will be placed on what can be done? The answer may well be: Only the ones upon which our courts, interpreting our Constitution insist. And the courts can only insist, if they have jurisdiction to inquire.
Defenders of the Administration claim that the prison abuse scandal should have no effect on the legal issues before the Court. But this is just so much nonsense. It is like asking the Brown v. Board of Education Court to ignore the effect of segregated schools.
Making Already High Stakes Even Higher: The Guantanamo Cases
As I noted in a prior column, when the Supreme Court first decided to review the detention of the Guantanamo prisoners, it has always been clear that the stakes in these cases were monumental.
The Bush Administration has taken the position that the Executive may incarcerate anyone, even citizens, for an indefinite time, without meaningful judicial review -- so long as the Executive, in its discretion, designates those persons "enemy combatants." That position is an unprecedented claim of Executive power -- and one that strikes at the heart of the Constitution's system of checks and balances.
Going back to before the Magna Carta, such detentions have posed the risk of both mistaken imprisonment, and the mistreatment of prisoners. Protecting against such evils is the very purpose of the ancient writ of habeas corpus by which a prisoner may challenge the legality of his or her detention.
For that reason, I described the Guantanamo cases in my previous column as the kind that define as the soul of a nation and its institutions.
In light of the torture of Iraqi prisoners, it is now even more important that the Supreme Court definitively reject the Administration's claim of unbridled power. After all, the Administration's position always boiled down to the idea that the Executive could be "trusted" to handle the detainees fairly and appropriately.
That notion lies in tatters now -- rebutted by pictures so awful, we find them difficult to bear, and feel a national shame at the acts to which they testify. If the Court accepts the Administration's "just trust us" argument even after all the grisly instances of Executive Branch misconduct that have recently emerged, then it will be guilty of a moral as well as legal abdication of catastrophic magnitude.
Oral Argument In Padilla: A Lie About Torture Undermines A Bid For Trust
At oral argument in Padilla v. United States, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recognized the centrality of the risk of prisoner mistreatment to the issues raised in the case. She saw that absent a judicial check on the power of the Executive to detain prisoners, and sequester their cases from judicial scrutiny, abuses could occur.
As Justice Ginsburg pointed out, some regimes (though not ones the United States seeks to emulate) use torture to obtain intelligence information. "Suppose," she asked Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement, who was arguing the Administration's position before the Court. "the Executive says 'mild torture, we think, will help get this information?'"
Clement did not hesitate in his answer: "Well, our executive doesn't, and I think the fact that executive discretion in a war situation can be abused is not a good and sufficient reason for judicial micromanagement in overseeing that authority. You have to recognize that in situations where there is a war, where the government is on a war footing, that you have to trust the executive." (Emphases added).
It turns out, of course, that the Executive cannot even be trusted to give a truthful answer to the Supreme Court. In fact, our executive does use torture -- though Clement surely didn't know it. (No lawyer in the Solicitor General's office - whose main job it is to represent the federal government before the Supreme Court - would risk his or her credibility with the Justices by responding to a question with a knowing falsehood.)
At the time Clement answer, his client -- the Department of Defense -- had known about the torture of Iraqi prisoners for months. Nevertheless, DOD let its lawyer argue before the Court while he was blind to a fact of obvious relevance -- and to therefore unknowingly lie to the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.
This lie to the nation's highest tribunal, too, ought to be laid at Secretary Rumsfeld's door by those who call for his resignation.
Why the Court Cannot Trust the Executive Branch to, In Effect, Review Itself
But mightn't the Iraqi prisoner abuse be an aberration? Can't we generally trust the Executive Branch? The answer is: Absolutely not. Not only actual evidence, but structural analysis, testifies to the fact that without judicial review, abuses will inevitably occur, be covered up, and remain unremedied.
The "Executive Branch" is a label for an enormous web of bureaucracies, all ultimately responsible to the President. Naturally, the actions of the Executive Branch, both good and bad, inevitably reflect the limitations and weaknesses inherent in any far-flung human enterprise.
Such human institutions respond to pressure. And pressure creates both errors and sins.
The War on Terror exerts enormous pressure on the Executive Branch. Its invocation has sent the U.S. military to distant lands to fight an ill-defined foe, amid a civilian population whose language and culture most soldiers do not comprehend.
Under the circumstances, it should come as no surprise that the military detains lots of Afghanis and Iraqis who pose no legitimate threat to the United States. (Indeed, Red Cross estimates suggests that the overwhelming majority of Iraqi prisoners were imprisoned by mistake.)
Nor should it come as a surprise that, in order to obtain vital intelligence from detainees, the military and other law enforcement have crossed the line of lawful interrogation. It should even be no surprise that, while detaining a large number of ethnically distinct and often uncooperative prisoners, some considerable number of individuals have exhibited the unfortunate human tendency towards cruelty and even sadism.
Bureaucracies, however, are not inclined to admit mistakes or problems, and especially not ones that are highly embarrassing. Bureaucracies cover up, sweep under the rug, ignore, or bury.
This natural tendency, moreover, is dramatically enhanced when partisan politics are added to the mix. No President in the midst of a bitter re-election campaign (or at any time, for that matter) wants to admit problems within the agencies under his purview -- nor, typically, do any of his underlings. Note that Richard Clarke, who has stepped down, feels he can apologize for mistakes and omissions that led to 9/11; but those still in office plainly feel they cannot.
Everything we know about the conduct of the War on Terror confirms this view of the Executive. No one within the Executive wanted to own up to the glaring weaknesses in our pre-9/11 intelligence gathering. No one within the Executive wanted to own up to having detained many, many innocent civilians -- in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and even in the United States, through the sweeping detention of noncitizens after 9/11. (As Anita Ramasastry has described, this detention has now been well-documented, and admitted at least by the Office of the Inspector General.)
No one wanted to own up to prisoner abuse - and now, in a classic act of self-preservation, this abuse is attributed to just a few "bad apples."
Why the Iraqi Prisoner Abuses Are Directly Relevant to the Cases Before the Court
So what does this have to do with Padilla, Hamdi, and the Guantanamo detainees? Everything.
The framers of our Constitution understood the risk of abuse of power within every branch of government, and the inability of each branch to police those potential abuses itself. That is why they created the scheme of checks and balances. And that is why they created an independent federal judiciary (life-tenured, with a fixed salary) that could not be swayed, or tempted away from enforcing Constitutional rights when the other branches infringed them.
There are no principle more fundamental to our Constitution -- or more responsible for separating our own Constitution from those of many other countries around the world that have proven to be glorious but worthless declarations of rights -- than these: An independent judiciary with the power of judicial review. A system that prevents abuse of power by dividing it.
If the Supreme Court exempts the Administration from the essential structure of the Constitution -- in the face of gruesome evidence from Iraqi prisons vindicating that very structure -- then more will have been lost in Iraq than even the terrible price of our people's blood. We will have lost ourselves.

Edward Lazarus, a FindLaw columnist, writes about, practices, and teaches law in Los Angeles. A former federal prosecutor, he is the author of two books - most recently, Closed Chambers: The Rise, Fall, and Future of the Modern Supreme Court.


Bush Signs Order Giving State Lead Role in Iraq

By Sue Pleming and Caren Bohan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department will take over the lead role for most U.S. operations in Iraq from the Pentagon after the transfer of sovereignty on June 30, according to an order signed by President Bush this week.
The executive order, called a national security presidential directive, was signed by the president on Tuesday but has not yet been released publicly, government sources who have seen the document said on Thursday.
Officials said the order seemed to put to rest a power struggle between the State Department and the Pentagon over who should lead U.S. government operations in Iraq after June 30 when the Coalition Provisional Authority ceases to exist and limited powers are given to the Iraqis.
The order said when the CPA's role ended, the United States would be represented in Iraq by a chief of mission under the guidance of the State Department who would be responsible for the direction, coordination and supervision of all U.S. government employees, policies and activities in the country.
The Senate on May 6 confirmed John Negroponte as U.S. ambassador to Baghdad and he will be the administration's top official in Iraq, replacing Paul Bremer, who will step down June 30 as head of the provisional authority.
However, the order specified that State Department control did not cover employees under military command or those seconded to an international organization.
The document gave continued authority to U.S. Central Command for military actions but said Secretary of State Colin Powell would be responsible for the supervision and general direction of all assistance for Iraq.
The U.S. military would also coordinate efforts for equipping Iraqi security forces and at the appropriate time, the secretaries of State and Defense would jointly decide when military functions should be transferred to the appropriate security organizations.
The State Department, whose lawyers are currently examining the document, and the White House declined comment on the executive order.
The order is seen as a victory for the State Department, which has been trying to play a more dominant role in Iraq and to place more emphasis on nation-building.
Moreover, the prison abuse scandal in which U.S. soldiers are seen in photographs humiliating and abusing Iraqi prisoners has damaged the military's credibility.
Diplomats also hope that by leaning more on the State Department, allies who opposed the U.S. occupation will be more enthusiastic about joining the effort to rebuild the shattered country.
Iraqi contracts paid for by U.S. tax dollars, which are currently controlled by the CPA's Program Management Office, will be under a temporary organization established by the defense department, according to the order.
This new office, to be called the Project and Contracting Office, would include such tasks as engineering, auditing and other contracting activities, said one source.
A U.S. official said allowing the military to set up the contracting office was not controversial and had been done in a manner that State itself had suggested because the Pentagon had more procurement experience.
Last month, the U.S. government handed out just over $5 billion worth of heavy construction contracts for Iraq and billions more are expected to be advertised in the coming months, to be paid for out of the $18.4 billion appropriated by Congress for rebuilding Iraq.

Copyright ? Reuters 2004. All rights reserved.

The "Taguba Report" On Treatment
Of Abu Ghraib Prisoners In Iraq




Related Links
Uniform Code of Military Justice

Military Lawyers

Military Law Resources


References ..................................................................... 3

Background ................................................................... 6

(Assessment of DoD Counter-Terrorism Interrogation
and Detention Operations In Iraq
MG Miller's Assessment).............................................. 8

IO Comments on MG Miller's Assessment ................... 8

Report on Detention and Corrections In Iraq
(MG Ryder's Report) .................................................... 9

IO Comments on MG Ryder's Report ......................... 12

Preliminary Investigative Actions ................................ 12

Findings and Recommendations

Part One (Detainee Abuse)........................................... 15

Findings ..................................................................15

Recommendations .................................................. 20

Part Two (Escapes and Accountability) ....................... 22

Findings ................................................................. 22

Recommendations .................................................. 31

Part Three (Command Climate, Etc.)............................ 34

Findings ................................................................. 36

Recommendations .................................................. 44

Other Findings/Observations ........................................ 49

Conclusion .................................................................... 50

Annexes ........................................................................ 51


1. Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 12 August 1949

2. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in the Armed Forces in the Field, 12 August 1949

3. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, 12 August 1949

4. Geneva Convention Protocol Relative to the Status of Refugees, 1967

5. Geneva Convention Relative to the Status of Refugees, 1951

6. Geneva Convention for the Protection of War Victims, 12 August 1949

7. Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August 1949

8. DOD Directive 5100.69, "DOD Program for Prisoners of War and other Detainees," 27 December 1972/p>

9. DOD Directive 5100.77 "DOD Law of War Program," 10 July 1979/p>

10. STANAG No. 2044, Procedures for Dealing with Prisoners of War (PW) (Edition 5), 28 June 1994/p>

11. STANAG No. 2033, Interrogation of Prisoners of War (PW) (Edition 6), 6 December 1994/p>

12. AR 190-8, Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained Personnel, Civilian Internees, and Other Detainees, 1 October 1997

13. AR 190-47, The Army Corrections System, 15 August 1996

14. AR 190-14, Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement and Security Duties, 12 March 1993

15. AR 195-5, Evidence Procedures, 28 August 1992

15. AR 195-5, Evidence Procedures, 28 August 1992

16. AR 190-11, Physical Security of Arms, Ammunition and Explosives, 12 February 1998

17. AR 190-12, Military Police Working Dogs, 30 September 1993

18. AR 190-13, The Army Physical Security Program, 30 September 1993

19. AR 380-67, Personnel Security Program, 9 September 1988

20. AR 380-5, Department of the Army Information Security, 31 September 2000

21. AR 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, 5 September 2003

22. AR 190-40, Serious Incident Report, 30 November 1993

23. AR 15-6, Procedures for Investigating Officers and Boards of Officers, 11 May 1988

24. AR 27-10, Military Justice, 6 September 2002

25. AR 635-200, Enlisted Personnel, 1 November 2000

26. AR 600-8-24, Officer Transfers and Discharges, 29 June 2002

27. AR 500-5, Army Mobilization, 6 July 1996

28. AR 600-20, Army Command Policy, 13 May 2002

29. AR 623-105, Officer Evaluation Reports, 1 April 1998

30. AR 175-9, Contractors Accompanying the Force, 29 October 1999

31. FM 3-19.40, Military Police Internment/Resettlement Operations, 1 August 2001

32. FM 3-19.1, Military Police Operations, 22 March 2001

33. FM 3-19.4, Military Police Leaders' Handbook, 4 March 2002

34. FM 3-05.30, Psychological Operations, 19 June 2000

35. FM 33-1-1, Psychological Operations Techniques and Procedures, 5 May 1994

36. FM 34-52, Intelligence Interrogation, 28 September 1992

37. FM 19-15, Civil Disturbances, 25 November 1985

38. FM 3-0, Operations, 14 June 2001

39. FM 101-5, Staff Organizations and Functions, 23 May 1984

40. FM 3-19.30, Physical Security, 8 January 2001

41. FM 3-21.5, Drill and Ceremonies, 7 July 2003

42. ARTEP 19-546-30 MTP, Mission Training Plan for Military Police Battalion (IR)

43. ARTEP 19-667-30 MTP, Mission Training Plan for Military Police Guard Company

44. ARTEP 19-647-30 MTP, Mission Training Plan for Military Police Escort Guard Company

45. STP 19-95B1-SM, Soldier's Manual, MOS 95B, Military Police, Skill Level 1, 6 August 2002

46. STP 19-95C14-SM-TG, Soldier's Manual and Trainer's Guide for MOS 95C Internment/Resettlement Specialist, Skill Levels 1/2/3/4, 26 March 1999

47. STP 19-95C1-SM MOS 95C, Corrections Specialist, Skill Level 1, Soldier's Manual, 30 September 2003

48. STP 19-95C24-SM-TG MOS 95C, Corrections Specialist, Skill Levels 2/3/4, Soldier's Manual and Trainer's Guide, 30 September 2003

49. Assessment of DOD Counter-Terrorism Interrogation and Detention Operations in Iraq, (MG Geoffrey D. Miller, Commander JTF-GTMO, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba), 9 September 2003

50. Assessment of Detention and Corrections Operations in Iraq, (MG Donald J. Ryder, Provost Marshal General), 6 November 2003

51. CJTF-7 FRAGO #1108, Subject: includes- para 3.C.8 & 3.C.8.A.1, Assignment of 205 MI BDE CDR Responsibilities for the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF), 19 November 2003

52. CJTF-7 FRAGO #749, Subject: Intelligence and Evidence- Led Detention Operations Relating to Detainees, 24 August 2003

53. 800th MP BDE FRAGO # 89, Subject: Rules of Engagement, 26 December 2003

54. CG CJTF-7 Memo: CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter- Resistance Policy, 12 October 2003

55. CG CJTF-7 Memo: Dignity and Respect While Conducting Operations, 13 December 2003

56. Uniform Code of Military Justice and Manual for Courts Martial, 2002 Edition



1. (U) On 19 January 2004, Lieutenant General (LTG) Ricardo S. Sanchez, Commander, Combined Joint Task Force Seven (CJTF-7) requested that the Commander, US Central Command, appoint an Investigating Officer (IO) in the grade of Major General (MG) or above to investigate the conduct of operations within the 800th Military Police (MP) Brigade. LTG Sanchez requested an investigation of detention and internment operations by the Brigade from 1 November 2003 to present. LTG Sanchez cited recent reports of detainee abuse, escapes from confinement facilities, and accountability lapses, which indicated systemic problems within the brigade and suggested a lack of clear standards, proficiency, and leadership. LTG Sanchez requested a comprehensive and all-encompassing inquiry to make findings and recommendations concerning the fitness and performance of the 800th MP Brigade. (ANNEX 2)

2. (U) On 24 January 2003, the Chief of Staff of US Central Command (CENTCOM), MG R. Steven Whitcomb, on behalf of the CENTCOM Commander, directed that the Commander, Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC), LTG David D. McKiernan, conduct an investigation into the 800th MP Brigade's detention and internment operations from 1 November 2003 to present. CENTCOM directed that the investigation should inquire into all facts and circumstances surrounding recent reports of suspected detainee abuse in Iraq. It also directed that the investigation inquire into detainee escapes and accountability lapses as reported by CJTF-7, and to gain a more comprehensive and all-encompassing inquiry into the fitness and performance of the 800th MP Brigade. (ANNEX 3)

3. (U) On 31 January 2004, the Commander, CFLCC, appointed MG Antonio M. Taguba, Deputy Commanding General Support, CFLCC, to conduct this investigation. MG Taguba was directed to conduct an informal investigation under AR 15- 6 into the 800th MP Brigade's detention and internment operations. Specifically, MG Taguba was tasked to:

(U) Inquire into all the facts and circumstances surrounding recent allegations of detainee abuse, specifically allegations of maltreatment at the Abu Ghraib Prison (Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF));
(U) Inquire into detainee escapes and accountability lapses as reported by CJTF-7, specifically allegations concerning these events at the Abu Ghraib Prison;
(U) Investigate the training, standards, employment, command policies, internal procedures, and command climate in the 800th MP Brigade, as appropriate;
(U) Make specific findings of fact concerning all aspects of the investigation, and make any recommendations for corrective action, as appropriate. (ANNEX 4)

4. (U) LTG Sanchez's request to investigate the 800th MP Brigade followed the initiation of a criminal investigation by the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) into specific allegations of detainee abuse committed by members of the 372nd MP Company, 320th MP Battalion in Iraq. These units are part of the 800th MP Brigade. The Brigade is an Iraq Theater asset, TACON to CJTF-7, but OPCON to CFLCC at the time this investigation was initiated. In addition, CJTF-7 had several reports of detainee escapes from US/Coalition Confinement Facilities in Iraq over the past several months. These include Camp Bucca, Camp Ashraf, Abu Ghraib, and the High Value Detainee (HVD) Complex/Camp Cropper. The 800th MP Brigade operated these facilities. In addition, four Soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had been formally charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) with detainee abuse in May 2003 at the Theater Internment Facility (TIF) at Camp Bucca, Iraq. (ANNEXES 5-18, 34 and 35)

5. (U) I began assembling my investigation team prior to the actual appointment by the CFLCC Commander. I assembled subject matter experts from the CFLCC Provost Marshal (PM) and the CFLCC Staff Judge Advocate (SJA). I selected COL Kinard J. La Fate, CFLCC Provost Marshal to be my Deputy for this investigation. I also contacted the Provost Marshal General of the Army, MG Donald J. Ryder, to enlist the support of MP subject matter experts in the areas of detention and internment operations. (ANNEXES 4 and 19)

6. (U) The Investigating Team also reviewed the Assessment of DoD Counter-Terrorism Interrogation and Detention Operations in Iraq conducted by MG Geoffrey D. Miller, Commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO). From 31 August to 9 September 2003, MG Miller led a team of personnel experienced in strategic interrogation to HQ, CJTF-7 and the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) to review current Iraqi Theater ability to rapidly exploit internees for actionable intelligence. MG Miller's team focused on three areas: intelligence integration, synchronization, and fusion; interrogation operations; and detention operations. MG Miller's team used JTF-GTMO procedures and interrogation authorities as baselines. (ANNEX 20)

7. (U) The Investigating Team began its inquiry with an in- depth analysis of the Report on Detention and Corrections in Iraq, dated 5 November 2003, conducted by MG Ryder and a team of military police, legal, medical, and automation experts. The CJTF-7 Commander, LTG Sanchez, had previously requested a team of subject matter experts to assess, and make specific recommendations concerning detention and corrections operations. From 13 October to 6 November 2003, MG Ryder personally led this assessment/assistance team in Iraq. (ANNEX 19)


1. (S/NF) The principal focus of MG Miller's team was on the strategic interrogation of detainees/internees in Iraq. Among its conclusions in its Executive Summary were that CJTF-7 did not have authorities and procedures in place to affect a unified strategy to detain, interrogate, and report information from detainees/internees in Iraq. The Executive Summary also stated that detention operations must act as an enabler for interrogation. (ANNEX 20)

2. (S/NF) With respect to interrogation, MG Miller's Team recommended that CJTF-7 dedicate and train a detention guard force subordinate to the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (JIDC) Commander that "sets the conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees/detainees." Regarding Detention Operations, MG Miller's team stated that the function of Detention Operations is to provide a safe, secure, and humane environment that supports the expeditious collection of intelligence. However, it also stated "it is essential that the guard force be actively engaged in setting the conditions for successful exploitation of the internees." (ANNEX 20)

3. (S/NF) MG Miller's team also concluded that Joint Strategic Interrogation Operations (within CJTF-7) are hampered by lack of active control of the internees within the detention environment. The Miller Team also stated that establishment of the Theater Joint Interrogation and Detention Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) will consolidate both detention and strategic interrogation operations and result in synergy between MP and MI resources and an integrated, synchronized, and focused strategic interrogation effort. (ANNEX 20)

4. (S/NF) MG Miller's team also observed that the application of emerging strategic interrogation strategies and techniques contain new approaches and operational art. The Miller Team also concluded that a legal review and recommendations on internee interrogation operations by a dedicated Command Judge Advocate is required to maximize interrogation effectiveness. (ANNEX 20)


1. (S/NF) MG Miller's team recognized that they were using JTF-GTMO operational procedures and interrogation authorities as baselines for its observations and recommendations. There is a strong argument that the intelligence value of detainees held at JTF-Guantanamo (GTMO) is different than that of the detainees/internees held at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) and other detention facilities in Iraq. Currently, there are a large number of Iraqi criminals held at Abu Ghraib (BCCF). These are not believed to be international terrorists or members of Al Qaida, Anser Al Islam, Taliban, and other international terrorist organizations. (ANNEX 20)

2. (S/NF) The recommendations of MG Miller's team that the "guard force" be actively engaged in setting the conditions for successful exploitation of the internees would appear to be in conflict with the recommendations of MG Ryder's Team and AR 190-8 that military police "do not participate in military intelligence supervised interrogation sessions." The Ryder Report concluded that the OEF template whereby military police actively set the favorable conditions for subsequent interviews runs counter to the smooth operation of a detention facility. (ANNEX 20)


1. (U) MG Ryder and his assessment team conducted a comprehensive review of the entire detainee and corrections system in Iraq and provided recommendations addressing each of the following areas as requested by the Commander CJTF-7:
(U) Detainee and corrections system management

(U) Detainee management, including detainee
movement, segregation, and accountability

(U) Means of command and control of the detention
and corrections system

(U) Integration of military detention and
corrections with the Coalition Provisional Authority
(CPA) and adequacy of plans for transition to an Iraqi-
run corrections system

(U) Detainee medical care and health management

(U) Detention facilities that meet required
health, hygiene, and sanitation standards

(U) Court integration and docket management for
criminal detainees

(U) Detainee legal processing

(U) Detainee databases and records, including
integration with law enforcement and court databases (ANNEX 19)
2. (U) Many of the findings and recommendations of MG Ryder's team are beyond the scope of this investigation. However, several important findings are clearly relevant to this inquiry and are summarized below (emphasis is added in certain areas):

(U) Detainee Management (including movement,
segregation, and accountability)
(U) There is a wide variance in standards and
approaches at the various detention facilities.
Several Division/Brigade collection points and US
monitored Iraqi prisons had flawed or insufficiently
detailed use of force and other standing operating
procedures or policies (e.g. weapons in the facility,
improper restraint techniques, detainee management,
etc.) Though, there were no military police units
purposely applying inappropriate confinement practices. (ANNEX 19)

(U) Currently, due to lack of adequate Iraqi
facilities, Iraqi criminals (generally Iraqi-on-Iraqi
crimes) are detained with security internees (generally
Iraqi-on-Coalition offenses) and EPWs in the same
facilities, though segregated in different
cells/compounds. (ANNEX 19)

(U) The management of multiple disparate groups of
detained people in a single location by members of the
same unit invites confusion about handling, processing,
and treatment, and typically facilitates the transfer
of information between different categories of
detainees. (ANNEX 19)

(U) The 800th MP (I/R) units did not receive
Internment/Resettlement (I/R) and corrections specific
training during their mobilization period. Corrections
training is only on the METL of two MP (I/R)
Confinement Battalions throughout the Army, one
currently serving in Afghanistan, and elements of the
other are at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. MP units supporting
JTF-GTMO received ten days of training in detention
acility operations, to include two days of unarmed
self-defense, training in interpersonal communication
skills, forced cell moves, and correctional officer
safety. (ANNEX 19)

B. (U) Means of Command and Control of the Detention and
Corrections System

1. (U) The 800th MP Brigade was originally task
organized with eight MP(I/R) Battalions consisting of
both MP Guard and Combat Support companies. Due to
force rotation plans, the 800th redeployed two
Battalion HHCs in December 2003, the 115th MP Battalion
and the 324th MP Battalion. In December 2003, the
400th MP Battalion was relieved of its mission and
redeployed in January 2004. The 724th MP Battalion
redeployed on 11 February 2004 and the remainder is
scheduled to redeploy in March and April 2004. They
are the 310th MP Battalion, 320th MP Battalion, 530th
MP Battalion, and 744th MP Battalion. The units that
remain are generally understrength, as Reserve
Component units do not have an individual personnel
replacement system to mitigate medical losses or the
departure of individual Soldiers that have reached 24
months of Federal active duty in a five-year period.
(ANNEX 19)

2. (U) The 800th MP Brigade (I/R) is currently a CFLCC
asset, TACON to CJTF-7 to conduct
Internment/Resettlement (I/R) operations in Iraq. All
detention operations are conducted in the CJTF-7 AO;
Camps Ganci, Vigilant, Bucca, TSP Whitford, and a
separate High Value Detention (HVD) site. (ANNEX 19)

3. (U) The 800th MP Brigade has experienced challenges
adapting its task organizational structure, training,
and equipment resources from a unit designed to conduct
standard EPW operations in the COMMZ (Kuwait).
Further, the doctrinally trained MP Soldier-to-detainee
population ratio and facility layout templates are
predicated on a compliant, self-disciplining EPW
population, and not criminals or high-risk security
internees. (ANNEX 19)

4. (U) EPWs and Civilian Internees should receive the
full protections of the Geneva Conventions, unless the
denial of these protections is due to specifically
articulated military necessity (e.g., no visitation to
preclude the direction of insurgency operations).
(ANNEXES ( 19) and 24)

5. (U) AR 190-8, Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained
Personnel, Civilian Internees, and other Detainees, FM
3-19.40, Military Police Internment and Resettlement
Operations, and FM 34-52, Intelligence Interrogations,
require military police to provide an area for
intelligence collection efforts within EPW facilities.
Military Police, though adept at passive collection of
intelligence within a facility, do not participate in
Military Intelligence supervised interrogation
sessions. Recent intelligence collection in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom posited a template whereby
military police actively set favorable conditions for
subsequent interviews. Such actions generally run
counter to the smooth operation of a detention
facility, attempting to maintain its population in a
compliant and docile state. The 800th MP Brigade has
not been directed to change its facility procedures to
set the conditions for MI interrogations, nor
participate in those interrogations. (ANNEXES 19 and 21-23))

6. MG Ryder's Report also made the following, inter
alia, near-term and mid-term recommendations regarding
the command and control of detainees:

(U) Align the release process for security
internees with DoD Policy. The process of
screening security internees should include
intelligence findings, interrogation results, and
current threat assessment.

(U) Determine the scope of intelligence collection that
will occur at Camp Vigilant. Refurbish the Northeast
Compound to separate the screening operation from the Iraqi
run Baghdad Central Correctional Facility. Establish
procedures that define the role of military police Soldiers
securing the compound, clearly separating the actions of the
guards from those of the military intelligence personnel.

(U) Consolidate all Security Internee
Operations, except the MEK security mission, under
a single Military Police Brigade Headquarters for
OIF 2.

(U) Insist that all units identified to rotate
into the Iraqi Theater of Operations (ITO) to
conduct internment and confinement operations in
support of OIF 2 be organic to CJTF-7. (ANNEX 19)


1. (U) The objective of MG Ryder's Team was to observe
detention and prison operations, identify potential
systemic and human rights issues, and provide near-term,
mid-term, and long-term recommendations to improve CJTF-7
operations and transition of the Iraqi prison system from
US military control/oversight to the Coalition
Provisional Authority and eventually to the Iraqi
Government. The Findings and Recommendations of MG
Ryder's Team are thorough and precise and should be
implemented immediately. (ANNEX 19)

2. (U) Unfortunately, many of the systemic problems that
surfaced during MG Ryder's Team's assessment are the very
same issues that are the subject of this investigation.
In fact, many of the abuses suffered by detainees
occurred during, or near to, the time of that assessment.
As will be pointed out in detail in subsequent portions
of this report, I disagree with the conclusion of MG
Ryder's Team in one critical aspect, that being its
conclusion that the 800th MP Brigade had not been asked
to change its facility procedures to set the conditions
for MI interviews. While clearly the 800th MP Brigade
and its commanders were not tasked to set conditions for
detainees for subsequent MI interrogations, it is obvious
from a review of comprehensive CID interviews of suspects
and witnesses that this was done at lower levels. (ANNEX 19)

3. (U) I concur fully with MG Ryder's conclusion regarding
the effect of AR 190-8. Military Police, though adept at
passive collection of intelligence within a facility,
should not participate in Military Intelligence
supervised interrogation sessions. Moreover, Military
Police should not be involved with setting "favorable
conditions" for subsequent interviews. These actions, as
will be outlined in this investigation, clearly run
counter to the smooth operation of a detention facility.
(ANNEX 19)


1. (U) Following our review of MG Ryder's Report and MG
Miller's Report, my investigation team immediately began
an in-depth review of all available documents regarding
the 800th MP Brigade. We reviewed in detail the
voluminous CID investigation regarding alleged detainee
abuses at detention facilities in Iraq, particularly the
Abu Ghraib (BCCF) Detention Facility. We analyzed
approximately fifty witness statements from military
police and military intelligence personnel, potential
suspects, and detainees. We reviewed numerous photos and
videos of actual detainee abuse taken by detention
facility personnel, which are now in the custody and
control of the US Army Criminal Investigation Command and
the CJTF-7 prosecution team. The photos and videos are
not contained in this investigation. We obtained copies
of the 800th MP Brigade roster, rating chain, and
assorted internal investigations and disciplinary actions
involving that command for the past several months. (All
ANNEXES Reviewed by Investigation Team)

2. (U) In addition to military police and legal officers
from the CFLCC PMO and SJA Offices we also obtained the
services of two individuals who are experts in military
police detention practices and training. These were LTC
Timothy Weathersbee, Commander, 705th MP Battalion,
United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth,
and SFC Edward Baldwin, Senior Corrections Advisor, US
Army Military Police School, Fort Leonard Wood. I also
requested and received the services of Col (Dr) Henry
Nelson, a trained US Air Force psychiatrist assigned to
assist my investigation team. (ANNEX 4)

3. (U) In addition to MG Ryder's and MG Miller's Reports,
the team reviewed numerous reference materials including
the 12 October 2003 CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-
Resistance Policy, the AR 15-6 Investigation on Riot and
Shootings at Abu Ghraib on 24 November 2003, the 205th MI
Brigade's Interrogation Rules of Engagement (IROE),
facility staff logs/journals and numerous records of AR
15-6 investigations and Serious Incident Reports (SIRs)
on detainee escapes/shootings and disciplinary matters
from the 800th MP Brigade. (ANNEXES (5-20), 37, 93, and 94)

4. (U) On 2 February 2004, I took my team to Baghdad for a
one-day inspection of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF) and
the High Value Detainee (HVD) Complex in order to become
familiar with those facilities. We also met with COL
Jerry Mocello, Commander, 3rd MP Criminal Investigation
Group (CID), COL Dave Quantock, Commander, 16th MP
Brigade, COL Dave Phillips, Commander, 89th MP Brigade,
and COL Ed Sannwaldt, CJTF-7 Provost Marshal. On 7
February 2004, the team visited the Camp Bucca Detention
Facility to familiarize itself with the facility and
operating structure. In addition, on 6 and 7 February
2004, at Camp Doha, Kuwait, we conducted extensive
training sessions on approved detention practices. We
continued our preparation by reviewing the ongoing CID
investigation and were briefed by the Special Agent in
Charge, CW2 Paul Arthur. We refreshed ourselves on the
applicable reference materials within each team member's
area of expertise, and practiced investigative
techniques. I met with the team on numerous occasions to
finalize appropriate witness lists, review existing
witness statements, arrange logistics, and collect
potential evidence. We also coordinated with CJTF-7 to
arrange witness attendance, force protection measures,
and general logistics for the team's move to Baghdad on 8
February 2004. (ANNEXES 4 and (25)

5. (U) At the same time, due to the Transfer of Authority
on 1 February 2004 between III Corps and V Corps, and the
upcoming demobilization of the 800th MP Brigade Command,
I directed that several critical witnesses who were
preparing to leave the theater remain at Camp Arifjan,
Kuwait until they could be interviewed (ANNEX 29). My
team deployed to Baghdad on 8 February 2004 and conducted
a series of interviews with a variety of witnesses (ANNEX
30). We returned to Camp Doha, Kuwait on 13 February
2004. On 14 and 15 February we interviewed a number of
witnesses from the 800th MP Brigade. On 17 February we
returned to Camp Bucca, Iraq to complete interviews of
witnesses at that location. From 18 February thru 28
February we collected documents, compiled references, did
follow-up interviews, and completed a detailed analysis
of the volumes of materials accumulated throughout our
investigation. On 29 February we finalized our executive
summary and out-briefing slides. On 9 March we submitted
the AR 15-6 written report with findings and
recommendations to the CFLCC Deputy SJA, LTC Mark
Johnson, for a legal sufficiency review. The out-brief
to the appointing authority, LTG McKiernan, took place on
3 March 2004. (ANNEXES 26 and 45-91)



(U) The investigation should inquire into all of the facts and circumstances surrounding recent allegations of detainee abuse, specifically, allegations of maltreatment at the Abu Ghraib Prison (Baghdad Central Confinement Facility).

1. (U) The US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), led by COL Jerry Mocello, and a team of highly trained professional agents have done a superb job of investigating several complex and extremely disturbing incidents of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib Prison. They conducted over 50 interviews of witnesses, potential criminal suspects, and detainees. They also uncovered numerous photos and videos portraying in graphic detail detainee abuse by Military Police personnel on numerous occasions from October to December 2003. Several potential suspects rendered full and complete confessions regarding their personal involvement and the involvement of fellow Soldiers in this abuse. Several potential suspects invoked their rights under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (ANNEX 25)

2. (U) In addition to a comprehensive and exhaustive review of all of these statements and documentary evidence, we also interviewed numerous officers, NCOs, and junior enlisted Soldiers in the 800th MP Brigade, as well as members of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade working at the prison. We did not believe it was necessary to re-interview all the numerous witnesses who had previously provided comprehensive statements to CID, and I have adopted those statements for the purposes of this investigation. (ANNEXES 26), 34), 35), and 45-91)


1. (U) That Forward Operating Base (FOB) Abu Ghraib (BCCF) provides security of both criminal and security detainees at the Baghdad Central Correctional Facility, facilitates the conducting of interrogations for CJTF-7, supports other CPA operations at the prison, and enhances the force protection/quality of life of Soldiers assigned in order to ensure the success of ongoing operations to secure a free Iraq. (Annex 31)

2. (U) That the Commander, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, was designated by CJTF-7 as the Commander of FOB Abu Ghraib (BCCF) effective 19 November 2003. That the 205th MI Brigade conducts operational and strategic interrogations for CJTF-7. That from 19 November 2003 until Transfer of Authority (TOA) on 6 February 2004, COL Thomas M. Pappas was the Commander of the 205th MI Brigade and the Commander of FOB Abu Ghraib (BCCF). (Annex 31)

3. (U) That the 320th Military Police Battalion of the 800th MP Brigade is responsible for the Guard Force at Camp Ganci, Camp Vigilant, & Cellblock 1 of FOB Abu Ghraib (BCCF). That from February 2003 to until he was suspended from his duties on 17 January 2004, LTC Jerry Phillabaum served as the Battalion Commander of the 320th MP Battalion. That from December 2002 until he was suspended from his duties, on 17 January 2004, CPT Donald Reese served as the Company Commander of the 372nd MP Company, which was in charge of guarding detainees at FOB Abu Ghraib. I further find that both the 320th MP Battalion and the 372nd MP Company were located within the confines of FOB Abu Ghraib. (ANNEXES 32 and 45)

4. (U) That from July of 2003 to the present, BG Janis L. Karpinski was the Commander of the 800th MP Brigade. (Annex 45)

5. (S) That between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force (372nd Military Police Company, 320th Military Police Battalion, 800th MP Brigade), in Tier (section) 1-A of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF). The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements (ANNEX 26) and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of these photographs and videos, the ongoing CID investigation, and the potential for the criminal prosecution of several suspects, the photographic evidence is not included in the body of my investigation. The pictures and videos are available from the Criminal Investigative Command and the CTJF-7 prosecution team. In addition to the aforementioned crimes, there were also abuses committed by members of the 325th MI Battalion, 205th MI Brigade, and Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC). Specifically, on 24 November 2003, SPC Luciana Spencer, 205th MI Brigade, sought to degrade a detainee by having him strip and returned to cell naked. (ANNEXES 26 and 53)

6. (S) I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

(S) Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees;
jumping on their naked feet;

(S) Videotaping and photographing naked male and
female detainees;

(S) Forcibly arranging detainees in various
sexually explicit positions for photographing;

(S) Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and
keeping them naked for several days at a time;

(S) Forcing naked male detainees to wear women's

(S) Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate
themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

(S) Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and
then jumping on them;

(S) Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box,
with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his
sfingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;

(S) Writing "I am a Rapest" (sic) on the leg of a
detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old
fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked;

(S) Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked
detainee's neck and having a female Soldier pose for a

(S) A male MP guard having sex with a female

(S) Using military working dogs (without muzzles)
to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least
one case biting and severely injuring a detainee;

(S) Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.
(ANNEXES 26 and 26)
7. (U) These findings are amply supported by written confessions provided by several of the suspects, written statements provided by detainees, and witness statements. In reaching my findings, I have carefully considered the pre-existing statements of the following witnesses and suspects (ANNEX 26):

(U) SPC Jeremy Sivits, 372nd MP Company - Suspect

(U) SPC Sabrina Harman, 372nd MP Company - Suspect

(U) SGT Javal S. Davis, 372nd MP Company - Suspect

(U) PFC Lynndie R. England, 372nd MP Company - Suspect

(U) Adel Nakhla, Civilian Translator, Titan Corp.,
Assigned to the 205th MI Brigade- Suspect

(U) SPC Joseph M. Darby, 372nd MP Company

(U) SGT Neil A. Wallin, 109th Area Support Medical

(U) SGT Samuel Jefferson Provance, 302nd MI

(U) Torin S. Nelson, Contractor, Titan Corp.,
Assigned to the 205th MI Brigade

(U) CPL Matthew Scott Bolanger, 372nd MP

(U) SPC Mathew C. Wisdom, 372nd MP Company

(U) SSG Reuben R. Layton, Medic, 109th Medical

(U) SPC John V. Polak, 229th MP Company
8. (U) In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses (ANNEX 26):

(U) Breaking chemical lights and pouring the
phosphoric liquid on detainees;

(U) Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

(U) Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

(U) Beating detainees with a broom handle and a

(U) Threatening male detainees with rape;

(U) Allowing a military police guard to stitch the
wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed
against the wall in his cell;

(U) Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and
perhaps a broom stick.

h. (U) Using military working dogs to frighten and
intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one
instance actually biting a detainee.
9. (U) I have carefully considered the statements provided by the following detainees, which under the circumstances I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses:

(U) Amjed Isail Waleed, Detainee # 151365

(U) Hiadar Saber Abed Miktub-Aboodi, Detainee # 13077

(U) Huessin Mohssein Al-Zayiadi, Detainee # 19446

(U) Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, Detainee # 151108

(U) Mohanded Juma Juma (sic), Detainee # 152307

(U) Mustafa Jassim Mustafa, Detainee # 150542

(U) Shalan Said Alsharoni, Detainee, # 150422

(U) Abd Alwhab Youss, Detainee # 150425

(U) Asad Hamza Hanfosh, Detainee # 152529

(U) Nori Samir Gunbar Al-Yasseri, Detainee # 7787

(U) Thaar Salman Dawod, Detainee # 150427

(U) Ameen Sa'eed Al-Sheikh, Detainee # 151362

(U) Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh, Detainee # 18470
(ANNEX 26)
10. (U) I find that contrary to the provision of AR 190-8, and the findings found in MG Ryder's Report, Military Intelligence (MI) interrogators and Other US Government Agency's (OGA) interrogators actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses. Contrary to the findings of MG Ryder's Report, I find that personnel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to "set the conditions" for MI interrogations. I find no direct evidence that MP personnel actually participated in those MI interrogations. (ANNEXES 19, 21, 25, and 26).

11. (U) I reach this finding based on the actual proven abuse that I find was inflicted on detainees and by the following witness statements. (ANNEXES 25, and 26):

(U) SPC Sabrina Harman, 372nd MP Company, stated in
her sworn statement regarding the incident where a
detainee was placed on a box with wires attached to his
fingers, toes, and penis, "that her job was to keep
detainees awake." She stated that MI was talking to CPL
Grainer. She stated: "MI wanted to get them to talk.
It is Grainer and Frederick's job to do things for MI
and OGA to get these people to talk."

(U) SGT Javal S. Davis, 372nd MP Company, stated in
his sworn statement as follows: "I witnessed prisoners
in the MI hold section, wing 1A being made to do various
things that I would question morally. In Wing 1A we
were told that they had different rules and different
SOP for treatment. I never saw a set of rules or SOP
for that section just word of mouth. The Soldier in
charge of 1A was Corporal Granier. He stated that the
Agents and MI Soldiers would ask him to do things, but
nothing was ever in writing he would complain (sic)."
When asked why the rules in 1A/1B were different than
the rest of the wings, SGT Davis stated: "The rest of
the wings are regular prisoners and 1A/B are Military
Intelligence (MI) holds." When asked why he did not
inform his chain of command about this abuse, SGT Davis
stated: " Because I assumed that if they were doing
things out of the ordinary or outside the guidelines,
someone would have said something. Also the wing
belongs to MI and it appeared MI personnel approved of
the abuse." SGT Davis also stated that he had heard MI
insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When
asked what MI said he stated: "Loosen this guy up for
us." Make sure he has a bad night." "Make sure he gets
the treatment." He claimed these comments were made to
CPL Granier and SSG Frederick. Finally, SGT Davis
stated that (sic): "the MI staffs to my understanding
have been giving Granier compliments on the way he has
been handling the MI holds. Example being statements
like, "Good job, they're breaking down real fast. They
answer every question. They're giving out good
information, Finally, and Keep up the good work . Stuff
like that."

(U) SPC Jason Kennel, 372nd MP Company, was asked
if he were present when any detainees were abused. He
stated: "I saw them nude, but MI would tell us to take
away their mattresses, sheets, and clothes." He could
not recall who in MI had instructed him to do this, but
commented that, "if they wanted me to do that they
needed to give me paperwork." He was later informed
that "we could not do anything to embarrass the

(U) Mr. Adel L. Nakhla, a US civilian contract
translator was questioned about several detainees
accused of rape. He observed (sic): "They (detainees)
were all naked, a bunch of people from MI, the MP were
there that night and the inmates were ordered by SGT
Granier and SGT Frederick ordered the guys while
questioning them to admit what they did. They made them
do strange exercises by sliding on their stomach, jump
up and down, throw water on them and made them some wet,
called them all kinds of names such as "gays" do they
like to make love to guys, then they handcuffed their
hands together and their legs with shackles and started
to stack them on top of each other by insuring that the
bottom guys penis will touch the guy on tops butt."

(U) SPC Neil A Wallin, 109th Area Support Medical
Battalion, a medic testified that: "Cell 1A was used to
house high priority detainees and cell 1B was used to
house the high risk or trouble making detainees. During
my tour at the prison I observed that when the male
detainees were first brought to the facility, some of
them were made to wear female underwear, which I think
was to somehow break them down."
12. (U) I find that prior to its deployment to Iraq for
Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 320th MP Battalion and the
372nd MP Company had received no training in
detention/internee operations. I also find that very
little instruction or training was provided to MP
personnel on the applicable rules of the Geneva
Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War,
FM 27-10, AR 190-8, or FM 3-19.40. Moreover, I find that
few, if any, copies of the Geneva Conventions were ever
made available to MP personnel or detainees. (ANNEXES 21-24, 33, and multiple witness statements)

13. (U) Another obvious example of the Brigade Leadership
not communicating with its Soldiers or ensuring their
tactical proficiency concerns the incident of detainee
abuse that occurred at Camp Bucca, Iraq, on May 12, 2003.
Soldiers from the 223rd MP Company reported to the 800th
MP Brigade Command at Camp Bucca, that four Military
Police Soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had abused a
number of detainees during inprocessing at Camp Bucca.
An extensive CID investigation determined that four
soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had kicked and
beaten these detainees following a transport mission from
Talil Air Base. (ANNEXES 34 and 35)

14. (U) Formal charges under the UCMJ were preferred
against these Soldiers and an Article-32 Investigation
conducted by LTC Gentry. He recommended a general court
martial for the four accused, which BG Karpinski
supported. Despite this documented abuse, there is no
evidence that BG Karpinski ever attempted to remind 800th
MP Soldiers of the requirements of the Geneva Conventions
regarding detainee treatment or took any steps to ensure
that such abuse was not repeated. Nor is there any
evidence that LTC(P) Phillabaum, the commander of the
Soldiers involved in the Camp Bucca abuse incident, took
any initiative to ensure his Soldiers were properly
trained regarding detainee treatment. (ANNEXES 35 and 62)


1. (U) Immediately deploy to the Iraq Theater an integrated
multi-discipline Mobile Training Team (MTT) comprised of
subject matter experts in internment/resettlement
operations, international and operational law,
information technology, facility management,
interrogation and intelligence gathering techniques,
chaplains, Arab cultural awareness, and medical practices
as it pertains to I/R activities. This team needs to
oversee and conduct comprehensive training in all aspects
of detainee and confinement operations.

2. (U) That all military police and military intelligence
personnel involved in any aspect of detainee operations
or interrogation operations in CJTF-7, and subordinate
units, be immediately provided with training by an
international/operational law attorney on the specific
provisions of The Law of Land Warfare FM 27-10,
specifically the Geneva Convention Relative to the
Treatment of Prisoners of War, Enemy Prisoners of War,
Retained Personnel, Civilian Internees, and Other
Detainees, and AR 190-8.

3. (U) That a single commander in CJTF-7 be responsible for
overall detainee operations throughout the Iraq Theater
of Operations. I also recommend that the Provost Marshal
General of the Army assign a minimum of two (2) subject
matter experts, one officer and one NCO, to assist CJTF-7
in coordinating detainee operations.

4. (U) That detention facility commanders and interrogation
facility commanders ensure that appropriate copies of the
Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners
of War and notice of protections be made available in
both English and the detainees' language and be
prominently displayed in all detention facilities.
Detainees with questions regarding their treatment should
be given the full opportunity to read the Convention.

5. (U) That each detention facility commander and
interrogation facility commander publish a complete and
comprehensive set of Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs)
regarding treatment of detainees, and that all personnel
be required to read the SOPs and sign a document
indicating that they have read and understand the SOPs.

6. (U) That in accordance with the recommendations of MG
Ryder's Assessment Report, and my findings and
recommendations in this investigation, all units in the
Iraq Theater of Operations conducting
internment/confinement/detainment operations in support
of Operation Iraqi Freedom be OPCON for all purposes, to
include action under the UCMJ, to CJTF-7.

7. (U) Appoint the C3, CJTF as the staff proponent for
detainee operations in the Iraq Joint Operations Area
(JOA). (MG Tom Miller, C3, CJTF-7, has been appointed by

8. (U) That an inquiry UP AR 381-10, Procedure 15 be
conducted to determine the extent of culpability of
Military Intelligence personnel, assigned to the 205th MI
Brigade and the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center
(JIDC) regarding abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

9. (U) That it is critical that the proponent for detainee
operations is assigned a dedicated Senior Judge Advocate,
with specialized training and knowledge of international
and operational law, to assist and advise on matters of
detainee operations.



(U) The Investigation inquire into detainee escapes and
accountability lapses as reported by CJTF-7, specifically
allegations concerning these events at the Abu Ghraib


1. The 800th MP Brigade was responsible for theater-wide
Internment and Resettlement (I/R) operations. (ANNEXES 45 and 95)

2. (U) The 320th MP Battalion, 800th MP Brigade was tasked
with detainee operations at the Abu Ghraib Prison Complex
during the time period covered in this investigation.
(ANNEXES 41, 45, and 59)

3. (U) The 310th MP Battalion, 800th MP Brigade was tasked
with detainee operations and Forward Operating Base (FOB)
Operations at the Camp Bucca Detention Facility until TOA on
26 February 2004. (ANNEXES 41 and 52)

4. (U) The 744th MP Battalion, 800th MP Brigade was tasked
with detainee operations and FOB Operations at the HVD
Detention Facility until TOA on 4 March 2004. (ANNEXES 41 and 55)

5. (U) The 530th MP Battalion, 800th MP Brigade was tasked
with detainee operations and FOB Operations at the MEK
holding facility until TOA on 15 March 2004. (ANNEXES 41 and 97)

6. (U) Detainee operations include accountability, care,
and well being of Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained Person,
Civilian Detainees, and Other Detainees, as well as Iraqi
criminal prisoners. (ANNEX 22)

7. (U) The accountability for detainees is doctrinally an MP task IAW FM 3-19.40. (ANNEX 22)

8. (U) There is a general lack of knowledge,
implementation, and emphasis of basic legal, regulatory,
doctrinal, and command requirements within the 800th MP
Brigade and its subordinate units. (Multiple witness
statements in ANNEXES 45-91). 9. (U) The handling of detainees and criminal prisoners after
in-processing was inconsistent from detention facility to
detention facility, compound to compound, encampment to
encampment, and even shift to shift throughout the 800th MP
Brigade AOR. (ANNEX 37)

10. (U) Camp Bucca, operated by the 310th MP Battalion, had
a "Criminal Detainee In-Processing SOP" and a "Training
Outline" for transferring and releasing detainees, which
appears to have been followed. (ANNEXES 38 and 52)

11. (U) Incoming and outgoing detainees are being
documented in the National Detainee Reporting System (NDRS)
and Biometric Automated Toolset System (BATS) as required by
regulation at all detention facilities. However, it is
underutilized and often does not give a "real time" accurate
picture of the detainee population due to untimely updating.
(ANNEX 56)

12. (U) There was a severe lapse in the accountability of
detainees at the Abu Ghraib Prison Complex. The 320th MP
Battalion used a self-created "change sheet" to document the
transfer of a detainee from one location to another. For
proper accountability, it is imperative that these change
sheets be processed and the detainee manifest be updated
within 24 hours of movement. At Abu Ghraib, this process
would often take as long as 4 days to complete. This lag-
time resulted in inaccurate detainee Internment Serial
Number (ISN) counts, gross differences in the detainee
manifest and the actual occupants of an individual compound,
and significant confusion of the MP Soldiers. The 320th MP
Battalion S-1, CPT Theresa Delbalso, and the S-3, MAJ David
DiNenna, explained that this breakdown was due to the lack
of manpower to process change sheets in a timely manner. (ANNEXES 39 and 98)

13. (U) The 320th Battalion TACSOP requires detainee accountability at least 4 times daily at Abu Ghraib. However, a detailed review of their operational journals revealed that these accounts were often not done or not documented by the unit. Additionally, there is no indication that accounting errors or the loss of a detainee in the accounting process triggered any immediate corrective action by the Battalion TOC. (ANNEX 44)

14. (U) There is a lack of standardization in the way the 320th MP Battalion conducted physical counts of their detainees. Each compound within a given encampment did their headcounts differently. Some compounds had detainees line up in lines of 10, some had them sit in rows, and some moved all the detainees to one end of the compound and counted them as they passed to the other end of the compound. (ANNEX 98)

15. (U) FM 3-19.40 outlines the need for 2 roll calls (100% ISN band checks) per day. The 320th MP Battalion did this check only 2 times per week. Due to the lack of real-time updates to the system, these checks were regularly inaccurate. (Annexes 22and 98)

16. (U) The 800th MP Brigade and subordinate units adopted non-doctrinal terms such as "band checks," "roll-ups," and "call-ups," which contributed to the lapses in accountability and confusion at the soldier level. (ANNEXES 63, 88, and 98)

17. (U) Operational journals at the various compounds and the 320th Battalion TOC contained numerous unprofessional entries and flippant comments, which highlighted the lack of discipline within the unit. There was no indication that the journals were ever reviewed by anyone in their chain of command. (ANNEX 37)

18. (U) Accountability SOPs were not fully developed and standing TACSOPs were widely ignored. Any SOPs that did exist were not trained on, and were never distributed to the lowest level. Most procedures were shelved at the unit TOC, rather than at the subordinate units and guards mount sites. (ANNEXES 44, 67, 71, and 85)

19. (U) Accountability and facility operations SOPs lacked specificity, implementation measures, and a system of checks and balances to ensure compliance. (ANNEXES 76 and 82)

20. (U) Basic Army Doctrine was not widely referenced or utilized to develop the accountability practices throughout the 800th MP Brigade's subordinate units. Daily processing, accountability, and detainee care appears to have been made up as the operations developed with reliance on, and guidance from, junior members of the unit who had civilian corrections experience. (ANNEX 21)

21. (U) Soldiers were poorly prepared and untrained to conduct I/R operations prior to deployment, at the mobilization site, upon arrival in theater, and throughout their mission. (ANNEXES 62, 63, and 69)

22. (U) The documentation provided to this investigation identified 27 escapes or attempted escapes from the detention facilities throughout the 800th MP Brigade's AOR. Based on my assessment and detailed analysis of the substandard accountability process maintained by the 800th MP Brigade, it is highly likely that there were several more unreported cases of escape that were probably "written off" as administrative errors or otherwise undocumented. 1LT Lewis Raeder, Platoon Leader, 372nd MP Company, reported knowing about at least two additional escapes (one from a work detail and one from a window) from Abu Ghraib (BCCF) that were not documented. LTC Dennis McGlone, Commander, 744th MP Battalion, detailed the escape of one detainee at the High Value Detainee Facility who went to the latrine and then outran the guards and escaped. Lastly, BG Janis Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP Brigade, stated that there were more than 32 escapes from her holding facilities, which does not match the number derived from the investigation materials. (ANNEXES 5-10, 45, 55, and 71)

23. (U) The Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca detention facilities are significantly over their intended maximum capacity while the guard force is undermanned and under resourced. This imbalance has contributed to the poor living conditions, escapes, and accountability lapses at the various facilities. The overcrowding of the facilities also limits the ability to identify and segregate leaders in the detainee population who may be organizing escapes and riots within the facility. (ANNEXES 6, 22, and 92)

24. (U) The screening, processing, and release of detainees who should not be in custody takes too long and contributes to the overcrowding and unrest in the detention facilities. There are currently three separate release mechanisms in the theater-wide internment operations. First, the apprehending unit can release a detainee if there is a determination that their continued detention is not warranted. Secondly, a criminal detainee can be released after it has been determined that the detainee has no intelligence value, and that their release would not be detrimental to society. BG Karpinski had signature authority to release detainees in this second category. Lastly, detainees accused of committing "Crimes Against the Coalition," who are held throughout the separate facilities in the CJTF-7 AOR, can be released upon a determination that they are of no intelligence value and no longer pose a significant threat to Coalition Forces. The release process for this category of detainee is a screening by the local US Forces Magistrate Cell and a review by a Detainee Release Board consisting of BG Karpinski, COL Marc Warren, SJA, CJTF-7, and MG Barbara Fast, C-2, CJTF-7. MG Fast is the "Detainee Release Authority" for detainees being held for committing crimes against the coalition. According to BG Karpinski, this category of detainee makes up more than 60% of the total detainee population, and is the fastest growing category. However, MG Fast, according to BG Karpinski, routinely denied the board's recommendations to release detainees in this category who were no longer deemed a threat and clearly met the requirements for release. According to BG Karpinski, the extremely slow and ineffective release process has significantly contributed to the overcrowding of the facilities. (ANNEXES 40, 45, and 46)

25. (U) After Action Reviews (AARs) are not routinely being conducted after an escape or other serious incident. No lessons learned seem to have been disseminated to subordinate units to enable corrective action at the lowest level. The Investigation Team requested copies of AARs, and none were provided. (Multiple Witness Statements)

26. (U) Lessons learned (i.e. Findings and Recommendations from various 15-6 Investigations concerning escapes and accountability lapses) were rubber stamped as approved and ordered implemented by BG Karpinski. There is no evidence that the majority of her orders directing the implementation of substantive changes were ever acted upon. Additionally, there was no follow-up by the command to verify the corrective actions were taken. Had the findings and recommendations contained within their own investigations been analyzed and actually implemented by BG Karpinski, many of the subsequent escapes, accountability lapses, and cases of abuse may have been prevented. (ANNEXES 5-10)

27. (U) The perimeter lighting around Abu Ghraib and the detention facility at Camp Bucca is inadequate and needs to be improved to illuminate dark areas that have routinely become avenues of escape. (ANNEX 6)

28. (U) Neither the camp rules nor the provisions of the Geneva Conventions are posted in English or in the language of the detainees at any of the detention facilities in the 800th MP Brigade's AOR, even after several investigations had annotated the lack of this critical requirement. (Multiple Witness Statements and the Personal Observations of the Investigation Team)

29. (U) The Iraqi guards at Abu Ghraib BCCF) demonstrate questionable work ethics and loyalties, and are a potentially dangerous contingent within the Hard-Site. These guards have furnished the Iraqi criminal inmates with contraband, weapons, and information. Additionally, they have facilitated the escape of at least one detainee. (ANNEX 8 and 26-SPC Polak's Statement)

30. (U) In general, US civilian contract personnel (Titan Corporation, CACI, etc.), third country nationals, and local contractors do not appear to be properly supervised within the detention facility at Abu Ghraib. During our on-site inspection, they wandered about with too much unsupervised free access in the detainee area. Having civilians in various outfits (civilian and DCUs) in and about the detainee area causes confusion and may have contributed to the difficulties in the accountability process and with detecting escapes. (ANNEX 51, Multiple Witness Statements, and the Personal Observations of the Investigation Team)

31. (U) SGM Marc Emerson, Operations SGM, 320th MP Battalion, contended that the Detainee Rules of Engagement (DROE) and the general principles of the Geneva Convention were briefed at every guard mount and shift change on Abu Ghraib. However, none of our witnesses, nor our personal observations, support his contention. I find that SGM Emerson was not a credible witness. (ANNEXES 45, 80, and the Personal Observations of the Investigation Team)

32. (U) Several interviewees insisted that the MP and MI Soldiers at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) received regular training on the basics of detainee operations; however, they have been unable to produce any verifying documentation, sign-in rosters, or soldiers who can recall the content of this training. (ANNEXES 59, 80, and the Absence of any Training Records)

33. (S/NF) The various detention facilities operated by the 800th MP Brigade have routinely held persons brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs) without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention. The Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib called these detainees "ghost detainees." On at least one occasion, the 320th MP Battalion at Abu Ghraib held a handful of "ghost detainees" (6-8) for OGAs that they moved around within the facility to hide them from a visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey team. This maneuver was deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine, and in violation of international law. (ANNEX 53)

34. (U) The following riots, escapes, and shootings have been documented and reported to this Investigation Team. Although there is no data from other missions of similar size and duration to compare the number of escapes with, the most significant factors derived from these reports are twofold. First, investigations and SIRs lacked critical data needed to evaluate the details of each incident. Second, each investigation seems to have pointed to the same types of deficiencies; however, little to nothing was done to correct the problems and to implement the recommendations as was ordered by BG Karpinski, nor was there any command emphasis to ensure these deficiencies were corrected:

(U) 4 June 03- This escape was mentioned in the 15-6 Investigation covering the 13 June 03 escape, recapture, and shootings of detainees at Camp Vigilant (320th MP Battalion). However, no investigation or additional information was provided as requested by this investigation team. (ANNEX 7)

(U) 9 June 03- Riot and shootings of five detainees at Camp Cropper. (115th MP Battalion) Several detainees allegedly rioted after a detainee was subdued by MPs of the 115th MP Battalion after striking a guard in compound B of Camp Cropper. A 15-6 investigation by 1LT Magowan (115th MP Battalion, Platoon Leader) concluded that a detainee had acted up and hit an MP. After being subdued, one of the MPs took off his DCU top and flexed his muscles to the detainees, which further escalated the riot. The MPs were overwhelmed and the guards fired lethal rounds to protect the life of the compound MPs, whereby 5 detainees were wounded. Contributing factors were poor communications, no clear chain of command, facility-obstructed views of posted guards, the QRF did not have non-lethal equipment, and the SOP was inadequate and outdated. (ANNEX 5)

(U) 12 June 03- Escape and recapture of detainee #8399, escape and shooting of detainee # 7166, and attempted escape of an unidentified detainee from Camp Cropper Holding Area (115th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly made their escape in the nighttime hours prior to 0300. A 15-6 investigation by CPT Wendlandt (115th MP Battalion, S-2) concluded that the detainees allegedly escaped by crawling under the wire at a location with inadequate lighting. One detainee was stopped prior to escape. An MP of the 115th MP Battalion search team recaptured detainee # 8399, and detainee # 7166 was shot and killed by a Soldier during the recapture process. Contributing factors were overcrowding, poor lighting, and the nature of the hardened criminal detainees at that location. It is of particular note that the command was informed at least 24 hours in advance of the upcoming escape attempt and started doing amplified announcements in Arabic stating the camp rules. The investigation pointed out that rules and guidelines were not posted in the camps in the detainees' native languages. (ANNEX 6)

(U) 13 June 03- Escape and recapture of detainee # 8968 and the shooting of eight detainees at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) (320th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly attempted to escape at about 1400 hours from the Camp Vigilant Compound, Abu Ghraib (BCCF). A 15-6 investigation by CPT Wyks (400th MP Battalion, S-1) concluded that the detainee allegedly escaped by sliding under the wire while the tower guard was turned in the other direction. This detainee was subsequently apprehended by the QRF. At about 1600 the same day, 30-40 detainees rioted and pelted three interior MP guards with rocks. One guard was injured and the tower guards fired lethal rounds at the rioters injuring 7 and killing 1 detainee. (ANNEX 7)

(U) 05 November 03- Escape of detainees # 9877 and # 10739 from Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly escaped at 0345 from the Hard-Site, Abu Ghraib (BCCF). An SIR was initiated by SPC Warner (320th MP Battalion, S-3 RTO). The SIR indicated that 2 criminal prisoners escaped through their cell window in tier 3A of the Hard-Site. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 11)

(U) 07 November 03- Escape of detainee # 14239 from Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). A detainee allegedly escaped at 1330 from Compound 2 of the Ganci Encampment, Abu Ghraib (BCCF). An SIR was initiated by SSG Hydro (320th MP Battalion, S-3 Asst. NCOIC). The SIR indicated that a detainee escaped from the North end of the compound and was discovered missing during distribution of the noon meal, but there is no method of escape listed in the SIR. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 12)

(U) 08 November 03- Escape of detainees # 115089, # 151623, # 151624, # 116734, # 116735, and # 116738 from Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly escaped at 2022 from Compound 8 of the Ganci encampment, Abu Ghraib. An SIR was initiated by MAJ DiNenna (320th MP Battalion, S-3). The SIR indicated that 5-6 prisoners escaped from the North end of the compound, but there is no method of escape listed in the SIR. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 13)

(U) 24 November 03- Riot and shooting of 12 detainees # 150216, #150894, #153096, 153165, #153169, #116361, #153399, #20257, #150348, #152616, #116146, and #152156 at Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly began to riot at about 1300 in all of the compounds at the Ganci encampment. This resulted in the shooting deaths of 3 detainees, 9 wounded detainees, and 9 injured US Soldiers. A 15-6 investigation by COL Bruce Falcone (220th MP Brigade, Deputy Commander) concluded that the detainees rioted in protest of their living conditions, that the riot turned violent, the use of non-lethal force was ineffective, and, after the 320th MP Battalion CDR executed "Golden Spike," the emergency containment plan, the use of deadly force was authorized. Contributing factors were lack of comprehensive training of guards, poor or non-existent SOPs, no formal guard-mount conducted prior to shift, no rehearsals or ongoing training, the mix of less than lethal rounds with lethal rounds in weapons, no AARs being conducted after incidents, ROE not posted and not understood, overcrowding, uniforms not standardized, and poor communication between the command and Soldiers. (ANNEX 8)

(U) 24 November 03- Shooting of detainee at Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). A detainee allegedly had a pistol in his cell and around 1830 an extraction team shot him with less than lethal and lethal rounds in the process of recovering the weapon. A 15-6 investigation by COL Bruce Falcone (220th Brigade, Deputy Commander) concluded that one of the detainees in tier 1A of the Hard Site had gotten a pistol and a couple of knives from an Iraqi Guard working in the encampment. Immediately upon receipt of this information, an ad-hoc extraction team consisting of MP and MI personnel conducted what they called a routine cell search, which resulted in the shooting of an MP and the detainee. Contributing factors were a corrupt Iraqi Guard, inadequate SOPs, the Detention ROE in place at the time was ineffective due to the numerous levels of authorization needed for use of lethal force, poorly trained MPs, unclear lanes of responsibility, and ambiguous relationship between the MI and MP assets. (ANNEX 8)

(U) 13 December 03- Shooting by non-lethal means into crowd at Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly got into a detainee-on-detainee fight around 1030 in Compound 8 of the Ganci encampment, Abu Ghraib. An SIR was initiated by SSG Matash (320th MP Battalion, S-3 Section). The SIR indicated that there was a fight in the compound and the MPs used a non-lethal crowd- dispersing round to break up the fight, which was successful. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 14)

(U) 13 December 03- Shooting by non-lethal means into crowd at Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly got into a detainee-on-detainee fight around 1120 in Compound 2 of the Ganci encampment, Abu Ghraib. An SIR was initiated by SSG Matash (320th MP Battalion, S-3 Section). The SIR indicated that there was a fight in the compound and the MPs used two non-lethal shots to disperse the crowd, which was successful. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 15)

(U) 13 December 03- Shooting by non-lethal means into crowd at Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). Approximately 30- 40 detainees allegedly got into a detainee-on-detainee fight around 1642 in Compound 3 of the Ganci encampment, Abu Ghraib (BCCF). An SIR was initiated by SSG Matash (320th MP Battalion, S-3 Section). The SIR indicates that there was a fight in the compound and the MPs used a non-lethal crowd- dispersing round to break up the fight, which was successful. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 16)

(U) 17 December 03- Shooting by non-lethal means of detainee from Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly assaulted an MP at 1459 inside the Ganci Encampment, Abu Ghraib (BCCF). An SIR was initiated by SSG Matash (320th MP BRIGADE, S-3 Section). The SIR indicated that three detainees assaulted an MP, which resulted in the use of a non-lethal shot that calmed the situation. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 17)

(U) 07 January 04- Escape of detainee #115032 from Camp Bucca (310th MP Battalion). A detainee allegedly escaped between the hours of 0445 and 0640 from Compound 12, of Camp Bucca. Investigation by CPT Kaires (310th MP Battalion S-3) and CPT Holsombeck (724th MP Battalion S-3) concluded that the detainee escaped through an undetected weakness in the wire. Contributing factors were inexperienced guards, lapses in accountability, complacency, lack of leadership presence, poor visibility, and lack of clear and concise communication between the guards and the leadership. (ANNEX 9)

(U) 12 January 04- Escape of Detainees #115314 and #109950 as well as the escape and recapture of 5 unknown detainees at the Camp Bucca Detention Facility (310th MP Battalion). Several detainees allegedly escaped around 0300 from Compound 12, of Camp Bucca. An AR 15-6 Investigation by LTC Leigh Coulter (800th MP Brigade, OIC Camp Arifjan Detachment) concluded that three of the detainees escaped through the front holding cell during conditions of limited visibility due to fog. One of the detainees was noticed, shot with a non-lethal round, and returned to his holding compound. That same night, 4 detainees exited through the wire on the South side of the camp and were seen and apprehended by the QRF. Contributing factors were the lack of a coordinated effort for emplacement of MPs during implementation of the fog plan, overcrowding, and poor communications. (ANNEX 10)

(U) 14 January 04- Escape of detainee #12436 and missing Iraqi guard from Hard-Site, Abu Ghraib (320th MP Battalion). A detainee allegedly escaped at 1335 from the Hard Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF). An SIR was initiated by SSG Hydro (320th MP Battalion, S-3 Asst. NCOIC). The SIR indicates that an Iraqi guard assisted a detainee to escape by signing him out on a work detail and disappearing with him. At the time of the second SIR, neither missing person had been located. No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team. (ANNEX 99)

(U) 26 January 04- Escape of detainees #s 115236, 116272, and 151933 from Camp Bucca (310th MP Battalion). Several Detainees allegedly escaped between the hours of 0440 and 0700 during a period of intense fog. Investigation by CPT Kaires (310th MP Battalion S-3) concluded that the detainees crawled under a fence when visibility was only 10- 15 meters due to fog. Contributing factors were the limited visibility (darkness under foggy conditions), lack of proper accountability reporting, inadequate number of guards, commencement of detainee feeding during low visibility operations, and poorly rested MPs. (ANNEX 18)
36. (U) As I have previously indicated, this investigation determined that there was virtually a complete lack of detailed SOPs at any of the detention facilities. Moreover, despite the fact that there were numerous reported escapes at detention facilities throughout Iraq (in excess of 35), AR 15-6 Investigations following these escapes were simply forgotten or ignored by the Brigade Commander with no dissemination to other facilities. After-Action Reports and Lessons Learned, if done at all, remained at individual facilities and were not shared among other commanders or soldiers throughout the Brigade. The Command never issued standard TTPs for handling escape incidents. (ANNEXES 5-10, Multiple Witness Statements, and the Personal Observations of the Investigation Team)


(U) ANNEX 100 of this investigation contains a detailed
and referenced series of recommendations for improving the
detainee accountability practices throughout the OIF area of

(U) Accountability practices throughout any particular
detention facility must be standardized and in accordance
with applicable regulations and international law.

(U) The NDRS and BATS accounting systems must be
expanded and used to their fullest extent to facilitate real
time updating when detainees are moved and or transferred
from one location to another.

(U) "Change sheets," or their doctrinal equivalent must
be immediately processed and updated into the system to
ensure accurate accountability. The detainee roll call or
ISN counts must match the manifest provided to the compound
guards to ensure proper accountability of detainees.

(U) Develop, staff, and implement comprehensive and
detailed SOPs utilizing the lessons learned from this
investigation as well as any previous findings,
recommendations, and reports.

(U) SOPs must be written, disseminated, trained on, and
understood at the lowest level.

(U) Iraqi criminal prisoners must be held in separate
facilities from any other category of detainee.

(U) All of the compounds should be wired into the
master manifest whereby MP Soldiers can account for their
detainees in real time and without waiting for their change
sheets to be processed. This would also have the change
sheet serve as a way to check up on the accuracy of the
manifest as updated by each compound. The BATS and NDRS
system can be utilized for this function.

(U) Accountability lapses, escapes, and disturbances
within the detainment facilities must be immediately
reported through both the operational and administrative
Chain of Command via a Serious Incident Report (SIR). The
SIRs must then be tracked and followed by daily SITREPs
until the situation is resolved.

(U) Detention Rules of Engagement (DROE), Interrogation
Rules of Engagement (IROE), and the principles of the Geneva
Conventions need to be briefed at every shift change and
guard mount.

(U) AARs must be conducted after serious incidents at
any given facility. The observations and corrective actions
that develop from the AARs must be analyzed by the
respective MP Battalion S-3 section, developed into a plan
of action, shared with the other facilities, and implemented
as a matter of policy.

(U) There must be significant structural improvements
at each of the detention facilities. The needed changes
include significant enhancement of perimeter lighting,
additional chain link fencing, staking down of all
concertina wire, hard site development, and expansion of Abu
Ghraib (BCCF) .

(U) The Geneva Conventions and the facility rules must
be prominently displayed in English and the language of the
detainees at each compound and encampment at every detention
facility IAW AR 190-8.

(U) Further restrict US civilians and other
contractors' access throughout the facility. Contractors
and civilians must be in an authorized and easily
identifiable uniform to be more easily distinguished from
the masses of detainees in civilian clothes.

(U) Facilities must have a stop movement/transfer
period of at least 1 hour prior to every 100% detainee roll
call and ISN counts to ensure accurate accountability.

(U) The method for doing head counts of detainees
within a given compound must be standardized.

(U) Those military units conducting I/R operations must
know of, train on, and constantly reference the applicable
Army Doctrine and CJTF command policies. The references
provided in this report cover nearly every deficiency I have
enumerated. Although they do not, and cannot, make up for
leadership shortfalls, all soldiers, at all levels, can use
them to maintain standardized operating procedures and
efficient accountability practices.

(U) Investigate the training, standards, employment, command policies, internal procedures, and command climate in the 800th MP Brigade, as appropriate:

Pursuant to Part Three of the Investigation, select members of the Investigation team (Primarily COL La Fate and I) personally interviewed the following witnesses:

(U) BG Janis Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP Brigade

(U) COL Thomas Pappas, Commander, 205th MI Brigade

(U) COL Ralph Sabatino, CFLCC Judge Advocate, CPA
Ministry of Justice (Interviewed by COL Richard Gordon,

(U) LTC Gary W. Maddocks, S-5 and Executive Officer,
800th MP Brigade

(U) LTC James O'Hare, Command Judge Advocate, 800th MP Brigade

(U) LTC Robert P. Walters Jr., Commander, 165th MI
Battalion (Tactical Exploitation)

(U) LTC James D. Edwards, Commander, 202nd MI Battalion

(U) LTC Vincent Montera, Commander, 310th MP Battalion

(U) LTC Steve Jordan, former Director, Joint
Interrogation and Debriefing Center/LNO to the 205th MI

(U) LTC Leigh A. Coulter, Commander, 724th MP Battalion
and OIC Arifjan Detachment, 800th MP Brigade

(U) LTC Dennis McGlone, Commander, 744th MP Battalion

(U) MAJ David Hinzman, S-1, 800th MP Brigade

(U) MAJ William D. Proietto, Deputy CJA, 800th MP

(U) MAJ Stacy L. Garrity, S-1 (FWD), 800th MP Brigade

(U) MAJ David W. DiNenna, S-3, 320th MP Battalion

(U) MAJ Michael Sheridan, XO, 320th MP Battalion

(U) MAJ Anthony Cavallaro, S-3, 800th MP Brigade

(U) CPT Marc C. Hale, Commander, 670th MP Company

(U) CPT Donald Reese, Commander, 372nd MP Company

(U) CPT Darren Hampton, Assistant S-3, 320th MP

(U) CPT John Kaires, S-3, 310th MP Battalion

(U) CPT Ed Diamantis, S-2, 800th MP Brigade

(U) CPT Marc C. Hale, Commander, 670th MP Company

(U) CPT Donald Reese, Commander, 372nd MP Company

(U) CPT James G. Jones, Commander, 229th MP Company

(U) CPT Michael Anthony Mastrangelo, Jr., Commander,
310th MP Company

(U) CPT Lawrence Bush, IG, 800th MP Brigade

(U) 1LT Lewis C. Raeder, Platoon Leader, 372nd MP

(U) 1LT Elvis Mabry, Aide-de-camp to Brigade Commander,
800th MP Brigade

(U) 1LT Warren E. Ford, II, Commander, HHC 320th MP

(U) 2LT David O. Sutton, Platoon Leader, 229th MP

(U) CW2 Edward J. Rivas, 205th MI Brigade

(U) CSM Joseph P. Arrington, Command Sergeant Major,
320th MP Battalion

(U) SGM Pascual Cartagena, Acting Command Sergeant
Major, 800th MP Brigade

(U) CSM Timothy L. Woodcock, Command Sergeant Major,
310th MP Battalion

(U) 1SG Dawn J. Rippelmeyer, First Sergeant, 977th MP

(U) SGM Mark Emerson, Operations SGM, 320th MP

(U) MSG Brian G. Lipinski, First Sergeant, 372nd MP

(U) MSG Andrew J. Lombardo, Operations Sergeant, 310th
MP Battalion

(U) SFC Daryl J. Plude, Platoon Sergeant, 229th MP

(U) SFC Shannon K. Snider, Platoon SGT, 372nd MP Company

(U) SFC Keith A. Comer, 372nd MP Company

(U) SSG Robert Elliot, Squad Leader, 372nd MP Company

(U) SSG Santos A. Cardona, Army Dog Handler, 42nd MP
Detachment, 16th MP Brigade

(U) SGT Michael Smith, Army Dog Handler, 523rd MP
Detachment, 937th Engineer Group

(U) MA1 William J. Kimbro, USN Dog Handler, NAS Signal
and Canine Unit

(U) Mr. Steve Stephanowicz, US civilian Contract
Interrogator, CACI, 205th MI Brigade

(U) Mr. John Israel, US civilian Contract Interpreter,
Titan Corporation, 205th MI Brigade
(ANNEXES 45 and (91)

1. (U) I find that BG Janis Karpinski took command of the
800th MP Brigade on 30 June 2003 from BG Paul Hill. BG
Karpinski has remained in command since that date. The
800th MP Brigade is comprised of eight MP battalions in
the Iraqi TOR: 115th MP Battalion, 310th MP Battalion,
320th MP Battalion, 324th MP Battalion, 400th MP
Battalion, 530th MP Battalion, 724th MP Battalion, and
744th MP Battalion.
(ANNEXES 41 and 45)

2. (U) Prior to BG Karpinski taking command, members of the
800th MP Brigade believed they would be allowed to go
home when all the detainees were released from the Camp
Bucca Theater Internment Facility following the cessation
of major ground combat on 1 May 2003. At one point,
approximately 7,000 to 8,000 detainees were held at Camp
Bucca. Through Article-5 Tribunals and a screening
process, several thousand detainees were released. Many
in the command believed they would go home when the
detainees were released. In late May-early June 2003 the
800th MP Brigade was given a new mission to manage the
Iraqi penal system and several detention centers. This
new mission meant Soldiers would not redeploy to CONUS
when anticipated. Morale suffered, and over the next few
months there did not appear to have been any attempt by
the Command to mitigate this morale problem. (ANNEXES 45 and 96)

3. (U) There is abundant evidence in the statements of
numerous witnesses that soldiers throughout the 800th MP
Brigade were not proficient in their basic MOS skills,
particularly regarding internment/resettlement
operations. Moreover, there is no evidence that the
command, although aware of these deficiencies, attempted
to correct them in any systemic manner other than ad hoc
training by individuals with civilian corrections
experience. (Multiple Witness Statements and the
Personal Observations of the Investigation Team)

4. (U) I find that the 800th MP Brigade was not adequately
trained for a mission that included operating a prison or
penal institution at Abu Ghraib Prison Complex. As the
Ryder Assessment found, I also concur that units of the
800th MP Brigade did not receive corrections-specific
training during their mobilization period. MP units did
not receive pinpoint assignments prior to mobilization
and during the post mobilization training, and thus could
not train for specific missions. The training that was
accomplished at the mobilization sites were developed and
implemented at the company level with little or no
direction or supervision at the Battalion and Brigade
levels, and consisted primarily of common tasks and law
enforcement training. However, I found no evidence that
the Command, although aware of this deficiency, ever
requested specific corrections training from the
Commandant of the Military Police School, the US Army
Confinement Facility at Mannheim, Germany, the Provost
Marshal General of the Army, or the US Army Disciplinary
Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. (ANNEXES 19 and 76)

5. (U) I find that without adequate training for a civilian
internee detention mission, Brigade personnel relied
heavily on individuals within the Brigade who had
civilian corrections experience, including many who
worked as prison guards or corrections officials in their
civilian jobs. Almost every witness we interviewed had
no familiarity with the provisions of AR 190-8 or FM 3-
19.40. It does not appear that a Mission Essential Task
List (METL) based on in-theater missions was ever
developed nor was a training plan implemented throughout
the Brigade. (ANNEXES 21, 22, 67, and 81)

6. (U) I also find, as did MG Ryder's Team, that the 800th
MP Brigade as a whole, was understrength for the mission
for which it was tasked. Army Doctrine dictates that an
I/R Brigade can be organized with between 7 and 21
battalions, and that the average battalion size element
should be able to handle approximately 4000 detainees at
a time. This investigation indicates that BG Karpinski
and her staff did a poor job allocating resources
throughout the Iraq JOA. Abu Ghraib (BCCF) normally
housed between 6000 and 7000 detainees, yet it was
operated by only one battalion. In contrast, the HVD
Facility maintains only about 100 detainees, and is also
run by an entire battalion. (ANNEXES 19, 22, and 96)

7. (U) Reserve Component units do not have an individual
replacement system to mitigate medical or other losses.
Over time, the 800th MP Brigade clearly suffered from
personnel shortages through release from active duty
(REFRAD) actions, medical evacuation, and demobilization.
In addition to being severely undermanned, the quality of
life for Soldiers assigned to Abu Ghraib (BCCF) was
extremely poor. There was no DFAC, PX, barbershop, or
MWR facilities. There were numerous mortar attacks,
random rifle and RPG attacks, and a serious threat to
Soldiers and detainees in the facility. The prison
complex was also severely overcrowded and the Brigade
lacked adequate resources and personnel to resolve
serious logistical problems. Finally, because of past
associations and familiarity of Soldiers within the
Brigade, it appears that friendship often took precedence
over appropriate leader and subordinate relationships.
(ANNEX 101, Multiple Witness Statements, and the Personal
Observations of the Investigation Team)

8. (U) With respect to the 800th MP Brigade mission at Abu
Ghraib (BCCF), I find that there was clear friction and
lack of effective communication between the Commander,
205th MI Brigade, who controlled FOB Abu Ghraib (BCCF)
after 19 November 2003, and the Commander, 800th MP
Brigade, who controlled detainee operations inside the
FOB. There was no clear delineation of responsibility
between commands, little coordination at the command
level, and no integration of the two functions.
Coordination occurred at the lowest possible levels with
little oversight by commanders. (ANNEXES 31, 45, and 46)

9. (U) I find that this ambiguous command relationship was
exacerbated by a CJTF-7 Fragmentary Order (FRAGO) 1108
issued on 19 November 2003. Paragraph 3.C.8, Assignment
of 205th MI Brigade Commander's Responsibilities for the
Baghdad Central Confinement Facility, states as follows:

3.C.8. A. (U) 205 MI BRIGADE.


Although not supported by BG Karpinski, FRAGO 1108 made
all of the MP units at Abu Ghraib TACON to the Commander,
205th MI Brigade. This effectively made an MI Officer,
rather than an MP Officer, responsible for the MP units
conducting detainee operations at that facility. This
is not doctrinally sound due to the different missions
and agendas assigned to each of these respective
specialties. (ANNEX 31)

10 (U) Joint Publication 0-2, Unified Action Armed Forces
(UNAAF), 10 July 2001 defines Tactical Control (TACON) as
the detailed direction and control of movements or
maneuvers within the operational area necessary to
accomplish assigned missions or tasks. (ANNEX 42)

"TACON is the command authority over assigned or
attached forces or commands or military capability made
available for tasking that is limited to the detailed
direction and control of movements or maneuvers within
the operational area necessary to accomplish assigned
missions or tasks. TACON is inherent in OPCON and may
be delegated to and exercised by commanders at any
echelon at or below the level of combatant commander."

11. (U) Based on all the facts and circumstances in this
investigation, I find that there was little, if any,
recognition of this TACON Order by the 800th MP Brigade
or the 205th MI Brigade. Further, there was no evidence
if the Commander, 205th MI Brigade clearly informed the
Commander, 800th MP Brigade, and specifically the
Commander, 320th MP Battalion assigned at Abu Ghraib
(BCCF), on the specific requirements of this TACON
relationship. (ANNEXES 45 and 46)

12. (U) It is clear from a comprehensive review of witness
statements and personal interviews that the 320th MP
Battalion and 800th MP Brigade continued to function as
if they were responsible for the security, health and
welfare, and overall security of detainees within Abu
Ghraib (BCCF) prison. Both BG Karpinski and COL Pappas
clearly behaved as if this were still the case. (ANNEXES 45 and 46)

13. (U) With respect to the 320th MP Battalion, I find that
the Battalion Commander, LTC (P) Jerry Phillabaum, was an
extremely ineffective commander and leader. Numerous
witnesses confirm that the Battalion S-3, MAJ David W.
DiNenna, basically ran the battalion on a day-to-day
basis. At one point, BG Karpinski sent LTC (P)
Phillabaum to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait for approximately two
weeks, apparently to give him some relief from the
pressure he was experiencing as the 320th Battalion
Commander. This movement to Camp Arifjan immediately
followed a briefing provided by LTC (P) Phillabaum to the
CJTF-7 Commander, LTG Sanchez, near the end of October
2003. BG Karpinski placed LTC Ronald Chew, Commander of
the 115th MP Battalion, in charge of the 320th MP
Battalion for a period of approximately two weeks. LTC
Chew was also in command of the 115th MP Battalion
assigned to Camp Cropper, BIAP, Iraq. I could find no
orders, either suspending or relieving LTC (P) Phillabaum
from command, nor any orders placing LTC Chew in command
of the 320th. In addition, there was no indication this
removal and search for a replacement was communicated to
the Commander CJTF-7, the Commander 377th TSC, or to
Soldiers in the 320th MP Battalion. Temporarily removing
one commander and replacing him with another serving
Battalion Commander without an order and without
notifying superior or subordinate commands is without
precedent in my military career. LTC (P) Phillabaum was
also reprimanded for lapses in accountability that
resulted in several escapes. The 320th MP Battalion was
stigmatized as a unit due to previous detainee abuse
which occurred in May 2003 at the Bucca Theater
Internment Facility (TIF), while under the command of LTC
(P) Phillabaum. Despite his proven deficiencies as both
a commander and leader, BG Karpinski allowed LTC (P)
Phillabaum to remain in command of her most troubled
battalion guarding, by far, the largest number of
detainees in the 800th MP Brigade. LTC (P) Phillabaum
was suspended from his duties by LTG Sanchez, CJTF-7
Commander on 17 January 2004. (ANNEXES 43, 45, and 61)

14. (U) During the course of this investigation I conducted
a lengthy interview with BG Karpinski that lasted over
four hours, and is included verbatim in the investigation
Annexes. BG Karpinski was extremely emotional during
much of her testimony. What I found particularly
disturbing in her testimony was her complete
unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of
the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused
or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her
command to both establish and enforce basic standards and
principles among its soldiers. (ANNEX 45 and the Personal Observations of the Interview Team)

15. (U) BG Karpinski alleged that she received no help from
the Civil Affairs Command, specifically, no assistance
from either BG John Kern or COL Tim Regan. She blames
much of the abuse that occurred in Abu Ghraib (BCCF) on
MI personnel and stated that MI personnel had given the
MPs "ideas" that led to detainee abuse. In addition, she
blamed the 372nd Company Platoon Sergeant, SFC Snider,
the Company Commander, CPT Reese, and the First Sergeant,
MSG Lipinski, for the abuse. She argued that problems in
Abu Ghraib were the fault of COL Pappas and LTC Jordan
because COL Pappas was in charge of FOB Abu Ghraib.
(ANNEX 45)

16. (U) BG Karpinski also implied during her testimony that
the criminal abuses that occurred at Abu Ghraib (BCCF)
might have been caused by the ultimate disposition of the
detainee abuse cases that originally occurred at Camp
Bucca in May 2003. She stated that "about the same time
those incidents were taking place out of Baghdad Central,
the decisions were made to give the guilty people at
Bucca plea bargains. So, the system communicated to the
soldiers, the worst that's gonna happen is, you're gonna
go home." I think it important to point out that almost
every witness testified that the serious criminal abuse
of detainees at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) occurred in late
October and early November 2003. The photographs and
statements clearly support that the abuses occurred
during this time period. The Bucca cases were set for
trial in January 2004 and were not finally disposed of
until 29 December 2003. There is entirely no evidence
that the decision of numerous MP personnel to
intentionally abuse detainees at Abu Ghrabid (BCCF) was
influenced in any respect by the Camp Bucca cases.
(ANNEXES 25, 26, and 45)

17. (U) Numerous witnesses stated that the 800th MP Brigade
S-1, MAJ Hinzman and S-4, MAJ Green, were essentially
dysfunctional, but that despite numerous complaints,
these officers were not replaced. This had a detrimental
effect on the Brigade Staff's effectiveness and morale.
Moreover, the Brigade Command Judge Advocate, LTC James
O'Hare, appears to lack initiative and was unwilling to
accept responsibility for any of his actions. LTC Gary
Maddocks, the Brigade XO did not properly supervise the
Brigade staff by failing to lay out staff priorities,
take overt corrective action when needed, and supervise
their daily functions. (ANNEXES 45, 47, 48, 62, and 67)

18. (U) In addition to poor morale and staff inefficiencies, I find that the 800th MP Brigade did not articulate or enforce clear and basic Soldier and Army standards. I specifically found these examples of unenforced standards:

There was no clear uniform standard for any MP
Soldiers assigned detention duties. Despite the
fact that hundreds of former Iraqi soldiers and
officers were detainees, MP personnel were allowed
to wear civilian clothes in the FOB after duty hours
while carrying weapons. (ANNEXES 51 and 74)

Some Soldiers wrote poems and other sayings on
their helmets and soft caps. (ANNEXES 51 and 74)

In addition, numerous officers and senior NCOs have
been reprimanded/disciplined for misconduct during
this period. Those disciplined include; (ANNEXES
43 and 102)

(U) BG Janis Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP
Memorandum of Admonishment by LTG Sanchez, Commander,
CJTF-7, on 17 January 2004.

(U) LTC (P) Jerry Phillabaum, Commander, 320th MP Battalion
GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, on
10 November 2003, for lack of leadership and for failing to
take corrective security measures as ordered by the Brigade
Commander; filed locally
Suspended by BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade,
17 January 2004; Pending Relief for Cause, for dereliction
of duty

(U) LTC Dale Burtyk, Commander, 400th MP Battalion
GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, on
20 August 2003, for failure to properly train his Soldiers.
(Soldier had negligent discharge of M-16 while exiting his
vehicle, round went into fuel tank); filed locally.

(U) MAJ David DiNenna, S-3, 320th MP Battalion
GOMOR from LTG McKiernan, Commander CFLCC, on 25 May
2003, for dereliction of duty for failing to report a
violation of CENTCOM General Order #1 by a subordinate Field
Grade Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer, which he
personally observed; returned to soldier unfiled.

GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, on
10 November 03, for failing to take corrective security
measures as ordered by the Brigade Commander; filed locally.

(U) MAJ Stacy Garrity, Finance Officer, 800th MP Brigade
GOMOR from LTG McKiernan, Commander CFLCC, on 25 May
2003, for violation of CENTCOM General Order #1, consuming
alcohol with an NCO; filed locally.

(U) CPT Leo Merck, Commander, 870th MP Company
Court-Martial Charges Preferred, for Conduct Unbecoming
an Officer and Unauthorized Use of Government Computer in
that he was alleged to have taken nude pictures of his
female Soldiers without their knowledge; Trial date to be

(U) CPT Damaris Morales, Commander, 770th MP Company
GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, on
20 August 2003, for failing to properly train his Soldiers
(Soldier had negligent discharge of M-16 while exiting his
vehicle, round went into fuel tank); filed locally.

(U) CSM Roy Clement, Command Sergeant Major,
800th MP Brigade
GOMOR and Relief for Cause from BG Janis Karpinski,
Commander 800th MP Brigade, for fraternization and
dereliction of duty for fraternizing with junior enlisted
soldiers within his unit; GOMOR officially filed and he was
removed from the CSM list.

(U) CSM Edward Stotts, Command Sergeant Major,
400th MP Battalion
GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, on
20 August 2003, for failing to properly train his Soldiers
(Soldier had negligent discharge of M-16 while exiting his
vehicle, round went into fuel tank); filed locally

(U) 1SG Carlos Villanueva, First Sergeant,
770th MP Company
GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, on
20 August 2003, for failing to properly train his Soldiers
(Soldier had negligent discharge of M-16 while exiting his
vehicle, round went into fuel tank); filed locally.

(U) MSG David Maffett, NBC NCO, 800th MP Brigade,

GOMOR from LTG McKiernan, Commander CFLCC, on 25 May
2003, for violation of CENTCOM General Order #1, consuming
alcohol; filed locally.

(U) SGM Marc Emerson, Operations SGM, 320th MP Battalion,

Two GO Letters of Concern and a verbal reprimand from
BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, for failing to
adhere to the guidance/directives given to him by BG
Karpinski; filed locally.
d. (U) Saluting of officers was sporadic and not
enforced. LTC Robert P. Walters, Jr., Commander of
the 165th Military Intelligence Battalion (Tactical
Exploitation), testified that the saluting policy
was enforced by COL Pappas for all MI personnel, and
that BG Karpinski approached COL Pappas to reverse
the saluting policy back to a no-saluting policy as
previously existed. (ANNEX 53)

19. (U) I find that individual Soldiers within the 800th MP
Brigade and the 320th Battalion stationed throughout Iraq
had very little contact during their tour of duty with
either LTC (P) Phillabaum or BG Karpinski. BG Karpinski
claimed, during her testimony, that she paid regular
visits to the various detention facilities where her
Soldiers were stationed. However, the detailed calendar
provided by her Aide-de-Camp, 1LT Mabry, does not support
her contention. Moreover, numerous witnesses stated that
they rarely saw BG Karpinski or LTC (P) Phillabaum.
(Multiple Witness Statements)

20. (U) In addition I find that psychological factors, such
as the difference in culture, the Soldiers' quality of
life, the real presence of mortal danger over an extended
time period, and the failure of commanders to recognize
these pressures contributed to the perversive atmosphere
that existed at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) Detention Facility and
throughout the 800th MP Brigade. (ANNEX 1).

21. As I have documented in other parts of this
investigation, I find that there was no clear emphasis by
BG Karpinski to ensure that the 800th MP Brigade Staff,
Commanders, and Soldiers were trained to standard in
detainee operations and proficiency or that serious
accountability lapses that occurred over a significant
period of time, particularly at Abu Ghraib (BCCF), were
corrected. AR 15-6 Investigations regarding detainee
escapes were not acted upon, followed up with corrective
action, or disseminated to subordinate commanders or
Soldiers. Brigade and unit SOPs for dealing with
detainees if they existed at all, were not read or
understood by MP Soldiers assigned the difficult mission
of detainee operations. Following the abuse of several
detainees at Camp Bucca in May 2003, I could find no
evidence that BG Karpinski ever directed corrective
training for her soldiers or ensured that MP Soldiers
throughout Iraq clearly understood the requirements of
the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of
detainees. (Multiple Witness Statements and the Personal
Observations of the Investigation Team )

22. On 17 January 2004 BG Karpinski was formally admonished
in writing by LTG Sanchez regarding the serious
deficiencies in her Brigade. LTG Sanchez found that the
performance of the 800th MP Brigade had not met the
standards set by the Army or by CJTF-7. He found that
incidents in the preceding six months had occurred that
reflected a lack of clear standards, proficiency and
leadership within the Brigade. LTG Sanchez also cited
the recent detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) as the
most recent example of a poor leadership climate that
"permeates the Brigade." I totally concur with LTG
Sanchez' opinion regarding the performance of BG
Karpinski and the 800th MP Brigade. (ANNEX 102 and the
Personal Observations of the Investigating Officer)


1. (U) That BG Janis L. Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP
Brigade be Relieved from Command and given a General Officer
Memorandum of Reprimand for the following acts which have
been previously referred to in the aforementioned findings:

Failing to ensure that MP Soldiers at theater-level
detention facilities throughout Iraq had appropriate SOPs
for dealing with detainees and that Commanders and Soldiers
had read, understood, and would adhere to these SOPs.

Failing to ensure that MP Soldiers in the 800th MP
Brigade knew, understood, and adhered to the protections
afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to
the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

Making material misrepresentations to the Investigation
Team as to the frequency of her visits to her subordinate

Failing to obey an order from the CFLCC Commander, LTG
McKiernan, regarding the withholding of disciplinary
authority for Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer

Failing to take appropriate action regarding the
ineffectiveness of a subordinate Commander, LTC (P) Jerry

Failing to take appropriate action regarding the
ineffectiveness of numerous members of her Brigade Staff
including her XO, S-1, S-3, and S-4.

Failing to properly ensure the results and
recommendations of the AARs and numerous 15-6 Investigation
reports on escapes and shootings (over a period of several
months) were properly disseminated to, and understood by,
subordinate commanders.

Failing to ensure and enforce basic Soldier standards
throughout her command.

Failing to establish a Brigade METL.

Failing to establish basic proficiency in assigned
tasks for Soldiers throughout the 800th MP Brigade.

Failing to ensure that numerous and reported
accountability lapses at detention facisslities throughout
Iraq were corrected.
2. (U) That COL Thomas M. Pappas, Commander, 205th MI
Brigade, be given a General Officer Memorandum of
Reprimand and Investigated UP Procedure 15, AR 381-10, US
Army Intelligence Activities for the following acts which
have been previously referred to in the aforementioned

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command were properly trained in and followed the IROE.

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command knew, understood, and followed the protections
afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to
the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

Failing to properly supervise his soldiers working and
"visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).
3.(U) That LTC (P) Jerry L. Phillabaum, Commander, 320th MP
Battalion, be Relieved from Command, be given a General
Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, and be removed from the
Colonel/O-6 Promotion List for the following acts which
have been previously referred to in the aforementioned

Failing to properly ensure the results,
recommendations, and AARs from numerous reports on escapes
and shootings over a period of several months were properly
disseminated to, and understood by, subordinates.

Failing to implement the appropriate recommendations
from various 15-6 Investigations as specifically directed by
BG Karpinski.

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command were properly trained in Internment and Resettlement

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command knew and understood the protections afforded to
detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment
of Prisoners of War.

Failing to properly supervise his soldiers working and
"visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

Failing to properly establish and enforce basic soldier
standards, proficiency, and accountability.

Failure to conduct an appropriate Mission Analysis and
to task organize to accomplish his mission.
4. (U) That LTC Steven L. Jordan, Former Director, Joint
Interrogation and Debriefing Center and Liaison Officer to
205th Military Intelligence Brigade, be relieved from duty
and be given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for
the following acts which have been previously referred to in
the aforementioned findings:

Making material misrepresentations to the Investigating
Team, including his leadership roll at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).
Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
control were properly trained in and followed the IROE.
Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
control knew, understood, and followed the protections
afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to
the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
Failing to properly supervise soldiers under his direct
authority working and "visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at
Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

5. (U) That MAJ David W. DiNenna, Sr., S-3, 320th MP
Battalion, be Relieved from his position as the Battalion
S-3 and be given a General Officer Memorandum of
Reprimand for the following acts which have been
previously referred to in the aforementioned findings:

Received a GOMOR from LTG McKiernan, Commander CFLCC,
on 25 May 2003, for dereliction of duty for failing to
report a violation of CENTCOM General Order #1 by a
subordinate Field Grade Officer and Senior Noncommissioned
Officer, which he personally observed; GOMOR was returned to
Soldier and not filed.

Failing to take corrective action and implement
recommendations from various 15-6 investigations even after
receiving a GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP
Brigade, on 10 November 03, for failing to take corrective
security measures as ordered; GOMOR was filed locally.

Failing to take appropriate action and report an
incident of detainee abuse, whereby he personally witnessed
a Soldier throw a detainee from the back of a truck.

6. (U) That CPT Donald J. Reese, Commander, 372nd MP
Company, be Relieved from Command and be given a General
Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for the following acts
which have been previously referred to in the
aforementioned findings:

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command knew and understood the protections afforded to
detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment
of Prisoners of War.

Failing to properly supervise his Soldiers working and
"visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

Failing to properly establish and enforce basic soldier
standards, proficiency, and accountability.

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command were properly trained in Internment and Resettlement

7. (U) That 1LT Lewis C. Raeder, Platoon Leader, 372nd MP
Company, be Relieved from his duties as Platoon Leader
and be given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand
for the following acts which have been previously
referred to in the aforementioned findings:

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command knew and understood the protections afforded to
detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment
of Prisoners of War.

Failing to properly supervise his soldiers working and
"visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

Failing to properly establish and enforce basic Soldier
standards, proficiency, and accountability.

Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct
command were properly trained in Internment and Resettlement

8. (U) That SGM Marc Emerson, Operations SGM, 320th MP
Battalion, be Relieved from his duties and given a
General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for the following
acts which have been previously referred to in the
aforementioned findings:

Making a material misrepresentation to the
Investigation Team stating that he had "never" been
admonished or reprimanded by BG Karpinski, when in fact he
had been admonished for failing to obey an order from BG
Karpinski to "stay out of the towers" at the holding

Making a material misrepresentation to the
Investigation Team stating that he had attended every shift
change/guard-mount conducted at the 320th MP Battalion, and
that he personally briefed his Soldiers on the proper
treatment of detainees, when in fact numerous statements
contradict this assertion.

Failing to ensure that Soldiers in the 320th MP
Battalion knew and understood the protections afforded to
detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment
of Prisoners of War.

Failing to properly supervise his soldiers working and
"visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

Failing to properly establish and enforce basic soldier
standards, proficiency, and accountability.

Failing to ensure that his Soldiers were properly
trained in Internment and Resettlement Operations.

9. (U) That 1SG Brian G. Lipinski, First Sergeant, 372nd MP
Company, be Relieved from his duties as First Sergeant of
the 372nd MP Company and given a General Officer
Memorandum of Reprimand for the following acts which have
been previously referred to in the aforementioned

Failing to ensure that Soldiers in the 372nd MP Company
knew and understood the protections afforded to detainees in
the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners
of War.

Failing to properly supervise his soldiers working and
"visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

Failing to properly establish and enforce basic soldier
standards, proficiency, and accountability.

Failing to ensure that his Soldiers were properly
trained in Internment and Resettlement Operations.

10. (U) That SFC Shannon K. Snider, Platoon Sergeant,
372nd MP Company, be Relieved from his duties, receive a
General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, and receive
action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for the
following acts which have been previously referred to in
the aforementioned findings:

Failing to ensure that Soldiers in his platoon knew and
understood the protections afforded to detainees in the
Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of

Failing to properly supervise his soldiers working and
"visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).

Failing to properly establish and enforce basic soldier
standards, proficiency, and accountability.

Failing to ensure that his Soldiers were properly
trained in Internment and Resettlement Operations.

Failing to report a Soldier, who under his direct
control, abused detainees by stomping on their bare hands
and feet in his presence.

11. (U) That Mr. Steven Stephanowicz, Contract US Civilian
Interrogator, CACI, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade,
be given an Official Reprimand to be placed in his
employment file, termination of employment, and
generation of a derogatory report to revoke his security
clearance for the following acts which have been
previously referred to in the aforementioned findings:

Made a false statement to the investigation team
regarding the locations of his interrogations, the
activities during his interrogations, and his knowledge of

Allowed and/or instructed MPs, who were not trained in
interrogation techniques, to facilitate interrogations by
"setting conditions" which were neither authorized and in
accordance with applicable regulations/policy. He clearly
knew his instructions equated to physical abuse.

12. (U) That Mr. John Israel, Contract US Civilian
Interpreter, CACI, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade,
be given an Official Reprimand to be placed in his
employment file and have his security clearance reviewed
by competent authority for the following acts or concerns
which have been previously referred to in the
aforementioned findings:

Denied ever having seen interrogation processes in
violation of the IROE, which is contrary to several witness

Did not have a security clearance.

13. (U) I find that there is sufficient credible information
to warrant an Inquiry UP Procedure 15, AR 381-10, US Army
Intelligence Activities, be conducted to determine the
extent of culpability of MI personnel, assigned to the
205th MI Brigade and the Joint Interrogation and
Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).
Specifically, I suspect that COL Thomas M. Pappas, LTC
Steve L. Jordan, Mr. Steven Stephanowicz, and Mr. John
Israel were either directly or indirectly responsible for
the abuses at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) and strongly recommend
immediate disciplinary action as described in the
preceding paragraphs as well as the initiation of a
Procedure 15 Inquiry to determine the full extent of
their culpability. (ANNEX 36)


1. (U) Due to the nature and scope of this investigation, I
acquired the assistance of Col (Dr.) Henry Nelson, a USAF
Psychiatrist, to analyze the investigation materials from
a psychological perspective. He determined that there
was evidence that the horrific abuses suffered by the
detainees at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) were wanton acts of select
soldiers in an unsupervised and dangerous setting. There
was a complex interplay of many psychological factors and
command insufficiencies. A more detailed analysis is
contained in ANNEX 1 of this investigation.

2. (U) During the course of this investigation I conducted
a lengthy interview with BG Karpinski that lasted over
four hours, and is included verbatim in the investigation
Annexes. BG Karpinski was extremely emotional during
much of her testimony. What I found particularly
disturbing in her testimony was her complete
unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of
the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused
or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her
command to both establish and enforce basic standards and
principles among its Soldiers. (ANNEX 45)

3. (U) Throughout the investigation, we observed many individual Soldiers and some subordinate units under the 800th MP Brigade that overcame significant obstacles, persevered in extremely poor conditions, and upheld the Army Values. We discovered numerous examples of Soldiers and Sailors taking the initiative in the absence of leadership and accomplishing their assigned tasks.

(U) The 744th MP Battalion, commanded by LTC Dennis
McGlone, efficiently operated the HVD Detention
Facility at Camp Cropper and met mission
requirements with little to no guidance from the
800th MP Brigade. The unit was disciplined,
proficient, and appeared to understand their basic

(U) The 530th MP Battalion, commanded by LTC
Stephen J. Novotny, effectively maintained the MEK
Detention Facility at Camp Ashraf. His Soldiers
were proficient in their individual tasks and
adapted well to this highly unique and non-doctrinal

(U) The 165th MI Battalion excelled in providing
perimeter security and force protection at Abu
Ghraib (BCCF). LTC Robert P. Walters, Jr., demanded
standards be enforced and worked endlessly to
improve discipline throughout the FOB.

4. (U) The individual Soldiers and Sailors that we observed
and believe should be favorably noted include:

(U) Master-at-Arms First Class William J. Kimbro,
US Navy Dog Handler, knew his duties and refused to
participate in improper interrogations despite
significant pressure from the MI personnel at Abu

(U) SPC Joseph M. Darby, 372nd MP Company
discovered evidence of abuse and turned it over to
military law enforcement.

(U) 1LT David O. Sutton, 229th MP Company, took
immediate action and stopped an abuse, then reported
the incident to the chain of command.


1. (U) Several US Army Soldiers have committed egregious
acts and grave breaches of international law at Abu
Ghraib/BCCF and Camp Bucca, Iraq. Furthermore, key
senior leaders in both the 800th MP Brigade and the 205th
MI Brigade failed to comply with established regulations,
policies, and command directives in preventing detainee
abuses at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) and at Camp Bucca during the
period August 2003 to February 2004.

2. (U) Approval and implementation of the recommendations
of this AR 15-6 Investigation and those highlighted in
previous assessments are essential to establish the
conditions with the resources and personnel required to
prevent future occurrences of detainee abuse.


1. Psychological Assessment
2 Request for investigation from CJTF-7 to CENTCOM
3 Directive to CFLCC from CENTCOM directing investigation
4 Appointment Memo from CFLCC CDR to MG Taguba
5 15-6 Investigation 9 June 2003
6. 15-6 Investigation 12 June 2003
7. 15-6 Investigation 13 June 2003
8. 15-6 Investigation 24 November 2003
9. 15-6 Investigation 7 January 2004
10. 15-6 Investigation 12 January 2004
11. SIR 5 November 2003
12. SIR 7 November 2003
13. SIR 8 November 2003
14. SIR 13 December 2003
15. SIR 13 December 2003
16. SIR 13 December 2003
17. SIR 17 December 2003
18. Commander's Inquiry 26 January 2004
19 MG Ryder's Report, 6 November 2003
20 MG Miller's Report, 9 September 2003
21 AR 190-8, Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained Personnel, Civilian Internees, and Other Detainees, 1 October 1997
22 22. FM 3-19.40, Military Police Internment/Resettlement Operations, 1 August 2001
23 23. FM 34-52, Intelligence Interrogation, 28 September 1992
24 24. Fourth Geneva Convention, 12 August 1949
25 25. CID Report on criminal abuses at Abu Ghraib, 28 January 2004
26 26. CID Interviews, 10-25 January 2004
27. 800th MP Brigade Roster, 29 January 2004
28. 205th MI Brigade's IROE, Undated
29. TOA Order (800th MP Brigade) and letter holding witnesses
30. Investigation Team's witness list
31 FRAGO #1108
32 Letters suspending several key leaders in the 800th MP Brigade and Rating Chain with suspensions annotated
33. FM 27-10, Military Justice, 6 September 2002
34 CID Report on abuse of detainees at Camp Bucca, 8 June 2003
35 Article 32 Findings on abuse of detainees at Camp Bucca, 26 August 2003
36. AR 381-10, 1 July 1984
37 37. Excerpts from log books, 320th MP Battalion
38. 310th MP Battalion's Inprocessing SOP
39. 320th MP Battalion's "Change Sheet"
40. Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center's (JIDC) Slides, Undated
41. Order of Battle Slides, 12 January 2004
42. Joint Publication 0-2, Unified Actions Armed Forces, 10 July 2001
43. General Officer Memorandums of Reprimand
44. 800th MP Battalion's TACSOP
45 BG Janis Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP Brigade
46 COL Thomas Pappas, Commander, 205th MI Brigade
47. COL Ralph Sabatino, CFLCC Judge Advocate, CPA Ministry of Justice
48. LTC Gary W. Maddocks, S-5 and Executive Officer, 800th MP Brigade
49. LTC James O'Hare, Command Judge Advocate, 800th MP Brigade
50. LTC Robert P. Walters Jr., Commander, 165th MI Battalion (Tactical exploitation)
51. LTC James D. Edwards, Commander, 202nd MI Battalion
52. LTC Vincent Montera, Commander 310th MP Battalion
53. LTC Steve Jordan, former Director, Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center/LNO to the 205th MI Brigade
54. LTC Leigh A. Coulter, Commander 724th MP Battalion and OIC Arifjan Detachment, 800th MP Brigade
55. LTC Dennis McGlone, Commander, 744th MP Battalion
56. MAJ David Hinzman, S-1, 800th MP Brigade
57. MAJ William D. Proietto, Deputy CJA, 800th MP Brigade
58. MAJ Stacy L. Garrity, S-1 (FWD), 800th MP Brigade
59. MAJ David W. DiNenna, S-3, 320th MP Battalion
60. MAJ Michael Sheridan, XO, 320th MP Battalion
61. MAJ Anthony Cavallaro, S-3, 800th MP Brigade
62. CPT Marc C. Hale, Commander, 670th MP Company
63. CPT Donald Reese, Commander, 372nd MP Company
64. CPT Darren Hampton, Assistant S-3, 320th MP Battalion
65. CPT John Kaires, S-3, 310th MP Battalion
66. CPT Ed Diamantis, S-2, 800th MP Brigade
67. LTC Jerry L. Phillabaum, Commander, 320th MP Battalion
68. CPT James G. Jones, Commander, 229th MP Company
69. CPT Michael A. Mastrangelo, Jr., Commander, 310th MP Company
70. CPT Lawrence Bush, IG, 800th MP Brigade
71. 1LT Lewis C. Raeder, Platoon Leader, 372nd MP Company
72. 1LT Elvis Mabry, Aide-de-Camp to Brigade Commander, 800th MP Brigade
73. 1LT Warren E. Ford, II, Commander, HHC 320th MP Battalion
74. 2LT David O. Sutton, Platoon Leader, 229th MP Company
75. CW2 Edward J. Rivas, 205th MI Brigade
76. CSM Joseph P. Arrison, Command Sergeant Major, 320th MP Battalion
77. SGM Pascual Cartagena, Command Sergeant Major, 800th MP Brigade
78. CSM Timothy L. Woodcock, Command Sergeant Major, 310th MP Battalion
79. 1SG Dawn J. Rippelmeyer, First Sergeant, 977th MP Company
80. SGM Mark Emerson, Operations SGM, 320th MP Battalion
81. MSG Brian G. Lipinski, First Sergeant, 372nd MP Company
82. MSG Andrew J. Lombardo, Operations Sergeant, 310th MP Battalion
83. SFC Daryl J. Plude, Platoon Sergeant, 229th MP Company
84. SFC Shannon K. Snider, Platoon SGT, 372nd MP Company
85. SFC Keith A. Comer, 372nd MP Company
86. SSG Robert Elliot, Squad Leader, 372nd MP Company
87. SSG Santos A. Cardona, Army Dog Handler
88. SGT Michael Smith, Army Dog Handler
89. MA1 William J. Kimbro, USN Dog Handler
90. Mr. Steve Stephanowicz, US civilian contract Interrogator, CACI, 205th MI Brigade
91 Mr. John Israel, US civilian contract Interpreter, Titan Corporation, 205th MI Brigade
92. FM 3-19.1, Military Police Operations, 22 March 2001
93 CJTF-7 IROE and DROE, Undated
94 CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter Resistance Policy, 12 October 2003
95 95. 800th MP Brigade Mobilization Orders
96. Sample Detainee Status Report, 13 March 2004
97 530th MP Battalion Mission Brief, 11 February 2004
98. Memorandum for Record, CPT Ed Ray, Chief of Military Justice, CFLCC, 9 March 2004
99. SIR 14 January 2004
100. Accountability Plan Recommendations, 9 March 2004
101. 2LT Michael R. Osterhout, S-2, 320th MP Battalion
102. Memorandum of Admonishment from LTG Sanchez to BG Karpinski, 17 January 2004
103. Various SIRs from the 800th MP Brigade/320th MP Battalion
104. 205th MI Brigade SITREP to MG Miller, 12 December 2003
105. SGT William A. Cathcart, 372nd MP Company
106. 1LT Michael A. Drayton, Commander, 870th MP Company


Footnote 1 Although the Taguba Report is marked Secret / No Foreign Dissemination, it has been widely distributed, and made available to the public worldwide since at least the week of May 2, 2004.

Posted by maximpost at 3:21 PM EDT
Friday, 14 May 2004

Imminent death of Saudi Defense minister bad news for Al Qaida

Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz - a chief competitor for the Saudi crown - is succumbing to terminal illness. Last week, there was what a senior Saudi source termed a "death watch" at the defense minister's bedside. If this is correct, then it is good news for Saudi crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Sultan's half-brother.

Northeast Asia Report:
Jiang Zemin strengthens power base at Central Military Commission

China Gives Prison Term To Dissident Based in U.S.
Five-Year Sentence Comes Despite American Urgings
By Philip P. Pan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, May 14, 2004; Page A12
HONG KONG, May 13 -- China sentenced a prominent dissident and longtime U.S. resident to five years in prison on Thursday despite repeated appeals for his release by Congress, the Bush administration and human rights groups.
Yang Jianli, 40, who runs a foundation in Boston that advocates democratic reform in China, received the sentence immediately after being convicted by a Beijing court of spying for Taiwan and entering China on a false passport, the official New China News Agency reported.
Yang denied the charges during a closed-door trial in August. He was detained in 2002 when he returned to China after more than a decade in exile in the United States.
Yang's case has generated strong support in the United States, where he earned doctorates in political economy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and in math at the University of California at Berkeley. Yang is a permanent resident of the United States, and his wife and two young children are citizens.
Senior Bush administration officials have pressed for Yang's release in meetings with Chinese leaders, and both the House and the Senate unanimously passed resolutions urging China to free him. Last month, on the second anniversary of Yang's detention,67 members of Congress signed a letter to President Hu Jintao calling his treatment "extraordinarily inhumane."
"I'm saddened beyond words," said his wife, Christina Fu, by telephone from Boston. "Although I realize that things could be worse, five years is still very heavy on our family and our children and also for his parents."
Jared Genser, a family attorney, said he hoped the Chinese government would react to international pressure by deporting Yang, as it has other prisoners. He urged the State Department to file a strong protest in Beijing and asked members of Congress to contact the Chinese ambassador in Washington. "These next couple of days are critical," Genser said.
Yang fled to the United States after taking part in the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and was exiled. But in April 2002, he used a friend's passport to return to China and observe large-scale labor protests in the northeastern part of the country.
Police arrested him and charged him with entering China illegally, a crime that carries a maximum one-year prison term. Prosecutors later accused him of spying for Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing claims is part of China.
Yang is the latest in a series of Chinese living overseas who have been arrested upon returning to the mainland and then convicted of spying for Taiwan with little or no evidence presented in public. His attorneys said China violated its own laws by holding him without trial for 14 months and waiting more than nine months after the trial to issue a verdict.
When Yang protested his detention last month by refusing orders to fold his blanket, wear a uniform or answer when addressed by his prisoner number, he was placed in solitary confinement with his wrists handcuffed behind his back until they bled, Genser said.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Liu Jianchao, defended the government's handling of the case, saying Yang was allowed to present a full defense in court. "The Chinese judicial departments have been trying this case and made a sentence in accordance with the law," Liu said.

? 2004 The Washington Post Company
Stealing Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Iraq
May 13, 2004 | |
President Bush's political opponents are trying to make electoral hay over the Abu Ghraib prison nightmare. That's predictable. But it's unfortunate, too, as the political broadsides tend to obscure the fact that -- after a couple of tough weeks -- things are going well militarily and politically in Iraq.
Worse, sowing politically motivated seeds of doubt about our wartime leaders discourages our troops and encourages the enemy -- which has once again revealed its true face in the ghastly execution of Nicholas Berg. If we're not careful here on the home front, we'll steal defeat in Iraq right from the jaws of victory -- just as in Vietnam, where the war was lost not militarily, but politically, here at home.
Time for a little stock-taking. First, let's look at the Abu Ghraib scandal.
The abusive acts of a few Americans at the prison are inexcusable and downright un-American. These acts do not reflect the values of the U.S. military or the American people.
The Pentagon erred in not "breaking" the story of these horrors first, leaving that task to network TV. A cardinal rule of crisis management is to get good news out fast, but bad news out faster. Always come clean as soon as possible -- especially with the Congress.
The incidents should be fully investigated, and those responsible duly punished. The investigations must be transparent, broad and thorough, examining those in charge who were aware of and sanctioned the abuse, as well as those in the chain of command who should have known about these activities.
Ultimate responsibility for the performance of the Department of Defense lies with Secretary Rumsfeld. But he wasn't party to the activities of a few bad seeds in Iraq. Absent revelations of a cover-up, Rumsfeld should stay in place and soldier on. (Allegations of CIA officer involvement in the abuses at Abu Ghraib mean Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet has some questions to answer.)
The prison should be razed. It is a symbol of the darkest side of man's soul. (Saddam Hussein's regime tortured and executed tens of thousands there.) Move the detainees; tear down the walls, and let the Iraqi people move on.
On the battlefield, meanwhile, the situation has improved. The military's patient strategy of dealing with Fallujah, Najaf, Karbala and rebel Shi'a cleric Moqtada al Sadr has paid off to date.
We're fighting the insurgency on our terms. We've brought Iraqi soldiers into the fight with the Fallujah Brigade and gathered allies among 100 or so senior Shi'a clerics who publicly oppose Sadr's radical policies and use of mosques as military bases. These are all very positive developments.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military continues to soften up the enemy with raids by ground troops and precision strikes, to gather intelligence from agents, satellites and drones, and to prepare the battlefield, should an all-out urban assault become necessary.
By avoiding bloody, house-to-house fighting in places like Fallujah and Najaf, we have saved the lives of both innocent civilians and American soldiers.
To win politically and militarily, the insurgents need to fight. Inactivity is their enemy. By not going whole-hog into the cities to fight them, Coalition soldiers have left the insurgents no option but to abandon their defensive positions to engage us.
And every time the enemy comes out to do battle, they lose -- badly. Scores of insurgents, terrorists and foreign fighters have been killed in suicidal raids on American forces over the past few weeks. Patience is a virtue in life and sometimes in war.
On the political front, the United Nations is fully engaged in setting up the transitional government that will hold power until a full government can be chosen in national elections early next year. Soon, there will be an Iraqi face on a new Iraqi government, and Iraq will be a step closer to full sovereignty.
Despite the lingering strife borne of Fallujah, Najaf and Abu Ghraib, the situation in Iraq is overwhelmingly positive -- and improving. With the exception of a few hotspots, the California-sized country is pacified and moving in the right direction.
Clearly, though, our job there isn't done. Until it is, America's elected officials and other second-guessers might consider spending more time and effort pondering how to win the war and less time and rhetoric trying to turn national setbacks to political advantage.
Peter Brookes is a senior fellow for national security affairs at The Heritage Foundation (, a Washington-based public policy research institute.
Distributed nationally on the Knight-Ridder Tribune wire

? 1995 - 2004 The Heritage Foundation
All Rights Reserved.

Prisoner abuse and the rot of American culture
May 11, 2004 | |

Every decent person I know has reacted in horror to the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners in Al Ghraib prison near Baghdad. When the lewd photos emerged of American soldiers forcing prisoners to engage in sexual acts, and leading them around on leashes with hoods over their heads, and threatening them with electrocution, people were speechless and horrified.
We should be enraged and demand that those involved be severely punished. We must also remember that the vast majority of our brave soldiers are decent human beings who have been willing to sacrifice their very lives to secure freedom for others.
But should we be shocked that some Americans are capable of such barbaric behavior as depicted in the infamous photos?
Pornography is the No. 1 Internet industry - No. 1. There are well over 300,000 Internet porn sites.
American consumers spent an estimated $220 million at such fee-based "adult" sites in 2001, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, a New York Internet research firm. That was up from $148 million in 1999. Jupiter is projecting $320 million by 2005.
A comprehensive 2-year study by Alexa Research, a leading Web intelligence and traffic-measurement service, has revealed "sex" was the most popular term for which people searched. According to their online searching habits, people want "sex" more than they want "games," "music," "travel," "jokes," "cars," "jobs," "weather" and "health" combined.
A nationwide survey of 1,031 adults conducted by Zogby International and Focus on the Family on March 8-10, 2000, found that "20 percent of respondents - which extrapolates to 40 million adults - admitted visiting a sexually-oriented website. According to the Nielsen Net ratings, 17.5 million surfers visited porn sites from their homes in January of 2000 - a 40 percent increase compared with September of 1999."
Pornography websites earned $1.5 billion in 1999 and more than $2 billion in 2000.
According to a 2001 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Public Education, "by the time adolescents graduate from high school, they will have spent 15,000 hours watching television, compared with 12,000 hours spent in the classroom ... American media are thought to be the most sexually suggestive in the Western hemisphere. The average American adolescent will view nearly 14,000 sexual references per year, yet only 165 of these references deal with birth-control, self-control, abstinence or the risk of pregnancy or STDs."
The 2001 pediatric report also said that "56 percent of all programs on American television were found to contain sexual content. The so-called "family hour" of prime-time television (8:00 to 9:00 p.m.) contains on average more than eight sexual incidents, which is more than 4 times what it contained in 1976. Nearly one third of family-hour shows contain sexual references ..."
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
The military experts are right when they say we need to discuss how we administer prisons, how we handle foreign detainees and how complaints travel up and down the chain of command. The average soldier receives three hours of training a year on the Geneva Conventions regarding the proper treatment of prisoners of war. Is it possible to deprogram and reprogram soldiers - who come from a culture living the above statistics - in three hours a year?
A recent poll says Americans aren't even overly ashamed of what has gone on. Why? "People out in the hinterlands can keep the perspective of the big picture," the pollster told U.S. News magazine. Oh yeah? What is the big picture? That "everyone does it"? That this was mistreatment, not torture? That these were mere "fraternity pranks"? That the Iraqis are doing far worse to each other and to our soldiers?
Forget defending it. It's indefensible. Since the photos were seen 'round the world, very few folks 'round the world now view America as the country that liberated the Iraqis from Saddam, that rebuilt roads, schools and power stations. They see America as the country that engaged in the exact reprehensible behavior we said we were going to Iraq to stop.
But, with the non-judgmental, sex-crazed, anything-goes culture that we have become at home, it seems that America has set herself up for international humiliation. Our country permits Hollywood to put almost anything in a movie and still call it PG-13. We permit television and computers to bring all manner of filth into our homes. We permit school children to be taught that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle. We allow Christianity and the teaching of Judeo-Christian values to be scrubbed from the public square. We allow our children be taught how to use condoms in school, rather than why to avoid sex. We let these things happen. They don't happen on their own.
While hearings take place to examine the horrific behavior that took place in a military prison overseas, it's time to take a cold, hard look at the degradation in our own country - and in our own homes. If there are problems in your home, contact the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, or Focus on the Family, or Web Wise Kids for help.
Rebecca Hagelin is a vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a research and educational think-tank whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense. She is also the former vice president of communications for WorldNetDaily and her 60-second radio commentaries can be heard on the Salem Communications Network.
? 1995 - 2004 The Heritage Foundation

New tankers not needed, report says
By Matthew Daly
Associated Press
There is no compelling reason for the Air Force to immediately acquire 100 air refueling tankers from The Boeing Co., a new Defense Department report concludes in another blow to the controversial deal.
The report by the Defense Science Board says that, contrary to Air Force claims, corrosion of the aging tanker fleet is "manageable" and several options exist to refurbish the fleet.
If officials are willing to tolerate increased maintenance costs, "you can defer major near-term ... investments" to replace the tanker fleet, the report said.
"There is no compelling material or financial reason to initiate a replacement program prior to the completion of" a lengthy analysis of alternatives and other studies, the report said.
The report has not been released, but members of Congress were briefed on it late Wednesday.
It follows a report released last month by the Pentagon's inspector general, who concluded the Pentagon should not move forward on the $23.5 billion plan until significant changes are made.
In a highly critical report, Inspector General Joseph Schmitz said procedural and financial problems with the deal could cause the government to spend as much as $4.5 billion more than necessary.
Once the changes are made, however, there is no compelling reason not to complete the deal, Schmitz said.
A Pentagon official, who asked not to be identified, said the Defense Science Board "has offered the department several very good suggestions" that will be considered as officials make a final decision on the tanker deal.
Boeing spokesman Doug Kennett said the company had not seen the actual report, but stood ready to assist the Air Force.
"We believe that the 767 is clearly the best solution to the nation's aerial tanker needs," he said.
A watchdog group said the report was the latest evidence that the Air Force should not go through with the tanker deal, in which the Air Force would lease 20 modified Boeing 767 jets for use as refueling tankers and purchase another 80 planes.
The planes would be made at Boeing's Everett, Wash., plant and modified for military use in Wichita, Kan.
"The Defense Science Board report is further confirmation that there is no need to proceed with the purchase or lease of the current boondoggle until a robust analysis of all options for tanker replacement is completed," said Keith Ashdown, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based advocacy group.
The report confirms that the Air Force and Boeing are "crying wolf over the corrosion problems in the fleet to create an emergency that never existed," Ashdown said. "The current tanker fleet is old, but efforts to combat corrosion are working and can be managed in a fiscally responsible manner."
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Study recommends cutting submarine fleet
By Lolita C. Baldor
Associated Press
The Navy Wednesday said reports that a study is recommending the submarine fleet be cut by a third are very preliminary, and no decisions have been made.
But members of Congress are already vowing to fight any efforts to trim the fleet, and a Connecticut senator Wednesday filed his official objection to the plan with the Navy's operations' chief.
Navy Lt. Amy Gilliland said there are several ongoing studies by the Defense Department and the Navy to assess the fleet strength and determine the Navy's current and future needs. But none are completed, she said.
"The Navy continually assesses force structure to ensure we are tailored to best meet joint mission requirements for both today and in the future," Gilliland said.
A published report Wednesday confirmed testimony earlier this year that a Navy study would propose slashing the submarine fleet from about 55 vessels to 37 by retiring older submarines and ordering fewer of the new Virginia class models.
"I am at a loss to understand how the Defense Department could reach such startling conclusions, as the United States only grows more dependent on these stealthy platforms in the conduct of intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance and attack missions," said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., in a letter to Adm. Vernon E. Clark, chief of naval operations.
The new submarines are being built by Electric Boat in Connecticut and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. EB employs about 1,100 people in Groton, Conn., and Rhode Island.
Ronald O'Rourke, defense specialist for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, testified about the report in March in front of the House Armed Services Committee. He said there are concerns that the study, done by a Navy programming and budgeting office, would stall plans to build two submarines a year, which is supposed to begin in 2009.
O'Rourke said Wednesday that he believes the report is finished and it determined that fewer submarines were needed if the vessels were used only for war fighting, while surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance duties were shifted to satellites, unmanned aircraft and other vehicles.
Lawmakers, however, said decisions should be made based on the Navy's needs, not on budget constraints.
"The stealth and range of submarines makes them one of the most critical weapons of the U.S. Armed Forces in their fight against terrorism," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. "It would be a foolish and shortsighted to use a reduction in submarines as a means of cutting costs."
And Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., said Congress "will not stand idly by while unnamed bean-counters in the Pentagon propose cost-saving measures."
The House defense panel was expected to vote late Wednesday on the military authorization bill for 2005, and there was no indication submarine orders or funds would be cut at all.
And Dodd noted in his letter that the Navy report would contradict a 1999 study by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that concluded the Navy needed 68 attack submarines by 2015, and 76 by 2025 to respond to emerging threats throughout the world.
A larger Defense Department study on undersea warfare is ongoing and expected to be complete next year.
The Navy in January signed a five-year, $8.4 billion contract with EB and Newport News for five Virginia class nuclear submarines, cementing a congressional plan to provide a more stable, cost-effective shipbuilding program.
Some of the work will be done in Quonset Point, R.I. Lawmakers and company officials said the long-term commitment will achieve significant cost savings, and could lead to contracts for two ships a year later this decade.
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

"Leash GI" Lynndie England had video sex with Spc. Charles Graner.
Washington Post
May 14, 2004 -- Iraq's feared Abu Ghraib jail was one big sex romp - sometimes by candlelight with an audience watching, U.S. troops said yesterday.
Sex and alcohol were commonplace, and soldiers frequently set up candlelit rooms for voyeuristic sex shows, said a soldier who served at the notorious prison.
"There were lots of affairs. There was all kinds of adultery and alcoholism and all kinds of crap going on," said Dave Bischel, a National Guardsman with the 870th Military Police unit, who returned home from Abu Ghraib last month.
"There was a bed found in one of the abandoned buildings. There was a mattress on the ground. They had chairs all circled around it and candles all over the place," said Bischel, adding the chairs were "obviously for an audience."
The soldier said the X-rated liaisons at the prison were made easier by its maze-like layout and that other troops frequently turned a blind eye to what their pals were up to.
"One of the female soldiers supposedly had sex in a gang bang," said Terry Stowe, an MP from California. "From time to time, things like this would happen."
News of the shocking sexcapades in the controversial lockup come as a friend of disgraced reservist Lynndie England lashed out in her defense yesterday, saying tapes of her having sex in the prison were personal to her and the boyfriend with whom she is "in love."
Congress members, who viewed shocking new pictures of abuse in the Iraqi jail, said England appeared in a sicko video having sex in front of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and that she was snapped in graphic sex acts with other U.S. soldiers.
But one family friend insisted the racy reservist had sex only with her boyfriend, Spc. Charles Graner - one of six others from the 372nd Military Police Company facing charges for the abuse - and that the pair are "madly in love."
He said the X-rated tapes had been taken from their foot lockers.
"We are all amazed by this. She only had sex with him," said Kenny Flanagan, who has known England since childhood.
The pregnant England, who is now stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., met Graner, 35, a divorced father of two, shortly before the pair's Maryland-based unit was posted to Iraq.
Graner is charged with overseeing numerous abuses of Iraqi prisoners, and appears in several photos with the young private, leering at humiliated Iraqi captives.
Another soldier involved in the scandal, Spc. Jeremy Sivits, told Army investigators Graner would mock the detainees and brutalize them, The Los Angeles Times reported last night.
In one incident, he allegedly punched a detainee so hard, he knocked him unconscious. "His eyes were closed and he was not moving," Sivits was quoted as saying. Afterward, Graner shook his fist and said, "Damn, that hurt," the report says.
Sivits, who the paper said is expected to plead guilty at a court-martial proceeding next week, also disputed England's claims that she was ordered to pose for the snapshots that shocked the world.
One picture showed her holding a naked Iraqi man on a dog leash, and in others, she is shown making thumbs-up signs in front of a pyramid of naked Iraqi men and pointing at the genitals of a naked prisoner.
Sivits said England was "laughing at the different stuff that they were having the detainees do."
He also shot down her claim that the soldiers were ordered to abuse the prisoners, and said Graner warned him not to tell higher-ups about how they were being treated.
"Our command would have slammed us," Sivits said.
New photos and videos revealed by the Pentagon to lawmakers in a private viewing Wednesday showed attack dogs snarling at cowing prisoners, Iraqi women forced to expose their breasts, and naked prisoners forced to have sex with each other, the lawmakers revealed.

Halabi released from pre-trial confinement
Associated Press
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An airman accused of spying while he worked at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba was ordered released from military jail pending his court-martial.
The judge, Air Force Col. Barbara Brand, said Wednesday that Senior Airman Ahmad Al Halabi was not a flight risk and that "lesser forms of restraint are available." His civilian lawyer, Donald G. Rehkopf, said he most likely will be restricted to Travis Air Force Base until his court-martial begins there.
"It feels great," Al Halabi said as he left the hearing. His military lawyer, Maj. James Key, said Al Halabi would go back to his job as a supply clerk "unless his commander comes up with some bizarre plan."
Al Halabi, 25, had been locked up since he was arrested in July, shortly before he was to leave for Syria, where he planned to marry his girlfriend. He faces 17 criminal counts including espionage, lying and misconduct.
The Syrian-born U.S. citizen is accused of attempting to deliver more than 180 e-mail messages to Syria from detainees at Guantanamo Bay, where the U.S. government is holding suspected terrorists. Al Halabi also is charged with mishandling classified material and repeatedly lying to Air Force investigators.
If convicted of spying, the most serious of the charges, Al Halabi could be sentenced to life in prison. He has not yet entered a plea.
Rehkopf asked Brand on Wednesday to dismiss all charges, alleging that prosecutors mishandled evidence and witnesses lied. Brand is set to rule on that motion and others at a June 15 hearing where a start date for opening statements will also be decided.
Rehkopf said Air Force investigators in September mishandled a box of evidence by not wearing gloves and by drinking beer while examining the contents.
He said they realized their mistake and "the evidence was replaced and the box reopened and photos were taken as if it was being opened for the first time."
The alleged incident was witnessed and reported by Staff Sgt. Suzan Sultan, an Arabic translator working for the prosecution, Rehkopf said.
Sultan also testified during Al Halabi's Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury, about the meaning of a word contained in a letter from the Syrian Embassy to Al Halabi.
She said she initially thought the letter said Al Halabi planned to visit Qatar as well as Syria, but later realized the Arabic word for that Persian Gulf country also means "homeland." When she told Capt. Dennis Kaw, an assistant prosecutor, of the mistake in her translation, he told her not to change her testimony, she testified.
Lt. Col. Brian Wheeler, the Air Force's lead prosecutor, said none of the alleged incidents amounts to obstruction of justice.
In March the judge denied a defense request to dismiss the charges against Al Halabi based on his lawyers' lack of access to evidence against him.
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
SPIEGEL ONLINE - 14. Mai 2004, 9:47
Asiatischer Kartenkrieg erreicht Deutschland
Von Alexander Neubacher
Zwischen S?dkorea und Japan schwelt ein bizarrer Namensstreit: Darf das "Japanische Meer" auch "Ostmeer" hei?en? So weit, so nebens?chlich - w?re da nicht die Gefahr, dass jetzt auch Deutschland in den Streit verwickelt wird. Ein D?sseldorfer Verlag hat es gewagt, eine Karte mit beiden Namen zu drucken.
Karte vom D?sseldorfer Verlag: Corpus delicti
Das raue Gew?sser liegt zwischen Russland, Korea und Japan, erstreckt sich ?ber eine Fl?che von knapp einer Million Quadratkilometern und ist bei seinen Anrainern nicht nur wegen der Fischgr?nde ein steter Quell des Streits. Japanische und s?dkoreanische Piraten liefern sich hier einen Wettlauf um die besten Prisen. Russen nutzten die See, um radioaktiven Fl?ssigm?ll zu verklappen. Den Nordkoreanern dient das Meer als Testgebiet f?r Nuklearsprengk?pfe. Selbst um die Felsen, die hier und da aus den von Taifunen aufgepeitschten Wogen ragen, wird erbittert gerungen.
Anfang des Jahres provozierte die s?dkoreanische Post einen diplomatischen Eklat, als sie die von koreanischen M?wen okkupierte, politisch aber von Japan beanspruchte Insel Tokdo mit einer Sonderbriefmarke w?rdigte. Jetzt droht auch die Bundesrepublik in den s?dostasiatischen Nachbarschaftsstreit hineingezogen zu werden: Japanische Spitzendiplomaten werfen einem deutschen Unternehmen einen politischen Fauxpas vor, der die deutsch-japanischen Beziehungen schwerwiegend belaste. Man schade, erregt sich Japans Generalkonsul Takahiro Shinyo, "den Interessen unserer Regierung".
Einigung nicht in Sicht
Es geht um die Frage, wie das von Japan, Russland und Korea umschlossene Gew?sser eigentlich hei?t. "Nihon-kai", sagen die Japaner, "Japanisches Meer", und verweisen auf entsprechende Eintr?ge in jahrhundertealten Seekarten. "Tonghae", "Ostmeer", sagen hingegen die Koreaner, und k?nnen ihrerseits Belege anf?hren, dass das Meer seit ?ber "zwei Millennien" (Koreas Ex-Botschaftsrat Lee Hyeon-Pyo) - zumindest aus ihrer Sicht - im Osten liegt und deshalb auch so bezeichnet werden m?sse. Eine Einigung im bizarren Namensstreit ist nicht in Sicht.
S?dkoreanischer Fu?ballfan: Nationale Aufwallung um den Namen eines Meeres
Die vor zwei Jahren von Bundesinnenminister Otto Schily in Berlin einberufene "Uno-Weltkonferenz zur Standardisierung von geografischen Namen" (UNCSGN) endete ergebnislos. Doch nun, so f?rchten Japans Diplomaten, werden ausgerechnet in Deutschland Fakten geschaffen. Auf der weltgr??ten Druckfachmesse "Drupa" in D?sseldorf wollte der Druckmaschinenfabrikant MAN Roland an diesem Freitag eine Weltkarte des Spezialverlags Kober-K?mmerly+Frey pr?sentieren. Und in der unteren rechten Ecke der Karte, Ma?stab 1 zu 25 Millionen, hat Japans Botschaft zu ihrem Entsetzen drei kleine W?rter ersp?ht: "Ostmeer/Japanisches Meer".
Japan f?hrt schweres Gesch?tz auf
Mit allen Mitteln versucht Japan nun, die Publikation der derart beschrifteten Landkarte zu verhindern. Bei Verlagschef Tim Kober ging ein Brief der Botschaft ein. "Mit Nachdruck" wende man sich gegen den Versuch, einen "allgemein eingeb?rgerten geografischen Namen ohne berechtigten Grund" zu ?ndern. Offenbar sei der Verlag der Propaganda S?dkoreas auf den Leim gegangen, das, so die Japaner, "einseitig fordert, eine bisher international nicht anerkannte Bezeichnung, die nicht auf historischen Tatsachen beruht, ?ber die Verwendung im eigenen Land hinaus als internationalen Standard zu verwenden".
Japans Generalkonsul Shinyo verlangt deshalb von Kober und zugleich von der Messeleitung und vom D?sseldorfer Oberb?rgermeister, die Publikation der Weltkarte "sofort einzustellen und sie nicht weiter auf der Messe zu verteilen". Es sei "?u?erst bedauerlich", dass die Druckmesse "zu einem politischen Akt missbraucht" werde.
Der Verlagschef indes ist sich keiner Schuld bewusst. Monatelange Recherchen h?tten zweifelsfrei ergeben, dass die Bezeichnungen "Ostmeer" und "Japanisches Meer" gleichberechtigt seien. So stehe es in der Encyclopaedia Britannica, in der "Financial Times" und in Ver?ffentlichungen des US-Verlagsgiganten RandMcNally. Die "New York Times" benutzt inzwischen beide Namen, wenn das Kriegsschiff "Kitty Hawk" von seinem japanischen Heimathafen aus in See sticht.
Anw?lte sollen notfalls Feierstunde st?ren
Auch von der f?r Fragen der maritimen Weltordnung zust?ndigen Internationalen Hydrografischen Organisation (IHO) bekommt Kober R?ckendeckung. Deren Standardwerk "Grenzen der Ozeane und Meere" f?hrte bislang nur das "Japanische Meer" auf - eine Folge einer Konferenz Ende der zwanziger Jahre, an der das jahrelang von den Japanern besetzte Korea nicht teilnehmen durfte. Inzwischen jedoch will die IHO auch die koreanische Position ber?cksichtigen.
Wie der Streit um die Weltkarte aus D?sseldorf ausgeht, ist ungewiss. Die f?r diesen Freitag geplante Pr?sentation hat die Messe vorsichtshalber abgesagt. Japans Botschaft hatte angedroht, die Feierstunde mit Hilfe seiner Rechtsanw?lte zu st?ren. Koreas Botschaftsrat Kotae Kim wiederum besteht nun erst recht darauf, dass die Karte gedruckt wird. Die Erstausgabe, so hat sich der offenbar streitlustige Diplomat vorgenommen, will er dann sogar mit seinem Autogramm verzieren.

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Bankrupt China Becomes Economic Threat
Posted May 12, 2004
By Christopher Whalen

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao promised "resolute" measures to rein in excessive economic growth.

Financial and political analysts have been predicting the demise of China's economic miracle for months now, but the latest policy shift by the Federal Reserve toward a more restrictive interest-rate posture has caused the alarm bells to ring from Hong Kong to Wall Street. The rebound of the dollar that began in February has taken the pressure off other central banks, particularly the Bank of Japan, to sop up the fiat greenbacks printed by the Fed, thus placing added upward pressure on U.S. interest rates. By no accident, April was the worst month for emerging market debt in years.
More expensive dollar credit means the end of speculative booms in markets such as China, whose economy has grown to account for 10 percent of global trade. Wen Jiabao, China's prime minister, promised "resolute" measures to rein in excessive economic growth, while assuring investors that Beijing would seek to orchestrate a "soft landing," the Financial Times reports. Like Alan Greenspan at the Fed, China's communist bureaucrats have used excessive credit and investment to boost short-term economic activity, but at a dire cost in terms of future inflation. Indeed, there is great debate whether China's economy is growing or is just pumped up with cheap dollars - money proffered by the latest generation of credulous gringos.
Many Bush administration officials remind Insight that China is a corrupt, chaotic country where the central government has only a tenuous grip on events, especially in the interior of the country. Local Communist Party officials loot private companies and banks with impunity, leaving all investors - foreign and domestic - at terrible risk. Foreign banks and investors, meanwhile, are providing a critical source of foreign exchange to bolster China's authoritarian rulers, who use fantastic claims of economic performance to entice new financial and direct investment from abroad.
This reporter always keeps in mind a comment of liberal economist Lester Thurow to an investment conference in Hong Kong a few years back when the MIT sage observed that China's economic statistics were so remarkable as to be unbelievable. Few of the investment-banking types in the audience appreciated the full import of Thurow's remarks, but the bottom line is that economic data from China is even less reliable than the politically biased economic and labor statistics that emanate from Washington.
For example, China's National Bureau of Statistics reports annualized growth of 9.7 percent for the first quarter of 2004, a problem the Bush administration wishes it had. China claims to have expanded its economy at a brisk pace; 9.1 percent growth for all of 2003 and a 9.7 percent annualized growth rate for first quarter of 2004. The good news is that these numbers may indeed reflect the increase in economic activity caused by foreign dollar inflows, but the bad news is that these levels cannot be maintained, experts tell Insight.
China's statistics agency reports that investment in fixed assets in the first quarter ran 43 percent ahead of the previous year's levels. "The scale of investment in fixed assets is too large and growth is too fast," a National Bureau of Statistics spokesman told Pacific News Service. Officially, consumer prices rose 2.8 percent in the quarter, but observers in Hong Kong tell Insight that the actual rate of inflation in the major Chinese cities is running at 20 to 30 percent above annual rates. Indeed, even the International Monetary Fund said last week that China's economy is "overheating."
"By definition, a shock is something that catches us by surprise," wrote Walter Molano of BCP Securities in a missive to his clients, mostly investors who follow his research on Latin American economies. "We expect a shock from Asia, but we do not know how, when and why."
Molano warns that the Chinese economy is badly overheated and that the rise in the inflation rate well into double digits is creating factors that will decelerate the pace of Chinese economic growth. Nevertheless, he argues, "the rampant corruption and the weakness in the banking sector suggest that the controlled adjustment could manifest itself into a hard landing." Such a scenario, Molano writes, "would ricochet immediately into Latin America."
A drop in the much noted Chinese demand for commodity products, he continues, "would coincide with a large increase in production" to accommodate the market's expectations that China's voracious appetite for everything from U.S. grain to steel is insatiable. "The result would be downward gap in commodity prices, thus affecting the balance of payments for most of the region. Unfortunately, this could coincide with a rise in U.S. interest rates, creating a more worrisome situation for Latin America."
The torrid growth rates observed in China during the last several years have been a bonanza for investors and exporters, but the prospect of a sudden drop in China's demand for everything foreign implies that the Chinese central bank may need to allow the country's currency to fall. The restrictive measures put in place so far by China's authoritarian government have not yet reduced the economic surge, but there are indications that the vast speculative boom in China is nearing an end.
In Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reports that prices for just about every local asset class began heading south simultaneously. Commodities, currencies, H shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and even every equity bear's safe haven - gold - are tumbling, while the U.S. dollar has experienced a sudden rejuvenation. Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that the economic constraints felt by millions of Chinese, which caused the central government to embrace a "great leap forward" via hyper economic expansion in the first place, are causing social instability, the dark menace that has followed China's history.
Keith Bradsher of the New York Times describes how a flotilla of Chinese warships sailed slowly down the length of Victoria Harbor in early May "in a rare show of force that comes as democracy advocates here say they face growing intimidation by Beijing." He continues: "Two guided-missile destroyers, four guided-missile frigates and two submarines displayed China's military strength for the first time since the territory was handed over by Britain in 1997. It marked a distinct change of tactics by Beijing. The Chinese military has been a nearly invisible presence here for the last seven years. Soldiers are required to wear civilian clothing when they leave their bases, and the main base is tucked away on an island at the harbor's western end. But today, residents here watched as a submarine sailed past the downtown Bank of China tower, designed by I.M. Pei. Sailors in dress whites lined the sides of the destroyers and frigates, and some gave friendly waves to workers on a passing tugboat."
If astute financial observers are correct and China's economy experiences another sudden "adjustment," particularly via a currency devaluation, the political ramifications may be even more important than the financial fallout. While China has hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign reserves, the imbalances in its economy, surging imports and losses hidden within corrupt banks and state-owned companies could easily wipe out these assets several times over. But then again, it is impossible to say for sure whether the financial statements of China's central bank are any more truthful than the other statistics produced by the nation's communist government.
So far, the Bush administration has been too distracted by the Iraq mess to notice that the world's largest nation is on a collision course with the wall of financial reality. The White House refused, for example, to confront China over its manipulation of its currency (thus fueling the present boom) and suppression of worker's wages (thus artificially suppressing visible inflation), in essence encouraging Beijing's self-destructive economic course. While the Bush administration likes to kid itself into thinking that China can be coaxed into embracing market norms via a policy of "engagement with leverage," say savvy China watchers, if recent history is any guide China's financial implosion is likely to confirm the market's worst fears.

Christopher Whalen is a contributing writer for Insight magazine.


Senator airs GOP war discomfort
May 13, 2004
Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is an old-fashioned conservative and a loyal Republican who happens to be the current chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. That's why his Landon Lecture last week at his alma mater, Kansas State University, is a remarkable document. While benefitting from the most highly classified information, he is expressing the concerns of ordinary conservatives and Republicans.
The lecture paid sincere tribute to George W. Bush for the ''courage to act'' after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and in this election year Roberts is not sniping at the Republican president. Nevertheless, the former Marine officer from Dodge City, Kan., is blunt in addressing two overriding problems in the war on terror: lack of accountability in the intelligence community and a messianic desire to recast the world in the American image.
These are precisely the concerns I have heard all over the country from people who call themselves Republicans and are distraught about the U.S. adventure in Iraq. They ask questions. Who is responsible for the false forecast of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that was the immediate cause for war? Are we really intent on planting democracy throughout the Arab world? These skeptics are not about to vote for John Kerry for president, but they are very unhappy.
Roberts, unlike the previous Republican Intelligence chairman (Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama), is not calling for CIA Director George Tenet's dismissal. But he showed in his Kansas State lecture he is concerned about the lack of accountability on two major counts:
''Almost three years after 9/11, no one in the intelligence community has been disciplined, let alone fired. Almost two years since the publication of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that declared Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was reconstituting his nuclear program, no one has been disciplined or fired.''
While not mentioning Tenet by name, Roberts nailed the CIA director with this telling comment: ''Rarely is any intelligence case a 'slam dunk.''' In Bob Woodward's new book Plan of Attack, Tenet is quoted declaring weapons evidence in Iraq to be a ''slam dunk.'' These are not complaints of a backbencher, but the considered statements of a committee chairman whose long committee inquiry is due for completion this week.
Roberts' broader criticism goes beyond intelligence failure to the U.S. mission of planting the seeds of democracy on Arab soil. ''In fighting the global war against terrorism,'' he said, ''we need to restrain what are growing U.S. messianic instincts -- a sort of global social engineering where the United States feels it is both entitled and obligated to promote democracy -- by force, if necessary.'' While stressing U.S. willingness ''to use force unilaterally if necessary,'' he called it ''time for some hard-headed assessment of American interests.''
Roberts has the sense of history that the Bush policymakers seem to lack. Dating back to his days as a Marine officer, he has studied the misadventures of Winston Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia in dealing with the same people who are proving so troublesome for the Americans more than 80 years later.
As a loyal Republican and strong Bush supporter, Roberts is torn. His president is under incessant assault from Democrats, and for this reason, Roberts comes to Bush's defense. In his Landon Lecture, he suggested ''we may transform the world for the better'' in fighting the war against terrorism.
But Bush can be faulted for lack of interest in accountability and for succumbing to messianic pretensions of spreading democracy, even though Roberts does not single out the president. The questions remain whether any official ever will pay for the intelligence failures and whether the difficulty of nation-building is a lesson learned.
Roberts is not alone among Republicans. The GOP's top two members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- Richard Lugar of Indiana and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska -- have their own misgivings. These Midwestern Republicans know their constituents are concerned about Iraq and what comes next. But how does George W. Bush adjust to these realities while fighting a shooting war and campaigning for re-election?


Bush Team to Rework Iraq Funding After Senate Balks
Thu May 13, 4:11 PM ET Add Politics to My Yahoo!
By Vicki Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bush administration officials said they would rework a plan for a $25 billion reserve fund for Iraq (news - web sites) operations after Republican and Democratic senators on Thursday deplored it as an effort to get "a blank check" without congressional oversight.
In a frequently testy Senate Armed Services hearing, even reliable Republican allies balked at the White House's unusual proposal to let it allocate the money to help finance Iraq and Afghanistan (news - web sites) operations for coming months without the approval of Congress.
"Our forefathers would have scorned such arrogance as has been demonstrated by this request," said Sen. Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat. "I'm going to support this $25 billion but we're going to put limitations on it."
Pressed by lawmakers, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House deputy budget director Joel Kaplan agreed to try to rework the plan to give Congress more oversight.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain criticized the administration's handling of Iraq, citing "mistakes that have been made which have led us to a situation which I think is very grave," and said Congress must increase its oversight.
Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry (news - web sites), a Massachusetts senator, said in a statement he would back the additional money despite voting against a previous supplemental bill for Iraq. "The situation in Iraq has deteriorated far beyond what the administration anticipated. The money is urgently needed," he said."
The White House late on Wednesday sent Congress its formal request for the $25 billion fund it says it needs until Congress acts on a larger supplemental bill next year.
Wolfowitz said that bill "will certainly be much larger than $25 billion," which would push the cost next year well above the $50 billion the White House originally projected.
Under the White House plan, the reserve funds could be shifted among accounts without congressional approval, which lawmakers said would give the Pentagon (news - web sites) full control over the money, cutting Congress out of its constitutional role of overseeing expenditures.
The Senate will debate the issue next week when it takes up a $422 billion bill for defense programs.
Congress has so far sent the White House about $160 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Until last week when it suddenly asked for the $25 billion, the administration had insisted it would not seek more money for Iraq until next year, which would have put off debate on the issue until after the Nov. 2 presidential election.
Pressed by the military, which was running short of money with the heightened Iraq conflict, the White House sought the fund as a bridge until it gets a bigger bill next year.
With the Pentagon putting the monthly cost of Iraq and Afghanistan operations at nearly $5 billion, Democrats questioned why the Pentagon did not simply ask for a full supplemental spending bill instead of the reserve fund.
"There is no reason not to be direct on this issue and to acknowledge what the costs are of this war," said Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the committee's top Democrat. "This is the very definition of a blank check."
Wolfowitz said the fund was needed to help the Pentagon manage its accounts until Congress acted on the larger bill next year. "You can do the arithmetic, Senator, we're not hiding the ball on what we're spending now."


Trade Sanctions Pile Up While Congress Fiddles
May 10, 2004 | |

If private companies worked the way Congress does, we'd probably never be able to compete in the global marketplace. Efficiency, productivity, responsiveness to changing conditions -- all seem lacking under the Capitol Dome.
Consider how long it's taking lawmakers to fix a costly problem with our tax laws.
Several years ago, the World Trade Organization ruled that certain tax breaks given by the federal government for export subsidiaries of American companies (know as "Foreign Sales Corporations," or FSCs) were illegal. That decision gave European nations the power to impose tariffs against many popular American exports, including paper, cotton and a variety of agricultural products.
Congress tried to fix the problem by passing the Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act (ETI). The EU sued again -- and won another victory at the WTO.
More than four years later, nothing has changed. The federal government is still giving "illegal" tax breaks to American companies. So on March 1, the European Union began imposing tariffs of 5 percent on our exports. It plans to increase them by one percentage point per month up to 17 percent. The WTO has authorized sanctions that could increase the cost of American exports by up to $4 billion a year, creating a tremendous competitive disadvantage for U.S. producers.
Now, we can argue about whether the WTO should impose sanctions. It's running a big risk, since sanctions might trigger a trade war between Europe and the United States. After all, we need more free trade, not less. If sanctions put that at risk, everybody gets hurt.
Still, the United States voluntarily agreed to join the WTO, and to abide by its rulings. We should live up to our commitment, and as an added bonus, improve our domestic tax system at the same time.
Lawmakers should act immediately to repeal the FSC and ETI. They should then help American businesses by trimming corporate income tax rates. Doing so would lower tax rates and reduce the double taxation of capital income. It also would make our companies more competitive at home and abroad.
The U.S. has the world's second-highest corporate tax rate -- higher than the rates in socialist welfare states like France and Sweden. Lowering the rate is always a good idea; lowering it to settle a complaint by the EU would be even better. After all, the EU seems to be attempting to use the World Trade Organization against us, but if we lower corporate tax rates in response, we'll actually end up stronger and generate more jobs.
Unfortunately, many politicians are using this issue as an excuse to push for more special-interest tax breaks. A Senate bill, for instance, replaces the special tax break for export-oriented income with a special tax break for certain manufacturers.
Amazingly, some lawmakers want to make the bill worse. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, for example, has succeeded in tacking on a measure that would block the Bush administration's recent effort to ease government-imposed overtime regulations.
In the business world, this amendment process would be like a company insisting that if you want to buy a DVD, you must also buy some other unpopular titles that company sells, whether you liked them or not. That company wouldn't sell many discs or would quickly go out of business. In the nation's capital, this process simply rolls on, day after day.
The answer seems pretty simple. Just as companies allow you to buy only the DVDs you want, lawmakers should bring the tax reform measure up, without all the unrelated amendments, and vote on it. And the Senate tried that with what's known as a cloture vote, on March 24.
Unfortunately, parliamentary rules allowed a minority to block the will of the majority. It takes 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor, and "only" 51 senators supported the motion to invoke cloture. This is the same process, by the way, that's kept so many well-qualified judges who enjoy majority support in the Senate from being confirmed.
So far, the Senate has managed to whittle down the number of amendments from about 150 to about 80. That's still far too many. Until the world's self-proclaimed "greatest deliberative body" can agree to get rid of dozens more amendments, the bill will remain in limbo.
Sadly, in Washington, this is just business as usual. The lawmakers fiddle while sanctions pile up. And we'll all end up paying higher prices for goods and services while U.S. firms lose markets because of increased tariffs on our exports. There ought to be a law against such shenanigans. Unfortunately, we already know it would never pass.

Ed Feulner is the president of The Heritage Foundation (, a Washington-based public policy research institute.

? 1995 - 2004 The Heritage Foundation
All Rights Reserved.


The War that Dare Not Speak Its Name
The battle is against militant Islam, not "Terror"

By Andrew C. McCarthy

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is adapted from a speech given last month at the annual conference of the University of Virginia School of Medicine's Critical Incident Analysis Group (CIAG). The theme of this year's CIAG conference was "Countering Suicide Terrorism: Risks, Responsibilities and Realities."
At any gathering of analysts, academics, and law-enforcement officers who specialize in counter-terrorism, it certainly is appropriate that we should focus on risks, responsibilities, and realities. My question, though, is whether we have the order backwards. Our most urgent imperative today is the need to confront reality. Only by doing that can we get a true understanding of the risks we face and our responsibilities in dealing with them.
What reality am I talking about?
Well, we are now well into the third year of what is called the "War on Terror." That is the language we all use, and it is ubiquitous. The tabloids and the more prestigious journals of news and opinion fill their pages with it. The 24-hour cable television stations are not content merely to repeat "War on Terror" as if it were a mantra; they actually use it as a floating logo in their dizzying set designs.
Most significant of all, the "War on Terror" is our government's top rhetorical catch-phrase. It is the way we define for the American people and the world -- especially the Islamic world -- what we are doing, and what we are about. It is the way we explain the nature of the menace that we are striving to defeat.
But is it accurate? Does it make sense? More importantly, does it serve our purposes? Does it make victory more identifiable, and hence more attainable? I humbly suggest that it fails on all these scores. This, furthermore, is no mere matter of rhetoric or semantics. It is all about substance, and it goes to the very core of our struggle.
Terrorism is not an enemy. It is a method. It is the most sinister, brutal, inhumane method of our age. But it is nonetheless just that: a method. You cannot, and you do not, make war on a method. War is made on an identified -- and identifiable -- enemy.
In the here and now, that enemy is militant Islam -- a very particular practice and interpretation of a very particular set of religious, political and social principles.
Now that is a very disturbing, very discomfiting thing to say in 21st-century America. It is very judgmental. It sounds very insensitive. It is the very definition of politically incorrect. Saying it aloud will not get you invited to chat with Oprah. But it is a fact. And it is important both to say it and to understand it.
We have a rich and worthy tradition of religious tolerance in America. Indeed, in many ways our reverence for religious practice and tolerance is why there is an America. America was a deeply religious place long before it was ever a constitutional democracy. That tradition of tolerance causes us, admirably, to bend over backwards before we pass judgment on the religious beliefs and religious practices of others. It is an enormous part of what makes America great.
It led our government, within hours of the 9/11 attacks, to announce to the world that Islam was not and is not our enemy. Repeatedly, the president himself has said it: "The 19 suicide terrorists hijacked a great religion." The message from all our top officials has been abundantly clear: "That's that; Islam off the table; no need to go deeper."
But we have the ostrich routine way too far. A commitment in favor of toleration is not the same as a commitment against examination. We have been so paralyzed by the fear of being portrayed as an enemy of Islam -- as an enemy of a creed practiced by perhaps a billion people worldwide -- that we've lost our voice on a very salient question: What will be the Islam of the 21st century? Will it be the Islam of the militants, or the Islam of the moderates? That's the reality we need to grapple with.
Let's make no mistake about this: We have a crucial national-security interest in the outcome of that struggle. We need the moderates to win. And here, when I speak of moderates, I am not talking about those who merely pay lip service to moderation. I am not talking about those who take advantage of America's benign traditions and our reluctance to examine the religious practices of others. I am not talking about those who use that blind eye we turn as an opportunity to be apologists, enablers, and supporters of terrorists.
I am talking about authentic moderates: millions of Muslims who want an enlightened, tolerant, and engaged Islam for today's world. Those people need our help in the worst way. They are losing the battles for their communities. The militants may not be a majority, but they are a vocal, aggressive minority -- and they are not nearly as much of a small fringe as we'd like to believe.
As an assistant U.S. attorney, time and time again I heard it over the last decade, from ordinary Muslims we reached out to for help -- people we wanted to hire as Arabic translators, or who were potential witnesses, or who were simply in a position to provide helpful information. People who were as far from being terrorists as you could possibly be. "I'd like to help the government," they would say, "but I can't." And it was not so much about their safety -- although there was, no doubt, some of that going on. It was about ostracism.
Repeatedly they'd tell us that the militant factions dominated their communities. These elements were usually not the most numerous, but they were the most vocal, the best networked, the best funded, and the most intimidating. Consequently, people whose patriotic instinct was to be helpful could not overcome the fear that they and their families could be blackballed if it became known that they had helped the United States prosecute Muslim terrorists. The militants had the kind of suasion that could turn whole communities into captive audiences.
This is no small matter. Events of the last decade, throughout the world, are a powerful lesson that the more insular and dominated communities become, the more they are likely to breed the attitudes and pathologies that lead to terrorist plots and suicide bombings. It's true that suicide bombers seem to defy precise psychological profiling; they come from diverse economic and educational backgrounds -- the only common thread seems to be devotion to militant Islam. But while we have not had success predicting who is likely to become a suicide bomber, it is far easier to get a read on where suicide bombers and other terrorists will come from. They come from communities where the militants dominate and those who don't accept their beliefs are cowed into submission.
That militant Islam is our enemy is a fact. That it is the object of our war is a fact. That we need to empower real moderates is a fact. And we need to talk about these facts.
We are not helping the authentic moderates if we avoid having the conversation that so needs to be had if the militants hiding in the weeds we've created are going to be exposed and marginalized. If we fail to be critical, if we fail to provoke that discussion, it will continue to be militants who hold positions of influence and who control indoctrination in communities, madrassas, prisons, and other settings where the young, the vulnerable, and the alienated are searching for direction.
For ourselves too, and for the success of our struggle, we need to be clear that the enemy here is militant Islam. If we are to appreciate the risks to our way of life, and our responsibilities in dealing with them, we need to understand that we are fighting a religious, political and social belief system -- not a method of attack, but a comprehensive ideology that calls for a comprehensive response.
In the 1990s, our response, far from being comprehensive, was one-dimensional. We used the criminal justice system. As an individual, I am very proud to have been associated with the good work done in that effort. Yet, if we are going to be honest with ourselves -- if we are truly going to confront reality -- as a nation, we'd have to call it largely a failure.
We have learned over the years that the militant population is large -- maybe tens of thousands, maybe more. Certainly enough to staff an extensive international network and field numerous cells and small battalions that, in the aggregate, form a challenging military force. Nevertheless, in about a half dozen major prosecutions between 1993 and 2001, we managed to neutralize less than three-dozen terrorists -- the 1993 World Trade Center bombers; those who plotted an even more ghastly "Day of Terror" that would have destroyed several New York City landmarks; the Manila Air conspirators who tried to blow U.S. airliners out of the sky over the Pacific; those who succeeded in obliterating our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and the would-be bombers of Los Angeles International Airport who were thwarted just before the Millennium celebration.
In these cases, we saw the criminal-justice response at its most aggressive, operating at a very high rate of success. Every single defendant who was charged and tried was convicted. As a practical matter, however, even with that rate of efficiency, we were able to neutralize only a tiny portion of the terrorist population.
Now, however, combining law enforcement with the more muscular use of military force -- the way we have fought the battle since September 11 -- we are far more effective. Terrorists are being rolled up in much greater numbers. They are being captured and killed. Instead of dozens being neutralized, the numbers are now in the hundreds and thousands.
But I respectfully suggest that this is still not enough, because it doesn't necessarily mean we are winning.
When I was a prosecutor in the 1980s, it was the "War on Drugs" that was all the rage. We would do mega-cases, make mega-arrests, and seize mega-loads of cocaine and heroin. It made for terrific headlines. It looked great on television. But we weren't winning. Neighborhoods were still rife with narcotics traffickers and all their attendant depravity. And there was the tell-tale sign: The price of drugs kept going down instead of up. We said we were at war, but with all we were doing we were still failing to choke off the supply chain.
Now I see another version of the same syndrome, and if we don't talk about Islam we will remain blind to it -- to our great detriment. To understand why, all we need to do is think for a moment about the cradle-to-grave philosophy of Hamas. Yes, what blares on the news are suicide bombings that slaughter scores of innocents. But look underneath them, at what Hamas is doing day-to-day. They don't just run paramilitary training for adult jihadists. They start from the moment of birth. From infancy, hatred is taught to children. They learn to hate before they ever have a clue about what all the hatred is over. At home, in mosques, in madrassas, in summer camps -- dressed in battle fatigues and hoods, and armed with mock weapons -- it is fed to them.
And Hamas is not nearly alone. A funding spigot has been wide open for years. We are better about trying to shut it down than we used to be, but we're not even close to efficient yet. And even if we were to shut it down tomorrow, there are hundreds of millions -- maybe more -- already in the pipeline. Dollars that are contributed and controlled by the worst Wahhabist and Salafist elements. Those dollars are funding hatred. Hatred and the demonization of human beings simply because of who they are.
Some suggest that our situation might benefit from making accommodations -- policy concessions that might mollify the militants and miraculously change their attitude toward us. But let's think about a five-year-old Muslim boy who has already gotten a sizable dose of the venom that is found in the madrassas and the Arabic media.
I can assure you that that five-year-old kid does not hate American foreign policy in the Persian Gulf. He does not hate the intractable nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What he hates is Jews. What he hates is Americans. It is in the water he drinks and the air he breathes. Sure, as he grows, he'll eventually be taught to hate American foreign policy and what he'll forever be told is the "Israeli occupation." But those abstractions are not the source of the child's hatred, and changing them won't make the hatred go away -- the hatred that fuels the killing.
When I say I worry that we could lose this struggle against militant Islam that we keep calling the "War on Terror," it is that fuel and that hatred I am talking about. We have the world's most powerful, competent military -- it can capture and kill large numbers of terrorists. With the help of our law-enforcement and intelligence agencies -- especially cutting off funding and cracking down on other kinds of material support -- our unified government can make a sizable dent in the problem. It can give us periods like the last two years when there have been no successful attacks on our homeland -- although it is hard to take too much comfort in that once you look at Bali, or Casablanca, or Istanbul, or Baghdad, or Madrid.
Yes, we can have temporary, uneasy respites from the struggle. We cannot win, however, until we can honestly say we are turning the tide of the numbers. The madrassas are like conveyor belts. If they are churning out more militants in waiting than we are capturing, killing, prosecuting, or otherwise neutralizing, then we are losing this war.
It's not enough to deplete the militants' assets. We need to defeat their ideas, and that means marginalizing their leaders. That means talking about how Islam assimilates to American ideals and traditions. It means making people take clear positions: making them stand up and be counted -- and be accountable -- not letting them hide under murky labels like "moderate".
As far as recognizing what we're really up against here, the terrorism prosecutions of the 1990s were a powerful eye-opener. We saw up close who the enemy was and why it was so crucial to be clear about it. Those cases are generally thought to have begun with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing -- a horror that oddly seems mild compared to the carnage we've witnessed in over a decade since. Yet, while that attack -- the militants' declaration of war -- began the string of terrorism cases, it was not really the start of the story.
That actually began years earlier. The men who carried out the World Trade Center bombing spent years training for it, mostly in rural outposts remote from Manhattan -- like Calverton, Long Island, western Pennsylvania, and northern Connecticut. There, they drilled in shooting, hand-to-hand combat, and improvised explosive devices. From about 1988 on, they were operating here, and saw themselves as a committed jihad army in the making.
They were fully convinced that their religion compelled them to brutality. And unlike us, they had no queasiness: They were absolutely clear about who their enemy was. They did not talk in jingos about the "War on Freedom," or the "War on Liberty." They talked about the War on America, the War on Israel, and the War on West. They were plainspoken about whom they sought to defeat and why.
Their leader was a blind Egyptian cleric named Omar Abdel Rahman, the emir of an international terrorist organization called the "Islamic Group." This was a precursor of al Qaeda, responsible for the infamous 1981murder of Anwar Sadat for the great crime of making peace with Israel. Abdel Rahman continues to this day to have a profound influence on Osama bin Laden; his sons have been linked to al Qaeda, and one of bin Laden's demands continues to be that America free the "Blind Sheikh," who is now serving a life sentence.
Abdel Rahman laid out the principles of his terror group -- including its American division -- with alarming clarity: Authority to rule did not come from the people who are governed; it came only from Allah -- a God who, in Abdel Rahman's depiction, was not a God of mercy and forgiveness, but a God of wrath and vengeance, and a God single-mindedly consumed with the events of this world. For the Blind Sheikh and his cohorts, there would be no toleration for other religions or other views. There was militant Islam, and there was everybody else.
All the world was divided into two spheres -- and it is very interesting how those spheres were referred to: the first was Dar al Islam, or the domain of the Muslims; the second was Dar al Harb. You might assume that Dar al Harb would be the domain of the non-Muslims. It is not. It is instead the domain of war. The militants perceive themselves as in a constant state of war with those who do not accept their worldview.
Sometimes that war is hot and active. Sometimes it is in recess while the militants take what they can get in negotiations and catch their breath for the next rounds of violence. But don't be fooled: the war never ends -- unless and until all the world accepts their construction of Islam.
As Abdel Rahman taught his adherents -- and as the bin Ladens, the Zawahiris, and the Zarqawis echo today -- the manner of prosecuting the never-ending war is jihad. This word is often translated as holy war; it more closely means struggle.
We hear a lot today from the mainstream media about jihad. Usually, it's a happy-face jihad, congenially rendered as "the internal struggle to become a better person," or "the struggle of communities to drive out drug peddlers," or "the struggle against disease, poverty and ignorance." In many ways, these reflect admirable efforts to reconstruct a very troubling concept, with an eye toward an Islam that blends into the modern world.
But let's be clear: these are reconstructions. Jihad, in its seventh-century origins, is a forcible, military concept. I realize politesse frowns on saying such things out loud, but one of the main reasons it is so difficult to discredit the militants -- to say convincingly that they have hijacked a peaceable religion -- is this: when they talk about this central tenet, jihad, as a duty to take up arms, they have history and tradition on their side. As Abdel-Rahman, the influential scholar with a doctorate from the famed al-Azhar University in Egypt, instructed his followers: "There is no such thing as commerce, industry, and science in jihad.... If Allah says: 'Do jihad,' it means jihad with the sword, with the cannon, with the grenades, and with the missile. This is jihad. Jihad against God's enemies for God's cause and his word."
So rich is the military pedigree of this term, jihad, that many of the apologists concede it but try a different tack to explain it away: "Sure, jihad means using force," they say, "but only in defense -- only when Muslims are under attack." Of course, who is to say what is defensive? Who is to say when Muslims are under attack? For the militants, Islam is under attack whenever anyone has the temerity to say: "Islam -- especially their brand of Islam -- is not for me." For the militants who will be satisfied with nothing less than the destruction of Israel, Islam is under attack simply because Israelis are living and breathing and going about their lives.
Simply stated, for Abdel Rahman, bin Laden, and those who follow them, jihad means killing the enemies of the militants -- which is pretty much anyone who is not a militant. When your forces are outnumbered, and your resources are scarce, it means practicing terrorism.
Abdel Rahman was brazen about it. As he said many times:
Why do we fear the word terrorist? If the terrorist is the person who defends his right, so we are terrorists. And if the terrorist is the one who struggles for the sake of God, then we are terrorists. We have been ordered to terrorism because we must prepare what power we can to terrorize the enemy of God. The Quran says the word "to strike terror." Therefore, we don't fear to be called terrorists. They may say, "He is a terrorist. He uses violence. He uses force." Let them say that. We are ordered to prepare whatever we can of power to terrorize the enemies of Islam.
It is frightening. But, as this makes clear, it is not simply the militants' method that we are at war with. We are at war with their ideology. Militant Islam has universalist designs. That sounds crazy to us -- we're from a diverse, tolerant, live-and-let-live culture. It's hard for us to wrap our brains around a hegemonic worldview in the 21st Century. But if we are going to appreciate the risk -- the threat -- we face, the reality is: it matters much less what we think about the militants than what they think about themselves.
The militants see terrorism as a perfectly acceptable way to go about achieving their aims. When they succeed in destroying great, towering symbols of economic and military might; when with a few cheap bombs detonated on trains they can change the course of a national election; it reinforces their convictions that their designs are neither grandiose nor unattainable. It tells them that their method of choice works, no matter what we may think of it.
Making our task even more difficult is the structure of Islam. As Bernard Lewis and other notable scholars have observed, there are no synods, and there is no rigorous hierarchy. There is no central power structure to say with authority that this or that practice is heresy. There is no pope available to say, "Sheik Omar, blowing up civilians is out of bounds. It is condemned."
So how does the conduct become condemned? How do we turn the tide? Naturally, only Muslims themselves can cure Islam. Only they can ultimately chart their course; only they can clarify and reform where reform is so badly needed.
There is much, however, that we can do to help. It starts with ending the free ride for the apologists and enablers of terrorists. We need to be more precise in our language. We are not at war with terror. We are at war with militant Islam. Militant Islam is our enemy. It seeks to destroy us; we cannot co-exist with it. We need to defeat it utterly.
We seek to embrace moderate Muslims; to promote them, and to help them win the struggle for what kind of religious, cultural and social force Islam will be in the modern world. "Moderate," however, cannot just be a fudge. It needs to be a real concept with a defined meaning.
What should that meaning be? Who are we trying to weed out? Well, last year, the distinguished Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes proposed a few questions -- a litmus test of sorts. Useful questions, he said, might include: Do you condone or condemn those who give up their lives to kill enemy civilians? Will you condemn the likes of al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah by name as terrorist groups? Is jihad, meaning a form of warfare, acceptable in today's world? Do you accept the validity of other religions? Should non-Muslims enjoy completely equal civil rights with Muslims? Do you accept the legitimacy of scholarly inquiry into the origins of Islam? Who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks? Do you accept that institutions that fund terrorism should be shut down?
To be sure, we should have no illusions about all this. We are never going to win every heart and mind. Asking these questions and questions like them, though, would provoke a very necessary conversation. It could begin to reveal who are the real moderates, and who are the pretenders. It could begin to identify who are the friends of enlightenment and tolerance, and who are the allies of brutality and inhumanity. It could begin the long road toward empowering our friends and marginalizing our enemies. Finally, it could make the War on Militant Islam a war we can win -- for ourselves and for the millions of Muslims who need our help.

-- Andrew C. McCarthy, a former chief assistant U.S. attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others, is an NRO contributor.

Kingdom Comes to North America
Top Saudi cleric to visit Canada.
By Steven Stalinsky
Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, the Saudi government appointed imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, will give a series of lectures in Canada next week and attend the Islamic Society of North America conference in Toronto. Al-Sudayyis's position is one of the most prestigious in Sunni Islam. Thus, his sermons hold significant weight throughout the Islamic world.
The themes of his sermons are characterized by confrontation toward non-Muslims. Al-Sudayyis calls Jews "scum of the earth" and "monkeys and pigs" who should be "annihilated." Other enemies of Islam, he says, are "worshippers of the cross" and "idol-worshipping Hindus" who should be fought. Al-Sudayyis has been consistent in calling for jihad in Kashmir and Chechnya, for Jerusalem to be liberated, and for the "occupiers in Iraq" to also be fought. He often claims that Islam is superior to Western culture.
At the Grand Mosque in Mecca on February 1, 2004, Sheikh Al-Sudayyis called on Muslims everywhere to unite to defeat the world's occupiers and oppressors. "History has never known a cause in which our religious principles, historical rights, and past glories are so clearly challenged.... The conflict between us and the Jews is one of creed, identity, and existence." He told those listening to "read history," in order "to know that yesterday's Jews were bad predecessors and today's Jews are worse successors. They are killers of prophets and the scum of the earth. Allah hurled his curses and indignation on them and made them monkeys and pigs and worshippers of tyrants. These are the Jews, a continuous lineage of meanness, cunning, obstinacy, tyranny, evil, and corruption...."
Al-Sudayyis elaborated on the conflict between Muslims and Jews:
O Muslims, the Islamic nation today is at the peak of conflict with the enemies of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, with the grandsons of Bani-Quraydah, Al-Nadhir, and Qaynuqa [Jewish tribes in the early days of Islam]. May Allah's curses follow them until the Day of Judgment.
The nation must know that these are people with a disgraceful history and.... They want to establish the Greater Israel with Jerusalem as its capital. They also aspire to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque and build their alleged temple in its place. They want to liquidate the State of Islam and the Koran, and build the State of the Torah and Talmud on its debris. They will get what they deserve from Allah.... Our Al-Aqsa is crying out saying all mosques have been liberated, while I -- a great holy mosque -- am still being desecrated. Is the aspiration of over 1 billion Muslims to preserve their holy places [to be] considered savagery and terrorism? What a great lie, O Allah, O steadfast brothers in struggler and steadfast Palestine, the land of honor, loftiness, sacrifice, jihad, and bravery. The captivity of our Al-Aqsa in the hands of the tyrants makes us sleepless. May Allah please us with its liberation. Victory is coming soon, Allah willing.
....Here are the flags of victory looming on the horizon. We can smell it. It is crowned by a brave jihad, an intifada, which is still the winning card and the lit candle in the hands of the devout sons of this nation.... O nation of jihad and sacrifice, it is the duty of Muslims to support their brothers in creed in Palestine and elsewhere and to back them with material and moral support. Jihad with money sometimes supersedes jihad with soul, as mentioned in many Koranic verses and the prophet's traditions.
In a sermon on April 23, 2004, regarding Iraq, Al-Sudayyis stated that "our Muslim brothers in the Iraq of history and civilization are facing another bloody chapter, particularly in the brave, steadfast city of Al-Fallujah." He called on Muslims everywhere to unite "to defeat all their occupiers and oppressors" for the destruction of the enemies of Islam, to support "our mujahedeen brothers in Palestine," and to disperse "the unjust Zionists."
Discussing plots by enemies of Islam, who he identifies as Hindus, Jews, and Christians, Al-Sudayyis delivered a sermon on May 31, 2002, which stated:
Those whom Allah cursed, got angry with, and turned into monkeys and pigs, the tyrant worshippers among the Jewish aggressors and criminal Zionists. Their course is supported by the advocates of usury and worshippers of the Cross, as well as by those who are infatuated with them and influenced by their rotten ideas and poisonous culture among the advocates of secularism and Westernization.... The enemies of Muslims among the atheists insist on their arrogance and aggression against our people and our holy places in Chechnya? The idol-worshipping Hindus indulge in their open hatred against our brothers and holy Muslim Kashmir, threatening an imminent danger and a fierce war in the whole Indian sub-continent?... O Allah, support our brother Mujahedeen for your sake and the oppressed everywhere. O Allah, support them in Palestine, Kashmir, and Chechnya. O Allah, we ask you to support our Palestinian brothers in Palestine against the aggressor Jews and usurper Zionists. O Allah, the Jews have oppressed, terrorized, and indulged in tyranny and corruption. O Allah, deal with them for they are within your power.
According to Sheikh Al-Sudayyis, Islam is superior to Western culture. He told worshipers in Mecca in February 2002: "The most noble civilization ever known to mankind is our Islamic civilization. Today, Western civilization is nothing more than the product of its encounter with our Islamic civilization in Andalusia [medieval Spain]. The reason for [Western civilization's] bankruptcy is its reliance on the materialistic approach, and its detachment from religion and values. [This approach] has been one reason for the misery of the human race, for the proliferation of suicide, mental problems...and for moral perversion.... Only one nation is capable of resuscitating global civilization, and that is the nation [of Islam].... While the false cultures sink in the swamp of materialism and suffer moral crises...our Islamic nation is the one worthy of grasping the reins of leadership and riding on the back of the horse of pioneering and world sovereignty."
"Read history," Al-Sudayyis stated in another sermon in May 2002, "and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [others'] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers ... the scum of the human race 'whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs....' These are the Jews, an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption...."
The concluding supplications of Al-Sudayyis sermons are often filled with statements concerning current affairs. He consistently calls for "Muslims to humiliate the infidels (non-Muslims)," as well as for their destruction. For example, on November 1, 2002, he stated "O Allah, support our mujahedeen bothers in Palestine, Kashmir, and Chechnya and destroy the aggressor Jews and the tyrannical Zionists, for they are within your power." In a June 21, 2002, sermon, Al-Sudayyis gives supplication: "O Allah, support them in Palestine, Kashmir, and Chechnya. O Allah, deal with the Jews and Zionists for they are within Your power. O Allah, scatter their assemblies, make them a lesson for others, and let them and their property be a booty for Muslims."
In another sermon in May 2003, Sheikh Al-Sudayyis condemned what he termed the "serpents" to "spit their venom" by harming the Islamic religion, ridiculing the pious, and blaming the school curricula and religious and welfare institutions. Al-Sudayyis stated: "O Lord, support our brother mujahedeen for your sake everywhere. O Lord, support them in Palestine. O Lord, deal with the aggressor Jews and sinful Zionists. O Lord, deal with them for they are within Your power. O Lord, deal with the enemies of religion and show us the miracles of Your power on them." Also, on July 11, 2003, he stated: "O Allah, support our mujahedeen brothers everywhere. O Allah, help them score victory over the unjust Jews and aggressive Zionists in Palestine. O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. O Allah, destroy them, for they are within your power. O Allah, disperse them and make them prey for Muslims."
According to statements beginning in June 2003 made by Washington D.C. Saudi-embassy spokesman Adel Al-Jubeir, "Hundreds of imams [in Saudi Arabia] who violated prohibitions against preaching intolerance have been removed from their positions and more than 1,000 have been suspended and referred to educational programs." Clearly, this is not the case with Saudi Arabia's leading imam, Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, who continues to preach incitement from the most holy site in all of Islam.

-- Steven Stalinsky is executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Zarqawi called 'field commander' of most Islamic terrorists in Iraq
Special to World
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Abu Musad al Zarqawi, the Al Qaida-affiliated terrorist who U.S. intelligence says conducted the videotaped beheading of American civilian Nick Berg on May 11, also claimed responsibility for a terrorist bombing in Baghdad last week. The attack on a coalition forces headquarters was the work of the Tawhid and Jihad Group, a group that is part of the Zarqawi network, officials said.
A poster distributed by the U.S. Army shows different images of Abu Musad al Zarqawi, a Jordanian national. AFP/US ARMY-HO
Zarqawi remains the most dangerous terrorist in Iraq despite a major covert operation to find and kill or capture him and his group.
A communiqu? posted on a Jihadist web site a day after the bombing stated that a terrorist it identified as Abu Mutab, a Saudi national, "departed in a car loaded with 600 kilograms of TNT for the main headquarters of the occupying forces and their apostate quislings, known as the Republican Palace."
The notice stated that the bombing was "a successful operation, in which the brother was granted the chance to harvest many of the infidels and the apostates."
Zarqawi is also linked to the Islamist terror organization Ansar al Islam, which has stepped up operations in post-war Iraq. Many of the group's members had fled to neighboring Iran and are returning to fight the coalition forces.
Kurdish officials in northern Iraq have stated that Zarqawi was recently in the northern part of the country and had a role in plotting the assassination of Barham Salih, a local governing official.
An Ansar terrorist was caught before the attack could be carried out and the man had stated that he had met Zarqawi in the border town of Halabja. Zarqawi is viewed as the field commander of most of the Islamist terrorists in Iraq.

Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.


Diplomat's E-Mails Show Berg in Custody
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer
WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Family members provided e-mails Thursday that say Nicholas Berg was held by the U.S. military before he was kidnapped and beheaded, but the government contends the messages were based on erroneous information.
Berg's family has called on the U.S. government to tell all it knows about its contacts with the 26-year-old businessman in the weeks before his body was found last weekend in Baghdad and a gruesome video that showed his beheading was posted on the Internet.
To back its claims that Berg was in U.S. custody, the family on Thursday gave The Associated Press copies of e-mails from Beth A. Payne, the U.S. consular officer in Iraq (news - web sites).
"I have confirmed that your son, Nick, is being detained by the U.S. military in Mosul. He is safe. He was picked up approximately one week ago. We will try to obtain additional information regarding his detention and a contact person you can communicate with directly," Payne wrote to Berg's father, Michael, on April 1.
Payne repeated that Berg was "being detained by the U.S. military" in an e-mail the same day to Berg's mother, Suzanne. The next day, Payne wrote that she was still trying to find a local contact for the family, but added that "given the security situation in Iraq it is not easy."
U.S. officials say Berg was detained by Iraqi police March 24 and was never in the custody of American forces. Berg is believed to have been kidnapped days after Iraqi police or coalition forces released him April 6.
The government says the e-mail from Payne was false. State Department spokeswoman Kelly Shannon said Payne's information came from the Coalition Provisional Authority. The authority did not tell Payne until April 7 that Berg had been held by Iraqi police and not the U.S. military, she said.
"As Mr. Berg had been released, the consular officer did not convey this information to the family because he was released, thankfully," Shannon said. "And we thought he was on his way."
Berg's brother called on the government to come clean about its contacts with the slain American before he died. The family has blamed the government for keeping him in custody for too long while anti-American violence escalated in Iraq.
"They're trying to deflect attention to a couple weeks down the road when no one's paying attention," David Berg said. "I think President Bush (news - web sites) needs to be a man about this and tell the truth. I think most, if not all, Americans can figure out who's telling the truth and who's lying."
Meanwhile, the family said Berg had been questioned by the FBI (news - web sites) more than a year ago about a contact he had with a terrorism suspect in 1999, while he was a student at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
A senior law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the terror suspect appears to have been acquainted with Zacarias Moussaoui, an al-Qaida adherent now in federal custody and awaiting trial on conspiracy charges stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks.
The official said an e-mail address traced to Berg had been used by the unidentified individual with purported terror connections, but a 2002 investigation showed Berg had never met the individual and had not given the e-mail address to that person.
Michael Berg told reporters Thursday that his son was cleared of any wrongdoing. He said Nicholas Berg met the suspect while riding the bus to classes, and had allowed the suspect to use his computer.
A private memorial for Berg was scheduled for Friday at a West Chester synagogue. Family members declined to discuss burial arrangements.
The Bergs said they want to know if the government had received an offer to trade Iraqi prisoners for Nicholas Berg. On the videotape of his death, Berg's killers made a reference to a trade offer, but U.S. officials have said they knew of no such offer.
Michael Berg said he wanted to hear President Bush address the issue.
"I would like to ask him if it is true that al-Qaida offered to trade my son's life for the life of another person," Michael Berg said. "And if that is true, well, I need that information. ... and I think the people of the United States of America need to know what the fate of their sons and daughters might be in the hands of the Bush administration."
Associated Press writers Curt Anderson and Lara Jakes Jordan in Washington contributed to this report.

U.S. contractors say they served as interrogators when asked
Thursday, May 13, 2004
U.S. security contractors said their primary role was translation, not the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Gharib prison north of Baghdad.
But U.S. officials said that under the terms of the Defense Department contract, private security personnel could be asked to serve as interrogators in case of a shortage of U.S. military personnel.
The contractors denied involvement n the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. At least two U.S. contractors were hired to provide services at Abu Gharib.
The two contractors were identified as CACI International and Titan Corp. Both companies said they provided Arabic interpreters to translate for military intelligence during interrogations, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The company's contract is for linguists, not interrogators," Titan said in a statement. "For security and safety reasons, we do not discuss individual assignments, military operations or duty locations."
But Pentagon officials said security contractors agreed to also serve as interrogators at Abu Gharib and other detention centers in Iraq. The officials said interrogations conducted by the private security personnel were under U.S. Army supervision.
"In the theatre we have employed civilian contract interrogators and linguists," Acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee told the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 6. "The Central Command has done this. And these people have no supervisory capabilities at all. They work under the supervision of officers in charge or non-commissioned officers in charge of whatever team or unit they are on."
Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, deputy chief of U.S. Central Command, said security contractors at Abu Gharib provided a range of services for intelligence officers. Smith said contractors were expected to provide both translation and interrogation services depending on needs of military intelligence.
"In this particular case, there is a tiger team that interrogates and goes through that process," Smith said. "One is an interpreter normally. One is an analyst. And one is an interrogator. And where we have a shortage in the military of interrogators and translators we go to contractors to do that."
Neither CACI nor Titan explained the assertion by the Pentagon officials regarding the use of security contractors in the interrogation of Irarqi prisoners. But the companies said they have ordered their personnel stationed at Abu Gharib to cooperate in the army investigation. So far, neither company reported that its employees had been charged with the abuse of prisoners at the detention facility.
"There is an ongoing investigation underway in which our people have cooperated in the interview process," CACI president Jack London said. "CACI will continue to cooperate with all U.S. government investigations when requested and is now conducting its own analysis and investigation of events."

Copyright ? 2004 East West Services, Inc.

States Burning Up Litigation Funds
Posted May 14, 2004
By John Pike
Critics are furious that antismoking funds are being used by states such as North Carolina to purchase tobacco-company stocks.
The cost of the 1998 billion-dollar tobacco-settlement agreement has been put at approximately $246 billion for the first 25 years, or an average of $10 billion annually. To get to this windfall a number of states went so far as to change their laws of civil procedure to tap into the wealth of a politically incorrect group: the U.S. tobacco manufacturers, a worldwide, economy-building industry that goes back to the English colonies of North America and the Native Americans before that.
What the manifoldly mendacious states attorneys general (AGs) did in the 1990s was announce that, for the good of the people, they were suing the cigarette manufacturers to recover Medicaid expenses to pay for smoking-related illnesses and fund smoking-cessation programs. Within five years most of the money the states were receiving from the tobacco settlement was defraying their general budget costs that had nothing to do with tobacco. The plaintiffs' lawyers who cooked up the deal, meanwhile, had received their billions from the settlement.
Former Massachusetts attorney general Scott Harshbarger made antitobacco efforts a prominent theme of his administration, and he was the fifth AG to file suit against the tobacco companies. The main reason Harshbarger gave for the lawsuit was to fund smoking-cessation programs. But although Massachusetts soon received $689 million from the manufacturers (excluding the tax on packs), it virtually shut down its celebrated tobacco-control program, say antismoking activists, cutting the funding. According to the Boston Herald, it was funded at $48 million at its height, an amount that quickly fell to $5.7 million, with the program exhausting its annual stipends. Massachusetts now uses less than 1 percent of its tobacco money for tobacco-prevention programs. Much of the tobacco-settlement money in the Bay State is paying for budget expenses unrelated to tobacco.
Other venues that misused the funds include Los Angeles, where, according to the American Medical Association, former mayor Richard Riordan planned to use $100 million in tobacco-settlement funds to deal with lawsuits involving police corruption. In one year the tobacco state of Virginia spent about $15.5 million of these funds to cover its budget deficit. By 2001 just six states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were spending enough money on antitobacco programs to be effective, despite the fact that many of the states received hundreds of millions of dollars from the settlement for that purpose.
In 1997 former surgeon general C. Everett Koop commented for CNN on the tobacco companies and the master settlement, declaring: "It's a big concern for all those of us who worked three decades with the tobacco industry and find you can't trust them. I am sure they will take every effort they can to find loopholes." But as it developed, the states were even more untrustworthy than the demonized tobacco companies.
The government already was taking plenty from the tobacco companies to care for the casualties of tobacco use. In 1999, Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor said that a study by Harvard Law School professor Kip Viscusi "proved that cigarette-tax collections more than offset the cost to government for treating tobacco-related illnesses." He explained that "The main objective of the tobacco lawsuits was to raise revenue. Using lawsuits to raise revenue is far easier than raising taxes the old-fashioned way. This method bypasses the need for representatives of the voters to approve the tax. It shifts the awesome powers of the legislative bodies - commercial regulation, taxation, appropriation and the power to change law - to the judicial branch of government."
Although Alabama was not actively involved in the tobacco-settlement agreement, the manufacturers funded a trust to compensate adversely affected venues that grow tobacco, which include that state, North Carolina, Virginia and others.
As a result, some states have gone so far as to take money from the tobacco settlement - funds that are supposed to fight tobacco use and addiction - and put it toward growing tobacco or into the tobacco companies themselves. According to one published report, the tobacco state of North Carolina spent almost three-quarters of its settlement money on tobacco marketing and production, although some was used to help farmers adjust to growing other crops. One tobacco farmer received $25,000 to help pay for curing bins he installed in 2001. The state used $43 million on items such as constructing a tobacco auction house and $15,000 for a video of the history of the crop. Critics consider it likely that much of the rest of the $4.6 billion North Carolina was expected to receive within 25 years also would help the blindsided tobacco interests, in direct opposition to the declared purposes of the suit.
And according to a March 2002 study by the Washington-based Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), tobacco-settlement money even has been used by states to purchase tobacco stocks. "Texas, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah and West Virginia are among the states which invested a portion of their tobacco-settlement proceeds in tobacco companies. Much of these state investments ended up in index funds, tracking indexes like the S&P 500, which have tobacco-company representation. For each dollar invested in such funds, usually only about a penny goes into tobacco stocks. But given the huge size of the settlement pool, it still adds up to tens of millions of dollars flowing back into the tobacco industry."
Doug Cogan of the IRRC estimates that by late 2001 about $11 million had been invested in tobacco securities by Texas, and Utah soon had almost $600,000 in Philip Morris Companies Inc., Loews Corp. and UST Inc. "Of the 33 states investing tobacco-settlement proceeds, at least 16 have no restrictions on investing in tobacco companies," the report states.
And remember this was done by means designed to circumvent long-established law. According to Robert A. Levy of Washington's libertarian Cato Institute, Florida, Maryland and Vermont specifically changed their laws to allow for a successful lawsuit against the tobacco manufacturers. The rest of the states asked the judges to ignore common law and pretend the law had indeed been changed. The trick was that higher courts never had to rule on the constitutionality of what amounted to passage of both bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, illegal under the Constitution, because the whole agreement was settled out of court.
"During the past 40 years," Levy states in a 1997 study, "not a single smoker received a single dollar of damages from tobacco companies as juries repeatedly concluded that smokers are responsible for their own behavior and their own losses." Yet under the new laws, "If a smoker happens to be a Medicaid recipient, individual responsibility is out the window," he notes. "The same tobacco company selling the same person the same product that results in the same injury is, magically, liable, not to the smoker but to the state. By legislative fiat, liability hinges on a smoker's Medicaid status, a fortuity totally unrelated to any misdeeds of the industry."
What this means is that, for example, if a person injures himself skiing, the ski manufacturer would not be liable for his medical expenses. But under the changed laws, if the skier was on Medicaid and everything else stayed the same, the manufacturer then would be liable for his medical expenses.
"And it gets worse," Levy's study points out. "The state is not even required to show that a particular party was harmed by his use of tobacco. Instead, causation may be proven by statistics alone (later ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court). The act originally provided that Florida was not required to identify the individual recipients of Medicaid payments; instead, the state could seek recovery for all recipients, anonymously, as a group. One would think that the industry could at least investigate whether patients suffering from 'smoking-related illnesses' ever smoked. Wrong. Incredibly, the industry will be allowed to depose only 25 of 400,000 claimants. These lawsuits retroactively eradicate settled doctrine and deny due process to an industry singled out for its deep pockets and public image, not its legal culpability."
So according to Florida law while it was suing the manufacturers, the man who broke his leg and sues the ski manufacturers, for example, does not have to prove he ever skied at all or show what type of ski he used.
Ordinarily, a link has to be established between a manufacturer's conduct and the injured person's health problems. This settlement resulted in the states receiving damages for some Medicaid recipients when their injuries were caused by other means. And remember this, critics note, if the government can circumvent the Constitution to do this to Big Tobacco, it can do the same to anyone it decides to demonize. And it can get worse, much worse.
So why did the tobacco companies agree to an unconstitutional and expensive settlement? Levy has an answer for that too. "Not even the tobacco companies are big losers," he states. "Even though the four companies have to raise their prices to fund the settlement, they are guaranteed a virtual monopoly. Any new or existing tobacco companies not party to the settlement would have to put up damages for 25 years to guard against the possibility they might be later sued by the states. In effect, a highly competitive industry has been transformed into a cartel. So now we have these barriers to entry, a blatant violation of the antitrust laws."

Something for everyone, you see.

John Pike is a contributing writer for Insight magazine.

May 13, 2004 -- TAKE it from a survivor of Albany's intern program.
It brings some warped comfort in these uncertain days to know that a few services provided by your taxpayer-paid servants in the state Capitol haven't changed a bit in 20 years.
As sure as you can count on higher taxes and the open bar, you know that your elected officials are hard at work each legislative season, plying eager, young interns with booze and promises.
But I exaggerate.
One important thing has indeed changed in the two decades since I was among the ranks of cuties who tapped eagerly aboard high heels and hair gel up to the New York state capital, pursuing brilliant careers among the most fertile minds tax money could buy - only to discover it wasn't just legislators' heads that were stocked with fertilizer.
Today, after endless scandals involving interns bearing big hair and knee pads, guys who indulge in illicit romps with college-age underlings have - finally - gotten their acts together.
Now, instead of scarfing up hotties at Albany's intern-stocked bars, legislators have staffers to do their recruiting. Who says your tax dollars can't produce streamlined services?
Things were not so organized, back in the day when "out of town or under five minutes" was the only rule for adultery.
It was at a lobbyist's cocktail party that I - broke and anorexic, though not by choice - was offered a job writing newsletters by a homely legislator amused by my singular ability to pack away the chilled shrimp. Little got written, though, as the guy spent most of the day whining to me about his wife. Finally, he made a pass, right in your state capital. I nearly decapitated the runt. Next day, I was fired.
It never even occurred to me to complain.
Years later, an intern nearly toppled a presidency. And nothing has changed.
We don't know what happened behind a locked hotel-room door between Adam Clayton Powell IV and a liquored-up college girl who accuses him of rape.
"But how can people be so stupid, putting himself in that position?" my old SUNY Albany professor Alan Chartock said.
Shelly Silver, you've got a problem. It's called Legislative Democrats, and they're running wild.


Unipolar Versus Unilateral

By John Van Oudenaren
John Van Oudenaren is chief of the European Division at the Library of Congress and adjunct professor, BMW Center for German and European Studies, Georgetown University. He writes here in a personal capacity. This article is the second part of a two-part analysis of multilateralism in transatlantic relations based on a presentation at Princeton University in October 2002. The first part appeared as "What Is `Multilateral'?" Policy Review 117 (February-March 2003).

(Go to Print Friendly Version)

ong before their bitter falling out over the war in Iraq, the United States and France were at odds over unilateralism. In a November 1999 speech in Paris, French President Jacques Chirac fired one of the first salvos in this conflict. He condemned the U.S. Senate's decision not to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, setting forth a vision of a multipolar world the chief organizing principle of which was the containment of American power. For Chirac and other French officials, American unilateralism was a product of the post-Cold War imbalance of power and the emergence of the United States as the world's lone "hyperpower." Multilateralism was to be both the ultimate objective of a French-led effort to restore a balance and the means by which to achieve it.

Policymakers and academics on both sides of the Atlantic have since debated whether a more multipolar world is feasible or desirable. The debate has done little, however, to establish consensus on what both sides have taken to calling "effective multilateralism." Government ministers speak in garbled terms of the need to build a "multipolar and partnership-oriented world order" and to "strengthen all multipolar structures," using the terms multipolar and multilateral almost interchangeably -- and without defining either one. In effect, the debate over unipolarity has been marked by the same rhetorical excess and lack of intellectual rigor that characterize the broader discussion of multilateralism.

Three particular problems stand out in this debate. The first is conceptual and concerns the absence of any logically necessary or historically demonstrable association between unipolarity and unilateralism or between multipolarity and multilateralism. The second relates to the internal American debate and the absence of a dominant "unipolar unilateralist" outlook on the part of those making U.S. foreign policy. The third concerns the course of post-Cold War diplomacy and the difficulty of reconciling the actual record of events since the fall of communism with the thesis that a shift in the balance of power led to increased unilateralism on the part of the United States.

Conceptual confusion

o identify unipolarity with unilateralism and multipolarity with multilateralism is to confuse categories and levels of analysis. Polarity is a system-level concept that relates to the distribution of power, real or perceived, in the international system. Unilateralism and multilateralism are choices about policies that states adopt within a given international system. In principle, there is no reason why the leading power in a unipolar order cannot pursue a multilateralist foreign policy or, conversely, why the great powers in a multipolar system necessarily must be multilateralists.

If anything, history shows that the strongest powers often are the most multilaterally inclined. International relations theorists have been fascinated by the concept of hegemonic stability in which it is the strongest power that underpins the multilateral system in a way that serves both its own interests and provides order as an international public good. Nineteenth-century Britain and late-twentieth-century America were classic hegemons in this regard. Conversely, the persistent unilateralism of French policy for much of the post-1945 period -- the franc devaluations of 1957 and 1958, the refusal to sign the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963, the European Community "empty chair" crisis of 1965, the withdrawal from the integrated nato command in 1966, the refusal to participate in the us-uk-ussr Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1969, and the decision not to join the International Energy Agency at the time of the 1973 oil crisis -- can only be explained in terms of France's relative weakness and the determination of Paris to preserve its freedom of action by keeping a certain distance from the postwar multilateral order.

Moreover, to identify multipolarity with multilateralism and unipolarity with unilateralism is to overlook the complexity of the U.S. foreign policy debate, reducing it to a one-dimensional conflict between unilateralists and multilateralists. If polarity and multi-/unilateralism are different analytic categories, then foreign policy visions should be analyzed with reference to both these categories: in regard to differing perceptions of the distribution of power in the international system, on one hand, and different preferences for unilateral or multilateral approaches to policy, on the other.

Table 1 attempts a rough classification of a number of participants in the U.S. policy debate and how they view the relationship between power and policy.

Polarity and Foreign Policy: U.S. Views
Preferred Policy Perception of the International System
Unipolar Multipolar


Unilateral Kagan
Krauthammer Buchanan


Multilateral Nye
Ikenberry Lind

Charles Krauthammer and Robert Kagan are what might be called unipolar unilateralists. They see the distribution of power in the international system as essentially unipolar. They also embrace unilateral policies as the means by which the United States must protect its interests and act for the greater good of humanity. Krauthammer identified the "unipolar moment" in his seminal article of 1990 and later came to see unipolarity as an enduring feature of the international order. He rejects the multilateral "straitjacket" that in his view threatened to neutralize American power during the Clinton administration and has commended the Bush administration for "adopting policies that recognized the new unipolarity and the unilateralism necessary to maintain it."1

Kagan also sees the United States as possessing unique strengths that make the world unipolar and that account for what he sees as an increasing U.S. tilt toward unilateralism. He argues that the strong are always attracted to unilateral options while the weak seek refuge in multilateral diplomacy -- and that the defining characteristic of the current international order is European weakness. Moreover, he sees little chance that Europe, having let its military capabilities atrophy in the post-Hobbesian paradise that it has built behind U.S. protection, will develop the capabilities needed to function as a credible pole in a multipolar world.

In acute form, unipolar unilateralism informs the much talked-about imperial strain in U.S. thinking about foreign policy -- what one analyst has called "global social engineering" to rid the world of dictators and to promote the spread, by force if necessary, of democracy and free markets.

John Ikenberry and Joseph Nye are similar to Krauthammer and Kagan in that they perceive the international system as essentially unipolar.2 However, they differ over the effect of unilateral policies, which in their view undermine rather than underpin American interests. Ikenberry focuses on the way in which dominant powers -- England after 1815, the Western powers in 1919, and the United States after 1945 -- built institutions that constrained their own power but that also reduced the incentives and opportunities for potential rivals to challenge their dominant positions. Ikenberry essentially updates hegemonic stability theory to post-Cold War conditions, arguing that through restraint and the judicious use of international institutions, the United States can perpetuate its special status in the international system, forestalling the formation of hostile coalitions or the rise of a new hegemon.

Nye acknowledges some elements of multipolarity in the international system -- he argues that international relations has become a three-level game involving military, economic, and so-called soft power, with the United States enjoying unipolar dominance only on the first level -- but he is concerned that a shift to across-the-board multipolarity would be destabilizing. American foreign policy, according to Nye, can and should work to preserve U.S. military dominance through the judicious use of soft power. Like Ikenberry, Nye believes that the dominant power has the option, if it is smart, of shaping the international order in ways that can forestall the rise of competing powers in the system.

Traditional realists such as John Mearsheimer reject both the neoconservative and liberal views of the unipolar world order.3 They argue that the international system is inherently multipolar. Any unipolar imbalance can only be momentary, as competing power centers inevitably rise and seek to counterbalance the dominant power. But Mearsheimer also argues that U.S. policy must be unilateralist for the simple reason that all great powers pursue essentially unilateralist policies. As a realist, he regards international norms and institutions largely as window dressing, the importance of which has been vastly overstated by liberal institutionalists. Under no circumstances can the promotion by the dominant power of such norms and institutions -- no matter how imaginative or judicious -- persuade rulers in Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi, or Paris to abandon their efforts to counterbalance.

Patrick Buchanan (drawing upon the work of Christopher Layne and other realists) and Jeremy Rabkin are also multipolar unilateralists, albeit for different reasons.4 Like Mearsheimer, they are not dismissive of the power of other countries and blocs. Buchanan not only expects but positively embraces multipolarity: Only a truly multipolar world will eliminate the geopolitical vacuums that drew twentieth-century America into extensive involvement in the affairs of Europe and Asia, with (in his view) harmful effects on the U.S. constitutional order. At the same time, however, Buchanan affirms that U.S. policy must remain true to its nineteenth-century unilateralist roots, precisely to avoid the international entanglements (and resulting domestic spillovers) that multilateralism requires.

Rabkin also sees strong elements of multipolarity -- or at least bipolarity -- in the international system, with the European Union as the chief rival to the United States. Focusing on economics and law rather than military power, he sees Brussels and the United States engaged in a struggle over global governance, with the eu very much threatening to gain the upper hand. Rabkin takes a very negative view of the eu's self-proclaimed status as the champion of a new system of global governance, which he sees as a threat to democratic legitimacy, economic efficiency, and American sovereignty. Resistance to the European governance agenda -- which from the European perspective comes across as U.S. unilateralism -- is the only sensible American response. Rabkin thus differs strongly from Kagan, who does not see a serious bid for power in European multilateralism but merely the tactics of the weak.

Those who see the world as multipolar and embrace genuinely multilateral policies include Michael Lind, who has called for an effort to revive a concert of the great powers, as well as David Calleo and Charles Kupchan, both of whom also embrace a form of multipolar multilateralism, albeit one that is highly Eurocentric.5 Lind argues that the United States should concentrate on working with the other major powers in the United Nations Security Council and the g8, an approach that in his view will spare the United States the need to choose between a reflexive multilateralism that subordinates U.S. interests to the rule of small and weak countries and an arrogant unilateralism that places Washington at odds with the rest of the world. Calleo and Kupchan see the eu as evolving into a great-power counterpart to the United States, one that is neither weak nor necessarily a threat to U.S. interests. Calleo sees a stronger eu as the natural partner of a chastened and more modest United States in building "a cooperative multilateral system, based on rules with an effective balance of power to sustain those rules," while Kupchan heralds the "return of a world of multiple power centers" in which Europe is America's only near-term major competitor.

Each of these streams of foreign policy thinking has its strengths and insights, but each also has problems and contradictions. Collectively, they point toward the dilemmas that the United States has faced as it has tried to chart a post-Cold War foreign policy. The unipolar unilateralists are generally not given to self-doubt, but even they display a certain unease at policies that so obviously irritate so many people around the world. Krauthammer has called for what he admits would be an oxymoronic "humble unilateralism." Kagan, even as he insists that the Europeans are too weak to constrain the United States, counsels that Washington should show more generosity of spirit by playing along with multilateralism when the costs of doing so are low.

Ikenberry argues that multilateralism can dissuade would-be rivals from mounting challenges to No. 1 but fails to explain how the self-restraint of the leading power can prevent the ambitious number twos and threes -- particularly those that see themselves in ascendance -- from turning multilateral institutions against the leading power to challenge its hegemony (in the way, for example, that imperial Germany exploited free trade to undercut British preeminence). As a former policymaker, Nye is sensitive to the need for the United States to act unilaterally to protect its interests when inertia or opposition elsewhere in the world precludes multilateral action or when multilateral initiatives do not meet certain tests for U.S. involvement. But he does not explain how a general preference for multilateralism will prevent what Washington might regard as exceptional acts of unilateralism from accumulating into the unilateralist-rogue-state image that the United States has earned in recent years.

The cautions of the realists -- the multipolar unilateralists -- about overextension and excessive engagement are well taken. As policy guidance, however, they have their limitations. While it may be useful for policymakers to remind themselves that in the long run all empires fall and all power is counterbalanced, even the most realpolitik-oriented administration cannot avoid making decisions on a daily basis about the many agreements and institutional arrangements in which the United States is enmeshed.

As regards the multipolar multilateralists, their readiness to think about a world of multiple power centers acting according to some agreed definition of multilateralism is to be welcomed, given the eventual likely emergence of India and China as great powers, Russia's path toward recovery, and Europe's continued drive for a greater role in world affairs. But they confront the same structural dilemmas that arise for Ikenberry and Nye: How can the leading power be sure that cooperation within a concert will not be exploited by potential rivals to establish a new hegemony? Or, conversely, what guarantees do the rising powers have that the erstwhile hegemon will not use the concert to lock them into positions of permanent inferiority? Absent a solution to these dilemmas, it is difficult to see how what Kupchan calls the "devolution" of responsibility from the United States to Europe (or any other power center) can become the chief guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy.

Diplomacy after the Cold War

he link between American unilateralism and the emergence of unipolarity since the end of the Cold War distorts the actual record of international relations in this period. Future historians are unlikely to have much patience with the simplistic view that the United States suddenly took a unilateralist turn in 1991 -- or even in 2001 -- as a consequence of its newfound relative strength. The first Bush and Clinton administrations teemed with multilateral activism -- in economics, arms control, nonproliferation, and selected world-order issues. The descent into what the rest of the world came to see as unilateralism, which began during Clinton's second term and accelerated dramatically after George W. Bush's inauguration, was a much more complex process involving both the rejection of a particular brand of American multilateralism and the rise of competing multilateral initiatives.

As any hegemonic stability theorist would have predicted, the United States entered the post-Cold War era in a decidedly multilateralist frame of mind. The first President Bush declared the establishment of a "new world order," led the U.N.-mandated coalition that expelled Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, completed the Uruguay Round negotiations that established the World Trade Organization, completed the start treaty with the collapsing Soviet regime, and launched the negotiations that led to the treaty banning chemical weapons and the establishment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Clinton administration continued in much the same vein. It secured the ratification of the Uruguay Round agreements, took the lead in negotiating a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, backed the establishment of and provided much of the funding for the International Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia, and, after some initial hesitation, began a campaign to enlarge and reform nato.

As the hegemonic stability theorists also would have predicted, the Bush i and early Clinton policies reflected a tendency to enlist multilateralism in the service of unipolarity. Whether or not they were consciously framed as such, many of these U.S. initiatives had a certain one-sided character that, while they were difficult to oppose outright, made other powers distinctly nervous. The European Union, for example, was initially skeptical of the U.S. push for a mandatory dispute resolution mechanism in the wto, which meant the end of the standard eu practice of using the consensus rule to block any finding that Brussels had violated international trade law. France and Britain were hardly enthusiastic about the criminal trials for the former Yugoslavia, which smacked of American Wilsonianism at its worst and potentially touched upon the pro-Serb leanings in both countries. France and China could not accept a comprehensive test ban treaty until they had completed a final round of tests, while India was incensed by the Clinton administration's early proposals for a ctbt that would have allowed some low-level testing by the nuclear powers in a way that sanctioned and perpetuated the existing inequality between nuclear haves and have-nots. European governments were also quite wary of Clinton's push to enlarge and reform nato, which they saw as an attempt to reinforce U.S. influence on the continent and to upstage the eu, whose widening and deepening they saw as the main act in Europe's post-Cold War transformation.

Not surprisingly, beginning gradually in the early 1990s and gathering strength during Clinton's second term, an increasing number of international actors began to resist American hegemonic multilateralism, less by outright rejection of U.S. initiatives than by assertive counteractions, the eventual effect of which was to deprive Washington of the multilateralist high ground and place it on the unilateralist defensive.

The United States won quick victories over the eu in the wto on beef hormones and bananas, areas in which the eu had long defied international rules. But this encouraged an enraged European Commission to begin scouring the U.S. trade, tax, and antitrust code in search of non-wto-compliant provisions and to file a flurry of lawsuits that Brussels knew it could win. Today, transatlantic trade relations are very much shaped by the unpredicted (but in retrospect entirely predictable) way in which the eu learned to counterpunch against U.S. legal activism in the wto, as Congress struggles to amend tax and antitrust laws that may have little real effect on trade but that from a strictly legal point of view are not wto-compliant.

In the arms control sphere, the non-nuclear powers came to accept the idea of a comprehensive test ban treaty but demanded a steep price in return: The United States and the other nuclear powers had to accept the "true zero yield." President Clinton ultimately made this concession, winning international support for the agreement but doing so in a way that ultimately doomed the treaty in the Senate. As in the case of the wto, the story of the ctbt is one of effective and in some ways unexpected counterpunching by other countries against a multilateral initiative by the United States that other powers saw as one-sided. In the end, Washington was left with an agreement that banned all U.S. testing and was enormously difficult to verify, but that did little to arrest the nuclear ambitions of Pakistan and India -- not to mention Iran, Iraq, Libya, and North Korea.

A key moment in the shift from the "assertive multilateralism" of the early Clinton administration to a new defensiveness about unilateralism was the Ottawa process that led to the signing of the December 1997 treaty banning land mines. This process was driven by a coalition of ngos and "like-minded" states that turned aside the U.S. request for a partial and temporary exception for the Korean Peninsula. Having lost the initiative on this issue, the United States was faced with a simple choice: to accept an immediate and total ban, codified in a treaty that allowed for no exceptions or reservations, or not to sign the treaty and risk being tagged with the unilateralist label.

In the negotiations to establish the International Criminal Court (icc), concluded in Rome some six months later, countries that had never shown much interest in a permanent court became active in the effort to establish such a body, largely in pursuit of unrelated agendas, including undermining the power of the U.N. Security Council. They were joined by a coalition of like-minded countries and ngos that, as with land mines, were determined to push through a treaty that did not reserve a special role for the U.N. Security Council and that at least implicitly was directed at constraining U.S. power. Once again, Washington was forced either to accept an agreement that it feared could be used against it or to reject the treaty and endure the unilateralist opprobrium that doing so would bring.

With regard to global warming, the United States had always been somewhat on the defensive, but the first Bush administration was able to sign the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change, with its purely voluntary commitments to stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. By the mid-1990s, key European countries and the environmental ngos were demanding that Washington accept the mandatory cuts ultimately imposed by Kyoto and that the U.S. economy experience real pain as it turned away from its energy-wasting ways, which many European ministers saw as much in moral as environmental terms. By the Hague conference of 2000, environmental multilateralism had been turned against the United States by an assertive coalition of weaker powers that, at a minimum, did not want to see Washington come off with any special treatment and that, more ambitiously, hoped to take some of the gloss off the much-heralded U.S. economic boom by highlighting what they saw as its dark environmental underside.

The most triumphalist phase of U.S. policy in the 1990s thus rather awkwardly coincided with the strengthening of external and especially European determination to use multilateral agreements to check U.S. power. In the end, the second Clinton administration was caught between recalcitrant partners who, notwithstanding the administration's essentially Eurocentric and multilateralist instincts, were unwilling to cut it much slack on key world-order issues and U.S. domestic forces (chiefly though by no means exclusively in the Republican-controlled Senate) who had never signed onto the new world order and perhaps were not surprised to see multilateralism turned against U.S. interests in so many areas.

These developments set the stage for the intensified transatlantic clashes over unipolarity and unilateralism that followed the inauguration of the second President Bush. To some extent, the much-decried unilateralism of the new administration was a matter of style, as Washington explicitly and in some cases harshly walked away from arrangements that the Clinton administration had never really embraced but could not bring itself to repudiate. Clinton signed Kyoto but took no steps to ratify or implement it; Bush declared the treaty dead. Clinton voted against the icc agreement, signed it at the last possible moment for procedural reasons, but recommended that the Senate not ratify; Bush went out of his way to "unsign" the agreement. With regard to the use of force, the new administration clearly was more inclined to act without U.N. or European sanction -- hence, the eventual conflict with France and Germany over Iraq. But even this was more a matter of degree than an absolute change, and in any case it was difficult to separate from the extraordinary security challenges that would have confronted any U.S. administration after September 11.

Where to go from here

he evidence does not support the view that American unilateralism is the result of a unipolar imbalance of power and that a return to multipolarity is a necessary or sufficient condition for creating a stronger multilateral order.

Viewed in the light of a vast international relations literature, this argument does not explain why the United States was the consummate multilateralist at the height of its power in the 1940s but then turned unilateralist after the unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union more than restored its earlier dominance. Conversely, it does not explain how France, once a weak and prickly unilateralist, suddenly became the world's most fervent multilateralist when confronted 50 years later with the emergence of the new American "hyperpower."

Similarly, the argument does not fit the facts as they relate to post-Cold War diplomacy. The history of this period is yet to be written, but even a cursory review of the wrangling over global warming, the icc, the use of force, and other issues suggests that the usual generalizations about the relationship between polarity and the choice of unilateral or multilateral policies are at best partially correct. Multilateralism is not a politically neutral instrument that, as the hegemonic stability theorists imply, can be used by a right-minded dominant power to cement its advantages. Nor is it, as the unipolar unilateralists argue, a tool of the weak that the leading power can safely ignore. Rather, multilateralism is itself up for grabs in the international system, with both the leading and aspirant powers seeking to define it and use it in ways that serve their interests.

Finally, the argument that unipolarity is the cause of unilateralism vastly simplifies the intellectual debate in the United States and ignores the different strands of thinking that have gone into shaping post-Cold War policy. As has been seen, some influential Americans see unipolarity as an argument for rather than against robust multilateralism. Others doubt the reality, at least for long, of a truly unipolar order but divide sharply on whether this means that the United States should follow unilateral or multilateral policies to advance its interests in what they see as a multipolar world.

Since January 2001, the tendency in Europe has been to see U.S. policy as driven by the unipolar unilateralism associated with prominent neoconservative thinkers. But even under the Bush administration, U.S. policy has reflected a blend of intellectual currents as policymakers have sought to adjust to particular situations and come to grips with American power and its limitations. Clearly, a readiness to act unilaterally and to do so on the basis of an awareness of power is a factor, albeit one that tends to be exaggerated in Europe. But there is also a certain unipolar multilateralist momentum behind the foreign policy of this as of any administration as the sheer weight of the United States shapes multilateral forums and international norms in ways that reflect and help to perpetuate U.S. power, precisely in the way that the hegemonic stability theorists would predict. Perhaps most interestingly, there are adumbrations of a multipolar multilateralism in U.S. policy -- an acceptance of the emergence of new power centers and a willingness to work with these powers cooperatively in international forums. This tendency can be seen, for example, in the recognition of China, India, and Russia as potential great powers in the 2002 National Security Strategy and more recently in Secretary of State Powell's focus on "embracing major powers."6 It is a stance that has historic roots in the Republican Party -- in the Eisenhower administration, for example -- and arguably was reflected in candidate Bush's call for a "humble" foreign policy.

Multilateralism in the service of multipolarity is precisely the high diplomatic ground that the eu has staked out for itself as it goes around the world forming "strategic partnerships" with key countries said to share its commitment to global governance and stronger multilateral institutions in a multipolar world. It remains to be seen, however, whether such a world will emerge and, if so, what it would look like; whether multipolarity in fact would strengthen multilateralism rather than lead to an intensified economic and political rivalry of all against all; and, not least, whether Europe would have more influence and security in such a world.

Many in Europe seem to assume that because the United States is the chief protagonist of the unipolar world, any attenuation of unipolarity will redound to Europe's benefit. This view seems to be based on the assumption that such a world will be exactly like the one that exists at present, except that Europe will have vastly more power relative to the United States. In reality, Europe could emerge as one of the weaker "poles" in such a system, the Austria-Hungary of a new globalized balance of power, its privileged ties with the United States weakened but without the endogenous sources of power -- economic and demographic dynamism, favorable geography, and effective centralized leadership -- that are likely to be needed to exercise real power in the rough and tumble of a true multipolar order.

Alternatively, diffusion of power to Asian giants such as China and India along with a partial revival of Russian power outside Europe's sphere of control could lay the basis for a new transatlantic solidarity as both sides accentuate commonalities of interest, values, and history in a more diverse world. Europe would continue to build its own identity and pursue its interests, but becoming a "counterweight" to the United States would not be the driving rationale behind eu or member-state foreign policies. Both sides would concentrate on finding ways to use multilateralism to solve global and regional problems without artificially seeking to employ it either to consolidate or to reverse power relationships that in the long run will be determined by the internal cohesion and dynamism of each side. Such an outcome is arguably in the interests of both parties in that it neither permanently condemns Europe to a second-tier status in a way that many European elites find difficult to stomach nor exposes the United States to the constant harassment of a Europe seeking to consolidate its unity and enhance its international status by playing the "unilateralism" card.

This outcome can be realized, however, only if both sides of the Atlantic are careful not to make policy on the basis of erroneous assumptions about unipolarity, unilateralism, and the relationship between them.


1 Charles Krauthammer, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism," Weekly Standard (June 4, 2001); and "The Unipolar Moment Revisited," National Interest (Winter 2002-2003). Robert Kagan, "Power and Weakness," Policy Review 113 (June-July 2002); and Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (Knopf, 2003).

2 G. John Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars (Princeton University Press, 2001). Joseph S. Nye Jr., The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone (Oxford University Press, 2002).

3 John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (Norton, 2001).

4 Patrick J. Buchanan, A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny (Regnery, 1999). Jeremy Rabkin, Why Sovereignty Matters (AEI Press, 1998); Euro-Globalism? (Centre for the New Europe, 1999); and "Is EU Policy Eroding the Sovereignty of Non-Member States?" Chicago Journal of International Law (Fall 2000).

5 Michael Lind, "Toward a Global Society of States," Wilson Quarterly (August 2002). David P. Calleo, Rethinking Europe's Future (Princeton University Press, 2001). Charles A. Kupchan, The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-First Century (Knopf, 2002).

6 Colin Powell, "A Strategy of Partnerships," Foreign Affairs (January-February 2004).

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Posted by maximpost at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 12 May 2004


Laying the Groundwork for Universal Health Care Coverage
by Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D.

March 10, 2003 | |

Testimony given March 10, 2003 before the Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate.

My name is Stuart Butler. I am Vice President of Domestic and Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. The views I

express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage


Mr. Chairman, any observer of the American health care system is immediately struck by two of its central features.
Gaps and unevenness in coverage. Despite the huge expenditures devoted to the system, there are enormous gaps in the degree

in to which it covers Americans and there are wide difference in the level and type of benefits available to people of

similar circumstances.
Millions of Americans lack any insurance protection at all, and many of these are middle class. Many poor and non-working

Americans are eligible for a wide range of benefits, while others struggle to keep their families just out of poverty yet

lack any insurance. A worker may have coverage one week, arranged by his employer, yet lose it the following week because he

switched jobs to a firm without coverage. Similarly, workers who are perhaps forced in to early retirement by economic

conditions, or their health, are not eligible for Medicare or any other program and can find themselves suddenly in dire

straits for lack of affordable coverage.
The level of benefits available also can widely differ. An elderly person who happens to qualify for veteran's benefits can

obtain general support for their outpatient pharmaceutical needs. Yet an otherwise identical retiree in Medicare has no such

So our "system" is a system in name only. It is really a patchwork of public and private programs with widely differing

eligibility criteria. And many people end up falling between the eligibility requirements of the programs and many others

have benefits only loosely connected to their needs.
Multiple systems of health care. The second distinctive feature of the American system is that different parts of it are run

on totally different principles of design and economics. The Veterans Administration health system, for example, has

similarities to single payer systems in other countries, in that the VA maintains its own hospitals, pays its own staff, and

decides centrally on the distribution of medical resources. Meanwhile another government program, Medicare, runs on other

principles, with private providers reimbursed by government for the services they render to eligible beneficiaries. In

Medicare, the primary package of benefits is decided in detail by Congress. Moreover, Medicare is actually two separate

programs. The hospital insurance system functions as a traditional mandatory social insurance program. The other part of

Medicare, principally covering physician costs, is a voluntary system with a subsidy for government-sponsored insurance.
Yet another government program, The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), covers over nine million federal

employees, their families and federal retirees, and operates on yet another approach. The FEHBP provides a direct subsidy

which is used by eligible families to reduce the premium cost of the private plan of their choice, providing that plan meets

basic requirements laid down by the government. The benefits in FEHBP plans vary significantly. Congress sets down only a

very basic set of benefit classifications, and the actual content of each plan is determined by consumer demand in the

competitive market place.
In parallel to these widely differing government-sponsored programs is the extensive private insurance system that covers

most working age Americans. The primary component of this system is insurance sponsored by employers to cover their employees

and families. The families obtaining health coverage in this manner enjoy an often very large tax benefit since the value of

the employer sponsored component of there compensation is free of all taxes. Other individuals obtain private insurance by

purchasing it directly from insurance companies, often because their employers do not provide such coverage. While some tax

benefits are available for this form of purchased insurance the criteria for tax relief are so restricted that many in this

market have no tax subsidy at all.
Our experience with this fragmented patchwork of programs should lead us to draw some important lessons as we ponder ways to

achieve universal coverage in America. Among these lessons:

Lesson 1: The employment-based system, while successful for certain families, has severe weaknesses as the basis for

universal coverage

The employer-sponsored system is often pointed to as a success story, despite the current concerns about escalating costs. In

the case of coverage offered through larger firms, employment-based coverage does have advantages. For instance:
Pooling.A company with a large workforce obviously also has a large pool for insurance purposes. A large number of

individuals can be grouped together and insured as a group for a standard premium, despite possibly wide variations in

medical risks among employees. Large companies also have the economies of scale and the sophistication to provide insurance

at a low administrative cost per employee.

Advantages for bargaining and administration.Larger companies also can bargain very effectively with insurers and providers,

and so are able to deliver cost-effective coverage that is often tailored specifically for their work force.

Choice.Because of the size of their insurance pool and their sophistication, large companies can arrange a choice of health

plans, making it more likely that workers will be reasonably satisfied with their coverage.
Employment-based insurance is very convenient. When an employer provides coverage, it is normally very easy for an employee

to take part in the plan. Premiums are paid directly by the employer, and the worker does not have to apply for a tax

exclusion; the W-2 form, indicating the worker's income for tax purposes, simply makes no mention of the value of the

employer's contribution to his health insurance. Moreover, if the worker has to pay something toward the cost of his plan,

this is usually done in the form of a convenient payroll deduction during each pay period.

Problems for Small Firms Sponsoring Health Insurance
While these advantages of employer-sponsored coverage certainly apply to workers in many firms, they are less likely to apply

to certain specific categories of workers, especially those employed in small firms.[1] Among the reasons for this:
Small firms by definition are small insurance pools. A retail store with a handful of employees is a dismal pool for

insurance purposes. Hiring a new employee with a disability, for example, can mean a huge change in insurance costs for the

employer. States and the federal government recognize this and are exploring various ways to group small firms together to

form larger insurance pools. But the need for these efforts only underscores the fact that the place of employment is not a

particularly good basis for the pooling of these insurance risks for employees of small firms.
Small firms face relatively high administrative costs, and many small-business owners do not wish to organize insurance.

Because they lack the economies of scale and the management resources of larger firms, small businesses tend to face high

costs when administering plans. According to data collected by the Congressional Budget Office, overhead costs for providing

insurance can be over 30 percent of premium costs for firms with fewer than 10 employees, compared with about 12 percent for

firms with more than 500 employees.[2] Moreover, many small-business owners have little desire to engage in the demanding

task of trying to organize health insurance that meets the often-varied needs of their employees.
Small firms can rarely offer a choice of plans. If a small employer provides coverage, it tends to be a single "one-size-

fits-all" plan. Small companies rarely offer a choice of plans. While 81 percent of workers with insurance in firms of 5,000

or more employees had a choice of at least three plans in 2000, only 2 percent of covered workers in companies with fewer

than 25 employees had a similar choice of at least three plans. Meanwhile, 95 percent of covered workers in the smaller

companies had only one plan available to them.[3]
These obstacles to employment-based coverage in the small-business sector help to explain the high level of uninsurance among

families with workers in that sector. According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Foundation, 74 percent of the uninsured are

in families with at least one full-time worker, and while 99 percent of large firms offer insurance, only 55 of firms with

fewer than 10 employees do so. Among low-wage workers (defined as those who earned less than $7 an hour in 1996), 45 percent

are not even offered insurance.[4]

Lesson 2: The primary method for subsidizing insurance for working families is inequitable, inefficient and fundamentally


Today we subsidize for insurance very efficiently. In fact, the current form of subsidy encourages an inefficient overuse of

medical care by most non-poor Americans while providing little or no help to the lower-paid uninsured, and it actually

exacerbates the problem of uninsurance for many Americans. This happens because by far the largest subsidy for insurance for

working Americans is the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance. The exclusion means that the portion of a worker's

compensation devoted to employer-paid health insurance is not subject to federal or state income taxes, or payroll taxes. In

aggregate this subsidy dwarfs even the value of the mortgage interest deduction. John Sheils and Paul Hogan valued the

subsidy in 1998 at over $111 billion at the federal level and nearly another $14 billion in exemptions from state taxes.[5]

In contrast to a subsidy aimed at those who need help the most, a tax exclusion provides most help to upper-income workers (

who are in the highest tax bracket) with the most generous coverage. Sheils and Hogan have estimated the average annual

federal tax benefits in 1998 as ranging from $2, 357 for families with incomes of $100,00.
But the exclusion is highly inequitable. Sheils and Hogan estimated the average annual tax benefit at just $71 for families

with incomes of less than $15,000. Thus the exclusion provides little help to lower-paid workers, who often face hardship in

paying for family coverage or out-of-pocket costs, and it is not available to workers lacking an employer-sponsored plan. It

is hard to imagine a less efficient system of subsidies for helping people to obtain coverage.

Lesson 3: The Medicare program does not represent a sound structure for universal coverage.

The trust fund woes of the Medicare program indicate the financing dangers of a social insurance approach to health care.

Similar to the experience of maturing social insurance programs around the world, Medicare is plagued with huge unfunded

liabilities as political pressure for ever-larger defined benefits today mean ever-larger obligations on future generations.

The 2002 report of the Medicare trustees provided a dire picture of the program's finances, with expenditures rapidly

outstripping dedicated revenues in future decades.[6]
But the structural problems of Medicare are not confined to its financing. When Medicare was created in 1965, its benefit

package was based on the prevailing Blue Cross/ Blue Shield package for working Americans in large firms. As such, it was

seen as state-of-the-art coverage. Since that time, however, the benefits for Medicare recipients gradually slipped further

behind the benefits routinely available to working Americans. For example, Medicare provides no outpatient prescription drug

benefit. It would be virtually unthinkable for a large corporation today to offer its workers a plan without at least some

coverage for outpatient pharmaceuticals, or, for that matter, protection against catastrophic medical costs.
The main reason that Medicare's benefits package is out of date--despite the general awareness that it needs to be updated--is

that all major benefit changes require an act of Congress. Consequently, discussions about changing benefits (especially

about introducing new benefits by reducing coverage for less important ones) are necessarily entangled in the political

process. Providers included in the package fight diligently--and usually effectively--to block serious attempts to scale back

outdated coverage for their specialties. Meanwhile, talk of upgrading the Medicare benefits package unleashes an intense

lobbying battle among other specialties that seek to be included in the Medicare benefits package. Invariably, the result

depends as much (if not more) on shrewd lobbying than on good medical practice. The understandable reluctance of most

lawmakers to subject themselves to this pressure further slows the process of modernizing benefits.
Formula Payments. Medicare today uses complex formulas to determine its payments to managed care plans serving beneficiaries

and payments to physicians and hospitals under the traditional fee-for-service program. Through legislation and regulation,

the government tries to create a payment schedule that will work in all parts of the country and that takes into account

local conditions. But as is typical of attempts by government to set payments by formula, these schedules rarely match the

actual market, which constantly changes. As a result, policymakers and health care providers grumble constantly that the

formulas systematically and wastefully overpay some plans and underpay others, and that many payments to physicians and

hospital are far out of line with the cost and difficulty of providing specific services.
Bureaucratic Decisionmaking. Just as arcane and problematic the complex administrative process used by the Centers for

Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to modify benefits, to determine whether certain medical treatments or procedures are to

be covered under Medicare, and to define under what conditions or circumstances servicesare to be delivered and paid for.

This byzantine process is marked by intense pleading by medical specialty societies, and a degree of congressional

micromanagement that makes efficient management of the program impossible.[7]
Moving Towards Universal Coverage
If we are to construct a health care system in this country that focuses resources efficiently to help those who need

assistance to obtain health coverage, we need to take the following important steps:
Agree on a health care social contract between society and individuals that is explicit and fair.
Today there is a legal and moral obligation on society to provide some level of health care to those who become ill. Under

federal law almost all hospitals must provide immediate health services to individuals entering the emergency room. In

addition, physicians and hospitals routinely provide services to individuals unable to pay for these. A recent study by Jack

Hadley and John Holahan estimates that as much as $38 billion is spent each year in public and private resources on health

care services for the uninsured.[8]
This implicit "social contract" is both inefficient and unfair. It is inefficient because the method of providing services

often means they are delivered in the most expensive setting. And because the services are not part of a comprehensive plan

they are inefficient from a medical point of view. The contract is unfair because it discourages many families with the means

to obtain adequate coverage from doing so.
The current social contract should be replaced with a more rational one. In a civilized and rich country like the United

States, it is reasonable for society to accept an obligation to ensure that all residents have affordable access to at least

basic health care - much as we accept the same obligation to assure a reasonable level of housing, education and nutrition.
But as part of that contract, it is also reasonable to expect residents of the society who can do so to contribute an

appropriate amount to their own health care. This translates into a requirement on individuals to enroll themselves and their

dependents in at least a basic health plan - one that at the minimum should protect the rest of society from large and

unexpected medical costs incurred by the family. And as any social contract, there would also be an obligation on society. To

the extent that the family cannot reasonably afford reasonable basic coverage, the rest of society, via government, should

take responsibility for financing that minimum coverage.
The obligations on individuals does not have to be a "hard" mandate, in the sense that failure to obtain coverage would be

illegal. It could be a "soft" mandate, meaning that failure to obtain coverage could result in the loss of tax benefits and

other government entitlements. In addition, if federal tax benefits or other assistance accompanied the requirement, states

and localities could receive the value of the assistance forgone by the person failing to obtain coverage, in order to

compensate providers who deliver services to the uninsured family.
Provide support to people to obtain health care based on their need, not where they happen to work, or their eligibility for

welfare, or their military record, or their age. Enable individuals and families to use this support to enroll in a seamless

system of coverage according to their choice.
The central public policy objective of a health care system is to use public funds in an efficient and economical way to

enable every household to obtain at least an acceptable level of health care services and protection from large financial

burdens associated with ill health. Whether a US resident is able to count on that commitment should not depend on their

current circumstances. Moreover, resources should be used as efficiently as possible to provide help those who need it most

to obtain coverage. That requires us to overhaul current subsidy methods to target funds more efficiently and to achieve

horizontal equity between similar people.
An important step towards that would be to overhaul the tax treatment of health care, gradually ending the regressive tax

exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance and replacing it with a more progressive subsidy. That is the logic behind

the various refundable tax credit proposals in numerous proposals for addressing uninsurance. These proposals would increase

the subsidy to lower-income households relative to upper-income households.
The same rationale lies behind various approaches designed to alter the Medicare program to target a higher proportion of

benefits on lower-income seniors, in contrast with the traditional social insurance vision of equal benefits regardless of

income. And while there is fairly universal support for a residual safety net public program for indigent or dysfunctional

households, replacing part of the Medicaid program with a refundable tax credit or voucher-like assistance is in line with

the same goal.
It is also important to de-link financial support from household work status. In other words assistance for health care

coverage should not be based on employment or retirement status, and it should be available for the cost of coverage from any

reasonable source. Thus an unemployed person and his or her family should have the same degree of assistance as an employed

household of similar income with employer-sponsored coverage. A worker with employer-sponsored coverage should get the same

tax break or direct subsidy for coverage as a similar worker whose firm does not provide insurance. A 60 year-old early

retiree should be able to count on the same help as a similar person who is still in the workforce.
The value of the assistance should also not differ according on the source of coverage. Thus a household should receive the

same subsidy value were it to obtain coverage through an employment based insurance plan or by buying into a public program.

On the other side of the same coin, an individual or household should be able to continue the same form of coverage

throughout their life if they wish. Thus a worker with a private insurance plan should be able to continue that coverage into

retirement, receiving "Medicare" benefits in the form of assistance towards the cost of continued insurance coverage.
Make it possible for the place of work be the location through which most families can get coverage, without employers

necessarily being the sponsor of coverage.
Most people in America pay their taxes through a place of work. This is a very convenient system under which employers

withhold income and Social Security taxes and send the money to the government. In addition, employees typically adjust their

withholdings to take advantage of any tax breaks for which they may be eligible (for example, the mortgage interest

deduction). This means that employers actually operate the basic income tax system; but they do not in any sense design the

tax code for their employees or "sponsor" the tax system. They could more appropriately be considered a clearinghouse for tax

The place of employment is likewise particularly convenient and efficient for handling health insurance enrolment and

payments. Workers with employer-sponsored health insurance benefits typically sign up for the firm's plan when they take a

job and arrange for a payroll deduction to cover premium costs for them or their family. With individual tax credits or other

forms of subsidy discussed above, employers could carry out the critical clearinghouse role for plan choices, tax

adjustments, and premium payments. Such employers would not required to organize or sponsor a plan for their employees to

obtain tax relief or other subsidies for the cost of coverage.
In other words, smaller employers could handle the mechanical aspects of arranging for payroll deductions and premium

payments (similar to their role in the tax collection system) without having to sponsor a plan. Thus, the employer could play

a very important role in facilitating coverage without having to organize coverage. In this way the place of employment could

be the "point of service" for selection and payment decisions, and for the receipt of subsidies, without the employee being

restricted to coverage decisions made by the employer.
Using automatic enrollment to boost coverage. Whether or not they sponsored insurance, employers could be encouraged to

institute an automatic enrollment and payment system to make health insurance premium payments and to obtain health-related

subsidies. This means that employees would automatically be enrolled in a health plan unless they explicitly declined to do

so, perhaps by signing a document indicating that they understood the possible consequences of not enrolling in a plan.

Alternatively, a state could establish a default bare-bones health plan in conjunction with a private insurer, to which

anyone not otherwise choosing a plan would be assigned.
Evidence from pension plans indicates that an automatic enrollment system for health insurance could have dramatic effects on

sign-up rates.[9] This payment system is also very similar to the way in which the FEHBP enables a federal worker who may

work in a small workplace, such as the local office of a Member of Congress, to choose from possibly dozens of plans.

4. Use "creative federalism" to discover the best arrangements for organizing health coverage.
Any approach designed to secure universal coverage, and perhaps especially one which seeks to encourage greater equity and

freedom of choice in coverage, has to confront the challenge of organizing the system of coverage. There is no consensus on

which structures are best to deliver health care. Some argue for government-sponsored plans. Others for individual insurance.

Others still argue for various group arrangements. In addition, allowing people to make choices in health care, even within

government-sponsored programs, raises such issues as risk selection. Moreover, views differ on how to achieve the right

combination of subsidy and insurance regulation to secure affordable and efficient coverage for people of differing health

Perhaps the fastest way to discover the best methods of organizing health coverage under a universal system would be to

institute a modified form of the idea of "creative federalism." Under this approach, federal-state covenants would be

instituted to test comprehensive and internally consistent strategies at the state level designed to move towards universal

coverage. Congress would provide federal funds to assist states to experiment with a chosen strategy for arranging health

insurance and services. In contrast to a simple system of block grants, these federal-state covenants would operate within

policy constraints designed to achieve national goals for achieving universal coverage.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the national academies, recently proposed a limited version of this strategy designed

to stimulate and test creative methods of expanding coverage for the uninsured.[10] The IOM proposed that the federal

government create a number of statewide 10-year demonstrations based on combinations of proposals, including federal and

state tax credits, as well as Medicaid and SCHIP expansions partly financed by the federal government.
Congress should consider the IOM recommendations. But it could also pursue a more comprehensive strategy to trigger state

experimentation. Under such a more comprehensive "creative federalism" approach the federal government would do four things:

1) Congress would establish goals for universal coverage. The goals could include a certain percentage reduction in

uninsurance rates in each state over a period, and steps towards ending multiple programs and eligibility criteria. Congress

would also establish boundaries in policies that could be adopted in reaching the goals (e.g. that no person could face

unreasonable coverage costs as a result of their medical condition)
2) Congress would enact a number of changes to provide an "a la carte menu" of federal policy options that would be

available to states to help achieve the goals. These options might include making a version of the FEHBP available within the

state, allowing some Medicaid/SCHIP money to be used in creative ways, removing regulatory/tax obstacles to churches, unions,

and other organizations providing health insurance plans, and the creation of association plans and other innovative health

organizations that would then be available to states.
3) Congress would provide an amount of funding. This would be fortwo purposes. Part of the money would help states fund

certain approaches. The other part would "reward" states according to how successful they were in meeting the goals.
4) The federal government would enter into agreements, or covenants, with states to achieve the goals. States would

propose some combination of modifications of their current programs, initiatives with their federal allocation, and a

selection from the federal menu. The states could also negotiate regulatory waivers to the extent allowed by law. The federal

agreement would have to agree to the covenant before it could proceed and evaluation procedures would have to be included.

The goal of universal coverage is likely to remain elusive under our current health care system. Today we provide help to

people to afford coverage in such an inefficient and inequitable way that it is impossible to help all those who need it to

afford coverage. In addition, we have a patchwork of programs and subsidy systems with a multitude of complex eligibility

requirements that guarantees people will fall through the cracks. Reaching the goal of universal coverage will be difficult.

But it will be much easier if we rationalize subsidies for health coverage, enable people to pick the form of coverage that

is best for them, and encourage state-federal experiments to explore innovative ways of organizing health care coverage.
The Heritage Foundation is a public policy, research, and educational organization operating under Section 501(C)(3). It is

privately supported, and receives no funds from any government at any level, nor does it perform any government or other

contract work.
The Heritage Foundation is the most broadly supported think tank in the United States. During 2002, it had more than 200,000

individual, foundation, and corporate supporters representing every state in the U.S. Its 2002 contributions came from the

following sources:

Individuals 61.21%
Foundations 27.49%
Corporations 6.76%
Investment Income 1.08%
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The top five corporate givers provided The Heritage Foundation with less than 3.5% of its 2002 income. The Heritage

Foundation's books are audited annually by the national accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche. A list of major donors is

available from The Heritage Foundation upon request.
Members of The Heritage Foundation staff testify as individuals discussing their own independent research. The views

expressed are their own, and do not reflect an institutional position for The Heritage Foundation or its board of trustees.


[1]For a summary of the pros and cons of employer-sponsored coverage, see Uwe E. Reinhardt, "Employer-Based Insurance: A

Balance Sheet," Health Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 6 (November/December 1999), pp. 124-132.
[2]Congressional Budget Office, The Tax Treatment of Employment-Based Health Insurance, 1994, p. 8.
[3]Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust, Employer Health Benefits, 2000 (Menlo Park, Cal.:

Kaiser Family Foundation, 2000), p. 57.
[4]Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Uninsured in America: Key Facts (Washington, D.C.: Kaiser Family

Foundation, 2000).
[5] John Sheils and Paul Hogan, "Cost Of Tax-Exempt Health Benefits In 1998," Health Affairs, vol. 18, no. 2, March-April

1999, pp. 176-181.
[6] The 2002 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Insurance

Trust Funds (Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 2002), p.10.
[7] For a recent review of management problems arising from congressional micromanagement, see Sheila Burke et. al.,

Improving Medicare's Governance and Management, (Washington, DC.: National Academy of Social Insurance, 2002), pp. 39-42.
[8]Jack Hadley and John Holahan, "How Much Medical Care Do The Uninsured Use, And Who Pays For It?" Health Affairs web

exclusive, February 12, 2003, available at:
[9]A recent study found that automatic enrollment for 401(k) plans boosted participation rates from 37 percent to 86 percent

for such voluntary pensions, with even sharper increases for young and lower-paid employees. See Brigitte Madrian and Dennis

Shea, The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior, National Bureau of Economic Research

Working Paper No. 7682, May 2000, p. 51.
[10]Janet M. Corrigan, Ann Greiner, Shari M. Erickson, Editors, Fostering Rapid Advances in Health Care: Learning from System

Demonstrations (Washington, D.C.: Institute of Medicine, 2002).

? 1995 - 2004 The Heritage Foundation
All Rights Reserved.
How the President's Health Care Plan Would Expand Insurance Coverage to the Uninsured
by Nina Owcharenko and Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D.
Backgrounder #1636
March 11, 2003 | |

Millions of Americans are without health insurance. As a result, these individuals and their families too often find that

their access to vital health care services is compromised while American taxpayers bear the burden of paying the costs.

President George W. Bush has proposed a number of positive policy initiatives that can reverse this situation and make health

care coverage more affordable for millions of individuals and families.
A Diverse and Dynamic Uninsured Population
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, 41.2 million Americans did not have health insurance coverage in 2001.1 Roughly

half of the members of this diverse population are uninsured for a period of six months or less, and about 40 percent are

uninsured for a period of 18 months or more.2
The overwhelming majority of the uninsured are young, between the ages of 18 and 34; over 80 percent are part of a working

family.3 They tend to be employed in small businesses and are concentrated in wholesale and retail trade industries as well

as in agricultural, forestry, fishing, mining, and construction.4 They are disproportionately minorities, largely Hispanic.5

While a substantial majority of these Americans are low-income working people, the fastest growing portion is comprised of

middle-income to upper-middle-income families.6
Although the majority of Americans have health care coverage through their place of work, lower-income working Americans are

less likely to have employer-sponsored coverage.7 Yet Americans get unlimited tax relief for the purchase of health insurance

if--and only if--coverage is provided through their employer. In 2000, the tax subsidy linked to employer-sponsored coverage

was estimated to be $126 billion.8
Lower-income working Americans who do not or cannot get health insurance at their place of work have few choices; they can

either purchase non-group coverage outside of the place of work (and do so with after-tax dollars) or go without coverage

altogether. Health care economists concluded long ago that this health care tax policy is inequitable and inefficient, and

that it distorts the insurance markets and contributes significantly to the number of the uninsured in the United States.9
Policymakers should also consider the "cost" of the uninsured to the public--including the costs of government payments and

programs and other public spending for health care. In a recent research paper, Urban Institute analysts Jack Hadley and John

Holohan estimate that, in 2001 dollars, the public paid $35 billion in uncompensated care and that $30.6 billion of this

payment was in the form of government spending.10 As Hadley and Holohan explain:
We...estimated that governments finance most of the uncompensated care received by the uninsured, spending about $30.6

billion on payments and programs largely justified to serve the uninsured and covering possibly as much as 80-85 percent of

the uncompensated care costs through a maze of grants, direct provision programs, tax appropriations, and Medicare and

Medicaid payment additions. Most of this money comes from the federal government, primarily through Medicare and Medicaid,

followed by state/local tax appropriations for hospitals, Medicaid DSH and UPL payments, and VA's direct care programs.11
Replacing this inefficient and messy system with direct assistance to the uninsured would be both simpler and more cost-


The President's Plan to Expand Coverage and Choice
President Bush is proposing changes to address the needs of America's uninsured by fixing the inequities of the current

system and mainstreaming uninsured individuals and families into the private insurance market. While liberal policymakers

would like to enroll the uninsured in public programs such as Medicaid (which are, even now, overwhelmed and underperforming

), available survey research shows that Americans prefer to have private health coverage rather than government-run public

programs.12 To achieve this objective, the Bush Administration would create a new system of tax credits for health care

coverage that targets low-income individuals and families who do not have employer-provided coverage.
In addition, President Bush has put forward a series of policy changes aimed at improving existing health care accounts.

These policy recommendations would enable individuals and families to control decisions regarding their own health care and

decide for themselves how best to spend their health care dollars.
The President's proposals to expand coverage and return personal choice and control to individuals and families include the

resubmission of a system of tax credits, targeting individuals and families who do not get health insurance through the

workplace; allowing the carryover of existing flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) to enable individuals and families to

build up savings for health care expenses; and the elimination of statutory restrictions on medical savings accounts (MSAs).

Health Care Tax Credits
The President is resubmitting an $89 billion health care tax credit proposal to assist millions of Americans who are without

health insurance provided through the workplace. The health care tax credit would provide a subsidy of up to 90 percent of

the cost of a health insurance premium, up to a dollar amount of $1,000 per person and $3,000 per family. Families with an

adjusted gross income of $25,000 or lower would be eligible for the maximum credit of $3,000. For families with incomes above

$25,000, the size of the credit would vary with income and would be phased out at income levels of $30,000 for an individual

with no dependents and $60,000 for families with children.13
In its structure, the proposed Bush tax credit would be refundable, meaning that low-income individuals and families who owe

minimal or no taxes would still receive a direct subsidy for the purchase of health insurance. It would also be "

advanceable," meaning that individuals or families would get the assistance at the time premium payment is due and not have

to wait until the end of the year for reimbursement.
The Bush tax credit proposal outlines a new role for the states, both in building an infrastructure that incorporates choice

and competition and in providing additional subsidies for low-income Americans. Under the terms of the original Bush tax

credit proposal outlined last year, a person could purchase individual health insurance with the tax credit; under the terms

of the revised version, in addition to options in the non-group market, a person could purchase health insurance through

private-sector purchasing pools, state-sponsored insurance-purchasing pools, and state high-risk pools.14 These state

purchasing arrangements are similar to those extended to states under the Trade Adjustment and Assistance (TAA) Act.15
At the discretion of state authorities, after December 31, 2004, individuals and families who would not otherwise be eligible

for public assistance could receive a federal tax credit to buy into certain state-sponsored purchasing groups where private

insurance is offered or to buy into state government employee health-purchasing groups.16 Moreover, states could supplement

the federal tax credits used for group purchasing of private health plans with additional state contributions. Under the

terms of the Bush proposal, states could make an additional contribution of up to $2,000 per adult for those with incomes at

133 percent of the poverty level; this contribution would be phased down to $500 per adult for those with incomes that are

200 percent of the poverty level.17

Health Care Accounts
Beyond the tax credit proposals, the Bush Administration has unveiled a broad range of policy improvements to make health

care coverage more affordable by giving individuals greater control of their health care spending. In 2002, the U.S.

Department of the Treasury issued a ruling to clarify the status of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Through these

arrangements, employers could offer employees a health plan in combination with a tax-free spending account for health care

expenses, allowing any unspent funds to be carried over from year to year, tax-free.18
Beyond this administrative change in the system, the Bush Administration is also proposing statutory changes that would

expand and improve Archer MSAs and FSAs.19 Changes in Archer MSAs are particularly significant, given that nearly 73 percent

of MSA enrollees were previously uninsured.20

Flexible Spending Arrangements
Under current law, employees can participate in employer-based flexible spending arrangements, through which employees can

set aside a portion of their salaries in a special, pre-tax account to use for anticipated qualified health care expenses. If

employees do not use the funds they have set aside in their FSA by the end of the year, however, they lose them. They may not

carry over any unused funds to the following year. Under the Bush proposal, employees could carry forward up to $500 of

unused funds in their FSAs tax-free every year for medical expenses.

Medical Savings Accounts
Today, some Americans are permitted to open medical savings accounts from which individuals and families can pay for their

medical expenses. These accounts are tax-free and can be rolled over from year to year. Under current law, no more than 750,

000 individuals can have a medical savings account, and the MSA demonstration is scheduled to end after December 31, 2003.21

These stipulations are both a profound restriction on the health insurance market and a legal impediment designed to

discourage the growth of such plans.
In addition to these restrictions, there are a number of statutory and regulatory restrictions that determine how such

accounts may be used. For example, under current law, an MSA must be coupled with a high-deductible health plan. The law

specifically defines a high-deductible plan as one that has "deductible(s) in the range of $1,700 to $2,500 in the case of

individual coverage, and $3,350 to $5,050 in other coverage arrangements, with out-of-pocket limits set at $3,350 for

individual coverage and $6,150 in "all other cases."22
The Bush proposal would eliminate the artificial participation cap on MSAs and make the demonstration permanent. These

changes would remove market disincentives and allow supply to meet market demand. The Bush proposal would open up the MSA

option to any individual who wanted one (with the exception of those who would otherwise be eligible for a refundable tax

credit) and change the definition of a "high-deductible" plan to any plan with an annual deductible as low as $1,000 for an

individual and $2,000 for family or other coverage, with an additional provision to encourage preventive medical services. In

addition, it would allow both employers and employees to contribute to the account and would permit contributions up to 100

percent of the annual deductible.23
Making the President's Proposals Better
The problems of the uninsured reflect a broader problem of the health care system--the current federal and state tax

treatment of health insurance. The current system undermines the portability of insurance, inhibits personal ownership and

control of health plans, prohibits genuine consumer choice, and obstructs the functions of the market. Heritage Foundation

health policy analysts have long championed a comprehensive and universal reform of America's health care system and have

recommended replacing the existing federal and state tax structure for health insurance with a national system of tax

Short of such a comprehensive reform, President Bush's health care policy agenda is laudably ambitious. It would make health

care coverage more affordable and would help millions of Americans secure health insurance coverage. The President's policy

would ensure the expansion and availability of private health insurance coverage for individuals and families.
Congress should work with the Bush Administration to make further improvements in health care policy. Specifically, Congress

Permit states to determine the level of tax credit supplement and allow employers to contribute. As described above, the Bush

proposal allows states to supplement the federal tax credit. However, there are limits regarding the amount that states may

contribute and whom they may assist. States should have the flexibility to leverage all available resources to enhance the

federal tax credit as they see fit for their residents. Furthermore, for employees who are not receiving employer-sponsored

coverage, regulatory policy should be amended to permit employers to make a contribution on behalf of their employees.
Provide a partial tax credit for employer-sponsored health insurance. While a number of uninsured workers do not have access

to employer-sponsored coverage, there are those who simply decline employer coverage due to cost.25 Furthermore, those

insured low-income families who make a financial commitment to get insurance through their employer would not be eligible for

assistance. Therefore, to promote equity, certain income-eligible individuals should be able to receive a partial tax credit

that can be applied to an employer-sponsored policy. Such a policy could also encourage some small businesses to offer

coverage. According to a recent survey, "75 percent of uninsured small employers said that they would consider offering a

health plan if the government provided tax credits to workers to help them pay for coverage."26 Senator James Jeffords (I-VT)

incorporated such an approach in legislation introduced in the 107th Congress.27
Expand the FSA carryover to include all unused funds. There should be no limit to the carryover amount of unused FSA funds.

Monies contributed to an FSA are set aside from the employee's earned wages. It is the employee's money; therefore, any

unspent dollars in the account should be carried over year to year. Instead of simply anticipating planned annual medical

expenses, workers would also be able to save for future, unexpected, or uncovered services.
Establish individual ownership of HRAs. Currently, employers control health reimbursement arrangements, including the

accounts. While employees are able to carry over unspent funds from the account year to year, when an employee leaves his or

her job, the employer controls the account funds. Some employers have decided to allow their employees access to any

remaining funds in the accounts after they leave. However, if an employer chooses not to do so, there is little incentive for

an employee not to "spend down" the funds in the account before separating from the company. A better solution would be to

give employees control and ownership of these accounts so that, upon their departure, they would be able to maintain the HRA

policy on their own and continue to have full access to the account.
Expand the use of re-employment accounts for health care-related expenditures. President Bush has proposed establishing re-

employment accounts for certain unemployed workers. These accounts would be worth up to $3,000 and could be used to purchase

training and supportive services.28 Since most workers lose their health insurance when they lose their jobs, unemployed

workers should also be allowed to use the funds in these re-employment accounts to assist with health care-related costs,

including premium payments on a health insurance policy, during their period of unemployment.
The President has laid out an ambitious health care policy agenda that includes substantial revisions in the federal tax code

and the federal tax treatment of health insurance. These tax changes would broaden access to private health insurance

coverage, establish equity in the treatment of health insurance, and improve the overall function of the private health

insurance market by incorporating consumer choice and market competition.
The President's proposals establish a high bar for success. With the help and support of Congress, the bar can be reached--

and, in some cases, raised even higher.

Nina Owcharenko is Health Care Policy Analyst in, and Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., is Director of, the Center for Health Policy

Studies at The Heritage Foundation.


1. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, "Health Insurance Coverage: 2001," September 2002, p. 1. Cited

hereafter as "Health Insurance Coverage: 2001."
2. "A Revolving Door: How Individuals Move in and out of Health Insurance Coverage," University of Michigan, Economic

Research Initiative on the Uninsured, ERIU Research Highlight No. 1, October 2002, p. 1.
3. Paul Frostin, "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 2002 Census

Population Survey," Employee Benefit Research Institute Issue Brief No. 252, December 2002, pp. 20, 11.
4. Ibid., p. 12.
5. "Health Insurance Coverage: 2001," p. 2.
6. BlueCross BlueShield Association, "The Uninsured in America," February 2003, p. 7.
7. Frostin, "Sources of Health Insurance," p. 16.
8. White House, Council of Economic Advisers, "Health Care Tax Credits," February 14, 2002, p. 4.
9. For an overview of the relationship between federal tax policy and insurance coverage, see Grace-Marie Arnett, ed.,

Empowering Health Care Consumers Through Tax Reform (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999).
10. See Jack Hadley and John Holohan, "How Much Medical Care Do the Uninsured Use, and Who Pays for It?" Health Affairs,

February 12, 2003, at Excl_021203.htm.
11. Ibid.
12. Jennifer Edwards et al., "The Erosion of Employer-Based Health Coverage and the Threat to Workers' Health Care," The

Commonwealth Fund, Issue Brief, August 2002, p. 7.
13. U.S. Department of the Treasury, General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2004 Revenue Proposals,

February 2003, pp. 45-47. Cited hereafter as General Explanations.
14. Ibid., p. 47.
15. See Nina Owcharenko and Edmund Haislmaier, "State Opportunities to Provide Affordable Health Coverage Under the Trade

Law," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1626, February 25, 2003. Public Law 107-210, H.R. 3009, included provisions to

provide both workers who lost their jobs in part because of expanded international trade and certain other individuals a

refundable, advanceable health care tax credit worth 65 percent of the premium to assist them in securing health care

coverage. These tax credits could be used only for a select group of coverage options, which included state-sponsored

purchasing pools.
16. General Explanations, p. 47.
17. Ibid. Under the Bush proposal, persons with incomes in excess of 200 percent of the poverty level would not be eligible

for additional state subsidies or refundable tax credits.
18. Press release, "Treasury and IRS Guidance on Health Reimbursement," U.S. Department of the Treasury, June 26, 2002, at
19. White House, "The President's Proposals for Health Security in the World's Best Health Care System," at http://www.
20. U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Internal Revenue Bulletin, October 7, 2002, p. 685, at http

21. General Explanations, p. 54.
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid., p. 55. Under the Bush proposal, preventive health care services would get an additional incentive: "Such plans

would be...permitted to provide, without counting against the deductible, up to $100 of coverage for allowable preventive

services per covered individual each year."
24. See Stuart M. Butler, "Reforming the Tax Treatment of Health Care to Achieve Universal Coverage," in Jack A. Meyer and

Elliott K. Wicks, eds., Covering America: Real Remedies for the Uninsured (Washington: Economic and Social Research

Institute, 2001), pp. 21-42, at; see also Stuart M. Butler and Edmund F.

Haislmaier, A National Health Care System for America (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, 1989).
25. Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust, "Employer Health Benefits 2002 Annual Survey,"

September 2002, p. 48.
26. BlueCross BlueShield Association, "The Uninsured in America," p. 11, referring to the 2002 Small Employer Health Benefit

Survey conducted by the BlueCross BlueShield Association, the Consumer Education Council, and the Employee Benefit Research

27. For further detail, see S. 590, the Relief, Equity, Access, and Coverage for Health (REACH) Act, at www.thomas.loc.
28. Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, The Budget for Fiscal Year 2004, p. 199.

? 1995 - 2004 The Heritage Foundation
All Rights Reserved.
New Data on Health Insurance, the Working Poor, and the Benefits of Health Care Tax Changes
by Derek Hunter
WebMemo #492

April 28, 2004 | printer-friendly format |

Health care tax credits can make health insurance coverage affordable for millions of working Americans.
In 2002, 43.6 million Americans went without health insurance at some point.[1] Most were uninsured for a short period: 44.1

percent for less than four months and an additional 19.9 percent for between five and 8 months.[2] The shortness of the

coverage gap can be explained by any number of reasons, including the time spent between jobs after having lost work and the

probationary period, after which coverage begins, when switching jobs. However, that still leaves a significant number of

Americans without health insurance for long periods of time.
Policymakers have been struggling for years to find ways to help those without insurance obtain coverage. President George W.

Bush has proposed a tax credit, based on income, of up to $1,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a family. There has been

some criticism that this amount would be too little to help low-income individuals and families purchase coverage, but new

data from show the cost of individual plans to be well within reach of those numbers.
Congress and the Administration should aggressively promote health care tax credits, and thus help millions of Americans who

do not, or cannot, get health insurance through their places of work.
Current Tax Policy
There is currently a tax advantage for the purchase of health insurance for those who get that insurance through their

employer, but this favorable tax treatment is not available for people who purchase health insurance on their own in the

individual market. Workers with employer-provided coverage have their contribution toward their premiums taken out of their

compensation pre-tax and, therefore, are not taxed on that income; those in the individual market do not have that option. In

2004 there will be an estimated $188.5