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NYTimes pleads guilty for partiality in support of Iraq's invasion

Article lié :

Stassen

  16/07/2004

July 16, 2004
A Pause for Hindsight
ver the last few months, this page has repeatedly demanded that President Bush acknowledge the mistakes his administration made when it came to the war in Iraq, particularly its role in misleading the American people about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and links with Al Qaeda. If we want Mr. Bush to be candid about his mistakes, we should be equally open about our own.

During the run-up to the war, The Times ran dozens of editorials on Iraq, and our insistence that any invasion be backed by “broad international support” became a kind of mantra. It was the administration’s failure to get that kind of consensus that ultimately led us to oppose the war.

But we agreed with the president on one critical point: that Saddam Hussein was concealing a large weapons program that could pose a threat to the United States or its allies. We repeatedly urged the United Nations Security Council to join with Mr. Bush and force Iraq to disarm.

As we’ve noted in several editorials since the fall of Baghdad, we were wrong about the weapons. And we should have been more aggressive in helping our readers understand that there was always a possibility that no large stockpiles existed.

At the time, we believed that Saddam Hussein was hiding large quantities of chemical and biological weapons because we assumed that he would have behaved differently if he wasn’t. If there were no weapons, we thought, Iraq would surely have cooperated fully with weapons inspectors to avoid the pain of years under an international embargo and, in the end, a war that it was certain to lose.

That was a reasonable theory, one almost universally accepted in Washington and widely credited by diplomats all around the world. But it was only a theory. American intelligence had not received any on-the-ground reports from Iraq since the Clinton administration resorted to punitive airstrikes in 1998 and the U.N. weapons inspectors were withdrawn. The weapons inspectors who returned in 2002 found Iraq’s records far from transparent, and their job was never made easy. But they did not find any evidence of new weapons programs or stocks of prohibited old ones. When American intelligence agencies began providing them tips on where to look, they came up empty.

It may be that Saddam Hussein destroyed his stockpiles of banned weapons under the assumption that he could restart his program at a later date. His cat-and-mouse game with the weapons inspectors may have been the result of paranoia, or an attempt to flaunt his toughness before the Iraqi people. But we’re not blaming ourselves for failing to understand the thought process of an unpredictable dictator. Even if we had been aware before the war of the total bankruptcy of the American intelligence estimates on Iraq, we could not have argued with any certainty that there were no chemical and biological weapons.

But we do fault ourselves for failing to deconstruct the W.M.D. issue with the kind of thoroughness we directed at the question of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, or even tax cuts in time of war. We did not listen carefully to the people who disagreed with us. Our certainty flowed from the fact that such an overwhelming majority of government officials, past and present, top intelligence officials and other experts were sure that the weapons were there. We had a groupthink of our own.

By the time the nation was on the brink of war, we did conclude that whatever the risk of Iraq’s weaponry, it was outweighed by the damage that could be done by a pre-emptive strike against a Middle Eastern nation that was carried out in the face of wide international opposition. If we had known that there were probably no unconventional weapons, we would have argued earlier and harder that invading Iraq made no sense.

Saddam Hussein was indisputably a violent and vicious tyrant, but an unprovoked attack that antagonized the Muslim world and fractured the international community of peaceful nations was not the solution. There were, and are, equally brutal and potentially more dangerous dictators in power elsewhere. Saddam Hussein and his rotting army were not a threat even to the region, never mind to the United States.

Now that we are in Iraq, we must do everything possible to see that the country is stabilized before American forces are withdrawn. But that commitment should be based on honesty. Just as we cannot undo the invasion, we cannot pretend that it was a good idea — even if it had been well carried out.

Congress would never have given President Bush a blank check for military action if it had known that there was no real evidence that Iraq was likely to provide aid to terrorists or was capable of inflicting grave damage on our country or our allies. Many politicians who voted to authorize the war still refuse to admit that they made a mistake. But they did. And even though this page came down against the invasion, we regret now that we didn’t do more to challenge the president’s assumptions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/16/opinion/16FRI1.html?th

missiles sur le sol europen

Article lié : Antimissiles pour la “nouvelle Europe”...

Joel Lebrun

  16/07/2004

Ce thème majeur pour l’Europe doit être discuté plus ouvertement qu’il ne l’est et nos ministres de la Defense questionnés

dimissioni di tremonti e poteri forti

Article lié :

giovanni

  16/07/2004

Guai a chi tocca i Signori del Denaro

Dietro l?uscita di scena di Tremonti c?è il volere dei poteri forti, attuato su commissione dai soliti picciotti. Non a caso per il posto lasciato vuoto è subito saltata fuori la candidatura di Mario Monti, eurocrate affiliato
al Bilderberg. L’usurocrazia è il nostro destino ineluttabile?

di Mario Consoli

>
> Le dimissioni da ministro dell?Economia imposte a
> Giulio Tremonti la notte
> tra venerdì e sabato 3 luglio, rappresentano molto di
> più che il punto d?arrivo
> di una verifica tra forze che compongono una
> maggioranza di governo frastornata
> per i risultati delle elezioni europee.
> Si scrive ?dimissioni?, ma si deve leggere ?esecuzione
> su commissione?.
> Killer, il solito Gianfranco Fini, intento a

> collezionare cambiali di benemerenza
> tratte dai ?poteri forti?, convinto di poterle mettere
> un giorno tutte all?incasso
> e così ottenere quella poltrona che attualmente ospita
> le terga del signor
> Berlusconi.
> A noi sembra che, tra gente di mafia, raramente il
> picciotto che esegue
> riesca ad arrivare alla cupola. Generalmente è
> destinato a rimanere picciotto
> a vita, condannato a ubbidire per non essere eliminato
> a sua volta. Ma,
> sinceramente, questo è un problema di Fini e a noi non
> interessa granché.
> In questa occasione, il lavoro di killeraggio peraltro
> è risultato molto
> agevole, anche grazie all?assenza di quel Bossi che
> prima di ammalarsi ha
> ripetutamente svolto una preziosa opera di
> ?contrappeso? e di ?cane da guardia?
> in quel caravanserraglio che è il governo Berlusconi.
> Con il ?senatur?,
> probabilmente, non si sarebbe giunti così facilmente
> alle dimissioni di
> Tremonti.
> Intendiamoci, non è certo nostra intenzione farci
> avvocati difensori di
> un ministro di un governo il cui operato certamente
> non condividiamo.
> A noi però le notizie piace leggerle per quello che
> sono e non per quello
> che sembrano. A noi piace vederci chiaro. Ci chiediamo
> quindi da dove è
> partito l?ordine.
> A chi Tremonti ha pestato i piedi con tanta insistenza
> da meritarsi di essere
> sbattuto giù dal treno in corsa?
> In molte occasioni l?ex ministro ha manifestato un
> legittimo fastidio per
> la soggezione che il mondo politico dimostra di fronte
> alla tirannide bancaria
> e monetaria. E, conseguentemente, ha lasciato
> intravvedere l?intenzione
> di trasferire alcuni poteri dalla Banca d?Italia a
> nuovi organi di controllo
> di nomina politica e governativa.
> Bankitalia, sarà utile ricordarlo, non è una vera e
> propria istituzione
> dello Stato, ma uno strano Ente i cui proprietari sono
> soprattutto le Banche,
> quindi i privati, e il placet, quello reale, quello
> che conta veramente,
> per la scelta del suo Governatore spetta alla Banca
> dei Regolamenti Internazionali
> di Basilea, il cui massimo azionista è la Federal
> Reserve USA.
> Nel 2003 scoppia il caso Cirio i cui bond erano stati
> offerti a piene mani
> dagli Istituti di Credito agli ignari risparmiatori.
> Il dito accusatore del ministro dell?Economia indica
> allora, con prontezza,
> la Banca d?Italia per i mancati controlli e delinea
> con insistenza una Commissione
> da istituire per tutelare il risparmio degli italiani.
> Da allora Tremonti, per non dimenticarsi della
> questione, ha utilizzato
> come portapenne sulla sua scrivania al ministero, un

> barattolo di pelati
> Cirio.
> Si arriva alla fine del 2003 e scoppia, con un botto
> ancora più forte, il
> caso Parmalat. Il duello Fazio-Tremonti, appena
> sopito, si riaccende ancor
> più violento.
> Dov?erano i controllori? Quali interessi copre Fazio?
> ?Occorre costruire
> un?authority unica per la tutela del risparmio,
> togliendo molti poteri alla
> Banca d?Italia?. Con urgenza.
> Fazio snobba il governo e non si presenta nemmeno per
> dare spiegazioni del
> suo operato.
> Le sentinelle dell?usurocrazia scattano, come morse
> dalla tarantola: ?Attenti.
> Bankitalia non si tocca? tuona Fassino.
> ?L?indipendenza della Banca d?Italia è una questione
> costituzionale?, non
> può essere messa in discussione; fa sapere l?ex
> banchiere Carlo Azeglio
> Ciampi.
> I mesi passano, chiarimenti non si raggiungono.
> Ignoriamo se Tremonti abbia
> messo, sulla sua scrivania, accanto al barattolo di
> pelati, anche una bottiglia
> di latte, fattostà che i suoi toni non si

> addolciscono. Il 27 marzo denuncia
> che Bankitalia ?ha perso 4,6 miliardi sui cambi con il
> dollaro perché ha
> dimenticato di fare la copertura… Qualcosa non gira.
> Invece Bank of Austria
> finanzia la ricerca e Bundesbank propone al suo
> governo di finanziarla mettendo
> a disposizione le riserve auree?.
> Apriti Cielo! Si possono immaginare il livore e la
> rabbia sui volti di chi
> occupa i grigi palazzi del potere monetario e
> usurario.
> Nella Festa del 2 giugno, al Quirinale, è invitata
> tutta la cupola bancaria,
> a scapito degli altri, in netta minoranza. Molti più
> banchieri che politici
> e imprenditori contati assieme. Una svista di chi ha
> redatto gli inviti,
> una combinazione, un fatto preoccupante? O una
> minaccia?
> Fatto sta che passa un mese e la testa di Giulio
> Tremonti, il ?nemico? di
> Fazio, è bella che saltata.
> Il killer ha agito con calma, ha atteso con la sua
> lupara, ben appostato,
> l?occasione più propizia; ha perfino preferito agire
> in piena notte come
> in tutti i gialli che si rispettino.

> Ha agito con tale efficacia da beccarsi addirittura un
> rimbrotto ?dall?alto?,
> per eccesso di zelo. ?Il Governatore Antonio Fazio -
> riferisce l?informatissimo
> Corriere della Sera - si aspettava piuttosto un
> ridimensionamento del ministro
> dell?Economia Giulio Tremonti. Visto che il voto alle
> elezioni europee aveva
> premiato all?interno della maggioranza le forze, come
> UDC e AN, più benevole
> nei confronti della Banca d?Italia. O comunque più
> restie ad assecondare
> il braccio di ferro tra il ministero di via XX
> Settembre e l?istituto di

> via Nazionale. Le dimissioni di Tremonti avrebbero
> dunque un po? sorpreso
> Fazio. Ma c?è da scommettere che non gli abbiano fatto
> dispiacere?.
> E poi, alla fin fine, Tremonti se l?è cavata con poco.
> In passato altri
> scontri col mondo della moneta e dell?usura hanno
> avuto epiloghi più drastici.
> Nel 1989, al crollo del muro di Berlino, il governo
> tedesco affidò il nuovo
> corso dell?economia, quello della riunificazione, ad
> Alfred Herrnhausen.
> Un ?patriota tedesco?, come lo definì il Cancelliere
> Kohl, dalle idee chiare
> e dalla volontà di ferro. Lui voleva il risanamento
> delle aziende, garantire

> posti di lavoro, ma al tempo stesso realizzare un
> buono sviluppo tecnologico:
> ?Entro 10 anni la Germania Est sarà il complesso
> industriale tecnologicamente
> più avanzato d?Europa?.
> Chiese al Fondo Monetario Internazionale e alla Banca
> Mondiale di dimezzare
> il peso del debito che gravava sui paesi dell?Est,
> concedendo una moratoria
> di almeno 5-7 anni, grazie alla quale questi paesi
> avrebbero potuto investire
> i propri capitali nella ricostruzione. I due
> interlocutori mondialisti risposero
> picche.
> Herrnhausen allora si preparò ad affrontare
> l?argomento a viso aperto, a
> New York, proprio di fronte alla nomenklatura
> finanziaria internazionale.
> Preparò un discorso pieno di nuove proposte e di nuove
> soluzioni: una ?Banca
> dello sviluppo?, un energico dirigismo finanziario,
> una nuova forma di capitalismo
> ?della volontà?. Praticamente tutto il contrario
> dell?attuale ?libero mercato?.
> Il discorso era previsto per il 4 dicembre 1989.
> Quattro giorni prima, mentre
> Herrnhausen usciva dalla sua villa nella periferia di
> Francoforte, si udì
> un assordante boato. Una bomba radiocomandata l?aveva
> fatto saltare in aria
> assieme alla sua Mercedes.
> Il governo allora mise a capo del nascente Ente che
> raccoglieva tutte le
> industrie della ex Germania dell?Est - la
> Treuhandanstalt - l?economista
> Detlev Rohwedder.
> Mentre già i finanzieri internazionali si stavano
> preparando al saccheggio
> di tutte quelle aziende che, considerandole
> ?obsolete?, volevano rilevare
> con pochi spiccioli, Rohwedder oppose un netto
> rifiuto.
> ?Un liberismo di mercato di tipo dottrinario non
> funziona, dobbiamo privilegiare
> una politica di risanamento rispetto alle
> privatizzazioni. Non sono venuto
> a dirigere la Treuhand come un uomo d?affari. Lo
> faccio per amore della
> mia patria?, affermò in un?intervista il 30 marzo
> 1991.
> Il 2 aprile fu colpito a morte, a casa sua, a
> Dusseldorf, da un colpo di
> carabina a raggi infrarossi che lo raggiunse
> attraverso la finestra.
> A questo punto il suo posto fu affidato a Brigit
> Brenel, figlia di banchiere
> e amica di banchieri. Con lei cominciò la svendita
> delle aziende e il saccheggio
> ebbe luogo.
> Un importante insegnamento può trarsi dunque dalla
> vicenda Tremonti come
> - ancor di più - da quelle di Herrnhausen e di
> Rohwedder.
> I padroni del mondo ci sono davvero. Sono gli uomini
> del denaro e dell?usura.
> E sono forti, e vendicativi. E come tutti i poteri
> mafiosi sono soliti mandare
> i propri killer che, alla bisogna, sanno anche
> uccidere.
> E spargono per il mondo tutti i loro affiliati, i loro
> servi, insomma i
> loro ?picciotti?. Che corrompono, controllano,
> ricattano, minacciano e ?riferiscono?.
> Sono grigi, viscidi e appiccicosi come quei giochini
> schifosi che andarono
> di moda qualche anno fa. Si attaccano ovunque ed è
> difficilissimo disfarsene.
> Non può illudersi, un ministro di un governo sempre
> disposto a porgersi
> prono ai desideri di ogni potente, di aver facoltà di
> fare impunemente la
> guerra a qualche signore del denaro. Una guerra così,
> a tarallucci e vino.
> Si tratta invece di una cosa molto, molto seria con
> cui l?Europa, ben dolorosamente,
> soprattutto nell?ultimo secolo, sta facendo i conti.
> E? ancora di più: è e sarà la storia di questo
> millennio appena iniziato.
> E? lo scontro tra i popoli e gli attuali padroni del
> mondo.
> E? il duello, che necessariamente sarà combattuto
> all?ultimo sangue, tra
> gli uomini liberi e i signori del denaro e dell?usura.
> E? una guerra vera.

Novembre au balcon

Article lié :

JeFF

  15/07/2004

Un petit aperçu du ton chez les durs. Avec pub pour Cryptome au passage :
http://cryptome.org/terror-coup.htm

TERRORISM AND THE ELECTION:

NO POSTPONEMENT, JUST BEDLAM AT THE POLLS AND A LOW TURNOUT ON THE WEST COAST IS BUSH’S PLAN FOR “VICTORY”

By Wayne Madsen

  Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration and wrote the introduction to “Forbidden Truth”. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II.” His forthcoming book is titled: “Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates.” Madsen can be reached at:

You have to give the right-wingers credit. The fear tactics they learned from arch-Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels remain at the front of their political playbook. First, they put out the notion that in the event of a terrorist attack around the time of the November 2 election, a postponement of the vote may be necessary. Second, they start talking about the Federal government’s response to such a scenario. It’s the second item we must all be focused upon.

The idea of terrorism affecting the election was first proffered by Reverend DeForest B. Soaries Jr, the Bush-appointed chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Soaries is a right-wing New Jersey Republican Secretary of State who has been living under the small “fanatics only” revival tent of the Christian fundamentalist crowd for some time. Soaries’s job is to ensure that there is no repeat of the 2000 Florida fiasco. However, he and his friends in the Bush administration (read that as Karl Rove and Tom DeLay primarily) may have their eyes set on causing a major West coast electoral disruption in 2004 that will make Florida 2000 look like a minor glitch by comparison.

As expected, suspecting a Bush conspiracy to cancel the election and remain in power until a determination would be made by Homeland Fuhrer Tom Ridge that an election was safe, the moderate, liberal, progressive, and libertarian communities cried foul. Postponing an election without a constitutional amendment would be a major breach of the Constitution (not that Bush has ever worried about his constitutional oath) and that would be impossible with only a little over three months before Election Day. Those who respect our Constitution pointed to the fact that President Abraham Lincoln did not cancel the 1864 presidential election during the Civil War – a war which saw this nation more at danger than it is during the current cable news bite-driven and somewhat sensationalist “Global War on Terrorism.”

The right wing had a different take on the possibility of an election postponement. Neo-fascist babble mongers like Rush Limbaugh said, “No!” to a postponement of the election. They argued that if a terrorist alert or attack were to occur, the election should go on and only those votes cast should be counted. Bingo! The plan for a second Bush administration became clear as day. And that plan’s target is California, with its whopping 54 electoral votes, and possibly Washington State’s 11 electoral votes, at stake.

In 2000, Bush and the election fraud cabal that included his brother, Florida Governor “Jebbie” Bush, and Jebbie’s old flame, Florida Secretary of State (now Congresswoman) Katherine Harris and Fox News election analyst John Ellis (Bush’s first cousin), engineered Bush’s phony Florida “win” using a combination of scrubbed electoral rolls that disenfranchised almost 100,000 African-Americans, confusing “butterfly ballots,” an early Fox projected Bush “win” in the Sunshine State, and voter intimidation at mainly rural polling places. As with Osama bin Laden and his band of zealots, the Bush team never uses the same tactic twice. Therefore, all eyes should shift from Florida this Election Day, to California, where one of Bush’s new minions, the Nazi-admiring Arnold Schwarzenegger, engineered a gubernatorial coup d’etat with the help of Enron’s Ken Lay and his Texas oil cronies, to seize control of the governorship from the reelected Democrat Gray Davis.

Clues to Republican motives are found back during that awful day in 2001. On September 11, the day of the terrorist attacks, New Yorkers were heading to the polls to vote in their mayoral primary. Under the direction of the outgoing incumbent mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, city election officials quickly postponed the election.  Giuliani, one who never misses an opportunity to emulate the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, toyed with the idea of amending New York City’s term limits law so that he could run for mayor for a third consecutive term. Another Giuliani plan would have postponed the primary and regular mayoral election for one year, giving him at least one more year in office with the possibility of a change in the city law to allow him to run for a third term. Another plan would have made Giuliani a write-in candidate. Wary of Giuliani’s various proposed election contrivances and his intention to use the attack on the World Trade Center for his own political advantage, New York’s City Council and the New York State Legislature quickly put the kibosh to Giuliani postponing the election indefinitely, extending his term for one year, or amending the city’s term limit statute. The mayoral primary took place on September 25, two weeks after the terrorist attack, and the general election occurred on schedule on November 6. Michael Bloomberg was sworn in as the new mayor on January 1, 2002.

After having Tom Ridge drop the media bomb that an election cancellation was a possibility and then having National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice declare that no such plan existed, the cat was out of the bag. No, do not expect an election cancellation but be prepared for a terrorist “event” during the election. That is what the Bush White House and their media prostitutes are spinning.

Here’s the scenario we must be all be prepared for:

If the pre-election internal tracking polls and public opinion polls show the Kerry-Edwards ticket leading in key battleground states, the Bush team will begin to implement their plan to announce an imminent terrorist alert for the West Coast for November 2 sometime during the mid afternoon Pacific Standard Time. At 2:00 PST, the polls in Kentucky and Indiana will be one hour from closing (5:00 PM EST – the polls close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST). Exit polls in both states will be known to the Bush people by that time and if Kentucky (not likely Indiana) looks too close to call or leaning to Kerry-Edwards, the California plan will be implemented. A Bush problem in Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST would mean that problems could be expected in neighboring states and that plans to declare a state of emergency in California would begin in earnest at 3:00 PM PST.

The U.S. Northern Command, which has military jurisdiction over the United States, will, along with the Department of Homeland Security and Schwarzenegger’s police and homeland security officials in Sacramento, declare an “imminent” terrorist threat – a RED ALERT—affecting California’s major urban areas.

Although the polls in California will not be closed as a result of the declaration, the panic that sets in and the early rush hour will clog major traffic arteries and change the plans of many voters to cast their ballot after work.

That terrorist emergency declaration could be made around 5:00 PM PST and with only three hours left for voting throughout the state, a number of working class voters in urban centers will either be caught up in California’s infamous freeway traffic and be too late to get to their polling places or be more concerned about their families and avoid voting altogether.

Without a doubt, many Democratic voters might simply opt to pick their kids up from day care centers or relatives and then go home without voting. These would tend to be the lower and middle income Californians and the Democratic base. The affluent voters in California who vote Republicans and can easily vote early (and be late for work) or have the option of leaving work at any time during the day to vote will have likely already cast their ballots. Therefore, the recipe of a White House-induced California terrorist alert and a low Democratic turnout could toss 54 electoral votes into Bush’s lap, especially if the scare tactics affect the turnout in such urban and typically pro-Democratic vote-rich areas as Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento.

At 7:00 PM EST (4:00 PM PST), the polls will close in Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. A half hour later, they close in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. If Kerry-Edwards wins Florida and that is coupled with similar pickups in Ohio, West Virginia and too-close-to-call races in Virginia and maybe North Carolina, the Bush team may seek to extend the terror alert to other Western or even Midwestern states, particularly Washington State (since Oregon votes by mail, it would be largely immune from any polling manipulation on Election Day). A terrorist alert for the Seattle area after 5:00 PM PST would result in a similar situation to that of California’s, with the exception that many potential voters could be trapped on Seattle’s commuter ferries. Washington’s polls close at 8:00 PM PST (11:PM EST). A low Democratic turnout in the vote-rich Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area could be offset by a large Republican turnout in eastern Washington, thus possibly throwing the state’s 11 electoral votes to Bush – a net pick up 65 electoral votes from the West Coast, adding those votes to California’s. If Kerry picks up Ohio and some border states, the Bush team will be looking for a West Coast electoral offset and a terrorist alert would be the key to replacing lost Bush electoral votes in Ohio (21 votes), Florida (25), and West Virginia (5), a total of 51 electoral votes for Kerry.

With the stage set for a terrorist alert on the West Coast and with the polls closing at 8 PM EST (5:00 PM PST and launch time for the terrorist alert) in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, we might be looking at the following electoral vote tally:

Kerry:

Florida (25); New Hampshire (4); Vermont (3); Ohio (21); West Virginia (5); Connecticut (8); Delaware (3); DC (3); Illinois (22); Maine (4); Maryland (10); Massachusetts (12); Michigan (18); New Jersey (15); Pennsylvania (23). Total: 176 (needed to win: 270).

Bush:

Indiana (12); Kentucky (8); Georgia (13); South Carolina (8); Virginia (13); North Carolina (14); Alabama (9); Kansas (6); Mississippi (7); Missouri (11); Oklahoma (8); Tennessee (11); Texas (32). Total: 152 (needed to win: 270).

At 8:30 PM EST (and a half hour into the West Coast terror alert), the polls close in Arkansas and its 6 electoral votes are added to Bush’s column, giving him 158 to Kerry’s 176.

At 9:00 PM EST, the polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. With Kerry picking up Louisiana (9 votes), Minnesota (10), New Mexico (5), New York (33), Rhode Island (4), and Wisconsin (11), his vote total would stand at 248.

With Bush picking up Arizona (8), Colorado (8), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), and Wyoming (3), his vote count would stand at 188.

At 10:00 PM EST, the polls will close in mainly Bush states. With Bush picking up Idaho (4 votes); Montana (3); Nevada (4); and Utah (5) and with Kerry likely grabbing Iowa (7), the vote count would stand at: Kerry: 255 and Bush: 204.

With an hour to go before polls close on the West Coast and the region enmeshed in a major terrorist alert with cops and National Guardsmen now adding to the mix and possibly closing roads and delaying traffic to the polling places, Bush’s team in Washington and Sacramento would be poised to deliver the death blow to Kerry-Edwards.

At 11:00 PM EST and 8:00 PM PST, the polls close in California, Oregon, and Washington. The fix is in: with California (the mother lode of 54 votes) and Washington (11 votes) going to Bush and Oregon (7 votes) possibly going to Kerry, the vote count stands at: Kerry: 262 and Bush: 269. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning of November 3, Alaska (3 votes) is declared for Bush and he is declared the winner with 272 votes to Kerry’s 266 (with Kerry’s pickup of Hawaii’s 4 electoral votes). It’s a down-to-the wire race with Bush being declared a winner without a Supreme Court fight but using his “homeland security” powers to ensure his re-election and Alaska putting him over the top.

That is what all this talk about a terrorist attack on Election Day is about. It is to prime the population and allow Bush surrogates at Fox News, CNN, and MS-NBC to begin their perception management campaign that an attack will occur around the election. But there will be no postponement of the election or cancellation – this is simply another plan to manipulate the public through the use of phony threats and fear tactics. The problem is that it just might work for Bush and his cabal of “the ends justify the means” manipulators.

This article is a wakeup call to all those who can try to forestall such a series of events. California’s Democratic majority in the state legislature and its Democratic Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General must take steps now to ensure Schwarzenegger does not conspire with his fellow Republicans in Washington to do to California in 2004 what Jebbie Bush and his people did to Florida in 2000. Similarly, Washington’s Democratic Governor Gary Locke and all the Democratic officials, including the two Democratic U.S. Senators, must take similar action to avoid a similar scenario in their state.

Action needed now includes:

1. Informing all state election officials about such a scenario and its potential impact on voter turnout.

2. Making contingency plans now to keep the polling places open to ensure that people can vote later or after any state of emergency is lifted.

3. Prevent the National Guard from being used to facilitate such a state of emergency.

4. Close coordination by the Democratic Party, smaller parties, and minority and labor rights organizations to respond to such a scenario.

To paraphrase James Carville, “It’s California and the voter turnout, stupid!” Forget about canceling or postponing the election. Keep your eye on a “Red Terrorist Alert” on the West Coast for Election Day. That doesn’t take a constitutional amendment, merely an okay from Bush and his homeland security team. They must be stopped – the future of this nation is at stake!

MI6 faulted in the infowar puppet theatre

Article lié :

Stassen

  15/07/2004

THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ
Spy Agencies in Britain Erred as Well
By Janet Stobart and Sebastian Rotella

LATimes Staff Writers

July 15, 2004

LONDON — British spy agencies used unreliable sources and exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq, but the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair did not deliberately mislead the public in making the case for war, an investigative commission concluded Wednesday.

The 196-page report by Robin Butler, a former head of the civil service, was less critical than a similar U.S. Senate document last week that scolded U.S. spy agencies for erroneously describing Iraq’s weapons programs as active and dangerous.

Blair’s critics said Wednesday that the prime minister had benefited from a “whitewash.”

But Blair told Parliament that although he took full responsibility for intelligence failures, the report confirmed that his decision to go to war was justified, even if no weapons of mass destruction had been found and evidence of their existence looked increasingly weak.

“No one lied, no one made up intelligence…. That issue of good faith should be at an end,” said Blair, who remained bruised but defiant after the fourth official inquiry into his unpopular decision to join the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

He added: “I cannot honestly say that I believe getting rid of Saddam was a mistake at all.”

Despite the gentlemanly tone of Butler’s report, he and the four other commission members nonetheless reached some damaging conclusions. The report found that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq “did not have significant — if any — stocks of biological and chemical weapons in a state fit for deployment or developed plans for using them.”

The report criticized the government for making allegations based on intelligence data without including vital caveats and doubts expressed by British spies. The pressure to provide an analysis that could help the government advocate its aggressive policy toward Iraq put a “strain” on the intelligence community, Butler said.

He singled out the government’s unprecedented public presentation of intelligence data in September 2002, which gave the inaccurate impression that Hussein could unleash long-range chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes.

“We conclude that it was a serious weakness that … warnings on the limitations of the intelligence underlying its judgments were not made sufficiently clear,” the report said.

Recent inquiries by British officials have raised questions about the validity of the source behind the much-debated 45-minute claim, according to the report.

The U.S. Senate report last week found that the CIA and other agencies relied heavily on dubious information from exile groups. British and U.S. intelligence agencies have worked together on Iraq and other trouble spots.

But British spies did not fall prey to manipulation by Iraqi defectors or exiles whose claims have been largely discredited, according to the Butler report.

Butler said three of five main agents working for Britain inside Iraq before the war turned out to be either unreliable or of limited value. The two other agents provided solid intelligence, and “tended to present a less worrying view of the Iraqi chemical and biological weapons capability than that from the sources whose reporting is now subject to doubt,” the report said.

The government’s erroneous portrayal of Hussein’s arsenal was compounded by a shortage of experienced intelligence analysts and a failure to share some information with the Defense Ministry’s arms experts, according to the report.

“The report highlights a failure of the interface between the intelligence community and the government,” said Charles Heyman, editor of Jane’s World Armies. “The government was interpreting the intelligence in the wrong way. The culture was that this is what Tony [Blair] wants to hear, so they were able to cherry-pick the intelligence analysis.”

Critics said this blurring of the line between politics and intelligence resembled the aggressive White House campaign for military action against Iraq that now has become a liability for the Bush administration.

Michael Howard, leader of the Conservative opposition, charged that Blair misled Britons when he called Iraq an urgent threat.

“The prime minister said he was in no doubt and that the intelligence was beyond doubt,” Howard said during the parliamentary debate, contrasting Blair’s impassioned prewar speeches with Wednesday’s report.

“It’s now clear that in many ways the intelligence services got it wrong. But their assessments included serious caveats, qualifications and cautions. When presenting his case to the country, the prime minister chose to leave out those qualifications, caveats and cautions,” he said.

Howard then addressed Blair directly. “I hope we will not face in this country another war in the foreseeable future,” Howard said, “but if we did and you identified the threat, would the country believe you?”

The Iraq crisis has weakened Blair, Britain’s most dominant politician since Margaret Thatcher. Nonetheless, the splintered opposition parties have not yet produced a challenger who seems capable of taking him on, pundits say. Blair’s most serious opposition comes from within his Labor Party, whose left wing vigorously opposed the war and feels both betrayed and vindicated.

“It’s clear we went to war on a false premise, on George Bush’s say-so,” said Alice Mahon, a Labor member of Parliament who voted against the war. “Who is responsible? Why was intelligence so flawed? Why did so many people die?”

Geraldine Smith of the Labor Party, a reluctant supporter of the decision to attack Iraq, seemed to articulate the view of fellow lawmakers who felt disappointed.

“I would not have voted for regime change in Iraq if I had known there were no weapons of mass destruction,” Smith told a television interviewer.

Dissatisfaction with Blair has led to speculation that he might eventually step aside for Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, the other powerhouse in the Labor Party. But there were no immediate signs that Wednesday’s events had further endangered Blair or his key aides.

Butler took pains to defend John Scarlett, chief of the MI6 intelligence service. Before the war, Scarlett headed the Joint Intelligence Committee, an agency that coordinates intelligence analysis and acts as a bridge between the prime minister and spy agencies.

Scarlett’s committee prepared the public dossier about Iraq in September 2002 that generated allegations of distortion. It also set off a scandal last summer when a Defense Ministry scientist, who had criticized the Iraq dossier in an off-the-record interview with a BBC reporter, committed suicide after he was later publicly identified by the government.

Butler concluded in his report that the decision to push the intelligence community into the public spotlight was ill-advised.

“It was asked to do things that I don’t think it should have been doing in the sense that I think that intelligence and public relations need to be kept separate,” said Field Marshal Peter Inge, a member of the commission.

Butler told reporters that he hoped Scarlett would not resign because he shared only part of the blame.

Infiltrating Hussein’s regime was difficult, Butler noted, and many other countries believed that Iraq had a lethal arsenal even though they opposed military action.

Britain’s intelligence on Iraq also suffered because many top Middle East specialists were assigned to gather intelligence on the Al Qaeda terrorist network and were shifted belatedly to Iraq as the war approached, said Heyman and other analysts.

Butler’s apparent reluctance to assign individual blame led some critics to dismiss the report as a case of a government insider protecting his bosses. But Heyman said the inquiry was relatively tough within the context of British political culture.

“It barks up the same tree as the Senate report, but it’s not so cutting,” Heyman said. “It’s far more bland. But it’s not a fudge. We have seen a report in the American fashion with some pretty stark conclusions drawn. And we have seen a report in the British fashion where the conclusions don’t have the same cutting edge.”

——
Stobart reported from London and Rotella from Paris.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-britintel15jul15.story

No evidence of "deliberate distortion" of intelligence by politicians.

Article lié :

Stassen

  14/07/2004

‘Serious flaws’ in Iraq intelligence
The quality of the intelligence used to make the case for Britain going to war with Iraq has now been thrown into doubt, the Butler inquiry has said.
The 196 page report says MI6 did not check its sources well enough, and sometimes relied on third hand reports.
It says the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) should not have claimed Iraq could use WMD within 45 minutes without explaining what that meant.
But it said JIC chairman John Scarlett should still be the new boss of MI6.
US criticisms
Intelligence chiefs’ warnings about the limits of their information were not made clear enough in the government’s dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the report says.
“This was a weakness,” Lord Butler concludes.
Tony Blair’s statement to MPs may have reinforced the impression that there was “firmer and fuller intelligence”, the report continues.
Lord Butler’s team says ministers and officials and the intelligence agencies should have re-assessed the information as it become increasingly clear that UN Inspectors were not finding any WMD in the months immediately before the war.
The inquiry concludes there was no evidence of “deliberate distortion” of intelligence by politicians.
And the inquiry said it hoped John Scarlett will still take up his job as the new director of MI6.
Lord Butler was asked by No 10 to look at the accuracy of Britain’s pre-war intelligence after the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He is now outlining his report, before Tony Blair faces MPs at 1330 BST.
The report follows a US Senate inquiry severely criticising American intelligence agencies for the quality of their pre-war information.
The prime minister last week admitted banned weapons might never be found in Iraq.
In January Lord Hutton’s inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly cleared the government of inserting material it “knew to be probably wrong” against the wishes of the intelligence community in its dossier on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.
But the new inquiry has looked at the quality of the intelligence used to justify the case for war.
It is also expected to have re-examined the way that intelligence was presented to the public and MPs.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk_politics/3890961.stm

Published: 2004/07/14 12:01:28 GMT

© BBC MMIV
Review of Intelligence
on
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Report of a Committee
of
Privy Counsellors
Chairman:
The Rt Hon The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO
Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004
SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS
This summary follows the order of the Chapters of our Report. It comprises the passages
we have highlighted in each Section and is intended to convey the gist of our Conclusions.
However, we emphasise the importance of reading the Sections of the Report in full since
the picture of the sources, assessment and use of intelligence is necessarily complicated
and our Conclusions need to be read in context in order to be fully understood.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_07_04_butler.pdf
CHAPTER 2 – COUNTRIES OF CONCERN OTHER THAN IRAQ AND GLOBAL
TRADE
1. All four of the case studies we discuss (AQ Khan, Libya, Iran, North Korea) were to a
greater or lesser extent success stories. To a degree, that was inevitable – we chose those
cases where intelligence about nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic missile
programmes and proliferation activities can be discussed precisely because it has
contributed to disclosure of those activities. But that should not detract from what has
clearly been an impressive performance by the intelligence community and policy-makers
in each case, and overall. (Paragraph 107)
2. A number of common threads have become clear from our examination of each case. The first and most obvious is the powerful effect of exploiting the linkages where they exist between suppliers (AQ Khan; North Korea) and buyers (Iran; Libya; others) for counterproliferation activity. It is in the nature of proliferation that what can be discovered about a supplier leads to information about the customer, and vice versa. The second thread flows from this – the powerful multiplier effect of effective international (in many cases, multinational) collaboration. Third, this is painstaking work, involving the piecing together over extended timescales of often fragmentary information. There are the surprises and ‘lucky breaks’. But they often come from the foundation of knowledge developed over several years. It requires close collaboration between all involved, in agencies and departments, to build the jigsaw, with teams able to have access to available intelligence and to make the most of each clue. It also depends on continuity of shared purpose amongst collectors and analysts, and between the intelligence and policy communities, in gathering, assessing and using intelligence in tackling proliferation and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programmes which are destabilising in security terms.
(Paragraphs 108/109)
CHAPTER 3 – TERRORISM
3. All of the UK intelligence agencies are developing new techniques, and we have seen
clear evidence that they are co-operating at all levels. (Paragraph 133)
4. JTAC has now been operating for over a year and has proved a success. (Paragraph 134)
5. International counter-terrorism collaboration has also been significantly enhanced in the past six or seven years. Though we understand that other countries have not yet achieved the same level of inter-departmental synthesis, considerable developments have taken place. Staff of the UK intelligence and security agencies are today in much wider contact with their opposite numbers throughout the world. We note these initiatives, but remain concerned that the procedures of the international community are still not sufficiently aligned to match the threat. (Paragraph 136)
CHAPTER 4 – COUNTER-PROLIFERATION MACHINERY
6. Intelligence performs an important role in many aspects of the Government’s counterproliferation work. It helps to identify proliferating countries, organisations and individuals through JIC assessments, DIS proliferation studies and operational intelligence. It can help to interdict or disrupt the activities of proliferators either nationally or in co-operation with other countries. It can support diplomatic activity by revealing states’ attitudes to counter-proliferation or by informing the assessments of international partners. It can also support inspection, monitoring and verification regimes and on occasions military action. Intelligence can play an important part in enforcing export controls, particularly in relation to ‘dual-use’ goods and technologies. (Paragraphs 149/150)
CHAPTER 5 – IRAQ
THE POLICY CONTEXT
7. The developing policy context of the previous four years [see paragraphs 210–217] and
especially the impact of the events of 11 September 2001, formed the backdrop for
changes in policy towards Iraq in early 2002. The Government’s conclusion in the spring
of 2002 that stronger action (although not necessarily military action) needed to be taken
to enforce Iraqi disarmament was not based on any new development in the current
intelligence picture on Iraq. (Paragraph 427)
8. When the Government concluded that action going beyond the previous policy of
containment needed to be taken, there were many grounds for concern arising from Iraq’s past record and behaviour. There was a clear view that, to be successful, any new action to enforce Iraqi compliance with its disarmament obligations would need to be backed with the credible threat of force. But there was no recent intelligence that would itself have given rise to a conclusion that Iraq was of more immediate concern than the activities of some other countries. (Paragraph 427)
9. The Government, as well as being influenced by the concerns of the US Government, saw a need for immediate action on Iraq because of the wider historical and international
context, especially Iraq’s perceived continuing challenge to the authority of the United
Nations. The Government also saw in the United Nations and a decade of Security Council
Resolutions a basis for action through the United Nations to enforce Iraqi compliance with its disarmament obligations. (Paragraph 428)
10. The Government considered in March 2002 two options for achieving the goal of Iraqi
disarmament - a toughening of the existing containment policy; and regime change by
military means. Ministers were advised that, if regime change was the chosen policy, only
the use of overriding force in a ground campaign would achieve the removal of Saddam
Hussein and Iraq’s re-integration with the international community. Officials noted that
regime change of itself had no basis in international law; and that any offensive military
action against Iraq could only be justified if Iraq were held to be in breach of its
disarmament obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 or some
new resolution. Officials also noted that for the five Permanent Members of the Security
Council and the majority of the 15 members of the Council to take the view that Iraq was
in breach of its obligations under Resolution 687, they would need to be convinced that
Iraq was in breach of its obligations; that such proof would need to be incontrovertible and of large-scale activity; but that the intelligence then available was insufficiently robust to meet that criterion. (Paragraph 429)
11. Intelligence on Iraqi nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic missile programmes was
used in support of the execution of this policy to inform planning for a military campaign; to inform domestic and international opinion, in support of the Government’s advocacy of its changing policy towards Iraq; and to obtain and provide information to United Nations inspectors. (Paragraph 431)
12. Iraq was not the only issue on which the intelligence agencies, the JIC and the
departments concerned were working during this period. Other matters, including
terrorism and the activities of other countries of concern, were requiring intensive day-today observation and action. (Paragraph 432)
THE SOURCES OF INTELLIGENCE
13. Between 1991 and 1998, the bulk of information used in assessing the status of Iraq’s
biological, chemical and ballistic missile programmes was derived from UNSCOM
reports. (Paragraph 433)
14. After the departure of the United Nations inspectors in December 1998, information
sources were sparse, particularly on Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons
programmes. (Paragraph 433)
15. The number of primary human intelligence sources remained few. Other intelligence
sources provided valuable information on other activity, including overseas procurement
activity. They did not generally provide confirmation of the intelligence received from
human sources, but did contribute to the picture of the continuing intention of the Iraqi
regime to pursue its prohibited weapons programmes. (Paragraphs 434/435)
16. Validation of human intelligence sources after the war has thrown doubt on a high
proportion of those sources and of their reports, and hence on the quality of the
intelligence assessments received by Ministers and officials in the period from summer
2002 to the outbreak of hostilities. Of the main human intelligence sources:
a. One SIS main source reported authoritatively on some issues, but on others
was passing on what he had heard within his circle.
b. Reporting from a sub-source to a second SIS main source that was important
to JIC assessments on Iraqi possession of chemical and biological weapons
must be open to doubt.
c. Reports from a third SIS main source have been withdrawn as unreliable.
d. Reports from two further SIS main sources continue to be regarded as reliable,
although it is notable that their reports were less worrying than the rest about
Iraqi chemical and biological weapons capabilities.
e. Reports received from a liaison service on Iraqi production of biological agent
were seriously .awed, so that the grounds for JIC assessments drawing on
those reports that Iraq had recently-produced stocks of biological agent no
longer exist. (Paragraph 436)
17. We do not believe that over-reliance on dissident and emigre´ sources was a major cause of subsequent weaknesses in the human intelligence relied on by the UK. (Paragraph 438)
18. One reason for the number of agents whose reports turned out to be unreliable or
questionable may be the length of the reporting chains. Another reason may be that
agents who were known to be reliable were asked to report on issues going well beyond
their usual territory. A third reason may be that, because of the scarcity of sources and the urgent requirement for intelligence, more credence was given to untried agents than
would normally be the case. (Paragraphs 440–442)
19. A major underlying reason for the problems that have arisen was the difficulty of achieving reliable human intelligence on Iraq. However, even taking into account the difficulty of recruiting and running reliable agents on Iraqi issues, we conclude that part of the reason for the serious doubt being cast over a high proportion of human intelligence reports on Iraq arises from weaknesses in the effective application by SIS of its validation procedures and in their proper resourcing. Our Review has shown the vital importance of effective scrutiny and validation of human intelligence sources and of their reporting to the preparation of accurate JIC assessments and high-quality advice to Ministers. We urge the Chief of SIS to ensure that this task is properly resourced and organised to achieve that result, and we think that it would be appropriate if the Intelligence and Security Committee were to monitor this. (Paragraphs 443–445)
ASSESSMENT
20. In general, we found that the original intelligence material was correctly reported in JIC assessments. An exception was the ’45 minute’ report. But this sort of example was rare. (Paragraph 449)
21. We should record in particular that we have found no evidence of deliberate distortion or of culpable negligence. (Paragraph 449)
22. We found no evidence of JIC assessments and the judgements inside them being pulled in any particular direction to meet the policy concerns of senior officials on the JIC.
(Paragraph 450)
23. We conclude in general that the intelligence community made good use of the technical expertise available to the Government. (Paragraph 451)
24. We accept the need for careful handling of human intelligence reports to sustain the
security of sources. We have, however, seen evidence of difficulties that arose from the
unduly strict ‘compartmentalisation’ of intelligence. It was wrong that a report which was
of significance in the drafting of a document of the importance of the dossier was not
shown to key experts in the DIS who could have commented on the validity and credibility of the report. We conclude that arrangements should always be sought to ensure that the need for protection of sources should not prevent the exposure of reports on technical matters to the most expert available analysis. (Paragraphs 452)
25. We were impressed by the quality of intelligence assessments on Iraq’s nuclear
capabilities. (Paragraphs 453)
26. Partly because of inherent difficulties in assessing chemical and biological programmes,
JIC assessments on Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons programmes were less
assured. The most significant is the ‘dual use’ issue – because chemical and biological
weapons programmes can draw heavily on ‘dual use’ materials, it is easier for a
proliferating state to keep its programmes covert. (Paragraph 454/455)
27. There were also Iraq-specific factors. The intelligence community will have had in mind
that Iraq had not only owned but used its chemical weapons in the past. It will inevitably
have been influenced by the way in which the Iraqi regime was engaged in a sustained
programme to try to deceive United Nations inspectors. Most of the intelligence reports
on which assessments were being made were inferential. The Assessments Staff and JIC
were not fully aware of the access and background of key informants, and could not
therefore read their material against the background of an understanding of their
motivations. The broad conclusions of the UK intelligence community (although not some
particular details) were widely-shared by other countries. (Paragraphs 456/457)
28. We detected a tendency for assessments to be coloured by over-reaction to previous
errors. As a result, there was a risk of over-cautious or worst case estimates, shorn of their
caveats, becoming the ‘prevailing wisdom’. The JIC may, in some assessments, also have
misread the nature of Iraqi governmental and social structures. (Paragraph 458/459)
29. We emphasise the importance of the Assessments Staff and the JIC having access to a
wide range of information, especially in circumstances (e.g. where the UK is likely to
become involved in national reconstruction and institution-building) where information on political and social issues will be vital. (Paragraph 459)
THE USE OF INTELLIGENCE
30. The main vehicle for the Government’s use of intelligence in the public presentation of policy was the dossier of September 2002 and accompanying Ministerial statements. The dossier broke new ground in three ways: the JIC had never previously produced a public document; no Government case for any international action had previously been made to the British public through explicitly drawing on a JIC publication; and the authority of the British intelligence community, and the JIC in particular, had never been used in such a public way. (Paragraph 460/461)
31. The dossier was not intended to make the case for a particular course of action in relation to Iraq. It was intended by the Government to inform domestic and international
understanding of the need for stronger action (though not necessarily military action) – the general direction in which Government policy had been moving since the early months of 2002, away from containment to a more proactive approach to enforcing Iraqi
disarmament. (Paragraph 462)
32. The Government wanted an unclassified document on which it could draw in its advocacy of its policy. The JIC sought to offer a dispassionate assessment of intelligence and other material on Iraqi nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic missile programmes. The JIC, with commendable motives, took responsibility for the dossier, in order that its content should properly reject the judgements of the intelligence community. They did their utmost to ensure this standard was met. But this will have put a strain on them in seeking to maintain their normal standards of neutral and objective assessment. (Paragraph 463)
33. Strenuous efforts were made to ensure that no individual statements were made in the dossier which went beyond the judgements of the JIC. But, in translating material from JIC assessments into the dossier, warnings were lost about the limited intelligence base on which some aspects of these assessments were being made. Language in the dossier may have left with readers the impression that there was fuller and former intelligence behind the judgements than was the case in our view, having reviewed all of the material, is that judgements in the dossier went to (although not beyond) the outer limits of the intelligence available. (Paragraph 464)
34. We conclude that it was a serious weakness that the JIC’s warnings on the limitations of the intelligence underlying its judgements were not made sufficiently clear in the dossier. (Paragraph 465)
35. We understand why the Government felt it had to meet the mounting public and
Parliamentary demand for information. We also recognise that there is a real dilemma
between giving the public an authoritative account of the intelligence picture and
protecting the objectivity of the JIC from the pressures imposed by providing information for public debate. It is difficult to resolve these requirements. We conclude, with the benefit of hindsight, that making public that the JIC had authorship of the dossier was a mistaken judgement, though we do not criticise the JIC for taking responsibility for clearance of the intelligence content of the document. However, in the particular circumstances, the publication of such a document in the name and with the authority of the JIC had the result that more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear. The consequence also was to put the JIC and its Chairman into an area of public controversy and arrangements must be made for the future which avoid putting the JIC and its Chairman in a similar position. (Paragraph 466)
36. We believe that there are other options that should be examined for the ownership of drafting, for gaining the JIC’s endorsement of the intelligence material and assessments that are quoted and for subsequent ‘branding’. One is for the government of the day to draft a document, to gain the JIC’s endorsement of the intelligence material inside it and then to publish it acknowledging that it draws on intelligence but without ascribing it to the JIC. Or the Government, if it wishes to seek the JIC’s credibility and authority, could publish a document with intelligence material and the JIC’s endorsement of it shown separately. Or the JIC could prepare and publish itself a self-standing assessment, incorporating all of its normal caveats and warnings, leaving it to others to place that document within a broader policy context. This may make such documents less
persuasive in making a policy case; but that is the price of using a JIC assessment. Our
conclusion is that, between these options, the .rst is greatly preferable. Whichever route is chosen, JIC clearance of the intelligence content of any similar document will be essential. (Paragraph 467)
37. We conclude that, if intelligence is to be used more widely by governments in public
debate in future, those doing so must be careful to explain its uses and limitations. It will
be essential, too, that clearer and more effective dividing lines between assessment and
advocacy are established when doing so. (Paragraph 468)
38. We realise that our conclusions may provoke calls for the current Chairman of the JIC, Mr Scarlett, to withdraw from his appointment as the next Chief of SIS. We greatly hope that he will not do so. We have a high regard for his abilities and his record. (Paragraph 469)
39. The part played by intelligence in determining the legality of the use of force was limited. (Paragraph 470)
40. We have noted that, despite its importance to the determination of whether Iraq was in further material breach of its obligations under Resolution 1441, the JIC made no further assessment of the Iraqi declaration beyond its ‘Initial Assessment’ provided on 18
December. We have also recorded our surprise that policy-makers and the intelligence
community did not, as the generally negative results of UNMOVIC inspections became
increasingly apparent, re-evaluate in early 2003 the quality of the intelligence.
(Paragraph 472)
VALIDATION OF THE INTELLIGENCE
41. Even now it would be premature to reach conclusions about Iraq’s prohibited weapons.
Much potential evidence may have been destroyed in the looting and disorder that
followed the cessation of hostilities. Other material may be hidden in the sand, including
stocks of agent or weapons. We believe that it would be a rash person who asserted at
this stage that evidence of Iraqi possession of stocks of biological or chemical agents, or
even of banned missiles, does not exist or will never be found. But as a result of our
Review, and taking into account the evidence which has been found by the ISG and debriefing of Iraqi personnel, we have reached the conclusion that prior to the war the
Iraqi regime:
a. Had the strategic intention of resuming the pursuit of prohibited weapons
programmes, including if possible its nuclear weapons programme, when
United Nations inspection regimes were relaxed and sanctions were eroded
or lifted.
b. In support of that goal, was carrying out illicit research and development, and
procurement, activities, to seek to sustain its indigenous capabilities.
c. Was developing ballistic missiles with a range longer than permitted under
relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions; but did not have significant – if any – stocks of chemical or biological weapons in a state .t for
deployment, or developed plans for using them. (Paragraph 474)
CHAPTER 6 – IRAQ: SPECIFIC ISSUES
LINKS BETWEEN AL QAIDA AND THE IRAQI REGIME
42. The JIC made it clear that the Al Qaida-linked facilities in the Kurdish Ansar al Islam area
were involved in the production of chemical and biological agents, but that they were
beyond the control of the Iraqi regime. (Paragraph 479)
43. The JIC made clear that, although there were contacts between the Iraqi regime and Al Qaida, there was no evidence of co-operation. (Paragraph 484)
OPERATION MASS APPEAL
44. There were two meetings between British Government officials and UNSCOM
representatives, including Mr Ritter, in May and June 1998 at which there were
discussions about how to make public the discovery of traces of the nerve agent VX on
missile warheads after this fact had been reported to the United Nations Security Council.
(Iraq had previously denied weaponising VX.) Operation Mass Appeal was set up for this
specific purpose and did not exist before May 1998. In the event, before Operation Mass
Appeal could proceed, the UNSCOM report was leaked to the press in Washington.
Because of this, Operation Mass Appeal was abandoned. (Paragraph 489)
URANIUM FROM AFRICA
45. From our examination of the intelligence and other material on Iraqi attempts to buy
uranium from Africa, we have concluded that:
a. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.
b. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources
indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since
uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence
was credible.
c. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to
having sought, uranium and the British Government did not claim this.
d. The forged documents were not available to the British Government at the time
its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine it.
(Paragraph 503)
THE ‘45 MINUTE’ CLAIM
46. The JIC should not have included the ‘45 minute’ report in its assessment and in the
Government’s dossier without stating what it was believed to refer to. The fact that the
reference in the classified assessment was repeated in the dossier later led to suspicions
that it had been included because of its eye-catching character. (Paragraph 511)
MOBILE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS LABORATORIES
47. We consider that it was reasonable for the JIC to include in its assessments of March and September 2002 a reference to intelligence reports on Iraq’s seeking mobile biological agent production facilities. But it has emerged that the intelligence from the source, if it had been correctly reported, would not have been consistent with a judgement that Iraq had, on the basis of recent production, stocks of biological agent. If SIS had had direct access to the source from 2000 onwards, and hence correct intelligence reporting, the main evidence for JIC judgements on Iraq’s stocks of recently-produced biological agent, as opposed to a break-out capacity, would not have existed. (Paragraph 530)
ALUMINIUM TUBES
48. The evidence we received on aluminium tubes was overwhelmingly that they were
intended for rockets rather than a centrifuge. We found this convincing. Despite this, we
conclude that the JIC was right to consider carefully the possibility that the tubes were
evidence of a resumed nuclear programme, and that it properly rejected the doubts
about the use of the tubes in the caution of its assessments. But in transferring its
judgements to the dossier, the JIC omitted the important information about the need for
substantial re-engineering of the aluminium tubes to make them suitable for use as gas
centrifuge rotors. This omission had the effect of materially strengthening the impression
that they may have been intended for a gas centrifuge and hence for a nuclear
programme. (Paragraph 545)
PLAGUE AND DUSTY MUSTARD
49. Plague and ‘dusty mustard’ were just two of the many biological and chemical threats on which the intelligence community had to keep watch in the period before the .rst Gulf war, and subsequently. (Paragraph 562)
50. The intelligence on their availability to Iraq in 1990 and 1991 rested on a small number of reports and the evidence derived from examination of a munition. There were grounds for scepticism both about the reports’ sources and their quality. Nevertheless, we conclude that the Government was right in 1990 and 1991 to act on a precautionary basis. (Paragraph 563)
51. We found it harder to understand the treatment of the intelligence in the ensuing period.
‘Dusty mustard’ disappears from JIC assessments from 1993 onwards. By contrast,
although little new intelligence was received, and most of that was historical or
unconvincing, plague continued to be mentioned in JIC assessments up to March 2003.
Those fluctuated in the certainty of judgements about Iraqi possession of plague between “possibly” and “probably”. (Paragraph 564)
52. We conclude that, in the case of plague, JIC assessments rejected historic evidence, and intelligence of dubious reliability, reinforced by suspicion of Iraq, rather than up-to-date evidence. (Paragraph 565)
DR JONES’S DISSENT
53. Dr Jones was right to raise concerns about the manner of expression of the ‘45 minute’ report in the dossier given the vagueness of the underlying intelligence. (Paragraph 570)
54. Dr Jones was right to raise concerns about the certainty of language used in the dossier on Iraqi production and possession of chemical agents. (Paragraph 572)
55. We recognise that circumstances arise in which it is right for senior officials to take a broad view that differs from the opinions of those with expertise on points of detail. We do not, however, consider that the report held back from Dr Jones and his staff (which Dr Jones’ superiors regarded as justifying the certainty of the language in the dossier) was one to which such considerations should have applied. It was understandable that SIS should have wanted to give greater than normal protection to the human intelligence source on this occasion. But a problem arose because it was kept from the relevant DIS analysts who had a wider perspective. It would have been more appropriate for senior managers in the DIS and SIS to have made arrangements for the intelligence to be shown to DIS experts rather than their making their own judgements on its significance. (Paragraph 576/577)
OIL SUPPLIES
56. We saw no evidence that a motive of the British Government for initiating military action was securing continuing access to oil supplies. (Paragraph 579)
CHAPTER 7 – CONCLUSIONS ON BROADER ISSUES
INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION
57. We note that much of what was reliably known about Iraq’s unconventional weapons
programmes in the mid- and late-1990s was obtained through the reports of the UN
Special Commission (UNSCOM) and of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
These international agencies now appear to have been more effective than was realised
at the time in dismantling and inhibiting Iraq’s prohibited weapons programmes. The value of such international organisations needs to be recognised and built on for the future, supported by the contribution of intelligence from national agencies. (Paragraph 584)
CO-ORDINATION OF COUNTER-PROLIFERATION ACTIVITY
58. We consider that it would be helpful through day-to-day processes and the use of new
information systems to create a ‘virtual’ network bringing together the various sources of
expertise in Government on proliferation and on activity to tackle it, who would be known to each other and could consult each other easily. (Paragraph 585)
THE DEFENCE INTELLIGENCE STAFF
59. We consider that further steps are needed to integrate the relevant work of the DIS more closely with the rest of the intelligence community. We welcome the arrangements now being made to give the Joint Intelligence Committee more leverage through the
Intelligence Requirements process to ensure that the DIS serves wider national priorities
as well as it does defence priorities and has the resources which the rest of the intelligence community needs to support its activities. If that involved increasing the Secret Intelligence Account by a sum to be at the Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator’s
disposal to commission such resources, we would support that. (Paragraph 587)
60. We recommend consideration of the provision of proper channels for the expression of dissent within the DIS through the extension of the remit of the Staff Counsellor, who
provides a confidential outlet for conscientious objection or dissent within the intelligence agencies, to cover DIS civilian staff and the Assessments Staff. (Paragraph 589)
61. We recognise the case for the Chief of Defence Intelligence to be a serving officer so that he is fully meshed into military planning. But we consider that the Deputy should, unless there are good reasons to the contrary at the time when a particular appointment is made, be an intelligence specialist. (Paragraph 590)
THE JOINT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
62. We recommend no change in the JIC’s membership. (Paragraph 596)
63. We see a strong case for the post of Chairman of the JIC being held by someone with
experience of dealing with Ministers in a very senior role, and who is demonstrably beyond influence, and thus probably in his last post. (Paragraph 597)
THE ASSESSMENTS STAFF
64. We recommend that the Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator reviews the size of the
Assessments Staff, and in particular considers whether they have available the volume
and range of resources to ask the questions which need to be asked in fully assessing
intelligence reports and in thinking radically. We recommend also that this review should
include considering whether there should be a specialism of analysis with a career
structure and room for advancement, allowing the Assessments Staff to include some
career members. We understand that the Intelligence and Security Committee are
planning to look at this issue. (Paragraph 600)
65 It may be worth considering the appointment of a distinguished scientist to undertake a part-time role as adviser to the Cabinet Office. (Paragraph 601)
THE LANGUAGE OF JIC ASSESSMENTS
66. The JIC has been right not to reach a judgement when the evidence is insubstantial. We believe that the JIC should, where there are significant limitations in the intelligence, state these clearly alongside its Key Judgements. While not arguing for a particular approach to the language of JIC assessments and the way in which alternative or minority
hypotheses, or uncertainty, are expressed, we recommend that the intelligence
community review their conventions again to see if there would be advantage in refreshing them. (Paragraph 604)
MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT
67. We do not suggest that there is or should be an ideal or unchangeable system of collective Government, still less that procedures are in aggregate any less effective now than in earlier times. However, we are concerned that the informality and circumscribed
character of the Government’s procedures which we saw in the context of policy-making
towards Iraq risks reducing the scope for informed collective political judgement. Such
risks are particularly significant in a field like the subject of our Review, where hard facts
are inherently difficult to come by and the quality of judgement is accordingly all the more important. (Paragraph 611)
—-

I will risk all on Iraq, said Blair in feb. ... 2003

Article lié :

Stassen

  14/07/2004

I will risk all on Iraq, says Blair

Blair admits risking his political life over Iraq

Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent
Tuesday February 4, 2003
The Guardian

Tony Blair yesterday admitted he was risking everything politically on his determination to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, as he briefed MPs on his belief that President George Bush and the rest of the UN security council will endorse a second resolution backing the claim that Iraq is breaching UN resolutions.
Mr Blair’s frank admission of his precarious position came when he gave his report to MPs on his Washington summit with Mr Bush last Friday. Mr Blair came from the summit content that he had won the reluctant support of Mr Bush to seek a second UN resolution before military action.
Mr Blair told MPs: “We are entering the final phase of a 12-year history of the disarmament of Iraq.” He added that there was unmistakable evidence that Iraq was in breach of UN resolutions.
He was speaking ahead of today’s Anglo-French summit with the French president, Jacques Chirac, at Le Touquet. The French are not yet convinced that the UN weapons inspectors have amassed sufficient evidence to justify a war.
Mr Blair made an implicit plea to Mr Chirac to rise to his responsibilities, pointing out that Britain before the second world war had nearly succumbed to appeasement.
He also invested greater authority than before in the ultimate stance of Dr Blix, the chief weapons inspector. Mr Blair argued: “Should Dr Blix continue to report Iraqi non-cooperation, a second resolution should be passed confirming such a mate rial breach.” He said the inspectors had been sent to Iraq in part to certify if the Iraqis were willing to cooperate. He insisted that Mr Bush had agreed with him on the importance of seeking a second UN resolution, but indicated that the resolution might simply report that Iraq is in breach of previous UN resolutions, leaving the response of the international community for each individual country to decide.
At one point Mr Blair said: “When people ask me why am I willing to risk everything on this politically, I do not want to be the prime minister when people point the finger back from history and say: ‘You know those two threats were there and you did nothing about it’.”
Mr Blair came under his strongest attack yet from the Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy, who questioned whether intelligence briefings being leaked by the British and the US could be trusted as reliable proof of the need for military action.
Mr Kennedy said: “If the Americans decide to take some form of pre-emptive action before the weapons inspectors are able to complete their task, this country will have to be clear-cut as to where its sense of allegiance lies.”
He went on: “Do you recognise… that by making war appear somehow now to be inevitable it is hard for the public to believe that the president of the US and yourself are actually objective about the task in front of the weapons inspectors?”

Iraq inquiry to deliver verdict
The inquiry into the intelligence used to justify sending UK troops to war in Iraq delivers its verdict on Wednesday.
Former Cabinet secretary Lord Butler’s team has taken evidence in private for the last five months and will publish its findings at 1230 BST.
The report comes amid the continuing failure to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Tony Blair received an advance copy of the report on Tuesday and will make a statement to MPs at 1330 BST.
US criticisms
The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives got their first sight of the report at 0600 BST, prompting complaints that the government has an unfair advantage in preparing for the Commons clash.
Arriving to read the report, Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said the inquiry would give an insight into the political judgement which led to a “quite unnecessary war”.
Tory leader Michael Howard said he looked forward to reading a “very important report looking into very important issues”.
BUTLER TIMINGS Wednesday, 0600 BST: Opposition party leaders see report 1230 BST: Lord Butler publishes inquiry findings 1330 BST: Tony Blair leads Commons debate on inquiry report
The report follows a US Senate inquiry severely criticising American intelligence agencies for the quality of their pre-war information.
The prime minister last week admitted banned weapons might never be found in Iraq.
In January Lord Hutton’s inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly cleared the government of inserting material it “knew to be probably wrong” against the wishes of the intelligence community in its dossier on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.
But the new inquiry has looked at the quality of the intelligence used to justify the case for war.
It may also re-examine the way that intelligence was presented to the public and MPs.
Among the issues the inquiry is likely to assess are:
· The accuracy of the claim that Iraq could use some weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order and how it was promoted to the media
· The reliability of intelligence sources and whether there was over-reliance on Iraqi defectors
· The claim that Iraq tried to obtain uranium from Niger, something disavowed by the International Atomic Weapons Authority (IAEA)
· Whether there was political pressure on Joint Intelligence Committee chairman John Scarlett.
Lord Butler has said he is focusing on “structures, systems and processes rather than on the actions of individuals”.
That prompted the Tories to withdraw their support for the probe. The Liberal Democrats refused to take part from the start.
War law
There could also be scrutiny of the advice given by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith about the war’s legality and what pressure he faced from fellow ministers.
The BBC’s Panorama programme says it has been told key intelligence on Iraq’s weapons used to back the war had recently been withdrawn.
We are better, safer, more secure without Saddam Hussein in office Tony Blair
Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told BBC’s Today on Wednesday he did not know how much British intelligence relied on information from his Iraqi National Accord group.
He said the group had possessed some information about Saddam Hussein being able to use weapons within 45 minutes, but this related to weapons which could be used against mutinous Iraqi troops.
Nobody knew whether Saddam Hussein’s weapons programmes were complete but Mr Allawi insisted containment had not been working.
He told Today: “When the moral, ethical decision to go to war against Saddam was taken, Saddam at that stage had already done a lot of harm.
“He was capable of doing more harm. He had programmes to develop his capabilities.”
‘Interference’
Former US President Bill Clinton told Today British intelligence had been “more aggressive” than American agencies and Mr Blair had believed he needed to act on their warnings.
There has been speculation the report may look at Tony Blair’s “informal” style of government, criticised by some as too reliant on ad hoc meetings and “government by sofa”.
But Labour MP James Purnell, a former Downing Street adviser, said the government’s move away from formal meetings had been necessary to respond to today’s “complex world” of 24-hour news coverage.
On Tuesday Mr Blair rejected suggestions that “duff” intelligence had made him look foolish around the world.
And he said he felt the same about Iraq as he had before the war.
“With the history of Saddam and what he did, not just to his own country but to the wider world, we are better, safer, more secure without him in office,” said Mr Blair.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk_politics/3890961.stm

Published: 2004/07/14 09:14:50 GMT

© BBC MMIV

Former advocates of Iraq's invasion are now lobbying contracts for reconstruction

Article lié :

Stassen

  14/07/2004

Advocates of War Now Profit From Iraq’s Reconstruction
Lobbyists, aides to senior officials and others encouraged invasion and now help firms pursue contracts. They see no conflict.
By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Ken Silverstein
Times Staff Writers

July 14, 2004

WASHINGTON — In the months and years leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, they marched together in the vanguard of those who advocated war.

As lobbyists, public relations counselors and confidential advisors to senior federal officials, they warned against Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, praised exiled leader Ahmad Chalabi, and argued that toppling Saddam Hussein was a matter of national security and moral duty.

Now, as fighting continues in Iraq, they are collecting tens of thousands of dollars in fees for helping business clients pursue federal contracts and other financial opportunities in Iraq. For instance, a former Senate aide who helped get U.S. funds for anti-Hussein exiles who are now active in Iraqi affairs has a $175,000 deal to advise Romania on winning business in Iraq and other matters.

And the ease with which they have moved from advocating policies and advising high government officials to making money in activities linked to their policies and advice reflects the blurred lines that often exist between public and private interests in Washington. In most cases, federal conflict-of-interest laws do not apply to former officials or to people serving only as advisors.

Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said the actions of former officials and others who serve on government advisory boards, although not illegal, can raise the appearance of conflicts of interest. “It calls into question whether the advice they give is in their own interests rather than the public interest,” Noble said.

Michael Shires, a professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, disagreed. “I don’t see an ethical issue there,” he said. “I see individuals looking out for their own interests.”

Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey is a prominent example of the phenomenon, mixing his business interests with what he contends are the country’s strategic interests. He left the CIA in 1995, but he remains a senior government advisor on intelligence and national security issues, including Iraq. Meanwhile, he works for two private companies that do business in Iraq and is a partner in a company that invests in firms that provide security and anti-terrorism services.

Woolsey said in an interview that he was not directly involved with the companies’ Iraq-related ventures. But as a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm, he was a featured speaker in May 2003 at a conference co-sponsored by the company at which some 80 corporate executives and others paid up to $1,100 to hear about the economic outlook and business opportunities in Iraq.

Before the war, Woolsey was a founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an organization set up in 2002 at the request of the White House to help build public backing for war in Iraq. He also wrote about a need for regime change and sat on the CIA advisory board and the Defense Policy Board, whose unpaid members have provided advice on Iraq and other matters to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Woolsey is part of a small group that shows with unusual clarity the interlocking nature of the way the insider system can work. Moving in the same social circles, often sitting together on government panels and working with like-minded think tanks and advocacy groups, they wrote letters to the White House urging military action in Iraq, formed organizations that pressed for invasion and pushed legislation that authorized aid to exile groups.

Since the start of the war, despite the violence and instability in Iraq, they have turned to private enterprise.

The group, in addition to Woolsey, includes:

Neil Livingstone, a former Senate aide who has served as a Pentagon and State Department advisor and issued repeated public calls for Hussein’s overthrow. He heads a Washington-based firm, GlobalOptions, that provides contacts and consulting services to companies doing business in Iraq.

Randy Scheunemann, a former Rumsfeld advisor who helped draft the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 authorizing $98 million in U.S. aid to Iraqi exile groups. He was the founding president of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Now he’s helping former Soviet Bloc states win business there.

Margaret Bartel, who managed federal money channeled to Chalabi’s exile group, the Iraqi National Congress, including funds for its prewar intelligence program on Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. She now heads a Washington-area consulting firm helping would-be investors find Iraqi partners.

K. Riva Levinson, a Washington lobbyist and public relations specialist who received federal funds to drum up prewar support for the Iraqi National Congress. She has close ties to Bartel and now helps companies open doors in Iraq, in part through her contacts with the Iraqi National Congress.

Other advocates of military action against Hussein are pursuing business opportunities in Iraq. Two ardent supporters of military action, Joe Allbaugh, who managed President Bush’s 2000 campaign for the White House and later headed the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Edward Rogers Jr., an aide to the first President Bush, recently helped set up two companies to promote business in postwar Iraq. Rogers’ law firm has a $262,500 contract to represent Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Neither Rogers nor Allbaugh has Woolsey’s high profile, however.

Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, he wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal saying a foreign state had aided Al Qaeda in preparing the strikes. He named Iraq as the leading suspect. In October 2001, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz sent Woolsey to London, where he hunted for evidence linking Hussein to the attacks.

At the May 2003 Washington conference, titled “Companies on the Ground: The Challenge for Business in Rebuilding Iraq,” Woolsey spoke on political and diplomatic issues that might impact economic progress. He also spoke favorably about the Bush administration’s decision to tilt reconstruction contracts toward U.S. firms.

In an interview, Woolsey said he saw no conflict between advocating for the war and subsequently advising companies on business in Iraq.

Booz Allen is a subcontractor on a $75-million telecommunications contract in Iraq and also has provided assistance on the administration of federal grants. Woolsey said he had had no involvement in that work.

Woolsey was interviewed at the Washington office of the Paladin Capital Group, a venture capital firm where he is a partner. Paladin invests in companies involved in homeland security and infrastructure protection, Woolsey said.

Woolsey also is a paid advisor to Livingstone’s GlobalOptions. He said his own work at the firm did not involve Iraq.

Under Livingstone, GlobalOptions “offers a wide range of security and risk management services,” according to its website.

In a 1993 opinion piece for Newsday, Livingstone wrote that the United States “should launch a massive covert program designed to remove Hussein.”

In a recent interview, Livingstone said he had second thoughts about the war, primarily because of the failureto find weapons of mass destruction. But he has been a regular speaker at Iraq investmentseminars.

While Livingstone has focused on opportunities for Americans, Scheunemann has concentrated on helping former Soviet Bloc states.

Scheunemann runs a Washington lobbying firm called Orion Strategies, which shares the same address as that of the Iraqi National Congress’ Washington spokesman and the now-defunct Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

Orion’s clients include Romania, which signed a nine-month, $175,000 deal earlier this year. Among other things, the contract calls for Orion to promote Romania’s “interests in the reconstruction of Iraq.”

Scheunemann has also traveled to Latvia, which is a former Orion client, and met with a business group to discuss prospects in Iraq.

Few people advocated for the war as vigorously as Scheunemann. Just a week after Sept. 11, he joined with other conservatives who sent a letter to Bush calling for Hussein’s overthrow.

In 2002, Scheunemann became the first president of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which scored its biggest success last year when 10 Eastern European countries endorsed the U.S. invasion. Known as the “Vilnius 10,” they showed that “Europe is united by a commitment to end Saddam’s bloody regime,” Scheunemann said at the time.

He declined to discuss his Iraq-related business activities, saying, “I can’t help you out there.”

Scheunemann, Livingstone and Woolsey played their roles in promoting war with Iraq largely in public. By contrast, Bartel and Levinson mostly operated out of the public eye.

In early 2003, Bartel became a director of Boxwood Inc., a Virginia firm set up to receive U.S. funds for the intelligence program of the Iraqi National Congress.

Today, critics in Congress say the Iraqi National Congress provided faulty information on Hussein’s efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction and his ties to Osama bin Laden.

Bartel began working for the Iraqi National Congress in 2001. She was hired to monitor its use of U.S. funds after several critical government audits. After the war began, Bartel established a Virginia company, Global Positioning. According to Bartel, the firm’s primary purpose is to “introduce clients to the Iraqi market, help them find potential Iraqi partners, set up meetings with government officials ... and provide on-the-ground support for their business interests.”

Bartel works closely with Levinson, a managing director with the Washington lobbying firm BKSH & Associates. Francis Brooke, a top Chalabi aide, said BKSH received $25,000 a month to promote the Iraqi National Congress, and Levinson “did great work on our behalf.”

In 1999, Levinson was hired by the Iraqi National Congress to handle public relations. She said her contract with the congress ended last year. Before the invasion and in the early days of fighting in Iraq, Chalabi and the congress enjoyed close relations with the Bush administration, but the relationship has cooled.

Levinson told The Times: “We see no conflict of interest in using our knowledge and contacts in Iraq that we developed through our previous work with the INC to support economic development in Iraq. As a matter of fact, we see this as complementary to a shared goal to build a democratic country.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-advocates14jul14.story

No credible basis for terrorist menace during Presidential Race

Article lié :

Stassen

  13/07/2004

Lawmaker Doubts U.S. Warnings of Possible Attack to Stop Elections

By John Mintz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 13, 2004; Page A13
A Democratic congressman who receives classified briefings on the threat of terrorist attacks said yesterday that top U.S. government officials’ repeated statements that international terrorists want to disrupt the American electoral process this year “appear to have no basis.”
Rep. Jim Turner (Tex.), ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, said that after several recent briefings by U.S. intelligence officials about perceived terrorist threats this summer and fall, “I don’t have any information that al Qaeda” plans to attack the election process. “Nobody knows anything about timing” or the exact nature of any possible attack, although U.S. officials say al Qaeda wants to mount an attack this year, Turner said.
Homeland Security Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse declined to respond to Turner’s remarks. Roehrkasse said the agency stands by comments by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge at a news conference last week.
Ridge and a senior intelligence official who appeared at the news conference repeated statements they have made for months that al Qaeda wants to undermine U.S. elections. The terrorist network has been emboldened by its belief that it enjoyed a massive victory when, days after the March 11 train bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people, Spanish voters ousted the government, they said.
Although Ridge and the intelligence official said they have no “specific” details on time or place of any attack, the intelligence official said, “Recent and credible information indicates that al Qaeda is determined to carry out these attacks to disrupt our democratic processes.”
Turner’s comments came yesterday as he and the panel’s chairman, Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), spoke to reporters about their proposed legislation to improve the department’s use of intelligence. Cox said in an interview that, based on his reading of the classified briefings he has received, Ridge is accurately reflecting U.S. intelligence conclusions.
Some Democrats have suggested lately that top U.S. officials, by raising fears of a terrorist attack to derail the elections, are trying to get President Bush reelected. But they have not cited evidence.
An example of such statements was one by Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) after Ridge’s news conference: “This administration has a long track record of using deceptive tactics for political gain. One cannot help but question whether their aim was to deflect attention from the Kerry-Edwards ticket during their inaugural week.”
Ridge said such accusations are “a wrong interpretation. . . . These are not conjectures or mythical statements we are making. These are pieces of information that we could trace comfortably to sources that we deem credible.”
Also yesterday, the Homeland Security Department said it informally told the Justice Department that it received a query about the possibility of postponing the election if there is a risk of it being disrupted by terrorism. But Homeland Security said it did not ask Justice to review the legal issues involved.
[An article yesterday afternoon on washingtonpost.com quoted a Homeland Security spokesman saying that the department had, in fact, referred the legal issues to Justice. The spokesman said last night that he had not meant to suggest that a formal review had been requested.]
The idea was initially suggested by DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which was created by Congress to help localities improve their voting systems. Soaries told The Washington Post last week that he had written to Homeland Security expressing his concern about the lack of a formal plan to deal with a disruption of elections due to a catastrophe, such as terrorism. He said he never got a response.
Officials yesterday described as overblown an article in Newsweek magazine suggesting U.S. officials were floating a possible “proposal” to postpone the election. The article set off a round of denunciations and news stories.
“The Department of Homeland Security should not instill fear or inject uncertainty into the election,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said in a statement.
Cox and Turner discounted the likelihood of the country canceling Election Day, pointing out that it could require a constitutional amendment and emergency action by Congress and state legislatures. “The last thing we want to do is suppress [voter] turnout because people think Election Day is a dangerous day,” Turner said.
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said the administration is not considering postponing the elections. “We’ve had elections in this country when we were at war, even when we were in civil war. And we should have the elections on time. That’s the view of the president, that’s the view of the administration,” Rice told CNN.
Also yesterday, the Government Accountability Office said in a report to Cox’s panel that Homeland Security’s color-coded threat advisories do not convey enough detail about threats to local governments.
Staff writer Fred Barbash contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A45162-2004Jul12?language=printer

Turkey wants to keep confidence for EU membership

Article lié :

Stassen

  13/07/2004

TURQUIE Dans l’attente de la fixation d’une date pour l’ouverture des négociations d’adhésion à l’Union

Sur les rives du Bosphore, l’Europe suscite espoir et irritation
Le premier ministre turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, vient d’indiquer qu’il souhaitait une révision des lois afin d’autoriser le port du foulard dans les universités privées en Turquie, malgré le refus des autorités de l’enseignement supérieur. Il a cependant insisté sur la nécessité d’un «consensus social» sur le sujet très sensible en Turquie, pays musulman au régime laïque.
Istanbul : de notre envoyé spécial Claude Lorieux
[13 juillet 2004]
A six mois du «verdict» du Conseil européen, les Turcs sont tantôt remplis d’espoir, tantôt saisis de perplexité devant les exigences de Bruxelles et la constante bonne volonté du gouvernement de Recep Tayyip Erdogan à son égard. Un dessin de presse et une histoire des rues reflètent ces tiraillements. L’histoire, d’abord : affairée à repasser les chemises de son mari, une ménagère turque lui demande : «Mehmet, pourrais-tu aller chercher le pain ? – Non», grommelle l’homme, le nez plongé dans son journal. Réplique imparable de la dame : «Mais c’est l’UE qui l’exige !» On devine la suite. Le mari obtempère.

La population, élite kémaliste incluse, n’en revient pas de la rapidité et de la profondeur des réformes que le gouvernement AKP (Justice et Développement, conservateur musulman) fait subir à l’appareil législatif et à la pratique politique turque. Dans l’ensemble, elle suit. Et d’autant plus volontiers que la République turque ne se réforme guère autrement que sous la pression extérieure, fait remarquer un éditorialiste d’Ankara…
Soixante-dix pour cent des Turcs ont beau s’être déclarés favorables à l’adhésion, certains s’étonnent un peu de la souplesse d’échine d’Erdogan. Un intellectuel istanbuliote, électeur d’AKP de surcroît, avoue carrément ne pas faire confiance à un homme aussi retors…

Ce genre de réflexion vient d’autant plus spontanément que les Turcs trouvent généralement les Européens injustement exigeants à leur égard. L’histoire court les salles de rédaction et circule sur les réseaux Internet : «Fatigués d’avance des interminables négociations qui s’annoncent, les autorités européennes décident plutôt de faire passer un test de culture générale aux ministres des Affaires étrangères de trois Etats candidats. Au Roumain, ils demandent le nom d’une ville japonaise bombardée à l’arme atomique par l’US Air Force. Ils questionnent le Bulgare sur la date du raid américain. Au Turc, ils demandent le nombre de victimes, leur nom et leur adresse… Les deux premiers sont évidemment admis à entrer dans l’UE, le Turc recalé et exclu pour réponse négative.» Bref – et le président Bush n’a rien fait pour les dissuader lors du dernier sommet de l’Otan –, les Turcs reprochent volontiers aux Vingt-Cinq d’user à leur égard du «deux poids deux mesures».

L’espoir d’un rapport positif de la Commission de Bruxelles en octobre et de la fixation d’une date d’ouverture des négociations d’adhésion par le Conseil européen de décembre est d’autant plus vif que la Grande Assemblée nationale, le Parlement, planche sur le dixième et dernier paquet législatif d’harmonisation européenne qui vient de lui être transmis par le gouvernement.
Ce train de réformes abroge notamment les dernières «échappatoires» à la suppression de la peine capitale, qui fut votée il y a plusieurs années, et prive le chef d’état-major des armées du droit de désigner des représentants au Conseil de l’enseignement supérieur et au Conseil de la radiotélévision. Le président Ahmet Sezer vient en outre de signer le texte supprimant les cours de sûreté de l’Etat, instaurées au lendemain du coup d’Etat militaire de 1980.

Le travail accompli pour mettre la Turquie en conformité avec les critères de Copenhague est jugé si avancé qu’un conseiller du premier ministre, Abdullah Gül, déclare : «C’est comme le chantier d’une maison. Le gros oeuvre est terminé. Ils ne restent que les finitions.» Revenant sur une fermeture vieille de vingt-trois ans, le gouvernement prépare également la réouverture du séminaire orthodoxe de Halki, dans une île du Bosphore, le seul de Turquie. Contraint à former ses prêtres en Grèce, le Patriarcat oecuménique du Phanar (Istanbul) réclame cette décision depuis 1971.

Un éditorialiste de la presse d’Ankara estime que les réformes réalisées sont si importantes que «les Européens sont coincés. Ils doivent dire oui». Sinon ? «Eh bien sinon ce sera la «cata» !», tranche un de ses collègues. Le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Abdullah Gül, renchérit : «Si le Conseil européen prenait une décision qui n’est ni objective ni honnête – et je n’envisage pas cette possibilité –, il y aura des conséquences sérieuses pour la Turquie et pour l’Union européenne.»

Et pourquoi pas pour le gouvernement lui-même ? Le premier ministre a beau affirmer, bravache, que «les réformes continueront de toute façon. Les «critères d’Ankara» succéderont aux «critères de Copenhague»», certains commentateurs prédisent déjà qu’il devra alors s’expliquer sur le coût politique et financier de sa stratégie à l’égard de Bruxelles…

Un économiste, ancien dirigeant de la Banque centrale, souligne surtout qu’un «niet» de l’Union européenne aurait des conséquences dramatiques sur les investissements étrangers, dont la Turquie a un immense besoin pour lutter contre le chômage et qu’elle attend comme une retombée de l’adhésion. Il fait valoir qu’avec 15 dollars par habitant, le montant des investissements étrangers en Turquie est inférieur à celui constaté dans des pays comme l’Egypte et l’Algérie. Or les Turcs espèrent qu’une dynamique d’adhésion, même tardive, provoquera un appel d’air où s’engouffreront les investissements étrangers.
Mais, encore une fois, personne ne veut croire à un échec. L’antichambre du ministre des Affaires étrangères est décorée d’un grand tableau réunissant autour de lord Raglan des généraux de Saint-Arnaud et Canrobert, et d’un ministre de la Sublime Porte, les vainqueurs de la Russie, lors de la guerre de Crimée. En arrêt devant cette page d’histoire, un diplomate turc s’exclame : «Et il y a des gens, en Europe, qui prétendent que nous n’avons pas d’histoire commune !»

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/20040713.FIG0038.html

US talks with Poland and the Czech Republic to position the biggest missile defence site outside the US in central Europe

Article lié :

Stassen

  13/07/2004

Central Europe may host US missile defence

13.07.2004 - 09:33 CET | By Andrew Beatty
Washington is said to be in talks with Poland and the Czech Republic to position the biggest missile defence site outside the US in central Europe.

According to the Guardian newspaper, talks have been in train for eight months over the two countries’ hosting of part of the US’ ballistic missile defence system, dubbed “son of star wars”.

According to the paper, Prague and Warsaw are keen to set up advance radar warning sites and Poland may even play host to interceptor missiles.

The UK and Denmark had previously said they may take part in the plan.

However, Russia has voiced concerns about Washington’s plans and the hosting of sites, particularly missile sites, so close to their borders is likely to increase opposition.

The plan also caused some consternation in Europe when the US unilaterally pulled out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty, seen as a key non-proliferation agreement between Russia and the US
http://euobserver.com/?aid=16880&rk=1
US in talks over biggest missile defence site in Europe

Ian Traynor in Warsaw
Tuesday July 13, 2004
The Guardian

The US administration is negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic over its controversial missile defence programme, with a view to positioning the biggest missile defence site outside the US in central Europe.
Polish government officials confirmed to the Guardian that talks have been going on with Washington for eight months and made clear that Poland was keen to take part in the project, which is supposed to shield the US and its allies from long-range ballistic missile attacks.
Senior officials in Prague also confirmed that talks were under way over the establishment of American advanced radar stations in the Czech Republic as part of the missile shield project.
“We’re very interested in becoming a concrete part of the arrangement,” said Boguslaw Majewski, the Polish foreign ministry spokesman. “We have been debating this with the Americans since the end of last year.”
Other sources in Warsaw said Pentagon officers have been scouting the mountain territory of southern Poland, pinpointing suitable sites for two or three radar stations connected to the so-called “Son of Star Wars” programme.
As well as radar sites, the Poles say they want to host a missile interceptor site, a large reinforced underground silo from where long-range missiles would be launched to intercept and destroy incoming rockets.
Under Bush administration plans, two missile interceptor sites are being built in the US - one in California, the other in Alaska. Such a site in Poland would be the first outside America and the only one in Europe.
“An interceptor site would be more attractive. It wouldn’t be a hard sell in Poland,” said Janusz Onyszkiewicz, a former Polish defence minister.
“This is a serious runner,” said a west European diplomat in Warsaw. “It’s pretty substantial. The Poles are very keen to have an interceptor site. They want a physical American presence on their territory. They wouldn’t be paying anything. It would be a totally American facility.”
“I knew about possible radar sites, but I was surprised to hear talk about missile silos,” said another source in Warsaw.
In the Czech Republic, too, the proposed radar site, extending to 100 sq km, could be declared extraterritorial and a sovereign US base.
The talks are at the exploratory stage and no decisions have been taken, officials stressed. US officials played down talk of central European participation in the missile shield. But the confidential nature of the negotiations, being led on the US side by John Bolton, the hardline under-secretary of state for arms control, has angered senior defence officials in the region who have been kept in the dark.
Milos Titz, deputy chairman of the Czech parliament’s defence and security committee, learned of the talks last week and immediately called the defence minister, Miroslav Kostelka, to demand an explanation. According to the Czech web newspaper, Britske Listy, Mr Kostelka conceded to Mr Titz that the talks were going ahead and promised to supply details to the committee this week.
The committee is to hold an extraordinary session today, apparently to demand more information on the issue from the government.
According to the Washington-based thinktank, the Arms Control Association, the Pentagon has already requested modest funding for preliminary studies on a third missile interceptor site based in Europe.
Lieutenant General Ronald Kadish, director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defence Agency (MDA), told Congress this year of plans to construct a missile shield base abroad. “We are preparing to move forward when appropriate to build a third [ground-based interceptor] site at a location outside the United States,” he said.
In addition to Poland and the Czech Republic, the Washington thinktank reported last week that the US was also talking to Hungary about possible involvement in the missile shield which is yet to be properly tested and which many experts believe is unworkable. Sources in Warsaw said the US was also talking to Romania and Bulgaria. Last week, the Australian government signed a 25-year pact with the US on cooperating in the missile shield programme.
The two interceptor sites being built in Alaska and California are primarily to insure against potential ballistic missile attack on the US by North Korea. The possible European site is being widely seen as a shield against missiles from the Middle East, notably Syria or Iran.
But many believe that any such facility in Poland would be concerned mainly and in the long term with Russia. Such concerns appear to be reflected in Polish government thinking.
While the Poles were still waiting for specific proposals from the Americans, said Mr Majewski, they were also insisting that any Polish participation had to be squared first with Moscow for fear of creating military tension in the region.
“The Americans are working quite hard on this,” he said. “They need to clear the path with the Russians and reach a consensus before we will move ahead.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1260037,00.html

US Presidential Race : Record Playing Between Nagger and Nitpicker

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Stassen

  13/07/2004

Bush Defends Reasons for War
The president, following a Senate report critical of intelligence, says the U.S. is safer and that perceived threats will keep being targeted.
By Maura Reynolds
Times Staff Writer

July 13, 2004

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — President Bush insisted Monday that his decision to wage war against Iraq was justified because it had removed a threat to the nation’s security, and said the United States would continue to confront terrorism even when the dangers had not fully developed.

Speaking at a U.S. nuclear weapons laboratory, Bush made his most elaborate comments on Iraq since the release Friday of a scathing bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which said the United States had gone to war on the basis of flawed intelligence.

The report, which quickly became fodder for new criticisms of the administration by Bush’s election opponents, said warnings about Iraq’s illicit weapons were largely unfounded. It said the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies had made a series of sweeping errors that, among other things, led to incorrect conclusions that Iraq had stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons and was rebuilding its nuclear weapons program.

But Bush continued to raise the prospect that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, had he not been forced from power, would have posed a grave threat.

“Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq,” the president said in an address at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “We removed a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them.”

Eight times during the 32-minute speech, Bush said America was safer because of his efforts to attack terrorists and control nuclear bomb-making technology.

The president also suggested that the United States remained committed to its policy of preemptive attacks — though he did not use those words — against terrorists and the nations that harbored them. “America is also taking a new approach in the world,” he said. “We’re determined to challenge new threats, not ignore them or simply wait for future tragedy.”

Later he added: “America must remember the lessons of Sept. 11. We must confront serious dangers before they fully materialize.”

The Senate committee report has prompted broad criticisms of U.S. intelligence services, particularly the CIA. Many considered it a key reason for the departure of longtime CIA Director George J. Tenet, who announced his resignation before the findings became public and who left office Sunday.

But in visiting Oak Ridge, a top-secret nuclear weapons manufacturing and storage facility, Bush sought to underscore what he said were successes by the intelligence community.

Calling them “sobering evidence of a great danger,” the president viewed centrifuges and other equipment released by Libya after it agreed to give up its nuclear weapons program late last year. He said Libya abandoned its nuclear ambitions only after the CIA helped break up a network of nuclear plans and equipment suppliers operated by a Pakistani scientist, A.Q. Khan.

“Breaking this proliferation network was possible because of the outstanding work done by the CIA,” Bush said. “Dedicated intelligence officers were tireless in obtaining vital information, sometimes at great personal risk. Our intelligence services do an essential job for America.”

Bush also spoke directly about the Senate report, using language more muted than have CIA critics. “The Senate Intelligence Committee has identified some shortcomings in our intelligence capabilities,” he said. “The committee’s report will help us in the work of reform.”

Bush said the nation needed more intelligence agents around the world and better coordination among agencies. He did not discuss whom he might choose to replace Tenant.

Bush spoke in front of a backdrop reading “Protecting America,” in line with his central campaign theme that America is “safer, stronger, better” than before he took office.

Polls show that support for the president’s decision to go to war against Iraq has waned significantly since last year. Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry hopes to capitalize on the increased lack of support.

The Massachusetts senator and other Democrats say that countries with more advanced weapons capabilities, such as North Korea and Iran, posed a greater threat to the U.S. than did Iraq, and that the danger of terrorism has increased, not decreased, since the war began.

On a campaign stop in Boston, Kerry responded to the speech by arguing that during Bush’s presidency, a U.S. program to secure nuclear materials from other nations has stored fewer materials, especially those originating in the former Soviet Union, than it did before the Sept. 11 attacks.

“The facts speak for themselves,” Kerry added. “North Korea is more dangerous today than it was when this administration came into power. I have proposed a major new initiative to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism — to reduce nuclear materials falling into the hands of our terrorists.”

Kerry also promised to appoint a national director of intelligence “who will change our ability to be able to gather intelligence that is real, to be accountable, and to make America safe.”

“That’s what Americans want,” Kerry said. “Real results, not speeches.”

Kerry has argued that Bush’s policies have eroded the goodwill of U.S. allies. In an apparent answer to that critique, Bush on Monday highlighted the cooperation of other countries in his anti-terrorism and anti-proliferation policies.

He said 60 nations were taking part in counter-proliferation programs he had promoted, and that 40 nations were aiding in Afghanistan and 30 in Iraq.

Democrats argue that Libya’s decision to relinquish its nuclear weapons capability was set in motion by diplomacy begun in the 1990s by European allies, especially Great Britain.

Bush acknowledged that diplomacy played a central role in Libya’s decision, but also said his own policies were critical. In the past, Bush has argued that the decision to wage war on Iraq last spring sent an unmistakable message to Libya about the consequences of seeking weapons of mass destruction.

“Every potential adversary now knows that terrorism and proliferation carry serious consequences, and that the wise course is to abandon those pursuits,” Bush said Monday.

The president’s departure from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville was complicated slightly by a mechanical problem with the plane he used to fly to Tennessee. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said a routine check of the aircraft — a 747 version of Air Force One — discovered that a flap on the left wing had come off its track.

As a precaution, the president returned to Washington on a 757 version of Air Force One.

McClellan said the flap problem was not considered serious and that the 747 was expected to return to Andrews Air Force Base later in the day.

It was the second time this month that a mechanical problem grounded one of the aircraft that carry the “Air Force One” designation when the president is aboard. On July 4, a problem with an engine on the left wing led to a last-minute substitution of an aircraft.

Times staff writer Maria L. La Ganga in Boston contributed to this report.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bush13jul13,1,4439600,print.story

EDITORIAL
Kerry-Edwards Stonewall

July 13, 2004

If not murder, John F. Kerry and John Edwards have accused President Bush of something close to criminally negligent homicide in Iraq. “They were wrong and soldiers died because they were wrong,” Kerry said of the Bush administration over the weekend.

This is strong language, but not unjustified. Last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee report adds to the pile of studies and reportage that has undermined the key reasons Bush gave for going to war: Saddam Hussein’s imperial designs, links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, weapons of mass destruction and so on.

The trouble is, both Sens. Kerry and Edwards voted yes on the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq. And now they refuse to say whether they would have supported the resolution if they had known what they know today. Both say they can’t be bothered with “hypothetical questions.”

But whether it is a hypothetical question depends on how you phrase it. Do they regret these votes? Were their votes a mistake? These are not hypothetical questions. And they are questions the Democratic candidates for president and vice president cannot duck if they wish to attack Bush on Iraq in such morally charged language.

After all, the issue raised by the Senate Intelligence Committee report is not whether the Bush administration bungled the prosecution of the war, or whether there should have been greater international cooperation, or whether the challenges of occupying and rebuilding the country were grossly underestimated. When Kerry says “they were wrong,” he is referring to the administration’s basic case for going to war. Kerry supported that decision. So did Edwards. Were they wrong? If they won’t answer that question, they have no moral standing to criticize Bush.

Reluctance to answer the question is understandable. If they say they stand by their pro-war votes, this makes nonsense of their criticisms of Bush. If they say they were misled or duped by the administration, they look dopey and weak. Many of their Democratic Senate colleagues were skeptical of the administration’s evidence even at the time. If Kerry and Edwards tell the probable truth — that they were deeply dubious about the war but afraid to vote no in the post-9/11 atmosphere and be tarred as lily-livered liberals — they would win raves from editorial writers for their frankness and courage. And they could stop dreaming of oval offices.

Kerry and Edwards are in a bind. But it is a bind of their own making. The great pity will be if this bind leads the Democratic candidates to back off from their harsh, and largely justified, criticism of Bush. The Democrats could lose a valuable issue, and possibly even the election, because the Democratic candidates were too clever for their own good.

In the past, Kerry has dodged the question of his pro-war vote by saying that he intended to give Bush negotiating leverage and to encourage multilateral action, not to endorse a unilateral American invasion of Iraq. Unfortunately, what he may have intended is not what he voted for. Furthermore, a vote in favor of the war resolution was unavoidably a statement that the various complaints against Hussein did justify going to war against him, if all else failed, whatever caveats and escape hatches were in any individual senator’s head.

Kerry and Edwards would like to fudge the issue by conflating it with questions about how the war was prosecuted. Or they say that what matters is where we go from here. It is true that “what now?” is the important policy question. But that doesn’t make it the only question. How we got here affects how we get out. And even if it had no practical relevance to our future Iraq policy, hearing how Kerry and Edwards explain their votes to authorize a war they now regard as disastrous would be helpful in assessing their character and judgment.

Their continued refusal to explain would be even more helpful, unfortunately.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-kerry13jul13,1,576445,print.story

Onus Mundi : France barks too loudly and Europhone faulty

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Stassen

  12/07/2004

ENTRETIEN
Zbigniew Brzezinski passe au crible la diplomatie de Jacques Chirac
LE MONDE | 12.07.04 | 13h46
A l’occasion des trente ans du Centre d’analyse et de prévision du Quai d’Orsay, l’ancien conseiller de Jimmy Carter, qui fait autorité en matière de politique étrangère, revient sur les relations entre la France et les Etats-Unis et sur la politique du président de la République.
Washington de notre correspondant
Ancien conseiller du président Jimmy Carter pour la sécurité nationale, Zbigniew Brzezinski est l’un des dirigeants du Centre d’études stratégiques et internationales (CSIS), grand institut politique de Washington. Il est, aussi, professeur de relations internationales à l’université John Hopkins. Né en Pologne, âgé de 76 ans, M. Brzezinski fait autorité, à Washington, sur les questions de politique étrangère. Démocrate, il s’oppose aux néoconservateurs, courant républicain influent dans le gouvernement de George Bush. La version française de son dernier livre, Le Vrai Choix, sous-titré L’Amérique et le reste du monde, vient de paraître aux éditions Odile Jacob.
La politique étrangère de Jacques Chirac se caractérise-t-elle par de fortes orientations, et lesquelles ?
La France est une nation très fière, dotée d’une conscience historique profonde et de grandes ambitions nationales. Chirac reflète ces caractéristiques, avec une détermination considérable, sinon avec une subtilité excessive. Fondamentalement, la France aimerait un monde dans lequel sa parole aurait un écho global, à travers une projection européenne. La plupart des Français comprennent que, réduite à elle-même, la France est, essentiellement, une puissance moyenne. Mais, si la puissance potentielle de l’Europe peut être mise en œuvre, alors la France accédera au rôle mondial auquel, clairement, elle aspire, et je pense que Chirac reflète cette vision.
Que reste-t-il, selon vous, de l’héritage de De Gaulle ?
On doit reconnaître deux aspects très propres à de Gaulle dans la façon dont il a façonné la politique française. Le premier est son adhésion personnelle, intense, aiguë, à l’idée de la France comme puissance mondiale. Le second est son ressentiment devant le déclin de l’influence de la France et l’essor de l’influence anglo-américaine. Il me semble que ces deux impulsions ne sont plus aussi fortes aujourd’hui.
Du point de vue de cet héritage gaullien, voyez-vous une différence entre Mitterrand et Chirac ?
Probablement plus dans le style que dans la substance. Mais, dans les relations interpersonnelles, le style, quelquefois, devient la substance. Le genre d’animosité qui a émergé, dans les relations franco-américaines, au cours des trois dernières années, est aussi, dans une certaine mesure, lié aux personnalités, et cela - je regrette de devoir l’ajouter - des deux côtés de l’Atlantique.
Chirac a fait plusieurs tentatives, depuis 1995, pour normaliser la relation entre la France et les Etats-Unis, particulièrement dans le cadre de l’OTAN. Ont-elles été perçues en Amérique ? Pourquoi ont-elles échoué ?
Il faut tenir compte du ressentiment légué par ce qui s’est passé quand l’OTAN a été expulsée de France -en 1966-, par la rhétorique employée alors. On ne mesure peut-être pas tout à fait, à Paris, les cicatrices laissées par cet épisode.
Au-delà de cette donnée, on discerne, vu d’ici, deux schémas de comportement différents, du côté français, au sujet de l’OTAN. D’un côté, il y a les forces armées françaises, qui sont considérées par nous et, particulièrement, par nos militaires, comme de premier ordre, très professionnelles, de très bons camarades de combat, des soldats vraiment bons, des gens sur lesquels on peut compter. Les militaires français sont vus comme très conscients de l’utilité de l’OTAN.
D’un autre côté, il y a ce qu’on pourrait appeler la mentalité “Quai d’Orsay” ou, peut-être, “Elysée”, qui consiste à faire obstacle, presque automatiquement, à toute initiative venant des Etats-Unis. C’est presque un réflexe conditionnel, qui affecte le climat politique, notamment les délibérations de l’OTAN.
Comment comprenez-vous le fait que la France ait accepté l’engagement de l’OTAN en Afghanistan - et s’y soit engagée elle-même -, mais refusé que l’Organisation atlantique soit présente en Irak ?
Je pense que la distinction entre l’Afghanistan et l’Irak correspond au désaccord fondamental entre la France et les Etats-Unis sur la façon de réagir au 11 Septembre (2001). Aller en Afghanistan, c’était aller à la source des attentats, dans un contexte de solidarité. Aller en Irak, c’était, de fait, étendre l’amplitude territoriale de la guerre contre le terrorisme, avec, probablement, des conséquences négatives et sur la base d’une décision américaine unilatérale.
Pensez-vous que Chirac est allé trop loin quand la France a agi, en mars 2003, pour empêcher les Etats-Unis d’obtenir une majorité, au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU, en faveur de l’emploi de la force contre Saddam Hussein ?
C’était une grave erreur de calcul politique. J’ai critiqué l’unilatéralisme de Bush et plaidé pour davantage de patience et d’internationalisme dans le traitement du problème irakien. Mais j’ai pensé, aussi, qu’au moment critique il était vain et contre-productif, pour la France, d’annoncer qu’elle opposerait son veto à une résolution du Conseil de sécurité, à laquelle l’Amérique tenait beaucoup. C’était une attitude excessivement antagonistique.
Chirac a-t-il réussi à placer la France en position de défenseur des victimes de la mondialisation, face à une Amérique qui se bornerait à en profiter de façon égoïste ?
Je pense que si la perception des Etats-Unis est négative, dans les pays pauvres, et si la France y est mieux considérée, ce n’est pas tant à cause de la façon dont Chirac a dirigé la politique française qu’à cause d’une réaction mondialement négative aux politiques menées par Bush depuis le 11 Septembre. L’Irak et, plus généralement, le Proche-Orient se sont ajoutés au rejet du protocole de Kyoto, à celui de la Cour pénale internationale, etc. Par ricochet, cela sert l’image de ceux qui critiquent l’Amérique, parmi lesquels la France est au premier rang.
Que pensez-vous de l’idée d’un monde “multipolaire”? Est-ce un nom de code pour l’anti-américanisme ?
C’est le nom de code de l’affrontement politique pour l’influence. Cela se ramène à deux propositions. Aux yeux des Américains, les Européens devraient partager davantage les efforts entrepris pour créer de la stabilité dans le monde. Aux yeux des Européens, les Américains devraient partager davantage la prise de décision. En réalité, nous avons besoin de partager le fardeau et les décisions.
Bill Clinton dit : “Nous devons faire en sorte que le monde de demain, dans lequel l’Amérique ne jouira plus d’une supériorité écrasante, soit aussi confortable, pour nous, que celui d’aujourd’hui.” Etes-vous d’accord ?
C’est ce que nous pensons, pour la plupart, nous qui ne sommes pas d’accord avec Bush. Quelle sera la hiérarchie probable de la puissance en 2025 ? Il me paraît honnête de dire que, tout au sommet, il y aura toujours les Etats-Unis. Pas très loin derrière, il y aura l’Europe, si elle progresse sur la voie de son unification politique et si elle acquiert un certain degré de capacité militaire. A la troisième place, il y aura la Chine, le Japon à la quatrième et, à la cinquième, l’Inde.
Ce sera un dispositif beaucoup plus complexe que celui d’aujourd’hui, avec une seule superpuissance mondiale et un énorme écart entre le numéro 1 et le numéro 2. L’Europe n’existe pas, et je dirais, avec beaucoup d’hésitation, que le numéro 2, du point de vue de l’influence et du rôle mondial, est toujours, probablement, la Grande-Bretagne. Au troisième rang, je mettrais l’Allemagne, surtout quand elle agit de concert avec la France.
Propos recueillis par Patrick Jarreau
• ARTICLE PARU DANS L’EDITION DU 13.07.04

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3222,36-372329,0.html

EU own Mideast policy requested

Article lié :

Stassen

  12/07/2004

William Pfaff: Europe should take its own Mideast stand
William Pfaff IHT Monday, July 12, 2004
Last week six senior NATO officials flew from Naples to Baghdad in response to the request from Iraq’s interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization help his country. The delegation’s principal meetings, however, were actually with an American general, David Petraeus, head of the U.S. mission training Iraqi security forces.

The mission was authorized by the NATO summit in Istanbul in early July, when President George W. Bush demanded that the allies support the new Iraq government. There was only grudging and partial consent by the allies, the objectors led by the French. The reasons for this disagreement need examination.

It rested on crucial differences of opinion on the future of the expanded NATO alliance, on Iraq’s future and on the emerging foreign policy and strategic position of the European Union itself, now that the EU has a strategic identity that is supposed to be complementary but is also potentially a rival to that of NATO.

At its simplest, the disagreement is also provoked by hostility to Bush administration policies. Currently, the key difference is between American and European approaches to the Middle East. The proclaimed American program - now on hold, because of the Iraq insurgency - is to replace “axis of evil” governments in the Middle East with U.S.-sponsored Muslim democracies. The Europeans can appreciate the ambition, but they doubt its feasibility, appropriateness and the methods the United States is using. They are, in principle, opposed to destructive actions rationalized by the ideological and utopian confidence that destruction will produce constructive results. Iraq gives them no reason to change this opinion.

They particularly doubt a U.S. policy that gives virtually unqualified support to the Sharon government in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, a position apparently shared by the Democratic presidential challenger, John Kerry. This position is not endorsed by any of the European members of NATO, who are nominally committed to the “Quartet” policy, now seemingly abandoned by Washington. America’s diplomatic priority for months has been to get NATO involved in Iraq, since this would identify the alliance and the European allies with American policy. The U.S. request to NATO is to help Washington “democratize” Iraq and “defeat terrorism.”

Originally Washington wanted NATO combat troops in Iraq to ease the pressure on U.S. forces, but that proved impossible. Now it wants - although it may not get - NATO training for the Iraq interim government’s security forces. It wants enough NATO involvement to lift from the United States the onus of unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq, and sole responsibility for the currently chaotic consequences for Iraq.

A year ago, the effort to identify the intervention as conducted by “coalition forces” was meant to associate the international community with U.S. policy. But participation by the faithful Blair government, and by European forces from NATO - Poland, Italy and Spain - was not enough to offset popular hostility in Europe to an invasion conducted without a U.N. Security Council mandate. In no European NATO country has there ever been majority popular approval of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

There have been various degrees of government approval from Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands, based on trans-Atlantic loyalties. Spain since has withdrawn, and most of the others, including the Poles, now have serious reservations about what is going on. Few want to double their stake in Iraq by means of a new NATO commitment.

Today the insurrection is all but out of hand, and Washington is in something of a panic. It wants companions in misery, even if it no longer can see where events will take it after the planned Iraqi national vote next January - or even if the interim government will last long enough to hold that election.

Beyond Iraq, the most important factor in the situation now is the reaction in Islamic and developing-country opinion to what the Bush administration has done. A further commitment by NATO to America’s support could turn this into a conviction that the struggle Washington began is really “the West against the rest,” and that would be a disaster.

The United States itself needs to be rescued from this crisis. Possibly a new U.S. administration can do it. That is what most Europeans are counting on, but they are placing what could prove misplaced confidence in John Kerry - and even in his election.

The European allies have an obligation to themselves, to the Muslim world and indeed to their ally the United States to stop the present slide toward what would amount to a war of societies. To do that it is essential that they do not give more support to current U.S. policies concerning Iraq and Israel-Palestine, and that they maintain an independent approach to the Islamic world. They must demonstrate that western political civilization is plural and open, not a monolith.

Tribune Media Services International

http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?file=528857.html

Un appel désespéré: Letter to Europe

Article lié :

fidelix

  12/07/2004

Les intellectuels américains sont desespérés et se tournent vers leurs “vieux amis”.
Pensant proposer des concessions acceptables, s’il était jamais en leur pouvoir d’influer sur le cours des choses, ils lancent l’idée d’un “new-deal” transatlantique.
Il est dommage de constater que ceux qui sont censés être des spécialistes de l’Europe ne réalisent pas que celle-ci considère au mieux l’Amérique comme le vecteur d’une dangereuse idéologie, et au pire, comme un corps malade, une cause perdue. Cet appel ne sera donc entendu que par les patriotes du grand-large ou les adeptes des correspondances Mars-Vénus.

On serait cependant tenté de répondre à ce bon monsieur P.H Gordon, qu’un des seuls gestes significatifs que lui et ses amis scribouillards pourraient faire, serait de mettre sous observation le réseau de “madrassas” américaines réfléchissantes et communiquantes qui pourrissent les relations Europe-Etats-Unis ... on n’ose plus dire transatlantiques.

On notera quand même avec amusement l’emploi désormais rituel du terme “american leadership” par ce spécialiste qui propose un “new deal” plus juste et plus modeste.

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Letter to Europe

Prospect, July 2004

Philip H. Gordon, Director, Center on the United States and Europe

(Introduction:)

Dear Friends. How did it come to this? I cannot remember a time when the gulf between Europeans and Americans was so wide. For the past couple of years, I have argued that the Iraq crisis was a sort of “perfect storm” unlikely to be repeated, and that many of the recent tensions resulted from the personalities and shortcomings of key actors on both sides. The transatlantic alliance has overcome many crises before, and given our common interests and values and the enormous challenges we face, I have beenconfident that we could also overcome this latest spat.

Now I just don’t know any more. After a series of increasingly depressing trips to Europe, even my optimism is being tested. I do know this: if we don’t find a new way to deal with each other soon, the damage to the most successful alliance in history could become permanent. We could be in the process of creating a new world order in which the very concept of the “west” will no longer exist.

I am not saying that Europe and America will end up in a military stand-off like that between east and west during the cold war. But if current trends are not reversed, you can be sure we will see growing domestic pressure on both sides for confrontation rather than co-operation. This will lead to the effective end of Nato, and political rivalry in the middle east, Africa and Asia. Europeans would face an America that no longer felt an interest in—and might actively seek to undermine—the united, prosperous Europe that Washington has supported for 60 years. And Americans would find themselves dealing with monumental global challenges not only without the support of their most capable potential partners, but perhaps in the face of their opposition. Britain would finally be forced to choose between two antagonistic camps.

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Article complet:
http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/gordon/20040701.pdf