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Iraq says yes to inspections---again

War no matter what

Bush murders US citizen *

South Korea calls for oil shipments to North Korea

Webster resigns board in turmoil
SEC Chief Accountant Resigns

Dual Use Technology going to India

India/Pakistan Sanctions Lifted

The Real Cost of War-Federation of American Scientists

Iraq says yes to inspections---again
The United Nations
13 November 2002

In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iraq today indicated its willingness to accept the return of weapons inspectors to the country under the terms of a new Security Council resolution - a move immediately welcomed by the President of the 15-member body.

The Council President received copies of the letter through Mr. Annan, according to a UN spokesman.

Baghdad will accept Security Council resolution 1441 "despite its bad contents," said Iraqi Ambassador Mohammad Al-Douri, quoting from the letter.

"We are prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable," he told reporters in New York. "We are eager to see them perform their duties in accordance with international law as soon as possible."

Iraq has nothing to fear from the arms inspectors because the country "has not and will not have" any weapons of mass destruction, the Ambassador said.

"We are always opting for the path of peace," he added. "We choose always the peaceful ways and means, and this is part of our policy, that is to protect our country, to protect our nation, to protect the region also from the threat of war, which is real."

The Council President, Ambassador Zhang Yishan of China, said he had been contacted by Mr. Al-Douri with the news.

"I informed the other members of the Security Council of the message coming from the Ambassador of Iraq, Ambassador Zhang said, adding that they welcomed the "correct" decision by the Iraqi Government and that they would like to see that resolution 1441 be implemented "fully and very effectively."

Commentary:
What's Bush to do now? Saddam says he doesn't have WMD, but Bush says he does. In short order we'll know who told us the truth.

What if the inspectors go in and find nothing? I'm guessing Bush is setting up plans just in case...maybe he can smuggle s few in so he can still have a little war just like daddy.

The really sick part of all this is that Iraq agreed to inspections a long time ago. I have no idea what all the fuss was about. I'm guessing it was more about politics than National Security. At the UN, member states had a chance to put Bush in his place so I suppose it wasn't a complete waste of time.


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War no matter what
Reuters.com
November 09, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush warned Iraq on Saturday that any act of delay or defiance would be a breach of its international obligations under a tough new U.N. resolution requiring Baghdad to disarm.

He said if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein failed to allow immediate and unrestricted access to every site, every document and every person identified by U.N. weapons inspectors, it would be a clear signal of noncompliance.

"The world has now come together to say that the outlaw regime in Iraq will not be permitted to build or possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "And my administration will see to it that the world's judgment is enforced."

With a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution in his pocket and U.S. military forces stationed in and around the Middle East, Bush made clear he would not accept any stalling from the Iraqi government.

"Iraq must now, without delay or negotiations, give up its weapons of mass destruction, welcome full inspections and fundamentally change the approach it has taken for more than a decade," he said. "Iraq can be certain that the old game of cheat and retreat, tolerated at other times, will no longer be tolerated."

The 15-0 Security Council vote on Friday was a major victory for Bush, giving him international cover to get tough with Baghdad if Saddam fails to disarm.

EIGHT WEEKS OF DIPLOMACY

It took eight weeks of diplomacy, arm twisting and some concessions after Bush first asked the United Nations on Sept. 12 for a resolution with teeth.

In the interim, he repeatedly tweaked the international body, saying it risked becoming a "debating society" and questioning its "backbone." At the same time, he warned that the United States was prepared to act alone.

The resolution leaves Washington free to attack Iraq without a formal second U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force. But it requires the Security Council to assess any serious violation that could lead to war.

A senior U.S. official said one of the last sticking points was characterizing a "material breach" under the new resolution. France, in particular, had objected to the wording, fearing it was a hidden trigger for a U.S. attack on Iraq.

"We got an agreement with a key ally that we would not make material breach a judgment of the council," the official said. "But material breach from this resolution would be something that occurs simply from the facts."

Iraq now has a week to accept the resolution, which gives arms inspectors broad new rights, and 30 days to submit a detailed declaration of its weapons of mass destruction.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said he and an advance team would be in Baghdad on Nov. 18 after a four-year absence. Inspectors are likely to arrive about Nov. 25.

'FIND THE TRUTH'

The senior U.S. official said the Bush administration had made clear to Blix and the inspectors that it was not their responsibility whether there would be a conflict or not.

"It is their responsibility to go find the truth and tell the council what they have learned from their investigations," he said.

Bush did not mention what Washington calls "regime change" -- the ouster of Saddam -- but the official said the Iraqi leader had been given one last chance to disarm.

"And if disarmament does not take place, the regime does not change its stripes, so to speak, and refuses to cooperate, then there will be a regime change by force," he said.

The Security Council's unanimous passage of the resolution capped a good week domestically and internationally for Bush.

On Tuesday his Republican Party made historic gains in mid-term congressional elections, seizing control of the Senate from Democrats and widening their margin in the House of Representatives.

With Republicans controlling the legislative and executive branches of government, Bush is freer to push his conservative agenda, including stepping up pressure on Iraq.

In his radio address, he urged Democrats and Republicans to work in a "spirit of unity" on unfinished business such as the creation of a Homeland Security Department to better protect Americans from attacks like those on Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush also called for passage of legislation to help U.S. insurers deal with potential costs of any future attacks.

Commentary:
So many lies, so little time to correct them. First, Reuters News Service must be a mouth-piece for the republican party. They state things as fact even though they are not. They say "The resolution leaves Washington free to attack Iraq..." That's a lie. Bush went to the UN for a war resolution. He didn't get it. Instead Bush got weapon's inspections, something he opposed for months.

I like this line; "The senior U.S. official said the Bush administration had made clear to Blix and the inspectors that it was not their responsibility whether there would be a conflict or not."

What a joke. The UN resolution makes clear that the whole purpose of this exercise is to determine if Iraq has weapons of mass destruction (something even they fail to define). There is nothing in the UN resolution about war or conflict. If Bush thinks there is and if the press keeps reporting this lie, they are as guilty as he is. Reuters and many of the other news organizations are no longer fit to tell us the truth. They simply quote (unchallenged) assertions (lies) made by Bush and his people. The era of propaganda is upon us.

Here's what the UN website says our ambassador said about the resolution; "The resolution contained, he said, no "hidden triggers" and no "automaticity" with the use of force. The procedure to be followed was laid out in the resolution."

Can the US press and this president tell the truth. Nope!


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Bush murders US citizen *
An Impeachable Offense
Reuters.com
November 10, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has given broad authority to "a variety of people" in his administration to launch attacks like the missile strike that killed six suspected al Qaeda operatives in Yemen last week, his national security adviser said on Sunday.

"The president has given broad authority to a variety of people to do what they have to do to protect this country," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told the television show Fox News Sunday. "It's a new kind of war. We're fighting on a lot of different fronts."

A report in Newsweek magazine made public on Sunday suggests the Yemen attack was a precursor of more to come. Several other al Qaeda operatives are being tracked and targeted for such strikes in Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia, Newsweek said, citing an "informed source."

The principal target, senior al Qaeda leader Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, was a suspect in the 2000 bombing of the warship USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, which killed 17 U.S. sailors.

He was killed along with five other suspected Muslim extremists when the car they were traveling in was obliterated by a missile fired by an unmanned "Predator" drone operated by the CIA. A U.S. citizen was also killed in the attack.

Human rights group Amnesty International wrote to Bush on Friday to question Washington's role in the attack.

'EXTRA-JUDICIAL EXECUTIONS'

"If this was the deliberate killing of suspects in lieu of arrest, in circumstances in which they did not pose an immediate threat, the killings would be extra-judicial executions in violation of international human rights law," the London-based rights group in a statement.

Amnesty called on the United States to issue a clear and unequivocal statement that it does not sanction extra-judicial executions. Rice seemed to reject that call on Sunday.

"I can assure you that no constitutional questions are raised here," she said when asked if such killings violated U.S. or international law. The president is "well within the bounds of accepted practice and the letter of his constitutional authority," Rice said.

"We have a lot of allies in this war," she added.

The United States views al Qaeda militants as enemy combatants in its war on terror and fair game for military strikes anywhere in the world. While Washington says it sought permission from Yemen for last week's strike, it has offered no assurances it would always do so in the future.

Newsweek asked Sen. Robert Graham of Florida, outgoing chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, if other such strikes were planned. "I hope so," was Graham's reply.

Citing "informed sources," Newsweek said Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh gave the United States permission for such attacks but was angered when the hit was leaked to the press.

CIA officials were also angry and concerned that the leak, which they traced to the Pentagon, would discourage other countries from allowing such strikes within their borders, Newsweek reported.



South Korea calls for oil shipments to North Korea
Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, 13-Nov-2002

SEOUL, Nov 13 (AFP) - South Korea called Wednesday for oil shipments to energy-starved North Korea to be continued until next year despite tension over the Stalinist country's suspected nuclear program.

Since Pyongyang reportedly admitted last month that it was enriching uranium, the United States has suggested it would stop deliveries of the 500, 000 tons of oil sent to North Korea each year under a 1994 arms control accord.

Under the agreement, North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear activities in return for supplies of fuel oil and the construction of two light-water reactors to produce energy.

The standoff over the North's nuclear program has threatened the inter-Korean peace process, but so far South Korea has defied pressure to restrict economic aid for the impoverished North.

"Oil shipments to North Korea must continue until January," South Korea's Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun told a seminar here Wednesday.

is comments were seen as a message to the United States, which has been at odds with its Asian allies over how to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons.

It also came as Seoul tried to play down accusations by Pyongyang's state media on Tuesday accusing South Korea of causing a military provocation on the border with deployments of tanks and warships.

Jeong also called for an international consensus to settle the nuclear crisis peacefully, saying there was a rift between Seoul and Washington over whether to push ahead with the oil deliveries.

"I have keenly felt that a hard-line only policy toward North Korea would leave us little to maneuver," he said, adding that Washington wanted "immediate steps" to freeze oil shipments.

"We will deliver our position to an executive meeting of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) to be held in New York on Thursday," Jeong said.

South Korea and Japan, which are on the KEDO executive board, believe the 1994 pact has been effective in stopping North Korea's nuclear program and should not be scrapped in haste.

Meanwhile North Korea's consul-general in Hong Kong, Ri To Sop, on Wednesday reaffirmed his country prefers talks to war and wants to seal a non-aggression pact with the United States.

"We're ready for war or dialogue, but we prefer dialogue," Ri told AFP.

"We ask for a legal guarantee of a non-aggression pact against our country."

But in its latest warning to North Korea, President George W. Bush's national security advisor Condoleezza Rice said in an interview on Fox News this week that North Korea should not expect "business as usual" as it awaits delivery of the latest fuel shipment.

A tanker carrying 42,500 tons of US fuel oil is en route to North Korea and is due to reach the country next week.

China and Russia have supported South Korea, saying the United States should not step back from the 1994 arms control pact.

"On the question of the fuel oil, everyone knows fully well that it was agreed to within the framework document," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan said Tuesday.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Moscow had no concrete evidence proving that North Korea possessed nuclear weapons and that "facts" were needed to back up US accusations.

"We have no solid evidence of the presence in North Korea of nuclear equipment or nuclear weapons of any sort," he said.


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Webster resigns board in turmoil
USA TODAY
11/13/2002
By Greg Farrell

William Webster resigned Tuesday as chairman of a new accounting oversight board, less than three weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission tapped him for the job.

Webster's departure makes him the third official to resign because of the uproar that followed his appointment. Last week, SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt resigned after admitting that he neglected to tell his fellow commissioners about Webster's connection to an Internet entrepreneur accused of fraud. SEC chief accountant Robert Herdman also resigned over the matter.

Coming after a tide of disclosures about financial scandals and executive misdeeds, the flap over the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board could give investors more cause for cynicism. As the board's four remaining members prepare for their first meeting today, advocates for accounting reform are wondering if the damage to the board's credibility is beyond repair.

"I hope it's reparable," says Arthur Levitt, who was chairman of the SEC until Pitt took over 15 months ago. "It depends on how they reconstitute the board."

"No, it's not doing irreparable harm," says Nell Minow, a shareholder rights advocate and editor of The Corporate Library. "The White House and SEC could act really quickly to appoint someone outstanding. What might do irreparable harm is if the business community and elected officials take the election returns as being their get-out-of-jail-free card from reform efforts."

SEC spokeswoman Christi Harlan says the commission will "move expeditiously to name a new chairman" for the board. It's not clear whether the SEC will appoint one of the four current members as interim chair or try to replace Webster directly with a new candidate.

"The SEC must act with wisdom and independence in selecting a chairman of the oversight board," said Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., co-author of the law that created the board. "This is imperative in carrying forward the reforms contained in the recently enacted investor protection legislation and in restoring investor confidence in our financial markets."

The Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform act, passed in July, gave the SEC 90 days to select five board members. The commission nearly blew that deadline last month when a dispute pitted three Republican appointees who supported Webster against two Democratic appointees who backed John Biggs, an activist pension fund manager.

Although Biggs still has the support of two SEC commissioners — Harvey Goldschmid and Roel Campos — he probably won't get the nod, given the acrimony surrounding Webster's appointment. Following the disclosure of Webster's involvement with U.S. Technologies CEO Greg Earls, a man with a long trail of fraud accusations in his past, Biggs called on SEC Chairman Pitt to resign. Pitt resigned on election night but agreed to stay on until a new chairman is ready to take over.

The new board has until April to launch its operations in earnest. Absent the Webster affair, the board would still be challenged by the Sarbanes-Oxley timetable. Now, with confusion surrounding its leadership and direction, the board's workload is even bigger. Here's what its members have to do:

  • Hire staff. By April, the board should have scores of key employees — from a general counsel and chief of staff to legions of accountants and lawyers — on the payroll. The board's budget is expected to be more than $25 million a year.

"You're going to need at least 100 people. You're setting up a real operation in the next few months," says Charles Bowsher, who headed the Public Oversight Board, an accounting-industry body that was disbanded this year and will be replaced by the SEC-appointed panel.

  • Find office space. That isn't simple, because it may make more sense for the board to be headquartered in New York — where most of the big accounting firms are — than in Washington, D.C. Board members may want offices in both places.
  • Get organized. Like the SEC, the board has a chairman and four other board members. But because the SEC chairman controls all of the agency's administrative levers, other SEC commissioners are relatively powerless. The oversight board may decide to assign administrative control to various members, giving each an area of expertise and responsibility.

"I believe this board ought not to waste the talents of these people," says David Ruder, professor of law at Northwestern University and SEC chairman under President Reagan. "It should ask them to supervise the administration of the organization with the chairman having the final say. Otherwise, commissioners tend to be wasted."

Ruder thinks the board's investigative and prosecutorial functions should be handled by Charles Niemeier, the chief accountant of the SEC's enforcement division. Dan Goelzer, Ruder's former general counsel at the SEC, could be in charge of setting rules and regulations, Ruder adds. Former congressman Willis Gradison would be a natural to handle politically sensitive duties, such as registering accounting firms. And Kayla Gillan, former chief legal adviser at CalPERS, could supervise inspections.

Webster's references

The resignation of Webster, the highly respected former director of the FBI and CIA, is the coda to one of the most bizarre chapters in SEC history.

Last August, when the SEC began looking for candidates to head up the oversight board, commissioner Paul Atkins suggested Webster or former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. In September, Webster's candidacy had no momentum. No one was sure the 78-year-old would even want the job. Instead, Pitt and commissioner Goldschmid seemed settled on Biggs, head of the pension investment fund TIAA-CREF, as the front runner.

The two discussed the job with Biggs on Sept. 11. Biggs was so convinced that he was going to be asked to take the position that he accelerated his retirement plans to be free to serve.

At some point during the month, things changed. Pitt spoke with Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, the chairman of the House financial services committee, who suggested Biggs might turn out to be immoderately prone to activism in the job. In early October, Pitt let it be known that Biggs was no longer the favorite.

In mid-October Pitt and Herdman, his chief accountant, met with Webster to gauge his interest in chairing the oversight board. Although Webster was attracted by the prospect of aiding beleaguered investors, he told Pitt that he had headed the audit committee of a company called U.S. Technologies and that its CEO had been accused of fraud.

Pitt told Webster that Herdman would look into the matter to determine whether that information would affect his candidacy. It is not known whether Herdman conducted any kind of background search of the matter, since a quick scan of the SEC's own records would show that the company's audit committee had fired U.S. Technology's auditor, BDO Seidman, after the accounting firm said the company's financial record keeping had material deficiencies. Webster has said the auditor was dropped because it charged too much and took too long to complete its work.

Before the commission's vote to select Webster, White House chief of staff Andrew Card urged Webster to take the $500,000-a year job. On Oct. 25, a commission split along party lines voted 3-2 to make Webster chairman. Dissenting Democratic appointees Goldschmid and Campos praised him as a great public servant but said he didn't have Biggs' understanding of the issues facing the new board.

A week later, the New York Times disclosed Webster's history with U.S. Technologies and Earls, forcing Pitt to admit to his fellow commissioners that he hadn't told them everything prior to the Oct. 25 vote. The revelation sparked four investigations into the selection process and Webster's history at the company.

The disclosure also forced Pitt and Herdman to resign last week. Webster said he'd serve on the new board until such time as his involvement with Earls became an unnecessary distraction to the board's work. After a weekend of reflection, Webster resigned Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile Tuesday, new evidence emerged that Webster and other U.S. Technologies board members were warned last March about several civil fraud lawsuits involving Earls. New York attorney Stanley Arkin says he sent Webster and other directors copies of an action that accused an Earls-controlled firm of defrauding a trust that invested nearly $4.5 million to buy U.S. Technologies stock.

The case contained references to other lawsuits, including one that spelled out a scenario in which Earls allegedly used investments from an unrelated venture to buy a controlling interest in U.S. Technologies.

On March 20, Earls sent board members a written reply that called the charges "allegations, not proven facts" that he "vigorously disputed."

Massachusetts businessman Arthur Maxwell said in an interview Tuesday that he, Webster and others who were on the U.S. Technologies board at the time repeatedly discussed the allegations. Board members took no action, Maxwell said, "because we had no way to be able to get any of the information to determine whether the charges had merit."

Contributing: Kevin McCoy, Del Jones


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SEC Chief Accountant Resigns
Chicago Tribune/Smart Pro's
November 12, 2002

Nov. 12, 2002 (Chicago Tribune) — The controversial search to find someone to clean up the accounting industry mess has claimed another victim.

Securities and Exchange Commission chief accountant Robert Herdman resigned late Friday, two weeks after the contentious choice of former CIA and FBI chief William Webster to head the new national accounting oversight board.

Herdman, a DePaul University graduate and former top executive at Ernst & Young who screened Webster for the post, said in a letter to SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt that he decided to resign "in light of recent events."

He said he was stepping down because the SEC was facing crucial decisions about accounting rules under the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law.

"The objectivity of those decisions will be enhanced if someone other than I functions as the commission's principal adviser on accounting matters," Herdman wrote.

Pitt accepted Herdman's immediate resignation with "profound regret," saying, "American investors have lost a great advocate."

Herdman's resignation, however, was no surprise. The selection of Webster had ignited an uproar that led to Pitt's resignation Tuesday.

Webster's appointment became caught up in controversy when it was disclosed that Pitt had not informed other commissioners -- and, apparently, the White House -- about Webster's role as audit committee chairman for troubled U.S. Technologies Inc.

The company imploded last year amid a flurry of shareholder lawsuits. This week, the company's former auditor, BDO Seidman, challenged Webster's assertion that he was unaware auditors had expressed concern about the company's accounting practices.

Webster, who says he is considering whether to continue to serve as head of the new oversight board, has said the company fired BDO Seidman because it was too slow and expensive.

During the search process, Webster had told Pitt about the U.S. Technologies situation, and Pitt apparently had instructed Herdman to look into it. Herdman subsequently cleared Webster.

The resignation adds to the turmoil at the SEC at a pivotal time: The commission is facing various deadlines to write and adopt crucial rules to implement the Sarbanes-Oxley law and is working to expand its efforts to root out fraud and restore confidence in U.S. financial markets.


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Dual Use Technology going to India
Embassy of India.
November 13, 2002
New Delhi

During his 12-13 November visit to Delhi, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Kenneth I. Juster led a senior United States Government delegation for a high technology commerce dialogue with an inter-ministerial Indian delegation led by Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal. Under Secretary Juster also called on the External Affairs Minister, the Defence Minister, the Minister of State for Space, and the National Security Advisor.

The two delegations agreed to take concrete steps to pursue the commitment between Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Bush during their November 2001 meeting to stimulate bilateral high technology commerce towards realizing their goal of transforming India - U.S. relations.

The U.S. delegation reviewed with its Indian counterpart the current state of bilateral high technology trade, including trade in U.S. controlled ‘dual use' items. The two sides recognized the improvement in this area and pledged to think boldly and creatively about steps that could be taken to further enhance high technology trade in a way that reflects their countries' new relationship and common strategic interests.

The two Governments agreed to create an India - U.S. High Technology Cooperation Group, comprising senior representatives of relevant departments of both countries. The Group would expeditiously work towards developing a new statement of principles governing bilateral cooperation in high-technology trade that broadly advances our relationship in this area, including addressing ways to increase trade in 'dual use' goods and technologies.

The delegations reaffirmed their countries' shared commitment to and common interest in preventing proliferation of strategic goods and technology. They decided to further enhance their export control cooperation.

The Indian delegation welcomed the U.S. offer to host the Group's meeting in early 2003 in Washington D.C.

Commentary:
India violates both US and International laws when it went nuclear and we not only lift sanctions, but once again begin the sale of military hardware to them (dual use). What incentive do countries have to follow the rule of law if we let them get away with violating it?


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India/Pakistan Sanctions Lifted
Physicians for Social Responsibility

India and Pakistan Sanctions
The Glenn Amendment waives all these sanctions

  • Prohibit assistance under Foreign Assistance Act, U.S. Government credit, credit guarantees and "other financial assistance" by departments, agencies, or instrumentalities of U.S.
  • Direct U.S. to "oppose" non-basic human needs loans, financial or technical assistance through International Financial Institutions.
  • Bar export licenses for U.S. Munitions List items and certain dual-use items. (Individual waiver previously granted for helicopter parts to India.)
  • Prohibit government defense sales under Foreign Military Sales and Foreign Military Financing. (Individual waiver previously granted for equipment for Pakistan's forces serving in United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone UNAMSIL).

Pakistan Only

  • Export-Import Bank Act prohibits Export-Import Bank guarantees, insurance and credits to any non-nuclear weapons state that detonates a nuclear device. WAIVED. (Previously waived for India).
  • Pressler Amendment prohibits military assistance and transfers of military equipment or technology unless President certifies Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device. WAIVED.
  • Symington Amendment blocks use of Foreign Assistance Act or Arms Export Control Act funds for economic assistance, military assistance or International Military Education and Training, assistance for Peacekeeping Operations, or military credits or guarantees to any country which receives from any other country nuclear enrichment equipment without safeguards. WAIVED.
  • Section 508 of Foreign Operations Appropriations Act bars assistance under that Act to any country whose duly elected head of government was deposed by military coup.
  • Section 620 (q) of the Foreign Assistance Act and Section 512 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (Brooke Amendment) bar certain assistance for countries in default on U.S. Government loans.
  • Missile Sanctions under Arms Export Control Act bar U.S. Munitions List and dual-use export licenses and U.S. contracts for two years for entities involved in transfer of Missile Technology Control Regime-class missiles and technology. Imposed on specific Pakistani entities in November 2000 and September 2001.

Commentary:
If you still think the US gives a damn about weapon's of mass destruction, you need to do some major research. The US under this president has waived every law we have that slows or stops countries from getting WMD.


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The Real Cost of War-Federation of American Scientists
Federation of American Scientists
Arms Transfers

Shortly after the terrorist attacks, the Bush administration lifted those sanctions on Pakistan and India that had been imposed after both countries tested nuclear weapons. Additional sanctions remained in place for Pakistan, as well as other countries the Bush Administration wanted to coax into playing a key role in the anti-terrorism coalition. The administration therefore included in a draft anti-terrorism bill sent to Congress a provision that would have lifted all restrictions on military aid and arms transfers for the next five years in cases where doing so would help fight terrorism or other threats to international peace and security. The provision also specifically lifted bans on counter-terrorism and non-proliferation aid for states with gross and consistent human rights abuses or a history of non-cooperation on counter-terrorism. After strong criticism from Congress and NGOs, the proposal was scaled back to a request to lift remaining sanctions on Pakistan for two years.

The Pakistan-only waiver was put into a separate bill (S. 1465, sponsored by Sen. Brownback), which became law on 27 October 2001. This law waives the military coup provision (no arms or aid to countries that have undergone a military coup until democracy is restored) from Foreign Operations Appropriations bills for FY 2002 and 2003; allows for greater flexibility on sanctions related to MTCR or Export Administration Act violations; and exempts Pakistan from restrictions on aid relating to loan defaults. It also shortens the congressional notification period for transfers of weapons from current U.S. stocks (drawdowns) from 15 to 5 days and transfers of excess U.S. weapons from 30 to 15 days for all countries if the transfers would respond to or prevent international acts of terrorism. After President Musharaf's visit to Washington in February 2002, the Bush administration announced that discussions regarding the resumption of arms transfers to Pakistan were ongoing.

Senator Brownback also sponsored an amendment to the FY02 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that would waive sanctions on Azerbaijan (Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act) in order to support U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. The final version of the bill , which was approved by the House-Senate Conference Committee on December 19, includes a renewable one-year waiver with a proviso that military aid or arms cannot undermine the peace process with hostile neighbor Armenia. In March 2002, Congress made these temporary waivers permanent by amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). With this notice, Armenia and Azerbaijan were officially removed from a list of proscribed destinations for the exports and imports of defense articles and defense services.

In response to the Philippines support for U.S. anti-terrorism efforts - including offers of use of bases, airspace, and law enforcement aid - the U.S. government offered $92.3 million worth of excess military equipment, including a C-130 transport plane, 8 UH-1H utility helicopters, a naval patrol boat, and 30,000 M-16 rifles plus ammunition. The aid is also intended to help Manila fight its various insurgencies, including the Abu Sayyef, which has allegedly had ties to Al Qaeda. U.S. Special Operations Forces are also providing on-site training for Filipino soldiers fighting the Abu Sayyef. The Bush administration has also reportedly offered excess defense articles (EDA) to Turkey in the name of combating terrorism in all its forms (i.e., counter-insurgency).

Georgia is the most recent recipient of U.S. weapons and aid, receiving 10 UH-1H Huey helicopters (four for spare parts only) and $64 million in military aid and training to fight Arab soldiers with alleged ties to Al Qaeda that have been participating in the Chechen war and are now taking refuge in the Pankisi Gorge region in northern Georgia. Like many of the recent aid recipients, claims that Georgia has become an al Qaeda sanctuary are dubious at best. Even the Georgian Defense Minister, whose troops stand to benefit handsomely from the alleged al Qaeda presence in his country, has publicly challenged the Bush administration's claims. "For me personally, it is very difficult to believe in that [al Qaeda is in the Gorge]," commented Tevzadze, "because to come from Afghanistan to that part of Georgia, they need to [cross] at least six or seven countries, including [the] Caspian Sea... No, al Qaeda influence can't be in the country."

Also in the name of helping other states fight terrorism, the State Department announced on January 9, 2002, that Tajikistan - which has been cooperating with the U.S. counter-terrorism efforts - was removed from the ITAR list of states prohibited from receiving U.S. military goods and services. The State Department is also planning to begin combat and weapons training for Kenyan soldiers as part of the African Crisis Response Initiative, which had previously been limited to non-lethal peacekeeping training. The shift in training could help clear the way for U.S. forces to use Kenyan bases in an eventual attack on terrorist camps in Somalia. President Bush's March 21, 2002 Emergency Supplemental Budget Request includes greatly increased levels of foreign military financing for Kenya, as well as Djibouti and Ethiopia, the three countries which share borders with Somalia.

This Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Request also includes a $50 million request under the Foreign Military Financing Program for Afghanistan, and contains provisions for the arming and training of an Afghan army. The $373 million Foreign Military Financing request for "the fight against terrorism" also names Pakistan, Nepal, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Georgia, the Philippines, Colombia and Ecuador as intended recipients of U.S. military equipment and aid.

In one demonstration of restraint, the State Department decided to suspend the export of long-range .50 caliber sniper rifles to individuals or commercial dealers because of the special risk they pose to U.S. security. The State Department seemed to be responding to a request from Rep. Henry Hyde, ranking minority member on the House Committee on Governmental Reform, and a report from the Violence Policy Center showing that U.S. arms makers had previously transferred these high-powered weapons to foreign terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. These weapons can shoot accurately from almost 2,000 yards, and can take down aircraft and pierce armored vehicles. The State Department had already approved the export of 75 such weapons this year, though only 16 had already been delivered before the decision to suspend further exports.

Commentary:
Still wondering why the deficits are shooting through the roof while republicans in congress remain silent? A balanced budget was always a farse to them. Today we see what they really believe in--preparing the world for war.


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