Impeach Bush

 The Beginning
 'CINC' is sunk
 Bush's first strike doctrine
 Why a First Strike Will Surely Backfire
 Mr. Bush, You're No Churchill
 COMMENTARY--First Strike
 2002 Deficit Near $165 Billion
 Rumsfeld at war with military brass
  HHS Seeks Science Advice to Match Bush Views
The Beginning

I. The President

Harken allegations

a) Insider Trading Allegations

     Concerns have been raised that you may have engaged in insider trading in violation of securities law during your tenure as a Director of Harken Energy Corporation. Under 15 U.S.C. § 78u-1 (insider trading of securities based upon material nonpublic information), one who is in possession of information not yet available to the public and who trades in securities about which this information is pertinent can be fined up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned up to ten years. As Director of Harken Energy Corporation and the son of President George H.W. Bush, you were privy to substantial information not available to the general public prior to your June 22, 1990 sale of 212,000 shares of Harken stock. It has been well documented that, a mere two months after the sale of the stock, the price fell from $5.50/share to $1.25/share.

     You were one of three members of Harken's audit committee as well as of a special "fairness committee" appointed to consider how its restructuring would affect the value of the company's outstanding shares. As such, several memoranda were addressed to you prior to this stock sale that provided substantial insider information about the troubled financial condition of Harken. Among these memoranda were the following:

  • On February 1, 1990, Mikel D. Faulkner, President of Harken Energy, wrote to the Board of Directors: "It appears that our 1989 profitability will be in the range of $1.2 million. Although disappointing, this is consistent with the last projection which was made and provided to the Board… Although several accounting issues remain unresolved, it is anticipated that none of them should cause major changes either up or down in that projection."
  • On April 20, 1990, just two months before your stock sale, Harken President Mikel Fauklner wrote to the Board of Directors that "two events have occurred which drastically affect Harken's current strategic plan with regard to seeking public funds to reduce our debt and provide equity for current capital opportunities," and that the development "greatly intensifies our current liquidity problem."
  • On June 7, 1990, just two weeks before your stock sale, another memo from Faulkner warned of a "Harken International shutdown effective June 30, unless third party funding [is] obtained," and discussed plans to lay off 40 employees. The memo said the company had lost $28.5 million in trade credit since Jan. 1, and another $11.8 million was "in jeopardy," and said "most companies that have seen [the company's annual report] are nervous."

     Some have alleged that you were acutely aware of this information. According to a June 15, 1989 letter from Harken President Mikel Faulkner you frequently advised Harken management on "organizational and strategic matters." In the letter, Faulkner praised you for "the positive image you have helped create regarding Harken Energy Corporation, the intuitive analysis you have provided on our various acquisitions, operating decisions at the board level and the personal suggestions and ideas you have shared with me over the past two years on a CEO to CEO basis" and said, "I consider the role which you play at Harken Energy Corporation to be a very meaningful and significant role and look forward to a continuing relationship."

     Additionally, there are concerns that, as the son of the President of the United States at a time when the White House, but not the general public, was well aware of the aggressive intentions of Saddam Hussein in the lead up to the Persian Gulf conflict, you may have been privy to this information. It was also well known that such a conflict would cause substantial disruptions in the oil industry.

     There are concerns that you knew that any stock sale based upon insider information was a serious offense because you were so informed in a June 15, 1990 memorandum, one week before your stock sale, by Harken's attorneys at the firm of Haynes and Boone, with the subject line "Liability for Insider Trading and Short-Swing Profits." The memo states the following: "If the insiders presently possess any material non-public information, a sale of any of their shares could be viewed critically."

     Defending against these allegations, your representatives have asserted that you always intended to sell the Harken stock, an assertion which is also contradicted by documentary evidence. In fact, you signed a letter of intent, a so-called "lockup letter," promising not to sell any Harken stock for at least six months, but then sold it two and a half months later.

b) Alleged Efforts to Conceal Insider Trading Violations

     There are concerns that you may have attempted to conceal your alleged insider trading acts which, if true, would violate 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b) (securities fraud), the general antifraud provision of the Securities Exchange Act, which prohibits the use of "any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance" in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. Violations include filing false or misleading statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Penalties for violating the general antifraud provision are found at 15 U.S.C. section 78ff(a) and permit fines up to $1,000,000 (up to $2,500,000 if other than a natural person) and/or imprisonment up to ten years.

     As has been widely reported, you failed to file the required Form 4, a required notice for an insider's stock trade, until eight months after the sale. You have given conflicting explanations for this failure. In 1992, you blamed your Commission, asserting that the SEC lost the Form 4. However, on July 3 of this year, you, speaking through your Press Secretary said there was a "mixup with the attorneys dealing with the Form 4, and it was filed later."

     There are concerns that you knew that filing this form was an urgent matter but nonetheless did not file it:

  • A January 19, 1990 memo from Harken counsel Larry Cummings to you emphasized the importance of the filing: "[p]robably the most outstanding feature of changes in this rule will be the requirement that a disclosure be made by the company in its proxy or 10K concerning late Form 3 or 4 filings ... Please examine your records and files to be certain that this information is current concerning your beneficial ownership of Harken stock and there have been no other transactions since such date which have not been disclosed."
  • On March 14, 1990 a Public Common Stock Offering was presented to the Board of Directors, which stated, "In working and planning toward the public offering which will be priced based on the market price for the Company's common stock established on or about Closing, it is appropriate for the Company to take reasonable steps and measures to avoid fluctuations in the market price," the document notes. Among those steps: "Exercise caution regarding insider and related party transactions."
  • An October 5, 1989 memo from Harken counsel Larry Cummings to you urged you to rectify the situation: "I could not find where Form 4 had been filed covering the 25,000 shares you purchased this year ... If you have no record of filing one, please sign the enclosed 5 copies of a Form 4 and return them to me".

c) Allegations Concerning False Statements Made Under Oath

     Moreover, there are concerns that the Form 4 itself contains indications of a possible attempt to conceal its late filing which may constitute a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (false statements)–among other things, this covers in any matter within the jurisdiction of the federal Executive, Legislative or Judicial Branches, knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing, or covering up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or making or using any false writing or document, knowing that it contains a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry. Maximum penalties include imprisonment of not more than 5 years, a fine under Title 18, U.S.C.5 or both. The fact is that the only form that has come to light that you failed to inscribe with the appropriate date, was this belated Form 4. Other forms submitted to the SEC by you on June 22, 1990; April 13, 1987; April 12, 1987 and October 6, 1989 were all dated. In context, such an omission appears to be an intentional effort to conceal the trade.

2. Lack of Investigation of Harken

     Contrary to your assertion that "[t]his was fully looked into by the SEC, and there's nothing there," there are concerns that the SEC investigation of Harken can be characterized as cursory, charitably speaking. You were never interviewed, nor were other prominent Harken officers and the Chairman of the SEC was appointed by your father and the General Counsel, James A. Doty, was your attorney in your purchase of the Texas Rangers baseball team. It is, therefore, alleged that a clear that a fair, impartial and complete investigation has yet to occur.

3. Need for Full Disclosure

     On July 8, you invited the media to "look back on the director's minutes" and SEC documents concerning your Harken dealings. However, since then, you have refused to ask Harken or the SEC to disclose those documents.

II. The Vice-President


a) Securities Fraud Allegations

     There are concerns that, while CEO of Halliburton Co., Vice President Cheney may have participated in fraudulent securities transactions under under 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b) (securities fraud), the general antifraud provision of the Securities Exchange Act, which prohibits the use of "any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance" in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. Violations include filing false or misleading statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Penalties for violating the general antifraud provision are found at 15 U.S.C. section 78ff(a) and permit fines up to $1,000,000 (up to $2,500,000 if other than a natural person) and/or imprisonment up to ten years.

     As CEO of Halliburton, the Vice-President oversaw a change in its accounting practices that enabled the company to postpone possible losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. However, Halliburton did not reveal the change to investors for more than a year after its institution.

     There is troubling information in the factual record that has raised concerns that the Vice-President knew about these fraudulent accounting practices. The current CEO of Halliburton, David Lesar, has indicated that the Vice-President was well aware of those accounting practices. In addition, a 2000 memo from Terry Hatchett, the Arthur Anderson partner who managed the Halliburton account, indicates that he worked closely with the Vice-President. Finally, while he was an executive at Halliburton, the Vice-President recorded a videotaped endorsement of Anderson's accounting practices.

b) Insider Trading Allegations

     There are concerns that the Vice-President may have engaged in insider trading in violation of securities law while divesting himself of Halliburton holdings. Under 15 U.S.C. §78u-1 (insider trading of securities based upon material nonpublic information), one who is in possession of information not yet available to the public and who trades in securities about which this information is pertinent can be fined up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned up to ten years.

     After being named as your running mate in 2000, the Vice President divested himself of Halliburton holdings. If the Vice President indeed knew about the fraudulent accounting practices at Halliburton, he would, of course, have known about the deleterious effect these practices would have on the value of his Halliburton shares if they were revealed. This raised concerns that the Vice-President may have traded based on inside information and, therefore, violated insider trading laws.

c) Dealings with Iraq

     In addition, it is now uncontroverted that, while the Vice President was CEO of Halliburton, the company signed contracts with Iraq worth $73 million. During the 2000 campaign, the Vice President claimed that Halliburton had a "firm policy" of not doing business with Iraq. However, this contention has been adamantly denied by Halliburton officials. Given this Administration's stated intention of invading Iraq in the near future, it is important to set the record straight so that Congress can appropriately evaluate and place into context any request to commit troops to this endeavor.

d) Need for Full Disclosure

     Unfortunately, Vice President Cheney and his spokesperson have refused to answer questions about this matter, imposing a blanket policy that the Vice President won't "discuss Halliburton issues."

III. Deputy Attorney General (Larry Thompson)


     The head of the your "Swat Team" on corporate crime is Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. Unfortunately, he – too – is under an ethical and legal cloud in these matters. He already has rejected Ranking Member Conyers call, months ago, to recuse himself from the Department's decisions in the Enron scandal, because he had received benefits from--and might be receiving a pension from--a law firm that has substantially represented Enron. That raises a concerns that he will not vigorously pursue the case against Enron. To date, not one criminal action has been brought against any individual in the Enron matter.


     The Deputy Attorney General was also on the board of Providian Financial Corporation and chaired its compliance and audit committee, at a time when--to put it very charitably--Providian was not only unscrupulously enticing and exploiting the poorest class of debtors, but also inflating earnings by excessive charges and by engaging in shady lender practices that violated federal and state consumer protection rules. His spokesman has claimed that he only learned of these practices only after regulators made inquiries. If this assertion is true, and the chair of a compliance committee was unaware of rampant fraud at his own company, that raises concerns that he is not alert enough to competently investigate corporate misdeeds.

IV. Secretary of the Army (Thomas White)


a) Insider Trading Allegations

     The Secretary of the Army was Vice President of Enron's Energy Services Unit, one of the company's components engaged in its most egregious accounting practices. In 1981, between June and October, he unloaded over $12 million worth of Enron stock. Investigators are assessing whether this violated 15 U.S.C. § 78u-1 (insider trading of securities based upon material nonpublic information), under which one who is in possession of information not yet available to the public and who trades in securities about which this information is pertinent can be fined up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned up to ten years.

b) Alleged Failure to Divest/Disclose Enron Contacts

     While the Senate Armed Service Committee specifically requested that Mr. White sell his 405,710 shares of Enron stock within 90 days of his appointment in May 2001, he actually held onto the stock much longer. Over half of the stock was not sold until October 2001. It has been revealed that Mr. White had numerous conversations with Enron officials prior to the company's filing of its 2001 October quarterly earning report revealing major loses. These conversations are undisputed and Mr. White has admitted to having at least 84 meetings or telephone conversations with current and former Enron executives. Forty-nine of these conversations occurred in the three-and-half-month period between August 14, 2001 (the date Jeff Skilling stepped down as CEO of Enron) and December 3, 2001 (the date Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy). Mr. White finally disavowed his Enron stock options eight months after his appointment.

c) Enron Securities Fraud Allegations

     It has been alleged that, while Vice President of Enron's Energy Services Unit, Mr. White participated in securities fraud under 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b) (securities fraud), the general antifraud provision of the Securities Exchange Act, which prohibits the use of "any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance" in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. Violations include filing false or misleading statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Penalties for violating the general antifraud provision are found at 15 U.S.C. section 78ff(a) and permit fines up to $1,000,000 (up to $2,500,000 if other than a natural person) and/or imprisonment up to ten years.

     Enron Energy Services (EES) was a "retail energy business" that competed with utilities and other energy companies to supply commercial, industrial, and government customers with natural gas and electricity. Enron created EES in 1997 to take advantage of state deregulation of the power industry and to function outside the normal market rules. EES's goal was to undersell so as to increase its retail customer base and market share. It also promised to cut its clients' energy costs by installing energy-saving equipment and finding cheaper natural gas and electricity.

     EES operated as a freestanding company; however, its results were included in Enron's financial statements. It was organized so that it could use a financial reporting technique called mark-to-market accounting.

Mark-to-Market Accounting

     In traditional accounting practices, profits are declared according to when goods are delivered to a customer. However, mark-to-market accounting immediately books all profits from a long-term contract. Former employees have stated the EES used this accounting practice to inflate its profits. In 2000, while Mr. White was vice president, EES reported $165 million in operating profit on $4.6 billion in sales in contract to a loss of $68 million on sales of $1.8 billion in 1999. These profits turned out to be illusory - EES lacked the controls and the scrutiny that would have offered a realistic picture. Mr. White signed off on the use of "mark-to-market" accounting. EES deliberately used questionable revenue assumptions to create "illusionary earnings."

     Former employees have also stated that Mr. White approved the use of aggressive accounting methods that eventually made the unit appear profitable when it was not. Indeed, there appears to be overwhelming evidence that White knew about this fraud:

  • Steve Barth, former vice president of special projects for EES said, "Tom White was there every step of the way. He was the leader. He signed off on the contracts that some people have criticized because it's mark-to-market. It wasn't his idea, but he implemented the execution."
  • An un-named former senior vice president, who worked closely with White said, "I sat in on those meetings with Tom. He knew we were losing money, and we all agreed, Tom included, that we needed to do whatever we could to make EES look like it was making a profit."
  • Lance Dohman, a salesman who worked for EES from 1997 until late 2000 said, "Anyone who worked at EES between 1997 and 2000 knew that EES was losing a ton of money. In the early days, there was a lot of turnover at EES. Pai and White would have daily meetings, sometimes on a conference call to pump us up. Deregulation was just starting in California and we were unsuccessful there. But White said Wall Street has to think we are kicking the heck out of the utilities in California by stealing their customers."

Fake Trading Floor

     Several former EES employees said that White was part of a plan in January 1998 to fool Wall Street analysts into thinking the EES trading floor was far more active than it really was. At the time, the company allegedly asked dozens of secretaries and other staff to pretend to be trading energy on a fake trading floor to impress analysts visiting Enron's Houston headquarters. White had not yet been appointed Vice Chairman of EES, but he was in charge of Enron's renewable energy power plants and other ventures, and he worked closely with EES. Former salesman Lance Dohman said: "All the senior management was there — Jeff Skilling, Ken Lay, Lou Pai, and Tom White. Then the countdown started, 30 minutes before the analysts arrived, then 15 minutes. Then the analysts began walking through, and Jeff Skilling says, ‘Gentlemen, behold: This is where we track the deals in real time.' The problem was the computer was not plugged into anything."

     Former EES administrative assistant Kim Garcia, who was drafted as a fake trader, said "We referred to Tom White as ‘the General' in those days. He was with Lou Pai and Jeff Skilling walking around the floor with more than 100 analysts, showing them how everything worked. We would watch to see out of the corner of my eye when they were going to come over to my area."

EES and California Electricity Market

     Internal Enron memos suggest that EES was involved in one of the strategies — "Fat Boy" — that was intended to manipulate the California electricity market. "Fat Boy" was a strategy whereby Enron's wholesale energy division Enron Power Marketing Inc. (EPMI) deliberately overstated demand to increase the amount of power it sold in the California Independent System Operator (ISO) Corporation's real-time electricity market. EPMI would submit a phony power schedule that overstated EES's demand for power. The excess power would then be available for purchase in the real-time market, where they could get prices as high as $1200 per megawatt. It is unlikely that phony schedules could have been submitted by EPMI on behalf of EES without EES being aware of deceit. Several investigatory agencies, including the California Attorney General's office theorize that EES was complicit in Enron's willingness to jeopardize California's electricity grid.

     Another factor that strengthens the theory that EES facilitated EPMI's manipulation of the California market is both EPMI's and EES's role as scheduling coordinators in the California electricity scheme. Scheduling Coordinators were power traders and buyers that had to balance electricity loads (demand had to equal the power available). Scheduling Coordinators communicated with each other several times a day informally to balance loads. Both EES and EPMI were Schedule Coordinators, therefore, the entities had unfettered ability to communicate and arrange false load requests.

     EES abandoned offering residential customers power in 1999, after being soundly beaten by other competitors in the marketplace and economic issues that could not be surmounted. Since the California Power Exchange (PX), was a direct competitor with EES, and there was no way EES could sell power cheaper than the PX because of the way the market was designed. EES was at a competitive disadvantage at the start. It is theorized that Enron needed EES to provide false loads to EPMI, which was making exorbitant sums off of California trading in the real time market. Therefore, EES had to look viable in order to maintain the market games EPMI was playing, so the mark-to-market accounting was essential in covering the market scam that Enron was executing on the California consumers.

     The memos describing the EES and EPMI trading strategies were written in December 2000 when Mr. White served as Vice Chairman of EES.


'CINC' is sunk
October 25, 2002

- WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The term "CINC" is sunk.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put out a memo Oct. 24 to Department of Defense leaders saying there is only one commander in chief in America -- the president.

His memo also forbids use of the acronym "CINC" (pronounced "sink") with titles for military officers.

The title of commander in chief is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Article II, Section 2, states, "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States."

Even before World War II, however, the title was applied to U.S. military officers, and over the years "commander in chief" came to refer to the commanders of the U.S. unified combatant commands. Their titles became, for instance, "commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Command" or "commander in chief, U.S. Transportation Command."

No more. Rumsfeld has been using the term "combatant commander" for months now when referring to a regional organization such as the U.S. Central Command and "commander" when talking about a specified unit such as the U.S. Strategic Command.

But don't toss out that old stationery or signs. The memo also tells officials to use old stocks and replace signs only when done as part of regular maintenance. The changes should be done "without any undue additional cost to taxpayers."

The new term is simply "commander," as in "commander, U.S. Northern Command" and "commander, U.S. Special Operations Command."

The next hurdle is getting over the conversational habit of referring to "the CINCS."

Two quick points; First, the Constitution says the President is Commander in Chief when the military is called into active service. In other words, only when war has been declared. So Rumsfeld is wrong. Nothing new there.

Second, a quick review of web news sites shows the order to stop using "commander in chief" came this summer, yet many military sites still use it. As stated in another article, Rummy is at war with the military brass. Probably a power trip or a hormone thingy.

As of October 29, 2002; ---uses CINCS "commander in chief" and CINCS "commander in chief"
(decided to stop so I don't get anyone in trouble.)


The National Security Strategy of the United States of America [first strike]
Bush's first strike doctrine

V. Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction

     "The gravest danger to freedom lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology. When the spread of chemical and biological and nuclear weapons, along with ballistic missile technology—when that occurs, even weak states and small groups could attain a catastrophic power to strike great nations. Our enemies have declared this very intention, and have been caught seeking these terrible weapons. They want the capability to blackmail us, or to harm us, or to harm our friends—and we will oppose them with all our power."

President Bush
West Point, New York
June 1, 2002

     The nature of the Cold War threat required the United States—with our allies and friends—to emphasize deterrence of the enemy's use of force, producing a grim strategy of mutual assured destruction.With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, our security environment has undergone profound transformation.

     Having moved from confrontation to cooperation as the hallmark of our relationship with Russia, the dividends are evident: an end to the balance of terror that divided us; an historic reduction in the nuclear arsenals on both sides; and cooperation in areas such as counterterrorism and missile defense that until recently were inconceivable.

     But new deadly challenges have emerged from rogue states and terrorists. None of these contemporary threats rival the sheer destructive power that was arrayed against us by the Soviet Union. However, the nature and motivations of these new adversaries, their determination to obtain destructive powers hitherto available only to the world's strongest states, and the greater likelihood that they will use weapons of mass destruction against us, make today's security environment more complex and dangerous.

     In the 1990s we witnessed the emergence of a small number of rogue states that, while different in important ways, share a number of attributes. These states:

  • brutalize their own people and squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers;
  • display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbors, and callously violate international treaties to which they are party; are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction, along with other advanced military technology, to be used as threats or offensively to achieve the aggressive designs of these regimes;
  • sponsor terrorism around the globe; and
  • reject basic human values and hate the United States and everything for which it stands.

     At the time of the Gulf War, we acquired irrefutable proof that Iraq's designs were not limited to the chemical weapons it had used against Iran and its own people, but also extended to the acquisition of nuclear weapons and biological agents. In the past decade North Korea has become the world's principal purveyor of ballistic missiles, and has tested increasingly capable missiles while developing its own WMD arsenal. Other rogue regimes seek nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons as well. These states' pursuit of, and global trade in, such weapons has become a looming threat to all nations.

     We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends. Our response must take full advantage of strengthened alliances, the establishment of new partnerships with former adversaries, innovation in the use of military forces, modern technologies, including the development of an effective missile defense system, and increased emphasis on intelligence collection and analysis.

     Our comprehensive strategy to combat WMD includes:

  • Proactive counterproliferation efforts. We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed.We must ensure that key capabilities—detection, active and passive defenses, and counterforce capabilities—are integrated into our defense transformation and our homeland security systems. Counterproliferation must also be integrated into the doctrine, training, and equipping of our forces and those of our allies to ensure that we can prevail in any conflict with WMD-armed adversaries.
  • Strengthened nonproliferation efforts to prevent rogue states and terrorists from acquiring the materials, technologies, and expertise necessary for weapons of mass destruction. We will enhance diplomacy, arms control, multilateral export controls, and threat reduction assistance that impede states and terrorists seeking WMD, and when necessary, interdict enabling technologies and materials.We will continue to build coalitions to support these efforts, encouraging their increased political and financial support for nonproliferation and threat reduction programs. The recent G-8 agreement to commit up to $20 billion to a global partnership against proliferation marks a major step forward.
  • Effective consequence management to respond to the effects of WMD use, whether by terrorists or hostile states. Minimizing the effects of WMD use against our people will help deter those who possess such weapons and dissuade those who seek to acquire them by persuading enemies that they cannot attain their desired ends. The United States must also be prepared to respond to the effects of WMD use against our forces abroad, and to help friends and allies if they are attacked.

     It has taken almost a decade for us to comprehend the true nature of this new threat. Given the goals of rogue states and terrorists, the United States can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past. The inability to deter a potential attacker, the immediacy of today's threats, and the magnitude of potential harm that could be caused by our adversaries' choice of weapons, do not permit that option.We cannot let our enemies strike first.

     In the Cold War, especially following the Cuban missile crisis, we faced a generally status quo, risk-averse adversary. Deterrence was an effective defense. But deterrence based only upon the threat of retaliation is less likely to work against leaders of rogue states more willing to take risks, gambling with the lives of their people, and the wealth of their nations.

  • In the Cold War, weapons of mass destruction were considered weapons of last resort whose use risked the destruction of those who used them. Today, our enemies see weapons of mass destruction as weapons of choice. For rogue states these weapons are tools of intimidation and military aggression against their neighbors. These weapons may also allow these states to attempt to blackmail the United States and our allies to prevent us from deterring or repelling the aggressive behavior of rogue states. Such states also see these weapons as their best means of overcoming the conventional superiority of the United States.
  • Traditional concepts of deterrence will not work against a terrorist enemy whose avowed tactics are wanton destruction and the targeting of innocents; whose so-called soldiers seek martyrdom in death and whose most potent protection is statelessness. The overlap between states that sponsor terror and those that pursue WMD compels us to action.

     For centuries, international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack before they can lawfully take action to defend themselves against forces that present an imminent danger of attack. Legal scholars and international jurists often conditioned the legitimacy of preemption on the existence of an imminent threat—most often a visible mobilization of armies, navies, and air forces preparing to attack.

     We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today's adversaries. Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction—weapons that can be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning.

     The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our civilian population, in direct violation of one of the principal norms of the law of warfare. As was demonstrated by the losses on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the specific objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially more severe if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass destruction.

     The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction— and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.

     The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world's most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. To support preemptive options, we will:

  • build better, more integrated intelligence capabilities to provide timely, accurate information on threats, wherever they may emerge;
  • coordinate closely with allies to form a common assessment of the most dangerous threats; and
  • continue to transform our military forces to ensure our ability to conduct rapid and precise operations to achieve decisive results.

     The purpose of our actions will always be to eliminate a specific threat to the United States or our allies and friends. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just.

If we play this like a game of poker, here's how it plays out. Bush comes with his "First Strike Doctrine." North Korea thinks it's a bluff, calls him on it. Bush backs down and "First Strike" is consigned to the trash-heap of history.

CNN Reported this tid-bit worth remembering;

"Pyongyang accused Washington of failing to comply with the 1994 agreement that froze North Korea's nuclear weapons development and said the Bush administration's doctrine of pre-emptive strikes had destroyed all non-proliferation pacts.

"Such moves, a gross violation of the basic spirit of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, reduced the inter-Korean joint declaration on denuclearization to a dead document," it said.

A Brief History:

  • The Center for Defense Information says Ronald Reagan gave Pakistan 32 F-16's during the 1980's in exchange for them not going nuclear. Didn't work.
  • In 1994, President Clinton entered into an agreement with N. Korea, giving them 500,000 tons of heavy oil annually in exchange for not going nuclear. Didn't work.
  • May 1998--Pakistan announces it exploded five nuclear weapons.
  • May 1998--India explodes two nuclear weapons
  • June 2001-- CIA says North Korea may have enough plutonium for at least one weapon. No statement on having nuclear weapons.
  • January 29, Bush announces his "axis of evil" doctrine--North Korea, Iran, and Iraq are included. Bush torpedo's inter-Korean relations. South Korea is outraged.
  • June 2002, Bush announces his "First Strike" doctrine.
  • October 4 2002, North Korea tells US it has nuclear weapons. Tests US resolve. Bush policy didn't work.
  • October 11, 2002, Congress passes Iraq Resolution, authorizing the use of force against Iraq. First Strike?
  • October 17, 2002 Washington Post reports Bush is stunned to learn North Korea has nuclear weapons. Later we learn he's known North Korea may have nuclear weapons for weeks. His shock is considered a joke.
  • October 2002, Bush say US won't go to war with North Korea. "First Strike" is effectively dead.


Why a First Strike Will Surely Backfire
June 16, 2002

     As the White House moves closer to a brand-new security doctrine that supports preemptive attacks against hostile states or terrorists that have chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, Iraq would be first on its list of targets. The Bush administration has argued before that the national security of the United States requires the elimination of Saddam Hussein's regime, by force if necessary. Democrats with national ambitions have been lining up to agree.

     A preemptive all-out invasion of Iraq would represent one of the most fateful deployments of American power since World War II. Given the stakes, the policy discussion in official Washington has been remarkably narrow. To be sure, glib analogies between Iraq and Afghanistan and cocky talk about a military "cakewalk" have given way to more sober assessments: A regime change would likely require 150,000-200,000 U.S. troops, allies in the region willing to allow us to pre-position and supply them, and a post-victory occupation measured in years rather than months.

     But hardly anyone in either party is debating the long-term diplomatic consequences of a move against Iraq that is opposed by many of our staunchest friends. Fewer still have raised the most fundamental point: A global strategy based on the new Bush doctrine means the end of the system of international institutions, laws and norms that the United States has worked for more than half a century to build.

     What is at stake is nothing less than a fundamental shift in America's place in the world. Rather than continuing to serve as first among equals in the postwar international system, the United States would act as a law unto itself, creating new rules of international engagement without agreement by other nations. In my judgment, this new stance would ill serve the long-term interests of our country.

     I raise these doubts with the greatest reluctance, as a Democrat who believes that the global projection of American power has been, in the main, an enormous force for good. I strongly supported the Persian Gulf War, and I helped draft a public statement rallying intellectuals behind the Bush administration's initial response to the events of Sept. 11. I agree with the administration that the threat of stateless terrorism requires a new, more forward-leaning response.

     But an invasion of Iraq is a different matter altogether. We should contain Hussein, deter him and bring him down the way we brought down the Evil Empire that threatened our existence for half a century -- through economic, diplomatic, military and moral pressure, not force of arms.

     On June 1, in a speech at West Point, President Bush sought to justify the new doctrine. The successful strategies of the Cold War era, he declared, are ill-suited to the requirements of national defense in the 21st century. Deterrence means nothing against terrorist networks; containment will not thwart unbalanced dictators possessing weapons of mass destruction. We cannot afford to wait until we are attacked, he declared. In today's circumstances, Americans must be ready for "preemptive action" to defend our lives and liberties.

     Applied to Iraq (although the president did not do so explicitly in his speech), the case for preemption runs roughly as follows: We do not know whether Hussein has yet acquired nuclear weapons or whether he has transferred them to terrorists. It doesn't matter. We know that he's trying to get these weapons, and his past conduct suggests that he will use them against our interests. The White House view goes on to say that the probability of the worst case is low but hardly negligible. And that we must not be held hostage to standards of proof better suited to courts of law than to circumstances of war. And that we cannot wait until one of Hussein's bombs, packed into a terrorist's suitcase, blows up Manhattan or Washington. We must act now -- do whatever it takes -- to eliminate this threat.

     While the administration's arguments are powerful, they are less than persuasive. The proposed move against Iraq raises issues fundamentally different from those posed by our response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and to al Qaeda's attacks against New York and Washington. In those cases our policy fitted squarely within established doctrines of self-defense, and in part for that reason our deployment of military power enjoyed widespread support around the world. By contrast, if we seek to overthrow Hussein, we will act outside the framework of global security that we have helped create.

     In the first place, we are a signatory to (indeed, the principal drafter of) the U.N. charter, which explicitly reserves to sovereign nations "the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence," but only in the event of armed attack. Unless the administration establishes Iraqi complicity in the terrorism of Sept. 11, it cannot invoke self-defense, as defined by the charter, as the justification for attacking Iraq. By contrast, in his speech justifying the April 1986 strike against Libya, President Reagan was able to say that "the evidence is now conclusive that the terrorist bombing of La Belle discotheque was planned and executed under the direct orders of the Libyan regime. . . . Self-defense is not only our right, it is our duty. It is the purpose behind the mission undertaken tonight -- a mission fully consistent with Article 51 of the United Nations charter." If the Bush administration has comparable evidence against Iraq, it has a responsibility to lay these facts before Congress, the American people and the world.

     The broader structure of international law creates additional obstacles to an invasion of Iraq. To be sure, international law contains a doctrine of "anticipatory self-defense." But even construed broadly, that concept would still be too narrow to support an attack: The threat to the United States from Iraq is neither specific nor clearly established nor shown to be imminent. The Bush doctrine of preemption goes well beyond the established bounds of anticipatory self-defense, as many supporters of the administration's Iraq policy privately concede. They argue that the United States needs to make new law, using Iraq as a precedent.

     But if the Bush administration wishes to discard the traditional criterion of imminence on the grounds that terrorism renders it obsolete, then the administration must do what it has thus far failed to do -- namely, discharge the burden of showing that Iraq has both the capability of harming us and a serious intent to do so. Otherwise, "anticipatory self-defense" becomes an international hunting license.

     Finally, we can examine the proposed invasion through the prism of "just war" theories developed by philosophers and theologians over a period of centuries. One of just war's most distinguished contemporary exponents, Michael Walzer, puts it this way: First strikes are justified before the moment of imminent attack, at the point of "sufficient threat." That concept has three dimensions: "a manifest intent to injure, a degree of active preparation that makes that intent a positive danger and a general situation in which waiting, or doing anything other than fighting, greatly magnifies the risk." The potential injury, moreover, must be of the gravest possible nature: the loss of territorial integrity or political independence.

     Hussein may well endanger the survival of his neighbors, but he poses no such risk to the United States. And he knows full well that complicity in a Sept. 11-style attack on the United States would justify, and swiftly evoke, a regime-ending response. During the Gulf War, we invoked this threat to deter him from using weapons of mass destruction against our troops, and there is no reason to believe that this strategy would be less effective today. Dictators have much more to lose than do stateless terrorists; that's why deterrence directed against them has a good chance of working.

     It is not hard to imagine the impatience with which serious policymakers inside the administration (and elsewhere) will greet arguments such as mine. The first duty of every government, they might say, is to defend the lives and security of its citizens. The elimination of Hussein and, by extension, every regime that threatens to share weapons of mass destruction with anti-American terrorists, comports with this duty. To invoke international norms designed for a different world is to blind ourselves to the harsh necessities of international action in the new era of terrorism. If no other nation agrees, we have a duty to the American people to go it alone.

     These are weighty claims, and it is not my intention to dismiss them entirely or lightly. But even if an invasion succeeds in removing a threat here and now, it is far from clear that a policy of preemption will make us safer in the long run. Nations cooperating with us in the war against terror might respond to a preemptive U.S. attack on Iraq by ceasing to arrest and turn over suspected terrorists, and by halting the sharing of intelligence. Our allies in Europe (and elsewhere) might respond by accelerating their diplomatic and military separation from us. Our adversaries might well redouble their efforts against us. New generations of young people -- including those of our allies -- could grow up resenting and resisting America. One thing is certain: If we promote and then act on our new principles, nations around the world will adopt them and shape them for their own purposes, with consequences we will not always like.

     We are the most powerful nation on Earth but we are not invulnerable. To safeguard our own security, we need the help of the allies whose doubts we scorn, and the protection of the international restraints against which we chafe. We must therefore resist the easy seduction of unilateral action. In the long run, our interests will be best served by an international system that is as law-like and collaborative as possible,given the reality that we live in a world of sovereign states.

     William Galston is a professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs and director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy. From 1993 until 1995 he served as deputy assistant to President Clinton for domestic policy.


Mr Bush, You're No Churchill
.August 30, 2002

     (CBS) I'm afraid that your President and his advisors are doing no favours to the man who is America's staunchest ally. Our Prime Minister, Tony Blair, just back from his summer vacation, is facing a growing chorus of disapproval at the prospect of British troops being committed to an American invasion of Iraq. And Mr. Blair's mood must have darkened even more when he saw the reports of Donald Rumsfeld's attempt to compare George W Bush with Winston Churchill, and today's confrontation with Iraq with Europe before the second world war. If Mr. Rumsfeld wants to antagonise the British, then rewriting history is the right way to go about it. Don't get me wrong. We Brits are not particularly worried about anyone assuming the mantle of our wartime leader. It's been attempted before and will no doubt be tried again.

     What concerns us is that Mr. Rumsfeld's confusion over some historical facts may not be the only thing that the current administration is getting wrong. Churchill was a soldier politician who fought for his country in the field and at one time ended up a Prisoner of War. Your President jumped the queue to get into the Texas National Guard, and strangely never made it to Vietnam. Churchill never advocated a preemptive attack on Germany after the rise of Hitler; he campaigned for increased defence.

     Mr Bush, as far as we can understand, wants a preemptive attack on Iraq. He may still do it. But despite his reputation as a bit of a warmonger, it was Churchill who said, "Jaw jaw is better than war war". In other words, and now more than ever, keep on talking. To paraphrase the old man himself, many in this country and in Europe believe that never in the field of human conflict has so much military power been given to any one man so desperately reliant on such ill-informed advice. The great lesson of history is that no nation can act alone indefinitely.

     Britain is your staunchest ally -- Tony Blair your greatest political friend.

     Your President is pushing it.


COMMENTARY--First Strike
June 22, 2002
Note: written prior to N. Korea possible nuclear program

     Bob Woodward wrote it in the Washington Post (June 17), so it's got to be true: US President Bush early this year signed an intelligence order directing the CIA to undertake a comprehensive, covert-action program to topple Saddam Hussein, including authority to use lethal force to capture the Iraqi president ... and, should he pull a gun, to kill him (in self-defense).

     What beats me is why anyone should consider this news. Bush has said in so many words so many times that he wants to get rid of Saddam, and he is hardly going to do it on his own. What's more interesting is why "informed sources" leaked this non-news to Woodward at this time. But that, too, doesn't require great investigative reporting skills or "Deep Throat"-type information to figure out: after a hot Middle East war-process phase and the more recent South Asia nuclear scare, the Bush administration is anxious to get back on target with the war on terror(ism), in danger of being derailed by sideshows. The press obliged and gave the new push ample publicity. So did Congress. Democratic Senate majority leader Tom Daschle last weekend declared himself all in favor of preemptive action against Saddam.

     "Preemptive" is the key term. Bush has tasked his national security team to formalize a strategy of preemptive action - including military attack - by end-August and National Security Adviser Condi Rice thinks that won't be hard to come by. "It didn't take long for this [concept] to gel," she said on a Sunday talk show, after "looking at the growing dangers of weapons of mass destruction, at how the terrorists networks operate."

     Bush himself had given the cue in his June 1 West Point US Military Academy commencement address:

     "For much of the last century, America's defense relied on the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment ... But new threats also require new thinking. Deterrence - the promise of massive retaliation against nations - means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend. Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies.

     "If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long ... We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge ... And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives."

     Unhappily, there is quite a bit wrong with this "new thinking", this whole new "preemption thing" as George Bush Senior might have called it.

     Firstly, of course, it's not new. Preemptive attack, whether based on truthful and realistic assessment of clear and present danger and in a defensive posture or as an excuse for premeditated aggression, pervades all of military history from ancient times to the most recent period. Cimon of Athens practiced it against the Persians when he destroyed their fleet in the 5th century BC, then-Colonel George Washington against the French at Fort Duquesne in 1754 in an action that started the French and Indian War, Hitler with Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union and Japan against the US at Pearl Harbor in 1941, Israel against Egypt in the Six-Day War of 1967, and again in 1981 with the destruction of Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor.

     Secondly, since the concept isn't new (though it may be new to a historically illiterate George W), why elevate it to the status of "new" National Security Strategy? Preemptive attack is defined in the "DOD [US Department of Defense] Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms" (Joint Publication 1-02, Joint Doctrine Division, J-7, Joint Staff) as "An attack initiated on the basis of incontrovertible evidence that an enemy attack is imminent." Perhaps that definition provides a clue to why a new strategy is needed.

     "Incontrovertible evidence"? "Imminent attack"? I'd suggest that anyone in the Bush administration would be hard pressed to come up with proof positive meeting such criteria to justify preemptive military action against Iraq. Does Iraq possess or is it making weapons of mass destruction? Probably yes, on both counts. Is it about to use them against the US or a close US ally? That's rather more doubtful. As Senator Joseph Biden, chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, points out, "For example, the Chinese have a [weapons of mass destruction] capacity. Does the president have the right to preemptively go strike the Chinese, the communist regime? The answer's no." So, a new strategic doctrine is needed to make plausible and justify preemption even if evidence for imminent attack (or even intent to do so) is lacking. It'll be interesting to see how the August strategy paper will accomplish that - or get around such issues as raised by Peter W Galbraith, a former US ambassador to Croatia and now a professor at the National War College, who worries about what happens if the new American doctrine spreads uncontrolled. "If India adopted the American doctrine of preemption, it risks a nuclear war, with devastating consequences for the world. It's a tricky business."

     Another worrier is Secretary of State Colin Powell who warns of the perils of preemptive strikes, noting that intelligence concerning potential threats is not always reliable and the rest of the world would demand evidence that the attack was justified. But he bravely adds that military strikes, once ordered, must not be half-hearted measures: "If you have a preemption option, a target, you should do it in a way that removes the threat, that is decisive." As for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he isn't worried a bit and remains his unflappable self: "You can call that [new strategy] defense, as I do, or you can call it preemptive, but ... [pause] ... it is what it is," he told a news conference.

     Enough of the strategizing. Reality is this: Bush wants to get rid of Saddam, badly. But as Bob Woodward - more usefully - reports, though the administration has already allocated tens of millions of dollars to the covert program to that effect, CIA Director George J Tenet has told Bush and his war cabinet that CIA efforts alone, without accompanying military action, probably have only about a 10 to 20 percent chance of succeeding. The Pentagon says the military option would require an invasion force of 200,000 to 250,000.

     So, there you have it. For want of an intelligence capability to depose Saddam, there's an 80 to 90 percent chance that a quarter million GIs will be thrown into battle to do the job. Careful, though, before you bewail a gut-wrenching dilemma or blame the CIA. What the US lacks more than a competent foreign intelligence agency is intelligence pure and simple in the highest places.

     I agree that the Saddam tyranny should be brought to an end, but no more so than several other Arab tyrannies, notably that of the corrupt clan that rules Saudi Arabia and - through its global sponsorship of a radical (and radically backward) late-18th century sectarian form of Islam, Wahabbism - has spawned more Islamic terrorists, notably a certain Osama bin Laden, and wrought more evil than Saddam could likely dream of. The strategic opportunities and alliances to contain and uproot this evil ( along with the Saddam dictatorship and that of Iran's medievalist mullahs) now exist. Through the Russia-NATO Council, the Russian Federation has firmly tied itself to the US and the West. NATO member Turkey, after a bout with Islamic fundamentalism, is politically and economically on the mend and a reliable ally in the war on terrorism. Egypt and Jordan, which have peace treaties with Israel, have leaders who know that fundamentalism and the claim of Wahabbi jihadis to represent the true Islam are threats to the very integrity of their nations. The joint political, economic and religious-cultural potential of this alliance, if properly marshalled and unleashed, is not only an ample counter-force to fundamentalism and tyranny, but has every opportunity of dealing them a decisive and lasting defeat.

     Russia and the former Central Asian republics of the USSR have the oil and gas resources to challenge the OPEC cartel and render it ineffective. Moderate Islam has the moral and intellectual resources to challenge and castigate fundamentalism. But preemptive military action against Iraq not justified by proof of clear and present danger of Iraqi or Iraqi-sponsored aggression has the very real potential of undoing an alliance that can win.

     Will Gulf War, take two, come anyway? George Bush Senior has resigned from the Saudi-beholden Carlyle Group run by former CIA and Pentagon big-whig Frank Carlucci (also a Princeton college buddy of Donald Rumsfeld) and the Carlyle and Saudi-sponsored Middle East Policy Council that over years has exercised undue influence over US Middle East policy, has come under more than a bit of a cloud and scrutiny recently. Along with that, the Saudi-beholden "Arabists" in the State Department and the CIA have been losing some of their clout. As such "moral hazard" in high US national security policy circles is attenuating, perhaps there is a chance of retargeting and of giving not newfangled preemption and war, but longer-term more effective and principled political and economic coercion a chance.


2002 Deficit Near $165 Billion
October 23, 2002

     WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration expects the federal government to post a nearly $165 billion deficit for the fiscal year that just ended, officials said on Wednesday.

     The final figures for fiscal 2002, which ended on Sept. 30, will be released by the Treasury Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget as early as Friday.

     White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said deficit projections look like "they're coming in as predicted, very, very close to the actual predictions," referring to the administration's July forecast of a $165 billion deficit.

     The 2002 budget gap is the first since 1997's deficit of $22.0 billion and would be the largest since a $203.3 billion deficit seen in the 1994 budget year.

     In 2001, the federal government posted a surplus of $127.0 billion, a year after posting a record $236.9 billion overage.

     The Bush administration blames bigger-than-expected deficits on the economic slowdown and increased spending for the so-called war on terrorism.

     As the U.S. economy has slumped, the government has seen the steepest decline in tax revenues since 1955.

     Rising deficits could hurt President Bush and his fellow Republicans in Nov. 5 mid-term elections, where small swings could shift control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

     Democrats in Congress blame Bush's large tax cuts for the return to deficits and have called on the president to replace his team of economic advisers.

If you still think republicans care about a balanced budget, you're in denial. Deal with it. Gore was accused of using "fuzzy math" by Bush when he said Bush's numbers didn't add up. We know now that Gore told the truth and Bush lied. How many times have you heard the "liberal media" call Gore a liar? Now count the number of times you've heard them call Bush a liar. Betcha can't. So much for the liberal media excuse.

Some Americans will blame this so-called "war on terror" for the deficits. This is untrue. CBO says this war and security legislation has cost us only a few billion.

Prior to Reagan, the US accumulated less than $1 trillion of debt. In the past 20 years we've created over five times that amount. Our debt is now a staggering $6.2 trillion.

If you think Bush gave you a tax cut, guess again. Bush is borrowing hundreds of billions, giving most of it to the super rich and creating deficits for us and future generations to pay.

The next generation will damn him and his supporters.


Rumsfeld at war with military brass
October 21, 2002

     Donald Rumsfeld's public image as a sharp, in-charge secretary of defense is a far cry from how he's perceived among Pentagon insiders. They describe Rumsfeld as often abusive, indecisive and accessible only to a small 'palace guard' of loyal advisers.

     WASHINGTON — When Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold was preparing this year to leave his position as director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his boss, Gen. Richard Myers, nominated an Air Force officer to succeed him.

     But when Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of his choice for the next director of operations — or "J-3," one of the most important jobs in the U.S. military — he received a rude surprise.

     Not so fast, said Rumsfeld, who in a sharp departure from previous practice personally interviews all nominees for three-star and four-star positions in the military. Give me someone else, Rumsfeld told Myers after twice interviewing the nominee, Lt. Gen. Ronald Keys.

     Myers came up with a selection more to Rumsfeld's liking, Air Force Lt. Gen. Norton Schwartz — ending a long-standing practice of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs naming his top subordinates.

     Senior military officers now recount Keys' demise to illustrate a pronounced civilian-military divide at the Pentagon under Rumsfeld's leadership. Numerous officers complain bitterly that their best advice is being disregarded by someone who has spent most of the past 25 years away from the military. Rumsfeld first served as defense secretary from 1975 to 1977, in the Ford administration.

Top brass frustrated

     Nearly two dozen current and former top officers and civilian officials interviewed said there is a huge discrepancy between the outside perception of Rumsfeld — the crisp, no-nonsense defense secretary who became a media star through his briefings on the Afghan war — and how he is seen inside the Pentagon.

     Many senior officers on the Joint Staff and in all branches of the military describe Rumsfeld as frequently abusive and indecisive, trusting only a tiny circle of close advisers, seemingly eager to slap down officers with decades of distinguished service. The unhappiness is so pervasive that all three service secretaries are said to be deeply frustrated by a lack of autonomy and contemplating leaving by the end of the year.

     Rumsfeld declined to be interviewed for this article.

     His disputes with parts of the top brass involve style, the conduct of military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and sharply different views about how and whether to "transform" today's armed forces. But what the fights boil down to is civilian control of a defense establishment that Rumsfeld is said to believe had become too independent and risk-averse during eight years under President Clinton.

Comment: Oh you mean the military Colin Powell was in charge of? Got it.

     What makes this more than a bureaucratic dispute, however, is that it is influencing the Pentagon's internal debate over a possible invasion of Iraq. Some officers question whether their concerns about the dangers of urban warfare and other aspects of a potential conflict are being sufficiently weighed — or dismissed as typical military risk aversion.

Billion-dollar plans in doubt

     The dispute also promises to have a big impact in the coming year on the fate of hugely expensive weapons systems. Stephen Cambone, a top Rumsfeld deputy, is recommending more than $10 billion in savings by cutting or delaying the Air Force's F-22 stealth fighter, the Navy's next-generation aircraft carrier, and three Army programs: the Comanche reconnaissance helicopter, the Stryker wheeled combat vehicle and the Future Combat System.

     These tensions were straining relations between the uniformed military and Rumsfeld before Sept. 11, 2001, but were partially submerged by the Afghan war and other counterattacks on terrorism. They have re-emerged as the Pentagon plans for possible war in the Persian Gulf and for a fiscal 2004 budget that is in danger of being swamped by war costs and long-deferred expenditures on modernization, new weapons and Rumsfeld's desire to transform the military into a 21st-century force.

     "There is a nearly universal feeling among the officer corps that the inner circle is closed, not tolerant of ideas it doesn't already share, and determined to impose its ideas, regardless of military doubts," said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute with close ties to defense contractors and the military.

     "All of the bad blood of last year is coming back in a very big way," one former Pentagon official said.

'Palace guard' resented

     All three service secretaries were recruited from private industry to bring "best business practices" to the Pentagon and promised autonomy in making management reforms. But all three find their actions constrained by Rumsfeld and what is referred to as his small "palace guard," according to Pentagon insiders.

     Air Force Secretary James Roche has thought he lacked input on decisions about the service's centerpiece program, the F-22, senior officers and defense contractors say. Navy Secretary Gordon England has expressed interest in a top job at the proposed Homeland Security Department. Army Secretary Thomas White, a former executive at Enron Corp., has been tarnished by the Enron scandal, his failure to promptly divest his Enron holdings, and controversy over his use of Army aircraft for personal business.

     It's an ironic position for an administration that came to office promising new respect for the military. In Congress and elsewhere in Washington, some now question whether the military feels free to give its best advice to the administration — or whether that advice is welcomed.

"I've heard repeatedly about the lack of trust between the secretary and the uniformed officers," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a member of the Armed Services Committee and a former Army officer. "That, I think, is a problem," particularly with a possible invasion of Iraq, he added.

     "If there is an atmosphere where contrary views aren't well-received, you may move into an operation that isn't well-advised," a three-star officer warned.

Views welcomed, some say

     Myers, in an interview, denied that he or other senior officers feel constrained in speaking their mind to Rumsfeld.

     "It has never been easier to express our opinion, our thoughts, with any secretary," Myers said. "There is ample opportunity, in fact, encouragement, to present other views and disagree."

     Victoria Clarke, Rumsfeld's spokeswoman, cited a series of "spectacular accomplishments" at the Pentagon: a new defense strategy, a nuclear posture review, a restructured missile-defense program, far more realistic budgeting procedures, and an ambitious agenda for "transforming" the military. Those couldn't have happened without close civilian-military relations, she said.

     "It's extraordinary that those things got done, in the face of amazing resistance to change, at the same time we were prosecuting the war on terrorism," Clarke said. Rumsfeld "not only welcomes, but encourages, dissent."

     While issues of great substance lie at the heart of Rumsfeld's unsettled relationship with the military, discussion of the Pentagon's current environment invariably begins with assessments of Rumsfeld's powerful personal style.

     Even his detractors admit he is a man of considerable energy and intellect who is pushing the right issues and raising many of the right questions. Rumsfeld, 70, is universally praised for his handling of the war in Afghanistan, where he and other Bush Cabinet members insisted on a bold plan for toppling the Taliban and driving al-Qaida out of the country.

Good Grief. There was a plan on Bush's desk prior to 9/11 to topple the Taliban and bringing down a defenseless leaders in Afghanistan is hardly something to sing praises about.

     What appears at times to be indecisiveness on Rumsfeld's part, according to one senior officer, stems from his deep personal involvement in operational planning.

Rumsfeld's agenda

     It has become a truism in national-security circles that Rumsfeld has been a better secretary of war than secretary of defense. Rumsfeld has two dominant priorities. The first is reshaping the U.S. military from a heavy, industrial-age force designed in the Cold War to an agile, information-age force capable of defeating more elusive adversaries anywhere on the globe.

     Rumsfeld's second priority, about which he has been less open, is reasserting civilian control over a military establishment that had grown autonomous — and, many believe, too cautious — during the Clinton years. Throughout the war on terrorism, Rumsfeld has pushed for bolder plans from the military. Under his stewardship, war planning has become far more effective and imaginative, said a former official who otherwise is critical of Rumsfeld.

     "This guy really is trying to get (the Pentagon) to work for him," one former defense official said. "I don't think he's chosen the right path. But it's not a question of him being the devil and everyone else is a misunderstood angel."

     If Rumsfeld returned to the Pentagon in January 2001 predisposed to see senior military officers as dull and uncreative, as many believe, he has since shown a willingness to reassess their capability. Some officers say relations between his office and the uniformed branches have improved as both sides have learned to better interact.

     "Rumsfeld has changed over time. He's still cantankerous, but he's not necessarily as combative as he was at one point in time," one three-star officer said.

     'Courting a rebellion'

Others are far more pessimistic. "Things are more fouled up (at the Pentagon) than I've ever seen them," said one former defense official sympathetic to Rumsfeld.

"The depth of disaffection is really quite striking," added a defense consultant. "I think Rumsfeld is courting a rebellion."

     Rumsfeld's primary objective in reasserting civilian control over the Pentagon has been in reining in the Joint Staff, an umbrella organization of about 1,200 personnel, drawn from all four services, that is crucial in overseeing daily military activities worldwide.

     The staff works for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But Rumsfeld has made it clear that in his Pentagon, the chairman works for him.

     People who have dealt with him over the last two years said Rumsfeld saw the Joint Staff as sometimes unresponsive to civilian leadership. He wasn't alone, recalled one officer at the Pentagon, who said Joint Staff officers sometimes seemed to think that "the suits don't need to know this."

     Under Rumsfeld, the civilians are no longer cut out.

     Rumsfeld tried to gain control over the key position of director of the Joint Staff, the person who helps determine the daily agenda of the U.S. military leadership, backing down when his move to oust the incumbent met opposition. But he made the point that the defense secretary would be intimately involved in deciding who filled the top positions. And he prevailed when it came time this year to replace Gen. Newbold.

Chairman says he has say

     Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has been criticized by generals who think he has failed to stand up to Rumsfeld. But Myers said such complaints are from officers who don't understand his close relationships with Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He also said that "if I didn't feel like I had my say to my boss and had an opportunity to be influential, I wouldn't be here."

Rumsfeld is now working to strip the Joint Staff of a series of its offices — legislative liaison, legal counsel and public affairs. These have given the military leadership a degree of autonomy by providing it direct pipelines to Congress, to other parts of the government and to the media.

     Clarke, Rumsfeld's spokeswoman, denied Rumsfeld has singled out the Joint Staff in an attempt to diminish its power.

     "The secretary thinks the entire department, civilian and military, was lethargic, bureaucratic, not fully addressing the dramatically changed world in which we find ourselves," she said. "And he has appropriately lit fires under everybody and said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the stakes around here are very high.' And some people respond well to that, and some people don't."

To those who think Rummy is doing a great job, let's take a look at his record. He and Bush didn't have a clue the US was about to be attacked, didn't know we were under attack under the media told them, and now has us in endless war with tiny mostly defenseless countries, while at the same time ignoring real threats to US long term security by missing the build up of nuclear weapons in North Korea and continues to court China's communist regime as his best buddies in his war on terror.

If you still think republicans care about the military, you're in denial. Deal with it.


HHS Seeks Science Advice to Match Bush Views
September 17, 2002;

     The Bush administration has begun a broad restructuring of the scientific advisory committees that guide federal policy in areas such as patients' rights and public health, eliminating some committees that were coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views and in other cases replacing members with handpicked choices.

     In the past few weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services has retired two expert committees before their work was complete. One had recommended that the Food and Drug Administration expand its regulation of the increasingly lucrative genetic testing industry, which has so far been free of such oversight. The other committee, which was rethinking federal protections for human research subjects, had drawn the ire of administration supporters on the religious right, according to government sources.

     A third committee, which had been assessing the effects of environmental chemicals on human health, has been told that nearly all of its members will be replaced -- in several instances by people with links to the industries that make those chemicals. One new member is a California scientist who helped defend Pacific Gas and Electric Co. against the real-life Erin Brockovich.

     The changes are among the first in a gradual restructuring of the system that funnels expert advice to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.

     That system includes more than 250 committees, each composed of people with scientific, legal or academic expertise who volunteer their services over multiyear terms.

     The committees typically toil in near anonymity, but they are important because their interpretation of scientific data can sway an agency's approach to health risk and regulation.

     The overhaul is rattling some HHS employees, some of whom said they have not seen such a political makeover of the department since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.

     HHS spokesman William Pierce said he could not provide a tally of the number of committees that had been eliminated or changed so far, but he denied that the degree of change was out of the ordinary for the first years after a change of administration.

     He acknowledged that Thompson has irritated some HHS veterans with his "top down" approach to reshaping the department, but he defended Thompson's prerogative to hear preferentially from experts who share the president's philosophical sensibilities.

     "No one should be surprised when an administration makes changes like this," Pierce said. "I don't think there is anything going on here that has not gone on with each and every administration since George Washington."

     Routine or not, the restructuring offers a view into how tomorrow's science policies are being constructed -- and how the previous administration's influence is being quietly dismantled.

     One example of the recent changes is the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing, created during the Clinton administration after a major federal report concluded that the public was at risk of being harmed by the emerging gene-testing industry.

     One of the first topics tackled by the committee was how to deal with the proliferation of so-called home-brew genetic tests, which are offered by a growing number of companies and doctors.

     The blood tests can detect DNA variations that may increase a person's odds of getting a disease or affect a patient's response to medicines.

     The Food and Drug Administration has long asserted that it has the authority to regulate these tests, but it has opted not to do so -- in part because of a lack of resources. As a result, companies are free to market tests for genes even if those genes have no proven role in disease susceptibility or any proven usefulness at all. A growing number of companies are doing just that -- at no small expense to consumers -- in some cases needlessly alarming people with meaningless results and in other cases offering false reassurance.

     The committee convinced the FDA to use its authority to oversee the marketing of these tests, and the agency was developing rules when the Bush administration took over. Suddenly the FDA's stance changed: The agency was no longer certain it had the regulatory authority in question. Oversight plans stalled. Today the FDA is still mulling whether it has authority, Pierce said, and last week members learned that the committee's charter, which just expired, will not be renewed.

     "This is a real turnaround. It's bad. It's terrible," said Neil A. "Tony" Holtzman, a Johns Hopkins University professor emeritus who chaired the HHS task force that led to the committee's creation.

     Wylie Burke, who chairs the department of medical history and ethics at the University of Washington and was a member of the committee, said gene-test oversight is needed now more than ever because companies are starting to advertise tests directly to consumers and are offering questionable services over the Internet.

     "People need to know what they're getting," Burke said. "We were making real headway with informed-consent issues and with categorizing levels of risk. It would be a shame if that does not get completed."

     Pierce said the committee's demise had nothing to do with its recommendations or regulatory approach. Rather, he said, HHS intends to create a new committee that will deal with a broader range of genetic technologies. The department has not said who will sit on that committee.

Another example is the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee, created under President Bill Clinton after a series of government reports found serious deficiencies in the federal system for protecting human subjects in research. The call from HHS to disband "came out of the blue," said committee chair Mary Faith Marshall, a professor of medicine and bioethics at the University of Kansas in Kansas City.

Some sources suggested the committee had angered the pharmaceutical industry or other research enterprises because of its recommendations to tighten up conflict-of-interest rules and impose new restrictions on research involving the mentally ill.

     "It's very frustrating," said Paul Gelsinger, who became a member of the committee after his son, Jesse, died in a Pennsylvania gene therapy experiment that was later found to have broken basic safety rules. "It's always been my view that money is running the research show," he said. "So with this administration's ties to industry, I'm not surprised" to see the committee killed.

     Other sources said the committee had run afoul of religious conservatives when it failed to support an administration push to include fetuses under a federal regulation pertaining to human research on newborns. Some within HHS said they'd heard the department may reconstitute the committee with a purview that includes research on human fetuses or even embryos -- a change seen by some as part of a larger administration effort to bring rights to the unborn.

     Consistent with that possibility, HHS officials recently told committee members they hope to name Mildred Jefferson to a reincarnated version of the committee that the department hopes to create. Jefferson is a medical doctor who helped found the National Right to Life Committee and who three times served as that organization's president.

     Pierce said HHS had allowed the committee to expire not because of the direction of its work but because, as with the genetic-testing committee, the department wants to create a new panel with a broader, as yet undetermined, charge. That committee has yet to be created or its members named.

     Yet another committee caught up in the recent upheaval is one that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Environmental Health on a range of public health issues from pollution to bioterrorism.

     Thomas Burke, the Johns Hopkins public health professor who has chaired the committee for almost five years, recently learned that 15 of its 18 members are to be replaced. In the past, he said, HHS had asked him to recommend new members when there were openings. This time, he said, a list of names was imposed. He was among those who were let go.

     Burke said he was not offended that his own membership, which was expiring, was not renewed. "There's constant turnover on these boards," he said. "What's of concern though is to see so much turnover at one time, especially at such a critical time for the CDC."

He mentioned another concern: One of the committee's major endeavors has been to assess the health effects of low-level exposures to environmental chemicals, yet as first reported by Science magazine last week, several of the new appointees are well known for their connections to the chemical industry.

They include Roger McClellan, former president of the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology, a North Carolina research firm supported by chemical company dues; Becky Norton Dunlop, a vice president of the Heritage Foundation who, as Virginia's secretary of natural resources, fought against environmental regulation; and Lois Swirsky Gold, a University of California risk-assessment specialist who has made a career countering environmentalists' claims of links between pollutants and cancer.

     The committee also includes Dennis Paustenbach, the California toxicologist who served as an expert witness for Pacific Gas and Electric when the utility was sued for allowing poisonous chromium to leach into groundwater. The case was made famous in the movie "Erin Brockovich."

     "It's in the nation's interest to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest on these committees," said Burke, the former chairman. "To see friends of the administration . . . clearly that's what we're seeing here. It's wholesale change. The complexion has changed."

     HHS's Pierce said the committee remains balanced overall, and no prospective member of any advisory committee is subjected to political screenings.

     "It's always a matter of qualifications first and foremost," Pierce said. "There's no quotas on any of this stuff. There's no litmus test of any kind."

At least one nationally renowned academic, who was recently called by an administration official to talk about serving on an HHS advisory committee, disagreed with that assessment. To the candidate's surprise, the official asked for the professor's views on embryo cell research, cloning and physician-assisted suicide. After that, the candidate said, the interviewer told the candidate that the position would have to go to someone else because the candidate's views did not match those of the administration.

     Asked to reconcile that experience with his previous assurance, Pierce said of the interview questions: "Those are not litmus tests."

When conservatives wonder why government doesn't work for us, it's because they do everything in their power to make sure it doesn't. According to Bush, "Science" is not based on truth, but instead on what he believes (a form of religion).

But worst of all, Bush is putting industry friends in charge of committee's to insure big business (read: contributors) are not harmed by government reports.