Impeach Bush

Plan to Secure Postwar Iraq Faulted
By Peter Slevin and Vernon Loeb
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, May 19, 2003; Page A01

BAGHDAD -- A month before the war began in Iraq, senior Bush administration officials said their plan for winning the peace was built upon the swift provision of basic services that would "immediately" make the Iraqi people feel they were better off than they had been under the government of Saddam Hussein.

Five weeks after the war ended, the administration is still struggling to accomplish that goal. It has failed to establish law and order on the streets and has achieved only mixed results in restoring electricity, water, sanitation and other essential needs.

In interviews here and in Washington, and in testimony on Capitol Hill, military officers, other administration officials and defense experts said the Pentagon ignored lessons from a decade of peacekeeping operations in Haiti, Somalia, the Balkans and Afghanistan.

It also badly underestimated the potential for looting and lawlessness after the collapse of the Iraqi government, lacking forces capable of securing the streets of Baghdad in the transition from combat to postwar reconstruction.

Only in the past week did administration officials begin to acknowledge publicly these miscalculations. They described continued lawlessness as a serious problem in Baghdad and called for more U.S. forces on the ground to quell a wave of violence that has kept American officials from assuring the Iraqi people that order would soon be restored.

"This was a war plan," said a senior official in the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Baghdad. "It was not a law enforcement plan."

The administration, without explanation, has replaced retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay M. Garner, the Pentagon's chief reconstruction official, with L. Paul Bremer III, a former Reagan administration diplomat who arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday and immediately unleashed major changes in policy. U.S. forces increased patrols across Baghdad, launched an aggressive pursuit of criminals and started imprisoning looters for 20 days.

Bremer and his aides also halted the withdrawal of any U.S. forces and commenced a high-level, comprehensive review of security needs. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld called security his number one priority and touted the arrival of more than 15,000 additional troops -- bringing the U.S. presence to nearly 160,000. There also are 40,000 British troops in the country.

On Friday, Bremer issued a written directive banning 15,000 to 30,000 ranking members of Hussein's Baath Party from holding government jobs, reversing a policy -- developed during months of discussions before the war began -- that would have excluded only the party's most senior members from government service.

How and why senior military and civilian leaders at the Pentagon were caught unaware of the need to quickly make the transition from war-fighting to stability operations with adequate forces mystifies military officers, administration officials and defense experts with peacekeeping experience from the 1990s.

"Somewhere behind the combat forces should have been somebody in large numbers who were going to do public security," said William Durch, a peacekeeping expert at the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank. "It's so elemental from looking at dozens of conflicts; you can't do anything without security."

Defense experts inside and outside the Pentagon say military planners were clearly influenced by the Pentagon's belief, expressed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and other senior leaders, that U.S. forces would be welcomed as liberators. They also point to the Bush administration's professed antipathy to military peacekeeping and nation-building, as articulated by the president during the 2000 campaign when he charged the Clinton administration with overextending the armed forces with such missions.

Defense experts and some military officers also cite the Pentagon's determination to fight the war and maintain the peace with as small a force as possible, noting it reflected Rumsfeld's determination to use the war in Iraq to support his vision for "transforming" the military by showing that smaller and lighter armed units, supported by Special Forces and air power, could prevail on the 21st century battlefield.

"It's very important that you built this thing small," one senior Defense official with extensive peacekeeping experience said. "It validates Rumsfeld's view of the future."

On Capitol Hill, however, even some Republicans are beginning to warn that the administration, having brilliantly prevailed on the battlefield, is in danger of losing the peace. The "hard lessons learned in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti and Afghanistan on the need to quell emergent lawlessness seems to have fallen out of the battle plan during the dash to Baghdad," Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), chairman of a House Government Reform subcommittee, told a hearing on postwar Iraq last week.

On the streets of the shattered Iraqi capital, U.S. Army Lt. Stephen Gleason and his weary 27th Infantry scout team, having helped win the war, now find themselves in a frustrating fight against street criminals and gang members.

"These guys have taken everything but the dirt," Gleason said. "The first thing we did was bust looters. When we came in, people were brandishing their weapons at us. It was a difficult change of gears that we weren't expecting."

Officials inside and outside the administration say the shift in mission should not have been a surprise.

In January, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, published an "action strategy" for Iraq that recommended the Pentagon plan as diligently for the postwar period as for the war. "To avoid a dangerous security vacuum, it is imperative to organize, train, and equip for the post-conflict security mission in conjunction with planning for combat," the document states.

In February, an official from the U.S. Institute of Peace briefed the Defense Policy Board, an influential advisory panel, on a $628 million proposal, developed by the institute and based on peacekeeping experiences in Kosovo. It called for bringing 6,000 civilian police officers and 200 lawyers, judges, court administrators and corrections officers into Iraq as soon as the fighting stopped.

Both proposals, according to a senior administration official, "were matched by debates inside the government."

"A number of people have said over the months, 'It's more than just winning the war, there needs to be a secure environment,' " the official said. "That can't have been a surprise to the [military] authorities. This side of the river made it clear numerous times that we would be looking to [the Pentagon] for that kind of secure environment."

But the Pentagon had no plan for civilian policing assistance in place, and almost no military police on hand, when the fighting stopped in early April.

In recent Pentagon news conferences, Rumsfeld has denied charges that there were too few troops in Iraq to restore order. He noted that 15,000 troops from the 1st Armored Division and hundreds of additional military police officers are soon to arrive in Baghdad, bringing overall U.S. troop levels in Iraq to almost 160,000.

Although that represents 40 percent of the Army's 10 active duty divisions, it is still relatively small on a per-capita basis when compared with previous peacekeeping missions -- when 60,000 U.S. and allied forces secured 4 million people in Bosnia and 40,000 troops secured 2 million people in Kosovo. Iraq has a population of 23 million.

Before the war began, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, told Congress that "several hundred thousand" forces could be necessary to stabilize Iraq after a war. Several days later, Wolfowitz told another congressional committee that far fewer troops would be needed, calling Shinseki's estimate "way off the mark."

Testifying before the House International Relations Committee last week, Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, insisted that the Pentagon had anticipated "serious problems" in the postwar period and said careful planning had helped avert food and medical crises in the country. Acknowledging security issues and "terrible problems" with electricity, water and other basic services, he said these things "by and large existed before the war."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

This article is pretty straight forward. Bush got it wrong before war when it came to WMD and he got it wrong after the war when it came to peacekeeping. Not much new here, President Wrong is never right.

But it should be pointed out that Rumsfeld who's worshiped by the press for his silly war against a defenseless country forgets to hammer Rumsfeld for being wrong and inept of his handling of post war Iraq.

What happens after a war is more important than the war itself as evidenced by Japan and Germany after WW2.

I also love this kind of story because it highlights the hypocrisies of the conservative party. They attacked President Clinton for not having an exit plan in Haiti, and they insisted on knowing the exact date US troops were pulling out (thus giving enemies of the US the exact day to plot an over throw of the new government). Conservatives and Bush resounding condemned President Clinton for using the US military in peacekeeping and nation building. Both of which they now support.

What do conservatives really believe in? Being consistently inconsistent.


Homeland Security investigator removes himself from Texas case
SF Chronicle
SUZANNE GAMBOA, Associated Press Writer
05-19) 15:26 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

A Homeland Security Department official from Texas removed himself Monday from an investigation into the use of department resources to track a Texas lawmaker's plane last week when dozens of Democratic legislators fled to Oklahoma.

Clark Kent Ervin, who is awaiting confirmation as the department's inspector general, turned the case over to Lisa Redman, the department's assistant inspector general, said Brian Roehrkasse, a Homeland Security Department spokesman.

Ervin was asked to investigate assistance provided by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which wanted to track a small plane owned by former Texas House Speaker Pete Laney.

Laney joined more than 50 Texas Democratic legislators who left the state for Ardmore, Okla., to prevent the state House from taking up a redistricting bill.

The immigration and customs enforcement bureau said last week it had been led to believe by a Texas officer that the plane was missing and might have crashed.

The bureau said it didn't use any federal planes to find the Democrats and ultimately told the law officer it couldn't locate the aircraft.

Ervin was unavailable for comment, but his office said in a written statement that he took himself off the case because he has worked for the state of Texas and knows a number of state legislators and officials. He acted "to avoid any possible claim of partiality or bias in the conduct of the investigation," his office said.

Democrats have questioned whether Ervin's ties to Texas Republicans presented a conflict of interest.

A former inspector general of the State Department, Ervin also has been Texas' deputy assistant attorney general and assistant secretary of state.

Ervin ran for Congress in 1992 and for the state House in 1994, losing both times.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Ervin was put in charge of an investigation of fellow republicans in Texas, until the democrats squawked. It's clear the republicans in Texas committed serious crimes. They gave false information to a law enforcement agency (in this case Homeland Security) regarding what they said as a missing plane. The Speaker of the Texas House must resign. The idea a fellow republican would whitewash this scandal is typical of this White House.


Hubris and Republican Toms
May 19, 2003
Matthew Rothschild

Tom Ridge and Tom DeLay have some explaining to do.

Ridge, the head of Homeland Security, needs to explain just how it happened that his department went after AWOL Democrats down in Texas.

Ridge's Air and Marine Interdiction Coordination Center, based in California, tracks terrorists and drug dealers, but last week it was sicked on the aircraft carrying the wayward, Oklahoma-bound Democrats.

From day one, or make that from September 12, there was always the potential that the Bush Administration would use its new repressive apparatus to go after domestic political foes. Time and time again, Bush and Ridge and Ashcroft assured us that no such thing would ever happen.

Well, it has already.

And guess who's investigating the matter for Ridge?

A partisan Houston Republican named Clark Kent Ervin, who is allied with the very people who called on Homeland Security to man the battle stations.

Ervin is acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone with an ounce of concern about the appearance of conflict of interest would recuse himself from the investigation, but Ervin evidently is unencumbered by such niceties.

Nor do they bother Tom DeLay, the House majority leader who hails from Texas. DeLay engineered the controversial redistricting plan that sent the Democrats packing in the first place, and then he suggested that federal agencies could track down the Dems. But now he says he had absolutely nothing to do with the Homeland hunt.

One of the seven deadly sins is hubris. The Republicans are displaying that sin right now, and we'll just have to see whether it's fatal to them--or to us.

Postscript: Hours after this was posted, Clark Kent Ervin came to his senses and did recuse himself from the investigation of how and why Homeland Security got involved in tracking down Texas Democrats.

-- Matthew Rothschild

Tom Delay's hand is clear in this criminal operation. Using his congressional office and staff for state partisan criminal activity isn't allowed. It's that simple. At a minimum he should be censored by the House, but breaking House rules isn't a problem for republicans.

In this article Delay says he had nothing to do with Homeland Security getting involved in the hunt, but in a later article you'll read he admits he did.


Pentagon calls BBC's Lynch allegations 'ridiculous'
From Jamie McIntyre
CNN Washington Bureau
Tuesday, May 20, 2003 Posted: 5:24 AM EDT (0924 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Any charge that the U.S. military misrepresented the facts of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch's rescue April 1 from an Iraqi hospital to make the mission appear more dramatic or heroic is "void of all facts and absolutely ridiculous" the Pentagon said Monday.

Responding to a BBC report that called the Pentagon accounts of the rescue "one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said, "I think that allegation is ridiculous, I don't know how else to respond. The idea that we would put a number of forces in danger unnecessarily to recover one of our POWs is just ridiculous."

The then-19-year-old Lynch and five fellow members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company were taken prisoner March 23 outside Nasiriya, Iraq. (Story of other survivors)

A week later, acting on intelligence information, U.S. Special Forces led a team of Marines, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and airmen went into the hospital to rescue Lynch.

The BBC report quoted witnesses and hospital officials as stating the United States knew that there were no Iraqi forces at the hospital when it conducted the commando raid, and that the United States special operations forces had used Hollywood theatrics, including blank ammunition, to make a show of rescuing private Lynch.

The Pentagon said no blanks were used, and all procedures employed were consistent with the "tactics, techniques and procedures" normally employed by U.S. forces when there is a perceived threat of encountering hostile forces.

"We don't want to take unnecessary risk. We do make sure that when we exercise military force we use the right resources, sufficient to get the job done. It is a decision made by the commander on the ground," Whitman told CNN.

"We were able to snatch her and without any loss of life."

Pentagon: Military never said rescuers took fire
The Pentagon spokesman also said the United States military never claimed the rescue force came under fire when it burst into the hospital, but it did say U.S. troops supporting the mission exchanged fire nearby.

"There was not a firefight inside of the building, I will tell you, but there were firefights outside of the building, getting in and getting out," Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, deputy director of operations, said at an briefing in Doha, Qatar, on April 2.

John Kampfner, the veteran BBC correspondent behind the documentary, said his reporting was based on interviews he conducted in Nasiriya after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Kampfner also told CNN that he requested the Pentagon's raw footage of the rescue operation in an effort to verify the U.S. account. He said the Pentagon declined his request.

The BBC report also questioned the various accounts of Lynch's injuries.

At the April 2 briefing, the military did not release the nature of Lynch's injuries or say how she obtained them.

Whitman said speculative reports in the news media, not Pentagon pronouncements, were responsible for some of the misinformation surrounding Lynch's story, including a Washington Post account that she had expended all of her ammunition before being captured.

"Certain facts about what happened to other soldiers got confused with what may have happened to Jessica," Whitman said.

'She never told us' what happened
The Pentagon never released an account of what happened to Lynch because it didn't have an account, Whitman said. "She never told us."

Lynch suffered a head laceration and spinal injury, and both her legs and her right arm and foot were broken during her ordeal in Iraq. According to authorities, she cannot recall details from the time she was ambushed in Iraq to a point during her captivity there.

Although Whitman acknowledged that in retrospect it might have been possible for the U.S. military to drive up to the hospital and take Lynch, he noted that that was not known at the time.

"If we had good knowledge we could drive in and take her out, we certainly would have done that rather than a joint operation. We don't look to do them in a more difficult, complex way," he said.

"It's not up to me to second guess, but I can't imagine we would have done anything differently."

© 2003 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.

A couple quick points. Nearly everything we heard from the press about this so-called rescue was a lie. What we know for sure is she was in no danger at the time she was rescued and the US military had a camera crew recording this non-event so you and I could be proud of our military acting their parts in a fake rescue.


Why the War on Terror Will Never End
May. 18, 2003

For Scott Schlageter, 35, an American procurement manager for the Saudi air force, it was just another expat's night in Riyadh. He was watching an Antonio Banderas thriller, curled up on the sofa in his home in al-Jadawel, a gated town-house complex in the Saudi Arabian capital. Suddenly the lights died, and the TV zapped off. Schlageter saw a flash and felt a thundering explosion that blew out all his windows. "I grabbed my cell phone, went upstairs to a secure room, called the U.S. embassy and told them we were under attack," he says. A vehicle loaded with explosives had blown up at the gates of the compound.

At that very moment, similar assaults were under way in two other residential areas. Four miles away, at a complex that housed dozens of Americans employed by Vinnell Corp. to help train the Saudi National Guard, a pair of cars were on a deadly mission. The first, a Ford Crown Victoria sedan filled with terrorists armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, sped up to the compound's security checkpoint. The men mowed down the guards and removed a 3-ft.-high steel barrier that protected the compound. The second vehicle, a Dodge pickup loaded with explosives, followed close behind. It barreled into a central area and exploded between two five-story buildings. At the nearby al-Hamra complex, two other explosives-laden vehicles were detonated near a pool where a party was in progress. By the time the smoke cleared from the three assaults last Monday, 34 were dead, and 200 more were wounded. The dead included nine Americans and nine of the assassins.

Terror struck again just four days later. In the Moroccan city of Casablanca, five suicide bombers hit within 20 minutes of one another, spreading death and destruction across an array of targets: a Spanish social club, a hotel, a Jewish community center and cemetery, a restaurant next to Belgium's consulate. Nearly half of the 41 who lost their lives had been at the club, Casa d'Espana, where two suicide bombers muscled in after slitting the throat of a guard. Within a day, Moroccan authorities had rounded up a number of Islamic militants and had in custody one man who had been detained before his bomb exploded. More attacks seemed likely, and both the State Department and the British government warned people to stay away from East Africa.

Before Riyadh and Casablanca, it was tempting, if just for a moment, to believe that the war on terrorism was going well, that the big picture was of one success after another. The U.S. had notched a quick victory in Iraq, deposing a regime the Administration had linked to extremist Islamic terrorists. The much feared retaliatory strikes didn't take place, and no attacks had hit the U.S. after Sept. 11, 2001. Several key leaders of al-Qaeda, the network headed by Osama bin Laden that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks, had been arrested. Just days before the bombings in Riyadh, President Bush stood on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln to bask in his Iraq triumph and declared, "The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide."

Then reality returned with a vengeance. After the latest blasts, no one is talking about turning any tide. Instead, the world is focused again on mourning, on soul searching, on how to deliver an effective response. Make no mistake about it: Islamic extremists are still angry enough, and organized enough, to cause considerable damage to the U.S. and its allies.

Was it al-Qaeda again?
Although there is not yet definitive proof, the attacks in Riyadh, American officials say, bore all the hallmarks of the organization. A source tells TIME that a full nine months ago, U.S. intelligence picked up signs of an intense debate within an al-Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia over whether to stage a major operation inside the kingdom. Bin Laden himself may have contributed, at least from afar, to the debate. In an audiotape sent to the Arab TV network al-Jazeera in February, a man claiming to be bin Laden called on "honest Muslims" to "liberate themselves from those unjust and renegade regimes that are enslaved by the United States." Among the "most qualified regions for liberation," the speaker continued, were Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

There was other evidence that last week's attacks may have been linked to al-Qaeda. Just days before the Riyadh bombings, Saudi police botched a stakeout on a safe house just outside al-Jadawel where they believed terrorists had congregated. Weapons were found, but the men got away. Saudi authorities quickly released the names and photographs of 19 alleged terrorists. Two of the suspects—Abdulrahman Mansour Jabarah and Khalid al-Jehani—seem to have al-Qaeda links. Jabarah is the elder brother of Mohammed Mansour (Sammy) Jabarah, a Kuwaiti Canadian now in U.S. custody who allegedly took part in a foiled al-Qaeda plot to blow up embassies in Singapore. Al-Jehani, identified by some as al-Qaeda's chief of operations in the gulf region, appeared cradling a Kalashnikov in a famous al-Qaeda martyrdom video found in an Afghanistan safe house in 2001. Al-Qaeda may well be responsible for the Casablanca bombings too. A senior Moroccan official says interrogations quickly established that the terrorists were "indoctrinated, trained, organized and put into motion by foreign members of the international jihad movement." He added, "We're talking about al-Qaeda here." From the moment it bombed two U.S. embassies simultaneously in Africa in 1998, al-Qaeda showed it had the skill, resources and personnel to coordinate terrorist outrages on a scale never seen before. Since 9/11, the organization has been under constant pressure.

International cooperation among law enforcement authorities is far more effective. The terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and the safe haven al-Qaeda constructed there have been dismantled. But the network remains formidable, U.S. officials say. "Al-Qaeda still retains the ability to plan and launch terrorist attacks, including in this country," says a U.S. official.

Where does al-Qaeda get its residual strength?
Some of its fighters defiantly remain in Afghanistan—"They haven't entirely left," a U.S. official tells TIME—and operatives elsewhere are trying to develop chemical and biological weapons. U.S. officials late last week disclosed the recent arrest of two men believed to have been planning surveillance on possible targets inside the U.S. In the past 18 months, terrorists have struck from the Philippines to Tunisia, and suspected attackers have been detained everywhere from Rome to Chicago. Determining whether the West is gaining in the fight against terrorism requires interpreting shadowy, shapeless data. Yet this much can be safely said: international terrorism existed long before 9/11 and will continue long after it.

Where's bin Laden?
For most americans, "winning" the war on terrorism means a clear victory over al-Qaeda. On the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, Bush said, "Nearly one-half of al-Qaeda's senior operatives have been captured or killed." That's probably accurate. The arrests on April 29 in Pakistan of Walid bin Attash, suspected of organizing the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole at the Yemeni port of Aden, and Ali Abd al-Aziz, an alleged paymaster of the Sept. 11 team, were just the latest in an impressive series of arrests of leading al-Qaeda figures.

But al-Qaeda clearly remains capable of organizing sophisticated attacks. U.S. officials believe some al-Qaeda leaders have regrouped in Iran. The government in Tehran denies that al-Qaeda is using the country as a new operations base. But according to a Western diplomat in Tehran, members of al-Qaeda's executive council, or shura, have convened several times in the parched borderlands where Iran meets Pakistan and Afghanistan and where the writ of the Tehran government is less powerful than the local traditions of smuggling and lawlessness.

As for bin Laden himself, analysts generally believe he is still alive and probably capable of getting messages to his followers, if only by the slow means of personal courier. Both CIA and FBI counterterrorism officials think he is hiding somewhere in the mountains along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Capturing bin Laden—whose name Bush has not publicly uttered unprompted since February 2002—would be hugely satisfying to Americans. But it is not clear what effect taking bin Laden "dead or alive" would actually have on terrorism today. Many analysts feel strongly that measuring success against al-Qaeda by the number of leaders captured is mistaken. Lopping off the beast's head may not kill its body. "They keep likening (al-Qaeda) to a snake," says an intelligence officer in the Pentagon, "but it's more like a deadly mold."

It's an apt and frightening image: the emergence of a raw, repulsive killer when the environmental conditions are ripe. Al-Qaeda rose to prominence by throwing its deadly mantle over various Islamic terrorist groups—in places like the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Algeria—whose principal mission had been directed against local governments. Bin Laden provided an ideological justification, rooted in a superfundamentalist Islamic doctrine, for inter- nationalizing those conflicts. Al-Qaeda's alliance with the Taliban in Afghanistan enabled it to establish camps where terror-craft could be taught and operational teams assembled. And al-Qaeda's access to substantial flows of cash, mainly from Saudi Arabia and the other gulf states, allowed it to act as a banker for local groups. This meshing of interests and cooperation was evident in the Bali bombings last year, in which local Indonesian Islamic extremists, some of whom had trained in Afghanistan, attacked Western targets in a plot funded at least partially by al-Qaeda.

How big a threat?
Is al-Qaeda as powerful as it once was, more than a year and a half after Sept. 11? Is it still a threat to America? The answers are: no and yes. Improvements in security and surveillance mean it would be much harder for the organization to pull off a long-planned, complex, relatively expensive operation in the West like the one that occurred on Sept. 11. There are also better controls on the international flow of funds to terrorist groups. But al-Qaeda, says Roland Jacquard, a well-known French expert on terrorism, doesn't need as much money as it once did. "What cost al-Qaeda millions," he says, "was the camps. The group doesn't have the same financial needs as it did before." The Bali bombing cost perhaps $35,000 to pull off, a sum easily gathered from the credit-card fraud and petty-crime networks that certain Islamist extremists run.

It also is clear that the destruction of the Afghan camps, however useful, had one perverse and unintended effect. Terrorists and their supporters who had formerly been concentrated in one known place were dispersed to home regions and new hideouts like Chechnya, Yemen, East Africa and Georgia's Pankisi Gorge. Regional commanders of al-Qaeda, says Rohan Gunaratna, author of a leading book on the network, are now "operating independently of centralized control." Local terrorist chiefs, he says, no longer depend on anything from bin Laden and his top brass except for ideological inspiration.

How bin Laden's message resonates these days is unclear. In the run-up to the war in Iraq, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak predicted—and many in the West concurred—that the fighting would spawn many acts of terrorism. "If there is one bin Laden now," he said, "there will be 100 bin Ladens afterward." That phenomenon has not materialized. In some countries with volatile Islamic communities, like Indonesia, demonstrations against the war were far smaller than many had expected. A French investigator says anger among Islamic communities over Iraq won't necessarily translate into a surge in terrorism-organization membership. "Recruitment involves risks of infiltration for networks," he says. "The Arab kid who walks into a mosque after the first bombing of Baghdad and says he wants to work for al-Qaeda is exactly the sort of guy they want no part of."

The Next Attacks Where are future assaults likely to take place? Last week's incidents suggest an answer. As a senior French investigator says, "International jihad places priority foremost on the lands of Islam." By focusing on targets in the Islamic world, terrorists get a double benefit. They can hit Westerners—tourists in Bali, diners in Casablanca. And they can damage the governments of Islamic states they consider to have strayed from the true path and to have allied themselves with the U.S. Andre Azoulay, an adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco, views the Casablanca bombing as an attempt to punish "the only Arab state that has made the growth of a democratic, pluralistic and harmonious multireligious society a stated policy. Our openness and freedom as a society is what they fear the most."

The recent attacks on the Saudi kingdom were no surprise to U.S. counterterrorism officials. In February the CIA warned the ruling royals of the possibility of imminent assaults. Washington had also grown concerned that the Saudis had not done all they could to cut the cash flow to terrorists. Earlier this year Cofer Black, the State Department's head of counterterrorism, visited the kingdom to give the princes "substantial and highly sensitive information" showing that "Saudi charities had been corrupted for terrorist purposes," a senior Administration official tells TIME. A U.S. dossier named prominent Saudi businessmen and charities like the al-Haramein Foundation, long suspected in Washington of being a source of funds for terrorism. The exercise involved a level of intelligence sharing, says the U.S. official, that had not been offered before.

In mid-April Black was back in Riyadh accompanied by David Aufhauser, general counsel to the Treasury Department, to follow up. By then, a source tells TIME, the U.S. had heard "chatter" that seemed to indicate that "some people felt that they had won a green light for operations inside Saudi Arabia." Black told Saudi officials Washington had good information that an attack on Americans in the kingdom could come within weeks. By May 1, the very day Bush was speaking on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, the State Department issued a warning against travel in the region. Two days later, according to someone who was present, U.S. Ambassador Robert Jordan told a gathering of Americans in Riyadh "with painstaking bluntness" that if they could, they should leave.

As the chatter picked up steam, Stephen Hadley, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser, made an unscheduled stop on May 2 in Riyadh to convince the Saudis of the seriousness of the situation. He asked for enhanced protection, including armed military guards, at all Western facilities in the kingdom. The Saudis, U.S. officials tell TIME, said there were more than 300 such locations and pleaded, Couldn't the U.S. be more specific about the threat? "It appeared that we had the interest of the senior leadership," says a U.S. official, "but there was no follow-up." On May 7, after the Riyadh safe house was raided, Jordan called for tighter security and in a follow-up on May 10 specifically appealed for more protection at al-Jadawel. After inspecting the compound, Saudi authorities decided security was adequate.

A team of 66 FBI personnel is working closely with Saudi authorities as they sift through the debris at the wrecked compounds. Sources say the Saudis, who did not cooperate effectively with U.S. law enforcement after earlier attacks inside Saudi Arabia involving Americans, are being helpful this time. Saudi officials have been conducting an exercise in damage control on American TV, telling the world they will crack down on terrorism and its financing as never before. The Saudis publically announced last week that the al-Haramein Foundation had been ordered to close eight of its foreign offices and that its charitable activities will be confined to the kingdom. The Saudis also plan to bring three other major charities to heel—al-Rabita, the World Muslim Youth League and the International Islamic Relief Organization. Some U.S. officials insist that the Saudis will have to do still more to break a pattern of appeasing Islamic militants. Yet acting forcefully would represent a risk for the House of Saud, which has long drawn legitimacy from deeply religious Muslims.

Perhaps the Saudi government will break with past habits. But even if it does, those terrorists who believe with a religious conviction that the lives of Americans and their friends are fair game will continue their unending war. These days, when Scott Schlageter leaves al-Jadawel for a spin in his car, he wears a white shirt and a red-checked Arab headdress. That way, he hopes, nobody will mistake him for an infidel.

—Reported by Timothy J. Burger, Massimo Calabresi, Elaine Shannon, Mark Thompson and Adam Zagorin/ Washington, Bruce Crumley/Casablanca, Simon Elegant/Kuala Lumpur, Scott Macleod/Riyadh and Tim McGirk/Tehran

From the May. 26, 2003 issue of TIME magazine

Copyright © 2003 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Is it possible I was wrong about terrorism? I doubt it. After 9/11 terrorism died. And we know now that 9/11 occurred because some Saudi's hated our using sacred land in Saudi Arabia to launch an attack on an Arab country (Iraq) in 1991. In other words, our actions in Iraq created bin Laden's (and/or his followers) hate for the US.

From the time of 9/11 to the Gulf War 2, there weren't any terrorist attacks to speak of (at least none against US targets). Then after Gulf War 2, terrorism (or hate American fanatics, or freedom fighters depending on your point of view) decide to blow some people up again.

Is it possible we're creating terrorism with our wars with Iraq and our war on terrorism? As time passes it's becoming increasingly clear there's a reason why we're being attacked. Instead of getting all emotional we need to find the root cause of their hate (is it because we just finished attacking Iraq?), but instead, we'll bomb a bunch of innocent people again or start another silly war--then after we're attacked again, our media (not known for being too swift) will ask "why do they hate us." Those of you reading this commentary probably already know they probably hate us because we kill their children.

Even you don't agree with the above premise, consider the simple fact that after all Bush has done to root out terrorism they can still attack US interests at will.


Edwards: Homeland security is plastic wrap and duct tape
The Associated Press
Sunday, May 18, 2003; 7:35 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa - Democratic presidential rivals united in attacking President Bush on national security, an issue on which voters rate him highly.

White House hopefuls, at a Saturday forum designed to highlight their differences, accused Bush of scrimping on domestic defense in favor of cutting taxes for the rich.

The 2004 contenders said the inability to ascertain the fate of suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden is symbolic of what they contend is Bush's failed policy on fighting terrorism.

The Democrats said Bush talks tough on homeland security but does not deliver, and uses the issue largely to advance a right-wing agenda.

Candidates at the meeting, sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, also renewed their criticism of Bush's tax-cutting efforts.

"The president's prescription for everything is take two tax cuts and call me in the morning," said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a physician.

Taking on Bush's homeland security policies marked a shift in emphasis for the Democrats, who were split on whether to go to war in Iraq. But bombings last week in Saudi Arabia and Morocco have raised questions about how effectively the administration has defused terrorist threats.

In response to a question from a New York City firefighter, Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, said the administration's actions since Sept. 11, 2001, underscored his point about failings in homeland security.

Rescuers who went into New York's World Trade Center "were union members, and they were heroes. They were patriots, and they did everything we asked them to do," said Gephardt. Yet "when it came to passing a homeland security bill, this administration insisted on a bill that would take away the rights to organize."

Workers in the Transportation Safety Administration, created in that legislation, cannot join unions for collective bargaining.

"When you get to the bottom line, the money is not there," said Gephardt. "We are vulnerable to further attacks because this administration has not done its job."

North Carolina Sen. John Edwards warned the union activists that Democrats cannot take back the White House unless the party convinces voters that it will keep them safe.

"We should not cede this issue to a president and a party whose idea of homeland security is plastic wrap and duct tape," Edwards said.

Florida Sen. Bob Graham warned that the administration had a golden opportunity to destroy the al-Qaida network but did not follow through. "We had them on the ropes, but we let them regenerate," Graham said.

Al Sharpton cited the uncertainty about bin Laden. "Mr. Bush, the question you have not answered is, `Where is bin Laden?'" Sharpton said. "We need to go after those who went after us."

The candidates made their case before 1,000 activists in a union that is a pillar of the Democratic base in the state where caucuses in January initiate the long presidential nominating process.

They offered mild distinctions over their competing health care plans but reserved most of their fire for Bush.

"We have a powerful case to make against this president, and we need to take this values argument right at this president," said Edwards.

"This president has ruled by making us (Americans) fear each other," Dean said. "We've lost a lot in the last 2 1/2 years."

Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun argued that a sour economy and soaring deficits should tell labor activists all they need to know about Bush's economic policies.

"The tax cuts were absolutely a travesty and ought to be rolled back," she said. "This crowd is into fighting the needy and helping the greedy."

Added Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich. "It's time we have someone in the White House who understands working people."

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an observant Jew who does not campaign on Saturdays, videotaped an interview that was broadcast to activists.

Lieberman described himself as "tough on security and pro-jobs" and said he was from "the victorious wing of the Democratic Party."

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who was in Iowa on Friday to lay out his health care plan, spoke to participants by telephone from New Hampshire, the first primary state. He said his status as a decorated Vietnam veteran gave him credibility to confront Bush on national security issues.

"I believe that I can stand up to George Bush and point out those ways that we can, in fact, fight the war on terror more effectively," said Kerry.

© 2003 The Associated Press

I like Edwards quote; "We should not cede this issue to a president and a party whose idea of homeland security is plastic wrap and duct tape."

There's a major flaw in Bush's approach to homeland security and democrats shouldn't fall for it. Homeland Security is really National Defense and as we all know defense is a national priority, not the responsibility of the states. But, even if we assume states should defend the nation these days, Bush is simply passing to the states another unfunded mandate, which is against the law.

Homeland Security is a stupid idea and has no place in our democracy, especially on the state level. As we saw in Texas this massive increase in government (and intrusion into our lives) can be used for partisan political purposes. I sure as hell don't want republicans using defense money to track down democrats do you?

If Bush wants to get re-elected he's going to need another war. The press likes war too because it gives them something to talk about and war increases ratings for both of them.

The best attack against Bush continues to be his utter incompetence in running the government. Democrats have to hit him daily on the deficits and debt he's creating. Then they need to let Americans know Bush's tax cut is really a tax increase on the next generation--that is there is no such thing as a tax cut when you have deficits.

A democrat should be able to whomp Bush if the press is reasonably fair. I don't expect them to be, especially after how often they lied about President Clinton and VP Gore. Besides, they like lying so Bush is their man.


Tax cut for the rich or unemployment benefits
The Associated Press
Friday, May 16, 2003; 4:00 PM

WASHINGTON - About 80,000 jobless workers per week will become eligible for federal unemployment benefits after May 31, but the benefits won't be there unless Congress acts.

Democrats so far have failed to win approval for an extension despite several attempts in both the House and Senate. They say the opposition gives them political leverage to criticize President Bush's economic policies.

"Republicans have decided that instead of helping unemployed workers, they should give people who make a million dollars a year an average of $100,000 in tax breaks. How could that be right?" House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Thursday.

Unless Congress acts, the federal jobless program will expire May 31.

Senate Republicans say they will consider a modest extension later, possibly next week. The White House and GOP House leaders have not made their support clear.

"I think it is a stretch to say that we are at a crisis point, that we have to move quickly and not deliberatively on this issue," said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas. "So we are looking at it."

States have $5.7 billion in their trust funds they could tap to pay for extra benefits, he said.

Also, Republicans note that the May 31 expiration isn't a complete cutoff. Workers currently receiving federal benefits will continue getting their entire amount, generally 13 weeks, through the summer.

"Unemployment remains a key concern for the president, and this is an issue on which we will work with Congress," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said last week.

When pressed on whether Bush supports an extension, Fleischer said, "I think it all depends on specifics, and the president would want to work with the Congress."

The political fight over jobless benefits mirrors last year's, when the congressional session ended without a deal. About 800,000 workers faced a year-end cutoff.

Bush remained on the sidelines during November's debate. But after weeks of criticism from Democrats, he broke his silence in a radio address calling for extended benefits as "first order of business" for the new Congress.

That extension, through May 31, was passed. But now it is about to expire again, just as the unemployment rate returned to an eight-year high of 6 percent last month.

Democrats, with an eye toward next year's presidential election, are determined to make the poor economy a politically damaging issue for Bush.

"It is clear that the Republican leadership has no compassion when it comes to people unemployed due to the sour job market," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

About 2.8 million people have exhausted all available aid, according to the Labor Department. Data was not available on how many have found jobs.

Democrats in both the House and Senate have lost several attempts to include benefits in Republican tax cut proposals now moving through Congress.

"This is not a partisan issue - layoffs don't discriminate by party," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. "This is a matter of fairness." Kennedy wants to double the federal program from 13 weeks to 26 weeks. State benefits are 26 weeks on average.

He will try to get his plan attached to every piece of legislation that moves next week, before Congress recesses.

Senate Republicans have promised to consider an extension separate from the tax cuts bill. But it also will be smaller than what Democrats want. Under consideration is an extension to November.

"We are not going to double the program," said Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla. "We will be happy to work with our colleagues to extend the current law. We will not double or triple this program."

© 2003 The Associated Press

I can't help but recall how half of the republicans in House voted against unemployment benefit extensions in 1993 under President Clinton. To add insult to injury, republicans in the Senate filibustered Clinton's entire stimulus package except the $ 4 billion in unemployment benefits. Today, those same republicans have no problem spending (tax cuts are spending also) over $300 billion to stimulate the economy and this is after their last infusion (tax cut) did nothing to help the economy but instead helped create the largest deficit in US history.

What do republicans really believe in? Nothing!


Sen. Hatch, R-Utah was informed of intelligence failures but refused to act
The Associated Press
Friday, May 16, 2003; 8:14 AM

WASHINGTON - Nearly six years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman was told by his senior staff that the FBI and other government agencies had missed warning signs about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and were ill-prepared to prevent future domestic terrorist attacks, memos show.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, whose committee oversees federal law enforcement, approved holding investigative hearings about the information, but they never took place, the memos show.

"The sharing of intelligence is lacking among federal law enforcement agencies," the December 1995 memo to Hatch stated, citing intelligence failures eerily similar to those exposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings by al-Qaida terrorists.

The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, also told Hatch that committee investigators had uncovered evidence that federal law enforcement had prior hints about the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist attack in New York City but failed to piece them together.

"We have information that some instances, like the World Trade Center, could have been prevented if the relevant agencies had worked in concert with each other," the investigators wrote. "Simply stated, several different agencies had a small piece of the puzzle.

"If they had shared with each other, there is at least a strong possibility that they would have identified the World Trade Center as a target before the bombing."

The memo described the need for a congressional investigation as "appropriate and imperative." Hatch approved the plan for hearings recommended by his chief investigator and senior investigative counsel, signing the memo "OK" and initialing it with his trademark "O".

Hatch's office said while the memo's plan for hearings never materialized, the chairman did hold about a dozen hearings in 1995 and 1996 dealing with terrorism issues and sponsored legislation to give the FBI more powers to catch terrorists, some of which passed in 1996 within months of the memo.

"The legislation was the most significant piece of anti-terrorism legislation passed in two decades and Senator Hatch constantly fought to give the FBI and the Department of Justice more tools to share information and prevent terrorist attacks," said Makan Delrahim, Hatch's staff director on the Judiciary Committee.

The investigators wrote at least two other memos to Hatch's chief of staff recommending continued investigation of the FBI's anti-terrorism efforts. "We need to continue our oversight in these areas," a memo urged one month before the 1996 presidential election.

Senators and Senate Judiciary Committee aides in both parties said Thursday they were unaware of the 1995 memo's information and said it shows that Congress, which heaped criticism on the executive branch over the Sept. 11 failures, must share in the blame.

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a fellow Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said he had never seen the memo before and wanted to discuss it with Hatch.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the memo's contents mirrored the problems unearthed by House and Senate intelligence committee investigators who reviewed the Sept. 11 attacks.

"There were egregious errors, in hindsight," Roberts said. Asked if those errors included Congress' failure to provide oversight and follow information like that in the 1995 memo, Roberts added: "Big time in Congress."

Hatch's office said he was recognized on Capitol Hill long before Sept. 11 as a leading voice on terrorism who led hearings on issues like his legislation to increase FBI power, the dangers of explosives information on the Internet and preventing terror attacks at the Olympics.

The office also said Hatch led efforts in the mid-1990s to improve the FBI's ability to share and receive intelligence. Some of those measures were stripped by Congress before his legislation became law in 1996.

"Had these measures been in place prior to 9/11, law enforcement agencies may well have been able to catch some or all of the terrorists," Hatch wrote earlier this week in an opinion piece published in USA Today.

But a former Republican investigator on Hatch's committee, who worked on the investigation that prompted the 1995 memo, accused the chairman of "frustrating our attempts to oversee the FBI."

Kris Kolesnik, who worked on the committee for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Hatch preferred not to air the FBI's problems in public. "His solution to problems within the FBI is to send more money, create more bureaucracy and give them more authority to trample our civil liberties," he said. "That is not oversight. That is a knee-jerk reaction that has never worked."

Delrahim, Hatch's staff director, strongly disagreed. "The memorandum makes it clear that Senator Hatch supported investigations and oversight of this matter. To suggest in any manner that Orrin Hatch does not care about stopping terrorism or performing oversight is laughable," he said.

The FBI said most of the concerns cited in the 1995 memo have been addressed by Director Robert Mueller since Sept. 11 with the creation of 66 counterterrorism task forces, new computer systems, an improved language interpreters program, improved intelligence analysis, and improved sharing of threat information between federal and local police.

"In two years we have made significant strides," the FBI said. "The director recognized we did have deficiencies and the fact is we are addressing them. The bureau has changed its mission."

The public airing of confidential memos between senior Senate staff and a committee chairman is rare. Congress is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and political decorum on Capitol Hill often keeps internal disagreements from becoming public.

But the 1995 and 1996 memos emerge as Hatch has endured recent criticisms from some colleagues for declining to investigate the FBI's handling of Chinese intelligence assets in the aftermath of California case in which a former FBI agent was charged with allowing his lover to pass secrets along to China.

The December 1995 memo specifically warned the FBI was ill-prepared to deal with terrorist weapons of mass destruction.

"The major problem in this arena appears to be the lack of training and equipment in situations that involve nuclear, biological and chemical substances," the memo said.

The memo also said investigators had gathered evidence that a Florida company specializing in preventing corporate espionage had offered to train the FBI in technology that could be used to detect terrorists, but the bureau declined.

"The FBI's response is that the technique used by this company is too difficult to learn and therefore the FBI is not interested," the memo told Hatch.

Associated Press writer Larry Margasak in Washington contributed to this report.

© 2003 The Associated Press

President Clinton's anti-terrorism Bill in 1995 and 1996 met strong opposition from republicans. But, what we learn here is Hatch was informed of intelligence problems but still refused to do anything about it.

When President Clinton tried to make reforms republicans, led by Hatch put up one barrier after another so they wouldn't have to act. Acting on President Clinton's legislation would have given him a huge success and republicans couldn't have that. In the end though they were forced to make some minor concessions and an anti-terror bill was passed and signed by the president.

So, while republicans and Fox News (opinion) were talking about sex in the White House and Gary Condit's sex life, serious national security issues were ignored and the nation paid a heavy price. If 9/11 could have been avoided during the Clinton years, the republicans were bound set determined that he not succeed. No matter what the cost.


Pentagon will snub the upcoming Paris Air Show
The Associated Press
Friday, May 16, 2003; 2:40 AM

WASHINGTON - New cracks are showing in the damaged French-American relationship with the disclosure that the Pentagon will snub the upcoming Paris Air Show and France's allegation that the Bush administration is planting false stories about it with U.S. media.

Senior State Department official Richard N. Haass said the two countries will soon have good opportunities at upcoming meetings to resolve their differences.

And French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte said in a letter that the nations must continue to work together.

But Thursday's developments made it clear that it won't be easy to overcome the rancor between the historical allies over France's opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

In a move critics said was aimed at punishing France, the Defense Department is cutting the number of people and aircraft it's sending to the Paris Air Show, a premier international event for the aerospace industry beginning June 15. An industry official criticized the Pentagon move as bad for business.

And Levitte sent a letter to administration officials and lawmakers complaining that "some members of the American media have issued false accusations against France" and "they all rely on information from 'anonymous administration officials'."

Among the stories cited were alleged French weapons sales to Iraq and a report last week that French officials provided passports to Iraqis trying to escape the U.S.-led invasion. Levitte called these "denigration and lies."

White House spokesman Sean McCormack denied the accusation. "There is no such organized effort," he said.

But Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he couldn't say whether miltary-to-military relations between the two had changed.

"There's so many linkages and connections between the United States and NATO allies that I wouldn't want to say yes or no," he told a Pentagon news conference.

Regarding the Paris Air Show, Rumsfeld said: "It's not as though people won't be going from the United States. It may be at a certain level."

A limit of 150 lower-ranking officials will be allowed to go - no one above the rank of colonel, a defense official said later on condition of anonymity.

Only six planes will be sent, compared with 13 sent last time. All will be for stationary exhibits rather that the usual flying demonstrations, the official said.

Critics said staying away out of spite only hurts the United States.

"I understand there are those in the Pentagon who are annoyed with the French, to put it mildly," said Joel Johnson, a vice president at the Aerospace Industries Association of America. "But a quasi-boycott of the Paris Air Show will undercut the U.S. industry and discourage current and future customers."

Meanwhile Thursday, Levitte sent a letter to members of Congress, administration officials and media, including with it a list of what he said were eight false stories run by American print and broadcast media since last fall.

"In this dangerous world, we must continue to work side by side against the scourge of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and for the promotion of peace and our common values," the Levitte wrote.

"We should not let bitterness between two staunch allies distract us," he added.

Haass, the State Department's director of policy planning, said debates next week in the U.N. Security Council on postwar Iraq, as well as coming summits of leading industrial nations, would present chances for reconciliation.

The reconstruction of Iraq will top the agenda when Treasury Secretary John Snow meets in Deauville, France, this weekend for meetings of his counterparts from the world's seven richest industrial countries and Russia.

The United States is hoping to use those talks on Friday and Saturday to resolve differences with France, Germany and Russia - three countries who opposed the war with Iraq - over how reconstruction will proceed.

France, Germany and Russia are owed a large portion of huge debts run up during Saddam Hussein's rule. They have rejected U.S. proposals for debt forgiveness but have said they would be open to relief in the form of delayed and stretched out payments.

However, Haass acknowledged that the rift over Iraq had caused serious damage to U.S.-French relations and said the healing process would take time.

On the Net:

Letter from French ambassador:

© 2003 The Associated Press

When the press (read: slackers) go after France because they didn't support Bush in Iraq, remember a few important things. First, France didn't have to use its veto in the Security Council because Bush didn't come close to having the votes necessary to win. As far as we can tell, Bush was only able to get Great Britain, Spain, and Italy to go along with his silly war, the rest of the Council opposed him.

Second, Bush and Powell lied to the American people and the UN. France and Germany are on the right side of history. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or at least Bush didn't have any evidence. Anyone with half a brain knew Bush didn't have any evidence of WMD in Iraq because if he had he would have given it the UN inspectors and they would have destroyed the weapons, thus making war unnecessary. But, Bush and the US media needed war.

It's also important to remember that since there were no WMD in Iraq, Bush took us to war based on a lie. There was NO threat to our national security without WMD. He simply made it up. When a president lies to us about national security, he can't be trusted with any other presidential powers.

The Pentagon is annoyed because their commander in chief lied to them and France didn't.