China illegally supplied Saddam Hussein's regime with missile technology and other weaponry and was a major beneficiary of the U.N. oil-for-food program, according to a CIA report.
The report by the Iraq Survey Group also stated that China, along with France and Russia, was bribed by Saddam with oil sales and weapons deals into working to end U.N. sanctions.
One sale took place in 2001 and involved an intelligence officer in Beijing, Abd al-Wahab, who bought 10 to 20 gyroscopes and 20 accelerometers from a Chinese firm that was not identified by name. The equipment was to be used in Iraq's Al-Samud missile program, said a former high-ranking official of Iraq's Military Industrialization Commission, which was in charge of arms procurement. China was the third-largest recipient of oil vouchers from Saddam's regime, the report said. Russia and France were the two largest.
The Iraqi government used the voucher system to siphon off $11 billion through contracting kickbacks and other corruption in the $64 billion humanitarian program, which operated from 1996 to 2003. The program was designed to get food and medicine to the Iraqi people, despite international sanctions.
China also supplied rocket guidance software to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission in 2002 that was labeled "children's software" to mask its military nature, the report said. The report sought to clear the Chinese government of a direct role in the illicit trade by stating the CIA had "no evidence" suggesting Beijing approved the exports.
However, the report noted that the companies involved were "state-owned" firms that were newly privatized and were willing to circumvent U.N. monitoring in supplying goods illegally.
Chinese Embassy spokesman Sun Weide said China's actions under the oil-for-food program were "totally legal." He also said Beijing complied strictly with U.N. resolutions regarding arms technology transfers to Saddam.
Chinese assistance helped boost Iraq's missile programs, especially in the area of guidance and control systems, the report said, noting that "Chinese companies willingly supplied these types of items to the Iraqi regime."
"In supplying prohibited goods, Chinese companies would frequently employ third countries and intermediaries to transship commodities into Iraq," the report said. "The Chinese-Iraqi procurement relationship was both politically problematic and economically pragmatic in nature, but it ultimately provided Iraq with prohibited items, mainly telecommunication equipment and items with ballistic missile applications."
One of the Chinese front companies named in the report was Siam Premium Products. Other Iraqi intermediaries for the China military sales were identified in India, Turkey, Syria and Jordan.
The CIA identified a major supplier of weapons goods to Iraq as the China North Industries Corp., or Norinco, which has been sanctioned by the U.S. government several times.
Norinco agreed in 2000 to supply 200 gyroscopes for use in Russian and Chinese cruise missiles. It also sold machine tools with missile applications.
The report, quoting documents obtained in Iraq, stated that Norinco agreed to continue selling military goods to Iraq despite Baghdad's debt of more than $3 billion to the company from earlier sales.
The company said it would keep the arms trade secret from the Beijing government, and Iraq agreed to repay Norinco with crude oil and petroleum products, the report said.
Iraq also was in the process of buying chemicals and materials for liquid-fuel missiles from Chinese and Indian companies. The sale may have been stopped by the U.S. military action that began in March 2003, the report said.
The report also provided new details on Chinese assistance to Iraq's fiber-optic communications networks, which were used to "connect static command, control and communications bases."
The report stated that the Chinese company Huawei and two other Chinese firms "illicitly provided transmission switches" for fiber-optic communications from 1999 to 2002.
The equipment was banned under the oil-for-food program, and included more than 100,000 lines and fiber-optic cable, the report said.
Chinese firms also supplied Iraq with graphite, a key component for missile nose cones, directional vanes and engine nozzle throats. "Recovered documents from 2001 indicated a drive to acquire Chinese graphite-related products such as electrodes, powder and missile-related fuel," the report said.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Mahdi Obeidi NYT
While the final report from Charles Duelfer, the top American inspector of Iraq's covert weapons programs, won't be released for a few weeks, the portions that have already been made public touch on many of the experiences I had while working as the head of Saddam Hussein's nuclear centrifuge program. Now that I am living in the United States, I hope to answer some of the most important questions that remain.
What was really going on in Iraq before the American invasion last year? Iraq's nuclear weapons program was on the threshold of success before the 1991 invasion of Kuwait - there is no doubt in my mind that we could have produced dozens of nuclear weapons within a few years - but was stopped in its tracks by UN weapons inspectors after the Gulf war and was never restarted. During the 1990s, the inspectors discovered all of the laboratories, machines and materials we had used in the nuclear program, and all were destroyed or otherwise incapacitated.
By 1998, when Saddam Hussein evicted the weapons inspectors from Iraq, all that was left was the dangerous knowledge of hundreds of scientists and the blueprints and prototype parts for the centrifuge, which I had buried under a tree in my garden.
In addition to the inspections, the sanctions that were put in place by the United Nations after the Gulf war made reconstituting the program impossible. During the 1980s, we had relied heavily on the international black market for equipment and technology; the sanctions closed that avenue.
Another factor in the mothballing of the program was that Saddam was profiting handsomely from the UN oil-for-food program, building palaces around the country with the money he skimmed. I think he didn't want to risk losing this revenue stream by trying to restart a secret weapons program.
Over the course of the 1990s, most of the scientists from the nuclear program switched to working on civilian projects or in conventional-weapons production, and the idea of building a nuclear bomb became a vague dream from another era.
So, how could the West have made such a mistaken assessment of the nuclear program before the invasion last year? Even to those of us who knew better, it's fairly easy to see how observers got the wrong impression. First, there was Saddam's history. He had demonstrated his desire for nuclear weapons since the late 1970s, when Iraqi scientists began making progress on a nuclear reactor. He had used chemical weapons against his own people and against Iran during the 1980s.
After the 1991 war, he had tried to hide his programs in weapons of mass destruction for as long as possible (he even kept my identity secret from weapons inspectors until 1995). It would have been hard not to suspect him of trying to develop such weapons again.
The Western intelligence services and policy makers, however, overlooked some obvious clues. One was the defection and death of Saddam's son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, who was in charge of the unconventional weapons programs in the 1980s.
As my boss, Kamel was a brutal taskmaster who forced us to work under impossible deadlines and was the motivating force for our nuclear effort. The drive for nuclear weapons began in earnest when he rose to a position of power in 1987. He placed a detail of 20 fearsome security men on the premises of our centrifuge lab, and my staff and I worked wonders just to stay out of his dungeons. But after he defected to Jordan in 1995, and then returned months later only to be assassinated by his father-in-law's henchmen, the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs lost their top promoter.
In addition, the West never understood the delusional nature of Saddam's mind. By 2002, when the United States and Britain were threatening war, he had lost touch with the reality of his diminished military might.
By that time I had been promoted to director of projects for the country's entire military-industrial complex, and I witnessed firsthand the fantasy world in which he was living. He backed mythic but hopeless projects, like one for a long-range missile that was completely unrealistic considering the constraints of international sanctions.
The director of another struggling missile project, when called upon to give a progress report, recited a poem in the dictator's honor instead. Not only did he not go to prison, Saddam applauded him.
By 2003, as the American invasion loomed, the tyrant was alternately working on his next trashy novel and giving lunatic orders like burning oil around Baghdad to "hide" the city from bombing attacks. Unbelievably, one of my final assignments was to prepare a 10-year plan for military-industrial works, even as tens of thousands of troops were gathering for invasion.
To the end, Saddam kept alive the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, staffed by junior scientists involved in research completely unrelated to nuclear weapons, just so he could maintain the illusion in his mind that he had a nuclear program. Sort of like the emperor with no clothes, he fooled himself into believing he was armed and dangerous. But unlike that fairy-tale ruler, Saddam fooled the rest of the world as well.
Was Iraq a potential threat to the United States and the world? Threat is always a matter of perception, but our nuclear program could have been reinstituted at the snap of Saddam's fingers. The sanctions and the lucrative oil-for-food program had served as powerful deterrents, but world events - like Iran's current efforts to step up its nuclear ambitions - might well have changed the situation.
Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary. And there is no question that we could have done so very quickly. In the late 1980s, we put together the most efficient covert nuclear program the world has ever seen. In about three years, we gained the ability to enrich uranium and nearly become a nuclear threat; we built an effective centrifuge from scratch, even though we started with no knowledge of centrifuge technology. Had Saddam ordered it and the world looked the other way, we might have shaved months if not years off our previous efforts.
So what now? The dictator may be gone, but that doesn't mean the nuclear problem is behind us. Even under the watchful eyes of Saddam's security services, there were worries that our scientists might escape to other countries or sell their knowledge to the highest bidder. This expertise is even more valuable today, with nuclear technology ever more available on the black market and a proliferation of peaceful energy programs around the globe that use equipment easily converted to military use.
Hundreds of my former staff members and fellow scientists possess knowledge that could be useful to a rogue nation eager for a covert nuclear weapons program. The vast majority are technicians who, like the rest of us, care first about their families and their livelihoods.
It is vital that the United States ensure they get good and constructive jobs in postwar Iraq. The most accomplished of my former colleagues could be brought, at least temporarily, to the West and placed at universities, research labs and private companies.
The United States invaded Iraq in part to end what it saw as a nuclear danger. It is now vital to reduce the chance of Iraq's dangerous knowledge spilling outside of its borders. The nuclear dangers facing the world are growing, not decreasing. My hope is that the Iraqi example can help people understand how best to deal with this threat.
Mahdi Obeidi is the author of "The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind." Kurt Pitzer, who collaborated on the book, assisted with this article.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Iraqi Documents Show Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties
Scott Wheeler, CNSNews.com
Monday, Oct. 4, 2004
Iraqi intelligence documents, confiscated by U.S. forces and obtained by CNSNews.com, show numerous efforts by Saddam Hussein's regime to work with some of the world's most notorious terror organizations, including al-Qaida, to target Americans.
The documents demonstrate that Saddam's government possessed mustard gas and anthrax, both considered weapons of mass destruction, in the summer of 2000, during the period in which United Nations weapons inspectors were not present in Iraq. And the papers show that Iraq trained dozens of terrorists inside its borders.
One of the Iraqi memos contains an order from Saddam for his intelligence service to support terrorist attacks against Americans in Somalia. The memo was written nine months before U.S. Army Rangers were ambushed in Mogadishu by forces loyal to a warlord with alleged ties to al-Qaida.
Other memos provide a list of terrorist groups with whom Iraq had relationships and considered available for terror operations against the United States.
Among the organizations mentioned are those affiliated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Ayman al-Zawahiri, two of the world's most wanted terrorists. Zarqawi is believed responsible for the kidnapping and beheading of several American civilians in Iraq and claimed blame for a series of deadly bombings in Iraq Sept. 30. Al-Zawahiri is the top lieutenant of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, allegedly helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist strikes on the U.S., and is believed to be the voice on an audio tape broadcast by Al-Jazeera television Oct. 1, calling for attacks on U.S. and British interests everywhere.
A senior government official who is not a political appointee provided CNSNews.com with copies of the 42 pages of Iraqi Intelligence Service documents. The originals, some of which were hand-written and others typed, are in Arabic. CNSNews.com had the papers translated into English by two individuals separately and independent of each other.
There are no handwriting samples to which the documents can be compared for forensic analysis and authentication. However, three other experts - a former weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), a retired CIA counter-terrorism official with vast experience dealing with Iraq, and a former advisor to then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton on Iraq - were asked to analyze the documents. All said they comport with the format, style and content of other Iraqi documents from that era known to be genuine.
Laurie Mylroie, who wrote the book "Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America," and advised Bill Clinton on Iraq during the 1992 presidential campaign, told CNSNews.com that the papers represented "the most complete set of documents relating Iraq to terrorism, including Islamic terrorism" against the U.S.
Mylroie has long maintained that Iraq was a state sponsor of terrorism against the United States. The documents obtained by CNSNews.com, she said, include "correspondence back and forth between Saddam's office and Iraqi Mukhabarat [intelligence agency]. They make sense. This is what one would think Saddam was doing at the time."
Bruce Tefft, a retired CIA official who specialized in counter-terrorism and had extensive experience dealing with Iraq, said that "based on available, unclassified and open source information, the details in these documents are accurate ..."
The former UNSCOM inspector zeroed in on the signatures on the documents and "the names of some of the people who sign off on these things.
"This is fairly typical of that time era. [The Iraqis] were meticulous record keepers," added the former U.N. official, who spoke with CNSNews.com on the condition of anonymity.
The senior government official, who furnished the documents to CNSNews.com, said the papers answer "whether or not Iraq was a state sponsor of Islamic terrorism against the United States. It also answers whether or not Iraq had an ongoing biological warfare project continuing through the period when the UNSCOM inspections ended."
The presidential campaign is currently dominated by debate over whether Saddam procured weapons of mass destruction and whether his government sponsored terrorism aimed at Americans before the U.S. invaded Iraq last year. Democrat nominee Sen. John Kerry has repeatedly rejected that possibility and criticized President Bush for needlessly invading Iraq.
"[Bush's] two main rationales - weapons of mass destruction and the al-Qaida/September 11 connection - have been proved false ... by the president's own weapons inspectors ... and by the 9/11 commission," Kerry told an audience at New York University on Sept. 20.
The Senate Intelligence Committee's probe of the 9/11 intelligence failures also could not produce any definitive links between Saddam's government and 9/11. And United Nations as well as U.S. weapons inspectors in Iraq have been unable to find the biological and chemical weapons Saddam was suspected of possessing.
But the documents obtained by CNSNews.com shed new light on the controversy.
They detail the Iraqi regime's purchase of five kilograms of mustard gas
The documents show that Iraqi intelligence received the mustard gas and anthrax from "Saddam's company," which Tefft said was probably a reference to Saddam General Establishment, "a complex of factories involved with, amongst other things, precision optics, missile, and artillery fabrication."
"Sa'ad's general company" is listed on the Iraqi documents as the supplier of the sterilization and decontamination equipment that accompanied the anthrax vials. Tefft believes this is a reference to the Salah Al-Din State Establishment, also involved in missile construction.
Jaber Ibn Hayan General Co. is listed as the supplier of the safety equipment that accompanied the mustard gas order. Tefft described the company as "a 'turn-key' project built by Romania, designed to produce protective CW [conventional warfare] and BW [biological warfare] equipment [gas masks and protective clothing]."
"Iraq had an ongoing biological warfare project continuing through the period when the UNSCOM inspections ended," the senior government official and source of the documents said. "This should cause us to redouble our efforts to find the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs."
'Hunt the Americans'
The first of the 42 pages of Iraqi documents is dated Jan. 18, 1993, approximately two years after American troops defeated Saddam's army in the first Persian Gulf War. The memo includes Saddam's directive that "the party should move to hunt the Americans
On Oct. 3, 1993, less than nine months after that Iraqi memo was written, American soldiers were ambushed in Mogadishu, Somalia by forces loyal to Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid, an alleged associate of Osama bin Laden. Eighteen Americans were killed and 84 wounded during a 17-hour firefight that followed the ambush in which Aidid's followers used civilians as decoys.
An 11-page Iraqi memo, dated Jan. 25, 1993, lists Palestinian, Sudanese and Asian terrorist organizations and the relationships Iraq had with each of them. Of particular importance, Tefft said, are the relationships Iraq had already developed or was in the process of developing with groups and individuals affiliated with al-Qaida, such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Ayman al-Zawahiri. The U.S. is offering rewards of up to $25 million for each man's capture.
The documents describe Al-Jehad wa'l Tajdeed as "a secret Palestinian organization" founded after the first Persian Gulf War that "believes in armed struggle against U.S. and western interests." The leaders of the group, according to the Iraqi memo, were stationed in Jordan in 1993, and when one of those leaders visited Iraq in November 1992, he "showed the readiness of his organization to execute operations against U.S. interests at any time."
Tefft believes the Tajdeed group likely included al-Zarqawi, whom Teft described as "our current terrorist nemesis" in Iraq, "a Palestinian on a Jordanian passport who was with al-Qaida and bin Laden in Afghanistan prior to this period ."
Tajdeed, which means Islamic Renewal, "has a Web site that posts Zarqawi's speeches, messages, claims of assassinations and beheading videos," Tefft told CNSNews.com. "The apparent linkages are too close to be accidental" and might "be one of the first operational contacts between an al-Qaida group and Iraq."
Tefft said the documents, all of which the Iraqi Intelligence Service labeled "Top secret, personal and urgent," showed several links between Saddam's government and terror groups dedicated not only to targeting America but also U.S. allies such as Egypt and Israel.
The same 11-page memo refers to the "re-opening of the relationship" with Al-Jehad al-Islamy, which is described as "the most violent in Egypt," responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The documents go on to describe a Dec. 14, 1990 meeting between Iraqi intelligence officials and a representative of Al-Jehad al-Islamy, that ended in an agreement "to move against [the] Egyptian regime by doing martyr operations on conditions that we should secure the finance, training and equipments."
Al-Zawahiri was one of the leaders of Jehad al-Islamy, also known as Egyptian Islamic Group, and participated in the assassination of Sadat, Tefft said. "Iraq's contact with the Egyptian Islamic Group is another operational contact between Iraq and al-Qaida," he added.
One of the Asian groups listed on the Iraqi intelligence memo is J.U.I., also known as Islamic Clerks Society. The group is led by Mawlana Fadhel al-Rahman, whom Tefft said is "an al-Qaida member and co-signed Osama bin Laden's 1998 fatwa (religious ruling) to kill Americans." The Iraqi memo from 1993 states that J.U.I.'s secretary general "has a good relationship with our system since 1981 and he is ready for any mission." Tefft said the memo shows "another direct Iraq link to an al-Qaida group."
Iraq had also maintained a relationship with the Afghani Islamist party since 1989, according to the memo. The "relationship was improved and became directly between the leader, Hekmatyar and Iraq," it states, referring to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghani warlord who fought against the Soviet Union and current al-Qaida ally, according to Tefft.
Last year, American authorities in Afghanistan ranked Hekmatyar third on their most wanted list, behind only bin Laden and former Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Hekmatyar represents "another Iraqi link to an al-Qaida group," Tefft said.
The Iraqi intelligence documents also refer to terrorist groups previously believed to have had links with Saddam Hussein. They include Palestine Liberation Front, a group dedicated to attacking Israel, and according to the Iraqi memo, one with "an office in Baghdad."
The Abu Nidal
"The movement believes in political violence and assassinations," the 1993 Iraqi memo states in reference to the Abu Nidal organization. "We have relationships with them since 1973. Currently, they have a representative in the country. Monthly helps are given to them - 20 thousand dinars - in addition to other supports," the memo explains. (See Saddam's Connections to Palestinian Terror Groups)
Iraq not only built and maintained relationships with terrorist groups, the documents show it appears to have trained terrorists as well. Ninety-two individuals from various Middle Eastern countries are listed on the papers.
Many are described as having "finished the course at M14," a reference to an Iraqi intelligence agency, and to having "participated in Umm El-Ma'arek," the Iraqi response to the U.S. invasion in 1991. The author of the list notes that approximately half of the individuals "all got trained inside the 'martyr act camp' that belonged to our directorate."
The former UNSCOM weapons inspector who was asked to analyze the documents believes it's clear that the Iraqis "were training people there in assassination and suicide bombing techniques ... including non-Iraqis."
Bush Administration Likely Unaware of Documents
The senior government official and source of the Iraqi intelligence memos, explained that the reason the documents had not been made public before now was that the government has "thousands and thousands of documents waiting to be translated.
"It is unlikely they even know this exists," the source added.
The government official also explained that the motivation for leaking the documents "is strictly national security and helping with the war on terrorism by focusing this country's attention on facts and away from political posturing."
"This is too important to let it get caught up in the political process," the source told CNSNews.com.
To protect against the Iraqi intelligence documents being altered or misrepresented elsewhere on the Internet, CNSNews.com has decided to publish only the first of the 42 pages
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
"Every week, too many American families grieve for loved ones killed in Iraq by terrorist forces that weren't even there before the invasion, many of which got their weapons from the very ammo dumps* that George Bush didn't guard after we won the war -- after we won the military part of the war." - John Kerry
(CNN Live Interview, September 24, 2004)
If you could hear Kerry in this interview, you would hear him catch himself after saying we won the war, but his correction really didn't change the point. There is a difference between the end of combat and fighting terrorism after the war is over.
For over a year, and even after the above comment, John Kerry and his ilk have been excoriating the President for declaring on the Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln that the "Mission (Was) Accomplished" Kerry said: "I will never be a president who just says, 'Mission accomplished.' I will get the mission accomplished,"
The president obviously meant that the military combat portion was over with, the same meaning that Kerry used when he said the war was over (the military part). He really is playing politics over this war, isn't he?
President Bush - May 2, 2003 From Aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended...We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous...The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done**. And then we will leave — and we will leave behind a free Iraq.
full text: http://www.grassboots.org/2ndfront.htm
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Kerry appeals for end to election advertising war
Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry (news - web sites) appealed for an end to the TV advertising war that has marked his election battle against President George W. Bush (news - web sites). Kerry said the avalanche of negative television spots and attacks being shown on US screens was scaring off voters.
"Americans need a real conversation over our future," Kerry said in a speech at a school in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
"What they don't need is all these trumped up advertisements, they just make people curl up and walk away," added the Massachusetts senator.
"I'm calling them 'misleadisments,'" Kerry said of the adverts. "It's all scare tactics ... because (Bush) has no record to run on."
The Democrats have complained bitterly about a new advertisement that shows Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), September 11 hijack leader Mohamed Atta, Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and the ruins of the World Trade Center, and questioned whether Kerry was up to dealing with them.
A statement called the spot, run by the Republican group Progress for America Voter Fund, the latest in a series of "desperate and despicable attack ads" aimed at diverting attention from Bush's record.
The Democrats have rolled out a new advert of their own, titled "Despicable," in which they accused the Bush administration of "playing politics with terror" and dividing the country to win a second term at the White House.
A group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has also been at the center of the television advertising battle with controversial spots aimed at discrediting Kerry's Vietnam War record. The adverts accused the decorated Vietnam War veteran of exaggerating or lying about his exploits.
In Wisconsin, Kerry also made a personality attack against the president, saying that he and his rival are both children of privilege, but Bush considers his comfortable position an entitlement.
KERRY ON ORANGE ALERT: SKIN TRANSITION ON EVE OF DEBATE
Is it the late September Wisconsin sun that has turned Dem presidential hopeful John Kerry's face to rich tan-colored hues? Or has the senator been campaigning in the rust-belt?
Just days before Kerry is set to take the stage in a debate opener projected to be seen by 70 million, photos show Kerry dramatically taking on color.
Kerry advisers defend the sudden deep tan transition, noting how it simply was from a game of flag football last Friday in Bedford, Mass.
But the College Democrats who met Kerry were surprised by his rich tan glow -- before the game even began, the HARVARD CRIMSON reports.
"The students shook hands with John F. Kerry and then unloaded the luggage of the campaign and press corps at the airport. Another team of 10 College Dems met the motorcade at the hotel and carried the bags from the curb.
The College Dems who met Kerry were surprised by his tan skin and tall stature."
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU JULY 29, 2004 20:25:25 ET XXXXX
Monday, September 27, 2004
If Kerry is elected President, who will he blame for all his mistakes...
Monday, Sept. 27, 2004 1:23 a.m. EDT
Kerry Blames Aides in Assault Rifle Flap
John Kerry is denying he ever told a magazine interviewer that he owned a Communist Chinese assault rifle, blaming the comment instead on campaign aides who, he insists, made the story up.
"My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam," Kerry is quoted as saying in the October issue of Outdoor Life. "I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle." It turns out, however, that the gun quotes weren't Kerry's at all - or so he maintains, claiming now that those words were actually written by his staff, who never checked with him.
Kerry aide Michael Meehan explained to the New York Times that his boss's interview with the sports magazine consisted of a four-page written account of his hunting experience, which, the Times noted, included "long conversational answers using first-person pronouns."
Meehan said Kerry's Chinese assault rifle was actually a single-bolt-action military rifle that he "keeps as a relic" and has never fired.
If it's a relic he took home from Vietnam, however, the top Democrat may still not be off the hook.
"If Kerry brought the gun home from the war as a souvenir he could be subject to court-martial," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told the Times.
So, why did Kerry staffers impersonate Kerry for the interview? And how did they know that he had saved a gun - relic or no - from his Vietnam days?
Meehan didn't say.
A spokesman for Outdoor Life did not respond to a Times request for comment.
The Center for Individual Freedom, a Virginia-based, constitutional advocacy group filed a complaint last week with the Federal Election Commission charging that CBS and Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. illegally coordinated election communications. The complaint charges that CBS and the Kerry campaign violated federal campaign finance laws when they colluded to attack President George W. Bush based on claims and documents now believed to be fake.
Jeffrey Mazzella, the Center's Executive Director, said in a press release, "It's obvious that CBS and the Kerry campaign acted improperly. That much is clear to anyone with a pulse."
Mazzella added, "But what's been lost is that CBS and its executives blatantly violated federal election laws when they overtly ignored basic journalistic ethical standards and coordinated with the Kerry campaign in order to run an attack story in an effort to affect the outcome of the November presidential election. Our complaint makes this very clear."
The complaint focuses on a September 8 segment on the CBS program "60 Minutes II." In the segment, CBS correspondent Dan Rather suggested that President Bush received preferential treatment to gain acceptance into the Texas Air National Guard and failed to fulfill his service obligation. CBS's charges relied on a number of documents that it later admitted were not reliable.
CBS's source, Bill Burkett, required that CBS arrange for a conversation between him and a senior advisor of the Kerry campaign as a condition for handing over the documents. On September 4, just four days before the segment aired, CBS producer Mary Mapes spoke with Joe Lockhart, a former Clinton press secretary and Kerry advisor.
Lockhart admitted that during the conversation he and Mapes discussed the upcoming segment attacking President Bush. Lockhart also admits that he later spoke with Burkett at CBS's urging.
Mazzella explained, "If there had been no coordination, there would have been no attack story. CBS would not have been able to use the documents it so desperately needed for its assault on President Bush if one of its producers hadn't coordinated with the Kerry campaign."
He continued, "Mr. Lockhart's conversations with CBS and Mr. Burkett raise additional questions that must also be answered."
Two days after CBS aired the segment attacking President Bush, the Democratic National Committee released a video entitled "Fortunate Son" which makes many of the same arguments as the CBS story, and even uses footage from the segment.
Under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, media organizations are exempt from provisions barring corporations from engaging in "electioneering communications" within 60 days of a general election. But the Center argued that CBS forfeited its exemption by illegally coordinating a partisan attack on the president only 55 days before an election.
Mazzella said, "Under normal circumstances, the media exemption is in place because it presumes that the press is impartial, and that the public relies on impartial reporting of the ideas and actions of the candidates."
The CFIF director pointed out, "However, this is no normal circumstance. CBS threw its impartiality out the door, ignored basic journalistic standards and coordinated with the Kerry campaign, all in an effort to run a bogus story in an attempt to affect the outcome of a federal election."
He concluded, "Our complaint argues that CBS forfeited its exemption when it chose to become an arm of the Kerry campaign."
Talon News was first to report that on Wednesday, Anthony Bongiorno, counsel for the beleaguered network ordered a legal hold on all tapes and material relating to the report. A source reported that the hold was in anticipation of various lawsuits and investigations. On the same day, CBS announced an independent commission comprised of Dick Thornburgh, former governor of Pennsylvania and Attorney General under Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 and also Louis D. Boccardi, retired president and chief executive officer of the Associated Press.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Allawi Understands how to deal with these animals
In a clear sign that Iraq's interim government is ready to fight fire with fire, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi reportedly threatened to have rebel cleric Moqtada al Sadr beheaded earlier this year unless violence perpetrated by his Mahdi terrorist army in Najaf subsided.
On Friday NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklashevski recounted a meeting between Allawi and Grand Ayatollah al Husseini al Sistani in August, after al Sistani was brought back from London where he was being treated for a heart ailment.
Miklashevski told radio host Don Imus:
"I am told that Allawi sat down with Sistani and said, 'Look, you have 48 hours to resolve this peacefully - or I am going to have Moqtada al Sadr's head in a turban on a plate.'"
"And, guess what," the NBC Newser added. "It was resolved."
Concluded Miklashevski, "This guy is tough as the enemy insurgency that he faces."
Friday, Sept. 24, 2004 10:03 a.m. EDT
20 Questions for Senator Kerry
Back on Sept 15 Peter Kirsanow writing for National Review Online noted how the main stream media was giving John Kerry a pass and there were many issues Kerry hasn't adequately addressed. Below are 20 questions I think all Americans would be interested in hearing answers too. There are no "gotcha" questions. They're posed in a respectful manner. In fact, many are softballs.
1. You've repeatedly demanded Donald Rumsfeld's resignation over Abu Ghraib prison abuse. In light of such demand, please respond to the following:
a. Given your confession that you committed atrocities in Vietnam, including burning villages and using 50-caliber machine guns on people, shouldn't you, then, withdraw from presidential consideration?
b. If your answer is "no," please explain why a secretary of Defense should be held to a higher standard than an aspiring president who personally committed atrocities objectively more horrific than the abuses for which you hold Rumsfeld accountable.
2. You now state that Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," yet just a few weeks ago you stated that knowing what you know now you'd still authorize the war. Why would you still vote for a war that is wrong?
a. If the war was wrong, do you maintain Saddam should still be in power? If not, how would you remove him?
b. Which of the following is your primary objection to the Iraq war:
(1) that it shouldn't have been fought?
(2) that it was in the wrong location?
(3) that the timing was bad?
c. If your answer's either (2) or (3) above, where should the war have been fought and when?
3. During your eight-year tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee, you missed more than three-fourths of its public meetings. You refuse to release your attendance reports for the committee's closed classified briefings. Why shouldn't voters infer that disclosure of these attendance reports would reveal that you neglected to attend numerous classified briefings?
a. If you did miss any classified briefings, what duties were you tending to that were more important than attending the briefings?
4. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the president lied about the reasons for going into Iraq. Presumably, this means that the intelligence data didn't support the reasons given by the president. You had the same intelligence data on Iraq as the president, yet you voted to authorize the war. Why, then, did you knowingly vote for a lie?
a. By doing so, didn't you also lie to the American people?
b. If so, will you, therefore, urge your supporters to stop running ads declaring that "Bush Lied"?
c. If you maintain that you didn't lie, is it because you neglected to read the intelligence reports prior to the vote?
5. Assuming your definition of a lie is the same as Webster's, i.e., a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, please specifically identify which of the following statements in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address are lies:
a. Saddam aids and protects terrorists;
b. Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction;
c. Saddam deceived weapons inspectors;
d. Saddam sought uranium from Africa;
e. Saddam has pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
6. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment as lt. governor to Michael Dukakis?
7. You've criticized the president for acting "unilaterally." As president, would you have gone into Afghanistan without France's approval?
a. Would you have gone into Afghanistan without the approval of France, Germany, and Russia?
b. Please describe your criteria for going to war.
8. You've stated you would appoint only pro-choice judges to the federal bench. Would you agree that, even if it's not your intent, such a litmus test could disproportionately disqualify Catholic nominees?
a. What would you do to ensure that your abortion litmus test wouldn't have a disparate impact against Catholics?
9. Do you think there's waste in the federal government? If so, could you kindly identify ten wasteful government programs that you'd eliminate and why?
10. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment during your nearly 20 years as a senator?
11. You once entertained supporting charter schools but backed off after teachers' unions objected. You were once critical of affirmative action but backed off after some civil-rights organizations protested. In June you stated you might appoint some pro-life judges but backed off the next day after abortion-rights groups expressed alarm. Could you please take this opportunity to assure voters that you'll be able to handle North Korea, al Qaeda, and Iran more successfully than you're able to handle the NEA, NARAL, and other interest groups?
12. Newsweek Editor Evan Thomas has stated that the media wants you to win and that the media's help is worth 15 points in the polls. Do you agree or disagree with Thomas's statement?
a. If you disagree, is it because you maintain that the media doesn't want you to win or because the advantage is other than 15 points?
13. During a Labor Day rally in West Virginia one of the principal speakers, in your presence, called President Bush and Vice President Cheney draft dodgers. Do you agree that Bush and Cheney are draft dodgers? If not, why didn't you correct your supporter?
14. You maintain that public schools aren't adequately funded. The D.C. public schools spend approximately $13,000 per pupil — one of the highest levels in the nation — yet its students' academic performance is among the worst in the nation. Could you please explain why you oppose parental choice in education?
a. Given that pursuant to court order the Kansas City public schools spent one billion dollars with no discernable improvement in academic performance, what is your definition of "adequately funded"?
15. In your convention speech, you stated that every terrorist attack would be met with an immediate response and you've also stated that you would emphasize a law-enforcement approach to the fight against terrorism. This is identical to the pre-9/11 U.S. approach to terrorism. Could you please explain how a pre-9/11 approach to terrorism will prevent another 9/11?
a. Please describe the lessons you've learned from 9/11.
16. You've repeatedly criticized President Bush for "rushing to war." Since you've conceded that knowing what you know now you'd still authorize the war, precisely when would you have begun the Iraq war?
17. You also criticize the president for going to war "without having a plan to win the peace." You've stated that "winning the peace" would require more troops — but you voted against the $87 Billion bill to fund the troops who are already there. Could you please explain how you would've deployed more troops had your vote against funding prevailed?
a. "Knowing what you know now," would you have voted in favor of the $87 billion in funding?
b. In other words, do you now regret voting against the funding bill after voting for it?
18. During the Democratic primary debate in Greenville, South Carolina, in January, you claimed that the administration had exaggerated the terror threat.
a. Who exaggerated the threat? When? Please supply specific examples of the exaggerations.
b. If the threat has been exaggerated, does this mean that as president you'd reduce intelligence funding and defense spending in proportion to the "actual" threat? If not, why would you overspend?
19. The guards at Abu Ghraib prison forced prisoners to, among other things, disrobe and wear women's underwear in order to humiliate and demoralize them. Former American POWs claim that their North Vietnamese captors forced them to listen to your 1971 Senate testimony recounting alleged U.S. war crimes in order to humiliate and demoralize them. Could you please distinguish your actions from those of the Abu Ghraib guards?
a. If you assert that the difference between your actions and those of the Abu Ghraib prison guards was that you didn't intend your testimony to humiliate and demoralize American POWs, do you at least concede that your actions were reckless and irresponsible?
20. It was well known by the time of your 1971 Senate testimony that North Vietnam used statements by Jane Fonda and other antiwar protesters as propaganda. At the time of your testimony did you consider that it was highly likely that the statements of a naval lieutenant alleging war crimes would also be used?
Kerry Argued Case For Unilateral Preemptive Action In Iraq
From the Washington Times, Sept 24th.
During a 1997 debate on CNN's "Crossfire," Sen. John Kerry, now the Democratic presidential nominee, made the case for launching a pre-emptive attack against Iraq.
So reveals Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, who appeared with Mr. Kerry on the program.
Mr. King says the U.N. Security Council had just adopted a resolution against Iraq that was watered down at the behest of the French and the Russians. Yet the candidate who now criticizes President Bush for ignoring French and Russian objections to the Iraq war blasted the two countries, claiming that they were compromised by their business dealings with Baghdad.
"We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians," said Mr. Kerry. "We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."
While no "Crossfire" transcripts from 1997 are available, Mr. King in recent days produced a tape of the show, sharing it with New York radio host Monica Crowley for broadcast, and this Inside the Beltway column for publication.
How D-Day would be reported today
From the mother of an Army Ranger Lieutenant just back from Iraq............
June, 6, 1944. D-Day.
The Normandy invasion. The beginning of the end of World War II, and one of the most storied days in American military history. We are grateful for their sacrifice, their courage and honor, and for those who followed in Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War and now, Iraq. But more than anything else, we should be grateful D-Day occurred during a more innocent time in America. If World War II had been fought in today's climate of political correctness and covered by our current military-hating national media, things would have been quite different. In fact the story of D-Day might have read something like this...
June 6, 1944. -NORMANDY- Three hundred French civilians were killed and thousands more wounded today in the first hours of America's invasion of continental Europe. Casualties were heaviest among women and children. Most of the French casualties were the result of artillery fire from American ships attempting to knock out German fortifications prior to the landing of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops. Reports from a makeshift hospital in the French town of St. Mere Eglise said the carnage was far worse than the French had anticipated and reaction against the American invasion was running high. "We are dying for no reason," said a Frenchman speaking on condition of anonymity. "Americans can't even shoot straight. I never thought I'd say this, but life was better under Adolph Hitler."
The invasion also caused severe environmental damage. American troops, tanks, trucks and machinery destroyed miles of pristine shoreline and thousands of acres of ecologically sensitive wetlands. It was believed that the habitat of the spineless French crab was completely wiped out, threatening the species with extinction. A representative of Greenpeace said his organization, which had tried to stall the invasion for over a year, was appalled at the destruction, but not surprised. This is just another example of how the military destroys the environment without a second thought, " said Christine Moanmore. "And it's all about corporate greed."
Contacted at his Manhattan condo, a member of the French government-in-exile who abandoned Paris when Hitler invaded said the invasion was based solely on American financial interests. "Everyone knows that President Roosevelt has ties to big beer," said Pierre LeWimp. "Once the German beer industry is conquered, Roosevelt's beer cronies will control the world market and make a fortune."
Administration supporters said America's aggressive actions were based in part on the assertions of controversial scientist Albert Einstein, who sent a letter to Roosevelt speculating that the Germans were developing a secret weapon, a so-called "atomic bomb." Such a weapon could produce casualties on a scale never seen before and cause environmental damage that could last for thousands of years.
Hitler has denied having such a weapon and international inspectors were unable to locate such weapons even after spending two long weekends in Germany. Shortly after the invasion began reports surfaced that German prisoners had been abused by Americans. Mistreatment of Jews by Germans at so-called "concentration camps" has been rumored but so far, remains unproven. Several thousand Americans died during the first hours of the invasion and French officials are concerned that uncollected corpses pose a public health risk. "The Americans should have planned for this in advance," they said. "It's their mess and we don't intend to clean it."
Satellite photos indicate Iran nuke site
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
U.S. satellite photographs detail suspected nuclear weapons testing facilities at an Iranian military base outside Tehran, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.
The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security has released photographs of the Iranian military base at Parchin where nuclear weapons activities are suspected. The seven satellite images show buildings where nuclear weapons components are suspected of being prepared for testing.
Parchin is located about 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran. The Iranian government has asserted that the facility has long been used to test chemical explosives. The International Atomic Energy Agency has requested access to inspect the site operated by the Iranian Defense Industries Organization. Iran has not agreed to the request.
The U.S. institute, which retains leading nuclear experts and former officials, said Parchin could be converted to a nuclear weapons research and assembly facility. The institute said Parchin could also be used to test nuclear explosives and missile and rocket delivery systems.
On Sept. 21, Iran said it had begun converting 37 tons of raw uranium for enrichment by gas centrifuges. At the same time, Tehran displayed its enhanced Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile and launched the Shihab-2, with a range of 700 kilometers.
"This site is a logical candidate for a nuclear weapons-related site, particularly one involved in researching and developing high-explosive components for an impulsion-type nuclear weapon," David Albright and Corey Hinderstein wrote in a study for the institute.
The satellite imagery shows a building that appears to have a pad for testing small rocket motors rather than high explosives. The photographs also reveal a nearby bunker that could test a mock nuclear weapon.
"The concern is that this bunker could be where Iran would test a full-scale mock-up of a nuclear explosive using natural or depleted uranium as a surrogate of a highly enriched uranium core," Albright and Hinderstein stated.
The Parchin military complex, which contains hundreds of buildings and test sites, has focused on the research, development and production of ammunition, rockets and high explosives. The U.S. institute has identified high-explosive testing facilities and the excavation of a hilly area that could be used for nuclear tests.
"Some facilities seem more suited to armaments research or rocket motor testing," Albright and Hinderstein wrote. "Despite the ambiguity about the purpose of this site, the available evidence appears sufficient to warrant a request for a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency of this site."
WNIS Dumps CBS News From Air
(AP) - A newstalk radio station in Norfolk has dumped CBS News because of listener outrage over the "60 Minutes" report questioning President Bush's National Guard service.
WNIS switched today to ABC News, after at least a dozen years with CBS News.
Lisa Sinclair is general manager of Sinclair Communications, which owns WNIS and four other stations in the Hampton Roads area. She says they made the change after getting many calls from listeners, some who said they wouldn't listen to CBS news any more.
CBS News said Monday it could not authenticate the documents used in the Bush story and apologized for airing it.
CBS spokesman Dana McClintock says the network has more than one thousand radio affiliates nationwide and that WNIS is the only one to drop CBS. None of the network's more than 200 television affiliates has done so.