"If I wanted to
lie, or if we wanted to lie, if we wanted to exaggerate, I wouldn't
use my daughter to do so. I could easily buy other people to do
it."--Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait's Ambassador to the United
States and Canada
On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops led by dictator Saddam Hussein
invaded the oil-producing nation of Kuwait. Like Noriega in Panama,
Hussein had been a US ally for nearly a decade. From 1980 to 1988,
he had killed about 150,000 Iranians, in addition to at least
13,000 of his own citizens. Despite complaints from international
human rights group, however, the Reagan and Bush administrations
had treated Hussein as a valuable ally in the US confrontation
with Iran. As late as July 25 - a week before the invasion of
Kuwait - US Ambassador April Glaspie commiserated with Hussein
over a "cheap and unjust" profile by ABC's Diane Sawyer,
and wished for an "appearance in the media, even for five
minutes," by Hussein that "would help explain Iraq to
the American people."69
in Review -- Dealing with the war on terrorism; foreign policy;
and selected domestic issues.
How an Algerian
boy evolved into a terrorist. How he crossed international borders
with impunity, even as he left a trail of crimes. How he learned
to kill in Osama bin Ladens al-Qaida camps. How he planned to use
those lessons against Americans on the eve of the new millennium,
20 months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
How he nearly got away with it. And how, since Sept. 11, he has
been one of the U.S. governments best resources in the war on terror.
Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center" -- For thirty years
the Twin Towers had stood above the streets as all tall buildings
do, as a bomb of sorts, a repository for the prodigious energy originally
required to raise so much weight so high. Now, in a single morning,
in twin ten-second pulses, the towers released that energy back
into New York. Massive steel beams flew through the neighborhood
like gargantuan spears, penetrating subway lines and underground
passages to depths of thirty feet, crushing them, rupturing water
mains and gas lines, and stabbing high into the sides of nearby
office towers, where they lodged. The phone system, the fiber-optic
network, and the electric power grid were knocked out. Ambulances,
cars, and fire trucks were smashed flat by falling debris, and some
were hammered five floors down from the street into the insane turmoil
erupting inside the World Trade Center's immense "bathtub"a ten-acre
foundation hole, seventy feet deep, that suffered unimaginable violence
as it absorbed the brunt of each tower's collapse.
attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the
Pentagon using civilian airplanes as weapons of mass destruction
have been universally condemned as barbarous acts. They are also
fundamental breaches of international humanitarian law, which governs
the rules of armed conflict. Yet the rapid resort by political leaders
to use of the terminology of war has caused both the public and
some other governments to question whether the attacks are to be
viewed first and foremost as acts of war under international law,
as terrorist acts, or criminal acts.
Only the Constitution -- "Precisely because the need for
action against the scourge is manifest, the need for vigilance against
excess is great. The first, and worst, casualty will be the precious
liberties of our citizens." -- Justice Thurgood Marshall
Congress push for real reform in the CIA and FBI? -- When news
broke about the infamous FBI "Phoenix" memo, which warned headquarters
of possible terrorist activity in US aviation schools last July,
members of Congress could be heard fulminating across the land.
"How in the world could somebody have read this document and not
had lights, firecrackers, rockets go off in their head that this
is something that is really important?" asked Senator Bob Graham,
a Florida Democrat who heads the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.
Why has Congress failed to demand long-recommended improvements
in the coordination of counterterrorism efforts between the CIA,
the FBI, and other agencies? Even in the months after September
11, when the need was clear, the Senate and House intelligence committees
failed to address the intelligence community's lack of preparedness
for major terrorist attacks. What's more, in May a Senate committee
went ahead and approved President Bush's request for an estimated
$2 billion to $3 billion increase in the intelligence budget for
fiscal 2003, bringing the total intelligence budget to an estimated
might have been averted, President Bush tries to change the
subject by creating a new office to protect America's homeland.
Alleges that US
was in negotiations with the Taliban for an oil pipeline in
Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory -- The Taliban government and their
Al Qaeda "guests", were bit players in terror. The State Department
cozied up to these anti-American extremists, choosing a nation led
by a dictator who seized power in an illegal coup as our principal
South Asian ally. The American military strategy in Afghanistan,
dropping bombs without significant ground troops guaranteed Osama
would live. The 3rd Afghan War isn't about fighting terrorism --
it's about oil. Bush and Cheney were both former oil company execs.
National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, was corporate counsel
at Chevron. Oil fields dot northern Afghanistan near its border
with Turkmenistan, but the jackpot is under the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan
is destined to become the world's largest oil producing nation,
and will dwarf Saudi Arabia.
CEO: An interview with Peter Bergen -- "This guy was probably
one of the biggest businessmen in Sudan between 1991 and 1996. There
wasn't a single type of business in Sudan that he didn't have, whether
it was a bank or a tannery or a bakery or a construction company
or an import/export firm. He employed thousands of people." In *Holy
War, Inc.*, Peter Bergen examines how Osama Bin Laden turned al
Qaeda into the world's preeminent terrorist organization.
The Atlantic Monthly
Somalia: A Hidden US Agenda? -- After its military success in
Afghanistan, there is growing speculation that America is gunning
next for Somalia. The speculation fueled by numerous high ranking
government officials, most recently by Deputy Secretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz, who told the New York Times that Somalia "fitted
the bill of a lawless state that draws terrorists like a magnet."
at Any Price -- Oil and the nukes are more vulnerable than ever
to hostile forces. America's energy policies will remain wedged
between Iraq and an irradiated place. While soldiers might be asked
to die protecting fuel supplies, it's civilians who'll suffer the
immediate death or homelessness, lingering cancers, and future birth
defects if terrorists smash into any of our 103 active nuclear reactors.
cover story in the May 26 New York Times Magazine, "How Scared Should
We Be?," by Bill Keller, lights up unsparingly the "seriousness
gap" between the likelihood and lethality of the dangers that face
us and what we are doing to defend against them. While it will take
3 more years until all luggage on every flight is routinely inspected
(according to a source who handles baggage at Boston's Logan Airport,
only 2% of bags are being inspected now), while less than 5% of
the shipping containers that arrive at US ports each day are inspected,
and while the Energy Department has yet to develop equipment for
detecting radiological bombs being smuggled in trucks ("What is
the Energy Department waiting for?," former undersecretary of defense
Fred Ikle asks, "the next 9/11?"), the
Pentagon is using the war on terror to binge on Cold War weapons,
including a missile-defense system.
Way -- Making a mint inside "the iron triangle" of defense,
government and industry -- Like everyone else in the US, the group
stood transfixed as the events of September 11 unfolded. Present
were former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former secretary
of state James Baker III, and representatives of the bin Laden family.
This was not some underground presidential bunker or CIA interrogation
room. It was the Ritz-Carlton in DC, the annual investor conference
of one of the most powerful, well-connected, and secretive companies
in the world: the Carlyle Group. Boomtown,
U.S.A. Far from the front lines of combat, there is a place where
people do the unlikeliest work imaginable. Here is the story of
the men and women of McAlester,
Oklahoma, who run the factory that makes virtually every non-nuclear
bomb in the US arsenal.
the 'homeland' in a post 9-11 America -- The scenario has become
familiar since the creation of Office of Homeland Security: Director
Tom Ridge calls a press conference issuing vague warnings about
a possible pending terrorist attack. How should the public react?
Should the nation panic or just go about business as usual? The
events of Sept. 11 have placed the media and the public in uncharted
intelligence expert, Anthony H. Cordesman -- Senior fellow at
the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS, stressed
these points at the FACS conference on terrorism: "The context of
the war on terrorism is that it is a broad war; it covers a broad
range of threats; it will be fought over decades; and there will
be no be absolute victory, and there will always be gaps in defense,"
Cordesman said. "This story isn't going to go away soon, and victory
by definition is going to be relative."
Bout, known to US intelligence for years as the world's most
notorious arms trafficker, is the subject of an international manhunt.
British military intelligence recently found documents and other
evidence in Afghanistan they believe proves Bout supplied arms to
the Taliban and al Qaeda until September 11.
have died in Afghanistan to make us more secure. Are we? .....
Would we have done so, if we knew our bombing would kill at least
a thousand civilians, indirectly lead to an estimated 3,000 other
civilian deaths, and produce 500,000 refugees and displaced persons?
If we knew our campaign would kill more civilians than the September
11 would we have demanded that the government find an alternative
to bombing? A professor at the University of New Hampshire is challenging
Pentagon's claims that our War Against Terrorism has kept civilian
casualties to a minimum. Marc Herold, argues that American
bombs have killed more than 3,700 Afghan civilians since the
war began on October 7, a fact that "a compliant media" prefers
to ignore. Reuel
Marc Gerecht, former CIA spy in the Middle East, argues that
the only way to douse the fires of Islamic radicalism is through
stunning, overwhelming, military force. The Atlantic
Bombs in Afghanistan -- The US led alliance began its air campaign
in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. While the Pentagon has been reluctant
to talk of specific weapons used in the bombing, US military sources
told Human Rights Watch that the Air Force began dropping cluster
bombs within a matter of days. During the first week of the campaign,
it is believed that Air Force B-1 bombers dropped 50 CBU-87 cluster
bombs in some five missions. CBU-87 cluster bomb use has continued
after the first week, and it is believed that other airplanes joined
B-1s in dropping cluster bombs on both fixed and mobile targets.
US landmines policy
- what you can do to help.
People of the Valley -- As the US moves toward a massive, military
intervention in Iraq, we would do well to look at the devastation
that's already been wrought here, and listen to people like Dr.
Mahmoud Mehi, the director of al-Mansour Pediatric Hospital in Baghdad,
who asks Americans to, "use wisdom, and think in a better way for
Minister tells Bush to tread carefully -- Tony Blair has warned
President George Bush that the treatment of Taliban prisoners being
held at the Guantanamo military base threatens to become a 'political
issue' which will lead to widespread and damaging criticism of US
policies in Afghanistan.
of Terror -- Mohamed Atta -- He's believed to be the ringleader
of the terrorist cell that attacked the US on September 11, 2001.
after September 11, six months after New York gallery owner Max
Protetch asked many of the most prominent architects in the world
to suggest ideas for rebuilding
and memorializing the World Trade Center site, and three months
after the results of that request--nearly 60 proposals in total--went
on display in Manhattan, the whole show has been packed up and shipped
down to Washington, DC Reassembled at the National Building Museum
(NBM), it has gained an institutional feel and looks more strongly
toward the future--to the actual complex task of reconstruction--than
it did in New York.
Muslims Struggle for the Soul of Islam -- American Muslims had
long been a docile and silent lot, content to let a few leaders
and imams do the talking, keeping misgivings private. Not any more.
Now, the soul of Islam is at stake.
here are instantly struck by the extent to which Afghans
help one another. Everyone jumps to the assistance of anyone
who needs it without being asked. If you drop a heavy load, a dozen
men will rush up and offer not only to assist, but to carry the
item themselves. And no, they're not grabbing your wallet as they
Women's Summit -- It took just two days for the 50 delegates
to the first Afghan Women's Summit here to come up with a blueprint
for the future of women in their country.
M. Beamer Foundation -- A nonprofit organization whose mission
is meeting the long term needs of the children who lost a parent
in the events of September 11th, 2001, assisting future victims
of terrorism, and continuing Todds passion for mentoring and equipping
youth to make the same heroic choices he did throughout his life.
on New York is discussed as if it were the worst thing to have happened
to any nation in recent times. Few would deny that it was a major
atrocity, but we are required to offer the American people a unique
and exclusive sympathy. Now that demand is being extended to earlier
World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in late 1999 left
quite a legacy: Seattle suffered more than $2.5 million in damage,
more than 500 protesters were arrested, the opening WTO ceremonies
were canceled and eventually trade talks collapsed.
with William Langewiesche, the author of "The
Crash of EgyptAir 990," on the cultural reverberations of a
seemingly straightforward airplane crash. The Atlantic
17, 1991 the US went to war against Iraq. Operation
Desert Storm lasted 10 weeks, officially the shortest war in
US history. But for many, it's not yet over.
-- Behind the Terror -- A little-publicized group led by Christians
eager for Syria to dominate the Middle East is reponsible for many
highly publicized terrorist acts by Ehud Ya'ari -- To inspire his
troops to seek martyrdom, the Ayatollah Khomeini promises them a
room next to his in paradise. The suicide bombers of the Hizballah
(Party of God), whose terrorist arm is better known as the Islamic
Jihad, look forward to everlasting life in the bosom of the merciful
Allah. But there is a more bizarre growth spreading in the landscape
of international terrorism: a party whose members go knowingly and
willingly to their deaths without the comfort of a hereafter, out
of pure conviction, in the service of an idea. It is a party whose
leaders, men approaching their seventies, send pregnant teenagers
on suicide missions in booby-trapped cars. And it is a party whose
members, mostly Christians from churchgoing families, dream of resuming
the war of the ancient Canaanites against Joshua and the Children
of Israel. They greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing
their Arabic anthem, "Greetings to You, Syria," to the strains of
"Deutschland, Deutschland ber alles"; and throng to the symbol
of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion. These are the
hallmarks of the Syrian
Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), the oldest terrorist organization
in existence today and one of the most secret and deadly.
Symbionese Liberation Army -- Born fall 1973 in Berkeley, CA
from a black convicts and middle class white radicals. The 12 or
so founding members of the SLA sought to ignite a "people's rebellion"
against the US government and corporate America. The core of the
SLA died in a clash with police in May 1974 and in September 1975,
after the FBI captured three surviving members, including heiress
Patty Hearst, authorities declared the SLA dead.