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USA And The Future Of The World
<b>Outside View: U.S. amnesia on Pakistan</b> --Kaushik Kapisthalam
<b>US does not accept Ukraine election results: Powell</b>
Hello!! World did accepted US 2000 election result.
<b>The dollar’s demise</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Past saving?</b>
The upward pressure on Asian countries’ currencies stems either from their saving too much and consuming too little, or from America saving too little and spending too much. American politicians, naturally, tend to concentrate on the first interpretation, because it stops them having to recommend unpleasant remedies, such as cutting deficits or encouraging Americans to save more. But Mr Greenspan’s most recent comments show that he recognises the problem is more home-grown. Personal saving in America, as a percentage of household income, slumped to just 0.2% in September, close to a record low. Indeed, the savings rate has been declining remorselessly since 1981, when it reached a high of 12.5%. This lack of saving shows up in the current-account deficit, which is a record near-6% of GDP and rising.

In effect, foreigners are saving on America’s behalf. In a recent study for the New York Fed, two economists, Matthew Higgins and Thomas Klitgaard, point out that the United States now absorbs more than the measured net saving of the rest of the world combined (suggesting someone’s got their figures wrong somewhere). The American economy cannot continue to expand at its current rate without those foreign savings. The question is whether foreigners will be happy to carry on financing this growth with the dollar and asset prices at their present level. The private sector is already voting with its wallet: it has been financing an ever smaller percentage of the deficit, and there has been a net outflow of direct investment. That leaves the public sector—ie, central banks—and those, in particular, of Asia.

At the heart of the central banks’ calculations is a trade-off: intervening to keep your currency down can be costly, but it is good for exports. Though the costs of intervention are hard to quantify, they are potentially big. Because the domestic money supply is expanded—those dollars must be paid for with something—it can cause inflation (though this can be neutralised through “sterilisation”, ie, bond sales). But the big potential cost is in amassing a huge stash of dollars with precious little exit strategy. Quite simply, Asian central banks now own too many of them to exit en masse, for their exit would cause the dollar to crash and American interest rates to soar, which would cause huge losses on their holdings of Treasuries.

<b>Get out while you can</b>
The biggest risk, of course, is that lenders would lose pots of money were the dollar to fall. As the printer of the world’s reserve currency, America can pass on foreign-exchange risk to the lenders because, unlike other indebted countries, it can borrow in its own currency. Messrs Higgins and Klitgaard reckon that for Singapore, the most extreme example, a 10% appreciation against the dollar and other reserve currencies would lead to a currency capital loss of 10% of GDP. Though loading up with even more dollars might of course stop the dollar from falling for a while, it would increase the risk of still larger losses were it eventually to do so. America already needs almost $2 billion a day from abroad to finance its spending habits, and the situation deteriorates by the week because America imports more than it exports, which worsens the current-account deficit.

The incentives to flee the Asian cartel (to give it its proper name) thus increase the bigger the game becomes. Why take the risk that another central bank will leave you carrying the can? Better to get out early. Because the game is thus so unstable it will come to an end, and probably a messy one. And what will then happen to the dollar? It is hard to imagine its hegemony remaining unchallenged when so many will have lost so much. And doubly so given that America has abused the dollar’s reserve-currency role so egregiously that its finances now look more like those of a banana republic than an economic superpower
<b>Economic `Armageddon' predicted</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In a nutshell, Roach's argument is that America's record trade deficit means the dollar will keep falling. To keep foreigners buying T-bills and prevent a resulting rise in inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will be forced to raise interest rates further and faster than he wants.

     The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs, will get pounded.

     Less a case of ``Armageddon,'' maybe, than of a ``Perfect Storm.''

     Roach marshalled alarming facts to support his argument.

     To finance its current account deficit with the rest of the world, he said, America has to import $2.6 billion in cash. Every working day.

     That is an amazing 80 percent of the entire world's net savings<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Note this law suit

<b> Described as a senior CIA official who was sacked in August "for unspecified reasons," the lawsuit appeared to be the first public instance of a CIA agent charging he was pressured to concoct intelligence on Iraq.

The suit claims the unidentified ex agent was urged to produce reports in line with President George W Bush's contention that Iraq had illegal chemical or biological weapons, which threatened US and international security.</b>

This illustrates that the re-elected government is trying hard to bottle all the mis-information that it engaged in to prevent a scandal. I am sure these are controlled lleaks. They prevented any leaks from happening before the elections. Now they are trying to instigate a controlled burn out of the material to avoid a Watergate affair.

Another point to ponder about is the Chalabi incident. Why did Kerry not use something as damning the Chalabi incident to maximum advantage in the election campaign. Evidently, neo-cons are an immense force who are the real shakers and movers in DC. Democrats or Republicans they are only external forces, who ever comes the neo-con network runs the show from behind. This shows that Neo-conism is a movement unrelated to classical American conservatism, instead it is a bipartisan movement with its own global agenda, where Bush is merely a tool for their game. This is an important point to note.
2005: Year of the weak dollar

2 hours, 31 minutes ago

Add to My Yahoo! Top Stories - AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Americans may be playing a dangerous game in letting the dollar slide, some analysts say, and 2005 could be the year of reckoning.

Since a recent peak in May 2004, the dollar has plummeted 12 percent against the euro, and the trend is unlikely to change.

"The dollar slide that began in 2002 is likely to continue, especially if, as we expect, the US current account deficit (the broadest measure of the trade gap) hits a new record and US capital outflows pick up," said Citigroup chief economist Kermit Schoenholtz.

In effect, the deeper the trade deficit, the more the US economy goes into debt. To narrow the shortfall, either the dollar must slide or interest rates on US investments must rise to lure investors.

In 2003, the current account deficit broke above 500 billion dollars for the first time.

In 2004, it is set to reach a new record.

For the US economy, the dollar slide is not all bad. "Made in USA" exports are now comparatively cheaper for foreigners, supporting production in the United States.

US President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s administration is broadly believed to be deliberately allowing the dollar to go with a policy of benign neglect, repeating a mantra-like support for a "strong dollar policy" while also stressing that the open markets must decide its value.

The strategy has been viewed by the markets as clearance to sell.

But it is a risky game.

"The latest down-leg in the US dollar, a trend expected to continue into the second quarter of next year, is likely to provide some positive offsets, though not as much as in 2003 and 2004," said Merrill Lynch economist Ron Wexler.

US companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 index are likely to boost operating earnings per share by only 4.2 percent next year, Wexler forecast, compared with an estimated gain of 21.6 percent in 2004.

Other countries, the US trading partners, will be increasingly punished next year by the weak dollar, which crimps their exports, slows economic activity and reduces their capacity to buy from the United States.

If foreigners grow weary of the situation, the possibility of a flight out of dollars cannot be excluded, said Morgan Stanley chief economist Stephen Roach, a renowned bear.

"Nor can I dismiss the possibility that the world flinches, with Japanese and European authorities intervening in foreign exchange markets," Roach said.

"Depending on the degree of intervention, it is possible that the dollar's depreciation could be aborted or even go the other way. Should that occur, current-account adjustments will come to a standstill -- thereby perpetuating America's persistently large trade deficit and stoking protectionist sentiment in the US."

Equally worrying would be a unilateral Asian intervention. "In that case, Europe would continue to bear the brunt of a falling dollar, heightening the possibility of trade frictions between Europe and Asia," he said.

Furthermore, the dollar's decline raises pressure on the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) to increase interest rates, lifting the cost of credit and risking an economic slowdown.

The big worry for 2005 in a climate of rising rates could be the booming housing sector. A few analysts say the sector may be in a bubble, though most -- notably Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan (news - web sites) -- disagree.

"The nation's economic growth in 2005 will be more moderate than in 2004," predicted the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which envisions gross domestic product (GDP (news - web sites)) growth slowing to 3.3 percent next year from a likely 4.4 percent in 2004.

But some analysts see a brighter horizon.

"Several factors support the view that the recovery will sustain a cruising speed of four percent or better in 2005," Citigroup chief North American economist Robert DiClement said, citing rising productivity, a still-accomodative interest-rate policy and a gain in net jobs, which should boost household incomes.

Wachovia Economics Group analysts, however, cited "one economic and two political risks" ahead.

The possiblity of rising inflation was the economic risk.

A re-evaluation of China's yuan-dollar link was a political concern, they said in a report.

The other political risk was the reform of Social Security (news - web sites), which is vastly underfunded in relation to the entitlements promised to retirees.

"Failure to address the issues of entitlement reform could prove catastrophic for the long-term viability of the US economy," Wachovia economists warned.
Washington-Watchers Seek Hint of Rice's Pick for Deputy

Sun Dec 12, 7:55 AM ET

Add to My Yahoo! Top Stories - Los Angeles Times

By Sonni Efron Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — One of the most talked-about jobs in Washington might not register with most Americans. But as President Bush (news - web sites) rebuilds his Cabinet for his second term, Beltway cognoscenti are focusing on the unfilled No. 2 job at the State Department for clues about the direction of foreign policy.

To those who study the frequently secretive Bush administration's moves in the hope of divining its intentions, Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites)'s choice for her top deputy will be crucial.

"It's a Washington exercise, but not an unimportant Washington exercise," said Morton Abramowitz, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Thailand now with the Council on Foreign Relations. "The fact that the country doesn't pay attention to it doesn't mean it's not important."

If Rice picks a neoconservative as her deputy, Washington insiders predict business as usual: a hard-nosed foreign policy with President Bush continuing to wage the war on terrorism on his own terms. Conservatives would hail a hawkish appointee as a person who "recognizes that we are living in a post-Sept. 11 world," while liberals would rant about "four more wars."

If the No. 2 job goes to someone considered to be a pragmatic realist — especially one who served under the president's father — then liberals will hail a kinder, more multilateral foreign policy, while conservatives will hyperventilate about the danger that the president's policies won't be carried out by weak-kneed State Department bureaucrats.

Few Washingtonians, let alone most other Americans, can even name the last five people to hold the post of deputy secretary of State. And not all deputies have been power players. "Who remembers Kissinger's deputy?" asked Gary Schmitt, executive director of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century.

Nevertheless, under the most recent No. 2s — current deputy Richard L. Armitage and Clinton-era deputy Strobe Talbott — the job has been one of the most powerful in Washington. The deputy secretary manages the vast State Department bureaucracy and all of its embassies and consulates, keeps global problems from becoming global crises, puts policy stamp on all but the most crucial issues and is supposed to be the secretary's most trusted advisor.

Because Bush's foreign policies have been so controversial — and because Rice in her tenure as White House national security advisor appears to have sided sometimes with the neoconservatives and sometimes with the realist camp — the deputy's post is topic A of diplomatic speculation.

Foreign officials are pumping their American contacts for insights in reading the tea leaves. And amid talk of purges of State Department officials who are seen as "not on board" with the president's policies, the deputy's job has prompted fear and loathing among some inside the sprawling State building — so much so that several officials refused to discuss it even on condition of anonymity.

A prominent neoconservative who served in a former administration said some of that fear was justified.

"A lot of people that were in the State Department [under Secretary Colin L. Powell] had an incredibly free hand to dissent, to drag their heels and to be obstructionist about the president's policy," the former administration official said. "Needless to say, they're worried that Condi is being put in as secretary of State to end that — and they'd be right."

Some predict there could be considerable turnover as a result of the departure of Powell, who resigned after Bush won reelection.

"There's going to be a big turnover," said a Department of Defense (news - web sites) official, who compared the coming housecleaning to the "de-Baathification" process in Iraq (news - web sites) and to the shakeups underway at the CIA (news - web sites) under its new director, Porter J. Goss.

"No. 2 is critical because No. 2 is usually the ax man," the official added.

Those closest to the Bush administration say they have no idea who will be chosen, or even whether names in the rumor mill are really the leading contenders for the job.

But those most often mentioned as candidates for the job include:

• John R. Bolton, undersecretary of State for arms control and international security, is the neoconservatives' choice. Tough, outspoken and loyal, Bolton is believed to be favored by Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites). But he is feared by many of the State Department rank and file.

• Arnold Kanter, who held the No. 3 job in the State Department in the early 1990s under President George H.W. Bush. Kanter, a principal with the consulting group run by onetime national security advisor Brent Scowcroft, is seen as a foreign policy realist. But his boss, Scowcroft, publicly opposed the Iraq war. Kanter would be welcomed by many at the State Department, but Cheney is rumored to oppose him.

• Robert M. Kimmitt, who preceded Kanter as No. 3 at State under Bush's father and was later U.S. ambassador to Germany, is a senior executive and lobbyist for Time Warner Inc. He is seen as a traditional conservative but is said to be on good terms with the neoconservative camp.

• Elliott Abrams, who is working for Rice on Middle Eastern affairs at the National Security Council, is a hawk. Rice is said to be closer to him than any of the other candidates. He is seen as likely to accompany Rice to State in some capacity because of the importance of Middle East diplomacy during Bush's second term. But Abrams, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of failing to answer questions truthfully to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, might not want to subject himself to a combative Senate confirmation hearing (news - web sites).

The last five deputy secretaries of State are: Armitage, Talbott, Clifton Wharton Jr., Lawrence S. Eagleburger and John C. Whitehead. Henry Kissinger had three deputies, Kenneth Rush, Robert S. Ingersoll and Charles W. Robinson.
I have one other concern: one of the most consistent threads running in New Age and New World Order books is that globalist leaders of the New World Order consider their personal loyalty to belong to the global government they are creating, and not to the government of which they are citizens. American presidents from Woodrow Wilson to William Clinton have been globalist to the core. They are not patriots, even though they have certainly tried to portray themselves as such. They consider patriotism to be such a serious obstacle to the final establishment of their global system that they have done everything in their power to weaken and destroy patriotism in the minds of their subjects. Thus, American schools have been teaching the value of a global government for a number of decades now. Many Americans today are not the firm and fanatic American patriots of their predecessors.

A Grand Alliance

Who is Zbigniew Brzezinski ?
Brillient Mind

A Grand Alliance
Let's Hope: That Bush can transform himself into a unifying global leader. Others have done so.
Zbigniew Brzezinski: 'A paradox haunts America'
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
Newsweek International

Issues 2005 - Before President Bush steps to the podium to deliver his second Inaugural Address, he should ask himself: what did Roosevelt, Churchill and Truman have in common? What was it that made them towering historical figures?

Though learned volumes have been written about each of these great men, the answer can be quite brief: they projected an inspiring sense of historical direction and confidence and, when faced with a historic challenge, they reached out even to political opponents to forge a joint commitment to a common cause. Unlike their enemies, they did not engage in fearmongering, nor in cheap sloganeering. And that is what elevated them into the democratic leaders of the free world.

Today, as during the last century, the world again needs America, but America also needs the world. The world will not be more peaceful or prosperous, and certainly not more democratic, if America isolates itself and turns its back on those—especially its traditional European allies—with whom it shares truly fundamental democratic values. Nor will America be more secure if it transforms itself into a lonely fortress in a hostile world.

President George W. Bush is alert to this danger. As he put it on Aug. 4, "We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies..." And he is absolutely right. But it also follows that this struggle must be pursued, not only militarily but politically as well, by a grand alliance of democratic states.

A central strategic priority flows from the above: only a revitalized alliance of America and Europe can undertake the monumental task of promoting actively the needed web of more equitable and cooperative global arrangements that isolates and then defeats the "ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies." Only the United States and the EU have the wherewithal to tackle the goal of constructively engaging the almost 5 billion Muslims, Indians, Chinese and others who have lately become politically awakened, who demand political dignity, who are intensely aware and resentful of global iniquities and whom the ideological extremists wish to mobilize. That is the cause that only a confident America can lead, believing once again that "we have nothing to fear but fear itself."

• Zbigniew Brzezinski: A Grand Alliance
The political awakening of the majority of mankind has put on the 21st century's agenda a fundamental choice: global turmoil or global community. Terrorism is only one symptom of turmoil. It would be tragically self-defeating if America reduced its global role to an antiterrorist operation. Such a narrow preoccupation would be exploited by states wishing to entangle America in a prolonged conflict with Islam as a whole.

A comprehensive effort to address global turmoil has to start with its vortex in the Middle East. It is doubtful that America by itself can resolve the interactive and lethal problems posed by the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy, the conflict in Iraq and Iran's national ambitions. On all of these issues, the EU—more than anyone else—is America's natural ally. That is why the reaffirmation of allied solidarity has to begin with an effort to launch a genuinely serious American-European strategic dialogue regarding joint political initiatives. Its object has to be shared decisions as well as shared burdens.

The world at large needs to hear a compelling voice that defines a global role for America that simultaneously inspires a shared vision, infuses historical confidence, restores credibility and widens consensus. Roosevelt, Churchill and Truman at one point were each politically very divisive and personally even despised figures. Yet each transcended himself when confronted by an almost apocalyptic encounter with destiny. So let us hope.

Brzezinski, a former U.S. national-security adviser, is author most recently of "The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership."
© 2004 Newsweek, Inc.
If this threat is true, then all I can say is: Allah-O-Akbar!


<b>Has U.S. threatened
to vaporize Mecca?</b>Intelligence expert says nuke option is reason bin Laden has been quiet

Posted: January 7, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Why hasn't Osama bin Laden's terror network executed an attack on U.S. soil since 9-11?

Simple, says Dr. Jack Wheeler, creator of an acclaimed intelligence website dubbed "the oasis for rational conservatives": <b>The U.S. has threatened to nuke the Muslim holy city of Mecca should the terror leader strike America again. </b>

On his website, To the Point, Wheeler explains how the Bush administration has identified the potential of wiping Mecca off the map as bin Laden's ultimate point of vulnerability – the Damoclean Sword hanging over his head.

"Israel … recognizes that the Aswan Dam is Egypt's Damoclean Sword," writes Wheeler. "There is no possibility whatever of Egypt's winning a war with Israel, for <b>if Aswan is blown, all of inhabited Egypt is under 20 feet of water</b>. Once the Israelis made this clear to the Egyptians, the possibility of any future Egyptian attack on Israel like that of 1948, 1967, and 1972 is gone."

Wheeler says talk of bin Laden's Damoclean Sword has infiltrated the Beltway.

Writes Wheeler in his members-only column: "There has been a rumor floating in the Washington ether for some time now that George Bush has figured out what Sword of Damocles is suspended over Osama bin Laden's head. It's whispered among Capitol Hill staffers on the intel and armed services committees; White House NSC (National Security Council) members clam up tight if you begin to hint at it; and State Department neo-cons love to give their liberal counterparts cardiac arrhythmia by elliptically conversing about it in their presence.

"The whispers and hints and ellipses are getting louder now because the rumor explains the inexplicable: Why hasn't there been a repeat of 9-11? How can it be that after this unimaginable tragedy and Osama's constant threats of another, we have gone over three years without a single terrorist attack on American soil?"

Available only to subscribers of To the Point, Wheeler ends his column by explaining the effectiveness of the Mecca threat. <b>"Completely obliterating the terrorists' holiest of holies, rendering what is for them the world's most sacred spot a radioactive hole in the ground is retribution of biblical proportions – and those are the only proportions that will do the job. </b>
"Osama would have laughed off such a threat, given his view that Americans are wussies who cut and run after a few losses, such as Lebanon in 1983 and Somalia in 1993. Part of Bush's rationale for invading Afghanistan and Iraq – obviously never expressed publicly – was to convince Osama that his threat to nuke Mecca was real. Osama hates America just as much as ever, but he is laughing no more."

Wheeler says bin Laden is "playing poker with a Texas cowboy holding the nuclear aces," so there's nothing al-Qaida could do that could come remotely close to risking obliterating Mecca.

Writes Wheeler: "<b>So far, Osama has decided not to see if GW is bluffing. Smart move." </b>

Awful UK-US War Crimes

This guy (?) is Arundhati Roy fan and hard core leftist. He wants India to get involved in this. Anyhow that is not the reason I post this. There are some interesting statistics in the article. One really has to learn how to use statistics and other such tools to your own advantage in this world. Anyways, its an interesting read.
Talking Back To Bush

Fri Jan 21,12:24 AM ET

Add to My Yahoo! Op/Ed - The Nation

David Corn

Below is my running commentary on Bush's inaugural speech. Too bad heckling the president is a federal crime.

....We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

And have you notified the leaders of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China and Uzbekistan that you're going to make bringing liberty and freedom to their lands the number-one national security priority for your administration?

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government.

Is that why we overthrew democratic governments in Iran and Chile and cozied up to the racist regime in South Africa? for years.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

What have you done lately to support the democrats of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Russia, or China?

This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen.

Did Iraqis choose to be invaded and occupied in a fashion that has led to tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths?

America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.

So why did your administration impose its choice for Iraqi interim president upon the UN official in charge of selecting the person for that post?

The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause.

After the first Persian Gulf War (news - web sites), the Kuwait government promised to implement democratic reforms. It has not kept its promises, Have you used his considerable influence to promote freedom and democracy there?

We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people.

Does Pakistan "President" Pervez Musharraf know about this?

Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty.

Please, Mr. President, name someone who has. You often say this, but you never tell us who you have in mind. We cannot hound these people out of polite society until you tell us who they are.

Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals.

Should they be surprised by the fact that America's standing abroad is at an all-time low?

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world: All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Mr. President, if a fellow were to stand in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square after hearing this speech, what precisely would you do for him?

Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.

Will US ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Russia, China, Uzbekistan and elsewhere demand access to imprisoned dissidents and political opponents, explaining to the governments of those countries that the United States recognizes these people as the "future leaders"?

The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

You neglected to mention that Alabama voters in November rejected a measure that would have erased provisions in the state's constitution that support segregated schools and the use of poll taxes.

The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them.

When American citizens wanted to know which energy industry executives were advising Vice President Cheney's energy task force, you weren't keen on trusting them. You and Cheney refused to share this information with the "people." Do you have trust issues?

And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel.

But we will dismiss your counsel--and even deride it--if it does not accord with our own views.

Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies.

Yet in 2003 you showed no concern that your decision to short-circuit the inspections process in Iraq (news - web sites) and launch an invasion without the support of the UN and key allies would lead to "division among free nations."

Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens: From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure.

But you have not dared asked the wealthiest among us to pay a dime extra for our defense in these difficult times. In fact, you have not even asked them to pay the same tax rates under which they got rich in the first place.

Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom.

Perhaps more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead because you have "acted." How about compensation for their families?

And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well--a fire in the minds of men.

The National Intelligence Council notes that the war in Iraq has created a breeding ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists. Did you read its report?

All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself -- and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.

But you're not going to ask your kids to go over there, right?

In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character -- on integrity....

Such as leaders telling the truth about national security threats?

...and tolerance toward others.

But apparently not gay people who want to live in legally-recognized, committed, stable relationships.

Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.

Unless, of course, the issue is reproductive rights. In that case, we do not believe in self-government of the self.

That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people.

By the way, do you still believe, as you once said, that God does not hear the prayers of Jews?

In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak.

Which is why your administration has been considering cutbacks in programs for low-income Americans.

Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth.

But we can execute those who commit a crime--even if they have lousy lawyers.

And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.

See Alabama.

Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes -- and I will strive in good faith to heal them.

How? By continuing your practice of saying untrue remarks about your political opponents?

Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart.

And why was it that you could not maintain that unity as the grand leader of the nation? Why did you claim during the 2002 congressional campaign that Democrats put their own political self-interest about the national security of the nation?

America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength -- tested, but not weary -- we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

When--and, more importantly, where? Please tell us.
U.S. Redesigning Atomic Weapons

Published: February 7, 2005

Worried that the nation's aging nuclear arsenal is increasingly fragile, American scientists have begun designing a new generation of nuclear arms meant to be sturdier and more reliable and to have longer lives, federal officials and private experts say.

The officials say the program could help shrink the arsenal and the high cost of its maintenance. But critics say it could needlessly resuscitate the complex of factories and laboratories that make nuclear weapons and could possibly ignite a new arms race.


So far, the quiet effort involves only $9 million for warhead designers at the nation's three nuclear weapon laboratories, Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia. Federal bomb experts at these heavily guarded facilities are now scrutinizing secret arms data gathered over a half century for clues about how to achieve the new reliability goals.

The relatively small initial program, involving fewer than 100 people, is expected to grow and produce finished designs in the next 5 to 10 years, culminating, if approval is sought and won, in prototype warheads. Most important, officials say, the effort marks a fundamental shift in design philosophy.

For decades, the bomb makers sought to use the latest technologies and most innovative methods. The resulting warheads were lightweight, very powerful and in some cases so small that a dozen could fit atop a slender missile. The American style was distinctive. Most other nuclear powers, years behind the atomic curve and often lacking top skills and materials, settled for less. Their nuclear arms tended to be ponderous if dependable, more like Chevys than racecars.

Now, American designers are studying how to reverse course and make arms that are more robust, in some ways emulating their rivals in an effort to avoid the uncertainties and deteriorations of nuclear old age. Federal experts worry that critical parts of the arsenal, if ever needed, may fail.

Originally, the roughly 10,000 warheads in the American arsenal had an expected lifetime of about 15 years, officials say. The average age is now about 20 years, and some are much older. Experts say a costly federal program to assess and maintain their health cannot ultimately confirm their reliability because a global test ban forbids underground test detonations.

In late November, Congress approved a small, largely unnoticed budget item that started the new design effort, known as the Reliable Replacement Warhead program. Federal officials say the designs could eventually help recast the nuclear arsenal with warheads that are more rugged and have much longer lifetimes.

"It's important," said John R. Harvey, director of policy planning at the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the arsenal. In an interview, he said the goal of the new program was to create arms that are not only "inherently reliable" but also easier to make and certify as potent.

"Our labs have been thinking about this problem off and on for 20 years," Dr. Harvey said. "The goal is to see if we can make smarter, cheaper and more easily manufactured designs that we can readily certify as safe and reliable for the indefinite future - and do so without nuclear testing."

Representative David L. Hobson, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, praised the program in a speech on Thursday and said it could lead to an opportunity for drastic cuts in the nation's nuclear arsenal.

"A more robust replacement warhead, from a reliability standpoint," Mr. Hobson said, "will provide a hedge that is currently provided by retaining thousands of unnecessary warheads."

But arms control advocates said the program was probably unneeded and dangerous. They said that it could start a new arms race if it revived underground testing and that its invigoration of the nuclear complex might aid the design of warheads with new military capabilities, possibly making them more tempting to use in a war.

U.S. Redesigning Atomic Weapons

Published: February 7, 2005

(Page 2 of 2)

"The existing stockpile is safe and reliable by all standards," Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said in an interview. "So to design a new warhead that is even more robust is a redundant activity that could be a pretext for designing a weapon that has a new military mission."

The reliability issue goes back to the earliest days of the nuclear era. At first, the bombs were huge and trustworthy. The first one, dropped in 1945, weighed five tons. The first deliverable hydrogen bomb, which made its debut in 1954, weighed four times as much and had hundreds of times the destructive power. It measured nearly 25 feet long from nose to tailfins.

Over the decades, American designers worked hard to trim the dimensions.

Small size was prized for many reasons. It meant that warheads could fit into cramped, narrow missile nose cones, which streaked to earth faster than blunter shapes and were less buffeted by winds during the fiery plunge, making them more accurate. It also meant that ships, bombers and submarines could carry more nuclear arms.

By the 1970's, warheads for missiles weighed a few hundred pounds and packed the power of dozens of Hiroshima-sized bombs. The arms continued to shrink and grow more powerful. The last one for the nation's arsenal was built around 1990.

Designers had few doubts about reliability because they frequently exploded arms in Nevada at an underground test site. But in 1992, after the cold war, the United States joined a global moratorium on nuclear tests, ending such reassurances.

In response, the federal government switched from developing nuclear arms to maintaining them. It had its designers work on computer simulations and other advanced techniques to check potency and understand flaws that might arise.

The cost of the nuclear program began at $4 billion a year. It is now more than $6 billion and includes a growing number of efforts to refurbish and extend the life of aging warheads.

By the late 1990's, top officials and experts began to openly question whether such maintenance could continue to stave off deterioration and ensure the arsenal's reliability. As a solution, some called for a new generation of sturdier designs.

The new program involves fewer than 100 full- and part-time designers and other experts and support staff, said Dr. Harvey, of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

"There's not a lot of hardware," he added. "It's mostly concept and feasibility studies that don't require much fieldwork."

Dr. Harvey emphasized that the effort centered on research and not arms production. But he said the culminating stages of the program would include "the full-scale engineering development" of new prototype warheads. Both Congress and a future administration would have to approve the costly, advanced work, and an official said no decision had been made to seek such approval.

The current goal of the program, Dr. Harvey said, is to "relax some of the design constraints imposed on the cold war systems." He added that a possible area of investigation was using more uranium than plutonium, a finicky metal that is chemically reactive.

He said the new designs would also stress easier manufacturing techniques and avoid hazardous and hard-to-find materials.

"Our goal is to carry out this program without the need for nuclear testing," Dr. Harvey said. "But there's no guarantees in this business, and I can't prove to you that I can do that right now." Another official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the topic is politically delicate, said that such testing would come only as a last resort and that the Bush administration's policy was to maintain the moratorium.

The program, Dr. Harvey said, should produce a wide variety of designs. The Defense Department, which is participating in the effort, will help decide which weapons will be replaced, he said.

"What we're looking at now is a long-term vision," Dr. Harvey said. "We're tying to flesh this out and understand the path we need to be on, and to work with Congress to get a consensus."

Some critics say checking the reliability of the new designs is likely to require underground testing, violating the ban and inviting other nations to do the same, thereby endangering American security.

Dr. P. Leonardo Mascheroni, a former Los Alamos scientist who is critical of the new program, said that it would require not only testing but also changes in delivery systems costing "trillions of dollars" because of its large, heavy warheads. Federal officials deny both assertions, saying the goal is to have new designs fit existing bombers and missiles.

Dr. Mascheroni has proposed that federal designers make lighter, robust warheads and confirm their reliability with an innovative system of tiny nuclear blasts. That would still require a revision of the test ban treaty, he said in an interview, but it would save a great deal of money and avoid the political firestorm that would probably accompany any effort to resume full-scale testing.

Robert S. Norris, a senior nuclear expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington that advocates arms control and monitors nuclear trends, said too little was known publicly about the initiative to adequately weigh its risks and benefits, and that for now it raised more questions than it answered.

"These are big decisions," Mr. Norris said. "They could backfire and come back to haunt us."
<b>Who is behind Human Rights Watch?</b>
Under President Clinton, Human Rights Watch was the most influential pro-intervention lobby: its 'anti-atrocity crusade' helped drive the wars in ex-Yugoslavia. Under Bush it lost influence to the neoconservatives, who have their own crusades, and it is unlikely to regain that influence during his second term. But the 'two interventionisms' are not so different anyway: Human Rights Watch is founded on belief in the superiority of American values. It has close links to the US foreign policy elite, and to other interventionist and expansionist lobbies.

No US citizen, and no US organisation, has any right to impose US values on Europe. No concentration camps or mass graves can justify that imposition. But
Human Rights Watch finds it self-evident, that the United States may legitimately restructure any society, where a mass grave is found. That is a dangerous belief for a superpower: European colonialism shows how easily a 'civilising mission' produces its own atrocities. The Belgian 'civilising mission' in the Congo, at the time promoted as a noble and unselfish enterprise, killed half the population. Sooner or later, more people will die in crusades to prevent a new Holocaust, than died in the Holocaust itself. And American soldiers will continue to kill, torture and rape, in order to prevent killings, torture and rape.
For a century there has been a strong interventionist belief in the United States - although it competes with widespread isolationism. In recent years attitudes hardened: human-rights interventionism became a consensus among the 'foreign policy elite' even before September 11. Human Rights Watch itself is part of that elite, which includes government departments, foundations, NGO's and academics. It is certainly not an association of 'concerned private citizens'. HRW board members include present and past government employees, and overlapping directorates link it to the major foreign policy lobbies in the US. Cynically summarised, Human Rights Watch arose as a joint venture of George Soros and the State Department. Nevertheless, it represents some fundamental characteristics of US-American culture.

The September 11 attacks confirmed the interventionism of the entire foreign policy elite - not just the highly visible neoconservatives. More important, the public response illustrated the almost absolute identification of Americans with their own value system. Without any apparent embarrassment, President Bush declared that a war between good and evil was in progress. Ironically, that mirrors the language of the Islamic fundamentalists. It implies a Crusader mentality, rather than the usual pseudo-neutrality of liberal-democratic political philosophy. A society which believes in its own absolute goodness, and the absolute and universal nature of its own values, is a fertile ground for interventionism.

Human rights are part of the American value system, but they are also especially useful as an 'ideology of justification' in wartime. Such an ideology should ideally meet some criteria. First, it should not be a simple appeal to self-interest. Simply stating "We own the world!" or "We are the master race, submit to us!" is not good propaganda. As a slogan, 'war on terrorism' is also inadequate, since it is too clearly an American war, against the enemies of America. For propaganda purposes, an appeal to higher values is preferable.

Second, these higher values should be universal. This is why Islamism would probably fail as an interventionist ideology: it is specific to Islam. A geopolitical claim to intervene in support of Islamic values can be answered simply by saying: "We are not Muslims here". The doctrine of universal human rights is, by definition, universal and cross-cultural.

Third, the ideology should appeal to the population of the super-power. In the United States, for historical reasons, 'rights doctrines' have become part of its political culture. It would be pointless for a US President to justify a war by appealing to Islam, or royal legitimacy, because very few Americans hold these beliefs. Most Americans do believe in rights theories - and very few know that these theories are disputed.

Fourth, if possible, the ideology should appeal to the 'enemy' population. It should ideally be part of their values. That is difficult, but the doctrine of human rights has succeeded in acquiring cross-cultural legitimacy. This does not mean it is inherently right - but simply that no non-western cultures have an answer to the doctrine. The government of China, for instance, fully accepts the concept of human rights, and claims to uphold them. So when it is accused of human rights violations, it can do nothing but deny, on this issue it is perpetually on the defensive. Acceptance of your values by the enemy population could be seen as the Holy Grail of war propaganda: if the enemy leadership is incapable of presenting an alternative value system, it will ultimately collapse.

Human rights are not the only ideology of intervention. The 'civilising mission', which justified 19-th century colonisation, is another example.The point is that human rights can serve a geopolitical purpose, which is unrelated to their moral content. It is not possible to show that 'human rights' exist, and most moral philosophers would not even try. It might not be a very important issue in ethics anyway - but it is important in politics and geopolitics. And geopolitics is what Human Rights Watch is about - not about ethics. HRW itself is an almost exclusively US-American organisation. Its version of human rights is the Anglo-American tradition. It is 'mono-ethical' - recognising no legitimate ethical values outside its own. However, the human-rights tradition is not, and can never be, a substitute for a general morality. Major ethical issues such as equality, distributive justice, and innovation, simply don't fit into rights-based ethics.

Ethical values are not, in themselves, culturally specific. However, this ethical tradition has become associated with the United States. It is dominant in the political culture, it has become associated with the flag and other national symbols, and it is capable of generating intense national emotion. It emphasises the universal rights set out in the American Declaration of Independence and its Constitution. In a sense the US was 'pre-programmed' as an interventionist power. Universal human rights, by their nature, tend to justify military intervention to enforce those rights. Expansionists, rather than isolationists, are closest to the spirit of the American Constitution, with its inherently interventionist values. In fact, most US-Americans believe in the universality and superiority of their ethical tradition. Interventionist human-rights organisations are, like the neoconservative warmongers, a logical result. Human Rights Watch is not formally an 'association for the promotion of the American Way of Life' - but it tends to behave like one.

Human Rights Watch operates a number of discriminatory exclusions, to maintain its American character, and that in turn reduces internal criticism of its limited perspective. Although it publishes material in foreign languages to promote its views, the organisation itself is English-only. More seriously, HRW discriminates on grounds of nationality. Non-Americans are systematically excluded at board level - unless they have emigrated to the United States. HRW also recruits its employees in the United States, in English. The backgrounds of the Committee members (below) indicate that HRW recruits it decision-makers from the upper class, and upper-middle class. Look at their professions: there are none from middle-income occupations, let alone any poor illegal immigrants, or Somali peasants.

Human Rights Watch can therefore claim no ethical superiority. It is itself involved in practices it condemns elsewhere, such as discrimination in employment, and exclusion from social structures. It can also claim no neutrality. An organisation which will not allow a Serb or Somali to be a board member, can give no neutral assessment of a Serbian or Somali state. It would probably be impossible for this all-American, English-only, elite organisation, to be anything else but paternalistic and arrogant. To the people who run HRW, the non-western world consists of a list of atrocities, and via the media they communicate that attitude to the American public. It can only dehumanise African, Asians, Arabs and eastern Europeans. Combined with a tendency to see the rest of the world as an enemy, that will contribute to new abuses and continuing civilian deaths, during America's crusades.

<b>Who runs the HRW Europe Committee?</b>
Human Rights Watch is organised approximately by continent. The Europe section was established in 1978, originally named 'Helsinki Steering Committee' or 'Helsinki Watch'. It is the core of the later Human Rights Watch organisation. In the late 1970's, human rights had become the main issue in Cold War propaganda, after Soviet concessions at the Helsinki summit (1975), allowing human rights monitoring. Western governments encouraged 'private' organisations to use this concession - not out of moral concern, but as a means of pressuring the Soviet Union. HRW was one of these 'private' organisations: in other words, it began as a Cold War propaganda instrument. The committee is now called the Europe and Central Asia Advisory Committee. It is still affiliated with the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, which co-ordinates the "Helsinki committees". The membership now includes fewer ex-diplomats than in the 1990's, more academics, and a few HRW donors. This web page and other similar publicity, has probably influenced the change in style. (By appointing his tax lawyer to the HRW Board, Soros exposed himself to ridicule and charges of cronyism). The list below is the March 2004 version.

<b>Peter Osnos, chair</b>
George Soros' publisher. He is Chief Executive of Public Affairs publishers.
<b>Alice Henkin, Vice Chair</b>
Human Rights lawyer, Director of the Justice and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the most influential elite foreign-policy lobby. The President and CEO of the Aspen Institute is Walter Issacson, who is also Chairman and CEO of CNN News.
<b>Henri Barkey</b>
Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University, advised the State
Department on Turkish and Kurdish issues. Married to Ellen Laipson, former
Special Assistant to Madeleine Albright, when Albright was UN Ambassador.
Considered anti-Turkish by some Turkish media. See: Columnist on US Plans for
Cyprus, 1999.

<b>Jonathan Fanton, ex-member</b>
Chair of the HRW International Committee until 2003, and still a member.
President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, itself a HRW
donor. Former Vice President of the University of Chicago, in 1982 appointed as
President of the New School for Social Research, now the New School University.
He is active in building US academic contacts with eastern Europe, directed at
the new pro-western elites, see the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies
(TCDS) page.
<b>Morton Abramowitz, ex-member</b>
A link to the foreign policy establishment, one of several at HRW. Abramowitz
was U.S. Ambassador to Turkey (1989-91) and Assistant Secretary of State for
Intelligence and Research (1985-89), among other posts: see his personal details
at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he is a Fellow. The CFR is the heart
of interventionist US policy since 1921 (and hated by the isolationist right).
He directed the CFR Balkan Economic Task Force, which published a report on
"Reconstructing the Balkans".

<b>Stephen Del Rosso</b>
Ex-diplomat, also member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Works for
the Carnegie Corporation as 'Senior Program Officer' International Peace and
Security, and before that for the Pew Trust. See his biography at the Carnegie
website - a typical international affairs career.
<b>Barbara Finberg</b>
A donor of HRW, see the list below. A retired vice president with the Carnegie
Corporation of New York, who donated $1 million to Stanford University.
<b>Felice Gaer</b>
Human rights specialist at the American Jewish Committee, and Chairperson of
the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which is primarily
active against Islamic countries and China. According to this JTA report, Gaer
praised Madeleine Albright for her "outstanding human rights record", apparently
meaning that she would not allow any criticism of Israel's housing policy in
Jerusalem. Gaer was also chair of the Steering Committee for the 50th
anniversary of the UN Human Rights Declaration, see this biography:
"Ms.Gaer is Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of
Human Rights. Author, speaker, and activist, she is a member of the Council on
Foreign Relations, the Board of Directors of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, a
member of the International Human Rights Council at the Carter Center, ...Vice
President of the International League for Human Rights."
In 1999, Felice Gaer was a non-governmental member of the United States delegation to a United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva, where (according to the Voice of America) she denounced Sudan, saying the the U.S. "cannot accept those who invoke Islam or other religions as justification for atrocious human rights abuses." More interesting ( with hindsight) is this speech at the Geneva meeting, where she suggested the UN should no longer investigate prison rapes in the US: "we would urge the Special Rapporteurs to focus their attention on countries where the situation is the most dire and the abuses the most severe."

The disclosures about abuse of prisoners in Iraq illustrate the ethical problem here. One thing you can't say, is that 'America doesn't treat its own prisoners like that'. Americans do treat their fellow citizens like that - in American jails, which have a consistently bad record on prisoner abuse. But Felice Gaer suggested that it somehow isn't as bad, if the US authorities do such things. The United States, she said, was committed to human rights and... "When violations occur, we have the mechanisms and protections in place to prosecute."

In reality, US authorities responded as at Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay: they obstructed outside investigators. The Report of the mission to the United States of America on the issue of violence against women in state and federal prisons says:

"...on the eve of her visit to Michigan, the Special Rapporteur received a letter dated 12 June 1998 from the Governor of Michigan informing her that she would not be allowed to ... visit any of the women's prisons... The Special Rapporteur found this refusal particularly disturbing since she had received very serious allegations of sexual misconduct occurring at Florence Crane Women's Facility and Camp Branch Facility for Women in Coldwater, Michigan, as well as at Scott Correctional Facility for Women in Plymouth, Michigan."

Virginia and California also obstructed the Special Rapporteur. Felice Gaer knew that, because the report had already been published. She was lying when she told the UN that "we welcome outside investigations". Instead of condemning the obstruction, she diverted attention to abuses in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and China. The United States, she explained, is an open, democratic society.

That sounds like Donald Rumsfeld speaking about Abu Ghraib. It is dangerous attitude: it implies that America can ultimately do no wrong, since its open society is a perfect defence against abuse of power. Human Rights Watch does promote that attitude - that 'human rights abuse' is essentially something done by foreigners, and that American institutions are somehow immunised against it. Now, the US soldiers who abused and killed prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan don't see themselves as comparable to the previous regimes: they see themselves as the good guys, defenders of a system which is infinitely better. Certainly under wartime conditions, that attitude inevitably leads to abuses.

So Human Rights Watch itself must accept some of the blame, for what happened to the prisoners. HRW divides humanity in two: on the one side are the supporters of American values. On the other, worthless criminal barbarian rapists and torturers. In this logic 'human rights' does not imply that Iraqi prisoners should be treated with respect, but rather the opposite. From "our torture is different" it's a small step to "our torture is acceptable because it is anti-torturer" and then another small step to "human rights means torturing torturers". Or their friends, or their family, or the subversives who want to appease them...

<b>Michael Erwin Gellert</b>
Vice Chairman of the Board at Fanton's New School for Social Research. Partner
in the private investment company Windcrest Partners, and Chairman of the Board
of the Carnegie Institute. Gellert is or was a director of Premier Parks Inc., owner of the Six Flags and Walibi theme park chains.

<b>Paul Goble</b>
Director of Communications and political commentator at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Cold War propaganda transmitters that survived the end of the Cold War. From their website "Free Europe, Inc., was established in 1949 as non-profit, private corporations to broadcast news and current affairs programs to Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain. The Radio Liberty Committee, Inc., was created two years later along the same lines to broadcast to the nations inside the Soviet Union. Both were funded principally by the U.S. Congress, through the Central Intelligence Agency, but they also received some private donations as well. The two corporations were merged into a single RFE/RL, Inc. in 1975."

It is still funded by the US Government, through Congressional appropriation.

<b>Bill Green, ex-member</b>
Former Republican member of Congress, a trustee of the New School for Social
Research (where Fanton is President), with many other public and business posts:
see the biography at the American Assembly, an academic/political think-tank.
<b>Stanley Hoffman</b>
A pro-interventionist theorist (of course that means US intervention, not a
Taliban invasion of the US). Professor at Harvard, see his biography. Note that
his colleagues include Daniel Goldhagen, who openly advocated occupation of
Serbia, to impose a US-style democracy: see A New Serbia.
<b>Jeri Laber</b>
Longtime HRW staff member, since the Helsinki Watch period. Now an advisor,
without executive tasks,
<b>Kati Marton, ex-member</b>
President of the Committee to Protect Journalists. However this 'protection'
did not extend to journalists killed by NATO bombing of the Belgrade TV studios:
she declined to condemn it. This may, perhaps, have something to do with not
embarrassing her husband: Richard C. Holbrooke, former Special Envoy to
Yugoslavia, and US Ambassador to the United Nations. For an idea of the social
world behind Human Rights Watch, and a glimpse of of how US foreign policy is
made, see this article about their cocktail parties...
<b>Dick Holbrooke</b>, who's been U.N. ambassador since August, has a different idea of what sort of people the suite should be filled with. Tonight, he's hosting a
dinner for General Wesley Clark, the granite-faced, soft-spoken nato chief, who
is leaving his post in April. ..... Dressed in a formal pin-striped suit, crisp
white shirt, and red tie, Holbrooke still manages to look comfortably rumpled --
his unruly hair is the secret to this effect -- as he banters his way around the
room. Introducing Clark to billionaire financier George Soros and Canadian press
lord Conrad Black, Holbrooke teasingly calls the general, whose formal title is
supreme Allied commander for Europe, "The Supreme,"...
Holbrooke's wife, the author Kati Marton, is equally adept at the art of the
cocktail party. Dressed in an elegant white pantsuit, she ushers guests into the
dining room, where four tables are set for a meal of crab cakes and sautéed
duck. Marton and Holbrooke, who have been giving twice-a-week diplomatic
dinners, have a carefully choreographed act. "I give the opening toast, which is
unorthodox in the U.N. village," she explains. "Richard and I are making the
point we're doing this together."
Ambassador A-List, from the January 3, 2000 issue of New York Magazine.

As 'journalist protector', Kati Marton lobbied for the Soros-funded B92 radio
in Belgrade, which played a central role in the opposition under Milosevic, at
least until his last year in power. The campaign for B92 is illustrative of the
symbiotic relationship of interventionist lobbies and interventionist
governments. Marton was lobbying to protect an 'independent' radio station which
was already part-funded by the US government (National Endowment for Democracy).
Partly as a result, it got even more western funding.

Immediately after the station was banned, Ivor Roberts, the British ambassador, showed his support by visiting its offices on the fifth floor of a run-down socialist-style building in downtown Belgrade. Carl Bildt, then the international High Representative in charge of the civilian side of the Dayton peace agreement in Bosnia, the US State Department, and Kati Marton of the Committee to Protect Journalists also made protests on behalf of the station.

Internet technology and international pressure proved to be effective weapons against Milosevic. After two days he withdrew his edict forbidding B-92 to broadcast. It seems likely that he was convinced that lifting the ban would win Western praise and deflect international attention from his electoral fraud. Immediately afterward, B-92 was able - through funds provided equally by the BBC, the British Foreign Office, USAID, the European Union, and George Soros's Open Society Foundation-to gain access to a satellite that linked twenty-eight independent local radio stations, covering 70 percent of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which is now made up of Serbia and Montenegro. 1997 article from the New York Review of Books

<b>Prema Mathai-Davis, ex-member</b>
A token non-westerner, an Indian immigrant. She was, however, also CEO of the
YWCA (Young Womens Christian Association), which is as American as can be.
Jack Matlock, ex-member US Ambassador to the Soviet Union during its collapse, 1987-1991. Author of Autopsy On An Empire: The American Ambassador's Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (Random House, 1995).
Member of the large Board of Directors of the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic
Council is more than a pro-NATO fan club: it supports an expansionist US foreign
policy in general. Note their recent paper (in pdf format) Beyond Kosovo, a redesign of the Balkans within the framework of the proposed Stability Pact.

The Atlantic Council list of sponsors is a delight for corporate-conspiracy theorists. Yes, it is all paid for by the Rockefeller foundation, the Soros foundation, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Exxon, British Nuclear Fuels, the US Army and the European Union. And, no surprise to conspiracy fans, Matlock attended the 1996 Bilderberg Conference.

<b>Walter Link</b>
Chairman of the Global Academy Institute for Globalization, Human Rights, and
Leadership - obviously not a man to limit the scope of his activities. Promoter
of the Blue Planet Run, a global foot-race starting in San Francisco, which will
improve the global water supply. That's what it says at the website anyway. The
Academy is associated with the futurist John Naisbitt.
<b>Michael McFaul</b>
Hoover Institution Fellow at Stanford University. See his biography. A
lobbyist for the 'democratisation' of Russia, and relatively hostile to the
Putin government. Note, that there is no lobby in Russia, that seeks to decide
the form of government of the United States.
<b>Sarah E. Mendelson</b>
Senior Fellow at the Center For Strategic and International Studies. Member of
the Council on Foreign Relations. Chechnya specialist. See her CV.
<b>Karl Meyer</b>
Editor of World Policy Journal, published by the World Policy Institute. The
WPI supports an expansionist and interventionist American foreign policy: it is
part of Jonathan Fanton's New School University.
<b>Joel Motley</b>
Also on the main HRW Board. Managing Director, Carmona Motley, Inc. Member of
the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was a member of their Task Force on
Non-Lethal Technologies. This is what Mr. Motley wants to do the poor, to improve their human rights:
- jamming or destruction of communications, together with the ability to transmit television and radio programs of ones choice, potentially useful for reducing inflammatory, sometimes genocidal, messages or separating murderous rulers from army and populace;
- slickums and stickums to impede vehicle or foot traffic;
- highly obnoxious sounds and smells, capable of inducing immediate flight or temporary digestive distress.
That would have helped in Somalia, concludes the CFR Task Force. Needless to say there was no Somali on the Task Force either. Motley is also on the Advisory Board of LEAP, an educational charity, where they develop courses in, among other things, conflict resolution. Their website doesn't say whether the children are trained to use digestive distress agents.

<b>Herbert Okun</b>
Career diplomat, former Special Advisor on Yugoslavia to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Deputy Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia. Member of the Board of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS) and its affiliate the Committee for National Security (CNS) which gives this biography:
Ambassador Herbert Okun is the U.S. member and Vice-President of the International Narcotics Control Board, and Visiting Lecturer on International Law at Yale Law School. Previously, he was the Deputy Chairman on the U.S. delegation at the SALT II negotiations and led the U.S. delegation in the trilateral U.S.-U.K.-USSR Talks on the CTBT. From 1991 to 1993 Ambassador Okun was Special Advisor on Yugoslavia to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Personal Envoy of the U.N. Secretary General, and Deputy Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia. He also served as Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN from 1985 to 1989 serving on the General Assembly, the Disarmament Committee and the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Amb. Okun was also U.S. Ambassador to the former German Democratic Republic.

He was from 1990-97 Executive Director of the Financial Services Volunteer
Corps, "a non-profit organization providing voluntary assistance to help
establish free-market financial systems in former communist countries", see his
biography at International Security Studies at Yale University, where he is also
a board member. This Corps is a de facto agency of USAID, see how it is listed
country-by-country in their report. Although it is not relevant to Human Rights
Watch, this curriculum vitae gives a good impression of the kind of
international elite created by such programs.

Okun is also a member emeritus of the board of the European Institute in
Washington, an Atlanticist lobby. It organises the European-American Policy
Forum, the European-American Congressional Forum, and the Transatlantic Joint
Security Policies Project. Okun is a special advisor to the Carnegie Commission
on Preventing Deadly Conflict funded by the Carnegie Corporation. (It links
pro-western international elite figures advocating a formal structure for
control of states by the "international community").

Okun was a member of a Task Force (including Bianca Jagger and George Soros)
on war criminals: see their report . Although it also demands "UN Sanctions
Against States Harboring Indicted War Criminals" it is unlikely that the Task
Force members meant the man quoted at the start of their report, President

A curiosity: this human rights supporter is accused of an attempt to destroy
the right to free speech, in his post at the International Narcotics Control
Board: see A Duty to Censor: U.N. Officials Want to Crack Down on Drug War
Protesters in the libertarian Reason Magazine.

<b>Jane Olson</b>
Represents HRW Southern California on the main HRW Board, see her biography.
One of the few who are simply human rights activists, although her views are
clearly 100% acceptable to the US Government. She was appointed a member of the
U.S. delegation to the 1991 Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(CSCE) in Moscow. The biography notes that she "...participated in many
investigation delegations to the former USSR, Yugoslavia, the Caucasus, Cuba,
Vietnam and Cambodia". There is even a photo gallery: Jane with helmet in front
of an armoured car in Bosnia, Jane at Tianmen Square, Jane in Red Square, Jane
celebrates Ukrainian independence, Jane in Cambodia with Queen Noor of Jordan.
Again note, that US citizens consider it normal to travel to Europe, to decide
on Europe's 'Security and Cooperation'. However, there is absolutely no
equivalent "Conference on North American Security and Cooperation", where
Europeans arrive, to tell Americans what to do. And no Bosnians are allowed to
drive armoured vehicles around the United States.

<b>Hannah Pakula</b>
Author, member of the Freedom to Write Committee at PEN, the international
writers organisation. Widow of film director Alan Pakula. Co-organiser of the
Human Rights Watch Film Festival.
Kathleen Peratis
Also Chair of the HRW Women's Rights Advisory Committee. Lawyer in New York,
see the biography. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of Brit Tzedek
v'Shalom - Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, which campaigns for a
dual-state solution in Israel. Also a Board Member at B'nai Jeshurun, "a Zionist
"Collectively and individually, BJ members love and support the State of
Israel. The continuing violence in Israel deepens our commitment as it saddens
our hearts. We pray together for peace. At the same time, we assume our
obligation as sacred communities to take action that will both encourage ongoing
dialogue about the situation and explore the myriad ways that we - collectively
and individually - can support Israel fulfill the vision put forth in its
Declaration of Independence."

Peratis bought her way onto the Committee, she is listed in the 1995 donor's

<b>Barnett Rubin</b>
Academic and Soros-institutes advisor. Director of the "Center for Preventive
Action" at the Council on Foreign Relations.The center is funded by the US
Government through USIP, and by the Carnegie Corporation as part of their
program Preventing Deadly Conflict. "Preventive Action" means intervention.
He is a member of the centers South Balkans Working Group, and edited a 1996
Council on Foreign Relations study Towards Comprehensive Peace in Southeast
Europe: Conflict Prevention in the South Balkans. Rubin is an Afghanistan
specialist, also on the Board of the Asia division of HRW. He authored and
edited several works on Afghanistan. Rubin apparently had a curious attitude to
the Taliban, he saw them as a bulwark against Islamic radicalism. No doubt he
changed his attitude after 11 September 2001. See this letter to NPR, entitled
Afghanistan Whitewash:
While the Lyden-Rubin conversation made no mention of US support for the
Taliban, they referred several times to US "pressure" on the Taliban to now
respect human rights. This is a total white wash which distorts the historical
record beyond recognition.

Rubin is on the Advisory Board of the Soros Foundation Central Eurasia
Project. He is an advisor of the Forced Migration Project of Soros' Open Society
Institute, and he is also on the Board of the Soros Humanitarian Fund for
Tajikistan. Perhaps most interesting is that the U.S. Institute of Peace (a de
facto government agency) gave him a grant to research "formation of a new state
system in Central Eurasia".
Barnett Rubin articles on Central Asia

This may be repetitive, but note once again that there are absolutely no
Foundations or Institutes in Central Asia, which pay people to design "new state
systems" in North America. For people like Rubin "human rights" mean simply that
the US designs the world. See this article at the Soros Central Asia site, The
Political Economy of War and Peace in Afghanistan, advocating a de facto
colonial government in Afghanistan financed by oil revenues. He wasn't talking
about the present Karzai government, which meets the description, but about the
Taliban regime. Although they might prefer to forget this now, western foreign
policy circles did consider recognising the Taliban, in a sort of oil-for-sharia

Rubin is also a member of the US State Department Advisory Committee on
Religious Freedom Abroad. The Final Report of this Committee also sums up what
the United States can do, when it finds religious freedom has been infringed.
The list begins at "friendly, persuasive: open an embassy" and ends with "act of

Rubin was also involved in the 1997 New York meeting, where the United States
attempted to create a unified Yugoslav opposition, with among others Vuk
Draskovic. The effort failed at the time: the opposition never united until
Milosevic fell.

<b>Colette Shulman</b>
Womens' rights specialist. Works for the US 'National Council for Research on
Women', where she is editor of 'Women's Dialogue', a Russian-language magazine
for Russian women. Does the Russian Federation have a national research council
which publishes English-language magazines for American women? I doubt it: it is
the American obsession to redesign the rest of the world, in detail.
Leon Sigal, also known as Lee Sigal
Director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social
Science Research Council, specialist on North Korea, author of 'Disarming
Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea'. It is not clear why he is on the
Europe Advisory Committee, instead of the Asia committee. See his biography:
...member of the editorial board of The New York Times from 1989 until 1995.
In 1979 he served as International Affairs Fellow in the Bureau of
Politico-Military Affairs at the Department of State and in 1980 as Special
Assistant to the Director. He was a Rockefeller Younger Scholar in Foreign
Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution from 1972-1974 and a guest scholar
there in 1981-1984. From 1974 to 1989 he taught international politics at
Wesleyan University as a professor of government. He was an adjunct professor at
Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs from 1985 to
1989 and from 1996 to 2000, and visiting lecturer at Princeton University's
Woodrow Wilson School in 1988 and 2000.

Sigal is a member of the Board of Advisors at Globalbeat Syndicate, part of
the New York University Dept of Journalism.

<b>Malcolm Smith</b>
Senior Consultant, former President, at General American Investors Company,
<b>George Soros</b>
In some ways the 'Osama bin Laden' of the human rights movement - a rich man using his wealth, to spread his values across the world. See this overview of his role in Eastern Europe: George Soros: New Statesman Profile (Neil Clark, June 2003). The Public Affairs site gives this short biography of George Soros, chief financier of HRW and of numerous organisations in eastern Europe with pro-American, pro-market policies.
George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930. In 1947 he emigrated to England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. While a student in London, Mr. Soros became familiar with the work of the philosopher Karl Popper, who had a profound influence on his thinking and later on his philanthropic activities. In 1956 he moved to the United States, where he began to accumulate a large fortune through an international investment fund he founded and managed.

Mr. Soros currently serves as chairman of Soros Fund Management L.L.C., a private investment management firm that serves as principal investment advisor to the Quantum Group of Funds. The Quantum Fund N.V., the oldest and largest fund within the Quantum Group, is generally recognized as having the best performance record of any investment fund in the world in its twenty-nine-year history.

Mr. Soros established his first foundation, the Open Society Fund, in New York in 1979 and his first Eastern European foundation in Hungary in 1984. He now funds a network of foundations that operate in thirty-one countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, as well as southern Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, Mongolia and the United States. These foundations are dedicated to building and maintaining the infrastructure and institutions of an open society. Mr. Soros has also founded other major institutions, such as the Central European University and the International Science Foundation. In 1994, the foundations in the network spent a total of approximately $300 million; in 1995, $350 million; in 1996, $362 million; and in 1997, $428 million. Giving for 1998 is expected to be maintained at that level.

Soros Foundations Network
Open Society Institute Staff Directory
Privatization Project
Open Society Institute Budapest

<b>Marco Stoffel</b>
Founder and director of the Third Millennium Foundation. Although it sounds harmless, the Foundation promotes a pseudo-ethical theory aimed at children, in which morality is reduced to 'empathy'. It also funds some human rights research.
<b>Ruti Teitel</b>
Professor of Constitutional Law at the New York Law School, see his biography. In the last few years he has specialised in the Constitutions of eastern European countries, and advised on the new Ukrainian constitution.
<b>Mark von Hagen</b>
Director of the Harriman Institute - an International Relations institute of Columbia University in New York. A Soviet and post-Soviet specialist, with a long list of publications, see his profile at the institute website.

<b>Patricia M. Wald</b>
US Judge, appointed to the Yugoslavia Tribunal (ICTY) in The Hague, until 2001. See this interview. Incidentally, the Soros Foundation also paid for the equipment of the Tribunal - so much for its judicial impartiality.
<b>Mark Walton</b>
This is apparently a British specialist in human rights and mental health, but I can not link him definitively to HRW.
<b>William D. Zabel</b>
George Soros legal advisor, on foundation and charity law. A estate and family financial lawyer for the rich at Schulte, Roth, and Zabel. His biography lists his involvement with these Soros Foundations: "Newly Independent States and the Baltic Republics, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Central European University and
Open Society Fund". See this biographical article originally from the National Law Journal:
When fate knocks, rich ring for Zabel He is a trustee of Fanton's New School of Social Research, and member of the Advisory Board of the World Policy Institute at the New School.

Zabel is a director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights is one of the partners in the "Apparel Industry Partnership", a group set up by the Clinton administration and the US clothing and footwear industries to defuse criticism of conditions in their factories. The (not particularly radical) US trade union federation refuses to co-operate with it.

Zabel is also on the Board of Doctors of the World, the USA branch of Médecins du Monde, founded by Bernard Kouchner in 1980. Kouchner was later appointed the UN Representative ( the "governor") in Kosovo - and he has been suggested as a possible 'UN Governor' in Iraq. Despite the name, Médecins du Monde is a purely western organisation, see the affiliate list.

<b>Warren Zimmermann</b>
US Ambassador to Yugoslavia during its break-up, author of Origins of Catastrophe: Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers. A Cold-War career diplomat, long active in US human rights campaigns against eastern Europe. See this site for an extreme pro-Bosniac assessment of his book by Branka Magas, alleging he appeased
Milosevic: "In the event, by pursuing Yugoslavia's unity rather than supporting Slovenia and Croatia in their demands for either the country's confederal transformation or its peaceful dissolution, the United States helped ensure its violent break-up". (I think it is logically consistent with US values and interests, that the US supported one policy around 1990 and another in Kosovo. The real problem is that so many people in Europe expect the US to design their states and write their Constitutions. It is because of this attitude, that people like Zimmermann, and organisations like HRW, can flourish) Zimmermann is now a professor of Diplomacy at Columbia University. If you think the 'amoral diplomat' is a stereotype, look at how his 1997 Contemporary Diplomacy course taught future diplomats:
Imagine that you are a member of Secretary Albright's Policy Planning Staff.
She has asked you to write a strategy paper for one of the following diplomatic
- Dealing with NATO expansion and with the countries affected;
- Crafting a more energetic and assertive US approach to the Israeli-PLO deadlock;
-Raising the American profile in sub-Saharan Africa;
- Developing a US initiative to improve relations with Cuba;
- Forging an American approach to Central Asia and its energy wealth;
- Making better use of the UN and other multilateral organizations like OSCE;
- Weighing the relative priorities between pursuing human rights and keeping open lucrative economic opportunities;
- Increasing interest in, and support for, US foreign policy among the
American people.

With Barnett Rubin, Zimmermann is a member of the Advisory Board of the Forced
Migration Project at Soros Open Society Institute.

With Felice Gaer, Zimmermann is also on the Board of the quasi-commercial International Dispute Resolution Associates. (Peacemaking has become big business, but IDR is also funded by the US Government through the USIP).

He is a Trustee of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs

<b>HRW Council</b>
The Human Rights Watch 'Council' is primarily a fund-raising group. However, its members no doubt expect some influence on HRW policy, for their $5 000 minimum
donation. The Council describes itself as "...an international membership organization that seeks to increase awareness of human rights issues and support
for Human Rights Watch."
At first Council membership was secret, but the list is now online: it partly overlaps with Board and Advisory Committee members. The interesting thing about the Council is that it shows how much HRW is not international. It is Anglo-American, to the point of caricature. The Council is sub-divided onto four 'regional committees'. You might expect a division by continents (the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific). But instead the 'regions' of the HRW global community are New York, Northern California, Southern California, and London. There is also a three-person 'Europe Committee At-Large' but it does not appear to organise any activities.

Although Human Rights Watch claims to act in the name of universal values, it is an organisation with a narrow social and geographical base. If HRW Council members were truly concerned about the welfare of Africans, Tibetans or eastern
Europeans, then they would at least offer them an equal chance to influence the organisation. Instead, geographical location and the high cost restrict Council
Membership to the US and British upper-middle-class.
<b>HRW Donors</b>
Taken from an older version of the HRW website, this 1995 list is apparently the
only information available. In the United States, HRW is not legally obliged to
disclose who donates money. About half its funds come from foundations, and half
from individual donors, in total about $20 million.
In its Annual Reports, HRW always claims that it "accepts no government funds,
directly or indirectly." However, that was a lie according to the 1995 list, and
it is still a lie. The Dutch Novib - now part of the Oxfam group - is a
government-funded aid organisation, and in turn it funded the activities of
Human Rights Watch Africa in the Great Lakes region and Angola. Oxfam itself is
primarily funded by the British government and the European Union, see their
annual report. It is also funded by the United States Agency for International
Development, USAID. Oxfam in turn partly funds Novib, so some of that money
finds it way to HRW. Both Oxfam and Novib funded the HRW report on the Rwanda
genocide. So, if it is as accurate as HRW's claim not to accept any indirect
government funding, look elsewhere for the truth.

<b>DONORS OF $100,000 OR MORE</b>
Dorothy and Lewis Cullman
The Aaron Diamond Foundation
Irene Diamond
The Ford Foundation
The Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett Fund
Estate of Anne Johnson
The J. M. Kaplan Fund
The Fanny and Leo Koerner Charitable Trust
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The John Merck Fund
The Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation
Novib, The Dutch Organization for Development Corporation,
The Overbrook Foundation
Donald Pels
The Ruben and Elisabeth Rausing Trust
The Rockefeller Foundation
Marion and Herbert Sandler, The Sandler Family Supporting Foundation
Susan and George Soros
Shelby White and Leon Levy

<b>DONORS OF $25,000 - $99,999</b>

The Arca Foundation
Helen and Robert Bernstein
Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Bronfman, Jr.
Nikki and David Brown
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Compton Foundation, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Davis
The Dr. Seuss Foundation
Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller
Jack Edelman
Epstein Philanthropies
Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de L'Homme
Barbara Finberg
General Service Foundation
Abby Gilmore and Arthur Freierman
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund
Katherine Graham, The Washington Post Company
Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
Hudson News
Independence Foundation
The Isenberg Family Charitable Trust
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation
Robert and Ardis James
Jesuit Refugee Service
Nancy and Jerome Kohlberg
Lyn and Norman Lear
Joshua Mailman
Medico International
Moriah Fund, Inc.
Ruth Mott Fund
Kathleen Peratis and Richard Frank
Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation
Ploughshares Fund
Public Welfare Foundation, Inc.
Anita and Gordon Roddick
Edna and Richard Salomon
Lorraine and Sid Sheinberg
Margaret R. Spanel
Time Warner Inc.
U.S. Jesuit Conference
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Edie and Lew Wasserman
Maureen White and Steven Rattner
Malcolm Wiener and Carolyn Seely Wiener
The Winston Foundation for World Peace<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Moorthy Muthuswamy raises some important questions in this article.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Is America undermining religious freedom abroad?


I recently came across the news that the United States State Department (USSD) officials posted abroad are actively advocating on behalf of proselytizing groups (in India, for example) – on the grounds of advancing religious freedom.

Specifically, these officials have urged local and central governments to allow its citizens the freedom to choose (a faith) by removing any or all of anti-conversion laws.

My preliminary investigation reveals that in all likelihood the USSD efforts are honest and well-meaning. However, it appears that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has given incomplete and misguided set of instructions to USSD. This has led to what appears to be American undermining of religious freedom abroad -- as opposed to promoting one.

Why are USCIRF guidelines incomplete and misguiding?

<b>The guidelines issued by USCIRF are inadequate and incomplete on two areas:

    * The USSD officials do not appear to have done background checks on religious organizations on whose behalf they have advocated

For instance, in India, Muslim and Christian organizations routinely discriminate on the basis of religion in hiring. It is widely observed that percentage of people of Muslim/Christian background in institutions controlled by them is several times more than their population percentage in many regions of India – clearly implying religious discrimination (given the fact that the majority Hindus constituting around 80% of the population are skilled/educated). 

It is notable that the United States under the Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

It doesn’t appear that USSD officials checked to see whether proselytizing Muslim or Christian organization on whose behalf they lobbied discriminated on the basis of religion. I believe there is a law that bars the State Department from associating itself with any groups abroad that employ local practices that violate American constitution. I am no lawyer, and it is for USSD lawyers to find out whether any American law was violated (inadvertently, perhaps). </b>

·         While nudging local governments abroad to ensure religious freedom, the USSD officials do NOT appear to have advised local governments the dire need to enact and enforce laws that prohibit religious discrimination (like in America)

It appears that USSD officials just did the former but not the later. Freedom to convert in the absence of prohibition of religious discrimination is an invitation for conversion to a faith that has the most resources, and a license for religious decimation. In fact, this would grossly undermine religious freedom. This is among the reasons America enacted the 1964 civil rights act.

Unfortunately, many Christian organizations in India, supported by evangelical groups based in America have used these unethical means (which would have been in violation of laws here in America) to convert almost entire regions to Christianity. In many institutions they control, they hired Christians in discriminatory ways for jobs that are state funded --- such as teachers in some schools or colleges. This led to unfair wealth transfer to Christians and marginalizing of non-Christians. The poor non-Christians had very few alternatives but to convert -- exactly the kind of a situation the American Civil Right Act of 1964 works to avoid.

In developing nations such as India where governing and law enforcement are dismal, enactment of laws to prohibit discrimination alone is simply not enough -- as well-connected and resource rich missionaries are known to intimidate local law enforcement to look the other way as they indulge in discriminatory practices.

Guidelines USCIRF could issue

USCIRF needs to revisit and perhaps, issue revised guidelines to USSD along these lines:

    * The United States State Department officials abroad cease to advocate on behalf of any religious organization that practices religious or any form of discrimination. The onus is on these officials to do the verification.
    * To ensure religious freedom, in its lobbying efforts abroad, the United States State Department gives EQUAL emphasis to enactment and ENFORCEMENT of laws requiring non-discriminate hiring practices as it does in articulating the need for laws that ensure the freedom to choose (a faith).

Moorthy Muthuswamy PhD

SIGNS OF THINGS TO COME! ...... hope some providence saves man kind!
What the Pentagon can now do in secret.
Issue of 2005-01-24 and 31
Posted 2005-01-17
George W. Bush’s reëlection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism—during his second term. The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way.

Despite the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration has not reconsidered its basic long-range policy goal in the Middle East: the establishment of democracy throughout the region. Bush’s reëlection is regarded within the Administration as evidence of America’s support for his decision to go to war. It has reaffirmed the position of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon’s civilian leadership who advocated the invasion, including Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Douglas Feith, the Under-secretary for Policy. According to a former high-level intelligence official, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the election and told them, in essence, that the naysayers had been heard and the American people did not accept their message. Rumsfeld added that America was committed to staying in Iraq and that there would be no second-guessing.

“This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah—we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.”

Bush and Cheney may have set the policy, but it is Rumsfeld who has directed its implementation and has absorbed much of the public criticism when things went wrong—whether it was prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib or lack of sufficient armor plating for G.I.s’ vehicles in Iraq. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called for Rumsfeld’s dismissal, and he is not widely admired inside the military. Nonetheless, his reappointment as Defense Secretary was never in doubt.

Rumsfeld will become even more important during the second term. In interviews with past and present intelligence and military officials, I was told that the agenda had been determined before the Presidential election, and much of it would be Rumsfeld’s responsibility. The war on terrorism would be expanded, and effectively placed under the Pentagon’s control. The President has signed a series of findings and executive orders authorizing secret commando groups and other Special Forces units to conduct covert operations against suspected terrorist targets in as many as ten nations in the Middle East and South Asia.

The President’s decision enables Rumsfeld to run the operations off the books—free from legal restrictions imposed on the C.I.A. Under current law, all C.I.A. covert activities overseas must be authorized by a Presidential finding and reported to the Senate and House intelligence committees. (The laws were enacted after a series of scandals in the nineteen-seventies involving C.I.A. domestic spying and attempted assassinations of foreign leaders.) “The Pentagon doesn’t feel obligated to report any of this to Congress,” the former high-level intelligence official said. “They don’t even call it ‘covert ops’—it’s too close to the C.I.A. phrase. In their view, it’s ‘black reconnaissance.’ They’re not even going to tell the cincs”—the regional American military commanders-in-chief. (The Defense Department and the White House did not respond to requests for comment on this story.)

In my interviews, I was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran. “Everyone is saying, ‘You can’t be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,’ ” the former intelligence official told me. “But they say, ‘We’ve got some lessons learned—not militarily, but how we did it politically. We’re not going to rely on agency pissants.’ No loose ends, and that’s why the C.I.A. is out of there.”

For more than a year, France, Germany, Britain, and other countries in the European Union have seen preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon as a race against time—and against the Bush Administration. They have been negotiating with the Iranian leadership to give up its nuclear-weapons ambitions in exchange for economic aid and trade benefits. Iran has agreed to temporarily halt its enrichment programs, which generate fuel for nuclear power plants but also could produce weapons-grade fissile material. (Iran claims that such facilities are legal under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or N.P.T., to which it is a signator, and that it has no intention of building a bomb.) But the goal of the current round of talks, which began in December in Brussels, is to persuade Tehran to go further, and dismantle its machinery. Iran insists, in return, that it needs to see some concrete benefits from the Europeans—oil-production technology, heavy-industrial equipment, and perhaps even permission to purchase a fleet of Airbuses. (Iran has been denied access to technology and many goods owing to sanctions.)

The Europeans have been urging the Bush Administration to join in these negotiations. The Administration has refused to do so. The civilian leadership in the Pentagon has argued that no diplomatic progress on the Iranian nuclear threat will take place unless there is a credible threat of military action. “The neocons say negotiations are a bad deal,” a senior official of the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) told me. “And the only thing the Iranians understand is pressure. And that they also need to be whacked.”

The core problem is that Iran has successfully hidden the extent of its nuclear program, and its progress. Many Western intelligence agencies, including those of the United States, believe that Iran is at least three to five years away from a capability to independently produce nuclear warheads—although its work on a missile-delivery system is far more advanced. Iran is also widely believed by Western intelligence agencies and the I.A.E.A. to have serious technical problems with its weapons system, most notably in the production of the hexafluoride gas needed to fabricate nuclear warheads.

A retired senior C.I.A. official, one of many who left the agency recently, told me that he was familiar with the assessments, and confirmed that Iran is known to be having major difficulties in its weapons work. He also acknowledged that the agency’s timetable for a nuclear Iran matches the European estimates—assuming that Iran gets no outside help. “The big wild card for us is that you don’t know who is capable of filling in the missing parts for them,” the recently retired official said. “North Korea? Pakistan? We don’t know what parts are missing.”

One Western diplomat told me that the Europeans believed they were in what he called a “lose-lose position” as long as the United States refuses to get involved. “France, Germany, and the U.K. cannot succeed alone, and everybody knows it,” the diplomat said. “If the U.S. stays outside, we don’t have enough leverage, and our effort will collapse.” The alternative would be to go to the Security Council, but any resolution imposing sanctions would likely be vetoed by China or Russia, and then “the United Nations will be blamed and the Americans will say, ‘The only solution is to bomb.’ ”

A European Ambassador noted that President Bush is scheduled to visit Europe in February, and that there has been public talk from the White House about improving the President’s relationship with America’s E.U. allies. In that context, the Ambassador told me, “I’m puzzled by the fact that the United States is not helping us in our program. How can Washington maintain its stance without seriously taking into account the weapons issue?”

The Israeli government is, not surprisingly, skeptical of the European approach. Silvan Shalom, the Foreign Minister, said in an interview last week in Jerusalem,with another New Yorker journalist, “I don’t like what’s happening. We were encouraged at first when the Europeans got involved. For a long time, they thought it was just Israel’s problem. But then they saw that the [Iranian] missiles themselves were longer range and could reach all of Europe, and they became very concerned. Their attitude has been to use the carrot and the stick—but all we see so far is the carrot.” He added, “If they can’t comply, Israel cannot live with Iran having a nuclear bomb.”

In a recent essay, Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert who is the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (and a supporter of the Administration), articulated the view that force, or the threat of it, was a vital bargaining tool with Iran. Clawson wrote that if Europe wanted coöperation with the Bush Administration it “would do well to remind Iran that the military option remains on the table.” He added that the argument that the European negotiations hinged on Washington looked like “a preëmptive excuse for the likely breakdown of the E.U.-Iranian talks.” In a subsequent conversation with me, Clawson suggested that, if some kind of military action was inevitable, “it would be much more in Israel’s interest—and Washington’s—to take covert action. The style of this Administration is to use overwhelming force—‘shock and awe.’ But we get only one bite of the apple.”

There are many military and diplomatic experts who dispute the notion that military action, on whatever scale, is the right approach. Shahram Chubin, an Iranian scholar who is the director of research at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, told me, “It’s a fantasy to think that there’s a good American or Israeli military option in Iran.” He went on, “The Israeli view is that this is an international problem. ‘You do it,’ they say to the West. ‘Otherwise, our Air Force will take care of it.’ ” In 1981, the Israeli Air Force destroyed Iraq’s Osirak reactor, setting its nuclear program back several years. But the situation now is both more complex and more dangerous, Chubin said. The Osirak bombing “drove the Iranian nuclear-weapons program underground, to hardened, dispersed sites,” he said. “You can’t be sure after an attack that you’ll get away with it. The U.S. and Israel would not be certain whether all the sites had been hit, or how quickly they’d be rebuilt. Meanwhile, they’d be waiting for an Iranian counter-attack that could be military or terrorist or diplomatic. Iran has long-range missiles and ties to Hezbollah, which has drones—you can’t begin to think of what they’d do in response.”

Chubin added that Iran could also renounce the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. “It’s better to have them cheating within the system,” he said. “Otherwise, as victims, Iran will walk away from the treaty and inspections while the rest of the world watches the N.P.T. unravel before their eyes.”

The Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer. Much of the focus is on the accumulation of intelligence and targeting information on Iranian nuclear, chemical, and missile sites, both declared and suspected. The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids. “The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible,” the government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon told me.

Some of the missions involve extraordinary coöperation. For example, the former high-level intelligence official told me that an American commando task force has been set up in South Asia and is now working closely with a group of Pakistani scientists and technicians who had dealt with Iranian counterparts. (In 2003, the I.A.E.A. disclosed that Iran had been secretly receiving nuclear technology from Pakistan for more than a decade, and had withheld that information from inspectors.) The American task force, aided by the information from Pakistan, has been penetrating eastern Iran from Afghanistan in a hunt for underground installations. The task-force members, or their locally recruited agents, secreted remote detection devices—known as sniffers—capable of sampling the atmosphere for radioactive emissions and other evidence of nuclear-enrichment programs.

Getting such evidence is a pressing concern for the Bush Administration. The former high-level intelligence official told me, “They don’t want to make any W.M.D. intelligence mistakes, as in Iraq. The Republicans can’t have two of those. There’s no education in the second kick of a mule.” The official added that the government of Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani President, has won a high price for its coöperation—American assurance that Pakistan will not have to hand over A. Q. Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, to the I.A.E.A. or to any other international authorities for questioning. For two decades, Khan has been linked to a vast consortium of nuclear-black-market activities. Last year, Musharraf professed to be shocked when Khan, in the face of overwhelming evidence, “confessed” to his activities. A few days later, Musharraf pardoned him, and so far he has refused to allow the I.A.E.A. or American intelligence to interview him. Khan is now said to be living under house arrest in a villa in Islamabad. “It’s a deal—a trade-off,” the former high-level intelligence official explained. “ ‘Tell us what you know about Iran and we will let your A. Q. Khan guys go.’ It’s the neoconservatives’ version of short-term gain at long-term cost. They want to prove that Bush is the anti-terrorism guy who can handle Iran and the nuclear threat, against the long-term goal of eliminating the black market for nuclear proliferation.”

The agreement comes at a time when Musharraf, according to a former high-level Pakistani diplomat, has authorized the expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons arsenal. “Pakistan still needs parts and supplies, and needs to buy them in the clandestine market,” the former diplomat said. “The U.S. has done nothing to stop it.”

There has also been close, and largely unacknowledged, coöperation with Israel. The government consultant with ties to the Pentagon said that the Defense Department civilians, under the leadership of Douglas Feith, have been working with Israeli planners and consultants to develop and refine potential nuclear, chemical-weapons, and missile targets inside Iran. (After Osirak, Iran situated many of its nuclear sites in remote areas of the east, in an attempt to keep them out of striking range of other countries, especially Israel. Distance no longer lends such protection, however: Israel has acquired three submarines capable of launching cruise missiles and has equipped some of its aircraft with additional fuel tanks, putting Israeli F-16I fighters within the range of most Iranian targets.)

“They believe that about three-quarters of the potential targets can be destroyed from the air, and a quarter are too close to population centers, or buried too deep, to be targeted,” the consultant said. Inevitably, he added, some suspicious sites need to be checked out by American or Israeli commando teams—in on-the-ground surveillance—before being targeted.

The Pentagon’s contingency plans for a broader invasion of Iran are also being updated. Strategists at the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, in Tampa, Florida, have been asked to revise the military’s war plan, providing for a maximum ground and air invasion of Iran. Updating the plan makes sense, whether or not the Administration intends to act, because the geopolitics of the region have changed dramatically in the last three years. Previously, an American invasion force would have had to enter Iran by sea, by way of the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Oman; now troops could move in on the ground, from Afghanistan or Iraq. Commando units and other assets could be introduced through new bases in the Central Asian republics.

It is possible that some of the American officials who talk about the need to eliminate Iran’s nuclear infrastructure are doing so as part of a propaganda campaign aimed at pressuring Iran to give up its weapons planning. If so, the signals are not always clear. President Bush, who after 9/11 famously depicted Iran as a member of the “axis of evil,” is now publicly emphasizing the need for diplomacy to run its course. “We don’t have much leverage with the Iranians right now,” the President said at a news conference late last year. “Diplomacy must be the first choice, and always the first choice of an administration trying to solve an issue of . . . nuclear armament. And we’ll continue to press on diplomacy.”

In my interviews over the past two months, I was given a much harsher view. The hawks in the Administration believe that it will soon become clear that the Europeans’ negotiated approach cannot succeed, and that at that time the Administration will act. “We’re not dealing with a set of National Security Council option papers here,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “They’ve already passed that wicket. It’s not if we’re going to do anything against Iran. They’re doing it.”

The immediate goals of the attacks would be to destroy, or at least temporarily derail, Iran’s ability to go nuclear. But there are other, equally purposeful, motives at work. The government consultant told me that the hawks in the Pentagon, in private discussions, have been urging a limited attack on Iran because they believe it could lead to a toppling of the religious leadership. “Within the soul of Iran there is a struggle between secular nationalists and reformers, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the fundamentalist Islamic movement,” the consultant told me. “The minute the aura of invincibility which the mullahs enjoy is shattered, and with it the ability to hoodwink the West, the Iranian regime will collapse” —like the former Communist regimes in Romania, East Germany, and the Soviet Union. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz share that belief, he said.

“The idea that an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would produce a popular uprising is extremely illinformed,” said Flynt Leverett, a Middle East scholar who worked on the National Security Council in the Bush Administration. “You have to understand that the nuclear ambition in Iran is supported across the political spectrum, and Iranians will perceive attacks on these sites as attacks on their ambitions to be a major regional player and a modern nation that’s technologically sophisticated.” Leverett, who is now a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, at the Brookings Institution, warned that an American attack, if it takes place, “will produce an Iranian backlash against the United States and a rallying around the regime.”

Rumsfeld planned and lobbied for more than two years before getting Presidential authority, in a series of findings and executive orders, to use military commandos for covert operations. One of his first steps was bureaucratic: to shift control of an undercover unit, known then as the Gray Fox (it has recently been given a new code name), from the Army to the Special Operations Command (socom), in Tampa. Gray Fox was formally assigned to socom in July, 2002, at the instigation of Rumsfeld’s office, which meant that the undercover unit would have a single commander for administration and operational deployment. Then, last fall, Rumsfeld’s ability to deploy the commandos expanded. According to a Pentagon consultant, an Execute Order on the Global War on Terrorism (referred to throughout the government as gwot) was issued at Rumsfeld’s direction. The order specifically authorized the military “to find and finish” terrorist targets, the consultant said. It included a target list that cited Al Qaeda network members, Al Qaeda senior leadership, and other high-value targets. The consultant said that the order had been cleared throughout the national-security bureaucracy in Washington.

In late November, 2004, the Times reported that Bush had set up an interagency group to study whether it “would best serve the nation” to give the Pentagon complete control over the C.I.A.’s own élite paramilitary unit, which has operated covertly in trouble spots around the world for decades. The panel’s conclusions, due in February, are foregone, in the view of many former C.I.A. officers. “It seems like it’s going to happen,” Howard Hart, who was chief of the C.I.A.’s Paramilitary Operations Division before retiring in 1991, told me.

There was other evidence of Pentagon encroachment. Two former C.I.A. clandestine officers, Vince Cannistraro and Philip Giraldi, who publish Intelligence Brief, a newsletter for their business clients, reported last month on the existence of a broad counter-terrorism Presidential finding that permitted the Pentagon “to operate unilaterally in a number of countries where there is a perception of a clear and evident terrorist threat. . . . A number of the countries are friendly to the U.S. and are major trading partners. Most have been cooperating in the war on terrorism.” The two former officers listed some of the countries—Algeria, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Malaysia. (I was subsequently told by the former high-level intelligence official that Tunisia is also on the list.)

Giraldi, who served three years in military intelligence before joining the C.I.A., said that he was troubled by the military’s expanded covert assignment. “I don’t think they can handle the cover,” he told me. “They’ve got to have a different mind-set. They’ve got to handle new roles and get into foreign cultures and learn how other people think. If you’re going into a village and shooting people, it doesn’t matter,” Giraldi added. “But if you’re running operations that involve finesse and sensitivity, the military can’t do it. Which is why these kind of operations were always run out of the agency.” I was told that many Special Operations officers also have serious misgivings.

Rumsfeld and two of his key deputies, Stephen Cambone, the Under-secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and Army Lieutenant General William G. (Jerry) Boykin, will be part of the chain of command for the new commando operations. Relevant members of the House and Senate intelligence committees have been briefed on the Defense Department’s expanded role in covert affairs, a Pentagon adviser assured me, but he did not know how extensive the briefings had been.

“I’m conflicted about the idea of operating without congressional oversight,” the Pentagon adviser said. “But I’ve been told that there will be oversight down to the specific operation.” A second Pentagon adviser agreed, with a significant caveat. “There are reporting requirements,” he said. “But to execute the finding we don’t have to go back and say, ‘We’re going here and there.’ No nitty-gritty detail and no micromanagement.”

The legal questions about the Pentagon’s right to conduct covert operations without informing Congress have not been resolved. “It’s a very, very gray area,” said Jeffrey H. Smith, a West Point graduate who served as the C.I.A.’s general counsel in the mid-nineteen-nineties. “Congress believes it voted to include all such covert activities carried out by the armed forces. The military says, ‘No, the things we’re doing are not intelligence actions under the statute but necessary military steps authorized by the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to “prepare the battlefield.” ’ ” Referring to his days at the C.I.A., Smith added, “We were always careful not to use the armed forces in a covert action without a Presidential finding. The Bush Administration has taken a much more aggressive stance.”

In his conversation with me, Smith emphasized that he was unaware of the military’s current plans for expanding covert action. But he said, “Congress has always worried that the Pentagon is going to get us involved in some military misadventure that nobody knows about.”

Under Rumsfeld’s new approach, I was told, U.S. military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists. This could potentially involve organizing and carrying out combat operations, or even terrorist activities. Some operations will likely take place in nations in which there is an American diplomatic mission, with an Ambassador and a C.I.A. station chief, the Pentagon consultant said. The Ambassador and the station chief would not necessarily have a need to know, under the Pentagon’s current interpretation of its reporting requirement.

The new rules will enable the Special Forces community to set up what it calls “action teams” in the target countries overseas which can be used to find and eliminate terrorist organizations. “Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?” the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. “We founded them and we financed them,” he said. “The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren’t going to tell Congress about it.” A former military officer, who has knowledge of the Pentagon’s commando capabilities, said, “We’re going to be riding with the bad boys.”

One of the rationales for such tactics was spelled out in a series of articles by John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California, and a consultant on terrorism for the rand corporation. “It takes a network to fight a network,” Arquilla wrote in a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

When conventional military operations and bombing failed to defeat the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya in the 1950s, the British formed teams of friendly Kikuyu tribesmen who went about pretending to be terrorists. These “pseudo gangs,” as they were called, swiftly threw the Mau Mau on the defensive, either by befriending and then ambushing bands of fighters or by guiding bombers to the terrorists’ camps. What worked in Kenya a half-century ago has a wonderful chance of undermining trust and recruitment among today’s terror networks. Forming new pseudo gangs should not be difficult.

“If a confused young man from Marin County can join up with Al Qaeda,” Arquilla wrote, referring to John Walker Lindh, the twenty-year-old Californian who was seized in Afghanistan, “think what professional operatives might do.”

A few pilot covert operations were conducted last year, one Pentagon adviser told me, and a terrorist cell in Algeria was “rolled up” with American help. The adviser was referring, apparently, to the capture of Ammari Saifi, known as Abderrezak le Para, the head of a North African terrorist network affiliated with Al Qaeda. But at the end of the year there was no agreement within the Defense Department about the rules of engagement. “The issue is approval for the final authority,” the former high-level intelligence official said. “Who gets to say ‘Get this’ or ‘Do this’?”

A retired four-star general said, “The basic concept has always been solid, but how do you insure that the people doing it operate within the concept of the law? This is pushing the edge of the envelope.” The general added, “It’s the oversight. And you’re not going to get Warner”—John Warner, of Virginia, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee—“and those guys to exercise oversight. This whole thing goes to the Fourth Deck.” He was referring to the floor in the Pentagon where Rumsfeld and Cambone have their offices.

“It’s a finesse to give power to Rumsfeld—giving him the right to act swiftly, decisively, and lethally,” the first Pentagon adviser told me. “It’s a global free-fire zone.”

The Pentagon has tried to work around the limits on covert activities before. In the early nineteen-eighties, a covert Army unit was set up and authorized to operate overseas with minimal oversight. The results were disastrous. The Special Operations program was initially known as Intelligence Support Activity, or I.S.A., and was administered from a base near Washington (as was, later, Gray Fox). It was established soon after the failed rescue, in April, 1980, of the American hostages in Iran, who were being held by revolutionary students after the Islamic overthrow of the Shah’s regime. At first, the unit was kept secret from many of the senior generals and civilian leaders in the Pentagon, as well as from many members of Congress. It was eventually deployed in the Reagan Administration’s war against the Sandinista government, in Nicaragua. It was heavily committed to supporting the Contras. By the mid-eighties, however, the I.S.A.’s operations had been curtailed, and several of its senior officers were courtmartialled following a series of financial scandals, some involving arms deals. The affair was known as “the Yellow Fruit scandal,” after the code name given to one of the I.S.A.’s cover organizations—and in many ways the group’s procedures laid the groundwork for the Iran-Contra scandal.

Despite the controversy surrounding Yellow Fruit, the I.S.A. was kept intact as an undercover unit by the Army. “But we put so many restrictions on it,” the second Pentagon adviser said. “In I.S.A., if you wanted to travel fifty miles you had to get a special order. And there were certain areas, such as Lebanon, where they could not go.” The adviser acknowledged that the current operations are similar to those two decades earlier, with similar risks—and, as he saw it, similar reasons for taking the risks. “What drove them then, in terms of Yellow Fruit, was that they had no intelligence on Iran,” the adviser told me. “They had no knowledge of Tehran and no people on the ground who could prepare the battle space.”

Rumsfeld’s decision to revive this approach stemmed, once again, from a failure of intelligence in the Middle East, the adviser said. The Administration believed that the C.I.A. was unable, or unwilling, to provide the military with the information it needed to effectively challenge stateless terrorism. “One of the big challenges was that we didn’t have Humint”—human intelligence—“collection capabilities in areas where terrorists existed,” the adviser told me. “Because the C.I.A. claimed to have such a hold on Humint, the way to get around them, rather than take them on, was to claim that the agency didn’t do Humint to support Special Forces operations overseas. The C.I.A. fought it.” Referring to Rumsfeld’s new authority for covert operations, the first Pentagon adviser told me, “It’s not empowering military intelligence. It’s emasculating the C.I.A.”

A former senior C.I.A. officer depicted the agency’s eclipse as predictable. “For years, the agency bent over backward to integrate and coördinate with the Pentagon,” the former officer said. “We just caved and caved and got what we deserved. It is a fact of life today that the Pentagon is a five-hundred-pound gorilla and the C.I.A. director is a chimpanzee.”

There was pressure from the White House, too. A former C.I.A. clandestine-services officer told me that, in the months after the resignation of the agency’s director George Tenet, in June, 2004, the White House began “coming down critically” on analysts in the C.I.A.’s Directorate of Intelligence (D.I.) and demanded “to see more support for the Administration’s political position.” Porter Goss, Tenet’s successor, engaged in what the recently retired C.I.A. official described as a “political purge” in the D.I. Among the targets were a few senior analysts who were known to write dissenting papers that had been forwarded to the White House. The recently retired C.I.A. official said, “The White House carefully reviewed the political analyses of the D.I. so they could sort out the apostates from the true believers.” Some senior analysts in the D.I. have turned in their resignations—quietly, and without revealing the extent of the disarray.

The White House solidified its control over intelligence last month, when it forced last-minute changes in the intelligence-reform bill. The legislation, based substantially on recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, originally gave broad powers, including authority over intelligence spending, to a new national-intelligence director. (The Pentagon controls roughly eighty per cent of the intelligence budget.) A reform bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 96-2. Before the House voted, however, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld balked. The White House publicly supported the legislation, but House Speaker Dennis Hastert refused to bring a House version of the bill to the floor for a vote—ostensibly in defiance of the President, though it was widely understood in Congress that Hastert had been delegated to stall the bill. After intense White House and Pentagon lobbying, the legislation was rewritten. The bill that Congress approved sharply reduced the new director’s power, in the name of permitting the Secretary of Defense to maintain his “statutory responsibilities.” Fred Kaplan, in the online magazine Slate, described the real issues behind Hastert’s action, quoting a congressional aide who expressed amazement as White House lobbyists bashed the Senate bill and came up “with all sorts of ludicrous reasons why it was unacceptable.”

“Rummy’s plan was to get a compromise in the bill in which the Pentagon keeps its marbles and the C.I.A. loses theirs,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Then all the pieces of the puzzle fall in place. He gets authority for covert action that is not attributable, the ability to directly task national-intelligence assets”—including the many intelligence satellites that constantly orbit the world.

“Rumsfeld will no longer have to refer anything through the government’s intelligence wringer,” the former official went on. “The intelligence system was designed to put competing agencies in competition. What’s missing will be the dynamic tension that insures everyone’s priorities—in the C.I.A., the D.O.D., the F.B.I., and even the Department of Homeland Security—are discussed. The most insidious implication of the new system is that Rumsfeld no longer has to tell people what he’s doing so they can ask, ‘Why are you doing this?’ or ‘What are your priorities?’ Now he can keep all of the mattress mice out of it.”
Source:The New Yorker, Fact, USA
<b>Pentagon details mishandling of Quran</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In other confirmed incidents, <b>water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; a guard’s urine came through an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.</b>

The findings, released after normal business hours Friday evening, are among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the commander of the detention center in Cuba, that was triggered by a Newsweek magazine report — later retracted — that a U.S. soldier had flushed one Guantanamo Bay detainee’s Quran down a toilet.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hood said that of nine mishandling cases that were studied in detail by reviewing thousands of pages of written records, five were confirmed to have happened. He could not determine conclusively whether the four others took place.

In one of those four unconfirmed cases, a detainee in<b> April 2003 complained to FBI and other interrogators that guards “constantly defile the Quran.”</b> The detainee alleged that in one instance <b>a female military guard threw a Quran into a bag of wet towels to anger another detainee, </b>and he also alleged that another guard said the Quran belonged in the toilet and that guards were ordered to do these things.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In the most recent of those 15 cases, a detainee on Feb. 18, 2005, allegedly ripped up his Quran and handed it to a guard, stating that he had given up on being a Muslim. Several of the guards witnessed this, Hood reported.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Gulag!!! Well this is serious. But Saudi also do same, missionary do same with Hindu text.

Should we expect Riots in India...

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