News Ignored

Liberals: Caution!
Reading these news reports may cause you to change your party affiliation. You have been warned.

We report, you decide.

Powered by Blogger

Saturday, July 24, 2004

S.Korea, US finalize plan of US troops' relocation

July 23, 2004
South Korea and the United States agreed Friday in Washington to complete the planned relocation of the US military command out of Seoul by 2008, one year behind its previous schedule.

The agreement was one the main point of a joint statement released at the end of a two-day military talks named Future of the Alliance (FOTA) began on Thursday.

According to the 14-point statement, South Korea will provide 11.5 million square meters of land in Pyeongtaek, about 70 kilometers south of Seoul, to replace the Yongsan garrison. FR Reprint.

Fahrenheit 9/11 playing well with critical swing voters

July 24, 2004
Fahrenheit 9/11, the blockbuster documentary that slams President George W. Bush s handling of the war on terror, is playing well with a critical voting bloc, according to a survey.

Independent or swing voters are not only flocking to see the movie in numbers equal to those of Democrats, but an overwhelming majority of them are lapping it up, according to a Harris Poll.

More than two-thirds (70 percent) of self-styled independent voters who saw the doucumentary came away with a postive impression of it, compared to 89 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans.

And more than half of the independents (56 percent) said they thought the movie was fair to President George W. Bush, versus 85 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans.

The results of the online poll appear to contradict predictions of some right-wing critics of the movie who had predicted it would only appeal to Democrats and hence have little or no effect on public opinion. FR Reprint.

Clinton feared Iraq had given chemical arms to Sudan

July 23, 2004
President Bill Clinton thought Iraq might have provided chemical weapons to Sudan in the late 1990s under a co-operative arrangement between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, the investigation into the September 11 attacks revealed.

Mr Clinton ordered an air strike in August 1998 against the al-Shifa chemical plant in Sudan after officials in the office of Richard Clarke, then White House director of counter-terrorism, concluded that Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, had access to deadly VX nerve gas allegedly being produced at the plant.

Mr Clarke later said traces of a precursor chemical for VX detected near the plant were "the exact formula used by Iraq" and speculated that Iraq was helping al-Qaeda acquire such weapons.

The report says that in 1998 Iraq sought closer ties with Mr bin Laden and even offered him a safe haven. FR Reprint.

'They're losing, because hope is spreading' in Iraq

July 24, 2004
"They're losing, because hope is spreading," secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in a Pentagon press briefing Wednesday.

He and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, held their first news conference in almost a month. ....

Myers said foreign fighters were the main opposition in Fallujah and former regime elements are prevalent in Samarra. ...

"Iran is on the terror list," Rumsfeld said. "They have been notably unhelpful on the borders. One can surmise Iran would be uncomfortable with democracy in Iraq." FR Reprint.

German police raid mosques

July 24, 2004
STUTTGART: Police raided mosques and Muslim community centres in two southern German states Friday in what authorities said was an attempt to learn more about extremist networks.

Some 400 police officers searched 18 buildings in Baden-Wuerttemberg, checking occupants’ papers as part of attempts to track Islamic extremists, the state Interior Ministry said in a statement. “The goal is to continue an intensive fight against criminal Islamists and to uncover the networked structures of Islamic extremists and terrorists,” the statement said. Authorities announced no arrests.

In parallel raids in neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate, some 230 police officers questioned 235 people and searched 102 vehicles. Five people were taken into custody on suspicion of being in Germany illegally. “With the background of the recent attacks in Madrid and Iraq, security authorities believe there is a high potential of Islamist and extremist offenders also in Germany,” state police said. FR Reprint.

China Tells U.S. to End Taiwan Arms Sales

July 23, 2004
China told the top U.S. military commander for East Asia on Friday that Washington must stop selling weapons to Taiwan and end its military exchanges with the self-ruled island.

The comments by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing to Adm. Thomas Fargo added to recent Chinese pressure on the United States to end military support for Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

Li demanded that Washington ``halt its arms sales to Taiwan and stop its relevant military exchanges aiming to upgrade (its) substantial relationship with Taiwan,'' the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Li told Fargo that was the only way to maintain ``steady development'' of U.S.-Chinese relations and that the United States must ``clearly understand the seriousness and sensitiveness of the Taiwan situation.''

U.S. officials didn't immediately comment. FR Reprint.

Swedish pastor sentenced to jail for offending homosexuals

July 23, 2004
THE RECENT sentencing of a Swedish pastor to one month in jail for offending homosexuals has stirred protests by Slovakia's ruling Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), and one of the party's officials even took his personal protest to the Swedish ambassador in Slovakia, Cecilia Julin, on July 13.

Interior Minister Vladimír Palko told Julin that he had no choice but to protest the sentencing of the Pentecostal pastor, Ake Green, who was found guilty of offending homosexuals in a sermon that took place in 2003.

According to the global news service Ecumenical News International (ENI), Green described homosexuality as "abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumour in the body of society". FR Reprint.

Potential terrorists released due to lack of jail space, congressman says

July 23, 2004
Middle Easterners with possible terrorists ties have been detained after entering the country from Mexico but released for lack of jail space, said U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Subcommitte on Readiness.

"It is true. It is very reliable information, fron the horse's mouth, and it's happening all over the place," Ortiz, D-Texas, told the Herald on Thursday.

"It's very, very scary, and members (of congress) know about this. We have contacted several agencies, and I have talked to some people, but I can't say who."

Ortiz's comments come amid Thursday's release of the 9/11 panel's report into events leading to the deadliest attacks on U.S. soil and as the House Appropiations Committee passed an amendment to the Transportation-Treasury Bill to stop the use of Mexican identification cards in this country.

Currently, martricula consulars are used by Mexican nationals to open bank accounts in the United States and obtain driver's licenses in some states.
FR Reprint.

Britain ready to send 5,000 troops to Sudan

July 24, 2004
BRITAIN stands ready to send 5,000 troops to Sudan, the head of the Army said yesterday in a sign that a deployment to the war-torn African country is under active consideration.

General Sir Mike Jackson, the Chief of General Staff, said that the Army would be ready if called upon despite its commitments in Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan.

In the light of Tony Blair’s insistence on Thursday that Britain had a “moral responsibility to act” to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Sudan, Sir Mike said that a brigade of 5,000 soldiers could be ready and fully equipped if the Government decided to send in troops.

The ultimate decision will be for his political masters and would follow the EU fact- finding mission launched this week, but his comments show that a medium-size British deployment is one option under consideration. FR Reprint.

Friday, July 23, 2004

U.S. Congress declares 'genocide' in Sudan

July 23, 2004
The U.S. Congress declared that the killings of tens of thousands of black civilians by Arab militias in Sudan's Darfur region amount to "genocide," while U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned that Khartoum must act quickly to disarm Arab militias or face U.N. sanctions.

The House of Representatives and Senate unanimously passed resolutions Thursday night urging U.S. President George W. Bush, likewise, to call the situation in Sudan "by its rightful name -- genocide." FR Reprint.

Qaeda captives stir concern on new strike

July 23, 2004
Al Qaeda members captured in recent weeks in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan have provided important information about a possible impending terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, according to senior American intelligence officials. ...

‘‘We don’t have specificity to exact time, place or location,’’ a senior intelligence official said. ‘‘But it’s more than just them saying generally that there’s something coming,’’ a senior intelligence official said. ...

One senior intelligence official said there was ‘‘no doubt’’ that bin Laden and other Qaeda leaders remained very much focused on carrying out a new attack in the United States or on American targets overseas. ...

Two counterterrorism officials based in Europe said that an intelligence breakthrough pointing to such a renewed threat had come about six weeks ago. ...

‘‘The problem is that Al Qaeda represents an ideological movement, not a finite group of people,’’ the report said. ‘‘It initiates and inspires, even if it no longer directs. In this way, it has transformed itself into a decentralized force. ...

‘‘I wouldn’t characterize what we have now as chatter,’’ a senior CIA official said. ‘‘I think we have some fairly specific information that Al Qaeda wants to come after us.’’

The CIA official, a counterterrorism expert, added: ‘‘This is serious.’’ FR Reprint.

Iraqi soldiers out on their own

July 23, 2004
For the olive-green pickup truck, it was just one small stretch of road. For the half-dozen Iraqi men and one woman seated inside the cabin and flatbed, it was one giant leap.

For the first time since the announcement of sovereignty, the squad of young soldiers of the new Iraqi National Guard ventured out onto the streets without a U.S. Army escort.

The mission one recent day: Escort a busload of young recruits from the Muthana Airport base to Camp Sara, another base on the other side of town.

A giant Iraqi flag waved from their vehicle. A young gunner sat holding a machine gun. Pedestrians gawked. Onlookers waved, laughed or stared bewildered at the sight of Iraqi soldiers with no Americans in sight.

"Finally, my soldiers are patrolling on their own, without Americans," says Lt. Col. Heydar Abdul Rasool, commander of an Iraqi National Guard unit. "The flag of Iraq on the pickup was for them a sign of independence." FR Reprint.

Alaska Interceptor First in Defense System

July 23, 2004
A ground-based missile interceptor was installed Thursday in Alaska's Interior — the first component of a national defense system designed to shoot down enemy missiles. FR Reprint.

Probe finds no systematic prisoner abuse

July 23, 2004
An Army investigation has found no systematic abuse of prisoners in Iraq or Afghanistan and says nearly half of the accusations of mistreatment involved detainees "at the point of capture" on the battlefield.

"[Soldiers] face the daily risks of being attacked by detainees, contracting communicable diseases from sick detainees, being taunted or spat upon, having urine or feces thrown upon them and having to treat a detainee humanely who just attacked their unit or killed a fellow soldier," said the report released yesterday by the Army's inspector general, Lt. Gen. Paul Mikolashek.

"Despite these challenges, the vast majority of soldiers and other U.S. military personnel continued to do their duty to care for detainees in a fair and humane manner," the report said.

The investigation, ordered in February, found that of the more than 50,000 enemy military and terrorists detained in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were 94 cases of confirmed abuse or possible abuse -- a fraction of 1 percent.

Of the 94 cases, 45, or 48 percent, occurred at the time of capture when circumstances are the most volatile.

"The point of capture is the location where most contact with detainees occurs under the most uncertain, dangerous and frequently violent circumstances," the inspector general said.

The Army inspector general portrayed the abuses as sporadic, not systematic. The abuses were committed by a few of the tens of thousands of soldiers deployed to both war theaters since the September 11 attacks on America, the report said. FR Reprint.

911 Report: New Evidence of Iran Involvement Pre 911

July 23, 2004
Recent leaks had already announced the commission's conclusion that many of the 9/11 terrorists had received favored treatment from Iranian border guards — by granting them safe passage and declining to stamp their passports — but the leaks were incomplete.

In October 2000, we are told, a senior Hezbollah terrorist went to Saudi Arabia and "planned to assist individuals in Saudi Arabia in traveling to Iran during November.... In mid-November, we believe, three of the future muscle hijackers...traveled in a group from Saudi Arabia to Beirut and then onward to Iran.

An associate of a senior Hizbollah operative was on the same flight...the travel of this group was important enough to merit the attention of senior figures in Hizbollah." And it goes on and on: "Later in November, two future muscle hijackers...flew into Iran from Bahrain. In February 2001, Khalid al Mihdhar may have taken a flight from Syria to Iran, and then traveled further within Iran to a point near the Afghan border."

And there is another bombshell, quietly buried on page 149: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's family lived in Iran for a while in the mid-90s, and KSM himself spent time there as well. FR Reprint.

Terrorists attempt fresh wave of US hijackings

July 22, 2004
DEVASTATING new evidence has emerged that terrorists are preparing another attack on the United States, with air marshals and flight crews reporting a series of dry runs for attacks on aircraft in mid-air.

At least two flights are thought to have been targeted so far by groups of Middle Eastern men who appear to be forming a plan of attack.

On one flight an air marshal reportedly broke into an onboard toilet to find that a mirror had been removed and that a Middle Eastern man was trying to break through a wall to the cockpit.

One air marshal told the Washington Times newspaper yesterday: "No doubt these are dry runs for a terrorist attack." ...

Tom Kean, the chairman of the commission, said: "Every expert with whom we spoke told us an attack of even greater magnitude is now possible and even probable. We do not have the luxury of time. FR Reprint.

Swift Boat Vets Expose Kerry!

July 19, 2004
The following is a flash presentation of what John Kerry's commanders and crewmates think of him--with transcripts.

FR Reprint(viewing movie requires Flash Player 7, available HERE)


Thursday, July 22, 2004

US lab sent N-secrets over e-mail

July 19, 2004
Los Alamos National Laboratory officials have discovered in recent weeks that secret information at the nuclear weapons facility was repeatedly transmitted over an unclassified e-mail system, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Officials at the New Mexico lab confirmed Sunday that the incidents were reported to Energy Department headquarters in Washington, and said that they were taking measures to improve security and "prevent significant risks to national security", the paper said. FR Reprint.

Revealed: One of the Foreign Leaders Supporting Kerry

July 18, 2004
The list of foreign leaders supporting John Kerry became slightly less mysterious today when the Associated Press reported that the head of the communist movement in Nicaragua and Sandinista Leader Tomas Borge announced his support for John Kerry.
FR Reprint.

SEC Says No Suspicious Trades Before 9-11

July 22, 2004
In conjunction with the release today of the final report by The National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9-11 Commission),the Securities and Exchange Comission has released comments stating that on Sept. 12, 2001, the SEC began an investigation to determine whether there was evidence that anyone who had advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks on September 11 sought to profit from that knowledge by trading in United States securities markets.

In the course of that review, the SEC stated that, they did not develop any evidence suggesting that anyone who had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks traded on the basis of that information. FR Reprint.

Hezbollah endorses Fahrenheit 911 - Offers Help for Distribution

July 22, 2003

Terrorist group Hezbollah has made an offer to Michael Moore and the producers of Fahrenheit 9/11 to assist with distribution of the controversial documentary.

According to a recent story in the Guardian newspaper of London, the terrorist group Hezbollah offered to distribute the film.

Sources believe the offer would extend primarily for distribution throughout Arab and Palestinian communities.

Hezbollah is a Middle East based terrorist organization, which according to the U.S. State department has killed more than 300 American citizens in terrorist attacks.

The group is widely blamed for the October 23, 1983 attack on a U.S. marine barracks in Lebanon. FR Reprint.

Border group claims 'WMD' test

July 22, 2003
Members of a border-watch group conducted an experiment this week: They snuck into the United States carrying a fake "weapon of mass destruction" and made it to a house in Sierra Vista without being caught, the group said.

The test was to show how vulnerable the border is to terrorists, said Glenn Spencer, a spokesman for the group, the American Border Patrol.

The two members carrying a suitcase in a backpack crossed into Arizona west of Naco on Monday night. At one point, the two men crossed a border fence that separates the United States from Mexico, one member said.

U.S. Border Patrol officials had no immediate comment on the claim by the Sierra Vista-based group. FR Reprint.

Are Terrorists Passing Messages Right Under Our Noses?

July 22, 2004
The following is an unconfirmed story appearing on the conservative forum, freerepublic.com. Like the "Terror in the Skies, Again?" story widely circulated last week this story raises more questions than it answers.

"I post this personal encounter to ascertain whether any other Freepers have had similar experiences or have heard of anyone observing such behavior as I describe below.

Last week, my wife and I were driving home from our place of employment in Central Maryland. We always take US 29 N to US 40 E to the outer suburbs of Baltimore. As we passed under the only enclosed footbridge on US 29 at Columbia, I noticed a female Asian or Middle Eastern person on the footbridge appearing to stare South at the traffic passing underneath her. She was not moving but was just kneeling there supposedly watching for something. It seemed out of place at the exact instant we passed under her but I quickly dismissed the encounter as merely curious.

As we continued north approximately 2-3 miles, we noticed a bicycle parked on the shoulder ahead. As we drew closer we saw an unmistakable ME type crouched down behind the guardrail also watching traffic approaching from the south. Now they have my attention! I made it a point to continue straight home and upon arrival called the Howard County non-emergency police number to report the observation. They seemed unusually interested asking for descriptions and whether I had seen any cameras or binoculars. After about 10-15 minutes of grilling they thanked me for the information and related that they were going to send a car to "check it out". I hung up feeling a little proud of myself for having done my civic duty and perhaps helping out in the War On Terror.

Today, exactly one week, almost to the minute, we were driving the same route. I did not notice the footbridge or whether anyone was stationed there but as we proceeded north about 1/2 mile beyond the bridge, the same ME male with the parked bicycle, this time was standing in the shoulder area of the highway except today he was signaling in a manner that I remember from my Navy days when the signalmen used to wig-wag converse with signalmen on other ships. I don't know who he was signaling. It could have been someone again on the footbridge or someone in a vehicle BUT HE WAS DEFINITELY SIGNALING someone."

A postscript to this story. The author reports that immediately following his posting of his story,
"I got second call from FBI for more precise information within 10 minutes of the initial call. On my caller id the source was the DC FBI office."

George Soros Teaches the FBI Tolerance (P.C. paralyzes War on Terror)

July 22, 2004
The special agent in charge of FBI’s Washington Field Office has participated in a new initiative called the Promising Practices Guide: Developing Partnerships Between Law Enforcement and American Muslim, Arab, and Sikh Communities. This is a worrisome development because that guide’s adoption could significantly impede the war on terror.

Funded by the Soros and Whiting foundations and created at Northeastern University, the guide presents its goal as shaping “a basic curriculum for future law enforcement and community training activities.” At first glance, this sounds promising, as it offers ways to take advantage of Arab, Muslim and Sikh unique “linguistic skills, information, and cultural insights” to develop new counterterrorism initiatives.

But the guide’s authors, Deborah A. Ramirez, Sasha Cohen O’Connell and Rabia Zafar, quickly alert the reader as to their true agenda. “The most dangerous threats in this war” they write, “are rooted in the successful propagation of anger and fear directed at unfamiliar cultures and people.” The most dangerous threat, they say, is not the very real violence of Islamist terror but the alleged bias of American authorities against some minority populations. The guide might present itself as an aide to counterterrorism but its real purpose is to deflect attention from national security to the privileging of select communities.

In this spirit, and ignoring the fact that those who are making war on America act explicitly in the name of Islam, the Promising Practices Guide renounces any approach to law enforcement that focuses on “religion or national origin.” Islamic charities, a known source of terrorist funding, should not be given special scrutiny lest “this creates an impression of unjust, religious, and/or national origin-based targeting.” Nor apparently should those suspected of plotting terrorism be detained for lesser crimes such as immigration violations or firearms offenses, as to the community, “these may appear to be ‘pretext’ investigations.” Using the guide’s logic, no one should be singled out, not even would-be terrorists, not even for questioning. FR Reprint.

House Votes to Support Traditional Marriage

July 22, 2004
U.S. House members Thursday voted to strengthen a law that defines marriage as an act between one man and one woman. By a vote of 233 to 194, the House action is also seen as a defeat for homosexual activists seeking to export the legal rights of marriage from one state to another.

Massachusetts has legalized homosexual marriage and San Francisco city officials earlier this year allowed thousands of homosexual marriages to take place, but most states and local jurisdictions still legally limit marriage to heterosexuals.

The Marriage Protection Act, if signed into law, would prevent federal courts from hearing challenges to a key provision of the similarly titled Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which became law in 1996. FR Reprint.

Kerry Anti-Terror Plan Removed From Campaign Web Site After Berger Revelation

July 22, 2004
Shortly after news broke that former Clinton administration National Security Advisor Samuel "Sandy" Berger was being investigated by the Justice Department for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives, the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) removed its anti-terror plan from its web site.

Republicans have suggested that the information contained in the documents was used to formulate Kerry's policy, but are limited in proving those charges because the material is still classified. The sudden disappearance of the policy from the campaign web site that coincided with Berger's dismissal supports Republicans' contention that the purloined data formed the basis of at least part of the Democratic candidate's homeland security program.

The link to the policy is now defunct, but the original page was temporarily preserved in a Google cache. The Kerry release outlining the policy is also archived on the conservative discussion board FreeRepublic.com (web site). FR Reprint.

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall 11,000 Last Week

July 22, 2004
The number of Americans signing up for unemployment benefits last week fell more steeply than expected, while the total number of people on the jobless rolls fell to the lowest level in more than three years, a government report showed on Thursday.

First-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits dropped 11,000 in the week ended July 17 to 339,000, down from a revised 350,000 in the prior week and well below the 394,000 for the same period a year ago, the Labor Department (news - web sites) said.

The latest figure was below the 345,000 average forecast by economists in a Reuters poll and the previous week's 349,000 originally reported by the Labor Department. FR Reprint.

Jerusalem Post: Do US voters fully appreciate how Islamists will interpret a Kerry win?

July 22, 2004
If Bush loses the election, the fanatics will celebrate his loss as a victory in their war against the greatest power in the world. It doesn't matter that John Kerry may be forced to continue Bush's global war against terrorism or that Kerry may retract conciliatory-sounding election promises.

The very fact of a Bush defeat will be interpreted in the fevered, fanatical minds of millions of jihadists and their supporters to mean that their path of sowing terror and death is the right one.

A Bush loss could well give renewed momentum for an al-Qaida offensive.

This prognosis should worry American voters who care about their country's security. Consequently, however difficult it may be for voters brought up on democratic values to acknowledge, they should be cognizant of the extraordinary significance of changing supreme commanders in wartime.

And they should especially think about how a Bush loss would likely play in the eyes of America's enemies. FR Reprint.

Al-Jazeera grabs spot in DNC convention

July 22, 2004
It's been called everything from the CNN of the Arab world toTaliban TV. Next week, though, the controversial Al-Jazeera network will for the first time at a political convention take its place alongside other major networks in a skybox, providing live coverage of the Democratic National Convention from the FleetCenter.

Critics have charged that the Qatar-based network is a mouthpiece for Osama bin Laden because it has aired several unedited videos of the terrorist leader that some say could be spreading deadly messages to al-Qaeda sleeper cells. Adding fuel to the anti-American criticism is the network's airing of gruesome beheadings of captured Americans and others. FR Reprint.

Fahrenheit 9/11' Making GOP Nervous

July 22, 2004
Republicans initially dismissed "Fahrenheit 9/11" as a cinematic screed that would play mostly to inveterate Bush bashers. Four weeks and $94 million later, the film is still pulling in moviegoers at 2,000 theaters around the country, making Republicans nervous as it settles into the American mainstream.

"I'm not sure if it moves voters," GOP consultant Scott Reed said, "but if it moves 3 or 4 percent it's been a success." FR Reprint.

France: 35-hour workweek failing to deliver

July 22, 2004
The 35-hour workweek, cheered by many French citizens four years go, is under attack as a "costly economic mistake."

It has not generated more jobs, as promised at the time, but instead has contributed to the current unemployment rate of 9.9 percent of the labor force, or 2 million people, and has created a multibillion-dollar social-security burden, mainly on professionals who work 50 or more hours a week.

Pressure on the government from the Movement of French Entrepreneurs (MEDEF) employers association is growing, although there is no indication that the law will be scrapped. However, the conservative government is watching, with considerable concern, events in neighboring Germany, where many employers are succumbing to harsh economic realities.

Workers in several major German enterprises recently accepted longer hours and fewer benefits for the same wages. They include the electronic giant Siemens, which has extended the workweek from 35 to 40 hours after threatening to move its plants to Hungary, where the wages are 80 percent lower. FR Reprint.

PA textbooks: Israel is Palestine

July 22, 2004
Palestinian schoolbooks for the first time delineate the borders of the West Bank and Gaza Strip on maps but the entire territory encompassed by Israel, the West Bank and Gaza is referred to as Palestine, according to an Israeli government report.

These are the two most significant changes in textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority's Education Ministry for the 2003-2004 school year. The PA textbooks continue to deny Israel's right to exist and claim that the only solution to the current conflict is violence, according to a report by the coordinator of government activities in the territories.

The report, which was obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, says Palestine, not Israel, appears on all of the books' maps and all the village, cities, and towns located in Israel are referred to by their Arabic names.

The PA does not teach pupils about co-existence or peace and the overall policy "appears to be one of delegitimization of the State of Israel and Zionists," the document stated. FR Reprint.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Same sex marriage leads to a decline in marriage in the Netherlands.

July 21, 2004
There's a new development in the story of Europe's marriage meltdown. Recently, a group of five scholars in the Netherlands issued a letter addressed to "parliaments of the world debating the issue of same-sex marriage." The Netherlands was the first country to adopt full-fledged same-sex marriage, and this letter is the first serious indication of Dutch concern about the consequences of that decision. So it's worth quoting the letter at some length. After citing a raft of statistics documenting the decline of Dutch marriage, here is some of what these scholars had to say:

...there is as yet no definitive scientific evidence to suggest the long campaign for the legalization of same-sex marriage contributed to these harmful trends. However, there are good reasons to believe the decline in Dutch marriage may be connected to the successful public campaign for the opening of marriage to same-sex couples in the Netherlands. After all, supporters of same-sex marriage argued forcefully in favor of the (legal and social) separation of marriage from parenting. In parliament, advocates and opponents alike agreed that same-sex marriage would pave the way to greater acceptance of alternative forms of cohabitation.

In our judgment, it is difficult to imagine that a lengthy, highly visible, and ultimately successful campaign to persuade Dutch citizens that marriage is not connected to parenthood and that marriage and cohabitation are equally valid 'lifestyle choices' has not had serious social consequences....

There are undoubtedly other factors that have contributed to the decline of the institution of marriage in our country. Further scientific research is needed to establish the relative importance of all these factors. At the same time, we wish to note that enough evidence of marital decline already exists to raise serious concerns about the wisdom of the efforts to deconstruct marriage in its traditional form.

You can read an interview with two of the letter's signers here, and a front-page news story about the letter in the Dutch paper, Reformatorisch Dagblad, here.

Undeniable Decline
During last week's Federal Marriage Amendment debate, many senators referred to the Dutch scholars' statement, and to marital decline in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Of course, you probably haven't heard about that, because, for the most part, the American press has refused to report the story. more ....

Beijing believes regional war 'inevitable,' sees U.S. as 'strategic target'

July 21, 2004
A Chinese Communist Party-owned newspaper reported last week that Chinese leaders plan to resolve the "Taiwan issue" before 2020. The Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po reported July 15 that the Central Military Commission in Beijing recently met to hear a speech from commission chairman Jiang Zemin and to set a timetable for resolving the Taiwan crisis. The report quoted an informed source as saying that a new world war was unlikely but that "regional wars are inevitable."

S.F. OKs ballot measure allowing non-citizens the right to vote

July 21, 2004
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to place a controversial ballot measure on the November ballot that could make the city the first in California to allow non-citizens to vote in local school board elections.

Under the proposed charter amendment change, parents or guardians of children in San Francisco schools - including undocumented immigrants - would be allowed to vote. FR Reprint.

Frist backs rule change on judges

July 21, 2004
Conservatives and members of the Senate Republican leadership say that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is committed to using a controversial procedural tactic that would rewrite the chamber’s filibuster rule.

While Frist said he was actively considering changing the Senate rules several months ago, it now appears that the majority leader is on board with an effort by leading conservative senators to execute the tactic, which would prohibit lawmakers from filibustering judicial nominees.

The most logical time to change the rules would be this fall or at the beginning of the new Congress in January. FR Reprint.

U.S. Will Not Let Nuke Issue Slide Until Election: Bolton

July 21, 2004
U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms control and International Security John Bolton said Wednesday, "The seriousness of the more detailed U.S. proposal presented by the U.S. during the last round of six-party talks should put to rest any reservations that our side is holding a pattern until the next U.S. presidential election." Undersecretary Bolton said during a lecture at Yonsei University that top leaders in the U.S. are willing to talk with Pyongyang to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem. FR Reprint.

Iran Training al Qaeda

July 21, 2004
Foxnews terrorism expert, John Loftus, claims there are Iranian terrorist training camps in areas such as Mashdad, Iran.

He accused that that the Iranian government of providing aircraft hijacking training to various terrorist groups, including al Qaeda. He said that some of the al Qaeda members in US custody have claimed they were "trained in Iran." Loftus said one such member of al Qaeda is a "a Yemenite, a Mr. Atash, that we just captured recently." Loftus further claims that Iran funded the training.

Finally, Lofus claimed the Iranian government has sponsored three training bases inside of Iran for the purpose of training insurgents coming into Iraq.

He claims the CIA had missed all this.

He anticipates the US will ultimately institute a naval blockage of all oil transports out of Iran and encourage a popular revolt against the regime within Iran.

UN inspectors to return to Iraq

July 21, 2004

INTERNATIONAL Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors will return to Iraq in the coming days at the request of the new government, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said today.

"The IAEA will send a team of inspectors to Iraq in the coming days following an official request from Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari," Mohamed ElBaradei told journalists on his arrival in Cairo. "The return of inspectors to Iraq is an absolute necessity, not to search for weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but to draft the final report on the absence of WMDs in Iraq so that the international community can lift the (remaining) sanctions on Iraq," he said.  FR Reprint.



Group Warns Bulgaria, Poland of Attacks Over Iraq

July 21, 2004
A group claiming to be the European wing of al Qaeda Wednesday threatened Bulgaria and Poland with attacks if they do not pull troops out of Iraq .

The claim from the previously unheard-of group, which was posted on a Web site not normally used by militants, said both countries would face attacks similar to those in Madrid this year and the Sept. 11 attacks in U.S. cities.

"We are waiting for information from other partner countries and have no confirmation that the terrorists are planning any concrete actions on Polish territory," Poland's Deputy Defense Minister Janusz Zemke said in response.

"This threat comes from an unknown group and is very general," Zemke told private television TVN24. FR Reprint.

First Answer to Fahrenheit 9-11? 'The Siege'

July 21, 2004
Those of you who are sick and tired of watching liberals drool over Michael Moore's miserable "" are probably wondering why our side doesn't have something better to watch. Well, now we do.

Herb Meyer's video on "The Siege of Western Civilization" is taking off among conservative Americans. The video has sold out twice in just the last month – and one students' organization recently bought 1,400 copies for distribution to all their chapters at colleges throughout the country.

In "The Siege of Western Civilization," Herb Meyer outlines the real threats to our country's security, our economy – and above all to our culture. And he really "gets it." As Herb puts it, "Our culture is Western Civilization. This is who we are. We need to understand what Western Civilization is all about, such as the rule of law, human rights and economic liberty, and above all we need to teach this to our children. Today our civilization is under siege, and if our children don't understand what our civilization really is and what we stand for, they won't understand why it's worth defending." FR Reprint.

Iraq Interior Ministry Says Report on Nukes 'Stupid'

July 21, 2004
Iraq's Interior Ministry dismissed as "stupid" a report in a local newspaper on Wednesday that said three nuclear missiles had been found near the town of Tikrit.

A senior U.S. military official told reporters he had no information on the report in the newspaper al-Sabah. He said officials were checking the report.

Asked by Reuters about the report, a spokesman at the Interior Ministry said: "It's stupid." FRReprint.

UPI: Nuclear arms reportedly found in Iraq

July 21, 2004
Iraqi security reportedly discovered three missiles carrying nuclear heads concealed in a concrete trench northwest of Baghdad, official sources said Wednesday.

The official daily al-Sabah quoted the sources as saying the missiles were discovered in trenches near the city of Tikrit, the hometown of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"The three missiles were discovered by chance when the Iraqi security forces captured former Baath party official Khoder al-Douri who revealed during interrogation the location of the missiles saying they carried nuclear heads," the sources said.

They pointed out that the missiles were actually discovered in the trenches lying under six meters of concrete and designed in a way to unable sophisticated sensors from discovering nuclear radiation.

The sources said al-Douri, who is related to former Vice Chairman of the Iraq Revolution Council and Saddam's right-hand man Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, was captured after Iraqi police intercepted an e-mail message in which he set a meeting with another former Baath official.

The report could not be authenticated by the interior ministry or the national security department, but the paper noted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zibari made a surprise request recently to Mohammed el-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to resume inspections for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. FR Reprint.

BREAKING NEWS! Iraqi paper (Al Sabah) reports discovery of nuclear warheads

July 21, 2004
The following is a translation of an article in the Iraqi newspaper, Al Sabah. Al Sabah, the Iraqi newspaper funded by the Coalition Provisional Authority, reports on its front page this morning that a former senior Ba'ath party activist has led coalition troops to three nuclear warheads hidden in a bunker.

Headline: Khidhur (or Khidhir) al-Douri, back from the dead, reveals three nuclear missiles

Sources in the Interior ministry and the National Security Advisor's Office refused to comment on news reports that three missiles with nuclear warheads had been seized during the arrest of Khidhur al-Douri, the former Ba'ath party member.

Iraqi political sources, who requested anonimity, inisisted that Iraqi security authorities arrested al-Douri and seized the missiles.

The same sources told al-Sabah that al-Douri, who held meany Ba'ath party positions during the former regime, was falsely pronounced dead on its demise. Forged death certificates had been circulated.

He was arrested in an area between Oja and al-Dour, in Salahidine province.

The same sources said three missiles were found with nuclear heads attached in a tunnel six metres underground.

A cement layer six metres thick had been built over the tunnel to hide it from scientific ray detection that could detect the radiation emitted by the nuclear heads.

The tunnel leading to the three missiles is connected to a small hole that opens out on the main road between Ouja and Dour.

The sources said al-Douri was arrested after sending an email, specifying the location and a meeting place in Tikrit.

Authorities analysed the message. Iraqi forces then moved into the area, laying a trap that snared al-Douri and his son.

Al-Douri then revealed the location of the missiles. Various light weapons and money was also seized during the operation.

ENDS

WMD did pose a threat

July 21, 2004
Tony Blair was quite right yesterday to say that it was "absurd" to claim that anyone reading the prewar intelligence reports could think that Iraq's weapons were not a problem.

Too little attention has been paid to the preliminary report of Charles Duelfer, the new head of Washington's Iraq Survey Group (ISG). He testified to Congress in March that "we must determine what Saddam ordered, what his ministers ordered, and how the plans fit together. Were weapons hidden that were not readily available? Was there a plan for a break-out production capacity?"

It may be that, despite the prewar intelligence, Saddam did not have stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons at the time of the war in March 2003. But to assert that there was therefore no WMD threat is to trivialise the issue. Intelligence has to look at form. Saddam's history over the past 14 years was one of attempting to obtain and conceal WMD. During the Gulf war he fired 39 missiles into Israel. They had conventional warheads, but they might not have done

According to Duelfer, Saddam's deception of the UN inspectors "continued right up until war in 2003". Sensitive sites could be sanitised at 15 minutes notice.

The CIA had not one single human agent in Iraq and Britain's agents, according to Butler, were fallible. But even if there had been more agents, it is not certain they could have found the truth about WMD. Strict compartmentalisation is a feature of such regimes. According to Duelfer, "We know from high-level debriefings that Saddam conveyed his most sensitive messages to particular individuals orally. Moreover there were explicit instructions not to repeat such conversations."

Duelfer told Congress that Iraq's illegal military procurement budget increased 100-fold from 1996 to 2003 to $500m annually, most of the money coming from illicit contracts under the UN's Oil for Food programme.

The Tuwaitha Research Centre had equipment suitable for producing biological agents and "was conducting research that would be important for a biological weapons programme". In the nuclear area, Duelfer believes that Iraq was "preserving and expanding its knowledge to design and develop nuclear weapons", and suspects that one laboratory "was intentionally focused on research applicable for nuclear weapons development".

The ISG has also discovered "a very robust programme for delivery systems that were not reported to the UN". Saddam had already developed missiles "that easily exceeded the UN limit of 150km". Iraq was discussing with North Korea the possibility of importing a 1,300km missile system. Foreign missile experts were working in Iraq in defiance of UN sanctions, and had helped Iraq redesign the al-Samoud missile.

Intelligence agencies have to make judgments on the basis of past behaviour, current evidence and future planning. Given all we knew of Saddam by 2003, the conclusion had to be that he still possessed a residual WMD capability and was determined to restore his original capacities - but it was not possible to determine how far he had got. The combination of international terror and WMD poses an existential threat to the world. In Iraq's case, even if the possibility of a non-conventional attack was low, the price to be paid if it did take place was so high that the threat had to be taken very seriously. Saddam may not have been an immediate threat, but he was an inevitable one. .... FR Reprint.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Iraq Issues Threat to Iran over Insurgents

July 21, 2004
Iraq threatened military retaliation against Iran yesterday, accusing its former foe of backing terrorists who have begun to focus their campaign of violence on the interim government itself.

Hazim al-Shaalan, the defence minister, denounced Iranian interference, saying that Teheran was supporting foreign Islamic militants fighting alongside remnants of the Saddam era to destabilise Iraq.

"They confess to the presence of their spies in Iraq who have a mission to shake up the social and political situation," he said. "Iranian intrusion has been vast and unprecedented since the establishment of the Iraqi state." FR Reprint.




GOP convention protests funded by Kerry's wife

July 20, 2004
Some of the groups organizing protests at this summer's Republican National Convention in New York – including one anarchist outfit planning disruptions – get funding from a foundation chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of the presumed Democratic Party presidential nominee, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

Heinz Kerry, worth as much as $1 billion according to some estimates, has directed donations in the millions to the Tides Foundation, a 28-year-old grant-making institution that funds some of the principal groups organizing demonstrations and disruptions of the GOP convention. FR Reprint.

Flash Back: Bush gets bad rap on intelligence

January 14, 2001
In terms of brute brainpower, the smartest postwar presidents were Richard Nixon, a Duke Law School graduate with a reported IQ of 143; Jimmy Carter, who graduated in the top 10 percent of his Naval Academy class; and Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton, a graduate of Georgetown University and Yale Law School. Deeply flawed presidencies all, despite their potential.

In contrast, take high school graduate Harry Truman — railroad worker, clerk, bookkeeper, farmer, road inspector and small-town postmaster — or Ronald Reagan, sports announcer and B-list actor with mediocre college credentials. Despite their intellectual limitations, both achieved substantial political success as president. Huarte's notion of intelligence comprises a mix of mental acumen and emotional discernment that provides a sound foundation for modern-day presidential success.

To put it bluntly, the president need not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he does need a full deck of cards. He must be comfortable in his own skin, free of emotional demons, and surround himself with competent people.

George W. Bush can be likable and charming. But, as the New York Times pondered in a front-page article on June 19, 2000, "is he smart enough to be president?"

Unlike John F. Kennedy, who obtained an IQ score of 119, or Al Gore, who achieved scores of 133 and 134 on intelligence tests taken at the beginning of his high school freshman and senior years, no IQ data are available for George W. Bush. But we do know that the young Bush registered a score of 1206 on the SAT, the most widely used test of college aptitude. (The more cerebral Al Gore obtained 1355.)

Statistically, Bush's test performance places him in the top 16 percent of prospective college students — hardly the mark of a dimwit. Of course, the SAT is not designed as an IQ test. But it is highly correlated with general intelligence, to the tune of .80. In plain language, the SAT is two parts a measure of general intelligence and one part a measure of specific scholastic reasoning skills and abilities.

If Bush could score in the top 16 percent of college applicants on the SAT, he would almost certainly rank higher on tests of general intelligence, which are normed with reference to the general population. But even if his rank remained constant at the 84th-percentile level of his SAT score, it would translate to an IQ score of 115. ....

George W. Bush has often been underestimated. Almost certainly, he's received a bad rap on the count of cognitive capacity. Indications are that, in the arena of mental ability, Bush is in the same league as John F. Kennedy, who graduated 65th in his high-school class of 110 and, in the words of one biographer, "stumbled through Latin, French, mathematics, and English but made respectable marks in physics and history."

The feisty, sometimes-irreverent Bush's mental acuity may lack a little of the sharpness of his tongue, but plainly it is sharp enough. The real test for the president-elect will be whether he possesses the emotional intelligence — the triumph of reason over rigidity and restraint over impulse — to steer the course.
FR Reprint.

Iraq accuses Iran of infiltration

July 20, 2004
Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan accused Iranian intelligence of infiltrating Iraq, threatening to export terrorism to Iraq's neighboring countries.

The Iranian infiltration is wide and unprecedented since the founding of the Iraqi state, Shaalan said Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Saudi daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, monitored in Beirut.

The Iranians infiltrated the various departments of the state in general and have set up intelligence and security centers in several Iraqi cities.

He warned Iraq could respond to the terrorist attacks that claimed scores of Iraqi lives by exporting terrorism to the countries supporting and financing terrorism in Iraq.

Shallan said Iraqi authorities have arrested 35 terror suspects in Baghdad recently, including remnants of the ousted Baath regime and Muslim extremists. FR Reprint.

Sandy Berger Probed Over Classified Terror Memos Hidden in His Socks (and some still missing).

July 20, 2004
Former President Clinton's national security adviser is under criminal investigation for taking highly classified terrorism documents that should have been turned over to the independent commission probing the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, FOX News has confirmed.

Sandy Berger is under scrutiny by the Justice Department following the disappearance of documents he was reviewing at the National Archives.

Berger's home and office were searched earlier this year by FBI agents armed with warrants after the former Clinton adviser voluntarily returned some sensitive documents to the National Archives and admitted he also removed handwritten notes he had made while reviewing the sensitive documents.

However, some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration's handling of Al Qaeda terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration are still missing, officials and lawyers said. Officials said the missing documents also identified America's terror vulnerabilities at airports to seaports.

Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket, pants and socks, and also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio. ....

There are laws strictly governing the handling of classified information, including prohibiting unauthorized removal or release of such information. ....

Berger served as Clinton's national security adviser for all of the president's second term and most recently has been informally advising Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Clinton asked Berger last year to review and select the administration documents that would be turned over to the Sept. 11 commission.

Late Tuesday, Berger announced that he would no longer aid Kerry's presidential bid, saying he didn't want to diminish the work of the Sept. 11 commission. FR Reprint.

N.Y. Times buries Berger story. Relegated News to page 16

July 20, 2004
The startling revelation that former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger is under criminal investigation for pocketing highly classified terrorism documents was buried on page A-16 in today's edition of the New York Times.

While the story earned front-page coverage in USA Today, America's "paper of record" ran a wire story in a small box on the bottom of its last news page in the A section, one page before the editorials. .... FR Reprint.

Republican Convention: NY Judge Limits Police Tactics For Controlling Protests

JULY 19TH, 2004
A federal judge Monday ruled against the NYPD in a lawsuit over police tactics for controlling protests planned during next month's Republican National Convention in New York City.

The decision prohibits police from searching demonstrators' bags unless they can show a specific threat to public safety. FR Reprint.


Update: Terror in the Skys. Part Two

July 20, 2004
Last Tuesday morning, WomensWallStreet.com (WWS) published my first-person account of a recent Northwest Airlines flight that I took from Detroit to Los Angeles called "Terror in the Skies, Again?" ....

Since publishing the first article, I have received dozens of emails from people in the airline industry, including flight attendants, captains and pilots, some of whom I have also spoken with on the telephone. ....

Gary Boettcher, Member, Board of Directors, Allied Pilots Association, said, "Folks, I am a Captain with a major airline. I was very involved with the Arming Pilots effort. Your reprint of this airborne event is not a singular nor isolated experience. The terrorists are probing us all the time."

During a later phone conversation I had with Boettcher, he told me that based on his experience, it was his opinion that I was likely on a dry run. He said he's had many of these experiences and so have many of his fellow captains. They've been trying to speak out about this but so far their words have been falling on deaf ears.

According to Mark Bogosian, B-757/767 pilot for American Airlines, "The incident you wrote about, and incidents like it, occur more than you like to think. It is a dirty little secret' that all of us, as crew members, have known about for quite some time." FR Reprint.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Fallujah residents expel Arab fighters

July 19, 2004
Sunni Tribe leaders and other prominent Fallujah residents expelled 25 Arab fighters from the city, a hotbed for Iraqi insurgency.

Baghdad's daily al-Sabah al-Jadidi reported Monday Fallujah's leaders told the Arab gunmen: "You have to leave Fallujah immediately because the people of this city and all Iraqis in general are better placed to defend their country and expel the occupants."

The paper also quoted the Fallujah leaders as saying the Arab fighters, believed to be responsible for car bombs and other attacks that claimed scores of Iraqi lives, "tarnished the reputation of the truthful Iraqi resistance."

In another development, Iraqi resistance groups including the previously unknown Mohammed Army and Ali Bin Abi Taleb Brigades, circulated a religious edict in Fallujah Monday authorizing the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the suspected leader of al-Qaida network in Iraq.
FR Reprint.

U.N. OIL $$ LINKED TO IRAQI TERRORISTS

July 19, 2004
American officials believe that millions of dollars Saddam Hussein skimmed from the scandal-plagued U.N. oil-for-food program are now being used to help fund the bloody rebel campaign against U.S. forces and the new Iraqi government, The Post has learned.

U.S. intelligence officials and congressional investigators said last night that the "oil-for-insurgency link" has been recently unearthed in the numerous probes now under way into the giant U.N. humanitarian program, in which Saddam is believed to have pocketed $10.1 billion through oil smuggling and kickbacks from suppliers.

Congressional investigators have uncovered hundreds of documents ... FR Reprint.

Arrests 'thwart terrorist attack in Netherlands

July 19, 2004
With the Netherlands on a heightened terror alert, police arrested two men on Saturday on suspicion they were planning an attack on soldiers participating in the Nijmegen Four Day March.

The two suspects were possibly part of a long inactive terrorist cell, but it has not been confirmed if the threatened attack is linked to the general terror alert issued for the Netherlands on 9 July. Neither suspect was armed at the time of arrest.

The main suspect has reportedly been identified as a Syrian, Yvar H., 37, who entered the Netherlands in 1989 as an asylum seeker. Defence lawyers have confirmed the man is of Syrian ancestry....

The suspect's house is considered as a meeting point or possibly a stop over for other suspicious foreigners. He allegedly gave accommodation to another foreigner — possibly the second arrested suspect — in the week prior to his arrest.

Police received confidential information on Thursday 15 July that a attack might be carried out on military personnel participating in the four day walking event in and around Nijmegen....

The Nijmegen walking event has attracted about 48,000 participants this year, but no cancellations have been recorded since news broke of the alleged attack threat. The walk starts on Tuesday.FR Reprint.



Sunday, July 18, 2004

The truth about global warming - it's the Sun!

July 18, 2004
Global warming has finally been explained: the Earth is getting hotter because the Sun is burning more brightly than at any time during the past 1,000 years, according to new research.

A study by Swiss and German scientists suggests that increasing radiation from the sun is responsible for recent global climate changes.

Dr Sami Solanki, the director of the renowned Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, who led the research, said: "The Sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures.

"The Sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently - in the last 100 to 150 years." .... FR Reprint.


Former Carter Policy Makers Seeking U-Turn in US Policy Towards Iran

July 18, 2004
The Council on Foreign Relations is sponsoring a meeting Monday July 19th, 2004 on Iran entitled: "Iran: Time for a New Approach. An Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Iran" - A task force chaired by Zbigniew Brzezinski

"This new task force," the announcement says;"finds that the US Government's lack of sustained engagement with Iran harms our national interests in this critical region of the world. The task force also concludes that external efforts to change the current regime are not likely to succeed, and urges the United States to pursue direct dialogue with Tehran on specific areas of mutual concern."

This proposed approach runs counter to the present US administration policy on Iran. Many Iranian groups are expressing outrage at the suggestion of a dialogue between the US and Islamic Republic. A demonstration against the change in US policy is excepted outside the meeting hall on Monday. FR Reprint.

Dress Code May Hinder Their Work, Air Marshals Say

July 16, 2004
Beards are out. So are jeans and athletic shoes. Suit coats are in, even on the steamiest summer days.

That dress code, imposed by the Department of Homeland Security, makes federal air marshals uneasy - and not just because casual clothes are more comfortable in cramped airline seats. ....

"If a 12-year-old can pick them out, a trained terrorist has no problem picking them out," said John D. Amat, a spokesman for the group, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Documents and memorandums issued by the Department of Homeland Security and field offices of the Federal Air Marshal Service say air marshals must "present a professional image" and "blend unnoticed into their environment." Some air marshals have argued that the two requirements are contradictory....

"Look around you," Ms. Houck said as she pointed to other passengers waiting in the food court. "Most people are traveling in T-shirts, sweatshirts and khakis." She added: "If I was a terrorist and I spotted someone dressed like an air marshal in a suit, I wouldn't get on that flight. I would get on another one." FR Reprint.

Kerry: Bush to Pull US Troops out of Iraq Before Elections

July 16, 2004
Kerry alleged that Bush would withdraw 140,000 troops from Iraq in order to gain support before the elections.

White House Spokeswoman Suzy De-Francis denied Kerry's claim. FR Reprint.