Saturday, July 31, 2004

BBG - Veronique Rodman Appointed to the Broadcasting Board of Governors

BBG - Broadcasting Board of Governors: "Veronique Rodman Appointed to the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Washington, DC., December 31, 2003--

Veronique Rodman, a public relations specialist and former television producer, has been appointed to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the bipartisan, nine-member board which supervises all U.S. nonmilitary international broadcasting.

President Bush nominated Rodman to the BBG on October 24, 2003, and gave her a recess appointment on Dec. 26, 2003.

"Veronique Rodman brings to the BBG an understanding of international affairs and broadcasting," said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the BBG's chairman.

Rodman is director of public affairs at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a Washington-based think tank. Before joining AEI in 1999, Rodman worked for many years in broadcasting. From 1982-1995, she served as a producer of ABC-TV's "This Week With David Brinkley." As a television news consultant, she later helped launch "Fox News Sunday."

Rodman also worked as vice president for the Cosmetic, Toiletries and Fragrance Association Foundation, and as program coordinator for the SAIS-Novartis Prize for Excellence in International Journalism, a journalism award given annually at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Previously, she worked for former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and for CSIS's Congressional Leadership Group on International Communication. Early in her career, she was assistant festival director for "The World of Islam," in London.

Born in Cairo, Rodman received a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.S from Georgetown University. She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She is married to Peter W. Rodman. They have two children. Rodman replaces Robert M. Ledbetter, Jr., of Tupelo, Miss., whose term expired.

The BBG is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported non-military international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); Radio Free Asia (RFA); Radio and TV Martí, Radio Sawa and Radio Farda. The services broadcast in 65 languages to over 100 million people around the world in 125 markets.

Nine members comprise the BBG, a presidentially appointed body. Current governors are Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Joaquin Blaya, Blanquita W. Cullum, D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, Edward E. Kaufman, Norman J. Pattiz, Veronique Rodman, and Steven Simmons. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell serves as an ex officio member."

Robert Novak: An Iraqi urban legend

Robert Novak: An Iraqi urban legend: "An Iraqi urban legend
Robert Novak (archive)


July 1, 2004 | Print | Send


WASHINGTON -- On ABC's "This Week" program Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos picked up a chestnut that's been bouncing around Washington for three months and tossed it in National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's lap. Why, he asked, did the United States pass up chances to kill terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi in 2002 and 2003? "We never had a chance to get Zarqawi," Rice replied. That exchange tells a lot about this year's presidential politics.

Why would Stephanopolous bring up another network's March broadcast of an obscure story never reported elsewhere? It has been spread by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to imply President Bush held back the attack in order to gain support for invading Iraq. Unless Rice's flat disavowal stops it, this threatens to become an urban legend used against Bush in the next 17 weeks.

One CIA source puts this aborted Zarqawi raid in the same category as Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9-11," which spreads such false information as George W. Bush's conspiring to get Osama bin Laden's relatives out of the U.S. after the terrorist attacks. The persistence of these stories sets the level of discourse about Bush's Iraq policy during a presidential campaign.

On March 2, terrorist attacks brought the death toll attributed to Zarqawi to over 700. Jim Miklaszewski, the longtime Pentagon correspondent for NBC, reported multiple U.S. chances to "wipe out" Zarqawi and his bioweapons lab. The chances were missed, according to unnamed "military officials," because "the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq would undercut the case against Saddam."

Sources quoted by name were Roger Cressey, who worked closely with Richard Clarke in the Clinton White House (staying on for a while in the Bush administration), and Brookings Institution analyst Michael O'Hanlon, who supports John Kerry for president. Cressey was quoted as saying Bush officials were "more obsessed" with overthrowing Saddam Hussein than fighting terrorism.

Rep. Vic Snyder, a Clintonite Democrat from Arkansas, at a hearing the next day read the NBC report in full and asked Assistant Defense Secretary Peter Rodman whether "that story is true or not." Rodman said he never heard anyone oppose an attack because "it would interfere with a plan to go after Saddam," adding that an attack on a bioweapons lab "could have strengthened our case."

Sen. Clinton on the next day, March 4, called the NBC report "troubling" and asked Gen. John Abizaid about it. The Central Command commander in chief replied, "I would be very surprised to find out that we had a precise location on Zarqawi." Unsatisified, the senator asked for "further investigation."

On March 9, Hillary Clinton asked CIA Director George Tenet about the story. Tenet: "I don't know that Zarqawi was up there at the time, Senator. And I don't know that the report accurately reflects the give-and-take of the decision-making at the time." In CIA-speak, that was a "no."

Paul Begala, my colleague on CNN's "Crossfire," picked up the scent. A former Clinton White House aide and tireless Bush-basher, Begala put bluntly what Snyder and Clinton only hinted. On May 14, Begala said the terrorist leader's "mere presence" in Iraq "was used to justify Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq." On June 23, he said that thanks to Bush's emphasis on making "a case for invading Iraq," Zarqawi was permitted "to live and to kill and to kill and to kill."

Stephanopoulos, like Begala a former Clinton White House political aide, took up the story on ABC Sunday but without overt accusations against the president. Unlike the cautious responses by the Defense and CIA officials, Rice's flat denial might make it more difficult to keep the urban legend going through the campaign.

Jim Miklaszewski told me he stands by his story, and pointed to House Armed Services Committee hearings April 21. Congressman Snyder brought the NBC story up to retired Gen. John Keane, and asked why the attack was rejected. "No, I can't help you," the former Army acting chief of staff replied. "We were looking at it as early as the Fourth of July weekend before we commenced activities against Iraq." That confirmed an attack on Zarqawi's camp was considered. It did not confirm the Iraqi urban legend spread by Hillary Clinton and friends."

The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - Likudniks and neocons seem to agree on 2 grand strategies

The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - Likudniks and neocons seem to agree on 2 grand strategies: "Likudniks and neocons seem to agree on 2 grand strategies

By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Few analysts would question that institutions are central to the buildup of salient enemy images, which in turn function to legitimate inter-state war. Fewer analysts would contend that organizations and think tanks such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Center for Security Policy, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) have worked as Israel's open sesame to the political establishment in the United States and that these organizations are actively advocating military action against countries Israel perceives as threatening. Saddam Hussein's Iraq was one such example; Syria and Iran are others. But is Israel's penetration of Washington's citadels of power reason enough to hold it responsible for the US/UK invasion of Iraq? Did the hidden hand of Israel start the transmission belt causing the demise of the Baathist state? Let us consider the evidence.

It is no secret that there are strong ideological and institutional links between the neoconservative coterie dominating the Bush administration and the Likud Party in Israel. One often-cited example of this nexus is a paper authored by Douglas Feith (among others), currently US undersecretary of defense for policy. The paper bears the curious title, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." Produced in July 1996 by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, a think tank based in Washington and Jerusalem, the paper urges Israel to reconsider its strategic posture.

The report advocates the "principle of pre-emption, rather than retaliation alone." It suggests that Israel work with "moderate" regimes such as Jordan and Turkey in order to "contain, destabilize, and roll back some of its most dangerous threats." In addition, it recommends that Israel "focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq - an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right - as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions." Interestingly, if viewed within the context of the recent Jordanian offer to send troops to Iraq, the paper also suggests that Israel support Jordan in advocating restoration of the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq.

The list of functionaries involved in the production of the paper reads like a who's who of the neoconservative cabal, dubbed the "war party" by orthodox conservatives such as Pat Buchanan. Apart from Douglas Feith, the list includes Richard Perle, one of the central advocates of the Iraq War and until recently chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board; Charles Fairbanks Jr., a personal friend of Paul Wolfowitz; David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Special Assistant to US Undersecretary of State John Bolton; and his wife Meyrav Wurmser, who runs the Hudson Institute and directed the Washington office of the Middle East Media Research Institute. (MEMRI is an invention of Colonel Yigal Carmon, who spent 22 years in Israeli intelligence and later served as counter-terrorism adviser to former Israeli premiers Yitzak Shamir and Yitzak Rabin.)

In July 1996, then-prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu presented the central strategic tenets of the "Clean Break" paper to the US Congress. The case for an invasion of Iraq was followed up by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Project for a New American Century. (JINSA's board of advisers included Vice-President Dick Cheney, Undersecretary of State John Bolton and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith before they entered the Bush administration. Leading neoconservatives such as Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Stephen Bryen, Joshua Muravchik, and former CIA Director James Woolsey continue to be members of the board. The Project for a New American Century's declared goal is "to promote American global leadership." It is chaired by William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard.) Already in January 1998, the project sent a letter to then-US President Bill Clinton advocating a "strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power" and demanding a "full complement of diplomatic, political, and military efforts" to that end.

This appeal was followed by a letter to congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott in May 1998, urging, "US policy should have as its explicit goal removing Saddam's regime from power and establishing a peaceful and democratic Iraq in its place." Out of the 17 signatories to the two letters, 11 have held posts in the Bush administration since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Elliot Abrams, who orchestrated the Iran-Contra scandal, was recruited as senior director for Near East, Southwest Asian and North African affairs at the National Security Council; Richard Armitage was named deputy secretary of state; John Bolton undersecretary of state for arms control and international security; Paula Dobriansky undersecretary of state for global affairs; Zalmay Khalilzad, special presidential envoy to Afghanistan and (former) ambassador-at-large for "Free Iraqis;" Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board; Peter W. Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs; Donald Rumsfeld secretary of defense; William Schneider, Jr., chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Science Board; Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense; and Robert B. Zoellick, US trade representative.

It is obvious that the institutionalization of the neocon-Likudnik nexus in a myriad of think tanks and lobbying organizations created the structural platform to advocate the case for war against Iraq. The evidence marshaled suggests this "incestuous" relationship between two closely related ideologies has had an impact on the US foreign policy process. If asked whether Israel was responsible for the invasion of Iraq, however, I would tend to say no, adding in parenthesis that the Israel factor was an intervening cause. The Israeli government knew that there was no need to make a raucous case for the invasion of Iraq. The neocon acolytes took care of that. Likudniks in Israel and US neocons appear to be in agreement about two grand strategic preferences, however: the strengthening of Israel's position in West Asia, and a unipolar world order dominated by US military potency. It is perhaps the single most insidious and apocryphal illusion, but both groups believe the invasion of Iraq has advanced those aims.


Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is an international affairs researcher at Cambridge University. This commentary also appears in bitterlemons-international.org"

Defense News: Stephen A. Cambone

Defense News Media Group Conferences ISR Integration 2003: "Stephen A. Cambone

Stephen A. Cambone is the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, a new position created earlier this year. Cambone graduated from Catholic University in 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. He earned a master’s degree in 1977 from the Claremont Graduate School and a doctorate from the same school in 1982, both in political science.

He began his career as a staff member in the Office of the Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1982 to 1986, followed by four years as deputy director for strategic analysis, SRS Technologies (Washington Operations). In 1990, he became director for strategic defense policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and then was a senior fellow in political-military studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 1993 to1998.

For six months, he was he was staff director for the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, then served two years as director of research at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, followed by another six-month assignment, this time as staff director for the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization.

Cambone served as the special assistant to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense from January 2001 to July 2001, then was. the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy until July 2002, when he became director, program analysis and evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense — the assignment immediately before he assumed his current duties."

ZAMAN DAILY: US Suffers Loss in Economic War against Iran

ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER (2004073111025): "US Denies Erdogan's Iran Visit Disturbed Washington


US Ankara Embassy Chargé D'affairs Robert S. Deutsch said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Iran did not bother America.

Deutsch indicated yesterday that he believes Erdogan conveyed the issues that the US is most sensitive about to Iranian officials.

On his way back home, Erdogan said: "We have not received an official statement from the US yet. All we know is what we read or see in the media."

During a press conference in Iran Erdogan replied to a question about America's disturbance, saying that Turkey would continue its policy of good relations with it neighbors. Erdogan did not deny the claim that Washington was disturbed by the visit. A newspaper report run prior to Erdogan's trip indicates that Turkey's natural gas agreement with Iran created some uneasiness in Washington. Diplomatic sources confirmed the claim.


Erdogan reminded that many countries continue to make investments in Iran. "Turkey has just as much right to make investments with neighboring countries as they do," he declared.

US Ankara Embassy Chargé D'affairs Robert S.Deutsch replied to Zaman's questions during his visit to the Adana Consulate. He denied the claim that Erdogan's visit disturbed the US. He said that Washington's opinions on Iran are well known. Deutsch reminded that Iran's support of terrorism, efforts to secretly produce nuclear weapons and policies against Middle Eastern peace bother America.

"The US took some measures concerning this and has applied embargoes on Iran and Libya since 1991. These embargos are applied to companies making investments in the oil industry. The US Congress does not want international firms to engage in commercial relations over 20 million dollars with Iranian companies."

The American diplomat added that they wanted Turkey's commercial relations to refrain from contributing to the strengthening of Iran's oil industry. "

4 Iranian Terrorists held in San Pedro Detention Center

4 Iranians Challenge Detention: "4 Iranians Challenge Detention
Brothers have been held since 2001 in what their lawyer calls 'post-9/11 hysteria.' U.S. officials cite support for a group on terrorist list.
By H.G. Reza
Times Staff Writer

June 7, 2004

Locked up more than two years as a security threat and accused of supporting terrorists, four Iranian brothers are challenging Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's decision to hold them without bail in a case their attorney said stemmed from "post-9/11 hysteria."

The Mirmehdi brothers ? Mohammed, Mostafa, Mohsen and Mojtaba, who once worked as real estate agents in the San Fernando Valley ? have been in custody since Oct. 2, 2001. U.S. officials wanted to deport them, but immigration judges intervened, finding that they would be persecuted if forced to return.

An immigration appeals court ruled that they were subject to mandatory detention under a provision of the Patriot Act, though they have not been charged with terrorism.

The brothers have been detained because they supported a group dedicated to overthrowing the regime in Iran.

That group, the Moujahedeen Khalq, or MEK, has been on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations since 1997.

But before 1997, dozens of lawmakers, including Ashcroft, then a U.S. senator from Missouri, supported the group as freedom fighters. As a senator, Ashcroft continued supporting the group even after the State Department determined that it advocated terrorism.

Immigration authorities arrested the Mirmehdis after the FBI investigated a MEK cell in Los Angeles. The only witness at their detention hearing was an FBI agent who testified by telephone that informants told him the Mirmehdis were supporters of MEK, according to court records.

The brothers admit that they attended protests against the Iranian government that U.S. officials say were sponsored by MEK. But they deny being members of the group.

Federal investigators have not produced any evidence to show the Mirmehdis were MEK members, not even after a government informant testified that he recorded between 200 and 300 conversations with cell members, according to court records and attorney Marc Van Der Hout, who is representing the brothers.

"It's outrageous that the government has gotten away with holding them for more than 2 1/2 years without any evidence of terrorism whatsoever," said Van Der Hout, who took the Mirmehdis' case to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He said his clients "were smeared by post-9/11 hysteria."

The FBI investigation of the Los Angeles cell led to the indictment of seven people, five Iranians and two Iranian Americans. They were charged with raising more than $1 million for MEK by soliciting passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.

U.S. District Judge Robert M. Takasugi, however, threw out the indictments in June 2002. He ruled that the State Department's method for designating groups as terrorist organizations was unconstitutional because members were not allowed to challenge the evidence against them. The government has appealed.

Although the Clinton administration declared MEK a terrorist group in 1997, it continued to enjoy wide support from Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Ashcroft and fellow Missouri Republican Sen. Chris Bond issued a written statement of solidarity with the MEK that was read to a large crowd of demonstrators protesting a speech by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in front of the United Nations in September 2000, Newsweek reported in 2002.

Justice Department spokesman John Nowacki declined to comment except to say that the attorney general agrees with the State Department's decision to include the group in the list of foreign terrorist groups. Nowacki also declined to comment about the Mirmehdi case.

An immigration official familiar with the legal case called it "complicated and convoluted legal wrangling." Confusion over the case is apparent even among Justice Department officials. Charles S. Miller, a department spokesman for immigration litigation, said the Mirmehdis entered the U.S. legally but overstayed their visas. But a government brief says two of them may have entered illegally.

Mostafa, 44, arrived in the U.S. in 1978. Mojtaba, 41, and Mohsen, 36, arrived together in 1992. Mohammed, 31, arrived in 1993. All were arrested in 1999 when they admitted lying in applications for political asylum and were found to be deportable, but deportation orders were not issued.

According to court documents, the two Iranian immigrants who processed the brothers' asylum applications and coached them to lie in their interviews with immigration officers were FBI informants. Both men have criminal records.

Mohsen, Mostafa and Mojtaba were released on $50,000 bond each in August 1999 while their deportation case continued. Mohammed was released on $75,000 bond in September 2000 after an appeal of his bond case.

They were free until Oct. 2, 2001, when they were rearrested after immigration officials determined there were "changed circumstances" in their case. They promptly asked to be re-released on bond, and their request was denied Jan. 9, 2002, by a judge who cited Ashcroft's claim that they were security risks.

The Mirmehdis appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which turned them down June 13, 2002, citing the new evidence that the brothers "are associated with a terrorist organization and pose a danger to persons or property."

FBI Agent Christopher Castillo testified that a search of an alleged MEK safe house in Los Angeles produced a list of names that an informant said constituted an MEK cell.

The Mirmehdis' names were on the list, but the brothers said it was an innocent travel log for a June 20, 1997, political rally in Denver sponsored by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an exile group that opposes the Iranian government. Two of the brothers attended the protest, and U.S. prosecutors used their attendance to bolster the government's argument that the four were MEK supporters.

After their 2001 arrests, the Mirmehdis applied for asylum before two immigration judges. This time, they cited the U.S. government's accusation that they were MEK supporters. The accusations brought them to the attention of Iranian officials, who would surely persecute them if they were returned to Iran, the brothers argued. The judges agreed and ordered immigration officials not to deport them.

One judge said Mohammed Mirmehdi's participation in the Denver rally was protected by the 1st Amendment, and added that the appearance of his name on the alleged cell list and MEK membership was not evidence of terrorist activity.

But an earlier ruling from another judge remained in effect. Issued in January 2002, it said that the brothers should remain in custody because the attorney general considered them security risks. That immigration judge's ruling was upheld by a U.S. magistrate and a U.S. district judge, who denied their release on a habeas corpus petition.

So the Mirmehdis remain locked up at the immigration detention facility in San Pedro, where they continue to battle for their release on bail. Van Der Hout argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the brothers should be freed on bond while their immigration case is finalized by U.S. officials. The brothers could be allowed to remain in the U.S., or they could be deported to a third country.

Paul Santos, acting officer in charge of the San Pedro facility, said the Mirmehdis are housed together in a pod for inmates who are low security risks.

The brothers have access to a law library and are allowed to make limited copies of legal documents. They also have almost unrestricted use of telephones, which the Mirmehdis use to keep in daily contact with their lawyers and supporters.

They have hired at least four sets of attorneys since their incarceration, paying them with money from savings and income from rental properties.

The brothers say they had an opportunity to avoid jail if they had agreed to become FBI informants.

In February 2002, the FBI "asked me and Mohammed to cooperate with the FBI and give false testimony [in] a criminal case of the seven alleged MEK associates" charged with raising money at LAX, said Mostafa Mirmehdi. "I could not satisfy this request. Personally, I do not believe in giving false testimony."

Mohsen Mirmehdi found irony in the fact that his brothers' participation in the Denver rally was used by the U.S. government to keep them locked up.

"The U.S. protested loudly [in 2003] when the Iranian government attacked and arrested students for protesting on the streets in Tehran. My brothers protested peacefully and legally, but the U.S. says that only proves we are terrorists. Is that strangely ironic?""

Friday, July 30, 2004

Khaleej Times - Amz questioned in Bali terrorist bombing

Khaleej Times - Online: "Owner of van used in Bali bombing arrested: Report
JAKARTA - Indonesian police said on Wednesday they had arrested a man suspected of owning the Mitsubishi van that exploded with deadly force outside a Bali nightclub last month, the state news agency reported. The man, identified only as Amz, 30, was arrested by a joint team of officers from Bali, Jakarta and East Java, East Java police chief Heru Susanto was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying. 'At this moment that person is being questioned in East Java,' Susanto said.
The man is suspected of being the last owner of the L-300 van believed used in the October 12 blast outside the Sari Club, he said. More than 190 people, many of them foreigners, died in the bombing. Spokesman for the Indonesian police Bali investigation team, Brigadier General Edward Aritonang, declined comment on the report, saying he was still waiting for information from East Java. Australian Federal Police who are mounting a joint investigation say a white Mitsubishi L300 van, with a powerful explosive device located in its mid-section, stopped before the massive blast for a few minutes directly in front of the Sari Club in a drop-off area not normally used for parking.
Susanto said Amz does not resemble any of the faces depicted in police sketches of three Indonesian men wanted in connection with the bombing, according to Antara. Police on Tuesday said they were investigating a man they arrested in the North Sumatran capital of Medan who resembled a suspect sketch. A second man with a similarity to one of the sketches was being interrogated by Jakarta police. Detectives have not formally declared anybody as a suspect in the bombing. -AFP "

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Sen. Hollings Floor Statement Setting the Record Straight on his Mideast Newspaper Column:

Sen. Hollings Floor Statement
Setting the Record Straight
on his Mideast Newspaper Column
: "Sen. Hollings Floor Statement
Setting the Record Straight
on his Mideast Newspaper Column
Thursday, May 20, 2004


I thank my distinguished colleagues. I have, this afternoon, the opportunity to respond to being charged as anti-Semitic when I proclaimed the policy of President Bush in the Mideast as not for Iraq or really for democracy in the sense that he is worried about Saddam and democracy. If he were worried about democracy in the Mideast, as we wanted to spread it as a policy, we would have invaded Lebanon, which is half a democracy and has terrorism and terrorists who have been problems to the interests of Israel and the United States.

It is very interesting that on page 231, Richard Clarke, in his book "Against All Enemies," cites the fact that there had not been any terrorism, any evidence or intelligence of Saddam's terrorism against the United States from 1993 to 2003. He says that in the presence of Paul Wolfowitz.. He says that in the presence of John McLaughlin of the CIA. In fact, he says: Isn't that right, John? And John says: That is exactly right.

The reason was when they made the attempt on President Bush, Senior, back in 1993, President Clinton ordered a missile strike on Saddam in downtown Baghdad, the intelligence headquarters, and it went right straight down the middle of the headquarters. It was after hours so not a big kill--but Saddam got the message: You monkey around with the United States, a missile will land on your head.

So, in essence, the equation had changed in the Saddam-Iraq/Mideast concerns whereby Saddam was more worried about any threat of the United States against him than the United States was worried about a threat by Saddam against us.

I want to read an article that appeared in the Post and Courier in Charleston on May 6; thereafter, I think in the State newspaper in Columbia a couple days later; and in the Greenville News--all three major newspapers in South Carolina. You will find that there is no anti-Semitic reference whatsoever in it.

The reason I emphasize that upfront is for the simple reason that you cannot put an op-ed in my hometown paper that is anti-Semitic. We have a very, very proud Jewish community in Charleston. In fact, it is where reform Judaism began. The earliest temple, Kadosh Beth Elohim, is on Hasell Street. I have spoken there several times. I had the pleasure of having that particular temple put on the National Register. This particular Senator, with over 50 years now of public service, has received a strong Jewish vote.

Let me emphasize another thing because the papers are piling on and bringing up again a little difference of opinion I had on the Senate floor with Senator Metzenbaum. It was not really a difference. We were discussing a matter, and we referred to each's religion in order to make sure there would not be any misunderstanding or tempers flaring. The distinguished Senator from North Carolina, Mr. Helms, referred to himself as the Baptist lay leader, Senator Danforth as the Episcopal priest. I referred to myself as the Lutheran Senator. And when Senator Metzenbaum came on the floor, I referred to him as the Senator from B'nai B'rith, and he took exception. He thought it was an aspersion. I told him: Wait a minute, I will gladly identify myself as the Senator from B'nai B'rith. I did not mean to hurt his feelings. I apologized at that time but not for the legitimacy and the circumstances of the particular reference.

Now here we go again, some years later. The Senator from Virginia, Mr. George Allen, and I are good friends. Maybe after this particular thing he might feel different, but I know his role as the chairman of the campaign committee. And so I have an article here where Senator Allen denounces Senator Hollings' latest political attack, Senator Hollings' antisemitic, political conspiracy statement.

Let me read my column here from the May 6 Post and Courier, and you be the judge:

With 760 dead in Iraq, over 3,000 maimed for life--home folks continue to argue why we are in Iraq--and how to get out. Now everyone knows what was not the cause. Even President Bush acknowledges that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Listing the 45 countries where al-Qaida was operating on September 11, the State Department did not list Iraq. They listed 45 countries and at that particular date on September 11, 2001, they did not even list Iraq.

Richard Clarke, in "Against All Enemies," tells how the United States had not received any threat of terrorism for 10 years from Saddam at the time of our invasion. On page 231, John McLaughlin of the CIA verifies this to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. In 1993, President Clinton responded to Saddam's attempt on the life of President George H.W. Bush by putting a missile down on Saddam's intelligence headquarters in Baghdad. Not a big kill, but Saddam got the message--monkey around with the United States and a missile lands on his head. Of course there were no weapons of mass destruction. Israel's intelligence Mossad knows what's going on in Iraq. They are the best. They have to know. Israel's survival depends on knowing. Israel long since would have taken us to the weapons of mass destruction .....

Let me divert for a second there. I was here when Israel attacked the nuclear facility in Baghdad during the 1980s. In all candor, when President Bush, on October 7, 2002, said, after all that buildup by Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and everybody else, that facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait until the smoking gun is a mushroom cloud, I thought we were attacking for Israel. I thought that they knew about some kind of nuclear development there. And rather than getting them in further trouble with the United Nations and the Arab world, that its best friend, the United States, would knock it out for them. That is why I voted for it. I got misled. Our attack on Iraq, the invasion of Iraq is a bad mistake. I will get into that later. But let me read even further:

..... With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel. Led by Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer, for years there had been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel's security is to spread democracy in the area. Wolfowitz wrote: "The United States may not be able to lead countries through the door of democracy, but where that door is locked shut by a totalitarian deadbolt, American power may be the only way to open it up."

Namely, invasion. That is Wolfowitz talking. And on another occasion: Iraq as "the first Arab democracy ..... would cast a very large shadow, starting with Syria and Iran but across the whole Arab world." Three weeks before the invasion, President Bush stated: "A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example for freedom for other nations in the region."

I referred to those three gentlemen because I know them well. They are brilliant. I have been for years associated one way or the other with each of them. I read Charles Krauthammer. I wish I could write like he can. With respect to Richard Perle, he was sort of our authority in the cold war, best friend of Scoop Jackson. That is how I met him 38 years ago almost. I followed him and I followed his advice, and that is in large measure how we prevailed in the cold war. So I have the highest respect for Richard Perle.

And, of course, the other gentleman, Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Wolfowitz, I met him in Indonesia when he was Ambassador. He came back. We were good friends. He was looking around for a position, and I know I offered him one--in fact, we might go to the records and find temporarily he might have been on my payroll for a few weeks. But I have always had the highest regard for Paul Wolfowitz.

That is why I referred to him. I had their sayings and everything else. But let me go, diverting for a minute, right to the Project For The New American Century. I have a letter that was written on May 29, 1998, to Newt Gingrich, the Speaker, Trent Lott, the Senate majority leader. These are the gentlemen who said this: We would use U.S. and allied military power to provide protection for liberating areas in northern and southern Iraq, and we should establish and maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the region and be prepared to use that force to protect our vital interests in the Gulf and, if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power.

And that is signed by--and I want everybody to remember these names--Elliot Abrams, William J. Bennett, Jeffrey Bergner, John R. Bolton, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider, Jr., Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Robert B. Zoellick. There is a studied school of thought of the best way to secure Israel. We have been going for years back and forth with every particular administration, you can see where we are now.

But in any event, the better way to do it is go right in and establish our predominance in Iraq and then, as they say, and I have different articles here I could refer to, next is Iran and then Syria. And it is the domino theory, and they genuinely believe it. I differ. I think, frankly, we have caused more terrorism than we have gotten rid of. That is my Israel policy. You can't have an Israel policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here. I have followed them mostly in the main, but I have also resisted signing certain letters from time to time, to give the poor President a chance.

I can tell you no President takes office--I don't care whether it is a Republican or a Democrat--that all of a sudden AIPAC will tell him exactly what the policy is, and Senators and members of Congress ought to sign letters. I read those carefully and I have joined in most of them. On some I have held back. I have my own idea and my own policy. I have stated it categorically.

The way to really get peace is not militarily. You cannot kill an idea militarily. I was delighted the other day when General Myers appeared before our Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and he said that we will not win militarily in Iraq. He didn't say we are going to get defeated militarily but that you can't win militarily in Iraq.

The papers are the ones that pointed out Wolfowitz, Pearle, and Charles Krauthammer were of the Jewish faith. They are the ones who brought all this Semitism in there. I can tell you that right now, I didn't have that in mind. I had my friends in mind and I followed them. We had this in the late 1990s under President Clinton, when we passed a resolution that we ought to have Saddam removed from power, have a regime change. I was wondering how it went. I had to find my old file on this -- Project For The New American Century.

Now, going back to my article, I wrote: "every President since 1947 has made a futile attempt to help Israel negotiate peace. But no leadership has surfaced amongst the Palestinians that can make a binding agreement. President Bush realized his chances at negotiation were no better. He came to office imbued with one thought – reelection."

I say that advisedly. I have been up here with eight Presidents. We have had support of all eight Presidents. Yes, I supported the President on this Iraq resolution, but I was misled. There weren't any weapons, or any terrorism, or al-Qaida. This is the reason we went to war. He had one thought in mind, and that was reelection. I say that about President Bush. He is a delightful fella, a wonderful campaigner, but he loves campaigning. You cannot get him in the White House or catch him there, hardly. He doesn't work on these problems at all.

I have worked with all of the Presidents. I know the leadership goes to the White House and tries to work with him. He is interested in one thing, and that is to be out campaigning. So he had one thought in mind, and that was reelection.

Again, let me read: "Bush thought tax cuts would hold his crowd together and that spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats."

Is there anything wrong with referring to the Jewish vote? Good gosh, every one of us of the 100, with pollsters and all, refer to the Jewish vote. That is not anti-Semitic. It is appreciating them. We campaigned for it.

I just read about President Bush's appearance before the AIPAC. He confirmed his support of the Jewish vote, referring to adopting Ariel Sharon's policy, and the dickens with the 1967 borders, the heck with negotiating the return of refugees, the heck with the settlements he had objected to originally. They had those borders, Resolution No. 242--no, no, President Bush said: I am going along with Sharon, and he was going to get that and he got the wonderful reception he got with the Jewish vote. There is nothing like politicizing or a conspiracy, as my friend from Virginia, Senator Allen, says--that it is an anti-Semitic, political, conspiracy statement.

That is not a conspiracy. That is the policy. I didn't like to keep it a secret, maybe; but I can tell you now, I will challenge any one of the other 99 Senators to tell us why we are in Iraq, other than what this policy is here. It is an adopted policy, a domino theory of The Project For The New American Century.

Everybody knows it because we want to secure our friend, Israel. If we can get in there and take it in 7 days, as Paul Wolfowitz says, then we would get rid of Saddam, and when we got rid of Saddam, now all they can do is fall back and say: Aren't you getting rid of Saddam?

Let me get to that point. What happens is, they say he is a monster. We continued to give him aid after he gassed his own people and everything else of that kind. George Herbert Walker Bush said in his book All The Best in 1999, never commit American GIs into an unwinnable urban guerrilla war and lose the support of the Arab world, lose their friendship and support. That is a general rephrasing of it.

The point is, my authority is the President's daddy. I want everybody to know that. I don't apologize for this column. I want them to apologize to me for talking about anti-Semitism. They are not getting by with it. I will come down here every day--I have nothing else to do--and we will talk about it and find out what the policy is.

Let me go back to this particular column: But George Bush, as stated by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and others, started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days before the Inauguration.

There is no question, he got a briefing. That was the first thing he wanted out of former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen. Then the nominee, about to take the oath of office as President of the United States, wanted to be briefed on Iraq. They had this policy in mind coming to town. Mr. President, 9/11 had nothing to do with it, and we all know it now. We have to understand it because that is the only way really to help Israel and get us out of the soup. Everybody is worrying about Iraq. We better worry about Israel because we certainly have put her in terrible jeopardy with this particular initiative.

Without any Iraq connection to 9/11, within weeks President Bush had the Pentagon outlining a plan to invade Iraq. He was determined. President Bush thought taking Iraq would be easy. Wolfowitz said it would take only 7 days. Vice President Cheney believed that we would be greeted as liberators, but Cheney's man, Chalabi, made a mess of de-Baathification of Iraq by dismissing Republican Guard leadership and Sunni leaders who soon joined with the insurgents.

Worst of all, we tried to secure Iraq with too few troops. In 1966 in South Vietnam, with a population of 16 million, General William C. Westmoreland, with 535,000 U.S. troops, was still asking for more troops. In Iraq, with a population of 25 million, General John Abizaid, with only 135,000 troops, can barely secure the troops, much less the country. If the troops are there to fight, there are too few. If they are there to die, there are too many. To secure Iraq we need more troops, at least 100,000 more. The only way to get the United Nations back in Iraq is to make the country secure. Once back, the French, Germans, and others will join with the U.N. to take over.

With President Bush's domino policy in the Mideast gone awry, he can't keep shouting "Terrorism war." Terrorism is a method, not a war. We don't call the Crimean war, with the charge of the light brigade, the cavalry war, or World War II the blitzkrieg war. There is terrorism in Northern Ireland, there is terrorism in India, and in Pakistan. In the Mideast, terrorism is a separate problem, to be defeated by diplomacy and negotiation, not militarily.

Here, might does not make right. Right makes might. Acting militarily we have created more terrorism than we have eliminated.

The title of this article is "Bush's failed Mideast policy is creating more terrorism," and, I could add, jeopardizing the security of Israel.

They say: He talks like a big fan of Israel. I am. I have a 38-year track record. I will never forget some 34 years ago meeting with David Ben-Gurion. He talked about little Israel, less than 3 million at that time in a sea of 100 million.

Let's say Israel has 5 million people there now, but there are 150 million Muslims surrounding it. If you punch the particular buzzer I did with Yitzhak Rabin one day down on the Negev to scramble the air force, I think it was 21 seconds they were up in the air, and in a minute's time, they were outside over Jordan.

Militarily, Israel is a veritable aircraft carrier. You can hardly fly and you are out of the country, and everybody has to understand that. You cannot play the numbers game Sharon plays. He thinks he can do it militarily.

I want to remind you, it was in that 6-day war--the book is "Six Days of War" by Michael Oren. Look on page 151, and Major Ariel Sharon says: Look, we are going to decimate the Egyptian army and you will not hear from Egypt again for several generations. And Levi Eshkol, the Prime Minister, on page 152 says: "Militarily victory decides nothing. The Arabs will still be here."

That is my theme. I have watched it over the years. You have to learn not to kill together, but to live together. The finest piece I ever read was right in this morning's paper. There is still hope. I refer to an article: "Israeli Arabs Exalting in a Rare Triumph." There are a million Israeli Arabs. They won a soccer match in Tel Aviv. The majority of the team was of Israeli heritage, and they held an Israeli flag, if you can imagine that in the political United States of America. They are living together. Every Prime Minister since David Ben-Gurion has realized that fact: that they have to learn to live together. They all moved, and they almost had it under Ehud Barak and President Clinton. Arafat proved he did not want peace. He did not accept it. That was our one chance.

Unfortunately, rather than working on that one chance and continuing, Ariel Sharon went in their face at Temple Mount, the intifada started, and he has been killing 10 to 1. He plays the numbers game, almost like we had in Vietnam. He thinks he can eliminate by moving the ball some, getting some more settlements, bulldozing a house, but he is creating terrorism.

I had a headline the other day. When I saw it, I showed it to my staff. I said: You all come in here, I want to ask you something. "Israel plans to destroy more Gaza dwellings." You see that headline? I asked staff members: Suppose they bulldoze your daddy's home. Wouldn't you want to cut their throat? They said: In a New York minute.

How do you create terrorists? Where is the front line in the so-called war on terrorism? I learned the answer recently on a trip I was on with the distinguished chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. We talked for over an hour with the King of Jordan. He finally cautioned at the very end, when we stood up, he said: You have to settle this Israel-Palestine question. That is the only way to get on top of this. We went over to Kuwait to the Prime Minister when he got through, he said: You have to settle the Israel-Palestine situation. I will quote Mr. Musharraf, the President of Pakistan. When we got there, he cautioned if you can settle the Israel-Palestine question, terrorism will disappear around the world.

Then we came in on a Friday evening to make a little courtesy call with the French. The distinguished Senator from Virginia with Lafayette--and I have slept in Lafayette's bed over there in Richmond, VA, and I helped with that particular thing because I believe and remember the French help. I will never forget--everybody is going to the 60th anniversary of D-Day, but I was at the 50th anniversary and we went over to Ste-Mere-Eglise, where a major, who was a Citadel graduate, had broken through the line and saved us from having to leave the beachhead and go back to England. They made a movie of it. A shell burst killed him. They laid him down on their side. He is buried on the side of the chapel.

We went to the services. We had talks there. This little old lady came. She was about 80 years old, walking with a cane. I was listening to the mayor, and she pulled my jacket and she said: Thank you, Yank. If you had not come we would be goose-stepping. I turned to her and I said, thank you, madam, because if you had not come, we would still be a colony.

The majority of the troops on the field at Yorktown with the surrender of Cornwallis were French troops. We had French troops that helped us get this so-called freedom. All this anti-French stuff, do not give me french fries and everything else, is crazy.

I was proud to appear with the Senator from Virginia. But Chirac, he said, look, we have to have western solidarity. We have to work together now and we have to watch this competition from China in the Far East, and we in the western world have to stick together. He said he wanted to help in Iraq, but he needed a U.N. resolution to cover. He said what we have to do is do something about Israel and Palestine. I said, what would you do? He said, I would put in a peacekeeping force. I said, would French troops come? He said, French troops would come immediately. We would be part of it and we would separate them from killing each other every day.

My position is, and I believe in this particular policy as strongly as I know how, might does not make right, but right makes might. We have lost our evenhanded posture and reputation in the Mideast. We are in worse off shape with Israel, our principal interest in the gulf. Sharon has not helped us at all. We see him going back and forth. They say, oh, no, it is negotiation. But we are throwing over the United States-Israel policy of some 35 years insofar as negotiating the settlements and the refugees. We are saying forget about all of that, let Sharon keep bulldozing them. Now in the morning paper on the front page one sees the killing of children, they are saying, we are defending Israel. That is the U.S. policy. That is not just Israel's policy.

They are coming in there with U.S. equipment, U.S. gun helicopters, U.S. tanks that are bulldozing. That is our policy. That is the reason for 9/11, whend Osama said, I do not like American troops in Saudi Arabia, get the infidel out. That is why they went right into that thing. Where do you think we get all this talk about hate America? I do not buy that stuff. I have traveled the world. They love Americans.

Recently we met with the Ambassadors of Germany and France, and Britain in our policy committee and they said the young people are disillusioned. They always look to the United States for the moral position and taking and defending that particular position. They do not look there anymore.

We are losing the terrorism war because we thought we could do it militarily under the domino policy of President Bush, going into Iraq. That is my point. That is not anti-Semite or whatever they say in here about people's faith and ethnicity. I never referred to any faith. I should have added those other names from the Project For The New American Century, but I picked out the names I had quotes for. And for space, I left other things out.

Mr. President, on May 12 of this year, I had printed in the RECORD the article in its entirety.

This particular op-ed piece appeared in the Post and Courier. Never would they have thought, having read it, if it was anti-Semitic, that they would have ever put it in there. Nor would the Knight Ridder newspapers in Columbia, SC. Nor would the Metro Media newspapers in Greenville, SC. But the Anti-Defamation League picked it up and now they have given it to my good friend, Senator Allen of Virginia. I have his particular admonition how I am anti-Semitic and I cannot let that stay there.

My staff knew I was coming over and waiting my turn in order to talk under the Pastore rule. I know I am as vitally interested as anybody can be about this issue. Our distinguished colleague from Washington, Senator Cantwell, knows this subject backward and forward.

The reason I had not known or gotten all fired up is I have been doing some other work and South Carolina has already looked to me for everything at that Savannah River plant. I am on the Energy Appropriations Subcommittee and we have gotten all the money--do not worry about money. This is a policy of nuclear waste disposal, high-level waste, being reclassified under an end-around-end deal of trying to make it low-level waste and, as Senator Cantwell says, pouring in some sand and concrete on top of it. The scientists say, watch out, the remains in these tanks are 50 percent as deadly and dangerous as the entire tank container.

Back to Saddam, everybody is glad we have gotten rid of Saddam, but we can see what has happened. There is an old saying we learned in World War II that no matter how well the gun is aimed, if the recoil is going to kill the gun crew, you do not fire.

Did this White House and administration ever think of the recoil? It severely injured the gun crew. Yes, ordinarily to get rid of Saddam, like they put a missile on the intelligence head, they could have put a missile on him any time they wanted, but they did not want to do that. They wanted the domino policy to ensue.

No, no, getting rid of Saddam was not worth almost 800 dead GIs and over 3,500 maimed for life. Some say every time we want to criticize the policy, we are weakening the GIs. I am strengthening the GIs. I said let's get enough in there so they can secure themselves. We have 135,000 now. A third of those are guarding the other third, and that means leaving a third, 35,000 or 40,000 troops, running out like a fire drill to any particular trouble and coming back in and eating. I have been there. You can see it in Rafah. They are building a big old thing like in Kosovo, where we hunker down and act like we are in charge of Kosovo. The Albanians are in charge of Kosovo.

You can't force-feed democracy. It has to come from within. We helped liberate Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, 60-some years ago, and Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia have not opted for democracy, nor has Libya, nor has Egypt, nor has Lebanon, nor has Syria, nor has Iraq, nor has Iran, nor has Afghanistan, nor has Pakistan, nor has Jordan, nor has Yemen, nor has Aden, nor has Saudi Arabia, nor has the United Arab Emirates.

Come on. So we have to go out and not speak sense with respect to policy, and when you want to talk about policy, they say it is anti-Semitic. Well, come on the floor, let's debate it. Because my friend from Virginia admonishes me. Referring to me he says, "I suggest he should learn from history before making accusations." I didn't make any accusations. I stated facts. That is their policy. That is not my policy.

Mind you me, when we went into Iraq, the only people in the world who favored that policy were the people of the United States and the people of Israel. The people of Jordan, Iraq, Britain, Spain, Poland, Italy, Japan, everywhere around the world said you just don't invade a sovereign country no matter how bad the rascal is. We have Kim Jong of North Korea--he has weapons of mass destruction, but we don't do anything there.

Don't give me this about how we saved this and we did this or did that. We have to sort of learn that the front line now is not the Pentagon but the State Department. We have to work through diplomacy. We live in a global economy and a global world. That is only going to come about economically, politically, diplomatically, and by negotiations.

The United States, until this invasion and this domino policy for Israel--don't tell me it is otherwise, about spreading democracy. They know what they are talking about. They are insisting on it. It is not a Jewish policy or a Semite policy. It is their domino policy. That is exactly what it is. But they know how to make you tuck tail and run. Not the Senator from South Carolina. We don't run, we don't win, we are not right, we are wrong a lot of times, but I have thought this out as thoroughly as I know how, and it worries me that here we are.

I said after we got into that thing in Vietnam with the Gulf of Tonkin--I came there at that particular time, in 1966, went to Vietnam when we were under fire three times--actually over into Cambodia before and that kind of thing. We finally came up with McNamara writing a book saying he was wrong.

I'll never forget, McNamara comes out to Allie Richenberg near Saint Albans to get his tennis lesson at 7 o'clock, and Bob Mcnamara turned to Allie and said, "Allie, what do you think about my book?" He said, "It's as bad as your backhand. You should not have written it."

But we had to wait 20 years for that one, and we killed 58,000 Americans. Now we have killed almost 800, maimed for life thousands of others. Are we going to just continue on?

What would the Senator from South Carolina do if I were king for a day? Yes, I would put the troops in to get security, and I would step up the election. I can tell you right now, I have run for all kind of offices, 20-some statewide offices and campaigns. But don't put me in on that temporary coalition. That fellow, El Baradei, who is running around the United Nations to get a temporary coalition or government to turn power over to on June 30--don't put me in that. I immediately have to repudiate the United States, that I am not a stooge for the United States. We just have our fingers crossed that we can hold law and order so we can have an election. But don't wait until 2005, or December; by September 30, let's get that election going.

Let's realize we are in real trouble. Saudi Arabia is in trouble. Israel is in trouble. The United States is in trouble. I am going to state what I believe to be the fact. In fact, I believe it very strongly. They just are whistling by on account of the pressures that we get politically. Nobody is willing to stand up and say what is going on.

It was a mistake like Vietnam. We got misled with the Gulf of Tonkin, we got misled here, and we are in that quagmire. "Municipal guerrilla war and a quagmire," that says George Herbert Walker Bush. I will end on my authority--President George Herbert Walker Bush said: Never commit U.S. troops into an unwinnable urban guerrilla war and turn off the Arab world. Look in that book of his and you will see exactly what I am talking about. He is not anti-Semitic. He is sensible. He didn't go in.

Yes, Colin Powell, General Powell said if you are going in, let's have enough troops. They tried to do it on the cheap. They were ill advised. My friend Paul Wolfowitz said you will do it in 7 days. Come on. And they let the Republican Guard back into the city of Baghdad and into the Sunni triangle, and the next thing you know, when Chalabi, who has now been demoted or set aside--he did away with their leadership and everything, so they got turned off and they buddied up with the insurgents, and now we have hell on our hands. Everybody knows that.

So it has been ill prepared, ill advised, and ill administered. The entire thing is a mess. Don't give me "support the troops, support the troops." I have been with troops, about 3 years in combat, so don't tell me about troops. I have always supported the troops.

You ask how many Senators have gotten a Woodward Award from the U.S. Army. They don't give that out lightly. I have been with every Secretary of Defense until this one, and I think he is brilliant, but I think he has made a mistake going along with this domino policy. We have it now out on the table, and we will all talk about it, and we will be around and ready to debate it.

I appreciate the colleagues yielding to me. I wish I had all the time to put all these articles in. I want to thank--and I am going to sit here and support my friend from Washington. She has done a magnificent job stating what the issue is.

It is simply under the auspices of an accelerated disposal plan going around end to reclassify--and it is around end. I had not heard anything about it. I have been handling everything at Savannah River for 30 some years. I called up the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control--DHEC--and they were adamantly opposed and gave me the brief they signed a few weeks ago adamantly opposing it, with the assistant attorney general's name on it. They say this is DHEC policy. I talked to two members of DHEC and they said it was never brought up at their meetings. They do not know anything about it.

So, yes, it is a little rider for one special State that is injurious not only to the State itself--I say that advisedly--but also to the United States."

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Sunday Herald: Iran: the next target?

Iran: the next target? - [Sunday Herald]: "Iran: the next target?

Last week the 9/11 Commission said Iran helped al-Qaeda, but was not connected to the World Trade Centre attacks. But the country is still in George Bush’s sights, reports Foreign Editor David Pratt

Iran’s borders are porous places. Having crossed back and forward through the mountains that flank Iraq to the west, and the deserts of Afghanistan in the east, I can vouch for this. On both sides of these frontiers lie a shadowy world of smugglers and safe houses, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi, Kurdish, and Afghan militias.
Here, drugs, guns, fuel, and just about anything else that makes a fast black-market buck slips past daily. Over the years, so too have spies, agents provocateur, assassins, saboteurs, and if last week’s findings of the 9/11 Commission are to be believed, al-Qaeda terrorists.

We are told that some time between October 2000 and February 2001, between eight and 10 al-Qaeda men arrived at the Iranian border from Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan en route to wreak havoc in the US .

According to documents found in the files of the US National Security Agency and published in the 9/11 report, Iranian border guards were under orders not to stamp the passports of these “muscle” hijackers, thus ensuring their travel documents were “clean” and less likely to raise the suspicions of US customs and visa officials.

Inevitably, the claims have raised questions about the extent of any relationship between Tehran and al-Qaeda, as well as where and how the future war on terror might be fought out.

There is no shortage of Bush administration hawks who think it is a clear-cut case of Iran acting as conduit, benefactor and sanctuary for al-Qaeda. But one US intelligence official was recently quoted in Newsweek magazine, saying: “We just don’t have good intelligence about what is going on in Iran.”

The Iranians have, not surprisingly, disputed the allegations. Hamid Reza Asefi, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, compared Iran’s lack of control of its remote 900km border with Afghan istan to the US’s own problems with Mexico.

It wasn’t just the border crossing by al-Qaeda terrorists from Afghanistan that the 9/11 Commission pointed to as implicating Iran. Just months before the attacks on New York and Washington, the Iranian-sponsored Lebanon-based Islamic group Hezbollah appears to have been shadowing another three of the al-Qaeda hijackers as they flew from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon and onward to Iran.

The men were identified as Wail al-Shehri and Waleed al-Shehri – who were hijackers on American Flight 11, one of the two planes to crash into the World Trade Centre – and Ahmed al-Nami – who flew on United Flight 93, which ploughed into a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to overwhelm the terrorists.




About the same time the trio was apparently being tracked by Hezbollah, a “senior Hezbollah operative” was on the same Beirut-bound flight as Ahmed al-Ghamdi – who ended up on United Flight 175, the other airliner to fly into the Twin Towers.

While the commission noted these bits of raw intelligence, it “found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack”.

The report however is clear that as far back as 1991 or 1992, al-Qaeda and Iranian operatives struck an accord to provide training for assaults on Israel and the US, and terrorist leaders went to Iran for instruction in explosives.

“Intelligence indicates the persistence of contacts between Iranian security officials and senior al-Qaeda figures” after Osama bin Laden returned to Afghanistan from Sudan in 1996, it notes.

It quotes captured terrorist leader Walid bin Attash, known as Khallad, as saying Tehran tried to strengthen ties with al-Qaeda after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole but was rebuffed by bin Laden out of concern for Saudi sensitivities.

But two senior al-Qaeda operatives in US custody, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, told their interrogators that Iran’s assistance was limited to transiting through Iran. They also denied any relationship between the hijackers and al-Qaeda.

According to some Bush administration think tanks however, the events of 9/11 and Iran’s support for Hezbollah are not the only signs of Tehran’s links to Islamic terror. This time last year, the Sunday Herald reported on a day-long conference, held in Washington by the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Entitled The Future Of Iran – Mullahcracy, Democracy, And The War On Terror, the questions posed on the conference brochures were an indicator of its political aims. What lies ahead for Iran? What steps can the United States take to promote democratisation and regime change?

The delegates’ message was clear. Overshadowed until then by their much louder drum-beating for war against Saddam, the task now should be to focus US attention on dealing with Iran. Tehran, they said, has been accelerating a major nuclear programme , and has infiltrated “agents” into Iraq to support the likes of militant shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and create problems for the US-dominated occupation there.

One recent report by the respected independent London-based agency the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) will be music to the ears of AEI . It suggests that the militant Islamic group Ansar al-Islam is reorganising in Iran where its surviving 800 or so members fled after US air and ground strikes against their bases in northern Iraq. Most Ansar founding members fought in Afghanistan and had strong ties with al-Qaeda.

Only last week Norwegian authorities dropped charges against Ansar’s founder Mullah Krekar, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of attempted murder, kid napping and the funding of terrorism he allegedly committed during his time as acting leader in preinvasion Kurdish Iraq. According to the IWPR, however, Ansar is regrouping, courtesy of its Iranian hosts.

“The radical group’s presence appears to have, at the very least, the acquiescence of the Iranian authorities, and some sources report that Iranian intelligence offers logistics and possibly military training,” said the IWPR report.

Last year President Bush made it clear that, if re-elected this November, regime change in Iran would be on his agenda. With the administration on message that all is well in Iraq and Afghanistan – despite bad news almost daily – some observers believe it is resorting to a diversionary tactic to take the heat off these negative stories. Put simply, that means blame Iran for everything, and make the point whenever possible that it is next in Washington’s crosshairs.

As Bush said last week, despite the CIA finding “no direct connection between Iran and the attacks of September 11”, nevertheless “we will continue to look and see if the Iranians were involved”.

So is Iran next in line for punitive US military action for being a harbinger of Islamic terror? Many analysts believe that trumping up charges against Tehran is one thing, but that a military invasion would be at best impractical and at worse totally reckless – more to do with demonstrating Bush’s resolve to resist evil in the world in what, after all, is an election year.

It’s a game the administration cannot keep up indefinitely. Last week the Council on Foreign Relations issued a report with a more positive take on relations between the two countries titled Iran: Time For A New Approach. Not only does it question the tension between the US and Iran, it recognises Iran as a “critical actor in the post-war evolution” of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Should the US choose to go down the Iran-bashing route, it will have little effect except to increase that country’s hostility toward America at a time when a new generation of reformists within Iran should be embraced rather than manipulated or alienated.

Should Washington screw up, it will only serve to give greater voice to those like the conservative Iranian analyst who recently pointed out that it was not in Iran’s interest to crack down on al-Qaeda unless there was a wider rapprochement with Washington.

“Al-Qaeda is like a dangerous snake,” he said. “If you see it attacking someone who says he is your enemy, you will not attract the snake’s attention so it attacks you. With this snake, there are no effective half measures – either you kill it or leave it free, as wounding it will make it angry and more dangerous.” Washington should perhaps take note.

25 July 2004"

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Profits of war

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Profits of war: "Profits of war

Halliburton has become a byword for the cosy links between the White House and Texan big business. But how did the company run in the 90s by Dick Cheney secure a deal that guaranteed it millions in profit every time the US military saw action? In this exclusive extract from his new book, Dan Briody reveals how the firm made a killing on the battleground

Thursday July 22, 2004
The Guardian


Buy The Halliburton Agenda at Amazon.co.uk

On January 12 1991, Congress authorised President George HW Bush to engage Iraq in war. Just five days later, Operation Desert Storm commenced in Kuwait. As with the more recent war in the Gulf, it did not take long for the US to claim victory - it was all over by the end of February - but the clean-up would last longer, and was far more expensive than the military action itself. In a senseless act of desperation and defeat, Iraqi troops set fire to more than 700 Kuwaiti oil wells, resulting in a constant fog of thick, black smoke that turned day into night.
It was thought the mess would take no less than five years to clean up, as lakes of oil surrounding each well blazed out of control, making it nearly impossible to approach the burning wells, let alone extinguish them. But with the fighting over, Halliburton angled its way into the clean-up and rebuilding effort that was expected to cost around $200bn (£163bn) over the next 10 years.

The company sent 60 men to help with the firefighting effort. Meanwhile, its engineering and construction subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) won an additional $3m contract to assess the damage that the invasion had done to Kuwait's infrastructure - a contract whose value had multiplied seven times by the end of KBR's involvement. More significantly still, KBR won a contract to extract troops from Saudi Arabia after their services were no longer needed in the Gulf. Halliburton was back in the army logistics business in earnest for the first time since Vietnam. The end of the Gulf war saw nothing less than the rebirth of the military outsourcing business.

Military outsourcing was not new. Private firms had been aiding in war efforts since long before KBR won its first naval shipbuilding contract. But the nature of military outsourcing has changed dramatically in the last decade. The trend towards a "downsized" military began because of the "peace dividend" at the end of the cold war, and continued throughout the 1990s. This combination of a reduced military but continued conflict gave rise to an unprecedented new industry of private military firms. These firms would assist the military in everything from weapons procurement and maintenance to training of troops and logistics.

In the decade after the first Gulf war, the number of private contractors used in and around the battlefield increased tenfold. It has been estimated that there is now one private contractor for every 10 soldiers in Iraq. Companies such as Halliburton, which became the fifth largest defence contractor in the nation during the 1990s, have played a critical role in this trend.

The story behind America's "super contract" begins in 1992, when the department of defence, then headed by Dick Cheney, was impressed with the work Halliburton did during its time in Kuwait. Sensing the need to bolster its forces in the event of further conflicts of a similar nature, the Pentagon asked private contractors to bid on a $3.9m contract to write a report on how a private firm could provide logistical support to the army in the case of further military action.

The report was to examine 13 different "hot spots" around the world, and detail how services as varied as building bases to feeding the troops could be accomplished. The contractor that would potentially provide the services detailed in the report would be required to support the deployment of 20,000 troops over 180 days. It was a massive contingency plan, the first of its kind for the American military.

Thirty-seven companies tendered for the contract; KBR won it. The company was paid another $5m later that year to extend the plan to other locations and add detail.

The KBR report, which remains classified to this day, convinced Cheney that it was indeed possible to create one umbrella contract and award it to a single firm. The contract became known as the Logistics Civil Augmentation Programme (Logcap) and has been called "the mother of all service contracts". It has been used in every American deployment since its award in 1992 - at a cost of several billion dollars (and counting). The lucky recipient of the first, five-year Logcap contract was the very same company hired to draw up the plan in the first place: KBR.

The Logcap contract pulled KBR out of its late 1980s doldrums and boosted the bottom line of Halliburton throughout the 1990s. It is, effectively, a blank cheque from the government. The contractor makes its money from a built-in profit percentage, anywhere from 1% to 9%, depending on various incentive clauses. When your profit is a percentage of the cost, the more you spend, the more you make.

Before the ink was dry on the first Logcap contract, the US army was deployed to Somalia in December 1992 as part of Operation Restore Hope. KBR employees were there before the army even arrived, and they were the last to leave. The firm made $109.7m in Somalia. In August 1994, they earned $6.3m from Operation Support Hope in Rwanda. In September of that same year, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti netted the company $150m. And in October 1994, Operation Vigilant Warrior made them another $5m.

In the spirit of "refuse no job", the company was building the base camps, supplying the troops with food and water, fuel and munitions, cleaning latrines, even washing their clothes. They attended the staff meetings and were kept up to speed on all the activities related to a given mission. They were becoming another unit in the US army.

The army's growing dependency on the company hit home when, in 1997, KBR lost the Logcap contract in a competitive rebid to rival Dyncorp. The army found it impossible to remove Brown & Root from their work in the Balkans - by far the most lucrative part of the contract - and so carved out the work in that theatre to keep it with KBR. In 2001, the company won the Logcap contract again, this time for twice the normal term length: 10 years.

To the uninitiated, the appointment of Cheney to the chairman, president, and chief executive officer positions at Halliburton in August 1995, made little sense. Cheney had almost no business experience, having been a career politician and bureaucrat. Financial analysts downgraded the stock and the business press openly questioned the decision.

Cheney has been described by those who know him as everything from low-key to downright bland, but the confidence he inspired and the loyalty he professed made him an indispensable part of Donald Rumsfeld's rise to power. In the 1970s, Rumsfeld became Gerald Ford's White House chief of staff, with Cheney as his deputy. In those days, Cheney was assigned a codename by the secret service that perfectly summed up his disposition: "Backseat".

But Halliburton understood Cheney's value. With him as CEO, the company gained considerable leverage in Washington. Until Cheney's appointment in the autumn of 1995, Halliburton's business results had been decent. After a loss of $91m in 1993, the company had returned to profitability in 1994 with an operating profit of $236m. With the new revenue coming in from Logcap, Halliburton and its prize subsidiary, KBR, were back on track. Though Logcap was producing only modest revenues, it was successful in reintegrating KBR into the military machine.

The big opportunity came in December 1995, just two months after Cheney assumed the post of CEO, when the US sent thousands of troops to the Balkans as a peace-keeping force. As part of Operation Joint Endeavour, KBR was dispatched to Bosnia and Kosovo to support the army in its operations in the region. The task was massive in scope and size.

One example of the work KBR did in the Balkans was Camp Bondsteel. The camp was so large that the US general accounting office (GAO) likened it to "a small town". The company built roads, power generation, water and sewage systems, housing, a helicopter airfield, a perimeter fence, guard towers, and a detention centre. Bondsteel is the largest and most expensive army base since Vietnam. It also happens to be built in the path of the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian Oil (Ambo) Trans-Balkan pipeline, the pipeline connecting the oil-rich Caspian Sea region to the rest of the world. The initial feasibility project for Ambo was done by KBR.

KBR's cash flow from Logcap ballooned under Cheney's tenure, jumping from $144m in 1994 to more than $423m in 1996, and the Balkans was the driving force. By 1999, the army was spending just under $1bn a year on KBR's work in the Balkans. The GAO issued a report in September 2000 charging serious cost-control problems in Bosnia, but KBR retains the contract to this day.

Meanwhile, Cheney was busy developing Halliburton's business in other parts of the world. "It is a false dichotomy that we have to choose between our commercial and other interests," he told the [public policy research foundation] Cato Institute in 1998, speaking out against economic sanctions levied by the Clinton administration against countries suspected of terrorist activity. "Our government has become sanctions-happy," he continued.

In particular, Cheney objected to sanctions against Libya and Iran, two countries with which Halliburton was already doing business regardless. Even more disconcerting, though, was the work the company did in Iraq. Between his stints as secretary of defence and vice-president, Cheney was in charge of Halliburton when it was circumventing strict UN sanctions, helping to rebuild Iraq and enriching Saddam Hussein.

In September 1998, Halliburton closed a $7.7bn stock merger with Dresser Industries (the company that gave George HW Bush his first job). The merger made Halliburton the largest oilfield services firm in the world. It also brought with it two foreign subsidiaries that were doing business with Iraq via the controversial Oil for Food programme. The two subsidiaries, Dresser Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co, signed $73m-worth of contracts for oil production equipment.

Cheney told the press during his 2000 run for vice-president that he had a "firm policy" against doing business with Iraq. He admitted to doing business with Iran and Libya, but "Iraq's different," he said. Cheney told ABC TV: "We've not done any business in Iraq since UN sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn't do that."

Three weeks later, Cheney was forced to admit the business ties, but claimed ignorance. He told reporters that he was not aware of Dresser's business in Iraq, and that besides, Halliburton had divested itself of both companies by 2000. In the meantime, the companies had done another $30m-worth of business in Iraq before being sold off.

The Dresser merger was, it appeared, the crowning achievement of the Cheney years at Halliburton. But Cheney left Halliburton several other legacies. David Gribbin, Cheney's former chief of staff, became Halliburton's chief lobbyist in Washington. Admiral Joe Lopez, a former commander of the sixth fleet, was hired to be KBR's governmental operations expert. Together, Cheney's team made Halliburton one of the top government contractors in the country. KBR had nearly doubled its government contracts, from $1.2bn in the five years prior to his arrival, to $2.3bn during his five years as CEO. Halliburton soared from 73rd to 18th on the Pentagon's list of top contractors.

After 9/11, KBR went to work on the war on terrorism, building the 1,000 detention cells at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for terrorist suspects, at a cost of $52m. The work had to feel familiar to KBR: it had done the exact same job 35 years earlier in Vietnam. When troops were deployed to Afghanistan, so was KBR. It built US bases in Bagram and Kandahar for $157m. As it had done in the past, KBR had men on the ground before the first troops even arrived in most locations. They readied the camps, fed the troops, and hauled away the waste. And they did it like the military would have done it: fast, efficient, and effective. It was good work, solid revenues, but nothing like the windfall the company had experienced in the Balkans.

In addition, Halliburton won the contract for restoring the Iraqi oil infrastructure - a contract that was not competitively bid. It was given to Halliburton out of convenience, because it had developed the plan for fighting oil fires (all, by this time, extinguished). Despite the new business, the fortunes of Halliburton and its subsidiary have not prospered. The stock that Cheney cashed in near its peak, when he renewed his political career in 2000, has since plummeted. The main culprit was the 1998 merger with Dresser, which saddled the company with asbestos liabilities that ultimately led to two Halliburton subsidiaries - one of them KBR - having to file for bankruptcy.

When Cheney left to become Bush's running mate, he took a golden parachute package - in addition to the stock options he was obliged to sell for $30m. In September 2003, Cheney insisted: "Since I've left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice-president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't now for over three years."

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), a non-partisan agency that investigates political issues at the request of elected officials, says otherwise. Cheney has been receiving a deferred salary from Halliburton in the years since he left the company. In 2001, he received $205,298. In 2002, he drew $162,392. He is scheduled to receive similar payments through 2005, and has an insurance policy in place to protect the payments in the event that Halliburton should fold. In addition, Cheney still holds 433,333 unexercised stock options in Halliburton. He has agreed to donate any profits to charity.

The Halliburton Agenda by Dan Briody is published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd at £16.99. To order a copy for £14.99 plus p&p, call Guardian Book Service on 0870 836 0875. "

Richard Armitage's interview caused much ado about nothing

The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - Richard Armitage's interview caused much ado about nothing: "The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - Richard Armitage's interview caused much ado about nothing: "Richard Armitage's interview caused much ado about nothing

By Michael Young
Daily Star staff
Thursday, July 22, 2004
There was a ruckus these past few days as analysts pored over the interview conducted by Kuwait's Al-Rai al-Aam newspaper with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. However, an original transcript of the interview suggests it was really a case of much ado about nothing.
In the interview, Armitage was asked what the US position was on a possible extension of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud's mandate. He responded: 'My own view is (that) constitutions matter. And when you have a constitution you should follow it and the constitution should be amended only carefully and after due deliberation and full participation by the citizens. But having said that, this is a matter for the people of Lebanon to decide, and their views and their feelings are the ones that matter and not Rich Armitage's.'
When asked whether the Lebanese could really make such a decision, Armitage responded: 'Of course not,' and added: 'Our view of this whole thing - the Syrian involvement in Lebanon - has been consistent for years. There were activities surrounding the Taif Accord, which spoke to this matter, and yet nothing has happened. And I think this is detrimental to the reputation of Syria and it certainly is harmful to the national prestige and sovereignty of Lebanon. So these are things we've spoken about for 15 years - longer now since the Taif Accord.'
It is easy to read much into what Armitage said, and very little. The tendency has been to combine his statements with that of US Congressman Ray LaHood, who said 10 days ago in Beirut: '(O)ur country, the US, thinks"

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Prince Turki Al Faisal - The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

Prince Turki Al Faisal - The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies: "Prince Turki Al-Faisal bin Abd Al-Aziz Al-Saud

Former head of Saudi Arabian Intelligence
Georgetown University Alumnus

Special Address

Transcription by Paul Dyer

Sunday, February 3, 2002

In the name of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful.

I am very pleased to be here today. I will start my talk by thanking the person who is responsible for that, my good friend Bob Andrews. In 1993, at the beginning of the year if I remember correctly, and after not having heard from him for more than 25 years, I am sitting at home in Jeddah and the phone rings and somebody says, “Hi Turki. This is Bob.” (laughter) And I said, “Bob who?” (laughter) He said, “Bob Andrews. Do you want to come to the reunion of the class of 1968 at the White House?” I said, “Sure.” (laughter). That is how our relationship resumed after many years. I would also like to thank my colleagues from the class of 1968 who made a point of attending this talk. It shows how generous they are with their time — I know that some of them are anxious to get out of here and get to the Super Bowl (laughter). I will make my talk very short. I call the class of 1968 the class that did not inhale (laughter). And you know the rest of that, I think (laughter).

I am going to break a taboo, a social taboo that is practiced in the Kingdom, in the sense that I am going to be talking about myself. Saudis in general, and I think Arabs and Muslims in general, find it very difficult to do that. But having come to Georgetown and having had so many friends from America, I find it easier to do than perhaps do other Saudis. I will start with my birth. I was born on February 15, 1945, on the day before the late King Abdul Aziz met with your President Roosevelt on one of your naval ships in the salt lakes of the Red Sea.

When they met on that ship, they struck a chord between them that has lasted a long time and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between our two peoples. The thing that brought King Abdul Aziz to admire President Roosevelt was that he saw in him a man not only of stature and a great leader of a great country, but a man who kept his word. The King’s delivery to President Roosevelt was on the following points: “We want to have excellent relations with the United States because the United States is the only superpower in the world that is not a colonialist power.” The Arab world at that time was ruled by two colonial powers, Britain and France. The King was the ruler of one of only two Arab countries at the time that were independent, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. He was seeking the friendship of the greatest power in order to make sure that colonialism in the Middle East would be eliminated, and he wanted the help of the United States in achieving that.

The other point that he wanted to talk to the President about was the question of Palestine. There was already talk that Palestine should be given over to the Jewish refugees from Europe who were going to come from there and settle in Palestine and eventually create the state of Israel. King Abdul Aziz’s main complaint to President Roosevelt was that if the Germans persecuted these people, then why give them Arab land. He asked, “Why don’t you choose the best lands in Germany and give it to them?” President Roosevelt, I think, was struck by that question and didn’t know how to answer it, but he made a very strong commitment to the following fact: that before the United States would take any position on that issue, that he, President Roosevelt, would consult with his Arab friends to make sure that whatever decision was taken would be beneficial to all. The late King Abdul Aziz took that promise and it was the cornerstone on which the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States progressed from that time onwards.

Unfortunately, President Roosevelt returned to the United States and died in April, if I am not mistaken, and was succeeded by Harry Truman. Those of you who know Arab history will know that Harry Truman is the man most Arabs blame for the problem of the Palestinians, because in the elections of 1948, when there were all the US ambassadors in Arab countries meeting with him to tell him that there should be a more careful position taken by the United States vis á vis the immigration issue of European Jews to Palestine, and that the opinions of the Arab world must be taken seriously, he turned to them and bluntly said, “Gentlemen, I have more than 500,000 Jewish electors. I don’t have a single Arab elector.” He went ahead and not only helped with the creation of Israel, but competed with the Soviet Union to recognize Israel first.

From that time, there has been a general feeling not only of disappointment, but almost a sense of rejection that the Arabs felt coming from the United States. As I grew older and became a teenager, our relationship with the United States obviously developed in tremendous ways regardless of the issue of Palestine. Why? Because the Kingdom looks upon the United States as a strategic ally and as an ally on which we can depend should we be in trouble. When I was a teenager, the United States continued to help the Kingdom by allowing US companies, like the oil companies, to develop the oil fields. The US was importing our main product, oil, and it was also selling us goods. But the Kingdom was a small country at the time, and a very poor country, despite the oil income

When I was fourteen, I was sent by my father to study at Lawrenceville School, a prep school in New Jersey. I will never forget the first day I went there. I was alone. I was extremely nervous, like I am now (laughter). As I entered the dormitory, I felt somebody’s hand slapping me on my backside. And suddenly I heard a loud voice of a young man saying, “Hi. My name is Steve Callahan. Who are you?” That greeting remains in my mind today as the full expression of what Americans are about (laughter). They are so straightforward, so simple, and they want to know everything. It took me a while, you know, to get over it, because in Saudi Arabia, you never hit anybody on the backside (laughter). I turned to him finally and I said, “My name is Turki al-Faisal.” He said, “Oh. Like a Thanksgiving turkey?” And I said, “No. Back home, we eat turkey at Christmas (laughter).” Steve became a good friend, and those years I spent at Lawrenceville were very informative for me, because I got to know many people who became good friends. Some of them are still my friends. Most of all what I learned is that when you talk with Americans, you have to be straightforward, because they expect that from you and they are going to give you that anyway, whether you are or not. I think that is why I am talking to you in this manner, and I am breaking the taboo about talking about myself.

I came to Lawrenceville during the early 1960s, just before coming to Georgetown. In those years, the Kingdom went through a lot of problems. We had a government crisis. Our Crown Prince, who was my father, left office because of his disagreements with the King. The Kingdom almost went bankrupt because of mismanagement. It was miraculous that the Kingdom survived that epoch, because at the time, if any of you remember, and I am sure that some of the professors here do, Arab socialism was on the rise in the Middle East and the influence of the Soviet Union was also growing. Now, there are reasons for that. I will only touch on them.

In 1956, President Nasser, the nationalistic leader of Egypt, wanted to build the Aswan Dam to tap the Nile waters and to create electricity in order to develop industries and so on. The first country he reached his hand out to was the United States. Unfortunately, he was turned down. He turned to the World Bank and the IMF at the time and was turned down again. The Soviets, like the canny communists that they were, jumped and they said, “We will build the Aswan Dam for you.” So he agreed to that, and it upset the United States and its allies, Britain and France. Following that decision, the British and the French colluded with Israel to have a war with Egypt in order to occupy the Suez Canal because President Nasser, in order to finance the building of the Aswan Dam, nationalized the Suez Canal. That collusion between the British, the French, and the Israelis was really a turning point in the Middle East, because it soon led to the removal of the power of those two colonial countries from the Middle East. You know who forced the British and the French to withdraw after the War of Suez. It was the United States, because President Eisenhower, at the time, refused to accept the British and the French idea that they could send armies anywhere they wanted simply to achieve what they wanted without recourse to negotiation or diplomacy. You can’t imagine the public support that President Eisenhower enjoyed at the time because of that position. Even Egyptians, which had mainly negative views of the United States policy, were grateful that there was somebody like President Eisenhower who could tell the British and the French to withdraw from Egypt.

Now, there is a brief background to the 1960s which, as I told you, meant that the Kingdom was in a very severe straits, and ending in 1964, the year I came to Georgetown, in the removal of the late Kind Saud as King of Saudi Arabia and the giving of the baya to a new king. (The baya in the Islamic tradition is a pledge of allegiance, and is actually a contract between the sovereign and his people. When his people give him this baya and that means that they choose him as their king.) And I’ll never forget when I was here at Georgetown that somebody came up to me and he said, “Did you hear the news?” I said, “No.” He said, “Oh. Your father has become king.” I said, “No,” he said, “Yes,” and sure enough, the dean called me at the time, and they started talking about providing security for me — even in those days — which I turned down, because I’d never have anybody following me in those days, especially at Georgetown (laughter).

That social upheaval came at a very important time for the Kingdom, because the mismanagement that had been going on since the late 1950s came to an end. The Kingdom could look forward to a more stable, more rational progress in development, and also could turn to developing the Kingdom’s relationships with its friends in the world, including the United States. In the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s, the Kingdom stood fast by the United States as a supporter of the United States’ policies against communism. That steadfastness was not simply because the United States was asking the Kingdom to do that, but because the Kingdom always looked upon the principles and the ideas of communism as being anathema to human thought and well being. There was a total rejection of Marxist ideas by the Kingdom, and for that reason we supported US policies against communism. We never asked for any credit for that, because we thought we were serving ourselves as well. We continued to support US policies against communism, and I am going to tell you a little secret later on about that which I have never told to anybody before.

As I finished the 1967school year in Georgetown it was unfortunately when we had the Six Day War in the Middle East. I am sure that many of you will remember that. For us in the Arab world, it was the tragedy of 1948, when the first Palestinian problem occurred, multiplied three to four times over, because more territory was lost to Israel and more Palestinians were driven out of their homes and more land was occupied by Israel. You can’t imagine the state of total depression and sense of failure that struck the Arab world as a result of that war. In the 1950s and the early 1960s, nationalist leaders like President Nasser, using hyperbole and mass media and all sorts of tools of inciting people’s aspirations and so on, were doing all that. Unfortunately, the most important thing that they did not manage to do was to find out what Israel was up to. The intelligence on Israel was abysmal. The knowledge of Israel was totally negligent. Nobody just gave any attention to that. Instead, the Palestinian problem was used then as a means to achieve political aims in the Middle East. I left Georgetown in 1967, before graduating, and the main reason for that was that I was so depressed by what happened in the 1967 war. It was a total disaster for all of us in the Arab world. My fellow Arabs who are sitting here, I see them nodding their heads in agreement. That is the only way that we could look upon it.

But in the 1970s, after I left Georgetown, I did some studies in Britain, and when I went back to work in the Kingdom, I went to my father, of all people, and started a sentence saying, “About work…,” meaning that I wanted his advice on what I should do. He understood me to be asking him for a job. He turned to me and gave me a look, where he would raises his right eye up to the sky and look down at me. He said, “I didn’t give any of your brothers any job, so look for your own work.” (laughter). Fortunately, there were others who thought more highly of me, and I was hired as a counsellor to the Royal Diwan, which was then followed by my appointment in 1977 as Director of the Intelligence Organization in the Kingdom.

In the 1970s, the mood in the Kingdom turned from repression and poverty and lack of resources into one of abundance of wealth and of health, because the oil boom came. It came not as a result of the Ramadan War, or as it is mainly called in your country, the Yom Kippor War, but because oil prices in the 1950s and 1960s had been unnaturally depressed. The market sort of caught up with that unnatural state of affairs, and forced up the price of oil so that, instead of being sold at $16 or $17 a barrel, it went up to $40 per barrel. One of my brothers was then working as Deputy Minister of Petroleum, and he was sitting with the Minister of Petroleum after work, trying to figure out how much income Saudi Arabia was going to get that year. It was 1974, and in those days, there were no calculators, no computers. Everything was being done by hand. They were going over the figures. How many barrels are we producing? And they were saying, I don’t know, five or six million at the time. How much per barrel? And finally they came to the figure: “My God! We are going to have an income of $20 billion.” To them and to me, $20 billion in those days was such an astronomical figure in a country that, for all of its past thirty years or so, had not collected more than $10 billion from oil. Their main worry at the time was how we were going to spend this money. How many roads are we going to build? How many hospitals are we going to build? How many schools? How many students are we going to send abroad? The fact is, that from 1970, when we implemented out first five-year plan, to 1985 — that gives you five five-year plans — the country went from budget surplus to budget deficit. Most of that money was spent on development of Saudi Arabia as it stands today. The infrastructure that those from Georgetown that visited me in the Kingdom saw was mostly built in the 1970s and 1980s.

Around that time, too, there was a change in the Arab world that we in the Kingdom definitely noticed. Many others also noticed, and that was the waning of the so-called socialist nationalist politics in the Arab world. I think this was mainly due to the death of the late Gamal Abdul Nasser, who was the main proponent of that kind of policy. King Faisal, God bless his soul, did not live long after that, because in 1975 he was assassinated, and was succeeded by King Khalid (the present King Fahd became the Crown Prince). In those days, the problems we faced in the Arab world, despite the increase in the oil revenue, were enormous. First of all, the issue of Palestine was still unresolved, in spite of Henry Kissinger’s declaration that, “We are on a course to remove all aspects of conflict in the Middle East, and I, Henry Kissinger, am going to be the one who will do that.”

Kissinger started with his shuttle diplomacy in the Arab world, and succeeded in getting two withdrawals of Israeli troops, one from the Suez Canal on one side and on the Syrian Golan Heights on the other side. But whenever he came to the Middle East — and your Secretary of State was not known for being very truthful, if I may say — in order to make sure that he did not convey any misimpression [sic] or misinformation between the leaders there, what the late King Faisal did and President Sadat of Egypt and President Asad of Syria did, they agreed that every time Kissinger was coming from one of these countries to the other, that he would be proceeded by a messenger from that country to the next country, so that they would brief the leadership on exactly what happened from the Arab side before Kissinger came and reported to them what he heard from that leader. That used to drive Kissinger crazy (laughter). Because every time he went anywhere, he found everybody was well prepared. He couldn’t play any tricks on anybody. He couldn’t tell them that Sadat told me this or Asad promised me that or Faisal indicated this. That is how, I think for a period of three years, the negotiations managed to succeed and achieve those withdrawals from both sides of the conflict area, as a result of this means of coordination. Then King Faisal died, and President Sadat and President Asad begin to have disagreements over many things, among them Lebanon.

1975 was the beginning of the horrific conflict in Lebanon. It was absolutely outrageous by any measure. There was merciless killing, whatever its basis or reason. That conflict consumed the Arab world. The US also played an important, and sometimes tragic role — recall the Marines that were blown up in Lebanon. In all that difficult time, however, the coordination between the Kingdom and the United States continued on a very important level of closeness and directness.

In 1980, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, we in the Kingdom, with the United States, initiated a program of countering the Soviet invasion and helping the Mujahideen to repel the Soviets. I was directly involved in that situation, and now I will go back to the secret that I promised to tell you. In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran. The principle aim of this club was that we would share information with each other and help each other in countering Soviet influence worldwide, and especially in Africa. In the 1970s, there were still some countries in Africa that were coming out of colonialism, among them Mozambique, Angola, and I think Djibouti. The main concern of everybody was that the spread of communism was taking place while the main country that would oppose communism was tied up. Congress had literally paralyzed the work of not only of the US intelligence community, but of its foreign service as well. And so, the Kingdom, with these countries, helped in some way, I believe, to keep the world safe at the time when the United States was not able to do that. That, I think, is a secret that many of you don’t know. I am not saying it because I look to tell secrets, but because the time has gone and many of the actors are gone as well. Nobody is going to contradict me (laughter).

We get back to 1980 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. There was a tremendous upsurge of support for the Mujahideen in the entire Muslim world to help them repel the Soviets from their attack in Afghanistan. As I said, the Kingdom and the United States participated jointly in this effort in providing money, logistics, and arms to the Mujahideen through the friendly and brotherly state of Pakistan, which took on the brunt, at the time, if you remember, of opposing the Soviets and being accused by the Soviets that it was the conduit for these weapons. Actually, at one time or another, there were not only Soviet over flights in Pakistan, but also bombings of Pakistani villages by Soviet aircraft. Anyway, the Mujahideen took on the fight. We continued our support for them until 1990 when the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan. At that stage, because the Mujahideen had started fighting each other, we decided that that we were going to stop all aid to all Afghan parties of whatever inclination and whatever political leaning. Not a single penny was going to go from us to any Afghan party. That included the Taliban, who came at a later stage in 1995 and ‘96.

I know many of you would want me to talk a little bit about Usama bin Laden. Bin Laden came to Afghanistan around 1984 as a young man who wanted to dedicate himself to help the Mujahideen against the Soviets. He had wealth, because his father left him some money. He brought with him to Afghanistan and the Mujahideen road building equipment, water drilling equipment, and all sorts of support and perhaps also some money to the Mujahideen. He was not a fighter. I will never forget when I met with the Mujahideen leaders in Islamabad, many times they would turn to me and tell me, “Look, we want from you money, clothing, arms, ammunition, food, logistical support, but please, don’t send us any men. We have enough Afghans. We don’t want any fighters.” But these Arabs and other Muslims, they volunteered to go there because they felt an obligation to helping the Mujahideen. The Mujahideen accepted them, but mostly in secondary roles and in roles of support rather than as fighters on the battlefronts or as commanders in the field. Bin Laden was one of these people. I met with him several times in Pakistan, mostly at embassy receptions, but if you read the Wall Street Journal, you would think that I invented Bin Laden, and it’s not true. When I met him in these functions, he seemed to be a relatively pleasant man, very shy, soft spoken, and, as a matter of fact, he didn’t speak much at all.

Now, when the Mujahideen scored a victory on the Soviets and the Soviets withdrew, and then the Mujahideen started fighting each other, Bin Laden left Afghanistan in 1990 and came to the Kingdom. He felt that he had an obligation to continue fighting the “evil” — between quotation marks — that he had helped fight in Afghanistan against the Soviets. So, it coincided that year, with the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, and Bin Laden comes to one of our top leaders, and he says, “I can collect the Mujahideen from Afghanistan and we can come to Saudi Arabia. We will repel the invasion of the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. You don’t have to call on your friends the Americans to come and help you.” He was turned down. Now, after that he came back again to the leader, one of those leaders, and he came to me as a matter of fact, and then went to others, with an idea that he wants to go and liberate the then Marxist regime in South Yemen and destroy it and liberate the country. I told him, “That is a very bad idea. The Kingdom is not going to allow that. Don’t think of it. But if you want other opinions, go and see higher authority,” which he did, and again he was turned down. I believe that in those years, crucial in his makeup, he was looking for a cause, if you like, having fought or supported the fight in Afghanistan. Bin Laden turned from the easy going, laid back, shy person that I knew and met, to the person that he became later on, one of the most vicious and, I think, one of the cruelest killers in our modern history.

Bin Laden leaves the Kingdom and goes back to Afghanistan, but he doesn’t stay there because there is nothing for him to do there. The Mujahideen are fighting each other and he can’t get involved in that. Then he decides to go to the Sudan, which at the time had a government that was instigating all sorts of troubles in the area, and collecting from the Arab world and the Muslim world anybody who would come and say, “I want to go fight somewhere.” They would bring them to the Sudan and put them in camps, etc. He was accepted as a refugee in the Sudan until 1996. That year, the Sudanese offered to give him to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we said, “Fine. We will take him.” They said at first, “You, Saudi Arabia, have to promise us that he will not go on trial.” We said, “No. No deal,” because nobody is above the law in the Kingdom. Instead of coming to the Kingdom, they sent him to Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, by that time the Taliban had taken over in Afghanistan and they inherited Bin Laden from another group who had provided him refuge there. In doing so, the Taliban gave us assurances that they would not allow bin Laden to harm the Kingdom, either by word or by deed. From 1996­97, when the Taliban extended their rule over practically all of Afghanistan, we extended diplomatic recognition to them, for many reasons. One is that they controlled most of the country. Two is that there was peace in the areas where they controlled most of the country. And three, because we wanted to be able to talk to them. And we thought it was better to talk to them under these circumstances than to let them off to somebody else to do the talking.

Their assurances to us not to allow bin Laden to harm the Kingdom in any way were broken during this time. In 1997, he appeared on American television, one of the networks, and gave an extensive interview, where not only did he denounce Saudi Arabia, but he also denounced the United States, and promised bloodshed, if you like, as the future of both countries. We complained to the Taliban about that, and they said, “We promise you he is not going to do it anymore.” The beginning of 1998, again to an American company, network company, bin Laden said the same things, so I was sent to Afghanistan by King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah to try to get Mullah Omar to hand bin Laden to us. When I met with Mullah Omar in June 1998, he seemed amenable and willing to negotiate with us on this issue. He and I agreed that we would set up a joint committee between the two countries in which we would talk about how we were going to get bin Laden out of Afghanistan and in our hands. I went back to the Kingdom, informed my superiors of that, and waited for the Taliban to contact us, to tell us the next step. We waited until July. An emissary came from Mullah Omar and told us that they were considering this factor. They were merely in the process of establishing their side of this committee. We waited some more. September came. Nothing happens. So, the King and the Crown Prince sent me again to Kandahar and I met with Mullah Omar. This time, the meeting took a 180-degree turn from the previous meeting. The man turned abusive to the Kingdom and was insulting and totally out of order. He said things like, “The Kingdom should be ashamed of itself for wanting to try this upright, fantastic human being, bin Laden. You are doing this at the behest of the United States, the enemy of Islam.” So, I just cut the meeting short and I said, “I am not going to take anymore abuse.” As I was leaving, I turned to him and I said, “Mullah Omar, you are going to regret this act. It is going to bring harm not just to you, but to Afghanistan.” When I left and went back to the Kingdom, I recommended to my superiors that we withdraw our ambassador from Afghanistan and ask their ambassador to withdraw from the Kingdom as a sign of protest at what come out of Mullah Omar, but also leaving some kind of tenuous links with them in case they wanted to talk about bin Laden. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

Now, I am going to conclude my talk. Last Thursday, I went and I visited Ground Zero in New York. I must tell you that the feelings I had when I saw that place were of such intensity and enormity that I couldn’t believe where I was for a while. All I could think of was those people who I saw on television throwing themselves from those windows, and these were people who were parents and brothers and sisters of other people. The grieving that someone has for someone who is lost in that way, I could share because I went through the same with my father. It was the most painful thing. At the same time, when I saw the workers there digging and clearing the rubble I was struck by the fact that mankind has been hit by many tragedies in the past, but every time mankind recovers and comes back. I think New York is going to recover. I think the American people are going to recover from this tragedy. So, I just wanted to tell you that we in the Kingdom suffered as well, for your suffering. And believe me, the pain that you felt, many of us felt, regardless of whether the perpetrators were Saudis or not. The majority of people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have the same feelings that I do.

And I want to thank Georgetown University again for the wonderful time that I had here in the 1960s. I tell you, it wasn’t just the class that didn’t inhale (laughter). It was the class that tried to smoke banana peels (laughter). Do you remember that? I promise you, can anybody imagine smoking a banana peel? But those were the days (laughter). So, thank you again. And God bless you all."