Saturday, May 03, 2003

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The Island
News and Events
South Georgia Museum
Realities of Fishing

A mountainous isle

The Antarctic island of South Georgia is "breathtaking beautiful and a sight on an early spring day not easily forgotten" (Niall Ranken 1946). It is long and narrow, shaped like a huge,curved, fractured and savaged whale bone, some 170 kilometres long and varying from 2 to 40 kilometres wide. Two mountain ranges (Allardyce and Salvesen) provide its spine, rising to 2,934 metres at Mount Paget's peak (Eleven peaks exceed 2,000metres). Huge glaciers, ice caps and snowfields cover about 75% of the island in the austral summer (November to January); in winter (July to September) a snow blanket reaches the sea. The island then drops some 4,000 metres to the sea floor.

An oasis in the South Atlantic Ocean

South Georgia lies between 35.47' to 38.01' west and 53.58' to 54.53' south within the Polar Front being surrounded by the ice cold waters that flow up from Antarctica(South Georgia is at about the same latitude relative to the South Pole as the North of England is to the North Pole). The tip of South America, Tierra del Fuego is 2,150 kilometres to the west. The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) are closer, but still 1,390 kilometres away to the west. The mountain ranges and the precipitous southern coast shield the northern facing bays from the fierce prevailing winds and depressions that roar in from the Drake Passage to the west and Antarctica to the south.

An island of islands~

South Georgia embraces many rocks offshore and small islands that provide rodent free homes for breeding birds and mammals. The larger ones include Willis Island and Bird Island at the north-west tip, Cooper Island off the south-east, and Annekov Island, 15 kilometres to the south-west.


South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) (further to the south-east) are a UK overseas territory. Continuous UK administration has been in place since 1908. At the height of the whaling period some 2,000 people lived on the island. Now there no permanent residents - but there are two British Antarctic Research Stations (Bird Island and King Edward Point), two Museum Curators and a Marine Officer and his wife.

>>Back to top This site and all text content is copyright 2001 Project Atlantis. Rights reserved for all images to respective copyright owner. March 22 topic index
Updated: May 2, 2003

Explaining Thirty Years Of Fudge

India To Export Missiles To Friendly Countries: Reports

Shuttle Columbia Was Doomed Once It Began Re-Entry: NASA Report

DoE Awards $9 Million For Energy Related Genomic Research

Northrop Grumman's ICBM Program Achieves CMMI Level 3

Klipsch Receives Grant To Analyze Communication Networks On Planetary Rovers

MIT Lab Works To Mimic Spider Silk

SpaceDev Announces Streaker Launch Vehicle

Spacehab Completes Next Phase in Revitalization Plan

Arotech Battery Passes Testing With Dragon Eye Unmanned Drone

Triumphant Bush Says Iraq Is Won But War On Terrorism Continues

US Reviews Possibility Of Sending To Colombia Military Materiel from Iraq

Turkish Security Forces Fire In The Air At Quake Protest

Death Toll In Turkish Quake Hits 105

India's Premier Space Agency To Build A Slew Of Satellites

Indian Space Agency In Talks With Global Firms To Tap Markets

French Space Agency, In Deficit, Axes Two Programmes

Harris To Build More Innovative Space-Based Radar Antennas

Canadian Researchers Hold Out Promise For Optical Chip

Finding The Ashes Of The First Stars

In Search Of The Missing Universe

Born on this day in:
1924 Ostashev. Yevgeni Ilich Ostashev Russian Military Officer.
1951 Manarov. Musa Khiramanovich Manarov Lakets (Kavkazi Engineer Cosmonaut.
1964 Patrick. Nicholas James MacDonald Patrick American Mission Specialist Astronaut.
Died on this day in:
1974 Kalmykov. Valeriy Dmitriyevich Kalmykov Russian Government Official.
1991 Kuznetsov Viktor. Viktor Ivanovich Kuznetsov Russian Engineer.
On this day in:

1913 - Nation: USA.
Goddard diagnosed with tuberculosis.
The doctors thought he had just two weeks to live. During the months of recuperation that followed, Goddard conceived the basic concepts of rocketry, leading to patents the following year. References: 377 .

1946 - Nation: USA. Launch Vehicle: Wac.
First American rocket to exit earth's atmosphere
First American rocket to escape earth's atmosphere, the JPL-Ordnance Wac, reached 50-mile height after launch from WSPG. References: 17 .

1946 - Nation: USA. Launch Vehicle: Ordnance WAC. LV Configuration: Ordnance WAC.
Ordnance WAC
80 km alt.

1948 - Nation: USA.
XS-1 Flight 75 Payload: XS-1 # 2 flight 32. Class: Manned. Type: Rocketplane. Spacecraft: XS-1. Flight Crew: Hoover,
NACA flight 12. Stability and loads investigation. Mach 1.12. References: 49 , 97 .

1949 - Nation: USA. Launch Site: 11 S / 88 W . Launch Vehicle: Aerobee. LV Configuration: RTV-N-8.
Aerobee A-11 Agency: John Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory. Apogee: 105 km.
Cosmic radiation, magnetic field research. Launched at 1730 GMT. Reached 104.6 km.

1960 - Nation: USA. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1.
Titan 1 test.
USAF Titan fired 5,000 statute miles / 8000 km and data capsule recovered. References: 17 .

1967 - Nation: USA. Launch Site: Edwards . Launch Vehicle: X-15A. LV Configuration: X-15 No. 1 Flight 70.
X-15 Flight 177 Program: X-15. Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-15A. Flight Crew: Adams,
Maximum Speed - 6150 kph. Maximum Altitude - 40570 m. Inertial system failed after peak altitude; cabin pressurization lost during descent. References: 38 , 49 , 97 .

1967 - Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Complex: LC162. Launch Vehicle: R-36-O. FAILURE: Failure.
FOBS Payload: OGCh. Spacecraft: FOBS. COSPAR. References: 279 .

1967 - - 12:43 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
Cosmos 150 Mass: 6,300 kg. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 178 km. Apogee: 341 km. Inclination: 65.4 deg. Period: 89.6 min. COSPAR: 1967-025A. Duration: 8.00 days.
High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule References: 1 , 2 , 6 .

1968 - - 09:36 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Complex: LC90. Launch Vehicle: Tsyklon.
Cosmos 209 Program: RORSAT. Payload: US-A no. 2. Mass: 3,800 kg. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval Radarsat. Spacecraft: US-A. Agency: MO SSSR. Perigee: 876 km. Apogee: 927 km. Inclination: 65.3 deg. Period: 103.0 min. COSPAR: 1968-023C.
RORSAT hardware, representative of production hardware, but using chemical batteries in place of BES-5 nuclear reactor. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 290 .

1969 - - 12:15 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Complex: LC41/1. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
Cosmos 273 Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 77. Mass: 4,720 kg. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military. Spacecraft: Zenit-2. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 200 km. Apogee: 336 km. Inclination: 65.4 deg. Period: 89.8 min. COSPAR: 1969-027A. Duration: 8.00 days.
Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 93 .

1972 - - 20:38 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Complex: LC132. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M. LV Configuration: Kosmos 11K65M s/n 47127-122.
Cosmos 479 Program: Tselina. Mass: 875 kg. Class: ELINT. Spacecraft: Tselina-O. Agency: MO SSSR. Perigee: 517 km. Apogee: 537 km. Inclination: 74.0 deg. Period: 95.2 min. COSPAR: 1972-017A.
Possible ELINT satellite. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .

1973 - - 10:04 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
Nauka Cosmos 552 Payload: Nauka 16KS No. 2L. Spacecraft: Nauka. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 192 km. Apogee: 283 km. Inclination: 72.8 deg. Period: 89.3 min. COSPAR: 1973-016C. References: 279 .
Cosmos 552 Mass: 6,000 kg. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military. Spacecraft: Zenit-2M. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 202 km. Apogee: 308 km. Inclination: 72.0 deg. Period: 89.6 min. COSPAR: 1973-016A. Duration: 12.00 days.
Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; separated Nauka autonomous subsatellite 16KS No 162 / 2L which tested Kondor control system for Yantar satellite. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 69 .

1979 - Nation: USA.
Ferry flight El Paso to Kelly AFB Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Spacecraft: Columbia.
Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia (OV-102) from Biggs Army Air Base to Kelly AFB, San Antonio, Texas (1 hr, 39 min) References: 15 .

1981 - - 14:59 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Complex: LC31. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
Soyuz 39 Program: Salyut. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T s/n 55. Mass: 6,800 kg. Class: Manned. Type: Spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 198 km. Apogee: 249 km. Inclination: 51.8 deg. Period: 88.9 min. COSPAR: 1981-029A. Duration: 7.86 days. Flight Crew: Dzhanibekov, Gurragcha, Manned flight: Soyuz 39.
Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Transported to the Salyut-6 orbital station the eighth international crew under the INTERCOSMOS programme, comprising V A Dzhanibekov (USSR) and Z. Gurragchi (Mongolian People's Republic) to conduct scientific investigations and experiments. Recovered March 30, 1981 11:42 GMT. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 32 , 33 , 51 .

1982 - - 16:00 GMT. Nation: USA. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Complex: LC39A. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: STS-03 (OFT-3).
STS-3 Program: STS. Payload: Columbia F03 / OSS-1. Mass: 10,301 kg. Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Spacecraft: Columbia. Agency: NASA JSC. Perigee: 241 km. Apogee: 249 km. Inclination: 38.0 deg. Period: 89.4 min. COSPAR: 1982-022A. Duration: 8.00 days. Flight Crew: Fullerton, Lousma, Manned flight: STS-3.
Manned two crew. Payloads: Office of Space Science (OSS) experiments, Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Electro-phoresis Verification Test (EEVT), Plant Lignification Experiment. First and only landing by a shuttle at White Sands, New Mexico, after weather at Edwards did not permit landing there. Additional Details: STS-3. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 33 .

DFI Program: STS. Payload: DFI PLT. COSPAR: 1982-022xx. References: 279 .
OSS-1 Program: STS. COSPAR: 1982-022xx. References: 279 .

1985 - - 05:00 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Complex: LC200P. Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S86. LV Configuration: Proton 8K82K s/n 328-01 / 11S86 s/n 53L.
Ekran 14 Payload: Ekran s/n 28L. Mass: 1,970 kg. Class: Communications. Spacecraft: Ekran . Agency: MOM. Perigee: 37,326 km. Apogee: 37,464 km. Inclination: 7.8 deg. Period: 1,519.1 min. COSPAR: 1985-024A. Completed Operations Date: 01 November 1987.
Stationed at 99 deg E. Transmission of Central Television programmes to a network of receivers for collective use. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 99 deg E in 1985-1987 Last known longitude (5 September 2001) 178.66 deg E drifting at 19.729 deg W per day. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 67 , 274 .

1985 - - 23:16 GMT. Nation: International. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Complex: LC36B. Launch Vehicle: Atlas G. LV Configuration: Atlas G s/n AC-63 / Centaur D-1AR s/n 5043G.
Intelsat 5A F-10 Program: Intelsat. Mass: 2,013 kg. Class: Communications. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5A. Agency: Intelsat. Perigee: 35,771 km. Apogee: 35,802 km. Inclination: 1.3 deg. Period: 1,436.1 min. COSPAR: 1985-025A.
Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 24 deg W in 1985-1990; 174 deg E in 1990-1994; 66 deg E in 1994-1995; 57 deg E in 1995-1996; 33 deg E in 1996-1999 Last known longitude (5 September 2001) 135.23 deg W drifting at 7.152 deg W per day. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 278 .

1988 - - 14:09 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M. LV Configuration: Kosmos 11K65M s/n 47111-221.
Cosmos 1934 Mass: 700 kg. Class: Navigation. Spacecraft: Parus. Agency: MO SSSR. Perigee: 945 km. Apogee: 1,006 km. Inclination: 83.0 deg. Period: 104.6 min. COSPAR: 1988-023A.
Military navigation satellite. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .

1988 - - 21:07 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M / ML.
Molniya 1-72 Program: Molniya. Payload: Molniya-1T. Mass: 1,800 kg. Class: Communications. Spacecraft: Molniya-1T. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 2,121 km. Apogee: 38,228 km. Inclination: 64.8 deg. Period: 717.7 min. COSPAR: 1988-022A.
Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR; transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to stations in the Orbita network. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .

1990 - Nation: Iraq. Launch Vehicle: Babylon Gun, Tamouz.
Gerard Bull assassinated, ending the Tamouz and supergun projects.
It is commonly thought that he was killed by the Israelis, concerned not so much by the supergun work but rather dynamics research Bull was doing to improve Iraqi ballistic missiles. Three weeks later British Customs seized the final eight sections of the Babylon Gun.

1990 - - 07:26 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
Cosmos 2062 Mass: 6,300 kg. Class: Earth. Type: Landsat. Spacecraft: Zenit-8. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 178 km. Apogee: 221 km. Inclination: 82.3 deg. Period: 88.5 min. COSPAR: 1990-024A. Duration: 14.00 days.
Military cartographic satellite; returned film capsule. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .

1991 - - 11:45 GMT. Nation: USSR. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Complex: LC43/4. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M / ML.
Molniya 3-40 Program: Molniya. Payload: Molniya-3 s/n 55. Mass: 1,600 kg. Class: Communications. Spacecraft: Molniya-3. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 1,777 km. Apogee: 38,574 km. Inclination: 63.2 deg. Period: 717.7 min. COSPAR: 1991-022A.
Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR; transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and within the framework of international cooperation. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .

1994 - - 05:02 GMT. Nation: Russia. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Complex: LC1. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U s/n 76032992.
Progress M-22 Program: Mir. Payload: Progress M s/n 222. Mass: 7,103 kg. Class: Manned. Type: Logistics. Spacecraft: Progress M. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 260 km. Apogee: 335 km. Inclination: 51.7 deg. Period: 90.2 min. COSPAR: 1994-019A. Duration: 61.99 days. Completed Operations Date: 23 May 1994.
Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Launched into an initial 192 x 238 x 51.6 km orbit. Docked with Mir on 24 Mar 1994 06:39:37 GMT. Fired its engine around 15 May to raise the orbit of the Mir station from 381 x 400 km to 398 x 399 km. Undocked on 23 May 1994 00:58:38 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 23 May 1994 04:40:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.23 days. Total docked time 59.76 days. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 275 .

1995 - - 04:04 GMT. Nation: Russia. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Complex: LC132. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
Cosmos 2310 Mass: 825 kg. Class: Navigation. Spacecraft: Parus. Agency: MO RF. Perigee: 980 km. Apogee: 1,010 km. Inclination: 82.9 deg. Period: 105.0 min. COSPAR: 1995-012A.
Military navigation satellite. Positioned in plane 2 of constellation. References: 2 , 5 , 6 , 107 .

1995 - - 06:18 GMT. Nation: International. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Complex: LC36B. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIAS. LV Configuration: Atlas IIAS (1N) s/n AC-115 / Centaur II.
Intelsat 705 Program: Intelsat. Mass: 3,669 kg. Class: Communications. Spacecraft: FS-1300. Agency: Intelsat. Perigee: 35,776 km. Apogee: 35,798 km. Inclination: 0.0 deg. Period: 1,436.1 min. COSPAR: 1995-013A.
Stationed at 50.1 deg W. Launch vehicle put payload into supersynchronous earth orbit with MRS trajectory option. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 50 deg W in 1995-1996; 18 deg W in 1996-1999 Last known longitude (5 September 2001) 17.97 deg W drifting at 0.006 deg W per day. References: 2 , 5 , 6 , 278 .

1995 - - 16:48 GMT. Nation: Russia. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Complex: LC43. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
Cosmos 2311 Mass: 6,600 kg. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military. Spacecraft: Yantar-4K1. Agency: MOM. Perigee: 178 km. Apogee: 316 km. Inclination: 67.1 deg. Period: 89.4 min. COSPAR: 1995-014A. Duration: 70.00 days.
High resolution photo reconnaissance; returned film in two small SpK capsules during the mission and with the main capsule at completion of the mission. References: 2 , 6 , 179 , 276 .

1996 - - 08:13 GMT. Nation: USA. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Complex: LC39B. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: STS-76.
STS-76 Program: Mir. Payload: Atlantis F16 / Spacehab-SM. Mass: 6,753 kg. Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Agency: NASA JSC. Perigee: 34 km. Apogee: 398 km. Inclination: 51.7 deg. Period: 88.8 min. COSPAR: 1996-018A. Duration: 9.22 days. Flight Crew: Chilton, Clifford, Godwin, Lucid, Searfoss, Sega, Manned flight: STS-76.
Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. Docked with the Mir space station 24 March 1996; Shannon Lucid was left on Mir for an extended stay. First American EVA on Mir. Payloads: SPACEHAB/Mir 03; KidSat; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Configuration M; RME 1304?Mir/ Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP); orbiter docking system RME 1315; Trapped Ions in Space Experiment (TRIS); Extravehicular Activity Development Flight Test (EDFT) 04. Additional Details: STS-76. References: 4 , 6 , 7 , 276 .

Spacehab-SM Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Spacelab. Spacecraft: Spacehab. COSPAR: 1996-018xx. References: 279 .
External Airlock/ODS Program: Mir. Payload: EAL/ODS. COSPAR: 1996-018xx. References: 279 .

1997 -
Hale-Bopp comet is the closest it will be to Earth until 4397


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Last update 26 June 2002.

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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
For more information, you can try the following sites:
Rick Norwood's Website
Worldwide TV Schedule
The Official Babylon 5 Website
The X-Files
Pocket Books: Star Trek
Paramount Star Trek

Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Columbia House has discontinued their X-Files library.

While this must be a disappointment to those who wanted to collect all of the episodes, it does not bother me. I am glad to skip stories about New Jersey Swamp Devils, and collect only the conspiracy, plus a few other special episodes. Chris Carter has done an excellent job of packaging and releasing commercially only the best. There is not one episode I really want from the first three seasons that is not available on store-boughten tape, and at $12.99 for two episodes (discounted at Blockbuster to $9.99), these are a bargain. The fourth season conspiracy episodes will be released in March.

All of which started me thinking about the best way to collect SF on video.

There are three factors to consider: price, quality, and shelf space. Obviously the cheapest way to collect Star Trek, for example, and also the way that takes up the least shelf space, is to tape episodes off the air, carefully blipping out the commercials. Unfortunately, this is not only labor-intensive, the edits are never as good as I want them to be. So, while off-the-air taping is the ideal solution for the economy minded, I find myself replacing carefully taped episodes with store-boughten tapes.

For the serious Star Trek collector, the Columbia House Video Club version has the advantage of having two episodes per tape, while the version offered in stores has only one episode per tape. The single episode tapes actually cost less per episode than the two episode tapes, which are twice as expensive and then you have to add postage. And the single episode tapes are more convenient to watch. Where they lose out is in the amount of shelf space they fill. (And while we are on the subject of shelf space, will all of you please e-mail Columbia House and tell them to use smaller boxes for Star Trek, instead of the tall, fat, badly made boxes they use now. Their boxes for Babylon 5 are better in every respect.)

The only major defect I have found in the Columbia House's Star Trek is that they do not use the original music for "The City on the Edge of Forever" (****). But, then, neither does the version you find in stores. The Sci Fi Channel restored the original music.

The only SF series I get from Columbia House other than the various Treks is Babylon 5, and I recently canceled my subscription to that, because the Babylon 5 tapes that recently went on sale in stores have more attractive cover art and a lower price. Also, the newer tapes have the re-edited pilot, which is much superior to the Columbia House tape of the original pilot. Columbia House also offers tapes of Lost in Space, The Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker, and many other genre shows.

The Columbia House Video Club, while expensive, is doing a great service in preserving on high quality tape classics of television that might otherwise be lost forever. I am especially fond of their Perry Mason series, which, unlike the versions shown on TNT every weekday at five minutes past noon, are uncut. Their Have Gun - Will Travel tapes are also a treat. So far they have issued all but one of the Gene Roddenberry episodes, as well as episodes by Harry Julian Fink and Sam Peeples. Watching Have Gun - Will Travel has also solved a Star Trek mystery. Why did Roddenberry buy that awful first season script "The Alternative Factor"? Answer: it was written by his old story editor at Have Gun.

When I reviewed Star Trek: Insurrection (***) in this space, I hesitated a long time over whether it rated three stars or only two. I saw it again, recently, and three stars was definitely the correct call. What I noticed the second time out was the amazing attention to detail, little touches put in just to please the fans, like the Trill on the bridge of the Enterprise, and the flawless special effects. There are a very large number of special effects shots that you don't even notice, because you forget, while you're watching, that the miraculous technology that is taken for granted in the Star Trek universe does not yet exist.
What impressed me most is how much more there is in a Star Trek movie than in almost any other science fiction movie you care to name, in terms of background, characterization, plot, acting, and dialog. Star Trek does not come up to the standards of, say, Shakespeare in Love (****) in any of these departments. But when you compare it to Armageddon (**) or to Event Horizon (*), the love the Star Trek creators have for the genre makes all the difference.

There are really only two things wrong with Star Trek: Insurrection. The first is that the alien planet is too obviously Earth. Even the animals are goats and llamas, except for the boy's pet, which is very well done. Second, the conflict is too hesitant. Until the very end, neither side is willing to go all out to win, which is realistic, but not dramatic.

Tonight, too late to review for this issue, is the second part of a major two-part episode of The X-Files, "Two Fathers"/"One Son". Part One was great. Look for the review of the entire two part story here in March.

Copyright © 1999 by Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2003 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide








Nicaragua Canal

proposed waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. It would be 172.8 mi (278 km) long and would generally follow the San Juan River, then go through Lake Nicaragua near the southern shore and across the narrow isthmus of Rivas to the Pacific Ocean. First proposed by Henry Clay, the U.S. Secretary of State in 1826, the route was an important factor in negotiation of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850). In later times the route has been considered as an adjunct to the Panama Canal; it would shorten the water distance between New York and San Francisco by nearly 500 mi (805 km). Under the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty (1916), the United States paid Nicaragua $3 million for an option in perpetuity and free of taxation, including 99-year leases to the Corn Islands and a site for a naval base on the Gulf of Fonseca. Costa Rica protested that Costa Rican rights to the San Juan River had been infringed, and El Salvador maintained that the proposed naval base affected both it and Honduras. Both protests were upheld by the Central American Court of Justice. The court rulings were ignored by Nicaragua and the United States. The action was bitterly criticized by Latin Americans and others as an example of U.S. imperialism.

Nicaragua Canal
Related: Latin American Parks/Geography

proposed waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. It would be 172.8 mi (278 km) long and would generally follow the San Juan River, then go through Lake Nicaragua near the southern shore and across the narrow isthmus of Rivas to the Pacific Ocean. First proposed by Henry Clay, the U.S. Secretary of State in 1826, the route was an important factor in negotiation of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850). In later times the route has been considered as an adjunct to the Panama Canal; it would shorten the water distance between New York and San Francisco by nearly 500 mi (805 km). Under the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty (1916), the United States paid Nicaragua $3 million for an option in perpetuity and free of taxation, including 99-year leases to the Corn Islands and a site for a naval base on the Gulf of Fonseca. Costa Rica protested that Costa Rican rights to the San Juan River had been infringed, and El Salvador maintained that the proposed naval base affected both it and Honduras. Both protests were upheld by the Central American Court of Justice. The court rulings were ignored by Nicaragua and the United States. The action was bitterly criticized by Latin Americans and others as an example of U.S. imperialism.


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The Nicaragua Canal -- Nichols, George Ward:
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The Nicaragua Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 24, issue 7 (July 1892).

The Nicaragua Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 24, issue 10 (October 1892).

The Nicaragua Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 24, issue 11 (November 1892).

The Nicaragua Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 24, issue 4 (April 1892).

The Nicaragua Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 25, issue 7 (July 1893).

The Nicaragua Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 25, issue 9 (September 1893).

The Nicaragua Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 26, issue 12 (December 1894).

The Nicaragua Canal Convention at New Orleans. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 25, issue 4 (April 1893).

The Nicaragua Canal Project. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 20, issue 1 (January 1888).

Nicaragua Convention and Canal. The Living Age, vol. 26, issue 324 (August 3, 1850).

Nicaragua and the Interoceanic Canal. The American Whig Review, vol. 15, issue 87 (Mar 1852).

Nicaragua; its People, Scenery, Monuments, and the proposed Interoceanic Canal. With numerous original Maps and Illustrations. By E. G. Squier. The United States Democratic Review, vol. 30, issue 163 (Jan 1852).

The Nicaraguan Question. The United States Democratic Review, vol. 41, issue 2 (February 1858).

The Nicaraguan Ship Canal. Manufacturer and Builder, vol. 11, issue 10 (October 1879).

Nicholas, Anna M., Anniversary Week at Avery Institute. The American Missionary, vol. 39, issue 8 (Aug 1885).

Nicholas Lenau's Letter to a Friend. Putnam's Monthly, vol. 2, issue 11 (November 1853).

Nicholas, M. A., The End of the World. The New England Magazine, vol. 18, issue 5 (July 1895).

Nicholas' Wife in Italy. The Living Age, vol. 10, issue 113 (July 11, 1846).

Nicholas Wiseman, D. D, LL. D, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. The International Monthly Magazine, vol. 2, issue 1 (December 1, 1850).

Nicholas and the Jews. The Living Age, vol. 3, issue 28 (November 23, 1844).

Nicholas "at Home". The Living Age, vol. 9, issue 100 (April 11, 1846).

Nicholls, Josephine H., Summers. The Century, vol. 49, issue 5 (Mar 1895).

Nichols, Ada M. E., Marjorie Gray. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 64, issue 384 (May 1882).

Nichols, Ada M. E., Night and Morning. Scribner's Monthly, vol. 16, issue 2 (June 1878).

Nichols, Ada M. E., Reveille. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 62, issue 367 (December 1880).

Nichol's Contemplations on the Solar System. The North American Review, vol. 66, issue 138 (January 1848).

Nichols, Geo. W., The Burning of Columbia. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 33, issue 195 (August 1866).

Nichols, Geo. W., Fort M'Allister, How It Was Taken. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 37, issue 219 (August 1868).

Nichols, George W., Street Pavements. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 37, issue 218 (July 1868).

Nichols, George Ward, Down the Mississippi. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 41, issue 246 (November 1870).

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CASE NAME: The Nicaragua Canal Proposal

I Identification


Interest in a short route from the Pacific to the Atlantic began with explorers of Central America in the 16th century. For the last ten years, the possibility of a canal through Nicaragua has been heavily debated. As time draws nearer to the December 31, 1999 deadline when the US hands control of the canal over to Panama, the Nicaraguan route is again being considered. Currently, several alternatives are being considered to Panama. It is believed that the Panamanians cannot efficiently handle the service of the canal. Further, international trade is on the rise and the waiting period for canal entry is growing. At this time when East-West container ship traffic is growing at a rate of from 5% to 8% a year, the Panama Canal has neared its capacity, sometimes backing up for days or weeks during maintenance. (Murphy, 1996) Additional problems exist such as the increasing number of large tanker ships that cannot enter Panama's narrow waters. Price hikes are also quite possible. As a result of these issues, several countries have been investigating plans for a competing canal, in addition to revising the Panama Canal. Of these countries, which are Colombia, Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua, Nicaragua seems to be the most achievable. Nicaragua is considering two different ideas. One is for building a new canal and another is to build a rail system. A feasibility study is currently underway by the Canal Interoceanico de Nicaragua (NIIC) on the railway and should be completed by October.


The question on whether an additional canal is necessary is extremely important to international trade. The outcome of this case will definitely have a global impact. The US is the main user of the Panama Canal. Latin American countries rely on it as well as Japan and other Asian countries. The time and cost of transportation has detrimental effects on prices throughout the world.

Throughout history, Nicaragua has been noted as suitable for construction of an interoceanic canal. This Central American nation was first considered for a canal in the late 19th century. It offered cheaper transportation than Panama, a healthier climate and even abundant provisions. Reports dated from 1852 and 1876, demonstrate beyond any doubt the superiority of the Nicaragua route. During the 1800's, Nicaragua's relations with the US revolved around the prospects of construction of a canal through Nicaragua. In 1884 an agreement was concluded, expanding previous arrangements in the area. The US was to construct a canal that would be owned jointly with Nicaragua. Nicaragua ratified this treaty, but the US did not. President Chester A. Arthur withdrew it from Senate consideration in 1885. (Millette, 1991) Relations with Nicaragua began to go sour under the rule of Zelaya because of the US decision to construct a canal through Panama. The loss of the canal route had far reaching consequences for both internal Nicaraguan developments and for relations with the US. Panama won out because of political reasons among others. An intensive pro- Panama lobbying unit had existed. An additional factor that swayed this early US decision was that a volcano was on the suggested canal path. After Mt Pelee, a volcano on the island of St. Martinique, had erupted killing 30,000 people, Momotombo began to rumble to Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan government had just put out a stamp that identified Nicaragua as the land of volcanoes. This was used by the Panamanian lobbyists to persuade the vote toward Panama in fear of an eruption. The stamps were distributed by Senators just three days before the vote. One stamp showed Momotombo erupting behind a wharf with a railroad in the foreground. Panama was then chosen as the site of a US built canal.

Over the years, the Panama Canal has been successful. It has gained revenue and helped the country's economic status. International trade has been facilitated by not having to travel around South America. The canal's traffic has grown steadily and a boom in trade between Asia and South America and Africa is expected to sustain demand for the canal. The numbers are growing every year and soon the capacity will exceed the limit. This among other factors has increased the consideration for a new route.

With the US handover of the canal in 1999 coming nearer, many are skeptical of Panama's ability to run the canal. There is little faith that the country's corrupt government can be trusted to do the administration. Many see stability leaving with the US troops. Much of the equipment, such as the three locks, is 80 years old and original. The age of the equipment shows how important maintenance is to the continued function of the canal. Another fear is that Panamanian officials will be under financial pressure and therefore may raise the tolls for passage. Experts say that increasing tolls by more than 10% or 15% could make alternative routes more affordable and appealing. Half of the cargo that once passed through now uses US ports and crosses over land. Also, 6% of ships afloat today do not fit in the canal. (Los Angeles Times, 1994) This figure mainly reflects the Japanese-built supertankers that must travel the thousands of miles around Cape Horn. Because of the development of these supertankers, there is a rise in proposals for alternate interoceanic shortcuts. Additional information on the Panama Canal can be found on the homepage of theThe Panama Canal Commission.

A number of different alternatives are being reviewed:

Honduras: The New Orleans-based consulting firm, Trans- World Traders, is proposing a rail system in Honduras. They are proposing a continuous loop rail system between Trujillo on the Caribbean Sea side and Amapala on the Pacific side's Gulf of Fonseca. Trains would be electrically powered or powered by natural gas. One drawback would be the reliance of development bank financing. They claim that the environmental damage would be limited because the route is deforested, and the port sites are ideal. (Murphy 1996) In September 1996, the Honduran government announced it was studying the feasibility of the project between Puerto Castilla on the Atlantic and Puerto San Lorenzo on the Pacific. The costs were estimated to be $300 million less than the Nicaragua project. (Hernandez, 1996)

Mexico: Mexico's outdated rail system of 255 miles between the two coasts is due for privatization and several foreign investors are interested. However, feasibility studies are not planned for the near future.

Colombia: Only Colombia is talking about building a Panama-style waterway. President Samper has called for the construction of a canal across the northwest part of the country. There are 25 possible routes the canal could take from the Gulf of Uraba on the Caribbean coast to somewhere over the Serranna de los Altos mountains on the Pacific. However, cutting through these forests would be expensive and would destroy one of the world's most important rainforests. (Reuter Business Report, 1996)

The United States: The US currently has a rail system that is being increasingly used to deliver containers from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Panama: Panama also hopes to expand the canal in order to allow for increased traffic and larger ships. The Panama Canal Commission has plans to invest $3 billion from 1997-2005 in capital improvements. One target of the improvements is to widen the Gaillard Cut to allow two-way traffic. This is the narrowest point in the 52-mile canal. (Murphy, 1996) Panama has had a railroad that unites both oceans in four hours less than the proposed Nicaragua route. This trans-isthmus train has three ports for container handling. It has been turned over to a Hong Kong company, which plans to refurbish it. (Hernandez, 1996)


The proposal for Nicaragua has two alternatives. Building a waterway has been considered. A substantial portion would utilize the San Juan River and the huge inland Lake Nicaragua and require only 12 miles of new canal. This would mean a drastic change in shipping. The routes between East Coast and West Coast ports would be shortened by 525 miles-a full day or more in sailing time. This scheme would be able to accommodate the new larger tankers. Ships up to 250,000 tons would be able to pass through, compared to the 65,000 to 70,000 in Panama. (San Diego Times, 1989) The Managua government's canal plan would utilize a route that has been under consideration since the early 1500s which was talked about by the Spanish conquistadors. Yet before lakes and rivers are dredged, several studies are being conducted on the environmental impacts. The largest barrier to this is the cost. Feasibility studies are underway at present, however many question if this investment is worth the extreme high cost.

An alternative proposal, which has been the most popular, is for a "dry canal" in Nicaragua that would join the Pacific and the Atlantic through a 234 mile rail system. This would only ship containers and would not help the problem of large tankers or cruise ships. Many shippers currently use the rail system in the US, however there is a long delay for coast to coast transport. Furthermore, the Nicaraguan route would entice customers by charging half of the price as the US route. This system would take cargo trains transporting 40-foot containers at over 150 kilometers per hour a maximum of four hours to cross the isthmus. (Fonseca, 1996) This dry canal would be faster than the Suez canal between Asia and Northern Europe. The selected route, which runs from Pie de Gigante on the Pacific coast to Monkey Point on the Atlantic, was chosen because it avoids urban centers and natural reserves, although the route would cross some virgin rain forest. The question of the exact routing will be determined after the study of environmental impact is complete. The project promises to create 20,000 construction jobs and another 40,000 once the "landbridge" is operating. (Coone, 1995) This is highly desired in a country where six out of 10 people are unemployed because numerous jobs would be created.

The rail system would cost considerably less than the proposed waterway. However, even if Nicaragua's landbridge could capture all of Panama's $64 million in container traffic,it would not cover half of the annual finance charges on the investment nor operating costs. The project would cost $1.3 billion, with the feasibility study costing $20 million. The Panama Canal earns up to $400 million in total toll revenues per year and it is not considered to face congestion for another 10 to 20 years. (Coone, 1995) The viability of such a project remains in question. However, the Nicaragua route would cost only half as much as the US.

A third plan has been suggested, using a low-draft canal. This would use the same route as the proposed deep canal but would cost 200-300 million to build and would be designed to accommodate small vessels. It could be expanded gradually as demand grows. (Tyrell, 1995)

None of the Nicaragua proposals are new. Although recently the government has become more serious and has taken bids from interested parties. Eight multinational consortiums have expressed interest and are exploring costs. The latest scheme to be presented comes from an international consortium led by Wimpey, a UK construction firm, Siemans of Germany and the Interoceanic Canal Consortium of Nicaragua (CINNSA) which includes China Merchant Holdings, a Hong Kong shipping company, the port authorities of Tianjin and Qingdao in China, Parsons Brincker of International Engineers of New York, Europe Combined Terminals of the Netherlands, Spain's state-run RENFE rail company, as well as Japanese shipping interests. This group proposes to build a new high-speed railway.

There are also many political factors to be considered. It is believed that this canal would be a political instrument to improve relations with the US, and to settle political problems in Central America. The Sandanistas are also keen on this idea because they hold some land on the proposed route. Another view is that the canal is apolitical. (Reuters, 1989) In addition to bringing international investors, it will affect the transport of goods throughout the world.

The financially strapped country of Nicaragua is again hoping to fulfill their dream of a canal. However, a number of downfalls are foreseen. The first is that it does not have the labor force necessary to carry out all of the work. They estimate that at least 200,000-300,000 workers would have to be brought in, just as in Panama. Second, Nicaragua would have to undergo a radical transition to be adequately equipped for the new canal. Third, ecologists are already protesting that natural resources would be harmed. Many await the results of the feasibility study due out in October to determine if Nicaragua's dream could become a reality.


Panama Canal Environment
Pan-American Highway
France UK Tunnel
Thailand Canal Proposal
Nicaraga-Taiwan Lumber
Colombia and Coco
Chiapas and Trade
Key words

Environmental Problem=Habitat Loss
(4) DIANNE LINDER, May 2, 1997

II Legal Cluster

(5) DISCOURSE AND STATUS: Agreement and Allegation

This case will be basically a negotiated agreement between the Nicaraguan government and companies. There is no doubt that there is a consensus that a Nicaraguan canal would be useful for expanding global trade yet the cost is questionable. Alternate solutions to the problem do exist such as expanding the Panama canal, or building a new one in Mexico, Honduras or Colombia and they all are also being considered. Rail transport via the US is also currently available.

(6)FORUM AND SCOPE: Nicaragua and Unilateral

It has been proposed that the canal be internationally controlled by a key campaigner for Nicaraguan independence, Cesar Augosto Sandino.



The legal standing affects the Nicaraguan government and the business entities involved. There would be a national agreement between the groups.

III Geographic Cluster


a) Domain: North America

b) Site: Southern North America

c) Impact: Nicaragua


The case affects Nicaragua on a whole the communities which lie on the proposed route of the canal or railway may take legal measures.

(11) TYPE OF HABITAT: Tropical

IV Trade Cluster



The decision to build a canal through Nicaragua would directly affect trade passing through that region. There would be several indirect impacts on trade in Nicaragua. For example, there may possibly be increased imports. Supplies or equipment specifically for the canal would also surge. There would also be indirect effects on the environment. It can also be considered a regional project because the ports of El Salvador and Honduras are within easy trucking distance.


(a)Directly Related to Product: Yes, Transport
(b)Indirectly Related to Product: No
(c)Not Related to Product: No (d)Related to Process: Yes, Habitat



The forecast on trade and current figures on the Panama canal shed light on the feasibility of a Nicaraguan canal's success.

Containerized cargo growth rates via the Panama canal are expected to slow moderately during 1996-1998. West Coast to South American trade will continue to drive most of the growth, while the Canal is projected to continue losing market share on the East Coast United States-Far East container trade to the US intermodal service. (Panama Canal Commission 'homepage') An increase in tolls in the Panama Canal would impact trade significantly. About 13% of US international seaborne trade moves through the Panama Canal. The most important region in Canal traffic is the Gulf area. Cargo to and from this area totalled nearly 83 million tons. Cargo moving to and from Atlantic ports is over 25 million tons. (Panama Canal Commission)

Elasticity studies of Canal demand indicate that the bulk trades, excluding grain, are sensitive to rate hikes. The liner trade is less sensitive to price and more sensitive to time constraints.

The affects of the toll increases being considered is not expected to have a significant impact on US trade in the short to medium term. However, in the longer term, the West Coast and intermodal routing will benefit from the containership trade diversion.

Oceangoing transits are forecast to increase to 13,870 or 38 daily in fiscal year 1997 and to 13,900 or 38.1 daily in fiscal year 1998.

Forecast of Panama Canal Traffic and Tolls Revenue


1995 (actual)

1996 (actual)





Source: The Panama Canal Commission


(18) INDUSTRY SECTOR: Transport

(19) EXPORTER AND IMPORTER: Nicaragua and Many

V Environment Cluster


The route has been devised away from any cities, to minimize the destruction of resources. There would be deforestation and the route would pass near volcanic and seismic activity. The San Juan river is part of the international system of protected areas, which would be completely destroyed in the process of the canal's construction. Also, the waters of the Pacific, the Atlantic and Lake Nicaragua may be mixed by the new waterway, with serious consequences for the various ecosystems involved. Also, there would be minimal species loss yet pollution may increase which would affect land, sea and air. Additionally, the system of dams, which lifts and lowers ships, wastes an enormous amount of water. The recent uncontrolled tree-felling around the waterway has disrupted its water catchment area, which affects the canal's water levels. (Ardito, 1990)




The problem will grow quite large within the next decade.

(24) SUBSTITUTES: Alternative routes

Honduras and Mexico are competing with the rail system idea.

Colombia would like to build a deep water canal.

The US currently provides Atlantic-Pacific rail access.

Panama could expand the canal and renovate it.

VI Other Factors

(25) CULTURE: No




Ardito, Fabrizio "Cutting Through a Continent," Geographical Magazine, August 1990, p32-35.

Clayton, Lawrence "The Nicaragua Canal in the Nineteenth Century: Prelude to American Empire in the Caribbean," Journal of Latin American Studies, V 19, 1987, p323-352.

Coone, Tim "Nicaragua: Second Crossing" Business Latin America, April 10, 1995, p. 7

Encarta-Microsoft, "Panama Canal", 1993

Folkman, David, The Nicaraguan Route, University of Utah Press: Salt Lake City, Utah, 1972.

Fonseca, Roberto "Nicaragua: Age-Old Dream of a Coast-To -Coast Route Within Reach," Inter Press Service English News Wire, August 29, 1996.

Hernandez, Silvio, "Panama-Economy:Dry Canals Vie with Waterway" Interpress Service English News Wire, Sept 11, 1996

Millett, Ricard, "Nicaragua: Conservative Rule and Era of Jose Santos Zelaya, 1857-1909" Countries of the World, Jan 1, 1991.

Murphy, Barbara, "Alternatives Considered to Historic Panama Canal" Los Angeles Times, Sept 3, 1996

Panama Canal Commision web site

Reuter Business Report, "Brief look at competing canal proposals" August 21, 1996

_______________________, "New Canal to cost $10-15 billion," Feb 14, 1989

Tyrell Jr., R., "Isthmian Chinese Whispers" Economist May 20, 1995, p. 58.

Wilkinson, Tracy "An Uneasy Passage in Panama" Los Angeles Times, June 6 1994, pA-1.

May, 1997 


-------- accidents and safety

Radioactive Security Concerns Rep.

By H. Josef Hebert
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; 8:18 PM

WASHINGTON -- Radioactive materials for a "dirty bomb" can be found in almost every state at hundreds of medical and commercial facilities, a congressman said Tuesday.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said some facilities have more than a million curies of radioactive material that could be a target of terrorist theft or sabotage. A requirement to track the material by serial numbers was scrapped in 1985 and in many cases monitoring has been left to state health officials, according to Markey.

"We need to make sure these materials are secure," said Markey.

Concern about the security of radioactive materials used in medicine and industry increased this week with the announcement that an alleged terrorist, linked to al-Qaida, had been taken into custody, suspected of planning an attack using a radioactive bomb. The Justice Department said there was no indication that the suspect, Jose Padilla, ever obtained the radioactive material for such a device.

Markey asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to provide detailed information on the tracking and security of cobalt 60, used to irradiate food, and cesium 137, used to sterilize medical equipment.

"It's not clear that anyone tracks the material at all," said Michal Freedhoff, a science adviser to Markey.

A dirty bomb uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive materials. Most nuclear experts say such an attack would cause radiation contamination over several city blocks, but probably no deaths from radiation because of the low doses as the material is dispersed.

Such an attack could unleash panic, said the experts, and have significant economic fallout. It would require lengthy cleanup, although these materials are fairly easily detected.

Markey asked the NRC for information on whether background checks are required for people handling shipments of radioactive materials to irradiation and sterilization facilities; what security measures are in place where the material is stored; and how frequently NRC or state officials inspect the facilities.

Forty-eight states have at least one facility using radioactive materials and 17 states have at least one facility that uses more than 1 million curies of the material for irradiation or sterilization, according to Markey's staff. About 1,000 curies is viewed as a sizable radiation source, according to nuclear experts.

"There are hundreds of radioactive irradiators at these facilities - at industrial food and medical irradiation and sterilization units, hospitals and research institutions - that could be used by prospective terrorists as dirty bombs," said Markey, who is co-chairman of a bipartisan congressional task force on nuclear nonproliferation.

Meanwhile, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry's trade group, discounted the likelihood that a dirty bomb might be made from used reactor fuel kept at commercial or power plants or research facilities.

Used nuclear fuel assemblies are highly radioactive and under tight security, said NEI president Joe Colvin, adding that a terrorist probably would be killed by the radiation if he tried to use one as a weapon.

"Even if terrorists were able to gain access," said Colvin, "the fuel assemblies ... (are) built in a way that would prevent terrorists from wrapping it around an explosive charge."

On the Net:
Rep. Ed Markey:
Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

-------- europe

U.N. nuke team searches Georgia woods for containers

Tuesday, June 11, 2002
By Reuters

VIENNA - The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency began searching a rugged swath of western Georgia on Monday for two containers of deadly radioactive material left over from former Soviet days.

An international team started by horseback, car, and on foot to scour 550 square km (212 sq mile) for the devices, once used to power remote communications stations, after two others were recovered in February.

The discovery last December of the first two containers in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region renewed fears in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States that nuclear material could fall into the hands of people who would use it to make crude bombs.

About 80 Georgian and international searchers will use radiation detectors to try to pinpoint the devices in a landscape of mountains, river gorges, and forests. "It's not quite a needle in a haystack because the detectors they are using allow them to detect from a distance," said Mark Gwozdecky, spokesman for the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The search for the two containers is based on Russian information received by the IAEA.

The agency has said the radioactive strontium-90 material in the containers cannot be used to make even a crude nuclear bomb. But it has declined to speculate on whether the strontium could be used for a so-called dirty bomb, by using conventional explosives to spread the radioactive material.

The current search will be followed in September by a wider effort by air and road to survey other parts of Georgia for known or suspected sources of radiation left behind by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Soviet Union, one of the world's five recognized nuclear powers, left behind nuclear materials that have since turned up in many of its former republics.

Three Georgian foresters who found and briefly handled the first two containers in early December suffered severe radiation sickness. Two of the men are still being treated in France and Russia, the IAEA said.


Czech PM hails Temelin N-plant before key election

June 11, 2002

TEMELIN, Czech Republic - Outgoing Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman praised yesterday the controversial nuclear power station Temelin as essential for maintaining state sovereignty and independence in power supply.

Zeman visited the Soviet-designed plant in the heat of an election campaign and shortly before Temelin - fiercely opposed by southern neighbour, strongly anti-nuclear Austria - started a trial run of its first reactor.

The plant's twin VVER-1000 reactors stand some 60 km (37 miles) from the Austrian border and Vienna has complained the technology upgrades to safety equipment are untried and make Temelin unsafe. Zeman's backing of the plant comes four days before Czechs go to polls to elect a cabinet that will almost certainly lead them to the European Union as early as in 2004, along with other up to nine mostly ex-Communist central European states.

The row between Prague and Vienna over Temelin has made the Czech Republic's talks on joining the EU problematic, though the two countries agreed last year on a plan to monitor the station.

The $3 billion station - the Czech Republic's biggest single investment - is a key asset of state-owned power utility CEZ , which is slated for privatisation a few months after the two-day election starts on Friday. "In the interim until the brown coal mines are exhausted, which could begin as early as in 2005, there will be certain power surplus and electricity may be an export article and improve our trade balance," Zeman said.

"But this is only a short-term effect. The important thing is that Temelin ensures our self-sufficiency in electricity energy," added the outgoing prime minister who has announced he will retire when his term ends. Czechs vote for a new government on June 14-15.

The full launch of the two reactors should allow CEZ to close some of its ageing coal-burning plants in the northern Czech Republic.

Temelin's first unit will now continue running at full speed, supplying all of its 1,000 megawatt output to the nationwide power grid before the full commercial operation starts in late 2003.

The second unit, which was fired up last month and is undergoing intitial tests at the minimum sustainable output, will go into commercial operation in mid-2004.

Zeman's visit to the plant just days before the election sparked an attack from South Bohemian Mothers, an association of women from nearby towns and villages, who - like Austria - fear a number of glitches after the start-up has showed Temelin is unsafe and should be closed.

"It is no coincidence that plant was authorised to begin the trial run closely before the election and, what is more, at a time when Zeman and his (Industry) Minister (Miroslav) Gregr are visiting the site," said association's Dana Kuchtova. "It is embarrasing pre-election theater."

The prime minister received a gift: a list of what they think are technical flaws at the plant and a solar lamp to help him light up his path when Temelin is shut down.

Nuclear power plants are CEZ's cheapest source of electricity.

CEZ, the Czech Republic's dominant energy producer, operates six nuclear reactors, all Russian-designed - two in Temelin and four in Dukovany with a combined capacity of 3,760 megawatts.

-------- india / pakistan

India to Recall Warships, Name Pakistan Envoy
Gestures Are First Response to Musharraf's Pledge to Curb Militants in Kashmir

By John Lancaster
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; Page A17

NEW DELHI, June 10 -- India will soon return some of its warships to port and is preparing to name a new ambassador to Pakistan, gestures intended to lessen the threat of war between the two rival nations, a senior government official said tonight.

The disclosure came just hours after the Indian government formally announced that it was lifting a ban on flights through Indian airspace by Pakistani aircraft.

The conciliatory moves came after the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, last week pledged to cut off the flow of Islamic militants to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, focal point of a tense six-month standoff between the Indian and Pakistani armies that has sparked fears of a possible nuclear exchange. Musharraf made the pledge Thursday to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, who conveyed it to Indian leaders in New Delhi a day later and strongly urged them to reciprocate in some fashion.

Today's overtures from New Delhi marked India's first response to Armitage's request and were an apparent sign of progress in the U.S.-led diplomatic effort to avert a war in South Asia. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is to arrive in New Delhi Tuesday night and visit Islamabad later in the week.

In Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aziz Khan responded to the lifting of overflight restrictions by saying that his government had "taken note of India's action. This constitutes a step in the desired direction. Obviously, a lot more remains to be done."

Although India's gestures seemed likely to lower tensions, officials here stressed that they do not mean that India is backing down from its threat to wage a "decisive" battle against Pakistan if Musharraf does not rein in the militants.

Indian officials remain deeply suspicious of the Pakistani leader, whom they describe as a key supporter of the guerrilla movement in Kashmir, and they say it will likely be several months before they know whether he intends to follow through on his commitment to end what they describe as "cross-border terrorism."

In the meantime, they say, India will stay on a war footing, with hundreds of thousands of troops poised on the border with Pakistan and ready to strike on just a few hours' notice. Pakistani forces are deployed in a similar posture, and the two armies continue to engage in daily artillery and mortar duels across the Line of Control, which separates their forces in Kashmir.

Some Indian leaders, moreover, are insisting that Musharraf do more than seal the Line of Control against militant incursions.

In an interview today, Home Minister L.K. Advani, leader of the hard-line wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which heads India's governing coalition, said that Musharraf must also shut down militant training camps in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, end arms deliveries to Kashmiri separatist groups, cut off financial support to militants and their families, and deny sanctuary to militants who commit terrorist acts on Indian soil.

"We would expect a country that abandons the path of terrorism to abandon all these," Advani said. "Cross-border terrorism doesn't mean merely infiltration."

Pakistani officials say the Kashmiri uprising is a homegrown phenomenon and that they limit their assistance to moral, diplomatic and political support.

Advani acknowledged that he does not speak for the entire Indian government and that the process of determining whether Musharraf had fulfilled his pledge would not be scientific. "It's a political judgment," he said, "but it's a collective judgment."

For now at least, the tone has been set by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, who today telephoned his British counterpart, Jack Straw, to alert him to India's reciprocal moves.

"He told me that India was announcing today that restrictions on overflights from Pakistan over India were to be lifted and that the name of the next Indian high commissioner [ambassador] to Pakistan was being made public," Straw told the British Parliament.

"I also understand that the western and east Indian fleets are returning to port," he added.

There was some confusion tonight as to the timing of the warship redeployment. After Straw's declaration, an Indian navy spokesman contradicted him, telling the Associated Press that the warships were not returning from the Arabian Sea near Pakistan to the Bay of Bengal, on the other side of the subcontinent.

A senior government official, however, said the decision to redeploy the warships had been made, although the order might not have been formally transmitted to military commanders. The official also noted that the navy never formally announced the deployment near Pakistan in the first place.

"The ships, and the units of the western naval fleet, they are sailing back to their bases," the official said.

In another nod to Islamabad, the official said that New Delhi would soon name a replacement for the ambassador withdrawn from Pakistan after an attack in December on the Indian Parliament by armed men allegedly backed by Islamabad. India's choice for ambassador is Harsh Bhasin, a former ambassador to South Africa who lately has been teaching international relations at New York University.

The official cautioned that even after Bhasin is formally named, India must still submit his name to Islamabad for approval and is unlikely to take that step until it has further evidence that Musharraf is making good on his pledge to Armitage.

"It depends," the official said. "Let's see in the coming days and weeks how things develop."

Correspondent Karl Vick in Islamabad contributed to this report.


Bush Sees Risk Despite India - Pakistan Progress

June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday that progress had been made in defusing tensions between India and Pakistan, but warned that the threat of war between the nuclear powers had not passed.

Bush made the comments shortly before his defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, arrived in the South Asian region, where he will step up pressure on the leaders of India and Pakistan to take further steps to reduce the risk of war over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Washington has warned that a conflict between the nuclear-armed rivals could kill millions and undermine U.S. efforts to hunt down al Qaeda fighters fleeing the war on terrorism in Afghanistan.

``We've made progress in defusing a very tense situation,'' Bush told reporters at the White House after India announced it was pulling its warships away from Pakistan's coast and reopening its airspace to Pakistani flights.

``But so long as there's troops amassed and people are still hostile toward each other, there's always a threat that something could happen,'' Bush said.

A million troops remain massed on the India-Pakistan border in a stand-off over disputed Kashmir that has raised fears of a conflict that could escalate into the world's first nuclear war. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence in 1947 -- two of them over Kashmir. Both conducted nuclear tests in 1998 and have ballistic missiles.


Hoping to avert all-out war, Bush dispatched Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to the region as part of a diplomatic offensive to lean on both sides to ease tensions.

Last week Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf conveyed a pledge to India through Armitage to put a permanent halt to incursions by militants into Indian-ruled Kashmir.

India says the militants are stoking a 12-year-old separatist revolt in its part of Kashmir, while Pakistan says the revolt is a home-grown insurgency driven by hatred of India's rule.

Rumsfeld, who flew to South Asia from a visit to Gulf Arab states, was due to meet Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and other Indian leaders Wednesday before moving on to Islamabad for talks with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

Rumsfeld has warned the situation between the two neighbors was still volatile, despite India's gestures.

Ahead of Rumsfeld's arrival in New Delhi, India announced that it was withdrawing warships from patrol off Pakistan's coastal waters.

An Indian government source said New Delhi had also selected a new ambassador to Islamabad to replace the envoy it recalled six months ago after an attack on the Indian parliament that India blamed on Pakistan-based Muslim militants.

India has promised further moves if Pakistan takes firm action against Islamic militants blamed by New Delhi for attacks on Indian targets, but Musharraf insisted Islamabad had done ``far more than its share'' toward easing tensions.

``I want to thank all the countries which have been sending representatives to India and Pakistan to try to persuade both leaders that war would be a disaster,'' Bush said.

``I'm pleased with the progress we've made, and we'll continue to work the issue,'' he added.

India has signaled that it would not stand down its troops until October, after elections in Jammu and Kashmir that it sees as a key step to ending the revolt in its only majority Muslim state.

-------- russia

False START- The Great Nuclear Swindle in Moscow
The recent Moscow START Treaty is a step backward, not forward, from 1997

By Sean Howard
June 11, 2002
New York University Global Beat

CAPE BRETON, CANADA-The fanfare accompanying Presidents Bush and Putin¹s signing in Moscow of the May 24th US-Russia treaty on nuclear arms has been a public relations triumph for both governments. It¹s also been an exercise in oversell, false claims and misinformation from a gullible, uninformed press.

The public perception is that the numbers of nuclear weapons are about to come tumbling down to insignificant levels, "liquidating" the legacy of the Cold War at a stroke and ushering in an era of free-trading peace, harmony and prosperity.

But such sentiments sound wearyingly familiar. It was only five years ago-Helsinki, March 1997-that Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin announced an agreement to cut their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds over the next 10 years, moving decisively to dismantle the wasteful and destructive inheritance of the US-Soviet standoff.

Under the Strategic Arms Reduction (START) III Treaty agreed in principle that year, intercontinental-range, high-yield nuclear warheads were to fall to 2,000-2,500 on each side by 2007. For the first time in the arms control process, not only delivery systems (missiles, bombers, submarines), but the warheads themselves would be destroyed. Equally unprecedented, START III would take into account "non-strategic," shorter-range weapons such as "tactical" and "battlefield" nuclear artillery shells and nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

But the Helsinki plan was effectively scuppered by the Republican-controlled Congress-led by Senator Jesse Helms-and then trashed by the new Bush administration because the two sides had agreed that deep, irreversible cuts required a framework of stability and predictability. Specifically, each side needed to know that the other would not do four things- first, simply remove warheads from missiles and keep them in reserve; second, build missile defenses to provide a strategic advantage which might be small at first, but would be increasingly effective as reductions continued; third, build new or new kinds of nuclear weapons; or, fourth, resume nuclear testing, not least to test such new designs.

Because the Bush administration does not to make of these four commitments, describing them as "traditional arms control" and a "relic of the Cold War," it is ignoring the radical and stabilizing nature of the 1997 proposals. It¹s time to move forward, say Messrs Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell, the three Secretaries of Defense in the cabinet. But forward into what?

By coincidence, these men see four "new" directions in U.S. strategic arms strategy for the post-Cold War era: remove the warheads from missiles and maintain a huge reserve force; second, build a large-scale, nationwide missile shield; third, explore new design options, such as "bunker-busting" mini-nukes; and, fourth, prepare for the speedy resumption of nuclear testing.

Thus, instead of reducing warheads to 2,000-2,500 by 2007, accompanied by the destruction of warheads and missiles and a guarantee of no testing, we have a new agreement to reduce warheads to 2,200-1,700 over a much longer period-by 2012-that omits mention of warhead or missile destruction, and that is signed in the context of both possible new weapons development and testing, and a multi-billion dollar missile defense spending spree.

Why, then, did Russia agree to such a bad deal? Joseph Cirincione of the independent Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington argues that Putin "doesn't want to let an arms control agreement get in the way" of a new political and economic relationship with Washington. But he cannot be seen acting so obviously with this as his only agenda, so Putin instead points to that fact that Moscow has won a point by ensuring that at least the new accord is legally binding-the first such agreement signed a treaty-allergic White House. Unfortunately, however, as Cirincione observes: "there are so many loopholes in this that it's legally binding mush".

The "spin" from Russian officials is that the treaty nonetheless forms a platform for future progress. Putin has even suggested the way is now clear for US ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which is as likely as a Saddam Hussein visit to the White House.

In reality, the new agreement is, indeed, a platform-a green light from the Kremlin for the Pentagon to proceed with war-fighting plans that radically blur the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons use, as leaks of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review make clear. But it seems no one wants to look back to the distant past of Helsinki, and to talk about how much was lost-not gained-in global security in recent weeks.

(Sean Howard is editor of Disarmament Diplomacy, the journal of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, UK, and adjunct professor of political science, University College of Cape Breton, Canada. The views expressed are his own.)


U.S. Statement 'Surprises' Russia

June 11, 2002

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry expressed surprise Tuesday over a U.S. accusation that Russia was continuing to provide Iran and other states with technology that could be used to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said Monday that Russia ``over the years has pursued policies that have led, and continue to lead in our judgment, to the proliferation'' of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The U.S.-Russian relationship will depend on whether Moscow stopped the proliferation, he said.

In spite of the two countries' increasingly close ties, symbolized by the nuclear arms reduction agreement and declaration of partnership signed last month by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Bush, the U.S. government has harshly criticized Russia for allegedly advancing other countries' efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran particularly concerns Washington. Last month, a senior U.S. official accused Russia of helping Iran to develop a missile with the ability to strike NATO countries in Europe for the first time.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said that Russia accords ``exceptional importance'' to nuclear nonproliferation, that it has joined all international organizations devoted to the problem and that it stands for strengthening their commitments.

He said that Bolton's statement ``was surprising'' and not supported by any facts.

``To make such declarations without concrete facts is not useful,'' Yakovenko told reporters.

``If there are such facts, we're prepared to discuss them because it's in Russia's national interest not only to uphold the nonproliferation regime but to strengthen it,'' he said.

U.S. officials decline to publicly offer evidence to back their accusations, saying they need to protect their sources and methods of surveillance.

-------- terrorism

'Dirty Bomb' Plot Uncovered, U.S. Says
Suspected Al Qaeda Operative Held as 'Enemy Combatant'

By Dan Eggen and Susan Schmidt
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; Page A01

U.S. authorities announced yesterday that they had broken up a terrorist plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States, saying they had arrested a U.S.-born al Qaeda associate who was allegedly scouting targets after learning how to build such a device in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Abdullah al Muhajir, 31, a former street gang member born in Brooklyn as Jose Padilla, was transferred late Sunday to a naval brig in South Carolina after President Bush designated him an "enemy combatant," according to Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and other U.S. officials.

Al Muhajir had been under surveillance overseas by the CIA and FBI, and was arrested May 8 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago after arriving on a flight from Pakistan, U.S. officials said. His sudden move to military jurisdiction came less than two days before he was scheduled to appear at a secret hearing in front of a civilian judge, officials said.

An associate involved in the alleged plot had been apprehended by Pakistani authorities along with al Muhajir. The Pakistanis released al Muhajir to allow U.S. investigators to track him on his way to the United States, sources said.

Bush administration officials characterized the case as the most specific plot disrupted by the U.S. government since Sept. 11, when al Qaeda hijackers crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing more than 3,000 people.

Al Muhajir is the third person with a claim of U.S. citizenship detained in connection with alleged terrorist activities. John Walker Lindh is charged with conspiring to kill Americans abroad, and Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was born in Louisiana, is being detained in Norfolk as an enemy combatant.

Al Muhajir's alleged plot marks the only terror plan targeted at the United States to come to light since the December arrest of British national Richard C. Reid. He was restrained by passengers on a transatlantic flight after he allegedly attempted to light explosives contained in his shoes.

Still, many senior U.S. officials took pains yesterday to describe the plan as rudimentary and unformed.

"There was not an actual plan," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz said at a news conference yesterday. "We stopped this man in the initial planning stages."

Wolfowitz said that al Muhajir "indicated some knowledge of the Washington, D.C., area," but Wolfowitz and other officials played down early reports that the District was the intended terrorist target.

A spokesman for Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said the city received no evidence from a federal joint terrorism task force that al Muhajir was a threat.

Ashcroft, in a Moscow news conference held during a visit to Russia, said al Muhajir's arrest "disrupted an unfolding terrorist plot to attack the United States by exploding a radioactive dirty bomb."

"We know from multiple, independent and corroborating sources that Abdullah al Muhajir was closely associated with al Qaeda and that, as an al Qaeda operative, he was involved in planning future terrorist attacks on innocent American civilians in the United States," Ashcroft said.

Administration officials have come under considerable criticism in recent weeks for mishandling clues to the Sept. 11 attacks. They stressed yesterday that foiling the alleged plot involved substantial cooperation between the FBI, the CIA and other agencies.

A "dirty bomb" is a device that would combine conventional explosives with radioactive material. Although such devices may do limited damage if detonated, they could cause widespread panic, eventual cancers and other health problems, and a cleanup nightmare for authorities, experts said.

Al Muhajir, who had spent several years overseas, had direct contact with al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaida in 2001, and traveled to the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Karachi for research and debriefings on the plan, officials said. Zubaida, who is in U.S. custody overseas, provided the initial hints that led to the alleged plot, sources said.

Sources said al Muhajir had been held since May 8 under the same material witness statute that has been employed frequently since the Sept. 11 terror attacks. It recently has come under attack in federal court.

A Justice Department official said that al Muhajir can be held indefinitely as an enemy soldier under U.S. law, but that there are no plans to attempt to try him before a military tribunal. Such proceedings are not designed for U.S. citizens.

A former Latin Kings gang member in Chicago, al Muhajir served time in juvenile hall in connection with a gang killing and other incidents in Chicago. During a later stay in a Florida prison as an adult, he converted to a militant form of Islam, law enforcement sources said. Officials said he is married to a Middle Eastern woman, identified by one law enforcement source as an Egyptian.

Ashcroft and other administration officials alleged that while he was in Pakistan, al Muhajir researched radiological weapons and methods for wiring explosives. On several occasions in 2001 he met with senior al Qaeda leaders, they said.

In possession of a valid, and therefore valuable, U.S. passport, al Muhajir was sent back to the United States to conduct reconnaissance for the eventual detonation of a dirty bomb, officials said.

The disclosure of al Muhajir's arrest came after several weeks of warnings from Bush administration officials about possible attacks by followers of Osama bin Laden, including May 21 testimony from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that terrorists will "inevitably" obtain weapons of mass destruction.

"We have a man detained who is a threat to the country and . . . thanks to the vigilance of our intelligence-gathering and law enforcement, he is now off the street, where he should be," Bush said yesterday during a photo session in Washington with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Wolfowitz, at a Washington news conference with Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, said that "our number one priority is to defend the American people from future attacks. To do that, we must root out those who are planning such attacks. We must find them and we must stop them, and when we have them in our control, we must be able to question them about plans for future attacks."

By transferring al Muhajir to the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., investigators can continue seeking information from him with relatively little interference from a defense attorney, several officials said.

Zubaida, who has emerged as one of the United States's most important sources of information about possible al Qaeda plots, told interrogators about the alleged dirty bomb plan in general terms and did not name individuals, sources said. Al Muhajir and his associate were not considered part of Zubaida's inner circle, officials said.

"He described this guy only generically, probably in a way he didn't expect would lead us to him," one senior official said. "But based on other information we had developed, we were able to track him down."

The CIA provided the principal information that led law enforcement to al Muhajir, sources said. The information included other interrogations and captured documents, but did not involve electronic intercepts or foreign intelligence services, two sources said.

In Pakistan, authorities recently arrested al Muhajir and one other associate, government sources said. Al Muhajir, who was detained for Pakistani immigration violations, was released and tricked into boarding a plane for the United States, where CIA and FBI operatives were watching his movements, several sources said.

"We were fully aware of his movements from the time he left Pakistan," one Justice Department official said. Another official said: "We had eyes on him the entire time."

Al Muhajir made one stop of undisclosed duration in Switzerland before arriving in Chicago on May 8, officials said. "This guy thought he was getting away," one U.S. official said. "He thought he escaped."

Had al Muhajir been kept in custody in Pakistan, the process of extraditing him would have complicated the investigation significantly, one official suggested. By trailing him, investigators could watch for other associates. Officials declined to say yesterday whether anyone met al Muhajir at O'Hare.

At the airport, al Muhajir was first escorted to an examination area used by the U.S. Customs Service, which discovered $10,526 in undeclared currency, Customs officials said. Al Muhajir was interviewed, arrested and turned over to the FBI, officials said.

Al Muhajir was flown to New York under a material witness warrant and incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in southern Manhattan, officials said. Prosecutors planned to have al Muhajir testify before a New York grand jury investigating terrorism.

But al Muhajir refused to cooperate, federal officials said.

Prosecutors scrambled to build a case against al Muhajir. Two foreign witnesses, in addition to Zubaida, had provided independent intelligence to U.S. officials about al Muhajir, but it was unclear whether that evidence would be admissible in a criminal proceeding, sources said.

After concluding that building a case would be difficult, prosecutors believed they were running out of time. They faced a secret hearing Tuesday before a judge, officials said, and turned in recent days to another option: transferring him to military custody.

On Sunday, prosecutors dropped the material witness warrant and withdrew a subpoena ordering al Muhajir to testify before the grand jury. After Bush signed a directive naming him as an enemy combatant, U.S. marshals escorted al Muhajir out of jail and turned him over to the military.

Staff writers Steve Fainaru, Barton Gellman and Colum Lynch in New York; Spencer S. Hsu and Bill Miller, research editor Margot Williams and researcher Lynn Davis in Washington contributed to this report.


After a 'Dirty Bomb' Explodes

New York Times
June 11, 2002

The age of terrorism is forcing all of us to learn a whole new vocabulary that describes potential threats and their consequences, if for no other reason than to calibrate how terrified we should be as each new menace emerges. The latest worry came yesterday with the revelation by Attorney General John Ashcroft that an American terrorist associated with Al Qaeda has been planning to explode a radiation-laced "dirty bomb" in the United States. We can fervently hope that no such weapon is ever exploded here. But should one ever be detonated, it is important to know that the number of fatalities would probably be small. The chief impact would be psychological and economic. Dirty bombs are not mass killers, they are weapons designed to inspire panic and cause disruption.

What makes dirty bombs one of the more worrisome threats is that they would be relatively easy to make from materials that are widely available. Such a bomb could consist of a conventional explosive surrounded by radioactive materials that are used in tens of thousands of industrial and medical devices in this country. Although these materials are supposed to be under some degree of control, their ubiquity makes it hard to guarantee that some won't be stolen or bought by a terrorist.

The conventional explosives in a dirty bomb can kill people or destroy buildings in the immediate vicinity. But their signature consequence would be release of a radioactive cloud that could contaminate a significant area with low-level radiation.

Mr. Ashcroft overstated the likely damage when he said a dirty bomb could cause "mass death and injury." Experts who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in March suggested that the number of fatalities would be small, possibly measured in the dozens. The impact would be nothing like a crude nuclear weapon that might kill tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. But the radioactive material dispersed by the blast could contaminate a large swath of a city, force residents to evacuate, and cost billions of dollars to clean up and additional billions in disrupted economic activity. The radioactivity might not be as dangerous as anthrax, but it would be every bit as disruptive, if not more so.


Analysis: Effects of a dirty bomb

Tuesday, 11 June, 2002
BBC News

Nuclear power station: Security is tight BBC News Online assesses the potential health effects if a 'dirty bomb' was deployed by terrorists.

What is a 'dirty bomb'?

A dirty bomb is made of radioactive material attached to conventional explosives.

If the weapon explodes, there is a risk of both direct casualties and illness caused by exposure to radioactive material.

A dirty bomb differs from a nuclear bomb in that it does not generate a massive explosion caused by nuclear fission.

Potential sources of material used to make a dirty bomb include radioactive waste from industry and medicine:

Spent rods from nuclear power stations Radioactive material from hospitals that carry out radiotherapy Devices used in industry for food irradiation or to check welds in pipelines.

According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an average of 200 radiation sources used in medicine or industry are stolen, lost or abandoned in America each year.

What are the potential health hazards?

Anyone exposed to extremely high levels of radioactivity is likely to suffer radiation sickness.

The radiation destroys cells it comes into contact with. It is most dangerous when it enters the body by being swallowed, breathed in or entering through an open wound.

At lower levels, radiation is linked with cancer.

According to Mark Gwozdecky of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, producing a lethal radioactive weapon is not as easy as some have suggested.

He told BBC News Online: "These are not weapons of mass destruction, they are potentially a weapon of mass disruption.

"There's limited lethality," he added. "You would have to swallow and breathe in the material before you could become a casualty."

What would happen if a dirty bomb did explode?

It is impossible to predict what might happen if a dirty bomb exploded in a city such as London.

It would depend on the amount of radioactive material in the bomb, the type of radioactive substance, and how far it was dispersed.

To design something that would disperse radioactivity over a wide area would need sophisticated weapons expertise, said Mr Gwozdecky.

He told BBC News Online: "It's hard to imagine any kind of dirty bomb producing the kinds of mass casualties that we saw on September 11."

How would patients be treated if a dirty bomb exploded?

Plans are in place in the UK, should a radioactive emergency arise.

Casualties would be taken to reception hospitals supplied with decontamination equipment, protective clothing and specialist monitoring devices.

They would be washed to get rid of exterior radioactive contamination and treated.

The treatment would depend on the type of radioactive material they had been exposed to.

Some types of radioactive material - such as those used in nuclear power stations - are highly poisonous if ingested.

Others are less dangerous and would disappear quickly from the body.

Patients would be given something to try to flush out the radioactivity.

This could be anything from tablets to fruit and vegetables, depending on the type of radiation poisoning.

Other treatment would focus on trying to repair damage to cells and body tissues.

It is sometimes possible for people to survive otherwise lethal doses of radiation if bone marrow transplants are performed.


Roland Blackwell, Professor of Medical Physics at University College London Hospitals told BBC News Online: "All the hospitals have been checked for security.

"We have procedures in place should anything happen."

He said that in order for a dirty bomb to be "genuinely dangerous and effective as opposed to psychologically", terrorists would have to get hold of a lot of radioactive material.

"It is difficult to handle and they would probably kill themselves doing it," he added.


American held in 'dirty bomb' plot

June 11, 2002
By Jerry Seper

A U.S. citizen named as a member of the al Qaeda terrorist network has been captured by the FBI in a conspiracy to build and detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" aimed at U.S. targets, including the nation's capital.

Attorney General John Ashcroft, during a televised announcement in Moscow, said Abdullah al Muhajir, also known as Jose Padilla, a New York native and former Chicago gang member, was detained May 8 after his arrival from Pakistan at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

"We have captured a known terrorist who was exploring a plan to build and explode a radiological dispersion device, or 'dirty bomb,' in the United States," said Mr. Ashcroft, who is meeting with Russian government officials on a five-day trip.

Mr. Ashcroft called al Muhajir "an enemy combatant who poses a serious and continuing threat to the American people and our national security."

President Bush hailed the capture, saying: "We have a man detained who is a threat to the country and that, thanks to the vigilance of our intelligence gathering and law enforcement, he is now off the streets, where he should be."

None of the intended targets was identified, although authorities said al Muhajir, 31, had "knowledge of the Washington, D.C., area" and that the nation's capital was considered a logical target.

It also was not clear how close the suspected terrorist was to obtaining an explosive device, although FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said the conspiracy had not extended past the planning stages. Al Muhajir reportedly was carrying plans for the attack when taken into custody.

There also was no explanation on the timing of yesterday's announcement or what cooperation al Muhajir had given authorities, if any. He was secretly held in New York by the Justice Department under the supervision of a federal judge after his May 8 detention.

Authorities said al Muhajir returned to the United States to conduct reconnaissance operations for al Qaeda. They said he had been under surveillance for several weeks by the FBI and CIA as he traveled between Pakistan, Egypt and Switzerland.

Law enforcement officials said al Muhajir and two others who also may have been involved in the conspiracy were detained in Pakistan on immigration violations before his arrest, but al Muhajir was allowed to board his U.S.-bound flight after being tricked into believing he had escaped. FBI agents were on the plane, and he was arrested at the gate at O'Hare.

Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson declined to comment at a press briefing on whether authorities had identified any conspirators in the bombing scheme.

Mr. Ashcroft described a dirty bomb as one involving the detonation of a conventional explosive that not only kills victims in its immediate vicinity but spreads radioactive material that can cause further death and injury.

Dexter Ingram, a threat-assessment analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said the effect of a dirty bomb on a target depends on the type and amount of radioactive material it contains but that it could cause extensive injuries and leave an area unhabitable for up to a year.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a recent report that a 4,000-pound dirty bomb detonated on the National Mall could contaminate a small area of the District, resulting in its evacuation. The report said the blast might cripple the government and businesses for months.

Law enforcement authorities said a dirty bomb is considered a key terrorist weapon because of the panic it creates.

Mr. Ashcroft said authorities determined from "multiple, independent and corroborating sources" that al Muhajir is closely associated with al Qaeda and that, as an operative for Osama bin Laden's terrorist group, he "was involved in planning future terrorist attacks on innocent American civilians in the United States."

In March, Abu Zubaydah, a top bin Laden lieutenant, was arrested in Pakistan and is reported to have told U.S. officials that the terrorist network was close to building a dirty bomb and might try to smuggle one into the United States.

Senior law enforcement authorities said information from Zubaydah led to al Muhajir's surveillance and arrest. They said al Muhajir met last year in Afghanistan with Zubaydah and then traveled to Pakistan at Zubaydah's request to meet with other al Qaeda officials.

Al Muhajir and an unidentified associate are believed to have researched the construction and detonation of dirty bombs in Lahore, Pakistan, authorities said. They said that in addition to Washington as a potential site the conspiracy had targeted hotels and gas stations.

Mr. Bush, based on a recommendation from Mr. Ashcroft, signed documents late Sunday designating al Muhajir as a "combatant" - giving authority to the Defense Department to take him into custody. Al Muhajir had been held without charges until the Bush designation.

As a U.S. citizen, he appears ineligible for trial under the military tribunals outlined last year by Mr. Bush for captured terrorists, although several key law enforcement officials said court decisions arising from prosecutions during World War II could lead to a military trial for al Muhajir.

"We have acted with legal authority both under the laws of war and clear Supreme Court precedent, which establishes that the military may detain a United States citizen who has joined the enemy and has entered our country to carry out hostile acts," Mr. Ashcroft said.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul F. Wolfowitz said at a press conference that al Muhajir was being held "under the laws of war." He said the government's priority was to "protect the American people from future attacks" and that it had to be able to question persons about threats.

Al Muhajir, who was born in Brooklyn and moved to Chicago when he was 5, is being held under heavy security at the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, S.C. He was flown yesterday aboard a military C-130 aircraft to South Carolina.

Mr. Ashcroft said al Qaeda officials knew that as an American citizen holding a valid passport, al Muhajir could travel freely in the United States without drawing attention to himself.

He said al Muhajir assumed his new identity after his release in 1993 from a U.S. prison. He had a lengthy criminal record and had been convicted in Florida in 1991 on assault and gun charges. Authorities said that after his prison conversion to Islam, he left the United States in 1998 and traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he trained with al Qaeda.

A statement attributed yesterday to al Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith said: "We have the right to fight [Americans] by chemical and biological weapons so that they catch the fatal and unusual diseases that Muslims have caught due to their chemical and biological weapons."


Experts: 'Dirty bombs' would cause varying damage

June 11, 2002
Washington Times
From combined dispatches

While "dirty bombs" may not wreak destruction on the scale of an atomic weapon, experts say they could cause panic, enormous economic damage and spread toxic radioactive waste.

Dirty bombs are conventional explosive devices with radioactive materials wrapped around them. When they explode, the radioactive material contaminates the area over which it is dispersed.

Such a bomb is relatively easy to make. Whereas a nuclear bomb is made with highly enriched uranium and plutonium - both of which are usually under tight security - a dirty bomb would probably be made with a less-secure isotope, such as cesium, cobalt-60 or strontium-90, found in waste material or used in medicine and research.

The arrest yesterday of an al-Qaeda-affiliated man suspected of planning to use a dirty bomb in an attack on the United States has sparked discussion about the destructive power of such a device and its impact on people.

Much depends on the type and size of the bomb, the radioactive material it contains and the weather conditions at the time of the attack, said Henry Kelly, president of the Federation of American Scientists. Some materials are more likely to cause cancer than others, and some persist longer.

A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that a 4,000-pound bomb detonated in a bus parked on the Mall - the center of tourist attractions in Washington - could contaminate a small part of the downtown area, which would have to be evacuated.

Many would probably die in car accidents fleeing the scene, and hospitals could be inundated with people suffering from radiation sickness, which begins with vague, flulike symptoms, said Andrew Karam, a radiation expert at the University of Rochester in New York.

"It can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, lethargy - not too different from what most people experience after a hard night of partying," Mr. Karam said.

Attorney General John Ashcroft described the suspect, Abdullah al Muhajir, as a known terrorist and operative of al Qaeda, the network run by Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The suspect is a U.S. citizen who was born in New York as Jose Padilla.

Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission disclosed that it received an average of 300 reports a year of small amounts of radioactive materials missing from construction sites, hospitals and other places where these radioisotopes are used.

NRC officials said they have no evidence of anyone collecting this material to have enough for a dirty bomb. But critics say no one is sure of that.

The NRC said even a small amount of radioactive material, if properly milled into fine particles and dispersed by a conventional explosive, could spread radioactive particles over several blocks.

A piece of radioactive cobalt from a food irradiation plant could, if blasted apart in a bomb in New York, contaminate 380 square miles.

"The entire borough of Manhattan would be so contaminated that anyone living there would have a 1 in 100 chance of dying from cancer caused by the residual radiation. It would be decades before the city was inhabitable again, and demolition might be necessary," Mr. Kelly said.


"Dirty" Bombs, and the Bush Administration's Dirty Little Secret

Press Advisory William D. Hartung,
Senior Research Fellow
World Policy Institute
Contact:: 212-229-5808, ext. 106
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002

New York, NY -- June 11, 2002 -- Yesterday's announcement by Attorney General John Ashcroft that authorities had a Brooklyn-born Latino man in custody for involvement in an alleged Al Qaeda plot to explode a radiological bomb in Washington, DC underscores the continuing vulnerability of the United States to a wide variety of possible terrorist attacks.

"If the evidence against the suspect proves to be accurate, the Bush administration deserves credit for heading off this plan in its early stages," said William D. Hartung, a Senior Fellow at the New York-based World Policy Institute. "But this case also highlights the Bush administration's dirty little secret. They still don't have their priorities straight when it comes to taking measures to thwart the most damaging -- or the most likely -- kinds of potential terror attacks on U.S. soil."

There is general agreement among experts that the most damaging effects of a so-called "dirty bomb" -- a conventional explosive set up to disperse radioactive materials in a populated area -- would be psychological and economic. Loss of life would be minimal compared to the use of a nuclear weapon, which could kill tens or hundreds of thousands of people in a highly populated urban area. The threat of a radiological weapon still needs to be taken seriously, however, since a crude device would be far easier to construct and transport than a nuclear weapon, and the fear and chaos that the use of one or more of these devices would cause could strike a devastating blow to the morale of the public, as well as to the economies of the targeted areas.

"Unfortunately, the Bush administration's priorities are off the mark when it comes to dealing with either a radiological weapon or an actual nuclear bomb," Hartung noted. "While the U.S. government spends nearly $9 billion per year for an unproven missile defense system designed to protect against what many U.S. intelligence experts argue is the least likely method a rogue state or terrorist group would use to target the United States with a nuclear weapon -- a long-range ballistic missile -- policymakers have barely scratched the surface in efforts to secure radioactive materials that might be used to construct a 'dirty' bomb or to establish monitoring systems to detect dangerous radioactive materials at major facilities and transportation hubs."

As for the threat of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of a terrorist group, the most important single step that can be taken to prevent that from happening -- destroying Russia's vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons and bomb-grande nuclear materials -- is completely ignored by the loophole-laden Bush-Putin accord on nuclear arms reductions.

For further information:

-- See William D. Hartung's Q&A on the "dirty bomb" case on Washington Post Online, at

-- See the June 10th press release from the Institue for Energy and Environmental Research, "Radiological Warfare Suspicions Point Up Need for Materials Accounting and Reporting to Enhance Security," at

-- See the Federation of American Scientists special report on responses to the "dirty bomb" problem, at

-- Consult the Nuclear Control Institute's page on "Nuclear Terrorism

-- How to Prevent It," at The site includes a section entitled, "Are 'Dirty Bombs' a Major Terrorism Risk?".

-- For contact information on other experts on this issue, see the June 10th press release from the Institute for Public Accuracy, "Interviews Available on Alleged Nuclear Plot," at

William D. Hartung World Policy Institute 66 Fifth Ave. Suite 901 New York, NY 10011 (212)-229-5808, ext. 106 (212)-229-5579 (fax)

-------- treaties

House Dems Sue Bush Over ABM Treaty

June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thirty-one House members filed suit against President Bush Tuesday in an effort to block the president from withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

The United States officially leaves the treaty on Thursday, six months after Bush announced his intentions to do so. The Pentagon plans an earth-breaking ceremony on Saturday at Fort Greely, Alaska, to begin construction on the first portion of a new missile interceptor system.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, the lead plaintiff, said the president does not have the authority to unilaterally withdraw from a treaty and should first seek the consent of Congress. ``The Constitution of the United States is being demolished and we need to challenge that in court,'' he said.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, also names Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell as defendants. The plaintiffs are all Democrats, except for one independent who usually votes with Democrats.

It states that while the Constitution is silent on the role of Congress in treaty terminations, treaties have the status of ``supreme law of the land'' equivalent to federal laws and that laws can be repealed only by an act of Congress.

``I am troubled that many in Congress appear willing to cede our constitutional responsibility on this matter to the executive branch,'' said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. He tried unsuccessfully Monday to bring a resolution to the Senate floor stating that the president cannot withdraw from the treaty without Senate approval.

Kucinich last week tried to get the House to vote on a similar resolution, but House Republicans unanimously rejected a motion to bring the issue to a vote. GOP lawmakers generally support the administration's decision to withdraw from the treaty, which prohibited the United States and the Soviet Union from building major missile defenses and has been an impediment to the administration's plans to move ahead with a missile defense system.

``This is so far out of touch,'' said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., a longtime proponent of a missile defense system. ``The end of the ABM treaty marks a significant milestone'' enabling the Pentagon to adjust to post-Cold War changes and emerging threats, he said.

The lead lawyer for the House lawmakers, Peter Weiss, said they are asking the court for expedited treatment of their suit. But he said that even if the court does not act by the Thursday withdrawal date, a later decision agreeing that the president must first get congressional consent could be retroactive.

In House debate last week, Republicans argued that past presidents have terminated dozens of treaties without consulting Congress. Kucinich pointed to an 1835 House vote blocking President Jackson from pulling out of a treaty with France.

In 1979 the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., sued President Carter over his decision to terminate a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan when he established diplomatic relations with the Beijing government. The Supreme Court, without ruling on the constitutional issue, vacated or threw out an appeals court ruling in favor of Carter and ordered it sent back for reconsideration. Four of the justices said it was a political matter that should be decided between Congress and the president.

-------- u.s. nuc weapons

Bush's Nuclear Policy distorts History and Reality

By William D. Hartung,
June 11, 2002
NYU Global Beat

NEW YORK --In the annals of the nuclear age, this week is historic for two reasons. June 12th is the 20th anniversary of the million-person disarmament march in New York

s Central Park that helped turn the tide from an era of perpetual, spiraling arms race to one marked by major reductions in nuclear weapons. The next day, June 13th, marks the end of the required six-month warning period and the official U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.

The two events have sparked contradictory responses.

On Wednesday in Washington, the Heritage Foundation is hosting a "celebration" of the imminent demise of the ABM Treaty featuring John Bolton, the Bush administration's virulently anti-arms control Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.

Later that day in Manhattan, Peace Action and the Nation magazine will sponsor a rally to commemorate the 1982 Central Park disarmament demonstration and to promote an "Urgent Call" for verifiable nuclear arms reductions.

The convergence of these historic events and the ongoing conflict between the nuclear-armed states of India and Pakistan raises an obvious question: are we on the right track to reduce nuclear dangers in the decades to come, or are we on the verge of a new global arms race?

We already know President George W. Bush's answer. He has touted the loophole-laden new strategic arms agreement with Russia as a historic step that will "liquidate the legacy of the Cold War." Administration officials argue that the Pentagon's new freedom to pursue a multi-tiered missile defense system will protect Americans from nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, whether launched by a rogue-state or accidentally by an established nuclear-weapon state. These new-age nuclear conservatives also insist that the Bush administration is carrying on the unfinished legacy of Ronald Reagan, who called for an ambitious missile defense shield and deep nuclear reductions.

Unfortunately, these comforting views of the administration's nuclear policy are a gross distortion of recent history and current realities.

While it's true, for example, that Ronald Reagan rode into Washington like the ultimate nuclear cowboy, joking that "the bombing will start in five minutes," by his second term it was clear that he was committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Indeed, if he wasn

t so taken with the notion of an impenetrable missile shield, Reagan might have overruled his top aides and agreed to a plan presented by Mikhail Gorbachev at the 1986 Reykjavik summit to eliminate all U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons.

As it was, Reagan negotiated two major arms reduction accords, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement and the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and he endlessly reminded Gorbachev that when it comes to arms reductions, nations must "trust but verify."

In stark contrast to Reagan's record of supporting verifiable arms reductions, which was clearly shaped by a vibrant anti-nuclear movement and the historic changes in Moscow??the Bush administration is committed to a policy of nuclear unilateralism disguised as arms control.

Even after 10 years, last month's Bush-Putin accord will leave both sides with massive nuclear overkill capability??arsenals in the range of 1,700 to 2,200 deployed nuclear warheads each. More critically, the new treaty agreement doesn't require either side to destroy the weapons removed from active deployment, leaving the fate of thousands of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons unresolved.

Worst of all, the emphasis in the new U.S. nuclear posture review involves developing "usable" lower-yield weapons and expanding the number of scenarios under which we might use or threaten to use nuclear arms. This is a clear endorsement of the idea that these ultimate terror weapons have legitimate uses??a dangerously hypocritical stance to be taking at a time when the White House is trying to convince other countries to forego or cut nuclear arsenals to reduce chances that they might end up in the hands of terrorists.

If President Bush truly wants to fulfill Ronald Reagan's legacy, he should agree to the prompt destruction of the thousands of nuclear weapons taken off of deployment under the Bush-Putin accord. He should also move quickly to broker a deal to destroy all tactical nuclear weapons on both sides, and to revive plans to cap the nuclear arsenals of states like Iraq and North Korea through verifiable diplomatic initiatives, rather than scattershot military threats. That would be a nuclear policy worth bragging about.

-------- u.s. nuc facilities

US offers new grants for nuclear power research

June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration gave another boost to the U.S. nuclear power industry yesterday by launching a program of university grants to encourage reactor research.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham awarded $5.5 million to four groups of universities for nuclear power research plus 73 scholarships and fellowships to nuclear engineering students.

The initiative is "absolutely critical to preparing the next generation of nuclear engineers and scientists," Abraham said in a statement.

The university support is part of an administration push to breath new life into the U.S. nuclear power industry.

The Energy Department in February said it wanted to speed up licensing procedures and clear the way for at least one utility to build a nuclear power plant by 2010.

The government is also helping to fund the initial studies of sites for potential new nuclear power plants. To overcome resistance from private landowners, the Energy Department has offered land at its existing nuclear engineering laboratory in Idaho, a nuclear weapons plant in South Carolina and a uranium recycling facility in Ohio.

No new U.S. nuclear plants have been built since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. The failure of a water cooling system at that Pennsylvania plant led to the partial melting of the reactor's uranium core. The $1 billion accident effectively halted the U.S. nuclear industry in its tracks.

The Bush administration has endorsed nuclear power as a clean source of energy to generate electricity.

Some environmental groups say no new plants should be built because of safety concerns and the growing volume of dangerous radioactive waste generated by the 103 existing plants in the United States.

-------- south carolina

Media Outlets Sue Over Plutonium

June 11, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Several media companies have sued to keep a judge from sealing records in a lawsuit to block federal shipments of weapons-grade plutonium to South Carolina.

Arguments were to be heard Thursday before U.S. District Court takes up Gov. Jim Hodges' case.

The Energy Department said the records should be sealed under a federal law limiting the release of nuclear information. The documents were described by the agency as pertaining to the long-term storage of nuclear material.

The media companies argue the material does not qualify to be kept secret under the law.

The federal government wants to begin shipping plutonium from a nuclear complex in Colorado to the Savannah River Site near Aiken as early as this week. The plutonium is to be reprocessed as nuclear fuel.

Hodges says he is worried the plutonium might never be reprocessed and might stay in the state indefinitely.

Media outlets involved in the litigation include The Associated Press, 13 newspapers, six TV stations, and the state's press and broadcast associations.

-------- us nuc waste


JUNE 11, 2002

Louis Zeller 336-982-2691
Don Moniak 336-982-2691
Jay Coghlan 505-989-7342

Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a report which reveals that the US Department of Energy's plutonium fuel testing program would require tens of thousands of miles of national and international shipments of the radioactive material. Documents obtained by the group indicate that problems may force DOE to use British military plutonium instead of dismantled warheads from the United States to fabricate the first test fuel assemblies.

Both DOE and Duke Power, who's McGuire and Catawba reactors are slated for plutonium fuel use, have claimed a "swords-into-plowshares" mission. Today's report cast doubt on the goals, procedures, and legality of the entire program. BREDL spokesman Lou Zeller said, "Today's revelations show that the DOE has not been straightforward with the people of the United States or the world about the transportation of plutonium. Shipping enough plutonium for 50 nuclear bombs on the high seas is an invitation to disaster."

Don Moniak, BREDL technical consultant and author of the report said, "The plutonium fuel program is filled with uncertainties and inherently flawed by political, technical, and regulatory complexities as well as excess transportation requirements." Moniak continued, "The documents obtained by BREDL indicate that DOE's frequent changes in this program involve continued violations of the National Environmental Policy Act's provisions for timely public notification."

BREDL reports that that the DOE's plutonium fuel program would require:

The probable use of British military plutonium instead of U.S. surplus plutonium. A March 2001 foreign trip report by a program manager stated that there was lack of adequate material from the 34 metric tonnes declared excess by the US DOE;

The processing of plutonium oxide powder at Los Alamos National laboratory;

The transatlantic shipment of purified, deadly plutonium oxide powder from Los Alamos to Belgium for manufacturing plutonium fuel lead test assemblies involving a total of 115 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium- enough to build more than 50 nuclear weapons;

The transatlantic shipment of four plutonium fuel assemblies from Belgium to McGuire Nuclear Power Plant near Charlotte, North Carolina for irradiation;

The shipment of plutonium fuel "scrap" produced during fabrication back to the U.S. to an undetermined or undisclosed location; and

The shipment of irradiated plutonium fuel assemblies to Oak Ridge National Laboratory for post irradiation exams.

Jay Coghlan, Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, commented "It's incredible that DOE has rejected immobilization in favor of an endless cycle of international shipments and the introduction of weapons-grade plutonium to the commercial sector."

BREDL's report indicates further problems with the plutonium fuel program including: the Los Alamos National Labs fabrication of test fuel assemblies is one year behind schedule, Duke Power is seeking exemptions and a license amendment from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Duke Cogema Stone and Webster withheld important information in documents it submitted to the NRC in support of its efforts to license plutonium (MOX) fuel use in Duke reactors, and that the US DOE may have issued a false Record of Decision in January 2000 by stating that Los Alamos was its choice for test assembly fabrication.

The full BREDL report is also available at

-------- us politics

How to reduce terrorism: Bring American troops home

By Thomas Gale Moore
Tue, Jun. 11, 2002
San Jose Mercury News

Both Vice President Dick Cheney and FBI Director Robert Mueller have asserted that another terrorist attack is ``inevitable.'' They are right. There are too many targets and too many ways that an individual bent on suicide can wreak havoc. Like the war on drugs, the war on terrorism cannot be won.

In his September address to Congress, President Bush declared: Our war on terror begins with Al-Qaida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.

Our desire for revenge is natural, but the president's end cannot be achieved. We are the strongest power the world has ever seen, not only in absolute terms but also relative to the rest of the globe. Our overwhelming success in the Persian Gulf War, with only 148 American deaths, our victory in Kosovo without any fatalities, and our conquering of Afghanistan with only a handful of casualties have given the impression that our military is invincible.

But our military, no matter how invincible, cannot eliminate the suicide bomber, the terrorist who will die for his cause. As long as people hate us, we will always be vulnerable.

While we cannot eliminate terrorism, we can reduce its frequency and violence. We should consider its roots. If we understand why people hate us and are willing to die to attack us, it does not mean we are justifying their actions. If our policies are leading to more terrorism, however, we should understand that.

Osama bin Laden has told us why he is attacking us: because we have troops in the ``holy'' territory of Saudi Arabia. In his first tape after Sept. 11 he promised: ``I swear to God that America will not live in peace before all the army of infidels depart the land of the prophet Muhammad.'' Not only does he feel this way, but so do many millions in the Islamic world.

Since Sept. 11, we have deployed troops in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan and Georgia. Also in the Philippines and Colombia. We are talking about stationing our soldiers in Sudan and Yemen. In each of these countries, the local populace resents our presence. In Muslim countries, the opposition is particularly hostile since it believes Christianity is on another Crusade to invade Islam.

Wherever we have bases, the local population resents those troops. In Okinawa, the locals strongly oppose the U.S. soldiers stationed on their island. Many of the South Korean population hate the American military in their midst.

American troops abroad furnish both a motivation for terrorism and a target. If we brought our men and women home, would we be safer or less safe? The answer is clear: We would reduce the motivation to attack us. Americans would be seen more as we think we are, peaceful people who wish good things for the world.

This goes against the grain; it could be seen as giving in to Osama bin Laden. But if our object is to reduce terrorism, it is the most practical and probably the only solution.

A misguided machismo must not stand in the way of protecting our people and reducing violence in the world. No one will believe we are weak, especially after seeing our military in action over the last decade, simply because we stop trying to police the rest of the world.

Bringing our troops home -- why do we have soldiers in Germany and Okinawa? -- would increase our security, not decrease it. Even before Sept. 11, more than 60,000 U.S. troops were operating in more than 100 countries. No wonder people consider America an imperial power.

If we also reduced our unseemly favoritism for Israel by taking a more neutral stance, our credibility in the world and especially in the Arab countries would increase immensely. That too would help reduce the hatred that many feel toward the United States.

President Bush explained to Congress why the terrorists hate America. He said: They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

The President is wrong. According to a Zogby International Poll released on April 11, a majority of people in the five Arab countries and three non-Arab Muslim states view our freedom and our democracy with favor.

But overwhelmingly, they disapprove of our policies toward Arab nations and the Palestinians. Kuwait, for example, which we rescued from Iraq, liked our freedom and democracy by 58 percent to 39 percent, but only 6 percent viewed our policies favorably and a huge 88 percent disapproved of our policies in the Middle East.

Other Muslim countries had almost identical views. And this poll was taken before Israel sent its military into the West Bank!

Finally, attacking Iraq or any other Middle Eastern country will only increase the number of terrorists who will seek to get revenge. Let us reduce terrorism, not increase it. The policies currently being followed and those being talked about will only produce more 9/11s. Security cannot come from violence.

We should follow Thomas Jefferson's advice from his first inaugural: ``Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none.''

Thomas Gale Moore is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.


Homeland security

June 11, 2002
Washington Times
Gary Anderson

While Congress investigated, the president acted. He adroitly proposed an Office of Homeland Security as a Cabinet-level department, leaving many of his foes on the Hill flat-footed. It was a magnificent political move that should not detract from the fact that it probably is the most sweeping proposed governmental reform more than 50 years. Some of the president's foes have concentrated on the potential problems of implementation. Several Democratic members have puffed themselves up beyond their already ample girth and boldly proclaimed that they will have to "fix" some of what is wrong before they can legislatively mandate what the president has proposed. Like the story of the little hen baking her bread, the unwanted helpers have every opportunity to ruin the recipe before it gets in the oven.

There are several ways that the "friends of hens" faction in the Congress can ruin or dilute this proposal. We need to hold them accountable for their actions if they attempt to do so. How can they ruin it? Let me count the ways. First, they can fail to give the new homeland security secretary the authority to reprioritize resources among the various agencies assigned to the new department.

By resources, we primarily are speaking of money and personnel, the coin of the realm of power in Washington. Such a move would leave the new secretary virtually as powerless as the homeland security coordinator is today. Such a department merely would be a collection of independent duchies as was the old Holy Roman Empire. If the Holy Roman Empire was not holy, Roman, nor an empire, such a toothless department would neither be a department, nor would it provide any of us additional security.

Another sure way the friends of hens could hobble the new department at birth would be to withhold some of the new agencies proposed by the president. Powerful subcommittees will lose agencies whose budgets represent much of that power. The subcommittee chairmen will be aided by powerful employees unions; these undoubtedly will feel largely threatened over seniority and retention issues.

The new secretary will need to create a planning and operational staff capable of keeping up with the Defense Department in its ability to do future planning and adequate liaison with other agencies. Most of the existing agencies that will make up the new department lack an operational planning level. They do strategic planning in Washington and local tactical planning at their branch offices, but they lack the depth to participate in or plan large interagency levels. One of the most frequently heard complaints from the military when it asks most of these agencies to participate in interagency crisis management war games is that they simply cannot free up the manpower to participate. The president's proposal has the potential to create the kind of economy of scale that would fix this. This makes the capability.

Congress must also authorize the new secretary to hire and fire the leaders of the subordinate agencies. Just as the secretary of defense has the power to recommend the service chiefs and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to the president, so should the secretary of homeland security have the power to recommend the hiring and firing of the directors of his subordinate agencies.

If there is anyone in Congress qualified to lend a sense of legitimacy to crafting the proposed legislation, it is probably Sen. Joseph Lieberman. He was beaten to the punch in proposing similar legislation by the president's Bill Clinton-like skill in pre-emption, but Mr. Lieberman's name undoubtedly will be on any such authorizing legislation. He, therefore, has a vested interest in making sure it is a solid package, and he should bear witness to any attempts to water the proposal down or load it with extraneous pork.

Finally, Congress can hurt this proposal if it does not authorize sufficient funds to create an information management system that will allow for the coordination of the vast flow of information that these separate agencies collect on a daily basis. Shared net and intelligent agent technologies that can do this are available today, but they are beyond the aggregate combined budgets of the agencies that would be pooled to create the Homeland Security Department. Congress should find out how much it would cost to create such an information-sharing system and authorize it up front rather than force the new secretary to fight for it later.

In the last month, there has been a lot of wind blowing off Capitol Hill calling for better federal anti-terror coordination. The president has deftly put the ball squarely in the congressional court. At the risk of sounding like Jesse Jackson with his flair for alliteration, I will do so anyhow. It is now time to legislate rather than to investigate.

? Gary Anderson is with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.


Bush Urges Pre - Emptives Against Terror

June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Making the case for pre-emptive strikes against terrorist enemies, President Bush says he will use all his power to combat ``the new totalitarians'' who would threaten Americans with weapons of mass destruction.

Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, in separate appearances Monday before about 100 conservatives from the International Democrat Union, made clear that the United States would not sit back and wait for another attack.

``With the spread of chemical and biological and nuclear weapons, along with ballistic missile technology, freedom's enemies could attain catastrophic power,'' Bush told the group at a White House dinner. ``And there's no doubt that they would use that power to attack us.

``We will oppose the new totalitarians with all our power,'' the president said.

Earlier, Cheney said a strike-first military policy is necessary today because past approaches to world security -- Cold War deterrence, summit meetings and treaties -- will not work against terrorists who have no single base of operation and ``nothing to defend.''

``Grave threats are accumulating against us, and inaction will only bring them closer,'' Cheney said. ``We will not wait until it is too late.''

The IDU, a collection of conservative and moderate-to-right politicians, responded favorably to the anti-terror coalition Bush has assembled. The group issued a statement supporting the president's approach on expanding the anti-terror fight and denying dangerous weapons to ``terrorists and hostile states.''

``We believe the coalition must be bold, not complacent, in addressing these threats,'' the statement read. ``The nature of this threat and the risks of doing nothing to combat it must be clearly understood. We support fully the policy that this threat must be defeated.''

Bush plans to formalize the ``strike first'' military policy when he submits his first national security strategy to Congress by early fall.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Monday that the document would incorporate various foreign relations and national security policies that Bush has articulated since Sept. 11, including new demands that poor countries make political and economic reforms in order to receive U.S. aid.

Cheney did not refer to Bush's pending written policy, but emphasized that the United States has a special responsibility to initiate military action if it will thwart grand-scale terrorist plots before they happen.

``The nature and scale of the challenge we face became apparent last year on the morning of Sept. 11,'' Cheney said. ``It is now clear that every aspiration we have for the countries we serve -- our prosperity, our security and the peace of the world -- all depend upon our answer to that threat of global terror.''

Specifically, he said, Iraq poses a threat because its leader, Saddam Hussein, has shown a willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, and because there is potential for Saddam's government to link up with terrorist networks.

``Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles, or secretly provide them to their terrorist allies,'' Cheney said.

He said the U.S. officials have a responsibility to protect against future attack ``and to take pre-emptive action when necessary.''

Bush articulated his ``strike first'' doctrine in a June 1 commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, where he vowed to ``take the battle to the enemy, disrupt its plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge.''

-------- MILITARY

-------- business

Justice opposes settlement on attack-jet lawsuit

June 11, 2002
By Rowan Scarborough

Justice Department lawyers are opposing a complex settlement that would end an 11-year-old lawsuit over Richard B. Cheney's decision to kill the A-12 attack jet.

The Navy and two giant defense contractors, the Boeing Co. and General Dynamics, in essence have worked out a deal to end the litigation.

The two companies would provide $2.6 billion in free equipment and services to the Pentagon as well as invest company money over the next 10 years in two large weapons programs, the F-18 Super Hornet and the Virginia-class attack submarine.

But a senior defense official said Justice litigators claim the settlement would only be certain to be worth $250 million, most of that in General Dynamics' providing four free Gulfstream passenger jets.

Justice opposes counting toward the settlement's value the money that the companies would invest in the weapons systems, arguing that there is no guarantee that all the planes and submarines will be bought.

The official said government lawyers, including some inside the Pentagon, want the Defense Department to hold out for $2.3 billion. That figure represents $1.3 billion in "progress payments" made by the Navy over 10 years ago and $1 billion in interest.

"Justice just can't justify the savings, because it's not dollars in the cash register," said a source close to the settlement negotiations.

A final Pentagon decision rests with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. In the coming weeks, he will sit down with Navy and acquisition officials and decide whether to recommend the deal to Justice.

"I think we all favor" a settlement, said the senior official, adding that without one, costly litigation would go on for years.

"Wolfowitz will support a settlement if it's on the right terms," the official said. "If it's a fair settlement, he will go with it."

The official said Mr. Wolfowitz wants to make sure the deal is defensible not only to Justice, but also to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The settlement keeps the savings in the Pentagon; the payment of progress payments and interest would go to the general U.S. Treasury.

While defense secretary in 1991, Mr. Cheney canceled the A-12 jet because it was far behind schedule. The companies sued, seeking reimbursement for money spent. The Pentagon countered with a demand for progress payments.

Last year, the firms lost the latest legal round. A Court of Federal Claims judge ruled that Mr. Cheney acted correctly in canceling the A-12. The judge said no cash award was owed the firms, who then took the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Proponents of a settlement say the companies will invest money up front that allows the Navy to enter into multiyear contracts. The Navy would save money long-term at a time when the sea service needs to replace aging weapon systems. The source close to the settlement talks said the Navy would essentially receive eight Virginia-class submarines for the price of seven.

Settlement supporters also say there is no guarantee the Pentagon will ultimately win in a court battle that could last another five years and reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

-------- colombia

$2M in U.S. Aid to Colombia Missing

June 11, 2002

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- The government is investigating 60 police officers, including top counterdrug commanders, in the disappearance of more than $2 million in U.S. funds earmarked for the war on drugs, officials said Tuesday.

The widening scandal threatens to undermine Washington's confidence in Colombia's security forces, just as the Bush administration is asking U.S. lawmakers to provide more than $500 million in additional aid.

The list of police officers under ``disciplinary investigation'' by the Colombian inspector-general's office reads like a Who's Who in the Colombian police anti-drug operations.

The list includes Gen. Gustavo Socha, who resigned last month as chief of the counternarcotics police; Col. Yadira Angelica Rivera, in charge of international relations; Col. Carlos Julio Rivera; chief of police aviation; and Col. Climaco Antonio Torres, chief of drug interdiction.

Inspector-General Edgar Maya's office, responsible for investigating wrongdoing by government officials, said the police were being investigated for ``presumed irregularities in the handling and spending of money handed over by the government of the United States.''

Among alleged irregularities were double-billing and lack of supervision and control in the handling of $2.5 million in U.S. funds, the Inspector-General's office said in a statement.

``Furthermore, the alleged purchase of unauthorized goods and services are being investigated,'' the statement said.

A U.S. Embassy official previously said some 20 police officers are believed to have used ``for personal ends'' money that was for administrative expenses and other items, including fuel for vehicles.

The announcement of the probe, the biggest scandal to hit the Colombian police during President Andres Pastrana's administration, comes as his elected successor, Alvaro Uribe, is about to travel to the United States to appeal for more aid.

Relations between the U.S. Embassy and the counternarcotics police have reportedly grown tense recently. The newsmagazine Semana reported Monday that when U.S. auditors asked for an accounting of the missing funds, Socha responded that the U.S. Embassy should detail its own counternarcotics spending to him.

When he resigned, however, Socha told a press conference that he had not been pressured to step down by U.S. officials, and that he felt his relationship with the embassy was good.

U.S. officials here have characterized relations with Colombian law enforcement as good, despite the scandal.

``We remain proud of our support for the Colombian counternarcotics police and confident of the professionalism and dedication of the vast majority of its members,'' a U.S. Embassy spokesman said. ``The deeds of a few individuals should not discredit an entire institution.''

The United States has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in military hardware, including helicopters, and training to help Colombia's security forces fight drug trafficking, which finances rebels and right-wing paramilitaries who are fighting a war in this South American country.

President Bush wants to expand that aid, and is asking Congress for $133 million to help Colombia stop guerrilla attacks on an oil pipeline, reduce kidnappings and rebuild bombed police stations -- plus $439 million in longer-term aid.

-------- drug war

Ashcroft visit targets terrorism, drug trade

By Judith Ingram
June 11, 2002

MOSCOW - Attorney General John Ashcroft and Russian law enforcement officials discussed ways yesterday to boost cooperation between their agencies to fight terrorism and transnational crime, including what they called the growing Afghan drug trade.

Mr. Ashcroft thanked the Russians for their cooperation in the anti-terrorism campaign, saying Russia was a "very important law enforcement partner in the world community."

He evaded a question on whether the U.S. government accepts the Russian government's contention that it is fighting international terrorists in Chechnya. Russian officials have blamed Islamic rebels for a series of bombings - including a string of apartment building explosions in 1999 that killed about 300 people and a bomb blast last month in the Caspian Sea port of Kaspiisk that killed more than 40.

U.S. officials have previously criticized Russian troops' abuse of civilians in the conflict.

"The United States government believes that terrorism is an international threat, and that it is manifested in a variety of places and ways around the world," Mr. Ashcroft said.

"We have sought to cooperate with our Russian friends to curtail funding of terrorism that would threaten the interests of Russia, just as we have asked individuals and countries around the world to support the United States by curtailing the availability of funds to terrorists that threaten not only the United States but our allies and friends."

He and Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov discussed the cases of three Russian nationals, all inhabitants of Muslim-majority regions, who are among the hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters detained during the anti-terrorist campaign in Afghanistan and incarcerated at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The attorney general said his government was prepared to cooperate "in regard to other individuals who may or not be detained" - raising the prospect of more Russian prisoners.

The Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky as saying that his department had received a report that two more Russian nationals had been brought to Guantanamo Bay.

Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Ustinov, with Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov joining them later, discussed improved law enforcement cooperation against terrorism, organized crime, money laundering and trafficking in humans. Mr. Gryzlov said he and Mr. Ashcroft also discussed international drug trade.

-------- iraq

Rumsfeld Says Hussein Lying About Weapons

Associated Press
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; Page A17

MANAMA, Bahrain, June 10 -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is a "world-class liar" who is trying to fool the world into thinking he has no interest in weapons of mass destruction, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told U.S. troops today in this island nation in the Persian Gulf.

Addressing several hundred sailors and Marines at U.S. Navy Central Command headquarters, Rumsfeld left no doubt he believes Iraq is building stocks of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in defiance of U.N. resolutions that ended the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

In emphatic tones, he noted a public assertion by Hussein's government that it has no weapons of mass destruction and is making no effort to acquire them.

"He's lying. It's not complicated," Rumsfeld said.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry issued a statement Sunday asserting the government has neither made nor possessed weapons of mass destruction in more than a decade.

"Iraq has said on many occasions that it is not concerned with entering the mass destruction weapons club. . . . We left it in 1991," the official statement said.


White House Meets With Iraqi Opposition Groups

Associated Press
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; Page A26

Bush administration officials have met with Iraqi opposition leaders on how best to mobilize against President Saddam Hussein and prepare for a new Iraqi government after Hussein leaves power, the State Department said yesterday.

Among those at the meetings were representatives of the Iraqi National Congress, despite fresh signs of friction between the State Department and that group. Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the administration offered the INC $8 million. A source close to the opposition group said the offer was unacceptably small and carried too many restrictions.

Boucher said discussions on an anti-Hussein strategy have been held in recent days with representatives of the INC, the Kurdish Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Iraqi National Accord and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Additional meetings will be held in coming weeks to lead to a larger conference in the summer, Boucher said.

He added that the common theme of the discussions is how Iraq should be organized in the post-Hussein era.

Bush administration officials have warned of preemptive U.S. military action against Iraq because, they say, Hussein continues to pursue development of weapons of mass destruction in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Congress has singled out the INC as its preferred opposition group. Asked why the administration seems to be looking to other groups, Boucher cited the importance of reaching out to as many opposition organizations as possible.


Rumsfeld Says Iraq Has Chemical Arms Ready

New York Times
June 11, 2002

MANAMA, Bahrain, June 10 - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today that Iraq had already prepared chemical weapons for attack and was developing nuclear and biological arms. He rejected President Saddam Hussein's denials by telling hundreds of cheering American sailors and marines tonight that Mr. Hussein is "a world-class liar."

On the second stop of his tour of Persian Gulf states, Mr. Rumsfeld met with Bahrain's senior leaders to discuss fighting terror, including threats from Iraq, Defense Department officials said.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry, in a statement timed with Mr. Rumsfeld's visit to the Persian Gulf, said on Sunday that Mr. Hussein's government had not possessed weapons of mass destruction since 1991, and was not now developing biological, chemical or nuclear arms.

"If you want to know a world-class liar, it's Saddam Hussein," Mr. Rumsfeld told the crowd of sailors and marines assigned to the United States Fifth Fleet who gathered at an outdoor pavilion near the harbor here. "He's lying. It's not complicated."

Before Mr. Rumsfeld's talks this morning in Kuwait, this afternoon here in Bahrain and Tuesday in Qatar, the official agenda included a range of military-to-military issues, but Mr. Hussein has been a constant presence.

In Kuwait this morning, Mr. Rumsfeld described the American assessment of Iraq's program for weapons of mass destruction.

"They have them, and they continue to develop them, and they have weaponized chemical weapons," he declared, adding that Iraq used chemical weapons in the 1980's against its own Kurdish population. "They've had an active program to develop nuclear weapons. It's also clear that they are actively developing biological weapons. I don't know what other kinds of weapons would fall under the rubric of weapons of mass destruction, but if there are more, I suspect they're working on them, as well."

No specific military operations were discussed during the talks in Kuwait with the emir, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the crown prince and senior military officers, Defense Department officials said.

Mr. Rumsfeld and his hosts agreed today that Kuwait may send representatives to meet with about a dozen Kuwaitis captured during the war in Afghanistan and now held at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

"The purpose of the visit clearly would be to assist in intelligence gathering and, second, to determine the extent to which there may be any law-enforcement interest with respect to those individuals," he said.

Mr. Rumsfeld was asked several times to assess the public reconciliation struck between Kuwait and Iraq at an Arab League summit meeting in March, and whether it caused the Bush administration worries about Kuwait, which was rescued from Mr. Hussein's forces in the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

Mr. Rumsfeld said the issue "is for Kuwait to make a judgment about."

"If I were asked for my advice," he added, "it would be like the lion inviting the chicken into the embrace. What good in the past have Iraqi representations of good will to their neighbors been? Precious little."

After arriving here, Mr. Rumsfeld met with Bahrain's king, Sheik Hamad Isa bin Sulman al-Khalifa, the crown prince and military officials.

He then visited some of the 4,225 American sailors and marines stationed here when he toured a mine-sweeper and a destroyer assigned to naval forces of the Central Command, which patrols waters from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea.

Meetings With Iraq Opposition

WASHINGTON, June 10 (AP) -- Administration officials have met with Iraqi opposition leaders on how to mobilize against President Hussein and to prepare for governing Iraq if he is ousted, the State Department said today.

Among those at the meetings were representatives of the Iraqi National Congress, despite fresh signs of friction between the State Department and that group.

The department's spokesman, Richard A. Boucher, said discussions on an anti-Hussein strategy were also held recently with representatives of the Kurdish Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Iraqi National Accord and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

The highest-ranking official to confer with those groups in the current round of meetings was Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman.

Additional meetings are to be held to lead to a larger conference in the summer, Mr. Boucher said.

-------- israel / palestine

As Sharon Meets With Bush, Israeli Forces Continue Ramallah Sweep

New York Times
June 11, 2002

KALANDIA, West Bank, June 10 - As Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel met with President Bush in Washington, Israeli troops and tanks continued the sweep of Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital in the West Bank, that began early this morning, making 27 arrests by nightfall.

In addition to surrounding the battered headquarters of Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, the Israeli troops surrounded the home of Muhammad Naife, a leading member of the Tanzim militia of Mr. Arafat's Fatah faction.

The army said two of those arrested were youths who had been preparing for suicide bombings. The troops also took over the Palestinian police station and placed the 30 officers inside in custody. One policeman, identified as Yasir Sawalha, was killed early in the morning in fighting in Al Amari refugee camp at the edge of the city.

Apache helicopters gunships firing machine guns flew overhead as the raid began about 4 o'clock this morning. The sprawling city was put under a total curfew before dawn. As darkness fell, Ramallah was still in a state of lockdown.

The timing of the renewed takeover, after a monthlong occupation this spring that Israel had said would root out the infrastructure for attacks on Israelis, seemed an indication of Mr. Sharon's confidence in dealing with Mr. Bush as well as his hatred of Mr. Arafat, whom he blames for a wave of suicide bombings.

Throughout the day, residents of the sealed city said by telephone that nothing had moved on the streets but Israeli soldiers searching house to house for wanted suspects. Explosions were heard as the soldiers used small charges to blow open locked doors and tanks to fire on buildings near Mr. Arafat's block-square headquarters.

Mr. Arafat's compound had been attacked during the first sweep of the city, and much of it was destroyed with tank fire and explosives last Thursday in a six-hour raid in retaliation for the suicide bombing of a bus, which killed 17 Israelis the day before. The army said it was surrounding the compound to prevent any fleeing gunmen from seeking sanctuary there.

But the troops in Ramallah were also in position to strike swiftly at Mr. Arafat if ordered. Mr. Sharon has made no secret in recent days of his desire to rid the scene of Mr. Arafat, possibly by seizing and expelling him.

The White House, shortly before the Sharon-Bush meeting, said it had no specific objections to the Israeli move. "Our understanding is that the Israeli operation is limited in duration and is to go after a specific target - terrorists," said the White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer.

The Israeli siege forced the cancellation of the first meeting of the Palestinian Authority's new slimmed-down cabinet, appointed on Sunday by Mr. Arafat in a nod to pressure from abroad and at home for reform. The Palestinian spokesman, Yasir Abed Rabbo, accused Israel of trying to undermine the Palestinian Authority at the moment it was striving for legitimacy.

Early this morning, Army spokesmen had hinted that the operation would be of limited duration. But judging by the diligence with which the army was blocking all the back roads and dirt tracks in the surrounding hills, it was planning to stay awhile.

The army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, said the operations in Ramallah would continue "until the army had achieved all of the goals it has set for itself.

"I believe that when we capture suicide bombers, terrorists and those that plan the attacks, we are proportionally reducing the risk to which Israel's citizens are vulnerable," General Mofaz said.

The army took over a tall building with offices housing the local bureau of Reuters and several Arab television outlets and barred the journalists from entering. A few foreign journalists had been in Ramallah overnight, but were chased away by soldiers when they tried to get near Mr. Arafat's compound.

Journalists trying to get to Ramallah from Jerusalem were blocked at the checkpoint here, just south of the Ramallah city limits. The scene here is usually grim but crowded as hundreds of Palestinians, mostly on foot, endure long humiliating waits to cross. Today, it was almost deserted, save for the troops behind their barbed wire and sandbags.

A trip around the perimeter was no less forbidding. A group of journalists probing back roads they had tried last Thursday morning found those roads even more thoroughly blocked.

Near a settlement, the huge concrete cubes the Israelis use to block roads had been far enough apart that a car might have been able to squeeze through. But an armored bulldozer has brought more concrete blocks and was pushing them closer together today.

"This operation is under way while Sharon resumes his visit to Washington," Mr. Abed Rabbo said today. "Is that the message from Washington - that Israel should abort the reform campaign and the new government before it even starts it?"

But the new cabinet also drew derision from some Fatah militants in the West Bank - Tanzim leaders who are nominally part of Mr. Arafat's organization. They are members of a younger generation, who grew up fighting the Israelis during the first occupation and who resent the older men Mr. Arafat brought here with him when he returned from exile.

A senior Tanzim leader in the West Bank, Khatem Abed el-Khader, told Israel radio that the cabinet shake-up was not a serious change. Fatah, he said, wanted a prime minister appointed alongside Mr. Arafat, the appointment of professionals and a further reduction in the number of jobs.

Another senior commander of the Tanzim militia on the West Bank, Hussein al-Sheikh, also speaking on Israel radio, attacked the older, "outside" leadership, saying the local men had borne the brunt of the struggle.


Bush says Mideast not ready for talks

June 11, 2002
By Joseph Curl

President Bush yesterday said the conditions are not right for a Middle East peace conference and blamed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for not establishing that he can be trusted.

Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the White House as Israeli tanks encircled Mr. Arafat's West Bank compound, Mr. Bush also said Israel has a right to retaliate against "people in the Middle East who want to use terror as a way to derail any peace process."

"Israel has a right to defend herself," Mr. Bush said after an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Sharon.

Just two days after Mr. Bush rejected Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's call to set a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state, the president said he has seen nothing that indicates Mr. Arafat is ready to work toward peace.

"The conditions aren't even there yet. That's because no one has confidence in the emerging Palestinian government," Mr. Bush said.

Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said talks are continuing to set up a ministerial summit sometime this summer and that Mr. Bush's comments do not mean the United States is withdrawing from the process.

Mr. Bush said Palestinian leaders must make strides toward peace before the conditions will be ripe for peace talks.

"First things first, and that is, what institutions are necessary to give the Palestinian people hope and to give the Israelis confidence that the emerging government will be someone with whom they can deal? And that's going to require security steps; transparency, when it comes to economic matters; anti-corruption devices; rule of law, enforced by a court system," Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Sharon said Israel is "committed to peace" but that several conditions must be met before the peace process can move forward.

"In order to achieve peace in the Middle East, first of all we have to have security. It should be a full cessation of terror hostilities and incitement. And, of course, we must have a partner for negotiations," the Israeli leader said.

"At the present time, we don't see yet a partner. We hope it'll be a partner there with whom we'll be able to move forward, first to achieve a doable peace in the area and, second, of course, to provide security to the citizens of our countries."

Mr. Bush went further, saying the Middle East crisis is far larger than just how to deal with Mr. Arafat.

"I don't think Mr. Arafat is the issue. I think the issue is the Palestinian people. And as I have expressed myself, I am disappointed that he has not led in such a way that the Palestinian people have hope and confidence.

"And so, therefore, what we've got to do is work to put institutions in place which will allow for a government to develop which will bring confidence not only to Israelis, but the Palestinians," Mr. Bush said.

As he has before, the president called on Arab leaders in the region to exert their influence.

"We're going to continue to work together along with some of the Arab leaders to fight off terror, to prevent the few from dictating against the will of the many in the region," he said.

In Ramallah, two dozen tanks and armored personnel carriers, backed by helicopter and machine-gun fire, swept into town and surrounded Mr. Arafat's compound. Israel also imposed a curfew on the city, residents said.

Mr. Fleischer defended the move, saying the incursion would be "limited in duration" with a clear goal to go after "terrorists." Still, the support came with a caveat.

"[T]he United States again reminds Israel about the importance of remembering the repercussions of any action Israel takes today impacting the broader goals of achieving peace tomorrow," the Bush spokesman said.

Neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Sharon put much stock in Mr. Arafat's decision to shuffle his Cabinet or the Palestinian leader's appointment of a general to head a streamlined security force.

Jibril Rajoub, Palestinian West Bank security chief, said the first meeting of the revamped Cabinet, scheduled for today, was canceled because of the Israeli troop presence in the city.

On Sunday, Mr. Sharon ruled out an Israeli pullback to the country's 1967 borders, the key element of a Saudi peace proposal endorsed by the United States and almost all Arab states.

"Israel will not return to the vulnerable 1967 armistice lines, redivide Jerusalem or concede its right to defensible borders," Mr. Sharon wrote in a column in The New York Times.

Mr. Sharon, in his sixth meeting with the U.S. president, hopes to dissuade Mr. Bush from acceding to a call from the Egyptian leader to set a timetable for the creation of a Palestinian state.

On Saturday, Mr. Bush rebuffed the suggestion of Mr. Mubarak, who defended Mr. Arafat's continued silence about suicide attacks.

"We're not ready to lay down a specific calendar, except for the fact that we've got to get started quickly, soon, so that we can seize the moment," Mr. Bush said at Camp David.

Mr. Mubarak said Mr. Arafat needs more time to implement changes to his government. "Look, we should give this man a chance. Such a chance will prove that he is going to deliver or not. If he's going to deliver, I think everybody will support him. If he's not going to deliver, his people will tell him that."

On the escalating violence in Israel, Mr. Mubarak said: "I don't think that violence will come to an end unless the people feel that there is hope for peace and there is something to show that peace is coming. If they didn't feel that, they will not stop violence. It will continue forever."

Mr. Sharon will meet today with members of Congress and will fly to London tomorrow for talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.


Israelis raid Ramallah, arrest 27 Palestinians

June 11, 2002
By Ibrahim Hazboun

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israeli tanks encircled the battered compound of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat yesterday while troops arrested 27 Palestinian militant suspects and imposed a curfew during a sweep through the city.

Israel began its latest West Bank raid just hours before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sat down with President Bush at the White House. The president has given Israel strong backing throughout the fighting in the Middle East, and Mr. Bush said after the meeting that "Israel has a right to defend herself."

The Israeli raid was focused on seizing Palestinian suspects, and the soldiers surrounded Mr. Arafat's compound to prevent Palestinian gunmen from seeking refuge there, the army said. The military did not attack the compound, as it did Thursday, when it blew up three buildings in response to a Palestinian suicide bombing a day earlier.

Mr. Arafat was inside the compound yesterday and was not harmed, Palestinian officials said.

One Palestinian man was killed and two were wounded in exchanges of fire around the city, Palestinian doctors said. Two soldiers were wounded, the army said.

The army arrested 27 suspects in Ramallah, including "a suicide bomber who was ready to be sent," said Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. The Israeli troops were expected to remain in Ramallah for a "day or two," he added.

Israeli forces also arrested about 15 suspects in the West Bank town of Hebron, Palestinian witnesses said.

Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said the Israeli raids were part of Mr. Sharon's attempt to undermine "the reform process."

The incursions came a day after Mr. Arafat announced a revamped Cabinet, which was to hold its first meeting yesterday at the compound. The session was canceled because of the Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers lining the streets around the complex, which covers a full city block.

Mr. Sharon "doesn't want a strong Palestinian Authority," Mr. Abed Rabbo said. "He wants to weaken the Palestinian Authority and to destroy the Palestinian infrastructure."

Israel also has demanded that Mr. Arafat act against Palestinian militants, and on Sunday, Palestinian police in the Gaza Strip arrested a senior leader of the militant group Islamic Jihad. The movement carried out a suicide attack Wednesday in northern Israel that killed 17 persons.

Sheik Abdullah Shami, the Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, was arrested in Gaza City, group officials said. His arrest came a day after another senior leader in the group was detained. Mr. Arafat's leadership issued orders to arrest Islamic Jihad members after Wednesday's bombing.

In a follow-up to a massive military incursion in the West Bank that ended a month ago, Israeli troops have been staging almost daily in-and-out raids in Palestinian cities, towns and villages.

In Washington, Mr. Sharon reiterated his position that violence must end before peace negotiations can begin. He also stressed again that he doesn't believe there can be successful negotiations as long as Mr. Arafat remains in power.

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, a powerful explosion rocked the Jebaliya refugee camp early yesterday, destroying one building and damaging nearby homes, witnesses said.

An 18-year-old woman was killed and at least 25 people were injured, hospital officials said. Witnesses said the blast came from inside the building - suggesting it may have been a Palestinian bomb that went off prematurely. Palestinian officials refused to comment.

-------- pakistan

Musharraf Concerned U.S. Suspect Flew From Pakistan

June 11, 2002

ABU DHABI - Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf said Tuesday he felt concerned that an al Qaeda suspect arrested on suspicion of helping plan a ``dirty bomb'' attack had traveled to the United States from Pakistan.

He said the Pakistani authorities needed to be more vigilant in catching members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network who might have escaped from hideouts in Afghanistan, following the U.S.-led campaign in retaliation for the September 11 attacks.

U.S. authorities said Monday that Abdullah al Muhajir, a U.S. citizen born in New York as Jose Padilla, was detained by the FBI in Chicago on May 8, after he arrived from Pakistan.

``It shouldn't come as a big surprise that this one person might have escaped and traveled abroad. We need to be more alert and vigilant to intercept such further action by individuals,'' Musharraf said.

``This is certainly of concern because he traveled from Pakistan,'' Musharraf told a news conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before traveling to Saudi Arabia as part of a tour to lobby for Arab and Muslim support for Pakistan in its standoff with India.

``We are chasing al Qaeda all over the place... We have arrested more than 300 al Qaeda people,'' he said.

Musharraf said Pakistan remained firmly committed to fighting terrorism as part of the U.S.-led coalition. He said Washington was providing Islamabad with intelligence on suspected al Qaeda operatives who might have escaped across the lengthy and porous border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan was one of only three countries that recognized the ousted Taliban regime that sheltered bin Laden and al Qaeda -- which Washington believes masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks.

The other two were fellow Muslim countries Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which all cut ties with the Taliban shortly after Sept. 11.

``On the issue of fighting terrorism, we are part of the world coalition... The cooperation and coordination that is going on is very, very satisfactory,'' Musharraf said.

A dirty bomb involves combining a conventional bomb -- even dynamite -- with radioactive material. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said such a bomb could cause mass deaths but some radiation experts said it likely would cause more panic than injury.

U.S. officials have said al Muhajir, 31, traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2001 and met senior al Qaeda officials to discuss the plan.

-------- spy agencies

In Treason Trial, Echoes of Soviet Past

New York Times
June 11, 2002

MOSCOW, June 10 - In a closed chamber, inside a hulking concrete courthouse in northeast Moscow, President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia is settling a score from its Soviet past.

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general now living in the United States, stands charged - in absentia - with treason, evidently accused of divulging state secrets in his autobiography and, perhaps more significant, in his public testimony at the trial of an American Army reservist who was convicted of espionage in Florida last year.

Mr. Kalugin, who retired from the K.B.G. in 1990, has rebuffed several subpoenas to testify since the investigation began in March, dismissing the case as a farce or worse. The lawyer appointed to represent him filed a petition today arguing that he cannot fairly defend a man he has neither met nor spoken to. Yet the prosecution races on, with a panel of three judges set to resume the case on Thursday.

A conviction would have little effect on Mr. Kalugin, besides cementing his plans never to return to his native country. But the prosecution of so prominent a figure in Soviet intelligence and so prominent a critic of the new Russian government is clearly sending a message here: Under Mr. Putin, himself a K.G.B. veteran, the intelligence services still wield considerable power.

"I see it only as political revenge," Mr. Kalugin said in a telephone interview from Silver Spring, Md., where he now lives and works as a consultant and instructor. "Don't forget the Soviet K.G.B. is running the country again. I mean, the younger generation of the K.G.B. And the old enemies, like myself, are targeted."

It is a measure of Russia's uneven evolution toward a more democratic state that the case against Mr. Kalugin is being prosecuted under a criminal code that will expire by July 1. The old criminal code, written in the Khrushchev era, is being replaced by one adopted by the Parliament last year that seeks to codify defendants' rights in the judicial system. Among other things, the new code prohibits trials in absentia.

If the court convicts Mr. Kalugin, said his lawyer, Yevgeny A. Baru, "It will be an attempt to jump into the last train car riding into the past."

Mr. Kalugin's case is only one of several prosecutions of espionage cases that have been vigorously pursued in the past two and a half years under Mr. Putin, who spent a career as an intelligence operative before ultimately directing the K.G.B.'s successor, the Federal Security Service, known here as the F.S.B.

Another former intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Aleksandr Litvinenko, who was granted political asylum in Britain last year, is being prosecuted in absentia in a military court south of Moscow, charged with abusing his office. There has also been a series of cases brought against scientists, environmentalists and journalists for their work with information that the authorities classified as top secret.

Lawyers' groups and human rights campaigners here have criticized the cases as thinly rationalized efforts by the F.S.B. to justify its continued existence.

"They are powerful, and I think they want to be more powerful," said Karinna A. Moskalenko, director of a legal aid organization in Moscow that has defended several of those charged in the cases.

According to his autobiography, Mr. Kalugin, now 67, first served as an undercover operative while a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University in 1958 and then as a Radio Moscow correspondent at the United Nations. In the late 1960's he was stationed at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, before becoming the youngest general in the K.G.B.

From 1973 to 1980, he ran the K.G.B.'s counterintelligence department. His days as a foreign intelligence operative effectively ended after that, since he was demoted to a position as deputy chief for internal security in Leningrad.

After retiring, just as the Soviet Union was beginning to crumble, Mr. Kalugin became an outspoken critic of his agency. Since 1995 he has lived in the United States, where he teaches at the Center for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, a private consulting company in Arlington, Va., and serves as a consultant on Russian affairs for government agencies, he said.

The F.S.B. and other government authorities have repeatedly declined to detail the specific crimes that Mr. Kalugin is charged with committing. In March, however, when the formal investigation opened in the F.S.B.'s headquarters on Lubyanka Square, a spokesman for the Foreign Intelligence Service, Boris Labusov, said in a television interview, "I think he has sold everything he can."

Mr. Baru also declined to discuss the specific accusations his client faces, because, he said in an interview on Friday, "most of the case involves state secrets."

Mr. Kalugin said that, based on his curt discussions with the officials from the Russian Embassy in Washington who subpoenaed him, he has been accused of divulging secrets involving operations and agents in the United States. In particular, he said, investigators seemed concerned with his autobiography, "The First Chief Directorate: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West" (St. Martin's Press, 1994) and with his testimony in the espionage trial of George Trofimoff, a retired United States Army Reserve colonel who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and then Russia.

In the trial, held in Tampa last summer, Mr. Kalugin testified that Mr. Trofimoff had been considered one of the K.G.B.'s top American agents in the 1970's. Mr. Kalugin denied in the interview that he had been responsible for uncloaking Mr. Trofimoff or any other Soviet-era agents. That information, he said, had already been disclosed to Western intelligence services after Vasily Mitrokhin, a K.G.B. archivist, defected to Britain in 1992.

One explanation for the F.S.B.'s prosecution of Mr. Kalugin and Mr. Litvinenko may be the service's frustration over the raft of defectors and other intelligence officers who have left since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Vigorous prosecutions could be a way to demonstrate that there are still consequences for those who divulge the sources and methods of the Russian spy trade.

Mr. Kalugin has never met the Russian lawyer appointed as his counsel. The lawyer, Mr. Baru, said that before seeking to consult with Mr. Kalugin, he would try to persuade the court to suspend the case on the grounds that a trial in absentia is inherently unfair. The court agreed today to the prosecutor's request to adjourn the case until Thursday to review Mr. Baru's argument.

"The constitution is more progressive than the current criminal code," Mr. Baru said, referring to the constitution adopted by the new Russian government in 1993. "It was passed in a democratic state, while the criminal procedural code was passed in 1960 and reflects the demands of a different era."

Mr. Kalugin said he believed that the prosecution stemmed from his years of criticism of the K.G.B. and the F.S.B. Mr. Kalugin has, among other things, echoed those critics of Mr. Putin who have suggested that the F.S.B. may have been involved in the bombings of apartment buildings in 1999 that killed more than 300, acts the government blamed on Chechen extremists.

"It's just another move, one of the hundreds the government has taken to tighten the screws in the country," Mr. Kalugin said of his trial. "They are trying to restore the old Soviet ways, not in the worst sense, of course. They simply want to punish those who destroyed them."

And revenge, he added, "has no time limits."

-------- un

U.N. Court Orders Reporter To Testify
Article Quoted Serb Accused of Genocide

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; Page A22

A U.N. war crimes tribunal has ruled that a former Washington Post reporter must testify in a case involving allegations of genocide during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia.

Rejecting arguments that such testimony would put future war correspondents in jeopardy, the tribunal in The Hague decided Friday that Jonathan C. Randal, now retired from The Post, must submit to questioning about an article on "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia, formerly part of Yugoslavia.

At issue is Randal's 1993 interview with Radoslav Brdjanin, which quoted the Serb nationalist as saying that there should be an "exodus" of non-Serbs from parts of Bosnia held by the country's Serbs, to "create an ethnically clean space."

Attorneys for The Post had sought to block a subpoena of Randal, 69, by the prosecution.

"This trial chamber fails to see how the objectivity and independence of journalists can be hampered or endangered by their being called upon to testify when this is necessary," the ruling says, "especially in those cases where they have already published their findings. . . . No journalist can expect or claim that once she or he has decided to publish, no one has a right to question their report or question them on it. This is an inescapable truth and a consequence of making public one's findings."

Still, the ruling from the body, formally known as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said that such subpoenas should be subjected to a "delicate balancing act."

But Post Managing Editor Steve Coll said yesterday that "the last couple of years have made clearer than ever how hard is the work of independent correspondents in combat zones where many combatants are not formally aligned with any government and suspicious of the motives of the media."

Coll said he is concerned that such combatants will instead come to regard journalists "as instruments of some faraway court or power and deal with them as such."

Post attorney Eric Lieberman said the paper was weighing an appeal. "The court acknowledged that journalists perform a vital public service when reporting from combat areas, and that war crimes tribunals should regulate the process of calling them as witnesses," he said. "We are disappointed, however, that the court decided not to protect Mr. Randal from testifying."

The tribunal allows for appeals to a panel of judges that is convened jointly by the tribunal and a U.N. war crimes court for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

There is no issue involving confidential sources. Randal argued instead, according to the ruling, that "journalists' independence would be undermined and journalists would have fewer opportunities to conduct interviews with officials with superior authority," and that "journalists would as a collective profession be put at risk of greater harm and danger."

Randal, now living in Paris, maintained that reporters should enjoy a qualified privilege against testifying in such tribunals, and that his account was of little importance in the trial.

But the prosecution contended that Randal's article "goes directly to the heart of the case against Brdjanin" and that the retired reporter is in "no danger."

In U.S. court cases, such disputes are sometimes resolved with a statement by the journalist that his article was accurate, which allows it to be introduced as evidence.

In this case, though, Randal's interview was conducted through a journalistic interpreter, identified only as "X." Brdjanin's defense team contends that Randal must be cross-examined because "X" was hostile to Brdjanin and therefore the Post article did not correspond with what he said during the interview.


U.N. Court Says Reporter Must Testify

June 11, 2002

THE HAGUE, June 10 -- The United Nations war crimes tribunal ruled today that a former reporter for The Washington Post could be forced to testify before the court, dismissing arguments from the reporter that the safety of war correspondents would be jeopardized if they were considered possible witnesses at a trial.

In the first case before the tribunal dealing with the issue of journalists' privilege, the court said the reporter, Jonathan Randal, may be forced to testify about a 1993 interview with a former Bosnian Serb deputy prime minister, Radoslav Brdjanin.

The resulting article said Mr. Brdjanin advocated the expulsion of non-Serbs. Mr. Brdjanin is accused of the persecution and expulsion of more than 100,000 non-Serbs from northwestern Bosnia during the 1992-95 war of secession from Yugoslavia.

Mr. Randal protested the court's subpoena, which was served by French court officials in Paris, where he now lives and is writing books.

He argued that the independence of journalists in war zones would be in question if they could be compelled to testify in international courts and that the welfare of reporters and their sources could be in danger.

The tribunal rejected that argument, saying the protection of sources, "which is at the heart and soul" of journalists' privilege, is not at issue in the case.

"What is published necessarily becomes public and readily available," the court's ruling said.

"No journalist can expect or claim that once he or she has decided to publish, no one has a right to question their report or question them on it."


Tough Explosives Laws Considered

By Jesse J. Holland
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; 7:18 PM

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers moved quickly Tuesday to make it harder for terrorists to get conventional explosives, a day after learning of an alleged plot to explode a "dirty bomb" in an American city.

A bill that would force people trying to buy explosives to go through a government background check was debated by the House Judiciary homeland security subcommittee, with government officials saying tighter controls would help stop a dirty bomb.

Currently the government does not do background checks on people attempting to purchase explosive materials, said Bradley Buckles, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

"We rely on a process that hopes that dishonorable people will follow an honor code," Buckles said.

The bill would allow the ATF to run background checks on potential buyers similar to what is currently done with firearm purchasers.

"Convicted felons and illegal aliens can't buy firearms, so it makes common sense that they shouldn't be able to buy TNT or dynamite as well, said Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla.

The bill would also force companies with explosive licenses to do additional screening of their employees to keep terrorists from getting such jobs.

U.S. officials have in custody Jose Padilla, 31, also known as Abdullah al Muhajir, who they say met with top al-Qaida leaders after Sept. 11 and surfed the Internet to learn how to build a dirty bomb.

Dirty bombs combine traditional explosives with radioactive material. Such a device would not create a nuclear explosion, but could release small amounts of radioactive material over dozens of city blocks. Experts believe the most devastating effects would be the ensuing panic and the difficulty sending rescue workers into the contaminated area.

"What this legislation would do would be control how easy it would be to get your hands on that TNT and make that conventional bomb," Buckles said.

Kenneth Lawson, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary of enforcement, said the Bush administration supports the bill.

"This legislation seems to be a reasonable way to restrict access to explosives," said Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., who noted that they could not find a single person to testify against the measure.

J. Christopher Ronay, president of the Institute of Makers of Explosives, an industry trade group, estimated that the bill would require the ATF to do about 550 background checks a day, or 110,000 a year. "We do not have the resources at this point to carry out that number of background checks," said Buckles, who said the ATF would likely be asking Congress for more money if the legislation passes.

The subcommittee attempted to move the bill on to the full Judiciary Committee, but could not get enough members to form a voting quorum. It will probably be taken up again Thursday before the full committee meets.

The bill number is H.R. 4864.

On the Net:
Bill text:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms:


U.S. Wants to Question Bomb Suspect

By Ted Bridis
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; 11:37 PM

WASHINGTON -- The man accused of plotting with al-Qaida to detonate a "dirty bomb" inside the United States was a protege of a top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, traveling at his mentor's request to meet with other terrorists and using the Internet to research how to build a radioactive weapon, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Jose Padilla, 31, also known as Abdullah al Muhajir, traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to meet with top al-Qaida leaders after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and surfed the Internet at a home in Lahore, Pakistan, to study ways to build a "dirty bomb" that could spread radioactive material over dozens of city blocks, officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But Padilla's alleged association with Abu Zubaydah, the top lieutenant to bin Laden who was captured in March, was his apparent undoing.

Information leading to Padilla's arrest came in part from Zubaydah himself. In April, weeks after Zubaydah's arrest, he told interrogators of a plot to use radiological weapons, but he did not provide details. The CIA investigated and came up with Padilla's name and other details.

That information - including Padilla's name - was taken to Zubaydah, who confirmed it, according to a U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. It's unclear whether Zubaydah volunteered the information or was tricked into giving it.

Padilla apparently lost his passport in Karachi in February and sought a new one, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Tuesday. The government complied in March but tipped off the FBI and CIA about Padilla's location and his request.

Padilla traveled to Chicago May 8 from Pakistan via Cairo and Zurich, Switzerland, a U.S. official said Tuesday. Swiss authorities confirmed Tuesday they were investigating Padilla's travels to their country.

Padilla had $10,000 in cash on him when he was arrested, a government official said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. Officials suspect Padilla got the cash from al-Qaida, possibly while he was in Switzerland, the official said.

In a related development, U.S. and German officials said they have identified a German citizen of Syrian origin who recruited Mohammed Atta and other Sept. 11 hijackers into al-Qaida, The Washington Post reported on its Web site Tuesday night.

The suspect, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, has been missing since October, but an official told the Post the Germans suspect he is in U.S. custody or being detained in another country at the United States' request.

President Bush, who signed the order Sunday handing over Padilla to the Pentagon, described Padilla as one of many "would-be killers" in custody by the United States.

"There's just a full-scale manhunt on," Bush said Tuesday in a Cabinet Room meeting on his proposed overhaul of homeland security agencies. "We will run down every lead, every hint. This guy Padilla's a bad guy and he is where he needs to be, detained."

Later, visiting Missouri, Bush said: "We've rounded up and detained over 2,400 terrorists, and that's good. ... The number's now 2,401."

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the government was more interested in questioning Padilla exhaustively than punishing him.

"We're not interested in punishing him at the moment," Rumsfeld said, traveling in Qatar. "We're interested in finding out what in the world he knows. ... Our job as responsible government officials is to do everything possible to find out what that person knows and see if we can't help our country or other countries."

Dirty bombs combine traditional explosives with radioactive material. They would not create a nuclear explosion, but they could release small amounts of radiation over parts of a city. Experts believe the most devastating effect would be the ensuing panic and the difficulty sending rescue workers into the contaminated area.

Fresh details emerged Tuesday about why U.S. authorities chose to permit Padilla to slip aboard an international flight from Pakistan into Chicago, under constant surveillance by U.S. agents on the jet. The FBI arrested Padilla May 8 after he stepped off the plane.

In an unusual legal twist, the Defense Department has imprisoned Padilla indefinitely in a Navy brig in South Carolina as an "enemy combatant." Government lawyers acknowledged Tuesday that under a 1942 Supreme Court ruling, even Americans who fight against the United States are subject to military courts - but only if they enter the country. The court's decision, from six decades ago, focused on "armed prowlers" who blow up bridges or cut telegraph wires.

Attorney General John Ashcroft, meeting in Budapest with justice officials, said Padilla's detention was "the right course of action" because of the seriousness of the threat from a radiological weapon. "We believe that by his detention that we have significantly disrupted a potential plot," Ashcroft said.

The Bush administration disclosed Padilla's arrest on Monday, just before a federal court hearing in New York to determine whether the Justice Department could continue holding Padilla behind bars as a material witness connected to the government's grand jury investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks.

At Tuesday's court hearing, the judge hinted that questions about the propriety of prosecutors' holding Padilla was a moot point - since Padilla already had been turned over to the Defense Department.

Donna R. Newman, Padilla's lawyer, said outside court later that Padilla denied the government's allegations, but she otherwise declined to describe him. She indicated she will appeal the decision to place Padilla in military custody, but in such a novel case there were unanswered questions about where she even could file her appeal - in New York or South Carolina?

"His response is the allegations are not true because there are no allegations. He's not been charged, but he's being detained," Newman said.

"My client is a citizen," she added. "He still has constitutional rights - the right to counsel, the right to be charged by a grand jury.... And they have not charged him."

Padilla is not considered a prisoner of war or entitled to legal protections under the Geneva Convention, unlike the U.S. treatment of uniformed, enemy soldiers, government lawyers said. "He's an enemy combatant and as in earlier wars, you can hold an enemy combatant until the end of the conflict," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said on CBS' "The Early Show."


Agency Teamwork, Bin Laden Aide's Clues Led to Arrest

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 11, 2002; Page A09

Less than three weeks after the CIA and FBI received fragmentary information from a captured senior al Qaeda operative about two men interested in exploding a "dirty" radioactive bomb in the United States, a worldwide investigation tracked down and arrested Abdullah al Muhajir, 31, according to senior administration officials.

The second man, described as a Pakistani but otherwise not identified by authorities, was discovered to have already been in custody of Pakistani police for travel document violations, one administration source said.

The FBI and CIA have been sharply criticized for failing to work together on terrorism cases before the Sept. 11 attacks, but they showed in this instance an ability to work in harness, officials said.

They took the limited information received in Pakistan and -- using the CIA's counterterrorism center, questioning other captured al Qaeda personnel and FBI access to U.S. law enforcement records -- figured out the names of the two men. Then the agencies got the men's pictures from passports, confirmed their identities and located them.

"Things moved very quickly," one senior FBI official said yesterday, "and it went back and forth [between agencies] as we pieced this together." A senior intelligence official added, "We always worked together. . . . We are just more focused now."

It was during a late April interrogation of Abu Zubaida, the former chief field commander of Osama bin Laden's network, that the CIA first learned that two men showed interest in plotting delivery of a "dirty" bomb in the United States, one official said.

Since the mid-1990s, Zubaida had served as a recruiter among Islamic fundamentalists worldwide for trainees to come to Afghanistan to learn about weapons and explosives, and to join in the holy war being run by Osama bin Laden. He also gave assignments to those considered special after they completed training and returned to their homes.

After Mohamed Atef, bin Laden's military chief, was killed last November by U.S. bombs, Zubaida moved up to become a major field operative. His capture last March by Pakistanis, in a raid planned by CIA and FBI personnel, was considered a major victory.

Zubaida's description of the two men last April was "general, no names -- just physical descriptions," one administration source said. He added that U.S. interrogators at the time believed Zubaida, who had been talking about various proposed attacks against the United States, "was playing with us."

Investigators are puzzled as to why Zubaida turned over information that proved useful to the United States. One theory is that Zubaida did not believe the identities could be found.

"We still can't figure his game," one official said. "He does not want to be helpful."

The official noted that Zubaida does not know the impact of the information he provides, nor does he know the world outside his cell since he has no television, radio, newspaper or outside visitors.

Nonetheless, authorities say they now have ways of checking what Zubaida tells them. In this case, the information went immediately to FBI and CIA analysts working at the undisclosed location in Pakistan where Zubaida is being held in solitary confinement.

"We figured out who they may be by name," the senior official said, using information they had already collected from al Qaeda personnel in captivity and other records.

For example, prisoners had seen Zubaida meeting with the American after Sept. 11 in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, one source said. Al Muhajir was born in Brooklyn as Jose Padilla.

Once they determined potential names, investigators obtained travel records and criminal records for the suspects.

It turned out the Pakistanis had arrested al Muhajir for failure to have proper travel documents but let him go, one official said. He then traveled in Europe and the Middle East during April, trips that raised suspicions about what he was up to, the sources said.

"We then connected the dots as to who he might be," the senior official said, and took his photograph and that of the other man, who also had been identified, to Zubaida. He called it "a double check," to take the pictures to the al Qaeda operative.

"He was surprised," the official said, but Zubaida confirmed they were the two men he had talked about.

With the Pakistani already being held by local police, U.S. investigators found that al Muhajir had booked to travel to Chicago. It was arranged to pick him up when he arrived in the United States rather than taking him in Pakistan, where there could be custody troubles.

-------- death penalty

The death penalty debate

June 11, 2002
Washington Times
Kristen K. Schultz

In the spring of 1821, hundreds of spectators gathered in Salem, Mass. to catch a glimpse of Stephen Clark climbing the scaffold to his death. With a ceremony "embedded in ritual," Clark was hanged for setting fire to a barn at night, then a capital offense. "Executions are very different today," observes Stuart Banner in "The Death Penalty: An American History." In this thorough history, Mr. Banner traces the dramatic changes in the methods and perceptions of capital punishment from the 17th century to the present.

In the 17th century, American colonists adopted a laundry list of capital crimes - robbery, burglary, arson (Clark's offense), counterfeiting, theft, rape, treason, manslaughter and murder. As Mr. Banner aptly points out, most supporters of capital punishment today would "recoil" at the notion of executing thieves or counterfeiters, reserving the death penalty for the "gravest crimes." The earliest executions were open public hangings accompanied by a procession, sermon and gallows speech. The public ceremony permitted the community to obtain retribution by assigning criminal responsibility to the accused and conveyed a message of terror intended to deter members of the audience from committing future crimes.

By the early 19th century, nearly every state moved executions to the jail yard and with time, inside prison doors. Mr. Banner contends that executions lost deterrent value once removed from the public eye: "The sort of people most likely to need deterring were those least likely to be invited to an execution." Deterrent value, however, remained because of the introduction of the newspaper in the mid-1800s. As Mr. Banner admits, journalists' "lavish" descriptions of executions "allowed readers a vicarious experience in place of the real one that was now being denied." With the invention of the radio, television and now the Internet, individuals have more exposure to death row inmates' stories and their executions than ever before. The extensive media coverage of Texas inmate Carla Tucker's execution in 1998 is proof of the increased visibility of the death penalty in public life and with increased visibility, the death penalty has likely gained deterrent value.

Furthermore, the success of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, based on principles of personal responsibility (obtaining a job), makes it difficult to argue that Americans have given up on personal responsibility. Further, the more than 600,000 convicted criminals locked up in jail cells across the country is evidence of Americans' continued belief in personal responsibility and approval of retributive justifications for criminal sentencing, including capital punishment.

The invention of electricity in the late 19th century transformed capital punishment. In 1888, Harold Brown, an engineer hired by Thomas Edison, developed and perfected an electric chair. Mr. Banner writes that although the first execution was "bungled" the success of subsequent electrocutions "put to rest any lingering doubts as to the efficacy of the electric chair." By 1950, most of the northern and southern states operated electric chairs, while western states implemented the gas chamber as their means of execution.

The 20th century brought the temporary demise of capital punishment. In 1972, the Supreme Court in Furman vs. Georgia struck down the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. In 1976, in a set of five cases known as Gregg vs. Georgia, the Supreme Court found the mandatory death penalty statutes unconstitutional, but upheld the sentencing schemes that guided juries with aggravating circumstances. Following Gregg, all states moved to enact guided discretionary sentencing schemes.

Technological advancement in the 21st century has reshaped the death penalty debate. In January 2001, Illinois Gov. George Ryan, troubled over death row inmates exonerated by DNA testing, issued a moratorium on further executions. While DNA evidence raises concerns, Mr. Banner wrongly suggests that more exonerations will lead to the demise of capital punishment. The O.J. Simpson trial called into question the trustworthiness of DNA evidence. Assuming DNA evidence is dependable, its future use will create greater certainty in the administration of death penalty sentences, ensuring that capital punishment is limited to those who truly are guilty. Greater certainty will give the public greater reason to support the death penalty.

Whether you support or oppose capital punishment, with the Supreme Court considering two high profile death penalty cases this spring, Mr. Banner's book is timely, thought-provoking reading for anyone wishing to explore the legal and intellectual underpinnings of the death penalty debate.

? Kristen K. Schultz is oversight counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. The conclusions and opinions expressed in the article are exclusively those of the author.

-------- terrorism

U.S. Says It Halted Qaeda Plot to Use Radioactive Bomb

New York Times
June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON, June 10 - The Justice Department announced today that it had broken up a plot by Al Qaeda to detonate a radioactive bomb inside the United States by arresting an American citizen in the case.

"We have captured a known terrorist who was exploring a plan to build and explode a radiological dispersion device, or `dirty bomb,' in the United States," Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a televised announcement from Moscow, where he was meeting with Russian official on unrelated matters.

Mr. Ashcroft identified the arrested man as Abdullah al-Muhajir, 31, a former Chicago gang member who American officials said was born Jose Padilla in Brooklyn and raised as a Roman Catholic but who converted to Islam and began using a new name.

Mr. Padilla has been in custody since May 8, when he was arrested on a sealed material witness warrant at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago as he arrived on a flight from Zurich.

Senior government officials said Mr. Padilla had discussed the bomb plot with top Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan, among them Abu Zubaydah, the Osama bin Laden lieutenant who was captured in Pakistan in March and later told United States officials about the plan. But they also said Mr. Padilla had not obtained the materials to make such a device.

Mr. Zubaydah, the most senior Qaeda leader in custody, told his American interrogators that several Qaeda members had come to him late last December with a proposal to acquire and detonate a radiological device, a so-called dirty bomb. Mr. Zubaydah did not identify Mr. Padilla by name, but provided enough information to allow the Central Intelligence Agency to check with other sources - including documents seized in Afghanistan - to narrow the search to Mr. Padilla, officials said.

"We were able to figure out who Zubaydah was talking about, and then screen him and follow him," said an American intelligence official.

In New York City, where Mr. Padilla was held after his arrest until being transferred on Sunday to a military jail in South Carolina, a law enforcement official described Mr. Padilla as someone who tried to make inroads with terrorists after his conversion to Islam.

Other officials said that before he left Pakistan, Mr. Padilla was told by Al Qaeda leaders to fly to the United States to conduct reconnaissance for several possible plots, including the possibility of blowing up hotel rooms and gas stations.

But the plot outlined by United States officials today centered on a plan to carry out an attack using a bomb that uses conventional explosives to spew potentially lethal radioactive material across a wide area.

American intelligence officials cautioned that the plot had been in early planning stages and no time for the operation had been set. They said that there was also no evidence that Mr. Padilla or any other Qaeda operatives had obtained the materials needed to construct a dirty bomb.

"They didn't seem to think they would have trouble getting radiological materials, but they didn't have any of it," said one official.

Donna Newman, Mr. Padilla's lawyer in New York, said federal authorities had given her little information about the accusations against Mr. Padilla. She also expressed dismay that the government had suddenly transferred him to the military jail in South Carolina.

American officials said Al Qaeda's leadership was apparently intrigued by Mr. Padilla's being an American citizen who might have an easier time of gaining entry to the United States than other Qaeda members.

The announcement of the arrest seemed to suggest that the Bush administration had succeeded in executing the kind of aggressive preventive action that officials say they have concentrated on since Sept. 11.

The announcement could also prove a lift for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency, which have been under heavy criticism in Congress for missing potential warning signs last year that might have disrupted the the hijacking plot.

Agents picked up Mr. Padilla's trail after he and two other men were detained by Pakistani authorities on a passport violation in April, officials said. Mr. Padilla left Pakistan in early April and traveled from Switzerland to Egypt and then back to Switzerland.

F.B.I. agents secretly boarded his flight from Zurich to the United States to keep him under surveillance. But worried that Mr. Padilla might disrupt the Chicago-bound flight, agents asked airline security personnel in Zurich to inspect his luggage carefully and his personal effects, including his shoes.

"They checked to make sure his shoes weren't funky," said one official, referring to the case of Richard C. Reid, a British convert to Islam who was charged with a terrorist act after officials said he tried to detonate a shoe bomb on a Paris-to-Miami flight last December.

Mr. Padilla was arrested as soon as the flight touched down, officials said, because agents hoped to obtain his cooperation. A search revealed that he was carrying about $10,000.

The New York law enforcement official said, however, that Mr. Padilla had been uncooperative during his month in detention at the Metropolitan Corrections Center in downtown Manhattan.

The decision to make an immediate arrest appeared to be part of the shift since Sept. 11 from lengthy covert surveillance operations to intervention to prevent further terrorist attacks.

Today, Mr. Padilla was being held in a high security jail at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station in South Carolina. Bush administration officials said Mr. Padilla had been declared an enemy combatant, a status that makes it easier for the government to detain him without having to bring a criminal charge that would force it disclose sensitive intelligence sources.

There was also some question as to whether there was enough evidence, absent information gathered from intelligence sources, to bring a traditional criminal prosecution that could be won in court. That meant, officials said, that the best and perhaps only realistic alternative was to turn him over to military custody in which he could be held indefinitely.

Federal prosecutors said they announced the arrest today because they had faced a hearing scheduled for Tuesday when they could have been forced to decide whether to charge him formally with a crime.

The plot as explained by the authorities seemed to follow the outlines of a scenario that counterterrorism experts had long feared. They have predicted that a radioactive bomb would be easier for terrorists to obtain than a nuclear device.

Officials said Mr. Padilla met with Mr. Zubaydah in Afghanistan last December and raised with him then the possibility of a dirty bomb attack on the United States.

Mr. Padilla then traveled to Pakistan, where he received training from Al Qaeda in the wiring of explosives, intelligence officials said.

Mr. Padilla stayed at a Qaeda safe house in Lahore, Pakistan, for a time and conducted research on radiological devices on the Internet, officials said.

At Mr. Zubaydah's behest, Mr. Padilla also traveled to Karachi to discuss several possible plans, the officials said.

A senior administration official said Mr. Zubaydah was not the only Qaeda member in custody who had led them to find Mr. Padilla. "Abu Zubaydah was one of the sources, but not the only one," the official said. "It's a rather impressive variety of sources." The official said Mr. Padilla had "left an amazing number of tracks around."


A Message in an Arrest

New York Times
June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON, June 10 - The Bush administration's announcement today that a man had been arrested in an alleged plot to build a "dirty" radioactive bomb seemed to reinforce its repeated warnings that the brain of Al Qaeda, and thus the threat, were still alive.

The arrest of the man, Jose Padilla, raised the possibility that some dispersed and hidden terrorist command is still actively trying to strike the United States, and that it was focused as recently as last month on some of the most fear-inspiring weapons, like radiological bombs - literally, bundles of dynamite or other explosives strapped to containers of radioactive material.

For the president, the drama of the dirty-bomb threat and its successful interdiction also sent a clear warning to those Congressional leaders who are preparing to focus a long political season on how the nation's intelligence-gathering system broke down during Mr. Bush's watch.

Today's disclosure may well galvanize Americans once again behind the president and the notion that the country remains at war, even as Congress moves ahead with its review of American intelligence failures that allowed Osama bin Laden and members of his Qaeda terrorist network to attack the country on Sept. 11.

It seems all but certain that the inevitable collision of war and politics will be at the forefront in Washington for some time. Since Congress began its inquiry into intelligence lapses, the White House has pursued a more muscular strategy to demonstrate it is moving aggressively to deal with the continuing threats.

There was Mr. Bush's abrupt decision last week to create a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, an idea he had previously resisted. And there were White House leaks showcasing new investigative leads and new connections between the terrorists who plotted the unsuccessful 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and those who finished the job so ruthlessly last September.

The president's spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said no political considerations were involved in timing today's announcement of the dirty bomb plot. But to underscore its importance, the disclosure by Attorney General John Ashcroft was broadcast from Moscow, where he was visiting on unrelated business.

Politics aside, today marked the latest - and perhaps most frightening - episode in a sequence of terrorist acts or threats.

First, there was the alleged Dec. 22 attempt by a suspect, Richard C. Reid, to detonate explosives loaded into the soles of his shoes while flying on a commercial flight from Paris to Miami. On April 11, a truck bomb in Tunisia killed 19 people - 14 of them German tourists - in an attack that French and German intelligence officials believe was directed by Al Qaeda. Then, on May 8, a bomb in Karachi, Pakistan, killed 11 French naval engineers, a blast also believed to be the work of Al Qaeda.

Senior administration officials never tire of saying they remain deeply troubled that another major attack on the United States is inevitable, raising concern enough. But just suggest "nuclear," and the alarm needle lurches across the meter.

Indeed, the whole affair - what little could be learned about how the C.I.A. and F.B.I. detected it in Pakistan and shadowed Mr. Padilla, who took the name Abdullah al-Muhajir, all the way to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago - appeared to take the nation's breath away. The details of the alleged plot were especially sparse on whether the suspect had any prospect of carrying out a mission that depended on something he conspicuously did not have: access to radioactive material.

Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, did not overstate the threat from Mr. Padilla.

"This was still in the initial planning stages. It certainly wasn't at the point of having a specific target," Mr. Wolfowitz said, adding that it was the job of Mr. Padilla, an American citizen, to return to the United States to conduct reconnaissance for Al Qaeda.

"But it does underscore, I think, the continuing importance of focusing particularly on those people who may be pursuing chemical or biological or nuclear weapons," Mr. Wolfowitz said. "This is but one such individual."

James R. Schlesinger, the former secretary of defense who also served as director of central intelligence during the Nixon administration, said the prospect that Mr. Padilla was likely to build a dirty bomb was "not realistic."

"He would have to be a lot smarter than the average Al Qaeda member to build a radiological weapon," Mr. Schlesinger said.

Even so, Mr. Schlesinger considered the administration's effort to billboard its success to be proper. Not only would it disarm critics, he noted, but, more important, it could deter future bombers.

"The intent was there, the threat was there," Mr. Schlesinger said, Thus, "it was a criminal act."

"If we feel we can constrain stalkers," he added, "then I think we can also constrain people who want to build radiological bombs."

Such weapons have long been derided as having no military utility. But in the new age of terror, the notion is back of a non-nuclear atomic weapon, one that uses the poisonous effects of radiation to spread panic and disrupt the economy.

Such a bomb could contaminate a wide area, and though it would probably not cause many deaths, the cleanup costs and the fear of exposure would result in a devastating psychological and physiological impact on the affected population - as happened after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.

In a season of security jitters, where the failure to apprehend Osama bin Laden now competes with new concerns about nuclear war between India and Pakistan, Mr. Schlesinger said the administration was "quite right" to sound the alarm.

Yet there was little escape from the sense that a daunting array of threats remain.

"This is going to be around for a long time," Mr. Schlesinger said. "It is not like Grenada."


Prisons May Breed Terrorist Groups

June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Prisons are attracting increasing attention from law enforcement as breeding grounds for terror groups seeking malcontents who can use their American citizenship to blend into society and carry out attacks.

The capture of homegrown terror suspect Jose Padilla, who the United States says was plotting for a radioactive ``dirty bomb,'' is a reminder that the nation could have potent enemies within.

``Our prisons are stuffed full of people who have a hatred of the prison administration, a hatred of America and have nothing but time to seethe about it,'' said Robert Fosen, former assistant commissioner of New York state prisons.

``Oftentimes they want a way to lash out or feel important. They are very likely to join groups that facilitate that anger. Anti-American feelings help all sorts of gangs recruit in prison.''

Padilla, 31, a New York City native and former Chicago gang member who also goes by Abdullah al Muhajir, is the first American accused of bringing al-Qaida's terrorist campaign to U.S. soil.

In 1992, Padilla was sent to a Florida jail for pulling a gun on another driver. When arrested, he identified himself as Catholic, according to police. U.S. officials believe Padilla converted to Islam while in jail and headed to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the late 1990s.

Tracked for some time, he was arrested May 8 upon his arrival at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on a flight from Pakistan

Being in prison not only contributes to hard feelings, it can sometimes provide a harbor for terrorists to act against the United States within its own borders.

Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, serving a life sentence in New York for plotting to blow up landmarks, is accused of sending messages from prison through visiting attorneys that directed terrorist acts to followers.

Officials at the U.S. Marshals Service, responsible for guarding accused American Taliban John Walker Lindh and Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks, say they are taking extra precautions to make sure no criminal contacts occur.

Prisons and jails are adjusting to the nation's need to keep track of dissidents.

In New York, a senior prison official said the prisons have asked Islamic religious groups whether they support terrorist groups. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one group has been barred from ministering at the prisons. The official declined to identify the group.

In Florida, prison officials said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have not led to new policies -- security was already high -- but they raised awareness that some religious groups could be linked to illegal activities.

``We examine and look at every group, religious included, as a possible threat to security of the institution, to the staff and to inmates,'' said Sterling Ivy, spokesman for the Florida prison system. ``We are constantly analyzing all aspects of religion in prison, but at the same time we must maintain a sense of religious freedom based on the Constitution.''

Alex Taylor, chief chaplain for Florida prisons said, ``After Sept. 11, a lot of prisoners tried to tell us that this is what the Muslim prison groups were preaching. It was looked into and there were no sustainable accusations.''

Authorities have also been monitoring contacts between American extremists and foreign terrorist groups to make sure they don't collaborate on attacks. These include neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Black Muslim factions.

All three of those groups have a history of recruiting in prison. In the 1980s, several groups of skinheads used prisons in Los Angeles as a recruiting ground. In the 1960s, the Black Panthers reached out to prisoners, offering legal advice and membership.

Under federal law, prisons must allow inmates access to religious leaders and texts. But they don't have to allow religious groups that advocate violence to minister.

``If they stir up conflict, security hears about it right away and it is terminated,'' Taylor said.

Jennifer Wayton, a researcher at Texas Tech University who studies released prisoners, said security alone won't solve the problem.

``Just trying to keep terrorist groups or criminal groups out of prison won't be effective,'' Wayton said. ``We've tried that for years and gotten nowhere.

``We must provide a better chance for people in prison to be reintegrated into society, or they will go back to crime and they will be ripe possibilities for all sorts of criminal groups.''


Tough Explosives Laws Considered

June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers moved quickly Tuesday to make it harder for terrorists to get conventional explosives, a day after learning of an alleged plot to explode a ``dirty bomb'' in an American city.

A bill that would force people trying to buy explosives to go through a government background check was debated by the House Judiciary homeland security subcommittee, with government officials saying tighter controls would help stop a dirty bomb.

Currently the government does not do background checks on people attempting to purchase explosive materials, said Bradley Buckles, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

``We rely on a process that hopes that dishonorable people will follow an honor code,'' Buckles said.

The bill would allow the ATF to run background checks on potential buyers similar to what is currently done with firearm purchasers.

``Convicted felons and illegal aliens can't buy firearms, so it makes common sense that they shouldn't be able to buy TNT or dynamite as well, said Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla.

The bill would also force companies with explosive licenses to do additional screening of their employees to keep terrorists from getting such jobs.

U.S. officials have in custody Jose Padilla, 31, also known as Abdullah al Muhajir, who they say met with top al-Qaida leaders after Sept. 11 and surfed the Internet to learn how to build a dirty bomb.

Dirty bombs combine traditional explosives with radioactive material. Such a device would not create a nuclear explosion, but could release small amounts of radioactive material over dozens of city blocks. Experts believe the most devastating effects would be the ensuing panic and the difficulty sending rescue workers into the contaminated area.

``What this legislation would do would be control how easy it would be to get your hands on that TNT and make that conventional bomb,'' Buckles said.

Kenneth Lawson, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary of enforcement, said the Bush administration supports the bill.

``This legislation seems to be a reasonable way to restrict access to explosives,'' said Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., who noted that they could not find a single person to testify against the measure.

J. Christopher Ronay, president of the Institute of Makers of Explosives, an industry trade group, estimated that the bill would require the ATF to do about 550 background checks a day, or 110,000 a year. ``We do not have the resources at this point to carry out that number of background checks,'' said Buckles, who said the ATF would likely be asking Congress for more money if the legislation passes.

The subcommittee attempted to move the bill on to the full Judiciary Committee, but could not get enough members to form a voting quorum. It will probably be taken up again Thursday before the full committee meets.

The bill number is H.R. 4864.

On the Net:
Bill text:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms:


-------- alternative energy

Renewables account for 16 pct of EU's power sources

June 11, 2002

FRANKFURT - Renewable energy accounted for 16 percent of the electricity derived in European Union (EU) countries, German power industry association VDEW said yesterday.

But leading EU electricity market Germany, despite having a booming wind energy industry, derives only 2.6 percent of its total power mix out of renewables sources other than hydro, which has a 4.8 percent share, it said in a statement.

Renewables were strongest in Austria, which relies on hydropower from Alpine water reservoirs for 72 percent of its power, VDEW said, quoting latest statistics obtained from the umbrella organisation of EU power industry lobbies, Eurelectric.

Use of wind, solar and biomass energy was most advanced in Finland, where 13 percent of all power was generated this way, and in Denmark, with 12 percent respectively.

The statistics also showed that nuclear energy contributed 34 percent of all power across the 15-nation bloc while coal, oil and gas-derived generation accounted for a combined total of 50.

France used 79 percent of nuclear energy and Belgium 57 percent for its national economy.

For Germany, VDEW listed the following mix - 7.4 percent renewables including hydro, nuclear 30.6 percent and fossil fuels 62 percent.


South Korean, German firms in wind power plant venture

June 11, 2002

SEOUL - South Korea has approved a plan to build a 99-megawatt (MW) wind power plant through a joint venture with a German firm in a bid to diversify energy sources, energy ministry said yesterday.

The 20-80 joint venture between Unison Industrial Co Ltd and Lahmeyer International of Germany will start full commercial operations in May 2005, after partial operations of 29-MW capacity begin in July 2004, the ministry said in a statement.

"The power plant will provide an electricity exchange market with 190,000 MWh of power every year," it said.

The construction of the plant in Kangwon Province, east of capital Seoul, will cost 134 billion won ($109.2 million) of which 74 billion won will be raised by the German partner and other foreign investors, a ministry official said.

The power plant will account for about 0.2 percent of the country's total power generation capacity, the ministry said.

Nuclear power covers 40 percent of the country's total power demand while thermal power meets most of the remainder. Hydro power takes up mere two percent.

Shares of Unison ended up six percent to 3,830 won yesterday outperforming a 2.19 percent gain in the broader index .

-------- health

H.I.V. Survey in South Africa Suggests Plateau in Infections

New York Times
June 11, 2002

JOHANNESBURG, June 10 - The number of H.I.V. infections in South Africa appears to have leveled off at about one-quarter of the adult population, according to the results of an annual survey announced today by the Health Ministry.

The reasons for the leveling off were not clear, epidemiologists warned, and it was still too soon to say whether the epidemic would decline from here or had reached what would be a devastatingly high saturation point. Some experts cautioned that the rate of infection could still be quickening.

But the health minister, Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, told reporters in the capital, Pretoria, that for now, "We can confidently say that the prevalence rate has stabilized."

Using the results of the survey, epidemiologists estimate that 4.74 million people, of a population of 44 million, are now infected, still the highest number of adults in any country in the world.

The survey measures the number of infections year to year among pregnant women, a population considered to provide the most reliable cross-section of social and income groups and one most likely to pass through the health care system.

It found an apparent increase in H.I.V. infection among women in their 30's. That more than offset an decrease in infections among younger women, the Health Ministry said.

But Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang said the decline in infections among the young indicated that the government's effort to educate young people about the dangers of AIDS might be starting to show results.

Among pregnant women under 20, the prevalence rate declined for the third straight year, to 15.4 percent from 16.1 percent, and among women 20 to 24, the prevalence rate fell to 28.4 percent from 29.1 percent.

For women ages 30 to 34, prevalence rose to 25.6 percent from 23.3 percent, and among women ages 35 to 39, it rose to 19.3 percent from 15.8 percent.

Over all, the survey found that 24.8 percent of pregnant women carried the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, up from 24.5 percent, the health minister said.

The percentage differences in many categories were not statistically significant, Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang said, hence the conclusion that the epidemic may be leveling off.

Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander, the director of H.I.V.-AIDS programs at the World Health Organization, said the decrease among young people was encouraging but emphasized that South Africa could hardly afford to level off with roughly a quarter of the adult population H.I.V.-positive.

"It's good that it's not increasing, but it has stabilized at a very high level, and there is still a very high number of new infections," he said in a telephone interview from Berlin. A plateau in prevalence, he said, is inevitable, as infections eventually reach a saturation point. "The question is, is it going to stay or is it going to decrease."

Dr. Salim Abdool Karim, an epidemiologist who is the deputy vice chancellor for research at the University of Natal and a professor of public health at Columbia, said that with the epidemic maturing, it was essential to look beyond the snapshot of the annual survey.

More and more people are dying of AIDS, he said, and that means that even if the prevalence rate holds steady, the rate of new infections must be quickening to keep pace with the mortality rate. "The high number of new infections is hidden by the large number of people who are dying," Dr. Abdool Karim said.

Why the prevalence appeared to be rising among older age groups was also an important question raised by the survey, which included 16,730 women in public clinics.

-------- ACTIVISTS

Help stop Yucca Mountain

From: "Nukewatch"
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 13:19:09 -0500

Apologies to folks outside the U.S. who can disregard this message.


We rarely send appeals to call Congress, but this is a serious emergency. The U.S.Senate needs to be swayed to stop the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump bill.

Please tell your U.S. Senators to vote against the Yucca Mt. proposal. (The Senate will vote in July on whether or not to over-ride Nevada Governor Quinn's veto of the plan.) Use the toll free number below.

The Senate is leaning toward pushing ahead with this reckless, unnecessary bail-out of the nuclear industry. The plan calls in part for moving some radioactive waste on barges along Lake Michigan and other major waterways. (In our lighter moments we're calling these daredevil plans The Nuclear Edmund Fitzgerald, Titanic Mile Island, or Chernobyl Valdez Roulette.)

For background on the issue, I have attached a good critique of the plan from the April 26 edition of SCIENCE magazine [below].

You can get patched-through to your Senator's offices toll-free with this number (which connects you with the Stop Yucca campaign in Washington): 1-888-554-9256.

Thanks for making these calls.

Sincerely, John LaForge Nukewatch P.O. Box 649 Luck, WI 54853 Phone (715) 472-4185 Fax (715) 472-4184 Web


NUCLEAR WASTE: Yucca Mountain

SCIENCE Magazine 296 (5568): 659 April 26, 2002, pp. 659-660 Rodney C. Ewing
The President's decision should be based on a compelling and transparent analysis of the safety of the site. This analysis requires a strong scientific basis. Although the Secretary of Energy has detailed the activities over the past 15 years [e.g., the collection of over 75,000 feet of core and 18,000 geologic and water samples (1)], such figures alone do not establish the scientific basis for the recommendation. The necessary science to support this decision requires an analysis that couples atomic-scale processes, such as spent fuel and waste package corrosion, to crustal-scale processes, such as volcanic activity and climate change, that extend over temporal scales of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years.

This is an unprecedented, first-time effort. Geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste is not a short-term science and engineering effort like the Manhattan Project, for which near-term success was evident. The construction of a repository does not demonstrate its safety. The safety case can only be based on a scientific understanding of the processes that control the release of radionuclides and a design strategy that uses a series of independent barriers to reduce the uncertainty in the safety analysis. The current understanding of the performance of the engineered barriers (e.g., the waste form and waste package) and the geologic processes of the mountain (e.g., transport though the unsaturated and saturated zones) falls far short of that required to make a substantive evaluation of the safety of the repository. We can never know whether the repository "worked" as designed. Even with an operating period lasting for hundreds of years and the possibility of an engineered "fix" for problems, we cannot know whether the predicted behavior of the repository matches its actual performance. This would be an unreasonable expectation; however, the law requires that there be a "reasonable assurance" that the repository meets regulatory requirements. How do we develop a reasonable assurance? For most technologies, operating experience is the basis for predicted reliability. Nuclear reactors are safer today than when originally designed and built. This is because we have the benefit of actual operating experience with over 400 nuclear reactors around the world. In the absence of relevant operating experience, we are left in an unusually demanding position in which we must rely on our understanding of natural processes that operate on geologic time scales in order to predict the future behavior of a nuclear waste repository. This task requires extensive knowledge and a strategy that minimizes the uncertainty in the safety analysis.

The DOE has based its positive recommendation to the President on a comprehensive performance assessment of the repository in its Preliminary Site Suitability Evaluation, with thousands of pages of supporting documents. The DOE's conclusion is that the Yucca Mountain repository will meet the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) final radiation protection standard in the Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR 197, and the NRC's repository licensing criteria, 10 CFR 63.

Both the EPA standard and the NRC regulations have taken nearly 20 years to develop and have only recently been available for public comment. The site-specific standard and the implementing regulation are based on the calculation of a dose to individuals at a distance of approximately 20-km from the repository over a 10,000-year period. The determination of compliance depends almost exclusively on the results of the total system performance assessment. At the same time, the disposal strategy has moved away from the use of geologic barriers and now relies heavily on the role of engineered barriers, mainly a highly durable, metal waste package protected from water by umbrella-like "drip" shields. By lessening the importance of the geologic barriers, the properties of the site become less important. Indeed, the original concept of geologic disposal has been turned on its ear.

In the face of the scientific uncertainties about the site, there is a surprising sense of urgency to move forward with a positive decision on Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository. In the coming months, utilities that own nuclear power plants and states that have spent nuclear fuel stored at the reactors will press hard for action to approve the Yucca Mountain site, their concern heightened by fears of terrorist attacks on the storage facilities. Some have argued that the future of nuclear power is at risk in the absence of a positive decision. The Secretary of Energy has said that a permanent geologic repository "will promote our energy security by removing a roadblock to expanding nuclear power" (5). Thus, the present sense of urgency is driven not by an understanding of the properties of the Yucca Mountain site, but rather by larger-scale policy decisions concerning nuclear power and national security. Decades of effort costing billions of dollars, and, in fact, our entire site-specific regulatory framework are now at risk if we do not accept Yucca Mountain as a repository. As a public, we are presented with a major policy decision for which there is no alternative strategy or site. In fact, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act Amendments of 1987 eliminated alternative sites. The present decision to make Yucca Mountain a repository for high-level nuclear waste is a political decision that was presaged by the 1987 NWPAA. The scientific basis for the selection of the Yucca Mountain site continues to be only a marginal consideration.

What of the science? Are there essential scientific and technical issues that can potentially affect the performance of the repository? Does the method of analysis provide a substantive basis for evaluating the safety of the repository? Are there deficiencies in the disposal and containment strategy, either as proposed by DOE or as allowed by the standards and regulations?

In our view, the disposal of high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain is based on an unsound engineering strategy and poor use of present understanding of the properties of spent nuclear fuel.

The repository has been placed at a depth of 300 meters below the surface in the unsaturated zone, some 300 meters above the water table. The United States is the only country in the world that has pursued the concept of placing a repository in the unsaturated zone. The original rationale for selecting the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was based on having a "dry" repository, as water would be the main agent for release and transport of radionuclides. A dry repository has been elusive, as the percolation flux of water through the repository has been difficult to estimate (6). Initial predictions of 4 mm/year were reduced to less than 0.5 mm/year during the early years of the project, and the low value seemed to validate the original concept. However, in 1996, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory discovered elevated levels of 36Cl at the repository horizon (7). If this 36Cl is the result of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, which ended in 1963, the "bomb pulse" 36Cl provides evidence for rapid transport of some water through the unsaturated zone. Although this issue, the role of fast path transport in the unsaturated zone, remains unresolved, these results have changed the basic picture of how the repository works. As described by Daniel Metlay, a staff member for the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, instead of being a "tin roof," Yucca Mountain is "more akin to a torn wet blanket" (5). The efforts to keep the repository dry have resulted in a variety of engineered "fixes." For example, the "hot" repository design would drive water away from the repository horizon. Only after cooling would water seep back through the formations. Another fix has been the drip shield that would protect the waste packages from water that finds its way to the repository horizon. Regardless of the results of future scientific studies or the efficacy of the engineering fixes, the uncertainty in the estimated percolation flux will ultimately be tied to climate change. It is a poor design strategy that relies on assumed boundary conditions, rather than the properties of the repository itself.

The Yucca Mountain repository is essentially a repository for the disposal of used nuclear fuel that consists mainly of reduced uranium in the form of UO2. More than 95% of the total radioactivity will originate from this spent nuclear fuel. After the engineered barriers have failed, the release of radionuclides will depend on the chemical durability of the fuel. In the presence of even minor amounts of moisture and under oxidizing conditions, UO2 is not stable. The process of degradation, initiated by oxidation of U4+ to U6+, is rapid and pervasive (8). Orders of magnitude of durability for the spent fuel would be gained by maintaining reducing conditions at the repository horizon (9). This is well established by many experimental studies using UO2 or actual spent nuclear fuel and is confirmed by numerous studies of uranium deposits (10). At Yucca Mountain, the passive properties of the repository site do not provide a long-term barrier to radionuclide release.

The concept of placing spent nuclear fuel in the unsaturated zone where it will experience oxidizing conditions is simply a poor strategy. This is a strategy that finally relies on an optimistic assessment of the long-term durability of metallic waste packages, such as the presently proposed Ni-Cr-Mo alloy, C-22, an alloy for which there are only limited data. The Secretary of Energy has pointed to studies of "over 13,000 engineered material samples to determine their corrosion resistance in a variety of environments" (1), but there are few data on the C-22 alloy, and the uncertainty in its extrapolated behavior is high (11).

In addition to these fundamental issues of strategy, there are other unresolved technical issues (4): the continuing controversy over the frequency and impact of volcanic activity (12), the role of sorption in the unsaturated zone in reducing radionuclide mobility (13), and the role of colloids in enhancing transport (14).

With further study, Yucca Mountain may be judged to be an adequate site for the disposal of nuclear waste, but a project of this importance, which has gone on for 20 years, should not go forward until the relevant scientific issues have been thoughtfully addressed. Some have suggested a "staged" approach that would allow an opportunity for such studies, but of course, "staged" can have two meanings. To move ahead without first addressing the outstanding scientific issues will only continue to marginalize the role of science and detract from the credibility of the DOE effort. As Thomas Jefferson cautioned George Washington, "Delay is preferable to error."

References and Notes

1. Letter to President G. W. Bush from Secretary of Energy S. Abraham, Recommendation for the approval of the Yucca Mountain site, 14 February 2002.

2. Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste, letter report to R. A. Meserve, Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 18 September 2001.

3. Government Accounting Office, "Nuclear waste: Technical, schedule and cost uncertainties of the Yucca Mountain repository project" (GAO-02-191, Government Accounting Office, Washington, DC, December 2001); available at

4. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, letter report to Congress and the Department of Energy, 24 January 2002.

5. Remarks delivered by Secretary of Energy S. Abraham to Global Nuclear Energy Summit, Washington, DC, 14 February 2002.

6. D. Metlay, in Prediction Science, Decision Making and the Future of Nature, D. Sarewitz, R. A. Pielke Jr., R. Byerly Jr., Eds. (Island Press, Washington, DC, 2000), pp. 199-228.

7. K. Campbell, A. Solfsberg, J. Fabryka-Markin, D. Sweetkind, J. Contam. Hydrol., in press.

8. D. J. Wronkiewicz et al., J. Nucl. Mater. 190, 107 (1992).

9. L. H. Johnson, L. O. Werme, Mater. Res. Bull. 19, 24 (1994).

10. K. A. Jensen, R. C. Ewing, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 113, 32 (2001).

11. A. A. Sagüés, Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 845, 845 (1999).

12. C. B. Connor et al., J. Geophys. Res. 105, 417 (2000).

13. D. Vaniman et al., Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 65, 3409 (2001).

14. A. B. Kersting et al., Nature 396, 56 (1999).

R. C. Ewing is in the Departments of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, Geological Sciences and Materials Science, and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2104, USA. A. Macfarlane is in the Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Earth First! Wins Civil Rights Lawsuit Against FBI

OAKLAND, California,
June 11, 2002

The late redwood forest activist Judi Bari and activist Darryl Cherney always maintained their innocence, and on Monday a jury agreed. Cherney and Bari's estate were awarded $4.4 million in their federal civil rights lawsuit against four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers.

The summer of 1990 was Redwood Summer for Earth First! activists who were trying to protect the redwoods of northern California from logging. On May 24, 1990, Bari and Cherney were in Bari's car travelling through Oakland on their way to a musical performance connected with Redwood Summer when the car exploded.

The bombed car in Oakland immediately after the device exploded. (OPD photo)

The explosive device was located under Bari's seat, and she was hurt the worst. Cherney suffered lesser injuries.

During their investigation of the incident, the Oakland Police and FBI blamed Bari and Cherney for the explosion, accusing them of being terrorists who were carrying the explosives to use as a bomb.

In a deposition taken for this lawsuit on January 30 and 31, 1997, Bari swore her innocence and detailed the explicitly nonviolent nature of the Redwood Summer campaign. She characterized the explosion this way, "On May 24th of 1990, I was bombed and nearly killed in a car bomb assassination attempt."

The jury found that six of the seven defendants violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution by arresting the activists, conducting searches of their homes, and carrying out a smear campaign in the press, calling Earth First! a terrorist organization and calling the activists bombers.

Judi Bari, 1949-1997 (Photo courtesy Judi Bari Home Page (JBHP))

Bari, an Earth First! and labor organizer in Mendocino County, died March 1997 of cancer. Her estate is a plaintiff in this case. Cherney is a musician and Earth First! organizer in Humboldt County.

In U.S. District Court before Judge Claudia Wilken, their attorney, Dennis Cunningham, tried to persuade the jury that the activists were framed. In the first aftermath of the bombing when it was learned that they were with Earth First, he said, the FBI agents on the scene told lead investigator Oakland Police Sergeant Michael Sitterud that "the FBI was familiar with these people already as terrorist suspects, as people who in his words, the kind of people who would be carrying a bomb."

Cunningham told the jury "a purpose immediately arose" that "was instigated by the FBI because of a preexisting desire to harm Earth First in the First Amendment context, harm this group to disrupt its work, to misdirect its work to smear the group in the public mind."

The law enforcement officials saw the explosion as a "golden opportunity" said Cunningham, for "the people in the car who had been bombed to be represented as bombers. And the headlines could reflect that fact, and the world would be told that Earth First had bombers in it and these environmentalists were dangerous and had to be feared."

Cherney told ENS that he first knew the FBI was trying to frame him three hours after the explosion while they were interviewing him in the hospital. "They accused us of being bombers," he said.

Cunningham told the court that the "frame-up was based on false evidence, fabricated evidence," that was "cooked up more or less on the spot."

Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney play some music at Fort Bragg, California (Photo by Alicia Littletree courtesy JBHP)

Bari and Cherney were arrested but never charged with any crimes in the case, nor was anyone else ever charged. The actual bombers have never been apprehended. Cunningham told the court the FBI investigation "was in fact really a sham." There was no serious attempt to solve the bombing with the two activists either as the victims or the perpetrators, he said.

Cherney says the jury's decision is a vindication "of Judi, myself and Earth First."

"The jury clearly blamed the FBI for violating our First Amendment rights under the Constitution," Cherney said, "which means the FBI blamed us for bombing ourselves based on Judi's and my's politics, as opposed to being based on any kind of evidence. It was all a smear campaign."

FBI agents Frank Doyle, John Reikes, Philip Sena and OPD officer Mike Sims were found to have violated Bari and Cherney's First Amendment rights. In addition, Oakland Police Department (OPD) officer Sitterud was found to have violated Cherney's First Amendment rights. Doyle was found to have violated Bari's Fourth Amendment rights related to the search of her home, and Doyle and OPD officer Chenault were found to have violated Cherney's Fourth Amendment rights.

FBI agent Doyle and OPD officer Sims were found to have violated Bari's Fourth Amendment rights in relation to her arrest. The jury returned an "undecided" verdict with respect to violations of Cherney's Fourth Amendment rights for his arrest.

Doyle was the agent in charge of the 1990 bomb scene, and taught an FBI bomb school at a Louisiana Pacific clearcut a month prior to the bombing. Doyle was also the Squad 13 relief supervisor. Squad 13 was the joint terrorism squad made up of FBI and Oakland officers and collected extensive files on political groups in the Bay Area, according to the plaintiff's attorneys.

FBI bomb expert agent Williams holds replica bomb in Bari's car. (Oakland Police evidence photo 1990)

Reikes was the head of the FBI's terrorist squad who came to OPD headquarters the day of the bombing to give what the plaintiff's attorneys termed "an inflammatory briefing on Earth First!"

Sena was already engaged in a secret investigation of Earth First! and concocted a fake informant tip.

Cherney says that Earth First! is an activist organization, not a terrorist organization, and that there is a big difference. "Earth First! is a loosely knit somewhat international movement of different groups and individuals who subscribe to the philosphy of biocentrism - that biology must be at the center of concerns as environmental activists."

"We have the motto 'No compromise in defense of Mother Earth.' We don't think the Earth is ours to compromise, Cherney explained. "And in order to be an Earth Firster you have to take some form of action. So you can't be a member of Earth First, you can only be an Earth First activist."

Nonviolence is the policy of Earth First!, Cherney says, and it is evidenced by their deeds. "Earth First has a 100 percent track record of never injuring a human being in 22 years of existence," he said. "Every group that I'm aware of teaches nonviolence training, and nonviolent ethic. That's my experience in the field, touring the United States, meeting with scores of Earth First groups, knowing the people as I know them."

Cherney sees civil rights groups, social justice groups and environmental groups as being "defenders of national security," and the FBI as "the threat to national security."

"The FBI has no business calling anybody a terrorist," Cherney said. "They have turned their backs on murders and bombings and acts of terror in order to protect their own informants, and as far as I'm concerned, the FBI is closer to a terrorist organization than the activist groups they're pointing fingers at."

Headwaters Forest, the forest Bari and Cherney were working to protect, is now partially protected under federal and state law. (Photo (c) Djuna Ivereigh courtesy EPIC)

If Judi Bari were alive today, Cherney says she would be "exceedingly pleased and laughing her head off at this victory against the FBI. But she would also want to be appealing the dismissal of special agent Richard Held and some of the other FBI top brass," who, Cherney says, have worked for years to destroy various activists and activist organizations.

"Held was a defendent in our lawsuit, and we want to bring him back in."

Cherney was awarded $1.4 million, which he says will be down to $900,000 once his lawyers are paid. He expects the FBI to appeal the case "into our old age," which would delay his award until the appeal is decided. But if he ever receives any part of the award, Cheney says he would "do the same thing I've been doing with all my money all along which is working to make the world a better place and protect the environment."

Cherney has plans to write a book documenting the history of the Headwaters Forest in Humboldt County that is now partly protected by law. He has plans for a film about the case that has taken 12 years of his life, and says he has been received with interest in Hollywood. A songwriter, and a performer since the age of five, Cherney says he would like to find time at last to record some music.


Police Break Up Anti-U.S. Protest in Bahrain

By Adnan Malik
Associated Press
Thursday, April 11, 2002; Page A19

MANAMA, Bahrain, April 10 -- Hundreds of high school students and other protesters, chanting slogans against Israel and the United States, clashed today with police using tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a march on the U.S. Embassy.

About 300 protesters were treated at the nearby Salmaniya Medical Complex, most for tear gas inhalation but some for minor injuries from the bullets, doctors said. Some doctors staged their own small protest in support of the demonstrators, marching in the hospital compound chanting, "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!"

The demonstrations in Bahrain's capital were the latest in a series in Persian Gulf countries -- where such protests are not common -- since Israel launched an invasion of West Bank towns March 29 following a series of suicide bombings by Palestinians.

A similar demonstration at the U.S. Embassy in Manama turned violent last week, with protesters hurling rocks and firebombs into the embassy grounds. Police guarding the embassy fired tear gas and rubber bullets. A protester who was hit in the head by a rubber bullet died two days later.

King Hamad Bin Isa Khalifa had appealed to Bahrainis on Tuesday to express their anger at Israeli policies in a "civilized" and calm manner.

The protest today began with about 500 high school students and grew to several thousand people by mid-afternoon. Many wore black in mourning for Palestinians killed in the West Bank fighting. Clashes began when some protesters threw stones at police several hundred yards from the embassy. "U.S. and Israel are the terrorists," read one banner.

Protesters demanded that U.S. forces leave Bahrain, a tiny island state that is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. "The Americans are the enemies, not only of the people, but also of God," said one protester, a 17-year-old student who would give only his first name, Hussein. "We want the Americans to leave our country."

Street demonstrations have swept the Arab world since Israel began its military campaign. Anger also has turned against the United States, Israel's key ally.

In Beirut, the Lebanese capital, about 5,000 Lebanese and Palestinian women chanting "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!" demonstrated near the U.S. Embassy today. The protest was led by Leila Khaled, 57, a Palestinian woman who hijacked two planes in 1969 and 1970 to highlight the plight of Palestinians.

About 500 Syrian and Palestinian women staged a similar protest in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

In Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria, hundreds of university students demonstrated peacefully after prayers for a fellow student killed during violent clashes the day before outside a cultural center run by the U.S. Embassy.

The death was the fourth known fatality linked to the Arab protests. In addition to the death in Bahrain, others occurred in Jordan and Yemen.

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