In a briefing at the Pentagon yesterday, Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the airstrikes had dealt a severe blow to Mr. bin Laden's infrastructure. Taking out the camps, he said, was tantamount to destroying Quantico, the vast United States Marine training complex in Virginia.
At a news conference in Islamabad, the Pakistan capital, a spokeswoman for the United Nations said that the workers were killed when a missile destroyed a building housing Afghan Technical Consultancy, the agency that oversees mine clearing operations in Afghanistan. The building is several miles east of Kabul, the Afghanistan capital.
In a statement, the French humanitarian group, known in English as Doctors Without Borders , said the operation "isn't in any way a humanitarian aid operation, but more a military propaganda operation, destined to make international opinion accept the U.S.-led military operation."
--AP (@Common Dreams 10/8/2001).
If runaway Pentagon spending isn't headed off soon, the funds, energy, and attention needed for a more intelligent approach to preventing terrorism will be siphoned off into a narrowly focused military effort that is likely to do far more harm than good
--William D. Hartung (Mother Jones9/28/2001 ).
"If Osama bin Laden was gone today, the war would continue tomorrow," Fleischer said.
--Ari Fleischer (CNN 10/8/2001).
In a briefing with reporters, Rice and Hughes also said:
-- Military planning began virtually immediately after the September 11 attacks, and the plan was gradually refined as troops were deployed to the region and the administration received a better sense of what support nations in the region were willing to provide.
-- The administration convened discussions about combating bin Laden and the al Qaeda network soon after Bush took office
-- The strikes against the World Trade Center and Pentagon opened the door to attacks on Afghanistan under "self defense" clauses in international treaties. "The best defense is a good offense," Rice said.
In a letter to the U.N.'s Security Council, John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the world body, said the nation's inquiry into terror attacks could lead beyond Afghanistan's borders.
"We may find that our self-defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other states," Negroponte said in the letter.
The United States and Britain were scheduled Monday to brief the full Security Council on their military action, detailing the targets and aims of Sunday's air strikes on Taliban and al Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan.
Never before has the United States launched a military campaign against such an elusive and hydra- headed foe, with so little clarity about precisely how it will prevail. And not since the War of 1812 has a foreign threat to the American homeland been quite so palpable. It was "a moment of utmost gravity," as Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain said, a moment for the tablets of history, a moment without real parallel in the nation's past.
--R.W. Apple (NYTimes 10/8/2001).
Most participants claimed that the United States aims at far more than destroying Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda organization and toppling the Taliban regime. These representatives of the Muslim world were almost unanimously suspicious of America's intentions, believing that the United States has an overarching strategy which includes control of the oil and gas resources in Central Asia, encroachment on Chinese and Russian spheres of influence, destruction of the Iraqi regime, and consolidation of America's grip on the oil-producing Persian Gulf regimes.
--Fawaz A. Gerges (NYTimes 10/8/2001).
- In a report released today, Amnesty International documents evidence of a backlash against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern or Asian origin or appearance in at least 10 countries. The report also highlights the first worrying indications that the "fight against terrorism" may be opportunistically used to clamp down on civil liberties and human rights.
--Amnesty International (4/10/2001).
- Seven thousand deaths are too many already. Our Attorney General virtually assures us there will be another terrorist attack soon. We are in a spiral of reaction that is badly in need of a break. Where there is no deliberation, there can be no democracy. The American people are badly in need of a real debate. Meanwhile, please no war this week. Please.
- In the leadup to a possible military strike, senior administration and allied officials said Mr. Rumsfeld's approach this week had underscored that the United States intends to make this as much as possible an all-American campaign, with only logistical aid and political support from most other nations.
- Mr. Cheney was one of the leading administration voices urging Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who loathes traveling abroad, to visit Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Oman, Turkey and Egypt this week to work out military logistics and meet defense leaders in the region. He telephones Mr. Rumsfeld, his mentor from the Ford administration, two to three times a day.
Mr. Bush followed Mr. Cheney's recommendation to announce the creation of the Office of Homeland Security in a speech to a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 20. Mr. Cheney also advised that Tom Ridge, the Republican governor of Pennsylvania and longtime Bush ally, fill the new cabinet-level post as head of the office....
Any doubts about Mr. Cheney's star power ended abruptly after his command performance on the NBC News program "Meet the Press" on Sept. 16. Not only did he relate vivid details of ordering the evacuation of Congressional leaders and cabinet members, but he also delivered a blunt, clinical assessment of the war ahead....
Since the attacks, Mr. Bush has convened his National Security Council at about 10 a.m. in the White House situation room every weekday, with Mr. Cheney seated just to his right. Those who attend say Mr. Cheney saves his most candid advice for Mr. Bush alone, making it difficult to pin down Mr. Cheney's precise thinking. The two men have continued their weekly private lunch during the crisis.
- On Friday, the House of Representatives backed away from an immediate inquiry into what went wrong. Instead the House legislation calls for a commission that will be more forward-looking, identifying reforms needed to help prevent future attacks....
At about the same time that the C.I.A.'s August report was being prepared and delivered, the F.B.I. arrested a French citizen, Zacarias Moussaoui, on immigration charges. Officials at a flight school in Minnesota had called authorities after they became troubled that Mr. Moussaoui was trying to learn how to fly large jet aircraft, but had said he did not need to know how to take off or land....
Senior officials at F.B.I. headquarters rejected requests from agents in Minneapolis for a wider investigation on two occasions, even after a French intelligence agency warned the bureau in a classified two-page cable on Aug. 27 that Mr. Moussaoui had "Islamic extremist beliefs."...
Another example came in late August, just as the F.B.I. was debating whether to investigate Mr. Moussaoui. The C.I.A. told the Immigration and Naturalization Service that it should place two men, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, on its watch list to bar entry into the United States. The C.I.A. had earlier determined that Mr. Almihdhar had attended a meeting in Malaysia in January 2000 with people later implicated in the bombing of the Cole. Mr. Alhazmi had later traveled with Mr. Almihdhar to the United States, and so the C.I.A. wanted him added to the watch list too....
--(NYTimes 10/6/2001). [Third paragraph inserted from a special report by David Johnston and Philip Shenon, also from the NYTimes 10/6/2001.]
- I had gone to Britain to answer a question that seems far more pertinent today than it did early last month: why would a free and flourishing Western democracy wire itself up with so many closed-circuit television cameras that it resembles the set of ''The Real World'' or ''The Truman Show''? The answer, I discovered, was fear of terrorism. In 1993 and 1994, two terrorist bombs planted by the I.R.A. exploded in London's financial district, a historic and densely packed square mile known as the City of London. In response to widespread public anxiety about terrorism, the government decided to install a ''ring of steel'' -- a network of closed-circuit television cameras mounted on the eight official entry gates that control access to the City....
Have you caught any terrorists? I asked. ''No, not using this technology, no,'' he replied....
Biometrics is a feel-good technology that is being marketed based on a false promise -- that the database will be limited to suspected terrorists. But the FaceIt technology, as it's now being used in England, isn't really intended to catch terrorists at all. It's intended to scare local hoodlums into thinking they might be setting off alarms even when the cameras are turned off. I came to understand this ''Wizard of Oz'' aspect of the technology when I visited Bob Lack's monitoring station in the London borough of Newham. A former London police officer, Lack attracted national attention -- including a visit from Tony Blair -- by pioneering the use of face-recognition technology before other people were convinced that it was entirely reliable. What Lack grasped early on was that reliability was in many ways beside the point.
--Jeffrey Rosen (NYTimes 10/6/2001).
- Abuses committed by factions belonging to the United Front have been well documented. Many of the violations of international humanitarian law committed by the United Front forces described below date from 1996-1998 when they controlled most of the north and were within artillery range of Kabul. Since then, what remains of the United Front forces have been pushed back into defensive positions in home territories in northeastern and central Afghanistan following a series of military setbacks. There have nevertheless been reports of abuses in areas held temporarily by United Front factions, including summary executions, burning of houses, and looting, principally targeting ethnic Pashtuns and others suspected of supporting the Taliban. Children, including those under the age of fifteen, have been recruited as soldiers and used to fight against Taliban forces. The various parties that comprise the United Front also amassed a deplorable record of attacks on civilians between the fall of the Najibullah regime in 1992 and the Taliban's capture of Kabul in 1996.
--Human Rights Watch (Oct. 2001).
- It is not easy to estimate the extent or depth of this support. But it is clear that Mr. bin Laden remains popular for two reasons. First, some Saudis feel he is giving voice to their own dissatisfactions with the royal family's rule. In addition, they are not satisfied that adequate evidence has been produced to accuse him of the Sept. 11 attacks. If more evidence were available, it seems their opinions might shift.
- This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Usama Bin Laden in a court of law. Intelligence often cannot be used evidentially, due both to the strict rules of admissibility and to the need to protect the safety of sources. But on the basis of all the information available HMG is confident of its conclusions as expressed in this document.
--10 Downing St. (10/4/2001).
- The most important deficiency in US counterterrorism policy has been the failure to address the root causes of terrorism. Indeed, there is a tendency to treat terrorism as pure evil in a vacuum, to say that changes in foreign policy intended to reduce it will only "reward" terrorists. Moreover, many argue that terrorists care little about particular American policies and hate the US simply because it is powerful, rich, modern, and democratic and because its dynamic secular culture threatens their identity.
--Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., former US Ambassador at Large for Counterterrorism (NYReview 10/18/2001)
- Americans could choose among 23 bases -- including an outpost near the border at Kakydi, a base for Uzbekistan's most-advanced fighter jets. There's also a large base at Khanabad, now home to Uzbekistan's ground-attack Su-24 planes.
- The desire to take the edge off Russian-American disagreements is understandable. We're embarked on a large struggle and need the support even of those we disagree with. Yet getting too close to Mr. Putin's Chechnya policy is far more dangerous than keeping our distance from it. If the United States is to win this new war, our coalition partners need to believe that the effort is not anti-Islamic, that we do not apply the terrorist label carelessly and that we will not target civilians indiscriminately.
--Stphan Sestanovich (NYTimes 10/5/2001)
- The United States and Britain were close to launching military strikes against terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden and his protectors in Afghanistan until three key allies suddenly expressed reservations, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday.
--Detroit Free Press (
- Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the New York Times has downplayed and distorted peace rallies and demonstrations against a military response.
- Specifically, the compromise bill -- the "Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (PATRIOT)" (H.R. 2975)-- contains troubling provisions that would permit indefinite detention of a non-citizen ordered deported to a country that would not accept him or her, minimize judicial supervision of electronic surveillance by law enforcement authorities and allow intelligence agencies to spy on U.S. citizens by providing them enhanced access to sensitive information about them.
- ''There have been attacks and violence for years in the Arab and Muslim world as a result of the U.S., so there was a reason that this happened,'' said an angry young Sudanese at the central mosque in Paris. ''If there is a war, I'm ready.''
- We are totally opposed to American military intervention. But we are in favor of an immediate ending of Talbaan government. The situation is like this that American was bringing up a dog who has now gone mad. It is the responsibility of American to control or kill the mad dog. We will do our part to haunt down this mad dog which is dangerous for the Afghan people. Talbaan were supported indirectly or directly by the Americans and Pakistan in
the hope of stabilizing Afghanistan but the situation has gone out of their control.
--Farooq Tariq (Labour Party Pakistan 9/25/2001)
- As we all grieve because of the terrible tragedy perpetrated by criminals and terrorists, it's simply irresponsible journalism for some media outlets to deflect the the blame and look for scapegoats so that they would increase their ratings or serve their hidden agenda. Arab Americans and Muslim Americans should not suffer twice, once at the hand of the terrorists and another at the hands of the media or their fellow citizens.
--Dr. Sami A. Al-Arian, USF (Press Release 9/28/2001)
- Federal agents have been targeting college campuses as part of their investigation into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, gathering lists of foreign nationals and combing through files.
--Sacramento Bee (9/27/2001)
- The trouble is that once America goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.
--Arundhati Roy (Guardian 9/29/2001)
- Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, reacted with disbelief to The Wall Street Journal report of yesterday that George H.W. Bush, the father of President Bush, works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, an international consulting firm. The senior Bush had met with the bin Laden family at least twice. (Other top Republicans are also associated with the Carlyle group, such as former Secretary of State James A. Baker.) The terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had supposedly been “disowned” by his family, which runs a multi-billion dollar business in Saudi Arabia and is a major investor in the senior Bush’s firm. Other reports have questioned, though, whether members of his Saudi family have truly cut off Osama bin Laden. Indeed, the Journal also reported yesterday that the FBI has subpoenaed the bin Laden family business’s bank records.
--Press Release (JudicialWatch
- In addition to the elder Bush, Carlyle employs former Secretary of State James Baker and former British Prime Minister John Major. The firm's advisory board lists such international figures as former President Fidel Ramos of the Philippines and the former prime minister of Thailand. Karl Otto Pohl, former president of Germany's Bundesbank, is also an advisor.
--Shannon Jones (WSWS.org
- America hopes to use ties established under Nato's Partnership for Peace agreement with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as part of any multilateral force. Commandos from the three central Asian states are training with US Special Forces in Montana and Alaska. But all the Central Asian states are nervous of encouraging Russian influence in the region and of provoking Taliban revenge attacks against their territory. More than 100 troops from the three states have died in fighting with Afghan-backed Uzbek exiles.
--Ahmed Rashid, WorldTribune.com, 11/22/2000 (Posted at FreeRepublic.com). Also see NATOs plan for the Partnership for Peace, 2000-2001.
- ...Now for the first time in its history, Kabul faces enemies wherever it looks. The United States, Russia, Britain, China, Iran, Pakistan and India - they all want the hardline Taliban regime out and hope a stable government can be put in.
- If we had an aggressive, independent press corps in the United States, our national conversation about the terrorist attacks that demolished the World Trade Center towers in New York and damaged the Pentagon would be far more probing and informative. Here are some examples of questions that reporters might ask President Bush:
--Martin A. Lee (ConsortiumNews 9/30/2001).