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Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2003 - 11:59 a.m.

Don't you just love it when work interfers with your online projects? Well, such is my life of late. Yes, once again I will be working ALL weekend. So instead of my usual commentaries, I will just be posting some interesting articles over the next 4-5 days. Without further ado, here are today's articles (just click on the titles of the articles to read the full reports:

Manifesto Warns of Dangers Associated With an Empire

An unusual manifesto is circulating through the e-mail boxes of prominent Washingtonians from an ad hoc group calling itself the "Committee for the Republic." Its five sponsors include conservative C. Boyden Gray, a White House lawyer in the first Bush administration; Chas. W. Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia; and Stephen Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The manifesto is a work in progress, its authors say. But the goal is clear: to educate Americans about the dangers of empire.

Special report: Military won't be overextended, says Bush, but some troops beg to differ
By Jon R. Anderson

The U.S. commander in chief raised eyebrows among many in uniform last week when he promised not to stretch the military too thin, even as some 500,000 troops find themselves deployed or assigned overseas.

President Bush, when asked in South Africa about the possibility of inserting peacekeeping troops into war-torn Liberia, made a simple pledge: “We won’t overextend our troops, period.”

“Too late,” says Sgt. Robert Page matter-of-factly. The Heidelberg, Germany-based medic has seen nine major deployments in his 10-year career, much of it “back and forth to Bosnia and Kosovo.”

“We’re already being asked to do a lot with very little,” he said. “Right now we’re only 50 percent staffed where I work because of all the deployments.”

Rumsfeld's personal spy ring
by Eric Boehlert

During last fall's feverish ramp up to war with Iraq, the Pentagon created an unusual in-house shop to monitor Saddam Hussein's links with terrorists and his allegedly sprawling arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. With direct access to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's office and the White House, the influential group helped lay out, both to administration officials and to the press, an array of chilling, almost too-good-to-be-true examples of why Saddam posed an immediate threat to America.

Six months later, with controversy mounting over the administration's handling of war intelligence, the small, secretive cell inside the Pentagon is drawing closer scrutiny and may soon be the subject of a congressional inquiry to determine whether it manipulated and politicized key intelligence and botched planning for post-war Iraq.

North Korea warns US: we can produce six atom bombs
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington

The crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme deepened yesterday as the North claimed it had made enough plutonium for six atomic bombs, and a former US Defence Secretary warned that the two countries could be at war by the end of the year.

The latest claim from Pyongyang was communicated to the Bush administration last week, three months after North Korea said it was beginning to reprocess 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods that were under United Nations seal until the UN inspectors were ejected from the country at the end of 2002.

US intelligence agencies are now trying to determine whether the boast is true or merely another bluff by the reclusive Stalinist regime.

U.S., N. Korea Drifting Toward War, Perry Warns
By Thomas E. Ricks and Glenn Kessler

Former defense secretary William Perry warned that the United States and North Korea are drifting toward war, perhaps as early as this year, in an increasingly dangerous standoff that also could result in terrorists being able to purchase a North Korean nuclear device and plant it in a U.S. city.

"I think we are losing control" of the situation, said Perry, who believes North Korea soon will have enough nuclear warheads to begin exploding them in tests and exporting them to terrorists and other U.S. adversaries. "The nuclear program now underway in North Korea poses an imminent danger of nuclear weapons being detonated in American cities," he said in an interview.

Faulty Connection
by Jim Lobe

As calls mount for a full-scale investigation into the Bush administration's manipulation of intelligence on Iraq's nonexistent nuclear and chemical weapons program, let's hope that the other casus belli on which the administration based its war -- the alleged link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein -- also gets the scrutiny it deserves.

While the link was hyped less by administration officials than by right-wing idealogues and the conservative press, an organized campaign was nonetheless launched to persuade the American public that such a connection was real -- and represented a mortal threat.

16 Words, and Counting

After I wrote a month ago about the Niger uranium hoax in the State of the Union address, a senior White House official chided me gently and explained that there was more to the story that I didn't know.

Yup. And now it's coming out.

Based on conversations with people in the intelligence community, this picture is emerging: the White House, eager to spice up the State of the Union address, recklessly resurrected the discredited Niger tidbit. The Central Intelligence Agency objected, and then it and the National Security Council negotiated a new wording, attributing it all to the Brits. It felt less dishonest pinning the falsehood on the cousins.

Parts Is Parts

This is a great cartoon from Buffalo News. Check it out!

Thanks to Drew for the following articles:

Angry MPs set Blair a deadline to find weapons


My favorite so far here are the totals for Question #7:

In general, would you like to see George W. Bush re-elected to another term as president?

MSNBC Newsweek

Yes 20% 47%

No 78% 46%

Don't know 2% 7%

Core of Weapons Case Crumbling

I would like to thank Windy for bringing the following articles to my attention:

Howard Dean? Antiwar!? Not Quite

An Appointed Congress? by Ron Paul

Howard Dean: Hawk in Dove’s Clothing?

3 comments so far

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~Did You Miss These?~

Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003

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