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Post-9-11 events and analyses

Ken Novak's Weblog

daily link  Thursday, April 29, 2004

Death to Iraqis who dare to speak out:  "Over the past year, Baghdad's intelligentsia has seen a wave of killings: scientists, professors, and academics, executed in carefully planned assassinations. It's hard to estimate the toll, but US occupation authorities put the number of "intellectuals and professionals" assassinated at up to five a month, not counting another five to 10 monthly attempts. By some counts, as many as 40 of Iraq's leading scientists and university professors have been killed since last April. ..

But regardless of the numbers, there is one sure victim: free speech. On the campuses of Iraq's universities, the killings have created a climate of fear so pervasive that many professors flatly refuse to speak about them.. The killings are having another effect: brain drain...

Dr. Hadi, like several other professors, now refuses to give interviews on Arabic-language television channels. When asked why, he's afraid even to say. "Now we have freedom of speech," he says cautiously, "but no security."

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Summary and update of America Unbound:  Address by one of the authors.  "Bush prefers to act unilaterally. .. On occasion he has turned to international institutions .. [when] they can help solve his immediate problems. What Bob Keagan has called instrumental multilateralism.. 

“If we are an arrogant nation, they’ll resent us,” Bush observed about other countries during the presidential debates “If we’re a humble nation, but strong, they’ll welcome us.” Bush ignored this advice once in office. .. What the poll numbers tell us is that in many parts of the world the United States is seen as the “SUV of nations,” to borrow Mary McGrory’s phrase, “hogging the road and guzzling gas, and occasionally running over something — like another nation — on its way to the Middle East filling station.” ..

Bush’s way is not America’s only choice. In fact, Washington has chosen differently before. America emerged from World War II as the world’s predominant power. It could have imposed an imperium commensurate with its power. Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman were certainly comfortable wielding America’s military might. But they wisely recognized that American power is more acceptable and thus more effective and lasting if it is folded into alliances and multilateral institutions that serve the interests and purposes of many countries. .. Rather than hobbling American power, these efforts legitimated and sustained it, building up a reservoir of goodwill that made it easier for the United States to act unilaterally, as on occasion it inevitably had to do.

Bush has chosen not to take this course. From the first day he entered office, Bush has pursued a revolution whose motto has been “foreign policy done my way.” For all the feints and seeming tactical changes in policy — yes to a UN resolution one day, no to sharing real power the next — that sentiment will no doubt continue throughout the remainder of his presidency. And so, no doubt, will continued frustration and anger abroad at the arrogance of American power. The final bill, unfortunately, will be America’s to pay."

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CPA work culture:  "The progressive leaders that I have met in my travels have all socialized very specific memes about what constitutes success in their organizations: Well done is better than well said; deliver quantifiable, measurable results; give me accomplishments over mere activities; schools and roads rebuilt versus meetings and discussions.  .. In Baghdad, CPA drove metrics around lives saved, hospitals rebuilt, roads paved, electrical towers erected, and so on."  This passage gave me chills, in hindsight.  Getting things done is what matters when there is broad agreement about what's important, like within a company or among competitors in an industry (or a bureaucracy).  But in national development, especially when the political system is underdeveloped, the ends are up for grabs, and the development of social processes with qualitative outcomes is what matters most.  When the Europeans told the US to make a provisional government as the first step, when Sistani's people clamored for any kind of early elections -- the clock was ticking, and it was the unquantifiable unmeasurable preceptions and opinions and conversations that would matter more than the concrete actions.  12:09:38 AM  permalink  

daily link  Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Spain's 9-11: After the Madrid bombings, "the rule of law in Spain has not been suspended, there appears complete transparency in the arrests and detention of suspects, and no general “war” was declared or “Guantanamos” set up. Surely the Spaniards are as terrified as Americans were on that tragic day in September 2001 and their primal urge to retaliate is as strong. But in an exemplary demonstration of how democracies should operate in emergencies, Spaniards have conducted themselves—as Palacio had said they would—with the penal code in one hand and laws and procedures in the other.

The 25 countries of the European Union, meeting on March 21, 2004, barely two weeks after the terrorist attacks in Madrid, appointed a terrorism-czar to coordinate the European anti-terrorism efforts. But they made clear that Europe's heightened efforts to combat terrorism would not dilute their democratic institutions and free societies. "Europe is not at war," Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy czar told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "We must oppose terrorism energetically, but we must not change our way of life. We are democrats who love freedom." "  6:18:23 PM  permalink  

daily link  Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Commonweal Institute: "a new think tank and communications organization working to bring positive moderate and progressive messages to the public and build widespread support for the issues we care about. "  Based in California, several supporters in Silicon Valley.  Mostly virtual organization. Has information on right-wing organizations, environment, voting machines.  Interesting advisors.  6:13:53 PM  permalink  

daily link  Monday, April 26, 2004

Bremer foresaw 9/11: Ironic -- Paul Bremer led a commission on the subject, and spoke in Feb 2001: ""It is the media's responsibility, and an important one, though very uncomfortable for people in government, to put a very strong spotlight on the government's policies and practices on terrorism, especially given the current disorganization of the federal government's fight against terrorism. In this area, the federal government is in complete disarray. There's been remarkably little attention to the major recommendation the Gilmore Commission made for a substantial reorganization of the government's approach to terrorism. Journalists shouldn't let politicians get away with that. 

"The new [Bush] administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh, my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this?' That's too bad. They've been given a window of opportunity with very little terrorism now, and they're not taking advantage of it. Maybe the folks in the press ought to be pushing a little bit."

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daily link  Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Wrong Debate on Terrorism: An update from Richard Clarke.  "One lesson is that even though we are the world's only remaining superpower — as we were before Sept. 11, 2001 — we are seriously threatened by an ideological war within Islam. It is a civil war in which a radical Islamist faction is striking out at the West and at moderate Muslims. Once we recognize that the struggle within Islam — not a "clash of civilizations" between East and West — is the phenomenon with which we must grapple, we can begin to develop a strategy and tactics for doing so. It is a battle not only of bombs and bullets, but chiefly of ideas. It is a war that we are losing, as more and more of the Islamic world develops antipathy toward the United States and some even develop a respect for the jihadist movement.. Fashioning a comprehensive strategy to win the battle of ideas should be given as much attention as any other aspect of the war on terrorists, or else we will fight this war for the foreseeable future. For even when Osama bin Laden is dead, his ideas will carry on. ..

We must also be careful, while advocating democracy in the region, that we do not undermine the existing regimes without having a game plan for what should follow them and how to get there. The lesson of President Jimmy Carter's abandonment of the shah of Iran in 1979 should be a warning. So, too, should we be chastened by the costs of eliminating the regime of Saddam Hussein, almost 25 years after the shah, also without a detailed plan for what would follow. ..

There will be a tendency to overemphasize organizational fixes [in US agencies]. ..The more important task is improving the quality of the analysts, agents and managers at the lead foreign intelligence agency, the Central Intelligence Agency. ..  We do not need another new agency right now. We do, however, need to create within the F.B.I. a strong organization that is vastly different ..

C.I.A. and F.B.I. cannot continue to be dominated by careerists who have carefully managed their promotions and ensured their retirement benefits by avoiding risk and innovation for decades. The agencies need regular infusions throughout their supervisory ranks of managers and thinkers from other, more creative organizational cultures.  In the new F.B.I., marksmanship, arrests and skill on the physical training obstacle course should no longer be prerequisites for recruitment and retention. Similarly, within the C.I.A. we should quash the belief that — as George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, told the 9/11 commission — those who have never worked in the directorate of operations cannot understand it and are unqualified to criticize it. ..

Finally, we must try to achieve a level of public discourse on these issues that is simultaneously energetic and mutually respectful.. We should not dismiss critics through character assassination, nor should we besmirch advocates of the Patriot Act as fascists. We all want to defeat the jihadists. To do that, we need to encourage an active, critical and analytical debate in America about how that will best be done. And if there is another major terrorist attack in this country, we must not panic or stifle debate as we did for too long after 9/11."

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daily link  Friday, April 23, 2004 the title says it all.  3:09:32 PM  permalink  

daily link  Thursday, April 22, 2004

Bad news not hurting Bush in polls:  "A Gallup Poll released Tuesday showed Bush winning re-election in a hypothetical matchup with 51 percent of the votes to 46 percent for Kerry. A similar Gallup survey taken in early March just after Kerry wrapped up the Democratic nomination showed Kerry ahead of Bush 52 percent to 44 percent.   The results mirror a Washington Post-ABC News poll, also published Tuesday, that found Bush ahead of Kerry 48 percent to 43 percent, almost exactly opposite a poll taken five weeks earlier by the news organizations. Independent Ralph Nader attracted 6 percent of the vote in the latest survey." 

How do we reconcile this with the results from two weeks ago:"The University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey compared attitudes about the candidates in the first half of March with those in the second half and found that changes in their favorable ratings were "statistically insignificant" in the 18 battleground states where the most ads have run."  National versus battleground states, in different time periods; but a difference of 8% seems hard to reconcile.

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daily link  Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Cracks appear in Bush circle: "This month Bush approved a five-year plan to train up to 75,000 peacekeeping forces — largely staffed by other countries' soldiers — for use in hot spots around the world.   That would have been anathema a few years ago.  But U.S. forces are now too overstretched for the job, one administration official told the Washington Post, noting that the new peacekeeping reserve force "could be used by the United Nations."   Just the sort of thing, in fact, that Powell might have argued. "  12:12:26 AM  permalink  

daily link  Sunday, April 18, 2004

These are our banner terror trials? "It's clear that the Bush administration doesn't believe in open criminal trials for "real" terrorists. "  1:28:50 PM  permalink  

INTEL DUMP: Goog blog. "Near real-time analysis and commentary from Phil Carter -- a former Army officer, journalist and UCLA law student"  1:24:59 PM  permalink  

daily link  Friday, April 16, 2004

Address by General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret), 2003:  Lists 7 challenges for the US in today's world, and focuses on nation-building:  "[The military is] great at dealing with the tactical problems—the killing and the breaking. We are lousy at solving the strategic problems; having a strategic plan, understanding about regional and global security and what it takes to weld that and to shape it and to move it forward. Where are the Marshalls today? Where are the Eisenhowers and the Trumans, that saw the vision and saw the world in a different way; and that understood what had to be done and what America's role is? ..

Right now the question that has to be answered is: does our military expand its role beyond the military aspect, or will we continue to stick it with this mission without the resources, the training, the cooperation from others or the lack of authority needed to get the job done? .. If the others, those wearing suits, can't come in and solve the problem—can't bring the resources, the expertise, and the organization—and we're going to continue to get stuck with it, you have one or two choices. Either they get the capability and it's demanded of them, and we learn how to partner to get it done, or the military finally decides to change into something else beyond the breaking and the killing. ..

[In Iraq] At the end of the third inning we declared victory and said the game's over. It ain't over. It isn't going to be over in future wars. .. [Our soldiers] should never be put on a battlefield without a strategic plan, not only for the fighting—our generals will take care of that—but for the aftermath and winning that war. Where are we, the American people, if we accept this, if we accept this level of sacrifice without that level of planning? "

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daily link  Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Head Spook Sputters: "In a commission staff report, there is a stark juxtaposition of Sandy Berger's approach before the millennium and Condi Rice's before 9/11.  "Berger, in particular, met or spoke constantly with Tenet and Attorney General Reno," the report said. "He visited the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. on Christmas Day 1999 to raise the morale of exhausted officials."  Condi and her deputy, Steve Hadley, did not stoop to mere domestic work. "Rice and Hadley told us that before 9/11, they did not feel they had the job of handling domestic security." They left that up to Dick Clarke to broker, the same guy Dick Cheney said "wasn't in the loop." ..

After the Bay of Pigs, President Kennedy spoke to newspaper publishers and said: "This administration intends to be candid about its errors. For as a wise man once said, `An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.' . . . Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive."  Compare Kennedy with Mr. Bush, who conceded no errors.."

  10:25:15 PM  permalink  

Army criticism on Iraq: "In a broadside fired at the conduct of the war in Iraq, a senior Army strategist has accused the Bush administration of seeking to win "quickly and on the cheap" while ignoring the more critical strategic aim of creating a stable, democratic nation.  While the United States easily won the initial battles that toppled Saddam Hussein a year ago, the administration "either misunderstood or, worse, wished away" the difficulties of transforming that victory into the larger political goal, Army Lt. Col. Antulio J. Echevarria of the U.S. Army War College writes in a new paper...

Echevarria, a West Point graduate with M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Princeton University, served as operations officer of a cavalry squadron, among other assignments, and has written widely on strategy...

Retired Army Maj. Gen. William L. Nash [said] "But once you understand that the political objectives are supreme, you understand that you have to broaden the political coalition internationally, regionally and locally" to support nation-building in Iraq, he said.  "That's hard to do, and even harder if you have to swallow your pride."

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daily link  Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Last Real Chance in Iraq: Another clear piece from Fareed Zakaria.  "Weeks after formal hostilities ended, France and Germany made clear that they would be willing to provide major support for postwar reconstruction in Iraq. But they asked that it take place under U.N. auspices, as had all recent nation-building, including Afghanistan's. Tony Blair urged that the United States accept these offers, but Washington spurned them, finding the requirement for U.N. control intolerable. "We're utterly surprised," a senior U.N. diplomat told me in June 2003. "We thought the United States would dump Iraq on the world's lap and the rest of the world would object ... The opposite is happening. The rest of the world is saying, 'We're willing to help,' but Washington is determined to run Iraq itself."..   [Now] an administration so hostile to the U.N. finds that it is at the mercy of the U.N. for its salvation."  3:19:43 PM  permalink  

Snares and Delusions: Krugman nails it.  "Mr. Bush, who once challenged his own father to go mano a mano, is still addicted to tough talk, and still personalizes everything.

Again and again, administration officials have insisted that some particular evildoer is causing all our problems. Last July they confidently predicted an end to the insurgency after Saddam's sons were killed. In December, they predicted an end to the insurgency after capturing Saddam himself. Six weeks ago — was it only six weeks? — Al Qaeda was orchestrating the insurgency, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the root of all evil. The obvious point that we're facing widespread religious and nationalist resentment in Iraq, which is exploited but not caused by the bad guy du jour, never seems to sink in.

The situation in Falluja seems to have been greatly exacerbated by tough-guy posturing and wishful thinking. According to The Jerusalem Post, after the murder and mutilation of American contractors, Mr. Bush told officials that "I want heads to roll." Didn't someone warn him of the likely consequences of attempting to carry out a manhunt in a hostile, densely populated urban area?

And now we have a new villain. Yesterday Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez declared that "the mission of the U.S. forces is to kill or capture Moktada al-Sadr." If and when they do, we'll hear once again that we've turned the corner. Does anyone believe it?

When will we learn that we're not going to end the mess in Iraq by getting bad guys? There are always new bad guys to take their place. And let's can the rhetoric about staying the course. In fact, we desperately need a change in course.

The best we can realistically hope for now is to turn power over to relatively moderate Iraqis with a real base of popular support. Yes, that mainly means Islamic clerics. The architects of the war will complain bitterly, and claim that we could have achieved far more. But they've been wrong about everything so far — and if we keep following their advice, Iraq really will turn into another Vietnam. "

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daily link  Monday, April 12, 2004

Capital Games: Reminder of the coverup chronology.  "A small but significant White House cover-up fell apart this past weekend..

The PDB controversy is not about whether Bush received a specific warning a month before 9/11. It concerns his administration's attitude toward al Qaeda and the possibility of domestic attacks prior to September 11 and whether the White House has truly been willing to see the full 9/11 tale uncovered and told. The evidence is mounting that al Qaeda was not the priority it should have been in the first seven months of Bush's presidency. Yet the White House is unable to acknowledge that it made a misjudgment. Much of the public might even believe that it was a natural mistake for a new administration to underestimate the abilities and reach of a madman hunkered down in faraway Afghanistan. In a way, such a screw-up may be more forgivable than Bush and his lieutenants' efforts to cover up information and prevent the 9/11 commission from completing a thorough examination. ..

The 9/11 commission has not constantly inspired confidence, but thanks to the panel, Rice's PDB cover-up, after two years, caved in. Still, suspicious minds would be right to wonder: Are there other cover-ups, which are not yet publicly known, that will end up more to Bush and Rice's liking? "

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Battle stations? Hardly: "For at least a decade, the terrorist "kamikaze-ing” of airplanes had been much discussed. In 1994, a deranged man crashed a small plane into the White House, doing little damage. And in 1995, a plot was uncovered to hijack airplanes and crash them into U.S. targets, including the CIA headquarters in Virginia.  Since then, on at least six occasions, according to The Wall Street Journal, the government set up air-defense systems above sensitive events, such as the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Indeed, on 9/11, plans were already under way to protect the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. ..

Last week Rice said that .. "The president of the United States had us at battle stations during this period of time.” But a look at the timeline of 9/11 itself shows [otherwise. At] 8:13 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 stopped responding to air traffic control. Within 20 minutes, authorities not only knew that the plane had been hijacked and that a passenger had been killed; they even knew the identity of some of the Arab killers. That plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46.

Mightn't those events alone have triggered some recall of the Aug. 6 briefing, if, in fact, Uncle Sam was at "battle stations”? Instead, at 8:55, the presidential motorcade arrived at an elementary school in Florida; Bush went inside to read a book to the children. Then a second hijacked plane -- known to be off course for 38 minutes -- crashed into the second tower. Bush was told "America is under attack” at 9:07. Yet amazingly, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was sitting in his regular office a half-hour later when yet another plane struck the Pentagon. Does that sound like "battle stations”? Eighty-four minutes after the first inkling of a hijacked-airplane incident, the defense headquarters of the United States was hit by a lumbering passenger airliner, and the defense chief was caught totally exposed and vulnerable.

Can anybody call that performance a job well done? Bush seems to think so.."

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daily link  Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Opinions steady despite ads: "Public views of President Bush and Democratic rival John Kerry have changed little in the past month despite millions of dollars of television campaign ads, according to a survey released Monday... changes in their favorable ratings were "statistically insignificant" in the 18 battleground states where the most ads have run."  Bush spent $40m on ads and Kerry $20m during the period.  11:30:02 PM  permalink  

daily link  Monday, April 05, 2004

9/11 Panel News: "Newsweek reports that a staffer from Kean’s commission faxed a photograph from November 1945 of presidential chief of staff Admiral William Leahy appearing before a special congressional panel investigating the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Accompanying the photo was a note saying the photo would be all over Washington in 24 hours if the White House didn't allow Rice to testify in public before the commission.  The White House denied that the photograph forced its hand"  10:16:56 PM  permalink  

Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover: "Wthe 40,000 subscribers to Reason, the monthly libertarian magazine, receive a copy of the June issue, they will see on the cover a satellite photo of a neighborhood - their own neighborhood. And their house will be graphically circled. 

On one level, the project, sort of the ultimate in customized publishing, is unsurprising: of course a magazine knows where its subscribers live. But it is still a remarkable demonstration of the growing number of ways databases can be harnessed. Apart from the cover image, several advertisements are customized to reflect the recipient's particulars. ..

Rodger Cosgrove, president of Entremedia, a direct marketing firm and a member of Reason's board, assisted in coming up with a program that allows the subscriber list to be integrated with satellite photographs. He also worked with Xeikon, the manufacturer of the printer that made the endless customization possible.  ..

In his editor's note describing the magazine's database package, Mr. Gillispie left open three spots - commuting time, educational attainment and percentage of children living with grandparents - so he could adapt his message to individual readers. .."

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France 'sought secret UN deal' in bid to avert row: Confirmation of Holbrooke conversation from March, plus confirmation of Bush rush to war: "The French government offered a surprise compromise to the US president, George Bush, in the run-up to the war in Iraq .. The report undermines the public perception of France standing resolutely against the US and Britain in the United Nations security council as the two countries tried to win a second resolution in support of war. ..

At a lunch in the White House on January 13 last year, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, an adviser to the president, Jacques Chirac, and Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador in Washington, put the deal to Condoleezza Rice, the US national security adviser.  In an effort to avoid a bitter US-French row, the French officials suggested that if the US was intent on war, it should not seek the second resolution, according to highly placed US sources cited by Vanity Fair.  Instead, the two said that the first resolution on Iraq, 1441, passed the previous year, provided enough legal cover for war and that France would keep quiet if the US went to war on that basis.  The deal would suit the French by maintaining its "good cop" status in the Arab world and safeguarding Franco-US relations.

But the deal died when Tony Blair led a doomed attempt to secure a second resolution to try to satisfy Labour MPs and government lawyers who questioned the legitimacy of the war. ..

The investigation also claims that Mr Blair and Mr Bush discussed war against Iraq only nine days after the attack on New York on September 11 2001, even though Mr Blair was insisting up until just before the Iraq war began on March 20 last year that no decision had been taken.  Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to Washington, is quoted in Vanity Fair as saying Mr Blair told Mr Bush over dinner that the US president should not be distracted by Iraq from the war against al-Qaida."

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daily link  Sunday, April 04, 2004

Fouad Ajami on Iraq and Middle East: A collection of links up to early 2003.  10:37:03 PM  permalink  

daily link  Saturday, April 03, 2004

Terror responses:  couple useful facts.  "A Congressional inquiry into intelligence activities before Sept. 11 found 12 reports over a seven-year period suggesting that terrorists might use airplanes as weapons... Between 1998 and 2001, the last fiscal year for which President Clinton submitted a budget, counterterrorism spending across all government agencies grew by more than 50 percent, to $9.7 billion."  10:08:37 PM  permalink  

daily link  Friday, April 02, 2004

Industrial control systems seen as 'undeniably vulnerable': "In a hearing yesterday on the security of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, which are used to manage infrastructure such as the electric power grid and oil and gas pipelines, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) said the lack of a national strategy to deal with SCADA system security makes the nation "undeniably vulnerable" to cyberterrorism. Putnam is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census.

"The more I've learned [about the lack of SCADA system security], the more concerned I've become," said Putnam. "I've learned that today's SCADA systems have been designed with little or no attention to computer security. Data are often sent as clear text; protocols for accepting commands are open, with no authentication required; and communications channels are often wireless, leased lines or the Internet."  ..

Gerald Freese, director of information security at American Electric Power, said SCADA systems remain "open books" to any terrorist organization that wants to learn how to exploit them. In fact, U.S. energy companies assisted Pakistan in developing that country's SCADA and supporting telecommunications infrastructure. Modeling the Pakistani electric power infrastructure on the U.S., these companies used many of the same technologies and many of the same vendors to do the work, Freese said.

Richard Clarke and Howard Schmidt, the two former chairmen of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, acknowledged in interviews that raids conducted during the war on terrorism have uncovered evidence that al-Qaeda has been actively studying vulnerabilities in U.S. SCADA systems

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daily link  Thursday, April 01, 2004

Canada Unveils Tell-All, Online Expenses Policy: "Canada took its bid to clean up politics to new levels on Thursday, publishing details of expenses claimed by ministers, ambassadors and other senior officials on government Web sites. .. The measures were announced last year after it emerged that former privacy commissioner George Radwanski and his press aide had racked up C$510,000 ($390,000) on travel, meals and hotels in just two years. He was forced to resign over the affair.  Federal institutions will have to update figures for travel and hospitality expenses every three months. "  5:18:13 PM  permalink  

VOYAGE: "VOYAGE is a movement of young people working to inspire a globally engaged America. We envision an informed U.S. public that voices solidarity with our global community and acts to alleviate suffering across the world. VOYAGE pursues this vision through public outreach and grassroots networking, creating a variety of forums for youth to enrich the debate on America's role in the international community."  Endorsed by Gary Hart; active in small development projects and media outreach.  1:46:51 PM  permalink  

President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief: Nice list.  Could be significant: "Even as the Bush campaign chips away at Kerry's credibility, he'll have to address similar questions about his own. .. His flip-flops take on added weight because he himself has upped the ante. The underlying theme of every Bush campaign is that he is a man of honor, while his opponent is a liar or a hypocrite. Of course, Bush doesn't use those exact words. But make no mistake, that's what he meant when in the 2000 Republican primary he described Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as a politician who "says one thing and does another" and characterized Vice President Gore as a politician who will "say anything to get elected."

Kerry campaign spokesman David Wade said the Bush administration has "this nasty habit of flip-flopping the only time political pressure is applied, any time they see that their own positions are untenable. It's incredible how transparent their flip-flops are... The great irony is that this administration makes these baseless attacks when in fact not only is George Bush a walking contradiction, but clearly he is the candidate in the race that has the known credibility problem."  "

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