After the Bush administration delayed its publication for months, Congress yesterday released its nearly 900-page investigation on the Sept. 11 attacks.
The report’s findings provide an even more damning indictment of the intelligence community than many had predicted. Sen. Bob Graham, former head of the Senate Intelligence committee, says the report proves the 9/11 attacks could have been stopped.
The scathing critique of the CIA and the FBI finds the agencies did not talk to each other at critical junctures. The FBI missed evidence of its own informant who was actually living with two of the hijackers in San Diego.
As fighting intensified in Liberia, the top two Pentagon officials in the Joint Chiefs of Staff are warning about the dangers of U.S. involvement in the West African nation. This highlights a split between the State Department and Pentagon. Secretary of State Colin Powell recently called for U.S. troops to be sent soon to Liberia.
Gen. Richard B. Myers said yesterday, “It’s not a pretty situation. It’s not going to give way to any instant fix”
Representative Donald M. Payne, a New Jersey Democrat charged the top Pentagon officials with being racist for its reluctance to help Liberia. Payne said, “There’s no question, they don’t want to go near Liberia. It’s because they’re African, and they’re black, and they don’t count.”
The U.S. yesterday released the bloody and grisly photos of two men they identified as Uday and Qusay Hussein, the sons of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
According to the Guardian of London, the release of the photos was delayed 24 hours because of an intense debate between military officials and the Pentagon’s civilian leadership. Head military officers protested the decision to release the photos.
Colonel Dan Smith, a retired military intelligence officer, said: “We have a tradition of respecting the dead … We objected to the showing of bodies of American servicemen. It’s kind of ironic that we turn around and display dead folks now.”
But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the decision. He argued that it would help convince the world Hussein’s sons are dead. It is unclear how successful that has been. The Guardian reports one Iraqi newspaper claimed to have conducted an instant poll, in which 80% of Iraqis questioned said they thought the pictures were a fabrication.
The New York Times is reporting that House Majority Leader Tom Delay is heading to Israel, Jordan and Iraq this week to voice his opposition against the formation of a Palestinian state. In the past he has called the peace plan “a road map to destruction.” Delay said, “I can’t imagine in the very near future that a Palestinian state could ever happen. I can’t imagine this president supporting a state of terrorists, a sovereign state of terrorists.” The New York Times describes Delay as the most prominent member in Washington of the Christian Zionist movement.
California’s Lt. Governor has set Oct. 7 to be the date of the state’s first ever gubernatorial recall election. Voters will be asked whether to recall Democrat Gov. Gray Davis and on the same ballot to select a candidate to succeed Davis if he gets bounced from office.
Ignoring concerns of labor unions, the U.S. House has approved new trade agreements with Chile and Singapore. The Senate is expected to vote next week.
Big businesses lobbied for the agreements arguing that it will open up new markets for U.S. goods. But opponents, including a growing number of Republicans, say the agreements will simply help multinational corporations move from jobs from the U.S.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado, said “I am becoming less and less of a free trader. All we’ve done is kowtow to multinational corporations and their desire to reduce labor costs.” Lori Wallach, head of Public Citizen also noted the pacts lack vital labor and environmental guarantees. Wallach said, “If these rules were applied to large blocs of countries as the Administration proposes, the result would be disastrous.”
An Argentine judge has ordered the arrest of 46 former officials connected to the military junta that ruled between 1976 and 1983.
Thousands of supporters of the former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt have been rioting in the streets protesting a court ruling barring him from running for president. The BBC reports a journalist died after being chased by supporters of Montt. The Guatemalan President has ordered troops to restore order Montt ruled in the 1980s after overseeing a military coup. Human rights groups say thousands of civilians died under his rule. Guatemalan law bars former coup leaders from running for president.
And this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the major events of the 20th century. On July 26, 1953 the Cuban revolution began when Fidel Castro and 200 supporters attacked military barracks in the eastern town of Santiago de Cuba. And on July 27, 1953 the Korean War ended when a cease-fire agreement was signed.
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