Sunday, February 29, 2004

My Way - News: "Report: Deal for U.S. to Hunt Bin Laden in Pakistan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States has struck a deal with Pakistan to allow U.S. troops to hunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden this spring in an area of Pakistan where he is believed to be operating, the New Yorker magazine reported on Sunday.
Thousands of U.S. troops will be deployed in a tribal area of northwest Pakistan in return for Washington's support of President Pervez Musharraf's pardon of the Pakistani scientist who this month admitted leaking nuclear arms secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in the issue that goes on sale on Monday.
Full disclosure of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's activities would have exposed him as 'the worst nuclear-arms proliferator in the world,' an intelligence official is quoted as saying.
'It's a quid pro quo,' according to a former senior intelligence official. 'We're going to get our troops inside Pakistan in return for not forcing Musharraf to deal with Khan.'"

Friday, February 27, 2004

Ion Mihai Pacepa on John Kerry on National Review OnlineKerry’s Soviet Rhetoric
The Vietnam-era antiwar movement got its spin from the Kremlin.
By Ion Mihai Pacepa
Part of Senator John Kerry's appeal to a certain segment of Americans is his Vietnam-veteran status coupled with his antiwar activism during that period. On April 12, 1971, Kerry told the U.S. Congress that American soldiers claimed to him that they had, "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned on the power, cut off limbs, blew up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."
The exact sources of that assertion should be tracked down. Kerry also ought to be asked who, exactly, told him any such thing, and what it was, exactly, that they said they did in Vietnam. Statutes of limitation now protect these individuals from prosecution for any such admissions. Or did Senator Kerry merely hear allegations of that sort as hearsay bandied about by members of antiwar groups (much of which has since been discredited)? To me, this assertion sounds exactly like the disinformation line that the Soviets were sowing worldwide throughout the Vietnam era. KGB priority number one at that time was to damage American power, judgment, and credibility. One of its favorite tools was the fabrication of such evidence as photographs and "news reports" about invented American war atrocities. These tales were purveyed in KGB-operated magazines that would then flack them to reputable news organizations. Often enough, they would be picked up. News organizations are notoriously sloppy about verifying their sources. All in all, it was amazingly easy for Soviet-bloc spy organizations to fake many such reports and spread them around the free world.
As a spy chief and a general in the former Soviet satellite of Romania, I produced the very same vitriol Kerry repeated to the U.S. Congress almost word for word and planted it in leftist movements throughout Europe. KGB chairman Yuri Andropov managed our anti-Vietnam War operation. He often bragged about having damaged the U.S. foreign-policy consensus, poisoned domestic debate in the U.S., and built a credibility gap between America and European public opinion through our disinformation operations. Vietnam was, he once told me, "our most significant success."

Monday, February 23, 2004

U.S. search for bin Laden intensifies - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics: " The Pentagon is moving elements of a supersecret commando unit from Iraq to the Afghanistan theater to step up the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
A Defense Department official said there are two reasons for repositioning parts of Task Force 121: First, most high-value human targets in Iraq, including Saddam Hussein, have been caught or killed. Second, intelligence reports are increasing on the whereabouts of bin Laden, the terror leader behind the September 11 attacks.
'Iraq has become more of a policing problem than a hunt for high-value Iraqis,' the defense official said. 'Afghanistan is the place where 121 can do more.'
>>>Task Force 121 is a mix of Army Delta Force soldiers and Navy SEALs, transported on helicopters from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The SEALs and soldiers are based at Joint Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, N.C.
Delta-SEAL teams typically move into theater, practice missions and wait for military and CIA intelligence to provide the location of a target, such as Saddam. "

Sunday, February 22, 2004

OpinionJournal - Taste: "It is by now a truism, although a tragic one, that Christian minorities often suffer persecution in some Muslim countries. (Think only of the recent anti-Christian violence in Indonesia.) What is less well-known is the plight of non-Christian minorities.
Here, too, the story is often tragic. An especially telling example concerns members of the Ahmadiyya Community, a world-wide religious group whose suffering illustrates all too well the increasing political power of a militant perversion of Islam.
>>>That is not how Ahmadis see themselves. Members of the Ahmadiyya Community profess to be Muslims. They believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908)--a reformer who lived in a remote village in Punjab, India, and taught his followers to wage "jihad" against Islam's opponents with the pen and not the sword--was the messiah foretold by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.
Ahmad's followers, it should be said, do not constitute some fringe cult. They are numerous throughout Asia, Europe and North America and can be found in high positions. Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, was an Ahmadi. So was the physicist Abdus Salam, the first Pakistani Nobel laureate. Alas, many orthodox Muslims place the community outside the pale of Islam, asserting that its members reject the finality of Muhammad's prophethood."
Al Qaeda Rebuffs Iraqi Terror Group, U.S. Officials Say: "The most active terrorist network inside Iraq appears to be operating mostly apart from Al Qaeda, senior American officials say.
Most significantly, the officials said, American intelligence had picked up signs that Qaeda members outside Iraq had refused a request from the group, Ansar al-Islam, for help in attacking Shiite Muslims in Iraq.
The request was made by Ansar's leader, a Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and intercepted by the United States last month. The apparent refusal is being described by some American intelligence analysts as an indication of a significant divide between the groups."
Internet Ad Attack: In Politics, the Web Is a Parallel World With Its Own RulesWhen the Web was in its infancy, Internet utopians envisioned a political revolution, predicting that the new medium would engage and empower voters as never before. Much of what they envisioned has come to pass, with the Internet facilitating vigorous debate this year, most dramatically, giving Howard Dean’s campaign the ability to raise millions.
But part of the Web’s appeal has been its unbridled nature, and it is showing that it can act as a back alley — where punches can be thrown and things can be said that might be deemed out of place, even if just at a particular moment, in the full light of the mainstream media.
“The principals themselves feel like they can act out there in a way that they wouldn’t dare to do in the mainstream media,’’ said Jonathan Zittrain, a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

CNEWS - Cdn. researcher: Cells can grow on silicon:
CALGARY (CP) -- Researchers at the University of Calgary have found that nerve cells grown on a microchip can learn and memorize information which can be communicated to the brain.
'We discovered that when we used the chip to stimulate the neurons, their synaptic strength was enhanced,' said Naweed Syed, a neurobiologist at the University of Calgary's faculty of medicine.
The nerve cells also exhibited memory traces that were successfully read by the chip, said Syed, co-author of the landmark study published in February's edition of Physical Review Letters, an international journal."

Sunday, February 15, 2004

WorldNetDaily: New al-Qaida allies identified in Iraq::GEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT INTELLIGENCE BRIEF: "Islamic insurgency groups specialize in suicide attacks against U.S.
BAGHDAD – Iraq has attracted a range of new Sunni insurgency groups that specialize in suicide attacks against U.S. and allied interests.
The Ansar Al Sunni Army is believed to be the most prominent of the new Sunni groups. Sources said Ansar was established by al-Qaida in September 2003.
>>>Iraqi security sources and U.S. officials said the insurgency groups have emerged over the past four months. They appear to be composed of volunteers from Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
All of the groups appear to have been inspired, although not necessarily led, by al-Qaida.
"It is clear that the suicide attacks are not homegrown," an Iraqi security official said. "They come from our neighbors."
The groups go by such names as Ansar Al Sunni Army, Mohammed's Army, the Army of the Just, Farouq Brigades and Saraya Islam. Some of the groups are linked and could be covers for a larger network, the sources believe.
>>>In all, al-Qaida-inspired Sunni groups have at least 20 cells in Iraq, the sources said. Unlike the network formed by loyalists of Saddam Hussein, the new Sunni groups are believed to be located in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq and in the Shi'ite areas of the south.
Iraqi security sources said Sunni insurgents from abroad have increased their campaign in Iraq. Foreign volunteers conducted virtually all of the suicide bombings in Iraq as well as most of the attacks since November 2003, they said.
One prospect is that the foreign volunteers would be employed to conduct nonconventional attacks against U.S. or allied troops."
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Suicide bombing 'pig fat threat': "Suicide bombing 'pig fat threat'
A leading Israeli rabbi has proposed hanging bags of pig fat in buses to deter Muslim suicide bombers who may want to avoid contact with an 'unclean' animal.
The idea was suggested to police by Rabbi Eliezer Fisher.
The newspaper Maariv said rabbinical authorities had sanctioned the plan to use the product - considered impure by Jews and Muslims - if it might save lives.
Police had no immediate comment on the proposal, according to Reuters news agency.
Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Yaacov Edri said he supported the proposal.
'If bags of pig lard will prevent zealous Muslim terrorists from carrying out attacks, I'm all for it,' Maariv quoted him as saying. "
Libyan Arms Designs Traced Back to China ( "Libyan Arms Designs Traced Back to China
Pakistanis Resold Chinese-Provided Plans
Investigators have discovered that the nuclear weapons designs obtained by Libya through a Pakistani smuggling network originated in China, exposing yet another link in a chain of proliferation that stretched across the Middle East and Asia, according to government officials and arms experts.
The bomb designs and other papers turned over by Libya have yielded dramatic evidence of China's long-suspected role in transferring nuclear know-how to Pakistan in the early 1980s, they said. The Chinese designs were later resold to Libya by a Pakistani-led trading network that is now the focus of an expanding international probe, added the officials and experts, who are based in the United States and Europe.
The packet of documents, some of which included text in Chinese, contained detailed, step-by-step instructions for assembling an implosion-type nuclear bomb that could fit atop a large ballistic missile. They also included technical instructions for manufacturing components for the device, the officials and experts said.
'It was just what you'd have on the factory floor. It tells you what torque to use on the bolts and what glue to use on the parts,' one weapons expert who had reviewed the blueprints said in an interview. He described the designs as 'very, very old' but 'very well engineered.'
U.S. intelligence officials concluded years ago that China provided early assistance to Pakistan in building its first nuclear weapon -- assistance that appeared to have ended in the 1980s. Still, weapons experts familiar with the blueprints expressed surprise at what they described as a wholesale transfer of sensitive nuclear technology to another country. Notes included in the package of documents suggest that China continued to mentor Pakistani scientists on the finer points of bomb-building over a period of several years, the officials said."

Friday, February 13, 2004

My Way News: "A U.N. official said Friday it was unlikely elections could be held before a U.S.-set June 30 deadline for handing power to the Iraqis, and several Iraqi leaders said there was growing support for scrapping the U.S. blueprint for establishing a new government.
U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, meanwhile, warned Iraqis to be aware of the risks of civil war as they try to find an acceptable formula for sovereignty.
'I am a little bit disturbed and a little bit uneasy because there are very serious dangers,' Brahimi said. Civil wars erupt, he said, 'because people are reckless, people are selfish, because people think more of themselves than they do of their country.'
Some members of the U.S.-picked Governing Council were pushing an alternative to the U.S. plan that would call for transferring sovereignty to an expanded council on June 30. The council would then arrange elections before the end of the year."
My Way - News: "SEATTLE (Reuters) - A U.S. National Guardsman in Washington state has been charged with trying to pass military secrets to the Islamic militant group al Qaeda after being caught in a sting operation, military officials said on Thursday.
Army Spc. Ryan Anderson, a tank crewman, was slated for deployment to Iraq this summer from Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington, where his unit is based.
Anderson was arrested on Thursday for 'aiding the enemy by wrongfully attempting to give information to the al Qaeda terrorist network,' according to Lt. Col. Stephen Barger, a spokesman at Fort Lewis.
Anderson was to be mobilized as part of a rotation of U.S. troops in the Iraq occupation force.
Local media said Anderson was 26 and a converted Muslim who grew up in Everett, Washington, and graduated from Washington State University in 2002."

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | U.N. Finds Secret Iran Nuclear Documents: "VIENNA, Austria (AP) - U.N. inspectors sifting through Iran's nuclear files have discovered drawings of high-tech equipment that can be used to make weapons-grade uranium - a new link to the black market headed by the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, diplomats said Thursday.
Beyond adding another piece to the puzzle of who provided what in the clandestine supply chain headed by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the revelations cast fresh doubt on Iran's commitment to dispelling suspicions it is trying to make atomic arms. But Iran insisted Thursday that it was cooperating.
The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the designs were of a P-2 centrifuge - more advanced than the P-1 model Iran has acknowledged using to enrich uranium for what is says are peaceful purposes. They said preliminary investigations by inspectors working for the International Atomic Energy Agency indicated they matched drawings of equipment found in Libya and supplied by Khan's network." - OSAMA'S NAVY: "OSAMA bin Laden has a 'terrorist navy' of 15 ships.
And Scotland Yard has warned one could sail up the Thames to attack Parliament.
The vessels - capable of carrying lethal chemicals or a dirty bomb - could also ram cruise liners, oil rigs or enter ports on missions of destruction.
A private memo sent to police chiefs by the Met's marine unit is headlined: Next Terror Attack Waterborne?
Ship insurer Lloyd's of London is said to be helping MI6 and the CIA trace vessels bought by al-Qaeda from a Greek shipping magnate with links to bin Laden.
The memo states shipping agents have been asked to help in the search.
The report by the Met - which says it obtained its intelligence from maritime agencies - states: 'Al-Qaeda has reportedly taken possession of 15 ships, forming what could be described as the first terrorist navy. The ships fly the flags of Yemen and Somalia where they are registered - and are capable of carrying lethal cargoes of chemicals or a dirty bomb.'
Vessels flying the flags of Senegal, Liberia and the Caribbean island of St Vincent are also under suspicion.
The ships are believed to be in the Indian or Pacific oceans. But with 120,000 vessels worldwide, the chance of finding them is slim."

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

IHT: Search: "MUNICH: This city is no longer the venue of appeasement.
At an annual security conference here on the eve of NATO's seven-state expansion, Moscow's neo-imperialist defense minister threatened to back out of an agreement limiting the size of his armed forces on Russia's European front.
Sergei Ivanov's bluff was immediately called by Senator John McCain. The Arizonan had accused President Vladimir Putin's regime of a 'creeping coup' against democracy within Russia, as well as a campaign to intimidate and reassert control over states - from the Baltics to Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine - that America's victory in the cold war had liberated from Soviet rule.
This Russia-NATO confrontation has been brewing for a year. While France and Germany split with the rest of Europe and the United States over the war in Iraq, Putin took advantage of the world's distraction to crack down on internal dissent and to undermine the independence of his neighbors.
The first public inkling of U.S. concern with Putin's irredentism came in Secretary of State Colin Powell's trip last month to attend the inauguration of Georgia's new elected leader, signaling strong support for that nation's independence. This was accompanied by a Powell article in Izvestia uncommonly critical of Moscow's repression of the news media."
News: "Saudi Arabia enrages Yemen with fence
Saudi Arabia, one of the most vocal critics in the Arab world of Israel's 'security fence' in the West Bank, is quietly emulating the Israeli example by erecting a barrier along its porous border with Yemen.
The barrier is part of a plan to erect what will be an electronic surveillance system along the length of the kingdom's frontiers - land, air and sea. The project, involving fencing and electronic detection equipment, has been in the planning stages for several years. It may cost up to $8.57bn (�4.58bn). Behind the plan is a deep-seated lack of trust in the Yemeni authorities' ability to arrest infiltrators before they make it into Saudi territory.
A Yemeni delegation arrived in Jeddah for emergency talks on the issue yesterday, after submitting an official complaint. Saudi officials have combated drug, alcohol, luxury-goods and arms smuggling across the mountainous and porous border with Yemen for years. And they have paid a high price in their battles with the smugglers.
In 2002, 36 Saudi border guards were killed in Jizan, a southern Saudi border town. The government says the smugglers provide the explosives and weapons used by radical Islamists inside the kingdom, who carried out two suicide attacks against civilian targets last year, killing more than 50 and injuring hundreds."

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Islamic extremists invade U.S., join sleeper cells - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics: " Islamic radicals are being trained at terrorist camps in Pakistan and Kashmir as part of a conspiracy to send hundreds of operatives to 'sleeper cells' in the United States, according to U.S. and foreign officials.
The intelligence and law-enforcement officials say dozens of Islamic extremists have already been routed through Europe to Muslim communities in the United States, based on secret intelligence data and information from terrorists and others detained by U.S. authorities.
A high-ranking foreign intelligence chief told The Washington Times in an interview last week that this clandestine but aggressive network of training camps 'represents a serious threat to the United States, one that cannot be ignored.' The official said as many as 400 terrorists have been and are being trained at camps in Pakistan and Kashmir.
U.S. intelligence officials said the camps, located in the remote regions of western Pakistan and in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, are financed in part by various terrorist networks, including al Qaeda, and by sources in Saudi Arabia. "

Monday, February 09, 2004

How to manage smart people - UIWEB.COMThe other day, over lunch, a friend recounted how her boss was just like the manager from the movie Office Space. After a few stories of cubicle horror related to said manager, she looked up at me and asked: “Am I an idiot? Or did something I did in this or a previous life make me deserve this?” I didn’t know what to say, other than that no one deserves to have a bad manager (Well, almost no one). Certainly this friend, who is bright, hard working, and fun, doesn’t deserve one. But unfortunately there is a normal distribution of manager quality, and many people with the job title of manager don't quite rise to the challenges of the role. It’s often not their fault: sometimes they’ve just never had a good manager themselves to model after. Then again other times they’ve just focused on the wrong things.
What follows is some advice for managers on how to manager people, especially talented people. I worked for nine years at Microsoft, sometimes managing projects, sometimes managing people, but always with a manager above me. I think I’m smart, but many of the people who have worked for me definitely were. Over the years I’ve experienced many mistakes and successes in both how I was managed, and how I managed others. What follows is a short distillation of some of what I’ve learned. There's no one way to manage people, but there are some approaches that I think most good managers share.
Earth vs. Mars: The Two Planets Weigh In: "Mars is the most Earth-like other world known, and with the two planets on the verge of their closest approach in recorded history (Aug. 27), it's time for the planets to weigh in. In this tale of the tape, we present the most pertinent and interesting facts that compare and contrast the two very different worlds."
Ha'aretz - Article
Nasrallah pulls no punches
: "For the first time since the start of the war in Iraq, the leader of a large and recognized Shi'ite religious organization has publicly called for a jihad against the U.S. forces. Meanwhile, American pressure on Syria is mounting
"This administration is the stupidest and most violent of all the American administrations ... We are suffering from a range of American pressures that are the heaviest since - well, I don't know, I wasn't alive in the 16th century." That was the message of Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara this week, in a meeting he held with Syrian journalists to mark the country's Press Day. Al-Shara may not be living in the 16th century, but he seems to have been Syria's foreign minister from time immemorial, and part of the Syrian problem.
>>>The resistance movement [against the U.S. in Iraq] may not be able to remove the U.S. from Iraq within a year, but it will be able to remove Bush, [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld and [National Security Adviser] Condoleezza Rice, together with their Zionist friends, from the White House,' Nasrallah assured his listeners. Nasrallah's scenario requires no deep understanding: Suicide attacks and sabotage operations against the American forces in Iraq will cause American public opinion to turn against the president and not re-elect him, thus bringing about the disappearance of this group of leaders from the White House."
Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event: "SADDAM IN 'TERROR TAPE'
New footage has been released purporting to show Saddam Hussein paying large sums of money to a terrorist group.
Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Nicholson says the footage is 'incontrovertible proof' of the former Iraqi dictator's links to international terrorism.
It appears to show the former Iraqi President plotting crimes and paying money to members of an international terrorist group.
Baroness Nicholson says the group of men in the footage looked after Saddam's chemical and biological warfare."
Deep Prose Software: "Booxter is an easy to use application to help you manage your book collection.
It gathers book information from various sources on the internet to allow you to view, edit, sort, categorize, export, and print books in your collection. "
The SWIPE Toolkit: "
This SWIPE tool allows you to crack a 2D barcode. Ever noticed the barcode on the backside of your license? Ever wondered what information it stores or why it is even there? Use our online application or the stand-alone program and put an end to the mystery! It is your data, so shouldn't you have a look? Learn more about the 2D barcode and your driver's license. "
Wired News: Great Taste, Less Privacy: "A patron walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender asks to see some ID. Without asking permission, the barkeep swipes the driver's license through a card reader and the device flashes a green light approving the order.
The bartender is just verifying the card isn't a fake, right? Yes, and perhaps more.
Visitors to an art exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts got more than their martinis when they ordered drinks at a bar inside the gallery's entrance. Instead of pretzels and peanuts, they were handed a receipt containing the personal data found on their license, plus all the information that could be gleaned from commercial data-mining services and voter registration databases like Aristotle. Some patrons also got receipts listing their phone number, income range, marital status, housing value and profession. For added effect, the receipt included a little map showing the location of their residence.
The magnetic strips and bar codes on the back of most state's driver's licenses contain more information than people think. The way the swipers use the information might surprise them as well: Some bars and restaurants scan driver's licenses to catch underage drinkers and fake IDs, but they're also using the information for marketing purposes." Soldiers Record Lessons From Iraq: "As the insurgency in the Sunni Triangle was heating up last fall, Lt. Col. Steve Russell was dealing with a new wave of attacks in which bombers were using the transmitters from radio-controlled toy cars: They would take the electronic guts of the cars, wrap them in C-4 plastic explosive and attach a blasting cap, then detonate them by remote control.
So Russell, who commands an infantry battalion in deposed president Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, mounted one of the toy-car controllers on the dashboard of his Humvee and taped down the levers. Because all the toy cars operated on the same frequency, this would detonate any similar bomb about 100 yards before his Humvee got to the spot. This 'poor man's anti-explosive device' was 'risky perhaps,' Russell writes in a 58-page summary of his unit's time in Iraq but better than leaving the detonation to the bombers.
As one of the biggest troop rotations in U.S. history gets underway in Iraq, with almost 250,000 soldiers coming or going, the seasoned units that are leaving are doing their best to pass on such hard-won knowledge to their successors, in e-mails, in essays, in PowerPoint presentations and rambling memoirs posted on Web sites or sent to rear detachments. And in the process, these veterans of Iraq have provided an alternate history of the Army's experience there over the past nine months -- one that is far more personal than the images offered by the media and often grimmer than the official accounts of steady progress."
Telegraph | News | I had a good time at Guantanamo, says inmate: "An Afghan boy whose 14-month detention by US authorities as a terrorist suspect in Cuba prompted an outcry from human rights campaigners said yesterday that he enjoyed his time in the camp.
Mohammed Ismail Agha, 15, who until last week was held at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, said that he was treated very well and particularly enjoyed learning to speak English. His words will disappoint critics of the US policy of detaining 'illegal combatants' in south-east Cuba indefinitely and without trial.
In a first interview with any of the three juveniles held by the US at Guantanamo Bay base, Mohammed said: 'They gave me a good time in Cuba. They were very nice to me, giving me English lessons.'"
U.S. Says Files Seek Qaeda Aid in Iraq ConflictIraq, Feb. 8 — American officials here have obtained a detailed proposal that they conclude was written by an operative in Iraq to senior leaders of Al Qaeda, asking for help to wage a "sectarian war" in Iraq in the next months.
The Americans say they believe that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who has long been under scrutiny by the United States for suspected ties to Al Qaeda, wrote the undated 17-page document. Mr. Zarqawi is believed to be operating here in Iraq.
The document was made available to The New York Times on Sunday, with an accompanying translation made by the military. A reporter was allowed to see the Arabic and English versions and to write down large parts of the translation.
The memo says extremists are failing to enlist support inside the country, and have been unable to scare the Americans into leaving. It even laments Iraq's lack of mountains in which to take refuge.
Yet mounting an attack on Iraq's Shiite majority could rescue the movement, according to the document. The aim, the document contends, is to prompt a counterattack against the Arab Sunni minority.
Such a "sectarian war" will rally the Sunni Arabs to the religious extremists, the document argues. It says a war against the Shiites must start soon — at "zero hour" — before the Americans hand over sovereignty to the Iraqis. That is scheduled for the end of June.
DEBKAfile - Bush Plans Libyan, Sudanese Trips to Dramatize US Leap into Africa Update:
Later Sunday, February 1, the White House decided to bring forward to June the president’s trips to Libya and Sudan. Two additional Islamic nations added to his itinerary are Turkey and possibly Morocco.
As North African temperatures cool toward the end of summer or early fall – and perhaps even earlier - George W. Bush will set off on an official visit to Libya and Sudan. The president is programming his trips as dramatic high points of the seismic military and political changes his administration has set in motion in the Middle East and key regions of northern and eastern Africa
(See attached maps of spreading US influence in Africa and Middle East)
If elected for a second term, Bush will continue to drive forward along these tracks which essentially radiate from Washington’s Middle Eastern foreign and security policy hub and cockpit of its global war on terror.
Futuristic displays are coming into focus | CNET "Several three-dimensional display technologies are in the works, and organic light-emitting displays are poised to grow quickly, research firm iSuppli/Stanford Resources said Wednesday.
The market for organic light-emitting displays (OLEDs) will rise from $219 million this year to more than $3 billion in 2009, according to the firm.
In a Web presentation on emerging displays, iSuppli analyst Kimberly Allen said 3D display efforts under way include using a different screen for each eye and the parallax technology Sharp has used in a recently announced product, which sends pixel images to two separate regions in front of the display.
Allen also called attention to IO2 Technology--which is developing a display that illuminates air to create an image that appears 3D--and technology from Actuality Systems. Actuality's Perspecta Spatial 3D Display technology uses a rotating projection lens to create an image that appears to occupy 3D space in a transparent dome."
InfoWorld: New Explorer hole could be devastating: January 28, 2004: By Kieren McCarthy, SecurityA security hole in Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer could prove devastating. Following the exposure of a vulnerability in Windows XP earlier this week, “http-equiv” of Malware has revealed that Explorer 6 users (and possibly users of earlier versions) could be fooled into downloading what look like safe files but are in fact whatever the author wishes them to be -- including executables.
A demonstration of the hole is currently on security company Secunia’s website and demonstrates that if you click on a link, and select “Open” it purports to be downloading a pdf file whereas in fact it is an HTML executable file.
It is therefore only a matter of imagination in getting people to freely download what could be an extremely dangerous worm -- like, for instance, the Doom worm currently wreaking havoc across the globe.
However what is more worrying is that this hole could easily be combined with another Explorer spoofing problem discovered in December.
The previous spoofing problem allowed Explorer users to think they were visiting one site when in fact they were visiting somewhere entirely different. The implications are not only troublesome, but Microsoft’s failure to include a fix for the problem in its January patches has led many to believe it cannot be prevented.
If the same is true for this spoofing issue, then it will only be a matter of time before someone who thinks they are visiting one website and downloading one file will in fact be visiting somewhere entirely different and downloading whatever that site’s owner decides.
The Seattle Times: Inside Iraq Al-Emeri, 44, is an expatriate who came home. The Iraqi Army veteran and rebel, who once had a price on his head, is starting over — again — after a dozen years away from Iraq, eight of which he lived in the Seattle area.
A year ago he was hired to be a translator and guide for the eventual U.S. military push to Baghdad. With an international press corps in tow, Al-Emeri's tearful return home to Qal'at Sukkar in April was flashed around the world.
After briefly returning to Seattle this fall, Al-Emeri says, he has returned to Iraq to stay. With the United States in Iraq, he believes his homeland offers an abundance of business and political opportunities.
His return, however, has not been easy and at times has been outright perilous.

Thursday, February 05, 2004 "ARBIL, Iraq : A Yemeni man was arrested on suspicion of plotting deadly twin suicide bombings in northern Iraq, as Islamist militants allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda said they carried out the carnage.
The suspect was arrested in a hotel in the northern oil centre of Kirkuk, with explosives found in his possession, a television station owned by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) reported.
Earlier Wednesday, a senior Kurdish official said the bombs used in the attacks bore the hallmarks of explosives used by Palestinian suicide bombers in the Middle East.
If confirmed, this would mark the first time such explosives have been used in war-torn Iraq, the PUK official said on condition of anonymity.
As a result, the official said initial investigations pointed to "indications that the authors of the Arbil attacks were trained abroad."
IHT: To rein in Afghan intelligence service, Karzai removes its leader: "KABUL President Hamid Karzai removed the head of the Afghan intelligence service on Wednesday in a move to reform one of the most uncontrolled organizations in the country.
The removal of Mohammad Arif Sarwari from the National Security Directorate, announced by the official Bakhtar news agency, came amid a flurry of new appointments in the last week.
Four provincial governors and several police chiefs in the regions were named as part of the government's agenda to improve efficiency in its departments, aides said. But coming soon after a new constitution was approved, the appointments are also a sign of Karzai's growing confidence." - Top Stories - Cyanide Salt Block Found in IraqWASHINGTON — A 7-pound block of cyanide salt (search) was discovered by U.S. troops in Baghdad at the end of January, officials confirmed to Fox News.
The potentially lethal compound was located in what was believed to be the safe house of Abu Musab Zarqawi, a poisons specialist described by some U.S. intelligence officials as having been a key link between deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the Al Qaeda terror network.
Cyanides salts are extremely toxic. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, exposure to even a small amount through contact or inhalation can cause immediate death.
Zarqawi, believed to have been operating in Iraq before March's invasion, was still being sought by coalition forces. It was not clear if anyone had been apprehended in connection with last month's find.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

: "The first official Army history of the Iraq war reveals that American forces were plagued by a 'morass' of supply shortages, radios that could not reach far-flung troops, disappointing psychological operations and virtually no reliable intelligence on how Saddam Hussein would defend Baghdad.
Logistics problems, which senior Army officials played down at the time, were much worse than have previously been reported. While the study serves mainly as a technical examination of how the Army performed and the problems it faced, it could also serve as a political document that could advance the Army's interests within the Pentagon.
>>>It also found that the Pentagon's decision to send mostly combat units in the weeks before the invasion had the "unintended consequence" of holding back support troops until much later, contributing greatly to the logistics problems.
>>>Other problems cropped up. While divisional commanders could communicate with one another, officers at lower levels often could not. Units separated by long distances in the fast-moving offensive found their radios suddenly out of range, leaving troops to improvise solutions using mobile phones or secure e-mail messaging.
Commanders were relying on an extensive psychological operations campaign of leaflets and broadcasts to coax Iraqi soldiers into surrendering, as they did in large numbers in the 1991 gulf war, and to refrain from sabotaging Iraq's oil fields.
The study found that those messages either had failed to reach many of the intended Iraqi units or had baffled the Iraqi soldiers who got them. In addition, Saddam Fedayeen paramilitary fighters inserted in Iraqi Army units threatened and, in many cases, killed Iraqi soldiers who tried to desert or surrender.
Leaflets were prepared for the first 48 hours of combat, but the system to approve new written messages was so cumbersome that psychological operations teams on the ground were forced to rely solely on loudspeakers. "It is clear that on the whole, psyop produced much less than expected and perhaps less than claimed," the report found.
Despite elaborate Army planning for a final battle in Baghdad — including the mapping of every section and building in the city of 5.5 million people — commanders and intelligence analysts were at a loss to determine how the Iraqis would defend Baghdad, if at all.
"Intelligence officers at all echelons continued to have great difficulty accurately describing the threat in the city," the study concluded.
Not until armored columns carried out probes, called "thunder runs," through Baghdad, the study found, did American commanders realize that the city was not heavily defended.
The study also found that future adversaries could draw several lessons from the war: that American forces' reliance on high-tech surveillance satellites and aircraft could be countered by decoys and the imaginative disguise of weaponry; that more powerful warheads for rocket-propelled grenades, already effective against helicopters and light vehicles like Humvees, could offset American armor; that American forces could be drawn into a protracted, costly urban war, more effectively than they were by the Iraqis; and that American forces are vulnerable to classic insurgency tactics, like car bombs."

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Today's Editorials: How to Hack an Election: "oncerned citizens have been warning that new electronic voting technology being rolled out nationwide can be used to steal elections. Now there is proof. When the State of Maryland hired a computer security firm to test its new machines, these paid hackers had little trouble casting multiple votes and taking over the machines' vote-recording mechanisms. The Maryland study shows convincingly that more security is needed for electronic voting, starting with voter-verified paper trails.
When Maryland decided to buy 16,000 AccuVote-TS voting machines, there was considerable opposition. Critics charged that the new touch-screen machines, which do not create a paper record of votes cast, were vulnerable to vote theft. The state commissioned a staged attack on the machines, in which computer-security experts would try to foil the safeguards and interfere with an election.
They were disturbingly successful. It was an 'easy matter,' they reported, to reprogram the access cards used by voters and vote multiple times. They were able to attach a keyboard to a voting terminal and change its vote count. And by exploiting a software flaw and using a modem, they were able to change votes from a remote location."