------- Index of Articles
Shell's Nuclear Crimes
I won't jump to conclusions: Sushil Kumar
Windmill Project Propels a Quixotic Quest
Chernobyl victims demand 'dues'
First Wedding At Chernobyl Since Nuclear Disaster
Chernobyl Victims Demand Support
For the eventual winner, the nation's nuclear 'football' awaits
Fire damages Air Force missile facility
The Whiz Kid Vs. the Old Boys
Bunker? What Bunker?
13 days that stopped the world
Transition: The Changing of the (786) Guards
The Submarine Next Door
Militant attacks kill 1 in Kashmir
Astronauts Begin Solar Installation
Shuttle Joins Space Station; Solar Wings Await
Astronauts begin solar wings spacewalk
Amid the Relics of Combat, Veterans Recall Flights and Flak and Friends
Cole Attack Rooted in Afghan War
Environment Groups' Ratings Rile Ski Industry
Paths for Our Warming Planet
An Inside Story of Racial Bias and Denial
Commissioner Reorganizing Police Anti-Gang Efforts Into a Single Unit
Dead Men Talking
A Selected Web Guide
SALIENT FACTS: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
What Secrets Tell
CHART Top Secrets
Secret plan to spy on all British phone calls
In Terrorism Trial, Just Picking the Jurors Is a Challenge
U.S. Considers Array of Actions Against Bin Laden
Bus Boycotters Are Celebrated in Montgomery
200 injured in Bangladesh exam protest
Sunday, December 3, 2000
Beginning Dec. 15, the Florida International Museum highlights the events surrounding the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. "The Cuban Missile Crisis: When the Cold War Got Hot" will run through spring, conveying to visitors the threat of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. (800) 777-9882 or www.floridamuseum.org
-- DANIEL WARCHOL
Shell's Nuclear Crimes
Prior to publication of the enclosed allegations, I John Alfred Dyer, gave specific and clear prior notice to the Royal Dutch Shell Group, following the sending of CD copies of this site, its contents and allegations, to Shell's appointed lawyers in this matter-D J Freeman, the Groups legal head Richard Max Wiseman, Shell Transport & Trading's chairman Mark Moody-Stuart, Royal Dutch Shell's chairman Jeroen van der Veer. All have declined to commence/issue proceedings, despite their specific (legal) threats.
-For the past thirteen years, I, John Alfred Dyer, have been researching the decommissioning, in 1968, of Shell's -Thornton Research Centre's -research (Shell/military) nuclear reactor/testing cell. My research primarily concerns the fact that Shell's decommissioning turned from a pre-planned criminal act, into a criminal disaster (this is an understatement, of some proportions). The decommissioning turned into the said disaster, as Shell unable to separate, and retrieve 'its' mandatory high-level, and other, materials/waste, from the reactors biological shield, ordered and sanctioned the wholesale (mass) disposal/dumping, of its top-secret nuclear reactor/testing cell's materials/waste. The fact that the said nuclear materials/waste was disposed/dumped onto some of the most densely populated sectors of the United Kingdom. In 1993, my research resulted in the commissioning of a television programme, for Carlton Television. Shell responded, by knowingly fabricating, at the highest level, a fraudulent, sham 2900 word Narrative (defence), as part of the Group's attempt(s)/campaign to cover-up the truth of its nuclear dumping, and other, crimes. Shell's fraudulent, sham Narrative resulted in the 'killing' of the said television programme.
· In 1988, I came to comprehend the significance of the nuclear dumping allegation(s), first made to me in/from 1971. The personnel making the allegation(s) had allegedly been employed to decommission 'nuclear facilities' in 1968, at Shell Research Limited's-Thornton Research Centre, Cheshire, England.
· The individuals made the most shocking, series of allegation(s), concerning wholesale nuclear dumping, which (allegedly) included the nuclear isotope Strontium-90.
· In 1993, following five years of research, my findings resulted in the commissioning of a television program for 'Carlton Television'. Shell quickly responded. Investigators kept me under surveillance, my telephone was tapped, my mail intercepted. At the same time, Shell filed a seemingly endless line of complaints, concerning my 'alleged' conduct.
· Having instigated the above strategy, Shell, within a few days of the proposed transmission date (10 February 1994), produced an extensive, detailed, 2900 word 'Narrative' to set-out its official defence/position. Briefly, the Narrative was to the effect that: - 'Yes, a nuclear facility had been demolished at Shell Thornton, in 1968. However, it was, Shell claimed, a low-level (radiation) Cobalt-60 nuclear labyrinth/building- not the nuclear reactor/testing cell that I had alleged.' In short, I had got it wrong!
· I have now established that Shell (perfectly aware of the truth of the proposed programme, i. e. the witness/evidence (and I) had not got it 'wrong'), knowingly fabricated a fraudulent, sham Narrative (7 February 1994), to cover-up the Group's wholesale nuclear dumping(s) crimes.
· Shell's fraudulent sham, Narrative (along with its media contacts, and campaign of personal vilification) resulted in the 'cancellation' of the said television programme. A programme that would have exposed Shell's wholesale nuclear dumping(s) crimes.
· In consequence, the illegal mass disposal/dumping of Shell's nuclear materials/waste onto some of the most densely populated sectors of the United Kingdom, was 'successfully' covered up.
· In continuance of the Shell Group's policy of suppressing the truth of its nuclear dumping and other crimes, a mere matter of days after this WEB Site's inauguration, Shell, instructed D J Freeman, the Group's lawyers in this matter, to contact my (former) WEB host 'easyspace'. Having refused to issue proceedings, in an outrageous act of censorship, Shell, connived with my former WEB host to 'silence' this site, by taking it off the Internet (1/11/00). I am pleased to inform that I now have a more ethical/robust host. However, Shell not content with its unethical record/behaviour, in censoring this site, instructed the Group's lawyers, D J Freeman, who have now (22/11/00) sent/written a 'warning' letter to my present (ethical) WEB host. Following Freeman's (unsuccessful) letter signed by Sajjad Nadi, Shell unable to frighten off my present WEB host, is now desperately, attempting to have the entire WEB domain closed down, involving hundreds of sites, in order to stop the contents of this site becoming public knowledge! To threaten perfectly innocent people/parties, while refusing to sue me, is truly outrageous, unethical, and cowardly. I now give Shell clear notice that if they do not desist from harassing perfectly innocent, decent people, solely in order to stop the Group's nuclear dumping crimes being exposed, I shall have no other option but to distribute leaflets to those sectors of the UK, most affected by Shell's illegal mass nuclear dumping(s). This will entail the leafleting of hundreds of thousands of households. I am determined that Shell's (continuation of its) policies of concealing/censoring its nuclear crimes is not going to succeed.
· Rather than carry out these reprehensible acts Shell, if it disputes that;
1. It hired known criminal(s), with a history of illegal disposal of nuclear materials/waste, to decommission its 'Thornton' nuclear reactor/testing cell.
2. It paid the said 'criminals' a six-figure CASH sum (at to-days prices), to secretly, and illegally, decommission its secret 'Thornton' nuclear reactor/testing cell.
3. It ordered and sanctioned the wholesale illegal mass dumping(s) of 'Thornton's' nuclear materials/waste.
4. That the said nuclear materials/waste, was disposed (dumped) onto some the most densely populated sectors of the United Kingdom.
5. That Shell, at director level, fabricated a knowingly fraudulent, sham Narrative, to 'kill' a television programme and hence, cover up its nuclear dumping(s), and other, crimes.
6. Furthermore, if Shell disputes the other enclosed allegations, as set out.
(Shell) will now issue legal proceedings -as per its issued threats:
'They (Shell) would however, have no hesitation in protecting their reputation from defamatory attacks.'
'If you believe Shell to have been guilty of a cover up of the events in 1968, you are free to make the allegation public subject to the warning that Shell will take whatever action it sees fit in order to protect its reputation from false attacks.'
Shell's threats, panic and desperation, arise precisely because the Group is aware that the allegations are true, hence it will not risk its 'files' (the truth) being exposed. Consequently, no legal proceedings have been issued by Shell and 'associates', nor will they. Despite clear prior notice of this WEB site, and its contents, Shell's specific threats-that it 'would not hesitate' to issue 'writs', should I publish the allegations, proved worthless. For the issuing of 'writs' involves the revealing, or the risk of revealing, Shell's own documents via discovery (legal process). Accordingly, Shell will not sue, and thereby risk exposing/defeating the Group's 'brazen it out-admit nothing' strategy.
From the early 1950's, Shell was engaged in an serious, extensive, and secret programme of nuclear research in the United Kingdom (and elsewhere). The said research was primarily military-based. The UK research programmes necessitated the construction of a nuclear research reactor/testing cell at Shell's Thornton Research Centre, Cheshire, (part of the Group's Stanlow oil refinery complex). The programs and the reactor/testing cell's construction, location and operation, were all carried out under the highest level of security. In 1968 (for reasons not appropriate for disclosure at this juncture), the reactor was decommissioned, i.e. demolished.
A relatively small amount (in tonnage terms), of the most dangerous elements of the waste, was planned to have been retrieved and safely reprocessed. Scientists' from the United Kingdom's 'Atomic Energy Authority' (UKAEA) Harwell, were on Shell's Thornton site to 'collect' and remove the most highly toxic elements (high-level waste), as per plan. The residue of the waste was planned, and was, to have been illegally dumped. To achieve this, a contractor with a history of illegal disposal of nuclear material, was specifically sought and engaged to decommission Shell's nuclear reactor/testing cell, and, dump the remainder of the nuclear materials/waste. The chosen contractor(s), who had/have known criminal records, were paid a six figure sum (at today's prices), and in cash!
In fact, the reactor's decommissioning did not go to plan, as it actually proved impossible to separate, and, consequently retrieve the most highly toxic/dangerous (high-level) waste, from its 'vast' biological shield. In short, it was a disaster. As Shell and Harwell's 'scientists' became increasingly desperate to obtain the (mandatory) nuclear 'materials', without success, the position grew increasingly frantic. As a result, of the (total) failure to separate and retrieve the said nuclear waste, Harwell's staff left, empty handed. Shortly after Harwell's 'departure', and only after Harwell's complete departure with its remote retrieval equipment, and protective gear, Shell ordered the wholesale mass dumping, involving many thousands of tonnes, of its nuclear material/'waste', which included, amongst others, the nuclear isotope Strontium-90. Almost unbelievably, parts of this waste was subsequently utilised in the construction of a housing estate, medical facilities, shops, schools and leisure facilities, which were built on either the waste or its surroundings. Furthermore, part of the said nuclear materials/waste was 'stored' and later sold on, by the haulage contractor engaged to transport/remove the waste-off Shell's Thornton site. Tragically, Shell's nuclear materials/waste is/are dumped/located in some of the most densely populated sectors of the United Kingdom. The implications for countless tens of thousands of people who reside, or have resided, in those areas were the materials/waste is 'dumped', are devastating.
The demolished reactors' 'waste' included the nuclear isotope Strontium-90. Radioisotopes such as Sr.-90 and Caesium 137 occur in irradiated fuel elements-nuclear reactors. The nuclear isotope Sr-90 (half-life 28 years) is one of the most dangerous of all nuclear products. Strontium 90, due to its long-life, remains hazardous for centuries!
I further established that the wives of both, the sub-contractor and his foreman, employed to decommission Shell's nuclear facilities gave birth to a number of 'deformed' children, following the said decommissioning. The condition of the said newborn was such that both sets of parents were independently advised that not only would their newborn not survive; furthermore, they were informed that viewing would only prove distressing. Following a number of such births the sub-contractor demanded to see his newborn child. He was distraught beyond words to discover that the newborn child's head had not 'properly' formed. The child, as per the others, was allowed to die within hours of its birth. The decommissioning 'workers', and others, were offered neither advice nor protection, by Shell at its secret nuclear decommissioning.
In view of the seriousness of the allegations, I undertook, following Shell's success in having 'my' television programme 'dropped', in 1994, to continue establish the truth, hence I continued my research.
In light of my experience with Shell- its shameless and effortless ability to lie, combined with its media contacts, influence, its power and ability to threaten and pursue legal means to silence 'critics'- demanded a level of evidence far beyond that which could be considered reasonable. Consequently, the volume of evidence (hence research), required would need to be overwhelming. I had to establish whether, or not, Shell's Cobalt-60 labyrinth was the 'building' that had been decommissioned in 1968- as Shell claimed. If not, I needed to uncover what had been decommissioned at Thornton in 1968. Its history, purpose and the reasons for selecting and employing known 'criminals', and paying them enormous cash sums to carry out the nuclear decommissioning and (pre-planned) wholesale dumping of the nuclear materials/waste'.
I had established, by 1988, that Shell's (Cobalt-60) Narrative of the 7 February 1994, was 'a tissue of lies from start to finish'.
In late 1998, I (re) contacted Shell, with the hope they would now react to my research findings/disclosures with, at least, a degree of responsibility. Initially, Shell's policy was to ignored me. When I started to reveal, parts of, my evidence, the strategy quickly changed. In the face of my revelations (findings), Shell's 1994 Narrative became untenable. As a consequence, Shell's legal head/director (Richard Max Wiseman) conceded/informed that Shell's 1994 narrative was 'a mistake'. After two years of endeavouring to 'persuade' Shell to face up to the consequences of its '1968' criminal acts, i.e. act responsibly to the victim's of its nuclear dumping, I am forced to conclude that I have no other alternative than to publish and sue, (as I informed the multinationals heads):
'Shell ordered and sanctioned the 'dumping' of thousands of tons, let me repeat it once again so there can be no possible misunderstanding-thousands of tons of nuclear, nuclear contaminated, radioactive and other 'waste', as a deliberate act of policy. Furthermore, you (Shell) employed known criminals, with a record of illegally 'disposing' of nuclear 'materials', to carry out the demolition-or to use the more widely accepted term decommission-and subsequently, as per your design and instructions, illegally dispose/dump the resulting 'waste'.' Letter to Shell' s legal head.
'Countless tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are about to receive just about the most devastating news possible, and in the most improper manner without any warning or counselling. Mindful of this, I have endeavoured to behave in the most responsible manner and consequently treated all parties equally and fairly, only to find I am confronted with a deeply cynical and corrupt multinational corporation. Despite this, you will recall in my very first letter to you, I once again offered to hand over my evidence; this was contemptuously rejected without concern expressed or otherwise, for Shell's victims.' Letter to Shell's 'newly' appointed lawyers.
'Statement of Claim' ' and 'John Dyer' button(s) give a more detailed account of events.
Following the Shell's lawyer's 'button(s)' (Wiseman first) is instructive.
John Alfred Dyer is solely and entirely responsible for the research findings and consequent allegations against the Shell Group, contained in this/my WEB site.
It appears, for some unknown reason, that I have not received a number of e-mails. Consequently, I am, presently, personally responding to all e-mails. Should you have either sent, or are sending an e-mail and did/do not receive a response, please note it is either because I have not received it, and/or my return mail is not being delivered. If you do/have not received a reply, by the following day, please re-send your e-mail(s) until you do.
(C) 2000 The contents of this WEB site are the sole property of John Alfred Dyer and cannot or may not be communicated, copied or transmitted, for commercial gain, without my expressed prior agreement.
-------- india / pakistan
I won't jump to conclusions: Sushil Kumar
Sunday, December 03, 2000
NEW DELHI, DEC. 2. Mystery continues to surround yesterday's firing incident inside the residence of the Chief of the Naval Staff on Rajaji Marg here in which a member of his security staff sustained a bullet injury.
To a question at a press conference this morning, Admiral Sushil Kumar said he would not ``like to jump to any conclusion''.
``The matter is being investigated by several agencies including the police, Intelligence Bureau and the Crime Branch.''
He did not think the shooting was the result of any misunderstanding between the guards on patrol duty in his bungalow.
Highly placed sources in the Navy, however, acknowledged that Admiral Kumar had indeed received some ``threats'' to his security, possibly related to deployment of marine commandos in the Kashmir Valley. Asked for his comment, Admiral Kumar said ``threats in a profession like mine are part of the job.''
The press conference was called on the eve of Navy Day, which will be celebrated on Monday. Committed to deepening its capacity to deter maritime threats, the Navy was set to acquire nine new warships in the next one year, he said.
The Navy would also extend its surveillance reach to enhance its credibility as a fighting force in the Indian Ocean. It was paying considerable attention to the Andaman Sea, besides the Indian Ocean, which describes as ``the Ocean of the next century''. Turbulence in Indonesia, which shared a maritime border with India, and the use of these waters for piracy and gun-running demanded a ``robust presence'' by the Navy in this area.
There was no change in the Navy's philosophy to configure its force structure around aircraft carriers. It was going ahead with developing an indigenous carrier whose design had been frozen. Admiral Kumar pointed out that India, which has decided to acquire the Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, would have to wait for three years before to getting this ship operationalised.
The destroyer Mumbai and missile frigate Kirch, a corvette Kulish and six other ships would be commissioned in 2001.
The other ships to be commissioned in the coming year were the frigate Betwa, the Tilian Chang, Teressa and Tarmugli.
The Navy would also induct four TU-22 long-range maritime patrol aircraft.
The Indian Navy, like all other navies, aspired to develop a nuclear submarine. Admiral Kumar, however, declined to make any comment on the Advance Technology Vessel (ATV) programme or the nuclear submarine project.
India, according to the draft nuclear doctrine, is committed to acquiring a retaliatory second strike capability, which will have to involve the presence a nuclear submarine.
Windmill Project Propels a Quixotic Quest
Asia: Berkeley visionary brings alternative energy to North Korea in a bid to discourage the regime from building reactors that could be used to develop nuclear arms.
Los Angeles Times
Sunday, December 3, 2000
By ROBIN WRIGHT, Times Staff Writer
BERKELEY--Peter Hayes is a Don Quixote for the 21st century, a tall, dashing dreamer with a mission that some find foolhardy and others farfetched, but that all deem noble in spirit and purpose. With a lot of imagination and a little money, Hayes has set out to rid the world of its deadliest weapons.
And he's trying to do it with windmills. To counter a well-financed campaign to build a U.S. missile defense system, Hayes is putting up wind turbines and windmills--"like right out of Kansas in the 1930s," he says--in Communist North Korea.
The graceful towers with their spinning wheels are already providing water for dozens of North Korean homes and fields. The tall, spindly turbines, planted in fields of cabbage cultivated for the Korean dish kimchi, produce electricity for kindergartens, clinics and homes in the village of Unhari, about 60 miles southeast of the capital, Pyongyang.
The goal is to demonstrate the viability of alternative energy sources, particularly in rural areas, so the government will feel less need to build nuclear power plants that could, in turn, be used to develop nuclear weapons.
To some arms experts, it is indeed a Quixotic quest. And Hayes concedes that his project is not a solution for the entire country--nor a guarantee that a potential nuclear foe will soon become a peaceful neighbor. "North Korea is not a windy place. Windmills won't work everywhere," he said in an interview in a modest Berkeley office crammed with books on everything from the metaphysics of war to North Korean politics.
But to others, the groundbreaking collaboration between American and North Korean scientists represents a new kind of "alternative defense" that might reduce pressure for multibillion-dollar programs to block Pyongyang's ability to fire a nuclear-tipped missile at the United States.
Idea Wins 'Genius' Grant
In recognition of his imaginative approach, Hayes this year was awarded one of the prestigious "genius" grants given to thinkers, scientists, writers and other innovators by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
At its heart, Hayes' windmill project underscores a brewing debate over the best way to defend a nation in the 21st century.
"The missile defense argument is like saying the solution to America's handgun problem is for everyone to wear body armor. It doesn't work. There are too many handguns and bullets, and it isn't possible to get everyone to wear armor on every part of their body," said Hayes, founder of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, one of America's smallest think tanks.
"Besides, the issue really isn't about missiles and warheads. It's about strategic rivalry and distrust and perceptions at a much deeper level. And that's what we're trying to deal with."
An energy specialist who's worked for the United Nations and the World Bank, Hayes began looking for ways to reverse tensions when North Korea crossed the nuclear threshold a decade ago by building reactors that it said would be used to generate electricity. By 1994, the government's suspected ability to siphon off fissile material to make nuclear weapons had prompted the Pentagon to devise plans to attack the reactors.
The United States pulled back from "the brink of war," according to a recent book by former Defense Secretary William J. Perry, after Perry advised the Clinton administration that it might ignite a wider conflict. Former President Carter then mediated an agreement that froze North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for U.S.-orchestrated aid and technology to build two "safe" nuclear reactors.
But the danger remains. For one thing, North Korea does not have to give a full accounting of its nuclear program until the reactors are built and working. Meanwhile, it may have in reserve enough plutonium for one or two bombs.
Because the reactors won't be ready for several years, Pyongyang still feels vulnerable. Fuel supplies ended after the Soviet Union's demise. North Korea's electrical grid has been devastated by natural disasters. Millions of people have been left without regular electricity, contributing to the collapse of industry, communications, agriculture, transportation and the economy.
So Hayes and a small crew of energy experts set out to find an interim source of energy--and to plant the seeds of a relationship between the nations.
"A lot of what drives the military is fear or uncertainty. We're willing to embrace uncertainty. Otherwise we'll keep developing the same old world with the same old problems," said Hayes, who grew up on a farm--with windmills--in Australia but has lived in the United States since finishing his doctorate at UC Berkeley in 1988.
With funding from American foundations, the Hayes team took the first seven wind turbines to Unhari in 1998. In October, on his sixth trip, he took a team to build two windmills to channel water for crops and human consumption to ease a famine that has killed an estimated 2 million people.
Both windmills and wind turbines have appeal because of their low cost ($2,500 to $12,000 each), low maintenance, readily accessible technology, environmental safety and sustainability, even in rural areas. The next step is designing a windmill using local materials.
The project illustrates the evolution of ideas about national security policy.
Throughout history, military might has been the key to defending a nation. But after World War II, with the development of apocalyptic weapons, President Truman proposed nuclear disarmament. President Eisenhower created the first nuclear power monitoring agency. And President Kennedy, who warned that 25 nations could have nuclear arms by the end of the 1960s, launched the first major treaty banning tests of nuclear weapons in the water and in the atmosphere.
Half a century of treaties on weapons of mass destruction--nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles--has led to destruction of existing arms, and agreements to halt new weapons, and has limited the spread of nuclear arms to only eight countries.
By 1996, former Defense Secretary Perry dared to say that the first line of defense was no longer weaponry but pieces of paper--an interlocking network of treaties.
"Paper has been more effective in intercepting and destroying more missiles than other weapons," said Joseph Cirincione, director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "And the military has increasingly become the second line of defense, as a deterrent threat against those who use these weapons against you."
Others disagree. "Treaties codify the status quo. But pure military power is still the key to influence, the coin of the realm," said Mitchell Reiss, former chief U.S. negotiator with North Korea and member of the National Security Council during the Reagan and Bush administrations.
Lines of Defense
As the 21st century dawns, two other visions are shaping ideas about defending a nation.
One is a national missile defense shield, a popular idea of uncertain capability projected to cost tens of billions of dollars. Some arms experts call it the third line of defense; others say it should become the first.
Building a national missile defense will mean renegotiating the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty or scrapping it altogether. Because of widespread opposition from Paris to Moscow to Beijing, changing the treaty could begin to unravel the entire network of arms treaties, since each builds on the previous one, most experts agree.
It could also trigger a new arms race by escalating the level of armament to a new plane.
A fourth line of defense is the emerging effort by disparate organizations, from the International Monetary Fund to the Nautilus Institute, to unravel the causes of tension before they become conflicts.
"The IMF does it with economic factors on a global scale with billions of dollars," Cirincione said. "Peter Hayes does on a local scale what big institutions can't or won't."
Even skeptics agree that Hayes has been an effective ambassador in helping to convince North Korea that the outside world is not necessarily hostile. But they doubt that his approach will replace traditional means of defense.
"Peter Hayes does amazing work, and the more interaction that you can have with countries like North Korea is probably good. But giving all the windmills in the world is not going to convince the North Koreans to dismantle their nuclear weapons program," Reiss said.
"At best, cooperative efforts are helpful on the margins," he said. "No one should be under the illusion that they're a main motive for a country to change course."
Criticism like that doesn't faze Hayes' team.
"We have lofty goals for a group of 15 people," said Tim Savage, a Nautilus specialist.
"The fact we chose windmills, which have a connotation of dreaming the impossible dream, is appropriate for the kind of work we're trying to do. We're trying to help end the single longest conflict on Earth. The Cold War ended in 1990, but the Korean conflict began a half-century ago and still has no formal end."
Chernobyl victims demand 'dues'
December 3, 2000
KIEV, Ukraine -- Victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and their relatives have marched through the Ukrainian capital Kiev, protesting that authorities were letting them die in poverty.
Chernobyl is due to be shut down permanently in on December 15.
Fourteen years after one of its reactors exploded in the world's worst peacetime nuclear disaster, one in sixteen Ukrainians is suffering from cancer and other diseases caused by radiation.
Many victims of the disaster now rely on small state pensions for their livelihoods, which are often paid late or only in part.
Waving banners saying: "We protected Ukraine, now Ukraine must protect us" and "We are dying," around 2,000 protestors joined veterans of the Soviet Afghan war to mark an international day for the disabled.
Widows wearing black shawls held up photographs of husbands who died after working on clean-up crews in the aftermath of the accident.
They were joined by half a dozen children in wheelchairs whose parents had received large doses of radiation.
Nina Kharchenko, bearing a portrait of her late husband Boris, said: "We want them (the government) to give us our dues. We have nothing to live on."
She said a 50 percent reduction on utilities bills for Chernobyl victims and their relatives had been cancelled.
Speakers at the protest called on the government to plan more generous social spending in a draft 2001 budget.
The government has been fighting to get a lean budget approved, due to go before parliament for a final vote on Thursday, in an effort to persuade the International Monetary Fund to resume a blocked $2.6 billion lending programme.
Chernobyl's number four reactor exploded in 1986, sending a radioactive cloud across Europe which has been blamed for thousands of deaths.
Ukraine still uses the plant's third reactor, which had to be switched off for most of last week when cold weather downed power lines. The reactor was re-started on Friday.
Western countries have pledged to fund the completion of two nuclear reactors elsewhere to replace Chernobyl's lost capacity.
But the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has not yet made a final decision on disbursing the loans and some Ukrainian officials have said they will renege on closing down Chernobyl if no cash is found.
Ukraine still relies on the reactor for around five percent of its electricity.
First Wedding At Chernobyl Since Nuclear Disaster
Dec 3, 2000
KIEV -- (Agence France Presse) A Ukrainian couple have got married in the town of Chernobyl, in the first wedding there since a massive nuclear disaster 14 years ago turned the place into a ghost-town, press reports said Saturday.
Facti daily reported that 19-year-old Marina Pachina wanted to get married in the church where she was born and lived for the first five years of her life, before reactor number four at the Chernobyl's nuclear plant exploded in April 1986.
She and 100,000 other people living around the reactor, including Chernobyl's 13,000 residents, were evacuated as nuclear radiation was spewed into the atmosphere in the world's worst civilian nuclear accident.
The groom, 26-year-old Mikhailo Nalepa, who comes from a small town near the capital Kiev, did not mind getting married in Chernobyl, Facti reported.
It did not give the date of the wedding.
The only people who have returned to Chernobyl since the disaster are some 600 elderly former inhabitants who said they wanted to come back there to die.
An estimated 15,000 to 30,000 people have died as a result of the disaster.
The crippled nuclear plant, which still provides around five percent of Ukraine's electricity, is due to close on December 15 under an internationally-brokered agreement.
Chernobyl Victims Demand Support
December 3, 2000
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Some 10,000 Chernobyl victims protested Sunday in the capital Kiev, marking the international day of disabled people and demanding more government spending on social care and support.
The demonstrators, many of whom took part in the Chernobyl cleanup operations and suffered disabilities as a result, held a mass meeting in the center of Ukraine's capital, Kiev.
Chernobyl was the site of world's worst nuclear accident on April 26, 1986, when the plant's reactor No. 4 exploded and caught fire, sending a radioactive cloud over much of Europe.
The disaster is believed to have eventually killed some 8,000 people. Hundreds of thousands suffered from its aftereffects.
Currently, Chernobyl operates only one reactor, which has been the focus of disputes between international groups concerned about safety and energy-strapped Ukraine.
President Leonid Kuchma has promised to close Chernobyl on Dec. 15.
``These people were liquidating the accident, these people were deactivating the exclusion zone, the sarcophagus (over reactor No. 4) was built with their hands,'' said Yuriy Andreyev, president of Ukraine's Chernobyl Union which organized the demonstration.
Some disabled war veterans and other handicapped people also joined the protest.
``I have a pension like other people, but receive also a compensation for health loss,'' said Heorhiy Shaposhnikov, 50, who took part in the cleanup. His face was swollen and looked unhealthy. ``I lost 90 percent of my health, who may restore it?''
Earlier in November, victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and people who cleaned up after the disaster protested against government plans to cut their benefits in the budget for 2001.
More than 2.2 million of Ukraine's 50 million people are eligible for benefits stemming from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant.
-------- u.s. nuc weapons
For the eventual winner, the nation's nuclear 'football' awaits
Security aides say the transfer of the missile codes will be seamless. In the past, there have been a few fumbles.
Sunday, December 3, 2000
By Steve Goldstein INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - It's football season in the nation's capital, but it has nothing to do with the Redskins.
This is the time in a presidential election year when the incoming commander in chief begins to receive briefings on national emergency preparedness, culminating in the transfer of 'the case containing the actual launch codes for the nation's nuclear arsenal - the nuclear "football."
No president-elect so far; therefore no briefings.
And no crisis, either.
"This can all be done in fairly short order," said a calm, cool P.J. Crowley, spokesman for the National Security Council. "Once there is a transition team in place, we will brief them on how this process works, so that on Jan. 20 we will have a seamless transfer from one commander in chief to another."
The football is in the custody of the White House Military Office, which does not change with administrations. While Vice President Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush have been jockeying for the title of president-elect, the military office has been reviewing the transition procedures of eight years ago.
"There's not a lot to say at this point," Crowley said. "Much of what we do will be determined by the incoming transition team. There could be regular briefings as early as next week."
Neither Gore nor Bush should require the basic nuke 101 seminar, experts said. Gore has been in the White House bubble for eight years, receiving many of the same briefings as President Clinton. Bush is assembling a national security team from veterans of his father's administration, and Dick Cheney, his running mate, is a former secretary of defense.
The new president also will be invited over to the Pentagon for a security briefing in the "tank" - the super-secure war room.
On Jan. 20, the nuclear football will arrive at the Capitol with President Clinton, and will depart with his successor.
What is the "football" exactly? And how is it kept within the president's reach? Has it ever been fumbled?
What president's hobby required special saddlebags to be made to carry it? Which commander in chief sent his personal ID codes - needed to authorize a launch - to the dry cleaners?
The football is actually a leather-bound attache-size briefcase, much as one might find at a good luggage store, with a few slight modifications. It is not lead-lined to foil X-ray eyes, but the bag has a leather-covered steel cable that attaches to the bearer's wrist.
Inside is what is known as SIOP-ESI - Single Integrated Operational Plan-Extremely Sensitive Information. The guts of the football are scores of pages of the U.S. nuclear war plan, with detailed descriptions of attack options.
The choices are divided into limited and major attack options, said Bruce Blair, a nuclear arms expert and former congressional staffer who reviewed attack plans.
"There could be 65 limited attack options against Russia and 15 against China, and several major attack options," Blair said.
For instance, MAO4, the most extreme response, would launch 2,300 nuclear weapons immediately at Russian targets, ranging from nuclear sites to factories to army locations and missile silos.
Blair said the "15- to 30-minute briefing" on nuclear options usually takes place just before the new president's inauguration.
No one can recall when the leather case adopted the football nickname. It dates at least as far back as the administration of Richard M. Nixon, a well-known fan of the sport.
In addition to the attack codes kept inside the football, there is a series of identification codes that the president must use to prove that he is, in fact, the president.
The codes are in the form of the "challenge and reply" system used in the military, said Blair. For instance, the brigadier general in charge of the war room at the Pentagon will ask the president, "Are you ready to authenticate?" and then say a prompt, such as "alpha two."
The president will look in his codebook and see that the correct response to that challenge is "Zulu six."
Both Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan kept their ID codes on their person. Carter accidentally sent his codes in a suit to the White House dry cleaner, Blair said.
Reagan kept his codes in his wallet. After he was shot by John Hinckley in 1981, the codes wound up in a plastic personal-effects bag at the hospital, Blair said.
The nuclear football is carried by military officers assigned to the White House Military Office, which also is responsible for the operations of Air Force One, the Marine One helicopter, and Camp David. The military aides also carry secure communications devices.
Carter had two military aides who shared football duties, while under Reagan, the contingent expanded to four - one from each of the main service branches. President Clinton added a fifth aide from the Coast Guard.
John Kline, a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, had the unique distinction of carrying the football for both Carter and Reagan.
For Kline, it was the same job, except for the person he couldn't let out of his sight.
How stressful is that?
"I never thought of it as carrying the key to Armageddon," said Kline, who was born in Allentown, Pa., and has run for Congress from Minnesota twice, unsuccessfully.
"But working for the president in a political environment can be very challenging," he said. "When you're chosen for the job, they want to make sure you will be able to function properly and be helpful to the president, and not embarrass him."
The job requirements are straightforward - stay with the president at all times. In the motorcade, Kline always rode in a vehicle just behind or in front of the presidential limo, so he could get to the man in seconds.
Other than the limo, the president would never get in any conveyance without the football.
Kline recalled that Reagan once got stuck in an elevator for 10 minutes when too many people got on. Kline, of course, was on board. Reagan just told stories until they were rescued, he said.
Reagan's love of horseback riding posed a unique challenge. Finally, the military office had special saddlebags made so that an aide could follow Reagan on horseback. Kline knew how to ride, but other aides had to take lessons.
When Reagan went riding with King Hassan II of Morocco, Kline had to have a special set of military riding jodhpurs made for the formal state event.
The former aide recalled being very stressed when Reagan unexpectedly was invited to go riding with Queen Elizabeth in England, and they hadn't brought the saddlebags. A chase vehicle was finally used, but Kline fretted about the horses' ability to go where cars could not.
"The key is to never be where you can't get to the president in a matter of seconds," Kline said.
During the April 1999 NATO summit in Washington, President Clinton left his aide and the football behind when he unexpectedly left a session 45 minutes early. The aide walked the 41/2 blocks back to the White House without incident.
"I can't imagine that happening," said Kline. "I'd have nightmares for the rest of my life."
Steve Goldstein's e-mail address is email@example.com
Fire damages Air Force missile facility
December 3, 2000
PLAZA, N.D. (AP) -- A fire thought to have started near a diesel generator destroyed two buildings Thursday at a multimillion-dollar missile command center, officials said.
Air Force authorities said an underground missile control capsule with two men inside was sealed off, but the men were unharmed. Thirteen others escaped to the surface.
There are no missiles at the facility, which sits under a farm field.
"The two down there are probably the most comfortable of anybody right now," said Lt. Col. Les Miller, of the 91st Space Wing at the Minot Air Force Base. "At no time was there any threat to them, to national security or the missiles under their command. They've got enough food, water and oxygen to stay down there for 30 days."
Responsibility for missile management was transferred to another facility, officials said, during an investigation of the fire five miles north of Plaza. Dozens of similar missile facilities dot the North Dakota prairie.
Each missile command center consists of above-ground structures for security and missile control personnel, and self-contained capsules, about 100 feet below ground. The capsules are staffed round the clock by two people who oversee 10 Minuteman missiles in silos scattered through the countryside.
The Whiz Kid Vs. the Old Boys
John Deutch had the makings of a great C.I.A. director except for one thing -- he had no respect for the agency's classified culture.
New York Times
By THOMAS POWERS
One of these days -- perhaps this year, perhaps next -- John M. Deutch is going to get a call from his lawyer. If he is lucky, he will learn that his "case" has been resolved. Of course, it may not be a "case" in the formal sense; he has not been charged with any criminal offense nor has he been informed by the Justice Department that he is the target of a criminal investigation. But "case" is probably still the best word to describe the slowly unwinding chain of events that began with the discovery in late 1996 that Deutch -- then the outgoing director of central intelligence, as the C.I.A.'s chief is formally known -- had placed classified files on an unclassified Apple computer provided to him by the agency for his use at home.
Security is taken very seriously at the C.I.A. The first person new recruits meet is a security officer, and the first course they take is C.I.A. 101, a how-to brief on protecting information. Everybody who works in the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va., has a security clearance, including the cleaning staff. "Security regulations apply to everybody," said one senior intelligence official who used to be second in command for security at the agency's directorate of administration. "It doesn't matter who they are or where they are."
Computer technology has made security a lot more challenging. The problem used to be limited to secrets people could carry away in their heads or on paper. Now, there are a multitude of ways for information to escape the building. To protect itself, the C.I.A. has isolated its classified computers, marking them with purple stickers and separating them from the rest of the world with an "air gap" -- no modems, no regular e-mail or surfing the Internet. A second precautionary measure has been the disabling of disk drives on classified computers to prevent wholesale downloading of information onto disks, which might leave the building in a briefcase.
Security officers at the C.I.A. have a special strategy for keeping their directors, or D.C.I.'s, out of trouble. The core of the strategy is to surround them with helpful assistants who make sure to do what busy senior officials might otherwise forget to do -- put classified documents into the safe, lock office doors, spin the dials of combination locks, retrieve copies of the classified President's Daily Brief from hotel rooms, make sure the classified laptop with its purple identifying sticker is not left in a car or a restaurant in Beijing.
The D.C.I. also gets drivers and bodyguards, a live-in security staff to protect his home, even a fully protected and equipped Special Compartmented Intelligence Facility, or SCIF (pronounced "skiff"), a room sealed and secured according to detailed regulations. The people who run the nation's major intelligence agencies -- the C.I.A., the F.B.I., the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency -- have been routinely provided for years with SCIF's at home where they can safely handle and store classified documents.
But not John M. Deutch. He was offered all the usual conveniences and protections after he was confirmed as D.C.I. in May 1995, but he did not want to surrender part of his house to security officers, he did not want a SCIF and he did not want a classified computer at home. Deutch, 62, can be as abrasive as sandpaper; he makes up his mind and says what he wants -- and what he wanted, combined with the mercurial forces of Washington politics, the security breakdown at American weapons laboratories and his uncanny ability to outrage the old boys at the C.I.A., has a lot to do with the trouble he is in today.
The oddest thing about the John Deutch case is that he never wanted to head the C.I.A. in the first place. Deutch's dream for 20 years had been to run the Pentagon. The seeds of desire were planted when a friend of his father's, the legendary clandestine warrior Edward G. Lansdale, helped him get a job in the Pentagon's office of systems analysis during the Kennedy administration. Still in his early 20's, Deutch became one of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's "whiz kids," a gang of supersmart, superconfident slide-rule wizards who worked the problem of "enough" -- how many nuclear weapons of what sort would be "enough" to protect the United States when we already had enough to kill everybody twice over. The early 1960's were the glory days of strategic planners; whole books were written applying game theory and other forms of analysis to the problem of fighting a nuclear war. "John loves nukes," his second wife once told a friend.
The whiz kids infuriated crusty airmen like Gen. Curtis LeMay (who told Los Alamos bomb designers back in the 1950's that he wanted one bomb big enough to destroy all of Russia), but they changed the way weapons were acquired by the Pentagon. The style of argument Deutch developed then -- mastery of technical detail, rigor of analysis and confident delivery -- never left him. When the war in Vietnam came along, Deutch supported it. When the war began to go badly and a growing opposition took to the streets in the United States, Deutch never wavered. He insisted the war was a problem like any other; if we made certain moves, the other side would respond in a rational way, and this thing could still be brought to a successful end. "If the kids would just let us alone," Deutch said, referring to the protesters, "we could handle it."
It was defense, not intelligence, that interested Deutch. In the 1970's, he left his job teaching chemistry at M.I.T. and returned to Washington under Secretary of Energy James Schlesinger, a man he greatly admired. In 1993, he came back yet again to work with one of his old friends from whiz-kid days, Les Aspin, President Clinton's first secretary of defense. Deutch defined power in Washington by the size of the budget an official controlled, and very few spent more money than Deutch as the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology.
Despite his budgetary clout, Deutch had an ability to undermine his best efforts. His relations with Congress were particularly bumpy. Even when committee members wanted the same thing he wanted -- like the Pentagon's ever-more-expensive C-17 cargo plane -- Deutch managed to ruffle feathers. After one contentious hearing on the C-17 before the House Armed Services Committee in the summer of 1993, two Deutch aides, Larry Caviola and Rudy DeLeon, had to take their boss back to the shop and give him a remedial course on how to testify.
A big part of the problem, according to someone who often watched him in action, was body language. Deutch is physically big, about 6-foot-3. He has a way of entering a room, including a hearing room. "There's a swagger to him," said the colleague, "a tilt and mass to his body. He exudes intellectual and physical vitality." When his argument is challenged -- by an aide in the privacy of his office or by a senator in the glare of television lights -- Deutch may monitor his words, but he finds it more difficult to control the hunching of his shoulders, the pained shifting of his bulk in his seat, the expression on his face. In smaller groups, the body language can be even more unmistakable: a nervous rolling of his hand back and forth rapidly on the table in front of him or turning away in his chair 90 degrees or more, a sign of deep impatience.
Deutch joked that the people he worked with fell into three categories: "people who are smart, people who disagree and people who are smart enough to know they are wrong when they disagree." He loved the daily encounter with people of power in Washington. He showed up often at restaurants like the fashionable Prime Rib with companions like Sen. Arlen Specter, and he even began a private campaign, vigorous but unsuccessful, to get his picture added to the caricatures painted on the wall of the Palm Restaurant, a dignity accorded only the great movers and shakers. The word for Deutch's way of pushing his way forward, spontaneously offered by many people interviewed for this article, was "arrogance."
But at the same time, he accomplished a great deal. The Pentagon in the 1990's suffered a radical shrinking and restructuring in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The process was almost entirely one of denial, taking away, cutting jobs, dropping programs -- all painful for those on the receiving end. If downsizing is like removing a bandage from a wound and quickest is best, then Deutch was the right man for the job.
He was rewarded for his work. When Aspin was replaced by William Perry, Deutch moved up to the No. 2 position in the Pentagon. In 1994, Deutch was right where he wanted to be: next in line for the big job. "The secretary of defense is the most important man after the president," Deutch had been telling friends for years, and he made no secret of the fact that he hoped to succeed Perry. It might well have happened, if not for the discovery of a Soviet spy inside the directorate of operations of the C.I.A., a career officer with a drinking problem named Aldrich Ames.
The shock of Ames's betrayal -- and the outrage when Congress learned it had taken the C.I.A. nearly 10 years to catch him -- gradually undermined the position of the C.I.A.'s director, R. James Woolsey. President Clinton didn't fire him; he simply turned his back, and by late December 1994, Woolsey, in effect banished from the White House and threatened with irrelevance, decided he had had enough. Deutch's was the first name on President Clinton's list for a new D.C.I., but Deutch begged off, and the White House picked an Air Force general who had everything going for him on paper. Not on paper was the fact that the general's Filipino house servant had entered the country improperly. The general did not want to put his family through the ordeal of trying to sort that out and withdrew his name. The second time around President Clinton refused to take no for an answer, and Deutch, despite deep misgivings, agreed to serve as director of central intelligence.
Before he arrived, he made two unorthodox requests. Deutch told the agency that he wanted Apple Macintosh computers, not PC's, for use both at home and in his offices at the C.I.A. and in downtown Washington. Deutch was late coming to the personal computer, and a friend who helped him buy his first said he was a slow study and frequently called on his children and those of friends for technical help. By the time he got to the C.I.A., only Macs would do, and the agency provided him with classified Macs, clearly marked with purple classified stickers, which he used in his two offices; unclassified Macs, marked with green unclassified stickers, which he used in his homes in Bethesda, Md., and Belmont, Mass., near M.I.T.; and a Mac laptop, also with a green sticker, which he used when traveling.
Deutch also took his own team to Langley: Nora Slatkin from the Pentagon as executive director; George Tenet from the National Security Council as deputy director of central intelligence; Jeffrey Smith, a West Point graduate and lawyer, as general counsel; and Michael O'Neil, a former staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The last D.C.I. to take his own staff to Langley had been Adm. Stansfield Turner under President Carter, and the officers in the directorate of operations still talked about how much they disliked him.
John Deutch was the fourth D.C.I. to arrive at Langley in as many years, and he made it clear from the outset he was going to fix whatever he thought broken, beginning with the directorate of operations -- the clandestine side of the house, commonly called the D.O., which has been the major source of glory and disaster throughout the history of the C.I.A. In a news conference shortly after taking over, Deutch confessed the spy business was something he knew "less well than, for example, the satellite business or the science and technology business." But he said he was going to insist on "accountability," and when someone asked if he was going to be "more or less tolerant" with failure in the future, Deutch's answer left little room for ambiguity: "Less tolerant. Less tolerant. Less tolerant."
Deutch's determination was immediately put to the test dealing with two pieces of unfinished C.I.A. business: charges that the agency had looked the other way when a Guatemalan Army colonel on the C.I.A.'s payroll was involved in the murder of an American citizen and the long-awaited, and dreaded, Ames damage report. His first day on the job, Deutch and his team spent six hours arguing about Guatemala. At the end of it, Deutch put Nora Slatkin in charge of a group to review a report on the matter by the C.I.A.'s inspector general, Frederick Hitz, the man who had pretty much ended Woolsey's career at the agency with a harshly critical, 400-page report on the Ames case. In it, Hitz named directorate of operations officers he thought should be dismissed, punished or reprimanded for incompetence in the nine-year spy hunt. Woolsey refused to be pressured and only reprimanded 11 senior officers. The storm of criticism aimed at Woolsey then served as a stark warning to Deutch a year later.
When the Guatemala report was submitted, Hitz did it again: he identified 26 "individuals who should be held accountable" for leaving the Guatemalan colonel on the payroll and for keeping it secret from the American ambassador in Guatemala, higher-ups in Langley and the intelligence committees in Congress. Slatkin's group protested that Hitz was tying the D.C.I.'s hands, but he said he was just doing his job; nobody had to follow his recommendations. "I thought that was nave," said one of those who argued the issue. "This report went to Congress, and if they read the names of 26 people who ought to be held accountable, they will expect to see 26 people disciplined."
In the end, Deutch took two major steps: he asked Jeffrey Smith, his general counsel, to carry out a worldwide "dirty assets scrub" to get rid of informants too rank for comfort and he fired two directorate of operations officers singled out by Hitz -- Frederick Brugger, the chief of station in Guatemala City from 1991 to 1993, and Terry Ward, the chief of operations for Latin America at the time. Neither action made Deutch lasting friends. Officers from the operations branch of the agency thought it unfair to fire Ward and Brugger for getting caught on the wrong side of a change in public sentiment. "We don't identify agents to ambassadors," said one longtime D.O. officer who has since left the agency. "That's standard operating procedure." Like many of his colleagues, he thought the explanation was simple: Congress wanted blood, and Deutch gave it to them.
But in some ways, dealing with the Ames damage assessment was even more difficult because it forced Deutch to confront a level of deep, careerist cynicism in what was being called "the clandestine culture" of the directorate of operations. The damage report, completed at the end of October 1995, included the familiar litany of disasters -- betrayed agents, including nine executed by the Russians; wholesale compromise of C.I.A. tradecraft in recruiting and running agents; identification of numerous American intelligence officers. But there was a new charge as well, painful to confess before Congress and the public: during the years Ames had been spilling secrets to the Russians, the K.G.B. had mounted many successful double-agent operations against the C.I.A. Still worse was the fact that the C.I.A. went on submitting reports based on their information to the White House and Defense Department, even after the spy-runners began to suspect the agents involved were Soviet-controlled. Deutch never said so publicly, but he himself had seen some of these reports while he was at the Pentagon, and he did not lightly forgive this betrayal of the C.I.A.'s most basic mission. "The most important value the intelligence community must embrace is integrity," he said later that year. "We engage in deception to do our job. . . . But we must never let deception become a way of life."
But the fact was that deception was already part of the clandestine culture. The problem was the blurring of the line between operational deception in the day-to-day business of collecting secret intelligence and the self-serving deception of superiors by intelligence officers in the field, who were judged, promoted and paid according to their "success" in running agents and writing reports. "Good case officers are manipulators," Jeffrey Smith said. "The temptation is to tailor information to protect their own cases." Everybody knew it happened. "Don't case-officer me," superiors might say when they suspected shading of the facts. It is all too easy, say D.O. officers, to fail to mention the signs of compromise -- a suspicious car, a too-familiar face -- that separate the bad cases from the good ones, but at the same time they can spell the difference between a dropped operation, tainted by signs of interference, and a "success" that brings the praise of superiors, a rise in grade, consideration for an important job or a better posting. The inherent difficulty of monitoring officers in the field is an abiding theme in the intelligence business, but sending up tainted reports -- treating bad agents like good ones when you knew better -- that was new.
The abiding theme of Deutch's tenure at the C.I.A. was a kind of ongoing guerrilla war between the D.C.I.'s office on the seventh floor and the clandestine folks, marked by disrespect on Deutch's side and increasing dislike on the D.O.'s. An officer still working at the C.I.A., who asked that he be identified as "a very old senior intelligence person," had much good to say about Deutch as D.C.I. but agreed that he should have taken time to absorb the culture. "A lot of people here felt he did not understand clandestine operations," the officer said. "You have to grow up with ops in your blood." As a result, "Deutch never developed a sense of trust with D.O. officers," and his tenure was marked by an "overall tension."
What particularly infuriated D.O. officers was Deutch's failure to understand the basic principals of secret operations, starting with the fact that they depend on people taking risks for you. The first obligation of the case officer is to protect his assets, but Deutch could treat the matter casually. During the Balkan crisis, a high-level official remarked in public that the United States had obtained a Yugoslav Army manual on placing mines. When William Lofgren, the manager of the operation that obtained the manual, heard about the indiscretion, he promptly sent a cable to Deutch saying, in essence, How can you do this -- endanger a spy who has gone out on a limb for us? When another covert officer heatedly supported Lofgren, Deutch laughed. "He laughed!" the officer repeated; he could still hardly believe it. It made him so mad he thought about quitting. He stayed on, but he remains angry today.
But even the people trying to run the operations directorate admitted things had slipped a long way since the glory days of the cold war. It wasn't just Ames, or Guatemala, or years of making excuses for screw-ups -- a deeper decay was spreading inside the directorate of operations. "By the time Deutch got there, the D.O. was in a tailspin," one D.O. officer admitted. "They're not first rate, "he said, referring to the decline in qualified operatives, which he attributed to low salaries, dreary postings and the pressure of nonstop counterintelligence investigations of C.I.A. agents, 300 of which were under way in 1997. "It's gotten so bad," the D.O. officer said, "that people are resigning only four or five years from retirement. The place is just rotting."
Still, it didn't help that Deutch, in 1995, made a tin-eared remark to Tim Weiner of The Times expressing something close to disdain for operations officers. "Compared to uniformed officers," Deutch said, "they certainly are not as competent or as understanding of what their relative role is and what their responsibilities are." The D.O. officer thought this "was like blaming the soldiers for losing the war." How could the D.C.I. ridicule his own men in public and still hope to lead them? Many others were infuriated as well; Deutch's halting attempt to suggest he hadn't really said or meant what he said satisfied no one.
The ethos of the directorate of operations is difficult to understand by outsiders; there is no way to sum up what the D.O. does. A company makes money, a bureaucracy processes paper, policemen make arrests, but attempts to count what the D.O. does -- and many have been made over the years -- invariably miss the point. One good operation outweighs a hundred failures, and a good operation is a thing of beauty -- it slips something away from a victim who never knows it is gone. Nobody understood the technical side of intelligence collection better than Deutch, but he was blind to the human side, and he compounded the failure by putting a novice, Nora Slatkin, in charge of approving covert operations. Operations has traditionally been a male preserve, but that has changed in recent years; the fact that Slatkin was a woman -- at the time, the highest-ranking woman ever at the C.I.A. -- was not the problem. It was the fact that she could say yea or nay to operations without any real idea what makes them succeed or fail.
Slatkin, though hard-working, fair-minded, serious to a fault, never won the trust of D.O. officers. The problem, one of them explained, was her psychological and emotional dependence on Deutch -- a thing so obvious and so intense that some people believed the two were having an affair, despite the fact Deutch had remarried only six months before coming to the C.I.A. A senior D.O. officer who worked closely with both said he was virtually certain there was no affair; in his opinion, the problem was "pathological," not romantic. "When Deutch dissed her, which he did all the time, Nora was shattered," he said. "She was just put out of business."
The D.O. officer remembered an occasion in 1996 when Slatkin "arranged a kind of birthday party to celebrate Deutch's first year as D.C.I., and it was a great party." That evening, the officer was in Slatkin's office with a group of C.I.A. officials when "all of a sudden Deutch comes barging into the room the way only D.C.I.'s can do and he went up to Nora and gave her a big kiss and said, 'Thank you for the wonderful party.' Then he left. And the tears began pouring out of Nora's eyes."
The D.O. officer liked Slatkin, despite her dependence on "approbation from John," but few others did. The opinion of the D.O. turned decisively against her, and against Deutch for giving her so much authority, when stories began to circulate about their trips to visit friendly intelligence services abroad. One was made to the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service in London, the C.I.A.'s oldest ally and rival.
"I heard it from a Yank who was in the room," said the D.O. officer who described the behavior of Deutch and Slatkin most explicitly. "And I heard it from two M.I. 6 officers. In the middle of an official meeting -- Deutch's first state visit with the British -- Nora sat beside him, and while they were all talking, she was slipping her hand into his pocket, taking out jelly beans and feeding them to John."
He knew it was hard to believe, but that is what he had been told, and other D.O. officers heard the story, too. Slatkin had little chance with the D.O. after that; no one trusted her to worry first about the job at hand, not how Deutch might respond.
Deutch never took the time to understand secret operations, with one exception: for a year and a half he monitored the progress of counterintelligence investigators as they closed in on a spy in the C.I.A. who could have turned into a second Ames. Just what tipped off the investigators remains secret, but according to a C.I.A. official involved, Deutch was briefed on the case very early in his tenure -- probably the day he was sworn in" -- and it followed the classic pattern of accumulating clues and a shrinking list of suspects. From an initial 50 or so, the list shrank at last to one name with evidence enough implicating him for a F.I.S.A. warrant -- permission for a wiretap and other intrusive forms of surveillance from the seven-judge court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Finding moles, however, was no longer left to the C.I.A. alone; in the wake of the Ames case, Congress had given the job to the F.B.I. At least once a month, a group of eight or 10 -- Deutch, Louis Freeh of the F.B.I. and half a dozen others -- would meet in Deutch's conference room for a progress report on all pending cases. "Everybody came to those meetings," said one of the participants. "It was their job to come, and counterintelligence was a high priority mission, but the reason they came was that those meetings were goddamned fascinating." Deutch, frequently impatient with routine briefings and eager to press every agenda forward, behaved quite differently at the counterespionage group meetings. He asked questions, he listened to the answers and he didn't meddle. Some D.C.I.'s, the participant said, aren't interested and can't be bothered. Others get so excited they want to run the show. Deutch struck the perfect balance. He paid attention, he gave the team whatever support it asked and he let them do their job.
By the spring of 1996, everybody in the monthly meeting group and on the "bigot list" -- those individuals cleared to know about a given case or operation, which in this matter included Slatkin, Tenet, Smith and Michael O'Neil -- understood that the long investigation had come down at last to one name: Harold James Nicholson, a 16-year veteran of the D.O. and a past chief of station in Eastern Europe.
One important clue to the mole's identity came inadvertently from the Russians, whose intelligence service under a post-cold-war agreement with the United States maintained a liaison officer at F.B.I. headquarters to work on matters of common concern like international terrorism. In March 1996, the Russian liaison asked F.B.I. officials for information about "terrorist groups" working on behalf of the rebellious republic of Chechnya. The sleuths interpreted this as a sign that Russian intelligence was tasking all its agents to check up on Chechnya; the obvious next step was to see who in the agency had exhibited an unusual interest in Chechnya. When investigators systematically checked the logs of C.I.A. computer users, they discovered that Nicholson was a "surfer" -- a browser of intelligence files outside the strict limits of his assigned job -- and that the key words he was using to sniff things out were "Russia" and "Chechnya." The F.B.I. also discovered a laptop computer during a search of Nicholson's van. At first glance the hard drive was clean -- no classified files. But technical experts copied everything on the hard drive with a technique known as "imaging" and later established that numerous classified files had been deleted.
Eventually this and much other evidence led to the arrest of Nicholson at Dulles International Airport as he was about to leave the country in November 1996. At a news conference the next day, Deutch and Louis Freeh praised the success of their joint effort, and Deutch told reporters that "the story here is that we have a very successful post-Ames counterintelligence effort." There was no mention of computers at the news conference, but if Deutch had been genuinely paying attention to his 18 months of briefings, he would have learned two things beyond doubt: that the security people routinely monitor in-house computer use and can look over someone's shoulder whenever they want to and that pushing the delete key, or dragging a file to trash on a Mac, does not permanently get rid of files.
Most observers of Deutch's tenure at the C.I.A. thought his failure to "fix" the directorate of operations was the whole story and graded him with a C-minus at best. The very old senior intelligence person saw things differently. He thought Deutch had done for the C.I.A. the sort of thing he had done for the Defense Department -- taken big, expensive programs cobbled together over the years and made sense out of them. "Deutch instituted a major reform of the way we build [collection] programs," he said. "Managers got firm D.C.I. guidance, learned to defend their programs, and in return they were given more authority. There was a wail of complaint, but today it's the way we do business."
What Deutch did for the C.I.A. -- bringing mission-based planning to the collection of intelligence -- was something he hoped to do for the intelligence community as a whole, and he was halfway there when his tenure at the agency abruptly came to an end. The short explanation of Deutch's departure, often cited by those who watched him come and go at the C.I.A., is that President Clinton played a game of musical chairs with his top national security advisers after his election to a second term at the end of 1996. When the music stopped, everybody had a seat -- Madeleine Albright as secretary of state, William Cohen as secretary of defense, Anthony Lake as the new D.C.I., Sandy Berger as Clinton's national security adviser -- everyone except Deutch. "That was just like Clinton," said a former D.C.I. who often saw Deutch during his year and a half at the agency. "He pulls the whole world out from under you."
Just how and by whom the bad news was delivered is known only to the principals. The announcement of the new team was made on Dec. 5, but Deutch had already been talking for several weeks like a man who knew he would be leaving. One C.I.A. officer remembers hearing Deutch discuss his return to M.I.T. over the phone with his good friend Strobe Talbott. When Talbott asked why he didn't take some other job in the administration, Deutch answered, "Well, nobody asked me."
Another colleague who worked for Deutch in the Pentagon thinks he orchestrated his own departure after Clinton told him in August that there would be no job for him in the second term. A few weeks later, on Sept. 19, Deutch appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee and openly broke ranks with the White House when he described "a strengthened position for Saddam Hussein in the region." In classic whiz-kid fashion, he ticked off five reasons, crisply contradicting the administration's upbeat official line that the noose was slowly tightening and Hussein's departure was only a matter of time. The colleague had often watched Deutch in the past as he trimmed a long-held position to get in line with the president; when he read the Hussein testimony, he concluded that Deutch had lost hope for a job in Clinton's second term. "Deutch was creating his own exit line," he said, pointing to news stories citing the remark about Hussein as the reason Deutch was the odd man out.
As it turned out, the Senate Intelligence Committee raised so many doubts about the confirmation of Lake that he withdrew his name and the job went to Tenet. But Deutch by that time was long gone; he had surrendered his ID badge on Dec. 14. That would have marked the end of public interest in the C.I.A. career of John Deutch if not for the discovery that he had been breaking security regulations virtually from the day of his arrival by routinely working on classified documents on his computers at home.
In every Washington story," said a Pentagon colleague of Deutch, "the problem is not the first error but the second error."
Deutch's first error came in two steps: putting classified files on his unclassified computer and then asking to keep the computers provided by the C.I.A. because he had used them for personal business like banking from home and sending e-mail. He soon dropped the request, but while the idea of retaining the computers was still alive, the C.I.A. sent an information security officer to Deutch's house to make an inventory of their contents. Using Microsoft Word, he opened six files, discovered what appeared to be classified information and called his boss for advice. He told him to sit tight and sought the help of Nora Slatkin. She in turn directed the caller to O'Neil, who had taken over as the C.I.A.'s general counsel when Jeffrey Smith returned to private practice. O'Neil asked to see printouts of the files in question, so word went back to the information officer in Deutch's home to print the files. He printed five of them; the sixth appeared to be a personal letter to Anthony Lake, Clinton's choice to replace Deutch, and it "contained Deutch's personal sentiments about senior agency officials," so the officer left it where it was -- on something in Deutch's computer called a PCMCIA card.
The PCMCIA card is important. (The initials stand for the attractively worded Personal Computer Memory Card International Association.) All personal computers purchased by the Defense Department since 1994 are equipped with PCMCIA card slots, which are part of a new, secure Defense Message System. The cards, which can hold 170 megabytes of information, are just the right size to fit into a shirt pocket, so a job begun at work might be continued at home. It was at the Pentagon that Deutch first started taking a card with him when he left the office at night. He continued this habit at the C.I.A. It was an unsecure habit, for every time Deutch used a PCMCIA card to work on classified documents at home, he was violating security regulations.
At this point in the story there is a Y in the road. One branch leads to the "classified documents" on Deutch's computer while the other tracks the official response to the discovery, a complex, detailed account of who said what to whom that defies easy summary or firm judgment. Here we encounter the raw material of the "second error" in every Washington story, the part called "the coverup."
The report by the C.I.A.'s inspector general released in unclassified form last February does not raise this matter explicitly, but it records in great detail the evidence suggesting that Deutch tried to delete the offending files from his PCMCIA cards before returning them to the C.I.A. and even called agency tech support for advice on how to reformat the cards -- apparently thinking, incorrectly, despite his tutoring on computer files during the Nicholson case, that all trace of the previous files would then be erased. As of this writing, nobody has been charged with anything, but the authors of the inspector general's report clearly feel a great deal was not done as it should have been done. Among the report's conclusions: C.I.A. officials should have treated the discovery of Deutch's errors as a potential violation of federal law, should have filed a "crimes report" with Janet Reno, should have investigated the whole matter immediately, should have briefed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, should have considered Deutch subject to the independent counsel statute as a "covered person" and, above all, should have treated Deutch exactly as they would have treated any other C.I.A. employee.
The report is long and confusing because the leading officials of the C.I.A. at the time considered doing all these things, reconsidered them and re-reconsidered them before, in the end, they finally pretty much did them. By that time, a year had gone by, and Deutch was no longer a "covered person" under the independent counsel statute. Otherwise, what happened was what probably would have happened if everything had been done by the book at the outset. The inspector general's sharpest words were reserved for the numerous interventions in the handling of the case by Slatkin and O'Neil, which "had the effect of delaying a prompt and thorough investigation of this matter."
Deutch's violation of security regulations was reported to the Department of Justice and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees early in 1998. Attorney General Janet Reno formally declined to prosecute the case, but suggested the C.I.A. "determine Mr. Deutch's continued suitability" for clearance to handle secret materials.
Reno's suggestion was more damning than it sounds. A security clearance is the basic work permit for jobs in the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and the defense contractors that work on classified projects for the government. At one time or another over the last 40 years Deutch had been granted just about every clearance there is. Even between official jobs, when he was at M.I.T., Deutch served on boards requiring access to secret information, some advising government agencies how to buy defense and intelligence hardware and others advising private companies how to sell it to them. Thus, it was no modest rebuke when, in August 1999, Tenet suspended Deutch's clearances, making him the first high-level government official to be publicly forbidden access to secrets since 1954, when J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project, was formally declared a security risk and banished to private life.
Loss of his clearances did not bring Deutch's trouble to an end. Though no one has ever suggested that Deutch was engaged in espionage or that he intended to harm the national security of the United States, the Justice Department nevertheless felt compelled to reopen its investigation last spring; the Senate Intelligence Committee has reportedly sent a draft of its own exhaustive investigation to the C.I.A.
What explains the extraordinary degree of public attention already lavished upon his case is the heightened concern for security unloosed by the Ames case and fanned into open flame by a yearlong public battle over charges that spies for China have managed to spirit away a virtual library of classified designs for American nuclear weapons and missiles.
The chief victim of that clamor, Wen Ho Lee, the Taiwan-born computer scientist, recently settled his case by pleading guilty to one charge of mishandling classified information in return for a sentence of time served and an agreement to cooperate with investigators. But while the Lee case was at its height, his lawyers charged that their client was being unfairly treated because he was jailed under harsh conditions awaiting trial while John Deutch had gone unscathed after a perfunctory investigation for doing. . . .
At this point, the right language becomes tricky. Lee's lawyers and other defenders have generally charged that what Deutch and Lee did was really "the same thing," by which they appear to mean removing classified files from the workplace. But it was not really "the same thing." For reasons he has never publicly explained, Lee downloaded thousands of pages of genuine government secrets, the fruit of 50 years of research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Deutch, by contrast, carried his own work back and forth between home and office.
This returns us to the actual "classified documents" found on Deutch's computers. News leaks have suggested these were vast, explosive and left wide open to access by foreign spies. And the I.G. report makes frequent reference to items that were classified at various levels of secrecy, including information at the "top secret" and "code word" levels, meaning that they came from a source so sensitive only individuals with a particular code-word clearance were allowed to know about them. But just about everything a D.C.I. writes is classified. And when the report finally gets around to citing the documents themselves, it turns out that every last one of them falls into one of three categories: classified documents Deutch brought home on PCMCIA cards, which he thought left no traces on his home computer's hard drive; memos and letters he wrote to the president and other officials; and 26 volumes of journals kept at the Defense Department and C.I.A.
Deutch's concern with privacy makes more sense once it is clear that his journals were far more than a simple office diary recording meetings and phone calls. Deutch kept a journal in the classic sense -- a daily record of whom he saw, what he was doing, what he was thinking. If he was planning a trip to the Middle East, it went into the journal, according to people who have seen it. If he played squash with one of his sons, it went into the journal. If he had a pungent opinion about an officer of the C.I.A., it went into his journal. He wasn't planning to write a book; he was simply trying to sort out his life -- keep things straight -- and he found that writing it down helped. He thought the journal was private, that it was his and that nothing in it was secret. But once the PCMCIA cards containing the journal fell into the hands of investigators, they combed its approximately 1,000 pages and found 32 fragments of information -- places, names, activities -- that fell into the category of classified information. That was clearly a violation of regulations, but whether it represented even a theoretical threat to the national security is hard to establish.
The danger, according to computer security experts, came from the fact that Deutch's home computer had a modem and that he used it to hook up to his e-mail account at AOL and to surf the Internet. The I.G. report says the computer was used to visit "high-risk" Internet sites, which news leaks report to include adult sites. These sites left "cookies" on Deutch's computer -- codes that can be read by Web sites when you revisit them. E-commerce sites routinely leave cookies that open the door to advertising messages. What worries the C.I.A. is the entrance of "malicious code" -- a term of art for any program intended to penetrate, manipulate or disable official computers. The ultimate security nightmare would be malicious code intended to bypass encryption and other protective systems. In theory, this could have happened to Deutch's computer, and in theory, he might have introduced the malicious code -- a kind of computer troll, much like a human mole -- into the C.I.A. system when he plugged in a PCMCIA card in his office. Many variables would have to line up for this to happen, in fact: Deutch's PCMCIA reader would have to be on while he was online, the site he was visiting would have to be hostile and it would have to know it was connected to Deutch. But it could happen. Last February, George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee he could not "give you a definitive statement to say it absolutely didn't happen." But no one has claimed it did happen, either.
Why Deutch refused the offer of classified computers at home, he has never publicly said. But he told investigators later that one reason was his desire for privacy -- he didn't want the C.I.A., which monitors the use of classified computers, looking over his shoulder while he was working. That was one way the sleuths caught Nicholson, and Deutch had watched it happen. Asked if C.I.A. officers would actually monitor the work files of the agency's own director, one retired D.O. officer hesitated and then said, "Well, if he was worried about that, he should have used pencil and paper."
But a clear understanding of Deutch's security violation -- that he created classified documents on unclassified computers -- was hidden until the release of the C.I.A.'s I.G. report earlier this year, and by that time his case had been firmly joined to Wen Ho Lee's in the public mind, he had lost his clearances, favoritism in his treatment had been widely charged in Congress and elsewhere and the Justice Department had reopened the case in a way that would make it difficult to dismiss later with a shrug. The danger, say friends who feel Deutch has been treated unfairly, is that the obvious punishment has already been imposed: loss of his clearances. That means the Justice Department may feel compelled to go on to the next step and insist on a legal sanction, and there is a possibility legal charges may be brought against others as well, for the "second error" -- failing to treat his sloppy computer habits as a crime. If he is prosecuted and convicted, Deutch's sentence could result in fines or even imprisonment.
The Greeks believed that character is fate, and Deutch's character includes love of teaching, of debate, of activity in groups, of pronouncing his opinions, of taking charge and making things happen and of promoting talent. But Deutch's character also includes impatience, dismissing the concerns of others, roughness in argument, refusing to listen as soon as he disagrees -- all of those attributes summed up as arrogance by the people who worked with him at the Pentagon and the C.I.A. Every last one of them said it was arrogance that got him into trouble: he knew the rules, but he didn't think they applied to him.
"His confidence was strong indeed," said the very old senior intelligence person. "There were a lot of powerful and influential people in this town who thought Deutch had a tremendous amount to offer. But he had no talent for dealing with people."
One of the few people who saw Deutch often and liked him without reservation was Paul Redmond, the C.I.A.'s counterintelligence chief, now retired, who worked with him on the Nicholson case. "I really liked dealing with Deutch," said Redmond. "He liked to battle it out, and so do I."
Redmond paused. "But his career at the C.I.A. was a sort of a tragedy. He came here with all the things that made John McCone a great director -- he had brains, energy drive, his own money, even experience with intelligence, which McCone didn't have. He could have been a great director."
But it didn't happen. Many people believed Deutch was made for great things, for pushing through huge public ventures like the Manhattan Project. Now, like Oppenheimer, he has been banished from the secret work that used to be his life. Oppenheimer never got his security clearance back, and few believe Deutch will succeed where Oppenheimer failed. "No chance," said one of Deutch's defenders. "The publicity makes it difficult or impossible."
A Pentagon colleague of Deutch's is even more emphatic: "In Washington, everything is negotiable -- except a security clearance."
For Deutch, his experience has been agonizing. On the advice of his lawyer, Terrence O'Donnell of the Washington law firm of Williams & Connolly, he has said nothing publicly about his troubles since regretting his "errors" before the Senate Intelligence Committee last February. Normally an ebullient, sociable and gregarious man, Deutch has shrunk back, chastened and hurt, according to friends. To one of the oldest, someone he has known since the 1960's, he said: "I can't talk about this. I'm dying here."
Bunker? What Bunker?
During the cold war, the presidential nuclear hideaway was built in a mountain in Pennsylvania. People nearby kept quiet about the place. They're still not talking.
New York Times
By BILL GIFFORD
Editors Picks Top Sites on Government Secrets
The man switches off his leaf blower and turns to regard the mountain rising behind his yellow-sided Cape house with its split-rail fence and immaculate yard. He has lived here more than 50 years, and in all that time, he swears, he has never learned what goes on inside the mountain, what lies behind the Warning: Restricted Area signs and the heavily guarded gates and the tall fence topped with barbed wire. Never wondered about the two obvious tunnel entrances across the valley from his front porch. Or about the helicopters thundering in and out of the area at all hours. Or about the elaborate antennas on the mountaintop. Sorry, he shakes his head. He can't help.
Inside Raven Rock, as the otherwise unremarkable little mountain is called, lies a vast underground complex that was meant to replace the Pentagon -- as well as shelter the president -- in case of nuclear war. Straddling the Maryland-Pennsylvania border in the Catoctin Mountains, Raven Rock is 12 miles from Gettysburg, 65 miles from Washington and about 6 miles from Camp David. Officially known as the Alternate Joint Communications Center, the "Underground Pentagon" was built in the early 1950's and has been waiting for Armageddon ever since.
The old man regards his leaf blower. "Aw, everybody knows about the hole in the hill," he says, softening. "It ain't no damn secret -- but it might be to someone who ain't from around here."
Outside the immediate area, Site R, as it is referred to by locals, is still almost unknown, especially compared with the three other key cold-war bunkers. The most famous is Cheyenne Mountain, home to Norad, just outside Colorado Springs. Then there is Mount Weather, the federal bureaucracy's nuclear retreat, hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia; its existence was inadvertently revealed when a jetliner crashed into the mountain in the 1970's. Congress had its own underground hideaway, a relatively luxurious complex beneath the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, but when The Washington Post Magazine revealed its existence in 1992, an embarrassed Congress quickly put it in mothballs.
Only Site R remains out of the limelight, and the locals -- and the Army -- do their best to keep it that way. (The military will not allow visits and refuses to give out any information about the site.) Despite the fact that you can now find a Web page produced by the Federation of American Scientists that includes a map of the tunnels, residents still take the secret status very seriously. Another old-timer, whose property abuts Site R's eight-foot barbed-wire fences, studiously keeps waxing his GMC pickup while I ask questions. Finally, he mutters, "They don't let much outta there." Down the road, a woman in the Cove Hollow Enchantment gift shop allows that her ex-husband had been a military policeman assigned to guard the place. She had even been given a tour, along with other family members of soldiers stationed there, but she won't divulge details. "We had to walk and walk" is all she will say, and then refuses to give her name. "I don't know what the government would do to me if I did," she says.
Back in the 50's, when the government started building the structure, practically everybody in the area worked there. One laborer was Gene Bowman, now 68, who lives in a stone rancher right up against the compound's south gate. As a 17-year-old in 1950, he was paid $1.35 an hour to drill and blast his way into the superhard greenstone granite that made Raven Rock an ideal site for a bombproof underground bunker. Quarrying into the mountainside was the equivalent of building a structure with walls a thousand feet thick.
The locals, being naturally suspicious of outsiders, kept what they were doing pretty much to themselves. "They just said they were building a tunnel," he says. "Wasn't nobody interested in what they were doing." What are the tunnels like? "It's the same as a town in there," he says. "Streets and everything. And they have to pump the air in." Though residents are loath to give details, a second Web site indicates that the bunker can sleep 3,000 and has a large supply of M.R.E.'s on hand. It's a spartan place, except for a special presidential apartment nicknamed the Lucy and Desi Suite, thanks to its vintage furnishings. (According to the site, everything has remained the same for the last 40 years, including the soap.)
Though bits of information are now available, during the cold war, secrecy was of the utmost importance. "Figuring out where it was," says John Pike, a senior project director of the Federation of American Scientists, "was a major focus of Soviet intelligence in the early 1960's."
By the 70's, the Soviets had warheads capable of pounding Raven Rock to rubble (assuming they had found it). So Site R's mission changed, according to Pike, from bunker to garage, used in part to house the mobile communications units (trucks) that are supposed to fan out to remote areas in case of war or other disaster to ensure the continuity of government operations.
As the cold war wound down, even that part of Raven Rock's mission began to seem less urgent. Site R went off 24-hour alert in 1992, and nearby Fort Ritchie, whose main purpose was to supply Site R, was closed in 1998. (Command of the bunker was transferred to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., 32 miles away.) Still, every working day, vehicles trickle into the unmarked gate on Harbaugh Valley Road: Army personnel, electricians and carpenters and truck drivers hauling light bulbs by the ton. And locals still respect the code of silence.
Claude Gladhill, 79, has lived on the back side of Raven Rock Mountain for 53 years; the government took some of his family's land for the complex. Now his son, Ralph, works at the site. He shows off a snapshot of Ralph with a 10-point buck he killed inside the fence.
But does he know what his son does inside Site R?
"Some things he can tell me -- some things he can't," Gladhill says. "I don't ask him."
13 days that stopped the world
Sunday 3 December 2000
New York Times
It was a fortnight so fraught as to seem surreal, a standoff scholars have come to call the most dangerous moment in recorded history. Thirty-eight years ago, as the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear conflict over missiles in Cuba, John F. Kennedy and his men groped for a way to avoid the end of the world as they knew it.
Those two weeks in October 1962 are among the most analysed hours in American diplomatic and political history, the subject of reams of scholarly books and articles, memoirs, oral histories and a television docudrama, The Missiles of October (1974). Many of the deliberations among the president and his advisers were recorded verbatim. So recapturing the taste and feel and rhythms of that time in a way that seems both faithful and fresh is no easy effort. But that is the task that Thirteen Days, a big-budget Hollywood film (opening on December 20 in the US), sets for itself.
The movie has thrilling sequences of spy planes and enemy missiles, as well as period New Frontier atmosphere. It has scenes of drama on the high seas and in the Cuban jungle (actually shot in the Philippines). But mostly it has talk - tense, frustrated, articulate, suspenseful talk about what the Soviets are doing and why they are doing it, and what the United States can and should do to counter the threat of offensive missiles secretly placed just 159 kilometres from American shores.
The early and mid-1960s saw numerous cinematic treatments of the nuclear threat, from Fail Safe to Dr Strangelove, but the missile crisis must have seemed too close for comfort. Now the story is told obliquely, through the eyes of the president's friend and political adviser, Kenneth O'Donnell, who watched most of the deliberations. O'Donnell is played by Kevin Costner, who was also one of the producers.
"It's hard to do a movie like that in this climate of Hollywood," Costner said of the film, which went through a couple of studios and several potential directors over four-and-a-half years before finding financing. "People say: `What's going to happen? You mean, they don't blow up the world?' It was very difficult because the feeling was, `Who wants to watch people talking about saving the world?"'
But for Costner (who in 1991 played Jim Garrison in JFK) and the film's other producers, Armyan Bernstein and Peter O. Almond - former journalists who got their start in documentaries and public television - the challenge of doing something different was precisely the point. Bernstein, the chairman of Beacon Pictures, developed Thirteen Days from scratch. He had previously produced more conventional thrillers like End of Days and Air Force One.
"One of the things we were really struck by is that there are so many stories that are told about men fighting," Bernstein said. "But there are so few, if any, stories about men trying not to fight. We just felt when we actually explored the idea of men struggling not to fight, not to use the weapons they had developed, not to use the firepower, that it was very powerful."
At first blush, the idea of telling the tale through the prism of O'Donnell, a Harvard football teammate of Robert F. Kennedy's and a man not known for his involvement in foreign policy, may sound like telling the Monica Lewinsky story through the eyes of President Clinton's national security adviser. But in fact, O'Donnell, who died in 1977, was a fly on the wall in most of the deliberations of ExCom, the executive committee of President Kennedy's National Security Council, which met in secret to consider the crisis. Using the known record of those formal discussions, and imagining how O'Donnell and the president might plausibly have reacted afterward in the privacy of the Oval Office, the screenplay by David Self makes O'Donnell into a kind of Ishmael, surviving to tell the tale of the Kennedy brothers' grace under pressure.
Indeed, the film does its bit to return some lustre to the legend of Camelot, which has been so diminished by a generation of tell-all books, tawdry mini-series and tabloid surmise. In this treatment, Jack Kennedy (played by Bruce Greenwood) is palpably human, wincing in pain from his bad back, worrying privately that he will be seen as either weak or a warmonger. But he is the clear hero of the piece, along with his brother Bobby (played by Stephen Culp), whose 1967 memoir gives the film its title. Costner's O'Donnell is the audience's Everyman, drawing the brothers out and giving them the kind of honest counsel that only the oldest buddies can. At one point in the movie, when a Russian attache asks who he is, Costner replies simply, "The friend."
In fact, this device removed one of the moviemakers' biggest quandaries: How to tell the story without having to find a bankable star willing to play JFK, one of the most familiar faces and voices of the 20th century. Instead, Costner, in a period crewcut and essaying a Massachusetts accent, has what amounts to a meaty part in a rich ensemble stew.
"It seemed to me like an interesting way to go beyond the dramatised documentary," said the Australian-born director Roger Donaldson, who first worked with Costner in the 1987 political thriller No Way Out. "And then going behind the scenes to create, fiction's not the right word, but to extrapolate the things that might have been said and put them around the things that are known."
The producers initially struggled for a dramaturgical device, considering and rejecting a romantic subplot involving two young aides, before lighting almost by happenstance on the O'Donnell character. Bernstein is a social acquaintance of one of O'Donnell's sons, Kevin, a venture capitalist here and a founder of the Internet company Earthlink. The younger O'Donnell, who is also an investor in Beacon, mentioned a cache of tape-recorded interviews conducted in the 1960s with his father by the television journalist Sander Vanocur for a never-written book on Kennedy's "Irish mafia". Those tapes, and other voluminous historical records, became the basis of a film that, within the constraints of its genre, strives for considerable fidelity.
"Obviously, our standard has to be one of mass entertainment," said Almond, "It is, after all, a major motion picture, with all that that implies. But as filmmakers, we hope that we get the story and its big themes right, and that we get the rhythms of the crisis laid out in a way that might make a 15-year-old who's turned on by the rockets or the jets get a little bit interested in the political and diplomatic themes."
Bernstein, who also produced The Hurricane, about the legal travails of the boxer Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, was badly stung by the controversy over its loose handling of some facts. So to smooth the film's path with a Washington political and journalistic establishment whose greybeards remember the real thing all too well, Bernstein retained the former White House press secretary Michael McCurry to talk the film up. There have been screenings for historians, journalists and old Kennedy hands in an effort to spread positive word of mouth.
"I could give you a hundred quibbles," said Philip Zelikow, a historian at the University of Virginia. But "the fundamental structure of the narrative and the overarching themes of the narrative are sound". Zelikow, an expert on the crisis, is the author with Ernest May of The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis (Harvard, 1997), an annotated history of secret White House recordings. The filmmakers bought the rights to the book, and Zelikow, a member of the National Security staff in the Bush White House, watched a couple of days of filming, but he had no consulting role and no financial ties to the film.
In fact, the film condenses and conflates characters and dialogue (including that of correspondents and executives of The New York Times), builds up the real tensions between Kennedy and his more hawkish military advisers for dramatic effect (sometimes to near-cartoonish oversimplification), makes educated suppositions about private conversations no one now living can be sure of, and utterly invents one plot conceit in which O'Donnell personally telephones surveillance pilots on the president's behalf, imploring them not to get shot down.
"But basically if people remember a broad narrative, which is that it was really dangerous, that it was a close call, that there was a real argument between Kennedy and his military advisers, that the Russians were hard to figure out, that leadership really mattered - all those points are true," Zelikow said. "And the movie is never omniscient about the Russians, which is great."
Zelikow used to teach a course at Harvard on "The Uses of History", in which students were asked to study historical films and write essays about how they reflected the climate and politics of the periods in which they were made. "Because you feel a lot of the suspense of the movie derives from that puzzlement and bafflement that this was for these men."
The film faithfully recounts Kennedy's agonising over whether to launch a surprise, pre-emptive air strike to destroy the Soviet missiles before they become operational (as most of his military advisers urge) or impose a naval blockade (described at the time as a "quarantine" to sound less belligerent) with the threat of an American invasion hovering over the Russians' heads. In the back of his mind at all times is the biggest Cold War battleground, Berlin, and the fear that the Soviets might retaliate there and put the whole world at war.
Some of the most seemingly scripted moments come straight from the White House tapes. At one point, General Curtis LeMay, the bellicose chief of staff of the Air Force, reviews the options and tells JFK condescendingly, "You're in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President."
Kennedy pauses, eyes narrowing, and asks, "What did you say?" LeMay repeats himself, and the president says coolly, "Well, maybe you haven't noticed you're in it with me."
-------- us nuc politics
Transition: The Changing of the (786) Guards
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By DAVID E. SANGER
WASHINGTON -- Very little in this city of power and ego is uglier than a presidential transition. Except, perhaps, a failed transition that condemns a new president to an even uglier first year in office.
But almost everyone, from lame-duck Clintonites to those angling for jobs in the new administration, concedes that a successful first year has nothing to do with how fast one moves into the official transition office, in the old Secret Service headquarters a few blocks from the White House.
Transitions, as one of Mr. Clinton's top aides said recently, "are all about people, about the deals you cut with Congress, about the rhythms of the city." The Clintonites should know, because they got all three wrong eight years ago. And there is plenty of reason to believe that, whoever emerges as the next president, he will pay a price for the fact that more than a third of the time between election and inauguration has already been frittered away - with both sides play-acting at transitions, but neither side doing much transitioning.
Why are presidential transitions so difficult? It's part the tyranny of numbers (the new administration will have to fill roughly 8,000 positions in all), part the escalating battle for prerogatives between the White House and Congress, part the fine filter of background checks in an era of hypersensitivity to nanny taxes and old indiscretions.
Thomas Donilon, who moved from the Clinton campaign to become Warren Christopher's chief of staff at the State Department, and Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, noted in a recent article in Foreign Affairs magazine that when John F. Kennedy was elected in what until last month was the closest presidential election of all time, "on average, the 196 top-level executive branch positions requiring Senate confirmation were filled less than two and a half months after the presidential inauguration."
By the time Bill Clinton arrived in Washington, the number of senior positions for the Senate to approve had swelled to 786, and it took an average of nine months to get an appointee approved or rejected. And that was with a Democratic Senate.
Mr. Clinton himself acknowledged last summer that the huge mess of his first two years in office was rooted in the fact that he was "not sufficiently sensitive to the way Washington works." More to the point, he took office on Jan. 20, 1993, without having filled many key White House positions. By the time he got around to it, he had used up his honeymoon with the Senate, and with it that body's willingness to rubber stamp presidential appointees.
"It's not so much when you get started that's important, it's really what you have in place on Inauguration Day," one veteran of the Clinton transition said last week, asking for anonymity because he is quietly trying to help Al Gore not to repeat history. "If you concentrate hard on getting a solid infrastructure around the president, then you are much advantaged. If you do it late, and you don't have your staff in place at the times of highest expectations, then you hurt yourself. Mistakes made in that first six months are amplified. First impressions matter."
It was, after all, in his first weeks that Mr. Clinton crossed the military's top brass with his "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the armed forces. He spent the next eight years trying to convince the military of his fitness as commander in chief.
Of course, hitting the ground running may prove impossible this time around. The Senate is split down the middle, and one half may well regard the next president as illegitimate. Under such circumstances, all White House nominees are likely to be grilled mercilessly.
With that in mind, Mr. Gore enjoys at least one advantage: His staff members already have the highest-level security clearances. Not so for the Bush team. Even Gen. Colin Powell, the likely secretary of state in a Bush cabinet, and Condoleezza Rice, the odds-on national security adviser, would need new background checks before they got access to the most sensitive nuclear secrets and intelligence intercepts.
"The F.B.I. checks are quick if you have no financial holdings, you have never traveled and you have lived in the same place for 30 years," one aide to Mr. Bush said.
And there's always the problem of getting the new chief executive to focus on picking his people. As President Kennedy said during his transition, "For the last four years, I spent so much time getting to know people who could help me get elected president that I didn't have any time to get to know people who could help me, after I was elected, to be a good president."
-------- drug war
The Submarine Next Door
New York Times
By KIRK SEMPLE
Way up in the Andes and 440 miles from the sea, suspected drug runners in Colombia built a most unlikely vessel to transport their wares. The neighbors didn't see a thing.
Last July, eavesdroppers for the Colombian national police intercepted a series of radio conversations that Col. Jaime Enrique Bonilla describes as "very strange." "They were saying things like, 'Bring the flour for the party tonight,' and 'The foreigners are ready,"' recalls Bonilla, who oversees the division of the police force that operates in the mountainous central state of Cundinamarca, which includes Bogotá. "They didn't use names. Lots of farmers communicate with one another using radios, but they always use names. When people don't use names, that concerns us." Fourteen leftist rebel groups are based in Cundinamarca, and investigators suspected they were overhearing coded conversations about arms trafficking, cocaine processing or preparations to attack a village.
Technicians determined that the signals were coming from a region west of Bogotá, high in the Andes, where most of the country's roses, carnations and pompons are grown. They homed in on a village called Cartagenita, a poor farming community of brick-block houses dominated by a factory that produces flour to make arepas.
Undercover cops went to work in the area, and after several weeks they zeroed in on an unmarked warehouse behind a high wall fronting the region's main road, a well-traveled corridor that connects Bogotá and Medellín. The warehouse, topped by an aluminum roof, abuts a busy Texaco gas station and a three-story house.
"They asked what it was for and I told them: metal ornamentation," recalls Pablo Neira, whose family owns the warehouse as well as the adjacent gas station and house. Neira accompanied the police as they first inspected the building. "We knocked," he says. "No one was there. So we looked through a hole in the door and saw a big metal tank."
The investigators thought they had located the headquarters of a stolen-gasoline ring, a major coup. They began a stakeout of the place. But it appears they'd already blown their cover. After several days, no one returned, so the team closed in. What was on the other side of the door would turn out to be much stranger than they ever imagined.
The interior of the warehouse was about the size of a tennis court and contained three enormous steel cylinders. Two were sealed at one end, the other was open. Each was 10 1/2 feet in diameter and between 24 feet and 27 feet in length, sprayed with maroon paint. In several places on their smooth surfaces were mathematical computations and technical glyphs scratched in chalk and marker. One diagram depicted a Dr. Seuss-like array of tubing topped with a cartoonish puff of smoke.
The cylinders rested on a carriage system atop wheels and railroad ties, apparently for easy shifting. The room was cluttered with tools, mostly conventional stuff: hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, drills, sanding devices, protractors, paintbrushes. More sophisticated pieces of technology included a welding unit, a soldering machine, a Taiwanese drill press and a compressor. Video cameras monitored activity inside the warehouse and around its perimeter. Several nudie posters adorned one section of a wall and, according to police, 8 to 10 mattresses had been left behind along with a cache of canned food. In a corner was a weight-lifting apparatus draped in plastic sheeting and, in an adjoining bungalow with direct access to the warehouse, police found some free weights, an abdominal exercise machine and a Rottweiler.
The police also found several pieces of paper with phrases in Spanish and Russian. "They were everyday phrases," Colonel Bonilla says. "How are you?' 'Hello.' 'Good-bye.' 'What can I offer you?"' Other documents revealed the names of two Russians. The property owner produced a lease, which, according to investigators, was signed in April 1999 by an American citizen.
At first, the police weren't sure what they were looking at. "It was something very odd," Bonilla says. "It wasn't a normal gas tank." But they had a theory, one that was hard to believe, so they called in an official from the Colombian Navy's headquarters in Bogotá.
Capt. Ismael Idrobo of the Colombian Navy knew what they had found: a half-built 78-foot submarine wedged in a warehouse, a mile and a half above sea level and a 440-mile drive from the nearest ocean port. "The guy who designed it knew exactly what he was doing," he says. "It took imagination and a lot of experience."
Colombian law-enforcement officials were practically giddy about their discovery. Within a few hours of the raid, the national police announced that they had uncovered "a submarine factory in the service of narcotrafficking," and that "it is believed a sector of the Russian mafia is behind this sophisticated system." The national police said that an investigation was under way to identify "the international narcotrafficking network, author of this project."
Their enthusiasm was understandable. Colombian cops have grown accustomed to being on the losing side of the drug war. About 90 percent of the world's cocaine and an increasing percentage of its heroin now come from inside the country's borders, and the task of stemming that flow has become ever more difficult. Smuggling techniques have evolved in frighteningly sophisticated ways; cocaine and heroin are concealed in the intestinal tracts of animals, children and the elderly, in musical instruments, food (real and fake), cement posts, prosthetics, tar, lumber, sculptures, bottles of wine and liquor, the handles of shoe-polishing brushes, brand-new horse saddles, children's toys, silicon bags surgically inserted in a woman's thighs and even in cadavers. Law-enforcement efforts are further hindered by leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary forces who protect coca crops and trafficking networks.
With one stupendous piece of evidence -- but no suspects they could put their hands on -- investigators had to fill in the picture with educated guesswork. There was some precedent for the case. In the mid-90's, government forces intercepted two homemade fiberglass minisubs and two more under construction. But even the largest of these vessels was less than half the size of what the Cartagenita submarine would have been. With a strong double hull, it could have descended to depths of 100 meters -- deep enough to evade many sonar devices -- and could travel 2,000 nautical miles and remain 13 days at sea with a crew of five, says Captain Idrobo.
By Idrobo's calculation, the sub was 50 percent completed and had already cost at least $5 million. He figures the designers planned to cart the craft out to the coast "naked" -- no motors, no electronics, no propeller, no periscope -- and then assemble it there. But which coast? The Pacific is closer to Bogotá and has calmer waters, and the coast isn't as closely monitored or densely populated as the Caribbean shoreline. On the other hand, the Caribbean offers access to smugglers' hideaways in the islands and a direct route to Europe.
The submarine probably would have ferried its load to a drop point -- a hidden port or at sea -- and smaller, speedier boats would then distribute the cargo. The former Colombian national police director, Gen. Rosso Jose Serrano, among others, says he believes that the submarine was financed by a consortium that intended to smuggle out cocaine and return with arms, dirty money, maybe even escaped convicts or guerrillas. Since the breakup of the monopolistic Medellín and Cali cartels, narcotraffickers have operated in smaller organizations and looked for ways to spread the risk, sometimes by pooling shipments. In a recent 2.5-ton cocaine haul in Venezuela, for instance, the police discovered that 12 different traffickers were involved.
Maj. Juan Carlos Montero, a former director of the investigative arm of the national police, offers another theory: the builder of the sub is not a narcotrafficker himself. "He builds the submarine, then sells the service," says Montero. "He doesn't sell the drugs, he doesn't know where the cargo is going. He just rents out the submarine to a variety of people."
As for the two Russians, police speculate they were providing the technological know-how. Their shadowy presence has stoked suspicions that Russian crime organizations are developing strong contacts with Colombian narcotraffickers and leftist rebels. Such talk has made the Russian Embassy in Bogotá very defensive. "We still don't have evidence of the presence of Russian criminals in Colombia," says an embassy spokesman, Dimitri Belov, who adds that there are only about 450 Russian residents in the country. "There are a lot of rumors, a lot of noise, but it always turns out to be an exaggeration."
Serrano, who was head of the Colombian national police from 1994 until earlier this year, admits that evidence of Russian criminal pres-ence in Colombia is thin, adding, "The Russians have been scared to come to Colombia because they are easily detected and because they have respect for the Colombia mafias and their violence." But he and other law-enforcement officials in Colombia and the United States say they've tracked a short but irrefutable history of Russians trading arms for Colombian narcotics. In the last several years, the Colombian national police have seized shipments of AK-47's, grenades and ammunition manufactured in former Soviet-bloc countries. There has also been a huge and suspicious surge in telephone traffic between Colombia and Russia.
One of the most celebrated intersections of Russian and Colombian criminal interests also concerned a submarine. In 1997, Ludwig Fainberg, the Russian owner of a Miami strip club, was indicted for trying to negotiate the purchase of a Soviet-era Russian submarine and eight Mi-8 military helicopters on behalf of Colombian drug barons. According to an assistant United States attorney in Miami who developed the case, the submarine was going to travel to a point off the coast of the United States. Then drugs, packed into capsules attached to buoys, would be fired through the submarine's torpedo tubes and float at sea until speedboats made the pickup. Fainberg, who went by the nickname Tarzan, eventually pleaded guilty to racketeering.
In the afternoon following the Cartagenita raid, the police were optimistic. "Hopefully by tonight we'll have captures," Leo Arreguin Jr., head of the Colombia office of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, told me at the warehouse as he and other officials climbed around the submarine and posed for pictures. But so far, there have been no arrests. In fact, Colombian authorities have yet to declare that a crime has been committed. It is illegal to operate a submarine in Colombian territorial waters without design approval and an operational license, but there is no law prohibiting the building of one.
Neighbors claim to know very little of what was going on at the warehouse, except to say that it was a nuisance. "Soldering, hammering, sanding, sometimes as late as 1 or 2 in the morning," says Jorge Perdomo, who until recently operated a small cafeteria at the adjoining gas station. "They didn't let us sleep!" But the workmen kept to themselves, and Perdomo and his wife had very little contact with them. Their story roughly matched the ones I was told by four gas station employees as well as by a local smith and by a man from the nearby town of Facatativá who supplied drinking water to the complex. (The tradesmen's names and numbers were scrawled in pen on the inside wall of the warehouse.) "The people working in there were very hermetic," says Pablo Neira.
Neira and others say they usually saw no more than about four or five people on site. The foreigners, possibly as many as 10 over the course of a year, by one gas station worker's recollection, would arrive and depart in new-model four-wheel-drive utility vehicles; the Colombian laborers would take public buses and sometimes spend the night in the warehouse. They said a woman with an accent that identified her as from the Caribbean coast of Colombia cooked for the men in the bungalow. The American was tall, fit, spoke decent Spanish and "never showed any fear or worry," says Neira. The gas station workers say they never made contact with any other foreigners. And a man who for the past five years has been selling hot food under a tarp across the road from the warehouse says he saw the same people -- Colombian laborers, the American -- entering and exiting the site for "about three years," not just the year and a half reflected in the lease. He asked that his name not be used, excused himself and hustled off down the road.
"There are things you can say and there are things you can't say," confided one gas station employee. "If I get involved, something could happen to me." That's how it is in a country where nearly all crimes go unpunished and a good, clean, untraceable murder can be ordered for less than $50. You can build your own submarine and ensure that your next-door neighbors never know. Or at least never tell.
In the last seven years, hundreds of people have vanished from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, casualties of the drug trade. Their families suspect that the desert is hiding their bodies.
New York Times
By GINGER THOMPSON
Deserts everywhere are mysterious, daunting landscapes. But in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, it is not just nature that holds the most vexing secrets. Those involve the fate of hundreds of people who have vanished. No one knows where their bodies are buried. Some of their relatives cling to fantasies that the missing are still alive. But most believe that the remains of los desaparecidos are out there, somewhere, in the barren sea of sand that surrounds this industrial city and stretches along the United States border.
As she stands at the desert's edge, a nervous silence falls over Claudia Escobedo, as if the arid ground beneath her feet is cursed. Six years ago, her parents left home and never returned. "What's hardest is that there are times when I think that maybe they are alive," says Escobedo, who seems poised beyond her 22 years. "But then I try to face reality and let myself accept that they are probably dead. I go from one extreme to the other every day. I don't know how I will ever have peace until they are found."
More than 200 people from Juárez have disappeared over the past seven years. Most are thought to have been killed as a byproduct of a ruthless and flourishing drug trade. The victims are often targeted because they have run afoul of drug traffickers or corrupt law-enforcement officials. Indeed, say members of an association for relatives of the disappeared, some of those missing had played with fire by participating in the activities of the drug traffickers. Others, it appears, thought they were working with the good guys, but in the end made a deadly mistake. Claudia Escobedo says that was the case with her father and mother -- Saul Osvaldo Sanchez and Abigail Concepción Sanchez. The couple left home one evening in May 1994 to see a play. Claudia was 16 at the time, and her parents told her little brother that she was in charge until they got home. They never came back.
Saul Sanchez, a 39-year-old communications specialist, had been helping Mexican law enforcement officials set up cell-phone listening devices aimed primarily at intercepting drug traffickers' communications. On the afternoon before they disappeared, his daughter says, a man whom she recognized as a federal agent who had been working with her father delivered two theater tickets to her house and said that they were a gift for her parents. Claudia clearly remembers the agent, a portly, green-eyed man with lots of curly gray hair who was known by associates as Panda. And although she says she has talked to the police about him "thousands of times," he has never been questioned about her parents' abduction.
The exact numbers of the missing have been hard to track because many of their relatives are afraid to cooperate with the police, who have been widely accused of serving as accomplices in the attacks. And they are even more afraid of retaliation from drug lords, who often orchestrate these disappearances -- snatching many victims off busy streets in broad daylight -- in order to silence or scare those who might testify against them.
The world was alerted to the plight of the families of the disappeared last December, when federal agents from the United States and Mexico converged on an isolated horse ranch outside of Juárez to search for mass graves. Relying on an informant's tip, the Mexican attorney general and the director of the F.B.I. announced that the ranch had been used as a human dumping ground by the powerful drug cartel controlled by the Carrillo Fuentes family. At last, many thought, the mystery of the missing bodies would be revealed. Relatives of the missing gathered around the excavation site to await the gruesome discoveries. "We thought we'd find everyone there," says Lorenza Magana, coordinator of the association for relatives of the disappeared. But after nearly two months of digging, agents came up woefully short of their projections. Nine bodies were found, including the remains of three Americans.
For many family members, the result was bittersweet. It stoked new hope that their absent loved ones might still be alive. But it also meant that closure is elusive, that their search is not over, nor their agony. "We were all there, hoping that they were not in that grave, but at the same time hoping that they were," says Magaña. "We are desperate for answers. We are desperate to have our relatives back, dead or alive."
New Haven - The state's first legal needle exchange program, which started off as an experiment in 1990, marked its 10th anniversary of helping prevent the spread of AIDS among intravenous drug users. A study says it has helped addicts get medical help, food, housing and treatment to free themselves from cocaine, heroin and other drugs.
Militant attacks kill 1 in Kashmir
12/03/00- Updated 12:46 PM ET
SRINAGAR, India (AP) - Suspected militants in Kashmir mounted attacks that killed one civilian and wounded eight over the weekend even as Pakistan joined India in observing a temporary truce in the disputed Himalayan territory.
India has declared a monthlong cease-fire in Kashmir starting this past Tuesday for Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and Pakistan said Saturday it would follow suit. But separatist guerrillas have refused to stop fighting, and 20 people have been killed since then in the section of Kashmir under Indian control.
Efforts to end the violence got a boost as Kashmiri separatist leaders seeking to organize peace talks said Sunday that they hope to meet in New Delhi with diplomats from the United States, Pakistan and other countries.
They also are likely to meet the representatives of the Indian government in the next few days.
Since their independence from Britain in 1947, India and Pakistan have claimed all of Kashmir and fought two wars over it. A 1972 cease-fire line, known as the line of control, divides Kashmir between the two countries.
Islamic guerrillas, meanwhile, are fighting to carve out a separate homeland or merge all of Kashmir with Pakistan.
In the latest flare-up of violence in the disputed territory, a grenade hurled at a paramilitary Border Security Force patrol on Sunday missed its target and exploded near a group of civilians, wounding six of them, a police statement said.
The attack took place in Sopore, a town nearly 30 miles northwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir. The wounded civilians have been hospitalized, police said.
Also Sunday, suspected militants fired gunshots at a private bus, wounding two young girls, in Qazigund sector, 45 miles south of Srinagar, police said.
And on Saturday night, militants shot and killed one civilian in Handwara, 45 miles northwest of Srinagar, police said.
There were signs of hope after Pakistan announced Saturday that its troops would exercise ''maximum restraint'' on the border.
Echoing those words Sunday, an Indian commander said the Indian troops also have been ordered to show maximum restraint as part of the temporary cease-fire.
''Since Saturday night, the firing has been reduced by 50-60% in the Kashmir valley,'' Maj. Gen. K. Nagaraj, a leading Indian general, told The Associated Press.
Omar Farooq, a top decision-maker of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the region's main separatist alliance, was headed to New Delhi to join its chairman, Abdul Ghani Bhat - an indication that the Indian government and supporters of Kashmir's independence were moving toward negotiations.
The rebels, based in Pakistan, have so far rejected the cease-fire, but Faroq said he hoped the Pakistani announcement would help them change their stand.
On Sunday, India's Interior Minister Lal Krishna Advani reacted cautiously to an offer by Pakistan to have direct talks with India on the Kashmir dispute.
''The government will watch the situation at the Line of Control before it could respond to the Pakistani offer,'' Advani told reporters.
India's Defense Minister George Fernandes said that Pakistan must stop cross-border terrorism before talks could be resumed with Islamabad. India alleges that Pakistan arms and funds the guerrillas and helps them sneak across the mountainous cease-fire line to fight Indian security forces.
Pakistan says it has no control over the movement of the rebels, and that it provides them only moral, not material, support.
Astronauts Begin Solar Installation
December 3, 2000
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Two spacewalking astronauts attached the world's largest, most powerful set of solar wings to the international space station on Sunday.
It was a task as monumental as the wings themselves: The future of space station construction hinged on the astronauts' ability to install the solar panels, which will provide much needed power to the newly inhabited outpost.
Space shuttle Endeavour astronauts Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega guided the $600 million solar wings onto space station Alpha and then bolted them down. They had spent more than three years training for the mission, and everything went according to plan.
Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau, working inside Endeavour, moved the folded wings to the space station using the shuttle's robot arm. Tanner and Noriega, positioned on either side of the attachment point, gave him instructions for closing the final 3 feet.
``Looking good. Keep it coming,'' Tanner urged Garneau. ``You're dead center almost, man.''
With no direct view himself, Garneau needed the spacewalkers' eyes. He also needed their hands to drive the capture latches.
Before the wings could be unfurled to their full 240 feet and begin generating electricity, Tanner and Noriega had to release all the bolts and pins that were used to secure the payload for Thursday's launch aboard Endeavour.
The blue and gold-colored wings, made of silicone cells and thin Kapton layers, were folded like an accordion for liftoff. They were to be commanded open, one by one, with a few computer keystrokes by shuttle commander Brent Jett Jr.
Each wing was expected to take 13 minutes to spread.
Alpha's shiny wings, covering half an acre, will be the largest structure ever deployed in space and will make the station one of the brightest objects in the night sky. The larger the wings, the more sunlight that can be collected for conversion into electricity.
Each wing is 38 feet wide and covered with 32,800 solar cells, and has power-storing batteries and radiators at the base. The combined wingspan -- 240 feet -- exceeds that of a Boeing 777 jetliner.
NASA expects the solar panels to generate 65 kilowatts at peak power -- four times what currently is produced by the small Russian-built solar wings already on the space station. Without this extra electricity, the space agency could not launch its Destiny science lab in January -- or any other power-hungry pieces.
By the time the space station is completed in 2006, NASA will have installed three more sets of these solar wings. Each is designed to last 15 years and will keep operating even if individual solar cells are pierced by bits of space junk.
Alpha commander Bill Shepherd and his two Russian crewmates were mere observers to all the action 235 miles above Earth on Sunday. The hatches between the docked spacecraft remained sealed because of the difference in cabin air pressure.
Two more spacewalks are planned this week by Tanner and Noriega, on Tuesday and Thursday, to finish wiring the solar wings and to install other equipment on the space station. If all goes well, the two crews will meet on Friday.
Sunday's spacewalk featured something new: helmets equipped with small cameras that provided live views of what the astronauts were seeing. They were dubbed ``Joe-cam'' and ``Carlos-cam.''
``We promise to make all of our movements nice and slow and steady so nobody gets sick looking at the pictures,'' Tanner said before the flight.
Shuttle Joins Space Station; Solar Wings Await
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Dec. 2 - The space shuttle Endeavour pulled up to the international space station and docked today, setting the stage for the attachment of the world's largest solar wings.
The wings, carried into orbit by Endeavour, will be installed on space station Alpha on Sunday with the help of two spacewalking astronauts.
Endeavour hooked up with Alpha as the spacecraft zoomed more than 230 miles above central Asia, ending a two-day chase. Shuttle Cmdr. Brent Jett Jr. steered his ship in from below.
Bill Shepherd, the station commander, and his two Russian crew mates, on board for a month, watched Endeavour's slow and cautious approach.
The five shuttle astronauts are their first visitors.
"Hey, well done today," Commander Shepherd called over the radio.
"It's great to be here," Commander Jett replied.
The two crews, unable to meet for almost another week, had to settle for brief radio conversations. Because of the difference in air pressure between the craft, the hatches leading into Alpha's living compartment must remain sealed until the shuttle astronauts complete three spacewalks outside the space station.
Less than an hour after the afternoon linkup, Mission Control radioed up the news that Navy had beaten Army in college football, 30-28.
"All right!" said Commander Jett, of the Navy. "This has turned out to be a pretty good day." Commander Shepherd is also a Navy officer.
Endeavour pulled into a docking port that was added by the last shuttle crew in October.
The shuttle-station complex exceeds 200 tons and stretches nearly 220 feet.
The space station will be considerably wider once the new electricity- producing solar wings are installed and unfurled, one by one.
The $600-million wings were folded like an accordion for the launching; the stack was just a few inches thick. Opened, the wings will span 240 feet from tip to tip, longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 777 jetliner.
Altogether, the solar wings will cover half an acre, making them the largest structure ever deployed in space.
The panels, which collect sunlight for electricity, will be capable of generating 65 kilowatts at peak power. One-third of that power will go for space station use; the rest will be reserved for the batteries and other electronics associated with the panels.
Alpha, at present, is generating only a modest amount of power with two sets of small Russian-built solar wings.
There is so little electricity that only two of the station's three rooms can be heated; the unheated chamber has been off-limits to the crew.
The new solar panels will also allow NASA to launch its laboratory module, Destiny, in January.
Astronauts begin solar wings spacewalk
12/03/00- Updated 04:11 PM ET
PHOTO: Endeavour's robot arm holds the 36,000 pound solar power module over the side of the cargo bay. (AP)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Two spacewalking astronauts attached the world's largest, most powerful set of solar wings to the international space station on Sunday. It was a task as monumental as the wings themselves: The future of space station construction hinged on the astronauts' ability to pull off the job and thus provide much needed power to the newly inhabited outpost.
Space shuttle Endeavour astronauts Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega deftly guided the $600 million solar wings onto space station Alpha and then bolted them down, their three-plus years of training paying off.
Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau, working inside Endeavour, was the one who actually moved the folded wings to the space station with the use of the shuttle robot arm.
Tanner and Noriega, positioned on either side of the attachment point, gave him instructions for closing the final 3 feet.
''Looking good. Keep it coming,'' Tanner urged Garneau. ''You're dead center almost, man.''
With no direct view himself, Garneau needed the spacewalkers' eyes. He also needed their hands to drive the capture latches.
Before the wings could be unfurled to their full 240 feet and begin generating electricity, Tanner and Noriega had to release all the bolts and pins that were used to secure the payload for Thursday's launch aboard Endeavour.
The blue and gold-colored wings, made of silicone cells and thin Kapton layers, were folded like an accordion for liftoff. They were to be commanded open, one by one, with a few computer keystrokes by shuttle commander Brent Jett Jr.
Each wing was expected to take 13 minutes to spread.
Alpha's wings will be the largest structure ever deployed in space, and will cover half an acre. The bigger the wings, the more sunlight that can be collected for conversion into electricity.
Each wing is 38 feet wide and covered with 32,800 solar cells, and has power-storing batteries and radiators at the base. The combined wingspan - 240 feet - exceeds that of a Boeing 777 jetliner.
NASA expects the solar panels to generate 65 kilowatts at peak power - four times what currently is produced by the small Russian-built solar wings already on the space station.
Without this extra electricity, the space agency could not launch its Destiny science lab in January - or any other power-hungry pieces.
Alpha commander Bill Shepherd and his two Russian crewmates were mere observers to all the action 235 miles above Earth. The hatches between the docked spacecraft remained sealed because of the difference in cabin air pressure.
Two more spacewalks are planned this week by Tanner and Noriega, on Tuesday and Thursday, to finish wiring up the solar wings and to install other equipment on the space station. If all goes well, the two crews will get to meet on Friday.
Sunday's spacewalk featured something new: helmets equipped with small cameras that provided live views of what the astronauts were seeing. They were dubbed ''Joe-cam'' and ''Carlos-cam.''
''We promise to make all of our movements nice and slow and steady so nobody gets sick looking at the pictures,'' Tanner said before the flight. r movements nice and slow and steady so nobody gets sick looking at the pictures,'' Tanner said before the flight.
Amid the Relics of Combat, Veterans Recall Flights and Flak and Friends
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By TINA KELLEY
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - The graying men in military uniforms represent the answers to questions few visitors articulate: Why does an airman fall in love with his plane? Why does Larry Goldstein's flight jacket have the words "Worry Wart" painted on it? How did Bloodhound get his nickname? And is war glorious, or is it hell?
And those graying men answer their own questions, even the last one, every day that they volunteer at the American Airpower Museum on the site of the former Republic Aviation factory.
American Airpower is one of a handful of museums that display World War II-era airplanes that still fly. The museum, which opened in May, is educating the youth of America, or at least of Long Island, about aviation history, preserving amazing machines that were as far ahead of their time as they are behind ours. But it is also serving another function.
"I've found a home here, reminiscing," said Franklyn Ray, 75, of Levittown, who served with the Army engineers in Europe during World War II.
About 1,200 World War II veterans die every day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. "We realize we'll be going," Mr. Ray said. "All the vets are passing into history, and we've got to relive our heritage."
While looking back, however, the men are often looking at grade school and college students, and sometimes even people in their early 30's, who know little about the war or those who fought it.
"These planes had absolutely nothing compared to what later planes had," said Maurice Berger, 75, a guide from Bayside, Queens, who prefers to be called Chick. ("Nobody calls me Maurice except my grandmother," he said.) "These guys were flying on nothing but pure guts."
Mr. Berger has received thank-you cards for his tours of the 35,000-square-foot hangar, which is filled with planes and memorabilia.
Moving the visitors over to the twin-engine Beechcraft transport plane cockpit, Mr. Berger held his arms out like someone directing a jet to its gate, then instructed two boys to try out the pilots' seats and grab the controls.
"Pull it, you're going up. Push it, you're going down. Turn it to your left," he told them. "And these knobs will make your plane go faster."
In the museum's Ready Room, a replica of where aviators used to suit up for missions, he pulled out some heated uniforms from the era made of material like electric blankets. Wires inside socks and gloves often burned the fliers.
"You had two choices - that, or freeze" in the unpressurized planes, Mr. Berger said, rolling up his sleeve to show scars left by the hot wires on his right forearm. "You always let it burn you, because you freeze solid only once."
Larry Goldstein, 78, of Ridgewood, Queens, was a radio operator on a B-17 who flew 25 missions out of England. "The survival rate in those days was about 10 missions before you got shot down," he said. "If you did 10, somebody up there liked you. If you did 25, you were on hallowed ground."
His crew was helped by their co-pilot, who would worry about everything - oxygen, ammunition, the plane's general condition. In his honor, Mr. Goldstein's crew had the words "Worry Wart" painted on their leather jackets.
Mr. Goldstein also remembers their bombardier, a cowboy from Montana, who, when their navigator from Brooklyn could not tell Boise, Idaho, from Spokane, Wash., during a training mission, said, "I got a bloodhound on my range who could navigate better than you." The navigator became known as Bloodhound.
Mr. Berger recalled how he felt when he first got into his plane.
"I'm 18 years old," he said. "I'm full of vim and vigor. I believe everything the Army Air Corps tells me, `You're lucky, you get to sit in the ball turret, it's steel.' "
He also remembers being told that any flak would ricochet off the steel ball. He then produced a plastic bag from his pocket, containing small, gnarled chunks of metal, pieces of an 88-millimeter German anti-aircraft shell.
"When they pulled this out of my back, we saw it could go through the steel door, the parachute pack, and into me," he said.
The men find at the museum what they might otherwise get only once a year at national reunions. "Camaraderie, c-a-m-a-r-a-d-e-r-i-e," said Hank Del Percio, 76, of Old Bethpage, who flew 32 combat missions on a B-25. "That's why we're here."
And he has another reason for volunteering at the museum.
"You will find most aviators fell in love with their airplane. The reason I'm here, is the B-25 is here. It's very scarce," he said. "Why do you fall in love with your plane? It brings you back."
"It was able to fly with its tail cut off, or even with an engine out," he recalled. He was a tail gunner, sitting in a space so small there was no room to wear a parachute.
"A tail gunner is kneeling, which makes it very easy to pray. I believe the powers of prayer brought me home," he said. "A tail gunner's life is very lonely, that is the word. He can't see anybody in the plane, he can only see where we've been. It's a magnificent view. You can see the destruction."
But if Mr. Del Percio were to write a book about his service, he said, he would call it "No Glory in War."
"None of the men I was with took any pleasure in killing," he said as he joined some friends in the museum's Briefing Room. "All of us were scared. It was a very sad business."
Mr. Berger comes in and gives one of the guides a brief and brisk shoulder rub. The veterans greet each other with "Hey, big guy," and "Hi, ace."
They urge Mr. Del Percio to show off the pinup he keeps in his locker, and tease him for his deafness, which, they say, becomes decidedly more pronounced when he is talking to younger women.
Paul Sander, a guide from Massapequa, says of Mr. Del Percio, "He'd be talking to pretty girls, saying, `Come a little closer. I can't hear you.' "
William J. McLean of Lindenhurst, who served in the Philippines and in Japan. said: "I have a great time with the guys. It's like being in the service again.
"You're flying with a crew, and you get very close. Sometimes it's better than brothers."
Cole Attack Rooted in Afghan War
Sunday, December 3, 2000; Page A31
By Karl Vick Washington Post Foreign Service
ADEN, Yemen -- The last time the mujaheddin made this much trouble in Aden, they burned the beer factory to the ground. It was 1994, years before a pair of extremists killed themselves and 17 American sailors aboard the USS Cole on Oct. 12.
South Yemen, long ruled by communists, had recently united with conservative North Yemen, but now the communists were trying to secede. As government troops from the north fought their way south, they were joined by bands of battle-hardened, fundamentalist guerrillas--veterans of the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
These mujaheddin regarded the Yemeni communists as no better than their old Soviet enemies. And when the Afghan veterans finally swarmed into the humid streets of this city, they formed the leading edge of what would be a righteous sword.
"First, they broke every bottle of beer," said Mohamed Abdullah. As the mujaheddin imposed their rule in following weeks, Christmas was canceled, the brewery blazed and couples strolling on the beach were interrogated about their relationships.
"They fired in the streets, beat you if you didn't fast at Ramadan," Abdullah recalled from behind the counter at a local Internet cafe. "Many stupid things. They had their own militia. They had guns. Very strong fighters, sir."
As FBI, CIA and Yemeni investigators probe the Cole bombing, Aden is once again focused on veterans of the Afghan war. Yemeni investigators who have unraveled numerous local strands in the plot against the Cole say both men who steered a skiff laden with plastic explosives into the side of the refueling warship were likely Yemeni--and certainly veterans of Afghanistan.
That bit of biography is one of the few details authorities will reveal about the Cole probe, except to say the conspiracy against the U.S. guided missile destroyer reaches beyond this strategically important country at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. But the nugget speaks volumes to those who have followed a decade of attacks from the crucible of Islamic militancy that was Afghanistan in the 1980s. Once again, holy warriors hailed by President Ronald Reagan as "freedom fighters" when they fought Soviet troops have turned up to attack their former sponsors.
Yemeni and U.S. sources with knowledge of the Cole investigation say the plot has strong parallels to--and at least one name in common with--the 1998 suicide bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. A U.S. indictment charges that those operations were ordered by exiled Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, the Afghanistan veteran who heads the FBI's Most Wanted List.
The mujaheddin fought the Soviet Union effectively in Afghanistan with the blessing of the United States, which helped fund and train them. When that war was won, an unknown number--perhaps thousands--exploited Yemen's loose entry requirements to flock to a country that, with its landscape of craggy brown mountains looming over timeless rural enclaves, "looks just like Afghanistan," as one Yemeni put it.
But the resemblance, like the immigrant veterans, is no longer welcome. The Yemeni government, which regarded the mujaheddin as useful when the country still had communists to fight, has found them something else altogether in a unified country that President Ali Abdallah Salih wants to be friendly with the United States.
Salih's strategy, which after 1998 brought U.S. warships to Aden under a coveted refueling contract, has won popular approval in this hospitable land of 16 million. But it was a red flag to Islamic extremists, who saw a new enemy in the United States, which established military bases in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
So it was that four years before the Cole attack, Salih was encouraging non-Yemeni veterans of the Afghan war to find somewhere else to go, recalled Abdul Barri Atwan, editor of the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Quds. Some left for Sudan or Afghanistan, countries the State Department accuses of sheltering terrorists. Others, who failed to take the hint, found themselves deported to such countries as Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
Those who remained were for the most part Yemenis. "You can't deport Yemenis," Atwan said. "They were home."
It was a home many had not seen since childhood, when Yemen was divided in two.
The northern half of what once appeared on maps as Arabia Felix, or Fortunate Arabia, is a land of steep ridges separated by fertile valleys and dotted with villages that seem to rise out of the rock. Women shroud themselves in black. Men sport outsize ceremonial daggers, AK-47 assault rifles and an independent air.
In the south, a similar culture was tempered by a desert climate and the British colonial legacy. The colony itself was confined to Aden, whose sheltered deep-water port provided a way station for the empire. But treaties with tribal chiefs in the hinterlands defined the entire south as a protectorate, effectively bisecting the country.
"Yemen as a modern state is less than 40 years old," said Prime Minister Abdel-Karim Ali Iryani, explaining the limited reach of central authority in a country where large sections remain under tribal leaders' control.
In a broad sense, the events of Oct. 12 were set in motion on Nov. 30, 1967, the day the British gave up Aden. The socialists who took their place established the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, the only communist state in the Arab world. Its regime confiscated private property and jailed dissenters, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to flee.
"I think as much as 50 percent left," said Mohamed Salih, an Aden butcher whose family took up residence in Saudi Arabia.
Thus, when Arab states mounted a holy war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, Yemeni exiles were among the first to answer the call. "The Americans pushed us to," said Saif, an Afghanistan veteran who asked that his full name not be published. "America used religious sentiments to mobilize people."
In Afghanistan, Saif said he met plenty of Yemenis--many from the south--who, like him, were happy to commit to a just cause. After the Soviet Union withdrew and the Yemenis returned home, he said, almost all settled down to find jobs and start families, as he did. By then the Soviet collapse had stranded the Marxist government in South Yemen, and in 1990 it agreed to join the north to form one country.
"The Yemeni are not as violent as people think," Saif said, his cheek bulging with khat, the mildly narcotic leaves Yemeni men chew for hours a day. Tucked under his traditional woven belt were, from right to left, a 9mm pistol, a dagger and a pager.
Saif echoed Yemeni officials by denying that Afghanistan veterans had established any sort of underground network in Yemen, and certainly not one answering to bin Laden. In fact, of the six Yemenis held as accomplices in the Cole attack, none fought in Afghanistan, according to Yemeni and U.S. officials.
But the officials acknowledge that the suspects, who allegedly helped adapt the boat for explosives or sheltered the technicians who assembled the bomb and detonator, were locals. Yemeni officials said they apparently absorbed their militancy from the Afghan veterans who helped defeat the communist secession in 1994.
The remnants of that force linger in such places as Lahij, a market town 15 miles north of Aden. There, militants chased down and beat Bader Salmin Basunaid, a lawyer and human rights activist, because he defended a man accused of drinking beer. And it was there that at least one of the suicide bombers went to obtain false identification papers.
Officials say it is unclear whether the clerk who supplied the false identity, and is now in custody, was in on the plot against the Cole or merely inclined to help a fellow Islamic militant. But it is widely acknowledged that he was given his official position as part of an effort by the government to employ former militants and thus draw them from extremism into mainstream society.
U.S. officials say Yemen seems sincere in its efforts to overcome its reputation as a safe haven for terrorists. Salih's government has embraced U.S. initiatives to train border guards and supply boats to patrol the country's frontiers. And at the airport in Sanaa, the capital, a U.S. official said, immigration officers turn away Islamic radicals trying to enter the country under vague circumstances.
But when it came to militants who were already in Yemen, the government opted to draw them as close as possible, according to officials, analysts and diplomats. The strategy was to try to keep potential troublemakers in the government's fold, rather than risk having them run around loose in a country with fewer than one police officer for every 100,000 people.
"We give them a job, we give them a stake, we give them enough money to marry and have kids," said one diplomat, explaining the government's thinking. "The alternative is to have these people outside the government, getting all their money from Islamists."
The policy caused questions to be raised about the Lahij clerk's office and also put a fundamentalist known as Abu Ammar into the town's police department. In the village of Mudiyah, Basunaid said, a former member of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, the fundamentalist group responsible for the 1998 kidnapping of 16 Western tourists and the deaths of four, was named commissioner of police.
"You know, some of these Islamists, what they want is money," said Thah Ghanem, governor of Aden province. "You can control them if you have money. But, yes, some extremists, they don't want money. They just want to act on their beliefs."`
Environment Groups' Ratings Rile Ski Industry
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By MICHAEL JANOFSKY
DENVER, Dec. 2 - The mistrust between environmentalists and the ski resort industry, which is sometimes rancorous, grew substantially this week when a coalition of environmental groups issued a report that graded 51 resorts in 10 Western states for their environmental policies.
While the groups said the scorecard was designed to be an objective review of the policies of each resort, with a strong focus on the impact of expansion efforts, it was roundly criticized by resort officials as biased because at least one of the coalition groups, Colorado Wild, has been an aggressive antagonist of resort developments over environmental policy.
Resort officials also said that no development could occur without meeting rigorous state and federal environmental standards.
"Our hope is that the situation does not become more polarized than it already is," said Julie Mack, executive director of the North Fork Preservation Alliance, the environmental policy arm of the Sundance Ski Resort in Utah, which received an A. "We have a real opportunity here for environmental groups to work with the ski resorts, but it will take a willingness on both sides to sit down at the table again."
The scorecard, produced by a group called the Ski Area Citizen's Coalition, ranked resorts on 11 criteria that focus largely on issues like expansion and development through new housing, ski trails or ski operations. The results, which are available on the coalition's Web site (www.skiareacitizens.com), show that only 9 resorts received an A and 7 a B. The rest got a C (14), D (11) or F (10).
The scorecard recommends "that you choose a more environmentally friendly ski destination at this time" than a resort with less than a B.
Among the resorts that received a failing grade were four in Colorado - Vail Mountain, Keystone, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek - that are owned by the same company, Vail Mountain Resorts.
Vail recently opened a major expansion of 500 acres, which has been ardently opposed by Colorado Wild. The group's executive director, Jeff Berman, was one of seven people arrested 18 months ago protesting the expansion. In a separate incident, the authorities in Mineral County in southwest Colorado said other members of the group were being sought on suspicion of trespassing after a late-night confrontation in August 1999 when members of a family of six camping on private property said they were approached near a planned golf and ski resort in Pagosa Springs.
Shortly after the incident, Mr. Berman conceded that alcohol might have clouded the judgment of some members of the group.
Another Colorado resort, Telluride, received an F on the scorecard although Colorado Wild has signed off on a settlement of a lawsuit over Telluride's expansion plans.
Stacey L. Gardner, spokeswoman for the National Ski Areas Association, a trade group, said episodes like those demonstrate a bias, which led many resort operators to decline the coalition's request for information for the scorecard. Ms. Gardner called it an "ill-warranted publicity stunt." She said 160 ski areas in 31 states have endorsed a set of environmental principles, developed by industry officials with federal and state agencies as well as other environmental groups that did not endorse the coalition's scorecard.
She also predicted that the scorecard would have little economic impact on the resorts, an assessment shared by resorts at both ends of the grading system.
Ms. Mack said she doubted that Sundance would gain much business after receiving an A. Bill Jensen, chief operating officer of Vail Mountain, said any ranking had the potential to influence a traveler. "Will it cost us $1? I wouldn't argue with that," he said. "Will it cost us millions? I wouldn't anticipate it."
As a spokesman for the coalition, Mr. Berman dismissed the industry's standards as a case of the fox guarding the henhouse. He conceded that many of the coalition's concerns with resort environmental policies should also be directed at the state and federal agencies that set the standards. But he insisted that the criteria developed for the scorecard reflected an honest effort to show the public which resorts are demonstrating the most sensitivity to environmental issues.
"We feel this is an excellent tool to choose a ski vacation," he said. "It's not to punish anyone."
Paths for Our Warming Planet
New York Times
December 3, 2000
To the Editor:
Re "Sins of Emission," by Paul Krugman (column, Nov. 29):
America's refusal to make any serious commitment to reduce carbon emissions during the Kyoto Treaty Conference in The Hague sends a disappointing message to the world. Our lack of leadership is indicative of the selfishness and arrogance that our culture fosters when it comes to taking responsibility for our actions.
We Americans in particular live with this false notion that we somehow function apart from nature rather than as part of it. Unless we are willing to change our attitudes and the way we live, we are destined to destroy the resources we rely on for the lifestyles we somehow feel entitled to.
KATHLEEN WHITLEY-BARTELL Westbury, N.Y., Nov. 30, 2000
To the Editor:
Re "Sins of Emission," by Paul Krugman (column, Nov. 29):
ot until we are ready to accept the responsibility of reducing our carbon emissions will international negotiators have the power to broker an international agreement on behalf of the United States that the rest of the world will accept.
Mr. Krugman seeks to put the responsibility on the shoulders of members of Congress, but it is because of their constituents that these representatives battle against a higher carbon tax.
Perhaps the answer lies in educating the public about the many scientifically proven dangers of carbon dioxide emissions. In a democracy, it is the people who have the power to change standards, and it is the people who can pressure their elected officials to carry out and support international agreements.
ESTHER FARKAS Durham, N.C., Nov. 29, 2000
To the Editor:
The collapse of climate change negotiations in The Hague (front page, Nov. 26) provides us with an opportunity to readdress the issue of global warming. The Kyoto Protocol, not yet ratified, requires developed countries to constrain energy use, a major ingredient to economic growth and well-being.
Moreover, in presuming an atmosphere of crisis, the protocol frustrates consideration of a rational, long-term approach, one comprising continuing scientific assessment, development of cost-effective options and public debate and consensus building.
A useful start would be to abandon the protocol. We would do both the global economy and the environment a vital service by taking a pragmatic view in determining what needs to be done and how we intend to do it. CLEMENT B. MALIN Weston, Conn., Nov. 27, 2000
The writer led the International Chamber of Commerce delegation to the United Nations climate change negotiations, 1994-98.
To the Editor:
The collapse of the United Nations conference on climate change (front page, Nov. 26) undermines the United States' leadership position in the rest of the world. The United States wants to attribute the failure of the conference to the European Union's unwillingness to be "reasonable" and compromise in order to reach agreement. But the United States' position reduced an already severely diluted Kyoto agreement to the point where no meaningful reduction in greenhouse gases would have been accomplished at all.
This is despite the fact that the United States is by far the world's biggest polluter and has done nothing to address the problem. This cynical disregard of a global danger and the cavalier dismissal of the rest of the world's effort to try to come to grips with this problem is a national disgrace.
PAUL W. ROSENBERGER Manhattan Beach, Calif., Nov. 28, 2000
Providence - Brown University faces fines of up to $500,000 for 15 violations of federal environmental laws. Violations cited by the Environmental Protection Agency include failure to properly store hazardous waste. The EPA's New England office last year launched a program to ensure colleges comply with environmental regulations.
Greenville - Numerous wells in Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago counties could exceed new federal limits for arsenic in drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency will revise allowable levels from 50 to five parts per billion by the end of the year. Many homes are located along a vein of naturally occurring arsenic, a carcinogen. The new standard means homeowners will need to use a treatment system.
An Inside Story of Racial Bias and Denial,
New Jersey Files Reveal Drama Behind Profiling
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI and ROBERT HANLEY
The 91,000 pages of state documents released last week about racial profiling by the New Jersey State Police offer a rare look at one of the most contentious battlefields in the nation's war on drugs.
Taken as a whole, the reams of memos, internal investigations, complaint letters and confidential reports show how the institutions of state government denied accusations of selective enforcement for nearly a decade before grudgingly admitting it and making changes.
But the words written by the thousands of people involved - troopers, civilians, attorneys general and state officials - also tell an intensely emotional story: one of gung-ho troopers who saw themselves as unappreciated as they risked their lives to protect New Jersey's minority members from drug violence, and who sought promotions based on high-visibility drug arrests; the anger and defensiveness of police commanders who believed their tactics were unjustly branded as racist; the outrage of minority troopers ordered to view their own neighbors as drug suspects; the bewilderment of black and Hispanic drivers who could not understand why they were detained by the police simply because of the color of their skin.
The story begins in the mid-1980's, when the federal Drug Enforcement Administration responded to the street violence of the crack epidemic by enlisting local police forces to catch smugglers who were importing drugs from Latin America, often to Florida, and moving them to major American cities by car.
By 1989, the New Jersey State Police had become such a successful part of "Operation Pipeline" that D.E.A. officials hailed the troopers as exemplary models for most other states.
But on New Jersey roadways, black and Hispanic drivers were subjected to such frequent, unjustified traffic stops and searches that they complained of a new, unwritten violation in the state's traffic code: "driving while black." In state police barracks, some black and Hispanic troopers bitterly acknowledged that even though the state officially prohibited racial profiling, senior troopers trained them to single out drivers on the basis of their ethnicity or race.
The documents show that a few state law enforcement officials were troubled by evidence that minority drivers were being stopped and searched disproportionately.
Those concerns grew in 1996, when a state judge in Gloucester County ruled that troopers had engaged in "de facto racial profiling." But high-level officials of the state police and the attorney general's office defended their drug- interdiction strategy, even as they concealed their own statistical analyses showing that minority drivers were being singled out. Privately, state police officials argued that it was only fitting that black and Hispanic drivers should face more scrutiny than whites because New Jersey's drug trade problem was primarily a minority issue.
On April 22, 1998, troopers shot and wounded three unarmed black and Hispanic men during a traffic stop on the turnpike, propelling the controversy to the center of the state's political stage. State officials, including Gov. Christie Whitman, at first clung to their insistence that there was no pattern of profiling. But under unrelenting pressure from civil rights leaders and the federal Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, the Whitman administration ultimately acknowledged racial profiling, revamped its narcotics strategy and agreed to let a federal judge monitor the force.
These are some of the documents released last week:
Soon after the administration of former Gov. Thomas H. Kean ordered the war on drugs on the turnpike, lawyers in the state's Division of Criminal Justice studied federal and state court rulings on the legality of the so-called "drug courier profile." In a memo to superiors on July 25, 1988, a deputy attorney general, Meredith A. Cote, wrote that the clear principle that "emerges from pertinent case law is that the stop and/or seizure of an individual by law enforcement officers solely on the basis of drug-courier profile factors is unconstitutional. An officer must possess articulable, particularized facts, in addition to the profile characteristics, in order to justify such action."
But the memorandum did not rule out use of the profile.
"The fact that a drug courier profile may not be used as a tool for selective prosecution does not, however, entirely preclude its use after a police officer has effectuated a valid stop for a legitimate motor vehicle violation. As indicated previously, profile characteristics may be used by law enforcement officers in conjunction with other articulable, particularized facts to justify subsequent" searches.
Some training documents for state troopers used in the late 1980's and early 1990's had a racial focus. One, titled "Occupant Identifiers for a Possible Drug Courier," began by identifying these drivers and passengers as suspicious: Colombian men, Hispanic men, Hispanic men and black men together, and Hispanic men and women posing as couples. "Any combination of sexes or races could be possible drug couriers," the document said. "Only a few of the common ones were listed above."
The state police training bureau offered a course in the early 1990's called Sociology for the Police Officer. One of the topics was "ethnic and racial minorities." An outline had these sub-headings:
IV.Police Stereotypical View of Minorities
A. Wary of minority people.
B. Believe minorities are more likely to be involved in criminal activities
1. Chinese Americans more likely to be involved in crimes of gambling.
2. Italian Americans more likely to be involved in organized crime.
3. Black Americans are more likely to be involved of crimes of violence.
4. Spanish-speaking Americans are more likely to be involved in fights or taunting officers.
C. Greater degree of hostility directed toward police.
V. Minority stereotypical views of police
A. Are much more critical of police action.
B. More willing to see racial slights in police actions.
C. Feel more subject to mistreatment, harassment and brutality.
D. Police are symbolic, stand for the power and authority of the majority, visible signs of majority dominated.
E. Police perceived in the punishment business.
F. Police are a `blue minority.'
VI. Ethnic and Racial Cultures
C. Differing Cultures, attitudes and values.
1. Black Americans
a. Blacks value their families.
b. Blacks value religion.
c. Blacks value material goods as well.
1. Blacks who are not able to purchase their own home put money into cars.
a. Cars important - show individual's style and personality, just as home would.
In September 1989, the state police intelligence bureau prepared a document, apparently in response to a series on WWOR-TV that said troopers were stopping motorists on the turnpike on the basis of race, that talked about "Jamaican Posses" in New York City and Philadelphia using the turnpike as a conduit to transport drugs. It also said that 76.3 percent of all drug and weapons arrests on the turnpike in 1988 involved blacks. But the document said that troopers were not taught to practice racial profiling and were not doing it. It said instruction for troopers "does not include profiling or targeting techniques, but rather behavior- symptom analysis, conversational techniques, case law, and search and seizure procedure. Thus, the training focuses on events after the motor vehicle stop."
On the high percentage of blacks arrested on the turnpike in 1988, the report added: "The fact that more blacks are arrested than whites is not a result of racial targeting but is due to: 1) nearly two-thirds of all I-95/ Turnpike corridor arrests are for drugs and weapon offenses, an area which intelligence suggests is heavily comprised of American blacks, Jamaican gangs, Colombian cartels, Cuban exiles and Dominican criminals."
The report said that "intelligence" indicated that "black and Hispanic narcotics and weapon offenders" were traveling from city to city in and around New Jersey. It added: "Therefore, New Jersey's road troopers should necessarily be encountering and arresting a significant number of black and Hispanic criminals who utilize specific roadways in the furtherance of their criminal, particularly narcotics-related, endeavors."
In August 1993, Alexander P. Waugh, the executive assistant attorney general at the time, apparently began having misgivings about racial profiling. In a memo to Fred DeVesa, the acting attorney general at the time, Mr. Waugh, now a state Superior Court judge, said the profiling issue had come up in a recent meeting with state police troop commanders.
"It occurs to me that it might be useful to have some further thought given to the issue of profiling, perhaps even leading up to the promulgation of some guidelines," Mr. Waugh wrote. "I believe the SP would benefit from some further advice in this area."
Mr. Waugh's suggestion got an icy rejection. A handwritten note scrawled at the bottom of his memo said: "Alex - State Police SOP on road stops is pretty good. If it ain't broke don't fix it."
The initials of the person who wrote the rejection were indecipherable.
During hearings on the Gloucester County case, Kenneth Wilson, who had been a trooper from 1987 to 1989, testified that he had been taught about profiling by his superiors and D.E.A. agents in seminars. In a document submitted to the court, he wrote: "I was directed and urged to stop and search persons who fit the profile if I wanted to make `good arrests.' We were given wide discretion and told to follow our hunches. If we wanted to stop and search someone or some persons, we would stop and search. Any possible violations such as speeding, or improper equipment, were afterthoughts. "
Mr. Wilson added: "As part of my general training, I was specifically taught how to write operation reports. We were specifically taught how to justify in our subsequent reports our stops and searches so that we would utter the right words, which would stand up in court. We were taught to write the right reports to justify our actions in court, whether or not that is what actually occurred on the roadway."
Mr. Wilson was suspended from the state police in 1989 after he and two other troopers were indicted on charges of stealing $500 from three people they had stopped on the turnpike. He eventually pleaded guilty to official misconduct and was placed on probation for five years.
In the months after the profiling decision, state police commanders had generated so much evidence of profiling that even commanders of the Internal Affairs Bureau suggested that the department begin keeping a track of the racial breakdown of each trooper's stops, and including that data on the officers' evaluations. Col. Carl A. Williams, then the state police superintendent, vehemently objected, adding his handwritten comments to an Oct. 4, 1996, memo:
"No! Station commander/Asst. commander will be responsible for this. If they see a problem it will be up to them to take the proper action."
Soon after the ruling in the profiling case in 1996, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division started investigating the state police. Officials in the state police and the attorney general's office seemed to chafe at the inquiry.
In December 1996, the Civil Rights Division sent the attorney general's office a request for data on traffic stops and documents on patrol, management and training. A month later, in a reply, Peter G. Verniero, then the attorney general, referred to "our mutual commitment to the goal of ensuring that the civil rights of all persons are protected."
But internal documents suggest Mr. Verniero and his staff wanted to narrow the number of state police documents they would send to the Justice Department.
On a memo dated Jan. 9, 1997, Colonel Williams said he had spoken with Mr. Verniero and his top aides about the data sought from the Justice Department. The notes added, "At this time, same will be restricted to the Turnpike Stations of Cranbury and Moorestown," the barracks involved in the profiling case.
By early 1997, state police officials had found their most incriminating data yet: a study that found that more than 80 percent of the searches carried out by troopers in two stations involved black motorists. Rather than surrender the data to the Justice Department, Sgt. T. Gilbert recommended to Colonel Williams that the department consider strategies to pre-empt any attempt by federal government to force New Jersey into a consent decree for monitoring of the state police. "At this point we are in a bad spot," the recommendation said. "Through the Gloucester County case, the Illinois State Police investigation and the Maryland State Police Study/Settlement, the Justice Department has a very good understanding of how we operate and what kind of numbers they can get their hands on to prove their position."
He went on to write, "The preliminary analysis makes it clear that the more historical search data we give them, the worse off we will be in regards to having any control over what we are forced into."
On May 20, 1997, Mr. Verniero scheduled a meeting with his chief deputies involved in the Justice Department's inquiry and with Colonel Williams. An unsigned, handwritten note on the bottom of a memo about the meeting suggests that Mr. Verniero strongly opposed relenting to a consent decree with the federal government. It says, "AG advised he would not consent to signing a consent decree, `they'd have to tie me to a train and drag me along the track before I'd sign a decree.' "
Over the years, even after the ruling in the profiling case, letters from angry black and Hispanic drivers poured into state offices, including Mrs. Whitman's, saying that profiling had not stopped.
On June 6, 1998, a black Korean War veteran wrote the governor that he had been traveling on the turnpike for 30 years, and had been "stopped by the state police on the average of twice a year for really no good reason, except that I was driving a late model BMW or Lincoln."
The man said that during all the stops over three decades troopers found grounds to give him only one summons - for a broken taillight.
Commissioner Reorganizing Police Anti-Gang Efforts Into a Single Unit
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik has begun reorganizing the way the Police Department fights youth gangs, creating a single unit in which detectives, who investigate gangs, and uniformed officers, who combat them on the street, will work together.
The goal of the new unit, called the Gang Division, is to increase the focus on gang activity, sharpen the department's intelligence-gathering efforts and improve the way detectives use the newly collected information to solve gang-related crime, Mr. Kerik said Friday in an interview.
The commissioner provided no specific figures on gang-related crime, but called it a concern. Noting that a significant amount of crime in the city is committed by youths aged 16 to 24, he predicted that the changes would contribute to continued declines in overall reported crime. "This is going to have a real impact on gang activity and that's going to continue the crime reduction," he said.
Mr. Kerik said the overhaul would also increase the exchange of information between gang investigators and people working inside the city's schools, including officers in the Police Department's School Safety Division, and communities around the city.
The reorganization moves the old Gang Investigation Division, whose roughly 200 investigators account for more than two thirds of the Department's personnel working on gang cases, from the Organized Crime Control Bureau to the Detective Bureau.
About two dozen uniformed officers assigned to the Gang Investigation Division would also be transferred into the Detective Bureau, along with about 50 detectives and supervisors who currently collect gang intelligence in the Intelligence Division.
Mr. Kerik said moving the detectives who investigate gang crimes from the organized crime bureau into the Detective Bureau would encourage a closer working relationship between the gang investigators and the detectives assigned to each of the city's police precincts. He said that Gang Division detectives would be teamed with precinct detectives to investigate individual gang crimes, much the way borough-based Homicide Squad detectives are teamed with detectives from local precincts to investigate difficult murder cases.
One veteran gang division supervisor said the reorganization would likely increase cooperation between the gang units and the precinct detectives. He also said the plan would reduce the amount of time the investigators spend working on unrelated details in uniform, like parades. Those assignments, he said, are far too frequent in the bureau called O.C.C.B., an abbreviation that, he quipped, often means Other Commands Can Borrow.
The supervisor voiced some concern that pairing gang investigators with precinct detectives would mean that they would investigate too many less serious gang-related crimes, rather than focusing on major cases.
The reorganization is not the first for the city's anti-gang initiatives, which were revamped as part of an overall anti-gang strategy unveiled by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in October 1997. At that time, the Gang Intelligence Section and borough- based investigative squads under the Detective Bureau were expanded. About two years later, the squads were moved to the organized crime bureau.
Kenneth K. Fisher, the Brooklyn city councilman who heads the Youth Services Committee, which has held hearings on youth gangs, said that he believed that gang activity was on the rise. "So if this initiative is intended to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until our problem reaches California's proportions, that's a good thing," he said.
But he said the city needed to undertake a broader approach, moving beyond law enforcement to link the various agencies that provide youth services to create an interlocking web of programs.
Dead Men Talking
In Tennessee, there's a field filled with rotting corpses. What scientists have learned by watching bodies decompose is helping the police crack one unsolved case after another.
New York Times
By LAWRENCE OSBORNE
Editors Picks Top Sites on Forensic Anthropology
The nameless teenage Mexican immigrant killed in a drug skirmish could hardly have imagined that this would be his final resting place. His knees are drawn up into the fetal position; his body appears almost mummified, the skin a leathery brown merging with the fall leaves underneath. The sloped woods around him hum with cicadas. All is deathly peace in this hillside spot. A few feet away, a leg lies perfectly camouflaged in the brush, given away only by crimson strips of flesh still clinging to it. Under a row of trees nearby, a woman lies on her back, half rotted away, her arms outstretched in a frozen gesture and her hair lying in a molted mat around her skull. Three yards further on, a raw foot protrudes from a body bag. As it is lifted, a mass of maggots is suddenly scattered by the sunlight. The body is pale gray-green, quivering with the larvae feeding on its back, which has melted into a liquefied surface as soggy as a bar of soap. The sugary porcine smell in the air is unmistakable. Under spice bushes and saplings, little piles of bones lie quietly decomposing. The setting all looks rather pastoral, except for the two rusting cars and cases of scientific instruments nearby. Cemetery it may be, but conventional it is not.
In life, the Mexican boy didn't know the other two dozen people scattered around this gated two-acre copse belonging to the anthropological research facility at the University of Tennessee. But in death, they have been united by an unsettling experiment. Since 1977, researchers at this facility, located on the edge of the university medical center in Knoxville, have been observing bodies decay in order to uncover the secrets of death. It is the only such experiment in the world. Bodies are buried, left in the open air, covered with canvas (which encourages maggots to go at them) or entombed in one of the rusting cars to test how decomposition rates vary. In the summer heat, for example, a body can go from flesh to bare bones in a mere two weeks. Murray Marks, a forensic anthropologist, gestures at the wrecked cars. "Inside cars, the bodies rot faster," he says quietly as we pick a path gingerly through denuded tibias, femurs and mandibles. "Of course, the police often find bodies in the trunks of cars. A car, you see, is much hotter than underground. It accelerates the timetable of decay. Our work is really all about temperature."
We stop by a bloated woman, her body turned a scabrous orange and cranberry red, her ankles thinned almost to the bone. "Eventually, we want to make a complete atlas of decomposition," Marks says. "We take digital photographs of the process every three hours. We want to know exactly what happens when your body rots." We pause to stare at the woman's perfectly preserved hand clenched into an eternal fist. "Death is a process, not an event," he adds softly. "It's beautiful if you consider it calmly. It's Nature at work. I mean, I love that woman's hand. I often stop and admire it." He reaches down with his own hand sheathed in a surgical glove and strokes the mortified knuckles. "To me, there's nothing horrific in all this. Nothing whatsoever."
Higher up the slopes, there are other bodies. Three men embalmed by a local funeral home are spread in a row, their well-preserved flesh noticeably thicker and tougher. Marks stoops to examine their dark orange toes. It seems that the raccoons have sneaked in again, and they have a fondness for toes. For this reason, another more recent arrival sprawls protected behind a wire cage. It's a middled-age woman who has begun to bloat slightly. Honeybees swarm her mouth and nostrils, searching for the eggs that blowflies like to lay in the body's dark cavities. To me, this intense insect commotion adds a note of horror, but Marks insists that the interaction between insects and corpses is one of the crucial areas of his research. "Insects are a vital key for us," he explains. "More than anything, we're trying to establish the exact time since death. We can determine that often by seeing how fat the maggots are or what stage the insect cycle is at. Insects are our friends. I especially love maggots. They're information bombs!" The Knoxville facility, he goes on, is the only place in the world where the cadaver-insect symbiosis can be observed through all its cycles. Every murder, he says, is simultaneously an entomological detective story.
He touches my arm gently. "Are you all right?"
I say that the stench is getting to my stomach.
"It gets to me, too, sometimes," he admits. "But as it happens, we're studying the stench, too."
He points to a small box that has been suspended above one of the bodies. It's called an electronic nose. Inside it lie 32 sensors that ingest the various malodorous compounds given off by decomposition. These compounds, which have gothic names like cadaverine and putrescine, are collected in a vial and from there fed into a gas chromatograph that identifies them. Since putrefaction follows a predictable cycle, a kind of olfactory time chart can be deduced from these smells, helping law-enforcement officers and forensic experts determine when an unidentified corpse might have met its end. It's all part of establishing a minutely dependable chronicle of death, which may soon make committing the perfect crime a forbidding prospect.
"We can't necessarily identify a corpse with this new research," Marks says. "But we can recover its history, the secret of its death. We can reach back and see how long it's been lying there. Surprisingly, we know very little about death. It's the ultimate mystery, because we never really see it close up. Except here."
The department of forensic anthropology is housed in the bowels of the university's Neyland Stadium. "Home of the Vols" says the pale orange sign towering over this dreadful cousin of the Coliseum, making it perfectly clear to the scientists crammed inside it that football is far more important to Knoxville than forensics. Inside the dark, ovular corridors that follow the walls of the stadium, spic-and-span labs are filled with skeletons, trays of vertebrae and skulls resting on little colored cushions. In one room, huge casseroles filled with fully decomposed remains from the nearby woods are being boiled clean in detergent.
The department's unofficial in-house identification badge features a skull with two crossed sabers. It's one of the morbid touches favored by the program's founder, Bill Bass, who at 73 is now a professor emeritus. Of the 61 specialists certified nationwide by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, one-third were trained by Bass. He's the founding father of the field. His work at Knoxville has influenced more than just scholars. In 1994, Patricia Cornwell published a novel inspired by Bass and his research. She titled it "The Body Farm," lending the facility a ghoulish sobriquet. "I rather like the term," says Bass in a soft Southern lilt. "I think it says it all. Though some of my colleagues consider it tasteless."
Bass came from the University of Kansas in 1971. "Back then, there was almost nothing in the literature about decay," he recalls. "I hadn't thought about it much either, because in Kansas most of the bodies are dry, post-decay specimens. But Tennessee is hot and moist, with twice the population per square mile of Kansas. That means a lot of active-decay corpses!" (Today, in an average year, the hills and streams around Knoxville alone yield about 40 to 50 unidentified bodies, some of which end up at the farm.) Bass asked the dean for a plot of land in which to strew some bodies -- mostly cadavers of homeless men -- and was given a parcel on a university-owned pig farm nearby. The present site was opened in the early 80's and contains for the most part the remains of people who have willingly bequeathed their bodies to science, mixed with a smattering of deceased and unclaimed undesirables.
In 1977, Bass's ignorance was brought home to him when he identified a well-preserved corpse with a gunshot wound to the head as being merely one year old. There was, he reasoned, flesh still hanging on the bones, much of it still noticeably pink. In fact, it was the body of William Shy, a Civil War colonel killed in battle and buried in a sealed lead coffin. "Well," Bass muses, "I only missed it by 113 years! It made me realize how totally clueless we were about death. The only way to do it, I realized, was to let a body rot and watch it."
Since then, Bass has used his research at the Body Farm to crack some horrific crimes. On July 21, 1997, for example, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation called Bass to the house of one Matt Rogers in Union County, 30 miles from Knoxville. Rogers's wife, Patty, had been missing for two weeks, and agents had just found a trash can filled with charred bones. A cool Rogers claimed they were goat bones. "Well," says Bass, "the guy did raise goats, so we had to take a closer look." Identifying the bones as human, as it happened, wasn't hard, nor was piecing together poor Patty's disassembled skeleton. Bass then uncovered gunshot residue on the skull and proved that, according to the decay evidence, the body had been killed a week before Rogers had tried to burn it. Such data is important in criminal cases, as it was in this one, because it can demolish a seemingly watertight alibi. "I think he carried her around in his car for a week, but we never found the car," Bass says. "It's always bothered me that we never found that car -- it remains an annoying secret. I'm still obsessed about it."
Bass similarly used his Body Farm insights to unravel a would-be "perfect crime." On Dec. 16, 1993, the Mississippi police were called to a cabin in the small town of Summit. Inside were the decomposing bodies of Darryl Perry, 24; his wife, Evelyn Ann, 20; and their 4-year-old daughter, Krystal. The immediate suspect was Darryl's stepfather, Michael Rubenstein, who, according to the district attorney, appeared to know telling details about the three deaths. It was Rubenstein himself, however, who made the 911 call -- and nothing directly linked him to the crime. He claimed to have driven 120 miles from New Orleans just to make a family visit. He also claimed to have visited the cabin on Nov. 16 and 27 and to have found nothing amiss.
When the district attorney brought charges against Rubenstein in 1998, he called in Bass to study the crime-scene photographs. "I saw at once," Bass remembers, "that there were empty pupal cases left behind by maggots as they turned into flies. So I knew that at least one fly cycle had taken place. That takes at least two weeks." From his observations at the Body Farm, Bass also knew that autumnal decomposition, with cold nights, is much slower than summer decomposition -- and that since the bodies were much decayed, the time of death was probably at least 35 days. He estimated death at mid-November, that is, at exactly the times of Rubenstein's visits to the cabin. Bass's evidence was enough to sentence Rubenstein to death in a Pike County, Miss., courtroom earlier this year. As Bass puts it, "The guy had an alibi for the beginning of December -- but not for the middle of November."
As Bill Goodwin, the Pike County district attorney, concluded after the trial, "Without Bass's testimony, I think there's a good chance they'd have let Rubenstein go."
Bass chuckles with satisfaction. "I liked that case. The pupal cases nailed him, all right."
Forensics can't solve every crime, of course. "Murder is still one of the easier crimes to get away with," says Richard Jantz, another anthropologist at the facility. "We have dozens of unidentified murder victims in our labs. I have a 12-year-old girl in here now we can't make head or tail of. And nationwide, hundreds of enigmatic bodies show up every year. You have to remember that our understanding of dead bodies is still in its relative infancy."
To help spread their forensic knowledge, Body Farm scientists work closely with law-enforcement officials. "The F.B.I. began coming here for instruction this March, and we do hope to have a fruitful relationship with them," Jantz says. "We've set up intensive courses for their field teams, so they can see what crime scenes with real decomps look like. But we all have a lot to learn."
As for preventing crime, Jantz points out that the police could "forensically map" the population at large far more exhaustively than it actually does: "I mean, we could fingerprint bullets, for example -- give each one an identifying mark. But will gun manufacturers agree to it? There's no political will to push this to the limits, because people are scared of a police state. Do we really want to live in world without any secrets? Maybe not. But it could be done."
Meanwhile, the techniques for retracing the evolution of a murder are getting ever more refined. Take soil samples. As bodies decompose, they leak five fatty acids into the ground beneath them. Each day after death, the various profiles of these acids will vary. Analysis of them can reveal the time of death, as well as pinpoint exactly how long any given body has been lying in a particular place. The soil can also reveal the presence of a corpse, even if the body itself has been removed or destroyed. The "stain" left by a body's volatile acids, which also suppresses plant life around it, can last for up to two years, leaving a kind of phantom fingerprint in the earth. Thus, soil, like maggots, becomes an "information bomb," and the dead can be reconstructed (if not resurrected) long after they have disappeared physically. In a recent case in Florida, a prison inmate confessed to a cellmate to having raped and murdered a woman he had abducted from a convenience store. Police couldn't find a body, but soil samples in several sites named by the inmate proved that one had indeed been there. The samples of earth saturated with bone minerals and fatty acids were enough to convict him.
Another promising area of inquiry has to do with the smells emitted by rotting corpses. Jennifer Love, an anthropologist at the Body Farm, has been studying death smells in association with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The goal of the project is to develop techniques to estimate time since death during the early stages of decomposition, specifically targeting the breakdown of soft tissue.
Love thinks her research will transcend the time-of-death question. "Once we understand the composition of decay odor, we can develop better synthetic sprays to train cadaver-hunting dogs," she says. "Eventually, we can also design hand-held instruments that could potentially sniff out corpses at crime scenes by picking up the aromatic compounds of decay odor."
Other areas still to be explored are DNA extraction from cadavers and putrefaction in different contexts -- from inside plastic bags, say, or underwater. "We know little about these two areas," Bass says. "How does a body rot in water? I'm very excited, too, about experiments with the plastic bags. It's fascinating." A recent grisly find in a Minnesota cornfield revealed two bodies wrapped in plastic that had remained well preserved in direct sunlight. "Why?" Bass grins. "We have no idea."
Jantz shares Bass's enthusiasm. "In the near future," he says, "we will rely more heavily on biochemical and molecular evidence. I think you will see forensic-anthropology applications along the lines of extracting DNA from bones, hair and teeth. In addition, determining the victim's sex and ethnic background from small pieces of bone or other biological residues will become more common."
In addition, studies of how changing social conditions -- like improved nutrition and greater life expectancy -- have affected the human body may soon allow experts to make very accurate estimations of the date of a skeleton's birth. "We will understand variation in skeletal biology in the American population much better than we now do," Jantz says. "In the end, what we do is work backward from this kind of knowledge to make inferences about a specific set of bones." Even a pile of bones, in other words, will be made to speak.
In one recent case, bones were made to do just that. In August 1997, Murray Marks was called to an abandoned house outside of Knoxville where a 21-year-old woman had been found floating in a septic tank on the property. Marks and a local pathologist pored over the bloated, maggot-infested corpse and estimated time of death to be between four and seven days. "When we got there, the body was headless," Marks says. "The head had sunk to the bottom of the well, from where we had to fish it out." The cranial bones were confusingly scattered in refuse and once recovered had to be painstakingly reassembled. Marks, who is a specialist in facial reconstructions, pieced together not only the dead woman's face but also the trauma wounds of the skull, which established a "blunt force instrument" as the killing weapon. "In this case," Marks goes on, "we used all our insights into maggots, fly cycles, bloating and bone reconstruction to piece together this dead person. It was pretty humbling, I have to say, to have that woman's skull in my hands, knowing that I was unraveling this dreadful secret -- that I was solving the timetable of her death."
While at the forensic anthropology department, I visit a group of graduate students. One of them, Corey Sparks, has made a special study of the trajectory of bullets as they enter and leave the body. Standing by a skull held delicately in place by clay clamps, he shows me how digital scans are taken as the skull is rotated minutely, degree by degree. The computer image shows the bullet holes in bright blue and the trajectory as a yellow line. Sparks is currently involved in a 15-year-old murder case in Georgia in which a man claimed to have accidentally killed his wife while cleaning his rifle. "But," says Sparks, smiling broadly, "we scanned her skull, which is sitting in a fridge in Memphis. And we found that the bullet had to have come from directly above her. So we proved it was murder." The digital scans, he adds, make for more palatable objects in court than a rotting head -- as well as being, according to Sparks, the first digital forensic testimony ever used.
In another research project, Sparks is studying the century-old remains from a Spanish mission in Texas. Many of these colonists, he explains, were killed in Indian raids. "Every wound tells a story, and we've learned a lot about head traumas from the mission skeletons," he says. "We've learned a lot about scalping."
Back at the farm, Murray Marks shivers at the sight of a spider hanging from a large web obstructing our path.
"Frankly," he sighs, "I'm more scared of spiders than I am of dead bodies."
We lock the gates behind us, admiring for a moment the crenelation of razor wire and a shed piled high with salt. He tells me they have had only one skull stolen in 25 years. I ask him then if he thinks criminals are wising up to the new techniques in demystifying death.
"They are, yes. They're beginning to cut bodies up more and make more of an effort to dispose of them. But fortunately for us, most murderers are still pretty dumb."
We breath the sweet stench for the last time. "You get used to it," he says. "To me, a decomp is a thousand times more interesting than a skeleton. Skeletons are just boring eye-candy."
Later, I ask Bass himself if anything in his dealings with the dead had ever disturbed him.
"Not really," he says without missing a beat. "I hate death itself. I hate funerals. But dead bodies? Then again, as my wife points out, I have a very poor sense of smell."
Baltimore - Police are under investigation for the fatal shooting of a North Carolina motorist outside an Interstate 95 toll plaza. Josh Waterman, 42, of Raleigh, was killed after he fled from police trying to stop him for speeding. Waterman was not armed and no weapon was found in his car, the Maryland Transportation Authority said.
Houston - A woman was charged with selling sex at a bachelor party for Missouri Highway Patrol troopers. Investigators say dozens of state troopers and other law enforcement agents from the county attended the party in Texas County in November 1999. So far, only Robin McDaniel, 25, is charged, but Texas County prosecutor Doug Gaston said more charges could be filed.
A Selected Web Guide: Government Secrets Internet resources on government secrets compiled by the editors of the New York Times Magazine on the Web
New York Times
• The infamous site with maps of the tunnels within Site R from the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy from the Federation of American Scientists. Includes a great collection of links
• The Rock includes lots of information, aerial shots, and links pertaining to Site R.
• The National Security Archive from George Washington University has the largest non-governmental collection of declassified government documents
• Electronic Document Release Center from the Central Intelligence Agency
• F.O.I.A. Clearinghouse includes numerous useful resources on the Freedom of Information Act.
• Digital national Security Archive: Alows searching of "the documents that made U.S. Policy"
SALIENT FACTS: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
The Paper Chase One man's legal struggles show just how hard it is to scare the ghosts out of the government's closet.
New York Times
By ROBB MANDELBAUM
Thirty-four years after the Freedom of Information Act became law, its admirers tout it as one of the most powerful tools of government accountability in American history. That said, those who would force the government to divulge its secrets had better have "the patience of saints and the endurance of marathon runners," as one judge put it last year in reference to the case of Carl Oglesby, a political writer. In December 1987, Oglesby sued the United States for documents he had requested two years earlier, as part of his research into the government's relationship with Reinhard Gehlen, a Nazi general who under U.S. supervision established West Germany's espionage service. Here are the highlights in Oglesby's 15-year effort, which continues to this day.
August and September 1985: The Request Oglesby writes to the Army, the C.I.A., the National Security Agency, the State Department, the F.B.I. and the National Archives requesting records on dealings with Gehlen in the years after World War II. The agencies give Oglesby about 660 pages -- some heavily censored -- but refuse to hand over thousands more. Some agencies tell Oglesby he will have to pay high research and copying fees if he wishes to continue. He files suit instead.
December 1987: The Suit Oglesby claims that the agencies performed poor searches and withheld information without justification. The district court judge rules in favor of the government.
Fall 1990: The First Appeal The appeals court voids the district court's decision. Before Oglesby could sue, the court says, he first had to exhaust his administrative appeals with each agency, and he hadn't done that at five of the six. The court determines he has run his course with the State Department, and asks State to provide a better defense of its records search.
August 1991: The Amended Complaint After making the requisite administrative appeals, Oglesby again challenges the agencies' searches and reasons for withholding files. He is able over the next two years to wrangle another 600 or so pages from the Army, C.I.A. and N.S.A., including documents that had been held back the first time around, but in 1994 his suit ends when the district court judge again sides with the government.
Winter 1996: The Second Appeal The appeals court requests that the Army, N.S.A. and C.I.A. explain their redactions and that the Army and C.I.A. justify their failure to conduct more thorough searches.
March 1997: The Windfall The Army searches again -- this time, it maintains, using an updated index -- and discovers more than 9,000 pages of documents it claims it didn't know it had.
October 2000: The C.I.A. Relents The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, a two-year-old law, requires the government to open most of its files on Nazi war criminals; earlier this summer, the C.I.A. declassifies files that reveal its relationship with Reinhard Gehlen. The agency says it will reconsider redactions on documents already released to Oglesby.
2001 and On: The Struggle Continues "After 13 years, we've now reached Square 1," says Oglesby's attorney. "And we can look forward to another 13 years. It doesn't look to me as if the case is anywhere near over."
What Secrets Tell
In an age of transparency, the allure of the hidden remains stronger than ever.
New York Times
By LUC SANTE
Once, it was believed that a wholesale revelation of secrets would not occur until the Day of Judgment, when graves would be opened and the tongues of the dead at last loosened. Nowadays you might almost get the impression that the time had arrived, so profuse has been the unsealing of lips, the unlocking of vaults, the uncovering of caches. Secrets, some of them moss-covered with age, have one after another been stripped naked in public. There are two major catalysts for this phenomenon. The dissolution of the Soviet empire, first of all, opened a tremendous number of lead-lined rooms. We now know where various bodies are buried, who spied and for whom and what they transmitted. Because to Westerners the U.S.S.R. was for more than 70 years the No. 1 sphinx, the serial release of K.G.B. documents over the past decade has solved whole shelves' worth of longstanding mysteries and promoted an atmosphere of real or imaginary worldwide openness.
And then there is the Internet, which has proved a nemesis to secrecy official and unofficial at home. Nothing of major importance, it would seem, can remain hidden for long before someone in on the deal feels the urge to post the details online. The Web is the universal souk, where fans, zealots, voyeurs, lonely crusaders, congenital meddlers, dirt brokers, disgruntled ex-employees and the idly curious can trade facts, as well as rumors and fantasies posing as facts, in relative safety and anonymity. A secret posted on the Web can reach an astonishing number of eyes in no time at all; deniability doesn't count for much when you've got a few million eager witnesses. The secret, once an important, gold-backed currency, appears in danger of rapid devaluation as the screens of the world are flooded with industrial quantities of the skinny.
A third factor, meanwhile, has been coursing through American culture since before either of the other two became relevant. The urge to confess one's hidden transgressions before an audience of strangers, a peculiar phenomenon that came to our attention in the 1980's, has wildly miscellaneous roots: revival-tent epiphanies, Alcoholics Anonymous, psychotherapy and its many cousins, televised trials and certain odd game shows of the past, the poetry of Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath, the memoirs of Mafiosi and Hollywood lechers and Watergate spear-carriers. Baring all in public attracts attention and at least used to assure forgiveness. Today it's all about entertainment value, with maybe some cathartic relief thrown in, and the secrets revealed have become more inconsequential even as they have become more sordid. The taboo-busting memoir, which was the intellectuals' outlet, seems to have dried up recently, but the TV confession shows are still strong after more than a decade -- television thrives on repetition. Anyway, the phenomenon builds momentum, and the measure of normality is subject to continual revision: the more rubber fetishists reveal all before a live studio audience, the more additional rubber fetishists will feel impelled to do the same. At this rate, the last living American with a hidden vice will surrender to Jerry Springer in about eight years.
So are we in the midst of a new era of candor? Not likely. We need secrets far too much to jettison them. Just as it is possible that today secrets are being manufactured for the express purpose of revealing them amid trumpet flourishes, so it has happened and will happen again that secrets are constructed simply to answer a pressing need for secrets. Secrets are a permanent feature of the human condition. We need secrets the way we need black holes, for their mystery; the way we need land-speed records, for their enlargement of scale; the way we need sexy models in advertisements, for their seductively false promises; the way we need lotteries, for their vague possibility. We also need them the way we need bank vaults and sock drawers and glove compartments. Anybody who doesn't carry around one or two secrets probably has all the depth of a place mat.
But then the word "secret" conceals under its mantle a teeming and motley population of types. Secrets cater to the entire range of human susceptibilities, from the laughably trivial to the terrifyingly fundamental. Principal landmarks along the way include:
Personal Secrets. In other words, those secrets that are chiefly of interest to the persons who carry them around. You know the sort: you pick your nose when no one's looking; your real first name is Eustace; you wear a truss for nonmedical reasons. If such things were revealed, your ego might take a beating and your intimates could gain a weapon for use in squabbles or extortions, but the foundations of your house would not be shaken.
Romantic Secrets. They run the gamut. That interval of passion you once shared with your dentist when the two of you were stuck in an elevator with a bottle of Cherry Kijafa may remain swathed in gauze for all eternity, although your partner might eventually demand to know the identity of this "Shirley" whose name you utter in your sleep. That you enjoy above all the erotic sensation of being pinched with tweezers until you bleed might not matter a whole lot to anyone, unless you decide to run for office, and then you will find yourself sending discreet sums of money to people you haven't thought of in years. Couples often tacitly erect a whole edifice of secrets, based on real or imagined causes for jealousy. This can be relatively harmless, or it can be a symptom of the relationship's becoming a regime.
Secrets in Gossip. That is, the wheat left over when gossip's chaff is sifted out. Secrets that surface as gossip are usually of the mildest sort, personal eccentricities and romantic peccadilloes not of much interest outside a closed circle. (It is understood that there is a direct correlation between the degree of triviality of the secret transmitted as gossip and the rank of the gossip's subject within that circle.) Gossip, though, demonstrates how secrets can become currency, as the teller invests the hearer with power in exchange for esteem. The possession of a secret concerning another is, like all forms of power, something of a burden, a weight pressing one's lips together, which can be relieved only by telling someone else. This, added to a hunger for knowledge on the part of all within the gossip circle, keeps the wheel of the secret-fueled gossip economy turning.
Trade Secrets. The monetary economy, meanwhile, revolves around a wide and diverse range of secrets. A business strategy is a secret until it becomes a fait accompli. The details of the financial health of a company are kept as secret as the law allows. Anyone with a degree of power in the market is continually keeping secrets -- from competitors, from the press, from anyone who is an outsider, including friends and family, but sometimes from colleagues and office mates. The reasons are obvious: everyone is naked in a cutthroat world, and secrets are clothing. It goes without saying that secrets protect innovations and that they also hide various extralegal undertakings -- the ostensibly respectable bank that takes in laundry on the side, for example. Business also employs secrets strategically, as secrets qua secrets, usually painting the word "secret" in letters 10-stories tall. Naturally the new car model will differ little from the previous year's, but a bit of cloak-and-dagger about it will increase public interest. The "secret recipe" is on a par with "new and improved" as a carny barker's hook. The cake mix or soft drink or laundry soap may, of course, actually include a secret ingredient, known only to staff chemists and highly placed executives, but very often a "secret ingredient" is rumored or bruited about primarily as a lure to the gulls of the public.
Secret Formulas. The public hunger for secrets is primordial. It is first and foremost a matter of curiosity, but it also springs from a painful awareness of rank and a belief that things are different upstairs, with a more or less fanciful idea of the specifics. These days, with fortune-building running at a pitch not seen since the 1920's, there is widespread demand for financial folklore. You can make a lot of money catering to the suspicion that there exist shortcuts known only to a few. That some people are richer, thinner, more charismatic or whiter of teeth may be a result of a variety of imponderable factors, but for everyone who in moments of desperation has imagined that there must be some simple trick, some formula or high sign or investment routine or hidden spa, there is an author with a book aimed at the exact combination of vulnerability and prurient imagination. Such publications run along the entire span of implied legitimacy based upon demographics, from the crudities aimed at the supermarket-tabloid constituency (diets centered on junk food named in the Bible, for instance) to the overpriced hardcover pamphlets catering to the anxieties of the managerial class by dressing up received ideas with slogans and numbered lists. For centuries, the secret has been a sure-fire sales gimmick. All you have to do is combine the banal and the esoteric.
Secret Societies. There are probably a lot fewer than there once were, but somewhere in America, no doubt, insurance adjusters and trophy engravers still gather once a month in acrylic gowns and button-flap underwear to exchange phrases in pseudobiblical Double Dutch and then get down to the business of drinking beer. It helps them feel special to be the only ones in town who know the three-finger handshake. The setup descends from the heresies of the Middle Ages by way of the pecking order of the playground. We can laugh at them, now that they are so enfeebled, but there was a time not long ago when they dominated the social life of male middle-class America, and in many ways their pretensions are not so far removed from those of the Mafia or the C.I.A.
Mystical Secrets. The secret is bait. The secret leads votaries by the nose through a maze of connected chambers, in each of which they must ante up. Only when they have finally tumbled to there being no secret (and they have run through the better part of their inheritances) can they truly be counted as initiates. But few have the stamina to get that far, and most instead spend their spare afternoons consuming one tome after another promoting the secrets of, variously, the pyramids, the Templars, the ascended masters, the elders of Mu, the Essene scrolls and so on through greater and lesser degrees of perceived legitimacy, all of which flutter around the edges of the secret, none of which make so bold as to suggest what it might consist of.
State Secrets. "Our laws are not generally known; they are kept secret by the small group of nobles who rule us," wrote Kafka in one of his miniature stories. "We are convinced that these ancient laws are scrupulously administered; nevertheless it is an extremely painful thing to be ruled by laws that one does not know." This is the essence of state secrets. A government does not have to be totalitarian, particularly, to possess a stratum of laws whose existence cannot be generally known because they describe the limits of the knowable. It is forbidden for unauthorized persons to possess certain kinds of information. What kinds of information? Well, that's the trouble; if you knew that, you would already know too much. State secrets range all the way from banal prohibitions on photographing customs booths and power plants to the highest levels of technical esoterica.
Atomic Secrets. "Stop me if you've heard this atomic secret," cracked William Burroughs in "Naked Lunch." Atomic secrets may be the world's most famous class of secret, an oxymoron, surely, but for the fact that few enough people would recognize or understand an atomic secret if it landed in their mailboxes. The workaday state secret may be a matter of mere protocol or protection of resources, not unlike industries safeguarding the peculiarities of their production methods. The atomic secret, however, ascends to the level of the sacred because it manifests in concrete form the terror that mystics can only suggest: the end of the world. The secret of life may be an empty proposition, but the secret of death is actually legible to those who possess the language and the tools.
The existence of the internet, too, has increased the fluidity of secrets. Suddenly no one knows the difference between fact and folklore. Maybe secrets are posted all the time on fixed or fleeting sites, or maybe those are just clever counterfeits of secrets. Maybe the real deal is available on some site no one has thought to access yet. The Web, after all, offers the possibility that every iota of information in the world will sooner or later appear, but it may be that, like Jorge Luis Borges's library of Babel, the Web will eventually serve up every possible combination of words, so that finally no one at all will be able to tell a secret from its chance approximation.
Confessional culture further devalues the secret. It may be a big deal to the one making a clean breast of things, but to the audience it's Grand Guignol, rated on its novelty quotient or on how much carnage it inspires on the set. Secrets are loose change -- celebrities keep bagfuls in the storm cellar for when they need to score some publicity by leaking a few to the tabs. The daytime-TV guests each have one, but each greatly resembles others previously broadcast by other guests, and there is a limitless supply of new guests eating doughnuts in the greenroom. Anyway, whole classes of lifestyle deviations that used to be secret are now strictly ho-hum, will inspire yawns, have support groups devoted to them right down the street. That truly private shame of yours, meanwhile, probably requires too much context to be particularly negotiable, and the only three people who will care enough are not very likely to derive much entertainment from it. And what good is a secret then? That kind of secret will remain impervious to trends.
There is a deep human need for secrets that transcends all rational explanations. The revelation of a secret can be liberating, even intoxicating, at least at first, but to those on the receiving end, it is finally disappointing. This is in part because few secrets can live up to their packaging. Secrets need to mature some to be truly effective -- a point too often missed in today's climate -- but secrets known of long before they are divulged are especially susceptible to anticlimax. Witness the recent publication by the Catholic Church of the final prophecy of Fatima. It fell with a thud, especially because its revelation was way ex post facto -- the papal assassination attempt, nearly 20 years stone cold! Holy secrets have an obligation to lie beyond human understanding and, if unveiled, to produce a physically overwhelming effect.
People need secrets because they need the assurance that there is something left to discover, that they have not exhausted the limits of their environment, that a prize might lie in wait like money in the pocket of an old jacket, that the existence of things beyond their ken might propose as a corollary that their own minds contain unsuspected corridors. People need uncertainty and destabilization the way they need comfort and security. It's not that secrets make them feel small but that they make the world seem bigger -- a major necessity these days, when sensations need to be extreme to register at all. Secrets reawaken that feeling from childhood that the ways of the world were infinitely mysterious, unpredictable and densely packed, and that someday you might come to know and master them. Secrets purvey affordable glamour, suggest danger without presenting an actual threat. If there were no more secrets, an important motor of life would be stopped, and the days would merge into a continuous blur. Secrets hold out the promise, false but necessary, that death will be deferred until their unveiling.
CHART Top Secrets
A catalog of unanswered questions -- and likely answers -- from Shoeless Joe Jackson to Area 51.
New York Times
By JONATHAN VANKIN
Drawings by WILLIAM VAN RODEN
Secret: What is the "secret formula" for Coca-Cola? Description: Concocted in 1886 by John Pemberton (and sold in 1888 to Asa Candler), the recipe for the world's most popular soft drink remains one of the best-kept secrets in American commerce. It's clear that the drink no longer contains one original ingredient, cocaine, but after that little is known. Party Line: The company says the key to the formula is the "mystery ingredient" known as Merchandise 7X, identified on Coca Cola's label only as "natural flavorings." Best Guess: Various researchers have speculated that 7X is a combination of oils derived from lemon, orange, coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Secret: Who was Deep Throat? Description: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein first referred to this unnamed government source in their book "All the President's Men." Theorizing about his well-guarded identity remains one of American politics' most popular parlor games. Party Line: Woodward and Bernstein -- and their editor, Ben Bradlee -- have all said that they will not identify Deep Throat until his death. Woodward has repeatedly denied that he was a composite or fictional character. Best Guess: Alexander Haig, the former White House chief of staff, was long an insider's favorite. Earlier this year Leonard Garment, Richard Nixon's former counsel, named John Sears, a former White House operative, as his pick. Woodward has said both guesses are wrong. In their wake, speculation leans toward the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Officials there would have had access to much of the information in question. And according to James Mann, a former Washington Post reporter, Woodward repeatedly referred to his source as "my friend at the F.B.I." Was it Mark Felt, in 1972 the F.B.I's acting associate director? Felt, now 87, says no, but Bernstein has declined to offer either confirmation or denial.
Secret: What are the Mafia's initiation rituals? Description: According to legend, members of "La Cosa Nostra" must participate in a secret ceremony before becoming "made men." Party Line: For years, mobsters (and even some top law-enforcement officials) denied that the Mafia itself, much less any formal initiation rites, even existed. Best Guess: On Oct. 29, 1989, F.B.I. agents covertly recorded an initiation ceremony in Medford, Mass., that was officiated by Raymond (Junior) Patriarca (said to have been the mob's New England boss at the time). During the ceremony, four initiates swore an oath in Italian, after which their index fingers were pricked and a picture of the family's patron saint was burned. Organized-crime experts consider this to be a standard model for such rituals.
Secret: What goes on at Area 51? Description: The airfield at Nellis Air Force Base, about 75 miles northwest of Las Vegas, was built as a test site for the U-2 spy plane. In 1989, Bob Lazar, who said he was a lian employee at Area 51, told a Las Vegas TV station that he and others had been "reverse engineering" an alien saucer there. His claim set off an enduring legend about a conspiracy between the United States government and extraterrestrials. Party Line: The government did not even acknowledge the existence of Area 51 until 1994, and then only because a toxic-waste lawsuit forced the subject into the public record. Any important information about Area 51 remains classified. Best Guess: Sorry, "X-Files" fans: no aliens. The base remains an active test site for top-secret military aircraft. Earlier this year, Russian satellite images of Area 51 were made available on the Web (http://www.terraserver.com/area51.asp). They show runways and hangars all apparently in current use.
Secret: Who was Jack the Ripper -- and was he American? Description: The question of who killed those prostitutes in London's East End more than a century ago remains one of the greatest in the history of criminology. Party Line: There is no consensus among Ripper researchers as to the killer's identity. Best Guess: A 1913 letter from Scotland Yard, uncovered a few years ago, names Francis Tumblety, an American quack, as a suspect. He was arrested in London in 1888 on gross indecency charges and on suspicion that he was the killer, but he fled to the United States. Perhaps embarrassed at losing a prime suspect, British police kept Tumblety's name a secret, and his file disappeared. Several factors point to him: he was an accused sex offender. He was known to hate women. He had a taste for the grotesque (he kept a collection of surgically removed uteri). And he was in London at the time of the murder spree. On the other hand, he was homosexual and therefore does not fit the standard profile for sex crimes against women.
Secret: Was Rudolph Valentino gay? Description: The mother of all Hollywood was-he-or-wasn't-he scandals. The greatest heartthrob of the silent screen was plagued by speculation about his true sexual orientation. (Just weeks before his death, The Chicago Tribune ran a story calling him a "pink powder puff.") Party Line: Valentino denied the rumors even as he lay dying of peritonitis in a hospital. Best Guess: There's no definitive proof that he was gay, but the 1999 biography "Valentino: A Dream of Desire," by David Bret, extensively documents his immersion in Hollywood's gay demimonde (and his possible relationship with, among others, Ramon Navarro). And both of Valentino's wives were said to have had sexual relationships with women.
Secret: Who was the "Umbrella Man" in Dealey Plaza? Description: A man standing directly beside President John F. Kennedy's limo pumped an open umbrella in the air just as shots struck the president. Despite this curious gesture -- which looked to some like a signal -- the Umbrella Man was one of few witnesses who was not found and questioned by the police or the Warren Commission. Party Line: In 1978, a Dallas insurance salesman named Louis Steven Witt told the House Select Committee on Assassinations that he was the man in question. The umbrella served no purpose, Witt said, except to "heckle" Kennedy. Best Guess: If Witt was the Umbrella Man, he's got a terrible memory. He said he sat on the grassy knoll with the umbrella closed; photographs showed Umbrella Man standing on the curb with the umbrella open.
Secret: What was in J. Edgar Hoover's secret files? Description: During his 48-year tenure at the F.B.I., Hoover kept extensive private files, the most closely guarded of which were marked "personal and confidential." Party Line: Hoover's secretary, Helen Gandy, who destroyed the files after his death, claimed they were just personal correspondence and financial records. Best Guess: They may indeed have contained some personal correspondence, but they probably also contained potentially damaging information about politicians and potential rivals. Hoover's less secret "official and confidential" file survives; according to Athan Theoharis, a leading Hoover scholar at Marquette University, "the vast majority of the information in it consists of derogatory personal information on prominent personalities. If the 'personal and confidential' file was destroyed, maybe that's where the good stuff was."
Secret: Is the government listening in on private electronic communications? Description: In recent years, European press reports began appearing about Echelon, a global surveillance network said to intercept up to 90 percent of Internet traffic and other electronic communication (including phone calls). Party Line: The European Parliament commissioned two reports that looked at Echelon, focusing on the potential for economic espionage. On April 12, George Tenet, the director of the C.I.A., testified that with regard to "the so-called Echelon program," the intelligence community honors United States law and displays "due regard for the rights of Americans." Best Guess: Echelon is real, and the United States uses it; the National Security Agency has been collecting electronic intelligence in one form or another for decades. "At this point we are now certain that it exists," says Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, adding, however, that he does not believe Echelon is used for illegal spying on American citizens.
Secret: What happened on the night of Marilyn Monroe's death? Description: At the height of her fame, on Aug. 4, 1962, Hollywood's leading sex goddess was found dead of an apparant barbiturate overdose. Party Line: Marilyn's longtime reliance on pills is well documented; she was either suicidal or careless. Best Guess: There are too many theories to count -- many of which include either the Mafia or the Kennedys or both. But Fred Otash, a private detective who bugged Marilyn's Brentwood home, told the authors of the book "Marilyn: The Last Take" that his tapes caught Robert Kennedy in a "violent argument" with Monroe. Hours after his departure, she allegedly swallowed an overdose of pills -- though whether she intentionally ingested a fatal dose, no one can say.
Secret: Did Shoeless Joe Jackson help throw the 1919 World Series? Description: In baseball's greatest scandal, a group of gangsters headed by Arnold Rothstein bribed players on the Chicago White Sox to ensure a loss in the World Series. Jackson -- a superstar of his era and one of the greatest players ever -- was among those accused of taking the money. Party Line: Jackson was acquitted of criminal charges, as were all the other players. Nonetheless, he was banned from baseball for life and is ineligible for the Hall of Fame to this day, despite holding the third-highest batting average of all time. Best Guess: Earlier this year, a long-missing transcript of Jackson's grand jury testimony turned up. Under questioning, Jackson confesses to having taken $5,000 but maintains that he played his best despite the bribe. His statistics bear him out: 12 hits, including three doubles, a home run, six R.B.I. and no fielding errors.
Secret plan to spy on all British phone calls
Sunday December 3, 2000
Kamal Ahmed, political editor The Observer
Britain's intelligence services are seeking powers to seize all records of telephone calls, emails and internet connections made by every person living in this country.
A document circulated to Home Office officials and obtained by The Observer reveals that MI5, MI6 and the police are demanding new legislation to log every phone call made in this country and store the information for seven years at a vast government-run 'data warehouse', a super computer that will hold the information.
The secret moves, which will cost millions of pounds, were last night condemned by politicians and campaigners as a sinister expansion of 'Big Brother' state powers and a fundamental attack on the public's right to privacy.
Last night, the Home Office admitted that it was giving the plans serious consideration.
Lord Cope, the Conservative peer and a leading expert on privacy issues, said: 'We are sympathetic to the need for greater powers to fight modern types of crime. But vast banks of information on every member of the public can quickly slip into the world of Big Brother. I will be asking serious questions about this.' Maurice Frankel, a leading campaigner on per sonal data issues, called the powers 'sweeping' and a cause for worry.
The document, which is classified 'restricted', says new laws are needed to allow the intelligence services, Customs and Excise and the police access to telephone and computer records of every member of the public.
It suggests that the Home Office is sympathetic to the new powers, which would be used to tackle the growing problems of cybercrime, the use of computers by paedophiles to run child pornography rings, as well as terrorism and international drug trafficking.
Every telephone call made and received by a member of the public, all emails sent and received and every web page looked at would be recorded.
Calls made on mobile phones can already be pinpointed geographically, as can those made from land lines. The police would be able to use 'trawling' computer techniques to look through millions of telephone and email records. Campaigners say innocent people could have such highly personal information accessed.
The document admits the moves are controversial and could clash with the Human Rights Act, which gives people a right to privacy, European Union law and the Data Protection Act, which protects the public against official intrusion into private lives.
The office of the Data Protection Commissioner, Elizabeth France, has already expressed 'grave concerns' .
'A clear legislative framework needs to be agreed as a matter of urgency,' says the document, which is dated 10 August and is thought to have been sent to Home Office Minister Charles Clarke.
'Why should data be retained? In the interests of justice, to preserve and protect data for use as evidence to establish proof of innocence or guilt. For intelligence and evidence gathering purposes, to maintain the effectiveness of UK law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies to protect society.'
The document is written by Roger Gaspar, the deputy director-general of the National Criminal Intelligence Service, the Government agency that oversees criminal intelligence in the United Kingdom. Gaspar, as head of intelligence for NCIS, is one of the most powerful and influential men in the field.
The report says it is written 'on behalf of Acpo [the Association of Chief Police Officers], HM Customs and Excise, security service, secret intelligence service and GCHQ [the Government's secret listening centre based at Cheltenham]'.
Gaspar argues telephone companies should be ordered to retain all records of phone calls and internet access.
At the moment many telephone and internet service providers keep data for as little as 24 hours.
'In the interests of verifying the accuracy of data specifically provided for either intelligence or evidential purposes, CSPs [communication service providers such as telephone or internet companies] should be under an obligation to retain the original data supplied for a period of seven years or for as long as the prosecuting authority directs,' the document says.
'Informal discussions have taken place with the office of the data protection commissioner. Whilst they acknowledge that such communications data may be of value to the work of the agencies and the interests of justice they have grave reservations about longer term data retention.' The document says the new data warehouse would be run along similar lines to the National DNA Database for profiles of known criminals.
It would cost about £3 million to set up and £9m a year to run.
The report demands that the Government 'should be prepared to defend our position'.
A spokesman for NCIS refused to be drawn on the report. 'I am not going to comment on a classified document that is in unauthorised hands,' he said.
Meanwhile a Home Office spokesman said it had received the proposals and was considering them.
In Terrorism Trial, Just Picking the Jurors Is a Challenge
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By BENJAMIN WEISER
As concerns grow about the difficulty of finding an impartial jury for a major terrorism trial scheduled to start next month in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the judge in the case says he plans to screen at least 1,500 people, one of the largest jury pools ever in a federal criminal case.
The trial set to start on Jan. 3 involves four defendants indicted on charges that they participated in a global terrorism conspiracy that included the bombings of two United States Embassies in East Africa in 1998.
More than 200 people were killed and thousands of others were injured in the two embassy blasts, which prosecutors say were organized by Osama bin Laden, who has been indicted in the case but remains a fugitive and is believed to be living in Afghanistan. The bombing suspects are being tried in New York because federal prosecutors in Manhattan were actively investigating Mr. bin Laden for other terrorism acts predating the embassy explosions.
The decision to screen such a large pool of prospective jurors stems from concerns by the judge, Leonard B. Sand, and lawyers on both sides that publicity about the attacks and the continuing investigation of Mr. bin Laden's suspected involvement in other acts of terrorism would cause large numbers of people to be excused or removed from jury service. Twelve jurors and a group of alternates are needed for the trial. It is also thought that many prospective jurors may be reluctant to serve because the trial is expected to last at least nine months, requiring them to seek extended leaves of absence from their jobs.
Yet another reason for calling so many jurors is that two defendants face capital charges, the first federal death penalty case to go before a jury in Manhattan in nearly half a century. More prospective jurors are likely to be excused as lawyers for both sides petition Judge Sand to drop them because of their views on the death penalty.
The judge has indicated that all lawyers in the case must be sensitive to economic and personal hardships created by such a trial.
"In many areas, we are treading on new territory," Judge Sand said in a recent hearing. "We will be selecting a jury in a case that will take over nine months, which involves terrorism, which involves viewing perhaps pictures of blood and gore, and which involves the death penalty."
He said it seemed very likely that "a large majority of those initially called will seek to be excused."
A criminal defense lawyer who is not involved in the case, Gerald L. Shargel, observed, "There's no question about the fact that this is going to be one of the most difficult jury selections in history."
The case will be the fifth major terrorism trial held in New York in eight years, beginning with the trial in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. None of the earlier trials, though, required such a large jury pool. Nor was the death penalty a factor. Lawyers say the largest pool was about 600 people who were screened for the 1995 trial of a group of men convicted of plotting to blow up the United Nations and other landmarks in New York.
In a more recent case, in Colorado, about 1,000 prospective jurors were initially screened before the 1997 trial of Timothy J. McVeigh, who was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people and wounded more than 800.
A lawyer for Mr. McVeigh, Richard Burr, said that one challenge for defense lawyers in the embassy bombing case would be finding jurors who could stay focused on the evidence before them, and not on the crush of publicity about Mr. bin Laden and other acts of terrorism against Americans.
The authorities, for example, are investigating whether Mr. bin Laden was involved in the bombing of the destroyer Cole in Yemen in October, which killed 17 Americans. The four defendants on trial in New York have not been accused of any role in that act.
"The defense ought to be given great latitude in probing whether people can separate these folks from bin Laden," Mr. Burr said.
"This kind of case connects to a kind of archetype in our unconscious," he continued. "There is a fear of terrorism that in part is justified and in part is not, but it is there. It means that you are defending against something that's extraordinarily difficult to defend against."
Jurors will be paid a daily fee of $40, which rises to $50 after their 30th day of trial. They will be drawn from Manhattan and the Bronx, and Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties, which are part of the Southern District of New York.
Michael E. Tigar, a lawyer for the second defendant convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry L. Nichols, and a professor at American University's Washington College of Law, said the embassy bombings case involved "many hot-button issues."
"The prosecution presents these defendants as Arabs who allegedly are terrorists, and who allegedly killed Americans," Mr. Tigar said. "These are things about which your average person called in the Southern District of New York can have deep, deep feelings. What you need to do is probe behind that."
Judge Sand said at the hearing that the screening process would begin with each of the 1,500 prospective jurors' filling out a questionnaire. Hardship issues will be dealt with first, then jurors' attitudes and beliefs.
The judge, a co-author of the leading text on jury instructions, also made clear that he would be a staunch advocate for the prospective jurors.
"A minimum of 1,500 people are going to be involved in a process in which they will be told that the next year of their life may be devoted to things which are not of their choice," he said. "Some consideration has to be given to their rights and their interests."
But Judge Sand also made clear that no one would be granted an exemption merely because jury service would be inconvenient. "It has to cause an unacceptable amount of personal hardship," he said.
The courtroom debate that ensued shows the difficulties in deciding what is a legitimate hardship and in putting together a representative jury.
The court's jury administrator, Robert W. Rogers, offered examples of hypothetical hardship excuses that might be allowed, including jurors who would suffer severe economic loss like loss of salary or a year-end bonus because of lengthy service.
Another would be someone who works five minutes from home to be near an elderly parent, and has to return home at lunchtime to check on the parent, Mr. Rogers said in court. He also cited jurors who would have to travel 80 to 100 miles to the courthouse in Lower Manhattan.
Judge Sand said he was trying to streamline the process by having Mr. Rogers handle the initial review of questionnaires. That would save "days, maybe weeks of time," the judge said, explaining that otherwise, the lawyers would spend that amount of time in court listening, for example, "to the psychiatrist say he has patients, some of whom are seriously ill, who are dependent on him for care, and if he cannot accommodate his patients, not only will his practice suffer, but his patients will suffer."
"How long should we spend debating whether or not a hardship exemption should be granted to such a person?" the judge asked. "Or the schoolteacher, in these days of critical shortage of schoolteachers?" he went on. "How long will we spend debating whether or not a schoolteacher should be asked to give up a year of school time?"
A defense lawyer, Frederick H. Cohn, said the process might allow too many exceptions, resulting in a jury that was too homogenous, and filled with only retired "Con Ed workers and telephone workers, and no schoolteachers."
But Judge Sand said he had no intention of letting that happen. "We should make every effort," he said, "not to have a jury consisting solely of retirees and volunteers."
Mr. Cohn also questioned whether an unintended result of the process would be the screening out of members of minority groups. "We want jurors who are going to be able to sit and not worry about whether their family is going to starve," he said.
But Mr. Cohn told the judge that if after the hardship screening process was complete, he came into court and saw only "one black juror, you are going to have a challenge."
To which Judge Sand replied, "If it turns out not to be racially neutral, then I am sure you will tell me that."
At one point, another defense lawyer, David A. Ruhnke, suggested making the questionnaire more specific, asking prospective jurors to consider whether they had responsibility for the care of elderly parents or young children, or had prepaid vacations.
At that, Judge Sand was skeptical.
"What is the point?" he asked, suggesting that if such hardships did not occur to potential jurors, why give them any new ideas?
U.S. Considers Array of Actions Against Bin Laden
By Vernon Loeb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 3, 2000; Page A03
The Clinton administration is considering a wide range of options, including military force, to punish Osama bin Laden if investigators conclude that the Saudi fugitive was behind the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, according to U.S. officials.
But any military action against bin Laden's redoubts in the mountains of Afghanistan would be declared a "preemptive" effort to forestall future attacks, not a retaliatory strike, officials said.
That is because Article 51 of the United Nations charter prohibits the use of armed force by one state against another, except in self-defense or with the approval of the U.N. Security Council.
Retaliation, in other words, is not an acceptable justification for the use of force. Self-defense is allowed under international law, but what constitutes "self-defense" is a matter of debate, according to Michael J. Matheson, a law professor and former State Department lawyer.
The United States, Matheson said, takes the "robust" position that it has an ongoing right to act against a "continuing threat" such as bin Laden, who already has been indicted in New York for plotting the truck bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.
"There's no question he remains a threat--whether he was involved in the Cole or not," said a senior administration official.
Yemen's prime minister has said the Cole's bombers appear to have been Arab veterans of the war that drove Soviet forces out of Afghanistan in the 1980s, the same group of Islamic warriors who form the core of bin Laden's terrorist network, known as al Qaeda or "the Base."
U.S. officials have also said that there are tantalizing links between the Oct. 12 attack on the Cole and the 1998 embassy bombings. But no clear evidence tying bin Laden to the Cole blast has emerged.
Michael J. Glennon, a professor of law at the University of California at Davis who has just completed a book on armed intervention, said it is unclear how strong the evidence must be to justify a military strike.
"That is not a question that international law answers," Glennon said, adding that in his opinion President Clinton should "insist upon" evidence that is "highly probative, but not necessarily beyond a reasonable doubt."
"I don't believe our national security would be well served if the standard were set that high," he said.
L. Paul Bremer III, chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism and a former State Department ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism, argues for a standard of proof in national security cases that would not necessarily secure a conviction in a U.S. court.
President Ronald Reagan, he noted, used such a standard to bomb Col. Moammar Gaddafi's Tripoli headquarters 14 years ago in response to Libya's role in a West Berlin nightclub bombing that killed a U.S. serviceman and a Turkish woman.
So did the Clinton administration when it fired 79 cruise missiles at bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan and at a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan in August 1998, less than two weeks after terrorist bombs killed more than 200 people at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
In retrospect, however, the missile attack on the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, appears to have been a mistake. U.S. officials have backed away from claims that its owner is linked to bin Laden. They now concede that the plant produced medicines and may not have been involved in making chemical weapons, as they had originally alleged.
On the other hand, the missiles fired at the Zhawar Kili complex in Khost, Afghanistan--a base camp, a support camp and four nearby training camps--killed participants in what U.S. officials described as a meeting to plot further terrorist attacks.
But bin Laden survived the attack, and experts have questioned the use of expensive cruise missiles against "mud huts."
Still, the senior Clinton administration official contended that the 1998 missile strikes were highly effective. "You can't always judge by the number of buildings destroyed what the impact of an operation is," the official said.
"What the August 1998 attacks did was suggest, 'If you harbor him, we can hurt you,'" the official continued. "The fact is, we have had excellent international support in light of what happened in August 1998."
Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he supported the Tomahawk missile strikes as a signal that the United States will respond forcefully.
But he and other terrorism experts say another symbolic missile attack that fails to kill bin Laden or seriously damage his organization would be perceived as a sign of weakness.
Ivo H. Daalder, a former National Security Council official in the Clinton administration, said that if "firm evidence" links bin Laden to the attack on the Cole, which killed 17 sailors, any military response should "exact a major price."
"That would likely require bombing runs with B-2s or B-1s to deliver real punch," Daalder said. "It may even require action with special forces and other commandos, perhaps to arrest [or] take Osama bin Laden himself."
One thing that should not deter a U.S. response, Daalder added, is the political calendar. "There's nothing unusual about ordering military action or taking major foreign policy steps during the transition period," Daalder said.
He noted that President George Bush ordered 30,000 U.S. troops into Somalia and signed three major treaties during the 1992-93 presidential transition.
According to Clinton administration officials, the gamut of U.S. options includes pressure on Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, continuing efforts to arrest and prosecute bin Laden's associates, covert action by intelligence services, and military strikes.
Anthony Lake, Clinton's former national security adviser, argues in a new book that the CIA and the Pentagon must develop "a greater capacity for covert action . . . including cyberattacks, or 'information operations,' against terrorist organizations and the states that sponsor them."
Such capabilities, Lake said in an interview, would provide a future president with more realistic options between rhetoric and Tomahawks.
One counterterrorism official, expressing doubts about the wisdom of another missile strike, said the administration's primary response to the Cole attack probably would be to increase pressure on the Taliban, which controls about 90 percent of Afghanistan.
The United States and Russia are working together on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would prohibit the sale of weapons to the Taliban while giving its opponents in northern Afghanistan, led by Ahmed Shah Massoud, a free hand to rearm.
Bremer said the president faces a difficult choice. Military strikes, in the absence of a broader strategy for countering bin Laden, won't accomplish much, he said. But doing nothing, he added, isn't an option.
"It's a dilemma, a real dilemma," Bremer said. "In the long run, you've got to take away these safe refuges. Afghanistan has become the Lebanon of 2000."
Terrorism and Retaliation
* 1986: A bomb kills a U.S. serviceman and a Turkish woman in a West Berlin nightclub. In response, 24 U.S. warplanes bomb Col. Moammar Gaddafi's Tripoli headquarters and family compound, killing his adopted daughter and other civilians, on the basis of what President Ronald Reagan calls "incontrovertible evidence" that Libya was behind the bombing of the nightclub.
* 1988: A bomb downs Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. Scottish prosecutors, enjoying unusually close cooperation from the CIA, ultimately charge two Libyan intelligence officers with masterminding the attack. The two are now on trial before a Scottish judge in the Netherlands. The evidence is largely circumstantial, and a conviction is far from certain.
* 1993: An Iraqi plot to assassinate former president George Bush during a visit to Kuwait is uncovered by U.S. intelligence. Two months later, U.S. Navy ships launch 23 Tomahawk missiles at the headquarters of the Iraqi intelligence service in Baghdad on the basis of what President Clinton calls "compelling evidence" from U.S. intelligence officials.
* 1996: A terrorist bomb kills 19 U.S. servicemen and wounds hundreds of others at Khobar Towers, a U.S. military housing complex in Saudi Arabia. U.S. law enforcement suspects Iran of involvement but lacks hard evidence after a three-year investigation, prompting Clinton to make an extraordinary appeal directly to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.
* 1998: Terrorist truck bombs detonate simultaneously at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 200 people, including 12 Americans. Twelve days later, U.S. warships fire 79 cruise missiles at Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden's base camps in Afghanistan and at a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that U.S. officials link to bin Laden.
* 2000: Two suicide bombers in a fiberglass skiff loaded with plastic explosives blow a hole in the USS Cole--an Aegis-class destroyer that is refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden--killing 17 American sailors. Yemeni authorities later arrest suspects in the case and search for others. The Yemeni prime minister says evidence suggests bin Laden's involvement, leaving U.S. officials to plot their next move.
Bus Boycotters Are Celebrated in Montgomery
New York Times
December 3, 2000
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Most people know that Rosa Parks fired up a movement 45 years ago by refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Ala. But few people know that Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith did the same thing.
Ms. Parks's protest on Dec. 1, 1955, is credited with starting the Montgomery bus boycott that helped strike down segregation in public accommodations. Ms. Colvin and Ms. Smith, who refused to budge from their bus seats earlier that year, were also arrested but they were sent home, their contributions barely mentioned again.
The spirit of women like Ms. Parks, Ms. Colvin and Ms. Smith is being celebrated in Alabama this weekend as civil rights leaders gather in Montgomery to honor the anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott.
"The men were decision makers, but had not there been for women, there would not have been a movement," Juanita Abernathy said. "They were the foot soldiers, the young people and women. We played a very significant role."
Ms. Abernathy is the widow of the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, one of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s top lieutenants. Dr. King and Mr. Abernathy led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 and Mr. Abernathy died in 1990.
While Dr. King and Ms. Parks readily come to mind when the bus boycott is mentioned, there were thousands of others who should be remembered for their efforts, leaders of the protest said. In her book, "Quiet Strength," Ms. Parks warned against people giving her too much credit.
"I would like people to know I was not the only person involved," she said. "I was just one of many who fought for freedom."
But Ms. Parks is known best. On Dec. 1, 1955, Ms. Parks, who was then a 42-year-old seamstress, boarded a Montgomery city bus and sat in the first row of seats in the section of the bus reserved for blacks. When some white men got on the bus, the driver ordered Ms. Parks to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus. She refused. The bus driver had her arrested.
Two days later, Mr. Abernathy and Dr. King, then obscure ministers, met with prominent blacks in Montgomery. The boycott began and continued through 1956, when the Supreme Court ordered the buses desegregated.
200 injured in Bangladesh exam protest
12/03/00- Updated 03:48 PM ET
DHAKA, Bangladesh - About 200 people were injured when a mob of nearly 500 carrying rocks and sticks people attacked the Barisal Government College, beating teachers and smashing furniture and windows to protest the expulsions of 13 students accused of cheating on final exams, authorities said Sunday. Police used steel-tipped batons to disperse the mob, and there were police among the injured, they said. Cheating is a widespread problem in Bangladesh, where more than 8,000 students were expelled for cheating in the nation last month.
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