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Nuke Industry Cites 25 Years of Progress
ALGERIA COULD BE NUCLEAR CHALLENGE FOR U.S.
Sellafield: BNFL plant still a threat to Irish people - Sinn Fein
Sellafield fears - Timebomb on our doorstep
Major ally for US = Major worry for India
India should not shun the US 'offer'
IAEA Inspectors Return to Iran
IRAN, RUSSIA CAN'T AGREE ON BUSHEHR
Iran Opens Uranium Site, U.N. Inspectors Arrive
Kansai Electric picks French firm for MOX fuel processing
N.Korea Rejects U.S. Proposal on Nuclear Row
U.S. General Envisions Libya as a Possible Ally
Laser project lagging
Delay shield, say former top brass
New book castigates Justice Department over nuclear weapons plant
Contractor takes extra safety steps at Hanford tank farms
Bush's laser, bunker buster under attack from Senate
W. Virginia Senator on Iraq: 'My Vote Was Wrong'
Leaders of G.O.P. Try to Discredit a Critic of Bush
Rwanda to Free 30,000 Genocide Suspects
Canadian Won't Be Deported From N.M.
China Warns Taiwan to Contain Post-Election Turmoil
China Warns Taiwan It Won't Tolerate Post-Vote Turmoil
China to Rule on Hong Kong Vote
Stepping In, China to Rule on Hong Kong Democracy
15 Iraqis, 1 Marine Killed in Firefight
Up to 16 Die in Gun Battles in Sunni Areas of Iraq
Israel Pushes White House to Accept Its Withdrawal Plan
Israelis Say Hamas Is Not Able to Mount Major Retaliation
Hamas Leader Vows 'Earthshaking' Revenge
NATO Pledges Ships And Aircraft to Help Safeguard Olympics
Pakistan Denounces Tape Calling For Revolt
8 Hostages Executed in Pakistan Siege
Russia launches Proton rocket with military satellite
NASA Seeks New Frontier in Jet Engines
Growing Doubts On Vaccine In Military
A year later, soldiers still live with effects of Iraq accident
Coalition Sets Up Iraqi Media Commission
Polls show war criticism hurts Bush
Who Won World War II?
US Complicity in Israel's Misdeeds
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons
POLICE / PRISONERS / COURTS / JUSTICE
GOP Leaders Seek Release of Clarke's 2002 Testimony
Analysis Bush, Clinton Varied Little on Terrorism
Refusal to Testify Has Precedent
U.S. Trims Request for Exemptions From Pact on Saving Ozone Layer
Bill Would Help Thousands Exposed to 9/11 Dust Plume
Bush's AIDS Program Balks at Foreign Generics
Four 9/11 Moms Watch Rumsfeld And Grumble
-------- accidents and safety
Nuke Industry Cites 25 Years of Progress
By H. JOSEF HEBERT
Associated Press Writer
Mar 27, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A quarter-century after the country's worst nuclear accident, the atomic power industry is talking about revival. Yet no one can predict when a new reactor will be built and the industry cannot shake perceptions about safety, uncertain economics and a new specter - terrorism.
Still, by most accounts, nuclear power is back in style. That is the case despite continuing uncertainty about the fate of the radioactive waste that reactors generate and fears that terrorists might target a reactor.
Those were not the concerns 25 year ago.
On the morning of March 28, 1979, a series of events unfolded that would rivet world attention on a nuclear power plant in central Pennsylvania. Three Mile Island would become a catchword for the industry's perils and shortcomings.
For five days, there was a fear the reactor at the plant near Harrisburg, Pa., might unleash tons of radioactivity and perhaps even explode. Some worried that the radioactive fuel could eat through the containment floor, spew radiation down the Susquehanna River and contaminate the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
In fact, the reactor core meltdown resulted in little release of radiation and there was no evidence of long-term harm to public health. But it was a watershed for the nuclear industry and the government officials who regulate it.
"Few experts thought that such a severe accident was even likely to happen," says Nils Diaz, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. "Confidence in the technology was very high."
The accident exposed an industry complacent and ill-informed, and government regulators who, for a time, could not even communicate with those inside the plant to understand the seriousness of what was unfolding.
"Up until TMI the industry said, `Trust us. We're the experts.' After TMI the public said, `We don't trust the experts anymore,'" says Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
Such skepticism continues, said Markey, among the sharpest critics in Congress of the industry and the NRC.
The industry cites statistics that it says show reactors have never been safer.
The number of NRC reportable events has dropped every year to 0.02 per unit; automatic reactor shutdowns have declined to less than 1 per unit and half the plants report none. Plants are producing power on average at better than 90 percent of their capacity.
Those in reactor control rooms are better educated. Nuclear executives are better trained. Direct lines now link the NRC to every reactor control room.
For two decades the industry has operated its own safety monitoring organization to track emerging problems and disseminate the latest safety data to power plants.
"If you look at safety, by just about any measure, you'll see a remarkable change in the last 12 years or so," says Will Travers, executive director for operations at the NRC.
But have all the "TMI demons" - as nuclear consultant Harold Denton refers to the complacency that existed 25 years ago within the industry - been exorcized?
Denton was a senior staff member at the NRC when the TMI accident happened. He made a name for himself when he emerged as a calming, knowledgeable voice during the height of the crisis, easing the frayed nerves of state officials and the throngs of media during daily briefings. President Carter made him his personal representative at the accident site.
Now a consultant, Denton said in an interview that he has no doubt nuclear power plants are safer today, that executives in charge of plants are better trained and that utilities take the unique nature of nuclear power seriously.
"By and large, many utilities (in 1979) thought boiling water in a reactor was no different than boiling water with coal, and you didn't need highly educated people," he said. "You don't find complacent utilities today."
Yet industry critics ask, what about Davis Besse?
The Ohio power plant was shut down for two years after it was discovered that an accumulation of boric acid over time had eaten nearly through the 6-inch steel reactor vessel. Only a thin interior membrane kept the vessel from bursting, resulting - as occurred in TMI, but for different reasons - in a loss of critical reactor coolant. Restarted recently, the plant again was shut down because of problems with valves.
"If Davis Besse hadn't happened I would be saying that the TMI demons had been exorcized from our list of ills," Denton said.
Industry critics said the incident again raises questions about the adequacies of federal inspections and the safety mind-set of some industry executives.
"After TMI, the pendulum definitely swung in favor of safety," says Jim Riccio, a nuclear industry watchdog for Greenpeace. But he maintains that financial pressures to keep reactors running has "forced the pendulum back in the other direction."
The country's 103 commercial nuclear power reactors produce nearly three times as much electricity today as they did on the eve of the TMI accident. They account for one of every five kilowatts of electricity used in America, compared with one in eight in 1978.
Not a single permit for a new plant has been sought since the accident, but 51 reactors under construction in 1979 have gone into operation.
Still, in three decades, no utility executive has ordered a new reactor and there is no indication construction will begin on a new one anytime soon.
Wall Street is not ready to finance a next-generation reactor, which could cost $2 billion, because of continued uncertainties within the electricity industry and the ample power generating capacity in most parts of the country, analysts say.
The industry has sought government help to spur a building program, with a target to have a new reactor built by 2010. But the Bush administration has backed away from offering money. Its most recent budget asks for only $10.2 million for next fiscal year, far short of the $60 million to $80 million a year anticipated by industry leaders.
"Financing large, capital-intensive energy projects like new nuclear power plants in today's business environment is a significant challenge," Joe Colvin, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry trade group, wrote recently.
Nonetheless, the industry is upbeat about its future even as it marks the 25th anniversary of its lowest point.
The operating performance of nuclear reactors has so improved that they are competitive with coal-burning power plants in electricity production. The average operating costs, including fuel, for nuclear has declined from 3.48 cents per kilowatt hour in 1987 to 1.68 cents in 2002, according to the institute.
Ironically, the industry now cites Three Mile Island as a symbol of its competitiveness.
The destroyed TMI Unit 2 remains sealed. Its core was shipped away years ago and what is left inside the containment building remains highly radioactive. But Unit 1 nearby, now owned by Chicago-based Exelon, efficiently is churning out electricity. Last year it concluded a record 688 days of continuous operation by a pressurized water reactor.
"Today's reactors are the cheapest way to make electricity," says Roger Gale, president of GF Energy, a consulting company. He says almost all the reactors are being operated efficiently in an industry that is rapidly consolidating.
About a dozen large energy companies operate the country's 103 power reactors. Companies such as Exelon and New Orleans-based Entergy, as well as Dominion in Virginia, have bought up reactors. Unlike a few years ago, Gale says, "There are no fire sales."
Utilities want those reactors to continue operating as long as possible. The NRC has issued 20-year license extensions for 23 reactors; an additional 19 requests are under review. Operators of virtually all the reactors are expected to seek extensions of their initial 40-year licenses when they come close to expiring, industry officials say.
But the future of nuclear power is anything but secure, some leading energy experts say.
"At present ... nuclear power faces stagnation and decline," according to a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The cross-section of energy experts involved in the MIT study concluded that the industry's future may rest on its ability to argue successfully that nuclear reactors - which produce no greenhouse pollution - are needed to combat climate change.
Never has industry been challenged as it is today to protect against a potential terrorist attack on a nuclear plant. Reactors are believed to be a prime target of al-Qaida, based on documents and other information obtained since the Sept. 11 attacks.
The NRC has acknowledged that the government does not require that reactors be designed to withstand the impact of an airliner loaded with fuel or explosives. The commission also has acknowledged that plant security forces on their own could not likely hold off a large-scale terrorist attack.
Industry critics maintain that more and better trained security guards are needed. The industry says it has increased its guard force at power plants by one-third to some 7,000 security personnel and made other security enhancements.
"The extent to which nuclear facilities should be hardened to (withstand) possible terrorist attack has yet to be resolved," says the MIT study, although acknowledging improvements in both reactor safety and plant security.
"We do not believe there is a nuclear plant design that is totally risk free."
EDITOR's NOTE - H. Josef Hebert, the AP's energy writer, covered the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island and the subsequent investigation by a presidential commission.
On the Net:
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: www.nrc.gov
Nuclear Energy Institute: www.nei.org
ALGERIA COULD BE NUCLEAR CHALLENGE FOR U.S.
March 27, 2004
WASHINGTON -- Algeria could be another nuclear proliferation challenge for the United States.
Western diplomatic sources said the United States has been quietly advising Algeria to open its nuclear facilities to inspection in an attempt to stop the North African country from weapons capability. The sources said Algeria has acquired a large nuclear infrastructure that could be converted for use in the assembly of nuclear weapons.
Algeria, the sources said, has acquired the installations and components to complete the nuclear cycle. This means that Algeria would be able to produce bomb-grade plutonium.
Algeria has not been a stranger to nuclear weapons. Between 1960 and 1965 France conducted 14 underground nuclear tests at two separate locations in the Algerian desert.
Sellafield: BNFL plant still a threat to Irish people - Sinn Fein
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment Arthur Morgan TD speaking today after an information meeting with members of BNFL severely criticised the company for offering "nothing new to allay the fears and concerns of the people of Co. Louth".
Deputy Morgan said:
"The presentation by BNFL in Louth today was nothing short of a full-blown PR exercise by the company. No-one will be surprised that the presentation bore no resemblance to a company that has been fined Stg £30,000 in January last for putting the life of one of their own workers at risk and who, in another 12 month period, had 27 breaches of their licenses and regulations terms.
"Sellafield representatives said nothing new that would allay the fears and concerns of the people of Co. Louth in particular and of the East coast generally. The latest revelation about the unknown quantity of plutonium in the B30 pond is but the latest in a series of revelations that demonstrate the lack of accountability and safety procedures at the Nuclear reprocessing plant.
"Suggestions by some councillors that an additional tier of monitoring nuclear installations would, I believe, be entirely fruitless. What is needed is the winding down of all these Nuclear installations and the development of environmentally sustainable energy sources.
"The proposed handing over of the Sellafield Nuclear plant on 1st April 2005 to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority represents nothing short of a three card trick by the British Government with the idea of somehow fooling the people into thinking the problem has abated with the demise of the familiar name.
"I call again on the British Government to close the Sellafield plant, which should begin by immediately ordering an end to the Nuclear reprocessing facilities. The Dublin Government should also use its position now during the EU Presidency to highlight the danger that Sellafield represents to the Irish people. "
Sellafield fears - Timebomb on our doorstep
Any and every effort by officials attached to British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) to allay fears here about Sellafield are doomed to futility.
So was the latest one yesterday in which senior BNFL officials met with worried councillors in Louth to try to reassure them about the safety of the site.
Their avowal that Sellafield is robust enough to withstand a terrorist attack has to be taken with more than a considerable degree of scepticism. By their own admission they are ignorant about the extent of one particularly serious hazard on their own doorstep.
As highlighted in RTÉ's Prime Time, European Commission inspectors uncovered a massive pond containing 1.3 tonnes of plutonium, as well as thousands of gallons of decaying, contaminated sludge.
It is hardly unexpected that BNFL's assurances about potential terrorist attacks are viewed with an exceptionally jaundiced eye, given they have absolutely no idea of the extent of plutonium present in that pond.
Because the company is unable to produce documentary evidence quantifying the amount of plutonium in the poisoned pond, British nuclear consultant John Large could well be correct in believing it could contain up to five tonnes of plutonium.
Whether his estimate, or the smaller one from the European inspectors is accurate, either one represents an unacceptable potential threat.
Environment Minister Martin Cullen's response that the EU inspectors' report was "very worrying" was an understatement to say the least. But he was right in averring Sellafield could no longer be allowed to operate under a veil of secrecy. The Government will have to be more voluble and insistent in demanding that Irish nuclear inspectors visit the Sellafield site.
-------- india / pakistan
Major ally for US = Major worry for India
March 27, 2004
The Rediff Special/Josy Joseph (India)
India is disappointed at Pakistan being designated a 'major non-NATO ally' of the United States last week, not just because Secretary of State Colin Powell sprang an unpleasant surprise, but also because of the implications of the move, which are only slowly becoming clear.
Indian officials fear the floodgates will open for a massive flow of American military wares to Pakistan. "The real, immediate implication is in the supply of military wares," a senior external affairs ministry official said.
Similar sentiments are being expressed by officials across the spectrum as they strive to gather information that will help them understand what Powell's announcement means in real terms.
From official sources, available documents and credible reports, it seems the Pakistan military is set to receive a massive dose of arms. The F-16s are delayed, "but even those look possible now," the official said.
The sceptics argue that the latest US move is the continuation of a cycle in US-Pakistan relations that has had grave impact on South Asia.
In the 1950s US officials kept assuring India that their military assistance to Pakistan was targeted at Russia and China. By 1965, Pakistan had received more than $3 billion worth of US military supplies. Those arms were eventually used against India.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, the US opened lines of military supplies to the rebels fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. "Once their business was finished in Afghanistan, many of the jihadis and their weapons landed up in Kashmir," a senior intelligence officer pointed out.
There are many who believe that some of the weapons recovered in the wake of the 1993 Mumbai blasts, including the AK-56 recovered from film star Sanjay Dutt, also came from the Afghan war.
"Pakistan with a vast amount of new generation weapons could be a more difficult dialogue partner than today," the intelligence officer argued. But the US is already processing many of Islamabad's military demands that have been pending for several years.
Pakistan had not received major military supplies since the Pressler Amendment was enforced in 1990, until September 11, 2001. "From then till now they have been receiving supplies, but only items specific to their counter-terrorism operations," a senior army officer said.
But even that scenario could change because of the easier access to US military supplies that MNNA status gives Pakistan. A major non-NATO ally is eligible for priority delivery of excess defence articles. What's more, it is eligible for the purchase of depleted uranium ammunition and has special privilege in bidding for certain US government contracts.
The US has already allocated $300 million for the coming fiscal year for 'foreign military financing', "most of which will end up as US systems in Pakistan," a diplomatic source argued. Over the next five years, a total of $3 billion worth of American assistance will reach Pakistan, half of which is believed to be for 'foreign military financing', a fund exclusively meant to buy arms from the US.
Already, under a $73 million security assistance package in the wake of September 11, Pakistan is receiving new helicopters, surveillance aircraft, some 1,000 armoured personnel carriers and modern radio sets, besides getting some airfields upgraded.
In August 2003, the US officially offered six C-130 Hercules transport aircraft using a $75 million 'foreign military financing' grant. According to some Pakistani officials, the C-130 has in the past been improvised to deliver bombs.
According to the Indian officials, Pakistan will also receive AN/TPS-77 air surveillance radars worth $100 million and Aerostat radar systems for monitoring ground traffic and low-flying aircraft worth about $155 million.
Besides, Pakistan has placed a demand for 80 attack helicopters. Some of these helicopters have already been inducted into operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of the northwest frontier, they believe.
Among other equipment that Pakistan is seeking from the US are Predators, the unmanned aerial aircraft used by the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq, and airborne early warning systems.
India should not shun the US 'offer'
Times of India,
SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 2004
India would gain by being a non-NATO ally of the US. Any major non-NATO ally stands to derive the following advantages: Priority delivery of excess defence articles; stockpiling of US defence articles; purchase of depleted uranium anti-tank rounds; and participation in cooperative R&D programmes. The intangible benefits that would accrue are just as substantial.
Pakistan, for example, got away with aggression against India in 1965 and indulging in genocide and ethnic cleansing in 1971, only because the generals believed they enjoyed the support of the US. Pakistan would not have that asymmetric advantage if India became a non-NATO ally. India's level of strategic cooperation with the US has increased substantially in recent years. It has offered all help to the US in the war on terrorism and its armed forces have conducted numerous joint exercises. Given this backdrop, India would benefit from formalisation of such a relationship. It would shape the attitudes of the countries around us in a positive way.
As for the tangible gains, it might be argued that India's defence system is not US-compatible and for that reason would not gain from improved delivery or stockpiling of armaments. But that is no reason to altogether preclude further military cooperation. India is engaged in R&D cooperation with the US with the view to bolster counter-insurgency operations. The declaration of India as a non-NATO ally would cement this arrangement. Therefore, India should shed its traditional suspicion of the US and play ball on the latter's terms for the potential gains to be had. The strategic and economic benefits of such an understanding are too serious to be overlooked.
IAEA Inspectors Return to Iran
March 27, 2004
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- U.N. nuclear agency inspectors returned to Iran Saturday for the first time since Tehran reversed a decision to bar them because of allegations the country was hiding some banned activity.
The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors will inspect two nuclear facilities and quiz top Iranian officials on the country's atomic program. They are trying to verify Iran's claims that its nuclear activity is for peaceful purposes only.
IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told The Associated Press in Vienna that the inspectors have already begun their work.
Two weeks ago, Iran had barred inspectors after the IAEA issued a report rebuking the country for failing to disclose certain aspects of its nuclear development, as it is obliged to do as a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The United States accuses Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, and Washington has called for Iran to suspend all uranium-related activity. Iran suspended enrichment last year under strong international pressure over the aims and dimensions of its nuclear program.
But Iran says the suspension is only temporarily, and insists it wants atomic energy only for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA inspectors are expected to meet with top officials from Iran's atomic agency. The team will also visit nuclear facilities in the central Iranian cities of Isfahan and Natanz.
Earlier Saturday, Iran announced that it recently inaugurated the Isfahan nuclear facility, which processes uranium ore into gas -- a crucial step before uranium enrichment.
``The uranium conversion facility started working some time ago now,'' a senior official at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Enriched uranium can be used for atomic energy or to make bombs.
Iran's belated announcement that its Isfahan facility is operational is likely to be taken by the United States as further evidence that the Persian state is pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program.
Iran continues to assemble centrifuges for enriching uranium, despite criticism that this violates the spirit of its pledge to suspend the process.
Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has said Iran needs to take many steps before the U.N. agency can give its nuclear program a clean bill of health.
Suspicion of Iran's program heightened last year when the IAEA revealed that its inspectors had found radioactive particles that had been enriched to weapons-grade level -- higher than what Iran requires for fuel for a nuclear reactor.
Iran said the particles had been found on imported equipment.
ElBaradei, who plans to visit Iran early next month to encourage it to be more transparent, hopes to present an assessment of Iran's nuclear activities to the IAEA board of governors in June.
IRAN, RUSSIA CAN'T AGREE ON BUSHEHR
Sat, 27 Mar 2004
MOSCOW -- Iran and Russia have failed to agree on a schedule for the completion of the Bushehr nuclear reactor.
Russian officials said Moscow and Teheran have yet to agree on a construction schedule, deliveries of nuclear fuel and a repayment schedule for the estimated $1 billion Bushehr reactor. The disagreements have prevented the visit of a high-level Russian nuclear delegation to Iran to complete the accord.
So far, Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency director Alexander Rumyantsev has twice postponed visits to Teheran to complete talks meant to advance the Bushehr reactor. The first cancellation was in January and the second was in March.
Rumyantsev now plans to arrive in Teheran in the middle of May. Agency spokesman Nikolai Shingarev said the two sides would seek to agree on arrangements for the return of Russian spent nuclear fuel for Bushehr.
Iran Opens Uranium Site, U.N. Inspectors Arrive
March 27, 2004
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has begun operating a facility for converting uranium, a key step toward enriching it for use as fuel or in a nuclear bomb, a spokeswoman for the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Saturday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said there was nothing controversial about the plant's opening and Tehran has said its nuclear program is solely for the peaceful generation of electricity.
``We were informed in February that they were going to start uranium conversion at Isfahan in March,'' IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said, adding that agency inspectors had arrived in Iran and would examine the site this week.
``Conversion activities were not subject to suspension,'' Fleming said.
``Iran has told us it has been operating on the basis of a test run,'' she added.
Iran first pledged to suspend activities related to uranium enrichment last November as a goodwill gesture while under intense U.S. pressure to prove it was not seeking nuclear weapons.
Last month Iran promised to suspend all ``remaining enrichment activities'' after Tehran sparked a row by interpreting the suspension in the narrowest possible sense.
Uranium conversion plants are key to the enrichment process. They convert uranium oxide concentrate into uranium hexafluoride gas, which is placed in centrifuges, the machines that enrich uranium.
DELAYED INSPECTIONS RESUME
``We are planning to inspect the Isfahan site this week,'' Fleming said. ``The inspectors have arrived in Iran and they have already begun their work.''
Tehran delayed the inspections in retaliation against a harshly-worded resolution on the Islamic republic.
The agency's inspectors had originally planned to leave for Iran on March 12 to visit Natanz and Isfahan, but Tehran canceled the visit in response to an IAEA Board of Governors resolution, then in draft form. The Iranians later relented and said the IAEA could return on March 27.
The resolution, passed on March 13, ``deplores'' Iran's failure to inform the IAEA of potentially arms-related research, such as work on ``P2'' uranium-enrichment centrifuges, capable of making bomb-grade uranium.
Kansai Electric picks French firm for MOX fuel processing
Saturday, March 27, 2004
OSAKA - Kansai Electric Power Co decided Friday to conclude a basic agreement to have France's state-owned nuclear fuel company COGEMA process plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for its plutonium-thermal energy project in Fukui Prefecture, company officials said.
The decision followed the formal go-ahead given earlier in the month by Fukui Prefecture for restarting the project to use MOX fuel at Kansai Electric's nuclear power plant in Takahama in the prefecture, which has been stalled since the falsification of data on the fuel by a British fuel company came to light in 1999. (Kyodo News)
N.Korea Rejects U.S. Proposal on Nuclear Row
March 27, 2004
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea on Saturday rejected a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear programs, calling the main U.S. demand at six-way talks last month a plot aimed at subjugation.
Radio Pyongyang, monitored by South Korea's Yonhap news agency, said that the three requirements were a U.S. ploy to disarm and stifle the North.
Yonhap quoted the radio as saying the three requirements would ``rob its nuclear deterrent and disarm the North, investigate its military capabilities before starting a war and suffocate its economy by killing its nuclear energy industry.''
``The United States must give up its ambition to disarm and crush us to death if it sincerely intends to resolve the nuclear problem peacefully, and it must engage itself earnestly to the problem,'' the North's radio report was quoted as saying.
The report is the first commentary by the North following a visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing to Pyongyang this week during which he met the North's leader Kim Jong-il.
Li said on his return to Beijing on Thursday that the North ``holds a positive attitude'' and was willing to continue the process of six-party talks. China hosted the two Koreas, the United States, Japan and Russia in two rounds of six-party negotiations in its capital but failed to make substantive progress on resolving the nuclear crisis.
The six countries agreed in principle during the second round in February to meet at a working-level to help speed up discussions.
Saturday's radio report by the North said its solution to the nuclear problem continues to be ``dialogue, a peaceful process and simultaneous actions.''
Pyongyang has demanded that the United States drop what it called a pursuit of military aggression, for which it would agree to give up nuclear programs for military use.
Many analysts do not expect progress toward resolving the nuclear impasse before the U.S. election in November, saying Kim Jong-il has little incentive to deal with a president whose days in office may be numbered.
U.S. General Envisions Libya as a Possible Ally
March 27, 2004
By ERIC SCHMITT
The New York Times
WASHINGTON, March 26 - The senior American commander for Europe and North Africa expressed optimism on Friday that Libya was on the path to becoming a valuable military partner in fighting terrorism.
The commander, Gen. James L. Jones of the Marine Corps, said Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's decision last December to abandon Libya's unconventional weapons programs, including an effort to make nuclear bombs, could convert a country that the United States bombed in 1986 for supporting terrorism into an ally.
"Libya, assuming this conversion is genuine and long-lasting, could certainly become an important player, certainly in view of its geo-strategic location," General Jones told reporters. "Ultimately, it certainly could have the same relationships that we have with other countries."
General Jones added that the outlook for military or security cooperation with Libya was "still very embryonic, but we're excited at the prospects."
The United States Air Force and other American troops used Wheelus Air Base in Libya before Colonel Qaddafi seized power in a 1969 coup. In the 1950's it was a forward operating base for Strategic Air Command bombers.
General Jones, who is also the top NATO commander in Europe, said that if Libya's pledge to renounce unconventional weapons proves sincere, the alliance might invite it to join a seven-nation group that focuses on enhancing regional stability in the Mediterranean. The group's members are Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria.
-------- missile defense
Laser project lagging
Budget goes sky-high for 747 anti-missile tool
By Jim Skeen, Staff Writer
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Los Angeles Daily News
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE -- Creating an airborne laser mounted in a modified 747 to swat down enemy missiles is proving to be more difficult and more expensive than the Pentagon expected.
Originally projecting it to cost $2.5 billion, the Pentagon has spent $2.1 billion since 1996, requested another $474 million in the 2005 defense budget and is expected to seek a comparable amount in the 2006 budget.
A test originally planned for this year in which the aircraft would shoot down a missile target has been postponed. No new date has been set. Defense officials said there are uncertainties with the schedule and that they are focusing on incremental steps to advance the technology.
"We want to take it one step at a time," a Defense Department official said. "We're doing the grunt work now."
In testimony this month before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Missile Defense Agency director Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish acknowledged the program's difficulties, but asked for patience.
"At this time there is no reason to believe that we will fail to achieve this capability," Kadish said. "This is such a revolutionary and high payoff capability. I believe we should again be patient as we work through the integration and test activities. But the risks remain high."
Pentagon officials said progress has been made on demonstrating equipment that can track intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The program is aimed at developing a weapon capable of destroying enemy missiles with an invisible beam of energy, in response to worldwide threats posed by missiles like the Scuds launched by Iraq against Israel and against American forces during the first war with Iraq.
Firing short, intense bursts of energy from a laser mounted in a special turret in its nose, the plane will blow apart ballistic missiles shortly after launch, while they are far from their targets.
There are about 650 people working on the program at Edwards Air Force Base, which is housing the ground and flight test work.
For the laser testing, the Air Force spent $22 million to build more than 60,000 square feet of laboratory space at Edwards, including a facility capable of simulating conditions for weapons firing at 40,000 feet above the Earth.
The next major milestone for the program is what officials are calling "first light," in which the laser light will pass through six modules mounted inside an airplane fuselage being used for ground testing. The modules, each weighing more than 3,000 pounds, are like batteries that will power the weapon.
If the military can get the weapon to work well enough for service, the airborne laser aircraft will patrol in pairs at more than 40,000 feet and inside friendly territory, scanning the horizon for missiles. When a missile is detected, a tracking laser beam will illuminate it, and computers will measure the distance and calculate its course and direction.
A second high-energy laser, fired in a three- to five-second burst from the nose turret, will destroy the missile.
The beam will heat an area about the diameter of a basketball on the missile's relatively fragile fuel tank casing. The laser will weaken metal already under high pressure from the ignited rocket fuel.
The high-energy laser will be fueled by the same chemicals found in hair bleach and Drano, respectively -- hydrogen peroxide and potassium hydroxide. Those chemicals will be combined with chlorine gas and water.
The Edwards testing will include ground testing of the laser system as well as flight tests of various systems, including target tracking.
Air Force officials say 30 nations have ballistic missiles comparable to the Iraqi Scud -- one of which killed 27 American troops in a Saudi Arabian barracks during the Gulf War -- and that there are more than 10,000 such weapons in existence.
Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 email@example.com
Delay shield, say former top brass
By Jim Wolf
Washington March 27, 2004
A group of 49 retired US generals and admirals is urging President George Bush to postpone the deployment this year of a multibillion-dollar missile shield and spend the money instead on securing potential terror targets.
The officers, including retired admiral William Crowe, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1985 to 1989, describe the complex technology as untested and a poor use of scarce funds.
"As you have said, Mr President, our highest priority is to prevent terrorists from acquiring and employing weapons of mass destruction," the letter says. The letter was to be released at a news conference in Washington.
As the "militarily responsible course of action", the signatories urge that funds planned for missile defence go to bolstering nuclear weapons depots and protecting US ports and borders.
Mr Bush has asked Congress for $US10.2 billion ($A13.8 billion) for missile defence in the financial year starting on October 1, a 13 per cent rise from this year. The plan is to spend $53 billion on the project in the next five years.
The initial goal for the shield is to protect against one or two warheads that could be launched by North Korea. But the retired military leaders argue the US is already able to pinpoint the source of a ballistic missile launch.
"It is, therefore, highly unlikely that any state would dare to attack the US or allow a terrorist to do so from its territory with a missile armed with a weapon of mass destruction, thereby risking annihilation from a devastating US retaliatory strike," they write.
A spokeswoman for Mr Bush had no immediate comment on the letter, which includes among its signatories General Joseph Hoar of the US Marines, a former commander of the US Central Command, and General Alfred Hansen, who headed the air force's logistics command.
The Pentagon's top space planner told Congress on Thursday that a key part of the missile defence shield would cost more and take longer to field than scheduled.
-------- u.s. nuc facilities
New book castigates Justice Department over nuclear weapons plant
March 27, 2004
DENVER -- Secret midnight burning of radioactive waste. An FBI spy flight with infrared cameras. An employee who claims she was contaminated by fellow workers for reporting safety violations.
It sounds like something out of a paperback thriller. But the allegations are contained in a new book that says the Justice Department covered up environmental misconduct at the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver more than a decade ago.
Federal and state health officials say they are looking into the claims raised by the book, "The Ambushed Grand Jury: How the Justice Department Covered Up Government Nuclear Crimes and How We Caught Them Red Handed."
The book was written by Wes McKinley, the foreman of a grand jury that investigated activity at Rocky Flats, and attorney Caron Balkany. They said the book is worth the risk of jail for violating grand jury secrecy rules.
"I am doing my patriotic duty," McKinley said. "These people are criminals."
In addition to interviews with former plant workers and investigators, the authors relied on a journal McKinley kept during the grand jury sessions. They said they were able to independently confirm all the evidence discussed in the book.
A former federal prosecutor dismissed the allegations, and the plant's former operator said all the claims have been investigated and found to be groundless.
Rocky Flats, situated on the edge of the foothills outside Denver, made plutonium triggers from the 1950s until 1989. The Energy Department complex is being cleaned up and officials hope to turn it into a wildlife refuge by 2006.
Tipped about potential safety violations, the FBI in 1988 used infrared cameras during flights over Rocky Flats and detected what agents claimed was a burning incinerator in Building 771, the plutonium-reprocessing facility. At that time, the building was supposed to be shut down after an employee was exposed to radiation.
FBI and Environmental Protection Agency officials raided the plant in 1989 as part of an investigation called Operation Desert Glow.
Investigators subsequently looked at whether Rockwell International, the plant's operator at the time, knowingly discharged chemicals into creeks that flowed into municipal water supplies, burned toxic waste and failed to adequately monitor groundwater.
From 1989 to 1992, a federal grand jury heard testimony and reviewed evidence against Rockwell. The panel wanted to indict eight people and two corporations involved with Rocky Flats and recommended closing the plant.
Then-U.S. Attorney Michael Norton refused to sign the indictments and worked out a plea bargain.
Rockwell pleaded guilty to 10 hazardous waste and clean water violations in 1992 and was fined $18.5 million. The company admitted it stored hazardous waste without a permit, in containers that leaked, and that its actions caused hazardous waste to wind up in reservoirs that supplied drinking water to nearby cities.
At the time, it was the biggest fine levied against a company in a hazardous-waste case.
A Justice Department review of the plea bargain supported the prosecutors. The review said a charge of illegal burning had to be withdrawn because Allen Divers, a former military analyst who was working for Lockheed and reviewed the infrared photos, had changed his mind and could not be sure.
However, the book's authors contacted Divers, who said he had never changed his opinion. Divers confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
The grand jury's report remains sealed, and as recently as this month, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch refused to allow grand jurors to break their oath and speak publicly about the case. Matsch did not respond to a request seeking comment.
Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Denver, would not comment on whether McKinley would be prosecuted for violating grand jury secrecy.
In an interview with The AP, Norton said that the grand jurors let their emotions take control and that the most serious allegations were not borne out.
"There was not the kind of mass conspiracy cover-up that was thought at the outset to have occurred," he said. Asked about Divers, Norton said, "I've never heard of him."
Similarly, Rockwell spokesman Matthrew Gonring said the accusations were thoroughly investigated.
The book includes material from interviews with FBI agent Jon Lipsky, who led a raid on the plant in 1989, and Jacque Brever, a Rockwell employee who worked in a building where processed plutonium was stored.
"My superiors have ordered me to lie about a criminal investigation I headed in 1989. We were investigating the Department of Energy, but the U.S. Justice Department covered up the truth," Lipsky said in the book. He confirmed his statement in a brief telephone interview with the AP.
Brever's account is more chilling. She said she is suffering from thyroid cancer she believes is the result of her fellow union workers deliberately damaging her protective gear because they feared her testimony would force the shutdown of the plant and cost them their jobs.
Officials at the Energy Department did not return calls and an e-mail for comment.
Representatives of the EPA and the Colorado health department said they are looking into the allegations in the book.
Contractor takes extra safety steps at Hanford tank farms
The contractor handling cleanup of underground tanks holding radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation said Friday it was taking extra steps to protect the safety of workers.
The announcement came a day after Colorado-based CH2M Hill halted routine work at the tank farms after three workers were taken to medical centers following a possible vapor exposure. Six workers sought medical attention after three separate, similar incidents last week.
In Friday's statement, the company noted all those workers have been cleared to return to work but said it wanted to take additional precautions to reduce any potential risk to its employees.
Among the those precautions, the company said it will assess whether additional monitoring is needed and whether workers need additional gear to protect them.
"We continuously re-evaluate our practices to ensure the work environment is as safe as possible," said Ed Aromi, president and CEO of CH2MHill Hanford.
The company said Thursday that routine work at the tank farms was suspended and workers doing essential work would be required to wear respirators.
The three workers evaluated Thursday had been monitoring near a pit in the 200 East section, when they noticed an odor, described as a "sweet smell," according to Erik Olds, spokesman for the Energy Department's Office of River Protection.
The workers - assigned to monitor for radioactivity or chemical vapors - initially declined medical evaluation, but co-workers called 911 when one of them later developed a nosebleed, Olds said.
Two were taken to Kadlec Medical Center, and the third was taken to the Hanford Environmental Health Foundation, the nonprofit contractor hired to monitor and provide health care for Hanford workers.
The area where Thursday's incident occurred, the AN tank farm, holds seven double-shell tanks. Nuclear waste from the site's single-shell tanks, some of which have leaked into the groundwater, is being transferred to double-shell tanks until it can be treated for long-term storage.
For 40 years, the 586-square-mile Hanford nuclear reservation in south-central Washington made plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons, beginning with the top-secret World War II-era Manhattan Project to build an atomic bomb.
-------- us politics
Bush's laser, bunker buster under attack from Senate
Feinstein vows to oppose 'bizarre' weapons at 'every step of the road'
By Ian Hoffman,
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Oakland Tribune STAFF WRITER
A powerful Senate appropriations chairman threatened this week to shut down the world's largest laser if the Bush administration falters in creating a miniature sun inside a California laboratory.
At the same time, Republicans and Democrats are signaling even tougher scrutiny than last year of administration plans for a powerful nuclear weapon to threaten foreign adversaries hiding in underground bunkers with a single, regime-toppling strike.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein suggested creating "weapons systems that are so bizarre and so catastrophic goes beyond the moral code."
"I'm going to oppose it at every step of the road because I do not believe the American people want to support a new generation of nuclear weapons," she said.
Neither the giant laser at Lawrence Livermore lab nor the big nuclear bunker buster is, by itself, a do-or-die test of President Bush's defense policies.
But the administration's $6.6 billion spending proposal for nuclear weapons research and maintenance is coming under unusually rigorous attack early in an election year, and not from the rambunctious House but a less expected quarter, the ordinarily staid Senate.
"Your problem is going to be holding on to what you already have," Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid warned the nation's top nuclear-weapons executive, Linton Brooks.
Brooks' deputy was at a loss to explain the bipartisan resistance.
"There's definitely more intensity, more controversy -- no question," said deputy National Nuclear Security administrator Ev Beckner.
In recent months, Brooks and Beckner have shuttled around Capitol Hill to stave off attacks on multiple Bush initiatives -- $27 million for the new bunker buster, $9 million for "advanced" weapons designing teams, $30 million to shorten the time to a nuclear test, plans for a plutonium bomb-component factory and a delay in hydrogen fusion experiments on Livermore's $4 billion National Ignition Facility until 2014.
The delay caught the attention of the four committees overseeing nuclear weapons spending, especially the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations subcom- mittee.
As nuclear-weapons spending soared to levels 50 percent higher than the Cold War average, two administrations have relied on the panel's chairman, Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., to carry their case in the Senate and in spending negotiations with his House counterparts. St. Pete, as Domenici is fondly known in three weapons labs, is the latest in a dynasty of nuclear purse-string holders from the high-desert state where nuclear weapons were invented.
Since 1996, Domenici poked a critical finger at the giant laser on several occasions but always preserved its budget, even in the face of a $2 billion cost overrun and substantial drain on pet projects at the two weapons labs in Domenici's own state.
The sacrifice, the senator made clear this week, was for one reason: to realize after more than 40 years the dream of controlled thermonuclear-fusion -- the creation of a momentary sun -- inside a lab.
"You know how I feel right now is that I've been hoodwinked," Domenici told executives of the National Nuclear Security Administration on Tuesday. "And not a little hoodwink. Big one."
If Livermore's stadium-sized National Ignition Facility simply becomes the world's greatest laser research facility and doesn't actually achieve ignition -- that is, harvest more energy from hydrogen fusion than the electricity in its laser beams -- then, Domenici said, no more money will flow its way.
"And I tell you, if I see that coming, it (the laser lab) better not be asking me for any money, because I'd close it down, because that's not fair," Domenici said. "We never intended to spend $5 billion to $6 billion to build a laser facility or a laboratory that would provide civilian research and visitations from around the world."
Beckner assured Domenici that a recent technical advance -- and the emphatic objections of all four congressional committees -- had made it possible to shoot for ignition in 2010.
"They made sure that we understood," Beckner said Friday.
Originally, scientists planned on fusing hydrogen gases frozen solid inside spheres of plastic or beryllium. But their plan required designing and building a cryogenic robot to carry the frozen target from a filling lab into the laser's target chamber, maintaining it at subzero temperatures.
Rough estimates suggest the scheme would cost at least $100 million and scientists aren't certain it will succeed. In order to try for ignition in 2010, Beckner said, they are reaching for a backup plan to pump the gases into the sphere through a straw about a tenth of a hair's width and freeze it inside the target chamber.
"We have very good target designs there. The complication is in the experimental realization," Beckner said. Which is to say, no one has built such a target, nor filled it, frozen it and crushed it with X-rays driven by laser beams.
"We have a higher level of risk associated with this. But in view of the importance of getting earlier results, we will change those priorities," he said.
Project critics have seen the promised date of ignition slip from 2003 to 2008 to 2010 to 2014 and now back to 2010 with a novel target. Some plan to lobby Congress for an investigation of the laser's ability to meet its promise of ignition.
"The idea that at this late date that they still are designing the target for which they designed the entire facility is indicative of what's wrong with the entire project," said Chris Paine, a senior nuclear weapons analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Contact Ian Hoffman at - firstname.lastname@example.org
W. Virginia Senator on Iraq: 'My Vote Was Wrong'
Saturday March 27, 2004
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller regrets his vote to authorize a war against Iraq.
"If I had known then what I know now, I would have voted against it," Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said Friday. "I have admitted that my vote was wrong."
The Democratic-led Senate approved the war resolution 77-23 on Oct. 11, 2002, one day after the U.S. House approved a similar resolution.
"The decision got made before there was a whole bunch of intelligence," said Rockefeller, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I think the intelligence was shaped. And I think the interpretation of the intelligence was shaped.
"We had this feeling we could be welcomed as liberators. Americans don't know history, geography, ethnicity. The administration had no idea of what they were getting into in Iraq. We are not internationalists. We border on being isolationists. We don't know anything about the Middle East."
Rockefeller also said he is disturbed at the failure to involve the United Nations in creating a new government and finding peace in Iraq.
Many of the senator's feelings were strengthened last week during a weeklong trip with four other Democratic senators to Iraq and four other Middle Eastern nations.
In Iraq, the senators visited a team of researchers investigating the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
"They have three million pieces of paper," Rockefeller said. "But it is a sham. There is nothing to point to any weapons of any kind."
Rockefeller said the influence of terrorist groups, such as al-Qaida, is growing in Iraq. He estimated that only about 5 percent of insurgents in Iraq are recent arrivals, with the rest "homegrown."
Leaders of G.O.P. Try to Discredit a Critic of Bush
March 27, 2004
New York Times
By CARL HULSE and PHILIP SHENON
WASHINGTON, March 26 - Republican Congressional leaders said Friday that they would seek to declassify past Congressional testimony from Richard A. Clarke, President Bush's former counterterrorism chief, in an effort to demonstrate that the former aide had lied this week about Mr. Bush's record.
The move on Capitol Hill signaled a new intensity in the campaign by the Bush administration and its Republican allies to undermine the credibility of Mr. Clarke, who served under several administrations.
"Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories," Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said on the Senate floor as he condemned Mr. Clarke for accusing the Bush administration in a new book of largely ignoring the threat of Qaeda attacks before Sept. 11. Mr. Clarke repeated his charge in testimony this week before the independent commission investigating the attacks.
Yet in testimony before the 2002 joint Congressional inquiry into the attacks, Dr. Frist said, Mr. Clarke had been "effusive" in praising the administration's actions. Democrats on that earlier panel said they saw no inconsistency between Mr. Clarke's two sets of remarks.
Mr. Clarke, the former National Security Council aide, received support on Friday from an unlikely source - Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. In a television interview, Mr. Powell said that Mr. Clarke had "served his nation very, very well" and was "an expert in these matters," referring to counterterrorism.
While saying that Mr. Clarke's book is "not the complete story," Mr. Powell said on the PBS program "NewsHour" he was "not attributing any bad motives" to Mr. Clarke.
"I'm not aware of a campaign against Mr. Clarke, and I am not a member," Mr. Powell said. "The book is the book, and you can read it and make your own judgment as to whether it's accurate."
Dr. Frist and other Republican Congressional leaders said their decision to seek declassification had not been coordinated with the White House. And it could put the White House in a potentially awkward spot since it is the administration that decides on declassification.
Officials said that the decision on whether and when to declassify the testimony would be made at the White House after consultations with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon about the national security implications. A White House spokesman, Sean McCormack, said that "to my knowledge there was no coordination between Congressional Republicans and the White House on the request for the declassification of the documents."
A move to declassify the testimony would sharply contrast with the administration's insistence that parts of the final report of the Congressional Sept. 11 investigation remain secret. Hundreds of pages of that report have never been made public.
The White House has also refused to allow Mr. Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to answer questions publicly before the independent commission now completing its investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks. The White House has said that Ms. Rice is willing to again appear before the panel in private and not under oath, but Democrats are pressing for her to testify publicly.
Dr. Frist's announcement Friday that he would seek to declassify Mr. Clarke's two-year-old testimony before the House-Senate committee that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks caught many of his Senate colleagues by surprise.
Referring to Mr. Clarke's six-hour appearance in 2002 before the joint Congressional inquiry - when Mr. Clarke was still on the White House staff - Dr. Frist said that Mr. Clarke was then "effusive in his praise for the actions of the Bush administration," in contrast to his appearance this week before the commission when he testified that the White House had failed to treat the terror threat with the proper urgency.
Dr. Frist accused Mr. Clarke of "profiteering" with his book, "Against All Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror" (Free Press) - which has jumped to the top of national bestseller lists - and branded as "theatrical" the apology that Mr. Clarke offered this week to relatives of Sept. 11 victims for failing to prevent the attacks.
Dr. Frist said that to apologize "on behalf of the nation was not his right, his privilege or his responsibility."
"In my view it was not an act of humility, but an act of supreme arrogance and manipulation," Dr. Frist said. "Mr. Clarke can and will answer for his own conduct, but that is all."
Though Democrats said that Mr. Clarke had not been under oath in the 2002 interview with the joint Congressional committee, Dr. Frist said he had been and stopped just short of accusing him of perjury. "It is one thing for Mr. Clarke to dissemble in front of the media," Dr. Frist said. "But if he lied under oath to the United States Congress it is far more serious matter."
Mr. Clarke, who was not immediately available for comment on Friday, according to a spokeswoman, testified under oath on Wednesday to the independent commission.
Dr. Frist did not act alone. Representative J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, the House speaker who had warned that the commission's work could become a "political football" in the middle of the presidential campaign, said on Friday he had joined the request to declassify Mr. Clarke's earlier testimony.
"We need to lean forward in making as much information available to the public as possible, without compromising the national security interests of the nation," Mr. Hastert said in a statement.
Congressional Democrats who were involved in the joint committee's investigation said their recollection of Mr. Clarke's testimony was entirely different, and that they knew of no contradiction between what Mr. Clarke said then and what he was saying now.
Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who was a co-chairman of the inquiry, said Friday that "to the best of my recollection, there is nothing inconsistent or contradictory in that testimony and what Mr. Clarke has said this week."
A senior Democratic Congressional aide said Democratic staff members from both the Senate and House intelligence committees reread Mr. Clarke's 2002 testimony on Friday and that they believed he had been "fully consistent" in his views.
Mr. Graham said he supported the request to declassify Mr. Clarke's testimony. But he said it should be released in its entirety and that the White House should declassify other documents integral to Mr. Clarke's testimony, including his January 2001 plan for action against Al Qaeda. Mr. Graham has also sought to release 27 pages of the report examining the involvement of foreign nations in support of the 19 hijackers.
The House Democratic leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who served on the Congressional inquiry, criticized her Republican counterparts for joining in the attacks on Mr. Clarke, who left the White House last year. "Our democracy is not served and freedom of speech is undermined when the White House and its allies engage in character assassination," she said.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, who replaced Mr. Graham as the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, called Dr. Frist's comments "baseless and irresponsible." Any lawmaker who believed Mr. Clarke perjured himself, he said, should call in the Justice Department.
Representative Porter J. Goss, Republican of Florida and chairman of the House Intelligence panel, said he initiated the process to declassify Mr. Clarke's testimony. Mr. Goss said Mr. Clarke's new accusations were markedly different from his testimony in 2002.
"They are certainly 180 degrees from my general recollection of the information he provided us before," said Mr. Goss, who was co-chairman of the panel with Mr. Graham. Mr. Goss said that if Mr. Clarke's views had changed, they should be reflected in the inquiry's findings and recommendations. "If he had all this startling information, it probably would have been useful to share it."
Aides to Dr. Frist, whose bitter denunciation of Mr. Clarke came as the Senate was winding down for the week, said he had not been encouraged by the White House to take up the matter. "He has been looking for an opportunity to present his views," said Bob Stevenson, the chief spokesman for the majority leader.
Senior Republican officials in Congress said they did not see the effort to declassify the testimony as a bid to find lies that could lead to perjury charges, but as a way to raise questions about Mr. Clarke's integrity.
A Democrat on the independent commission, Timothy J. Roemer, a former House member from Indiana who also served on the joint Congressional panel, said he supported the effort to make Mr. Clarke's testimony public. Mr. Roemer added, though, that there should also be given consideration to "carefully, within the bounds of security" declassifying the private interviews that Ms. Rice gave last month to the independent Sept. 11 commission.
Richard W. Stevenson contributed reporting for this article.
Rwanda to Free 30,000 Genocide Suspects
Sat Mar 27, 2004
By RODRIQUE NGOWI,
Associated Press Writer
KIGALI, Rwanda - Rwanda plans to release at least 30,000 suspects who have confessed to participating in the 1994 genocide, letting them be tried in community courts rather than by the country's overburdened judicial system, an official said Saturday.
The suspects will be released by the end of June - cutting by a third the 90,000 suspects being held on charges of taking part in the slaughter of at least 500,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis, said Johnston Busingye, the secretary general of the justice ministry. The genocide was orchestrated by a government of extremists from Rwanda's Hutu majority.
The planned release is the second of its kind in Rwanda. Last May, some 23,000 suspects were released after confessing they took part in the genocide. The announcement of the second release came just weeks before the 10th anniversary of the start of the genocide on April 7, 1994.
Like those scheduled to be released in June, the first group promised to lead exemplary lives while awaiting to be tried by their neighbors in traditional community courts known as "gacaca." The maximum sentence that can be imposed by a gacaca is life in prison.
The release is intended to ease overcrowding in Rwanda's prisons and the resulting strain on government coffers - Rwanda spends about $2.6 million feeding the suspects each month.
Leaders of the genocide are not eligible to be released.
Busingye said another group of prisoners will likely be released next year. To qualify, prisoners must detail their roles in the genocide and name others involved in slaughter.
Meanwhile, in Belgium, a leading suspect in the killing of 10 Belgian peacekeepers during the genocide has handed himself over to Belgian authorities, the Belgian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
Bernard Ntuyahaga had been freed on Friday by a Tanzanian court that turned down an extradition request from Rwanda. "He decided to put himself at the disposal of Belgian prosecutors," foreign ministry spokesman Patrick Herman said.
Ntuyahaga flew to Brussels accompanied by Belgian officials and faced immediate questioning by an investigating magistrate.
A major in the former Rwandan army, Ntuyahaga commanded a base in the capital Kigali where the Belgian paratroopers on U.N. duty were attacked and killed by a larger Rwandan force.
Their deaths prompted the United Nations (news - web sites) to withdraw its troops during the genocide.
Canadian Won't Be Deported From N.M.
March 27, 2004
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- A Canadian man cleared of stockpiling hundreds of missile warheads at his southern New Mexico counterterrorism school will not be deported despite having violated his business visitor's status, an immigration law judge ruled.
David Hudak can leave the United States voluntarily and reapply for a new visa from his hometown of Vancouver, B.C., Judge Penny Smith said in a ruling filed Friday in El Paso, Texas.
The business visitor's violation occurred in 2002 when Hudak conducted day-to-day management of his company, High Energy Access Tools, or HEAT, for about 10 weeks, Smith found.
Hudak had sought to become a permanent U.S. resident.
Hudak's attorney expressed concern that his client might not be issued a new visa.
``The problem is whether they will allow him to cross the border,'' John Lawit said. ``If he's on a terrorist watch list, he may not get back in.''
Prosecutor Nicholas Perry did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
Hudak was acquitted last fall of nine federal felony charges, including exporting defense services without a license, possessing unregistered destructive devices and using explosives during the commission a felony.
China Warns Taiwan to Contain Post-Election Turmoil
By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A12
BEIJING, March 26 -- With Taiwan's presidential election still disputed in the streets, China warned Friday that it would not sit idly by if the island's post-election turmoil spun out of control and affected relations with the mainland.
The warning, from the government's Taiwan Affairs Office, marked China's strongest comment to date on contested balloting last Saturday that resulted in the reelection of President Chen Shui-bian. The statement, carried by the official New China News Agency, did not specify what China might do, but suggested that the Beijing government believes it has a role to play in Taiwan's political crisis.
"We will not sit by unconcerned should the post-election situation in Taiwan get out of control, leading to social turmoil, endangering the lives and property of our compatriots and affecting stability across the Taiwan Strait," it said.
The Taiwan Affairs Office spoke out after more than 100 angry protesters, some throwing eggs and rocks, burst past police and into the lobby of Taiwan's Central Election Commission, seeking to prevent the formal designation of Chen as winner. In addition, Chen's Democratic Progressive Party and the Nationalist Party of his opponent, Lien Chan, announced rival demonstrations for Saturday in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital, leading to fears of violence.
Despite the unruly crowd, the Central Election Commission went ahead with its declaration of Chen's ultra-thin victory. Lien's Nationalist Party nevertheless stuck to its demand that the vote be recounted, citing suspicion of irregularities, and vowed to reinforce the demand during the protest on Saturday.
Chen has agreed to a recount, saying he wants to lower tensions and get the island moving again. But lawmakers from both parties have for three days argued over how the new counting should be carried out and who should be responsible for certifying the recount. In the meantime, several thousand Lien supporters have camped out in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei, calling the vote invalid.
In a statement Friday, the White House congratulated Chen on his victory, but acknowledged that legal challenges to his victory remain. It also urged both Taiwan and China to exercise restraint.
As the island's political standoff simmered, a senior Chinese official in Beijing urged the Bush administration to cut off arms sales to Chen's government, saying Chen interprets U.S. military and other support as backing for his moves toward independence.
The demand fleshed out the contents of a telephone conversation Sunday between Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and the Chinese foreign minister, Li Zhaoxing, in which Li called on the United States to do more to rein in Taiwan's independence-minded leader now that he has been elected to another four-year term.
China announced that the conversation had taken place but did not detail what steps Li sought from the Bush administration. The Foreign Ministry official, who discussed key issues on condition he not be named, said the Chinese government essentially wants the United States to avoid any more gestures -- particularly arms sales -- that Chen can cite as U.S. endorsement of his policies.
China traditionally has opposed U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. But with the unwelcome prospect of four more years of Chen, Chinese officials seem determined to press their case more fervently, arguing that the United States increases the risk of conflict if it lets Chen get the idea that he enjoys Washington's support.
The government in Beijing repeatedly has expressed fear that Chen, emboldened by reelection, will take additional steps toward independence and bring the already tense standoff across the Taiwan Strait to a dangerous boil. The Beijing government, which sees Taiwan as part of China, has vowed to bring about reunion at any price, including war if necessary. But it fears that Chen, whom it regards as a reckless figure, has not taken the warnings seriously enough.
"We know Chen Shui-bian very well," the official said. "We hope he will mend his ways, but we doubt it. What he has said and done for the last four years shows his determination to carry out his plan for separation."
The United States has long declared that there is only one China, he recalled, and President Bush last December expressed opposition to any move by Chen that would change the status quo -- that is, any move toward independence. But at the same time, the official complained, the United States is selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, permitted then-Defense Minister Tang Yiau-ming to visit the United States in March 2002 and supported the Taiwanese government's bid to obtain a seat at the World Health Organization.
"You can't say one thing and do something else," he said.
The Bush administration in 2001 approved a multibillion-dollar package of arms sales to Taiwan. But little of that package has been ordered or delivered, mainly because of hesitations in Taiwan about the price tag and in the United States about whether missile defense systems should have higher priority.
Chen asked Taiwanese in a referendum that accompanied Saturday's presidential vote whether his government should buy improved missile defenses if China keeps 500 short-range missiles stationed in southern China. But the measure was defeated, with less than 50 percent of eligible voters voicing a preference.
Special correspondent Tim Culpan in Taipei contributed to this report.
China Warns Taiwan It Won't Tolerate Post-Vote Turmoil
March 27, 2004
By KEITH BRADSHER
The New York Times
TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 26 - Beijing issued a strong warning on Friday that it would not tolerate turmoil here, as hundreds of stone-throwing protesters fought with the riot police in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the official certification of President Chen Shui-bian as the winner of a disputed election last Saturday.
After restricting itself for a week to bland comments that it was watching the wrangling over who won the election, the policy making Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing warned in a statement on Friday, "We will not sit back and look on unconcerned should the postelection situation in Taiwan get out of control, leading to social turmoil, endangering the lives and property of Taiwan compatriots and affecting stability across the Taiwan Straits."
The Beijing agency did not say what China would do if political tensions here continued to rise. Beijing has previously cited turmoil in Taiwan or a formal declaration of independence by the island as two reasons the mainland may need to intervene militarily.
The Taiwan government's Mainland Affairs Council and the political opposition issued separate statements accusing Beijing of meddling in Taiwan's internal affairs.
Breaking glass entrance doors, throwing stones and eggs and pushing three rows of riot policemen out of their way, a crowd of protesters broke into a government building here on Friday afternoon as the Central Election Commission met on the building's 10th floor to certify President Chen and Vice President Annette Lu as the winners of the election. More riot police officers contained the crowd on the ground floor of the building. The protesters left after being urged by one of their leaders to save their energy for a confrontation with the military police on Saturday.
The two opposition parties, the Nationalist Party and the People First Party, whose joint ticket narrowly lost the presidential election, are preparing for a much bigger confrontation with the government on Saturday. They are busing supporters here from all over Taiwan in the hope of gathering 300,000 people in front of the presidential palace.
The larger Nationalist Party has called for the demonstration to be peaceful. But some People First Party activists have publicly suggested that the government will pay attention only to violence.
Prime Minister Yu Shyi-kun, a supporter of Mr. Chen's, condemned the rally in a statement, urging the opposition and the government's supporters to stay home so as to avoid clashes. "Do not let March 27 become a nightmare for Taiwan's democracy," he said in a statement.
A 10-block area around the presidential palace has been walled off for the last week, with every intersection entirely blocked by seven-foot-tall steel frames strung with many rows of barbed wire. Hundreds of riot policemen in helmets have taken turns around the clock standing guard behind the steel frames.
The certification of the election results allows the Nationalists to proceed with a lawsuit demanding at least a recount and possibly a new election. The certification also came as Mr. Chen's Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition Nationalist Party negotiated in the legislature over a bill that would require at least a recount. The Nationalists want a broader bill that would essentially force a new election.
Mr. Chen agreed last Tuesday to an initial demand for a recount from Mr. Lien and James Soong, the vice presidential candidate from the People First Party. But Mr. Lien has since rejected the idea of a recount, contending that the balloting last Saturday was unfair because Mr. Chen had attracted sympathy by surviving a shooting incident less than 19 hours before the election.
Mr. Lien has contended that as many as 500,000 residents switched their votes because of the incident, while the government insists that it had little effect.
Mr. Chen's aides also put Taiwan's military and police forces on nationwide alert after the shooting incident. The Nationalists contend that this kept 200,000 members of the armed services and the police from voting, an assertion that the Defense Ministry calls an exaggeration.
China to Rule on Hong Kong Vote
By Philip P. Pan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A13
BEIJING, March 26 -- China said Friday that it would convene a meeting of its top law-making body next week and issue a legal ruling that could determine whether Hong Kong can hold direct elections to choose its next chief executive in 2007.
The announcement by the official New China News Agency appeared to signal a decision by China's Communist leadership to reject growing public demands for universal suffrage in the former British colony despite the risk of triggering demonstrations like one that drew more than 500,000 people last year.
The report said the National People's Congress Standing Committee would meet April 2 and "give interpretations" of key provisions in Hong Kong's constitution related to changing the method of selecting the territory's chief executive and its legislature. "The committee aims to put an end to confusions and differences," it said.
Beijing essentially appoints Hong Kong's chief executive, and only half of the territory's legislators will be chosen in direct elections this year. The opposition Democracy Party and its allies have pressed China to allow the direct election of the chief executive in 2007 and of all lawmakers in 2008.
The Chinese government blasted Hong Kong's democracy advocates in a series of statements last month, but it refrained from ruling out elections, perhaps to avoid upsetting voters in Taiwan ahead of the island's March 20 presidential election.
China now appears to be trying to undermine support for democratic reform in Hong Kong by using the political turmoil in Taiwan, where the defeated opposition candidate has refused to concede the election. Several pro-Beijing politicians and newspapers in Hong Kong have argued that introducing direct elections there could lead to similar division and unrest.
China's announcement that it would issue a legal ruling on political reform took Hong Kong by surprise. Hong Kong's chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, said at a hastily arranged news conference that he had asked a government task force conducting public consultations on the subject to finish its work quickly and brief Beijing on its findings on Tuesday.
"I fully understand that members of the public may feel surprised when they learn of the . . . decision to contemplate interpretation of the Basic Law," Tung said.
He argued that "an authoritative decision" by Beijing would eliminate uncertainty and lay the foundation for realistic discussions of political reform in the territory.
But democracy advocates criticized the move as premature and a violation of the high degree of autonomy promised Hong Kong upon its return to Chinese rule in 1997, and they warned it could provoke a public outcry.
Special correspondent K.C. Ng contributed to this report.
Stepping In, China to Rule on Hong Kong Democracy
March 27, 2004
By KEITH BRADSHER
The New York Times
HONG KONG, March 26 - The Chinese government said Friday that it would decide next week what moves toward democracy will be allowed here in coming years, angering democracy advocates here.
The Basic Law, the mini-constitution that London and Beijing negotiated before Britain handed over the territory to Chinese rule in 1997, says that any electoral changes must be approved by the chief executive and the legislature here and then ratified by the National People's Congress in Beijing. In agreeing to the Basic Law, Beijing pledged in 1997 that it would allow Hong Kong to retain a separate political and economic system from the mainland for 50 years.
The standing committee of the National People's Congress has decided to issue an official interpretation of what the Basic Law allows in the way of electoral changes, the official New China News Agency announced. In the past month, a series of mainland officials have come forward to contend that the government should look beyond the exact language of the law to the intentions of the negotiators, especially the Chinese negotiators, who drafted it.
A Beijing official threatened earlier this month to declare a state of emergency here, suspend the Basic Law and impose mainland laws on Hong Kong if the territory appears to be falling into civil disorder that threatens China's security. Chinese Communist Party leaders have been deeply worried about Hong Kong's democratic example ever since 500,000 people marched in a demonstration on July 1 that forced the local government to withdraw stringent internal security legislation.
At a news conference on Friday night, Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong's chief executive since the change and a shipping tycoon handpicked by Beijing, welcomed Beijing's decision to issue an interpretation of the Basic Law. He said it would provide greater clarity about what Hong Kong could do in preparing to elect the next chief executive in 2007 and Legislative Council members in 2008.
But democracy activists were furious, saying that Beijing should allow Hong Kong residents to discuss among themselves how they want to choose their leaders.
"Constitutional reform is a Hong Kong issue, and we hope the Chinese government will give it back to the Hong Kong S.A.R. to settle by ourselves," said Jackie Hung, the spokeswoman for the Civil Human Rights Front, a coalition of nonprofit groups that organized the July 1 march and plans another big march on the same date this year.
Ms. Hung said the Civil Human Rights Front would decide on Saturday whether to organize a demonstration to protest Friday's decision by Beijing, and predicted that Beijing's recent stance would increase interest here in the next July 1 march.
Beijing officials became increasingly critical of democracy advocates here over the winter, asserting that they lack feelings of patriotism toward China and even accusing them and their families of treason for being critical of the Communist Party.
Beijing's tougher stance began after the main pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, fared badly in local elections on Nov. 23, prompting its chairman to resign. Political analysts here say that Beijing's biggest fear may be that the territory will elect more democracy advocates to the Legislative Council when elections are held in early September.
Under current law, a committee of 800 prominent citizens, most with ties to Beijing, chooses acceptable candidates to become chief executive, who then run against each other in a general election. Mr. Tung ran unopposed in securing a second five-year term in 2002.
The general public chose only 24 of 60 members of the Legislative Council in the last elections, in 2000. Industries and professions like banking and the law, which mostly but not entirely back Beijing, chose another 30 members, while the government chose the remaining six members. For the next election in September, the public will vote for 30 members, and industries and professions will choose the rest.
15 Iraqis, 1 Marine Killed in Firefight
Search Sets Off Clash in Fallujah
By Karl Vick and Naseer Nouri
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A01
FALLUJAH, Iraq, March 26 -- An early morning search operation by U.S. Marines erupted into what witnesses described as an intermittent, day-long firefight against Iraqi insurgents, the heaviest fighting since the Marines replaced Army troops this week as the occupation force in this restive town.
Iraqi medical workers here said 15 Iraqis were killed in the fighting; other sources put the Iraqi death toll at five to seven. Doctors counted 25 Iraqi wounded, at least two severely.
One U.S. Marine was killed, according to U.S. military officials, the 400th American combat death in Iraq. A U.S. military spokeswoman said several Marines were wounded in the operation.
Elsewhere Friday, four members of the U.S.-trained Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and three suspected rebels were killed in the northern town of Tikrit during a raid by Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers, news services reported.
Witnesses said the fighting in Fallujah ebbed and flowed throughout the day, attracting onlookers during lulls and then abruptly cutting down those in the line of fire as shooting resumed. It was the most intense clash in Fallujah -- a town 35 miles west of Baghdad that has been a center of Sunni Muslim resistance to the U.S.-led occupation -- since Feb. 14, when insurgents stormed the main Iraqi police station, killing uniformed officers and freeing prisoners.
The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force assumed security responsibility for Fallujah from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division on Wednesday. Marine commanders said beforehand that they would bring a "softer" approach to the volatile town, having platoons live in towns and villages around the Sunni Triangle while training Iraqi police and national guard units.
"For the people who would like the Iraqi people to be free and empowered to live in an atmosphere where they don't have to fear for their lives, our approach will indeed be softer," said a Marine spokesman, Maj. T.V. Johnson, speaking by satellite telephone from a Marine base outside Fallujah. "There is no soft approach for people who are out to fight and prey on innocent Iraqis."
Johnson called the reports of high civilian casualties "heart-wrenching," however.
A written statement released by the 1st Marine command emphasized that the operation was aimed at insurgents: "Those who seek to impede the freedom, prosperity and progress of the Al Anbar [province] residents are being physically challenged. Among those, some have chosen to fight. Having elected their fate, they are being engaged and destroyed."
Johnson said he could provide no details on Friday's firefight, which he described as an "offensive operation" that was still going on as midnight approached.
Residents said the clash unfolded during a Marine search operation that targeted houses in three neighborhoods -- two known as homes to former Iraqi military personnel, the third an industrial area at the town's edge.
Tahseen Ahmed, a hospital guard, said heavy fighting erupted between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., when insurgents opened fire on the Marines. News photographs taken on the insurgent side showed men with their faces masked by head scarves loading a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and preparing to fire toward the Americans.
"The shooting seems to be everywhere, because we received cases who were not mujaheddin, were not military, but civilians," said Rassan Obeid Firas, a physician's assistant, using the Arabic term for "holy warriors," as the insurgents are often called here. "We started receiving the victims a little bit after 8:30."
Five of the dead were brought to Fallujah General Hospital, a poorly equipped facility that was overwhelmed by the arrival of wounded and friends and family members clamoring for news. One of the dead was identified as Burhan Mohammed Mazhour, a freelance cameraman from the Fallujah area who had been working for ABC News for two months, according to the network.
"He was just interviewing me, taking footage of the dead and wounded people, right here," Firas said. "Ten minutes later they brought him here almost dead."
Townspeople said Mazhour was mortally wounded while en route to visit the family of another man killed in the fighting.
The dead also included a boy of 12 and a woman. Five more children were among the wounded, doctors said.
Ahmed Yusuf, 32, said he was shot in the shoulder by Marines while driving to a friend's garage in the 1986 Volkswagen Golf he had purchased the day before in Baghdad. After swinging onto a side road in the industrial area sprinkled with automotive repair shops, he was startled to see U.S. servicemen "in an attack position."
Yusuf said the Americans opened fire without warning. "They didn't yell, they didn't shout, they didn't say stop or anything. They just start shooting," he said.
He was hit once in the left shoulder and lost consciousness, he said. When he awoke a few minutes later, lying across the stick shift, he used his right arm to lift his damaged limb into his lap and began to push open the driver's door. A dozen Marines were standing in a circle, guns up, all aiming at him, he said.
"And this guy stepped forward and opened the door, and he shouted, 'Stop! Stop! Don't shoot!' " Yusuf said. The Marine summoned a medic, who dressed Yusuf's wound while consulting an Arabic-English dictionary.
Meanwhile, a second car approached and the Marines opened fire on it as well, Yusuf said. "And the soldiers shot him in the chin. So when the doctor finished treating me, he went and started treating him."
Yusuf said the medic washed the second man's wound with the water from a nearby tub used for finding leaks in tires, "but he was bleeding badly. I could see the blood coming through the bandage."
The incident left Yusuf, a businessman, at once grateful, outraged and puzzled.
"It was good that he treated me. He was doing a very good job. He didn't let me die," he said. "But why do they shoot and then treat?"
Another wounded man, Jamal Mahesem, said he was walking down a road at about 1 p.m. when he was shot in the leg. Doctors said the bullet was from an American assault rifle, as were all those recovered from the dead and wounded.
"I didn't even see the American soldiers,," said Mahesem, 33, a farmer. "I don't know why they started shooting. I didn't hear anyone shoot at them."
At nightfall, armored military vehicles continued to block the main highway to Baghdad. Drivers doubled back and steered off the pavement onto dusty, rutted tracks leading into the center of the city, which appeared largely calm.
At the main hospital, where guards warned foreign journalists against approaching the building because of the anger of the relatives inside, a man in white let out an anguished cry as he hurtled across the courtyard, doubled over. A body that had lain in the hospital since morning, shot twice in the chest and with both legs broken by bullets, had been identified at last. "My brother!" the man cried.
"They think that they're going to control the city by doing this?" Yusuf asked from his hospital bed. "They're wrong. They will never be able to control the city like this. They will turn the situation here to a war situation.
"This is not the way to treat Fallujan people. If they want to cool the situation and let the people cooperate with them, they have to start opening the factories, establishing big projects."
In Yusuf's ward, an elderly patient awoke and struggled slowly past the wounded man's bed. "What happened?" the man asked.
"I don't know," Yusuf said. "I was driving, and the Americans started shooting."
"You don't fool me," the old man said. "Those guys would never shoot unless somebody shot at them." And he walked back to his bed.
Up to 16 Die in Gun Battles in Sunni Areas of Iraq
March 27, 2004
By DEXTER FILKINS
The New York Times
FALLUJA, Iraq, March 26 - As many as 16 people, including a United States marine, were killed in a series of gun battles on Friday, as guerrilla violence swept the Sunni-dominated areas north and west of Baghdad in the latest show of strength by the insurgency here.
Among the Iraqis killed was a cameraman for ABC News, who a witness said was shot by American troops when he stepped into the middle of a skirmish.
[On Saturday morning, the violence moved into Baghdad's center when a roadside bomb exploded and damaged a passing vehicle, wounding two Iraqis inside, said Hamed Kadem, an Iraqi police commander. The vehicle, which was of a type commonly used by occupation authorities, was traveling in the Abu Nuwas neighborhood, along the Tigris.]
In the fighting on Friday, the attackers showed sophistication and ease of movement, despite the assertions of American officers that they are close to defeating the insurgency led by members of Saddam Hussein's fallen government and are dealing with a smaller number of foreign-led Islamic terrorists.
American officials in Falluja provided no information on the ABC cameraman or any other Iraqi casualties. A military spokesman said one marine had been killed and several others wounded.
The gun battle came after a week of steadily intensifying violence that has left at least three other marines dead and four wounded.
The fighting broke out when more than 300 marines entered a neighborhood on foot and were fired on by Iraqis.
In Tikrit, seven other Iraqis - three suspected insurgents and four Iraqi paramilitary troops - were killed during a large-scale attack on a suspected guerrilla hideout, officials said. They said the troops had captured 21 suspected guerrillas in that raid.
Falluja, long the epicenter of anti-American resistance, remains far from being under control. It seemed clear that the insurgents were popular enough to hide among the civilians with little fear of exposure.
"The insurgents had the Americans surrounded, and they had the advantage, because they knew the neighborhood and the Americans did not," said Omar Ali, an Iraqi cameraman for the APTN television network, who was standing next to the ABC cameraman when he was killed. "When the Americans called for the reinforcements, the insurgents withdrew."
The fighting followed a shift from the approach of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, whose troops had largely pulled out of the city and turned it over to the Iraqi police and paramilitary forces. In the last several months, American soldiers maintained no permanent posts here and ventured into the urban center only on patrols.
Since marines took over here this month, they have sent platoons of troops into the heart of the city. The fighting gradually intensified, with the guerrillas' attacks marked by varied tactics and firepower.
On Thursday, a convoy of marines moving through Falluja was hit by a homemade bomb and then attacked by insurgents firing rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles. One marine was killed, and two were wounded.
American commanders on Friday sent more than 300 marines on foot into the streets of the Askari neighborhood, near the scene of Thursday's attack. Marines closed the main highway connecting Falluja to Baghdad, 35 miles to east, and sealed off the neighborhood with tanks and armored cars.
[In a statement released early Saturday, the Marine Corps said it was carrying out "offensive operations in Falluja in order to foster a secure and stable environment for the people" of Al Anbar Province. The statement offered no details about casualties but indicated that marines were moving swiftly to crush the insurgents.]
"When the Americans came into the neighborhood, the guerrillas attacked them with mortars and R.P.G.'s," said Qasim Ubaid, an electrician who lives in the neighborhood. "The Americans were surrounded."
Mr. Ali, the APTN cameraman, said he and Bourhan Mohammed, the cameraman for ABC, were hiding behind a house when the guerrillas fired off a volley of rocket-propelled grenades.
"When he stuck his head out to check the Americans' reaction, he was hit by a bullet in the head," Mr. Ali said of the cameraman. "It came from where the Americans were."
Staff members at ABC's bureau in Baghdad confirmed Mr. Mohammed's death.
Lt. Ross Schellhaas, of the First Marine Expeditionary Force, said that his men had encountered sporadic attacks through much of the day but that the guerrillas had been easily dispersed.
He said his deeper concern was the attitude of the Iraqis civilians, in whom he sensed ambivalence about the American presence.
"Every one of us is waving to the Iraqis, even the guys who got shot at," the lieutenant said as his men moved through the neighborhood. "We're trying to let them know that we are here to help them."
"I don't know if they believe it or not," he said.
The renewed fighting seemed to generate anti-American antipathy here. At Falluja's main hospital, where the dead and wounded were taken, a group of angry Iraqis waved away an American reporter who tried to go inside.
"If you go inside, you'll be shot," said Abdul Nasir, a security guard. "I can't protect you. The families are crazy, and they are armed."
In a steady drumbeat of recent statements, American commanders and members of the civilian authority here have painted an optimistic picture of the security situation, saying that after the capture of Mr. Hussein, they cracked many of the guerrilla cells that had been attacking American soldiers. With the demise of insurgents once loyal to Mr. Hussein, they said, most of the violence is generated by foreign-led Islamist fighters.
The American argument suggested that the insurgency, never very popular among ordinary Iraqis, was now smaller than ever. There was a drop in the number of attacks against Americans evident in recent months, and that seemed to justify reducing American troops, as well as the replacement of many of the active-duty troops with reservists.
The American claims seemed to be buttressed by the discovery in January of a letter, reportedly written by the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, taking responsibility for many of the deadly suicide attacks. The writer of the letter said the Islamic guerrillas had encountered great difficulties in cultivating popular support among the Iraqi people.
But part of the reason for the drop in attacks was that American soldiers had stopped patrolling large swaths of Iraqi cities like Baghdad and Falluja. On the rare occasions that they returned to those areas, they were often greeted with enmity and gunfire.
Meanwhile, in the Askari neighborhood of Falluja, the marines' prospects seemed mixed. Mr. Ubaid, the electrician, said that a slim majority of the locals supported the Americans, but that they were too afraid to say so, fearing that the insurgents would kill them.
"Most of the people here, they support the Americans," he said.
Yet even Mr. Ubaid, telling his story in English, grew nervous.
A man from the crowd that had gathered round him said, "Come on, speak in Arabic so we can understand you."
"No," Mr. Ubaid said, "I prefer to speak in English. It's safer."
-------- israel / palestine
Israel Pushes White House to Accept Its Withdrawal Plan
March 27, 2004
New York Times
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN
WASHINGTON, March 26 - Israel wants the Bush administration to agree that if it pulls forces and settlers from Palestinian areas, three settlement clusters in the West Bank and near Jerusalem would be retained by Israel in any final accord on its boundaries, according to administration and Israeli officials.
The request for American approval of the proposal for the three areas to stay a part of Israel was pressed this week by aides to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in intensive discussions with administration officials in preparation for Mr. Sharon's coming visit to the United States. Administration officials said no decision had been made on Israel's request, which they said poses a quandary for President Bush. While he wants to encourage Mr. Sharon to carry out proposed withdrawals in Gaza and the West Bank, the timing is not ideal, and it remains unclear just how far - and how completely - Israel will withdraw.
Israel would like to keep two settlements outside Jerusalem, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion, and another in the West Bank, Ariel, which has served as a suburb of Tel Aviv. This plan is seen by some in the administration as reasonable, especially if in the process it leads to withdrawals from Gaza and large parts of the West Bank.
But administration officials said Israel had not yet made clear how far it would withdraw from other Palestinian areas, and whether it would retain the right to send forces back in should there be a Palestinian attack on Israeli civilians.
"There is a belief in the administration that this is the best chance out there to encourage an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza," said an administration official, describing the view of some in the administration. "But everything is very tentative right now."
The official said the administration was reluctant to go along with an Israeli plan that would anger the Arab world at a sensitive time, with tensions still high after Israel's killing on Monday of the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin.
The discussions between Israel and the United States come at a volatile time for American policies in the Middle East and accelerating involvement by Mr. Bush.
The White House announced Friday that Mr. Sharon would visit on April 14, and that President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt would visit Mr. Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., just before that date. Later next month, King Abdullah of Jordan is to come to the White House.
The diplomatic action is focused on Mr. Sharon's plan to move unilaterally to pull forces and settlements out of Gaza and unspecified parts of the West Bank.
American officials say Mr. Sharon's plan has the potential of rekindling peace talks, however, and they want to be sure that the pullout does not lead to a takeover in Gaza by Hamas and other militant groups.
At the White House, administration officials made clear that they would like to announce American support of the withdrawal, in part because they think it would demonstrate the success of Mr. Bush's approach in the region. The president is battling charges by Democrats that he has been indifferent to the cause of peace in the Middle East.
But some in the administration are concerned that a withdrawal from Gaza may embolden Hamas and amount to the abandonment of Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians.
The Bush administration also wants Jordan and Egypt involved in shoring up the Palestinian security structure, a subject they say is sure to be discussed next month with Mr. Mubarak and King Abdullah.
Mr. Sharon faces difficulties selling his withdrawal plans to his fractious cabinet and is looking for an American blessing to clear the way, according to Israeli officials.
"This could really serve as a breakthrough and bring peace to the Middle East," an aide to Mr. Sharon asserted. "The stumbling block is the ministers inside the government."
Accordingly, Israeli officials say, Mr. Sharon seeks a range of assurances from Washington, with some more acceptable to the administration than others.
Israel wants Bush administration approval of the right to retaliate in Palestinian areas in the event of terrorist attacks, and wants any final territorial agreements to be predicated on a Palestinian effort to crack down on groups that carry out such attacks. Israel also wants an understanding from Washington that in a final deal with the Palestinian side, there will be no "right of return" by Palestinians - the right asserted by the millions of Palestinians who fled Israeli territory in 1948 and afterward to get their homes back.
These assurances are believed by Israel to be easier to get than the request - which one Israeli official called a "core issue" - that the three settlement clusters be kept by Israel under all circumstances. Together, these three areas encompass more than 50,000 of the 230,000 total settlers in the West Bank, according to Israeli officials.
American officials note that the three settlement areas were envisioned as part of Israel in the final proposals put forward by President Clinton in 2000.
The Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, rejected the Clinton proposals, but many experts say it is highly likely that any final negotiation will include Ariel, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion as part of Israel.
Israeli officials said they had not abandoned the concept of negotiating with the Palestinian side to put in effect the peace plan known as the road map, which calls for a future Palestinian state next to Israel.
"In the absence of a Palestinian partner, we seek a package that would include steps on the ground to increase Israeli security and improve Palestinian lives," said Daniel Ayalon, the Israeli ambassador to the United States.
"We are also seeking assurances from the United States about the process, about sequencing, about the right of self-defense and about placing political pressure on the Palestinians to also implement their obligations on the road map," he added.
Israelis Say Hamas Is Not Able to Mount Major Retaliation
March 27, 2004
New York Times
By JAMES BENNET
JERUSALEM, March 26 - Israeli officials expressed growing confidence on Friday that Hamas militants would not manage to fulfill their threats of extraordinary retaliation for Israel's killing of their spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin.
Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank demonstrated Friday, the Muslim holy day, against the killing.
In Ramallah, 4,000 protesters who gathered in Manara Square listened to the amplified voice of Khaled Mashaal, a top Hamas leader who delivered his speech by telephone from his base in Damascus, Syria.
"The assassination of Sheik Yassin is a qualitative turning point for Hamas," Mr. Mashaal said, adding that it would be "returned back" to the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon. He said the assassination had strengthened Hamas by uniting Palestinians and generating support for Hamas across the Arab and Muslim world.
Abbas Zaki, a member of the Palestinian Parliament and a senior official of Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction, told the crowd that the Parliament would pass legislation honoring Sheik Yassin as "one of the greatest of the Palestinians."
A small protest against the killing of Sheik Yassin was reported in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and a larger one in Tehran, where some 5,000 marchers chanted, "Death to Israel, death to America."
Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Mr. Sharon, said Hamas was trying hard to retaliate but might not succeed in stepping up its violence. "The motivation is at an all-time high, but this is the limit of what they can do, at this stage," he said.
He said that, as Mr. Sharon speaks of a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas wanted to portray Israel as departing under fire. "It's going to be our fire, not their fire," he said.
Israeli missiles struck Sheik Yassin, a paraplegic, as he left dawn prayers in his wheelchair on Monday. Israel said he had masterminded Hamas, motivating suicide bombers and approving specific attacks. Seven other Palestinians also died in the Israeli attack.
At their demonstrations, Palestinians also denounced a United States veto on Thursday of a Security Council resolution condemning Israel for the killing. The Bush administration said the resolution should also have condemned Hamas killings of Israelis. Palestinians said the veto would embolden Israel in its military campaign.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinian gunmen who emerged from the Mediterranean overnight Thursday in wet suits, masks and flippers and attacked an Israeli settlement on the beach, the army said.
In the Deheisha camp in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers killed a 20-year-old Palestinian man during a confrontation with stone-throwers on Friday. The Israeli Army said the man threw a homemade gasoline bomb at an army jeep, setting it on fire, then failed to stop when soldiers fired warning shots.
Palestinian hospital officials said the man was shot in the back.
In Nablus, in the West Bank, a Palestinian militant died Friday when his compact car exploded. Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group connected to Fatah, claimed the dead man as a member and called his death an Israeli assassination. The Israeli military denied any involvement, and some Palestinians in Nablus said the car was carrying explosives.
Hamas, in claiming responsibility for the attack on the settlement in Gaza, called it the first of "earthshaking operations to come." The group released a videotape of the two gunmen boasting of their plans. They were wearing wet suits, with their masks pushed up on their foreheads.
The army said the two men emerged from the surf and began shooting with semiautomatic weapons at residents of the Tel Katifa settlement and at an army post.
One settler, Ari Odes, said he came under fire as he drove to Tel Katifa with his wife. "I pulled my head down and tried to aim the wheel so as to run him over," Mr. Odes told Israeli radio, adding that the man jumped out of the way. "There was a second terrorist who shot massive fire at the gate of the settlement and the outpost." Soldiers shot both men dead.
Israeli security officials reported a leap in warnings of possible attacks after the killing of Sheik Yassin. Since then, they say, there have been a total of 50 warnings.
But by increasing its military pressure on militants and the Palestinian population in general, Israel has substantially improved its success in thwarting attacks over the last two years. In March 2002, the bloodiest month for Israelis of the Palestinian uprising, militants conducted 17 successful attacks, according to statistics kept by the Israeli Army. Israel thwarted eight other attacks that month.
At the end of that March, Israel began its largest ground offensive since its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, sending armored forces sweeping through the West Bank. Since then, Israeli forces have regularly raided West Bank and Gaza cities and refugee camps. They have also ringed the major Palestinian cities, fortifying checkpoints and limiting Palestinian travel through the West Bank and Gaza and into Israel.
Since June 2002, Palestinian militants have not executed more than six attacks successfully in a month, and in several months they managed no more than one, according to the Israeli data.
Palestinian attempts also dwindled, at least before the killing of Sheik Yassin. In February, militants conducted two lethal attacks on Israeli civilians, including a bombing of a Jerusalem bus that killed eight people. According to the Israeli statistics, the army foiled four other attempted attacks that month.
Hamas Leader Vows 'Earthshaking' Revenge
March 27, 2004
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- Israel faces an ``earthquake'' of revenge for killing Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the militant group's Syrian-based leader said Saturday.
Yassin, a quadriplegic, was killed in an Israeli missile attack Monday as he was being wheeled out of a Gaza mosque. Israel has accused him of planning attacks that have killed hundreds of Israelis.
``I say with absolute certainty that the assassination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin will cause an earthquake to the Zionists,'' Khaled Mashaal told Dubai-based TV station Al-Arabiya. He said the revenge ``will spare no targets.''
Mashaal, who heads Hamas' political bureau, also criticized the United States for vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution Friday condemning Israel for killing Yassin, but said his group will not attack U.S. targets in the Middle East.
He warned, however, that ``America's bias'' toward Israel and its occupation of Iraq were creating enemies for it throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds.
``Hamas' ... battle is inside Palestine and against the Zionist occupation ... but I cannot predict what the reaction of Arab and Islamic masses might be,'' he said.
The United States lists Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Mashaal also urged Arab leaders not to revive a peace initiative with the Jewish state, saying ``peace with Israel has become an illusion.''
Some Arab states were hoping to revive a 2002 peace initiative toward Israel at an Arab League summit, but the meeting collapsed Saturday two days before it was to start, in part because of differences over the proposal.
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon-based Hezbollah, told a rally in Beirut his group was closing ranks with Hamas in the battle against the Jewish state. Hezbollah has launched numerous attacks against Israeli forces.
He taunted Israel, whose army chief suggested after Yassin's death that Nasrallah and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat could be next on Israel's hit list.
``The talk about assassinations does not frighten us,'' Nasrallah said. ``I tell the Israelis that we are here in Lebanon waiting for them.''
NATO Pledges Ships And Aircraft to Help Safeguard Olympics
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 27, 2004
NATO plans to provide aircraft and ships to help guard against terrorist attacks at this summer's Olympic Games, officials said yesterday, bolstering an international effort to support what Greece promises will be an unprecedented effort to protect athletes and spectators.
The pledge of NATO assistance came as the Greek government stepped up security preparations for the Games including training exercises earlier this week that Greek officials said included about 400 U.S. Special Operations troops. The Summer Olympics begin in August.
Preventing attacks at the Games has become a key focus of U.S. and foreign intelligence and security organizations. The CIA's top counterterrorism official visited Athens earlier this week for meetings related to security at the Olympics, a U.S. official said. FBI director Robert S. Mueller III told the Associated Press in an interview this week that he was worried about security at the Games and was waiting to review results of a pending counterterrorism exercise to see "if there are areas that need to be shored up."
For months, a U.S. government task force -- including the CIA, FBI, the Pentagon and the State Department -- has been monitoring Greek security for the Olympics and trying to provide trouble-shooting help where possible.
The emphasis on safety has only intensified as a result of the bombing attacks in Madrid on March 11 that killed 190 people. Yesterday, Greek officials pleaded with citizens to cooperate with tight security checks and inspections, the Associated Press reported from Athens, after some spectators at a Thursday lighting ceremony grew impatient and bypassed checkpoints.
NATO's role at the Olympics will likely be limited to providing aerial and naval security, and the alliance does not expect to have troops on Greek soil, said Marine Gen. James Jones, the military commander for the transatlantic security organization.
"I don't think we'll have a footprint ashore," said Jones, who also serves as the commander of all U.S. military forces in Europe and most of Africa, in an interview with Washington Post editors and reporters. Jones mentioned the use of NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft, which Greek officials said would be in the air around the clock during the Games. Jones also said guaranteeing coastal security would be vital at these Games, particularly because some spectators and Olympics officials will be housed on cruise ships offshore.
The presence of NATO troops in Greece is a sensitive issue. Anti-NATO feelings ran high in recent years in Greece, where a majority of the population opposed the 1999 U.S.-led intervention by the alliance in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
Indeed, even the NATO warships will operate in international waters, rather than in Greek territory, the Greek government said.
But U.S. and other NATO forces already are involved in security planning on the ground in Greece. U.S. Special Operations troops participated in a large-scale training exercise that concluded earlier this week, said Achilles Paparsenos, a spokesman for the Greek Embassy in Washington. A Pentagon spokesman for Special Operations activities had no comment on that.
The Greek counterterrorism exercise, dubbed "Hercules Shield 2004," was "the most elaborate and intensive security exercise" in that country's history, the Greek Embassy said in a statement. The 13-day exercise rehearsed responses to scenarios including bombings, aerial hijackings and biological attacks.
In addition to U.S. and other NATO special operations troops, the exercise involved 1,500 Greek police and emergency personnel, Paparsenos said.
But he also emphasized that the U.S. soldiers were in Greece as trainers, not to prepare to take a place in security during the Olympics. "No U.S. troops are expected to participate in security operations during the Games," Paparsenos said. "This is the responsibility of Greece, as the host country."
Greece plans to spend at least $800 million on security and deploy 50,000 police, army and other personnel, according to Paparsenos, who said that was three times the resources used in the Games at Sydney in 2000 and Salt Lake City in 2002. For help in security planning, Greek officials have been working for months with an Olympic Security Advisory Group made up of seven nations experienced in counterterrorism: the United States, Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Israel and Australia.
In addition, at the request of the Greek government, a biological warfare detection battalion from the Czech military will be on standby for the Games, Paparsenos said. The Czech armed forces have long been known for their expertise in chemical and biological defense.
Jones also told defense reporters in Washington that NATO's new rapid-response force will be positioned to act if necessary. "We'll do what we can to make sure that the Olympics go off in as secure a way as possible," he said, according to the Associated Press.
Military involvement in Olympic security has been growing in recent years. In the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City -- the first Olympics after Sept. 11, 2001 -- more than 4,000 U.S. troops were used.
Researcher Lucy Shackelford contributed to this article.
-------- pakistan / india
Pakistan Denounces Tape Calling For Revolt
Islamic Parties Protest President's Military Action
By Pamela Constable
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A12
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 26 -- The Pakistani government on Friday denounced a taped statement apparently made by a senior al Qaeda figure urging the country's army and populace to revolt, and officials insisted they would continue the military operations that have stirred unrest in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal areas.
"We condemn this statement in the strongest possible terms. It is aimed at creating instability and dividing the Pakistan nation," said Sheik Rashid Ahmed, the minister of information. "Those who claim to be defending Islam are actually working against it."
Meanwhile, a coalition of Islamic political parties formally allied with Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, staged protests in five cities, calling the president a traitor to Islam and demanding a halt to the army operations in the South Waziristan tribal area, where nearly 100 people have been killed in the past two weeks.
"Musharraf, you are killing innocent children and women, but don't forget that a bullet can also kill you," warned one Islamic cleric at a rally of about 4,000 men in Rawalpindi, a major city 15 miles from the capital.
The protest was peaceful, but demonstrators burned and kicked effigies of Musharraf, also the chief of Pakistan's army, and carried posters calling him a dog and a traitor. Musharraf, who survived two assassination attempts in December, has since moved more aggressively against Islamic radicals.
The Arabic satellite television network al-Jazeera broadcast a portion of an audiotape Thursday that purported to feature the voice of Ayman Zawahiri, the Egyptian Islamic militant who is a top aide to fugitive al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. On Friday, a CIA official in Washington said analysis of the recording indicated the voice likely was Zawahiri's, news services reported.
The tape accused the Musharraf government of bowing to U.S. pressure, betraying the "Islamic resistance" in Afghanistan and putting the Pakistani army in a "miserable state" by forcing it to fight fellow Muslims from the border tribes.
The possibility that Zawahiri had recorded the statement abroad was an embarrassment to the Musharraf government, which suggested last week that a "high-value target," possibly Zawahiri himself, was among the foreign Muslims cornered by Pakistani troops inside fortified tribal compounds.
Instead, the 11-day operation in South Waziristan by more than 5,000 army and tribal area troops has resulted in no known high-level terrorists being captured. Nearly 100 soldiers, militants and civilians have died, and 14 Pakistani troops or police have been taken hostage.
About 50 people have been arrested in several villages, reportedly including some of Chechen and Uzbek origin, but Pakistani officials and experts said Friday that many such foreigners settled in tribal areas years ago and were now part of the community.
The protracted military confrontation has kindled widening political opposition, including a walkout by members of the national parliament Thursday, the Islamic party protests Friday and scattered attacks on military targets across the tribal region that hugs the border with Afghanistan.
Military officials have held off further attacks for the last three days while tribal elders tried to negotiate the release of hostages and the surrender of foreign and local Islamic fighters hidden inside heavily guarded village compounds. So far, the initiative has not produced results.
On the other hand, officials said Friday that recently formed tribal armies had begun punitive actions such as house demolitions against families who refused to cooperate with military authorities or had been involved in recent attacks.
At Friday's rallies, speakers accused Musharraf of being a slave to anti-Islamic U.S. policies, called for his resignation and said he was pitting Pakistani troops and tribesmen against each other at his peril. Some tried to stir religious emotions by invoking the death of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the Palestinian militant leader assassinated by Israeli forces this week.
"The time has come for us to stand up like Sheik Yassin, not to take orders from America, but to stand up against the evil forces who would destroy our world," said Ghulam Sabiba, a Kashmiri Islamic leader and member of the five-party Islamic coalition that has been both Musharraf's critic and his negotiating partner.
Some opponents of Musharraf have charged that the Waziristan operation was hastily arranged to please U.S. officials when Secretary of State Colin L. Powell visited here last week. The Bush administration has repeatedly praised Musharraf for carrying out the raids, and it has rewarded his government by dropping economic sanctions imposed after nuclear tests in 1998 and a military coup in 1999.
But Pakistani officials, answering the criticism by Islamic groups, insisted Friday that they were only trying to rid the tribal areas of pernicious foreign extremists and were acting in the national interest rather than at Washington's behest.
"Pakistan does not need to take orders from anyone," Rashid Ahmed said late Friday. "Our troops are fighting foreigners, not tribesmen. Our war is against terrorists, and we won't allow anyone to use our soil for such actions." If anything, he suggested, the government waited too long to attack, after repeated amnesties gave militants the opportunity to reinforce themselves.
8 Hostages Executed in Pakistan Siege
March 27, 2004
By AMY WALDMAN
The New York Times
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Saturday, March 27 - Eight Pakistani soldiers who had been taken hostage by militants in Pakistan's tribal areas have been executed, officials said Friday, in the latest sign that the effort by Pakistan's government to flush foreign militants from the region has gone badly awry.
The operation has proved a demoralizing embarrassment for Pakistan's army, the country's most powerful institution. While several dozen militants have been killed, and nearly 200 taken prisoner, the government does not appear to have captured the high-profile targets that it claimed last week to have surrounded in a mud-walled compound.
At least 30 security workers have been killed in the operation, according to government officials, along with at least a dozen civilians. Twelve paramilitary soldiers and two low-level government officials are still being held hostage separately.
Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in the tribal areas, and resentment against the army is prompting fears that the violence could spread beyond South Waziristan, the area where the fighting has been concentrated.
Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, is under increasing pressure to resolve the standoff. Islamist parties staged scattered protests in cities throughout the country on Friday but over all were quite muted in their response.
But criticism of the operation has been rising in the news media and, more important, among former military officials - General Musharraf's most important constituency. One of them, a former major general, Anwar Sher, said Friday, "Because of our inefficiency we lost many soldiers."
The news of the executions came along with confirmation that the voice on a tape broadcast on Thursday was that of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's second in command. Pakistani officials had suggested last week that a high-profile target the militants were protecting could be Dr. Zawahiri. It is not clear whether the militant leader escaped through a network of tunnels emanating from the compound or whether he was never surrounded at all. But the tape, in which he calls for Muslims in Pakistan "to get rid of their government, which is working for Americans," can only increase the pressure on General Musharraf. Pakistani officials have said that a similar message from Dr. Zawahiri prefigured the two assassination attempts against him in December.
The eight soldiers were taken hostage on Monday in an ambush of a supply convoy in Serwakai, about 20 miles east of Wana, the regional headquarters, in which 12 other soldiers were killed. Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultant, the director general of Inter Services Public Relations, said the eight soldiers appeared to have been killed a few days ago.
The administrator for South Waziristan, Muhammad Azam Khan, said the bodies of the eight soldiers were first spotted by a woman going to get water in a mountainous region near Serwakai. The soldiers were in uniform with their hands tied behind their backs, according to Haji Muhammad Nawaz, an Abdullai Mehsud tribesman. An official who saw the bodies said they had been shot at close range.
Armed tribal volunteers from the Mehsud tribe turned the bodies over to the authorities, General Sultant said. He would not specify what action, if any, the government would take in response.
Under the largest deployment of military and paramilitary forces in any tribal region since Pakistan's inception, about 5,000 paramilitary and regular army soldiers have been battling an estimated 400 to 500 local and foreign militants for 11 days in South Waziristan, not far from the border with Afghanistan.
The operation began just days before Secretary of State Colin L. Powell visited Islamabad with the aim in part of securing greater cooperation in cracking down on militants using the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. Pakistani forces met unexpected resistance when they tried to flush out foreign militants, and events quickly spiraled because of the belief that troops had surrounded Dr. Zawahiri.
On Sunday the government had more or less called a halt to fighting in an effort to negotiate with tribal leaders for the surrender of militants and the release of hostages. But those efforts have so far failed, and the executions appear to have complicated matters further.
A jirga, or tribal council, which had gone to meet militants at an undisclosed location near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Thursday, returned with little to show. Officials said the jirga conveyed to the militants the government's demands that they surrender foreign and local militants and release the remaining hostages. But a tribal elder said the militants wanted the military to pull back from its siege and allow those trapped to leave.
Another jirga is scheduled for Saturday between elders of the Zalikhel tribe, which has five members the government accuses of harboring militants, to try to secure the release of the paramilitary soldiers and two low-level government officials. The Zalikhels have been joined by a group of clerics and some influential tribesmen from other regions to reinforce efforts to help recover the hostages.
In recent days, Pakistani officials have begun conceding that most of the important targets likely slipped away through tunnels that offered not only a way out to the militants, but also cover to an army eager to scale back its pursuit of them. The corps commander in Peshawar, Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain, had said Thursday that he planned to wind up the operation by Saturday. "We have achieved our objective of destroying and denying sanctuary to militants," he said.
An official said the army had completed 75 percent of the work involving demolition of houses of suspected militants. "They would leave the area the moment they demolish the remaining targeted houses there," the official said. A senior Afghan intelligence official with connections in the area said that about 300 homes had been destroyed, and close to 200 people arrested. Of those, 60 are Afghan refugees, the official said, and 17 are foreigners.
Mohammad Khan contributed to this article from Peshawar, Pakistan.
Russia launches Proton rocket with military satellite
Mar 27, 2004
A Russian Proton rocket carrying a military satellite blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome early Saturday, Russian news agencies reported.
The satellite, which would become part of Russia's military satellite network, would reach its intended orbit later on Saturday, military officials said.
NASA Seeks New Frontier in Jet Engines
March 27, 2004
By WARREN E. LEARY
The New York Times
WASHINGTON, March 26 - It is to last just 10 seconds, but researchers say this brief firing of a new kind of jet engine could be the first step toward revolutionizing high-speed air and space travel.
An experimental unmanned jet called the X-43A is being readied for a dash at the edge of space on Saturday that could see it reach a speed of 5,000 miles per hour, seven times the speed of sound, in testing the concept of a scramjet engine.
If testing is successful, NASA's 12-foot-long X-43A will become the first nonrocket, air-breathing plane to reach hypersonic speeds, a development engineers hope could lead to sending payloads into space much more cheaply or to aircraft that could whisk people to any point in the world within two hours. "This could be the beginning of a revolution in aviation," Vincent L. Rausch of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., said Wednesday in an interview. "We're ready to go and looking forward to getting this flight off."
The flight plan calls for a modified NASA B-52 bomber to drop the 2,700-pound X-43A, attached to a booster rocket, from 40,000 feet above the Navy's Pacific test range off the California coast at 4 p.m.
The rocket is to accelerate the craft, made of steel and aluminum alloys, to 100,000 feet and Mach 7 before the vehicles separate. Seconds later, the scramjet is to fire for 7 to 10 seconds and propel the X-43A about 5,000 m.p.h., after which the craft will conduct a series of high-speed maneuvers before crashing into the sea. There are no plans to recover the X-43A because of the expense that would be involved.
Researchers have tested scramjet, or supersonic-combustion ramjet, engines in laboratories for decades, but none have been flown successfully. Conventional turbojets work by concentrating air with fan-like blades in a compressor, combining it with fuel and burning the mixture to produce thrust. Faster speeds can be attained using ramjets, which forgo the compressor and use a specially shaped inlet to concentrate air for burning when moving at high speed.
Airplanes powered by scramjets, engineers believe, could travel at thousands of miles per hour. And space rockets, instead of carrying heavy liquid oxygen to burn with their fuel, could use scramjets to scoop it out of the atmosphere and carry more cargo into orbit.
Although engine burns of a few seconds may not seem significant, project engineers say the data will be vastly superior to any from wind tunnels and will show how the engine works under real conditions. More than 500 sensors will provide information about almost every aspect of the flight, officials said.
Saturday's test flight will be the second, and most crucial, attempt to fly the X-43A. The first flight of one of three vehicles built for the program ended in failure on June 2, 2001, after a modified Pegasus rocket that carried the X-43A veered off course after being launched from a B-52 and was destroyed by range safety officials.
An investigation board found that preflight analysis, including wind tunnel tests, of the Pegasus-X-43A combination was inadequate and failed to predict how the rocket would perform in flight when launched from 23,000 feet. The resulting instability doomed the Pegasus booster, made by Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Va.
Mr. Rausch, who is manager of the Hyper-X program, which includes the X-43A, said numerous changes have been made to increase chances of success, including strengthening control systems for the booster rocket and raising the launch altitude to 40,000 feet to reduce stress.
"We've done everything within reason to make this one successful, but this is a risky experiment and there are no guarantees," he said.
Also riding on the mission is the flight of the third X-43A craft, which is tentatively set for this fall. Craig Steidle, the head of NASA's new Office of Exploration Systems, recently canceled a follow-on X-43C demonstrator with a different engine because its technology did not fit the agency's new space goals of sending humans to the moon and Mars. Mr. Steidle said he would support the third X-43A flight if the second demonstration was successful.
Hyper-X is a seven-year, $230 million effort to get flight data on air-breathing engine technologies for hypersonic flight. The program is being conducted jointly by NASA's Langley center, which is in charge of design and ground testing, and its Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.
Growing Doubts On Vaccine In Military
Some Refuse, Citing Lack of Iraqi Anthrax
By Marilyn W. Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 27, 2004
With each report on the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Airman Jessica Horjus asked a question: If inspectors could find no signs of anthrax, why should the Pentagon risk her health by requiring her to get the anthrax vaccine?
"I have a kid to take care of," said Horjus, 23, the mother of a 2-year-old, who lives with her daughter in military housing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. "The Air Force can always fill my slot with someone else, but who's going to fill the mommy slot?"
When a January order came for Horjus to get the vaccine before deploying to a Kuwait air base about 30 miles from Iraq, the soldier with commendations and Good Conduct Medals declined. Her commander demoted her and cut her pay in half, to less than $800 a month. In February, she declined a second and third order.
Horjus is one of a number of soldiers who cite the lack of anthrax in Iraq as a reason behind their stance against the mandatory anthrax vaccine. As the Pentagon moves thousands of troops into Iraq as part of a huge rotation of forces, soldiers, citizen groups and members of Congress are increasingly calling upon defense officials to stop the vaccinations.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) sent a letter last week to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld asking him to reevaluate the mandatory policy in light of events in Iraq. "The apparent absence of an Iraqi biological warfare capability raises serious questions about the threat of an anthrax attack against our troops," Bingaman wrote. "The use of a vaccination which appears to have the potential for serious health consequences for our troops in an effort to counter a threat that may not exist seems to unnecessarily expose our troops to risk."
The Pentagon now requires inoculation for any soldier about to deploy for more than 15 days to what it defines as a "high-risk" area for anthrax attack. Concerned about reports of illnesses and a death last year that officials linked to the vaccine, soldiers headed to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are asking more questions about the program's rationale.
"There is no evidence that stockpiles of anthrax exist in Iraq or with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere," Horjus wrote in a memo to the base's appellate authority. "As a single mother, I cannot afford to unnecessarily risk my long-term health on a highly-reactive vaccine that supposedly protects against a threat that cannot be found."
After four years of service, the young mother last week accepted the Air Force's offer of an other-than-honorable discharge and prepared to return home to Yorktown, Va.
Vaccine opponents say they are tracking dozens of cases of soldiers who are refusing the vaccine. The demand for troops is so high that unvaccinated soldiers may find themselves deployed nonetheless. Some are on duty in and near Iraq and are closely monitoring the frustrated hunt for banned weapons, knowing they will face punishment for disobeying orders when they return.
Pentagon officials insist that refusals are extremely rare and that the unsuccessful search for the weapons has not changed their thinking about the merits of the mandatory vaccine. The anthrax threat, they say, is not a distant risk but was underscored by the 2001 domestic letter mailings that killed five people and left thousands vulnerable to grave illness or death.
"The lethal anthrax attacks of the fall of 2001 did not need a sophisticated delivery system," Defense Department spokesman Jim Turner said in an e-mail response to questions. "We vaccinate our people to keep them healthy."
Vaccine opponents have become increasingly organized and vocal about the health risks of the AVA vaccine, a product that has accumulated thousands of reports of adverse reactions ranging from headaches and vomiting to severe autoimmune and neurological problems. Opponents are using the courts to press the health issues and lobbying Congress to give relief to soldiers whose careers ended abruptly over their refusals to line up for shots.
"When troops find out that any one portion of what they've been told is a lie, they question the rest of it," said Kathryn Hubbell, who helped set up a nonprofit group, the Military Vaccine Education Center, to work with soldiers. It is also organizing a political action committee to raise money for its lobbying efforts.
Among the hotly contested issues is the Pentagon's accounting of the number of soldiers who have been "separated" from the services for refusing to take the required six-shot regimen. Congress was so concerned about the issue in the program's early years, when hundreds of soldiers resigned the military rather than be vaccinated, that it began requiring the Defense Department to report annually the number of soldier separations.
The department's reports for 2001 and 2002 show only three separations, and numbers for 2003 are due this spring. Vaccine opposition leader John Richardson, a retired Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel, calls the Pentagon numbers a "willful misrepresentation" used to encourage good order and discipline. He says the Pentagon uses the strictest interpretation of the data, failing to count cases such as Horjus's that did not result in court-martial and forced removal from the military. Since the vaccine program began, about 100 active-duty soldiers have been court-martialed for refusing the vaccine, according to congressional testimony and documents.
Victims' advocates say they have become aware of 45 cases involving vaccine refusers since 2002. These soldiers find themselves subjected to a wide range of punishments.
"We've seen everything from quiet discharge to court-martial to imprisonment with 60 to 90 days in the brig," said Randi Airola, a victims' advocate who left the Michigan Air National Guard in 1999 because of her own vaccine refusal. "We've seen soldiers threatened with two to three to 10 years in prison when, in the military, even rape or drug charges may not get you 10 years in prison. The punishment is based solely on the discretion of the individual commander -- and some want to use a sledgehammer to get people to comply."
Airola recently gave a congressional committee 32 pages of e-mails sent to her by soldiers who believe they have been made sick by the shots or are refusing to be vaccinated.
"In light of these problems," she wrote, and the absence of weaponized anthrax spores in Iraq or Afghanistan, "it is unacceptable for Congress to continue to follow the line that the vaccine is safe, effective and good enough for our troops and to jail those who refuse."
A key question in the vaccine debate is the safety of AVA, a product that has been used since the 1950s to inoculate textile workers and laboratory personnel at high risk of anthrax exposure. The vaccine was licensed by federal regulators without being tested in large-scale human clinical trials. But the Pentagon points to a 2002 report from the Institute of Medicine declaring the vaccine safe and effective.
The vaccine, made by BioPort Inc. of Lansing, Mich., is now under attack in three separate federal lawsuits brought by affected soldiers.
In U.S. District Court in Washington, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a preliminary injunction late last year that caused the Pentagon to briefly halt vaccinations. The program resumed after the Food and Drug Administration offered assurances in February that the vaccine was safe. The case, brought on behalf of six anonymous servicemen who believe they were made ill by the vaccine and for all of those "similarly situated," is set for oral arguments in May.
Two federal judges have suggested that the military will be held accountable if it is using soldiers to test an investigational drug without their informed consent. Pentagon officials seemed poised to stop the program before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks gave it a reprieve. In December, the Pentagon agreed to buy an additional 245 million doses of BioPort's vaccine.
The Defense Department and other federal agencies have worked to find a new anthrax vaccine that will produce fewer side effects.
Horjus said her decision to refuse the BioPort vaccine was based largely on research and observation. Her estranged husband took the shots before deploying to Saudi Arabia and became ill with a fever and lung congestion. She said she read everything she could about the vaccine, doing what the military expects a good soldier to do -- "use your head."
Horjus said she became convinced that the BioPort vaccine was unsafe and experimental, its effects on women of childbearing age unknown. She and others were upset by a case that drew wide attention in November, when a coroner ruled that "post-vaccine" problems may have contributed to the death of Army Spec. Rachel Lacy.
Army Lt. Gen. James B. Peake of the U.S. Army Medical Command sent a memo to commanders in February mentioning Lacy's death and telling them to be alert for adverse reactions. "The overwhelming majority of immunizations are followed by mild symptoms. . . . Unfortunately, the U.S. Army lost a valuable soldier in April, 2003, a month after receiving five vaccinations during mobilization," Peake wrote. "Although the evidence was inconclusive, medical experts determined that vaccination may have contributed to her death."
Adding to Horjus's concern were reports of two airmen at Seymour Johnson who became seriously ill after receiving the shots.
One soldier said in an interview she has suffered lightheadedness, night sweats and "grayouts" since receiving three of the six required shots. She asked that her name not be used because of fears that it could hurt her effort to get specialized treatment at a Walter Reed Army Medical Center vaccine clinic.
"Before these shots, I was a normal, healthy 20-year-old," she said. "So far, I've dodged the fourth shot, but if they try to make me take it, I'll be traveling down Jessica Horjus's path."
Horjus and the two sick soldiers have become part of Airola's outreach network. She directs soldiers and their families to medical information and counsels soldiers preparing to refuse the vaccine. Many, she said, write letters to their commanders explaining that they are willing to deploy, even to indemnify the military against any possible anthrax exposure they might suffer on the battlefield, but "they just don't want to take these shots."
At Fort Campbell, Ky., Army Sgt. Richard Norris, 27, is awaiting punishment for refusing the shots. When his unit of the 101st Airborne Division left for Iraq in February 2003, Norris was sent anyway, with no vaccine -- and no questions asked.
He returned in December to find himself still flagged as "punishment pending," a status that has "put my whole career basically on pause.
"I've served my country for seven years," said Norris, a Seventh-Day Adventist who tried unsuccessfully to get a religious exemption from the vaccine program. "Refusing this vaccine is the first bad thing I've ever done. It wasn't even necessary to have this vaccine, and still I'm going to be punished."
A year later, soldiers still live with effects of Iraq accident
Saturday March 27, 2004
By STEPHEN MANNING
Associated Press Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The muscles in Sgt. Kenneth Dixon's legs twitch sometimes, small spasms he can't control. They're the only flickers of life in the paralyzed legs that sit limp in his wheelchair. Still, he thinks he might walk again.
Pfc. David Mahlke peers into his bathroom mirror in Winona, Minn., through his remaining good eye every morning to see a moon-shaped scar across his forehead, his daily reminder of the moment he nearly died.
When the piercing migraines haunt Spc. Don Beckwith, he remembers the searing pain from his shattered jaw, hears the screams of injured men piled on top of him. And he relives the agonizing wait for someone to pull him from the crashed Bradley fighting vehicle he thought would be his grave.
The men are among six who were in the back of the Bradley last March 28 when it plunged into what they call ``the hole'' in the Iraqi desert. Five survived.
They're also among more than 3,200 men and women who have been injured in Iraq since the war began a year ago. For many, life will never be the same. They form a steady stream through military hospitals amputees taking cautious first steps on prosthetic limbs, paraplegics adjusting to life without the use of their legs, soldiers whose daily routines revolve around rigorous physical therapy sessions.
Three of the five survivors of the Bradley continue to nurse physical wounds, some that may never fully heal. Each of the five harbors dark memories of those frantic moments in the back of the Bradley.
``I didn't think we were ever going to come up out of there,'' Beckwith said, his quiet voice dipping even lower. ``I thought it was that time.'' ^ =
The roughly 160 men of Alpha Company were the vanguard of the thrust into Iraq, part of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment of the Army's 3rd Division, which later became the first U.S forces to enter Baghdad.
The unit, based out of Fort Stewart in Georgia, worked ahead of the lines, clearing the way for the main force. Known as ``dismounts,'' they rode in the back of fast armored Bradleys, heavily armed and ready to storm out for a firefight.
On March 28, the 3rd Infantry was about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad, preparing to cross the Euphrates River and move on the city's airport.
In the closed back compartment of the Bradley, six exhausted men dozed as it sped across the dark desert on the way back from a night mission. Along with Dixon, Mahlke and Beckwith were Sgt. Roderic Solomon, 32; Spc. Rogelio Herrera, 26, and Pfc. Joseph Matherne, 24. The Bradley commander, gunner and driver sat in separate compartments in front of the vehicle.
Solomon, known as ``Solo,'' and Dixon, then 35, were among the oldest men in the unit. They took on the task of looking out for the younger soldiers, pulling late shifts so the other men could rest. After the crash, Dixon demanded that Mahlke be taken from hospital to hospital with him so Mahlke wouldn't be alone.
The Bradley was moving fast enough that it seemed like it would tip over, Beckwith recalled. The next thing the men knew, the Bradley was soaring into a 20-foot deep ravine, landing nose first at the bottom with enough force to snap the main turret gun.
In the back, the six men slammed against the front bulkhead, piling up into a jumble of limbs, bodies and high explosives. The vehicle's power cut out, plunging them into darkness.
Dixon could feel Solomon on top of him, and heard him gurgle as he struggled to breathe. Two TOW missiles, with explosives strong enough to pierce the armor of a tank, fell across Dixon's back.
At the bottom of the pile, Herrera panicked as pain washed across his face, the first sign of his broken jaw and shattered teeth. Beckwith drifted in and out of consciousness, his jaw crushed and scalp torn open. Below him, Matherne awoke after blacking out to find Beckwith bleeding on him. Herrera remembers Mahlke screaming in pain.
In the front, the Bradley's driver, commander and gunner suffered relatively minor injuries. Dixon believes the men in back were more seriously injured because they were thrown around, while those up front didn't have much room to fall.
It took an agonizing two hours for rescuers to pull them out and three more hours before the area was deemed safe enough to land Blackhawk rescue helicopters. Solomon died during that wait.
A staff sergeant held Dixon in his arms as they waited to be evacuated. He couldn't feel his legs, but didn't know yet know that he was paralyzed.
``I kept asking, 'What's wrong with Solo?''' Dixon remembers. ``Nobody would tell me anything, they just told me everything was OK.'' ^ =
A year later, only three of the survivors are still in the Army, and of those, only Herrera is eligible for combat. Lingering back problems have relegated Matherne to a job at the Fort Stewart gym while Beckwith's injuries prevent him from wearing heavy Kevlar protective gear.
Mahlke is back home in Minnesota, enrolled at Winona State University and working part time as a meat cutter in the local market. He's on temporary medical retirement and isn't sure he wants to return to the Army.
Pieces of titanium and globs plaster fill the soft spots in his skull, placed there during one of the three surgeries to relieve the hematoma he suffered in the crash. He is blind in one eye and lost his sense of smell. He can't remember anything from the accident, including when his heart stopped beating.
The biggest change is that Mahlke, who was just 19 when the crash occurred, has left the teenager behind. He's matured, according to his dad, and isn't as impulsive as before.
``He figured he had nine lives and now he knows he's left a couple of them in the desert,'' said his father, also named Dave Mahlke.
Mahlke still wrestles with what the accident means for his life and future.
``I was told by lot of people that everything happens for a reason,'' he said. ``I'm just not sure what it is.''
Herrera's jaw was temporarily wired shut after the accident so it could heal. He lost a few teeth and will need braces to correct the ones jarred out of place.
The Los Angeles native is a Bradley gunner now, preparing for an expected return of the 3rd Division to Iraq. He says he doesn't think of the crash much. But the sickly feeling of falling into empty space still ripples through the pit of his stomach every time his Bradley makes a sharp turn.
``Any time we are rolling around and I feel a bit of zero gravity, I kind of freak out,'' he said. ``That is why I am in there. I've got to overcome it.''
Matherne is on active duty but may not be able to redeploy to Iraq with this unit. He wants to stay in the service to support his wife and their baby, due later this year.
He dislocated a shoulder and banged his head during the crash, but has no serious lingering effects. He feels pangs of guilt over why he came through unscathed while Solomon, a man who helped him often, died. He burst into tears when he first saw Dixon in a wheelchair.
``I came out pretty much OK. It's hard for me to grasp,'' he said. ``I couldn't for the life of me see why he (Solomon) would die.''
Beckwith's jaw, broken in four places, was patched together with a metal plate, but it sits farther back on his face than it used to and will have to be rebroken and reset. He's had a string of visits to neurologists to quell his migraines and takes strong painkillers to keep them at bay.
When the headaches take hold, at least five times a month, he goes ``into a zone,'' unreachable, according to his wife, Nashelleh.
He wants out of the Army because he doesn't want to put his wife and four children through that kind of worry again. ``There's not telling if I would come back,'' he said.
But at home near Fort Stewart, he also thinks more about what life has given him. He and Nashelleh just had their fourth child, a girl, in February. They had a name picked out before the birth, but at the last minute, Beckwith changed his mind.
``He said, 'Let's name our miracle 'Angel' because of everything we've been through,''' Nashelleh said. ``I think she was our blessing.''
For Dixon, the year since the crash has been a long adjustment to life without the use of his legs, and almost as important to him, without the Army.
He's had a series of hospital stays first at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and then three months last summer at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond. He's had to relearn the basics of life: how to dress, how to take a shower, how to get out of bed.
It's hard work. Dixon grimaces as he hoists himself out of his wheelchair, using only his arms, flopping onto a bench so that his physical therapists can adjust the chair. They chide him over his weight he's put on paunch lately even though he bought a home gym to revive the ``stud'' who could once bench press 250 pounds.
Dixon has been busy since he was last at McGuire. On Veterans Day, he was invited to the White House to meet with President Bush and he's done public service announcements for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. He and his wife, Allescia, carry around blueprints of a wheelchair-accessible house they're building in Augusta, Ga.
But the one thing he can't get back is the Army life. Dixon still hangs out at Fort Stewart and even coaches the Alpha Company basketball team. But it's not the same as spending every day with the men on training exercises or just hanging out. Sometimes he breaks down into tears when he gets home.
For now, however, his life has a near-singular purpose walking again. He takes the twitches in his legs as a sign that his dulled nerves may someday reawaken.
``There's a one in 100 chance of me walking again. It's not good odds. But I still believe I'll be standing again. I'm not going to stop believing,'' he says between appointments at McGuire.
``You'll be that one out of 100,'' Allescia tells him.
-------- propaganda wars
Coalition Sets Up Iraqi Media Commission
Saturday March 27, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, with less than 100 days left running the country, set up a $6 million commission to regulate the news media, a senior coalition officials said on Saturday.
The Iraqi Communications and Media Commission, whose nine members will be appointed by the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority in consultation with the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, will organize telecommunications and broadcast operators and devise codes of conduct, the coalition official said during a briefing at which the official demanded anonymity.
``The aim is to keep politicians at arms length,'' the official said.
The commission also will be responsible for issuing broadcast licenses and setting rates and conditions for the operators.
``We want to establish a professional standard. We don't want repressive press laws,'' the official said.
After the U.S.-led coalition toppled Saddam Hussein last year, Iraqis started dozens of newspapers and radio and television stations. The news media were controlled by the government under Saddam.
Polls show war criticism hurts Bush
March 27, 2004
By James G. Lakely
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Two polls released this week suggest that a well-publicized book critical of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and the hearings looking to assign blame for the intelligence failures before the September 11 attacks have politically damaged President Bush.
A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll released Thursday found that 65 percent of respondents were familiar with the charges put forth by former White House counterintelligence expert Richard A. Clarke that Mr. Bush failed to do all he could to prevent the terrorist attacks.
Of those who were familiar with Mr. Clarke, 52 percent found the accusations he made in his new book and his testimony Wednesday to the commission to be at least "somewhat believable."
The poll also put Mr. Bush's favorability rating at 50 percent, the lowest number of his presidency, and a slim majority - 52 percent - said they found the president "trustworthy," also his lowest number.
Democratic consultant Donna Brazile said she is not surprised to see the charges of Mr. Clarke having an effect on the president's standing with the public because the administration's response was weak.
"The only response they had was to smear the source instead of explaining what happened," Miss Brazile said. "This administration is not beyond reproach."
The latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll also shows that the flurry of attention given to Mr. Clarke caused a six-point dip in Mr. Bush's re-election numbers.
As of yesterday the daily tracking poll, based on 500 phone interviews every day, shows Mr. Bush losing re-election to presumed Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry 47 percent to 44 percent.
Sunday afternoon, before Mr. Clarke's interview promoting his book on CBS's "60 Minutes," Mr. Bush had a 48 to 45 lead over Mr. Kerry.
"It was a dramatic turnaround in a couple of nights, and when something like that happens on one night, I like to see if there is some traction," said Scott Rasmussen, who runs the poll. "And there certainly was."
Bush-Cheney '04 campaign spokesman Terry Holt said he was unconcerned about the poll results and confident that the public will soon realize that Mr. Clarke's charges are not credible.
"Dick Clarke's credibility was destroyed by his own words," Mr. Holt said, pointing to the praise Mr. Clarke had for the president's leadership in the war on terrorism in a briefing with reporters in 2002 and when he tendered his resignation in January 2003.
"The American people know politics when they see it," Mr. Holt said. "The facts of the last few days make it clear that this president took a policy of swatting at flies [from the Clinton administration] and turned it into making al Qaeda the highest priority in the war on terror."
Republican political consultant Frank Donatelli said this attack on the keystones of Mr. Bush's campaign has been effective, at least for now.
"When someone attacks the central pillar of the president's strength - the war on terror and his credibility - sure it would suffer," Mr. Donatelli said. "But we'll have to see what the long-term implications are. It's a long campaign."
Democratic consultant Dick Morris thinks the Clarke flap - no matter the perception - can only help Mr. Bush.
"Kerry is losing the message game," Mr. Morris said. "Bad news [in the war on terror] is good news since it heightens the focus on terror, and good news is good news since it does that and it indicates that we are winning the war on terror.
"This is not a contest between two candidates; it's a contest between two issues: terror and everything else," he said. "If the election is about terror, Bush wins. If it's about everything else, Kerry wins."
-------- war crimes
Who Won World War II?
by Ran HaCohen,
March 27, 2004
World War II plays a major role in our conception of human history, because, unlike the senseless carnage of World War I, it stands for an ideological struggle between Good and Evil. Whereas the Allies - Britain, the USA and even the Soviet Union - stressed, at least formally, their commitment to the humanistic values of the Enlightenment, Hitler's Germany did away with them altogether, worshipping barbarian values like power and race instead, taking pride of its brazen contempt for morality, international conventions and the rule of law.
This radical difference can best be illustrated by two diametrically opposed definitions of the aims of War. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th edition) comments:
"Civilized warfare, the textbooks tell us, is confined, as far as possible, to the disablement of the armed forces of the enemy; otherwise war would continue till one of the parties was exterminated."
Compare this with Adolph Hitler's words:
"The aim of war is not to reach definite lines but to annihilate the enemy physically. It is by this means that we shall obtain the vital living space that we need."(
Furthermore, Articles 47-78 of the Convention protect persons who "find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals," and defines the rights of such "protected persons." Again, the idea is that humanity as a whole should protect people who are at the mercy of an occupying force, since their (army's) defeat does not make them lose their human rights; and that this very idea, as the Nazi occupation had demonstrated, is not always clear to occupying forces, and should therefore be reinforced by an international Convention.
The Convention presents in detail the practical consequences of the aims of war as stated in the Britannica, as opposed to Hitler's war concept of annihilation. Thus,
"The Occupying Power shall permit ministers of religion to give spiritual assistance to the members of their religious communities" (Article 58).
"No sentence shall be pronounced by the competent courts of the Occupying Power except after a regular trial." (Article 71).
"A convicted person shall have the right of appeal provided for by the laws applied by the court" (Article 73).
"In no case shall persons condemned to death be deprived of the right of petition for pardon or reprieve. No death sentence shall be carried out before the expiration of a period of at least six months" etc. etc. (Article 75).
Moreover, the Convention makes special provisions for "protected persons who commit an offence which is solely intended to harm the Occupying Power" (Article 68). This reflects an even older principle of enlightened international legislation, that acknowledges the right of occupied peoples to use force against their occupier. Based upon the principles of the Hague International Convention of 1907 and confirmed in the Nuremberg Tribunal, this determination was essential to forestall Nazi claims that partisans, Ghetto fighters, and other underground resistance forces in the territories occupied by Germany had allegedly been "terrorists": though unarmed civilians should never be harmed, resistance to an occupation, including violent resistance, is legitimate. This too is an implication of the idea that the occupier's might does not make him right, and that every human being has the right to fight for his or her political freedom.
Going through articles 47-78 of the Geneva Convention, it is difficult to find a single article which has NOT been breached by Israel as an occupying force. Article 49, for example - "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" - implies the illegality of Israel's settlements. However, the assassination of Sheik Yassin reflects a new level of barbarism on Israel's part.
Yassin's killing is a crime on several different levels. Killing an unarmed person is a crime. Killing an old helpless person in a wheel-chair is a despicable crime. But Yassin's murder (together with 8 other innocent Palestinians) is far from just killing an old man in a wheel-chair. Such war crimes, committed by the occupier to "protected" occupied persons - the casual killing of elderly, children, women, invalids, mentally ill, and other unarmed, innocent, harmless and defenceless "protected" civilians - have been the daily bread of Palestinians for years now. But Yassin's assassination, the assassinating of a religious and a political leader, is a crime of a very special kind.
Assassinations are clearly prohibited by Article 23b of the Hague Regulations, 1907. Even the American policy bans political assassinations. A political or religious leader (at least a leader of a voluntary movement, like Yassin actually was) stands for his direct supporters, and also for all the political or religious entity he is part of. He is singled out not as an individual, but as a symbol and a representative of his masses, be it political supporters, religious believers, or, as in Yassin's case, both. Yassin was targeted as a symbol of the Palestinian people's religion, culture, society, and institutions. Remember that Hamas is not just a terror organisation, as the US and Israel want us to think, neither is it just a political party; Hamas runs an entire network of schools, clinics and social welfare, in a society impoverished to the point of starvation by decades of exploitation and years of strangulation. The issue is not liking or disliking Yassin's religious conviction; nor it is the fact that Israel itself had encouraged and supported the rise of Hamas in the 1980s, hoping to weaken Arafat's PLO. The crux of the matter is what Israeli political sociologist Lev Grinberg called "a symbolic genocide": "Because the world will not permit total annihilation, a symbolic annihilation is taking place instead." The message of this atrocity is this: Israel's war is not aimed at disabling the armed forces of the enemy, but at its annihilation, at least symbolically.
Yassin was a religious leader, but no saint. He resisted the occupation, which was his basic right. On the other hand, he supported a cease fire, and just a few weeks ago he offered to take civilians out of the circle of violence, an offer dismissed by Sharon's government. He surely instigated violence, he may have been responsible for terrorism. He may have shared Hitler's concept of war, rather than the Britannica's. If this was the case, he could and should have been arrested and put to trial. People are innocent unless the opposite is established in court. Killing a person without a trial - not a person carrying a bomb, not an armed person in combat - is terrorism, is barbarism. When those who claim to fight off terrorism and barbarism become barbarian terrorists themselves, they lose their own claim to justice.
Israel arrested Yassin in the past; it didn't even try to this time. Perhaps for lack of evidence, perhaps because of the Israeli army's contempt for the rule of law. But above all, Yassin's killing was meant to change the rules of the game: to signalize that the aim of this war is to annihilate the enemy, not just to defeat it, and that from now on, everything is possible. To this end, killing helpless Yassin in his wheel-chair, heading home after a night of prayer, was a much more effective message than, say, killing the armed and uniformed layman Arafat. The message is: Israel has no moral nor legal boundaries whatsoever. Israel can target elderly and invalids, political leaders and religious clerics. If we can kill Yassin, says Jerusalem, we can kill everyone; No judge, no morality, no convention and no law can stop our missiles.
From Jerusalem to Washington
The United Kingdom, whose memory of World War II is still vivid, noticed this major leap to Barbarism and condemned the assassination. The American reaction, however, was confined to the usual disgusting clichés about "Israel's right to defend itself" and "urging both sides." Under the Bushites - whose ancestors had no scruples doing business with Hitler - Israel has become the spearhead in reviving the ideology defeated in World War II. Within a few years, Israel turned from an arrière garde fighting outdated wars for outdated causes into the avant garde of barbarism, followed closely by the USA. The whole arsenal of barbarism of Israel's occupation - the physical, tactic, strategic, linguistic, and ideological arsenal - is doing its way from Gaza to Baghdad, from Megido Prison to Guantanamo Bay, from the Jerusalem Post to the Washington Post.
'A Constitutive Event'
Following the assassination, Israeli military echelons quoted in Ha'aretz (23.3.04) called it "a constitutive event," one that would make History. Indeed. Unless a global reaction against this barbarism emerges - not an Al-Qaeda type of reaction, which shares this very barbarism, but something like the recent Spanish example; unless we renew the struggle for the legacy of the Allies who won World War II, and get rid of all those responsible for the barbarisation of the human kind, Israel's assassination of Sheik Yassin may enter history as the moment in which Hitler's concept of war for annihilation, of contempt for the basic convictions and conventions of humanity, celebrated its triumph, shared and imposed by the axis of Sharon, Bush and Bin Laden.
Both quotes from: Eric Hobsawm, "Barbarism: A User's Guide." In his: On History (The New Press, 1997), p.253ff.
US Complicity in Israel's Misdeeds
by Charley Reese,
March 27, 2004
The murder of Hamas' spiritual leader, Sheik Yassin, makes perfect sense as long as you understand Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's strategy.
That strategy is to make peace impossible.
For three years, Sharon has done everything to prevent peace. He himself provoked the new uprising, re-invaded the occupied territories, destroyed the Palestinian Authority, forced Yasser Arafat into house arrest and launched an unprecedented, brutal campaign of assassinations, curfews, fences, destruction of property and random killing of Palestinians. The Israelis have killed about 2,700 Palestinians in the past three years, in contrast to about 700 Israelis killed in the same period.
At the same time, Sharon has refused all offers to negotiate, and whenever the Palestinians arranged a cease-fire on their side, Sharon broke it with a provocative raid or assassination. No other rogue state or rogue leader would have been allowed to get away with such behavior, but Israel has the U.S. government in its pocket. That's the answer to the question posed by the French ambassador to Great Britain as to why the world allows "this (expletive deleted) little country to cause the world so much trouble."
Sharon doesn't want peace, because he knows that any peace settlement would involve returning nearly all of the occupied territories to the Palestinians. Israel's goal has always been Palestine without Palestinians. He is greatly afraid that the world will lose patience and impose a settlement on Israel. Hence, his strategy is to make peace impossible so that he can impose unilaterally his own settlement - a settlement, of course, that will condemn the Palestinians to unlivable conditions.
Now, that's all well and good if you are an Israeli and don't mind condemning future generations to perpetual conflict, but what about Americans? This is, after all, not legitimately our conflict. I've traveled in Palestine and the Middle East, and while it's interesting, it's not high on my list of vacation spots. We would be much better off if the only Americans who ever went there were the crews of oil tankers.
Unfortunately, our politicians, by cravenly obeying the wishes of Israel and its powerful U.S. lobby, have made us a part of the conflict. We've already paid in blood and treasure. Anybody who doesn't understand that the attack on 9/11 was directly related to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict hasn't been paying attention.
The Arab world sees us - correctly - as an accessory before and after the fact to all the crimes Israel commits against the Palestinians and other Arabs in the area. We cannot load Israel down with modern weapons, with gifts of more than $90 billion of American tax dollars, with absolute protection from all attempts to hold it accountable under international law, and then pretend we are innocent. We are guilty by proxy of murder, land theft, destruction of property and all the other human misery that Israel has caused in the region.
So, if you're one of those rah-rah Israel First supporters, don't complain when the terrorists come looking for you. You've allowed your politicians to enlist you in somebody else's war, and in war there are always casualties on both sides.
America has become a nation of pathological irresponsibility. Nobody wants to take responsibility for his or her own actions, which is the basic cause of the litigation flood. Least of all do American politicians wish to do so. They would rather heap on the manure that the terrorism directed at us has nothing whatsoever to do with the policies they have followed for the past 30 years or more. In truth, it has everything to do with those policies.
So, if you or your loved ones get bloodied by terrorists, then blame your Christian Zionists, your Israel First crowd and your corrupt politicians who have their tongues in the ears and their hands in the pockets of the Israeli lobby.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
Adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, held in Geneva from 21 April to 12 August, 1949 entry into force 21 October 1950
PART I GENERAL PROVISIONS
The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.
In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.
Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it. Nationals of a neutral State who find themselves in the territory of a belligerent State, and nationals of a co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons while the State of which they are nationals has normal diplomatic representation in the State in whose hands they are.
The provisions of Part II are, however, wider in application, as defined in Article 13.
Persons protected by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, or by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea of August 12, 1949, or by the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949, shall not be considered as protected persons within the meaning of the present Convention.
Where, in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State.
Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.
In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity, and in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be.
The present Convention shall apply from the outset of any conflict or occupation mentioned in Article 2.
In the territory of Parties to the conflict, the application of the present Convention shall cease on the general close of military operations.
In the case of occupied territory, the application of the present Convention shall cease one year after the general close of military operations; however, the Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory, by the provisions of the following Articles of the present Convention: I to 12, 27, 29 to 34, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61 to 77, and 143.
Protected persons whose release, repatriation or re-establishment may take place after such dates shall meanwhile continue to benefit by the present Convention.
In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in Articles 11, 14, 15, 17, 36, 108, 109, 132, 133 and 149, the High Contracting Parties may conclude other special agreements for all matters concerning which they may deem it suitable to make separate provision. No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of protected persons, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon them.
Protected persons shall continue to have the benefit of such agreements as long as the Convention is applicable to them, except where express provisions to the contrary are contained in the aforesaid or in subsequent agreements, or where more favourable measures have been taken with regard to them by one or other of the Parties to the conflict.
Protected persons may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.
The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which they are to carry out their duties.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate to the greatest extent possible the task of the representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall not in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention. They shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities of security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.
The provisions of the present Convention constitute no obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties to the conflict concerned, undertake for the protection of civilian persons and for their relief.
The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
When persons protected by the present Convention do not benefit or cease to benefit, no matter for what reason, by the activities of a Protecting Power or of an organization provided for in the first paragraph above, the Detaining Power shall request a neutral State, or such an organization, to undertake the functions performed under the present Convention by a Protecting Power designated by the Parties to a conflict.
If protection cannot be arranged accordingly, the Detaining Power shall request or shall accept, subject to the provisions of this Article, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the present Convention.
Any neutral Power, or any organization invited by the Power concerned or offering itself for these purposes, shall be required to act with a sense of responsibility towards the Party to the conflict on which persons protected by the present Convention depend, and shall be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a position to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge them impartially.
No derogation from the preceding provisions shall be made by special agreements between Powers one of which is restricted, even temporarily, in its freedom to negotiate with the other Power or its allies by reason of military events, more particularly where the whole, or a substantial part, of the territory of the said Power is occupied.
Whenever in the present Convention mention is made of a Protecting Power, such mention applies to substitute organizations in the sense of the present Article.
The provisions of this Article shall extend and be adapted to cases of nationals of a neutral State who are in occupied territory or who find themselves in the territory of a belligerent State with which the State of which they are nationals has not normal diplomatic representation.
In cases where they deem it advisable in the interest of protected persons, particularly in cases of disagreement between the Parties to the conflict as to the application or interpretation of the provisions of the present Convention, the Protecting Powers shall lend their good offices with a view to settling the disagreement. For this purpose, each of the Protecting Powers may, either at the invitation of one Party or on its own initiative, propose to the Parties to the conflict a meeting of their representatives, and in particular of the authorities responsible for protected person, possibly on neutral territory suitably chosen. The Parties to the conflict shall be bound to give effect to the proposals made to them for this purpose. The Protecting Powers may, if necessary, propose for approval by the Parties to the conflict, a person belonging to a neutral Power or delegated by the International Committee of the Red Cross who shall be invited to take part in such a meeting.
GENERAL PROTECTION OF POPULATIONS
AGAINST CERTAIN CONSEQUENCES OF WAR
The provisions of Part II cover the whole of the populations of the countries in conflict, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion, and are intended to alleviate the sufferings caused by war.
In time of peace, the High Contracting Parties and, after the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties thereto, may establish in their own territory and, if the need arises, in occupied areas, hospital and safety zones and localities so organized as to protect from the effects of war, wounded, sick and aged persons, children under fifteen, expectant mothers and mothers of children under seven.
Upon the outbreak and during the course of hostilities, the Parties concerned may conclude agreements on mutual recognition of the zones and localities they have created. They may for this purpose implement the provisions of the Draft Agreement annexed to-the present Convention, with such amendments as they may consider necessary.
The Protecting Powers and the International Committee of the Red Cross are invited to lend their good offices in order to facilitate the institution and recognition of these hospital and safety zones and localities.
Any Party to the conflict may, either directly or through a neutral State or some humanitarian organization, propose to the adverse Party to establish, in the regions where fighting is taking place, neutralized zones intended to shelter from the effects of war the following persons, without distinction:
(a) Wounded and sick combatants or non-combatants;
(b) Civilian persons who take no part in hostilities, and who, while they reside in the zones, perform no work of a military character.
When the Parties concerned have agreed upon the geographical position, administration, food supply and supervision of the proposed neutralized zone, a written agreement shall be concluded and signed by the representatives of the Parties to the conflict. The agreement shall fix the beginning and the duration of the neutralization of the zone.
The wounded and sick, as well as the infirm, and expectant mothers, shall be the object of particular protection and respect.
As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken to search for the killed and wounded, to assist the shipwrecked and other persons exposed to grave danger, and to protect them against pillage and ill-treatment.
The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of wounded, sick, infirm, and aged persons, children and maternity cases, and for the passage of ministers of all religions, medical personnel and medical equipment on their way to such areas.
Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
States which are Parties to a conflict shall provide all civilian hospitals with certificates showing that they are civilian hospitals and that the buildings which they occupy are not used for any purpose which would deprive these hospitals of protection in accordance with Article 19.
Civilian hospitals shall be marked by means of the emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, but only if so authorized by the State.
The Parties to the conflict shall, in so far as military considerations permit, take the necessary steps to make the distinctive emblems indicating civilian hospitals clearly visible to the enemy land, air and naval forces in order to obviate the possibility of any hostile action.
In view of the dangers to which hospitals may be exposed by being close to military objectives, it is recommended that such hospitals be situated as far as possible from such objectives.
The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.
The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants which have not yet been handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy.
Persons regularly and solely engaged in the operation and administration of civilian hospitals, including the personnel engaged in the search for, removal and transporting of and caring for wounded and sick civilians, the infirm and maternity cases, shall be respected and protected.
In occupied territory and in zones of military operations, the above personnel shall be recognizable by means of an identity card certifying their status, bearing the photograph of the holder and embossed with the stamp of the responsible authority, and also by means of a stamped, water-resistant armlet which they shall wear on the left arm while carrying out their duties. This armlet shall be issued by the State and shall bear the emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949.
Other personnel who are engaged in the operation and administration of civilian hospitals shall be entitled to respect and protection and to wear the armlet, as provided in and under the conditions prescribed in this Article, while they are employed on such duties. The identity card shall state the duties on which they are employed.
The management of each hospital shall at all times hold at the disposal of the competent national or occupying authorities an up-to-date list of such personnel.
Convoys of vehicles or hospital trains on land or specially provided vessels on sea, conveying wounded and sick civilians, the infirm and maternity cases, shall be respected and protected in the same manner as the hospitals provided for in Article 18, and shall be marked, with the consent of the State, by the display of the distinctive emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949.
Aircraft exclusively employed for the removal of wounded and sick civilians, the infirm and maternity cases, or for the transport of medical personnel and equipment, shall not be attacked, but shall be respected while flying at heights, times and on routes specifically agreed upon between all the Parties to the conflict concerned.
They may be marked with the distinctive emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949.
Unless agreed otherwise, flights over enemy or enemy-occupied territory are prohibited.
Such aircraft shall obey every summons to land. In the event of a landing thus imposed, the aircraft with its occupants may continue its flight after examination, if any.
Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary. It shall likewise permit the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.
The obligation of a High Contracting Party to allow the free passage of the consignments indicated in the preceding paragraph is subject to the condition that this Party is satisfied that there are no serious reasons for fearing:
(a) That the consignments may be diverted from their destination;
(b) That the control may not be effective; or
(c) That a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy through the substitution of the above-mentioned consignments for goods which would otherwise be provided or produced by the
enemy or through the release of such material, services or facilities as would otherwise be required for the production of such goods.
The Power which allows the passage of the consignments indicated in the first paragraph of this Article may make such permission conditional on the distribution to the persons benefited there by being made under the local supervision of the Protecting Powers.
Such consignments shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible, and the Power which permits their free passage shall have the right to prescribe the technical arrangements under which such passage is allowed.
The Parties to the conflict shall take the necessary measures to ensure that children under fifteen, who are orphaned or are separated from their families as a result of the war, are not left to their own resources, and that their maintenance, the exercise of their religion and their education are facilitated in all circumstances. Their education shall, as far as possible, be entrusted to persons of a similar cultural tradition.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate the reception of such children in a neutral country for the duration of the conflict with the consent of the Protecting Power, if any, and under due safeguards for the observance of the principles stated in the first paragraph.
They shall, furthermore, endeavour to arrange for all children under twelve to be identified by the wearing of identity discs, or by some other means.
All persons in the territory of a Party to the conflict, or in a territory occupied by it, shall be enabled to give news of a strictly personal nature to members of their families, wherever they may be, and to receive news from them. This correspondence shall be forwarded speedily and without undue delay.
If, as a result of circumstances, it becomes difficult or impossible to exchange family correspondence by the ordinary post, the Parties to the conflict concerned shall apply to a neutral intermediary, such as the Central Agency provided for in Article 140, and shall decide in consultation with it how to ensure the fulfilment of their obligations under the best possible conditions, in particular with the cooperation of the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies.
If the Parties to the conflict deem it necessary to restrict family correspondence, such restrictions shall be confined to the compulsory use of standard forms containing twenty-five freely chosen words, and to the limitation of the number of these forms despatched to one each month.
Each Party to the conflict shall facilitate enquiries made by members of families dispersed owing to the war, with the object of renewing contact with one another and of meeting, if possible. It shall encourage, in particular, the work of organizations engaged on this task provided they are acceptable to it and conform to its security regulations.
STATUS AND TREATMENT OF PROTECTED PERSONS
PROVISIONS COMMON TO THE TERRITORIES OF THE PARTIES
TO TEE CONFLICT AND TO OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity.
Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault.
Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion.
However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war.
The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.
The Party to the conflict in whose hands protected persons may be is responsible for the treatment accorded to them by its agents, irrespective of any individual responsibility which may be incurred.
Protected persons shall have every facility for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society of the country where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them.
These several organizations shall be granted all facilities for that purpose by the authorities, within the bounds set by military or security considerations.
Apart from the visits of the delegates of the Protecting Powers and of the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided for by Article 143, the Detaining or Occupying Powers shall facilitate as much as possible visits to protected persons by the representatives of other organizations whose object is to give spiritual aid or material relief to such persons.
No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties.
The High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands. This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents.
No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.
The taking of hostages is prohibited.
ALIENS IN THE TERRITORY OF A PARTY TO THE CONFLICT
All protected persons who may desire to leave the territory at the outset of, or during a conflict, shall be entitled to do so, unless their departure is contrary to the national interests of the State. The applications of such persons to leave shall be decided in accordance with regularly established procedures and the decision shall be taken as rapidly as possible. Those persons permitted to leave may provide themselves with the necessary funds for their journey and take with them a reasonable amount of their effects and articles of personal use.
If any such person is refused permission to leave the territory, he shall be entitled to have such refusal reconsidered as soon as possible by an appropriate court or administrative board designated by the Detaining Power for that purpose.
Upon request, representatives of the Protecting Power shall, unless reasons of security prevent it, or the persons concerned object, be furnished with the reasons for refusal of any request for permission to leave the territory and be given, as expeditiously as possible, the names of all persons who have been denied permission to leave.
Departures permitted under the foregoing Article shall be carried out in satisfactory conditions as regards safety, hygiene, sanitation and food. All costs in connection therewith, from the point of exit in the territory of the Detaining Power, shall be borne by the country of destination, or, in the case of accommodation in a neutral country, by the Power whose nationals are benefited. The practical details of such movements may, if necessary, be settled by special agreements between the Powers concerned.
The foregoing shall not prejudice such special agreements as may be concluded between Parties to the conflict concerning the exchange and repatriation of their nationals in enemy hands.
Protected persons who are confined pending proceedings or serving a sentence involving loss of liberty shall during their confinement be humanely treated.
As soon as they are released, they may ask to leave the territory in conformity with the foregoing Articles.
With the exception of special measures authorized by the present Convention, in particular by Articles 27 and 41 thereof, the situation of protected persons shall continue to be regulated, in principle, by the provisions concerning aliens in time of peace. In any case, the following rights shall be granted to them:
1. They shall be enabled to receive the individual or collective relief that may be sent to them.
2. They shall, if their state of health so requires, receive medical attention and hospital treatment to the same extent as the nationals of the State concerned.
3. They shall be allowed to practise their religion and to receive spiritual assistance from ministers of their faith.
4. If they reside in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war, they shall be authorized to move from that area to the same extent as the nationals of the State concerned.
5. Children under fifteen years, pregnant women and mothers of children under seven years shall benefit by any preferential treatment to the same extent as the nationals of the State concerned.
Protected persons who, as a result of the war, have lost their gainful employment, shall be granted the opportunity to find paid employment. That opportunity shall, subject to security considerations and to the provisions of Article 40, be equal to that enjoyed by the nationals of the Power in whose territory they are.
Where a Party to the conflict applies to a protected person methods of control which result in his being unable to support himself, and especially if such a person is prevented for reasons of security from finding paid employment on reasonable conditions, the said Party shall ensure his support and that of his dependents.
Protected persons may in any case receive allowances from their home country, the Protecting Power, or the relief societies referred to in Article 30.
Protected persons may be compelled to work only to the same extent as nationals of the Party to the conflict in whose territory they are.
If protected persons are of enemy nationality, they may only be compelled to do work which is normally necessary to ensure the feeding, sheltering, clothing, transport and health of human beings and which is not directly related to the conduct of military operations.
In the cases mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs, protected persons compelled to work shall have the benefit of the same working conditions and of the same safeguards as national workers, in particular as regards wages, hours of labour, clothing and equipment, previous training and compensation for occupational accidents and diseases.
If the above provisions are infringed, protected persons shall be allowed to exercise their right of complaint in accordance with Article 30.
Should the Power in whose hands protected persons may be consider the measures of control mentioned in the present Convention to be inadequate, it may not have recourse to any other measure of control more severe than that of assigned residence or internment, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 42 and 43.
In applying the provisions of Article 39, second paragraph, to the cases of persons required to leave their usual places of residences by virtue of a decision placing them in assigned residence elsewhere. the Detaining Power shall be guided as closely as possible by the standards of welfare set forth in Part III, Section IV of this Convention.
The internment or placing in assigned residence of protected persons may be ordered only if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary.
If any person, acting through the representatives of the Protecting Power, voluntarily demands internment, and if his situation renders this step necessary, he shall be interned by the Power in whose hands he may be.
Any protected person who has been interned or placed in assigned residence shall be entitled to have such action reconsidered as soon as possible by an appropriate court or administrative board designated by the Detaining Power for that purpose. If the internment or placing in assigned residence is maintained, the court or administrative board shall periodically, and at least twice yearly, give consideration to his or her case, with a view to the favourable amendment of the initial decision, if circumstances permit.
Unless the protected persons concerned object, the Detaining Power shall, as rapidly as possible, give the Protecting Power the names of any protected persons who have been interned or subjected to assigned residence, or who have been released from internment or assigned residence. The decisions of the courts or boards mentioned in the first paragraph of the present Article shall also, subject to the same conditions, be notified as rapidly as possible to the Protecting Power.
In applying the measures of control mentioned in the present Convention, the Detaining Power shall not treat as enemy aliens exclusively on the basis of their nationality de jure of an enemy State, refugees who do not, in fact, enjoy the protection of any government.
Protected persons shall not be transferred to a Power which is not a party to the Convention.
This provision shall in no way constitute an obstacle to the repatriation of protected persons, or to their return to their country of residence after the cessation of hostilities.
Protected persons may be transferred by the Detaining Power only to a Power which is a party to the present Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the present Convention. If protected persons are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for the application of the present Convention rests on the Power accepting them, while they are in its custody. Nevertheless, if that Power fails to carry out the provisions of the present Convention in any important respect, the Power by which the protected persons were transferred shall, upon being so notified by the Protecting Power, take effective measures to correct the situation or shall request the return of the protected persons. Such request must be complied with.
In no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or her political opinions or religious beliefs.
The provisions of this Article do not constitute an obstacle to the extradition, in pursuance of extradition treaties concluded before the outbreak of hostilities, of protected persons accused of offences against ordinary criminal law.
In so far as they have not been previously withdrawn, restrictive measures taken regarding protected persons shall be cancelled as soon as possible after the close of hostilities.
Restrictive measures affecting their property shall be cancelled, in accordance with the law of the Detaining Power, as soon as possible after the close of hostilities.
Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.
Protected persons who are not nationals of the Power whose territory is occupied may avail themselves of the right to leave the territory subject to the provisions of Article 35, and decisions thereon shall be taken according to the procedure which the Occupying Power shall establish in accordance with the said Article.
Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons do demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.
The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.
The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.
The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
The Occupying Power shall, with the cooperation of the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education of children.
The Occupying Power shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the identification of children and the registration of their parentage. It may not, in any case, change their personal status, nor enlist them in formations or organizations subordinate to it.
Should the local institutions be inadequate for the purpose, the Occupying Power shall make arrangements for the maintenance and education, if possible by persons of their own nationality, language and religion, of children who are orphaned or separated from their parents as a result of the war and who cannot be adequately cared for by a near relative or friend.
A special section of the Bureau set up in accordance with Article 136 shall be responsible for taking all necessary steps to identify children whose identity is in doubt. Particulars of their parents or other near relatives should always be recorded if available.
The Occupying Power shall not hinder the application of any preferential measures in regard to food, medical care and protection against the effects of war, which may have been adopted prior to the occupation in favour of children under fifteen years, expectant mothers, and mothers of children under seven years.
The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. No pressure or propaganda which aims at securing voluntary enlistment is permitted.
The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to work unless they are over eighteen years of age, and then only on work which is necessary either for the needs of the army of occupation, or for the public utility services, or for the feeding, sheltering, clothing, transportation or health of the population of the occupied country. Protected persons may not be compelled to undertake any work which would involve them in the obligation of taking part in military operations. The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to employ forcible means to ensure the security of the installations where they are performing compulsory labour.
The work shall be carried out only in the occupied territory where the persons whose services have been requisitioned are. Every such person shall, so far as possible, be kept in his usual place of employment. Workers shall be paid a fair wage and the work shall be proportionate to their physical and intellectual capacities. The legislation in force in the occupied country concerning working conditions, and safeguards as regards, in particular, such matters as wages, hours of work, equipment, preliminary training and compensation for occupational accidents and diseases, shall be applicable to the protected persons assigned to the work referred to in this Article.
In no case shall requisition of labour lead to a mobilization of workers in an organization of a military or semi-military character.
No contract, agreement or regulation shall impair the right of any worker, whether voluntary or not and wherever he may be, to apply to the representatives of the Protecting Power in order to request the said Power's intervention.
All measures aiming at creating unemployment or at restricting the opportunities offered to workers in an occupied territory, in order to induce them to work for the Occupying Power, are prohibited.
Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.
The Occupying Power may not alter the status of public officials or judges in the occupied territories, or in any way apply sanctions to or take any measures of coercion or discrimination against them, should they abstain from fulfilling their functions for reasons of conscience.
This prohibition does not prejudice the application of the second paragraph of Article 51. It does not affect the right of the Occupying Power to remove public officials from their posts.
To the fullest extent of the means available to it the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.
The Occupying Power may not requisition foodstuffs, articles or medical supplies available in the occupied territory, except for use by the occupation forces and administration personnel, and then only if the requirements of the civilian population have been taken into account. Subject to the provisions of other international Conventions, the Occupying Power shall make arrangements to ensure that fair value is paid for any requisitioned goods.
The Protecting Power shall, at any time, be at liberty to verify the state of the food and medical supplies in occupied territories, except where temporary restrictions are made necessary by imperative military requirements.
To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties.
If new hospitals are set up in occupied territory and if the competent organs of the occupied State are not operating there, the occupying authorities shall, if necessary, grant them the recognition provided for in Article 18. In similar circumstances, the occupying authorities shall also grant recognition to hospital personnel and transport vehicles under the provisions of Articles 20 and 21.
In adopting measures of health and hygiene and in their implementation, the Occupying Power shall take into consideration the moral and ethical susceptibilities of the population of the occupied territory.
The Occupying Power may requisition civilian hospitals only temporarily and only in cases of urgent necessity for the care of military wounded and sick, and then on condition that suitable arrangements are made in due time for the care and treatment of the patients and for the needs of the civilian population for hospital accommodation.
The material and stores of civilian hospitals cannot be requisitioned so long as they are necessary for the needs of the civilian population.
The Occupying Power shall permit ministers of religion to give spiritual assistance to the members of their religious communities.
The Occupying Power shall also accept consignments of books and articles required for religious needs and shall facilitate their distribution in occupied territory.
If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal.
Such schemes, which may be undertaken either by States or by impartial humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, shall consist, in particular, of the provision of consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and clothing.
All Contracting Parties shall permit the free passage of these consignments and shall guarantee their protection.
A Power granting free passage to consignments on their way to territory occupied by an adverse Party to the conflict shall, however, have the right to search the consignments, to regulate their passage according to prescribed times and routes, and to be reasonably satisfied through the Protecting Power that these consignments are to be used for the relief of the needy population and are not to be used for the benefit of the Occupying Power. Article 60
Relief consignments shall in no way relieve the Occupying Power of any of its responsibilities under Articles 55, 56 and 59. The Occupying Power shall in no way whatsoever divert relief consignments from the purpose for which they are intended, except in cases of urgent necessity, in the interests of the population of the occupied territory and with the consent of the Protecting Power.
The distribution of the relief consignments referred to in the foregoing Articles shall be carried out with the cooperation and under the supervision of the Protecting Power. This duty may also be delegated, by agreement between the Occupying Power and the Protecting Power, to a neutral Power, to the International Committee of the Red Cross or to any other impartial humanitarian body.
Such consignments shall be exempt in occupied territory from all charges, taxes or customs duties unless these are necessary in the interests of the economy of the territory. The Occupying Power shall facilitate the rapid distribution of these consignments.
All Contracting Parties shall endeavour to permit the transit and transport, free of charge, of such relief consignments on their way to occupied territories.
Subject to imperative reasons of security, protected persons in occupied territories shall be permitted to receive the individual relief consignments sent to them.
Subject to temporary and exceptional measures imposed for urgent reasons of security by the Occupying Power:
(a) Recognized National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies shall be able to pursue their activities in accordance with Red Cross principles, as defined by the International Red Cross Conferences. Other relief societies shall be permitted to continue their humanitarian activities under similar conditions;
(b) The Occupying Power may not require any changes in the personnel or structure of these societies, which would prejudice the aforesaid activities.
The same principles shall apply to the activities and personnel of special organizations of a non-military character, which already exist or which may be established, for the purpose of ensuring the living conditions of the civilian population by the maintenance of the essential public utility services, by the distribution of relief and by the organization of rescues.
The penal laws of the occupied territory shall remain in force, with the exception that they may be repealed or suspended by the Occupying Power in cases where they constitute a threat to its security or an obstacle to the application of the present Convention. Subject to the latter consideration and to the necessity for ensuring the effective administration of justice, the tribunals of the occupied territory shall continue to function in respect of all offences covered by the said laws.
The Occupying Power may, however, subject the population of the occupied territory to provisions which are essential to enable the Occupying Power to fulfil its obligations under the present Convention, to maintain the orderly government of the territory, and to ensure the security of the Occupying Power, of the members and property of the occupying forces or administration, and likewise of the establishments and lines of communication used by them.
The penal provisions enacted by the Occupying Power shall not come into force before they have been published and brought to the knowledge of the inhabitants in their own language. The effect of these penal provisions shall not be retroactive.
In case of a breach of the penal provisions promulgated by it by virtue of the second paragraph of Article 64, the Occupying Power may hand over the accused to its properly constituted, non-political military courts, on condition that the said courts sit in the occupied country. Courts of appeal shall preferably sit in the occupied country.
The courts shall apply only those provisions of law which were applicable prior to the offence, and which are in accordance with general principles of law, in particular the principle that the penalty shall be proportioned to the offence. They shall take into consideration the fact that the accused is not a national of the Occupying Power.
Protected persons who commit an offence which is solely intended to harm the Occupying Power, but which does not constitute an attempt on the life or limb of members of the occupying forces or administration, nor a grave collective danger, nor seriously damage the property of the occupying forces or administration or the installations used by them, shall be liable to internment or simple imprisonment, provided the duration of such internment or imprisonment is proportionate to the offence committed. Furthermore, internment or imprisonment shall, for such offences, be the only measure adopted for depriving protected persons of liberty. The courts provided for under Article 66 of the present Convention may at their discretion convert a sentence of imprisonment to one of internment for the same period.
The penal provisions promulgated by the Occupying Power in accordance with Articles 64 and 65 may impose the death penalty on a protected person only in cases where the person is guilty of espionage, of serious acts of sabotage against the military installations of the Occupying Power or of intentional offences which have caused the death of one or more persons, provided that such offences were punishable by death under the law of the occupied territory in force before the occupation began.
The death penalty may not be pronounced against a protected person unless the attention of the court has been particularly called to the fact that, since the accused is not a national of the Occupying Power, he is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance.
In any case, the death penalty may not be pronounced against a protected person who was under eighteen years of age at the time of the offence.
In all cases, the duration of the period during which a protected person accused of an offence is under arrest awaiting trial or punishment shall be deducted from any period of imprisonment awarded.
Protected persons shall not be arrested, prosecuted or convicted by the Occupying Power for acts committed or for opinions expressed before the occupation, or during a temporary interruption thereof, with the exception of breaches of the laws and customs of war.
Nationals of the Occupying Power who, before the outbreak of hostilities, have sought refuge in the territory of the occupied State, shall not be arrested, prosecuted, convicted or deported from the occupied territory, except for offences committed after the outbreak of hostilities, or for offences under common law committed before the outbreak of hostilities which, according to the law of the occupied State, would have justified extradition in time of peace.
No sentence shall be pronounced by the competent courts of the Occupying Power except after a regular trial.
Accused persons who are prosecuted by the Occupying Power shall be promptly informed, in writing, in a language which they understand, of the particulars of the charges preferred against them, and shall be brought to trial as rapidly as possible. The Protecting Power shall be informed of all proceedings instituted by the Occupying Power against protected persons in respect of charges involving the death penalty or imprisonment for two years or more; it shall be enabled, at any time, to obtain information regarding the state of such proceedings. Furthermore, the Protecting Power shall be entitled, on request, to be furnished with all particulars of these and of any other proceedings instituted by the Occupying Power against protected persons.
The notification to the Protecting Power, as provided for in the second paragraph above, shall be sent immediately, and shall in any case reach the Protecting Power three weeks before the date of the first hearing. Unless, at the opening of the trial, evidence is submitted that the provisions of this Article are fully complied with, the trial shall not proceed. The notification shall include the following particulars:
(a) Description of the accused;
(b) Place of residence or detention;
(c) Specification of the charge or charges (with mention of the penal provisions under which it is brought);
(d) Designation of the court which will hear the case;
(e) Place and date of the first hearing.
Accused persons shall have the right to present evidence necessary to their defence and may, in particular, call witnesses. They shall have the right to be assisted by a qualified advocate or counsel of their own choice, who shall be able to visit them freely and shall enjoy the necessary facilities for preparing the defence.
Failing a choice by the accused, the Protecting Power may provide him with an advocate or counsel. When an accused person has to meet a serious charge and the Protecting Power is not functioning, the Occupying Power, subject to the consent of the accused, shall provide an advocate or counsel.
Accused persons shall, unless they freely waive such assistance, be aided by an interpreter, both during preliminary investigation and during the hearing in court. They shall have the right at any time to object to the interpreter and to ask for his replacement.
A convicted person shall have the right of appeal provided for by the laws applied by the court. He shall be fully informed of his right to appeal or petition and of the time limit within which he may do so.
The penal procedure provided in the present Section shall apply, as far as it is applicable, to appeals. Where the laws applied by the Court make no provision for appeals, the convicted person shall have the right to petition against the finding and sentence to the competent authority of the Occupying Power.
Representatives of the Protecting Power shall have the right to attend the trial of any protected person, unless the hearing has, as an exceptional measure, to be held in camera in the interests of the security of the Occupying Power, which shall then notify the Protecting Power. A notification in respect of the date and place of trial shall be sent to the Protecting Power.
Any judgment involving a sentence of death, or imprisonment for two years or more, shall be communicated, with the relevant grounds, as rapidly as possible to the Protecting Power. The notification shall contain a reference to the notification made under Article 71, and in the case of sentences of imprisonment, the name of the place where the sentence is to be served. A record of judgments other than those referred to above shall be kept by the court and shall be open to inspection by representatives of the Protecting Power. Any period allowed for appeal in the case of sentences involving the death penalty, or imprisonment for two years or more, shall not run until notification of judgment has been received by the Protecting Power.
In no case shall persons condemned to death be deprived of the right of petition for pardon or reprieve.
No death sentence shall be carried out before the expiration of a period of at least six months from the date of receipt by the Protecting Power of the notification of the final judgment confirming such death sentence, or of an order denying pardon or reprieve.
The six months period of suspension of the death sentence herein prescribed may be reduced in individual cases in circumstances of grave emergency involving an organized threat to the security of the Occupying Power or its forces, provided always that the Protecting Power is notified of such reduction and is given reasonable time and opportunity to make representations to the competent occupying authorities in respect of such death sentences.
Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein. They shall, if possible, be separated from other detainees and shall enjoy conditions of food and hygiene which will be sufficient to keep them in good health, and which will be at least equal to those obtaining in prisons in the occupied country.
They shall receive the medical attention required by their state of health.
They shall also have the right to receive any spiritual assistance which they may require.
Women shall be confined in separate quarters and shall be under the direct supervision of women.
Proper regard shall be paid to the special treatment due to minors.
Protected persons who are detained shall have the right to be visited by delegates of the Protecting Power and of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in accordance with the provisions of Article 143.
Such persons shall have the right to receive at least one relief parcel monthly.
Protected persons who have been accused of offences or convicted by the courts in occupied territory shall be handed over at the close of occupation, with the relevant records, to the authorities of the liberated territory.
If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take safety measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.
Decisions regarding such assigned residence or internment shall be made according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention. This procedure shall include the right of appeal for the parties concerned. Appeals shall be decided with the least possible delay. In the event of the decision being upheld, it shall be subject to periodical review, if possible every six months, by a competent body set up by the said Power.
Protected persons made subject to assigned residence and thus required to leave their homes shall enjoy the full benefit of Article 39 of the present Convention.
REGULATIONS FOR THE TREATMENT OF INTERNEES
The Parties to the conflict shall not intern protected persons, except in accordance with the provisions of Articles 41, 42, 43, 68 and 78.
Internees shall retain their full civil capacity and shall exercise such attendant rights as may be compatible with their status.
Parties to the conflict who intern protected persons shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance, and to grant them also the medical attention required by their state of health.
No deduction from the allowances, salaries or credits due to the internees shall be made for the repayment of these costs.
The Detaining Power shall provide for the support of those dependent on the internees, if such dependants are without adequate means of support or are unable to earn a living.
The Detaining Power shall, as far as possible, accommodate the internees according to their nationality, language and customs. Internees who are nationals of the same country shall not be separated merely because they have different languages.
Throughout the duration of their internment, members of the same family, and in particular parents and children, shall be lodged together in the same place of internment, except when separation of a temporary nature is necessitated for reasons of employment or health or for the purposes of enforcement of the provisions of Chapter IX of the present Section. Internees may request that their children who are left at liberty without parental care shall be interned with them.
Wherever possible, interned members of the same family shall be housed in the same premises and given separate accommodation from other internees, together with facilities for leading a proper family life.
PLACES OF INTERNMENT
The Detaining Power shall not set up places of internment in areas particularly exposed to the dangers of war.
The Detaining Power shall give the enemy Powers, through the intermediary of the Protecting Powers, all useful information regarding the geographical location of places of internment.
Whenever military considerations permit, internment camps shall be indicated by the letters IC, placed so as to be clearly visible in the daytime from the air. The Powers concerned may, however, agree upon any other system of marking. No place other than an internment camp shall be marked as such.
Internees shall be accommodated and administered separately from prisoners of war and from persons deprived of liberty for any other reason.
The Detaining Power is bound to take all necessary and possible measures to ensure that protected persons shall, from the outset of their internment, be accommodated in buildings or quarters which afford every possible safeguard as regards hygiene and health, and provide efficient protection against the rigours of the climate and the effects of the war. In no case shall permanent places of internment be situated in unhealthy areas or in districts the climate of which is injurious to the internees. In all cases where the district, in which a protected person is temporarily interned , is in an unhealthy area or has a climate which is harmful to his health, he shall be removed to a more suitable place of internment as rapidly as circumstances permit.
The premises shall be fully protected from dampness, adequately heated and lighted, in particular between dusk and lights out. The sleeping quarters shall be sufficiently spacious and well ventilated, and the internees shall have suitable bedding and sufficient blankets, account being taken of the climate, and the age, sex, and state of health of the internees.
Internees shall have for their use, day and night, sanitary conveniences which conform to the rules of hygiene and are constantly maintained in a state of cleanliness. They shall be provided with sufficient water and soap for their daily personal toilet and for washing their personal laundry; installations and facilities necessary for this purpose shall be granted to them.
Showers or baths shall also be available. The necessary time shall be set aside for washing and for cleaning.
Whenever it is necessary, as an exceptional and temporary measure, to accommodate women internees who are not members of a family unit in the same place of internment as men, the provision of separate sleeping quarters and sanitary conveniences for the use of such women internees shall be obligatory.
The Detaining Power shall place at the disposal of interned persons, of whatever denomination, premises suitable for the holding of their religious services.
Canteens shall be installed in every place of internment, except where other suitable facilities are available. Their purpose shall be to enable internees to make purchases, at prices not higher than local market prices, of foodstuffs and articles of everyday use, including soap and tobacco, such as would increase their personal well-being and comfort.
Profits made by canteens shall be credited to a welfare fund to be set up for each place of internment, and administered for the benefit of the internees attached to such place of internment. The Internee Committee provided for in Article 102 shall have the right to check the management of the canteen and of the said fund.
When a place of internment is closed down, the balance of the welfare fund shall be transferred to the welfare fund of a place of internment for internees of the same nationality, or, if such a place does not exist, to a central welfare fund which shall be administered for the benefit of all internees remaining in the custody of the Detaining Power. In case of a general release, the said profits shall be kept by the Detaining Power, subject to any agreement to the contrary between the Powers concerned.
In all places of internment exposed to air raids and other hazards of war, shelters adequate in number and structure to ensure the necessary protection shall be installed. In case of alarms, the internees shall be free to enter such shelters as quickly as possible, excepting those who remain for the protection of their quarters against the aforesaid hazards. Any protective measures taken in favour of the population shall also apply to them.
All due precautions must be taken in places of internment against the danger of fire.
FOOD AND CLOTHING
Daily food rations for internees shall be sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to keep internees in a good state of health and prevent the development of nutritional deficiencies. Account shall also be taken of the customary diet of the internees.
Internees shall also be given the means by which they can prepare for themselves any additional food in their possession.
Sufficient drinking water shall be supplied to internees. The use of tobacco shall be permitted.
Internees who work shall receive additional rations in proportion to the kind of labour which they perform.
Expectant and nursing mothers and children under fifteen years of age shall be given additional food, in proportion to their physiological needs. Article 90
When taken into custody, internees shall be given all facilities to provide themselves with the necessary clothing, footwear and change of underwear, and later on, to procure further supplies if required. Should any internees not have sufficient clothing, account being taken of the climate, and be unable to procure any, it shall be provided free of charge to them by the Detaining Power.
The clothing supplied by the Detaining Power to internees and the outward markings placed on their own clothes shall not be ignominious nor expose them to ridicule.
Workers shall receive suitable working outfits, including protective clothing, whenever the nature of their work so requires.
HYGIENE AND MEDICAL ATTENTION
Every place of internment shall have an adequate infirmary, under the direction of a qualified doctor, where internees may have the attention they require, as well as an appropriate diet. Isolation wards shall be set aside for cases of contagious or mental diseases.
Maternity cases and internees suffering from serious diseases, or whose condition requires special treatment, a surgical operation or hospital care, must be admitted to any institution where adequate treatment can be given and shall receive care not inferior to that provided for the general population.
Internees shall, for preference, have the attention of medical personnel of their own nationality.
Internees may not be prevented from presenting themselves to the medical authorities for examination. The medical authorities of the Detaining Power shall, upon request, issue to every internee who has undergone treatment an official certificate showing the nature of his illness or injury, and the duration and nature of the treatment given. A duplicate of this certificate shall be forwarded to the Central Agency provided for in Article 140.
Treatment, including the provision of any apparatus necessary for the maintenance of internees in good health, particularly dentures and other artificial appliances and spectacles, shall be free of charge to the internee. Article 92
Medical inspections of internees shall be made at least once a month. Their purpose shall be, in particular, to supervise the general state of health, nutrition and cleanliness of internees, and to detect contagious diseases, especially tuberculosis, malaria, and venereal diseases. Such inspections shall include, in particular, the checking of weight of each internee and, at least once a year, radioscopic examination.
RELIGIOUS, INTELLECTUAL AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
Internees shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the services of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the detaining authorities.
Ministers of religion who are interned shall be allowed to minister freely to the members of their community. For this purpose, the Detaining Power shall ensure their equitable allocation amongst the various places of internment in which there are internees speaking the same language and be longing to the same religion. Should such ministers be too few in number, the Detaining Power shall provide them with the necessary facilities, including means of transport, for moving from one place to another, and they shall be authorized to visit any internees who are in hospital. Ministers of religion shall be at liberty to correspond on matters concerning their ministry with the religious authorities in the country of detention and, as far as possible, with the international religious organizations of their faith. Such correspondence shall not be considered as forming a part of the quota mentioned in Article 107. It shall, however, be subject to the provisions of Article 112.
When internees do not have at their disposal the assistance of ministers of their faith, or should these latter be too few in number, the local religious authorities of the same faith may appoint, in agreement with the Detaining Power, a minister of the internees' faith or, if such a course is feasible from a denominational point of view, a minister of similar religion or a qualified layman. The latter shall enjoy the facilities granted to the ministry he has assumed. Persons so appointed shall comply with all regulations laid down by the Detaining Power in the interests of discipline and security. Article 94
The Detaining Power shall encourage intellectual, educational and recreational pursuits, sports and games amongst internees, whilst leaving them free to take part in them or not. It shall take all practicable measures to ensure the exercise thereof, in particular by providing suitable premises.
All possible facilities shall be granted to internees to continue their studies or to take up new subjects. The education of children and young people shall be ensured; they shall be allowed to attend schools either within the place of internment or outside.
Internees shall be given opportunities for physical exercise, sports and outdoor games. For this purpose, sufficient open spaces shall be set aside in all places of internment. Special playgrounds shall be reserved for children and young people.
The Detaining Power shall not employ internees as workers, unless they so desire. Employment which, if undertaken under compulsion by a protected person not in internment, would involve a breach of Articles 40 or 51 of the present Convention, and employment on work which is of a degrading or humiliating character are in any case prohibited.
After a working period of six weeks, internees shall be free to give up work at any moment, subject to eight days' notice.
These provisions constitute no obstacle to the right of the Detaining Power to employ interned doctors, dentists and other medical personnel in their professional capacity on behalf of their fellow internees, or to employ internees for administrative and maintenance work in places of internment and to detail such persons for work in the kitchens or for other domestic tasks, or to require such persons to undertake duties connected with the protection of internees against aerial bombardment or other war risks. No internee may, however, be required to perform tasks for which he is, in the opinion of a medical officer, physically unsuited.
The Detaining Power shall take entire responsibility for all working conditions, for medical attention, for the payment of wages, and for ensuring that all employed internees receive compensation for occupational accidents and diseases. The standards prescribed for the said working conditions and for compensation shall be in accordance with the national laws and regulations, and with the existing practice; they shall in no case be inferior to those obtaining for work of the same nature in the same district. Wages for work done shall be determined on an equitable basis by special agreements between the internees, the Detaining Power, and, if the case arises, employers other than the Detaining Power, due regard being paid to the obligation of the Detaining Power to provide for free maintenance of internees and for the medical attention which their state of health may require. Internees permanently detailed for categories of work mentioned in the third paragraph of this Article shall be paid fair wages by the Detaining Power. The working conditions and the scale of compensation for occupational accidents and diseases to internees thus detailed shall not be inferior to those applicable to work of the same nature in the same district. Article 96
All labour detachments shall remain part of and dependent upon a place of internment. The competent authorities of the Detaining Power and the commandant of a place of internment shall be responsible for the observance in a labour detachment of the provisions of the present Convention. The commandant shall keep an up-to-date list of the labour detachments subordinate to him and shall communicate it to the delegates of the Protecting Power, of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of other humanitarian organizations who may visit the places of internment.
PERSONAL PROPER AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Internees shall be permitted to retain articles of personal use. Monies, cheques, bonds, etc., and valuables in their possession may not be taken from them except in accordance with established procedure. Detailed receipts shall be given therefor.
The amounts shall be paid into the account of every internee as provided for in Article 98. Such amounts may not be converted into any other currency unless legislation in force in the territory in which the owner is interned so requires or the internee gives his consent. Articles which have above all a personal or sentimental value may not be taken away.
A woman internee shall not be searched except by a woman.
On release or repatriation, internees shall be given all articles, monies or other valuables taken from them during internment and shall receive in currency the balance of any credit to their accounts kept in accordance with Article 98, with the exception of any articles or amounts withheld by the Detaining Power by virtue of its legislation in force. If the property of an internee is so withheld, the owner shall receive a detailed receipt.
Family or identity documents in the possession of internees may not be taken away without a receipt being given. At no time shall internees be left without identity documents. If they have none, they shall be issued with special documents drawn up by the detaining authorities, which will serve as their identity papers until the end of their internment.
Internees may keep on their persons a certain amount of money, in cash or in the shape of purchase coupons, to enable them to make purchases.
All internees shall receive regular allowances, sufficient to enable them to purchase goods and articles, such as tobacco, toilet requisites, etc. Such allowances may take the form of credits or purchase coupons.
Furthermore, internees may receive allowances from the Power to which they owe allegiance, the Protecting Powers, the organizations which may assist them, or their families, as well as the income on their property in accordance with the law of the Detaining Power. The amount of allowances granted by the Power to which they owe allegiance shall be the same for each category of internees (infirm, sick, pregnant women, etc.), but may not be allocated by that Power or distributed by the Detaining Power on the basis of discrimination between internees which are prohibited by Article 27 of the present Convention.
The Detaining Power shall open a regular account for every internee, to which shall be credited the allowances named in the present Article, the wages earned and the remittances received, together with such sums taken from him as may be available under the legislation in force in the territory in which he is interned. Internees shall be granted all facilities consistent with the legislation in force in such territory to make remittances to their families and to other dependants. They may draw from their accounts the amounts necessary for their personal expenses, within the limits fixed by the Detaining Power. They shall at all times be afforded reasonable facilities for consulting and obtaining copies of their accounts. A statement of accounts shall be furnished to the Protecting Power on request, and shall accompany the internee in case of transfer.
ADMINISTRATION AND DISCIPLINE
Every place of internment shall be put under the authority of a responsible officer, chosen from the regular military forces or the regular civil administration of the Detaining Power. The officer in charge of the place of internment must have in his possession a copy of the present Convention in the official language, or one of the official languages, of his country and shall be responsible for its application. The staff in control of internees shall be instructed in the provisions of the present Convention and of the administrative measures adopted to ensure its application.
The text of the present Convention and the texts of special agreements concluded under the said Convention shall be posted inside the place of internment, in a language which the internees understand, or shall be in the possession of the Internee Committee.
Regulations, orders, notices and publications of every kind shall be communicated to the internees and posted inside the places of internment, in a language which they understand.
Every order and command addressed to internees individually must likewise be given in a language which they understand.
The disciplinary regime in places of internment shall be consistent with humanitarian principles, and shall in no circumstances include regulations imposing on internees any physical exertion dangerous to their health or involving physical or moral victimization. Identification by tattooing or imprinting signs or markings on the body is prohibited.
In particular, prolonged standing and roll-calls, punishment drill, military drill and manoeuvres, or the reduction of food rations, are prohibited.
Internees shall have the right to present to the authorities in whose power they are any petition with regard to the conditions of internment to which they are subjected.
They shall also have the right to apply without restriction through the Internee Committee or, if they consider it necessary, direct to the representatives of the Protecting Power, in order to indicate to them any points on which they may have complaints to make with regard to the conditions of internment.
Such petitions and complaints shall be transmitted forthwith and without alteration, and even if the latter are recognized to be unfounded, they may not occasion any punishment.
Periodic reports on the situation in places of internment and as to the needs of the internees may be sent by the Internee Committees to the representatives of the Protecting Powers.
In every place of internment, the internees shall freely elect by secret ballot every six months, the members of a Committee empowered to represent them before the Detaining and the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross and any other organization which may assist them. The members of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election.
Internees so elected shall enter upon their duties after their election has been approved by the detaining authorities. The reasons for any refusals or dismissals shall be communicated to the Protecting Powers concerned.
The Internee Committees shall further the physical, spiritual and intellectual well-being of the internees.
In case the internees decide, in particular, to organize a system of mutual assistance amongst themselves, this organization would be within the competence of the Committees in addition to the special duties entrusted to them under other provisions of the present Convention.
Members of Internee Committees shall not be required to perform any other work, if the accomplishment of their duties is rendered more difficult thereby.
Members of Internee Committees may appoint from amongst the internees such assistants as they may require. All material facilities shall be granted to them, particularly a certain freedom of movement necessary for the accomplishment of their duties (visits to labour detachments, receipt of supplies, etc.).
All facilities shall likewise be accorded to members of Internee Committees for communication by post and telegraph with the detaining authorities, the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross and their delegates, and with the organizations which give assistance to internees. Committee members in labour detachments shall enjoy similar facilities for communication with their Internee Committee in the principal place of internment. Such communications shall not be limited, nor considered as forming a part of the quota mentioned in Article 107.
Members of Internee Committees who are transferred shall be allowed a reasonable time to acquaint their successors with current affairs.
RELATIONS WITH THE EXTERIOR
Immediately upon interning protected persons, the Detaining Power shall inform them, the Power to which they owe allegiance and their Protecting Power of the measures taken for executing the provisions of the present Chapter. The Detaining Power shall likewise inform the Parties concerned of any subsequent modifications of such measures.
As soon as he is interned, or at the latest not more than one week after his arrival in a place of internment, and likewise in cases of sickness or transfer to another place of internment or to a hospital, every internee shall be enabled to send direct to his family, on the one hand, and to the Central Agency provided for by Article 140, on the other, an internment card similar, if possible, to the model annexed to the present Convention, informing his relatives of his detention, address and state of health. The said cards shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed in any way.
Internees shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to limit the number of letters and cards sent by each internee, the said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly; these shall be drawn up so as to conform as closely as possible to the models annexed to the present Convention. If limitations must be placed on the correspondence addressed to internees, they may be ordered only by the Power to which such internees owe allegiance, possibly at the request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards must be conveyed with reasonable despatch; they may not be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons.
Internees who have been a long time without news, or who find it impossible to receive news from their relatives, or to give them news by the ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a considerable distance from their homes, shall be allowed to send telegrams, the charges being paid by them in the currency at their disposal. They shall likewise benefit by this provision in cases which are recognized to be urgent.
As a rule, internees' mail shall be written in their own language. The Parties to the conflict may authorize correspondence in other languages.
Internees shall be allowed to receive, by post or by any other means, individual parcels or collective shipments containing in particular foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies, as well as books and objects of a devotional, educational or recreational character which may meet their needs. Such shipments shall in no way free the Detaining Power from the obligations imposed upon it by virtue of the present Convention.
Should military necessity require the quantity of such shipments to be limited, due notice thereof shall be given to the Protecting Power and to the International Committee of the Red Cross, or to any other organization giving assistance to the internees and responsible for the forwarding of such shipments.
The conditions for the sending of individual parcels and collective shipments shall, if necessary, be the subject of special agreements between the Powers concerned, which may in no case delay the receipt by the internees of relief supplies. Parcels of clothing and foodstuffs may not include books. Medical relief supplies shall, as a rule, be sent in collective parcels.
In the absence of special agreements between Parties to the conflict regarding the conditions for the receipt and distribution of collective relief shipments, the regulations concerning collective relief which are annexed to the present Convention shall be applied.
The special agreements provided for above shall in no case restrict the right of Internee Committees to take possession of collective relief shipments intended for internees, to undertake their distribution and to dispose of them in the interests of the recipients.
Nor shall such agreements restrict the right of representatives of the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, or any other organization giving assistance to internees and responsible for the forwarding of collective shipments, to supervise their distribution to the recipients.
All relief shipments for internees shall be exempt from import, customs and other dues.
All matter sent by mail, including relief parcels sent by parcel post and remittances of money, addressed from other countries to internees or despatched by them through the post office, either direct or through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article 136 and the Central Information Agency provided for in Article 140, shall be exempt from all postal dues both in the countries of origin and destination and in intermediate countries. To this end. in particular, the exemption provided by the Universal Postal Convention of 1947 and by the agreements of the Universal Postal Union in favour of civilians of enemy nationality detained in camps or civilian prisons, shall be extended to the other interned persons protected by the present Convention. The countries not signatory to the above-mentioned agreements shall be bound to grant freedom from charges in the same circumstances.
The cost of transporting relief shipments which are intended for internees and which, by reason of their weight or any other cause, cannot be sent through the post office, shall be borne by the Detaining Power in all the territories under its control. Other Powers which are Parties to the present Convention shall bear the cost of transport in their respective territories.
Costs connected with the transport of such shipments, which are not covered by the above paragraphs, shall be charged to the senders.
The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to reduce, so far as possible, the charges for telegrams sent by internees, or addressed to them.
Should military operations prevent the Powers concerned from fulfilling their obligation to ensure the conveyance of the mail and relief shipments provided for in Articles 106, 107, 108 and 113, the Protecting Powers concerned, the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other organization duly approved by the Parties to the conflict may undertake the conveyance of such shipments by suitable means (rail, motor vehicles, vessels or aircraft, etc.). For this purpose, the High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to supply them with such transport, and to allow its circulation, especially by granting the necessary safe-conducts.
Such transport may also be used to convey:
(a) Correspondence, lists and reports exchanged between the Central Information Agency referred to in Article 140 and the National Bureaux referred to in Article 136;
(b) Correspondence and reports relating to internees which the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other organization assisting the internees exchange either with their own delegates or with the Parties to the conflict.
These provisions in no way detract from the right of any Party to the conflict to arrange other means of transport if it should so prefer, nor preclude the granting of safe-conducts, under mutually agreed conditions, to such means of transport.
The costs occasioned by the use of such means of transport shall be borne, in proportion to the importance of the shipments, by the Parties to the conflict whose nationals are benefited thereby.
The censoring of correspondence addressed to internees or despatched by them shall be done as quickly as possible. The examination of consignments intended for internees shall not be carried out under conditions that will expose the goods contained in them to deterioration. It shall be done in the presence of the addressee, or of a fellow-internee duly delegated by him. The delivery to internees of individual or collective consignments shall not be delayed under the pretext of difficulties of censorship.
Any prohibition of correspondence ordered by the Parties to the conflict, either for military or political reasons, shall be only temporary and its duration shall be as short as possible.
The Detaining Powers shall provide all reasonable facilities for the transmission, through the Protecting Power or the Central Agency provided for in Article 140, or as otherwise required, of wills, powers of attorney letters of authority, or any other documents intended for internees or despatched by them.
In all cases the Detaining Power shall facilitate the execution and authentication in due legal form of such documents on behalf of internees, in particular by allowing them to consult a lawyer.
The Detaining Power shall afford internees all facilities to enable them to manage their property, provided this is not incompatible with the conditions of internment and the law which is applicable. For this purpose, the said Power may give them permission to leave the place of internment in urgent cases and if circumstances allow.
In all cases where an internee is a party to proceedings in any court, the Detaining Power shall, if he so requests, cause the court to be informed of his detention and shall, within legal limits, ensure that all necessary steps are taken to prevent him from being in any way prejudiced, by reason of his internment, as regards the preparation and conduct of his case or as regards the execution of any judgment of the court.
Every internee shall be allowed to receive visitors, especially near relatives, at regular intervals and as frequently as possible.
As far as is possible, internees shall be permitted to visit their homes in urgent cases, particularly in cases of death or serious illness of relatives.
PENAL AND DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS
Subject to the provisions of the present Chapter, the laws in force in the territory in which they are detained will continue to apply to internees who commit offences during internment.
If general laws, regulations or orders declare acts committed by internees to be punishable, whereas the same acts are not punishable when committed by persons who are not internees, such acts shall entail disciplinary punishments only.
No internee may be punished more than once for the same act, or on the same count.
The courts or authorities shall in passing sentence take as far as possible into account the fact that the defendant is not a national of the Detaining Power. They shall be free to reduce the penalty prescribed for the offence with which the internee is charged and shall not be obliged, to this end, to apply the minimum sentence prescribed.
Imprisonment in premises without daylight, and, in general, all forms of cruelty without exception are forbidden.
Internees who have served disciplinary or judicial sentences shall not be treated differently from other internees.
The duration of preventive detention undergone by an internee shall be deducted from any disciplinary or judicial penalty involving confinement to which he may be sentenced.
Internee Committees shall be informed of all judicial proceedings instituted against internees whom they represent, and of their result.
The disciplinary punishments applicable to internees shall be the following:
1. A fine which shall not exceed 50 per cent of the wages which the internee would otherwise receive under the provisions of Article 95 during a period of not more than thirty days.
2. Discontinuance of privileges granted over and above the treatment provided for by the present Convention.
3. Fatigue duties, not exceeding two hours daily, in connection with the maintenance of the place of internment.
In no case shall disciplinary penalties be inhuman, brutal or dangerous for the health of internees. Account shall be taken of the internee's age, sex and state of health.
The duration of any single punishment shall in no case exceed a maximum of thirty consecutive days, even if the internee is answerable for several breaches of discipline when his case is dealt with, whether such breaches are connected or not.
Internees who are recaptured after having escaped or when attempting to escape shall be liable only to disciplinary punishment in respect of this act, even if it is a repeated offence. Article 118, paragraph 3, notwithstanding, internees punished as a result of escape or attempt to escape, may be subjected to special surveillance, on condition that such surveillance does not affect the state of their health, that it is exercised in a place of internment and that it does not entail the abolition of any of the safeguards granted by the present Convention.
Internees who aid and abet an escape, or attempt to escape, shall be liable on this count to disciplinary punishment only.
Escape, or attempt to escape, even if it is a repeated offence, shall not be deemed an aggravating circumstance in cases where an internee is prosecuted for offences committed during his escape.
The Parties to the conflict shall ensure that the competent authorities exercise leniency in deciding whether punishment inflicted for an offence shall be of a disciplinary or judicial nature, especially in respect of acts committed in connection with an escape, whether successful or not.
Acts which constitute offences against discipline shall be investigated immediately. This rule shall be applied, in particular, in cases of escape or attempt to escape. Recaptured internees shall be handed over to the competent authorities as soon as possible.
In case of offences against discipline, confinement awaiting trial shall be reduced to an absolute minimum for all internees, and shall not exceed fourteen days. Its duration shall in any case be deducted from any sentence of confinement.
The provisions of Articles 124 and 125 shall apply to internees who are in confinement awaiting trial for offences against discipline.
Without prejudice to the competence of courts and higher authorities, disciplinary punishment may be ordered only by the commandant of the place of internment, or by a responsible officer or official who replaces him, or to whom he has delegated his disciplinary powers.
Before any disciplinary punishment is awarded, the accused internee shall be given precise information regarding the offences of which he is accused, and given an opportunity of explaining his conduct and of defending himself. He shall be permitted, in particular, to call witnesses and to have recourse, if necessary, to the services of a qualified interpreter. The decision shall be announced in the presence of the accused and of a member of the Internee Committee.
The period elapsing between the time of award of a disciplinary punishment and its execution shall not exceed one month.
When an internee is awarded a further disciplinary punishment, a period of at least three days shall elapse between the execution of any two of the punishments, if the duration of one of these is ten days or more.
A record of disciplinary punishments shall be maintained by the commandant of the place of internment and shall be open to inspection by representatives of the Protecting Power.
Internees shall not in any case be transferred to penitentiary establishments (prisons, penitentiaries, convict prisons, etc.) to undergo disciplinary punishment therein.
The premises in which disciplinary punishments are undergone shall conform to sanitary requirements; they shall in particular be provided with adequate bedding. Internees undergoing punishment shall be enabled to keep themselves in a state of cleanliness.
Women internees undergoing disciplinary punishment shall be confined in separate quarters from male internees and shall be under the immediate supervision of women.
Internees awarded disciplinary punishment shall be allowed to exercise and to stay in the open air at least two hours daily.
They shall be allowed, if they so request, to be present at the daily medical inspections. They shall receive the attention which their state of health requires and, if necessary, shall be removed to the infirmary of the place of internment or to a hospital.
They shall have permission to read and write, likewise to send and receive letters. Parcels and remittances of money, however, may be withheld from them until the completion of their punishment; such consignments shall meanwhile be entrusted to the Internee Committee, who will hand over to the infirmary the perishable goods contained in the parcels.
No internee given a disciplinary punishment may be deprived of the benefit of the provisions of Articles 107 and 143 of the present Convention.
The provisions of Articles 71 to 76 inclusive shall apply, by analogy, to proceedings against internees who are in the national territory of the Detaining Power.
TRANSFERS OF INTERNEES
The transfer of internees shall always be effected humanely. As a general rule, it shall be carried out by rail or other means of transport, and under conditions at least equal to those obtaining for the forces of the Detaining Power in their changes of station. If, as an exceptional measure, such removals have to be effected on foot, they may not take place unless the internees are in a fit state of health, and may not in any case expose them to excessive fatigue.
The Detaining Power shall supply internees during transfer with drinking water and food sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to maintain them in good health, and also with the necessary clothing, adequate shelter and the necessary medical attention. The Detaining Power shall take all suitable precautions to ensure their safety during transfer, and shall establish before their departure a complete list of all internees transferred.
Sick, wounded or infirm internees and maternity cases shall not be transferred if the journey would be seriously detrimental to them, unless their safety imperatively so demands.
If the combat zone draws close to a place of internment, the internees in the said place shall not be transferred unless their removal can be carried out in adequate conditions of safety, or unless they are exposed to greater risks by remaining on the spot than by being transferred.
When making decisions regarding the transfer of internees, the Detaining Power shall take their interests into account and, in particular, shall not do anything to increase the difficulties of repatriating them or returning them to their own homes.
In the event of transfer, internees shall be officially advised of their departure and of their new postal address. Such notification shall be given in time for them to pack their luggage and inform their next of kin.
They shall be allowed to take with them their personal effects, and the correspondence and parcels which have arrived for them. The weight of such baggage may be limited if the conditions of transfer so require, but in no case to less than twenty-five kilograms per internee.
Mail and parcels addressed to their former place of internment shall be forwarded to them without delay.
The commandant of the place of internment shall take, in agreement with the Internee Committee, any measures needed to ensure the transport of the internees' community property and of the luggage the internees are unable to take with them in consequence of restrictions imposed by virtue of the second paragraph.
The wills of internees shall be received for safe-keeping by the responsible authorities; and in the event of the death of an internee his will shall be transmitted without delay to a person whom he has previously designated.
Deaths of internees shall be certified in every case by a doctor, and a death certificate shall be made out, showing the causes of death and the conditions under which it occurred.
An official record of the death, duly registered, shall be drawn up in accordance with the procedure relating thereto in force in the territory where the place of internment is situated, and a duly certified copy of such record shall be transmitted without delay to the Protecting Power as well as to the Central Agency referred to in Article 140.
The detaining authorities shall ensure that internees who die while interned are honourably buried, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, and that their graves are respected, properly maintained, and marked in such a way that they can always be recognized.
Deceased internees shall be buried in individual graves unless unavoidable circumstances require the use of collective graves. Bodies may be' cremated only for imperative reasons of hygiene, on account of the religion of the deceased or in accordance with his expressed wish to this effect. In case of cremation, the fact shall be stated and the reasons given in the death certificate of the deceased. The ashes shall be retained for safe-keeping by the detaining authorities and shall be transferred as soon as possible to the next of kin on their request.
As soon as circumstances permit, and not later than the close of hostilities, the Detaining Power shall forward lists of graves of deceased internees to the Powers on whom the deceased internees depended, through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article 136. Such lists shall include all particulars necessary for the identification of the deceased internees, as well as the exact location of their graves.
Every death or serious injury of an internee, caused or suspected to have been caused by a sentry, another internee or any other person, as well as any death the cause of which is unknown, shall be immediately followed by an official enquiry by the Detaining Power.
A communication on this subject shall be sent immediately to the Projecting Power. The evidence of any witnesses shall be taken, and a report including such evidence shall be prepared and forwarded to the said Protecting power.
If the enquiry indicates the guilt of one or more persons, the Detaining Power shall take all necessary steps to ensure the prosecution of the person or persons responsible.
RELEASE, REPATRIATION AND ACCOMMODATION IN NEUTRAL COUNTRIES
Each interned person shall be released by the Detaining Power as soon as the reasons which necessitated his internment no longer exist.
The Parties to the conflict shall, moreover, endeavour during the course of hostilities, to conclude agreements for the release, the repatriation, the return to places of residence or the accommodation in a neutral country of certain classes of internees, in particular children, pregnant women and mothers with infants and young children, wounded and sick, and internees who have been detained for a long time.
Internment shall cease as soon as possible after the close of hostilities.
Internees, in the territory of a Party to the conflict, against whom penal proceedings are pending for offences not exclusively subject to disciplinary penalties, may be detained until the close of such proceedings and, if circumstances require, until the completion of the penalty. The same shall apply to internees who have been previously sentenced to a punishment depriving them of liberty.
By agreement between the Detaining Power and the Powers concerned, committees may be set up after the close of hostilities, or of the occupation of territories, to search for dispersed internees.
The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour, upon the close of hostilities or occupation, to ensure the return of all internees to their last place of residence, or to facilitate their repatriation.
The Detaining Power shall bear the expense of returning released internees to the places where they were residing when interned, or, if it took them into custody while they were in transit or on the high seas, the cost of completing their journey or of their return to their point of departure.
Where a Detaining Power refuses permission to reside in its territory to a released internee who previously had his permanent domicile therein, such Detaining Power shall pay the cost of the said internee's repatriation. If, however, the internee elects to return to his country on his own responsibility or in obedience to the Government of the Power to which he owes allegiance, the Detaining Power need not pay the expenses of his journey beyond the point of his departure from its territory. The Detaining Power need not pay the costs of repatriation of an internee who was interned at his own request.
If internees are transferred in accordance with Article 45, the transferring and receiving Powers shall agree on the portion of the above costs to be borne by each.
The foregoing shall not prejudice such special agreements as may be concluded between Parties to the conflict concerning the exchange and repatriation of their nationals in enemy hands.
INFORMATION BUREAUX AND CENTRAL AGENCY
Upon the outbreak of a conflict and in all cases of occupation, each of the Parties to the conflict shall establish an official Information Bureau responsible for receiving and transmitting information in respect of the protected persons who are in its power.
Each of the Parties to the conflict shall, within the shortest possible period, give its Bureau information of any measure taken by it concerning any protected persons who are kept in custody for more than two weeks, who are subjected to assigned residence or who are interned. It shall, furthermore, require its various departments concerned with such matters to provide the aforesaid Bureau promptly with information concerning all changes pertaining to these protected persons, as, for example, transfers, release, repatriations, escapes, admittances to hospitals, births and deaths.
Each national Bureau shall immediately forward information concerning protected persons by the most rapid means to the Powers of whom the aforesaid persons are nationals, or to Powers in whose territory they resided, through the intermediary of the Protecting Powers and likewise through the Central Agency provided for in Article 140. The Bureaux shall also reply to all enquiries which may be received regarding protected persons.
Information Bureaux shall transmit information concerning a protected person unless its transmission might be detrimental to the person concerned or to his or her relatives. Even in such a case, the information may not be withheld from the Central Agency which, upon being notified of the circumstances, will take the necessary precautions indicated in Article 140.
All communications in writing made by any Bureau shall be authenticated by a signature or a seal.
The information received by the national Bureau and transmitted by it shall be of such a character as to make it possible to identify the protected person exactly and to advise his next of kin quickly. The information in respect of each person shall include at least his surname, first names, place and date of birth, nationality, last residence and distinguishing characteristics, the first name of the father and the maiden name of the mother, the date, place and nature of the action taken with regard to the individual, the address at which correspondence may be sent to him and the name and address of the person to be informed.
Likewise, information regarding the state of health of internees who are seriously ill or seriously wounded shall be supplied regularly and if possible every week.
Each national Information Bureau shall, furthermore, be responsible for collecting all personal valuables left by protected persons mentioned in Article 136, in particular those who have been repatriated or released, or who have escaped or died; it shall forward the said valuables to those concerned, either direct, or, if necessary, through the Central Agency. Such articles shall be sent by the Bureau in sealed packets which shall be accompanied by statements giving clear and full identity particulars of the person to whom the articles belonged, and by a complete list of the contents of the parcel. Detailed records shall be maintained of the receipt and despatch of all such valuables.
A Central Information Agency for protected persons, in particular for internees, shall be created in a neutral country. The International Committee of the Red Cross shall, if it deems necessary, propose to the Powers concerned the organization of such an Agency, which may be the same as that provided for in Article 123 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949.
The function of the Agency shall be to collect all information of the type set forth in Article 136 which it may obtain through official or private channels and to transmit it as rapidly as possible to the countries of origin or of residence of the persons concerned, except in cases where such transmissions might be detrimental to the persons whom the said information concerns, or to their relatives. It shall receive from the Parties to the conflict all reasonable facilities for effecting such transmissions.
The High Contracting Parties, and in particular those whose nationals benefit by the services of the Central Agency, are requested to give the said Agency the financial aid it may require.
The foregoing provisions shall in no way be interpreted as restricting the humanitarian activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of the relief Societies described in Article 142.
The national Information Bureaux and the Central Information Agency shall enjoy free postage for all mail, likewise the exemptions provided for in Article 110, and further, so far as possible, exemption from telegraphic charges or, at least, greatly reduced rates.
PART IV EXECUTION OF THE CONVENTION
Subject to the measures which the Detaining Powers may consider essential to ensure their security or to meet any other reasonable need, the representatives of religious organizations, relief societies, or any other organizations assisting the protected persons, shall receive from these Powers, for themselves or their duly accredited agents, all facilities for visiting the protected persons, for distributing relief supplies and material from any source, intended for educational, recreational or religious purposes , or for assisting them in organizing their leisure time within the places of internment. Such societies or organizations may be constituted in the territory of the Detaining Power, or in any other country, or they may have an international character.
The Detaining Power may limit the number of societies and organizations whose delegates are allowed to carry out their activities in its territory and under its supervision, on condition, however, that such limitation shall not hinder the supply of effective and adequate relief to all protected persons.
The special position of the International Committee of the Red Cross in this field shall be recognized and respected at all times.
Representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have permission to go to all places where protected persons are, particularly to places of internment, detention and work.
They shall have access to all premises occupied by protected persons and shall be able to interview the latter without witnesses, personally or through an interpreter.
Such visits may not be prohibited except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and then only as an exceptional and temporary measure Their duration and frequency shall not be restricted.
Such representatives and delegates shall have full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. The Detaining or Occupying Power, the Protecting Power and when occasion arises the Power of origin of the persons to be visited, may agree that compatriots of the internees shall be permitted to participate in the visits.
The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross shall also enjoy the above prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates shall be submitted to the approval of the Power governing the territories where they will carry out their duties.
The High Contracting Parties undertake, in time of peace as in time of war, to disseminate the text of the present Convention as widely as possible in their respective countries, and, in particular, to include the study thereof in their programmes of military and, if possible, civil instruction, so that the principles thereof may become known to the entire population.
Any civilian, military, police or other authorities, who in time of war assume responsibilities in respect of protected persons, must possess the text of the Convention and be specially instructed as to its provisions.
The High Contracting Parties shall communicate to one another through the Swiss Federal Council and, during hostilities, through the Protecting Powers, the official translations of the present Convention, as well as the laws and regulations which they may adopt to ensure the application thereof.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.
Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another
High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case.
Each High Contracting Party shall take measures necessary for the suppression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present Convention other than the grave breaches defined in the following Article.
In all circumstances, the accused persons shall benefit by safeguards of proper trial and defence, which shall not be less favourable than those provided by Article 105 and those following of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949.
Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.
No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article.
At the request of a Party to the conflict, an enquiry shall be instituted, in a manner to be decided between the interested Parties, concerning any alleged violation of the Convention.
If agreement has not been reached concerning the procedure for the enquiry, the Parties should agree on the choice of an umpire who will decide upon the procedure to be followed.
Once the violation has been established, the Parties to the conflict shall put an end to it and shall repress it with the least possible delay.
The present Convention is established in English and in French. Both texts are equally authentic.
The Swiss Federal Council shall arrange for official translations of the Convention to be made in the Russian and Spanish languages.
The present Convention, which bears the date of this day, is open to signature until February 12, 1950, in the name of the Powers represented at the Conference which opened at Geneva on April 21, 1949.
The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at Berne.
A record shall be drawn up of the deposit of each instrument of ratification and certified copies of this record shall be transmitted by the Swiss Federal Council to all the Powers in whose name the Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been notified.
The present Convention shall come into force six months after not less than two instruments of ratification have been deposited.
Thereafter, it shall come into force for each High Contracting Party six months after the deposit of the instrument of ratification.
In the relations between the Powers who are bound by The Hague Conventions respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, whether that of 29 July, 1899, or that of 18 October, 1907, and who are parties to the present Convention, this last Convention shall be supplementary to Sections II and III of the Regulations annexed to the above-mentioned Conventions of The Hague.
From the date of its coming into force, it shall be open to any Power in whose name the present Convention has not been signed, to accede to this Convention.
Accessions shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal Council, and shall take effect six months after the date on which they are received.
The Swiss Federal Council shall communicate the accessions to all the Powers in whose name the Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been notified.
The situations provided for in Articles 2 and 3 shall give immediate effect to ratifications deposited and accessions notified by the Parties to the conflict before or after the beginning of hostilities or occupation. The Swiss Federal Council shall communicate by the quickest method any ratifications or accessions received from Parties to the conflict.
Each of the High Contracting Parties shall be at liberty to denounce the present Convention.
The denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal Council, which shall transmit it to the Governments of all the High Contracting Parties.
The denunciation shall take effect one year after the notification thereof has been made to the Swiss Federal Council. However, a denunciation of which notification has been made at a time when the denouncing Power is involved in a conflict shall not take effect until peace has been concluded, and until after operations connected with the release, repatriation and re-establishment of the persons protected by the present Convention have been terminated.
The denunciation shall have effect only in respect of the denouncing Power. It shall in no way impair the obligations which the Parties to the conflict shall remain bound to fulfil by virtue of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and the dictates of the public conscience. Article 159
The Swiss Federal Council shall register the present Convention with the Secretariat of the United Nations. The Swiss Federal Council shall also inform the Secretariat of the United Nations of all ratifications, accessions and denunciations received by it with respect to the present Convention.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, having deposited their respective full powers, have signed the present Convention.
DONE at Geneva this twelfth day of August 1949, in the English and French languages. The original shall be deposited in the Archives of the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss Federal Council shall transmit certified copies thereof to each of the signatory and acceding States.
Draft agreement relating to hospital and safety zones and localities
Hospital and safety zones shall be strictly reserved for the persons mentioned in Article 23 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August, 1949, and in Article 14 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August, 1949, and for the personnel entrusted with the organization and administration of these zones and localities and with the care of the persons therein assembled.
Nevertheless, persons whose permanent residence is within such zones shall have the right to stay there.
No persons residing, in whatever capacity, in a hospital and safety zone shall perform any work, either within or without the zone, directly connected with military operations or the production of war material.
The Power establishing a hospital and safety zone shall take all necessary measures to prohibit access to all persons who have no right of residence or entry therein.
Hospital and safety zones shall fulfil the following conditions:
(a) They shall comprise only a small part of the territory governed by the Power which has established them.
(b) They shall be thinly populated in relation to the possibilities of accommodation.
(c) They shall be far removed and free from all military objectives, or large industrial or administrative establishments.
(d) They shall not be situated in areas which, according to every probability, may become important for the conduct of the war.
Hospital and safety zones shall be subject to the following obligations:
(a) The lines of communication and means of transport which they possess shall not be used for the transport of military personnel or material, even in transit.
(b) They shall in no case be defended by military means.
Hospital and safety zones shall be marked by means of oblique red bands on a white ground, placed on the buildings and outer precincts.
Zones reserved exclusively for the wounded and sick may be marked by means of the Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) emblem on a white ground.
They may be similarly marked at night by means of appropriate illumination.
The Powers shall communicate to all the High Contracting Parties in peacetime or on the outbreak of hostilities, a list of the hospital and safety zones in the territories governed by them. They shall also give notice of any new zones set up during hostilities.
As soon as the adverse Party has received the above-mentioned notification, the zone shall be regularly established.
If, however, the adverse Party considers that the conditions of the present agreement have not been fulfilled, it may refuse to recognize the zone by giving immediate notice thereof to the Party responsible for the said zone, or may make its recognition of such zone dependent upon the institution of the control provided for in Article 8.
Any Power having recognized one or several hospital and safety zones instituted by the adverse Party shall be entitled to demand control by one or more Special Commissions. for the purpose of ascertaining if the zones fulfil the conditions and obligations stipulated in the present agreement.
For this purpose, members of the Special Commissions shall at all times have free access to the various zones and may even reside there permanently. They shall be given all facilities for their duties of inspection.
Should the Special Commissions note any facts which they consider contrary to the stipulations of the present agreement, they shall at once draw the attention of the Power governing the said zone to these facts, and shall fix a time limit of five days within which the matter should be rectified. They shall duly notify the Power who has recognized the zone.
If, when the time limit has expired. the Power governing the zone has not complied with the warning, the adverse Party may declare that it is no longer bound by the present agreement in respect of the said zone.
Any Power setting up one or more hospital and safety zones, and the adverse Parties to whom their existence has been notified, shall nominate or have nominated by the Protecting Powers or by other neutral Powers, persons eligible to be members of the Special Commissions mentioned in Articles 8 and 9.
In no circumstances may hospital and safety zones be the object of attack. They shall be protected and respected at all times by the Parties to the conflict.
In the case of occupation of a territory, the hospital and safety zones therein shall continue to be respected and utilized as such.
Their purpose may, however, be modified by the Occupying Power, on condition that all measures are taken to ensure the safety of the persons accommodated.
The present agreement shall also apply to localities which the Powers may utilize for the same purposes as hospital and safety zones.
Draft regulations concerning collective relief
The Internee Committees shall be allowed to distribute collective relief shipments for which they are responsible. to all internees who are dependent for administration on the said Committee's place of internment, including those internees who are in hospitals, or in prisons or other penitentiary establishments.
The distribution of collective relief shipments shall be effected in accordance with the instructions of the donors and with a plan drawn up by the Internee Committees. The issue of medical stores shall, however, be made for preference in agreement with the senior medical officers, and the latter may, in hospitals and infirmaries, waive the said instructions, if the needs of their patients so demand. Within the limits thus defined, the distribution shall always be carried out equitably.
Members of Internee Committees shall be allowed to go to the railway stations or other points of arrival of relief supplies near their places of internment so as to enable them to verify the quantity as well as the quality of the goods received and to make out detailed reports thereon for the donors.
Internee Committees shall be given the facilities necessary for verifying whether the distribution of collective relief in all subdivisions and annexes of their places of internment has been carried out in accordance with their instructions.
Internee Committees shall be allowed to complete, and to cause to be completed by members of the Internee Committees in labour detachments or by the senior medical officers of infirmaries and hospitals, forms or questionnaires intended for the donors, relating to collective relief supplies (distribution, requirements, quantities, etc.). Such forms and questionnaires, duly completed, shall be forwarded to the donors without delay.
In order to secure the regular distribution of collective relief supplies to the internees in their place of internment, and to meet any needs that may arise through the arrival of fresh parties of internees, the Internee Committees shall be allowed to create and maintain sufficient reserve stocks of collective relief. For this purpose, they shall have suitable warehouses at their disposal; each warehouse shall be provided with two locks, the Internee Committee holding the keys of one lock, and the commandant of the place of internment the keys of the other.
The High Contracting Parties, and the Detaining Powers in particular, shall, so far as is in any way possible and subject to the regulations governing the food supply of the population, authorize purchases of goods to be made in their territories for the distribution of collective relief to the internees. They shall likewise facilitate the transfer of funds and other financial measures of a technical or administrative nature taken for the purpose of making such purchases.
The foregoing provisions shall not constitute an obstacle to the right of internees to receive collective relief before their arrival in a place of internment or in the course of their transfer, nor to the possibility of representatives of the Protecting Power, or of the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other humanitarian organization giving assistance to internees and responsible for forwarding such supplies, ensuring the distribution thereof to the recipients by any other means they may deem suitable.
-------- POLICE / PRISONERS / COURTS / JUSTICE
GOP Leaders Seek Release of Clarke's 2002 Testimony
Frist Cites 'Entirely Different Stories'
By Charles Babington and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A01
The Senate's top Republican called yesterday for declassifying Richard A. Clarke's testimony before a House-Senate intelligence panel two years ago to determine whether he lied, as partisan exchanges intensified over allegations leveled this week by the Bush administration's former counterterrorism chief.
In a blistering speech from the Senate floor, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said Clarke "has told two entirely different stories under oath" -- first in private before Congress's joint intelligence committee in July 2002, then this week before cameras at a hearing conducted by the commission looking into the same topic, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Frist offered no specific contradictions other than to say that Clarke was "effusive in his praise" of the Bush administration's handling of terrorism matters in his 2002 testimony but was sharply critical this week.
"If he lied under oath to the United States Congress, it is a far more serious matter" than being inconsistent with reporters, another Republican charge aimed at Clarke, who served in the White House under four presidents.
Some Democratic lawmakers who heard Clarke's testimony in both settings said they found no inconsistencies. Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who was co-chairman of the joint intelligence inquiry, said in a statement, "To the best of my recollection, there is nothing inconsistent or contradictory in that testimony [from 2002] and what Mr. Clarke has said this week." He said Clarke's 2002 testimony should be declassified "in its entirety," not in selected ways to favor the White House.
The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), said: "As one of the co-chairs of the House-Senate Joint Inquiry on 9/11, the statements I heard Richard Clarke give then were consistent with what he is saying now."
Clarke did not respond to e-mails and phone calls seeking comment yesterday.
The essence of Frist's allegation was raised at Wednesday's televised 9/11 commission hearing by commissioner Fred F. Fielding, White House counsel in the Reagan administration. He told Clarke he had read the 2002 closed-door testimony and said, "I can't believe that over six hours you never expressed any concern to them that the Bush administration didn't act with sufficient urgency to address these horrible potential problems" of terrorist threats.
Clarke replied that "all the measures that I thought should have been taken were in the [counterterrorism] plan that I presented in January of 2001." He said he told the House-Senate inquiry, as he had told the commission earlier that day, that "those proposals which ultimately were adopted by the [Bush National Security Council] principals' committee took a very, very, very, long time to make it through the policy development."
When Fielding pressed him to explain why he had waited until this week to express his concerns about the lack of "urgency within the Bush administration," Clarke said that, while speaking to the 2002 joint inquiry committee, he was a member of the administration. At the time, he said, he had provided "all the facts it needed to make the conclusions which I have made about how long it took" to get the plan approved.
He told Fielding: "Sir, with all of your experience in this city, you understand as well as I do the freedom one has to speak critical of an administration when one is a member of that administration."
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) joined Frist in calling for declassifying Clarke's 2002 testimony before the joint intelligence committee. Normally a committee would send testimony to the CIA for clearance, then review the requested deletions and vote on whether to release it. It was not clear last night whether one or both of the congressional panels would have to agree on declassifying the testimony.
Yesterday's remarks by Frist, a heart surgeon who typically leaves the sharpest partisan barbs to others, suggested White House concern about Clarke's allegations made this week in interviews, public testimony and a new book. Clarke, who served in the Reagan, Clinton and both Bush administrations, says President Bush in early 2001 was too slow to respond to urgent warnings about the al Qaeda terrorist group. He told the commission Wednesday that the administration "saw terrorism policy as important but not urgent prior to 9/11."
Frist spokesman Robert Stevenson said aides had briefed the senator on Clarke's six hours of testimony to the joint intelligence committee in 2002. "It is absent some of the criticisms of the administration's policies" that Clarke has leveled this week, Stevenson said, but Frist has no more detailed examples of contradictory testimony.
The White House, largely consumed this week by Clarke's allegations, announced yesterday that national security adviser Condoleezza Rice will appear Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes," the program on which Clarke first made his criticisms six days ago. Polls suggest large numbers of Americans have followed the controversy over Bush's handling of terrorist threats, a topic the GOP -- until this week, at least -- has considered a strong suit in Bush's reelection bid.
His likely Democratic challenger, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), cautiously entered the debate yesterday, telling CBS's "MarketWatch" he has "read a couple of chapters" of Clarke's book. "I think he raises very, very serious questions," Kerry said. "My challenge to the Bush administration would be, if he's not believable and they have reason to show it, then prosecute him for perjury, because he is under oath."
Since Sunday, Bush and his supporters have tried to undermine Clarke's credibility in several ways. They cited Clarke's brief praise of the president in his resignation letter and in a farewell meeting in the Oval Office. Clarke replied that he was simply being polite.
The notion of declassifying congressional testimony marks the second time that Republicans have tried to draw Clarke from anonymity to challenge his truthfulness. The White House revealed this week that Clarke was the unnamed speaker in an August 2002 press briefing that defended the administration's terrorism policy, which had been criticized in a Time magazine article. Clarke says it was part of his job then to defend the administration as best he could.
Frist's denunciation of Clarke yesterday was often searing. He called Clarke's criticisms of Bush "outrageous" and suggested they are designed mainly to sell books. He said that "the only common denominator" in 10 years of unanswered terrorist attacks against Americans "was Mr. Clarke himself, a consideration that is clearly driving his effort to point fingers and shift blame."
Frist continued: "There is not a single public record of Mr. Clarke making any objection whatsoever in the period leading up to or following the 9/11 attacks. . . . If Mr. Clarke held his tongue because he was 'loyal,' then shame on him for putting politics above principle. But if he has manufactured these charges for profit and political gain, he is a shame to this government."
Staff writers Glenn Kessler, Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei contributed to this report.
Analysis Bush, Clinton Varied Little on Terrorism
By Dana Milbank and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A01
For all the sniping over efforts by the Bush and Clinton administrations to thwart terrorism, information from this week's hearings into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks suggests that the two administrations pursued roughly the same policies before the terrorist strikes occurred.
Witness testimony and the findings of the commission investigating the attacks indicate that even the new policy to combat Osama bin Laden and his Taliban hosts, developed just before Sept. 11, was in most respects similar to the old strategy pursued first by Clinton and then by Bush.
The commission's determination that the two policies were roughly the same calls into question claims made by Bush officials that they were developing a superior terrorism policy. The findings also put into perspective the criticism of President Bush's approach to terrorism by Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism chief: For all his harsh complaints about Bush administration's lack of urgency in regard to terrorism, he had no serious quarrel with the actual policy Bush was pursuing before the 2001 attacks.
Clarke did not respond to efforts to reach him for comment yesterday.
Bush officials have claimed that their al Qaeda strategy took eight months to develop because it was significantly more aggressive and sweeping than the tactics employed by the previous administration. "Our strategy marshaled all elements of national power to take down the network, not just respond to individual attacks with law enforcement measures," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice wrote in an op-ed article published in The Post earlier this week.
In fact, according to the details that emerged this week, most of the strategies approved by high-level Bush officials on Sept. 4 and Sept. 10, 2001, were nearly identical in thrust to the policies pursued by the Clinton team. The plans grew out of long-standing proposals made by Clarke in 1998 and 2000 -- ideas derided this week by Rice as a "laundry list" of ideas that were previously "tried or rejected."
Clarke's 1998 and 2000 proposals were not formally adopted by the Clinton administration, but most of the ideas, except his call for continuous bombings of al Qaeda and Taliban targets, served informally to guide policy. Clarke submitted both proposals, along with a request for short-term actions, to the Bush team on Jan. 25, 2001. The suggestions formed the basis for the Bush strategy that was adopted nearly eight months later.
The Bush plan called for further diplomatic pressure on the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan, which had refused entreaties to expel bin Laden, along with the continuation of sanctions and a resumption of the use of unmanned reconnaissance drones to spy on terror camps and locate the al Qaeda leader, according to descriptions of the policies by commission investigators, panel members and Bush officials. The Predator drones also would have been armed, as Clinton officials had begun debating in 2000.
Bush officials say that Clarke's 1998 plan and particularly his 2000 proposal were not actual Clinton policies and included many wish-list items that the Bush administration was turning into actual policy. They say the strategy assembled by the Bush administration moved more quickly to arm the Predator and included plans to thwart terrorist financing and to counter al Qaeda propaganda with public diplomacy.
"The White House quickly sought a new strategy that would eliminate al Qaeda, not roll it back or try to contain it," said Jim Wilkinson, a spokesman for the National Security Council. Whereas the Clinton administration said it wanted to "roll back" al Qaeda into a "rump group," Wilkinson said the Bush plan to "eliminate the threat" of al Qaeda meant something different. "It's a contrast between simply responding to attacks and going out and seeking threats where they hide and plot," he said.
But Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, testifying this week in place of Rice, who declined to give public testimony to the commission, said there was "stunning continuity" in the transition from Clinton to Bush. "We made the determination under the guidance of Dr. Rice and the president to vigorously pursue the policy which we inherited while developing our own approach," he said.
The Bush administration's approach, which was in draft form by Sept. 4, 2001, did not differ substantially from Clinton's policy. The commission staff, in the "key findings" it released this week, said: "The new administration began to develop new policies toward al Qaeda in 2001, but there is no evidence of new work on military capabilities or plans against this enemy before September 11" -- a point on which Armitage concurred.
The primary differences in the Bush proposal were calls for more direct financial and logistical support to the Northern Alliance and the anti-Taliban Pashtuns and, if that failed, to eventually seek the overthrow of the Taliban through proxies. The plan also called for drafting plans for possible U.S. military involvement, according to testimony and commission findings.
But those differences were largely theoretical; administration officials told the panel's investigators that the plan's overall timeline was at least three years, and it did not include firm deadlines, military plans or significant funding at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The similarities between the two administration's approaches led several Democratic members of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States to play down the importance of the Bush plan and to criticize the administration for not taking more aggressive action against bin Laden and his network earlier in 2001. A Democratic commission member, former Indiana representative Timothy J. Roemer, said in an interview that the eventual Bush strategy was "not significantly different, except for a few adjectives and rhetorical flourishes," from the proposals made by Clarke.
Former Clinton aides feel vindicated. Daniel Benjamin, a Clinton administration National Security Council official, said that "after seven months of chewing on it, they reached essentially the same conclusions as the previous administration" and did not have the funding in place to support more aggressive policies.
But Clarke, who was counterterrorism director for both Clinton and Bush, has been much more critical of Bush. In testimony this week, he said al Qaeda and terrorism "were an extraordinarily high priority" and there was "certainly no higher a priority" under Clinton. On the other hand, he said, "the Bush administration in the first eight months considered terrorism an important issue but not an urgent issue."
In fact, Clarke was constantly agitating for a more aggressive response to terrorism from the Clinton administration, including more significant bombing of al Qaeda and Taliban targets. The commission staff described him as "controversial" and "abrasive" and included an observation that several Clinton colleagues wanted him fired.
"He was despised under Clinton," said Ivo H. Daalder, who worked under Clarke in the Clinton National Security Council on issues other than terrorism. James M. Lindsay, who also worked under Clarke, concurred that people "thought he was exaggerating the threat" and said he "always wanted to do more" than higher-ups approved.
Daalder and Lindsay say Clarke's criticism of Bush is based on the administration's emphasis, not its policy. "His criticism of Bush pre-9/11 is not necessarily that they didn't have a good strategy but that they didn't take the threat sufficiently seriously."
Staff writer Walter Pincus contributed to this report.
Refusal to Testify Has Precedent
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A10
The White House's refusal to permit national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly and under oath before the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is not unprecedented in the practices of both the Bush administration and previous administrations, according to legal analysts and a report by the research arm of the Library of Congress.
Presidential advisers and other White House staff members have on occasion testified about policy matters before congressional committees since the end of World War II -- but far less frequently than Cabinet secretaries, who are subject to Senate confirmation.
Whatever their political or other motivations may have been, presidents have generally cited the separation of powers, and the need for confidential and candid executive deliberations, in explaining their resistance to testimony by those White House staff members who, like Rice, serve the president and are not confirmed by the Senate.
But these distinctions and justifications remain relatively undefined and have never been ruled on by the Supreme Court. Such a court battle would probably occur only if the commission sent Rice a subpoena, as some members have suggested, and she resisted it.
Historically, clashes over White House staff testimony have been settled through compromise between the executive and legislative branches, with each side vying for advantage in the same forum where the dispute over Rice is being played out: the court of public opinion.
"It depends on the situation and the politics and the leverage Congress has and how embarrassing it is for the president not to comply," said Louis Fisher, senior specialist in separation of powers at the Congressional Research Service.
In a letter Thursday to Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, the chairman and vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Counsel to the President Alberto R. Gonzales articulated the "principles" he said make it impossible for Rice to offer anything more than a second private question-and-answer session with the commission. Rice was interviewed privately, and not under oath, on Feb. 7.
"In order for President Bush and future presidents to continue to receive the best and most candid possible advice from their White House staff on counterterrorism and other national security issues, it is important that these advisers not be compelled to testify publicly before congressional bodies such as the Commission," Gonzales wrote.
This is the second time the White House has taken such a position in an election-year battle over congressional access to a key White House anti-terrorism official. Tom Ridge, then the White House's homeland security director, refused to testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2002 but ultimately appeared for public "informal" sessions before two House committees.
President Jimmy Carter's White House appears to have taken a similar position. An internal 1979 directive advised staffers that they had "immunity" from compelled congressional testimony because of separation of powers, according to a 2002 report by the Congressional Research Service.
The main exception, historically, appears to be in cases of alleged wrongdoing. When scandal strikes, White House aides testify.
Several Nixon White House aides testified before the Senate Watergate committee, as did Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, during the Senate's investigation of alleged lobbying by the president's brother, Billy Carter, on behalf of Libya.
President Bill Clinton's national security adviser, Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, testified before a Senate committee investigating the Clinton campaign's fundraising practices in 1996. Berger, as deputy national security adviser, testified on Haiti policy in May 1994, but that testimony was behind closed doors.
So it ultimately may be important whether the current commission, created by Congress to "make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, and the extent of the United States' preparedness for, and immediate response to, the attacks" and to recommend "corrective measures," is conducting a probe similar to investigations of such scandals.
-------- ENERGY AND OTHER
U.S. Trims Request for Exemptions From Pact on Saving Ozone Layer
March 27, 2004
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
The New York Times
The United States and 10 other nations agreed yesterday to reduce their requests for exemptions to a ban on methyl bromide, one of the last remaining ozone-destroying compounds being produced and used extensively in wealthy countries.
The shift, at negotiations in Montreal, ended a stalemate that experts said threatened the integrity of the Montreal Protocol, the 1987 treaty eliminating chemicals that have damaged the atmosphere's protective ozone layer.
Under the treaty, wealthy countries have already cut use of methyl bromide, a pesticide, to 30 percent of the amount used in 1991 and were to stop using it altogether by next year. But some agricultural and food companies said they had no affordable alternatives, and so treaty signers agreed several years ago to allow some "critical use" to continue.
Developing countries generally have a 10-year grace period before the treaty's bans apply to them. The Bush administration had sought exemptions that would have increased use in 2005 to nearly 40 percent of 1991 levels. They agreed to a limit of 35 percent, with any amount above 30 percent coming from existing stockpiles and not new production.
Environmental groups and some elected officials said the original American requests amounted to a subsidy to farmers in Florida and California, states that are important in the presidential election. They also said the exemptions would slow shifts to alternatives.
Claudia A. McMurray, the deputy assistant secretary of state for the environment, said last night that the administration remained committed to ending use of the chemical, once affordable alternatives were available.
Bill Would Help Thousands Exposed to 9/11 Dust Plume
March 27, 2004
By ANTHONY DePALMA
The New York Times
Thousands of people who live or work in Lower Manhattan and were exposed to the dust plume after the World Trade Center attack would be eligible to undergo health screening under a bill expected to be introduced in Congress on Monday.
The legislation would greatly expand an existing health monitoring program that covers New York City firefighters and about 12,000 others who responded to the attacks.
Residents, office workers and federal employees who are not now eligible would be able to undergo screening and then enter the long-term health-monitoring program.
And for the first time, money would be made available to pay for health care expenses and prescription drugs for people without health insurance.
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a Manhattan Democrat, is cosponsoring the bill with Christopher Shays, Republican of Stamford, Conn., who has conducted hearings on the aftermath of 9/11.
Ms. Maloney said the expanded screening was needed because so much was still not known about the health impact of the dust cloud and the hazards it contained.
"Right now, the only people coming forward are people who think they are sick," Ms. Maloney said. "The point of screening is that we don't know what is going to develop."
Questions about the health risks posed by the dust cloud have been raised since federal environmental officials said, a few days after the attacks, that the air in Lower Manhattan was safe to breathe. Officials have since conceded that this declaration had been too broad.
Efforts to set up health screening programs were at first resisted by the federal government, and money was made available only after substantial pressure from New York's Congressional delegation.
An existing program at Mount Sinai Medical Center has already screened more than 9,200 people, and thousands more are waiting to be seen. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was instrumental in getting the federal government to establish the program and to provide $90 million to continue monitoring the health of people who have been screened.
But the release of that money was delayed for several months; it did not become available until last week.
More than 40,000 people exposed to the dust could end up being screened and monitored. The sponsors do not have an estimate of its cost.
Dr. Robin Herbert, co-director of the World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program at Mt. Sinai, said that half of those screened had shown signs of respiratory ailments.
However, with few exceptions, the screening program has not been able to provide treatment for ailing workers. Some have filed claims with the workers' compensation system, while others covered by health insurance have gone to family doctors.
For those without health insurance or union benefits, there has been almost no help, Ms. Maloney said.
Bush's AIDS Program Balks at Foreign Generics
U.S. Insistence on More Tests Complicates Rollout
By David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 27, 2004; Page A03
The Bush administration is requiring that foreign-made generic AIDS drugs undergo further evaluation before they are used in its $15 billion global AIDS program, even though the same pills have passed muster by the World Health Organization and other international health groups.
Announced three weeks ago to the first organizations to get money through the Bush program, the decision is already complicating the rollout of the enormously ambitious President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. That plan, which goes by the acronym PEPFAR, aims to put 2 million people in 14 African and Caribbean countries on life-saving antiretroviral therapy over the next five years.
The decision to spend U.S. funds only on brand-name drugs until foreign generics are studied further has angered AIDS activists. They see it as an effort to protect the U.S. pharmaceutical industry and undercut, at least symbolically, the burgeoning offshore generic drug industry.
"They are trying to hand the U.S. global AIDS plan over to Big Pharma," said Sharonann Lynch of the group Health GAP. "Look at the leg up that brand-name drugs are getting, courtesy of George Bush."
PEPFAR officials say they are only showing an abundance of caution as the United States government commences paying for lifelong medical treatment for millions of noncitizens, most of them in Africa.
"If in two or three years we have drug resistance as a result of a therapy that we introduce, we will have lost the continent in terms of our ability to treat," said Mark R. Dybul, an AIDS researcher from the National Institutes of Health now assigned to the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, at the State Department.
" 'Good drugs' isn't good enough. Because of the risk of resistance, we need the highest possible quality drugs to avert a disaster on the continent," he added.
Several experts believe the policy could have two possible effects.
It could delay initiating antiretroviral therapy in some AIDS patients in the developing world. Alternatively, it might require some of them to start taking more expensive brand-name pills and then switch to generic equivalents in six months to a year.
Even at the deep discounts offered by their makers, brand-name drugs in most cases are about three times the price of generics. And even if the period in which more expensive drugs are used is short, the policy could sow confusion in the minds of newly treated AIDS patients and complicate the operation of newly established AIDS clinics.
This is especially true in countries getting money not only from PEPFAR but also from sources such as the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which endorses the pills that PEPFAR now prohibits.
"It is hard to simplify [an AIDS treatment system] when the Americans say: Let's do it with different drugs and a separate procurement system," Stephen Gloyd, a physician at the University of Washington, said. "It has a potential negative effect on the ground. It's not just an issue of buying more expensive drugs."
Through an organization called Health Alliance International, Gloyd is helping set up treatment programs in Mozambique with about $3 million from PEPFAR.
Practically speaking, the main drug that PEPFAR recipients will not be able to use immediately is a "fixed-dose combination" of three antiretroviral drugs -- stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine -- made by several companies in India.
Sold as Triomune, Triviro and other names, it comes in a single pill and is taken twice a day. A year's supply can cost from $136 to $263. Taken as separate pills bought at a discount, this combination costs $559 a year.
The combination is one of four that World Health Organization experts recommend in the guidelines for the "3 by 5" program -- WHO's separate effort to help put 3 million people in poor countries on antiretrovirals by the end of 2005. In practice, about 90 percent of people who have never taken AIDS drugs are expected to start with it.
PEPFAR's prohibition against using this unusually handy pill arises from the requirement that AIDS drugs bought through the U.S. program must be "approved by a stringent regulatory authority or otherwise demonstrate quality, safety and efficacy at the lowest possible cost," according to guidelines issued in December. In practical terms, that means drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- this country's "stringent regulatory authority" -- or through other mechanisms the PEPFAR may set up.
Several years ago, WHO set up a system to help countries shop wisely for drugs used to treat the three big infections of poverty -- AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The system is called "prequalification."
Drug companies -- both those making patented brand-name drugs as well as those making unpatented generics -- are invited to submit their products for WHO evaluation. The drugs (or, in the case of combinations, their components) have been tested and licensed elsewhere. WHO examines them for purity, safety and efficacy. Employing three-person teams of regulatory experts, it also inspects the factories where they are made.
If the drug is deemed safe and potent, and the manufacturing procedures good, it is published on a list. Periodically, samples of these "prequalified" drugs are tested to make sure they are still up to standard, and are being made where they are supposed to be made.
The system is voluntary. Because it has no legal standing and is simply a service for WHO's 192 member states (especially ones that do not have an equivalent of the FDA), "prequalification" does not meet PEPFAR's legal requirements.
Generic drug manufacturers in India, Brazil and elsewhere could submit their products to the FDA for approval, but most do not because they would then have to honor U.S. patent law. Consequently, Triomune and similar products are not licensed for use in the United States.
Dybul said the data WHO collects may contain all the information PEPFAR needs to reassure itself that Indian generics are good enough. However, WHO collected the data with the understanding it would be confidential.
"All we are saying is: We need to see the data ourselves," Dybul said. He added that if anything bad happened because the Bush program used substandard drugs, "you would crucify us for not having the due diligence of looking at the data ourselves -- and rightly so."
However, because the data cannot be turned over to PEPFAR, U.S. officials are proposing that countries and organizations agree on a set of principles by which fixed-dose combination drugs -- not only for AIDS but also for other diseases -- can be evaluated. Each group could adopt the principles as its own, and drug companies would know what documentation to submit.
A meeting to work on a statement of principles is scheduled to take place Monday and Tuesday in Gaborone, Botswana. Even if adopted quickly, it could be fall before offshore AIDS generics get PEPFAR's approval under this mechanism.
Many experts do not think such a parallel system is necessary, given the existence of WHO's prequalification program.
"We are basically doing all the same functions" that the FDA does when it reviews generic combinations composed of medications that have long been taken together as separate pills, said Lembit Rago, WHO's coordinator for quality assurance and safety of medicines.
A clinical pharmacologist who once headed Estonia's counterpart to the FDA, Rago said in practical terms it is irrelevant that "prequalification" is not "legal licensure."
"It doesn't matter which color is the cat. It has to catch the mice," he said.
Four 9/11 Moms Watch Rumsfeld And Grumble
by Gail Sheehy,
March 27, 2004
In the predawn hours of Tuesday, March 23, Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Mindy Kleinberg and Patty Casazza dropped off their collective seven fatherless children with grandmothers and climbed into Ms. Breitweiser's S.U.V. for the race down Garden State Parkway to the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. It's a journey that they could now make blindfolded-but this one was different. On March 23, testimony was to be heard by the commission investigating intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others.
These four moms from New Jersey are the World Trade Center widows whose tireless advocacy produced the broad investigation into the failures around the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that now has top officials from both the Clinton and Bush administrations duking it out in conflicting testimonies at this week's high-drama hearings in the Hart Office Building before the 9/11 commission.
After two and a half years of seeking truth and accountability, they had high hopes for this week's hearings, which are focused on policy failures. Instead, packed into the car at 4 a.m. in what has become a ritual for them, their hearts were heavy.
The Four Moms had submitted dozens of questions they have been burning to ask at these hearings. Mr. Rumsfeld is a particular thorn in their sides.
"He needs to answer to his actions on Sept. 11," said Ms. Kleinberg. "When was he aware that we were under attack? What did he do about it?"
When the widows had a conference call last week with the commission staff, they asked that Secretary Rumsfeld be questioned about his response on the day of Sept. 11. They were told that this was not a line of questioning the staff planned to pursue.
They were not especially impressed with his testimony. In Mr. Rumsfeld's opening statement, he said he knew of no intelligence in the months leading up to Sept. 11 indicating that terrorists intended to hijack commercial airplanes and fly them into the Pentagon or the World Trade Center.
It was his worst moment at the mike. Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste ran through a list of at least a dozen cases of foiled plots using commercial airliners to attack key targets in the U.S. and elsewhere. Mr. Ben-Veniste cited the "Bojinka" plot in 1995, which envisioned blowing up Western commercial planes in Asia; that plot was foiled by the government and must have been on the mind of C.I.A. director George Tenet, who was having weekly lunches with Mr. Rumsfeld through 2001. In 1998, an Al Qaeda-connected group talked about flying a commercial plane into the World Trade Center.
"So when we had this threatened strike that something huge was going to happen, why didn't D.O.D. alert people on the ground of a potential jihadist hijacking? Why didn't it ever get to an actionable level?" the commissioner asked.
Mr. Rumsfeld said he only remembered hearing threats of a private aircraft being used. "The decision to fly a commercial aircraft was not known to me."
Mr. Ben-Veniste came back at him: "We knew from the Millennium plot [to blow up Los Angeles International Airport] that Al Qaeda was trying to bomb an American airport," he said. The Clinton administration foiled that plot and thought every day about foiling terrorism, he said. "But as we get into 2001, it was like everyone was looking at the white truck from the sniper attacks and not looking in the right direction. Nobody did a thing about it."
Mr. Rumsfeld backed off with the lame excuse, "I should say I didn't know."
He said that on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, he was "hosting a meeting for some of the members of Congress."
"Ironically, in the course of the conversation, I stressed how important it was for our country to be adequately prepared for the unexpected," he said.
It is still incredible to the moms that their Secretary of Defense continued to sit in his private dining room at the Pentagon while their husbands were being incinerated in the towers of the World Trade Center. They know this from an account posted on Sept. 11 on the Web site of Christopher Cox, a Republican Congressman from Orange County who is chairman of the House Policy Committee.
"Ironically," Mr. Cox wrote, "just moments before the Department of Defense was hit by a suicide hijacker, Secretary Rumsfeld was describing to me why ... Congress has got to give the President the tools he needs to move forward with a defense of America against ballistic missiles."
At that point, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, the Secret Service, the F.A.A., NORAD (our North American air-defense system), American Airlines and United Airlines, among others, knew that at least three planes had been violently hijacked, their transponders turned off, and that thousands of American citizens had been annihilated in the World Trade Center by Middle Eastern terrorists, some of whom had been under surveillance by the F.B.I. Yet the nation's defense chief didn't think it significant enough to interrupt his political pitch to a key Republican in Congress to reactivate the Star Wars initiative of the Bush I years.
"I've been around the block a few times," Mr. Rumsfeld told the Congressman, according to his own account. "There will be another event." Mr. Rumsfeld repeated it for emphasis, Mr. Cox wrote: "There will be another event."
"Within minutes of that utterance, Rumsfeld's words proved tragically prophetic," Mr. Cox wrote.
"Someone handed me a note that a plane had hit one of the W.T.C. towers," Mr. Rumsfeld testified on March 23. "Later, I was in my office with a C.I.A. briefer when I was told a second plane had hit the other tower."
The note didn't seem to prompt any action on his part.
"Shortly thereafter, at 9:38 a.m., the Pentagon shook with an explosion of a then-unknown origin," he said.
He had to go to the window of his office to see that the Pentagon had been attacked? Now the moms were getting agitated.
"I went outside to determine what had happened," he testified. "I was not there long, apparently, because I was told I was back in the Pentagon, with the crisis action team, by shortly before or after 10 a.m.
"Upon my return from the crash site, and before going to the Executive Support Center," he continued, "I had one or more calls in my office, one of which I believe was the President."
Then commission member Jamie Gorelick, who served as deputy attorney general and general counsel for the Department of Defense in the Clinton administration, had her turn with Mr. Rumsfeld.
"Where were you and your aircraft when a missile was heading to the Pentagon? Surely that is your responsibility, to protect our facilities, our headquarters-the Pentagon. Is there anything we did to protect that?"
Mr. Rumsfeld said it was a law-enforcement issue.
"When I arrived at the command center, an order had been given-the command had been given instructions that their pilots could shoot down any commercial airlines filled with our people if the plane seemed to be acting in a threatening manner," he said.
Ms. Gorelick tried to get Mr. Rumsfeld to say whether the NORAD pilots themselves knew they had authority to shoot down a plane.
"I do not know what they thought," he answered. "I was immediately concerned that they knew what they could do and that we changed the rules of engagement."
One of the hardest things for the families to hear was how every witness defended how he had done everything possible to combat the threat of terrorism. No one said, "We fell short."
Secretary of State Colin Powell complained that the Bush administration was given no military plan by the Clinton administration for routing Al Qaeda. He then described how Condoleezza Rice undertook a complete reorganization of the failed responses of the Clinton years-not too much more than a series of meetings that took up the next eight months.
"Then 9/11 hit, and we had to put together another plan altogether," said Mr. Powell.
He also claimed that "we did not know the perpetrators were already in our country and getting ready to commit the crimes we saw on 9/11."
Some of the widows groaned. In fact, the Moms had learned, the F.B.I. had 14 open investigations on supporters of the 9/11 hijackers who were in the U.S. before 9/11.
And after the Clinton administration foiled the Millennium plot to blow up LAX, the C.I.A. knew that two Al Qaeda operatives had a sleeper cell in San Diego. F.B.I. field officers tried to move the information up the line, with no success.
What's more, most of the 9/11 hijackers re-entered the U.S. between April and June of 2001 with blatantly suspicious visa applications, which the Four Moms had already obtained and shown to the commission. The State Department had 166,000 people on its terrorist watch list in 2001, but only 12 names had been passed along to the F.A.A. for inclusion on its "no-fly list." Mr. Powell had to admit as much, though he said that State Department consular officers had been given no information to help them identify terrorist suspects among the visa applicants.
One of the key questions that the Moms expected to be put to Mr. Powell was why over 100 members of the Saudi royal family and many members of the bin Laden clan were airlifted out of the U.S. in the days immediately following the terrorist attacks-without being interviewed by law enforcement-while no other Americans, including members of the victims' families, could take a plane anywhere in the U.S. The State Department had obviously given its approval. But no commissioner apparently dared to touch the sacrosanct Saudi friends of the Bush family.
When Republican commissioner James Thompson asked Mr. Powell: "Prior to Sept. 11, would it have been possible to say to the Pakistanis and Saudis, 'You're either with us or against us?'", Mr. Powell simply ignored the issue of the Saudi exemption and punted on Pakistan.
Fox in the Chicken House
To the Moms, the problems with the 9/11 commission were always apparent. But the disappointing testimony from Mr. Rumsfeld was especially difficult to bear. The Moms had tried to get their most pressing questions to the commission to be asked of Mr. Rumsfeld, but their efforts had foundered at the hands of Philip Zelikow, the commission's staff director.
Indeed, it was only with the recent publication of Richard Clarke's memoir of his counterterrorism days in the White House, Against All Enemies, that the Moms found out that Mr. Zelikow-who was supposed to present their questions to Mr. Rumsfeld-was actually one of the select few in the new Bush administration who had been warned, nine months before 9/11, that Osama bin Laden was the No. 1 security threat to the country. They are now calling for Mr. Zelikow's resignation.
Ms. Gorelick sees their point.
"This is a legitimate concern," Ms. Gorelick said in an interview, "and I am not convinced we knew everything we needed to know when we made the decision to hire him."
But despite her obvious discomfort at the conflicts of interest apparently not fully disclosed by Mr. Zelikow in his deposition by the commission's attorney, Ms. Gorelick believes that the time is too short to replace the staff director.
"We're just going to have to be very cognizant of the role that he played and address it in the writing of our report," she said.
That doesn't satisfy the Four Moms. They point out that it is Mr. Zelikow who decides which among the many people offering information will be interviewed. Efforts by the families to get the commission to hear from a raft of administration and intelligence-agency whistleblowers have been largely ignored at his behest. And it is Mr. Zelikow who oversees what investigative material the commissioners will be briefed on, and who decides the topics for the hearings. Mr. Zelikow's statement at the January hearing sounded to the Moms like a whitewash waiting to happen:
"This was everybody's fault and nobody's fault."
The Moms don't buy it.
"Why did it take Condi Rice nine months to develop a counterterrorism policy for Al Qaeda, while it took only two weeks to develop a policy for regime change in Iraq?" Ms. Kleinberg asked rhetorically.
Dr. Rice has given one closed-door interview and has been asked to return for another, but the commissioners have declined to use their subpoena power to compel her public testimony. And now, they say, it is probably too late.
"That strategy may not turn out well for the Bush administration," Ms. Gorelick said.
Bob Kerrey, the commissioner who replaced Max Cleland, expressed the same view in a separate interview: "The risk they run in not telling what they were doing during that period of time is that other narratives will prevail."
The Four Moms have enjoyed some victories along the way. The first was when the White House finally gave up trying to block an independent investigation; the commission was created in December 2002. The Moms shot down to Washington-stopping in traffic to change out of their Capri pants and into proper pantsuits-to meet with the new commissioners, who thanked them for providing the wealth of information they'd been gathering since losing their husbands on Sept. 11. Ms. Gorelick expressed amazement at the research the women had done, and vowed it would be their "road map."
"We were their biggest advocates," said the husky-voiced Ms. Kleinberg. "They asked us to get them more funding, and we did. It could have been a great relationship, but it hasn't been."
Mr. Zelikow's idea of how to conduct the investigation, the Moms said, is to hold everything close to the vest.
"They don't tell us or the public anything, and they won't until they publish their final report," said Ms. Casazza. "At which point, they'll be out of business."
Ms. Kleinberg chimed in: "Why not publish interim reports, instead of letting us sit around for two years bleeding for answers?"
"We have lower and lower expectations," said Ms. Van Auken, whose teenage daughter often accompanies her to hearings; her son still can't talk about seeing his father's building incinerated.
The irony is that two of the Four Moms voted for George Bush in 2000, while another is a registered independent; only one is a Democrat. But until they felt the teeth of the Bush attack dogs, they were either apolitical or determinedly nonpartisan. Now their tone is different.
"The Bush people keep saying that Clinton was not doing enough [to combat the Al Qaeda threat]," said Ms. Kleinberg. "But 'nothing' is less than 'not enough,' and nothing is what the Bush administration did."
An unnamed spokesman for the Bush campaign was quoted as saying of Sept. 11, "We own it." That comment particularly disturbed the Four Moms.
"They can have it," said Ms. Van Auken. "Can I have my husband back now? "
"If they want to own 9/11, they also have to own 9/10 and 9/12," said Ms. Kleinberg. "Their argument is that this was a defining moment in our history. It's not the moment of tragedy that defines you, but what you do afterwards."
If the final report of this 9/11 commission does indeed turn out to be a whitewash, the Four Moms from New Jersey have a backup plan. Provided there is a change of leadership, they will petition the new President to create an independent 9/11 commission. As if one never existed before.
You may reach Gail Sheehy via email at: email@example.com.
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