Foreign Policy

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  Bush: Venezuela Is One Reason U.S. Should Reduce Oil DependencyJuly 31, 2006 22:06 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's decision to stop distributing some petroleum in the U.S. from its state-owned company is another sign that the U.S. must reduce its dependency on oil, President Bush said Monday.

Earlier this month, Citgo, a U.S.-based, Venezuelan-owned company, announced it would stop distributing gasoline to 1,800 independently owned U.S. stations by next year. The company refines most of the Venezuelan oil exported to the United States.

"I think he is an indication that we've got to make sure we've got a wise energy policy in the United States," Bush said of Chavez, during a brief visit to Miami. Bush made the comments during an interview on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

"We get oil from parts of the world where people don't necessarily like us, and therefore the faster we can, you know, reduce our dependency on oil, the more secure the nation will be economically and from a national security perspective," the president said.

Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and the U.S. is its top buyer. Last year, the United States relied on Venezuela for about 11 percent of its oil supply.
  Bush Administration Deploys Thousands More Troops In BaghdadJuly 31, 2006 09:04 In what was a tacit admission that previous efforts to consolidate its occupation of Iraq had failed, the Bush administration last week announced the deployment of more than 4,000 additional US soldiers in Baghdad. The latest tactical shift paves the way for a dramatic intensification of repression and violence against the Iraqi people and a surge in casualties among American soldiers.

President George Bush announced the decision on July 25, following a meeting in Washington with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. “Our strategy is to remain on the offence, including in Baghdad,” he declared. “Coalition and Iraqi forces will secure individual neighbourhoods, will ensure the existence of an Iraqi security presence in the neighbourhoods, and gradually expand the security presence as Iraqi citizens help them root out those who instigate violence.”

Bush’s announcement was issued with his administration’s usual combination of cynicism and blatant dishonesty. An increased US military presence in Iraq’s capital was presented as a means of assisting the Iraqi people and defending the “democratic” national government.
  Aussie Vetoed US Military ActionJuly 28, 2006 16:18 A former commander of Australian forces in Iraq vetoed a number US military actions against Saddam Hussein's regime on ethical grounds, according to a new book.

The revelation of how Australia actively and successfully used its veto power in the 2003 invasion of Iraq is contained in The Partnership, a new book on the US-Australian alliance by The Weekend Australian's foreign editor, Greg Sheridan.

Major General Maurie McNarn, then a brigadier and commander of Australian forces in Iraq, on several occasions played a "red card" against American plans, which included hits on individuals.
  Arabic Press Anger Targets USJuly 28, 2006 08:52 As Israeli attacks on Lebanon continue, anger in the Arabic press is largely focused on the United States.

Washington is condemned for blocking attempts by the international community to achieve a ceasefire, while the Israeli attacks are seen as having little impact on Hezbollah's ability to fight back.

One commentator sees a call for Muslims to retaliate over Lebanon by al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri as evidence that the group intends to open a front against Israel, while another believes the statement plays into US hands.

  Senate Renews Confirmation Hearing For UN Envoy Bolton (Roundup)July 28, 2006 08:50 A US Senate panel Thursday began new hearings to confirm John Bolton as the US ambassador to the United Nations after a key senator said he will no longer oppose President George W Bush's controversial nominee.

Bolton has served in the post because Bush used a constitutional manoeuvre to appoint him to the job without the consent of the Senate, where he faced strong opposition. But Bolton's term is set to expire early next year.

In May 2005, Republican Senator George Voinovich sided with opposition Democrats to thwart the nomination over allegations that Bolton had berated colleagues who disagreed with his views, worked behind the back of higher-ranking officials and held the UN in disdain.

Voinovich's position left the political battle over the nomination at a stalemate, but Bush used his authority under the constitution to appoint him on a temporary basis when the Senate went into recess.

Last week Voinovich announced his reversal, saying that with the Security Council facing crucial decisions on North Korea, Iran and the Middle East, the world must know that Bolton speaks for the United States.
  U.S. May Send 5,000 More Troops To BaghdadJuly 28, 2006 08:48 Military commanders in Iraq are developing a plan to move as many as 5,000 U.S. troops with armored vehicles and tanks into Baghdad in an effort to quell escalating violence, defense officials said Thursday.

As part of the plan, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Thursday extended the tours of some 3,500 members of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The unit, which has been serving in northern Iraq, was scheduled to be leaving now, but instead, most of its 3,900 troops will serve for up to four more months. It was unclear whether the unit would go to Baghdad.

Under the plan to bolster security in Baghdad, U.S. troops would be teamed with Iraqi police and army units and make virtually every operation in the city a joint effort, one military official said. Another said movement of some troops into Baghdad had already begun.
  U.N. Urges Closure Of U.S. Detention CentersJuly 28, 2006 08:46 The United States should immediately shut down any secret detention facilities and grant prompt access to the Red Cross to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict, a U.N. rights panel said in a report Friday.

The committee, which held a two-day hearing last week on U.S. compliance with the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, said that such practices also violated the rights of detainees‘ families.

Washington responded that the covenant only applies in the national territory of signatories and does not apply to the U.S. military or its installations abroad, which are governed by other domestic and international laws.

The panel also apparently failed to take into account much of the information the United States had provided, his statement said.

  US Congress Okays Nuke Deal; Rejects Killer Amendments- The Times Of IndiaJuly 26, 2006 21:39 This is just ridiculous. First the president violates international treaty and US law by proposing a nuclear deal with India. Now the US Congress backs him up. Where the heck do these idiots, Republican and Democrat alike, think this is going to end up? Surely, not in a Southeast Asian arms race... right.

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the landmark Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement by a massive 359-68 margin, rejecting several killer amendments on the way.

The House vote was mostly bipartisan with backing from both sides of the aisle: 218 Republicans and 141 Democrats supported the deal and nine Republicans and 59 Democrats opposed it.

En route to the historic vote, the House rejected at least three 'killer' amendments.

An amendment that would have the U.S audit India's fissile material stock annually was rejected by a 155-268 margin.

  Hastert Rejects Calls To Disinvite Al-Maliki To Speak To CongressJuly 26, 2006 10:21 House Speaker Dennis Hastert has rejected calls Tuesday by congressional Democrats to cancel an address Wednesday by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to a joint session of Congress.

Hastert, R-Ill., told reporters that even if al-Maliki doesn't apologize for earlier comments condemning Israel for its assault on Hezbollah terrorist targets in Lebanon, the prime minister "should address Congress. ... The U.S. has 130,000 troops [in Iraq]" and Washington must maintain a dialogue with the Iraqi government.

Al-Maliki's comments will "be part of that dialogue ... and we should all, on a bipartisan basis, be there to engage him."

Al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim, was quoted in The New York Times and elsewhere calling Israel the aggressor in the conflict with Hezbollah, the Iranian- and Syrian-backed terror group that has been launching rockets at Israel from civilian communities in southern Lebanon. The latest armed conflict began nearly two weeks ago when Hezbollah terrorists crossed the northern Israeli border, kidnapped two soldiers and killed three others.
  The Institute For Advanced Strategic And Political Studies Jerusalem, WashingtonJuly 25, 2006 11:34 Israel has a large problem. Labor Zionism, which for 70 years has dominated the Zionist movement, has generated a stalled and shackled economy. Efforts to salvage Israel’s socialist institutions—which include pursuing supranational over national sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan, "New Middle East"—undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous government’s "peace process." That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national critical mass— including a palpable sense of national exhaustion—and forfeited strategic initiative. The loss of national critical mass was illustrated best by Israel’s efforts to draw in the United States to sell unpopular policies domestically, to agree to negotiate sovereignty over its capital, and to respond with resignation to a spate of terror so intense and tragic that it deterred Israelis from engaging in normal daily functions, such as commuting to work in buses.
  Irmep Policy Brief: 'Clean Break' Or Dirty War?July 25, 2006 11:33 Great changes are seldom achieved without a plan. The Israeli policy paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” (ACB) was authored by a group of policy advisors to Israel. Subsequently, nearly all members ascended to influential policy making positions within U.S. government, media, and academic circles. Many of the ACB policies such as toppling the government of Iraq are now in full implementation and present new challenges to the global community. Others, such as the reform of Israel’s economy have been abysmal failures, but generate little visibility or impact outside of Israel.
  Senator: U.S. Unprepared For Oil CutoffJuly 25, 2006 09:06 A U.S. senator says that the Bush administration has not prepared adequately for a possible cutoff of oil sales from Venezuela that would cause a spike in crude oil prices and hurt the U.S. economy.

In a letter sent last week to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Republican Sen. Richard Lugar said the South American country's "direct supply lines and refining capacity in the United States give Venezuela undue ability to impact U.S. security and our economy."

A copy of the letter was made available Monday by Lugar's office.
  U.S. Policy Entangled By Rising Price Of OilJuly 25, 2006 09:04 As violence spreads in the Middle East, the Bush administration is grappling with an unwanted side effect of its policies: higher oil prices caused by fears of a disruption in global oil supplies.

While the administration seeks to confront Iran, give Israel more time to defeat Hezbollah, and secure stability in Iraq, higher oil prices reduce its maneuvering room overseas and frustrate U.S. consumers at home.

Oil prices reached $78 a barrel at one point last week before dropping to $75. Although there are several reasons for the surge in prices, analysts agree that one is a "fear factor" of potential shortages.

Worries that the conflict in Lebanon could draw in Syria, or Iran, which in turn could threaten the flow of oil from the Gulf, have compounded those jitters, as has the Bush administration's confrontation with Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program.

  Group: U.S. military urged abuse in IraqJuly 24, 2006 10:32 The group Human Rights Watch said in a report released yesterday that U.S. military commanders encouraged abusive interrogations of detainees in Iraq, even after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal called attention to the issue in 2004.

Between 2003 and 2005, prisoners were routinely physically mistreated, deprived of sleep and exposed to extreme temperatures as part of the interrogation process, the report said.

"Soldiers were told that the Geneva Conventions did not apply, and that interrogators could use abusive techniques to get detainees to talk," wrote John Sifton, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The organization said it based its conclusion on interviews with military personnel and sworn statements in declassified documents.

  Global Trade Talks Risk CollapseJuly 24, 2006 08:58 Global commerce talks at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva appeared on the brink of collapse today as top powers stumbled in attempts to agree on steps towards liberalising trade in farm and manufactured goods.

Failure at the meeting called by WTO chief Pascal Lamy with ministers from Australia, Brazil, the 25-nation European Union, India, Japan and the United States could lead to the indefinite suspension of the Doha round of trade liberalisation talks, which are already two years behind schedule and have been at an impasse for months.

Lamy was expected later today to discuss with the organisation’s 149 members whether it was worth continuing with the negotiations, officials said.

Leaders of the Group of Eight major industrialised countries reaffirmed their commitment to the talks at their summit in Russia last week, but it appeared that failed to translate into real negotiating action as officials said yesterday’s meeting failed to generate the new movement hoped for after the pledges of support from the world’s most powerful presidents and prime ministers.
  Laos Rejects Expansion Of Military Contacts With USJuly 21, 2006 09:03 The Lao defense minister, Major General Duangchay Phichit says his country is not ready to take the kind of first steps other countries in the region have taken or are talking about. Those include allowing American military medical teams to visit and provide services in some communities and allowing military engineers to build schools, clinics, roads and other needed facilities.

That is what the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific suggested. Admiral William Fallon told the minister it is "not good" that U.S. and Lao military forces have had little interaction during the last 30 years and that it is time to change that.

But Minister Duangchay says Laos must first build its own capabilities before it might be able to work with the American military on such projects. He says he would welcome funds to build schools or clinics, but he says he does not want more U.S. troops on Lao soil, because of what he called lingering hostility toward the United States among some Lao people. The minister suggested further diplomacy to find the right time to move forward.
  U.S. Military Deaths In AfghanistanJuly 21, 2006 08:59 As of July 20, 2006, at least 257 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department.

Of those, the military reports 158 were killed by hostile action.

Outside the Afghan region, the Defense Department reports 56 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, two are the result of hostile action. The military lists these other locations as: Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, Djibouti, Eritrea, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Yemen.

  Sins Of Statecraft: The War On Terror ExposedJuly 21, 2006 08:55 Few things are more crucial to our global situation today than a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental habits and recent overtly aggressive trend present in United States foreign policy. To achieve such requires a look into the long-standing tradition of creating external threats to conceal unsavory imperial operations conducted elsewhere in the world. This paper includes an examination of the US-USSR Cold War and the so-called “war on terror” as covers for expansion of imperialism, and 9-11 in the context of provoked first strikes throughout American history, devoting much of its contents to theories on militarism and post-World War II influence on policymaking—how and why those in power do what they do.

The reasons for the use of the long-standing instruments of fear and militarism in the cause of navigating the contours and undulations of the Cold War are revealed in the context of the post-Cold War “war on terror,” which employs the same rhetoric and means of manipulation. Such revelations are not limited to identical methods, but spring forth from statements voiced by the manipulators themselves. A recent example (among many) came from the wife of Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, founder of the Committee for the Free World, and cofounder of a plethora of single-minded think tanks ranging from the second incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), Hudson Institute, Heritage Foundation, Coalition for a Democratic Majority, and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In a 2004 Los Angeles interview, Decter stated, “We’re not in the Middle East to bring sweetness and light to the world. We’re there to get something we and our friends in Europe depend on. Namely, oil.”
  'War On Terror' Cost Hits Us$430BnJuly 21, 2006 08:43 The United States' "global war on terror" has cost the country at least US$430 billion over the past five years in military and diplomatic efforts, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the watchdog arm of the US Congress.

The GAO warns that future costs may be difficult to estimate because of irregularities in how the Pentagon does its accounting and because of unforeseen events in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report comes only weeks before the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, which kick-started the US "war on terror".

The figures are particularly important because they show how

much the war is still costing the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan years after both operations began, and at a time when the US is facing rising health-care costs and budget deficits.
  A Look At U.S. Military Deaths In IraqJuly 19, 2006 23:10 As of Wednesday, July 19, 2006, at least 2,556 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,021 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.
  Bush Gropes German Chancellor Angela MerkelJuly 18, 2006 09:34 Eclipsing even his father's unfortunate chunk-hurling on the Prime Minister of Japan, Bush has made yet another shameful blunder on what is now undoubtedly the most embarrassing official trip abroad for any American president. After stumbling from Putin's smackdown at his suggestion that Russia ought to emulate the democracy in Iraq to babbling about wanting to eat a pig to getting caught on tape cursing while chomping on a roll, Bush channeled the Creepy Guy at Work who gives a female coworker an unwanted massage, much to his repulsed target's chagrin.

Of course, it wasn't just any gal The Groper went after. It was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

  U.S. Conduct In ‘Terror War’ Destroyed Image AbroadJuly 18, 2006 08:07 It was in 1776 that a group of British colonists living along the Atlantic seaboard of North America felt compelled to offer a public justification for their “Declaration of Independence” from their mother country out of “a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind.”

That justification, a bill of particulars against King George II for a host of offenses, including violations of what would come to be called human rights, was designed to rally British and European public opinion behind the colonists’ cause.

As the nation marks that occasion 230 years ago, a series of surveys from around the world over the past three years makes clear that contemporary “Mankind” believes that the United States no longer accords its opinions the “decent respect” that those who founded the country believe was its due.

Those surveys suggest the image of the U.S. as a benign hegemony that takes account of the interests and opinions of the peoples of other nations—consciously cultivated by Washington for more than a century—has been effectively shattered by the unilateralism of the administration of President George W. Bush and particularly its invasion of Iraq.

“One of the reasons that people around the world are so upset with the U.S. is the perception that in the post-World War II era, the U.S. was the champion and leader of an international order based on international law and mutual constraints, when it could have created a form of great-power domination,” said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).

“As the leader and promoter of such a system, the U.S. was expected to set the example for all the rest, but Washington is now perceived as violating the same rules it did so much to establish,” according to Mr. Kull, who cited Bush’s decisions to ignore the United Nations in going to war and the Geneva Conventions in treating detainees in its “global war on terror” as key moves that both defied and outraged public opinion abroad.

  Taliban Capture Two Afghanistan TownsJuly 18, 2006 08:06 U.S.-led forces will launch "decisive operations" to reclaim two southern towns captured in recent days by the Taliban, the military said Tuesday.

Scores of Taliban militants chased police out of two southern Helmand districts near the border with Pakistan. Afghanistan's deputy interior minister accused two Pakistani Islamic groups of taking part in the militant operation.

"The Taliban extremists have taken control of the areas of Garmser and Naway-i-Barakzayi. However, coalition forces do have them under observation," military spokesman Col. Tom Collins told reporters in Kabul. "Decisive operations will begin soon," he added, without saying when.
  Preparations Underway To Evacuate Americans From LebanonJuly 18, 2006 08:03 President Bush certainly has transfomed the Middle East...

A commercial cruise ship escorted by a U.S. destroyer will be on duty tomorrow to take hundreds of Americans away from the fighting in Lebanon.

The U.S. military says Super Stallion military choppers are also on duty, carrying 64 Americans out of the U.S. embassy compound in Beirut. More military flights are scheduled for tomorrow to get U.S. citizens to Cyprus.

There are some 25,000 Americans in Lebanon. The U.S. Embassy has already advised anyone who wants to leave that they can carry one bag each, weighing no more than 30 pounds.

  Rosa Brooks: Terror-War WackinessJuly 14, 2006 12:52 This great editorial discusses the strategy behind Bush saying that the military treatment of detainees will now comply with Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, while also stating that the US had always complied with the spirit of the conventions. Essentially, this means he is stating that anything that has already been done works just fine going forward... tricky.
  US Applies Geneva Conventions To Military DetaineesJuly 12, 2006 10:01 The Pentagon has acknowledged for the first time that all detainees held by the U.S. military are covered by an article of the Geneva Conventions that bars inhumane treatment, according to a memo made public on Tuesday.

The memo signed by Gordon England, the No. 2 Pentagon official, followed a June 29 Supreme Court ruling that struck down as illegal the military tribunal system set up by the Bush administration to try foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

President George W. Bush previously determined that certain terrorist suspects are not covered by all the protections of the Geneva Conventions, international accords governing treatment of war prisoners.

The United States has faced international criticism over the indefinite detention of Guantanamo detainees amid allegations of their mistreatment. Revelations of physical abuse and sexual humiliation of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail have also hurt the administration's image.

  1000 'War On Terror' PrisonersJuly 12, 2006 09:50 One thousand people are currently being held in detention by the United States as part of its "war on terror", a legal adviser with the department of defence said on Tuesday.

"I would say it's probably in the order of about 1 000," said Daniel Dell'Orto, principal deputy general counsel at the department of defence, in testimony before a congressional committee.

Dell' Orto said the US base in Guantanamo, Cuba held some 450 prisoners, implying that 550 others were being held in other centres around the world run by the Central Intelligence Agency.
  White House Reverses Geneva Conventions StanceJuly 11, 2006 15:10 After the Supreme Court ruling from June 29, 2006 the White House announced that from now on all US detainees are entitled to the protection Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, including had the detainees at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court ruled that the system of military tribunals set up by the US at Guantanamo was illegal. The announcement came just hours before Congress debates how to change the military tribunals to comply with the court ruling.

After September 11, 2001 the Bush administration argued that those captured by the US in the global war on terror are "illegal enemy combatants" rather than prisoners of war.

  Rethink 'War On Terror' Strategy, Says Former MI6 HeadJuly 11, 2006 15:04 Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, has criticised two current US policies in the "global war on terror" saying they would have been "illegal" under British law.
Sir Richard, formerly known in Whitehall as "C" and now master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, singled out CIA rendition flights and the indefinite detention of prisoners in Guantánamo for rebuke.

Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado before an audience of global politicians, experts and commentators last week, Sir Richard also said the west was "doomed" unless it "reclaimed the moral high ground".

  Iraq Girl In Troops Rape Case Just 14July 11, 2006 12:48 AN IRAQI female allegedly raped and murdered by a US soldier in March was aged 14.

It had previously been suggested in court documents that she was 25, while the US military documented her as 20. Local officials and relatives had said she was 15 or 16.

But her identity card and a copy of her death certificate, obtained by Reuters, show she was 14.
  Senate Hearings on Guantanamo Trials to CommenceJuly 11, 2006 07:40 The Senate this week takes the first step in changing US law to allow foreign-born terror suspects to be tried by US military tribunal.
Lawmakers are writing new law in response to a Supreme Court ruling last month blocking President George W Bush’s administration from prosecuting dozens of “war on terror” inmates held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The status of the foreign detainees – some of whom have been imprisoned without charge for nearly five years – rocketed to the top of the agenda for Congress and the White House, after the US high court spurned US efforts to use ad hoc military commissions to try the terror suspects.
Senate hearings were to commence today in the Judiciary Committee, with testimony from senior Pentagon and Justice Department officials. A second set of hearings has been scheduled for Thursday by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
  Racist Extremists Active In U.S. MilitaryJuly 10, 2006 11:17 Under pressure to meet wartime manpower goals, the U.S. military has relaxed standards designed to weed out racist extremists. Large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the armed forces.

Department of Defense investigators estimate thousands of soldiers in the Army alone are involved in extremist or gang activity. "We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," said one investigator. "That's a problem."

Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen urged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to adopt a zero-tolerance policy regarding racist extremism among members of the U.S. military.

"Because hate group membership and extremist activity are antithetical to the values and mission of our armed forces, we urge you to adopt a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to white supremacy in the military and to take all necessary steps to ensure that the policy is rigorously enforced," Cohen wrote in a letter to Rumsfeld.

Military extremists present an elevated threat both to their fellow soldiers and the general public. Today's white supremacists become tomorrow's domestic terrorists.
  Bush Expresses Frustration With DiplomacyJuly 07, 2006 15:35 President Bush expressed frustration Friday with the slow pace of diplomacy in dealing with North Korea and Iran and prodded world leaders to send an unmistakable message condemning Pyongyang's long-range missile test.

He said the U.S. would have had "a reasonable chance" of shooting down the missile if it had been necessary, though America's missile-defense system is still in the testing phase and its capabilities are modest. More than $100 billion has been spent on the system since 1983.

On the terror war, the president said at a rare out-of-town news conference that the United States has not relaxed its nearly five-year search for Osama bin Laden and he vowed the terrorist leader would be found: "Absolutely. No ands, ifs or buts.
  White Supremacists Enlisting In Military, Watchdog Report Says / Aryan Nations Graffiti In BaghdadJuly 07, 2006 09:29 A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.

"We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," the group quoted a Defense Department investigator from a report to be posted today on its Web site, "That's a problem."
  Ex-Soldier Facing Criminal Charges In iraq Rape, KillingJuly 03, 2006 13:21 Federal prosecutors charged a veteran of the Iraq war with murder and rape Monday after an investigation into the killing of an Iraqi woman and members of her family.

Steven D. Green is a 21-year-old former private first class who was discharged from the 101st Airborne Division. Green appeared in a federal magistrate's courtroom in Charlotte. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 10th.

He will be held without bond so he can be transferred to Louisville, Kentucky, by federal authorities. The 101st is based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
  War On Terror Ruling Worries GOP LawmakersJuly 03, 2006 09:01 Question: How can it be offensive that the Supreme Court wants to protect the personal dignity of every person held against their will, whether justly or unjustly? Republican senators are questioning that exactly...

Two Republican senators said Sunday that Congress must rein in the Supreme Court ruling that international law applies to the Bush administration's conduct in the war on terror.

Thursday's Supreme Court decision embracing Article 3 of the Geneva Accords in the military commission case of Osama bin Laden's former driver strikes at the heart of the White House's legal position in the war on al-Qaida.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the second-ranking GOP leader in the Senate, said the 5-3 court decision "means that American servicemen potentially could be accused of war crimes.

"I think Congress is going to want to deal with that," McConnell said on NBC's "Meet the Press." He called the ruling "very disturbing."