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Thread: The Fight Against Terrorism

  1. #46

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    Here is someting on topic.

    U.S. Arrests Muslim Activist in Terror Financing Probe
    Monday , September 29, 2003

    WASHINGTON — A Muslim activist whose Virginia home was searched as part of a federal investigation of terrorist financing was arrested shortly after arriving back in the United States, law enforcement officials said.

    Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi (search) was taken into custody at Dulles International Airport on Sunday after a flight from London, officials said. The charges against al-Amoudi were expected to be unsealed following an initial court appearance Monday.

    Al-Amoudi's home in Falls Church, Va., was among those searched in March 2002 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (search) agents as part of a federal probe into financing of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Michael A. Mason, chief of the FBI's Washington field office, said authorities had developed a significant amount of information about al-Amoudi's activities and that the initial charges brought in the case might be only the beginning.

    "He has been under investigation for some time," Mason said.

    Al-Amoudi is a director of the American Muslim Council (search), an Islamic advocacy group, and is co-founder of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council.

    The latter group helps the U.S. military select Muslim chaplains for the armed forces, a system that has recently drawn criticism from Congress following the arrests of a Muslim chaplain on suspicion of spying.

    Capt. Yousef Yee (search) is being held without charge in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., amid an investigation into possible security breaches at the terrorist prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Mason said he knew of no connection between al-Amoudi and Yee "at this time," but he said the investigation is continuing.

    Al-Amoudi has made frequent public statements, including appearances on television news programs, about treatment of Muslims after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. He also was active in politics.

    Like I said, it is odd someone care so much more about Muslims than anyone else. Part of the fundamentalist ideaology is that they are better than all non-muslims. This guy arrested was someone who complained about prejudice against muslims after 911. Instead of complaining about terrorism, or the killing of inoccent people, he concluded the biggest problem was anti-muslim feelings, not the anti-american feelings that many muslims have. He turned out to be a terrorist himself. It makes you think... this is what I've been saying all along and now here is some proof.

  2. #47

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    BAGHDAD — A newspaper boy hawking the day's headlines on a Baghdad (search) street corner is just one example of the freedom-of-speech explosion that has recently taken place in Iraq.

    Post-Saddam Hussein (search), roughly 160 newspapers have sprung up in the country — 60 of them in Baghdad alone.

    "The Iraqis are very eager to read and express themselves," said one printer, Slah Hassan. "It's very good for Iraqis to have more than one newspaper to express what they want to say."

    During the former dictator's regime, there were only five newspapers — all published by either Saddam's Baath Party (search) or one of his sons and all toeing the official party line.

    Iraqis knew the news they had access to was censored and slanted, but no one dared to publicly challenge it.

    Though many applaud the newfound freedom of the press, some are concerned that the news is already running amok, with certain publications running baseless, rumor-driven stories that upset citizens.

  3. #48

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    There is some great news in the war on terror. Pakistan is finally going to try and get rid of the al qaeda in their Northern border with Afghanistan. This is where many people believe Usama Bin Laden is hiding and al qaida is undoubtedly there. So far they have killed 12 al qaeda and captured 12. The battle is ongoing. This is a very important step in the war on terror because many terrorists have found refuge in this region, believing tribal fighters would protect them. When I heard the al qaeda there would not be persued because of political reasons I became skeptical about if the war on terror can be won leaving all these terrorists to do whatever they want. Well it's about time that these terrorists are being pursued wherever they go. Anyway, here is the article:

    12 dead in Pakistan al Qaeda hunt
    Thursday, October 2, 2003 Posted: 7:20 AM EDT (1120 GMT)

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- At least 12 people have been killed as Pakistani troops, backed by helicopter gunships, launched an offensive against suspected al Qaeda operatives along the country's northern border.

    Thursday's operations, close to the border with Afghanistan, also led to the capture of another dozen suspected al Qaeda members, security officials say.

    The army said the casualties and those detained were foreign nationals, but did not provide their identities or further details.

    The operation is taking place in an area of the country's mountainous South Waziristan region known as Vana, officials said.

    The area is thought by Western intelligence officials to be a possible hiding place for al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, although Pakistani authorities deny he is on Pakistani soil.

    A witness in the region told CNN he had seen more than a dozen helicopter gunships in the sky, coming after a night of extensive troop and equipment movements.

    Currently, there is right heavy fighting in three different compounds, which the army has surrounded.

    'Unfair'
    Maulana Abdul Malik, a member of the National Assembly in that area, criticized the government, saying the raid is "unfair."

    Condemning the military operations he said that the army was "being used against Pakistani people."

    While the army claims that only Pakistani troops are conducting the raids, Malik contends that U.S. troops are participating.

    The operation was announced as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca were to arrive in Pakistan for talks on the war on terrorism,

    Through October 8, the U.S. diplomats are on a tour of South and Central Asia that includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

    They will also visit the United Kingdom on their way back to Washington.

    At the same time, Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali is in the United States to meet with senior officials.

    -- CNN Producer Syed Mohsin Naqvi contributed to this story

  4. #49

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    How many people are even in this stupid terrorist group al qaeda? And what does the name mean?

  5. #50
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    Estimates range from several thousand to tens of thousands. "Al Qaeda" is Arabic for "The Base," meaning that the group is the base of jihad.

  6. #51

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    October 28, 2003

    A Willful Ignorance

    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    According to The New York Times, President Bush was genuinely surprised to learn from moderate Islamic leaders that they had become deeply distrustful of American intentions. The report on the "perception gap" suggests that the leader of the war on terror has no idea how badly that war — which must, ultimately, be a war for hearts and minds — is going.

    Mr. Bush's ignorance may reflect his lack of curiosity: "The best way to get the news," he says, "is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff." Two words: emperor, clothes.

    But there's something broader going on: a sort of willful ignorance, supposedly driven by moral concerns but actually reflecting domestic politics. Surely it's important to understand how others see us, but a new, post 9/11 version of political correctness has made it difficult even to discuss their points of view. Any American who tries to go beyond "America good, terrorists evil," who tries to understand — not condone — the growing world backlash against the United States, faces furious attacks delivered in a tone of high moral indignation. The attackers claim to be standing up for moral clarity, and some of them may even believe it. But they are really being used in a domestic political struggle.

    Last week I found myself caught up in that struggle. I wrote about why Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister — a clever if loathsome man who adjusts the volume of his anti-Semitism depending on circumstances — chose to include an anti-Jewish diatribe in his speech to an Islamic conference. Sure enough, I was accused in various places not just of "tolerance for anti-Semitism" (yes, I'm Jewish) but of being in Mr. Mahathir's pay. Smear tactics aside, the thrust of the attacks was that because anti-Semitism is evil, anyone who tries to understand why politicians foment anti-Semitism — and looks for ways other than military force to combat the disease — is an apologist for anti-Semitism and is complicit in evil.

    Yet that moral punctiliousness is curiously selective. Last year the Bush administration, in return for a military base in Uzbekistan, gave $500 million to a government that, according to the State Department, uses torture "as a routine investigation technique," and whose president has killed opponents with boiling water. The moral clarity police were notably quiet.

    Why is aiding a brutal dictator O.K., while trying to understand why others don't trust us — and doing something to create that trust — isn't? Why won't the administration mollify Muslims by firing Lt. Gen. William Boykin, whose anti-Islamic remarks have created vast ill will, from his counterterrorism position? Why won't it give moderate Muslims a better argument against the radicals by opposing Ariel Sharon's settlement policy, when a majority of Israelis think that some settlements should be abandoned, and even Israeli military officers have become bitterly critical of Mr. Sharon?

    The answer is that in these cases politics takes priority over the war on terror. Moderate Muslims would have more faith in America's good intentions if there were at least the appearance of a distinction between the U.S. and the Sharon government — but the administration seeks votes from those who think that supporting Israel means supporting whatever Mr. Sharon does. It's sheer folly to keep General Boykin in his present position, but as Howard Fineman writes in a Newsweek Web-exclusive column, the administration doesn't want "to make a martyr of a man who depicts himself as a Christian Soldier, marching off to war."

    Muslims are completely wrong to think that the U.S. is engaged in a war against Islam. But that misperception flourishes in part because the domestic political strategy of the Bush administration — no longer able to claim the Iraq war was a triumph, and with little but red ink to show for its economic plans — looks more and more like a crusade. "Election Boils Down to a Culture War" was the title of Mr. Fineman's column. But the analysis was all about abortion and euthanasia, and now we hear that opposition to gay marriage will be a major campaign theme. This isn't a culture war — it's a religious war.

    Which brings me back to my starting point: we'll lose the fight against terror if we don't make an effort to understand how others think. Yet because of a domestic political struggle that seems ever more centered on religion, such attempts at understanding are shouted down.


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  7. #52

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    It's not so much the leaders of Islamic countries that should fear our policies, it is us who should fear their policies of supporting terrorism. I don't care how "moderate" they are. There is evidence Saudi Arabia pre-9/11 helped fund some of the terrorists, I heard they even helped send money to bin laden. Syria, Iran, and Lebanon are all Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad supporters. Yemen had in the past if not supported at least was tolerant of terrorists, like the ones that attacked the USS Cole. The Phillipines isn't doing all it can to battle Abuy Sayyaf. The are doing some fighting, but just the bare minimum they can do to please us. Abu Sayyaf rarely attacks the Phillipinos themselves, mostly westerners, which is why the Phillipines generally doesn't care so much. Indonesia was doing diddly squat about terrorists until the Bali bombing. It wasn't bad enough that terorrists are terrorists, but they had to wait for an economic reason to fight terrorists. They shouldn't even complain about the US policies until they take a good look at their own.

  8. #53

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    I still think that the US is failing though. I have realized that the terrorist have totally thrown off the search for Saddam and I haven't heard a thing about his search.

  9. #54

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    January 6, 2004

    U.S. Begins Screening Program for Monitoring Foreign Visitors

    By ABBY GOODNOUGH and ERIC LICHTBLAU

    MIAMI, Jan. 5 — United States immigration officers began fingerprinting and photographing tens of thousands of foreign visitors required to have visas on Monday, in what federal authorities described as a sophisticated new security measure to monitor who enters the country and how long they stay.

    A total of 115 airports with international flights, including several in Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean with United States customs booths, introduced the extra layer of screening on Monday, along with cruise ship terminals at 14 major seaports. Though the travel industry had feared significant delays as the program got under way, the Department of Homeland Security, which is administering it, said that the problems were minimal and that the procedure added perhaps a minute at most to immigration processing.

    The screening program began as American officials remained acutely concerned about potential terrorist threats on foreign airliners, particularly those from Britain. Since Christmas Eve about a dozen flights have been grounded or delayed over fears that terrorists had plotted to commandeer jetliners.

    Officials said Monday that they were concentrating on flights between London and Washington as possible targets for terrorists, but that they had concluded that a critical danger period on United States-bound flights from France and Mexico had now passed.

    Intelligence leads have pointed to potential attacks "around New Year's and beyond" on British Airways flights between London and Dulles International Airport outside Washington, an administration official said. Those flights were canceled for two straight days last week because of security concerns, and were delayed for a third day on Monday.

    An American official said part of the concern over the London-Dulles flights was driven by intercepted communications that contained phrases believed to refer to British Airways Flight 223, the London-Dulles flight that has been the focus of the heaviest American and British security. Last Wednesday, Flight 223 was escorted to Dulles by American fighter planes, and flights on Thursday and Friday were canceled.

    Officials said delays and possibly cancellations on the London-Washington route were likely to continue indefinitely.

    In contrast, concern has lessened over international flights into Los Angeles from Paris and Mexico City. Those routes, like the London-Washington flights, were the subject of intense concern for much of the last two weeks, but officials said intelligence developed through electronic eavesdropping and other means narrowed the prospect of attacks to the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

    American officials said that they believed the fingerprinting program would strengthen border protection over the long haul, but that they did not expect it to have any immediate impact on the recent efforts to deter another terrorist attack since the country went to high alert.

    At airports around the country Monday, some international visitors said the additional screening procedures were slowing down customs lines, as inspectors struggled with new digital fingerprint scanners and cameras on tripods.

    Citizens of 27 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and most European nations, are exempted from the program if they are visiting as tourists for fewer than 90 days.

    But if citizens of those countries are traveling here on work or student visas, or for more than 90 days, they are subject to the new procedures. They, along with all residents of other countries — about 24 million travelers a year, including some repeat visitors, the Department of Homeland Security said — must be fingerprinted and photographed under the new rules.

    Between 5:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, 27,420 foreigners were fingerprinted and photographed under the new program, department officials said.

    "So far it's going well," Robert C. Bonner, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said of the program, which the government calls the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology. "We are going to monitor wait times very closely just to make sure there aren't any extraordinary horrid delays."

    The new procedures allow customs officials to immediately verify visitors' identities, check their criminal backgrounds and determine if they are on watch lists of suspected terrorists and other criminals. The photographs of most visitors and fingerprints of some will already be on file from when they applied for visas in their home countries. Eventually, every foreigner subject to the new rules will be electronically fingerprinted before traveling here, said Bill Strassberger, a department spokesman.

    In a news conference at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, said 21 foreigners were found to be on watch lists in a two-month pilot of the program. Some were using false documents and were wanted for crimes like rape, he said.

    On Monday, customs inspectors had found three visitors to be on watch lists as of 6 p.m. But Dennis Murphy, director of communications for the Department of Homeland Security, said that upon further investigation, all three were cleared of suspicion.

    In interviews, several dozen visitors arriving at airports around the nation said the new procedures were generally swift. Some, though, including a group of Korean high school students arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, said the new technology made their wait much longer.

    "The people that were doing this were confused themselves," said Jae-Yong Kim, 16, who was on his way to the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Mass.

    Mr. Bonner said the fingerprinting and photographing were supposed to take an extra 10 to 15 seconds, the average time the procedures added in the trial run at Hartsfield International. All customs officials have been trained to use the scanners and cameras, Mr. Strassberger said, and new inspectors are gradually being added to help with the procedures and other new security measures.

    Some travelers interviewed said they did not mind and even welcomed the added measures, while others denounced them as an invasion of privacy. Julio Mendoza, a 25-year-old student who was arriving at Miami International Airport from Buenos Aires, said he resented the new procedures, especially after waiting hours to clear security at the airport in Argentina.

    "As an international student coming to the United States to better my education, I don't appreciate having my fingerprints recorded and my photograph taken," Mr. Mendoza said as he left customs. "I am not a criminal. I am not a terrorist. I feel like I am being treated as one."

    But Holder Kunst, who arrived at Logan International Airport in Boston from Frankfurt, was unfazed.

    "It doesn't bother me at all," said Mr. Kunst, 32, a German who runs a marketing company in Boston. He said the digital imaging was surprisingly fast, adding, "It would have bothered me a lot more if it was the old-fashioned fingerprinting, using ink."

    The American Civil Liberties Union said Monday that the new procedures would only increase confusion among immigrants who have been bewildered by the many security requirements adopted after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    The new program is "a large privacy violation waiting to happen, with records garnered under the program likely retained even after you've become a citizen," said Timothy Edgar, a legislative counsel for the A.C.L.U.

    The Department of Homeland Security said the fingerprints and photographs would be stored in government databases and be available to customs, immigration and law enforcement officials, "only for official business and on a need-to-know basis."

    Another new measure, meant to ensure foreigners do not stay longer than their visas allow, will require them to check out at automated airport kiosks, scanning their travel documents and repeating the fingerprint process. The kiosks are to be in place by year's end. A similar program is to be in place at the nation's 156 land-border crossings by the end of 2005.

    American homeland security officials plan to continue extra security measures on Air France and Aeromexico flights in question, but officials said they expected the flights to operate without interruption. Numerous Air France and Aeromexico flights to Los Angeles were canceled or delayed after the United States raised its risk alert on Dec. 21.

    With the New Year's holiday having passed without incident, "things are a little more tempered," an F.B.I. official said. "The anxiety's not as high as it was. The intelligence we're receiving is not as strong as it was before the holiday."

    But counterterrorism officials remain concerned that operatives from Al Qaeda or related groups may seek to use means of attack other than airliners or pick a time other than the holiday period.

    While some travelers bemoaned the new rules, just as many said they were thankful.

    "Any measures America feels it has to take in order to prevent any future terrorist attacks are worth losing a few minutes over," said Gerardo Molina, 54, a lawyer arriving in Miami from Santiago, Chile. "Hopefully the rest of the world will catch on and do the same."



    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  10. #55

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    Reuters:

    Companies to Design U.S. Airline Antimissile Options

    Jan 06, 2004

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration on Tuesday selected three companies to design options for protecting U.S. commercial airliners from the threat of shoulder-fired missiles.

    The Homeland Security Department said it was prepared to negotiate preliminary contracts worth $2 million each with teams led by Northrop Grumman Corp., bankrupt United Airlines and the U.S. unit of Britain's BAE Systems Plc .

    The companies will be asked to refine complex concepts for adapting technology used by the U.S. military to the commercial fleet and submit cost proposals for development, deployment and maintenance.

    While the agency has committed $122 million to research and development, it plans to re-evaluate progress over the next six months to determine if the government will proceed to a second phase. Even if the Homeland Security Department moves forward, it could be years before commercial planes carry antimissile systems.

    Senior homeland security officials stressed in a conference call the program is based on the possible threat of shoulder-fired missiles to airlines and not specific intelligence about actual threats.

    Concerns about these weapons and other surface-to-air missiles surged after a November 2002 attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner as it took off from Kenya. More recently, there have been attempts in Iraq to down U.S. military aircraft and a cargo jet.

    Cost and who would pay for the enhanced security have emerged as an important question. Some aviation and security experts estimate a multibillion-dollar price tag but homeland security officials are not committing to a figure.

    The companies selected all have cost targets that vary based on the number of aircraft to be outfitted and the technology used. Estimates have basically fallen below $1 million per plane, but the costs do not include maintenance. There are nearly 6,000 planes in the U.S. commercial fleet but many of those are small and would not likely be part of the program.

    Security officials say bigger, slower jetliners would be most vulnerable, especially at takeoff

    United, which is not spending any of its own money, is working with Avisys Inc., a privately held Texas-based technology firm and several other subcontractors. Their system would deploy low-intensity decoys to fool a missile. Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems are working on laser-based countermeasures to jam missile systems. Both defenses are currently used on military aircraft.

  11. #56

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    New York Observer http://www.observer.com/index_go.html

    Feb 22, 2004

    Bush Bilks New York

    On Sept. 11, 2001, hundreds of New York City firefighters—the best-trained Fire Department in the world—learned to their horror that their radios didn’t work. As they attempted to save thousands of people trapped in those two mortally wounded towers, firefighters couldn’t communicate with each other. High-ranking officers in the north tower command post frantically tried to relay orders to companies in the stairwells, only to hear silence in reply.

    In the meantime, police officers in helicopters tried to warn their firefighter colleagues that the towers seemed in imminent danger of collapse. Their warnings went unheard—the police and fire communication systems were not coordinated.

    After the horror of 9/11, the city vowed to improve the Fire Department’s communications system. In fact, that promise was a long time coming—Fire Department personnel who were at the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 had complained about the faulty radio system, to no avail.

    The federal government recently undermined this urgent task by cutting a $54 million appropriation designed to improve emergency communications around the country. About $6 million was earmarked for New York.

    As 9/11 demonstrated, local emergency workers are on the front line of the war on terror. But the Bush administration apparently has little appreciation for the task assigned to firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel. George W. Bush’s Department of Homeland Security—run by a rather undistinguished minion, Tom Ridge—cut the money designated for improved communications in an absurd exercise in cost-cutting.

    At a time of record budget deficits, the Bush administration is looking to save a few dollars by denying local governments the money they need to further enhance their ability to respond to terrorism. What could these people be thinking? The federal government is running a half-trillion dollar deficit; $6 million would be a drop in the bucket. Mr. Bush would not shortchange our troops in Iraq, but he is doing just that here at home.

    Luckily for New York, the Fire Department already has ironed out some of its communications problems. But that $6 million would have paid for even better communications systems and coordination.

    Senator Charles Schumer rightly denounced the White House’s priorities, saying that the federal government has "pulled the rug out from under our cops and firefighters."

    After 9/11, we know the importance of well-trained emergency workers. We cannot send these men and women into battle, however, without the best equipment. How unfortunate that the White House continues to underfund New York City to a mind-boggling degree.

  12. #57

    Default U.S. Military and Allies Stepping up Hunt for Bin Laden

    World - AP Asia

    U.S. Hunt for Bin Laden Gathers Steam
    1 hour, 30 minutes ago

    By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - The United States is rounding up and questioning the relatives of fugitive al-Qaida leaders to generate information on the possible whereabouts of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) and his top deputies. This tactic helped lead to Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s capture.

    On Saturday, Pentagon (news - web sites) and Pakistani officials denied an Iranian state radio report that bin Laden had been captured "a long time ago" in Pakistan's border region with Afghanistan (news - web sites).

    But some U.S. officials do say they have been able to extract useful information from Afghan and Pakistani relatives and friends of al-Qaida fugitives, providing hints on the possible whereabouts of the organization's leaders.

    So far, the information the U.S. has received is unconfirmed and does not mean the terrorist leader's location has been pinned down or his capture is imminent. U.S. officials caution that rumors of significant progress are overstated.

    With the weather improving in Afghanistan, the U.S. military has sent troops and technology to the country to aid the search and to give forces on the ground more opportunity to track down bin Laden. He is the United States' most wanted terrorist for his leadership in planning the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Rounding up relatives for questioning helped bring about the Dec. 13 capture of Saddam, the former Iraqi leader. U.S. officials hope the tactic could lead to information on the whereabouts of bin Laden and his top deputies, especially when combined with information from spy satellites, communication intercepts and prisoner interrogations.

    U.S. military officials have said they are planning a spring offensive in Afghanistan in the hopes of capturing bin Laden, former Taliban leader Mullah Omar and their associates.

    Meanwhile, American commanders in Afghanistan have expressed new optimism about finding bin Laden. Late last month, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said the military believes it could seize bin Laden this year, perhaps within months.

    Other U.S. officials try to temper such optimism.

    In a sign of an increased focus on the Afghan-Pakistani border, Pakistani rapid reaction forces have been deployed to selected areas in the region, a mountainous landscape that runs 2,000 miles from the Himalayas in Pakistan's northern territories to the desert of southwestern Baluchistan.

    Pakistani officials told The Associated Press on Friday that satellite telephone intercepts from last year indicated al-Qaida members were hiding near the border. Two intelligence officials said participants discussed a man called "Shaikh" — a code name for bin Laden.

    "Some people who were speaking in Arabic have been heard saying Shaikh is in good health," one of the intelligence officials said.

    A U.S. defense official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Pakistani forces have killed or captured more al-Qaida members than any other U.S. ally. "We continue to aggressively pursue the remnants of al-Qaida and the Taliban," the official said.

    Associated Press writers John Solomon in Washington and Stephen Graham in Afghanistan contributed to this report.

  13. #58

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    April 4, 2004

    Tracking Terrorist Bankrolls

    As the world gropes to fight terrorism, it's hardly reassuring to discover that the White House spurned a request for 80 more investigators to track and disrupt the global financial networks of terrorist groups. Some of the most important breakthroughs against terrorism have been scored by financial sleuths, including those of the Treasury Department. The need to expand the present staff of 160 investigators was expressed in a budget request from the Internal Revenue Service, but cut from the final numbers submitted to Congress.

    This was a $12 million item whose value seems beyond dispute, particularly when measured against the hundreds of millions in domestic pork spending that now preoccupies Congressional budgeteers. The administration maintains that a planned 16 percent increase in the Treasury budget should be enough to adequately fight terrorism and criminal abuses of the tax law at home. But a panel of outside experts concludes that the I.R.S. will be underbudgeted across the board.

    The spurned request was disclosed almost by accident at a House subcommittee hearing. Republicans were openly annoyed when the I.R.S. Oversight Board properly disclosed the original budget request in response to a lawmaker's question. The board, a bipartisan group created by Congress, endorsed the need for more terrorism investigators. It was curtly informed by Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, that antiterrorism was not part of its duties. Then whose duty is it? Congress's?

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  14. #59

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    April 25, 2004

    OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

    The Wrong Debate on Terrorism

    By RICHARD A. CLARKE

    The last month has seen a remarkable series of events that focused the public and news media on America's shortcomings in dealing with terrorism from radical Islamists. This catharsis, which is not yet over, is necessary for our national psyche. If we learn the right lessons, it may also prove to be an essential part of our future victory over those who now threaten us.

    But how do we select the right lessons to learn? I tried to suggest some in my recent book, and many have attempted to do so in the 9/11 hearings, but such efforts have been largely eclipsed by partisan reaction.

    One lesson is that even though we are the world's only remaining superpower — as we were before Sept. 11, 2001 — we are seriously threatened by an ideological war within Islam. It is a civil war in which a radical Islamist faction is striking out at the West and at moderate Muslims. Once we recognize that the struggle within Islam — not a "clash of civilizations" between East and West — is the phenomenon with which we must grapple, we can begin to develop a strategy and tactics for doing so. It is a battle not only of bombs and bullets, but chiefly of ideas. It is a war that we are losing, as more and more of the Islamic world develops antipathy toward the United States and some even develop a respect for the jihadist movement.

    I do not pretend to know the formula for winning that ideological war. But I do know that we cannot win it without significant help from our Muslim friends, and that many of our recent actions (chiefly the invasion of Iraq) have made it far more difficult to obtain that cooperation and to achieve credibility.

    What we have tried in the war of ideas has also fallen short. It is clear that United States government versions of MTV or CNN in Arabic will not put a dent in the popularity of the anti-American jihad. Nor will calls from Washington for democratization in the Arab world help if such calls originate from a leader who is trying to impose democracy on an Arab country at the point of an American bayonet. The Bush administration's much-vaunted Middle East democracy initiative, therefore, was dead on arrival.

    We must also be careful, while advocating democracy in the region, that we do not undermine the existing regimes without having a game plan for what should follow them and how to get there. The lesson of President Jimmy Carter's abandonment of the shah of Iran in 1979 should be a warning. So, too, should we be chastened by the costs of eliminating the regime of Saddam Hussein, almost 25 years after the shah, also without a detailed plan for what would follow.

    Other parts of the war of ideas include making real progress on the Israel-Palestinian issue, while safe-guarding Israeli security, and finding ideological and religious counter-weights to Osama bin Laden and the radical imams. Fashioning a comprehensive strategy to win the battle of ideas should be given as much attention as any other aspect of the war on terrorists, or else we will fight this war for the foreseeable future. For even when Osama bin Laden is dead, his ideas will carry on. Even as Al Qaeda has had its leadership attacked, it has morphed into a hydra, carrying out more major attacks in the 30 months since 9/11 than it did in the three years before.

    The second major lesson of the last month of controversy is that the organizations entrusted with law enforcement and intelligence in the United States had not fully accepted the gravity of the threat prior to 9/11. Because this is now so clear, there will be a tendency to overemphasize organizational fixes. The 9/11 commission and President Bush seem to be in a race to propose creating a "director of national intelligence," who would be given control over all American intelligence agencies. The commission may also recommend a domestic security intelligence service, probably modeled on Britain's MI-5.

    While some structural changes are necessary, they are a small part of the solution. And there is a risk that concentrating on chain-of-authority diagrams of federal agencies will further divert our attention from more important parts of the agenda. This new director of national intelligence would be able to make only marginal changes to agency budgets and interactions. The more important task is improving the quality of the analysts, agents and managers at the lead foreign intelligence agency, the Central Intelligence Agency.

    In addition, no new domestic security intelligence service could leap full grown from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. Indeed, creating another new organization while we are in a key phase in the war on terrorism would ignore the lesson that we should have learned from the creation of Homeland Security. Many observers, including some in the new department, now agree that the forced integration and reorganization of 22 agencies diverted attention from the missions of several agencies that were needed to go after the terrorists and to reduce our vulnerabilities at home.

    We do not need another new agency right now. We do, however, need to create within the F.B.I. a strong organization that is vastly different from the federal police agency that was unable to notice the Al Qaeda presence in America before 9/11. For now, any American version of MI-5 must be a branch within the F.B.I. — one with a higher quality of analysts, agents and managers.

    Rather than creating new organizations, we need to give the C.I.A. and F.B.I. makeovers. They cannot continue to be dominated by careerists who have carefully managed their promotions and ensured their retirement benefits by avoiding risk and innovation for decades. The agencies need regular infusions throughout their supervisory ranks of managers and thinkers from other, more creative organizational cultures.

    In the new F.B.I., marksmanship, arrests and skill on the physical training obstacle course should no longer be prerequisites for recruitment and retention. Similarly, within the C.I.A. we should quash the belief that — as George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, told the 9/11 commission — those who have never worked in the directorate of operations cannot understand it and are unqualified to criticize it.

    Finally, we must try to achieve a level of public discourse on these issues that is simultaneously energetic and mutually respectful. I hoped, through my book and testimony, to make criticism of the conduct of the war on terrorism and the separate war in Iraq more active and legitimate. We need public debate if we are to succeed. We should not dismiss critics through character assassination, nor should we besmirch advocates of the Patriot Act as fascists.

    We all want to defeat the jihadists. To do that, we need to encourage an active, critical and analytical debate in America about how that will best be done. And if there is another major terrorist attack in this country, we must not panic or stifle debate as we did for too long after 9/11.

    Richard A. Clarke, former head of counterterrorism at the National Security Council, is the author of "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  15. #60

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    May 2, 2004

    Lesser Evils

    By MICHAEL IGNATIEFF


    Since 9/11, National Guard and police patrols have become part of the commute at Grand Central Terminal. Security was increased further after the Madrid bombings.

    I. The Fire Next Time

    It has taken nearly three years, but the 9/11 commission and the Supreme Court hearings on enemy combatants have given us our first serious public discussion about how to balance civil liberties and national security in a war on terror. Even so, we have not begun to ask the really hard questions. The hardest one is, Could we actually lose the war on terror?

    Consider the consequences of a second major attack on the mainland United States -- the detonation of a radiological or dirty bomb, perhaps, or a low-yield nuclear device or a chemical strike in a subway. Any of these events could cause death, devastation and panic on a scale that would make 9/11 seem like a pale prelude. After such an attack, a pall of mourning, melancholy, anger and fear would hang over our public life for a generation.

    An attack of this sort is already in the realm of possibility. The recipes for making ultimate weapons are on the Internet, and the materiel required is available for the right price. Democracies live by free markets, but a free market in everything -- enriched uranium, ricin, anthrax -- will mean the death of democracy. Armageddon is being privatized, and unless we shut down these markets, doomsday will be for sale. Sept. 11, for all its horror, was a conventional attack. We have the best of reasons to fear the fire next time.

    A democracy can allow its leaders one fatal mistake -- and that's what 9/11 looks like to many observers -- but Americans will not forgive a second one. A succession of large-scale attacks would pull at the already-fragile tissue of trust that binds us to our leadership and destroy the trust we have in one another. Once the zones of devastation were cordoned off and the bodies buried, we might find ourselves, in short order, living in a national-security state on continuous alert, with sealed borders, constant identity checks and permanent detention camps for dissidents and aliens. Our constitutional rights might disappear from our courts, while torture might reappear in our interrogation cells. The worst of it is that government would not have to impose tyranny on a cowed populace. We would demand it for our own protection. And if the institutions of our democracy were unable to protect us from our enemies, we might go even further, taking the law into our own hands. We have a history of lynching in this country, and by the time fear and paranoia settled deep in our bones, we might repeat the worst episodes from our past, killing our former neighbors, our onetime friends.

    That is what defeat in a war on terror looks like. We would survive, but we would no longer recognize ourselves. We would endure, but we would lose our identity as free peoples.

    Alarmist? Consider where we stand after two years of a war on terror. We are told that Al Qaeda's top leadership has been decimated by detention and assassination. True enough, but as recently as last month bin Laden was still sending the Europeans quaint invitations to surrender. Even if Al Qaeda no longer has command and control of its terrorist network, that may not hinder its cause. After 9/11, Islamic terrorism may have metastasized into a cancer of independent terrorist cells that, while claiming inspiration from Al Qaeda, no longer require its direction, finance or advice. These cells have given us Madrid. Before that, they gave us Istanbul, and before that, Bali. There is no shortage of safe places in which they can grow. Where terrorists need covert support, there are Muslim communities, in the diasporas of Europe and North America, that will turn a blind eye to their presence. If they need raw recruits, the Arab rage that makes for martyrs is still incandescent. Palestine is in a state of permanent insurrection. Iraq is in a state of barely subdued civil war. Some of the Bush administration's policies, like telling Ariel Sharon he can keep settlements on the West Bank, may only be fanning the flames.

    So anyone who says ''Relax, more people are killed in road accidents than are killed in terrorist attacks'' is playing games. The conspiracy theorists who claim the government is manufacturing the threat in order to foist secret government upon us ought to wise up. Anyone who doesn't take seriously a second major attack on the United States just isn't being serious. In the Spanish elections in March, we may have had a portent of what's ahead: a terrorist gang trying to intimidate voters into altering the result of a democratic election. We can confidently expect that terrorists will attempt to tamper with our election in November. Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, said in a recent television interview that the Bush administration is concerned that terrorists will see the approaching presidential election as ''too good to pass up.''

    Thinking the worst is not defeatist. It is the best way to avoid defeat. Nor is it defeatist to concede that terror can never be entirely vanquished. Terrorists will continue to threaten democratic politics wherever oppressed or marginalized groups believe their cause justifies violence. But we can certainly deny them victory. We can continue to live without fear inside free institutions. To do so, however, we need to change the way we think, to step outside the confines of our cozy conservative and liberal boxes.

    II. The Necessity of Lesser Evils

    When democracies fight terrorism, they are defending the proposition that their political life should be free of violence. But defeating terror requires violence. It may also require coercion, secrecy, deception, even violation of rights. How can democracies resort to these means without destroying the values for which they stand? How can they resort to the lesser evil without succumbing to the greater?

    Putting the problem this way is not popular. Civil libertarians don't want to think about lesser evils. Security is as much a right as liberty, but civil libertarians haven't wanted to ask which freedoms we might have to trade in order to keep secure. Some conservative thinkers, like those at the libertarian Cato Institute, come down the same way but for different reasons: for them, the greater evil is big government, and they oppose measures that give the executive branch more power. Other conservatives, like Attorney General John Ashcroft, simply refuse to believe that any step taken to defend the United States can be called an evil at all.

    But thinking about lesser evils is unavoidable. Sticking too firmly to the rule of law simply allows terrorists too much leeway to exploit our freedoms. Abandoning the rule of law altogether betrays our most valued institutions. To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war. These are evils because each strays from national and international law and because they kill people or deprive them of freedom without due process. They can be justified only because they prevent the greater evil. The question is not whether we should be trafficking in lesser evils but whether we can keep lesser evils under the control of free institutions. If we can't, any victories we gain in the war on terror will be Pyrrhic ones.

    III. How to Think About Civil Liberties

    Civil liberties are not a set of pesky side constraints, pettifogging legalisms tying democracy's hands behind its back. Ask what the American way of life is, and soon we are talking about trial by jury, a free press, habeas corpus and democratic institutions. Soon we are talking about that freedom and that confident sense of an entitlement to happiness that the Europeans find so strange in this country. Civil liberties are what America is.

    Civil liberties may define us, but we have a bad record of jettisoning them when we get scared. We have the A.C.L.U. today because patriotic liberals after World War I were ashamed that the Russian Revolution of 1917 had terrified us into the Red Scare, the Palmer Raids and the needless roundup, arrest and deportation of mostly Eastern European immigrants, whose worst offense was that they had socialist, anarchist or communist illusions. We learned from the Red Scare that we need a civil liberties lobby because frightened majorities do reprehensible things. Between 1917 and 1920, we did ourselves plenty of harm. A congressman, Victor Berger, was denied his seat in the House after being convicted of espionage for writing an antiwar article, and a presidential candidate, Eugene V. Debs, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for delivering an antiwar speech. Aliens were harassed and deported. Legal strikes were smashed, and trade-union leaders were jailed. Indeed, by comparison with the Red Scare or later shameful episodes like Roosevelt's detention of Japanese during World War II, there have been no mass detention camps in the United States since Sept. 11 and no imprisonments for dissent. Not yet anyway.

    Even so, after 9/11 we were frightened, and Congress and the government weren't always thinking straight. After the attack, it may have made sense to detain more than 700 aliens on one immigration pretext or another until we could figure out whether there were other sleeper cells at work. But it made a lot less sense to hold them for months (80 days on average) and to deny them lawyers and public due process before we tossed most of them out of the country. It was shameful, as a Justice Department report found, that many Arab and Muslim detainees were abused and harassed in confinement. Civil libertarians like Prof. David Cole of Georgetown nobly stood up and denounced such detainments as the abuses that they were.

    But being absolutely right on this issue doesn't make a civil liberties position right on every other issue. Consider the question of a national ID system. Instead of crying ''1984,'' the civil liberties lobby should be taking an honest look at the leaky sieve of the existing driving license ID system and admit how easy it was for the hijackers to talk their way into the ID's that got them onto the planes. Instead of defending a failed ID system, civil libertarians should be trying to think of a better one. One possibility is for Congress to establish minimum national standards for identification, using the latest biometric identifiers. Any legislation should build in a Freedom of Information requirement demanding that the government divulge the data it holds on citizens and purge data that is unsound.

    President Bush has been trying to use civil liberties as a wedge issue, campaigning for the swift renewal of the Patriot Act in an effort to portray his rival as soft on the war on terror. The civil liberties lobby has taken the bait, leading the charge against the Patriot Act and its renewal. But partisan politics and civil liberties ideology are making it hard to take an unbiased look at what Bush has actually done. While some aspects of the Patriot Act were vexatious and ill conceived -- for example, giving federal agents the power to force librarians and bookstores to divulge what their customers are reading -- other parts of the act (and the antiterrorism measures in general) are right-minded. Giving the F.B.I. the same powers to wiretap terrorist suspects that they already use against the Mafia and drug traffickers seems reasonable, particularly because the taps are controlled by court order. Requiring banks and security brokers to file suspicious-activity reports to prevent money-laundering by terrorists sounds like an overdue reform. Enhancing the ability of the C.I.A. and F.B.I. to pool and share information seems like a good idea. As the staff reports of the 9/11 commission have shown, neither agency regularly shared its list of Al Qaeda suspects before Sept. 11 or passed the list to the airlines.

    Our vulnerability to attack on 9/11 was not a result just of bureaucratic bungling, dysfunctional Beltway turf wars and plain inertia. The disaster also was a result in part of the unintended consequences of well-meaning measures taken by civil libertarians in the past. Erecting fire walls between domestic intelligence gathering and law enforcement seemed like a positive development in the wake of the abuses of J. Edgar Hoover's F.B.I. These same good intentions led Congress in 1978 to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This law created a special federal court that meets in secret to rule on requests by counterintelligence officers to put espionage and terrorist suspects under surveillance. These warrants could be issued on lower standards of evidence than those required under the Fourth Amendment rules that regulate warrants issued in standard criminal cases. In order to guarantee that law enforcement would not exploit these lower standards, a legal ''wall'' was installed between intelligence gathering and criminal investigations. The court could grant F.B.I. intelligence agents a domestic surveillance warrant only if the primary purpose of their surveillance was foreign intelligence, not criminal prosecution.

    Richard Clarke, the former terrorism czar, has wisely proposed lowering the wall between domestic law enforcement and intelligence functions. This would allow us to pull all our domestic antiterrorism capabilities into a version of Britain's MI5, an agency charged with domestic intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism but without law enforcement responsibilities.

    A second victory for civil liberties -- the taming of the C.I.A. after its excesses during the Vietnam War era -- may have also weakened our human intelligence capacities before 9/11. In the wake of disclosures that the C.I.A. had tried to assassinate foreign leaders as well as thousands of Communist political cadres in South Vietnam, Senator Frank Church's Congressional investigation persuaded the Ford administration to rein in the C.I.A. and ban covert assassination activity. At the time, this seemed like a victory for civilian control of intelligence. But C.I.A. veterans like Robert Baer, a former operative in the Middle East, charge that the post-Church controls on the C.I.A. inadvertently created a culture in which agents preferred to sit behind Washington desks, reading reports, rather than risking their lives running informants and agents in the alleyways and tenements of Arab cities. This aversion to risk led the C.I.A. to cease investing in human intelligence and to rely too heavily on satellite and signals intelligence. The United States appears, for example, to have had almost no one on the ground in Iraq after 1998, hence the catastrophic misjudgment by U.S. intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

    But the problems began much earlier. We know now that the war being waged by Islamic fundamentalists against the United States began in 1983 with the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and escalated through the African embassy bombings and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. As the enemy steadily escalated the fight, the C.I.A. needed to have operatives in the bazaars, teahouses and mosques of the Arab world, bribing, importuning and, if necessary, eliminating our enemies. Who doesn't wish we had killed Osama bin Laden in the late 1990's? But the rules on assassination were drawn to outlaw it in so-called peacetime. They were at war with us, and we convinced ourselves that we were not at war with them. Post-Church, we may have betrayed a fatal preference for clean hands in a dark world of terror in which only dirty hands can get the job done.

    But dirty hands need not be lawless. If we need a tough counterintelligence service, we do not want it out of control, bribing, suborning, bugging and assassinating anyone it sees fit. To paraphrase Cofer Black, the former C.I.A. counterterrorism chief, we may want to put terrorist heads in boxes, but we need presidents, not C.I.A. operatives or their for-hire hitmen, to decide whose heads we are targeting. There have to be rules, presidential directives controlling the resort to assassination. Congress should weigh in here and call for new legislation. Three rules for targeted assassination seem relatively obvious: only as a last resort, only when capture is impossible without undue risk to American lives and only where death or damage to innocent civilians can be avoided. We need to make sure that assassinations don't do more harm than good. As the Israelis have discovered through their own assassination policy, killing Sheik Yassin of Hamas and his successor may only strengthen Hamas control of Gaza. A war on terror that succeeds tactically -- taking out this potential terrorist, breaking up that potential cell -- while failing strategically, further enraging the Arab populace, is not a success. So we need rules in a war on terror, first of all to keep free institutions intact and second so that we don't fail in our strategic objective, which is to make America some friends instead of numberless new enemies.

    IV. Striking a Balance

    Civil libertarians may tie our hands unduly, while the gung-ho ''anything goes'' brigade might bring us tactical victories at the price of strategic disaster. Either extreme won't work, so where is the balance to be found?

    Let's not pretend it's going to be easy to agree about this. Abiding disagreement about the trade-off between liberty and security is a permanent characteristic of any free society. The founding fathers designed the Constitution to enable our institutions to adjudicate such fundamental disagreements of principle. The key innovation of American government was the system of checks and balances. The founders required the executive branch to justify coercive measures before Congress, and later Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison established the principle of judicial review. This system of ''adversarial justification'' is what keeps us free. Presidents are just like the rest of us: they can justify anything if they have to justify it to only themselves. Our system of government, like trial by jury, puts all coercive measures to the test of hostile, questioning review. Our system is supposed to challenge the president every step of the way. Show me, prove it to me, give me the facts -- this is supposed to be the American way.

    A war on terror puts this system under real strain. Checks and balances work slowly -- Congress must deliberate; the courts must review -- and meanwhile, the crisis calls out for decisive action. This is why terrorism's chief impact on democracy -- not just in the United States but also in every other free society and especially in Spain and Britain -- has been to strengthen the power of presidents and prime ministers at the expense of legislatures and the courts and to increase the exercise of secret government. Much of the war against terror has to be fought in secret, and the killing, interrogating and bribing are done in the shadows. This is democracy's dark secret -- the men and women who defend us with a bodyguard of lies and an armory of deadly weapons -- and because it is our dark secret, it can also be democracy's nemesis.

    The key question is whether free institutions -- Congress, courts and the press -- are strong enough to keep this secret army under control. Its budget is offline, and its operations are below the Congressional radar. Despite the 9/11 commission's remarkable exercise in public education, the government is still trying to make the war on terror ever more secret. The administration has fought attempts by the A.C.L.U. to force the Justice Department to disclose how often it has used its expanded authority under the Patriot Act. It has successfully resisted attempts to require disclosure of the names of those detained in investigations after Sept. 11, and an executive order of the president has clamped down on the release of public information relating to critical infrastructure. Obviously it's a good idea to keep recipes for ricin off government-financed research Web sites, and it's not a good idea to have target detail on critical infrastructure available for download. But adversarial review, as intended by the founding fathers, can't work if ordinary citizens are denied the information they need.

    Keeping the war on terror under control also requires judges who are unafraid to challenge presidential power. For nearly two years, the courts deferred to the president's powers as commander in chief, refusing to deny him authority to designate American citizens as ''enemy combatants'' and allowing him to imprison foreign combatants at Guantanamo beyond the reach of American courts. The president created military tribunals to try foreign combatants, but kept these tribunals free from review by federal courts and free of the due process safeguards that apply in U.S. military courts-martial. To their credit, a group of military defense lawyers assigned to these tribunals has gone public to question whether their defendants stand a chance of a fair trial.

    The courts have watched these developments with growing alarm. The judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, even when refusing to grant habeas corpus review to Yaser Esam Hamdi, one of the American enemy combatants currently held in a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., sounded troubled by the president's powers. The government, they wrote, seems to be ''embracing a sweeping proposition -- namely that with no meaningful judicial review, any American citizen alleged to be an enemy combatant could be detained indefinitely without charges or counsel on the government's say-so.'' Now, at last, the Supreme Court is reviewing these presidential powers, and to judge from questioning at the Guantanamo hearings, many justices are troubled by them. As Justice Stephen Breyer said during oral arguments, ''It seems rather contrary to an idea of a Constitution with three branches that the executive would be free to do whatever they want, whatever they want without a check.'' Just as no justice wants to second-guess a president's decision to commit U.S. forces, so no court can afford to defer to the president on the fundamental civil rights of American citizens. The Supreme Court will have to determine whether it was ever in the intentions of the founders to give the president the power to imprison a citizen at pleasure and to hold him beyond the reach of the law, and if these were not their intentions, whether emergency or wartime situations could ever justify such a departure from constitutional safeguards.

    Whatever the court decides, Congress may eventually have to decide how much emergency power the president should wield. Bruce Ackerman, a liberal law professor at Yale, has recently proposed a wholesale revision of the president's current power to declare a national emergency, suggesting that if terrorists strike again, the president should be given the authority to act unilaterally for a week and to arrest anyone he sees fit. After a week, Congress would have to vote to renew his powers for a period of 60 days. Thereafter, an overwhelming majority would be required to extend the term further. Better to formalize and control emergency power, Ackerman argues, than to allow the president to slowly accumulate the power of tyranny.

    Yet Congress, with rare exceptions -- like the joint Congressional inquiry of 2002 into Sept. 11 and the powerful Senate dissents of Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy -- has become as reluctant as the judiciary to subject the president's powers to proper scrutiny. The first Patriot Act was large, cumbersome and poorly drafted, and it passed both the Senate and the House so quickly that it is doubtful Congress really knew what was in it. As the sunset provisions of the act come up for renewal in 2005, Congress has an opportunity to redeem itself.

    Thus far, it has not been Congress but the bipartisan commission on 9/11 whose public hearings have focused national debate on civil liberties. It was not Congress that uncovered evidence that the United States has been handing terrorist suspects over to foreign governments like Morocco, Egypt and Jordan for possible torture but diligent reporters like Barton Gellman and Dana Priest of The Washington Post.

    Only if our institutions work properly -- if Congress reviews legislation in detail and tosses out measures that jeopardize liberty at no gain to security, if the courts keep executive power under constitutional control and if the press refuses to allow itself to become ''embedded'' with the government -- can the moral and constitutional hazards of lesser evils be managed.

    V. The Detention Archipelago

    Even if our institutions do their jobs, the hazards they must manage are considerable. Consider the issue of preventive detention of terrorist suspects. All the major countries on the front line of the war on terror are currently detaining such suspects, often for indefinite periods of time. It is hard to see how a successful counterterrorism campaign can succeed unless the police can arrest and detain suspects on standards of evidence lower than those required for proof of guilt in a criminal trial. Waiting until police have met the Fourth Amendment's exacting standards for search, seizure and arrest would expose innocent civilians to unnecessary risk of terrorist attack. Who doesn't wish the 9/11 hijacker who was pulled over for speeding in the weeks before the attack had been detained until police could check his ID against C.I.A. and F.B.I. watch lists?

    Currently, terrorism suspects in the United States can be detained as enemy combatants, held as material witnesses or detained for immigration violations. We do not even know how many suspects are being held under these categories. If we were to add up all the suspects, citizens and noncitizens held in U.S. institutions, together with those in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia and U.S. brigs and stockades in between, the number might run into the thousands. No one knows how many detainees there are, and that is the crux of the problem: the United States may be operating a global archipelago of detention beyond the law and ken of its citizens. Clearly, there need to be rules to govern detention, and the key rule -- one that defines democracy itself -- is that no one, citizen or otherwise, should be held without access to public review of his detention by independent judicial authorities. Where they are held, whether offshore or at home, should be immaterial. If they are detained by Americans, they are America's responsibility, and basic due process standards should apply.

    Philip Heymann of Harvard Law School has argued that we have to stop holding American citizens indefinitely without charge. We should try them or let them go. If a suspect cannot be brought to trial without revealing evidence that would endanger key informants, then a federal judge could order further detention, but only for a maximum period of two years. After that, the person would have to be brought to trial or released.

    Overseas, in Guantanamo, Iraq and elsewhere, where combatant or terrorist detainees are held, the government should create military tribunals that offer detainees the right to challenge the basis of their detention with the assistance of counsel. Of course, this is costly, and of course, some bad characters may talk their way out of America's clutches. Release upon detention, though, does not preclude surveillance upon release. These are hard choices, but we would be better advised to let a few bad characters go than to continue to run a global network of detention facilities that, right now, are an open invitation to abuse.

    VI. Torture

    The abuse we need to talk about is torture. Torture, our founding fathers said, was the vice of tyrannies and its absolute exclusion the mark of free government. At the same time, keeping torture, or at least what used to be called ''the third degree,'' from creeping back into our police squad rooms at home has required constant vigilance by D.A.'s and honest cops. Now it may be creeping into our war on terror. There is some evidence that the United States has handed key suspects over to Middle Eastern governments for torture. In the metal containers stacked up behind rings of razor wire on Bagram air base in Afghanistan, beatings are reportedly routine, and at least two suspects have died during secret interrogations. It is possible that similar physical methods have been used against detainees from the Hussein regime at Baghdad airport.

    Some observers believe such physical methods are inevitable if we hope to break terrorists who are willing to die in attacking us. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School supports an outright ban on torture, but argues that if the United States is going to rely on it, Congress should regulate it by law. Interrogators would at least be required to apply to a court for a ''torture warrant,'' which would set limits to the practice. The evidence extracted by torture would remain inadmissible in court, but it could be used to prevent impending attacks.

    Dershowitz's ideas suggest that it is possible to bring the rule of law into the interrogation room, but as an exercise in the lesser evil, it is likely to lead to the greater. Once you allow warrants for genuine ''ticking bomb'' cases -- situations in which torture can prevent an imminent calamity from occuring -- little by little, torture may be used when there is no immediate danger. There has never been any certainty, moreover, that information extracted by torture is more reliable than information coaxed out of a suspect by persuasive means. Why should we suppose that pain produces truth? And how can we forget what everyone who has ever been tortured always tells us: those who are tortured stay tortured forever. If you want to create terrorists, torture is a pretty sure way to do so.

    Israel has thought hardest about torture in terrorist cases. After watching how interrogation degenerated into torture when the Landau Commission of 1987 allowed physical force in questioning, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that shaking suspects and confining them in chairs tipped forward in painful positions for long periods were violations of Israel's national and international commitments against torture.

    Yet the Israeli Supreme Court also conceded that physical force against suspects sometimes prizes out information that saves lives in ticking-bomb cases. So it allowed interrogators a justifying excuse. Torture was banned absolutely, but interrogators charged with torture could enter evidence that they were seeking to save lives in order to plead to reduced sentences for breaking the rules. An outright ban on torture, rather than an attempt to regulate it, seems the only way a democracy can keep true to its ideal of respecting the dignity even of its enemies. For that is what the rule of law commits us to: to show respect even to those who show no respect for us.

    To keep faith with this commitment, we need a presidential order or Congressional legislation that defines exactly what constitutes acceptable degrees of coercive interrogation. Here we are deep into lesser-evil territory. Permissible duress might include forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress. What crosses the line into the impermissible would be any physical coercion or abuse, any involuntary use of drugs or serums, any withholding of necessary medicines or basic food, water and essential rest.

    Fine idea, you say, but who is to enforce these safeguards? It ought to be the rule that no detainee of the United States should be permanently deprived of access to counsel and judicial process, whether it be civilian federal court or military tribunal. Torture will thrive wherever detainees are held in secret. Conduct disgracing the United States is inevitable if suspects are detained beyond the reach of the law.

    VII. Controlling the President

    So far, the basic rules for regulating a war on terror look relatively simple: first, make sure all measures are subjected to review by Congress and the judiciary; second, make sure the law keeps watch over detainees and suspects. In a word, we need to ensure that we wage a war for the rule of law and not a war against it and that we wage it by means of democratic consent rather than by presidential decree. We have enough of an imperial presidency as it is.

    Keeping the president under democratic control is not going to be easy. The dilemmas here are best illustrated by looking closely at pre-emptive war. It is a lesser evil because, according to our traditional understanding of war, the only justified resort to war is a response to actual aggression. But those standards are outdated. They were conceived for wars against states and their armies, not for wars against terrorists and suicide bombers. Against this kind of enemy, everyone can see that instead of waiting for terrorists to hit us, it makes sense to get our retaliation in first. The problem with pre-emption is keeping the president's war power under democratic control.

    The president's power to make war is supposed to be balanced by Congress's power to declare it, but in practice, since Vietnam, Congress has not been able to rein in a president bent on the use of force overseas. A war on terror, declared against a global enemy, with no clear end in sight, raises the prospect of an out-of-control presidency. As we learned in the run-up to the war in Iraq, the case for a pre-emptive war is always bound to be speculative, based on doubtful intelligence that will be hard for either an electorate or its representatives, let alone the bureaucracy, to assess for credibility. In the pre-emptive wars of the future -- Iraq will not be our last exercise in this moral hazard -- our leaders will try to secure our consent by alternately threatening and reassuring us with the phrase ''If you only knew what we know.''

    But as we have found to our cost, this is not nearly good enough. The facts may not be as clear before the event as they are likely to be afterward, but voters must be told what we need to know, before government commits to war in our name. Over Iraq, our name was taken in vain.

    We need national and international rules to control such wars. This may require both Congressional legislation and United Nations resolutions. Pre-emptive war can be justified only when the danger that must be pre-empted is imminent, when peaceful means of averting the danger have been tried and have failed and when democratic institutions ratify the decision to do so. If these are the minimum tests pre-emptive war has to meet, the Iraq war failed to meet all three.

    Even those -- like me -- who supported the Iraq war because it might bring freedom and democracy to people who had been gassed, tortured and killed for 30 years had better admit that if our grounds for war had been squarely put to the American people, they probably would have voted to stay home. Worse still, Congress failed to put the president's case for war to adversarial scrutiny and debate. The news media allowed itself to be managed and browbeaten. The war may or may not bring democracy to Iraq eventually, but it hasn't done democracy any good at home.

    VIII. A Warrior's Honor

    Regulating a war on terror with ethical rules and democratic oversight is much harder than regulating traditional wars. In traditional wars, there are rules, codes of warriors' honor that are supposed to limit the barbarity of the conflict, to protect civilians from targeting, to keep the use of force proportional and to keep it confined to military objectives. The difference between us and terrorists is supposed to be that we play by these rules, even if they don't. No, I haven't forgotten Hiroshima and My Lai. The American way of war has often been brutal, but at least our warriors are supposed to fight with honor and can be punished if they don't. There is no warrior's honor among terrorists.

    The real moral hazard in a war on terror emerges precisely here, in the fact that no moral contract, no expectation of reciprocity, binds us to our enemy. Indeed, the whole logic of terrorism is to exploit the rules, to turn them to their own advantage. If we hesitate to strike a mosque because the rules of war designate it as a protected place, then the smart thing for a terrorist to do is to store weapons and suicide belts there. If our forces start from the presumption that civilian women should be treated as noncombatants, then terrorists will train women to be suicide bombers. If all existing codes of warriors' honor forbid the desecration of bodies, then it is not just mindless brutality but actually a sound terrorist tactic to drag contractors from a car in Falluja, set them alight and display their severed and burned limbs from a bridge. Such provocations are intended to drag us down to their level.

    This is the deepest reason why it is difficult to maintain self-control, let alone democratic control, in a war on terror. We are constantly being tempted to descend to the logic of terror itself. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, but unsaintly men and women, seeing their loved ones maimed and butchered, may begin to believe vengeance is theirs by right.

    The siren song in any war on terror is ''let slip the dogs of war.'' Let them hunt. Let them kill. Already, we have dogs salivating at the prospect. A liberal society cannot be defended by herbivores. We need carnivores to save us, but we had better make sure the meat-eaters hunt only on our orders.

    Taunting us until we let the dogs slip is any canny terrorist's best hope of success. The Algerian terrorists who fought the French colonial occupation in the 1950's had no hope of defeating the armies of France in pitched battle. Their only chance of victory lay in provoking the French into a downward spiral of reprisals, indiscriminate killings and torture so that the Algerian masses would rise in hatred and the French metropolitan population would throw up its hands in disgust. The tactic worked. Terror won in Algeria because France lost its nerve and lost its control of counterterror.

    In Iraq, we had better remember the French lesson: we cannot hope to win a war of occupation with harshness alone. We need a political strategy that undermines the terrorist claim that they are fighting a just war against military occupation. We need to turn the place back to Iraqis quickly or we will just have created another losing front in the war on terror.

    On all fronts, keeping a war on terror under democratic scrutiny is critical to its operational success. A lesser-evil approach permits preventive detention, where subject to judicial review; coercive interrogation, where subject to executive control; pre-emptive strikes and assassination, where these serve publicly defensible strategic goals. But everything has to be subject to critical review by a free people: free debate, public discussion, Congressional review, in camera if need be, judicial review as a last resort. The war needs to be less secretive, not more. We need to know more about it, not less, even if what we learn is hard. If it comes to it, we need to know, every time we fly, that in case of a hijacking, the president has authorized our pilots to shoot us down if a crash risks killing still more people. In a war on terror, painful truth is far better than lies and illusions.

    Above all, we need to keep faith with freedom. When terrorists strike against constitutional democracies, one of their intentions is to persuade electorates and elites that the strengths of these societies -- public debate, mutual trust, open borders and constitutional restraints on executive power- are weaknesses. When strengths are seen as weaknesses, it is easy to abandon them. If this is the logic of terror, then democratic societies must find a way to renew their belief that their apparent vulnerabilities are actually a form of strength. This does not require anything new or special. It simply means that those who have charge of democratic institutions need to do their jobs. We want C.I.A. men and women who understand that the dogs of war are needed, but that they need to be on a leash. We want judges who understand that national security is not a carte blanche for the abrogation of individual rights; a free press that keeps asking, Where are the detainees and what are you doing with them? We want a Congress that will not allow national security to prevent it from subjecting executive power to adversarial review. This, after all, is only what our Constitution intends. Our institutions were designed to regulate evil means and control potentially evil people.

    The chief ethical challenge of a war on terror is relatively simple -- to discharge duties to those who have violated their duties to us. Even terrorists, unfortunately, have human rights. We have to respect these because we are fighting a war whose essential prize is preserving the identity of democratic society and preventing it from becoming what terrorists believe it to be. Terrorists seek to provoke us into stripping off the mask of law in order to reveal the black heart of coercion that they believe lurks behind our promises of freedom. We have to show ourselves and the populations whose loyalties we seek that the rule of law is not a mask or an illusion. It is our true nature.

    Michael Ignatieff, a contributing writer for the magazine, is director of the Carr Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His most recent book, ''The Lesser Evil,'' on which this article is based, will be published by Princeton later this month.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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