Saturday, May 06, 2006

The NSA: Fostering a New Generation of Codebreakers

The NSA: Fostering a New Generation of Codebreakers Posted on May 6, 2006


This is the actual front page image of the U.S. National Security Agency’s kid-friendly portal.

The presumed new head of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden, once ran the National Security Agency. Fine. But check out the home page of NSA’s web site: it’s got a cartoon picture that leads to a kid-friendly site called “Cryptokids: America’s Future Codemakers and Codebreakers.” It’s filled with decryption games and NSA employment resources.

Huh? Cartoons appeal to seven-year-olds. How many of them are going to be surfing the NSA’s web site? And if the agency is trying to recruit high-school students, why use a cartoon turtle as your roper?


Why Did Goss Resign?

Why Did Goss Resign?
By Larry Johnson
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Saturday 06 May 2006

Yesterday's surprise announcement by Porter Goss comes on the heels of press stories that members of Congress received sexual favors from prostitutes allegedly procured by Brent Wilkes, an entrepreneur implicated in the bribery of Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Wilkes, we are told, hosted poker and hooker parties at the Watergate Hotel. Wilkes also happened to be an old high school buddy of the CIA's number three man, Dusty Foggo.

Speculation in the blogosphere suggested that Porter Goss selected Foggo because of his ties to Wilkes and may be implicated in the sexscapades. I'm told by a friend who used to work at the Agency that Goss, on this charge, is clean. In fact, Goss may be a victim, guilty only of selecting some lousy staff.

A former CIA buddy tells me that Porter's main problem, however, is a key staffer who is linked to both Brent Wilkes and the CIA's Executive Director, Dusty Foggo. My friend also said that it is highly likely that the Goss staffer did participate in the hooker extravaganza. Goss, politician that he is, probably recognized that even though he did not participate in the sexual escapades and poker games, his staffer's participation created a huge problem for him that would be difficult to escape.

There also is truth to the rumor that Goss was not happy with presiding over a CIA that had been rendered a co-equal with the Department of Defense intelligence units. Prior to the creation of the National Director of Intelligence, the CIA was the lead intelligence agency. No longer. Ironically, part of the impetus for the creation of the NDI was the perceived "failures" of the CIA with respect to 9/11 and Iraq. Recent revelations by retired CIA officers, such as Paul Pillar and Ty Drumheller, make clear that the CIA basically got it right on Iraq and was ignored by the Bush administration.

Porter Goss, to his credit, did make a valiant effort to revitalize the human collection side of the Agency. He reopened CIA posts overseas that his predecessor, George Tenet, had closed. On the demerit side of the ledger, however, Goss also politicized the CIA. He brought political operatives into the CIA who made loyalty to the Bush presidency the primary concern. This helped drive out much needed talent and weakened the CIA's ability to conduct overseas operations while tarnishing the CIA's tradition for offering objective analysis.

It appears there will be another victim in this mess - Dusty Foggo, the CIA's Executive Director. Dusty is an old friend of Brent Wilkes and there has been plenty of speculation and rumor suggesting that Dusty got his job because of Porter's intervention. Not so says a friend. Dusty got the job thru the intervention of one of Porter's senior aides, who pushed and got Dusty the job. While the rumor mill tries to suggest Dusty was implicated in the hooker scandal, a friend tells me no. According to my friend:

"Regarding Dusty's poker games, I guess guilt by association is a favored game in Washington on both sides of the political spectrum, but really, these events were quite innocent, at least when viewed from the perspective of if Dusty is guilty of anything beyond keeping too high a profile in what turned out to be the wrong company. If you want to know, the way these things worked was that once or twice a week, Dusty would host a poker game either at his house in Vienna or Brent's place at the Watergate, later the Westin. These things went on from the mid 1990s until Dusty went to Frankfurt in the early 2000s. Basically, Dusty used these games to take his mind off of his feud with Buzzy Krongaard, which was a minor thing to Buzzy, but weighed pretty heavily on Dusty's mind. When at Dusty's place, they were pretty much all Agency guys, except for Brent. Dusty's wife laid out the food and drink. When downtown, Brent would invite Duke and some other denizens from the Hill, but the majority were always Dusty's Agency poker buddies. Brent would pop for the drinks and snacks downtown, and the ambiance was kind of like the poker game on "The Sopranos." At either location, Dusty was the center of attraction and kind of the host. There was always a lot of bitching about Buzzy, even in front of the Hill guys. These were always all guy things, there weren't any women there. Dusty is a big cigar aficionado, in fact, he used to have the license plate CIGRMAN on his car. The room was always filled with smoke. Downtown, it wasn't unusual for guys to crash in the bedrooms or on the couch before going home at dawn to catch a shower and go in to work. It would not surprise me if Brent used the same rooms at the Watergate and Westin for subsidized Congressional encounters with hookers, but I don't know this to be the case. If Brent did, I doubt that he would've said anything to Dusty about it, because, for all of his judgmental shortcomings, Dusty has enough of a political antenna to realize that he shouldn't be playing poker in the same room where Duke was availing himself of free hookers. As you probably know, Dusty is the type of guy who people either love or hate. In my experience, women who hate him do so because he is an unabashed chauvinist of the old school. Guys who hate him pretty much do so because they wish they had the moxie to get as much poontang as they think he is getting. So there you have it, at least my take."

Unfortunately for Dusty, his days at CIA are probably numbered. What is even more unfortunate is the effect of this scandal on the CIA and ultimately this nation. The CIA has endured the shame of the president, the vice president, and the Republican controlled Congress, blaming it for intelligence failures in Iraq when in fact, the CIA told the truth on critical issues but the leaders did not want to hear it. The CIA also has endured a president and vice president whose immediate staff have been implicated in the outing of an undercover CIA officer. Despite a promise to get to the bottom of this breach of secrecy, President Bush has permitted one of the participants in that leak - Karl Rove - to stay on the job. And now a sex scandal that implicates, by association, the former Director of the CIA and the number-three man at the Agency.

Hopefully, President Bush will seize this opportunity to remove the taint of politics from the CIA. We need a professional, not a political hack running the CIA. We live in a dangerous world that requires an organization like the CIA capable of operating in the world of the covert and clandestine. Faced with a crisis of leadership and confidence, however, the CIA may be distracted from its mission of helping protect this nation. Viewed in this light, the sudden departure of Porter Goss is a real tragedy.

Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm that helps corporations and governments manage threats posed by terrorism and money laundering. Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and US State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism (as a Deputy Director), is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management. Mr. Johnson has analyzed terrorist incidents for a variety of media including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today Show, the New York Times, CNN, Fox News and the BBC. Mr. Johnson has authored several articles for publications including Security Management Magazine, the New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. He has lectured on terrorism and aviation security around the world.

Goss'd Out
By Ari Berman
The Nation

Friday 05 May 2006

Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre was just on CNN talking about Porter Goss's surprise resignation as CIA chief. When asked why Goss unexpectedly quit, McIntyre feigned ignorance and couldn't quite find the words.

The story may be right in front of the mainstream media. Could it be encapsulated in one word? Hookers.

Goss may be the first casualty of the expanding investigation into Duke Cunningham, otherwise known as Hookergate. Cunningham's indicted co-conspirators, defense contractors Brent Wilkes and Mitchell Wade, provided suites at the Westin and Watergate (sound familiar?) to entertain Congressman and other DC players. According to Ken Silverstein of Harper's, "party nights began early with poker games and degenerated into what the source described as a "frat party" scene - real bacchanals." The FBI is investigating whether prostitutes were involved. The Watergate has received multiple subpoenas.

Goss's #3 man at the CIA, Dusty Foggo, has already admitted to attending "poker parties." Silverstein, one of the best investigative reporters in Washington, revealed last week that "those under intense scrutiny by the FBI are current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence committees - including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post."

Goss certainly fits that bill.

An Excellent Reason Not to Join the Military

An Excellent Reason Not to Join the Military
By Aimee Allison

Friday 05 May 2006

I was shocked to discover the realities of being a female minority in uniform.

The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military to be published on May 18, 2006 by The New Press.

Aimee Allison served as a medic in the Army Reserves and received an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector during the Persian Gulf War.

I desperately wanted out of my small-minded hometown of Antioch, California, and the military recruiter on my high school campus promised me an escape hatch. The family that my white mother and African American father created was based on the belief that the hard work and democratic values of 1960s activists made equality my birthright.

But my day-to-day experience was full of evidence that racism was alive and well. High school classmates would chant the n-word when our team played its biggest rival the next town over. Slurs against gay people were so accepted that teachers used them without thought. And after winning a local Junior Miss competition, a first for a black contestant, I was excluded from the local news and town parade. When I brought my Ivy League college acceptance letter into the career center, a counselor suggested that I got in because of my race.

So I rushed to sign up for the Army Reserves, in part because it was the only place I knew of that promised I wouldn't be judged or limited by my race or gender. We women, people of color, and immigrants are especially attracted by the idea that we could live our lives on equal footing with other Americans. But the military isn't the egalitarian nirvana that its multi-billion dollar advertising blitz - with a budget of almost $4 billion in 2003 - claims.

Like most female soldiers, I learned the hard way that men dominate military culture. We are stuck in a system that makes it difficult to report abuse because of fear of reprisal. Even the military itself admitted in a June 2005 report by the Defense Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies, "harassment is the more prevalent and corrosive problem, creating an environment in which sexual assault is more likely to occur."

Just ask any woman in uniform - sexual harassment is a common experience on base. I remember on the day of boot camp graduation, the same drill sergeant who had threatened to "rip off my head and shit in my neck" for a minor infraction during training grabbed my arm in the on-base store and pressured me for a date. This was a man that had exercised incredible power over me and my unit for twelve weeks, and through my fear I mumbled, "Drill sergeant, no" three times before he let me go. I didn't know at the time that about 60 percent of women who have served in the National Guard and reserves said they were sexually harassed or assaulted, but less than one-quarter reported it. Many who did complain were encouraged to drop their complaints.

When I first joined the military at age seventeen, a military doctor administered a demeaning and uncomfortable pelvic exam during my induction physical. He didn't wear gloves. It turns out that my experience wasn't unusual.

At last year's National Summit of Women Veterans Issues in Washington, D.C., former Air Force officer Dorothy Mackey told of several instances of abuse during OB-GYN exams. "He sodomized me," she said. "I started looking into what happens in a normal OB-GYN examination, and that is definitely not supposed to be part of it."

Nine out of ten women under fifty who had served in the US military and had responded to a survey reported being sexually harassed while in the service. In an episode of "60 Minutes," New Jersey National Guard Lieutenant Jennifer Dyer revealed that she was treated like a criminal after accusing a fellow officer of rape in early 2004. She reported the rape immediately to the military criminal investigation division (CID), who took her to a civilian hospital for a rape kit - then held her in seclusion for the next three days with no counseling and no medical treatment. The CID agent advised her of her Miranda rights and threatened to prosecute her for filing a false report. Her command announced her rape and accusation to the entire unit. By the time she returned to her unit after a two-week leave, she was "fearful for [her] health, safety, and sanity." Her assailant was roaming free on base and was later acquitted of any crime.

All the bad press about rape in the military has led to congressional demands for reform. For the eighteenth time in sixteen years, the Pentagon has studied the problem and proposed changes, including designated victim advocates in every command and a promise of confidentiality, according to "60 Minutes."

It's too bad that fully funding this need isn't a high priority. A Department of Veterans Affairs report released in September 2005 found that the annual cost for health care, including mental health for National Guard members like Lieutenant Jennifer Dyer who experience sexual trauma, is about $20 million. Only $13 million is budgeted for the 2006 fiscal year.

Reports of sexual assaults have skyrocketed recently, especially in hostile environments like Iraq and Afghanistan. The Washington Post reported, "In many US military camps in Iraq, for example, signs are posted in female showers and other locations requiring US servicewomen to be in the company of a 'battle buddy,' especially at night, for their safety."

The military has rules and structures to direct every aspect of a person's conduct. Why does abuse still occur? One answer is that a male commander most often decides when to prosecute for abuse or misconduct. In 2002, the number of female active Army officers was about 20 percent. This means that the vast majority of officers in the military are men.

In addition, military training itself is responsible for further desensitizing men to sexual violence. In January 2003, the Village Voice reported that military training has included efforts to get young soldiers used to the sounds of women being raped so that, if captured, hearing fellow soldiers assaulted would not cause them to crack.

These revelations are not surprising to former Marine Corps Lance Corporal Stephen Funk. During his training in 2002, Stephen told me that his drill instructor gave a rousing speech at the end of Marine combat training: "This is the reality of war. We Marines like war. We like killing. We like raping females. This is what we do." If there was a touch of irony in his voice, it sure wasn't clear to the young, impressionable group eager to prove they were men, Stephen said.

Basic training also reinforces racism. Boot camp systematically breaks a recruit down physically and emotionally. Military discipline depends on eliminating individuality. Anything that makes you different from the "standard" (read: straight white male) makes you a target for abuse. But submissiveness and conformity are not the only goals of training. Soldiers are taught to follow orders in war without question. When the training taps into a person's own racist views, it's easier to convince them to kill people who are different.

Iraq war veteran Aidan Delgado, who served as a mechanic in the 320th Military Police Company in Abu Ghraib, described how his training led to racism against Muslims and Arabs.

"'Hajji' is the new slur, the new ethnic slur for Arabs and Muslims. It is used extensively in the military," he told a reporter. "The Arabic word refers to one who has gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca. But it is used in the military with the same kind of connotation as 'gook,' 'Charlie,' or the n-word."

Stephen, the former Marine corporal, said that his training on operating machine guns included a tip to avoid overheating the machinery: Squeeze the trigger for as long as it takes to chant, "Die, fucking raghead, die." When riling up the troops to take part in a nighttime simulation, the squad leader would yell, Stephen recalled, "Let's go burn some turbans!"

But racism in the military doesn't stop at Arabs. Basic training - a nightmare for most - is even more difficult if you happen to be a person of color or gay. If you are in these groups, I don't have to tell you that many times it's seemingly small insults that create a feeling of oppression.

When I was at Army boot camp at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, standing in line for chow, I overheard the white drill sergeant tell a dark-skinned recruit with a smile, "You look like Kunta Kinte [a slave from the TV miniseries Roots]."

"Doesn't she? Doesn't she?" he asked everyone within earshot. She moved on silently in the wake of laughter.

It was common for my drill sergeant to ask, "Where are my Chinese at?" when assigning laundry duty. "For some reason, they do it the best," he'd say with a smirk.

I went to training with many new immigrants, since recruiters often falsely promised them citizenship. One Sudanese immigrant was the butt of many of the drill sergeant's jokes. The sergeant would hand him a dark-colored rifle and then loudly comment that they couldn't tell where the rifle ended and the hands began.

In preparation for a night-ops simulation, the drill sergeant announced that recruits were to blow a whistle if they got lost. "Except you," he said, pointing at the Sudanese recruit. "You just smile and we'll see you in the dark."

Then the drill instructor made him stand up in front of the others.

"Give me a pimp walk," the instructor ordered. English wasn't his native language and he hadn't been in the United States long, so he didn't understand what the sergeant meant. Then the sergeant pulled up another black recruit and said, "Give me a pimp walk." The man answered that he didn't know how because he wasn't a pimp. Finally, a white recruit volunteered to show the group. Pretty soon, many others were doing the "black" pimp walk as well.

In the early morning hours during the second week of boot camp, I was forced to leave my barracks with an unfamiliar drill sergeant who decided to punish me for turning my head while standing at attention. I was afraid to go with a strange man to another part of the base, but was just as scared to refuse. He made me stand at attention and gathered his unit around to watch the show. He called me stupid, ugly, dumb.

"Where are you from, private?" he screamed. "You look like a gang member. Are you a gang member?"

I started crying - he looked at my dark skin and didn't know or care that I was an excellent student on my way to the university.

"Get down into front position!" he yelled at me in front of his own unit of women. "Get up. Get down. Get up."

The thirty minutes of humiliation seemed to last an eternity.

Although the military doesn't officially condone racism and sexism, it explicitly discriminates against gays who are open about their identity, both in legal practice and in day-to-day life. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an advocacy group for gay and lesbian soldiers, claims that more than 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans are on active duty and serving in the National Guard and reserves.

Thanks to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, put in place under the Clinton administration in 1993, as long as gay people stay deep in the closet, the military won't kick them out. In other words, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" actually authorizes the federal government to fire someone for being gay. According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, soldiers may be investigated and administratively discharged if they:

* make a statement that they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual;

* engage in physical contact with someone of the same sex for the purposes of sexual gratification; or

* marry, or attempt to marry, someone of the same sex.

Several soldiers have been discharged for posting online profiles that indicated they were gay or looking to date someone of the same gender.

The other part of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy attempts to limit harassment and the scope of investigations into a soldier's sexual orientation. Yet, as Stephen Funk's experience shows, the services continue to violate these basic rules. Stephen, a gay man, told me what it's like to live with a constant barrage of antigay slurs. No one dares speak up against it because they fear facing suspicion and investigation for being gay. Stephen's sergeant secretly investigated his homosexuality for more than a month by pulling other members of his unit into his office and grilling them about his suspicions. A soldier in his squad finally told Stephen about the interview: the sergeant had asked him, "Did you notice anything 'funny'? Did he touch you or use 'gay' words? Do you agree that his feminine gestures and soft voice make him seem like a 'fag'?"

After learning about the investigation, Stephen was forever shaken and self-conscious about his interactions with other soldiers.

The military may try to sell itself as a level playing field, but as long as abuse is tolerated and discrimination helps recruits pull the trigger, they will always be part of the soldiers' experience.

Aimee Allison is a community activist and organizational consultant. She counsels military members seeking CO discharges, and is a leader in the counter-recruitment movement.


Spy Czar, Rumsfeld in a Turf War
By Doyle McManus and Peter Spiegel
The Los Angeles Times

Saturday 06 May 2006

Washington - After a little more than a year in his newly created job, John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, has won an initial battle to establish authority over the vast US intelligence community - Porter J. Goss, who resisted Negroponte's moves to limit the autonomy of the CIA, is gone.

But Negroponte faces a larger and much more difficult challenge: a struggle with Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's Department of Defense, which runs more than 80% of the nation's intelligence budget and is busy expanding its role even further.

Negroponte's job is to coordinate the work of 16 intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the giant National Security Agency - which eavesdrops on international communications - as well as the Energy Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The post was created in 2005 in response to charges - made most tellingly by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 - that the federal government's intelligence effort was uncoordinated and needed central direction.

When Negroponte took office in April 2005, the veteran diplomat moved quickly to exert his authority over the CIA. He took over the job of giving President Bush his daily intelligence briefing, a task that once allowed CIA directors to bond with the presidents they served. He took a central role in briefing Congress on intelligence issues. He transferred some CIA officers to new joint intelligence centers. And when it appeared that Goss was not fully on board, officials said, Negroponte and his deputy, Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, quietly complained to the White House - apparently contributing to Goss' decision to resign Friday.

But Negroponte, who once worked as an aide to former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, has been much more cautious in confronting the Pentagon, officials and members of Congress have said. (Kissinger once complained that Rumsfeld was the toughest bureaucratic warrior he had ever met.)

When Negroponte has sought to push through changes at the Defense Department, "they told him to take a flying leap," said one US intelligence official who said he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. "If you get the shove from DOD, where else can you go?"

The Pentagon has said it is cooperating with Negroponte. But even before the intelligence director's job was created, Rumsfeld made it clear that he thought its power should be limited, and he lobbied successfully in Congress to curtail much of Negroponte's clout over personnel and budgets.

Rumsfeld explained at the time that he did not want to weaken the Pentagon's ability to deliver tactical military intelligence to soldiers in the field by involving a new authority outside the military.

"We would not want to place new barriers or filters between the military combatant commanders and [Defense intelligence] agencies when they perform as combat support agencies," Rumsfeld said in congressional testimony at the time.

But in recent months, the Pentagon has asserted its authority to expand its own intelligence operations far beyond tactical support for soldiers. The move has drawn criticism from some members of Congress, who say they worry about an effort to create parallel intelligence-gathering capabilities - including reportedly setting up covert special operations teams to spy in foreign countries.

The Pentagon is in the middle of a wide-reaching restructuring of its own intelligence-gathering and analysis abilities, run by Stephen A. Cambone, a close Rumsfeld aide who is the department's intelligence chief, and his deputy, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin. Some critics have warned that the effort is turning into a bid for even more control over national intelligence assets.

"They started from an advantageous position because, even 10 years ago, they had about 85% of the intelligence budget," said Steven Aftergood, a civilian analyst who tracks intelligence issues for the Federation of American Scientists. "But with the onset of war in Iraq, intel support for military operations has only increased, and the Pentagon has been increasingly assertive about its role as an intelligence-gatherer and analyst."

Last month, Rumsfeld gave the green light to a new Defense Joint Intelligence Operations Center, which officials have described as an effort to centralize all military intelligence to better serve commanders in the field.

In a briefing to reporters, Boykin said military officials were in talks with the CIA to allow the new center to win access to the agency's raw intelligence, a move he characterized as an effort to get analysts in combat zones all the information they might need about potential threats.

"We want access to databases from other agencies, where appropriate," Boykin said.

Already, the Pentagon's intelligence budget dwarfs that of the CIA. Although the budgets remain classified, the CIA is believed to get about $5 billion annually, less than the National Security Agency, which gets $6 billion to $8 billion a year. The Defense Department's National Reconnaissance Office, the operator of military satellites, also gets $6 billion to $8 billion a year.

Other Pentagon agencies have sizable budgets - the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the department's mapping office, has a budget of about $3 billion, and the Defense Intelligence Agency gets $1 billion to $3 billion annually. The individual military services, which all have their own intelligence-gathering operations, also have large budgets.

Negroponte declined to speak about these issues in the wake of Goss' resignation Friday. But in a speech last month, he said - in an implicit criticism of at least some of the intelligence agencies he supervises - that his basic goal is to "optimize the [intelligence] community's total performance as opposed to optimizing its members' individual operations."

"We are in the process of remaking a loose confederation into a unified enterprise," Negroponte added.

His key weapon, he said, would be control over the intelligence budget, which he called "a powerful integrating force." By controlling which agencies and which programs are funded, he said, he can nudge the separate agencies toward greater collaboration.

Still, Negroponte acknowledged at a Senate hearing in March, there had been open conflict with the Pentagon over at least one issue: personnel.

The law setting up his job gave Negroponte the authority to transfer professionals from individual intelligence agencies into joint centers or other agencies to make the integration process work. But the Pentagon has made that process difficult, officials said, in part by issuing a directive that any such transfer required the "concurrence" of its intelligence chief, Cambone.

"We look at those people as intelligence people, and the secretary [Rumsfeld] certainly looks on those as DOD folks," Negroponte said.

"I think we'll work our way through it," he said.

Negroponte's cautious approach produced an unusual bipartisan rebuke last month from the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, who complained that he had built a staff of more than 1,500 but shown few concrete results.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), chairman of the panel, said he worried that Negroponte was "slowing down the process."

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), the senior Democrat on the committee, said: "We don't want more billets, more bureaucracy, more buildings. We want more leadership."

Negroponte's speech before the National Press Club two weeks ago was his public response, and it boiled down to: Lay off.

"Integrating our intelligence community - foreign, military and domestic - is a tall order," he said. "Intelligence reform hasn't been a theory-based experiment or an exercise in bureaucratic bloat. Government programs require government officials to implement them."


Counter Drug Smuggling Operations, Global Hawk | Technology News Daily

Counter Drug Smuggling Operations, Global Hawk | Technology News Daily

Counter Drug Smuggling Operations, Global Hawk
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 2006-05-03 23:58.

Global Hawk conducted three 28-hour test flights during the months of February and March over a wide area of known drug-trafficking routes.

There were two goals during the flights. One was to show that Global Hawk's sensors could detect low-flying airplanes from an altitude of 60,000 feet. The second was to use Global Hawk's maritime sensor capabilities to locate and track fast-moving small boats. Low-flying airplanes and small boats are often used to smuggle drugs into the United States. Both goals were accomplished.

After launching from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the Global Hawk flew along the southern U.S., along the Gulf of Mexico, and eventually to the U.S. Air Force Southern Command's area of responsibility in the Caribbean Sea. The flights were controlled from Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems facility in San Diego, Calif.

During test flights, Global Hawk's integrated sensor suite successfully detected, tracked and imaged maritime targets as well as detected and tracked airborne targets off the coast of Corpus Christi, Tex., and Key West, Fla.

After all pre-planned targets were located, Global Hawk proceeded into the Caribbean, where it located multiple maritime ad-hoc targets of interest. The target locations were passed to a Navy P-3 Orion surveillance plane in the area and, using that information, the P-3 crew was able to confirm and classify the targets.

Goss Forced Out as CIA Director; Gen. Hayden Is Likely Successor

Goss Forced Out as CIA Director; Gen. Hayden Is Likely Successor

By Dafna Linzer and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 6, 2006; A01

Porter J. Goss was forced to step down yesterday as CIA director, ending a turbulent 18-month tenure marked by an exodus of some of the agency's top talent and growing White House dissatisfaction with his leadership during a time of war.

The likely successor to Goss is Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency and now deputy to Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte, senior administration officials said. He could be named as soon as Monday.

Seated next to President Bush in the Oval Office, Goss, a Republican congressman from Florida before he took over the CIA, said he was "stepping aside" but gave no reason for the departure. Bush, who did not name a successor, said he had accepted the resignation and thanked Goss for his service.

"Porter's tenure at the CIA was one of transition, where he's helped this agency become integrated into . . . the intelligence community," Bush said. "That was a tough job, and he's led ably." Bush said he had developed a "very close personal relationship" with Goss, who succeeded George J. Tenet in September 2004.

But senior administration officials said Bush had lost confidence in Goss, 67, almost from the beginning and decided months ago to replace him. In what was described as a difficult meeting in April with Negroponte, Goss was told to prepare to leave by May, according to several officials with knowledge of the conversation.

"There has been an open conversation for a few weeks, through Negroponte, with the acknowledgment of the president" about replacing Goss, said a senior White House official who discussed the internal deliberations on the condition of anonymity. Another senior White House official said Goss had always been viewed as a "transitional figure" who would leave by year's end. His departure was accelerated when Bush shook up his White House staff in hopes of beginning a political turnaround.

Members of Congress privately predicted that Hayden, who once enjoyed tremendous support on the Hill, would face a contentious confirmation process over the Bush administration's domestic spying program. Other sensitive issues, such as the existence of secret prisons abroad for terrorism suspects, also are likely to arise.

"The calculus is that would be true about anybody at this point. Given all the other stuff, like secret prisons, the confirmation is going to be tough for anybody," a senior administration official said.

Another candidate mentioned along with Hayden is Mary Margaret Graham, who was transferred from CIA headquarters after clashing with Goss's staff. She now coordinates intelligence collection for Negroponte.
Homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend, a rumored potential candidate, is not in the running, officials said.

Negroponte became intelligence czar last year in a job created by Congress when it overhauled the nation's intelligence agencies in response to their failure to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Negroponte's role as the government's senior coordinator overseeing a web of intelligence agencies diminished Goss's job.

Goss was stripped of the title of director of central intelligence, which had been held by his predecessors in addition to the title of CIA director, and many of the duties were taken over by Negroponte. But Negroponte, a career ambassador whose last two posts were at the United Nations and in Iraq, has been under pressure from Congress in recent weeks to demonstrate that he is in charge of the intelligence community and able to make tough decisions.

Goss and Negroponte had been friends for years and were fraternity brothers at Yale, where they graduated in 1960. But turf battles erupted as Negroponte's operation grew and Goss was embattled within his own agency, where some officers viewed him as staunchly partisan and politically weak.

Negroponte replaced Goss in presiding over the president's daily intelligence briefing, and he worked to bring CIA personnel and some of its analytical functions into his growing operations. Those steps quickly put him at odds with his friend. Privately, Goss's associates said the two men clashed with increasing frequency in recent months, and they blamed Negroponte for hurting Goss's reputation with the president.

But administration officials said Goss never forged a strong relationship with Bush. "It just didn't click," one official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Goss's reserved personality and inability to master details of intelligence activities dampened the atmosphere of the president's morning intelligence briefing, which had been a central feature of the close relationship between Bush and Tenet. In one of his early interviews, Goss complained that he was spending hours preparing for the Oval Office sessions.

"Once Negroponte came in and Porter was no longer doing the president's daily briefings, he lost the opportunity to build the kind of relationship with the president that other directors had," said Mark Lowenthal, who was a senior adviser to Tenet and briefly to Goss before leaving the agency in March 2005.

Internally, Goss struggled to articulate a vision for an agency reeling from the intelligence failures of 9/11 and Iraq before the March 2003 invasion, current and former colleagues said. And Goss could not overcome a reputation as a partisan politician who worked congressional hours and appeared disinterested in his overseas intelligence counterparts. Goss also caused waves at the agency in dealing with complaints about his chief of staff, Patrick Murray. During a tense staff meeting, Goss told agency employees he did not handle personnel matters, according to people who attended.

In Goss's first days in office, his appointment of Michael Kostiw as executive director ended after it became public that Kostiw had been forced to leave the CIA under a cloud 20 years earlier. The subsequent search at the agency to find who leaked the information about Kostiw's past led the top two officers in the agency's clandestine service to resign in protest.

Kostiw's replacement, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, is the subject of a review by the CIA's inspector general. The agency is examining whether Foggo arranged for any contracts to be granted to companies associated with Brent R. Wilkes, a contractor and longtime friend of Foggo's who had connections to Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.).

Cunningham left Congress and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for corruption. Foggo has said he has done nothing improper, and the agency has said the review is standard practice in such situations, not an indication of any wrongdoing. After Goss's announcement yesterday, Foggo told colleagues that he will resign next week. Last week, the agency confirmed that Foggo attended private poker games with Wilkes at a Washington hotel.

Over Goss's 18 months, more than a dozen senior officials -- several of whom were promoted under Goss -- resigned, retired early or requested reassignment. Robert Richer, who was head of the Near East division, served less than a year as the No. 2 official in the clandestine service before quitting in frustration over Goss's leadership last November. Richer then spent several days privately sharing his concerns with senior congressional leaders and Negroponte.

In the clandestine service alone, Goss lost one director, two deputy directors and at least a dozen department heads, station chiefs and division directors, many with the key language skills and experience he has said the agency needs. The agency is on its third counterterrorism chief since Goss arrived.

Goss was a young CIA case officer in the 1960s before entering Republican politics in the wealthy Florida community of Sanibel. He was elected to Congress and eventually became the chairman of the House intelligence panel. He had been preparing to retire from public service and spend more time on a family farm in Virginia when he was asked by Vice President Cheney to stay as chairman after the 2001 attacks. When Tenet resigned in mid-2004, Goss was nominated to succeed him.

Republicans joined Bush yesterday in thanking Goss but did not praise his tenure. Democrats said his leadership had been a failure.

"Regrettably, Porter Goss's tenure as director of the CIA was a tumultuous one," said Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.), senior Democrat on the intelligence panel. "We must have a leader with strong credentials, a demonstrated track record of independence and objectivity, and the ability to bring much needed harmony within the ranks."

Staff writers Dana Priest, Peter Baker and Jim VandeHei and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

The Next Head of the CIA?

The Next Head of the CIA?
EXCLUSIVE: Air Force General Michael Hayden is likely to be named Porter Goss's successor. Then the partisan fireworks will really begin

President George W. Bush stunned Washington on Friday by accepting the resignation of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, and Republican sources told TIME that the White House plans to name his replacement on Monday: Air Force General Michael V. Hayden, who as Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence has been a visible and aggressive defender of the administration's controversial eavesdropping program. His nomination is sure to reignite the battle over the program on Capitol Hill, where one House Democrat promises "a partisan food fight" during the confirmation process.

Though Hayden, who has a close rapport with Vice President Cheney, has not been formally offered the job, he is the leading candidate and the announcement is planned for Monday at the White House, the sources said. The President frequently extends a formal offer immediately before an announcement, to cut down on leaks and allow for last-minute developments.

White House officials had hoped to announce Goss's departure and Hayden's nomination at the same time but Goss, who resigned under pressure, balked at that kind of choreography. "He said, 'If we're going to do this, let's go ahead and do it,'' a senior administration official said.

Bush and Goss appeared together along with Negroponte in the Oval Office after lunch Friday in a terse, three-minute ceremony announced with just 50 minutes' notice. A senior administration official said Negroponte, with the blessing of the White House, began talking with Goss about leaving a couple of weeks ago. "The creation of the DNI has been a transformational and very tumultuous time for the intelligence community and particularly the CIA," the senior administration official said. "When you ask somebody to do so much transformational change, often it makes sense to let somebody then take the agency forward from there."

Goss, a former Republican House member from Florida who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, formally offered his resignation at about 9:30 a.m. Friday in the office of Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten, following a National Security Council meeting. Goss then talked with Bush before the departure announcement, where they were seated in front of the fireplace the White House uses for photo opportunities with visiting world leaders. Although Bush put his hand on Goss's arm as journalists were herded in, the President betrayed none of his usual reluctance at a high-level departure. "This morning, Director Porter Goss offered his resignation as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; I've accepted it," Bush said matter-of-factly. "I've established a very close, personal relationship with Porter, which is very important for the Director of the CIA." Goss then spoke briefly, saying that the agency "is on a very even keel, sailing well" and that the Agency has "improved dramatically your goals for our nation's intelligence capabilities."

It was Hayden who appeared in the White House briefing room in December to defend a highly classified National Security Agency program that includes interception of domestic phone calls and e-mail messages without warrants if one of the parties has known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Hayden said at the National Press Club in January: "It is not a driftnet over Dearborn or Lackawanna or Freemont grabbing conversations that we then sort out by these alleged keyword searches or data-mining tools or other devices that so-called experts keep talking about. This is targeted and focused."

The senior administration official said Hayden was chosen for the job for his "natural leadership qualities" and his "decades of experience in the intelligence community." "He's been a customer of it, he's been a producer of it," the official said. Hayden, who entered active duty in 1969 and is the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the armed forces, has been Director of the National Security Agency, Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center. Hayden has bachelor's and master's degrees from Duquesne University. His first assignment was in January 1970 as an analyst and briefer at the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. That was a classic Cold War post, and he now will be in charge of helping a glamorous but struggling part of the government adapt to a very different world.

The Director of Central Intelligence, a post of legendary power and intrigue during the Cold War, has been partially eclipsed by the Director of National Intelligence position that was created as part of a restructuring in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. Since then neither Goss nor John D. Negroponte, the first occupant of the new DNI position, ever seemed comfortable with the arrangement, which notably shifted the responsibilities of delivering the daily intelligence briefing to the President to Negroponte.

The departure was the culmination of a turf war between Goss and Negroponte. A U.S. official told TIME that he thought Goss "was standing up for the Central Intelligence Agency" and was concerned "that some of the core capabilities of the Agency that let it accomplish its mission might be eroded with the growth of the DNI apparatus."

"We were beginning to reach a point where some of the core capabilities of the CIA might be placed in jeopardy," the official said. "When the way ahead was sketched out, the director thought there were some problems there."

But the senior administration official countered: "The President has been very focused on the improvements of the intelligence capabilities of the CIA. He understand that particularly with tough cases like North Korea and Iran and elsewhere, you've got to have good human intelligence resources, and that's the CIA's bread and butter. You also have to have good, smart analysis, and that's another thing that the CIA is the heart of. But the new law has a new head of the intelligence community. That's the Director of National Intelligence. The custom and the culture of the intelligence community is catching up with that fact. The President will choose somebody who will continue to close the gap between the law and reality." With reporting by Massimo Calabresi/Washington

BREAKING: CIA Director Porter Goss Resigns

UPDATE: AP has the story.

UPDATE II: We’ve put together a primer on the connection between Goss and the Cunningham scandal:

For more than a decade, Cunningham-linked defense contractor Brent Wilkes curried favor with lawmakers and CIA officials by hosting weekly parties at lavish hospitality suites at the Watergate and Westin hotels in Washington. Guests would gamble, socialize, and sometimes receive prostitutes; according to Harper’s magazine, the festivities “began early with poker games and degenerated” into what one source described “as a ‘frat party’ scene — real bacchanals.”

GOSS’ NO. 3 ADMITS ATTENDING PARTIES: The highest-ranking CIA official to admitKyle “Dusty” Foggo, the agency’s third-ranking official. (Foggo even “occasionally hosted the poker parties at his house in northern Virginia,” though he denies ever seeing prostitutes at the gatherings.) Foggo’s connections to Wilkes and fellow contractor Mitchell Wade are now the focus of an investigation into CIA contracts by the agency’s inspector general, first made public in March. One of Wilkes’ companies, Archer Logistics, won a contract to provide supplies to CIA agents in Afghanistan and Iraq despite having “no previous experience with such work, having been founded a few months before the contract was granted.” he attended the poker parties thrown by Wilkes is Executive Director

GOSS CONNECTED? Last week, Harper’s magazine reported that party-goers “under intense scrutiny by the FBI are current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence committees — including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post.” CIA Director Porter Goss is perhaps the only individual who fits such a description. (Goss denied the accusations through a spokesperson.) But the alleged links between Goss, Foggo, and Wilkes led some to return to questions raised when Goss initially selected Foggo to be executive director in November 2004. At the time, the decision was viewed with skepticism since Foggo’s previous position was as a “midlevel procurement supervisor,” and because following his unexpected selection, “Porter Goss lieutenant Patrick Murray went to then-Associate Deputy Director of Operations for Counterintelligence Mary Margaret Graham and informed her that if anything leaked about other Goss appointments — in particular, Foggo’s — she would be held responsible.”

Project on Government Oversight fellow Jason Vest reported last week that much of Foggo’s counterintelligence file “has to do with various social encounters over the years, none of which he’s been deceptive about when polygraphed, and all of which have been deemed to be of no threat to operational security — but are still the types of things that could be embarrassing for Goss and the Agency.” Vest suggests the latest reports raise important questions about the “relationship between Foggo and Wilkes, and the relationship of each with Goss.”

New research on uranium's effect on DNA

New research on uranium's effect on DNA

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - April 10, 2006

A Northern Arizona University biochemist and her students report that uranium can damage DNA as a heavy metal independent of its radioactive properties.

Their research has enormous implications for the study of depleted uranium as a component in military munitions. news agency reported on April 7 that Stearns and her students are the first researchers to discover that when cells are exposed to uranium, the uranium binds to DNA and the cells can mutate, the uranium altering the cell's DNA code. The end result can be that the affected DNA can produce a different protein or wrong amounts of protein, affecting cell growth, some of which can metastasize into cancer cells.

While scientists have long known that uranium can damage DNA as a radioactive metal, Stearns and her collaborators discovered that uranium could also damage DNA as a heavy metal, independent of its radioactive properties.

Sterns said, "Essentially, if you get a heavy metal stuck on DNA, you can get a mutation."

While scientists have discovered that other heavy metals are known to bind to DNA, Stearns and her collaborators are the first to link this trait to uranium.

The results of the team's research were published recently in Mutagenesis and Molecular Carcinogenesis journals.

Copyright Political Gateway 2006©
Copyright United Press International 2006

The two crucial mistakes that cost Straw his job

The two crucial mistakes that cost Straw his job

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Saturday May 6, 2006
The Guardian

Jack Straw made two crucial mistakes in his dealings with Tony Blair: one involved the prime minister's relationship with Gordon Brown and the other Iran. Mr Straw has said repeatedly that it is "inconceivable" that there will be a military strike on Iran and last month dismissed as "nuts" a report that George Bush was keeping on the table the option of using tactical nuclear weapons against Tehran's nuclear plants.

But Mr Blair, who sees Iran as the world's biggest threat, does not agree with his former foreign secretary. The prime minister argues that, at the very least, nothing should be ruled out in order to keep Iran guessing. Downing Street phoned the Foreign Office several times to suggest Mr Straw stop going on the BBC Today programme and ruling it out so categorically.

His fate was sealed when the White House called Mr Blair and asked why the foreign secretary kept saying these things. In any case, Mr Straw had boxed himself in on Iran to the extent that he would have had to resign if a military strike became a reality.

Mr Blair was also irritated by what he saw as Mr Straw's opportunism in shifting his loyalty towards Mr Brown with unseemly haste in expectation that he would be the next prime minister.

Iran is one of the issues consuming the Foreign Office and Downing Street. Iraq is the other, and between them they will take up most of Margaret Beckett's time. Mrs Beckett will fly to New York on Monday for a meeting with Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, with whom Mr Straw had established a close rapport, and counterparts from France, Germany, Russia and China to discuss a new UN security council resolution on Iran.

Among the first questions the media will ask is whether she too regards the military option as "inconceivable".

The Foreign Office has taken a battering under Labour. Part of its portfolio, international development, was hived off in 1997 to become a separate department, with its own cabinet minister. And now Mr Blair has created a twin power structure in the Foreign Office by appointing a former cabinet member to what had previously been a relatively junior post, minister for Europe.

Despite the importance placed on relations with Washington, the bulk of British trade is with Europe as is the country's political future. Britain's presidency of the EU, though there was a deal in the end, was fraught.

There is a potential for friction in making the European post more high-profile, but the personalities of Mrs Beckett and Geoff Hoon, both government loyalists, do not suggest conflict.

Crusher Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle Unveiled,15240,96248,00.html
Army News Service | May 04, 2006
Arlington, VA. - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and U.S. Army unveiled the Crusher unmanned ground combat vehicle last week in a ceremony hosted by the Carnegie Mellon University�s National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The Crusher vehicle is a follow-on and upgrade to the Spinner vehicle that was developed in a prior DARPA/Army program. Crusher is a six-wheeled, all-wheel drive, hybrid electric, skid-steered, unmanned ground vehicle.

The vehicle weighs 14,000 pounds fully fueled, and is designed to carry a 3,000-pound payload. At this 17,000 pound total weight, two Crusher vehicles can be carried by a single C-130H aircraft at substantial range. If desired, Crusher can carry up to 8,000 pounds of payload and armor without compromising its mobility.

Crusher represents a new class of unmanned ground combat vehicles (UGCVs) developed under the DARPA/Army UGCV-Perception for Off-Road Robots Integration (UPI) program. Crusher is a highly mobile vehicle designed from the outset to be unmanned. It is being equipped with state-of-the-art perception capabilities, and will be used to validate the key technologies necessary for an unmanned ground vehicle to perform military missions autonomously. Crusher will be equipped with representative sensing and weapons payloads for planned field experiments.

DARPA Director Tony Tether noted, �With the combination of a robust, highly mobile vehicle design and an innovative autonomous control system, Crusher defines the state-of-the-art in autonomous unmanned ground vehicles systems. DARPA is pleased to be working with the Army to bring this new capability to fruition.�

�The technologies embodied in the Crusher vehicles provide a glimpse into the future of autonomous ground platforms. The Crusher and its predecessor, the Spinner, demonstrate the realm of the possible with regard to a combination of autonomous behaviors, hybrid electric propulsion and robust vehicle design,� added Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Technology) Dr. Thomas Killion. �All of this combines to give the Soldier greatly enhanced standoff capabilities with minimum impact on workload.�

�The Future Combat Systems (Brigade Combat Team) program has been working with DARPA�s UPI program for some time now, leveraging their advancements in robotics field testing, perception algorithm development, autonomy, and, more recently, in understanding wheeled system design characteristics for mobility and remote control latency and bandwidth effects on mobility performance,� explained Maj. Gen. Charles Cartwright, Program Manager Future Combat Systems (Brigade Combat Team).

�The FCS (BCT), Lead Systems Integrator, and platform providers have all witnessed and participated in dialog with DARPA and Carnegie Mellon University�s National Robotics Engineering Center related to Spinner and now Crusher experimentation. This interaction has been of great benefit to the FCS program, and we look forward to continued interaction and transition of technologies from this new vehicle system to our FCS UGV systems,� he said.

The two new Crusher vehicles are a major improvement in unmanned ground vehicle capability, according to Larry Jackel, DARPA UPI program manager.

�The original Spinner UGCV is an excellent platform, but in shakeout experiments, the new Crushers have already outperformed Spinner in all aspects,� Jackel said. �Combined with its autonomous control system, the Crusher defines the state-of-the-art in autonomous unmanned ground vehicles systems.�

The UPI program will conduct rigorous field experiments of the two Crusher vehicles and their perception and payload systems, with experiments planned at Fort Carson, Colo., this summer. The program will culminate in 2007 with Army users operating Crusher vehicles during representative missions in natural terrain.

The UPI effort will merge all Crusher functions (mission planning, perception monitoring, vehicle monitoring and payload operation) into an operator workstation interface and determine interaction requirements via experimentation.

UPI is a joint program between DARPA and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, managed by DARPA�s Tactical Technology Office. The Army�s Program Manager Future Combat System (Brigade Combat Team) closely follows the program.

Carnegie Mellon University�s National Robotics Engineering Center is the prime contractor for Crusher. Key subsystems and components are provided by CTC Technologies (vehicle hull chassis structure), Timoney Technology (suspension systems), Saft America (lithium-ion battery pack), and UQM Technologies (electric drive motors).

Iran takes step toward euro-based oil bourse but some are skeptical

Iran takes step toward euro-based oil bourse but some are skeptical
By The Associated Press
via the Globe and Mail, Toronto
Friday, May 5, 2006


TEHRAN, Iran --
Iran took a step on Friday toward establishing an
oil market denominated in euros, a plan analysts described as highly
unlikely to materialize but which in theory could have serious
consequences for the U.S. economy.

Iranian state-run television said the country's oil ministry granted
a license for the euro-denominated market, an idea first floated
back in 2004, though just who would trade on it remains unclear.

If the market were to succeed, or if Iran simply demanded payment
for its oil in euros, commodities experts said, it could lead
central bankers around the world to convert some dollar reserves
into euros, possibly causing a decline in the dollar's value.

Oil is currently denominated in dollars around the globe, whether
through direct sales between producers and consumers or in trades
made on markets in New York and London.

But if one day the world's largest oil producers allowed, or, worse,
demanded euros for their barrels, "it would be the financial
equivalent of a nuclear strike," said A.G. Edwards commodities
analyst Bill O'Grady.

"If OPEC decided they didn't want dollars anymore," he added, "it
would signal an end of American hegemony by signaling an end to the
dollar as the sole reserve currency status."

If the dollar lost its status as the world's reserve currency, that
would force the United States to fund its massive account deficit by
running a trade surplus, which would increase inflationary pressures.

O'Grady said there are practical reasons why the Iranian threat is
an empty one.

For starters, Iran is not a very attractive site for a market, given
the volatile nature of its politics, the U.S. sanctions against it
and the lack of a fair legal system. Moreover, there is no
indication that the European Union is interested in vying to become
the world's central bank, which requires a willingness to run large
currency deficits, he said. For the U.S., that has meant allowing
cheap imports to undermine the strength of some major industries,
including textiles, autos, and electronics manufacturing.

PFC Energy oil analyst Jamal Qureshi said the fears stirred up by a
hypothetical euro-denominated oil market in Iran or anywhere else
are overblown, not least because the oil trade is just a small
component of the overall global economy.

Iranian legislators earlier this year urged the government to set up
the market to reduce the United States' influence over the Islamic
republic's economy. They also criticized Oil Minister Sayed Kazem
Vaziri Hamaneh, saying he had delayed setting up the bourse.

First floated in 2004 when reformist president Mohammad Khatami was
in power, the idea of a euros-traded oil bourse gained new life
after the stridently nationalist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected
president last summer.

Iran is the fourth-largest oil producing country in the world, the
second largest in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries,
and controls about 5 percent of the global oil supply, so it has a
measure of influence over international oil markets. Tehran also
partially controls the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz through which
much of the world's oil supply must pass.

Iran has sought to wield its oil resources as a bargaining tool in
Tehran's ongoing standoff with the West over its nuclear program.

Oil prices jumped above $75 a barrel last month amid escalating
diplomatic tensions between Washington and Tehran. On Friday, crude
oil futures traded just above $70 a barrel.

Iran's deputy oil minister, M.H. Nejad Hosseinian, said Thursday he
doubted the U.N. Security Council would impose sanctions on Iran's
oil sector because such a move would drive oil prices higher.

Council members are considering imposing sanctions on Iran for
defying their request to halt all uranium enrichment-related
activities by late last month.

Sex, Lies, and Government Contracts

Sex, Lies, and Government Contracts

By , The Progress Report
Posted on May 5, 2006, Printed on May 6, 2006

The most extensive federal corruption scandal in a century is growing. In March, former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison (the longest sentence ever given to a member of Congress) for accepting $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for lucrative defense contracts. Yet Cunningham's crimes, the "magnitude and duration" of which are compared to the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s, may end up a mere prelude.

According to recent reports, federal investigators have traced the outlines of a far more extensive network of suspected corruption, involving multiple members of Congress, some of the nation's highest-ranking intelligence officials, bribery attempts including "free limousine service, free stays at hotel suites at the Watergate and the Westin Grand, and free prostitutes," tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts awarded under dubious circumstances, and even efforts to influence U.S. national security policy by subverting democratic oversight.

The ringleader

At the center of the storm is California defense contractor Brent Wilkes -- aka "Co-Conspirator #1" in government documents -- "who gave more than $630,000 in cash and favors" to Cunningham "for help in landing millions of dollars in federal contracts." Wilkes devoted much of his 20-year career to "developing political contacts in Washington," a task at which he excelled, serving recently both as a county finance co-chairman of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R-CA) campaign and as the state finance co-chairman for President Bush. "Wilkes, his family members and his employees were heavy campaign contributors to several members of Congress," and he frequently invited members -- including Cunningham, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) -- on chartered corporate jets.

The efforts paid off handsomely: "Wilkes won tens of millions of dollars worth of defense contracts for his companies through the process of closed-door congressional earmarking of the federal budget." Indeed, "many of the contracts Wilkes secured" were for projects the Pentagon never even requested. Wilkes has thus far avoided any criminal charges, but federal officials are investigating instances of quid pro quo, since the "timing of Wilkes' many political donations closely parallels the approval of earmarks for Wilkes' companies."

'Red lights on Capitol Hill'

For more than a decade, Wilkes curried favor with lawmakers and CIA officials by hosting weekly parties at lavish hospitality suites at the Watergate and Westin hotels in Washington. Guests would gamble, socialize, and sometimes receive prostitutes; according to Harper's magazine, the festivities "began early with poker games and degenerated" into what one source described "as a 'frat party' scene -- real bacchanals." Mitchell Wade, another defense contractor who pleaded guilty in February to bribing Cunningham, has "told federal prosecutors that he periodically helped arrange for a prostitute for the then-congressman."

But investigators are digging for more: FBI agents "have fanned out across Washington, interviewing women from escort services, potential witnesses and others who may have been involved in the arrangement," attempting to determine "whether any other members of Congress, or their staffs, may also have used the same free services." Last week, a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune said that "as many as a half dozen other Congressmen" may ultimately be implicated in the scandal. (Several have already denied ever attending Wilkes' parties.) Also, investigators are reportedly "trying to determine whether Cunningham and other legislators brought prostitutes to the hotels or prostitutes were provided for them there"; there is speculation that Wilkes may be subject to felony federal sex-trafficking charges if the Virginia-based limousine service he used transported the prostitutes into Washington.

CIA's third in command admits he attended parties

The highest-ranking CIA official to admit he attended the poker parties thrown by Wilkes is Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the agency's third-ranking official. (Foggo even "occasionally hosted the poker parties at his house in northern Virginia," though he denies ever seeing prostitutes at the gatherings.) Foggo's relationship with Wilkes goes back 30-plus years; the two were roommates in college, best men at each others' weddings, and even "named their sons after each other."

By the 1980s, Foggo had joined the CIA and "was sent to Honduras to assist the Nicaraguan Contra rebels," where his "position was essentially a contracting officer -- he could get anyone anything they needed." Meanwhile, Wilkes had established himself in Washington and made his living "ferrying congressmen to Central America, where he would introduce them to Foggo and the Contras." Foggo's connections to Wilkes and fellow contractor Mitchell Wade are now the focus of an investigation into CIA contracts by the agency's inspector general, first made public in March. One of Wilkes' companies, Archer Logistics, won a contract to provide supplies to CIA agents in Afghanistan and Iraq despite having "no previous experience with such work, having been founded a few months before the contract was granted."

CIA director Goss tied to scandal?

Last week, Harper's magazine reported that party-goers "under intense scrutiny by the FBI are current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence committees -- including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post." CIA Director Porter Goss is perhaps the only individual who fits such a description. ("This is horribly irresponsible. He hasn't even been to the Watergate in decades," a CIA spokeswoman said. When asked if Goss had attended Wilkes' parties at the Westin or other locations, she repeated the denial. "It's horribly irresponsible. Flatly untrue.") But the alleged links between Goss, Foggo, and Wilkes have led some to return to questions raised when Goss initially selected Foggo to be executive director in November 2004.

At the time, the decision was viewed with skepticism since Foggo's previous position was as a "midlevel procurement supervisor," and because following his unexpected selection, "Porter Goss lieutenant Patrick Murray went to then-Associate Deputy Director of Operations for Counterintelligence Mary Margaret Graham and informed her that if anything leaked about other Goss appointments -- in particular, Foggo's -- she would be held responsible." Project on Government Oversight fellow Jason Vest reported last week that much of Foggo's counterintelligence file "has to do with various social encounters over the years, none of which he's been deceptive about when polygraphed, and all of which have been deemed to be of no threat to operational security -- but are still the types of things that could be embarrassing for Goss and the Agency." Vest suggests the latest reports raise important questions about the "relationship between Foggo and Wilkes, and the relationship of each with Goss."

Even the limo service is corrupt

Another piece of the puzzle is Shirlington Limousine and Transportation Inc., the firm that Wilkes used to "transport congressmen, CIA officials, and perhaps prostitutes to his Washington parties." Shirlington's president, Christopher Baker, has a "lengthy history of illegal activity," detailed in his 62-page rap-sheet which "runs from at least 1979 through 1989 and lists charges of petty larceny, robbery, receiving stolen goods, assault, and more." Shirlington Limo also "operates in what looks to be a deliberately murky way. The limo company does business under at least four different names; in addition, the office addresses listed on its business filings regularly change. A number of those office addresses are actually at residential buildings or business suites, and calls to the listed phone numbers are taken by an answering service."

The company was sued in 2004 for failing to make payments on buses it had purchased, has received eviction notices from its offices, and even had its federal license revoked by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in both 2001 and 2004. Despite all of this, the Department of Homeland Security last fall awarded Shirlington a $21 million contract "to provide transportation, including limo service for senior officials." Shirlington also won contracts "with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (for $519,823) and...the Federal Highway Administration (for $142,000)." What role did Wilkes play in Shirlington receiving these federal contracts?

The Defense Appropriations Committee 'Cabal'

A common thread links the members of Congress that Wilkes courted most aggressively, such as Cunningham and Reps. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and John Doolittle (R-CA). All were (or still are) on subcommittees overseeing defense and intelligence spending. On Monday, prominent conservative strategist Ed Rollins described the main players in the scandal as a "real little cabal on the defense appropriations committee." In particular, the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense is "aggressively courted not just by defense contractors, but by lobbyists for foreign governments interested in swinging US defense spending in certain directions," investigative journalist Laura Rozen notes. "It is really where the checks are signed, and decisions about funding sometimes wholly un-debated aspects of U.S. national security policy are made."

Indeed, many of the figures tied to the scandal have histories of involvement in reactionary conservative elements of U.S. foreign policy: Kyle Foggo worked extensively with the Nicaraguan contras, Mitchell Wade headed a White House-contracted group called the "Iranian Democratization Foundation", and Wilkes was reportedly set to receive a contract to "create and run a secret plane network" for the CIA before his links to Cunningham were made public. The roots of this scandal may be as much in profiteering as they are in "this club's conviction that the law is an impediment to the national security cause, that the way to run things is through these informal networks."

© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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How Goss failed at CIA

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- J Porter Goss took over the CIA, confident he had all the answers. He did. The problem was they weren`t the answers to the questions he had to deal with.

Porter`s shock resignation Friday took Washington by surprise. He had served for little more than a year head of the nation`s main intelligence gathering organization.

President George W. Bush announced Goss`s resignation with the outgoing CIA chief sitting beside him in the Oval Office. 'He has led ably,' the president said. 'He has a five-year plan to increase the analysts and operatives.'

Bush also praised Goss for helping to 'make this country a safer place.' And Goss, a former veteran Republican congressman from Florida and long-time Bush loyalist, was also upbeat and on-message. 'I would like to report to you that the agency (CIA) is back on a very even keel and sailing well,' he said.

But no amount of spin could disguise the fact that Goss was the latest casualty of new White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten`s ambitious plan shake up and revitalize an administration hammered by $70 a barrel plus oil prices, rising casualties and violence in Iraq and tumbling opinion poll ratings.

Goss`s resignation was announced the same day that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan gave his last press briefing. He is being replaced by veteran Fox News commentator Tony Snow. And even Karl Rove, the president`s chief political strategist has given up the hands-on detailed control of administration policy he had enjoyed since the beginning of the president`s second term of office.

Goss had the vision of transforming the CIA into a lean, mean intel machine that would focus on the war on terror, put thousands more human agents into the field and provide the U.S. armed forces, especially the Army and Marine forces fighting the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, with real time intelligence that could be of far greater operational use to them.

Goss had a background serving in the CIA back in the 1960s, and he had long been regarded on Capitol Hill as one of the most knowledgeable and respected figures in Congress in dealing with intelligence issues. He also enjoyed the president`s full confidence. And expectations were high when he got the job. Unlike so many of his predecessors, he was given a literal blank check in terms of funding and resources by a sympathetic, ask-no-questions GOP majority in Congress. He pushed through an ambitious five year plan that -- on paper -- will transform the agency.

However, Goss leaves office with no striking intelligence achievements to his credit, the most remarked upon structural and cultural problems within the CIA still crippling its effectiveness, and a senior staff far more demoralized and stripped of influence than when he arrived.

Despite his long experience in Congress, Goss had never had any serious management experience in government or out of it. He proved a very weak administrator at the CIA and rapidly alienated many senior staffers. He was confident from his own service in the agency that he knew street-smart details of operational realities, but his own espionage experience was three and a half decades ago at the height of the Cold War.

His arrival and early heavy hand set off so much personal and political feuding at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia that agency insiders told reporters was turning the venerable, globe-spanning institution into a soap opera.

Goss tried to ride above the turmoil. Newsweek magazine reported that in a private question and answer session with agency employees on Sept. 22, 2005, Goss was asked why veteran agency officers were resigning in numbers unprecedented for since the Carter administration. He replied, 'I don`t do personnel.'

The answer was reminiscent of the high-handed, confident, publicly abrasive way Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly shrugged off criticism of his conduct of the Iraq war. But Goss did not prove as fortunate as Rumsfeld.

'That answer killed him. It destroyed his credibility,' a source with close agency ties told UPI Friday. 'What else is there for a CIA chief to do? The job is all about choosing the right personnel and evaluating them accurately.'

Goss also had an adversarial relationship with the media, despite the greatly increased sense of national responsibility that pervaded the nation, including the media following the mega-terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Goss purged senior managers from the agency but he did not appear to have a firm grasp on veteran senior staff and their intelligence assets. Critics charged him with relying too much on his old inner circle of congressional staffers. In his Sept. 22, question and answer session, Newsweek reported, Goss was asked why he had brought to Langley with him a former congressional staffer who, as a junior CIA officer, once got into trouble for shoplifting. He replied that everyone made mistakes. Senior staff compared that answer with Goss`s relentless criticisms of their own more impressive careers and were not impressed, agency insiders told UPI.

Goss clashed with senior officials in the agency`s Directorate of Operations. His supporters told the press and sympathetic lawmakers in Congress that the officials had been opposing Goss`s reform efforts. But in the private world of the U.S. intelligence community, this reaction was widely seen as irresponsible, and as a lack of loyalty by Goss towards the troops he led.

Goss could not even retain the confidence of senior staff he had promoted himself. He made Robert Richer deputy director of operations. Richer resigned less than a year later and later informed the Senate Select Committee on intelligence that he had told Goss to his face in a private meeting on Sept. 22, 2005 that the CIA director was out of touch with his own agency.

More veteran Middle East officers resigned before their retirement or career stints required during Goss`s brief tenure than under any previous CIA director since Adm. Stansfield Turner, who held the job for President Jimmy Carter.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

The End of "The Right to Remain Silent"


The End of "The Right to Remain Silent"
by Mark Moller

"Any lawyer worth his salt will tell [a] suspect in no uncertain
terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances." So
said Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson fifty years ago. Strong
words from a man who had served as the Attorney General of the United
States and as the Chief Prosecutor at Nuremburg. Common-sense words,
too: Every kid who has watched a re-run of TV cop shows knows
that "you have the right to remain silent" when the police come

Except that, now, you don't. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District of
Nevada, the Supreme Court, in one stroke, turned Justice Jackson's
advice on its head, and turned generations of TV cop shows into so
much false advertising. Silence, said the Court, is not only not
privileged: it can get you thrown in jail.

Hiibel arose out of a set of facts typical of thousands of run-of-the-
mill police investigations. Responding to reports of domestic
battery, police encountered a suspect, Dudley Hiibel. The
investigating officer, after approaching, demanded that Hiibel
identify himself. Hiibel declined. "I feel quite strongly I have a
right to remain silent," Hiibel later explained.

Dudley Hiibel paid a steep price for his stand on principle: The
police arrested Hiibel on the spot, and threw him in jail. The
charge? Not domestic battery, a crime for which the police had no
evidence to arrest. (Hiibel later proved to be innocent). Instead,
Nevada justified the arrest based on a state statute that makes
refusal to provide identification, when stopped by the police, a jail-
able crime.

The unconstitutionality of the Nevada statute should have been a no-
brainer for the Court. Over the last three decades, the Court has
repeatedly held that the "right to remain silent" is an unconditional
constitutional guarantee under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. In
Davis v. Mississippi, for example, the Court emphasized that it is
a "settled principle" that "the police have . . . no right to compel
[citizens] to answer" police questions. In Terry v. Ohio, the case
that upheld the power of police to briefly stop and
question "suspicious" persons on the street, Justice Byron White
added that: "[A person detained] is not obliged to answer, answers
may not be compelled, and refusal to answer furnishes no basis for an

As New York University law professor Stephen Schulhofer has noted,
the "right to remain silent" reflects a core constitutional
principle: namely, that lawful police investigation should rely
on "persuasion and the suspect's overconfidence," rather "pressure
and fear." The privilege of silence guarantees that wiles and smarts,
not intimidation, should define lawful police practice.

Hiibel, however, holds just the opposite: Far from "scrupulously
respecting" the right to remain silent (as the Court's past decisions
require), Hiibel authorizes the police to "sanction" those with the
temerity to exercise their right to silence . . . by hauling
unresponsive citizens to jail. Indeed, the Court appears to
affirmatively condone police use of "threat[s]" and "criminal
sanction" as a "help[ful]" tools of good police investigation. In
Hiibel, "pressure and fear" gain a new purchase on the law of
criminal procedure.

The Court justifies expanded use of police "threats" based on two
grounds: (1) the supposed need to "protect" police officers, and (2)
the notion that compelled disclosure of a name is not "coercive"
within the scope of the constitution, because a name is
not "incriminating." Neither carry water.

The "safety" concern would be less difficult to credit if the Court,
in Terry v. Ohio, had not already authorized police officers to
physically search suspects for weapons—and if dangerous criminals
could be trusted to passively tell police the truth about their
identity on demand.

The second argument is handily disposed by Justice John Paul Stevens,
writing in dissent. If "disclosure of a petitioner's name would
[not] . . . incriminate him," queried Stevens, then "why else would
an officer ask for it? And why would the Nevada Legislature
require . . . disclosure [of a name] only when
circumstances 'reasonably indicate that the person has committed, is
committing or is about to commit a crime?' . . . . The very existence
of the statute demonstrates the value of the information it demands."

Hiibel has one bright spot: The decision could have been worse. The
Court mercifully avoided upholding compelled disclosure of
information beyond a suspect's name. Accordingly, there is hope the
Court may yet strike down the twenty state statutes that demand
suspects give not only names to police, but also an "explanation" of
themselves on demand. The Court also emphasized that the decision
doesn't require a hand over of "driver's license[s] or any other
document." Hiibel accordingly does not green-light the push for a
national identification card.

But these caveats hardly save the opinion. To the contrary, they are
symptoms of the Court's growing fecklessness. For this Court,
recognition of firm protections for civil rights is always on the
horizon, to be protected tomorrow, in the next case. That promise is
wearing thin. Five years ago, Justice Kennedy—often described as
a "bellwether" Justice¯warned that the Court stood at risk of
forgetting "liberty comes . . . from the Constitution by right," and
not from "officials by grace." Flash forward to today: Justice
Kennedy authored Hiibel. Perhaps he has changed his mind.

Hiibel underscores, once again, that when it comes to upholding
constitutional restraints on the State's criminal apparatus, there is
only one sure bet in the modern Court: All bets are off.

This article originally appeared in Liberty Magazine on July 8, 2004.