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<nettime> Fw: [WW3 REPORT] world war 3 report/14

Dear Nettime,
It's not all as bad as it seems: read Bill Weinberg,
#. 14. Dec. 29, 2001


by Bill Weinberg

1. New Regime Welcomes Foreign Troops; Local Warlords Wary
2. New Regime Pledges Kinder, Gentler Fundamentalism
3. Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss--Literally!
4. RAWA Protests New Regime
5. Pentagon Uses Afghans for Cannon Fodder
6. Smart Bombs Not So Smart
7. New Opium War in Making?
8. Did US Use the Nuke in Afghanistan?
9. Nuclear Flashpoint: Kashmir

1. City Braces for New Year's Eve Nuke Terror
2. Indian Point Nuke Plant Gives Locals Jitters

1. Now: Barefoot at Newark
2. Ashcroft Disses Freedom-Nostalgists
3. Amnesty International Criticizes Terror Laws
4. FBI Unveils "Magic Lantern" Cyber-Snoop Tech
5. NYPD Gets More Firepower
6. Jerry Falwell: Mad Magazine's "Dumbest of the Year"

1. Does Osama Have the Nuke?
2. Germans at it Again
3. Nuclear Flashpoint: Jerusalem


Struggling to consolidate control over the local militias who have 
carved up Afghanistan, US-picked interim prime minister Hamid Karzai 
named Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum--who had threatened to boycott 
the new government--as deputy defense minister. After hosting his first 
Cabinet meeting Dec. 23, Karzai said US and other foreign forces should 
stay in the country "for as long as it takes" to bring stability. 
(MSNBC, Dec. 24)

A Dec. 28 New York Times story, "Afghan Warlords and Bandits Are Back in 
Business," illustrated the degree to which Karzai's regime is a 
fiction--with real power on the ground held by the rival ethnic 
militias. The US has "doled out enough money to stanch the rivalries. 
But the money has apparently not trickled down." Local "police" are not 
getting paid by the central government, and are frequently 
indistinguishable from the outlaws they are ostensibly "policing." Bus 
drivers refuse to go on particularly dangerous roads. "The situation is 
worse than it was before the Taliban came to power," said a ticket 
collector for the Kandahar-Herat line. "Before they were taking cars and 
money. But now they are also killing people." Said one traveler at the 
Kandahar bus station searching for his father who had disappeared on the 
road: "We don't know what happened. There are so many checkpoints now, 
and people don't know if the men at the checkpoints will protect you or 
kill you." World Food Program trucks delivering aid to starving villages 
are being held up by militiamen demanding $100 per truck to pass near 

A map that ran with the story shows the patchwork of control zones in 
Afghanistan: Tajik forces loyal to former President Burhanuddin Rabbani 
hold Kabul and the northeast. Dostum's Uzbek forces hold Mazar-i-Sharif 
and the northwest. Tajik warlord Ismail Khan holds the Herat district in 
the west. Pashtun warlord Gul Agha Shirzai holds Kandahar in the south. 
The Pashtun Eastern Shura militias control Jalalabad and the area 
southeast of Kabul, along the Pakistan border. Hazara warlord Karim 
Khalili holds Bamiyan in the Central Highlands.

Fighting between rival warlords for control of these districts seems to 
be settling down, but getting them to submit to central authority is 
another question. The Taliban came to power in 1996 by pledging to 
restore order after years of entropic warfare created a climate ripe for 

Karzai has managed to broker peace between Gul Agha and his rivals in 
Kandahar, giving effective control of the district to this former local 
"governor" and drug lord. WW3 REPORT #12, quoting the Dec. 10 Newsday, 
described Gul Agha as a "veteran dog racer," but the Nov. 30 Washington 
Post called him a "one-time organizer of lucrative dog fights," which is 
certainly more befitting of a warlord.

This is what the UK Guardian had to say about Agha on Dec. 6: "Police 
sources in Pakistan believe he is heavily involved in the lucrative 
opium trade. His followers are
drawn mainly from the poor and destitute of the refugee camps. When he 
governed in Kandahar the city was ruled by warlords who stripped it of 
everything of value. Rape and robbery were commonplace."

Washington's new friends in Kabul are sounding more than a little like 
the recently departed enemies. On Dec. 27, Interim Justice Minister 
Abdul Rahim Karimi announced Afghanistan's new government will still 
impose sharia Islamic law--but less harshly. The Taliban's five-year 
rule was marked by public amputations for thieves as well as executions 
and corporal punishment for other crimes. "Our Islam is different," 
Karimi said. "How can you cut off the hand of a man who has nothing to 
eat? We must first feed the people and give them a livelihood." But 
Karimi said sharia law would remain in force. "People would not 
understand if we got rid of it."

Judge Ahamat Ullha Zarif of the interim government told AFP that public 
executions and amputations would continue, but with greater benevolence. 
"There will be some changes from the time of the Taliban," he said. "For 
example, the Taliban used to hang the victim's body in public for four 
days. We will only hang the body for a short time, say 15 minutes." 
Kabul's sports stadium, where the Taliban used to carry out public 
executions and amputations every Friday, would no longer be used. "The 
stadium is for sports. We will find a new place for public executions." 
Adulterers, both male and female, would still be stoned to death, Zarif 
said, "but we will use only small stones." AFP, Dec. 27

The tribal council of Paktia Province held a news conference to insist 
the US air-strike on a convoy going to Karzai's inauguration last week 
was a mistake. Asked by a reporter if any of the tribal leaders in the 
caravan were former Taliban, council spokesman Abdul Hakim Munib 
replied: "I myself was deputy minister for communications, border and 
transport under the Taliban regime. They were with Taliban. I was with 
Taliban. All the people you are seeing here were with Taliban." The 
council represents a local militia of the Eastern Shura, a key pillar of 
the new regime. (New York Times, Dec. 28)

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) staged 
a protest in Islamabad, Pakistan, Dec. 10, denouncing abuses by factions 
in their country's new regime, and predicting that the lot of women will 
be no better than under the Taliban. "The Northern Alliance were 
criminals to our mothers and young daughters," shouted the women 
marching in the Pakistani capital. Children in the march held pictures 
of Northern Alliance fighters killing war captives. A RAWA statement 
said factions in the Northern Alliance--whose troops took the capital 
after the Taliban fled, and still holds much of the country, as well as 
numerous cabinet posts in the interim government--were guilty of 
widespread rape of "girls and women from 7 to 70" when their leader 
Burhanuddin Rabbani held power in the early 1990s. "We don't believe 
that they will not repeat the crimes they committed from 1992 to 1996," 
RAWA spokeswoman Alia Nazeer told Reuters. The RAWA statement said the 
end of the Taliban's mandatory burqa policy was "in no way an indication 
of women's rights and liberties" in Afghanistan. "The world community 
must consider the fanatic nature of the Northern Alliance... Northern 
Alliance and Taliban are the same." Few women in Afghanistan have 
stopped wearing burqas or returned to work since the fall of the 
Taliban, apparently taking what Reuters described as "a wait-and-see 
attitude." (Reuters, Dec. 10)

None of the New York dailies covered the RAWA protest, but a Dec. 24 
Newsday headline on the interim regime taking power read: "An Upbeat Day 
1: Pro-government rallies as Afghans begin reconstruction." It noted 
that some 60 people marched in the streets of Kabul to support the new 

Last week, US troops were being prepared for the dangerous assignment of 
combing the Tora Bora cave complex, evacuated by al-Qaeda after several 
days of intense aerial bombardment. The troops could face booby-traps, 
cave-ins and attack by remnant al-Qaeda forces--and the White House 
could face the politically unpopular prospect of more body bags coming 
home. "Instead," the New York Times reported Dec. 27, "American 
officials are pressing Afghan commanders in the Jalalabad region to 
probe the rugged area. Washington is offering incentives like weapons, 
money and winter clothing, American officials said." One anonymous 
"senior military official in Washington" said: "It is a matter of 
finding the right mix of incentives to get them to play a more active 
role. If we are successful, they will do it." US Marines at the Kandahar 
airport now hold 37 al-Qaeda prisoners--far short of the hundreds they 
anticipated during the bombing of the Tora Bora caves.

"Use of Pinpoint Air Power Comes of Age in New War," read the front-page 
New York Times headline on Dec. 24. "The swiftness and accuracy of the 
attack illustrated a new kind of American air power... Just as World War 
II opened the atomic age and the 1991 Persian Gulf war introduced 
stealth technology to combat, Afghanistan will be remembered as the 
smart-bomb war." Inside, a full page was dedicated to showing off the 
new computer-coordinated weaponry--although the report did admit the 
15,000-pound Daisy Cutter bombs used on Tora Bora "wipe out everything 
for hundreds of yards."

But a smaller p. B-2 story on Dec. 26 headlined: "Even Precision Bombing 
Kills Some Civilians, Tour of City Shows" This story, filed by reporter 
Norimitsu Onishi in Kandahar, noted numerous buildings--and their 
residents--"with no evident connection to the Taliban or al-Qaeda," 
destroyed by US bombs.

"International drug control authorities believe that opium poppy 
production in Afghanistan will increase dramatically next year, and are 
debating whether to pay or force growers to destroy their spring crops." 
reported the Washington Post Dec. 25.
Afghan officials say ending opium cultivation is one of new boss Hamid 
Karzai's top priorities, and a senior US official said it is a "major, 
front-burner" issue for the Bush administration. But officials agree it 
will be difficult, particularly in regions where the new regime has 
limited authority--such as Helmand province, the world's most productive 
poppy-growing region and a Taliban stronghold.

"Afghans leaving the country have reported that farmers are going back 
to poppy cultivation," said Mohammed Amirkhizi of the UN Office of Drug 
Control and Crime Prevention in Vienna. "Our expectation is that 
production will go back up to [the level of] previous years. The 
international community is extremely concerned."

Two years ago, Afghanistan produced more than 70% of the world's opium. 
But the Taliban banned cultivation last year--and this spring's crop 
dropped by more than 90%. Before 9-11, this was universally portrayed in 
the US media as a concession to the West. Now the Washington Post 
writes, "whether the goal was to halt the business in response to 
international pressure or to drive up prices remains unclear." Assistant 
Secretary of State Rand Beers added that the Taliban did not ban opium 
farming "out of kindness, but because they wanted to regulate the 
market: They simply produced too much opium." (This was not the stance 
of US officials before 9-11--see WW3 REPORT #2.)

In any case, reads the report, "the expectation that poppy production 
will skyrocket has set off an international battle over how to respond. 
While some experts advocate a buyback of the spring crop, others want to 
rely primarily on law enforcement. The new regime is committed under the 
Bonn accords to eliminate opium--Afghanistan's largest cash crop, and 
virtually the only profitable one. Many farmers rely on loans from drug 
traffickers to pay for their fall planting and survive through the 
winter. Farmers have already taken the loans and will have no way to 
repay them if they don't harvest their poppies. Some Bush administration 
officials have proposed a one-time buyback of opium as an emergency 

In the late 1990s, Afghanistan produced over 2,000 tons of raw opium 
annually, according to UN estimates. After the Taliban ban, the figure 
dropped to about 185 tons this year. The UN reports that before the ban, 
about half of all Afghan opium came from the irrigated fields of Helmand 
province in the south--not a remote or hidden area, but some of the 
country's best and most accessible farmland. (The Post does not report 
that Helmand province is in the control zone of legendary Mujahedeen 
opium lord Gul Agha.) Much of the rest came from the provinces of 
Kandahar (Agha's seat), and from Nangahar (now under Eastern Shura 
warlords). Since the opium ban, "a small but increasing amount has been 
grown in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, under the control of 
the Northern Alliance."

International drug control officials worry that Helmand has once again 
become a center for poppy growing. The new government "does not have 
complete control of the area," and top Taliban officials are still 
reported to be hiding out there.

Activist and Black Panther veteran Lorenzo Komboa Ervin writes on 
Mediamonitors.net that "the US is actually using nuclear weapons in 
Afghanistan." The heavy "bunker-buster" bombs the Pentagon used on Tora 
Bora officially include both the so-called Daisy Cutter--officially Bomb 
Live Unit 82, or BLU-82--and the slightly smaller Deep Throat 
bomb--officially the Guided Bomb Unit 28, or GBU-28. These are the most 
powerful "conventional" weapons in the world. Ervin quotes a report from 
the Federation of American Scientists (FAS): "This...GBU 28 is a special 
weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located 
deep underground. The bomb is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional 
munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead." But the latest 
version of this weapon is in fact a low-yield nuclear warhead, a 
so-called "battlefield nuke." Ervin is "convinced that the Pentagon is 
using the nuclear version (designated B-61-11)... This nuclear bomb, 
Pentagon planners believe, will succeed in reaching underground bunkers 
of Taliban leaders where the GBU-28 non-nuclear device has apparently 
failed. So they are very quietly 'going nuclear.'"

Ervin sees this as part of an intentional strategy of military ecocide. 
"If the Pentagon is deploying such a weapon, they really do intend to 
destroy Afghanistan and make parts of it uninhabitable. No crops could 
be planted and reaped in such soil, and no one could live in such 
areas.... This is clearly in line with President Bush's desire to 
partition the country... and also in line with the Bush/Cheney/Powell 
military doctrine of using tactical nuclear weapons in a conventional 
war in the third world." Ervin calls on the International Atomic Energy 
Agency to launch an investigation.

Press accounts vary on the readiness of nuclear "bunker-busters." A Dec. 
19 AP report states the Afghanistan campaign has made the Pentagon 
reconsider the nuclear option: "Defense officials are considering the 
possibility of developing a low-yield nuclear device that would be able 
to destroy deeply buried stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons. 
Such a move would require Congress to lift a 1994 ban on designing new 
nuclear warheads. In a report to Congress, the Defense Department argues 
that conventional weapons...would be unable to destroy the most deeply 
protected facilities... In the report sent to Congress in October, the 
Defense Department said a low-yield, less than five-kiloton nuclear 
warhead coupled with new technology that allows bombs to penetrate deep 
underground before exploding could prove effective in destroying 
biological and chemical agents..."

The report said scientists "have completed initial studies on how 
existing nuclear weapons can be modified" for use to destroy deeply 
buried targets. Submitted in response to a congressional directive, the 
report shows the Bush administration views a nuclear strike as "an 
intrinsic part" of strategy for deeply entombed targets, and is in 
"preparation" for a full-scale mini-nuke research and development 
program, said Martin Butcher of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

But Newsday reported 3 years ago that one such weapon was ready for 
deployment--and being considered for use. In Nov. 1997, President Bill 
Clinton signed Presidential Policy Directive 60, allowing use of nuclear 
"bunker-busters" against Iraq. Newsday said the Pentagon's two such 
weapons are the B-61-7, which explodes in the air like the Daisy Cutter, 
and the B-61-11 (then "not fully developed"), which penetrates the 
ground before detonating. (Newsday, Feb. 1, 1998)

Sources in the region also claim the US used nuclear weapons in 
Afghanistan. Writes the pro-jihad website Azzam.com: "Highly informed 
Islam News sources from Tora Bora have claimed that American warplanes 
have continued bombing Tora Bora and the Melwa mountains, and 
destruction which is occurring indicates that the Americans are using 
restricted amounts of Chemical and Nuclear weapons." (James Ridgeway, 
Village Voice, Dec. 25)

India moved 150-mile range Prithvi missiles to the Pakistan border this 
week, capable of carrying nuclear warheads. This is part of the largest 
military build-up since the two nations last went to war in 1971. (New 
York Times, Dec. 28) Both nations tested nuclear warheads in 1998 and 
are estimated to have between 25 and 100 warheads each. (Security & 
Political Risk Analysis-SARPA, <subcontinent.com>; Nuclear Control 
Institute <www.nci.org>).

Indian and Pakistani troops--just 100 yards apart in some places--traded 
fire over the 'Line of Control' dividing the disputed Kashmir region, as 
civilians on both sides of the border were evacuated. India says 20,000 
residents are being moved from homes near the frontier. India's Prime 
Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee insisted that "no means shall be spared" 
in putting a stop to "Pakistan-sponsored terrorism." (AP Dec. 29)

India refused Pakistan's offer of a joint investigation into the Dec. 13 
attack on India's parliament building, which left 12 dead on both sides. 
New Delhi is sticking to unconditional demands for the arrest of leaders 
from the two organizations accused in the raid: Lashkar-i-Taiba (Urdu 
for "Army of the Pious") Jaish-i-Muhammad ("Soldiers of Muhammad"). Both 
groups use Pakistan as a base of operations for armed activities in the 
Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir. (Newsday, Dec. 27)

Vajpayee is emulating Bush in his refusal to share his evidence with 
Pakistan's government (CNN.com Dec. 24). Bush's reply to Taliban offers 
to send Osama bin Laden to a third country to stand trial if the US 
showed its evidence was: "Turn him over... There is no need to 
negotiate... And there is no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know 
he's guilty. Turn him over." (New Hampshire Union Leader, Oct. 21, 2001)

But Pakistan is Bush's key ally in the region, and the White House is 
unhappy that Pakistani troops are being moved from the Afghan border, 
where they were intercepting al-Qaeda fugitives, to the Indian border 
(Newsday, Dec. 29). On Dec. 28, Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez 
Musharraf--doubtless under heavy US pressure--announced the arrest of 50 
leaders from both groups. But India was silent on the move, likely 
waiting to see if the detainees include Lashkar founder Hafez Saeed. 
Bush, however, was not silent, telling the press: "I'm pleased to note 
that President Musharraf has announced the arrest of 50 extremists or 
terrorists. And I hope that India takes note of that, that the president 
is responding forcefully and actively to bring those who would harm 
others to justice." (New York Times, Dec. 29) Note the strategically 
slippery "extremists or terrorists" construction, allowing equivocation 
on whether these clients of a US ally fall into the latter category.

Pakistan was one of the world's top US aid recipients until Washington 
imposed sanctions on both Pakistan and India after the 1998 nuclear 
tests. Those sanctions were both lifted immediately after the Sept. 11 
terrorist attacks as the US prepared for war in the region. (AP, Sept. 


Cops patrolling Times Square on New Years Eve will be armed with 
high-tech radiation detectors on loan from the US Customs Service, the 
New York Post reported in a Dec. 27 front-page story ("HAPPY NUKE 
GEAR"). NYPD Insp. Christopher Rising declined to say how many members 
of the force would be provided the gadgets, which are triggered by gamma 
rays. But he said the move is "precautionary" and not based on an 
explicit threat One million revelers are expected to watch the ball drop 
in the puritanical porn-free, booze-free Times Square of Mayor Rudolph 

A spokesman for Sensor Technology Engineering of Santa Barbara, CA, 
makers of the device, refused to give any info on the product, saying it 
was designed for "governments, countries, municipalities and security 
concerns. If you're not one of those, you have no purpose purchasing 
it." He refused to give his name.

US Energy Department undersecretary John A. Gordon told the Senate May 9 
that a year earlier Uzbekistan customs officers using a similar device 
seized 10 containers of highly radioactive material suspected of being 
intended for use in a terrorist "radiation-dispersal bomb." Customs 
spokesman James Michie acknowledged that the service had trained 
officials from post-Soviet republics in use of the devices.

Westchester Country legislators are still threatening to officially 
withdraw their support from emergency evacuation plans for the Indian 
Point nuclear plant near Peekskill, NY. At a Dec. 20 public hearing, the 
president of one of the bus companies whose drivers are supposed to pick 
up children in the evacuation zone called the plan "a fairy tale," 
saying the drivers would not go. Residents said the local 
roads--routinely jammed at rush hour--would be clogged with panicking 
families in the event of a catastrophic terrorist attack or accident at 
the plant.

When Rockland County, just across the Hudson River, pulled out of the 
evacuation plan after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, state 
officials simply created a "substitute plan" for the county, which the 
federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) accepted. The NRC soon 
thereafter adopted the "realism rule," under which the agency can 
approve emergency plans without county approval. But Indian Point 
opponents pledged to press the issue. "The NRC may be the only agency 
with final authority over the plant, but what it would do in a changed 
political climate is not clear," said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who 
convened the Dec. 20 hearings.

The Indian Point 2 reactor was shut down Dec. 26 after an electrical 
connection to plant's turbine unexpectedly shut off. A similar accident 
in Aug. 1999 was more serious, as safety systems did not respond 
properly and some alarms in the control room stopped working. Feb. 2000 
saw a radiation release from the plant when a tube ruptured, spewing 
steam from the reactor into the open air. Authorities predictably 
dismissed the release as "too small to be a threat to the public."

Claims by the pro-nuke Independent Power Producers of New York that 
shutting Indian Point would mean monthly rate hikes of $7 over the 
summer average of $100 are disputed by economist Ashok Gupta of the 
Natural Resources Defense Council, who says they fail to take into 
account conservation improvements and new generators coming on line.

But Indian Point opponents in suburban Westchester and Rockland face 
some skepticism from urban environmentalists down the river in Gotham. 
Communities in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are already fighting new 
gas-burning generators planned for their neighborhoods by the state 
Power Authority. Timothy Logan of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance 
says: "We believe that any closure must first deal with alternative 
generation of electricity that will be needed to make up for a shutdown, 
and until those concerns are dealt with in an equitable manner, we could 
not fully support a shutdown." (New York Times, Dec. 27)


Following last week's attempted bombing of a trans-Atlantic American 
Airlines flight by an inept would-be terrorist with explosives in his 
shoes, shoe removal has become the latest airport security measure. On 
Dec. 26, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman portrayed four choices 
in the dilemma (the last presumably being facetious): "Either we become 
less open as a society, or the world to which we are connected has to 
become more controlled...or we simply learn to live with much higher 
levels of risk than we've ever been used to before. Or we all fly 

Of course any society which is serious about freedom would choose the 
third option without equivocation. (Recommended reading: The Wisdom of 
Insecurity by Alan Watts)

Attorney General John Ashcroft told the Senate Judiciary Committee Dec. 
6: "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost 
liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they 
erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition 
to America's enemies..." (See Nat Hentoff in Motherjones.com, Dec. 12).

Amnesty International accused governments of violating rights in the 
name of combating terrorism since the 9-11 attacks. "The United Nations 
member states, individually and collectively, have failed to uphold 
human rights," spokesman Colm O'Cuanachain said at a meeting of winners 
of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to the group in 1977. "In 
response to the horrific human rights abuses of Sept. 11, governments 
are moving to restrict civil liberties and human rights, ostensibly to 
promote security." (New York Times, Dec. 7)

An FBI spokesman confirmed that the US government is working on a 
controversial Internet spying technology, code-named "Magic Lantern." 
The FBI has already acknowledged it uses keystroke-recording software to 
obtain passwords to access encrypted e-mail and documents. Magic Lantern 
would allow the agency to plant a "Trojan horse" keystroke logger on a 
target's PC by sending a virus over the Internet-without requiring 
physical access to the computer. Asked if the FBI would be required to 
obtain a court order to use Magic Lantern, Bureau spokesman Paul Bresson 
said: "Like all technology projects or tools deployed by the FBI it 
would be used pursuant to the appropriate legal process." The FBI 
recently set a precedent by asking Internet service providers to install 
"Carnivore" technology in their networks, allowing agents to secretly 
read e-mails. "In previous wars, including World War II, the government 
had the power to call on companies to help; to commandeer the 
technology," said Michael Erbschloe, author of Information Warfare: How 
to Survive Cyber Attacks. "If we were at war the government would be 
able to require technology companies to cooperate, I believe, in a 
number of ways, including getting back door access to information and 
computer systems." (Reuters, Dec 12)

500 New York City police officers will receive new, high-powered weapons 
once reserved for elite units but now regarded as necessary for a 
department with a sharper focus on fighting terrorism, officials said. 
The officers will be equipped with assault rifles and submachine guns in 
addition to their standard-issue handguns, doubling the number of 
officers with high-powered weapons. Although the proposal was in the 
works before Sept. 11, it gained momentum in the weeks after the 
attacks. "To be effective, law enforcement agencies must provide their 
personnel with the tools they need to respond to all possible 
situations," Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said. "Equipping specific 
officers with these weapons will enhance the NYPD's ability to respond 
quickly and effectively to an even wider range of contingencies." Those 
include the department's daily duties staffing security checkpoints 
around the city. High-powered weapons have traditionally been the almost 
exclusive province of the department's 500-strong Emergency Service 
Units. Of the force's total 40,000 officers, as many as 8 in each of the 
76 precincts will be issued the new weapons under the plan. The weapons 
include MP5 submachine guns, Mini-14 assault rifles and shotguns. (New 
York Times, Dec. 16)

Mad Magazine has tapped the Rev. Jerry Falwell as "the dumbest person of 
2001" for blaming the Sept. 11 terror attacks on "abortionists, 
feminists, gays and lesbians." Said editor John Ficarra: "We thought 
Falwell had reached his personal pinnacle of dumbness a few years ago 
when he accused the Teletubbies of promoting homosexuality. Give the guy 
credit, we underestimated him." (New York Post, Dec. 27)


The US apparently takes seriously Osama bin Laden's boast to possess 
nuclear weapons. CIA Director George Tenet met with Pakistani officials 
this month to discuss the case of two of Pakistan's top nuclear 
scientists, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood and Chaudry Abdul Majeed, who 
were detained in October. Under interrogation, they admitted meeting 
with Taliban and al-Qaeda reps, but insisted the Afghan leaders didn't 
have "even the most basic knowledge of nuclear weapons and materials," 
according to the Dec. 9 New York Times. On Dec. 17, the Wall Street 
Journal reported the two scientists had been released. Both these 
reports also claimed neither had worked on weapons programs--in 
contradiction of press reports after their arrests portraying them as 
central to development of Pakistan's nuclear bomb. (see WW3 REPORT #5)

In a New York Times op-ed Nov. 28, "How Secure is Pakistan's 
Plutonium?", ex-CIA director James Woosley urged extending the 
"cooperative threat reduction program" the US has with Russia--in which 
the US funds and oversees security of ex-Soviet nuclear materials--to 
Pakistan. Woosley acknowledged that "moderate general" Khalid Kidwai was 
put in charge of Pakistan's nuclear forces following an Oct. 7 shake-up 
in the military. Nonetheless: "There is a real risk that Pakistan's 
fanatics might collaborate with al-Qaeda..."

Things don't look too good in Russia itself. A Nov. 12 New York Times 
story warned: "Lax Nuclear Security in Russia Is Cited as Way for bin 
Laden to Get Arms." It cited dozens of violations of "nuclear security 
rules" in Russia, as well as actual losses of fissile material. Russian 
nuclear security chief Col. Igor Volynkin, said his forces discovered 
terrorist stake-outs of a secret nuclear weapons storage facility twice 
this year. Russian Security Council official Raisa Vdovichenko said 
Taliban emissaries asked an employee at "an institution related to 
nuclear technologies to go to their country to work there in this 
field." Twice in 2000, police in Georgia seized small quantities of 
enriched uranium and plutonium. The worst cases were in 1993, when 3 
kilograms of enriched uranium were seized in St. Petersburg, and 1994, 
when 360 grams of Russian plutonium were seized in Munich.

Osama bin Laden told Time magazine in 1999: "Acquiring weapons for the 
defense of Muslims is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these 
weapons, then I thank God for enabling me to do so. And if I seek to 
acquire these weapons, I am carrying out a duty. It would be a sin for 
Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent the 
infidels from inflicting harm on Muslims." (Newsday, Nov. 7)

In a Nov. exclusive interview with Hamid Mir of Pakistan's Dawn 
newspaper at a secret location in Afghanistan, bin Laden reportedly 
said: "We have chemical and nuclear weapons as a deterrent and if the 
Americans used them against us, we reserve the right to use them." (New 
York Times, Nov. 10). He also said: "If avenging the killing of our 
people is terrorism then history should be a witness that we are 
terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents." (UK Guardian, Nov. 12)

Responded President Bush to the boast: "I believe we need to take him 
seriously. We will do everything we can to make sure he does not acquire 
the means to deliver weapons of mass destruction. If he doesn't have 
them, we will work hard to make sure he doesn't; if he does, we'll make 
sure he doesn't deploy them." (Newsday, Nov. 7)

Having overcome its post-Hitler squeamishness about foreign military 
missions, Germany is among the nations which has pledged troops for the 
Afghanistan peacekeeping force. (Newsday, Dec. 27) But some Germans 
apparently haven't outgrown a fondness for mass murder of Jews. A 
front-page New York Times story Nov. 8 reported claims by two defectors 
from Iraqi intelligence that they worked for years in a secret camp at 
Salman Pak that had trained international Islamic terrorists in 
six-month rotations since 1995. The defectors, one a lieutenant general 
and the other a top-ranking official of the Mukhabarat secret police, 
told of a highly guarded compound where Iraqi scientists, "led by a 
German," produced biological agents.

Israel is the obvious immediate target for any of Saddam Hussein's 
weapons of mass destruction. Hussein sent missiles to Israel during 
1991's Operation Desert Storm, and would doubtless strike Israel again 
if the US attacks, as White House officials now threaten. (For more on 
Iraq bio-war capacity, see WW3 REPORT #4)

Jews are not immune to the fetish for weapons of mass destruction 
either. Israel's nuclear arsenal--estimated at around 200 warheads--is 
an open secret. When Israeli physicist Mordechai Vanunu leaked to a 
British reporter details of the nuclear program at Dimona in the Negev 
desert, he was abducted by Israeli agents in Rome and sent back to Tel 
Aviv to stand trial on treason. Convicted in 1986, he spent the next 12 
years in solitary confinement. (Newsday, Aug. 3, 1998)

Israel's nuclear program was briefly back in the news this week as 
California electronics manufacturer Richard Kelly Smyth pleaded guilty 
to selling hundreds of nuclear-weapons triggers to Israel. Smyth had 
spent 16 years on the lam from charges of illegally exporting $60,000 
worth of the krytrons, which carries life imprisonment. (BBC World 
Service, Dec. 28)



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