Nov 3: News From Afghanistan
Mardan, Pakistan -- Urging the army to overthrow President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, thousands of Islamic militants marched in this northwestern city Friday to protest their government's support for the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan.
"Musharraf is a risk for Pakistan," Islamic cleric Qazi Hussain Ahmad told the crowd of 10,000, many of them ethnic Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Qazi said Musharraf -- an army general who seized power in 1999 -- should be deposed. "The sooner, the better," the cleric said.
The protest in Mardan was the largest of several throughout Pakistan on Friday, the Muslim holy day and the usual time for pro-Taliban demonstrations against the United States.
Smaller rallies were also held in the cities of Lahore, Karachi and Quetta.
Musharraf has endorsed the U.S.-led military campaign, and allowed Americans to use Pakistani bases for what his government says is logistical support.
The overwhelming majority of Pakistan's 145 million people are Muslim, and the anti-U.S. rallies have attracted relatively modest numbers considering the national population.
However, Islamic militants have vowed to step up protests against Musharraf and pledged a countrywide civil disobedience campaign Nov. 9.
At Mardan, protesters cheered when Qazi asked if they were ready to join a holy war against America. They raised their hands, volunteering.
"Bush has waged war against Islam and we will defeat him with the power of faith," Qazi said. "It is the duty of every Muslim to support Taliban who are fighting against a mighty power."
Qazi, president of Pakistan's main Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami, insisted his call for a coup was not designed to cause a rift in Pakistan's military.
"I have just asked the generals to protect the country's last disciplined and organized national institution by removing Musharraf, who wants to use it for appeasing America," Qazi said.
Police and paramilitary troops stood guard by the hundreds at the rallies, keeping the protests in check.
Meanwhile, anti-U.S. rallies attracted thousands of protesters Friday in Bangladesh and Indonesia.
After a night of special prayers, nearly 2,000 Muslim men and children in flowing white robes and prayer caps held a protest rally outside Baitul Mokarram, the main mosque in downtown Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh.
Another group of about 600 marched toward the U.S. Embassy, but were stopped by police outside Dhaka's diplomatic enclave and they dispersed peacefully.
Chanting anti-American slogans and holding placards in support of the Afghan people and the Taliban militia, the protesters demanded an immediate stop to the bombing, saying it is "killing innocent civilians."
Some burned paper and straw effigies of President George W. Bush.
In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, some 3,000 people protesting the U.S. attacks marched through the country's second-largest city, Surabya, after midday prayers, chanting "God is Great."
That demonstration came a day after Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri called on Washington to halt the military campaign during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which starts in mid-November.
Bush rejected that notion in remarks Friday in a question-and-answer session at the White House.
"The enemy won't rest during Ramadan and neither will we," Bush said.
The packets won't be yellow, their current color, because unexploded cluster bombs are yellow. The Defense Department's next choice was blue, but that was scrapped because of undefined ``cultural connotations.''
Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem, deputy operations director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference Friday he did not know why blue was out. Other Pentagon officials said the same thing.
``I think that some colors may be inflammatory, or may be representative of something that might be offensive to some people,'' said Stufflebeem.
The Pentagon decided to change the color of the plastic-wrapped food packets after humanitarian groups complained that Afghan children might mistake unexploded cluster bombs for food packets.
The military plans to drop leaflets written in local languages explaining the difference between bombs and food, but those drops probably will not take place until Saturday, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Friday.
On Thursday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers said the leaflets had already been dropped.
U.S. high schools would be required to aid military recruiters by turning over the names, addresses and telephone numbers of their students under a federal bill that has drawn fire from educators and privacy advocates.
Nearly half of the schools in California and about a third nationwide restrict recruiters' access to that information or to their campuses, according to the Department of Defense. If the provision is approved by Congress and signed by President Bush, school districts that fail to comply could face substantial losses of federal aid.
Some opponents of the bill say it conflicts with privacy law, which prohibits the release of information about students without permission from their parents. Others are philosophically opposed to fueling the military's mission or object to its ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers.
"We do not believe the school board should say, even by implication, that our students should look at the military as a first choice of careers," said Jill Wynns, the president of the San Francisco Board of Education.
Years of tension between privacy advocates and military recruiters have only been aggravated by the recent war on terrorism.
The campaign has boosted support for the military in Congress and elsewhere, some say at the expense of privacy rights. The recruitment measure this week won bipartisan support in a committee working on a federal education reform bill.
"I see no reason whatsoever, especially now with the war on terrorism, that any school should close off campuses [to] recruiting," said Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita). "All they are doing is coming on to recruit people. It's a noble profession and at times like this we sure turn to the military for help."
Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) pushed for the amendment to the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is being worked on by a joint
committee of the House and Senate. The bill, which already has passed each
house of Congress
in different forms, also contains the student testing and school accountability policies advocated by President Bush.
"To better than 50% of our graduating seniors, the military may offer them the only chance to get a college education and it's a shame that they would not get information about that," Isakson said.
He said the amendment was not a reaction to the fight against terrorism, but "in light of Sept. 11 it makes all the more sense for the military to have at least the same access that colleges . . . have" to high school students.
Bruce Hunter, a lobbyist for the American Assn. of School Administrators, said he interprets privacy law to bar districts from releasing student information. He said the issue should be up to local districts, however.
"The communities and the states pay 93% of the bill for public education and they ought to be able to determine who . . . gets access to their kids," Hunter said.
Current practice varies widely across the country. In Connecticut, a relatively liberal and wealthy state, 89% of high schools limit military recruitment either by refusing to turn over contact information or by limiting on-campus visits. Nearly the same percentage of schools limit recruiters' access in Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine.
By contrast, almost all schools in more conservative states such as Colorado, South Dakota, Indiana, Texas and Utah are open to recruiters.
A spokesman for New York City's schools said the district allows recruiters to talk to students on campus but does not distribute their contact information.
"We're in favor of providing our students with as much information and as many career options as possible, and the military is certainly one of those options," said Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the school district. However, the contact information is released only if subpoenaed in a lawsuit.
In Portland, Ore., the issue of military recruitment has been a contentious one for the last six years. School board member Marc Abrams began championing a ban on military recruiting as soon as he was elected to protest what he considers the Armed Forces' anti-homosexual policies.
"It's not about being anti-military, it's about being pro-democracy and civil rights," said Abrams, a lawyer and a prominent Democrat. "The second that all 55,000 students in the Portland Public Schools can serve in the military is the day I move to repeal my own policy."
In California, the Oakland Unified School District bans recruiters from campus and does not distribute student information unless parents request that it be done.
"The history is that these recruiters are like bounty hunters and they would hassle these kids until they signed up, and that was why the policy was put in place," said Oakland Supt. Dennis Chaconas.
Los Angeles public schools allow military recruiters to come to schools for career fairs and other events and to hold meetings on campus. The district also sells lists of its high school students' names to recruiters unless a parent submits a form asking to have the name withheld.
Some are uneasy with that policy.
"One of the things we have always been against is the district going ahead with certain things like that without the [explicit] consent of the parents," said Mary Toma, president of the 10th District PTA. "You don't do something like that unless parents give consent first."
Caprice Young*, the president of the district's board of education, noted the competing interests that must be juggled in deciding how to handle the issue.
"It's really important that we all stand together as citizens
of the U.S. in the context of national security, but we need to do it in a
way that embraces the rights and liberties and, frankly, the privacy that
made this country
what it is," Young said.
Katie Sierra, a sophomore at Sissonville High School near Charleston, was suspended for three days last week for passing out on school grounds fliers that she described as anarchist.
The school principal also ordered her to stop wearing a red T-shirt on which she had scribbled messages criticizing Republicans and President Bush's declared war on terrorism.
Her parents filed suit, complaining that other students were allowed to wear the American flag as a fashion accessory.
But a state judge sided with Kanawha County school board members who had backed her suspension, saying in a Thursday ruling that while the high school sophomore is free to believe what she wants and to express those beliefs, "in a school educational setting, those rights are not absolute."
Roger Forman, Sierra's lawyer, said he would appeal Kanawha County Circuit Judge James Stucky's ruling to the state Supreme Court, partly to get his client's suspension expunged from her school record.
"I'm walking down the street, and I'm seeing all these cars with flags, and Katie can't even express her opinion," Forman fumed. "It scares me for America."
Sierra told Judge Stucky this week that she belongs to an "anarchy" club which rejects nationalism and touts mottoes such as "food, not bombs."
WASHINGTON (Nov. 3) - Heading for Moscow, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Friday a U.S. defense against missiles can be deployed without breaking a 1972 treaty.
''We will deploy a missile defense, and that can be done with the treaty still in place,'' Rumsfeld said on his flight from Washington. He arrived in Moscow early Saturday local time.
In Moscow, he will talk to his counterpart, Sergei Ivanov, about the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, ''the overall relationship with Russia'' and missile defense.
Rumsfeld said final decisions on two or three missile defense issues probably would be left for the talks President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold in Washington and Crawford, Tex., on Nov. 13-15.
Last week, Rumsfeld postponed parts of missile-shield tests that might violate the Cold War-era treaty with the Soviet Union. That treaty prohibited a national missile defense.
Bush has called the accord a relic. Other administration officials have said the President at some point would exercise his right under the treaty to withdraw from it.
A U.S. missile defense that does not violate the treaty would be a limited one.
But the administration's eagerness to get started has been enhanced with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A shield is seen by senior officials as a protection not only against rogue states but also terrorist groups like the al-Qaida network.
Bush's talks with Putin also might lead to sharp reductions by as much as two-thirds in U.S. and Russian levels of strategic warheads. About 6,000 are held by each country.
Bush has said a decision on how much to trim the U.S. arsenal would be based on a U.S. strategic judgment. The Pentagon is completing its study of strategic needs.
Even so, White House officials said Friday that Bush would like to be able to declare how far-reaching the U.S. cuts would be if Putin was willing to make a similar statement of Russia's cutback intentions.
Any pledges on that front by the two leaders would not be made in the form of a treaty, which Bush has said takes too long to negotiate and needs Senate approval, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Nor will Bush insist that reductions in U.S. and Russian stockpiles be equivalent, the officials said.
On a more troubled front, the Bush administration is hoping the talks with Putin will produce an agreement for Russia to curb the sale of advanced technology and weapons to Iran.
Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, who is accompanying Rumsfeld on the trip, told reporters this week he was very concerned about the transfers and possible links to terrorism.
Iran is one of seven countries designated as a supporter of terrorism by the State Department.
Bush also would like to report to Putin that the 1974 Jackson-Vanik legislation that required Russia to permit Jews to emigrate is being repealed by Congress, which is discussing the measure.
The law, which granted Russia U.S. trade privileges, is a mostly symbolic piece of legislation. The Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, and U.S. presidents have given Russia trade rights based on substantial Jewish emigration over the years.
Rumsfeld plans to go from Russia to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, two former Soviet republics that have borders with Afghanistan. He also plans to visit Pakistan and India.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 - The Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine New York station was destroyed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, seriously disrupting United States intelligence operations while bringing the war on terrorism dangerously close to home for America's spy agency, government officials say.
The C.I.A.'s undercover New York station was in the 47-story building at 7 World Trade Center, one of the smaller office towers destroyed in the aftermath of the collapse of the twin towers that morning. All of the agency's employees at the site were safely evacuated soon after the hijacked planes hit the twin towers, the officials said.
The intelligence agency's employees were able to watch from their office windows while the twin towers burned just before they evacuated their own building.
Immediately after the attack, the C.I.A. dispatched a special
team to scour the rubble in search of secret documents and intelligence reports
that had been stored in the New York station, either on paper or in computers,
It could not be learned whether the agency was successful in retrieving its classified records from the wreckage.
A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment.
The agency's New York station was behind the false front of another federal organization, which intelligence officials requested that The Times not identify. The station was, among other things, a base of operations to spy on and recruit foreign diplomats stationed at the United Nations, while debriefing selected American business executives and others willing to talk to the C.I.A. after returning from overseas.
The agency's officers in New York often work undercover, posing as diplomats and business executives, among other things, depending on the nature of their intelligence operations.
The recovery of secret documents and other records from the New York station should follow well-rehearsed procedures laid out by the agency after the Iranian takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The revolutionaries took over the embassy so rapidly that the C.I.A. station was not able to effectively destroy all of its documents, and the Iranians were later able to piece together shredded agency reports. Since that disaster, the agency has emphasized rigorous training and drills among its employees on how to quickly and effectively destroy and dispose of important documents in emergencies.
As a result, a C.I.A. station today should be able to protect most of its secrets even in the middle of a catastrophic disaster like the Sept. 11 attacks, said one former agency official. "If it was well run, there shouldn't be too much paper around," the former official said.
The agency's New York officers have been deeply involved in counterterrorism efforts in the New York area, working jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. Many of the most important counterterrorism cases of the last few years, including the bureau's criminal investigations of the August 1998 bombings of two United States Embassies in East Africa and the October 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen have been handled out of New York.
The United States has accused Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist network of conducting both of those attacks.
But United States intelligence officials emphasize that there
is no evidence that the hijackers knew that the undercover station was in
the World Trade Center complex.
With their undercover station in ruins, C.I.A. officers in New York have been forced to share space at the United States Mission to the United Nations, as well as borrow other federal government offices in the city, officials said.
The C.I.A.'s plans for finding a new permanent station in New York could not be determined.
The agency is prohibited from conducting domestic espionage operations against Americans, but the agency maintains stations in a number of major United States cities, where C.I.A. case officers try to meet and recruit students and other foreigners to return to their countries and spy for the United States. The New York station, which has been led by its first female station chief for the last year, is believed to have been the largest and most important C.I.A. domestic station outside the Washington area.
The station has for years played an important role in espionage operations against Russian intelligence officers, many of whom work undercover as diplomats at the United Nations. Agency officers in New York often work with the F.B.I. to recruit and then help manage foreign agents spying for the United States. The bureau's New York office, at 26 Federal Plaza, was unaffected by the terrorist attack.
The destruction of the C.I.A.'s New York station has added to the intense emotions shared by many of its employees about the agency's role in the battle against terrorism. For some, the station's destruction served to underscore the failure of United States intelligence to predict the attacks.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, morale suffered badly within the C.I.A., some officials said, as the agency began to confront what critics have called an intelligence failure on the scale of Pearl Harbor.
But the terrorist attacks have also brought an urgent new sense of mission to the agency, which has been flooded with job applications as well as inquiries from former officers eager to return to work. Congress is pouring money into the agency's counterterrorism operations, and the C.I.A. seems poised to begin focusing its resources on terrorism in much the same way it once focused on the Soviet Union in the cold war.
The attacks were not the first in which the C.I.A. was directly touched by terrorists. In 1983, seven agency officers died in the suicide car bombing of the United States Embassy in Beirut. Among the others killed was the agency's station chief in Lebanon, William Buckley, who died in captivity after being kidnapped by terrorists in 1984, and Richard Welch, the agency's Athens station chief, who was shot to death by Greek terrorists in 1975.