By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Needless to say, Rumsfeld has not let on to the public what has been going on since 9-11. In his unchallenged testimony before the 9-11 Commission last year, the secretary of defense defended the Pentagon from charges that it was asleep at the switch at the time of the attack, noting, "The Department of Defense . . . did not have responsibility for the borders. It did not have responsibility for the airports. . . . And the fact that I might not have known something ought not to be considered unusual. Our task was to be oriented out of this country . . . and to defend against attacks from abroad. And a civilian aircraft was a law enforcement matter to be handled by law enforcement authorities and aviation authorities. And that is the way our government was organized and arranged."
For years, the militia movement and their allies in various nativist groupings warned of an imminent military takeover by U.S. troops operating under the Soviets, or worse, the black hand of the U.N. Nor do the revelations about Rumsfeld's plans come as a surprise to the '60s leftists who discovered gumshoes from military intelligence in their midst. Oliver North's spectacular admission during the Iran-Contra hearings in the late '80s of his secret mission involving the continuance of government during a wartime crisis raised fears of martial law. And most recently, the layering of defenses in D.C., including missile batteries and, during the inauguration, thousands of backup military forces, makes the existence of the military operating freely within the U.S. almost a routine occurrence.
However, the counter-terrorism commando units will, sooner or later, end up bumping into similar ops by the FBI and Homeland Security, to name but two of the myriad federal police units operating within the country.
U.S. to EU: Eeee-yewww!
Efforts to ease tensions between the U.S. and Old Europe before the president departs for the continent next month don't seem to be working out. The U.S. is opposed to the EU's lifting of sanctions against selling arms to China, and Bush is opposed to trying Darfur war crimes in the International Criminal Court.
Last week, the U.S., in rejecting an effort by Britain, France, and other European nations to try Darfur war crimes in the international court, claimed that it has no accountability and can't be trusted. Said one State Department official: "The ICC is a total non-starter."
The U.S. does not belong to the court and under Bush is strongly opposed to any involvement. Among other things, the U.S. fears that its own operativesspies or military personnelmight end up before it, charged with war crimes. That's a real possibility because the U.S. has narrowed its definition of torture and has adopted procedures at Guantánamo and elsewhere that critics say violate the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners.
For Darfur, the U.S. wants to set up a court in Africa similar to the one set up by the U.N. Security Council that tried war crimes in Rwanda in the early '90s.
Additional reporting: David Botti and Nicole Duarte