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US War Dead in Iraq Exceeds Early Vietnam Years analysis of Defense Department statistics showed on Thursday that the Vietnam War, which the Army says officially began on Dec. 11, 1961, produced a combined 392 fatal casualties from 1962 through 1964, when American troop levels in Indochina stood at just over 17,000 (Reuters)
Johnelle Bryant In Mid 2002, some US-papers promoted a story on Johnelle Bryant, officially an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture. Johnelle Bryant claimed in this story, she was "face to face with Mohamed Atta". (original wrong spelling!) - Bryant claimed, she met Atta,Mohammad "between the end of April, around the third week of April to the third week of May of 2000." That's another lie. Due to all FBI reports, Atta received his visa on May, 18th 2001 and entered the States on June 3rd, 2001. (9/11 Review)
Mousepox 'Superbug' Test Riles: Some Say Fed-Backed Virus Research Could Aid Terrorists A research team backed by a federal grant has created a genetically engineered mousepox virus designed to evade vaccines, underscoring biotechnology's deadly potential and stirring debate over whether such research plays into the hands of terrorists.
The team at Saint Louis University, led by Mark Buller, created the superbug to figure out how to defeat it, a key goal of the government's anti-terrorism plan.
The researchers designed a two-drug cocktail that promises to defeat their exceptionally deadly virus. They hope to publish their work soon in a peer review journal.
“The whole focus was to contribute to the biodefense agenda of the country,” Buller said.
Buller spliced a gene known to suppress the immune system into the mousepox virus, then injected the combined strand into vaccinated mice. All of them died. (Associated Press)
Information Operations Roadmap The Information Operations Roadmap provides the Department with a plan to advance the goal of information operations as a core military competency. It provides a common framework for understanding IO, and policies and procedures to empower Combatant Commanders with authority to plan and integrate IO. It consolidates oversight, advocacy, and analytic support for IO. It calls for a dedicated work force and improved training and education for IO. Lastly, it mandates innovative organizational structures that advance operational capabilities to keep pace with warfighter needs and support defense transformation. Like any plan, it will evolve over time as the Department gains experience through implementation. For that reason, I will review the implementation effort after one year and the plan will be adjusted as appropriate. (US Department of Defense)
New evidence of global warming in Earth's past supports greenhouse climate theory Scientists have filled in a key piece of the global climate picture for a period 55 million years ago that is considered one of the most abrupt and extreme episodes of global warming in Earth's history. The new results from an analysis of sediment cores from the ocean floor are consistent with theoretical predictions of how Earth's climate would respond to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. - "This event is the best example of greenhouse warming in the geologic record, and for the first time we have been able to document the climate response on a relatively broad planetary scale, from the tropics to polar latitudes," Zachos said.
The temperature estimates were derived from chemical analyses of the shells of microscopic plankton preserved in the seafloor sediments. The chemical composition of the plankton's calcite shells reflects the temperature of the water in which they were formed. A key measurement examined in this study was the ratio of magnesium to calcium, which increases exponentially with the temperature at which the shells formed.
"The ratio of magnesium to calcium in seawater is relatively constant over the timescale of this event, so the ratio in the shells is really only sensitive to one variable, the calcification temperature," Zachos said.
ODP Leg 198 and a complementary drilling expedition in the Atlantic earlier this year (ODP Leg 208) were designed to test the leading explanation for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which attributes it to a massive release of methane. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in frozen deposits known as clathrates found in the deep ocean near continental margins and also in the Arctic tundra. For reasons that remain unclear, the clathrates suddenly began to decompose, releasing an estimated 2,000 gigatons (2 trillion tons) of methane.
Once released, the methane would have reacted with dissolved oxygen in the ocean to produce carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas. Large amounts of both carbon dioxide and methane would have entered the atmosphere, raising temperatures worldwide. (University of California - Santa Cruz)
Leased and Abandoned: Revolt of the EV-1 Lovers That move has set off a contentious debate between the automaker, which introduced the model with great fanfare in 1996 but now says that demand was not high enough to justify keeping it on the market, and drivers like Mr. Horton, who not only like the car's environmental qualities but also the two-seater's pep and handling (New York Times)
Some Thoughts on Uncertainty: Applying Lessons to the CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products CCSP emphasizes “reducing uncertainty”
“Reducing uncertainty” is probably not the appropriate goal; we should instead focus on “increasing credibility”
Is the assessment process and “science for policy” (as interpreted by climate scientists) torquing climate science in a direction that is fundamentally less useful for both science and policy?
The answer to this question is probably “yes”, and both the root of the problem and its eventual solution lies in how scientists and decision makers deal with the issue of uncertainty. (Judith Curry)
In the Name of the Patriot Act: That's Ours On March 20, 2003, as the United States launched its preemptive war against Iraq, the Bush administration also mounted a raid here in the United States -- it confiscated approximately $1.7 billion in Iraqi assets that had been blocked, or frozen, since the Persian Gulf War. It closed Iraq's accounts at 18 commercial banks and moved the money to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Washington Post)
Who let Saudis flee after 9/11? Why should the American people trust the Bush administration with greater police powers when it refuses to answer questions about the bin Laden family's escape? As Senator Charles Schumer of New York has said, it was too soon after 9/11 for the FBI even to know what questions to ask, much less to decide conclusively that each Saudi and bin Laden relative deserved an "all clear," never to be available for questions again. (Boston Globe)
Anti-terror R&D fuels new fears If all goes as planned, by next summer anyone buying an airline ticket would have their personal information run through a database that rates their potential for terrorism. Still under development is another device that would use X-ray technology to allow airport security personnel searching for bombs or weapons to see through people's clothes to their naked bodies. (The Sacramento Bee)
China's Nuclear Exports and Assistance to Iran Chinese nuclear exports and assistance to Iran have been a major issue of controversy in Sino-US relations. While Beijing regards its nuclear cooperation programs with Tehran as legitimate and in compliance with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards provisions, Washington has tended to view such activities as contributing to Iran's covert nuclear weapons program. The US considers Iran to be a rogue state and has used various incentives and pressure tactics to dissuade China from continuing its nuclear deals with Iran. The debates on this question raise serious question not only about the criteria for international nuclear nonproliferation enforcement but also the nature and extent of US unilateralism from many other countries, which want to maintain and develop peaceful nuclear cooperation programs with non-nuclear weapons states, including Iran, if the latter follow IAEA safeguards and other relevant norms and practices. The US positions differ.
Since the mid-1990s, China has suspended its pending nuclear deals with Iran, including the planned sale of two 300MW nuclear reactors. There have been various explanations. Some suggest that Beijing bent under US pressure while others argue the deals fell through due to disagreement between China and Iran over terms of payment. In any case, the cancellation of the nuclear deals to some extent met US demands. However, this by no means ends all aspects of Sino-Iranian nuclear cooperation. Indeed, if anything, assistance continues, which remains a serious concern for the United States. (NTI)
Beware of private prisons The coming years look positively rosy for the private prison industry as it anticipates - and lobbies for - a wave of immigrants and prisoners of the war on terrorism (The Daily Texan)
The President's Story The President Talks In Detail About His Sept. 11 Experience - No president since Abraham Lincoln had seen such horrific loss of life in a war on American soil. No president since James Madison, nearly 200 years ago, had seen the nation’s capital city successfully attacked. (CBS)
Saving City Lifelines: Lessons Learned in the 9-11 Terrorist Attacks There were continuing moments of alarm. A panel truck with a painting of a plane flying into the World Trade Center was stopped near the temporary command post. It proved to be rented to a group of ethnic Middle Eastern people who did not speak English. Fearing that it might be a truck bomb, the NYPD immediately evacuated the area, called out the bomb squad, and detained the occupants until a thorough search was made. The vehicle was found to be an innocent delivery truck. (Mineta Transportation Institute)
Using drugs will be terrorism if the Victory Act passes "This bill would treat drug possession as a 'terrorist offense' and drug dealers as 'narco-terrorist kingpins,' " the aide argued. "To say that terrorist groups use a small percentage of the drug trafficking in the United States to finance terrorism may be a fair point, but this bill would allow the government to prosecute most drug cases as terrorism cases." (ABC)
Ashcroft Speech Interrupted by Protester A room packed with police officers failed to shield Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) on Thursday from a protester who accused him of lying about the Sept. 11 attacks on America and Washington's declared war on terror (Reuters)
E-Vote Machines Face Audit After weeks of defending itself against charges of bad programming and lax security, Diebold Election Systems is facing an independent, third-party audit of the software for its touch-screen voting machines (Wired)
Panoply of the Absurd Were the attacks on New York and Washington the biggest act of terrorism in history – or just an enormous secret service conspiracy? Conspiracy theorists are filling bestsellers with their supposed evidence, and they already have one-fifth of all Germans convinced of their half-truths.
The man with the shy smile who has been appearing in the dock in room 237 at the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court in Hamburg since August 14 is accused of being involved in a conspiracy. His name is Abdelghani Mzoudi, and he has been charged with assisting in the commission of murder - in 3066 cases - as a member of the secret terrorist group surrounding Mohammed Atta that changed the world with its attacks on September 11, 2001. - Bröckers and Hauß spend fifteen pages making their version of a tale of suicide assassins seem plausible. Bülow does the same thing in five pages. However, a few telephone calls are all it takes to destroy their zombie theories. What these investigative journalists should have done was to spend a little time listening to those whom they cite as "reputable" sources for their arguments. Take the BBC, for example, which did in fact report, on September 23, 2001, that some of the alleged terrorists were alive and healthy and had protested their being named as assassins.
But there is one wrinkle. The BBC journalist responsible for the story only recalls this supposed sensation after having been told the date on which the story aired. "No, we did not have any videotape or photographs of the individuals in question at that time," he says, and tells us that the report was based on articles in Arab newspapers, such as the Arab News, an English-language Saudi newspaper.
The operator at the call center has the number for the Arab News on speed dial. We make a call to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A few seconds later, Managing Editor John Bradley is on the line. When we tell Bradley our story, he snorts and says: "That's ridiculous! People here stopped talking about that a long time ago."
Bradley tells us that at the time his reporters did not speak directly with the so-called "survivors," but instead combined reports from other Arab papers. These reports, says Bradley, appeared at a time when the only public information about the attackers was a list of names that had been published by the FBI on September 14th. The FBI did not release photographs until four days after the cited reports, on September 27th. (Der Spiegel)
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