Gov’t Redacted bin-Laden Tape
Vol: 3 Issue: 21 Friday, December 21, 2001
Part of the reason it took so long to release the recent videotape of bin-Laden chortling over the deaths of 3,000 civilians was because they had to remove sections that might embarrass the Saudis. For reasons of its own, Washington doesn’t want the level of Saudi support for bin-Laden made public. Saudi religious police were involved in smuggling bin-Laden’s visitor to him. Prominent clerics made speeches supporting the attacks on America. The redacted portions show that support for bin-Laden is not limited to radical Islam, but also among Islam’s religious establishment.
To maintain the flow of oil and the US economy in general, Washington must maintain two simultaneous fictions. The first is that mainstream Islam is friendly to us and that al-Qaeda is a perversion. There are 1.2 billion Muslims. If only 1% made up those sympathetic to al-Qaeda, that is 12 million people. 10% – 120 million and so forth. So mainstream Islamic support for al-Qaeda and bin-Laden is suppressed. The second fiction is that Saudi Arabia is our friend. In fact our relationship is no warmer than that of a drug addict and his supplier. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the seat of Islamic authority world-wide. Washington cannot admit its Achilles Heel to either the public or its enemies. Neither can it declare war on 1.2 billion people. Instead, we pretend our enemies are our friends. It may be a sound short term political strategy, but one that could have devastating long term effects.
US Developing Interceptor
The United States is proceeding with a project meant to intercept cruise missiles. The Pentagon program calls for a subsonic miniature interceptor capable of tracking/killing cruise missiles. Iran already has cruise missiles. A number of other Middle East states are considering programs to develop similar low-flying projectiles. The Pentagon wants to develop a low-cost interceptor that would combine components and technology used in other programs. Officials said the forthcoming test will integrate all major components of the system.
US-Israel To Expand Defense
Washington is going to offer Israel an expanded missile defense cooperation relationship. The cooperation is meant to follow the model of the current U.S.-Israeli Arrow-2 joint program. Spearheading the effort is U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. On Dec. 17, Ms. Rice addressed the annual strategic Herzliya Conference via a satellite link from the White House. She said the Bush administration regards missile defense as a priority in the aftermath of the Cold War. She also said Washington wants to include missile defense as part of an expanded strategic relationship with Israel that would include arms control issues. Israel and the United States have discussed the prospect of developing a mobile tactical laser weapon and an unmanned air vehicle capable of destroying missile launchers.
Chinese Bluster Suggests Future War
China s military forces conducted recent exercises aimed at shooting down incoming cruise missiles an indication the People s Liberation Army is preparing for a future conflict with the United States, U.S. officials said. PLA forces in the Guangzhou military region held regimental exercises using low-altitude cruise missiles that were shot down by Chinese anti-aircraft artillery. The PLA s official newspaper reported last week that during the recent exercises one unit successfully hit two cruise missiles at once using a newly developed digital anti-aircraft fire control network. It was a live-fire exercise. China’s defense minister, Gen. Chi Haotian, met last week in Beijing with the commander of the Belarus air force, Gen. Sergey Kuzmich. The visit raises new concerns about missile technology sales from Belarus to China. Beijing has already purchased Maz missile transporter-erectors from Minsk that are believed to be part of China s new long-range road mobile missile systems, the DF-31 and DF-41.
Russian Airspace Vulnerable
Russia s military said last week that problems with upgrading equipment have left half the country s airspace vulnerable to intrusion. Lt. Gen Aleksandr Shramchenko admitted, In fact, we do not control the air space from the Ural Mountains to the Kurile Islands. There is only a thin line of radar field along the border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China.” With such gaps in the Russian lines, the US fears Russia s nuclear or conventional weapons could be vulnerable to theft or sabotage. Such admissions by the Kremlin are uncharacteristically candid. Admitting areas of vulnerablility runs contrary to Russia’s ingrained xenophobia. This could be an invitation to terrorists, or an explanation after the fact. Ezekiel says that the invasion of Israel is a Russian led alliance of Muslim nations. And that means Russia will maintain its balancing act between its support for the US and its friendship with the Islamic world.
FBI Trying To Reap Hacker Harvest
The FBI is attempting to acquire the harvested e-mail addresses and passwords of millions of Microsoft Outlook users whose systems were recently infected by the Badtrans worm virus. The FBI has contacted MonkeyBrains, a San Francisco-based Internet Service Provider (ISP) and requested a copy of the database of passwords and keystrokes compiled by the worm and forwarded to their free e-mail service, IjustGotFired.com. The FBI did not have a search warrant, and the ISP initially responded to the request by placing searchable versions of the databases online. They have now been partially disabled “pending legal consultation.”