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History > 2008 > USA > Terrorism (IV)




Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, right,

and Walid bin Attash

at their arraignment

on Thursday in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.


Pool courtroom sketch

by Janet Hamlin


Arraigned, 9/11 Defendants Talk of Martyrdom


















Op-Ed Contributor

Fight Terror With YouTube


June 26, 2008
The New York Times


Baku, Azerbaijan

AL QAEDA made its name in blood and pixels, with deadly attacks and an avalanche of electronic news media. Recent news articles depict an online terrorist juggernaut that has defied the best efforts by the United States government to counter it. While these articles are themselves a testimony to Al Qaeda’s media savvy, they don’t tell the whole story.

When it comes to user-generated content and interactivity, Al Qaeda is now behind the curve. And the United States can help to keep it there by encouraging the growth of freer, more empowered online communities, especially in the Arab-Islamic world.

The genius of Al Qaeda was to combine real-world mayhem with virtual marketing. The group’s guerrilla media network supports a family of brands, from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (in Algeria and Morocco) to the Islamic State of Iraq, through a daily stream of online media products that would make any corporation jealous.

A recent report I wrote for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty details this flow. In July 2007, for example, Al Qaeda released more than 450 statements, books, articles, magazines, audio recordings, short videos of attacks and longer films. These products reach the world through a network of quasi-official online production and distribution entities, like Al Sahab, which releases statements by Osama bin Laden.

But the Qaeda media nexus, as advanced as it is, is old hat. If Web 1.0 was about creating the snazziest official Web resources and Web 2.0 is about letting users run wild with self-created content and interactivity, Al Qaeda and its affiliates are stuck in 1.0.

In late 2006, with YouTube and Facebook growing rapidly, a position paper by a Qaeda-affiliated institute discouraged media jihadists from overly “exuberant” efforts on behalf of the group for fear of diluting its message.

This is probably sound advice, considering how Al Qaeda fares on YouTube. A recent list of the most viewed YouTube videos in Arabic about Al Qaeda included a rehash of an Islamic State of Iraq clip with sardonic commentary added and satirical verses about Al Qaeda by an Iraqi poet.

Statements by Mr. bin Laden and his chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, that are posted to YouTube do draw comments aplenty. But the reactions, which range from praise to blanket condemnation, are a far cry from the invariably positive feedback Al Qaeda gets on moderated jihadist forums. And even Al Qaeda’s biggest YouTube hits attract at most a small fraction of the millions of views that clips of Arab pop stars rack up routinely.

Other Qaeda ventures into interactivity are equally unimpressive. Mr. Zawahri solicited online questions last December, but his answers didn’t appear until early April. That’s eons in Web time.

Even if security concerns dictated the delay, as Mr. Zawahri claimed, this is further evidence of the online obstacles facing the world’s most-wanted fugitives. Try to imagine Osama bin Laden managing his Facebook account, and you can see why full-scale social networking might not be Al Qaeda’s next frontier.

It’s also an indication of how a more interactive, empowered online community, particularly in the Arab-Islamic world, may prove to be Al Qaeda’s Achilles’ heel. Anonymity and accessibility, the hallmarks of Web 1.0, provided an ideal platform for Al Qaeda’s radical demagoguery. Social networking, the emerging hallmark of Web 2.0, can unite a fragmented silent majority and help it to find its voice in the face of thuggish opponents, whether they are repressive rulers or extremist Islamic movements.

Unfortunately, the authoritarian governments of the Middle East are doing their best to hobble Web 2.0. By blocking the Internet, they are leaving the field open to Al Qaeda and its recruiters. The American military’s statistics and jihadists’ own online postings show that among the most common countries of origin for foreign fighters in Iraq are Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen. It’s no coincidence that Reporters Without Borders lists Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria as “Internet enemies,” and Libya and Yemen as countries where the Web is “under surveillance.” There is a simple lesson here: unfettered access to a free Internet is not merely a goal to which we should aspire on principle, but also a very practical means of countering Al Qaeda. As users increasingly make themselves heard, the ensuing chaos will not be to everyone’s liking, but it may shake the online edifice of Al Qaeda’s totalitarian ideology.

It would be premature to declare Al Qaeda’s marketing strategy hopelessly anachronistic. The group has shown remarkable resilience and will find ways to adapt to new trends.

But Al Qaeda’s online media network is also vulnerable to disruption. Technology-literate intelligence services that understand how the Qaeda media nexus works will do some of the job. The most damaging disruptions to the nexus, however, will come from millions of ordinary users in the communities that Al Qaeda aims for with its propaganda. We should do everything we can to empower them.

Daniel Kimmage is a senior analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

    Fight Terror With YouTube, NYT, 26.6.2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/26/opinion/26kimmage.html






Inside a 9/11

Mastermind’s Interrogation


June 22, 2008
The New York Times


WASHINGTON — In a makeshift prison in the north of Poland, Al Qaeda’s engineer of mass murder faced off against his Central Intelligence Agency interrogator. It was 18 months after the 9/11 attacks, and the invasion of Iraq was giving Muslim extremists new motives for havoc. If anyone knew about the next plot, it was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

The interrogator, Deuce Martinez, a soft-spoken analyst who spoke no Arabic, had turned down a C.I.A. offer to be trained in waterboarding. He chose to leave the infliction of pain and panic to others, the gung-ho paramilitary types whom the more cerebral interrogators called “knuckledraggers.”

Mr. Martinez came in after the rough stuff, the ultimate good cop with the classic skills: an unimposing presence, inexhaustible patience and a willingness to listen to the gripes and musings of a pitiless killer in rambling, imperfect English. He achieved a rapport with Mr. Mohammed that astonished his fellow C.I.A. officers.

A canny opponent, Mr. Mohammed mixed disinformation and braggadocio with details of plots, past and planned. Eventually, he grew loquacious. “They’d have long talks about religion,” comparing notes on Islam and Mr. Martinez’s Catholicism, one C.I.A. officer recalled. And, the officer added, there was one other detail no one could have predicted: “He wrote poems to Deuce’s wife.”

Mr. Martinez, who by then had interrogated at least three other high-level prisoners, would bring Mr. Mohammed snacks, usually dates. He would listen to Mr. Mohammed’s despair over the likelihood that he would never see his children again and to his catalog of complaints about his accommodations.

“He wanted a view,” the C.I.A. officer recalled.

The story of Mr. Martinez’s role in the C.I.A.’s interrogation program, including his contribution to the first capture of a major figure in Al Qaeda, provides the closest look to date beneath the blanket of secrecy that hides the program from terrorists and from critics who accuse the agency of torture.

Beyond the interrogator’s successes, this account includes new details on the campaign against Al Qaeda, including the text message that led to Mr. Mohammed’s capture, the reason the C.I.A. believed his claim that he was the murderer of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and the separate teams at the C.I.A.’s secret prisons of those who meted out the agony and those who asked the questions.

In the Hollywood cliché of Fox’s “24,” a torturer shouts questions at a bound terrorist while inflicting excruciating pain. The C.I.A. program worked differently. A paramilitary team put on the pressure, using cold temperatures, sleeplessness, pain and fear to force a prisoner to talk. When the prisoner signaled assent, the tormenters stepped aside. After a break that could be a day or even longer, Mr. Martinez or another interrogator took up the questioning.

Mr. Martinez’s success at building a rapport with the most ruthless of terrorists goes to the heart of the interrogation debate. Did it suggest that traditional methods alone might have obtained the same information or more? Or did Mr. Mohammed talk so expansively because he feared more of the brutal treatment he had already endured?

A definitive answer is unlikely under the Bush administration, which has insisted in court that not a single page of 7,000 documents on the program can be made public. The C.I.A. declined to provide information for this article, in part, a spokesman said, because the agency did not want to interfere with the military trials planned for Mr. Mohammed and four other Qaeda suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The two dozen current and former American and foreign intelligence officials interviewed for this article offered a tantalizing but incomplete description of the C.I.A. detention program. Most would speak of the highly classified program only on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Martinez declined to be interviewed; his role was described by colleagues. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, director of the C.I.A., and a lawyer representing Mr. Martinez asked that he not be named in this article, saying that the former interrogator believed that the use of his name would invade his privacy and might jeopardize his safety. The New York Times, noting that Mr. Martinez had never worked undercover and that others involved in the campaign against Al Qaeda have been named in news articles and books, declined the request. (An editors’ note on this issue has been posted on The Times’s Web site.)

The very fact that Mr. Martinez, a career narcotics analyst who did not speak the terrorists’ native languages and had no interrogation experience, would end up as a crucial player captures the ad-hoc nature of the program. Officials acknowledge that it was cobbled together under enormous pressure in 2002 by an agency nearly devoid of expertise in detention and interrogation.

“I asked, ‘What are we going to do with these guys when we get them?’ ” recalled A. B. Krongard, the No. 3 official at the C.I.A. from March 2001 until 2004. “I said, ‘We’ve never run a prison. We don’t have the languages. We don’t have the interrogators.’ ”

In its scramble, the agency made the momentous decision to use harsh methods the United States had long condemned. With little research or reflection, it borrowed its techniques from an American military training program modeled on the torture repertories of the Soviet Union and other cold-war adversaries, a lineage that would come to haunt the agency.

It located its overseas jails based largely on which foreign intelligence officials were most accommodating and rushed to move the prisoners when word of locations leaked. Seeking a longer-term solution, the C.I.A. spent millions to build a high-security prison in a remote desert location, according to two former intelligence officials. The prison, whose existence has never been disclosed, was completed — and then apparently abandoned unused — when President Bush decided in 2006 to move all the prisoners to Guantánamo.

By then, whether it was a result of a fear of waterboarding, the patient trust-building mastered by Mr. Martinez or the demoralizing effects of isolation, Mr. Mohammed and some other prisoners had become quite compliant. In fact, according to several officials, they had become a sort of terrorist focus group, advising their captors on their fellow extremists’ goals, ideology and tradecraft.

Asked, for example, how he would smuggle explosives into the United States, Mr. Mohammed told C.I.A officers that he might send a shipping container from Japan loaded with personal computers, half of them packed with bomb materials, according to a foreign official briefed on the episode.

“It was to understand the mind of a terrorist — how a terrorist would do certain things,” the foreign official said of the discussions of hypothetical attacks. Thus did the architect of 9/11 become, in effect, a counterterrorism adviser to the American government he professed to despise.

A Break in Pakistan

When Mr. Martinez flew to Pakistan early in 2002, he was joining an increasingly desperate campaign to catch and question anyone who might know the plans for the next terrorist attack.

Months had passed since Sept. 11, 2001, without a single senior Qaeda figure being taken alive. Intelligence agencies were alarmed by the eavesdropping “chatter” about threats. But without a high-level terrorist in custody, the government had few sources to warn of plots in progress.

Then, in February 2002, the C.I.A. station in Islamabad, Pakistan, learned that Abu Zubaydah, Al Qaeda’s logistics specialist, was in Lahore or Faisalabad, Pakistani cities 80 miles apart with a combined population of more than 10 million. The hunt for the terrorist’s electronic trail grew intensive.

Armed with Abu Zubaydah’s cellphone number, eavesdropping specialists deployed what some called the “magic box,” an electronic scanner that could track any switched-on mobile phone and give its approximate location. But Abu Zubaydah was careful about security: he turned his phone on only briefly to collect messages, not long enough for his trackers to get a fix on his whereabouts.

That was when Mr. Martinez arrived, beginning what would be an unlikely engagement with the world’s worst terrorists.

The son of a C.I.A. technician who worked on the agency’s secret communications and eventually became a senior executive, Mr. Martinez grew up in Virginia, majored in political science at James Madison University and went directly into the C.I.A. training program not long before his father retired. He wound up in the agency’s Counternarcotics Center, learning to sift masses of phone numbers, travel records, credit card transactions and more to search for people.

“Deuce had a reputation as one of those eggheads who could sit down with a lot of data and make sense out of it,” said one former C.I.A. officer who knew him well. In the agency’s great cultural divide, he was a stay-at-home analyst, not an “operator,” one of the glamorous spies who recruited foreign agents overseas. His tool was the computer, and until the earthquake of 9/11 his expertise was drug cartels, not terrorist networks.

After the attacks, officials recognized that tracking drug lords was not so different from searching for terrorist masterminds, and Mr. Martinez was among a half dozen or so narcotics analysts moved to the Counterterrorist Center to become “targeting officers” in the hunt for Al Qaeda.

Colleagues say Mr. Martinez, then 36, threw himself into the new work with a passion. On a wall at the American Embassy in Islamabad, he posted a large, blank piece of paper. He wrote Abu Zubaydah’s phone number at the center. Then, over a week or so, he and others added more and more linked phone numbers from the eavesdropping files of the National Security Agency and Pakistani intelligence. They excluded known institutions like mosques and shops and gradually built a map of the network of contacts around Abu Zubaydah.

“It was a spider’s web,” said one person who saw the telephone chart. “Aesthetically it was quite pretty.”

Using the numbers, and premises linked to them, Mr. Martinez and his colleagues sought to identify Abu Zubaydah’s most likely hide-outs. They could not reduce the list to fewer than 14 addresses in Lahore and Faisalabad, which they put under surveillance. At 2 a.m. on March 28, 2002, teams led by Pakistan’s Punjab Elite Force, with Americans waiting outside, hit the locations all at once.

One of the SWAT teams found Abu Zubaydah, protected by Syrian and Egyptian bodyguards, at a handsome house on Canal Road in Faisalabad. It held bomb-making equipment and a safe loaded with $100,000 in cash, according to a terrorism consultant briefed on the event. Photographs of the raid reviewed by The Times last month showed Abu Zubaydah, a cleanshaven 30-year-old Palestinian, shot three times during the raid, lying face down in the back of a Toyota pickup before he was taken to a hospital.

At first, Abu Zubaydah fell in and out of consciousness, emerging occasionally to speak incoherently — once, evidently imagining himself in a restaurant, ordering a glass of red wine, a C.I.A. official said. The agency, desperate to keep him alive, flew in a Johns Hopkins Hospital surgeon to consult. Within a few days, Abu Zubaydah was flown to Thailand, to the first of the “black sites,” the agency’s interrogation facilities for major Qaeda figures.

Thailand, which had long faced Muslim insurgents in its south, became the first choice because C.I.A. officers had a very close relationship with their counterparts in Bangkok, according to one American intelligence official. At first, the official said, “they didn’t even tell the prime minister.”

Inside a ‘Black Site’

It was at the Thai jail, not far from Bangkok, that Mr. Martinez first tried his hand at interrogation on Abu Zubaydah, who refused to speak Arabic with his captors but spoke passable English. It was also there, as previously reported, that the C.I.A. would first try physical pressure to get information, including the near-drowning of waterboarding. The methods came from the military’s SERE training program, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, which many of the C.I.A.’s paramilitary officers had themselves completed. A small version of SERE had long operated at the C.I.A.’s Virginia training site, known as The Farm.

Senior Federal Bureau of Investigation officials thought such methods unnecessary and unwise. Their agents got Abu Zubaydah talking without the use of force, and he revealed the central role of Mr. Mohammed in the 9/11 plot. They correctly predicted that harsh methods would darken the reputation of the United States and complicate future prosecutions. Many C.I.A. officials, too, had their doubts, and the agency used contract employees with military experience for much of the work.

Some C.I.A. officers were torn, believing the harsh treatment could be effective. Some said that only later did they understand the political cost of embracing methods the country had long shunned.

John C. Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. counterterrorism officer who was the first to question Abu Zubaydah, expressed such conflicted views when he spoke publicly to ABC News and other news organizations late last year. In a December interview with The Times, before being cautioned by the C.I.A. not to discuss classified matters, Mr. Kiriakou, who was not present for the waterboarding but read the resulting intelligence reports, said he had been told that Abu Zubaydah became compliant after 35 seconds of the water treatment.

“It was like flipping a switch,” Mr. Kiriakou said of the shift from resistance to cooperation. He said he thought such “desperate measures” were justified in the “desperate time” in 2002 when another attack seemed imminent. But on reflection, he said, he had concluded that waterboarding was torture and should not be permitted. “We Americans are better than that,” he said.

With Abu Zubaydah’s case, the pattern was set. With a new prisoner, the interrogators, like Mr. Martinez, would open the questioning. In about two-thirds of cases, C.I.A. officials have said, no coercion was used.

If officers believed the prisoner was holding out, paramilitary officers who had undergone a crash course in the new techniques, but who generally knew little about Al Qaeda, would move in to manhandle the prisoner. Aware that they were on tenuous legal ground, agency officials at headquarters insisted on approving each new step — a night without sleep, a session of waterboarding, even a “belly slap” — in an exchange of encrypted messages. A doctor or medic was always on hand.

The tough treatment would halt as soon as the prisoner expressed a desire to talk. Then the interrogator would be brought in.

Interrogation became Mr. Martinez’s new forte, first with Abu Zubaydah; then with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, the Yemeni who was said to have been an intermediary between the 9/11 hijackers and Qaeda leaders, caught in September 2002; and then with Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the Saudi accused of planning the bombing of the American destroyer Cole in 2000, who was caught in November 2002.

Mr. bin al-Shibh quickly cooperated; Mr. Nashiri resisted and was subjected to waterboarding, intelligence officials have said. C.I.A superiors offered Mr. Martinez and some other analysts the chance to be “certified” in what the C.I.A. euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation methods.”

Mr. Martinez declined, as did several other C.I.A. officers. He did not condemn the tough methods, colleagues said, but he was learning that his talents lay elsewhere.

Another Suspect Is Seized

The hunt for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed involved the entire American intelligence establishment, with its billion-dollar arrays of spy satellites and global eavesdropping net. But his capture came down to a simple text message sent from an informant who had slipped into the bathroom of a house in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

“I am with K.S.M.,” the message said, according to an intelligence officer briefed on the episode.

The capture team waited a few hours before going in on the night of March 1, 2003, to blur the connection to the informant, a walk-in attracted by the offer of a $25 million reward. The informant, described by one American who met him as “a little guy who looked like a farmer,” would later get a face-to-face thank you from George J. Tenet, then the C.I.A. director, at the American Embassy in Abu Dhabi, intelligence officials say, and he was resettled with his reward money under a new identity in the United States.

Within days, Mr. Mohammed was flown to Afghanistan and then on to Poland, where the most important of the C.I.A.’s black sites had been established. The secret base near Szymany Airport, about 100 miles north of Warsaw, would become a second home to Mr. Martinez during the dozens of hours he spent with Mr. Mohammed.

Poland was picked because there were no local cultural and religious ties to Al Qaeda, making infiltration or attack by sympathizers unlikely, one C.I.A. officer said. Most important, Polish intelligence officials were eager to cooperate.

“Poland is the 51st state,” one former C.I.A. official recalls James L. Pavitt, then director of the agency’s clandestine service, declaring. “Americans have no idea.”

Mr. Mohammed met his captors at first with cocky defiance, telling one veteran C.I.A. officer, a former Pakistan station chief, that he would talk only when he got to New York and was assigned a lawyer — the experience of his nephew and partner in terrorism, Ramzi Yousef, after Mr. Yousef’s arrest in 1995.

But the rules had changed, and the tough treatment began shortly after Mr. Mohammed was delivered to Poland. By several accounts, he proved especially resistant, chanting from the Koran, doling out innocuous information or offering obvious fabrications. The Times reported last year that the intensity of his treatment — various harsh techniques, including waterboarding, used about 100 times over a period of two weeks — prompted worries that officers might have crossed the boundary into illegal torture.

His cooperation came in fits and starts, and interrogators said they believed at times that he gave them disinformation. But he talked most freely to Mr. Martinez.

An obvious chasm separated these enemies — the interrogator and the prisoner. But Mr. Martinez shared a few attributes with his adversary that he could exploit as he sought his secrets. They were close in age, approaching 40; they had attended public universities in the American South (Mr. Mohammed had studied engineering at North Carolina A&T); they were both religious; and they were both fathers.

Mr. Mohammed, according to one former C.I.A. officer briefed on the sessions, “would go through these emotional cycles.”

“He’d be chatty, almost friendly,” the officer added. “He liked to debate. He got to the stage where he’d draw parallels between Christianity and Islam and say, ‘Can’t we get along?’ ”

By this account, Mr. Martinez would reply to the man who had overseen the killing of nearly 3,000 people: “Isn’t it a little late for that?”

At other times, the C.I.A. officer said, Mr. Mohammed would grow depressed, complaining about being separated from his family and ranting about his cell or his food — a common theme for other prisoners, including Abu Zubaydah, who protested when the flavor of his Ensure nutrition drink was changed.

Sometimes Mr. Mohammed wrote letters to the Red Cross or to President Bush with his demands; the letters went to C.I.A. psychologists for analysis.

And there were the poetic tributes to Mr. Martinez’s wife, scribbled in Mr. Mohammed’s ungrammatical English and intended as a show of respect for his interrogator, according to a colleague who heard Mr. Martinez’s account.

But as time passed, Mr. Mohammed provided more and more detail on Al Qaeda’s structure, its past plots and its aspirations. When he sometimes sought to mislead, interrogators often took his claims immediately to other Qaeda prisoners at the Polish compound to verify the information.

The intelligence riches ultimately gleaned from Mr. Mohammed were reflected in the report of the national 9/11 commission, whose footnotes credit his interrogations 60 times for facts about Al Qaeda and its plotting — while also occasionally noting assertions by him that were “not credible.”

The interrogations the commission cited began just 11 days after Mr. Mohammed’s capture and ended just days before the commission’s report was published in mid-2004. Together they amount to a detailed history of Mr. Mohammed’s initiation into terrorism along with his nephew, Mr. Yousef; his plotting of mayhem from Bosnia to the Philippines; and his alliance with Osama bin Laden, to whom the egotistical Mr. Mohammed was reluctant to defer.

Mr. Mohammed also claimed a role in a long list of completed and thwarted attacks. Human rights advocates have questioned some of Mr. Mohammed’s claims, including the beheading of Mr. Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, suggesting that they may have been false statements made to stop torture.

But Mr. Martinez told colleagues that Mr. Mohammed volunteered out of the blue that he was the man who killed Mr. Pearl. The C.I.A. at first was skeptical, according to two former agency officials. Intelligence analysts eventually were convinced, however, in part because Mr. Mohammed pointed out to Mr. Martinez details of the hand and arm of the masked killer in a videotape of the murder that appeared to show it was him.

“He was a leader,” said a foreign counterterrorism official briefed on the episode. “He wanted to demonstrate to his people how ruthless he could be.”

Divergent Paths

On June 5, Mr. Mohammed made a theatrical return to the public eye at his Guantánamo Bay arraignment, with a long, graying beard and a defiant insistence that the American military commission could do no more to him than give him his wish: execution and martyrdom.

His interrogator has moved on, too. Like many other C.I.A. officers in the post-9/11 security boom, Mr. Martinez left the agency for more lucrative work with government contractors.

His life today is quiet by comparison with the secret interrogations of 2002 and 2003. But Mr. Martinez has not turned away entirely from his old world. He now works for Mitchell & Jessen Associates, a consulting company run by former military psychologists who advised the C.I.A. on the use of harsh tactics in the secret program.

And his new employer sent Mr. Martinez right back to the agency. For now, the unlikely interrogator of the man perhaps most responsible for the horrors of 9/11 teaches other C.I.A. analysts the arcane art of tracking terrorists.

    Inside a 9/11 Mastermind’s Interrogation, NYT, 22.6.2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/washington/22ksm.html?hp






Obama says bin Laden

must not be a martyr


June 18, 2008
Filed at 3:50 p.m. ET
The New York Times


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Barack Obama says if Osama bin Laden were captured on his watch, he'd want to ensure he doesn't become a martyr if he were prosecuted.

Obama said he's not sure that the terrorist mastermind would be captured alive. But if he were, Obama said he would want to bring him to justice ''in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he's engaged in and not to make him into a martyr.''

Obama was asked about how he would handle bin Laden at a news conference Wednesday after he met with a new team of national security advisers. The meeting came after rival John McCain's campaign criticized Obama for a having a pre-9-11 mind-set for promoting trial of terrorists.

    Obama says bin Laden must not be a martyr, NYT, 18.6.2008, http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/washington/AP-Obama-National-Security.html






Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts


June 13, 2008
The New York Times


WASHINGTON — Foreign terrorism suspects held at the Guantánamo Bay naval base in Cuba have constitutional rights to challenge their detention there in United States courts, the Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, on Thursday in a historic decision on the balance between personal liberties and national security.

“The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court.

The ruling came in the latest battle between the executive branch, Congress and the courts over how to cope with dangers to the country in the post-9/11 world. Although there have been enough rulings addressing that issue to confuse all but the most diligent scholars, this latest decision, in Boumediene v. Bush, No. 06-1195, may be studied for years to come.

In a harsh rebuke of the Bush administration, the justices rejected the administration’s argument that the individual protections provided by the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 were more than adequate.

“The costs of delay can no longer be borne by those who are held in custody,” Justice Kennedy wrote, assuming the pivotal role that some court-watchers had foreseen.

The issues that were weighed in Thursday’s ruling went to the very heart of the separation-of-powers foundation of the United States Constitution. “To hold that the political branches may switch the Constitution on or off at will would lead to a regime in which they, not this court, say ‘what the law is,’ ” Justice Kennedy wrote, citing language in the 1803 ruling in Marbury v. Madison, in which the Supreme Court articulated its power to review acts of Congress.

Joining Justice Kennedy’s opinion were Justices John Paul Stevens, Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David H. Souter. Writing separately, Justice Souter said the dissenters did not sufficiently appreciate “the length of the disputed imprisonments, some of the prisoners represented here today having been locked up for six years.”

The dissenters were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, generally considered the conservative wing on the high court.

Reflecting how the case divided the court not only on legal but, perhaps, emotional lines, Justice Scalia said that the United States was “at war with radical Islamists,” and that the ruling “will almost certainly cause more Americans to get killed.”

And Chief Justice Roberts said the majority had struck down “the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants.”

The immediate effects of the ruling are not clear. For instance, Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, told The Associated Press he had no information on whether a hearing at Guantánamo for Omar Khadr, a Canadian charged with killing an American soldier in Afghanistan, would go forward next week, as planned. Nor was it initially clear what effects the ruling would have beyond Guantánamo.

The 2006 Military Commission Act stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions filed by detainees challenging the bases for their confinement. That law was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in February 2007.

At issue were the “combatant status review tribunals,” made up of military officers, that the administration set up to validate the initial determination that a detainee deserved to be labeled an “enemy combatant.”

The military assigns a “personal representative” to each detainee, but defense lawyers may not take part. Nor are the tribunals required to disclose to the detainee details of the evidence or witnesses against him — rights that have long been enjoyed by defendants in American civilian and military courts.

Under the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, detainees may appeal decisions of the military tribunals to the District of Columbia Circuit, but only under circumscribed procedures, which include a presumption that the evidence before the military tribunal was accurate and complete.

The ruling on Thursday focused in large part on the centuries old writ of habeas corpus (“you have the body,” in Latin), a means by which prisoners can challenge their incarceration. Noting that the Constitution provides for suspension of the writ only in times of rebellion or invasion, Justice Kennedy called it “an indispensable mechanism for monitoring the separation of powers.”

In the years-long debate over the treatment of detainees, some critics of administration policy have asserted that those held at Guantánamo have fewer rights than people accused of crimes under American civilian and military law and that they are trapped in a sort of legal limbo.

Justice Kennedy wrote that the cases involving the detainees “lack any precise historical parallel. They involve individuals detained by executive order for the duration of a conflict that, if measure from September 11, 2001, to the present, is already among the longest wars in American history.”

President Bush, traveling in Rome, did not immediately react to the court’s decision. "People are reviewing the decision," Mr. Bush’s press secretary, Dana M. Perino, said. The president has said he wants to close the Guantánamo detention unit eventually.

The detainees at the center of the case decided on Thursday are not all typical of the people confined at Guantánamo. True, the majority were captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan. But the man who gave the case its title, Lakhdar Boumediene, is one of six Algerians who immigrated to Bosnia in the 1990’s and were legal residents there. They were arrested by Bosnian police within weeks of the Sept. 11 attacks on suspicion of plotting to attack the United States embassy in Sarajevo — “plucked from their homes, from their wives and children,” as their lawyer, Seth P. Waxman, a former solicitor general put it in the argument before the justices on Dec. 5.

The Supreme Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered them released three months later for lack of evidence, whereupon the Bosnian police seized them and turned them over to the United States military, which sent them to Guantánamo.

Mr. Waxman argued before the United States Supreme Court that the six Algerians did not fit any authorized definition of enemy combatant, and therefore ought to be released.

The head of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents dozens of prisoners at Guantánamo, hailed the ruling. “The Supreme Court has finally brought an end to one of our nation’s most egregious injustices,” Vincent Warren, the organization’s executive director, told The Associated Press.

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has called for closing the Guantánamo detention unit. So has his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona, but the issue of what to do with the detainees could still figure prominently in the campaign, as Mr. McCain’s remarks on Thursday signaled.

Speaking to reporters in Boston on Thursday morning, Mr. McCain said he had not had time to read the decision, but “it obviously concerns me.”

“These are unlawful combatants, they’re not American citizens, and I think that we should pay attention to Justice Roberts’s opinion in this decision,” Mr. McCain said. "But it is a decision the Supreme Court had made, and now we need to move forward."

Mr. McCain, who was held for more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, was one of the chief architects of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. He argued during the drafting of that law that it gave detainees more than adequate provisions to challenge their detention.”

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, applauded the ruling. “Today, the Supreme Court affirmed what almost everyone but the administration and their defenders in Congress always knew,” he said. “The Constitution and the rule of law bind all of us even in extraordinary times of war. No one is above the Constitution.”

Kate Zernike contributed reporting from Boston.

    Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts, NYT, 13.6.2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/washington/12cnd-gitmo.html?hp







9/11 Defendants

Talk of Martyrdom


June 6, 2008
The New York Times


GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — When at last he got the chance to speak, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, on Thursday called President Bush a crusader and ridiculed the trial system here as an inquisition.

Mr. Mohammed, the former senior operations chief for Al Qaeda, said he would represent himself and dared the Guantánamo tribunal to put him to death.

“This is what I want,” he told a military judge here, in his first appearance to answer war crimes charges for the terrorism attacks that killed 2,973 people and set America on a path to war.

“I’m looking to be martyr for long time,” he said in serviceable English, improved, perhaps, by five years of custody, including three in secret C.I.A. prisons.

The arraignment on Thursday of Mr. Mohammed and four other detainees the government says were high-level coordinators of the Sept. 11 attacks was the start of hearings in the case, which is the centerpiece of the Bush administration’s war crimes system here.

But it was also the first public appearance by Mr. Mohammed, who has long cast himself in the role of superterrorist, claiming responsibility in the past not only for the 2001 plot, but for some 30 others, including the murder of Daniel Pearl, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

A bushy gray beard all but covered Mr. Mohammed’s face, so familiar from the well-known photograph of him in a baggy undershirt that was taken the day of his capture in Pakistan in 2003. On Thursday, he worked to get as much control as possible over the proceedings.

Peering through big black-rimmed glasses, he rejected American lawyers as agents of the Bush administration’s “crusade war against Islamic world.” He said the lawyers could stay to help him as advisers.

He quickly staked out his position as the leader of the accused men. He gestured to them, shared animated conversations while the proceedings droned on and, at one point, turned his chair toward the back of the courtroom to face his co-defendants, lined up in a row behind him.

His strategy seemed to work. One of the detainees, a military lawyer said, decided to reject his lawyers on Thursday, after a few minutes in the courtroom. Another, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, was intimidated by Mr. Mohammed, said his designated lawyer, Maj. Jon Jackson.

By day’s end, each of Mr. Mohammed’s four co-defendants had said he wanted to represent himself. That could turn a trial into a jumble of rhetoric and a new opportunity for critics to attack the Guantánamo system as designed to get easy convictions.

Each of the five men remained seated when the judge asked that they rise for the formal arraignment.

“I reject this session,” said Walid bin Attash, a detainee known as Khallad, who investigators say selected and trained some of the hijackers. Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who was to have been one of the hijackers, said that he too, like Mr. Mohammed, was ready for martyrdom.

He recalled that he had “tried for 9/11” but was denied an American visa so had missed his chance.

The judge, Col. Ralph H. Kohlmann, agreed to permit three of the men to represent themselves. He said he wanted more information on Major Jackson’s assertion. In Mr. Shibh’s case, he said he wanted to investigate a new report on Thursday from a military lawyer that Mr. Shibh has been on psychotropic medication.

When Judge Kohlmann asked Mr. Shibh why he was taking the medication, security officials cut the sound fed to reporters in a glassed-in gallery and a satellite press center. It was one of half a dozen times in a long court day when a private national-security consultant to the court cut the sound when detainees appeared to be discussing what several of them said had been years of torture.

Mr. Mohammed managed to get the reference through the censor twice.

“After torturing,” he said, warming to his subject, “they transfer us to Inquisitionland in Guantánamo.”

Central Intelligence Agency officials have said that Mr. Mohammed was one of three detainees subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding.

The sound was cut twice when Mr. Mohammed seemed to be discussing his claim.

He was far from shy, and he looked lean compared with the photograph taken of him after his 2003 capture. He chanted verses in Arabic and then translated them into English. He vied with Judge Kohlmann for control of the courtroom.

“Go ahead,” he told the judge from time to time when there was a pause, as if he, at the shiny new defense table in a specially built courtroom here, and not the man in the black robe on the bench, were in charge.

He was, Mr. Mohammed said cheerfully, unable to accept lawyers who knew little of Islamic law. He asked that the five men facing terrorism, conspiracy and other charges for the Sept. 11 attacks be permitted to meet. They needed, he said, to plan “one front.”

The request for a meeting, like most requests from the defense on Thursday, was rejected by Judge Kohlmann.

All five accused men were held in the secret C.I.A. program and transferred to Guantánamo to face charges in the military commission system.

“Sit down,” the judge barked out a few times as defense lawyers assigned to the cases by the military and by the American Civil Liberties Union tried to slow the proceedings.

The lawyers said that Mr. Mohammed and the other men had not had enough opportunity to meet with them. As a result, they said, the detainees could not understand the implications of representing themselves with their lives potentially on the line. No one would prevail with the argument that the arraignment could not proceed as scheduled, Judge Kohlmann announced.

The Pentagon has been pressing to move its war crimes cases quickly after years of delays and legal setbacks. Critics, including a former chief military prosecutor, have said there is intense political pressure to start the trials by the end of the Bush administration.

The Pentagon general who has become the most visible advocate of the commission system, Thomas W. Hartmann, has repeatedly said that accelerating the filing and prosecution of charges is not motivated by politics.

Whatever the motivation, it was clear inside the wire of the new court complex in the bright sun here that the Guantánamo trial system had begun its most important test. Reporters from Italy, Pakistan, Britain and Canada mixed with Americans crowded into a press center for the first glimpse of Mr. Mohammed and his co-defendants.

The expansive new courtroom, built specifically for the Sept. 11 case, provided an austere setting. It is a big, windowless white room, decorated only with a large American flag and the seals of each of the American military branches.

The reporters and a handful of observers from human rights, military and legal groups sat in an observation room at the rear. Sound to the room was delayed 20 seconds, so people in the proceedings rose and sat on occasion before their voices could be heard.

In the courtroom, the prosecutors sat to the right at three long tables. On the left, there were six long tables, the final one unused. At the end of each table, a detainee sat, in a white prison uniform. Only one, Mr. Shibh, was shackled to the floor.

Mr. Mohammed, who is sometimes known as K.S.M., was at the first table. He could not, he explained, work easily with lawyers trained in the American legal system, which he described as evil. “They allow same sexual marriage,” he said, “and many things are very bad.”

He held his own in rapid fire back-and-forth with the judge dealing with the particulars of the proceedings, but then would retreat into another world. When Judge Kohlmann explained the risks of going through a death penalty case without a lawyer, Mr. Mohammed answered: “Nothing shall befall us, save what Allah has ordained for us.”

    Arraigned, 9/11 Defendants Talk of Martyrdom, NYT, 6.6.2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/06/washington/06gitmo.html






US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships

· Report says 17 boats used
· MPs seek details of UK role
· Europe attacks 42-day plan


Monday June 2 2008
The Guardian
Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor


The United States is operating "floating prisons" to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.

Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.

Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.

The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.

It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US.

According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as "floating prisons" since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.

Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.

Reprieve will raise particular concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 conducting maritime security operations in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists.

At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were "disappeared" to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantánamo Bay.

Reprieve believes prisoners may have also been held for interrogation on the USS Ashland and other ships in the Gulf of Aden during this time.

The Reprieve study includes the account of a prisoner released from Guantánamo Bay, who described a fellow inmate's story of detention on an amphibious assault ship. "One of my fellow prisoners in Guantánamo was at sea on an American ship with about 50 others before coming to Guantánamo ... he was in the cage next to me. He told me that there were about 50 other people on the ship. They were all closed off in the bottom of the ship. The prisoner commented to me that it was like something you see on TV. The people held on the ship were beaten even more severely than in Guantánamo."

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve's legal director, said: "They choose ships to try to keep their misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers. We will eventually reunite these ghost prisoners with their legal rights.

"By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been 'through the system' since 2001. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them."

Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, called for the US and UK governments to come clean over the holding of detainees.

"Little by little, the truth is coming out on extraordinary rendition. The rest will come, in time. Better for governments to be candid now, rather than later. Greater transparency will provide increased confidence that President Bush's departure from justice and the rule of law in the aftermath of September 11 is being reversed, and can help to win back the confidence of moderate Muslim communities, whose support is crucial in tackling dangerous extremism."

The Liberal Democrat's foreign affairs spokesman, Edward Davey, said: "If the Bush administration is using British territories to aid and abet illegal state abduction, it would amount to a huge breach of trust with the British government. Ministers must make absolutely clear that they would not support such illegal activity, either directly or indirectly."

A US navy spokesman, Commander Jeffrey Gordon, told the Guardian: "There are no detention facilities on US navy ships." However, he added that it was a matter of public record that some individuals had been put on ships "for a few days" during what he called the initial days of detention. He declined to comment on reports that US naval vessels stationed in or near Diego Garcia had been used as "prison ships".

The Foreign Office referred to David Miliband's statement last February admitting to MPs that, despite previous assurances to the contrary, US rendition flights had twice landed on Diego Garcia. He said he had asked his officials to compile a list of all flights on which rendition had been alleged.

CIA "black sites" are also believed to have operated in Thailand, Afghanistan, Poland and Romania.

In addition, numerous prisoners have been "extraordinarily rendered" to US allies and are alleged to have been tortured in secret prisons in countries such as Syria, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.

    US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships, G, 2.6.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/02/usa.humanrights






States Chafing at U.S. Focus on Terrorism


May 26, 2008
The New York Times


Juliette N. Kayyem, the Massachusetts homeland security adviser, was in her office in early February when an aide brought her startling news. To qualify for its full allotment of federal money, Massachusetts had to come up with a plan to protect the state from an almost unheard-of threat: improvised explosive devices, known as I.E.D.’s.

“I.E.D.’s? As in Iraq I.E.D.’s?” Ms. Kayyem said in an interview, recalling her response. No one had ever suggested homemade roadside bombs might begin exploding on the highways of Massachusetts. “There was no new intelligence about this,” she said. “It just came out of nowhere.”

More openly than at any time since the Sept. 11 attacks, state and local authorities have begun to complain that the federal financing for domestic security is being too closely tied to combating potential terrorist threats, at a time when they say they have more urgent priorities.

“I have a healthy respect for the federal government and the importance of keeping this nation safe,” said Col. Dean Esserman, the police chief in Providence, R.I. “But I also live every day as a police chief in an American city where violence every day is not foreign and is not anonymous but is right out there in the neighborhoods.”

The demand for plans to guard against improvised explosives is being cited by state and local officials as the latest example that their concerns are not being heard, and that federal officials continue to push them to spend money on a terrorism threat that is often vague. Some $23 billion in domestic security financing has flowed to the states from the federal government since the Sept. 11 attacks, but authorities in many states and cities say they have seen little or no intelligence that Al Qaeda, or any of its potential homegrown offshoots, has concrete plans for an attack.

Local officials do not dismiss the terrorist threat, but many are trying to retool counterterrorism programs so that they focus more directly on combating gun violence, narcotics trafficking and gangs — while arguing that these programs, too, should qualify for federal financing, on the theory that terrorists may engage in criminal activity as a precursor to an attack.

Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security secretary, said in an interview that his department had tried to be flexible to accommodate local needs.

“We have not been highly restrictive,” Mr. Chertoff said. But he said the department’s programs were never meant to assist local law enforcement agencies in their day-to-day policing. The requirements of the Homeland Security programs had helped strengthen the country against an attack, Mr. Chertoff said, expressing concern about shifting money to other law enforcement problems from counterterrorism. “If we drop the barrier and start to lose focus,” he said, “we will make it easier to have successful attacks here.”

Local officials have long groused that Homeland Security grants seemed mismatched with local needs and that the agency’s requirements failed to recognize regional differences. After Hurricane Katrina struck Gulf Coast states in 2005, federal authorities demanded that cities come up with evacuation plans, even on the West Coast where earthquakes, not hurricanes, are a threat.

Most of the $23 billion in federal grants has been spent shoring up local efforts to prevent, prepare for and ferret out a possible attack. Because official post-9/11 critiques found huge gaps in communication and coordination, billions of dollars have been spent linking federal law enforcement and intelligence authorities to the country’s more than 750,000 police officers, sheriffs and highway patrol officers. Many Homeland Security-financed “fusion centers,” designed to collect and analyze data to deter terrorist attacks, have evolved into what are known as “all-crimes” or “all-hazards” operations, branching out from terrorism to focus on violent crime and natural disasters.

Intelligence officials assert that Al Qaeda remains intent on striking inside the United States. The Seattle chief of police, R. Gil Kerlikowske, said, “If the law enforcement focus at the local level is only on counterterrorism, you will be unable as a local entity to sustain it unless you are an all-crimes operation, and you may be missing some very significant issues that could be related to terrorism.”

Chief Kerlikowske is president of a group of police chiefs from major cities who said in a report last week that local governments were being forced to spend increasingly scarce resources because, they say, Homeland Security did not pay for all the costs. “Most local governments move law enforcement, counterterrorism and intelligence programs down on the priority list because their municipality has not yet been directly affected by an attack,” the report said.

Seattle has experienced its own terrorism scares since 9/11, after photographs of the Space Needle were recovered in 2002 from suspected Qaeda safe houses in Afghanistan. The city had another jolt last year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation sought the public’s help in locating two men “exhibiting unusual behavior” on a ferry. Neither episode proved an actual threat.

In the case of this year’s focus on improvised explosives, the main killer of American troops in Iraq, Homeland Security officials say the attention to the domestic threat stems from a classified strategy that President Bush approved last year that is designed to help the country to deter and defeat I.E.D.’s before terrorists can detonate them here.

The administration is completing a plan to assign specific training, prevention and response duties to several federal agencies, including the F.B.I. and Homeland Security, the officials said. But they also said that state advisers misunderstood the financing guidelines, and that states could also meet the requirement by improving their overall preparedness against a range of undefined terrorist threats.

State officials say the federal government issued the grant requirement without providing any new information pointing to the danger of bomb threats in the United States — an approach they said underscored the glaring disconnect between how states and the federal government view the terrorist threat.

“I.E.D. detection, protection, and prevention is an important issue, and we all need to be looking at that,” Matthew Bettenhausen, California’s homeland security director, said in a telephone interview. But, he said of the grant requirement: “It’s another thing to be so prescriptive; that came as a surprise to many of us states.”

Maj. Gen. Tod M. Bunting, the homeland security director for Kansas, said Washington ran the risk of raising undue public alarm by prescribing such a large part of the grant to bomb prevention.

“A federal cookie-cutter mandate doesn’t work on every state,” said General Bunting, who is also the state’s adjutant general.

Leesa Berens Morrison, Arizona’s homeland security director, said the new federal guidance “absolutely surprised us,” and said state officials were scrambling to comply.

In Massachusetts, Ms. Kayyem regarded a potential grant this year of $20 million in federal homeland security money as too important to pass up, even though she said that technically one-quarter of it had to be spent on I.E.D.’s to qualify for the money. So, Massachusetts officials wrote a creative proposal, pledging to upgrade bomb squads in many of the state’s 351 cities and towns. It also proposed buying new hazardous-material suits, radios to communicate between law enforcement agencies and explosive-detection devices.

But Ms. Kayyem acknowledged that much of the equipment was chosen to serve double duty. Hazmat suits could be useful in the event of a bombing, but would be even more help with accidents that state officials regarded as much more probable, like chemical spills on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The grant was approved by federal authorities, but Mr. Chertoff warned: “There are times when you get so far away from the core purpose that it’s hard to justify the grant money.”

In one effort to crack down on what Mr. Chertoff referred to as “mission creep,” Homeland Security officials last year imposed restrictions on use of a heavy truck by the police in Providence, R.I.

The truck had been bought with federal counterterrorism money, based on a plan that it be used to haul a patrol boat used for port security. But when the Police Department began to use the truck instead to pull a horse trailer, federal authorities sought to draw the line, relenting only after local officials protested in a phone call with Washington, said local and federal officials.

Eric Schmitt reported from Boston, Phoenix and Topeka, Kan.;

and David Johnston from Washington.

States Chafing at U.S. Focus on Terrorism, NYT, 26.5.2008,




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