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July 2, 2004
Notes from the Pentagon

Missile test
North Korea test-fired a cruise missile June 23, the latest sign of the reclusive communist state's continuing missile development.

Data from the cruise missile test still are being evaluated, said a U.S. official familiar with the test. The missile was fired from a mobile launcher near the coastal town of Tanchon in northeastern North Korea. It flew into the East Sea/Japan Sea.

The missile is believed to be a new North Korean anti-ship cruise missile, believed to have a range of 100 miles, that has been tested several times in the past.

Shaw vindicated
The Los Angeles Times reported June 23 that John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, "is under investigation by the FBI" for his role in an Iraq telecommunications contract.

Not true, says a Justice Department spokesman. "Nobody here's heard of the guy," said the spokesman who checked thoroughly with each division of the department.

Is the FBI conducting its own investigation outside the Justice Department? No, said an FBI spokesman. Any referral from the Pentagon inspector general for a senior official would first have to be sent to Justice.

A report by Mr. Shaw, who has served in the Commerce and State departments, states that the now-disbanded Coalition Provisional Authority failed to stop a financial associate of Saddam Hussein, Nadhmi Auchi, of bribing Iraqi, U.S. and British officials in winning contracts for cellular phones throughout Iraq.

The FBI is conducting a preliminary inquiry of that matter, U.S. officials said.

Terrorism exhibit
Former Weather Underground member Bernadine Dohrn says in a video interview being shown at the International Spy Museum that she and other radicals of the 1970s were not terrorists.

"We were not terrorists," said Mrs. Dohrn, who gave up to federal authorities in 1980 after 10 years of hiding from police.

Mrs. Dohrn instead said she and other like-minded left-wing activists who set off 22 bombs during a six-year period, killing three of their own members in a New York town house, were only "American radicals."

Mrs. Dohrn, who pleaded guilty to four state charges in 1981 related to anti-war protests, said in the video that the goal of the Weather Underground was to end the Vietnam conflict by "bringing the war home" to the United States.

The new exhibit highlights the history of terrorism and sabotage in the United States. It includes the 1776 plot to kidnap George Washington, to raids against communist immigrants in the 1920s, to the war on terrorism after September 11.

"The idea was to illustrate in the past when Americans had known terror," said Peter Earnest, the Spy Museum executive director. "It also shows the growth of our society and how we tried to counter that threat."

One Defense Department film from the 1950s shows how the Pentagon was involved in U.S. efforts against subversion. The short film "The Commies are Coming" is hosted by "Dragnet" actor Jack Webb and features an American who has a nightmare dream where the United States is taken over by the Soviet Union, including soldiers in Russian uniforms and the takeover of churches. It ends with the film's hero waking up.

Clarke and al Qaeda
Former Vice President Al Gore is not the only former Clinton administration official to criticize President Bush for touting an al Qaeda-Saddam Hussein link. Richard A. Clarke is doing the same thing.

It should be noted that it was the Clinton administration that first publicly made the link in a 1998 Justice Department indictment of Osama bin Laden, and then a second time to justify the 1998 bombing of the al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

When launching his anti-Bush book March 21, here is what former national security aide Mr. Clarke said on "60 Minutes" to Lesley Stahl:

Mrs. Stahl: Was there any connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda?

Mr. Clarke: Were they cooperating? No

. Mrs. Stahl: Was Iraq supporting al Qaeda?

Mr. Clarke: No. There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda ever.

But when Mr. Clarke was not selling books and worked in the Clinton White House, he said this to The Washington Post in 1999 to justify the al Shifa bombing.

The Post article said, "Clarke said that the U.S. government is 'sure' that Iraqi nerve gas experts actually produced a powdered VX-like substance at the plant that, when mixed with bleach and water, would have become fully active VX nerve gas. Clarke said U.S. intelligence does not know how much of the substance was produced at al Shifa or what happened to it. But he said that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to al Shifa's current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts and the National Islamic Front in Sudan.

"Given the evidence presented to the White House before the airstrike, Clarke said, the president 'would have been derelict in his duties if he didn't blow up the facility.' "

Jed Babbin, a columnist for the National Review online and a TV military analyst, is out with a book this week that takes the United Nations to task.

The Regnery publication, "Inside the Asylum: Why the U.N. and Old Europe are Worse Than You Think," charges that the international body has become a tool of terrorists and outlaw nations.

"The U.N. preaches loudly that every state should fight against terrorism, but what does it do?" writes Mr. Babbin, a former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of President George Bush. "It routinely cooperates with terrorists. According to a previously undisclosed CIA report drafted in 1998, some of these [nongovernmental organizations] are known to be connected to terrorist organizations."

One of Mr. Babbin's ideas is to set up alternatives to the United Nations through which the United States can conduct foreign policy. There is already one example: Last year, President Bush announced the Proliferation Security Initiative under which 11 nations agreed to work outside the United Nations to counter proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

"The U.N.'s efforts in arms control are a clear failure," Mr. Babbin said.

  • Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough are Pentagon reporters. Gertz can be reached at 202/636-3274 or by e-mail at Scarborough can be reached at 202/636-3208 or by e-mail at

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