ISSUE: #. 22. Feb. 24, 2002By Bill Weinberg
THIS WEEK: Ministry of Truth Unveiled, More Hot Enron Gossip, Anthrax Update!
THE AFGHANISTAN FRONT
1. US Bombs Warring Factions--and Admits It
2. UN Workers: Civilian Cars Targeted in Air-Strikes
3. US to Expand Afghanistan Commitment?
4. Locals Resist Forced Disarmament
5. Desperation Deepening in Rural Afghanistan
6. Proxy War with Iran?
7. RAWA Demands Warlords Stand Trial
8. Hekmatyar Woos Karzai--Or Vice Versa?
9. Update: Who Killed Adbul Rahman?
10. Seeds of Destabilization in Pakistan
11. Pakistan "Anti-Terrorist" Courts Face Protest
12. Cult Grows Around "Glowing" al-Qaeda Graves
13. Hollywood Gets in on the Act
THE WAR AT HOME
1. Earth Liberation Front: "Eco-Terrorists"?
ANTHRAX PARANOIA UPDATE
1. Does FBI Have Secret Suspect?
2. FDA Approves BioPort
WATCHING THE SHADOWS
1. Pentagon Unveils Orwellian Propaganda Office
2. Contragate Figure to Head New Pentagon Snoop Unit
3. Enron Board Overlaps With Private Spook Outfit
4. Enron in Uzbekistan
THE AFGHANISTAN FRONT
1. US BOMBS WARRING FACTIONS--AND ADMITS IT
The Pentagon's Afghanistan campaign has entered a new phase with bombing raids now being aimed at forces opposed to the interim government--but not linked to the Taliban or al-Qaeda. In a Feb. 19 statement, Pentagon Central Command said US aircraft had dropped precision-guided missiles on forces hostile to the interim regime of Hamid Karzai near the southeastern city of Khost. The New York Times said details of the air strikes remained scant. A US Centcom statement said the strikes had been requested by "pro-government forces" after "enemy troops" fired on them as they attempted to pass a roadblock. It gave no more information about the identity of either party. Newspaper accounts cited a claim by local Afghan commanders that the incident stemmed from a clash between two tribal militias--from the Kochi and Gorboz clans. The Khost region is one of several in the country where rival warlords are clashing. Pasha Khan Zadran and Zakim Khan Zadran (who are from the same tribe but otherwise unrelated) have carved out separate strongholds and recruited fighters to their cause, including many former Taliban loyalists. Local clans are choosing sides in the contest for the region. Kabul and the US are said to be backing Pasha Khan Zadran. (See WW3 REPORT # 20)
Karzai openly called for a greater US military commitment to his regime this week: "If the security situation in Afghanistan does not improve further, we will make sure the international security forces are asked, together with the Afghan forces, to take a stronger role. I will ask for every measure to bring security to the Afghan people." Richard Myers, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this week that the US military campaign to date was "just the beginning." He said the hunt was still on for Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leadership--as were efforts to "make the situation more secure." (UK Independent, Feb. 20)
2. UN WORKERS: CIVILIAN CARS TARGETED IN AIR-STRIKES[top]
The US bombing of fuel trucks, part of the effort to drive the Taliban from their Kandahar stronghold in Nov. and Dec., was apparently far more extensive and indiscriminate than previously reported. In addition to 160 tankers and trucks, some 210 cars were destroyed, according to a tally by UN workers based on interviews with local motorists and the truck-drivers union. The report did not attempt to estimate civilian deaths. The strikes also reportedly continued well beyond the time the Taliban was routed from the area. "From a human rights point of view, what happened was outrageous," said Leslie Oqvist, the UN regional coordinator in southern Afghanistan, protesting that US officials "have justified everything on the 3,000-plus killed in New York." Countered US Central Command spokesperson Sgt. Major Richard Czizik: "I don't think there has been anything from our standpoint to re-look at it, unless a formal complaint was raised. Every effort is made to protect the lives of noncombatants, but in every military operation there is always the possibility of civilians getting killed." (Boston Globe, Feb. 19)
3. US TO EXPAND AFGHANISTAN COMMITMENT?
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who has long argued against a peacekeeping mission for US troops in Afghanistan, refused on Feb. 21 to rule out any US role in Afghanistan--including the possibility of sending up to 30,000 soldiers to "police the whole country." In a press briefing, Rumsfeld said a Pentagon assessment team is considering four options for bringing order to Afghanistan--a US occupation of the country, the US and its allies dividing the country into occupation zones, expanding the UK-led peacekeeping force now in Kabul to police the entire country, and grooming an Afghan security force to police the country. "Which way is the best way? I don't know," Rumsfeld said. "Which way is the fastest way? I don't know. What I think when we finally hear back from the assessment team, I don't know." (AP, Feb. 22)[top]
4. LOCALS RESIST FORCED DISARMAMENT
One person was killed and another was seriously injured when fighting erupted between locals and forces of Kandahar governor Gul Agha attempting to disarm the population in Weesh, near the border town of Chaman Feb. 21. "A group of local people refused to hand over their weapons and resisted, which resulted in fighting," said Zalmay Khan, spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Office in Pakistan, adding that Gul Agha was not ready to compromise on the recovery of illegal weapons. (Dawn, Feb. 21)[top]
5. DESPERATION DEEPENING IN RURAL AFGHANISTAN
In the drought-stricken village of Kharistan, high in the mountains of western Afghanistan, desperate families are marrying off their daughters--as young as 10--to buy food. "My brother and sisters were hungry--we didn't have any choice, that's why they gave me away to marriage," explained a 12-year-old girl named Gholshah. "At the time I didn't say anything to my dad because my sisters were hungry. We were desperate--my sister was fainting from hunger." She said she was 10 when her father told her she was to be married. He was given $90. When she is 14 she will join her husband, and her father will get another $180. Of the 100 families that once lived in Kharistan only 40 remain--the others have been driven by hunger to the refugee camp at Maslak, 100 miles away, where the UN provides minimal food, and which now holds some 300,000. One in every two children in Afghanistan is malnourished, and one in four is destined to die from preventable causes before the age of five. (BBC, Feb. 22)
6. PROXY WAR WITH IRAN?
US "intelligence agencies" have reportedly spotted scores of Iranian intelligence and military personnel deep inside Afghanistan working to destabilize the interim government, including agents from the Ministry of Intelligence & Security, and special forces troops from the Revolutionary Guards Corps. Some 300 Iranians are said to be operating around Mazar-i-Sharif, backing up a Shiite militia known as Sipha-i-Mohammed, whose members have reportedly trained with Hezbollah in Lebanon. "They are armed to the teeth, and they have lots of money to buy people off," said one US official. Zalmay Khalilzad, the Bush administration's special envoy to Afghanistan, said the White House had formally protested the subversion activities to Iran's Foreign Ministry. "We have given them [the Iranians] the information we have with regard to what we think is happening, particularly with regard to al-Qaeda presence in Iran and movement across Iran," Khalilzad told the BBC Feb. 15. One anonymous "US official" said Iran is collaborating with the Kabul government's defense minister, Gen. Abdul Qassim Fahim, who traveled recently to Iran. "He's using his partnership with Iranians, who are no longer opposing al-Qaeda and the Taliban, against his own rivals for power," the official said. (Washington Times, Feb. 19)[top]
7. RAWA DEMANDS WARLORDS STAND TRIAL
The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the martyrdom of their founder "Meena," demanded that the UN hold an inquiry into the criminal activities of Afghan warlords, charging them with having killed thousands of people and destroyed the country. The statement named several warlords--some in the interim regime, some in opposition to it, some from the routed Taliban, some from the Northern Alliance militias which control nearly half the country: "Gulbaddin, Rabbani, Sayyaf, Ahmad Shah Masood, Dostum, Mullah Omar and all the smaller Afghan warlords are war criminals and they should be tried by an impartial international judicial commission for their heinous and detestable activities pursued during the last 23 years." RAWA also accused foreign powers of backing criminal warlords for their own purposes: "Different people used the Afghan soil for the fulfillment of their hidden agenda. After the fall of the Taliban regime, the people hoped that they would see the dawn of their liberties, but it did not happen. The Bonn conference discouraged the Afghan people and shattered their dreams." RAWA especially singled out the Northern Alliance as the "cruel and inhuman group that raped and brutally killed thousands of innocent women" when its leaders held power in the mid-1990s. (The Statesman, India, Feb. 5)[top]
8. HEKMATYAR WOOS KARZAI--OR VICE VERSA?
Next week, interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai is to visit China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Iran--where ultra-fundamentalist rebel warlord Gulbaddin Hekmatyar is still sheltered, despite the recent closing of his offices by Iranian authorities (see WW3 REPORT #21). Hekmatyar calls Karzai a US puppet and has threatened to lead an uprising against him. But some speculate that Karzai may seek to form an alliance with Hekmatyar--"in case he falls out with the forces that brought him under the shadow of B-52s to Kabul." (Frontier Post, Feb. 22) Soon after Tehran closed down the offices of Hekmatyar's Hizb-i-Islami organization, Hekmatyar reportedly sent a delegation to Kabul, headed by former Afghan deputy premier Qutubuddin Hilal. The delegation is said to have met with Karzai and offered Hekmatyar's cooperation if Karzai announced a date for the expulsion of foreign troops from Afghan soil, and pledged strict enforcement of Islamic law. Karzai reportedly agreed to both terms, but linked them to a condition of peace in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar is also said to have formed a strategic alliance with Karzai's interim Defense Minister, Gen. Qasim Fahim to oppose the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan and establish an alliance against the factions supporting former king Zahir Shah. (Asia Times, Feb. 20)[top]
9. UPDATE: WHO KILLED ABDUL RAHMAN?
Conspiracy theories are flying over the Feb. 14 slaying of Afghanistan's civil aviation minister Abdul Rahman at Kabul's airport (see WW3 REPORT #21). Rahman was initially said to have been beaten to death by pilgrims angered at being unable to get on flights to Mecca. But the Feb. 28 Far Eastern Economic Review claims "Rahman was stabbed to death by intelligence officials of the Jamiat-i-Islami faction of the Northern Alliance--who also happened to be officials of the interim government. Rahman had been a leading member of Jamiat before 1996, when he left after differences with its former leader, Ahmad Shah Masoud. Some of the killers were camouflaged within a group of 800 Afghan pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the haj, who were castigating Rahman on the tarmac for long delays in their flights." As for the motive: "Rahman was an ardent supporter of former King Zahir Shah and was preparing the ground for the king's return to Kabul from exile in Rome in March." One "senior Afghan official in Kabul" was quoted as saying: "The murder was clearly intended to warn off Zahir Shah and even other expatriate Afghans from returning home." The article also notes that "an aide to the former king, Zalmai Rassoul, has been appointed to replace Rahman." Karzai admitted to reporters Feb. 15 that Rahman "was killed by people who planned it and...some of those people were working for the Afghan security forces." He did attempt to quiet the conspiracy theories, claiming the murder was done "for personal reasons." But tensions between Pashtun monarchists and Tajik Jamiat-i-Islami loyalists are evident: "In two raucous cabinet meetings, ministers loyal to Zahir Shah demanded that their Jamiat bodyguards be replaced by international peacekeepers."
The article noted that the Jamiat--"the most powerful faction in the interim government, controlling the ministries of defense, foreign affairs and internal security"--did denounce the murder, and order the arrests of three of its own security officials. "The three absconding perpetrators were all Panjshiri Tajiks, the key Tajik clan that dominates the Jamiat under the command of Panjshiri Defense Minister Gen. Mohammed Fahim." Sources in Kabul told the Review that on Feb. 16, Fahim offered his resignation to Karzai, who refused to accept it. Karzai has appointed two cabinet ministers to investigate the murder--one allied with Zahir Shah. Some cabinet ministers fear that if the investigation implicates Fahim, the split between the Northern Alliance ministers and their rivals--Karzai and the Zahir Shah loyalists--could deepen.[top]
10. SEEDS OF DESTABILIZATION IN PAKISTAN
The case of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped in Pakistan last month and is now believed to be dead, may point to a violent backlash against military ruler Pervez Musharraf's crack-down on militant Islamic groups his regime once cultivated. (See WW3 REPORT #21) Last month, many of the groups were banned by decree under US pressure, and this week Musharraf purged two units and thousands of agents from his powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), for their links to the militants. The New York Times reported Feb. 20 that 4,000 agents were purged from ISI, which is estimated to have a total force of 10,000. Some 2,000 Islamic militants have been arrested. But the Pearl kidnapping and this week's foiled rocket attack on US Air Force hangars at Karachi airport may indicate that "Pakistani radicals, clerics, terrorists, and perhaps even rogue members of Pakistan's own intelligence agencies, have gone underground to regroup," the Christian Science Monitor reported Feb. 22. "It's a tremendous act of defiance," said Rifaat Hussein, a political scientist at Quaid-I-Azam University in Islamabad, speaking of the Pearl case. "Despite all the punishment they have gotten and the arrests, [militant groups] still are capable of doing something like this." Hussein said he didn't believe the arrested suspect, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, acted alone. "Obviously, there's a much larger chain of people involved in this kidnapping," he said. "These are biological self-producing cells." [top]
11. PAKISTAN "ANTI-TERRORIST" COURTS FACE PROTEST
Including military officers in panels of judges to try "terrorist" offences will undermine the independence of the judiciary, said Amnesty International, urging Pakistan's government to withdraw this provision of the country's newly amended anti-terrorism law. (See WW3 REPORT #21) The new anti-terrorist law replaces the old one of 1997 which Pakistan's Supreme Court had declared unconstitutional. Amnesty says the new provisions "still fail to provide a fair trial." Dozens of people have been tried and convicted under special "anti-terrorist" courts, before and since the revision. Amnesty protests that the quasi-military tribunals contravene Principle 5 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, endorsed by the General Assembly in 1985. The revised law came into force on Jan. 31, and will remain in force until Nov. 30, but may be extended. (Amnesty International press release, Feb. 4)[top]
12. CULT GROWS AROUND "GLOWING" AL-QAEDA GRAVES
Local police are cracking down on a shrine that has grown up around the graves of al-Qaeda fighters at a Kandahar cemetery, saying it is being abused by charlatans promising supernatural cures and miracles. Police told Reuters Feb. 19 they had carried out several raids on the grave site in a windswept corner of a vast burial ground on Kandahar's eastern edge, in an effort to prevent pro-Taliban residents from gathering there. "One man buried electric bulbs in the graves and told people it was magical light that could heal them," one senior police official said. "He has been arrested. We respect the graves but we do not respect such people." Over 80 Arab, Pakistani and Chechen fighters from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network are buried at the site under simple earth mounds marked with stones. Colored flags inscribed with Koranic verses have been placed on the mounds. "The police have told people not to come, but we are still coming," said Aziz Mohammad, an elderly white-bearded Afghan at the grave site. "Handicapped people and sick people have been cured by coming here. This is a holy place."[top]
13. HOLLYWOOD GETS IN ON THE ACT
The increasingly blurred line between war and show-biz vanished completely with Pentagon confirmation that it has given two Hollywood producers the OK to shoot a prime-time "reality TV" series about the War on Terrorism. Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of "Black Hawk Down" and "Pearl Harbor," has the "unparalleled support" of the Defense Department for the project, which will follow US troops on the ground in Afghanistan. The 13-part series, "Profiles from the Frontline," to be broadcast this year on ABC, will tell "the compelling personal stories of the US military men and women who bear the burden of this fighting," the producers said. It would be "patriotic in nature." The news that entertainment producers are to gain access to troops has fueled resentment among reporters covering the war. Two weeks ago, Washington Post reporter Doug Struck protested that a US soldier had threatened to shoot him for trying to gain access to the site of a controversial air-raid. Responding to criticisms that the Pentagon is seeking softer coverage, Central Command spokesperson Adm. Craig Quigley told the press: "There's a lot of other ways to convey information to the American people than through news organizations." (UK Guardian, Feb. 22)[top]
THE WAR AT HOME
1. EARTH LIBERATION FRONT: "ECO-TERRORISTS"?
FBI counter-terrorism chief James Jarboe told a House Committee last week that the radical environmentalist Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF) have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the US since 1996, resulting in more than $43 million in damages. The press coverage of his testimony uncritically accepted the FBI's label of "eco-terrorist" for ELF/ALF. The Feb. 15 Christian Science Monitor noted that ELF's website boasts of "direct actions"on behalf of "animal liberation"and "earth liberation"--137 illegal acts in 2001 alone, including a fire at a new University of Minnesota Microbial & Plant Genomics Research Center, and tree-spikings in the Idaho's Nez Perce National Forest. While the website offers how-to manuals on "Setting Fires With Electrical Timers,"it also claims ELF is engaged in "a nonviolent campaign, activists taking all precautions not to harm any animal (human or otherwise)."The Monitor concedes: "Over the years, no one has been killed in any eco-terrorist 'action.' But officials reject the claim that ELF/ALF is 'nonviolent.'" Note that ELF's terminology "action"and "nonviolent"are in quotes, but not the FBI's terminology "eco-terrorist."
The article quoted Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO), who said, "It's just a matter of time before a human life is taken." McInnis' district includes Vail, where ELF burned down a ski resort construction site in 1998, allegedly causing $12 million in damages. The Monitor also claims a firefighter was injured in the Vail fire, but this appears to be misinformation--or disinformation. Even the pro-property rights website Vandalwatch.org, which refers to ELF as an "underground terrorist group," makes no mention of any injuries in the Vail attack. The article also quoted Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA), who drew an explicit analogy between ELF and Osama bin Laden: "How best to deal with this home-grown brand of al-Qaeda? I propose that we use the model that has worked so well in Afghanistan. Cut off their funding. Give them no rest and no quarter." To the Monitor's credit, also quoted was Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), who took a different view of exactly what constitutes "eco-terrorism": "Robbing future generations of Americans of the splendor and grandeur of publicly-held natural resources is, in my book, a form of terrorism."
A Feb. 14 Wall Street Journal editorial referred to ELF as "the most dangerous homegrown terrorists we have" (while noting the irony that they are "fighting for the bunnies"). The editorial was entitled "Bombing in the name of 'Mother Earth' isn't cool." If ELF's claim to "nonviolence" is slightly disingenuous, setting fires is not exactly the same as "bombing." In any case, as Afghanistan demonstrates, bombing in the name of "national security" seems to be quite "cool."[top]
ANTHRAX PARANOIA UPDATE
1. DOES FBI HAVE SECRET SUSPECT?
An advocate for the control of biological weapons who has been tracking the investigation into the autumn anthrax attacks told a panel at Princeton University that the FBI has a prime suspect in the case. But the advocate, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Chemical & Biological Weapons Program, speculated the FBI is "dragging its feet" in pressing charges because the suspect is an ex-military scientist familiar with "secret activities that the government would not like to see disclosed." Rosenberg said the FBI has known of the suspect since Oct. and has already interrogated him. "There are a number of insiders--government insiders--who know people in the anthrax field who have a common suspect," Rosenberg said. "The FBI has questioned that person more than once...so it looks as though the FBI is taking that person very seriously." (NJ.com, Feb. 19)
The anthrax letters--sent to US Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, the New York Post, TV anchorman Tom Brokaw, and others--killed five people, infected 13 more and forced senators to evacuate their offices for over two months. Rosenberg said her evidence pointed to a man who probably worked at the US military lab at Fort Detrick, MD. He would have been vaccinated, and had access to classified information about modifying and isolating the spores. "We can draw a likely portrait of the perpetrator as a former Fort Detrick scientist who is now working for a contractor in the Washington DC area," she said. (UK Guardian, Feb. 20)
Other experts agreed that the perpetrator was likely a technician with government background. Arthur O. Anderson, chief of clinical pathology at the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), was amazed when he saw the anthrax sent to Sen. Daschle. "There was nothing there except spores," he told Salon. "Normally, if you take a crude preparation of anthrax spores, you see parts of degenerated bacteria. But this stuff was highly refined." David Franz, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq and bio-defense scientist at USAMRIID, who now works for the Southern Research Institute, a defense contractor, concurred: "Only a very small group of people could have made this. If you look at the sample from the standpoint of biology, it tells me this person was very good at what they do. And this wasn't the first batch they've made. They've done this for years. The concentration was a trillion spores per gram. That's incredibly concentrated." Incredibly, Salon noted, the FBI has not yet subpoenaed employee records of the labs where Ames-strain anthrax is worked with. (Salon, Feb. 8)[top]
2. FDA APPROVES BIOPORT
The FDA has cleared BioPort, the nation's sole maker of the anthrax vaccine, to begin shipping the inoculations after four years of factory violations that have stalled efforts to protect the military from bio-terrorism. The agency said BioPort's Michigan factory had met all federal requirements to resume production and shipment of anthrax vaccine to the Defense Department--which owns all of the shots the company produces. (See WW3 REPORT #15) "Yes, there was an important public health need to move forward on this," said FDA vaccine chief Dr. Kathryn Zoon. But, "I can assure you the agency did no shortcuts." The Pentagon has pledged to inoculate millions of troops, and has already vaccinated 500,000. But the program has been on hold since 1998, when BioPort bought the vaccine-producing lab in Lansing and renovated it--only to find that it failed to pass FDA muster. FDA inspectors found contamination, inadequate record-keeping and unapproved procedures. Several vaccine batches failed sterility tests. BioPort had to hire another factory, Hollister-Stier labs in Spokane, WA, to fill vaccine orders as its own procedures kept failing to make the FDA's grade. The anthrax vaccine has been controversial, with hundreds of soldiers having refused to take the shots, worried by complaints of chronic fatigue, memory loss and other side-effects. (AP, Jan. 31) [top]
WATCHING THE SHADOWS
1. PENTAGON UNVEILS ORWELLIAN PROPAGANDA OFFICE
A Feb. 19 front-page New York Times story announced in its lead paragraph: "The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said." The program, now awaiting presidential approval, would be led by the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), created shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks to shore up international support for the War on Terrorism. OSI chief Brig. Gen. Simon Worden said he envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use intentional disinformation to "white" propaganda relying on truthful news releases.[top]
2. CONTRAGATE FIGURE TO HEAD NEW PENTAGON SNOOP UNIT
The Pentagon has announced two new offices related to surveillance and intelligence analysis in the War on Terrorism--the Information Awareness Office (IAO) and Information Exploitation Office (IXO), charged, respectively, with developing new electronic espionage technologies and analyzing intercepted data. The two new offices, both under the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), will have a combined budget of $48 billion. The IAO is reportedly to be run by Reagan-era National Security Advisor John Poindexter, who was later recruited by defense contractor Syntek Technologies. As a Syntek vice-president, Poindexter helped develop "Genoa"--an "intelligence mining, information harvesting" system designed to secretly explore computer databases. Poindexter was sacked as NSC chief when the Iran-Contra scandal broke in 1986, and was later found to have been complicit in covering up the illegal arms-for-hostages deal by the Congressional committees charged with investigating the scandal. In 1989, an investigation by Costa Rica's National Assembly accused Poindexter and four other Reagan administration figures of running a cocaine-for-arms ring out of Costa Rican territory to aid the Nicaraguan "contra" guerillas. He is barred for life from entering Costa Rica. (UK Guardian, Feb. 18. See also: www.darpa.mil)[top]
3. ENRON BOARD OVERLAPS WITH PRIVATE SPOOK OUTFIT
Writer Larry Chin notes on Globalresearch.ca that Congressional investigators "quietly accepted" the testimony of Enron board member Herbert "Pug" Winokur, chairman of the company's finance committee--who blamed the rest of Enron management, and the auditors at Arthur Andersen, for deceiving him about the energy giant's imminent collapse. Chin states that Winokur is also the CEO of Capricorn Holdings, which is the lead investor in DynCorp, a military services contractor. Winokur was the chairman of DynCorp's board of directors from 1987 to 1997, and remains a DynCorp board member. DynCorp hires US military veterans for foreign operations which have been "out-sourced" by the Pentagon, and currently receives contracts from the State Department to fly anti-drug missions in guerilla-held territory in Colombia. Chin also claims DynCorp was involved in training the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) for the 1999 war in Yugoslavia. Ironically, before it was adopted as a US proxy force, the KLA had been accused of "terrorist acts" by State Department figures.[top]
4. ENRON IN UZBEKISTAN
As Texas governor, George Bush personally pushed Enron's business interests with the Uzbekistan ambassador, according to correspondence made public last week by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission and the George Bush Presidential Library under public information requests from the Houston Chronicle and other news organizations. Former Enron chairman Ken Lay faxed a "Dear George" letter to Bush on April 3, 1997, discussing Bush's planned meeting with Uzbekistan Ambassador Sadyq Safaev. "Enron has established an office in Tashkent and we are negotiating a $2 billion joint venture with Neftegas of Uzbekistan," Lay wrote. "This project can bring significant economic opportunities to Texas as well as Uzbekistan." Bush's calendar for April 8, 1997, shows he met with the ambassador for half an hour in the governor's office in Austin. Enron pulled out of its proposed deal with Uzbekistan in 1998, partly due to political unrest in neighboring Afghanistan. An Oct. 17, 1997 letter from Lay to Bush also thanked the Texas governor for pushing electric deregulation with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. "I very much appreciate your call to Governor Tom Ridge a few days ago," Lay wrote. "I am certain that will have a positive impact on the way he and others in Pennsylvania view our proposal to provide cheaper electricity to consumers in Philadelphia as well as to make it possible for open and fair competition at a much earlier date." The letter is stamped: "Governor has seen." Ridge now is Bush's Homeland Security Director. (Houston Chronicle, Feb. 19)[top]
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