2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Bush allows Rice to testify on 9-11 NEWs IN BRIEF,
HEADLINES FROM AROU
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Bush agreed yesterday to do what he
had insisted for weeks he would not:
allow National Security Adviser Con-
doleezza Rice to testify publicly and
under oath before an independent
panel investigating the Sept. 11 terror-
The White House also agreed that
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney
would answer questions - together, in
private - before the entire commission.
The turnabout reflected administra-
tion concern that the president's
strongest point with voters - his lead-
ership in the war on terror - could be
eroded if the high-publicity dispute
over Rice's testimony lingered.
"I've ordered this level of coopera-
tion because I consider it necessary to
gaining a complete picture of the
months and years that preceded the
murder of our fellow citizens on Sept.
11, 2001," Bush said.
"Our nation must never forget the
loss or the lessons of September the
11th, and we must never assume that
the danger has passed," he said in short
remarks in the White House briefing
room. He took no questions.
The commission's Republican chair-
man, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas
Kean, welcomed the decision and said
the White House shouldn't be con-
cerned that the testimony would vio-
late the principles of executive
privilege or separation of powers.
"We recognize the fact that this is an
extraordinary event," Kean said. "This
does not set a precedent." He said there
was still no time set - either for
Rice's public testimony or for Bush
and Cheney's private appearance.
Administration officials said her
appearance probably would come at
the end of next week.
Bush is staking much of his re-elec-
tion bid on his performance as presi-
dent after the 2001 attacks.
But former Bush counterterrorism
adviser Richard Clarke - in a best-
selling book and testimony before the
Sept. 11 commission last week - con-
tended the president had been slow to
act against al-Qaida before the attacks
and compromised the anti-terror battle
afterward by going to war in Iraq.
Opinion polls suggest support for
Bush's handling of the war on terror
has declined. Two surveys out this
week show the president's approval rat-
ings on that issue are now in the high
50 percent range after being in the
mid-60s for months.
Although the erosion has not hurt
Bush in one-on-one polling against
Democratic rival John Kerry, the
White House saw a brewing problem.
It waged a vigorous counterattack
on Clarke's credibility. But the many
hours Rice spent rebutting Clarke in
the news media only raised anew the
criticism of the White House refusal to
let her testify publicly.
. MADRID, Spain
Spain names group responsible for attack
The Spanish government named a Moroccan extremist group linked to al-Qaida
as the main focus of the Madrid bombing probe and said yesterday that investigators
were making swift progress.
The Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, forerunner of a group blamed for last
year's suicide bombings in Casablanca, is now the "priority" Interior Minister Angel
Acebes said - a reversal of the government's initial statements that the prime sus-
pects were Basque separatists.
"Other options are not being ruled out, but primarily the investigation is going to
go in this direction," Acebes told reporters.
The group had surfaced in Spanish news reports, but this was the first time a
Spanish government official publicly identified it as the focus of investigation into
the March 11 commuter train bombings.
Acebes said witness testimony and the discovery of a rural house where the
attackers were believed to have assembled the backpack bombs used in the attacks
have led investigators closer to unraveling the plot behind the bombings, which killed
191 people and wounded more than 1,800.
Police battle militants in Uzbekistan's capital
Gunfire and explosions resounded in the capital yesterday as Uzbek forces bat-
tled for hours with suspected Islamic militants after two more suicide attacks.
Officials claimed 20 terrorists and three police died in the fighting.
The bloodshed brought the death toll to 42 after three days of violence, the gov-
ernment said - the most serious unrest in the country since Uzbekistan let hun-
dreds of U.S. troops use a base near the Afghan border after the Sept. 11 attacks.
All of this week's attacks appeared to target Uzbek authorities.
The clashes yesterday were centered in the Yalangach neighborhood, just outside
the city limits off the road heading to the official home of President Islam Karimov.
An Associated Press reporter saw four separate sites of fighting in the district:
remnants from two suicide bombings on roads, a burned-out building pockmarked
with bullet holes and the bodies of at least five suspects splayed out in front of an
apartment house. The Interior Ministry said in an statement read on state-run tele-
vision that 20 terrorists and three police were killed in the confrontations that
began about 7:20 a.m., while five other police were wounded.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice listens as President Bush speaks to
reporters at the end of a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
Even Republicans began saying the
administration's argument on separa-
tion of powers should be tossed aside.
Commissioner Slade Gorton, a for-
mer Republican senator from Wash-
ington state, said he was delighted at
Bush's change of heart, but he added:
"I think the White House would have
been better off if it had made the
Bush has reversed himself in the
face of political realities on several
previous occasions, especially on the
subject of the Sept. 11 commission.
Most recently, the administration,
which had wanted to restrict any
access to the president by the panel to
just one hour, relaxed that limit.
Continued from Page
But, in an effort to stop the case
from reaching the appeals court,
Washington will file a motion to
dismiss the trial because the attor-
ney general has not formally con-
sulted with his clients, the board
members, on his decision to appeal.
Opponents say Cox's based his
decision on his desire to act on his
own beliefs. Cox is against racial
"Cox is acting on his personal,
political agenda," BAMN national
organizer Luke Massie said.
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
at the University of Michigan presents
Color-Blind Affirmative Action
Dr. Glenn Loury
Professor of Economics
Dr. Loury is the author of The Anatomy
of Racial Inequality, (Harvard
University Press, 2002).
March 31, 2004
Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room
530 S. State Street
Ann Arbor Michigan
Research paper available at
But Matt Davis, spokesman for
the attorney general, said Cox did
not decide to appeal because of
MCRI's proposal to end racial pref-
erences. Since Thursday's ruling
invalidated the petition form based
on a formatting issue and not on
principle, Cox is defending the
board on technical grounds, Davis
Members of the board also sup-
ported Cox's decision to appeal,
even though they were not formally
"The appeal flows naturally from
our underlying decision," Republi-
can canvasser Eric Pelton said. To
let a circuit court decision stand, he
said, would be unprecedented.
Republican canvasser Kathy
DeGrow said she had no opinion on
the decision to appeal but stands by
her vote to approve the MCRI peti-
tion, as does Pelton.
The board is a four person, bipar-
tisan body that approves the format
of petitions based on Michigan law.
Three of the board members
approved the MCRI petition in
December, while one abstained.
As it stands, Manderfield's ruling
could hamper MCRI's campaign. If
the appeal fails, the ruling would
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require MCRI to redo its petition
form and start its campaign over,
losing two months of petitioning.
For the initiative to reach the ballot,
MCRI would have to again seek the
MCRI campaign manager Tim
O'Brien said before the campaign
began, MCRI lawyers anticipated
such efforts to hamper the initiative.
But because MCRI claims the
amendment does not alter the con-
stitution, it intentionally omitted the
existing article from its form.
O'Brien said the initiative volun-
tarily sought the board's approval
and noted that it was not required.
Manderfield's decision, he said,
amounts to little more than a public
relations disaster for MCRI.
"It really had no legal impact on
us," O'Brien said. "We didn't need
MCRI has no plans to change the
form of its petition, O'Brien said, and it
urges all petitioners to continue collect-
ing signatures. The group will submit its
signatures in "full confidence" that they
will pass legal muster.
But the group's opponents dis-
agree. "It is obvious that it's an
attempt to deceive the public,"
Washington said. Manderfield also
wrote that the current petition
leaves the public ill-informed.
MCRI campaign faces a number of
other challenges in its drive to elimi-
nate race-conscious policies. The
group seeks 400,000 to 425,000 sig-
natures by June 15 - mainly to
ensure that most signatures are valid.
MCRI is also trying to raise $4 mil-
lion for the campaign.
Campaign officials said they are
unaware of the number of signa-
tures collected. It is also unknown
how much money the group has
British police capture
eight in terrorist hunt
Police arrested eight men and seized
half a ton .of ammonium nitrate, a fertil-
izer compound used in the Oklahoma
City bombing, in raids by hundreds of
officers - one of the biggest anti-ter-
rorism operations in Britain since the
Sept. 11 attacks.
Home Secretary David Blunkett,
who has warned for months that Lon-
don is a prime terrorist target, said the
arrests yesterday were a "timely
reminder" of the threat from al-Qaida.
But a Muslim leader warned that the
headline-grabbing dawn raids risked
demonizing the whole community.
Press Association, the British news
agency, said all eight were of Pakistani
descent, but police would not comment.
Eight suspects were picked up in Lon-
don and towns to the south and west on
suspicion of involvement in the "com-
mission, preparation or instigation" of
acts of terrorism, London's Metropolitan
LA PAZ, Bolivia
Man detonates bomb
in Bolivian congress
An angry miner with dynamite
strapped to his chest blew himself up
inside Bolivia's congress yesterday,
also killing two police officers, author-
La Paz Police Chief Guido Arandia
said the man - whose demand for early
retirement benefits underscored the
grievances of many low-paid miners in
Bolivia - stormed into congress around
midday and went to a part of the building
away from the congressional chambers.
The miner detonated his vest laced
with at least five sticks of dynamite
as congressional security police tried
to negotiate, killing himself and fatal-
ly wounding two of the police, Aran-
GAZA CITY, Gaza Stiip
Israel to dismantle
The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades warned
an American delegation yesterday not to
visit the Palestinian territories, accusing
the United States of bias in favor of
Israel. Hours later, some group members
backed down from the veiled threats.
Israel prepared to take down an unau-
thorized outpost in the West Bank. Israeli
security sources saidHazon David is one
of several such outposts to be dismantled
ahead of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's
trip to the United States next month.
The move appeared to be aimed at
building U.S. support for Sharon's plan
to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and
small parts of the West Bank. Sharon
plans to visit President Bush on April 14.
- Complied from Daily wire reports
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