2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 8, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) - Defending
his war policy, President Bush said yes-
terday that Iraq is making quiet, steady
progress in repairing its shattered econo-
my though reconstruction "has not always
gone as well as we had hoped" because of
"Rebuilding a nation devastated by a
dictator is a large undertaking," the presi-
dent said. "It's even harder when terrorists
are trying to blow up that which the Iraqis
are trying to build."
Bush spoke before the Council on
Foreign Relations in the second of four
addresses to answer criticism about
America's presence in Iraq, where the
U.S. death toll has eclipsed 2,100. Bush
is laboring under the lowest job approv-
al rating of his presidency, and the
speeches are part of a public relations
campaign in the run-up to the Dec. 15
vote in Iraq to create a democratically
elected government that will run the
country for the next four years
While not admitting errors, Bush spoke
about how the U.S. "adjusted its approach"
in helping rebuild Iraqi cities. In his speech
on Iraq last week, Bush talked about early
miscalculations that were made in train-
ing Iraqi forces. A majority of Americans
now say the war was a mistake, and crit-
ics of the administration's reconstruction
strategy say not enough has been done in
the nearly three years since the invasion to
reduce unemployment, step up oil produc-
tion and keep the lights on.
"The Iraqi people want jobs, security
and basic services, and the president's
words will continue to ring hollow until
these urgent needs are met," Sen. Edward
Kennedy (D-Mass), said. "Nearly half
of the funds appropriated by Congress
remain unspent and millions of dollars
have been lost to corruption."
The president said the U.S. has helped
Iraqis conduct nearly 3,000 renovation
projects at schools, train more than 30,000
teachers, distribute more than 8 million
textbooks, rebuild irrigation infrastructure
to help more than 400,000 rural Iraqis and
improve drinking water for more than 3
The U.S.-led coalition also has helped
Iraqis introduce a new currency, reopen
President Bush delivers a speech on the war in Iraq to the Council on For-
eign Relations yesterday in Washington.
a stock exchange and extend $21 million
in microcredit and small business loans to
Iraqi entrepreneurs, he said.
Bush cited Najaf, 90 miles south of
Baghdad, and Mosul in northern Iraq -
the stage for some of the bloodiest battles
of the war - as two cities where headway
is being made. In focusing on progress in
the two cities, however, Bush did not dwell
on violence-scarred cities like Baghdad or
western expanses that have been a gate-
way for foreign militants.
He said victory will be achieved when
insurgents and others seeking to derail
democracy in Iraq can no longer threat-
en the future of the nation, when Iraqi
security forces can safeguard their own
citizens and Iraq is not a haven for terror-
ists plotting attacks against the U.S. Yet,
Democrats argue that U.S. engagement
in Iraq is open-ended, costly in terms of
lives and dollars, and they say the presi-
dent refrains from giving the American
people an idea of when U.S. troops might
be able to return home.
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa) a longtime
hawk on military matters who now wants
U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq, said the
military has told him it plans to ask for
$100 billion more for the war next year.
That's in addition to the $50 billion that
Congress is expected to approve for this
year before adjourning, and the $200 bil-
lion that lawmakers already have given
the president for Iraq since 2003.
"It's been poor planning from the start,"
Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin
said "it would be premature" to discuss
next year's budget, which the adminis-
tration has not completed. Military com-
manders have told the administration
the next $50 billion should last through
Bush rebutted Democrats who want to
withdraw U.S. troops on a timetable. And
he criticized those such as Democratic
Party Chairman Howard Dean, who has
likened the war to Vietnam and has said,
"The idea that the United States is going to
win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong."
"There will be good days and there
will be bad days in this war," Bush said. "I
reject the pessimists in Washington who
say we can't win this war."
While the president focused on prog-
ress on the economic front, he admitted
that the U.S. has learned that to gain
control of Iraqi cities, it also has to win
the "battle after the battle" by helping
Iraqis consolidate their gains and keep
terrorists from returning.
"We found that after we left, the
terrorists would re-enter the city,
intimidate local leaders and police and
eventually retake control, so we adjust-
ed our approach," Bush said.
"As improvements in training pro-
duced more capable Iraqi security
forces, those forces have been able to
better hold onto the cities we cleared
Act not a
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The U.S. gov-
ernment's failure to convict a former
professor accused of being a key figure
in a Palestinian terrorist group suggests
the Patriot Act is not the "magic bullet"
some prosecutors thought it would be,
an expert says.
In a stunning blow to the govern-
ment, fired University of South Florida
professor Sami Al-Arian was acquit-
ted Tuesday of nearly half the charges
against him, and the jury deadlocked on
the rest. More than 80 witnesses testi-
fied during the five-month trial.
"I think it's a setback for the govern-
ment, and I think it might illustrate that
the Patriot Act might not be the magic
bullet prosecutors thought it was when it
was passed," said John Farmer, a former
New Jersey attorney general and federal
prosecutor who served on the commis-
sion that investigated the Sept. 11 terror-
Al-Arian's indictment in 2003 was
hailed by the government as a triumph of
the Patriot Act, which allowed secret wire-
taps and other intelligence collected over
nine years to be used to charge Al-Arian
and others with supporting the Palestinian
Islamic Jihad. Before the law, it was more
difficult for prosecutors to access informa-
tion gathered by intelligence agents.
The government said the law allowed
it to tear down the PIJ's North Ameri-
can cell and prosecute its leaders. Crit-
ics said the law allowed government
agents to overstep and persecute a man
who was merely a vocal activist for the
Farmer said the verdicts call into ques-
tion the ability of prosecutors to use secret-
ly gathered intelligence as evidence in a
criminal case. He noted that intelligence
investigations are not designed to provide
proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is
the standard in a criminal court.
"I think what this really signifies is that
the criminal law has significant weak-
nesses as a tool in fighting domestic ter-
rorism," he said.
In this case, the intelligence was pre-
sented to jurors in the form of hundreds
of transcripts of telephone calls and faxes
in which Al-Arian and his co-defendants
discussed the mission and future of the
terrorist group, and appeared to celebrate
suicide bombings that killed Israelis.
Jurors said there was plenty of evidence,
but that none of it linked Al-Arian and the
others directly to violent acts of the PIJ on
the other side of the world.
That shouldn't impact how the Patriot
Act is used in other cases, said UCLA law
professor Norman Abrams, an expert in
"I don't think the fact that (prosecutors)
didn't obtain convictions should affect
whatever advantages they gained from the
Patriot Act," Abrams said.
"The main thing is the Patriot Act
enhanced their ability to use wiretaps
in criminal prosecutions. That is an
advantage no matter what," he said.
Stephen King, a former federal
agreed that the verdicts shouldn't
reflect on the Patriot Act.
"The jury simply didn't see the
evidence presented at trial as suffi-
cient. That has nothing to do with the
investigative tools that were used to
prepare the case and secure an indict-
ment," King said.
The Justice Department said yester-
day it hasn't decided if Al-Arian will
be retried on the charges on which
the jury couldn't decide, including
three key conspiracy counts.
"We remain focused on the impor-
tant task at hand, which is to protect
our country through our ongoing
vigorous prosecution of terrorism
cases," the department said in a state-
ment. "While we respect the jury's
verdict, we stand by the evidence we
presented in court against Sami Al-
Arian and his co-defendants."
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Chinese Hot and Cold Dishes
Deadline extended for hostages
Kidnappers extended a deadline until Saturday in their threat to kill four
captive peace activists and posted a video of two of the hostages weari4g
robes and shackled with chains.
The original deadline set by the group calling itself the Swords of Righteous-
ness was today. The extension was announced in a statement that accompanied
yesterday's video, according to Al-Jazeera and IntelCenter, a government cdn-
tractor that does support work for the U.S. intelligence community.
Norman Kember, 74, of London, Tom Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Va., aid
the Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, were taken
hostage in Baghdad two weeks ago.
They were working for the Christian Peacemaker Teams, an anti-war group,
and are among seven Westerners who have been abducted in Iraq since Nov.
26. The other hostages are an American, a German and a Frenchman.
The other American in captivity was shown Tuesday on a separate insurgent
video broadcast on Al-Jazeera. Yesterday, his brother in the United States iden-
tified the captive as Ronald Schulz, 40, an industrial electrician from Alaska.
Air marshal kills mentally ill man
An agitated passenger who claimed to have a bomb in his backpack was shot
and killed by a federal air marshal yesterday after he bolted frantically fron a
jetliner that was about to take off, officials said. No bomb was found.
The man, identified as Rigoberto Alpizar, a 44-year-old U.S. citizen, was
gunned down on a jetway just before the American Airlines plane was about to
leave for Orlando, near his home in Maitland.
It was the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks that an air marshal has shot at
anyone, Homeland Security Department spokesman Brian Doyle said.
According to a witness, the man frantically ran down the aisle of the Boeing
757, flailing his arms, while his wife tried to explain that he was mentally ill and
had not taken his medication.
The passenger indicated there was a bomb in his bag and was confronted by
air marshals but ran off the aircraft, Doyle said. The marshals went after him and
ordered him to get down on the ground, but he did not comply and was shot when
he apparently reached into the bag, Doyle said.
Hussein follows through, boycotts own trial
Saddam Hussein followed through yesterday on his threat to boycott his trial,
and the court adjourned until after next week's national elections. Gunmen, mean-
while, kidnapped the 8-year-old son of a bodyguard for a judge in the case.
Inside the courtroom, one of Saddam's seven co-defendants lashed out at conditions
of his own detention, saying guards offered only "the worst brands" of cigarettes. -
Barazan Ibrahim's outburst came a day after Saddam, his half brotheir,
warned that he would not return to the "unjust" court to protest the conditions 0
of his detention. The group is on trial in the deaths of more than 140 Shii e
Muslims following a 1982 assassination attempt against him.
Thatcher admitted to hospital after feeling faint *
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was admitted to a hospital yes-
terday after feeling faint, and doctors said she was in stable condition and resting.
London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital said the 80-year-old former leader,
who governed Britain from 1979 to 1990, had undergone a number of tests and was
being kept in the hospital overnight as a precaution.
British Broadcasting Corp. television reported that Thatcher felt unwell during a
hairdresser's appointment and was taken to the hospital by her bodyguard.
"She will be assessed by doctors in the morning. Her condition is stable
and comfortable and she is now resting," hospital spokesman Mark Purcell
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