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February 13, 2007 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
BEIJING
Tentative accord
reached on North
Korea nukes
Atentative agreement announced
earlier today on initial steps toward
North Korea's nuclear disarmament
could set the stage for the first con-
crete progress after more than three
years of talks marked by delays,
deadlock and the communist coun-
try's first nuclear test explosion.
The U.S. envoyto the talks,Assis-
tant Secretary of State Christopher
Hill, emerged in the early morning
hours today looking weary after a
marathon 16-hour negotiating ses-
sion and announced that a tentative
deal had been struck at the latest
round of six-nation talks on the
North's nuclear program.
The draft agreement contained
commitments on disarmament
and energy assistance along with
"initial actions" to be taken by cer-
tain deadlines, Hill said. Working
groups will be set up, hopefully in
a month, laying out a framework for
dealing with regional tensions, he
added.
BAGHDAD
78 killed in a series
of car bomb attacks
at Shiite market
Thunderous car bombs shattered
a crowded marketplace in the heart
of Baghdad yesterday, triggering
secondary explosions, engulfing an
eight-story building in flames and
killing atleast78 people inthe latest
in a series of similar attacks aimed
at the country's Shiite majority.
The blasts in three parked cars
obliterated shops and stalls and
left bodies scattered among man-
nequins and other debris in pools
of blood. Dense smoke blackened
the area and rose hundreds of feet
from the market district on the east
bankofthe Tigris River. Small fires,
fueled by clothing and other goods,
burned for hours in the rubble-
strewn street as firefighters battled
blazes in two buildings.
"Where is the government?
Where is the security plan?" sur-
vivors screamed. "We have had
enough. We have lost our money
and goods and our source of living."
DETROIT
Production workers
fear Chrysler cuts
Auto workers are bracing them-
selves as they wait to find out
whether their job with Diam-
lerChrysler will be cut.
Some analysts are predicting the
company will close two plants, cut-
ting up to 10,000 hourly positions.
Another 1,000 to 1,500 white-collar
jobs could also be eliminated.
DiamlerChrsysler is expected to
announce its restructuring tomor-
row, the same day the company will
release its 2006 earnings.
Union workers are calling the
announcement "The Valentine's
Day Massacre."
Chrysler recorded $1.5 billion in
third quarter loses in 2006, and its
sales were down 7 percent last year.
Analysts say the company has too
much manufacturing capacity and
needs to bring production in line
with demand.
WASHINGTON
Romney draws fire

from Jewish Dems
for choosing Henry
Ford Museum
Republican Mitt Romney's
choice of a museum honoring auto
pioneer Henry Ford as the site of
his presidential announcement
was strongly criticized yesterday
by Jewish Democrats, who noted
Ford's history of anti-Semitism.
The former Massachusetts gov-
ernor, who is scheduled to formally
launch his presidential candidacy
from The Henry Ford museum in
Dearborn, Mich., today, was taken
to task by The National Jewish
Democratic Council.
The council "is deeply troubled
by Governor Romney's choice of
locations to announce his Presiden-
tial campaign," executive director
Ira Forman said in a statement.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

GAMES FOR GROCERIES

Bush Administration's Iran
claims met with skepticism

By HELENE COOPER
and MARK MAZZETTI
The New York Times
WASHINGTON - Three weeks
after promising it would show proof
of Iranian meddling in Iraq, the
Bush administration has laid out its
evidence - and received in return a
healthy dose of skepticism.
The response from congressional
and other critics speaks volumes
about the current state of U.S. cred-
ibility, four years after the intelli-
gence controversy leading up to the
Iraq war. To pre-empt accusations
that the charges against Iran were
politically motivated, the adminis-
tration rejected the idea of a high-
level presentation, relying instead
on military and intelligence officers
to make its case in a background
briefing in Baghdad.
«< w Even so, critics have been quick
to voice doubts. Rep. Silvestre Reyes
(D-Texas), the chairman of the
House Intelligence Committee, sug-
ANGE A CESERE/Daily gested that the White House was
LSA sophomore Alex Dopp (right) and School of Music sophomoreJonathan more interested in sending a mes-
Konopinski dab their bingo sheets during a round of "survival bingo" yesterday night at sage to Tehran than in backing up
Pierpont Commons. Survival bingo prizes included college staples like popcorn. cereal. serious allegations with proof
detergent and candy. The event was sponsored by North Campus student govern- And David Kay, who once led the
ment and University Unions Arts and Programs. hunt for weapons of mass destrue-
tion in Iraq, said the grave situation
in Iraq should have taught the Bush
1 Ccu rity 111ss1 jfl administration to put more of a pre-
k C miumontransparencywhenitcomes
to intelligence. "If you want to avoid
the perception that you've cooked
SOubtfbl lthe books, you come out and make
so ld iers dthe charges publicly," Kay said.
Administration officials say their
Military hopes to be patient and have cautioned that approach was carefully calibratedto
the new security operation could focus on concerns that Iran is pro-
improve intelligence take months to show results. That's viding potent weapons used against
a hard message to swallow for Iraqis U.S. troops in Iraq, not to ignite a
in next round of raids who have endured years of violence wider war. "We're trying to strike
- including a triple car-bombing the right tone here," a senior admin-
BAGHDAD (AP) - Soldiers yesterday that killed at least 78 peo- istration official said yesterday. "It
spearheading the increase in U.S. ple in the heart of the capital. would have raised the rhetoric to

major decibel levels If we had had a
briefing in Washington."
At the State Department, the Pen-
tagon and the office of the Director
of National Intelligence, officials
had anticipated resistance to their
claims. They settled on an approach
that sidelined senior officials,
including Zalmay Khalilzad, the
U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and John
D. Negroponte, who until last week
was the director of national intel-
ligence. By doing so, they avoided
the inevitable comparisons to the,
since-discredited presentation that
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
made to the U.N. Security Council
in 2003 assertingthat Iraqhad illic-
it weapons.
The White House and the State
Department both made clear on
Monday thatthey endorsed the find-
ings presented in Baghdad. Asked for
direct evidence linking Iran's lead-
ership to the weapons, Tony Snow,
the White House spokesman, said,
"Let me put it this way. There's not a
whole lot of freelancing in the Irani-
an government, especially when its
comes to something like that."
Sean McCormack, the State
Department spokesman, said:
"While they presented a circum-
stantial case, I would put to you that
it was a very strong circumstantial
case. The Iranians are up to their
eyeballs inthis activity, Ithink,very
clearly based on the information
that was provided over the weekend
in Baghdad."
In Australia, however, Gen. Peter
Pace, the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that
he "would not say" that Iran's lead-
ership was aware of or condoned
the attacks. "It is clear that Irani-
ans are involved, and it's clear that
materials from Iran are involved,
but I would not say by what I know
that the Iranian government clearly

knows or is complicit," according to
an account posted on the Voice of
America Web site.
An Iranian government spokes-
man, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, has
sought in denying the charges to
exploit the lingering doubts about
U.S. credibility. "The United States
has a long history of fabricating evi-
dence,"Hosseini,aForeignMinistry
official, told reporters in Tehran.
The administration's scramble
over how to present its evidence
started in January, after President
Bush accused Iran of meddling
in Iraq. Iran's ambassador to Iraq
demanded that the United States
present its evidence, and Khalil-
zad, the U.S. ambassador in Bagh-
dad, responded that America would
"oblige him by having something
done in the coming days."
That set Bush administration offi-
cials racingto produce a briefing that
would hold up to scrutiny. Military
officials in Baghdad developed the
first briefing, a wide-ranging dossier
that contained dozens of slides about
Iranian activities inside Iraq, which
was then sent to Washington for
review, administration officials said.
But after a careful vetting
by intelligence officials, senior
administration officials, including
National Security Adviser Stephen
J. Hadley and Defense Secretary
Robert M. Gates, concluded that
there were aspects of the briefing
that could not be supported by solid
intelligence. They sent the briefing
back to Baghdad to be shored up, a
senior official said.
The evidence that military
officials presented Sunday was a
stripped-down version of the origi-
nal presentation, focusing almost
entirely on the weapons, called
"explosively formed penetrators,"
and the evidence that Iran is supply-
ing the weapons to Shiite groups.

forces in Baghdad are papering car
windows and storefronts with pur-
ple stickers listing telephone num-
bers and an e-mail address where
Iraqis can send intelligence tips to
help stop the violence.
But if a recent sweep in search
of car bomb makers is an indica-
tion, they have a long way to go to
improve intelligence.
Soldiers from the Army's 1st Bat-
talion, 23rd Infantry Regiment con-
verged this week on a religiously
mixed northBaghdadneighborhood
of auto parts stores and "chop shops"
that Iraqi commandersbelieved was
used to rig deadly car bombs.
Moving door to door, Iraqi and
U.S. soldiers smashed padlocks
with sledge hammers, clipped
through wire gates and rifled
through hundreds of buildings as
Iraqi mechanics, their hands slick
with grease and motor oil, peered
from nearby shops.
Instead of discovering a network
of clandestine car bomb factories,
the soldiers instead found only a
few Kalashnikov rifles, eight gre-
nades and some wire.
"We're told this new surge is going
to be more intelligence-based instead
of just hitting random sites," said Staff
Sgt. Jamie Slagle, 31, of Morrisville,
Mo., as he flipped through a stack
of unused stickers. "But that's what
seems to me to still be going on."
U.S. officials have urged Iraqis to

The U.S. military has advertised
some successes, including the dis-
covery of 14 weapons caches during
a series of raids and patrols in Bagh-
dad during the week that ended last
Friday. On Thursday, U.S. and Iraqi
troops arrested two members of a
car bomb-making cell in Amiriyah,
a Sunni neighborhood near Bagh-
dad airport, the command said.
But for the soldiers of the 23rd
Regiment, the results of the new
phase have been disappointing
so far. Some of them fear that the
delays in kicking off the new secu-
rity operation may have given Sunni
and Shiite extremists time to flee
the capital or hide their weapons.
"Why are they sending us ground
pounding?" asked Spc. KevinGibson,
26, of Shiloh, Ohio, as he slumped on
a dusty couch in an abandoned office
after a day of futile searches.
Whatstill seems lacking, soldiers
say, is good intelligence - and coop-
eration from Iraqis themselves.
"It's like a 50-50 game. Fifty
percent is good intelligence and
50 percent is just plain bull," said
Spc. Brett Rochon, 22, of Ansonia,
Conn. "You've got a better chance
of walking around the street."
Since the collapse of Saddam
Hussein's regime in 2003, U.S. mil-
itary officers have been courting
tribal leaders, repairing schools,
clearing streets and making con-
tacts.

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