0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 5A
New CFO says GM could
-end with a profit in 2010
Lidell says Brazil,
China sales could
offset European and
North America sales
DETROIT (AP) - If the econ-
omy cooperates and auto sales
recover a bit, General Motors Co.
has a reasonable chance of turn-
ing a full-year profit in 2010, its
new chief financial officer said
Former Microsoft Corp. CFO
Chris Liddell, at his first meet-
ing with reporters in Detroit, said
the automaker is making money
in Brazil and China, struggling
in Europe and somewhere in
between the two in North Amer-
"Relative to where we were a
couple of years ago, that's enor-
mous progress," he said in a con-
ference room at GM's downtown
A full-year profit for GM, which
left bankruptcy protection in July,
would be the company's first since
2004 when it made $2.7 billion. It
has posted more than $88 billion
in losses since then.
Liddell also said it's pos-
sible that GM will sell shares to
the public in the second half of
2010. But he wouldn't set a time-
table because GM must be mak-
ing money, auto sales and the
economy have to recover and the
financial markets must be recep-
GM also has tobe selling its cars
and trucks well within a recover-
ing market, he said.
"It's impossible to sit here in
March and say when all those fac-
tors are going to come together,"
GM has received $52 billion in
U.S. government aid, and Liddell
said he would like to repay the
$6.7 billion loan portion of the aid
Liddell would not predict how
much of the remainder would be
repaid from the stock offering, but
said it likely would take years for
the government to divest itself of
its 61 percent share of the auto-
Liddell, 51, left his job at Micro-
soft with aspirations of becoming
a CEO. New GM CEO Ed Whitacre
Jr. said Liddell would be a candi-
date for the top job, but that was
before Whitacre took the post
Liddell said his new job is a
challenge and wouldn't say much
about whether he'd like to suc-
ceed Whitacre. He added he had
other opportunities that paid
more and would have been less
difficult, but he was attracted by
the challenge and importance of
helping to resurrect GM, which
he said affects the lives of mil-
lions of people.
"Other than that, it was an
extremely rational decision," he
He also said the automaker's
financial operations are not as bad
as characterized by Steven Rat-
tner, the former head of the gov-
ernment's auto task force.
Rattner said in an October mag-
azine article about the task force
that GM had "perhaps the weak-
est finance operation any of us had
ever seen in a major company."
TOM GREEN COUNTY JAL/AP
Colleen LaRose, the self-described "Jihad Jane" who thought her blond hair and blue eyes would let her blend in, is a rare case
of an American woman aiding foreign terrorists and shows the evolution of the global threat, authorities say.
. Cases show challenge
of do-mestic terrorists
More than a dozen
U.S. citizens sought
on terrorism charges
in the past two years
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
growing front in the war on terror-
ism may be no farther than Main
The terror cases that have
emerged in the past week have one
common characteristic: The sus-
pects are all Americans.
One is a woman who looked
after the elderly in suburban Penn-
sylvania. Another a security guard
from New Jersey.
Altogether more than a dozen
Americans have been captured or
pursued for allegedly supporting
jihad, or holy war, over the past two
years. The cases demonstrate with
increasing clarity what authorities
have long known: The terrorist
threat does not just come from the
skies, far away, but from Home-
Some were inspired by the
U.S. involvement in the Iraq and
Afghanistan wars, federal pros-
ecutors said. Others, like the
accused Pennsylvania woman,
allegedly wanted to avenge what
they considered an insult to the
Prophet Muhammad. Many trav-
eled overseas to get terrorist
training. Some fomented plots on
their computers in the comfort of
their own homes.
There is no evidence that these
cases are connected in any way. But
they underscore the new reality
that there is a threat from violent
Islamic extremism from within the
U.S. It is difficult to say whether
the uptick in cases is because law
enforcement has gotten better at
catching suspects or if there are
simply more to catch.
FBI special agent Brett Hoving-
ton said the government needs to
do more scientific research around
the country on why Americans are
becoming radicalized and turning
toward violent extremism.
Hovington runs the FBI's com-
munity relations unit, which focus-
es on this type of outreach across
the country. Speaking to lawmak-
ers yesterday about countering
violent extremism, Hovington said
sociologists, political scientists and
psychologists can help in this area.
Most of the recent wave of cases
ended with suspects captured
before they could act on their plans.
But some of the people were just
about to execute their plans when
they were caught, like the Denver-
area airport shuttle driver, Najibul-
lah Zazi. Zazi pleaded guilty in
February as the leader of a plot to
bomb the New York subway system
in September 2009 with explosives
made frombeauty supplies.
In the case of Army Maj. Nidal
Hasan, law enforcement was too
late to prevent the attack. Hasan, a
U.S.-born Army psychiatrist of Pal-
IN5 DAYSOR LESS
estinian descent, is charged with
killing 13 people during a shoot-
ing rampage at the military base in
Fort Hood, Texas.
Law enforcement knew of both
Zazi's and Hasan's contact with
people with suspected terrorism-
ties before they were arrested. Zazi
was under FBI surveillance when
he was caught. And the FBI knew
about Hasan's e-mails with a radi-
cal Islamic cleric but did not think
he posed a serious threat.
Determining how quickly a sus-
pected homegrown terrorist goes
from adopting extremist rheto-
ric to becoming a suicide bomber
is a continuing challenge to law
enforcement. Some people never
make that leap. Others do it in a
matter of months or years.
"Individuals can be radicalized
in a number of ways - by direct
contact with terrorists abroad or in
the United States, over the Internet
or on their own through a process
of self-radicalization," said Assis-
tant Attorney General David Kris,
the top counterterrorism official at
the Justice Department.
These cases, Kris said, "under-
score the constantly evolving
nature of the threat we face."
For years U.S. officials have
predicted there would be a rise in
"Now we're beginning to see
the predictions coming true,"
said Michael Chertoff, the former
Homeland Security secretary.
Because of this, Chertoff said, it
is critical for communities to look
for unusual behavior. Law enforce-
ment, he added, needs to continue
to educate people on the differing
signs of terrorism.
There is no single reason people
drift toward terrorism.
"It's a combination of psychol-
ogy, sociology and people who,
just for cultural reasons, gravitate"
to Islamic extremism, Chertoff
said. "We can't assume we've got
months and years."
Colleen LaRose, the Pennsyl-
vania woman who allegedly met
violent jihadists online under
the name "Jihad Jane," took only
months to radicalize, prosecu-
tors say. LaRose, according to her
boyfriend, never showed religious
leanings during the five years they
dated. Then, her boyfriend came
home last summer, and she was
gone. In a June 2008 YouTube
video, the blond-haired, green-
eyed Muslim convert said she was
"desperate to do something some-
how to help" ease the suffering
of Muslims, federal prosecutors
Some homegrown terrorists
take much longer to show their
militant leanings. In the case of
North Carolina drywall contrac-
tor Daniel Boyd, federal prosecu-
tors say he nursed his ambitions for
jihad over decades. Boyd is accused
of leading a group of men - includ-
ing two of his sons - who planned
to kidnap, kill and maim people
in other countries in the name of
One of Boyd's neighbors said he
didn't think Boyd was a terrorist.
"If he's a terrorist, he's the nic-
est terrorist I ever met in my life,"
Charles Casale said.
Boyd decried the U.S. military,
praised the honor in martyrdom,
bemoaned the struggle of Mus-
lims and said "I love jihad" on
audiotapes obtained by federal
It is not a new concept for
Americans to join the jihadi cause.
In 2001, John Walker Lindh was
arrested in Afghanistan for fight-
ing as part of the Taliban. Raised
Catholic, the California native was
12 when he saw the movie "Mal-
colm X" and became interested in
Islam. A few years later, the teen-
ager converted to Islam.
In 2008, intelligence officials
predicted there would be more
homegrown terrorists over the
next few years and their attack
methods would become more
sophisticated. Officials continue
to be concerned with the Inter-
net as a means to spread rationale,
inspiration and training for the
Islamic extremist agenda.
No deal to stop, congressional
resolution on alleged genocide
As resolution nears
passage, T .Crkeypulls
WASHINGTON (AP) - A con-
gressional resolution that would
recognize World War I-era kill-
ings of Armenians by Ottoman
Turks as genocide could go for-
ward despite opposition from the
Assistant Secretary of State
Philip Gordon told reporters there
is no deal with Democratic con-
gressional leaders to block the res-
olution. That contradicts earlier
claims by the State Department.
"Congress is an independent
body, and they are going to do what
they decide to do," Gordon said
ahead of speech at the Brookings
Turkey strongly opposes the
resolution. It withdrew its ambas-
sador to Washington earlier this
month after a congressional com-
mittee approved the measure.
Gordon acknowledged the con-
gressional committee vote had set
back relations at a time when the
United States is seeking help from
Turkey to rein in Iran's nuclear
ambitions. But he said the United
States has not seen a deterioration
in cooperation with Turkey on a
wide range of foreign policy mat-
The Obama administration has
urged lawmakers to keep the mea-
Members of Workers' Party marched in Istanbul last week, after Sweden's parliament
approved a resolution calling the 1915 mass killing of Armenians in Turkey a genocide.
sure from a vote in the full House.
It is not clear whether supporters
of the resolution have enough sup-
port to bring it to the House floor.
"I recognize that we have a
tough job ahead of us to garner the
necessary support," said the reso-
lution's chief sponsor, California
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.
Gordon said the resolution is an
obstacle for reconciliation talks
between Turkey and Armenia.
The two countries reached a deal
last year to normalize relations
and open their border, but it has
not yet been ratified by their gov-
But Gordon denied the process
"I really think that those two
countries' leaderships are commit-
ted to doing this," he told reporters.
He said that the Obama admin-
istration thinks the historical
issues are best addressed by the
two countries as part of reconcili-
Historians estimate that up
to 1.5 million Armenians were
killed by Ottoman Turks around
the time of World WarI, an event
widely viewed by scholars as the
first genocide of the 20th cen-
tury. Turkey, however, denies the
deaths constituted genocide, say-
ing the toll has been inflated and
that those killed were victims of
civil war and unrest.
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