Sunday, April 29, 2007

Col. Stanislav Lunev

Attacks Against America Are Not Over

Col. Stanislav Lunev
Attacks Against America Are Not Over
Sat Sep 15 22:19:46 2001

Attacks Against America Are Not Over
Col. Stanislav Lunev
Friday, September 14, 2001

Col. Stanislav Lunev is the highest-ranking military spy ever to
defect from Russia. He continues as a security consultant to the
U.S. government. He filed this report from an undisclosed location
in Europe.

I was surprised to hear, Thursday, some politicians in Washington
making statements that terrorist operations against America are over.

How can they make such claims?

International terrorists are still targeting the U.S. and the American
people as never before. Osama bin Laden, Hamas and other well-known
and currently unknown terrorist organizations consider America as their
number one target.

After such an elaborate and coordinated attack was just conducted
against the U.S., isn’t it reasonable to think that the terrorist groups,
backed by powerful nations, might a) already have plans for an
escalation of such attacks, or b) now, seeing the vulnerability of the U.S.,
become encouraged and launch additional attacks?

Since I defected to the U.S. from Russia, I have been always somewhat
perplexed by the politically correct thinking in Washington and among
the U.S. media.

The media are now openly criticizing the President for remaining in Air
Force One and not returning immediately to New York or Washington.

The President acted very correctly and very smartly. As I recall, America
has a Constitution. The President’s sole real responsibility is to preserve
your Constitutional government – not to hold press conferences.

Obviously, the President and his advisors understood that there was a
real possibility of a larger threat – perhaps nuclear – and one the media
doesn’t want you to know about.

Let me explain. When I defected in the 1990s from Russia’s GRU – its
military intelligence - I told the FBI, the CIA, the DIA, anyone that would
listen – that the Russians already had elaborate war plans against the

I suggested that such a war might begin with a diversion, some sort of
terrorist attack. With people’s attention focused elsewhere, special
troops could storm Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, the White House – to kill
American leaders.

I also warned the American government that I believe Russia has
already smuggled small nuclear devices into the U.S.

I have no doubt that Russia has been behind many of these terrorist
groups, financing and equipping them.

The President acted prudently. He continues to do so, by understanding
the new, larger attacks may occur.

He also knows just how weak American intelligence agencies are after
the Clinton-Gore administration.

Also, these terrorists are funded and sponsored by countries Iraq, Iran,
Libya, Syria and by other rogue nations (all closely aligned with either
Russia or China). These terrorist groups and nations want nothing less
than war against Western civilization.

First of all they would like to destroy the U.S., the recognized leader of
the civilized world.

On Sept. 11, terrorists used the so-called "cheapest" way for the
destruction of symbols of American financial and military power. By
doing it this way, the terrorists show just how vulnerable we are. It also
allows them to have a place from which they can escalate the terror.

This suicidal attack could have been prevented, but that did not happen.

However, Tuesday's tragedy very clearly demonstrated the depths of
terrorist penetration through the American nation - where they are
operating, as if they were in their own backyard - and, for example, using
American training facilities for the preparation of the attacks against
American people.

I am continually amazed how easy the American government makes it
for enemies to penetrate American society and institutions. I am also
amazed how many American journalists dislike America, and openly
work against this country.

From now on, we know for sure that there are hundreds if not thousands
of terrorists who are living among us in America.

They are preparing to continue the war against countries, which provide
them hospitality, including dozens of so-called "sleepers" or specially
trained terrorists who pretend to be U.S. citizens and residents. 24
hours a day, every day, they are waiting for the wake-up call from their
organization leaders for a new attack against American people.

The next attack may be more severe.

According to Western intelligence estimations, the most powerful
international terrorists organizations already have access to weapons of
mass destruction, including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons
and materials.

There is no doubt that the leaders of terrorist organizations already have
their own combat groups in America. Next time they could use, against
the American people, weapons of mass destruction or so-called
"expensive" weapons, which could be delivered to the U.S. very soon, if
they aren't already deployed inside America.

It's very difficult to understand the logic of terrorists and impossible to
predict their next targets.

The war against America declared by international terrorism is REAL,

We will win this war if, instead of words about defending America, we
will do everything possible, practically, for the protection of our country
and lives of the American people. There is no time for talking and
promises any more. It's time for ACTION.

Find out what Col. Lunev told the CIA -- NewsMax has just
released Col. Lunev's audiotapes "CIA Files: Defector Reveals
Russia's Secrets" -- Click Here Now. Read more on this subject in
related Hot Topics:
Domestic Terrorism

Friday, April 27, 2007


A Calculus: Will Israel strike Iran?
By Micah D. Halpern April 26, 2007

For many countries, the threat of nuclear annihilation is a theoretical issue. For Israel, the threat of nuclear attack is real, palpable, a true possibility. Of all the countries plotting the demise of the Jewish State the country that is planning to use nuclear power as the weapon of choice is, of course, Iran. Which leads to an all-important, non-theoretical, set of questions.

Will Israel strike Iran?

Israel would prefer that Iran be struck and weakened -- by some other power. For Israel it would be best if the United States and a coalition of the West emasculated and neutered Iran of nuclear capabilities. Should that not occur, then yes, I believe that Israel will under certain circumstances strike Iran.

Under what circumstances will Israel strike Iran?

Israel's agenda is first and foremost the safety of its citizens and the sovereignty of the country of Israel. Next on the agenda comes the stability of the Middle East region. Israel is not alone in worrying about the region. The United States certainly shares those concerns and has made stability within the region a priority. But not with the same intensity. Not with the same immediacy. The United States is buffered by distance and size. Israel has neither.

Israel will strike Iran when one of three things happen:
#1: When the United States sees eye to eye with Israel on an assessment of the nuclear danger Iran poses.
#2: When Israel is faced with the imminent threat of a missile attack.
#3: After a nuclear attack on Israel by Iran.

How will Israel strike Iran?

When the United States agrees 100% completely with Israel's risk assessment, or if Israel has knowledge of an imminent attack from Iran, Israel will strike preemptively.

A preemptive strike by Israel against Iran would mean a three-pronged attack. Land. Air. Sea. Civilian casualties are an unfortunate casualty of war, but in this case, Israel would have the ability to keep them to a minimum. The model for this attack is taken from Israel's own handbook -- the 1982 bomb attack on the Iraqi nuclear power plant. This time, however, the attack would be far more complicated and far more sophisticated. This time, the attack would be a simultaneous, multi-geographical strike at the heart of Iran's nuclear program. The objective would be to knock out as many known and potential nuclear targets as possible. To be successful, the attack must render Iran's entire nuclear operation inoperative.

The result would be a decade-long setback in Iran's nuclear growth. The result would be a strong Israel thrust into a defensive posture, set to repel counter attacks from Iran and from Iran's Israel-hating cohorts and associates. The result would be an audible sigh of relief from the vast majority of the Muslim world cowered into paying lip service to the forces of power ruling Iran.

How will Israel strike back at Iran?

With their permission and more importantly without their permission and because of their opposition it is immensely important for us, the West, to keep careful and accurate tabs on Iran's nuclear capabilities. Eyes opened and wandering, ears and listening devices to the ground and operatives bringing back intelligence that is accurate and trusted.

It now seems that Iran is not as far along their nuclear path than as we originally thought. Technically, Iran's development of a nuclear missile as well as other top shelf nuclear weapons has not been completed. Iran does not now possess the ability to direct a full scale nuclear device at Israel. That does not eliminate the threat of a nuclear attack against Israel, it alters the threat.

It means that Israel now has to worry about an attack carried out by a dirty bomb. Carried out is a literal, not a figurative, term. The dirty bomb would reach Israel in one of two ways. It would be trucked out and delivered by a live walking, talking and probably disguised person to one of the most populated cities in Israel. Or it would arrive by ship, off the coast or into the port of one the most populated cities in Israel. The idea is to annihilate as large a population as possible.

What amount of force will Israel use to strike Iran?

I have thought long and hard about this.

Israel can go one of two ways. The first way is to consider any nuclear attack as a threshold issue that breaks the glass ceiling. That means that any use of any nuclear force against Israel or Israelis will be responded to with great force to make certain it does not ever happen again. Not by Iran. Not by anyone. The second way for Israel to respond to an Iranian nuclear attack against Israeli cities and civilians is to use the calculus of numbers, a hard, cold calculation based on the numbers of lives lost.

According to my best analysis, Israel's calculus will be as follows:

If the number of Israelis killed by a nuclear device tops 10,000 Israel will launch a significant counterattack against Iran. A significant attack would mean liquidating an entire Iranian city or two or three - depending on how far above 10,000 the actual tally went. Totally razing that city or cities to the ground.

If the number of Israelis killed by a nuclear device hovers between 1,000-3,000, Israel will have a much more measured response. That measured response will be the targeting of Iranian leadership and Iran's nuclear bases. Targets would include the air-force and other positions within the defense establishment. Targets would include political leadership and religious leadership.

According to my best analysis Israel is even now, when the threat is real but not imminent, leaning towards the glass ceiling approach. And when the glass ceiling is broken the rules are blown sky high.


Thursday, April 26, 2007


Peace Through Diplomacy: Can It Work?
By Brad Macdonald
America is beginning to engage its enemies diplomatically. Will this approach be effective? Can diplomacy secure lasting global peace?

Mankind’s timeless and dogged pursuit of peace is a tribute to our perseverance and optimism. World leaders dedicate their lives to fostering peace. World organizations such as the United Nations exist to pursue global peace. Countless billions of dollars flow into efforts to quiet the drum of war. When these options fail, nations often seek peace through war.

Lasting peace is the ultimate, yet hardest to achieve desire of mankind. History declares the tragic inevitability of war. Every alternative has been tried, every path walked, but we are still no closer to learning the way of lasting peace. Today, though peace has never been more desperately needed, it has never been more elusive.

The Western world, America in particular, has been waging war to achieve peace for half a decade now. Public discussion in the United States rings with calls for an end to war-making and a revival of diplomatic efforts to achieve global aims. Peace through diplomacy has become a national catchphrase. Many public figures increasingly play down the need for force or military action, demanding that U.S. foreign policy be reconstructed around rhetoric, conversation—diplomacy.

Of course, it is infinitely preferable, whenever possible, to achieve foreign policy objectives through diplomacy. The question is: Is this a time when diplomacy alone can achieve the peace we crave?

It appears the present administration in Washington is coming to believe the answer is yes. After labeling Iran and North Korea as members of an axis of evil and Syria a rogue state and long maintaining a policy of refusing to entertain such nations in direct diplomatic talks, the president has lately shown himself willing to sit down with these same nations at a table laid with negotiation and compromise. In March, the U.S. held high-level talks with Iran and Syria on the future of Iraq, and scheduled a follow-up meeting for April. The same month, the assistant secretary of state met with North Korean officials in New York to discuss normalizing relations between their two nations—steps that could include removing North Korea from America’s list of state sponsors of terrorism and opening a trading relationship.

As America launches this diplomatic offensive with its enemies—a foreign policy direction likely to be pursued more intensively in coming months and years—it is worth considering the art of diplomacy. What is the key to effective diplomacy? Is the U.S. in a position to employ high-quality diplomacy? More fundamentally, can diplomacy of even the highest quality secure peace in the long term? What is the way to lasting peace?

The Art of Diplomacy

Furthering national interest through peaceful means is the ultimate purpose of diplomacy. International relations expert Hans Morgenthau wrote, “Of all the factors that make for the power of a nation, the most important, however unstable, is the quality of diplomacy” (Politics Among Nations; emphasis mine throughout). High-quality diplomacy is one of the strongest weapons a nation can possess. Weak diplomacy, on the other hand, can thrust a nation into crisis.

What will be the quality of America’s diplomacy with Iran, Syria and North Korea?

Morgenthau explained diplomacy as the “art of bringing the different elements of the national power to bear with maximum effect upon those points in the international situation which concern the national interest most directly.” Effective diplomacy occurs when a government uses the elements of national power at its disposal—its political connections and influence, geographic situation, economic and industrial capacity, military might—to promote its national interests. Intelligent diplomacy, wrote Morgenthau, harnesses these qualities and pursues its objectives by three means: persuasion, compromise, and threat of force.

Effective diplomacy employs the power of persuasion, compromises at the right time and on the right issues, and—when necessary—uses the threat of military force. It requires the careful, well-timed blending of all three of these components.

“Rarely, if ever,” Morgenthau wrote, “in the conduct of the foreign policy of a great power is there justification for using only one method to the exclusion of the others.” The art of diplomacy consists of placing the right emphasis on each of the three means at its disposal at the right time. “A diplomacy that puts most of its eggs in the basket of compromise when the military might of the nation should be predominantly displayed,” for example, “or stresses military might when the political situation calls for persuasion and compromise, will…fail.”

Effective diplomacy requires that rhetoric be underpinned by military strength. “Diplomacy without arms,” as the Prussian king Frederick the Great stated, “is like music without instruments.”

The fact is, history shows that unless a credible military option exists, persuasion and compromise have little effect in dealing with hostile regimes. And whether America accepts it or not, Iran, Syria and North Korea are hostile regimes.

A Critical Case Study

Sept. 30, 1938, was a momentous day in the life of Neville Chamberlain. As he stepped onto the tarmac of Heston airport, he could barely contain his excitement. Clasped in his fingers was the fruit of a long process of hard-fought diplomacy. Jubilance filled the air. The sense of relief was palpable. Standing before the eager public, the prime minister considered the significance that history would award this day. Sept. 30, 1938, would be a glorious testament to the power of diplomacy.

It was on this day that Britain’s Prime Minister Chamberlain, waving the non-aggression agreement signed by Adolf Hitler, declared those infamous words: “Peace for our time.” During the conference in Munich, the power of rhetoric had prevailed and the clenched fist of war was thwarted.

Or so it seemed.

Less than a year later, Hitler flouted the non-aggression pact, fired up the engines of his military, and ignited World War ii by rumbling eastward into Poland. France and Britain declared war on Germany, and Chamberlain’s diplomacy was officially pronounced dead.

It is critical we consider the history of pre-World War ii diplomacy in the context of current events, and how American leaders are handling global challenges.

The story of the 1930s is of the failure of diplomacy because Britain did not demonstrate it was prepared to take action. Hitler laughed at the agreement because he knew Britain was not arming for war; he didn’t believe there would be consequences for breaking the agreement he had signed. What’s more, Britain had a track record of ignoring Germany’s aggression. When German troops occupied the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland in 1936, Britain did nothing. When Hitler ordered his troops into Austria in March 1938, there was no reaction. And with the Munich Pact itself relinquishing Czechoslovakia’s Sudeten territory to Germany, what possible incentive did Hitler have to halt his campaign to take over Europe? Diplomacy was rewarding his aggression.

Compare this with what is happening today with the U.S. Notice this opinion piece from Novosti, a Russian news agency: “This about-face [embracing hostile nations in diplomatic talks] of American diplomacy is all the more astounding since it took place in a matter of a month and a half. In middle January Condoleezza Rice reassured the Senate that the United States would not go for any bilateral diplomatic contacts with North Korea, Iran or Syria until they became reasonably flexible on disputable issues. The U.S. secretary of state described the policies of these countries as ‘extortion’ rather than diplomacy.

This ‘extortion’ is still in place, and it is Washington that has become flexible….Nobody could match Rice in the UN Security Council in her demands for tough sanctions against North Korea after its nuclear test in October. In the case of Iran and Syria, she also preceded the invitation to the conference in Baghdad with a package of confrontation-provoking speeches, and accused Tehran of collaboration with the Shiite militants in attacking U.S. troops. To sum up, each time dessert followed the bitter pill” (March 6).

The parallels with British diplomacy in the 1930s are disconcerting. Like Britain’s pre-World War ii appeasement and non-action, the U.S.’s track record instills no fear into rogue nations. For example, bombings of U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Tanzania during the ’90s met with virtually no response. After maintaining that North Korean nuclear capability would not be tolerated, the U.S. took no action when Pyongyang exploded its first nuclear bomb in a test last October. Iran’s ongoing support of terrorists, incitement of violence in Iraq, and pursuit of nuclear capability provoke little real action from the U.S.

Also degrading the deterrent capability of America’s military threat is the nation’s history of exiting a war theater once things get tough. America’s enemies have witnessed hasty retreats from Vietnam and Somalia, and are watching Iraq. In addition, antiwar Democrats and the mainstream media are playing a powerful part in undermining any threat of military force. Other nations know America’s government is isolated and would become even more so if it resorted to force against Iran, North Korea or Syria.

This all raises the question: As America begins to engage its enemies diplomatically, does it have a credible threat of military force? If not, then we can predict that its diplomatic efforts with Iran, Syria and North Korea will crumble and that violence and conflict will eventually prevail.

Unfortunately, it appears this is essentially the situation as it stands. In its enemies’ eyes, the use of force by America is extremely unlikely, hence rendering U.S. diplomacy largely ineffective.

Another Case Study

Theodore Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to see that America had the potential to be a world power. He knew that effective diplomacy was key to realizing this potential—and that threat of action was an indispensable component of it.

Speaking at the Naval War College in Newport on June 2, 1897, Roosevelt said, “Diplomacy is utterly useless when there is no force behind it. The diplomat is the servant, not the master, of the soldier. There are higher things in this life than the soft and easy enjoyment of material comfort. It is through strife, or the readiness for strife, that a nation must win greatness.” He made that comment at the dawn of American greatness.

The truth of his statement has never been more evident than in our danger-fraught world.

Iran, Syria and North Korea have a history of exploiting concessions, rejecting agreements and trampling on other nations’ willingness to compromise. Though America may come away from diplomatic talks with agreements in hand, what will it do if and when Iran or North Korea refuses to meet their agreements? If these countries are confident that the U.S. is not prepared to back up its compromise and persuasion with meaningful military action, how effective will the diplomacy be?

Entering into a diplomatic relationship with these nations will be a litmus test of the strength of the U.S. government. Will diplomacy further America’s national interest and secure a measure of peace? Or will it only serve to promote the interests of these rogue states and further ruin America’s power and reputation?

Gathering Dangers

Seventeenth-century English historian Thomas Fuller said, “[I]t is madness for sheep to talk peace with a wolf.”

The Middle East seethes with problems for America right now. Israel faces the possibility of a three-front war with Syria in the Golan Heights, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Syria and Iran are pushing for the downfall of the moderate, U.S.-friendly government of Lebanon. Iraq quakes with civil strife between the government and several competing militias. Like Germany in the 1930s, every sign says war is only getting worse across the Middle East.

How does America respond to these clear and present dangers? Yank the troops out, and let’s sit down at the negotiating table with Iran and Syria. Many American and British leaders, like Chamberlain, are sheep seeking negotiation with wolves.

The tragic result of such weak diplomacy is that we are moving into an era when the enemies of Western civilization simply do not fear consequences for their actions. Hence, Hezbollah starts a war against Israel; Hamas continues to launch missiles onto Israeli soil; North Korea tests long-range missiles and nuclear weapons; Iran continues to threaten to do the same; Iraqi and Afghan insurgents brazenly attack Western forces.

Increasingly, America’s enemies have no fear!

On that day in 1938, Chamberlain’s style of diplomacy strengthened the enemy and precipitated conflict. The only thing Chamberlain secured for the Continent was time: The people had 11 more months of relative peace—while Hitler had 11 more months of preparation—followed by a bloody and lethal war.

This perfectly illustrates the futility of diplomacy if a nation is weak and unprepared to back up its words. “Diplomacy without a realistic threat of significant action, in the event that diplomacy fails,” said Dr. George Friedman from Stratfor Systems, “is just empty chatter.” That statement summarizes American foreign policy today. When it comes to problems such as Iran’s involvement in Iraq, the policy of the American government is little more than empty chatter—conversations not underpinned by action. Thus, the diplomacy may buy some time, but the time will serve only the aggressor, not America.

The Ultimate Cause of Peace

Seeking peace without shedding blood is a noble aspiration. Sadly, history and human nature show that lasting peace cannot be secured through diplomacy, even if it is of the highest quality.

High-quality diplomacy in many cases may avert war and foster peace temporarily. But history shows it will never bring lasting peace!

Mankind dreams about peace, but lives by war! Why?

God says of mankind in Isaiah 59:8: “[T]he way of peace they know not.” Nations today cry out for peace; leaders throw time and money at trying to secure it; politicians and statesmen devote their lives to seeking and maintaining peace through diplomacy. But those efforts always fail eventually and war prevails!

Man simply does not know the way to lasting peace—individually, in our families, within our nations, or globally between nations.

God wants this discouraging fact to impress a critical and life-altering lesson upon our minds. The failure of human diplomacy and the tragic cycle of war teach that without God and His law, peace is impossible!

Mankind’s history of failed diplomacy—evidenced by the multitude of wars—vividly demonstrates the absolute vainness of mankind’s ways. Can we see that unless a Higher Power intervenes in our affairs, peace will forever remain elusive?

Your mind could come to no greater realization. The day you grasp your futility, your absolute nothingness—and the ineptness of mankind in general—could be the most rewarding day of your life. It is only when a person realizes his own futility that he can begin to grasp the magnitude, the perfection, the sheer glory, power and splendor of his Creator!

Our history of war and violence declares our desperate need for a relationship with the Being who created us.

The reason wars have plagued mankind since the dawn of time is that humans have rejected God and chosen to live in subjection to their own human nature. This ghastly nature despises God’s laws and glorifies the lusts and desires of the flesh (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 8:7). Human nature pursues self-interest, self-satisfaction and self-aggrandizement above the interests of fellowman and God.

For almost three decades, many world leaders esteemed Herbert Armstrong as an authority on the subject of world peace, labeling him an unofficial ambassador for world peace. Here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote about the cause of war: “Nations never needed to go to war. Yielding to human nature is the cause of war. Rebellion against God’s law of peace is the cause of war.” Grasp this profound truth. All wars, conflict and violence are caused by humans rejecting God’s law and glorifying and promoting themselves above fellowman and God.

This principle is discussed in James 4. “Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts…” (verses 1-2; New Revised Standard Version). The Apostle James shows that war and conflict occur when men, acting as slaves to their carnal lusts and desires, reject the law and knowledge of God.

The lesson: Disobedience to God leads to war!

Obedience to God’s laws, on the other hand, creates and nurtures peace. The law of God was designed to foster peace among men, as well as peace between mankind and its Creator. This principle applies just as much at the individual level as it does at the national level. Obedience to God’s law will bring peace into your life. To understand God’s law more deeply, request our free booklet The Ten Commandments.

Peace would flow over the Earth today if people understood and embraced the law of God. Wars explode when the interests of nations clash. Consider. If each nation’s interests were rooted in the same law, and if all men put obedience to the law above their selfish desires, there would be no conflict among people or nations. War would be impossible, and lasting peace would flourish!

God tells us in the Bible that such a world is almost here. Christ is about to return and establish this new world. God’s law will be the universal standard in this coming world; all nations will live by that law. In Hebrews 8, the Apostle Paul shows that at this time God will make a covenant relationship with His people. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10). God’s law will be indelibly etched into the minds of mankind!

The result: Peace will engulf the whole Earth!

Jesus Christ will be the King and supreme Leader on Earth during the World Tomorrow. He will be the ultimate Diplomat—a great Statesman motivated by love and concern for all people and all nations. He will seek to persuade people to submit to His law and government through diplomacy. His diplomacy will be underpinned by the threat of force—and men who reject His leadership will be corrected by His “rod of iron.”

Mankind’s failed efforts to achieve lasting global peace should not depress us. Diplomatic failures—even wars—need not discourage us.

Mankind’s hope for peace does not lie in the hands of politicians and diplomats. It lies not in guns and jackboots. Lasting global peace lies in the hands of God! He has a plan by which He will bring peace to your life, to your country and to this world.

God’s plan for mankind is explained thoroughly in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Agesa book we will send you a free copy of upon request. Don’t invest your hope for peace in mankind; invest it in the all-powerful, all-merciful living God!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Fox's "24" TV Series
Aired: Thursday, January 18, 2007 11-12PM ET

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By host Tom Ashbrook:

It's no secret now. At the end of this week's season premiere of Fox TV's anti-terror action drama "24," the worst happens. There's a raid, gunfire, screaming, chaos, a trigger flipped -- and a tall, horrifying mushroom cloud rises over Los Angeles. "24" hero Jack Bauer can't stop it. The terrorist nuke is detonated.

But hang on. There are four more, we're told. Four more cities to be hit or saved. Concentration camps full of Arabs going up. White vigilantes jumping olive-skinned neighbors. Torture commonplace.

So what is "24" telling us? This is necessary? This is a nightmare? This is how to produce human adrenalin?

This hour On Point: the mayhem, the message, and the politics of "24."

Quotes from the Show:

"The nature and ambition of '24' is to generate excitement and to push buttons and, although liberals have gotten upset with the show understandably for some of its depictions ..., I think actually that when you take a look at the six-season history of the show now, it's often pushed as many buttons on the other side." James Poniewozik

"It's not unlike many crime, military, police-type shows where they have a fundamentally conservative undertone. I don't mean conservative here as left and right. I mean, when you have a protectionist narrative, when you have a group of people constantly in need of being protected from some outside force, the idea is to heighten anxiety about that. So, all crime dramas have a fundamentally this kind of self-protectionist trajectory. Of course, the terrorist context only exacerbates that in this show." Tricia Rose

"This is a show that people love and conservative will want to take credit for it. The other part is also that we do fear this is the way we're going -- there might be in 11-week stretch with 10 cities being hit by terrorists at some point in the future. But the other thing that I think is important that people see in this show, especially if you watch the first four episodes of this season and the previous episodes, is how it speaks to regular Americans being critical for our security. ... This isn't about the government keeping us safe all the time." Timothy Carney

"We're not trying to turn anyone's imagination anywhere. If anything, we're trying to bring up some issues that are certainly present and at hand here, and even before that, we're trying to tell a good story. We subordinate everything to the fact that we're a thriller and we obviously want to be a compelling television show. But along the way, because the subject is terrorism, these things come up, and to the extent that we have a point of view, the point of view is really bringing up all the issues, which are very complex, and for which they're not good answers." Howard Gordon

· James Poniewozik, media critic for Time Magazine
· Tricia Rose, pop culture commentator and professor of Africana Studies at Brown University
· Timothy Carney, contributor to the National Review Online and the Washington DC Examiner
· Howard Gordon, executive producer of "24"

Monday, April 23, 2007


April 22, 2007

Al-Qaeda ‘planning big British attack’

AL-QAEDA leaders in Iraq are planning the first “large-scale” terrorist attacks on Britain and other western targets with the help of supporters in Iran, according to a leaked intelligence report.

Spy chiefs warn that one operative had said he was planning an attack on “a par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki” in an attempt to “shake the Roman throne”, a reference to the West.

Another plot could be timed to coincide with Tony Blair stepping down as prime minister, an event described by Al-Qaeda planners as a “change in the head of the company”.

The report, produced earlier this month and seen by The Sunday Times, appears to provide evidence that Al-Qaeda is active in Iran and has ambitions far beyond the improvised attacks it has been waging against British and American soldiers in Iraq.

There is no evidence of a formal relationship between Al-Qaeda, a Sunni group, and the Shi’ite regime of President Mah-moud Ahmadinejad, but experts suggest that Iran’s leaders may be turning a blind eye to the terrorist organisation’s activities.

The intelligence report also makes it clear that senior Al-Qaeda figures in the region have been in recent contact with operatives in Britain.

It follows revelations last year that up to 150 Britons had travelled to Iraq to fight as part of Al-Qaeda’s “foreign legion”. A number are thought to have returned to the UK, after receiving terrorist training, to form sleeper cells.

The report was compiled by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) - based at MI5’s London headquarters - and provides a quarterly review of the international terror threat to Britain. It draws a distinction between Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda’s core leadership, who are thought to be hiding on the Afghan-Pakistan border, and affiliated organisations elsewhere.

The document states: “While networks linked to AQ [Al-Qaeda] Core pose the greatest threat to the UK, the intelligence during this quarter has highlighted the potential threat from other areas, particularly AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq].”

The report continues: “Recent reporting has described AQI’s Kurdish network in Iran planning what we believe may be a large-scale attack against a western target.

“A member of this network is reportedly involved in an operation which he believes requires AQ Core authorisation. He claims the operation will be on ‘a par with Hiroshima and Naga-saki’ and will ‘shake the Roman throne’. We assess that this operation is most likely to be a large-scale, mass casualty attack against the West.”

The report says there is “no indication” this attack would specifically target Britain, “although we are aware that AQI . . . networks are active in the UK”.

Analysts believe the reference to Hiroshima and Naga-saki, where more than 200,000 people died in nuclear attacks on Japan at the end of the second world war, is unlikely to be a literal boast.

“It could be just a reference to a huge explosion,” said a counter-terrorist source. “They [Al-Qaeda] have got to do something soon that is radical otherwise they start losing credibility.”

Despite aspiring to a nuclear capability, Al-Qaeda is not thought to have acquired weapons grade material. However, several plots involving “dirty bombs” - conventional explosive devices surrounded by radioactive material - have been foiled.

Last year Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq called on nuclear scientists to apply their knowledge of biological and radiological weapons to “the field of jihad”.

Details of a separate plot to attack Britain, “ideally” before Blair steps down this summer, were contained in a letter written by Abdul al-Hadi al-Iraqi, an Iraqi Kurd and senior Al-Qaeda commander.

According to the JTAC document, Hadi “stressed the need to take care to ensure that the attack was successful and on a large scale”. The plan was to be relayed to an Iran-based Al-Qaeda facilitator.

The Home Office declined to comment.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


By Israel Insider staff and partners January 5, 2006

Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef addresses reporters. (AP)

Hospital sources rejected reports that PM Ariel Sharon died at 11 am. Israeli media channels still report his condition is "very grave." Director of Hadassah Hospital Shlomo Mor-Yosef officially denies "rumors" of death and says Sharon's condition is "serious but stable."

Channel 10 reports those closest to Sharon as saying he has suffered "brain damage." Sharon has suffered brain damage -- resulting in a lack of cerebral activity -- but his heart continues beating, while he remains anesthetized and respirated.

Mor-Yosef, briefing journalists at the hospital's gate, said that "the prime minister is suffering from low intracranial pressure, and is heavily sedated. He will be respirated for at least the next 24 hours. All the parameters that we can check are as expected, following an operation of this type."

He said he came out to counter rumors of Sharon's death. "I came out to update you and to refute the rumors flooding the country," he said, referring to rumors claiming that Sharon had already died, and that the news is being delayed for one reason or another.

"Sharon is still alive," a Sharon aide in the intensive care unit told Ynet. But Channel Ten quotes "someone very close" to the PM as saying that he had suffered "brain damage" -- to what extent was not indicated -- unconnected with the effects of the operation.

Mor-Yosef called on journalists to "cooperate in a responsible manner with the transfer of information on the prime minister's condition," adding: "As Hadassah's director, I am obligated to bring every change in the prime minister's condition to light through hospital statements."

Mor-Yosef was not reporting any untruths, but neither was he addressing the critical issue of brain function, a subject which has been studiously avoided by all hospital officials.

One of the factors in the cloud of uncertainty regarding the announcement of brain death, media sources speculated, relates to the effect of the announcement on stock markets.

Another reason was a supposed regulation preventing publication of the PM's death except by the official representative of the government, presumably the Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon.

Perhaps the most important reason for the delay is to allow time for the preparation of a state funeral and the invitation to world leaders to attend. According to the expected schedule, Channel 10's Emmanuel Rosen reported,Sharon will be detached from one or more of his life support machines in the next day or two, with the likelihood that he will not be able to survive without support. At that point, Rosen, "the most difficult" decision would need to be made.

According to Channel 10, the official death announcement is planned for Sunday, when world markets are closed, assuming that this will suffice to accommodate the travel plans of A-list world and Jewish leaders.

At a Thursday 8 pm press conference, Mor-Yosef denied that Sharon was in a vegetative state and that his brain was functioning.

Israel Insider subsequently received an additional confirmation from one of its original sources, which we here quote verbatim:

"Israel Resource News Agency confirms that at about noon today, Israel time, doctors at Hadassah Hospital and security officials at the Israel Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv were simultaneously informed that Prime Minister Sharon had died during surgery.

Israel Resource News Agency has again spoken with officials from both Hadassah and the Israel Ministry of Defence who were officially informed at noon of Sharon's death.

That begs the question: why does the government of Israel deny reports of Sharon's death?

There are two possible explanations.

One is that, for whatever reason, the government is withholding the report.

The other explanation is that Sharon has been placed on a life support system, and that Sharon is 'only' clinically dead."

Saturday, April 21, 2007


WND Exclusive
'Smoking gun' tape indicts Hillary
Shows her 'committing felony' punishable by 5 years in prison

Posted: April 21, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Art Moore
© 2007

Sen. Hillary Clinton greets Peter Paul at Hollywood gala (Courtesy

A business mogul who says he was Hillary Clinton's biggest donor in her 2000 Senate campaign is preparing to release a newly recovered videotape his lawyer calls "smoking-gun evidence" of the New York Democrat's commission of a series of felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison.

Peter Franklin Paul, in a civil fraud suit filed against Bill and Hillary Clinton, claims the former president destroyed his entertainment company to get out of a $17 million deal in which Clinton promised to promote the firm in exchange for stock, cash options and massive contributions to his wife's 2000 campaign. Paul contends he was directed by the Clintons and Democratic Party leaders to foot the bill for a lavish Hollywood gala and fund-raiser prior to the 2000 election that eventually cost him nearly $2 million.

Sen. Clinton has claimed through her spokesman Howard Wolfson that Paul gave no money to her campaign, and her supporters have denied she had any anything to do with coordinating the August 2000 event or soliciting contributions directly from donors. Doing so would make Paul's substantial contributions a direct donation to her Senate campaign rather than her joint fundraising committee, violating federal statutes that limit "hard money" contribution to a candidate to $2,000 per person. Furthermore, knowingly accepting or soliciting $25,000 or more in a calendar year is a felony carrying a prison sentence of up to five years.

(Story continues below)

Clinton's campaign has counted the more than $800,000 of in-kind contributions it reported in a 2006 amended FEC report for the Hollywood Gala as indirect, or "soft money," given to the New York Senate 2000 Committee, a state account that was run jointly by Clinton, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the New York State Democratic Party.

President Bill Clinton celebrating business deal with Peter Paul and wife Andrea (Courtesy

But the videotape, with clear audio of Sen. Clinton, documents her direct knowledge and involvement with Paul in producing the Hollywood fund-raiser and indicates she participated in the solicitation of the entertainers, whose in-kind contributions of their services would also constitute illegal contributions exceeding $25,000.

In the July 2000 tape, the senator also describes the role of a longtime aide as assisting in day-to-day involvement in preparation for the event as her liaison with Paul and his producers.

The aide's hands-on role is significant, because the law also implicates a candidate if any of his or her agents are involved in coordinating expenditures with a donor.

Paul has indicated plans to release the tape within 30 days as the focal point of the first-ever documentary on Sen. Clinton, featuring private videotape showing what he describes as illegal conduct by the senator. When the July 2000 tape is made public, concerned parties say they will demand an investigation of why it was withheld by government attorneys in New York.

Paul was ordered six years ago, when the investigations began, to turn over a large volume of videotapes that were routinely made to document meetings in his office. But the videotape of the phone call in 2000 has never been used as evidence, despite its relevance to the key question of Sen. Clinton's involvement in the Hollywood fund-raiser.

Prior to Paul's knowledge that the tape still existed, his attorney Colette Wilson of the U.S. Justice Foundation filed a brief in the civil lawsuit alleging Clinton's violation of a federal code that carries a possible five-year prison sentence.

Wilson, argues in the brief filed with the California Court of Appeal that Sen. Clinton's actions violated not only the $2,000 limit but Title 2 section 437 of the U.S. federal code, which states: "Any person who knowingly and willfully commits a violation of any provision of this act which involves the making, receiving, or reporting of any contribution, donation, or expenditure aggregating $25,000 or more during a calendar year shall be fined under Title 18, or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both."

The Clintons' longtime attorney, David Kendall, has declined comment on the case, saying only to WND regarding the felony assertion, "Any such allegation is totally false and totally unsupported."

Paul Anka performs at Hollywood tribute to President Clinton (Courtesy

Wilson, armed with the new video evidence, will introduce it in Paul's case against the Clintons, as well as in a series of complaints to various government bodies

Paul is appealing an April 7, 2006, decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz granting Sen. Clinton her motion to be dismissed from the case based on the state's anti-SLAPP law, which protects politicians from frivolous lawsuits during their election campaigns.

Paul's attorneys have argued Sen. Clinton violated the federal code and, therefore, according to the law, would not be covered by the anti-SLAPP statute.

In his April 2006 ruling, Munoz scheduled a trial to begin March 27 this year, but it was delayed when in September he ruled the discovery process – which likely would require the former president and his wife to testify under oath – could not proceed until the anti-SLAPP appeal is resolved.

'Listening to a felony'

Wilson told WND yesterday the case against Sen. Clinton is that she "perpetuated the fraud," collaborating with her husband to make Paul believe the former president was serious about working with Paul's Internet entertainment company, Stan Lee Media, as a rainmaker after leaving the White House.

The attorney said the new videotape evidence is damning.

"I don't know how you escape the conclusion that you are listening to a felony," Wilson said.

Clinton, she said, "seemed to convince the FEC that she had no involvement, and this shows that was a big lie. She was directly involved in the planning and coordination of this event."

In May 2005, Sen. Clinton's former top fund-raising aide, David Rosen, was acquitted for filing false campaign reports regarding the event that later were charged by the FEC to treasurer Andrew Grossman, who accepted responsibility in a conciliation agreement. Paul points out the Rosen trial established his contention that he personally gave more than $1.2 million to Sen. Clinton's campaign, and his contributions intentionally were hidden from the public and the FEC.

In January 2006, responding to Paul's complaint, the FEC issued a $35,000 fine to New York Senate 2000 for failing to accurately report $721,895 in contributions from Paul.

In the taped phone conversation, Wilson points out, Clinton shows enthusiasm for her friendship with Paul and business partner Stan Lee, creator of Spiderman, and says "how wonderful" Paul is for all of his efforts on her behalf.

"But when it came time for her to be publicly affiliated with him, she wouldn't even own up to him contributing to her campaign," Wilson said.

Sen. Clinton suddenly made a public break with Paul just days after the gala when the Washington Post splashed reports of Paul's 1970s criminal convictions in a story that accused the senator of being soft on crime. While the senator publicly distanced herself, Paul says she remained in close contact to convince him that no matter what she said publicly, their understanding was still in place and he should continue to give money to her campaign secretly.

Paul contends the Clintons were fully aware of his past legal problems, pointing out he was vetted more than eight times by the Secret Service. He currently awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to a 10(b)5 violation of the Securities and Exchange Commission for not publicly disclosing his control of Merrill Lynch margin accounts that held Stan Lee Media stocks and for certain transactions in mid-November 2000 to keep the stock from losing value.

The collapse of his company, he says, was a direct result of President Clinton reneging on the deal.

Paul argues federal Judge Gary Feess ruled in his dismissal of a civil lawsuit brought by Stan Lee Media against him and Merrill Lynch in July 2003 that the "collapse of the margin scheme did not cause SLM's stock to decline in value" and therefore was not responsible for the demise of the company. Paul says the judge's ruling supports his case, by determining it was the financial condition of the company that caused the collapse. The purpose of the margin scheme, the judge determined, was to benefit Stan Lee Media.

Related offers:

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Meet "The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine"

'Mega Fix': Stunning new DVD documents the dazzling political deceit that led to 9-11

40% off! Clinton's fatal 'Intelligence Failure'

Previous stories:

Court brief alleges crime by Hillary

Hillary receives demand to admit campaign fraud

Clinton fraud case delayed

Clinton lawyer Kendall accused of filing false statement

Lawsuit: Clinton scheme cost donor millions

New Senate complaint prepared against Hillary

Hillary's dismissal in fraud suit appealed

Clintons top all-star cast of fraud-case witnesses

Trial set in civil suit against Bill Clinton

Top donor seeks to expose 'Hillary's Chappaquiddick'

FEC fines Hillary fund-raising group

Fraud lawsuit targets Hillary

Did Bill Clinton know of gala's financial fraud?

Hillary's ex-staffer pleads not guilty

How Hillary's money man was nailed for L.A. gala

Hillary's finance chief indicted for L.A. gala

Will 2000 fund-raiser scam bite Hillary?

Friday, April 20, 2007


WND Exclusive
Nuclear terror:
How likely is it?

50% chance of detonation
within 10 years, says expert

Posted: April 20, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

Graham T. Allison
WASHINGTON – How likely is it that terrorists will some day be successful at detonating a nuclear device in a major American city?

That was the question debated in an online forum sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations this week.

And while Harvard's Graham T. Allison and the CFR's Michael A. Levi may disagree over the likelihood of such an attack, they agreed it is a serious threat and much more needs to be done to avoid the disastrous consequences.

Levi, the skeptic, said: "Al-Qaida has grand ambitions and seeks mass casualties. And regardless of the probability of nuclear terrorism, the potential consequences of a successful attack should be enough to prompt us to more urgent action than we are currently taking."

Allison, author of the forthcoming book, "On Nuclear Terrorism," pointed out a growing consensus on the severity of the threat.

"In the hotly contested American presidential election in 2004, the two candidates agreed on only one fundamental point," he said. "In the first televised debate, they were asked, what is 'the single most serious threat to the national security to the United States?' President Bush, answering second, said: 'I agree with my opponent that the biggest threat facing this country is weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terrorist network.'"

Michael A. Levi

Allison cited other authorities, including former Sen. Sam Nunn, who is on record as saying the likelihood of a single nuclear bomb exploding in a single city is greater today than at the height of the Cold War.

Perhaps no one, however, has studied the issue more thoroughly than Allison. In his book, based on the current trend line, he concludes the chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent. He said former Secretary of Defense William Perry believes that assessment underestimates the risk.

"From the technical side, Richard Garwin, a designer of the hydrogen bomb who Enrico Fermi once called, 'the only true genius I had ever met,' told Congress in March he estimated a '20 percent per year probability with American cities and European cities included' of 'a nuclear explosion -- not just a contamination, dirty bomb -- a nuclear explosion.'"

Discounting arguments that terrorists don't want to take chances with potential failure, Allison explains why the stakes are so high for terrorists to conduct a nuclear attack.

"[T]he effect of a nuclear terrorist attack would reverberate beyond U.S. shores," he says. "After a nuclear detonation, the immediate reaction would be to block all entry points to prevent another bomb from reaching its target. Vital markets for international products would disappear, and closely linked financial markets would crash. Researchers at RAND, a U.S. government-funded think tank, estimated that a nuclear explosion at the Port of Los Angeles would cause immediate costs worldwide of more than $1 trillion and that shutting down U.S. ports would cut world trade by 7.5 percent."

Even a so-called "dud" in nuclear terms would cause more destruction than the most dramatic conventional attack.

"If a terrorist's 10-kiloton nuclear warhead were to misfire (known to nuclear scientists as a 'fizzle') and produce a one-kiloton blast, bystanders near ground zero would not know the difference," explains Allison. "Such an explosion would torch anyone one-tenth of a mile from the epicenter, and topple buildings up to one-third of a mile out."

Allison concludes: "The most important takeaway from this debate is that we must do everything technically feasible on the fastest possible time line to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear materials. Whether nuclear explosion, fizzle, or total dud, the repercussions of such materials in jihadist clutches are unacceptable."

The largest and most recent study of the effects of nuclear detonations in major U.S. cities showed that, while millions will die, millions of others can be saved with some practical preparations and education.

The three-year study by researchers at the Center for Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia found a concerted effort to teach civilians what to do in the event of a nuclear attack is the best – perhaps only – thing that could save an untold number of lives that will otherwise be needlessly lost.

"If a nuclear detonation were to occur in a downtown area, the picture would be bleak there," said Cham Dallas, director of the program and professor in the college of pharmacy. "But in urban areas farther from the detonation, there actually is quite a bit that we can do. In certain areas, it may be possible to turn the death rate from 90 percent in some burn populations to probably 20 or 30 percent – and those are very big differences – simply by being prepared well in advance."

The government's own National Planning Scenario projects even a small, improvised 10-kiloton nuclear bomb would likely kill hundreds of thousands in a medium-sized city. The carnage was estimated at 204,600 dead in Washington, D.C. – with another 90,800 injured or sickened. Another 24,580 would likely die of thyroid cancer later because the simple compound potassium iodide, which can prevent it, was not made available to civilians in advance of the disaster.

President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the 9/11 commission have all concluded a nuclear terrorist attack is not only the nation's No. 1 nightmare but also something of an inevitability at some time in the future.

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Shock a Muslim – with the truth!

Get the bible of bin Laden info – on sale

How will we combat 'Future Jihad'?

Previous stories:

City prepares for nuke terror

American unprepared for 'likely' nuke attack

'Jericho,' 'Heroes' spark concern with civil defense

How to communicate when disaster strikes

Al-Qaida able to build nuke weapon inside U.S.

Second warning for Muslims to leave U.S. before attack

Reporter: Take warning for Muslims out of U.S. seriously

Al-Qaida warns Muslims: Time to get out of U.S.

America's real most wanted

Paul Williams details American Hiroshima

How al-Qaida terror nukes got into U.S.

Meet al-Qaida's nuke trigger man

Al-Qaida's nuclear efforts: 'sophisticated, professional'

Pentagon drills for nuke terror

Turkish police seize Russian uranium

How Pakistan's Dr. X sold al-Qaida Islamic bomb

Author says prepare for nuclear terror

If al-Qaida has nukes, why wait to use them?

Hiroshima marks 60th anniversary of bombing

Nuke terrorists' favorite dates

Chertoff warns of nuclear terrorism

Nunn sees nuke terror threat

White House 'concerned' about al-Qaida drug link

How Osama bought bomb

Bin Laden did it, say terror experts

Al-Qaida's U.S. nuclear targets

Who shorted British pound?

Russian WMDs hidden in U.S.?

Tancredo to request al-Qaida nuke briefing

Al-Qaida nukes already in U.S.

Al-Jazeera to look at open U.S. border

Mexico's blind eye to al-Qaida activity

Non-Mex illegal crossing surge

Mexican army escorts border drug-runners

Islam on march south of border

FBI chief warns of aliens from al-Qaida-tied nations

FBI chief warns of aliens from al-Qaida-tied nations

Al-Qaida runs own travel agency

Financial squeeze pushed al-Qaida south of the border

Al-Qaida south of the border?

Terrorist base south of the border

Terrorists active in U.S. 'backyard'

A Mexico cover-up of U.S. terrorist threats?

Defector: Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Republican senator calls for Gonzales to quit

POSTED: 4:14 p.m. EDT, April 19, 2007

Story Highlights

NEW: Republican Sen. Coburn urges Gonzales to resign
• Gonzales: Alleging partisanship is an attack on career Justice Dept. employees
• Gonzales says he'll resign if he can no longer be an effective leader
• Sen. Arlen Specter questions attorney general on extent of involvement
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confronted a fresh call for his resignation from a fellow Republican Thursday as he struggled to survive a bipartisan Senate challenge to his credibility in the case of eight fired prosecutors.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn told Gonzales that the situation was handled incompetently and said there should be consequences.

"The communication was atrocious. It was inconsistent -- it's generous to say that there was misstatements; it's a generous statement. And I believe you ought to suffer the consequences that these others have suffered," Coburn said.

"And I believe the best way to put this behind us is your resignation."

Coburn is the first Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to call for Gonzales' resignation.

Gonzales disagreed, and said he didn't think resigning would put the controversy to rest.

Earlier, Gonzales defended his leadership of the Justice Department as free from partisan politics.

"We've prosecuted members of Congress; we've prosecuted governors, Republicans," Gonzales said in response to a question from Sen. Herbert Kohl, D-Wisconsin.

"And so, this notion that somehow we're playing politics with the cases we bring is just not true." (Watch Sen. Kohl ask Gonzales if he should resign Video)

Gonzales said those alleging partisanship were "attacking the career professionals" in the Justice Department.

"They're the ones -- the investigators, the prosecutors, the assistant U.S. attorneys -- they're the ones doing the work," he said.

In his opening statement, Gonzales apologized to the eight fired prosecutors and their families, saying, "They deserve better from me and the Department of Justice which they served for many years." (Watch Gonzales' opening statement Video)

He added: "I firmly believe that nothing improper occurred."

Facing negative public opinion polls on his performance, Gonzales said, "Every day I ask myself that question, 'Can I continue to be effective as leader of this department?'

"I believe that I can," he told Kohl.

"The moment I believe I can no longer be effective, I will resign as attorney general," he said.

Sen. Dick Durban, D-Illinois, said Gonzales had failed the leadership test.

"Your conduct of this department has made it more difficult for these [Justice Department] professionals to do their job effectively. And if you ignore that reality, then you cannot be effective as an attorney general," Durban said.

Despite the criticism, the White House reiterated its support for Gonzales.

"I think the president has full confidence in the attorney general, and whenever that changes for any public servant, we'll let you know, and I see no indication of that," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Thursday.

A CNN poll released Thursday shows that Americans are split over Gonzales' future, with at least a quarter of the public unsure how they feel about him.

Overall, 28 percent of Americans view him favorably, and a third have an unfavorable view.

Tough questions from ranking Republican

Earlier in Thursday's proceedings, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, focused on Gonzales' contention that he had limited involvement in the firings. ( Interactive: View key events in the U.S. attorneys firings)

Specter went through a list of meetings Gonzales attended where the topic was discussed, then asked, "Do you think it's honest to say that you had only 'limited' involvement?' "

Gonzales later replied, "It was limited involvement," and he said the discussions of U.S. attorneys such as Carol Lam were only part of his job as attorney general. Lam, a federal prosecutor in San Diego, California, was among the eight who lost their jobs. She skippered the bribery probe that led to a guilty plea in 2005 from U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a Republican.

Gonzales said any talks about Lam with senior staff stemmed from complaints he had received about her performance.

Specter pressed Gonzales on earlier statements concerning the extent of his involvement in the firings.

"I'm asking you, do you prepare for your press conference?" Specter said. "Were you prepared when you said you weren't involved in any deliberations?"

"Senator, I've already conceded that I misspoke at that press conference," Gonzales replied, referring to a March 13 briefing. "There was nothing intentional." (Watch as tensions are raised during hearing Video)

Later, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, asked Gonzales to run down concisely the reasons for the dismissal of each prosecutor.

The attorney general listed reasons from office management and morale to the handling of a death penalty case as he went through the instances.

"It's difficult for me to talk critically about these individuals who served our country. But you're asking me these questions," he told Brownback during the questioning.

Criticism of Gonzales also came from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who is usually viewed as a supporter of the Bush administration.

"I believe you are a good and decent man," Cornyn told Gonzales. "But I have to tell you that the way this process has been handled is really deplorable."

Cornyn said, "It would have been much better to tell each attorney, 'Thank you for your service,' " and explain that it's time for someone else to do their job and serve their country.

Now their reputations have been sullied by all the controversy, the senator said.

Asked what he would have done differently, Gonzales said he would have prevented his then-chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, from allowing the dismissal process to take two years, and there should have been a face-to-face meeting with each lawyer, with time allotted for them to respond to concerns.

Opening the session, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, the panel's chairman, admonished prominent activist Cindy Sheehan and members of the anti-war group "Code Pink" for holding up signs and obstructing people's view in the chamber.

"Nobody is more protective of First Amendment rights than I, but if signs are being held up and are blocking the views of people, I don't care whether signs are for the attorney general or opposed to the attorney general, if signs are being held up blocking the views of others who have just as much a right to be here as everyone else, the people doing that will be removed," Leahy said.

Thursday's session was delayed for two days because of this week's shooting rampage at Virginia Tech.

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