WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Halliburton Company unit will build a new US$30 million (A$39 million) detention facility and security fence at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the United States is holding about 520 foreign terrorism suspects, the Defence Department has announced.
The announcement comes the same week that Vice President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the jail after US lawmakers said it had created an image problem for the United States.
Cheney was chief executive officer of Halliburton from 1995 through August 2000.
Critics have decried the indefinite detention of Guantanamo detainees, whom the United States has denied rights accorded under the Geneva Conventions to prisoners of war. The prison was called "the gulag of our times" in a recent Amnesty International report.
An air-conditioned two-story prison, known as Detention Camp Number 6, will be built at Guantanamo to house 220 men. It will include exercise areas, medical and dental spaces as well as a security control room, the contract announcement said.
The contract announcement did not specify whether the new prison would also hold foreign terror suspects.
Under the deal with the Norfolk, Virginia-based US Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, the work is to be wrapped up by July 2006. It is part of a larger contract that could be worth up to $500 million if all options are exercised, the Defence Department said.
The project is to be carried out by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root Services of Arlington, Virginia. It includes site work, heating ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing and electrical work, the Pentagon said.
The first prisoners arrived at the prison camp in January 2002 after the September 11, 2001, hijacked airliner attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
The Pentagon has said about 520 detainees from more than 40 countries are being held at the prison, without giving a precise figure.
Rumsfeld said on Tuesday US taxpayers had spend more than $100 million on construction costs and no other facility could replace it.
Halliburton to build new $39m Guantanamo jail
A group of eight US missionaries were forced to leave India for violating visa conditions. Three of the missionaries—who were taking part in a religious ceremony in Malsani, a Mumbai suburb—were violently attacked on Saturday night by 40 irate people who mistook the religious gathering for a conversion ceremony.According to a senior police official, if the missionaries "had wanted to come to India to preach, they should have come on a missionary visa instead of a tourist visa". raj would have been proud of him.
John Dayal, President of the All India Christian Union (AICU), told AsiaNews: “The US government was too quick to remove India from the list of terrorist countries. The AICU is going to make an independent enquiry into this grave incident. [. . .] Anti-Christian violence is escalating in Maharashtra."
The revelation that Deep Throat was a senior FBI official -- in fact, so senior that he was effectively J. Edgar Hoover's heir at the FBI -- is full of historical significance. Even more, it has significant implications today, when U.S. intelligence and security forces are playing a dramatically enhanced role in American life, and when the question of the relationship between the constitutional life of the republic and the requirements of national security is at a cyclical pitch. If Felt is Deep Throat, then the history and implications of this revelation need to be considered.Read the entire, fascinating thing.
Let's consider who Felt was for a moment. He rose in the ranks of the FBI to serve as the No. 3 official, ranking behind only J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover's significant other, Clyde Tolson. He reached that position for two reasons: He was competent and, of greater significance, he was absolutely loyal to Hoover. Hoover was obsessed with loyalty and conformity. He expected his agents, even in the junior ranks, to conform to the standards of the FBI in matters ranging from dress to demeanor. Felt did not rise to be the No. 2 of the Hoover-Tolson team by being either a free-thinker or a gadfly. The most important thing to understand about Felt was that he was Hoover's man.
As Hoover's man, he had a front row seat to Hoover's operational principles. He had to have known of Hoover's wire taps and the uses to which they were put. Hoover collected information on everyone, including presidents. It is well known at this point that Hoover collected information on John F. Kennedy's sexual activities before and during his tenure as president -- as he had with Martin Luther King -- and had used that information to retain his job.
Hoover stayed as head of the FBI for decades because he played a brutal and unprincipled game in Washington. He systematically collected derogatory information on Washington officials, tracking their careers for years. He used that information to control the behavior of officials and influential private citizens. Sometimes it was simply to protect his own position, sometimes it was to promote policies that he supported. At times, particularly later in his life, Hoover appeared to be exercising power for the sheer pleasure of its exercise.
One of Hoover's favorite tactics was the careful and devastating leak. Hoover knew how to work the press better than just about anyone in Washington.
One can debate the nature of the FBI. Felt himself admitted he was a disgruntled employee. We can infer his loyalty to Hoover. What we have, therefore, is a disgruntled FBI employee -- bitter at being passed over for promotion, angry at having the legacy of his patron dismantled and running a covert operation against the White House. Within days of the Watergate Hotel break-in, Deep Throat -- Felt -- was telling Woodward of the role of E. Howard Hunt. That meant that Felt knew what had happened. He could not have known what had happened had he not inherited Hoover's mechanisms for monitoring the White House. It is clear that Gray was not given that mechanism, and it is clear that Gray didn't know about it -- since Nixon didn't know about it. But Felt did know about it. What the mechanism was, whether electronic eavesdropping or informants in the White House or some other means, is unclear, so we will refer to it as "the mechanism." What is clear is that Felt, without the knowledge of his director, was running an operation that had to precede the break-in. Hoover died in May 1972; the Watergate break-in occurred in August 1972. Felt did not have time to set up his own operation in the White House. He had clearly taken over Hoover's.
Felt could not admit that he had penetrated the White House. The No. 2 man at the FBI could have forced a grand jury investigation, but he did not force one because to do so, he would have had to reveal his covert mechanism in the White House. Felt didn't go to a grand jury not because he was boxed in, but because he could not reveal the means whereby he knew precisely what Nixon and his henchmen were up to. It is fascinating that in all the discussion of Felt as Deep Throat, so little attention has been paid to how Felt would have acquired -- and continued to acquire -- such precise intelligence. It has been pointed out that Felt could not have been the only Deep Throat because he could not personally have known all the things he revealed. That is true, unless we assume that Felt was the beneficiary of an intelligence operation run by Hoover for years deep into successive White Houses. If that is the case, then it makes perfect sense that Felt was the one and only Deep Throat.
Woodward and Bernstein, along with Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, didn't care, since they were being fed the goods.
Jerusalem PostAs Pipes points out, the Saudis have means to let themselves get off scot-free when caught (their embassy providing retroactive diplomatic immunity-who ever heard of that?!). Worse, we're not doing anything about slavery here or in Saudi, and we're letting them get away with it on flimsy retroactive diplomatic immunity pretexts when they get caught red-handed.
Homaidan Ali Al-Turki, 36, and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, 35, appear to be a model immigrant couple. Having arrived in the United States in 2000, they live with their four children in an upscale Denver suburb. Al-Turki is a graduate student in linguistics at the University of Colorado, specializing in Arabic intonation and focus prosody. He donates money to the Linguistic Society of America and is CEO of Al-Basheer Publications and Translations, a bookstore specializing in titles about Islam.
Last week, however, the FBI accused the couple of enslaving an Indonesian woman in her early 20s. For four years, reads the indictment, they created "a climate of fear and intimidation through rape and other means." The slave woman cooked, cleaned, took care of children and more for little or no pay, fearing that if she did not obey "she would suffer serious harm."
The two Saudis face charges of forced labor, aggravated sexual abuse, document servitude, and harboring an alien. If found guilty they could spend their remaining lives in prison. The government also wants to seize the couple's Al-Basheer bank account to pay their former slave $92,700 in back wages.
It's a shocking instance, especially for a graduate student and religious bookstore owner – but not a particularly rare one. Here are other examples of enslavement, all involving Saudi royals or diplomats living in the United States:
In 1982, a Miami judge issued a warrant to search Prince Turki Bin Abdul Aziz's 24th-floor penthouse to determine if he was holding Nadia Lutefi Mustafa, an Egyptian woman, against her will. Turki and his French bodyguards prevented a search from taking place, then won retroactive diplomatic immunity to forestall any legal unpleasantness.