January 1-15 Stories

Blair: "They continue to pose a risk."
In Britai
n’s Prime Minster’s first speech to his nation for the 2002 new year, he couragously continues the fight to prevent more terrorists attacks, "September 11 was an act of evil…They [terrorist] continue to pose a risk, and the international community must continue to be vigilant and determined in rooting them out and shutting down their networks…(2002 New Year’s Speech Text)

USA is Afghanistan’s Largest Humanitarian Donor
Washington – January 5th, "Even before September 11th, we had already provided $170 million worth of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, said Virginia Clark with Dept. of Defense. Now the US has provided "more than $187 million worth since October. That includes food, shelter, blankets, medical supplies. And as the winter is upon us, a very tough winter, the United States commitment to the Afghan people is saving lives."

Olympic Games Security in Salt Lake City
Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge will travel to Salt Lake City,
Utah, to review Olympic security preparations in advance of the February Winter Games. Wednesday, Ridge will also visit the counter-terrorism training facility at the Nevada Test Site outside Las Vegas and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Argentina to Get Help From US
January 5 Aboard Air Force One en route to Oregon, the President called Vicente Fox, President of Mexico and President Batlle of Uruguay to
continue to discuss the situation in Argentina. Earlier this week Bush sent a letter congratulating President Edwardo Duhalde, Argentina’s newest President. Officials say that the United States "has made it very clear that we are willing to help once Argentina develops a sustainable economic plan, working with international financial insitutions."

Lieberman in Turkey "..this is a war against terrorism, not a war against Islam"
Senator Lieberman, Hagel, McCain are part of a US delegation visiting Turkey, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Oman, Afghanistan.. During a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Lieberman and McCain spoke plainly about Iraq;"..we stated our own feeling, Senator McCain and I have said, about how we believe that there is no way to imagine reconciliation with Iraq under Saddam. The United States has no conflict with the Iraqi people but with this [Saddam’s] government that seems so bent on developing weapons of mass destruction and has such a continuing and obvious desire for revenge against the United States. But that is not inconsistent with our own belief and the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq." (Full Story)

Department of Defense Identifies 7 Marines Killed in KC-130/R Crash
The Department of Defense announced that the following Marines were killed as a result of the crash of a KC-130/R aircraft in Pakistan:

Command Pilot: Captain Matthew W. Bancroft, 29, of Shasta, CA. He joined the Marine Corps in 1994.
Co-Pilot: Captain Daniel G. McCollum, 29, of Richland, SC. He joined the Marine Corps in 1993.
Flight Engineer: Gunnery Sergeant Stephen L. Bryson, 35, of Montgomery, AL. He joined the Marine Corps in 1983.
Loadmaster: Staff Sergeant Scott N. Germosen, 37, of Queens, NY. He joined the Marine Corps in 1982.
Flight Mechanic: Sergeant Nathan P. Hays, 21, of Lincoln, WA. He joined the Marine Corps in 1999.
Flight Navigator: Lance Corporal Bryan P. Bertrand, 23, of Coos, OR. He joined the Marine Corps in 1998.
Radio Operator: Sergeant Jeannette L. Winters, 25, of Du Page, IL. She joined the Marine Corps in 1997.

The Marines are assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR 352), the "Raiders." Elements of VMGR-352 are attached to Combined Task Force 58, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. VMGR-352 is home-based at the Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, CA. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Coalition Strikes al Qaeda Terrorist Rendezvous Points
U.S. B-52 and B-1 bombers, F-18 fighters and AC-130 gunships struck a suspected Al Qaeda regrouping point — the Zawar Kili compound southwest of Khowst — for the second time.
     Coalition aircraft struck the Al Qaeda terrorist group compound because military officials observed "some activity" at the site. Historically the compound is known as a place the Al Qaeda would go to regroup. (Read Full Story)

U.S. Using Intel to Foil Terror Attacks
The U.S. intelligence effort in Afghanistan will pay off in thwarting attacks on the United States, its allies and friends, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said.
     While the Taliban have been driven from power, the campaign in Afghanistan is far from over…many parts of the country are still in turmoil and that senior Al Qaeda and Taliban officials are still at large. Coalition and Afghan forces also need to deal with pockets of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. (Full Story)

Jordan, Russia Set Up Hospitals, Spain and South Korea Give Top Medical Support
As the war against terror continues coalition partners step up to the plate to provide a bounty of humanitarian aid to the recently freed Afghans. "Jordan, has established a state-of-the-art hospital in Mazar-e Sharif with more than 20 surgeons and full medical capability," Franks said during a recent briefing. "They’ve treated more than 8,000 Afghans since Jan. 8." Russia has also established a hospital and Spain and South Korea are preparing to send more medical assets to the theater. (Read full story)

Bush: "Let people have their own money.."
At a lively Town Hall gathering in Southern California, the President talked about his desire to see the small business owner get a break, "it’s your money; you spend it in order to expand the job base in America." The country’s held up economic stimulus package by person(s) unnamed was clearly up front on the President’s mind ".. I’m the kind of fellow who says, let’s work together and focus on results, not rhetoric.. Let’s do what’s right for the people who have been hurt." We need to work [together] and then share credit..".
     Bush shared personal stories, updates on the war on terror, and fired back at the unnamed in DC, "Somebody told me the funniest thing. They said, there are some in Washington saying that the tax cut caused the recession. I don’t know what economic textbook they’re reading."
     The enthusiastic crowd had lots to say as well: ".. Mr. President, I too believe in the American Dream. I am a young Latina entrepreneur who caters to top-level executive women in their clothing needs. One of my dreams is to design an exclusive garment for the First Lady, Laura Bush." with a smile the President said "….you’ve got a very good marketing department, I see that." (Read Full Answers to Questions Here)


January 16-31 Stories

U.S.-Russia Agree on Working Groups to Discuss Defense Issues
WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2002 — The United States and Russia have agreed to set up several working groups to discuss defense-related issues in preparation for President Bush’s Moscow visit later this year.

13 Year Old Raises Money to Rebuild the Pentagon
Lasidi Helmick, an 8th grader in West Virginia raised over 10 thousand dollars to help rebuild the Pentagon, she said they felt like the Pentagon was "sort of in their backyard" and wanted to help. The school is about about two hours west of Washington. (Read Story)

Wanted: Scientists to Help Dept. of Defense
Special Operations Command Invite Scientists to Help America
WASHINGTON – The deadline for applications is fast approaching for scientists and researchers interested in attending a March 11-13 Defense Department conference where focus will be on technical areas that the DoD needs help. "We want to tap new resources to help us in our fight against terrorism. These scientists can bring a lot to the table. They can take us in directions that we might not have thought of in the past," said Jane A. Alexander, deputy director of DARPA. (Read Story)

Olympic Games Security Led by U.S. Secret Service
UTAH – U.S. Officials expect about 70,000 to 80,000 visitors to arrive daily in Salt Lake City from Feb. 8 – Feb. 24. More than 10,000 officials are slated to provide security in the city of 800,000 people. In comparison, the last Winter Olympics in America took place in 1980 in Lake Placid, N.Y. About a thousand federal, state and local officials provided security in the town of 2,700 people
     Looking at lessons learned from terrorist attacks at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics and in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks officials are using powerful new plans to protect the safety and enjoyment of the Winter Games. (Read Full Story)

Tommy Thompson at National Council for Families & Television
LOS ANGELES – Friday, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced President Bush will propose a $9 million increase in funding for breast and cervical cancer screening at the Women’s Health Summit sponsored by the National Council for Families & Television in Beverly Hills, Calif. The summit brings together television leaders with medical experts to discuss women’s health issues and their portrayal intelevision.
     "Together, breast and cervical cancer took the lives of more than 45,000 American women in 2001," Secretary Thompson said. "These deaths occurred disproportionately among low-income women and women who belong to racial or ethnic minorities. By increasing screening rates for at-risk women, we can save lives.”

FOX Sports to Beam Superbowl to Troops Away From Home
"We’re providing full coverage," said Air Force Lt. Col. Rob Garza, AFRTS operations officer. "We’ll start with the pre-game show and run right through the post-game analysis."
     The American Forces Radio and Television Service has installed a number of receivers throughout Central Asia so U.S. military personnel will not miss a second of the Rams- Patriots gridiron battle.
     Fox Sports is broadcasting the game and is planning special coverage of troops in the area of operations during the game. The Fox coverage of the Super Bowl is beamed from the AFRTS Broadcast Center in California. (Read Full Story)

Rumsfeld Says No Evidence Bin Laden Is Dead
"He could be dead, he could be alive, he could be in Afghanistan, he could be somewhere else," Rumsfeld said. "We’re looking for him, and I think we’ll find him."
     Rumsfeld said some of the places most named as possible bin Laden refuges are Sudan, Somalia, Kashmir, Chechnya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia:"There are a number of places, but I don’t think there are many places that would like to have him right now." (Full Transcript)

U.S. Finds Over 250 Automatic Grenade Launchers in Cache
U.S. forces launched the raid on the compound after intelligence information revealed that the area might hold some level of Taliban or Al Qaeda leadership. While U.S. officials knew there was a cache of munitions in the area, they were surprised at how large it was. Stufflebeem said the U.S. forces found more than 400 60mm mortar rounds, more than 300 rocket propelled grenades, 300 100mm rockets and thousands of rocket fuses. They also discovered more than 250 automatic grenade launcher rounds and 500,000 small arms rounds. (Full Story)

Afghan Forces Lead Hospital Raid
Anti-Taliban Afghan forces supported by U.S. Special Forces yesterday killed six Al Qaeda members who had seized one of the wings of a hospital in Kandahar.
     "Despite numerous attempts to negotiate their peaceful surrender, the six had been holed up in the hospital for almost two months," Rear Adm. John D. Stufflebeem said at the Pentagon. (Full Story)

Camp X-Ray Gets More Official Visits
Monday, January 27th, (CA) Senator Diane Fienstein, and 3 other Senators joined Rumsfeld on a visit to Camp X-Ray adding to the list of officials visiting to see the facility and detainees first hand.
     British officials recently inspected and reportedly gave their approval of the much talked about ‘treatment and conditions.’ As the visits continue we also learn of the culturally sensitive meals the detainees are served. Each was given a copy of the Koran, and visitors to the camp say the detainees pray so loudly that their voices can be heard for miles.
     Last week after Indiana’s Senator Buyer toured with a delegation he said "the worst of the worst" are being treated well and emphasized that they are trained-to-kill terrorists. He explained the "unlawful combatants" are terrorists network members, not to be confused with soldiers from a nation the U.S. was at war with. Terrorists are different, not fitting into categories that some people would prefer to believe. The Senator cited these among others as reasons the detainees can’t be regarded as POW’s or protected from being prosecuted for murder.
     Now Rumsfeld’s visit brings more focus to the situation. While en route to Cuba he told reporters, "There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation about what they’re [U.S. service members] doing down there. These are terrific young men and women doing an excellent job, and I want to tell them that." (Read Full Text)

FBI and Homeland Security
Despite heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, FBI Director Mueller is still on the fast track in the fight against terrorism– visiting India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
     Mueller has found alliances that support the tightening dragnet to smoke out the terrorists and their hidden masterminds. While officials in Pakistan found earlier rumors of bin Laden’s presence troubling, its widely known that President Musharraf has taken measurable steps to prevent al-Qaeda escapees from crossing into Pakistan. Speaking on the issue of bin Laden, Mueller said, "I’m not certain that anybody knows for sure either where Osama bin Laden is or … whether he is still alive."
     Whether bin Laden is alive or not, the prevention of terrorism is an ongoing primary mission for the coalition nations and U.S. security. During a speech addressing Homeland Security on Friday, President Bush said ". I’m proud of our FBI… I’m proud to report to you now the number one mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is to prevent another attack on America.(See Text of Remarks)