Hayden’s appointment sets off
Islamabad court summons Benazir
Pak elected to 3 UN bodies
6 cops die in Pak blasts
Indian kidnapped in Nigeria
Hayden’s appointment sets off alarm bells
President George W. Bush’s nomination of Gen Michael Hayden to head the Central Intelligence Agency has set off alarm bells in Washington where some members of Congress are worried that U.S. intelligence services are being put exclusively in the hands of the military.
General Hayden, a four-star Air Force General, currently serves as deputy to Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte. Prior to that, he directed the National Security Agency. Many of America’s 16 intelligence agencies are based in the Department of Defence.
Announcing General Hayden’s nomination on Monday, Mr Bush said: “Mike knows our intelligence community from the ground up... He’s been both a provider and consumer of intelligence.”
“He’s the right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation’s history,” the President said.
However, not everyone shares that opinion. Congressman Peter Hoekstra, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee described General Hayden as “the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Mr Hoekstra told Fox News over the weekend: “We should not have a military person leading a civilian agency at this time. Regardless of how good Mike is, putting a general in charge is going to send the wrong signal to the agency here in Washington and also to our agents in the field around the world.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by some of Mr Hoekstra’s colleagues.
Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss said: “The fact that he is a part of the military would be the major problem.”
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein added:" You can’t have the military control most of the major aspects of intelligence... The CIA is a civilian agency and is meant to be a civilian agency.” Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California, Democratic House leader, noted: “There’s a power struggle going on between the Department of Defense and the entire rest of the intelligence community, so I don’t see how you have a four-star general heading the C.I.A.”
Before he takes up the post of CIA chief, General Hayden must be confirmed by the Senate intelligence committee and the full Senate.
General Hayden is by no means the first military official to be picked to head the civilian intelligence agency.
Six others — Rear Admiral Sidney William Souers (1946), Assistant Chief of Staff (Air Force) Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg (1946-47), Rear Admiral Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter (1947-1950), Commanding General of the First Army Walter Bedell Smith (1950-53), retired Navy Vice-Admiral William Francis Raborn (1965-66) and Admiral Stansfield Turner (1977-81) — have all led the CIA.
Walter Andersen, a former chief of the State Department’s South Asia Division in the Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia, told the Tribune General Hayden was an “extremely good manager, unlike his predecessor.”
Mr Porter J. Goss announced his decision to retire as head of the intelligence agency on Friday.
“He knows the intelligence community and how it operates extraordinary well. I don’t think Goss understood his role — which was subservient to Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte. I don’t think he knew how to operate in both the constraints and challenges of the intelligence community — General Hayden knows it very well.”
His military background is not the only thing bothering members of Congress. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said even if General Hayden were to resign his military office, conflicts would remain.
“I think the fact that he is part of the military today would be the major problem,” Mr Chambliss said on ABC-TV. “Now, just resigning commission and moving on, putting on a striped suit, a pinstriped suit versus an air force uniform, I don’t think makes much difference.”
General Hayden, as head of the National Security Agency, had oversight of the controversial warrantless electronic wiretapping against Americans suspected of links with Al-Qaida. Several congressman have called this progamme illegal.
Mr Andersen says members of Congress will have many questions about the wiretapping programme. “This is an election year... politics will intervene [in the confirmation hearings],” he said.
Islamabad court summons Benazir
Islamabad, May 11
According to the National Accountability Bureau, the action has been taken on two petitions filed by it.
The court directed the leaders to appear on June 3.
The judge, while admitting the bureau’s complaints, ordered: “I am satisfied that a prima facie case is made out under Section 82 of the Representation of People Act 1976 read with Section 199 of the PPC against the accused Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. I order issue of their summons for June 3, 2006, for appearance before this court.”
A statement issued by the bureau said Ms Bhutto has admitted during the last hearing of a money laundering case in Geneva that she owned assets and properties abroad, including a house at 2, Camden Hill Court, London, in 1995 and 1996, when she submitted the declarations of assets before the chief election commissioner.
NAB claimed that Ms Bhutto managed her properties abroad through trust structures, which she used for tax purposes.
It accused Mr Zardari of claiming in the Isle of Man High Court that he owned the Rockwood Estate while he had filed a declaration of assets before the CEC in 1995 in which he did not mention the property.
It said in 1998 in the Bow Street magistrate’s court in London, Mr Zardari had denied any such ownership.
People’s Party Parliamentarians spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the inquiry was yet another attempt to tarnish the image of the former prime minister.
“If Mohtarma Bhutto has mis-declared assets before the CEC as is alleged then it is for the chief election commissioner to give notice to her and seek her comments. It is strange that NAB should complain to the sessions judge and even stranger that the judge should promptly issue summons,” he said.
“This is nothing but a continuation of the shameless abuse of judicial process that the regime has been resorting to for achieving its political agenda,” he said.
New York, May 11
Elections were held at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN Wednesday.
The commission on the status of women (CSW) is the highest UN body mandated to deal with women's issues and contributes to the policies and programmes aimed at their political and economic empowerment.
Pakistan's election to this body is considered to be a recognition of its role in promoting gender mainstreaming and advancement of women at the national and international level.
The UN committee on non-governmental organisations is empowered to recommend consultative status to these organisations bearing in mind their contribution towards socio-economic progress.
Pakistan's consecutive election to this body will see it play an active role in facilitating the consultative status of NGOs from developing countries.
UN-HABITAT seeks to promote international cooperation for human settlements and related issues. Pakistan, as a member of its governing council, hopes to participate actively to prevent problems stemming from unregulated urbanisation, especially in the cities of the developing world. — IANS
Islamabad, May 11
The explosions took place near Quetta Police Training School, around 25 km east of Quetta, capital of the restive Baluchistan province, police officials said.
While one police officer was killed on the spot, five succumbed to injuries in a local hospital, they said adding that the victims were busy in routine anti-terror training at the school when the explosions occurred.
Additional lethal explosives were attached to the mines to make them “improvised devices” and to cause maximum damage, said the officers. — UNI
Lagos, May 11
“We learnt that three foreign oil workers were kidnapped this morning. We don’t have the details,” a spokesman for an oil major said.
An army spokesman in the city, the hub of Nigeria’s multi-billion-dollar oil industry, said two expatriate workers were abducted by members of a local community.
“There were two men, an Indian and another person. I don’t have his identity,” he said, adding that those kidnapped were working for a subsidiary of Anglo-Dutch giant Shell, but the company could not confirm the incident. — AFP