Sunday, June 09, 1996

The Antiterrorism Act passed last month included a finding that international terrorism is more dangerous to the US than pollution or population growth. It also says that the gov should use covert action and military force to destroy terrorist infrastructure abroad--a sort of Tonkin Gulf resolution for the '90s.

China will join the nuclear test ban treaty when it is quite done exploding nuclear bombs, evidently having given up on using nukes for tunnelling and abandoning the planet to killer asteroids. The small print says that they also want to ban any high-tech monitoring of compliance with the test ban.

One of the preconditions for fair elections in Bosnia not yet in place is some form of nation-wide media. Serbs say that their communications infrastructure was too badly damaged by the war for them to participate. In the meantime, there is Pale TV, which just announced its scoop, that NATO used low-intensity nuclear weapons in last year's air strikes on Serb positions. Pale TV also says that the war crimes tribunal tortured a Serb general, and when a UN spokesman held a press conference in Pale to condemn the beating and torture of 7 Muslim prisoners, they cut out that bit and claimed that he called the Muslims terrorists.

In 1961 the CIA started sending Vietnamese agents into North Vietnam. The project was taken over by the Joint Chiefs in 1964. The agents had a way of not coming back, and the military started declaring them dead in 1965, and lying to their families: over 200 people they knew were not dead. Many of them are now in the US after 15 years or more of Vietnamese prison, and they'd like their back pay now, $2,000 per year, without interest. The US is resisting this in court, saying that secret contracts for covert operations are unenforceable (a 1875 Supreme Court case denied back pay to a Union spy from the Civil War), so we don't have to pay.

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