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"Blowback" is a term coined by the CIA and popularized in a book of the same name by Chalmers Johnson. It refers to the unintended consequences of Empirical foreign policy. "What goes around, comes around", in other words. This week in New York, the "embassy bombing trial" entered its penalty phase with one of the defendants facing death. His lawyers have used what can only be described as the "Blowback" defense, and have cited sanctions against Iraq as a motivator for their client. The defense team's lawyers: >Played the "60 Minutes" segment in which Madeleine Albright made her >infamous "worth it" comment >Played a videotaped statement by Denis Halliday >Interviewed Ramsey Clark, and Read the DoD's "Iraqi Water Treatment >Vulnerabilities" document (found by CASI contributor Tom Nagy) into the >record The defendant, Mr. Al-'Owhali, 24, of Saudi Arabia, was convicted of killing 213 people in a blast at the U.S. embassy in Kenya, an act of indiscriminate violence that I'm certain weighed heavily on all who testified. But actions breed reactions, and the bombing didn't occur in a political vacuum. When we write of sanctions we focus, properly I think, on the consequences they pose for Iraqi civilians and the moral danger they pose to Britain and the U.S. But the risks to the West may be political, and tragically physical as well. To paraphrase George Galloway, 'we live in a world where blind, eccentric monks can direct the delivery of sarin to the subways of Tokyo'. And as Galloway, Halliday, and others have warned, there are political elements in sanctioned Iraq that make Saddam look moderate by comparison. It's a morally repellent mess we've made. It is dangerous, also. As embassy blast survivor Joanne Huskey wrote in Newsweek this week: "When I traveled around Europe at 20, I felt wonderful being an American. Many people wanted to talk with me and most said ours was a great country. It is different today; most people do not love our country." Below are reports from the Chicago Tribune, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. This Times article contains, I believe, the most complete coverage of Albright's interview yet to appear in 'the paper of record'. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA === http://chicagotribune.com/news/printedition/article/0,2669,SAV-0106050250,FF.html Bombers cite Iraq sanctions Hatred of U.S. tied to embassy blasts By Lisa Anderson Tribune staff reporter June 5, 2001 NEW YORK -- Seeking to avoid the death sentence for a man convicted in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, defense attorneys Monday cited a decade of U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq as a source of deep hatred of America across the Muslim world and as a motivation for the bomber. Lawyers for Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali, convicted last week of conspiracy and the killing of 213 people in the attack on the embassy in Nairobi, called human-rights activist and former Atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark to testify in the federal trial's penalty phase about the scope of suffering imposed by the sanctions on the Iraqi people. A frequent visitor to Iraq over the last 10 years, Clark, 73, also told the jury that he believed that anyone associated with alleged Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden has "little or no chance of getting a fair trial" in the United States. Clark testified that on his annual visits to Iraq he had seen a worsening of conditions among civilians, including an increase of illnesses and deaths among children and the elderly due to shortages of food, medicine and clean water. Under questioning from Al-'Owhali attorney David Baugh, Clark said he blamed Iraq's misery on international sanctions imposed in August 1990. Al-'Owhali, 24, of Saudi Arabia, was one of four men convicted May 29 of conspiring with bin Laden in a global campaign to kill Americans. That campaign included the near-simultaneous bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998, that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and injured 4,000 others. Al-'Owhali and Khalfan Khamis Mohamed of Tanzania, who delivered the bombs to the Kenyan and Tanzanian embassies respectively, face the death penalty. Wadih El-Hage of Arlington, Texas, and Mohamed Sadeek Odeh of Jordan, who were convicted of conspiracy, face the possibility of life in prison without parole. During his testimony, Clark said he met with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in a futile attempt to avert the Persian Gulf war and then returned to Iraq during the American-led bombing in 1991. Clark later provided legal representation in the trial of Egyptian extremist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and is serving a life sentence in prison. Most recently, Clark told the jury, he filed an affidavit in a British court in the case of Khalid Al Fawwaz, an associate of bin Laden charged in the bombings, who is fighting extradition to the U.S. In that affidavit, Clark said, he told the British court that he felt there was insufficient probing for prejudice among prospective jurors in the Rahman trial and that "20 years of anti-Arab sentiment" in the U.S. precluded the possibility of a fair trial for such defendants. Asst. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald, who also prosecuted the World Trade Center bombing case, vigorously challenged Clark's depiction of the questioning of prospective jurors in the Rahman case. Fitzgerald recently was named by Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) as his choice to be the next U.S. attorney in the Chicago area. When asked by Baugh if he had had occasion to criticize the U.S. government over the years, Clark acknowledged that he had. "I believe if you love your country, that's your duty," said Clark, who served as attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson. Al-'Owhali's proceeding, which is expected to go to the jury later this week, is the first death penalty case to be heard in a Manhattan federal court since 1957. === http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/06/04/embassy.bombings.02/index.html Bomber's defense focuses on U.S. policy on Iraq June 4, 2001 Posted: 5:39 PM EDT (2139 GMT) Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark testified on what he called "extensive destruction ... of civilian life" in Iraq. >From Phil Hirschkorn CNN New York Bureau NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mohamed al-'Owhali, convicted in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, relied on the words of two former U.S. Cabinet officials Monday in mounting his defense against the death penalty. Al-'Owhali's lawyers played a television interview with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and produced former Attorney General Ramsey Clark as a witness, both attesting to the detrimental impact sanctions and bombings have had on Iraqi civilians during and since the Gulf War. Al-'Owhali's attorneys have argued U.S. policy toward Iraq was a motivating factor for militant Muslims such as al-'Owhali, a 24-year-old Saudi, and his leader, Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, whom the United States accuses of leading a decade-long terrorist conspiracy to kill Americans and destroy U.S. property. Defense attorney David Baugh has told jurors --- the same panel that convicted al-'Owhali last week in the August 1998 bombing and the murder of all 213 people it killed -- that he would offer an explanation, not a justification, for al-'Owhali's actions, and that he would argue the United States also put innocent people's lives "at grave risk." First, Baugh played a CBS-TV "60 Minutes" segment from May 1996 that reported an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children had died from the economic sanctions imposed on August 6, 1990, days after Saddam Hussein's troops invaded Kuwait. Since the war ended with Iraqi's withdrawal in 1991, the number of Iraqi civilian casualties has more than doubled, according to various international aid groups. "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it," said Albright, who was then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, which imposed and still maintains the sanctions. Hussein subsequently recognized Kuwait and allowed weapons inspectors into Iraq. "It is hard for me to say this because I am humane person, but my first responsibility is to make sure that United States forces do not have to go and re-fight the Gulf War," Albright said. She blamed Hussein for spending $1.5 billion building new palaces, for using water pumps to build lakes with fountains instead of sewage systems, and for applying spare parts for agricultural equipment to military gear. "His priorities are wrong," Albright said in the interview. Then Clark, 73, attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson and assistant attorney general under President John F. Kennedy, testified about what he called "extensive destruction ... of civilian life" in Iraq, a country he has visited nearly a dozen times during and since the Gulf War. Clark worked on historic civil rights cases while in the Justice Department and has spent most of the past 30 years working on international human rights. He was an outspoken critic of the Gulf War and is a long-time death penalty opponent who called for the abolition of capital punishment in 1965. "The number of deaths have increased every year," Clark said about Iraqi civilians. "About half the deaths are children under five." A quarter of the country's newborns have a low birth weight, he said. "We've had 10 years of malnutrition and sickness," Clark said. Clark said the U.S-led bombings demolished the country's water system and U.N. sanctions devastated agriculture. Increases in cancer and miscarriages have occurred, and medicines are not widely available. It is not uncommon for diabetics to go blind due to the lack of insulin, he said. A declassified Pentagon document read to the jury by Baugh candidly assessed the vulnerability of Iraq's water purification system and revealed that the United States knew it. "Unless water is purified with chlorine, epidemics such as hepatitis, typhoid, and cholera could occur," said the 1991 memo. "Locally produced food and medicine could become contaminated." Madeleine Albright was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. when she said in a 1996 interview shown at trial that Saddam Hussein is to blame for Iraq's problems, not U.N. sanctions. Chlorine was among the Iraqi imports banned under the sanctions. Baugh also read to the jury an article of the Geneva Conventions that states it is illegal for one country to destroy civilian supplies such as drinking water and foodstuffs. When asked outside the courtroom why he appeared, Clark said, "I didn't volunteer; they asked me. I felt a duty to testify." He said U.S. troop presence in the Gulf region is unpopular: "Muslims feel the United States government is destroying their lives, at least in Iraq and other places." The jury also heard from Dennis Halliday, who until 1997 had administered the U.N.'s "oil for food" program that permits Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil for export and earmarks the proceeds for food and medicine purchases. "I was being associated with a program that I considered genocidal," Halliday said in a videotaped statement. He said nations on the U.N. Security Council knew supplies Iraq received were inadequate. UNICEF found as many as 10,000 Iraqis died every month from shortages and that Iraqi's infant mortality rate quadrupled, he said. "They continued the sanctions even when they knew the consequences," Halliday said. Al-'Owhali's lawyers cast a wide net seeking activists and academics to testify about U.S. policy flaws and perceptions about the United States in the Middle East. None besides Clark or Halliday would cooperate, Baugh told the court, because potential witnesses feared an association with terrorists. "I don't think you really appreciate how hated Osama bin Laden is -- well, maybe you do. He is the bogeyman," he told the judge last week. Baugh said he even sent a query via fax to the Dalai Lama in Tibet to no avail. None of al-'Owhali's family members will appear on his behalf. The defense will rest on Tuesday with jury deliberations likely to begin on Wednesday. If the jury does not unanimously decide to sentence al-'Owhali to death, U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand will sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Once the al-'Owhali punishment is resolved, the jury will hear death penalty arguments on convicted Tanzania embassy bomber Khalfan Mohamed, 27, of Tanzania, who was found guilty of killing 11 people in that coordinated attack. Two codefendants, Wadih el Hage and Mohamed Odeh, face a maximum life in prison for their roles in the terror conspiracy and the Kenya embassy bombing, respectively. === http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/05/nyregion/05TERR.html?searchpv=day02 June 5, 2001 Defense in Terror Trial Cites U.S. Sanctions Against Iraq By BENJAMIN WEISER Lawyers for a man convicted in the 1998 bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, sought yesterday to save their client from execution by telling a jury in Federal District Court in Manhattan that the United States government was also involved in the killing of innocents, through its actions against Iraq. The defense assertions were offered through videotapes, documents and testimony from Ramsey Clark, the former United States attorney general, who said sanctions and military actions against Iraq had devastated its agricultural systems, the purity of its water supply and the quality of its medical care. The testimony of Mr. Clark, a prominent champion of unpopular causes in courtrooms and in international forums, was part of a broad defense effort that included attempts to humanize the defendant, Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali, 24. Mr. al-'Owhali was convicted of 213 counts of murder in the Nairobi attack and of conspiring with the Saudi exile Osama bin Laden in a global terrorism conspiracy to kill Americans anywhere in the world. David P. Baugh, a lawyer for Mr. al-'Owhali, has conceded to the jury that his client was guilty in the Aug. 7, 1998, attack and that there was no justification for his actions, but that there was an explanation for his role. To help explain Mr. Al-'Owhali's motivation, the defense lawyers told the jury that he had been instilled with hate for the United States from the time he was a teenager. They noted, for example, that Mr. al-'Owhali had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation after his arrest "that his mother had a profound effect on his strong religious upbringing." When he was 14, they said, "he began to be indoctrinated in conservative Islamic teachings and read magazines which promoted his religious beliefs and which detailed Muslim men who died fighting and went to paradise." They said Mr. al-'Owhali also told the F.B.I. that he was prepared to die as a martyr to "wipe away the tears of the mothers whose children have been murdered from American policy around the world." During yesterday's hearing, Mr. al-'Owhali seemed actively engaged in his defense, whispering to Mr. Baugh and appearing to suggest at least one question for his lawyer to ask Mr. Clark. After the jury has finished hearing from the defense, it will be asked to weigh aggravating factors, like the prosecution's contention that he would be a serious and continuing threat to others in the future, against mitigating factors offered by the defense, like his young age, 21, at the time of the attack. The defense lawyers also cited Mr. al-'Owhali's admission that he had suggested that the bomb be placed in front of the American Embassy in Nairobi or underneath it, "so that there would be significant damage to the embassy and the Americans, but less damage to the Kenyans." Mr. al-'Owhali's lawyers have said that he felt remorse, but only because so many Kenyans died in the embassy attack. Prosecutors strongly objected yesterday out of the presence of the jury that some of the defense exhibits were irrelevant and inflammatory. A prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, also sought to undermine Mr. Clark's credibility. During cross- examination, Mr. Fitzgerald asked Mr. Clark about his pretrial statements that "there will not be a real effort to choose a jury free of preconceptions and prejudice." Mr. Clark had cited widespread prejudice against Mr. bin Laden, "hostility of the media" and New York's large Jewish population. "That was my opinion, yes," Mr. Clark replied to Mr. Fitzgerald. The prosecutor appeared to be trying to show the jurors that Mr. Clark felt that they could not be fair. The defense continued its defiant strategy, in which it appears to be putting the United States on trial, by also playing a videotape of a "60 Minutes" program broadcast on May 12, 1996, on the effect of sanctions in Iraq, which included graphic scenes of starving and ill babies and polluted water supplies. The program also includes an interview with Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, who is confronted with the estimate that 500,000 children had died since the imposition of sanctions in Iraq, and is asked whether the price was worth it. "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it," she replied. A spokeswoman for the former secretary of state said that "it would be inappropriate for Secretary Albright to comment on this while the trial is still going on." === http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19596-2001Jun4.html Former Attorney General Clark Testifies for Convicted Bomber By Christine Haughney Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, June 5, 2001; Page A02 NEW YORK, June 4 -- A defense lawyer tried today to explain the motivation of one of four men convicted of bombing U.S. embassies in East Africa, calling a former U.S. attorney general to testify that children are dying in Iraqi hospitals for lack of basic medical supplies. Ramsey Clark, who headed the Justice Department under President Lyndon B. Johnson and has since taken on many controversial causes, appeared as the sole defense witness before a 12-member jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that must decide whether to impose the death penalty on Mohamed Rashed Daoud Owhali, 24, of Saudi Arabia. Owhali and three others were convicted last week of conspiring to bomb the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on Aug. 7, 1998, killing 224 people and wounding 4,600. He will be the first to be sentenced. Seeking to avoid the death penalty, defense attorney David P. Baugh has argued that Owhali was enraged at the United States for maintaining economic sanctions on Iraq, which he believed were responsible for the deaths of many innocent people. To demonstrate the suffering of Iraqi civilians, Baugh showed television footage of sewage in Iraqi streets, referred to reports on infant mortality and called Clark to describe visits to Iraqi hospitals. "Every time you see [Iraqi] children, you wonder how they're still alive," Clark said. "They are wasted. The hospitals can't offer much help." On one trip, he added, he watched an 11-year-old girl have her leg amputated without anesthesia because the hospital had run out of medicine. _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk