Peanut Farmer declares "all is swell in Cuba"greenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has urged anyone alleging that Cuba may be trying to develop biological weapons and share that technology with other nations, to visit Cuba for a firsthand probe.
Carter -- on a historic trip to Cuba -- didn't specifically mention any accusers. But the Bush administration has alleged that the island nation is trying to develop biological weapons and is sharing that expertise to countries hostile to the United States.
Oh goody!! This stupid fucking peanut farmer lets Castro hump him around for a day and VOILA….all is good in Castroland. 'Firsthand probe' my ass (there's a pun here somewhere). The ignorant redneck was there for a day and a half and Castro showed him whatever he wanted him to see. Gawd, the Democrats get dumber as they get older....a real trick.
Heere ya go Feedell, have ya 'notha Billy Beer.
-- Send (email@example.com), May 14, 2002
Carter Says He Was Told U.S. Had No Proof Cuba Shared Bioweapons Data
State Dept. Official's Claim Contradicted
By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, May 14, 2002; Page A14
HAVANA, May 13 -- Former president Jimmy Carter said today that Bush administration officials repeatedly assured him before his landmark trip here that they had no evidence that Cuba had provided other nations with technology suitable for developing weapons of mass destruction. Less than a week ago, a top State Department official accused the Cuban government of conducting research related to biological warfare and of sharing its efforts with "rogue states."
"I asked them specifically, on more than one occasion, 'Is there any evidence that Cuba has been involved in sharing any information to any other country on Earth that could be used for terrorist purposes?' " Carter said. "And the answer from our experts on intelligence was no."
Carter's comments, made to President Fidel Castro and top Cuban scientists during a tour of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cuba's leading biotechnology center, contradicted recent allegations by Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton. Speaking last week to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group in Washington, Bolton said the Bush administration believed Cuba had at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort and had provided biotechnology to "other rogue states" that could be used in weapons production.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, asked about Carter's comments while traveling to Iceland to attend a NATO summit, said he stood by Bolton's comments and added that they were not the first such assertions made by the Bush administration.
In Washington, the State Department said in a statement that "Secretary Bolton's remarks reflect the consensus of what the administration's experts believe about Cuba and its biological weapons capability."
A Bush administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Cuba has "a number of projects that are what could be dual-use things, but they're probably not. . . . It's a question more of them exciting suspicions by not being open. I don't know of any tangible stuff that shows yes, they are making anthrax [or anything else]. There is stuff we don't know about."
Carter raised the issue today when, following a presentation by scientists on Cuba's biotechnology programs, he praised Cuba for helping "tens of millions of people around the world who have benefited from this research in Cuba," then said: "With some degree of reluctance I would also like to comment on the allegation of bioterrorism. I do this because these allegations were made, maybe not coincidentally, just before our visit to Cuba."
Carter said he had asked for and received "intense briefings from the State Department, the intelligence agencies of my country and high officials in the White House" before his five-day visit to Cuba, which began Sunday.
"One purpose of this briefing was for them to share with us any concerns that my government had about possible terrorist activities that were supported by Cuba," Carter said. "There were absolutely no such allegations made or questions raised."
Carter asked the biotech center's director, Luis Herrera, whether the center had transferred technology that could be used in weapons production.
Herrera said no. He told Carter that Cuba has technology-transfer programs with many European nations, as well as such countries as Iran, China, Algeria and Egypt. He said the programs were for scientific and medical purposes. In response to a question from Carter, Herrera said Cuba monitors the transfers to ensure that they are not used to make weapons.
Carter asked Herrera whether Cuba had similar deals with Libya and Iraq. Herrera said Cuba did not and had no plans to begin such arrangements with those countries.
"I just wanted to assure myself," Carter said.
Staff writer Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.
© 2002 The Washington Post Company
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2002.
But Jeemy is such a good man!
-- (email@example.com), May 14, 2002.
Analysis: U.S. Charges of Cuban Bioweapons Draw Skepticism
Last Updated: May 12, 2002 11:51 AM ET
By Jonathan Wright
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When the United States accused Cuba last week of developing biological weapons, one element was missing in the presentation -- the evidence.
U.S. officials said they were sure of their facts but could not show the evidence for fear of revealing their sources. Many Cuba policy analysts and critics met that with skepticism, some with outright disbelief.
Some argued there was a political motive for the charges, saying Washington's Cuba policy was dominated by Cuban American hard-liners fighting a rear-guard action against dialogue and determined to discredit Cuba's communist leaders.
Cuban President Fidel Castro Friday described the U.S. charges as blatant lies. "Who will believe the vile slander that we Cubans are developing biological warfare programs?" he asked in a speech broadcast on state-run television.
"We must ask for proof, that they present one single bit of proof. They don't have proof and they can't have it, because it does not exist. There isn't an atom of truth in this," he said.
The allegation was made Monday by Undersecretary of State John Bolton in a speech linking Cuba with other states including Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran and North Korea, as threats to America for their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
"Here is what we now know: The United States believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort," Bolton said, linking that with Cuba's accepted expertise in pharmaceutical research.
Wayne Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, said: "It's absolute nonsense. There is no evidence that Cuba is manufacturing biological weapons of any kind. "Our interpretation is that the hard-line exiles have been complaining that the administration is not taking seriously enough their allegations about Cuban terrorists. ... With the elections coming up in November in Florida, the administration has caved in," Smith said.
The Cuban exile community in Florida is a powerful political force and is strongly courted by any president. President Bush's brother Jeb is seeking re-election as Florida governor in November.
"It's obvious that there is no hard evidence that Cuba has such a (biological weapons) capability," said Alfredo Duran, president of the Cuban Committee for Democracy, which favors dialogue with Cuba.
Carol Wise, a Latin American expert at Johns Hopkins University, echoed a 1998 U.S. government assessment that concluded Cuba was not a significant threat. "Is Cuba a threat to the United States? No way," she said.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which follows Cuban affairs closely, said Washington must "provide proof, not innuendo."
"Where's the beef? Without hard evidence, these remarks seem aimed at appeasing anti-Castro hard-liners rather than protecting U.S. national security," said the newspaper, which often does not reflect the views of hard-line exiles.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, asked for evidence of the U.S. allegations, said: "We give you our conclusions based on the evidence we have. I'm afraid we're not able to share our sources and methods with you."
Bolton rejected any suggestion the allegation might have been manufactured. "I don't lie. Facts are facts, even if they are uncomfortable," he told Reuters.
FOOD SALES AND TRAVEL
Duran and some others say hard-liners in the Bush administration may be responding to signs of a more accommodating approach to Cuba. The United States maintains a four-decade-old trade embargo against the Caribbean island.
They point to a campaign by U.S. businesses for food sales to Cuba, this week's visit by former President Jimmy Carter and the gradual fragmentation of the Cuban American community, which for decades stood firm in favor of the trade embargo.
Members of the U.S. Congress have also started to question the restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, another pillar of U.S. policy since the 1960s.
"It appears that because of all the movement happening in Congress and the agribusiness and the pharmaceutical business and the Carter visit, the hard-liners in the administration are trying to put a halt to those events," Duran said.
Cuban American Republicans hold some key second-level jobs in the Bush administration.
The group includes Assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich and his deputy, Lino Gutierrez, Ambassador to the Organization of American States Roger Noriega, Rogelio Pardo-Maurer at the Pentagon and Col. Emilio Gonzalez at the National Security Council in the White House.
Gutierrez, questioned last month about Cuban American power in the administration, tried to laugh it off.
"What can he (Otto Reich) do about conspiratorial minds out there? ... We're all to be suspected, right?" he told a reporter who asked if it might have been a factor in Washington's apparent acquiescence in the brief removal of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last month.
Reich and his bureau did not respond to a request for comment on the assertion that evidence on the Cuban charges was lacking.
© Reuters 2002.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2002.
(Looks like misinformation is no longer accepted as fact, without proof any more. Too many times the media had endded up with egg on it's face for "reporting" whatever comes out of the Whitehouse; ie Clinton administration trashing WH and stripping A.F. One.)
May 14, 2002
Carter and Powell Cast Doubt on Bioarms in Cuba
By DAVID GONZALEZ
AVANA, May 13 - Former President Jimmy Carter said today that Bush administration officials who briefed him before his trip to Cuba never mentioned any concerns about Cuban involvement in developing biological weapons.
His comments came as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell cast some doubt on assertions last week by a senior State Department official that Cuba was making such weapons.
Mr. Carter described the briefings, with White House and intelligence officials, as ``intense.'' They finished just days before the senior official, John R. Bolton, charged that Cuba had developed ``at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort'' and also ``provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states.''
Mr. Carter, speaking at a Cuban biological research center before an audience that included President Fidel Castro, said: ``There were absolutely no such allegations made or questions raised. I asked them myself on more than one occasion if there was any evidence that Cuba has been involved in sharing any information with any country on earth that could be used for terrorist purposes. And the answer from our experts on intelligence was no.''
He hinted that the State Department announcement was an attempt to undercut his visit. He is the most prominent American political figure to visit Cuba since Mr. Castro came to power in a 1959 revolution. ``With some degree of reluctance, I would like to comment on the allegations of bioterrorism,'' Mr. Carter said. ``I do this because the allegations were made, perhaps not coincidentally, just before our visit to Cuba.''
He spoke at the start of a tour of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana, after a long presentation on Cuba's biomedical and genetic research. Cuban officials made no direct comments today about Mr. Bolton's charges.
Mr. Carter said he did not believe that Cuba was collaborating with Libya in biological research, adding that its scientific relations with Iran conform to international standards.
Secretary Powell, speaking to reporters while traveling to a NATO meeting in Iceland, said that while the administration believes that Cuba has the ability to produce biological weapons, it stops short of claiming that it has actually done so.
``As Undersecretary Bolton said recently, we do believe Cuba has a biological offensive research capability,'' Mr. Powell said. ``We didn't say it actually had some weapons, but it has the capacity and capability to conduct such research.''
But Condoleezza Rice, the national security advisor, said during an interview on the PBS program ``The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,'': ``You can't show someone a biotech lab and be assured they're not creating weapons of mass destruction. That's not how biotech wweaons work. And they're actually very easy to conceal and you need multiple measures to make certain biotech weapons aren't being developed and transferred.''
The center Mr. Carter visited has attracted thousands of foreign scientists, including 400 Americans last year. Doctors involved in the research said the American allegations misconstrued their efforts to make vaccines and other products that have helped many third world residents. ``Those accusations offend us as scientists,'' said Dr. Ricardo Bringas, a biologist who analyzes genetic patterns. ``The last thing we are thinking of is to hurt someone.''
-- Cherri (email@example.com), May 14, 2002.
Yeah, you tell 'em Send! Why should we believe an honest man like Jimmy Carter? He has too much integrity and moral character!
We repugs aren't that dumb! It's better to believe Dubya when he says that the whole world is out to get us! All the other countries are joining together in the "axis of evil" because they are all possessed by Satan. They all want to kill us, so we better act first and kill them. (After we kill off the rest of the world we can steal their land and let the oil companies sell all the oil, but that is just one of the fringe benefits that comes from being the best country in the world.) The REAL reason we need to attack all the other countries is because they are satanic and they are all making weapons and plotting to kill us!
-- We better be afraid (because Dubya @ says. so), May 14, 2002.
All the other countries are joining together in the "axis of evil" because they are all possessed by Satan.
Scoldmeister, please provide a quote (cite date and location) where Bush has referred to anyone as "satanic". Sounds like Osama's rhetoric to me.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2002.
Five answers to this thread and three are cut-n-pastes from Cherri, one tongue-n-cheek from Roland, and one delirious take from the Doc.
What the hell is Carter doing over there anyway? He must be tired of pounding nails. I like the guy as a person but he is WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY out of his league when dealing in international politics.
-- Free (email@example.com), May 14, 2002.
Sorry Roland, I missed your last post. Try not to confuse the boy too much.
-- Free (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2002.
Free, I believe you have Doc confused with the omnipresent LL.
-- Peter Errington (email@example.com), May 14, 2002.
I like the guy as a person but he is WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY out of his league when dealing in international politics.
Yeah, like that Israel/Egypt peace treaty. What a stupid idea THAT was.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2002.
Carter is a fool. Why should we make peace with other countries when we can make a lot more money by killing them off and stealing their resources? Heh-heh, some people just don't get it.
-- Dumbya (money and power @ the name. of the game), May 14, 2002.
Jeeemie, go home!
-- (Elian@Habana.cigar factory), May 14, 2002.
Jimmy's cool. Not on any list but his own and that makes him cool. The goober rancher just might get that nobel peace prize yet. Better to be a believer like Jimmy than a stroker. Peace won't happen but I ain't gonna be the one to tell him.
-- Carlos (email@example.com), May 15, 2002.
Gee Carlos, with a positive attitude like yours it's amazing that peace will never happen!
-- (god help @ the. intellectually impaired), May 15, 2002.
god help; go to the bathroom & look in the mirror. Screw up your face and scream "peace"! Will watch for reports of your success in the newspapers.
-- Carlos (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 16, 2002.
Jimmy "lusts in his heart" for a piece.
-- (a email@example.com), May 16, 2002.
"Will watch for reports of your success in the newspapers. "
Funny, I've been hearing a lot of good reports in the news about the fact that Jimmy Carter had the balls (more than King Dumbshit anyway) to go to Cuba and open the door for a Democratic system. Dimwits like you Repugs prefer to sit on your fat asses and say "it will never happen".
-- (stupidity is tolerable @ but apathy. is not), May 16, 2002.
Send $10 to Plains, GA to buy Mr greatmalaise a new cardigan. Then we'll all feel good. Goo goo.
-- (Amy C@Biloxi.bordello), May 16, 2002.
Former President Carter is a member of thr Tri-Lateral Commission. This means that he is in bed with the Rockefellers, Kissinger, Bilderbuggers and NWO in general. He is a lackey of the ruling class. He sold out years ago. Fellow Progressives, do not trust this phoney.
-- (Gore Vidal @ St.Tropez), May 16, 2002.
It's true. Carter was responsible for all the Y2K problems. He and Klintoooon want to start WWIII and send everyone to the American Death Camps. The camps will be in Cuba. That doesn't make them Cuban Death Camps, though. They'll still be American Death Camps, they'll just be located in Cuba. Anyway, that's Carter's real mission. As soon as he returns from the Death Camps, Y2K problems will hit us with full force and then it will be all over. If you don't have your stockpile of beans and rice, then you're toast!!
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 16, 2002.
Oh great. Now the mutant isn't content with spreading lies about Bush and the Republicans, now he has started doing it to the Democrats too.
-- what (email@example.com), May 17, 2002.
Reagan is still alive?
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 17, 2002.
Is Amy still working in that little bookstore?
-- Carlos (email@example.com), May 18, 2002.