The Pentagon has awarded a multi-million dollar contract to the intelligence firm Missions Solutions Group just two months after the company hired a former aide to ex-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The aide, Stephen Cambone, is a former undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Cambone established the Pentagon’s Counter-Intelligence Field Activity office—CIFA—the very same office that awarded his firm the contract. CIFA was previously involved in a Pentagon spy program that monitored the activities of peace activists.
Admin Defends Alaska Oil Exploration at Polar Bear Hearing
And in other news from Washington, the Bush administration’s stance on polar bears came under fire Thursday at a hearing on Capitol Hill. The administration has approved oil exploration in Alaska despite an ongoing dispute over whether the bears should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dale Hall said the White House believes the bears won’t be affected.
Dale Hall: “The service determined that these activities do not threaten polar bears throughout all or significant portion of their range after a review of factors including the mitigation measures, required under the marine mammal protection act, historical information on development activities, lack of direct quantifiable impacts to habitat from these activities noted to date, the localised nature of development activities or possible events such as oil spills.”
The bears’ arctic habitat has seen declining ice coverage by the year—a decline environmentalist blame on global warming. Congressmember Ed Markey criticized the White House stance.
Rep. Ed Markey: “In the end, man can adapt while the bear can not. We can act to prevent global warming, but the bear can not. We can develop alternatives to oil, the bear can not. When the ice is gone, man cheers about new commercial opportunities for oil and gas drilling while the bear starves and drowns. I have been hoping for common sense from the Department of the Interior and from [Interior] Secretary [Dirk] Kempthorne but I have heard that all too common abandonment of common sense here today.”