The Bush administration is being accused of censorship after canceling plans to release an exhaustive review that found no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The Pentagon study analyzed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi documents captured following the US invasion of Iraq. The report was set to be posted online and U.S. officials were to be made available to discuss it. But the Pentagon now says the report won’t go online at all and will only be emailed to reporters that request copies. Next Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Protesters Call Rice “War Criminal” at House Hearing
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has offered a mild criticism of ongoing Israeli settlement construction. Speaking before a House appropriations sub-committee, Rice said Israel’s recent announcement to build hundreds of new homes in the Occupied Territories is inconsistent and unhelpful.
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice: “The United States considers the expansion of settlement activity to be not consistent with Israeli obligations under the road map and we have made that very clear. I have also said that it is certainly not helpful for the peace process. I can assure you that we are following very closely to assure that U.S. dollars are not being used to support the settlement activity.”
The Bush administration has refused to link billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Israel’s halting of settlement construction. Israel has announced three different settlement expansions since resuming U.S.-brokered peace talks with Palestinians last November. During her testimony, a row of protesters sitting behind Rice raised their hands, painted red to signify blood. As Rice left the chamber, several demonstrators called her a war criminal.