The Bush White House has declassified part of the latest intelligence in the war on terror. We hear about the NIE report and some of the questions it raises about the war in Iraq and America's vulnerability. On Reporter's Notebook, the zone where fish cannot survive is greater than ever at the mouth of the Mississippi.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The Bush Administration today declassified part of a National Intelligence Estimate saying al Qaeda has increased its ability to attack the United States. The partly declassified NIE, was presented to reporters by Fran Townsend, the President's assistant for homeland security. Brian Bender is national security reporter for the Boston Globe.
President Bush has linked the attacks of September 11 to the war in Iraq--even though Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before the American occupation. Today, the Bush Administration declassified part of a National Intelligence Estimate saying al Qaeda has increased its ability not just in Iraq, but as a training ground for operatives to be sent to the US. From his safe haven on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Osama bin Laden is marshalling new resources. Although Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf made a controversial agreement with local leaders in the western part of his country, where al Qaeda is now said to be stronger than ever, but is he doing all that he can? How close is al Qaeda in Pakistan to al Qaeda in Iraq? Is the war in Iraq protecting America or making it more vulnerable than it was before?
At the mouth of the Mississippi River, scientist say there's a dead zone where marine life is deprived of oxygen. Researchers, who have been measuring the are in the Gulf of Mexico for two decades, say the dead zone is now 8500 square miles, bigger than ever and larger than the state of Massachusetts. Partly a natural phenomenon, its massive size is due to human activities that could be modified, says Nancy Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
Nancy Rabalais, Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium