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"The price of freedom is high'

Published Oct. 18, 2005

An honor guard fired a 21-gun salute and a lone bugler sounded taps at a memorial service Thursday honoring 10 U.S. sailors killed in a steam burst aboard the USS Iwo Jima. About 1,000 service personnel, including Marines in battle dress and sailors in dungarees, snapped to attention during the tribute in Manama, Bahrain. They stood motionless on deck, moving only to wipe away a tear or bow their heads during the 40-minute ceremony.

"The price of freedom is high," said Vice Adm. Henry Mauz, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. "The standards we live by have never been more clear, and have been defined by our fallen shipmates. May God bless them and keep them."

The 10 sailors killed Tuesday were identified as:

Tyrone Michael Brooks, 19, Detroit; David Alan Gilliland, 21, Warrensburg, Mo.; Mark Edward Hutchison, 27, Elkins, W.V.; Daniel Lupatsky, 22, Centralia, Pa.; Michael Nunnally Manns, Jr., 23, Fredericksburg, Va.

Daniel Clayton McKinsey, 21, Hanover, Pa.; Fred Russell Parker, Jr., 24, Reidsville, N.C.; James Arthur Smith, Jr., 22, Somerville, Tenn.; Lt. John Mather Snyder, 25, Milltown, N.J.; and Robert Lee Volden, 38, Rego Park, N.Y.

U.S. seeks options

for avoiding war

The Bush administration is exploring new moves in the Persian Gulf crisis in an effort to break the lengthening stalemate there without incurring the huge casualties of all-out war, officials said Thursday.

Already, White House officials are seeking United Nations approval for a resupply column that would attempt to pass through Iraqi military lines and relieve the besieged U.S. embassy in Kuwait City.

Other U.S. officials are considering ways to obtain a new U.N. resolution that would deny the use of Kuwaiti airspace to Iraqi aircraft and give the multinational force authority to seize control of the skies above the tiny emirate.

Government lawyers are also studying the feasibility of seizing Iraqi assets worldwide, including bank deposits, ships and embargoed cargo, and selling them to underwrite the cost of the huge gulf military operation and the eventual rebuilding of occupied Kuwait.

The options are being pursued as a way to force Iraq's Saddam Hussein out of his present waiting-game strategy, yet keep intact the multinational coalition arrayed against him. Many in the coalition are adamantly opposed to a quick move toward military action.

"Command and control'

tops Baker's agenda

Secretary of State James Baker will try to untangle the complex issue of command of the multinational armies encamped there.

Administration officials said the "command and control" issue will be among the most important items on Baker's agenda because it directly affects the credibility of the U.S. military buildup in the campaign to roll back Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

Pentagon spokesman Pete Williams said the command structure for the more than 300,000 U.S. and allied forces in the region is not settled and needs additional work.

Troops from more than 15 countries are now in Saudi Arabia. U.S. forces could find themselves in war fighting beside Syrian soldiers in Soviet tanks; or Saudi, Egyptian, French and British troops who are trained to fight with different weapons, using different tactics while communicating in different languages and codes.

Rights group: Saudi forces torturing Yeminis

Amnesty International said Thursday it had evidence Saudi Arabian forces had detained and tortured hundreds of Yemenis, many over their country's stand in the gulf crisis, and urged King Fahd to conduct a public inquiry.

Amnesty International, which previously documented atrocities by Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait, said Saudi security forces have subjected Yemenis to beatings on the feet, near-suffocation, electric shocks and sleep deprivation.

The London-based human rights organization said Yemenis received such treatment "for no apparent reason other than their nationality or their suspected opposition to the Saudi Arabian government's position on the gulf crisis."

The Yemenis are being forced out of Saudi Arabia in retaliation for Yemen's position on the Persian Gulf crisis. Yemen is widely seen as a tacit supporter of Iraq.

Fourth U.S. carrier arrives in gulf region

A fourth U.S. aircraft carrier has arrived in the gulf region, but Navy officials said Thursday one of the big ships would be rotated back to the United States before Christmas.

Defense Department spokesman Bob Hall said the aircraft carrier Midway and seven escort ships had joined the carrier Independence in the Northern Arabian Sea within the past several days.

Navy officials said they expected the Independence to return to its home port of San Diego before Christmas following a six-month tour of duty at sea.

The carrier Saratoga is currently stationed in the Red Sea and the John F. Kennedy in the Mediterranean as part of a major western military buildup around Baghdad after Iraqi forces invaded and occupied Kuwait Aug. 2.

Experts: speculators not to blame for oil prices

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Thursday that, contrary to White House assertions, there is no evidence speculators are responsible for the recent escalation and volatility of oil prices.

Commission officials told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee that producers, refiners and users such as airlines have accounted for 85 to 90 percent of the trading in crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

Claiming there is no shortage of oil, the Bush administration has repeatedly blamed speculators in the futures markets for the spiraling prices.

Ex-national security

chief warns against war

Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned Thursday against starting a war with Iraq, saying it would lead to a protracted conflict with victory possible only at great cost.

In a speech sponsored by World Monitor magazine, Brzezinski said, "If we pursue a policy of liberation of Kuwait and of destroying Iraq it would cost much blood.

"It may not be enough to kill 50,000 Iraqis. We may have to kill several hundred thousand. We killed 1.1-million Germans in World War II. We may have to go in by land because air power alone won't do it. If their morale doesn't crack, fighting could last three to four weeks, maybe four to five months. Are we prepared to do this?"

Kuwaiti tells of beatings by Hussein's troops

A man claiming to be a Kuwaiti resistance member who survived three weeks in an Iraqi prison said Thursday that prisoners are being tortured and killed to break their opposition to Saddam Hussein.

At a news conference in Saudi Arabia organized by Kuwait's government-in-exile, the man said he escaped and spent three days hiding in Kuwait before making his way across the desert and across the border to Saudi Arabia.

The young man, who spoke on the basis of anonymity, said he was arrested Sept. 20 and held 23 days. He said he was raped by Iraqi soldiers and hung upside down for hours from a ceiling fan while his interrogators demanded, "Do you belong to the resistance? Are you loyal to (Kuwaiti leader) Sheik Jaber? Do you oppose Saddam?"

He said he was held in the basement of a house in the Iraqi port of Basra with more than 80 others. He said other methods of torture in the prison included pulling out the fingernails of prisoners, chopping off pieces of their fingers and hands, yanking out the hairs of their mustaches and beards with pliers, and burning them with hot irons.

The man said his captors promised him the "best" life if he would join Hussein's Baath party.

Briefly . . .

In exercises off Oman, thousands of U.S. Marines aboard amphibious assault vessels simulated a landing on the beaches of Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

Syria plans to send more troops to Saudi Arabia this weekend, apparently ending several days of worried speculation among Saudis, Americans and others that Damascus, angered by U.S. arms shipments to Israel, might pull out of the American-led military coalition against Iraq.

_ Information from the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Reuters and Cox News Service was used in this report.