Panel Blames Chaos in

Iraq on Lack of Planning

An independent panel headed by two former U.S. national security advisers said yesterday that chaos in Iraq was caused partly by inadequate postwar planning.

Planning for reconstruction should match the serious planning that goes into making war, said the panel headed by Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger and Brent Scowcroft. Berger was national security adviser to Democratic President Bill Clinton. Scowcroft held the same post under Republican Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H.W. Bush.

"A dramatic military victory has been overshadowed by chaos and bloodshed in the streets of Baghdad, difficulty in establishing security or providing essential services, and a deadly insurgency," the report said. "The costs, human, military and economic, are high and continue to mount," said the report, which was sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent foreign policy group.

The White House has reacted to similar criticism in the past by saying there was significant postwar planning.

Senator Asks Rice About

Bolton and Leak Probe

A Democratic opponent of John R. Bolton asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice whether the nominee for ambassador to the United Nations had testified to a grand jury about the leak of a CIA operative's identity.

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee say they want to determine whether Bolton was truthful when he wrote on a questionnaire for his confirmation hearing that he has not been interviewed in recent investigations.

In a letter to Rice, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) referred to a July 21 MSNBC report stating that Bolton was among the State Department undersecretaries who "gave testimony" about a classified memo that has become an important piece of evidence in the investigation.

Congress Passes Bill

On Medical Errors

A national system designed to increase the reporting of medical errors won final congressional approval and was sent to President Bush.

It is estimated that more than 250 Americans die every day as a result of preventable medical errors. Health care officials say that the increased reporting of such errors would make it easier to spot harmful trends and find solutions, but that the current environment punishes openness because reporting such errors could lead to the loss of credentials or a lawsuit.

Under the legislation, health care officials would voluntarily report errors to patient safety organizations that would use databases to analyze the information and offer recommendations. The information would be privileged and confidential.

U.S. Joins Agreement

On Greenhouse Gases

The United States has reached a pact with Australia, China, India and South Korea aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by promoting energy technology, administration officials said yesterday.

The agreement, which Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick will announce today in Laos, aims to transfer technology to developing countries with a mix of private investment and tax credits.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports