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If there is a board, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus should delay a censure decision because the inquiry may find the officer did nothing wrong, Capt. Honor’s attorney, Charles Gittins, told special correspondent Rowan Scarborough.

“Captain Honors provided a personal letter to the secretary of the Navy requesting that the secretary not impose a letter of censure because administrative actions, including a recommendation for a fact-finding adversarial board of inquiry hearing, have not been completed and premature action runs the risks of inconsistent determinations,” Mr. Gittins said.

WMD terror

Several terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, continued to seek nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, according to an annual CIA report to Congress.

The so-called 721 Report, after the fiscal 1997 intelligence authorization law requiring it, stated that “a number” of the 33 foreign terrorist groups on the State Department’s list “previously expressed interest in one or more” of the weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities.

“We continue to be concerned about al Qaeda’s stated intent to conduct unconventional attacks against the United States, the report said. “While counterterrorism actions have disrupted al Qaeda’s near term effort to develop a sophisticated [WMD] attack capability, we judge the group is still intent on its acquisition.”

No carrier to Libya

The chief of naval operations told a Senate hearing Tuesday that the Obama administration has not ordered the U.S. military to move an aircraft carrier close to Libya, usually one of the first U.S. reactions to a regional crisis like the civil war in the oil-rich North African state.

Under questioning from Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Gary Roughead was asked during a committee hearing about U.S. capabilities for using electronic warfare against the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

Adm. Roughead said U.S. Navy EA-6Bs, deployed on the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier strike group currently in the Red Sea, would be needed to jam Soviet-era Libyan air defenses.

“Are there plans to move it?” Mr. McCain asked.

“At the present time, the plans are for her to remain in this central command area of operations, sir,” Adm. Roughead said. “There is no order issued to do that, no, sir.”

Adm. Roughead said he is hesitant to predict the outcome of the fighting there.

“I think it’s still a very uncertain period that bears watching,” he said. “And then as some of the thoughts are discussed and debated, I believe, at least from a military perspective, that looking at what some of those details may be ahead of time is very important — the issues such as a no-fly zone, what are the restrictions on use of force, what are the basing and the access that might be required. And I think all of those need to be sorted through.”

Asked later about imposing an air exclusion zone over Libya, Adm. Roughead said doing so risked launching a conflict.

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