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The likelihood of such an attack has all but disappeared with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-90. So the military elements of NATO have been looking, so far without success, for an alternative mission. Some thought the war in Yugoslavia might offer a reason for NATO to intervene there. On two occasions, NATO did intervene by sending its aircraft to bomb the Serbian irregulars, much to the chagrin of the UN's civilian adviser who was given a veto power over the use of NATO airpower. For his part, President Clinton has opposed lifting the arms embargo to permit the Bosnian Muslims to defend themselves against the Serbs.

According to Robert Gates, the Sandinistas were also sending arms to El Salvador, at the time a right wing military dictatorship with death squads. Gates' recent book, From the Shadows, relates the role played by the CIA in Nicaragua. " Interdiction of arms flowing from Nicaragua to El Salvador was only one plot initiated by Casey who recommended a Sandinista defector, Eden Pastora, operating out of Costa Rica do the job. Any glimpse at a map would show that El Salvador and Costa Rico were separated by Nicaragua.

Evidently, Justice Breyer had the temerity to disagree with the Chief Justice, although this dissent was elegant. The Chief Justice had missed the point of Justice Breyer's trenchant opinion. In an earlier case, Chief Justice Rehnquist had placed his own agenda on public display in Nolan v. City of Tigard, Oregon, 114 S. Ct. 2309 (1994). In a 5-4 decision, he converted an essentially environmental issue into a Fifth Amendment "taking" requiring compensation to the person whose property was "taken" for a public use.

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