This page has been broken up into two pages because of file size considerations. The second portion can be accessed via a button link at the end of this page.
Oil profiteering and the "oiligarchy"Encouraged by the Bush administration, Japan deals with Iraq in providing oil field studies, indicating that the Clinton administration's proscription for US allies against dealings with Iraq is no longer in force. (Bushwatch)
Anti-terrorism and homeland securityBush administration makes drastic cuts in anti-terrorism expenditures, including ending Predator surveillance of Osama bin Laden. The National Security Agency has a "major policy shift" from the previous administration; investigators are ordered to "back off" on investigation of Saudi ties to terrorism, especially if it involves ties to the royal family and their retainers. This essentially puts the bin Laden family off limits for investigators. Osama bin Laden is officially an exception to this rule, but FBI agents are discouraged from looking too closely into his finances. (CCR)
Halliburtonwhose ex-CEO, Dick Cheney, is the new Vice-President (and who still gets a $1 million "retainer" fee even though he is no longer with the company and should not receive a dime because of ethical considerations), opens an office in Tehran, Iran, to begin new offshore drilling operations. Iran is one of the countries that US companies are forbidden to have dealings with due to Iran's sponsorship of international terrorism. According to Halliburton, the company is committed to a large investment of its resources in a market with "huge growth potential." Cynics may wonder if even this early (September 2000), Halliburton was positioning itself to take advantage of the upcoming war with Iraq. (CCR)
Iraq war and occupationA joint US/UK bombing mission on Iraq's air defense system achieves little, wins no international support, and outrages much of the Arab world. (CCR)
Iraq war and occupationIraq is judged to be in the bottom 20% of the world as measured by health, educational, and economic standards. In 1989, 95% of the Iraqi population was literate, 92% had safe water, and 93% had free health care. In 1991, the water supplying Baghdad was as clean as any other developed nation's; in 2001, the untreated water from the Tigris used by most inhabitants was judged "lethal." (CCR)
US militaryRumsfeld's plans for reforming the military is generally popular, but according to one retired general, Rumsfeld is so arrogant and abusive that he has alienated everyone he needs to make his reform agenda happen. "Within six months, Rumsfeld wrecked the military," the general says. "He refused to talk to the military. The opposite of what [Dick] Cheney had done [Cheney was secretary of defense under George H.W. Bush]. He was worse than [Clinton's secretary of defense] Les Aspin. He asked for a $37 billion appropriations increase. But he was out of sync with his own administration. All they were talking about over there was tax cuts. Nobody on the Hill took him seriously. No one in the Pentagon took him seriously. By September 8, they were talking about his replacement. [Senator Richard] Lugar, I would guess."
Domestic terrorisma tabloid with offices in Florida. "But inside the oddly-worded letter was what was described as a 'soapy, powdery substance' and in the pile of that a cheap Star of David charm." The letter was handled both by Ernesto Blanco, who contacted anthrax, and Bob Stevens, who died of anthrax. The letter was thrown away, so it's not known if it contained anthrax. Bob Stevens was admitted to a hospital on October 2; the period between anthrax exposure and symptoms can be up to eight weeks. (CCR)
Conservative media slantThe fireworks, unannounced to the public, shake the ground and rattle windows for fifteen minutes, and are audible as far north as Mount Pleasant, Maryland, and as far south as Alexandria, Virginia. Thousands of local residents are frightened by the sudden barrage of light and sound, with hundreds calling police to report "gunfire" or worse, that some sort of attack is being launched against the capital city. "This is it," one resident recalls thinking, "We're being bombed." Another resident remembers thinking, "My God, there's something blowing up!" Once neighbors realize that what startled them out of sleep was a fireworks display and not some kind of attack, many become angry: "I think it's the height of insensitivity for the White House to wake up its neighbors," says one resident. Many post complaints on the Washington Post's Web site the next day, with one writing, "They're not on the ranch in Crawford, Texas. They're in the middle of the city. I think [Bush] could show us some consideration." A letter to the editor reads in part, "[M]aybe the president is cocky as hell and thinks the neighborhood [around the White House] is not really a neighborhood." The next night, ABC's Peter Jennings reports that "[t]he White House has apologized for a fireworks display last night in honor of the Mexican president."
Anti-terrorism and homeland securityBush responds to the attempts by US military commanders to receive additional funding to combat domestic terrorism, and their attempts to redirect $600 million from the multi-billion dollar missile defense system, by promising to veto any such attempts to secure funding. (Eric Alterman and Mark Green)
Islamist terrorismA legendary mujaheddin commander and a brilliant tactician, Massoud had pledged to bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan. The BBC says the next day, "General Massoud's death might well have meant the end of the [Northern] alliance" because there clearly was no figure with his skills and popularity to replace him. "With Massoud out of the way, the Taliban and al-Qaeda would be rid of their most effective opponent and be in a stronger position to resist the American onslaught." It appears the assassination was supposed to happen earlier -- the "journalists" waited for three weeks in Northern Alliance territory to meet Massoud. Finally on September 8, an aide says they "were so worried and excitable they were begging us." They were granted an interview after threatening to leave if the interview didn't happen in the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Taliban army (together with elements of the Pakistani army) had massed for an offensive against the Northern Alliance in the previous weeks, but the offensive began only hours after the assassination. Massoud was killed that day but Northern Alliance leaders pretended for several days that he was only injured in order to keep the army's morale up, and the army was able to stave off total defeat. The Northern Alliance releases a statement the next day: "Ahmed Shah Massoud was the target of an assassination attempt organized by the Pakistani [intelligence service] ISI and Osama bin Laden." (CCR)
Supreme CourtUS Supreme Court Justice David Souter, a moderate, said that he firmly believes that had he had one more day to argue his case with his colleagues, he could have persuaded one more justice to vote with him in the landmark Bush v. Gore case that gave the US presidency to George W. Bush. If that had happened, the court would have ruled 5-4 to allow Florida's votes to be recounted; those recounts would have given the election to Al Gore. Souter believes that he could have persuaded another moderately conservative justice, Anthony Kennedy, to switch his vote. The justices are clearly uneasy with their decision, as shown by the open animosity displayed among themselves during a visit to the court by six Russian justices. "In our country," one of the Russians said, "we wouldn't let judges pick the president." The Russian justice continued, saying that he knew that in various nations judges were in the pocket of executive officials; he just didn't know that was so in the United States. Justice Stephen Breyer, a liberal who passionately dissented from the majority of conservatives in their decision, attacked the decision then and there, in front of his colleagues and the Russian justices together. Breyer says that the decision was "the most outrageous, indefensible thing" the court had ever done. "We all agree to disagree, but this is different." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, another liberal dissenter, added, "[H]ere we're applying the Equal Protection Clause in a way that would de-legitimize virtually every election in American history." The third of the four dissenters, 80-year old John Paul Stevens, said simply: "I'm so tired. I am just so tired." Justice Kennedy, whose vote would have changed the outcome, refused to justify the decision, and merely said, "sometimes you have to be responsible and step up to the plate. You have to take responsibility." (Later inquiries prove that Kennedy, far from being willing to be swayed, was actually a driving force behind the decision.) (Guardian)
US militaryIn a speech to the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announces that the Department of Defense "cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions." It is later shown that 25% of the yearly defense budget is unaccounted for. An experienced defense analyst says, "[Their] numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year." Coverage of this story is nearly nonexistent given the events of the next day. (CBS/Killtown)
9/11 attacksThe Islamist extremist terrorist group al-Qaeda mounts a devastating attack on US soil, using four hijacked American jetliners. The World Trade Center in New York is destroyed; the Pentagon is struck; a fourth airliner crashes in Pennsylvania, presumably due to passengers' attempt to retake the plane. Bush goes into hiding for almost 12 hours, leaving New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani to take the lead in presenting a brave face to the shocked and horrified American public. The Bush administration knows that no connection between Hussein and al-Qaeda exists, but later ties Iraq into the terrorist attacks and uses this as a justification for their invasion of Iraq in 2003. Intimate personal and business ties between the Bush family and the bin Laden family (of Saudi Arabia) are investigated, but the American media, increasingly mesmerized by the prospects of war with Afghanistan and Iraq, pays little attention. (September 11 News)
Anti-terrorism and homeland securitywhen he tells his listeners that the US will "make no distinction between the terrorists who committed those acts and those who harbor them" The decision to implement this as a linchpin of America's post-9/11 foreign policy is made by Bush and national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, with no input from other officials, even Dick Cheney and Colin Powell. Nine days later, he tells Congress, "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." Ethicist Peter Singer says this should be more properly known as "the first Bush doctrine," in light of his later assertion that the US can engage in preemptive war against other countries if he believes they will present a future threat. To this end, CIA director George Tenet prepares a presentation for Bush called the "Worldwide Attack Matrix" describing active or planned operations in eighty separate countries. (Peter Singer, Robert Jay Lofton/Frances Fox Piven)
Iraq war and occupationHe begins planning retaliation. In his notes composed at this time (which are leaked almost one year later), he writes he wants the "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time. Not only UBL [Usama bin Laden]. Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not." Note his immediate intention to link the attacks to Saddam Hussein (and the implied realization that Hussein is not involved), the intention to "go massive" and attack Iraq whether "things" are "related or not." (CCR, CBS/Paul Waldman)
Attack on civil libertiesallowing the government to lock up anyone it wants without charges. Not even the White House officials are prepared to go this far in suspending such a bedrock of civil liberties. Later, Ashcroft's Justice Department inserts language in the extension of the USA Patriot Act that, if passed, would allow the government, for the first time in history, to make secret arrests. The extension will be tabled after it is leaked to the people and received with horror. (Paul Waldman)
9/11 attacksClarke doesn't know Bush very well, but, despite his view of Cheney, during Cheney's tenure as a House member, as one of the "five most radical conservatives in Congress [whose views seem] out of place if aired more broadly]," he knows Cheney and finds his presence reassuring. Bush had not been briefed on the terrorism threats, though Clarke had briefed Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell. And while these three officials had been briefed on Clinton's directive to "eliminate al-Qaeda" by arming Afghanistan's Northern Alliance and pushing the CIA to use lethal force, Bush knows nothing of the plan. Authors Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein write, "Eight months into his presidency, the president was the only principal out of the loop on his predecessor's plan for dealing with al-Qaeda."
Anti-terrorism and homeland securitywith connections to Al-Qaeda and a number of other terrorist organizations and support groups. The leader of WAMY is Abdullah bin Laden, the nephew of Osama bin Laden. For unknown reasons, the FBI agents conducting the investigations are yanked off the trail and told to bury any information about WAMY they might have found. Pakistan, India, Bosnia, Holland, and the Phillippines have already accused WAMY of being involved in violent terrorist acts, but the US government refuses to freeze WAMY's assets or otherwise interfere with its operations. The FBI has been interested in WAMY since 1996, but has never been allowed to thoroughly investigate the organization. Four of the 9/11 hijackers were listed as living at or near the WAMY address in Falls Church. (Greg Palast)
GOP campaign strategiesas Americans come together behind their political leaders. Political guru Karl Rove understands that his job is to make sure this political windfall is used properly. He predicts that Bush will enjoy seven to ten months of stratospherically high poll numbers, based on earlier crises. Bush himself declares privately that from now on, his presidency will be defined by the attacks. Just as his father's generation was called to World War II, this generation is called to fight global terror, he tells Rove. "I'm here for a reason," he tells Rove, "and this is going to be how we're going to be judged." (Bob Woodward)
Prewar intelligence on Iraq(The OSP and CIA clashed over the necessity to invade Iraq; Bush chose to follow the recommendations of the OSP over the CIA.) The OSP is composed of approximately a dozen members, is overseen by William Luti, is directed by Abram Shulsky, and reports directly to Paul Wolfowitz (who conceived the group) and Douglas Feith. The secret intelligence unit headed by Michael Maloof and David Wurmser is also folded into OSP. (Wurmser becomes senior adviser to Undersecretary of State John Bolton, in charge of the State Department's disarmament, proliferation, and WMD office, and actively promotes the Iraq war at State.) Shulsky, Luti, Wolfowitz, Feith, Maloof, and Wurmser have many things in common -- they are all neoconservatives, all have been strong advocates for war against Iraq, and all are willing to manipulate and even manufacture intelligence to serve their ends. Patrick Lang, the former chief of intelligence for the Middle East at the Defense Intelligence Agency, says that the Pentagon has "banded together to dominate the government's foreign policy, and they've pulled it off. They're running Chalabi. The DIA has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there's no guts at all in the CIA." A spokesman for Luti says that the OSP did the job that the CIA wasn't willing to do. A former Pentagon advisor who worked with OSP later says, "I'd love to be the historian who writes the story of how this small group of eight or nine people made the case and won."
US intelligenceOSI's mission is cloaked in secrecy, but one of its jobs is to provide "disinformation" in the form of false news reports, intelligence briefings, and other misinformation protocols to both foreign and domestic journalists. "We shouldn't be in that business," says one senior Defense Department official. "Leave the propaganda leaks to the CIA, the spooks." OSI comes under the authority of the neoconservative Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, and is headed by Air Force General Simon Worden. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke, spokeswoman for the Pentagon and Rumsfeld, refused to give precise information about when the bureau was created or what it was directed to accomplish. "It is a work in progress and the mandate is still unclear," she said, but investigators conclude that the office's mandate includes planting false stories in the press, sending pro-American e-mails from disguised addresses, and using cyber attacks to disrupt anti-American media coverage. OSI enjoys the broad support of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and has been given a multimillion-dollar budget from the $10 billion Pentagon emergency supplemental fund.
9/11 attacksCondoleezza Rice calls together senior members of the National Security Council and asks them "to think about 'how do you capitalize on these opportunities,'" which she compares with those of "1945 to 1947" -- the start of the Cold War. (New Yorker/Activist/Network Opposing War and Racism)
Iraq war and occupation"[O]n September 11, 2001, the world changed. Overnight, Iraq developed a massive stockpile of, as Bush would describe them, 'the most lethal weapons ever devised.' It was an accomplishment that put the Manhattan Project to shame." Franken is referencing comments by administration officials such as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice just weeks before that reassured Americans that Hussein had no such programs, had no ties to Islamic terrorists, and posed no military threat to either the US or his Middle East neighbors. That assessment flip-flops after 9/11, when Bush and his senior officials decide to use the terrorist attacks as an excuse to invade Iraq. (Al Franken)
US intelligencethat all classified information will be restricted to just eight members of Congress, essentially crippling Congress's ability to conduct oversight on intelligence matters. "The only Members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information," Bush writes, "are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate." Bush justifies the order by saying it will protect "military security" and "sensitive law enforcement." However, it will be used as a tool by the future chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts, to ensure that no serious investigations will be mounted into the administration's successful "fixing" of the intelligence used to take the United States into a war with Iraq. (Raw Story)
Iraq-Niger scandalabout a public visit that Wissam al-Zahawie, Iraq's ambassador to the Vatican, made to several African nations, including Niger, during February 1999. The US ambassador to Niger made a routine report on the visit and forgot it. SISMI resurrects the visit for US intelligence and suggests darkly that al-Zahawie may have visited Niger to secure "yellowcake" uranium for Iraq as part of a secret plan to build a nuclear bomb. The US intelligence community doesn't find the speculation credible, and dismisses it as "amateurish and unsubstantiated." The report doesn't contain any documentation whatsoever, just a summary of allegations. "I can fully believe that SISMI would put out a piece of intelligence like that," says a CIA consultant, "but why anybody would put credibility in it is beyond me." But the report is quickly "stovepiped" to the Vice President's office without any response or caveats from the intelligence experts, and he and other senior Bush officials latch on to it as hard evidence of their assertions that Iraq has been creating nuclear and other WMDs. Cheney is quick to ask the CIA at his regular daily briefing about the allegation, and the agency returns with information that, in the early 1980s, Iraq had indeed acquired uranium ore from Niger, but that material had long since been placed in secure storage and monitored by the IAEA. "End of story," says a Cheney spokeswoman, but that is anything but the end of the story.
9/11 attacksof Florida 2000 fame, a $12 million contract to use its DNA database to identify body parts of 9/11 victims found in Staten Island garbage dumps, where much of the WTC debris has been hauled. But that contract is only the foot in the door for ChoicePoint. While Constitutional law forbids the government to spy on citizens unless there is legal justification, i.e. suspicion of criminal activity, the private sector can spy with impunity -- so, in essence, the Bush administration will "outsource" its citizen snooping to ChoicePoint, using the USA Patriot Act to justify its actions. According to the Act, passed later in 2001, the government can now ask private companies for the data it cannot legally obtain on its own. The federal Total Information Office, later supposedly disbanded and reborn under the moniker "Terrorism Information Office," will ask its employees to come up with new and unusual ways to use the ChoicePoint information about the citizenry. And well after 2001, ChoicePoint will begin its inaptly named "ChoicePoint Cares" program -- building a DNA database of every citizen and resident in the US. (The justification is to aid in finding lost and kidnapped children.)
Attack on civil libertiesFirst Data Corporation, one of the nation's largest processor of credit-card transactions, agrees to give the FBI access to its records. Author Ron Suskind, of the June 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine, says that the First Data operation "swept up the suspicious, or simply the unfortunate, by the stadiumful and caught almost no one who was actually a danger to America." (Washington Post)
9/11 attacksBush comments gaily to his budget director, "Lucky me, I hit the trifecta." He is referring to earlier comments that he had promised not to raid the Social Security funds except in the case of war, recession, and a national emergency. Before August 2001, he promised never to touch the Social Security funds, period. After the 9/11 attacks, the "trifecta" joke becomes a staple of Bush's campaign speeches, but only to audiences of supporters. True to his word, Bush begins to plunder the Social Security coffers soon after the attacks. (Guardian, David Cogswell)
9/11 attacks"On September 11, 2001, the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington inflicted heavy losses on the frame of the American body politic; they also severely injured -- not so obviously but no less surely -- its animating principle and spirit. By nightfall the notion of a democratic republic founded on the premise of honest and sometimes sharply pointed speech had been placed in administrative detention, suspended until further notice, canceled because of rain; in the skyboxes of the national mews media, august personages were reaffirming America's long-standing alliances with God, Moses, George Washington, and the hydrogen bomb. The barbarian was at the gates, civilization trembled in the balance, and now was not the time for any careless choice of word." (Lewis Lapham)
9/11 attacks"As the wife of blogger Dwight Meredith observed, 9/11 became Bush's 'little black dress.' Meaning he could slip it on for almost any occasion. Bush put on his little black dress to accuse Senate Democrats of not being sufficiently patriotic, to unravel Americans' civil liberties, to make the case for drilling in ANWR, and even as an excuse not to allow prescription drugs to be reimported from Canada." (Al Franken)
9/11 attacksmeets with US officials and negotiates Pakistan's cooperation with the US against al-Qaeda. Apparently he is visited twice by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who offers him the choice: "Help us and breathe in the 21st century along with the international community or be prepared to live in the Stone Age." Secretary of State Powell presents Mahmood seven demands as an ultimatum and Pakistan supposedly agrees to all seven. Mahmood also has meetings with Senator Joseph Biden, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Secretary of State Powell, regarding Pakistan's position. On September 13, the airport in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, is shut down for the day. A government official later says the airport had been closed because of threats made against Pakistan's "strategic assets," but doesn't elaborate. The next day, Pakistan declares "unstinting" support for the US, and the airport is reopened. Later it is suggested that Israel and India threatened to attack Pakistan and take control of its nuclear weapons if Pakistan didn't side with the US. It is later reported that Mahmood's presence in Washington was a lucky blessing; one Western diplomat saying it "must have helped in a crisis situation when the US was clearly very, very angry." (CCR)
9/11 attacksamong others, NSC counterterrorism expert Rand Beers, is at breakfast with Peru's president, Alejandro Toledo, when they learn of the attacks. Powell orders their plane refueled for their immediate departure, but the delay is maddeningly long; Powell is able to give a short speech to the Organization of American States assembly before the plane is ready to leave. Beers recalls the flight as being "somber all the way back," with little information available because they have no media access. (Rand Beers/Bill Katovsky)
War in Afghanistanthe commander of Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia, that the military needs to "get ready to go to war" in Afghanistan, a task that military commanders have been looking forward to since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon the day before. But, Scheid reveals in September 2006, the focus quickly changes. Within a day or two, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Scheid and other generals "we were going to war in Afghanistan and to start building the war plan. We were going to go fast." Scheid recalls, "Then, just as we were barely into Afghanistan, Rumsfeld came and told us to get ready for Iraq." Scheid remembers everyone thinking, "My gosh, we're in the middle of Afghanistan, how can we possibly be doing two at one time? How can we pull this off? It's just going to be too much." Planning for the Iraq invasion, originally based on offensive plans for Iraq already in place, was extremely secretive: "There was only a handful of people, maybe five or six, that were involved with that plan because it had to be kept very, very quiet," says Scheid. Eventually other military agencies like the transportation and Army materiel commands had to get involved, he says; the senior civilians in the Defense Department and the White House could not just "keep planning this in the dark."
Iraq war and occupationDeputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and others support the idea. Bush and all of his advisors agree that Iraq should be attacked, but they decide such an attack should wait. Secretary of State Powell says, "Public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible." (There is still no evidence suggesting Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks.) Wolfowitz is given the task of finding, or creating, a justification for a war against Iraq to be given to the world during Bush's next State of the Union address. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, a member of the Defense Policy Board who backed an invasion of Iraq, theorizes that Saddam is connected to the World Trade Center attacks, and tells one journalist that no matter what, Iraq should be invaded because Hussein would likely be involved in future attacks. Woolsey goes to London to gather evidence to back up his theory, which has the support of Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, then the Defense Policy Board chairman. Wolfowitz, Perle, and other administration officials believe that, if they could tie Hussein to al-Qaeda, they could justify the war to the American people. As a veteran aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee observes, "They knew that, if they could really show a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, then their objective, ... which was go in and get rid of Hussein, would have been a foregone conclusion." Woolsey's main piece of evidence for a link between Saddam and al-Qaeda is a meeting that was supposed to have taken place in Prague in April 2001 between lead September 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence official, but none of the intelligence agencies could place Atta in Prague on that date. Atta was proven to be in the US during this time, traveling between Florida and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
9/11 attacksIn response to the terrorist attacks, NATO invokes its mutual defense clause for the first time in its history, declaring the strikes to be attacks on the entire alliance. (NATO and UN History)
Anti-terrorism and homeland securityThe speech, though intended to address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday," mentions nothing of terrorism. The speech's content is never made publkic, but as the Washington Post writes on April 1, 2004, "The address was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy, and contained no mention of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, or extremist Islamic groups, according to former US officials who have seen the test." (Washington Post/Al Franken)
9/11 attacksa highly regarded conservative pundit, tells a CNN audience that in retaliation for the attacks Bush should declare war on militant Islam, and calls for strikes against targets in Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and even China. And a Wall Street Journal editorial calls for strikes against "terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Algeria, and perhaps even parts of Egypt." (CNN/Wall Street Journal/Frances Fox Piven)
Terrorism detainees and "enemy combatants"Omar is informed his arrest is because he purchased an airline ticket from the same Kinko's that terrorist Mohammed Atta had earlier purchased a ticket. Omar is kept without charge in solitary confinement in a maximun-security jail for two months, with the lights on 24 hours a day. When he asks to phone a lawyer, he is refused. Finally, Omar is charged with overstaying a tourist visa (though he is married to a US citizen, has a work permit, and is applying for permanent residency). After 10 weeks in custody, he is released. Others fare worse. Jordanian immigrant Ali Yaghi, also married to a US citizen, applies for a green card, and instead gets ten months in solitary confinement without charge. The FBI claims its evidence against Yaghi is secret, refuses to talk with Yaghi's lawyer, and deports Yaghi to Jordan without informing his family. His children ask every day when their father will come home; his wife has no answer. Attorney General Ashcroft and other Justice Department officials refuse to comment on either case, or dozens of similar cases. Ashcroft will later admit that "about 97%" of those detained on immigration charges after the 9/11 attacks have no connection to terrorists. In September 2003 the Justice Department will grudgingly admit that not one of the hundreds of citizens, immigrants, and foreign nationals picked up in its sweeps after the attacks have been linked to terrorism, or charged with any terrorist activities. (CBS/Eric Alterman and Mark Green)
9/11 attacks"The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now -- with somebody -- and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.... We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed -- for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now." (ESPN/Buzzflash)