The Year in Review - Part Three
by Smokey Sojac
One - January, February, March
Two - April, May, June
Four - October, November, December
Bush celebrates Independence Day with a visit to the Jefferson
Memorial. Tourists are chased away by security personnel,
and replaced with hand-picked Republican supporters. Says
Bush, "It's an unimaginable honor to be the president during
the Fourth of July of this country. It means what these words
say, for starters. The great inalienable rights of our country.
We're blessed with such values in America. And I-it's-I'm
a proud man to be the nation based upon such wonderful values.
I can't tell you what it's like to be in Europe, for example,
to be talking about the greatness of America. But the true
greatness of America are the people." He also limits access
to the traditional fireworks show to a handful of invited
guests. By contrast, more than 8,000 members of the public
came to Bill Clinton's 2000 Independence Day fireworks show.
The International Plan for Cleaner Energy is proposed by
the G-8 group of industrial nations (US, Canada, Japan, Russia,
Germany, France, Italy, UK). The US is the only one to oppose
The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention had been
ratified by 144 nations including the United States. This
month the US walks out of a London conference to discuss a
1994 protocol designed to strengthen the Convention by providing
for on-site inspections. At Geneva in November 2001, US Undersecretary
of State John Bolton will state that "the protocol is dead,"
at the same time accusing Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya,
Sudan, and Syria of violating the Convention but offering
no specific allegations or supporting evidence. In December
it will turn out that the Pentagon and the CIA have been doing
bioweapons research in violation of the treaty.
Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old office worker for retiring
Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, is found dead in the
congressman's district office. "It's my understanding that
she had prior health problems," says medical examiner Michael
Berkland, who adds that there is no sign of trauma. After
a delay, Berkland's report labels her death "accidental" due
to an undiagnosed heart condition. Klausutis is a member of
the Northwest Florida track club and has recently completed
an 8K run. Two cops who view the autopsy tell the Northwest
Florida Daily News that Klausutis had a fractured skull. It
emerges that Berkand, an osteopath, had his license suspended
in 1999 after Florida had discovered his Missouri doctor's
license had been revoked for unethical conduct and knowingly
making a false statement in autopsy reports.
The UN Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit
Small Arms is sabotaged in July by the Bush Administration,
making the US the only nation to oppose it. The US gun lobby
is the largest merchant of small arms in the world.
The spy plane brought down by the Chinese in April is finally
flown home in pieces by the Russians.
Eliot Abrams, convicted of lying to Congress to cover up
the Reagan Administration funding terrorists in Central America,
is chosen director of the National Security Council's office
for democracy, human rights and international operations.
James Howard Hatfield is found dead of a drug overdose in
mysterious circumstances. Hatfield's biography of Bush, "Fortunate
Son," revealed among other things, that Bush had been arrested
for cocaine possession in 1972 and sentenced to community
service at Houston's Project PULL.
Gaddi Vasquez, a Southern California Edison executive, is
Bush's nominee as director of the Peace Corps. Besides SCE,
which went belly-up this spring, Vasquez also presided over
the Orange County investment debacle which cost residents
$1.7 billion. He also has had heart surgery within the past
According to Le Figaro and Radio France, Osama Bin Laden
receives treatment for his kidney infection at the American
Hospital in Dubai. While there he is visited by many members
of his family as well as prominent Saudis and Emiratis, and
the local CIA man in Dubai. When the story breaks in November,
Dr. Terry Callaway, the urologist who treats him, will refuse
The Navy is asked to pay Deadheart Dick Cheney's $186,000
electric bill at the Vice Presidential residence. Earlier
in the year, dismissing talk of energy conservation, he had
said, ""If you want to leave all the lights on in your house,
you can. But you will pay for it."
American Express announces it will cut 8,000 jobs. Lucent
Technologies announces it will cut 20,000 jobs. ABB announces
it will cut 12,000 jobs.
Philip Morris officially apologizes for a report in which
they advised that the rising death rate among smokers would
save taxpayers money, as government would not have to pay
medical costs for those dying quickly and young.
The Bush Administration, with assistance from Solicitor General
Theodore Olson and Ken Starr, urges the Supreme Court to grant
an appeal from Cleveland pro-voucher activists, even though
the federal government has played no role in the lawsuit.
The vouchers were declared unconstitutional in December, 2000,
and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear
the case in February.
A fire breaks out after a train derails in a downtown Baltimore
tunnel, spewing black smoke and prompting city officials to
close all major throughfares through the city. Eight out of
the sixty cars on the train contain hazardous material, including
hydrochloric acid. Local residents are urged to keep their
windows closed and ventilation systems off while the black
smoke billows out of the tunnel. Officials are still investigating
While Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham is defending proposed
Bush DOE cuts in conservation programs before the Senate Energy
and Natural Resources Committee, dedicated Bush supporter
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) implores Secretary Abraham to explain
to the Committee "how cutting the energy budget when facing
a potential energy crisis isn't dumb." Bartlett explains publicly
that he is so fond of this president that he doesn't "want
him to look dumb."
On July 14, as part of a test of the proposed anti-missile
system, a missile successfully strikes a target drone whose
trajectory, speed and time of launch were all known. After
first denying it, the Pentagon admits that the target contained
a radio beacon guiding the missile to it.
Attorney General John Ashcroft files an amicus curiae brief
contradicting the position taken by his Justice Department
in United States v. Emerson, then pending before the United
States Court of Appeals in New Orleans. His brief is inconsistent
with Justice Department policy on the Second Amendment that
can be traced back more than 65 years. It omits any reference
to the one case in which the Supreme Court actually ruled
on the Second Amendment, contains gross factual errors, takes
historical material out of context, misquotes sources, and
portrays as authoritative cases that have nothing at all to
do with the Second Amendment.
The City Council of tiny La Verkin, Utah, declares the town
a "UN-free" zone. Any resident who supports the United Nations
must file annual reports to the city and post a sign noting
his or her support. "This is dumb," says resident Rebecca
Beckham. "Why is it any of their business to deal with the
United Nations? They should fix the potholes."
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., orders TV preacher Pat
Robertson's Christian Coalition to stop retaliating against
several African-American employees who are suing the group
on charges of racial bias. In a ruling issued July 30, U.S.
District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina finds that the Coalition
had retaliated against the employees who filed the lawsuit
by slashing their hours in an effort to drive them off. Urbina
orders that the workers be returned to full-time hours.
Russian president Putin says Russia would be willing to discuss
changes in the 1972 ABM treaty. Undersecretary of State John
Bolton rejects any discussion of changes. Says Bolton, "We
will move ahead on our own if need be."
A natural gas well explosion in a remote area of western
Texas about 64 miles east of Waco, TX, claims the lives of
two workers and injuring five others. About 10 to 12 Halliburton
Company workers are in the area when the blowout occurred.
Federal gun buyback programs, which got 20,000 weapons off
the street last year, are ended by the Bush administration.
The nude bodies of 13-year-old Bradley Warren, 14-year-old
Brandon Warren, and 19-year-old Marnie Warren are found in
their home strewn with trash and animal feces in Kenly, NC.
Brandon shot his brother and sister before turning the gun
on himself. Parents Boyd and Nissa Mae Warren, who had previously
been convicted of felony child abuse in 1991, were home-schooling
the trio. They face up to 120 days in jail under existing
In Nashville, bus driver Willie Huston, who is holding a
blind friend's arm and watching his fiancee's purse, is shot
to death in parking lot by Lewis Maynard Davidson III, who
thinks Huston is gay.
Free-lance journalist Vanessa Leggett is ordered jailed by
Attorney General John Ashcroft in a secret trial. An appeal
of the ruling in August is opened to the public only after
massive outcry. The longest jailed author in US history, she
is still in jail at year's end. She has refused to turn over
her notes regarding the murder of the wife of a Bush campaign
contributor to a Houston grand jury.
The Environmental Protection Agency goes to court to block
Clinton-administration rules requiring the cleanup of national
A sulfuric acid spill at the Motiva oil refinery in Delaware
City, DE kills one worker and releases a cloud of toxic gas.
An unknown quantity of acid and chemicals used to fight the
fire flows over a protective dike around the storage tank
and spills into the Delaware River. The state Department of
Natural Resources and Environmental Control and U.S. Coast
Guard works to contain the spill, which kills more than 1,600
An arsine release from at a river port of Catoosa, Oklahoma
chemical facility sends 138 employees and workers at neighboring
facilities to local hospitals. A tank of arsine gas, used
in the semiconductor industry, erupts July 11 at the Solkatronic
Chemical plant. Workers at Solkatronic and the Air-X-Changers
plant next door are affected.
A fire and explosion occurs in the hydroflouric acid alkylation
unit at the Ultramar Diamond Shamrock (UDS) refinery in Three
Rivers, TX, injuring four people. Hundreds of people are driven
from their homes.
Bush takes a month-long vacation after just over six months
in office. During those six months, he has spent 42 percent
of the time already on vacation, including 54 days at his
Texas ranch, 38 days at the presidential retreat at Camp David
and four more at his parents' place in Kennebunkport, ME.
By contrast, American workers have the fewest vacation days
in the industrialized world. During his vacation Middle East
violence will skyrocket, and he will do nothing about it.
Egypt and the UN urge the US to implement the Mitchell Commission
recommendations. That report, commissioned by President Clinton
in October 2000 called for an end to the fighting, the halting
of settlement building and the arrests of known Arab terrorists
-- all steps intended to precede peace talks. It also called
on Israel not to use lethal force against stone throwers.
"There's a lot of people in the Middle East who are desirous
to get into the Mitchell process. And-but first things first.
The-these terrorist acts and, you know, the responses have
got to end in order for us to get the framework-the groundwork-not
framework, the groundwork to discuss a framework for peace,
to lay the-all right," Bush says. "My administration has been
calling upon all the leaders in the-in the Middle East to
do everything they can to stop the violence, to tell the different
parties involved that peace will never happen."
On August 23, the FBI issues an alert to try and stop Khalid
Al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhamzi, who will be two of the September
11 hijackers from entering the US, as they are known associates
of Osama Bin Laden. They are already in Los Angeles. The information
is not shared with other agencies.
After weeks of hype, Bush announces that he will allow $250
million in Federal funding of stem cell in a bizarre televised
speech seemingly delivered from a desk in an empty cow pasture.
He limits funding to just 60 stem cell lines, whose patents
turn out to be coincidentally controlled by a company with
which HHS secretary Tommy Thompson is involved. It later emerges
all 60 lines are contaminated with mouse cells.
In conjunction with the stem cell decision, Bush announces
the formation of President's Council on Bioethics that will
consider scientific and ethical considerations as the research
proceeds. It will be chaired by Dr. Leon Kass, who has stated
that any thing he finds personally "repugnant" must be immoral.
Bush pays China $35,000 for their costs in downing our spy
plane back in April.
The Bush administration successfully pressures the National
Industry Liaison Group, a trade association of corporate anti-discrimination
officers, to cancel their keynote speaker Alfred Ross, president
of the Institute for Democracy Studies. Ross had been planning
to spell out the concerted activities of the Heritage Foundation,
the Federalist Society and other right wing groups to turn
back the clock on civil rights and attack the concept of diversity.
On August 21, the Fed makes its seventh rate cut of the year.
The House rejects an amendment to raise fuel efficiency standards
for cars and sport utility vehicles. Fuel efficiency is at
a 20 year low.
Virulent racist and world class idiot Jesse Helms announces
he will not run for re-election.
Utah gun nuts erupted in fury when they learn they will not
be allowed by the Secret Service to tote their precious firearms
into a hall at the state Republican convention where Deadheart
Dick Cheney is about to speak. The GOP defuses the controversy
by providing storage lockers. At the convention, the delegates
pass a resolution calling for the President and Congress to
get the U.S. out of the United Nations, three measures calling
for school vouchers, and a jury nullification resolution.
White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales says compiling information
on discussions White House senior adviser Karl Rove had with
representatives of companies in which he held stock would
be "extraordinarily burdensome if not impossible." The White
House rejects a request from Congress to provide the information.
Before being directed to sell his stocks in June because they
posed a conflict of interest -- a directive that enabled him
to defer capital gains taxes -- Rove met with officials or
trade association representatives of at least six companies
in which he said he had more than $100,000 worth of stock:
Intel, Enron, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer
Interior Secretary Gale Norton names the Fresno Municipal
Sanitary Landfill as a historic landmark. The 145-acre dump
has been on the EPA's Agency's Superfund list for 12 years.
It has polluted the Fresno groundwater with leaking oil, paint,
solvents and other toxics, and generates methane gas that
must be burned off. Cleanup will cost the city $23 million
to clean up, according to the EPA.
Wealthy pharamacist Robert Courtney is indicted for watering
down cancer drugs. He blames a $300,000 pledge to his church,
where a fellow parishoner is John Ashcroft. He is denied bail
when he is detected trying to shift $5 million in assets to
the Cayman Islands.
The Pentagon admits that X-band radar, necessary to make
the proposed national missile defense work, is unreliable
when rain, snow, hail, sleet or high clouds are present in
the atmosphere. Funding for the X-band radar has not been
included in the escalating costs of the missile defense system,
and no US ally has agreed to allow the US to install an X-band
radar on its soil.
Under the Clinton administration, demonstrators protesting
the national missile defense faced misdemeanor charges. The
Bush administration charges Greenpeace demonstrators with
felony charges of "conspiracy to violate a safety zone," carrying
a maximum penalty of six years in prison and fines of $250,000.
Such harsh treatment is unusual for protests not resulting
in violence or the destruction of property.
Cleanup crews discover uranium leaking in a pipe under two
West Chicago houses, marking the first discovery of that radioactive
substance contamination in the neighborhood. Two houses have
to be raised on jacks; this is the first time homes have had
to be moved in the nearly decade-long cleanup of the shuttered
Kerr-McGee chemical factory. "The homes are closely adjacent
to the old factory site, and the uranium was transmitted through
an extremely old clay pipe," said Rich Allen, manager of the
office of environmental safety in the state's Department of
Nuclear Safety. "(The pipe) is so old it's not on the easement
maps, and nobody from the 20th century seems to remember it."
The BP Amoco Polymers plant In Augusta, GA is again revamping
safety procedures after an operator suffered second-degree
burns in a mishap in the Amodel unit - the same unit where
an explosion killed three workers earlier this year.
An Oklahoman BP Amoco crude oil pipeline ruptures after being
struck by a machine cleaning roadside ditches, sending oil
30 feet into the air and damaging nearby cotton crops with
up to 150,000 gallons spilled. The Jackson County Commissioner's
Office constructs dikes to help contain the spilled oil.
In Louisiana, about 75 people are evacuated for three days
after an ammonia leak blamed on vandals. Ammonia began escaping
from two points of a Koch Pipeline Co. line after someone
had drilled into a valve, probably to get ammonia to make
A freight train carrying hazardous materials near Wichita,
KS, derails and catches fire after reportedly hitting a backhoe.
Three engines and 10 extra-long flat cars of the train go
off the tracks. More than 120 residents of the rural area
south of Wichita are evacuated as thick black smoke rises
from the blaze. Two sheriff's deputies are hospitalized.
The Republican National Committee launches a website to bridge
the gender gap and woo women voters. The website is pink with
pastel lettering and includes Condoleeza Rice's style and
makeup tips, but fails to address the environment, health
care, education, workplace equality, day care or other issues.
An instructor at a Minnesota flight school warns the F.B.I.
in August of his suspicion that a student, who is later identified
as a part of Osama Bin Laden's terror network, might be planning
to use a commercial plane loaded with fuel as a weapon. The
instructor spells out the terrorist threat posed by the student,
The scheduled release of 68,000 pages of Reagan era documents
is delayed yet again by the Enron administration, which says
it wants a few more weeks to review them, in violation of
the Presidential Records Act of 1978. The papers cover the
period when Osama Bin Laden was recruited and trained by the
Reagan Administration, as well as the period when arms were
being sold secretly in the Middle East to finance the terrorist
campaigns of the Contras.
Forensic researchers uncover the remains of 15 people in
a former U.S. base used to train the Nicaraguan Contras in
the 1980s. The list of people missing at El Aguacate air base
includes 105 Hondurans, 39 Nicaraguans, 28 Salvadorans, five
Costa Ricans, four Guatemalans, two U.S. citizens, an Ecuadorean
and a Venezuelan.
With little fanfare, Pardongate goes poof. The US attorney's
office reports that it has found no wrongdoing and that no
indictments are planned. The "scandal" has been a staple of
right wing hate radio for months, but now joins Whitewater,
Fostergate, Filegate, Lincolnbedroomgate, Chinagate, and other
phony scandals in the dustheap of idiocy.
Investigators discover e-mails fixing natural gas prices
in California in El Paso Corp.'s computers. Over a year's
time, El Paso's conduct was largely responsible for raising
natural gas bills by $1 billion and wholesale electricity
costs by $2.7 billion, an impact of $3.7 billion.
An ammonia leak at a St. Paul, Minnesota brewing company
sent 15 workers to the hospital. Nearby residents were also
reportedly sickened near the facility.
Enron CEO Ken Lay threatens US sanctions against India unless
India pays Enron $1 billion for electricity from its Dabhol
power plant. Indian officials say Enron is charging them nearly
twice what other power producers is charging.
A fire breaks out at a three-story brick warehouse operated
by JAG Industries, Inc., and Baltimore City Fire officials
shut the plant down because the company did not have the proper
permits to store and use hazardous chemicals, according to
fire spokesman Hector Torres. "We weren't aware that they
were operating or had hazardous materials on the premises.
Until we actually go through the building and inspect and
make sure that everything is the way it should (be) they cannot
operate." Torres says. A variety of tablets and capsules are
made at the plant, including nutrition supplements for animals
and tablets for aquarium water testing.
The EPA under Clinton sued several power plants for adding
capacity without following Clean Air Act regulations requiring
them to reduce emissions. Bush's EPA drops the suits.
The administration plans to delay a compensation program
for workers who contracted illnesses after working on Cold
War-era nuclear weapons programs. "The administration is shirking
its moral and legal responsibility to a segment of society
that is powerless because they're old and sick. It's a total
disgrace,'' said Lori Goodman, spokeswoman for Dine CARE,
which represents Navajo Indians who worked in the uranium
NASCAR holds a news conference announcing the results of
its $1 million six-month investigation into Dale Earnhardt's
death in January while trying to cheat in the Daytona 500.
Questioning by the press reveals that the doctors issuing
the report have not viewed the autopsy photos.
B. John Williams is nominated as chief counsel to the Internal
Revenue Service. The Wall Street Journal reveals that while
seeking to justify disputed tax credits claimed by his client,
Shell Oil Co., Williams and a Shell in-house lawyer used a
private investigator to dig up dirt on a crucial government
witness. Williams later used the information to suggest the
expert might be a crook. The Justice Department eventually
determined the allegations to be false, and government lawyers,
incensed by the tactics, urged the witness to file a defamation
lawsuit, according to court papers. Shell paid a six-figure
sum to settle the defamation claim
The Interior Department names J. Steven Griles, a top lobbyist
for the oil, gas and coal industries as deputy secretary and
William Myers III head of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association
as solicitor. Myers had represented the grazing interests
in lawsuits against the policies he will now be enforcing.
Bush rushes back from his month long August vacation just
in time to take a long Labor Day weekend at Camp David. Only
William Henry Harrison has spent less time working as president
than George W. at this point in his administration, and Harrison
died of pneumonia after his first month in office.
Bush holds a $250,000 private firework show on September
5 for 136 private guests. The public is neither warned nor
invited. Startled residents phone police, claming a missile
attack is underway. Local radio stations receive dozens of
calls asking what kind of idiot would set off fireworks on
a school night.
Texas Senator Phil Gramm unexpectedly announces he will not
run for re-election. Gramm's wife Wendy is on the Board of
Directors of Enron, and while chairwoman of the Commodsity
Futures Trading Commission in the waning days of the first
Bush administration, she proposed the deregulation rule that
created the conglomerate.
19 Saudi and Egyptian terrorists hijack four planes on the
morning of September 11. Two are crashed into the towers of
the World Trade Center, one is crashed into the Pentagon,
which has no anti-aircraft capabilities, and one crashes in
Pennsylvania. Although Andrews Air Force Base's fighters are
less than 10 miles from the Pentagon, no fighters are scrambled.
About three thousand people from all over the world are killed.
Most are Americans. Bush, in Florida for a photo-op, reads
to elementary school kids even after being informed of the
first two crashes. He tells a nationwide television audience
that he has checked with the vice president, then disappears
for more than 12 hours. He will eventually turn out to be
hiding at a nuclear-bomb-proof shelter in Nebraska.
Mouthpiece Ari Fleisher announces there is evidence Air Force
One is a terrorist target. Within days, that is revealed as
Former president Bill Clinton, on a speaking engagement in
Australia, races back to New York City to be with daughter
Chelsea and is there September 12. City residents greet him
warmly on the street. Bush does not go to NYC until Friday,
two days after reporters have begun asking when he would go.
In the Midwest, residents run in panic to buy guns and many
gas stations immediately raise prices as high as four and
five dollars a gallon. A Sikh is shot in Arizona and a Filipino
beaten in New Mexico by "patriots" who mistake them for Muslims.
A reporter in Seattle, wearing a traditional Muslim scarf
to investigate reports of bias, is shoved into the path of
Published reports say White House staffers begin taking the
antibiotic Cipro on the evening of September 11.
In a televised address to Congress on September 12, Bush
asks Congress for $20 billion to rebuild New York City. Congress
votes him the money, which will mysteriously shrink to $9
billion when he gives it to New York City.
According to OMB director Mitch Daniels, when Bush is reminded
after September 11 that he had repeatedly promised to run
an overall budget surplus at least as large as the Social
Security surplus, except in the event of recession, war or
national emergency, he laughs, "Lucky me, I hit the trifecta."
Jerry Falwell tells Pat Robertson on the "700 Club" the attacks
are America's fault. "God continues to lift the curtain and
allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve,"
Falwell says, before going on to blame the terrorist attacks
on pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays and lesbians, the
ACLU, People for the American Way -- "all of them who have
tried to secularize America."
Phil Gramm announces he opposes Bush Administration efforts
to crack down on terrorist money laundering. Because the Senate
is controlled by Democrats, he is no longer able to block
the measures as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee,
the way he did in 1998 and 1999 when Bill Clinton proposed
the same measure. Bush gets his authority to shut down terrorist
Bush announces creation of a Cabinet-level Office of Homeland
Security and names Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to coordinate
efforts to prevent terrorism. The New York Times discovers
that Ridge has no budget, no duties and no clear-cut authority
over any government agency.
Bush declares a war to end ALL terrorism, which he calls
a "crusade," immediately offending our Muslim allies. He apologizes.
He effort is titled "Operation Infinite Justice," again offending
our Muslim allies. Bush apologizes again. The effort is re-named
"Operation Enduring Freedom."
On September 14, the Bush administration asks Pakistan for
help in military action against Afghanistan. Pakistan has
hundreds of military advisers already in Afghanistan helping
the Taliban fight the Northern Alliance.
On September 17, the Fed makes its eighth rate cut of the
On September 18, letters containing anthrax are sent from
New Jersey to the New York Post, NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, and
Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The Senate office
building is sealed off, and Senate staffers and even Senate
guard dogs are tested for anthrax and given precautionary
antibiotics. No effort to test or treat postal workers and
facilities is made.
The Democratic-controlled Senate stays in session while its
office buildings are inspected for anthrax. The GOP-controlled
After a high-level briefing, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch
tells CNN television he has high level information from the
FBI that Osama Bin Laden is behind the unprecedented attacks,
greatly annoying Secretary of State Colin Powell and other
administration officials. Bin Laden was a Saudi playboy until
he was secretly recruited by the Reagan administration to
become a terrorist. His brother Salem Bin Laden died in a
mysterious plane crash in Texas shortly after his multi-million
dollar investment in Bush's Arbusto Oil Co. went busto in
Bush announces a war on terrorism and those countries who
harbor terrorists, and announces "If you're not with us, you're
against us." Among those who will be explaining this anti-terrorism
doctrine around the world are Undersecretary of State Eliot
Abrams and UN ambassador John Negroponte, both of whom were
involved with the Reagan Admniistration's terrorist campaign
in Central America in the 1980s.
On September 20, the ruling Taliban ask Osama Bin Laden to
On September 21, 18 are killed and 650 injured when the AZF
petrochemical plant in Toulouse, France explodes. French President
Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin are both on
the scene in hours. It is an industrial accident, not terrorism.
On September 22, Steven Aftergood, head of the Project on
Government Secrecy for the Washington-based Federation of
American Scientists, says "We have yet to hear a clear statement
of Bin Laden's responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks. What
we have heard is innuendo and vague talk of links of an unspecified
nature. That is a very fragile foundation for an extended
On September 23, Colin Powell tells "Meet the Press" the
United States will release evidence it has gathered linking
accused terrorist Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network,
al-Qaida, to the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington
that killed thousands. The same day, National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice tells Fox's "News Sunday,". "We have very
good evidence of links between known Osama Bin Laden al-Qaida
operatives and what happened on September 11th."
The GOP controlled House of Representatives authorizes the
Bush Administration to pay $582 million of the $2.3 billion
the US owes in UN dues. Bush will pay an additional $625 million
in October and $834 million in December. The money had been
withheld by the GOP in protest over the UN allowing women
in poor countries the same right to a legal abortion that
US women have.
John Negroponte is sworn in as US ambassador to the UN. Negroponte
is a curious choice to carry the message fo the war on terrorism;
as Reagan's ambassador to Honduras, he helped fund the right
wing terrorism campaign there and hid the information from
The Washington Post reports that many Bush administration
cabinet members have not been asked for input nor consulted
for decisions, which are made by low-level aides. Christine
Todd Whitman, EPA Administration head, speaks to Bush only
about the Scottish terrier Barney, while HUD secretary Mel
Martinez has been asked only to lead the prayer at cabinet
The Bush administration announces that it will change Federal
rules regarding nursing homes, reducing the frequency of inspections
and lessening or eliminating some penalties for non-compliance.
The changes would allow the nursing home operators themselves
to report data on "quality indicators" like the number of
patients with severe bed sores, dehydration or significant
weight loss. It would also allow nursing homes with serious
deficiencies to conduct training programs for nurses' aides.
Tommy G. Thompson, the Health and Human Services secretary,
confidently tells CBS's "60 Minutes," on September 21, "We're
prepared to take care of any contingency, any consequence
that develops or any kind of bioterrorism attack."
Republican state senator Kay O'Connor of Kansas announces
that women should not have the right to vote. "The 19th Amendment
is around because men weren't doing their jobs, and I think
that's sad," she says. "I believe the man should be the head
of the family. The woman should be the heart of the family."
The Bush administration cuts funds to a crucial joint program
with Russia aimed at blocking the spread of bomb material
to rogue nations or terrorists. Russia is awash with tons
of excess bomb-grade material, much of it in unsafe facilities
where it could be stolen. The joint program aimed, among other
things, at eliminating 50 tons of Russian weapons-grade plutonium,
and improving security at nuclear-weapons facilities. During
the campaign, Bush had said that this program was so important
that funding should be increased.
Ken Starr joins a legal team trying to head off federal felony
charges against Olympic Pipe Line, arising from the pipeline
explosion that killed three young people in Bellingham, WA,
which occurred when more than 200,000 gallons of gasoline
spilled into two creeks in a Bellingham park. Two 10-year-old
boys were killed when the spill ignited into a massive fireball.
An 18-year-old man was killed when he was overcome by fumes
while fishing and drowned. The company had failed to make
repairs to problems found in 1996 and 1997 at or near where
the pipeline ruptured.
On September 28, Bush orders the National Guard to patrol
airports and tells the public it is now safe to fly. The same
day, the Pentagon announces that two regional Air Force generals
have been given the authority to shoot down civilian airliners
they deem a threat.
Journalists Tom Gutting of the Texas City Sun and Dan Guthrie
of the Grants Pass OR Daily Courier are fired for criticizing
Bush for hiding the day of the attacks.
Fox News viewers watching coverage of the terrorist attack
the Friday after the attacks also see a message scrolling
across the bottom of their screens -- National Mental Health
Assistance: 800-FOR-TRUTH. The phone number connects to a
Church of Scientology center in Los Angeles, where members
of the cult are manning the phones. Scientology firmly opposes
psychiatry, and church members campaign to eliminate psychiatric
practices in mental health. Fox News spokesman Robert Zimmerman
says the station received an e-mail about the hotline and
aired the number without checking it.
Fox News chief Roger Ailes boasts to the NY Times that he
can put a dead raccoon on the air and get ratings. He will
shortly hire Geraldo Rivera.
Elizabeth Dole of Kansas and Washington, DC, announces plans
to run for Jesse Helm's soon-to-be vacant seat in North Carolina.
The pundits who howled and shrieked that Hilary Clinton was
a carpetbagger during her successful run for the Senate in
New York are strangely silent. Dole immediately reverses years
of stands on gun control and announces no new gun laws are
The Bush Administration cheerfully announces to the New York
Times that it plans to tell leaders in Beijing that it has
no objections to them building more nuclear bombs and missiles
or to China resuming nuclear bomb tests, in hopes that the
Chinese will then turn around and support plans for the Missile
Defense boondoggle. China has just 20 missiles, which it has
had since the early 1970s. Says Robert Kagan, an authority
on China who is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace, "We're sending little subtle signals
that the reason they don't have to fear a missile defense
is our acceptance of their effort to overwhelm it, which strikes
me as a form of strategic insanity on our part."
The Bush administration announces that it will no longer
seek to have Microsoft broken up, as the Federal judge who
found them guilty of predatory practices, illegal bundling,
and monopoly tactics had ordered. Microsoft responds by announcing
even more bundling in its Windows XP version.
Four - October, November, December