"Terrorism" and Blowback: A Chronology
by Janette Rainwater,
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October 12, 2001 Blowback
on American Civil Liberties: The House passes the anti-terrorism
bill (with a cumbersome title that yields the acronym PATRIOT) 339-79
after a five-hour debate. The bill gives unprecedented new powers
to the police for eavesdropping on the internet without a court
order, indefinite detention of non-citizens, and secret courts for
foreign intelligence investigations. [The Senate had passed its
version, the United and Strengthening America Act (acronym = USA)
the night before with one lone dissenter, Senator Russell Feingold
of Wisconsin. As troubling as the act's provisions was the way it
was railroaded through the Congress. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA):
"What we have today is an outrageous procedure: A bill, drafted
by a handful of people in secret, comes to us without a committee
review and immune to amendment." He could have added that the
bill was 175 pages long and was not available in time to be read.
October 12, 2001
The House Ways and Means Committee approves a bill which, if passed,
will double the size of the Bush tax cuts approved in May, will
cost the country $212 billion in lost taxes over the next three
years, and again grossly favor the wealthy. In this "stimulus"
tax bill 41% of the tax cuts would benefit the wealthiest 1%. Only
7% of the cuts would go to the bottom 3/5 of taxpayers. Citizens
for Tax Justice, www.ctj.org
October 13-14, 2001
Demonstrations are held throughout the world to protest
the bombing of Afghanistan: London, 20,000; Berlin, 15,000; India,
100,000; San Francisco, 10,000 plus thousands more in other American
cities, Sweden, Nepal, South Korea and Nigeria. The Nation,
October 19, 2001.
October 15, 2001
Several Islamic groups unite to call a nationwide
strike in Pakistan to protest Pakistan's support of the US bombing
of Afghanistan. [There have been daily protests, growing in intensity,
with violent clashes with the police and numerous deaths. In an
effort to shore up his shaky regime General Pervez Musharraf placed
the leaders of three of the groups under house arrest and forced
the resignation of two of his top generals who are pro-Taliban,
transferring a third to a less sensitive command. Ironically, all
three generals had supported Musharraf when he overthrew Prime Minister
Nawaz Shaif in October 1999.] Vilani Peiris, "Pakistani leader
faces an uncertain future as protests continue", wsws.org.
October 16, 2001
Bush ends his televised report on the military campaign
in Afghanistan by urging America's children to "go out and
mow a lawn or do somebody a favor to earn a dollar" which they
should send to the White House for the Red Cross fund for Afghanistan's
children. At the same time US bombers are making a daytime raid
on Kabul. One of their bombs destroys a Red Cross warehouse holding
famine relief supplies whose roof was marked with a large red cross.
In Pakistan Secretary
of State Colin Powell and General Pervez Musharraf hold a press
conference in which they announce their agreement to work together
for the creation of a "new, broad-based government in Afghanistan"
which "could include moderate elements within the Taliban."
Two ironies: These are the same guys that the US is currently bombing,
and wasn't it George W. Bush who denounced "nation-building"
in the 2000 campaign? New York Times, October 17, 2001.
October 21, 2001
The World Health Organization warns governments around
the world to prepare against a possible terrorist smallpox attack.
The USA has already ordered 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine
as a result of the anthrax scare in the US. There have been one
death, 8 illnesses, and 38 exposures to anthrax caused by mail sent
to people in the media and the government in Florida, New York,
New Jersey and Washington DC since October 1st. Additionally there
have been anthrax exposures in Argentina and Kenya. Anthony Browne,
The Observer (UK), October21, 2001.
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