Oct. 15, 2001, is a day I’ll never forget. On that day one of my staff members opened an anthrax-laced letter addressed to me, and my office became a part of the deadliest bioterrorism attack in U.S. history. Anthrax was also sent through the mail to a number of other people and organizations — the National Enquirer, the New York Post, broadcaster Tom Brokaw and Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont. These attacks killed five people, injured 17 others, disrupted operations all over Capitol Hill and alarmed an entire nation.
Twenty-eight people, including 20 on my staff, tested positive for anthrax exposure. Though relieved that they were spared the horror of the disease, I am reminded every day that the families and friends of five others were not so lucky. Robert Stevens in Florida, Kathy Nguyen in New York, Ottilie Lundgren in Connecticut, and Thomas Morris Jr. and Joseph Curseen in Washington were all victims of the attack.
Five years later, the alarm I and many others experienced on that dark day has been replaced by a deep discouragement and dismay. more
BAGHDAD, Oct. 19 — The American-led crackdown in Baghdad has not succeeded in quelling violence across the capital and a new approach is needed, a military spokesman said today.
Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the senior spokesman for the American military in Iraq, said that the strategy of concentrating on a limited number of highly troubled neighborhoods had not slowed sectarian violence in the city as a whole.
Attacks in the Baghdad area went up 22 percent during the first three weeks of Ramadan in comparison with the three weeks before, an increase General Caldwell called “disheartening.”
The crackdown, which began in August, “has made a difference in the focus areas but has not met our overall expectations in sustaining a reduction in the level of violence,” General Caldwell said, adding that American commanders were consulting with the Iraqi government on a change in plans. more
He knew it was coming, a special commentary on President Bush’s and the Republicans detainee act. Keith Olbermann, on Countdown, does a much better job than he did with his last commentary. His last commentary was simply angry. This one presents excellent information and puts the detainee act in perspective. When compared to Adam’s Alien and Sedition Act or Franklin D Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese-Americans, we can see that America has gone astray before. We can also see that America is going astray again. We are heading down a road in which the president can say anything and do anything and we’re supposed to say yes. My point is if our laws are not good in a time of crisis, than our laws are no good. If our laws are no good then the Constitution itself is no good. But I think, I hope, that the American people understand that our Constitution is good. The American people understand that for over 200 years our Constitution has withstood slavery, two world wars, and many many other challenges.