Attack on civil libertiesthat plans do indeed exist for the establishment of a government civilian inmate labor program and the establishment of civilian prison camps. The document states, "Enclosed for your review and comment is the draft Army regulation on civilian inmate labor utilization" and the procedure to "establish civilian prison camps on installations." Democratic representative Henry Gonzalez frankly discusses the idea of these American concentration camps in an interview, saying "the truth is yes -- you do have these standby provisions, and the plans are here...whereby you could, in the name of stopping terrorism...evoke the military and arrest Americans and put them in detention camps." The idea for such plans goes back as least as far as Franklin Roosevelt, who met with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in August of 1939 to discuss just such plans. In August 1948, Hoover met with Harry Truman's attorney general Howard McGrath to detail a plan whereby Truman could suspend constitutiona liberties during a national emergency. The plan, code-named "security Portfolio," would have, if implemented, allowed the FBI to summarily arrest up to 20,000 people and place them, without trial or attorney representation, in the forced labor camps. The plan allowed the FBI to develop a "watch list" for these potential detainees, and to collect detailed personal information about them. Two years later, Congress approved the Internal Security Act of 1950, which authorized an emergency detention plan, but was found wanting by Hoover because it did not suspend the Constitution and guaranteed the right to a court hearing.
"The radical right has nearly ruined our party [the GOP]. Its members do not care about the Constitution and they are the ones making all the noise." -- Barry Goldwater
GOP campaign strategiescalled "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control," to all of the Republicans campaigning for House seats. The memo is considered one of the reasons why the GOP regains control of the House in the November elections. Luntz gives the candidates a crash course in "speaking like Newt," particularly in the finer points of attacking the opposition. He provides a list of "Optimistic Positive Governing Words" to be used in helping "define your campaign and your vision of public service [to] give extra power to your message [and] develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!" The word list includes such terms as "opportunity," "truth," "moral," "reform," "common sense," and "empower(ment)." The other list is called "Contrasting Words," and says, "These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals, and their party." The word list is made up of such terms as "destructive," "destroy," "sick," "pathetic," "liberal," "traitors," "radical," "anti-(issue) flag, family, child, jobs," "shame," and "disgrace." The memo helps codify Republican attack politics for a generation. (Al Franken)
Congressional Republicanslobbyists with the Republican pressure group Project Reform (set up through Tom DeLay's network of political action committees, and contributing nearly $400 million to Republican senators and representatives from 1989 to 1994) sit in an office just off the House floor; as Democrats raise objections to the bills, insisting that such "reform" will make Americans more at risk for disease, Project Reform lobbyists type out instant responses for Republicans to use in their arguments. The bills, actually written by Project Reform lobbyists as well, pass muster in the House, and many in the Senate, eventually becoming law. Satirist Al Franken observes, "so, in other words, lobbyists aren't just writing the bills, they're debating them as well." (Al Franken)
US militaryOver 100,000 American military personnel report symptoms of what will become known as "Gulf War syndrome." The Defense Department denies its existence, and works to block inquiries from the Clinton administration to discover the cause of the ailments. (US/Iraq Relations Timeline)
North Korean nuclear programABB later signs a $200 million contract with North Korea to provide the design and key components for the reactors. Rumsfeld denies that he knew anything about the deal, but ABB spokespersons confirm that board members made the decision to deal with North Korea, and Rumsfeld by necessity would have been in the loop. One board member says that Rumsfeld, the only American on the board, was asked to lobby in Washington on behalf of ABB. The firm, which will later be bought out by Westinghouse, keeps the deal secret. Nuclear experts say that it is "no big deal" to extract weapons-grade uranium from the reactors. Bill Clinton, towards the end of his term, will prepare a deal in which North Korea would give up its missile and nuclear programs in return for aid and normalized relations. The deal is not put through after Clinton leaves office, and President Bush, skeptical of Pyongyang's intentions, will call for a policy review in March 2001. Two months later the Department of Energy, after consulting with Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense, renews the authorization to send nuclear technology to North Korea. Groundbreaking ceremonies attended by Westinghouse and North Korean officials were held on Sept. 14, 2001, three days after the terrorist attacks. (Fortune/Rumsfeld's North Korea Connection)
Minority rightsThe Violence Against Women Act is passed, tightening federal penalties for rape and sexual crimes, funds services for rape and domestic abuse victims, and provides special training for police officers. (InfoPlease)