The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 


Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Profile: US Congress

 
  

Positions that US Congress has held:



 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

US Congress actively participated in the following events:

 
  

1806      US-Haiti (1959-2005)

       Fearful that the Haitian revolution might inspire enslaved Africans in other parts of the world to rebel, US Congress bans trade with Haiti joining French and Spanish boycotts. The embargos cripple Haiti's economy, already weakened by 12 years of civil war. The embargo will be renewed in 1807 and 1809. [International Action Center, 10/16/2003; Jean Saint-Vil, 11/2002] The embargo is accompanied by a threat of recolonization and re-enslavement if Haiti fails to compensate France for losses incurred when French plantation owners lost access to Haiti's slave labor. [Miami Herald, 12/18/2003; Boston, Globe, 1/4/2004; Boston Globe, 12/3/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

August 6, 1964      US-Vietnam (1947-2001)

       The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Relations Committee hold closed hearings on the Gulf of Tonkin torpedo attacks (see August 2, 1964) (see August 4, 1964). Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, who had received a tip from an unnamed Pentagon insider (not Daniel Ellsberg), asks US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara if the torpedo attacks might have been a response to operation OPLAN 34A which had conducted attacks on the North Vietnamese island of Hon Me on July 31 (see July 31, 1964). The Senator raises the possibility that the North Vietnamese may have thought the ship was supporting OPLAN 34A's attacks. Morse suggests that McNamara should inquire as to the exact location of the Maddox on those days and what its true mission was. McNamara responds: “First, our Navy played absolutely no part in, was not associated with, was not aware of, any South Vietnamese actions, if there were any.... The Maddox was operating in international waters, was carrying out a routine patrol of the type we carry out all over the world at all times. I did not have knowledge at the time of the attack on the island. There is no connection between this patrol and any action of South Vietnam.” [Herring, 1986; New York Times, 6/13/1971; New York Times, 6/13/1971 cited in adelphiasophism.com website.; Ellsberg, 2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Wayne Morse, Robert McNamara
          

August 7, 1964      US-Vietnam (1947-2001)

       In response to alleged “unprovoked” attacks by North Vietnamese torpedo boats against the USS Maddox on August 2 (see August 2, 1964) and August 4 (see August 4, 1964), Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing President Johnson to take “all necessary measures to repel any armed attacks against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” [Herring, 1986; Pilger 1986; Boston Globe, 2/22/2004 Sources: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution] It sails though the House unanimously and in the Senate it meets only the slightest resistance with two dissenting votes. [Boston Globe, 2/22/2004; Herring, 1986; Pilger 1986] When Daniel Ellsberg leaks the Pentagon Papers seven years later, it is revealed that the resolution had been drafted 2 months earlier. [Pilger 1986]
People and organizations involved: Daniel Ellsberg, US Congress
          

1969-1973      US-Laos (1958-1973)

       During the administration of US President Richard Nixon, and under the counsel of his advisor for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, the United States drops more than two million tons of bombs on Laos during more than 500,000 bombing missions—exceeding what it had dropped on Germany and Japan during all of World War II—in an effort to defeat the left-leaning Pathet Lao and to destroy North Vietnamese supply lines. The ordnance includes some 90 million cluster bombs, 20-30 percent of which do not detonate (see After 1973). A Senate report finds: “The United States has undertaken a large-scale air war over Laos to destroy the physical and social infrastructure of Pathet Lao held areas and to interdict North Vietnamese infiltration ... throughout all this there has been a policy of subterfuge and secrecy ... through such things as saturation bombing and the forced evacuation of population from enemy held or threatened areas—we have helped to create untold agony for hundreds of thousands of villagers.” And in 1970, Far Eastern Economic Review reports: “For the past two years the US has carried out one of the most sustained bombing campaigns in history against essentially civilian targets in northeastern Laos.... Operating from Thai bases and from aircraft carriers, American jets have destroyed the great majority of villages and towns in the northeast. Severe casualties have been inflicted upon the inhabitants ... Refugees from the Plain of Jars report they were bombed almost daily by American jets last year. They say they spent most of the past two years living in caves or holes.” [Blum, 1995; BBC, n.d.; BBC, 1/5/2001; Stars and Stripes, 7/21/2002] Meo villagers who attempt neutrality or refuse to send their 13-year-olds to fight in the CIA's army, are refused American-supplied rice and “ultimately bombed by the US Air Force.” [Blum, 1995] The CIA also drops millions of dollars in forged Pathet Lao currency in an attempt to destabilize the Lao economy. [Blum, 1995] During this period, the existence of US operations in Laos is outright denied. [Stars and Stripes, 7/21/2002; Blum, 1995]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson  Additional Info 
          

December 1970      US-Britain-Diego Garcia (1770-2004)

       US Congress approves plans to construct a defense facility on the island of Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago. [Sources: British Royal Court, Case No: HQ02X01287, 10/3/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

May-August 1973      US-Cambodia (1955-1993)

       Months after the Paris Agreement, which marked the official end of the Vietnam War, the United States, under the leadership of President Richard Nixon and his assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, steps up its bombing of Cambodia—contradicting earlier claims that the rationale for bombing Cambodia had been to protect American lives in Vietnam. During the months of March, April and May, the tonnage of bombs dropped on Cambodia is more than twice that of the entire previous year. The bombing stops in August under pressure from Congress. The total number of civilians killed since the bombing began in 1969 is estimated to be 600,000 (see March 1969-1973). [Guardian, 4/25/2002; Blum, 1995]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Richard Nixon, Henry A. Kissinger
          

March 6, 1975      US-Britain-Diego Garcia (1770-2004)

       A State Department official tells Congress, “[T]he nature of the island [of Diego Garcia] itself, which is a rather small piece of land, is also fortuitous in that it has no local population whatsoever so we have a minimal degree of the sort of political problems that are sometimes associated with establishing a facility of this sort.” [Sources: House of Representatives. The debate over the base and the island's former inhabitants. 11/4/1975]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

June 5, 1975      US-Britain-Diego Garcia (1770-2004)

       US military officials tell Congress that the US needs to develop naval support facilities on the island of Diego Garcia. The Pentagon wants to lengthen the runway at Diego Garcia from 8,000 to 12,000 feet, increase the available POL (Petroleum, Oils, and Lubricants) storage, and dredge its harbor. It would also like to build additional barracks, a pier to facilitate cargo handling, as well as additional utility and recreational facilities. The officials argue that expanding the base at Diego Garcia is needed to safeguard US oil interests in the Persian Gulf and to counter the Soviet Union's presence in the region, which the military claims is increasing rapidly. They attempt to allay Congress' concerns that expanding the base would provoke competition in that region with the Soviet Union. At one point during the hearing, George Vest, Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs of the Department of State, says the island is “uninhabited,” making no reference to the fact that it had been made so by the US and British only a few years before (see July 27, 1971-May 26, 1973). When further questioned on the subject, Vest repeats that there are “no inhabitants” at all on the island. [Los Angeles Times, 11/4/2000 Sources: House of Representatives. The debate over the base and the island's former inhabitants. 6/5/1975]
People and organizations involved: US Department of Defense, US Congress, George Vest
          

July 28, 1975      US-Britain-Diego Garcia (1770-2004)

       US Congress passes a bill allowing the Department of Defense to upgrade the communications facility at Diego Garcia to a “naval support” base. The US will lengthen the island's runway from 8,000 to 12,000 feet, increase the available POL (Petroleum, Oils, and Lubricants) storage, and dredge its harbor, among other improvements. [Sunday Times, 9/21/1975]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

November 4, 1975      US-Britain-Diego Garcia (1770-2004)

       A congressional subcommittee of the Committee on International Relations holds a hearing on the circumstances surrounding the establishment of the US military facility at Diego Garcia island. The hearing focuses on the forced eviction of the archipelago's inhabitants (see July 27, 1971-May 26, 1973).
Testimony of George T. Churchill - In his statement to Congress, George T. Churchill, director of International Security Operations at the Department of State, attempts to defend the State Department and Pentagon from accusations that they misled Congress about the inhabitants of Diego Garcia. He asserts that the island's population had consisted mainly of “contract laborers and their families whose livelihood depended on the coconut plantations and whose ties to the island were tenuous.” Their settlements, he says, “appear to have been something more than work camps but considerably less than free indigenous communities.” Churchill argues that resettlement was necessary because the islanders would not have had work once the plantations were replaced by US military facilities. When it was time to go, he claims, the residents “went willingly.” He also contends that he could find no evidence in government files that there was a “lack of concern for the inhabitants of the Chagos Islands.” He admits that his report is based entirely on US and British sources and that no attempt was made to interview the former inhabitants or request information from the Mauritius government—despite his acknowledgement that on many issues, there “simply wasn't enough data.” Churchill argues that it was Britain's responsibility to see to the islanders' welfare after resettlement and denies that the US has any obligation—moral or legal—to the islanders, even though their eviction had been a condition of the US' 1966 agreement (see December 30, 1966) with Britain to use the island. [Sources: House of Representatives. The debate over the base and the island's former inhabitants. 11/4/1975]
Testimony of Commander Gary Sick - Pentagon official Gary Sick addresses accusations that the military has misled Congress about Diego Garcia's population. In his testimony he cites instances where passing references were made about the islands' population, including a 1964 Washington Post article mentioning the possibility that an “indigenous population” might exist on the island; a 1969-1979 Pentagon spending proposal which referred to the islanders as “rotating contract personnel engaged in harvesting copra”; and a 1970 congressional hearing in which it was stated that the “British [had] gone a little farther about removing the population from there now.” [Sources: House of Representatives. The debate over the base and the island's former inhabitants. 11/4/1975]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Gary G. Sick, George T. Churchill
          

November 20, 1975      US-Cuba (1959-2005)

       The Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations releases its report, “Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders,” which finds “concrete evidence of at least eight plots involving the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro from 1960 to 1965.” [Sources: Interim Report: Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders - Cuba, 11/20/1975]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Fidel Castro
          

February 1982      US-Iraq 1980s

       The Reagan administration—despite stern objections from Congress—removes Iraq from the US State Department's list of states sponsoring terrorism (see 1979). [Washington Post, 12/30/02; The Times, 12/31/02; Freudenheim, Slavin, Rhoden, 2/28/1982 cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/21/2001] This clears the way for future US military aid to that country. [Financial Times 2/23/83 cited in Phythian 1997]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

October 1, 1984-October 13, 1993      US-Iraq 1980s

       The Reagan and Bush administrations' commerce departments allow US companies and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to export chemical and biological agents as well as other dual-use items to Iraq, despite the country's known record of using chemical weapons. According to government regulations, the Commerce Department must send applications for export licenses which involve items related to national security to the appropriate US government agencies for review. Reviewing agencies include the State Department, Department of Defense, Energy Department, and Subgroup on Nuclear Export Coordination. But in many cases, the Commerce Department either does not send national security-related applications to these agencies for review, or if it does, it overrides a review agency's recommendation not to grant a license, allowing the item to be exported anyway. [Jentleson 1994,p. 79; Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2002; Timmerman 1991, pp. 202 and 410 n5] According to two Senate Committee Reports that will be completed in 1994, one on May 25 and another on October 7, dual-use chemical and biological agents exported to Iraq from the US significantly contributed to the country's weapons arsenal. The initial May report will say the agents “were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction” and the October report will reveal that the “microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the United Nations inspectors found and removed from the Iraqi biological warfare program.” The 1994 investigation also determines that other exports such as plans and equipment also contributed significantly to Iraq's military capabilities. “UN inspectors had identified many United States manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and established] that these items were used to further Iraq's chemical and nuclear weapons development and its missile delivery system development program,” Donald Riegle, the chairman of the committee, will explain. He also says that between January 1985 and August 1990, the “executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq.” [The Times 12/31/02; Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002 Sources: US chemical and biological warfare-related dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the health consequences of the Persian Gulf War, October 7, 1994, US senate, committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs report, May 25, 1994, US chemical and biological warfare-related dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the health consequences of the Persian Gulf War, May 25, 1994]
Biological and chemical agents -
Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002]
Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin. It was sold to Iraq right up until 1992. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002]
Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord and heart. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002]
Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major organs. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002; Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]
Clotsridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness, gas gangrene. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002]
Clostridium tetani, highly toxigenic. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002; Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]
Also, Escherichia Coli (E.Coli); genetic materials; human and bacterial DNA. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002]
VX nerve gas. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]
Pralidoxine, an antidote to nerve gas which can also be reverse engineered to create actual nerve gas. This was sold to Iraq in March 1992, after the end of the Gulf War. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]
Other exports -
Chemical warfare-agent production facility plans and technical drawings. [Newsday 12/13/02]
Chemical warfare filling equipment. [Newsday 12/13/02]
Missile fabrication equipment. [Newsday 12/13/02]
Missile system guidance equipment. [Newsday 12/13/02]
Graphics terminals to design and analyze rockets. [Washington Post,3/11/1991]
Machine tools and lasers to extend ballistic missile range. [Committee on Government Operations, House, Strengthening the Export Licensing System, 2 July 1991, section National Security vs. Export Promotion: Sales to Iraq, para. 16. cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2002]
Computers to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. [Sub-committee on Commerce, Consumer and Monetary Affairs of the House Committee on Government Operations, Strengthening the Export Licensing System, 2 July 1991cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2002]
$1 million in computers, flight simulators and other technology products that went to Saad 16 research center in Iraq (see November 1986). [Washington Post,3/11/1991]
People and organizations involved: Donald Riegle, US Congress  Additional Info 
          

September 8, 1988      US-Iraq 1980s

       The US Senate unanimously passes the “Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988” which makes Iraq ineligible to receive US loans, military and non-military assistance, credits, credit guarantees and items subject to export controls. It also makes it illegal for the US to import Iraqi oil. [US Senate, “Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988,” 100th Congress, 2nd session, 8 September 1988 cited in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/12/2001; Jentleson 1994, p. 78] Immediately after the bill is passed by the Senate, the Reagan administration launches a campaign to prevents its passage in the House. With the help of its allies in the House, the administration succeeds in killing the bill on the last day of the legislative session. [New York Times, 2/13/03; Jentleson 1994, p. 78]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

October 1988      US-Iraq 1980s

       The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirms reports that between 1984 and 1988 “Iraq repeatedly and effectively used poison gas on Iran.” [Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, Chemical Weapons Use in Kurdistan: Iraq's Final Offensive, October 1988 in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/12/2001]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

March 1989      US-Iraq 1980s

       CIA director William Webster acknowledges to Congress that Iraq is the largest producer of chemical weapons in the world. [US Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, “Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat: The Urgent Need for Remedies,” Hearings, 101st Congress, 1st Session, 1 March 1989, pp. 27-45 cited in Jentleson 1994, p. 106]
People and organizations involved: William H. Webster, US Congress
          

November 29, 1990: Congress Passes Bill to Provide Federal Funds for Coastal Wetlands Restoration Projects      Hurricane Katrina

       Congress passes the Breaux Act, formally called The Coast Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), establishing a task force charged with planning and prioritizing wetland restoration projects that would then be sent to Congress to be included as part of the president's annual budget submission. CWPPRA specifies that 70 percent of its authorized funds must go to Louisiana restoration projects; 15 percent to the Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, a program that provides federal funds to restoration projects in other coastal states; and 15 percent to North American Wetlands Conservation Act projects. All projects funded under the terms of this act will require non-federal matching contributions. [US Code Title 16, Chapter 59A, Sections 3952-3956] Louisiana will generate its portion of funding for projects though taxes on fishing equipment, small engine, and motorboat fuels, as well as import duties. The act is set to expire in 2009 [LACoast [.gov] website, 9/20/2005] , but will be renewed at least until 2019. [Ecological Society of America, 10/15/2004] By 2004, some $400 million will have been spent on coastal restoration projects as part of the program [Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes, 2004] , resulting in at least 52,000 acres being created, restored, or protected. [Louisiana Coastal Area Study, 6/2004]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, The Coast Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act of 1990
          

May 1995: Congress authorizes Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project      Hurricane Katrina

       After flooding from a massive rainstorm kills six people in New Orleans, Congress authorizes the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA). Part of the SELA Project involves strengthening the levee and water pumping systems throughout the greater New Orleans metropolitan area. [Der Spiegel, 9/1/2005] The project is expected to take 10 years [Los Angeles Times, 9/4/2005] , but chronic funding shortages will prevent its completion before Hurricane Katrina strikes in 2005 (see 2001-Early 2004).
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project
          

July 17, 1996-September 1996: TWA Flight 800 Crashes; Counterterrorism Funding Boosted in Response      Complete 911 Timeline

       TWA Flight 800 crashes off the coast of Long Island, New York, killing the 230 people on board. The cause of the crash is debated for a long time afterward, and terrorism is considered a possibility. With this accident in mind, President Clinton requests, and Congress approves, over $1 billion in counter-terrorism-related funding in September 1996. [Clarke, 2004, pp 130]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, US Congress
          

February 12, 1998: Unocal VP Advocates Afghan Pipeline Before Congress      Complete 911 Timeline

       Unocal Vice President John J. Maresca—later to become a Special Ambassador to Afghanistan—testifies before the House of Representatives that until a single, unified, friendly government is in place in Afghanistan, the trans-Afghan pipeline will not be built. He suggests that with a pipeline through Afghanistan, the Caspian basin could produce 20 percent of all the non-OPEC oil in the world by 2010. [House International Relations Committee testimony, 2/12/98]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Unocal, John J. Maresca
          

May 29, 1998      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) publishes a letter addressed to Congressman Newt Gingrich and Senator Trent Lott. The letter argues that the Clinton administration has capitulated to Saddam Hussein and calls on the two legislators to lead Congress to “establish and maintain a strong US military presence in the region, and be prepared to use that force to protect [US] vital interests in the Gulf—and, if necessary, to help removed Saddam from power.” [Sources: PNAC letter to Gingrich and Lott, 5/29/1998]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein, Clinton administration, US Congress, Project for the New American Century, Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich
          

June 9, 1998      US Military, US International Relations

       US Congress votes 392-22 in favor of legislation that restricts international inspections of chemical sites in the United States, effectively killing the Chemical Weapons Convention. [Henry Stimson Center, 6/16/1998; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

(Late 1998)      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       General Anthony Zinni, commander of CENTCOM, which has operational control of US combat forces in the Middle East, is provided with a copy of Chalabi's military plan to overthrow Saddam Hussein. “It got me pretty angry,” he later recalls. He warns Congress that Chalabi's plan is a “pie in the sky, a fairy tale.” He tells the New Yorker: “They were saying if you put a thousand troops on the ground Saddam's regime will collapse, they won't fight. I said, ‘I fly over them every day, and they shoot at us. We hit them, and they shoot at us again. No way a thousand forces would end it.’ The exile group was giving them inaccurate intelligence. Their scheme was ridiculous.” [New Yorker, 6/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein, Anthony Zinni, US Congress, Ahmed Chalabi
          

After May 21, 2000      Haiti Coup

       Political groups opposed to the party of Jean-Bertrand Aristide form the Democratic Convergence, a coalition made up of roughly 200 groups, which is headed by former Port-au-Prince mayor Evans Paul, a previous Aristide supporter and leader of the Convention for Democratic Unity. [Boston Globe, 2/14/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004] The Convergence is a product of the USAID program, “Democracy Enhancement,” the purpose of which is to “fund those sectors of the Haitian political spectrum where opposition to the Aristide government could be encouraged.” Financial support for the Convergence comes from the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is associated with the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. The IRI receives about $3 million annually from Congress, as well as millions more from private Haitian and US interests. The organization's board includes a number of “current or former Republican Party officials, Republican officeholders, or members of Republican administrations.” The IRI's activities in Haiti are not completely understood and Roger Noriega, the US permanent representative to the Organization of American States, has always refused to elaborate on the organization's work in Haiti. [Boston Globe, 2/14/2004; Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), 2/27/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; Chomsky, n.d.; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Evans Paul, USAID, Democratic Convergence, International Republican Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, US Congress, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

December 2000: National Intelligence Estimate Report Downplays Threat to Domestic Aviation      Complete 911 Timeline

       A classified section of the yearly National Intelligence Estimate report given to Congress downplays any threat to domestic aviation. It says that FBI investigations confirm domestic and international terrorist groups are operating within the US but they are focusing primarily on fundraising, recruiting new members, and disseminating propaganda. While international terrorists have conducted attacks on US soil, these acts represent anomalies from their traditional targeting which focuses on US interests overseas. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Congress, Central Intelligence Agency
          

2001: Congress Rejects Proposal to Increase Hurricane-Related Research      Hurricane Katrina

       Congress rejects a proposal to increase federal funding for hurricane-related research from $5 million to $150 million a year. (Congress provides over $100 million for earthquake-related research during this period.) [Baton Rouge Advocate, 1/23/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

January 11, 2001      US Military

       The Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization, chaired by Donald Rumsfeld, issues its report to Congress warning that the US military's satellites are vulnerable to attack. The military has some 600 satellites that it depends on for photo reconnaissance, targeting, communications, weather forecasting, early warning and intelligence gathering. An attack on these satellites, or on those belonging to US businesses, would be disastrous for the US economy and military, the report says. The report argues that the US must establish a military presence in space to protect its assets from a “Space Pearl Harbor” and asserts that warfare in space is a “virtual certainty.” To counter this vulnerability, the commission recommends that the US develop “superior space capabilities,” including the ability to “negate the hostile use of space against US interests.” It must project power “in, from and through space,” the report says. The president should “have the option to deploy weapons in space to deter threats to and, if necessary, defend against attacks on US interests.” [Toronto Globe and Mail, 5/9/2001; Agence France Presse, 1/29/2004; MSNBC, 4/27/2001; American Foreign Services Association, 4/2001 Sources: Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, US Congress, Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization
          

January 31, 2001: Bipartisan Commission Issues Final Report on Terrorism, but Conclusions Are Ignored      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Gary Hart (left) and Warren Rudman (right) testify before a Senate committee in 2002.
The final report of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart (D) and Warren Rudman (R) is issued. The bipartisan report was put together in 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Hart and Rudman personally brief National Security Adviser Rice, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Powell on their findings. The report has 50 recommendations on how to combat terrorism in the US, but all of them are ignored by the Bush administration. According to Senator Hart, Congress begins to take the commission's suggestions seriously in March and April, and legislation is introduced to implement some of the recommendations. Then, “Frankly, the White House shut it down... The president said ‘Please wait, We're going to turn this over to the vice president’ ... and so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day.” The White House announces in May that it will have Vice President Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism despite the fact that this commission had just studied the issue for 2 1/2 years. Interestingly, both this commission and the Bush administration were already assuming a new cabinet level National Homeland Security Agency would be enacted eventually, even as the public remained unaware of the term and the concept. [Salon, 9/12/01; Salon, 4/2/04] Hart is incredulous that neither he nor any of the other members of this commission are ever asked to testify before the 9/11 Commission. [Salon, 4/6/04]
People and organizations involved: Newt Gingrich, US Congress, Donald Rumsfeld, 9/11 Commission, Warren Rudman, Colin Powell, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Bush administration, Gary Hart, Commission on National Security/21st Century, Condoleezza Rice
          

February 7, 2001: Tenet Warns Congress About bin Laden      Complete 911 Timeline

       CIA Director Tenet warns Congress in open testimony that the “threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.” He says bin Laden and his global network remains “the most immediate and serious threat” to US interests. “Since 1998 bin Laden has declared that all US citizens are legitimate targets,” he says, adding that bin Laden “is capable of planning multiple attacks with little or no warning.” [Sunday Herald, 9/23/01; Associated Press, 2/7/01]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, US Congress, Osama bin Laden, George Tenet
          

August 2001      911 Environmental Impact

       The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issues its “Annual Report to Congress on Combating Terrorism” which reaffirms the EPA's responsibility to respond to any hazardous materials emergencies caused by terrorist attack and provide the affected public with all information relevant to their health and safety. The report observes that the EPA has “expertise in performing off-site monitoring, extent of contamination surveys, working with health officials to establish safe cleanup levels, conducting protective cleanup actions, and communicating technical information/data to impacted citizens...” Moreover, the OMB notes that “EPA's first responders (On-Scene Coordinators or OSCs) from all 10 regions have been actively involved with local, State, and Federal authorities in responding to threats of terrorism,” and that “EPA's response to such threats is an extension of its existing hazardous materials response capability developed over more than 30 years as a leader of the National Response System (see 1972).” [Martin, 3/27/2002 Sources: Office of Management and Budget, 8/2001]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

September 20, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       “On September 11, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country,” President Bush says in a speech delivered before a joint session of the US Congress. The enemy, he declares, is the al-Qaeda organization, led by Osama bin Laden, and aided by the Taliban government of Afghanistan. But defeating them alone will not be enough. “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.” It is thus that the president declares the commencement of the unlimited Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). “Americans should not expect one battle,” Bush continues, “but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.” The campaign will be fought both visibly and in secret. “It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. ... Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” [Sources: Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, President Bush, 9/20/2001]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, US Congress
          

September 21, 2001: Congress Approves Aid Package for Airline Industry, 9/11 Victims      Complete 911 Timeline

       Congress approves a $15 billion federal aid package for the battered US airline industry, and sets up a government fund to compensate 9/11 victims' relatives. [Los Angeles Times, 9/22/01] However, relatives are only allowed to sue US-designated terrorists, and if they sue anyone else, they are not entitled to any compensation money. The law also limits the airlines' liability to the limits of their insurance coverage—around $1.5 billion per plane. [Los Angeles Times, 1/17/02] Nevertheless, some later sue entities that make them ineligible for the fund, such as the Port Authority, owner of the WTC.
People and organizations involved: New York Port Authority, US Congress
          

November 19, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Scorching criticism of President Bush's Executive Order (see November 13, 2001) comes from the Center for National Security Studies, which says it “violates separation of powers as the creation of military commissions has not been authorized by the Congress and is outside the president's constitutional powers.” The order is also an “unconstitutional attempt to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.” [Center for National Security Studies, 11/19/2001] Law professor Kathleen Clark similarly states: “These military tribunals are troubling in many respects, particularly in their denial of basic due process protection for defendants. But even apart from this question of civil liberties, this presidential order is unconstitutional because the president lacks the authority under the constitution and statutory law to create this kind of court.” [11/19/2001]
People and organizations involved: US Congress  Additional Info 
          

November 28, 2001      911 Environmental Impact

       EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman, appearing before Congress, states: “Under the provisions of PDD 62, signed by President Clinton in 1998, the EPA is assigned lead responsibility for cleaning up buildings and other sites contaminated by chemical or biological agents as a result of an act of terrorism. This responsibility draws on our decades of experience in cleaning up sites contaminated by toxins through prior practices or accidents.” Her deputy, Linda Fisher, will repeat this to Congress a week later (see December 5, 2001). [Nadler, 4/12/2002]
People and organizations involved: Christine Todd Whitman, US Congress
          

December 5, 2001      911 Environmental Impact

       Deputy EPA Administrator Linda Fisher, appearing before Congress, states: “Under the provisions of PDD 62, signed by President Clinton in 1998, the EPA is assigned lead responsibility for cleaning up buildings and other sites contaminated by chemical or biological agents as a result of an act of terrorism. This responsibility draws on our decades of experience in cleaning up sites contaminated by toxins through prior practices or accidents.” [Sources: Fisher testimony to Congress, 12/5/2001]
People and organizations involved: Linda Fisher, US Congress
          

2002      Bush's environmental record

       The Environmental Protection Agency inflates its enforcement record by including counterterrorism and narcotics cases led by other agencies. The padded numbers obscure an actual decline in the EPA's enforcement activity. For example, the agency lumps 190 counterterrorism-related investigations into its annual performance report to Congress, referring to them as EPA-initiated “criminal investigations.” Sometimes an “investigation” involves nothing more than a phone call to an FBI agent who has requested assistance in a case. “I called the FBI and said, ‘If you need us, give us a call.’ That warranted a (criminal) case number. There was no investigation,” one EPA agent will explain to the Sacramento Bee. In another incident, two agents “went out on an interview, and they closed it after the interview.” The EPA counted the visit as a completed investigation. “To me, those are false statistics,” another senior agent tells the newspaper. The resulting numbers, which are reported to Congress and the public, mask “a significant drop-off in the federal government's pursuit of criminal polluters during the past two years.” [League of Conservation Voters, n.d.; Sacramento Bee, 7/16/2003]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, US Congress, Environmental Protection Agency
          

January 8, 2002      US Military

       Congress receives an edited version of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a comprehensive review laying “out the direction for American nuclear forces over the next five to ten years.” [Sources: Nuclear Posture Review (Excerpts)] Congress requested the review in September 2000. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002] The classified document, signed by Donald Rumsfeld and now being used by the US Strategic Command to prepare a nuclear war plan, advocates that the US adopt a “New Triad” of weapon types for its strategic arsenal that would include an “offensive strike leg” (nuclear and conventional forces), “active and passive defenses” (anti-missile systems and other defenses) and “a responsive defense infrastructure” (ability to develop and produce nuclear weapons and resume nuclear testing). The new triad would replace the United States' current triad of bombers, long-range land-based missiles and submarine-launched missiles. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002; Globe and Mail, 3/12/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2002 Sources: Nuclear Posture Review (Excerpts)] The report asserts that the new strategy is necessary in order to assure “allies and friends,” “dissuade competitors,” “deter aggressors” like rogue states and terrorist organizations, and “defeat enemies.” [Globe and Mail, 3/12/2002 Sources: Nuclear Posture Review (Excerpts)] The review offers several possible scenarios where nuclear weapons might be used. For example, the document explains such weapons could be deployed to “pre-empt” the use of weapons of mass destruction against American or allied troops; in retaliation for an attack involving nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons; “in the event of surprising military developments;” or against targets that the US is incapable of destroying by conventional means, such as bunkers located deep underground. The NPR even names countries that could become targets of US nuclear weapons. For example, it says that they could be used against China, North Korea, Russia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, or any Arab country that threatens Israel. [Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2002; Telegraph, 3/10/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002] The NPR says that nuclear weapons could be deployed using ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, or other modified conventional weapons. US Special Forces on the ground could be used to pin-point the targets and direct the weapon's deployment. [Telegraph, 3/10/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2002] Arms control advocates warn that the document shows that the Bush administration does not view its nuclear arsenal only as a weapon of last resort or as a deterrent. They also say that the new policy would encourage other countries to develop their own nuclear programs. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

May 1, 2002: Head of Congressional Probe Resigns      Complete 911 Timeline

       L. Britt Snider, ex-CIA official and the head of the joint congressional investigation into 9/11, resigns. Apparently there were many conflicts between Snider and his own staff, as well as with Congress. It is later revealed the final straw occurred when Snider tried to hire a CIA employee who had failed an agency polygraph test as an inquiry staffer. The hearings were expected to start in late May, but the resignation is one reason why the first public hearings are delayed until September. [Los Angeles Times, 10/19/02; Los Angeles Times, 5/2/02] Snider is replaced by Eleanor Hill. She is widely credited for turning around an inquiry “hampered by infighting, politics, leaks and dueling agendas.” [Miami Herald, 7/14/02; Washington Post, 9/25/02 (B)]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Eleanor Hill, L. Britt Snider
          

September 19, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The White House delivers a draft of a strongly worded resolution to Congress authorizing the president to use “all appropriate means” against Iraq. The 20-paragraph draft includes provisions that would allow Bush to ignore the UN and “use all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force, in order to enforce” the UN's Security Council resolutions, “defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region.” According to the Associated Press, “Three senior White House aides familiar with the draft said it would give Bush maximum flexibility to confront the threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, including an explicit OK to use military force.” Although numerous congresspersons complain that the proposed wording of the resolution would provide Bush with a blank check to use military force anywhere in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, several senators—Democrats and Republicans alike—say that an amended version of the resolution would likely pass. [Associated Press, 9/19/02b; Independent, 9/19/02; Times, 9/19/02 Sources: Proposed Resolution to give Bush authority to use military force against Iraq]
The draft lists several allegations against Iraq, depicting the country as an imminent threat against the US and its citizens. It states that Iraq continues to “possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations, thereby continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States and international peace and security.” It also claims that Iraq “continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations,” including members of al-Qaeda. [Sources: Proposed Resolution to give Bush authority to use military force against Iraq]
The proposed resolution asserts that the use of military force against Iraq would constitute self-defense. It reads, “Whereas the United States has the inherent right, as acknowledged in the United Nations Charter, to use force in order to defend itself.” [Sources: Proposed Resolution to give Bush authority to use military force against Iraq]
The draft calls on Congress to authorize the president to use military force against Iraq. “The President is authorized to use all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force, in order to enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolutions referenced above, defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region.” [Sources: Proposed Resolution to give Bush authority to use military force against Iraq]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Bush administration  Additional Info 
          

September 20, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, US International Relations

       The White House submits its “National Security Strategy” to Congress. The 33-page document makes it clear that the ultimate objective of its national security policy is to “dissuade future military competition.” The US must therefore “build and maintain our defenses beyond challenge,” it says. “Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.” The use of military force will not be reserved solely for defense. There may be situations where the US should take preemptive action, it asserts. “To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.” [London Times, 9/21/02] The NSS also states, “We will take the actions necessary to ensure that our efforts to meet our global security commitments and protect Americans are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans and which we do not accept.” [Sources: National Security Strategy of the United States of America]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Bush administration
          

September 23, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Three retired four-star generals testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee and warn Congress that a unilateral strike against Iraq without UN approval might limit aid from allies, create more recruits for al-Qaeda and subvert long term US diplomatic and economic interests. A fourth general urges the committee to support the use of military force against Iraq. [New York Times, 9/24/02]
People and organizations involved: Kofi Annan, US Congress, Amir Moussa, Wesley Clark, Naji Sabri  Additional Info 
          

(8:00pm) October 1, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The CIA delivers the classified version of its 90-page National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq (see October 1, 2002) to Congress. It is available for viewing by Congresspersons under tight security in the offices of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. Congress asks the CIA for a declassified version so that the members have something they can refer to during their debates on the Iraq war resolution. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 281; Washington Post, 6/22/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Central Intelligence Agency
          

October 2, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The House and Senate draft a joint resolution authorizing the president to use military force against Iraq. The House bill is sponsored by Democrat Richard Gephardt, who meets with the president in the morning to discuss the compromise bill. Bush concedes on a few of Gephardt's requests. The resulting joint resolutions—HJ Res. 114 in the House and SJ Res. 46, in the Senate—give substantially more to President Bush than the other proposals that are under consideration such as the Biden-Lugar initiative and Barbara Lee's HR 473. Gephardt's resolution angers many fellow democrats. [New York Times, 10/3/02 Sources: S.J. Res. 46]
The document alleges, among other things, that Iraq is harboring al-Qaeda operatives, is actively seeking and preparing to use weapons of mass destruction, had gassed its own people, had attempted to assassinate the president's father, and was in violation of past UN resolutions. [Sources: S.J. Res. 46]
The document authorizes the president to use military force to “defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and ... enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.” [Sources: S.J. Res. 46]
The document requires that the president, within 48 hours of exercising the use of military force, provide Congress with an explanation as to why diplomacy was insufficient to protect the United States or enforce United Nations resolutions. The resolution also requires the president to report to Congress every 60 days during the entire duration of the conflict. [Sources: S.J. Res. 46]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

October 10, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The House votes 296 to 133 in favor of HR Res. 114 authorizing the president to use military force against Iraq, in spite of significant opposition from their constituencies. Commenting on the passing of the resolution, The Washington Post reports: “Yesterday's debate often lacked the passion and unpredictability of the 1991 affair, when members sat late into the night listening attentively to a war of words. By contrast, the House chamber was largely empty most of yesterday: the arguments familiar, the outcome certain, the conclusion anticlimactic.” [Washington Post, 10/11/02]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

1:15 a.m. October 11, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Senators vote 77 to 23 in favor of SJ Res. 46 (see October 2, 2002) authorizing the president to use military force against Iraq, despite significant opposition from their constituencies. [Washington Post, 10/11/02 Sources: S.J. Res. 46] Dissident Democrats Senators Carl Levin, Richard Durbin, Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, and Mark Dayton attempt to come up with an alternative, SJ Res. 45, but discussion on it is postponed indefinitely by a 75 to 25 vote. [Sources: S.J. Res. 45]
Sen. Carl Levin. SJ Res. 45 with amendments 4858-62 (rejected) - “To authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces, pursuant to a new resolution of the United Nations Security Council, to destroy, remove, or render harmless Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons-usable material, long-range ballistic missiles, and related facilities, and for other purposes.” [Sources: S.J. Res. 45 with amendments 4858-62]
Sen. Richard Durbin. SJ Res. 45 with amendments 4865 (rejected) - To amend the authorization for the use of the Armed Forces to cover an imminent threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction rather than the continuing threat posed by Iraq.
Sen. Barbara Boxer. SJ Res. 45 with amendments 4866-67 (not voted on) - “In families with minor children where both parents serve on active duty in the Armed Forces or where both parents are members of the National Guard or Reserves, the Secretary of Defense shall make every effort to ensure that not more than one of the parents is deployed in combat.”
Sen. Robert Byrd. SJ Res. 45 with amendments 4868 (rejected) - To provide statutory construction that constitutional authorities remain unaffected and that no additional grant of authority is made to the president not directly related to the existing threat posed by Iraq. [Sources: S.J. Res. 45 with amendments 4868-69]
Sen. Robert Byrd. SJ Res. 45 with amendments 4869 (rejected) - To provide a termination date for the authorization of the use of the Armed Forces of the United States, together with procedures for the extension of such date unless Congress disapproves the extension. [Sources: S.J. Res. 45 with amendments 4868-69]
Sen. Mark Dayton. S.J. Res. 45 with amendments 4870 (rejected) - Allows the president to prepare for the deployment—not use—of the US Armed Forces. If he determines that the use of force is necessary to protect the US from an imminent threat posed by Iraq, he may request a declaration of war to be voted upon by Congress. [Sources: S.J. Res. 45 with amendments 4870]
People and organizations involved: Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, US Congress, Richard Durbin, Mark Dayton, Robert C. Byrd
          

November 15, 2002: Congress Starts New 9/11 Investigation      Complete 911 Timeline

       Congress approves legislation creating an independent commission—the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States—to “examine and report on the facts and causes relating to the September 11th terrorist attacks” and “make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the attacks.” President Bush signs it into law November 27, 2002. [US Department of State, 11/28/02] Bush originally opposed an independent commission (see May 23, 2002), but he changes his mind over the summer (see September 20, 2002) after political pressure. The Democrats concede several important aspects of the commission (such as subpoena approval) after the White House threatens to create a commission by executive order, over which it would have more control. Bush will appoint the commission chairman and he sets a strict time frame (18 months) for the investigation. [CNN, 11/15/02] The commission will only have a $3 million budget. Senator Jon Corzine (D) and others wonder how the commission can accomplish much with such a small budget. [Associated Press, 1/20/03] The budget is later increased (see March 26, 2003).
People and organizations involved: 9/11 Commission, Jon Corzine, US Congress, George W. Bush
          

December 19, 2002      Bush's environmental record

       The Bush administration's Office of Management and Budget sends a report to Congress announcing that it will conduct a review of more than 300 regulations—including ones pertaining to the environment and public health—which it has slated for overhaul, reform, or elimination. The review will draw on more than 1700 recommendations from private industry and think tanks. Many of the recommendations would weaken food safety standards, energy conservation standards, and natural resources. Sixty-five of the regulations targeted for overhaul are under the jurisdiction of the EPA. [Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, 12/20/2002; Natural Resources Defense Council, 12/19/2002; League of Conservation Voters, n.d. Sources: Rewriting the rules, Senate Office of Governmental Affairs, 10/24/2002]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, US Congress, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Management and Budget
          

January 28, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       A White House report to Congress titled “A report on matters relevant to the authorization for use of military force against Iraq,” complains that Iraq did not report in its December 2002 declaration (see December 7, 2002) to the UN that it had attempted “to acquire uranium and the means to enrich it.” [The Washington Post, 8/8/03; US President, 1/28/03 Sources: A report on matters relevant to the authorization for use of military force against Iraq]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Bush administration
          

February 2003      911 Environmental Impact

       Congress passes the 2003 omnibus spending package which contains approximately $90 million to monitor the health of workers who took part in the World Trade Center recovery effort. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which controls the money, delays giving the funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of a dispute over how to distribute the aid. [New York Daily News, 6/10/03]
People and organizations involved: Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Congress, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
          

Early March 2003      US Military

       In its 2004 budget proposal, the US Defense Department asks US Congress to lift the 1992 “Spratt-Furse restriction,”a 10-year ban on developing small nuclear warheads known as “mini-nukes.” Buried deep within the proposal, is a single line statement that calls on Congress to “rescind the prohibition on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons.” [Guardian, 3/7/2003; USA Today, 7/6/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Department of Defense, US Congress
          

April 11, 2003      Bush's environmental record

       The Department of Interior informs Congress that it has decided to settle a lawsuit filed years ago by the state of Utah over the Bureau of Land Management's policy of rejecting drilling and mining projects in areas under review for wilderness protection. The decision withdraws protected status for 3 million acres of land in Utah. Without designation as a Wilderness Area, portions of the Red Rock Canyons in southern Utah could be open to logging, oil and gas drilling, mineral extraction, road-building and other development. A federal appeals court had previously ruled against the state on all but one count and consequently the lawsuit's status had been moribund since 1998. [League of Conservation Voters, n.d.; USA Today, 4/11/2003] But in March, Utah made an amendment to its complaint, thus reopening the case and providing the Bush administration with an opportunity to make a “settlement.” Environmental groups say the settlement is the outcome of a deal made between Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Utah Governor Mike Leavitt behind closed-doors. [USA Today, 4/11/2003; Salt Lake City Tribune, 4/20/2003; The Wilderness Society, 4/28/2004; Salt Lake City Tribune, 6/18/2003; League of Conservation Voters, n.d.; Salt Lake City Tribune, 5/6/2003] In addition to the settlement, the Bush administration stops congressional reviews of Western lands for wilderness protection, capping wilderness designation at 22.8 million acres nationwide. [USA Today, 4/11/2003; League of Conservation Voters, n.d.]
People and organizations involved: US Department of Interior, Gale A. Norton, Bush administration, Mike Leavitt, US Congress
          

May 14, 2003      Bush's environmental record

       The Bush administration sends Congress a $247-billion, six-year spending proposal which would undermine environmental protections, discourage the development of mass transit systems and threaten historical sites, recreation areas, and wildlife refuges by shifting regulatory authority to the state and local level and undermining public oversight. The proposal, called the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003,” would cut the federal/local funding ratio for new rail projects from 80/20 to 50/50, thus requiring local governments to pay for a larger portion of such transit systems. The bill allocates four times as much funds for roads than for mass transit. [Associated Builders and Contractors, 5/16/2003; Natural Resources Defense Council, n.d.; League of Conservation Voters, n.d.]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, US Congress
          

(Summer 2003)      Treatment of US troops

       Pentagon officials indicate that they will not ask Congress to renew a temporary increase in monthly Imminent-Danger Pay (IDP) (from $150 to $225) and Family-Separation Allowance (FSA) (from $100 to $250) to US soldiers stationed in combat zones. The temporary IDP and FSA increases, which were put into effect retroactively in April, are set to expire on September 30. In August, when a journalist asks the White House about its views on the plan not to renew the pay increases, a spokesperson refers the reporter to a June Pentagon budget report which warned that the DoD budget can't sustain the higher payments. [The Army Times, 6/30/2003; San Francisco Chronicle, 8/14/2003] But after the planned rollback of the benefits becomes a public controversy, the Pentagon issues a statement on August 14 saying that it intends to ensure that those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan “continue to receive this compensation at least at the current levels.” The statement says nothing about troops deployed on dangerous missions in other regions. [Department of Defense, 8/14/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, US Department of Defense
          

June 5, 2003      Bush's environmental record

       A White House aide tells Congress that the administration overestimated the expected reduction in mercury emissions that would result from the implementation of its “Clear Skies” plan. [League of Conservation Voters, n.d.; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/6/2003] The EPA is under court orders to finalize a mercury reduction plan, which would update the Clean Air Act, by December 15, 2003. The current version of the Clean Air Act has no provisions covering mercury, a byproduct of coal-burning power plants. [New York Times, 7/14/2003] The administration's “Clear Skies” plan had predicted that if sulfur and nitrogen compound emissions were reduced by 70 percent in 2010 as the plan proposes, there would be a concomitant reduction in mercury pollution from coal power plants to about 26 tons a year nationally. But a revised estimate put the expected reduction between 2 and 14 tons. Since Congress' current draft of the Clean Air Act had set a reduction target of 22 tons by 2010 based on the plan's previous figures, energy industry lobbyists and some pro-industry senators are now arguing that the mercury reduction goal should likewise be set to a smaller amount. [League of Conservation Voters, n.d.; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/6/2003]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, US Congress
          

June 12, 2003      Bush's environmental record

       President Bush sends Congress the Biennial Report on the Administration of the Coastal Zone Management Act, [White House, 6/12/2003] which proposes new rules that would undermine coastal states' control over their coastlines by reducing public and state government participation in decisions affecting the coast and its resources. The changes would pave the way for new offshore oil and gas development. [League of Conservation Voters, n.d.; Environmental Defense Center, 8/21/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, George W. Bush, Bush administration
          

August 2003: FBI and CIA Reopen Investigation Into Saudi Link to 9/11      Complete 911 Timeline

       In the wake of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry report, and “under intense pressure from Congress,” as the Boston Globe puts it, the FBI and CIA reopen an investigation into whether Saudi Arabian officials aided the 9/11 plot. [Boston Globe, 8/3/03] In early August, Saudi Arabia allows the FBI to interview Omar al-Bayoumi. However, the interview takes place in Saudi Arabia, and apparently on his terms, with Saudi government handlers present. [Associated Press, 8/6/03; New York Times, 8/5/03] Says one anonymous government terrorism consultant, “They are revisiting everybody. The [FBI] did not do a very good job of unraveling the conspiracy behind the hijackers.” [Boston Globe, 8/3/03] But by September, the Washington Post reports that the FBI has concluded that the idea al-Bayoumi was a Saudi government agent is “without merit and has largely abandoned further investigation... The bureau's September 11 investigative team, which is still tracking down details of the plot, has reached similar conclusions about other associates named or referred to in the congressional inquiry report.” [Washington Post, 9/10/03] Yet another article claims that by late August, some key people who interacted with al-Bayoumi have yet to be interviewed by the FBI. “Countless intelligence leads that might help solve” the mystery of a Saudi connection to the hijackers “appear to have been underinvestigated or completely overlooked by the FBI, particularly in San Diego.” [San Diego Magazine, 9/03] Not only were they never interviewed when the investigation was supposedly reopened, they were not interviewed in the months after 9/11 either, when the FBI supposedly opened an “intense investigation” of al-Bayoumi, visiting “every place he was known to have gone, and [compiling] 4,000 pages of documents detailing his activities.” [Newsweek, 7/28/03]
People and organizations involved: 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Central Intelligence Agency, US Congress, Omar al-Bayoumi, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

September 25, 2003      Treatment of US troops

       Department of Defense officials ask Congress not to renew a temporary increase in the Family Separation Allowance (FSA) and Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) for deployed forces that had been enacted in April. Instead, Defense suggests raising the Hardship Duty Pay for troops deployed only in Iraq and Afghanistan. David Chu, the department's top personnel official, says that the April raises were like “using a sledgehammer to hit a small nail.” The Pentagon's intent to rollback the FSA and IDP reignites a controversy that had sprung up during the summer (see (Summer 2003)) when it was first revealed that the White House supported the Defense Department's plan to save money by cutting back on the two programs. [Stars and Stripes, 10/4/2003] The final National Defense Authorization bill, which is passed by Congress in November, rejects the Pentagon's recommendations and renews the pay increases. [Sun Herald, 11/8/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, US Department of Defense, David Chu
          

November 14, 2003      Bush's environmental record

       After 71 days of negotiations, Congressional Republicans announce that they have agreed on an energy bill that would provide some $20 billion in tax breaks for power companies. [Christian Science Monitor, 11/19/2003; New York Times, 11/15/2003] President Bush voices his support for the bill—drafted mostly by Republicans—which he says will make the US “safer and stronger” by helping to “keep the lights on, the furnaces lit, and the factories running.” He also states, “By making America less reliant on foreign sources of energy, we also will make our nation more secure.” [New York Times, 11/15/2003; White House, 11/14/2003] To facilitate the bill's passage through Congress, “negotiators sprinkled in dozens of sweeteners sought by states and congressional districts,” including nearly $1 billion in shoreline restoration projects, tax credits for a company that manufactures fuel from compressed turkey carcasses, and a provision doubling the use of corn-based ethanol as a gasoline additive. The Republican lawmakers also dropped a section that would have opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, as Democrats had made clear that they would vote against any bill containing such a provision. But the Republicans decided against including a Democrat-favored plan to require large utility companies to steadily increase their use of energy from clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar power. [New York Times, 11/15/2003; The Washington Post, 11/16/2003 [b]; Christian Science Monitor, 11/19/2003; Associated Press, 11/16/2003] The bill includes:
A provision introduced by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay that would provide energy companies and universities with $2 billion in subsidies over the next 10 years for research and development of ultra deep-water oil exploration techniques and “unconventional” natural gas extraction. [Associated Press, 11/16/2003; The Washington Post, 11/16/2003; Christian Science Monitor, 11/19/2003]
A controversial provision granting Gulf Coast refiners of the fuel additive MTBE $2 billion in subsidies to assist them in the phasing out of MTBE production. The phase-out, originally proposed to take 4 years, is extended to 10 by the bill. MTBE, or methyl tertiary-butyl ether, which helps decrease smog, is known to contaminate groundwater. The new energy bill would also prevent communities from bringing product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers of MTBE. Tom Delay was a strong supporter of this provision, as were other legislators from Louisiana and Texas, where MTBE is produced. [The Washington Post, 11/16/2003; Christian Science Monitor, 11/19/2003; New York Times, 11/15/2003; Associated Press, 11/16/2003]
A section dealing with the electric grid that would require large power companies to meet new mandatory reliability standards. [New York Times, 11/15/2003; New York Times, 11/16/2003]
Royalty relief to the owners of marginal oil and gas wells. The program would apply to approximately 80 percent of all wells on federal lands. [Christian Science Monitor, 11/19/2003]
A provision that would allow taxpayer money to fund the clean-up of leaking underground gasoline storage tanks (LUST). [Sources: Letter from head of evironmental groups to Congress about the energy bill HR 6]
A provision authorizing Alaska's “Denali Commission” to use over $1 billion on hydroelectric and other energy projects on Alaska Federal Lands. [Sources: Letter from head of evironmental groups to Congress about the energy bill HR 6]
A provision permitting urban areas like Dallas-Ft. Worth, Washington, DC and southwestern Michigan to further delay efforts to reduce air pollution, “an action that will place a significant burden on states and municipalities down-wind of these urban centers.” [Sources: Letter from head of evironmental groups to Congress about the energy bill HR 6]
$100 million/year in production tax credits for the construction of up to four light-water nuclear reactors. [The Washington Post, 11/16/2003 [b]; Christian Science Monitor, 11/19/2003]
Loan guarantees for building a $20 billion trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline. But officials of ConocoPhillips, a major backer of the project, complain that the bill's incentives are insufficient to get the project moving. [The Washington Post, 11/16/2003 [b]; Associated Press, 11/16/2003]
Tax incentives to encourage wind power generators, energy-efficient homes and hybrid passenger cars running on gasoline and batteries. Additionally, it sets aside funds for equipping government buildings with photovoltaic cells and developing energy-efficient traffic lights. The package also allocates $6.2 million to encourage bicycle use. But according to a preliminary estimate by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, these progressive reforms would eliminate only about three months worth of energy use between now and 2020. [The Washington Post, 11/16/2003 [b]]
A repeal of the 1935 Public Utility Holding Company Act, which limits utility industry mergers. This provision was a top priority for the electric power industry and the White House. [The Washington Post, 11/16/2003 [b]] Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico and chairman of the conference committee charged with resolving differences between the House and Senate bills, acknowledge to the New York Times that the bill will likely be criticized. [New York Times, 11/15/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Tom DeLay, George W. Bush, Pete V. Domenici  Additional Info 
          

January 7, 2004      Bush's environmental record

       The Environmental Protection Agency says in a report to Congress that for the second year in a row, “limited funding prevented EPA from beginning construction at all sites or providing additional funds needed to address sites in a manner believed necessary by regional officials, and caused projects to be segmented into phases and/or scaled back to accommodate available funding.” The report explains that for 2003 (see July 17, 2003), the funding shortfall amounted to $174.9 million. As a result, clean-up work at 11 superfund sites was put off and work at 29 other locations was slowed down. [Government Executive, 1/8/2004; Associated Press, 1/9/2004; League of Conservation Voters, n.d. Sources: Congressional Request on Funding Needs for Non-Federal Superfund Sites, EPA, January 7, 2004] The 11 sites where work was postponed include Jennison-Wright Corp. in Granite City, Ill.; Continental Steel Corp. in Kokomo, Ind.; Marion Pressure Treating in Marion, La.; Atlas Tack Corp. in Fairhaven, Mass.; and Mohawk Tannery in Nashua, N.H. In 2003, the EPA completed 40 clean-ups, compared to 42 in FY 2002, and 47 in 2001. Under the Clinton administration, an average of 76 clean-ups had been completed each year. [Associated Press, 1/9/2004] The report was requested in July by US Senator Barbara Boxer, House Energy and Commerce ranking member John Dingell, Rep. Hilda Solis, and Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member James Jeffords. [Associated Press, 1/9/2004; Government Executive, 1/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Barbara Boxer, Environmental Protection Agency, Bush administration, John Dingell, James Jeffords, Hilda Solis, US Congress
          

March 12, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba presents his report (see February 26, 2004) on prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib to his commanders. [Truthout, no date] The report is “very closely held” among the Army's senior leadership and the report is only accessible to top officials on a secure computer network. Congress is not informed of the report or its findings. [Baltimore Sun, 5/6/2004] It is classified as “Secret / No Foreign Dissemination.” Neither the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, nor the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will later say they know why the report was classified when asked at a Pentagon press briefing on May 4. Such a classification may be in violation of US law. Section 1.7 of Executive Order 12958 reads: “In no case shall information be classified in order to ... conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error [or to] prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency ....” [Secrecy News, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba, Peter Pace, US Congress, Donald Rumsfeld
          

April 6, 2004      Bush's environmental record

       The Pentagon submits a request to Congress asking it to pass legislation exempting the military's 525 live-fire ranges from key provisions of the 1970 Clean Air Act, 1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and the 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. For example, it wants exemptions to toxic waste laws requiring the military to clean up pollution from munitions used on training ranges. The Pentagon claims that the exemptions will improve the US military's combat readiness. [American Forces Press Services, 4/6/2004; Associated Press, 4/7/2004; CBS News, 4/20/2004; Government Executive, 4/6/2004]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Bush administration
          

April 19, 2004      Bush's environmental record

       The attorneys general of 39 states ask Congress to turn down a Defense Department request for exemptions from environmental laws (see April 6, 2004). Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar argues that there is no evidence that the proposed exemptions would facilitate training or improve military readiness, as the military claims. Salazar notes that existing laws allow the Pentagon to apply for waivers from the laws, adding that if Congress grants the exemptions, it could limit states' ability to conduct investigations and oversee clean-ups of munitions-related contamination on 24 million acres of military lands. [CBS News, 4/20/2004]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, Ken Salazar, US Congress
          

May 14, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The generals who were most involved in setting interrogation policy in Iraq are invited to hearings by US Congress. Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez announces he has revoked, as of the previous day, all authorizations for coercive practices, including sensory deprivation, forcing detainees into “stress positions,” and keeping them awake. Although he still makes an exception for very rare circumstances, he says. [The Observer, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

May 20-21, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller appear before a classified session of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The following day, Representative Jane Harman shoots a letter off to Miller saying there were “gaps and discrepancies” in his presentation and accuses him of selectively withholding information. She also tells him that she now questions his candor. [Newsweek, 6/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Geoffrey D. Miller, Jane Harman, US Congress
          

May 24, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       When the Taguba report (see March 9, 2004), which together with all its 106 annexes includes 6,000 pages, is delivered by the Pentagon to the Senate Armed Services Committee, some 2,000 pages are missing, withheld by the Defense Department. Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita calls this an “oversight.” [Associated Press, 5/24/2004] Nevertheless, the missing pages contain key documents, internal Army memos and e-mails, sworn statements by soldiers, officers, contractors, and prisoners. It also includes the final section of Taguba's interview with Col. Thomas M. Pappas. [Newsweek, 6/7/2004] The missing annexes of the Taguba report hold evidence that the abuse was not conducted solely by a few MPs acting on their own, but instead at the instigation and with the involvement of military intelligence personnel.
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Thomas M. Pappas, Larry DiRita
          

July 2004      US Military

       The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports to Congress on the challenges facing the development of the Global Information Grid (GIG). GIG, sometimes referred to as the “war net,” is the military's “Internet in the sky” (see February 25, 2004) that will give soldiers in the field unprecedented access to data, such as images, maps, and other types of actionable intelligence, via a very high-speed satellite link in real-time. In addition to a variety of management and operational challenges, GAO reports that most of the technologies needed to develop GIG are immature and that the Defense Department “is at risk of not delivering required capabilities within budgeted resources.” For example, “two key GIG related programs—JTRS and TSAT—are facing schedule and performance risks, ... largely rooted in attempts to move these programs into product development without sufficient knowledge that their technologies can work as intended.” Additionally, reports GAO, the Pentagon's Future Combat Systems program “is at significant risk, in part because more than 75 percent of its critical technologies were immature at the start and many will not be sufficiently mature until the production decision.” [The New York Times, 11/13/2004 Sources: The Global Information Grid and Challenges Facing Its Implementation, 7/2004]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, General Accounting Office
          

January 2005: Army Corps of Engineers Submits Final Draft of $1.9 Billion Louisiana Costal Restoration Plan to Congress      Hurricane Katrina

       the US Army Corps of Engineers submits the final draft of the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Study to Congress for WRDA authorization. WRDA, or the Water Resources Development Act, provides federal authorization for water resources projects. The Corps recommends that Congress approve a federal-state cost sharing ration of 65 percent federal, 35 percent state. A 65-35 split would be “consistent with existing law and Corps policy,” the Corps says. [Houma Today, 7/21/2005]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Study, US Army Corps of Engineers
          

February 15, 2005: Michael Chertoff Becomes Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security      Hurricane Katrina

       Judge Michael Chertoff is confirmed by the Senate in a 98-0 vote and sworn in as the second Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, succeeding the agency's previous head, Tom Ridge. Chertoff previously served as the United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, and prior to that he was the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. During the 2000 elections, he helped fundraise for George W. Bush and other Republicans during the 2000 election cycle and advised Bush's presidential campaign on criminal justice issues. Before joining the Bush administration, Chertoff was a partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins, and from 1994 to 1996 he served as Special Counsel for the US Senate Whitewater Committee. [Department of Homeland Security, 9/16/2005]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Michael Chertoff
          

April 13, 2005: Senate Committee Approves WRDA Authorization for Louisiana Coastal Restoration Project      Hurricane Katrina

       The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approves the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2005 (S.728), which includes authorization (but not appropriation of funds) for the $1.9 billion Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Study. The federal contribution to the project would be 65 percent, with the State of Louisiana, paying the remainder. “This legislation is a major breakthrough toward ensuring the future of our unique way of life in coastal Louisiana,” Rep. David Vitter, (R-LA), says in a statement. “It is critical for this authorization to be included in WRDA so that Congress can aggressively appropriate federal funds to restore Louisiana's coast.” [Baton Rouge Advocate, 4/17/2005]
People and organizations involved: David Vitter, US Congress, Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Study
          

April 21, 2005: House Energy Bill Provision Would Divert Offshore Oil and Gas Royalties to Louisiana Coastal Restoration      Hurricane Katrina

       The House passes its version of the 2005 Energy Policy Act (HR 6). One provision, secured by Louisiana Congressman Bobby Jindal, (R-Kenner), would provide Louisiana with up to $1 billion in offshore oil and gas royalties every year beginning in 2016. Louisiana and its coastal parishes would use the money to fund coastal wetland restoration efforts. Historically, offshore gas and oil royalties have been paid exclusively to the federal government, since these operations are conducted on federal territory. But Louisiana has long argued that a portion of this money should be used to help fund efforts aimed at restoring Louisiana's coastal wetlands, the disappearance of which has been partly attributed to Gulf Coast oil and gas operations. A similar provision is included in the Senate version of the bill (see June 28, 2005). [Baton Rouge Advocate, 4/17/2005]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Bobby Jindal
          

June 28, 2005: Senate Energy Bill Provision Would Divert Offshore Oil and Gas Royalties to Louisiana Coastal Restoration      Hurricane Katrina

       The Senate passes its version of the 2005 Energy Policy Act (HR 6). Like the House version of the bill (see April 21, 2005), it includes a provision that would divert a portion of offshore oil and gas royalties to coastal energy producing states like Louisiana. But unlike the House version, which would give Louisiana $1 billion in royalties every year beginning in 2016, the Senate version would only provide Louisiana with $540 million over a four-year period beginning in fiscal year 2007. Louisiana would use the money to fund projects aimed at restoring the state's coastal wetlands. The bill is referred to a conference committee (see July 29, 2005) charged with resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions. [New Orleans CityBusiness, 6/23/2005]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use