State of Washington Archives: on War & Peace

Dirk Kempthorne: Participate in military funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq

When a member of the Idaho National Guard is killed in Iraq, Kempthorne often participates in the funeral services, knowing that his remarks may be e-mailed back to Iraq the same day. This role has been thrust on Kempthorne by the heavy deployment of National Guard forces. Kempthorne calls his preparation for military funerals "the most somber and introspective moment" he experiences as governor, and he notes that not since the Civil War has there been such state identification with the military.
Source: Dan Balz in Wash. Post, "Guard Deployments" (Bush Cabinet) Jul 19, 2005

John Ashcroft: Push anti-terrorism laws despite Congressional skepticism

Ashcroft wants Congress to act now on its “modest set of proposals” in light of what he said was the very real possibility that terrorists are planning additional attacks. [Some Members wanted more] time to adequately digest proposals that could have serious, unforeseen consequences for rights that Americans now take for granted.

The administration’s bill would make it easier for law enforcement agencies to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists by expanding wiretap authority from single phone lines to multiple modes of communication linked to a suspect, such as cell phones and e-mail. It would also expand the definition of terrorists to include those who “lend support” to terrorist organizations, and it would allow immigration officials to “detain and remove” them. It would permit law enforcement agencies to share information-including grand jury testimony-with intelligence agencies, and it would let law enforcement officials not only freeze terrorists’ assets but also seize them.

Source: J.Lancaster & W.Pincus, Wash. Post, p. A5 on Bush Cabinet Nov 25, 2001

Donald Rumsfeld: Legal ban on assassinations limits pursuit of bin Laden

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld hinted that the government has evidence showing there was state sponsorship of last week’s attacks. He said that the campaign against terrorism “will not be quick and it will not be easy” and that the goal is “to drain the swamp they live in.” He added: “We have a choice, either to change the way we live, which is unacceptable, or to change the way that they live, and we chose the latter.”

Rumsfeld said the legal ban on government-sponsored assassinations restricts what the government can do in its pursuit of bin Laden, who is described as the prime suspect in the attacks. But former president Bill Clinton, in an interview with NBC News, said the ban should pose no hurdle. The ban applies only to heads of state, not terrorists, he said. “I can assure you we’ve been trying to get Osama bin Laden for the last several years.”

Source: Dan Balz & Alan Sipress, Wash. Post, p. A1, on Bush Cabinet Nov 19, 2001

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