. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NPR News: All Things Considered – March 13, 2002 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
13 years ago today it was all about escalation and the inevitable plunge into war.
On this March 13, 2002 – The INS was busy wiping a cloud of egg off its face with revelations that it had just granted visas to two of the Hijackers killed in the 9/11 attacks. The bungling caused an uproar and calls for sweeping changes at the INS were heard echoing all over Capitol Hill.
And news of U.S. troops and Afghan militia engaging the Taliban in the region of Tora-Bora in eastern Afghanistan. The operation, which resulted in intense fighting with Taliban and Al-Qaeda militia, was quoted by U.S. Military as being a success with Pentagon sources claiming “hundreds” of Al-Qaeda fighters dead, even though Afghan militia reported seeing only 8-10 bodies and captured 4 prisoners. Afghan sources claimed Taliban and Al-Quaeda fighters skipped across the border to Pakistan under the tacit approval of locals and military who were looking the other way as thousands escaped ahead of U.S. attacks.
President Bush, at a news conference reiterated the White House position on Iraq and said he had every intention of consulting U.S. allies about Iraq, calling Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein a “problem” and there needed to be a regime change. Meanwhile, vice-President Dick Cheney was in the Middle East drumming up support by reminding people Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction and it was time to think about getting rid of Hussein, reiterating White House calls for a regime change. However, Cheney didn’t go as far as to say how this “regime change” was going to happen.
And on Capitol Hill, the Senate voted 62-38 in favor of an amendment to an Energy bill that effectively delayed any possible hike in fuel efficiency requirements.
In Atlanta Georgia, a jury sentenced former 60s radical H. Rap Brown to life in prison without parole for the alleged murder of a Sheriff’s Deputy. The jury could have imposed the Death Penalty, but opted for the Prison sentence.
In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe secured a fifth term in office, amid allegations of voter fraud and “daylight robbery” by challenger Morgan Tsvangiri. Despite protests, and a rebuke by President Bush, African nations were closing ranks to declare Mugabe the winner.
And 1600 National Guard troops were heading to the borders of Canada and Mexico in an effort to beef up Homeland Security.