September 27, 1990 – Ratcheting Up The Gulf – SCOTUS Gets A Souter
The Senate Judiciary Committee, as expected, voted 13-1 to confirm Souter. A full Senate vote had not been scheduled, but a White House official said it wanted to have Souter sworn in before SCOTUS opened it’s session within a few days.
In other news – the crisis in the Persian Gulf was ramping up. A U.S. frigate, USS Montgomery fired warning shots across the bow of an Iraqi tanker that had refused to stop in the northern Red Sea, and it sent armed U.S. Sailors aboard to inspect it. Pentagon officials said no cargo was found that was one the list of embargoed goods and the vessel was allowed to proceed. Since the embargo was imposed, some 125 Iraqi ships have been boarded in waterways around the Persian Gulf.
The Bush Administration was asking Congress to approve the sale of more than a Billion and a half dollars worth of military equipment to Saudi Arabia. A Pentagon spokesperson said the package included tanks, missiles, attack helicopters, spare parts and related equipment. They went on to say the equipment was urgently needed to help the Saudis maintain their defense in light of the situation in the Gulf. The Administration wanted to sell the Saudis some $20 billion in hardware in total, but it faced stiff political opposition to a sale that big.
And Egypt’s President Mubarak warned that if Iraq set up missiles in Sudan, they would be forced to knock them out the next day. Iraq reassured Western diplomats still “guests” in Baghdad that their lives not in danger, contrary to previous reports that stated they were to be hanged for giving refuge to their own nationals inside embassy grounds.
And that’s a sample of what was going on this September 27, 1990 as reported by CBS Radio.