Thoughts On Our War Against Terrorism

Created: Thursday, 04 April 2002 Written by Correspondent
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Thoughts On Our War Against Terrorism

By Congresswoman Cynthia A. McKinney

Whose war is this really?

In November 2000, Republicans stole from America our most precious right of all: the right to free and fair elections. In an organized manner, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State Katherine Harris created a list of convicted felons--57, 700 to be exact--to "scrub" from the state's voter rolls. The names were created from Florida records and from lists provided by 11 other states, the largest list coming from Texas. We now know that most of the people on that list were innocent of crimes. The list was a phony. And worse, the majority of these rightful voters were people of color and likely Democratic voters. Of the thousands who ultimately lost their vote through this scrub of voters, 80% are African-American. Had they voted, the course of history would have changed: Harris declared Bush the victor by only 537 votes.

President Carter has said that the Carter Center would not certify the US 2000 Presidential elections had they had been asked to do so. Consequently, an Administration of questionable legitimacy has been given unprecedented power to fight America's new war against terrorism. ...Moreover, persons close to this Administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war.

Former President Bush sits on the board of the Carlyle Group. The Los Angeles Times reports that on a single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million selling shares in United Defense Industries, the Army's fifth-largest contractor. The stock offering was well timed: Carlyle officials say they decided to take the company public only after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The stock sale cashed in on increased congressional support for hefty defense spending, including one of United Defense's cornerstone weapon programs.

Now is the time for our elected officials to be held accountable. Now is the time for the media to be held accountable. Why aren't the hard questions being asked. We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, delivered one such warning. Those engaged in unusual stock trades immediately before September 11 knew enough to make millions of dollars from United and American airlines, certain insurance and brokerage firms' stocks.

What did this Administration know, and when did it know it about the events of September 11? Who else knew and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? September 11 erased the line between "over there" and "over here." The American people can longer afford to be detached from the world, as our actions abroad will have a direct impact on our lives at home. In Washington, DC, decisions affecting home and abroad are made and too many of us leave the responsibility of protecting our freedoms to other people whose interests are not our own.

From Durban to Kabul to Atlanta to Washington, what our government does in our name is important. It is now also clear that our future, our security, and our rights depend on our vigilance.