News Release

Another Gulf of Tonkin Resulution?

FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle said today: “According to the facts in the public record so far, this was not an act of war and NATO Article 5 does not apply. President Bush has automatically escalated this national tragedy into something it is not in order to justify a massive military attack abroad and an apparent crackdown on civil liberties at home. We see shades of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which the Johnson administration used to provide dubious legal cover for massive escalation of the Vietnam War.”

MATT ROTHSCHILD
Editor of The Progressive magazine, Rothschild said today: “President Bush said that America was targeted ‘because we embrace freedom.’ Not knowing with any certainty who the attackers were, it’s hard to speculate on their motives. But many groups in the Third World have grievances that are more specific than the ones Bush mentioned…. The Pearl Harbor analogy has frightening connotations. Two months after Japan’s surprise attack, the U.S. government rounded up Japanese Americans into internment camps. Now it seems highly improbable that Arab Americans or Muslim Americans will be rounded up, but what does seem quite possible is that the media’s obsessive focus on a non-differentiated Islamic fundamentalism — mixed in with nativist sentiment that is always on the shelf — will create a cocktail of hate crimes.”
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RANIA MASRI
A national board member of Peace Action, Masri said today: “In Raleigh, N.C. — where I live — the local mosque received two bomb threats the day of the attack. The Islamic School in Raleigh had to close — due to fear for its students’ safety. People driving by the mosque have been spewing racist statements — such as ‘sand niggers go home’ and ‘death to you all.’ Several Arab women wearing Hijab had stones thrown at them from passing cars, and have been spat on at the main university campus. In pockets across the U.S. and Canada, the verbal threats have become direct physical assaults.”
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DAVID COLE
Professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, Cole said today: “In the past we have responded to acts of terrorism by clamping down on basic civil liberties, by anti-immigrant actions, and by engaging in unjustified and widespread guilt by association.”

LARRY BIRNS
Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Birns said today: “The Senate is ducking its responsibility in today’s pro forma confirmation hearings on John Negroponte as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. No public witnesses are being heard. While the Bush administration has professedly become an apostle of democracy, it has selected one of the most tainted figures of the Central American wars of the 1980s to be its ambassador to the UN.”
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RYME KATKHOUDA
A correspondent with WBIX, which is producing community internet radio in Manhattan, Katkhouda witnessed the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167