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Congress ready to give green light

WASHINGTON – Congress is moving toward granting the President the go-ahead for taking action against terrorists and the nations that harbor them.

Friday, September 14, 2001

WASHINGTON – Congress is moving toward granting the President the go-ahead for taking action against terrorists and the nations that harbor them.

Congressman Ted Strickland, speaking from the Capitol yesterday afternoon, said legislators were debating a resolution which will grant the President to take whatever actions he deems necessary in bringing justice to those responsible for Tuesday’s attack on the nation.

This is similar language used in the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution which granted President Johnson the ability ”to take all necessary measures” to protect U.S. forces and prevent aggression. Johnson used that resolution to wage the Vietnam War, to the regret of many lawmakers. "I don’t feel that’s what is being called for at all," Strickland said.

Strickland pointed out this was not a declaration of war. He said this measure is a way for Congress to provide Constitutional authorization to defend the nation.

The Constitution gives the president, as commander in chief, authority to wage war while leaving Congress the power to declare war.

Strickland said he plans to support the resolution adding that he doesn’t suspect any opposition to the pending legislation.

The Congressman said debating could continue this afternoon and he expects Congress to vote on the issue by this evening.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – President Bush will activate up to 50,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve to aid recovery and security efforts in the wake of terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

Bush acted on the recommendation of Donald H. Rumsfeld, who presented the proposal during a Cabinet meeting at the White House Friday.

Bush had planned to announce the move after the Cabinet meeting, but the photo opportunity was canceled at the last minute. Two government officials familiar with the president’s plans said he still planned to go forward with the move.

They stressed that the call-up was not part of a military mobilization aimed at the terrorists who struck Washington and New York on Friday. Instead, Rumsfeld wants the troops, the largest number called up since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, to support air patrols over New York and Washington and remain alert elsewhere in the country.

The troops also would help with homeland defense, the officials said, such as recovery and security efforts in the affected areas.

Air National Guard reserve pilots are needed to man fighter jets that are on 15-minute alert at 26 bases across the country to protect commercial planes.

Rumsfeld said combat planes are flying over the New York-Washington corridor to protect flights.

Bush prepared for the call-up as the Pentagon pored over options for war, top officials vowing to eradicate the terrorists who hit New York and Washington as well as the states and organizations that support them.