Terror in America: Congress responds
Sept. 13, 2001
The words were spoken by U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., and delivered in somber tones during a telephone interview Wednesday with Mississippi newspaper publishers.
Pickering, fresh from a high-level congressional briefing on the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York, said all signs point to Osama bin Laden as being responsible. His sobering comments reflected the insight given by U.S. intelligence agencies and defense and transportation representatives to members of Congress as the terrorists' trails are tracked.
Pickering identified Pakistan, Afghanistan and others as likely involved in acts of terrorism. Congress, he said, will pass a resolution describing the attacks as "an act of war" and give President Bush all of the legal authority he needs to set up a political and operational framework to identify and punish terrorism.
He cited Bush's Tuesday night speech in which he said there would be no distinction made between countries which harbor terrorists and the terrorists themselves.
Pickering said "all precautions" are being taken at U.S. airports, rail yards and other facilities to prevent other potential terrorist acts. He said the Bush administration is communicating at multi-levels with other countries to guard against future attacks.
On two issues of special interest, Pickering said:
There will be no reinstitution of the military draft. "We can meet this challenge with the military personnel we have now."
Gouging at the gas pump: " … There is no justification whatsoever for price gouging and no reason for panic. There are no reported shortages of gasoline at the wholesale and primary levels. Crude oil and petroleum trading are continuing in international markets and prices seem to be stable. To mitigate this further, some oil companies have voluntarily frozen their prices.
Incidents of gas price gouging may be reported to a special Energy Department hot line, (800) 244-3301.
Pickering encouraged Mississippians to return to their normal lives as much as possible and not let terrorism rule.
The following remarks were made by Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding Tuesday's terrorists attacks: