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"Congress passes $40 billion to fight terrorism" article from The Recorder newspaper

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This associated press article appeared in The Recorder on September 14, 2001. It reports on the rapid and large scale reaction of the United States Congress to the bombings of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by a terrorist cell on September 11, 2001. The spending bill was designed so that part of the $40 billion dollar package could be used to create a broad security program including surveillance, intelligence gathering, and detention of unlawful enemy combatants. Through this Congress hoped to keep the United States safe from further terrorist attacks. The author observes that "approval of such a vast sum just days after Tuesday's calamitous events would be lightening speed for a Congress that usually takes weeks or months to approve money for anything." The article goes on to state that "both [Republican and Democratic] parties seemed eager to approve separate legislation endorsing a presidential use of force against those responsible for the attacks." This grant of discretionary power to the President was ultimately used to authorize the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. The journalist expresses concern for this rush to expand the war powers of the President. The author recalls the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which "Johnson and subsequent presidents used - to wage the Vietnam War, to the subsequent regret of many lawmakers."


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