Pentagon ponders calling up military reserves; Pentagon Official Outlines Plan to Put Military on War Footing;
IMF, World Bank Consider Postponing Meetings. Combined reports.
The Capitol building was evacuated Thursday evening, reportedly because of a bomb threat. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer announced that security around the presidential residence had been expanded. The Pentagon is working on a plan to call up several thousands military reservists to back up the crews supporting the fighter jets that are on "strip alert," which means the warplanes could take to the air within 15 minutes, sources tell CNN.
The call-up can only be done by presidential order. Some of the reserves have other special skills such as water purification, air traffic control or logistics.
Governors in 31 states have called up 10,000 National Guard troops.
Congress is considering a resolution to give President Bush authorization for military strikes in retaliation for the terrorist attacks.
Turkish military sources said the United States has bolstered its presence at an air base near the Iraqi border.
The House of Representatives passed a resolution Thursday, calling on all Americans to fly the national flag.
A senior Pentagon official laid out today in the starkest terms yet the outline of a plan to put the American military on a war footing for the next year, describing a "a campaign, not a single action," that would attack terrorists and their havens and bring down governments that support them.
"It's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states [N.B.] who sponsor terrorists.
Bush sent House Speaker Dennis Hastert a formal request Thursday for $20 billion and suggested he could request more money. Quick passage "will send a powerful signal of unity to our fellow Americans and to the world," Bush said. "If additional resources are necessary, I will forward another request for additional funding," he said.
Among the final details to be worked out on the spending bill were the leeway Bush would have to disperse the money to specific programs without congressional approval.
While the thought of spending billions more this year and likely tapping into formerly untouchable Social Security reserves would have ignited a political firestorm just a week ago, lawmakers said Wednesday the request would be granted now. "That debate is over at this point," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank said Thursday that no final decision had been made on whether to cancel their annual meetings, but some officials indicated that the gatherings would at least be postponed.
Washington officials have urged the two 183-nation lending institutions to cancel the Sept. 29-30 meetings in light of the terrorist attacks at >the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Many thanks to Barry Stoller at ProletarianNews for saving this article from oblivion.