NOTICE: This story is fiction, although most of the characters in it are actual persons now living. For the purposes of the story I have assumed opinions and intentions which may *or may not* reflect the actual opinions or intentions of the actual living persons whose names are used. Any resemblance to the true philosophical positions of those persons is purely speculative. The purpose of this story is not to ascribe motives to those persons, nor to predict the outcome of this or any election, but to describe one possible version of the not-too-distant future.
---NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, September 9, 1996 (Monday)---
On the presidential campaign trail, Republican nominee Bob Dole today angered many in Washington when he told a conference of American Legion post commanders in Los Angeles that he favored "disengaging" the United States from the UN.
Dole was responding to a question from an audience member about the recent court-martial of an Army enlisted man who refused, on constitutional grounds, to wear UN insignia on assignment in the Balkans. After first noting that the military tribunal that convicted Specialist Michael New was not authorized to rule on the constitutionality of direct orders, Dole had this to say:
"But I think this man may have had a good argument for refusing to wear that insignia. He took an oath when he joined the service to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not the UN Charter. I've had very deep reservations all along about putting American soldiers under foreign command and I think doing so is a violation of American sovereignty. I don't think you'll see a President Bob Dole letting that kind of thing happen."
White House press secretary Mike McCurry ridiculed Dole's remarks, suggesting that Dole, who remains behind in the polls despite gaining ground on President Clinton after the Republican convention, may be courting the right-wing conspiracy theory lobby. For his part, one militia leader reached by telephone told NBC News that he and most of his group's members didn't believe Dole would keep a promise to back off from the UN.
Dole also said that he thought plans for a permanent UN peacekeeping force were premature, and he said he would oppose any attempt to give the UN direct authority to collect taxes from American citizens. In other news...
---ABC ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE, November 5, 1996 (Tuesday)---
"The polls are still open on the West Coast, so we will not announce any more state results until those polls close. But I think it's pretty safe to say that things have been pretty one-sided so far, wouldn't you agree, Sam?"
"David, I don't think anyone's surprised by how things are turning out. The one thing the Republicans needed more than anything to turn this race around was a major revelation in the Whitewater affair just before the election, and their man Kenneth Starr obliged, right on schedule, with that five-count indictment of President Clinton. Now, I'm not saying the timing was motivated politically, but the timing couldn't have been more damaging to the President."
"If I could just jump in here, I think Sam needs to be reminded that Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh waited until the week before the 1992 election to release a report that was damaging to the Bush campaign, and it was just a rehash of a previous report. In my opinion and in the opinions of a lot of people *that* was politically motivated, but I don't remember hearing anyone in the media complaining about it. The Whitewater indictments at least are news."
"Thank you, Marlin. Although we can't say any more now about the presidential race, we have some congressional results that we can tell you about. Peter?"
---CNN HEADLINE NEWS, February 4, 1997 (Friday)---
President Dole today ordered the withdrawal of another 1500 U.S. troops from Bosnia, stepping up the timetable for a withdrawal that had been delayed from its original schedule by his predecessor. Dole said through a spokesman that he was satisfied that the remaining IFOR troops would be able to maintain stability. The move came despite pleas from UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghalli to keep American soldiers in the region, and increase U.S. involvement if efforts to stop guerrilla fighting in the mountains are not successful.
---NIGHTLINE, June 7, 1997 (Thursday)---
"Dr. Kissinger, if American disengagement from the UN peacekeeping organization is such an unpopular thing around the world, how do you respond to the fact that all the polls show President Dole's approval rating on foreign policy in the high 70s?"
"Ted, the American people are notoriously uninformed on matters of foreign policy. The President has responded to fears about the loss of American sovereignty that are completely unfounded. There is nothing in the United Nations charter that could be used to support creation of any kind of super-government with a standing army or an international police force that would operate freely across international borders."
"Should there be?"
"I am not prepared to suggest that there should be an international police force. However, with nuclear proliferation now spiraling out of control after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the chances of a terrorist nuclear attack by some fanatical group are much greater than the chances of an escalating nuclear confrontation between superpowers during most of the Cold War. It may very well be that some sort of international cooperative effort against terrorism will have to be undertaken under the auspices of the United Nations, but that does not necessarily mean a police force."
---CBS EVENING NEWS, December 10, 1997 (Monday)---
Good evening. At the UN today, a startling action by the General Assembly, which voted almost unanimously to censure the United States for what was termed "gross irresponsibility to the world community." This comes after the Dole Administration last week completed a yearlong project of "disengagement" from many UN organizations, with the dismissal of the U.S. representative to the World Trade Organization and *no* plans to appoint a replacement.
CBS's Bernard Goldberg is at the UN and has this report...
---CBS EVENING NEWS, December 28, 1997 (Friday)---
The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution lambasting the U.S. government for shirking its responsibility to world peace and stability. The resolution was introduced in the Security Council after the General Assembly voted to censure the United States earlier this month. At the White House, President Dole issued a statement saying that the first responsibility of the United States government was to its own people.
International anger over U.S. disengagement does not seem to be shared in this country, where a Gallup poll released today indicates strong support for the President's actions. When asked what the U.S. should do if the UN gives it an ultimatum, those surveyed supported quitting the UN by a margin of three to one. The poll also shows that the President still enjoys high marks on foreign policy...
---ABC ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE, November 3, 1998 (Tuesday)---
"What can you tell us about the issues in these races, Brit?"
"Sam, for one thing, of more than 250 House races and 15 Senate races where the two parties' nominees hold opposing views on getting out of the UN, the candidate favoring withdrawal is winning in 187 House races and 11 Senate races. And as I mentioned earlier, in the other races, face-offs between anti-UN candidates outnumber those between pro-UN candidates by two to one. I don't think President Dole will get much opposition from this next Congress if he asks for a vote to quit the United Nations."
"Thank you, Brit. Well, George, what do you make of this?"
"Sam, if these seats Brit's talking about go the way it looks like they're going, President Dole may have no choice but to request a withdrawal vote, whether he wants it or not. And I'm not convinced yet that he wants one. He kept his promise to get our troops out of Bosnia, and then he expanded his 'disengagement' to other agencies and activities, and those moves have contributed a great deal to the momentum behind full withdrawal, but Bob Dole is not and has never been an isolationist. If he had known how far this was going to go I don't think he would ever have taken the actions he took last year beyond bringing the troops home."
"That part of it was immensely popular, George---"
"And rightly so, Sam. The original deployment was supposed to end by Christmas of 1996, but as so often happens when the UN gets its fingers into a situation it rapidly began to look like an open-ended commitment. And the angry reaction of then-Secretary-General Boutros-Ghalli to the troop withdrawal only offended the American people and turned what had been a very pro-UN electorate, against it instead."
"There are those who are saying that Boutros-Ghalli's ambitious plans for the UN may prove to have doomed the organization instead. George, given how much they have depended on American support and participation, do you think the UN will survive if we quit?"
"Oh, I think it will. It just won't have the wherewithal to intervene in regional affairs as it once did."
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut this conversation short. I'm told we have another projected winner in a Senate race..."
---CNN HEADLINE NEWS, March 11, 1999 (Friday)---
The House passed a resolution today calling for the United States to withdraw from membership in the United Nations. By a party-line vote of 264 to 159, the House approved a measure that authorizes the President to recall all U.S. representatives serving at UN headquarters and in UN agencies worldwide. An amendment offered by California congressman Robert K. Dornan, evicting the world body from its headquarters in New York City, failed by a narrow margin.
This vote comes in response to a request in President Dole's State of the Union speech for authority to close out U.S. involvement in the international forum it helped establish more than 50 years ago. Although the President asked for a resolution supporting full withdrawal, he also said he had no desire to evict the UN from U.S. soil.
---INTERNET NEWS SERVICE, April 14, 1999 (Thursday)---
In a move that caught many observers by surprise, the Senate successfully ended a filibuster by Sen. Daniel Moynihan and approved a resolution calling for an end to U.S. participation in the United Nations. Moynihan, a former ambassador to the UN, had successfully resisted attempts to close debate on the measure for nearly a month. However, in today's cloture vote, three former supporters of the filibuster -- all of whom face tough re-election campaigns this year -- changed sides and gave Majority Leader Trent Lott the 60 votes he needed, and the resolution then passed 57 to 41.
---CNN HEADLINE NEWS, April 21, 1999 (Thursday)---
In a Rose Garden ceremony today, President Bob Dole signed an executive order ending more than 50 years of U.S. membership and participation in the United Nations. In attendance were House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and a number of longtime UN critics, including political activist Patrick Buchanan.
News of the signing sparked angry rhetoric at UN headquarters, where newly installed Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev issued a statement denouncing the U.S. for "turning its back on its obligation to the world." Gorbachev decried the President's action as "an act of supreme selfishness by the world's richest nation in a world where poverty is the single greatest killer."
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---ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT, July 8, 2001 (Tuesday)---
"Good evening. The war of words is escalating tonight between the White House and the UN. ABC's Brit Hume has the story. Brit?"
"Thank you, Peter. President Ryan responded to the latest attacks from UN Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev with a threat to evict the world body from the New York City headquarters it has occupied for nearly half a century. This threat comes as no surprise, since senior members of the administration have reportedly been urging exactly that since Gorbachev began the rhetorical fireworks five months ago. A senior staffer told me that Defense Secretary Bob Dornan recommended eviction back in February, and has lobbied for it every time Gorbachev has issued another press release blaming the U.S. for another failed UN peacekeeping mission.
"State Department officials admit they have tried without much success to maintain calm within the administration. Apparently President Ryan is irked by Gorbachev's attempt to shift blame for recent UN debacles to the United States, and the most recent attack emanating from the Secretariat, which included dire warnings of disastrous domestic consequences here if the United States does not rejoin the UN, left the diplomats' efforts to keep tempers under control, in a shambles."
---INTERNET NEWS SERVICE, October 14, 2001 (Tuesday)---
Despite warnings that military force might be used, a spokesman for the Secretariat of the United Nations announced today that the recently issued presidential order, demanding that the UN vacate its New York City headquarters and remove all agency operations from U.S. soil, is illegal and will be ignored.
(QUICKTIME SOUND BITE): "The Secretary-General does not recognize President Ryan's authority to evict the United Nations by executive order. The order lacks legislative support, and he is confident that when it is reviewed by American courts it will be overturned."
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert K. Dornan said several military units stationed in and around New York City have been put on alert and will be moved into the city if the order is not complied with by the end of the month.
---CBS NEWS SPECIAL REPORT, November 15, 2001 (Saturday)---
"Dan, the sound of gunfire near the United Nations complex is echoing through lower Manhattan right now. Apparently the Marines have met with stiff resistance from UN security troops that were already in the complex before it was cordoned off three weeks ago. We don't have any word on casualties but we do have some eyewitness accounts of snipers in the Secretariat tower firing down into the street. About fifteen minutes ago a number of Army helicopters approached the complex, apparently to drop Special Forces troops on the roof of the tower. The Army has been flying gunships around the area since the assault began, trying to cover the Marines' advance, and if the transport copters have been sent in that may suggest that things are going well despite the heavy fighting. Back to you."
"Thank you, Greg. We now go to the White House, where President Ryan is stepping up to the podium in the press room."
"Yes, Dan, President Ryan has just entered the press briefing room here and is about to make an announcement."
"Good morning, everyone. As you've no doubt heard by now, a force composed mainly of U.S. Marines and Army special forces and aviation units, has begun the assault on the foreign occupation at the former headquarters of the United Nations. This action was undertaken on my order, in response to the complex's occupants denying federal officers entry to the buildings there. A force of unknown size is attempting to prevent the capture of the complex, but I have been assured by commanders on the scene that the operation is proceeding according to plan.
"We have been informed that the occupying force is acting under the command and with the support of the United Nations Secretariat, which has proclaimed itself a 'quasi-national entity.' In accordance with this self-proclaimed status the Secretariat has demanded that we cease this attempted 'invasion' of its territory. Our position has been, and remains, that it is our territory -- that of the United States and the State of New York -- that has been invaded and occupied by a force inimical to U.S. interests. I have therefore spoken by telephone with the leaders of both houses of Congress and requested that they prepare to adopt a declaration of war against the 'quasi-national entity' that has ordered foreign soldiers to fire on Americans, on American soil."
"Well, there you have it. The President has asked for a formal declaration of war against the United Nations, an entity the United States helped to create after World War Two. We'll have more on this breaking story as it develops. For CBS News, I'm Dan Rather."
---FOX NEWS SUNDAY, November 23, 2001---
"While the world continues to express outrage over our use of military force to reclaim sovereign American territory, Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev has been unusually silent. He fled to Brussels well in advance of the deadline imposed by President Ryan for the UN to vacate the premises, and aside from a brief statement issued after the fighting ended, has had literally nothing to say in public about what's happened. We have today in our studio former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who also served a term as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. General Powell, welcome. It's good to see you."
"Thank you, Tony."
"Now, you've said you didn't support us getting out of the UN. What do you think about the course of events since we quit?"
"Well, obviously I don't support the actions taken by the Secretary-General in the last few years. I think the blame for the UN's failures since our withdrawal lies with the UN, not with us for leaving. Now, having said that, I do think if we had remained in the organization we might have had some influence to prevent the UN from undertaking those efforts. I don't pretend to know whether we could have been successful in keeping the UN from taking on the missions it did, but our influence was pretty substantial while we belonged. Getting out just ensured that we would have *no* influence."
"General, let me ask you: Given Gorbachev's stubbornness about the eviction, do you believe this matter is really settled? There are reports circulating here in Washington that after we left the UN their efforts to put together a permanent, armed 'peacekeeping' force -- a United Nations Army, if you will -- were accelerated rather than dropped as had been believed at the time. The resistance from UN security troops inside the complex seems to support these unconfirmed reports. In your mind is there a possibility that the UN may counterattack?"
"I don't think so. It only took a matter of hours to retake the UN complex once the troops were sent in. I've heard those rumors too, Tony, and I think they've originated from the Internet fringe, people who interpreted Secretary-General Gorbachev's warnings about flare-ups of terrorist activity in the United States as a threat of covert UN attacks. I think the poor performance of the UN troops last weekend should put those fears to rest."
---ONLINE INTELLIGENCE REVIEW (UK), March 4, 2002 (Sunday)---
The question that concerns analysts is whether the change in character of the terrorist attacks in the Middle East merely signals an escalation of the renewed war against Israel by Palestinian extremists, or a chilling development within what has been, at least until now, a diverse community of terrorist groups whose hatred for their enemies has almost been matched by their hatred for one another. If the former, it could threaten to resurrect the state of war between Israel and the Arab world, particularly the PLO and its supporters, although people in the region have almost become accustomed to deadly attacks by extremists, even the Palestinians themselves -- few of whom are inclined to support the extremists since the car-bomb assassination of President Arafat four years ago.
However, if the Middle Eastern developments are a sign that the many, once mutually antagonistic terrorist groups at large in that region and in Europe, are coming to terms and sharing both resources and methods, defense analysts fear that a coordinated, large-scale plot may be in the offing, and that the national counterterrorist agencies in both regions may be overwhelmed in an onslaught of unprecedented proportions.
---PATRIOT INFORMATION MAILING LIST, March 5, 2002 (Monday)---
What yesterday's OIR article was about, friends, is not a bunch of terrorist groups about to start working together in Europe or the Middle East. Those attacks in Israel were just for practice. Shin Bet's chief said their best information is that the squad that carried out the massacre in Tel Aviv was made up of people believed to be members of a special UN security unit that was *supposed* to have been slipped into the UN complex before the Marines attacked, but couldn't get through the blockade.
That's right, SPECIAL UN SECURITY TROOPS carried out a shooting spree in Tel Aviv that left 23 men, women and children DEAD. Gorby is planning to send that squad and more just like it into the United States to make us PAY for resisting the New World Order!!!
I don't know what Ryan is being told, but if I know B-1 Bob there's at least one voice in his administration that's giving him the straight skinny. IMHO, what needs to be done is to pinpoint Gorby and his cronies with some cruise missiles or a good strafing from a squadron of Poltergeist fighters. 23 innocent people have already died (that we know of) so those NWO fascist thugs could train for their war on the US. If even one American citizen dies because Ryan didn't take pre-emptive action, there'll be hell to pay!
---ABC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT, April 19, 2002 (Thursday)---
"It's a scene of utter chaos and confusion, Tom. Police and paramedics seem to be completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of this disaster. We've been told there were an estimated 2,000 to 2,300 people in the mall when the gas was released. No one will say how many are dead, but from just this one exit I've seen over a hundred closed-up body bags removed from the mall. Firefighters are only being allowed to remain inside for five minutes at a time due to fears their breathing apparatuses won't be able to filter out what little of the toxic gas remains."
"Judith, has there been any word on what type of gas was used?"
"Tom, I haven't been able to get anyone to talk to me about that. I did hear one survivor, who identified himself as a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, say that he thought it was nerve gas, judging from the effect it had on people around him. As you know, it was believed during deployment prior to the Gulf War that Iraq might use Scud missiles to carry out nerve gas attacks not only against American forces but Israel as well. But we've had no confirmation from anyone as to whether this was nerve gas or something else."
"Judith, we're going to have to break away now, but before we do, was there any indication that Minneapolis police might have received prior warning of this attack?"
"None that I'm aware of, Tom. The police and fire department certainly don't look like they had any idea something like this might have been about to happen. Tom, this has to be the worst act of terrorism ever in this country."
"Thank you, Judith. For those of you just tuning in, a toxic gas was released in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota just a few hours ago. As yet there are no estimates of casualties, but it's believed more than 2,000 people might have been inside the mall at the time. Judith Logan of our NBC affiliate has said she counted at least a hundred dead being removed through one of the giant mall's many exits. We'll be covering this tragic story throughout the evening."
---NBC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT, April 20, 2002 (Friday)---
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming. My name is Stuart Hayes, and I'm an investigator with the Minneapolis office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Through our preliminary investigation of the Mall of America incident, we have identified the gas agent as FB-14, a nerve gas developed by the U.S. Department of Defense during the late 1970s. We have requested confirmation from the Pentagon, which we expect to receive by three o'clock this afternoon. We have been told that this particular agent was manufactured for only a few years, and that only a small amount was saved for research purposes when the rest was destroyed in 1984. One the Pentagon confirms the identity of the agent, they will check their inventories to see if the gas used in this attack was removed surreptitiously from the research facility, or if it was somehow removed from the quantity scheduled for disposal 18 years ago. We've been assured that the gas could not have been manufactured independently, as the formula was classified and every copy but one was destroyed when the gas was destroyed. The one surviving copy is in secure storage at the DoD research facility where the last supply of the gas agent is also kept.
"Final casualty counts have been provided to us so that I may release them to you now. Minneapolis police have confirmed 837 dead, 615 hospitalized in critical condition and not expected to survive, an additional 410 in serious but stable condition, and an estimated 400 to 500 injured who were treated on an outpatient basis. An estimated 100 victims were certified by doctors as having suffered no apparent ill effects.
"The means by which the gas was released is being withheld at this time until we have had more time to evaluate its implications..."
---INTERNET NEWS SERVICE, April 23, 2002 (Monday)---
Pentagon officials today confirmed that the formula for FB-14, the deadly nerve gas used in the terrorist attack in Minneapolis last Friday, is missing from the secure storage room where it was thought to be safely locked away. An investigation is being conducted by agents of the Criminal Investigative Division.
---ABC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT, July 4, 2002 (Wednesday)---
"Although this incident is by no means as spectacular, nor as deadly, as the Mall of America nerve gas attack last April, federal investigators here are almost certain that the poisoning of the Denver municipal water system was a deliberate act of terrorism directed against the people of the United States. An FBI agent told me off-camera that the timing was just too pat. He also pointed out that the Minneapolis gas attack occurred on the 227th anniversary of the Revolutionary War battles at Lexington and Concord."
"Chris, how many people have been stricken by this latest attack?"
"Sam, the latest word is that more than 1500 people have shown up in hospital emergency rooms or been brought in by ambulance complaining of symptoms ranging from dizziness and nausea to severe intestinal cramps and even blindness. There've been no reports of deaths so far, but until authorities identify the cause of the symptoms, no one's ready to say the worst is over."
---CNN, August 3, 2002 (Friday)---
"Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States."
"Good morning, everyone. I have a brief announcement to make and then I'll take some questions.
"Yesterday at 11:27 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time, a joint force of agents from the FBI, ATF, and CID apprehended and took into custody four suspects in the theft of the FB-14 formula from a Defense Department research facility in Nevada. I have been advised by FBI Director Gregory Sexton that the suspects are refusing to cooperate.
"The four men had fled to Jamaica after the April 19 nerve gas attack in Minneapolis, having abruptly left their positions as military researchers at the aforementioned facility. They did have access not only to the formula for FB-14, but to cultures of biological contaminants and radioactive materials as well, though at this time it does not appear that anything was stolen but the formula.
"The task force investigating the gas attack and the formula theft was able to identify the suspects only days after the attack, but we were thwarted in our attempts to extradite them by an unexpectedly uncooperative Jamaican government. We have found authorities in the European Union, Russia, Japan and several other onetime allies to be equally uninterested in assisting us with this matter. At any rate, investigators working undercover were finally able to lure the suspects into a boat and out into the Caribbean beyond the territorial waters of Jamaica, where the U.S. Coast Guard picked them up for return to the United States. I'll now take questions."
---CNN HEADLINE NEWS, August 6, 2002 (Monday)---
Jamaica has lodged a formal protest to the World Court and to the United States over what it calls the unlawful action by American law-enforcement agents in luring four suspects linked to the April 19 Minneapolis nerve gas attack into international waters, where they were arrested and taken aboard a Coast Guard cutter.
Jamaica's prime minister fired off a blistering letter to President Ryan yesterday, accusing U.S. officials of kidnapping the four men from Jamaican soil in violation of international as well as Jamaican law.
In Brussels, United Nations Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev joined the fray today, calling President Ryan an international terrorist and calling upon the Security Council to adopt a resolution to isolate the United States diplomatically and economically.
---FOX NEWS SUNDAY, August 19, 2002 (Sunday)---
"The latest indignity to be visited upon our country is the United Nations Security Council's resolution, placing an economic embargo on the United States -- all because the FBI managed to arrest four men who enabled terrorists to set off gas bombs in a shopping mall and kill 1300 innocent people. What is *wrong* with these people in these other countries? 1300 people get killed by terrorists using nerve gas, another dozen or so die after their water is poisoned in Denver -- probably by the same bunch -- and we get *no cooperation at all* from any of our so-called allies. So when we take action ourselves to bring at least some coconspirators to justice, here's the UN branding us an outlaw nation and forbidding its members to trade with us.
"Well, there's an editorial in today's Washington Times that sums it up pretty succinctly. It says, 'The attitude of those governments that still belong to the UN seems to remove any reasonable doubt as to the rightness of our withdrawal. One of the few such governments that is still talking to us is Israel, and information provided to the U.S. by the Israeli domestic security agency has senior administration officials placing the blame for both attacks on covert operatives of the UN itself.'"
---THE EIB NETWORK, August 22, 2002 (Wednesday)---
"Rush, I'm telling you, if this country doesn't take action there will be more attacks, and there's no telling what they'll do next. The Pentagon says those four *traitors* didn't steal and sell any germ warfare specimens, but how can they know? Can you imagine what would happen here if they found a way to make Ebola spread on the wind like in that movie years ago, *The Andromeda Strain*?"
"Come on, Joe! If they did that it wouldn't stay just in the United States! Both Canada and Mexico are still UN members!"
"I was just using that as an example. But you can bet if they have something like that they probably have a vaccine and they're already mandating the shots all over both Canada and Mexico, and probably everywhere else too. Gorbachev is a madman! He's got to be stopped!"
"Well, I can't argue with you there. Getting chosen to run the UN has brought back all of his old habits from when he was the Head Red. And I'm not going to sit here and tell you you're wrong about the nerve gas *or* some germ warfare thing that might have been stolen. I just don't see what there is we can do. It's just not as simple as you're making it out. Taking out Gorbachev isn't going to stop this because *it isn't just him!* There is an entire bureaucracy that was built up over a fifty-year period that is apparently perfectly okay with what is being perpetrated. And that isn't going to just wither away and die because we've done something to Gorbachev!"
---ABC ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE, November 6, 2002 (Tuesday)---
"So it appears that the Republicans will hold onto their majorities in both houses despite the economic difficulties that have gripped the country since the UN's general embargo went into effect. But the margin of their majority in the House is now razor-thin, and President Ryan's own numbers are still slipping as his administration seems helpless to resolve the situation. Brit, you've had your eye on the tracking data leading into this election. Is the outcome worse than Republicans had feared?"
"I don't know if it's worse, Sam, but it's bad eno----"
"We interrupt our election night coverage to bring you this breaking news. A large explosion has been reported in Los Angeles, and all radio, television and wire communications with the area have reportedly been lost. We repeat, there has apparently been a large explosion in the Los Angeles area that has disrupted communications. We have crews working on trying to re-establish communications with network and affiliate resources in Los Angeles, and we will bring you more information as it becomes available. We now resume our coverage from ABC Election Central."
"---not going to have a devastating effect on the President's program in the second half of his term, but if enough Republicans in the House start crossing over on key votes it'll make life very difficult for him."
"Sorry to interrupt, Brit, but I've just been informed that something has apparently cut off communications with our Los Angeles bureau. What? ... Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, I--- ... Is that confirmed? ... Uh, I've just been told there are *unconfirmed* reports of a very large explosion in Los Angeles and that this might be responsible for our loss of contact with our bureau there. I'm sorry, what? ... Okay. ... Yes, I understand. ... Well, please let us know as soon as we have anything. Ladies and gentlemen, the best information we have at the moment is that an explosion of some kind has affected the central telephone switching system in Los Angeles, and that has not only cut off telephone and Internet contact with much of the Los Angeles area, but has also cut off TV stations' access to their satellite uplinks. The explosion has been described to us as 'very large,' but we don't have any information beyond that sketchy description. We're assured that the problem with the communications system is being dealt with. We'll have more information when it becomes available.
"Now, Brit, if we could get back to the----"
"People, the President has asked me to read you this statement---"
"This is ... this is Carol Bentley at the White House, ... where the President's press secretary ... has just arrived with a statement."
"---ximately fifteen minutes ago a low-yield nuclear detonation occurred in the San Fernando Valley in southern California. This is confirmed by instruments as well as by at least one eyewitness account we have received from a deputy United States marshal. At this early stage we have no ideas of casualties, nor have we pinpointed the center of the blast. The Governor has been notified and has been assured that federal assistance will be forthcoming in dealing with this disaster. To save time the President has mobilized active-duty as well as reserve troops to the area to maintain order and assist with rescue efforts where feasible.
"The nuclear nature of this detonation is a fact, not a speculation; remote sensing devices detected the energy signature of a nuclear flash at the time of the explosion, originating from the immediate vicinity of the explosion. At this time we have nothing further to say, and I will not be taking questions."
"That was White House press secretary Linda Bowles announcing that a low-yield nuclear bomb has been set off in Los Angeles. I'm Carol Bentley for ABC News."
"We're back. As you can see we have terminated our coverage of the election results for this evening and will be covering any developments in this bombing as we get them in. You just saw Linda Bowles state that there was a nuclear device detonated in Los Angeles and that there is no word yet on casualties. We are still attempting to restore communications with our bureau in Los Angeles, but we now have Larry Flynn of our San Diego affiliate on the phone. Larry, what can you tell us?"
"Sam, we're about a hundred miles south of the Los Angeles area, so we didn't see anything down here, but shortly after 9:15 p.m. Pacific Standard Time a very slight, rolling shock wave was felt here in our studios where we were doing our local and state election coverage. California being earthquake country we didn't think much of it except that it wasn't followed by any additional movement. Then it became apparent that something unusual had just happened because we lost contact with our correspondent at state Republican campaign headquarters in L.A. for no apparent reason. Then we received a call from a viewer up in Irvine who said he saw an enormous fireball rising to the north."
"Other than your reporter, have you experienced any other communication difficulties?"
"We've been trying to raise someone at some of the radio and TV stations up there, and to get through to police or fire departments in the L.A. basin, but all the lines into the area seem to be down."
"Your caller said he saw an 'enormous' fireball? How far away would he be in Irvine from the San Fernando Valley?"
"I'd say probably at least forty miles. I'm sure if he had any idea where it was when he saw it, the fact that he saw it at all would mean it was enormous. I mean, those nuclear fireballs go up for several miles, or so I hear."
---CNN HEADLINE NEWS, November 9, 2002 (Friday)---
UN Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev expressed his sorrow over the massive loss of life in the nuclear terrorist attack in Los Angeles last Tuesday, and offered to help the United States in any way possible to recover from the disaster. He also apologized to the families and loved ones of the victims for the inability of the United Nations security agency to control the international terrorist groups that were carrying out these attacks against the American people. Gorbachev said he was especially saddened that the decision by the United States government to withdraw from the UN just as international terrorism was on the rise, meant that so many thousands of innocent Americans were left vulnerable to attacks of this nature.
---NEWSWEEK ONLINE, November 12, 2002 (Monday)---
Fallout and residual radiation make it risky for rescue workers to search the rubble of flattened homes and apartment buildings for survivors, but an army of soldiers, firefighters, and civilian volunteers continue to take the risk in the hope that even almost a week after the bombing someone, somehow, might still be extracted alive. But as the hours pass and they find only the dead, their mood goes from cautiously hopeful to grim. In places closest to ground zero, even dead bodies can't be found -- only their shadows burned into walls, floors, sidewalks or even traffic signs.
Officials here say they'll never know for sure how many died as a result of this blast. Best estimates range between 10,000 and 25,000, depending on how depressed the person is who offers it. And depression has completely replaced shock and adrenaline in the blast zone.
---PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS TO THE NATION, November 22, 2002 (Thursday)---
My fellow Americans, I'm sorry to interrupt your family holiday, especially with an announcement of this kind. As we as a nation gradually recover from the loss we all suffered a little over two weeks ago, what is needed most of all is a chance to nurse our mental and emotional wounds. As my family and I gathered for Thanksgiving dinner here in the White House today, we gave thanks that we were all safe on that fateful day. And I'm sure many of you have had similar thoughts today.
But as your President I have been all too painfully aware that the acts of terrorism directed at innocent civilians in the past year have been intended to make us all feel *unsafe,* to instill in each of us fear of an unseen enemy that could strike again, anywhere, at any time.
I cannot allow this war of terror to continue. The thought that the next Thanksgiving holiday may find us all praying, not to give thanks, but to be delivered from fear, is something I find intolerable.
Fellow Americans, I have information that incontrovertibly implicates the security services of the United Nations in training squads for the carrying out of terrorist acts against defenseless civilians such as those killed in Minneapolis and Denver, as well as Los Angeles. Friendly governments have provided the United States with information that further implicates those same UN security services in planning an attack nearly identical to the one committed two weeks ago. And our own efforts have confirmed that the four men who stole the formula for the nerve gas used in Minneapolis did so at the request of agents of those very same UN security services.
The responsibility for these attacks is undeniably borne by the United Nations security services. During the last several days I have shared the information I have just described, with the leaders of many UN-member nations. To a man, they have denounced the agencies that have been implicated, and they have pledged that they will no longer be a party to such acts by remaining in the UN.
On Monday, the Congress will meet in extraordinary special session to ratify a treaty establishing the International Coalition, which will consist of the United States, Israel, Taiwan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, and Ireland. Membership in the International Coalition will be open to any nation that does not belong to the United Nations, which we have identified as a criminal organization...
---INTERNET NEWS SERVICE, November 27, 2002 (Tuesday)---
The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution today denying any member state the right to secede from the world body. This action was taken in response to the announcement by six countries that they were leaving the UN to join the U.S.-sponsored International Coalition. The resolution was adopted on its second attempt; it was vetoed the first time by Russia, which was subsequently stripped of permanent-member status on the Council, and removed from the Council altogether.
In a statement issued after the vote, Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev said that he will approve the use of 'all necessary means' to enforce the resolution against secessionist nations, and against any other nations that may attempt to assist them. Observers regard this as a direct threat of war against the United States...