INTRO: As Congress moves toward refining new anti-terrorist laws requested by the Bush administration, the daily papers are stepping up a debate on civil liberties versus increased security. Other editorials deal with the new alliances the United States is forming to deal with the terrorist threat; the U-S economy; and other new security measures under way. In other topics, there is a new call for intervention in Haiti; Bill Clinton's Supreme Court disbarment; and dealing with Israel and the Palestinians. Now, here with some quotes and a closer look is ____________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.
TEXT: Congress is getting high marks from many Wednesday papers for not rushing to approve the Bush administration's calls for stricter anti-terrorist laws. The general theme is that while some new laws and stronger law-enforcement is needed, constitutional safeguards of civil liberties must not be dangerously eroded. The Washington Post says "
VOICE: Congress continues, wisely, to refuse to be stampeded into abandoning civil liberties in the anti-terrorism bill ... The process in both houses has been impressively bipartisan...
TEXT: The Chicago Tribune is also pleased with the Congressional trimming, emphasizing that, while:
VOICE: The terrorist crisis rules out business as usual ... many of [Attorney General John] Ashcroft's proposals go too far.
TEXT: Adds the Seattle [Washington] Times: "Congress best serves the American people by going slow, with a tough, skeptical attitude about undoing U-S civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. "Tread gently on liberty," cautions today's Des Moines [Iowa] Register, while The Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Journal Sentinel, calls the Congressional compromise "A better anti-terror law," noting:
VOICE: The most outrageous of the initial proposals would have allowed government officials to detain immigrants suspected of terrorism indefinitely and to deport them with only the most perfunctory judicial review. Under the [revision] ... immigrants ...could be detained for as long as a week before being officially charged ... if the government had "reasonable grounds" to be suspicious. [They] ... would have the right to counsel and also could seek a judicial review of the government's reasoning.
TEXT: Another popular topic this Wednesday is the new set of alliances America is forming to counter the terrorists. The Sun in Baltimore says the Islamic nations of Central Asia make uneasy friends. VOICED: Avoiding a war against Islam is essential to the U-S national interest. But maintaining the coalition will be difficult. Several of the regimes are at cross-purposes with each other, with the United States or with their own people. The trickiest is Pakistan, whose intelligence service helped put the Taleban in power ... and may have supported Osama bin Laden.
TEXT: Summing up its position on the same topic, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes a master of the past.
VOICE: As [former British Prime Minister] Benjamin Disraeli put it, there are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests. The battle against terrorism is such an interest.
TEXT: And Ohio's Columbus Dispatch warns that the "U-S must build [its] coalition with caution." Moving on to the anticipated conflict, the Minnesota Minneapolis Star Tribune sees it as a very different kind of war from the Gulf War.
VOICE: Afghanistan is not Iraq. This conflict is likely to be sporadic, narrowly targeted and mostly invisible to all but the combatants. British Prime Minister Tony Blair sounded the clarion call Tuesday in a final warning to the Taleban. "Surrender the terrorists," he said, "or surrender power."
TEXT: Domestically, the Federal Reserve Board Tuesday cut another half-percent in key interest rates to help the sagging U-S economy, further damaged by the terrorist attack. The move draws mixed editorial reviews. USA Today, the national daily published in a Washington suburb says a: "Quick economic fix may prove harmful in [the] long term," while The New York Times laments "The Dwindling Power of Rate Cuts," and today's San Francisco Chronicle wonders:
VOICE: How far will interest rates have to drop to pull the nation out of recession? The Federal Reserve appears determined to find out. ... The ...reductions are welcome but, by now, after a total four-percentage-point drop this year, we know they are not going to be a quick fix.
TEXT: In North Carolina, The Fayetteville Observer says its time for economic candor.
VOICE: Nobody in the Bush administration has pronounced the dreaded words, but there's no doubt the nation is teetering on the edge of recession. Even before the vultures of terror roosted in New York and Washington, the American economy was stumbling. After September eleventh, it became a headlong plunge. ... A major package of economic incentives is taking shape in Washington ... [and] quite possibly the most effective piece will be the work done by Alan Greenspan and his Federal Reserve.
TEXT: Back to anti-terror steps, The Seattle Times is again calling for a big improvement in security along the Canadian border, because the paper says "Canada's lax immigration policies [are] on the American front-burner. Our friendly neighbor to the north seems to have become a haven for terrorists... In Tennessee, The Chattanooga Free Press frets about calls for a national identity card system in this country, while today's Denver Post complains about the use of racial profiling in the current anti-terrorist drive. In other topics, Miami's Herald suggests that:
VOICE: While its political parties continue to bicker, Haiti's prospects for future stability continue to slide inexorably toward the abyss. ... Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ... government remains paralyzed. It desperately needs the ...millions in international aid that has been frozen. But the Haitian government must show ... it is opening itself to democratic processes if it hopes to get help...
TEXT: Regarding former President Bill Clinton's disbarment by the Supreme Court, The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City notes:
VOICE: Candidly, the right for someone like [Mr.] Clinton to practice ...before the ...Supreme Court is largely honorary... It may be seen, however, as a symbol of institutional disgust for [Mr.] Clinton's conduct.
TEXT: And, as regards the Middle East, The Detroit News warns that reported plans for this country to support the creation of a Palestinian state as apart of a diplomatic initiative to end the violence, may be unwise.
VOICE: ...the administration must be extremely cautious about the timing and scope of such an announcement, so as not to send contradictory signals about America's support for Israel.
TEXT: With that caution from The Detroit News we conclude this
editorial sampling from the U-S press.