The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 19, 2001- 7
Nation's capital under tight watch for anthrax
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The side of the Capi-
tol known as "the People's House" abruptly
shuts down in midweek. Vital congression-
al office buildings are sealed off. Concrete
barriers seem more abundant than tourists.
These are only the most obvious signs of
the security clampdown altering the land-
scape of the Capitol complex, perhaps the
world's foremost symbol of representative
Repeatedly in recent days and weeks,
lawmakers have vowed to stand up to ter-
ror. They massed on the Capitol steps on
the evening of Sept. i1 to sing "God Bless
America," projecting a reassuring image of
a Congress and a government unbowed.
But congressional leaders acknowledge
that the opening this week of an anthrax-
filled letter in a Senate mailroom and the
attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon will inevitably force tight and
lasting security measures on Capitol Hill.
Already, key lawmakers are drafting a
package costing as much as S667 million to
bolster security and speed up construction
of a new visitors center to improve screen-
ing of people who enter the legislative
complex. Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah,
ranking Republican for legislative appro-
priations, said, only half in jest, the mea-
sure would include "everything the Capitol
Police ever asked for."
Other lawmakers are peering ahead into
the darkest scenario -- the devastation of a
large part of the Capitol complex in a war
or a terrorist attack. They are seeking a
constitutional amendment to give governors
the right to appoint members to the House
of Representatives - instead of calling
special elections - in the event that a mas-
sive number of vacancies leaves the House
without a quorum.
Amid these efforts to protect both the
Capitol and the continuity of government,
there are laments about the loss of public
access to a building that first opened for
government business two centuries ago and
has long been a magnet for tourists.
Nearly 3 million people visit the Capitol
each year, according to the Architect of the
Yesterday, the same Capitol steps that
had been site of the stirring gathering of
members of Congress the month before
were eerily empty. So was the famed
Rotunda - the result of a decision Monday
to cut off tours indefinitely and reevaluate
Ordinarily, on a brilliant fall day, both
sites would be thronged by camera-toting
tourists eager to capture a snapshot of a
busy Congress heading toward the end of
the legislative year.
Noting the vacant halls and nearly empty
galleries, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) remi-
nisced on the Senate floor about the thrill
he felt as a teenager visiting the Capitol on
a trip to Washington with his parents.
"Now I have to think about a whole lot of
parents and their children who can't do
that," Leahy said. The Capitol, he said,
should be open to show the world that "this
symbols stands. This symbol shines. This
symbol is open for business."
Security scares have struck Congress
A gunman broke into the Capitol in
1998, shooting and killing two police offi-
cers. Bombs exploded in the Senate wing in
1983, 1971 and 1915. A century earlier, the
Capitol was torched by invading British in
1814 and had to be largely rebuilt.
In each instance in modern times -and
during the Persian Gulf War and in the
aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City
bombing - Congress has reinforced secu-
rity. Several side streets on Capitol Hill
have been restricted or closed off. Metal
detectors have been installed at building
entrances. Concrete bollards have been
placed at strategic points to block truck
bombs, and more have been put in place
since Sept. 11. Heavy truck access also has
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) remembers
one scare well. He was a 16-year-old page
on the House floor in 1954 when Puerto
Rican nationalists sprayed gunfire into the
chamber from the galleries, wounding five
"I was answering a call on the floor when
the shots rang out," he recalled. "One of
the shots hit a column that was maybe 10
or 15 feet above my head. I got sprayed
with some of the marble. I hit the floor like
Kanjorski was also in the Capitol
Wednesday when the House took the extra-
ordinary step of recessing because of fears
of bioterrorism. He agreed with the deci-
sion to pause for a security sweep, even
though the Senate opted to remain open
"I think we should work to remain as
close to normalcy in operations as possible,
be intelligent, take precautions and use
modern devices to test against attacks and
threats, but not to hunker down," Kanjorski
But in coming years, the experience of
visiting the Capitol will change dramatical-
ly. A new visitors center is planned for the
eastern front of the 276-acre Capitol com-
Expected to open by 2005, the $265 mil-
lion center will be part museum and part
screening post. Lawmakers point out that
an off-site visitors center will help defend
against suicide bombers or gunmen. In
recent years, some Republicans have been
skeptical of public funding for the center.
But that resistance has now evaporated,
Lott and others say.
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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY PRSIMN
Students at the University's Flint campus cross from the a campus parking lot to academic buildings yesterday.
Universy endowment rises; new
interim president expec
Continued from Page 1
The University's overall investments
total $5.4 billion. Almost three-quar-
ters of that, $3.6 billion, is invested in
the University's long-term portfolio.
Lundberg said the University
looked to be in good shape. The Uni-
versity uses benchmarks such as the
Nasdaq and the Standard and Poor's
500 to measure the University's per-
formance in certain investment sec-
tors. While the University's total mar-
ketable securities fell by 2.2 percent
in the last fiscal year, the benchmark
fell by 6.7 percent. That relationship
was mirrored in the individual sectors
of domestic and international equi-
ties, fixed income and absolute return.
The University's investments fell a lit-
tle less and gained a little more than its
benchmarks, which is what the Univer-
sity is programmed to do, Lundberg
said, and the overall outlook is positive.
"It is difficult to predict, espe-
cially the future, of difficult and
volatile markets with undifferentiat-
ed returns across asset classes.
Eventually normalcy is going to
return and the University as
investors will be rewarded for
assuming risk prudently," he said.
The University is prepared to stay
on course with its investments, Lund-
SPECIAL ADVANCE ,SCREENING
Continued from Page 1
men for anthrax is 60 days.
At Princeton University, a 20-minute drive from Trenton,
university spokeswoman Marily Marks said FBI agents vis-
ited the campus Wednesday. In contacts with researchers,
"the thrust of their questions was were we doing research on
campus that used anthrax" and "the answer is no," said
Marks. She said the FBI spoke to the head of the Environ-
mental Health and Safety Department and others.
Tests have concluded that the anthrax in the letter sent to
Brokaw was of the same strain as the anthrax sent to an Amer-
ican Media Inc. in Boca Raton, Fla., where one man has died.
Health officials were still testing the anthrax sent to Senate
Majority Leader Tom Daschle in Washington. Tests to deter-
mine the source of the anthrax in all three letters were continu-
"It looked to be run-of-the-mill, sensitive to all antibiotics,"
said Dr. William Winkenwerder, an assistant defense secre-
Investigators said they were intrigued by the fact that the
anthrax sent to NBC in September was in a heavy granular
substance that would not likely go airborne. A federal bioter-
rorism official said Wednesday the Daschle letter's anthrax
was professionally made and possibly refined with additives to
make it more easily airborn. But another official said that was
"There was no evidence, based on what we know thus far,
that it was any different from other samples at this time," said
Given that the similar handwriting and envelopes suggested
a single sender, the differing anthrax specimens suggest the
sender may have received sophisticated assistance in between
the Brokaw and Daschle letters, government officials said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
Some of the traditional evidence-gathering was slowed
because the envelopes were contaminated with anthrax, mak-
ing tests such as fingerprinting, DNA analysis and saliva more
risky for lab technicians.
"The contamination issue very clearly affect this," Postal
Inspector Dan Milhalko said.
Law enforcement officials said one possible source of evi-
dence - DNA from saliva on the envelope seal or stamp -
may be missing.
The sender probably understood that licking a stamp or the
envelope could prove deadly given the anthrax spores and
could be tested for DNA, The envelope sent to Daschle's
office was sealed instead with tape and both the Daschle and
Brokaw envelopes were prestamped by machine imprinters
and didn't need an adhesive stamp. Fingerprint evidence was
being sought from the envelopes.
Continued from Page 1
able Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood.
There was no immediate confirma-
tion of the number of deaths. The
United States has expressed regret
for civilian casualties, insisting that it
only targets bin Laden and his Tal-
Taliban officials said at least 12
people were killed and 20 injured
during the day of strikes on Kandahar
- a claim that could not be indepen-
dently verified. Planes also targeted
Arghandab, a small town about 12
miles to the northwest, witnesses
said. Taliban sources claimed there
were no military targets there, but
Afghan opposition fighters
pushing toward the northern city of
Mazar-e-Sharif battled Taliban forces
at the airport, said Ibrahim Ghafoori,
an opposition alliance official in
American special operations
troops are in position aboard the USS
Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier in the
Indian Ocean, ready for helicopter-
borne missions in Afghanistan, mili-
tary officials say.
Defense officials said an
unmanned American spy plane
armed with missiles, the low-flying
RQ-1 Predator, has been used for the
first time in combat missions over
Four Osama bin Laden followers
New York City court.
President Bush ordered the raids
Oct. 7 to uproot bin Laden and his al-
Qaida network -- blamed for the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United
States and punish Afghanistan's
ruling Taliban, who have harbored
The London-based Islamic Obser-
vation Center reported yesterday that
a U.S. strike near Jalalabad on Sun-
day killed an Egyptian veteran with
al-Qaida, known as Abu Baseer al-
Masri, and injured two of his col-
Afghan sources in Islamabad, Pak-
istan, said al-Masri had been in
Afghanistan for about 10 years and
was close to bin Laden's chief lieu-
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