The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 23, 2001- 7
Authorities crac down on anthrax hoaxes
The Washington Post
The guy at the Seattle television station
wasn't in on the joke. He called 911 the moment
he heard that an envelope filled with white pow-
der and marked "anthrax" was spotted on a
desk. He later told officers, "I felt my knees
buckle and started to become physically ill."
Minutes later, a second 911 call was placed
by a coworker who explained that the envelope
was a prank. But police weren't turning back.
Officers rushed to the newsroom and were
ready to evacuate it when an assignment editor
confessed: The "anthrax" was crushed pepper-
mint Life Savers.
Seattle authorities are deciding whether to
treat-the case as innocent mischief or a crime.
Similar decisions face law enforcement offi-
cials nationwide as they respond to a spate of
hoaxes while fear of terrorism grips the nation.
As police and firefighters run ragged searching
for bombs and gathering samples of suspicious
powder, many officials have pledged to treat
hoaxes - whether intended as harmless jokes
"We are going to go after these people ... and I hope we get a ton of
them. I hope we throw them in jail, and we ought to throw away the key."
- Tom Ridge
Homeland Security Director
or malicious acts - as crimes.
Such zero-tolerance policies reflect not only
the panic caused to bystanders but also the
frustration of overextended officials who are
expending limited resources handling false,
threats. "The hoaxers drive the cops crazy. It's
almost treasonous," said James Fyfe, a crimi-
nologist at Temple University and former
But even as law enforcement officials vow to
be tough on hoaxes, they acknowledge that
they're in new legal territory and some cases
might be difficult to prosecute.
At an Oct. 18 press round table at the White
House Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge
said: "We are going to go after these people ...
and I hope we get a ton of them. I hope we throw
them in jail, and we ought to throw away the key."
In Florida, where one man has died from
anthrax, Republican Gov. Jeb Bush announced
that police will strictly enforce a new law that
makes it a crime to use a "hoax weapon of mass
destruction." Tennessee's Republican Gov. Don
Sundquist created a $10,000 reward for tips lead-
ing to convictions for false bomb, fire or anthrax
threats after a midnight bomb scare at a hotel led
to the evacuation of 1,400 people. New York leg-
islators passed an antiterrorism package on Sept.
17 that includes increased punishment for inten-
tional false reports.
"The pranksters, whatever their motive, are in
a heap of trouble," said Texas District Judge Ted
Poe. "The days ofjoking are over. These are seri-
ous times, and people who do these hoaxes aren't
going to be smiling if they are caught."
Legal experts said the tough stance is intend-
ed to deter malicious criminals and would-be
practical jokers who might not realize how a
false alarm can blossom into a full-scale
response by law enforcement. In recent days,
federal officials announced charges against a
Connecticut Department of Environmental.
Protection employee who allegedly participated
in an anthrax hoax that shut down the 808-per-
son agency for two days at an estimated cost of
$1.5 million. The substance proved to be
"The publicity is valuable, because it lets peo-
ple know it's not funny," said Loudoun County
(Va.) Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Owen
Basham. "There are people who will end up in
jail when before, in some of these cases, people
were told: 'It's not funny; don't do it.
Florida authorities have charged a 17-year-
old who allegedly spread a powdered over-the-
counter headache medicine in his classroom in
hopes that school would be canceled. New
York police arrested a man they said left an
envelope filled with sugar outside a friend's
door. New Jersey authorities charged a man
who mailed a letter stuffed with Parmesan
cheese to a friend.
In Virginia, federal prosecutors pledged to
be tough on anyone who makes threats at
Dulles International Airport, and many cases
that probably would have ended up in Loudoun
County courts are now headed to U.S. District
Court in Alexandria, where punishment can be
A German woman who allegedly told guards
checking her carry-on bag that she had a bomb
faces five years in prison.
Continued from Page 1
hospital officials in suburban Maryland said one of the two
men who died had originally been sent home from the
emergency room, only to return a little more than 24 hours
later and succumb quickly to his disease.
Dr. Venkat Mani, a spokesman at the Southern Maryland
Medical Center in Clinton, said the cause of death of the
47-year-old man had been listed as preliminary pulmonary
anthrax and septic shock.
In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency
said it would use money from the federal Superfund pro-
gram to help decontaminate the American Media Inc. head-
quarters building in Boca Raton, Fla. One employee of the
tabloid publishing firm died of the inhalation form of the
disease more than two weeks ago, and a co-worker is hospi-
talized undergoing treatment.
In New Jersey, the FBI sought the source of least three
anthrax-tainted letters that went through a mail facility in the
Trenton area. The three included the letter delivered to
Daschle's office, as well one sent to NBC News anchorman
Tom Brokaw and another that turned up at The New York Post.
Nearly three weeks into the nation's bioterrorism scare,
the roster of anthrax victims included:
One confirmed death of inhalation anthrax, the Florida
tabloid employee, and the two other fatal cases in which the
disease was believed involved.
Three other cases of inhalation anthrax, the two postal
workers hospitalized in suburban Virginia and a newspaper
mailroom employee in Florida;
Six confirmed cases of the less dangerous skin form of
the disease, including two who worked at the postal facili-
ties in the Trenton area. The other victims have connections
to the national news media, including NBC, ABC, CBS and
The New York Post.
Continued from Page 1.
Hugeblasts shook buildings in the center of the capital.
With pressure mounting to break the Taliban grip on
the country, U.S. jets have shifted major efforts from
cities to Taliban positions fending off the opposition
northern alliance - especially those units around the
capital Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
Losing those cities would be a major setback for the
Taliban, who have refused to hand over Osama bin
Laden, chief suspect in the Sept. I I terrorist attacks on
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Along the front near Kabul, U.S. jets roared in at
least twice during the day yesterday, bombarding Tal-
iban positions in parched, abandoned villages about 25
miles north of the capital.
Bombs sent up plumes of black smoke and dust over
the countryside, littered with rusting military equip-
ment from Afghanistan's two 'decades of conflict. The
Taliban held their ground and responded with mortar
fire toward alliance positions.
Opposition spokesman Ashraf Nadeem also reported
daylong U.S. attacks against Taliban positions in Dar-e-
Suf in Samagan province, about 30 miles east of Mazar-
e-Sharif, and around the Kishanday district southeast of
There was no opposition advance around either
Kabul or Mazar-e-Sharif after the airstrikes. Opposi-
tion forces have been trying unsuccessfully to capture
Mazar-e-Sharif, which would cut Taliban supply lines
in the north and enable anti-Taliban units to receive
weapons and ammunition from Uzbekistan to the
"Our efforts clearly are to assist those on the ground
occupy more ground," Rumsfeld said in Washington.
n what ways or by Peterson added that there is no per-
fect equation for diversity.
important not to "We're always working on getting a
sity in terms of student body that's diverse.... Have we
ng that while he done enough? That's a hard question to
are good, he'd answer,"she said.
'ements in other The record number of applications
helped the University keep its admis-
n increase in the sions standards high, Monts said.
students in terms "The University of Michigan is
ion," he said, "and becoming more and more attractive to
ease in the number high school students who want a
derstand that they quality education. ... It's a very invit-
enriched campus ing place for students to come," he
Military campaign hints
at post-war role for U.S.
The Washington Post
The limited nature of yesterday's
airstrikes against Taliban front lines
north of Kabul provided the clearest
sign yet that the two-week-old U.S. war
in Afghanistan is using military action
not only to destroy terrorist networks
but also to lay the groundwork for a
postwar Afghan government that would
prevent them from returning.
The strikes consisted ofjust a handful
of aircraft hitting selected targets - far
from the waves of heavy bombers that
experts say would be needed to punch a
hole in the Taliban trenches and artillery
positions, and so clear the way for the
opposition Northern Alliance to drive
about 25 miles south to take the capital.
Despite the televised images, with
bombs sending up smoke and dust in
and around Kabul and the Taliban
stronghold of Kandahar, airstrikes have
been restricted. The Pentagon has flown
100 or fewer aircraft - mostly carrier-
based fighters, not heavy bombers -
each day to sites outside Afghanistan's
handful of major cities. The strikes have
been so curtailed that there's been'grum-
bling inside the Air Force.
Both the selection of targets and the
campaign's pace have been constrained,
if not determined, as much by political
and diplomatic calculations as by the
Bush administration's primary goal of
dismantling the terrorist network of mil-
itant Osama bin Laden and the ruling
Taliban militia that harbors him.
But while political concerns recom-
mend a measured approach, U.S. war
planners are under pressure to accelerate
the campaign because of upcoming
Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in less
than four weeks, and the onset of winter
Among the administration's political
goals are winning defections of Taliban
supporters; balancing the competing
interests of ethnic groups inside the
country and those of rival countries in
the region; and preventing the massive
movement of refugees that could desta-
bilize neighboring Pakistan and under-
cut international support for the U.S.-led
war against terrorism.
Pentagon officials repeatedly have said
the Afghan war is an unconventional
struggle in which overt military activities
will take place to achieve other goals.
"This is a different kind of conflict,"
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday at
the Pentagon. "The closest analogy
would be the drug war."
Taliban leaders, for their part, have
followed their own assumptions, pre-
dicting the United States will follow the
Soviet Union's painful example and get
bogged down in a ground war.
"We are eagerly awaiting the Ameri-
can troops to land on our soil, where we
will deal with them in our own way,"
Jalaluddin Haqqani, a senior Taliban
commander, said recently. In 1989, the
Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in
defeat after a bloody 10-year effort.
But there are strong indications that if
the Pentagon holds its course, a ground
war - at least in the traditional sense
- will never come. "The character of
the Afghanistan campaign ... is a very
active use of American forces to affect
someone else's battle on the ground," an
administration official explained over
Some airstrikes, and some of last
weekend's opening ground actions, have
been intelligence-gathering efforts to
see how the leaders of the Taliban and
bin Laden's al-Qaida network respond,
and especially to see how and where
they move when their hiding places are
Continued from Page 1
that we are now getting. Without that
kind of diversity, everyone loses."
Peterson said she couldn't speculate
on the specific effects a ruling against
the University would have on future
"The admissions process that we use
in the most effective in recruiting and
enrolling students," she said, adding
that a negative decision by the nine
appeals court judges would hurt enroll-
"But I can't say it
Monts said it is
think about diver:
just numbers, addi
feels the numbers
like to see improv
"I'd like to see a
overall quality of the
of academic preparat
I'd like to see an incr
of students who. un
coming to a very e
, 'tt7, ,:1?
Continued from Page 1
that response right now," said Senate Secretary John
Lehman, a professor of biology.
In addition, SACUA's objective is to allow faculty and
other groups to become active in the presidential search
"In every way we have a commitmentthat we are inter-
ested in participating in the presidential search," said
SACUA Chairman Moji Navvab.
Although SACUA will host the town hall meeting, audi-
ence members will be involved in setting the meeting's
agenda by asking the regents questions and expressing
their expectations for the next president.
During the first half of the meeting the participat-
ing regents and Lisa Tedesco, interim provost and
vice president and secretary of the University, will
discuss how the presidential search will function. Fol-
lowing this session, the audience members will have a
chance to give the regents their input and ask ques-
tions. Each speaker will have two minutes to speak,
All regents were invited to participate in the town
hall meeting, but as of yesterday's SACUA meeting,
only one regent had accepted the invitation. The
regents received an e-mail and. written invitation on
Oct. 15, Navvab said.
Some of the issues to be addressed during the town
hall meeting may include the type of job description
the search committee will develop for the next presi-
SACUA chair Moji Navvab and biology Prof. John Lehman
speak at yesterday's SACUA meeting.
dent with regard to the person's academic specialty and
the respective stances he or she will take on diversity
and safety Navvab said.
However, SACUA wants to create a constructive
atmosphere for the regents by acknowledging that
there are many questions they will not be able to
address at this early stage in the search process such
as how the future president will address specific top-
"We should ask questions about the procedures, not
issues,"said School of Nursing Prof. Seno Ae Yeo.
Application Deadline: OCTOBER 30, 2001
Come visit a Teach For America alumnae at the
Graduate School Information Fair on Wednesday,
October 24, 2001 from 11am-3pmJ
Continued from Page 1
Clark said, but added that she was worried that not many
students would view part of the exhibit "because it's in (the
Union) where people are studying."
Students in abusive relationships can call SAPAC,
which offers supportive services for members of the Uni-
versity community involving sexual assault, dating and
domestic violence, sexual harassment and stalking.
Psychologist Jim Etzkorn, clinical director for University
Counseling and Psychological Services, advises people who
question the abusive nature of their relationships to seek
"If people are in doubt about whether they're being
abused or not, they should call a counselor," Etzkorn
Etzkorn stresed that 2abus.ive reltionshins (do not always
involve physical violence. He said many times women who
are systematically humiliated and degraded by their partners
do not realize that they are being abused until they speak to
"My message to people being abused is that unless they
take some action things aren't going to change. Without
intervention it will either stay the same or get worse," he
"The Silent Witness Exhibit" is a campaign to elimi-
nate domestic murders in the United States by 2010. It
can be seen through Oct. 29 at the University and will
be shown in various locations across Washtenaw Coun-
Wiley said that people should attend the exhibit to see
how they can get involved and help with the eradication of
violence against women.
"I encourage people to attend to remember those that did
V )t " i It..' S