On January 1st all members of the European Union (except Denmark, Sweden, and the UK) begin to replace their traditional physical currencies with the new Euro.
Enron, the nation’s seventh largest company, goes bust amidst rumors of insider trading, document shredding, etc. Thousands of people suffer large financial losses. Calls for federal regulation of energy, business, securities, and the accounting industry, etc, increase. At mid-January Senate hearings, the outrage is palpable on “both sides of the aisle.” By early February, it is common knowledge that the Federal Government had passed a law giving immunity to certain accountants and auditors for the sorts of actions that resulted in the Enron collapse. Criminal indictments and convictions follow.
The following provisions of the Federal Bill of Rights still do not “apply to the States, [i.e., are not incorporated]:” the 2nd Amendment; the Federal 3rd Amendment; the “Grand Jury Indictment” clause of the Federal 5th Amendment; the Federal 7th Amendment’s requirement of a jury trials in civil cases; and the “Excessive Fines and Bail” clause of the Federal 8th Amendment.
By March, all EU countries [except Denmark, Sweden, and the UK] have withdrawn their old national currencies from circulation.
While “Official Europe” moves toward closer federation, European “anti-federalist” movements gain notoriety. In France, a well known nationalist presidential candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, gains substantial support.
By the end of June, it is clear that Enron is not the only US company with bookkeeping issues. Telecommunications giant, WorldCom admits that it improperly inflated its profit figures for 15 months. The total inflation is estimated at 3.8 Billion Dollars [$3.8 x 109]. Several other firms admit to accounting irregularities as well.
The US refuses to submit its troops to the “war crimes” jurisdiction of the new International Criminal Court.
In July, Yale Senior Research Fellow, Immanuel Wallerstein’s “The Eagle Has Crash Landed” appears in the July/August issue of Foreign Policy.
Chicago Tribune October 10: Army seeks to expand chemical, biological drills; But critics fear possible effects around Utah site By Judith Graham – For 60 years, the U.S. military has tested its ability to withstand chemical or biological attacks at a desolate site in the Utah desert. Protective gear for troops, heavy equipment such as tanks and aircraft, and detection systems designed to signal an attack have all been run through intense simulations, sometimes using active chemical and biological agents. – Now, with a possible war with Iraq looming on the horizon, the military plans to more than double its testing at the 798,000-acre Dugway Proving Ground, 80 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, and to vastly expand its counterterrorism training activities at the site. The plans are disclosed in a draft environmental impact statement issued by Dugway, which has received little attention in Utah or nationally. The statement indicates that the Army facility wants to expand biological defense testing from an average of 11 events a year to 26, and boost chemical defense testing from 30 events a year to 70. Counterterrorism training would go from two events to 58 events a year.
October 21: The Pentagon last week revealed that the United States secretly tested chemical and biological weapons on American soil, possibly exposing thousands of civilians in Hawaii, Florida, and Alaska to toxic agents. Roughly 5,500 servicemen were involved in the tests, also conducted in Maryland, Florida, and Utah, from 1962 to 1973. More than 50 veterans are seeking compensation for related health problems, but Pentagon and Veterans Affairs officials say they have yet to make the link between their symptoms and exposure to the biological “simulants” like E. coli, a bacterium believed at the time to be harmless. One of the agents used, Bacillus globigii, has since been found to cause infections in people with weakened immune systems. “The reasoning behind all of these,” says William Winkenwerder, the Pentagon’s top health official, “is not altogether clear from the record that we have.” Will it ever be?
The Army has acknowledged that between 1949 and 1969, 239 populated areas from coast to coast were blanketed with various organisms during tests designed to measure patterns of dissemination in the air, weather effects, dosages, optimum placement of the source and other factors. Testing over such areas was supposedly suspended after 1969, but there is no way to be certain of this. In any event, open air spraying continued at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.