Clinton Signs Anti-Terror Legislation
Survivors of the bombings in Oklahoma City and New York’s World Trade Center, some of them wiping away tears, watched President Clinton sign a bill Wednesday that provides new tools and tougher penalties for the war against terrorism.
At a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Clinton told the bombing survivors and the families of victims of 11 other terrorist attacks: “We renew our fight against those who seek to terrorize us, in your names. We send a loud, clear message today all over the world, in your names: America will never surrender to terror.”
In a presidential election year, it was an opportunity for a warm display of bipartisanship on a sunny, spring day. It brought Clinton together on the same stage with his GOP presidential rival, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas.
In all, nearly two dozen members of Congress joined the president. Dole stood behind the president as the bill was signed, and the two leaders shook hands afterward.
More than a year in the making, the bill expands the government’s power to exclude suspected foreign terrorists from the United States.
Authorities say it also will make it easier for police to trace some bombs, to the criminals who made them, by requiring chemical markers in some explosive materials.
Further, it imposes unprecedented curbs on federal appeals by death row inmates.
The legislation authorizes $1 billion in funding for federal law enforcement agencies to use in combating terrorism. It also requires the death penalty for killing current or former federal employees because of their work and in certain international terrorism cases.
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