- Iraqi Casualties Have Risen Sharply (Sept. 1): Pentagon report finds that since the new Iraqi government was established in May, civilian and security forces casualties have increased by 51%. Civilians are the hardest hit by violence.
- Top Insurgent Leader Is Captured in Iraq (Sept. 3): U.S. and Iraqi troops capture Hamid Juma Faris Jouri al-Saeedi, a senior leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq who oversaw the bombing of the Shiite Askariya shrine in February that resulted in days of deadly sectarian violence.
- Conservative Candidate Declared Winner in Mexico (Sept. 5): Electoral court ends the crisis that has consumed Mexico for more than two months, declaring Felipe Calderón of the conservative National Action Party the winner of July's presidential election. Challenger Andrés Manuel López Obrador vows to continue protesting the election.
- Terror Suspects Moved to Guantánamo (Sept. 6): President Bush announces that 14 high-level terror suspects have been transferred from secret foreign prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency to the prison center in Cuba. If authorized by Congress, the detainees will face military tribunals.
- Blair Announces Plans to Step Aside (Sept. 7): Under pressure from members of his Labor Party, British prime minister Tony Blair says he will resign within a year.
- Israel Lifts Air Blockade of Lebanon (Sept. 7): Commercial flights to and from Lebanon begin when Israel lifts its eight-week air embargo.
- Reports Contradict White House Claim on Link Between Hussein and al-Qaeda (Sept. 8): Senate Intelligence Committee and CIA findings refute Bush administration assertion that former Iraqi president and al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were allies.
- Afghanistan Suffers from Continued Violence (Sept. 8): Car bomb explodes near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul killing 16 people, including five Americans. (Sept. 10): Governor of Paktia Province, Hakim Taniwal, is killed in a suicide attack.
- Bush Administration Paid Journalists for Reports Critical of Castro (Sept. 8): White House's Office of Cuba Broadcasting paid ten Cuban-American reporters to deliver anti-Castro commentary on Radio and TV Martí.
- U.S. Embassy in Syria Is Attacked (Sept. 12): Three gunmen, also armed with grenades, are killed by Syrian security officers when they storm the embassy in Damascus; a fourth is wounded.
- Sweden Ousts Governing Party (Sept. 17): Social Democrats, led by Goran Persson, who have been in power for 12 years, lose to a right of center coalition, headed by the Moderate Party.
- Protesters Riot in Hungary (Sept. 18): Antigovernment demonstrators demand that Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany resign after he is heard on tape, which was leaked to the media, admitting that he lied about the state of the economy to win reelection.
- Thai Military Seizes Power (Sept. 20): Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin stages a bloodless coup and declares martial law while Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is at the meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.
- Assessment Finds Iraq War Has Fueled Islamic Radicalism (Sept. 23): Classified National Intelligence Estimate, parts of which were leaked to several newspapers, reports that “the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse.” John Negroponte, director of national intelligence approved the report, which was compiled by government spy agencies and completed in April.
- New Prime Minister Takes the Helm in Japan (Sept. 26): Shinzo Abe succeeds Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister. He promptly assembles a conservative cabinet and says he hopes to increase Japan's influence on global issues.
- Test of Missile Defense System Is Successful (Sept. 1): An interceptor rocket launched from California shoots down a target missile sent from Alaska.
- Former Illinois Governor Is Sentenced (Sept. 6): George Ryan is sentenced to more than six years in federal prison for racketeering, conspiracy, and other charges.
- Former State Department Official Confirms His Role in CIA Leak (Sept. 7): Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state, acknowledges that he was the first person to tell columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA officer.
- Nation Marks Five-Year Anniversary of Terrorist Attack (Sept. 11): Thousands of people gather at the sites of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to mourn the loss of life. Throughout the country, Americans commemorate the day with vigils and prayer services. In a nationally televised address, President Bush says that although Saddam Hussein was not involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, success in Iraq is vital to America's national security.
- Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Wiretapping Act (Sept. 13): Votes, 10–8, along party lines, in favor of the National Security Surveillance Act, which would permit the National Security Agency to monitor, without a warrant, international phone calls and emails of people in the U.S.
- Congress Votes on Treatment of Terror Detainees (Sept. 14 et seq.) Senate Armed Services Committee endorses, 15–9, legislation introduced by Sen. John McCain and backed by three other Republicans that expands protections for foreign terror suspects. In approving the bill, the committee rejects legislation favored by the White House. (Sept. 27): House votes, 253–168, for compromise bill that says the president cannot reinterpret what methods of interrogations are allowed under the Geneva Conventions. The executive branch, however, has the authority to determine which violations that are less severe than “grave breaches” of the conventions are permissible. The legislation also bans the use of evidence that was gathered using “cruel, unusual, or inhumane” treatment retroactively to Dec. 2005. Although the bill is considered a compromise, the president attains most of what he sought. (Sept. 28): The Senate approves the compromise bill, 65–34.
- Congressman Pleads Guilty to Accepting Illegal Gifts (Sept. 15): Bob Ney, a U.S. Representative from Ohio, says he “corruptly solicited and accepted a stream of things of value” from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his lobbying partners in exchange for attempts to legislate on their behalf.
- Congressman Resigns Amid Email Scandal (Sept. 29): Florida Republican Mark Foley steps down from the House of Representatives after reports emerged that he had sent sexually explicit messages to teenage male Congressional pages. He had been the head of House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. The scandal intensifies when it's revealed that the House leadership has known about the emails for months. The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement both launch investigations to determine if Foley's actions violated any laws.
- Shuttle Lifts Off (Sept. 9): Atlantis takes off after several postponements caused by bad weather and mechanical issues. Crew of six will work on the International Space Station. (Sept. 21): Shuttle lands at Cape Canaveral, Fla., after a successful 12-day mission.
- Pope's Remarks Outrage Muslims Worldwide (Sept. 12): At a speech at Germany's Regensburg University, Pope Benedict XVI, quotes a 14th-century text that describes Islam as “evil and inhuman.” Catholic churches in the West Bank and Iraq are vandalized. (Sept. 17): The pope issues an apology, saying, “I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address…The true meaning of my address in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.”
- CDC Recommends Broad HIV Testing (Sept. 21): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that all teenagers, age 13 and up, and adults be routinely tested for HIV.