The Founders Never Imagined a Bush Administration





Joyce Appleby is professor emerita of history at UCLA and co-director of the History News Service. Gary Hart is a former U.S. senator and Wirth Chair in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver.


George W. Bush and his most trusted advisers, Richard B. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, entered office determined to restore the authority of the presidency. Five years and many decisions later, they've pushed the expansion of presidential power so far that we now confront a constitutional crisis.

Relying on legal opinions from Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Professor John Yoo, then working at the Justice Department, Bush has insisted that there can be no limits to the power of the commander-in-chief in time of war. More recently the president has claimed that laws relating to domestic spying and the torture of detainees do not apply to him. His interpretation has produced a devilish conundrum.

President Bush has given Commander-in-Chief Bush unlimited wartime authority. But the"war on terror" is more a metaphor than a fact. Terrorism is a method, not an ideology; terrorists are criminals, not warriors. No peace treaty can possibly bring an end to the fight against far-flung terrorists. The emergency powers of the president during this"war" can now extend indefinitely, at the pleasure of the president and at great threat to the liberties and rights guaranteed us under the Constitution.

When President Nixon covertly subverted checks and balances 30 years ago during the Vietnam War, Congress passed laws making clear that presidents were not to engage in unconstitutional behavior in the interest of"national security." Then Congress was reacting to violation of Fourth Amendment protections against searches and seizures without judicial warrants establishing"probable cause," attempts to assassinate foreign leaders and surveillance of American citizens.

Now the Iraq war is being used to justify similar abuses. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, providing constitutional means to carry out surveillance, and the Intelligence Identification Protection Act, protecting the identity of undercover intelligence agents, have both been violated by an administration seeking to restore"the legitimate authority of the presidency," as Cheney puts it.

The presidency possesses no power not granted to it under the Constitution. The powers the current administration seeks in its"war on terror" are not granted under the Constitution. Indeed, they are explicitly prohibited by acts of Congress.

The Founding Fathers, who always come to mind when the Constitution is in danger, anticipated just such a possibility. Writing in the Federalist Papers, James Madison defined tyranny as the concentration of powers in one branch of the government.

"The great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department," Madison wrote in Federalist 51," consists in giving to those who administer each department, the necessary constitutional means, and personal motives, to resist encroachments of the others."

Warming to his subject, Madison continued,"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition;" the interest of the office holders must"be connected with the constitutional rights of the place."

Recognizing that he was making an appeal to interest over ideals, he concluded that it"may be a reflection of human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government.""But what," Madison asked,"is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

Madison's solution to the concentration of powers that lead to tyranny relied upon either Congress or the Supreme Court to check the overreaching of a president. In our present crisis, Congress has been supine in the face of the president's grab for unconstitutional, unlimited power, and no case is working its way towards a Supreme Court judgment.

If Madison's reliance on the ambition of other office holders has failed us, we need to look elsewhere. Can what Thomas Jefferson called the" common sense and good judgment of the American people" help us now? In the past, they have been a critical last resort when our leaders endangered the constitutional checks and balances that have made us the world's oldest democracy. But first the public must wake up to this constitutional crisis.


This piece was distributed for non-exclusive use by the History News Service, an informal syndicate of professional historians who seek to improve the public's understanding of current events by setting these events in their historical contexts. The article may be republished as long as both the author and the History News Service are clearly credited.


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Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

This is what the Rove Propaganda Recyclers have been reduced to in their pitifully incessant attempts to defend the most incompetent U.S. president since Warren G. Harding:

"We have not been attacked in the US since 9/11"

History 101 time (again) for Bill Heuisler:

When were we EVER attacked in the United States BEFORE 9/11/01 ?

Pearl Harbor?, War of 1812? Gettysburg? Saratoga? Little Big Horn?

Those attacks took place long ago, Bill. Long before your great hero, G.W. Fratboy was even a gleam in his pappy's elitist country-club eye. They also took place, of course, as part of REAL wars, with REAL enemies, REAL commanders-in-chiefs, and REAL interests of the United States being pursued.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Broce, if you weren’t so arrogant, you would deserve pity.

The question of why we have not been attacked since 9/11 is an asinine question that only a Rove dupe would bother to rhetorically "ask".

The answer is simple to anyone who is not a deluded partisan being suckered (and screwed over) by Rove:

America is the big dude on the block. Attack him and you get decked. Very few have ever tried. Very few will.

In other words, to dumb it down still further (so that you can perhaps understand it):

America has not been attacked SINCE 9/11/01 for the SAME REASONS tha it was rarely attacked BEFORE 9/11/01.

Your incompetent Frat Boy traitor of a “president” and his minders, and their BS-drenched “war” on pretzels, “war” to make “Saddam disarm” or whatever the latest Orwellian lie is nowadays, have basically nothing to do with making America safe.



Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Bush, the juvenile deliquent cowardly wimp acting like a "big dude"? What are you imbibing, Mr. Broce? Better stick to your pre-programmed propaganda script, you at least sound more coherent that way.

Where was the great aircraft-carrier strutting chickenhawk during Vietnam? Where was the tough talk about Clinton not bombing Al Qaeda wildly enough in the late '90s (when Henry the Hypocrite Hyde and his Republican oafs in Congress were obsessed with the Prez's wayward male appendage)? What was the Frat Boy doing when Richard Clarke (no relation) warned him about Al Qaeda? Where is Bin Laden now, 4 plus years later? (Hint: not in Iraq)


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Williams, Pardon the mixed metaphor, but closed minds do not "thirst" even metaphorically. Thanks anyway for the background info albeit some way away from Madison and the Constitution.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

1. For the record. I did not oppose and do not fundamentally object to the multilateral effort which supported the indigenous toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan. A radically different situation than in Iraq, and not just because the first WAS related to 9-11 and the second was and is NOT (except in the minds of Rove dupes and wannabe fellow-traveler propagandists). I am not saying that everything is 100% AOK in Afghanistan, (Patrick, but thanks for your insights), but if Mr. Broce had bothered to read what I wrote before writing his kneejerk reply and repeating it four or five times, he could have at least spared his repetitive hot air on that topic.

Ditto Broce's remark objecting to my supposed lack of criticism for Democrats. I have devoted whole posts to such richly deserved criticism (where it was relevant) in past comment posts, and repeated my criticism in my first post here as well.

2. I would like to strongly second the comments below of Mr. Johnson (that the framers of the U.S. Constitution, God bless them, DID think of Cheney and Rove, and the possible followers of their footsteps that could be even worse) and Mr. Antonucci who pegged the programming behind kneejerk pro-Cheney partisans on this board thusly:

"how to defend the indefensible: attack the messenger, divert from the subject and don't address the problem, and try to confuse the public enough that they just lose interest"


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

In other words, according to Mr,. Broce, it's okay for the "President" to sit on his hands and do nothing to prevent one of the greatest disasters of American history because one of his umpteen thousand underlings is allegedly less than perfect. The founding fathers' mistrust of democracy was based on a fear of such blind partisan idoicy, hence the system of checks and balances, which means, for instance, that George W. Frat Boy can only continue with his treason in Iraq if the spineless Congress continues to rubber stamp his incompetency there.

When I run for president, we can talk about my glorious days in the Texas Air National Guard protecting supplies of white powder and other vital bodily fluids. For now, however, I will continue to adhere to the HNN rules on relevancy.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

G.W. Bush's track record, qualifications, and motives for becoming a leader of the country, including exterting power over the conduct of foreign and military policies, are topics central to the article which this discussion board is SUPPOSED to address. My track record as a major political leader is nil, and my name is not Bush.

Are your reading comprehension skills truly so mediocre? Being a blind-as-a-bat worshipper of one of the all-time most inept American politicians, of ANY political party, is not a license for incessant stupidity.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Try thinking for yourself, Mr. Broce, instead of repeating other's propaganda. You might like it.

Regarding Democrats, I stand by my many past comments over several years at HNN, and will not reprise them in detail here for your benefit. In my book, both American political parties deserve condemnation on a whole range of issues and for a whole range of reasons. Most of those sins are of little direct relevance to the topic of the article here (which HNN comment guidelines advise posters not to stray from). It is because both parties have committed such numerous and diverse sins that I am particularly disinclined to use a soft touch in responding to blatantly hypocritical partisans such as yourself. Repent and change and you might earn yourself some respect.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Other countries have far fewer gun deaths than America yet do not bug their own people. But the NRA (Nitwit Reactionary Antbrains) is a topic for another session. I wanted to point out that your potted history of World War I is out of conformance with the facts. Lusitania sank on July 5, 1915. America declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. Try walking through some of the fields in Belgium and France where unexploded shells falling during the intervening 21 months still lie, if you dare. If you are feeling less suicidal, try googling Zimmermann Telegram.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I have criticized Democrats extensively.
I did so more often when the Democrats were in power, because it was more relevant then, and because am not a kneejerk partisan, like so many on HNN. But see the "Remember When" column this week, for a small example of my current criticism of Democrats. When have you ever critized Republicans? Unrepentant blatant partisans deserve the respect of no thinking person.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Nice quote, Mr. Charles (who is it from?), but too nice: as a comment to fit the situation here.

Bill Heuisler calling ANYONE else ever appearing on HNN a "partisan dullard"
has to be about the most howlingly preposterous instance of a pot calling a kettle black in the entire shabby history of the HNN comment boards for cranks, hacks and History flunkers with too much time on their hands and for their jerking kness.

The claim rivals Karl Rove's Goebbelsisms for its flagrant and brazen hypocrisy. In Hypocrite Heuisler's circa 1000 posts to date I defy anyone here to find a single criticism of any member of the Bush Administration.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I am too busy working on missions to retrieve lost HNN articles of mass distraction to join any armies right now. Especially ones being serving on sitting duck missions on behalf of foreign misadventures of lame ducks. But, if Georgie's Cocaine Air Cadets need someone to teach them bonehead remdedial History, I'm available (after the impeachment for treason, of course). Meanwhile, it's been eight long years since anyone died stepping on unexploded World War I explosives. So go ahead and walk through the fragrant fields of Flanders. But please clean your boots first, some rather odorous waste has been projectiled this way lately from the direction of Karl Rove's posterior region.

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/europe/9811/10/armistice.memory/

World War I shells still felt, 80 years later
CNN's Paris Bureau Chief Peter Humi reports

November 10, 1998
Web posted at: 11:35 p.m. EST (0435 GMT)

PICARDY, France (CNN) -- Even as the world commemorates the 80th anniversary of the end of the "war to end all wars," the debris of that savage conflict still rains down on the Somme battlefield in northeastern France.

More than 800 tons of unexploded World War I shells are discovered each year in the Picardy area of France alone. Eleven members of bomb disposal squads have died this decade, trying to dispose of the shells fired eight decades ago.

Farmers frequently discover British and German grenades, mortars and artillery shells -- along with countless tons of shrapnel -- on the fields that saw one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

The Battle of the Somme raged for more than 100 days. As many as 600 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed or wounded every day, a figure matched on the German side.

"The soldier right next to me was killed," said 101-year-old French veteran Gabriel Plancher. "It was a rifle shot. He died without knowing what hit him."

The horrors of World War I went far beyond what anyone had expected. An industrially fueled war of attrition, the conflict quickly bogged down into stalemate, with both sides waist-deep in the muck of trenches. An entire generation of young European men was forever changed.

"We had no choice," said Plancher. "We were sent to the front, and we all knew we could die at any time."

Even worse than the Somme was the battle of Verdun, which claimed the lives of half a million French and German soldiers from February to December of 1916. The Germans fired 1 million shells on the first day of the battle alone.

In the end, the war claimed 10 million lives. And some of the few surviving veterans are still wondering what it was all for. "It's pointless," said Plancher. "What's the point of killing each other?"


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

This analysis is solid, as far as it goes, but is deficient in several crucial respects which, even in a short piece such as this cry out for mention.

First of all, the extremism of the Bush administration has been blatantly obvious ever since 9-11-01, when it trumpeted the conscious, crudely self-serving and supremely asinine decision to focus not on the clearly revealed challenges for airline safety, building codes, information, education, and dysfunctional foreign policies, but to instead pretend that the whole problem was basically a military one. So, the first matter not properly addressed by the authors is why has the Bushies "power grab" not been a central issue in America politics for the last 5 1/2 years?

Secondly, the motives behind the supposed determination "to restore the authority of the presidency" are untouched in this essay.

Thirdly, other than a vague call for the "public" to "wake up", there is no proposed solution for concerned readers to grasp as a vision or to rally around, and no action plan for how to proceed as practical matter.

Taken together, these three deficiencies all but eviscerate this article, turning what could have been a warning bell into a wind chime. Look no further than the comment of J. Callahan above for an indication of how easily flabbiness can be turned into mincemeat.

Take the second deficiency: motive. There is no consistent evidence that G.W. Bush seeks or has sought any fundamental change in the American system of government except inadvertently. He gives no indication of wanting to establish a 1000 Year Texas Reich, abolish motherhood, or ban apple pie. Despite what seems at times like obtuse stubbornness and instinctive vindictiveness, he does not appear to be operating with anything like an "Enemies List" nor is he the standard bearer of any consistent principled ideology. He is not, in other words, Hitler, Mussolini, or even Nixon, Reagan, or Goldwater. He was for a "humble" foreign policy in 2000, a pre-emptive Pax American in 2003, and now claims to be pursuing “transformative diplomacy” in 2006. These radical shifts have little to do with any strategic vision, or pratical foreign policy considerations, but correlate very closely with wanting to get elected in 2000 and 2004 and now wanting to salvage some vestige of a "historical legacy" from a disaster-laden presidency.
What Bush has been saying, instigating and promulgating does indeed amount to dangerous behavior injurious to America’s future: trashing the principle of multilateral agreements on weapons proliferation, international justice, and global climate change, wasting enormous amounts of money on an Iraqi boondoggle that has had no purpose other than to give him a "re"-election platform in 2004, sending America's finances recklessly on an accelerating one-way course towards national bankruptcy, laying waste to the principle of an independent, non-partisan civil service, in addition to the abuses of power stemming from the moronicly-mislabelled "war on terror" stressed in the piece here.

But, the real danger to the Republic is that of some future, truly power-hungry and much more clever successor, steamrolling a new tyranny down the paths blazed by the current bumbling tenderfoot scout.

Such risks are amplified by the kind of mistakes made by the authors here, in the aforementioned first and third deficiencies of the article (failure to examine the time delay in any serious challenge to the Bush administration's power grabs and the failure to indicate any practical approach for resisting and reversing those mistakes and abuses). The two deficiencies are linked: a key reason why there has been far to little effective opposition to the most egregious and reckless misdeeds of the Cheney-Bush administration lies with the lack of articulated, tangible, and effective alternatives. There is more to America than the Federalists, the Constitution, the three branches of government, and the "public." We also have political parties, a press, a university system, private companies, non profit organizations, etc. etc.. THERE is where the most serious slumbering, sleepwalking and negligence has resided and still lies.

Bottom line: The "war on terror" was a foolish croc from the start. It was never, and could never truly be, more than a metaphorical war, like the "war on cancer", the "war on poverty" or the "war on drugs". The authors rightly note this, but don't draw the critical inferences. Other countries have worse problems with terrorism than America but they haven't usually waged "war" on it, let alone used a terrorist attack from one set of scoundrels, to launch a half-assed attempt at regime change in a different wholly unrelated country run a by a separate group of scoundrels. Except, arguably in 1914, but a C average History major might have forgotten Ferdinand in Sarajevo.
Is that any reason why the rest of us have to fall asleep at our desks as well?

This Orwellian bull about a "war on terrorism" stank from day 1. Where were the Democrats? Cowering in spineless acquiescence. Where were the Republicans? Gazing at their navels, happy to see every conservative principle slaughtered in a rah-rah, our-team-winning crusade for childishly myopic self-centeredness. Where were the self-proclaimed Christians? Busy worshipping the false idol of Ignorance. Where was the New York Times? Regurgitating the propaganda fed to it. Where were the intellectuals? Trying to give new spins to arcane and obsolete social theories. Where were the university students? Blissfully ignorant and apathetic.
Where was the "progressive" and "antiwar" "Left"? Rejoicing in deliberately ineffective irrelevance. Which of these ever raised a whimper about the lazy lemming-like 40% of voters who couldn't bother to take a few minutes in November 2004 to vote?

How can one expect the "public" to "wake up" when those who ought to be waking them are as comatose, cowardly, and stupidly negligent as far too many have been for far too long?

P.S. to the kneejerk Rovians of HNN: Before trying to stuff words in others' mouths, please be aware I am not saying (nor have I ever maintained) that there is no legitimate purpose to the use of American military power. It was used multilaterally, and legitimately, and was effective in achieveing its STATED purposes in Kosovo and Afghanistan, for example.



Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Steve,

You wrote "Bush DID focus on airline safety after 9/11"

Too bad he sat on vacation for (30) days just prior to 9/11 instead of doing his job as appointed by the SCOTUS... ignoring warnings of eminent danger while he played cowboy milking horses... If he were on duty, as to be expected, 9/11 may have been a failed Saudi military operation.

If you're placing your personal safety, unquestioned, into the hands of GWB then you really are asking for trouble... Don't say I didn't try to warn you.

Secondly, have you checked out Afghanistan lately. Don't think were bombing any baby milk factories lately because we struggle just to move in country. Last I checked it was the beginning of a new fighting season and our commanders seemed a little more concerned than you appear to be.

Lastly, it was a Shia weekend for fighting US troops. How nice, the Sunni were given two days off to spend quality time with the family.

I feel so much better now. Thanks for the reassurances.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Steve,

Excuse my ill sense of humor but, this Administration is so pathetic. inept, incompetent, clueless... pick one... that only a good laugh prevents my head from exploding. The only thing worse is to continue having to read the stylings of a rightist mouthpiece such as you.

My vacation, all (15) days per annum, include a laptop while tethered to a cell phone. Our boy on the other hand seems to take his "working vacations" at the most inopportune times like during the New Orleans drowning for instance.

And just for the record you need to provide some proof of our boy Clinton refusing the hand over of OBL from the Sudan. Weekly Standard spiel is strictly verboten.

I never wrote, "Bush stole the election in 2000”. You did. Guilt is an odd emotion. Plays tricks on the mind. I stated fact... SCOTUS appointed GWB to the office of President.

If you are in full approval of the Administrations handling of Afghanistan then you deserve to be victimized should another domestic terror attack occur and if you think that is cold... well, it is... too bad.

And finally, for comedy relief the "milking horses" crack was from Laura Bush's repertoire. It ranks right up there with all time comedy classic lines like "the haves and the have mores, my base" or "no WMD's under here."

Who said right wingers don't have a good sense of humor...


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Bill,

You're right. The last thing we need at this time is a Constitutional crisis triggered by a less than slam dunk impeachment motion. All we have to do is mirror history and the Nixon resignation. Vietnam fell, the economy slipped badly and the nation spiraled into a funk. Unfortunately, if the Democrats make major advances in November we may get to see this effort put forward despite your bluster.

Although GWB has put us behind the preverbal 8-ball we need to stay/reshape the course he has mislaid however, that does not mean we shouldn't hold this Administration accountable or allow them unchecked authority carte blanche.

We are above all else, a nation of law. Strong, proud and free.


henry oz - 4/11/2006

We can have democracy in this country,
or
we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few,

but we can't have both.

Louis D. Brandeis

Appleby and Hart should also look at the perspective of power, as in that of the mother. Karl Henry Marx and George Washington both had things with their mothers, GW's was not welcome at the presidential home.

W's did the "enforcing" and may be the only one alive who could smack
him awake, but she not likely to see that light.
and maybe it applies to childfree women like Ayesha, known as the Mother of Islam.
and we can't forget Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah,
or even grandma ochs sulzberger and
000s of etcs. including a bevy of Mary's.


Ernest Simmons - 4/8/2006

I suggest Mr. Hart take a basic U.S. history class. If he does, he will learn about John Adams, Federalist ambitions, Alien and Sedition Acts, John Marshall, the Judiciary Act of 1801, and even Presidential election rigging. Mr. Hart believes the founding fathers were incapable of forseeing that future Presidents might use any means to expand their power, but he also believed that he could actually win a Presidential election himself.

Not only did the founding fathers forsee theoretical power grabs, but they experienced it first hand. John Adams was part of the struggle for U.S. independence (a founding father in every sense of the word) but he was also one of the most absolutist Presidents in U.S. history. As a result, Adams lost the 1800 election to Thomas Jefferson, who was one of our best Presidents.

Hart for President? I think not.


Jack Eckert - 4/7/2006

After reading essentially the same post from both of you just repeated several times, I trully don't believe Steve you should be so quick to pat yourself on the back. You seem content to pat yourself on the back for a job well done when you haven't rebuked any of the more relevant issues postulated. Forget Don William's argument, the partisanship, and the politics, answer Osama Bin Laden's arguments for his attack. I do not believe for a second that American's have a good grasp on the America's role in the middle east, and if they did I'm not so sure they would be so quick to support it. Did we help kill 600,000 children? Thats what you should be disproving. You are maintaining that Osama is a fanatic that hates our free way of life, and if you truly want to impress anything upon anyone, thats where you'll start. Your squabbling with Don over dates, times, he said she said, and credentials does nothing to rebuke anything.

You need to prove Osama a madman before any of your conclusions can be accepted. Osama laid out those 3 reasons, and they are worthy of war if they had the ability to wage war. Dismiss the validity of his claims and you have proven your point over Don's. Until then, your just blowing smoke over the water.

By the way, I'm not arguing either way, just pointing out gaping holes in your argument. Stop taking on Don, he seems to be an easy target. Take on Osama, and argue with a "madman."


Barry DeCicco - 4/5/2006

James: "In fact, the more we learn the more problems exist in FISA and the IIPA is - if they are alluding to Palme, foolish claims at best."

James, what problems would these be?


Steve Broce - 4/5/2006

Don, your need to have the last word is driving you to repeat yourself.

The silliness of this argument is obvious by your own refusal to clearly articulate its basis. This argument depends on the preposterous notion that Bin Laden would have called off the 9/11 attack if Bush had somehow blocked the execution of a sale that had been previously approved by the Clinton Administration.

If you really believe that, Don, why don’t you just say it straight out:

“Despite years of planning and effort, Al Qaeda would not have executed the 9/11 attack if Bush had cancelled the F-16 sale to Israel.”

I’ll tell you why you won’t say it. Because even you, as demented as you are on this subject, realize just how stupid it sounds when you do say it.

The idiocy of this proposition is further demonstrated by the 9/11 timeline. Clinton’s sale of the F-16’s could not have provoked the 9/11 attacks, because planning by Al Qaeda for the attacks had already been underway for years before the Clinton Administration approved the sale in January, 2000.


Steve Broce - 4/5/2006

Don, your need to have the last word is driving you to repeat yourself.

The silliness of this argument is obvious by your own refusal to clearly articulate its basis. This argument depends on the preposterous notion that Bin Laden would have called off the 9/11 attack if Bush had somehow blocked the execution of a sale that had been previously approved by the Clinton Administration.

If you really believe that, Don, why don’t you just say it straight out:

“Despite years of planning and effort, Al Qaeda would not have executed the 9/11 attack if Bush had cancelled the F-16 sale to Israel.”

I’ll tell you why you won’t say it. Because even you, as demented as you are on this subject, realize just how stupid it sounds when you do say it.

The idiocy of this proposition is further demonstrated by the 9/11 timeline. Clinton’s sale of the F-16’s could not have provoked the 9/11 attacks, because planning by Al Qaeda for the attacks had already been underway for years before the Clinton Administration approved the sale in January, 2000.


Steve Broce - 4/5/2006

So this is what it all comes down to? You don’t like the way the 9/11 Commission described Bin Laden’s motives for the 9/11 attack.

After all the smoke you tried to blow up our posteriors about “Bush lied when he said we didn’t deserve 9/11” and “a servile press hid Bin Laden’s motives” and “Sharon sabotaged the Camp David talks”, this is all that’s left of your argument?

After all the crap about “Condi Rice forced the media to hide Bin Laden’s message” and “Bush provoked 9/11 by selling F-16’s to the Israeli’s” and “ Even the 9/11 Commission lied to us by not mentioning Bin Laden’s motives”, this is what your conspiracy theory boils down to?

So you would have described Bin Laden’s motives differently than the 9/11 Commission did. So what.

What‘s clear, Don, is that your argument has been demolished. All that remains is your pathetic need to have the last word.

But your true beliefs did finally emerge. In your last paragraph. So it was the Jews fault all along, wasn’t it, Don? Like I said, pathetic.


Michael John Keenan - 4/5/2006

I missed Church, because I missed the time change, but I did not miss collecting two pages of signatures in one hour from my fellow Claremonters stopping by for the Farmers Market. I recieved only one "Screw You" and had to turn away others willing to sign who were not residents of Claremont.

Next Sunday I will back only this time I will get some sigs before Church. That way I will double my talents!

I so want to declare MISSION ACCOMPLISHED but I will humble myself and be kind to strangers and hallow the earth.

Let us walk together. Let us congress anew. Proud as ever!

I am Citizen Michael John Keenan

p.s. Post your bail Mr. Delay.


Brian R Robertson - 4/5/2006

What does George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush have to do with Hart's credibility as a writer of history? That's the question....


Don Williams - 4/4/2006

Re you comment "With respect to the F-16 sale, as I have already established, this sale was negotiated and approved by THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. Your attempt to blame Bush for it is pathetic and an indication of your pathological need to blame the Bush for the 911 attack "
-----------------

1) Bush showed he was Sharon's bitch from day one. THE WHITE HOUSE HALTED the State Department's protest over Sharon's use of US-supplied F16s to attack Palestinian cities in May 2001. (Colin Powell was under the mistaken
impression that he was supposed to represent the interests of the American People vice the Likud.)

2) Look at the articles I cited in my post above: http://www.clw.org/archive/cat/newswire/nw060601.html#State
An excerpt:
---------------------
"United Press International - June 5, 2001
State dept: Israel's use of F-16's "excessive"
Senior State Dept. officials felt that Israel's use of its U.S.-made F-16 warplanes against Palestinian targets last month represented "an excessive use of force," but were pressured by the White House to soften their line, well-placed administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity told United Press International.
On May 18. the day after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed himself and five Israelis and wounded 100 more at a shopping mall in Netanya, Israeli F-16s mounted ferocious attacks on the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Nablus.
It was the first use of Israeli jets against the Palestinian territories for more than thirty years.
The State Department later issued an official statement saying that Israel's use of the planes had met U.S. Arms Export Control Act standards requiring that the U.S.-supplied aircraft be used only for defense.
But senior State Department officials, after assessing the raid, felt that Israel, "went over the line," even though use of the aircraft "was first presented to us as defensive," an administration official said.
Another administration official said that State Dept. officials "felt we should protest (to the Israelis), but do it as quietly as we could."
They did. On the Monday following the bombing, Secretary of State Colin Powell called Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and told him the use of the aircraft was "an unwonted escalation," this source said.
But the White House pressured State to soften its line, these sources said.
"I think there was a feeling in the White House that State shouldn't be allowed to go off the reservation," said David Schenker, research associate at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has close knowledge of the policy disputes within the Bush administration.
According to Schenker, the White House enjoys "an unusual rapport" with Sharon but President George W Bush "had to avoid the appearance of being complicit" in the bombing raids.
-------------------


3) As President, Bush could have easily blocked the sale of more F16s to Israel as a way to deter Sharon's aggression --
but he chose to encourage that aggression instead. For Bush to claim the US was a neutral party in Israel -Palestinian
peace negotiations --and then sell Sharon 50 some F16s to bomb the Palestinians -- shows the infuriating hypocrisy of Bush and his supporters.
An infuriating hypocrisy which resulted in Al Qaeda deciding to execute the GO order for the Sept 11
attack in July 2001.

I have never denied that Clinton and some Democratic Leaders are just as big a pack of whores for the Israel Lobby as George W Bush. Indeed, courtship of their masters is the motivation for his acts.

What I have argued is that this whoring betrays the American people.
For details , see "The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy" by
John  J. Mearsheimer  
(Department  of  Political  Science , 
University  of  Chicago ) and  
  Stephen  M. Walt  
(John  F. Kennedy  School  of  Government,  Harvard  University )
available  at http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html


Don Williams - 4/4/2006

Re your comment "Read the 911 Commission report and you will find Bin Laden’s 1998 Fatwa and his reasons for the Fatwa disclosed."
---------
1) I have read the 911 Commission Report. Here is its intentionally deceitful depiction of Bin Laden's rationale for jihad:

"He inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam's holiest sites. He spoke of the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of sanctions imposed after the Gulf War, and he protested U.S. support of Israel."

-------------
2) The 911 Commission , like the CNN report you cited above, misrepresent the nature of US support for the Saudi regime. They depict Islamic anger as a religious fanatic's anger at infidels being in the holy land.

But the reason 15 out of 19 of the 911 hijackers were Saudi goes way beyond that. I explained why in my post above
-- see para. 4 of http://hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=85027&;bheaders=1#85027 . Remember?
-----------
"With regard to reason (b), note that the US government has kept the small Saudi kleptocracy in power via massive military aid and arms sales -- for almost 5 decades. The only wealth the Saudi people had --the only means they had to gain a future for their people -- has been stolen from them by the US government and its puppets.
No one could blame us for buying oil from whatever legal government exists in Arabia. But the US government has done much more than commerce. Consider, For example, Vinnell Inc -- the US company whose Saudi Headquarters was bombed by Al Qaeda in 2003. Now a subsidary of defense giant Northrup Grumman, Vinnell has been helping the House of Saud keep the Arabian people under their thumb for decades. See, for example, the article "Mercenaries Inc.: How a U.S. Company Props Up the House of Saud " at ><http:// www.commondreams <http://www.commondreams>; .org/views03/ 0513-06.htm> "

The 911 Commission does delicately note in its recommendations that the Saudi per capita income is
only about $8000. An example of how to lie with statistics -- given the huge amount of wealth taken by
the royal princes, one can safely assume that the common citizen of Saudi Arabia gets much less. We don't
know how much less because our esteemed allies -- Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait -- are the few
countries whose rulers feel too guilty to report income distribution data to the UN.
--------------
3) Similarly, Bin Laden did not just speak " of the suffering of the Iraq people as a result of sanctions
imposed after the Gulf War". He said the US Government murdered over 600,000 Iraqi children.
Many aid groups would agree with that number, as I noted in my above post.
The US Government bombed Iraq water treatment plants and then blocked the import of water purification chemicals, resulting in a massive number of Iraqi deaths as people living in a desert were forced to drink polluted water. A rather nasty way to encourage a revolt against Hussein, wouldn't you say. But consistent with the US Government's long tradition of
dealing with Indian guerrilla fighters by burning crops at harvest so that Indian women and children
would starve over winter.
4) Similarly, Bin Laden did not just protest "US support of Israel". He condemmed that fact that the
US government gives Israel advanced , hugely destructive weapons systems -- the largest collection of
F16s outside the US Air Force -- and does nothing when Israel uses those F16s to bomb apartment houses in
Gaza in the middle of the night.
5) The 911 Commission's deceit is evident -- so why do you defend it?



Steve Broce - 4/4/2006

Don, have you even read the 911 commission report? Because of your apparent ignorance of the contents of the report, I suspect you haven’t.

You demanded to know where Bin Laden’s “grievances were discussed in the 911 Commission Report.” As I told you in my last post, I am through doing your research for you. I am far to busy to correct someone like you who apparently is too lazy to do his own research or too dishonest to accurately report it.

Read the 911 Commission report and you will find Bin Laden’s 1998 Fatwa and his reasons for the Fatwa disclosed.

I’m not going to go through your diatribe about Bush lying when he expressed his opinion that “we did nothing to deserve this again” As I have already explained, Bush was expressing an opinion that was widely shared by the American people.

Apparently, you, Bin Laden and Ward Churchill believe that we DID deserve it. You have a right to hold that opinion, but don’t call others “liars” because we believe differently.

With respect to the F-16 sale, as I have already established, this sale was negotiated and approved by THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. Your attempt to blame Bush for it is pathetic and an indication of your pathological need to blame the Bush for the 911 attack I will lay out the facts one more time.

In January, 2000, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION approved the sale of F-16 fighters to Israel. Part of the deal was a clause giving Israel the option to purchase additional F-16’s. The Israeli’s exercised their option in 2001. Bush had nothing to do with it, Don, and all the left-wing wackadoo websites that you care to link to will not change that fact. The facts are contained in this BBC article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1531098.stm

If you REALLY believe that the F-16 sale caused 9/11, take it up with the Bill Clinton

But really, you betray just how sappy your judgment is by suggesting that, despite all the planning and preparation that Al Qaeda had invested in the 9/11 attacks, they wouldn’t have executed if the F-16 sale had not been consummated.

Do you have anything other that your pathological need to blame Bush for 9/11 to back up such a silly assertion?

Oh and by the way, about OBL’s statement that “The Sept 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children", let me say that self-serving statements of an admitted mass murderer do not impress me. Furthermore, readers should always remember OBL’s 1998 Fatwa, which reads in part:

“The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it,…”

Based on this Fatwa, how credible are Bin Laden’s protestations that he was not targeting women and children?

Don, your conspiracy theory has become a moving target. Each assertion that you have made has been debunked. As each of these assertions has been debunked, you have blithely ignored that fact and made some new wildly improbable assertion and claimed that the new assertion was the MAIN PRIMARY FACT all along.

Ultimately, the only thing that you have convincingly established is that you are impervious to facts or logic.


Don Williams - 4/3/2006

I like to present FACTs, Steve --with citations -- so my response is somewhat slower than you like. But historians know that while the wheels grind slow, they grind exceedingly fine.

I have established that Ernest May worked on the 911 Commission, that his job was to write the narrative history of events leading up to 911, and that he acknowledges that ""the [911 Commission] report skirts the question of whether American policies and actions fed the anger that manifested itself on September 11 ...The commissioners believed that American foreign policy was too controversial to be discussed except in recommendations written in the future tense. Here we compromised our commitment to set forth the full story."

Steve acknowledges that Bin Laden warned the USA in 1998 of three actions that the US Government was
engaged in against the Islamic world that justified jihad. I asked Steve to point to where those grievances were discussed in the 911 Commission Report. Steve did not respond.

Ernest May's opinion about what motivated Al Qaeda to attack is irrelevent -- different people can look at a set of facts and form different opinions. What I strongly object to is that the FACTS were not honestly presented to the American people. It seems to me that if you were a true patriot , Steve, you would share my anger

But to give you an initial response to some of the other comments you made your post of March 31, 2006 at 1:36 AM

1) I noted that Bush lied to America when he stated that "we did nothing to deserve this" --i.e., the Sept 11 attack.
As a cheap rhetorical trick, you repeatedly try to imply that I think the American people deserved that attack. What I clearly stated was:

"Bush's rather vague and evasive explanation for why the attack occurred was that "they hate our freedom".
It is true that the people in the World Trade Center did not deserve the attack. But if "we" includes the US government, then Bush was deliberately lying to the American peoples."

The FACT is that the US Government has repeatedly heaped misery, oppression, deep poverty, and death
upon the Islamic world. And it has done that, NOT for the national interest of America, but because it is the whore of several special interest groups. Something that the 911 Commission was careful to avoid looking at, in spite
of repeated questions from the families of 911 victims.

2) I noted that Bush authorized the sale of 52 F16s to Sharon in June 2001 -- at a time when Sharon was being condemmed around the world for using the F16s to attack Palestinian civilians -- and that Bin Laden had cited the sale of major weapons to Israel as justification for the Sept 11 attack in his Nov 2001 interview with Pakistani news DAWN.

To this Steve replied:
"This is even sillier than your first point, Don. First, anyone who knows anything about the 9/11 attacks knows that planning and execution of the attacks began in the mid-90’s, during the Clinton presidency. This alone refutes your point that Bush “provoked” the 9/11 attacks. This fact alone proves that NOTHING Bush did could have possibly provoked 9/11, because the plans for 9/11 had been underway for years before Bush was elected."

The planning for a Sept 11 type attack -- the creation of the capability -- began in the Clinton administration. However, the command to EXECUTE the attack was not given until July 2001 -- after the F16 sale to Israel. During the close 2000 campaign, Bush had misled Muslim Americans into thinking he would be less of an advocate for Israel than Clinton and the Democrats. After the election, Bush showed his true colors.

(As an aside, I think Bush's extreme support for Sharon --including taking out Saddam Hussein -- is tied more to the "war for power" than the "war on terror". Bush knows the Democrats are largely funded by billionaires who are strong supporters of Israel, that the Democratic party will be greatly weakened if he can seduce those billionaires over to the Republicans, and that the Democrats cannot point out that Bush is damaging national security by whoring for Israel because the Democrats have been whores for Israel for decades.)

3) Steve goes on
"Second, you refer to an interview that OBL gave to the Pakistani newspaper DAWN in November, 2001. I read that article. NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE F-16 SALE FROM BIN LADEN. NOTHING. NADA.ZILCH. Surely if the F-16 sale had been the major “provocation “for the 9/11 attacks he would have mentioned it in the first interview he gave after 9/11."
What Bin Laden said was:
"The Sept 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America's icons of military and economic power. .....The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government, they elect their president, their government manufactures arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians. "
Ref: http://www.robert- <http://www.robert-fisk.com/ usama_interview_ hamid_mir_ausaf. ht
m> for a transcript of the interview
Again, Bush ordered the State Department in May 2001 to halt its condemnation of Sharon for using
existing F16s to attack the Palestinians --and then turned around sold Sharon 52 more in June 2001.
Steve doesn't deny this -- nor does he deny the condemmation it triggered in Europe and the rage in the Islam
world. Instead, he ducks the MAIN PRIMARY FACT by saying "Bin Laden didn't say F-16. Na ya na ya".


Steve Broce - 4/3/2006

Don, let's review.

You started off by making four postings to this string, which argued for the proposition that:

?Bush lied when he said ?we did nothing to deserve this? after 9/11.
?A ?servile press? suppressed the truth about why OBL attacked the US
?Bush ?provoked? the 9/11 attack by selling F-16?s to Israel.
?Sharon ?sabotaged? the Camp David peace talks by entering the Al Aqsa mosque.
?Condi Rice tried to ?hide the truth? about the 9/11 attack by asking the networks to suppressing OBL?s statements
?That Al Qaeda members were unlikely to engage in suicidal attacks against the US because HNN readers were unlikely to engage in suicidal attacks against nations with which they disagree.



I replied by pointing out that:

?Bush was expressing an opinion widely shared by the American public when he said ?We did nothing to deserve this
?The American public had been well informed by the press with regard to why OBL attacked us on 9/11
?The 9/11 attack had been planned since long before the F-16 sale, that OBL had not mentioned the F-16 sale in his post-9/11 interview and that the F-16 sale had been negotiated and approved during the Clinton administration.
?That Arafat had walked out of the peace talks at Camp David two months PRIOR to Sharon?s visit to Temple mount, that President Clinton, who brokered the talks, had blamed Arafat for the failure and that the Palestinian Authority official spokesman at the time had specifically denied that Sharon?s visit had been the cause of the intifada or the break down of the peace talks.
?That Rice had merely asked the networks to review OBL?s statements and to refrain from broadcasting them unedited and verbatim.
?It was unbelievable facile on your part to assume that Al Qaeda members and HNN readers would act in the same manner and for the same reasons.

You replied by

?Insisting that the ?servile press? had hidden the reasons for OBL?s attacks
?Challenging me to find 10 mainstream press references to OBL?s motives for the 9/11 attacks
?Quoting someone who you claimed was a ?911 Commission member? as evidence that the 911 Commission had covered up the reasons for the 9/11 attacks on behalf of unidentified ?power groups ?which ?did not want the American people to realize how past actions by those groups brought disaster down upon us.?

I countered by:

?Producing 10 mainstream press articles , published in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, which clearly identified OBL?s motives for the attack
?Pointing out that it had taken me 90 seconds to locate these references (actually it would have taken LESS than 90 seconds, but I had to read and summarize them)
?That there are 230,000 Google hits for OBL?s 1998 Fatwa, which lays out his motives for the attack. (I guess the word got out somehow!)
?That the so called ? 911 Commission member? you cited was , in fact, not a 911 Commission member and that, whatever his position was with the 911 commission, he did not agree with your proposition that we had been attacked because of what we did, rather than who we were.

Having never even mentioned the 911 Commission until your FIFTH posting, you now insist that your MAIN PRIMARY POINT (your emphasis) all along was the 911 Commission?s failure to cover OBL?s motives for the attack in their investigation.

AND YOU ACCUSE ME OF TRYING TO DUCK THE ISSUES?

Jesus H Christ, Don, can you hold a thought for longer than it takes to type it? I know that conspiracy theories die hard, but this ridiculous...

Having refuted every one of your original points, your now want me to accompany you on yet another sojourn into the ludicrous. Well, I don?t have to do that, Don, for this reason. Your whole sappy argument rests on one premise: that a shadowy, unidentified ?power group? has conspired with the American press, the 911 Commission, and the Bush Administration to hide OBL?s motives for the 911 attack. I have already established that the American public has been well informed about OBL?s motives.

The bottom line, Don, is your conspiracy theory is a mile wide and an inch deep. You have presented no persuasive evidence to support even one of your silly assertions.


Don Williams - 4/2/2006

1) Note that Steve clearly ducks the MAIN PRIMARY point I made above. Which was Ernest May's statement that "the [911 Commission] report skirts the question of whether American policies and actions fed the anger that manifested itself on September 11 ...The commissioners believed that American foreign policy was too controversial to be discussed except in recommendations written in the future tense. Here we compromised our commitment to set forth the full story."

2) Steve clearly acknowledges that Bin Laden cited three actions by the US Government in his 1998 fatwa as justification for Islamic Jihad. So can Steve points to any place in the 911 Commission Report that discusses those three actions??

3) So why does Steve divert the discussion with a red herring -- a rant about Ernest May's role on the Commission?

4) The citation I linked to clearly defined Ernest May's role on the 911 Commission: He is the Harvard professor who was hired as a consultant by the Executive Director of the 911 Commission, Philip Zelikow, and and whose job was "to help produce the historical narrative".

Ernest May's article notes that he and Zelikow developed the idea of producing the 911 Commission Report as a "professional-quality narrative history" and sold Commission Chairmen Hamilton and Kean on that idea.

Clearly May was a member of the 911 Commission, as I stated. See his entry on the 911 Commission staff listing here: http://www.9-11commission.gov/about/bios_staff.htm

4) Steve prefers to divert the discussion by arguing that May was not one of the politically-appointed Commissioners. True -- but that means that May was the one actually doing the work. Work which, as his article noted, the two Chairmen directed him to hide from the other Commissioners until the
politically opportune moment.

5) Again, what does May's role have to do with the truth of the MAIN PRIMARY point: that 911 Commission refused to address actions by the US government that motivated the 911 attack because such a discussion would be "too controversial "?

Was that keeping faith with the promises made to the family members of
people killed in the 911 attack --or with the American people themselves?


Don Williams - 4/2/2006

Anyone remember here remember how George H Bush campaigned against Gary Hart in 1988? Instead of addressing the issues -- e.g., a huge explosion in federal debt during the Reagan/Bush administration and a conspiracy to subvert the Constitution (Iran Contra) -- the Republicans could only talk about Gary Hart's "immorality" --his private affair with Donna Rice.

Of course, about 3 weeks AFTER the 1988 election, George H Bush and our ass-kissing news media finally informed the voters who was really going to be screwed -- the voters, to the tune of $150 Billion to bail out a bunch of crooked S& L Executives down in Texas.

I've seen some reports that the real bill ultimately ended up being around $400 billion.
Actually "screwed" is too mild a term -- anally raped is closer to it.

The same crooks who were ranting about a "welfare queen" getting a Cadillac (with little evidence) were happy to raid the Treasury and steal $150 Billion of our money to bail rich people out of their mistakes.

Yet people turned around and elected George H Bush's son as President --and George W is even more lacking in honor, character, and integrity than his father. At least George H fought in the Pacific in WWII --George W has always been careful to never get within 1000 miles of an active battlefield. Even with every possible advantage of a rich upbringing , when George W reached middle age he was a drunk and a failed businessman who had to be bailed out by rich friends -- friends who have owned him every since.

This is why the American people will live in deep poverty and misery in the century to come -- they're stupid sheep who deserve everything they're about to get.

The silver lining to the Bush Administration is that MILLIONs of middle class Republican morons are about to discover that their life savings --their IRAs and 401Ks --have been turned to ashes.


Brian R Robertson - 4/2/2006

Why does anyone give Gary Hart anytime on this site? The guy is a complete joke. We're talking about one of George McGovern's campaign managers(the worst campaign in American history and the most glorified by baby boomers)and worse yet, a politcally driven individual. He and McGovern still believe that they lost in 1972 because Nixon "smeared" them. Hello--the Democrats smeared McGovern long before Nixon. It's the equivalent of Newt Gingrich writing a history of the Clinton administration.


Bill Heuisler - 4/2/2006

Actually, Steve, the tone and content has been relatively friendly and informative - with an edge - for many months.

But this dishonest article has brought out crazies who make Clarke seem almost reasonable...almost.

That's okay. Normal HNN readers will sort it all out and decide on the merits. Sometimes when the hard Left exposes itself many people don't like what they see.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 4/2/2006

Mr. Charles,
Dodging the issue will not save you.

If you don't understand the function of the FISA Court of Review, just say so. We all understand how your ignorance might be embarrassing, but the Court of Review's decision is important to this discussion and places your position in quesion.

Too bad you'd rather criticize me than address the issues at hand. But, when you run out of argument it's always safe to pretend you don't understand.

You, therefore get an F.
Bill Heuisler


Steve Broce - 4/1/2006

Jesus, Bill, HNN has become a fever swamp for the left.

I used to read and comment on HNN articles a few years back, when HNN allowed the use of nom-de plumes. The change in tone since that time has not been good.


Steve Broce - 4/1/2006

“911 COMMISSION member Ernest May…”-Don Williams, 3/31/06.


Damn it, Don, you’re wrong again. I got a hot flash for you. There were exactly ten 911 Commission members. Ernest May wasn’t one of them. I don’t know where you get your facts, but you need to find a new source. I don’t know who May is, but he WAS NOT a 911 Commission member as you described.

By the way, May, whoever he is, apparently believes as Bush does that we were attacked because of what we are rather than what we did. In the very quote that you posted, May says,

“I think myself that the report is right in saying that Al Qaeda attacked the United States because of what the nation was rather than because of what it did.”

Do you read any of the quotes that you post?

At any rate, you claim that the three reasons that Bin Laden had for the 911 attack were suppressed by the “servile press” and not known by the American public. This is a preposterous assertion. All of the reasons you list for the attack were contained in the 1998 “Fatwa” that Bin Laden issued against the United States. These reasons were well covered at the time of the Fatwa and then again after 9/11.

The notion that the American public was unaware of the fact that Bin Laden had a beef with us, or why he had that beef, until 9/11 is ridiculous. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, the American public was well aware of the fact that Bin Laden was intent on striking at the United States—and why. He had been striking at us for nearly a decade for Christ’s sake.

Now pay attention for God’s sake, cause this is the first, last and only time I’m going to do your research for you:

What follows are just a few articles from mainstream media sources that I found with Google. It took me about 90 seconds. All deal with the question of why Bin Laden attacked us and all were published in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

From CNN:


http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/12/binladen.profile/index.html (9/27/2001-talks about Bin Laden's anger with US over support to Saudi Government)

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/16/inv.binladen.denial/index.html (9/16/2001-talks about Bin Laden’s anger over the “occupation of Saudi Arabia” by the US)

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/south/02/05/binladen.transcript/index.html (02/05/2002-transcript of Bin Laden interview in which he identifies anger over aid to Israel, continuing deaths in Iraq from sanctions and US support to Saudi Arabia as cause for his jihad –in other words-all three of his reasons)
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/11/09/alqaeda.response/index.html
(11/10/2001—Bin Laden’s deputy talks about jihad against the Americans being based, in part, on the Palestinian situation)

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/12/27/ret.bin.laden.tape/index.html (12/28/2001--Bin laden videotape in which he talks about US support for Israel and situation in Iraq being the cause of the 9/11 attacks)

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/COMMUNITY/11/26/rose/index.html (11/26/2001-interview of Gideon Rose, author of a book about the causes of 9/11 attack—discusses Bin Laden’s anger over US support for Israel and US support of corrupt regimes in the middle east)


From Time magazine:
http://www.time.com/time/asia/news/interview/0,9754,174550,00.html ( 9/12/2001-reprint of a 1999 interview with Bin Laden where he mentions support of Israel as cause for Jihad against the US)


From the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn%3Fpagename=article&contentId=A59262-2001Sep19&notFound=trueFatwa (9/20/2001-article deals with OBL’s motives for 9/11)

From National Review
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-robbins100801.shtml (10-8-2001 National Review article explains Bin Laden’s 1998 Fatwa, which includes all three reasons OBL attacked on 9/11)


I could go on and on, but what’s the point. I found these in about 90 seconds using Google. If you were really interested in telling the truth, you could have found them. No reason to let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory, eh, Don?

For anyone who still believes that Bin Laden’s motives for the 9/11 attack have been “suppressed by a “servile press”, I suggest that you go to the Google search engine, punch in “Bin Laden’s 1998 Fatwa” and then stand back—230,000 hits.

Some suppression.


Michael John Keenan - 4/1/2006

April Fools!


Michael John Keenan - 4/1/2006

Dear Michael Keenan,

Thank you for sending your evocative reflection. The appeal to compassion, clarity and basic human decency is well stated. In re-reading it I was curious if the word "depraved" was intended for a double meaning, or if perhaps "deprived" had been mistyped (3rd to last paragraph). Your point of torture being the essence of the Third Reich was central to Orwell's "1984," where O'Brien (?) told Winston (delicious irony there) that the whole point of the State was to exert absolute control over the individual down to the internal thoughtprocesses, and the measure of this control was the ability to inflict pain at will. This is the essence of authoritarianism, and authoritarians require they be worshiped as Gods by their subjects, hence "love your torturers." Your questions to Cheney and Rumsfeld can only be rhetorical because there is probably no capacity (please forgive me, Buddha) in either of those individuals to appreciate the logic and the essential compassion behind your message. They are blinded by the reflection of their self-images within the confines of their own logic-bubbles blown out of a film of denial.

Kind regards,

XXXXX

(the name of someone who was tortured and responded to my post above under "Were our Fathers this bad?" after I emailed this post to them.)

Dear XXXXX

I am glad you appreciated what I wish more of my fellow citizens would be a little more vociferous about. I hope your first hand account will create an infection to even give a damn and realize that on the whim of one person that this fate possibly waits them too. The L.A. Times rebuffed three attempts I made to have it printed with permission. Finally I expressed my concerns directly by email to Mr. Bush's office. To my surprise he responded in the press a few days later that torture is not a value of this Nation's "soul" or "being."

Slowly those in power are transforming the individual, into being treated basically as private property once again. Unfortunately, this includes both the military and civilian alike. The once indentured black man became accepted and considered private property in less than two generations. People from Africa soon got caught up into this and this went on for about thirteen generations. So given Cheney's proclivity to apartheid and this history of privatizing the individual, I am not surprised to find a growing rejection of the separation between the individual and the state underway in the country I love. And once there is no distinction or separation any longer between the two of them then torture WILL become the "being" of the nation. Under this modern version there will no longer be a distinction as to color. All are eligible for the black room. I have to wonder if this nation’s soul was still born in its conception when I ponder all of this. Or if we still have any soul yet left to speak of will it be lost in less than a generation or even worse in less than a night?

Further, Bush never read a single report on the people that were led to the death chamber. So any claim to compassion - to suffer with - went missing when he refused to read even one report. As if with depravity he even dares to laugh in a woman’s face. Deprived of life this woman now has more soul in death than this man will ever have in life.

The questions asked of Cheney after a speech he gave at a Davo's, Switzerland get together I found to borderline on outright ridicule. The isolation of Cheney by the Davos body, and in effect the United States was quite palpable. Your version of the bubble I agree does appear to exist. I found these questions on his own web page right under his nose by scrolling down. So I am sure he does not even see it as you pointed out.

What else will I be called to bear witness too by those who claim falsely to be my fellow citizens and who accept torture as a second nature? Do they not know that the word citizen or the word individual allows for no definition, which accepts the philosophy of anti-man nor anti-women? That by accepting torture, any definition of torture, that this country's history is then removed in one fell swoop. Gone is the cry of Peoples Sovereignty born of the English Civil War. And gone too is the claim that people after the U.S. Civil War will never again be considered as just some owners private property in this nations economy. And what in their place now reigns but the concept of the Corporation as a person? Banished is the so-called Constitution of the United States. So why not now that the Articles of the Confederation are back in vogue and unimpeded by any Bill of Rights. This will work just fine. Ultimately, the dead corpse of a Corporation is venerated over the flesh and blood of the living.

Welcome all to Corporate Feudalism where all shall love and worship the new State Torturer who rules the World Supreme.

You bear your witness well my friend. I hope, as God is my Fuhrer, to bear my witness just as well should they decide to ever come for this human being.

Thanks for pointing out the possible meanings in my choice of words.

May a happy trail be before you.

Michael Keenan


Carl Becker - 4/1/2006

"Our People have no understanding of who has the power in our society"

If you are you referring to Jewish Zionist and Christian Zionist control of the media in America, the covert and overt operations of AIPAC, then yes, these should be the real threats to America, its cancer. There are Israelis/Americans, dual citizens, in the top levels of American government, selling nuclear info to China? , etc. who support all of Israel’s policies - an Israel that is no friend to America in the real world yet values America’s military support enabling Israeli ethnocidal imperialism.


Douglas M. Charles - 4/1/2006


You've addressed none of the important points. Moreover, what on Earth are you trying to say?

Your rambling, disjointed post, illogical post reminds me of a quote in history.

Your post "leave[s] the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea; sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a straggling thought and bear it triumphantly, a prisoner in their midst, until it died of servitude and overwork."


E. Simon - 4/1/2006

Peter talks out of the orifice at the opposite end of his digestive tract so often that one wonders if it has lips.

See I just made a pronouncement on something about which I have no personal experience.

And just like Peter's raving, similarly ad hominem-laden diatribes (such as we see above), I expect not much productive will come of it.


Bill Heuisler - 4/1/2006

Mr. Charles and Mr. Williams,
Reason for terror, Mr Williams? Hatred. And Mr. Charles, they attacked us because they could.

Mr. Williams, NBC News in a 2004 story told how terrorists al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar later hijacked American Airlines flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon, but first received over a dozen calls from an al Qaeda "switchboard" inside Yemen where al-Mihdhar's brother-in-law lived. According to NBC this house also received calls from Osama Bin Laden and relayed them to operatives around the world. Reporter, Lisa Myers told how, "NSA had the actual phone number in the United States that the switchboard was calling, but didn't deploy that equipment, fearing it would be accused of domestic spying." This was a missed opportunity that could have saved 3,000 lives. Stupid?

More Americans should not die because anti-war and antigovernment paranoids hate George Bush more than they fear al Qaeda. American people say they want the President to use all reasonable means to catch the people who say they want to kill thousands and millions of us.

Three weeks before 9/11, an FBI agent on the bin Laden squad in New York learned al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi were in the US eight months after meeting an Iraqi Colonel in Kuala Lumpur. He asked national security gatekeepers in Washington to launch a nationwide manhunt.
He was told no. Stupid or negligent?

Mr. Charles, when FISA Court of Review tore down the wall, it included that FBI agent's Aug. 29, 2001, email to FBI HeadQuarters:
"Whatever has happened to this...
someday someone will die... and wall or not... the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain problems. Let's hope the National Security Law Unit will stand behind their decisions then, especially since the biggest threat to us now, (bin Laden)is getting the most 'protection."

Prophetic and chilling.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 3/31/2006

Mr. Broce,
It seems someone pierced the earth's crust and released the imps of ignorance and confusion. The gross repetition and misuse of law and language is a parody of parodies - a badly written Saturday Night Live.
But Clarke has found his milieu.

Even the dignified Mr. Charles has been infected and is failing class.
(see my attempts at salvation above)

Enjoy the show.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 3/31/2006

Mr. Charles,
You obviously didn't do your reading assignent. One more chance. For a D.

Look up ACLU's brief in the case known as "In re: Sealed Case". They did not prevail. The decision's important for you to know and also contains the Truong quote.

Where? Why the FISA Court of Review, created in 1978 by that Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act you confuse so often with FISA Court.

When the President asks FISA Court for a warrant for surveillance of foreign communications, and he's turned down, Congress created the Court of Review for an appeal.

In March 2002, DOJ informed the FISA Court it would use new Patriot Act standards for surveillance warrants. A month later FISA Court said no, made the dispute public and accused DOJ of misleading them.

So DOJ went to the FISA Court of Review, leading to "Sealed Case".
The Court of Review decided what Congress intended with the Patriot Act and whether FISA Court had the authority to control the president.

The answer was no.
The FISA Court of Review ruled FISA Court had wrongfully attempted to impose 1995 (pre Patriot Act) rules.
"In doing so, FISA Court erred. It did not provide any constitutional basis for its action — we think there is none — and misconstrued the main statutory provision on which it relied."

In other words, Mr. Charles, FISA Court of Review said the FISA Court had not considered the legal changes Congress made with the Patriot Act.

The ruling also said FISA Court,
"may well have exceeded the constitutional bounds" in asserting authority over investigative procedures at DOJ (executive branch).

FISA Court of Review also said the president had "inherent authority" under the Constitution to conduct needed surveillance without warrants from FISA Court or anyone else.

Now pay attention here, Mr Charles.
The FISA Review referred to Truong.

"The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information... We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power,"

That's how the ruling reads in part.
Note how it mentions, "all the other courts to have decided the issue."

Now do your homework this time. You might learn something and sound less like merely a partisan dullard.
Bill Heuisler


Frederick Thomas - 3/31/2006


In terms of usurping, how about the Wilson's sedition acts which made it a felony to disagree with his pro-war policies? How about FDRs version of the same thing which gave jail terms to anti-war activists? How about FDRs executive orders being declared unconstitutional 18 times?

Mr. Williams, perhaps you should learn a little actual history as opposed to reciting Soros' talking points.


Don Williams - 3/31/2006

Consider Steve's comments in "Tin Foil Don Williams"

I point out that the mainstream news media has never explained to the American people WHY Sept 11 occurred.
Post -Sept 11 the news media ignored the information in its own archives, refused to ask Al Qaeda reps or Taliban why the attack occurred, and unquestioning repeat Bush's bullshit. Over and Over.

Steve says the American people already know of the 3 grievances that Bin Laden cited as the reason for Jihad. But I found those grievances in the 1997 USA news archives -- and in foreign news reports.

Maybe Steve could find me 10 news articles in the USA mainstream press AFTER the Sept 11 attack which describe Al Qaeda's motivation for the attack. According to him, that should not be hard. The press put out a massive amount of coverage re Sept 11 in the period Sept 11 2001 to Sept 11 2002. Surely my request would be easy to satisfy if his claim is true.

The fact is , even the 911 COMMISSION refused to examine WHY the attack occurred -- because it was too politically hot. 911 COMMISSION member Ernest May admitted this in a New Republic article ,as reported here at HNN . See http://hnn.us/roundup/comments/11952.html . A quote
"The report has weaknesses...
...For one thing, the report skirts the question of whether American policies and actions fed the anger that manifested itself on September 11. I think myself that the report is right in saying that Al Qaeda attacked the United States because of what the nation was rather than because of what it did. Still, the report is weak in laying out evidence for the alternative argument that the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Capitol might not have been targeted absent America's identification with Israel, support for regimes such as those in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, and insensitivity to Muslims' feelings about their holy places. The commissioners believed that American foreign policy was too controversial to be discussed except in recommendations written in the future tense. Here we compromised our commitment to set forth the full story"

The Commission ducked this question because major power groups did not want the American people to realize how past actions by those groups brought disaster down upon us.

Like Steve Broch, 911 Commission members were GOOD GERMANS who prefer to avert their eyes from the actions of their government.

Americans are NOT served by a servile press which feels its job is merely to propagate the official Big Lie -- and to hide the truth from our people. But that is the press we have.

To ask for the truth is not to defend Bin Laden or Al Qaeda -- it is to figure out how to deal with the enemy. By separating him from the populace in which he hides, for example. By fixing legitimate grievances so Middle Eastern people will help us in finding him.

BY definition, the only people who can give the reason for the attack are the people who launched the attack. We obviously don't have to agree with them -- or agree that they justified the attack.

But hiding those reasons and promoting deceitful progaganda instead is a sign of guilt, not strength. It is the act of con men serving hidden agendas, not of leaders protecting their people.




Steve Broce - 3/31/2006

I can read just fine. I would like to know the postion from which you pronounce others "chinckenhawks"


Steve Broce - 3/31/2006

I can read just fine. I would like to know the postion from which you pronounce others "chinckenhawks"


Don Williams - 3/31/2006

1)Read the histories of the French resistance and SOE fighter in WWII. Do you think you can create such fighters from AMERICANS?

ha ha ha

Oh sure, we have some gun nuts who may boast of their prowess when they get liquored up on Saturday night. But come Monday morning, they go back to kissing their bosses ass as usual --too cowardly to even form a union to get a decent wage --much less strike.

"Resistance Fighters" From people in which a substantial percentage are too lazy to get off their fat asses and vote? Much less work in a primary to raise good candidates.

From a people who are so mentally lazy that 50% prefer to have their political opinions spoonfed to them by a fat man with a reported addiction to strong narcotics?

Resistance requires smarts. We spend $1 Trillion /year on education and still have the most stupid population on the planet. Our People have no understanding of who has the power in our society, the goals of the power centers, and the malign effects on the nation.

I'm not just talking about Red State voters who watch Fox News -- I'm also talking about urban Ivy Leaguers who depend upon the New York Times for information.


Gary D. Williams - 3/31/2006

No Democrat tried to usurp power in the USA. Wake up. This is not a partisan issue...it's a democracy issue. It's a Constitution issue. It's a survival of America as a constitutional democracy issue!


Gary D. Williams - 3/31/2006

The blindness that allows this slow-motion coup to proceed so evidently gives me no rest from utter amazement. How is it possible that a group of people can write out their intentions on a document (PNAC), come into power then proceed to implement that plan precisely, yet give the population every other reason bald-faced lie under the sun as the "real reason".....and have them BELIEVE IT!!!....
I...I'm just incredulous. I am tempted to say to you all that you get the government you deserve so I hope you suffer terribly, but these guys have bigger plans than keeping a few of the local dolts buffaloed. The mess your ignorance has unleashed on the rest of us....
Well. You ever wonder why so many people hate Americans? Hint: It's not because we're "jealous of your freedoms"....


Gary D. Williams - 3/31/2006

The solution, although hard to have to admit, is clear. Resistance to their removal must be met with whatever means are neccesary to achieve their removal. Or....

If the para-military instruments of state have been subverted to an extent where they become an obstacle to the continuation of America as a Constitutional Democracy; or pose a threat to those persons who attempt to prevent the destruction of that same democracy, then they no longer have any legitimacy whatsoever. If then; no other government body will stand and order the abolishment of the persons who seek to destroy the constitutional status of the American nation, then the legal right to use any and all means --- including violence -- is to be tranferred onto the people themselves.

IOW, start taking back your democracy now before these people are further able to consolidate their power. It is absolutely clear that they mean to undermine America as a democratic state. They can and should be dealt with as swiftly and severely as is neccesary to completely and permanently eliminate them as a subversive element. Deal with them now and deal with them as they would deal with you once they have achieved their goal. Let their attempts at legalizing torture be your guide on how such a catastrophe might look, and proceed accordingly. Do it now.


Steve Broce - 3/31/2006

But, Peter, you've made your own distinguished military record relevant by questioning someone else's.

Or is this a tacit admission that maybe you really don't have a military record?


Steve Broce - 3/31/2006

Peter, your fondness for calling others "chickenhawks" prompts me to ask you again if you could regale us with some details of your own combat experiences.

As for what Bush was doing while Richard Clarke was warning him about Al Qaeda, I have a more basic question: What the hell was Richard Clarke doing for eight years while he was supposed to be developing a strategy to deal with Al Qaeda?


Steve Broce - 3/31/2006

By the way, Don, if some one like Peter Clarke endorses your theory, that’s reason enough to reconsider it.


Steve Broce - 3/31/2006

I thought that was you, Don“one-time cipher” Williams.

Look, Don, this is same silly arguments that you have been making for years. It made no sense several years ago when you first made it and it hasn’t gotten better over time.

Your central points are:

*Bush lied when he said “We did nothing to deserve this”

What evidence do you offer?

Bin Laden was pissed over the death of 600,000 Iraqi children.
Bin Laden was pissed over massive military support provided to the Saudi government.
Bin Laden was pissed over military support over to the Israeli’s.

The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of Americans know all about the evidence you’ve listed and AGREE WITH BUSH that “we did nothing to deserve” 9/11. Your thesis that all of these events were somehow hidden from the American public by a cabal of TV executives is silly on its face. These issues were widely reported and known to the American public.

Your assertion that they were hidden is a product of intentional misstatement or deep dementia on your part. Let’s face it, if someone like you could find out about all these facts, how hidden could it be?

Furthermore, the question of whether we “deserve” something or not is a matter of opinion. Bush’s opinion and that of the vast majority of Americans is that we did not. You and Bin Laden obviously believe we did. That is your right, but don’t try to make a manifestly silly argument that Bush somehow lied when he expressed his opinion that
“We did nothing to deserve this”

Now then, what is your second point? Oh yeah

*Bush provoked the 9/11 attacks by authorizing the sale of F-16’s to Israel in June of 2001.

This is even sillier than your first point, Don. First, anyone who knows anything about the 9/11 attacks knows that planning and execution of the attacks began in the mid-90’s, during the Clinton presidency. This alone refutes your point that Bush “provoked” the 9/11 attacks. This fact alone proves that NOTHING Bush did could have possibly provoked 9/11, because the plans for 9/11 had been underway for years before Bush was elected.

Second, you refer to an interview that OBL gave to the Pakistani newspaper DAWN in November, 2001. I read that article. NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE F-16 SALE FROM BIN LADEN. NOTHING. NADA.ZILCH. Surely if the F-16 sale had been the major “provocation “for the 9/11 attacks he would have mentioned it in the first interview he gave after 9/11.

Oh and by the way, that F-16 sale, it was originally negotiated and approved during the Clinton administration

Your third point.

* ”..Clinton's attempt in 1999 and 2000 to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians. An Israeli legislator, Sharon, sabotaged the talks by going into the Al Aqsa --the third most holy Islamic mosque -- with several hundred policemen.”

This is either an out and out attempt to deceive or you have hopelessly bungled you dates.

Clinton successfully pressured Ehud Barak, the Israeli PM into making serious concessions, giving the Palestinians all of Gaza and 95% of the West Bank. Arafat walked out of Camp David in July of 2000. His actions had NOTHING to do with Sharon’s visit to Al Aqsa, because Sharon didn’t visit Al Aqsa until SEPTEMBER OF 2000—two months later.

Clinton has publicly blamed Arafat for the failure of the Camp David talks. Furthermore, Sharon didn’t enter the Al Aqsa mosque during his visit to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

Finally, the Palestinian Authority communications minister, Imad Al-Faluji, in an interview with the Lebanese daily Al-Safir on March 3, 2001, explained, “Whoever thinks that this [war] started as a result of Sharon's despicable visit to Al Aksa is in error. It was planned since Arafat's return from Camp David [where he] firmly stood up to Clinton and rejected the U.S. terms”, 03/03/2001, as quoted by the Associated Press. http://www.memri.org/bin/media.cgi?ID=103104


Ultimately, Don, all you have really proven is that Bush could NOT have provoked the 9/11 attacks, because nearly every item of “evidence’ that you cite occurred during the CLINTON administration or before.

The fact is, the United States supported Israel for long before Bush was in office—and with the overwhelming support of the American people.

Your final contention.

*Condi Rice sought to suppress the truth about why Al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11.

This is conspiracy theory of “tin foil hat” magnitude. First, Rice objected to only to the press quoting OBL verbatim, uninterrupted and without editing. And she asked the networks to review the video tapes before they broadcast them, presumably to cull out any obvious massages. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00A1FFC3E5B0C718DDDA90994D9404482

Second, if your “cabal of media executives” conspiracy theory held any water, Rice would not have had to go to the media to request they review OBL’s statements in the first place.

Second, your fixation with “one time cipher pads” and “short wave radio communications” is bizarre. Most of the links that you included which you claim document Al Qaeda’s use of these things are invalid. I did, however, do a Yahoo search of “Al Qaeda’s use of one time cipher pads” and found not one reference from a reputable news source.

Obviously, Rice was concerned with mass communication with Al Qaeda followers. It’s difficult to imagine tens or hundreds of thousands of Al Qaeda faithful dutifully sitting around with their car batteries and short-wave radios and one time cipher pads waiting for the next message from OBL.

I did find one of your arguments, priceless, though. I quote you directly now:

“Re WHY the Sept 11 attack occurred, President Bush famously stated that it was because Al Qaeda "hates our Freedom". But that explanation was implausible for several reasons. Many readers here probably dislike some government on the other side of the world. China. Russia. But ask yourself -- how likely are you to go to that country, hijack a plane, and commit suicide by flying into a building?”


This emblematic of your logic, Don. You question the idea that Al Qaeda would commit suicide by crashing planes into buildings, because HNN readers are unlikely to crash planes into buildings. That is the difference between HNN readers and Al Qaeda members, Don.

Look, Don, you’ve shopped this theory around for several years now. I notice in this iteration you’ve removed most of the overt anti-Semitism that existed in past versions. That’s a good thing. But it’s still an awfully silly theory.


Steve Broce - 3/31/2006

I thought that was you, Don“one-time cipher” Williams.

Look, Don, this is same silly arguments that you have been making for years. It made no sense several years ago when you first made it and it hasn’t gotten better over time.

Your central points are:

*Bush lied when he said “We did nothing to deserve this”

What evidence do you offer?

Bin Laden was pissed over the death of 600,000 Iraqi children.
Bin Laden was pissed over massive military support provided to the Saudi government.
Bin Laden was pissed over military support over to the Israeli’s.

The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of Americans know all about the evidence you’ve listed and AGREE WITH BUSH that “we did nothing to deserve” 9/11. Your thesis that all of these events were somehow hidden from the American public by a cabal of TV executives is silly on its face. These issues were widely reported and known to the American public.

Your assertion that they were hidden is a product of intentional misstatement or deep dementia on your part. Let’s face it, if someone like you could find out about all these facts, how hidden could it be?

Furthermore, the question of whether we “deserve” something or not is a matter of opinion. Bush’s opinion and that of the vast majority of Americans is that we did not. You and Bin Laden obviously believe we did. That is your right, but don’t try to make a manifestly silly argument that Bush somehow lied when he expressed his opinion that
“We did nothing to deserve this”

Now then, what is your second point? Oh yeah

*Bush provoked the 9/11 attacks by authorizing the sale of F-16’s to Israel in June of 2001.

This is even sillier than your first point, Don. First, anyone who knows anything about the 9/11 attacks knows that planning and execution of the attacks began in the mid-90’s, during the Clinton presidency. This alone refutes your point that Bush “provoked” the 9/11 attacks. This fact alone proves that NOTHING Bush did could have possibly provoked 9/11, because the plans for 9/11 had been underway for years before Bush was elected.

Second, you refer to an interview that OBL gave to the Pakistani newspaper DAWN in November, 2001. I read that article. NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE F-16 SALE FROM BIN LADEN. NOTHING. NADA.ZILCH. Surely if the F-16 sale had been the major “provocation “for the 9/11 attacks he would have mentioned it in the first interview he gave after 9/11.

Oh and by the way, that F-16 sale, it was originally negotiated and approved during the Clinton administration

Your third point.

* ”..Clinton's attempt in 1999 and 2000 to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians. An Israeli legislator, Sharon, sabotaged the talks by going into the Al Aqsa --the third most holy Islamic mosque -- with several hundred policemen.”

This is either an out and out attempt to deceive or you have hopelessly bungled you dates.

Clinton successfully pressured Ehud Barak, the Israeli PM into making serious concessions, giving the Palestinians all of Gaza and 95% of the West Bank. Arafat walked out of Camp David in July of 2000. His actions had NOTHING to do with Sharon’s visit to Al Aqsa, because Sharon didn’t visit Al Aqsa until SEPTEMBER OF 2000—two months later.

Clinton has publicly blamed Arafat for the failure of the Camp David talks. Furthermore, Sharon didn’t enter the Al Aqsa mosque during his visit to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

Finally, the Palestinian Authority communications minister, Imad Al-Faluji, in an interview with the Lebanese daily Al-Safir on March 3, 2001, explained, “Whoever thinks that this [war] started as a result of Sharon's despicable visit to Al Aksa is in error. It was planned since Arafat's return from Camp David [where he] firmly stood up to Clinton and rejected the U.S. terms”, 03/03/2001, as quoted by the Associated Press. http://www.memri.org/bin/media.cgi?ID=103104


Ultimately, Don, all you have really proven is that Bush could NOT have provoked the 9/11 attacks, because nearly every item of “evidence’ that you cite occurred during the CLINTON administration or before.

The fact is, the United States supported Israel for long before Bush was in office—and with the overwhelming support of the American people.

Your final contention.

*Condi Rice sought to suppress the truth about why Al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11.

This is conspiracy theory of “tin foil hat” magnitude. First, Rice objected to only to the press quoting OBL verbatim, uninterrupted and without editing. And she asked the networks to review the video tapes before they broadcast them, presumably to cull out any obvious massages. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00A1FFC3E5B0C718DDDA90994D9404482

Second, if your “cabal of media executives” conspiracy theory held any water, Rice would not have had to go to the media to request they review OBL’s statements in the first place.

Second, your fixation with “one time cipher pads” and “short wave radio communications” is bizarre. Most of the links that you included which you claim document Al Qaeda’s use of these things are invalid. I did, however, do a Yahoo search of “Al Qaeda’s use of one time cipher pads” and found not one reference from a reputable news source.

Obviously, Rice was concerned with mass communication with Al Qaeda followers. It’s difficult to imagine tens or hundreds of thousands of Al Qaeda faithful dutifully sitting around with their car batteries and short-wave radios and one time cipher pads waiting for the next message from OBL.

I did find one of your arguments, priceless, though. I quote you directly now:

“Re WHY the Sept 11 attack occurred, President Bush famously stated that it was because Al Qaeda "hates our Freedom". But that explanation was implausible for several reasons. Many readers here probably dislike some government on the other side of the world. China. Russia. But ask yourself -- how likely are you to go to that country, hijack a plane, and commit suicide by flying into a building?”


This emblematic of your logic, Don. You question the idea that Al Qaeda would commit suicide by crashing planes into buildings, because HNN readers are unlikely to crash planes into buildings. That is the difference between HNN readers and Al Qaeda members, Don.

Look, Don, you’ve shopped this theory around for several years now. I notice in this iteration you’ve removed most of the overt anti-Semitism that existed in past versions. That’s a good thing. But it’s still an awfully silly theory.


Douglas M. Charles - 3/31/2006

Your attempt to link Clinton and Carter with Bush's clearly illegal program is lame.

Bush made no claim that FISA exempted him from seeking a warrant. No, Bush claimed Article II and the post-9/11 Congressional resolution gave him the authority to snoop electronically.

Why don't you support your claims? (Or did you just "borrow" them from some right-wing site?) Show us Bush's executive order citing FISA as not requiring him to seek a warrant to eavesdrop on American telephone calls. Clinton did this; Carter did this; Bush did not.


Douglas M. Charles - 3/31/2006


Oh, well, spy stuff. I guess the Constitution, checks and balances, accoutnable government all doesn't count when it's "spy stuff."

One has got to love Americans who are willing to sell their liberties wholesale while wearing blinders.


Michael John Keenan - 3/31/2006

Protect them? What? Like I said in the beginning our Liberty and Republic in theory, if not in practice, no longer exisits. We are in a constitutional crisis. Bin Laden did not do. Mr Bush did it. You know all those secret little hush-hush signings.

Because I am over due for dinner let me leave you with a link and if I can dig it up after that I will send that reference ahead:

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/

You would be surprised to know amigo just how much Mexican blood has been shed to defend the United States. And certainly in reverse, as President Lincoln pointed out on a map that American blood had not even been shed within the United States. Over his objection we invaded Mexico.

Tell you what compadre. Are you sure that maybe after Church we could toast to that big bad o'wolfs demise cockroach style instead? The Constitution and the hemp it is printed on needs some protection real quick right now.


Michael John Keenan - 3/31/2006

Protect them? What? Like I said in the beginning our Liberty and Republic in theory, if not in practice, no longer exisits. We are in a constitutional crisis. Bin Laden did not do. Mr Bush did it. You know all those secret little hush-hush signings.

Because I am over due for dinner let me leave you with a link and if I can dig it up after that I will send that reference ahead:

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/

You would be surprised to know amigo just how much Mexican blood has been shed to defend the United States. And certainly in reverse, as President Lincoln pointed out on a map that American blood had not even been shed within the United States. Over his objection we invaded Mexico.

Tell you what compadre. Are you sure that maybe after Church we could toast to that big bad o'wolfs demise cockroach style instead? The Constitution and the hemp it is printed on needs some protection real quick right now.


Rob Willis - 3/31/2006

Dude, you are overdue for a bong hit.

And you wonder why the people of the U.S. are reluctant to allow you to protect them?

Site your source, comrade. What is the required number by law in both houses to make this all better in your mind?

R.


Bill Heuisler - 3/31/2006

Since you both are ideologically afflicted I'll be gentle.

Mr Charles, there's a difference between the FISA Legislation and the FISA Court. The purpose of the FISA Court is to issue warrants. There is no function open to judicial action other than issuance and oversight. Carter's, Clinton's orders bypassed the court, as did Bush's.

For you to babble hysterically that
Clinton's Exec Order 12949 ("The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order...") "rests ON THE FISA Act. FISA allowed for this type of search!" shows callow ignorance.

Congressional Legislation included the alternative that excludes the court itself by definition. Read it.
Not needing a warrant means not needing to go to the judge. But you evidently have little experience in such things.

So here's some homework:
1) Look up Katz v. US and read White's concurrance aloud twice.
2) Look up US v. US District Court and read Powell's opinion twice.
3)Look up the Hamdi decision on AUMF.
4)Read the Truong Dinh Hung quote again ("We take for granted that the president does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.")...and then explain how those words can be used to counter the President's power.
5) Say a good act of contrition...

Not attacked before 9/11, Clarke?
Mr. Clarke was apparently sedated while getting an adjectival implant in 1993 when Iraqis built a bomb and
masterminded the WT Towers bombing.
Jim Fox, FBI Senior Agent in NY for the investigation of the World Trade Center bombing, testified in Court that the mastermind, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, entered the U.S. on an Iraqi passport and was known in multiple communications as Rashid the Iraqi. Fox testified the bomb-maker, Abdul Rahman Yasin, fled to Baghdad where he was employed by the government.

Others have noted how you missed the point... how you both missed the point. Evidence? You want evidence we've not been attacked since 9/11? And Charles wants to redesign FISA?

Hopeless. One sign of derangement is the inability to perceive reality.
Bill Heuisler


Michael John Keenan - 3/31/2006

The number required by law in both houses was never consulted. What are they trying to hide?


Michael John Keenan - 3/31/2006

Francisco "Pancho" Villa did!


Michael John Keenan - 3/31/2006

Kerry happened to have made a 90 DEGREE turn and successfully attacked the "enemy."

And so the resentment grows over a pretend Terror-at-war King who did not turn anywhere that can be determined continually denegrate literally his and only his STANDING ARMY.

Bin Laden objects to a standing army. I am beginning to object to a standing army. I have considered calling for a resolution on the want and burden of a
standing army, but when Bin Laden in his second objection tells he wants to hold my hand, and tells me what I should believe regarding my religion, there suddenly comes between us a gaping maw. My mind and my body are my own property. Consent always comes first. Coercion is for losers.


Michael John Keenan - 3/31/2006

My post was taken down. Oops. Did I mention Israel?


Rob Willis - 3/31/2006

Gee, a senate panel of former FISA judges disagree with you.

Oh, and not telling anyone? Part of the job at the higher levels. You know, spy stuff. Get over it.

R.


Douglas M. Charles - 3/30/2006

>>"One key point about the NSA program- the senate commitee knew about it, so I hardly think that qualifies as a unilateral tyrannical power grab on GWB's part."

More distortion / ignorance from Bush partisans. Knowing about something (and being told they can't discuss it with anyone) is NOT consent nor oversight.


Michael John Keenan - 3/30/2006

Remember too that it was Sharon that commited the sacriligious act of visiting the holy of holies in the middle of the night and set off the second infatada. Up until then Sharon was not even on the radar which reveals a deliberate attempt at mayhem.

My dear Israel owes a BIG apology on that one.

Our money should go to Katrina Bush victims now anyway. Screw the trouble makers.


Steve Broce - 3/30/2006

"America is the big dude on the block. Attack him and you get decked. Very few have ever tried. Very few will."

Exactly, Peter, and yet Al Qaeda is obviously one of the few. Clinton, during most of the 90's tried to act otherwise, playing silly tit-for-tat games with Al Qaeda, taking out an Asperin factory here and a deserted training camp there.

Finally, Bush decided to start acting like the "big dude on the block".
It was about time and I don't beleive it would have happened under a Democratic Administration. That is why we are safer with Bush's "war on terror".


Don Williams - 3/30/2006

The President is the only man in Washington who can vote to halt the runup in debt --via the veto. If the President allows the pigs to feed at the trough, then a
Congressman has to throw in the towel at some point and compromise to ensure his constituents are not left out in the cold.

By the time those "fiscal conservatives" Ronald Reagan and George H Bush left office, federal debt has soared --in the space of 12 years --from $700 billion to $4 Trillion. All personally approved over the signature of Reagan and Bush.

At that point, every US citizen owed an amount on the federal debt equal to 4 times his annual tax bill.

By the time Bill Clinton left office, that amount had shrunk to 2.8 times his annual tax bill. Not perfect, but not bad given the huge interest that had to be paid on the Reagan Bush 1 debt.

But since George W Bush took office, federal borrowing has again exploded. See this chart of debt as percentage of GDP:
http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

Republican "Borrow and SPend" is FAR worse than "Tax and Spend " -- because the pain and eventual bill is hidden temporarily. A spendthrift limited to his paycheck may not save, but we are in far worse trouble. We've given a drunken spendthrift our credit card with no spending limit.

Of the $9.9 TRILLION debt we will have in 2008 (I think it will be higher) over $7 TRILLION will have been personally approved by Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

Plus our population is much older than when Reagan took office. Roughly $4 Trillion of the debt is held by the Trust Funds for Social Security/Medicare and will have to be paid off if the baby boomers are not to eat dog food.

AARP (Amer Assoc of Retired Persons) is already the strongest lobby in Washington -- and I don't think it will get weaker with millions of boomers entering retirement.

So how will the Republican debt be paid off? How will future governments raise $10 TRILLION over and above current taxes today?

The only new source of revenue I see is extremely high taxes (60% plus) on the "before Tax" assets of middle class IRAs/401Ks.

In other words, George W has ensured that the life savings of his middle class Republican supporters are toast.


Frederick Thomas - 3/30/2006



Mr. Williams:

Your post was too long, and moreover, too unfocused. I understand what you are trying to do, but you are not there yet. All humans may well be corrupt at some level, but beyond that we part ways.

Consider the truism that if government is bad, big government is worse. The blessing of our early years was that the feds had no income except from tariffs and whiskey taxes. This was Jefferson's method: hobble the feds by cutting off sources of income. He violated this approach in the case of Louisiana and the Barbary war, but generally followed it.

Today's government has its hand in the pocket of every worker, every business, and thus permitting it to make much bigger mistakes.

Your suggestion that socialism can reverse this is demonstrably wrong. The worst government in history was the most left, and the USSR butchered 63 million of its own citizens over 70 years, according to "Murder by Government," to prove my point.

Perhaps you can profitably reverse this philosophical conundrum by adopting Jefferson's libertarianism, in which government is hobbled, and actual freedom can prosper without it.

And by the way, the "borrowing" from Social Security started with democratic congresses, not with Newt Gingrich as you suggest. But if you do want to bash Newt, at least admit that Clinton was president, and that Newt actually did cut some taxes.


Don Williams - 3/30/2006

Or are you thirsting for more?


Don Williams - 3/30/2006

See, e.g., my earlier comment re Condi Rice twisting the arms of TV network CEOs to keep them from broadcasting Bin Laden's comments after Sept 11
----------------
Re WHY the Sept 11 attack occurred, President Bush famously stated that it was because Al Qaeda "hates our Freedom". But that explanation was implausible for several reasons.
Many readers here probably dislike some government on the other side of the world. China. Russia. But ask yourself -- how likely are you to go to that country, hijack a plane, and commit suicide by
flying into a building? Why were so many of the hijackers from Saudi Arabia -- an alleged ally?
This question --WHY -- should have been easy to answer but for some reason was resolutely ignored by the TV networks.
3) The American people might have heard the reasons from Bin Laden -- but remember how Condi Rice went to the heads of the five major networks in October 2001 and twisted their arms to suppress any future broadcasts of Bin Ladin statements? See; e.g,. http:// www.motherjones. com/commentary/ columns/2001/10/ warmedia.ht
ml and
http:// www.freerepublic .com/focus/f- news/544668/ posts
The Network CEOs fell over themselves to comply, since their profits are directly dependent upon rulings by Bush's FCC . At the time, you may recall, the networks were pushing for favorable rulings that
Would allow them to further extend their oligarchy --rulings which they received.
Anyone at all familiar with intelligence operations knows that Condi Rice's stated reason for the censorship --that Bin Laden might somehow signal to his followers via The edited TV broadcasts -- was utter bullshit.
4) Let me digress into some technical detail, because it's important in showing that Condi Rice knowingly deceived American when she pressed the TV Networks to censor Bin Laden's broadcasts.
Since at least WWII, leaders of insurgents have been able to send coded messages worldwide via Shortwave radio. The transmitter is about the size of a briefcase and can be highly mobile --since it can run off of an automobile battery.
The messages are sent in a form of encryption called the "One Time Pad" or "One Time Key Pad". Basically, text is converted to a string of numbers ( A= 01, B=02, Z= 26,etc). The sender encrypts the message by adding a string of random numbers to the text string. The receiver subtracts the same Random string from the received encrypted text and converts the resulting string back to text (01=A, 02=B,etc.) As long as the string of random numbers is used only once and destroyed , then the encrypted
Message is impossible for ANYONE to break and read --even the National Security Agency.
You can hear such encrypted shortwave messages being sent on any night -- see
http:// www.dxing.com/ numbers.htm . It is hard for covert agents to SEND messages from hostile territory -- or to send messages to other agents
Within hostile territory --without being detected.
But it has always been EASY for such agents to RECEIVE
One way encrypted broadcasts from headquarters in uncontrolled areas without being detected.
All they need is a shortwave receiver (easily purchased anonymously at Radio Shack or easily built), a schedule, and A copy of the one time pad to decrypt the messages. (Note that a one time pad big enough to encrypt most of the Encyclopedia Britiannica could be carried on the common San Disk flash memories available at CompUSA . Although anyone who puts intelligence info on a computer is a moron --since computers are impossible to secure. Note also that couriers can easily deliver huge numbers of one time pads into the US by simply swallowing a memory chip prior to coming here. Of course, men always have one hiding place and women have 2. )
5) Bin Laden had no need to resort to Condi Rice's "Bomb Cleveland if I tug on my right ear" fantasy. He had far better methods available. The only thing Condi Rice accomplished was to censor major facts from the American people. The question is WHY?
NOTES:
1) Re Al Qaeda's use of the one time pad, see http:// www.theatlantic. com/doc/print/ 200409/cullison
The One Time Pad encryption is mathmatically provably unbreakable --even by NSA. So we should be skeptical when Negroponte puts ups alleged letters being passed among Al Qaeda leaders. Even if Negroponte intercepted such letters (strange since they can easily be put on a microdot and hidden on a courier), Negroponte could not read them if they were encrypted with the one time pad. We should also remember that false propaganda --aka black propaganda -- used to disrupt/confuse the enemy is considered an art form by the CIA. 2) A FBI affidavit describing how one time pads and shortwave reception was used by a Cuban spy in Washington is here: http:// www.canfnet.org/ News/archived/ 011003newsa.htm
3) Re Al Qaeda's use of shortwave radio, here are several citations:a) From the Los Angeles Times article at
http:// billstclair.com/ 911timeline/ 2002/ latimes122202.ht ml
"Mohammed has been operating out of Karachi on and off for a decade. He communicates with Al Qaeda cells around the world by courier, e-mail, coded telephone conversations and shortwave radio; " b) From New York Daily News article at http:// www.nydailynews. com/news/ wn_report/story/ 10230p- 9646c.html

"The ex-official said he guided Bin Laden to safety in about mid-December, around the time American troops intercepted a shortwave radio message from Bin Laden to Al Qaeda soldiers fighting in Tora Bora."
c) From Time Dec 2001 article at http:// www.time.com/ time/asia/news/ printout/ 0,9788,188614,00 .html

"Bin Laden has resorted to giving orders on shortwave radio, U.S. authorities suggest, because there's no one else left to do so."
---------------


Don Williams - 3/30/2006

Another earlier comment I posted here at HNN and elsewhere:
----------------
1) Re Bin Laden's third reason for Islamic Jihad against the USA -- the US government's support for Israeli
killing of the Palestinians, Bin Ladin indicated in a Nov 2001 interview, published in a Pakistani newspaper called DAWN, why the Sept 11 attack occurred:
"The Sept 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America's icons of military and economic power. .....The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government, they elect their president, their government manufactures arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians. " (See <http:// www.robert- fisk.com/ usama_interview_ hamid_mir_ausaf. ht
m> for a transcript of the interview )
2) 5) Recall Clinton's attempt in 1999 and 2000 to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians. An Israeli legislator, Sharon, sabotaged the talks by going into the Al Aqsa --the third most holy Islamic mosque -- with several hundred policemen. Sharon used the ensuring riots that he triggered to win election as Prime Minister and then hit the Palestinians hard. In spring of 2001, he even used F16s fighters bought from the US to bomb Palestinians, arousing the anger and condemmation of the world.
3) Bush's statement at that point in early 2001 --that peace had to be left to the Israelis and Palestinians to work out and that his Administration intended to stand aloof -- was infuriating to the Islamic world in its deceitful hypocrisy.
Sharon can kill Palestinians with impunity because Israel is the most powerful military force in the Middle East --the result of massive arms shipments from the US. Israel's economy had been supported by over $91 billion in direct aid from the US over the past decades --and by an ongoing subsidy of $3 billion/year plus $3 billion/year to buy off Egypt (most powerful Arab nation). In contrast, the US has left the Palestinians to rot in poverty and disease within refugee camps with an average income of $1600/year.
Bush invaded Iraq and killed an estimated 10,000 Iraqi civilians while pursuing non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction -- but the US government has done nothing in the past several decades as Israel has developed 80+ nuclear warheads with which to threaten surrounding Islamic states.
When the Islamic world sees Sharon drop a bomb on an apartment building in Gaza in the middle of the night, they know that the F16 dropping the bomb was made in America, the bomb was made in America, and the targeting mechanism was made in America.
When 9 children die in that attack and Sharon's government argues that they thought the building was unoccupied except for a terrorist leader, the Islamic world knows that is a lie -- that Gaza is among the most densely populated places on earth. When they see Bush accept Sharon's action , they know that the blood of those children is on Bush's hands as well as Sharon's. When Apache Helicopters fire missiles into Gaza intersections and kill civilians, the Islamic world knows those helicopters and missiles are made in America.
Bin Ladin's argument is that Americans need to realize that they will be held responsible for the actions of the US government. I don't think Bin Ladin realizes the extent to which the average American voter is systemically lied to and misled by a massive propaganda machine -- or the extent to which the average voter is kept ignorant of what sellouts in the US government do on behalf of Big Oil, Big Defense, and wealthy supporters of Israel.
4) For example , the State Department initially moved to condemn Sharon in April 2001 for using the F16s.
Bush, however, halted State Department criticism and gave encouragement to Sharon by selling Sharon 52 more F16s in June 2001, several months before the Sept 11 attack. (See http:// www.clw.org/ archive/cat/ newswire/ nw062001.html#Is rael <http:// www.clw.org/ archive/cat/ newswire/ nw062001.html> ,
<http:// www.clw.org/ archive/cat/ newswire/ nw060601.html> and search for "State Dept", See <http:// www.clw.org/ archive/cat/ newswire/ nw061301.html> and search for "Conyers" )
Why did Bush sell the F16s to Israel at a time when Sharon was using them to bomb civilians? Well, the F16s brought over $2 Billion in to Lockheed Martin, the huge defense contractor. Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne Cheney , was on Lockheed's Board of Directors from 1994 up to the Inaugural in Jan 2001. Plus, the F16s are made in Fort Worth Texas.

5) The final approval on the sale was announced a few days before the Sept 11 attack. One reason why our intelligence received no warning of the attack was the seething anger in the Arab world over the F16 sale. See
<http:// www.abc.net.au/ worldtoday/ stories/ s300179.htm>
6) See also this excerpt from <http:// www.iansa.org/ oldsite/news/ 2001/sep_01/ deal_israel.htm
> dated September 8,2001:
" The timing the US chose to announce its decision to give Israel the dangerous F-16 jets is really strange. It seems as though the US is telling Israel "Go ahead Sharon! Carry on with the assassination of Palestinian children and the destruction of the houses of peaceful civilians! Proceed with the destruction of the Palestinian defenseless people's infrastructure and with desecrating Islamic sanctities in the holy land!"
7) The fact this information has been hidden from the American people-- that it has never appeared in the mainsteam US news media -- shows the lengths to which wealthy men here in the US can mislead the American electorate because via the mass media monopolies.
8) Bush was pandering to Sharon because some of the largest campaign financiers of the Democratic Party are Supporters of Israel. Haim Saban , for example, alone gave the Democrats over $10 million in the 2000-2002 campaigns. See <http:// www.sptimes.com/ 2002/06/30/ Columns/ Jewish_voters_no tic
in.shtml>
Bush is trying to seduce those financiers away from the Democrats and he is pandering to these donors at the expense of the national interest.
9) The problem is not American Jews as a group -- many of whom do not support Sharon and Likud's aggression against the Palestinians. The problem is a small group of arrogant wealthy men -- some of whom are not Jewish --who let their egos,politics, and thirst for manipulation take priority over the loyalty they owe to the United States. Don't look at Richard Perle, for example -- look at his long time sugar daddy Conrad Black.

------------


Don Williams - 3/30/2006

Here are some of my earlier comments I posted here on HNN and elsewhere:
-----------------------------------
1) In his speeches after Sept 11, Bush told America that that "we did nothing to deserve this". Bush's rather vague and evasive explanation for why the attack occurred was that "they hate our freedom".
It is true that the people in the World Trade Center did not deserve the attack. But if "we" includes the US government, then Bush was deliberately lying to the American people.
2) The most casual Internet search will show that Bin Ladin gave a series of interviews to US TV networks in 1998 and that he repeatedly three main reasons for an Islamic Jihad against the US. See <http:// www.pbs.org/ wgbh/pages/ frontline/shows/ binladen/who/in
terview.html> and <http:// www.ict.org.il/ articles/ fatwah.htm> and <http:// www.southernct.e du/~seymour/ cases/terror/ binspks.htm&g
t;
The reasons were:
a) The US government's causing the deaths of more than "600,000 children" in Iraq during the 1990s via sanctions
b) US military support for the corrupt dictatorships of Saudi Arabia --done so that US oil companies could take the wealth of Saudi Arabia with the royalties flowing to US puppets and little to nothing flowing to the Saudi people
c) Massive US military support for Israeli killing of Muslim Palestinians and Israeli taking of Palestinian land
NOTE that all of the above information was in the archives of the TV networks -- but the networks concealed the information from the American public after Sept 11
3) In regard to reason (a), US air raids in the early 1990s destroyed Iraq's water plants. US sanctions prohibited the Iraqi import of water purification materials, resulting in massive number of deaths from people having to drink polluted water and dying from cholera, typhoid, infectious hepatitis, dysentery, and other diarrheal diseases.
A rather cruel way to encourage Iraqi rebellion against Hussein. The Physicians for Human Rights estimated in 1991 that over 69,000 children /year were likely to die as a result -- see <http:// www.phrusa.org/ research/ health_effects/ humiraq.html&gt
; . The Red Cross confirmed in 1999 that the death toll among young children had more than doubled in the 1990s due to polluted water and malnutrition. See
<http:// www.icrc.org/ Web/eng/ siteeng0.nsf/ iwpList74/ 4BBFCEC7FF
4B7A3CC1256B6600 5E0FB6#a1>
Yet almost nothing about this was shown to the American public by our deceitful TV networks --who lie as much by what they conceal as by what they say.
As does President Bush. NOTE how Bush's comment two weeks ago that we were not occupying Iraq before Sept 11 -- and hence Iraq provided Al Qaeda with no grievance -- was DECEITFUL in the extreme given that he deliberately omitted mentioning the massive devastation levied on Iraqi Muslims by the US government in the decade prior to Sept 11.
4) With regard to reason (b), note that the US government has kept the small Saudi kleptocracy in power via massive military aid and arms sales -- for almost 5 decades. The only wealth the Saudi people had --the only means they had to gain a future for their people -- has been stolen from them by the US government and its puppets.
No one could blame us for buying oil from whatever legal government exists in Arabia. But the US government has done much more than commerce. Consider, For example, Vinnell Inc -- the US company whose Saudi Headquarters was bombed by Al Qaeda in 2003. Now a subsidary of defense giant Northrup Grumman, Vinnell has been helping the House of Saud keep the Arabian people under their thumb for decades. See, for example, the article "Mercenaries Inc.: How a U.S. Company Props Up the House of Saud " at ><http:// www.commondreams .org/views03/ 0513-06.htm> . A short excerpt:
----------
" The Saudi National Guard is a 55,000 man military force whose main job is to protect the Saudi monarchy from its own people, using arms from the United States and training supplied by roughly 750 retired U.S. military and intelligence personnel employed by the Vinnell Corporation of Fairfax, Virginia. A January 1996 article in Jane's Defence Weekly describes the SANG as "a kind of Praetorian Guard for the House of Saud, the royal family's defence of last resort against internal opposition." The November bombing -- which killed five Americans and wounded thirty more -- was certainly brutal, but it was far from senseless. As a retired American military officer familiar with Vinnell's operations put it,
"I don't think it was an accident that it was that office that got bombed. If you wanted to make a political statement about the Saudi regime you'd single out the National Guard, and if you wanted to make a statement about American involvement you'd pick the only American contractor involved in training the guard: Vinnell."
The story of how an obscure American company ended up becoming the Saudi monarchy's personal protection service is a case study in how the United States government has come to rely on unaccountable private companies and unrepresentative foreign governments to do its dirty work on the world stage, short-circuiting democracy at home and abroad in the process."
---------------- ------
5) Much the same procedure has been followed in Kuwait and the UAE -- use massive military sales to prop up puppet dictators who will write sweet heart contracts with the oil boys in Houston.
You will notice that Fox News never mentions to the American people that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE are among the few countries in the world which refuse to provide income distribution statistics to the UN and World Bank.

------------


Michael John Keenan - 3/30/2006

Actually, just prior to 9/11 Senator Byrd took testimoney from department of defense auditors that they could not account for 2.3 trillion dollars in defense money. Hill-buddy-burton? So the cross ate up the cresent moon?


Steve Broce - 3/30/2006

Is this the same Don Williams that has argued for years that we deserved to be attacked on 9/11?


Don Williams - 3/30/2006

I always thought that gun control advocates were big pussies -- that they were willing to create a police state to serve as a daddy surrogate that would protect them from all dangers--no matter how improbable.

But Bush supporters are far, far worse.
The USA is the world's most mighty nuclear-armed superpower. Even before
Sept 11 , we were spending more on the military than the next 23 largest military powers COMBINED. Today, our $450 Billion/year military budget probably exceeds the rest of the world COMBINED. And most of the other major powers are our ALLIES. See,e.g., http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=1040&;StartRow=11&ListRows=10&appendURL=&Orderby=D.DateLastUpdated&ProgramID=15&from_page=index.cfm

In his 2003 book "How to Make War" James Dunnigan lists his index of Land Combat Power for nations of the world. USA power was listed at 2,448.
By contrast, the military of the awesome Saddam Hussein was listed at only 84. Yet Bush is telling us that Hussein was going to attack us!

Al Qaeda was not even on the map. In terms of power, Al Qaeda ranks somewhere around the Crips.

Yet Bush supporters are suggesting we surrender our basic civil liberties-- and scrap major checks and balances in the Constitution -- because of the Al Qaeda bogeyman.


James F Callahan - 3/30/2006

I would suggest, before throwing boulders at Bush for his usurpation of powers (the argument some offer - which I do not necessarily and wholly disagree with) you really should consider Bill Clinton and his intrusion into your private areas. Bush is doing what Bill started and did without legal and public pronouncements. Only one example for now: Chicago Housing Authority.

It is unfortunate that historians are no less partisan than hired attorneys.


Don Williams - 3/30/2006

I emailed Rick with a headsup earlier. Here's his reply:
--------------
Hi Don,

I'm glad you took the time to let us know.
I updated the homepage a few hours ago with some new material and the
Appleby article accidentally was deleted.

It's back.

Rick


Rick Shenkman
Editor
mailto:editor@historynewsnetwork.org
-------------


Rob Willis - 3/30/2006

Peter, remember the first world trade center attack in '93?

And the administration has offered evidence of plots that have been derailed since 9/11.

One key point about the NSA program- the senate commitee knew about it, so I hardly think that qualifies as a unilateral tyrannical power grab on GWB's part.

R.


Steve Broce - 3/30/2006

Peter, as you are wont to do, you have completely missed the point.

The question, of course, is not WHEN were we ever attacked in the United States before 9/11, but WHY have we not been attacked since.

I guess you would have us believe that Al Qaeda simply has no wish to attack us again. This is silliness on your part. Al Qaeda would, no doubt, love to attack us again IN THE UNITED STATES. That they haven’t is evidence that the war on terror that you so disdain has been effective.


Michael John Keenan - 3/30/2006

Learn the difference between DOMESTIC and FOREIGN, because there is a difference when it comes to wiretaps allowed viz., the White Panther Party was a domestic party. (Mueller did admit by-the-way in testimoney before Congress that it was wrong to spy on students during the sixties.) Maybe because this administrations Justice Department has redacted the history from the Supreme Court decision I refered to in US vs.US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (407 US 297 314 1972)explains why your clueless.

"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent."

http://www.thememoryhole.org/feds/justice_redaction.htm

Don't tell me they managed to swipe your brain too!

Another reason my be because investigating a blow job required 5000 subpoenas during Clinton's administration versus a total of five that have occured so far under the "Leadership" of my Congressman David Dreier and BushCo's administration. NO subpoena no cigar. I judge we are about 4996 subpoenas woefully behind right now. So if you want to be fair and include all wrong doing lets also be fair and call for some subpoena power.

Suit yourself. I offer the original shot heard around the world:

ARTICLE 29: We the voters of Newfane would like Town Meeting, March 2006, to consider the following resolution:
Whereas George W. Bush has:
1. Misled the nation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
2. Misled the nation about ties between Iraq and Al Quaeda;
3. Used these falsehoods to lead our nation into war unsupported by international law;
4. Not told the truth about American policy with respect to the use of torture; and
5. Has directed the government to engage in domestic spying, in direct contravention of U.S. law.
Therefore, the voters of the town of Newfane ask that our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives file articles of impeachment to remove him from office.

The continued two wrongs make right doesn't work for me. Clinton was the first to remove Habeas Corpus. That was worth impeachment but came in second to that famous blow job according to Kenneth Starr. He completely missed the mark - what a sin that was.

Finally, I swore to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights from both INTERNAL and EXTERNAL enemies. Outing a CIA agent means the internal threat has a red level priority right now. Rest assured after taking care of our native fascists the foreign ones will be a snap.

PROUD as ever. (fascist hate that word.)

I am Citizen Michael John Keenan

p.s. I will be down at our Farmers Market this Sunday after Church collecting signatures for Impeachment. Give a hand to cook this wolf and later we can share a toast together over the demise of the wolf.


Michael John Keenan - 3/30/2006

Learn the difference between DOMESTIC and FOREIGN, because there is a difference when it comes to wiretaps allowed viz., the White Panther Party was a domestic party. (Mueller did admit by-the-way in testimoney before Congress that it was wrong to spy on students during the sixties.) Maybe because this administrations Justice Department has redacted the history from the Supreme Court decision I refered to in US vs.US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (407 US 297 314 1972)explains why your clueless.

"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent."

http://www.thememoryhole.org/feds/justice_redaction.htm

Don't tell me they managed to swipe your brain too!

Another reason my be because investigating a blow job required 5000 subpoenas during Clinton's administration versus a total of five that have occured so far under the "Leadership" of my Congressman David Dreier and BushCo's administration. NO subpoena no cigar. I judge we are about 4996 subpoenas woefully behind right now. So if you want to be fair and include all wrong doing lets also be fair and call for some subpoena power.

Suit yourself. I offer the original shot heard around the world:

ARTICLE 29: We the voters of Newfane would like Town Meeting, March 2006, to consider the following resolution:
Whereas George W. Bush has:
1. Misled the nation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
2. Misled the nation about ties between Iraq and Al Quaeda;
3. Used these falsehoods to lead our nation into war unsupported by international law;
4. Not told the truth about American policy with respect to the use of torture; and
5. Has directed the government to engage in domestic spying, in direct contravention of U.S. law.
Therefore, the voters of the town of Newfane ask that our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives file articles of impeachment to remove him from office.

The continued two wrongs make right doesn't work for me. Clinton was the first to remove Habeas Corpus. That was worth impeachment but came in second to that famous blow job according to Kenneth Starr. He completely missed the mark - what a sin that was.

Finally, I swore to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights from both INTERNAL and EXTERNAL enemies. Outing a CIA agent means the internal threat has a red level priority right now. Rest assured after taking care of our native fascists the foreign ones will be a snap.

PROUD as ever. (fascist hate that word.)

I am Citizen Michael John Keenan

p.s. I will be down at our Farmers Market this Sunday after Church collecting signatures for Impeachment. Give a hand to cook this wolf and later we can share a toast together over the demise of the wolf.


Douglas M. Charles - 3/30/2006

"We have not been attacked in the US since 9/11 due to the actions of this administtration. Face facts.
Partly due to NSA surveillance."

This is an unproven assertion that is wholly without merit. You talk “facts,” yet you have no evidence whatsoever.

Then we get: "Have you lawyer manques become aware of United States v. Truong Dinh Hung . . ."We take for granted that the president does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power."

Too bad Hung is consistently cited as an example that "The question of the scope of the President's constitutional powers, if any, remains judicially unsettled." (Just check FindLaw.)

As for Clinton and his alleged Echelon program violating FISA, that is a view purported by right-wing news blogs. It has no credibility and, in fact, CIA Director Tenet testified that Echelon did not bypass FISA. Try another source besides the right-wing.

Then you predictably cite Jamie Gorelick and: "The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes."

This is not the same as Bush's illegal program. One, in 1994, when she testified FISA didn't cover physical searches. And, two, she advocated amending FISA to cover physical searches in her testimony!

Then you use this misleading tidbit: "Why don't you geniuses research before making fools of your selves?Look up Feb. 9,1995, when Clinton signed Exec Order 12949. It states: "The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year."

Clearly you didn't read the executive order, or you are purposefully distorting it, because the exec order rests ON THE FISA Act. FISA allowed for this type of search! It is not a bypassing of FISA.

The same goes for your Carter example: his executive order is rooted in FISA, it doesn't bypass it like Bush did.

In short, all Bill Heuisler does is to parrot right-wing tendentious claims, and to try to pass himself off as informed on the topic.


Steve Broce - 3/30/2006

Peter, I read the "Remember When" column and noted your criticism of the Democratic Party: "gutless, waffling unprincipled wimps."

Put it there, bro--at last, we agree on something.


Steve Broce - 3/30/2006

Sure glad that someone found this and made whoever stole it put it back


Bill Heuisler - 3/30/2006

Mr. Keenan,
Downloading text from Phil Burk's impeachbush.com web site is nothing to be proud of. The text and the people involved are true examples of aggregate ignorance. The site even instructs mouth-breathers how to cut and paste their own little piece of idiocy in special blank spaces.

Terms like defraud by intentionally misleading, conspired to commit and acted to strip are pretentious and comical - like moot court for kindergarten.

This is a clumsily obvious political attempt to hurt a president whose only offense has been success. We have not been attacked in the US since 9/11 due to the actions of this administtration. Face facts.
Partly due to NSA surveillance.

Have you ever wondered why even the more challenged Democrats like Reid and Pelosi have dropped this issue?
Because the Law agrees with Bush.

Have you lawyer manques become aware of United States v. Truong Dinh Hung 4th Cir. 1980? That's where Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review – the court that oversees the NSA process, ruled, "We take for granted that the president does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power."

Look it up.

Where you "patriots" upset when President Clinton’s Echelon program intercepted literally millions of communications involving United States citizens - including then-U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond.

Clinton authorized NSA to wiretap the home of CIA spy Aldrich Ames without any warrant at all. He then allowed NSA to include "classified electronic surveillance techniques, such as infrared sensors to observe people inside their homes."

Jamie Gorelick, 9/11 Commission member and former Clinton Justice Department official, testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1994, "The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes."

Why don't you geniuses research before making fools of your selves?Look up Feb. 9,1995, when Clinton signed Exec Order 12949. It states:
"The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year."

Even sanctimonious Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12139 on May 23, 1979, declaring "the Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."

If you condemn the President for protecting the US, or seek to stop collection of intelligence on US citizens communicating with the enemy you're not nearly as smart as you think you are.
Bill Heuisler


Charles Edward Heisler - 3/29/2006

Ah Gary Hart, the poster boy for the post Kennedy school of bad personal behavior while in office.
It is good to know that these chaps have places in our institutions of higher learning as think tank participants in matters political.
Perhaps they would be better suited in our ethics departments, discussing the "Relevance of earning the public trust." or some other passe' concept.
First Churchill and now Hart--must be a gut grinder to pay your taxes in Colorado these days!


Douglas M. Charles - 3/29/2006


Oh come on! It's not like Bush had sex and lied about it!


Frederick Thomas - 3/29/2006


Mr. Clark:

The Lusitania was a major part of Wilson's drum beating for war, right on up to the day it was declared. Every modern book on the subject is quite open about that. The real shipping manifest has survived, along with the phony one. She was a bomb when she sailed East.

And I have walked those fields southwest of Verdun, through Argonne and Montfaucon and up to the Meuse where almost 100,000 Americans died in two months of war which, except for canards like the Lusitania, 80% of Americans opposed.

And by the way, the shells of WW I have long since rusted away, and their TNT dissolved. "Walk, if you dare..." Sheesh! Go join the army and find out what you are talking about!


Don Williams - 3/29/2006

Republicans give Presidents a pass on thing like lying the country into a war which has killed 2300+ and wounded 16,000--many for life. Making a buck regardless of the damage to national security is what passes for morality in the Republican Party nowdays.

That's why George W gets a pass for repeatedly lying to the country. He gets a pass for
a) Telling the country in Feb 2001 budget that they intend to reduce the federal debt --that it will be $6.1 Trillion in 2008 -- and then telling us in Feb 2006 budget that alas, the federal debt will be $9.9 Trillion in 2008 , a jump of $3.8 Trillion
b) He gets a pass for telling us that the income tax cut for the rich was needed to create jobs -- all the time knowing that the rich are investing the money in China and creating jobs there, not in the USA
c) He gets a pass for manipulating the Sept 11 attack to serve the agendas of their oil company donors -- to deploy the US military in Central Asia in order to protect the wells Chevron is drilling in the Caspian Sea
d)He gets a pass for lying to us about the threat from Hussein --because the Republicans know that Israel viewed Hussein as a threat, that the Democrats are largely supported by billionaries who are strong supporters of Israel, and that the DNC will be kneecapped if those billionaires are lulled over to the Republicans. It's working too. Israeli billionaire Haim Saban gave the Democrats $15+ Million in 2000 and 2002 -- this time around in 2004 he only gave them 80,000 --plus 4,000 to George W as a gentle hint.
e) The Republicans also get a pass for stealing $3 Trillion from the Trust Funds for Social Security /Medicare -- and then telling us that those programs have a problem.


Rob Willis - 3/29/2006

Good luck, dude. But, you may want to read the steady stream of translated Iraqui documents coming to light beofre you stick your hand down the disposal.

You have too much time on your hands.

R. Willis


Michael John Keenan - 3/29/2006

Well, Mr Thomas, here is the resolution I am proud to say I introduced this March 28th to the City Council of Claremont California in the spirit of our cities Town Hall Vermont heritage.

It is still not too late to join in Mr. Thomas after all your are a Citizen are you not?


Resolution to Impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard Cheney conspired with others to defraud the United States of America by intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, in violation of Title 50 United States Code, Section 1805; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard Cheney conspired to commit the torture of prisoners in violation of the "Federal Torture Act" Title 18 United States Code, Section 113C, the UN Torture Convention and the Geneva Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution are part of the "supreme Law of the Land"; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard Cheney acted to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention without access to legal counsel, without charge and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant", all in subversion of law; and

WHEREAS, In all of this George W. Bush and Richard Cheney have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as President and Vice President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the City of Claremont and of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, it is the uniform practice of the US House of Representative to receive petitions or resolutions from primary assemblies of the people;
Be it resolved that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, by such conduct, warrant impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States;

Be it resolved further by the City of Claremont, That our senators and representatives in the United States Congress be, and they are hereby, requested to cause to be instituted in the Congress of the United States proper proceedings for the investigation of the activities of the President George W. Bush, to the end that he may be impeached and removed from such office.

Be it resolved further, That the Clerk of the City of Claremont be, and is hereby, instructed to certify to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, under the seal of the City of Claremont, a copy of this resolution and its adoption by the City of Claremont, and that this resolution be entered in the United States Congressional Journal. The copies shall be marked with the word "Petition" at the top of the document and contain the authorizing signature of the Secretary of State or proper authorizing signature.

I am Citizen Michael John Keenan


Michael John Keenan - 3/29/2006

You never addressed my first argument.

I love your fallicious reasoning that some how two wrongs make a right. If both were cases wrong then why is Cheney out there cheerleading for torture. I was taught that torture was never right under any circumstances in public school. Where did you go to school?

I voted to impeach Nixon in high school and I will do the same thing tonight before my city council when I bring forth a Resolution for Impeachment of both Cheney and Bush.

Why don't you join me and we can cook these two wolves together.


Michael John Keenan - 3/29/2006

How is this: Were the Founding Fathers this Bad? Sorry it was a late night.


Michael Antonucci - 3/29/2006

not to carry on forever on this debate, but you seem to use the theory that if something wrong was done in the past, it make the sin forgivable today, plus you are obviously very hung up on the democratic party and all they have done wrong in the past. If you can, please assess this president on his own record. Regarding the wiretaps, you state that they are terrorists' phone calls, we really don't know that for sure, my thought on this is that I don't mind the wiretapping, however, I do feel the law was broken, as do many constitutional scholars, and do circumvent Congress on this case leads me to the conclusion that it has probably been done previously, and this administration will have no qualms about doing it again. We must have a system that does not give any administration absolute power to disregard laws, Bush and his cohorts feel they have the right to do so, and feel their should be no questioning of their antics. This is wrong in every situation.


Steve Broce - 3/28/2006

Peter, I DO think for myself, that’s why I rarely find myself in agreement with you.

While you may believe both parties deserve condemnation, you seem to save your most potent venom for Republicans and the defenders of President Bush. You state
“Most of those sins are of little direct relevance to the topic of the article here (which HNN comment guidelines advise posters not to stray from)”. That may be true, but you were the one who chided Bush on the Kyoto matter. I assume you saw some relevance in that issue. I merely point out the Democrats unanimously rejected it in the Senate and display no small amount of hypocrisy in criticizing Bush over the matter.

As for the Democrats and your “many past comments over several years at HNN”, I have neither the time nor the inclination to sift throught the tripe that you’ve posted in the past trying to devine what you think about the Democrats. I prefer to take each of your posts, as you make them, and judged the quality of each individualy. Your latest post is not impressive.

What I HAVE noticed, Peter, is your penchant for using invective rather than facts and venom, rather than logic. Plus a tactic of trying to hide behind the HNN civility policy when you get a little of your invective back.

As for your not using a “light touch”, I ask no quarter. If I do ever find myself earning your respect, I ‘ll really start to worry.


Don Williams - 3/28/2006

1) Mr Thomas evidently can't see the big picture -- the forest --because he is hugging some of the trees.

2) It is true that the American Republic has always had it's full share of ruthless corruption. And that much of our self-satisfied national myths have been utter bullshit promulgated by publishers whoring for the rich.

3) The Constitution itself was created by a secret conspiracy pushed by wealthy interests anxious to protect their property-- and to acquire more. (The Convention in Philadelphia was supposed merely to address problems in interstate trade )

4) Ratification of the Constitution was shoved through by the wealthy. At the time, Aedanus Burke argued that the Constitution was a "second Revolution" whereby the wealthy re-enslaved the common citizens after the common citizens threw off the yoke of King George. In answer to Burke's questions, Samuel Bryan of Philadelphia described how wealthy merchants in Philadelphia ,via their influence with the Printers, had ramrodded approval of the Constitution through before people in the countryside had time to become informed of what was happening.
See, e.g., Saul Cornell's January 1988 article in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
'Reflections on "The Late Remarkable Revolution in Government": Aedanus Burke and Samuel Bryan's Unpublished History of the Ratification of the Federal Constitution '

5) But the times we are in are different in kind -- the end game of a 225 year process.

Sone of the Founders looked at 6000 years of history and found only a few instances in which humans were truly free --and had a voice in their government. James Madison --in his "Notes on Confederations Ancient and Modern" presented at the Convention -- argued that history showed that confederations of states did not last. Hence the Greek model was dropped. Instead, the Founders went with the "mixed government" model of the Roman Republic. (Circa 120 BC , Polybius had expanded Aristotle's political theory to explain the strength of the Roman Republic -- that Rome's government combined aspects of Rule by the One, Rule by the Few, and Rule by the Many into a system of checks and balances which prevented a collapse into tyranny. Polybius's theory was known to the Founders -- both those who read Polybius directly and because Machiavelli plagized it in bulk in his "Discourses" )

6) Some of the Founders -- Federalists like Alexander Hamilton -- were as bad as any of today's politicians. But Madison and Thomas Jefferson -- in concert with Governor Clinton of New York and President John Adams -- succeeded in destroying Hamilton. This country barely avoided a descent into tyranny in 1800 and survived due to the ensuing 50 years of rule by the Democratic Republicans.

6) Since the Constitution is the mechanism which controls and guides our evolution, the USA has developed along the lines of the ancient Roman Republic. After the overthrow of the King, we have been ruled by a Senate with popular elections. The loyalty of citizens gained by the myth of representative government has helped our ruling elites prevail over competing nations -- because citizens of republics are more willing to be cannon fodder in the acquisition of empire than are citizens of dictatorships, who are under no illusions about being screwed by the powers that be.

7) In consequence, we are in the time of Julius Caesar --or perhap Marius. In the course of a long struggle with a major rival (Carthage -- Soviet Union ) , we built up enormous military power. With the collapse of that rival , we now have unrivaled military power and can conquer the world --all in the name of "defense" of course.

8) The profits from this huge empire flow to a wealthy few while the huge costs --in blood and money -- are dumped off onto the common citizen.

Our middle class is being destroyed by a huge influx of cheap foreign goods and labor.

Our citizens army has been replaced by an army made up of long term mercenaries recruited from the urban poor. Many citizens are now unacquainted with military operations and fear them with that timid fear which ignorance brings.

For the first time in our 225 year history, we have a huge standing army which is unopposed by any countervailing force.

Our wealthy elites have made huge investments abroad and want those investments protected by the military --hence the veneration of a powerful executive who makes quick decisions over the deliberations of a congress. Hence the groundwork being laid for our republic to be replaced by a veiled dictatorship ruled by a new Augustus Caesar.

A process aided by the contempt with which many common citizens regard the Senatorial whores of a corrupt oligarchy. A contempt which will only increase as retiring baby boomers discover that the Republican Congresses of the past 12 years have stolen close to $3 Trillion from the Social Security and Medicare accounts of retirees.


Frederick Thomas - 3/28/2006


As an NRA life member who became one to piss off Hillary, among other things, I do not share your fears about big dictatorships coming out of this administration. But then, I am not inclined to hysteria anyway.

But historically speaking:

The Civil War was the worst for arms manufacturers' corruption in our history, I believe. This one, adjusted for inflation, is a comparative piker.

WWI would never have happened for us if our arms manufacturers not wanted to illegally export contraband to the warring parties. The Lusitania went down because of the 20,000 artillery projectiles illegally in its nose, not from the single torpedo, and that drew us in. Du Pont made out very well.

WWII was stinking with corruption. Consider the acquisition of many of the barrier islands off Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas by the War Department as "blimp bases." Owners were given pennies on the dollar, and the valuable vacation islands in question were never used for blimps, with one or two very temporary exceptions. Instead they ended up somehow in the hands of FDR cronies-your tax dollars at work.

Vietnam permitted Bell Helicopter to manufacture several thousand helicopters it otherwise would not have, and pulled it out of insolvency. In the course of that a style of infantry warfare was dictated which greatly increased US casualties unnecessarily.

Each of these trumps Haliburton any day.

By the way, I believe concealed carry reduces gun deaths sharply where it is properly implemented. It makes a crook feel uneasy, apparently, to know that the helpless old lady might be packing and blow his head off.


Frederick Thomas - 3/28/2006


Full of actual historical information and no myths I can see.

Thank you, Mr. Keuter!


Don Williams - 3/28/2006

Anyone remember the National Rifle Association?

Remember the NRA's argument that we needed to accept 10,000 gun deaths per year as the cost of freedom --
that if we started down the "slippery slope" of gun control, then (eventually )Americans would be disarmed and then an American President could , in the distant undefined future, overthrow the COnstitution and create a dictatorship?

So what happened? Members of the NRA like myself gave our time and money to prevent this -- and the NRA leadership elected an Administration which is destroying every Constitutional check and balance. Elected an Administration which is creating a dictatorship Today.

The Constitutional prohibition on "cruel and unusual punishment"? Dismissed with an airy wave and two-faced sophistry. The 1000 year old right to trial by jury? Gone. The Fourth Amendment ban on search without judicial warrents? Gone -- for no clear reason. Note that the above applies not just to foreign enemies but to American citizens.

Remember NRA leader Wayne LaPierre denouncing the federal "jackbooted thugs" during the Clinton administration? So why is Wayne so silent now?

Guns are a small part of a resistance. What value will they have given that Bush is deploying a massive surveillance infrastructure -- thousands of cameras in our cities. Surveillance of our phones and email.
A "defense" budget which is more than that of the rest of the world combined.

How long will our freedoms survive when defense contractors are now in the "anti terrorism" business -- when they now have a huge financial motive (protection of $Billion dollar "anti-Terrorism" contracts) to lobby Congress to give them even more money to build massive domestic surveillance systems? Systems which will eventually enslave Americans?



Frederick Thomas - 3/28/2006

Mr. Keenan:

You are still going to those daily torture sessions? You may want to dial it back a little-your posts are sounding a little nutty.

By the way, the worn-out argument that the Nazis are the all purpose comparison for evil is nothing but threads. Give it a rest.

The fact is that their military generally did observe the Geneva accords and ours often did not. Think of the firebombing of German civilians, the murder of POWs in the Rhine Meadows atrocity, etc.

And then you extoll the Neuremberg farse, which at Soviet insistence dispensed with all US protections and rules of evidence, tortured (real torture) the key witnesses to obtain forced confessions, coached phony "victims" to perjure themselves, and featured as a Soviet judge the arch criminal Vyzhisinsky who had ordered the Katyn Forest massacre of Poles. Really constitutional, right?


Steve Broce - 3/28/2006

Peter, I did read what you wrote. Twelve paragraphs of “the extremism of the Bush administration has been blatantly obvious ever since 9-11-01” and “but to instead pretend that the whole problem was basically a military one.”, and references to “dysfunctional foreign policy”. Oh, and then that grudging acknowledgement in the last sentence of your PS about Kosovo and Afghanistan.

For the record, I never said that you DID oppose the war in Afghanistan. If YOU will read MY post, you will see that I mentioned Afghanistan as a rebuttal to your “dysfunctional foreign policy” criticism of the Bush. As for repeating it “four or five times”, that’s typical of your hyperventilated exaggeration whenever anyone disagrees with you. I mentioned the war in Afghanistan but once.

What I did mention, not “four or five times”, but twice, was your silly suggestion that Bush should have focused on deficiencies in the building codes in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. I mentioned it twice because in the four and a half years since 9/11, I have never before heard anyone suggest that Bush should have focused on deficient building codes instead of instituting a war on the terrorist. That was a new one for me.

With respect to the Democrats, I criticized them for their “sin of commission” in rejecting Kyoto (which occurred before Bush was in office) and their hypocrisy in criticizing Bush for not supporting the very treaty that they themselves rejected; you criticized the Dems for their “spineless acquiescence” in the war on terror. Two different things entirely. You’re being just a bit disingenuous to conflate the two issues and suggest that you had chastised the Democrats on the issue of Kyoto. Actually, you saved all your criticism on that issue for Bush.

But I did appreciate the irony of your last paragraph, whining about “attacking the messenger” in the very same post that you referred to my remarks as “knee-jerk” and “hot air’. That was rich.


Frederick Thomas - 3/28/2006


Mr. Keenan:

Don't you trash my boy Milhouse.

For the record, what Nixon did was NOTHING compared to what LBJ did before him. Nixon simply had some nasty long term enemies who pulled off a coup d' etat disguised as an impeachment, in which Nixon had bad PR advice, and a senior FBI officer who broke the law and his oath to reveal details of an investigation in progress, but only the incriminating ones.

Nixon was impeached in retaliation for going after real Soviet agents in the film industry and media, the kind of Stalinist traitors who think they should have been rewarded for treason.

As one can see from the headlines every day, he sure didn't get 'em all, unfortunately. Maybe it's time to reconstitute the HUAC.


Frederick Thomas - 3/28/2006

...means "does not follow," of which your assertion is an example, Mr. Antonucci.

You state that "The issue at hand in the Hart article is George Bush..."

While it is true that Hart dearly wants to trash Mr. Bush, the issue in his words is "Five years and many decisions later, they've pushed the expansion of presidential power so far that we now confront a constitutional crisis."

How can one have a constitutional crisis NOW if all democratic wartime presidents (almost all of 'em) did much, much worse? In fact, they provide legal, court tested precedent for everything going on, and much more.

I have no problem with D's criticizing R's. I have a big problem if they torture fact and logic to do it, out of partisan motives. The War Powers clause is in the constitution, as you may be aware. The fact that Hart is an attorney and knows the law makes it even more disturbing.

But tell me, do you really believe that Mr. Bush's use of wiretaps of terrorists' phone calls into or out of the US is unconstitutional, or even improper? Do you believe that it has not gone on in every 20th century war, essentially all of which were started by Mr. Hart's party?


Rob Willis - 3/28/2006

What in the world did you just say???

R. Willis


Michael John Keenan - 3/28/2006

Where the "Fathers" this Bad?

In Jean Amery's, The Minds Limit, his capture and descent into torture by German Nazi's, starts by pointing out that his torturers showed no "banality of evil" in their faces. First there is the "laugh" and then the "first blow." The prisoner then realizes that
they are "helpless". Lost is the "trust in the world." Certainly there is no "mutual aid in nature." No. It
is time for the "business room." More commonly refered to as the "Black Room" in today's parlance.

But before describing his own torture the author makes "good on a promise I gave." Not that they where not specialists in torture, but more so his conviction that "torture was the essence of Nationalist Socialism....more accurately stated, why it was precisely in torture that the Third Reich materialized in all the density of its being."

I ask you dear Citizens should we also "codify" that the detainees at Camp Xray can also be children as
recently reported in the news? Not only does that sound slightly like the rule of anti-man but I do believe anti-child included. And if that is so then the rule practiced as such has "expressly established it as a princple." So just what else in "essence" does go on at Camp Xray? "Tricks"? Plead mercy, pray tell?
And now comes Abu Graib.

Refuse Himmlers offer for a Certificate of Maturity in History and stop those jet flights I would suggest, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld. Nay, to forsake the Constitution and be depraved of our humanity would be more painful in the end. Slavery to torture is all you will get. Go tell that to the Marines. And why Mr.Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld haven't you two already tendered your resignation?

At least Hitler was restrained from jettisoning the Geneva Conventions even with his back against the wall in February of 1945. I smell now the chief prosecutor Jackson's closing arguments at the Nuremberg trials.

I am citizen Michael John Keenan


Steve Broce - 3/28/2006

Actually, Patrick, it’s REALLY too bad that Clinton didn’t take Bin Ladin when he was offered by the Sudanese. Would have saved a whole lot of trouble. It’s also too bad that Clinton played tit-for-tat with Al Qaeda for eight years instead of taking care of the problem.

But actually, larding up your post with the “Bush stole the election in 2000” crap told me what I needed to know about you. You’re not serious about the issues.

By the way, a consortium of media outlets performed a recount of all the ballots, after the Supreme Court ruled—Bush had more votes under every likely recount scenario. See

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html

Besides, if Gore didn’t want the courts to decide, he shouldn’t have taken the matter to court in the first place.

And insofar as Afghanistan is concerned—it was a lot easier for the Taliban and Al Qaeda there when Clinton and Gore ran things around here. I think I like Bush’s approach better. I KNOW I feel a lot safer now.

PS—you probably wouldn’t recognize what the press calls a “presidential vacation” as anything like a vacation that you’re used to. It’s called a working vacation for a reason.


Jason KEuter - 3/28/2006

The paranoid style in American politics is alive and well among those arguing that the Bush administration is amassing power to institute a fascist police state of some sort. The left would do well to examine more carefully actual police states, where Presidents really do amass unaccountable power and then turn around and use that power to the detriment of "their" people and their neighbors. Chavez comes to mind.

I'm curious which fathers couldn't imagine amassing and abusing Presidential power with Congressional Complicity. Could the authors be referring to his rotundity John Adams, whose Federalist Party put the Alien and Sedition Acts on his desk, which he was more than happy to sign and enforce? Those acts led to deportations and jailings of political oppontents. Anyone arguing that the Bush administration is doing anything remotely similary is simply bent.

Before someone posts something about Jefferson and Madison and Kentucky and Virignia Resolutions, remember that the militias of both of those states were mobilized against the Federal Government. Iff you're looking for a modern equivalent of such a thing, look no further than paranoid gun freaks holed up in Cabins believing in Zionist ATF men running the world.

It was routine for "the fathers" to accuse one another of the grossest crimes, from fathering bastard chldren to being agents of the French and/or British and/or Spanish. The fathers would relate quite well to paranoia of the "impending police state" professors as the fathers saw the same apocalyptic visions in the ideas and actions of their opponents.

I have long lamented the gross ignorance of the early history of the fragile Republic. In particular, the myopic myth that consigns foreign policy and security concerns to the background, when those concerns were the paramount reason the Constitution was drafted in the first place!

Lincoln JAILED his major political opponents during the Civil War.

Dream on




Michael John Keenan - 3/28/2006

I come from Nixon's old congressional district and as God is my Fuhrer believe that:

We are in a state of constitutional crisis. For Rumsfeld to lobby on intelligence reform and now have military acts off the books means that the "linchpin" of the constitution, the taxing and spending powers of
Congress, of raising standing armies, has now been violated. My Congressman David Dreier now has no way to effect neither my Liberty nor my Republic.

Our constitution was specifically designed to avoid this combination of the President's office with the Defense Department; that the King shall not have his own standing army to send willy-nilly to wherever he
thinks he has the pleasure too. That is why I can never believe the neo-cons or Alitos et al., claims to absolute presidential power as Commander-and-Chief even during war. The claim of inherent power of the president has already been settled under Nixon's attempt during the so-called Vietnam War. As Nixon’s assistant attorney general Rehnquist made the argument of inherent power to wiretap the White Panther Party without a warrant – during a war. This power, which was claimed to be held, under the President’s Oath of Office, was rejected by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision against suspending all or parts of the Constitution. Because this was Rehnquist’s argument as assistant attorney general he had to recuse himself from his very first decision after being appointed to the Supreme Court and rightly so. And guess what? America was still standing in the morning after this and Nixon's resignation avoiding his impeachment. This is in spite of a average of 6 bombings a day, 86 killed policemen, and a record 33,604 thousand injuries between the fall of 1969 and spring of 1970 by our own citizens protesting over the illegal invasion of Cambodia.

Unfortunately, Rehnquist conveniently ignores this when he reviews his history of the power of the President during war. He brings up WWI and WWII in this review. But, for some reason, he completely skips how his “inherent” argument on presidential power was slapped down by the Supreme Court during the undeclared, illegal and immoral so-called Vietnam War. This is bald face intellectual dishonesty, if not outright historical revisionism, that completely belies the important decision on the necessity of War - not to mention the young lives thrown willy-nilly into harm's way. And so much for a responsible versus an irresponsible debates Mr. Bush. That is why I completely reject the neo-con's medieval thesis that constitutional government is too weak to survive in a difficult world and that we should defer to a sole sovereign power since 9/11. We have become weaker since taking on this post 9/11 repeat of Rehnquist's "in terrorem" position. (I would like to read his memo on the subject of presidential power and the invasion of Cambodia but alas that memo has disappeared, nowhere to be found on the Internet. The persuasive force of his ideas no longer count I can only suppose). I only fear that our new Supreme Court justices Roberts and Alito will take what was a tragedy we survived and turn a repeated claim of 18th century inherent power into a farce that destroys the sheet anchor of our Republic - our precious Constitution – along with the Bill of Rights.

Censure is indeed warranted and so is impeachment. Nixon would have approved!

I am Citizen Michael John Keenan


Steve Broce - 3/28/2006

By the way, Peter, if you’re going to excoriate Bush for “trashing the principle of multilateral agreements on.. global climate change” (a reference to the Kyoto treaty, I presume), then at least be fair and save a healthy dose of opprobrium for the Democratically controlled Senate. The truth is that when Clinton brought the treaty home, it was DOA, even to his Democratic colleagues. The Senate, which was controlled by the Democrats at the time, by a vote of 95 to 0, rejected Kyoto.

That’s right, many of the Democrats who now piously deride Bush for pulling out of efforts to save Kyoto voted against it when they had the chance.


Charles Edward Heisler - 3/28/2006

Peter says "Take the second deficiency: motive. There is no consistent evidence that G.W. Bush seeks or has sought any fundamental change in the American system of government except inadvertently." after stating in the opening sentence that "this analysis is solid..."
Really Peter? My goodness it doesn't take much reason to satisfy you at all, just run up a "Bush is Bad" and you set aside all reason to slobber over the rather stupid authors of this screed!!!


Steve Broce - 3/28/2006

Are you serious, Peter? OBL, operating from Afghanistan, crashes four planes, three of them into occupied buildings, causing them to collapse. Three thousand dead. Your response: Bush should have focused “on the clearly revealed challenges for airline safety, building codes, information, education, and dysfunctional foreign policies”.

So the problem was not that for nearly a decade, Al Qaeda had been attacking us, it was that American building codes were deficient? This is silliness. Do you really suggest that a credible response to the events of 9/11 is to make our buildings “airliner impact proof”?

I guess the answer to the Cole bombing should have been stronger ships.

By the way, Peter, Bush DID focus on airline safety after 9/11. In case you’re wondering, all those chaps roaming the airport in the burgundy sweaters with “TSA” on the collar work for a new Federal agency that Bush created. They are responsible for “airline safety”

Oh, and that dysfunctional foreign policy, Bush changed that, too. Instead of lobbing a few cruise missiles into an aspirin factory and a deserted training camp, Bush went after Al Qaeda where they live. In Afghanistan.

One possibility that the “Bush power grab” has not been a central issue in American politics may be that there is little evidence that such a “grab’ is underway.

You claim that “Other countries have worse problems with terrorism than America but they haven't usually waged "war" on it,” Yes, Peter, and that is WHY those countries have a worse problem with terrorism. Of course, you’ve already stated what Bush should have done—strengthened the building codes.


Steve Broce - 3/28/2006

Are you serious, Peter? OBL, operating from Afghanistan, crashes four planes, three of them into occupied buildings, causing them to collapse. Three thousand dead. Your response: Bush should have focused “on the clearly revealed challenges for airline safety, building codes, information, education, and dysfunctional foreign policies”.

So the problem was not that for nearly a decade, Al Qaeda had been attacking us, it was that American building codes were deficient? This is silliness. Do you really suggest that a credible response to the events of 9/11 is to make our buildings “airliner impact proof”?

I guess the answer to the Cole bombing should have been stronger ships.

By the way, Peter, Bush DID focus on airline safety after 9/11. In case you’re wondering, all those chaps roaming the airport in the burgundy sweaters with “TSA” on the collar work for a new Federal agency that Bush created. They are responsible for “airline safety”

Oh, and that dysfunctional foreign policy, Bush changed that, too. Instead of lobbing a few cruise missiles into an aspirin factory and a deserted training camp, Bush went after Al Qaeda where they live. In Afghanistan.

One possibility that the “Bush power grab” has not been a central issue in American politics may be that there is little evidence that such a “grab’ is underway.

You claim that “Other countries have worse problems with terrorism than America but they haven't usually waged "war" on it,” Yes, Peter, and that is WHY those countries have a worse problem with terrorism. Of course, you’ve already stated what Bush should Are you serious, Peter? OBL, operating from Afghanistan, crashes four planes, three of them into occupied buildings, causing them to collapse. Three thousand dead. Your response: Bush should have focused “on the clearly revealed challenges for airline safety, building codes, information, education, and dysfunctional foreign policies”.

So the problem was not that for nearly a decade, Al Qaeda had been attacking us, it was that American building codes were deficient? This is silliness. Do you really suggest that a credible response to the events of 9/11 is to make our buildings “airliner impact proof”?

I guess the answer to the Cole bombing should have been stronger ships.

By the way, Peter, Bush DID focus on airline safety after 9/11. In case you’re wondering, all those chaps roaming the airport in the burgundy sweaters with “TSA” on the collar work for a new Federal agency that Bush created. They are responsible for “airline safety”

Oh, and that dysfunctional foreign policy, Bush changed that, too. Instead of lobbing a few cruise missiles into an aspirin factory and a deserted training camp, Bush went after Al Qaeda where they live. In Afghanistan.

One possibility that the “Bush power grab” has not been a central issue in American politics may be that there is little evidence that such a “grab’ is underway.

You claim that “Other countries have worse problems with terrorism than America but they haven't usually waged "war" on it,” Yes, Peter, and that is WHY those countries have a worse problem with terrorism. Of course, you’ve already stated what Bush should Are you serious, Peter? OBL, operating from Afghanistan, crashes four planes, three of them into occupied buildings, causing them to collapse. Three thousand dead. Your response: Bush should have focused “on the clearly revealed challenges for airline safety, building codes, information, education, and dysfunctional foreign policies”.

So the problem was not that for nearly a decade, Al Qaeda had been attacking us, it was that American building codes were deficient? This is silliness. Do you really suggest that a credible response to the events of 9/11 is to make our buildings “airliner impact proof”?

I guess the answer to the Cole bombing should have been stronger ships.

By the way, Peter, Bush DID focus on airline safety after 9/11. In case you’re wondering, all those chaps roaming the airport in the burgundy sweaters with “TSA” on the collar work for a new Federal agency that Bush created. They are responsible for “airline safety”

Oh, and that dysfunctional foreign policy, Bush changed that, too. Instead of lobbing a few cruise missiles into an aspirin factory and a deserted training camp, Bush went after Al Qaeda where they live. In Afghanistan.

One possibility that the “Bush power grab” has not been a central issue in American politics may be that there is little evidence that such a “grab’ is underway.

You claim that “Other countries have worse problems with terrorism than America but they haven't usually waged "war" on it,” Yes, Peter, and that is WHY those countries have a worse problem with terrorism. Of course, you’ve already stated what Bush should have done--strengthened the building codes


Steve Broce - 3/28/2006

You might add that Hart has a possible conflict of interest when it comes to providing unbiased analysis of the Bush administration. Like Al Gore, he appears to be perennially "testing the waters" as a possible Democratic presidential candidate.


Bill Heuisler - 3/28/2006

Charles,
You nailed it. But there's more. What's not being said is important.

Hart is an experienced attorney.
He served as appellate attorney in U.S. Department of Justice, Special Assistant at Department of Interior, and senior counsel to one of US's oldest international law firms, Coudert Brothers, where he helped engineer business ventures in Russia and Eastern Europe.

This lawyer implies criminality and unconstitutionality in the use of NSA surveillance of extranational terrorist-involved communications by relying on James Madison and the Federalist Papers? He's certainly aware of the law, but deliberately avoids mentioning specifics. Why?

For instance, there are exceptions built into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that give possible sanction in the case of need or of special circumstances or emergency.

The Hamdi Case found authority in Congress' AUMF.
U.S. V. Montoya De Hernandez 473 U.S. 531, 538 (1985) acknowledged the Feds right to inspect on enttry and exit of the U.S. and this was extended to include informational property on computors and hard drives in U.S. v. Ramsey.

Also Byron White's concurrance in Katz v. U.S. and Powell's opinion in the "Keith" case of U.S. v. U.S. District Court leave open the question of Presidential authority and in Powell's case, he said an exception existed for foreign Intel as opposed to domestic.

In other words, no matter how you argue the matter, there's plenty of current legal justification for the authorization of NSA surveillance.
But rather than state legalities, this experienced lawyer chose to try and bamboozle a civilian audience and rely on 200 year old arguments that suited his political bias instead of recent case law.

You'd think an article to this site would be content with telling truth and letting readers of HNN weigh the evidence for themselves.
Bill Heuisler


Charles Edward Heisler - 3/28/2006

As we know, any argument that starts with a false premise cannot be argued logically.


"George W. Bush and his most trusted advisers, Richard B. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, entered office determined to restore the authority of the presidency. Five years and many decisions later, they've pushed the expansion of presidential power so far that we now confront a constitutional crisis."

Is a false premise which the authors, not surprisingly, do not argue with logic.
How in the world do those who submit arguments to a scholarly site come to believe that they can begin their discussions with a straw man and then wrap their political anger around that false argument? There is simply no evidence that Bush and his Vice President entered the Presidency with the goal stated by these authors--none! This is pitiful argument, shameful argument, intemperant argument, sophmoric argument--I would fail this effort and drip red ink throughout the thing.


Michael Antonucci - 3/27/2006

In your opinion then, who is entitled to criticize a president? Is it possible that someone from a different party can have a legitimate disagreement and not be condemned as 'partisan'. Should all criticisms be accompanied by a listing of similar transgressions done throughout history. The issue at hand in the Hart article is George Bush, if you disagree with Hart's assertion, so be it, but I would think a constructive defense would be to address the issues approached and make your case in support of. We have witnessed too much of the character assasination of those who just happen to have a different view. In regards to your comment about the spying on US citizens, the fact that many Republicans have a concern of it's legality totally discredits your accusation of 'senseless partisanship'.
It would be wonderful to go back in time and right of all histories wrongs, but we can't, we must deal with the present and the future, right now that is George Bush, and if he is doing damage to the constitution, all citizens must react now and not be affected by what was or was not done in the past.


John Cameron - 3/27/2006

Founders never for one moment envisaged the total greed & corruption lurking below the surface over decades that could get out of control "legally" due to complicity of governance with esteemed legal profession.


Frederick Thomas - 3/27/2006


"Just another hick in the mall" is a country song to the tune, "Just another brick in the wall." Download it some time-very humorous.

Seemed to go well with my memory of LBJ, a man even more gross in person than on TV, and of course the guy who signed off on "Project Phoenix," run by the CIA, in which VC were taken in a group up in a helicopter, hands bound, and the least knowledgable was thrown out, screaming audibly as he fell, to get the others to talk. I understand it usually worked.

Why, sir, is that not mentioned in this article? Simple: LBJ was D. If that does not seem terribly partisan to you, then you should perhaps reconsider your position.

By the way, "knee-jerk" lost its cachet years ago, and become the most tired of cliches. May I suggest you try somethin else, such as "convinced," or "committed?"


Frederick Thomas - 3/27/2006


Mr. Antonucci:

I think you mischaracterize my comments. I critique one-sided indignation, hypocritical posturing, and the type of "history" which overlooks far worse threats to the constitution than W's, because they were done by leftist presidents. Meanwhile, W is slammed for spying on US citizens who are talking to known terrorists!

Senseless partisanship masquerading as history, don't you think?


Smedley J. Bushmills - 3/27/2006

In a recent interview, Fran Liebowitz referred to progressive types who take the dogma of the left to a fanatical extreme as the "religious left."

It would appear that Mr. Thomas, with his inventive yet predictable repertoire of rhetorical ad homina like "superannuated lefties" and "just another hick in the mall" represents the analogue to Ms. Leibowitz's ironic coinage: the "knee-jerk conservatives" who resort to provocative irrelevancy whenever their professed orientation is challenged.


samuel D. Martin - 3/27/2006

MORE ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM FROM THE LEFT WING....

SAM MARTIN


Michael Antonucci - 3/27/2006

It appears your main critique of the article was not that it was inaccurate, but that it did not cover all the presidential violations that occured in the last 100 years. This goes along with the strategy of the current administration in how to defend the indefensible, attack the messenger, divert from the subject and don't address the problem, and try to confuse the public enough that they just lose interest.


Frederick Thomas - 3/27/2006

.
It would be nice if just once, authors such as these two superannuated lefties would apply the same standard to left regimes as they do to the less-left opposing party.

What about Wilson and the espionage and sedition acts, specifically aimed againt Irish- and German-Americans? What about the hysterical speeches against "those with hyphens who are not real Americans?" Unconstitutional enough for anyone? How about lying about the casualties which during the period Sept 11 - Nov 11, 1918 exceeded the rate of any such period in US history, including the Civil War? How about the warmongering in knowingly and secretly permitting illegal munitions on board the Lusitania, including 20,000 artillery rounds, leading to its total destruction by only one torpedo? How about starving the German civilians for several months after the war, leading to tens of thousnads of deaths? It seems that lying did not start with Bush. Golly!

Then there is FIDDER. Let's see, there is war mongering to get the US in by first provoking the Japanese to attack us, then failing to tell the crews of the doomed ships so the body count would climb. Then there was the effort to pack the Supreme court, and violate the constitution over and over by assumption of unconstitutional power over the economy and citizens' lives and property. Then we have some very serious violations of the "cruel and unusual" prohibitions in firebombing civilians deliberately, and atom bombing the poor Japanese, then the extensive tortures preceeding Neuremberg which were approved before FDR died, as was the infamous "Rhein Meadows" program which starved hundreds of thousands of German POWs to death after the surrender. Interesting stuff, no?

Then Truman, then LBJ...well, more of the same. Just another hick in the mall.

Mr. Hart should perhaps stay on board the "Monkey Business" with periodic Viagara deliveries and back off from critiques of his betters, and Ms Appleby should perhaps enjoy her retirement a little, because her "history" is really from lefty fantasyland.


Fred Greenbaum - 3/27/2006

Republicans have long pretended to one ideology while practicing another. They pretend to believe in a government of limited powers. But as soon as they gained control of the House Speaker Gingrich was voted more concentrated power than had been seen since the heyday of Uncle Joe Cannon. Bush is now claiming power seen nowhere in the Consitution or the practices of previous presidents. They pretend to believe in limited government to protect corporations from regulation while they attempt to regulate every aspect of our peronal life. During the Gilded Age they pretended to laissez faire while government favored giant corporations with railroad subsidies, land grants twice the size of homesteads, protective tariffs, courts, police and troops to break strikes, immigration laws that guaranteed a steady supply of cheap labor, banking laws that favored creditors over debtors, use of eminent domain for corporatilons at the expense of homeowners and small business, etc.


Fred Greenbaum - 3/27/2006

Republicans have long pretended to one ideology while practicing another. They pretend to believe in a government of limited powers. But as soon as they gained control of the House Speaker Gingrich was voted more concentrated power than had been seen since the heyday of Uncle Joe Cannon. Bush is now claiming power seen nowhere in the Consitution or the practices of previous presidents. They pretend to believe in limited government to protect corporations from regulation while they attempt to regulate every aspect of our peronal life. During the Gilded Age they pretended to laissez faire while government favored giant corporations with railroad subsidies, land grants twice the size of homesteads, protective tariffs, courts, police and troops to break strikes, immigration laws that guaranteed a steady supply of cheap labor, banking laws that favored creditors over debtors, use of eminent domain for corporatilons at the expense of homeowners and small business, etc.


James Madden - 3/27/2006

I think what the founders never imagined was a Congress--the Senate especially--where partisan loyalty would trump Constitutional obligations.


Stephen Philip Johnson - 3/27/2006

Actually they did as demonstrated in the article and the citations from the Federalist papers. They imagined this admin and provided mechanisms against such abuse of power. The problem is the congress is more concerned about supporting the president than they are about upholding the law. If it was a democrat in the oval office they would let any of this happen.

The solution is now up to the electorate. Vote the bums out.


John H. Lederer - 3/27/2006

" Bush has insisted that there can be no limits to the power of the commander-in-chief in time of war. "

Not even a little itty bitty one?


James F Callahan - 3/27/2006

... an Appleby or Hart. The underlying concern for these two venerated philodoxical denizens of the past is that Bush has "pushed the expansion of presidential power so far that we now confront a constitutional crisis."

This crisis includes the claim that Bush believes "that there can be no limits to the power of the commander-in-chief in time of war." Furthermore, no satisfied to deal with presidential powers in time of war, the denizens wander off to consider the very serious issues of "domestic spying and the torture" and that "[t]he Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ... and the Intelligence Identification Protection Act, protecting the identity of undercover intelligence agents, have both been violated."

The leitmotif, in 12 words or less: wartime expansion of presidential powers, violation of the FISA and IIPA.

The courts deal with expansion of powers as they did for Truman. Take it to court. In fact, the courts have been used (think Nixon) to balance the imperialist state Nixon was equated with, and did so reasonably well (we survived). Unfortunately, what has happened is the courts are not falling all over themselves to strip the authority away, denounce the administration's position on the IIPA or FISA.

In fact, the more we learn the more problems exist in FISA and the IIPA is - if they are alluding to Palme, foolish claims at best.

Never did the Founders believe our nation would be in such peril, from the inimical tendency of soothsayers and the gruesome philodox.

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