Monday, May 31, 2004

Memorial Day 2004

A Leader for Perilous Times

This Sailor concurs fully with this article. - Sailor

May 30, 2004

A Leader for Perilous Times
Bush has risen to the challenge from an enemy that hopes to litter our landscape with dead Americans.

By Joshua Muravchik, Joshua Muravchik is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

George W. Bush's approval ratings are at a low. Some liberals, reports New Republic Editor Jonathan Chait, find Bush's very existence to be "a constant oppressive force in their daily psyche." Now even conservatives — such as columnists George Will, David Brooks and Robert Kagan — are pouring forth despair over the president's Iraq policies.

But my admiration for the man — for whom I refused to vote in year 2000 — grows ever higher.

A president's chief duty is to keep the nation safe in the dangerous tides of international politics. In 2000, I found candidate Bush too little engaged with this challenge. But since 9/11, he has offered the kind of leadership that ranks him with the greatest presidents of my lifetime, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan.

Like them, Bush is taxed with having a weak intellect and little mastery of policy details. Maybe so. But what Bush has, as they had, is a clear-eyed recognition of a great threat to our country, the courage to face that threat and a willingness to risk his political standing for the policies he deems essential to our security.

Sept. 11 was a watershed, but it was new only in scope, not in kind. For three decades, Middle Eastern terrorists had assassinated our diplomats, brought down our airliners, blown up our servicemen in their bunks and berths. They even bombed the World Trade Center. Yet as long as they were killing us in small batches, we responded with passivity, fearing to stir up more trouble.

Even Reagan, tough as he was, decided to slink away when Hezbollah murdered 241 of our Marines in their barracks in Beirut.

On 9/11, however, the terrorists managed to kill us by thousands at a swoop, and what Bush understood was that our policy of passivity, like the West's efforts to appease Hitler in the 1930s, had only invited more audacious attacks. He saw that we had no choice but to go to war against the terrorists and their backers. If we did not destroy them, the terrorists would set their sanguinary sights higher until they succeeded in killing us by the tens or hundreds of thousands.

He saw too that this war would be, as President Kennedy described the Cold War, a "long, twilight struggle" waged on many fronts and by many means. This meant that we would fight and some of us would die on his watch, but that victory could not possibly be achieved within so short a time as to enable him to claim credit.

Has our occupation of Iraq gone smoothly? Far from it. Have mistakes been made? No doubt.

Probably we should have sent more soldiers, not disbanded the Iraqi army, planned earlier elections and not adopted an artificial deadline for transferring sovereignty.

In the occupation of Japan we made mistakes too: trying to impose federalism, which was alien to the Japanese; purging so many collaborators with the old regime that it crippled economic recovery and stirred deep resentment.

Perhaps even the decision to take on Iraq after Afghanistan was a strategic mistake in the larger war. It might have been better to have concentrated on overthrowing Iran's mullahs or forcing Syria out of Lebanon. In World War II, Allied leaders and commanders debated fiercely which fronts to concentrate on and in what order.

But the real issue is not about tactics or even the larger strategy but whether to fight at all. The alternative is to soothe ourselves with half measures — tightening borders, tracking funds, sharing intelligence, courting unfriendly governments — hoping against hope that a disaster even bigger than 9/11 will not be visited upon us.

Are we safer now than we were before we began to fight back against the terrorists? Perhaps not, just as we were not safer when we began to resist Hitler, prompting him to declare war on us. Back then, we were not safer until we had won. And we will not be safe now until we have defeated the terrorists and their backers.

Would some other president have made the same brave choice as George Bush to shoulder this "long twilight struggle"? Not Bill Clinton, whose eye was always on the electoral calendar. Not the elder Bush, who didn't think much of "the vision thing." And surely not John Kerry, who tells us that he voted against the Iraq war of 1991 although he was really for it and voted for the Iraq war of 2003 although he was really against it. Kerry offers, in short, all the leadership of a whirling dervish. Truman? Reagan? Perhaps. But 9/11 came when George W. Bush was in office. He has risen to the challenge of a vicious enemy. I wish I could vote for him twice this time — to make up for having underestimated him so badly in 2000.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

The road away from serfdom

60 years ago, Friedrich Hayek, wrote "Road to Serfdom. This book may well be one of the most important books of the 20th Century. In the article below,Arnold Beichman, delves into the importance of Hayek's work. If you have not read "Road to Serfdom", I urge you to do so ASAP! - Sailor

The road away from serfdom

By Arnold Beichman
Washington Times

This is the 60th anniversary of the publication of "Road to Serfdom," by Friedrich Hayek. It is one of the most important books of the 20th century, as important as the publication of "Das Kapital" was, in its malign way, in the 19th.
Hayek's intellectual blockbuster came out when it seemed Marxist socialism would displace capitalism as the world's ruling economic doctrine. Sixty percent of the world's population was living under socialism before the 1991 Soviet collapse. Hayek's thesis drew on the words of Hilaire Belloc: "The control of the production of wealth is the control of human life itself." In fact, he used Belloc's maxim as an epigraph to one of the chapters in "Road to Serfdom."

The defeat of socialism had actually started long before 1991. It began with the spread of Hayekism, the intellectual assault on the would-be "reign of virtue," as Jean Jacques Rousseau might have put it. It began with a quasi-global plebiscite against Marxist socialism by millions of its victims who fled socialist countries any way they could, hurdling high-voltage fences, sailing in leaky tubs in the pirate-infested South China Sea and the Fidel Castro-infested Caribbean, risking asphyxiation in crowded freight cars, flying in home-made planes, anything to get away.
The Austrian-born Hayek who died in 1992, explained what he called "the extended order of human cooperation, an order more commonly, if somewhat misleadingly, known as capitalism." In his later book, "The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism," he elaborated on his thesis, namely socialism could never work, no matter how it came to pass, whether by revolution and dictatorship, as in the onetime Soviet Union, or by the ballot box, as in postwar Great Britain. Socialism to Hayek, a Nobel Laureate, had become a code word for the "economics of scarcity."
For Hayek, the fatal conceit was to think a bunch of ideologized bureaucrats could through the machinery of what was called "central authority" — in other words, socialism — uncover the information needed to make the socialist system work. As the Economist summarized Hayekism:
"Socialism is factually flawed (because it is wrong in its description of why capitalism flourished) and logically flawed as well (because it must deny itself the information-gathering apparatus that it would need if it were ever to work)."
For Hayek, competition was the surest way for an economic system to work and competition could exist only under a free market system. In other words, as economist John Cassidy put it, "By allowing millions of decision-makers to respond individually to freely determined prices, it allocated resources, labor, capital, and human ingenuity — in a manner that can't be mimicked by a central plan, however brilliant the central planner.... The view of capitalism as a spontaneous processing machine — 'telecommunications system' was how Hayek referred to it — was one of the real insights of the century." Mr. Cassidy suggested, "It is hardly an exaggeration to refer to the 20th century as the Hayek century."
Yet "socialism" is still the reigning dogma in the vast majority of social science departments of American universities. As Hayek once put it: "The higher we climb up the ladder of intelligence, the more we talk with intellectuals, the more likely we are to encounter socialist convictions."
To remain a Marxist today or a Marxist fellow-traveler when the whole world has voted against the malice of Marxism raises the most profound questions as to the rationality of the true believer. Especially as we celebrate publication of Hayek's irrefutable "Road to Serfdom."

Arnold Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for The Washington Times.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

WWII Heroes Finally Get Their Memorial

Finally, those who fought to save our freedoms from facism are finally being honored. This sailor salutes you all! - Sailor

If any need a reminder of why we fight now, click here;
Why We Fight
Feel free to leave a comment here or there. To leave a comment there, you will need to register, but it is free.

WWII Heroes Finally Get Their Memorial
Associated Press
Friday, May 28, 2004

NEW BALTIMORE, Ohio – Charles Butke looks at an old photo of his Army buddies. F. Harley Clark inspects the rifle he used when he fought on Guadalcanal. And James Derexson worries about coping with painful memories. Nearly 60 years after their fighting ended, the World War II veterans are traveling to Washington, D.C., for Saturday's dedication of the National World War II Memorial.
Derexson, who took part in the D-Day invasion, said the memorial was "long overdue." He said that at his age, 81, it might be the final war-related trip he makes.

"It will probably be my last journey, and I want to pay my respects," he said.

Old soldiers, sailors and Marines from around the country were making their way in cars, vans, buses and planes, alone or in groups, some fearful of the memories that would surface, others hoping to see old pals.

"It's been a long time coming," said Bob Slaughter, 79, of Roanoke, Va., an Army veteran of D-Day. "I just want to be there."

For Butke of southwest Ohio, memories of his time as an Army infantryman began flowing last year when he found a faded black-and-white photo of himself and fellow soldiers standing outside a tent.

Navy veteran George Snead, 79, of Richmond, Va., suspected he would get emotional at Saturday's dedication. Most of the war buddies he kept in touch with have died.

"Every day you know it's a little bit shorter," he said.

The granite-and-bronze memorial to the 16 million men and women who served in the war sits between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall.

Organizers have given tickets to 117,000 people nationwide. A viewing area for those without tickets will include seating for 10,000, and standing room for 30,000.

Butke, 81, had thought he had nothing other than his Bronze Star and Purple Heart to show for his service. Looking at the photograph he found in his attic brought back memories: being wounded when a grenade exploded next to his foxhole on the Japanese-held island of Okinawa, the death of a fellow soldier who seemed invincible.

"People started getting killed, a lot of good people," Butke said.

For Slaughter, being with other veterans is the main goal of the trip.

"Some of my old foxhole buddies, we're going to meet and shoot the breeze a little bit," he said. "There's going to be some people, I hope, that I'll see for the first time since 1945."

Also making the trip will be relatives of the late Roger Durbin, an Army veteran from Berkey near Toledo whose lobbying of Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, beginning in 1986 led to the memorial's creation.

The Veterans Affairs Department estimates World War II vets are dying at a rate of 1,056 a day. The dedication of a memorial decades after its war is not lost on them.

"Too many of our vets are gone, and it is a shame they couldn't have started it 20 to 25 years before this," said Joe Lesniewski, 83, of Harborcreek, Pa., one of the last surviving members of the "Band of Brothers."

The retired factory worker and mail carrier was a member of the famed Easy Company of the Army's 101st Airborne Division. He fought in the D-Day invasion and in Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge and suffered a neck wound while in Holland. He is mentioned in Stephen Ambrose's book "Band of Brothers" and was interviewed for the HBO miniseries.

Jim Evans believes the timing of this dedication has more significance because of the fighting in Iraq. Evans, who served with the 2nd Marine Division, fought in the Pacific theater and was wounded twice in Saipan.

"We have very good men over there dying for us," said Evans, 80, of San Marcos, Calif. "It's tough because when you see those images, it brings back memories of fighting."

Platoon Sgt. Eugene Baker, 80, of Blackshear, Ga., saw the war from beginning to end and feels blessed that he wasn't among the more than 400,000 U.S. soldiers killed.

"There's a lot of things I wanted to forget about that war, and I did, but I never forgot my friends I left over there," Baker said. He was part of the 101st Army Airborne division that parachuted over Utah Beach in Normandy during D-Day.

It might seem strange that a man trying to forget much about the war would drive 600 miles to an event staged to remember it, but Baker said neither his nor any soldier's personal experiences were the memorial's intended focus.

"The nation needs this," Baker said, "if for nothing else than to make people stop and think about how we got here and where we're going."

Friday, May 28, 2004

Kerry and 9/11

John Kerry has been telling anyone who would listen how he sounded the alarm before the 9/11 attacks. Seems old Johnny boy has some serious explaining to do. - Sailor

Kerry & Company’s Homeland Insecurity
Joan Swirsky
Thursday, May 27, 2004

Whatever the 9/11 Commission report reveals when it is issued at the end of July, it will still lack the testimony of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, whose failure to act – in light of fair warning and overwhelming evidence – holds the key to his unacceptability as a national and international leader.
Of course the credibility of the report is already in question, given not only its timing, during a presidential election year, but also the blatantly partisan nature of its panel and a number of its interviewees – all of whom seem unable to resist mugging for the ever-present cameras, grandstanding and offering their own often caustic and slanted opinions.

But whatever the Commission’s findings, it’s important to remember that two of the four planes the Islamic terrorists commandeered that fateful September day took off from Logan Airport in Boston, the home turf that Kerry has served as senator for nearly 20 years.

While the airline captains, attendants and passengers were completely oblivious to their imminent and horrifying deaths – having never been warned that anything was amiss – Kerry cannot claim the same.

That is because in May of 2001, four months before our nation was changed forever, Kerry received a letter from Brian Sullivan, who had recently retired as a special agent with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), where he spent over 10 years as a risk-management specialist charged with the security of air traffic control facilities throughout New England.

Sullivan’s letter told Kerry that, based on numerous government reports, Logan Airport was especially vulnerable to terrorist infiltration. His letter held these prophetic words:

"With the concept of jihad, do you think it would be difficult for a determined terrorist to get on a plane and destroy himself and all other passengers? Think what the result would be of a coordinated attack that took down several domestic flights on the same day. With our current screening, this is more than possible. It is almost likely.”

A few weeks later, Bogdan Dzakovic – former FAA chief of the national airport-security covert Red Team (which conducted special ops in aviation-security matters) – was asked to hand-deliver a videotape to Jamie Wise, a staff person in Kerry’s office. He told Wise that the film depicted the ease with which undercover operatives had successfully broken through Logan’s security shields with potentially deadly weapons. Not once but 10 times!

“I received no feedback," Dzakovic said.

Shortly after, FAA special agent Steve Elson – a member of the Red Team, ex-Navy SEAL and the creative force behind the video that revealed Logan’s vulnerability – prevailed upon Mr. Wise to pass the video along to Kerry.

Wise told him, in essence: Sorry, no access to Kerry because you’re not a constituent!

Undaunted, Elson tried to reach Kerry’s legislative director, Gregg Rothschild – again to no avail.

Kerry is campaigning hard to convince the American public that he will protect our country more effectively than the sitting president. So, what did he do with the letter and videotape that Sullivan sent him?

Throughout May and June and most of July, he did virtually nothing! But at the end of July, he contacted Sullivan to inform him not that he had forwarded the letter and videotape to the State Police or the Massachusetts Port Authority (which was fined $178,000 by the FAA in 1999 for 136 security violations); not that he had stood up in the Senate to alert his colleagues; not that he had warned his constituents; and not that had alerted the president of the United States!

All he told Sullivan was that he had passed the letter on to the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General (DOT OIG), which Sullivan had warned him would be pointless, given the DOT’s consistent failure to take corrective action after investigating warning after warning.

More than 80 of Kerry’s constituents met their untimely deaths aboard American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175. So much for how seriously he took the threat that his own state was one of two or three at the highest risk for a terrorist attack.

According to Sullivan, who is a registered Independent and decidedly nonpartisan, there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the failures of airport security that made 9/11 possible.

He also filed a complaint with the hotline of the FAA’s chief administrator, Jane Garvey, and sent the videotape to Garvey herself, a holdover from the Clinton administration (ostensibly to provide continuity of airport and airline safety and security).

According to Sullivan, “Garvey and her boss, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta [another Clinton holdover] don't have a leg to stand on in claiming they were unaware of the threat or for failing to advise the National Security Council and President Bush. Ignorance is not an excuse. They knew the threat information before 9/11, or damn well should have!”

In fact, during the spring and summer of 2001, Garvey’s FAA sent out a CD-ROM of the incipient threats prepared by her security chief, Mike Canavan, to 700 airlines and airport executives. The FAA also had extensive data about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden that was contained in the aviation agency’s Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation reports for 1999 and 2000. Those reports included the following excerpts:

In a May 1998 interview, bin Laden suggested that he could use a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile to shoot down a military passenger aircraft transporting U.S. military personnel, adding that his attacks would not distinguish between U.S. civilians and military personnel ... an exiled Islamic leader in the United Kingdom proclaimed in August 1998 that bin Laden would “bring down an airliner or hijack an airliner to humiliate the United States.”
Ramzi Yousef masterminded the 1994 conspiracy to place explosive devices on as many as 12 U.S. airliners flying out of the Far East. In September 1996, Yousef was convicted for this plan and for placing a device on a Philippine Airlines plane in December 1994 as a test for his more elaborate scheme. Although Yousef is currently in prison, at least one other accused participant in the conspiracy remains at large. There are concerns that this individual or others of Yousef’s ilk who may possess similar skills pose a continuing threat to civil aviation interests.

... [T]he terrorist threat remains. The most recent significant aviation-related terrorist action was the December 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane by members of a Kashmiri separatist group. There continues to be concern that the hijacking may either be copied or spur others to commit acts because this incident succeeded in gaining the release of prisoners and the hijackers have never been caught. Another threat is attributed to terrorist financier Osama Bin Laden ... [who] has both the motivation and the wherewithal to do so.

In spite of all this, "I-don’t-know-nuthin’" Garvey – in true Clintonesque fashion – not only claimed ignorance of these threats in her 9/11 Commission testimony but also so much as said that Canavan had not provided her with the CD-ROM her own agency had distributed, and that she hadn’t seen it until after September 11!

Aiding and abetting Garvey and Mineta’s buck-passing, Sullivan said, is Jamie Gorelick, a 9/11 Commission interrogator who was Clinton’s deputy attorney general and general counsel of his Defense Department.

Gorelick certainly had a vested interest in allowing her Democrat colleagues to paint themselves in a less-than-culpable light before the panel – and an equally vested interest in not being called before the Commission herself!

Sullivan agrees. “There is ample evidence that Garvey and Mineta were aware of the threat since it was a DOT agency, the FAA, which issued 15 warnings in 2001, at least one of which was the direct result of information provided at Richard Clarke’s counter terrorism support group (CSG) meeting in early July of 2001.”

After the meeting, he said, the FAA sent Information Circulars (ICs) to airports, “but these are nothing more than vague warnings that have no urgency. What those in positions of power failed to do was issue Security Directives (SDs) that have more muscularity and would have yielded concrete action.”

“In effect,” he continued, “they did nothing down the chain of command and nothing up the chain of command to their superiors like the president’s national security-affairs advisor or to the president himself.”

Sullivan points to the testimony of the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as a prime example. When questioned by the Commission's John Lehman, Rice said she had never been informed by the FAA or the DOT prior to 9/11 that:

The entire Federal Air Marshal (FAM) force consisted of only 36 air marshals and none of them were assigned to domestic flights.

There was a disconnect between FAA guidance and information contained in the Air Transport Association's (ATA) Checkpoint Operators’ Guide (COG) pertaining to whether box cutters were or were not a prohibited item.

Knives with blades less than 4 inches long were not prohibited from being taken onboard our commercial airliners.

The FAA's Red Team had been successful at penetrating our aviation security system over 95 percent of the time.

The airlines both before and after 9/11 could be sued if more than two Arab males were pulled aside for secondary screening.
"If anyone needed proof that the old Clinton crowd didn't inform the new Bush crowd as to what was going on," Sullivan said, "Rice's testimony said it all."

“And how,” Sullivan asks, “could Gorelick have said that her fellow Democrats, Garvey and Mineta, were unaware of what was taking place? She can't – and she should have her feet held to the fire for this obvious display of partisanship.”

He suggested that Mineta and Garvey be recalled before the Commission – and that Gorelick testify as well, “with no softball questions!”

But in spite of all this, Mineta and Garvey and Canavan and Gorelick are not running for president!

Kerry is – and this is what he has had to say on the campaign trail: “I sounded the alarm prior to 9/11."

Sullivan said he begs to differ. “Kerry washed his hands of the whole thing. A number of his constituents died on those two flights out of Logan on September 11 and if he'd look in the mirror, he’d admit he could have and should have done more with the information we provided him.”

“The most egregious failure,” Sullivan added, “was that instead of Kerry demanding immediate corrective action at Logan when he received my letter and videotape, he contacted the very agency I told him was dragging its feet.”

Still blanching from the security failures that led to the most deadly attack in our nation’s history, Sullivan – who said, “I threw up when those two planes hit the Twin Towers” – explained: “Mohammed Atta was doing surveillance at Logan during the time I issued my warnings and if anything had been done to address them, security might have been enhanced and served as a deterrent to Atta and the other terrorists.”

Sullivan also cited the failure of congressional oversight and the FAA’s decision to place the airlines’ bottom line over the safety and security of the flying public – in spite of their awareness of increased threats and numerous reports from the DOT OIG, the General Accounting Office (GAO, the investigative arm of Congress) and the media about what he called “the porous state of aviation security.”

Another failure, he said, was the neutering of the then-named Computer Assisted Passenger Profiling System, or CAPPS I. After 9/11, the title of the program was changed to the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, or CAPPS II, Sullivan explained, “because of overzealous liberals, the American Civil Liberties Union and the diversity crowd who are hell-bent on insuring that political correctness is always implemented at the expense of our basic security.”

Passenger screening policy, developed in 1997 by the Aviation Security Commission and headed by former VP Al Gore, mandated that passenger profiling must ignore ethnicity and nationality.

During the Clinton years, Sullivan said, FAA security personnel were placed in key management positions despite their limited experience in air security and their apparent ideological aversion to prescreen “high suspect” people: i.e., Arab males from the Middle East between the ages of 20 and 40.

“Despite common sense,” Sullivan said, “we failed to take a harder look at some passengers than others. This is where affirmative action and diversity, when carried to the extreme, can kill us – actually did kill us! I know this is attacking a sacred cow, but somehow common sense must be returned to the discourse.”

Sullivan is not alone in his criticism. According to a new book by David Bossie, “Intelligence Failure: How Clinton’s National Security Policy Set the Stage for 9/11,” during the Clinton administration:

Terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries.

Terrorists blew up two American embassies in Africa, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries.

Terrorists bombed the American military barracks in Saudi Arabia, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries.

Terrorists bombed the USS Cole, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries.
During all of these horrific attacks on our country, the Clinton administration – with the help of Jamie Gorelick and the full support and votes of John Kerry – slashed our military and intelligence budgets to ribbons!

And as we now know, while our elected and appointed watchdogs were failing to heed the warnings provided to them, bin Laden and al-Qaida were paying close attention to our government's reports in their caves in Afghanistan.

Sullivan cites yet another egregious failure: the refusal of the former administration to act on the “outside the box” recommendations of the FAA’s Red Team.

“The Red Team thought and acted like terrorists and beat our systems 95 percent of the time,” Sullivan said, “but FAA management never reacted in an effective way to their findings.”

Sullivan said that it is not too late to enhance airport safety and security significantly. His suggestions include:

1. Establish accountability. “Instead of repackaging old wine in a new bottle, we have to stop promoting bureaucratic bunglers who have proven ineffectual.” He cites as but one example Mary Carol Turano, who was removed as manager of the FAA’s Civil Aviation Security field office (CASFO) at Logan Airport after 9/11, yet was later made the Deputy Director of Screener Training and Proficiency for the new Transportation Security Association (TSA). This in spite of the fact that Logan Airport had one of the worst records of serious security violations of any airport in the U.S.

2. Abandon the extreme limits of political correctness and diversity. “Mineta's 'but for their ethnicity' rule after 9/11,” Sullivan said, “put America in jeopardy of another attack and now cripples the potential effectiveness of CAPPS II. From a security perspective, our current policy of prohibiting airlines from singling out more than two Arab males for secondary screening is both inane and dangerous.”

3. Reinforce the Patriot Act. “To do less,” Sullivan says, “helps maintain the wall between the FBI and CIA.”

4. Eliminate market influences regarding government oversight of aviation security. “As long as the airlines' bottom line is the determining factor in establishing our aviation-security system,” Sullivan says, “we are doomed to failure.”

5. Focus on aviation security. “Intelligence is both an art and a science and is open to the variances of interpretation,” Sullivan explained, “but aviation security is empirical and significantly less open to interpretation.”

Sullivan also believes that it is imperative for Kerry to testify before the 9/11 Commission.

“We practically gift-wrapped an opportunity for Kerry and others to possibly prevent 9/11. But he tried to cover his political caboose by passing the letter and video I sent him to the DOT, although I'd warned him about that agency’s complicity in failing to act on threat warnings.”

Sen. Kerry, Sullivan continued, “must now answer several questions before the 9/11 Commission including, but not limited to:

What did he know?

When did he know it?

Why did he fail to take forceful action to protect Logan Airport?
Let’s not forget that Kerry said that he “sounded the alarm prior to 9/11" and that in a Washington, D.C., news report in October of 2001 expanded on that statement, saying: "We went to the Department of Transportation and brought it directly to their attention – immediately – and were told by the Department of Transportation that they were doing an undercover operation" at Logan.

The only problem with these two fictitious accounts is that (1) Kerry didn’t “sound the alarm” and (2) there was, as Kerry knew, no federal security undercover evaluation at Logan prior to 9/11!

So, why hasn’t Kerry been called before the 9/11 Commission? According to a commission spokesman, it is because Kerry’s testimony “would open the door to requests for other members of Congress to testify, which would consume the panel's remaining time.”

Their time?! Then extend the timetable! Is it truth the commission is after or is it – as most Americans now suspect – an exercise in covering the “caboose” of many of their members, particularly those from the Clinton administration?

Sullivan says the reason given for not calling Kerry before the commission “is ridiculous because no other senator had the warning we sent to him and no other senator had two planes hijacked from their home airport.”

With more hearings scheduled in Washington, D.C., in mid-June – specifically to address the issues of crisis management and the 9/11 plot – it is both the duty and responsibility of every member of the 9/11 Commission to call Kerry to testify.

It is not unreasonable to think that Commissioner Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy, would be receptive to the idea. In a May 10, 2004, article in the New York Post, he noted:

Our enemy is not terrorism [but] violent, Islamic fundamentalism. None of our government institutions were set up with receptors, or even vocabulary, to deal with this. So we left ourselves completely vulnerable. Osama bin Laden has cited this as one of his dawning moments ... the vaunted United States is a paper tiger, Americans are afraid of casualties, they run like cowards when attacked. We had watch lists with 65,000 terrorists' names on them, created by a very sophisticated system in the State Department ... that existed before 9/11, but nobody in the FAA bothered to look at it. ...
In a few days, the 9/11 Commission will look at it – coincidentally at the same time Americans are looking at presidential candidates, one of whom will lead our country through the next four perilous years.

Americans have the right to know why John Kerry failed to respond aggressively to the chilling warnings he received in the summer of 2001, why he exaggerated his role in “sounding the alarm,” what he has done in proposing legislation that will enhance our nation’s airline security, and why he hasn’t insisted on going before the Commission, given that he wants the top job of protecting American citizens.

Sullivan has put it best: “We deserve the truth. And if Senator Kerry wants to be president, he must not stonewall the American people!”

Joan Swirsky is a New York-based journalist and author who can be reached at

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Al Gore or Al Jazeera?

Another take on Algore's foaming at the mouth raving in front of the hate group calling itself MoveOn. - Sailor

Al Gore or Al Jazeera?

By David Horowitz and Ben Johnson | May 27, 2004

The latest front in the War on Terrorism was opened yesterday – by former Vice President Al Gore. At a critical juncture in the War on Terror, with the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi Governing Council just weeks away, Gore appeared before the, a radical group which had already compared Bush to Hitler. In a voice trembling with affected passion, Gore indicted the President for seeking world domination, referred to Abu Ghraib as Bush’s “gulag,” accused the President of “war crimes,” and intimated that he was a murderer. Gore also accused the war criminal of denying civil rights to terrorists and subverting American democracy, asserted there was no connection between the Saddam regime and terror, and declared for the third time this year the commander-in-chief had “betrayed” the American people.

According to Gore, this betrayal was co-terminous with the Administration itself. “To begin with, from its earliest days in power, this administration sought to radically destroy the foreign policy consensus that had guided America since the end of World War II.” In fact, it was Gore himself and Jimmy Carter who broke the consensus when they attacked Bush days after he went to the U.N. to seek what became a unanimous Security resolution on Iraq, thus launching the partisan battle over the war that has consumed the domestic political debate for the last year and a half, and sabotaged the war on terror in the process.

This was not the only history that Gore attempted to rewrite, as he claimed that, “the long successful strategy of containment was abandoned in favor of the new strategy of ‘preemption.’” Successful? There were five attacks on America by the terrorist enemy on Gore’s watch, beginning with the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 -- all of which went unanswered, which might well explain why al-Qaeda felt emboldened enough to undertake the attacks of 9/11. Containment? Saddam Hussein had tossed the UN inspectors out of Iraq with impunity when the Clinton Administration was too preoccupied with Monica Lewinsky to care. Only Bush's "pre-emptive" extrusion of 100,000 American troops onto the borders of Iraq caused Saddam to change his tune.

“More disturbing still,” Gore continued, “was (the Bush administration’s) frequent use of the word ‘dominance’ to describe their strategic goal, because an American policy of dominance is as repugnant to the rest of the world as the ugly dominance of the helpless, naked Iraqi prisoners has been to the American people.” This Marxoid prose was old hat to Gore, who was bellowing nearly two years ago that Bush’s foreign policy was “based on an openly proclaimed intention to dominate the world.” Shades of the Great Satan.

Echoing al-Jazeera, Gore fantasized massive prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, then called the president a mass murderer. “George Bush promised to change the tone in Washington,” Gore said. “And indeed he did. As many as 37 prisoners may have been murdered while in captivity, though the numbers are difficult to rely upon because in many cases involving violent death, there were no autopsies.” To date, the Army has not affirmed that a single prisoner death has been caused by American troops. Yet Gore can rant – reviving a trope devised by Teddy Kennedy --: “How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace! How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison!”

In his attack on the Administration for flouting international law in regard to the terrorists it is holding, Gore overlooks one vital fact: the Geneva Convention does not protect terrorists; it applies only to captured military personnel. Terrorists represent no state and, therefore are not signatories to these accords nor, as the beheading of Nicholas Berg gruesomely reminds us do they observe them. Thus, the military need not accord them these protections. As Berkeley law professor John Yoo noted in the Wall Street Journal, “Applying different standards to al-Qaeda does not abandon Geneva, but only recognizes that the U.S. faces a stateless enemy never contemplated in the Conventions.” But a man who required three recounts and a Supreme Court ruling before conceding defeat is probably not impressed by such arguments.

Gore expressed passionate concern for the “victims” of American dominance, particularly the terrorist enemy incarcerated at Abu Ghraib, and pointed the finger directly at the President. “What happened at the prison,” Gore thundered, “was not the result of random acts by ‘a few bad apples’; it was the natural consequence of the Bush administration policy that has dismantled those wise constraints and has made war on America's checks and balances.” (Speaking of checks and balances, during the Clinton administration an elderly couple named Glenn and Patricia Mendoza told President Clinton, “You suck, and those boys died!” referring to the soldiers killed in the Khobar Towers attack, about which Clinton and Gore did nothing. Clinton had them arrested for “threatening” him. Gore’s protest of this abuse of executive power has not been recorded.)

Of course, the Army had launched multiple investigations immediately on learning of the incidents at Abu Ghraib (and well before Gore was aware of them); the jail’s presiding officer, General Janis Karpinski, currently has a lawyer as her constant travel companion and President Bush has made an unprecedented presidential apology to Arabs for infractions that are minor compared to what normally goes on in Arab jails. But Al Gore is outraged. The cognitive dissonance is impressive.

And it does not end:

It is now clear that [the Bush Administration’s] obscene abuses of the truth and their unforgivable abuse of the trust placed in them after 9/11 by the American people led directly to the abuses of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and, we are now learning, in many other similar facilities constructed as part of Bush's Gulag, in which, according to the Red Cross, 70 to 90 percent of the victims are totally innocent of any wrongdoing. (Emphasis added.)

The Red Cross in fact made no such statement. It launched no investigation into the matter whatsoever. Secondly, the statement that it did make, we should remind ourselves is a statement by a component of the Red Cross -- the Red Crescent, which is the Middle Eastern version of the Red Cross -- that has allowed its ambulances to be used by Palestinian terrorists. But then it is appropriate that this Al Gore, the Alpha Gore who has come out of the closet as a raving leftist, should rely on such sources for his indictment of Americans.

Of course, behind all this foaming is the staple view of the anti-war Democrats that the liberation of Iraq is a damnable fraud and should not have been undertaken in the first place. “[The President] has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack by terrorists because of his arrogance, willfulness, and bungling at stirring up hornet's nests that pose no threat whatsoever to us.” Too bad that Gore made the same claim himself, and if any betraying has been done it has been Gore’s own 180 degree turn on this matter of war and peace:

If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons. He poison-gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunction about killing lots and lots of people. (Al Gore, 1998)

Four years later and two weeks after Bush’s State of the Union Address, in which the President identified Iraq as part of an “Axis of Evil,” and made it clear that a confrontation with Saddam was brewing, Gore told the Council on Foreign Relations that he supported the President’s position:

Since the State of the Union there has been much discussion of whether Iraq, Iran and North Korea truly constitute an “Axis of Evil.” As far as I’m concerned, there really is something to be said for occasionally putting diplomacy aside and laying one’s cards on the table. There is value in calling evil by its name. (Al Gore, February 2002)

Not only was the Iraq regime evil, according to Gore, America must take Saddam down:

In 1991, I crossed party lines and supported the use of force against Saddam Hussein, but he was allowed to survive his defeat as the result of a calculation we all had reason to deeply regret for the ensuing decade. And we still do. So this time, if we resort to force, we must absolutely get it right. It must be an action set up carefully and on the basis of the most realistic concepts. Failure cannot be an option, which means that we must prepared to go the limit. (Emphasis added)

But that was then, and this is the reinvented now.

For the new Al Gore, the President cannot tell the truth, and terrorists like Saddam cannot connect with terror organizations like al-Qaeda. “The President convinced the country with a mixture of forged documents and blatantly false assertions that Saddam was in league with al-Qaeda.”

Tell that to Nicholas Berg, beheaded by al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who after being wounded in America’s war against the Taliban, took refuge and received medical treatment in Saddam’s Iraq and trained al-Qaeda warriors at Iraq’s Ansar al-Islam terrorist training base. A 16-page government memo provides convincing proof of the connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. The Weekly Standard’s Stephen F. Hayes has written volumes on the matter. The al-Qaeda affiliate terrorist group Ansar al-Islam trained its terrorists in northern Iraq for years, even before Zarqawi arrived. A Saddam insider has testified that Saddam’s secret police, the Mukhabarat, provided weapons and funds to Ansar. Only diehard opponents of the war on terror, like the radicals at could ignore this evidence to make the claims they do.

Not content to paint the president as a menace to foreigners (make that foreign terrorists), Gore charges Bush with undermining American democracy, as well. “They have launched an unprecedented assault on civil liberties.” Presumably, he is referring to the Patriot Act, which he wants to see repealed. Of course, as vice president, Gore asked for virtually identical investigative powers in the 1996 Anti-Terrorism Act (H.R. 666). In a fit of projection, Gore added, “Their appetite for power is astonishing. It has led them to introduce a new level of viciousness in partisan politics.”

Not to be outdone in non-sequiturs, even by himself, Gore ups the ante: “[Bush] has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon.” Big words from a man who called an impeached perjurer “one of our greatest presidents.”

On the other hand, the kind of mendacity that Gore is now engaged in makes Clinton’s peccadillos seem exactly that. We are dealing here not with the sensibilities of a twenty-two year old intern or the amour propre of an overgrown adolescent. We are dealing with the security of 300 million Americans, and a force of thousands – potentially millions --planning atrocities against us we can barely imagine. In this moment of national peril, Al Gore is not serving his country or his fellow Americans well.

Wanted: A Grip on Reality

Looks like the dems and the liberals have finally lost any grip on reality they ever had. The recent hate filled rantings of Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, et al have taken politics to a new low. Yeserday, Al Gore totally lost all touch with reality, before another hateful group, MoveOn. Al did his best impression of Dr. Demento, Howie Dean, all that was missing was Al frothing at the mouth. Below are some re-actions to all of this. - Sailor


New York Post

May 27, 2004 -- BOY, is it getting ugly out there as very top Democrats broadcast their visceral and intense personal hatred for President Bush.
Al Gore yesterday ranted at Bush as "the most dishonest president since Richard Nixon." House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has called him "incompetent." Democratic chief Terry McAuliffe claimed he was "AWOL" from the National Guard.

Sen. Ted Kennedy — Kerry's top campaign ally — claims the Abu Ghraib prison abuse shows Saddam Hussein's torture chambers "reopened under U.S. management."

Bush-hating billionaire George Soros, funding anti-Bush ads, compared the president to Hitler. But mostly, other Democrats, like nominee-to-be John Kerry, seem to be cheering them on, not rebuking them. In fact, Kerry couldn't resist a snide personal dig when Bush tumbled off his bicycle over the weekend and got scraped up.

"Did the training wheels fall off?" zinged Kerry — who, as it happens, fell off his own mountain bike a few weeks ago.

Kerry aides tried to claim that crack was off-the-record but anyone who makes a dig like that has to know it will leak — and it was nasty enough to prompt Chicago's Democratic mayor, Richard Daley, to scold Kerry.

"When someone falls . . . you should not wish ill upon anyone," chided Daley, who also scraped his knees in a bike tumble. "You see too much hate."

Republicans have gone after Kerry hard — one Internet video morphed him into a cicada and Commerce Secretary Don Evans said he looks "too French" — but there hasn't been the same level of snide, very personal attacks from top Republicans.

Republicans have gone all-out after Kerry's personal character, but they've done it by using issues rather than personal epithets to paint him as a flip-flopper.

"You're seeing Democrats fall into the same trap that Republicans did with Bill Clinton — personalizing and demonizing," said a Democratic aide.

Others Dems insist the Bush attacks just tell it like it is. But they might want to ponder whether the personal tone of attacks on Bush helps explain why Kerry is stalled and tied in polls despite six weeks of nonstop bad news for Bush.

Gore demands six resignations

By Amy Fagan

Citing what he called "arrogance, willfulness and bungling" by President Bush in his foreign policy, Al Gore yesterday blamed flawed policies for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and said six administration officials should resign because of the Iraq situation.
In a fiery speech at New York University — sponsored by the political action committee of the liberal group — the former vice president called for the resignations of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George J. Tenet, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas J. Feith and Stephen A. Cambone, both undersecretaries of defense.

Mr. Gore told a cheering crowd that the Bush foreign policy was "a disaster" and that this group of six was responsible, as were the president and vice president.
A spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign said Mr. Gore's speech was "outside of the mainstream" and "fails to recognize the seriousness" of the war on terror. "Al Gore today, acting on behalf of the Kerry campaign, delivered an extremely angry, factually inaccurate political attack, filled with pessimism and defeatist rhetoric," said spokesman Steve Schmidt.
Mr. Gore also said that the prisoner-abuse scandal is a direct result of the attitude and policies of an arrogant administration that rejects any check on its power.
"What happened at the prison, it is now clear, was not the result of random acts by 'a few bad apples.' It was the natural consequence of the Bush administration policy that has dismantled ... wise constraints and has made war on America's checks and balances," he said.
Mr. Gore said the administration is guilty of ignoring the Geneva Conventions with regard to Iraq, rejecting military leaders' assessment of troop numbers, denying soldiers adequate tools and failing to plan to prevent looting and lawlessness there.
He said Mr. Bush has "created more anger and righteous indignation" against Americans than any other U.S. leader, because of his "contempt for any person, institution or nation who disagrees with him."
The problem began, Mr. Gore said, with the administration's new foreign policy of pre-emption and domination.
A Republican National Committee memo pointed out that Mr. Gore in 1998 had urged national unity against Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator who was ousted in the U.S.-led invasion last year. "[I]f you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons?" Mr. Gore had asked.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gore heaped praise on Democratic presidential contender Sen. John Kerry, but said the Massachusetts Democrat shouldn't have to provide his own detailed plan for the Iraq situation until after he wins the election because too many things could change in Iraq between now and then.
Mr. Kerry begins an 11-day focus on foreign policy and national security today.

Good idea on the Iraq plan Al, since Kerry has no plan. - Sailor

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Washington Post's New Leftist

As liberals and lefties whine on and on that there is no bias in the media, or that if there is bias, it is to the right, the Washington Post goes and brings Harold Meyerson on as a regular columnist. Meyerson is an unabashed socialist who sees Europe as the last great hope to counter America. Read on. - Sailor

By Shawn Macomber | May 26, 2004

People ask whether the media is "liberal"? They should be asking how far left it will eventually become. The recent appointment of Harold Meyerson -- an obscure radical and quaint believer in working class radicalism -- to one of the most coveted jobs in American journalism provides a troubling answer. Meyerson, a political editor for The L.A. Weekly, a leftist throwaway tabloid, and Editor-at-Large for Bill Moyers’ ideological journal, The American Prospect, has been made a regular columnist for the Washington Post. Meyerson also has an activist career as Vice-Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, and refers to George W. Bush “The Most Dangerous President Ever,” frequently describes America as “belligerent” and “xenophobic,” and openly yearns for a European superstate to “prevail” in blocking American interests and power. “We need Europe to save us from ourselves,” Meyerson recently wrote.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), by its own admission, is “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.” Meyerson is so well respected by the DSA that he was the honored guest at their annual 1995 dinner and is a featured speaker at the Socialist Scholars Conference, an event which annually gathers intellectuals of the hard left including indicted terrorist, Lynne Stewart.

On Sept. 12, 2001, before the smoke of the Twin Towers cleared, before a single mound of rubble had been moved – before most Americans were even completely sure who attacked us – the Left was already knee-deep in plans to oppose America's efforts at self-defense with Meyerson inthe lead. Less than 24 hours after the attacks, Meyerson set the template for the next three years of left-wing talking points on the attacks:

If Bush uses the attack to send Pentagon spending soaring, the Dems have to muster the gumption to say that even with Tuesday's attack, our defense budget is still indefensibly high. If the Administration sees the attack as a graceful way to back out of an open-border policy with Mexico, and the extension of rights and citizenship to million of illegal immigrants, the Dems still must persist in their pro-immigrant line. If John Ashcroft's Justice Department sees this as the perfect pretext to squelch anti-globalization protests and to get more billions for the FBI to monitor the protestors, the Dems must fight the security apparat's consistent inability to distinguish between threats to public safety and threats to conventional wisdom. (Emphasis added.)

“By night, we drop bombs; by day, we drop peanut butter and jelly,” Meyerson wrote of the short Afghanistan campaign that followed, one of the most humane in the history of warfare. “Our daytime rounds, at least at the outset of the campaign, seem more symbolic than our nightly ones; the amount of food we're delivering from the sky does not make up for the amount of food that no longer can be delivered on the ground now that our counterattack has begun.”

As the war on terror moved on, he was soon was begging Europe to rescue humanity from the Great Satan. “Americans must hope that, in this era of global integration, we are not at the brink of the American century. If anything, the Europeans should take some time out from perfecting Europe to project their values more forcefully on the wider world.” Clearly Europe is political home for Meyerson. “At the outset of the 21st century, the battle between Europe and America for the power to shape the century, and on behalf of different models of social organization, is already joined,” Meyerson lectures. “And may I gently suggest that the best possible outcome for the American democratic republic – for the America of Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt – would be an American (or more precisely, Bushian) defeat.”

Meyerson was not so decisive in describing Saddam Hussein's defeat. Genuflecting to the obvious he wrote that the United States was safer now that Saddam Hussein was behind bars.” But he quickly added a laundry list of other things that would make us “safer” than capturing Saddam. Among them, having John Ashcroft step down as attorney general.

It would also make the world safer, according to Meyerson, if Iraq were handed over to the United Nations. “The fact that it's our blood that has been shed among allied forces in the war does not necessarily mean that we are therefore the best qualified, the most experienced or the most politically legitimate force to be in charge of post war Iraq.”

In keeping with his 19th Century class prejudices, Meyerson thinks that investment is not work.

Take a quick look, or a long one, at the tax code as Bush has altered it during his three years as president, and you're compelled to conclude that work has become a distinctly inferior kind of income acquisition in the eyes of the law. Bush tax policy rewards investment and inheritance. Relying on work for your income, by contrast, turns you into a second-class citizen. Republicans are projecting themselves as an inclusive, moderate party, even as their platform snarls at gays and W’s economic plan declares war against the poor.

As a reflector of the paranoid, Marxist fantasies of the Democratic Party left, Meyerson is on target. But as a columnist for the most politically influential paper in America his presence is truly troubling.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

A Call for Impeachment

Below, my good friend, Doc Farmer, makes a compelling case for impeaching all federal judges at every level, right up to SCOTUS. I am sure Doc would appreciate your comments. - Sailor

A Call for Impeachment

Posted by Doc Farmer
Wednesday, May 26, 2004

There are times when free men must look at how they are governed, how they are ruled; and when seeing corruption and malfeasance and lies and broken oaths, must say no more and demand those who have perverted our government be removed from office forthwith.

Today, I make such a call. I do not make it lightly, and I do not believe there is any other choice.

It is time to impeach all of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

In fact, I will expand that call, and request the impeachment of all federal judges at all levels. There are 41,221 federal judges (including the members of SCOTUS).

Why? Impeaching/Firing over forty thousand judges could be viewed as a monumental task. And there might actually be a few honest, honorable, and constitutionally devout jurists in our federal system. Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Isn’t that a bit severe?

Yes, it is. Moreover, yes, we should. The VAST majority of federal judges treat the Constitution and the Federalist Papers the way an infant treats a diaper. They don’t interpret the law, they invent it. They create constitutional issues never before dreamed of by the framers.

Do you have a constitutional right to, for example, privacy? No. You don’t. Privacy is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, nor in any of the 27 amendments. Nevertheless, federal judges decided that privacy SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THERE, so they said that’s what the framers really wanted. They got into the minds of people dead for almost two hundred years, and using their great powers of time-traveling telepathy, determined that by golly privacy WAS a constitutional right.

Therefore, because of that bit of judicial prestidigitation, we have over forty million dead babies rotting in garbage heaps across America. Yup, that’s apparently a privacy issue. Oh, and don’t forget the folks who died in the attacks on September 11. Because of privacy issues, intelligence agencies couldn’t share data. (Note to self: must remind UBL to send Jamie Gorelick a thank-you note for that little decision of hers…

Then, of course, there’s God. You remember God, don’t you? Creator of the Universe and all that stuff. The Supreme Being mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. The ''God'' in our ''God-Given'' rights. Apparently, God’s not really in vogue anymore. Why? Separation of Church and State, of course!

Except there is no such thing. The federal government could not establish a religion. However, in the early days of America, individual states did create churches. Church of New York, Church of Massachusetts, etc.

But certain lib/dem/soc/commies decided, ''Hey, we don’t like the idea of God telling us what to do; we’re bigger and better than God, so let’s pretend God doesn’t even exist!'' And lo, they did petition the judges of the federal government, who did as they bade, and pulled from their nether regions the ''Separation Clause'' which did kicketh the Creator to the curb(eth).

As a result, we get a federal court getting involved in a state courthouse’s display of the Decalogue, demanding its ouster even though the feds had absolutely NO jurisdiction there. I hear stories of towns near where I live in Indiana, where town halls have had to remove the Decalogue because of the ''Separation Clause.''

Do you remember a time when the government stayed the hell out of every aspect of your life?

Only if you’re 150 years old. You can thank the federal judges, who have run roughshod over your rights, the Constitution, and our nation as a whole.

So throw the bums out. All of them. Kick them to the curb. Cut their pensions to zero. Make those bozos live on Social Security. Oh, wait, that’s unconstitutional too!

But on what grounds do we impeach them? Quite simple. They have violated their oath of office, which states that they will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

So Fire the lot of them. Dubya can draft a blanket impeachment, ram it through Congress in a late-night session, and boot them straight to the unemployment line. How? Simple--by promising Congress that he won’t demand their ouster for their blanket violation of their oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Then, select 44,221 people who have read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, have an IQ higher than room temperature in a walk-in freezer, enough common sense to not allow crooks to run free, and a belief in a Creator that endowed mankind with rights (not the other way around). Dubya can then do 44,221 recess appointments to the benches. Here’s a tip, Mr. President: list all the names on one form, and just sign that. Otherwise you’ll have carpel tunnel syndrome, BIG time! You can Xerox your signature on the individual certificates anyway--the wonders of technology, and all that.

Set these folks to work, and you’ll see your tax bills eliminated. Why? Taxes are unconstitutional; the 16th Amendment was fraudulently incorporated into the Constitution. In addition, you’ll see the National Debt reduced to nothing in about ten years. How? Federal judges could close all the unconstitutional federal agencies and departments, and sell their property to reduce the approximately seven trillion dollar debt America currently holds. Want to have God return to the classroom, the courthouse, and the local park? Give these new federal judges, with the blessing of the Constitution, a crack at defending God instead of denying God.

Besides, I think we’d all like to turn on the news and see a ''where are they now'' segment showing Sandra Day O’Connor saying those immortal words ''You want fries with that?''

Doc Farmer is a regular Wednesday columnist. He receives e-mail at:

This Article Was First Published In ChronWatch At: Chron Watch

How Chinagate Led to 9/11

I have been very relentless in demanding that Jamie Gorelick be taken off the 9/11 Commission and made to testify, under oath, about her role in handcuffing American intelligence agencies. I have written letters and e-mails to my elected officials, other members of Congress and media outlets. It is a travesty that this woman is not being held accountable for her actions. I ask all of you that agree with me, to write and e-mail anyone you think needs to be told of Jamie Gorelick and her not testifying before this commission. Below is another article making my case. - Sailor

How Chinagate Led to 9/11

By Jean Pearce | May 25, 2004

As the 9/11 Commission tries to uncover what kept intelligence agencies from preventing September 11, it has overlooked two vital factors: Jamie Gorelick and Bill Clinton. Gorelick, who has browbeaten the current administration, helped erect the walls between the FBI, CIA and local investigators that made 9/11 inevitable. However, she was merely expanding the policy Bill Clinton established with Presidential Decision Directive 24. What has been little underreported is why the policy came about: to thwart investigations into the Chinese funding of Clinton’s re-election campaign, and the favors he bestowed on them in return.

In April, staff writer Scott Wheeler reported that a senior U.S. government official and three other sources claimed that the 1995 memo written by Jamie Gorelick, who served as the Clinton Justice Department’s deputy attorney general from 1994 to 1997, created "a roadblock" to the investigation of illegal Chinese donations to the Democratic National Committee. But the picture is much bigger than that. The Gorelick memo, which blocked intelligence agents from sharing information that could have halted the September 11 hijacking plot, was only the mortar in a much larger maze of bureaucratic walls whose creation Gorelick personally oversaw.

It’s a story the 9/11 Commission may not want to hear, and one that Gorelick – now incredibly a member of that commission – has so far refused to tell. But it is perhaps the most crucial one to understanding the intentional breakdown of intelligence that led to the September 11 disaster.

Nearly from the moment Gorelick took office in the Clinton Justice Department, she began acting as the point woman for a large-scale bureaucratic reorganization of intelligence agencies that ultimately placed the gathering of intelligence, and decisions about what – if anything – would be done with it. This entire operation was under near-direct control of the White House. In the process, more than a dozen CIA and FBI investigations underway at the time got caught beneath the heel of the presidential boot, investigations that would ultimately reveal massive Chinese espionage as millions in illegal Chinese donations filled Democratic Party campaign coffers.

When Gorelick took office in 1994, the CIA was reeling from the news that a Russian spy had been found in CIA ranks, and Congress was hungry for a quick fix. A month after Gorelick was sworn in, Bill Clinton issued Presidential Decision Directive 24. PDD 24 put intelligence gathering under the direct control of the president’s National Security Council, and ultimately the White House, through a four-level, top-down chain of command set up to govern (that is, stifle) intelligence sharing and cooperation between intelligence agencies. From the moment the directive was implemented, intelligence sharing became a bureaucratic nightmare that required negotiating a befuddling bureaucracy that stopped directly at the President’s office.

First, the directive effectively neutered the CIA by creating a National Counterintelligence Center (NCI) to oversee the Agency. NCI was staffed by an FBI agent appointed by the Clinton administration. It also brought multiple international investigations underway at the time under direct administrative control. The job of the NCI was to “implement counterintelligence activities,” which meant that virtually everything the CIA did, from a foreign intelligence agent’s report to polygraph test results, now passed through the intelligence center that PDD 24 created.

NCI reported to an administration-appointed National Counterintelligence Operations Board (NCOB) charged with “discussing counterintelligence matters.” The NCOB in turn reported to a National Intelligence Policy Board, which coordinated activities between intelligence agencies attempting to work together. The policy board reported “directly” to the president through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

The result was a massive bureaucratic roadblock for the CIA – which at the time had a vast lead on the FBI in foreign intelligence – and for the FBI itself, which was also forced to report to the NCOB. This hampered cooperation between the two entities. All this occurred at a time when both agencies were working separate ends of investigations that would eventually implicate China in technology transfers and the Democratic Party in a Chinese campaign cash grab.

And the woman charged with selling this plan to Congress, convince the media and ultimately implement much of it? Jamie Gorelick.

Many in Congress, including some Democrats, found the changes PDD 24 put in place baffling: they seemed to do nothing to insulate the CIA from infiltration while devastating the agency’s ability to collect information. At the time, Democrat House Intelligence Chairman Dan Glickman referred to the plan as “regulatory gobbledygook." Others questioned how FBI control of CIA intelligence would foster greater communication between the lower levels of the CIA and FBI, now that all information would have to be run through a multi-tier bureaucratic maze that only went upward.

Despite their doubts, Gorelick helped the administration sell the plan on Capitol Hill. The Directive stood.

But that wasn’t good enough for the Clinton administration, which wanted control over every criminal and intelligence investigation, domestic and foreign, for reasons that would become apparent in a few years. For the first time in Justice Department history, a political appointee, Richard Scruggs – an old crony or Attorney General Janet Reno’s from Florida – was put in charge of the Office of Intelligence and Policy Review (OIPR). OIPR is the Justice Department agency in charge of requesting wiretap and surveillance authority for criminal and intelligence investigations on behalf of investigative agencies from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. The court’s activities are kept secret from the public.

A year after PDD 24, with the new bureaucratic structure loaded with administration appointees, Gorelick drafted the 1995 memo Attorney General John Ashcroft mentioned while testifying before the 9/11 Commission. The Gorelick memo, and other supporting memos released in recent weeks, not only created walls within the intelligence agencies that prevented information sharing among their own agents, but effectively walled these agencies off from each other and from outside contact with the U.S. prosecutors instrumental in helping them gather the evidence needed to make the case for criminal charges.

The only place left to go with intelligence information – particularly for efforts to share intelligence information or obtain search warrants – was straight up Clinton and Gorelick’s multi-tiered chain of command. Instead, information lethal to the Democratic Party languished inside the Justice Department, trapped behind Gorelick’s walls.

The implications were enormous. In her letter of protest to Attorney General Reno over Gorelick’s memo, United States Attorney Mary Jo White spelled them out: “These instructions leave entirely to OIPR and the (Justice Department) Criminal Division when, if ever, to contact affected U.S. attorneys on investigations including terrorism and espionage,” White wrote. (Like OIPR, the Criminal Division is also part of the Justice Department.)

Without an enforcer, the walls might Gorelick’s memo put in place might not have held. But Scruggs acted as that enforcer, and he excelled at it. Scruggs maintained Gorelick’s walls between the FBI and Justice's Criminal Division by threatening to automatically reject any FBI request for a wiretap or search warrant if the Bureau contacted the Justice Department's Criminal Division without permission. This deprived the FBI, and ultimately the CIA, of gathering advice and assistance from the Criminal Division that was critical in espionage and terrorist cases.

It is no coincidence that this occurred at the same time both the FBI and the CIA were churning up evidence damaging to the Democratic Party, its fundraisers, the Chinese and ultimately the Clinton administration itself. Between 1994 and the 1996 election, as Chinese dollars poured into Democratic coffers, Clinton struggled to reopen high-tech trade to China. Had agents confirmed Chinese theft of weapons technology or its transfer of weapons technology to nations like Pakistan, Iran and Syria, Clinton would have been forced by law and international treaty to react.

Gorelick’s appointment to the job at Justice in 1994 occurred during a period in which the FBI had begun to systematically investigate technology theft by foreign powers. For the first time, these investigations singled out the U.S. chemical, telecommunications, aircraft and aerospace industries for intelligence collection.

By the time Gorelick wrote the March 1995 memo that sealed off American intelligence agencies from each other and the outside world, all of the most critical Chinagate investigations by American intelligence agencies were already underway. Some of their findings were damning:

In an investigation originally instigated by the CIA, the FBI was beginning its search for the source of the leak of W-88 nuclear warhead technology to China among the more than 1,000 people who had access to the secrets. Despite Justice Department stonewalling and the Department’s refusal to seek wiretap authority in 1997, the investigation eventually led to Wen Ho Lee and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The FBI first collected Extensive evidence in 1995 linking illegal Democratic Party donations to China, according to the Congressional Record. But Congress and the Director of the CIA didn’t find out about the Justice Department’s failure to act upon that evidence until 1997, safely after the 1996 election.
According to classified CIA documents leaked to the Washington Times, between 1994 and 1997, the CIA learned that China sold Iran missile technology, a nuclear fission reactor, advanced air-defense radar and chemical agents. The Chinese also provided 5,000 ring magnets to Pakistan, used in producing weapons-grade uranium. The Chinese also provided uranium fuel for India's reactors.

In many cases the CIA resorting to leaking classified information to the media, in an effort to bypass the administration’s blackout.

Gorelick knew these facts well. While Clinton may have refused to meet with top CIA officials, Gorelick didn’t. According to a 1996 report by the legal news service American Lawyer Media, Gorelick and then-Deputy Director of the CIA George Tenet met every other week to discuss intelligence and intelligence sharing.

But those in the Clinton administration weren’t the only ones to gain from the secrecy. In 1994, the McDonnell Douglas Corporation transferred military-use machine tools to the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation that ended up in the hands of the Chinese army. The sale occurred despite Defense Department objections. McDonnell Douglas was a client of the Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin, L.L.P. (now called Baker Botts), the Washington, D.C., law firm where Gorelick worked for 17 years and was a partner. Ray Larroca, another partner in the firm, represented McDonnell in the Justice Department’s investigation of the technology transfer.

In 1995, General Electric, a former client of Gorelick’s, also had much to lose if the damaging information the CIA and the FBI had reached Congress. At the time, GE was publicly lobbying for a lucrative permit to assist the Chinese in replacing coal-fired power stations with nuclear plants. A 1990 law required that the president certify to Congress that China was not aiding in nuclear proliferation before U.S. companies could execute the business agreement.

Moreover, in 1995, Michael Armstrong, then the CEO of Hughes Electronics – a division of General Electric and another client of Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin – was publicly lobbying Clinton to switch satellite export controls from the State Department to the Commerce Department. After the controls were lifted, Hughes and another company gave sensitive data to the Chinese, equipment a Pentagon study later concluded would allow China to develop intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles aimed at American targets. Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin partner Randall Turk represented Hughes in the Congressional, State Department, and Justice Department investigations that resulted.

The Cox Report, which detailed Chinese espionage for Congress during the period, revealed that FBI surveillance caught Chinese officials frantically trying to keep Democratic donor Johnny Chung from divulging any information that would be damaging to Hughes Electronics. Chung funneled $300,000 in illegal contributions from the Chinese military to the DNC between 1994 and 1996.

It was this web of investigations that led Gorelick and Bill Clinton to erect the wall between intelligence agencies that resulted in the toppling of the Twin Towers. The connections go on and on, but they all lead back to Gorelick, the one person who could best explain how the Clinton administration neutered the American intelligence agencies that could have stopped the September 11 plot. Yet another high crime will have been committed if the September 11 Commission doesn’t demand testimony from her.

Monday, May 24, 2004

The Price of Gasoline

Much is being made of the higher prices for gas we are paying. Democrats and liberals are whining for the President to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Johnny boy Kerry says we should stop filling it in order to bring oil prices down. The whole purpose of the SPR is to have a reserve that can be tapped if the supply of oil is reduced or cut off. With the volitilaty of the current world situation, who knows when and if that could happen. Realistically, releasing oil from the SPR would have a negligable impact on the price of gas. The following commentary, from the Washington Times web site delves into this. - Sailor

NIMBY pressures . . . and oil slicks

By Tom Bray

As you contemplate those numbers spinning by on the gas pump, here is another number to remember: 1976.
That was the last time an oil refinery was built in the United States, thanks largely to the Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome cultivated by an environmental movement that has successfully anathematized all things chemical and carbon. There are, of course, other reasons for the latest spike in gasoline prices — prominently including a return to robust economic growth and a desire by oil producers to protect themselves from recent declines in the dollar — but even if oil supplies could be suddenly expanded, refiners would have a tough time churning out more gasoline.

In 1981, according to the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, 321 refineries pumped out 18.6 million barrels a day of gasoline. Today only 149 refineries, run by 60 companies in 33 different states, pump out 16.8 million barrels of gasoline daily — almost 2 million barrels a day less. They are operating at 93 percent of capacity, well above the industrial average, with little time left for maintenance and upgrades.
The inventiveness and adaptability of the U.S. economy has made it possible to achieve substantial economic gains with less energy. But this year's price spike could blunt the economic recovery if it persists, as some analysts say it might. And at the very least, $2.20 a gallon gasoline is a reminder that not all taxes are those paid April 15. Environmental regulations amount to a tax too, though even Republicans tend to shy away from the implications.
Direct state and federal gas taxes are heavy enough, amounting to a quarter of the cost of a gallon of gas. (Crude oil accounts for less than half the price of gasoline, refining 19 percent and distribution and marketing costs 11 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.) But the national refinery association estimates environmental regulatory costs came to about $47 billion over the past 10 years, enough to build quite a few refineries.
Left-wingers rail about gouging, though refinery profit margins are only about 6 percent, less than half the industrial average. And presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry — whose family sports a Chevy Suburban, two smaller SUVs and a fuel-guzzling private jet — has called on the Bush administration to relieve the price pressure by deferring filling the National Petroleum Reserve.
Mr. Kerry's eagerness to find fault with Bush economic policies, now that the Bush income tax cuts seem to be delivering jobs, is understandable. A good argument also can be made that the emergency oil reserve is a bad idea, because it requires expenditure of financial resources that might be better used to make the American economy even more adaptable. But trying to turn the reserve into a mechanism for manipulating oil prices is an even worse idea.
Even draining the entire 600 million barrel reserve wouldn't make more than a temporary difference. The mammoth international oil market would quickly overwhelm the short-term impact of the relatively small reserve.
Nor will leaning on Saudi Arabia likely make much difference. The Saudis are already pumping relatively high — and have a vested interest in keeping prices reasonable. After all, they are plenty smart enough to know they would sell much less oil if the West sinks back into recession, something even the Islamist lunatics in Iran have come to realize.
Besides, the Saudis might reasonably ask, why doesn't the United States allow more drilling in its own territory? Congress is still sitting on a Bush administration proposal to allow drilling on a few acres of the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because environmentalists object to anything intruding on a wilderness few of them will ever see — another example of the NIMBYism at the heart of the energy problem. Where was John Kerry's concern about oil prices when it came to a vote?
In a few years, vast new oil reserves will come on stream in Central Asia and elsewhere. But if the U.S. continues making it so difficult to develop new sources of energy, or to refine it into usable products, we will get pretty much what we deserve. So when you think of $3 a gallon, you should also think: 1976.

Tom Bray is a Detroit News columnist.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

'Assymetrical federalism' for Iraq?

By Mark Steyn

Here's a story no American news organization thought worth covering this last week, so you'll just have to take it from me. In the southern Iraqi town of Amara, 20 men from Scotland's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders came under attack from 100 or so of Sheik Moqtada al-Sadr's "insurgents." So they fixed bayonets and charged.
It was the first British bayonet charge since the Falklands War 20 years ago. And at the end of it some 35 of the enemy were dead in return for three minor wounds on the Argylls' side.

If you're used to smart bombs, unmanned drones, and doing it all by computer back at headquarters, you're probably wondering why a modern Western army is still running around with bayonets at the end of their rifles. The answer is that it's a very basic form of psychological warfare.
"If you're defending a position and you see someone advancing with a bayonet, you may be more inclined to surrender," Col. Ed Brown told the Guardian a leading British newspaper. "I've never been bayoneted, but I can imagine it's pretty gruesome." Or as Cpl. Jones, veteran of the Sudan, used to say every week on the ancient BBC sitcom "Dad's Army": "They don't like it up 'em."
By comparison, a Cruise missile, an unmanned drone, even a bullet are all antiseptic forms of warfare. When a chap's charging at you with a bayonet, he is telling you he's personally willing to run you through with cold steel. The bullet may get you first, but, if it doesn't, he'll do it himself.
To the average British squaddie in the 21st century, the bayonet's main practical purpose is for opening tinned food. But when you need it on the battlefield, it's still a powerful signal of your resolve — your will.
When coalition forces engage the foe in Amara, in Najaf or Fallujah, that will always be the rough ratio: three light wounds to 10 times as many enemy dead. It's in the broader political engagement in Iraq that the coalition needs to metaphorically fix bayonets and go hand-to-hand with its opponents.
The Sunni bigshots and Sadr militias, the Ba'athist dead-enders and foreign terrorists, the freaks and losers have made a bet — that the infidels could handle the long-range antiseptic bombing but don't have the stomach for the messy mano-a-mano stuff that follows.
And they have a point. From Baghdad press conferences to Colin Powell, too much of the tone is halfhearted and implicitly apologetic: On bad days, the president himself begins to sound like an unmanned drone. The coalition needs to regain the offensive, to demonstrate not just weary stoicism but fierce will — the same will those Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders showed. Mr. Bush has to be bold and imaginative, and to end the impression he, his administration and America itself are mere hostages to events.
How do you do it? Many commentators now call for faster elections in Iraq. I would prefer to go for "asymmetrical federalism." That is a Canadian term, but don't let that put you off. It means the Province of Quebec has certain powers — its own immigration policy, for example — that the Province of Ontario doesn't.
Obviously, any self-respecting American would regard it as an abomination if the State of Vermont had a completely different level of sovereignty from the State of New Hampshire. But not all nations are as harmoniously constituted as the U.S.A. I'm not just talking your average banana-republic basket-case. Take America's closest ally: The four parts of the United Kingdom — England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales — are governed completely differently, three of the four having "national" parliaments with widely varying degrees of power, and the fourth (England) having no parliament at all. Scotland has revenue-raising powers; Wales doesn't. There's no constitutional logic to it: It's merely the central government's utilitarian response to different local conditions.
Something of the sort is already happening on the ground in Iraq. There are some 8,000 towns and villages in the country. How many do you hear about on the news? For a week, it's all Fallujah all the time. Then it's Najaf, and nada for anywhere else. Currently, 90 percent of Iraq coverage is about one lousy building: Abu Ghraib. So what's going on in the other 7,997 dots on the map? In the Shi'ite province of Dhi Qar, a couple hundred miles southeast of Baghdad, 16 of the biggest 20 cities plus many smaller towns will have elected councils by June. These were the first free elections in Dhi Qar's history and "in almost every case, secular independents and representatives of nonreligious parties did better than the Islamists." That assessment is from the antiwar anti-Bush anti-Blair Euro-lefties at the Guardian, by the way.
That policy of ad hoc, incremental, rolling devolution needs to be accelerated. Towns and provinces should have as much sovereignty as they can handle, on the obvious principle that the constituent parts of ramshackle federations rarely progress at the same pace. In the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is now an advanced Western economy, Kosovo is a U.N. slum housing project. If one were to cast the situation in rough British terms, the Kurdish areas are broadly analogous to Scotland, Dhi Qar and other Shi'ite provinces are Wales, and the Sunni Triangle is Northern Ireland.
Even in the Sunni Triangle, remove Fallujah and the remaining 95 percent is relatively calm. And, while Fallujah hasn't been removed, it has been more or less quarantined: There have been fewer lethal attacks in Baghdad in recent weeks partly because many perpetrators were Fallujah residents who used to drive up to the capital for a little light rocket-propelled grenade evening work. Now they're pinned down in their home town.
We need more of that. The best bulwark against tyranny is a population that knows the benefits of freedom, as the Iraqi Kurds do. Don't make the mistake of turning Iraq into a dysfunctional American public school, where the smart guys get held down to the low standards of the misfits, and in the end they all get the same social promotion anyway. Let's get on with giving the Kurdish and Shi'ite areas elected governors and practical sovereignty, province by province.
And then fix bayonets and stick it to the holdouts.

Mark Steyn is the senior contributing editor for Hollinger Inc. Publications, senior North American columnist for Britain's Telegraph Group, North American editor for the Spectator and a nationally syndicated columnist.

Mr. Steyn makes a compelling arguement. - Sailor
I am the American Sailor

Hear my voice, America! Though I speak through the mist of 200 years, my shout for freedom will echo through liberty's halls for many centuries to come. Hear me speak, for my words are of truth and justice, and the rights of man. For those ideals I have spilled my blood upon the world's troubled waters. Listen well, for my time is eternal - yours is but a moment.
I am the spirit of heroes past and future. I am the American Sailor. I was born upon the icy shores at Plymouth, rocked upon the waves of the Atlantic, and nursed in the wilderness of Virginia. I cut my teeth on New England codfish, and I was clothed in southern cotton. I built muscle at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and I gained my sea legs high atop mizzen of Yankee clipper ships.

Yes, I am the American Sailor, one of the greatest seamen the world has ever known. The sea is my home and my words are tempered by the sound of paddle wheels on the Mississippi and the song of whales off Greenland's barren shore. My eyes have grown dim from the glare of sunshine on blue water, and my heart is full of star-strewn nights under the Southern Cross.

My hands are raw from winter storms while sailing down round the Horn, and they are blistered from the heat of cannon broadside while defending our nation. I am the American Sailor, and I have seen the sunset of a thousand distant, lonely lands. I am the American Sailor. It was I who stood tall beside John Paul Jones as he shouted, "I have not yet begun to fight!" I fought upon the Lake Erie with Perry, and I rode with Stephen Decatur into Tripoli harbor to burn Philadelphia.

I met Guerriere aboard Constitution, and I was lashed to the mast with Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay. I have heard the clang of Confederate shot against the sides of Monitor. I have suffered the cold with Peary at the North Pole, and I responded when Dewey said, "You may fire when ready Gridley," at Manila Bay. It was I who transported supplies through submarine infested waters when our soldier's were called "over there." I was there as Admiral Byrd crossed the South Pole. It was I who went down with the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, who supported our troops at Inchon, and patrolled dark deadly waters of the Mekong Delta.

I am the American Sailor and I wear many faces. I am a pilot soaring across God's blue canopy and I am a Seabee atop a dusty bulldozer in the South Pacific. I am a corpsman nursing the wounded in the jungle, and I am a torpedoman in the Nautilus deep beneath the North Pole. I am hard and I am strong.

But it was my eyes that filled with tears when my brother went down with the Thresher, and it was my heart that rejoiced when Commander Shepherd rocketed into orbit above the earth. It was I who languished in a Viet Cong prison camp, and it was I who walked upon the moon. It was I who saved the Stark and the Samuel B. Roberts in the mine infested waters of the Persian Gulf. It was I who pulled my brothers from the smoke filled compartments of the Bonefish and wept when my shipmates died on the Iowa and White Plains. When called again, I was there, on the tip of the spear for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

I am the American Sailor. I am woman, I am man, I am white and black, yellow, red and brown. I am Jew, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist. I am Irish, Filipino, African, French, Chinese, and Indian. And my standard is the outstretched hand of Liberty. Today, I serve around the world, on land, in air, on and under the sea. I serve proudly, at peace once again, but with the fervent prayer that I need not be called again.

Tell your children of me. Tell them of my sacrifice, and how my spirit soars above their country. I have spread the mantle of my nation over the ocean and I will guard her forever. I am her heritage and yours.

Author unknown.

Haze grey and away! - Sailor

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Cover Ups

Seems one of the things we keep hearing from liberals and lefties and their willing accomplises in the so called mainstream media are the words cover up. We have heard this on the 9/11 attack, the WMD issue and of course, the detainee abuses. Back in 1967, there was an incindent which is still being covered up. Of course, it was a democrat in the White House when this occurred.

Navy Crew Remembers 1967 Israeli Attack

Sat May 22, 5:36 AM ET

By JEAN ORTIZ, Associated Press Writer

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. - For the nearly 20 surviving crew members of the USS Liberty, a gathering after 37 years was as much about the future as it was about the past. The Liberty, an intelligence-gathering vessel, was attacked by Israel in June 1967 while cruising international waters off the Egyptian coast during the Six Day War.

Israel was the war's victor, defeating the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan.

The attack was ruled accidental by U.S. officials. Emerging reports, including disclosures in the last year from some military officials, state the attack appeared to be deliberate — something that the crew members have suspected all along.

"We all believe we're finally getting to the point where the truth may be told and the world is ready to listen," said Cmdr. David Lewis, who oversaw intelligence on the ship and remembers most of the attack that left him with superficial burns and destroyed his eardrums.

Nearly 50 people honored the 34 sailors killed with a brief memorial service Friday, the second day of the three-day reunion in this southeast Nebraska city.

Crew member Moe Shafer, 57, said the attack was one of the largest cover-ups in history. He said Israel targeted the ship, hoping the United States would conclude the Arabs were responsible. The Americans then would have retaliated and ensured Israel's victory, he said.

Some military and government officials, along with the crew members, have said the attack was not only deliberate, but a cover-up by the American government.

"It was covered up at the highest level," Lewis said.

After reviewing documents earlier this year, a State Department official said the attack was due to negligence on the part of Israel, which has maintained it was a case of mistaken identity. The official said the United States was negligent for failing to withdraw the Liberty from the war zone.

Navy spokesman Lt. Chris Servello said a thorough investigation has been conducted.

"We are not aware of any new evidence that indicates the findings of the initial investigation are in error," he said.

Steve Forslund, 60, and Ron Gotcher, 57, were enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and worked as intelligence analysts for the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the attack occurred.

Gotcher, who was stationed in Vietnam, and Forslund, who was at Offutt Air Force Base outside Omaha, both saw transcripts of Israeli air-to-air and air-to-ground communication during or after the attack. Both said Israel knew the ship was American and was out to sink it.

Forslund speculated the cover-up was politically motivated, adding he didn't know why. Neither he nor Gotcher could speculate on what prompted the attack.

Forslund released a sworn statement this month. Gotcher said he began speaking out soon after the attack because he thought the orders to keep quiet were illegal.

Retired Navy Capt. Ward Boston, the former counsel for the Navy's Court of Inquiry, released a signed affidavit in October, stating he was ordered by President Lyndon Johnson and his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, to conclude the attack was unintentional, despite evidence to the contrary.

Boston, of Coronado, Calif., said Thursday the 600-page report prepared shortly after the attack was missing information he had included.

Oliver Kirby, a former deputy director of the National Security Agency who took part in the investigation, said he needs more proof before he can say that the attack was deliberate. The 83-year-old from Greenville, Texas, said that he never understood the attack's intent.

Adm. Thomas Moorer, a former chief of naval operations and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a memorandum on June 8, 1997, the 30th anniversary of the attack, that Israel deliberately attacked to hide its intentions in the war.

Over the years there has been scuttlebut, (NavySpeak for rumors), that a full air strike was launched by US Sixh Fleet to go after the attackers of the USS Liberty and to provide a CAP (Combat Air Patrol) over the Liberty to prevent any futher attacks. The rumor also claims that this strike was called back by none other then SecDef Robert McNamara. All I was able to confirm was that a strike package was launched. Whether they were ordered back is still speculative. - Sailor