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Readers' Comments

November 3, 2006

Editor's Note: Below are readers' comments about some of our recent stories:

   Again, thank you for putting this crucial election into such stark terms, which I do not believe is overstating the issues.  Mr. Bush is very scary in how he pushes the limits of the Constitution and the Republicans foolish willingness to rubber stamp these betrayals.
    Unlike many, I do not think that the Iraq war is a foolish, botched effort from the point of view of Bush and his coterie.  I think they are getting exactly what they want out of the war.  As for the soldiers' and Iraq's losses, that is just collateral damage from their point of view.
    Prior to 9/11, I think Bush & Co. were in search of a war and almost thought they had it with the spy plane issue with China.  When listening to the rhetoric then, I think Bush was trying to push the Chinese as the Enemy, except Americans weren't buying it.  These guys missed the Cold War, as much of their agenda, the War on the Constitution, was hidden in the War on Communism.
    That much of this was planned out was evident from the rhetoric after 9/11, and not just the substitution of Iraq for Afghanistan on 09/13.  In the speeches after 9/11, including the State of the Union (I believe), Bush talked about the Long War, and difficult war against terrorism that would take a generation to win (similar to the Cold War).
     Around that time (and I am relying on my memory, not notes) he began abrogating International Treaties, claiming he could not be "fettered" and needed an unlimited range of action.  Probably this was the first salvo against the Constitution, as he (probably) was Constitutionally bound to observed Congressionally approved and Presidentially signed treaties.
    So now we have a unilateral leader who is facing his last possible restraint with this mid-term election.  If he wins (or more likely steals it without a peep from the media/constituencies) I think it's a toss up whether he will ever face another election again. 
    In our house the question  is whether there would be another Presidential election again.  I think that Bush would then suspend the presidential elections and just rule as monarch, or Der Fuhrer, or the Decider.  He tried to suspend the Presidential election in 2004, claiming that it was too "dangerous" to have the election while the country was at war.  But he got no traction.  My husband, rightly, claims that there are plenty of right wing dictatorships where sham of elections occur, such as in Mexico, Chile, etc. 
    But I do agree with you that this election is our last chance to stop Bush.  After 6 years of watching him be unchallenged by Congress while everyone, including Socks the First Cat, was investigated during Clinton's presidency, I am truly fearful of the Election Day outcome.
Keep writing,

 Ly in upstate NY

     --

The one thing missing from your story and to me the crux of the whole story is, ...the why.

What is worth the loss of thousands of lives, billions of dollars, American power and respect on the world scene?  If the story is true, and it feels true, then you really should spend some time analyzing WHY George Bush would take a world he quite literally "had by the balls" and throw it all away on a situation that was questionable at best and what we see now at worst.
 
Who wins?  Surely this can't have been all about enriching Cheney's cronies at Halliburton?  While I don't believe that the president is all that bright, even he couldn't think of starting a war of this magnitude to enrich one large multinational corporation.
 
Best Wishes
 
Cynthia Neil

     --

    In a country with an experience of censorship and a more intricate 
history of political intrigue than we have had, it would be obvious 
that alQ wants a continuation of present U.S. policies, as in late 
2004 when the big man sent out a videotape ostensibly in favor of 
electing the Democrats. By the same logic, would we be surprised to 
witness a tape surfacing in the next week attacking our rulers?

ckc

     --

The problem is the American people are, indeed, stupid...how else could such
a psychotic, ignorant, sycophant and aparatchick theocrat rise to such level
of incompetence. The only real answer is with any rabid dog, out of
control...shoot on sight!!!

jhc9284

     --

    I realize this is a little late-due to a variety of circumstances I've
been way behind lately. But I wanted to add my US$.02 worth to your
fine October 19 article: "Who Is 'Any Person' in Tribunal Law?". This
is from my latest Express column which is clearly partially inspired
and informed by your recent writing.
    "One of the most prominent features of the Military Commissions Act
(M.C.A.) is Section 7(e) which denies the right of habeas corpus- the
constitutional protection against illegal imprisonment. Those of us who
are American citizens may be personally untroubled by this, assuming
that our status guarantees protection by our government of our
inalienable rights. But the M.C.A. grants jurisdiction of military
commissions not only over “alien unlawful enemy combatants”  but over
“unlawful enemy combatants” as well. Moreover, this particular status
is to be determined by a “...tribunal established under the authority
of the President or the Secretary of Defense.” (Sec. 948d(c)).
    The M.C.A. (Section 950v (26)) also specifically extends jurisdiction
of military tribunals to “any person...who, in breach of an allegiance
or duty to the United states  knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy
of the United States...” Since aliens owe no allegiance  to the United
States this means that the M.C.A. refers to all of us, aliens and
citizens alike. Until and if the courts overturn this abominable
legislation we are all potentially subject to the jurisidiction of a
military commission. And exactly how “inalienable” our rights such as
habeas corpus really are will depend on how we may be classified by a
tribunal appointed by George W. Bush or by Donald Rumsfeld."
    Thanks, as always for all your good work.

Best;

Peter Dyer

     --

I read your refute of Peter Bergen's op-ed piece with great interest.  It makes perfect sense and I hope you will send it to the op-ed editors of the New York TImes and other newspapers. 
 
It seemed obvious to me at the time that Bin Laden wanted Bush re-elected for his own ends but it would be helpful if you could get this idea in some other parts of the American media. 
 
Sincerely,
Susanna Tarjan

 


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