Editor’s Note: Because of the press of so much news, we've fallen behind in our regular featuring of readers' comments. Here is a selection of reactions to stories over the past few weeks:

I agree with Mr. Parry's interpretations of the Military Commissions Act. Here are a couple of related pieces of information.

Parry wrote, "The law permits, too, the introduction of secret evidence “while protecting from disclosure the sources, methods, or activities by which the United States acquired the evidence if the military judge finds that ... the evidence is reliable.”

That is what the prosecutor will be able to do with evidence the NSA obtains as they sweep the entire world for all broadband communications. By protecting the sources, methods and activities from disclosure, the NSA can keep the defense and everyone else from knowing how they acquired their evidence.

Otherwise, U.S. citizens will try to sue them because of the "self incrimination." In the new FISA, Protect America Act, NSA is permitted to engage in warrantless wiretapping for all foreign communications and U.S. communications.  I figure the NSA can sweep the entire world 24 hours a day for broadband communications by using HAARP's receivers; and I suspect that that is the only way they can get what they want because the task is so enormous.

I also figure that they will let one or more contractors store this digital private information, and that, "when" someone steals some of it, neither theNSA nor the  contractor will tell any of the people who then could have their identities stolen because of the accident.

Parry also wrote, "In the event of another terrorist incident or a similar national crisis, there’s also little reason to think that Bush won’t interpret every legal ambiguity in the Military Commissions Act as granting him the broadest possible powers."

Mr. Bush already has taken care of that.  In his May 9, 2007 directive, National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive. President Bush has given himself the broadest possible powers during national emergencies.
See http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html

Mrs. Cherie Mills
Texas

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I've just ordered your book and am looking forward to reading it.

I'm wondering just how deep the deception goes. Greenspan just came out and admitted that, yes, Virginia, it is about the oil, but I'm thinking that there could be some "fortuitous circumstances" behind this--at least for some people--and wondering how many of the lucky breaks were planned in advance.

To be a little clearer: The war has been a bonanza for military contractors: everything from makers of body and vehicle armor to catering to trucking to mercenaries, all of whom form a feedback loop to Republican political coffers. In particular, I'm concerned about Blackwater, formed just a month after it's founder's mentor, Chuck Colson, opined that the Clinton re-election meant that "American citizens can no longer support their government" and "hoped" that it wouldn't come to armed rebellion.
 
Meanwhile, Blackwater skims the cream off the armed services, paying the Spec Forces vets it hires 7 times military pay and sucking that, plus the guaranteed cost plus, out of the taxpayers. It is arming itself and building bases in the US. Simultaneously, the Bush Administration appears to be deliberately breaking the Army and, I read, is building internment camps. (I don't know the trustworthiness of my source for that.)

I remember World History and how the Roman Republic transformed into an empire due to the military shifting its allegiance from the Republic to individuals: Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony, and then Augustus Caesar.

You know a lot more about this than I. Does this pattern add up to what I think it does?

Teri_foster_gray

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In re: your 9/14 post: Bush's War Without End

I participated in an Investors Business Daily poll on Friday September 7, 2007. This was the second time this summer that I had been 'randomly' dialed to participate in an IBD poll.

Most of the questions in the two polls were identical with respect to my opinions about the economy and my consumer preferences. But the section on Iraq each time was tailored specifically to the current Bush Administration PR thrust.

It was in this poll on 9/7/07 that I first heard mentioned the term 'gradual withdrawal' when I was asked whether I favored an increase in troops in Iraq, or a 'gradual withdrawal' or 'staying until Iraq is stabilized'. I told the poller that I could not answer this question because it did not include 'complete withdrawal' as an option, and therefore it was a push poll.

I hadn't remembered previously hearing the meme 'gradual withdrawal'. Yet I awoke on Wednesday September 12 to nothing but 'gradual withdrawal' from NPR. And IBD had this article posted on 9/7/07: http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=16&issue=20070907
which stated: "The Petraeus report comes as Congress seems to be edging towards a compromise that would involve a gradual withdrawal with no firm deadline."

I just wanted to send you this data point, indicating a coordinated media campaign before the Petraeus report. I don't think it's a matter of the media following. They are frontline actors. Coconspirators.

Halcyon

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Hello: It seems the Dems are capitulating by going for "a middle ground", with the president. The only analogy I can make, is from the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow", when Ichabod Crane coward down with teeth chattering and a giddy laugh, while the thunder of the hoofs of the Headless Horseman`s horse came thundering his way as it echoed through the woods.

As you explained in a previous post, they do have a way, but for political concerns do not choose to go that route. I seems they are playing into the hands of the president again, to defer this war until he leaves office. It is criminal of both to allow our brave military to bear the brunt of all of this. However, it will always remain, as to how we got into all of this from the start. Keith Olbermann, named names and presented pics of all of them all. Thanks to people like him, that remind us of that.

However they still hide in the dark corners of the WH, and their respective "think tanks".  Will the American people ever know the harm they have caused. Will they slip off, only to continue their dirty games of keeping their influence alive, only to come back another day. The American people deserve to know the truth, as not to ever allow this to happen again. The only way is full disclosure, of this insidious conspiracy, wrought on us. If brought to light I`m sure, would result in many cases of treason.

If the Republicans dare to use this in 2012, I hope the American people will not forget. This is with the condition the president dumps his mistakes onto the 2008 Dems, if they succeed. Thanks again, and good luck, Bill

P.S. By the way, Ichabod, did get the girl in the end. We can only hope.  

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I enjoyed reading your piece about Ray McGovern screaming "swear them in!".  So I wondered why they weren't sworn in.  So I looked into it.

I called Congressman Skelton' s office and asked why not. They referred me to the press office of the House Armed Services Committee.  I was told by a woman named Laura Battles that as a matter of practice, the committee never swears in anyone who testifies.  I asked Ms. Battles how long this has been going on, she said she's been working there 20 years, no one has been sworn in during that time.

This is ridiculous!

I thought the folks at Consortium would appreciate that story.

Jason Morris
Richmond,VA

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In reference to your quote from Sean Hannity in your Sept. 8 essay, I heard David Brooks make a very similar statement on the PBS Newhour with Jim Lehrer.

But you read this thing (the recent bin Laden video, Bob), and it's like he's been sitting around reading lefty blogs, and he's one of these childish people posting rants at the bottom the page, you know, Noam Chomsky and all this stuff.

You can't help read it and not laugh at it, occasionally, because it is just absurd. It's flying this way, and that way, weird conspiracy theories, and mortgages, global warming. He throws it all in there.

...I mean, a lot of the worst ideas from the West have permeated in, and he's picked up Noam Chomsky, and he's picked up some of the anti-globalization stuff. And that's what infuses this.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec07/sbiraq_09-07.html
Curiouser and curiouser.

Bob

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Ah, yes, what to do to save the republic. Apparently, we all know what to not do, and we're not doing it anyway. Obviously, we can't hope for our "leaders" to do something, no matter how much we scream at them. Politicians exist to play politics, which usually interferes with getting things done. It's up to us, the "unwashed masses"  to save the nation, just as it fell to us to create it. To quote John Wayne, "They can't get us all."

As the saying goes, the hour is late. At this point, the possibilities have to be unexpected, brazen, and daring, but not necessarily violent. That's a tall order, but that's what we get when we have expecting someone else to do it. For that, we need some unusually creative minds. Unfortunately, the current tactic has been to wait and hope that this "empire," like all others, will collapse in on itself before World War III can completely destroy any remnants of America, or, as is very possible (with nukes and other poisons,) all life on earth. However, that reduces us to mere spectators to our own destruction, as if this were all just a scary movie for which Hollywood has written a happy ending. 

 suze

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While Big Corp, Big Pharma, Big Agra have been dumbing, doping, and poisoning Americans, Big Bush and cronies have been hijacking our Republic.  This has been going on for a very long time; since before Reagan was propelled into the WH on a lie and a prayer.  What is sad is that American's are given flouride to sedate them and computer games to distract them and an economy that takes two jobs to support them, is it any wonder that this has gone unnoticed?  Not to mention our educational system doesn't even teach the Constitution and it's values any more. Two generations have been destroyed.

Judy Burnett
Salt Lake City

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