March 17, 2003
St. Patrick's Day Edition
Greetings from the Department of Homeland Security! We are pleased to announce that we have taken over this newsletter - and the website that it originates from, the so-called 'Center for an Informed America' - and we have replaced the hack who used to write it with one of our finest strategic writers.
Now, instead of the offensive, treasonous, pro-terrorist propaganda that used to fill these pages, you will be receiving patriotic, up-to-the-minute reports of this department's successes in fighting the War on Terrorism and keeping the homeland safe, as well as regular assessments of the grave threats we face each and every day from those who harbor an irrational and completely unfounded hatred for everything American.
Some of you may be unhappy with the change in focus of these newsletters. Some may even be tempted to cancel your subscriptions. We would strongly caution you not to do so. Just a friendly reminder: we know who you are – and we would hate to have to have you declared a non-citizen.
The biggest news from the front-lines this month was the arrest of one of the most dangerous terrorists the world has ever known. I can't emphasize enough what a huge victory this was for our side. There seems to be some confusion, however, about how significant this arrest was, so allow me to take this opportunity to try to clear things up.
For some reason, there appears to be a widespread belief among the American people that this administration, led by the finest president the world has ever seen, fingered some guy named Osama bin Laden as the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, thereby branding him as the world's most wanted terrorist.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We never said any such thing. It is true that we were at one time looking for Mr. bin Laden, but only because it was believed that he could possibly lead us to some of the bigger al Qaeda fish.
Bin Laden himself has always been, at best, a wannabe terrorist. His only real value to the al Qaeda organization comes from the fact that his father is extremely wealthy. He's kind of like the kid who the other kids let hang around the playground only because he is the only one with a ball. So forget about Osama bin Laden. He's small potatoes.
But this other guy that we just captured - or who someone else just captured and we're taking credit for, or who maybe wasn’t even captured at all, or who actually was killed during a raid last year, or whatever the case may be - this guy named, uhmm, Mohammad, or something like that ... now this guy is absolutely huge. In terrorist circles, this guy is a superstar. So we're happy to say that we are claiming a major victory in the War on Terrorism.
There has been one unintended consequence of this huge victory, however. The American people, having developed a sudden appetite for advocating the use of torture on terrorist suspects (an appetite which we may have inadvertently contributed to), and having been assured that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad knows where all the bodies are buried, apparently now expect us to extract from our suspect the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.
We do not anticipate though that Mr. bin Laden will be taken into custody in the near future. There are at least two good reasons for this decision: 1) we will very likely need to resurrect bin Laden in the foreseeable future, when we need a good bogeymen to scare all of you; and 2) the arrest of Osama would likely cause some awkward moments at the next annual Bush/bin Laden family gathering.
What, by the way, do you suppose George's dad and Osama's pop used to talk about when they got together at the bin Laden compound? Did Osama's name ever come up in the conversation?
Bush: "You know, Binny, I love doing business with you, I really do. You know that. But I have to tell you, that son of yours, Osama, can be a real pain in the ass."
Bin Laden: "Ahh, Poppy, what can I say? You know how these damn kids are today. It's like with that crack-head granddaughter of yours down in Florida. You try to raise them right and you hope for the best. But what are you going to do?"
I see from the preceding paragraphs that I have fallen completely out of character ... uhmm, what I meant to say is that I succeeded in hacking back into my computer and adding these last few paragraphs. Unfortunately, I now have to turn this newsletter back over to the Department of Homeland Security ....
And now, after claiming victory in Afghanistan, we're off to Iraq ... just as soon as that bastard Saddam gives us the slightest pretext that we can use. We are sorry to report that the long-awaited occupation of Iraq has been pushed back just a bit, due to the fact that the Iraqi regime has gone much further than anticipated in acceding to our increasingly ludicrous demands, thereby robbing us of numerous perfectly good pretexts that we had planned to use.
When we insisted that he destroy what little he has in the way of defensive missiles, and good ol’ Hans went along with it, we thought we had him for sure. We thought we had established the perfect pretext. No one here thought that Saddam would actually destroy those missiles. I mean, who in the world is going to destroy what little they have in the way of defensive weapons when an invading army is knocking at the door, and it’s perfectly obvious to everyone that they're coming in whether you disarm or not?
But I'll be damned if that son-of-a-bitch isn't destroying those missiles. It's the craziest thing! And now, we have to dream up some new hurdle for Saddam to clear, even while repeatedly claiming that he hasn't yet cleared the last one, when the whole world can see that he has. We have revamped our stated justifications so many times that pretty much everyone has by now figured out that we really have no way of justifying what we are about to do. This has created an unfortunate situation whereby virtually all of our allies have been forced by intense pressure from the public to jump ship and pose as foes of Plan Bush.
But we're going to keep provoking Saddam into doing something that we can use to justify invading Iraq, and we're going to keep bullying various members of the UN Security Council to line up behind our war plans. And if none of that works, then we're going in anyway, because, well, America, and only America, has the courage, the vision, and the moral standing to do the right thing, as we have always done in the past and as we will continue to do, because we are, after all, America. God bless us. And go get yourself some Freedom Fries.
We're not entirely sure, by the way, how our splendid little war is going to play out. One thing that we are anticipating is that we will go on full-alert status here on the home front. This will mean that we will essentially be under martial law, although we won't of course call it that. We will just say that we are on 'red-alert' status, working diligently to keep you all safe, but the troops in the streets will make it look a lot like there has been a declaration of martial law.
Of course, all the military troops and all the militarized police troops and all the reactionary laws in the world cannot protect the American people from real 'terrorist' attacks perpetrated by those in whom we are instilling a pathological hatred of this country. But, then again, that's not really why we have put those laws and troops in place. They are not intended to protect the American people; they are intended to protect the corrupt infrastructure of this country from the American people.
Elsewhere in the world, we anticipate that the shit is really going to hit the fan. As we proceed to pummel a second predominantly Muslim nation in the space of just a couple of years, and as Israel assists in laying waste to Iraq, and vastly accelerates its illegal assaults on the Palestinian people, we can't really expect the Islamic world to sit idly by.
In addition to Israel, we expect Turkey to enter the fray as well, in an effort to forestall an uprising among the Kurdish people in both Iraq and Turkey. While we appreciate Turkey's help, we have no intention of ceding any level of control to them, so that situation could prove to be a little messy.
While it seems a long shot at this point, there is also the possibility that Iran could complicate matters. Assuming that the Iranian leadership has a modest level of intelligence and foresight, it surely must have occurred to them that, being an Axis of Evil partner and all, they are very likely high on the list of future U.S. targets. As such, it would certainly behoove them to join forces with neighboring Iraq to repel the U.S. invasion. That, needless to say, would seriously complicate our war effort.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone, once again, that it is Saddam, and only Saddam, who should be held accountable for the mountains of civilian bodies that are going to pile up in Iraq. Why, just the other day we learned that Saddam has acquired U.S. military uniforms which Iraqi troops will wear whilst slaughtering Iraqi civilians, in a demonic attempt to make our heroic troops look like murderers.
Luckily, we've informed the American people in advance, so when the reports of massive civilian casualties begin streaming in, everyone will know that it isn't really our side committing war crimes. We can all sit smugly back and say to ourselves: "It's not us doing it. Saddam is using those civilians as human shields, and sending his own troops out disguised as Americans to mow them down and discredit our war effort. George and Don and Dick and Colin said he was going to do it, and sure enough, he has. And how do we know that they really were 'civilians'? Saddam handed out guns to everyone. I saw it on TV!”
Don Rumsfeld, by the way, has asked me to clarify, for the benefit of any of our servicemen who may be reading this, that we are not suggesting here that, once the invasion has begun, you should open fire on any soldiers in American uniforms that you may happen to see slaughtering innocent Iraqi civilians. We would like to keep 'friendly fire' casualties to a minimum, if you catch my drift.
Some readers may be wondering how we can claim, as we've taken to doing, that the Iraqi people will welcome U.S. troops with open arms. It does seem a bit of a stretch to suggest that a nation of people who have for twelve years watched helplessly as their family members have died and their homes and the infrastructure of their beloved homeland have been destroyed, would welcome with open arms the armed forces of the country that they hold accountable.
One would assume that a people battered by twelve years of 'low intensity' warfare conducted from afar - warfare that has included sporadic bombing campaigns, the destruction of water, sanitation and healthcare services, the disruption of food supplies, and the poisoning of the land and livestock, and which has caused hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, all of which we blame on Saddam - would almost welcome the opportunity to face their until-now faceless tormentors.
Revenge is, alas, a powerful motivating force -- as we in Washington are well aware as we seek to indelibly link Iraq with September 11 in the public consciousness. And that is why we fully expect the Iraqis to resist the U.S. invasion with a vengeance. We've kind of been keeping it to ourselves, but we fully expect to suffer heavy casualties in this operation.
In fact, we will very likely be faced with a choice between suffering staggeringly high U.S. casualties, and going nuclear. If we opt to go nuclear, we might lie and claim that we're actually dropping those new MOAB's we showed off in Florida, or we might admit to dropping nukes, to let all those other rogue nations out there know that we mean business. If we choose to acknowledge the use of nukes, we will do our best to see to it that when GWB makes the historic announcement of the world's first use of tactical nuclear weapons, he pronounces the word "nuclear" correctly.
We should probably add here that, if we do go nuclear, we will be sending our boys in to mop up afterwards. What that means is that we will still sustain massive casualties among our troops. That will not be immediately apparent, however, as most of them will be delayed, and therefore plausibly deniable, casualties.
Some of you, by the way, may find yourselves wondering why Saddam would eagerly arm the very people who will, according to our claims, purportedly assist in his ouster. And we must admit that our propaganda runs so thick that we sometimes find ourselves tripping over it. Putting out the story about counterfeit U.S. military uniforms, for example, showed a reckless disregard for the safety of our own troops. But, then again, so too does sending them in to face exposure to all the radioactive DU we left behind the last time, and that we will surely add to.
Luckily, very few Americans know anything about our routine use of radioactive weaponry, so when the veterans of this war begin showing symptoms of "Gulf War Syndrome," we can continue to deny that any such condition exists, while our strategic writers in the progressive/conspiracy community will continue to acknowledge that it does exist, but is attributable to exposure to Iraqi biochemical weapons, and not our own use of low-grade nuclear weapons.
The story about Saddam arming civilians may, in retrospect, have been poorly thought out as well. We have said repeatedly, after all, that we will be fighting for the liberation of the Iraqi people, who we have said desire nothing so much as the deposing of the Hussein regime. We have said that Saddam has no support among the Iraqi people, and no loyalty among most of his own military forces. And we have said that Saddam has armed the Iraqi people.
So the argument could be made, though of course no one has really bothered to make it, that the Iraqi ‘problem,’ if there is in fact a problem, can resolve itself without any outside interference.
If, as George Bush claimed in his State of the Union address, the Iraqi people understand that the enemy is not surrounding the country, but is in Baghdad; and if the Iraqi people have been armed and organized, as has been claimed; and if, as has also been frequently claimed, the majority of Saddam’s military forces will support, or at least not resist, the ouster of his regime; then what exactly is it that is preventing the Iraqi people from overthrowing the regime now and installing a more democratic alternative?
If you do find yourself pondering these types of questions, then you may be suffering from what is called an Information Processing Disorder, which is characterized by a bizarre compulsion to make sense of the information that is being fed to you. If you think that you may be suffering from this type of disorder, please do the following:
1. First and foremost, stop analyzing the news. Your job is simply to digest what we feed to you. You don't need to burden yourself with independent thought. That is one of the great things about this wonderful democracy of ours: we have hired legions of talking heads to analyze the news for you, thereby ensuring that you will have the leisure time to watch all 15 nights of "I'm the Former Boyfriend of a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" You cannot enjoy the full benefits of this great democracy if you waste all of your time analyzing information that has already been analyzed for you. Get with the program. Take your cues from the professionals. If Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw haven't questioned what we say, then you shouldn't either.
2. Make viewing of the Fox News channel a regular part of your daily routine. Try to achieve a trance-like state while tuning in, insuring that all the information imparted will be downloaded directly into your brain in a pure, unfiltered state. If you have to be out on the road, substitute Rush Limbaugh for Fox News.
3. Double your daily allotment of Prozac. If problems persist, try taking Thorazine in conjunction with the Prozac.
4. If you still find yourself questioning claims that we make, your disorder may be so severe that institutionalization is required; turn yourself in immediately to the nearest office of the Department of Homeland Security.
We had high hopes that the president's recent press conference would rally the public behind our war drive. Unfortunately, he seemed to have a little bit of trouble presenting a coherent, rational argument. We had assumed that he could handle an obviously scripted ‘press conference,’ but we were mistaken. Apparently, we are going to have to further limit press access to The Boss. Frankly, some of us are beginning to wonder why he isn't the one tucked away in a secure location.
Some of you may have found his performance unsettling. We believe, however, that while the president's performance was at times quite bizarre, it compared favorably with other recent high-profile media events. If you don’t believe us, roll back the tape on recent chats with the media by Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson and Robert Blake.
.... Hi everyone! It's me again. I just hacked back in, and I notice that we seem to be discussing Robert Blake. While we're on that topic, I have to say that, as an Angeleno, I am feeling a little slighted in that he never approached me about whacking his wife. What’s up with that, Bobby? I thought we were tight ... ? You all but took out a full-page ad in the Hollywood trades looking for a hit man, but you never came to me? You hurt me, Bobby. You really do.
If the state’s case against Blake is to be believed - and that is never a given in this town - then Blake approached a number of Hollywood associates about killing Ms. Bakley. Now maybe it’s just me, but I’m thinking that before you approach someone about whacking your wife, you have to be reasonably certain that the person that you are talking to is in that line of work.
So the question is: why does Blake’s circle of friends include several guys - one of whom once shot an unarmed man six times, purportedly in self defense, and then lied to police about the shooting and disposed of the weapon, and another of whom is a former LAPD homicide detective, and yet another of whom is nicknamed "Snuffy" - who might be interested in a contract hit? I am reminded here of the words of convicted Sunset Strip Killer (and former intelligence operative) Douglas Clark: “[In Hollywood], everyone's a producer or a hit man.”
Blake certainly acted as though that were the case. I’m guessing that he eventually tired of dealing with the minor leaguers and called in a true professional to get the job done. One of Hollywood’s finest assassins. Someone with impeccable credentials. I’m thinking, of course, of Chuck Barris.
Since we’re discussing crime in L.A. (more or less), we should take this opportunity to welcome the LAPD’s new Homeland Security Czar, who recently arrived fresh from his former job as a network news commentator. I can't recall his name just now, and I don't have time to look it up, but I'll try to get back to you with it.
Now what, you may be wondering, does working as a purportedly independent, objective journalist have to do with overseeing homeland security operations within one of the country’s largest, and most notoriously corrupt, police departments? Good question. I wish I had a good answer, but about the best that I can come up with is that both positions - phony journalist and homeland security chief - are of considerable strategic importance to the boys at Langley ... uh oh ... looks like I have to go again ...
Meanwhile, back on the international front, we're already working to get a head start in shaping public opinion on the grave threats posed by North Korea and Iran. America is, for reasons that are far too complex to explain, so you'll just have to take our word for it, suddenly vulnerable to attack from any number of militarily insignificant countries half a world away. That is the new reality that we must face.
There are people out there in the world who hate freedom and hate democracy. They hate those abstract concepts. They hate them so much that they don’t want anyone, anywhere in the world, to benefit from them. They lie and they kill and they destroy to prevent anyone in the world from having the freedom and independence that they so despise.
We call these people "terrorists." Most of the rest of the world calls these people "Bush administration officials."
As many of you are aware, North Korea is a very strange and scary place that is ruled by a raving lunatic and that is populated by a sub-human breed of savages known to be violent and unpredictable. As you are also probably aware, North Korea has recently been engaging in behavior intended to deliberately taunt America.
This, of course, makes no sense at all. Why would a small, impoverished nation deliberately provoke the world's mightiest military powerhouse, particularly when it is pretty clear that that military machine in on a rampage? Why would they invite upon themselves what they have already seen happen to Afghanistan and Serbia and Iraq and all the other targets of U.S. aggression? Come to think of it, they don't really need to look abroad to see what the U.S. military is capable of; they've seen it up close and personal.
So it doesn't really make much sense that the North Koreans would go out of their way to deliberately antagonize the United States. Which just proves, as we always say, that they're just plain crazy over there.
For instance, they fired up a nuclear reactor -- primarily because we. reneged on a deal and cut off their fuel oil, leaving them with no other option than to resort to nuclear power. More recently, while we were exercising our God-given right to fly spy missions off North Korea's coast, trying our best to provoke a confrontation, they actually had the nerve to intercept our plane and escort it away from an area where they apparently felt it didn't belong.
Plus, Kim Jong has a really bad haircut, which proves conclusively that he is a madman who must be stopped at all costs.
For the time being, we are pretending as though we have little interest in a military response to North Korea's entirely predictable responses to our deliberate provocations. We are hoping that, by continuing to provoke actions by the North Koreans that we can portray as unprovoked acts of hostility, we can create a public demand for military actions that, we can assure you, we already have planned.
Since we're already in the Gulf, however, it would probably be best to first deal with that other Axis of Evil nation, Iran, which we are also in the process of propping up as some sort of imminent threat. We can't reveal too much of the game plan just yet, but suffice it to say that Iraq will not be our final destination in the War on Terrorism. Not by a long shot.
And that, fellow Americans, is all that we have for you this week. We are securing this computer so that the previous proprietor of this website will not be able to access and alter this newsletter. We look forward to bringing you a new update next week. Until then, keep in mind the recent words of our great and fearless leader:
"God loves you. I love you. And you can count on us both."
.... Okay, I think they're gone now. Without further ado then, let's get on with what I wanted to do this week: dive into the mail bag and see what's on readers' minds. That's right, folks, this week you all get to write part of the newsletter. And some of you have a lot to say.
Many of these letters refer to newsletters that were sent out many months ago. As a reminder to readers, who sometimes write to complain that they missed some of the mailings, all thirty-one of them can be found posted at my site at http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com.
First up is reader “Margie,” weighing in on the 2004 election:
“I have another prediction for you, looking even farther into the future: You touched on controlling the voting machines and thus the elections, I believe. We're no doubt in agreement that Bush's second term will be assured by whatever means necessary. Before Republican-owned touch-screen voting machines, I'd predicted another phony terrorist attack and the declaration of martial law in time for the '04 election, perhaps with ‘temporary’ cancellation of the election for ‘national security’ reasons. Now, I simply believe Republicans will have enough control of the voting machines, not to mention the media and the money, that they'll ‘win’ again in '04.”
I made a similar prediction in a past newsletter, speculating that the ‘04 election would be canceled. Like Margie, I failed to anticipate how quickly paperless voting machines would be put into place. I agree that cancellation of the election will not now be necessary, as a combination of ludicrously weak opponents, media shenanigans, and control of voting machines will guarantee King George a second term.
More from Margie:
“I believe that at one time Jeb was intended to be our second Bush emperor. Now, there are two possibilities surrounding the substitution of George for Jeb: 1) that Jeb's illegal doings, including drug smuggling, were threatening to be exposed, or that 2) George straightened up and got sober in time to be considered instead of Jeb. At seven years older than Jeb, George could be emperor FIRST, followed by Jeb.”
I don’t doubt that we will see a Jeb Bush presidency, but I don’t know if it will directly follow George’s reign. Maybe we’ll continue the alternating Bush-Clinton pattern. I’m thinking six more years of George II, then one or two terms for Hillary (unelectable, you say? ... by 2008, no one will be unelectable), and then it will be Jeb’s turn.
More commentary on the next election came from reader “Brock” in Toronto:
“In light of the fact that your elections seem to be being tampered with, and that exit polls have been recently canceled ... doesn't it make sense for the ‘enlightened underground’ to do their own exit polling in the next presidential election? Are there any laws about who can do exit polling in the US? If there isn't wouldn't it be a good idea to start organizing a grass roots movement to monitor your next election set?”
This initially struck me as a good idea. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that such an effort would be doomed from the start, as it would pose far too great a threat to our entrenched 'democratic' system. No expense would be spared in crushing and/or discrediting the movement.
It is questionable whether such unsanctioned polls would even be allowed. There is undoubtedly some laws on the books that could be interpreted as prohibiting such an effort, on the pretext that the pollsters would be harassing voters and preventing them from exercising their right to vote -- as though protecting the right to vote is of any importance to the Washington gang.
If such exit polling did take place, any results obtained therefrom would be either ignored, or attacked as hideously biased and completely lacking in credibility. The media would trip over themselves in the rush to denounce the independent exit polls. In the end, the results would only have credibility for those who already know that the elections are a sham.
In any event, restoring exit polls and eliminating paperless voting machines is not going to return legitimacy to U.S. elections -- for the simple reason that they weren't legitimate to begin with. When presented with two interchangeable candidates, does it really matter which one of them wins, and by what means? The problem is, alas, one of systemic corruption that cannot be solved by attacking select manifestations of that corruption.
The next letter comes from my self-appointed proofreader, "Tim." His message was in reference to Newsletter #30: "You refer, in your joke about your multiple personalities, to 'Chuck Grossman (of Yellow Times).' Did you mean John Chuckman?"
Beats the hell out of me. I was quoting from memory from an e-mail that I had received but not saved. I thought I remembered the name Chuck Grossman. But it could have been John Chuckman. It could also have been Chuck Johnman. Or maybe Hugh Jackman. I really can't say for sure. But is there is a writer for Yellow Times named John Chuckman, then he probably is the one.
Reader "Nick," who tends to be a bit of a contentious lad, wrote in with the following rather politically incorrect observations:
"I keep on reading, and more so this month, of all the innocent civilians that were attacked in the WTC ... But as by far the greater part of the history of US aggression over the last 50 years has been economic, with 'globalization' (read 'the ruthless imposition of the US political economy on other peoples, mostly for the benefit of the US and its compliant allies') forcing millions into conditions similar to those encountered by the civilians living in militarily vanquished societies and colonies, in what way are the ordinary bankers and stockbrokers, who make up the infrastructure of the aggressive components of the US economy, however humble their job, really much different from the footsoldiers in any aggressive army? Since when has the fact that Joe is only a quartermaster, dishing out socks and dogtags, rather than a sniper like Fred, spraying out the hot lead (or the depleted uranium, as the case may be), made Joe any less of a 'soldier' ... than Fred?"
Nick makes a number of valid points, but it appears to me as though there is something missing from his argument. It is true that the rank and file workers who inhabited offices in the WTC towers are roughly equivalent to the rank and file 'soldiers' who populate the various branches of the U.S. military. However, corporations and military services are organized along similar lines, with the decision-making and agenda-setting power resting with the handful of men at the top of a pyramid structure, while the majority of the organization's personnel inhabit the lowest levels of the pyramid.
The workers in those WTC offices, for the most part, were good and decent people who were just trying to eke out a living working a monotonous 9-5 job. They had no control over the policies of the corporations that they worked for, and likely little knowledge of what the company's true agenda is. And the same is true, of course, for the vast majority of U.S. military personnel. In both worlds, decisions are made at the top, and then passed down through the chain of command, becoming fragmented and compartmentalized, obscuring the fact that all the little people performing all the mundane tasks are contributing to the commission of crimes against humanity.
So maybe what we need to do is do away with the distinction between "civilian" and "military" casualties, and come up with some new designations that distinguish between, say, 'warmongers' and 'pawns.' And maybe we should also do away with the habit of automatically attaching the word "innocent" to 'civilian casualties,' though never to 'military casualties.'
We hear talk among the progressive community of all the innocent civilians who will be killed in Iraq. But why are all the Iraqi military personnel who will be slaughtered not described as innocent as well? Of what exactly are they guilty? Most who will die are young men, as are most Americans who will die. They had nothing to do with waging war with Iran, with annexing Kuwait, or with building alleged weapons of mass destruction. They are young men serving their country to defend against a foreign power launching an unprovoked attack. How are they not innocent?
Elsewhere in the mailbag, we find this from reader "Therese," who wrote in reference to Newsletter #16's contention that this war is a war for control of the mind:
"I believe that Allen Dulles said something very like this when he was head of the CIA. He said, 'The next war will be the battle for men's minds.' What can I say, that was before feminism. But if it truly is a battle for men's minds, then there is hope, for half the adult population is not men. Let us anticipate that they are wiser, kinder, and more humane."
Now that's what I call looking on the bright side. I have never heard that particular quote before, but it does sound like something Dulles might have said. As for the notion of a world led by women being wiser, kinder, and more humane, I would tend to agree for the most part. But then again, we do have to consider the likes of Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and Madeleine Albright. Not to mention Katherine Harris.
Also in the mailbag is this from reader "Jean Dion":
"I just read your Newsletter #18 and would like to mention the following: Papon did not only send Jews to death when he worked for Petain. He also had about 200 Arabs killed in Paris, when he was De Gaulle’s Police Chief in 1961. And he has never been tried for that. (See full report at: http://www.flamemag.dircon.co.uk/algerians.htm)"
Duly noted, and thanks for writing. See also http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/oct2002/pap-o10.shtml for additional information on Papon from the folks at the WSWS.
There's plenty more in the mail bag, including a good deal of correspondence on the September 11 attacks, particularly the attack on the Pentagon. Next week's newsletter, therefore, will be dedicated solely to reviewing and responding to those letters. Until then ...