Austin, Texas... Politex's for LETTERS

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Dear Politex...

Bush read a good speech (authored by one of St. Louis' own, I understand). The part where the speechwriter wrote that the terrorists were against us because of our freedom was cynical, though. The real reasons seem to be that we support Israel and we have a greasy mutual oil relationship with other states, particularly Saudi Arabia. In the name of oil we are "defiling the Holy Land." I don't think Bush or Cheney particularly want to talk about the oil aspect of the problem, so Bush's chose to abuse the word "freedom."

Nietzsche said, "If the truth ever wins, ask what lie fought for it." I think there is a good chance that Bush intended both to obscure the oil angle and simultaneously send the message that our freedoms will be respected -- and the latter is good.

In terms of grading the Bush administration, one thing I expect to see after the crisis mood calms is a relatively damning assessment of the Bush team's foreign policy and post-crisis handling of the situation.

Prior to the crisis, Bush:
1. Divided us from (not united us with) our European allies.
2. Gushed about what a great guy the Russian Putin is.
3. Loosened America's grasp of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

After the crisis, Bush:
1. Ducked and ran to SAC HQ, leaving us to wonder if our country was under some sort of nuclear threat.
2. Fought back tears on camera in the Oval Office
3. Described our campaign against terrorism as a "crusade"
4. Further embraced Putin

Consider all of the above from the point of view of a fiendish bastard like bin Laden. Even U.S. conservatives were shocked when Bush showered praise on Putin. Imagine how the Muslims felt, though. Putin (who must be a very happy man right now) was Enemy Number One in Afghanistan when bin Laden was fighting Russia. Putin still is Enemy Number One in Chechnya. Now we are in league with Putin against radical Islam. Great.

Reasonable minds may differ on whether it is appropriate to appear to be on the verge of crying in the Oval Office. I happen to think that it will give bin Laden and his ilk great joy to see the President of the U.S. blinking back tears and fighting for words on camera in the Oval Office of the White House. I could be wrong. Maybe they will see it as a sign of strength that Bush is not afraid to be in touch with his feelings -- but I don't think so.

Then, on camera, Bush called the war on terrorism a "crusade," a word that threatens all Muslims (not just the radical ones) in the same way that the phrase "final solution" threatens Jews and the word "jihad" appalls all the non-Muslim world. Most Americans see it as merely a slip of the tongue rooted in Bush's ignorance of history, but radical Muslims will have a field day. They already have interpreted the Koran to allow murder, so interpreting the word "crusade" coming from a devout Christian to mean, well, "crusade" is hardly a leap for them.

Good luck with your site. Keep freedom of speech alive, I say! --Tim, 9/25/01

The truth is that the Kabul Taliban has no control over Osama bin Laden and may not know where he is. Outside of the capitol of Kabul the Taliban has alliances, not control. Afghanistanis made up of different groups, some in the north having more of an affinity to Iran and in the south completely different. They do not really like each other. This is not a country in the traditional sense. Therefore it is a charade by the Bush government to ask Pakistan to ask the Taliban to turn over Osama bin Laden. This is the information we in Wisconsin were able to obtain from Wisconsin Public Radio’s Idea Network from 7 to 8am this morning from Joseph Elder, professor at UW-Madison at the Center for SouthAsia, Sociology & Languages and Cultures of Asia, Ph.D.Harvard University. --Karen, 9/19/01

I've watched the AOL signon screen carefully for the past week. For a few days after the attacks, they fed the fires of hatred (in my opinion) using words like "FURY". In one instance they showed a pic of a pickup truck bumper that said "REVENGE" all day. Then they toned down the vitriole' and started the flag-waving and pop-ups with kids' drawings of the events.

Today's signon screen had a poll to take. The header was "Cost Of Peace". Newspeak if I've ever heard it. The text read, "Do you support tighter laws to fight terrorism?". When the link was clicked, a popup poll appeared featuring two questions:

Do you support tighter terrorism laws in the U.S. even if it limits your freedoms?

At the time I checked the poll (5:30 AM, Pacific), 233,000 people had said Yes. 48,000 had said they weren't sure. 40,000 had said No. That works out to 72% Yes, 15% Not Sure, and 12% No.

The next questions was:
Which of these security measures would you most support?

National ID cards = 56%
Video Camera Checkpoints = 26%
Email/Phone monitors = 10%
Car Searches = 6%

I am aghast at what's happened to the country since last Tuesday. We're (at least the overwhelming majority of the media-saturated sheep) being driven off the cliff of reason into the abyss of War (against who I have no clue). I predict split-screen video of innocent dead civilians in streets not our own played alongside video of "Good Americans" leaping into the air and cheering. Long after Dubya's War is over, we'll feel the effects of his media cronies' brainwashing of the masses into the permanent reduction of our rights. But I'll be right here, and I'll be part of the Loyal Opposition until they take my iMac from my cold, dead hands. --Jim, 9/19/01

[Re the airline story that you wrote,] as I mentioned in one of my letters, I'm a Vietnam combat vet, and if you see another guy sitting on the aisle sweating, that'll be me. (Helpful hint: the seatbelts on airliners are the quick connect-disconnect type like on race cars. Using the right kind of wrap, those could be secured around at least one forearm for a crude but somewhat effective shield against knives. A leather jacket wrapped around a forearm works pretty good too, I'm told.) I really don't think we'll see much more of these types of attacks, although there could be a few just for psychological value. We're focused on this area now, they'll exploit the next niche, or niches that open up within the complexity of the new security! --Ken, 9/17/01

I have written to you several times before as a democrat who hated what had been done to the country by the political system as manipulated by the repugs. But this is different, all of us have been insulted and assaulted by the tragedy in New York and Washington. But this has been coming for years. I have been a democrat and liberal for most of my adult life, I am a retired Firefighter, staunch Union member and as such have a personal loss in addition to the community loss. We have spent too much time trying to reason and coddle the enemies of humanity. We have to sit up and call the situation what it is. There are some people who are bad. They will not be good no matter what we do, they want to be evil. There are countries that should not exist, or their leaders should not be leaders. These are the Saddams, and the Taliban, there are people who have been led by those leaders and who actually believe that their purpose in life is to kill us.

We must realize this and respond accordingly, yes, I will agree that not all Arabs are bad people, and not all Muslims are bad people, but when a cult or a faction of a religion teaches that the road to heaven is by killing the infidels, or by waging a holy war against us, then yes we should and must cut the head off of that dragon. These people who want to celebrate in the street over the death of 5,000 in the US should have the privilege of having their own funerals so celebrated. We must pull our heads out of the sand and be ready to back our leaders, yes even Bush, and stand up for them when we have to go in and kill all of the people in a camp that teaches terrorism even if that camp has children in it. Because those children are being taught the art of terror. This is what those people do and we must do accordingly. We must not be alarmed because some newshead on the TV talks about the innocent deaths, because if those people are there they are not innocent they are part of the support of those BAD people. We can prevail but it will be hard, we must have the resolve of a soldier or a firefighter or a police officer and be ready to act and act completely to stop them forever. "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." -George Washington -Dave

friday, September 14, 2001

friday, September 14, 2001

There's a lot to like about William Rivers Pitt's "Heros". I have, however, a few minor variations of opinion of my own. One word I have been hearing a lot of (until I lost the only channel I could get on the tube) is the word "defiance", about how "defiant" we are. That tumbled around for awhile yesterday evening, as I could not quite get the shape of what bothered me about it. Later something snapped in; why do we have to reassure ourselves so often about how "defiant" we are? I believe what we witness as we continue to see unrelentingly replayed footage of airliners deliberately and with malice aforethought crashed into two World Trade Center towers is a pretty shocking display of "defiance", I'm not sure that we need to get into the defiance game. Speaking of the heroism of the police and firemen, he states that "No greater example" will ever need be displayed, as we have the definition now, forever. I take nothing whatsoever away from these heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty, but Pitt has obviously never seen a man dive on a live grenade to save his brothers-in-arms. We've had the definition for an awfully long time, it's just that these men and women measure up, in spades.

No, the media has not slumbered, otherwise I obviously wouldn't know how defiant we are. Before the channel went out, I was treated to Tom Brokaw and a Talking Headess obsessing about how the President ACTUALLY ("actually" was emphasized repeatedly) had ACTUALLY used the phrase "We are at war.", they seemed to be quite beside themselves with the immensity of their media coup. And it undoubtedly is an overwhelming and requisite aid to the healing of our great nation to have the unrelentingly replayed footage of commercial airliners crashing into two towers of the former World Trade Center replayed unrelentingly. I saw Rudy Giuliani on the tube yesterday and must admit that he did actually appear strong and stable and had the appearance of a leader. Perhaps the immensity of events have gotten through to him, and instead of obsessing about ferrets and art he can be kept busy with some useful work. The photo op of Congress yesterday didn't exactly light my fire, but as in Rudy's case, I was astounded to see that Hastert actually came across as believable, while surely there's more "there there" to Tom Daschle, whom I really was trying to like. There's nothing high and holy and mystical about Clinton and Gore standing up for Bush, they probably actually mean it, and besides, it'd be political suicide to do otherwise. The real shocker was seeing Yassir Arafat, the man looked genuinely devastated, and I don't believe he's that good of an actor, and I'll leave it at that and not speculate about motive. Although I don't feel I need to reclaim a citizenship I did not lose, I do like the way Pitt ends his piece, and I will quote it to end mine: "We have risen to this challenge by holding each other close in the face of horror and woe. Remember that tomorrow morning. Remember it always." Reporting live just miles from Crawfish, Texas, --ken

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Ok, maybe it was on other channels, but I've done nothing except be in front of the TV since Tues and channel surf, and I never, on ANY other channel, saw the film footage of President Clinton going to the Armory in New York visiting that long line of victims' relatives, listening to their stories, and being truely concerned and compassionate and comforting. Why wasn't this reported and shown on all the other stations? (Because the comparison with Bush on Friday wouldn't hold a candle and it was too obvious, I'm guessing). I didn't see any other Republicans the day of or after in New York--except the mayor and gov, of course. (Only today Tompson and Whitman, there in person, and appearing to care.) The response to the "good citizens", the "good folks" of New York from this administration has been... limp. How sad. Can't make up for that either. Ever. Never. Too late. You guys can be there later, after, never, but not when you were needed the most, at the immediate time of crisis. Clinton was there today, too, comforting ordinary people, I mean, "folks." Anyway, it does pay to check out Fox every now and then...and only they, as far as I know, were the only ones showing Clinton...ok, great! Even as I type this now MSNBC is having Franklin Graham spouting the Republican spin, saying for the past number of years we have been "asleep"...i.e. its Clinton's fault. And the best thing about Billy Graham was that he "appeared" to be non-political, but his son is different, it now appears. Yes, you've got to check into the opposition's letters, TV channels, websites, newspapers, direct mails, etc. So, please, Jerry Politex, in fact post more of the right wing sites and label them as such because some of them have very liberal sounding (deceptive) names to fool many "good citizens." --Ruth

Please don't read this as being insensitive to the plight of those who had friends and family harmed in yesterday's cowardly attack on the US, but I am amazed at the racism that is being spewed from our citizens. Arabs might have committed this crime, so some would have us believe all arabs deserve to die. How about we kill every person of asian descent for W.W.II, Korea and Viet Nam? Better yet, lets kill all the Mexicans for the Alamo. Pretty soon we'll only have people of European ancestry left. Look into the mirror. If you are as white as I am, you'll have to put a bullet in your own head to atone for the horrors the Nazi's committed. Is retaliation appropriate? Maybe, but where does the hatred end? We need to get beyond that and identify the geopolitical reasons that could lead to an act like that ever being considered in the first place. The biggest loser in the "eye for an eye" game is humanity. Please, let us be above that. --Bush Watcher

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

I simply Loved your prayers for peace, in their diversity, and to all, all Americans....I have not seen that anywhere, even in the Capital Hill prayer vigil tonight...sad to say. --Brice

I just heard our (I reside in the Adirondacks of upstate NY) former Gov. Coumo commenting on the regular use of the word "WAR" on the radio. "Act of war, war this, war that, war the other thing", etc.. This could lead (according to Coumo) to invoking the "War Powers Act". What are the implications of this? Drilling in ANWR, Missle "Defense" etc. all in the name of national security in time of WAR? Anyone have any info on the possibilities? --Ron

I have started getting irrational and abusive e-mail by people ranting for war against "ragheads", impervious to the concept that Islam is not our enemy, even if it turns out that some particular Muslims were responsible for the attacks. I doubt if these people were born like that. The currently fashionable political jargon has been eroding rationality for years now, and if we descend into a spiral of hatred and authoritarianism then we should not be surprised. All sorts of agendas lie below the surface of any society, waiting for opportunities to come out. Lots of them will probably surface now. We need to preserve our capacity for reason, or we will make the problem worse. I do not oppose war in general, and I can even imagine this being a reason for war. But people who promote war in ways that do not make logical sense are just as dangerous than any reason for war that we could possibly have. --Phil

I am a loyal follower of your site and I compliment you on your thorough monitoring of the guy who currently (and illegitimately) resides in the white house. However, after yesterday the Resident became my President. Not because of who he is but because of what he now represents: America. I suggest a political cease-fire on Bush Watch at least until the worst of this crisis is concluded. The nation deserves a show of unity during this somber time. Please give this serious consideration. --Mark

We, as a country, have alligned ourselves to face this unseen enemy. Support for retaliatory measures is at 90%. But what about support for intelligence measures? Insofar as I am a strong proponent of PGP encryption - I don't use it, but I believe in privacy - I understand that the powers that be have wanted to water down public encryption so that communications between terrorist cells can be monitored. And then there's Eschelon, the monitoring system that scans and filters the sattelite communications. Are other BushWatch readers prepared to sacrifice privacy in the name of National and World Security? I myself am torn on the issue, leaning slightly toward more CIA access and monitoring. --Jason

I just want to remind everyone that Bush is still the same man who pretends to be in charge that he was before this unbelievable and horrific terrorist act. This is very evident by his succinct and informationless addresses to the people he's supposed to lead. And every time I see Ashcroft (has he anointed himself with oil over this?), I am reminded that now we have fundamentalists against fundamentalists. If that doesn't scare you, nothing will. But I'm sure Religion's role in all this will be played down if not ignored. My fear is now political fundamentalism....that even criticizing the president will be considered majorly unpatriotic. The Congress has declared it is behind the prez. more Reps vs Dems. I hope they don't close their eyes and stop considering Bushes policies in this affair. The "blank check" [that Bush wants Congress to give him for "national security"] is just the start. Bush is Bush, in peace or war. And his administration has shown itself to be amazingly opportunistic and supremely illogical....even for politicians! KEEP WATCH, Bushwatch! --John

A quick note to say what a great, steady hand you've got on the Bush Watch tiller through this horror storm. I admire it so much and am so grateful for the comprehensive coverage and for your cool composure and professionalism. The site looks just terrific by the way. --Best thoughts, Ann

Do you realize that in times of a crisis like this the only news we have to cling to is the same news media that lied to us and distorted the truth during the whole 2000 election (and during the Clinton interrogation)? We have now got to understand that if we want the truth we are going to have to get some sort of news source other than what we are left with on tv (which is nothing). Why is there no outrage or why are Democrats not crying out for a tv network or some major type of news source that we can turn to in times like these. I wish President Clinton would show us the way to accomplish this or attempt to accomplish this. He is about the only one we have to look up to and lead the way!! --Joan

See the second paragraph of the next letter, Joan. best, jerry

I've just read your exchange with Marie, who faults you for culling Fox and other Rightist media outlets. I applaud you for using every source available. I am neither Republican nor Democrat, simply a non-partisan voter, and I fear that the repulsion that most dedicated party-players express at even reading other "opinions" plays a roll in blind fanatacism. Even though I sometimes puke at the spinning swill available in almost all of our national prepared press releases disguised as news, watch and read it I do. Then I travel all over the web, all over the world, to read everything I can find.

Your site is my particular favorite; it heads the list of those like Common Dreams, Tom Paine, AlterNet, New Republic, Slate, BuzzFlash,, The Guardian, Japan Times, OnLine Journal, Consortium News, FAIR and many, many others (most of which you originally directed me to). And then, I hold my breath and go to a few of the Rabid Right. Heck, sometimes I even dip into the Drudge Report!

I, too, couldn't convince even my own brother yesterday that Bush et al had used the services of bin Laden in the past and that it was supplying vast quantities of money to the Taliban. My files were not available to me and I couldn't supply the needed validation when he said I shouldn't believe everything I read on the internet -- even though I told him the information was well and reputably sourced articles. And then, Lo and Behold, you magically served them up to me today. What a dainty dish! He already must be reading the Email I rushed to him! Tra la la.

But what I wonder is this: I rarely see anything from your globe-trotting scoops are articles lifted from Cuba's Gramma and The Moscow Times? Do you follow those consistently, too?

Anyway, I smother you with kisses for making my own news gathering so very, very satisfying! --Ruth

Wow, Ruth, being put at the top of an impressive list of internet sites and smothered in kisses, all in the same day ! As for the Moscow Times, I cover that Floyd guy from time-to-time. Linked to his stories on Lori K.'s death in Rep. Scarborough's office and the Bush I.Q. flap, among others. As for Gramma, I stand guilty, but please send me relevant stories from that source when you run across them. As Blanche Dubois said, "I always depend upon the kindness of strangers." best, jerry

Geneva ABC's news coverage has been the least war mongoring. However, even ABC news is saying that one of the sets of hijackers' luggage never made it onto the plane and investigators found a videotape in the luggage on "How to Fly a Plane" and "How to Estimate Fuel Economy" (of how much fuel is left). This is reminiscent of police finding a picture of Oswald with the murder weapon in his desk drawer right after the Kennedy Assassination....How stupid do they think the American people are?...Everything is immediately in a neat little package just like the Kennedy Assassination....My theory of the media is that when people most want to know, the news media is constantly on but knows few facts. They then talk to people and each other in a rumor process of a particular version. They then repeat the version over and over. It is only much later that we learn the truth. But by then, the media is no longer covering it. --William


I'm disappointed that my other sources of information are giving Smirk a break yesterday and today. Even the Media Whores Online ran a sappy quote from Powell that, for me, described the theft of the election more than the attack yesterday. The buck stops at Bush's desk. He who found every treaty flawed and, bascially, for eight months has been telling the rest of the world to go fuck itself. And last night's squinty eyed TV performance sums up his lack of fitness for the job. There's no "there" there. We could start with heart and mind, but it really is a lack of a conscience. My friend Lydia watched Yasser Arafat express his sorrow, and she said, "He appears more sincere than Bush." --Jerry

Don't be too hard on Media Whores, Jerry. I was castigated yesterday for including a news story by Fox News (see below). As for Bush's performance, what follows is an excerpt from an analysis by the Chicago Tribune's James Warren. --best, politex

"Bush's frequent oratorical failings, including the odd smirk that can seem out of sync with the substance of a particular line, were on scant display. His tone was more measured than it often is, without the odd accentuations of certain words or even syllables. He read the address slowly and conquered the impulse to race over individual words. He seemed self-conscious at the start, particularly with the studied movement of his hands. And at the end, as he heralded the national impulse to defend freedom "and all that is good and just in our world," and then let out a brief smile, one again glimpsed a bit of Bush, the maladroit speechmaker. Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker found Bush's "an adequate response. I think it was a real opportunity to mobilize the language and he didn't quite make it. But he did get a message across, his warning to Afghanistan, Yemen and other nations who give aid and comfort to terrorists." Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton each summoned strong and moving efforts at similarly critical moments--Johnson perhaps the best, speaking to Congress right after the assassination. They moved many and served the needed role of "the nation's chief grief therapist," as Baker puts it. In the light of those three performances, Bush's seemed surprisingly short. It was good as far as it went. There seemed to be a bit more to be said....

I was in front of the tube all day yesterday, and into the evening, like most of us. I watched part of Larry King. During an exchange with a friend of Ted Olsen, as they talked about the death of Mr. Olsen's wife aboard one of the hijacked jets, the friend relayed what Olsen's wife told him during a cell call to him. One item struck me. Apparently, Mr. Olsen asked his wife if she could get a sense of the nationality of the hijackers. She said she could not. Maybe they were wearing masks. Maybe she couldn't see them well enough. And maybe, as we saw in the Murrah Building bombing, these weren't foriegn terrorists. Don't get me wrong. Bin Laden seems, according to what the government and the media drummed into our heads all day, to be responsible. But I remember how wrong the government was about Oklahoma City. I think the parallels between how Poppy built Saddam up to knock him down and Dubya's millions to the Taliban for the drug "war" seem all too familiar. Thanks again for giving us more than the media does. --Jim

William Rivers Pitt [here] doesn't have to worry about me stuffing his inbox with "BUSH DID IT!" spam. I do, however, join him in his mourning.

My father fought in WWII; he's dead now, my mother tells me when he was dying he relived some horrible experiences of his time in combat. I myself am a Vietnam combat veteran, serving with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division, a unit whose members suffered 40% casualties during its four-year stay in Vietnam.

I may expect Bush to avenge these deaths, but I do not expect him to heal my wounds. No one who was AWOL from the National Guard can heal MY wounds, nor would I want him to try.

However, Pitt has dealt Bush the Simple an absurdly easy hand, for he expects the former Guardsman to "run [them] to ground like the dogs [they] are and exact our vengeance." The "dogs" who perpetrated this attack are dead, and we are left flailing at empty air.

Of course there are others involved, and, given a blank checkbook, I'm sure our fine intelligence services, who had no clue the Soviet Union was about to fall, will succeed in the tracking and in the extraction of vengeance, at which time I expect that Mr. Bush will pound his chest and gloat that it's a fine day for America and we have at long last "put Vietnam behind us". (Oops, sorry, wrong Bush).

As for me "rallying behind my President": I'll follow if it makes some sense, if it doesn't, ah, I don't THINK so. Remember after the election, where our "liberal media" talking heads were repeating, with all the feverishness of a junky at the end of a meth run, the endless loop about how "we as a nation", once the unsavory deed was done, "rally around our President"? Who were they so desperately trying to convince? Look, I may be a bit brain-damaged because I did after all go to combat in Vietnam (however, I should note that I grew up approximately 50 miles south of Crawfish, Texas, and my daddy, a machinist, unfortunately did not manage to get me a priority commission as a National Guard jet jockey) but I really don't think that "rallying around" the declared winner of a coup d'etat is a particularly Patriotic and American thing to do.

Bush didn't DO IT, but he didn't help matters, either. His unbridled arrogance and a simplistic foreign policy that seems to consist solely of the message "F*ck you!" hasn't exactly soothed the troubled waters. The Arab world looks on the suffering of the Palestinian people, said suffering actively aided and abetted by the US, and is mightily displeased. We were treated with much replayed footage today of Palestinians rejoicing at these terrible acts; perhaps maybe they were just celebrating the possibility that now we might be able to "feel their pain."

Reporting live just miles from Crawfish, Texas, --ken

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Thank you "Jerry Politex" for the heads up [about turning on my TV]. I was going to take a ferry to the mainland today and but for you warning I would have gone only to find either: no cars to be boarded or long searches by customs who will use any excuse to give people a very hard time. --Athena

Saw a story on [Bush Watch] several weeks ago about Dubya (something like) "supporting the Taliban" but (like a dummy) did not print it now my conservative (a-hole) friends refuse to believe that I saw such a thing. - HELP - save me from these idiots - where can I find it (the story)? --pmfg

"(WOMENSENEWS)—The Bush administration has given Afghanistan $43 million including $10 million for “other livelihood and food security programs,” a reference to the ruling Taliban's ban on poppy cultivation that dramatically changed the economy of the war-torn nation. The poppy is the source of opium and the crop had provided significant revenues to Afghan farmers. The aid was described as humanitarian. In addition to being an ally in the U.S. war against drugs, the Taliban also has banned the education of girls and women. It has banned women from professions and from most outside-the-home employment, even with international relief agencies. It has banned women from seeing male doctors and it prevents women from practicing medicine. Colin Powell, in announcing the gift, said the administration hoped that the Taliban "will act on a number of fundamental issues that separate us: their support of terrorism, their violation of internationally recognized human rights--especially their treatment of women and girls--and their refusal to resolve Afghanistan's civil war through a negotiated settlement." He also called on other nation's to join the U.S. with “dispatch and energy.”

Thank you for forwarding this [Guardian story about the Trade Center attack], Jerry. With any luck the factual source will be identified before long, and an appropriate response undertaken. It's possible that this unthinkably devastating catastrophe may serve as a vital wake-up call to our country and the administration. Although there is no such thing as total security, obviously much more must andcan be done! The loss of thousands of lives and billions in property in such an aggressive manner must never be repeated; yet without taking more stringent steps we could experience far worse.Incidentally, it's quite unsettling to know that terrorists were able to avoid detection and hijack four major airlineplanes in a coordinated effort!! --Barbara


The attacks bore all the marks of a well-organised group. As President George Bush announced the FBI, CIA and national security experts were throwing all their resources into hunting down those responsible, experts pointed to a number of suspects, including Bin Laden. As an American I am so angry I cannot see straight.. Where were all those people who are supposed to know what's going on? If they had been doing their jobs instead of hunting for Gary Condit's zipper we may have saved at least 4 lives. I fully blame the US Media who are supposed to be watchdogs and not sleezebags news rags. I am OUTRAGED! --Allita

Just an errant thought running through a brain trying to comprehend what happened in America today: In Britain, during the Blitz, it surely must have felt that the world, at least as England knew it, was coming to an end. There is an old woman still alive, and adored by most, who in that time of crisis and fear chose not to exercise the options provided her by her birth and position. She stepped up to the plate, stayed put, and showed her face to the public. It was Queen Mother Elizabeth. So, I find it offensive, but not surprising, that our leader avoids going to Washington, and scrambles about the country to destinations unknown. Maybe I'm asking too much. However, I cannot help but remember Sir Robin's page's song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled. Bold, bold bold, Sir Robin." --S. Peters

During yet another period of crises facing the Nation, Bush has once again shown his true colors. His spin-doctors are trying to blame his personal absence from both the airwaves and Washington, DC, on the Secret Service...they want to keep him safe from harm. AWOL for six months to possibly more than a year from the National Guard while Americans were still dying in Vietnam, George is now AWOL at a time when he needs to exhibit the leadership, courage, and bravery under fire that he has accused others of not having. Instead of speaking live to the Nation during the worst event to hit the U. S. since the American Civil War, he provides a brief videotape earlier in the day, and then later allows Karen Hughes to give the speech he should have given. Jerry, I'm pretty much middle of the road politically...I'm not a right-wing GOP conservative, nor am I a "far-to-the-left" liberal. But I know when leaders need to step up to the plate and deliver, and IMHO, Bush has failed yet another test...the test of true personal character. With great sadness....your friend, Jim

Hi. What has happened to Bushwatch? I thought you were an alternative source for news on Bush, but by looking at your front page I'd swear I'd gone to a right-wing mainstream corporate media website with the CNN and Fox news links, and that Bin Laden stuff. I would just think an alternative news site would give alternative sources such as BBC New or DW-tv in Germany, for example. But right-wing CNN and Fox News? Good lord, what's happened to Bushwatch? --Marie

Let's start with Bin Laden, Marie. You think calling attention to what he does is "right-wing mainstream corporate media"? Give me a break. If you've been reading Bushwatch for any length of time, you have a pretty good idea of what I think about the Taliban, Bin Laden, and Bush's support of the Taliban re his war against drugs. You want to defend Bin Laden? Be my guest. Fox News? First, unlike those on the left who think just like those on the right, I'm not going to dismiss Fox News as a news source simply because they're so obviously biased. You can't handle my news paragraph from Fox News? Cheesh. I'm a big boy, I take my news where I find it. Fact is, a number of folks asked me to track down the Barbra Olson story, so I went to Google and, guess what, Fox News was the source of the report on the death of their reporter who, as you know, happens to be the wife of Ted Olson. Now, what's left? Ok, CNN. That's pretty much a no-brainer. CNN is one of the few sources of news stream reporting on a major breaking story such as this. I put up CNN after I put up AP and couldn't find something I was looking for at AP. I don't know about you, but I've been monitoring six TV sources on a minute-by-minute basis since 9 am this morning. While AP and CNN was up and running at once, it took quite some time for the others to come up to speed. Further, the way I worked on Florida in Nov. and Dec. was the way I worked today. I keep watching as many TV chanels as possible, and then dash to my computer to document the breaking news. I don't like to report something just because I heard a reporter say it on TV, so I look for a hard print source to link with a url. And with respect to keeping my finger on the pulse of a live TV event, all the others were reporting CNN's videophone report on Kubal 20-40 minutes after the fact. I kept changing headlines as new info came in on the live feed videophone at CNN. BBC? DW? I think I have more Bush news from overseas sources on a daily basis than anyone else, but the BBC doesn't have people on the ground reporting an event like this on a minute-by-minute basis. That's what I was looking for today. As for being an alternate news source on Bush, what's to say? Talking about Bush today would be a Catch-22, under the circumstances. Know what I mean? Thanks for your interest, Marie. best, jerry politex

Politex, When I mentioned Bin Laden in my earlier email, my point about the Bin Laden comment was why suggest it's possibly Bin Laden who committed the act and not another Timothy McVeigh? For example, Gary Sick, terrorist expert, was just interviewed by Dan Rather (yes corporate mainstream) and Sick said that he would be VERY SURPRISED if Laden had anything to do with this. Laden is not that professional or sophisticated in what he does. All he's managed to pull off have been car bombs. Nothing like this job. This job was done extremely professionally and smoothly, Sick said. And Sick said that most assuredly the job involved people from this country, he suspects, couldn't have been done as smoothly and as professionally without the help of people from the U.S. Sick did say one place to look might be Saddam Hussein. But who knows? Keep up your good work. --Marie

CNN said Barbara Olson was on the plane and able to call her husband Ted Olson and report that they had knives and box cutters, and asked him to help, call somebody, etc. but then her phone went dead as her plane crashed. Nothing on any other channels about her death, you see anything in your reports? Tragic, so sad...Betsy

"A second American plane, Flight 77 from Dulles, Va., to Los Angeles, a Boeing 757, crashed into the Pentagon. There were 58 passengers, four flight attendants and two pilots aboard. Fox News commentator Barbara Olson, a former congressional staffer and Republican activitist, was on the plane and made a call from her cell phone, officials said.",2933,34177,00.html

Thanks Jerry, I knew if anybody could get more info (and confirm stuff) you could!! All this is so sad. I remember any time I saw her on TV I couldn't stand it, because of her politics and grating manner, but I wouldn't wish that on anyone, and it is just horrible. Can you imagine what she must have thought, or it must have been like on that plane? How terrifying those last few minutes. I bet we'll hear about the lives of others (famous and common persons) who died. They are saying now at least 200 firefighters were killed in the building collapse. (I am not surprised at all of this, with Bush waving the Big Stick at the world since he was innaugarated though, and being so provoking in his international arrogant policies). We are all supposed to get behind him, but if this had happened under Clinton, you just know that even in this, all the attack dogs would be hounding Clinton and his policies. Thanks again, Betsy I just wanted to give a quick report from downtown DC. Most of us at the Benton Foundation evacuated our building, which is at 18th and K street, three or four blocks from the white house. We received word of the attacks on the World Trade center building around 9am, having to rely on portable radios since our Internet connection froze as people tried to find more information. The majority of Benton staff were out of the building by 10am. The streets are filled with people briskly walking away from downtown, trying to get their cell phones to work. It's not a panic situation by any means - just lots of people determined to get the hell out of there. Some people are clearly shaken, and are being comforted by friends and strangers alike. The streets are completely jammed with cars as people try to get out of the city. Since lots of us at our office usually take the metro to work (which has been shut down, along with all other commuter trains), those of us who lived within walking distance offered to bring home other people who would be stranded downtown. We're now back at my Dupont Circle apartment, two miles due north of the Pentagon. We can't see smoke from our balcony, which is surprising considering the extent of the damage we've seen on TV so far. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who's being affected by this insanity.... --Andy

I know in times like these we are supposed to support the President, but I cannot help but think that if Bush hadn't been going around the world acting like a tin-horn dictator, flouting treaties left and right, etc., this might never have happened. --Nancy




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