The BuzzFlash Mailbag
March 13, 2002
My letter to Washington Post executive editor Len Downie:
* * *
RE your editorial: "An Ending" [March 10]
Dear Len Downie,
Your Sunday editorial claims that "independent counsel [Robert Ray] declares that the evidence would have supported an indictment -- but everyone already knew this."
I object!! Any prosecutor, including Robert Ray, can bring any indictment any time he or she chooses to. An indictment is nothing more than an accusation; it requires no proof, no evidence. It is just an accusation that must then be proven in court, be able to stand up to cross-examination of evidence – and, finally, must persuade a judge or jury of guilt. So, it means NOTHING for Mr. Ray to say that he could have brought an indictment. If Mr. Ray felt he should have brought an indictment, sensible people have to inquire why he didn't.
(We note that Mr. Ray apparently wishes to run for the New Jersey Senate seat currently held by Senator Torricelli. Gee, do you suppose Mr. Ray is saying all these indefensible things to get himself some publicity? And to endear himself to the radical right-wingers? Gee, do you suppose?)
In addition, had Mr. Ray brought an indictment, there is no rational prosecutor in the country who believes Mr. Ray would have been able to obtain a guilty verdict.
Your editorial goes on to say, "The era left everyone tarnished. Mr. Clinton committed crimes; he got himself impeached."
Whoa there, cowboy. WHAT CRIMES?
And, "he got himself impeached"!!!
How, precisely, does one DO that? Does one go into some courtroom and say to a judge, "I want to be impeached"?
It is past time for the Washington Post to "take the cure" and rid itself of the junkie-like need to bash President Clinton. Now, would be an appropriate time for the Washington Post editors to turn their attention to the foul deeds of the current Bush administration; you may need to add extra staff just to cover all the crimes that are about to become publicly known.
for better days (like the former days of journalistic integrity) at the
Washington Post, I am,
My brother Ed was in Viet Nam and he begged us to protest against the war.
was in charge of bringing supplies to the camps and would be attacked
by the VC's or what he thought was the VC....He said no one would believe
what they went through over there with the enemy and the friendlies looking
the same....He knew we all loved our country, but this war was a sham
and he wanted it stopped, he said this would be the only way it looked
like that would stop it. Also, we don't need attacks on the WTC to fly
our flags....We always fly our flag....I had to get a new one after all
my neighbors displayed their new ones....mine was pink from being faded.....If
Mr. Delay could talk with my brother, he might get a handle on what fighting
for our freedom is all about......it is for the freedom to march against
a war if we think that the war is not right.......and above all, it is
the freedom to speak negative about our leaders if we do not agree with
them......it is also the right to throw eggs at someone if we feel like
it....that is what America is all about......
Subj: Tom DeLay, victim of an "unusual phenomenon" during our war in Vietnam?
I just read your brilliant editorial, Click here: BuzzFlash.com - BuzzFlash Editorials - Of All The Republican Chicken Hawks, Tom Delay Takes The Cake, and the article linked in it: Houston Press | houstonpress.com | News : Columns
All I can say is UNBELIEVABLE!
I sent Mr. DeLay the following letter via his website at: Tom DeLay - Majority Whip: contact the whip
Dear Congressman DeLay:
I just read about your unfortunate victimization by an "unusual phenomenon" during our war in Vietnam.
Excerpt: "He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention."
Dumbfounded is how I'm feeling right now! I just cannot imagine how you've been able to rise to your very powerful position as Republican Majority Whip in Congress. If only the American voters knew more about the history of our "leaders"....They would surely force these "leaders" to find other employment, somewhere far removed from our government. The issue isn't whether or not you served in Vietnam. The issue is your ridiculous and mind boggling dishonesty!
Your statement, on how you were prevented from serving in Vietnam by all the poor minorities who were so eager to join up and have themselves blown to bits and/or mutilated is as ABSURD as it preposterous! The very fact the you had the nerve to utter such nonsense speaks volumes about your character. That you now dare to criticize Senator John Kerry, a legitimate war hero, for doing his job and asking appropriate questions about our current war, tells us all we need to know about your "honor" and about your "patriotism."
During the Vietnam War years, my sons were small boys quickly becoming teenagers. I remember praying each and every day that the war would end, as I'm sure every other parent (and the vast majority of all Americans) did.
If only our mainstream press was as diligent in giving us the true facts about our past and about our present, as they are in repeating the propaganda and spin from the whitehouse, we might actually be well enough informed to demand honest and trustworthy leaders.
It has taken the better part of six months for Tom Ridge to come up with an alert system. But, Tom, check any color wheel used forever in grade schools on up: Blue is lowest degree of coldness and Green is the next stop up toward yellow, orange etc. I know this will sound like nitpicking to some, but how much confidence can you have in this Friend Of Bush to protect our "Homeland"? Hell, even W, if asked, could have looked at his box of crayons and told Tom he made (another) mistake.
Means that the odds are low that you will ever
I read the article you linked to concerning the Policy on survivor benefits of gay Heroes lost on Sept. 11th This kind of hypocrisy just infuriates me.
I have been following the events of this Horrible administration ever since the campaign of 2000.
I had so much information and links saved to my hard drive I decided to start a web page and start placing it there.
Your site was the first one I added a link to as it is a must read every morning and evening. The article below is the first commentary to go up on the site.
Keep up the great work!
Ashcroft: "It’s Time For You To Go"
envy the far right. They get to be coddled, nurtured, and watered like
a tropical plant by the Republican party, while the far left are treated
like the lowest form of pond scum by the Democrats, disowned, castigated,
spit at (unless they have a best-selling book). I am talking about the
hostile rejection by some of your readers of Barry Crimmins' proposal
for a ceasefire between Greens and Democrats. Do these people think this
is productive? In truth, I think it would be more productive to send a
message to far lefties that they still have a place in the party, rather
than telling them to stay in line or stay home from the polls. Some are
so disgusted with the Democratic pattern of capitulation I wouldn't blame
them for doing the former. I was at the packed Nader super rally at Madison
Square Garden--Michael Moore, Ani DiFranco, Patti Smith, etc... (there
were packed stadiums everywhere Nader went) and believe me, that is not
a crowd Dems want to alienate by telling them they are bad, bad people
and that the only candidate who addressed the issue of 43 million uninsured
Americans is an evil man. Do you think Gore could have filled stadiums
at $20 a ticket? He hardly even campaigned in New York, and certainly
took my demographic for granted. Believe me it is possible to simultaneously
be outraged that Gore
Will you do me a favor and reprint my letter that ran in the Buzzflash Mailbag December 7th, 2001. Your leading headline that day was:
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee Cowered before Ashcroft"
Subj: Why the nuclear contingency plan is SO SCARY!
It does seem reasonable to me that our military and our government would discuss those circumstances under which we would actually consider the use of nuclear weapons - that should be an ongoing discussion and it could be that such action could never be justified. In and of itself that fact is not scary.
Here's what is. Our president used to be governor of Texas and during his tenure there, that state executed four times more people than any other state. We have been told that he would look at each case to verify that the condemned received full access to the legal process and if so, then he let the sentence remain. Apparently he never asked himself why Texas was killing so many more people than any of the other states where the death penalty was used - does Texas have a better police and legal system? does Texas have more criminals? Is Texas faster at prosecuting crime? In other words, he framed the issue in a simple way that allowed him to sign off on executions and deal with things in the most superficial way.
It's that lack of substantive consideration that makes me afraid of this administration. We hear from Ari F. that "the president is concerned, outraged, troubled, worried, etc." I feel as if the true gravity of the power they wield has never been felt - it's as if they are playing a board game.
JA in LA
[BuzzFlash Note: It's obvious that if this administration were playing a board game, it surely wouldn't be Clue.]
So we are now on the "color coded" alert method. A little like Pavlov's Dogs. Green for "safe," blue for "almost safe, yellow for "be aware," orange for "maybe danger," and red for "take cover." Let's look to see when the GWB admin has an interest in passing stimulus packages and particularly watch the military spending. I would bet that we will have an orange even RED alert when we get ready to spend on the military or invade a country of Bush's choosing. Ring the color-coded bell and we hit the deck, while the administration picks our pockets or marches us closer to a dangerous war. Our "national nightmare" has just begun.
i have read about your recent travails concerning the threat of your involuntary departure to make way for david letterman or some other entertainment programming.
let me say that while i never applaud anyone losing their job in today's economy, i can only say i am not really all that surprised that such events might transpire.
nothing personal towards or about you or your news style, but as of late, the electronic journalistic media have gotten more and more shallow, your show included, more celebrity-tabloid driven, and less about actually investigating the truth and more about regurgitating the prevailing wisdom found in dc or other corridors of power.
witness your report on the civil rights commission's findings about black disenfranchisement in the 2000 election. to sum your program's position up, there might have been anecdotal events of some people not getting to vote, but it was no big thang.
you (and not just night line, but all news in general) have pandered to the right, hoping that your billionaire masters will be pleased with your lap dog approach and still throw you a bone. sorry, but that hardly ever really works. once you are no longer useful to monied interests, you are less relevant to them than (pun intended) yesterday's news.
perhaps if you had shown more spine, more objectivity, more guts in the past decade (for god's sake, who needed all your shows about gary condit anyway) things might have been different at this point. i doubt strongly that your 8 figure bosses would be rethinking their position, but at least you would have more people (and the truth) on your side.
as it is, i, a progressive who champions journalism and free speech rights, really can only yawn at your predicament.
maybe eisner will find you a spot on good morning america.
While I think you're accurate in your assessment of John Kerry in comparison to the draft dodging Armed Forces General Staff presently occupying the White House, we must also be careful not to ignore what Kerry did in Vietnam to innocent Vietnamese civilians while serving.
While I fully expect the major networks to brush under the table the illegality and wrongdoing of soldiers who committed War Crimes in Vietnam, I generally do not expect the same rolling over from you.
Still, I consider your publication and invaluable resource; one to which I have frequently referred my students.
otherwise noted, all original