Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Book now out on

BOOK NOW OUT on You can read the FIRST HALF of "The Elephant in the Room" free online then buy it and spread the word if you like it. Here is an email I wrote to Micheal Moore and a few others I am trying to interest in the book.

Dear Mike, Others,

You have been chosen for Ralph's Salon, a listserve of important artists, writers, journalists and other opinion leaders who influence the events of the day. Even as George Bush is hit with the worst crises of his presidency we still cannot seem to dislodge this guy. The reason, as you know, is that lukewarm excuse for an opposition party, the Democrats. No amount of scandal and treason will unseat this president without a party to hammer it home. Yes, Nancy Pelosi or Ted Kennedy pop off to the media every now and then with tough talk, but there is no follow-through by the party. Witness:

--Even though "Scooter" Libby basically implicated Dick Cheney in the Valerie Plame scandal last week in the New York Times, no Democrat has bothered to notice. THE TIMES QUOTED Libby's lawyer saying that a blanket form waiver signed by Mr. Libby had been had been "coerced and had been required as a condition for employment at the White House."

Now let's see. Libby is Dick Cheney's chief-of-staff so he's the highest guy in the office except Darth Vader himself. The only guy who could "require" Libby to do anything, under threat of firing, is Vader. That’s the way I read it, anyway.

--The Plame scandal is still spun by the media and by Democrats as the "outing" of a CIA agent. Who cares? What's important is that this agent was undercover tracing weapons of mass destruction, a true threat to our national security.

U.S. Army Special Service Forces Colonel W. Patrick Lang SAID ON JUNE 22, 2205 before the Waxman-Dorman Hearings regarding Valerie Plame:

"So when you have an instance like this, in fact, in which not just the intelligence community, but theelected government of the sponsoring government, of the major country in the world, deliberately, and apparently for trivial and passing political reasons, decides to disclose the identity of a covered officer, the word goes around the world like a shock, in fact, that "The Americans can't be trusted -- the Americans can't be trusted. If you decide to cooperate clandestinely with the Americans, someone back there will give you up -- someone will give you up, and then everything will be over for you." So you don't do it. And so the very kinds of people you need to get into the heart of this galaxy of jihadi groups and people like this will make a judgment that they are not going to trust you in this way. And once that happens, then the possibility of penetrating these groups, the possibility of knowing that they're going to carry 10-pound bags of explosive in the subway stations, will go right down the drain.

This is not about "outing" a CIA agent. This is about the next terrorist attack. The Bushies would have been hung for treason 2 years ago had the Democrats not been so obligingly underwhelmed.

--Will Saddam Hussein's upcoming trial include our government's participation in his atrocities? On March 16, 1988, Iraqi forces launched a poison gas attack on the Iraqi Kurdish village of Halabja, killing 5000 civilians. We knew Saddam had chemical weapons, because we gave them to him. It’s called "US Chemical and Biological Warfare-related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and Their Possible Impact 113 on the Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War,” by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, in 1994. THE REIGLE REPORT for short. From Chapter One, part two:

“Records available from the supplier for the period from 1985 until the present show that [prior to the first Gulf war] pathogenic (meaning "disease producing"), toxigenic (meaning "poisonous"), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce.”

In other words, we gave Saddam anthrax. When Congress found out Saddam was gassing his own people it passed the Prevention of Genocide Act, which would have punished Saddam. But Reagan/Bush Sr. and special envoy to the Middle East Donald Rumsfeld had the sanctions squashed. Maybe Saddam owed us money for those Bell 214ST helicopters that we sold him, the ones he used to drop the gas. Oh yes, HERE'S A PICTURE OF THAT
FAMOUS HANDSHAKE between Rumsfeld and Saddam. Do we see that at the trial?

--There are TWO OTHER major scandals detailed in my book that have yet to be touched upon by the Democrats, the Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan scandal and the 1998 Dresser Industries scandal, in which a fully-owned subsidiary of Dick Cheney's company Halliburton was trading with Saddam even as American pilots were getting shot at by Saddam's ground defenses.

--The Boston Globe at last notes that Bush's next successful Supreme Court nominee may rule on the fate of the Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, the Right of American citizens to a jury trial of his or her peers when accused of a crime. The test case is Jose Padilla, an American arrested on American soil, accused by Bush of planning a terrorist act. According to Globe reporter Charlie Savage:

"Harriet E. Miers continued the expansive interpretation of presidential powers favored by her predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, who backed Bush's authority to hold terrorist suspects without trial, as well as the White House's right to withhold more administration documents from public disclosure than in the past."

During the Roberts confirmation hearings, the Democrats, always looking out for our rights, didn't even ask Roberts about Jose Padilla. They didn’t even ask. This would be the most important reversal of fundamental rights in American history. The war on terror is the first open-ended war against an invisible enemy, which means it's not over until the president says it is, so there is no historical precedent.

There is good news. It's in the form of ordinary people running for Congress, most notably recently-returned Iraq veterans who are against the war. Tremors shook the Republican world when Democratic Iraq veteran Paul Hackett nearly beat a strong Republican in a Republican stronghold in Ohio.

Here is a choice passage on Hackett from Mother Jones magazine (also in this issue, Pat Tillman was against the Iraq invasion.)
Paul Hackett is out for one last day of pressing the flesh.

It’s August 2, Election Day, and the lanky, blond, 43-year-old Marine has taken up position outside the polling place in Loveland, a burg on the outskirts of Cincinnati, flashing his toothy smile for the early risers. Hackett is dressed smartly in a blue shirt and striped pastel tie. His khaki pants hang loosely from
his wiry, 180-pound frame.

“That’s low politics, punk!” a heavy-set man sneers as he marches toward the poll.
Hackett wheels around. “Pardon me?”

“You know, that radio ad that says, ‘You don’t know Schmidt.’” He’s talking about one of Hackett’s attack ads against Republican Jean Schmidt. The man spews a stream of epithets, and Hackett lets out a crybaby whimper: “Waaaaaaa!”

“What’s that, punk?” the big man growls.

A TV crew is setting up nearby, but Hackett doesn’t seem to care. “What’s your fuckin’ problem?” the candidate snaps. “You got something to say to me? Bring it on!” Hackett, all 6 feet 2 inches of him, is nose to nose with the heckler. “Problem?” he taunts. The man turns around and storms away.

“These guys in the Republican Party adopted this tough-guy language,” Hackett tells me, still steamed, an hour later. “They’re bullies. They’re offended when somebody takes a swing back at them.”

That is Paul Hackett. The Democratic establishment has already put another candidate in the primary, fearing Hackett may be too much of an independent thinker for their taste.

Hackett takes a strong stand against the invasion itself of Iraq and describes his plan for getting out in "The Boots on the Ground Bill of Rights." Position Paper #3 (email Paul here for paper.) Hackett says: “Iraq will steadily disintegrate—if we leave tomorrow or five years from now. Why not just admit that, say ‘mission accomplished’ or whatever you’re gonna say, and bring everybody home today.”

Hackett is also a staunch defender of the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms, as am I. This, however, can get you into trouble with the liberal establishment.

My one recommendation to Paul would be to add Affordable College Opportunity to the bullet-point platform. I have been saying for years (see my book) that this is a middle-class swing issue. Having read my blog, Robert Borosage of The Nation (am I right Bobby? Come clean, man) picks up the theme that Democrats should “offer a contract to American students: If they graduate from high school, they will be able to afford the college or higher technical training they have earned." In other words, any school you got into, you will be able to afford, without putting your family in the poor house.

Borosage points to Newt Gingrich's Contract with America as an example of good message discipline (see page 240 of my book Robert, I said the same thing.) Hackett's platform is a winner.

It's time to take America back from the lying, thieving, slandering, personal attack machine that has ruled us since 2000. Hunter S. Thompson notes that even before 9/11 the direction of the country had taken a distinctly Fascist turn. In 1990 it became legal for police to search your home based on the consent of someone with absolutely no authority to do so (Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 US 177 (1990.)) The tide must turn on this now, with Iraq War veterans spearheading a great wave of citizen candidates (how about it Robert?) to send the cowardly jackals in both parties scurrying to their holes with urine trickling down their hindquarters.

Condi Rice just said we could be in Iraq for 10 years or so, and maybe we’ll bomb Iran and Syria in the meantime . The game plan of this administration is clear as day: Feed the fire until we have trained enough terrorists to provoke the next big terrorist attack, bring the Army home to enforce martial law, then shut-down the Constitution once and for all. Sounds like a conspiracy theory. Good thing conspiracies never happen, eh? The Bushies have wet-dreamed over this scenario from the start. Then take the Halliburton billions and turn the greatest country the world has ever seen into your own private Texas whorehouse, all the cars, private jets, likker and young honeys money can ba'. Love that awl bidness. It's all in my book. So how about it, Mike? Gimme a link on your website and together we'll kick these boys all the way back to Waco, Texas or wherever the hell they're from. The rest of you I could use your help too. Muchos gracias.

Ralph Lopez
Cambridge, MA
author of "The Elephant in the Room."

robert borosage
derrick jackson
charlie savage
barry crimmins
paul hackett


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