Clandestine Operations
Re: “Restricted Access”

I think Bush is hiding the secrets of his father as well as his own. He is arrogant and thinks that he does not have to comply with the law of the land and with his own directives to others.

For example, he says he wants more accountability in schools and for corporations. Where is his accountability when it comes to his and his administration’s activities?

Stan Friedman
Ft. Lauderdale,Fl

Bush is a liar and he is hiding all the evidence. This is clearly a move to obstruct justice legally. They can say we are overworked, sorry about the delays, etc. but in the end the law in Texas is not being followed. These records (who knows how many are Enron related) should be moved to an official Texas archive and made available to the taxpayers who not only paid his salary, but paid for the paper, staples, paperclips, etc. that these records are written on.

The Bush administration is so secretive you have to wonder: what are they hiding and why?

Daniel Regina, M.S.

Real Patriotism and Hidden Agendas
Re: “Blaming America First”

It was sad reading Todd Gitlin’s apology for the left.

Perhaps Gitlin is beset by “leftist fundamentalists”; I am from Ohio and don’t suffer that affliction. On the contrary, I am beset by innumerable and insufferable reminders that America is blameless and will eliminate the “evildoers” responsible for the September destruction.

From my perspective, imprisoned here in the heartland, Gitlin’s self-satisfying apology for the left is devastating.

He makes some valid points: that America should not be judged by some doctrinaire (“fundamentalist”) criteria without regard to reality, that America’s actions should be solely criticized, and that blame should be placed wherever it belongs.

Still, it is inescapably obvious to me that Gitlin has caved in to the flag-waving pressure so obvious here in Ohio. He needs some way to be patriotic and still be liberal. Well, there is no room for “patriotism” in the discussion of any issue. We all love our country, identify with the group, etc., but that is irrelevant to whether or not “our country” is acting honorably or dishonorably.

It is a sad day when a “liberal” magazine feels the need to make excuses for what it believes in order to assuage the mob and its own insecurity.

Of course we must recognize the good our country does, but if we are truly patriotic, we must also blame America first when it deserves it; and we should not be hesitant about it. Where I live, almost no one blames it for anything!

Tom Harker
Circleville, OH

Todd Gitlin wonders why liberals are so quick to blame America after the Sept. 11 bombing. Those who are puzzled by the liberals’ reactions should perhaps educate themselves on this topic. We piously claim outrage at terrorism, yet the US has conducted terrorist training for decades in the School of the Americas and in almost 70 other military bases around this country. A major theme in our training programs is teaching “destabilization” techniques to our disciples, who then return to their own countries with US support to overthrow legitimate, elected governments who are not “corporate friendly” to American interests.

The attack on NYC was not a random act. It came about after the Bush administration had attempted to cajole, bribe, coerce and finally threaten the Taliban to provide US oil companies, including Enron, the support and permits necessary to build a pipeline across Afghanistan.

It should be noted that the Clinton administration had an ongoing terrorism task force which had been meeting regularly to deal with the potential threat of terrorism. This was halted when Bush entered office. Intelligence coming into this country from around the world – specific intelligence warning of possible airliner involvement – was ignored. Was this ignorance, ineptitude, or design? Whatever the case, Americans were left open to attack.

After Sept. 11, we went into Afghanistan under the guise of capturing bin Laden. Instead, we waged a war against the Taliban. We had no legitimate right to do this. Congress gave the administration the power to use military means to capture or kill the culprits of Sept. 11. No claim has ever been made against the Taliban for this terrorism. US taxpayers’ dollars supported a hidden agenda to overthrow an obstructionist government and put into power one that will be most happy to work with the US oil concerns. Human rights don’t matter. International law doesn’t matter. The bottom line is the dollar.

The proof will be in the pudding. Watch for an announcement of the building of the pipeline.

Evelyn Raymer