Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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The Return of Dr. Kissinger

George Foster - December 12th, 2002
You must be joking, not Henry Kissinger. Please... anyone but the doctor of death. Oliver North, Bill Clinton, or Osama bin Laden would be more independent. Give us Pierre Salinger or Kim Basinger - but not Kissinger.
The families of 9/11 victims are reportedly very upset with Kissinger‘s selection as the chairman of a new commission overseeing a 9/11 investigation. Can you blame them? At 79, Kissinger has spent decades as a player in the federal institutions he would be investigating.
When George W. Bush said, “A no-brainer“ in reference to his selection of Kissinger, what exactly did he mean? Maybe noted columnist Daniel Schorr knew when he commented on the commission appointment, “What is sure is that Dr. Kissinger will do nothing to embarrass the president.“ Oh. You would hope that independence and integrity would be the top requirements for such an important position, not a proclivity to modify the investigation.
It might be valuable to take a little trip back in history to refresh our memories concerning the good doctor. How do Kissinger‘s accomplishments stack up compared to his reputation as an eminent statesman?
The following is only a partial list of his miserable record as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor: (1) He was Nixon‘s point person for foreign policy in arguably the most corrupt presidential administration in U.S. history. (2) Directed the illegal and secret U.S. bombing campaign in Cambodia, which led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and later, the murderous rule of the Khmer Rouge. (3) Authorized the kidnap and execution of a Chilean military official in 1970, which paved the way for the genocidal coup by Pinochet against an elected Chilean leader. (4) During Kissinger‘s term in office, 21,000 Americans and one million Asians died needlessly in the Vietnam War while he was supposedly negotiating a “just peace.“ (5) Supported the Indonesian generals who murdered 200,000 civilians in East Timor. (6) Backed a Pakistani government whose oppression of Bangladesh caused at least hundreds of thousands of deaths, maybe millions.
Some have recently called for Kissinger‘s indictment as a war criminal. Of course, it may not happen anytime soon. Unlike others who become fugitives in the wake of such charges, Dr. Henry Kissnger is worshiped in the elite circles of celebrity. He receives at least $25,000 a speech, gives professional advise to the wealthiest of corporations, and makes millions on the books he publishes.
Another disturbing reason that Kissinger may not be fit to lead an independent investigation has nothing to do with his abysmal record as a government official. Even more troubling in terms of independence is his role as a principal in Kissinger Associates, a firm that specializes in assisting multinational corporations. Though the client roll of Kissinger Associates has never been publicly divulged, Arco, Exxon Mobil, and the Chinese government have been reported to be on that directory.
Lacking a list of Kissinger clients, we can only speculate about conflicts of interest. If Exxon Mobil or the Saudi government are Kissinger clients, could he impartially review a trail that led to middle-east governments during the investigation? No way.
Questions about Kissinger‘s independence are only speculation, though, because of his resistance to disclosing names of companies and individuals with which he has business dealings. Such disclosures by commission members are required by government ethics rules though it remains to be seen if he will be forced to comply.
The bottom line is that Henry Kissinger is the last person on this planet who should be entrusted with the chairmanship of an independent agency investigating 9/11. If Kissinger remains in this critical position, the conclusions of the commission will always be covered by the ominous stain of its chairman.

 
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