Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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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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