incoming (2007-05)

How can we live with ourselves if we continue to allow torture in secret prisons? You would think this was Stalinist Russia, and not the U.S.A.

Why can't we stop rampant spying on innocent Americans? After all, we already knew about the people training to fly the planes into the towers--and didn't do anything about them.

What kind of doublespeak allowed the "Patriot Act" in the first place? Now it's time to bring it in line with the Constitution.

Does this administration even believe in the Constitution? They swore to uphold it; now let them honor their word. Congress, have you abandoned us too?

The world deserves to have the hope we gave to them returned. To do less is an affront to the Almighty!

Jerry Atkins

Let Go of the Desk, Sir

All well and good, but at this point, I don't think these folks need to get their troubled minds all cluttered with extra details, attachments or sticklerisms, since they seem so close to a long overdue resolution, if only they can follow a simple court order for a change.

Besides, as Cagle observes, the electorate around here is getting "edgy." More like manically disturbed. Lately, I've seen some of my crankier neighbors toting pitchforks, piling up bales of chicken feathers, and firing up tubs of what smells like hot tar, ominously chanting, "Settle up by Groundhog Day!"

I'm afraid something real ugly could happen unless county turns this turd quick. Believe it, or else. Flush or flunk, people.

P.S. I hereby nominate Frank Cagle for Sheriff.

Joe Acree

Howdy Ho? No

Jennifer Willard

A Difference of Opinion

Since I am no ditto-head or even a Fox Channel watcher and thus not a prisoner to GOP talking points, let me dissect Green's arguments.

If Green would read deeper into those newspapers he reads everyday, he would have noticed that many of those "competent" carry-overs from the Clinton Administration he tries to exonerate were, in fact, many of the same ones in the current administration that ignored the al-Qaeda members taking flight school lessons and have caught serious cases of amnesia now that they are out of politics.

Exhibit A: George Tenet. Clinton's CIA director who Bush re-appointed to the same position in 2001. It was Tenet who on the day of 9/11, when told by an aide about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, said, "I wonder if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training."( Bush at War , Bob Woodward)

Exhibit B: Richard Clarke. The former national security advisor during the Clinton Administration was the loudest troubadour for a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda ( Washington Post , Jan. 23, 1999). Now that Clarke has become a folk hero by the buffoon Michael Moore in the film, Fahrenheit 9/11 , Clarke seems to have conveniently forgotten his once wise counsel for his 15 minutes of fame.

Likewise, Green asserts that one really can't say the words al-Qaeda and the former Saddam regime in the same sentence. That is a curious position to take, considering that as early as 1992 Bin Laden was placed on the Iraqi intelligence list as an asset. U.S. intelligence during the Clinton Administration documented case after case of collusion between Iraq and al-Qaeda....

Green tries to brush aside in two sentences the connection between Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda as much ado about nothing. There is no question Zarqawi was part of the al-Qaeda network. True enough, Zarqawi and Bin Laden had a stormy early relationship, but Green can't simply sweep under the rug the fact that Zarqawi was the de facto military head of the Ansar al-Islam group within Iraq. Ansar ties to al-Qaeda were well known through out western intelligence from the time of its conception in 2001. Naturally, what is suspicious about the Ansar group in Iraq was that these holy warriors thought the most important jihad was targeting the Kurish leadership in northern Iraq using in many cases Fedayeen Saddam soldiers. But since Saddam and al-Qaeda never collaborated with each other, as we are now told by people like Green, all of these must be sheer coincidences.

Since Green is proud that the CIA reads his published works, perhaps, he could reciprocate and read the 2003 CIA paper, "Iraq Support for Terrorism." On page 86, Green will find that the CIA recognized Zarqawi was "overseeing" al-Qaeda operations in northern Iraq with over 100-200 al-Qaeda members, and the numbers were growing since the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan. And, of course, this is before not after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Personally, I would have preferred the case against Saddam had been made more or less on a humanitarian invention, but to suggest as Green does that the Bush White House completely lied about everything, the ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam and the attempts to manufacture and get a hold of weapons of mass destruction by the Baathist regime in Iraq, is to flirt with naivety and to allow one's personal dislike for right-wing politics to interfere with common sense. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Mr. Green, and in this case, Bush's clock has the correct time.

Andrew J. Murphy

Sense and Sensibility

In some of the Sentinel 's endless pontificating about Scott West's troubles, they said he should not get leniency because marijuana "harms young lives." Since when doesn't   alcohol harm young lives--and old ones? What about Ritalin? McDonald's Happy Meals? etc. Those shouldn't be illegal either, just used responsibly.

As recent as mid-June Gov. Phil Bredesen held a fundraiser at the World Grotto. Most everyone who ran in the 2003 city elections started their campaigns with either a guest bartending gig or reception at the Preservation Pub, selling mind-altering drinks and getting tips for campaign funds and showing they can be downtown cool.

Those folks sure have been publicly silent about the Market Square saga. I assume the silence means the politicians are not wanting to have a real conversation about drugs and gray areas about morality and outdated drug laws anymore than they want to have a real discussion about our hypocritical marriage laws--as not to effect their current re-election campaigns. The only politician not afraid to touch either, at least in this state, is newly elected Congressman Steve Cohen. We need to elect more like him or as Neely said we will continue to have the "laws we deserve."

Stacey Diamond

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