Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 6, 2004 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Saturday, March 6, 2004
Page 4
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4 - SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2004 FORUM From the desk of.,. MAUREEN DOWD Sorry, right number WASHINGTON - Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, George Tenet was asked why the CIA never picked up the trail of Marwan al-Shehhi, the pilot who crashed Flight 175 into the south tower on 9/11. Thirty months earlier, German intelligence had passed on a hot tip to the CIA -- the Qaida terrorist's first name and phone number. "The Germans gave us a name, Marwan ~ that's it ~ and a phone number," the director of central intelligence replied, adding: "They didn't give us a first and a last name until after 9/11, with then additional data." For crying out loud. As one guy I know put it: "I've tracked down women across the country with a lot less information than that." Tenet is not in any trouble for that sorry answer, of course, just as he hasn't had to pay any penalty for building up the phantom arse- i nal that Saddam only dreamed he had. The catchphrase du jour is Donald Trump's snappy, "You're fired." But no one has lost a job over the intelligence failures that led to 9/11 or the war that was trumped up and vel- , croed to 9/11. In fact, the only people the , president and vice president are trying to put , out of business are the members of the com" mission charged with figuring out how 9/11 happened and how to prevent another one. The White House seems more worried .about the public's finding out how much it .knew and how little it did before 9/11 than it , does about identifying and fixing security weaknesses. After trying to kill the commission and < then trying to put Dr. Strangelove-Kissinger ^ in charge, President Bush and Dick Cheney have done their best to hamper the panel mat's 1 the best hope of the 9/11 widows, widowers and orphans to get justice. "This is not no-fault government," said ' Lorie Van Auken, a 9/11 widow. "You don't 'just let people go on doing what they're doing 'wrong." ' It is a triumph of chutzpah for Bush to thwart the investigation into 9/11 at the same 1 tune he seeks re-election by promoting his '. handling of 9/11 and scaring us with the specter of more terrorism. He's even using 9/11 memorials as the backdrop for his convention in New York. Last week, the president played it sly, acting as though he was willing to extend the commission's deadline to finish the work that was taking longer because the administration was stonewalling. But the House speaker, J. Dennis Hastert, was clearly helping out the White House, answering the "who will rid me • of this meddlesome panel?" call. Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman, who helped create the commission, played hardball, threatening highway funds and fed! eral jobs if the commission didn't get two | extra months. Hastert caved. [ McCain said he's expecting the same ; administration "obfuscation and delay" when > he sits on Bush's hand-picked intelligence I review board. "That's why I made sure I got ; subpoena power," he said. "No bureaucracy ; will willingly give you information that may • be embarrassing to them." ' Especially not such a secretive, paranoid ! and high-handed administration. Bush offi- ; cials act as though they own 9/11, even while ; refusing to own up to any 9/11 mistakes. ; Because of 9/11, they think they can sus- I pend the Constitution, blow off investigators, ! attack nations pre-emptively, and keep ,'• Americans afraid by waging a war against ter; rorism that can never be won. ; As Bob Kerrey, a frustrated member of the ; 9/11 commission, told Chris Matthews, the . United States should have declared war on I Osama as soon as it became apparent that he ; had an army with a "tremendous, sophisticat- ;,ed capability" and an ideology that dictated • killing Americans. ' '•, "To declare war on terrorism, it seems to ! me to have the target wrong," he said. "It ; would be like after the 7th of December, ; 1941, declaring war on Japanese planes. We • declared war on Japan. We didn't declare war ,' on their tactic.... Terrorism is a tactic." ! A Bush 41 official agreed: "You cari't fight ; terrorism conventionally like a war. Any 16; year-old kid can strap on dynamite and take ; down any building. It must be fought clandes- , tinely, dealing with the underlying causes and ! taking security measures in our own country." ; Here's a hot tip: If you think the White ; House should be more cooperative with the • 9/11 commission, call George at (202) 456- ,' I'm sure everyone outside the CIA can take ; it from there. • Maureen Dowel, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize tor distinguished commen: tery, became a columnist on The New : Vbr/r Times' Op-Ed page In 1995 after having served as a correspondent In the •paper's Washingtonoureausince 1986. Letters from our readers Thank you To the Editor: I thank all the Americans who helped me get my Japanese prison camp story and especially my photographs to the citizens of the United States. This information, forbidden by our government, has finally reached the uninformed public. This was my purpose when I risked my life to take these pictures 60 long years ago, I felt the public had a right to know. It is unfortunate that the world was not allowed to know what happened. Upon returning home, the POWs were given a gag order not to tell anyone, not even their families, what the Japs did to them while in prison camps. To make sure that not one talked in court, so the public could learn the truth, they deprived us of our First Amendment rights that would give us an option to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I thank the Ukiah Daily Journal for using my book, "The Secret Camera," as a serial story in 1991 on the 50th anniversary of the war with Japan. To the Boston Globe of Boston, Mass., for pointing out the possibility that what the government did may have been unconstitutional. To Linda Holmes of Shelter Island, N.Y., who in her book, "Unjust Enrichment," gave me the first wide distribution of my photographs. To Richard Rosier of the Ukiah Daily Journal who wrote a very vibrant story about "The Secret Camera" and my trials and tribulations. To Dan Malone, an artist with words of Fort Worth Weekly in Texas who told the whole story. Terence Kirk Redwood Valley Watch what you eat To the Editor: I do believe elephants and asses are leading the masses. I also know what we eat, breath and drink have a direct effect on the skyrocketing cancer rate in the nation. Think about it. As an old saying- goes, "Don't eat that Homer, it's horse *****!" P.S. I do vote. Jessica Taaning Redwood Valley Who cut the tree? To the Editor: For Orr Springs Road residents I wish to mention that last weekend, probably Sunday morning, Feb. 1, a live madrone tree was felled and removed just off the road on the south side across from 800 Orr Springs Road. I do not cut live trees especially along our scenic road. If you have any information please call Harty Thomas at 462-8001 or write Mann Rough at P.O. Box 570, Ukiah, 95482. It can be anonymous. Mann Rough Ukiah Stirring up trouble To the Editor: It appears that soon Bush and Company will be introducing a proposed constitutional amendment to uphold the "one-true- marriage," namely heterosexual. This is the same backwards thinking that brought you slavery, property owner "only" voting, male control of the pulpit, and other nefarious idiocies. Isn't it time to lay aside all acts of open discrimination in this country. How about going forward for a change? Of course, Bush and Company are gonna need something to campaign on and sadly this issue never fails to whip up all kinds of sick hysteria. Jeffrey S. Schultz Gualala Anybody but To the Editor: In response to a letter from Terri L. Cader of Willits, I would like to say that I'm thankful my vote counts in this Republic. I don't see President Bush as "a Godly man with strong Christian morals," to quote her. If he is that, why is he not protecting our environment? Why does he favor the big corporations over the majority of our citizens? She feels that "every Judeo-Christian vote counts." In that case, mine will cancel hers because I will vote ABB Anybody But Bush! Gertrude A. Lynn Ukiah WHERE TO WRITE • President George Bush: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500; (202) 456-1111, FAX (202)456-2461. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: State Capitol, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-2841; FAX (916)445-4633 Sen. Barbara Boxer: 112 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510; (202)224-3553; San Francisco, (415) 4030100 FAX (415) 956-6701 Sen. Dlanne Fein stein: 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202)224-3841 FAX (202) 2283954; San Francisco (415) 393-0707; sena- Congressman Mike Thompson: 1st District, 119 Cannon Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3311; FAX (202)225-4335. Fort Bragg district representative, Kendall Smith, 430 N. Franklin St., PO Box 2208, Fort Bragg 95437; 962- 0933.FAX 962-0934; rep Assemblywoman Patty Berg: State Assembly District 1, Capitol, Rm. 2137, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 319-2001; Santa Rosa, 576-2526; FAX, Santa Rosa, 5762297. Berg's field representative in Ukiah and Lake County is Kathy Kelley, located at 104 W. Church St, Ukiah, 95482, 4635770. The office's fax number is 463-5773. E-mail to: assemblymember.berg@asem- Senator Wes Chesbro: State Senate District 2, Capitol Building, Room 5100, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-3375; FAX (916) 323-6958. Field Rep. in Ukiah is Jennifer Puser, P.O. Box 785, Ukiah, 95482, 468-8914, FAX 468-8931. District offices at 1040 Main St., Suite 205, Napa, 94559, 224-1990, 50 D St., Suite 120A, Santa Rosa, 95404, 576-2771, and 317 3rd St., Suite 6, Eureka, 95501,445-6508. Mendoclno County Supervisors: Michael Delbar, 1st District; Richard Shoemaker, 2nd District; Hal Wagenet, 3rd District; Patricia Campbell, 4th District; David Colfax, 5th District. All can be reached by writing to 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1090, Ukiah, 95482, 463-4221, FAX 463-4245. From the desk of... WILLIAM SAFE Kerry's unreal deal Yogi Berra was wrong: Even though it ain't over, it's over. Super Tuesday has met its Democratic Superman. John Kerry now enters Phase III of his four-phase campaign. Phase I was: "I am just as anti-war as Howard Dean, despite my vote, and I'm just as incensed at Bush's unilateralism. But I'm not a nutty newcomer, and I won't self-destruct." This message, combined with Ted Kennedy's help and the inept anti-Dean military mount chosen by the Clintonites, propelled "the new Kerry" to front-run- nership. Phase II was to beat off the smooth spellbinder from the South who — had just a few thousand lowans switched ~ would have taken the Big Mo into New Hampshire. Kerry did it by again absorbing his main opponent's message. John Edwards was gaining populist support by riding the railings against free trade, picking up protectionist votes by spreading fear of wild Indians in global back rooms serving U.S. stockbrokers. But the Massachusetts senator, a lifelong free trader who had warmly embraced NAFTA, spun on a dime and denounced the "special interests" who were "outsourcing jobs" and "bilking our people." The strategy of the newest new Kerry culminated in Tuesday's coast-to-coast sweep. By stealing the trial lawyer's summation, he clinched the Democratic nomination. Now come the harder parts. In Phase III ~ in the nearly five months from now to his Boston acceptance — Kerry must reach back and reveal the bedrock "old Kerry," before his tactical pre-emption of Dean's pacifism and Edwards' protectionism. I remember conversations in Davos over the years with a serious, low-key senator whose thoughtful mien and earnest deliberation belied his down-the-line lefty voting record. I found Kerry to be a nice stiff, not a rigid stiff, who wears and worries well. In the current phase, with the nomination in his pocket, he can stop emulating Dean's anger and copying Edwards' dual-Americanism. (Where will the Deaniacs and the trial lawyers go - to Nader? No; they will swallow the old Kerry -- perhaps the real Kerry - to beat Bush.) That means he will have to cut the adopted negativist rhetoric of the early phases, like last week's "heartbreaking reminder of the millions of Americans without work" whose "mainstream values are scorned by a White House that puts privilege first." Such red meat tastes great to the already convinced, but will come across as hot air to independents who decide close general elections ~ a group where Kerry is weakest. Their eyeballs also roll heavenward when a politician who voted to welcome China into the World Trade Organization waggles a finger at election time to warn the Chinese leaders that "they will feel the full force of our trade laws" if they don't adjust the value of their currency. Kerry began to back away from the protectionist pitch last week, when editorialists began to hold their noses at echoes of the Smoot-Hawley trade barriers that preceded the Depression. In Toledo, Ohio, after taking the usual pop at strawmen who say "everything will be fine if only we have more tax cuts for the wealthy," Kerry dared to add a shot at Edwards: "or if we cut off trade with the rest of the world." Some of us hoped that he would get substantive at a nonstump speech at the UCLA Center for International Relations. But it was an unworthy hodgepodge; if Bush had given such a speech, it would have been widely panned as thin, political, gimmicky and naive. Apparently Kerry's advisers are worried about a too timely capture of Osama bin Laden: thus, "This war isn't just a manhunt." He anticipates criticism for relying too much on the United Nations: "As president, I will not wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake." And he has a simplistic, Mr. Fixit solution to terror weapons: "I propose to appoint a high-level presidential envoy empowered to bring other nations together to secure and stop the spread of these weapons." That'll solve it. Phase III demands much more serious tliinking, enabling voters to compare worldviews and economic plans. That will lay the basis for Phase IV: the September-October debates, and the candidates' reactions to crises and job trends. That will determine if Kerry's ideas are as relevant as those laid out in detail by Bush. William Satire, winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, joined The New York Times in 1973 as a political columnist. THANK YOU LETTER POLICY Editor's note: The Daily Journal welcomes letters of thanks from organizations and individuals. We are glad that so many successful events are held here. However thank you letters must be kept short. For that reason we have a 20-business name limit per letter. Those wishing to thank long lists of people and businesses are welcome to contact our advertising department for help with a thank you ad Visit our web site at email us at The Ukiah DAILY JOURNAL Publisher: Kevin McConnell M | tor; K. C . MeadoW8 Mvertlslna director: Cindy Oelk Office manager: Yvonne Bell Circulation director: Daniel Miller Qroup systems director: Sue Whitman Awoclitlpn

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