Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Catching up

There's just too much to read and discuss right now. Here's some reading to keep you busy until I can find time to write up what's new, what's forgotten, what's complete BS, and what's widely reported yet not even IN the newly released CIA "Family Jewels" report, a collection of documents discussing illegal activities of the Agency.

For a glimpse of the REAL history of who John Kennedy was, don't miss David Talbot's article in this week's issue of Time magazine, "Warrior of Peace: The Lessons of JFK." As Jim DiEugenio wrote years ago, there have been two assassinations of JFK: one on his body, and one on his character. Talbot's book "Brothers" does much to recover the true history of a unique man caught between his conscience and his administration, who managed to choose peace over war despite enormous pressure. "Brothers" also traces Robert Kennedy's remarkable evolution of spirit to become the leading moral voice on the left, before his voice too was silenced. Those who think the Kennedys were arrogant, elitist cold warriors need to read this book and learn the true history of these remarkable men. I still miss Bobby. I will always miss Bobby. I'll have more to say about Talbot's book at some future date, but there are more pressing issues.

And in a twist so bizarre it could only be nonfiction, the Vice President is again thumbing his nose at We the People. If we don't fight back and hold his feet to the law, so to speak, we can kiss our country, as we know it, goodbye. We're only ruled by laws, and not despots, when we band together to ensure our laws are enforced. As this Wired blog so accurately reports:

Dick Cheney can't seem to make up his mind. One day, he's part of the executive branch. Another day, he's not. Cheney's flip-flopping over a National Archives mandate to protect classified executive branch information has been widely lampooned. Cheney barred investigators from entering his workplace and even tried to dissolve the Archives' Information Security Oversight Office, which enforces the government's classification system. He claimed his office was also part of, kind of, the legislative branch because the veep presides over the Senate. This smacks of -- dare we say (to a chorus of abuse in the comments section) -- a man trying to hide something.
Of course, Cheney has much to hide. And has for years. He even helped cover up the murder of a CIA scientist twenty-two years after the fact. From the Baltimore Sun (August 9, 2002):

Eight years ago, questions unanswered, Frank Olson's body was exhumed from the Frederick cemetery where it had lain for more than 40 years. Forensic experts are hesitant to assert anything with complete certainty, but they said the death was not a suicide.

...[Olson's son Eric] says the evidence he has gathered over the years shows that Frank Olson didn't suffer a nervous breakdown, as the family initially was told, and didn't commit suicide because he had had a negative drug experience, as they learned in the 1970s. Instead, the son says, his father was killed by the CIA because officials there feared he would divulge classified information concerning the United States' use of biological weapons in Korea.

"It didn't happen," CIA spokesman Paul F. Novack said yesterday. "We categorically deny that."

Two weeks after that news conference in 1975, the Olson family was invited to the White House for a formal apology from President Gerald R. Ford. "Actually, it was not at all clear exactly what it was that the president and the CIA director were apologizing for," Olson recalled yesterday. After the family agreed not to sue the CIA, it was awarded a $750,000 settlement. They had been told theirs was a case they could not win.

Now the family has learned that the Ford administration was keeping information from the family, concerned that family members would ask questions about the scientist's work that the government was unprepared to answer. Among those who advocated keeping quiet were Dick Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, now the vice president and defense secretary, the Olsons learned from memos and other papers received last year from the Gerald R. Ford Library.

"Most of it is documented now," said Philadelphia lawyer David Rudovsky, who was a roommate of Eric Olson's in the 1970s and has assisted him with the case over the years. "It's more than just some crazy paranoid speculation."

We can't let him get away with this. It's past time to impeach Cheney. As Bruce Fein noted in Slate today:

Under Dick Cheney, the office of the vice president has been transformed from a tiny acorn into an unprecedented giant oak. In grasping and exercising presidential powers, Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III.
Remember how we had a little tea party because of the outrageous actions of King George? How much bigger an event must we hold to get Cheney's serious attention??

Put on your thinking cap. Let's brainstorm that one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, I thought you might be interested in my comment on Larry Johnson's usually-decent blog.

7:12 PM  

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