Letters from our readers

1 April 2004

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “The Bush administration and September 11: the implications of Richard Clarke’s revelations

Bravo on another terrific article by your staff. I also find many of the signs that our government took no action in the face of threats, pre-9/11, very disturbing. One article in particular that I read, pre-9/11, which I have yet to hear any media commentary about also concerns me and seems to reveal that the FBI had specific warning in at least July of 2001 of a threat of a hijacking. The article is here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/07/26/national/main303601.shtml

Keep up the great work!

JP

29 March 2004

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I’ve been reading about the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) recently, and noted an interesting contrast to the issues rekindled by Richard Clarke’s revelations. In the 1950s the HUAC drove German composer Hans Eisler out of the country, despite not even being able to prove that he had ever been a member of the Communist Party. Significantly, the witch-hunters also tried to make an issue of the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt had vouched for Eisler when he had applied for a visa. They sought to accuse her, or any high-level New Dealer, of having allowed Communists to infiltrate the country.

In the present, the corporate-controlled press has reported that even though the CIA had been surveilling some of the September 11 terrorists, it did nothing to prevent them from entering the country, and nobody in the political establishment says much about it. Whereas in the 1950s hysteria surrounded a songwriter who obtained a visa, today no one wants to “point fingers” about how the men who committed the worst breach of national security in American history came into possession of theirs.

RG

29 March 2004

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My wife is a regular subscriber to WSWS and prints out those columns that I might find particularly interesting, as was yours about the implications of the Richard Clarke revelations.

I’m a former federal civilian intelligence officer, who did quite a bit of work in counterintelligence, a field where paranoia reigns supreme—to say the least. A person might think that no one in the FBI would be that stupid as to not pass on the items of intelligence mentioned in your article, and that therefore, it MUST be a sinister plot. No, there ARE people in the FBI who are in fact that stupid, and that is probably the reason the information was not forwarded. Perhaps it’s Friday afternoon, somebody wants to go home, says to hell with it, I’ll send a memo next week and then forgets.

Or the boss says, this is the FIFTH TIME you’ve given me something to pass on information to the Washington HQ, and each @#$%&* time I have to write a two-page cover memo on it—and I’m sick of it. From now on, limit yourself to two memos a month. And the boss hands the information report back, and it’s never sent on. Or if sent on, gets short-stopped somewhere else along the line for similar bureaucratic reasons.

Or, another favorite, we (a particular agency) could not possibly share this critical information with them (some other agency) because then they might use it successfully—and then THEY would get glory, promotions and increased budget. And what is the security of the People of the United States compared with MY chance at a higher pay grade? This will never be admitted by anyone—probably these people cannot even admit it to themselves.

So, I suggest that you temper your inner guidelines a bit, and hold back on a final judgment until there is more definitive proof. Meanwhile, the facts so far revealed by Clarke ring very loud, very clear, very pure, like a bell made of silver. The Bush regime’s explanations sound like a bell made of solid lead.

The floodgates of information have opened and there will be more and more people who will come forward with devastating stories of stupidity, greed, arrogance and betrayal by “Dubya” and his neo-Jacobin inner circle. As I told my wife, “Soon, the furniture will start talking.” She asked what that meant and I explained that almost always, there are people present who are not the Big Name players, people who are present but not really noticed—like the furniture. They do not usually participate in the discussions and so are more able to observe what goes on. When THEY start to talk, the Bush neo-fascists are TOAST!

Best,

WL

29 March 2004

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Maybe you should re-post the article, “The Twenty Lies of George Bush”. There are still so many lies that remain unexposed or unacknowledged, even after a year of retrospective “analyses,” that a reminder as to the true scope of this administration’s deceitfulness is needed.

After the article was posted last year I sent it to scores of people, including newspaper editors, “progressive” web sites, elected officials and so on. The scarcity of response was deafening. I received almost no replies. People’s minds just didn’t seem to be open to the possibility of such blatant systematic deceit coming from the highest office in the country. But since the mass media owners have started allowing public charges of deceit to be leveled at Bush, first over the WMD claims and now with Clarke’s book and testimony for the 9/11 commission, I think more minds are being opened to the reality of this administration’s deceitfulness.

JE

Brooks, California

28 March 2004

On “Spain: How Aznar’s lies paved the way for his defeat

Hello Chris,

Congratulations for your article. I too felt the indignation of my Spanish friends, their hatred for Aznar and their disgust at the disgraceful comments in the right-wing press around the world.

It was a surreal experience (on the Saturday) seeing clearly what the government was trying to do, and having to get information from foreign news channels and then relay the stories to my Spanish friends.

I was heartened by the election result, but ominously the Aznar government have shown very clearly that they will not go without a fight. Family friends who lived through the civil war tell me the atmosphere is somewhat similar. The fascist right in Spain don’t like defeat. Watch out for a nasty bit of revenge.

BC

Valencia, Spain

27 March 2004

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On “Iraq’s missing weapons—Bush and the media share an inside joke

Bravo. Well said. Almost as offensive as Bush’s joke, however, was Kerry’s response, which omitted completely the thousands of Iraqis slaughtered and maimed. God forbid any American—especially one running for president—appear soft by mentioning any victims other than American ones.

TS

26 March 2004

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Bush’s humor on this subject, WMD, gives me a look into this poor sick mind and I liken all the news media that sat through this sickness, as people who allow the BIG Bear to poop anywhere he wants to ... even on American mothers’ hearts. May I add after reading your article ... they are all dung heaps.

E

27 March 2004

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On “Australia: Transport union collaborates in destruction of tram jobs

After reading your interesting report on the Melbourne Tram sackings, I would like to make the following comments. I left Melbourne in 1990 and I now live in Perth, Western Australia.

I was working with V/line in the Melbourne goods yard.

I knew this leading shunter (a rail yard worker). His nickname was “Black ban Harry.”

He would black ban any goods wagon for the most trivial thing. He got the department upset. After a few years when the department couldn’t quiet him, they offered him a position in the department with a lot higher wages—something that he couldn’t refuse.

When I was elected as a shop steward in my position in V/Line, a representative from the Industrial Relations from the head office came down to have a chat with me. He told me that there was a problem with me and the head office. He told me they had a very good working policy with my predecessor. I was told they all worked together and the department would like to continue this.

I told him they were dealing with somebody else. My predecessor sold out a lot of positions while working with the work managers. I see that the same thing is going to happened to the Tram Ways union reps in Melbourne.

Since moving to Perth in 1990, I don’t get any information on what’s happening in other Australian states. In Perth, the only newspaper we get is the West Australian, which is a very Conservative newspaper. As Western Australia is a Labor state, you can understand the rhetoric against the state government policies.

I thank you for bringing this news for me.

Keep up the good work.

JB

Perth, Western Australia

27 March 2004