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Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Friday, November 04, 2005

What Ever Happened To 'Equal Protection Under The Law'?

Can Hate Crimes be Cured?

The proposed Children's Safety Act, intended to protect children against violent and sexual crimes, might scare pedophiles, but there is reason for law-abiding Americans to be wary of this bill. An amendment by Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) would distort the time-honored American concept of justice.

Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, offered an amendment -the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005 -- to require that crimes based upon "actual or perceived...sexual orientation [and] gender identity" be covered by the Federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act.

The House approved the Conyers Amendment, 223-199. It passed the Children's Safety Act, with the Conyers Amendment, 371-52. Pro-family leaders were extremely disappointed, having received untimely late notice that the Conyers Amendment would be considered.

The Children's Safety Act has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), committee chairman, may favor expanding the federal definition of "hate crimes" to include sexual orientation and gender.

Senator Specter, with the support of committee Democrats and possibly that of some Republicans, such as Senators Mike Dewine (R-OH) and Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), could send the Children's Safety Act with the Conyers Amendment to the Senate floor.

Many conservatives are worried because the Senate last year approved a "hate crimes" amendment covering gender although it lapsed without House approval. It remains to be seen if the 2004 election of seven new GOP Senators, five of whom are considered solidly pro-family, would suffice to defeat the Conyers Amendment.

Many well-intentioned Americans probably would say the Conyers Amendment signifies "progress" because it would protect people from abusiveness and hatred. What right-thinking Americans, particularly observant Christians and Jews, would want to excuse the commission of crimes committee by "haters" based upon race, religion or sexual preference?

Enhancement of the Children's Safety Act with the Conyers Amendment would be a victory for influential lobbies seeking special treatment for their constituencies. Matt Foreman, of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, proclaimed the vote to be historic because "Never before has the House of Representatives voted to protect transgender people in any way."

Furthermore, it was the first time that the House "outside of procedural motions...affirmatively voted to extend full hate crimes protection to lesbian, gay and bisexual people."

Many House Members appear to have let their good intentions override the common sense principle that is the underpinning of our criminal case law. Creating new categories of "hate crimes" would be a significant departure from "equal justice under law." The phrase is more than an appealing platitude engraved over the entrance to the Supreme Court; it is the ideal to which our nation aspires in its system of justice.

The act, not the motive, has long been of supreme importance in determining whether a law has been broken. Adding penalties for infractions due to the criminal's ill-favored perception of his victim drastically would require that "equal justice" be determined by influential special-interest groups.

Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL) argued that hate-crimes laws are not in accord with a society that aspires to "equal justice under law." He told the House on September 14, 2005:

"Federalizing hate crime law will not increase tolerance in our society or reduce intergroup conflict. I believe hate crime laws may well have the opposite effect. The men and women who will be administering the hate crime laws (e.g. police, prosecutors) will likely encounter a never-ending series of complaints with respect to their official decisions. When a U.S. Attorney declines to prosecute a certain offense as a hate crime, some will complain that he is favoring the groups to which the accused belongs (e.g. Hispanic males) And when a U.S. Attorney does prosecute an offense as a hate crime, some will complain that the decision was based upon politics and that the government is favoring the groups to which the victim belongs (e.g. Asian Americans."

Crimes implicating interstate activity and crimes against Federal Government lawfully may be subject to Federal legislation. The intrusion into States' rights should not further. The Tenth Amendment provides, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Every State in the Union has laws against assault, murder and other crimes of violence. There is no need to enact new federal crime laws.

An equally pernicious impact of "hate crime" laws and one understood by observant Christians and Jews is that we are starting down a slippery slope, hurtling toward the day when Politically Incorrect thought would become a crime. The alleged criminal who attacked a member of a specially protected group could have his past life raked over by investigators who intended to identify hateful

Will quoting biblical verses against homosexuality one day be considered a crime? Recall that last year Christians in Pennsylvania were prosecuted for having run afoul of State hate crime laws. Their crime? They preached and sang hymns at a homosexual event and the Pink Angels, a homosexual defense group, surrounded them. The charges against the Christians ultimately were dismissed but not before the Christians had been jailed.

Any legislator, state or Federal, evaluating the element of intent in a proposed statute should consider the deprivations of Free Speech already manifest in Canada and Sweden. More fundamentally, legislators should adhere to the basic intent requirement in our traditional criminal law: A defendant must intend to commit the crime; other motivation is not germane.

The Children's Safety Act probably will be considered by the Senate. Grassroots pro-family groups will urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to uphold "equal justice under law." They will confront well-funded lobbies representing groups seeking special protection based upon gender, sexual orientation and perhaps, ethnicity.

The determinative factor in whether we uphold the American Way or take a decisive step toward repression could be which side could best deliver grassroots sentiment to senators and representatives in Washington.

Hate crimes laws, whether at the federal or state level, undermine our most valued legal principles. All lawful Americans oppose crimes, particularly premeditated acts, whether they have occurred because of greed, passion, hate or thrill-seeking.

We have state laws to deal with murder and assault. There is no need for federal "hate crimes" legislation, which is "thought crimes" legislation, given its destructive impact upon one of our cherished ideals.

( Stephen M. Lilienthal is a policy analyst at the Free Congress Foundation.)
Stephen M. Lilienthal
CNSNews.com Commentary

Warped, Weird Washington Judges

Lesbian?s Ex-Partner Declared ?De-Facto Parent? by Washington State Court

Mother now married to child?s biological father must give previous lesbian partner access

A Washington State Supreme Court judge ruled Thursday that the former lesbian partner of a child?s biological mother can be considered the ?de facto parent? of the ten-year-old girl the mother conceived by artificial insemination. The girl?s mother, Page Britain, is now married to the girl?s biological father after separating from her lesbian lover.

Sue Ellen Carvin sued Britain in 2002 after she was denied visitation of the girl conceived in 1995. Chief Justice Bobbe J. Bridge, writing for the majority, said that ?in the face of advancing technologies and evolving notions of what comprises a family unit, this case causes us to confront the manner in which our state . . . defines the terms ?parents? and ?families.?? The ruling, approved by seven of nine Supreme Court judges, means that Carvin can now sue for custody and visitation rights.

?Imagine the Pandora's box that opens,? said one of Britain?s attorneys, Erica Krikorian, according to an AP report. ?Anytime somebody comes along and cohabitates ? in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship ? all of a sudden, add water and you?re creating these rights. You have to be careful who you're letting your kids hang out with.? Britain?s attorneys are recommending an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Britain?s co-counsel, Brian Krikorian, said, ?This decision puts every single parent on notice: Anytime you allow another adult to assist in raising your child, you could potentially be giving that person 50-percent authority over your child.?

Justice James Johnson, dissenting from the majority opinion, condemned the court for its ?judicial decree? that brought in a new method for determining who a child?s parent is. ?Regardless of the various sexual orientation claims, the outcome must be that a mother has a fundamental right to make decisions for her child,? he stated. ?The majority?s ruling fails to provide any protection for Britain's fundamental constitutional right as a fit mother to make decisions concerning the upbringing of her own daughter. Worse, in my view, the majority here looks beyond a detailed and complete statutory scheme adopted by the Washington Legislature and creates by judicial decree a new method for determining parentage.?

Rev. Joseph Fuiten, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Network, a Washington group campaigning against legalization of same-sex ?marriage,? condemned the ruling. ?They?ve changed the definition of parents today; they'll change the definition of marriage tomorrow. Who do these people think they are??

To respectfully contact:
Bobbe Bridge, Justice
Washington State Supreme Court
415 12th Ave SW
PO Box 40929
Olympia, WA 98504-0929
Tel 360-357-2049
attn Justice Bobbe Bridge

To contact Washington Governor Christine Gregoire by email

Governor Christine Gregoire
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Governor?s Office (360) 902-4111
Fax (360) 753-4110
To contact relay operators for the deaf or hearing impaired, please dial 7-1-1.

Terry Vanderheyden
OLYMPIA, Washington, November 4, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com)

Say Hello To My Little Friend...Rocco Martino

Source of Forged Niger-Iraq Uranium Documents Identified

Italy's spymaster identified an Italian occasional spy named Rocco Martino on Thursday as the disseminator of forged documents that described efforts by Iraq to buy uranium ore from Niger for a nuclear weapons program, three lawmakers said Thursday.

The spymaster, Gen. Nicolò Pollari, director of the Italian military intelligence agency known as Sismi, disclosed that Mr. Martino was the source of the forged documents in closed-door testimony to a parliamentary committee that oversees secret services, the lawmakers said.

Senator Massimo Brutti, a member of the committee, told reporters that General Pollari had identified Mr. Martino as a former intelligence informer who had been "kicked out of the agency." He did not say Mr. Martino was the forger.

The revelation came on a day when the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that it had shut down its two-year investigation into the origin of the forged documents.

The information about Iraq's desire to acquire the ore, known as yellowcake, was used by the Bush administration to help justify the invasion of Iraq, notably by President Bush in his State of the Union address in January 2003. But the information was later revealed to have been based on forgeries.

The documents were the basis for sending a former diplomat, Joseph C. Wilson IV, on a fact-finding mission to Niger that eventually exploded into an inquiry that led to the indictment and resignation last week of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby.

Mr. Martino has long been suspected of being responsible for peddling the false documents. News reports have quoted him as saying he obtained them through a contact at the Niger Embassy here. But this was the first time his role was formally disclosed by the intelligence agency.

Neither Mr. Martino nor his lawyer, Giuseppe Placidi, were available for comment.

Senator Brutti also told reporters that Italian intelligence had warned Washington in early 2003 that the Niger-Iraq documents were false.

"At about the same time as the State of the Union address, they said that the dossier doesn't correspond to the truth," Senator Brutti said. He said he did not know whether the warning was given before or after President Bush's address.

He made the claim more than once, but gave no supporting evidence. Amid confusing statements by various lawmakers, he later appeared to backtrack in conversations with both The Associated Press and Reuters, saying that because Sismi never had the documents, it could not comment on their merit.

There had long been doubts within the United States intelligence community about the authenticity of the yellowcake documents, and references to it had been deleted from other presentations given at the time.

Senator Luigi Malabarba, who also attended Thursday's hearing, said in a telephone interview that General Pollari had told the committee that Mr. Martino was "offering the documents not on behalf of Sismi but on behalf of the French" and that Mr. Martino had told prosecutors in Rome that he was in the service of French intelligence.

A senior French intelligence official interviewed Wednesday in Paris declined to say whether Mr. Martino had been a paid agent of France, but he called General Pollari's assertions about France's responsibility "scandalous."

General Pollari also said that no Italian intelligence agency officials were involved in either forging or distributing the documents, according to both Senator Brutti and the committee chairman, Enzo Bianco.

Committee members said they were shown documents defending General Pollari, including a copy of a classified letter from Robert S. Muller III, the director of the F.B.I., dated July 20, which praised Italy's cooperation with the bureau.

In Washington, an official at the bureau confirmed the substance of the letter, whose contents were first reported Tuesday in the leftist newspaper L'Unità. The letter stated that Italy's cooperation proved the bureau's theory that the false documents were produced and disseminated by one or more people for personal profit, and ruled out the possibility that the Italian service had intended to influence American policy, the newspaper said.

As a result, the letter said, according to both the F.B.I. official and L'Unità, the bureau had closed its investigation into the origin of the documents.

The F.B.I. official declined to be identified by name.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Italy's military intelligence service sent reports to the United States and Britain claiming that Iraq was actively trying to acquire uranium, according to current and former intelligence officials.

Senator Brutti told reporters on Thursday that indeed Sismi had provided information about Iraq's desire to acquire uranium from Niger as early as the 1990's, but that it had never said the information was credible.

Thursday's hearing followed a three-part series in La Repubblica, which said General Pollari had knowingly provided the United States and Britain with forged documents. The newspaper, a staunch opponent of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, also reported that General Pollari had acted at the behest of Mr. Berlusconi, who was said to be eager to help President Bush in the search for weapons in Iraq.

Mr. Berlusconi has denied such accounts.

La Repubblica said General Pollari had held a meeting on Sept. 9, 2002, with Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser. Mr. Hadley, now the national security adviser, has said that he met General Pollari on that date, but that they did not discuss the Niger-Iraq issue.

"Nobody participating in that meeting or asked about that meeting has any recollection of a discussion of natural uranium, or any recollection of any documents being passed," Mr. Hadley told a briefing on Wednesday in Washington. "And that's also my recollection."

At the time, Mr. Hadley took responsibility for including the faulty information in Mr. Bush's State of the Union address.


11/04/05 "New York Times" -- -- ROME, Nov. 3
David Johnston contributed reporting from Washington for this article.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


And Remember...It's PC To Attack Catholics

Smearing Fitzgerald

The neocons' defense:
it isn't perjury, it's a pogrom

Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case, is of a type not seen in many years: he seems to personify the virtue of rationality and the spirit of rectitude combined. He seems, in short, the incarnation of an age gone by. This, in concert with his boyish yet stern visage, imbues him with authority and a distinctively American air: he looks vaguely like Charles Lindbergh, another American hero sprung from the heartland, and this physical resemblance raises, in my own mind, a possible propaganda ploy by Libby's defenders.

We haven't yet heard much about how the prosecution of Libby is part of an "anti-Semitic" plot, but if two other Cheney aides often mentioned as possible targets – John Hannah and David Wurmser – are indicted, or implicated, as rumored, you can bet your bottom dollar we will be hearing it loud and clear. Just as we heard it when Steve Rosen, AIPAC's longtime chief lobbyist – and the architect of its amazing success – and Keith Weissman, his aide, were indicted [.pdf] for spying on behalf of Israel. These two are accused of culling classified information from Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin and face charges of violating the Espionage Act – the same charges Fitzgerald may yet make in the Libby case.

It was only a matter of time, I surmised, before this "defense" of Libby was launched: after all, here we have an Irish-Catholic prosecutor going after someone of the Jewish faith, with perhaps two other victims of the "pogrom" waiting in the wings. In ethnicity-conscious America, where political correctness is not just a left-wing phenomenon, this factor is bound to come up sooner or later.

It didn't take long. Michael J. Gaynor, a New York lawyer and a columnist for several right-wing Web sites, was first out of the gate:

"In a perverse sense, it seems fitting that I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby has been made a scapegoat.

"After all, he is Jewish (and scapegoating Jews was not an innovation by Adolf Hitler or ended when Hitler committed suicide), he was not generally known until he was indicted, Webster's Dictionary's primary definition of 'scapegoat' is 'a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur,' and additional definitions include 'one that bears the blame for others' and 'one that is the object of irrational hostility.'"

What's perverse here is the "logic" of Mr. Gaynor's argument: where is the evidence that Fitzgerald is prosecuting the vice president's former chief of staff on account of Scooter's religion? That Gaynor has no use for such old-fashioned devices as logic and proof is evident by the second sentence of his screed, when he resorts to the reductio ad Hitlerum, as Leo Strauss dubbed it. Certainly Scooter himself – who studied under Paul Wolfowitz, a student of Strauss, at Yale – could tell him as much.

Libby and most of his supporters are much too smart to utilize such an obviously idiotic defense, and yet a more sophisticated variation of the reductio ad Hitlerum is attempted in a piece entitled "Libby Jewish? Some Wonder How Neo-Con's Faith Impacts Leak Scandal," put out by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Author Ron Kampeas interviews prominent neoconservative intellectual Joshua Muravchik.

"When Joshua Muravchik, perhaps the pre-eminent expert on the interventionist foreign policy that has become known as neo-conservatism, was looking for non-Jewish neo-cons to prove that the movement isn't pervasively Jewish, he naturally included Lewis Libby.

"'Non-Jews figuring prominently in current foreign-policy debates and today called neo-cons include Libby, [John] Bolton, American Enterprise Institute president Christopher DeMuth, and Gary Schmitt of the Project for the New American Century,' Muravchik wrote in Commentary magazine two years ago.

"'Go easy on me,' Muravchik laughingly told a reporter this week, after it emerged that the man at the center of the White House leak scandal indeed is Jewish."

OK, so Libby is Jewish – so what? No big deal – right? Not according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: "Across the blogosphere," we are informed,

"Anti-Semitic and anti-Israel conspiracy theorists were quick to tie Libby's Jewishness to his role in selling the Iraq war, imagining once again a neo-con cabal that has a singular agenda: promoting Israel at all costs."

No links are provided to document this veritable tsunami of anti-Libby, anti-Semitic hate, which is supposedly rolling in a great dark wave from one end of cyberspace to the other. David Duke is mentioned – and that's it. But never mind: the point is that all sorts of creepy crawly bad guys hate Libby, because, you see, he's a Jew, and

"Yet the fact that many people in Washington – including neo-conservatives – had no idea that Libby was Jewish underscores how tenuous the Jewish-neo-con link actually is, said Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Jewish himself. 'One key measure of the falsity of the argument is that the non-Jewish neo-cons are equally pro-Israel as Jewish neo-cons,' he said."

What rings particularly false about Muravchik's spiel is that, outside of a few isolated nutballs, no one is making any such argument. Setting up a strawman, Muravchik proceeds to knock it down with much fanfare, yet not before reiterating the same point made in his 2003 piece – which I commented on here – that any mention of the word "neocon" is an anti-Semitic "libel."

The writer Elizabeth Drew, the historian Paul Buhl, and the BBC: all, in Muravchik's view, incited anti-Semitism by presenting the neocons – who are, after all, just harmless Great Society liberals with a slightly harder edge – as members of "a strange, veiled group, almost a cabal whose purpose is to manipulate U.S. policy for ulterior purposes."

At the very moment when such insiders as Brent Scowcroft and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson are describing just such a cabal – and Americans are increasingly angry at having been lied to and, yes, manipulated into war under false pretenses – Muravchik's Commentary essay, considered in retrospect, reads like a preemptive attack. Who, us – a cabal? Why, who would say such a thing? Only David Duke, the "hard Left," and various anti-Semites who have seemingly taken over the BBC! Muravchik was especially peeved about a particular BBC program on the neocons:

"On the show itself, [Richard] Perle was introduced as 'the neocons' political godfather,' a suggestive term whose implication was reinforced by a question put separately to him and another guest: 'Are you a Mafia?'"

"Suggestive" – of what? That Perle is Italian?

"As the camera panned over the building that houses AEI [the American Enterprise Institute] and the other arms of this 'mafia,' we heard from the announcer that here was where the 'future is being plotted.'"

Well then, wasn't it? As reported in La Repubblica by Carlo Bonini and Giuseppi d'Avanzo, in the second in their fascinating series of articles on the Niger uranium forgeries, AEI played an instrumental role in the plot to lie us into war:

"Ahmed Chalabi and his right-hand men, [Aras Habib] Karim and [Francis] Brooke, travel with the Pentagon and American Enterprise Institute teams. Here's an example: The three men who alternate in 2004 in Baghdad at Chalabi's side as 'liaison officer' with the Pentagon are Michael Rubin … of the American Enterprise Institute; Harold Rhode, aide to Douglas Feith at the Office of Special Plans and 'Islamic Affairs Advisor' to Paul Wolfowitz. They were already serving in this capacity on the eve of the invasion."

In collaboration with a team from Italian military intelligence, this crew, with the help of more than a few shady characters, produced and disseminated the Niger uranium forgeries that were then spirited off to Washington, D.C. Michael Ledeen, a senior scholar in residence at AEI, is identified by La Repubblica as the plotters' contact man in Washington.

As a conduit for the forgeries, AEI was the nerve center of the duplicitous shenanigans that took place around fabricating "evidence" of Iraqi WMD: neocon ideologues like Larry Franklin, since charged with being a spy for Israel, were involved in this network, and Chalabi, the neocons' Che Guevara, was in it up to his neck.

Back in 2003, Muravchik asked: "What exactly is being 'plotted'?" That is now a question that many people are asking, and one of them is the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case. Muravchik and Libby's neocon defenders are eager to delegitimize their inquries, and toward that end they cast about for bogeymen and variations on the reductio ad Hitlerum argument: Lyndon LaRouche was the bogeyman of choice in Muravchik's Commentary piece, although I now see they've settled on former Ku Klux Klan screwball David Duke.

What would the neocons do without the David Dukes and Lyndon LaRouches of this world? To say nothing of Hitler? By associating these names with the "persecution" of poor innocent little Scooter, who's just a nice Jewish boy who went to Yale, Libby's neocon fan club achieves its purpose: smearing Fitzgerald, albeit indirectly. The clear implication of all this is that the prosecution itself must be motivated by some unacknowledged agenda: after all, if they're just getting him on what is a "technicality," according to Kay Bailey Hutchison, then that leaves plenty of room for inferring that this is an American version of the Dreyfus case.

It won't work.

The argument made by Muravchik in his 2003 piece – that there are plenty of non-Jewish neocons, and that they are just as pro-Israel as neocons who happen to be Jews – is incontestably true, and only the most marginal types have argued otherwise. Larry Franklin, the devoutly Catholic Pentagon analyst who handed over vitally important U.S. secrets to Israel and faces a trial sometime next year, is a case in point.

However, this doesn't invalidate the point made by the neocons' critics, and some opponents of the war, who maintain that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken for Israel's benefit, to the exclusion of American interests. In retrospect, as Israel extends its influence into Kurdistan, creates a Palestinian bantustan in the occupied territories, and moves to humble its enemies in Lebanon, Syria, and even Iran, the main beneficiary of the Iraqi break-up is not Washington – which faces a rising insurgency and skyrocketing casualties – but Tel Aviv.

"Why did the U.S. invade Iraq?" asks New Yorker writer George Packer. "It still isn't possible to be sure – and this remains the most remarkable thing about the Iraq war."

As Americans look back and wonder – how did we get here, who got us here, and why? – the answer that is beginning to dawn on them is being mightily resisted by Muravchik and his ilk. The neocons are now facing the political and legal consequences of their actions, and they don't like being identified as a "cabal" – because that's just what they are. Read the indictment [.pdf] of Scooter Libby, and you'll see how the cabal operated: efficiently, ruthlessly, and without regard for the national security of the United States.

To what, then, did they owe their allegiance? It's a question tied in to the mystery at the core of the CIA leak investigation: What motivated Libby to lie so obviously, and so stupidly?

To ensure the reelection of George W. Bush? That's what E. J. Dionne thinks. Yet if Libby hadn't lied, Fitzgerald would not have prosecuted him for perjury – and, as Fitzgerald said at his press conference, "we would not be standing here today." There would have been no press conference, no indictment, and no post-investigation report – unless the truth would have led to other, more serious charges, perhaps conspiracy to transmit classified information in violation of the Espionage Act.

Fitzgerald said that failure to bring such charges should not be interpreted as downplaying the seriousness of Libby's crimes. However, Libby threw sand in the prosecutor's eyes, stopping the investigation beyond a certain point. Muravchik and his fellow neocons have been engaged in a long campaign of sand-throwing, denying that any such movement known as neoconservatism even exists – in spite of the proclamation of its founder that it is alive and well, albeit more a "persuasion" than a movement – and smearing anyone who uses the now familiar vernacular, "neocon," to describe the War Party.

According to the comedienne Julia Gorin, writing in the august pages of the Wall Street Journal, the word "neocon" has

"Become an epithet for 'Jews' – an epithet employed most often by the left. One big culprit has been Air America. Tune in to the proudly liberal radio network, and you'll hear actress-turned-activist Janeane Garofalo and other hosts frequently blast the 'influence' of the 'neocons' on the Bush Administration, then go on to name names such as Wolfowitz, Perle, Abrams and Libby. Not a single gentile name makes the list, so it's the Jewish influence to which the network takes particular exception. Others have gotten in trouble for pointing this out, but let's give up the charade. When a member of the enlightened classes, or Pat Buchanan, makes reference to a 'neocon,' what he's saying is 'yid.' That's right, 'neoconservative,' particularly in its shortened form, when employed by a nonconservative (or by Buchananites) and therefore meant derogatorily, is the modern, albeit more specific, word for 'kike' that the left can say."

I once appeared on Bill Maher's old show with Ms. Gorin, where she showed the same snarling disregard for logical thinking, a disability on full display above: in Gorin's universe, to even mention a Jewish-sounding name in connection with any disreputable act, never mind a criminal one, is proof positive you're Hitler reincarnated. In this view, the prosecution of Libby is intrinsically anti-Semitic, and Fitzgerald's indictment – and perhaps others that may come down the pike – is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion translated into legalese. Libby? Hannah? Wurmser? Gee, how come "not a single Gentile makes the list?"

Who knows, perhaps Karl Rove will make the list – maybe even Dick Cheney. One hopes that will satisfy Ms. Gorin, although somehow I doubt it. In any case, it looks like she wasn't the only one – besides David Duke – who noticed Libby's religious affiliation, and surely Mark A. R. Kleiman qualifies as prescient for having made this little remark way back in October 2003.

While there may be some merit to the idea that Libby lied to protect Bush's reelection campaign, there's more to it than that. Libby hardly acted alone: he was part of a bigger operation – a cabal, if you will – and their crimes go way beyond outing a CIA agent. The underlying crime in this case is the fabrication of the case for war – epitomized by the Niger uranium forgeries, which were accepted by the White House as authentic evidence of Iraqi WMD and cited in Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech, in spite of Italy's warning that they were fake. Joe Wilson went to Niger to debunk a forgery that nevertheless made its way to the president's desk, disguised as "intelligence" – and the cabal that produced this fake struck back at his wife when Ambassador Wilson drew undue attention to their perfidy.

There is a cancer at the very heart of this administration, and we should think of prosecutor Fitzgerald as a surgeon whose job it is to excise it. Whether the patient will survive the operation is a question all are asking. Yet the health of the nation requires that we go ahead with it, come what may. Any attempt to distract, obstruct, or somehow derail this necessary medical procedure – such as smearing the doctor as a "quack," or even a crank – is just the tumor talking.

Justin Raimondo

This'll Never Get Off The Ground

AIPAC Judge Keeps Evidence Classified

The federal judge in the AIPAC classified-information case ruled that prosecutors may withhold evidence from the defense.

In a hearing Wednesday in the case against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former staffers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Judge T.S. Ellis of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., ruled in favor of government arguments that recordings and transcripts of tapped conversations involving the defendants include material that would be harmful to the national interest if revealed. Ellis said he would determine what material the defense can use and what material it can not access.

Rosen’s lawyer said that despite the ruling, Ellis showed sensitivity to the defense’s concerns. “We’re pleased that the court understands the complexities involved in providing our clients with the right to a fair trial in the midst of all these classified procedures,” Abbe Lowell said.

Because the process of determining what material the defense may see is likely to be long and involved, Ellis pushed back the trial date from Jan. 2 to April 25.


Stop the Next War Before It Starts

It's time for the antiwar movement to take U.S. threats against Iran and Syria very, very seriously. Not only are stories of such threats appearing at an increasing rate in the media, they now seem to be a topic of concern on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. Condi Rice, war hound that she is, made it quite clear that the White House considers it to be its prerogative to militarily attack these countries if it so desires. We're not talking covert actions or even armed clashes like those recently reported along Syria's border with Iraq. We're talking about an invasion of Syria and/or Iran by air and (probably) land forces.

These attacks will be undertaken in pursuit of regime change, with two main justifications. One excuse will be that both of these countries' governments are aiding some element of the insurgency in Iraq, either intentionally or by default because they won't close their borders. The second reason given will be to (we've heard this one before) prevent the development and spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The latter excuse is more likely to be believed by the American public, especially in the case of Iran, because the compliant, if not downright collaborationist, U.S. media has already laid the groundwork for the assumption that Tehran has such WMD, wants to develop more, and wants to spread them around the world. In addition, the increasingly tight relationships among certain elements of the Iranian government and certain mainstream political parties in Iraq makes the claim that Tehran is supporting the Iraqi insurgency increasingly difficult to make – at least for now.

Let's take a look at just a couple of recent statements by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. On Oct. 19, 2005, Rice told a Senate committee that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were part of a plan to "redesign" the Middle East. She also added that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 10 or more years. The reactions to these statements from the senators present varied, although none seemed to oppose the overall strategy presented by Ms. Rice. One GOP senator, George V. Voinovich of Ohio, noted: "We have to level with the American people," he said. "This is another world war." Voinovich, who opposed the appointment of John Bolton to the United Nations because Bolton alienated potential U.S. allies in its war for millennial world hegemony, was not so much asking for a change in policy as he was asking for the White House to stop misrepresenting its intentions.

The senator's concern was seconded from the other side of the aisle by Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Now, to some folks opposed to the war, Obama is a potential ally. However, like Voinovich, it appears that he is not opposed to the project to remake the world (especially those parts where there is oil) in Washington's image; he is opposed to the current administration's unilateralism. "This broadening of the mission is disturbing and difficult for us in the Senate to deal with as it requires a leap of faith on our part that a mission of that breadth can be accomplished in a reasonable time frame," Mr. Obama said. Notice that his concern is with the time frame involved in dominating the world, not with the underlying philosophy that says such a project is the right thing to do. In summation, Washington does intend to change the governments in the Middle East that it opposes. Syria and Iran are the next two countries on the list, and any excuse to change their governments will be utilized, no matter how contrived or flimsy. The insistence by Bush that the UN Security Council must do something immediately in response to Detlev Mehlis' findings that some elements in the Syrian government may have been involved in the murder of Lebanese businessman Rafik Hariri is but the most recent example. It doesn't matter how true the charges are: it only matters that they help to instigate the dismantling of the current Damascus government and its replacement with one compatible with U.S. designs for the region.

Obama and Voinovich are but two senators, but unfortunately, with the exception of perhaps two or three members of the House, they represent the strongest opposition in Congress to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) – the neocons whose blueprint is being used by the Bush administration in its endeavor to dominate the planet. Indeed, the Democrats have similar goals of their own. The title of their plan, which was unveiled during the Kerry campaign for president, is "Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy" [.pdf]. The Democrats' paper uses the tragedy of 9/11 as a starting point. It continues by supporting the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq while decrying the fact that no other capitalist country except for Britain is paying the same price for those adventures as the United States is. As it rambles on, the paper emphasizes repeatedly the Democratic Party's tradition of aggressive military intervention throughout the 20th century: Korea, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Vietnam, the former Yugoslavia, and so on. The intention of this litany is to prove that the Democrats are just as warlike as the GOP's neocons. As the statement succinctly puts it in one of its early paragraphs: "We therefore support the bold exercise of American power…."

As has been said many times before here and elsewhere, Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. In recent years, the GOP has proven itself to be a stronger opposition party, while the Democrats seem to fold as soon as they are out of power. The reason for this is simple: the Democratic agenda is so similar to the more aggressive Republican one that it is unable to present any fundamental policy differences, especially when it is not in the driver's seat. Consequently, it plays a role comparable to that of the good cop in the precinct interrogation room. While the GOP bullies its suspect, the Democratic "opposition" tries to coax him into doing the interrogators' bidding, whether he's guilty or not. Then, if he refuses both cops' efforts, they gang up and beat him until he confesses to anything just to save his life. The similarities between the two parties are certainly greater than the differences, which means that those who oppose these wars can't count on either one for support. There are a few elected members of each party, however, who have expressed some degree of opposition, and they should be pressured to vocalize it. Those who are beginning to call for a timetable for withdrawal should be moved toward demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal, and those who have yet to even ask for a timetable but have begun to ask questions (even questions like Obama's) need to be pushed into demanding a withdrawal. Furthermore, no more funding for the wars should be provided.

Back to Syria and Iran. As Ms. Rice made clear, the current administration wants to "redesign" the Middle East. As the Democrats' blueprint for intervention makes clear, the mainstream wing of that party is also interested in such an endeavor. Just as in Iraq and Afghanistan, both parties are essentially useless to those who oppose any new wars. So what can the antiwar movement do? It should do everything possible to prevent these attacks from ever occurring. Even if it seems pointless, write your senators and representatives (who knows what might happen if enough voters write threatening them with unemployment unless they oppose the wars); inform the public about the growing possibility of these invasions; step up opposition to military recruiting and oppose a new military draft no matter what it's called. In short, make these potential expansions of the war in the Middle East and Central Asia part of the antiwar program. It is possible to stop these attacks before they occur. If we act properly, there should be millions of people ready to immediately oppose any expansion of the war. However, if the war is expanded to Syria and/or Iran, remember that the explosion of opposition to the U.S. invasion of Cambodia in May 1970 created such a state of crisis in the United States that the Nixon administration was forced to officially withdraw from that country.

Ron Jacobs

Of Madmen and Nukes

Chinese Major General Zhu Chenghu told journalists last July that China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the United States if it targets Chinese ships, aircraft, or territory in a confrontation over Taiwan. “We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds…of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese,” he warned.

With Zhu’s suicidal nuclear threats as backdrop, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told his military counterparts in Beijing last month that “advances in China’s strategic strike capacity raise questions” about its intentions. Rumsfeld suggested that “greater clarity would generate more certainty in the region.”

Excellent points, Mr. Secretary. But China, of course, is not the only state to amass nuclear weapons to defend and advance its interests. Although other Chinese officials disavowed Zhu’s remarks, he is not the first to suggest, officially or unofficially, that his government is “mad” enough to use massive nuclear force against conventional attacks.

Since the beginning of the nuclear age, U.S. presidents have developed policies and issued statements intended to make nuclear threats appear credible and create uncertainty about when and where they might be used. As unnerving as China’s estimated arsenal of 100-400 nuclear weapons and Zhu’s remarks may be, Beijing’s official no-first-use policy arguably makes its posture more restrained than that of the United States today.

To deter other nuclear-armed states, particularly Russia, from attacking with their nuclear arms, current U.S. strategy calls for the maintenance of a massive arsenal of approximately 2,200 deployed strategic nuclear warheads on high alert through 2012 and beyond. In addition, the United States will still possess some 3,000 additional strategic warheads in storage and several hundred substrategic weapons.

The Pentagon’s March 2005 draft “Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations” also outlines a wide range of options to deal with non-nuclear scenarios. It would allow for the possible first use of nuclear weapons to help support U.S. forces or allies against conventional attacks, such as a conflict with China over Taiwan, as well as other scenarios, including pre-emptive nuclear strikes on suspected chemical or biological weapons targets in non-nuclear-weapon states.

Given the absence of a hostile, well-armed nuclear adversary, U.S. conventional military dominance, and the possibility that additional states might acquire nuclear weapons, is such a large U.S. arsenal and expansive view of the role of nuclear weapons necessary, justifiable, and sustainable? No.

There is no conceivable circumstance in which the United States would need to use or could justify the use of nuclear weapons to fight or terminate a conventional conflict with a non-nuclear adversary. On several occasions, U.S. presidents from Truman and Eisenhower to Kennedy, Nixon, and George H. W. Bush have considered the limited use of nuclear weapons in tactical situations, but they have always rejected doing so. The calculus should be no different today.

Policies that assert a war-fighting role for nuclear weapons only deepen the risk of proliferation. They undermine existing pledges by nuclear-weapon states that they will not use nuclear arms against countries without them. They give states such as North Korea and Iran a cynical excuse to maintain their nuclear weapons options and send a green light to nuclear rivals India and Pakistan to contemplate their battlefield use.

The lessons of the Cuban missile crisis and other U.S.-Soviet confrontations during the Cold War make clear that even limited nuclear engagement risks escalation and unacceptable annihilation. Nuclear weapons are, therefore, not a realistic war-fighting option in a conventional conflict against a nuclear-armed adversary.

Some nuclear acolytes believe new types of weapons are needed to provide “credible” options against future adversaries and targets, including underground bunkers and chemical or biological threats. Such thinking ignores the reality that employing any nuclear weapon would produce disproportionate and unacceptable collateral destruction and severe political fallout.

A saner nuclear weapons policy is feasible and overdue. As long as the United States and others possess nuclear weapons, their role should be limited to deterring other states from using them. Further, if that is their only function, there is no reason why the United States cannot observe a policy of no-first-use. Nor would there be any need to develop and test new nuclear-weapon capabilities or maintain Cold War-sized arsenals on high alert, a condition that risks accidental or unauthorized launch.

It has been 60 years since the last nuclear bomb was used in war. Perhaps more than any other state, the United States has the most to lose if others not only seek to acquire nuclear weapons but come to view them as legitimate and useful instruments of coercion and war. But if U.S. policymakers expect nuclear restraint from China and other states, they must reconsider and readjust the role of U.S. nuclear forces.

Daryl G. Kimball