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Dear Eric, I believe you are absolutely right that it can happen here, indeed it did happen here. We were living in a military dictatorship (Bush as commander in chief) and we did not even know it. Your cogent piece reminds me that the FBI took your book What Liberal Media? out of my house when they raided and seized computers, cell phones, books, calendars and addresses.

I think it is imperative that we try to figure out how our country, your country, my country, was seized literally without a fight. Clearly some of our institutions, the Congress, the Department of Justice, the Executive branch failed to protect us from enemies from within. The oath I took was to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, against enemies foreign and domestic. The small cabal of Cheney, Addington, Yoo, "the principals" were indeed domestic enemies of our republic.

We are a stronger, safer, more secure country if we adhere to the rule of law. We must vow, never again, never again.

Thomas M. Tamm

Potomac, MD

Mar 18 2009 - 3:56pm

Web Letter

While your point about journalists not wishing to admit their failures, of which there are many, is valid, I think much of the rationale for their inaction is more disturbing and lies in the inherent apathy of the American people and their delusion that Obama's mere presence will be enough to deter more abuse. This wouldn't be the first time that self-destruction inherent in the American psyche prevails. Thomas Frank's What Is The Matter With Kansas? touched the surface only of why social conservatives vote against their own financial interests, but didn't go far enough. It didn't explain the apathy, why we consistently support--and die for--a foreign power (Israel) that controls us and undermines our own interests; the idea that non-accountability for the monstrous abuse of power by the Bush administration and the concomitant imposition of a de-facto dictatorship still does not resonate with the American people.

We have become sheep on the way to our slaughter. The rest of the world sees and understands this, it sees our unwillingness to learn and prevent the same mistakes happening again, it sees our indifference to monumental deficits resulting from two unnecessary and unwinnable wars with a commensurate economic meltdown resulting from a free-for-all of greed and corruption, and wonders: Why should the rest of the world invest in such an unreliable, irresponsible and unpredictable country such as the US, unwilling to address its abuses of power? How can our global respect be restored to allow reinvestment in this country if we so consistently vote and act against our own interests? The very idea of supporting Israel's intention to attack Iran, despite all the same boring lies about WMD as in Iraq, is anathema.

Lying at the core of this indifference and delusion is the insurmountabe, arrogant and. yes, stupid, unwillingness to accept criticism. We are imposing our own irrelevance in the world. All we are good for is some testosteronic destruction of other nations, instead of attending to our own needs.

And when we someone does speak up about corruption, as in the Freeman fiasco, we do not protest. Where is the outrage?

stanley hersh

New York, NY

Mar 15 2009 - 10:43am

Web Letter

So far, on this subject, I've seen alot of wild, even hysterical accusations and very little solid information to back it up.There were quite a few who presented points to the voters in the election just passed, with very little result.

Looking at those nations, like Argentina and South Africa, where "Truth Commissions" played a role, there are several differences from any American experience. The main point being that, in the US, there was no breakdown or distortion in the process of free, fair elections, even such as Nixon attempted. (My wife and I were personally victims of one of the Watergate dirty tricks when we were stffers in Humphrey's 1972 campaign.)

Anyhow, the structure of opinion on this subject appears to be a majority of Democrats opposing a majority of Republicans. This is not likely to produce anything except to get terribly in the way as we work on our gigantic economic problems.

We need to move ahead on what can be accomplished, rather than descend into useless partisan bickering into murky areas where there is plenty of room for honest disagreement.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby , PA

Mar 13 2009 - 8:22pm