Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Schwarz is overrated in my opinion. While he may put on the white hat and speak out when things go to far, at same time he's part of the corporate bar whose clients are all to happy to underwrite Bush et al. who like to violate our rights.

bernardo issel

New York, NY

Dec 2 2009 - 3:29am

Web Letter

Yes, investigate the CIA. Yes, investigate torture and the abdication of the Constitution.

But why are we not investigating the war profiteering of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? The Bush family owns Halliburton. Dick Cheney was their front man. He was their front man when he was secretary of defense for George H. W. Bush, front man when he merged the Bush's Dresser Industries with Halliburton in a stock swap that gave the Bush family control, and front man for George W. Bush during and after his presidency. The business of Halliburton is war contracts and oil. Afghanistan gave them no-bid war contracts, and Iraq gave them, along with the Saudis, monopoly control of oil. And George W. Bush got a big kick out of people thinking he was so dumb. He laughed all the way to his Swiss bank account.

And why isn't anyone interested in where all the opium and heroin went from Afghanistan? Bush W. and the CIA made a great deal with the opium warlords to take over Afghanistan. Opium production shot from 0 percent of the world supply to 93 percent. Karzai's brother made out in that one. Is it possible that Bush W. didn't cut himself in? All that tilting toward a naval war with Iran. Is it possible that war hysteria had something to do with smugglers running opium past Iran to safe ports in Iraq?

And remember the gas spike up to $4 a gallon just before Halliburton auctioned off shares in the oil leases in Iraq. Is it possible that squeezing the market was one of the things Bush W. was whispering in the Saudi prince's ear while he was holding his hand?

Aren't any of these things worth investigating?

Ed Felien

Minneapolis, MN

Sep 15 2009 - 3:46pm

Web Letter

I would add one final dirty little secret to the conduct of the US government in today's world that puts a new slant to all that Chris Hayes detailed.

It was something I never would have thought of until Mort Kondrake heatedly blurted it out on The McLaughlin Group some time back. I vaguely remember the argument pertained to controlling valuable resources (oil or cocaine?) somewhere, when he shouted that it wasn't about the controlling the "resource," it's all about "controlling the wealth" generated by the resource.

Our dealings in the Middle East, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and Columbia, just to name a few, make perfect sense when you understand that either we control the wealth or we control he who holds the wealth--or we'll kill you.

Mary Quinnan

Cottonwood, AZ

Aug 30 2009 - 10:55am

Web Letter

Mr. Hayes doesn't grasp the fact that the Church idiocy most likely led directly to 09/11/01. The United States of America is a direct threat to despots, tyrants and Islamic extremists around the world, and many of those seek to destroy our way of life. Mr. Hayes and his ilk would just have us surrender to them. Mr. Hayes, you and those that think like you are just as much a threat to America as Al Qaeda.

James Darlin

Charlotte, NC

Aug 28 2009 - 5:12pm

Web Letter

As you know beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and the reason President Obama doesn't want to look backward is because when he leaves office he may face the same scrutiny that President Bush is facing. After all, he launched missiles at a sovereign nation (Pakistan) and killed inocent women and children. Someone might get the bright idea to bring him up on a war crimes charge.

walter bindner

Goshen , KY

Aug 28 2009 - 1:59pm

Web Letter

Mr. Hayes's article makes it clear he sees no utility in any type of national intelligence effort. Many of the intelligence failures that contributed to the 9/11 disaster can be linked to the restrictions and controls placed on the CIA and other agencies in the aftermath of the Church Committee hearings.

At his core, Mr Hayes and his colleagues at The Nation despise any means involving covert activity of protecting the US from any threat. Such a view is not evil but clearly delusional.

Brian Marks

Richardson ( Dallas) , TX

Aug 28 2009 - 10:10am

Web Letter

The fact that President Obama put methods in place to insure that torture and abuse never happen again apparently is not enough for the liberals who want to emasculate our intelligence agencies. No sane person will ever want to join the CIA, NSA or DIA, for fear that their actions, in defense of our country, will put them in a prison cell. It is well known that the Church Commission was thought to have decimated the CIA and caused serious setbacks to our future intelligence efforts.

The folks who celebrated the release of the terrorist who brought down the plane over Lockerbie Scotland, the murderers from Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, and the terrorist states of Iran, Syria, North Korea and Russia must all be celebrating the liberal democrats of America destroying our country for them.

The liberals always blame the victim and never blame the perpetrator. The valiant men and women who work for our intelligence agencies deserve better than to be thrown to the wolves. We are in a war with people who want to destroy us and we must use every means at our disposal to defeat them before they use a weapon of mass destruction on our country, and only a fool believes that these groups have given up trying to do that.

Some day, the fact that 3,000 Americans were murdered on 911 will be forgotten because the next terrorist act will dwarf that number many times over in the dead men, women, and children whose lives were snuffed out by evil people. The reason for this will be because we are now trying to blindfold and tie the hands behind their backs of our intelligence personnel and then send them out to try and defend us, and that will only seek to greatly aid those who seek our end.

President Obama has made sure the horrible transgressions of the past will not happen again and we need to move on.

Mark Jeffery Koch

Cherry Hill, NJ

Aug 28 2009 - 9:50am

Web Letter

Since Mr. Hayes apparently believes in "guilty until proven innocent," perhaps his next article will advocate for the return of the Star Chamber trials. When those are complete, we could top it off with a public flogging and hanging.

Sharon Homer-Drummond

West Palm Beach, FL

Aug 28 2009 - 9:00am

Web Letter

There is so much "stuff" in this article, it is difficult to know where to begin! I think a non-partisan review of intelligence activities is in order. A crime is a crime, regardless of political party.

First, you need to review the laws that are currently on the books against torture and other illegal behavior, and do some training to make sure the various agencies and departments understand the rules of behavior, along with the legal consequences of bad behavior. You enforce the laws on the books! These were the laws, when those crimes were committed.

Second, you make presidential findings an impeachable offense. Everybody obeys the law, or they go to jail.

Third, you need a variety of opinion when dealing with intelligence assessments. Each agency needs to do their own thing, and heads of agencies should meet regularly to share information with the national security adviser. Everybody's opinion is valuable, and massaging this information into one partisan stew is not allowed.

Fourth, lower-ranking members of the agencies should communicate laterally in sharing information. Whoever initially acquired the information should lead in exploiting any actionable intelligence taking into considerations their resources. I worked in communications in the US Army in Europe, and we often communicated with the British Army. This is no big deal.

Fifth, covert action became fashionable during WWII, and the CIA's ancestor the OSS did a lot of it. In the modern world, as with optional wars, covert actions have unforeseen consequences.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Aug 27 2009 - 4:46pm