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 Letters Published in November 1, 2006 Issue

 

 

 Nov. 1, 2006 - Letter submitted by Jay Tweedy, Knightstown

As the catastrophe that is the Bush administration continues, there have been some recent developments which should not go unnoticed. First, of course, is the scandal involving Republican Representative Mark Foley, whose pattern of attempting to seduce teen-age children was finally brought into the light of day. That Foley is arguably a pedophile is less important than the pattern of the Republican response to his actions: They have ranged from blaming the media, other Republicans, and even the children themselves. For me, though, the most amusing tactic was blaming … Bill Clinton. (I kid you not). What I did not hear was concern for the children, but rather a frantic set of talking points concerned only with one thing - the retention of Republican congressional seats. These people are power-mad, and do not care who gets hurt if caught in the way of their electoral machine.

Virtually unnoticed in the wake of the Republican sex scandal, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act (MCA). With the passage of this heinous bill, known unofficially as "The Torture Act," the transformation of the U.S. from a democracy to tyranny becomes almost complete. Safe in their assumption that a significant number of Americans will dutifully wet their pants upon the mere whisper of the word "terrorist," the Republican Congress has gutted the Bill of Rights. The MCA was advertised as applicable only to foreign "Unlawful Enemy Combatants" (UEC's). The definition of same is fluid.

Since Bush originally just made it up, Congress gave him, and the Department of Defense (DoD), the ability to say that it means whatever they say it means. As for the definition or "torture" - same deal - it means whatever GWB says it means, Geneva Conventions be damned. The problem is that these definitions can just as easily apply to American citizens. Any American citizen designated by the president as a UEC may be detained, forever, with no rights whatsoever, and subject to any and all treatment that the president decides is not-torture. Ask Jose Padilla. The right of habeas corpus, a staple of civilized societies since the time of the Magna Carta, is gone. A trial before a military tribunal of the type outlawed by the Geneva Conventions might ensue, but there is no requirement that any UEC actually be given a trial. We should of course be equally concerned that the bill allows this treatment of foreigners, upon mere suspicion, but the realization that it can as easily apply to Americans ought to be so shocking as to cause near revolt. Bear in mind that, upon hearing of non-presidentially-authorized leaks, the president tends to go on television and declare that those leaks are "aiding the enemy." How long until President McInsane decides that journalists must be imprisoned? Or that those who publicly speak ill of him, or his war, are giving comfort to the enemy?

The bill also provided retroactive immunity to any person who has engaged in interrogation techniques that normal people would consider to be torture. We have officially become despicable.

Every single one of Indiana's Republican legislators voted in favor of the Military Commissions Act. A total of forty-six Democratic legislators also voted for this monstrosity of a law.

Finally, last week saw the release of a book by the former Number Two man in the White House's Office of Faith Based Initiatives, David Kuo. In it, Kuo reports that the Bush administration, while it courted the evangelical Christian vote, privately made fun of those people, calling them "the nuts" and "goofy." Specifically speaking, Kuo says people in the White House Political Affairs Office referred to Pat Robertson as "insane," Jerry Falwell as "ridiculous," and said James Dobson "had to be controlled." And President Bush, he writes, talked about his compassion agenda, but never really fought for it. Bush promised $8 billion a year to be used to aid the poor - aid which never even came close to materializing. Listening to Kuo speak, it seems that he is still somewhat enamored of GWB; one must wonder why. For it should be clear to him, as it should be clear to evangelical Christians, and as it should be clear to the rest of the American public, that we've all been had.

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 Nov. 1, 2006 - Letter submitted by Ruby Derrick, Knightstown

Thanks to all that came to my 80th birthday party, sent a card, gift or made a phone call. It was greatly appreciated. Special thanks to Janice and Tom and Jerry and Linda for planning this special day for me.

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 Nov. 1, 2006 - Letter submitted by Kit C. Dean Crane, Henry County Prosecutor

I wanted to take this opportunity to ask everyone I know to vote for Butch Baker for Sheriff on November 7. Admittedly, I am biased and prejudiced in favor of Butch. Except for my tour in Iraq, Butch and I have worked side by side for the past 12 years. As the investigator in my office, Butch screens and evaluates potential criminal cases. He assists me and my deputy prosecutors every day to assure we get the best results possible in every case.

Butch has always displayed a broad understanding of criminal law. Butch has been my representative on the Henry County Homicide Team the past 12 years. As a 1976 graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and a 1986 graduate of the FBI Academy, Butch has brought invaluable experience and training to such difficult cases. He has sat beside me in court during difficult jury trials and has routinely demonstrated strong analytical qualities.

Butch has been my closest advisor these past 12 years. I have observed him consistently take decisive action based on well documented facts. He avoids making hasty decisions and excels in considering diversified approaches before taking action. He can be counted on to achieve results in emergency situations. Butch generates greater success in highly complex situations and is always fully prepared. The citizens of Henry County have a clear choice for sheriff on November 7. That choice is Butch Baker, a consummate law enforcement officer who leads by example and faces problems with confidence and assurance.

 

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