Friday, June 15, 2007


By Ivan G. Goldman
When you ran for President you promised service members that help was on the way. A new report ordered by Congress informs us that 40 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have psychological problems, that the mechanism to help them has broken down, and many are punished for their afflictions. A situation like this doesn’t happen overnight. There must have been warnings. Why did you allow this to happen?

Eighty percent of casualties in Iraq, where more than 3,500 U.S. service people have already died, are caused by improvised explosive devices. Two years ago the Marines requested 1,100 mine-resistant vehicles and the Pentagon didn’t order them or send them. The Army is in similar dire straits. Why did you allow this to happen?

In various legal filings, the prosecutor said both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby told several reporters about Valerie Plame's employment at the CIA. Why haven’t you fired Rove for damaging this country's security in order to cast doubt on the account of her husband who exercised his constitutional right to reveal you'd made a false claim to the nation that Saddam had been seeking weapons-grade uranium from Niger?

Vice President Dick Cheney, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continues to claim a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Why haven’t you admonished him for spreading this false idea and told him to cut it out?
The Downing Street Memo informs us that the British saw no evidence your Administration devised a post-invasion plan for Iraq. Would you agree? If you disagree, how have would you categorize that plan now in retrospect?

Your political appointee in the Pentagon, Mr. Wolfowitz, was a key instigator in your disastrous invasion of Iraq. You promoted him to head the World Bank, where he was fired for corruption. Got any more plans for Wolfowitz?

Your administration for years conducted a secret, warrantless, wiretapping program involving millions of phone calls, emails, and posted mail. When you were caught, you claimed you didn’t need warrants. Courts ruled otherwise. Even your first attorney general ruled otherwise. How do you justify these acts in view of your oath to uphold the Constitution?
Though you don't call it torture, your administration does in fact continue to torture suspected enemy captives even though experts tell us this is counter-productive. Explain why this doesn't undermine our argument when we demand moral behavior in places like Darfur.

Alberto Gonzalez’s conflicting testimony that he had nothing to do with firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons and then that he couldn’t remember doing so has been flatly contradicted by a wealth of documents and eyewitness testimony. What message does it send to America when its chief law enforcement officer exhibits these behaviors?

Why does your Administration continue to ignore congressional subpoenas in this and other matters?

You continue to claim pre-war intelligence showed invading Iraq was warranted. But the Downing Street Memo shows that the "case was thin" so "facts and the intelligence" were being "fixed around the policy." To what extent did Iraq's petroleum reserves play a part in your decision to invade?

Explain the difference between Shiite and Sunni beliefs and provide us background on the historical rift between them. When did you become aware of this division?

Why, unlike other wartime presidents, have you refused to attend funerals of fallen service people from the Iraq war?

Why does your Administration refuse to allow photographs of caskets returning from Iraq?

How many more U.S. troops must be sacrificed, as Bill Moyers put it, on the altar of your ego before you admit you were wrong to invade Iraq and that our occupation there only makes things worse at home and in the Middle East and is a boon to both Iran and al Qaeda?
You say the "enemy" despises us for our freedom. Then how can you explain why polls show that a vast majority of citizens in virtually all the democratic nations of the world despise you and your policies and that this is leaking over and making them despise our country, perhaps for generations to come?
The problems this country faces domestically and diplomatically have long appeared beyond your intellectual grasp. You answer questions about them in repetitious, simplistic generalities that fail to inspire the country’s confidence. You have no plan, for example, to deal with the nation’s awful statistics on infant mortality and longevity as compared with the rest of the developed world. Your appointees have systematically undermined programs that were in place to protect the workplace and the enivornment. Your plan to deal with the very real global warming crisis affecting us now is to keep stalling. Why won't you at least try to open your mind and go beyond your circle of myopic advisors for help?

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