Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Hornberger’s Blog, February 2004

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Saturday, February 28, 2004

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is angry and outraged over the public disclosure by his former cabinet member, Clare Short, that British officials secretly and surreptitiously spied on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. (As President Bush put it early on, in the war on terrorism, you’re either with us or against us, and since Annan did not support the invasion and war of aggression against Iraq, that presumably put him on the side of the terrorists and therefore made him the proper target of a secret and surreptitious spy operation.)

Did Blair deny the charge? No, he’s just angry and outraged over the lack of patriotism shown by someone who would have the audacity to reveal such nefarious Top Secret misconduct. “National security,” you know.

I wonder if Blair would have sided with U.S. President “Tricky Dicky” Nixon when that paragon of virtue and patriotism wanted to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg for releasing the Pentagon Papers, which disclosed many of the Pentagon lies regarding the Vietnam War and U.S. President “Stuff the Ballot Box” Johnson’s lie about the fake and false attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. I wonder also if Blair would have condemned the Watergate witnesses who disclosed the Nixon administration’s burglary, perjury, obstruction of justice, and cover-up. “National security,” you know.

The Blair administration, of course, also is upset at another employee of the British government, 29-year-old Katharine Gun, for disclosing a Top Secret email in which the Bush administration requested British assistance in bugging UN diplomats. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, especially since Gun’s lawyers made it clear that they would defend by showing that the invasion of Iraq was illegal under international law, British prosecutors dropped the charges. “National security,” you know.

Meanwhile, back at home, Americans could be forgiven for getting an uneasy and discomforting feeling that the reason that Bush and his allies continue to stonewall the 9/11 investigating commission is that they have something to hide. “National security,” you know.

Friday, February 27, 2004

I saw Mel Gibson’s new movie “The Passion of Christ” yesterday, and I must confess that my reaction to the movie was different from that of many of the reviewers. For one, my revulsion was directed almost entirely toward the Romans, not the Jews. After all, whenever the movie focused on the Jewish high priests and the Jewish mob who were calling for Jesus’ crucifixion, foremost on my mind was the fact that Jesus Himself is a Jew and so is Mary, the mother of God. In His plan for salvation, God chose to incarnate himself as a Jew. Knowing that, it’s hard for me to be anti-Semitic despite the fact that other Jews called for His crucifixion.

Yes, it’s true that the Jewish high priests were obnoxious and pretentious jerks, but that malady is not something inherent to Jews — it afflicts people of all races, colors, and creeds.

It’s the same with the mob that was calling for Jesus to be executed — while that particular mob consisted of Jews, it was no different in principle from angry mobs throughout history. Think of old western movies in which a mob is storming the local jail, demanding that the sheriff release the prisoner so that the mob can kill him and save the taxpayers time and money. Or think about the lynch mobs in the Old South.

Some of the reviews criticize Gibson for portraying the Roman Empire official Pontius Pilate in a sympathetic light. My reaction was the exact opposite. To me, Pilate comes across as the worst of all cowards — a man who would sacrifice his integrity and principles for the sake of expediency, even while wielding omnipotent political power. In fact, I pretty much put him in the same category as Judas Iscariot.

As most everyone knows, the Jews did not have the power to inflict the death penalty on Jesus despite the fact that He had, in their minds, violated Jewish law by committing blasphemy. That is, while they had convicted Him and beaten Him for his “offense,” they lacked the authority, under Roman law, to execute Him. That’s why they took Him to Pilate, who was the Roman official in charge in Jerusalem — they needed Pilate to impose the death penalty on Jesus under Roman law.

But there was one big problem — a violation of Jewish law was not a violation of Roman law, and thus Pilate knew that he was faced with a mob who was demanding that he order the execution of an innocent man. Reviewers of Gibson’s film are upset that Gibson portrays Pilate as a reluctant executioner, given the fact that historically he was a brutal man who executed multitudes of people. But what they ignore is that dictators often need their own justification or rationalization before executing innocent people. One reason that Pilate came across to me as such an abhorrent person is the process by which he was able to reach such a justification or rationalization before ordering the execution of Jesus.

As the Roman Empire official in charge of Jerusalem, Pilate’s authority consisted not only of executive functions but also judicial functions. That is, if someone was accused of a crime, there was no formal charge, no trial before an independent judge, no jury trial, and no due process of law. Pilate was not only the chief executive in charge of the city, he was also the judge, jury, and executioner in criminal cases.

Thus, it was his job to hear the charges, consider the evidence, and render judgment when the Jewish officials presented Jesus to him. Upon concluding that Jesus was innocent, it was his duty to stand against the mob by rendering a verdict of not guilty and by not granting its demand to have Jesus executed — and, if necessary, quell by force any mob resistance to his verdict and judgment. Again, recall the old westerns — and how they would portray the local sheriff who would stand up against the angry mob by declaring, “You’re not going to take this prisoner, at least not without killing me. He’s going to get a fair trial before a fair judge. Now, go back to your homes.”

That’s what Pilate should have done. Instead, scared of antagonizing the mob (and somewhat fearful and paranoid of rebellious threats to Roman rule), in his mind he figured out a way to avoid responsibility for the execution of a man he knew to be innocent. He pulled a cute trick by asking the mob whether they would prefer to have released to them Jesus or Barabas, a murderer. When the mob chose Barabas, Pilate’s response, as he washed his hands of responsibility, was effectively, “Well, it’s not really my decision; it’s theirs.”

But he was wrong — it was not the choice of the mob because, again, the mob lacked the authority to execute Jesus. Only Pilate — and his military minions — had that authority. That’s why it has long intrigued me as to why the execution of Jesus would inspire anti-Semitism rather than anti-Romanism or, actually, anti-imperialism.

Another part of the movie (and the story) that I found so revolting was the role of the Roman soldiers in the execution. They were obedient cowards, faithfully obeying the orders of their superiors, and brutally torturing a man they knew to be innocent. And laughing and enjoying themselves throughout the entire process.

Of course, there are those who suggest that the Jewish mob, Pilate, and the soldiers were simply playing out their roles in God’s plan for salvation, negating the concept of free will. I think there might be another explanation. God knows that in every generation in every society there will always be those who choose wrongly—that is, there will always be mobs who demand swift “justice,” there will always be those who sacrifice their integrity for the sake of expediency, and that there will always be soldiers who faithfully obey the orders of their superiors. Thus, even if some of the Roman soldiers had said, “We won’t participate in this,” there would have been soldiers who would have been more than willing to take their place, especially after witnessing the execution of those who had followed their conscience rather than the orders of their superiors.

Thus, while “The Passion of the Christ” is, of course, about our Salvation, we would be remiss to ignore an important underlying message: If you want a system that is perfectly suited for executing innocent people, then have a political and judicial system in which the power to determine guilt and punishment for those who are accused of crimes is vested in an executive government official and his military personnel. Perhaps that’s one major reason that the English people (followed by the Americans) over time developed a system of separation of powers, independent judges, trial by jury, right to counsel, and due process of law.

Was the movie violent and brutal? Yes. So, why did I wish to see it? As a Catholic, I grew up praying the Apostle’s Creed, which states in part that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.” I had always assumed that the suffering had to do only with the crucifixion, but a few years ago, I read a great book entitled The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and I was surprised to learn that the suffering included brutal torture and beatings before the crucifixion.

Some of the reviewers of Gibson’s film have pointed to doctrinal problems with the film (such as the actual language in which Pilate and Jesus communicated) or to the excessive violence in the movie, but as far as I know, not one of them has questioned the accuracy of the suffering depicted by the movie. I wanted to see the movie because as a Christian, I wanted to see in movie form the extent of the suffering that Jesus underwent for me and mankind. What affected me so deeply about the movie was not so much the fact that a human being was being tortured as much as the fact that the Son of God had chosen to voluntarily undergo such treatment at the hands of humans because of His infinite love for us.

Contrary to what some of the reviewers suggest, the movie is not one uninterrupted sequence of torture scenes. As soon as the torture seems to be become unbearable, Gibson cleverly breaks the tension with flashbacks to Jesus’ life. One of the most touching parts of the film was a flashback of Mary picking up and comforting her young son after he had tripped and fallen. In fact, I found Mary’s role to be one of the most fascinating parts of the movie, for here was a woman who perfectly embodied the conflict that many reviewers have pointed out exists among Christians who see this movie: the anguish and pain that wants the torture to stop conflicted by the wish to have it continue to fulfill God’s plan for our salvation. Mary, who was present throughout the torture process, obviously experienced the same conflict, compounded, however, by the suffering that any mother would experience at seeing her child treated in such a horrible way.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Infected with reelection fever, President Bush has called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. Instead of tampering with the Constitution during campaign season, why not instead leave personal partnerships as well as the sacred institution of marriage entirely to the private sector — civil contract law, churches, and civil society, even junking nonsensical state marriage licensure? (Why should people need the state’s permission to get married?) After all, do we really want another Big Government federal agency — the Department of Marriage, consisting of DOM marriage cops working with DEA agents to spy into people’s bedrooms and bust down doors and arrest and shoot people for violating both drug laws and federal gay-marriage laws?

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Have you noticed how so many “economics” commentators on television are railing against American firms for “shipping jobs abroad” but never uttering a peep about foreign companies, such as Toyota and Honda, “shipping jobs abroad” to the United States? I wonder how those commentators would respond if Toyota and Honda announced, “You’ve convinced us! Shipping jobs abroad is harmful to the Japanese people! We’ve decided to shut down all of our U.S. plants, fire all the Americans who are working there, and import all those jobs back to Japan.” This protectionist nonsense, which is still being taught in so many universities and colleges, is one more reason why taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize what passes for higher education.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Democrats are lamenting the entry of Ralph Nader into the presidential race because they’re afraid that he might cost presumed Democratic Party nominee John Kerry the election. There’s a plus side to Nader’s candidacy, however, that Democrats should consider. Given that Senator Kerry (and for that matter Sen. John Edwards) voted to unconstitutionally delegate the congressional power to declare war on Iraq to President Bush, it’s not at all clear that he’s going to be tough on Bush with respect to the lies and deceptions leading up to the invasion and war of aggression against Iraq.

Moreover, despite the fact that Kerry himself apparently has resisted the customary U.S. Senate practice of rubber-stamping everything the Pentagon wants and does (in the name of “freedom, defense, and national security,” of course), there is a growing likelihood that Kerry will succumb to Republican pressure to refrain from criticizing the Pentagon and its insatiable thirst for more power and more money.

Despite his leftist economic philosophy that that would cause so much harm to America, at least Nader might not be afraid to speak the truth about the threat that the Pentagon and its world empire pose to the freedom and well-being of the American people. And that would be a plus for the presidential race.

Monday, February 23, 2004

It seems that Republicans intend to take presumed Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry to task for opposing the Vietnam War (after fighting in it). What will be amusing to watch is how, after sacrificing almost 60,000 American men in the purported attempt to save people from communism, Republicans rationalize their current-day forcible repatriation of Cuban refugees into communist tyranny. Of course, as everyone knows, when it comes to freedom and limited government, no one can ever accuse Republicans of being consistent.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Yesterday (Friday), a federal judge in Virginia, Leonie M. Brinkema (the same judge presiding in the Moussaoui case) acquitted a man whom the feds were prosecuting for terrorism. The reason for the judge’s decision? Insufficient evidence of guilt. Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s position can be summarized as follows: “Just trust us. We’re the military. When it comes to terrorism, we’re the experts. We know who among you is a terrorist and must be punished. We don’t need no courts to interfere with us.”

Friday, February 20, 2004

It’s important that we not permit all the controversy that is swirling around Mel Gibson’s new movie, The Passion of the Christ, to distract us from the Roman Empire’s criminal-justice system, by which Roman officials convicted and punished those whom they were convinced were “bad” or “dangerous” people: arbitrary arrests and seizures, no right against self-incrimination, no jury trials, no habeas corpus, no due process, no appeals, and punishment by military personnel who obediently followed orders without question.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Word is that the feds are about to indict Enron officials for financial fraud arising out of alleged off-the-books financing schemes. I’ll bet the Enron officials are wishing they worked for the federal government, where secrecy, deception, and off-the books financing schemes in federal budgetary matters have long been a normal way of doing business. Why, they might even be wondering why they’re being prosecuted for lying, deceiving, and exaggerating when federal officials are seeking to be praised, rewarded, and thanked for doing the same thing with respect to their war of aggression against Iraq. Don’t you just love the different standards of morality, ethics, and law that are applied to the private sector and the federal sector?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The Detroit terrorism case, where a jury acquitted two people whom the feds were convinced were terrorists, and where the feds are alleged to have engaged in deliberate wrongdoing by withholding favorable evidence from the accused, has become even more bizarre. The federal prosecutor in the case has filed suit against U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, one of the administration’s main point men in the “war on terrorism,” alleging, according to CNN, that “the Justice Department has exaggerated its performance in the war on terrorism, interfered with a major terror prosecution and compromised a confidential informant.” Meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to maintain their official policy of “Just trust us. We know what’s best. We know who’s guilty. Leave the determination of who’s a terrorist and their punishment to the Pentagon, not the courts. No innocent person will get harmed. Just trust us.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Well, I guess we’re learning the exact nature of the U.S. government’s concept of “democracy” for which thousands of people have died as part of the invasion and war of aggression against Iraq. U.S. imperial proconsul Paul Bremer, whose approval is necessary before any Iraqi measure becomes law, has announced that he will not permit the Iraqi people to make Islam the official religion of Iraq even if that’s what they wish to do. Pardon me for asking an indelicate question but wasn’t that also the position of Saddam Hussein, a dictator?

Monday, February 16, 2004

The feds have announced that they’re going to crack down on homicides in our nation’s capital, one of the most unsafe cities in the world. That undoubtedly means gun control. But wait a minute — I thought that the District of Colombia has one of the strictest gun-control laws in the country! Don’t murderers obey gun-control laws?

Unfortunately, the feds aren’t considering repealing the root of D.C.’s violence — the federal war on drugs, which has spawned drug lords, drug gangs, and turf battles as well as muggings, robberies, and thefts to enable addicts to pay for the exorbitant black-market, drug-war prices.

Meanwhile, the feds are scratching their heads over why their nation-building experiment in Haiti is degenerating into chaos and violence. Question: If the feds can’t do a good job managing Washington D.C., why do they think they’ll do a better job “nation-building” in Haiti and Iraq?

Saturday, February 14, 2004

A few days ago we posted several articles detailing the horrific impact of the cruel and brutal sanctions that U.S. officials (both directly and through the UN) knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately imposed on the Iraqi people for more than a decade and the likely connection between the sanctions and the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Unfortunately, the mainstream press has, by and large, ignored the magnitude and meaning of the sanctions horror, but perhaps that’s changing. A front-page New York Times article today entitled “Chaos and War Leave Iraq’s Hospitals in Ruins,” points out some of the horrific consequences of the sanctions:

“To be sure, Iraq’s hospitals were in bleak shape before the American-led invasion last year. International isolation and the sanctions imposed after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 had already shattered a public health care system that was once the jewel of the Middle East. Crucial machines stopped working. Drugs were in short supply.

“Conditions eased a bit once the United Nations oil-for-food program started in 1996, but the country still suffered, especially the children….”

Friday, February 13, 2004

For the last couple of evenings, noted Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly has been taking a Florida judge to task for not having previously jailed the accused murderer of 11-year-old Carla Brucia and for failing to apologize for his inaction. (O’Reilly is also outraged that the judge described O’Reilly as “scum.”) If only O’Reilly were as outraged over all the violent criminals who are being released from jail to make room for non-violent drug offenders as part of the war on drugs that O’Reilly has supported for so many years. Does O’Reilly take responsibility and apologize for the violent crimes committed by those violent criminals? If you believe that, I’ve got some nice swamp land in Florida I’d like to sell you. O’Reilly’s answer would presumably be the same as that of left-wingers when faced with the horrific consequences of their welfare-state programs: “Please, judge me not by the consequences of my actions but rather by my good intentions.”

Thursday, February 12, 2004

If the “war on terror” is a real war, as President Bush is trying to maintain, then why aren’t the president’s supporters condemning Democrats for being unpatriotic or treasonous, as they did with critics during the president’s invasion and war of aggression against Iraq? Remember the president’s words: In the war on terror, you’re either with us or against us. Does their opposition to Bush and his policies put the Democrats on the side of the terrorists?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

In his State of the Union address, President Bush said that he was a “war president” because of his War on Terrorism, a war that was originally declared by President Clinton. Big deal. Every president for the last forty years has been a “war president.” Or doesn’t President Bush know about the wars on drugs, poverty, illiteracy, crime, guns, and immigrants?

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Given that “insider-trading laws” are ludicrous economic crimes that have no place in a free society, doesn’t it feel unjust for the Feds to be persecuting and prosecuting Martha Stewart for “obstruction of justice” by allegedly lying to Federal agents who were investigating possible violations of insider-trading laws? And doesn’t the fact that the Feds didn’t even criminally charge her with insider-trading violations make the persecution and prosecution for the alleged lies feel even more unjust? In other words, if there had been no insider-trading laws, there would have been no investigation for her to supposedly lie about. Maybe, as my colleague Sheldon Richman points out, the Feds should have charged her with the obstruction of injustice rather than obstruction of justice.

Monday, February 9, 2004

In his “Meet the Press” interview yesterday, President Bush said that people shouldn’t “denigrate service to the [National] Guard.” But, Mr. President, people also shouldn’t have any misconceptions on what “service to the Guard” was all about during the Vietnam War—as a “respectable” way for rich boys with political connections to dodge the draft, because everyone knew that the possibility of the National Guard’s being called up to go to Vietnam were nonexistent. Not that dodging the draft was a bad thing, of course, given that conscription is immoral, especially for a war based on lies and deception, including the big lie issued by President Johnson (the fake Gulf of Tonkin attack) and the multitudes of other lies issued by the Pentagon (as revealed in the leaked Pentagon Papers).

Saturday, February 7, 2004

The foreign press is blasting Presidents Bush and Musharraf for Musharraf’s unusually quick pardon of Pakistani scientist AQ Khan for delivering nuclear secrets to Libya and Iran. Shhh! If it turns out that the Pakistani military government, which monitors everything in the country and which was one of the primary supporters of the Taliban before 9/11, was behind the delivery, that would mean that President Bush would have to attack and wage a preemptive war of aggression against Pakistan too. Remember: in the war on terror, you’re either with us or against us and if you’re against us, you will be bombed. Of course, it’s hard to tell which is the bigger charade–Musharraf’s pardon or Bush’s appointment of a blue-ribbon committee to investigate intelligence lapses that he now suggests bear the responsibility for his invasion of Iraq.

Friday, February 6, 2004

Lyndon Johnson’s widow, two former presidents, and ex-LBJ aides are protesting the History Channel’s airing of “The Guilty Men” segment of its series focusing on the assassination of President John Kennedy. They are outraged over the segment’s suggestion that Johnson was complicit in the murder of JFK.

If their request is granted, perhaps the History Channel will seize the opportunity to publish a documentary on the infamous Box 13 scandal, in which Johnson’s cronies stuffed a ballot box with fake votes in Jim Wells County in South Texas, enabling “Landslide Lyndon” to illegally win his race for the U.S. Senate in 1948. And maybe they’ll publish another documentary on Johnson’s knowing and deliberate lie regarding the fake North Vietnamese attack at the Gulf of Tonkin, which he used to kill millions of Vietnamese people and send tens of thousands of Americans to their deaths.

Granted, those things wouldn’t establish whether or not Johnson was complicit in JFK’s assassination, but they would provide strong circumstantial evidence that lying, cheating, and killing were no big deal to the man.

Thursday, February 5, 2004

The Coast Guard has intercepted and captured on the high seas — for the second time — a group of people fleeing communist tyranny — in a car — from Cuba! Take a look at the photograph of the 1959 Buick in which the refugees were traveling across the ocean from Cuba to Miami. (Federal officials had captured and repatriated them back into communist tyranny the first time but at least didn’t attack them with water cannons, as they did a few years ago to another group of Cuban refugees escaping communist tyranny.)

In an era in which Americans are wallowing in their socialist welfare-state opium den, wondering how they could ever survive without their welfare narcotic, people who are willing to risk their lives to come to America for the chance of working hard and bettering their lives are the best elixir to help Americans beat their welfare addiction. Eduardo Perez, a relative of one of the refugees put the matter succinctly, “The United States should have a little bit of compassion and value the determination of these people. They are clean people. All they want to do is live and work.” Joe Garcia, executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation said, “On ingenuity alone, they should be allowed to stay.”

Here, here! No doubt that closed-border advocates are lighting their cigars and sipping their rum in celebration of their federal daddy’s capture of these courageous people and their anticipated re-repatriation into communist tyranny.

I say: Ignore the immoral immigration law and let them in!

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Bowing to political pressure in the midst of presidential campaign season, President Bush has agreed to an “independent” investigation into why he used Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to frighten people into supporting his invasion and war of aggression against Iraq. Blue-ribbon investigatory committees are, of course, the time-honored way for U.S. officials to distract people from getting to the root of federal wrongdoing.

What would be wrong with the president’s simply and directly explaining his side of the story first? After all, wasn’t it President Bush who accused Saddam Hussein of lying when Saddam, in his attempt to avoid war, unequivocally stated that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction? What ever happened to “The buck stops here”?

Recall what presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said on behalf of President Bush at a press briefing back in December 2002, when White House officials were doing their best to frighten the American people into believing that they were in imminent danger of attack from Saddam’s enormous stockpile of chemical, biological, and nuclear weaponry:

“Iraq has lied before, and they’re lying now about whether they possess weapons of mass destruction.”

“President Bush has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Tony Blair has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Donald Rumsfeld has said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Richard Butler [the former head of U.N. weapons inspections] has said they do. The United Nations has said they do. The experts have said they do. Iraq says they don’t. You can choose who you want to believe.”

Meanwhile, White House officials took Secretary of State Colin Powell to the woodshed yesterday for stating that had he known that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, he would have had reservations about invading Iraq. As the New York Times put it, “Mr. Powell’s comments to The Post clearly irritated some White House officials, who have complained before that Mr. Powell sometimes strays from the official line on national security issues.”

Chastened by his woodshed experience, Powel’s concluded that “the bottom line is this: the president made the right decision.”

Unfortunately, Powell failed to state whether he’s as certain about his latest conclusion as he was when he stated in Bogota, Colombia, in 2002: “We are absolutely sure they have continued to develop weapons of mass destruction, and we’re sure they have in their possession weapons of mass destruction.”

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Where is the Taliban when we need them?

The FCC has announced an investigation into the Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime show. According to the Washington Post, “FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell telephoned Mel Karmazin, president of CBS parent Viacom Inc., to express his outrage, saying the entertainment giant should have known what was going to transpire during the show.”

In fact, the investigation will cover not just Jackson’s “breast and sexualized dance routine” but the entire Super Bowl halftime show! “If indecency violations are found, each of Viacom’s 200 owned and affiliate stations could face a penalty of up to $27,500. FCC officials said the agency may also pursue penalties against CBS and the individual performers, Jackson and Justin Timberlake.”

Ironically, the Taliban had the same attitude and played the same role as Powell and his federal morality police at the FCC. According to an article that appears on Court TV’s website, “Laws in Afghanistan [were] enforced by the Taliban’s Ministry of Virtue and Vice, whose agents patrol the cities carrying whips and automatic rifles, looking for violators and making sure that people attend prayers at their mosques. Experts say these draconian tactics serve to ensure law and order as much as to inculcate morality in the populace.”

Powell said that his investigation would be “thorough and swift.” No word yet on whether he intends to employ whips, automatic rifles, or even stockades (which were used during colonial times against morality breakers).

Don’t you feel better knowing that our federal Taliban is on the beat? After all, how could we be moral if matters such as these were left to the private sector, including the expression of public outrage against CBS and MTV?

Monday, February 2, 2004

Some Bush supporters, their minds on the election in November, are undoubtedly hoping that the president blames the CIA for misleading him into thinking that Saddam Hussein still possessed the weapons of mass destruction that Reagan-Bush had authorized to be delivered to Saddam during the 1980s.

Don’t count it.

As much as Bush would like to shift the blame to the CIA, especially during presidential campaign season, he’s got to be concerned about a discomforting possibility-that the CIA will retaliate by leaking the intelligence memos that were given to Bush before the 9/11 attacks, including the one the Washington Post described as “a controversial August 2001 memo that discusses the possibility of airline hijackings by al Qaeda terrorists.”

Thus, for the next several months Bush has to walk a campaign tightrope in which he fails to take responsibility for misleading the American people into supporting his invasion, doesn’t antagonize the CIA into leaking the pre-9/11 intelligence memos given to him, and ignores increasing questions about stonewalling and cover-up regarding the independent investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.