Politics

Were the Feds Capable of Killing JFK?

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Forty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the debate over whether there was a conspiracy to kill him rages on, and the History Channels series suggesting that U.S. officials were involved in such a conspiracy certainly raises disturbing questions regarding the issue. What seems somewhat amusing, however, is the long-held position of the mainstream ... [click for more]

Bad Medicine

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Those who have been hungering for a real political debate in this country can’t help but be deliriously overcome with the news that CBS’s 60 Minutes will feature 10 face-offs between former Democratic President Bill Clinton and former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole. The history of political thought will ... [click for more]

Congressional Complicity in WMD Duplicity

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Why has Congress been relatively quiet on the executive branch’s deception about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? The answer is easy: By abrogating its constitutional responsibility regarding its constitutional power to declare war, Congress made itself a silent partner in the president’s wrongdoing. Keep in mind that our system of government is different from others ... [click for more]

A President Lies about War? Shocking!

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It is regarded as beyond the pale to suggest that a president of the United States would lie or otherwise play politics to win support for a war. Even President Bushs biggest critics in the Democratic Party shrink from using the L-word when they talk about the famous 16 words or the presidents other unequivocal pre-war claims about Saddam ... [click for more]

The Greatest Ignorance of the Greatest Number

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The specter of an ignorant or indifferent populace has long haunted democracy. Montesquieu wrote in 1748, The tyranny of a principal in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy. James Madison warned, A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue ... [click for more]

Is Fraud a High Crime or Misdemeanor?

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In claiming that 16 controversial words in his State of the Union address last January were technically correct, the president is implying that he didn’t actually deceive — or intend to deceive — the American people. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the president wants people to focus only on the technical wording ... [click for more]

False in One, False in All

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When I was a newspaper reporter covering the criminal courts in Pennsylvania, lawyers always told juries they were entitled to apply this old legal principle to any witness: falsis in unum, falsis in omnibus — false in one thing, false in all things. This means that if jurors determined that ... [click for more]

Presidential Sophists on the Loose

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The controversy over President Bushs State of the Union allegation about President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and African uranium is a lesson in how to distinguish a PR flack from an honest commentator. The latter tries to ground his statements in evidence and logic. The flack performs embarrassing mental contortions that have no bearing on the matter. For example, to ... [click for more]

Short-Sighted Bush

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Advocates of big government sometimes say that politicians are superior to business people because the latter are shortsighted: they only care about the next quarter’s balance sheet. This was always nonsense, because while business has strong incentives to look farther up the road, politicians have little incentive to look beyond the next election. It turns out that ... [click for more]

Don’t Look for Sense Where There Is None

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Presidents, their cabinet officials, and their press secretaries show how much they respect the American people by how they use the English language. To be more precise, they indicate how much they disrespect the American people by how they abuse the language. All presidents lie. We know that. But when ... [click for more]

With Friends Like These

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Without any shame whatsoever, President Bush has returned John Poindexter, Elliott Abrams, and Henry Kissinger to the federal government. Poindexter is in charge of “Total Information Awareness,” a government information-gathering operation straight out of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Abrams has been appointed as top National Security Council envoy to the Middle East. And ... [click for more]
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