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Democratic Voices

March, 2002:

The Constitution or King George?

Loyalty to America and American patriotism is based on our allegiance to American institutions, traditions, values, and our Constitution. This is how American freedom is defined and protected. We believe all of these things that actually define America are under assault by certain elements of the current Republican Party.

Many Republicans are making statements that strongly imply criticizing the Bush Administration is somehow un-patriotic or un-American. This is blatantly false and absolutely dangerous political speech. It has no place in American politics.

Implying that Bush is above criticism because we are at war is in itself un-patriotic and un-American. Historian Arthur Schlesinger stated this principle clearly on a C-SPAN American Perspectives television show that aired February 27, 2002. He said, “Dissent in wartime is an honored American tradition.” We need to honor our American traditions now more than ever!

It is important to note that the United States is not at War. We are taking military action against a bunch of terrorists and political criminals. We are not at war with a nation state or legitimate government. Congress considered a War resolution and declined to declare war.

The failures that led up to the events of September 11th includes law enforcement aspects along with intelligence, national security, defense and foreign policy elements. The Bush Administration failed up and down the line in protecting the American people or the September 11th attacks would not have been successful. Bush is not accepting personal responsibility for these failures.

Calling our conflict with these terrorists and political criminals a War elevates them to an undeserved status. The rhetoric is good politics but not good policy. The aim of the Bush Administration should be to make Americans much safer, not to just win votes. We need to improve American’s image in the Moslem world to make Americans safer. We need to strengthen the international systems of justice that has recently begun to emerge to fight international terrorists. Overblown rhetoric and imprecise language can badly damage our efforts. Bush’s early post-September repeated use of the “crusade” word contributed greatly to our lack of support among the Arab population in the Middle East for the anti-terrorism campaign.

International diplomacy is not a good game for amateurs. Neither is war making. The Bush Administration seems to be making huge mistakes in both fields. Recent talk of attacking Iraq without establishing either direct ties to the September 11th attacks or establishing an international coalition of nations opposing Iraq is both amateur and dangerous in nature.

Failed negotiations over an Afghanistan oil pipeline to the Central Asian oil fields between the Taliban and the Bush Administration may have contributed to the September 11th attacks. Failure to accept and outright suppression of a Defense Intelligence Agency female field agent’s reports (who infiltrated Afghanistan training camps in Afghan costume last year) may have contributed to the success of the September 11th attacks. She reported back that the Taliban and Bin Laden’s terrorists were one and the same. She called them a very dangerous threat to America. She felt that we should not be negotiating with the Taliban. Instead of accepting the report, the FBI and CIA investigated the agent. Her opinions conflicted with the oil industry agenda being pursued by the Bush Administration in our foreign policy regarding Afghanistan before September 11th.

The Deputy Directors of the FBI, John O’Neill, resigned before September 11th because he thought the Bush Administration was putting Oil Industry interests above the fight against international terrorism in dealing with Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. John O’Neill was killed in the September 11th World Trade Center attack. He was their new Chief of Security. (For more information about this American hero, John O’Neill, see

For Bush to call on Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle, not to hold hearings to investigate these issues is a disgrace. For Republican Minority Leader, Trent Lott, to threaten to block funding for such hearings is nearly criminal. Both are seeking to undermine the oversight responsibility that the Senate has a Constitutional obligation to exercise in the matter.

September 11th did not occur in a vacuum. There were causes and effects. Actions taken before and after did and will influence events. Our public servants owe it to us to investigate and publicly report their findings. They work for us!

We had an absolute monarch called King George before 1776. After 226 years of Constitutional government, we do not need to return to the old system. We do not need another King George. We need to let our Constitutional and traditional American institutional processes work. We need to preserve the Checks and Balances system of our American Constitution. We need Senate hearing! We do not need blind obedience to King George. We do not need to be kept in the dark by the politicians and government employees who work for us!

           Steve & Al
           Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence
        March, 2002

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