Saturday, February 21, 2009 Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_Radio

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalho needs enemies these days? A couple of weeks ago, according to British and French authorities, two nuclear submarines collided. Not a good idea. The vessels were the British H.M.S. Vanguard and the French Le Triomphant. Both are nuclear powered and they smashed into each other while deep in the Atlantic Ocean. What if, God forbid, these were potentially enemy vessels? Fortunately neither of the friendly ships was damaged sufficiently to leak or sink along with their approximately 32 combined nuclear missiles. To put it mildly, surely this must raise some slight concern over the European neighbors' lack of naval coordination ... or something. Maybe they just need a bigger ocean.

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalenator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is a six term Democrat from Vermont, a former prosecutor and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He knows whereof he speaks and he has come up with a solid case for a truth commission as it applies to the former president, George W. Bush.

He is not calling for the prosecution of the chief executive, but simply calls for us not to ignore the abuses of the Bush era. He wants just the facts known, in order to prevent future similar abuses that included spying on the American people by their own government. Over three decades ago we had the finding of Sen. Frank Church's committee that revealed how powerful government surveillance tools were misused against the American people. One standout example was how the F.B.I.'s COINTELPRO spent over 20 years searching in vain for communist influence in the NAACP. There were many other examples. The Church hearings worked until the Bush years. For much of this decade we have read and witnessed such abuses as the Abu Ghraib scandal and abuses; the revelations about torture and warrantless surveillance of Americans. In recent years some have been willing, in the name of security, to trade away our rights, as if they were written in sand, not stone.

So what should be done about the abuses of the Bush years? I know many would like to forget it all; let Bush rest in peace. Others feel we have sufficient and more national and international problems, but I am in accord with Senator Leahy when he convincingly argues that what we need, minimally, is to get to the bottom of what happened, how and why, to make sure this doesn't occur in the future.

The Vermont senior senator described the scandals of the Bush-Cheney-Gonzales Justice Department as the worst since Watergate. They were. We need to get to the bottom of what went on. We need to know what the government has done in our name.

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapital took the following words of elegance from President Obama's inaugural address. The President inspired many when he said; "to all other peoples and governments watching today, know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more."

I thought of those words when I heard our new president announce the mini-surge in forces to be sent to Afghanistan. Afghanistan requires other than military domination or long-term occupation.

We should examine the view of Sen. Russ Feingold who said "Few people seem willing to ask whether the main solution that's being talked about will actually work (sending in more troops). If the devastating policies of the Bush administration have proved anything, it's that we need to ask tough questions before deploying our brave service members to Afghanistan. As Feingold puts it "..we need to be suspicious of Washington 'group think', otherwise we are setting ourselves up for failure."

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