Reader Mail

Socked In

The crimes of Sandy Berger -- why did the Bush Administration give him nothing more than a slap on the wrist? Also: Kudzu liberalism in the South and West. Mainline Nigeria. Plus much more.

1.11.07

Send to Kindle

BUSH SOFT ON SANDY
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Berger Again :

Regarding the Clinton legal legacy (or lack of it), having followed The American Spectator, the Washington Times and talk radio during the Clinton years, I am amazed that Hillary Clinton is remotely considering running for President in 2008, for the negative, even indictable, information revealed about her during the 1990s is mountainous. Yes, not everyone got the message back then and we do have a great many new voters since 2000. Still, somebody in the Hillary camp needs to take notice before that mountain falls upon them: A decade ago, the Internet was in its infancy. Today, it is so advanced that the Limbaughs of the world have become stale and derivative because of its speed and breadth of coverage. Ms. Clinton, you can Rodham all you wish in your Socio-Centrist posturing. But the facts about your past are all going to be re-reported all over again with mega-wattage and lightning speed via news sources that did not exist when Mr. Foster slipped and fell on his gun in the park and which now far exceed the Obsolete Media both in reach and credibility. The event will make the Swift Boaters seem like canoe campers, leaving you far up your Whitewater without a paddle. Suggestion: Maybe you could get a Reality TV deal; If Ozzy could do it, how about you and Bill? I hear your language (plus some other stuff) is right up there in Rosie O'Donnell's league.
-- Gene Wright
Laguna Niguel, California

Enjoyed reading your most recent column regarding the Sandy Berger National Archives Caper. During his book signing tour several months ago, I brought up this subject with former Clinton advisor Dick Morris and got his take on this caper. He stated quite firmly that "Hillary's fingerprints were all over this." I'm surprised that nobody is bringing up the proposition that Sandy Berger was acting under the direction of a higher up with his reward being a position in the upcoming probable Clinton administration. Am I missing something, or should we be ready to point the finger at somebody bigger than Mr. Berger behind this breach of national security?
-- Dan Trimmer
Enterprise, Florida

The bad thing is that no matter what crimes the Clintons and their ilk do the MSM finds a way to make it into nothing. I still do not understand why the "JUSTICE" Department did not throw the book at Berger. Just think if the Queen of Slime becomes President, Berger can become National Security Adviser again, since his slap on the wrist was only a three-year ban on his viewing secret items. It will end just in time for a Democrat President.
-- Elaine Kyle

Yeah, yeah, yeah -- the leftists won't do anything to shine the light of truth on Sandy Berger's treason. So what else is new?

The question you should be asking is why the hell the Bush Justice Department didn't even bother to throw his treasonous rear in prison for 20 years, instead of letting him off with a slap on the wrist?

And when he's Hillary Clinton's National Security Adviser, it's a pretty sure bet his treason will be buried even deeper.
-- Jim Switz
Port Townsend, Washington

This episode reminds me of a scene in Casablanca; where Claude Rains is "shocked to find gambling going on here." You expected something different from a Clinton Administration official? Surely you jest! Real problem; Berger shouldn't have been allowed a plea deal. The thought of a long drawn-out trial followed by a few years in say Lewisburg might have given him pause to reflect and possibly, just possibly tell the truth.
-- Bob Montrose
Fort Lee, New Jersey

Mr. Tyrrell, your article does a reasonable job of chronicling what is fairly publicly on the record. You steadfastly refuse, however, to ask the most relevant question.

Why did President Bush allow his Attorney General prosecute Berger on a misdemeanor plea bargain with an inconsequential light tap on the wrist? Why did not President Bush insist, in no uncertain terms, that Mr. Berger be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and be subjected to a significant prison term for a felony conviction, with all that comes with that conviction?

You may say that Berger might have beaten the rap in court, and they would have gotten nothing. Well, that is the chance you take in all prosecutions. Besides, the punishment handed down to Berger is as near nothing as can be imagined short of him getting a medal for his activities.

Once again, Bush wimped out when confronted by his domestic enemy's misdeeds. That has been the consistent Bush response since day 1 of his first term. Stomp on anyone among your base that dares to criticize, and let your real enemies skate.
-- Ken Shreve

R. Emmett Tyrrell laments the "culture of corruption" evidenced by the comical and tragic saga of Sandy Berger's visit to the National Archives. Now, it seems, months after the legalities of the matter were wrist slapped into the darkness under the carpet, we have a Congressional Report acknowledging that maybe Mr. Berger was a very naughty fellow indeed. Case closed; questions remain open.

Recently there appeared in these pages what I saw as an apologia for our President's leadership shortcomings. It was based on the assertion that he's driven by collegiality in working with the Democrats, rather than by any perceived duty to do political battle with them. I have to wonder if it's that same spirit of collegiality that causes Mr. Bush to decline to demand that the Justice Department take an aggressive tone in answering the questions left unanswered even after the aforementioned Congressional Report's release. Did he, perhaps, advise his underlings at the DOJ to tread lightly on the subject, or did he merely allow them to do as they pleased? Mr. Tyrrell himself alleges that officials in the DOJ were apparently corrupted. Has anyone alerted Mr. Bush?! What was his response?

After all, this is the same president who upon election announced his intention to "move on" from the alleged scandals of the Clinton years. Unlike Mr. Clinton, who fired legions of U.S. Attorneys after taking office, Mr. Bush kept on almost all functionaries from the Clinton Administration. What a pal! He tolerated, or even brokered, his father's humiliating love-fest with Bill Clinton on national TV, after Clinton had savaged the old man during their election campaign.

What are the limits of this collegiality? When has Mr. Bush stood up and said, "My way or the highway?" (Other than regarding illegal immigration or the quagmire in Iraq.) Ronald Reagan unsheathed his veto pen dozens of times and brandished it boldly against Democratic majorities. All he did was become one of our greatest presidents, against whom the Democrats still fulminate.

As something of a "Clinton Sleuth" myself, I certainly agree with Mr. Tyrrell's caution that "cultures of corruption have a way of spreading." Like weeds, they lay deep roots and flourish when allowed to do what they do naturally, in the absence of aggressive efforts to destroy them. Our president, the chief law enforcement agent of the land, has shown no stomach whatsoever for that provocative work. The Department of Justice, his bailiwick, has shown remarkable tenacity in hounding the politically incorrect and expanding its power to carry out what I think the authors of the Bill of Rights might refer to, in our vernacular, as "dirty tricks." I'm greatly disappointed that he doesn't direct its big guns against political corruption, which nibbles away at our national soul, and is, in my view, far more insidious than any Ponzi scheme or money laundering by drug dealers.

(Speaking of Ponzi schemes, that Social Security reform proposal sure died a quick death at the hands of our President's Democratic "pals," didn't it? They were like the Big, Bad Wolf blowing down the house of straw.)

Far be it from me to suggest any corruption on the part of President Bush, and I'm not doing so. I'm merely saying that his "collegiality" alarms me. He has signed a number of bills (passed with a Democratic minority!!) that cause revulsion in my libertarian/conservative heart and soul, and vetoed but one. He has taken a pass on getting to the bottom of warehouses full of evidence of corruption (well, warehouses no longer quite as full as they once were).

I don't want a president whose ambition is to obliterate the scant differences between the dominant parties and put into effect yet more laws. We have plenty enough laws, and I'd like to see that trend reversed. I want a president who demands that his (and thus, my) Department of Justice go bare-knuckled and white-fanged against political and judicial corruption, even at the expense of letting some drug dealer or business cheat keep his mansion and Bentley. I see it as a higher priority to root out behavior that's contrary to the public interest and our founding documents than to spy upon and hassle those who prey upon the public's greed and foolishness with their own willing participation. It's the Department of Justice, for crying out loud, and what is a greater crime against justice than peddling the influence garnered from thousands or millions of voters for personal gain?

If a new law must be passed, how about pushing for one that makes political and judicial corruption a capital crime? I could get behind that. Corruption is tantamount to treason, after all. One would expect the Democrats to oppose such a thing with their every breath, but where would Mr. Bush come down on it? In view of his light tread on matters of corruption, I have to suppose that he'd line up yet again with the Democrats.

Speaking in the context of the "War On Terrorism," Mr. Bush remarked that, "You're either with us or you're against us." Well, speaking as one who sees the war on corruption as at least as significant as that battle, I see Mr. Bush as the metaphorical equivalent of the French when it comes to counting my allies.
-- Mark Fallert
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Berger got off with a hand slap -- if it was "joe citizen" or a Republican they would be imprisoned forever and the MSM would be all over it. But alas, the Clinton machine is still at work and running a shadow government to undermine anyone who gets in their way. Berger must have received a tidy sum and who knows what else. Obviously, the docs he stole and then destroyed must have been so devastating to the Clinton Administration that they could not let the truth get out. Very telling that the Clinton machine only care about themselves and their power and care so little for this Country and her citizens. Just think how different this war on terror would be if Berger/Clinton had gone to such lengths to protect us and actually kill our enemies -- maybe 9/11 wouldn't have happened....
-- Kathy
Arizona

My question is: How can we force the Justice Dept. and CIA, FBI, whoever is letting down America to finally account for this. America is standing by and doing nothing while there is a force behind the scenes that must be dealt with. How can we get this done? We all talk about it, but now we must press for this, but how?
-- T.J. Callahan

Those were just documents Americans don't want.
--Royce Stanton
Nuevo Orleans, Louisiana

HAIL TO THE CHIEF
Re: John Tabin's No Magic Formula:

President Bush is truly, "The Lone Warrior" in a desperate time in this nation's history. If ever there was a time when the President of the United States needed our support and encouragement, that time is now. For certain folks, if we want to survive as a free and prosperous society, it is time to rally around this courageous man.

Unfortunately for the good of this nation, that support will not come from the Democratic Party. Indeed, the Democrats (or at least the left wing of the party) are fully invested in America's defeat in the war on terror so long as it keeps them in power. And if left unchecked, they will attempt to destroy this man. Those folks are the left over retread, pot-smoking, war-protester, hippies of the '60s and early 70s. Their sole source of inspiration is rooted in an American military defeat in Iraq. Indeed, one gets the sense that with each terror attack in Iraq, with each loss of a precious American soldier, there is that glint of joy in the eyes of the left (the "see, I told you so mentality". And let's not forget the mainstream, we hate George Bush, media that will go out of its way to report the tragic side of the war, but will never report on the successes.

Watching the president last night, I could not erase the image of a lone warrior giving his last measure trying to do what is right and defend this nation. Truth be known folks, we Americans do not deserve this man. Indeed the current loser mentality attitude that seems to permeate the country right now indicates that a loser mentality type president, such as the likes of a John Murtha or a Teddy Kennedy or a Harry Reid is who this nation really deserves.

Tell me folks, just when did America become such a pessimistic, loser mentality nation? And when in the history of sports was a championship team lead by a loser coach (like the current crop of left wing democrats) with a loser mentality constantly drilling into his team that the game is not winnable? No folks, we as a nation do not deserve President Bush. He is too upbeat, too positive, and too secure in his mission for the current climate in this nation.

Just try to imagine a John Murtha or a Teddy Kennedy or a Harry Reid leading our brave Marines on the beaches Iwo Jima or Okinawa. Imagine those folks leading anything during the first 6 months of WWII when little in the war seemed to be going right. It is indeed a scary, nightmarish thought to say the least.

So what, really, is the primary concern of mainstream America? Gee, I wonder who Tom Cruise's baby looks like or what is Oprah wearing today?

May God Bless you and keep you safe Mr. President. You are indeed, the courageous lone warrior leading a courageous military and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your courage to stay the course and do what is right. I and hopefully many other Americans are praying for you.
-- Jim L.
East Sandwich, Massachusetts

KUDZU DEMOCRATS
Re: Paul Chesser's Trucking South for Future Elections?:

I read with great interest your comments regarding the South becoming more receptive to Democrats because of the migration of many folks, presumably liberal, from the North. While I am one of those individuals who moved South, I am certainly not liberal in most of my beliefs.

As someone who was born, raised, and educated in NYC (B'klyn, Queens, Manhattan) I can attest to the positive and negative aspects of life in the "big city." It is mostly due to the negative aspects that I moved to NJ in 1990.

From there I moved to NC in 2004. Most of the folks I speak with from the North(east) who I run into moved for the same reasons -- largely: quality-of-life issues. While life is not perfect here (public education, mainly) and the democrats seem to have a lock on the NC political system and the attendant excesses /abuses that come from such a monopoly. If I were a Democrat I would be more concerned, not less so, about folks migrating from the North -- after all, being from the North I was exposed to so many people who are so intelligent, it heightens my sense of self-worth to move among those who I've been told (implicitly/explicitly) all of my life know so little.
-- Joe Kennedy
Greensboro, North Carolina

I don't know if I buy the blue South/West theory, simply because this process has been going on for at least thirty years now and those places have become more Republican. If the South and West are turning blue, it will be more from children of illegal immigrants, rather than from migrants from California and the northeast, of whom there are fewer each year to export.

Here in the second-fastest growing county in the country, we've added 3,000 Republican registrations since 2000, while the Dems have added only 300. This suggests to me that our newcomers are fleeing the oppressive taxation, regulation, crime, and housing costs of the People's Republic of California.
-- Howard Hirsch, Chairman
Lyon County Republican Central Committee
Dayton, Nevada

Personally, I would like to thank Mr. Chesser for his timely article. An older relative of mine who retired to Oregon in the 1960s never tired of complaining of how the migrating Californians were ruining his once great state. This gentleman lived long enough to see Oregon completely change its political and social dynamic. He lived in Oregon timber country, which has been decimated by the extreme environmentalists coming out of California.

I move north from the southeastern United States to New Hampshire a little over a dozen years ago. I have seen New Hampshire move from a solidly Republican state to a state that I believe will be solidly Democrat for years to come, just like Maine. Oh, it started with the Democrats holding forth in the southern counties along the Massachusetts border. But it's crept slowly northward every year.

The Massachusetts folks moved to New Hampshire to escape the taxation level and the cost of living level, mostly in the environs around Boston. But they brought with them their demands for the same level of services as they had in Mass. They also brought with them their lifelong devotion to the Democrat party.

It is an easy case to make out west. Look at the demographics in Colorado, where the erosion of common sense established footholds around Aspen and Vail, playgrounds for the wealthy liberals, then spread to Colorado Springs and thence onward. Certainly, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, another playground for the wealthy liberals, has been a foothold for "progressivism" for decades. Of course as the Hollywood crowd and the other wealthy Californians, the wealthy residents of other liberal enclaves bought second homes in the West. They come to get away from the high taxes, from the otherwise high cost of living, from the excessive regulation that limits their freedom, for the space in which to roam, and for getting away from the glare of the spotlight. But once they make the move, they find that they simply cannot get along without all the services of the liberal government establishment. They do not exactly take to the degree of self-reliance necessary in their new Shangri-La. Furthermore, they simply refuse to abandon the Democrat party and all it trappings. They are the real, true yellow dog Democrats of the modern world. They want the freedom for themselves of which they dreamed, but not for others that thought so differently from them, not for the common, salt of the earth rubes that they observed all around them. Those people were not smart enough to take care of themselves without the guidance of these elite progressives, regardless of the fact that the "rubes" had been getting along just fine for a couple of centuries.

Yes, as Mr. Chesser relates, you can remove the liberal from his natural habitat, but you cannot remove the liberalism that is his guiding principle in life from his soul.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

I liked your article in The American Spectator Online today. However, I will take issue with you. I'm an Arizona Republican and specialize in demographics and lifestyles. Needless to say, who is moving into Arizona is of great importance and an issue I track very closely.

My studies show that GOP trending lifestyles are moving into Arizona, not Democratic ones. My studies also show that people move where they feel comfortable generally and Republicans tend to move to Republican states. There is also a tendency for state cultures to actually change voting behaviors. That is that a independent who moves to Arizona will tend to become more Republican as time goes along.

Anyway, thanks for the article and keep up the good work.
-- Harold Hough
Tucson, Arizona

IN FOR THE LONG HAUL
Re: Quin Hillyer's Listen to Lieberman:

To paraphrase Churchill's remarks to Chamberlain, we have now the choice between war and dishonor. If we pick dishonor we will surely get wider war.

We have heard a lot of Vietnam comparisons, most recently from the Senior Senator from Massachusetts. There is a common mistake about our defeat in that war, made most recently by Mr. John McLaughlin. The sentiment runs that no dominoes fell in Vietnam. See it is now a friendly country. The same will happen if we leave Iraq in the same dishonorable way.

While it is true that there no dominoes fell in the Far East, forgetting about the absolute catastrophe that overtook Cambodia and the boat people from Vietnam, the true dominoes were elsewhere. They were not suspected. They were Afghanistan and Iran. The American weakness embodied in the Carter Administration was the direct result of Vietnam and lead to the overthrow of the Shah and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. From those experiences came Al-Qaeda, the regime in Iran and Hezbollah (aided by our withdrawal from Lebanon in 1983). From them came ultimately 9/11 and Islamic terrorism worldwide.

The American people have a natural desire to avoid war and they tire of it quickly. They do not yet fully understand or have been misled about the present war. It is a war for survival. Iraq is just the first trial. The winner is the one who can sustain its will over the long long race. So far, we have given our enemies to understand we do not have that will -- even in the short term. This lack of will unfortunately has been a temptation for one particular political party who has rightly seen it as a way to regain power. It is to that party and its leaders that Churchill's phrase should be first directed, but it is a warning to us all.
--David Sonenstein
Las Vegas, Nevada

AT THE END OF THE MAINLINE
Re: Faith McDonell's Out of Africa:

So -- a paper with declining readership and ad revenues (due to its mendacity and shameless partisanship) defends the declining "mainline" Anglican Communion by slamming a breakaway group of Anglicans that, in spite of persecution, is growing because it has chosen to remain true to God's Word. The New York Times sought to diminish the reputation of Archbishop Peter Akinola by citing his aversion to a risky lifestyle proscribed in the Bible and by mentioning his illiterate mother (overlooking the fact that the mothers of many of the early church fathers were probably illiterate as well). Meanwhile, the first female head of the American Anglican Union isn't worried about her denomination's declining membership -- n-o-o-o, that's a good thing: fewer humans to impact God's creation, don't you see.

The "mainstream" Anglicans, along with the Methodists, Presbyterians, and other "mainline" Protestant denominations, are hemorrhaging members because they have chosen to diminish Christ and edit God's Word to fit their syncretist, socialist world view (capitalist U.S. -- bad; Marxist and Islamist third-world kleptocrat autocracies -- good). Meanwhile, those benighted "fundamentalist" (I prefer the term "orthodox") churches that have remained faithful to the Bible and have shunned the "progressive" trends of a poisonous secularist culture find their memberships increasing. My question is, with 17 million members in Africa alone (more than ten times the number of Anglicans in the U.S.), how can Archbishop Akinola's flock be derided by the Times as a "breakaway sect"? And how can the Times promote the American Anglican Union with its increasingly irrelevant and downright bizarre heterodox views and shrinking membership as "mainline"?
-- Bill Erdmann

THAT'S WHY
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The President: An Appreciation:

The trouble with that Shaw quote is the unstated assumption that one's dreams and thoughts end at that question, "Why not?" The truly great presidents have, apparently unlike the present administration, carefully and completely considered why not, at least for their chosen means. The president that, perhaps rightly, finds no reason the Middle East cannot be at peace, but then blindly stumbles ahead on a course that plainly, to anyone with eyes to see, will end contrary to that goal, does not embody the ideal stated by G. B. Shaw. Rather listen to your own William Tucker in his recent article. A change of course, however distasteful, is good if it can truly bring about the peace we seek.
-- Gary D. Hoffmann
Dept. of Earth Sciences
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California,

TRAINING PARROTS
Re: Abe Grossman's letter (under "Thank Bush: Why Not?) in Reader Mail's Tributes and Thanks:

Mr. Grossman seems to gather most of his (mis)(dis)information from the MSM and the many ultra-liberal websites (e.g., MoveOn.org) which spew their predictable anti-Bush venom with mind-numbing regularity. The myrmidons who parrot such tripe are pathetic.

To rebut a few of his comments: It seems to me that this country, the beginnings of which were spawned by The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution in 1776, was constituted as a Representative Republic, not a democracy. In addition, after winning the Revolutionary War with Great Britain, the American Constitution was not adopted until 1787 nor ratified by the several states until March 3, 1788. Therefore, to my knowledge there was not a democracy in any form anywhere in the world before that time!

Since your screed is totally devoid of any basis in fact, I would deem your "consider[ing] Mr. Lord's column an un-American sacrilege" to be moot. As to the Bushes not having much of a handle on "the vision thing" they are not alone. I'm not sure that most people even know what a "vision thing" is.

Please bear in mind Mr. Grossman, that words have meaning. You would be much better served if in fact your words really meant something since they seem to have little basis in fact. If you must play the parrot, please take the time to verify what you espouse.
-- C.D. Lueders
Melbourne, Florida

REMEMBERING JIM
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's James Patrick Baen, 1943-2006:

Hal G.P. Colebatch's memoriam for my late friend Jim Baen was eloquent, informative, and moving. Jim would have liked it a great deal. Thanks to Mr. Colebatch for writing it and to you for running it. We are all poorer for Jim's loss than we can know. But our grandchildren will.
-- Spider Robinson

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article