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Land of the Free

And ex-Soviet spies. Also: Arizona adjunct. Eritrea and Islam. Finn drink. Keller watch continues. Plus much more.

7.12.06

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TREACHERY UNPUNISHED?
Re: Robert M. Goldberg's Engineering Communism: American Style:

The most interesting part of this piece is where Staros blames Berg for leading Staros into the temptation of communism. It seems that City College of New York acquires no responsibility for failing to inform their students about the failures of communism that occurred as far back as our Civil War. Apparently, City College of New York is more likely to advocate warning labels for what is consumed by the stomach than what is consumed by the mind.
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

Based on the information presented in the article, Joel Barr/Berg is now apparently living (again) in the USA.

If this is true, one question immediately comes to mind: Why is Barr/Berg not in prison? There's no doubt that he is a traitor. He admits that he is guilty of treason against the United States of America. Yet he apparently is not only free, he's capitalizing on his infamy to line his own pockets (and is, of course, a media darling).

If our government can't (or won't) punish those responsible for committing heinous acts of treason against our nation, I suppose we shouldn't dare hope that the editorial staff of the New York Times will be punished for the unlawful disclosure of classified, top-secret information.

They used to say that treason never prospered, because if it did, "None dare call it treason." Now, it not only prospers, it gets seven-figure book deals.
-- Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey

Editor's note: Joel Barr/Joseph Berg died in 1998. He was never charged after his return to the America simply because the U.S. government never pressed the case. On the contrary he received a passport, voted, and obtained SSI and Social Security payments.

THE WHACKY ADJUNCT
Re: Christopher Orlet's Blogs 3, Moonbats, 0:

I am glad you caught this and exposed it. I was not familiar with that website, but I saw the controversy on Michelle Malkin's. Very, very strange. Is it me, or is there a very bizarre element of vituperation characterizing the Left? I have been a supporter of David Horowitz, but I had not realized that we were in some cases such as this one talking about depravity in academe. I thought it was "just" politics.

The question about Ms. Frisch and the University of Arizona is the same that came up with Ward Churchill: who hired and promoted her? Who supervised her work? What is going on? And what is the National Academy of Sciences doing in the picture?
-- Greg Richards

Not since the Vietnam War, all of the protests against the "Military Industrial Complex," the FBI, CIA, and any other government entity that has an enforcement or intelligence authority have we been bludgeoned the tiresome scenario: the little guy getting in his verbal licks against the upper class, or the insular politician with the supportive audience in tow.

It's nice to see it come home to roost when a Churchill or this whack-job Frisch gets a REAL dose of their own romantic vision: "Speaking Truth to Power."

Yeah, we got that...in spades. What are we waiting for?
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

There are a couple of key points that Chris Orlet got wrong in his story. First, Jeff Goldstein considers himself a "classical liberal" (in his own words), so I believe this may disqualify his blog from the conservative moniker. Second, Ms. Frisch is an adjunct instructor, not a professor in any sense of the word, and should not be associated with the label. This information comes directly from Michelle Malkin's blog and Protein Wisdom, specifically a response written by Jeff Goldstein to Inside Higher Ed. I appreciate Chris and the Spectator giving the entire event a high profile, though, and think the coverage is otherwise excellent.
-- Ken Lizotte
Bristol, Vermont

Christopher Orlet replies:
Classical liberalism and conservatism are synonymous, in my book. Dr. Frisch is no longer listed on the University of Arizona website, but is still listed on the University of Oregan's site as "Adjunct Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences."

RELIGIOUS WRONG
Re: Doug Bandow's The Dirty Dozen Religious Persecutors:

There is enough misunderstanding in the west about Muslims...and Africa...we don't need more.

The 7/11 article "Dirty Dozen of Religious Persecution" by Doug Bandow contains an important error of fact in the section on Eritrea. Eritrea has indeed suppressed religious freedom, but it is NOT at the hand of a Muslim government or, as he states, "...a majority Muslim nation."

Eritrea is, in fact, NOT a majority Muslim country.

It is usually listed as 50/50 between Christian and Muslim. But more relevant to Bandow's article is that the government -- highly centralized, with power in the hands of very, very few -- is overwhelmingly Christian.

Further, the dictator leader of Eritrea, Issayas Afewoki, who alone has the power to make such policy -- is Christian.

Fanatic religious beliefs from any corner usually overlook facts if they don't support the hypothesis they support. To imply Eritrea's suppression of religion has something to do with its Muslim population is simply inaccurate. Perhaps this is simply a journalistic accident and not a purposeful deceit to support your hypothesis.

This is supposed to be journalism...and...have you ever even been to Eritrea?
-- Don Lieber
Researcher, Eritrea
International Campaign to Ban Landmines

When reading this article of Christian persecution, so disturbing as it should be to all people of faith, I began musing on why the far left in America seems to show such hatred and fear of the faithful (especially evangelicals) in this country. They act as if and actually verbalize on occasion concerns that active Christians are going to establish a theocracy in the USA despite the total lack of evidence.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps they do see a parallel to what happened in Germany after WWI. These leftists realize when they are being honest with themselves that the valueless, non judgmental, discipline free, Christian free culture they advocate is really not much different from what happened in Germany during the twenties and early thirties as illustrated by the play I Am a Camera and the movie version Cabaret that one can argue set the stage for Hitler and his ilk to rise. When a society reacts against such an out of control culture, moderation often loses out to the radicals as it did in Germany.

But the far left in American should not fear evangelicals. It should first look in the mirror. I fear Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Carl Levin and poor clueless Joe Biden a lot more than I fear Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, and other conservative religious leaders. My Baptists relatives in the South have no interest in imposing their beliefs on anyone who does not willing open their hearts to Christ, in fact they essentially disowned Pat Robertson when he ran for the "second class" position of President of the U.S. In their opinion he violated the biblical "render into Caesar..."
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan

EUROCASH
Re: Joel Miller's Is Europe Finished?:

I'm an American who is married to a Finn and lived there several years. Last I saw, the national government received about 10 percent of their budget from the state monopoly on alcohol sales. Finns are notorious drinkers, so there's a lot of money to be made there. As EU President, they probably thought higher taxes would be a good money maker for the continent as well. Standardizing taxes across the EU would mean more money for Finland, since their taxes have driven Finnish drinkers to travel to Russia and Estonia for booze holidays.

In general I enjoyed my time in Finland. The saddest thing for me was to see the deleterious effects of soft socialism on a creative and hard-working people who have made the forests, granite, and swamps of their cold land into a nice place to live.
-- Dave Carson
Pinellas Park, Florida

TREASONOUS TIMES
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Meet James Mattoon Keller:

This is one of the best articles I've ever read.

I hope someone at the White House reads and takes Mr. Lord's suggestions to heart.

Well done!
-- David Listermann
Cincinnati, Ohio

It is always nice to start the working day with a good, rollicking belly laugh. Jeffrey Lord gave me one of those when he wrote how President Lyman Jordan criticized General Scott in Seven Days in May for appointing an aide who was "openly contemptuous of civilian authority." Deary me, why would anybody, in or out of the military, have that mindset after watching a good-for-nothing Congress that spends money like a drunken sailor; a State Department that never met a terrorist or a tyrant it didn't like; a CIA that can't keep its own secrets, let alone find the enemy's; a President that makes a royal mess of the war in Iraq, never sacks anybody or vetoes anything and doesn't enforce the nation's laws; and a judiciary that makes its own laws when it doesn't like the ones passed by elected legislatures? You mean there are people who don't have contempt for those responsible for these things? Now there lies the real problem, I think.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

If only there was a capable person in the blogosphere who could uncover the source of the leaks in the CIA and then told the press about them. The leakers could be identified and their names published on numerous web sites. If there was any info that needed publishing this is it. Expose the New York Times and their treasonous felons. This is information that the public has a right to know.
-- Charles LeBlanc
Metairie, Louisiana

Mr. Lord does a splendid job in juxtaposing the theme of this great movie to today's "traitors," albeit, with a spin even Mr. Serling could not have imagined back in 1964. What irony! The New York Times, its editor Mr. Keller, the co-author of the infamous story, Mr. Lichtblau, and the rest of the MSM now find themselves revealed as the "egoistic" authoritarians that they have morphed into since those heady days of the '60s. I suspect that if Mr. Keller were to have read Mr. Lord's article in TAS, he, Dowd & Krugman, et al, would have had a jolly old belly laugh at the thought that he could be compared to a spit and polish military supremacist who distains the constitutional process of representative government. Oh, but Mr. Lord does get it, Mr. Keller. Mr. Lord and others, for some time now, have taken Keller and his media cohorts to task for their smug beliefs that they are just following in the grand tradition of "The Press." What Mr. Keller and his ilk refuse to acknowledge, is that they have chosen to exercise their awesome powers under the First Amendment without the requisite wisdom and restraint that accompanies such power. So look in the mirror, Mr. Keller, no, not the one in your office with the Time magazine "Man of the Year" logo underneath it; look into the same one most Americans do. Do you see the image of a man whose ego, through years of pampering, has fostered such smug reckless certainty? Do you see a jack-booted authoritarian elitist, disguised in Gucci loafers and Hermes ties, who has the unearned and questionable wisdom to usurp American policy without the slightest concern for the unleashed consequences? Well, many of us do and we're worse off for it.
-- A. DiPentima

Mr. Lord's article should be required reading by every government employee that works on the grounds of the White House and including the Old Executive Office Building, and the first person that should be forced, if necessary, to read it is George Bush. Toward the end of the article, Mr. Lord asks:

"Do they -- the leakers and journalist Usurpers -- have the guts for any of this? Does James Mattoon Keller?"

I submit that the answer does not matter. It has become quite clear that George Bush DOES NOT have the guts -- or whatever male organ it takes -- to defend the national defense secrets of the United States in time of war. I will go so far as to say that these serious leaks have shown that Bush does not care to "protect and defend" the country as he has pledged in his oath to do. George Bush loves to talk tough, but of late he has not been able to walk the walk, and that is getting additional military men and women maimed and killed this very day.

Hey, Bush, fight the damn war, including the one here on the home front, or surrender and bring our fine warriors home, instead of prolonging their exposure to death and disability.
-- Ken Shreve

OVER THE TOP DOWN UNDER
Re: Nathan Maskiell's letter (under "Lay Down Under") in Reader Mail's In These Times:

For shame Mr. Maskiell -- you missed a golden opportunity to include Halliburton in the international bash Bush screed!!
-- C.D. Lueders
Melbourne, Florida

Mr. Maskiell seems to believe in guilt by association. President Bush had no way of knowing that ken Lay was a financial scoundrel. That he accepted political help from a prominent businessman from his home state is both normal and reasonable. The democrats have their own financial scoundrels such as WorldCom, but of course, Mr. Maskiell has a typical Left-wing way of forgetting that fact.
-- Mike Bergsma

I am not one to start a fight in the letter's page of The American Spectator, but Mr. Maskiell is throwing more on the fire than there needs to be. My letter had nothing to do with any relationship that Kenneth Lay had/has with the Bush Administration. But if there's an "evil" conspiracy there: Then get off your ass and prove the stinkin' conspiracy! Since you seem to have all the "facts," pull Senator Carl Levin and Congressman John Conyers out from the dumpster in back of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and enjoy a lovely Summer afternoon of speaking: "truth to power!"

If anything, they might let you see their fax copy of "The Downing Street Memo," and those "TANG Memos" Bill Burkett got from the Texas rodeo.

Get a life, man!
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

DORELL OPEN
Re: Paul Dorell's letter (under "The Battle Continues") in Reader Mail's In These Times:

I think the battle has just been lost by poor Paul Dorell. At least his train of thought has been de-railed. He states he doesn't know whether there are statistics on children of millionaires serving in the armed forces, but feels certain "a case could be made that a majority of today's military forces are victims of class discrimination based on money..."

Well, Paul, welcome to the free world. You call it class discrimination, others call it a free society. We are free to be poor, free to remain poor, free to get an education, free to compete for a good job, free to excel, free to spend, free to save, free to fail, free to serve our country in its noblest cause, protecting the freedom of people who apparently have little appreciation of the sacrifice made on their behalf.

Dorell's delusional rant continues with "CDR elected to join the USN." Well, so did everyone serving in the USN and other branches of the service as well. Mr. Dorell, does the word "volunteer" mean anything to you? They are the ones keeping you and your aimless son safe.

Dorell is right on one point, TAS will print the "other point of view," no matter how pointless.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

With all due respect to Mr. Dorell, he has repeated several common misrepresentations of the reopening of the Iraq war. Firstly, he states:

I would remind Mr. Briner that the original stated objective of the invasion of Iraq was the capture of suspected WMD . . .

That is not true. The issue of WMD as a reason to go to war has been very distorted by the opponents of the war. The facts are these:

1) President Bush said in a nationally televised speech that Iraq was not an imminent threat, but that due to the nature of terrorism, Saddam Hussein's continual flouting of the cease fire agreement, his demonstrated willingness to use WMD, and his ties with terrorist organizations, that Saddam Hussein must be removed from power.

In other words, Mr. Dorell makes the all too common mistake of blaming the weapon, not the man. Even if Saddam Hussein did not have any WMD, his removal from power was critically important, because it was the man who presented the clear and present danger.

Of course, we now know that Saddam Hussein did indeed still possess a number chemical WMD and the necessary shells to use them in battle. This was in direct violation of the cease fire agreement and UN resolutions, fully supporting President Bush and his assertion that Hussein was interfering with, and lying to, the weapons inspection teams.

2) The President presented a list of more than twenty reasons to reopen the Iraq war. Mr. Dorell's assertion that the objective was to capture suspected WMD is simply not true.

The President also stated in his speech of 2003 March 17:

The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.

All of which was, and is, factually true, and this quote also reiterates the first point I made above.

Mr. Dorell's attempt, like so many others, to paint this as a single issue war is disingenuous, at best.

But in fairness to Mr. Dorell's position, he believes that the reasons given for going to war were insufficient (as the reaction by other opponents of the war to the actual, real live chemical WMD, and the documents found demonstrates). I can but point out that Mr. Dorell has failed to define what would be sufficient reasons.

Mr. Dorell's mistakes continue when he claims that there was no focus on terrorism in the early days when he says:

...and at the time there wasn't much emphasis on an al Qaeda presence.

Sadly, that statement is again not true.

President Bush focused on his reasons, and both had and has my full support when he said:

Thirdly -- and this is very important for the students to understand, and others -- because oceans no longer protect us, the United States of America must confront threats before they cause us harm. In other words, in the old days we could see a threat and say, well, maybe it will cause harm, maybe it won't. Those days changed, as far as I'm concerned. Threats must be taken seriously now, because geography doesn't protect us and there's an enemy that still lurks. And so early in my first term, I looked at the world and saw a threat in Saddam Hussein. And let me tell you why I saw the threat.

First of all, there was an immediate threat because he was shooting at our airplanes. There was what's called no-fly zones; that meant the Iraqis couldn't fly in the zones, and we were patrolling with British pilots. And he was firing at us, which was a threat -- a threat to the life and limb of the troops to whom I'm the Commander-in-Chief. He was a state sponsor of terror. In other words, the government had declared, you are a state sponsor of terror. And, remember, we're dealing with terrorist networks that would like to do us harm.

There's a reason why he was declared a state sponsor of terror -- because he was sponsoring terror. He had used weapons of mass destruction. And the biggest threat that this President, and future Presidents, must worry about is weapons of mass destruction getting in the hands of a terrorist network that would like to do us harm. That is the biggest threat we face. Airplanes were horrible; the attacks of aircraft were horrible. But the damage done could be multiplied if weapons of mass destruction were in the hands of these people.


As can be plainly seen, Mr. Dorell's assertion that there wasn't much focus on Al Qaeda is incorrect. Al Qaeda was just one terrorist organization, and as you can see above, President Bush was concerned about all terrorist organizations, as well as state sponsorship of terrorism. This undeniably included Al Qaeda.

Mr. Dorell continues:

That [the terrorism issue] appears to have been a last-ditch effort by the Bush Administration to justify the invasion after no WMD were found.

Except that WMD were found, and talking about the links to terrorism were not a last ditch effort, but in fact, talking about terrorism was part of the discussion all along.

There is no denying that terrorism is, by its very nature, a difficult and confusing thing to fight. It is important to realize that this confusion is deliberate, a designed effect by those who use terrorism.

"Confusion to the Enemy!" is an old battle cry, and it seems clear from the statements made by Mr. Dorell and others who oppose the war that the terrorists have succeeded at doing just that: confusing some of us.

Mr. Dorell's confirmation bias is blinding him to the simple truth: by any realistic measure, the Iraq war has been a success. I admit, however, that I have given up expecting war opponents to be realistic.
-- John Stevens

CLIMATE SENSE
Re: Reader Mail's Climate in Court:

I realize it is hard for some left-wingers to understand basic facts and chronology, but California's energy problems started creating serious energy shortages in 2000. Unless you live in an alternate plane of reality, Bill Clinton was still President, G.W. hadn't even been elected yet. Let's put to rest the idiocy that George Bush caused California's energy problems as the Governor of Texas so he could get elected President. Get a grip people.
-- Tim Claus
Newport News, Virginia

BULLSEYE
Re: Jed Babbin's Crazy Kim, Cozy Carl, and the Bow Wave:

Let's hope that our missile interceptors are as on target as Jed Babbin is. And, if it should become necessary, that any rocket's red glare noted is ours, chasing Korean duds into the sea.
-- Cara Lyons Lege
Frisco, Texas

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