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Gorelick Stays

Resignation resisted. Also: What was McCarrick thinking? The Keillor vote. Plus much more.

4.19.04

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PEACHY KEAN
Re: Enemy Central's Lucky Dogs:

Good Call. Spineless and, oh so accommodating, EOW select Gov. Kean deserves every bit of his prize. Clearly a fine example of a push-over Republican.
-- Chef Tim
Muncie, Indiana

GORELICK MORE YEARS
Re: The Washington Prowler's Kean Interest:

"A few more days of this and the commission's work will be tainted." How recent is this quote?? Just how long do you think it takes a dead skunk by the side of the road to stink?
-- J.W. Purcell, 1SG (USA Ret)
Clarksville, Tennessee

"A few more days of this and the commission's work will be tainted." -- Unnamed 9/11 Commission staffer.

Earth to Staffer: It's already too late.

Gorelick shouldn't be "asked" to step aside, she should've been told to step aside because (a) she knew about her role in constructing the "Wall" and knew that the intelligence community's failure to understand, appreciate and communicate what it had would be an issue; (b) she didn't decline to serve, which is what she should have done, because someone who was actively involved in making policy ought not sit in judgment of it (for example, I don't see any current members of the Bush Administration on the Commission ...); and (c) anyone viewing a report Gorelick had a hand in preparing will be entitled to wonder whether her contributions to the problems were downplayed, papered over, whitewashed, etc.

This Commission's a joke.
-- Brad Bettin
Melbourne, Florida

You just make this stuff up as you go along, don't you? If the Republican staffer exists and you didn't just put words in his mouth than this person is dishonorable, disloyal to his employers and his country. He is disrespectful to his elders. Indeed his only loyalty is to twisted, perverted standards of his party and your wretched lying rag.

Ashcroft voluntarily declassifies a document that he think will embarrass a Democratic member of the commission, but the Bush administration holds back Clinton documents that show Clinton, unlike the passive GWB, authorizing the killing of Bin Laden. Ashcroft contends there is no such order; he just never read it. He needs the Patriot Act to hide his massive incompetence. Just when did Rice finally read the August 6th memo? Maybe if George had scored more than the @560 on the verbal part of the SAT he would have been able to understand the memo. Sorry the memo wasn't explicit enough for Mr. Verbally Impaired. It should have told him that 5 Al Qaeda members would hijack American Airlines Flight 11 and fly it into the World Trade Center. Then he would have moved heaven and earth.

Why don't you ask for Ashcroft's resignation or Phillip Zelikow as Exec. Director of the commission; he participated as a member of Rice's NSC in actions immediately prior to 9/11? Hypocrisy is the nicest thing one can say about the level of ...well, you can't even call what you put out journalism. If it was only on paper, it would be good for only one thing.
-- Debra Cooper
New York, New York

The 9/11 commission is now impotent. Not only must Gorelick resign but all of the members who fail to see her folly, especially the chairman. The staffers said it best. Most of these guys are has-beens. There is absolutely no reason that they should have been on the talk show/news circuit blathering and pontificating.
-- Bob Kofira
Alpine, Arizona

Give me a break! If Gorelick should step down, so should Zelikow (he is Condi's writing buddy). While we are at it, I suggest Scalia should step down from Cheney's case too. You can't have it both ways. Selective document declassification and selective recusal demands are hypocrisy at it its worst!
-- Adrian Potter

May I please beg to differ? I find Mz. Gorelick's presence on the commission within the current flap context absolutely delicious. It is just exactly what the doctor ordered.

Prior to the disclosure of "The Memo" the 9/11 Commission was riding high. They had the public's approval. They had racked up an impressive record of demands that they had forced the Bush Administration to comply with. The public opinion was running decidedly in their favor.

The Commission forced Bush to back down on withholding documents twice. The Commission forced Bush to back down on Ms. Rice testifying publicly AND under oath. The Commission forced Bush to back down on refusing to testify privately in front of all Commissioners instead of just the Co-chairmen. The Commission was on a roll. They had the Big Mo.

The public in general saw the Commission as a non-partisan or bipartisan group only interested in the truth. This in spite of the presence of former Rep. Lee Hamilton -- a truly partisan Democrat. This in spite of the presence of Sen. Bob Kerrey -- a truly partisan Democrat who may occasionally criticize his own but will not tolerate a Republican doing so. This in spite of the presence of Richard Ben-Veniste -- one of the most vicious and consistent Democrat attack dogs active today. This in spite of the presence of Mz. Gorelick herself -- a relentless and unapologetically overt Democrat activist and attack dog. This in spite of the biggest collection of wimpy Republican has-beens and Democrat-wooing apologists gathered in one place.

Well, gosh almighty, what has happened? In one session of testimony, Atty. Gen. Ashcroft has blown their cover and ripped away their masks. The Commission has become a laughing stock. By all means keep this carping cabal intact. Also keep reluctantly calling for the removal of Gorelick. Surely there must be another memo or two written by Gorelick or Ben-Veniste that needs to see the light of day. Keep forcing and dragging the reluctant media kicking and screaming into having to report of the controversies. By the time the Commission report is released, the majority of the public will laugh it off the stage.

If all this had not come up, the Commission would have released their report ripping the Bush administration and Bush personally just before the conventions. The public believing the claims of impartiality by the Commission would have given Sen. Kerry a significant boost just as a majority of voters are starting to pay attention to the Presidential campaign. As it is now, only the Democratic partisans and Left leaning Independents will give it any credence.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

McCARRICK ON
Re: George Neumayr's McCarrick to Kerry: Carry On:

George Neumayr's "McCarrick to Kerry: Carry On" captures the frustration and growing disappointment among many informed Catholics of the continuing overall decline in the leadership of their Church. Theodore Cardinal McCarrick's lack of spiritual superintendence can be best described by another Theodore -- Roosevelt -- whose description of President McKinley is fitting in this setting: he has the backbone of a chocolate éclair.

On a larger scale, Cardinal McCarrick, a very decent man I am sure, appears incapable of fulfilling his role as the ecclesiastical overseer of his flock, but in this regard he is not alone by a long shot: the current baleful state of Catholic leadership in many areas of the world, including most of the American and Western European bishops, reflects an unwillingness to appear "out of touch" with the current zeitgeist. But this mindset is not new, and worse, shows no sign of weakening.

In September, 2003, The Holy See issued a worldwide papal directive which sought to rein in some of the bizarre scenes that now accompany Mass: inappropriate music, often accompanying "hootenanny" masses, was to be eliminated, as well as unnecessary dancing in the aisles. (A fire hazard, no doubt.) There were other "suggestions" as well, but nowhere was the document more specific than in calling for restrictions on the use of female altar servers. When I recently asked a family member, who is deeply involved in his parish church in Florida, if any steps had been taken to carry out this papal decree, especially the part about jettisoning the female altar servers, his response was, characteristic of what happened nationwide, if not worldwide: "Oh, I think the bishop will disregard it."

One of the unforeseen results of Vatican II was the centrifugal effect which currently insulates each national Catholic Church from Rome. Recently, a Spectator reader wrote of the folly of calling the Church in U.S an "American Catholic Church," but that, in my judgment, is what is happening. "Gallicanism" is alive and well and flourishing in Western Europe; in the U.S., the Church has never been so removed from its organic roots as it is now. Seen in that light, the action, or lack thereof, in dealing with "Catholic" politicians, according to Church law and teachings, by Cardinal McCarrick and other churchmen continues this trend. Universal church doctrine has been co-opted by national Catholic churches. This is nothing more than a mirror of Greek & Russian Orthodoxy's ecclesial organizational setup. Where all of this will take the Catholic Church in the U.S. is unknown, but clearly it is a recipe for turmoil.

The Church will survive; it always has. As for the future: after the destruction of the Second Temple, the Sages say, the gift of prophecy was bestowed only on fools.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

George Neumayr states that "Kerry is banking on the bishop's (McCarrick) passivity and weakness for Democratic politicians" who "will serve as a stooge in this scheme to confuse Catholic voters … in the hopes of shoring up more liberal Catholic support."

Kerry has already met with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C. An easier target might be Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, who recently stated at a Chicago City Club luncheon that "One can say, as I have, that the Democratic Party has lost its soul," but went on to say, "One could also argue that the Republican Party never had a soul."

George (and McCarrick) ought to be reminded that the Republican Party was formed to oppose slavery and that only the Republican Party defends the rights of the unborn.

Likewise, it was the Catholic bishops who chose Leon Panetta and Bob Bennett, defenders of Bill Clinton in the Lewinsky episode, to the panel to investigate sexual child abuse in the Catholic Church. How astute!

The Catholic Church in American has no moral compass. None!
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

Roughly 10 years ago, John Kerry managed to have the Catholic Church annul an 18 year marriage that produced 2 children.

Who can be surprised that he has now been able to find a bishop that endorses his actions (irrespective of the fact that they are at odds with his faith)?
-- Chris Kenny

George Neumayr is to be congratulated for this piece.

Having been on the receiving end of a liberal Jesuit education, I have no problem with casting the first stone. If Senator Kerry cannot display the continence and consistency required to observe the Gospels, for goodness' sake, how can he possibly be trusted to uphold the U.S. Constitution?

Secondly, what's in it for the Cardinal? Is the Catholic Church in Washington D.C. falling into the post-'60s trap of all Catholic hierarchy in the English-speaking world, namely the perceived need to associate themselves with the influential? Is this some Freudian thang on the part of a leader of an institution whose decline has been collaborated in by politicians like Senator Kerry? The Cardinal's duties are specific and well defined. They do not include running about with a bloke who will not vote against abortion. There ain't nothing more to it than that.

All this secret meeting stuff smacks of smoke-filled rooms and star chambers. If the two of them have anything to say to each other, the Cardinal should do what he and his brethren should have done years ago, which is to march on the Capitol shouting "Repent!"
-- Martin Kelly
Glasgow, Scotland

You are spot on re Kerry-McCarrick.

The American Catholic bishops have made their accommodation with the world.

The voice of the Roman church in America is so confused it is no longer worth listening to.

Save for a handful of orthodox or traditionalists, our bishops are spineless, corrupted and afraid.

Let them fail and pray hard.
-- Mark E. Medvetz
Henniker, New Hampshire

As a lifelong Catholic educated in Parochial Grade School, Parochial High School, and Catholic University, I am appalled at the commentary centering on Mr. Kerry's dealings with what he insists is his church. I learned that giving scandal, especially to the young, is truly anathema in our religion. This is Mr. Kerry's true problem. It has nothing to do with the formation of a right conscience. It has everything to do with interfering in others' formation of a right conscience.

I think you might want to what involvement if any that Cardinal has had in the homosexual scandal in the Church. You could contact the Washington Post or the NY Times to see if they have a story in this area which they have suppressed for the time being. I pray that there is nothing there, but my sources say there might be which would explain his response to Kerry. I think all bishops, Archbishops, and Cardinals in the hierarchy who are involved in this behavior should be questioned possibly publicly about it if the sources are credible. I believe that there are bishops who may be blackmailed due to a past wrong or present immoral behavior.

As for the Cardinal's approach to Kerry, it is not his place to even comment on Kerry. Kerry is not technically one of his parishioners. Kerry lives in Boston and it seems to me that he would come under the new Archbishop in Boston. The new Archbishop in Boston is still working out a response to Kerry, according to what I have learned lately. Granted Kerry received communion in a Paulist Church in Boston on Easter Sunday. The Paulists have been a real problem in the U.S. for years and I would bet that if they inquired with the Archbishop's office and they gave the go-ahead, it could have been done without the Archbishop's consent or comment. I could be wrong on this but I have seen it happen before. Keep digging for the truth, for the truth will set the Church free.
-- Martin W. Howser,
One of the faithful who supports the magisterium of the Church as God gives me the grace to do so.

All we have is perception. I do not believe that Cardinal McCarrick gave Kerry a "pass," but Kerry seems much smarter than McCarrick. Kerry is calculating that the Cardinal will react as he has in the past. He will take a "Church" stand for the sake of what the Church clearly demands but he SEEMS to be taking a "maybe" stand for Kerry and his kind. Kerry has placed McCarrick in a compromising situation obviously, and McCarrick's silence sounds like compromise to most people. On the heels of the years he has been the Archbishop of Washington and has done nothing to stop the killing -- and for all we know, he could have done a lot. One of the indications of having done very little is the reality that he has suffered none of the persecution that other Cardinals and Bishops have suffered.

As much as I feel love for Cardinal McCarrick, I cannot help but wonder why he would leave the flock so completely unprotected from the congressmen and Senators who are accomplices in the death of so many millions -- particularly Catholics. It is understandable for a bishop to patiently teach and admonish these "Catholics" for a time in hopes that they will repent. It is intolerable for that bishop to refuse after so many years to proclaim to the whole world with every fiber of his being: "Enough you advocates of death -- you have rejected every clear warning -- you are not in communion with the faithful -- you are therefore excommunicated. And I say to every Catholic, There is never a reason, with minuscule exceptions, to kill babies in the womb, much less in the act of being born. You therefore can not in good conscience vote for any politician who promotes abortion. It is not just against our faith, it is inhumane, and violates all creation."

Does it sound too harsh?…
-- unsigned

GARRISON MENTALITY
Re: Brendan McDaid's letter ("Tough Guy") in Reader Mail's Smile, Be Happy and Tom Bethell's The Living Hell of Bill Moyers:

Mr. McDaid is cheerful in his disparagement of President Bush and encouragement of Moyers and Keillor. Both of the former are godless socialists, and as such are out of step with mainstream America, along with Mr. McDaid. He is comfortable in his liberal Austin environs with many of his fellow travelers, but will be much distressed when they come out on the wrong side of the ledger in November. Cheers, Mr. McDaid.
-- Bob Lawrence
Houston, Texas

"Cheerful" Brendan McDaid claims to have a "grip on reality," and tries to back it up with two points. Unfortunately, he is dead wrong on both: (1) "A growing number of Americans" aren't voting for Kerry, as the recent poll changes reflect, and (2) a vote for Kerry as a way to end "obfuscation and fearmongering" is folly. "Cheerful," go ahead and name me any president who doesn't or didn't use obfuscation to his advantage. And as far as fearmongering is concerned, how do you categorize statements by the left like "most wrong-headed economic policy in the history of the United States" or the whole Kyoto/global warming facade? (or "tens of thousands of American lives will be lost with a war on Iraq," or "second hand smoke kills 3,000 people a year," or (a '70s classic) "the world will run out of oil by 2010," or "GMO's are a threat to our children," or "we can't let the snail-darter go extinct," or "why does the rest of the world hate us?"

Cheery ol' boy, a vote for Kerry is still a vote for obfuscation and fearmongering, just a misguided one.
-- William H. Stewart
Boston, Massachusetts

P.S. Your vote for Kerry in Texas will be about as useful to the electorate as my vote for Bush in Massachusetts.

Regarding Tom Bethell's article "The Living Hell of Bill Moyers" with his comments on that unctuous fraud, Garrison Keillor, the Uriah Heep of the airwaves: let me make this observation. The next time you tune into NPR and listen to Keillor's "Powder Milk Bisquit" song, sing along with these lyrics:

"Oh-Has your family ate 'em -- Sour Milk,
Has your family ate 'em -- Sour Milk!
Cuz if your family's ate 'em
Then they did regurgitate 'em
and now they've grown to hate 'em
Sour Milk!
"

"Sour Milk Bisquits" makes a body want to change his station from FM to AM."
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

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