Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Snake Story Vietnam

May 31, 2017

This is a small part of a book I am writing. I am publishing it with the hope that someone else will remember it and send me their memory of it. This would have been December 1970. Col. Bernard Trainor was C.O. of Force Recon. He went on to become a General, a military correspondent for the New York Times, and a military expert for NBC. The corpsman may have been Doc Truhe.

Our last night harbor was selected while there was light to examine the area for likely paths of V.C. patrols, safest ways to escape if detected, a rally point if we separated, and to settle in a close circle in the best cover so that it would be harder for V.C. patrols to stumble upon us. Every Marine was in reach of the Marine on either side to silently alert him or to wake him if he snored.
“There’s a snake in here with us,” a Marine whispered our last night in the bush. “Pass it on.” That got everyone’s attention. What kind of snake? There are about a 140 species of snakes in Vietnam and 30 are venomous. King Cobra? Bamboo viper? Krait? Rhinoceros Viper? As the ground cooled, the snake would seek warmth and a Marine body on the ground was the ideal place to find warmth.
We got up cautiously and quietly and looked at the snake. It was bigger than any snake I had seen in a zoo or circus. Should we run far enough to escape it in our dreams and settle into another harbor with snake on our minds? The Team leader wanted to take the snake back for display in the Recon shack. That meant killing it but no one wanted to get close enough to kill it with a Ka-Bar. A shot meant running at least a mile because the shot would attract attention. It was hard to pinpoint the source of a shot in the mountains and the area was supposed to be relatively safe from V.C. other than couriers or unarmed bearers but once a shot was fired all illusions of safety evaporated faster than the sound that reverberated across the valleys.
The corpsman shot the snake in the head with his .45. That was the beginning of trouble. A sturdy Marine grabbed the snake to carry it over his shoulder but the dead snake had a mind of its own. Three Marines wrestled with the snake trying to stretch it out and carry it like a corpse. That also was unacceptable to the dead but lively snake.
I’m sure the leader was thinking about debriefing. “You jeopardized the mission and the team by killing a snake to mount in the Recon shack and then you ran off and left it when you had one night and a wakeup before extraction?”
The corpsman produced a large canvas bag and it took all hands to put and keep the snake in the bag with all hands and arms free of the coils. The sturdy Marine threw the bag over his shoulder and without a word or gesture we ran after the leader keeping our interval until the sturdy Marine signaled a stop. We were going to have to take turns carrying the heavy snake. And it had bitten him through the bag and his uniform.
The snake wasn’t venomous and didn’t have fangs but it had teeth that held prey until it could squeeze the life out of it. The corpsman looked at the bleeding bites, put some ointment on them and told the sturdy Marine to report to sickbay after debriefing. All hands stretched out, held down and calmed the dead snake with whispered curses and heavy breathing until the corpsman skinned it, rolled up the hide, stuffed it in the bag and handed the bag to the nearest Marine.
We moved quietly away from the remains two or three hundred yards and went into our night harbor knowing that the remains and the smell of blood from the skin that was still with us would attract carnivores. Possibly a tiger.
Later I was told that the snake was 17-feet-long and the skin was mounted in the Force Recon Shack. To put it in perspective in April, 2017, in Indonesia a 25-year-old man was swallowed by a 23 -foot python.

I’m not Transgender

January 5, 2017

In 1964, the Dallas Theater Center’s production of my adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying to the stage was selected as the United States’ entry at the Theater of Nations Competition in Paris. Almost immediately the U.S. Ambassador to France, Chip Bolton, called to say that the French loved President Kennedy and publicity combining Dallas and “As I Lay Dying” would be seen by the French as a play about the assassination of Kennedy. The name had to be changed, he insisted. On a transatlantic telephone call I changed the name to “Journey to Jefferson”.
Jean, my late wife, and I went to Europe with the cast. We knew all of them, including “Miss Iceland’, having worked with all of them in the Dallas production. Our first landing in Europe was Brussels. Most of us immediately headed for the rest rooms. The ladies’ room was first and the men’s room a short distance away. We separated by gender and immediately came face-to-face inside. It was a large rest room and most of us looked around for our place. What we saw were young and old, male and female citizens of many nations and colors in a unisex rest room, the first we Americans had ever seen.
We were apprehensive at first but laughed about it the next day with jokes about recognizing each other by our socks. The Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923, failed in 1982 because of scare ads declaring that if the amendment passed men and women would have to use the same rest rooms. Terrifying indeed. Today there are unisex rest rooms everywhere and sometimes they are the only rest rooms.
Last summer, in Houston I saw signs asking, should men and women use the same rest rooms?, reviving the old scares that females would lose protection, families would be destroyed, young women would be drafted, traditional America would be lost. All because of transgendered people that five years ago most Americans had never heard of and most citizens still do not understand.

Star Wars Missile Defense

September 9, 2016

September 4, 2016, the San Antonio Express-News published a Tribune News Service report that the Pentagon gave Boeing a $2 billion performance bonus although the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System (GMD, formerly known as Star Wars) “failed to destroy their targets in six of eleven tests.” If a student gave the wrong answer on six out of eleven questions, that would be failure. If a teacher had several students who missed six out of eleven questions, the teacher would be fired.

Although it has never worked, the GMD is still regarded as the correct answer. On 9/11, Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to introduce a new national security policy with the GMD missile defense as a cornerstone and terrorism as an afterthought. (Washington Post (04/01/04) Her speech was interrupted by 19 hijackers.

There is a bright side. Reagan pledged that when the missile system worked he would give it to the Soviet Union (about halfway in the Reagan-Mondale Presidential Debate). If the missile defense worked, a President Trump might fulfill Reagan’s pledge and give GMD to his friend Vladimir Putin.

Christie Goodman: Everyday Theology: Like a Mother WrenGood lesson from a good Mother ren.

June 29, 2016

There are several milestones in a child’s life that parents celebrate: sleeping through the night, taking those first steps, going to the restroom on their own, making their own breakfast, first da…

Source: Christie Goodman: Everyday Theology: Like a Mother Wren

Dominating of Women

June 28, 2016

Most religions and many ethicists declare that the key ethics test for any society is how the strong treat the weak. That is why glacially the lot of women has improved during human history. Because men are physically stronger men have dominated women and have required birth on demand. The Gospel of John alludes to it…”not by the will of man.” (John 1:13) The New International Version softens it to will of the “husband”, but the Greek is clear: “by the will of man.” It has been in my lifetime that it became possible for a husband to rape his wife. The legal definition of rape excluded wives.

In the 21st Century the domination of women is less by fathers and husbands and more by male-dominated organizations such as religions, governments and employers whose religious beliefs trump the religious freedom of employees, especially women employees. Before 1854, when the “Immaculate Conception” of Mary became doctrine in the Catholic Church a fetus that did not have a human form could not receive religious rites. When the pope became infallible in 1870, the Immaculate Conception became dogma. Mary was the mother of Jesus but she could not be the “Mother of God” until she was freed of original sin at conception.

Thomas Aquinas disagreed with the concept because if Mary were sinless she did not need a savior. Neither the Orthodox Church nor Protestants accept the immaculate conception because there is no biblical base for it. Many Protestants, including Fundamentalists, believe “Mother of God” is sacrilegious or blasphemy.

When my wife and I married in 1953, our Southern Baptist pastor warned that if she became pregnant she should not go to a Catholic doctor or a Catholic hospital because they would sacrifice her life to save a fetus. Our married friends heard the same from their pastors. Southern Baptists believed that was deplorable prejudice toward women.

In response to Roe v. Wade, Fundamentalist icon W. A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, declared, “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had life separate from the mother that it became an individual person, and it always has, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.” W. Barry Garrett of Baptist Press wrote, “Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision.”

In 1980 Fundamentalists took over the Southern Baptist Convention and many Fundamentalists including Southern Baptists began to believe that ensoulment happened at conception. There is neither a biblical nor a scientific reason for that belief. More than half of fertilized eggs are not implanted and are flushed from the body, yet each is more sacred than the life of a pregnant woman? And how are they treated? Like human waste. No religious rites. No protesters demanding they be saved. What kind of morality is that?

Furthermore, there is no big bang, no “moment” in conception. There are a half dozen processes that must occur before an egg is fertilized and the processes take about 24 hours. Approximately half of those implanted will never become a live birth. Protestants base their beliefs on the Bible but beginning in 1980, Fundamentalists began reading the Bible in a new way. Adam was made in the image of God but had no soul until God gave him the breath of life. (Gen. 2:7) In the parable of the Valley of Dry Bones, the bones grow sinew, flesh, skin but are not alive until they are given breath. (Ezek. 37:9)

The Bible requires abortion for some sins. (Num. Chapt.5; Lev. 20: 20, 21) The prophet Hosea prayed for God to punish wayward Israelites with abortion.(Hosea 9:14) When God wanted to punish the Midianites all the women were killed; neither pregnant women nor their fetuses were spared. (Num. Chapt. 31)

If men fight and one hits a pregnant woman causing an abortion, then he must pay the father for the loss of his property. If the woman is injured, it is eye for eye. (Ex. 21: 22-25) When God established the value of persons pregnant women have no greater value than sterile women. Infants have no value until they are a month old. (Lev. 27:1-7) When God commanded a census of the Levites, only males a month old or older were to be counted. (Num. 3:14, 15) Babies less than a month old didn’t have personhood.

Unless a man has a good life and proper burial, abortion is better. (Eccl. 6:3) The Apostle Paul wrote “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural (animal), and after that the spiritual.” (I Cor. 15:46) The writer of Hebrews stated that Levi existed in the loins of his great-grandfather. (Hebrew 7: 9-10)

The Fundamentalist position is based on 1 Tim. 2:12, “I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man.“ If women did not submit their uterus to the control of their father, husband or a male-dominated organization like a church, state or corporation then women would control reproduction and women would sometimes have authority over men if they said no. If men maintain control of reproduction, that means birth on demand.

Sharia Law Coming

December 31, 2015

WARNING: Sharia law is sweeping the country and many public schools are requiring students to learn arabic numerals and use them in class assignments. Please call or write your elected officials at both the state and national level and demand that roman numerals become the exclusive numerals used in Christian America.

Religious Liberty for Whom?

December 9, 2015

The majority of American women and men have the religious freedom to plan their family as is best for the family without the dictate of a government or a religion. However a Christian employer can trump the religious freedom of Christian employees and discriminate against them by denying free benefits that a secular employer is required to give them. Trumping the religious freedom of others also increases employers’ profits.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have the religious liberty to choose their life-mate free of the dictate of a government or a religion but until very recently have been denied the benefits of such alliances that were indiscriminately given to others. However, some elected officials claim the right to discriminate based on their reading of their Holy Book. The scripture of choice is often Leviticus 20 that describes sexual sins and the punishment of them. Verse 13 requires that if a man lies with a man as with a woman both must be put to death. If a man has sex with his aunt or his sister-in-law the punishment is that they will never have children. How is that punishment possible without abortion or infanticide? (Lev. 20: 20, 21)

Another favorite scripture is the letter to the church of gentile converts in Rome. Romans 1: 18-27, seems to describe those who formerly worshiped fertility gods where sex with a temple priest or priestess was worship. Judah mistook his daughter-in-law for a temple prostitute (priestess) and impregnated her. (Genesis 38) Thus was Tamar in the geneaology of both King David and Jesus. Greek converts would also know of Greek love. (Matt. 1: 3)

The condemnation does not end at verse 27, and the letter did not have chapters or verses. Those came much later. In Paul’s letter equal sins are greed, envy, gossip, slander, strife, insolence, arrogance, boastfulness. Chapter 2:1, states to the reader: “You, therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”

That’s not all. ““Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” (Romans 13: 1, 2) Perhaps those whose morality and politics are based on the Bible should read it.

Cyanide picking of the Bible to choose scriptures that condemn those you wish to injure is a sin. Christianity must not become the last refuge of the bigot.

The Benghazi Fraud

October 9, 2015

Now that the GOP has confessed that the Benghazi Committee was formed to damage the reputation and likely candidacy of Hillary Clinton, and bilk $4 million in campaign funding from taxpayers, perhaps its time to review how closely it was the reverse mirror image of the scandal of 9/11:

The lie that there was foreknowledge of the Benghazi attack but the government did nothing. Everyone who can read knows or should know that there were many advance warnings before 9/11, from US intelligence, from other nations, from a Taliban official and from the US media. Here is just one of them: “July 16, 2001, British spy agencies reported to Tony Blair that al-Qaida was in ‘the final stages’ of a terrorist attack based on intelligence…from US agencies, including the CIA and the National Security Agency.” (London Times, 6/14/02) Neither the congressional investigation nor the 9/11 Commission could explain why the White House did nothing to prepare or defend the nation against an imminent attack. Consequently, the most powerful nation the world has ever known was defeated by 19 hijackers armed with boxcutters. The watchdog media chose to nap.

The lie that the Obama administration ordered the US military to stand down: “For two years before 9/11, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducted exercises simulating hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties. One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shoot down over the Atlantic Ocean…In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon—but that drill was not run after Defense officials said it was unrealistic.” (USA Today 4/18/04) “After 9/11, the government claimed that this type of an attack was unexpected, and the US had only 14 fighters on standby to defend the nation.” (Newsday 9/23/01)

Missing emails: In 2007, Bush and Cheney were caught deleting 22 million emails on an illegal secret private email server hosted by the Republican party. The Washington Post reported, “Under federal law, the White House is required to maintain records, including e-mails, involving presidential decision making and deliberations.” However, a Post editorial suggested that the missing White House emails might not be a “scandal.” Maybe Rove and others were given “sloppy guidance” regarding email protocol. “Experts have said it doesn’t appear Clinton violated federal laws,” CNN conceded. “But that hasn’t stemmed the issue that has become more about bad optics and politics than any actual wrongdoing.” The National Law Journal agreed, noting that while the story has created a political furor, “any legal consequences are likely to prove negligible.” (MediaMatters, 3/13/15)

Like 9/11 lies the 22 million missing emails were shoved down the memory hole by the lapdog media.

A Real Scandal

September 25, 2015

Another “let’s pretend scandal” is gaining momentum in Congress and the corporate media for another investigation of Benghazi. The previous half dozen failures would seem to be an embarrassment but they’re a point of pride because every false charge is a new headline and every failure keeps the lie in the news. Best of all, those breathless reports leave no space for real crimes.

A tribunal in Malaysia found Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their lawyers, Gonzales, Addington, Haynes, Bybee and Yoo guilty of war crimes for torture and cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment. “Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council. “The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions.” (Foreign Policy Journal, Yvonne Ridley 5/12/12)

Despite the request for “widest international publicity” among major US media outlets, CNN gave brief mention May 12, 2012, but news of US war crimes had no legs and no echoes. Three years later Esquire magazine published “War Criminals Among us,” by Charles P. Pierce, June 1, 2015. That story also was quickly flushed down the history hole.

Crime? It’s not even a scandal. We’ll address corporate news media interest in real scandals and domestic and international crimes in a later blog. But first we’ll address a real scandal.

April 3, 1995, A Time magazine cover story reported that Senator Sam Nunn described how terrorists could destroy the US Capitol Building by crashing a radio- controlled airplane into it.

June, 1995, President Clinton issued a first ever Presidential Decision Directive labeling terrorism “a national security issue.” All prior administrations dealt with terrorism as a law enforcement matter. (Presidential Decision Directive, 6/21/95)

Early 1996, the CIA set up a special bin Laden unit, largely because of evidence linking him to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. (Washington Post, 10/3/01)

August 20, 1998, Clinton ordered a missile attack on bin Laden’s suspected training camps in Afghanistan in response to the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The missiles required about six hours to launch after receiving the order. (Washington Post, 10/3/01) More importantly, Pakistan had to be notified that missiles would be fired over their country so that Pakistan didn’t think the missiles were from India and launch its own nuclear missiles. Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) was a major supporter of the Taliban. The missiles missed Osama bin Laden by 20 minutes. Republicans and the corporate media ridiculed Clinton for attacking a deserted training site and deplored the expense of such missiles.

Late 1998, Clinton signed three highly classified Memoranda of Notification authorizing killing instead of capturing bin Laden, added several of al Qaeda’s senior lieutenants, and approved shooting down private civilian aircraft on which they flew. …The Clinton administration ordered the Navy to maintain two Los Angeles-class attack submarines on permanent station in the nearest available waters, enabling the US military to place Tomahawk cruise missiles on any target in Afghanistan within six hours of receiving the order. (Washington Post, 12/19/01)

Dec. 21, 1998, A Time magazine cover story with a photograph of Osama bin Laden on the cover reported that intelligence sources “have evidence that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet–a strike on Washington or possibly New York City.”

Sometime in 1998, US intelligence learned of a terrorist plan to attack the World Trade Center and government buildings in the capital with airliners. (Testimony to Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; New York Times 9/18/02)

1999, MI6, the British intelligence agency, gave a secret report to liaison staff at the US embassy in London. The report stated that al-Qaeda had plans to use “commercial aircraft” in “unconventional ways,” “possibly as flying bombs.” (Sunday Times 6/9/02)

July 14, 1999, US government informant Randy Glass recorded a conversation at a dinner at a restaurant within view of the WTC. Present were illegal arms dealers, a former Egyptian judge, and ISI agent Rajaa Gulum Abbas. FBI agents sat nearby. (WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02; MSNBC, 8/2/02) Abbas said he wanted to buy a shipload of weapons to give to bin Laden. (Cox News 8/2/02) Abbas pointed to the WTC and said, “Those towers are coming down.” Abbas made two other references to an attack on the WTC. (WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02; Cox News, 8/2/02; Palm Beach Post, 10/17/02) The meeting was secretly recorded, and parts were shown on television in 2003. (MSNBC 3/18/03)

September 1999, A report prepared for US intelligence stated, “Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaeda’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency or the White House.” The report was by the National Intelligence Council that advised the President and US intelligence on emerging threats. (AP 4/18/02) The Bush administration later claimed to have never seen the report until May 2002, despite the fact that it had been publicly posted on the internet since 1999, and “widely shared within the government” according to the New York Times. (CNN 5/18/02; New York Times 5/18/02)

September 15, 1999, The first phase of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart (D) and Warren Rudman (R) was issued. It concluded, “America will be attacked by terrorists using weapons of mass destruction and Americans will lose their lives on American soil, possibly in large numbers” (USCNS Reports)

October 12, 1999, a joint effort with the Pakistani government to capture Bin Laden ended when the Pakistan military deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (Washington Post, 10/3/01) 2000: Sandy Berger told his successor Condoleezza Rice “she’d be spending more time on terrorism and al Qaeda than any other issue.” (CNN, 5/14/04)

January, 2001, During Bush’s first week in office, terrorist expert Richard Clarke requested a cabinet level meeting on al Qaeda and Bin Laden. His request was denied. Condoleezza Rice demoted Clarke out of Cabinet access. (The 9/11 Commission Report. 7/22/04) Clarke was marginalized and unable to brief the president directly on the threat of terrorism for nearly eight months. (Washington Post, 3/22/04)

January 29, 2001, Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil reported that 9 days after Bush was inaugurated “going after Saddam Hussein” was “Topic A.” (CBS News, 1/11/04)

January 31, 2001, The final bipartisan report of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century was released to the media. February 2001, CIA Director Tenet told Congress, “The threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.” (AP 6/28/02) March 8, 2001,

The United Nations and the European Union directed their members to freeze the assets of some al-Qaida leaders but the US did not do so until after 9/11. (Guardian 10/13/01) Clinton’s efforts to prevent terrorist funding and money-laundering was blocked by Texas Senator Phil Gramm. Enron used the same banks and Senator Gramm’s wife was on the Enron Board of Directors.

April 2001, Bush administration had a deputy-level cabinet meeting on al Qaida. Clarke wrote, the meeting “did not go well.” Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, asked, “Why we are beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden.” Clarke stated that no foe but al Qaeda “poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States.” Wolfowitz replied that Iraqi terrorism was at least as dangerous. FBI and CIA representatives backed Clarke saying they had no such evidence of Iraqi terrorism. (Washington Post, 3/22/04)

April 30, 2001, CNN reported that the Bush Administration’s release of the government’s annual terrorism report contained “no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Ladin” as there had been in previous years. When asked why, “a senior Bush State Department official told CNN the US government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Ladin.”

May 2001, US intelligence reported that al-Qaida planned to infiltrate the US to “carry out a terrorist operation using high explosives.” The report “was included in an intelligence report for senior government officials in August (2001).” At the same time the Pentagon learned that bin Laden associates “had departed various locations for Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.” (Page 204 of the bipartisan 9/11 congressional report)

May 2001, The tri-Service Di Lorenzo Health Care Clinic and the Air Force Flight Medicine Clinic trained inside the Pentagon to fine-tune their emergency preparedness if a hijacked airliner crashed into the Pentagon. (US Medicine 10/01)

Sometime during the summer, 2001, German intelligence warned the CIA, Britain’s MI6, and Israel’s Mossad that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack America and Israel. German intelligence stated the information came from Echelon surveillance technology, and that British intelligence had access to the same warnings. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01; Washington Post, 9/14/01; Fox News, 5/17/02)

Echelon, a signals collection and analysis program was created to monitor military and diplomatic communications behind the Iron Curtain. It began in 1971 and included Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. It’s impossible to believe the US didn’t have the same information Germany had. In the early 1990s, the NSA captured communications between Airbus and the Saudi Arabian national airline. In 1994, Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia after the NSA revealed that Airbus officials had bribed Saudi officials to get the contract and McDonnell Douglas got the contract. (BBC News,7/6/ 2000; The Economist, 6/14/03)

German intelligence further reported there were other informational sources, including specific information given to, but not reported by, Western and Near Eastern news media six months before 9/11.

Early summer, 2001, “The Bush administration now had in its hands what one participant called ‘the Holy Grail’ of a three-year quest by the US government–a tool that could kill bin Laden within minutes of finding him,” The Washington Post reported. Armed Predator drones could hit a target in minutes rather than the six hours it took to launch missiles from submarines. “The CIA planned and practiced locating bin Laden and killing him with drones but for the next three months, before Sept. 11, Bush and his advisers held back.” The Post further reported that “after concluding that bin Laden’s group had carried out the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole—a conclusion stated without hedge in a Feb. 9 briefing for V.P. Cheney—the new administration did not choose to order armed forces into action.” (Washington Post 1/20/02)

June 1, 2001, A multi-agency planning exercise sponsored by NORAD involved the reaction to a cruise missile launched from a barge off the East Coast and aimed at the US. Bin Laden’s photo was on the cover of the proposal. (American Forces Press Service 6/4/02) After 9/11, the government claimed that this type of an attack was unexpected, and the US had only 14 fighters on standby to defend the nation. (Newsday 9/23/01)

June 13, 2001, Egyptian President Mubarak warned that bin Laden planned to assassinate Bush and other G8 heads of state during their summit in Genoa, Italy by crashing an airplane loaded with explosives into the building where they were meeting. Rather than stay in the US Embassy as planned, Bush had himself flown to a US aircraft carrier offshore. Italy restricted air space around Genoa, provided air cover and antiaircraft batteries for the meeting and no attack occurred. (Los Angeles Times, 9/27/01)

June 2001, Bush gavea  speech to NATO allies on top five defense issues, The “only reference to extremists was in Macedonia.” (Washington Post, 4/1/04)

June 23, 2001, Reuters reported a race between Osama bin Laden and the US as to which would strike first. (Reuters 6/23/01)

Late June 2001, Richard Clarke, National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, warned the FAA to increase security measures in expectation of an impending terrorist attack. The FAA refused to take such measures. (New Yorker 1/14/02)

July 1, 2001, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) and Richard Shelby (R), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, appeared on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer and warned of potential attacks by terrorists. Sen. Feinstein said, “One of the things that has begun to concern me very much as to whether we really have our house in order; intelligence staff have told me that there is a major probability of a terrorist incident within the next three months.”

July 16, 2001, British spy agencies reported to Tony Blair that al-Qaida was in “the final stages” of a terrorist attack “based on intelligence…from US agencies, including the CIA and the National Security Agency.” (London Times, 6/14/02)

July 21, 2001, Tom Simons (former US Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs) and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on South Asia) met with Pakistani and Russian intelligence officers for the third time. Julio Gudoy quoted Jean-Charles Brisard, coauthor of Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, as saying “…the U.S. representatives told the Taliban, ‘either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, (the oil pipeline) or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.’” (U.S. Policy Towards Taliban Influenced by Oil – Say Authors,” Julio Godoy, 11/15/01)

Former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Niaz Naik said US officials warned that military action to overthrow the Taliban was planned to “take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.” Lee Coldren later said, “I think there was some discussion of the fact that the United States was so disgusted with the Taliban that they might be considering some military action.” (BBC 9/18/01; Guardian 9/26/01)

Sometime during he summer, Britain warned the US again about an al-Qaeda attack specifying multiple airplane hijackings. The warning was included in Bush’s August 6 briefing. (Sunday Herald 5/19/02)

Early August, Israel warned the US that an al-Qaeda attack was imminent. (Fox News, 5/17/02) Also in August, Russian President Putin warned the US that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. (Fox News 5/17/02) A CIA official later said, “There was something specific in early August that said to us that he (bin Laden) was determined in striking on US soil.” (AP 10/3/01)

August 6, 2001, Bush received a hand-delivered Presidential Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S.” According to the 9/11 Commission report, (Bush) did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so…” “We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States.” (9/11 Commission Report, p. 260-2)

9/11, National security adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to outline a Bush administration policy that would address “the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday.” The focus was on missile defense. “The speech provides telling insight into the administration’s thinking on the very day that the United States suffered the most devastating attack since the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The address was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy, and contained no mention of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups, according to former U.S. officials who have seen the text.” (Washington Post, 4/1/04)

9/11, A National Public Radio correspondent stated, “I spoke with Congressman Ike Skelton–a Democrat from Missouri and a member of the Armed Services Committee–who said that the director of the CIA warned that there could be an attack–an imminent attack–on the United States of this nature. So this is not entirely unexpected.” (NPR 9/11/01)

9/11, An advertisement for a ‘homeland security” event in 2002 stated that on the morning of 9/11 a team from the CIA ran a simulation just outside D.C. to study emergency response issues created by an airplane striking a building. (National Law Enforcement Security Institute 8/02; AP 8/21/02)

9/11, Bush was told that an airplane had struck one of the WTC towers. Bush said his first thought was, “What a lousy pilot.” I didn’t have the information that Bush had but when my wife told me to turn on the TV, any station, and I saw the burning tower I didn’t think what a lousy pilot.

9/11, Bush went into the school as scheduled and was sitting in a classroom with children when he was told the nation was under attack. He remained in the school room for more than 7 minutes. When I saw the second airplane hit the second tower my first thought was, I have to reenlist.

9/12, Five hours after the attacks Rumsfeld asked aides to plan war on Iraq. Rumsfeld made the request “even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.” (CBS News, 9/3/02)

9/12, Bush told Richard Clarke, “Go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this.” That was after Clarke told Bush that al Qaeda was responsible for the attack. [Washington Post, 3/22/04)

9/14, The 2000 presidential election was disputed especially in Florida. The Florida State Constitution required a total recount of the Florida vote. The Florida Supreme Court ordered the recount. The state rights majority in the US Supreme Court overruled the Florida Constitution and the Florida Supreme Court and stopped the recount for reasons they never explained. A media consortium hired an independent institution to recount all the Florida votes. That recount was to be reported on 9/14, three days after 9/11. That would have been the optimum time to declare that despite the failure of 9/ll Bush was a legitimate president. When the consortium did not report, everyone knew what that meant. Bush did not win the election in Florida or the US.

9/16, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle said, “We do know, for example, that Saddam Hussein has ties to Osama bin Laden.” (CNN, 4/30/07)

9/20, Bush asked Tony Blair to support war against Iraq. (The Observer, 4/4/04)

10/7, The US and Great Britain invade Afghanistan.

11/21, 2001, Bush directed Rumsfeld to begin planning for war with Iraq. “Let’s get started on this,” Bush recalled saying. “And get Tommy Franks looking at what it would take to protect America by removing Saddam Hussein if we have to.” (Washington Post, 4/17/04)

How is it possible that with the information Bush had his first thought was, What a lousy pilot? How is it possible that for several months after 9/11 Bush could repeatedly lie that there was no warning, that no one imagined an airplane being used as a bomb, that when he was told the nation was under attack he immediately called defenders and first responders into action?

Rice testified on the condition that the 9/11 Commission would not request additional public testimony from any White House official including herself.

Testimony to the 9/11 Commission, “No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon, into the World Trade Center, using planes as a missile.”

Public Testimony to the 9/11 Commission, “As I said to you in the private session, I probably should have said, ‘I could not have imagined,’ because within two days, people started to come to me and say, ‘Oh, but there were these reports in 1998 and 1999. The intelligence community did look at information about this.’ To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Chairman, this kind of analysis about the use of airplanes as weapons actually was never briefed to us.”

Later in her public testimony Rice said to 9/11-Commissioner Fred Fielding, “…the only really specific threats we had — to Genoa, to the Persian Gulf, there was one to Israel. So the president was hearing what was being done.” The Genoa threat was to crash an airliner into the building where the G-8 members were meeting. So she could not only imagine such an attack she knew that such an attack was planned.”

Rice also stated under oath, “And I know that there was no single thing that might have prevented that attack.” She knew how Italy prevented an attack by an airliner. How was she able to commit obvious perjury?

Next we’ll see the response of the media of the nation that has a Constitution that guarantees freedom of the press.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

September 14, 2015

Last month my church invited me to offer our prayer of thanksgiving. This is the prayer.

Holy Name

We thank you for Your multitudinous gifts to us. Our cups run over in the presence of those whose cups are empty.

Forgive us for believing your benevolence is our entitlement and asking for more.

We thank you for those who represent us with guns, those who represent us with diplomacy, those who represent us by making laws, those who represent us by enforcing laws, those who represent us by seeking justice, by showing mercy, by welcoming strangers.

Forgive us for believing they are our salvation.

We thank you for those who serve us by leading this church, those who serve us by teaching our children to teach us, those who serve us by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, those who serve us by studying, listening and praying.

Forgive us for believing they are our servants rather than Your servants.

We pray for our enemies that they may see You in us as we see You in them.

Forgive us for believing our enemies are Your enemies.

That we all may be one in Your Presence.

In the name of the One who loves us all.