November 30, 2002

War Criminal Joins Secret Clubhouse
'Why should the selection of Henry Kissinger to head a new blue-ribbon commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks provoke cynicism? The former secretary of State is not exactly an apostle of openness in government. Kissinger's name is synonymous with the Secret War in Cambodia and, as Richard Nixon's national security adviser, he authorized wiretaps on his own staff. It is hard to imagine a commission chairman more likely to be sympathetic to White House requests that certain information be kept from the public, not on national-security grounds but to prevent embarrassment. [Considering the facts involved, and that] the White House steadfastly opposed legislation calling for an independent commission...the facts lead to the conclusion that the White House not only acceded reluctantly to the commission but also handpicked a chairman who knows how to keep secrets.' - Walter Shapiro.

" is tempting to wonder if the choice of Mr. Kissinger is not a clever maneuver by the White House to contain an investigation it long opposed." - NY Times editorial.

Payback, Not Patriotism
'In Texas, the home of the blunt, we call legislators who sell out the people in order to kiss the butts of their campaign contributors "whores."

'OK, Republicans, justify this. I want to hear your explanations for why the Republican leadership went against the will of 318 members to grant an unconscionable gift to corporations that set up offshore tax shelters to avoid paying their U.S. taxes. Come on, Rush, I really want to hear this one - and do, please, include the word "patriotism."

'Citizens for Tax Justice says the offshore tax-shelter dodge costs this country as much as $50 billion annually. This amendment was not to shut down the loophole - though Lord knows that needs to be done. It was to prevent rewarding these financial traitors with government contracts.

'The House leadership - that would be your speaker, Dennis Hastert, and your majority leader, Dick Armey - going against the will of both the House and the Senate, took out the "Wellstone Amendment," sponsored by the late populist senator. It would have prevented runaway companies, those that set up mailboxes in Bermuda in order to avoid paying their taxes, from getting government contracts related to homeland security.' - Molly Ivins.

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