Unanswered Questions

The statement in the first paragraph of ["9/11 Conspiracy-itis" by Marty Jezer, 8/1-15/02 TPP] is truly insulting. I am neither intellectually lazy, nor paranoid. You may not believe the considerable evidence that points to a conspiracy in the assassination of President Kennedy, but you should not take such an all-knowing and superior attitude. I would recommend to you the book by Col. L. Fletcher Prouty called JFK. Perhaps if you can hold off your superiority complex long enough to read it through, you will come away with a modicum of suspicion that the story we have been told about that event is nowhere near the full picture of what happened. ...

In addition, your wisdom concerning the possibility of involvement of any kind by the Bush family, the current administration and its advisors, in the events of Sept. 11, needs a jolt of information. I suggest for your edification a reading of George Bush, An Unauthorized Biography, by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, as well as the book by Bush cabal buddy, Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chess Board. Mr. B. (along with Mr. Kissinger &emdash; who has his own problems with blood on his hands) is an advocate of world domination by the United States and suggests in this book that this is the best thing to happen and inevitable, but that it will take a major event against the United States to get the people wildly behind the government so that the boys can go ahead with the plans for world domination. Well, we sure got that event on Sept. 11, 2001. Do I think George W. Bush planned this, or even knew exactly what was planned or would happen? No I do not. But in my intellectually lazy readings and paranoid consideration of all of the books and information that I have read, or mentioned here, I have come to suspect and believe, that these boys of the Eastern Establishment, Military/Industrial Complex, want to have their way, and don't really think too much about any "collateral damage" or give a damn.

If you dismiss everything else that happened, you should certainly perk up when J. Michael Springmann, former chief of the visa section in the US embassy in Saudi Arabia (Jedda office), relates that while he was turning down applications for visas for what he considered good cause, his decisions were reversed by CIA personnel. I believe he also stated that, of the 19 suspected terrorists who, we are told, went down with the planes on 9/11, 15 were men he had suggested should NOT be given visas. Read the article on page 20 of the 8/1-15/02 TPP; Mr. Springmann is identified there. He indicated to the writer of the article that he had attempted to publicize the problem after returning to the US, but, "... Nobody in Washington D.C. wants to hear about this ..." Perhaps you &emdash; and the media in this country &emdash; should expand horizons and cover events like the press conference at the National Press Club held in June where a group calling itself UQ (for Unanswered Questions) presented speakers of substance as well as family members of those incinerated/killed in the crashes of 9/11. Instead of covering such an event, the collective media sits there, fat, dumb and happy, and ignores any events that might shake up the populace and start them to questioning, or that might get the individual reporters and/or talking heads removed from the lists of guests for the glittering cocktail parties of the D.C. and Georgetown set.

Grace Cooper
Sacramento, Calif.

Truman No Hero

Nobody does a better job than Jim Hightower when it comes to exposing hypocrite hogs' snouts in the trough. He is a true progressive hero. I do think, however, that Jim has, in his eagerness to remember Harry Truman as one who spoke truth to power ("Fighting for the People," 7/15/02 TPP), forgotten that Harry was an agent of power.

During the 1946 railroad strike Truman asked the Congress for legislation allowing him to draft striking workers into the army. "Then we can take the sons of bitches out and shoot 'em if they won't work," he told the railroad tycoons and mine owners.

Truman also ordered the mass murder of the civilian children of Japan.

The "will to believe" can be one of the most destructive qualities we have. Mr. Hightower longs to believe Truman was a friend of the people, and many readers of The Progressive Populist seem eager to believe that Al Gore is one of us. He is a man born into wealth, living off investments; he supports massive tax money to Lockheed-Martin, strongly believes in capital punishment, and has a huge-haired former debutante wife who fought to censor Frank Zappa's music.

To suggest that fighting to get a genuine enemy of power, Ralph Nader, elected gave us Bush is to suggest we should have voted for that ruling elite which makes war to keep political and economic power in the hands of those who already have it. Never!


Larry Surber
Stoneville, N.C.

Choice Not Frivolous

Despite Wayne O'Leary's misleading efforts to depict choice as the frivolous issue of suburban soccer moms ["What the Hedgehog Knows," 7/15/02 TPP], it is pre-eminently an economic issue. The freedom to end an unintended and sometimes desperately unwanted pregnancy is not like the freedom to dye one's hair or dress casually for work. It can mean the difference between a chance at a middle-class life and decades of grinding poverty for both the woman and her children.

Of course, Mr. O'Leary doesn't care about that; it's nothing to do with him! But if he is serious about wanting to unite the Democratic Party, he would do well to abandon his shallow misogyny and learn to think honestly about issues that affect millions of other people.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam
Baltimore, Md.

Stop Population Growth

Twenty years from today, the world's population will grow to eight billion people. Worldwide, voluntary, free sterilization with substantial cash incentives should be implemented after one or two children. This undertaking would be one of the best microinvestments for developing countries and it would slow consumption in the richer industrialized nations. ...

A trillion dollars a year of public funds is spent on weapons and warfare. One hundred billion dollars of that should be invested to lessen escalating catastrophes. ... Instead of eight billion people in the next 20 years, citizens of the world should set a goal of reducing the population to five billion in 30 years. All states should pass the "Two or Fewer" children resolution that simply commends couples for having two or fewer children.

Stop giving money to religious organizations until they change their minds about family planning! The UN should put forth a resolution to insure that women have political clout equal to their numbers in all levels of government. Public funds should be used to provide contraceptives to anyone needing them. There would be less need for abortion and tens of millions of coveted tax dollars would be saved.

Ed Patton
Yakima Wash.
Email mredpatton@aol.com

Tax the Rich

Some say the inheritance tax is unfair despite the fact that most of the inherited income has never been taxed. It seems to me that it is a lot more fair to tax dead multi-millionaires than it is to tax us bottom 80% that are still struggling. There is an outfit that recently got started called Responsible Wealth. They sent a petition to our richies and more than 1,100 replied that it would be better to reform the inheritance tax but not repeal it. The father of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man, are in agreement that the inheritance tax should not be repealed. If it is so unfair then why do the possible beneficiaries not want it repealed. The law will be passed or not passed by rich members of Congress who most probably will never get in the superrich category.

A couple years ago Trent Lott informed the Pentagon that they were going to get a new aircraft carrier. Pentagon says we neither need nor want another carrier. Lott says don't make no difference they gonna get it whether they want it or not. Now our coddle-the-super-rich president says they gonna get another tax cut. Super-rich say they do not need nor want another tax cut. Prez says don't make no difference you gonna get it whether you want it or not.

Yours truly,

Robert Parnell
Waco, Texas

Cut Wrangling on the Left

To the Dems (including particularly [Sen. Paul] Wellstone) and the Greens: I am tired of all the wrangling, especially the attitude of many Greens to their campaign against Wellstone. If your only concern (as I find expressed in your letters) is to get elected at any cost, why should I vote for you? If you truly are concerned about good government for our country, work together to elect the best candidate who has a chance. You lose nothing, you gain kudos from a grateful electorate and plenty of name recognition. Go for it.

Dorothy R. Mooney
Portland, Ore.

Ridge's Role Model?

I would like to point out that the sense in German of Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo), literally "secret state police," is Department of Homeland Security.

The Gestapo was the model for all post-WW2 "intelligence" agencies and seems to remain so.

Robert C. Sommer
New York, N.Y.

Save Your Advice

To Micah Sifry, Tom Tomorrow, Ruth Coniff and Steve Cobble: If you really want to influence the course of the Greens [see pages 16-17 for examples from Cobble and Sifry], you might consider becoming active party members. You would each be a great addition and it would give your published solicitude more substance and a greater semblance of sincerity. One of the rules of boxing and politics is not to take advice from the other guy's camp. As it is, you run the risk of sounding like fusty parents trying to tell their children whom to date ... On the other hand, you might save your advice for the Democrats. They need it a lot more than the Greens.

Sam Smith
Editor, Progressive Review
Washington, D.C.

Our Own Jihad

Millions of American citizens are clamoring for prayer in public schools, the placing of the Ten Commandants in courthouses and other government buildings, and the funding of religious schools and faith based charities. They are extremely upset over the recent ""Pledge of Allegiance" ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court in California. They want to intermix government and religion. We've seen how that works in Afghanistan, Iran and various other countries. The "Christian" Taliban is on the move!

Dan Sweeton
Lebanon, Tenn.
Email dsweeton@aol.com

Let Leaders Lead

If we truly went back to the good old Biblical days of war, something W & Co. seem to be strongly advocating, then our "Leaders" would have to lead, literally. If God is on our side, as W & Co. also advocate, then they should have nothing to fear.

Let W be in the first fighter, Cheney the first sub, Rumsfeld the first tank to attack Iraq.

If this catches on, then surely it would be popular with the troops, Osama would lead the next terrorist attack, Arafat the next suicide bombing.

If God, or Allah, are not on their side, then we will have only lost "Pretenders" and not real "Leaders".

Chris Lane Gray
Monticello, Ark.

Harken/BCCI Ties?

It is alleged that 12 years ago, then-President Bush (41) met Talat Othman (brother-in-law to the Emir of Bahrain). Mr. Othman was appointed to the Harken Board and was a shareholder of BCCI. Knowing of the SEC investigations in 1989 and the massive losses Harken was incurring, was BCCI (of money laundering fame) involved in the Cayman Offshore Account Harken was setting up? Was the United States preparing for the Gulf War when Harken was preparing to avoid paying taxes?

Gary Lee
Roanoke, Va.

We Got Robbed, Not Drunk

The likening of our financial suffering with that of a hangover from some self-inflicted binge, as President Bush did last week, was truly an insensitive comparison. We are not in pain because of mistakes WE made. We have lost our retirement savings because we were criminally defrauded, deceived, and betrayed, by professional overseers and fiduciaries, in various prestigious capacities of public and private governance. We've been robbed!

The current crisis of confidence will not be resolved until we are able to blindly trust in the integrity of corporate executives, board members, investment bankers, security analysts, the SEC, other congressional oversight groups &emdash; and, most of all, accountants and auditors.

Tom Austin
Cleveland, Ohio


"Group Stubbornly Picks at 9/11 Unanswered Questions," in the 8/1-15/02 TPP, incorrectly reported that A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard is head of Deutsche-Bank/AB Brown, where many "put orders" of United Airlines stock were placed just before Sept. 11, betting that the stock price would drop. Krongard is a former executive of DeutscheBank/AB Brown. He is now CIA executive director.

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