Reed Irvine - Editor
|2001 Report #23 & #24||December 31, 2001|
THE WAR AT HOME
Addressing AIM's conference, "America's Wake-up Call," Peter LaBarbera of the Family & Culture Institute of Concerned Women for America, said that as we fight a war on terrorism abroad, another war is underway for the soul of America. He warned that advocates of traditional morality are becoming increasingly marginalized. "We even see the Republican Party pandering to the gay rights movement," LaBarbera said.
He noted that Richard Berke, chief political correspondent of the New York Times, has said that on any given day, three-fourths of those attending the daily meeting where it is decided what will be on the front page of the Times, are likely to be "not-so-closeted" homosexuals. LaBarbera said that even New York Times reporters who are considered to be liberal and open-minded are said to have reacted with revulsion at the idea of putting a photo in the paper of two men kissing.
"That's what we fight in this battle—the behavior which is now being promoted to kids, even down to the elementary school level," LaBarbera said. He cited a magazine called "XY," that is ostensibly for homosexual boys. It features pictures of young boys in their underwear, something that appeals to pedophiles, known as "chicken hawks." It is sold at Borders bookstores.
Criticizing homosexuality is treated as the "third rail" by many politicians, LaBarbera noted. He said that President Bush has opened the White House to militant homosexuals who call themselves "Log Cabin Republicans." People who speak out against homosexuality are stigmatized as intolerant and divisive. He warned that if the Republican Party continues pandering to homosexuals it will alienate many traditional conservatives who will abandon the party. He acknowledged that there are some prominent homosexuals who are conservative on many issues. But, he said, they also support "gay marriage" and giving homosexuals the right to adopt children, anathemas to defenders of traditional families.
Even though they are a tiny minority, LaBarbera said homosexuals are trying to prevent the majority, those devoted to traditional morality, from taking legal action to combat the erosion of their values. He cited the homosexual efforts In Maryland to keep an initiative opposing special rights for homosexuals off the ballot. He said they hired lawyers to file lawsuits to harass those who were gathering signatures supporting the initiative. He said there was even evidence that homosexuals were signing the petitions with phony names, which they could then challenge and get thrown out. [Their tactics worked in Maryland. Enough signatures were thrown out to reduce the total below the minimum required.]
The homosexuals, LaBarbera pointed out, have the support of the major media, Hollywood, and many politicians who are easily intimidated and fail to defend the values they profess. Threats and violence succeed, but the media rarely report the intimidation tactics of the homosexuals.
Balint Vazsonyi, director of the Center for the American Founding, began his remarks at the AIM conference by noting that the city of New York public schools had started requiring students to recite the Pledge of Alliance, even though a law with that requirement had been on the books for decades. The 9/11 terrorist attack on New York's twin towers prompted the move. Vazsonyi said that while the U.S. has rediscovered patriotism in response to this catastrophe, the Arab/Muslim world is mired in the past, in underdevelopment, and has usually been at war with itself. He quoted an Arab scholar as saying this helps explain why Islamic terrorists lash out and kill innocent women and children. This is the way they garner self-esteem.
Vazsonyi, the author of America's 30 Years War, said America could respond through a war against Afghanistan but that the answer also lies in revitalizing our own culture and institutions. He said the rise of various movements over the last several decades has had a lasting impact. He cited the anti-Vietnam war, feminist and environmental movements. Out of these movements has come a brainwashed generation of America-haters who believe our system is corrupt and accept socialism and unilateral disarmament as a solution. Many of them hate America because they view it as a country that has done enormous wrong in the world. He said Bill and Hillary Clinton represent that generation. "They have not passed out of puberty mentally," he said.
Vazsonyi said a mindset has taken hold of many Americans that holds that our country doesn't have a right of self-defense. This is why the hijackers and terrorists responsible for 9/11 were able to come to this country. Vazsonyi, an immigrant from Hungary, pointed out that in 1965, under President Johnson, our immigration laws were changed, laying the groundwork for the demographic destruction of this country. This led to people coming here who didn't even want to be Americans and who despised our country.
Vazsonyi said he also detected a change in how our national leaders respond to international problems and how our potential enemies react. He noted that China had asked that the U.S. go out of its way to avoid civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan and consult with China in advance about our military plans. He said this reflects an era in which America's enemies are increasing their numbers. The media share this distaste for America defending itself. When a guest on CNN had said America needed men on the ground to monitor enemy movements, CNN's Judy Woodruff reacted, "That's spying!" Vazsonyi saw this as an anti-American mindset.
Tragically, he said, the hate-America crowd controls the universities, and the liberal teachers' union, the National Education Association, controls much of the public school system. A major effort has to be undertaken to break their control over our young people. He concluded saying that we shouldn't worry too much about what our troops are doing in Afghanistan "because the real job is right here."
Brad Keena, press secretary to Rep. Steve Largent, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma, discussed the philosophy of political correctness that guides the hate-America crowd that wields so much power in the media. This philosophy holds that certain so-called victim groups, such as homosexuals, deserve special government protection. It is reflected in opposition to the display of the Ten Commandments and the very notion of one nation under God. It is also evident in bilingual education, which keeps immigrant children from focusing on learning English and integrating into our culture.
Keena said American values have been turned on their head because of the influence of philosophies such as existentialism in the colleges. Existentialism holds that life is ultimately meaningless and that individuals alone give life meaning through their choices. In popular terms, it means breaking all the rules. Popular and seemingly innocuous programs such as the Golden Girls, showing older women swearing like sailors, capture this attitude. It is also evident in popular songs such as Margaritaville, about a guy enjoying himself while getting drunk south of the border.
Friedrich Nietzsche, the nihilistic German philosopher, advanced the idea that an individual can make and break the rules, Keena said. He suggested this helped explain the Clinton presidency, when seizing and wielding power were the focus of his administration. The Academy Award-winning film American Beauty reflects this philosophy, nihilism, where there are no rules and anything goes. He said the comedy show Seinfeld, which is very funny, is another example of this. And so is the movie Pulp Fiction, which seems to be about nothing more than people killing each other.
Keena said he was hopeful, however, that the situation may change after 9/11. In Madison, Wisconsin, for example, the school board decided to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem. The board had previously decided that some people might be offended by it. Keena said 9/11 might provide a "dose of reality" to the American people about the current plight of the country. "We must insist on reality," he said. "We must insist on truth from our government."
Kathleen Janoski, the Navy chief petty officer who photographed Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown's body at Dover Air Force Base after he died in a mysterious plane crash in Croatia in April, 1996, told the AIM conference the shocking story of how she was relieved of her duties because photographs she had taken had revealed evidence that Brown may have been shot. Kathleen Janoski said she hadn't come to any conclusions about whether Brown was murdered or not, but she was certain that senior officers at the base didn't want the questions answered.
In photographing Brown's body, Janoski noticed and photographed a perfectly round hole in the top of his head. She called it to the attention of some of the officers. They thought it could have been made by a .45-caliber bullet. A head x-ray showed what appeared to be small metallic fragments inside the skull. The lieutenant colonels recommended that an autopsy be performed, but they were overruled by the colonel in charge. No autopsy was ever performed, and Janoski was informed by a civilian investigator that the head x-ray had been destroyed. But Janoski had photographed both the hole in Brown's head and the x-rays when they were up on a light box.
Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell, one of three pathologists who had recommended an autopsy, used this case as an example of a botched death investigation in lectures that he gave. The case came to the attention of investigative reporter Chris Ruddy, who obtained copies of Janoski's photos of Brown, and the story was out. Ruddy's paper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, gave it a front-page banner headline. The Christian Broadcasting Net-work, CBN, aired a story about it. The big media ignored it, but the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP, was very unhappy. Lt. Col. Cogswell's military career was ruined and he was told to seek counseling. Janoski, once the head of photography at the institute, was given 32 hours to clear out of her office and her staff was taken away. She feared she would be put on trial, but the Navy allowed her to retire.
CBN's Dale Hurd asked, "Is Cogswell's and Janoski's punishment by the AFIP simply because they shined the light on shoddy work and embarrassed the Pentagon? Or is there something more?" Hurd found that the AFIP was continuing to lie. In a statement, it claimed that extensive forensic tests were conducted on the body. Janoski said that was completely false. She said her faith in the Navy was badly shaken, not only by her treatment, but by the refusal to do an autopsy and lying about it, and by the destruction of the head x-ray. But she has no regrets and is proud of having helped Chris Ruddy to bring the facts about this bungled death investigation to the public's attention.
Janoski said that she saw no wounds on Ron Brown's body except the hole in his head that appeared to be fatal. The AWACS radar showed that his plane was on course for a landing at Dubrovnik when it suddenly veered to the left and crashed into St. John's Peak. The pilot apparently made a quick correction when the signal from the beacon indicated he was off course. The Croatian responsible for the beacon died of a gunshot wound before he was questioned. It is clear that the government lied, destroyed evidence that proved it, and punished those who disclosed it.
Praising Accuracy in Media for its concern for whistleblowers' rights, Martin E. Andersen told the AIM conference how he was persecuted by Janet Reno's Justice Department for telling the truth about violations of the law, leaks of national security information, dubious contracts, and waste, fraud and mismanagement. Andersen, who worked as a senior adviser for policy and planning in the Criminal Division's international law enforcement training programs, forced a three-year criminal investigation of the Criminal Division. He said that the Justice Department's inspector general found management to be guilty of "serious, substantial and egregious misconduct."
One target of the probe was a Justice Department official close to Janet Reno who committed visa fraud on behalf of his girlfriend in Moscow. Ironically, this aide was chosen by Reno to clean up problems in the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Andersen said there are other whistleblowers who, before 9/11, had been warning about problems that made us vulnerable to terrorist attack. He said these included U.S. Customs Service employees who warned of uninspected containers that may have included terrorist devices or weapons; warnings of unsecured uranium and plutonium storage facilities; Defense Department official Peter Leitner's warnings about the sale of sophisticated equipment to China and rogue states; concerns about the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to attack; and suggestions that Justice Department officials may be open to blackmail because of their personal behavior or handling of classified information.
Andersen said an investigation of his allegations led to the discovery that one Justice Department official had left 156 classified documents unsecured in his office. He had an open safe that included nothing but a videotape and instructions for setting the combination. Some of the chief culprits named by Andersen were Mark Richard and Lee Radek. Radek was the head of the public integrity section. He said they collaborated with Reno in covering up Clinton administration wrongdoing.
For speaking out, Andersen had his security clearance yanked, and he was assigned to a room where classified documents were being stored for burning. He called it a farce meant to humiliate him. He fought for justice for four years, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy several times. But he had carefully documented his case, and those documents proved useful as the process went forward. He got some press support, especially from the Washington Times and Insight magazine. The Office of Special Counsel, which investigates whistleblower complaints, vindicated him. Andersen won the OSC's Public Servant Award.
He warned, however, that most whistleblowers are not so lucky. That is why it is important that new legislation be passed by Congress to protect them. He said the 9/11 attacks make it even more imperative to make sure whistleblowers have the right to come forward without fear of retaliation to tell the truth. He urged President Bush to issue an executive order requiring the managers of federal agencies to protect them.
Using a military phrase, "The wire is down," to signify a compound vulnerable to attack, Dr. Frederic C. Whitehurst said the wire is down at the FBI. He said the bureau's computer systems are insecure and open to access and manipulation. In addition, he said, the FBI has itself committed illegal acts, such as stealing the Promis software of Nancy and Bill Hamilton. Meantime, an FBI employee went through her chain of command reporting that the FBI was breaking the law by using stolen software. That employee was Whitehurst's wife.
Whitehurst, the FBI's best-known whistleblower, who exposed incompetence and dishonesty in the FBI crime lab, described the harrowing case of his wife, who didn't go public with her exposure of wrongdoing. She was in charge of computers in the FBI's criminal investigative division, and began to find tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen software in those computers. Whitehurst said this is not just a legal problem. It is a security problem as well because stolen software can carry viruses and intelligence-gathering devices useful to spies.
Mrs. Whitehurst's superiors mostly dismissed the problem and told her to mind her own business. One official took it seriously and commissioned a study that found that 30 of 35 computers had stolen software on them. When word spread that she was going to her superiors about the problem, she was assaulted by an FBI supervisor. He was not punished. Years later she was physically assaulted by another FBI agent, who received a one-week suspension.
Whitehurst said this helps us understand the case of Robert P. Hanssen, the senior FBI official who spied for the Soviets. He had access to the computer systems that his wife had warned about. If her warnings had been heeded, Hanssen might have been stopped years earlier, Whitehurst said. Hanssen might have been apprehended before he did some of his damage and the lives of some of the agents he betrayed might have been saved. Instead, the career of Whitehurst's wife "went down the tubes." She left the FBI, with GS-13 status, and had to try to start over again. She now works as an office secretary. But Hanssen's wife and children are living comfortably on his FBI pension.
He compared the honest FBI employees to those ground troops during a war who warn their commander that the camp is vulnerable but he doesn't seem to care. The honest ones in the FBI are kicked out of their jobs, ridiculed in the press, and have no place to turn. He cited the case of a young FBI official caught with a computer full of child pornography. Whitehurst said he knew this fellow. He left FBI headquarters every day with his own personal hand-held computer. This was another example of the problem of no monitoring of who had access to information in the FBI computers.
Jared Taylor, author and editor of American Renaissance newsletter, told the conferees that the emphasis on diversity in America has weakened our national security and threatens our survival. He said countries or regions with diversity along tribal, religious or ethnic lines usually explode into violence.
For 153 years of our existence as a nation, he said, there wasn't a single mosque in America. The first one was built in 1929. Today, there are about seven million Muslims in the U.S. and thousands of mosques. Taylor said this hasn't strengthened us at all. He warned that Islam isn't just a religious view but a way to organize society. In England, which has a large Muslim population, a top Muslim leader openly says the implementation of Islam has to be done across the board, affecting the government and society. In France, a Muslim leader has said that those elements of society which are not Islamic have to be overthrown.
Here, Taylor cited the statements of a radical Muslim leader who moved from Texas to Virginia. In Texas, he was an associate of a Muslim sentenced to life in prison for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. This Muslim leader is an American citizen. Jersey City, New Jersey, which has a large Arab population, was the base for the attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 1993. A Muslim leader who ran a Mosque in that city and gave anti-American sermons was found guilty of complicity in that attack. Arabs in Jersey City whooped and cheered on the day the Twin Towers burned. Taylor cited another example, a 14-year-old Muslim born in the U.S. who told the press that he is a Muslim first and an American second.
Taylor also cited an article about students at a Muslim community school in Potomac, Maryland. One said being an American meant only that he was born here. He said he was a Muslim first and was embarrassed to tell his cousin in Pakistan that he was an American. A teacher there said Muslims owe their primary allegiance to Allah. Taylor said the arrival of these Arabs in the U.S. doesn't make them friendly toward the U.S. It only encourages them to hate us. He cited an example of a student who came here and became radicalized under the influence of Muslim groups. He traveled abroad, became a member of bin Laden's group, and participated in a bomb plot in Jordan. Another plotter was also an American citizen. Taylor said the idea that all immigrants become good Americans is simply not true.
But the problem isn't just Muslims. Until 1965, relatively few Hispanics lived here. Now we have 30 million, 15 million of whom are Mexicans. They put more emphasis on celebrating the Mexican national holiday, Cinco de Mayo, than July 4th. Taylor quoted one Hispanic university professor as saying that whites are declining in numbers while Hispanics are growing. The professor himself called this a national security threat to the U.S. He cited other statements by Hispanic leaders to the effect that Mexicans will dominate America and the Western hemisphere. "Time is on our side," said one of them. Another said to white people: go back to Boston, go back to Plymouth Rock, you pilgrims. One forecasts a Hispanic nation within the U.S. Taylor concluded, "They're trying to take our country from us."
Taking a different approach, Louise Rees, publisher of Information Digest, said that it is possible to make sure that immigrants are integrated into American society. She cited her own Irish background. The Irish came over, didn't speak much English, but became Americanized over the course of generations. The problem today is that immigrants are not Americanized, and ethnic groups are kept culturally separate in the schools. Rees said our big problem is that we don't enforce our immigration laws. About half of the suicide hijackers should not have been here. They violated immigration laws in various ways. But it was not a law enforcement priority to find them.
It's true, she said, that immigrants tend to bring with them old hatreds and settle in certain areas, and that leads to some violence. A revival of the Irish problem has occurred since the late 1960s, as Irish in America have set up support networks for the Irish Republican Army. Rees said IRA sympathizers in America have been caught monitoring the movements of British officials so they could be targeted for violence. She said Yugoslavian groups in America have fought one another, and Cuban-Americans have tried to wage war on Castro from our shores.
In the early 1970s, there was an Iraqi in the U.S. who put together a network of Arab students from Texas that stole dynamite and planned to bomb targets in New York. The FBI discovered the plot through a wiretap on the Arab group. A judge found the wiretap to be illegal, but the Iraqi and the Arab students left the U.S. It was discovered that he was actually a Palestinian terrorist linked to Yasir Arafat. He was later apprehended in Italy and sentenced to prison here. There have also been shootings in the Washington, D.C. area by foreign terrorists.
Rees, who wrote the first study of terrorism in America for Congress back in 1974, said foreign terrorists have operated here for decades. She cited the case of a member of a German terrorist group who entered the U.S. from Canada planning terrorism at the Lake Placid Olympics. She was caught. Another who was caught was the bin Laden associate who was planning to bomb the Los Angeles airport at the beginning of the year 2000. He was caught at the Canadian-U.S. border because a customs agent saw that he was perspiring heavily on a very cold day. Explosives were found in the trunk of his car.
Regarding the Sept. 11 attacks, Rees said it is clear that we did not have an efficient way to stop the visas for the Saudi nationals who were members of the gang. Once they were here, the FBI did not seem to be able to find them, although as Reed Irvine pointed out, one was listed in the telephone book. "If one good thing comes from the 9/11 catastrophe," she said, "let it be a decent, real and effective system of immigration control and enforcement. This will require serious expenditures. We need border security as well, which is currently a joke. And that may mean that we have to tell our president that he needs to fire the holdovers, transfer out and sack those who hide in the bureaucracy and do no work, and let's hire people who can do a capable job of protecting us from the terrorists, criminal immigrants and temporary visitors."
Charles Wiley, a veteran foreign correspondent who is in great demand as a speaker for the Accuracy in Media Speakers Bureau, regaled the conference with his description of what passes for a debate in the media about national security and terrorism. He cited an obituary of an admiral killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon that dwelt on the alleged role that he played in the Tailhook scandal. He said the traditional liberal bias has surfaced with Judy Woodruff of CNN reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney has been "hiding out" and Tom Brokaw of NBC claiming that in the current atmosphere we should recognize that those who burned the American flag years ago were just "misguided patriots."
He reminded the audience of a particularly outrageous demonstration of Dan Rather's political partisanship. Rather declared on the O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel that Bill Clinton is at core an honest man and that one can lie about any number of things and still be honest.
Wiley said much of the media discussion about airport security has missed the point. He said it's impossible to keep every potential weapon off an airliner. He said corkscrews have been removed from airplanes because they are potential weapons, but he had never heard of a case of one person attacking another with a corkscrew. He said its use as a weapon would be very difficult under any circumstances. Passengers are having nail clippers confiscated but are allowed to bring aboard glass bottles of beverages. Wiley noted that a glass bottle, when broken, can be a potent weapon, just as capable of killing someone as a box cutter.
While permitting pilots to carry guns makes sense, Wiley said he heard one reporter saying this might distract them from flying the plane. This reflects laughable ignorance about military flights and planes where both pilots and passengers are armed. Wiley said the National Guard was being used to guard the curbs outside airports and the equipment where passengers and their luggage is screened. He said that they might be better utilized elsewhere.
If you want to stop hijackings, Wiley said, you have to engage in racial and ethnic profiling, which is politically incorrect these days. Simple observation discloses that the hijackers had a similar look to them. Tracking people with visas makes sense, he said, but that does nothing about the problem of illegal immigrants. So national security requires getting control of your borders. Wiley said the whole Taliban army could have been smuggled into the U.S. across our southern border because most trucks are not even inspected.
While the terror attacks destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Wiley expressed the hope that the ivory tower mentality that led to the debacle will be eliminated. He said America's young people have been sissified and told to solve problems through conflict resolution and anger management. Wiley said there's nothing wrong with battling a bully on a playground or in foreign affairs. He said we should never forget that America has been and still is the most powerful and freest nation on earth. He had seen our nation come back from the devastating surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and he recalled that during World War II they used suicide bombers to attack our Navy, but the U.S. emerged victorious.
Judicial Watch has been fighting government corruption since 1994, and it filed dozens of lawsuits against the Clinton administration. It has taken on some new targets, including Fidel Castro. Larry Klayman, its founder, chairman and general counsel, discussed the new direction Judicial Watch is taking. He said the key to successful outcomes is being persistent, using the media to influence perceptions of the cases, and finding judges willing to enforce the law.
Many of Judicial Watch's early cases were heard by federal Judge Royce Lamberth, who was willing to pressure the Clinton administration to explain questionable conduct. In dealing with government, Klayman said it is also necessary to personally sue government officials, to let them know that they will individually be held accountable for government wrongdoing. One of the suits is against Loral Corporation, which had business dealings with Communist China through the Clinton administration. Judicial Watch brought the suit on behalf of a Loral shareholder, Samuel S. Jones, Jr., a member of the board and treasurer of AIM.
Another important suit has been filed on behalf of Peter Paul, a Clinton fundraiser and Hollywood producer who put on a tribute to Bill Clinton. He paid $2 million for the affair, which went into an account for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign. She failed to report the contribution, making it illegal, Klayman said. Peter Paul offered to provide the evidence of this, and was willing to take the rap for some apparently improper business dealings that produced the money. But the U.S. attorneys, all of them Clinton holdovers, would not take any action against Mrs. Clinton. They also did not take action against Bill Clinton, whom Paul promised $17 million in stock options in his company if he would sit on the board. Clinton had agreed. Instead, Peter Paul was indicted.
One of those U.S. attorneys has the job on an interim basis and is awaiting Senate confirmation. His failure to bring the case against Mrs. Clinton has an obvious explanation. Because Senators have influence, even approval, over the U.S. attorneys nominated and confirmed in their states, if he gets Mrs. Clinton angry, he may not get that job on a permanent basis. Klayman is optimistic that Attorney General John Ashcroft is moving in the right direction on the case.
Taking on Castro, Klayman recently traveled to Belgium to file a criminal complaint against the Cuban dictator, charging him with murder and other crimes against humanity. Belgium has a law that enables the legal process to hold foreign rulers accountable for the commission of certain crimes.
Finally, Klayman discussed freezing the assets of Palestinian groups that escaped the recent U.S. crackdown on the financing of terrorist organizations. Judicial Watch filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service because organizations in the U.S. linked to those terrorist groups have been raising tax-exempt money. Klayman said some of the money paid for the truck bomb used to destroy the U.S. embassy in Kenya in 1998. Klayman finds it strange that terrorists raise money here improperly and get away with it, while conservative tax-exempt organizations engaged in legitimate activities were harassed and audited by the IRS under Clinton. Some of them became Judicial Watch clients. Klayman said the action against the pro-terrorist groups is something that the Bush administration should have done on its own. [It has since done so.]
Two speakers, Charles C. Thompson II and James Bergquist, discussed some very serious problems associated with airline safety and security. Thompson, a veteran reporter who has been associated with several major television news magazine programs, including 60 Minutes, said his research points to TWA Flight 800 being shot down by a missile. Thompson, the author of A Glimpse of Hell, an excellent book about the Navy's efforts to cover up the cause of an explosion in one of the gun turrets on the U.S.S. Iowa, said that until recently he could not believe that our military could shoot down a U.S. civilian airliner and cover it up. But he is now convinced that is what happened to TWA Flight 800. He said he has found more and more evidence that the plane was shot down by the Navy while testing an anti-missile system.
At the time, the Navy was under pressure, reeling from various scandals, including the suicide of Admiral Boorda, the Chief of Naval Operations. Another scandal would have been an enormous blow. Thompson says the evidence shows that the crash was immediately reported to the White House, which held high-level meetings about the incident. Former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos has revealed that such a meeting was held in the White House situation room after the shootdown.
Thompson said that there is one document that shows there was a need to obtain the computer tapes of the USS Normandy, an Aegis cruiser participating in a naval maneuver on the night of the crash. This ship has the same system that was used by the U.S. Navy in mistakenly shooting down an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf in 1988. These tapes would show what the ship saw on its radar and perhaps what happened. Thompson said documents he has obtained indicate that the radar system on the ship has been used in the past to conduct surveillance on airliners going into the New York area.
There are other mysteries, including the failure to release the autopsy reports of the victims on TWA flight 800. Such reports might show missile fragments in the victims. "That plane was hit by one or two missiles," Thompson concluded. He said this important story, which has been pursued by Accuracy in Media, deserves extensive coverage from the major media.
Former air traffic controller James Bergquist discussed scandals involving the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, which is responsible for the safety of air travel. Bergquist said he lost his job as an air traffic controller in 1988 when he told management about drug use by his co-workers in the control tower. In a July letter to President Bush, he warned of continued drug usage and drug dealing by air traffic controllers on the job. He said the FAA has simply denied the charges without investigating them. He said that abuse of both drugs and alcohol by air traffic controllers has been a problem for many years. He said that errors by air traffic controllers have contributed to several aviation crashes and near misses.
After September 11, the problem of aviation security has been given much more attention. Bergquist noted that a former FAA security expert had recently appeared on 60 Minutes to tell how ineffective the screening of passengers and their luggage was. This expert was a member of a special FAA team that secretly tested the effectiveness of the screening at airports throughout the country. He found that it was quite easy to get weapons and bombs past the screeners. Bergquist said that he was so fed up with the FAA's failure to enforce security that he resigned. Bergquist said that security is also very weak in the control towers. He said, "When I was a controller, a terrorist could gain access to the tower by ringing the buzzer and asking for a tour."
The hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was said to have been headed to the White House or the Capitol building. A small private plane crashed into a large tree on the White House grounds several years ago. Bergquist said the Secret Service was furious with the FAA for failing to notify them about the aircraft. "I can tell you how it happened," said Bergquist. "The controller was on the floor sleeping or watching TV and heard nothing. He wasn't watching his radar scope or he would have seen the plane violate the restricted airspace around the White House."
Bergquist said the emphasis on paying more money to screening personnel is misplaced because higher wages won't necessarily improve performance. Bergquist said we get poor performance from some air traffic controllers who are paid $125,000 a year.
Banquet speaker Bob Dornan, the former Congressman from California who is now a radio talk show host, was introduced by Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus. Phillips was very critical of the performance of the Bush administration across the board, including its acceptance of Sudan as a member of the U.S. coalition against terrorism. "Every day is September 11th in Sudan," Phillips said. He was referring to the Islamic Jihad against the Christians there, which has cost almost 2 million lives.
Dornan said that these are the most challenging times for America since the attack on Pearl Harbor, when over 2,000 Americans died. He said more than double that number died in the 9/11 attacks and that given the number of people in those buildings, the death toll could have been a lot higher. He said those behind the attack must have been amazed at how easy it was to strike America and perhaps they regretted not having hijacked five or six or more aircraft.
Referring to the AIM ad in the Washington Times drawing attention to the terrorist plan called Bojinka, using airliners as bombs and crashing them into buildings, Dornan said the media have to explain why these critical facts were not fully explained to the American people and why our intelligence agencies failed.
Dornan expressed the hope that The Final Days, the new book by Barbara Olson, who died on the plane that struck the Pentagon, would become a best seller. [It did.] It details the corrupt actions of the Clintons right before they left the White House. Dornan said Olson did the job that the Bush White House should be doing in terms of exposing the crimes of the Clintons.
What we need, he said, is truth about what we're up against. He noted that the Catholic priest who presided over Barbara Olson's memorial service described the terror of September 11 as the face of evil. The priest said evil is not something but someone– Satan. Dornan said we need more blunt talk like that. He said that an ABC Nightline show had run a story about the religious schools in Pakistan, which produce some potential terrorists. It showed little boys learning and memorizing the Koran while absorbing hatred of America. "Terrorists are not born. Terrorists are made," he said.
The U.S. has gotten in this position because we are too dependent on foreign oil from OPEC, Dornan said. He pointed out that our ally, Saudi Arabia, funds those religious schools in Pakistan and that every OPEC nation but one is an Arab or Muslim country. Dornan said he feared that President Bush had promised the members of his coalition against terrorism that he would not target Saddam Hussein after Afghanistan.
Dornan said Bush and other leaders were wrong in claiming that Islam was a great and peaceful religion. Dornan called it a false religion and a heresy, saying Mohammad had been worshipping a pagan moon God that he called Allah. Alluding to a Cal Thomas column about the violent nature of Islam, Dornan said Muslim leaders have to condemn and reject the "evil" passages in the Koran that call for killing everyone who resists them. In the same way that Christians had to disavow violent episodes in the history of Christianity, Dornan said Islam has to reject the violence in the Koran. "This is not going to be an easy fight," he said.
Conservative activist, author and lawyer Phyllis Schlafly, who heads the Eagle Forum, was the conference luncheon speaker. She said that America has become too open and accommodating toward people who can't read or speak English. This multicultural trend, she argued, undermines our heritage and future as a nation. She wasn't surprised by the fact that most of the terrorist hijackers could not speak English very well. Yet some were here training to be airline pilots.
In her opinion, one of the most serious problems facing America is illiteracy. She said an eighth-grade science teacher had called in to her national radio program and said that half the students in her class couldn't read. The teacher was pressured to read the tests to the students or record them on tapes so they could listen at their own convenience. At the same time, the subject matter on the exams was reduced by 30-40 percent to make it easier for the students to pass the tests.
Schlafly, who has written books that parents can use to teach their children to read, using phonics, said stories like that told by the science teacher make a mockery of claims that raising standards in schools and giving more tests will solve the problem. She said Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, a former teacher, told her that he remembers about a half dozen students in his class who couldn't read and he just passed them along to other teachers and other grades. If our citizens can't read, Schlafly emphasized, then the ability to govern ourselves through a representative democracy is at risk. Results of the last nation wide survey on illiteracy in America were released in 1993. The figures showed there had been a deterioration in adult literacy. A U.S. senator called illiteracy "the most formidable barrier standing in the way of the high-skill, high-wage economy we want."
Popular educational reforms are deceptive, Schlafly said. One plan in Illinois to re-certify teachers, to make sure they're competent, involved having the teachers go to a race track and place bets on horses. They got credit for the "course" called "Probabilities in Gaming." The rationale was that the teachers would learn something about math by going to the track.
The real solution, Schlafly said, is teaching people to read through the phonics method. That teaches the 44 sounds of the English language and how to put them together. This effective method has been replaced over the years by something called the whole language or whole word system. This involves teaching kids to memorize a few dozen words and associate them with pictures. Much of it involves guessing.
Schlafly said this problem has come back to haunt the Democrats, some of whose constituents can't speak English and had trouble reading that controversial butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County, Florida in the 2000 presidential contest. Schlafly said some people confused the designation of the Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot with the name of Lieberman, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate. For someone taught to read with the whole-word system, the words looked the same.
Schlafly said there is resistance to changing the system of teaching reading for several reasons. One, it's easier to stay with the current system. Two, the whole-word system benefits book publishers who market reading books for several different grade levels. And three, a new field called remedial reading produces more jobs for the teachers' unions. She said some liberals actually view phonics as a right-wing conspiracy because it will teach students how to understand books and documents such as the Bible and the Constitution. Today, she said, the growing illiteracy problem means that almost 50 percent of our citizens can't read the Constitution. This is one reason why politicians appeal for votes based on more easily understood sound bites.
To those who say the problem doesn't affect their family, Schlafly says illiteracy causes misbehavior in school that carries over into society at large. Illiteracy leads to additional problems, she said, such as the increasing use of the drug, Ritalin, on kids who have behavior problems. She believes it also causes schools to introduce less demanding subjects, such as courses on how to acquire self-esteem. Illiteracy also causes problems for these individuals later in life, she said, prompting some to turn to a life of crime.
The problem is compounded by the large number of people— 40 million—in the U.S. who can't speak English, she said. She maintains that special interest lobbies, working in collusion with the federal and state governments and the public education establishment, have undermined English as our official language. She says that Clinton tried to elevate the inability to speak English to a protected civil right with executive order 13166 issued on Aug. 11, 2000. It was titled, "Improving Access to Services for Persons With Limited English proficiency." The 14 pages of regulations in the federal register pertaining to its enforcement require federal agencies to provide government services to people in their own native languages. Schlafly says that in effect, it promotes languages other than English.
She believes Congress should rescind that executive order, but she pointed out that an attempt by Rep. Ernest Istook, R-OK, to postpone its enforcement was defeated overwhelmingly in the House. Schlafly would also like to see Congress eliminate the "billion dollar boondoggle" known as bilingual education, arguing that it keeps immigrant children from learning English.
Our Constitution, she emphasized, was written in English and she said that "there is no official version in any other language." She stressed the following points. All of our other founding documents are in English as well. Some English words, including constitutional terms, can't be translated into other languages correctly. Phrases such as due process of law lack counterparts in other languages. She said that if we continue down this road, the U.S. will suffer the same fate as Canada, where French-speaking Quebec has been threatening to secede. Soon, she warned, four American states will have a majority of people who don't speak English.
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR'S CUFF BY
By Reed Irvine
WE HAVE JUST LEARNED THAT THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, NTSB, has secretly had all the wreckage of TWA Flight 800 destroyed except the reconstructed fuselage, one of the four engines, and possibly a few other unidentified items. This was decided upon in October, 2000, shortly after papers had been served on NTSB Chairman Jim Hall, notifying him that he had been named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by James D. Sanders, author of The Downing of TWA Flight 800 and Altered Evidence. The latter book tells how they altered some of the wreckage that proved that missiles, not a fuel-tank explosion, caused the crash. They deny that they kept it secret, saying all interested parties were notified. The attorneys for those who were suing TWA and Boeing may have been notified, but they had no interest in evidence proving that missiles caused the crash. They didn't notify Jim Sanders, who did. The Long Island recycler who destroyed the evidence has said he had to agree to keep it secret to get the contract. He began hauling it away last July and finished in August. Drew Scott, a reporter for Long Island's News Channel 12 learned about it very recently. He informed me and taped my comments to be used when they broke the story on Dec. 14. I said it was an outrage perpetrated to destroy evidence that could expose the official lies. I will have more to say about this in the next AIM Report. A card addressed to the chairman of the NTSB is enclosed.
KARL ROVE, PRESIDENT BUSH'S POLITICAL ADVISER, GAVE A SPEECH AT THE AMERICAN Enterprise Institute on December 11, in which he called attention to the fact that there had been a significant decline in the number of religious conservatives who voted in last year's election. He said that they may be returning to the sidelines politically, perhaps because they believe that politics is corrupt. After eight years of the Clinton administration, that is not too surprising. Perhaps the surge of patriotism since Sept. 11 has changed that, but that may not carry over into 2004. We can hope that Karl Rove's concern will result in stronger efforts to show that President Bush intends to take action that will show that he is concerned not only about winning the war against terrorism, but also about restoring confidence in the federal government's dedication to upholding and promoting high moral standards. The religious conservatives are not thrilled about this administration's pandering to the homosexuals. This was discussed by Peter LaBarbera at the AIM conference and is covered in this report. The appointment of Marc Racicot to head the Republican National Committee, replacing Gov. James Gilmore of Virginia, will not reassure them. Racicot, the former governor of Montana, definitely does not share the values of the religious conservatives that Rove professed to be worried about losing.
THE RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD BE CONCERNED about the failure of the Bush administration to right the wrongs done to those who exposed wrongdoing in the government during the Clinton years. Whistleblowers like Kathleen Janoski, Martin Andersen and Fred Whitehurst, all of whom addressed the conference, should have been honored and offered jobs equal to or better than those they lost because they dared tell the truth about wrongdoing by their bosses. The officer that ordered the destruction of the x-ray of Ron Brown's head should be dismissed, if he is still in government service. Brown's body should be exhumed and an autopsy performed. Ditto for Vince Foster's body. Instead, the whistleblowers are still in the doghouses to which they were consigned by the Clinton administration. The White House has yet to put its weight behind the legislation introduced in Congress to strengthen the Whistleblower Protection Act.
BUSH IS ENORMOUSLY POPULAR BECAUSE OF HIS STELLAR LEADERSHIP IN THE WAR ON terrorism, which has gone far better than perhaps even he and his advisers expected, but his father discovered that his wartime stratospheric ratings in the polls in 1991 couldn't guarantee his victory in 1992. He might have defeated Clinton if he had finished off Saddam Hussein after liberating Kuwait. At the AIM conference several speakers warned that getting Osama bin Laden is not going to eliminate the problem of Moslem terrorism. Jared Taylor warned that Muslims see Islam as a way to organize society, not just a religion, and Bob Dornan said that Moslem leaders must reject the passages in the Koran that call for killing everyone who stands in their way. Bush should also pay attention to Phyllis Schlafly's concern about the number of kids who are functionally illiterate and can't speak English. These are serious problems that cry out for major changes in the schools, not just more standardized testing. Pouring more money into the Department of Education won't solve these problems. What we need are better ideas coming out of the department, like using phonics to teach reading and teaching all kids English.
ON DECEMBER 4, THE EPA ORDERED GENERAL ELECTRIC TO DREDGE OR PAY FOR THE dredging of 40 miles of the upper Hudson River at an estimated cost of half a billion dollars. The dredging is to remove 2.65 million cubic yards of sediment containing PCBs, the common name for a group of over 200 chemical compounds that are non-flammable when subjected to high temperatures. In 1929, they were found to be excellent lubricants and coolants for transformers and other electrical equipment. They were excellent at reducing fire hazards and over time they replaced mineral oil in transformers.
COMPANIES LIKE GENERAL ELECTRIC THAT USED PCBS DUMPED PCB WASTE INTO WATERWAYS for years. No adverse health effect were noticed until 1968, when 1,300 Japanese became ill after using cooking oil that had been contaminated by PCBs. It was found that subjecting the PCBs to extremely high temperatures had changed them from polychlorinated biphenyls into toxic PCDFs, polychlorinated dibenzofurans. The EPA then ordered rodent tests to determine if PCBs were carcinogenic. Rats were fed large doses of a PCB that had a chlorine content of 60 percent, which is relatively high. It and other highly-chlorinated PCBs accounted for about 12% of the PCBs sold in the U.S. The tests resulted in cancerous tumors of the liver.
THIS DIDN'T PROVE THAT EATING FISH WITH TRACES OF PCBS WOULD CAUSE CANCER IN human beings, but that was the interpretation reached by radical environmentalists. Congress called for an immediate ban on PCBs, which proved to be impossible given their widespread use in electrical systems. The industry first had to develop substitutes. In the meantime, the belief that PCBs posed a human cancer risk was challenged. Thousands of industrial workers had been exposed to high concentrations of PCBs on their jobs for years. Many routinely used PCBs to clean grease off their hands. In 1981, an OSHA epidemiological study of 2,500 workers, half of whom had been exposed to PCBs for over 17 years, found that the number of deaths from cancer was 10 percent lower than what would be expected for a group in the general population with the same profile. There was no relationship between the length of time they were exposed and deaths due to cancer or any other causes.
A 1984 GERMAN STUDY FOUND THAT RATS FED HIGH DOSES OF PCBS WITH A CHLORINE content of 60% developed liver tumors, but PCBs with a chlorine content of 42% produced fewer total cancers than a control group. In 1991, this was confirmed by the Institute for Evaluating Health Risks, IEHR. It found that PCBs with chlorine content below 60% showed no "statistically significant elevations of liver tumors" in rats. The IEHR study, signed by former EPA acting administrator John A. Moore, stated, "The current cancer policy is clearly overstating the cancer risks associated with many exposures to PCBs in the environment." EPA's regulatory decisions, it said, are causing "a major economic impact for, at best, trivial public health gain."
IRONICALLY, ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE CURRENTLY FIGHTING PLANS TO DREDGE THE Delaware River to deepen the ship channel. They say it will release pollutants, including PCBs, that are now covered by sediment. They also claim that the disposal sites will be a source of pollution for the river in the future. PCB levels in upper Hudson River water have declined 90 percent since 1977. It is now safe for swimming and as a source of treated drinking water. Dredging the Hudson will be half a billion dollars down the drain for not even a trivial public health gain.
I ASKED DR. BRUCE AMES, THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BIOCHEMIST RENOWNED FOR his cancer research, to comment on this controversy. He said, "I am not sure there is any risk at all from the low doses that people get from the Hudson. If I had to make a list of 100 risks to worry about, PCBs wouldn't be on my list. There are real major risks out there that we are not paying attention to and instead are spending enormous amounts of money chasing after minor hypothetical risks like PCBs in the Hudson. The quarter of the population that eats the fewest fruits and veggies has about double the cancer rate for almost all types of cancer compared to the quarter eating the most. Eighty percent of our kids don't eat their five portions of fruits and vegetables per day. My lab has been showing that inadequate intake of certain vitamins and minerals, some of which are supplied by fruits and vegetables, breaks chromosomes in the same way as radiation."