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Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Daily staff

Just want to read I recently attempted to register to read the online Vail Daily, one of my favorite things to do (not attempting to register, but actually reading). I understand that you have been in the process of upgrading your online edition and for this I am grateful. However, this secret question-and-answer stuff is an intrusion on my limited brain cell capacity! It’s like how far can we push clients (readers) before they break! I gave you my e-mail address and date of birth, made up a screen name no one else has thought of, told you my area code, came up with a password, and still must select a “secret” question and answer! Some of your readers (I’m probably not alone!) tire of the trite and untried marketing strategies that treat us like units of demand that must be categorized and hypnotized by mindless data banks! All for our own good, I’m sure, like someone is going to break into my Vaildaily account and terrorize my tranquility! And you’ll have to check out my secret question to find out if I know about it! Come on!Help! I just want to read your paper and not “suit up” to do it, wear a helmet or protect myself.I hope you have a sense of humor. Your help-wanted ads indicate it is a prerequisite for employment. I’ll try to remember myself. Now, please can I just read your paper without any secret questions? Brian Ahern Rumsfeld not missedThree cheers for Dana Jurich and her commentary in the Nov. 18 Vail Daily on Rumsfeld’s demise. I was not sorry to see Rumsfeld go. As secretary of defense, he was one of our top public servants on watch when the 9/11 attacks occurred, and behind our invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam. He is, along with Cheney and Wolfowitz, a member of the powerful Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). Virtually every secretary of state, secretary of defense, director of the CIA, military chief of staff, and many of our presidents, including George I and Bill Clinton, are members of the CFR. This group has directed the course of our nation over the last 60 years and is a large part of the secret, and illegal, government of our country. He was also a founding member, along with Cheney, Wolfowitz, and other CFR members, of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a neocon group that advocated taking strong military action against threats, real and imagined, that could threaten our global military supremacy. In January 1998, PNAC sent a letter to President Clinton advocating an invasion of Iraq because of the threat that Saddam was building WMD, and based on the premise that Saddam had violated U.N. resolutions. This is the same justification for our invasion that was used in 2003. After Bush was elected, there was no talk of Saddam’s WMD and intelligence about Al Qaeda was ignored, and in the months before 9/11 the defense and intelligence agencies that should have protected us from attack sat on their behinds. But in the Pentagon, Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs were putting together plans for an invasion of Afghanistan. Did they know something was going to happen? On June 1, 2001, Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered NORAD to obtain direct approval from Rumsfeld before ordering jet fighters to intercept off-course aircraft. Lucky for Al-Qaeda, as none of the hijacked aircraft were intercepted. Also in June the FAA rescinded a 40-year-old rule allowing pilots to carry handguns in their aircraft, again lucky for Al-Qaeda.On Aug. 16, FBI agents in Minneapolis arrested Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged 20th hijacker but were denied warrants to search his computer and personal effects by their superiors in Washington. The agents felt their investigations were being obstructed and joked that FBI headquarters was infiltrated by Al Qaeda!Another FBI agent who felt he was being obstructed by his superiors was John O’Neill, who was chief of the FBI’s international terrorism unit. O’Neill had felt his investigations into the USS Cole attack were being blocked from above and he was outspoken in his criticism of the limitations imposed upon him. Luckily for Al Qaeda, O’Neill was forcibly retired in August and he died along with 3,000 others on 9/11, the second day on his new job – director of security for the Twin Towers. Luckily for Rumsfeld, the plane that struck the Pentagon hit an area undergoing renovation and areas that were vital to our defense, like his office where he was sitting on his behind having his usual intelligence briefing, were missed. Although he was informed of the two planes that struck the World Trade Center, he continued his briefing until the Pentagon was hit and he smelled smoke. In August 2006, a Scripps Poll said that 36 percent of the American public suspected that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East. Does this mean that over one-third of us Americans are wacko conspiracy theorists and ultraliberal Democrats, or are we just better informed than the rest? What do you think? One comment in Tipsline on Dana’s commentary said she doesn’t “know how to fight a war.” Neither does Rumsfeld. A basic concept of war is “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.” His invasion of Iraq defeated only one man – Saddam Hussein. We have yet to win the war or bring a lasting peace, and considering the current situation in Iraq, this is likely impossible.At best, Rumsfeld was negligent in his duties and committed us to a war we cannot win. At worst, he makes Benedict Arnold look like a Revolutionary War hero. The good news is that Rumsfeld is gone. The bad news is that we still have two years left with Bush and Cheney. Bob Fiske VailIt’s called warAre you watching the news, reading books and magazines? Our country is so big now it is a miracle that we survive, and somehow we are, to some degree. But we are pushing the envelope. The Bush administration is a master of obfuscation, giving us ever-changing reasons why we are in Iraq: weapons of mass destruction (remember poor Collin Powell at the U.N.?), eliminating a despot, a regime change, creating a “democracy,” and finally fighting terrorists. Are you conscious that this war is costing our country billions of dollars, (to be paid by whom?) and worse, several thousand military lives, and thousands crippled and maimed whose lives are really ruined! American civilian lives have also been lost because of this ill-prepared war. Don’t forget the many hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians killed. Who’s the despot now? Have you read The Project for the New American Century “Statement of Principles” created by, guess who, yup, good ole’ Donald Rumsfeld and several other sword rattlers. If you believe that this is the direction America should go, then we are in, deep, deep trouble. Aren’t you conscious that Bush saw the writing on the wall after the last election and had to “change course”? Look at where he is now, talking to other countries to help him extricate himself from this terrible quagmire. Have you been listening to Bush’s constant harping about “Don Rumsfeld will be secretary of defense (or is it war?) for the remainder of my term.” Could this be called “fallaciousness.” Bush should be embarrassed and he had to replaced Rumsfeld, who led the administration down the rosy path to “democratize” the Middle East with war. It can never be done that way.Look at history. Fletcher MacNeillVailVail Daily, Vail Colorado CO


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