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05/24/2006

Comments

Dear Hugh,

Keep up the terrific work.

I am curious, is there a statute of limitation on aiding and abetting terrorists of Saddam Hussein's ilk? I cannot believe that the American people have such a dim view of history and cannot recall that in 1985 under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, George Bush's actual and political father lobbied hard to have Saddam Hussein taken off the list of terrorist nations to arm and bankroll him in the war against Iran. Surely they must have known that he was doing terrible things to his people. To have Hussein tried for war crimes that occurred BEFORE 1990 is just astounding to me and it was Bush's own father who was instrumental in securing a billion dollars in loans to Hussein at that time. It is likely that the very chemical weapons that Hussein used were purchased with American loans or from American companies. INCREDIBLE! Republicans are masters at deceit and hypocrisy to the extent that they can distinguish between good and bad war crimes and it is inexcuable that we do not hold them accountable by removing them from office and then indicting and throwing them in the clink. Bush and Cheney know that without a sense of outrage, they win.

By way of comparison, and this is going back a little in history to a far darker time for the country, Judge Learned Hand gave a tremendous speech about the spirit of liberty. Not George Bush's we're right and they're evil liberty, but the kind of liberty that we would all do very very well to consider these days. Learned Hand, the celebrated federal judge from New York was asked to preside in May, 1944 over a ceremony in Central Park NYC where over 100,000 new citizens would be sworn in. It was right before D-Day. Surely, Judge Hand could have given the kind of speech Cheney and Bush and Rumsfield make in their sleep - literally. Instead, almost Lincolnesque, Hand gave as beautiful a description of real liberty as I have ever heard.


"What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define
it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of
liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is
right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks
to understand the mind of other men and women; the
spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their
interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit
of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to
earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of
Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind
that lesson it has never learned but never quite
forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least
shall be heard and considered side by side with the
greatest. "


Learned Hand,
Central Park, NYC 1944


Without a sense of history and perspective, we are doomed.

Best regards,

Dave Ross

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