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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

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lchic - 10:59pm Jun 22, 2002 EST (#2689 of 2697)

Bush/The Observer "" ... rebuff spoke volumes to columnists and Washington DC observers about the clueless, crassly selfish quality of a President and a presidency which are suddenly lurching, rather than governing, at the apex of American power. ... behind the stage set a mesh of policy snags, befuddled contradictions and scandals threatens to ensnare a President whose shortcomings are not only being targeted by his opponents, but felt by many of those who serve under and stage-manage him ... Americans who propelled his candidature and elected him into office now worry about - and do not trust - their President. ....,11581,742399,00.html

lchic - 06:12am Jun 23, 2002 EST (#2690 of 2697)

Working for good :

lchic - 08:46am Jun 23, 2002 EST (#2691 of 2697)


"" ... it only took an Israeli shell fired into a crowded Palestinian market – another of those famous Israeli "errors" – to shut Bush up again ... ""

Robert Fisk: Fatal vision: how Bush has given up on peace
A vacillating President and lack of a credible plan is fuelling hatred in the Middle East

see also 'lunatic war'

rshow55 - 05:07pm Jun 23, 2002 EST (#2692 of 2697) Delete Message

Assessing Watergate 30 Years Later By RICHARD REEVES

"Watergate was not just a burglary. It was not about personal finances like Whitewater. It was not about a president's knowledge of clandestine foreign operations as in the U-2 affair or Iran-contra. Watergate was a clandestine domestic operation in which a determined president secretly plotted what amounted to a coup d'ιtat against American constitutional government.

"The real story and lessons of Watergate are in peril of being lost or forgotten. Thirty years of research, scholarship and confession — millions of documents, thousands of tapes — have made it perfectly clear that the botched break-in of June 17, 1972, at the Democratic National Committee offices was actually a small incident in Nixon's deliberate, if sometimes clumsy, effort to secretly create a new kind of all-powerful presidential government that reflected his own contempt for democracy and for the Constitution's checks and balances designed to restrict the power of presidents.

. . . . .

"He operated behind screens of secrets and layer upon layer of lies, big and small, a strategy that worked in his first term. Nixon was able to make great decisions, world-changing decisions, without the advice or interference of Congress, the courts, the federal bureaucracy, the press — and certainly without the knowledge or consent of the governed.

" . . . . Nixon had learned to govern by surprise. . . . . . But surprise in the American system required enormous secrecy. Protecting the secrecy required lies — so many that some of the most important officials of the country had no idea what the truth was and neither, it could be argued, did Nixon at the end. By then the military was tapping White House telephones and sending its own operatives to the building at night to empty wastebaskets, steal documents and photograph National Security Council records.

"The baffles of deceptions began not with a burglary, but with a murder in June 1969. Nixon dictated lies to the Central Intelligence Agency to prevent the court-martial of six Green Berets for murdering one of their own spies. It happened that the man, Thai Khac Chuyen, was involved in target selection and damage evaluation for secret bombing in Cambodia. Any legal process would have revealed the bombing, which was being kept secret from Congress and the public by phony Air Force record-keeping ordered by the president.

"A year later, Nixon approved a secret plan, the so-called Huston Plan, authorizing domestic electronic surveillance and lifting restrictions on surreptitious entry. He had to back down on that plan because the F.B.I. director, J. Edgar Hoover, refused to cooperate, saying the press or Congress would eventually discover what was happening.

" . . . . "But Watergate was unique as the climax of a presidency that believed that governance required lies and deception. Though Nixon was pardoned, his legacy was the destruction of American faith in government and its elected leaders. And that — not the heroics of the press — is what should be remembered about the episode called Watergate.

The last thing we need again is a "destruction of American faith in government and its elected leaders." As Americans, we need to deal with, and to judge our government and our elected leaders with limited trust and wariness -- some distrust, as the founding fathers clearly intended. Faith and judgement have to go together. There is no contradiction - there needs to be judgement. Balance. With the Cold War, much of that was thrown away. We need to get it back.

Were Nixon's horrors unique? No. The way we fought to Cold War, and perhaps the way we had to (the way we felt we had to) required enormous secrecy. An all pervasive feeling, that very much influenced McNamara, that nuclear

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