Editor’s Note: Readers had a number of reactions to our stories on Carl Levin’s misuse of Abraham Lincoln; George W. Bush’s thuggish treatment of those who get in his way; Richard Cohen’s standing among clueless columnists:
Your analysis of Carl Levin’s op-ed was timely and correct. Proof, in addition to that which you have cited, may be found in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln," Volume 1, Edited by Roy P. Basler, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1953, pages 431-42. Lincoln demonstrates the fatuousness of the war party in having sought ever greater chunks of Mexican territory as compensation for the costs of obtaining territory already seized, a circular activity that resembles the Levintine logic in that there is no end to war as a device for obtaining justice.
Alan Bickley, Madison, WI
Interesting side note regarding negotiation of treaty with Mexico post
The American negotiator was a son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson, who had spent much time in the company of the great man. The son-in-law's name eludes me right now, but there is a biography written about him. He had been working at high levels of government for many years, including at Jefferson's side during his presidency.
The son-in-law had been secretly working against President Polk's
instructions to demand annexation and other imperialistic concessions from
Mexico, and this was probably a primary reason the negotations were delayed.
This was because he was working to assemble just the right politically
strategic Mexican leaders who could give him what he was seeking, which was
a more fair and equitable compromise.
This was achieved and signed by both sides in Mexico, and when word finally
reached Polk, who was angered, so much time had passed that Polk couldn't
really do anything about it. The political climate of antiwar opinion and
protest played a major part in neutralizing Polk's desire and initial orders
to undo the compromise.
Great job -- reinforces something I've felt and increasingly voiced in recent years. It feels like our country has been taken over by an advanced form of the mob. I'd encourage you to step back and consider that it isn't just "Bush's Mafia," although he and closely related parties certainly are worthy of inclusion. We have a broader, and likely bipartisan, problem.
I enjoy Robert Parry’s work and wish to thank you. I work as a financial journalist in New York.
I would like to mention one facet of the entire case that seems to go unmentioned, even by those critical of the administration. One talking point used by the demagogues of the right, including people such as Cohen, is that the underlying facts of the case are unimportant. But the exposure of an intelligence agent carry repercussions go beyond that person’s career, which is what most commentary focuses on, especially with someone as glamorous as Valerie Plame. Such an outing is likely to produce a long chain of dead bodies, people who were sources she cultivated in her search for information. I think it is useful to point that out to people, especially given that no one has or will be charged with the underlying crime.
I agree--Cohen has PTIS (Post Traumatic Iraq Syndrome)--he hasn't written a
coherent article on politics or the middle east in years, ever since he went
pro-invasion and was proved disastrously wrong. I keep asking him when he's
going to apologize to the French. He may be showing early sign of mental
As for Libby, I think he lied not only to provide Cheney with immediate
protection (he was clearly in the middle of the effort to expose Plame and
smear Wilson) but also to prevent it from becoming an issue in the 2004
campaign--it wasn't that far off when he testified, and the war and the lies
that took us there were already generating bad press.
Los Gatos, CA
Loved the Cohen piece. Storage room B? haha Didn't know you could be that snarky, you do it well. You know Wellstone said something like 'to win a war sometimes you have to pick a fight'. Sad that you are having to deal with people bereft of consistent principles whether they see it in themselves or not.
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