Snapshots from the
Express Staff Writer
Dirk Kempthorne claims in an interview with The Idaho Statesman in Boise
that he’s been told about vague terrorist threats to Idaho that
justifies putting the Capitol on a war footing, but won’t share what the
alleged threat is with the rest of us because it’s secret.
doublespeak. If people of Idaho are potential terrorist targets, shouldn’t
they be the first who should be told what threats are so they can be on
guard and help prevent the threat?
Why is it
that politicians ¾ from the president on down ¾ feel they can’t trust
the public with information about threats to their country?
presumably already know of their own threats. Politicians know about the
threats. But potential victims are kept ignorant.
Kempthorne spells out just what that threat is, his bunker preparations at
the Capitol will continue to have every appearance of macho grandstanding
at reckless costs to the public purse ¾ or, God forbid, until Idahoans
who’ve been kept in the dark become victims of the "secret"
United States legally at war?
Or are we
conducting merely a "war" on terrorism ¾ as in, wars on drugs,
racism, poverty, pollution, fraud, child and spouse abuse, AIDS?
distinction is not so trifling.
Congress has not officially declared a state of war, and President Bush
uses "war" colloquially in talking about going after
"evildoers" as the enemy rather than a nation’s army, courts
may be jammed with lawsuits involving disputes over the Bush definition of
insurance policies, for example, include an escape clause: benefits
aren’t paid as the result of war or acts of war.
powers granted to the U.S. attorney general that invoke
"war" as justification are open to dispute.
Osama bin Laden and his followers are captured, will they insist on
being treated as "prisoners of war" and entitled to
protection of the Geneva Convention?
may ultimately land in the U.S. Supreme Court, whose reputation for
fairness was disputed by its decision virtually handing Bush the
presidency during the chaos of the Florida vote count.
magazine’s editors are wrestling with whom to name as Time’s
traditional "Man of the Year": to some, the obvious leader is
master terrorist Osama bin Laden.
will be a test of Time’s insistence that it picks figures who’ve had
the most profound effect on the world, regardless of whether they’re
well-liked or despised.
sticks to its credo, and does name bin Laden the "Man of the
Year," the uproar and cancellation of subscriptions will be heard all
the way to Kabul.
War or not,
Arizona’s Sen. John McCain is tweaking President Bush once again.
Bush’s fiercest opponent in the 2000 presidential primaries, is
attempting again to close the loophole in federal gun laws that exempt gun
time McCain pushed for the amendment, versions passed both houses of
Congress, but died in conference. President Bush, whose candidacy was
championed by the National Rifle Association, did nothing to help McCain
or the amendment.
McCain has given the law a new spin: without background checks, terrorists
might walk into a gun show and buy weapons without being noticed.
probably would be more interested in weapons of mass murder, not handguns
invoking the fear of terrorists may be the best politics for finally
getting the loophole closed, as well as zinging Bush.