Letters from our readers

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “The US attorneys ‘showdown’—Democrats seek to evade a confrontation”

You write, “If the House and Senate panels were to go forward and issue the subpoenas, and the White House was to carry through with its vow to ignore them, the only means of pursuing the matter would be for the Congress as a whole to issue citations finding the White House officials in contempt.”

That there is an alternate procedure, grounded on the inherent powers of House and Senate, merely strengthens the rest of Bill Van Auken’s analysis.

The procedure described above is the statutory procedure, but both House and Senate may proceed on their own authority, and without regard to statute, to send for persons and papers, and to enforce compliance by arrest of the recalcitrant witness.

Under each house’s inherent power to secure records and testimony, the President could not use his pardon to prevent arrest of subordinates or to free them from confinement intended to coerce their testimony. Habeas corpus would still be available, however, to test the legality of any such confinement—though not, apparently, if Congress arranged to confine recalcitrant witnesses at Guantánamo.


Fairview Park, Ohio, USA

26 March 2007

On the Election manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party of Britain

I wish the British SEP every success in its campaign since it represents the only rational and viable solution to what is happening in the UK. Having recently returned from a two-week trip after my last one in November 2003, I can testify that things are much worse than then—and even “then” was bad. The country is horrendously expensive to live, with house prices (even outside London) reaching an average of $2 million and new apartments in the region of $1 million upwards. Prices of essential items have skyrocketed, and the National Health Service is in terminal decline, one probably deliberately stage managed to cause its ultimate privatization. At least Mrs. Thatcher held back by stating, “The Health Service is safe with us.” It is certainly not under New Labour.

How can anybody afford to live there now without getting into debt? Since Blair, Brown, and the New Labour cabal only mix with rich people, they naturally assume that everyone is in the same financial bracket. They are not. A friend mentioned that there are huge areas of poverty in the UK that are ignored in the same way that the US does in media representations. One overseas visitor compared the Gorton district of Manchester to a poverty-ridden community he saw in India.

Many people I spoke to confirmed the impression I gained from reading British newspapers here on the Internet. The situation has really got out of control, and this SEP manifesto represents the only true alternative.


27 March 2007

On “David Hicks bullied into guilty plea at Guantánamo kangaroo court”

The method of Col. Kohlman to virtually handcuff the defense attorney is directly reminiscent of the tactics of Judge Sabo of Mumia trial fame, who actually had a defense attorney arrested for trying to do her duty and argue her motion. It is doubtful that such men really believe or want a rule by laws at all, unless of course it is an arbitrary, button-pushing affair, where law is what they want to make it on the spot for the benefit of themselves and their handlers, and at the expense of everyone else.


28 March 2007

On “US: Circuit City fires 3,400 better-paid store workers”

While this happened in the 1980s, it is another example of management playing with numbers in their offices with no regard that they have broken a commitment made to flesh-and-blood human beings. In this case, the company’s new manager decided that he could save money by forcing older employees to take an early retirement. The reduced pensions owed by the company allowed them to hire replacements straight from college at a higher salary than their fired or laid-off older employees had been getting. It blows your mind.


Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

30 March 2007

On “A tale of two cases in US ‘war on terror’: Jose Padilla and Chiquita Brands”

What is missing from your story is the fact that President Bush’s current Deputy Chief of Staff is a man named Joe Hagin, who was Vice President for Corporate Affairs of Chiquita Brands from 1992 to 2000, when he left the company to manage Bush’s presidential campaign. In addition, the former Chairman of the Board (and to my knowledge, the biggest shareholder) at Chiquita was a man named Carl Lindner, a billionaire who raised hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars for the Bush campaign. He’s a “Bush Ranger.”

I believe this trail leads to cocaine smuggling, arms trafficking and black operations involving a classic US corporation working in tandem with the CIA. Keep digging! Where there is smoke, there is fire.


26 March 2007