Letters from our readers


On “America’s Death Squads Inc.

Your August 21st edition provides an exceptional illustration of the problems regarding what is considered political debate in the United States. For weeks now we have been subjected to ongoing diatribes incorrectly labeling government reimbursement of doctors for discussing end-of-life decisions as “death panels.”  Meanwhile, it’s revealed that the CIA was contracting out international assassination teams and the Supreme Court justices have no problem executing innocent prisoners.  It begs the question, just who is the real death panel?

Maryland, USA
21 August 2009

Thanks for this article today—the anniversary of the assassination death of Trotsky, I believe.  The vile practice has continued.  But I agree that now that we know about its recent manifestations, the people should demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice—especially when they are from our own community!

Joyce C
21 August 2009


I am surprised you do not draw the possible connection between the role of Blackwater in Iraq and the recent bombings in Baghdad. As your article on the bombings states (right next to this article about Blackwater on the Web page of August 21), the only beneficiary of the bombing, which killed over 100, is the US occupation forces.

Currently the Iraqi parliament is considering voting on a bill that calls for a referendum of the Iraqi people to be held in January on for the withdrawal of all US troops by January 2011. This is vehemently opposed by the US.

Which faction in Iraq wants the US troops to remain? This is the only result of these bombings. Is it mere coincidence that these bombing were targeted at government buildings at the same time as the Iraqi parliament is considering a vote on whether the Iraqi people want the US out of Iraq?

Tom B
21 August 2009


Dear Bill,

You write of Blackwater, “Yet no one has been held accountable.” Nor will anyone be.  Several years ago, I read a good legal analysis that demonstrated that Blackwater had been immunized against prosecution by all laws, foreign and domestic, because of its work under the aegis of the State Department. Jeremy Scahill makes the point again in “Blackwater: CIA Assassins?” in the Nation magazine.

One of the original CAQ crew, John Kelly, argues that section 308 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 “means that the Constitution does not apply to the CIA or any US intelligence personnel, including lowly agent-assassins.”  (“Crimes and Silence: The CIA’s Criminal Acts and the Media’s Silence” in Into the Buzzsaw, pp.314-315, ed. Kristina Borjesson).  Kelly is explicit that the rationale is precisely the Nazi one of following orders doing state business. Like Hitler, our rulers can boast that everything they do is legal.


Michael G
California, USA
21 August 2009

On “Detroit city workers oppose concessions, layoffs

The attempt by the bureaucrats, with their goons who were standing by, to stifle Collier fell flat on its face. The workers intuitively came to his defense—don’t you love it!  The “piecards” (union hacks) clearly didn’t know what to do since they’re not used to “their” workers standing up for free speech and worker’s democracy. Look for the bureaucracy to launch a smear campaign about “communists,” etc. But it’s not so easy to yell about “outside agitators” when the “agitator” is a union member, one of “their” own.  Bravo, D’Artagnan.  In a nutshell, the message promoted by the SEP for a party of the working class, unemployed and youth on a socialist foundation, has power, and the bureaucrats will use every dirty means they can to head it off.

New York
21 August 2009

On “Afghanistan’s gunpoint election


An excellent example of America exporting democracy. I am so proud of them.

Holland M

20 August 2009

On “Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007): An appreciation and a lament

Precious assessment of Bergman. However, I wonder why Shame is not discussed or mentioned here, as I think it is one of Bergman’s hidden gems, in which he shows his eclectic nature. To be a complete assessment of Berman, reference to this film is essential.

Saminda R
20 August 2009