Minnesota Liberal

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Lessons We Learn

I was doing a little blog surfing when I ran into this post at Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

Mr. Anonymous at MDE is doing a chapter-by-chapter review of a book called “American Assassination: The Strange Death Of Senator Paul Wellstone”.

The book was written by Ph.D. Professors James Fetzer and Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs. This caught my eye because I just happen to know Dr. Fetzer. He teaches at the University of Minnesota, Duluth… and I just happen to have taken one of his classes about two and a half years ago.

Anyway… I was not surprised to see that he had written a book on this subject. He is a well-known conspiracy theorist. Whether it is JFK, 9/11, the 2000 election, the 2004 election, or Wellstone… he has gotten quite a bit of attention for some of his theories. Check out Assassination Science, his conspiracy theory website.

Now… I must say that I don’t agree with all of his opinions or theories. On most of these subjects I don’t really know what to believe. But Dr. Fetzer once taught me an important lesson. It basically went along the lines of:

The citizens of our country deserve the truth from those in power. And in the absence of truth… we are only left with questions and theories. As members of the public it is not only our job to defend explanations of phenomenon that are given by those in power, but to also question explanations… in hopes of upholding truth.

And boy does that lesson ever ring true in the world we live in today.

For the last couple days Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo is exploring the possibility that former-Bush nominee Bernard Kerik may have lied about having an illegal alien nanny to avoid more press scrutiny.

As CNN has reported:

Rumsfeld told the troops that shortages of armor did not stem from a lack of money but were "a matter of physics." The manufacturers of add-on armor are producing it as fast as humanly possible, he said.

Rumsfeld has proven to be dishonest and misleading. And don’t take my word for it… try U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. From the same article:

Collins, R-Maine, fired off a tough letter Wednesday to Rumsfeld, describing his remarks about the lack of "up-armored" Humvees in war zones as "troubling."

"I am very concerned that it appears the Pentagon failed to do everything in its power to increase production" of the vehicles, Collins wrote.
"The Department of Defense still has been unable to ensure that our troops have the equipment they need to perform their mission as safely as possible."

Collins also complained that the Army requested production of an additional 100 Humvees a month only after a soldier complained about the lack of necessary armor on trucks during a December 9 town hall meeting with Rumsfeld in Kuwait.

"Thus far, the Pentagon has received only 5,910 of the 8,105 of factory-armored Humvees commanders say they need," Collins wrote. "Why was this request not placed earlier to increase fully armored Humvee production from 450 to 550 a month at a time when many of us brought to the Pentagon's attention the shortages relayed to us by our constituent-troops and their families?"

So while I might disagree with Dr. Fetzer on Wellstone’s death now (and a handful of other issues)… I am willing to give his book a shot and see how I feel after a thorough read. Because of people like Fetzer, I feel much more confidant the public will get the answers they are entitled to.