Politics: September 2003 Archives

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity and has asked the White House to preserve all documents that might relevant to the probe, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said Tuesday.

I'm sure we can rest assured that Mr. Ashcroft will pursue this with the same zeal as he is using The PATRIOT Act.

The best coverage of this story is coming from Joshua Marshall. No, he's not in my blog links. After he got all weird and "oh my God what if Iraq does have WMD we better go to war!" I took him off.

This story, from the September 19 newsletter of the German Embassy, made me cry when I read it.

Navy officials were last week astounded and moved by a Germany frigate's stirring tribute to their colleagues on the USS Doyle to mark the two-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Military vessels routinely render honors to military ships of other countries when they pass at sea by dipping their flag, as a sign of respect. But the German frigate Niedersachsen went above and beyond this normal gesture of respect when it asked to come alongside the USS Doyle on September 11, 2003, the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US.

On this day, as the two ships approached and passed, the entire crew of the German vessel stood top-side in dress-blues, holding their hats over their hearts. And as the ultimate gesture of respect, the Niedersachsen was flying the stars and stripes from its main mast. A US Naval Officer, in an email that also reached the German Embassy in Washington, told of how touched the US crew were by the "classy and emotional" presentation by their German counterparts.

In an interview on National Public Radio's All Things Considered on September 14, Commander Bernd Kuhbier of the FGS Niedersachsen explained this extraordinary act. "When you are on a warship, you don't fly a foreign flag on the top mast," Commander Kuhbier told host Steve Inskeep. "But we though the occasion was suitable to do that, so that's what we did. We were proud to do so."

The unexpected gesture touched the US sailors, Vice Admiral Timothy LaFleur described in an unclassified email: "From their main mast they flew our flag and they held their covers over their hearts. Needless to say, the whole crew was choked up and a few tears formed in our eyes. Both ships stayed next to each other in silence for about 5 minutes. These are the days that remind me why I joined the Navy."

The FGS Niedersachsen and the USS Doyle are both part of NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), a permanent peacetime multinational naval squadron composed of destroyers, cruisers and frigates from the navies of various NATO nations.

People For the American Way are having a fund-raising auction.

There are some cool items, including:

  • Kathleen Turner, sultry-voiced star of stage, screen, radio and television, will record a personalized message for your telephone answering machine.
  • You and a friend will sit down for lunch and conversation with two of Hollywood's finest raconteurs, Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss and actor, director and producer Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind, Gosford Park, Deconstructing Harry). You will dine at their favorite restaurant at a mutually convenient date and time.
  • A rare piece by artist Jenny Holzer consisting of two LED Light Reader Boxes, one depicting language used by the political right, the other language used by the political left. Minimum Bid: $1000

Someone needs to buy me the Jenny Holzer!

... an occasional series...

We're lucky the Bush regime doesn't just put poor people without health insurance into concentration camps. Their only health proposal this year seems to be making it easier for emergency rooms to deny care to the uninsured.

While watching the credits for Bowling for Columbine, I noticed Yoko Ono was one of the people in the list of acknowledgements. If we were more like Canada, John Lennon would probably still be alive.

This page is an archive of entries in the Politics category from September 2003.

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