Benjamin Franklin and the War on Terrorism

I’ve been reading Walter Isaacson’s excellent biography of Benjamin Franklin lately and just came across a letter Franklin wrote to his English friend Joseph Priestly in late 1775:

Britain, at the expense of three millions, has killed 150 Yankees this campaign, which is 20,000 pounds a head… During the same time, 60,000 children have been born in America. From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and expense necessary to kill us all.

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What a mess

This week has just been a political mess here in the US. Between Obama wanting to give immunity to people who tortured, many in gov’t complaining that the details about US torture has been released and the whole NSA spying on Rep. Jane Harmon, it’s just one disaster after another.

Here’s some highlights though:

How the news media is ignoring a Pulitzer Prize winning author because he exposes the news media’s culpability in marketing the war on Iraq.

Rep. Jane Harmon’s outrage on being legally wiretapped by the NSA after being a long time supporter of warrant-less wiretapping on Americans.

Jon Stewart on how Karl Rove/etc are complaining that the Obama administration has released details on US torture- after they all denied it ever happened.

And this, where Donald Rumsfeld is identified as being the catalyst behind the US military’s harsh interrogation techniques which directly led to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

This is just what you get with today’s political climate and someone with too much free time on their hands.


Bush to Americans: The gov’t will keep spying on you

Cleaning up my drafts, here President Bush tells Americans and Congress to suck it– his administration has convinced the telecoms to continue to allow the NSA to spy on you without a warrant. Of course, just before this, he was telling us all that he couldn’t continue to do this unless Congress capitulated to his demands and renewed the so-called “Protect America Act”… funny how now his story changes.

Hopefully Congress will stand firm and not give the telecoms who worked with the Bush administration retroactive immunity so that the court cases can move forward and we can hold those responsible accountable for their actions!