Pulling No Punches

I've been asked to speak to you for 5 minutes or so. Please forgive me, but I'm going to take a little more than 8 minutes. The additional time that I'm going to steal from you is dedicated to my son, Casey, whose entire future was stolen from him.

My son was killed in Iraq on this day one year ago, the same day of April on which Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. From a jail in Birmingham, on April 16 1963 Dr. King wrote these words: "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence…of the good people." …end of quote.

And the Apostle Paul said this:

"…those who desire to be rich fall into temptation…into a snare that plunges men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil."

Thirty years ago, 1975, Gerald Ford was President of the United Sates. His Chief of Staff was Dick Cheney. His Secretary of Defense was Donald Rumsfeld. Paul Wolfowitz was heading-up the international arms-control end of things. All of these positions related directly to national security. While these men were looking after the nation's safety, they and President Ford concluded that Iran needed to supplement its energy system by adding nuclear power. The nuclear energy project that these men approved would have netted certain US corporations billions of dollars. Had the Shah of Iran…a blood-bought servant of US corporate interests…not soon been overthrown by his own countrymen, the big-wigs at Westinghouse or General Electric…or perhaps both…would have amassed personal fortunes from this one project, alone. Some of the stockholders would have also made bundles on the deal.

In 1975 my son had not yet been born. Today he is in his grave. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, is now Vice President of the United States, and he is materially wealthy beyond what any of us would ever pray to be. This is the same Dick Cheney who during the months leading-up to the invasion of Iraq said that Saddam Hussein not only has stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction…more than a hundred metric tons of the deadly stuff…but he also said that Saddam Hussein was well-advanced in developing nuclear weapons and that therefore the US must invade Iraq and dethrone Saddam Hussein. Clean, quick, and simple according to Dick Cheney. Yet for some time now he has changed his tune. He now says…as if he had said it all along…that the US occupation of Iraq will require years of difficult and sometimes bloody conflict before it will be stable enough to bring our loved ones home. And too, rather than speak of Weapons of Mass Destruction, he now uses the word "democracy" a lot.

Is there yet an American who can not clearly see that Dick Cheney…whether it be 1975 or 2005…will say whatever he thinks is required to ultimately cause wealth and power to move to himself and to his friends? …need I defile this holy place with words like "Haliburton" and "Kellog, Brown & Root" and "torture" and "US weapons industry"? Indeed, the Apostle Paul is correct in saying that, ultimately, the love of money leads to ruin and destruction.

Donald Rumsfeld is again Secretary of Defense. Only yesterday, it seems, he told the whole world that Saddam Hussein has stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

He even announced to the world that he and his generals know where Saddam's feared weapons are hidden. He announced this only days before our loved ones risked their lives searching those very areas where he so confidently said the weapons were hidden.

Tell me, isn't it entirely reasonable for us to assume that those very places were being surveiled every second of every day and night until the very moment when our loved ones reached those areas and began their search? Donald Rumsfeld told us that the search would net more than a hundred metric tons. Are we to believe that Saddam quickly assembled a caravan of 18 wheelers and loaded all this stuff up and hauled it away to some new hiding place…and that US surveillance…the best in the world….didn't notice any of this happening? Are we to believe that this administration was, once again, asleep at the wheel…just as they would also have us to believe that they were innocently caught off-guard on the morning of September 11, 2001?

I implore you to read some of Scott Ritter…write the name down if you need to: Scott Ritter. R..I..T..T..E..R. I'm certain that many of you have already read his work. His work can be found in book stores, or go to Read him and you will finally begin to understand that the horrid price we and the people of Iraq have paid to discover that Saddam's Weapons Of Mass Destruction had already been destroyed is not due to any failure at the U.S. intelligence agencies, it is in fact a validation of U.S. intelligence agencies. Ritter will explain to you exactly how is was that Rumsfeld was well-informed, by knowledgeable people within the Intelligence community, that Saddam had been stripped clean of such weapons, that Saddam's ability to reconstitute such weapons' programs had also been destroyed, and that any moves Saddam might have made in that direction would have been observed and stopped, forthwith.

Is there anyone in America who cannot yet see that Donald Rumsfeld is a liar…that he, as with Hitler and Stalin….will say anything so long as he thinks it will help shape the world to his own liking? Is there even one, sane adult among us who cannot see that Donald Rumsfeld is a threat to our nation's security and to peace on our beloved earth?

Paul Wolfowitz, after months of not finding any Weapons of Mass Destruction….and after hundreds of US soldiers were killed….my son amongst them….and after tens of thousands of innocent Iraq citizens were killed….this same Paul Wolfowitz casually explained….with his kindly charade and his ever so soft voice…that a decision was made to put forth "Weapons of Mass Destruction" as the need for the invasion. Essentially, Paul Wolfowitz admitted that he and his fellow conspirators had decided amongst themselves "…let's just go with the bit about Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's the one thing that will scare the American people enough so as to cause them to get behind this invasion."

As soft-spoken and sincere-sounding as Paul Wolfowitz is, is there yet any sane adult in this country whose skin does not crawl when this murderous liar opens his mouth and speaks? Am I the only person in this room who clearly sees that Paul Wolfowitz is a threat to our nation's security…and to peace on our beloved earth?"

30 years ago these 3 men gave the green light to Iran, allowing companies to go there and build a 6.4 billion dollar nuclear power facility. …no doubt the final bill would have been at least three times that much. Yet Dick Cheney recently said this of Iran's current intentions to add nuclear power to their energy system: Quote…."They are already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. Nobody can figure why they need nuclear to generate energy"….end of quote. Did these men not notice, 30 years ago, while they and their cohorts were being wined and dined by the Shah, that his opulent surroundings were bought and paid for with oil and gas that was being taken from the ground beneath their feet? Yet these men agreed, clear back then, that Iran needed to add nuclear power to their energy system. It is now 30 years and God only knows how many tens of millions of barrels of oil, later. Why should we believe these men….who we know are liars….when they now say that Iran's primary motive for wanting nuclear power is so that they can make nuclear weapons with which to destroy us and our allies? Even now, the International Atomic Energy Agency reports that there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. The Bush administrations response? They are trying to oust the agency's lead inspector, Mohammed al-Baradei. But who can forget that it was Mr. al-Baradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency who, during the months prior to the invasion of Iraq, reported that Saddam no longer had a nuclear weapons programs.

Our country has been overtaken by murderous thugs….gangsters who lust after fortunes and power; never caring that their addictions are at the expense of our loved ones, and the blood of innocent people near and far. We've watched these thugs parade themselves before the whole world as if they are courageous advocates for Christian moral values….and for the spread of democracy. Yet we all know that they are now putting in place, all across this country, a system of voting that provides no way to validate the accuracy of the counting of the votes. Our loved ones have been buried in early graves even as these arrogant thugs parade themselves before the entire world, insisting that democracy is worth dying for, killing for, and destroying entire cities for, all the while they are busy here at home overseeing the emplacement of an electronic voting system that invites fraud at every turn, an electronic vote-counting system that provides no way to validate the votes cast, and that, by it's very design, prohibits recounting the votes.

For these men to not see to it that our own system of voting and vote-counting is accurate, understandable and verifiable…all the while sending our loved ones to kill and to die so as to establish a democracy in some far away place……this is just one more staggering piece of evidence that the US government is now ruled by murderous hypocrites…criminals who should be arrested, charged appropriately, confined behind bars, and then tried in a court of law…not only here in our own country, but also in all the other countries which have suffered their incomprehensible greed.

In their secret hiding places, while celebrating newly won fortunes with their fellow brass, these men must surely congratulate themselves with orgies of carnal pleasure as they mock the multitudes who are yet so blind as to mistake them for God's devoted servants.

April 15, 2005