So you think you’ve heard all the analogies between Iraq and Vietnam. I know I thought I had – that is until the other night, when I watched Apocalypse Now Redux, the enhanced version of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic Vietnam horror film. In the key restored segment, Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) tortures Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen), not with needles, cigarettes or branding irons, but with upbeat war propaganda manufactured by Time magazine on behalf of Lyndon Johnson’s White House. Having turned the tables on Willard, his would-be executioner, the crazed Kurtz seats himself in front of his nearly comatose captive and reads to him from a Sept. 22, 1967, article assembled in the never-never land created by Henry Luce, who had died the previous March, high above Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.
Starting on April Fools’ Day in Tombstone, Ariz., volunteers calling themselves the Minuteman Project began gathering for a monthlong demonstration at the U.S. border with Mexico. The estimated 1,000 citizen border patrollers have the wrong prescription for solving the immigration problems that ail us all.
President Bush’s day trip this week to Parkersburg, W.Va., was eclipsed by larger news events, which is why we are revisiting that odd little jaunt here. An office of the Bureau of Public Debt is in Parkersburg. It’s there as part of Sen. Robert Byrd’s ongoing campaign to move the capital piecemeal to his home state. The bureau itself is part of the Treasury department, which is next door to the White House. The president could have accomplished the same mission by walking across the driveway, but that’s no fun.
The day after the Red Lake reservation shootings – the latest of three mass killings in Minnesota and Wisconsin in recent months – a group of House Democrats fired off a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., demanding a fresh look at new gun legislation. More than a week later, they’ve received no reply, and nobody believes there will be a bill-signing ceremony for gun legislation anytime soon.
The CIA and members of Congress said they want to know how a presidential commission unearthed details on intelligence failures about Iraq’s prewar weapons programs that previous investigations missed.
The Bush administration is struggling to put military commission trials back on track at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in the face of a legal challenge by a detainee who was Osama bin Laden’s personal driver.
Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez says an infamous unsigned memo passed around on Capitol Hill emphasizing the politics of the Terri Schiavo case originated in his office. The memo – first reported by ABC News on March 18 and by The Washington Post and The Associated Press two days later – said the fight going on then over removing Schiavo’s feeding tube “is a great political issue … and a tough issue for Democrats.”