Tortured

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Never for a moment in my life have I been “in love.”  I do not believe in the notion.  Fireworks have not filled my heart.  Flames of a fiery passion do not burn within me.  Indeed, my soul has not been ablaze.  Thoughts of a hot-blooded devotion seem illogical to me.  Such sentiments always have.  Fondness too fertile is but torture for me.  I admire many, and adore none.  For me, the affection I feel for another is born out of sincere and profound appreciation.  To like another means more to me than to love or be loved.  Excitement, an emotional reaction to another, rises up within me when I experience an empathetic exchange with someone who has glorious gray matter.

Today, it happened.  I felt an a twinge that startled me.  I stood still as he entered the room.  I expected nothing out of the ordinary, or at least nothing other than what has become his recently adopted, more avoidant, routine.  Although long ago, I had become accustomed to his face, his voice, and his demeanor, for I have known the man for more than a few years.  In the last few weeks, while essentially he is who he always was, some of his stances have changed.  Possibly, Barry has felt a need to compromise his positions, but I wonder; what of his principles.

Early on, I knew that he and I differed in some respects.  While we each loathe drama, I was never certain if he felt as I do; love need not be a tortuous trauma.  Barry spoke of the need to work together.  Yet, not necessarily in aspect of life.  At times, he advocated aggressive actions I could not consider.  This, for me, caused much confusion.  Nonetheless, I liked the man I saw before me.

I recall the day we first met, face-to-face.  We shook hands.  He smiled.  Barry was polite, not pushy.  Amiable is the way I would describe him.  Then, the second time we saw each other, we had a more extensive conversation.  He took my hand in his.  We each spoke with greater sincerity.  As Barry and I chatted, he looked me straight in the eye.  He listened to my personal tale.  Visibly, he pondered the story I shared.  Barry responded so genuinely to my inquiry, albeit an unconventional concern, I was surprised.  Indeed, I was impressed, although less than I was when I read what he had written.

His books moved me.  The more autobiographical tome endeared him to me.  His notes on hope did not lack the spirit to inspire me.  As one who “loves” to learn, which differs from the impulsive idea that I might be “in love,” a person that can kindle my earnest thirst for knowledge truly electrifies me.  I recall the moment I read the text that, all these years later, still resonates within me.  Barry humbly offered, in a discussion of empathy . . .

It is at the heart of my moral code, and it is how I understand the Golden Rule – not simply as a call to sympathy or charity, but as something more demanding, a call to stand in somebody else’s shoes and see through their eyes.

Barry told tales of his mother, his grandfather, and how through his interactions with each he realized there is reason to think “about the struggles and disappointments” others have seen in their lives.  Reflection helped the younger Barry understand, every individual is not solely right or wrong.  If he were to insist that, his way was the only approach that worked, “without regard to his [or her] feelings or needs, I was in some way diminishing myself.”  Such awareness, such a superior soul; Barry showed what I believe to be a human’s greatest strength, vulnerability.  Were I to have a heart to win, the words of this gentle-man could have surely swept me off my feet.

Even his calm demeanor is as I desire and live.  Those close to me wonder of my own emotional tranquility.  From his manner and manuscript, it would seem Barry believes as I do.  Empathy elicits equilibrium.  Today, he seemed to embrace this notion once again.  We can choose to love our neighbors.  We need not torture “those who are different from us.”

Near noon, on April 23, 2009, at the Holocaust days of Remembrance Ceremony, Barry, the now President of the United States, Barack Obama spoke of this belief again.  Once more, I felt a pang for the person who oft-expressed a profound connection to the feelings of another.  The sweet soul who can bring me to tears, did so once again.  On this historic occasion, Barry shared a profound realization through a personal story.  The subject; the Holocaust and the torture our forebears felt or beheld.

In the face of horrors that defy comprehension, the impulse to silence is understandable.  My own great uncle returned from his service in World War II in a state of shock, saying little, alone with painful memories that would not leave his head.  He went up into the attic, according to the stories that I’ve heard, and wouldn’t come down for six months.  He was one of the liberators — someone who at a very tender age had seen the unimaginable.  And so some of the liberators who are here today honor us with their presence — all of whom we honor for their extraordinary service.  My great uncle was part of the 89th Infantry Division — the first Americans to reach a Nazi concentration camp.  And they liberated Ohrdruf, part of Buchenwald, where tens of thousands had perished.

Stunned, by the saga, and the words that preceded the legend, I began to believe again.  Perhaps the Barry I admire had a change of heart.  Policies he never fully embraced, might not seem reasonable to him now.

During the campaign, Barry, Senator Barack Obama only promised to investigate, not to prosecute.  Many months ago, before the August 2008 declaration, and thereafter, I had thought his stance reflected his vast ability to empathize.  Yet, in the light of the ample evidence, most if not all of which affirms the Bush Administration engaged in extreme methods of interrogation, President Obama still supports or chooses to sustain a position that negates empathy for the victims.  I shudder to think of how the Seventh Generation might be affected.

Hence, I am left to question what I thought was truth.  Was the empathy I envisioned not as sincere as I hoped it to be?  Perchance that is why, for me, love is as torture.  I have faith no one has the power to disappoint me.  Only my choices can be a source of much concern.  For as long as I can recall, I have observed, once infatuation fades, we learn as I had before Barry entered the Oval Office.  He is but another human.  He embraces and then forgets, the power of empathy and the force of our past?

When, in homage to Holocaust victims, and survivors of a heinous hostility that forever stains world history, I sensed he knew.  As I looked on, I forgot the setting.  Intent on the torrent of news on torture techniques I read and heard throughout the day, I made an erroneous connection.  As Barry, President Obama spoke of the deeds done in decades past, and those crimes committed by the previous Administration, I imagined the man I thought I knew meant to express empathy for those who suffered at the hands of Americans.  The Chief Executive, on behalf of the United States avowed.

Their legacy is our inheritance.  And the question is, how do we honor and preserve it?  How do we ensure that “never again” isn’t an empty slogan, or merely an aspiration, but also a call to action?

I believe we start by doing what we are doing today — by bearing witness, by fighting the silence that is evil’s greatest co-conspirator.

In the face of horrors that defy comprehension, the impulse to silence is understandable.

I cried.  Tremendously thankful for the oratory, indeed, I must say, for a second, I was elated.  I wondered.  Had the person many think beloved, the individual I at least treasure, decided to rescind his prior position?

Might he have rejected the thought offered recently; “nothing will be gained by our time and energy laying blame for the past,”  

Could it be the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony helped the President to renew his faith in his earlier expression;  “(H)istory returns “with a vengeance . . . “(A)s Faulkner reminds us, the past is never dead and buried — it isn’t even past.”  I hoped.

Perchance, he had worked through a struggle I too experience.  As one who has no desire to hurt others, even those who have physically and psychologically harmed individuals, and our country’s image, how might I think prosecution is just?  

I truly embrace such an honorable ability to seek no retribution.  Indeed, I may not fall “in love”; nonetheless, I would hope to live love.  

I feel harsh reprisals are never wise.  I also accept the enduring wisdom of a finer balance.  I have experienced the need to empathize and the conflict of what I might do if one I treasure intentionally injures another.  I have come to discover, if deleterious deeds are allowed to stand, sooner or later the other, I, and perchance, society will be subjected to adulterations that individuals or a culture cannot endure.

Awful actions we accept, avoid, or merely do not acknowledge become a foundation for the future.  Humans inure.  Lest we forget the Milgram shock experiment of decades ago, or the knowledge that when repeated in the present, proves again, as a Psychologist, Thomas Blass, espoused in  “The Man Who Shocked the World.” Milgram extrapolated, to larger events like the Holocaust, or Abu Ghraib.  “people can act destructively without coercion.”  “In things like interrogations, we don’t know the complexities involved.  People are under enormous pressure to produce results.”  

I wonder how many Americans came to accept violence as a necessity on September 11, 2001.  On that dreadful day, a date that now lives in infamy, all Americans were placed in a precarious position.  With the threat of terror etched into our every cell, each of us had to ask, what were we to do.  In the 2004 edition of Dreams From My Father, the Barry, who I trusted to be so thoughtful whispered his woe for what might occur once the “world fractured.” He penned . . .

This collective history, this past, directly touches my own . . .

I know, I have seen, the desperation and disorder of the powerless: how it twists the lives of children on the streets of Jakarta or Nairobi in much the same way as it does the lives of children on Chicago’s South Side, how narrow the path is for them between humiliation and untrammeled fury, how easily they slip into violence and despair.  I know that the response of the powerful to this disorder — alternating as it does between a dull complacency and, when the disorder spills out of its proscribed confines, a steady, unthinking application of force, of longer prison sentences and more sophisticated military hardware — is inadequate to the task.  I know that the hardening of lines, the embrace of fundamentalism and tribe, dooms us all.

Those are the words of the Barry I was inspired to meet, the person I was reminded of when he stood with an audience of individuals who never forget the agony of torture.  Today, as that empathetic soul, the President referred to the future, the generations to come, he stated, “We find cause for hope” when “people of every age and faith and background and race (are) united in common cause with suffering brothers and sisters halfway around the world.”  I thought of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay prison, and the prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the need to empathize with victims of “extreme duress.”

Oblivious to the purpose of this particular speech, in my moment of stupor, I surmised Mister Obama had not only accepted the association, but perhaps had realized what could occur if the transgressions of the previous Administration were allowed to stand as if all was in the past.

“Barry,” Barack, the Commander-In-Chief, further elucidated; “Those [persons] can be our future . . . (D)uring this season when we celebrate liberation, resurrection, and the possibility of redemption, may each of us renew our resolve to do what must be done. And may we strive each day, both individually and as a nation, to be among the righteous.

I imagined the reference was to empathy, to the paradigms I too embrace. Punishment offers no benefits for people.  Yet, there is a need to prosecute the culpable, to ensure that people are answerable for the most atrocious aggressions.  It is vital, if we wish to prevent the numbness that humans so easily adopt, we must bring torture to the full light of day.  Torment executed in our names, I think Barry would agree, hurts us.  Surely, General and President Eisenhower did.  Mister Obama acknowledged this only hours ago .

Eisenhower understood the danger of silence.  He understood that if no one knew what had happened, that would be yet another atrocity — and it would be the perpetrators’ ultimate triumph.

What Eisenhower did to record these crimes for history is what we are doing here today.  That’s what Elie Wiesel and the survivors we honor here do by fighting to make their memories part of our collective memory.  That’s what the Holocaust Museum does every day on our National Mall, the place where we display for the world our triumphs and failures and the lessons we’ve learned from our history.  It’s the very opposite of silence.

But we must also remember that bearing witness is not the end of our obligation — it’s just the beginning.  We know that evil has yet to run its course on Earth.  We’ve seen it in this century in the mass graves and the ashes of villages burned to the ground, and children used as soldiers and rape used as a weapon of war.

Barry knows what President Obama. spoke of in his address at the Holocaust Day of Remembrance Ceremony  Love needed not be tortured.  Expressions of fondness are found in empathy, not extreme duress.

President Eisenhower understood as I had hoped, on this day, Barry Obama had.  What occurs far from view is never truly unseen.  Nor can avoidance erase the scars left on a heart. While as a country, or as individuals we may prefer to retreat to the attic as President Obama’s great uncle did, in truth, it is impossible to forget.

People who participated know this to be so. A belatedly brave Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, Ali Soufan, tell his tales of sorrowful love in My Tortured Decision.  The mediator recalls how for seven years he has remained silent about the false claims magnifying the effectiveness of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding.  Mister Soufan, as General Eisenhower did before him saw the need to “shed light on the story, and on some of the lessons to be learned.”

I inquire; what will Barry do, and what of President Obama.  Will the man who once held my hand and professed a need to be empathetic do as he declares his commitment? “(W)e have an opportunity, as well as an obligation, to confront these scourges.”  Might he instead do as he hopes we will not, “wrap ourselves in the false comfort that others’ sufferings are not our own,”

I can only hope Barry will encourage the President to heed his own call. “(W)e have the opportunity to make a habit of empathy; to recognize ourselves in each other; to commit ourselves to resisting injustice and intolerance and indifference in whatever forms they may take — whether confronting those who tell lies about history, or doing everything we can to prevent and end atrocities like those that took place . . .”

Let us never forget Guantanamo Bay prison, Abu Ghraib, or any America penitentiary camp, need not be our holocaust.   Tales of tortured love need not be an American truth.

References for tortured love . . .

America’s Angst. FBI Report and Patriot Act

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

For years I have wondered, is this a case of collective Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome?  What compels Americans?  What distracts civilians and Congress?  Why were we, are we, willing to forfeit the rights the founding fathers gave us, particularly the right to privacy? 

I surmise the occurrences on September 11, 2001 were a shock to the citizens of this country.  We thought ourselves safe, isolated, and insulated.  Then, people witnessed their ominous Towers fall,  and together we, they, took a leap of faith.  We decided to believe in a false leader.  A man that maintained a record of incompetence throughout his life was allowed to continue causing calamity worldwide.  Americans allowed their President to change the conversation.  George W. Bush, a man that was selected for the post of Commander-In-Chief by the Supreme Court, not by the people, assumed a posture, and demonstrated his strength.  Frightened beyond belief, we as a nation adopted the fears of a former President’s favorite son.  Mister Bush cautioned, ‘Terrorism is all around us.’  With thanks to him, and his war in Iraq, now it is!

Nevertheless, in 2001, captured by angst, the citizens of the United States of America believed.  Congress trusted.  Thus, they passed ridiculous laws in the name of patriotism.  These regulations are more threatening than the terrorists ever were.  The Patriot Act looms large in the lives of citizens.  Yet, most walk around unaware of how their government now spies on them, legally and illegally, until today.

Nevertheless, in 2001, captured by angst, the citizens of the United States of America believed.  Congress trusted.  Thus, they passed ridiculous laws in the name of patriotism.  These regulations are more threatening than the terrorists ever were.  The Patriot Act looms large in the lives of citizens.  Yet, most walk around unaware of how their government now spies on them, legally and illegally, until today.

Perchance, citizens tired of being sick and bushwhacked are beginning to seek therapy for their stress.  They are deciding to face their worse fear.  Cynicism, skepticism, has set in.  Suspicions are proven correct.  The enemy is within.  He resides in the White House; his cronies work there with him.

U.S. Report to Fault F.B.I. on Subpoenas
By David Johnston and Eric Lipton
March 9, 2007
The New York Times

WASHINGTON, March 8 – The Justice Department’s inspector general has prepared a scathing report criticizing how the F.B.I. uses a form of administrative subpoena to obtain thousands of telephone, business, and financial records without prior judicial approval.

The report, expected to be issued on Friday, says that the bureau lacks sufficient controls to make sure the subpoenas, which do not require a judge’s prior approval, are properly issued and that it does not follow even some of the rules it does have.

Under the USA Patriot Act, the bureau each year has issued more than 20,000 of the national security letters, as the demands for information are known.  The report is said to conclude that the program lacks effective management, monitoring and reporting procedures, officials who have been briefed on its contents said.

The report is now out and it does not look good.  However, I wonder.  I cannot imagine that anyone truly thought there was reason to trust the current Administration.  Eons ago, there was a time that the government was defined as being of, by, and for the people.  The public no longer thinks this is so.  In practice, it is not.  As George W. Bush often reminds us, ‘Everything changed on September 11, 2001.”  Now the Commander-In-Chief  routinely engages in criminal activities. he then lies about these.  His paranoid cohort, Dick Cheney, does similar, or possibly worse.  The trial of Vice President Cheney’s, Chief of Staff, I. Lewis [Scooter] Libby has shown us much.

We are pawns in public policy.  If not puppets to move across a global board, we are, at least mired in a fog.  I trust more will follow.  Might we as Americans take our country back?  I remind you of this oft heard anthem.  “Power to the people!”  Sadly, under the guise of secrecy this decree has been too long forgotten or misused.

I take you back.  Let us glimpse into the looking glass and see what remained unseen by too many for too  long; although it was always there, post 911.  The Washington Post revealed . . .

The FBI’s Secret Scrutiny
In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans
By Barton Gellman?
Washington Post.
Sunday, November 6, 2005; A01
The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand.  On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man.  They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.

Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender “all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person” who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away.  Christian, who manages digital records for three-dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy.  But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.

Christian refused to hand over those records, and his employer, Library Connection Inc., filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public.  The Washington Post established their identities — still under seal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit — by comparing unsealed portions of the file with public records and information gleaned from people who had no knowledge of the FBI demand.

The Connecticut case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, which marked its fourth anniversary on Oct. 26.  “National security letters,” created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents.  The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms.  The letters — one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people — are extending the bureau’s reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury, or judge.  They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress.  The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports.  The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.

The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks — and to share those private records widely, in the federal government, and beyond.  In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed.  Late last month, President Bush signed Executive Order 13388, expanding access to those files for “state, local and tribal” governments and for “appropriate private sector entities,” which are not defined.

National security letters offer a case study of the impact of the Patriot Act outside the spotlight of political debate.  Drafted in haste after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the law’s 132 pages wrought scores of changes in the landscape of intelligence and law enforcement.  Many received far more attention than the amendments to a seemingly pedestrian power to review “transactional records.”  But few if any other provisions touch as many ordinary Americans without their knowledge.

Senior FBI officials acknowledged in interviews that the proliferation of national security letters results primarily from the bureau’s new authority to collect intimate facts about people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.  Criticized for failure to detect the Sept. 11 plot, the bureau now casts a much wider net, using national security letters to generate leads as well as to pursue them.  Casual or unwitting contact with a suspect — a single telephone call, for example — may attract the attention of investigators and subject a person to scrutiny about which he never learns.

As the days go on, we will likely realize more.  Perchance, you are I are under suspicion.  Our private moves have been observed.  Our names might appear on the Federal Bureau of Investigation logs.  George and Dick may know more about us than we ever thought there was to know. 

As the FBI files unfold, more stories will be told.  Will we as a people still slumber?  Might we begin our necessary rehabilitation.  This stupor started on September 11, 2001.  It can sustain us no more.  Let us take off the veils of secrecy and censure our cryptic leaders.  Impeach the President, his Vice, and Attorney General.  My fellow Americans, might we wake up from our slumber and state, “Acts of attrition must cease!”

Peruse some of the Unpatriotic Practices of those in power . . .

  • Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People. Office of the Press Secretary.?September 20, 2001
  • A Timeline of Failure, By Craig Aaron.  In These Times. October 28, 2004
  • George Bush, Failed Corporate Crook, Nitwit Scion Turns Avenger.  By James Ridgeway.  Village Voice>July 10 – 16, 2002
  • Patriot Act
  • U.S. Report to Fault F.B.I. on Subpoenas By David Johnston and Eric Lipton.  The New York Times March 9, 2007
  • pdf U.S. Report to Fault F.B.I. on Subpoenas By David Johnston and Eric Lipton.  The New York Times March 9, 2007
  • Dick Cheney’s Delay, By Alan M. Dershowitz.  The Huffington Post. February 15, 2006
  • After Libby Trial, New Era for Government and Press, By Adam Liptak.  The New York Times March 8, 2007
  • pdf After Libby Trial, New Era for Government and Press, By Adam Liptak.  The New York Times March 8, 2007
  • Bush challenges hundreds of laws, President cites powers of his office.  By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. April 30, 2006
  • pdf Bush challenges hundreds of laws, President cites powers of his office.  By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. April 30, 2006
  • The FBI’s Secret Scrutiny, In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans.  By Barton Gellman.  Washington Post. Sunday, November 6, 2005; A01
  • pdf The FBI’s Secret Scrutiny, In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans. By Barton Gellman. Washington Post. Sunday, November 6, 2005; A01
  • The Law. Bush Versus Attorney General Gonzales ©

    This issue confuses me, entertains me, scares me, and fascinates me.  I am thankful that the “letter of the law” was followed, a warrant was granted and that is good, particularly in light of recent revelations.  I do think the principles that guide society are important.  I prefer to believe that politicians are altruistic; when bribes are buying influence, I shutter.  Nevertheless, I am conflicted.  Having experienced an administration that routinely violates the law [thus far, 750 of them in fact], alters the Constitution, and hides behind privilege, I fear for what might be.

    Representative William Jefferson, a Louisiana Congressman is under investigation.  The charge is bribery.  Apparently, serious allegations have been made.  It is said that this prominent political leader was videotaped accepting $100,000 from an informant.

    The case against Mr. Jefferson has been building for months.  This week the court awarded a search-and-seizure warrant.  Federal Bureau of Investigation examiners were sent out.  Ninety thousand dollars in cold, hard, and ice-covered cash was found in the Congressman’s home freezer.  The suspect’s computer was taken from his office.  The money, while fascinating, has caused little clamor.  The legality and constitutionality of a Congressional office search has brought much comment.

    Rummaging through the workplace went on for eighteen long hours.  Others in Congress, also under investigation; however, on different charges, feared for themselves.  These persons were decidedly nervous.  They questioned privately, might these unprecedented exercises affect them?  I wonder how it might affect us all.  When there is no separation of power, no checks, or balances, what is there?  Oh yes, totalitarianism, exactly what this administration claims we are fighting against.

    Publicly, some Congresspersons rancor was raised.  They asked what of our system of checks and balances.  They pondered and proposed legal scholars to do the same.  Does a practice such as this suggest that we, as a nation, endorse policies that negate the separation of power?  These rabble-rousers, normally calm and contrite were criticized.  It was said they are more worried about themselves than the law of this land.  However, orators such as House Speaker Dennis Hastert declared, “Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years.”

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, proclaimed, Justice Department investigations must follow “constitutional protections and historical precedent.”  House Democratic whip, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, chimed in stating he has “grave concerns” about this search and seizure.

    Democratic Representative William Jefferson, who has not yet been charged, felt justified in stating an FBI search of his Capitol office “an outrageous intrusion.”  The Congressman said, “There are two sides to every story.  There are certainly two sides to this story.”  He was empathic; though asked by leader Pelosi, Jefferson said, no, he will not resign.  Interestingly, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales might.

    Attorney General Gonzales conceded, “I will admit that, these were unusual steps that were taken in response to an unusual set of circumstances.”  Nevertheless, he thinks these actions were necessary and just.  You might recall, dear reader, this same man thought it wise to discount standards set by Geneva Convention.  He stated they were obsolete.  Principles of compassion, and humanitarian gestures are archaic.

    George W. Bush did as well; however, now, with the weight of polls looming large on his shoulders, he is more repentant or reluctant to cause himself greater grief.  The President is seeking solace and therefore, wants to end the wrangling.  King George II wishes to give each side time to think, a novel concept coming from this White House.

    Mr. Bush explained everyone needs time to cool down.  Possibly, they might meet in William Jefferson’s freezer.  In an attempt to achieve greater calm, President Bush has asked the Justice Department to seal all the documents and keep them for 45 days.  Mr. Bush is expectant that in the interim more facts will emerge, tempers will cool, and all persons involved might have a cleared perspective.

    The Attorney General is clear.  Gonzales has offered to tender his resignation if the President enforces his command.  Cool, as cash is in a well-insulated freezer.

    References For Review . . .
    Bush challenges hundreds of laws By Charlie Savage, Boston Globe. April 30, 2006 for PDF Bush challenges hundreds of laws
    Congressman in bribery inquiry won’t resign Associated Press. MSNBC. May 22, 2006
    Angry lawmakers demand FBI return seized documents CNN News May 26, 2006
    GOP, Dems blast FBI for searching congressional office. CNN News May 25, 2006
    Alberto Gonzales: A Record of Injustice Center for American Progress
    Memorandum on the Geneva Conventions Center for American Progress
    Hastert Irate at ABC Story; Bush Freezes Files, by Luke Burbank. All Things Considered. National Public Radio. May 25, 2006
    Gonzales was ready to quit over evidence, By David Johnston, Carl Hulse, New York Times. San Francisco Chronicle. Saturday, May 27, 2006
    Hastert, Pelosi issue rare joint statement Joint Statement from Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Pelosi. By Lynn Sweet. Chicago Sun Times. May 24, 2006
    Bush Orders Jefferson Documents Sealed CBS News. May 25, 2006
    Finally, a search warrant is used–and Republicans in Congress don’t like it By Mitchell J. Freedman. MF Blog. May 25, 2006