Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Mother-In-Law and President Bush

My Mother-In-Law and President Bush
Norman Horowitz

My dear late mother-in-law Gertrude Kremer was a sweet Rumanian Jewish woman who to the best of my knowledge loved everyone. She had what I would come to describe as a minor character flaw in that she lied about almost everything. Not necessarily important things, but rather trivial things that had no meaning to anyone.
It was strange. Why did she lie? I do not have a clue.

Speaking of lying of course brings up President Richard Nixon, who always seemed to have a reason not to be straight with the American public.

Soon after becoming president, Nixon gave permission for the bombing of Laos and Cambodia. In an effort to avoid American and international protest at this action, he decided to keep information about these bombing raids hidden from the public. Pilots were sworn to secrecy and their “operational logs” were falsified, (how unusual).

I wondered at the time why this was considered by the administration as something that they could keep secret. It was not like quietly giving someone an envelope containing maps and stuff like that; we were bombing parts of two countries with tons of high explosives that were dropped by many airplanes.

The military knew about what was going on, the administration knew what was going on and certainly the Cambodians and the Laotians who were being bombed knew what was going on. So let’s see. Who didn’t know what was going on? Just the rest of the world — including Americans — didn’t know.

One of the advantages of growing up as a “street kid” in the Bronx is that you became aware of “how the system works.” I expect that what I was doing was developing “street smarts.”

Changing gears only a little, I assume that anyone involved in terrorism is aware that we have the capability and the willingness to monitor their electronic communications wherever they take place. Even I know that this type of surveillance is possible under the laws of the United States.

President Bush struck me with his disingenuous comments castigating the New York Times for releasing the information about our electronic surveillance, and by so doing, aiding the terrorists. I can see the terrorists at their meeting following the Times disclosure being aghast at finding out that they were being listened to. As my father would say derisively, “Give me a break.”

I am surprised that so many people are happy about the snooping, even though it is a violation of our laws and Constitution. They feel that it will help the president protect us. I think that it will help the president enslave us.

Instead of vacationing in Crawford, Texas, and clearing brush, President Bush should hang out in the South Bronx in order to learn what he never did while attending Harvard Business School.

No one ever “called” Gertrude on her lies; they hardly ever mattered, and after all, she was a senior citizen and a grandmother. But for goodness sake, is it not reasonable to expect our president to be straight with us at least some of the time?