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The Back Story 

Questions for my government

Thursday, Apr 10 2003
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“On March 16th . . . the mother of the [Spearhead’s] human beatbox Radioactive received a visit from two plainclothes Army officers. ‘She’d spoken in an interview about her daughter who has been deployed in the Gulf, and her son who is in this band Spearhead,’ says Spearhead frontman Michael Franti. ‘They showed her a picture of her son wearing a T-shirt that said “Unfuck the world” on the front, and “Dethrone the Bushes” on the back. They told her that was an un-American statement. She said, ‘That’s free speech,’ and they said, ‘Well, things are changing these days.’”

Are people speaking out against the invasion of Iraq being investigated by the authorities? Isn’t that kind of, uh, un-American? “Army Questions Spearhead Mom,” from RollingStone.com.

“At a time when the United States is promising a reconstructed democratic postwar Iraq, many Afghans are remembering hearing similar promises not long ago.

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“Instead, what they see is thieving warlords, murder on the roads and a resurgence of Taliban vigilanteism.

“‘It’s like I am seeing the same movie twice, and no one is trying to fix the problem,’ said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan’s president and his representative in southern Kandahar. ‘What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business.’”

Hey, did you guys forget something? What happened to those plans for “nation building” in postwar Afghanistan? “Taliban Reviving Structure in Afghanistan,” from Salon.

“With regard to the 9/11 attacks, it has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100 percent of the time and the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value. Because the 9/11 terrorists were not just lucky once: They were lucky over and over again.”

Why were such large amounts of United and American Airlines stock unloaded on September 10, 2001?

Why did the INS not reject the visas of hijackers who failed to complete their application forms?

And why was the president, on the morning of September 11, 2001, allowed to remain in a Sarasota elementary school, reading to the kids?

From the testimony of Mindy Kleinberg at the first public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, on March 31. Kleinberg’s husband, Alan, was a securities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald who was killed in the World Trade Center attack.

Reach the writer at judith.lewis@laweekly.com

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