New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 14, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
herald-zeitung.com | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | 5The Pentagon Papers are out
40 years after leak, report revealed in full form
Call it the granddaddy of Wikil eaks. Four decades ago, a young defense analyst leaked a top-secret study packed with damaging revelations about America's conduct of the Vietnam War.
On Monday, that study, dubbed the Pentagon Papers, finally came out in complete form. It's a touchstone for whistleblowers everywhere and just the sort of leak that gives presidents fits to this day.
The documents show that almost from the opening lines, it was apparent that the authors knew they had produced
Read them for yourself
a hornet's nest.
In his jan. 15,1969, con-fidential memorandum introducing the report to the defense chief, the chairman of the task force that produced the study hinted at the explosive nature of the contents. "Writing history, especially where it blends into current events, especially where that current event is Vietnam, is a
treacherous exercise, Leslie H. Gelb wrote.
Asked by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara to do an "encyclopedic and objective" study of U.S. involvement in Vietnam from World War II to 1967, the team of three dozen analysts pored over a trove of Pentagon, CIA and State Department documents witn "ant-like diligence," he wrote.
Their work revealed a pattern of deception by the Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy and prior admin-
" istrations as they secretly escalated the conflict while assuring the public that, in Johnson's words, the U.S. did not seek a wider war.
The National Archives released the Pentagon Papers in full Monday and put them online, long after most of the secrets spilled. The release was timed 40 years to the day after The New York Times published the first in its series of stories about the findings, on June 13, 1971, prompting President Richard Nixon to try to suppress publication
and crush anyone in government who dared to spill confidences.
Prepared near the end of Johnson's term by Defense Department and private analysts, the report was leaked primarily by one of them, Daniel Ellsberg, in a brash act of defiance that stands as one of the most dramatic episodes of whistleblowing in history.
As scholars pore over the 47-volume report, Ellsberg said the chance of them finding great new revelations is dim. Most of it has
come out in congressional forums and by other means, and Ellsberg plucked out the best when be painstakingly photocopied pages that he spirited from a safe night after night, and returned in the mornings.
He told The Associated Press the value in Monday's release was in having the entire study finally brought together and put online, giving today's generations ready access to it.
The report concludes the U.S. haa not learned lessons of the past, namely that peasants would resist attempts to change their lives.
Shale extraction bill moving in Senate
Call it an impact fee or call it a tax, but a bill to tap into the money flowing from Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling boom is scheduled for consideration by a state Senate committee this week.
The proposal by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati,
R-Jeffer-son, was scheduled for the Senate Environmental Resources
and Energy Committee's meeting on Tuesday.
Scarnati, who describes his proposal as an impact fee, estimates it would bring in $121 million over the next nine months and some $675 million over five years. Most of the revenue would be dedicated to help counties and local municipalities repair roads, perform environmental cleanup and improve sewer and water plants.
Police: Man killed wife, 2 kids, self
Police say a 37-year-old man has shot and killed his estranged wife and two children inside their home in the central Maine town of Dexter in the midst of what relatives said was a custody dispute.
State police say Steven Lake killed 38-year-old Amy Lake and their two children, 12-year-old Monica and 13-year-old Cote, on Monday.
Maj. Gary Wright said police are treating the case a domestic-violence homicide.
Police surrounded the home after a Dexter police officer checked in because Amy Lake, a teacher at the local school, didn't show up at work.
Official: Joplin, Mo. death toll at 153
A Joplin city official says two more fatalities have been reported from the tornado that devastated the southwest Missouri city last month.
Lynn lliff Onstot, public information officer for Joplin, said as of Monday there were 153 fatalities from the tornado.
Onstot said the city received the updated list from the Jasper County coroner and the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
Jasper County coroner Rob Chappel told The Associated Press the two new deaths were from people who had been hospitalized with injuries.
The death toll from the May 21 tornado stood at 151 on Friday.
It's the nation's deadliest tornado in more than six decades.
Wildfire fight moves to N.M. border
RESERVE, N.M. (AP)
Crews who've been battling a massive wildfire in eastern Arizona for two weeks shifted their focus Monday to New Mexico, where they lit fires to stop its advance and protect another mountain town in its path.
In the opposite corner of New Mexico, near the Colorado border, winds kicked up flames at a wildfire that had already forced evacuations and closed 20 miles of the main north-south highway through both states.
"We're watching trees
explode before our eyes. It's horrendous," said Barbara Riley, a schoolteacher and bed-and-breakfast owner in Raton, in northeastern New Mexico.
The eastern Arizona fire has been burning since Memorial Day; efforts to stop its spread finally met with success over the weekend as high winds caused no major growth.
Residents of two Arizona towns on the fire's northern edge were allowed to go back home Sunday, and thousands streamed into Eagar and
Springerville through the day.
Crews have stopped its northern advance and are now trying to corral its eastern advance into New Mexico by burning a line in front of the fire that it can't cross.
In Luna, N.M., about five miles from the Arizona line, crews lit fires to keep the flames from get-ting into town, Catron County Undersheriff Ian Fletcher said Monday. The operation began Sunday night, and the 200 or so residents did not have to leave.
Fletcher said an evacuation plan is in place in case the situation changes.
"It's holding, and they're pretty confident this morning," Fletcher told The Associated Press.
"These guys are getting after it. It's xinda neat to see. I was concerned earlier, but they seem to have it wrapped up pretty well, or it's going well for them right now."
The wildfire near the New Mexico-Colorado border ballooned to 6,000 acres, or 9 square miles, Monday.
Bachmann announces candidacy
MANCHESTER, NJL (AP)
Republican White House hopefuls assailed President Barack Obama's handling of the economy from the opening moments of their first major debate of the cam-paign season Monday night and pledged emphatically to repeal the administration's year-old health care law.
"When 14 million Americans are out of work we need a new president to end the Obama Depression," declared former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the first among seven contenders
on stage to criticize the president's economic policies.
Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, invited as an unannounced contender for the 2012 nomination, used the occasion to announce she had filed papers earlier in the day to run — a disclosure in keeping with a feisty style she has employed since her election to Congress.
Obama was hundreds of miles away, vowing to continue his efforts to create jobs as the Republicans met on a stage at St. Anselm College in New
Former Sen. Rick Santo-rum accused Obama of pursuing "oppressive policies" that have shackled the economy.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty labeled Obama a "declinist" who views America "as one of equals around the world," rather than a special nation. "If Brazil can have 5 percent growth, if China can have 5 percent growth, then America can have 5 percent growth," he added, shrugging off criticism that his own economic projections were impossibly rosy.
Businessman Herman Cain, a political novice, called for eliminating the capital gains tax as a way to stimulate job creation.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stressed his experience as a businessman over 25 years as evidence that he can lead the nation out of a lingering recession.
Said Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the seventh contender on the stage: "As long as we are running a program that deliberately weakens our currency, our jobs will go overseas. And that's what's happening."
White House: Weiner conduct ‘distraction’
The White House said Monday that Rep. Anthony Weiner's conduct has been inappropriate and distracting, while the House Ethics Committee started a preliminary inquiry that could bloom into a full investigation if the he ignores mounting pressure to resign.
"The president feels, we feel in the White House, that this is a distraction, obviously," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in response to reporters' questions aboard Air Force One as the president traveled to North Carolina. "As Congressman Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate, his dishon
esty was inappropriate."
Carney wouldn't say whether President Barack Obama believes Weiner should resign for sending sexually charged photos and messages online to several women. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for Weiner to quit, as did several other Democrats including party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
House officials said the ethics inquiry is not yet extensive, and committee leaders have not indicated whether they will order a more intensive staff investigation. The officials requested anonymity because the committee has not announced the staff inquiry.
If Weiner does resign, the committee would no longer have jurisdiction to investigate him. If he remains in Congress, Chairman jo Bonner of Alabama and ranking Democrat Linda Sanchez of California could name a four-member subcommittee to conduct a more thorough investigation. That could lead to an ethics trial.
The ethics committee is not designed as a quick reaction force when a scandal erupts. An investigation could last months, even longer, it the case became legally complicated and Weiner decided to mount a full defense.
If the committee decides that a member
violated the rules, its options include issuing a written rebuke, recommending the House vote to censure the lawmaker or recommending expelling the member by a two-thirds majority.
Congress returned to work Monday as Weiner began a temporary leave of absence from the House, seeking treatment for an undisclosed disorder at an undisclosed location. House members can ask leaders for leaves of absence, which are usually routinely granted.
The Weiner scandal, heading into its third week, has been a huge embarrassment to Democrats who are eager to put it behind them.
Clinton presses Africans to sever ties with Gadhafi
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP)
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pressed some of the world's last remaining friends of Moammar Gadhafi to abandon Libya's strongman and join the growing international demand for him to cede power.
She told African nations that their solidarity with the Libyan people could make the difference for a peaceful future.
Culminating a volcano-shortened trip to the Gulf and three African nations,
Clinton told diplomats at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital that they needed to recognize tnat Gadhafi forfeited his legitimacy to rule by attacking his own citizens.
It represented a difficult call for unity. Gadhafi still has many friends in Africa after providing decades of military training and
ing apartheid and colonialism.
"Your words and actions could make the difference in bringing this situation
to a close and allowing the people of Libya to get to work rebuilding their country," Clinton told African officials in Addis Ababa.
She said the world needed African leadership to end the standoff between opposition forces and Gadhafi's troops.
For Clinton, the emphasis on the Libyan leader provided a full circle for a one-week voyage that began in the United Arab Emirates, where she prodded NATO countries and Arab governments partic-
ipating in the U.N.-man-clated military mission against Gadhafi to increase the pressure on him to leave power and increase their contacts with the Transitional National Council.
After stops in Zambia and Tanzania, she was to have spent Monday night in Addis Ababa. But she was forced to leave the Ethiopian capital a day ahead of schedule when a volcano eruption in nearby Eritrea sent an ash cloud over parts of East Africa.
A 40-year-old American man living in Scotland said Monday he's sorry for posing as a Syrian lesbian nlogger who offered vivid accounts of life amid revolt and repression in Damascus, a hoax that has exposed the difficulty of sifting truth from fiction online.
Tom MacMaster said he created the ————_
fictional persona of Amina Arraf and the "Gay Girl in Damascus" blog to draw atten-tiontocon-ditions in a Middle East convulsed by change.
never meant to hurt anyone," the Edinburgh University grad student wrote Monday in a long apology on the blog. The university said it had suspended MacMaster's computer privileges while it investigated whether he had breached its rules.
EU: Turk, Israeli trafficked organs
A European Union prosecutor in Kosovo has indicted a Turkish and an Israeli national for involvement in an international network that falsely promised poor people money for their kidneys and then transplanted the organs into rich buyers, the bloc's rule of law mission said Monday.
Turkish citizen Yusuf Sonmez, and Israel's Moshe Harel were charged last week for "trafficking in persons, organized crime and unlawful exercise of medical activity," the mission, known as EULEX, said in a statement.
German limits in focus as crisis wanes
The battle against Europe's deadly E. coli outbreak descended into cacophony and confusion. Now that the crisis is stabilizing, German officials acknowledge lessons to be learned.
Among the problems: a tangle of federal and regional authorities, chaotic communication and a reporting system that many say is antiquated.
Cases began appearing at the start of May, and the outbreak swelled to crisis level over the next three weeks — with the German city of Hamburg at the epicenter. It appears to be waning after sickening more tnan 3,000 people and killing 36.
"We must succeed in speaking with one voice in order to give citizens the necessary information, the necessary transparency," Health Minister Daniel Bahr said after officials on Friday declared sprouts from a farm in northern Germany to be the culprit.