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My Most Recent Unpublished Letters to Corporate Newspapers


By davidswanson - Posted on 11 January 2012

To WaPo:

Who knew rats were new to DC? I could have sworn I'd seen them around for years.  I could have sworn the piles of trash following inaugurations, fourths of july, and tastes of dc left swarms of rats behind.  I could have sworn that every time I've been in Freedom Plaza since October 6th it's been cleaner than 15th Street.  Do you have any serious reason to believe your new found awareness of rats, like some people's new found awareness of the homeless people who have been there for decades, doesn't come more from the observing than from what is being observed?  Did you know that the occupation of Freedom Plaza is campaigning for the investment in public services that would begin at long last to address this longstanding problem?  Did you know that detailed reports, proposals, analyses, and yes demands can be found at http://occupywashingtondc.org ?  Were you aware of the rat explosion and disease explosion in cities our military has bombed - which I'm sure the Post will be getting around to covering very very soon?  Can you prove the DC rat population isn't expanding city-wide because so many people have found it appropriate to discard their copies of the Washington Post, thus providing lots of nesting material?

Sincerely,

David Swanson

To Charlottesville Daily Progress:

On New Year's Eve the President signed a bill giving himself and future presidents the power to imprison anyone, including US citizens, forever with no trial, whether through the military or otherwise.  President Obama stretched these outrageous powers even further in an unconstitutional law-altering signing statement. Congressman Robert Hurt voted against the Defense Authorization Act because it tosses out our Constitutional rights.

While this issue had been a major controversy for months, and the Daily Progress has never yet mentioned it in a news story, you addressed it in an editorial on January 9th, but your editorial simply argued for the flexibility of not always using the military because the legitimate justice system can reduce terrorism.

Nowhere do you mention that the final version of the bill gave the president that flexibility and more, that he now claims the power to imprison anyone forever without any formal process whatsoever.  Nowhere do you mention that a week after the President signed the bill, Afghan President Karzai demanded that all Afghan prisoners be turned over within a month.  And nowhere do you even touch on the question of the right to habeas corpus, the right not to be punished for treason unless convicted in open court on the testimony of two witnesses, the right to be secure in your person, or the right to a speedy and public trial and a jury trial. 

Are all civil rights of simply negligible importance in comparison with fear of terrorism?  Among the many many things that kill more of us than terrorism are dogs, and they're our "best friend."  Take a deep breath please.

Sincerely,

David Swanson

Note to Self:

Knock it off.  They can't hear you.

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