The Fred Thompson Difference

The Fred Thompson Difference

Sunday, March 18, 2007 5:21 PM

 

Last Sunday, I posted the following excerpt from the Thompson interview on Fox Sunday where Thompson explained his reason for waiting to announce a presidential run with the following:

“…the trick is to do what’s necessary to be president and become president and still deserve to be president.”

He was referring to the state of modern campaigning where nothing is so crude or dishonest or otherwise underhanded as to be considered out of bounds. Today, Real Clear Politics via Powerline News links to the following article in the Tennessean further revealing why Thompson is different from the other candidates in a very important way.

If you saw last Sunday’s interview, Thompson stated he has never knocked down doors to chase opportunities and sees running for president no differently. Doors have always seemed to open for him and good things happen when he walks throught them. If the door opens for him to run, he will probably walk through it but on his terms. It would be refreshing to put that to the test.

Imagine that, a candidate with principles. Sounds very “Reaganesque” to me. You know, the “appealing to our better angels” thing?

Fatah and Hamas – Is There REALLY a Difference?

Fatah and Hamas – Is There REALLY a Difference?

Clap your hands!  Raise your arms and dance!  Happy Days are here again.  Now there will be peace.  

Well, if not peace, then at least a real hope for peace, as the Fatah and the Hamas have agreed to form a unity ‘government’. (See news article:  ‘Fatah and the Hamas have agreed to form a unity ‘government’ .)   But does it make a difference?  IS there any difference between the Fatah (PLO) and the the Hamas?  We are fed by the media and by the governments of the world pushing the ‘peace process’ that the fatah/PLO has changed, and now will work towards peace with israel, striving to live side by side with us.  The Fatah and its leader Mahmood Abbas are supposed to be ‘moderates’.  They wear suits and ties.  They were supposed to have changed their charter after the Oslo Accords, to stop their armed struggle.  They never did this. They never revised their charter.

     
Which is Fatah and which is the Hamas? Both are publicly parading with weapons they use (or plan to use) on Israel.

Which photo is which?  Which is Fatah and which is the Hamas?  Both are publicly parading with weapons they use (or plan to use) on Israel.

Both are terror entities.  Both have planned and committed terror attacks against Israelis.  Both continue to work for the destruction and demise of the Jewish State. The only real difference is that the Hamas is more religious oriented, while the Fatah/PLO is less focused on Islam.

See the Hamas Charter: (Here are just the first 12 resolutions, for brevity’s sake) Pay attention to what is highlighted in red.

Text of the Charter:

Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.

Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.

Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people possess the legal right to their homeland and have the right to determine their destiny after achieving the liberation of their country in accordance with their wishes and entirely of their own accord and will.

Article 4: The Palestinian identity is a genuine, essential, and inherent characteristic; it is transmitted from parents to children. The Zionist occupation and the dispersal of the Palestinian Arab people, through the disasters which befell them, do not make them lose their Palestinian identity and their membership in the Palestinian community, nor do they negate them.

Article 5: The Palestinians are those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or have stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father – whether inside Palestine or outside it – is also a Palestinian.

Article 6: The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.

Article 7: That there is a Palestinian community and that it has material, spiritual, and historical connection with Palestine are indisputable facts. It is a national duty to bring up individual Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner. All means of information and education must be adopted in order to acquaint the Palestinian with his country in the most profound manner, both spiritual and material, that is possible. He must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland and bring about its liberation.

Article 8: The phase in their history, through which the Palestinian people are now living, is that of national (watani) struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Thus the conflicts among the Palestinian national forces are secondary, and should be ended for the sake of the basic conflict that exists between the forces of Zionism and of imperialism on the one hand, and the Palestinian Arab people on the other. On this basis the Palestinian masses, regardless of whether they are residing in the national homeland or in diaspora (mahajir) constitute – both their organizations and the individuals – one national front working for the retrieval of Palestine and its liberation through armed struggle.

Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. Thus it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it. They also assert their right to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.

Article 10: Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness, and the mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution. It also requires the achieving of unity for the national (watani) struggle among the different groupings of the Palestinian people, and between the Palestinian people and the Arab masses, so as to secure the continuation of the revolution, its escalation, and victory.

Article 11: The Palestinians will have three mottoes: national (wataniyya) unity, national (qawmiyya) mobilization, and liberation.

Article 12: The Palestinian people believe in Arab unity. In order to contribute their share toward the attainment of that objective, however, they must, at the present stage of their struggle, safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity, and oppose any plan that may dissolve or impair it.

                                                                 *****************************

Ok, I lied to you.  This is NOT the Hamas Charter.  It is the PLO/Fatah Charter, the charter of the ‘Moderates’.  These terrorists are supposed to be the good guys, the ‘moderate’ ones, the ones that are seeking peace with Israel.  After reading this PLO/Fatah charter, do you believe it is looking for peace with Israel?  Does this group even agree to live side by side with an Israel, or is the whole charter saying there is no legitimacy for Israel, and that only a ‘Palestine’ can replace it?

Sadly, the Fatah and the Hamas want more of this for us here in Israel:

New Palestinian Authority textbooks call destruction of Israel a religious duty

New Palestinian Authority textbooks call destruction of Israel a religious duty

And the Knesset report finds that some of these textbooks are in use in East Jerusalem schools that are administered and funded by Israel. “Melchior: Raise PA textbooks with Abbas,” by Haviv Rettig for the Jerusalem Post:

“You can’t have agreements while this kind of hatred is inculcated in the children,” Knesset Education Committee Chairman Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad) said on Tuesday after seeing new 12th-grade textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority late last year.

“I intend to demand from Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] that he present the findings [of a new report on the textbooks] to Abu Mazen [PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] at their next meeting,” Melchior said.

Melchior’s statements at the Knesset followed the presentation of Palestinian Media Watch saying that Palestinian 12th grade textbooks teach that hating Israel and pursuing its destruction are religious duties.

PMW director Itamar Marcus told the Education Committee it was the first time the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been depicted in Palestinian schoolbooks as a religious, rather than a territorial, conflict.

“According to these books,” Marcus told the MKs, “the war over this land is a war for Muslim land, and will end only with the resurrection of the dead.” The books teach that “recognition of Israel is forbidden by religion,” he said.

Committee members promised to pressure international donors, particularly Belgium, whose contributions receive specific mention in the textbooks, to suspend their aid as long as such incitement continues in PA textbooks.

According to the report, the schoolbooks, the products of the official education arm of the PA, written by Fatah-appointed officials at the Center for Developing the Palestinian Curricula and published by the PA Ministry of Higher Education, are also used by schools in east Jerusalem that are under the jurisdiction of – and receive funding from – Israel’s Education Ministry.

Shlomo Alon, deputy head of the Pedagogic Secretariat in the Education Ministry, told the lawmakers the ministry would investigate whether the books were distributed in east Jerusalem schools and would cut funding for schools found using them.

According to Melchior, the report’s findings indicate a trend from “a conflict over land, which can be resolved by partition, to an existential religious conflict that cannot be resolved.”

MK Zeev Elkin (Kadima) called on the government to put in place “sanctions against the PA for such violations [of the Oslo Accords],” which he called “more dangerous than security violations in the long run.”

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Ten Things We’ve Forgotten About the Iraq War

Ten Things We’ve Forgotten About the Iraq War

As the Iraq war enters its fifth year, its time to reflect on some of the things that we’ve long since forgotten.

1. Most people have forgotten–or never knew–all the reasons we went to war.H.J.RES.114 is the Congressional resolution that authorized the President to use force to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein. Most Americans–probably including the 136 Congressional Representatives and 16 Senators who co-sponsored the resolution–have never bothered to read the text and instead parrot nonsense about “why we really went to war.” This law, however, provides the complete list of justifications for why we went to war with Iraq. This law establishes the criteria that the American people–through their elected representatives–agreed were sufficient reasons for using force in Iraq. The list includes:

Continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability (false); actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability (true); supporting and harboring terrorist organizations (true); continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population (true); refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq (true); failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait (true); demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people (true); attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush (true); firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces (true); harbored members of al-Qaeda (true); continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations (true).

Critics of the war who deny or downplay these reasons for going to war are either ignorant or dishonest. They are either unaware of the real reasons provided to the American people by their legislature or do know and are intentionally being deceptive.

2. The plan to overthrow Saddam began during the Clinton Administration — The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) was a Congressional statement of policy calling for regime change in Iraq which Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on October 31, 1998. The Act authorized the President to provide assistance (including military assistance that didn’t require the use of U.S. military force) to anti-Saddam groups working to enact a regime change. This act was also cited in H.J.RES.114.

3. It wasn’t just neo-conservatives who made the case for war. — Kenneth Pollack was the Iran-Iraq military analyst for the CIA, and the director of Persian Gulf Affairs and Near East and South Asian Affairs for the National Security Council under Bill Clinton. Pollack had both the experience and credentials to make liberals take notice so when his book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, debuted in 2002 it caused quite a splash among fence-sitters who were unwilling to accept the Republicans case for war. The New York Times claimed that Pollack‘s, ‘argument for invading Iraq is surely the most influential book of this season, has provided intellectual cover for every liberal who finds himself inclining toward war but uneasy about Mr. Bush.” According to The New Yorker, Pollack’s ‘comprehensive and convincing” case for war was presented, ‘More effectively than Dick Cheney or Paul Wolfowitz or any other of the hawkish big thinkers in the Administration…”

4. Saddam released over 100,000 hardened criminals from prison before the war. — At the beginning of the war, 1 out of every 200 Iraqis on the streets was a convicted rapist, robber, or murderer, or other felon. Unleashing such a horde of convicts would naturally have a devastating and detrimental impact on any society. Imagine what life would be like if we emptied every prison in Texas, a state that has approximately the same land area and population as Iraq. How safe do you think it would be to walk the streets of Austin or Dallas? Imagine also that the police forces had been disbanded and was having to be reconstituted. How long do you think it would take before the state was able to reach a level of ‘stability?”

Even if such an event were to occur here in the U.S. during a time of peace, it would be impossible for even the best police forces and military units to capture and reincarcerate all of these criminals within four years. The problem is compounded exponentially by occurring during a time of post-war reconstruction in a country run by a former dictator. Given such circumstances, how can anyone seriously claim that the country should even be close to being stable?

While I don’t think that all of the security issues in Iraq can be blamed on these criminals, a significant amount of the ‘insurgent activity” can reasonably be attributed to old fashioned lawlessness. Yet I can’t recall having heard anyone, either from the Left or from the Right, even mention this as a factor. Such an omission is inexcusable and I find it difficult to take any pundit seriously when they fail to take such realities into account.

5. Every Western government believed that Iraq had WMDs — In a interview with The Atlantic Monthly (Dec. 30, 2003), Kenneth Pollack made clear that Bush is not the only one who believed that Iraq had WMDs:

[The Atlantic] You too were a believer in the idea that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. How did that happen and on what evidence did you come to that conclusion?
My evidence came straight from the intelligence community. …I was certainly not alone in this—this was a consensus among the U.S. government, it was a consensus among the UN inspectors, it was a consensus of American experts outside the U.S. government. In fact, it was a consensus in the entire international community.

It’s important to remember that any intelligence service or country with the ability to monitor Iraq and its weapons programs—Germany, France, Britain, Russia, Israel—was a hundred percent certain that Saddam had these programs. There may have been some debate over just how aggressive they were or how far along they were. The Germans were the most alarmist of all on the subject of a nuclear weapon. They thought the Iraqis might have one in as little as two or three years. Our own intelligence community tended to be a little more conservative; they thought it was more like four to six years away—or five to seven. But no one doubted that Saddam had these weapons.

So there would have been very few, if any, people, who ever posited, even as a hypothetical, that Iraq didn’t have any imminent WMD programs?

I can’t think of anyone who did not believe that the Iraqis had a weapons of mass destruction program. There was simply no one.

6. Economic sanctions helped strengthen Saddam — With sanctions effectively forbidding all other foreign commerce, Iraq’s only legitimate trade was whatever flowed through Saddam’s ministries under the supervision of the UN program.

The UN even expanded the Oil-For-Food-Program (OFFP) to allow Saddam to import not just food and medicine but oil-industry equipment as well. The cap on the amount of oil that Iraq could sell was also raised from $4 billion to $10 billion a year. Saddam thanked the UN for their generosity by throwing the UN weapons inspectors out of Iraq.

In 2000, Saddam found another way to profit from the venture. As Claudia Rosett wrote in an article in Commentary magazine:

It worked like this. Saddam would sell at below-market prices to his hand-picked customers—the Russians and the French were special favorites—and they could then sell the oil to third parties at a fat profit. Part of this profit they would keep, part they would kick back to Saddam as a “surcharge,” paid into bank accounts outside the UN program, in violation of UN sanctions.

This allowed the dictator to pocket billions of dollars that was intended to be used for the relief of the Iraqi people. Emboldened by the UN’s refusal to reign him in, Saddam also began to smuggle out oil through Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. Rather than put a stop to this violation, the UN chose to expand the program even further. In 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan approved “Oil-for-Food Plus” which added ten new sectors to be funded by the program, including “labor and social affairs,” “information,” “justice,” and “sports.” This allowed the UN to aid in financing, as Rossett points out, “the realms of Baathist party patronage, propaganda, censorship, secret police, rape rooms, and mass graves.”

7. Iraq was linked to Al Qaeda — Although you still hear people claim otherwise, Saddam had ties to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. As the 9/11 commision chair Thomas Kean told reporters, “Were there contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq? Yes. Some of them were shadowy, but they were there.” Vice Chair Lee Hamilton added, “There were connections between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein’s government. We don’t disagree with that. What we have said is that we don’t have any evidence of a cooperative, or a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein’s government and these al-Qaida operatives with regard to attacks on the United States [italics added]. So it seems to me that the sharp differences that the press has drawn, that the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me.”

8. Democratic politicians like Ted Kennedy predicted that tens of thousands of Americans would die in combatKennedy said, ““The 45,000 body bags the Pentagon has sent to the region are all the evidence we need of the high price in lives and blood we will have to pay.” Kennedy also quoted General Joseph Hoar, who warned that when urban warfare broke out in Baghdad, the U.S. could run through “battalions a day at a time” and that the fighting would look like “the last fifteen minutes of ‘Private Ryan.’”

9. The pre-war casualty predictions were extremely inflated. — Before the war, the United Nations predicted that the civilian death toll in Iraq could reach 500,000. Current estimates are between 35,000 -40,000 — including insurgents and other combatents.

10. The U.S. did not attack Iraq “unilaterally.” — The UN has 148 democracies that were available to join the “Coalition of the Willing”:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Isle of Man, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Now look at the list of countries that joined our call to action:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, (Canada), Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, (Israel), Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Isle of Man, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, (Taiwan), Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

What about the other countries? We can’t expect nations who were on Saddam’s payroll to join us so we can exclude France and Russia. Three other countries refused, for various reasons, to get involved militarily (Germany, Egypt, and Bangladesh). Pakistan has its hands full aiding us in Afghanistan and Switzerland is, as always, neutral, so we can scratch those two as well. The countries that don’t have a military (Andorra, Dominica, Kiribati, Mauritius, Panama, Nauru, Tuvalu, Vanuatu) are obviously excluded as are the states that rely on others for their defense (Bermuda, Greenland, Isle of Man, Niue).

Because of the cost to deploy troops to Iraq, we should remove any country with a military budget under $200 million a year (Antigua, Armenia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Moldova, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

Once we scrub our list we are left with the following:

Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Serbia and Montenegro, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen

These are the remaining democracies–the able but unwilling–that did not join us in overthrowing a brutal dictator.

Iraqi jihadists used kids as cover, then killed them

Iraqi jihadists used kids as cover, then killed them

Iraqi “insurgents” commit another act of Islamophobia. “General: Insurgents used kids as cover, then killed them,” from CNN, with thanks to CGiddensJr:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqi insurgents used two children as a cover to get through a checkpoint in Baghdad and then blew up the car while the kids were still inside, a U.S. general said Tuesday.Two adults jumped from the car, leaving the children in the back. Moments later, the car exploded, witnesses said.

The car went through a checkpoint Sunday and parked by a market across the street from a school, said Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The two children and three bystanders died in the blast, and seven others were hurt, Pentagon officials said.

The attack raises concerns that insurgents are trying a new tactic: using children to throw off troops, Barbero said.

“Children in the back seat lower suspicion. We let it move through,” he said.

What do those moms and moms and moms and moms and dads that the President said we’re fighting for think of this new tactic?

Posted by Robert at 07:00 PM | Comments (20)
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Iran threatens to kidnap American soldiers and feed them to roosters

Roosters eat Cheeky Humans?

“Iran Threatens to Kidnap U.S. Soldiers,” from NewsMax, with thanks to Lame Cherry:

Iran is threatening to retaliate for what it calls the “kidnapping” of Revolutionary Guard officers by abducting Americans and feeding them to roosters.In an article in the Revolutionary Guard’s weekly paper, Reza Faker – believed to have close links to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – warned:

“We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed, blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks. Iran has enough people who can reach the heart of Europe and kidnap Americans and Israelis.”

The warning comes after the recent disappearance of three high-profile Iranian officers.

RightBlog: What I know about Fred Thompson

RightBlog: What I know about Fred Thompson

In 1966 I was a senior at Martin High School in Martin, Tenn. There was a new wave of politics sweeping parts of the country. A Republican by the name of Howard H. Baker Jr. was running for the U. S. Senate. Baker had served in congress from east Tennessee as did his father.Sen.Estes Kefauver had died in 1964 and the seat would be filled in the 1964 general election. A congressman by the name of Ross Bass won the democratic nomination over then governor Frank Clement, who also sought the nomination to fill the vacancy until the next scheduled term for that seat in 1966. Bass defeated Howard Baker in the general election in 1964.

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In Tennessee they have party primaries but the voters do not register by party affiliation. So when you go to vote the voter declares which primary they wish to vote in. Since there was rarely any real question to the outcome of the Republican primary many republicans voted in the democratic primary and cast their ballot for the candidate they perceived to be the weaker of the two front runners. This was the case with Bass, only he thought the people actually wanted him in the senate. The republicans were really surprised when Bass beat Baker in 1964. The democrats were really upset that Bass beat Clement in the primary. The battle field was set for the real contest to come in 1966.

1966 would be a year that Barry Goldwater style conservatism would start to win in many places across the country. Baker would go on to defeat Clement in the general election and serve the first of four terms in the U. S. Senate. That same day California would elect Ronald Reagan as governor.

Vietnam was starting to become a real issue because the war was expanding and so were the American causalities.

A young man named Fred Thompson was in his final year of law school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

I left to serve in the United States Marine Corps. That venture took me to Parris Island, S.C. where in our Platoon # 3092 a recruit named Jerry Gustav Hasford, an aspiring writer from Alabama, would one day write a book about the Marines. That book would be the subject from which the movie “Full Metal Jacket” was taken. Hasford received an academy award nomination for writing the screen play. Corporal Ronald P. Guidry from Kaplan, Louisiana and now lives in Lafayette, Louisiana was one of our Drill Instructors in Platoon # 3092.

Three and a half years later I returned home after having traveled completely around the world one time and gathered my fifteen minutes of fame by being involved in the defense of the American Embassy in Saigon during the Viet-Cong ground attack January 31, 1968. I returned to Tennessee in January 1970 and was attending the University of Tennessee Martin in 1972.

Fred Thompson was a full fledged attorney in 1972 and had set out to do well for his state and nation. He became the state campaign chairman for Howard Baker’s re-election. Baker handily defeated his democratic opponent, former three term congressman Ray Blanton. Tennessee would not hear the last of Blanton for a few more years.

Two years earlier Tennessee had gone almost completely republican with the election of a republican governor and another senator, Bill Brock. Seven out of nine members of congress were republican. The democrats helped even more when they nominated George McGovern as their presidential candidate. Nixon was running for re-election with very high approval ratings and things could not get much better for the Republican Party in Tennessee. But, it sure as hell could get worse!

The break in at the Watergate in Washington occurred and members of the White House staff were caught inside the Democratic National Committee offices. The democrats controlled both house of congress and they smelled blood and a lot of it. Notwithstanding the fact that the democrats had broken into the headquarters of Barry Goldwater during the 1964 election and everyone, including Goldwater and the press just laughed it off. This was different, the media and the democrats hated Nixon, along with a substantial number of republicans.

I don’t know if Baker hated Nixon or just saw an opportunity for himself or both. But he was the minority ranking member on the Watergate senate committee and brought to Washington his campaign manager Fred Thompson who would serve as counsel for the sub-committee. It was Fred who came up with the question “what did the president know and when did he know it?” and Baker asked it often and effectively. It was also Fred who asked the one question that would seal Nixon’s presidential fate, “Mr. Butterfield are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?” It should be noted that a young attorney on the democratic side was one Hillary Roddam; the Clinton was later added to her name.

Fred Thompson learned the lessons of politics well. Upon his return to Tennessee he found that the people in their infinite wisdom in 1974 would elect the most dishonest man ever to serve as governor of the state, a democrat named Ray Blanton. Blanton was from the old school when Tennessee was a one party state and the governor wielded enormous power. Things changed and the legislature found that they actually had power when the republican Winnfield Dunn was governor from 70-74.

Blanton set out make a complete ass of himself and the state. He once charged a prostitute’s service for oral sex while on a trip to Japan to the state’s American Express card, and when questioned about it claimed, “It was certainly legit because businessmen do it all the time.” To make matter worse he was selling pardons. The governors in most states have the power to pardon any felon for any reason. Blanton would take that as far as the dollars would permit.

A Blanton appointee as chairman of the pardon and parole board, Marie Ragghianti would be fired by Blanton for refusing to release some prisoners because she said they had bribed their way to a pardon or parole. She hired attorney Fred Thompson to sue the state. He did and won. Blanton’s fate was sealed by Fred! The FBI came in and confiscated pardon and parole board files but not before Blanton release fifteen inmates including some multiple murders. Fearing that Blanton would empty the prisons governor-elect Lamar Alexander would be sworn in three days ahead of the scheduled formal inauguration. Blanton would later go to prison.

Fred had already starting acting and would go on to star in a movie titled “Marie” whereby he would play himself. As an aftermath of Watergate Tennessee would go virtually democratic and Jimmy Carter would win the White House in 1976 and Tennessee would send a young pro-life, pro-gun owner, conservative, son of a former arch liberal senator Al Gore to congress.

Fred Thompson would return to Washington in January 1995 this time as a United States Senator, having won the election in the republican sweep of 1994 to full fill Al Gore’s term made necessary by Gore’s election as Vice-President in 1992. He was elected to a full six year term in 1996 only to leave at the end of that term.

When he ran for the senate he traveled the state driving a red Chevrolet pick up truck and wearing blue jeans most of the time. Bill Jackson, a friend of mine in Martin told Fred upon their first meeting, “You don’t know me from a pump shotgun but when I saw you driving that Chevrolet pick up I said by God that’s my man.” Bill says Fred is the real deal, no Washington make believe, no Madison Avenue hype.

Many speculate as to why he gave up such a promising political career to return to acting and a few government assignments now and then. I think it is because Fred saw, as he had seen a few times before, the corruption and abuse of power that comes with the territory of politics. He wanted to get out before he had to ask any of his friends the questions that would seal their fate.

Many now want Fred to run for President. One republican called a friend of mine the other day to tell her that he will not back her favorite candidate Rudy Giuliani. As he put, “Rudy doesn’t like guns, Fred likes guns, South Louisiana likes guns, Rudy must go, Fred is good.”

Will Fred run for President in 2008? I would say that there is about a seventy percent chance that he will. If the others start to fade and Mitt Romney doesn’t catch fire, Fred may well answer the call.

If my friends are right and Fred is the real deal he may very well win. We shall see.