Readers respond to stories on the deepening postwar quagmire, anger in the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon's own private spy shop.

By Salon Staff
Published July 19, 2003 10:48PM (EDT)

[Read "From Heroes to Targets," by Michelle Goldberg.]

Col. Pat Lang's conclusion that the neocon ideology regarding the outcome of our war against Iraq "was a massive illusion" is generous to say the least. I would term it a delusion (a false belief held without reservation as a result of self-deception) at best. Worse, it could turn out to be a deliberate attempt to deceive. In other words, a lie.

At this point, my trust in our present administration is so broken that I am beginning to give real consideration to the possibility that certain individuals high up in the administration perpetrated a falsehood to lead us into war against Iraq for their own purposes, and that it's possible those purposes include self-enrichment, and enrichment of friends and supporters. Witness the windfall being made by a subsidiary of Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice President Cheney.

-- Karen Olsen

U.S. soldiers are heroes to stay on the front lines of a war so many are against, and with families that want them home. When the war "broke out," we were asked to put a light in our windows until our troops returned home. Mine is still there, and I wonder if, like Korea, someone else will keep this light burning 50 years from now for our soldiers in Iraq, as I will be long gone.

-- Duncan Munroe

Just wanted to add my voice to the constantly growing chorus of those thanking you for your consistent, timely analyses of the paralysis in our country. Michelle Goldberg deserves special commendation for her most recent article, "From Heroes to Targets"; hers is precisely the type of reporting that renews my faith in the power of the free press. Salon has the unique ability to speak truth to power in a direct, unflinching manner, setting an example for both political courage and truth in advertising. This student and subscriber is eternally grateful for both during these rocky times.

-- Eli Staub

[Read "Spooked by the White House," by Mark Follman.]

CIA veteran Ray McGovern states that President Bush was informed in a briefing Aug. 6, 2001, titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.," that "there were allusions to plane hijackings." Does anybody remember where George Bush was on Aug. 6, 2001? He was in the middle of a highly publicized month-long vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Had Bush been paying attention to his intelligence instead of his horses, the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, might have been averted.

No wonder the White House is stonewalling the 9/11 investigations; President Bush is indeed guilty of gross negligence. Not only should he be impeached for failing the country on the highest order, he should be charged as an accessory to the murder of everybody who died because of his ineptitude.

-- Stephen J. Lorenzo

What ever happened to "the buck stops here?" Truman didn't blame an overzealous military for dropping the second, probably unnecessary A-bomb, and Kennedy didn't mention the bad advice and outright lies he was told in the not-really-his-fault Bay of Pigs debacle. Both appropriately took full responsibility.

Bush is the least presidential occupant of the White House in living memory. It's truly pathetic that he's allowing Tenet to take the heat, and typically cynical for Bush to spin it to look as if he's being supportive of his man, even as he cuts Tenet's throat to save himself.

-- Dave Scheff

Thank you, Salon. It's too bad that this interview did not appear on "60 Minutes" or "NBC Nightly News" -- it needs to.

-- John Caroll

One can only hope that the wider media will print in full the terrific July 14 open letter to the White House by the group of former CIA agents. Of course, its two-page length will preclude its being read by the addressee.

-- Walter Dombrowski

[Read "Rumsfeld's Personal Spy Ring," by Eric Boehlert.]

Cheney and Rumsfeld make Nixon look like a babe in the woods. These guys have warped government to suit their own needs and have the gall to think that no one is ever going to expose them. All I can say is that if the Democrats don't leverage what we now know in order to remove Bush and his clique from power in the next election, God help us, because it's Iran and North Korea next.

Apparently Bush et al. are not only interested in wrecking our economy at home, they are hell-bent on antagonizing the rest of the world. What a sorry state of the nation this really is.

-- Steve Harper

Great article, but I don't understand why Michael Jackson is in the picture with Cheney and Rumsfeld.

-- Walt Roberts

Salon Staff

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