You don't mind if I call you Johnny, do you? I suppose "Mr.
Attorney General" would be more respectful, but it sounds a little stodgy.
"Johnny" might help lighten up your image. Make you look less angry. You
Anyway, your boss, the President, says he doesn't read the
newspapers, and it occurs to me that in following your leader, you may not
read them either. So I'm writing to tell you what the papers are saying
It's not pretty, Johnny. It pains me to tell you, but you need to
For example, Jonathan Turley, in an L.A. Times piece this month,
said you were conducting a "jihad against free speech." He gave as an
example your department's prosecution of three nuns for "obstructing
national defense" by painting crosses on the concrete cap over a Minuteman
III missile silo.
And all that while Kenny Boy Lay has never been charged with
It doesn't look good, Johnny.
There's more: the International Committee of the Red Cross
criticized us this month for the continuing confinement of the 660
detainees at Guantanamo. The committee said the prisoners were going
stir-crazy, and that there had been 32 suicide attemptslargely because
while most of them have been imprisoned for about two years, they're in an
unsettled state of mind because not one of them has been tried for any
Looks bad, Johnny. Real bad. Whatever happened to speedy trials?
I know, I know, the USA Patriot Act lets us do that. But it looks
like something we'd expect Bad Guys to do. We're supposed to be Good
And it makes you, Johnny, look like an Attorney General who
doesn't care about America's notion that everyone's innocent until proven
You know what else it looks like? It looks like we're making
judgments based on names and appearances. If they have beards and
funny names like Khalid or Abdulah or Mohamad, and if they can speak
Arabic and they're Muslim, then it looks like we can just ship them off to
Guantanamo and throw away the key.
That's just the public perception, I know.
But I've got an idea that will get us out from under that
perception, Johnny. Here it is:
What we need to do is to imprison at Guantanamo some
Anglo-American Christian with a respectable-sounding American name. Just
one would do our reputation a world of good.
And I've got a guy in mind, Johnny.
He's a guy who two years ago responded to 9/11 by saying we had it
coming. He agreed with a fellow traveler that God was "allowing the
enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."
Make your blood boil? Well I should say.
The Truth, Mainly
And just this month, this same guy talked on television with the
author of a book called "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department
Endangers America's Security."
And get this: according to the A.P. this guy seemed to agree with
the author that the State Department headquarters at Foggy Bottom should
be blown up with a nuclear bomb!
Yes he did, Johnny.
I guess the Justice Department didn't pay much attention because
this guy was just repeating what he'd said on television in June: "Well,
it looks like Congress had better do something, and maybe we need a very
small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up."
He grins a goofy little grin when he says things like that, but as
Hamlet tells us, "one may smile, and smile, and be a villain."
I don't know how much contact you have with Colin Powell's folks,
Johnny, but Richard Boucher, a State Department spokesman, called this
guy's nuke remark "despicable" and said "I lack sufficient capabilities to
express my disdain."
So what I'm suggesting, Johnny, would improve your relations with
the State Department at the same time you would knock down the notion that
the only threats to America are people with beards and funny names like
Khalid or Abdulah or Mohamad.
Ship this guy I've been telling you about to Guantanamo. Don't
tell him what he's charged with. Treat him the same way we've been
treating the other 660 down there.
Surely, if he's to be believed, he's as least as big a threat to
us as the others are. And it will show the world there's no cultural or
religious bias in our government.
P.S. I almost forgot to give you this guy's name. It's Rob
Patterson or Pat Robertson or something like that. Maybe you've heard of
Retired English Professor Leon Satterfield writes to salvage clarity
from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays. His e-mail