Freedom Center founder unveils the leftist romantic fantasy — that leads to earthly hell.

Part 1

David Horowitz was born in Forest Hills, N.Y., on January 10, 1939, the year of the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact, which shattered the illusions of many Communists and other members of the progressive Left. But Horowitz’s schoolteacher parents, Blanche and Phil, remained steadfast in their commitment to the party. They had met in Communist gatherings in the early 1930s and engaged in what turned out to be a lifelong “political romance,” as David later described it in his autobiography, Radical Son, thinking of themselves as “secret agents” of the Soviet future.

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The Progressive Delusion, revealing the leftist romantic fantasy that leads to earthly hell. The clip is excerpted from the Freedom Center founder’s recent lecture on the destruction of American higher education and his new book, The Black Book of the American Left, Volume VIII: The Left in the University.

Part 2

Conservatives generally, and Republicans in particular, either fail to understand that there is a political war taking place, or disapprove of the fact that there is. Conservatives approach politics as a series of management issues, and hope to impose limits on what government may do. Their paradigm is based on individualism, compromise, and partial solutions. This puts conservatives at a distinct disadvantage in political combat with the Left, whose paradigm of oppression and liberation inspires missionary zeal and is perfectly suited to aggressive tactics and no-holds-barred combat. Horowitz’s political strategy is to turn the tables on the Left, framing “liberals” and “progressives” as the actual oppressors of minorities and the poor.

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 Archaeological Institute of America

Smoke pours from USS Arizona on Battleship Row during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also visible are USS California, listing at left, USS Maryland, right of the plume, with the capsized USS Oklahoma directly beside it, and USS Neosho at right.

The two hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, might be the most heavily documented and studied in history. There are eight official investigations, from a Naval Court of Inquiry to a Joint Congressional Committee, reams of records, and enough books, oral histories, documentaries, and feature films to fill a library. Yet there are still things that can be learned about the morning when 350 Japanese warplanes killed 2,403 Americans, wounded another 1,104, and sank or severely damaged 21 ships in a coordinated attack on military sites around Oahu, Hawaii.

A number of factors have obscured details—big and small—from that day. For example, the surprise of the attack complicated eyewitness accounts. Secrecy shrouded the active war effort on both sides. And, in the aftermath, the United States rushed to rebuild its naval power in the Pacific with the greatest maritime salvage project in history, which returned all but three of the damaged ships to service. This effort begins to explain why there are few archaeological sites directly tied to December 7.

In 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management completed the first database of submerged cultural resources in the main Hawaiian Islands. Of 2,114 entries, just five come from the attack: two battleships in the harbor, two Japanese submarines in deep water, and a lone American seaplane. All were spared salvage—and in some cases discovery—for decades by some combination of depth, damage, and respect for the dead.

For the United States, Pearl Harbor stands alongside Yorktown, Gettysburg, Little Bighorn, and other iconic battlefields as a crucible of American identity. But it is different in both its freshness in memory and its inaccessibility, since most of the surviving remnants lie underwater, within active military installations, or both. It was 40 years before the underwater sites became the subject of archaeological inquiry. “We’re gaining a much more detailed understanding of the battlefield and all of its nuances,” says James Delgado, director of maritime heritage for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, who has been directly involved in several of the archaeological projects at Pearl Harbor. “Seventy-five years on, the view is far more comprehensive and three-dimensional, not just in terms of the major events, but also individual experiences.”

Today there are very few survivors of the attack, and fewer each year. The sites discussed here will soon be the only primary sources about an event that changed the course of the twentieth century. They are being studied not out of historical curiosity, but to ensure their stewardship for the future.

The Battleships

USS Arizona and USS Utah

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives)
USS Arizona burns following the explosion of its forward magazine. On the left, USS Tennessee sprays water to force away burning oil.

The broken remains of the battleship USS Arizona, in shallow water off Ford Island, are a war grave, a pilgrimage site, a potential environmental nightmare, and a focal point for the study of shipwrecks around the world and the archaeological landscape of World War II. Arizona, commissioned on October 16, 1916, was the second and last battleship in the Pennsylvania “super-dreadnought” class: 608 feet long, 33,000 horsepower, armed with 12 14-inch guns and around 30 smaller ones, and with armor up to 18 inches thick. It saw little action before it entered Pearl Harbor for the last time on December 6, 1941, and docked in berth F-7, where the repair ship USS Vestal pulled alongside it.

Arizona began to take fire almost as soon as the attack began, and men scrambled across the teak deck fighting fires. There are reports that its bottom was blown out by a torpedo that slid in under Vestal, around the same time that a torpedo fatally struck USS Utah, an older battleship used for anti-aircraft training. Then, at 8:10 a.m., crack Japanese bombardier Noburo Kanai loosed a 1,760-pound armor-piercing bomb that penetrated Arizona’s deck beside the No. 2 turret and detonated the forward magazine, killing 1,177 men. At 10:32 a.m., 30 minutes after the attack ended, the ship was declared untenable and abandoned. It burned for days.

Within a week, Navy divers were examining Arizona, and over the next two years they removed turrets, sensitive material, live ammunition, machinery, the masts—and 105 bodies, though those efforts were stopped due to manpower limitations, safety concerns, and the emotional toll on the divers. In December 1942 Arizona was struck from the books of commissioned ships, its remaining casualties declared buried at sea. It was one of the three ships damaged in the attack that did not return to service, along with Utah, which still sits in the harbor, and USS Oklahoma, which was refloated but sold for scrap and lost in a storm in 1947. Dave Conlin, chief of the National Park Service (NPS) Submerged Resources Center (SRC), has led recent studies of the wreck and says, “Had Arizona not been so catastrophically wounded by the attack, or Utah been righted like they were trying to do, there would be almost no indications of what happened here.”

(Courtesy National Park Service)
The No. 1 turret of USS Arizona, thought to have been removed decades before, was first found to be intact in the 1980s.

Once the salvage ended, no one systematically examined the wreck until NPS took over management of the site in 1980. Its condition at the time, according to a later NPS report, was “riddled with contradiction and mystery.” The SRC (then called the Submerged Cultural Resources Unit) and the Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One planned a series of dive seasons. The project began in 1983 with an unexpected revelation. It had been thought that all four of Arizona’s turrets had been removed or destroyed. But just aft of the explosion damage, divers found the No. 1 turret—intact. “Three battleship guns in a turret as big as a Greyhound bus, at a depth of 29 feet. How is it that they didn’t know about that?” says Conlin. “Everyone thought all the turrets had been removed. Unbelievable.”

The next year, NPS and the Navy began a foot-by-foot inspection and mapping project to assess the wreck and look for evidence of undocumented operational modifications, battle damage, and salvage efforts. This had never been attempted on a wreck of this scale. There were no guidelines to follow, no relevant experience or technology, save string, clothespins, measuring tape, plastic protractors, and some electronic measuring tools. But they had some expertise, particularly that of NPS’s Larry Nordby, whose work measuring cliff dwellings in the Southwest helped them adjust for the curvature of the ship. Those original measurements, according to Scott Pawlowski, chief of cultural and natural resources at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, “were just damn good.” They found that the hull plates had ripped outward 20 feet at the point of the explosion like an over-pressurized tin can. They retrieved potentially explosive materials, observed items from dishes to a Coke bottle to a fire hose, and could not find evidence of a torpedo strike. Of diving on the wreck during this time, when he was with NPS, NOAA’s James Delgado says, “It connects you to the human events that happened, those details that are intimate and personal, beyond the iconic image of a burning battleship.”

Courtesy National Park Service/eTrac ROV)A 3-D scan of USS Arizona shows the explosion damage to the bow at lower left.

The project continued in the following years with the mapping of Utah, an often-forgotten casualty of the attack, and an unsuccessful scan for crashed aircraft and submarines. Of major concern were Arizona’s structural integrity and the estimated 500,000 gallons of bunker C fuel oil inside. Around a gallon a day still leaks from the wreck, a bright sheen visible to every visitor to the memorial. Another phase of research began around 2000 and applied the latest technology and modeling to understand how the ship is changing. Arizona has since become the best-characterized metal wreck in the world. Working with the Navy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, University of Nebraska, U.S. Geological Survey, and other partners, NPS created a detailed model of the stresses on the ship. They have studied the microbes, chemical decay products, water flow, the sediment and rock beneath it. They’re using sonar, 3-D imaging, hyperspectral cameras. “We’re bringing all these data sets together,” says Pawlowski.

“What we learned is that, yes, Arizona is corroding. Yes, Arizona is rusting. And yes, Arizona is changing,” says Conlin, “but it’s changing very, very slowly, and the best science that we have tells us that Arizona will still have significant structural integrity for at least another 150 years.” The risk of a catastrophic spill is low, he adds. Battleships don’t hold oil in a single tank, but in hundreds of cells. A recent SRC study found that, of the several places where oil emerges from the wreck, only one appears to be closely connected to a fuel storage area. The rest of the leaking oil follows a circuitous path through interior spaces, which suggests that it is distributed around the ship. Furthermore, it is thought that the oil inside inhibits the degradation of the metal and provides a buoyant force for its structure. And there’s no way to remove the oil without deeply impacting or damaging a war grave. “We are getting smarter about how we can understand Arizona,” Conlin says, “and also how we can manage Arizona.”

Another recent project has involved entering the wreck with an innovative new remotely operated vehicle developed by the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which will be used to create 3-D models of some interior spaces of the ship, measure sediment accumulation, and collect microbial communities from inside. Such sensitive work, Conlin explains, is not undertaken lightly and is not just to feed curiosity, but is in service of preservation and stewardship of the wreck and others like it. “What started as an iconic battleship, the way it was in the 1980s, becomes something more,” says Delgado. “The development of the field of marine, maritime, and nautical archaeology—you can really see it in a microcosm with the way work on Arizona has advanced.”

The Submarines

Type A Kō-hyōteki

(U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command)A Japanese midget submarine washes up on the east side of Oahu the morning after the attack. Five were used in the offensive.

The first shot of the Pacific War was not fired from a Japanese fighter, but from an American destroyer, more than an hour before the attack began. At 5:45 a.m., the cargo ship USS Antares spotted an object that might have been a submarine in the Defensive Sea Area outside Pearl Harbor. The destroyer USS Ward fired on it twice around 6:37 a.m. The second shot found its mark, and the object sank beneath Ward. On board this secret Japanese submarine, two young operators became the first casualties of the Pacific War.

Sub sightings continued throughout the attack, on both sides of the harbor entrance and even within it, where at around 8:30 a.m. the destroyer USS Monaghan rammed and sank another. Early the next morning, a small sub and a surviving crewman, Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki, washed ashore on the east side of Oahu. Sakamaki became America’s first prisoner of war, and the Navy got a close look at what they had been firing at.

The subs are known as Type A Kō-hyōteki–class subs, and it is now known that five were deployed in the attack. Just 81 feet long and 6 feet in diameter, with a crew of two and a 600-horsepower electric motor, each “midget” sub was transported, piggyback, on a larger submarine. They fanned out around 10 miles from the harbor entrance early on the morning of December 7. Their plan was to enter the harbor one by one, wait out the attack, and then fire their torpedoes that night. Though their role in the attack was lauded in Japan, they weren’t successful in this particular mission.

The fates of some of these subs have been a mystery. Sakamaki’s is now on display at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. The one rammed by Monaghan was raised and buried at Pearl Harbor in 1942. In June 1960, another was found by a Navy diver at Keehi Lagoon, east of the harbor entrance. The bow was removed and dumped, and the rest sent back to Japan, where it was restored and put on display at the Naval Academy at Etajima (now the Naval History Museum). That left two: the one sunk by Ward and another that may or may not have made it into the harbor.

Concerted searches for the subs began in the 1980s. Most were conducted by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL), which operates two submersibles that ferry scientists and filmmakers to the deep ocean. Before each season, the subs do a series of dives to test their equipment. Since the early 1990s, HURL’s chief submersible pilot Terry Kerby has used the dives to search for wrecks, the midget subs in particular. “If we could use those test dives in an area where we might find something,” he says, “then we would do it.” They have made dozens of finds this way, from an old Studebaker to a Japanese aircraft-carrying submarine.

(Courtesy Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)A submarine wreck was found in three pieces between 1992 and 2001.

In 1992, HURL found the stern section of a midget sub, followed by the midsection in 2000 and the bow in 2001. This sub was not identified at the time, but became known as the “three-piece.” In 2002, while investigating a sonar target just outside the Defensive Sea Area, HURL found another sub, intact. They saw, just where the conning tower meets the hull, the hole made by the first shot of the war. Survey showed that Ward’s shot struck a support frame and deflected downward, creating a vent hole in the bottom of the sub, which explains why it didn’t implode as it porpoised to a soft landing a mile from its fatal encounter. “It took 10 years, but we finally found it,” says Kerby. “It was in perfect condition.”

That left the three-piece. One theory about this sub is that it made it into the harbor, all the way to the backwater called West Loch, where it fired its torpedoes and set off its scuttling charge. Then, following the West Loch disaster, a massive accidental explosion in 1944, it was picked up, cut into pieces, and disposed of. A new analysis by NOAA and HURL, which returned to examine the sub in 2013, proposes an alternate explanation. The cruiser USS St. Louis reported that as it exited the harbor at the end of the attack, two torpedoes were fired at it but struck a reef. NOAA’s James Delgado and his team found a new piece of evidence to support this—a report that a 1950–1951 marine science expedition led by George Vanderbilt III stumbled across a midget sub, blown in half, near where St. Louis had been fired upon. The report, sent to LIFE magazine by an intelligence officer named Captain Roger Pineau, stated that the sub was hauled up, cut further, and dumped. The remains of a Japanese serviceman were found nearby a few days later. Delgado and his coauthors conclude that the three-piece is indeed the final sub from the attack, but that it probably never made the difficult journey into the harbor. It was likely waiting next to the harbor entrance—like the one discovered on the other side in 1960—to block it by sinking ships as they fled the attack.

The Seaplane

PBY-5 Catalina

(Official U.S. Navy Photograph, Naval History and Heritage Command)Servicemen attempt to save a burning seaplane at Kaneohe Bay.

In the attack, 75 percent of the U.S. planes sitting at airfields near Pearl Harbor were damaged or destroyed. For all the aircraft lost—the Japanese lost 59—there is one that can be linked to that morning. Very few people can gain access to it, and even then only with a military escort, since it lies in the water just off Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, on the east side of Oahu. During the war, this was the location of a Naval Air Station for PBY-5 Catalina seaplanes, long-range reconnaissance craft.

The Japanese knew that these planes could track them to their carriers north of the island. The PBY-5s had a range of almost 1,500 miles and could be in the air in minutes. So, just before the general attack, at 7:48 a.m., attacking planes strafed the Naval Air Station with 20 mm incendiary rounds and bombs. Of the 36 planes there, three were out on patrol, six were damaged, and the rest were destroyed. Servicemen at Kaneohe Bay scrambled to put out fires and salvage what they could.

Courtesy Hans Van Tilburg, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)In the cockpit of one, the throttles suggest takeoff had been attempted.

In the 1980s, the mooring area was used for training mine-detecting dolphins. That could be when the battered wreck of one of the PBY-5s was first identified. In 1994, students and archaeologists from the University of Hawaii and East Carolina University surveyed the remains. “It was a good start on the submerged story,” says Hans Van Tilburg, who was on that team and is now a maritime heritage coordinator with NOAA. In 2000, the University of Hawaii returned to the site for surveys that turned up aviation-related scraps, but no other planes. It’s possible that the others had been salvaged or drifted into deeper, murkier water. “Our desire is to get back to the bay and continue looking in deeper water,” says Van Tilburg.

The remains of the plane consist of the forward portion of its fuselage, including the cockpit and turret, which lies on its starboard side in about 30 feet of water, the starboard half of the 105-foot parasol wing, and the fragmented remains of the tail 30 feet away. It is likely that fuel tanks in the center of the wing exploded, but the wrecked seaplane holds telling details about the frantic eight minutes of that initial Japanese attack.

There is a large gash in the port side, just where a propeller would have been. Inside the cockpit, the port throttle is in the forward position. Yet the plane is still attached to its mooring line. This all suggests that an attempt was made to scramble at least one of the planes—but that it didn’t get far. The wreck does not provide evidence of what happened to the pilot, or just how many planes were moored at Kaneohe that morning. Some sources say three, others four, and there are six in a drawing by a Japanese pilot. “Every eyewitness account contradicts the other accounts,” says Van Tilburg. “It’s still a bit of a mystery. But this might be the only plane we know of that we can point to and say, ‘This is a December 7 casualty.’”


Timeline of Pearl Harbor attack: What happened on Dec. 7, 1941

3:42 a.m.

The minesweeper Condor is on patrol less than two miles off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. The officer of the deck sees something “about fifty yards ahead off the port bow.” He asks a sailor what he makes of the object. “That’s a periscope, sir,” the sailor replies. “And there aren’t supposed to be any subs in the area.”

The Condor sends a blinker-light message to the destroyer Ward: “Sighted submerged submarine on westerly course, speed 9 knots.”

6:10 a.m.

Already in flight, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who will lead the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor, sees the Japanese aircraft carriers rocking on a choppy sea. Crewmen cling to the aircraft to keep the planes from going over the side. The carriers turn into the wind, and the first wave of planes — 183 fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes — roars into the sky. Pilots reconfirm their navigation by using a Honolulu radio station’s music as a guiding beam.

6:45 a.m.

The U.S. destroyer Ward, having found the submarine reported by the Condor, moves in for the kill. The Ward’s captain, Lt. William W. Outerbridge, has been in command for only two days. He orders men to open fire. The second shot strikes the submarine at the waterline. The submarine heels over and appears “to slow and sink.”

6:53 a.m.

A message is sent from the Ward to the 14th Naval Headquarters at Pearl Harbor Naval Station: “We have dropped depth charges upon sub operating in defensive sea area.” Then, almost immediately, a second, more detailed message: “We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area.” Outerbridge believes that the message will show superiors that the destroyer had not just seen a submarine but actually had “shot at something.”

7:02 a.m.

The Army’s Opana Mobile Radar Station is one of six radar stations on Oahu. Radar is a new defense tool in Hawaii. One of the two privates on duty looks at the radar oscilloscope and can’t believe his eyes. He asks the other private to take a look — and he confirms the sighting: 50 or more aircraft on a bearing for Oahu. The privates call the Fort Shafter information center, the hub of the radar network.

7:15 a.m.

The Ward had sent out its message about attacking the sub in code. At headquarters, code clerks decode the message. The message gradually makes its way to the top: Adm. Husband Kimmel, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. Because there had been so many “false reports of submarines” recently, Kimmel decides to “wait for verification of the report.”

7:20 a.m.

An Army lieutenant who is in training at the radio network operations center at Fort Shafter gets the Opana radar station report: “the biggest sightings” the radar operator had ever seen. By now the planes are about 70 miles away. The lieutenant believes that the radar had picked up a flight of U.S. B-17 bombers heading from California to Hawaii. For security reasons, he cannot tell this to the radar operators. All he says is, “Well, don’t worry about it.”

7:33 a.m.

U.S. code breakers have cracked the Japanese diplomatic codes. From a Tokyo-to-Washington message, President Franklin Roosevelt and Gen. George Marshall, Army chief of staff, learn that Japanese negotiators in Washington have been told to break off talks. Believing this may mean war, Marshall sends a warning to Lt. Gen. Walter Short, commander of Army forces in Hawaii. Marshall’s message goes via commercial telegraph. (It will reach Short’s headquarters at 11:45 a.m. He will not see it until about 3 p.m.)

7:40 a.m.

Japanese pilots see “a long white line of coast”— Oahu’s Kakuku Point.

7:49 a.m.

Fuchida, looking down on Pearl Harbor, sees no aircraft carriers, which the Japanese hoped to destroy and thus thwart U.S. retaliation. (The carriers were on missions.) He orders his telegraph operator to tap out: attack. Then other taps: attack, surprise achieved.

7:55 a.m.

At the command center on Ford Island, Commander Logan Ramsey looks out a window to see a low-flying plane. A reckless U.S. pilot, he thinks. Then he sees “something black fall out of that plane” and realizes it’s a bomb. Ramsey runs to a radio room and orders the telegraph operators to send out an uncoded message to every ship and base: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL. The coordinated attack begins as dive bombers strike the Army Air Forces’ Wheeler Field, north of Pearl Harbor, and Hickam Field, near Ford Island’s Battleship Row. The Japanese, wanting control of the air, hope to destroy American warplanes on the ground. Most U.S. planes have been parked wingtip-to-wingtip in neat rows to make it easy to guard them against sabotage. Most are destroyed.

8 a.m.

As part of a U.S. plan to bolster the Pacific forces, 12 B-17s had been ordered to the Philippines. The first stop is Oahu. Unaware that Japan is attacking Oahu, they prepare to land. Because they are unarmed — to save weight — the B-17s can only dodge Japanese fighters and U.S. anti-aircraft gunfire. Most manage to land intact; one touches down on a golf course.

8:10 a.m.

An armor-piercing bomb, dropped by a high-altitude bomber, pierces the forward deck of the USS Arizona battleship, setting off more than 1 million pounds of gunpowder, creating a huge fireball and killing 1,177 men. A sailor on the torpedoed battleship Nevada sees the Arizona “jump at least 15 or 20 feet upward in the water and sort of break in two.” In nine minutes, the Arizona is on the bottom.

8:17 a.m.

Through the flames and smoke, the destroyer Helm speeds to the open sea. As the Helm leaves the channel, a lookout spots a Japanese sub snagged on a reef. The Helm “turned hard right toward enemy submarine,” shoots — and misses. The two-person sub breaks free and submerges. But it snags again. Trying to escape from the foundering sub, one crewman drowns. The other is washed ashore — and becomes the United States’ first World War II prisoner of war.

8:39 a.m.

As the destroyer Monaghan tries to “get out of that damn harbor as fast as possible,” a nearby U.S. ship signals that it has sighted a submarine. The Monaghan heads for the sub at top speed, hits it with gunfire, then rams it and drops depth charges. The charges are so close that when they explode, the blasts lift the Monaghan out of the water but do not damage it. The sinking midget submarine fire a torpedo, but it does not hit anything.

8:50 a.m.

The USS Nevada battleship gets steam up in 45 minutes and, with anti-aircraft guns blazing, heads for the open sea. A sailor sees its U.S. flag flying in the smoke and thinks of the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Nevada was the only battleship able to get under way. Japanese planes of the second wave bomb the ship, hoping that by sinking the ship in the narrow channel it will bottle up the fleet. Rather than risk that, the Nevada deliberately grounds itself off Hospital Point.


8:54 a.m.

The second wave — 35 fighters, 78 dive bombers, and 54 high-altitude bombers — meets heavy anti-aircraft fire. Bombers attack the Navy yard dry dock and hit the battleship Pennsylvania. Another bomber hits oil tanks between the destroyers Cassin and Downes. Onboard ammunition explodes, and the Cassin rolls off its blocks and into the Downes. Bombs hit the light cruiser Raleigh, which had been torpedoed in the first wave. Crewmen jettison gear to keep it from capsizing.


9:30 a.m.

A bomb blows off the bow of the destroyer Shaw; pieces of the ship rain down half a mile away. A photo of the spectacular explosion becomes one of the best-known images of the day. Except for the Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma, every ship sunk or damaged Dec. 7 will sail again.


10 a.m.

Japanese fighters rendezvous with bombers off Oahu and follow them back to the carriers. Of the 29 Japanese planes lost, anti-aircraft guns probably shot down 15. Exultant Japanese pilots urge a third strike. If the gasoline tanks at Pearl Harbor are hit, they reason, the Pacific Fleet will be out of action for weeks. But superiors, saying the attack has been successful, rule out a third strike. One reason: the whereabouts of the U.S. carriers is still unknown.


10:30 a.m.

From the ships and airfields come the wounded — some horribly burned, others riddled by bullets and shrapnel. At some hospitals, casualties are laid out on lawns. Medics convert barracks, dining halls and schools into temporary hospitals. For many severely wounded and dying men, all nurses can do is give them morphine. They then put a lipstick M on their foreheads to indicate the painkilling drug. The death toll eventually reaches 2,390.


The Japanese strike force turns for home. In the 44 months of war that will follow, the U.S. Navy will sink every one of the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships and cruisers in this strike force. And when Japan signs the surrender document on Sept. 2, 1945, among the U.S. warships in Tokyo Bay will be a victim of the attack, the USS West Virginia.

All that was for the future; for now, everything was lost in joyful exuberance and a surge of patriotism, the likes of which might not be seen again on that campus or another. During those borrowed years before the unsought war came to America, these students had favored America’s entry into the war, or they had opposed it, or they had not known exactly where they stood, but the differences that had seemed so important didn’t really matter any longer. What needed to be done now seemed very clear.

By: Eric Zuesse

Some of the finest investigative journalists have recently documented different parts of what constitutes, in its totality, a single consistent narrative portrayal of Robert Mueller, as being a person who can be understood only as either incredibly incompetent, or else profoundly corrupt (which latter they all seem to be agreeing that he actually is). This complete collective picture of Mueller, as being profoundly corrupt, will be presented here, with links to all of the journalists’ articles, each of which, I have personally checked and verified its sources. Consequently, I accept as true, and here summarize, their collective account of Robert Mueller — the former FBI Director and current Special Counsel assigned to assemble a case for impeaching President Trump — as being a profoundly corrupt person:

The basic presentation here will be that supplied by the anonymous owner of, and a writer for, a blog for which I also happen to write, Washingtonsblog, who headlined on November 1st, “13 Shocking Facts About Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller”. (That report was also posted on November 2nd at Zero Hedge, which has a much larger audience.) It’s the best report I’ve ever seen regarding Mueller’s consistent background of doing crucial cover-up work on behalf of America’s aristocracy, and I urge anyone who has an open mind about Mr. Mueller to read the entirety of it, because I think that its sources, all of which are linked to and are highly credible, constitute a prima-facie case (that’s at least comparable to an indictment), for Mueller’s being profoundly corrupt. The report includes, among other features: Mueller’s assistance to the Fethullah Gulen CIA-linked global Islamic organization that Turkey claims organized the NATO-assisted failed 2016 coup-attempt, for which Turkey has demanded and the US Government still refuses, to extradite to Turkey Mr. Gulen; and, also, Mueller’s involvement in the BCCI scandal; and, also, his having urged Congress, on 11 February 2003, that Iraq was the biggest state-sponsor of terrorism and should be invaded (none of which was true, and he was in a top position to know that it wasn’t); and, also, his having blocked FBI investigators who were hot on the trail of 9/11 terrorists before 9/11 occurred; and, also, his having blocked the post-9/11 investigators from having access to crucial information they needed in order for them to get to the bottom of whom the financiers behind the 9/11 attacks were

Then, we’ll be discussing Sibel Edmonds’s, “Targeting Michael Flynn & Shielding the Radical Cleric Gulen: Special Counsel Robert Mueller MUST Step Down”.

And, finally, we’ll be discussing Andrew Cockburn’s article “Will the 9/11 case finally go to trial?”

Although the washingtonsblog article briefly mentioned and linked-to the two articles by Edmonds and by Cockburn, the present article will be focusing especially on, and will be quoting far more extensively from, those two articles; but, as was earlier mentioned, the main part of our presentation is what was provided in that washingtonsblog article, which is thus the preliminary to this one, which is an extension of that article.

To start with, here, regarding the testimony Mueller provided to Congress five weeks before we invaded Iraq, when he was being consulted by Congress as an expert on what had been learned from the tortures that the US had authorized to be applied to 9/11 suspects, here is from the key portion of his presentation to the Congress, on 11 February 2003:

Mr. Chairman, although the most serious terrorist threat is from non-state actors, we remain vigilant against the potential threat posed by state sponsors of terrorism. The seven countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, and North Korea — remain active in the US and continue to support terrorist groups that have targeted Americans.

Although Iran remains a significant concern for its continued financial and logistical support of terrorism, Iraq has moved to the top of my list. As we previously briefed this Committee, Iraq’s WMD program poses a clear threat to our national security, a threat that will certainly increase in the event of future military action against Iraq. Baghdad has the capability and, we presume, the will to use biological, chemical, or radiological weapons against US domestic targets in the event of a US invasion. We are also concerned about terrorist organizations with direct ties to Iraq. … Northern Iraq has emerged as an increasingly important operational base for al-Qaeda associates, and a US-Iraq war could prompt Baghdad to more directly engage al-Qaeda.

As to whether he had simply been fooled by liars, Mueller had himself participated in the creation of the bad ‘investigative’ practices, which had helped to cause false testimony from suspects. As one official testified, “Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation.” So, Mueller was supportive of President George W. Bush’s aim to coerce (by torturing) suspects to supply ‘evidence’ that Saddam Hussein had been behind the 9/11 attacks; and, as the FBI chief, Mueller enforced such lie-generating practices even though he had been informed by the FBI’s own experts that it would only produce ’testimony’ so unreliable that it couldn’t stand up in any court of law. Was his support of torture really due to Mueller not knowing this? How likely is it that he knew better than the FBI’s own experts about such a matter? And, if he didn’t ‘know’ better than the FBI’s own expert interrogators — as subsequently became clear — then why did he take upon himself the demanding of his agents to participate in producing coerced ’testimony’ that was too unreliable to stand up in court? Isn’t he supposed to be a lawyer, and don’t lawyers know that ’testimony’ obtained under torture, or the threat of torture — or even under any type of coercion at all — is inadmissible in a court of law, in a democracy? Isn’t this knowledge basic? Would Mueller have passed a US citizenship test, if he were applying, and if the examiner were to ask well-informed follow-up questions about the admissibility of coerced testimony?

This is just a small part of the evidence that’s supplied in the washingtonsblog article, showing Mueller to be either incredibly incompetent, or else profoundly corrupt.

The next article, then, to be mentioned and linked-to here will be the one by Sibel Edmonds, who had been fired by the FBI in March 2002 for trying to make public some of the things that Mueller had done in order to obstruct the FBI’s investigators who were on the trail of some of the 9/11 terrorists prior to the attacks, and also to obstruct the work of the 9/11 Commission, and of the US Congress’s more reliable 858-page JOINT INQUIRY INTO INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES BEFORE AND AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. Famously, “the missing 28 pages” from that congressional report were withheld from the public until 15 July 2016. The very end of “the missing 28 pages” is also the very bottom of the web-page about “the missing 28 pages”; it’s the end of page 443 of the 858-page congressional report about 9/11; and it says:

In the October 9, 2002 closed hearing, Director Mueller acknowledged that he became aware of some of the facts regarding the Saudi issue only as a result of the investigative work of the Joint Inquiry Staff:

“I’m saying the sequence of events here, I think the staff probed and, as a result of the probing, some facts came to light here and to me, frankly, that had not come to light before, and perhaps would not have come to light had the staff not probed. That’s what I’m telling you. So I’m agreeing with you that the staff probing brought out facts that may not have come to this Committee.”

Senator Dewine: “But what you’re also saying though is that probing then brought facts to your attention.”

Director Mueller: “Yes.”

In other words: though his field agents, whose work he had squelched, had been urgently trying to obtain from their superiors an authorization to launch an intensive investigation into the matters that “the missing 28 pages” dealt with (which was the financing, and possible direction, of the 9/11 attacks, by top officials of the Saudi Government), Mueller told Congress, on 9 October 2002, that because “the staff” of the congressional investigation “probed” into this FBI information, this information that his agents had actually tried so hard to get him to support and investigate further “came to light … and perhaps would not have come to light had the [congressional] staff not probed.”

That passage can also be seen on page 35 of the original, here. (This pdf of it is supplied here because that testimony from Mueller was so unbelievable, that intelligent readers here will be skeptical that he actually implied that Congress’s staff had dug up new information which even Mueller’s own FBI didn’t know about — information that he himself had actually personally squelched.) Mueller was obviously perjuring himself to Congress there (his assertion was ludicrously false, especially because he was the person who had required this information to be hidden and squelched), and this would be one of the matters that a Special Prosecutor would need to be obtaining, from Mueller, testimony under cross-examination, to find what defense Mueller might have, against a perjury charge on that matter.

Here, then, is the very opening of the October 24th article by the former FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, “Targeting Michael Flynn & Shielding the Radical Cleric Gulen: Special Counsel Robert Mueller MUST Step Down”:

General Michael Flynn, Former National Security Advisor to President Trump, is being investigated by Special Counsel for accepting legitimate payments from Turkish companies for researching and exposing Wanted Terrorist and Radical Islamist Fethullah Gulen and his $25+ Billion criminal network in the United States.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is Special Counsel in charge of the case. He is the same Robert Mueller who used his position as Director of the FBI to shield and cover up Gulen’s criminal-terrorist network and operations, and take drastic measures to quash a whistleblower’s Gulen-related reports. These previous connections and actions by Mr. Mueller create a direct conflict of interest with his current position as Special Counsel in Flynn’s case, and require that he must immediately step down from the case.


In May 2017 the Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

Not long after being appointed Mr. Mueller began targeting former national security adviser Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, expanded the investigation beyond the Russia-Gate probe, and began a furious pursuit of Mr. Flynn’s Turkish connections and his vocal stand on the wanted radical Islamic Cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Mr. Mueller’s inquiries went from Russia-connections to Flynn’s outing of Gulen’s twenty five-billion-dollar sleeper terror cell in the United States. Not finding any substantial evidence against Flynn within the Russia-Gate scope, the Special Counsel team switched gears and started a Turkey-Gate. During the past several months Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors have used multiple grand juries to issue subpoenas for documents related to Mr. Flynn. All this despite President Trump’s demand that:

Mr. Mueller should confine his investigation to the narrow issue of Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s presidential campaign, not conduct an expansive inquiry into the finances of Mr. Trump or his associates.

Mr. Mueller’s prosecution team and F.B.I. agents have spent hours going over the details of Mr. Flynn’s perfectly legitimate business dealings with a Turkish-American businessman who worked with Mr. Flynn’s consulting business, the Flynn Intel Group. Why? Because the business arrangements included research for and exposure of the world’s largest radical Islamist network, operating in the United States for over two decades- the Gulen Network.

The targeting of Mr. Flynn through consolidated Obama Whitehouse leaks and one-sided media attacks began six months prior to the Special Counsel appointment. It started with an editorial penned by Mr. Flynn on November 8, 2016, when he became the first public official to unabashedly expose the radical cleric long protected by multiple government agencies- the CIA, State Department and FBI, starting under President Bill Clinton’s administration:

The primary bone of contention between the US and Turkey is Fethullah Gülen, a shady Islamic mullah residing in Pennsylvania whom former President Clinton once called his “friend” in a well circulated video.

Gülen portrays himself as a moderate, but he is in fact a radical Islamist. He has publicly boasted about his “soldiers” waiting for his orders to do whatever he directs them to do. …

And, finally, excerpts will be presented here from the terrific 7-part article “Will the 9/11 case finally go to trial?” by Andrew Cockburn in the October 2017 Harper’s — an article that was mentioned only at one other mainstream newsmedium, “Democracy Now”, and that I believe would have received far bigger coverage than it did, if only it hadn’t been so good, exposing so much that’s forbidden to expose to a mass-audience in America (and so Harper’s itself was courageous to publish this).

So hang on to your happy ass: Here is just one passage from it:

The reason we know so much about the West Coast activities of the hijackers is largely because of Michael Jacobson, a burly former FBI lawyer and counter terrorism analyst who worked as an investigator for the Joint Inquiry. Reviewing files at FBI headquarters, he came across a stray reference to a bureau informant in San Diego who had known one of the hijackers. Intrigued, he decided to follow up in the San Diego field office. Bob Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told me recently that Robert Mueller, then the FBI director (and now the special counsel investigating connections between Russia and the Trump campaign) made “the strongest objections” to Jacobson and his colleagues visiting San Diego.

Graham and his team defied Mueller’s efforts, and Jacobson flew west. There he discovered that his hunch was correct. The FBI files in California were replete with extraordinary and damning details, notably the hijackers’ close relationship with Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi living in San Diego with a no-show job at a local company with connections to the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation. The FBI had investigated his possible connections to Saudi intelligence. A couple of weeks after the two hijackers flew into Los Angeles from Malaysia, in February 2000, he had driven up to the city and met with Fahad al-Thumairy, a cleric employed by his country’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs who worked out of the Saudi Consulate. Thumairy, reported to be an adherent of extreme Wahhabi ideology — he was later denied a US visa on grounds of jihadi connections — was also an imam of the King Fahad mosque in Los Angeles County, which the hijackers had visited soon after their arrival.

After meeting with Thumairy, Bayoumi had driven across town to a Middle Eastern restaurant where he “accidentally” encountered and introduced himself to Hazmi and Mihdhar. He invited them to move to San Diego, found them an apartment, paid their first month’s rent, helped them open a bank account, and introduced them to members of the local Saudi community, including his close friend Osama Bassnan.

During the time Bayoumi was catering to the hijackers’ needs, his salary as a ghost employee of the aviation company got a 700 percent boost; it was cut when they left town. That was not his only source of extra funds: After Hazmi and Mihdhar arrived in San Diego, Bassnan’s wife began signing over to Bayoumi’s wife the checks she received from the wife of the Saudi ambassador in Washington. The total value reportedly came to nearly $150,000.

Jacobson also found evidence, noted but seemingly ignored by the bureau, that Hazmi had worked for a San Diego businessman who had himself been the subject of an FBI counter terrorism investigation. Even more amazingly, the two hijackers had been close with an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh. Hazmi had actually lived in his house after Mihdhar left town. Shaikh failed to mention his young Saudi friends’ last names in regular reports to his FBI case officer, or that they were taking flying lessons. Understandably, the investigators had a lot of questions for this man. Nevertheless, Mueller adamantly refused their demands to interview him, even when backed by a congressional subpoena, and removed Shaikh to an undisclosed location “for his own safety.” Today, Graham believes that Mueller was acting under orders from the White House.

Another intriguing document unearthed by the investigators in San Diego was a memo from July 2, 2002, discussing alleged financial connections between the September 11 hijackers, Saudi government officials, and members of the Saudi royal family. It stated that there was “incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi Government.”

Back in 2002, Graham himself was already coming to the conclusion that the 9/11 attacks could not have been the work of a stand-alone terrorist cell. As he later wrote, “I believed almost intuitively that the terrorists who pulled off this attack must have had an elaborate support network, abroad and in the USA.,” with expenses far exceeding the official estimate of $250,000. “For that reason,” he continued, “as well as because of the benefits that come with the confidentiality of diplomatic cover, this infrastructure of support was probably maintained, at least in part, by a nation-state.”

I asked Graham whether he believed that a careful search of the FBI files in Florida and elsewhere would yield similarly explosive disclosures. He told me that the inquiry would have doubtless discovered whom the hijackers were associating with in those places, and where that money came from. Fifteen years on, Graham still regretted not having pursued the possibility of revelatory FBI files in those other locations “aggressively.” Instead, he lamented, the inquiry ended up “with San Diego being the microscope through which we’ve been looking at this whole plot.”

And, here is another passage, this one describing how a US Congress that’s usually owned by the Saud family via their and their friends’ lobbying, came ultimately to vote to pass the “JASTA” or Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, even over President Obama’s veto of it:

There was one foreign state threatening to strike back at the United States if JASTA became law. Visiting Washington in March 2016, before Congress began voting on the measure, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir explicitly warned that his government might sell its portfolio of “$750 billion” in US Treasury bonds, thereby crashing the market in government securities, should JASTA become law. (The figure was a wild exaggeration — US Treasury figures showed that the real amount was $117 billion.)

Even with all the threats and warnings, the House passed the bill that September, whereupon Obama announced he would veto it, which he duly did. The battle resumed with greater intensity as both sides prepared another vote. “President Obama, you can’t hide! We’ll get Congress to override,” protesters chanted outside the White House.

Despite frantic efforts by the administration, and ranks of lobbyists for the Saudis, the Senate crushed Obama’s veto, 97 to 1. It was the first and only time Obama suffered such an indignity. Reportedly, he was “furious.” Meanwhile, bipartisan pressure to release the censored twenty-eight pages in Graham’s original report had been building for some time, led by congressmen such as the Democrat Stephen Lynch and the Republican Walter Jones. Jones, once a fervent hawk, had turned sharply dovish, through guilt, as he told me, over voting for the Iraq war on the basis of “lies.” (He writes a letter of condolence to the family of every single casualty of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Jones, Lynch, and others on both sides of the aisle held regular press conferences about the twenty-eight pages “to keep a drumbeat going to give the 9/11 families the complete truth.”

With the exception of that committed group, Owens was not impressed by what she found on Capitol Hill. Most of the senators and representatives she met didn’t seem to care who was behind 9/11. “They just didn’t want to be seen as voting against the 9/11 families. So they would vote yes for it, and then try to sabotage it behind the scenes. . . . Washington is an ugly place.” Encouraging this assessment was her discovery that at the very moment they were voting almost unanimously for the bill, a significant number of senators from both parties were quietly circulating and signing a letter citing “concerns” regarding JASTA’s “potential unintended consequences” to “the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” In effect, they were suggesting that the law they had just been seen enthusiastically supporting be weakened.

My conclusions:

Of course, an honest Special Prosecutor would be able to get to the bottom of this, and perhaps my reading of the situation is overlooking some important facts, which are yet to be revealed; but, I think that, at the present stage, a reasonable hypothesis, as regards whom Mueller has consistently been protecting here, can be presented:

President Bush was a buddy of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, nicknamed “Bandar Bush.” Former US Senator Bob Graham “believes that Mueller was acting under orders from the White House.” That “White House” was George W. Bush, a friend of the Sauds and especially of Prince Bandar. Everybody knows that Bush and Cheney protected the members of the Saud family who live in the United States, to allow them to escape unquestioned from the US right after the 9/11 attacks. Afterward, both Bush and Obama protected the Sauds to the fullest extent possible, and Obama even vetoed the bill allowing the lawsuit by the 9/11 families against the Saudi Government (namely, against the family who own it) to go forward. Congress reluctantly but overwhelmingly overrode Obama’s veto (because doing otherwise would have been seen as scandalous by the voters back home).

Mueller’s entire record is consistent with his being an agent for both the Bush and Saud families, and this would mean he’s an agent of both the US and Saudi aristocracies, a “fox guarding the chicken coop” before and after the 9/11 invasion. He was selected to be the Special Prosecutor by the American Establishment in order to force US President Donald Trump to do even more than he has thus far done in service to the Sauds. Previously, Trump had allowed, which even President Obama did not, a world-record all-time high $350 billion sale during the next ten years to the Sauds, of US-made weaponry. Though it’s gigantic, the multi-trillionaire Sauds won’t be paying for it only with their money but also with the money extracted from the Saudi public, whom they also own. For the Sauds, it’s a long-held dream come true, to gain all this killing-power against Shiites, in Syria, Iran, Yemen, and elsewhere. And, Trump has come out strongly against the two countries whose governments the Sauds desperately want overthrown and replaced by Saudi vassal-states: Syria, and Iran. But what else can they extract from Trump? Perhaps Trump’s more-direct support for the Sauds’ recent blockade against Qatar (which had recently quit the Sauds’ war against Shia). Perhaps also Trump’s sending far more American soldiers and weapons into Syria to overthrow the Shiite Bashar al-Assad there. But, above all, the Sauds would be seeking from Trump maximum actions to weaken or deactivate JASTA so as to continue the cover-up of who financed and organized the 9/11 attacks. And, what would be the pressure in order to achieve those ends? Impeachment of the President, if Trump fails to come up with these ultimate payments to the Sauds. And, who would be the best person to apply that pressure? Robert Mueller. George W. Bush himself recently went public urging America to replace Trump by his Vice President Mike Pence via impeachment, which is the objective for which Bob Mueller was appointed. The Bush family and the Saud family want to replace Donald Trump by Mike Pence.

If Mr. Mueller will succeed at this task, he’ll have a terrific retirement — that’s for sure.


Debunking NIST’s conclusions about WTC 7 is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Ok here is what the NIST lamely tried to explain the symmetrically collapse as follows:

WTC 7’s collapse, viewed from the exterior (most videos were taken from the north), did appear to fall almost uniformly as a single unit. This occurred because the interior failures that took place did not cause the exterior framing to fail until the final stages of the building collapse. The interior floor framing and columns collapsed downward and pulled away from the exterior frame. There were clues that internal damage was taking place, prior to the downward movement of the exterior frame, such as when the east penthouse fell downward into the building and windows broke out on the north face at the ends of the building core. The symmetric appearance of the downward fall of the WTC 7 was primarily due to the greater stiffness and strength of its exterior frame relative to the interior framing.

Watch the video below:

NIST can’t have it both ways. If the exterior frame was so stiff and strong, then it should have stopped the collapse, or – at the very least – we would have seen a bowing effect where tremendous opposing forces were battling each other for dominance in determining the direction of the fall. See also this.

In real life, the thick structural beams and “stiff [and strong]” exterior frame used in the building should have quickly stopped any partial collapse, unless the support columns were all blown. At the very worst, we should see a 1 or 2 floor partial collapse.

Freefall Speed

NIST said that WTC 7 fell at 40% slower than freefall speed. But it collapsed alot faster than it would have if the structural supports were not all blown away at the same instant. 40% slower isn’t very impressive — that’s like arguing that a rock falling through concrete 40% slower than a rock falling through the air is perfectly normal.

Again, why did the building collapse at all, given that the thick structural beams should have quickly stopped any partial collapse?

Fires Knocked Down Steel-Frame Buildings

NIST said fires alone brought down Building 7, but other office fires have burned longer and hotter without causing collapse.

No Explosive Sounds

NIST also said:

“No blast sounds were heard on the audio tracks of video recordings during the collapse of WTC 7 or reported by witnesses.”


What about this,this, this ?

Moreover, as discussed below, high-tech explosives don’t necessarily make the same loud “booms” that dynamite make.

High-Tech Explosive Residues

And why were there residues for high-tech explosives at ground zero (and see this)?

Molten and Partially Evaporated Steel

And what about the pools of molten metal at ground zero for months? And why was the at and under the ground at the site of WTC 7 as hot as the ground under WTC 1 and 2?

And the New York Times wrote that partly EVAPORATED steel beams were found at WTC 7. But normal office and diesel fires are not NEARLY hot enough to evaporate steel. Hydrocarbon fires fueled by diesel (which was apparently stored at WTC 7) and normal office materials cannot evaporate steel. Steel does not evaporate unless it is heated to at least 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Everyone agrees that fires from conventional building fires are thousands of degrees cooler than that.


And why didn’t NIST address the obvious pre-knowledge (and see this) by everyone around and well in advance that 7 was going to come down?

Now here is what the Experts had to say:

And why didn’t NIST address what these experts say?:

  • Kamal S. Obeid, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Berkeley, of Fremont, California, says:

“Photos of the steel, evidence about how the buildings collapsed, the unexplainable collapse of WTC 7, evidence of thermite in the debris as well as several other red flags, are quite troubling indications of well planned and controlled demolition”

  • Ronald H. Brookman, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Davis, of Novato California, writes:

“Why would all 47 stories of WTC 7 fall straight down to the ground in about seven seconds… ? It was not struck by any aircraft or engulfed in any fire. An independent investigation is justified for all three collapses including the surviving steel samples and the composition of the dust.”

  • Graham John Inman, structural engineer, of London, England, points out:

“WTC 7 Building could not have collapsed as a result of internal fire and external debris. NO plane hit this building. This is the only case of a steel frame building collapsing through fire in the world. The fire on this building was small & localized therefore what is the cause?”





Labor Day is a U.S. national holiday held the first Monday every September. Unlike most U.S. holidays, it is a strange celebration without rituals, except for shopping and barbecuing. For most people it simply marks the last weekend of summer and the start of the school year.

The holiday’s founders in the late 1800s envisioned something very different from what the day has become. The founders were looking for two things: a means of unifying union workers and a reduction in work time.

History of Labor Day

The first Labor Day occurred in 1882 in New York City under the direction of that city’s Central Labor Union.

In the 1800s, unions covered only a small fraction of workers and were balkanized and relatively weak. The goal of organizations like the Central Labor Union and more modern-day counterparts like the AFL-CIO was to bring many small unions together to achieve a critical mass and power. The organizers of the first Labor Day were interested in creating an event that brought different types of workers together to meet each other and recognize their common interests.

However, the organizers had a large problem: No government or company recognized the first Monday in September as a day off work. The issue was solved temporarily by declaring a one-day strike in the city. All striking workers were expected to march in a parade and then eat and drink at a giant picnic afterwards.

The New York Tribune’s reporter covering the event felt the entire day was like one long political barbecue, with “rather dull speeches.”


Why was Labor Day invented?

Labor Day came about because workers felt they were spending too many hours and days on the job.

In the 1830s, manufacturing workers were putting in 70-hour weeks on average. Sixty years later, in 1890, hours of work had dropped, although the average manufacturing worker still toiled in a factory 60 hours a week.

These long working hours caused many union organizers to focus on winning a shorter eight-hour work day. They also focused on getting workers more days off, such as the Labor Day holiday, and reducing the workweek to just six days.

These early organizers clearly won since the most recent data show that the average person working in manufacturing is employed for a bit over 40 hours a week and most people work only five days a week.

Surprisingly, many politicians and business owners were actually in favor of giving workers more time off. That’s because workers who had no free time were not able to spend their wages on traveling, entertainment or dining out.

As the U.S. economy expanded beyond farming and basic manufacturing in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it became important for businesses to find consumers interested in buying the products and services being produced in ever greater amounts. Shortening the work week was one way of turning the working class into the consuming class.

Common misconceptions

The common misconception is that since Labor Day is a national holiday, everyone gets the day off. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While the first Labor Day was created by striking, the idea of a special holiday for workers was easy for politicians to support. It was easy because proclaiming a holiday, like Mother’s Day, costs legislators nothing and benefits them by currying favor with voters. In 1887, Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey all declared a special legal holiday in September to celebrate workers.

Within 12 years, half the states in the country recognized Labor Day as a holiday. It became a national holiday in June 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed the Labor Day bill into law. While most people interpreted this as recognizing the day as a national vacation, Congress’ proclamation covers only federal employees. It is up to each state to declare its own legal holidays.

Moreover, proclaiming any day an official holiday means little, as an official holiday does not require private employers and even some government agencies to give their workers the day off. Many stores are open on Labor Day. Essential government services in protection and transportation continue to function, and even less essential programs like national parks are open. Because not everyone is given time off on Labor Day, union workers as recently as the 1930s were being urged to stage one-day strikes if their employer refused to give them the day off.

In the president’s annual Labor Day declaration last year, Obama encouraged Americans “to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities that honor the contributions and resilience of working Americans.”

The proclamation, however, does not officially declare that anyone gets time off.

Controversy: Militants and founders

Today most people in the U.S. think of Labor Day as a noncontroversial holiday.

There is no family drama like at Thanksgiving, no religious issues like at Christmas. However, 100 years ago there was controversy.

The first controversy that people fought over was how militant workers should act on a day designed to honor workers. Communist, Marxist and socialist members of the trade union movement supported May 1 as an international day of demonstrations, street protests and even violence, which continues even today.

More moderate trade union members, however, advocated for a September Labor Day of parades and picnics. In the U.S., picnics, instead of street protests, won the day.

There is also dispute over who suggested the idea. The earliest history from the mid-1930s credits Peter J. McGuire, who founded the New York City Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, in 1881 with suggesting a date that would fall “nearly midway between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving” that “would publicly show the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.”

Later scholarship from the early 1970s makes an excellent case that Matthew Maguire, a representative from the Machinists Union, actually was the founder of Labor Day. However, because Matthew Maguire was seen as too radical, the more moderate Peter McGuire was given the credit.

Who actually came up with the idea will likely never be known, but you can vote online here to express your view.

Have we lost the spirit of Labor Day?

Today Labor Day is no longer about trade unionists marching down the street with banners and their tools of trade. Instead, it is a confused holiday with no associated rituals.

The original holiday was meant to handle a problem of long working hours and no time off. Although the battle over these issues would seem to have been won long ago, this issue is starting to come back with a vengeance, not for manufacturing workers but for highly skilled white-collar workers, many of whom are constantly connected to work.

If you work all the time and never really take a vacation, start a new ritual that honors the original spirit of Labor Day. Give yourself the day off. Don’t go in to work. Shut off your phone, computer and other electronic devices connecting you to your daily grind. Then go to a barbecue, like the original participants did over a century ago, and celebrate having at least one day off from work during the year!


I think he is spot on, great read.
Stephen Klugewicz is Editor of The Imaginative Conservative. He is the former executive director of the Collegiate Network at ISI and of the Robert and Marie Hansen Foundation and has long experience in education, having been president of Franklin’s Opus, director of education at the National Constitution Center, and headmaster of Regina Luminis Academy. He holds a Ph.D. in American History, with expertise in the eras of the Founding and Early Republic.
As I watched a crowd of militant Leftists in Durham, North Carolina this week pull down a statue of a Confederate soldier, I was left not only angry but befuddled by the ignorance of it all: the vitriol of the mob focused on this seemingly inoffensive monument depicting a common soldier, seemingly war-weary and tired, not vengeful and triumphant; the wicked glee of the rioters as they danced around and kicked the fallen, twisted metal wreck; their infernal laughter as they celebrated a false victory over racism. My anger at the actions of the mob was heightened for personal reasons—of which more below.

Pulling down statues is a time-honored tradition among revolutionaries in many cultures, its symbolism reflecting opposition to a current regime. Thus American Revolutionaries toppled statues of King George III during the 1770s; Russians destroyed monuments of Vladimir Lenin as communism collapsed in the 1990s; Iraqis knocked over effigies of Saddam Hussein as American forces ousted the dictator’s government in 2003. Typically, as these examples illustrate, the statues chosen for destruction are those of contemporary rulers, or of those who embody the philosophy of power under which those rulers operate. But statues of Confederates? Even in the Jim Crow Era, this might have been a puzzling choice. But in 2017, one must ask: Where does the philosophy of the Confederacy, if there can be said to be such a thing, hold sway? Leaving aside the monumental question of whether the Confederacy was founded upon the protection of slavery and the promulgation of the idea of racial superiority—and Alexander Stephens’ execrable “Cornerstone Speech” gives one ample fodder for such charges—one must ask these “activists,” in what hall of power is this philosophy represented today? It seems to be held only in the fevered minds of a tiny group of white supremacists—”clowns,” as presidential adviser Steve Bannon called them.

Of course, radical Leftists like these can find a racist under every bed. Reckless and fuzzy charges of “pervasive” and “latent” racism are useful tactics for furthering their ends of attacking Republicans, conservatives (these two groups still occasionally overlapping), and “white privilege,” with their clandestine purposes being the seeking of fame, fortune, and power for themselves. Targeting the statues of long-dead and defeated Confederates is a means of promoting the notion that every white person is secretly sympathetic to the racist views of these American ancestors. By focusing their anger on tangible targets, they make real an enemy that exists only in their twisted heads and hateful hearts. By attacking the past, they suggest that racism is deep-rooted in American soil, infecting everything that grows in the land, and that there can be no racial progress until the evil is eradicated by overturning the very foundations of the country.

Too often we conservatives ask the slippery-slope question in reaction to the Left’s attack on our statues and weakly warn, “Well, if they tear down statues of Confederates, what’s next? The Washington Monument? The Jeffersonian Memorial?” Though well-meaning, the problem with the slippery-slope question is that it seems to concede that Confederate monuments are less dear to us, less of a big deal, for these slaveholders—or supposed promoters of slavery—are indeed morally stained. In effect, those asking this question concede ground to the Leftists. This is a mistake.

Men’s souls are neither black nor white, but gray—figuratively speaking. We should not judge historical figures in a vacuum, ignoring the mores of their times. We should not judge them solely by their inability to rise above their times. We should not judge them by their worst faults. Instead we ought to take the measure of a man in his totality. As my colleague John Groves has written in these pages:

The men and women who have shaped [American institutions] possessed virtues and vices, and their vices do not nullify their virtues…. The inconvenient truth is that America, like all other nations, is the product of both selflessness and selfishness, virtue and vice, wisdom and foolishness. If we reject the important historical figures who possessed the latter along with the former qualities, we must ultimately reject them all.

The desecration and removal of statues of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis are abominable acts, a type of cheap virtue-signaling by the rioters, at the expense of those who not only cannot defend themselves, and whose case cannot be made in the space of the short sound bytes allotted by the modern media. The rioters in these cases have chosen the easiest of targets: Confederate leaders, who were themselves slaveholders and wielders of power.

But the soldier depicted by the upended monument in Durham? Who was he most likely? The base of the monument declaims: “In Memory of the Boys Who Wore the Gray.” He was probably a simple farm boy, the American South being overwhelmingly an agricultural civilization in the mid-nineteenth century. Chances are that his family did not own slaves (72% of North Carolina families did not, according to the Census of 1860). But perhaps he, or his family, did own slaves. And yet did he, and did Confederate soldiers from other states, fight to preserve slavery? As the late, great historian Shelby Foote has said, “Believe me, no soldiers on either side gave a damn about the slaves.” Or as historian S.C. Gwynne writes, if the young cadets of the Virginia Military Institute who followed Stonewall Jackson had been asked why they were fighting,

few would have replied that it was because of their convictions about slavery. Or their beliefs about state sovereignty. Or any of the other great national questions that had been debated for so long. They would have told you then—as most of Stonewall Jackson’s soldiers in the army of the Confederate States of America would have told you later—that they were fighting to repel the invaders, to drive the Northern aggressors from their homeland. That was why Virginia went to war. The great and complicated political reasons for secession, thundered about in Congress and in the state legislatures, were not their reasons, which were more like those expressed by a captive Confederate soldier, who was not a slaveholder, to his puzzled Union captors. “I’m fighting because you’re down here,” he said.

A damaged nearly century-old Confederate statue lies on a pallet in a warehouse in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. Investigators are working to identify and charge protesters who toppled the Confederate statue in front of a North Carolina government building, the sheriff said Tuesday. The Confederate Soldiers Monument, dedicated in 1924, stood in front of an old courthouse building that serves as local government offices. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

Durham’s Confederate soldier might have volunteered to fight for his state, which had not seceded in fear that Lincoln’s election might lead to the ending of slavery, but in brotherhood with her sister Southern states after Lincoln had declared his intention to invade them for the purpose of putting down the rebellion. He might have been drafted and had no choice but to fight. He was likely in his twenties, as most of the Durham rioters seemed to be. Unlike them, however, his daily life did not include air conditioning, a cell phone, a laptop, an iPod, government subsidies for education, food, and medical care, and leisure time for pouting from a pampered perch of privilege. His life was tough before the war—if a farmer, he worked from sunup to sundown, ploughing, harvesting, feeding animals, hauling bales of hay, shoveling manure. He was not well-fed like the rioters, certainly not overfed like some of them. During the war his life was even tougher, as he battled not only the bullets of the enemy, but the bacteria and disease of camp life. He likely suffered often from dysentery; he ate rock-hard, moldy biscuits often laced with worms; instead of $8 Starbucks lattes, he downed weak, black, stale coffee (when he could get it). He had likely already witnessed, close-up, several people dear to him die—certainly a grandparent, uncle, or aunt, perhaps a baby brother or sister, a parent, surely a fellow soldier, and probably after much physical suffering, given the lack of medical knowledge of the day. The Durham soldier was granted no “safe spaces” from death, drudgery, and despair; he was given no “trigger warnings” so as to avoid having his feelings hurt.

Likely this soldier was much like my ancestor Nathan Dail, who hailed from Perquimans County, North Carolina, and who in 1862 as a twenty-seven-year-old enlisted as a private in Company C of the 52nd North Carolina Regiment. Though I don’t know for certain, the probability is that he owned no slaves and was indeed a simple farmer. One thing I do know for sure: Nathan did not bequeath any fortune to his descendants. And like most men, Nathan was surely flawed. But what he and his counterparts stood for—all those represented by the Durham statue—were duty, devotion, sacrifice, principle, courage, tireless effort, and the quiet heroism of the humble who toil for something greater than themselves: for wife, child family, God, country.

Compared to the rioters who pulled down his effigy, that Confederate soldier atop the pedestal in Durham was a moral colossus.



Once a symbol of national unity and reconciliation, Robert E. Lee, whose birthday is January 19, is under attack in modern America. In the last few decades, his name and that of other Confederate generals have been removed from schools across the South. In his native Arlington, Virginia, there was a proposal by a school board member to expunge his name from Washington-Lee High School. The Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania considered removing his portrait and that of his most trusted lieutenant, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, from one of its hallowed halls. Even his tomb on the campus of the college he once headed is not safe from historical revisionism, as the administration of Washington and Lee University recently removed the historic Confederate battle flags that have long adorned Lee Chapel. Like the Confederate flag itself, Lee has become in the eyes of many an emblem of racism and, increasingly and interestingly in our jingoistic age, treason. One professor recently opined that Lee “is important historically because he devoted himself to a cause that was, at its core, anti-American; yet he—among countless other Confederates—was convinced that he acted only as a paragon of patriotism. It’s the essential delusion of every traitor.”*

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
George Orwell

How did it come to this?

Long the embodiment of the South’s “Lost Cause,” Lee’s place in the pantheon of America’s secular religion has always been problematic. The Nationalist interpretation of American history holds that the internecine conflict of 1861-1865 was at its heart a conflict over slavery and that the Southern states, by engaging in secession and the use of armed force against the federal government, had essentially committed treason. The clear implication of this interpretation is that those who fought for the Southern cause were traitors and, at least by association, racists. Americans have generally agreed with Ulysses S. Grant that the Confederate cause was “one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.”

Yet for most of the twentieth century, such aspersions were muted by Northerners. In the aftermath of Appomattox, there had been talk of hanging Lee as a traitor, though nothing came of it. Among Southern officers, only the commandant of the Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, Henry Wirz—foreign-born and Catholic, which made it easier—was hanged by the federal government. Lee, like most Confederate leaders, with the notable exception of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, never spent a day in jail, though his great estate at Arlington was lost, having been seized by Union forces during the war. It would soon be turned into a national cemetery for the Union dead.

After the bitter period of Reconstruction, a period of national healing came in the era of the Spanish-American War of 1898, when White Protestant Americans again fought side-by-side against brown-skinned Catholics, as they had done in the Mexican-American war half a century earlier. (Indeed, Lee himself earned a superior reputation in that latter war.) Veterans from North and South gathered at Gettysburg in 1913 to shake hands across the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge that symbolically marked the “high tide of the Confederacy.” In this atmosphere Lee became more than a sectional hero to a Lost Cause; instead he was transformed into a national icon of the spirit of brotherly reconciliation. President Theodore Roosevelt praised Lee as “the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower said of Lee: “Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history. From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul.”

With the civil rights movement of the 1960s, however, Southerners clung anew to the Lost Cause, making symbolic protest against desegregation of schools and voting rights for African Americans by incorporating the Confederate battle flag into state flags and by naming roads and schools after Confederate generals. Robert E. Lee, at least for a time, stood above this fray. Indeed, it was in 1975 that President Gerald Ford signed into law an act restoring Lee’s citizenship rights (Shortly after the war, Lee had signed the requisite Oath of Allegiance that should have led to the regaining of his citizenship status, but Secretary of State William Seward ignored the request.)

The North’s honoring of Lee was based not only on his indisputable military genius and unassailable integrity. More crucial to the Nationalist interpretation, which has always held sway in the North and increasingly dominates the South now, is the image of Lee as the cooperative penitent, the man who gave up armed resistance to federal power, condemned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and urged his fellow Southerners to be loyal to Washington. As President Ford declared in signing the bill restoring his citizenship rights, Lee “firmly felt the wounds of the North and South must be bound up. He sought to show by example that the citizens of the South must dedicate their efforts to rebuilding that region of the country as a strong and vital part of the American Union.” He may have been a rebel fighting for a racist cause, the Nationalist school holds, but he saw the error of his ways and properly acknowledged the wisdom of the Union cause.

It is indeed true that Lee urged national reconciliation, writing to a fellow Confederate veteran, “I believe it to be the duty of everyone to unite in the restoration of the country and the reestablishment of peace and harmony.” Lee accepted the decision of the battlefield and, ever the conservative, adjusted to realities and determined to make the best of things. Unlike some of his former comrades, he would not join in resistance to Reconstruction or stir up feelings of ill will toward federal officials or freed African Americans. In the days leading up to his surrender to Grant in April 1865, he rejected counsel that his army should continue the fight and even suggestions that he should order his men to make for the hills and become guerillas. He could not countenance anarchy and needless, endless bloodshed in the name of political principle. Lee was no ideologue.

For these actions, Northerners are right to praise Lee, though his acquiescence was just that. He never repudiated his decision to fight for his “country” (Virginia) and never criticized the Lost Cause with which he came to be identified. In this, he is not the penitent sinner of the Northern imagination. Yet Southerners have Lee wrong too, for he did not believe in secession as a principle and despised the “fire-eaters” who had led the South down the road of disunion. He was a reluctant rebel who in a conflict between competing duties made the only choice he believed he could rightly make. Lee decided that his first loyalties lay with his family and his state, whom he could not oppose in war, and these trumped his oath as a United States officer to uphold the federal Constitution.

The charge of traitor against Lee—and indeed against all who took up arms in the name of the Confederacy— rings quite hollow. There is not the space here to go into a full-blown analysis of the Constitutional, political, and philosophical issues involved in secession. Suffice it to say that the charge of treason can just as easily be leveled at those in the North who made war upon the Southern states (Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution states, in part, “treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them.”) Southerners did not choose war and wished only for a peaceful separation and independence. Certainly, in the particular case of Lee, it would be churlish to condemn him for either course of action that he might have chosen. Conservatives should praise him deeming that his ultimate duty was to his family and state and that he could not raise his sword against his family.

In regard to the charge that Lee was racist or that he supported a racist cause, again there is not room here to discuss the causes of the War Between the States (In using this name for the conflict, by the way,  I follow Ulysses S. Grant’s example in his famous memoirs). Suffice it to say that this issue is one on which honest men can disagree. Certainly Lee himself did not see the conflict in this light. In a letter of 1856 to his wife, Lee had written that “slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil.” Despising revolutionary social change and the rhetoric of the abolitionists, he hoped for gradual emancipation and shared with Abraham Lincoln a sympathy for the idea of colonizing freed African Americans in Central America or Africa.

Lee never purchased a slave in his life. The slaves over whom he had control, some 200, came to him through his marriage to Mary Custis, a descendant of George Washington. Lee became the executor of his father-in-law’s will. Though permitted by the will to free the slaves upon the elder Custis’ death in 1857, Lee deemed the slaves necessary to the financial recovery of the Arlington estate. He thus kept them enslaved as long as he could—the will stipulated a maximum of five years—freeing them in December 1862 on the eve of  the Emancipation Proclamation’s going into effect. Again, Lee believed that his highest duty was to his family, in this case to their economic well-being, and this trumped his concern for the freedom of the particular slaves under his control.

In this, as in his paternalistic attitude toward blacks, Lee fell short of heroism. Of the bondsmen Lee once opined that “the painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race,” and he told a congressional committee after the war that it was his view blacks “at this time, cannot vote intelligently,” though he added, “what the future may prove, how intelligent they may become…I cannot say more than you can.” As Lee’s great biographer Douglas Southall Freeman writes, his “was the prevailing view among most religious people of Lee’s class in the border states. Lee shared these convictions of his neighbors without ever having come in contact with the worst evils of African bondage.”

His conservative views precluded him from, say, taking the extreme step taken by his relation, Robert Carter III, who because of his radical religious convictions freed all 500 of his slaves in 1800. It should be recalled that George Washington only provided for his slaves’ freedom in his will, and only after his wife Martha’s death (though she freed her slaves during her lifetime, as she feared they might kill her.) Lee thought enough of the prowess of African Americans that he was a proponent of enlisting slaves to fight for the Confederacy and thereby earn their freedom. This is also additional evidence that Lee did not consider the war a crusade to preserve slavery, as he was willing to give up the institution in order to secure the greater goal of Southern independence. In the post-war years, numerous incidents were reported in which Lee flouted the conventions of his class and daringly treated a black man as his equal in social situations.

Despite his flaws when it came to his views on race, Lee should be honored as a hero by all Americans and especially by conservatives. His classical devotion to the idea of duty has been mentioned. His resistance to the temptations of power also demands our acclaim. Much is rightly made of George Washington’s laying down of his sword at the end of the American Revolution to resume his status as a private citizen. Lee similarly passed this Tolkienian test when Abraham Lincoln, on the advice of General Winfield Scott, offered him command of all United States forces in April 1861 after South Carolina forces fired on Fort Sumter. Lee declined the offer, which would have gained for him the ultimate career goal sought by every West Point-trained military man.

We must remember that the alternative for Lee was NOT the command of the Confederate armies. He was not foregoing one offer of power in order to pursue another. Indeed, his home state of Virginia had not yet seceded, and at the moment he rejected Lincoln’s offer the most he could have reasonably hoped for was command of Virginia’s troops (an honor that he did eventually receive.) It ought to be kept in mind also that Lee was aware of the superior manpower number of the North and the superior resources of Northern industrialism; the prospects of Southern independence were far from certain. As with the American Revolutionaries, the noose seemed the most likely end for the leaders of Southern independence.

Even when Virginia seceded and war began, Lee did not immediately receive a high command within Confederate ranks. He was relegated to a desk job, serving as an advisor to President Jefferson Davis. He did not receive a field command until May of 1862, when General Joseph E. Johnston was severely wounded during the Seven Days’ Battles on the Virginia Peninsula. Lee then took command of the Army of Northern Virginia, but he would not be appointed commander of all Confederate forces until January 1865. This was a series of events that he could hardly have expected when he refused Lincoln’s immediate offer of power in 1861.

In addition to duty, Lee valued humility. He did not angle for promotion as he chafed at his desk job in Richmond. Rather, he humbly served President Davis, and even after being assigned command of the Army of Northern Virginia, his letters reveal that he always deferred to the prickly Davis. Just as Lee eschewed ambition, so he avoided avarice, turning down several offers in the post-war years to lend his name to companies in return for lucrative compensation. The idea of profiting from the selling of his name was anathema to Lee.

Lee embodied the Aristotelian ideal of moderation. As the deep South seceded in the winter of 1860-1861, Lee, stationed in Texas, was shocked when Texas voted for secession in February 1861; one witness recalled that Lee’s “lips trembled and his eyes [became] full of tears” when he heard the news. Lee voiced his resolve not to take up arms against the Union, “but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in defense of my native state.” When Virginia reversed its initial vote against secession in May 1861—in the light of Lincoln’s decision to make war upon the South—Lee made the anguished decision to resign his commission in the United States Army, concluding that despite his love for the Union, he “could not take part in an invasion of the southern states.”

Lee indeed despised war. Surveying the slaughter of Union troops charging his lines at Fredericksburg in December 1862, Lee commented to an aide: “It is good that war is so terrible. Otherwise, we would enjoy it too much.” As Richard Weaver has argued, this profound statement, “richer than a Delphic saying,” shows Lee to be a true philosopher. In the days after the smashing Confederate victory, Lee wrote to his wife: “What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbours, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!” This is far from the tone of a bloodthirsty martinet drunk on the intoxication of his repeated victories.

Twenty-eight months later, as mentioned above, at Appomattox Lee turned aside the suggestions of aides to continue the fight as a guerilla war. The social anarchy and protracted bloodshed that would result were anathema to the conservative Lee, and he prudently judged that Southern independence was not worth the price. Guerilla war horrified Lee because it would bring down the wrath of Mars more harshly on civilians. Indeed, Lee rejected the idea of total war that was developed by Union Generals Grant, William T. Sherman, and Phillip Sheridan, and embraced by President Lincoln. Lee was always careful to avoid civilian casualties. On the first campaign into Maryland in 1862, Lee issued General Order No. 72, which prohibited the plundering of civilian property and reminded his soldiers “that we make war only upon armed men.”

Lee’s action in issuing this order can be contrasted with that of Union General John Pope, whom Lee had just soundly defeated prior to his foray into Maryland. Only weeks prior to Lee’s Order No. 72, Pope had issued his own order authorizing in Virginia the burning of private homes and the levying of fines upon civilians as retribution for guerilla actions taken against Union troops. More egregiously, in May of 1862, Union General Benjamin Butler, presiding over conquered New Orleans, had issued his infamous General Order No. 28, stipulating that “when any female shall by word, gesture, or movement insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.” In practice, this meant that a female civilian who dared merely to display a Confederate symbol on her dress was liable to be raped by Union troops. Such atrocities did occur.

Lee’s dogged adherence to the traditional, Christian principles of limited war is even more impressive in light of the many atrocities that were authorized and indeed perpetrated against his own people by his enemy. Lee considered the protection of civilian life so important that, as the head of the detachment sent to capture abolitionist John Brown on the eve of the Civil War, Lee ordered his Marines to unload their rifles during their assault on the building where Brown had holed up, lest the hostages that Brown held be injured or killed.

Lee’s amazing self-restraint reflected the advice he had given to a young mother about raising her infant son: “Teach him he must deny himself.” The Christian Lee valued self-control as essential to proper behavior and indeed to personal and public liberty. “I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself,” he said in evaluating his military subordinates. Lee practiced what he preached. He had the rare distinction of being a cadet who did not earn a single demerit at West Point. He expected the same gentlemanly behavior from the young men in his care at Lexington, Virginia’s Washington College, of which he became president after Appomattox. There he reduced the college’s many rules to one simple rule: Every student must be a gentleman.”

As his name and image, and those of his fellow Confederate officers, are removed from shops, schools, and museums across the country, it is ever more important, especially for conservatives, to speak up for Robert E. Lee. A man of military genius and personal honor, a defender of civilians and civilization, a champion of duty and truth, a model of humility and prudence, Lee was perhaps the last defender of the ideals of the Old Republic, whose greying glory was ground under the wheels of the New Order of the centralized, industrialized state that triumphed in 1865. Though he wore the racial blinders of his class and time, Robert E. Lee was a man of exemplary character and remains an excellent role model for all Americans and is indeed a worthy contender for the title of “Greatest American.”

Rewrite History 

to try to change the way that people think about an event in the past, often in a way that is not honest or correct


The need for understanding our roots is as timeless as the human story itself and explains why we cling to the Declaration of Independence…

Most people know that the Fourth of July—Independence Day—is a celebration of America’s separation from Great Britain. July 4, 1776 marks the beginning of the United States. It’s like our national birthday. With the celebration just a few days away, here are four important facts about Independence Day that every American should know.

Fact One: The 4th of July is the wrong day. The reality is that not much happened on Thursday, July 4, 1776. The real “fireworks,” so to speak, happened two days earlier on July 2nd. It was on the 2nd that the Continental Congress wrapped up its debate on the question of Independency (that’s what they called it back then) and finally voted 12-1 (New York abstaining) in favor of separation from Great Britain. So technically, the decision for Independence was made on the Second of July. John Adams, who championed the cause, wrote to his beloved Abigail that July 2nd would go down as “the greatest day in American history, celebrated with fireworks and parades for generations to come.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. In honor of John Adams and American Independence, I set off fireworks and have my own parade on the 2nd of July each year. My Homeowners’ Association doesn’t approve.

Fact Two: Jefferson Didn’t Write The Declaration …. Alone. Thomas Jefferson was part of a committee tasked with drafting an official statement on Independence. Adams, the head of the committee, appointed Jefferson to draft a statement because Jefferson was thought to be the best writer in the group, was well liked, and was from Virginia (so Independence wouldn’t look merely like a regional, New England movement). Jefferson spent two weeks penning the Declaration, borrowing heavily from John Locke and other sources.

When the draft was complete, Franklin and Adams (both on the committee) made changes before Jefferson submitted it to the Continental Congress on June 28. The famous Trumball painting (above) in the US Capitol most likely depicts this event, not July 4th. Once submitted, the Declaration sat on a desk, largely ignored until the Big Vote on the 2nd, after which it was debated and edited for two days by all the members of the Congress. Early in the day on the 4th of July the Congress voted to approve the document. They set it aside and went about their other business

Fact Three: The Declaration was Not Signed on the 4th of July. Everybody recognizes the signature of John Hancock, President of the Congress. Supposedly he signed his John Hancock so large that even “blind old King George” could read it. Hancock, and probably his secretary, were the only two people to actually sign the document on the 4th of July. After it was approved by the Congress, and signed by Hancock to affirm that approval, it was sent to a local printer for a rush job. These early printed copies were distributed by express rider. George Washington received one and had it read aloud to his troops. If you find one of these original Dunlop broadsides (named after the printer and the printing technique) hidden in an old picture frame, you can retire. There are only about 25 known copies in existence, and they’re worth a small fortune.

So what about the signatures on the big fancy copy of the Declaration? The big velum copy in the National Archives was ordered up on July 19. It was not printed off a press but hand scribed, probably by the Congressional clerk. It was on this later version that the famous document was titled the “Unanimous Declaration of The Thirteen United States of America.” The earlier copies lacked this title while New York was making up its mind. Most historians agree that this fancy copy was signed on August 2, 1776. This conclusion is bolstered by the Congressional Record and the fact that some of the people whose names are on the document weren’t present in Congress on July 4th, obviously making it impossible for them to have signed then. Some men even missed the August signing and added their names a few months later. Rather than a singular event, the signing process was really more of a leisurely collection of signatures when people were in town.

Fact Four: There was no “Independence Day” until 1870. The first celebration of Independence occurred in 1777. On July 2nd of that year the Congress decided they should do something to commemorate the first anniversary of the big event. Being the 2nd already, it was a little late for planning. They decided to do something on the 4th—the day the Declaration was adopted, and so began the tradition. In addition, July 2nd was a Wednesday while the 4th was a Friday, and I’m sure a three day weekend sounded just as good to the Founding Fathers as it does to us today. Many states adopted their own regional celebrations over the years, but Independence Day didn’t become an official national holiday until 1870, a few years after the Civil War.

So why do we celebrate the wrong day? The need for understanding our roots is as timeless as the human story itself. We like origin stories. We might even call them myths. We like being able to pinpoint “the place and time where it all began.” It’s the same fascination that draws us to visit our childhood home even though we don’t remember living in it. This helps explain our fixation on the Declaration of Independence. Though the decision for Independence was made on the 2nd, the birth announcement didn’t come until two days later. We cling to the Declaration because it gives us roots and legitimacy and stands as our national birth certificate—signed by all 56 of our fathers. And so the 4th of July, rather than the 2nd, becomes the day we commemorate the birth of the United States. Thomas Jefferson gets all the credit while John Adams gets pushed out of the celebration. Ironically, without Adams, Independence and the Declaration itself might never have happened.

Happy Birthday, America! I’ll be at the party on the 4th to celebrate Jefferson and the Declaration, but I’ll get started two days earlier with a toast to John Adams and American Independence.




From The The Federalist Papers

Kimberly Morin writes that the Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the worst federal government departments in the history of the country. Not only are they over bloated and wasteful but they literally neglect the medical care of veterans who have served the United States.

Report. Once again, another story has come out thanks to the Government Accountability Office (GOA) but even they can’t figure out what exactly 346 workers are doing who are being paid by taxpayers. From The Washington Examiner:

An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as “official time.”

That’s according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear. The VA doesn’t track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Union hacks. It’s often written into union contracts that union leaders are able to take time off to conduct union work. However, in this case it appears these workers aren’t doing any work at all for veterans. They are only doing work for unions. They are being paid using taxpayer dollars to do nothing for taxpayers. From The Washington Examiner:

“The lack of accountability at the VA when it comes to monitoring official time suggests it might be worse,” said Arrington, who has introduced legislation that would require the department to track the use of official time, among other reforms.

Pointing to the waiting list scandals at the department, Arrington said the official time situation is reflective of the “broken culture at the heart of the VA” and adds, “I haven’t heard one good, acceptable reason why the practice has continued.”

Why this matters? Not only are veterans suffering from lack of care thanks to poor service from the V.A. but no one can seem to even keep track of what the hell is going on:

“Employees spent approximately 1,057,00 hours on official time for union representation activities … In addition, the data show that 346 employees spent 100 percent of their time on official time,” the GAO found in a January report.

It is possible that even those figures are conservative. The GAO said the said the VA’s poor monitoring meant the data was “inconsistent and not reliable.”

This is disgusting and shouldn’t be allowed in any publicly-funded agency. If you want to be a union leader, do it on your own time and have the union reimburse you.

This is yet another valid reason why public sector unions should not exist. There is no accountability. They do whatever they want on the taxpayer dime, and politicians they buy into office don’t hold them to any standards.



Robert Gehl reports that Europe is under siege

The number of terrorist attacks on the continent is simply staggering; not to mention the ongoing riots and violent demonstrations in Europe by refugees and immigrants. What we have here is a continent that is reeling from its own liberal migration policies.

The deadly terrorist bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England is just the latest violent incident in recent years. Chronologically, here are some of the more recent attacks:


April 7, 2017

A man driving a hijacked beer truck struck pedestrians at a Stockholm department store, killing 4 people.

March 22, 2017

A man drives his rented SUV into pedestrians at London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people. The attacker then stabbed a police officer to death.

Feb. 22, 2017

Riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Stockholm Monday night, as residents clashed with police officers and set vehicles on fire, Swedish police say.

Jan. 3, 2017

Riot police fought running battles with a mob of more than a thousand migrants who tried to storm Europe’s borders and force their way into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

Dec. 19, 2016

A hijacked truck plows through a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12.

Nov. 23, 2016

1,500 migrants clashed with police in Bulgaria’s largest refugee center, two days after the facility was sealed off following reports of an alleged infection outbreak.

July 14, 2016

A truck driver targets Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France, killing 86.

March 22, 2016

Suicide attacks on the Brussels airport and subway kill 32 and injure hundreds. The perpetrators have been closely linked to the group that carried out earlier attacks in Paris.

Nov. 13, 2015

Islamic State-linked extremists attack the Bataclan concert hall and other sites across Paris, killing 130 people. A key suspect in the attack, 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, is arrested in Brussels on March 18, 2016.

April 7, 2017

A man driving a hijacked beer truck struck pedestrians at a Stockholm department store, killing 4 people.

March 22, 2017

A man drives his rented SUV into pedestrians at London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people. The attacker then stabbed a police officer to death.

Feb. 22, 2017

Riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Stockholm Monday night, as residents clashed with police officers and set vehicles on fire, Swedish police say.

Jan. 3, 2017

Riot police fought running battles with a mob of more than a thousand migrants who tried to storm Europe’s borders and force their way into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

Dec. 19, 2016

A hijacked truck plows through a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12.

Nov. 23, 2016

1,500 migrants clashed with police in Bulgaria’s largest refugee center, two days after the facility was sealed off following reports of an alleged infection outbreak.

July 14, 2016

A truck driver targets Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France, killing 86.

March 22, 2016

Suicide attacks on the Brussels airport and subway kill 32 and injure hundreds. The perpetrators have been closely linked to the group that carried out earlier attacks in Paris.

Nov. 13, 2015

Islamic State-linked extremists attack the Bataclan concert hall and other sites across Paris, killing 130 people. A key suspect in the attack, 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, is arrested in Brussels on March 18, 2016.

Feb. 14, 2015

A gunman kills Danish filmmaker Finn Noergaard and wounds three police officers in Copenhagen. A day later the gunman, Omar El-Hussein, attacks a synagogue, killing a Jewish guard and wounding two police officers before being shot dead.

Jan. 7-9, 2015

A gun assault on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and an attack on a kosher grocery store kills 17 people. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claims responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

October 21, 2014

Riot police fired tear gas to end repeated clashes on Tuesday among hundreds of migrants in Calais who launched their second attempt in two days to storm lorries bound for Britain.

May 24, 2014

Four people are killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels by an intruder with a Kalashnikov. The accused is a former French fighter linked to the Islamic State group in Syria.

May 22, 2013

Two al-Qaida-inspired extremists run down British soldier Lee Rigby in a London street, then stab and hack him to death.

March 2012

A gunman claiming links to al-Qaida kills three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in Toulouse, southern France.

July 22, 2011

Anti-Muslim extremist Anders Behring Breivik plants a bomb in Oslo then launches a shooting massacre on a youth camp on Norway’s Utoya island, killing 77 people, many of them teenagers.

Nov. 2, 2011

The offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris are firebombed after the satirical magazine runs a cover featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. No one is injured.

March 2, 2011

Islamic extremist Arid Uka shoots dead two U.S. airmen and injures two others at Frankfurt airport after apparently being inspired by a fake internet video purporting to show American atrocities in Afghanistan.

July 7, 2005

52 commuters are killed in London when four al Qaida-inspired suicide bombers blow themselves up on three subway trains and a bus.

March 11, 2004

Bombs on four Madrid commuter trains in the morning rush hour kill 191 people.