The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 5, Issue 38

Week of November 1, 1998

US Martial Law Coming?

Cohen Predicts Army Will Patrol Streets
Army Times, Staff/Wire Reports, 10-27-98

US Defense Secretary Predicts the Army Will Patrol US Streets

"Terrorism is escalating to the point that Americans soon may have to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive means of protection," says Defense Secretary William S. Cohen.

The nation's defense chief told the Army Times he once considered the chilling specter of armored vehicles surrounding civilian hotels or government buildings to block out terrorists as strictly an overseas phenomenon. But no longer. "It could happen here," Cohen said he concluded after 8 months of studying threats under the Pentagon microscope. Free-lance terrorists with access to deadly chemical and biological bombs are "going to change the way in which the American people view security in our own country," he predicted in a Sept 10 interview.

Cohen is calling for the government to step up its efforts to penetrate wildcard terrorist organizations. "It's going to require greater intelligence on our part -- much greater emphasis on intelligence gathering capability - more human intelligence, and it's going to take more technical intelligence," he said.

But using the U.S. military in a domestic law enforcement role would require revisions to laws in force for more than a century, cautions Shreveport attorney John Odom, Jr. "You can't do it from the Defense Department side unless Congress dramatically revises the Posse Comitatus laws." said Odom, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and a reserve Judge Advocate.

"The 1878 law specifically prohibits the use of the military in domestic law enforcement unless authorized by Congress or the Constitution and does not wllow for military intervention through action by the Secretary of Defense of even an Executive Order from the President," Odom said. We're trained from the first day of Judge Advocate school to think of Posse Comitatus said Odom. "If Secretary Cohen is suggesting that the Department of Defense be involved, it may be part of a legislative package, but it will not happen unilaterally without a lot of folks thinking long and hard about it."

Cohen said terrorism would be a top priority in 5 new areas he plans to focus on now that he has wrapped up his first defense budget, the quadrennial review of the military and a new 4-year defense strategy. Other goals include modernizing the military, improving troops housing and other benefits, streamlining the defense bureaucracy and shaping new military relationships and contracts across the globe.


From Heads Up, by Doug Fiedor
(Used with permission)

In the March 29 (#78, "For a more Perfect Police State") issue we described a preliminary report to the European Parliament titled, "An Appraisal of the Technology of Political Control." That report is now complete, and was presented to the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs.

They report that: "The Interim Report aroused great interest and the resultant high-profile press comment throughout the European Union and beyond, indicates the level of public concern about many of the innovations detailed by the study. This current report is framed by the same key objectives as the Interim Report, namely:" to provide Members of the European Parliament with a reference guide to recent advances in the technology of political control. To identify and describe the current state of the art technology of population control and the trends for use. And, to inform the Parliament on the methods and means governments use for electronic eavesdropping on the civilian population.

This material includes modern methods of crowd control, interrogation and torture, and is not recommended reading for the squeamish. However, most of this equipment was designed in the United States by order of the Department of Justice and/or the Pentagon. The full text may be found at:

And, if anyone does not believe our government is gearing up to eavesdrop on our telephone and computer communications, they are not paying attention. Already, at least one corporation is selling its services to telephone companies and police agencies to spy on our communications in accordance with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). Their advertising reads in part:

"The time to comply with CALEA is fast approaching. Equipment costs, implementation deadlines, possible fines and litigation are a few of the issues adding complexity to this process for carriers.

"ADC NewNet offers the solution that allows carriers to meet CALEA requirements today. Our CALEAserver product helps take the time, effort and hassle out of becoming CALEA-compliant. CALEAserver from ADC NewNet provides lawful intercept delivery services that ensure network-proven, telco-quality wiretap access support. The telco hardened UNIX based, CALEAserver delivers a reliable, network-integrated solution. CALEAserver also supports multi-vendor switching environments via different access function interface connections, allowing you to meet all CALEA needs while keeping your existing infrastructure flexibility.

"ADC NewNet is the CALEA-compliance expert. We've worked with the FBI to ensure that all network requirements for access, delivery and collection of lawful intercept information are met. The result of these efforts is CALEAserver."

For more information, go to:

One of the first acts of the Clinton (DoD Directive 3025.12, as amended) Administration was to prepare the military for civilian disturbances.

"This Directive reissues reference (a) to: 1. Update policy and responsibilities governing planning and response by the DoD Components for military assistance to federal, State, and local government (including government of U.S. territories) and their law enforcement agencies for civil disturbances and civil disturbance operations, including response to terrorist incidents, which hereafter are referred to cumulatively as 'Military Assistance for Civil Disturbances (MACDIS).'"

For some interesting reading, that report can be found at:

Last week, the White House National Security Council published its "National Security Strategy for a New Century" report. One paragraph in the Preface especially caught our eye:

"Protecting our citizens and critical infrastructures at home is an essential element of our strategy. Potential adversaries -- whether nations, terrorist groups or criminal organizations -- will be tempted to disrupt our critical infrastructures, impede government operations, use weapons of mass destruction against civilians, and prey on our citizens overseas. These challenges demand close cooperation across all levels of government -- federal, state and local -- and across a wide range of agencies, including the Departments of Defense and State, the Intelligence Community, law enforcement, emergency services, medical care providers and others. Protecting our critical infrastructure requires new partnerships between government and industry. Forging these new structures will be challenging, but must be done if we are to ensure our safety at home and avoid vulnerabilities that those wishing us ill might try to exploit in order to erode our resolve to protect our interests abroad."

The full report is worth checking out. It can be found at: and on the White House web page.

That brings us to PDD39, the FEMA Federal Response Plan for terrorism. This document is MUST reading for anyone who still thinks that FEMA is little more than an agency designed to aid American citizens during a natural disaster. FEMA takes charge of nearly everything, no matter what the disturbance may be. According to this report:

"FEMA is responsible for the coordination of the State and Federal agencies overseeing the [any major] incident."

FEMA also controls the National Guard, the regular military and can take over anything else it wants to operate. The current (it changed recently) enacting law is 42 USC 5195. Find that at:

Check all this out and see what you think our public servants are up to. Then, look up the President's War and Emergency Powers and rethink the issue. The executive branch unilaterally gave itself enough power to set up a complete dictatorship any time it wishes.

NOTE: Let's look at what we'll call a "Ben Franklin warned us" aside here. In an interview with the Army Times, Secretary of Defense William Cohen said that the threat of terrorism makes a military police state scenario plausible. "Terrorism is escalating to the point that Americans soon may have to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive means of protection."

Clinton's Greatest Peril Isn't Monica

November 3, 1998, By Cal Thomas

WHILE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES prepares to open hearings on whether President Clinton should be impeached, several current and former Capitol Hill staffers are quietly trying to persuade Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde to expand the inquiry beyond allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice to whether the president compromised U.S. security in his open-ended pursuit of campaign cash from China.

Hyde and other members of Congress have recently been given a new book called "The Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash," by Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II.

Timperlake is on the professional staff of the House Committee on Rules dealing with national security. Triplett is the former Republican counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

While much of the material in their highly readable and deeply troubling book has been collected from hearings by Sen. Fred Thompson's Governmental Affairs Committee, which the Democrats have managed to stonewall, the book for the first time meticulously assembles in one place facts and persuasive circumstantial evidence to make its case that Bill Clinton may be guilty of the kind of high crimes and misdemeanors which are clearly impeachable offenses.

Timperlake and Triplett note that James Riady and his Lippo Group latched on to a young Bill Clinton and constructed a web of Asian influence that funneled millions of dollars into various Clinton campaigns and causes (such as silencing Webster Hubbell). For this, Riady enjoyed not only access to Clinton, but Riady's chief stooge, John Huang, got top-secret security clearance and continued to see classified information even after he became a big fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee. The authors build a strong case that Huang was a conduit for information that did not remain within the confines of the United States but found its way by fax and other means into the hands of those who do not wish America well, notably the Beijing government. Exactly what the Riadys and their Chinese Communist friends got for their money was not fully discovered by the Thompson committee. It should be probed by Chairman Hyde.

Throughout the book, the authors raise important questions. What is so significant about Huang's 1992 fund-raising and his relations with Clinton that he would risk a charge of perjury to deny them? Huang had access to our highest foreign intelligence, which was of great interest and use to the Chinese. What did James Riady get in exchange for massive amounts of campaign cash and hush money for Hubbell? The authors write that the "payoff" was the insertion of his man, John Huang, into the heart of American political and economic intelligence.

They conclude: "Intelligence information and overwhelming circumstantial evidence both indicate that (Huang) betrayed the trust that the American people placed in him when he was called to their service and put on their payroll."

"Three remarkable women," as the authors describe them -- Democratic Party activist Maria Hsia, Pauline Kanchanalak of Thailand and Hong Kong billionaire Nina Wang -- all have money ties to Bill Clinton and Al Gore and all have connections to Chinese intelligence or the military arm of the Chinese Communist Party, the People's Liberation Army (PLA). "Beijing did not hesitate to exploit this connection, even face-to-face with Bill Clinton," the authors say.

Hsia is a known agent for the Chinese government who has been indicted for immigration and campaign-fund-raising scams and, say the authors, probably helped Chinese spies enter the United States. Kanchanalak, who has been indicted on charges of violating election laws, brought leaders of a Thai conglomerate that is in business with Middle East terrorists and with China's biggest arms smugglers to the White House to lobby the president.

Wang has given millions of dollars to enable PLA officers to come to the United States, including some who participated in the 1989 Tiananmen massacre and who received 19-gun salutes at the Pentagon.

Then there are the organized crime groups, known as triads, and others who used the campaign cash connections for their own purposes and against U.S. interests.

"Year of the Rat" is a compelling and brutal indictment of an administration that not only was willing to sell out the country in order to hold on to political power, but probably violated enough laws to more than fit anyone's definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Chinese Army is Building Laser Weapons

By Bill Gertz

China's People's Liberation Army is building lasers to destroy satellites and already has beam weapons capable of damaging sensors on space-based reconnaissance and intelligence systems, according to a Pentagon report.

Consequently, China could blind U.S. intelligence and military space equipment, systems vital for deploying U.S. military forces in current and future warfare. The lasers also could be used to disrupt or cripple commercial communications and navigation systems during "information warfare," according to the report mandated by Congress.

The report said the PLA has acquired a variety of technologies "that could be used to develop an anti-satellite weapon." The report was released recently by the House National Security Committee. It was mandated under a provision of last year's defense bill. China already may possess the capability to damage, under specific conditions, optical sensors on satellites that are very vulnerable to lasers," the report said. "Given China's current level of interest in laser technology, it is reasonable to assume that Beijing would develop a weapon that could destroy satellites in the future."

The laser weapons capability is among several aspects of China's drive to develop high-technology weapons and to engage in information warfare: attacks on computers and other electronic systems.

The Congress asked the Pentagon to assess China's strategy and military modernization efforts, including whether Beijing plans "to place weapons in space or to develop Earth-based weapons capable of attacking space-based systems." U.S. intelligence officials said the systems most vulnerable to laser attack are satellites run by the National Reconnaissance Office, which takes photographs from space, and the National Security Agency, which intercepts communications. "We're very aware of the threat," one official said.

The ability to damage or destroy satellites will provide China with a strategic weapon against the U.S. military, which relies heavily on the use of spaced-based equipment for communicating with forces and detecting foreign military activities, from troop movements to missile launches.

The United States has no anti-satellite weapons, or Asats, and abandoned work on an aircraft-launched satellite killer in the 1980s.

Richard Fisher, a defense specialist with the Heritage Foundation, said the Pentagon's disclosure of Chinese anti-satellite efforts "is an extremely important revelation." The Pentagon report shows that China is preparing its forces to wage not only a "Desert Storm-level" of regional conflict but a 21st-century high-tech war, he said. Satellite vulnerabilities to lasers were revealed a year ago during the test firing of a two lasers against a U.S. satellite that damaged its sensors after a brief exposure to the beam. The test alarmed some Pentagon officials.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin then revealed in a letter to President Clinton last year that Moscow had developed weapons capable of blasting satellites in space, but had abandoned them. The Pentagon viewed the letter as confirmation that Moscow retains the capability. The report also said China is constructing electronic jammers, "which could be used against Global Positioning System [GPS] receivers" -- pinpoint navigational devices used in all military operations and in the commercial sector as well. Such jamming would severely hamper international transportation.

"Exploitation of space -- to include manned space operations --remains a high priority," the report said, noting that China's first manned space flight is expected before the end of next year. Manned space flight will contribute to an "improved military space system," it said.

A White House report on U.S. national security strategy issued Friday said the administration seeks to "deter threats to our interests in space, and if deterrence fails, defeat hostile efforts against U.S. access to and use of space." Improvements in Chinese satellite technology are expected to enhance the accuracy of China's M-9 and M-11 missiles, with ranges of 372 miles and 186 miles, respectively. The report also said the PLA is using U.S. GPS and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (Glonass) satellites in developing advanced weapons and may use these satellites "to improve the accuracy of its missiles."

"GPS updates would provide the potential to improve missile accuracy through midcourse guidance correction and increase the operational flexibility of road-mobile platforms," the report said. The road-mobile platforms include two new intercontinental ballistic missiles identified by the Pentagon as the DF-31 and DF-41, which will have ranges of 5,000 miles and 7,500 miles, respectively. New submarine-launched nuclear missiles also are in development.

Canadian army fears civil chaos from millennium bug

uge deployment would deal with fallout from computer failures

The Canadian Armed Forces have been ordered to spend the next 14 months preparing for what could be their biggest peacetime deployment -- tens of thousands of troops spread across the country and frigates standing by in major ports -- in case computer problems in 2000 bring civil chaos.

The army is studying everything from the number of flashlights and batteries it will need if power is out for weeks to whether military air-traffic-control field equipment should be set up at civilian airports.

Logistics officers are plotting where to position vehicles, fuel, tents, cots, ration packs and other supplies. Signals officers are trying to figure out how to keep high government officials in communication if commercial systems fail.

Rules for the use of force are being drafted should soldiers have to make arrests or back up police dealing with riots and looting.

As police, fire and other civilian emergency services make their own plans, military commanders have been told that meeting the threat of the Year 2000 bug is their highest priority and will be the focus of all training from January on. Equipment purchases that do not contribute to the effort are to be postponed.

No one knows whether a common programming flaw -- a seemingly small matter of dealing with dates beyond 1999 -- will cause cascading failure in the world's computer systems, knocking out in the dead of a Canadian winter machines that run everything from traffic lights to nuclear reactors. It could turn out to be one of history's great anticlimaxes, but the armed forces are taking no chances.

The effort is called Operation Abacus, after an ancient Chinese bead-and-string calculator that needs no power and is not susceptible to glitches. A 24-page "warning order" was sent to military commanders, regional headquarters and reserve units across the country nearly two months ago.

"There is a potential for disruption of major infrastructure systems . . . that may require Canadian Forces support to civil authorities," the order begins. The commanders have been given until mid-November to come up with first drafts of plans that will be refined right up to Jan. 1, 2000. The success of the operation depends on "public confidence in the government's ability to manage and provide leadership in dealing with the year 2000 problem," the order says. Navy captains have been told their ships may have to be docked to serve as garrisons, power plants, field hospitals and soup kitchens.

On land, the official worst-case scenario would have 32,000 soldiers, including volunteer reservists, living and working in the field. So far, the army says it has sought no cabinet order pressing weekend warriors into service. Rumours in reserve circles suggest the field force could reach more than 60,000, including many non-volunteers, if such an order were issued.

Such talk was not diminished by an article this month on the Year 2000 effort in the Maple Leaf, an official army magazine. Lieutenant-General Ray Crabbe, a just-retired deputy chief of defence staff, said soldiers need not worry about missing their 1999 Christmas holidays. "As far as Christmas goes, I don't think you could deploy 60,000 troops away from their homes at Christmas, especially from a morale point of view," he was quoted as saying. "I'm not sure you can say the same thing for New Year's Eve." Almost everyone knows about the problem by now.

Traditionally, most computers recorded years in two digits: "98" for 1998, "99" for 1999 and so on. When "00" arrives, some computers may think it is 1900 or some other base year. Some may be uncertain of the year or even the day of the week. (Dec. 31, 1999, is a Friday; Jan. 1, 1900, was a Monday. That does not compute.) They may act strangely or shut down, paralyzing complex systems. Or maybe not. The Year 2000 problem (Y2K for short) has been called both a death sentence for industrial civilization and a fraud perpetrated by computer types. Whatever it is, billions of dollars and millions of hours of work will have been lavished on it before the end of next year. Greying, out-of-fashion mainframe programmers have found themselves commanding wages as high as $1,000 a day, at least temporarily, in the rush to fix countless lines of code. If the troops are out in the cold, they will have plenty of company. Police forces have begun warning their staffs not to plan vacations around the turn of the year.

The RCMP's 16,000 officers have been told to book no time off from Dec. 27, 1999, to March 15, 2000, at least until the scope of the Y2K problem becomes clearer.

Toronto's 5,000 police officers have been given no-go dates of Dec. 27, 1999, to Jan. 9, 2000, and Vancouver's 1,150 officers have been given Dec. 29, 1999, to Jan. 14, 2000. Calgary police are considering the same dates as the RCMP, although no order has gone out.

Montreal's fire department says there will be a Y2K vacation ban but has announced no dates. The Toronto department has no special ban but says December and January have customarily been no-leave months because of extra fires associated with candles, fireplaces and space heaters, among other things.

One GOP Era Ends, Another Begins

WASHINGTON, NOV.4 Before the White House fog machine goes into overdrive, fueled by the giddy vapors of last night's election results, let's do the math: Republicans still control the United States Senate (it looks as if they will maintain their current majority of 55 seats). Republicans still control the U.S. House of Representatives (though their majority edge may have dropped by 5 seats, from 226 to 221). Republicans still dominate statehouses throughout the country. And the Republican Governors Association still has an ostentatiously large roster: 31. When Bill Clinton was first elected president in 1992, the Democrats had large majorities in both the House and the Senate. They also inhabited most of the gubernatorial mansions. Today, three elections after Clinton's first presidential victory, the tables are completely reversed. That's the Clinton legacy. So before the President starts chewing his cigar and banging on his bongo drum, he ought to revisit these stubborn mathematical facts.

No Sweetener

With that said, all the sugar in central Florida can't coat another obvious fact: The election was an unmitigated disaster for the national Republican Party, a political wreck of Titanic-size proportions. Not only did Republicans lose the Expectations Game, they actually lost seats in absolute terms. When opportunity came a-knockin' "the opportunity to give itself a lock on majority party" status perhaps for the next decade, the Republicans blew it. Big time.

Someone should be sued for political malpractice. Anti-Gingrich grumbling, already silently lurking within the GOP ranks like a latent virus, will soon begin to metastasize.

How could this have happened? We can cite local factors: Incumbent Senator Al D'Amato lost because he was personally unpopular and had finally met a challenger who was willing to go to the mat, insult for insult. Incumbent governor David Beasley lost because of his unpopular opposition to a state lottery for South Carolina. Matt Fong failed to unseat incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer because he ran a lackluster campaign.

They Thought They Could Coast

But much of the blame must be placed with the "no runs, no hits, no errors" caucus within the GOP leadership who thought Republicans could coast to victory on cruise control. These GOP bigwigs failed to undertake the most elemental task of crafting an election message, the Muzak or background noise of politics that envelopes any local factors that may be in play. The Democrats had a message; the Republicans didn't. Anti-Gingrich grumbling is everywhere. But who will replace him?

Earlier this year, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed an $80- billion middle-class tax cut, only to see this cut disappear in the Senate during budget negotiations. So tax relief, the strongest Republican issue, was suddenly off the table. Republicans had important ideas to advance in the area of education-education savings accounts, more local control through block grants, and school choice. Yet one was left with the impression that the Republican "education plan" was to take the pencils and notebooks away from little Johnny.

No Audible Message

And what was the Republican message on key issues like health care, Social Security, and reform of our campaign finance laws? If there was a message, I didn't hear it. And I pay attention. Even the anti-Clinton "ethics" message was weak, watered-down, an afterthought. Yes, during the last weekend before Election Day, the Republican National Committee launched a television ad campaign in 70 of the nation's 435 Congressional districts, highlighting the President's Lewinsky woes. But this was too little, too late. Is it that hard to convince a majority of the American people that presidential perjury, a felony, is a real issue that should deeply concern us all? My high-school basketball coach used to say that "If you stay in place, you're not going anywhere." The Republicans stayed in place, and they ended up going somewhere: Down.

So what's next?

1. Pink Slip for the GOP Leadership? The best thing going for Newt Gingrich these days is that there's no clear alternative to him, no unambiguous choice as Gingrich's heir apparent. The telegenic Bill Paxon has left the Congress for the greener pastures of lobbying. House Majority Leader Dick Armey's own hold on the reins of power is tenuous at best. (Renegade House conservatives still think Armey double-crossed them during the last regicide attempt.) And few inside or outside of Congress consider Tom DeLay and John Boehner as serious contenders for the Speaker's job. So if not Newt, who? Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde? He's too busy and too old. Indiana Congressman David McIntosh? He's too busy and too young.

But the anti-Gingrich grumbling, already silently lurking within the GOP ranks like a latent virus, will soon begin to metastasize. Who knows? Newt Gingrich may end up being removed from the Speaker's chair, "impeached," before Bill Clinton is ever called to atone for his own transgressions.

2. Expect a more aggressive issues-based conservatism. Later today, Presidential wannabe Steve Forbes intends to send a memo to the Congressional GOP leadership outlining his ideas for a "principled, muscular conservatism." He's on to something. Ever since the 1995 government shutdown, Congressional Republicans have been playing defense, fearful that they will end up losers in any head-to-head "issues confrontation" with the President. Even worse, Congressional GOPers are very sensitive to the charge that they are somehow "mean-spirited."

This is going to change. Tax cuts. A smaller federal government. School choice. An anti-ballistic missile defense system. Social Security reform that emphasizes private investment. Expect the Republican leadership in the 107th Congress to advance an aggressively conservative agenda in anticipation of the 2000 presidential sweepstakes.

3. Bill Clinton is not out of the woods . . .yet. The conventional wisdom post-Election Day is that Bill Clinton is off the impeachment hook. Republicans will slide off their impeachment high chairs. Democrats will be emboldened to resist any effort to remove the President. Or so the theory goes.

Not so fast. Although Clinton's impeachment prospects have undeniably declined, don't be surprised if there's a backlash against the backlash. The American people don't like gloaters. If a sense of smugness overtakes the Clinton White House, just watch those poll numbers favoring impeachment and resignation go up.

4. Learn your Spanish. The Bush Boys "George, Jr., and Jeb" are the rock stars of the Republican Party, winning sizable portions of the Latino vote in their gubernatorial victories in Texas and Florida. Now that the California presidential primary, with its large numbers of Latino voters, has been moved up to March, expect a stampede to Berlitz as the Republican presidential contenders bone up on their Spanish.

Is impeachment dead?

Commentary by Joseph Fara

It didn't much matter which network you tuned into last night, the story was the same everywhere in TV-land.

Clinton won. The Republicans lost. Impeachment is dead.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out why.

I thought before the election we were told by these same people -- and the White House -- that the vote was NOT a referendum on Clinton and impeachment. It must be nice to win either way.

The other thought I'm having is what difference the election should make with regard to the guilt or innocence of President Clinton. Even if the American people were sending an unambiguous message yesterday that Clinton should skate, why should that affect the vote of the House of Representatives or the Senate on the question of high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president?

Even the most rabid Clinton defender, I would think, would be hard-pressed to make the case that the modest shift in the balance of power in the Congress somehow represents a mandate for clearing Clinton. In fact, exit polls show far more people were motivated to go to the polls by their conviction that Clinton needs to go than by a conviction that he should remain in office.

But all of that is really quite irrelevant -- or should be.

The real issue remains: Is Clinton guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice and other offenses, perhaps yet unnamed? The election is beside the point. And that's the way the Republicans need to play this if they have any hope of recovering from the missed opportunity of 1998.

I could see this Republican debacle coming months ago. Grass-roots Republican activists felt betrayed by their elected leaders who had for too long tolerated Clinton's abuses of office. At the same time, they were repulsed by the congressional leadership's (I'll be kind) timid policy agenda.

In short, Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott sold out their base. They refused to push tax cuts. They showed no interest in returning the country to its legacy of a constitutional republic. They compromised. They lied. They played ball with Clinton rather than challenge him -- whether the issue was the Clinton scandals or the direction of the country generally.

The Republicans badly misplayed their hand. But rather than surrender by dropping the impeachment inquiry, the Republicans ought to understand that an aggressive investigation is needed more now than ever -- if not for the good of the country, certainly for their own political rebound.

If Republicans act like losers, they will be losers in the future. If they begin acting like they really do control both houses of Congress, as they do, the base support they have lost since 1994 might just return.

The most important thing they need to do is act. No more sitting around waiting for the year 2000. Take advantage of the opportunity America has given you. It may not last. It certainly won't if you squander it as you have since 1996. Seize the moment. Surprise your opposition with some backbone -- some courage, for a change. Don't be predictable. The Democrats are expecting the Republicans to cave in to their calls for a "censure" of Clinton -- probably by as early as this morning. If they get what they expect, the Democrats have indeed pulled off an amazing feat -- they will have turned a national election "wash" into a stunning victory. They will have turned their minority status in Congress into effective control.

So what do I expect?

I admit, it's difficult to underrate the foresight and boldness of Gingrich and Lott. Chances are good that they won't listen to me. More likely they will listen to their well-wishers at ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN.

That will mean disaster for the GOP and tragedy for America. All the rules of right and wrong will have to be rewritten. All bets will be off. Clinton will be free to pursue his political enemies with ruthless and reckless abandon. All the powers of the police state will be unloosed -- and if Gingrich and Lott think they will be left unscathed, they are badly mistaken.

More than ever, this election demonstrates why Clinton must be forced from office for his crimes and cover-ups. The country, at least as we have known it for the last 200 years, simply may not be able to survive until January 2001 if he is not.


MAKE no mistake: The election on Tuesday was a disaster for Republicans, a kick in the groin for conservatives and a triumph for Bill Clinton.

For those of us on the right, this is a moment that demands honesty. The election was indeed a referendum on the president and his future.

Bill Clinton won it. The Republicans lost it. Period.

That doesn't mean conservatives were wrong to be outraged at Bill Clinton's conduct this year, or to express their outrage freely and with all the strength they could muster. The conservative view may not have prevailed at the ballot box, but the belief that Clinton has disgraced the presidency and is unfit to hold the office is as valid today as was on Monday.

But it's also important to acknowledge that the usual conservative excuses for Republican failure won't pass muster this time.

There's no point, my fellow conservatives, in blaming the liberal media. Ever since the Monica Lewinsky revelations in January, conservatives have had thousands of hours of TV time and millions of inches of newspaper space to make their case against the president.

Never before in the annals of American history have so many terrible things been said about a leader, or in so public a forum - and the anti-Clinton forces did not carry the day.

Newt Gingrich even tried to make the outrageous argument that the Republican message was drowned out by the media's obsession with the Lewinsky matter. That sort of specious claim does violence to the very real problem of liberal media bias. Conservatives didn't spend years absorbing the withering scorn of liberals in the media just so Gingrich could use the bias argument as a cheap talking point.

Gingrich has a lot more to answer for.

Like Clinton, the speaker seems constitutionally incapable of accepting responsibility for the bad policy decisions he makes. He always looks for a scapegoat, always attacks and whines. Like Clinton, he can look right into a camera and lie - like when he said the Republicans did well on Thursday because they managed to hold onto the House majority for three successive terms.

Spin is sickening, whether it comes from the mouth of a Republican or a Democrat. The dishonesty Gingrich showed on election night and in his press conference yesterday was appalling - and pathetically unconvincing. At least Clinton spins with style. Gingrich spins like a dervish with a broken leg. Also like Clinton, Gingrich has proved in the past and will surely continue to prove unwilling to act in the interests of the nation and his party by stepping down from his post as speaker of the House - which he should do. The contempt he showed this year for core conservative principles revealed that he is no longer a force for change but merely a member of the power-hungry Republican Establishment.

And don't get me started on Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, from whose mouth pours embarrassing nonsense on every conceivable topic from homosexuality to gambling - a mouth that seems designed exclusively for the purpose of being a repository for his foot.

These men took a matter of principle - Bill Clinton's parlous conduct - and dirtied it by seeking the crassest political advantage out of a genuine constitutional crisis.

The president used the Oval Office as a private playground and then perjured himself before a grand jury when he was asked about it. The president's conduct is what matters, not Republican hopes of profiting from it.

Voters could tell that Republican politicians were actually enjoying the president's troubles because they thought it would make life better and easier for them to maintain and build on their power - and the voters were rightly appalled.

The American people are not stupid, said the political scientist V.O. Key in his seminal book, The American Electorate. He felt it necessary to speak this truism because politicians and elites are always in danger of forgetting it. Clinton disgraced the White House, but by capitulating to Clinton on policy matters while hoping to wrest power from him through the back door, Congressional Republicans did profound discredit to their branch of government as well.

For this we needed a Republican Revolution - to exchange one set of ideological wastrels in Washington for another?

The 1994 Republican triumph became a Full Employment Act for many Washington conservatives and Republican functionaries - and now that they've gotten themselves comfortable on the gravy train, they have forgotten what made their ascension possible. If they don't remember, they will lose control of the House and Senate in the year 2000 - and they'll deserve to.

Court Hears Police Search Authority

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court justices were skeptical Tuesday about giving police blanket authority to search people and their cars without consent after ticketing them for routine violations.

"It does seem an enormous amount of authority to put into the hands of the police," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. "We do have constitutional checks because we're not always sure that the police will exercise good judgment."

"If somebody jaywalks, the police could search them?" Justice John Paul Stevens asked.

"Correct," said Iowa Assistant Attorney General Bridget A. Chambers.

An Iowa man's lawyer argued that his rights were violated by a police search of his car that turned up marijuana.

Patrick Knowles was stopped for speeding on March 6, 1996, in Newton, Iowa. An officer gave him a speeding ticket and then searched Knowles and his car's passenger compartment.

Knowles argued that the search violated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. Iowa courts allowed the marijuana to be used as evidence, and Knowles was convicted and sentenced to 90 days in jail.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the case by July. The justices ruled in 1973 that police can search people upon arrest, citing a need to disarm suspects and preserve evidence.

Iowa law allows police to either make an arrest or issue a citation for any traffic violation. If they issue a citation, they can make an "otherwise lawful search."

The Iowa Supreme Court has interpreted the provision to allow police to conduct a search whenever they could have arrested someone, even if they decide instead to issue a citation.

Knowles' appeal to the Supreme Court said Iowa was the only state to authorize a search whenever a traffic citation is issued.

About 400,000 people are given traffic tickets each year in Iowa, said Knowles' lawyer, Paul Rosenberg. Police can invoke their authority to conduct searches only selectively because if everyone given a traffic ticket were searched, "the people wouldn't stand for it," he said.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist noted that police officers already have authority to conduct a search to protect their own safety.

Regarding a need to preserve evidence, the chief justice added, "When you have a traffic stop, you're not going to find any more evidence of speeding when you search a person's car."

Justice Antonin Scalia asked Chambers whether an officer could stop someone, arrest and search them, then drop the arrest.

Yes, she said. "Wow," Scalia responded.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted the Supreme Court's 1973 decision allows police to conduct a "search incident to arrest."

"You want to turn it around and have an arrest incident to search," Kennedy said, adding, "It seems to me that would be an abuse of authority."

Chambers said that if police did commit abuses, the Iowa Legislature could act to curb the authority to search. She also said it was "far from routine" for police to search people after giving them a traffic ticket, partly because the Iowa policy was challenged in court.

Kennedy asked Rosenberg whether a police officer could offer a motorist a trade -- submit to a search in exchange for not being arrested. "Why couldn't he give him that choice?" Kennedy asked.

In such a case, the consent to a search may not be considered valid because it was coerced, Rosenberg said.

"Virtual School"

Pupils, teachers would work in own homes

The students work at home, completing lessons assigned to them by a teacher. The teachers work at home, too, monitoring student progress by e-mail, phone calls and visits to students' homes.

It's called "virtual school," and by next fall, Lancaster County might have one of the first in the state.

The Dallas-based non-profit agency one2one Learning Foundation, which has four virtual schools in California and Texas, has asked the Elizabethtown School District for permission to start one here as a charter school.

Virtual schools are designed for students who have been expelled, are at risk of dropping out, have physical handicaps or learning disabilities, or who don't thrive in a traditional classroom setting, according to Alistair Howie, director of one2one's Texas school.

In a virtual school, teachers and parents come up with a plan for what each student needs to accomplish, Howie said. Then, using that plan, the teacher designs a curriculum tailored to the student. Except for occasional meetings at a school or other community building, the student does all of his or her work at home.

"The one-size-fits-all mentality doesn't work for every kid," Howie said. "Every child is unique. You have to evaluate programs based on the individual uniqueness of every child."

One2one schools serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade, Howie said. Each teacher is assigned to about 20 students.

The Elizabethtown-based school would eventually have about 500 students, although probably not in its first year.

Virtual schools do not only serve students from the district in which they are based. The Texas school, which will open next August, is based in Arlington but will serve up to 500 students from across the state, Howie said.

One2one assigns teachers to a cluster of students close enough to one another that the teacher can travel to their homes in a reasonable amount of time, he said. The Elizabethtown School Board will hold a public meeting to discuss the proposed school on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the high school, 600 E. High St. One2one representatives will be on hand to offer more information.

Board president Robert Enck declined to comment on the proposal, saying he will wait until he and the rest of the board have more information.

By state law, school districts must consider every charter school application submitted to them. A charter school is a school that is separate from regular public schools but is run on public money.

Students don't pay tuition to attend charter schools. Howie said the costs for students at the virtual school would be covered by the district in which they live; Elizabethtown would not pay for students from outside its borders.

He said he did not know why Elizabethtown was chosen as the home base for the virtual school. The person who would be head of the Elizabethtown one2one school was unavailable for comment, he said. Charter school teachers must be state certified, but such schools don't have to follow all the regulations by which regular public schools must abide.

Virtual school students will use traditional textbooks as well as computer software, depending what the parent and teacher decide he or she needs, Howie said.

One2one would eventually like to start using audio-video conferencing equipment for its virtual schools, Howie said. That would enable teachers and students to see each other while they work at their separate homes. Because work is done at home without a set schedule, it will be crucial for parents to work with teachers to help the student, Howie said. "We really do involve the parent," he said. "We believe that the parent needs to be primarily involved in the education of the children." Many of those served by a virtual school would be special education students.

Pennsylvania state law requires every special education student to have an individualized education plan, or IEP, agreed upon by parents, teachers and other school personnel.

The plan that the virtual school teachers and the parents agree on before the start of the school year will be the IEP, Howie said. It won't be a separate document.

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