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Vol. 22 No. 6- June 2009


Volume 22, No. 6
Editor: Stephen L. Seftenberg

Upcoming Program: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monroe Ackerman will discuss, “Dred Scott, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and the Civil War.” [Editor’s apology: I put the Fehernbacher article in the Newsletter before I was told of Monroe’s talk.]Douglas

[Editor’s Note: Since we are more familiar with Lincoln than Douglas, a superficial bio seems to be in order]: Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 – June 3, 1861) was an American politician from Illinois. He was nicknamed the "Little Giant" because he was short but was considered by many a "giant" in politics. As chairman of the Committee on Territories, Douglas dominated the Senate in the 1850s. He was largely responsible for the Compromise of 1850 that apparently settled slavery issues. However, in 1854 he reopened the slavery question by the highly controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act that allowed the people of the new territories to decide for themselves whether or not to have slavery (which had been prohibited by earlier compromises).

Douglas supported the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857, but when President James Buchanan and his Southern allies attempted to pass a Federal slave code, to support slavery even against the wishes of the people of Kansas, Douglas battled and defeated this movement as undemocratic. This caused the split in the Democratic Party in 1860, as Douglas won the nomination but a breakaway southern faction nominated their own candidate, Vice President John C. Breckinridge. When civil war came in April 1861, he rallied his supporters to the Union with all his energies, but he died a few weeks later.

President's Message

As of May 15, 2009, we have 65 paid-up members. The directory will be sent out with this Notice. If you still have the binder provided with the 2008 directory, simply replace the enclosed pages. If not, I suggest you purchase an inexpensive glassine binder at a business supply store. It is with regret that I report the death of one of the Roundtable’s most loyal members, Clark Thomas Donlin, who died September 28, 2008 in Whiting, New Jersey. His widow, Mary, sent me a lovely letter and his obituary, which will be at the head table at the June meeting. Gerridine La Rovere, President

Program: Tuesday, May 13, 2009
May biographies:

Steve Seftenberg, Editor of the Newsletter and Secretary of the Board, presented two contrasting Confederate Generals:

William E. “Grumble” Jones

JonesJones was born in Washington County, Virginia, May 3, 1824. After graduating from Emory and Henry College in Virginia in 1844, he graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1848 and was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the U.S. Mounted Rifles. He served with the cavalry fighting Indians in the west until he resigned his commission in 1857 to become a farmer. His nickname, "Grumble", reflects his irritable disposition, undoubtedly exacerbated by the death of his wife, who was washed from his arms in a shipwreck shortly after their marriage.

At the start of the Civil War, Jones joined the 1st Virginia Cavalry Regiment, commanding a company he had raised. He served under then Brig. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in the First Battle of Bull Run. Jones became colonel of the 1st Virginia, but left the regiment at its reorganization to command the 7th Virginia Cavalry Regiment. He led them in western Virginia, along the Potomac River. Returning east, Jones' brigade was distinguished in the Second Bull Run Campaign; he was wounded in a skirmish at Orange Court House. He was part of Stuart's ostentatious raid around Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's army preceding the Seven Days battles. He was promoted to brigadier general on September 19, 1862, and on November 8, was assigned to command the 4th Brigade of Stuart's Cavalry Division in the Army of Northern Virginia. This brigade was known as Robertson's, or the "Laurel brigade," and consisted entirely of Virginians, formerly commanded by Turner Ashby. Based on the request of Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, on December 29, 1862, he assumed command of the Valley District.

PleasontonIn the spring of 1863, Jones and Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden raided the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad west of Cumberland. Mary land, destroying much of the railroad and public property in the area. Rejoining Stuart, he fought in the largest cavalry engagement of the war, the Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863, at the start of the Gettysburg Campaign. He was surprised, as was all of Stuart's command, to be hit out of blue by Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton. Jones' brigade was outnumbered by the division of his West Point classmate, Brig. Gen. John Buford, but it held its own and ended the fight with more horses and more and better small-arms than at the beginning, capturing two regimental colors, an artillery battery, and about 250 prisoners. As the Gettysburg Campaign continued, Jones screened the Army of Northern Virginia's rear guard during the advance north through the Shenandoah Valley, by holding gaps in the mountains that separated them from Union observation and interference. As the Battle of Gettysburg commenced on July 1, 1863, Jones' brigade crossed the Potomac River at Williamsport, Maryland, but stayed away from the principal battlefield, guarding the trains and Harpers Ferry. Jones was disgruntled that Stuart had not taken him on his movement around the Union flank to join up with General Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps on the Susquehanna River. Before moving into Pennsylvania, General Robert E. Lee ordered Ewell to capture Harrisburg if practicable. The disagreeable Jones often clashed with Stuart. On July 3, Jones' brigade fought a sharp battle with the 6th U.S. Cavalry at Fairfield, Pennsylvania, then again at Funkstown, Maryland, a few days later. After Lee's army completed its retreat back to Virginia, Jones' men fought twice again with Buford at Brandy Station, on August 1 and October 10, 1863.

StuartIn October, Stuart's dissatisfaction with Jones reached a boil and he court-martialed Jones for insulting him. Although Grumble was found guilty, Robert E. Lee intervened, and he was transferred to the Trans-Allegheny Department in West Virginia. Jones recruited a brigade of cavalry there and campaigned in eastern Tennessee with Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s forces during the winter and spring of 1864. In May, Jones assumed command of the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley who were defending against the halting advance of Maj. Gen. David Hunter towards Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Valley Campaigns of 1864. In the Battle of Piedmont on June 5, 1864, Jones was shot in the head and killed while leading a charge against a superior attacking force.

Grumble Jones is buried in the Old Glade Spring Presbyterian Church graveyard, Glade Spring, Virginia. His fellow cavalry general, Brig. Gen. Imboden, wrote that Jones “was brave as a lion and had seen much service, and was known as a hard fighter. He was a man, however, of high temper, morose and fretful. He held the fighting qualities of the enemy in great contempt, and never would admit the possibility of defeat where the odds against him were not much over two to one.”

William Henry Fitzhugh “Rooney” Lee

LeWilliam Henry Fitzhugh “Rooney” Leee was born May 31, 1837, at Arlington House in Arlington, Virginia. He attended Harvard University, and then followed in his father's footsteps, entering the United States Army in 1857 as a second lieutenant. He served with the 6th U.S. Infantry under Albert Sidney Johnston, and participated in the Utah War against the Mormons. In 1859, he resigned from the U.S. Army to operate his White House Plantation, on the south shore of the Pamunkey River, in New Kent County, Virginia.

With the outbreak of the Civil War Lee became a captain in the Confederate Army cavalry and was soon promoted to major. He initially served in western Virginia under the command of Brig. Gen. William Loring during 1861 and early 1862. He was then placed under the command of Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, becoming a lieutenant colonel, and later colonel in the 9th Virginia Cavalry.

After the Battle of South Mountain, Lee was promoted to brigadier general. He fought at Antietam under the command of Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, his cousin. He commanded the 3rd Brigade of Stuart's Cavalry Division at the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He was wounded during combat at Brandy Station at the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign and was captured by Union forces at Hickory Hill, Virginia, two weeks later, while recuperating. He was a prisoner of war in New York State until February 25, 1864, when he was exchanged for Union Brig. Gen. Neal S. Dow. In April, he was promoted to major general and commanded a division in the Cavalry Corps during the breakout from Petersburg and the retreat of his father's army in the Appomattox Campaign. By the end of the war, he had risen to second-in command of the Confederate cavalry. He surrendered along with his father at Appomattox Court House.

After the war, Lee returned to White House Plantation and planting. Nearby, his younger brother Rob lived at Romancock Plantation across the river in King William County. After his mother died in 1873, Rooney inherited Ravensworth Plantation, the old Fitzhugh family property (near present-day Springfield) in Fairfax County with 563 acres of land and moved there. In 1875 Rooney was elected to the Virginia Senate, serving until 1878. He was then elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1887. He served in the House until his death at Ravensworth October 15, 1891. He is interred in the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, with his parents and siblings.

Lee married twice, first in 1859 to Charlotte Wickham, a descendant of attorney John Wickham. They had two children, a boy and a girl, both of whom died in infancy. Charlotte died in 1863. On November 28, 1867, he married Mary Tabb Bolling, a descendant of Colonel Robert Bolling and his second wife Anne Stith. They had two children who lived to adulthood: Robert Edward Lee, born February 11, 1869 at Petersburg, and George Bolling Lee, born August 30, 1872 at Lexington. Lee is the step-great-great-grandson of George Washington. Lee's mother, Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee, was the great-granddaughter of Martha (Dandridge) Custis, who was a widow living at her White House Plantation in New Kent County (which Rooney Lee later inherited) when she was courted by Colonel George Washington before their marriage in 1759.

May program
Open Forum: Was the Civil War Inevitable?

Two dominant speakers laid out diametrically opposed explanations: a Southerner posited Northern aggression following a long history of profiting from the importation of goods and slaves. A Northerner posited that the evils of slavery poisoned the economy of the South, forcing its ministers to defend slavery, soft-pedaling the cruelty of dividing families, punishing chattels for seeking to escape to freedom, and leading to a paranoid fear of slave uprisings. Each speaker acknowledged that the other had some “truth” on his side, but was mistaken in the conclusions drawn thereby. Other speakers discussed the relative “welcome” each section gave to immigrants, pointing out that the South welcomed Jews and Germans and Irish far more than the North did. Another speaker pointed out the large proportion of plantation owners who were born in the North. One speaker pointed out that the Compromises of 1840 and 1850, by delaying the break, strengthened the North’s population, manufacturing and transportation advantages, making the South’s defeat inevitable provided that the North found political and military leaders able to carry the fight to the South. Your editor invites members to submit short essays on this subject, which will be printed in this newsletter. In an effort to put these arguments in context and to furnish a well-researched analysis, your editor has inserted relevant portions of an article by a well-known historian.

Donald E. Fehrenbacher (1920-97) won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his book, The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics. He taught history at Stanford University (1953-84). The following article was downloaded from the internet.


Two weeks before Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office as President of the United States of America on March 4, 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of a new republic that extended from South Carolina to Texas. Nothing in the history of the Civil War is more remarkable than the speed with which secession proceeded and the Confederacy took shape, once the outcome of the presidential contest was known. The rush to action reflected an intensity of feeling also expressed in much southern rhetoric. Political leaders, editors, and other spokesmen denounced the election of Lincoln as an outrage amounting virtually to a declaration of war on the slaveholding states. "Let the consequences be what they may," said an Atlanta newspaper, "whether the Potomac is crimsoned in human gore, and Pennsylvania Avenue is paved ten fathoms in depth with mangled bodies . . . the South will never submit to such humiliation and degradation as the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln."

Why did the lawful election of a new President provoke such fury and lead so promptly to dissolution of the Union? First of all, no one at the time seems to have doubted that the secession crisis was a crisis over slavery. To be sure, there were other reasons for southern disaffection, such as a sense of having been reduced to economic vassalage by the commercial and industrial interests of the Northeast. Nevertheless, the grievances listed by the seceding states concentrated almost entirely on slavery. So did efforts in Congress to produce a compromise. So did the outpouring of public discussion. "The institution of African Slavery produced the Secession of the Cotton States," declared another Atlanta newspaper soon after Davis's inauguration. "If it had not existed, the Union of the States would, to-day, be complete."

Lincoln had already said about the same thing in a letter to a southern leader: "You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainty is the only substantial difference between us."

The dynamic force at work in the crisis was southern perception of the Republican party, not merely as a political opposition, but as a hostile, revolutionary organization bent on total destruction of the slaveholding system. Fearful predictions filled the air. The Lincoln administration, it was said, would seek to repeal the fugitive-slave laws, abolish slavery in the territories and the District of Columbia, prohibit interstate trade in slaves, and reverse the Dred Scott decision through reorganization of the Supreme Court. More than that, Republican control of the government would break down southern defenses against abolitionist propaganda and subject the slaveholding society to a mounting threat of internal disorder. The platform of the Republican party according to an Alabama senator, was "as strong an incitement and invocation to servile insurrection, to murder, arson, and other crimes, as any to be found in abolition literature." Republicans must be dealt with as enemies, said a North Carolina newspaper; their policies would "put the torch to our dwellings and the knife to our throats."

Actually, Republican leaders were something considerably less than revolutionaries. Their party platform, which repudiated the kind of violence associated with John Brown and affirmed "the right of each state to order and control its own domestic institutions," did not have the ring of an incendiary document. Indeed, Republican antislavery doctrine amounted to a moral compromise with slavery that abolitionists were disposed to treat with scorn. Why, then, did so many southerners take an apocalyptic view of Lincoln's election? And on the other hand, why did so many northerners vote for Lincoln, knowing that his election would be disturbing to the peace of the nation? These are simple questions that soon lead on deep into historical complexities.

Slavery had been a troublesome but marginal problem in the founding of the Republic and in national politics for three decades thereafter. Sectional discord in those year had been centered primarily on other public issues, such as the Hamiltonian financial program of the 1790's and the Jeffersonian Embargo of 1807. As late as 1832, it was federal tariff policy that provoked South Carolina's belligerent experiment in nullification. Furthermore, southerners of the early national period, if they defended slavery at all, had usually done so in qualified and contingent terms, portraying it as a regrettable legacy that was ineradicable in their own time, but not for all time. The Federal Constitution, while acknowledging the presence of slavery in the nation, seemed to treat it implicitly as an impermanent feature of American society. A generation imbued with the spirit of the Enlightenment found it easy to believe that the disturbing problem of human servitude would eventually yield to the benevolent forces of social progress.

By the middle decades of the nineteenth century, however, accumulating changes of great magnitude were dissolving such optimism and placing the American Union chronically at risk. The rise of the cotton kingdom had enhanced the value of slave labor and its importance to the national economy. Despite some northern efforts to restrict it, the slaveholding system had expanded westward as far as Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. The nation's slave population tripled between 1800 and 1840. Yet, although slavery flourished, the slaveholding class suffered from a growing sense of insecurity as it came under fierce attack from a new breed of abolitionists and as the South settled ever deeper into the status of a minority section.

Slaveholders felt both physically threatened and morally degraded by the antislavery crusade. What they sought with increasing passion was not only security for their social system but vindication of their social respectability and personal honor. The defense of slavery accordingly lost its earlier strain of ambivalence and became more emphatic, with elaborate appeals to history, the scriptures, and racial theory. More and more, the South came to resemble a fortress under siege, expelling or silencing its own critics of slavery and barricading itself against abolitionist oratory and literature. Southerners in Congress closed ranks against even mild antislavery proposals, such as termination of slave trading in the District of Columbia. They argued that any concession to the spirit of abolitionism would denigrate the South and serve as an entering wedge for further attacks on the slaveholding system. During the final stages of the sectional controversy, many southern leaders compromised their own states' rights principles by demanding a Federal policy unreservedly protective of slavery. Some of them even insisted that all northern criticism of the institution must cease or be suppressed by the states in which it originated. One consequence of these and other proslavery excesses was the enlistment in the antislavery movement of a good many northerners who felt little sympathy for the slave but had developed a strong aversion to the "slave power."

From 1846 onward, the sectional issue that inflamed national politics was the status of slavery in the western territories. Apparently resolved by the Compromise of 1850, the problem arose again in a bitter struggle over Kansas, where for several years intermittent violence foreshadowed the great conflict that lay ahead. By the summer of 1858, it had become clear that Kansas would never be a slave state and that slavery was not taking root in any other territory. Yet the controversy grew in intensity, even as it seemed to be declining in relevance, perhaps because of a deepening awareness on both sides that the territories were just the skirmish line of a larger conflict over the future of slavery and the regional balance of power in an expanding nation. Ever more ominously in this unremitting quarrel there loomed the threat of disunion.

Talk of secession was almost as old as the Republic, but only in the 1850s did the idea crystallize into a definite movement for southern independence. Until near the end of that decade, the out-and-out secessionists (or "fireeaters") remained a relatively small group, except in South Carolina and one or two other states. But a much larger number of southerners were tempted by the idea and partly converted. They tended, for instance, to uphold the right of secession, while pondering its feasibility. Often they retained a strong attachment for the Union while at the same time yearning to cut loose from its antislavery elements. The election of Lincoln galvanized such men, and most of them were ready, when the time came, to be caught up in the excitement of establishing a new nation.

But secession, although it sprang from an impetuous spirit, was a complicated and highly formal enterprise, very difficult to set in motion. Earlier threats of disunion had nearly all arisen because of proceedings in Congress, which meant that a sectional crisis could always be defused by legislative compromise. In any case, the problem of slavery in the territories had ceased to be an urgent matter (except as it affected presidential politics within the Democratic party), and there was no other sectional issue with which Congress seemed likely to provoke a major crisis. Meanwhile, however, the South found itself facing a different kind of menace that might well become the trigger for disunion, and this was something over which Congress had no control--namely, the increasing possibility that antislavery forces would capture the presidency.

Historians once explained the birth of the Republican party in rather simple terms as the response of outraged northerners to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which opened up those two territories to slavery. Later scholarship indicates, however, that a fundamental realignment of the party system was already under way when the Kansas question arose. The change began at the local level and reflected concern about certain ethno-cultural issues, such as nativism and temperance, to which the old parties seemed to be paying too little attention. Out of this local unrest there arose the Know-Nothing movement, organized politically as the American party, which for a time seemed likely to replace the failing Whig organization as the principal opposition to the Democrats. But the anti-Nebraska coalition of 1854, soon to take the name Republican, super-imposed its political revolution upon that of the nativists and in the end absorbed much of the American party's membership. The emergence of Republicanism as a major political force was in fact a very complex event that cannot be attributed solely to antislavery zeal or to any other single cause. Nevertheless, what proved to be crucial in 1860 was not the true nature of the Republican party, whatever that may have been, but rather, southern perception of the party as a thinly disguised agency of abolitionist fanaticism.

CalhounFor many southerners, the prospect of a Republican administration summoned up visions of a world in which slaveholding would be officially stigmatized as morally wrong, in which slaves would be encouraged to rise up against their masters, and in which national policy would move inexorably toward emancipation and racial equality. But to understand fully the reaction of the South to Lincoln's election, one must take into account not only the antislavery complexion of Republicanism but also the proslavery character of the Federal government before 1861. For nearly three-quarters of a century, southern slaveholders, along with northerners deferential to the slaveholding interest, had predominated in the presidency, the executive departments, the foreign service, the Supreme Court, the higher military echelons, and the Federal bureaucracy. Cabinet posts and other important positions were frequently entrusted to proslavery militants like John C. Calhoun, but no antislavery leader was appointed to high Federal office before Lincoln became President. The nation's foreign policy was conducted habitually and often emphatically in a manner protective of slavery. The presence of slaveholding in the national capital testified to its official respectability. In 1857, the Chief Justice of the United States awarded slavery a privileged status under the Constitution when he declared that the Federal government had no power to regulate the institution but did have "the power coupled with the duty of guarding and protecting the owner in his rights." BuchananWhen the secession crisis arose, James Buchanan, the Pennsylvania Democrat in the White House, blamed it entirely on "the incessant and violent agitation of the slavery question throughout the North . . ." Is it any wonder that most southerners viewed the election of Lincoln as a revolutionary break with the past?

The danger of disunion apparently did not deter a great many persons from voting Republican in 1860. For one thing, the threat to secede had been heard so often that it was widely regarded as mere bluster, aimed at extracting concessions from fainthearted "Union-savers." Furthermore, many northerners persuaded themselves that the secessionists, even if serious, were just a noisy minority whose plot would be smothered by the stronger forces of southern unionism. The New York editor William Cullen Bryant spoke for perhaps a majority of Republicans when he remarked soon after the election: "As to disunion, nobody but silly people believe it will happen." Lending encouragement to such mistaken expectations was the amount of dissension in the South on the question of immediate withdrawal from the Union. Besides the many outright unionists, there were "cooperationists," who argued that secession should be preceded by a general southern convention, and there were conditional disunionists who wanted to wait until the Lincoln administration had committed an "overt act" of aggression against the South. But secessionist leaders knew that for their purposes delay was more dangerous than lack of full support. The shocking antislavery capture of the presidency provided a clear signal for disunion such as might never be sounded again, and its mobilizing effect would soon be wasted if action bogged down in debate. Cooperationist strategy had time and again proved unsuccessful.

"Therefore, the hour had come,” said the fire-eaters, for secession to be undertaken in single file. One bold state must lead the way, drawing the rest of the South after it, state by state. As the movement proceeded, it would presumably gather momentum and eventually force even the border slave states to leave the Union.

When a South Carolina convention unanimously approved an ordinance of secession on December 20, 1860, it did so with full assurance that other states would follow. Sure enough, Mississippi seceded on January 9, 1861, then Florida and Alabama in the next two days, then Georgia, Louisiana, and finally Texas on February 1. At that point, however, the parade of departures came to a halt, as secession met defeat everywhere in the upper South. Later, of course, four more states seceded, but theirs was a different kind of decision that amounted to joining one side in a war already begun. The crucial determination to dissolve the Union in response to the election of Lincoln was made by just seven state governments, representing less than one-third of the free population of the entire South. Those same seven states of the lower South created the Confederacy, framed its constitution, and elected its President. Furthermore, it was men from the lower South who eventually made the fateful decision to open fire on Fort Sumter. Virginians, by way of contrast, lived for four years under a government that they had no part in establishing and fought for four years in a war that they had no part in initiating.

Driven by fear, anger, and pride into preemptive action against what appeared to be an intolerable future, the secessionist majorities in the lower South seized the initiative after Lincoln's election and forced a battery of hard choices on the rest of the country. The decisiveness of these men enabled them to shape the course of events to their liking for a time, although it served them badly at Fort Sumter. Their decisive behavior is the heart of the matter in any explanation of the outbreak of the Civil War, just as slavery is the heart of the matter in any explanation of that behavior.

Control of the Gettysburg National Park Has Fallen Into the Wrong Hands

President LaRovere invited Franklin Silbey, a long-time member of the Roundtable, to give a report on conditions at Gettysburg that turned into a litany of misdeeds: The Supervisor donated 6 acres to Gettysburg College on condition that it not be disturbed. Instead, the College built on it! The Supervisor wanted a new Visitors Center. A first: the Supervisor hired a full time PR whose sole job is to glorify his administration. The old tower was knocked down. Secrecy prevails. Gov. Rendall’s family owned 45 acres as an “inholding” within the Park. The President of CSX Railroad and a wealthy developer, paid the Rendall family $2,745,000 ($61,000 per acre) for farm land that usually sold for $2,000 an acre and sat on the land for several years. The Supervisor awarded the developer’s company an exclusive no-bid contract to build a new visitors’ center, the cost of which has climbed to $103 million. Departing from the usual concept for visitors’ centers, he created a supermall, paved 100 acres over wetlands for paid parking, put in a $7.50 admission fee to the visitors center (!), put in a cafeteria and gave it a monopoly on serving food within the Park, and set up a foundation that has vigorously raised funds all over the country. This foundation awarded the developer’s son’s design company an exclusive contract for designing this monstrosity and has paid it over $6 millions. To obtain a guide, in the old days, the visitor negotiated directly with a trained guide; now you must pay a fee at the visitors desk and are assigned a guide. Payment of the guide’s portion of the fee is often delayed. Many of the veteran guides have resigned. The Supervisor’s second wife’s nephew as hired to work in the bookstore. He was caught on camera pocketing over $25,00 from the till. He was never prosecuted. This bookstore lost the contract it had held for many decades in favor of a chain who changed the inventory into “schlock.” The most popular item is now a Lincoln “bobble head”! Of the thousands of relics that used to be on display only 10% are now visible. Some good may come: Both the Government Accounting Office and the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior are conducting thorough investigations that should lead to indictments and a change of governance. The real problem here as throughout the Federal government is that there are really four branches of government: Judicial, Legislative, Executive and Bureaucracy! The bureaucrats know each other are protected by Civil Service rules, were there before the political appointees come into office, control the paper flow while the political appointees are in office, and will remain after the political appointees depart for a new batch and the process continues.

Last changed:  06/21/11

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