We Honor the King, Eisenhower Legacies on Jan. 17

By Andrew Kreig / Director's Blog

Jan. 17 is the 50th anniversary of the Farewell Address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of Allied forces in Europe during World War II. After two terms the Republican war hero used his unmatched stature in U.S. military and other government affairs at the time to echo the Farewell address of George Washington in advising the nation to avoid foreign entanglements. A video is here of the former general's powerful remarks warning the public to become vigilent against the threat to democracy posed by what he called a new "military-industrial complex" unprecedented in United States history. His granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, amplifies that message in a new essay excerpted below.

The date is also the national holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated at age 39 after helping lead the struggle culminating in the major civil rights laws in the 1960s. In 1955, he led the non-violent bus boycott in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of a bus as required under segregation. He is portrayed at right in a 1966 photo via Wikipedia with Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. Johnson, elected to the Senate in 1948, had won from fellow segregationists virtually unprecedented influence early in his career because they believed his acumen could help segregation endure. Instead, Johnson as president shocked his former Southern mentors by pushing through rights legislation. The final push came because of violence in the South and continuing discrimination throughout the nation, including the murder of civil rights workers in Mississippi, the bombing of a black Alabama church and the brutal suppression of Alabama civil rights marchers in Alabama. However, Johnson warned King, according to biographers, that signing civil rights legislation under Democratic leadership in Washington would lead to the demise of the party in the Deep South for generations.

The nearly decade-long, Republican-led effort to pursue former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges, thereby removing the state's last Democrat of potential statewide electability, suggests one way that Johnson's prediction unfolded, as amplified below.

Click on the links to see the full columns on these and other topics excerpted as follows:

Washington Post, 50 years after the 'military-industrial complex,' what Eisenhower really meant, Susan Eisenhower, Jan. 14, 2011. I've always found it rather haunting to watch old footage of my grandfather, Dwight Eisenhower, giving his televised farewell address to the nation on Jan. 17, 1961.The 50-year-old film all but crackles with age as the president makes his earnest, uncoached speech. I was 9 years old at the time, and it wasn't until years later that I understood the importance of his words or the lasting impact of his message.

Tickle the Wire, Happy MLK Day, Allan Lengel, Jan. 17, 2011. A salute to a man who did some extraordinary things during an extraordinary era. He died at the young age of 39.The man left behind so many great quotes, including this one: "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

OpEd News, My Upcoming Appeal Hearing on January 19th, Don Siegelman, Jan. 17, 2011. I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the earlier ruling of the 11th Circuit and sent my case back because the U.S.S.C. [U.S. Supreme Court] wants a different result...That is good news for me. If I do not win ....every governor, every U.S. Member of Congress and Presidents Bush and Obama will be subject to prosecution....Also keep in mind we have a motion for a new trial pending which lays open the government's misconduct starting with [Karl] Rove and ending with Bill Canary [Rove's friend and longtime Republican ally, and husband of the U.S. attorney whose office prosecuted Siegelman -- and who has been retained so far by the Obama administration].

RT, Can Gov. Don Siegelman stay out of jail? Thom Hartmann, Jan. 18, 2011. Video interview. "You don't have a Constitutional right not to be framed."

Locust Fork News-Journal, Glynn Wilson, Jan. 17, 2011. Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman will be back in court again on Wednesday, Jan. 19, this time before the same panel of Republican-appointed justices on the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld parts of his conviction in Atlanta two years ago. “I believe that the U S Supreme Court vacated the earlier ruling of the Eleventh Circuit and sent my case back because the court wants a different result,” Siegelman said. “That’s good news for me.” Washington Post, Hill probes deflected by clause in Constitution, Jerry Markon and R. Jeffrey Smith, Jan. 17, 2011. A constitutional clash over whether lawmakers are immune from many forms of Justice Department scrutiny has helped derail or slow several recent corruption investigations of House members, according to court documents and sources. At issue is a provision in the Constitution known as the "speech or debate" clause, which shields legislative work from executive branch interference. House members have increasingly asserted the privilege in corruption probes, often citing a 2007 court ruling that said FBI agents violated the Constitution when they searched the office of then-Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.).

BBC, Palin e-mail hacker starts prison term, Bobbie Johnson, Jan. 13, 2011. A man who broke into Sarah Palin's e-mail has been imprisoned - despite being told he might be spared jail. David Kernell, 23, was found guilty last year of illegally accessing Mrs. Palin's e-mail during the 2008 presidential campaign. At the time, a judge suggested he should serve his year-long sentence in a halfway house. But after intervention from US government officials he is now in federal prison, the BBC has learned.

Online Journal, Will Karl Rove bury the record of his 2004 election theft? Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, Jan. 12, 2011. An epic legal battle now rages between Karl Rove and Ohio election rights attorneys. The question is whether the public has the right to see full transcripts of a court deposition that could shed explosive new light on the bitterly contested presidential election of 2004. The deposition came from the late Michael Connell, Rove’s IT guru. Connell died in a mysterious plan crash in December 2008, one month after he spoke under oath to election protection attorney Clifford O. Arnebeck. Connell had implanted the state-contracted software used to compute Ohio’s electronic voting tabulations during the contest between Bush and John Kerry….The Connell deposition has been sealed since his death. During the closing days of the 2010 election, King-Lincoln attorneys sought the deposition of Karl Rove in connection with his activities involving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in all Ohio elections since 2000. Rove and Chamber attorneys, as well as the Ohio Attorney General’s office, claimed that there was no connection between Connell’s deposition and more recent activities involving Rove and the Chamber.