What’s the matter with the Aspen Institute?
August 17, 2006
Dear Editor:While the recent controversy regarding Paepcke Auditorium remains for now “tabled,” what about the recent hosting of Vice-President Cheney’s wife to hawk her book ?Should this not really be more offensive to the goals of the Institute? After all, her husband is completely culpable – in many people’s opinion – of undermining some of the basic tenets of American democracy and government.The so-called Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war and George Bush’s claim to be “a warpresident” are truly emblematic of an administration that has several members of the PNAC, Project for A New American Century, of military unilateralism at its heart. Next to these persons is Lynne Cheney.In Iraq we have unleashed the use of depleted uranium upon civilian areas resulting in a five-fold increase in birth defects since May of 2003. Undoubtedly many of our troops will come home and later experience the effects of this toxicity here.I am quite sure that the late Katharine Thalberg, a friend and former client of mine (yes, a difficult but also good client) would not have invited Mrs. Cheney to Explore for a book signing.But here we have the wife of an outcast in the world community being embraced by the Aspen Institute.I suggest that the Institute invite Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, or Arundhati Roy immediately to help heal the effects of having the prominent wife of an “eco-terroist” known for his support of dismantling environmental legislation being sponsored by the Aspen Institute.Sven Erik AlstromAspen/Lawrence, Kan.