Congresswoman Waters Sends
Public Apology to LaRouche
by Dennis Speed
On Nov. 14, at a Congressional briefing on "Public Hospitals In Crisis: Is The Social Safety Net Unraveling?" chaired by Reps. John Conyers and Dennis Kusinich, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters stated, "Let me just say this. And I am not [a person] without controversy. We've had a group of people coming to this Congress, trying to focus us on what was happening with D.C. General Hospital. And, we, basically, told them, 'It's not our district. It's not a national issue.' And a lot of people shied away from that because the LaRouche organization was at the forefront, of trying to help us understand what was going on. We should all apologize. And I do now. I apologize because, you're right. It is a national issue. And we could have understood this. And second, I think we have to say to our colleagues in the District: 'We want to help you. Because to help you, we help ourselves with this issue.' And having said that, I think that many of us are going to have to refocus."
Waters' remarks were met by applause from Congressional aides and staffers. A bit later, Waters referenced "Sept. 11" as a watershed, after which the fact that "LaRouche was right" was unquestionable.
After Sept. 11, the "D.C. General issue" ceased to exist. The lack of emergency preparedness of American cities, including the nation's capital, to respond to biological or chemical disasters, whether perpetrated by terrorists, or accidents, as well as the incapacity to treat mass outbreaks of disease, such as a Spanish Flu epidemic, was underscored with a vengeance, as anthrax killed small numbers, and threatened many more—including members of Congress. Washington's self-imposed unpreparedness took the lives of postal workers, and tragically "proved" what LaRouche had warned of earlier.
The District's Congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, had deliberately road-blocked every attempt by her colleagues to respond to the nation's painfully self-evident public health crisis, terrorizing them that they would be branded as "collaborators of Lyndon LaRouche." That, combined with the withdrawal of support for D.C. General Hospital by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.), and other prominent Democrats who did not want to alienate Al "Born To Lose" Gore, had succeeded in closing the facility in July. Scores of D.C. residents died directly as a result of this action, imposed as "fiscal prudence" against the unanimous voice of the City Council, by the now-defunct Financial Control Board, and with the assistance of the now-deceased Katharine Meyer Graham and her anti-LaRouche Washington Post.
In July, the D.C. news-weekly The Hill reported: "Norton's public position is 'My hands are tied.'... A recent Norton official statement said: 'D.C. General is a local issue to be resolved in the District and not by any member of the Congress.' " But that was always only a cover story. On March 22, Norton stated, "There has to be a plan. The Control Board has deferred to the Mayor and the Council and they have to come up with a plan on how they are going to close this damn place down."
On May 9, Norton's office sent a memo, marked "confidential," to her Congressional colleagues "Re: D.C. General Hospital is a D.C. Issue and is Not Before the Congress.... Tomorrow, May 10, a mass march and lobby day have been scheduled. There may be more such activity in the weeks ahead.... [In] many of the groups who have come to Congresswoman Norton's office, the majority of the participants have been followers of Lyndon LaRouche, and the publicity and events are being coordinated by LaRouche and the Schiller Institute, a LaRouche front...."
In August, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who had earlier insisted that she would act on D.C. General only after consultation with Norton, moved to insert a paragraph into the 2001 Supplemental Appropriations bill: "This section ratifies and approves, and gives the full force of federal law to the action of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Authority on April 30, 2001 [to shutdown D.C. General]." The cat was out of the bag. Norton had lied, and blind-sided her colleagues.
The significance of Waters' apology should be seen in light of the above; but also, in the context of the changed post-Sept. 11 environment, and LaRouche's role in exposing the coup-in-progress against the Bush Administration as of that date. Senator Daschle must now, for the General Welfare of the people of the United States, reverse himself. He should act, perhaps against the wishes of Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) et al., to defend the health of U.S. citizens, starting with restoring and expanding D.C. General's public health functions.