Monday, February 11, 2019

From Jenna Orkin

Congressman Walter Jones Dies

I met Walter Jones in 2005 when I was visiting Congress to discuss Peak Oil. One hallway in the House of Representatives was lined with posters depicting all the American soldiers who'd died in Iraq. The effect was stunning and as I stood there, a man came out of the corner office. He was older than many of the people one encounters in those halls - aides of under thirty, so I sensed he was a Congressman, particularly as he seemed interested in my response to the exhibit.  

It had been his idea, as it turns out. He did not believe Congress should heedlessly send soldiers off to die without having to face the cost.  

We spoke at length. He revealed an understanding of issues which Congress was not openly discussing, such as the US' inability to pay its debts - ever.  

In the years that followed, he went on courageously with his colleague Stephen Lynch (MA) to pursue the declassification of the notorious 28 pages of the 9/11 Report that related to Saudi Arabia. This, from the man who'd initially, after the 9/11 attacks, championed the idea of renaming French fries "freedom fries" in the House cafeteria. He'd come a long way since then. Congress could use a lot more like him. JO

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