Tommy, we hardly knew ye

By: Bill Whaley
26 July, 2013

Betrayed and Shamed

We used to love Tom Udall, the top vote getter in Taos County during his elections to the House of Representatives. As NMAG he even filed a lawsuit against a local political boss for violating the subdivision rules. But when he ran for U.S. Senate and won, he changed. During the first run for Senate, a group of about 15 supporters met him at Shadows during a Memorial Day weekend. The assembled faithful asked questions about LANL, manufacturing atomic bombs, aka plutonium triggers used for nuclear weapons and depleted uranium then enriched and used as bullets in Mid East wars.

The soft-spoken and normally tactful congressman turned nasty as he admonished questioner after questioner to stay out of “the weeds.” Several of those present were anti-war anti-nuke members of his constituency and quoted articles in Horse Fly. Having been present at numerous gatherings, both private and public, with Udall, I was shocked by the change in his personality.

Since he needed the votes from Los Alamos, he could have said, I need the votes then I’ll do something. But as both Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group and Carol Miller, northern New Mexico health care advocate, have pointed out, Udall has consistently gone behind the scenes at the House and Senate to keep the LANL war machine alive, a war machine that undermines the economic, health care, and moral interests of his constituents.

After that Memorial weekend meeting with Udall, I attended other events where he promised to change the Senate if enough democrats were elected to quash minority republican rule due to fake filibusters. Sure he continued to lobby and urge changes on the Senate, recently garnering headlines for the effort. But now comes an AP story on July 25, 2013 that says the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Udall is a member, voted unanimously for “sanctions against any country offering asylum to Edward Snowden…”

Further, AP notes that “The relationship is already strained by a Russian crackdown on opposition groups, American missile-defense plans in Europe and the former Cold War foes’ opposing views of the civil war between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and rebels.”

Basically, Udall and the Senate Committee, including Sen. Diane Feinstein are voting to reinstate cold war politics, a position, given his support for LANL,  Udall never abandoned. (What happened to the peace and prosperity of the Clinton years?) Udall and Sen. Diane Feinstein, who is from San Francisco, the city of my birth, have betrayed in spirit, Feinstein in letter, the fourth amendment for which Americans fought the revolution against the Brits because they didn’t want troops bivouacked and government housebreakers or spies in their homes. San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi, too, voted against the Amash amendment that would have curtailed some spying on Americans.

Edward Snowden is symbolic of revolutionary heroes like pamphleteer Tom Paine, the subversive letter writer, Samuel Adams, the fiery Patrick Henry (Give me liberty or give me death!) and Paul Revere, who warned the Americans: The British are coming. Now Udall and his cronies are coming! I just saw Udall, fitted out in cowboy hat and bolo tie with turquoise pin, walking along in the Taos Fiesta parade. He comes for your vote.

But I say shame on you Tom, shame on you, you vendido!

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