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Kenneth Ellman in the Wall Street Journal-All Comments

This page contains all the comments/articles of Kenneth Ellman in the Wall Street Journal. Then you can scroll down and read all as one document. Each comment has a link(blue article title) to the Wall Street Journal article on the WSJ website.

  • Story:
    Louis Freeh, Ex-FBI Chief, Taps Old Skills in New Job

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,
    I find the comments here to be very interesting.
    There is frequently some “self-promotion” in media coverage and that is to some
    extent the basis of the cooperation between the subject of the article and the
    writer. No surprise there.
    I do not think that Louis Freeh is doing anything other that what has become normal and expected. That is to make a business based in part upon your life experience working for the government. Freeh is now doing as a private business what he was supposed to be doing as FBI Director. That is looking out for the interests of his client, which as FBI Director was the people of the United States and now as a private business is whoever hires him. This does not particularly upset me. I did not expect Freeh upon retirement to go into the dry cleaning or supermarket business. Keep in mind he is a former Federal Prosecutor and a former United States District Court Judge in addition to his FBI experience.
    I do find the above comment by Robert Slate to be a powerful and simple reminder:
    “The FBI under Louis Freeh failed to investigate the report from Arizona flight instructors that middle eastern men wanted to take flying lessons but didn’t care to learn how to land the airliner. Otherwise, 911 might not have happened.”
    I do not recollect any good explanation for this failure except that the information was not properly processed and considered. Certainly the FBI failed in a terrible way as regards this incident and all the more so since dedicated and good FBI agents had forwarded this information for action and it was simply not addressed or utilized. The world would have been different if those who failed had simply done their job.
    The crimes and failures by law enforcement, including the FBI, are a true disappointment. The Ruby Ridge murders, the Limone case, the Robert Hanssen spy case, there is no end at all. Government is people and from time to time people will fail. They also usually do their job well.
    While Louis Freeh did appear before Congress on October 19, 1995 and admitted the terrible failures (of his predecessor ) causing murders at Ruby Ridge, he did not seek any prosecution for the murders committed under government authority. The government paid money damages, that is all.
    The private clients of the now former Director Louis Freeh, do not care about that.
    They are looking for credibility, honesty and public impact. Louis Freeh can probably deliver that.
    His clients will get the professional aid they seek. I never heard Freeh claim he was perfect or never made a mistake. So life continues.
    Kenneth Ellman, Box 18, Newton, NJ 07860


  • Story:
    Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,
    Reply to- Mr. Paul Gallagher and Mr. Terry Patrick
    October 1, 2011
    Thanks to Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Patrick for reading my comments and responding.
    Mr. Gallagher states:
    “Mr. Al-Awlaki is not a nation, and not a citizen of one that has declared war on the U.S.”
    First I dispute that since I believe the attacks upon the United States were a combination of efforts including aid from nation states. However that is not necessary to be determined to address your points.
    You are under the misunderstanding that the United States can only go to war with a
    “Nation” as that term is commonly understood. I am not sure where you obtained that belief.
    The United States can go to war against any group that makes war against the United States.
    In the past there is the interesting case of the “Barbary Wars” where the United States Navy and all necessary military forces would wage war against the Barbary Pirates. In fact those pirates apparently even made agreements with other Nations and then would break such agreements.
    The Pirates captured were considered by the United States to be Prisoners of War. The Pirates did also capture and imprison and mistreat out military forces.
    This may be an interesting area for research as it is well documented having been considered at the time of the Barbary Wars by the Supreme Court and having been periodically used as legal argument such as in the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan where such is discussed in the Brief of Lawrence M. Friedman to support his particular Amici argument.
    I have no doubt that those waging war against the United States are military forces, even if unconventional military forces and that they must be destroyed in total by the United States.
    The analogy to the Barbary Wars may be useful for certain legal authority and precedent.
    The fact that the deceased Mr. Al-Awlaki was a United States citizen is of no moment. The rights accorded to Americans by our Constitution, including the Bill of Rights to protect us from our government, do not apply to those waging war against the United States. Mr. Al-Awlaki was treated as an enemy soldier which he was and his rights as an American do not include protection from killing by our military forces when he is waging war and part of a force waging war against the United States.
    To Mr. Terry Patrick: Thank you for your comment. I of course agree with you.
    Kenneth Ellman


  • Story:
    Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,, Box 18 Newton, New Jersey 07860
    The Killing of Anwar al-Awlaki , “Another View” Copyright 2011, by Kenneth Ellman, All Rights Reserved.
    The discussion of the American citizenship of Anwar al-Awlaki gives the reporting a much greater interest as it is more than just killing an enemy but also killing of one of our own. This is what gives us a certain discomfort. It kind of gives a momentary stun. It is hard to escape the inference that when the enemy is also an American, it should or must tell us something. However I am not so sure that it tells us much of anything we did not already know. It is not really news that Americans are a diverse lot, which cannot be characterized as can be many other nations. We as Americans are everything and anything that human beings can be, coming from every nation and culture and religion. What we hope and which is normally the case is our love for our law and Constitution which has allowed us all to be that somewhat unique legal and cultural entity called a Citizen of the United States. We hope that all that strangeness which we can be to each other, coming from so many different ways of life and experience, is all tied together by a love of our law and Constitution. It is our law and Constitution which has allowed us to be what we are and wish to be in the future. It is that law and Constitution which has pulled the people of so many nations to make this our one home, and where we hope our children will not ever have to leave. But then there are cases such as Anwar al-Awlaki. Somehow, although we are not sure why, it makes us think what does American citizenship mean? I have always thought that what it means is the right, the legal right, to claim and demand the rights of an American. The rights accorded to each of us by our law, which includes the right to live in, prosper and serve our Country when need be. What we do with those rights is up to each individual. It is our free legal system and culture that allows each American to find there own way and make a life in relative safety and opportunity that has distinguished us. And it is the openness of our society that has also allowed those who hate us to come here too. The questions raised are more tragic than substantial or significant. The tragedy is the rejection by many who share this world with us of the very foundation of what we believe in, the whole concept of individual citizenship and the freedom and responsibility and obligations that go with that. It is something that Americans have created, suffered for and cleaved to over a very many years. Anwar al-Awlaki reminds us again and again that our beliefs are not necessarily shared. There is something incongruous about our military having to kill one of our own who is also an enemy soldier. Some may ask how can we kill an American without authority of a Court and Law. But such a question asks more than it deserves. It has occurred many times before and will occur again. The real question is how can an American come and kill us? The only explanation we can have is that such “citizenship” was obtained for purposes other than living as an American. There always seems to be some outcry over how, under Due Process of Law this government killing can occur? We are so used to idea of government killing only taking place in the context of a Judicial Order that we sometimes forget being an American citizen does not accord any more protection to wage war against us, against our United States, than any other citizen of any other country. Our law does not have to explain that the purpose of American citizenship is not to wage war against the United States but to wage life by building up yourself and your nation. So the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki was nothing more than America defending itself. Remember the Hebrew phrase that strangely allows life: “If someone comes to kill you, kill him first”.
    Kenneth Ellman


  • Story:
    Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,, Box 18, Newton, NJ 07860
    “Much Ado About Nothing” by Kenneth Ellman. Copyright 2011,All rights reserved.
    The Wall Street Journal story “Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure” and The New York Times “Judging a Long, Deadly Reach” and “Two-Year Manhunt Led to Awlaki Death” reports a sensational action, the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, It was a carefully planned American Military killing of a declared soldier warring against the United States. The fact that the deceased was also an American Citizen, creates the semblance of a legal question when in actuality there is none. However there is indeed a factual question that must always be posed and this leads to the real issue. How to separate the legal and factual question if they can be separated at all is the real issue.
    No enemy soldier or enemy official, when actually at war with the United States is entitled to any protection of any kind offered by the United States Constitution. Our Constitution does not discuss the killing of enemy soldiers during actual warfare operations since this is clearly not a legal question. Killing of enemy soldiers during warfare is a military question and does not involve any question of law. Such killing is done without “due process of law”, since such killing is done without any law at all. The specific authority to kill enemy soldiers during warfare operations is not to my knowledge authorized by any provision of the United States Code. I have never read any section of law that specifically states the “American military is hereby authorized to kill enemy soldiers during warfare”. Yes of course enemy soldiers are protected when they become “prisoners of war” and such protection is part of the American legal system. But a soldier who becomes a “prisoner of war” which apparently can only occur by the soldier surrendering, is no longer a soldier at war and so the law of such military prisoners then is invoked and that then becomes a legal question. A soldier who surrenders is no longer a soldier at war, he becomes a prisoner of war.

    So here we have a man, Mr. Anwar al-Awlaki, who most certainly was a soldier at war with the United States and most certainly had never surrendered. Why then is this being discussed as any kind of legal question. You know if Anwar al-Awlaki was not a citizen of the United States but a common citizen of any other country, just going about his private business, and never waging any war against America, it would be a serious crime for the United States to murder such a man. Whether he is an enemy soldier or not is the only consideration. The issue is Not whether he is an American, but whether he is an enemy soldier during time of war and it certainly appears he was. SO enemy soldiers during time of war are supposed to be killed by the United States Military. That is what we have a military for. This is not a legal or due process issue at all.
    However the true fear and concern is how do we make a determination as to whether those we kill are in fact enemy soldiers and not just persons who our elected government simply wants to murder for other reasons? As long as we know that in fact the decision to kill is a verified and confirmed decision to kill enemy soldiers the law has no interest in this. But if ever we have a time where our Military and the destructive force of the United States is used to kill those who we simply do not like, then our law must rise up and punish those who under the guise of authorized American power commit murder in contravention of our laws. Here in appears that is not the case and our country is a little safer for the killing of those who seek to kill us. Kenneth Ellman, Box 18, Newton, NJ 07860,


  • Story:
    U.N. Assembly Looming, U.S. Fails to Sway Palestinians

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,
    TO Tom Green, Reply In Wall Street Journal “U.N. Assembly Looming, U.S. Fails to Sway Palestinians.” September 18, 2011
    Dear Mr. Green,
    Thank you for your reply to my comment.
    You quote me and ask as follows:
    quot;Let the people live separately, let them live free.”
    Do you find acceptable that Israeli arabs moves out of Israel to enroll in this declared Palestinian state?
    My simple answer is again that reality and history shows that a large Muslim population can never live in Peace with another people.
    Whether it is India and Pakistan or Lebanon in which the Arab Muslims attacked the Christians or any other part of the historical record, the Muslims will not live in Peace with other cultures.
    Based upon that reality and based upon the fact that the creation of the State of Israel caused the Muslim (Arab and Persian) to expel or threaten the Jews living in the Muslim states who then had to flee to Israel, Yes, separation is best. The Jews unlike the Arab Muslim will not attack the Israeli Muslims en mass. But the Arab Muslims have made it clear, that separation or domination is a necessity and the Muslim will not accept anything else. The only way such people can live in freedom is to have their own nation, the Muslim culture leaves no alternative. Another example are the attacks upon the Christian population in Egypt.
    There are exceptions to the extent that a Western nation has a minority of Muslims, such Muslims can live there under the protection of Western law but when those of the Muslim faith reach a large population they seek to oppress others in their nation and attack the law that protects all citizens. I do not fully understand why this occurs. But the historical record shows this and we ignore it at our peril.
    There are some cultures and beliefs that simply do not tolerate the freedom of other people, religions or ways of life. We must accept this and protect that which we value, or we will lose what we have fought for over thousands of years.
    Kenneth Ellman


  • Story:
    Britain Tallies Damage and Sets Out Anti-Riot Steps

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,, Newton, New Jersey 07860
    In reference to the article “U.K. Tallies Ruin, Takes Anti-Riot Steps”, as is usual in Western nations such as Great Britain who have multi day rioting it can only occur when the government and citizens there allow it. Great Britain has vastly more brute force in aid of its democracy and law, than is required to have immediately stopped all the rioting and attacks upon British safety and community. If the order was given to stop the riots and looting with full authority and power, it would have ended that very same day, or sooner. The order was not given and so the criminals controlled the streets, to the terror of Great Britain. One can only wonder as to why? Particularly why anyone would care at all as to the motivations of the criminals and rioters. As is usually the case such persons engage in this behavior for both fun and profit. No one seriously believes that these criminals attacking the very foundation of society were somehow doing these acts against their will?? Much enjoyment and pleasure and wealth is gained for those who engage in such behavior, it is their lifestyle. Only the blind do not want to face that it is the duty and obligation of an elected government in a democracy not to understand people but to protect its citizens and enforce the law. How sad to see England fall to such lows. More extraordinary is the announcement of the Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron that he was going to consult with an American ex policeman, William J. Bratton so as to learn what to do. After we all stop laughing, the citizens of Great Britain should then demand the resignation of David Cameron not for the rioting per se, but for his statement that somehow a former American Policeman is needed to save this remnant of the Empire. Such an embarrassment.
    Great Britain has within its own means and domicile, those of knowledge and courage to eliminate such crime and attacks without any delay. It is not needed to go to the United States to find a competent Police commander. Nor is the British military devoid of such men. ENGLAND, needs to look into itself to see how it could allow such debasement of its civilization and law and raise up those of its own to confront and deal with this. The weakness that Great Britain has is a weakness of its own choosing as it can easily correct this when it shall decide to do so.
    Amazing, just amazing. I say to Prime Minister Cameron that I know of a dog that barks very loud and can bite too, right here in the United States. Such dog can control the criminals in England. But I wonder does England, the land of Winston Churchill, not have any lions left in its whole domain??
    It makes me dream of the Iron Lady. Kenneth Ellman, , Newton, New Jersey 07860


  • Story:
    For Same-Sex City Couples, Day 1 of ‘I Do’

    Comment: To Andrea M from Kenneth Ellman,
    Thank you for replying to my post.
    I do not think “divorce” did any damage to marriage.
    I take that position since if people get divorced then they probably have already given up and abandoned that relationship. Whether we allow “legal” divorce or not, people who do not want to be together will cease to do so one way or another.
    There has always been and will always be failed relationships of all kinds. That is the
    nature of human beings. People are always changing. They also die and then form new relationships. I do not see how allowing “legal” divorce injured marriage at all.
    In fact I do not see how divorce has anything to do with marriage except to announce it is over and come to a legally enforceable agreement that hopefully protects the couple and their children.
    Kenneth Ellman,, Newton, New Jersey 07860



  • Story:
    For Same-Sex City Couples, Day 1 of ‘I Do’

    Comment: To Charles Hoffman from Kenneth Ellman,
    Well Charles,
    I respond to your reply to my post. Perhaps it was over your head!. What sentence did you not understand or is it all beyond you. I can make it real simple. Since marriage now has NOTHING to do with two human beings creating another human being, also known as a man and woman having a child while married, I believe the definition has been changed to the injury of our culture.
    I also clearly stated that since same sex relationships cannot ever create a human being and have nothing to do with making children, that such should not be connected with marriage at all.
    As I clearly stated there are no legal rights of any kind that same sex people cannot enjoy in a same sex domestic relationship. We certainly have the ability to pass laws recognizing same sex domestic partnerships etc. and durable power of attorney with proper will/testamentary documents can solve most problems. So same sex marriage is simply a political and social fraud. Same sex relationships cannot produce children just as pigs cannot fly. Did I make it clear enough for you now, Charles??
    Sorry if I was confusing the first time around. Thanks for your comment. I am happy somebody reads this stuff besides me.
    Kenneth Ellman,, Newton, New Jersey 07860



  • Story:
    For Same-Sex City Couples, Day 1 of ‘I Do’

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,, Newton, New Jersey 07860.
    I have made previous comments on this topic in the WSJ. Now the article here “For Same-Sex City Couples, Day 1 of ‘I Do” reminds me my views have not changed. I say Bizarre, utterly Bizarre. This is the culmination of casting the institution of marriage as a way to bear and raise children out the window. Now, marriage has nothing to do with the creation of life and love between a man and woman to create such life. How sad. This never had anything to do with legal rights as it was a very, very simple matter to accord same sex couples the same legal benefits and rights as marriage confers upon a man and woman. I have always believed that the right of American citizens to form and enforce contracts, including domestic arrangements and durable power of attorney exists without any special legislation. Such existing law allows same sex couples to make any arrangements they wish. Arguments to the contrary are simply nonsense. “Marriage” which apparently no longer exists in New York, was always a hoped for commitment to biologically start a family and protect and raise children. Certainly as an institution it failed in many ways as much as it succeeded. But so what. People attempt and some succeed. But now that institution has changed and marriage in New York does not any longer mean that. Marriage in New York no longer has any connection whatsoever with the bearing of children by a couple united by the legal recognition of marriage. How selfish to throw the institution best structured for the creation of children aside to simply satisfy the self aggrandizement and fantasy of persons of the same sex living together. Same sex couples of course can never have children. The very definition of same sex relationships is that there will be no children of that relationship. That is why many parents cry when they discover their children are homosexual. That is a decision for the people involved to make and it is their right and privilege. Our Constitution protects the right of our citizens to make and enforce contracts, including those in same sex relationships. But it is not the right and privilege to destroy a legal, cultural and religious concept and framework called marriage. This is simply an attack on the idea of a woman and man starting and nurturing a family. Such has always been under pressure and now this is another derogation of such hoped for family structure.
    You know there is extraordinary research on the intellectual and emotional response of all types of life. The recent book by Dr. Jonathan Balcombe “A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure – The Exultant Ark” is reviewed in various publications.. It portrays what I have always believed that the entire biological structure of our planet can feel and understand many emotions and communicates such. But would we want to change our language so that words do not any longer mean what they were created to mean. There is a political movement here in our United States and in Europe that would change our language and law to extend various legal rights of men to other forms of life. Perhaps even citizenship. Who knows, maybe one day such will pass the legislature. I want to make clear that this is NOT a legal rights issue. The rights of our citizens to associate and form the relationships they choose, is an inalienable right under our Constitution. But the right to destroy our language so words no longer mean what they say is not necessary in order to protect the freedom of association of all Americans. So now marriage has nothing to do with creating children. We have something else. I am not so sure what if anything this will do to our culture in the long run, I just do not know. But this experiment will certainly be a teaching lesson one way or another. I still say pigs can’t fly. Good luck to all.
    Kenneth Ellman,, Newton, New Jersey 07860



  • Story:
    Gay Marriage Voted In

    Comment: Robert Couture had replied to my now deleted comment from June 25, 2011 . Why was my post deleted ??! I post it here again.
    From Kenneth Ellman,, Originally Posted on June 25 2011
    There is actually nothing so special and much humor in the legalization of marriage between persons of the same sex. Sexual relations between men and men, and women and women, has occurred as far back in human history as can be known. I believe there was never a time when it did not occur. The prevalence and acceptance of homosexual and lesbian acts is as common in human history as is the abhorrence of such acts. And this common behavior coupled with a belief of some that it is wrong has always caused a tension wherever humans have dwelled.
    The only reason the Old Testament calls\mentions homosexuality as an abomination is because it must have been a behavior encountered everywhere to one degree or another.
    For the most part there is nothing in our law that prevents same sex couples from doing what men and women have been doing for eternity. That is living together and sharing life together.
    And to the extent that there is a legal inequality with conventional marriage, that could easily have been remedied by giving so called “civil unions” legal equality with heterosexual marriage. In fact this “civil union” type law has also been advocated for men and women as an alternative to conventional marriage.
    But it is a terrible thing when we as a people lie in our law and lie to each other. Marriage was always known throughout human history and to this very day as a framework for a man and women to have a child with each other. Yes, of course, there was and is adoption. Yes, of course men have always live with men and women with women. But that in no way changes the fact the purpose of marriage as known to humanity was to have children with each other by that extraordinary genetic combination of a man and woman. How that relationship was recognized has varied as has the respect for that act of creation. But it is still what has defined our biology, as it has for many other creatures in our world. Certainly there are animals that have asexual reproduction, but human being are not yet one of them.
    SO, we now can pretend that two men or two women can somehow combine and make a new human being. Our government can pass all the law it wants, they cannot change that immutable physical property that only a man and a woman can combine each other to create life. Perhaps that is not culturally significant any longer? Cultures regularly go through periods where family life radically changes. But truth and reality has a vital function in life and altering the definition of marriage, so that it is no longer to join a man and women to create a human being that is part of both of them does nothing for our society or for those who love their own sex. There is a well established and recognized biological reason for heterosexuality. I am also sure there is biological reason for same gender sexuality. But they are not biologically the same and pretending they are does nothing for anybody. Pretending words mean what they do not also does not advance understanding. The sky will not fall now that same sex marriage is legal. But when ever we lie to each other we lose something in the process. This was a legally unnecessary law to satisfy an emotional turmoil and sadness in our culture. But it will not help to understand what we are nor will it allow men to have children with men nor women to have children with women. Do not blame our government for that, blame evolution and if your are religious blame G-D. What it has done is separated the idea of marriage from the act of two human beings genetically combining themselves to have children. How that helps us I do not know.
    Kenneth Ellman,