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Michael A. Peroutka
Apr. 7, 2005

Dear Friends of the Constitutional Republic,

The multi-million dollar Heritage Foundation is the 800-pound gorilla of the conservative "think tanks." When this "King Kong" pounds his chest, Republicans --- from the President on down --- pay close attention. But, in what was arguably the most important culture war battle in recent years --- the fight to stop the cold-blooded murder of Terri Schiavo --- the official policy of the Heritage Foundation was silence, no comment. I learned about this cowardly policy when I called the office of Ronald Reagan's former Attorney General Ed Meese III, the Heritage Foundation's Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy and Chairman of their Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. I wanted to speak with Ed about the ongoing attempt to murder Terri Schiavo and what he thought could be done by a President to stop this murder.

Oh, no, I was told by a young lady in his office, Mr. Meese cannot talk about this. She said the Schiavo case was "too controversial" and there was no "consensus" at Heritage on this subject. So, the policy, from on-high, was that no one at Heritage could talk, as a Heritage person, about Terri Schiavo.

I immediately called Ed Feulner, President of Heritage, to ask if what I was told by the young lady in Ed Meese's office was true? My call was returned by a Senior Associate at Heritage, Chris Kennedy. He told me yes, this was, from on-high, the organization's policy regarding Terri Schiavo. He said this was the policy "because, obviously, while our hearts are breaking around here over the tragic nature of this story, it raises some Federalism implications that are very, very difficult to maneuver. So, we're not going on the record here. And that's the last word on the issue."

Me: "But, you didn't have to talk about this issue only in terms of Federalism. You could have ---."

Kennedy (interrupting): "Unfortunately, sir, we do."

Me: "No, you could have talked about this issue in terms of murder, in terms of those attempting to murder Terri Schiavo! Or, you could have talked about what Florida Governor Jeb Bush should be doing within his state. Or, you could have just allowed various Heritage experts to give their views about Terri Schiavo, even if these views differed."

Kennedy: "Sir, I am not really interested in debating this with you."

Me: "I am not debating with you! I am telling you what you could have, and should have, done! Total silence on this literal life-and-death issue is moral cowardice! Pass that along to Ed Feulner. " Kennedy: "Sir, I have been asked by a couple of people in this building to request that you not call us again."

Me: "I will call there whenever I think it is appropriate. And I had every right to inquire about your stupid, gutless, immoral policy of silence on the murder of Terri Schiavo."

A source familiar with the Heritage policy of no comment on the Schiavo murder, tells me that probably the vast majority of people at Heritage, "instinctively, at a basic moral level, think that's what happened to Terri Schiavo is an outrage." But, because there was a difference of opinion among their experts on the Federalism issue --- some opposed Congressional intervention --- silence was the official policy.

This source says that if Heritage was seen as being against such Congressional intervention, the fear was that this might be interpreted as being against the pro-life movement and this movement would be offended. My source says: "This is the best face that can be put on this policy." When I note that if this is true, then this is a very ugly face, my source agrees.

Me: "But, what idiot at Heritage would think that an official policy of silence on the murder of Terri Schiavo would not offend the pro-life movement?!"

No reply.

Finally, this source says something very significant. This source says the Heritage no comment policy on the murder of Terri Schiavo might also be defended because when Heritage was founded decades ago the organization also made a decision not to be involved in the abortion issue.

Me: "I know. And look at the consequences of that kind of policy! Silence on the murder of innocent, unborn babies by abortion has now led to the murder of an innocent, handicapped lady in Florida! This is precisely what pro-lifers predicted would happen!"

Again, no reply.

The official silence of the Heritage Foundation while Terri Schiavo was being murdered makes a mockery of what the organization says it stands for. On its Web pages, the folks at Heritage tell us that yes, America is indeed engaged in a culture war involving, among other things, the "right-to-life." On these pages it is said that the overall direction of American culture is "cause for great alarm." The self-defined mission of this organization is said to be to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on such things as "individual freedom" and "traditional values."

The Heritage Foundation "Mission Statement" says, in part: "We are not afraid to begin our sentences with the words 'We believe' because we do believe: in individual liberty...traditional American values....As conservatives we believe the values and ideas promoted by our Founding Fathers are worth conserving....We believe that ideas have consequences, but that those ideas must be promoted aggressively."

But Heritage was AWOL in the battle to stop the starvation murder of Terri Schiavo.

In March of 1964 --- 41 years before the murder of Terri Schiavo --- 38 residents of a Queens, New York, neighborhood failed to respond, failed to call the police, as they heard the cries of Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, 28, who was being stabbed to death.

In March of 2005, and for many years earlier, easily more than 38 million Americans knew about the attempted murder of Terri Schiavo. And all those who failed to speak out against this murder --- like those at the Heritage Foundation --- have this murdered lady's innocent blood on their hands.

For God, Family & the Republic,
Michael A. Peroutka

8028 Ritchie Highway
Suite # 303
Pasadena, MD 21122
(877) MAP-2004
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