"A powerful group of neo-conservatives is launching a new public relations campaign in support of President George W. Bush's war on terrorism," AlterNet's Jim Lobe writes. The group of well connected Republicans is calling itself Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT). In an open letter published in a full-page New York Times ad, former Secretary of Education and drug czar William Bennett writes: "The threats we face today are both external and internal: external in that there are groups and states that want to attack the United States; internal in that there are those who are attempting to use this opportunity to promulgate their agenda of 'blame America first.' Both threats stem from either a hatred for the American ideals of freedom and equality or a misunderstanding of those ideals and their practice." Our goal is to address the present threats so as to eradicate future terrorism and defeat ideologies that support it." AVOT is a "project" of Empower.org, which is the "education and research arm" of the right-wing think tank Empower America. The leadership of Empower America includes Jack Kemp, William Bennett, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Trent Lott among others. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld formerly served as an Empower America director.
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