Mayor, police aren't seeking right culprit
We are aware that Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke is in favor of the legalization of illicit drugs, but until now we thought that he was opposed to illegal distribution of drugs.
Officer Nicholas S. Constantine and four other narcotics officers had been charged with lying in obtaining a drug-related search warrant for a house occupied by a cousin of Patricia Schmoke, the mayor's wife.
As a result, the state's attorney dropped as many as 100 drug cases in which these officers made arrests. The charges against the officers were then dismissed because the state's attorney was unable to obtain a conviction in the Baltimore Circuit Court.
And yet, the five narcotics officers have been reassigned to minor desk duties at police headquarters pending further investigation and punishment by the police department.
If the criminal charges against the officers were thrown out by the court, why are the mayor, the state's attorney and the police commissioner taking further revenge upon these officers?
Instead of punishing these police officers for raiding the house of a relative of the mayor's wife, the authorities should be pursuing the informant who claimed to have bought crack cocaine at the house.
The informant was either telling the truth or these narcotic officers were "set up" by drug dealers who got the mayor to do exactly what they wanted him to do -- put these officers out of action.
This is another reason why we cannot win the war on drugs or retain vigilant policement to do the job.
In addition to losing the services of these dedicated officers, we will now have as many as 100 more drug dealers on the streets of Baltimore.
William J. Ziegler
My thanks and appreciation for the superb inaugural 1992 Orioles Schedule Coin (produced by The Baltimore Sun).
It far surpassed my expectations in style, workmanship and fine mint work.
It truly must be the best buy of any Baltimore Orioles souvenir this year.
Again, thanks for a marvelous, thoughtful contribution to the Baltimore Orioles' inaugural season at Camden Yards.
John M. Nack
Middle East expediency
Politics makes strange bedfellows. Our energy, foreign and arms policies and a considerable portion of our domestic economic and environmental policies revolve intricately around access to the Mideast oil supply.
There are intelligent energy alternatives if our fearless leaders would not be so self-serving and would choose to pursue them in the best interest of our country's values and decency. Oil is the only reason why the Muslim countries of the Mideast are important in the international scheme of things.
Without that oil income, the state-sponsored terrorism of Libya, Iraq, Syria and Iran would soon dry up. Though Syria is not noted for its oil wells, it is no secret that Saudi Arabia (our alleged friend) is bankrolling anti-Western terrorist activities.
I for one will never forget the Saudis showing their true colors to our Christian and Jewish servicemen who were asked to put their lives on the line in defense of the Saudis but had to hide their religious beliefs because the United States did not want to offend Saudi customs.
Morally, we should be lumping these despotic regimes that are our friends only because it is expedient, and keep them at arms length. Playing the game of expediency is not conducive to building trust between individuals or nations.
But politics is neither moral nor ethical and President Bush, for expediency, climbs into the political bed of Assad of Syria as he did with Saddam Hussein of Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war and with Iran now that Iraq is the bad boy.
Of course, Saudi Arabia, a chief source of funding and weaponry for the terrorist activities of the PLO, is wedded to Washington's policies, and long-standing friendships are placed in jeopardy.
It is important to remember that the PLO has never established credibility by renouncing its infamous charter, and the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks embraced the PLO and, by so doing, adopted the PLO charter that calls for the dismantling of Israel by any means over any length of time that may be necessary.
President Bush, the environmental and education president, is all talk and no results. His major foreign affairs accomplishment, the Gulf war, was incomplete. Saddam Hussein is still alive, dangerous and looking for ways to circumvent the U.N. sanctions and destruction of his weaponry capabilities.
The Kurds are still in danger of extinction and Mr. Bush has backed off from aiding them to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Who else and what other values is Washington going to sacrifice shamelessly for expediency?
Perceptions can be stronger than fact. It is the perception of this writer that Mayor Schmoke's involvement with the Police Department and the bungled warrants is more personal than professional. My perception leads me to ask: If it were my house, would the mayor be as concerned? Of course not.