Author's SourcesYou report (Jan. 19) a speech to the...


February 04, 1994

Author's Sources

You report (Jan. 19) a speech to the Baltimore Rotary Club by former FBI official Cartha DeLoach, in which he attacked my book "Official and Confidential," a biography of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

DeLoach called me, behind my back, a "slanderer, liar and coward." He said my sources on Hoover's sexuality -- a subject, incidentally, which takes up only a small portion of a 500-page book -- were shaky.

The claim that I'm a coward may seem odd to viewers who watched me face DeLoach's wild charges on the Larry King show when the book was published.

As for the rest, I refer Rotary Club members and your readers to the book itself, which is the massively researched result of a five-year investigation by a team including scholars as well as reporters.

DeLoach's former colleague, renowned Agent-in-Charge Neil Welch, called the book "a well researched, powerful indictment of the presidents and Congress that allowed one man to have such enormous power -- with no real accountability . . ."

Harrison Salisbury, that paragon of quality journalism, thought my book "brilliant" and "careful."

Finally, readers of "Official and Confidential" will find in its pages much interesting information about DeLoach himself.

Anthony Summers

Cappoquin, Ireland

Alice's Return

Well, it is about time. Welcome to Alice Steinbach. We have missed her wit and wisdom.

Betty Scott


Out of Context

Your Jan. 23 article states that Hechinger's was promoting the use of fertilizer as an alternative for melting ice from walkways and driveways.

During the recent period of extreme cold that gave us rolling blackouts and related problems, most retailers were out of salt. Local governments and the state were also out of salt.

It is true that certain fertilizers will melt ice and snow. The free urea nitrogen generates heat when it comes into contact with moisture. Free urea nitrogen is usually found in simple mix-type fertilizers.

As to the Environmental Protection Agency's comment that such fertilizers pollute the Chesapeake Bay, that's true. However, where do the tons of salt and other chemicals put down by the state and local governments go?

When salt is in short supply and sidewalks are dangerously slippery, people need something to melt the ice. The elderly and others who must get out to get groceries, medications and conduct business need to have something to make their lives a little safer.

Salt is corrosive to metals, extremely bad for concrete roadways and related structures and kills plant life. It can ruin wells and other sources of water.

A judicious use of fertilizer in the extreme conditions of freeze melts ice, provides a gritty surface for traction and promotes plant life.

Let's be fair. Print the whole story and not just a selected part out of the context.

Stephen G. Kariotis


Why So Upset?

In his letter Jan. 14, Donald Sterling (chair of the Baltimore City Community Relations Commission) voices many concerns about WBAL's decision to broadcast the Rush Limbaugh radio talk show.

He states that it is a tragedy that this decision "would venture to undermine the noble efforts of the overwhelming majority of the citizenry of greater Baltimore in fostering multi-ethnic and cultural harmony," and also that "it is an affront to us all."

Mr. Limbaugh's show has been broadcast to Baltimore listeners for quite some time on another station. Does Mr. Sterling believe this change in station will result in an increase in the pernicious influence he perceives?

Does he think that a radio talk show has the power to undermine these efforts he writes about? He does not give much credit to the citizens of Baltimore if he believes a radio talk show can cause such a setback. If he does believe that, I am affronted.

I heard about Mr. Limbaugh even before WBAL carried his show. He has a great many opinions. He is certainly not "politically correct." But I have not heard the hate-mongering Mr. Sterling seems to attribute to him. Mr. Sterling says this is not a First Amendment issue. It is, if he thinks WBAL should not broadcast a show because it is not "politically correct."

I am left wondering just what Mr. Sterling and others who have written letters on this subject are so worried about. Why is a different viewpoint so upsetting?

Mary Lyons


Recycle Stadium to Save Bay

If someone were to arrive in the greater Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area and begin to research the planned recovery of the Chesapeake Bay, the following facts would become evident:

Several agencies and departments of the federal government, the District of Columbia, the states of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York are signatories to an agreement that addresses the need for cooperation in an effort to address the needs of a watershed that has experienced a precipitous decline within the last 20 years.

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