Letters To The Editor


July 28, 2004

The president must coordinate security efforts

Anyone would agree with the premise of The Sun's editorial "Thwarting the terrorists" (July 23) that we need to contain terrorists and terrorism. And the editorial is correct that information should be freely shared between our various intelligence agencies.

The editorial also says that "a single coordinator of intelligence could bring about an increase of information-sharing and a decrease in bureaucratic jealousy."

I agree with the idea of a single coordinator. But we already have one - he is called the president and commander in chief.

All he needs to do is call all the existing agency heads together for a friendly meeting and tell them that if they, and their agencies, don't get along and play nice and do their job - which is to protect our country without jealousy or bias - they will be replaced.

The voters need to tell the president, current or future, that we expect nothing less.

Michael Connell


Report on 9/11 isn't so bipartisan

I agree with Daniel GourM-i that the 9/11 commission's report admonishes both the Bush and Clinton administrations for their lack of preparation for dealing with al-Qaida ("A bold blueprint," Opinion * Commentary, July 25). But to conclude that the commission "produced a bipartisan report" is misguided.

Throughout his column, Mr. GourM-i cites examples that suggest the opposite conclusion. He quotes the commission's belief that "we are safer today." He says the report "almost echoes President Bush's strategy of pre-emption." He praises the commission's viewpoint that terrorism requires "expanded government power to collect and share information on citizens."

These are among the complaints Democrats have expressed about the report.

Mr. GourM-i does, however, direct us to a plan for ending the war on terrorism - the commission's call for a "political-economic-cultural campaign to prevent the growth of Islamic terrorism."

This nonviolent proposal is one on which most parties can surely agree.

Tom Holder


Report ratifies the war in Iraq

While reading The Sun's in-depth coverage of the 9/11 commission's report ("U.S. is not safe from terror," July 23), I was struck by the fact that it is now undisputed that members of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and members of al-Qaida had ongoing discussions regarding possible collaboration.

The repeated efforts of Mr. Hussein to forge ties with al-Qaida support President Bush's conclusion that Mr. Hussein's Iraq was willing to work with terrorist organizations.

Combined with Mr. Hussein's history of developing weapons of mass destruction, who can now reasonably believe his regime was not a "gathering threat" that needed to be dealt with decisively?

The real lesson of Sept. 11, 2001, is that America cannot wait until a threat fully emerges. Instead, we must deal with potential threats before they result in American deaths.

John T. Sly


GOP's vendetta aided our enemies

The 9/11 commission's report places a large part of the blame on Congress for failing to act against the growing threat of terrorism. I agree with this and specifically lay blame at the door of the Republican-controlled Congress in the 1990s.

Instead of acting in this nation's best interest to protect its citizenry against the rising threat of terrorism, the Republicans in Congress decided to relentlessly wage war against President Bill Clinton for the "grave" threats he posed to the United States, namely his affair with Monica Lewinsky and the non-issue of the Whitewater scandal.

Many millions were thus diverted from a growing terrorist threat in pursuit of a political vendetta by the Republicans in Congress against President Clinton. This no doubt gave aid and comfort to our enemies.

Meanwhile, the families of the 9/11 victims must be shaking their heads in disbelief at the ineffectiveness of a Republican-controlled Congress unwilling to get tough and act decisively to protect this nation against future attacks.

Bill Klemer


Cutting bus routes won't cut congestion

I was incredulous when I read of a Maryland Transit Administration planner rationalizing cutting bus routes as a way of "relieving downtown traffic congestion" ("MTA proposes bus route cuts," July 21).

Certainly, it should be the other way around - bus routes and other mass transit should relieve people of their pathological need to drive downtown.

To suggest accommodating more vehicles downtown by cutting bus routes is a statement that I would expect from the self-interested highway contractors lobby or Baltimore Parking Authority or state Secretary of Transportation Robert L. Flanagan, whose policies always work against the car-less. But I thought an MTA planner would have better sense.

The best way to sell bus, light rail, subway and MARC tickets is to let commuters sit and stew in their stationary vehicles wasting gas money.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.