Letters To The Editor


July 26, 2005

U.S. prosecutors play key role in war on terror

The Sun's editorial "What terrorists?" (July 19) questions the need for federal prosecutors to fight terrorism. The editorial asserts that Marylanders "don't need federal prosecutors focusing their resources and legal skills on terrorism." On the contrary, we most certainly do need federal prosecutors to protect our citizens from terrorists.

Four years ago, terrorists trained at a gym one mile from the federal courthouse in Prince George's County before launching the Sept. 11 attacks that killed thousands of American citizens (including Marylanders), damaged our economy and threatened our way of life.

At that time, federal prosecutors were not responsible for disrupting terrorist plots. Terrorists who operate in Maryland today and in the future will not be so lucky, because every U. S. Attorney is responsible for overseeing an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) composed of state, local and federal authorities who work cooperatively to fight terrorism.

Our ATAC oversees the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, which collects intelligence and shares it with partner agencies.

Together, we work to deter and disrupt terrorist schemes so that they do not result in terrorist attacks.

The Sun's editorial also recommends that "federal law enforcement officers should enhance relationships with their state counterparts to pursue top drug suppliers." I agree.

As The Sun recognizes, "The U.S. Attorney's competent, committed prosecutors have won convictions of murderous drug organizations, their leaders and enforcers who escaped punishment in the state system."

We have done this, we are doing this and we will continue to do this.

As is true of the war on terrorism, success in fighting gun crime and violent drug gangs requires coordination and cooperation among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. It also requires support from the community.

I will work with all interested parties who seek to make our neighborhoods safe from gun violence and drug gangs.

Rod J. Rosenstein


The writer is Maryland's U.S. Attorney.

Drug violence holds the city in terror

I am glad that U.S. Attorney Rod. J. Rosenstein's top priority will be to fight terrorism. But I agree with The Sun that we in the Baltimore metropolitan area are besieged by the ever-present crime and violence of the drug trade ("What terrorists?" editorial, July 19).

As a victim of violent crime by drug thieves in Baltimore, and as a psychiatrist who has treated hundreds of Baltimore youth affected by the daily terrorism that drugs and the drug trade bring, I respectfully request that Mr. Rosenstein include among his list of terrorists those who perpetrate violent, drug-related crime.

It is ironic that while touring Israel, a land plagued almost daily by terrorism, I felt safer there than on Baltimore's streets.

Dr. Stuart R. Varon


The writer is a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Abuse of prisoners offends our values

Once again the regime in Washington is showing its true colors - and they're not red, white and blue.

To oppose legislation that bars the military from hiding prisoners, prohibits cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and allows only authorized interrogation techniques because it would interfere with the president's authority and ability to protect us is something I would expect from the terrorists, not from American officials ("Cheney opposes Senate bill on detainee issues," July 24).

Each day in this once-great country is sadder and more repressive than the last.

Don Selig


BSO wrong to ignore musicians' concerns

I wish to express my outrage at the arrogance of the board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra ("Passing the baton," editorial, July 22).

When the musician's committee requested a delay in announcing the decision of the conductor to replace current music director Yuri Temirkanov, the board totally ignored this and went ahead, neglecting to assess other conductors who have yet to perform with the orchestra. This was an unconscionable decision.

I know that anyone working with a conductor needs to be comfortable and respectful of that person, or the performances will suffer.

Since the orchestra has worked with Marin Alsop a number of times, there must be good reasons that many musicians are dissatisfied with this choice.

Sydelle Landau


Too busy to live lives of our own?

Susan Reimer completely misses the point in her column on the $5-per-thank-you-note company that cranks out "personal" notes for those with too much to do ("Nothing says `thank you' like someone else," July 17).

Ms. Reimer finds this "inspiring," sniffing that only the "etiquette police" and "old Aunties" among us will find the concept hideous.

Of course, depersonalization is not new and it is not always tragic. We send mass e-mails, we greet callers with the same voicemail message.

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