Letters To The Editor


October 31, 2006

Focus on torture highlights cruelty

Thank you so much for the brilliant articles on Thursday's Opinion

Commentary page - "An American atrocity" (Oct. 26) by Myron Beckenstein and "Bush closes the gap between freedom and terror, but there is an upside" (Oct. 26) by Garrison Keillor.

Both presented an accurate picture of what we have done in passing the Military Commissions Act of 2006 - Mr. Beckenstein with heartbreaking eloquence and the face of an innocent victim of the policies, and Mr. Keillor with biting humor.

I am convinced that had the public known the content of this shameful legislation, it never would have passed.

I will do all that I can as a citizen to see that the law is rescinded - or overturned as unconstitutional.

I am proud that every Maryland representative and both senators - Republicans and Democrats alike - voted against this legislation.

Mr. Beckenstein and Mr. Keillor - with their clarity, wisdom and wit and, most of all, their stories - demonstrate effective ways to inform people about the terrible shortcomings of this legislation.

Kudos to them, and to The Sun for not letting the issue fade from our consciousness.

Suzanne H. O'Hatnick


U.S. government spins out of control

Coiled like a snake under the family sofa beneath Garrison Keillor's humorous column "Bush closes the gap between freedom and terror, but there is an upside" (Opinion

Commentary, Oct. 26) is the disturbing image of an American government that has lost its way.

Under recent law, our government could have any of us tortured based on accusations we have no opportunity to refute.

Yes, this is unlikely to happen to you or me. But it is not unthinkable. Our government sent a Canadian citizen to Syria knowing he was likely to be tortured ("An American atrocity," Opinion

Commentary, Oct. 26).

Why? Because the Canadian government had said, according to this column, that he "might be considered dangerous."

And we did it after the Canadians notified the FBI that the information they had posted on him was wrong.

Overwhelmingly, Americans support the effort to destroy the Taliban and to capture Osama bin Laden. But our politicians have lost their way.

This is not the fault of President Bush, or the Republicans, or the Democrats. This is our fault. Our politicians need us to lead them back home.

Throughout our history, it is in defending our values, not adopting the values of our enemies, that we have come together and proved invincible.

Ed Hodges


Critics of the war boost our enemies

The insurgents in Iraq have made a point of trying to influence our elections by killing Americans, Iraqi military forces and civilians ("Bush takes the offensive on crucial issue of Iraq," Oct. 26).

The appearance of chaos and cries for withdrawal by the administration's opponents are a perfect formula for Jihadist public relations.

And when spokesmen for the opposition such as Sen. John Kerry and President Bill Clinton go out on the attack, they are playing into the hands of the enemy and doing this country a disservice.

The insurgents hope that our election will be a referendum on Iraq and that it will speed the pace of American withdrawal.

It is vital for Americans to go to the polls on Election Day and cast their votes to keep America strong by putting people into power who will protect us and not give the enemy a victory.

Regina Sztajer


Shifting voting plans could create chaos

First, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. puts out a call for all voters to request absentee ballots. Time and money have since been spent on literature, phone calls and ads to get this message out.

And now I learn that Mr. Ehrlich has asked the state elections administrator to develop contingency plans should all requested ballots not be mailed to voters in time for this general election ("Ehrlich warns voting `crisis,'" Oct. 27).

Wow. I guess this is what you call "chaos" management. But I, for one, expect more from my representatives than to create a crisis and then cry foul.

It makes me wonder how many people who get an absentee ballot will misplace or lose it and then expect to go to their polling place to vote.

Now there's a voting "crisis" waiting to happen.

William Smouse


Limbaugh often criticizes GOP

It is obvious that the writer of the letter "Limbaugh is pot calling kettle black" has never listened to Rush Limbaugh, and has most likely gotten his information from others (in the mainstream media, perhaps?) who have never listened to Mr. Limbaugh either.

It is true that Mr. Limbaugh is a shill. But if the letter writer would listen to the program, he would know Mr. Limbaugh is primarily a shill for himself, and conservatism, in that order. He has offered plenty of criticism of Republicans.

And it is patent nonsense to suggest that what Mr. Limbaugh does on the public airways, supported by revenue from the commercials that he runs, is the same thing as running a blatantly political ad meant to influence an election.

Robert Gellert

Glen Burnie

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