Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 27, 2007

Politics didn't cause ouster of attorneys

I was deeply troubled by The Sun's editorial "Politicizing justice" (Feb. 18).

Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty was forthcoming and clear when he told Congress that the recent dismissals of U.S. attorneys were "performance-related." He was speaking under oath.

For The Sun to suggest that this explanation is "pure poppycock," when it has no knowledge of the substantive facts and the process involved in making these decisions, is irresponsible.

Mr. McNulty is a man of his word.

The U.S. attorneys in question were dismissed because of specific concerns related to their performance.

The department has chosen not to discuss these concerns publicly out of deference to the individuals in question. But the Senate Judiciary Committee has been fully briefed on the underlying reasons for their dismissals in a closed-door session.

And this administration has a strong track record of ensuring that U.S. attorney positions are filled by those who will serve their districts with the utmost integrity and a careful application of the law.

Tasia Scolinos

Washington

The writer is director of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Poll shows soldiers ready to leave Iraq

In criticizing the non-binding resolution recently passed by the House of Representative opposing the president's "surge" in Iraq, Cal Thomas wrote that there are "no opinion polls of military and civilian workers in Iraq" ("Resolution shows their lack of resolve," Opinion * Commentary, Feb. 21).

He goes on to quote two correspondents of his who opine that opposition to the war is hurting morale by sending the message that the troops may not be allowed to remain to finish the job.

Mr. Thomas presumably believes that these two sources are somehow representative of all the troops in Iraq.

He is either mistaken or he has conveniently chosen to ignore a Zogby poll conducted in early 2006, and published in Stars and Stripes, which indicates that 72 percent of the U.S. troops in Iraq polled believed all troops should be pulled out of the country within the year.

Of that 72 percent, 29 percent said the troops should be withdrawn immediately and 22 percent felt troops should leave within six months.

Only 23 percent of the sample said troops should stay in Iraq as long as they are needed.

And I can't believe that the majority of American troops in Iraq have experienced a dramatic change of heart in the last 11 months.

James R. Moody

Catonsville

Take stronger steps to end a failed war

I was heartened to read Dan Rodricks' column "Clergy speak on Iraq war: `Enough is enough'" (Feb. 22).

As someone who is involved in the anti-war movement, I have often felt that the clergy have not acted forcefully enough against the war.

There have been words from religious leaders and religious groups that have protested and marched. But there has not been enough urgency or outrage.

Finally, church leaders appear ready to take a bolder stance. I hope they will engage with and support the anti-war movement with real action.

Words are not enough.

As the column notes, Jesus became angry and turned over the tables in the temple.

It's time for church leaders and the anti-war movement to become truly angry and turn over the tables.

Elaine Andrews

Columbia

Congress forgets the cost of freedom

Has our Democratic-led Congress forgotten that all the freedoms we now enjoy in America came at a high cost ("Democrats drafting new Iraq measure," Feb. 23)?

Freedom costs pain, suffering, separation and bloodshed. It has always been that way.

We won earlier wars against very powerful enemies because we did not give up. We did not back down. Our cause was just.

Let us not lose sight of our goal today: maintaining our freedom to live the life we were created to live and enabling others to have that freedom.

I admire our president's staunchness, courage and bravery in these distressing times.

Let us pray for him.

Jean Testerman

Ellicott City

Early voting will add to our polling woes

Why is Maryland considering a constitutional amendment to permit early voting ("Senate passes early voting," Feb. 21)?

We had enough problems in the last election without adding an additional level of complication to the electoral process.

Have all the problems with the voting machines been corrected? Will election judges be present at all polling places, even on the newly added voting days?

Will technical support be available to correct problems with the voting machines on the new voting days?

Will the ballots be properly secured until all voting is completed?

Will results be kept confidential until voting is completed? How will voter identification be conducted and controlled?

And why will early voting only be permitted in select polling places? Will some voters be favored over other voters?

That sounds like an opportunity for discrimination to me.

This constitutional amendment has not been thoroughly thought through.

It could increase the state's existing voting problems.

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