The proposed site in Ruthsburg, Maryland for the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center will damage irreparably our rural Colonial heritage ("Battle is joined in Queen Anne's," Jan. 17). The heavy weapons center would be close to three premier examples of mid-18th century architecture. Our home, Old Pratt, is a plantation built by contemporaries of Washington and Jefferson. It is an early American masterpiece. There are three ancient burial grounds: one for whites, one for blacks and one for Native Americans. It seems a desecration of their memory to shatter their rest with high explosives and helicopters -- particularly when the government already owns millions of empty acres.
The plans are alarmingly murky. The General Services Administration has not fully disclosed its intentions. Due process has been denied. What is clear is that the government is cramming 19 facilities into just one site. The environmental overload will be a disaster.
The consolidated center will also be a "one-stop bombing" target for terrorists. It is dangerous when under attack to concentrate forces. We learned this at Pearl Harbor and Clark Field. The center will be an "iconic" target, like the Bay Bridge. The Eastern Shore is already a target-rich environment. Why add another?
This training center is bad strategy. It will ruin a precious historical area, and the decision to put it in Queen Anne's County should be reversed.
John Root, Queen Anne
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