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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 24, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Obama vs. Cheney on terror

Brennan Linsley / The Associated Press

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of President Barack Obama in the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Cheney makes Obama look like amateur

Editor, The Times:

After listening to both Barack Obama and Dick Cheney, it’s a slam dunk knowing who has the right idea for protecting America [“President, Cheney duel over how to fight terror,” page one, May 22].

We had a team of seasoned national-security professionals who knew although it would be ugly, we needed to do whatever was necessary to protect America from al-Qaida. This includes waterboarding if necessary. We are in a war, not a game of powder-puff football as the ACLU and leftists believe.

On the other hand, we now have a commander in chief whose greatest foreign-policy experience was being a community organizer. A man who is more interested in the opinion of socialist Europe than his own citizens. A man who goes around bowing to Saudi kings and apologizing to the world about everything and anything we do.

No doubt Iran, North Korea and like nations just sit back and laugh about what an inept, wet-behind-the-ears neophyte we have at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Emboldening terrorism is a job for which Obama is well qualified. Other than that, he’s an empty suit.

— Mike Ballsmith, Snoqualmie

Middle East bullying only causes terror

Has it ever occurred to anyone that it is the “anti-terror” policies of Dick Cheney and the Bush administration that put us and the entire country in danger in the first place?

Why is it so difficult to understand that our military adventurism and bullying for oil in the Middle East by the Bushes has created more terrorists? We have billions to pay Halliburton but no money for our schools? Are we really that stupid?

— Dennis Su, Mercer Island

Cheney’s argument is flawed

“President, Cheney duel over how to fight terror” quotes former Vice President Dick Cheney’s argument that the Bush/Cheney “comprehensive strategy has worked and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as before.” By “has worked,” he presumably means that there have been no attacks similar to 9/11.

One of the best descriptions of the fallacy in this argument was enunciated by Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States Supreme Court in a case involving voting rights. Roberts said, “That’s like the old elephant whistle. You know, ‘I have this whistle to keep away the elephants.’ You know, well, that’s silly. ‘Well, there are no elephants, so it must work.’ ”

— Robert and Susan Stanton, Seattle

Gitmo detainees will teach techniques in U.S. prisons

All this talk about how the more-secure detention facilities in this country can be used to effectively incarcerate Guantánamo detainees misses the biggest threat: their ability to teach other prisoners the techniques that could be used to cause great harm to this county.

Prisons tend to radicalize a significant number of detainees, most of who will eventually be released. The combination of those detainees and someone trained to commit horrific acts of destruction is fraught with all sorts of dangers.

— Bill Hirt, Bellevue

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