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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 14, 2009 at 4:00 PM

CIA secrets: Can Congress be trusted with sensitive plans?

Congress can’t be trusted with intelligence secrets

Only the most partisan readers would accept the inflammatory headline on page one referring to “Bush-era terror tactics” [“Heat building over Bush-era terror tactics,” page one, July 13]. Does The Seattle Times accept The New York Times’ premise that the Bush administration used terrorism? Is there absolutely no check on what gets printed?

As for the partisan side, what better way to get the mainstream media and the populace riled than to invoke George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and secrecy? This is being done to raise awareness of a program that, by all accounts, never got implemented. Why would a party do that, except to deflect coverage of relevant current events that reflect poorly on this administration and Congress — for example, a non-stimulating stimulus package?

As to Cheney’s invocation of secrecy, remember that, at the time, someone in Congress blabbed that we were tracking al-Qaida’s cellphone communications and that led to the loss of important intelligence data. Getting briefed on intelligence operations places responsibilities on those who get briefed. It requires trust and accountability, neither of which were being earned by Congress at the time.

For the record, I have intensely disliked Cheney since the late ’80s, so I am loathe to defend him.

— Chris Butler, Seattle

With investigations, Congress only diverting scrutiny

Congress is at it again to divert attention from its failures in repairing this economy to focus on secrets kept from the past administration concerning the classified terrorism program.

Actually, I am more concerned about the best-kept secrets our Congress and the current administration are keeping from the everyday hardworking taxpayer — like where the billions of stimulus dollars are going.

Unbelievable! I am thankful for those “best-kept intelligence secrets” that have kept this country safe for the last eight years since Sept. 11, 2001.

— Mary M. Bacon, Marysville

Before limiting CIA, send Congress for taste of military life

I firmly believe the U. S. attorney general and every member of Congress who insists on further investigating the terrorism program and diluting the operational capability of the CIA should immediately be inducted into the Army or Marine Corps, and after basic training, sent to the hostile areas of Iraq and Afghanistan to replace current troops.

I doubt any would go willingly, but perhaps they might just understand, with such an experience, the increased danger they will have put themselves and our brave troops in when they seek these political investigations.

— Thomas Frey, Kingston

Obama certainly does question Bush

Thanks for starting my day with a chuckle. In your editorial, [“Congress must hold the CIA accountable,” Opinion, July 14] your editorial board in addressing the need for congressional oversight stated, “Even the Obama administration, which has been reluctant to second-guess its predecessor in the White House …”

What planet have you been on for the last two years? Did you happen to miss the last 200 President Obama sound bites criticizing the Bush administration’s handling of detainee interrogations?

Obama may have many inspirational and exemplary behaviors but reluctance to second-guess the Bush administration is clearly not one of them.

— Doug Ralphs, Issaquah

Comments | More in CIA, Congress, torture


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