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July 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott is inconsistent
One reason Congress isn’t popular is because it reeks of hypocrisy, and outspoken Rep. Jim McDermott is a bit smelly. [“FBI’s bus ads taken down for terrorist depiction,” NW Wednesday, June 26.]
On June 4, McDermott taunted victims of IRS profiling during a congressional hearing. Even though this profiling led to disparate treatment of groups who sought tax-exempt status, he said: “I get the feeling that many of you, and my Republican colleagues, just don’t believe that you should be free from political targeting, but that you should be free from any scrutiny at all.”
On June 19, McDermott seemed to change his profiling tune. He sent a letter to the FBI director requesting removal of the “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad on Metro buses. He wrote: “[the] ad featuring sixteen photos of wanted terrorists is not only offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities, but it encourages racial and religious profiling.”
On June 27, McDermott had an epiphany: profiling is tolerable again; indeed, it should be encouraged. He said: “I don’t think BOLO lists should be thrown out … it is clear to me that a ‘Be On the Look Out’ list is a good idea.”
On an issue begging for moral consistency, McDermott’s views are written on an etch-a-sketch. He was for profiling (BOLO lists), after being against profiling (terrorists), before which he was for profiling (conservative groups).
My brains hurts from keeping track, but I do recognize that this is hypocrisy.
Noel Williams, Lakewood
June 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Transparency is necessary
Perhaps the United States military academies and current general staff should be required to take ethics lessons to brush up on the difference between telling the truth and fabricating facts. [“Guest column: Forget manhunt for Snowden, tell us more about secret courts,” Opinion, June 27.]
Perhaps Congress should consider legislation canceling pensions of those who break their obligation to the American people by lying.
First, we have James Clapper flat out lie (not answer in the “least truthful manner”) to Congress about the extent of National Security Agency’s eavesdropping on the U.S. public. Next, we have Gen. Keith Alexander stating that dozens of plots were foiled by scouring digital records.
The supposed plots included a plan to blow up the New York Stock Exchange, and a group of San Diego men who planned to send financial support to a terrorist group in Somalia. This is the result of billions of dollars being spent on data mining of U.S. citizens and other law-abiding people around the globe, plus having weeks to put the most positive “spin” on the release of domestic spying information? Yet big data was unable to stop the Boston bombings.
The best way to ensure that security personnel are praised for their successes and held accountable for lying or inflating the value of intelligence techniques, is to be as open and transparent as possible.
Let the public see, and the media examine, the full list of all 50 plots that were supposedly stopped. Let us see what multibillion-dollar expenditures and an increasing loss if freedom have bought us.
What a shame that Snowden’s flight antics have drawn attention from the antics of our top security brass.
Dan Clements, Everett
June 27, 2013 at 7:30 PM
FBI was doing its job
The folks on the FBI bus signs are terrorists, Rep. Jim McDermott, and they should be treated accordingly. [“FBI’s bus ads taken down for terrorist depiction,” NW Wednesday, June 26.]
That is what the FBI was attempting to do until you opened your mouth. Not one other politician complained about these ads, even the ones from California. McDermott has dragged us down to an all-time low for Washingtonians.
Dick Riddle, Tonasket
Sign was accurate depiction of terrorists
There were pictures of 12 terrorists. Not caricatures, but actual terrorists, and they are all dark-skinned. That is what they actually look like. How can we recognize them if the pictures don’t look like them?
Put them back on the buses. It might just stop a terrorist attack if someone saw them and called the police.
John Porter, Kirkland
June 8, 2013 at 6:32 AM
Don’t act surprised
Those who supported and voted for the Patriot Act do not get to act surprised and outraged that it is being used [“Internet secretly tracked, too,” page one, June 7].
It was a bad bill when it was first proposed and passed, and it is still a bad idea. It should be repealed.
However, in the meantime, all of the outraged and surprised Republicans need to stop their indignant huffing and puffing.
Patti Larson, Auburn
April 26, 2013 at 8:03 AM
Law enforcement deserves round of applause for Boston
Every day, it seems, we see an article or two about the “terrorists” in Boston, speculations on whether they were brainwashed and how hard the Chechens have had it and other sympathetic views [“CIA had flagged bombing suspect,” page one, April 25]. Many are worthy considerations, but where are the well-deserved kudos for the FBI, the Boston police and other law-enforcement agencies?These groups started with absolutely nothing, collected perhaps a thousand videos and images and studied them so that by the end of the day they had pictures of the suspects on the Internet. They processed the thousands of clues and misdirections that were coming in so that by the morning after, they were closing in on the terrorists before they could leave the area. Amazing!
Thank you to the agents who processed all that input, most of it undoubtedly worthless.
Leonard Goodisman, Seattle
Don’t treat Boston bombers differently than American criminals
Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be considered an “enemy combatant.” We have even heard that Dzhokhar should not be read his Miranda rights. Additionally, it has been said he should be tortured [“CIA had flagged bombing suspect,” page one, April 25].
We should compare this to how Timothy McVeigh was treated. Where was Sen. Lindsey Graham in 1995? Did he have an opinion of McVeigh at the time?
I believe in the American justice system and I am sure McVeigh was read his Miranda rights. When he was in prison (not Abu Ghraib) he was not subjected to torture. So why should we treat Dzhokhar any differently? Where in the law does it say we should?
Leo Shillong, Bellingham
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