Don’t cloud political issues with facts

Tue, 02/21/2006 - 4:43pm
By: Letters to the ...

In September of 2005, I wrote a letter to the editor expressing my opinion that no matter how much money and effort we pour into Iraq; whether we left now or 5 years from now, our reward for establishing a democracy there would likely be an Islamic theocracy.

I offered support based on religious demographics within Iraq coupled with the religious movements in neighboring Saudi Arabia and Iran. This was my attempt at fact-based debate.

Hezbollah’s landslide in Lebanon and Hamas’ recent democratic victory in Palestine offer ominous foreshadowing. Democracy’s success brings diplomacy’s dilemma.

Ironically, four months later to the day, I believe The Citizen Jan. 25 contained the absolute best and worst examples of fact-based argument I have read in 39 years of life.

Fayette citizen Claude Y. Paquin wrote a thoughtful blueprint for how to improve local government function for young and old, black and white, Democrat and Republican alike. Claude included examples, not conjecture. Claude even chronicled participating in the process at a 2002 GRTA hearing in Fayette County.

Agree or not with the premise, this is a person who cares and wants to make a difference. And then I turned the page ...

Ralph Suchomel wrote an editorial in defense of the President circumventing the FISA court to eavesdrop. The defense was, Clinton did it too. It was like my children telling me that “other kids do it, dad.”

Mr. Suchomel took the opportunity to throw in the expected assertions that Democrats and the national news media: Look for anything to demean or disgrace our troops, hate President Bush, demonstrated “disappointment and anguish” over “successful” parliamentary elections in Iraq, greatly endangered Americans by exposing domestic eavesdropping, and Democrats “voted to kill the Patriot Act.”

I offer up substantive information and encourage all who read to verify its accuracy. Mr. Suchomel did not speak truth when he stated democrats “voted to kill the Patriot Act.” Each and every Democratic senator wanted and voted to extend the Patriot Act to allow time to address core Constitutional protections.

Many cities passed resolutions to protect their citizens from Patriot Act encroachments on privacy rights. In one case the FBI used the Patriot Act to access an Internet service provider and obtain a man’s records. He ran a fan Web site for Stargate and was being sued by the Motion Picture Association of America for copyright infringement, not terrorism.

If the New York Times hated our President, they would have released the eavesdropping story when they obtained it before the ‘04 presidential election. The “outer” of the domestic spying program was award-winning 20-year NSA veteran, Russell Tice, who supports the war in Iraq, but felt profoundly that the law of this land was being broken.

Read what Republican Sens. Specter and Graham say about the legality of FISA-free eavesdropping. In the words of Samuel Alito, “No person in this country is above the law. And that includes the president and it includes the Supreme Court.”

As for Democrats not supporting the troops, I offer this fact: 14 military combat veterans are running for political office currently. Twelve of the 14 are running in the party Ralph says does not support them (Google Walz, Hackett, Murphy, Ashe, Duck, Carney, Dunn, Brozak, Ashe, and Duckworth).

Let me introduce one of these “cut and run” democrats to you, Mr. Suchomel. She is Army Major Tammy Duckworth (D) Illinois. Did you save your Purple Heart Band-aid from the RNC?You’ll need it again. Like Max Cleland, she cut and ran so fast that she left the use of three limbs in theater.

During her difficult rehabilitation, her focus was on the 300 fellow soldiers from her unit still in Iraq. In the words of Army Lt. Gen. Schultz, Director, Army National Guard, “She is a person of unusual strength and unusual courage and tremendous personal discipline.”

Mr. Suchomel, how long will it be before you flip-flop and begin attacking the patriotism of these brave soldiers and Marines and label them “defeatist Democrats” as you do John Murtha? And how will you keep the irritating facts from getting in your way again?

Kevin W. King
Peachtree City, Ga.

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