- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 2, 2000

The vice president tells another whopper

In their Jan. 26 debate in New Hampshire, Bill Bradley pointed out that Al Gore's voting pro-life on the abortion issue (when he served in Congress) more than 80 percent of the time contradicts Mr. Gore's claim he has always been pro-choice. Mr. Gore replied that he always supported a woman's right to choose and did not answer the charge about his voting record. Mr. Bradley again noted the inconsistency, and Mr. Gore again responded he had always been pro-choice. Mr. Bradley observed that if Mr. Gore lies about his record that is a sign he might lie as president.

In fact, Mr. Gore had usually voted pro-life until he switched to pro-choice to snag the nomination as vice president. Bob Zelnick's biography, "Gore: A Political Life," quotes Mr. Gore in a 1984 letter to a constituent: "During my eleven years in Congress, I have consistently opposed federal funding of abortions. In my opinion, it is wrong to spend federal funds for what is arguably the taking of a human life."

In the Jan. 26 debate, Mr. Gore brazenly lied in saying he has always been pro-choice. Although he has since admitted the flip-flop, he twice ignored the evidence presented about his pro-life voting record as if his lead in the polls made such an explanation unnecessary. Could it be we'll soon long for the good old days of Bill Clinton, a poltroon who at least put in the effort to parse words of obfuscate, as preferable to Mr. Gore's in-your-face blatant lies?

Add to Mr. Gore's falsehoods about inventing the Internet, pioneering campaign finance reform legislation, discovering polluted Love Canal, taking tobacco money, inspiring "Love Story" and his latest, that he always was pro-choice.

The theme of "Love Story" was "love means never having to say you're sorry." Love of truth means never having to say "President Gore."

JAMES J. HOGAN

Silver Spring

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When Vice President Gore was caught in a lie on his lifetime position on abortion, this contentious national issue became irrelevant for a moment. What is profoundly relevant here is the honesty of a man who is vying for the presidency. This is not about Democrats vs. Republicans, liberals vs. conservatives or even the abortion issue.

This is as much about the judgment and character of the voters of this country as it is about the lie exposed through searching the vice president's past record on abortion. As a people, we can and do disagree on significant personal beliefs, which are afforded us by a great and free republic. However, the integrity of a candidate cannot and must not be diminished or discarded in determining the candidate's quality and electability for the highest office in the land. While it is our prerogative to synthesize and formulate a multitude of political beliefs and ideologies of those seeking elected office, lying must be universally reviled and, hence, must be a clear disqualifier for our continued support.

Just as we must tolerate and respect those who disagree with our individual positions on such issues as gun control, abortion, health care, taxes, foreign policy and the rest, we, as a people, must also turn our backs on public prevarication regardless of party affiliation. To do less is more damning of the citizens of the Unites States than the perpetrator of the lies.

If we can vote for a candidate because he or she holds a particular position dear to our hearts, how in the world can we, with clear conscience, cast our vote for an exposed liar who can be expected to change his or her stance after being elected.

CHRIS BOVA

Springfield

Four-wheel-drive volunteers given a big thanks

On behalf of all the hospitals in the District, we would like to thank all of those individuals who volunteered their four-wheel-drive vehicles to bring staff to and from the hospitals during last week's snowstorm. These drivers spent many hours taking physicians, nurses, therapists and other critical staff to and from hospitals. While the drivers were not direct caregivers, they had a unique impact on the hands-on care provided to our patients.

All of the hospitals would also like to extend their appreciation to the media radio and television stations, as well as The Washington Times for getting the word out so effectively and so often about our need for four-wheel-drive vehicles and drivers willing to brave the elements. The cooperation and the resulting response were overwhelming.

To all involved, we couldn't have managed without you.

ROBERT A. MALSON

President

District of Columbia Hospital

Association

Washington

Responses to the Army's new sensitivity training

My wife and I are veterans; she being one of the U.S. Army's first female paratroopers. Both my father and father-in-law were military retirees and war veterans. My only brother and sister served as well. We were raised in households where military service was considered a virtue, a vocation worthy of honor and respect. No more. The last thing we would advise our two strapping young boys and energetic daughter to do is consider service in the armed services of the United States.

The Army's recent announcement of impending "sensitivity training" ("Army gets sensitivity training," Jan. 28) regarding homosexuals is the most recent in a now long string of absurd social experiments. Despite indoctrination from our government and the public education establishment, most children (future soldiers) have been taught all their lives that homosexual behavior is immoral. Military commanders with integrity and backbone, seemingly a rare commodity at the Pentagon these days, know such behavior, when not castigated, degrades unit morale and combat effectiveness. Rather than stand for honor, tradition and morality, they acquiesce. In the meantime, morale sinks, readiness deteriorates and enlistment/retention rates plummet.

Saddest of all, former citizen-soldiers all across America have begun to discern that the U.S. military is no longer an institution worthy of their recommendation. And that is why my kids won't serve.

PETER H. MULLINS

Sharpsburg, Ga.

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Giving the military sensitivity training on homosexuals is an outstanding idea. After all, who wouldn't support increasing understanding and empathy?

Therefore, in the interest of fairness, I propose that homosexuals be given sensitivity training on soldiers in the military. Topics here would be:

n Why open homosexuality in the military is antithetical to military life.

n Why the prototypical soldier will never accept homosexuality.

n Why military discipline and camaraderie is destroyed by open homosexuality.

n How European military forces have been eviscerated by homosexuals serving openly.

n Why the character traits that make a good soldier are impugned by homosexuality.

n Why the soldier's conscious decision to, if necessary, give their last, full measure of devotion to their country is rendered much less meaningful by homosexuals serving openly.

n Why the patriots who died fighting for our country would be overwhelmingly against open homosexuality in the military.

At the end of this training, homosexuals would write an essay showing that they now understand the soldier's point of view. Having both sides understanding and empathizing with the other cannot be contested by anyone, right?

GEORGE MIKOS

Concord, Calif.

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I used to think that the bean counters kept me from conducting meaningful training a few years back. Now, in the aftermath of the murder at Fort Campbell, Ky., we are going to take every soldier in the Army away from duties that would enhance his war-fighting capabilities to tell him to be sensitive to someone who engages in activities that would be grounds for immediate discharge. What is wrong with this picture?

By the way, am I the only one to note that the supposedly anti-gay Army managed to apprehend, try, convict and sentence the murderer, Calvin Glover, to life in prison in the space of six months?

LT. COL. PATRICK R. GLASS

U.S. Army (retired)

Westminster, Md.

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