- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 1, 2000

Lawmaker shows why term limits are needed


Rep. George Nethercutt's case of Potomac Fever is getting so critical that, beyond casting aside all integrity, he is now also suffering from delusions.
The wannabe career politician says that if he can parlay the powers of incumbency into re-election this November, U.S. Term Limits is through as a national political organization ("Inside Politics," Sept. 27).
First, that's a big if. In the recent Washington state primary, a majority voted against Mr. Nethercutt. In the past decade, seven of eight Washington incumbents who failed to garner at least 50 percent of the primary vote lost in November. His Republican challenger saying that character really does matter has now endorsed the Democrat.
But a Nethercutt win would hardly dispel the clamor of better than three out of four Americans for term limits. Funny that Mr. Nethercutt thinks his deplorable display of self-serving dishonesty would make folks so cynical we'd all throw in the towel. Actually, no one makes a better case for term limits than dishonest George.
As Michael Barone said of Mr. Nethercutt recently, "I don't see how he looks himself in the mirror each morning."
PAUL JACOB
National director
U.S. Term Limits
Washington

Gore tall tales an old story


I would like to comment on your Sept. 26 article on Vice President Al Gore's most recent instance of stretching the facts ("Gore's reserve boast draws renewed fire"). In all seriousness, if an average person seemed afflicted by an uncontrollable, incessant tendency to exaggerate, expand and embellish, especially about his or her life and family, in such public forums, with no attempt at supporting the assertions with facts or having any sense of embarrassment, wouldn't that person be suspected of some pathology or mental health problem?
It's interesting, too, that when President Clinton lies, people rush to his defense, but when Mr. Gore does, there is no din of defenders. I can't help but think of a severely mentally disabled young man I once knew. People generally ignored his bizarre antics because they understood his condition.
TONY SIMPSON
Gainesville, Fla.

Letter questions Turkey Cyprus pledge to EU


The Sept. 26 article "Turkey pledges reforms for EU" is a revealing documentation of Turkey's true intentions about its pledge to make progress on the Cyprus problem, given in December 1999 to the European Union. Congratulations on publishing it.
As the article reveals, Turkey has no intention of keeping its word. Despite its promises, Turkey cites worn-out excuses for its continuing illegal occupation of Cyprus. Further, by insisting on a separate sovereignty for the area under Turkish control, Turkey is, as the article rightly points out, cynically dooming settlement talks to failure.
A great difficulty is that Mr. Bulent Ecevit, the architect of the 1974 invasion, is now Turkey's prime minister. It is not surprising that, having launched the invasion of Cyprus, which amounted to a crime against humanity, he finds it difficult to meet the European Union's requirements on human rights reform.
The issue facing the United States is what to do in the face of Turkish intransigence. The article quotes a Western diplomat as saying that Turkey will not bow to pressure. This is not necessarily so. A strict regime of economic sanctions and an arms embargo would, I believe, soon change Ankara's mind.
EUGENE T. ROSSIDES
General counsel
American Hellenic Institute Inc.
Washington

United States should keep Alaskan oil it pumps


What conceivable good will it do to pump more Alaskan crude when, under Public Law 104-58, passed in 1995, a large portion of that crude will be shipped to B.P. Amoco's new refinery interests in China's Sinopec Corp.($400 million) and PetroChina Co. ($600 million ) ("Oil of amour," Op-Ed, Sept. 28)? Here's what happened.
When the oil-producing nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boycotted the United States in 1973 because of the Gulf war, it became abundantly clear that continued dependence on foreign sources of oil as major suppliers could not continue. Thus, Congress passed the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline Authorization Act, which stated clearly that the oil produced was to be for domestic use only. Oil not refined on the West Coast, by law, had to be shipped to the gulf coast, the Midwest or the Virgin Islands.
A deal is a deal right? Think again.
When, in the mid 1990s, the price of world crude dropped, the major producers (B.P., Arco, Exxon, et. al.) revisited that contractual agreement. By 1995, after the energy lobby had spent more than $12 million for campaign contributions, its efforts paid off. H.R.70 became Public Law 104-58, and 60,000 barrels a day of Alaskan crude were on their way to Asia before the ink dried.
Now, 60,000 barrels a day (2,000 of which, on average, go to China) may be a proverbial drop in the bucket, but when supplies cannot match demand, whose bucket should it be in?
Rather than draining our strategic reserves, would it not make more sense for President Clinton, under the authority granted him in P.L. 104-58 and the Export Administration Act of 1969, to issue an executive order rescinding that portion of the law?
DANIEL MCCANDLESS
San Jose, Calif.

Times editorial, Wen Ho Lee and ethnic profiling


Your attempt in using a single case of spying by Larry Wu-Tai Chin to justify the use of ethnic profiling against all Asian Americans is irresponsible and absurd ("Wen Ho Lee, no martyr," Editorials, Sept. 27).
According to your logic, all Jewish Americans should be profiled as potential spies because of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Jonathan Pollard, all blacks should be profiled as potential murderers and all German Americans should be profiled as potential neo-Nazis. The absurdity of this logic is obvious.
According to your editorial, however, logic is no longer asinine when Chinese Americans are involved.
Also, your editorial's assertion that former Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee failed to report a contact with a Chinese official is only half-true. Mr. Lee included the incident in his written trip report. He failed to report the contact only in his debriefing meeting.
Your editorial repeats the FBI statement that Mr. Lee copied "nearly 400 computer files, the equivalent of 400,000 pages of data." You probably should get a better grasp on the importance of the 400,000 pages of data, however.
CIA Director George Tenet, in a written statement submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the nuclear secrets downloaded by Mr. Lee would offer another country "a graduate course in nuclear weapons design," but not the means to build a weapon.
According to the assessment of the CIA, Mr. Lee was guilty of downloading a "graduate course" in nuclear weapons design and, as a result, he was jailed in solitary confinement for nine months. If former CIA Director John Deutch downloaded "a graduate course" in CIA covert action to a nonclassified computer, we would not even be sure if he would be stripped of his CIA and high-level defense intelligence clearances.
You probably don't see the unfairness in all of this. But, unless you start to recognize Chinese Americans as an integral part of the country, not unlike Americans of Irish or any other ancestry, you'll never see how unjust Mr. Lee was treated.
PHILLIP H. WANG
Alpharetta, Ga.

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