- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2005

A commendable performance

The U.S. Capitol Police deserve praise for the manner in which they handled the recent crisis, in October, on Capitol Hill that involved two men in a vehicle claiming they had a bomb (“Police free men held in car bomb threat”, Metropolitan, Oct. 22). Police immediately employed their diversity of skills and expertise in diffusing the potentially dangerous situation that existed at and nearby the Capitol. For safety and security purposes, they cordoned off nearby streets and obtained assistance from the bomb and hazardous-material squads.

Though the Capitol was not evacuated, police took substantial precautions and made every effort to ensure the safety of all in the region while the incident was being thoroughly investigated and the suspects were being interrogated. Fortunately, the “threat” did not materialize into a full-fledged harmful incident that could have potentially resulted in mass trauma, serious injury and loss of lives.

It is highly apparent that U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer’s leadership is critical to the effectiveness of the performance of his officers. Chief Gainer’s emphasis on continuous knowledge and skill-based training is not only vitally necessary but is highly effective, and his 36 years of experience in the law-enforcement arena is admirably demonstrated by the fine law-enforcement officers who perform their duties under his command. The Capitol Hill area — and the entire region — are safer thanks to the measures that Chief Gainer has had the foresight and wisdom to implement.

The men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police force did a commendable job, once again, of protecting all of us who live and work in this region. They can hold their heads high with pride in knowing that they are law-enforcement’s finest.

KAREN L. BUNE

Adjunct Professor

Dept. of Criminal Justice

George Mason University

Arlington

Inconsistent Democrats

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid well deserves The Times’ recognition as Knave of the Year for his intemperate shutting down the Senate while debating important debt-reduction legislation (“Democrats intensify Bush slams,” Nation, Thursday). It might have been wise for Mr. Reid to have waited a few more minutes and recalled the truth — that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report, while citing numerous intelligence-gathering and analysis failures, went on record that the committee did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgement relating to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

The key Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, ranking minority member Sen. Jay Rockefeller, followed with a typical John Kerry-type flip-flop. The West Virginia junior senator should have recalled that he had claimed on Oct. 10, 2002, that “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years.”

While claiming that President Bush is a liar, just what does Mr. Rockefeller’s convenient forgetfulness make him?

WILLIAM H. SMITH

Palm Desert, Calif.

Birthright citizenship

With regard to “GOP mulls ending birthright citizenship” (Page 1, Friday): The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” However, as the framers of that amendment made clear, not all persons in the United States were subject to its jurisdiction. American Indians and former slaves were the only substantial groups of noncitizens living in America in 1868. While the 14th Amendment conferred citizenship upon former slaves, it didn’t grant citizenship to American Indians in 1868 because it was believed they owed allegiance to their tribes and not to the United States. In 1924, Congress extended citizenship to all Indians.

Is it therefore reasonable to believe that the authors of the 14th Amendment, in excluding citizenship for Indians, were making special allowances for any woman who sneaks under a U.S. border fence? Is it rational to assume that those who actively defy the laws of the United States by illegal entry were granted the constitutional right to confer citizenship upon their children? Does it make any sense to believe that the 14th Amendment extended to the children of illegal aliens what it didn’t extend to Indians? The answer to all these questions is obvious.

It’s high time to end the outrages of rewarding the efforts of those who criminally breach our borders.

MICHAEL SCOTT

Glendora, Calif.

Environmentalists and the natural-gas shortage

“A vulnerable natural-gas supply” (Op-Ed, Nov. 1) well describes the damaging economic consequences of current and future shortages in the supply of natural gas. They have led to a sixfold increase in price in just a few years.

Environmentalists can take some credit for this crisis. For years, they have fingered coal-fired power plants, citing first acid rain and then the emission of carbon dioxide — creating fears of global warming.

As a result of stringent controls and many lawsuits against constructing new coal-fired power plants, utilities rushed to build so many gas-burning plants that demand has badly outstripped domestic supply. We may soon be forced to import costly and insecure LNG (liquefied natural gas) — much of it from the Middle East.

Of course, environmental groups are against all practical forms of energy and insist on touting “sustainable” generation of energy, such as windmills. “At a time when America needs large amounts of low-cost reliable power, wind produces puny amounts of high-cost unreliable power,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican.

S. FRED SINGER

President

Science & Environmental Policy Project

Arlington

Narrowing the split in Cyprus

It is regrettable that the recent visits to the United States by Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat, at the invitation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and by four membersofparliament, headed by the speaker of the Assembly, are presented as moves that “widen [the] split” in Cyprus (“Turkish-Cypriot visits to U.S. widen split,” World, Monday).

Removing or easing the isolation of the Turkish-Cypriots, as it was promised to us before the referendum of April 2004 and as called for by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his relevant report to the Security Council on May 28, 2004, can only help reduce the economic disparity between the two communities on Cyprus and make them more compatible, economically, politically or otherwise. This, in turn, helps improve prospects for a settlement.

One should not forget that one of the principal arguments that the Greek-Cypriot side advanced for rejecting the Annan plan was that it would have to shoulder the economic burden of unification because the Turkish-Cypriots were the poorer community.

Now that the Turkish-Cypriot economy is showing signs of improvement and Turkish-Cypriots find more acceptance internationally for their constructive behavior, the Greek-Cypriot leadership, under Greek-Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, is shedding crocodile tears that such developments “promote divisive tendencies…” The fact of the matter is that it is the rejectionist policies of the Papadopoulos administration, and not the Turkish-Cypriots exercising their rights, that are widening the split in Cyprus and perpetuating division.

OSMAN ERTUG

Representative

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Washington

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