- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2005

A good choice for homeland security

As the president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), I am writing in response to the article “ICE employees call leader nominee ‘unqualified’ ” (Nation, Monday).

I believe the statements made by one FLEOA member regarding the nomination of Julie L. Myers do not accurately represent the official position FLEOA has taken on this important nomination.

I do not know Mrs. Myers personally, but I have great faith in the leadership and wisdom previously demonstrated by President Bush and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in selecting qualified nominees for appointed law enforcement positions within our government.

After recent conversations with people who have worked with Mrs. Myers in the past, I believe there is great promise in her nomination.I now know that Mrs. Myers is acutely aware of the issues currently facing ICE, and I believe she possesses the necessary ability to deal with them.

ART GORDON

National president

Federal Law Enforcement Officers

Association

Washington

A supreme nominee?

With regards to “High court politics” (Op-Ed, Wednesday), I think Tony Blankley and others in the conservative movement need to step back and take a deep breath regarding the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Please let go of ideology for a moment and consider not only the current political environment, but the nature of the nominator and nominee.

There may be those in Washington who are spoiling for a fight, who are eager to avenge the thrashing inflicted on Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas during their confirmation hearings or who are anxious to use this nomination as a fundraising tool for their causes.

This is not the time for that. While I am not discounting the importance of the nomination to the highest court in the land, the administration is also facing immense challenges such as the war in Iraq, the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, Social Security reform and rising gasoline prices.

A long, drawn-out battle over a Supreme Court nomination takes away valuable time and resources from those issues and could squander necessary political capital. It also discourages qualified and talented people from ever wanting to serve on the bench.

Please also take time to think about the nominee and her supporters. Considering the nature of this administration, does anyone really think a closet liberal would stand a chance of making it into President Bush’s inner circle?

Harriet Miers was part of the committee that selected Chief Justice John Roberts. Her religious background indicates she is someone with conservative convictions, and her accomplishments as an attorney prove her qualifications for the job. A lack of judicial experience did not stop the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist from serving on the Supreme Court — and serving with distinction.

Please let the confirmation process go forward without a rush to judgment.

NANCY ALMASI

Alexandria

It has taken 40 years for the conservative stars to align at the federal level. However, President Bush sees fit to appoint people without true qualifications, similar to the process of a small-town mayor. The president has yet to maximize his leverage with Congress and has overlooked conservatives with experience with the nomination of Harriet Miers. What next, Karl Rove as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

JOSEPH V. COMELLA

Loudonville, N.Y.

I would like to give a different take on the appointment of Harriet Miers. First, I was not surprised that President Bush wanted to avoid a fight because he has confidence in how she will vote and she satisfies all the dissident voices. However, I have an ultimate suspicion that there is something we do not know that is known by the White House.

I am continually impressed with how the White House plays chess while the rest are playing checkers. What can Sens. Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Patrick Leahy, Joseph Biden and the rest say now? Mr. Bush consulted and listened. This will not stop the likes of Sen. Ted Kennedy from continuing the complaints.

Also, Mr. Bush is being criticized by the left and the right, so why would he involve anybody unless it is totally to his advantage? Finally, could there be a possible retirement from the Supreme Court in the next three years? Watching Judge John Paul Stevens stumble down the steps makes me suspicious.

I suspect Mr. Bush is positioning himself for the next appointment, at which time we will know if he wants to fight or not. I suspect this will occur after the next general election, when the next Congress is known. I have suspected that Mr. Bush has been holding his fire on several issues until after the next election. We shall see what we shall see. But an axiom I have used to guide my behavior for many years is: Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

FRANK CRUCIAN

Houston

It pains me to hear all the liberals meeting the nomination of Harriet Miers with hollow charges of cronyism.

The reality is that Miss Miers achieved national significance long ago by becoming the first female president of the Texas Bar Association — in the second-largest state in America. Her role as a litigator enables her to bring to the Supreme Court a unique perspective of real—world experience that has been sorely lacking, and she will follow a distinguished line of Supreme Court justices without previous judicial experience. Miss Miers is the right lawyer for the job — and Americans of all political stripes should be applauding President Bush for choosing such a well-qualified nominee.

AL EISNER

Wheaton

The speeding sheriff

Regarding the article “N.J. sheriff angry after relief convoy stopped for speed” (Metropolitan, Sept. 30): The article expresses the dissatisfaction of Sheriff Jerry Speziale of Passaic County, N.J. His 12-car convoy was stopped by Deputy Michael Roane of the Augusta County, Va., sheriff’s department for traveling 95 miles per hour on Interstate 81 in Augusta County. Apparently, Sheriff Speziale feels he and his officers should have been exempt from speed regulations because they were on their way home from a goodwill trip to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Sheriff Speziale should stop his whining and take a second look at the situation. Speeding and using flashing lights can be justified in an emergency situation, but this was not an emergency. Sheriff Speziale and his officers should have been the first to realize the unnecessary danger they were presenting to other motorists as well as themselves.

Sheriff Speziale has no law-enforcement rights in Virginia. His treatment of Deputy Roane was totally out of line and might have made him subject to prosecution had he not been in uniform. We trust that Sheriff Speziale will follow through on his threats to Deputy Roane regarding reporting the incident to the National Sheriffs’ Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. I am confident that if the complete story is told, these organizations will understand the situation and support Virginia law enforcement.

Deputy Roane deserves the highest commendation. He recognized the danger and was brave in his actions. I applaud him for doing his job in protecting the safety of all motorists on this interstate highway.

PATRICIA DEFRANCESCO

Reston

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