- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2007

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democrats would compromise security

Press reports this week quoted former CIA operative John Kiriakou as stating that the interrogation techniques utilized in the war on terror have saved lives (“Mukasey eyes ‘waterboarding’ as torture,” Nation, Wednesday). This makes abundantly clear what is at stake in the 2008 presidential elections.

As Mr. Kiriakou states, planned attacks have been averted by the diligent work of America’s interrogators. Under a Democratic Congress and president, those lives would be sacrificed simply because liberal group-guilt weighs heavier on the minds of the MoveOn.org-captive Democrats than the value of American lives. It is a sad reality, but one must consider if they wish to have terrorists and their threats identified and extinguished abroad or on American soil. At times, what must be done to protect American lives may not be pleasant, but it sure beats bombs detonating in our streets because extremists like MoveOn.org and Code Pink control our national security.

DENNIS POTTER

Alexandria

Bill joining Hillary’s team

With “Clinton to be [a] player on Hillary’s team,” and “two-for-one-deal cheer[ing] backers” (“Clinton to be player on Hillary’s team,” Page 1, Wednesday), I’m sure that those “backers” will be “cheered” when Mr. Clinton’s “play[ing]” includes such stellar performances as his infamous, last-minute, scathingly criticized pardon of fugitive Marc Rich. Will the “backers” again “cheer” for a “two-for-one” pardon deal following and doubling Mr. Rich’s pardon so that the Clinton-esque travesty in dispensing justice can increase and be plentiful?

Nathan Dodell

Rockville

O’Malley controls Maryland School Board

I read a disgusting thing on page B2 of Thursday’s Washington Times in an article about the Maryland State School Board (“Grasmick verdict setback to O’Malley,” Metropolitan).

A quote from the article, “[Gov. Martin] O’Malley’s appointment yesterday of three more members will give him the majority … ,” clearly implies that the “new” board with Mr. O’Malley’s majority will do Mr. O’Malley’s bidding.

Why in blazes do we have a school board if they are committed to do the governor’s bidding? For that matter, why have a Senate and a House of Delegates, since they are committed to doing Mr. O’Malley’s bidding? They could all stay home, mail in their yeas, and save all of us poor taxpayers a lot of money.

JOHN CULLOM

Catonsville

SMARTAct will save, transform entitlements

America is on the brink of a national fiscal and retirement-security crisis (“Tax-friendly entitlement Rx,” Commentary, Sunday). Social Security has a massive unfunded liability of $12 trillion, and in 2017 the program runs into the red as benefits paid exceed contributions. Together with Medicare and Medicaid, these entitlements constitute a massive one-third of the national budget.

Thankfully, successful reform can be found in new legislation from Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, that will create accounts “Securing Medicare and Retirement for Tomorrow” (SMART). Mr. Flake’s SMART Act (H.R. 4181) will reform Social Security and Medicare together by establishing a personal Social Security savings program.

This innovative plan solves the crisis these debts created by gradually transitioning to a system where workers own their own retirement and health care security.

The bill allows every working man and woman the opportunity to become an owner and an investor, and to prepare for their retirement through the creation of large personal retirement accounts. These accounts would be funded by allowing workers to dedicate a significant portion of their payroll taxes to them.

It is good to see bold leadership from Mr. Flake, and it would be even better to see more members of Congress show support by co-sponsoring H.R. 4181, the SMART Act.

BRENDAN STEINHAUSER

Director, federal and state campaigns

FreedomWorks.org

Washington

Bush reclaiming rightful powers

Columnist Bruce Fein is filled with Bush hatred (“Vapid vassals,” Commentary, Tuesday). He claims that “Congress and the American people have degenerated into effeminate vassals ill-suited for self-government” [because] “they have played spectator to President Bush’s serial vandalizing of the United States Constitution.”

Well, I have a different take. My view is that President Bush is finally reclaiming for the executive branch those constitutional duties specifically reserved for the commander in chief during wartime from the other two branches of government that have usurped presidential powers through the years.

Mr. Fein attempts to lure the reader into agreeing with his premise despite such qualified statements as the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes “may have constituted obstruction of justice; the CIA’s interrogators may have committed torture … .”

Mr. Fein is so desperate to make his case against the Bush administration that he laments that not one member of either the House or Senate Intelligence committees is doing his or her patriotic duty by publicly exposing President Bush’s impeachable offenses for violating his oath of office.

Mr. Fein also states that if a committee member were to expose state secrets, he or she would be protected from prosecution by “the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution.” I don’t ever recall reading that interpretation of the Constitution.

Mr. Fein’s argument is not about personal corruption, as he claims. It is about the constitutional wartime powers of the executive branch.

RAY WIKSTROM

Jacksonville, Fla.

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