- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2007

‘Kick them all out’

Sen. James Webb’s tactic of minimum rest periods between deployments is just another congressional ruse to control the troop movements to and from Iraq (“Senate eyes Iraq pullout once again,” Page 1, Wednesday). It is an asymmetrical approach to withdrawal rolled up in an iterative delaying tactic.

Rotation of deployments are a controlled cycle involving mission, end strength and logistics. Once Congress has control of the cycle, it is just a matter of increasing the time period to accommodate the withdrawal. Once again, this is a violation of the separation of powers. Congress has control of the funding; it is not the commander in chief.

The Democrats, along with the president, were handed their hats on immigration. To cover their ineptitude, they are once again diverting attention to Iraq. It’s time to kick them all out.

LARRY STONE

Agate, Colo.

Sifting the tea leaves

It is deeply disturbing, but not surprising, to learn from former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona’s testimony before a congressional panel that his efforts to bring accurate, honest and complete reports about health matters to the public’s attention were consistently stymied by the administration when what he sought to do did not comport with its political posture (“Top doctor says he was muzzled,” Nation, Wednesday).

It is instructive to note that soon after Dr. Carmona issued a scathing indictment of second-hand smoke in a landmark report of June 2006, his period of service to the American people concluded, and he vanished without a trace. He was never publicly thanked for his service nor was the report on second-hand smoke even acknowledged precisely what I would expect from a president who belongs to a party that has traditionally been identified with Big Tobacco and that has accepted millions of dollars of the industry’s tainted contributions. Why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs by leveling with the people about the danger of exposure to second-hand smoke? Why should the president be concerned about critical public health matters that impact mortality?

It is ironic that as Dr. Carmona was being ignored as he sought to provide information to promote the health and welfare of the American people the purported goal of the surgeon general the administration found the time and devoted significant effort to the ostentatious and insulting farewell ceremony for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a position in which his influence helped to bring about the slaughter that has been inflicted on American forces and innocent Iraqis through our disastrous occupation.

With the passage of time, the American people, at long last, have come to “have the number” of this president. It is most regrettable that so many of us could not read the tea leaves before he had been elected twice and inflicted upon us one of the worst and most damaging administrations in the history of our nation.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

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