- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Poor caricatures of 'rich' arms controllers

In their shrill June 28 Commentary column, "Arms controllers and anti-missile weapons," Peter Huessy and James Hackett make a number of inaccurate and misleading claims about those who support arms control treaties and who are skeptical about national missile defense.

Mr. Huessy and Mr. Hackett would have us believe that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was developed by men and women working in "palaces" along Massachusetts Avenue whose palatial lifestyle was supported by million-dollar grants from "liberal" foundations such as MacArthur, Rockefeller and Carnegie.

Leaving aside such obvious caricatures about the buildings that house the scholars who provide information and analysis about foreign-policy issues, the actual size of the grants and the ideology of the foundations, I will just note that the ABM Treaty was negotiated by the Nixon administration (some of whose members discussed blowing up one of the "palaces"), modified by the Ford administration and adhered to by the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration.

Moreover, the organization that characterized the national missile defense program as "a rush to failure" was the Institute for Defense Analysis, which was created and funded (much more generously than the think tanks on Massachusetts Avenue) by the Pentagon and is led by a former Air Force chief of staff. In addition, Richard Garwin, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, a member of the Rumsfeld Commission and the individual credited by Edward Teller with inventing the hydrogen bomb (hardly a professional arms controller), has argued that the proposed national missile defense system will not be able to overcome North Korean countermeasures outside Earth's atmosphere.

If Mr. Huessy and Mr. Hackett confined themselves to exaggerations about the think tanks and the foundations, it would be bad enough, but they go further. They claim that during the Cold War these (unnamed) arms controllers took the side of the Soviet Union because they called for a nuclear freeze when the Soviets had a greater nuclear arsenal. Actually, it was Henry Kissinger who, when criticized for allowing the Soviets to have more missiles than the United States in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1979, correctly noted, "What is strategic superiority, and what do you do with it?"

The authors bemoan the lack of bipartisanship in matters relating to national security, but misleading and inflammatory articles like theirs make it difficult to have the national debate that is the necessary prerequisite to a bipartisan approach.

Fortunately, the think tanks on Massachusetts Avenue (and elsewhere) with the help of foundations such as Carnegie, MacArthur, Rockefeller and others do provide the information and analysis for such a debate. It was their research, after all, that provided the intellectual underpinnings for the ABM Treaty and the strategic arms treaties.


Assistant secretary of defense

Reagan administration

Vice president and director of studies

Council on Foreign Relations

New York

Marines drink up, but not to excess

The editorial "Don't drink the water," published Friday, is about four years out of date, at least as far as the Marines are concerned.

In 1998, Parris Island became very concerned about the condition described in the editorial, hyponatremia, after a recruit died from it. Consequently, specific measures were put in place to ensure recruits take in enough, but not too much, water. The groundbreaking research upon which the measures were based was documented in a September 2000 article for the Physician and Sports Medicine magazine titled "Recognizing Life-Threatening Hyponatremia."

This information was shared with the other services at several conferences that related specifically to recruit training, and they have instituted similar measures. When it comes to the lives of our young men and women, we will go to any length to ensure their safety.


U.S. Marine Corps (retired)

Former commanding general (1999-2001)

Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Eastern Recruiting (Parris Island, S.C.)

Armed forces are mean to our enemies, kind to animals

I am writing in response to yesterday's Op-Ed column "Endangered species," by Rep. James Hansen of Utah. It concerns me to see such an article in a paper that I have come to know as being well-balanced and factual.

Mr. Hansen voices his concern over "environmental extremists, and their anti-military allies" and their "legal assault designed to shut down all military training." Well, I can assure The Washington Times' readers and Mr. Hansen that as a member of the Army stationed at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., I participate in tough, realistic training every month.

Contrary to Mr. Hansen's column, here in the Southwest, the Army's heavy brigades consistently execute night maneuvers while taking precautions necessary to prevent harming the endangered desert tortoise. So, environmental concerns do affect military training, but to suggest that such precautions are aimed at shutting down "all military training" is not a balanced presentation of the truth.

The majority of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines recognize the difficult task we have of executing a mission and a duty that not every American can understand. In recognizing that fact, we continue to do our duty as well as try to reasonably accommodate environmental groups' valid concerns over how the military does its business.



Fort Irwin, Calif.

Half-baked drug ruling

Bruce Fein defends the Supreme Court's latest drug-war exemption to the Constitution by claiming the Fourth Amendment "speaks in chiaroscuro" and drug-test failure is "not chimerical" ("Anti-drug successes and protections," Commentary, Monday). Mr. Fein's vocabulary is impressive, but his arguments are irrelevant.

Student involvement in extracurricular activities has been shown to reduce drug use. Such activities keep kids busy during the hours they are most likely to get into trouble. Forcing students to undergo degrading urine tests as a prerequisite will only discourage their participation in such activities.

Drug testing also may compel users of relatively harmless marijuana to switch to harder drugs to avoid testing positive. Despite a short-lived high, marijuana is the only drug that stays in the body long enough to make urinalysis a deterrent. Marijuana's organic metabolites are fat-soluble and can linger for days.

Synthetic drugs are water-soluble and exit the body quickly. A student who takes ecstasy, methamphetamine or cocaine Friday night will likely test clean Monday morning. If you think students don't know this, think again. Anyone capable of running a search on the Internet can find out how to thwart a drug test. Drug testing profiteers do not readily volunteer this information, for obvious reasons.

The most commonly abused drug and the one most closely associated with violent behavior is almost impossible to detect with urinalysis. That drug is alcohol, and it takes far more student lives every year than all illegal drugs combined.

Instead of wasting money on counterproductive drug tests, schools should invest in reality-based drug education.


Program officer

Drug Policy Alliance


Of the Supreme Court's decision to allow suspicionless drug testing of students participating in extracurricular activities, Bruce Fein wrote: "'Unreasonable searches and seizures' are prohibited [by the Constitution]; but no specific clues are provided to demarcate the reasonable from the unreasonable."

Mr. Fein neglected to quote from the remainder of the Fourth Amendment, which goes on to read: "no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

How can a legitimate warrant be issued for the search of randomly chosen persons who have, so far as anyone knows, done nothing wrong?

It is not the duty of the Supreme Court to find some Rube Goldberg-like mechanism by which current political axes can be ground. It is the duty of the court to stand up for the Constitution. This it failed to do, and no amount of lawyeresque rationalization is going to change that.


Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

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