- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005

The Tamika Huston story

First, our family would like to thank Deborah Simmons for tackling the issue of our missing loved one, Tamika Huston (“Where is Tamika Huston?” Op-Ed, Friday).It has been an uphill battle this past year trying to get her story told nationallyin the hopes of bringing forth more tips and information to aid in the police investigation.

We therefore, are very grateful for the attention and for The Washington Times raising the tough question:Is there a bias among national media who report on missing persons cases?It angers me tohave to considerthat had Tamika been an attractive, young, white female, my efforts in getting the story of her disappearance told may have been much easier.

Also, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a few points.The 911 caller did not identify Tamika as his brother’s victim. In fact, the possible victim is still unidentified as is this 911caller. The police are looking for a possible connection since the calls began on May 26 and Tamika was most likely last seen sometime between May 24-26.We continue to urge the caller to come forward with information whether or not it is related to Tamika’s disappearance.

Less importantly, Tamika was a 1998 graduate of Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria. Finally, as Tamika’s aunt, I want to point out that she was misidentified as a cousin of former Redskin, Desmond Howard. Instead, she is his niece by marriage.

REBKAH HOWARD

Miami

I am the uncle of Tamika Huston, the missing woman who was the subject of Deborah Simmon’s Friday column and host of one of the two Web sites we have dedicated to her cause.

Thank you for bringing more attention to Tamika’s plight and the media bias that is so prominent in missing-persons cases. If you are not young, beautiful, a woman and white, you can forget national coverage.

America’s Most Wanted’s John Walsh has been great about this and understands the problem all too well. We discussed the thousands of men and women who do not get any attention and yet are in missing-persons’ databases across the country.

MATT PAYNE-FUNK

Ellicott City

Regarding Deborah Simmons’ Op-Ed column on Tamika Huston Friday: I have been disgusted with news about the “runaway bride” and Michael Jackson being jammed down my throat every night.

I was sick of the Laci Peterson case after just a few months. I always knew in the back of my mind that thousands of other missing persons get little or no coverage on the news.

The Tamika Huston case is high drama. Imagine if the police had found blood in Gary Condit’s house or car after Chandra Levy disappeared or if they had found a bloody piece of clothing in Scott Peterson’s house. Police in Spartanburg, S.C., found keys belonging to an ex-boyfriend’s former apartment in Miss Huston’s car, and in that apartment they found blood from Miss Huston, yet the story of her disappearance remains largely ignored. This is a true travesty.

I know that the nightly news has only so many minutes for each story — but this is outrageous. Not even Fox has anything about Tamika. Where are the “compassionate” liberals on this one? Where are the Bob Beckels of the world who purport to have marched for civil rights in the 1960s?

Better yet, where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? I guess there’s not enough money in it for them. They need to be on CNN and MSNBC denigrating Bush and the “evil” Republicans, I guess.

VICTOR CHAVEZ

Baltimore

Quagmire in Iraq

Clifford May made some valid points about Iraq in “Failure not an option” (Commentary, Sunday), but he’s unwilling to see or admit that winning isn’t a possibility. Not for long-term U.S. security interests.

The U.S. military invasion and occupation of Iraq have only empowered Osama bin Laden’s recruiting efforts. Our invasion provided bin Laden with the war he prayed for — a war that over time will weaken the United States economically and divide us politically. The occupation also has provided Islamic radicals with a rich killing ground for murdering and maiming U.S. troops. Successes in Iraq will only provide bin Laden with more recruits and increasing capacity for waging his holy war on American soil.

The evolution of Iraqi resistance efforts against our highly superior U.S. warriors and technology demonstrates the Iraqis’ ability to adapt to circumstances. If they see themselves losing the war on Iraqi soil, they will spread the conflict to ours.

Or, if they can’t kill enough U.S. soldiers in Iraq to weaken public support for the war, they eventually will turn their efforts to American soil. Like President Bush’s logic, they will eventually target what they see as the source of their problem.

Knee-jerk liberals are wrong to think Mr. Bush was lying about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. It was a very likely possibility.

The real problem no one acknowledges is that biological WMD production efforts require few resources, time or space. Even after the largest, most intense manhunt in the United States in our nation’s history, our best detective work has not been able to identify the location or person responsible for the anthrax attacks shortly afterSeptember 11.

Mr. May’s suggestion that terrorists would acquire WMD if Saddam were left in power is ludicrous. Those who mean Americans harm will acquire WMD anyway, and our pre-emptive efforts will only ensure that more countries will work covertly or overtly to develop WMD to deter U.S. aggression. This will only yield more opportunities for terrorists to acquire such means of mass murder.

Even under the best-case scenario of a pro-U.S. “democracy” being established in Iraq, the majority of Iraqis will be hateful toward U.S. intervention.

Additional hatred of the United States will have been nurtured throughout the Middle East, where support for repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan remains a major U.S. failure.

There seem to be just three logical explanations for this quagmire. First is the ignorance of the Bush administration. The second is the underlying possibility that this administration doesn’t want to win in Iraq. It’s just a means of basing large-scale U.S. forces near Middle Eastern oil fields and proving to terrorists that we are willing to die for our freedom to retain access to them. The last is the horrifying possibility that it is Mr. Bush’s attempt to spark Armageddon. The really bad news is that all three explanations could be correct.

CHUCK WOOLERY

Rockville

Quagmire in Iraq

Clifford May made some valid points about Iraq in “Failure not an option” (Commentary, Sunday), but he’s unwilling to see or admit that winning isn’t a possibility. Not for long-term U.S. security interests.

The U.S. military invasion and occupation of Iraq have only empowered Osama bin Laden’s recruiting efforts. Our invasion provided bin Laden with the war he prayed for — a war that over time will weaken the United States economically and divide us politically. The occupation also has provided Islamic radicals with a rich killing ground for murdering and maiming U.S. troops. Successes in Iraq will only provide bin Laden with more recruits and increasing capacity for waging his holy war on American soil.

The evolution of Iraqi resistance efforts against our highly superior U.S. warriors and technology demonstrates the Iraqis’ ability to adapt to circumstances. If they see themselves losing the war on Iraqi soil, they will spread the conflict to ours.

Or, if they can’t kill enough U.S. soldiers in Iraq to weaken public support for the war, they eventually will turn their efforts to American soil. Like President Bush’s logic, they will eventually target what they see as the source of their problem.

Knee-jerk liberals are wrong to think Mr. Bush was lying about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. It was a very likely possibility.

The real problem no one acknowledges is that biological WMD production efforts require few resources, time or space. Even after the largest, most intense manhunt in the United States in our nation’s history, our best detective work has not been able to identify the location or person responsible for the anthrax attacks shortly afterSeptember 11.

Mr. May’s suggestion that terrorists would acquire WMD if Saddam were left in power is ludicrous. Those who mean Americans harm will acquire WMD anyway, and our pre-emptive efforts will only ensure that more countries will work covertly or overtly to develop WMD to deter U.S. aggression. This will only yield more opportunities for terrorists to acquire such means of mass murder.

Even under the best-case scenario of a pro-U.S. “democracy” being established in Iraq, the majority of Iraqis will be hateful toward U.S. intervention.

Additional hatred of the United States will have been nurtured throughout the Middle East, where support for repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan remains a major U.S. failure.

There seem to be just three logical explanations for this quagmire. First is the ignorance of the Bush administration. The second is the underlying possibility that this administration doesn’t want to win in Iraq. It’s just a means of basing large-scale U.S. forces near Middle Eastern oil fields and proving to terrorists that we are willing to die for our freedom to retain access to them. The last is the horrifying possibility that it is Mr. Bush’s attempt to spark Armageddon. The really bad news is that all three explanations could be correct.

CHUCK WOOLERY

Rockville


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