- The Washington Times - Friday, August 18, 2006

George Allen’s disconcerting remark

The South Asian Bar Association of Washington is seriously concerned about Virginia Sen. George Allen’s comments at a recent campaign rally, targeted toward S.R. Sidarth, a native Virginian of South Asian descent (“YouTube: The new campaign tool,” Nation, Thursday).

As lawyers practicing in the Washington area, SABA-DC’s members recognize the importance of being engaged in the political and policymaking decisions of our country. Many of our members, as well as countless others throughout the South Asian-American community, regularly serve our country by seeking elected office, participating in campaigns, and otherwise pursuing careers in government and public service.

Yet Mr. Allen’s statement, “Welcome to America,” apparently directed toward the sole South Asian-American in attendance at the campaign rally, reflects unacceptable cultural insensitivity by implying that South Asians and other ethnic minorities in the United States are not fully American. Further, the senator’s use of a derogatory term to refer to Mr. Sidarth strongly suggests a lack of respect for some of the very people he seeks to represent.

We hope Mr. Allen will use this opportunity to issue an unqualified public apology for these remarks.

HRISHI KARTHIKEYAN

President

South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.

Washington

A judicial travesty

With regard to the ruling by Detroit District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor that the National Security Agency’s surveillance program is unconstitutional (“NSA surveillance struck down,” Page 1, Friday):

This is a very bad ruling, and a victory not only for the liberal American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which brought this foolish lawsuit before the court, but also for the terrorists. (It should be here noted that this liberal activist judge was appointed by President Carter in 1979.)

This surveillance program is an essential tool in the war on terror. Intelligence agencies in the United States have confirmed that this domestic surveillance program has helped to prevent terrorist attacks and saved American lives since September 11.

Only last week we received a stark reminder that terrorists are still plotting to attack our country with the arrests in London.

This liberal judge’s ruling must be overturned by a higher court in the interest of our national security.

AL EISNER

Wheaton

• • •

Although Democratic candidates are leading in many polls, with elections still some 80 days away, quoting the oft-quoted Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over,” seems appropriate. With no terrorist attacks since September 11 and the success of British, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence intercepting terrorist communications undoubtedly saving the lives of thousands of trans-Atlantic passengers, there is a question as to just how many voters will be concerned about the charge that their “free speech and privacy” is being violated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as Judge Anna Diggs Taylor charges.

With Democratic Sens. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Carl Levin of Michigan and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, abetted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, fighting to keep their party’s support from the ACLU, they might be digging the Democrats in to a hole that may be difficult to climb out of.

Mrs. Pelosi might want to hold off a while on her plans to rearrange the furniture in House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s office; and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada may have second thoughts about his bragging that “We killed the Patriot’s Act.” This may well be the sound bite of all sound bites airing from now until Nov. 6.

BILL SMITH

Topeka, Kan.

• • •

Former President Jimmy Carter intermittently surfaces to voice his criticism of everything every Republican president has done since Ronald Reagan, and to trumpet his support for any ultraliberal cause that the liberals are pushing. It never ceases to amaze me that he has the nerve to criticize the performance of any other president.

For those of us old enough to remember the gas lines of the 1970s and the double-digit mortgage rates, it still make us shudder when we recall the Carter presidency. But his most serious mistake was in our relations with Iran.

Mr. Carter reversed a policy of support for the Shah of Iran that had been followed by presidents from both parties since the early 1950s. By pulling American support from the shah, Mr. Carter destroyed a key alliance and opened the door for the takeover of Iran by the terrorist clerics who still rule there. Mr. Carter’s decision was they key element that led to the creation of the most dangerous nation in the world.

But wait, even though Mr. Carter served only one term as president, the curse of his presidency is still haunting us. Two weeks ago the latest major attack on the West was averted in London, apparently due in part to the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations that the liberals and ultraliberals are conspiring to dismantle.

Now a federal judge has sided with the ACLU and its usual cast of accomplices in ruling that the operation is unconstitutional. Anyone want to guess who appointed Anna Diggs Taylor to the federal court? Yes, it was our old pal Jimmy Carter.

One can only hope that we find a way to survive the Carter legacy. In any list of the worst presidents in history, he must be right up near the top. Thank goodness Ronald Reagan came along to send him back to Plains, Ga.

LARRY SCHWEINSBURG

Crofton

The legality of late-term abortions

The headline and article “5 clinics shut on accusations of late-term abortions” (Nation, yesterday) may have left the impression that abortions late in pregnancy are illegal. Unfortunately, they are legal.

In its 1973 abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court said: During the first trimester (13 weeks) of pregnancy, the states could not prevent or regulate abortion; during the second trimester, the states could not prevent abortion but they could regulate it; and during the third trimester, the states could regulate and prevent abortion except to save the life and health of the mother.

In its companion decision to Roe, Doe v. Bolton, the court defined “health” so broadly that in effect the states cannot prevent any abortion at any time during pregnancy.

The Roe and Doe decisions addressed killing the baby in the womb. In the 1990s, a new way to kill the baby in the second and third trimesters called “partial-birth” abortion was introduced in the abortion industry. Partial-birth abortion involves killing the baby beyond the womb when it is almost completely born; it is much closer to infanticide than abortion. The Supreme Court in its Stenberg v. Carhart decision in 2000 ruled that killing during parturition was constitutional and could not be banned.

The abortions discussed in the referenced article are cited as illegal only because Florida requires that third-trimester abortions be done in a hospital, and it claimed they were not. “Late-term” abortions are commonplace in the United States.

BERNARD MCLOUGHLIN

Chairman

Right to Life of Montgomery County

Rockville

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