- The Washington Times - Friday, January 9, 2009

I am mystified to read that President-elect Barack Obama keeps choosing nominees for Cabinet posts and high-level positions who are political cronies having little or no experience in the designated field. I find 70-year-old Leon Panetta lacking in intelligence credentials. His tenure as a congressman who was subsequently chief of staff to President Clinton doesn’t give him standing as a spy.

Quite similarly, a great deal of attention was given to President Bush’s recent pardons of several individuals… many of whom lacked merit for a clean slate that a pardon affords. I think we need pardons and high-level nominees who are sifted-through and selected based on merit and not sentiment. By contrast, I feel a pardon is in order for the former Watergate spy — and current radio talk-show host — G. Gordon Liddy. Then give him a presidential appointment. His wisdom and expertise should be tapped into. A man like Mr. Liddy would work even harder since he’d have a chance to prove his redemption and demonstrate future honor and service to this nation.

Focus on merit, not sentiment.

JAMES A. MARPLES

Longview, Texas



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