Letters for January 19, 2006

Restore America
Re “Democrats Taught Bush How to Violate Civil Liberties” (Right Hook, Jan. 5):

Mike Lafferty, in his latest column, gets his facts correct—but not quite. The name of the act passed by Wilson during World War 1 was the Espionage Act. And it was passed in 1917, not 1918. It was a vile betrayal of our Constitution, just as was the USA PATRIOT Act’s attack on probable cause.

The Sedition Act of 1798 was passed a mere seven years after the First Amendment was ratified. It made “seditious libel” a punishable crime. Washington elitists were scared of the public back then, as well. This law was only overturned in 1964, when the state of Alabama sued the New York Times under this law for reporting atrocities in Montgomery, Ala.

The basic premise of Lafferty’s piece is, sadly, too true. Wilson was elected on an anti-war platform and then promptly sold out and betrayed the American people to the mercy of pro-war Washington elitists. The same betrayal is witnessed in the McCarthy witch-hunt, the milquetoast capitulation of the Clinton years, and the bipartisan support for this contrived quagmire we’re in right now. But the argument, “The Democrats are doing it, too,” doesn’t make betrayal of our people or Constitution to a group of Washington elitists OK.

President Bush has broken the law in an ugly grab for power. We, the people, must make impeachment an issue in this year’s midterm elections.

Russell G. Davis

Some of the people
Re “Democrats Taught Bush How to Violate Civil Liberties” (Right Hook, Jan. 5):

I looked up executive orders 12139 and 12949, which Mr. Lafferty said show how Democrats violated civil liberties in the past. What he neglected to tell us were the last sentences of the executive orders.

In both executive orders, it says that the attorney general must make certifications required by section 50 U.S.C. 1801, which states that a court order is not needed for electronic surveillance or physical searches for foreign nationals only, which means that Mr. Lafferty was withholding information.

In reality, American citizens cannot be spied on according to these executive orders. Only non-citizens can be spied on. Mr. Lafferty, next time you want to spew your propaganda, make sure all your readers are dumb enough to believe it.

Stephanie Winter

Hidden facts, obvious agenda
Re “Democrats Taught Bush How to Violate Civil Liberties” (Right Hook, Jan. 5):

In his effort to justify President Bush’s violation of the Fourth Amendment, Mike Lafferty actually demonstrates his own ability to ignore facts to make a point.

He states that both Presidents Carter and Clinton authorized the use of electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens without the necessity of a search warrant. This is a blatant lie.

While President Carter did indeed sign Executive Order 12139 authorizing electronic surveillance, Lafferty neglects to mention that this order also requires that the attorney general certify “in writing under oath” that “there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party.”

And while President Clinton did sign Executive Order 12949, Lafferty again conveniently fails to mention that, once again, the act requires that the attorney general certify “in writing under oath” that “there is no substantial likelihood that the physical search will involve the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person.” It is interesting to note that in this context “United States person” refers not only to U.S. citizens but also to any person living in the United States.

It took me less than five minutes to find this information on the Web. If Lafferty can’t even take the time to research his column, perhaps he should find another line of work. At the very least, he should take a cue from his previous column about name calling and stop referring to people who believe in the Constitution as “myopic civil liberties Chicken Littles.”

Ken La Russa

Joshua Morberg is a hero
Re “An improvised explosive device” (View from the Fray, Jan. 5):

The editor stated that the media cares very little about presenting a true and complete story. I wish he taught journalism.

A few more good examples:

• 12 miners alive.

• Dan Rather accused President Bush.

• Deidre Pike wrote a column about Joshua Morberg. She quoted Morberg asking the question, “As for does this war have a point? (Her favorite four-letter word), no.”

Joshua was not drafted. He gave his life to stop terrorists from chopping heads off prisoners and to stop killing innocent women and children. Most of all, he gave his life for freedom, so that Pike could write her garbage, including her four-letter word.

Joshua is a hero.

Louis Munker