No Clinton charge | July 6
Actions disqualify her from office
Hillary Clinton did break the letter of the law. But unless she deliberately acted in a way to allow unauthorized people to have the classified materials, a prosecutor would almost always refuse to indict. That is because it is difficult to get a conviction for incompetence or stupidity unless there are other incriminating factors or damages.
But it was a firing offense. If I did what Clinton did during my tenure at the Naval Air Systems Command when I had the same top secret, special access program clearance, I would have been out on the street posthaste. And investigators would have wanted to question me about who else may have had access to the classified information.
Her lack of judgment and arrogant incompetence makes Clinton unsuitable for any government position, let alone president.
James J. Klapper, Oldsmar
No Clinton charge | July 6
Revoke security clearance
Having served in the military, I am well aware of the importance of safeguarding even documents classified FOUO (for official use only), the lowest classification.
I have seen fellow soldiers receive nonjudicial punishments and courts-martial for the same level of carelessness, or less, shown by Hillary Clinton. It is disturbing that she was not held to the same standard as a buck sergeant in an infantry division intelligence section.
If she has a security clearance, it should have been revoked, loudly and publicly.
Kenneth Gilder, St. Petersburg
History of deception
We all knew that this decision was coming down the pike. Hillary Clinton's denials about using her personal server and Blackberry for sensitive and confidential emails remind me of the infamous phrases by her husband, former President Bill Clinton: "I did not have sex with that woman" and "what is is."
The Clintons always skate free while living on the edge of impropriety and dishonesty. They have both been doing this since they entered public life. I think it is time to end this sideshow and let them retire to private life.
Tom DuLaney, Palm Harbor
Careless and negligent
In describing the FBI's inquiry into Hillary Clinton's unauthorized use of a private email server and her mishandling of classified information, FBI Director James Comey termed her actions "extremely careless" yet not indictable. Comey's closely worded conclusion notwithstanding, the federal statute governing the handling of classified information includes "gross negligence" as an offense subject to sanction.
What's the difference between extreme carelessness and gross negligence? In fact, the dictionary includes "negligent" as a definition of "careless." In actuality, the difference means the former first lady and secretary of state will likely become the next president of the United States while her boisterous billionaire Republican opponent has been left to further fulminate about a "rigged system."
Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center
Muslim world struck by indifference to attacks | July 6
Attacks sadden Americans
Make no mistake: We in the United States were shocked and saddened by the bomb attack in Iraq that has now claimed the lives of more than 225 people. It was reported on television and in our newspaper. We are well aware that most of the violence by ISIS and other radicalized Muslims is against Mideast Muslims, Christians and Jews.
It is true that we in the West tend to make more of it when it spills over into countries where the violence doesn't occur often. While we may not be as shocked about bombings in Iraq, we are saddened at the loss of lives there.
We are hoping to elect a president who will be decisive in ridding the world of ISIS and the like.
Terry Larson, Seffner
Protect precious waterfront | July 5, letter
Pause on development
Virtually anyone you talk with in town or read about in the Times is against developing the uplands area of the pier. The president of the Waterfront Parks Foundation put it so well in his letter. The intention of our ancestors who established the public waterfront is clear: Keep it open and public. What part of this does the Rick Kriseman administration and City Council not understand? I am a native of St. Petersburg and try my best to help people get past their anger about how the sewage overflow problem is not front and center. If it were, a pause would be in place on any development on the waterfront.
Having participated in the numerous pier envisioning sessions, it was clear then as now that development of the uplands is not wanted. As it stands, only a relative handful of people will benefit from the present plan. The rest of us will have to look at a bunch of big structures and even a parking garage, all the while avoiding the whole area because of a stressed and dated sewage system.
Ivylyn Harrell, St. Petersburg
Progress for LGBT students shelved | July 6, Sue Carlton column
Social action needed
Whenever a social issue arises, it is always troubling to see a multitude of false solutions pop up close behind. The social problem of the past few months seems to have become LGBT rights and the extent to which government should extend the protection of those rights.
If legislative solutions, such as those described in this column, truly worked with social issues, we would be able to solve any minor blip on the cultural radar with a two-page proclamation issued by our legislators. Alas, we do not live in a perfect society, and social issues must be solved with social movements, not legislative items.
If only that could be communicated to those who wish to enact real change.
James Greene, Apollo Beach