Spying in U.S. 'didn't smell right' | Dec. 15, story
Whistle-blower should be punished
The problem that the left is having right now is that in their current blind hatred of all things Bush, anyone who does something to make President Bush look worse is a hero. This now seems to include those who place national security somewhere below their own personal agendas.
Thomas Tamm, the Justice Department employee who provided great comfort to terrorists by "secretly" notifying the New York Times about the illegal wiretap program, broke the law.
I suppose he saw himself as "Deep Throat," the now infamous government insider whose whistle-blowing started Watergate. What Tamm seems to have overlooked is that while he was attempting to turn himself into some sort of self-styled hero, he was not exposing a break-in at a hotel. He was sharing with the world (enemies included) how the United States was gathering information, albeit illegally, on terrorists in America. We will perhaps never know the depth of damage caused by this breach of security.
Admittedly, discovering illegal activities within your own department would be a difficult position to be in. Tamm was not wrong in exposing it, he just went about it the wrong way.
Tamm had proper channels within his grasp but chose to go the press route. For glory? For anonymity? Who knows? It doesn't matter now because the damage is done. The point is he did the right thing the wrong way, and now he must pay for his deeds.
It's okay to have contempt for your boss. But you can be dissatisfied with your leader and still work within the law to accomplish your goals. Looks like Thomas Tamm learned this the hard way, a little too late.
David Fraser, Clearwater
Bush brought freedom to dissent | Dec. 17, letter
Insensitivity brings foreign policy folly
The letter writer typifies exactly what has been wrong with our foreign policy. He only sees what he perceives to be positive things the U.S. invasion brought to Iraq.
The reactions of others to the shoe-throwing incident are what we should be noting. Yes, some are biased against the United States, but we need to do some introspection about why that is. Is there any doubt about the untold misery our occupation has brought to millions of Iraqis in terms of death, maiming, destruction, displacement from homes and loss of quality of life?
The shoe-throwing was the act of one man, but it obviously reflects the opinions of thousands of Iraqis and other Middle Easterners. The shoe is the ultimate insult, which we can remember was shown years ago with the young boy beating Saddam Hussein's statue with a shoe. Those illustrations, over six years apart, symbolize the illusions we had about our intervention then and what it has resulted in now: horrendous loss, waste and trepidation about what the future may hold for both sides.
Until we start dealing with countries by being sensitive to our previous history with them as opposed to how they can contribute to our objectives, we will continue to experience outcomes like these.
Bill Ackerman, Homosassa
Bush brought freedom to dissent | Dec. 17
What freedom of expression did President Bush bring to Iraq that the letter writer appreciates so much? When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, journalists could say whatever they wanted. Of course, after expressing themselves, government goons beat them to a pulp and threw them in prison.
In this case, a journalist threw his shoes at Bush and called him a dog. He was grabbed, taken into the hall, and beaten to a pulp by government goons. The journalist is now in prison. Exactly what freedom did Bush bring to this journalist?
C. D. Chamberlain, Spring Hill
Insult mars Bush Iraq trip | Dec. 15, story
A voice for the victims
Muntadhar al-Zeidi was the only patriot in that coterie of apple-polishers gathered to hear President Bush, but he spoke for millions of Iraqis and millions more in countries around the world when he threw his shoes at Bush.
As is his wont, Bush cracked a joke, but he would have done better to reflect on Zeidi's words: "This is from the widows, the orphans and those killed in Iraq."
To date, the number of dead alone is around 660,000, to which the addition of widows and orphans would bring the total to well over a million.
But of course he did not. Surrounded by sycophants in the White House and protected by a disgraceful Nancy Pelosi, Bush has been able to avoid acknowledging the innocent victims of his criminal invasion.
R.G. Wheeler, St. Petersburg
I am one of those who fully believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that he and Iraq were a full threat to our country. I also believed that President Bush's motive to bring democracy to the Iraqi people was honorable.
That all changed the moment I watched some Iraqi fanatic insult our president by tossing his shoes at him. George Bush destroyed his presidency and ruined his legacy to try to bring freedom to these people. And this is the thanks he gets.
That some fanatic malcontent resorted to shoe throwing does not surprise me at all. But that the Iraqi people and media are making a hero out of this worm is more than I can bear.
I am appalled and disgusted by the incident and now feel that we should immediately leave them to their own designs.
Michael P. Catalano, Palm Harbor
Police solve Walsh murder | Dec. 17, story
Keep an eye on the children
It is my sincere hope that the announcement of the conclusion of the investigation into the murder of Adam Walsh does bring some level of closure to his family. However, it is also hoped that the father, John Walsh, will continue his work to aid in the search for missing children.
In the story, Richard Moran of Mount Holyoke College noted that the case made "children and adults alike exponentially more afraid." I do not pretend to know more than Moran about sociology and criminology. What I do know is that children continue to go missing and continue to be abused and murdered. I do not believe that the generation of extremely paranoid children and parents exists.
There are plenty of trusting children, and parents who still allow their children to go about unaccompanied. And, unfortunately, children still go missing, and are still murdered.
Children need to be cautious, they need to be aware of their surroundings, and they need to never go anywhere alone.
The reality is that children, alone, are not safe. Watch your children.
Judi Larson, Sun City Center
Chiles family decries kids' fund borrowing Dec. 11
What on earth is wrong with these Tallahassee politicians? How dare they dip into our late Lawton Chiles' "Children's Trust Fund"? How do they sleep at night?
I was taught when it's not your money but you take it anyway, that's called "stealing." It's not a "save-your neck fund," Charlie Crist. Let's get others' comments on this issue. I still can't believe it!
Nancy Lee Pickron, Holiday