Letters to the Editor

Politics: Bush goes after wrong people

Under George W. Bush we've got government by retaliation. Unfortunately Bush retaliates against the wrong people.

Former head of U.S. counterterrorism Richard Clarke told the 9/11 Commission that Bush was so concentrated on Iraq that he neglected the threat of Al Qaeda in the summer of 2001, even though Clarke and CIA Director George Tenet tried repeatedly to warn Bush that Al Qaeda was planning an attack. Clarke testified that resources needed to fight Al Qaeda were diverted to the war in Iraq, and that the special forces that found Saddam had been pulled off the hunt for Osama.

Clarke has been told by someone in the administration that the White House "means to destroy me personally and professionally." Already, Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist wants Clarke's earlier testimony before Congress to be declassified so that Clarke can be convicted of perjury for any inconsistencies between the two testimonies, and sent to jail.

When Joseph Wilson revealed that Bush lied about Saddam's nuclear program, Wilson was punished through his wife, whose cover as a CIA agent was blown by "senior administration officials." This was not only a breach of national security, but it put her life in danger. The Bush administration is as vicious to its "enemies" as the Nixon administration was.

Paul O'Neill was accused of releasing classified material in a book claiming that Bush was so obsessed with Iraq that he neglected everything else. O'Neill is corroborated by Clarke, and the material has been deemed unclassified, but the threat of prosecution caused O'Neill to back off his original claims.

What the First Amendment is for is to protect us from retaliation when we criticize our government. How can we tolerate an administration that threatens its critics with loss of their inalienable rights to life and liberty?

Ann Adams

Oak Harbor

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