Civility and service
A recent Bangor Daily News editorial regarding civility in Congress reminds me of an incident of incivility in Congress five years ago, when Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio accused Congressman Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania of being a “coward” and “cutting and running.” She made the comments after Murtha called for all U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq.
Murtha was a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He had seen war close up, and he knew that once troops are deeply engaged in a conflict that escalates to the point of no return, and with rising casualties, that it then became very difficult to disengage.
How can young people be expected to even consider a career in the military and be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan and face certain death, only to return home from the war and later be slandered by a politician like Jean Schmidt? If she wants to accuse people of being “cowards” and “cutting and running,” she should direct her remarks away from Vietnam veterans (of which I am one) and towards those who deserve such labels. These include former President Bill Clinton, a draft-dodger who fled to Oxford, England, as fast as his legs could carry him to avoid any military service to his country, and former President George W. Bush Jr., who ducked into the Air National Guard over a waiting list of 500 in order to avoid the combat zone in Vietnam. He then promptly went AWOL for 13 months.
William P. Urban
One man’s horror
I had to laugh at the quote in the Saturday-Sunday edition of the BDN.
Stephen King said, “You could write a horror book on the administration in Washington” back in 2004. I’m thinking Mr. King would have a No. 1 best-seller horror book if he wrote one on the administration in Washington today.
Enough is enough
TSA’s name and infamy continue to grace the front and editorial pages of the BDN and other media. Yes, people are fed up with TSA’s “screening” procedures. Do they work? We don’t really know since we can’t be told because the terrorists then will know what to avoid in the check-in line.
For those of us who fly, we know what to avoid because we have watched the grandmothers on walkers and in wheelchairs and little kids with backpacks full of in-flight activities being singled out for serious searching by TSA agents. What a joke in the name of random screening, as they call it.
Law enforcement and intelligence security professionals profile potential perpetrators. When I was trained during the Cold War in Germany to intercept communist agents and assassins, I was trained to focus on potential threats trying to gain entrance by the characteristics of past attempts and good analysis.
Mass screening of passengers in their underwear is overkill, degrading, expensive and ineffective. Smart intelligence officers will look and I hope are looking for the threat elsewhere in ports, cities and mass transit. I am sure that al-Qaida is laughing up its long sleeves at how the Americans are pouring out baby for-mula in search of explosives.
Enough is enough!
Congratulations, Eliot Cutler.
You lost the election but you won the hearts of thousands of Mainers who in the end rallied to your candidacy because you kept your promise. You refused to engage in negative campaigning even in the face of a deluge of falsehoods and efforts to discredit your character by elements in both major parties. Thank you for appealing to our better angels, taking the high road and waging a dignified campaign.