Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Oppose ICE facility

I am writing as a member of the southern Maine community who is deeply concerned and upset by the construction of the new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility at 40 Manson Libby Road in Scarborough.

In September, congressional committee staff released a report exposing both egregious conditions in ICE detention centers as well as the agency’s failure to identify and respond to abuses.

Following visits to eight ICE detention facilities and interviews with more than 400 people in ICE custody, the Congressional Committee on Homeland Security reported poor physical and mental health care, failure to protect people in detention from COVID, and constrained access to legal services and information.

These findings, which add to a pattern of well-documented institutional medical neglect and abuse at the hands of ICE, prove that no one is safe in its custody.

Put simply — it is immoral to allow an agency responsible for countless human rights violations to subsist.

Together with De-ICE Maine, I am calling on Josh Soley, principal of Maine Realty Advisors, owner of the Scarborough property, to cancel their 15-year lease with the federal government. De-ICE Maine is a coalition of teachers, ministers, lawyers, reporters and other concerned community members who are committed to Maine being a safe and healthy community for all who live here.

I urge my neighbors to add their voices to the growing calls to protect our immigrant neighbors by opposing the construction of this facility.

Ella D. Tabasky


Response to Crafts

Dale Crafts’ recent BDN OpEd “Public option will make health care system worse” is a study in sophistry. He presents a public option he can imagine might make things worse. Anyone could imagine such an outcome; such an argument is at best specious and at worst deliberately misleading.

In fact, virtually every industrialized nation in the world has a health care system that costs less and produces better outcomes than the system we have in the U.S. Just throw a dart at a map of Europe; wherever it lands, you can be fairly certain that their system is better than ours in cost, outcomes and equity. The notion that a public option will of necessity be worse is demonstrably and irrefutably nonsense; there are dozens of counter-examples throughout the world where a public option has been proven to be better for decades.

Don’t let foolish arguments stand in the way of better health care for all.

Philip Pinto

Roque Bluffs

Thorough planning instead of tough talking

I’d like to dispel the myth that leads so many to back tough talkers over thorough planners. I contemplated what would be required to take and hold Afghanistan and Iraq after learning what I could from Marines who’d led us to victory in World War II and who clashed with guerrilla fighters in South America and Southeast Asia. What I learned in the process is that what is taken by force can only be held if you’re able to establish the relationships with locals that are necessary to police it.

This is where diplomacy and espionage come into play. A country must use it to build support for their occupation before they launch their invasion. The Bush administration made the mistake of disregarding long standing Pentagon advice that this type of work could not be done on the fly after the fighting began.

War plans, when completed by the Pentagon, are thorough. Those who assumed these are things only nerds wait on had no idea what it would take to hold Afghanistan and Iraq. I can almost guarantee they never imagined it was a process that could last 20 years, but if they’d studied what it took to hold Germany and Japan they would have.

The planning not being completed before the invasion was ordered accounts for the spillage that destabilized the surrounding region and sent nearly 8 million refugees into Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America. Now imagine how much more difficult that’s made the job of detecting terrorists on those continents.

Jamie Beaulieu