Fun with O’s Letters to the Editor

June 29, 2006

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I guess there’s just no pleasing them.

Take a look at the lineup of the seven Miami men (“Emerging threat calls U.S. home,” June 24) charged with — what? Being terrorists? Fomenting terrorism? [They look like] a gaggle of sad sacks.
Our government, in its wisdom, spends our taxpayer dollars to infiltrate cells of disaffected losers and then claims to uncover evil in our midst. These guys look as though they could use jobs paying $12 an hour, with health insurance and two weeks’ paid vacation. Instead, prosecutors will spend millions to try them, hoping to see them sentenced to 15 or 20 years in prison for thinking bad thoughts.
Does anyone seriously think these guys represent anything except the underbelly of a sick body politic? When the emperor wears no clothes, this is his idea of a major achievement.
JUDY MELLOW, North Portland

What’s the difference between al-Qaida and the people arrested in Miami for terrorist intentions? From the perspective of Bush administration public relations about the “war on terror,” none.
From the perspective of physical danger to us, much. In lieu of capturing Osama bin Laden and his chief [followers,] President Bush resorted to having the FBI entrap a few impoverished, angry men [who had] grand visions of nihilist notoriety.
Portraying this motley crew in Miami as a serious threat that would have developed without the FBI’s “assistance” strains credulity.
Gambits like this undermine the excuses for domestic spying, secret programs and violations of our constitutional rights that they are intended to reinforce. The Bush administration seems much better at violating our Constitution than it is at capturing or killing real terrorists.
TOM SHILLOCK, Northeast Portland

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