You report (Jan. 19) a speech to the Baltimore Rotary Club by former FBI official Cartha DeLoach, in which he attacked my book "Official and Confidential," a biography of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
DeLoach called me, behind my back, a "slanderer, liar and coward." He said my sources on Hoover's sexuality -- a subject, incidentally, which takes up only a small portion of a 500-page book -- were shaky.
The claim that I'm a coward may seem odd to viewers who watched me face DeLoach's wild charges on the Larry King show when the book was published.
As for the rest, I refer Rotary Club members and your readers to the book itself, which is the massively researched result of a five-year investigation by a team including scholars as well as reporters.
DeLoach's former colleague, renowned Agent-in-Charge Neil Welch, called the book "a well researched, powerful indictment of the presidents and Congress that allowed one man to have such enormous power -- with no real accountability . . ."
Harrison Salisbury, that paragon of quality journalism, thought my book "brilliant" and "careful."
Finally, readers of "Official and Confidential" will find in its pages much interesting information about DeLoach himself.
Well, it is about time. Welcome to Alice Steinbach. We have missed her wit and wisdom.
Out of Context
Your Jan. 23 article states that Hechinger's was promoting the use of fertilizer as an alternative for melting ice from walkways and driveways.
During the recent period of extreme cold that gave us rolling blackouts and related problems, most retailers were out of salt. Local governments and the state were also out of salt.
It is true that certain fertilizers will melt ice and snow. The free urea nitrogen generates heat when it comes into contact with moisture. Free urea nitrogen is usually found in simple mix-type fertilizers.
As to the Environmental Protection Agency's comment that such fertilizers pollute the Chesapeake Bay, that's true. However, where do the tons of salt and other chemicals put down by the state and local governments go?
When salt is in short supply and sidewalks are dangerously slippery, people need something to melt the ice. The elderly and others who must get out to get groceries, medications and conduct business need to have something to make their lives a little safer.
Salt is corrosive to metals, extremely bad for concrete roadways and related structures and kills plant life. It can ruin wells and other sources of water.
A judicious use of fertilizer in the extreme conditions of freeze melts ice, provides a gritty surface for traction and promotes plant life.
Let's be fair. Print the whole story and not just a selected part out of the context.
Stephen G. Kariotis
Why So Upset?
In his letter Jan. 14, Donald Sterling (chair of the Baltimore City Community Relations Commission) voices many concerns about WBAL's decision to broadcast the Rush Limbaugh radio talk show.
He states that it is a tragedy that this decision "would venture to undermine the noble efforts of the overwhelming majority of the citizenry of greater Baltimore in fostering multi-ethnic and cultural harmony," and also that "it is an affront to us all."
Mr. Limbaugh's show has been broadcast to Baltimore listeners for quite some time on another station. Does Mr. Sterling believe this change in station will result in an increase in the pernicious influence he perceives?
Does he think that a radio talk show has the power to undermine these efforts he writes about? He does not give much credit to the citizens of Baltimore if he believes a radio talk show can cause such a setback. If he does believe that, I am affronted.
I heard about Mr. Limbaugh even before WBAL carried his show. He has a great many opinions. He is certainly not "politically correct." But I have not heard the hate-mongering Mr. Sterling seems to attribute to him. Mr. Sterling says this is not a First Amendment issue. It is, if he thinks WBAL should not broadcast a show because it is not "politically correct."
I am left wondering just what Mr. Sterling and others who have written letters on this subject are so worried about. Why is a different viewpoint so upsetting?
Recycle Stadium to Save Bay
If someone were to arrive in the greater Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area and begin to research the planned recovery of the Chesapeake Bay, the following facts would become evident:
Several agencies and departments of the federal government, the District of Columbia, the states of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York are signatories to an agreement that addresses the need for cooperation in an effort to address the needs of a watershed that has experienced a precipitous decline within the last 20 years.
In conjunction with this agreement, Maryland and Virginia have adopted a nutrient-reduction strategy that aims to reduce the input of nitrogen and phosphorus into tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay by 40 percent by the year 2000.
Now we must fast forward to Laurel and the proposed construction of a new football stadium for the Washington Redskins under the ownership of Jack Kent Cooke.
Mr. Cooke has come courting Howard County, the governor and the Maryland legislature in an effort to gain the permits, roadways and infrastructure improvements to support his privately owned stadium.
While the size and dimensions of the project are still on the drawing boards, Mr. Cooke's representatives have admitted that, in addition to the stadium, they will construct a parking lot capable of parking 23,000 automobiles.
Mr. Cooke's proposed site is within the headwaters of the Patuxent River and as a consequence would represent a dramatic departure from all of the efforts of the past decade.
We cannot afford the construction of this event-specific project, if we truly believe that we can reverse the effects of man's land use on the Chesapeake Bay.
Would industry be allowed to construct a facility with 23,000 parking spaces in this same sensitive area? The answer would be a resounding "No." A major industry, moving to the region, would be encouraged to redevelop an existing site, a site that would fall within the city limits of Baltimore or Washington.
As the population of the Northeast corridor continues to grow, we are all aware that we are running out of room. . . . Mr. Cooke must also think about recycling.
At the present time, there is a stadium site in Washington that has the infrastructure and parking required to support a football team. The major shortfall appears to be the language of the lease and the design of the facility.
I, along with many others within the community, would support the remodeling of Robert F. Kennedy Stadium and drafting a new lease long before supporting the introduction of this project to the extremely sensitive Patuxent River.
Returning to the nutrient-reduction strategy outlined above, if we allow Mr. Cooke to construct his facility in Laurel, we are sending an irresponsible, mixed message to the agricultural community as well as the expanding suburban community of the watershed. . . .
Robert M. Pfeiffer
As a British citizen who is a legal alien in this country, albeit a taxpaying one, I am aware that I have no role to play in the political process.
His assertion that only through the leadership of one country was tyranny defeated during World War II was both insensitive and inaccurate. From 1939 to 1942, the U.S.A. was not fighting in the European theater. Britain was.
Thereafter, it is my understanding that the Allies, including the Soviet Union, fought the war and brought down Hitler.
The U.S. contribution was immense, but it did not fight the war alone, nor was its leadership evident in the early years of the war.
To reinvent history for political ends is not a modern idea. It is a tactic of demagogues and of the very tyranny to which the senator referred.
His comment was offensive to the memory of those soldiers and civilians who died in defense of liberty prior to U.S. involvement, my relatives among them, and those who fought alongside the U.S. during the war's later years.
It does him no credit and is unworthy of a politician of his rank and responsibility.