War on terror operates outside all conventions

Once again The Sun is off the playing field and in the left bleachers when it comes to dealing with terrorists.


The editorial "The consigliere" (Jan. 6) criticizes President Bush's nominee to be the next attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales, for his role in developing a legal justification for interrogating captured terrorists with techniques outside the Geneva Conventions.

Because of his role in developing these techniques, The Sun does not support Mr. Gonzales' appointment to be attorney general.


But since the terrorists are not governments that have signed the Geneva Conventions, we do not owe its protection to these despicable people.

I believe that most Americans favor the use of whatever interrogation devices are necessary to protect us from another terrorist attack.

To ensure that we defeat this evil, the United States needs to make the terrorists fear us, not respect us.

Ron Wirsing

Havre de Grace

Tolerating torture is Gonzales' failing

Linda Chavez rightly states that Alberto R. Gonzales has risen above a very humble beginning ("Attacking Gonzales only hurts Democrats' cause," Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 6). Although his parents did not finish elementary school, Mr. Gonzales managed to graduate from Harvard Law School and go on to be appointed to the Texas Supreme Court. Such achievement is truly commendable.

But Ms. Chavez goes on to say that Democrats are "irked" that a Republican president has named a number of minorities to high government positions and thus will try to derail Mr. Gonzales' nomination to be U.S. attorney general.


I think Ms. Chavez is missing the point. Mr. Gonzales' nomination is coming under fire by Democrats, and others who value human rights, because he used his top-notch education to justify torture and humiliation in the name of the war on terror.

His legal counsel to President Bush is what upsets many Americans who think and feel empathy for other human beings.

Of course, we might question the ethics of a president who would listen to such counsel. But that's a topic for another day.

Jeannette Ollodart Marx


What irks Democrats is lousy nominees


Linda Chavez often misses the point but seldom to the extent that she did in "Attacking Gonzales only hurts Democrats' cause" (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 6).

She makes the preposterous assertion that "it irks some Democrats that a Republican president keeps naming blacks and Hispanics to such unprecedented, high-level posts." Nothing could be further from the truth.

What irks many (most?) of us is that President Bush continues to nominate people who appear to be unqualified and are very controversial.

The reality is that one has to admire the courage of Democrats who oppose these nominations even as they recognize that doing so may jeopardize their chances of winning support from blacks and Hispanics in future elections.

John S. White

Stewartstown, Pa.


Reject Gonzales to show some spine

If the Democratic Party cannot find its collective voice to oppose the confirmation of Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general, many Democrats around the country will register as independents.

For the survival of the party that many of us embraced years ago because of its integrity and, yes, moral values, Senate Democrats should vote "no" on this nomination.

This simple gesture would keep the Democratic Party's spine intact.

Patricia A. Weller



Vote count challenge defends democracy

Thanks to Sen. Barbara Boxer for objecting to the certification of Ohio's electoral votes ("Bush victory is certified by Congress," Jan. 7).

Congress must investigate the reported irregularities and legislate national standards to provide accountability in federal elections.

Robert Whitby


On Jan. 6, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio had the courage to challenge certification of Ohio's presidential election. This challenge may well go down in history as a turning point in the direction this nation is taking.


Our freedom is dependent on one thing and one thing only - that our election process is secure.

If the people cannot be assured that their votes are counted, then we are no longer living in a free country.

Anton Sober


Palestinians ended years of prosperity

The Sun's article "Palestinians who knew peace see glimmer of hope in vote" (Jan. 9) speaks of "better times" and "coexistence" on the West Bank four years ago, when Israelis "crowded the streets" of Qalqiliya "searching for cheap car repairs and cheap furniture." Now Palestinians "talk glumly about lost income and lost jobs."


At Camp David in August 2000, and at Taba a few months later, President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to allow a Palestinian state in 95 percent of the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Spurning this generous offer, the Palestinians launched the second intifada with its suicide bombings and other terrorism, blowing helpless women and children to bits.

To protect its people against the intifada, Israel had to take steps that had the effect of causing Palestinians to lose income and jobs.

But the Palestinians are themselves responsible for the end of "coexistence" and "better times."

Nathan Dodell



Spurning children isn't very Christian

Reading "Catholic schools split on kids of gay couples" (Jan. 9), I wondered, whatever happened to Christ's entreaty: "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14)?

Elaine Rosenbloom


Missionaries aren't threat to Sri Lanka

According to The Sun, there is a new threat to tsunami survivors: Christians who have the gall to say "Jesus loves you" as they hand out disaster relief ("Some organizations mix missionary work with aid," Jan. 8).


And while I applaud Rizwan Mowlana for sending aid to his brethren in Sri Lanka, it seems a bit disingenuous to describe Gospel tracts as "predatory" in a country where the Christian minority is violently persecuted by Buddhist extremists.

A. F. Chai

Ellicott City