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The Baltimore Sun

Spying victims demand full study of scandal

As a victim of the Maryland State Police spying scandal, I attended the Oct. 7 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. There I heard testimony that showed that I was not the only person listed as a suspected terrorist in the state police database. It seems 52 other activists were entered into this infamous database.

In the article "Ex-police chief defends spying" (Oct. 8), former Maryland State Police Superintendent Thomas E. "Tim" Hutchins claimed the surveillance and infiltration of protest groups were necessary because those groups had a potential for violence.

Yet Mr. Hutchins took an oath to uphold the Constitution. And one of the important touchstones in our legal system is that one is innocent until proved guilty.

As state Sen. James Brochin said to the former superintendent at the hearing, "This sounds like the Bush doctrine." He meant that it was improper for state police to engage in pre-emptive strikes against protesters.

While I welcomed the hearing and the review by former Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs, I and many other activists want a complete investigation with subpoena powers to discover the truth about the worst police spying scandal in Maryland since the Vietnam era.

We have sent a letter requesting an investigation to Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Without such an investigation, Maryland citizens will continue to wonder what the extent of the infiltration was and how effectively the Maryland State Police can keep this state safe from the real terrorists.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

Fire the officers involved in spying

Since when are opposition to the death penalty and other political activism defined as "terrorism" ("Ex-police chief defends spying," Oct. 8)?

This is progressive Maryland, not Iraq or Texas; these truly disturbing actions by the Maryland State Police must be addressed.

Every officer involved in this farce should be fired, and any relevant criminal proceedings opened against all commanders involved.

A responsible government requires accountability.

Omar Siddique, Ellicott City

Invest here at home to revive economy

The value of our investments is going down not because of a lack of government leadership but because of decisions investors made ("Uneasy Street," Oct. 10).

All of us know that all stocks have risk. Many investors choose to invest in them anyway.

Now that we are losing money, we look to blame others. But we need look no further than the mirror for the answer about who is to blame and where to find the solution.

Let's now buy stock in American companies and buy American products. That way, in the long term, we will be fine.

Joseph M. Smith, Perry Point

A crazy time to spend thousands on dog park

I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about economics. However, common sense should tell our city officials that with the economy going further into the tank daily, income for the city from the state and federal governments will be drying up.

So now is certainly not the time for the city to be spending $150,000 for a dog park ("City to fund dog park in Locust Point," Oct. 10).

There must hundreds of better uses for that money.

Bernice Rubinstein, Baltimore

WiMAX will succeed where the city failed

Residents and visitors to Baltimore will soon be enjoying fast wireless Internet service thanks to Sprint's rollout of a citywide WiMAX network ("Casting a wide Net," Sept. 29).

The event only points to the folly of the city's failed municipal Wi-Fi experiments.

Sprint saw a market need and is investing its own funds to meet it. The city saw a need to spend public funds and energy on Wi-Fi technology, whether or not there was a market for it.

The result: Sprint will likely succeed, while Baltimore's "free" city Wi-Fi has been a wasteful flop.

This experience should be a lesson to Baltimore and other cities: The market will provide - better, faster and cheaper than any government can.

James G. Lakely, Chicago

The writer is an editor and researcher for the Heartland Institute.

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