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Allowing Corporations to Sell Citizens' Birthrights Is Jeopardizing U.S. Freedom

May 22, 1988

The revelations by Times staff writer Robert A. Rosenblatt in the May 1 story, "Intense Lobbying Cools U.S. Anger at Toshiba," should not come as a surprise to anyone who has kept abreast of economic world affairs. Given the policies of our government over the last 20 years, this type of thing was inevitable, and it's only the beginning.

Regardless of the "happy talk" coming out of the Administration about America "standing tall," the Toshiba incident demonstrates how our government is corrupted by a system of legalized bribery that we euphemistically call campaign contributions. Rosenblatt only shows how deep the corruption is when he describes a government held hostage by special interest PACs and lobbies to such a degree that it no longer has the power to act against a company that sells our vital defense technology to our enemy.

Isn't it a form of madness to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into weapons systems and ask our best men to put their lives on the line to defend us from the Soviets, when we don't even have the courage to pass legislation that would prevent commercial interests from selling our birthright? Is profit more important than freedom? It was bad enough when these lobbies were funded by American moneyed interests, but now that they are controlled by foreign money, are we truly a free nation?

It may be that the most important question that can be raised about the article is why wasn't it on the front page (of the entire newspaper)? If the penetration of our government by foreign interests is so pervasive that they can prevent us from acting in our own interest, isn't that front-page news?

SANFORD THIER

Irvine

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