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Paying Off Cedras

October 20, 1994

Re "Why Reward These Thugs?" editorial, Oct. 15:

I believe you do your readers a disservice when you frame the question of the payoff to Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras in the terms that you did in your editorial. To say that Washington's deal with Cedras is baffling begs the more important question: What cards does Cedras hold that would make the U.S. want to give away our honor to him? Is it possible that making public the links Cedras and his gang had to the CIA would be too embarrassing for those with whom we have entrusted the mantle of power? I don't know, but I have good reason to suspect that we are tripping over our own feet here.

I congratulate you on expressing the anger many must feel after such a travesty of justice; but please, if our leaders are going to be irresponsible, don't do them the honor of not asking the difficult questions.

STEPHEN FISCHER

Los Angeles

* Regarding your Oct. 14 article on the lucrative deal given Cedras to leave the country: This must rank with one of the dumbest and most immoral deals this country has every made. To buy off a man whom President Clinton and other U.S. officials have described as "thug," "stooge" and "killer" is an unconscionable act.

One would imagine Cedras uses only one word to describe President Clinton and that is stooge . As defined by the dictionary, "one who serves as the butt of jokes."

Is this the leadership our country and the United Nations needs?

ROBERT E. LEITER

Fullerton

* Clinton foreign policy: 21-gun salute and/or a barrel of money.

WILLIAM W. KOENIG

Pasadena

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