Re "Military Wants Its Own Spies," March 4: Looks like Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's ego has been hurt because the CIA refused to back up his claims that Saddam Hussein is linked with Al Qaeda. He and the rest of this administration's advisors are so whacked-out they think that all their claims are really true, even though all their evidence says otherwise. If you cannot make the CIA agents agree with you, just create another network of spies whose evidence probably will match the claims of their boss at the Pentagon.
These guys also think that this whole nation should trust their lies. This whole Iraq saga is becoming more like the "emperor with no clothes." They will not take no for an answer. Other countries and their democratic institutions are valid only if they approve, support and aid the Bush administration's scheme. According to them, the U.N. is useful only when it dances to their tune. When will some sane person stand up to these thugs and say what "is" is and tell our would-be emperor that he and his advisors are really mental cases?
Nowhere in the article on military spies is there a mention of restricting intelligence-gathering by the proposed agency to information gathered from abroad. The CIA is restricted, by law, to gathering intelligence from foreign sources. The FBI is tasked with gathering domestic intelligence regarding crime and foreign spying.
The article states that the proposal is made because the CIA does not have sufficient resources. Why can't the CIA be given sufficient financial support to develop those resources? The Defense Department admits that it will take time for the new agency to develop its own resources.
Is this another grab for power by the Bush administration? Will the proposed agency be used to develop information on our citizens within this country?
Col. USMC (Retired)
I tuned in to watch President Bush's press conference on Thursday expecting to get all charged up and rally around the flag and get ready to support the war. Even though I have never agreed with this preemptive strike idea, I thought it was time to put differences behind us and rally around our leader. But I was seriously disappointed.
Bush said the same half-dozen phrases over and over. "My job is to protect the American people." "Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people." Bush never explained how Hussein is a threat exactly. His presentation seemed simple-minded in the face of a complex problem. The questions from the press were good, but Bush didn't really answer them. I came away with serious doubts about his capacity to understand the situation and his ability to lead us in these perilous times. I didn't rally around the flag, after all.
When asked about giving Hussein an ultimatum -- a two- or three-day deadline to disarm -- Bush said: "We're still in the final stages of diplomacy." This is like saying, "We're gonna give y'all a fair trial ... and then we're gonna hang ya!"
Many of us who share the Bush administration's conviction that Hussein is evil and dangerous -- and needs to be dealt with -- are troubled by many aspects of its stated goal of "regime change."
Just one example. During the Gulf War, Hussein did not use weapons of mass destruction because he understood the consequences -- overwhelming U.S. retaliation and his certain demise. But this time, believing he is doomed, he will have no incentive not to use these weapons. Our policy thus makes their use more likely. Haven't we learned the lesson that moralism is no substitute for thoughtful realism in foreign policy?