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Link Between Alert and Politics Is Seen

August 03, 2004

Re "Ridge Warns of Specific Threats," Aug. 2: Every age is one of cynicism that exceeds that of the last. One has to wonder if the government's terror alert for New York, northern New Jersey and Washington is real or simply the administration's government-funded orchestration to steal attention from Sen. John Kerry's post-convention campaign.

If nothing happens, are we to conclude that the power of the federal, state and local intelligence and law enforcement agencies have succeeded in keeping us safe, or have they elevated our level of fear in order to portray President Bush as the fearless leader?

If a disaster does happen, will we obtain gratification from death and destruction that intelligence agencies predicted, or dismay and disgust that our government could not protect us, despite the creation of Homeland Security and the infringement on our constitutional liberties? Age of hope? Age of cynicism?

Jeff Schoenwald

Thousand Oaks

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In the interest of fairness, it is time that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge be called to task for his continuous use of office as an arm of the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. It is possible that after the November election there will be a different sitting president. Kerry, in that position, has as much right, and need, to the hard evidence of threats used by Ridge to increase security levels of terrorist attacks as President Bush. Ridge should be required, as a servant of the United States, not of Bush alone, to make that specific intelligence available to both candidates. If the threats and supporting intelligence are factual, that information is as equally vital to Kerry as it is to Bush.

William Tharp

Napa

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