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President's Actions Are No Laughing Matter

March 30, 2004

I take exception to your March 27 editorial, "Commander in Comedy," on President Bush's actions at the Radio and Television News Correspondents Assn. dinner. Keeping a sense of humor in the White House does have merit, but joking about the hyping and misrepresenting and lying about purported weapons of mass destruction -- which has resulted in the deaths of almost 600 U.S. servicemen and women -- is morally bankrupt. There are plenty of other Bushisms to laugh about. I think it would have been more appropriate for Bush to have shown a slide show of himself looking over a desolate American landscape after years of the prolonged effects of greenhouse gases and exclaim, "Gee, I guess I should have signed Kyoto."

Dan D. Gutierrez

Los Angeles

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Past presidents have used comedy to deflect criticism from the press, but never on issues as serious as WMD. I'm sure none of the nearly 600 families of our lost soldiers found it humorous. As the mom of a Marine reservist who returned safely from Bush's wild weapons chase in Iraq, I saw no humor in his remarks.

Patricia Martuscello

Newhall

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What else does The Times find acceptable? JFK making Bay of Pigs jokes? Eisenhower laughing at World War II's firebombing of civilians? FDR ridiculing the Holocaust?

Bob Munson

Newbury Park

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Re "Bush Defends His Stance Before 9/11," March 26: President Bush's response to the recent charges of neglecting early warnings of possible Al Qaeda attacks on this country exposes his shockingly simplistic thinking. To state that he would have used "every power of this government" to protect Americans "had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to strike America" is self-evident. Anyone in his position would have done that. The real issue is whether he ignored the urgent warnings of an impending attack that his counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, repeatedly and persistently presented.

This has not been addressed either by the president or his staff. The evidence so far clearly favors Clarke's view.

The president must do more than offer up self-serving platitudes if he wants this issue resolved.

Paul Rosenberger

Manhattan Beach

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So now the Democrats say the Bush administration should have used military action against Al Qaeda to prevent 9/11 -- which is, by definition, a preemptive war. But isn't a preemptive war the very issue they are criticizing the administration for with regard to the war in Iraq? The amount of blatant contradictions coming from the Democrats still remains very dependable during this election year.

Tom Kerr

Calabasas

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