Re "Iraq's 'Symbol of Disgraceful Conduct' to Fall," May 25: The obvious has thus far been diligently ignored in the rush to assign culpability for the sociopathic behavior of some of the troops at Abu Ghraib prison, Guantanamo Bay and, if the Red Cross is to be believed, other places too. In the hunt for goats, no one seems to have drawn a bead on the head billy. Why President Bush, as commander in chief, hasn't been indicted in the press and elsewhere is difficult to understand. More difficult still to fathom is the sort of character flaw that inhibits his public assumption of ultimate responsibility.
Gregg A. Payne
Bush made only one new proposal in his Monday night speech: to demolish the Abu Ghraib prison, which he rightfully cited as a symbol of "death and torture" under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Thankfully, the Nazi death camps were not all demolished; some remain as a reminder to future generations of the horrors perpetrated by the evil dictator Adolf Hitler and his Nazi followers.
I believe Abu Ghraib should be kept as a reminder to future generations of Iraqis of the evils of Hussein. Whether the Iraqis choose to do so must be left up to them when Iraq again becomes a sovereign nation. Hopefully Bush's decision to demolish Abu Ghraib wasn't made to cover in rubble the prisoner abuse scandal. If it was his reason, then that would be playing politics with history in an election year. Certainly Bush and senior White House political advisor Karl Rove are above such crass behavior.
Leon M. Salter
President Bush, speaking at the Army War College, announced the first major new facility for Iraq, a brand new prison to replace Abu Ghraib. What a neat idea, and how appropriate!
It can be named the "George W. Bush Memorial Prison." It will stand as a monument to (and reminder of) the occupation and the events at Abu Ghraib that motivated its construction.
Our occupation leaders stood idle and permitted the looting and vandalism of the wonderful Baghdad Museum, but, hey, we'll have a great state-of-the-art prison to be proud of.
Prisons in the United States are severely overcrowded, and we have no money available to build new facilities. However, it appears that the Bush administration has plenty of money to tear down Abu Ghraib and build a modern maximum-security prison in Iraq.
Which evildoers are being punished, Al Qaeda terrorists or American taxpayers?
Bush continues, relentlessly, to blow smoke into the faces of the American people by asserting, shamelessly, that his war on terror (read, the Iraq war) is the same as, or is connected to, the real war on terror.
The real war was thrust on the United States by Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network on Sept. 11, 2001, and must be fought with all possible diligence and resources.
By concentrating his efforts and attention on Iraq while Bin Laden and Al Qaeda remain our more imminent threat, Bush dishonors the resources already used up -- the precious lives of our service people and those still to be lost.