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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Liberty for Security: Not a Good Trade

September 14, 2004

Your Sept. 10 editorial, "Trading Liberty for Security," (and the usual chorus of supporting letters) seems deeply alarmed at the administration's sinister encroachments on our personal freedom. I must salute their courage and yours. What fearless souls! To face the specter of Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and President Bush with defiant scorn, with contempt and hatred.

It speaks volumes on the loss of our freedom that your paper every day features signed letters from people unafraid to denounce this administration in the most strident terms. All their bile and paranoia will not help them, or you, to get through the next four years after the unthinkable, a Bush landslide occurs.

Your attempts to convince yourselves and your readers that John Kerry's campaign isn't really in free fall will only make the inevitable catastrophe harder to bear. I guess that's what Teresa Heinz Kerry meant by four more years of hell.

Stephen Quinn

Huntington Beach

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Re your editorial: The trend of congressional laxity and irresponsibility has led not to just the Patriot Act but also the "war" against Iraq, carried out, not in accordance with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution, but by resolution -- a neat way for Congress to duck responsibility.

The words of Walt Whitman resound:

"To the states, or any one of them, or any city of the states, Resist much, Obey little; Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth ever afterward resumes its liberty."

Richard A. Davidson

Woodland Hills

*

"Trading Liberty for Security" may or may not be such a bad transaction, but now we have neither.

With millions of containers not inspected, our nation's ports are not secure; with illegal entries every day, our borders are not secure; with fences and keep-out signs, our nuclear sites are not secure; with no inspections of cargo and no one checking for plastic explosives, our air transports are not secure; with our foreign policy creating more terrorists every day, nothing is secure.

Please Mr. President, give me back my liberty!

Charlotte Cohen

Los Angeles

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