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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

The Political Debate Over Prisoner Abuse

June 23, 2005

The current American school-of-torture apology seems to oscillate between the "it isn't as bad as you think" point of view to the "if we don't do it, they'll kill us" fear-mongering, as displayed in the truly nasty Michael Ramirez effort (editorial cartoon, June 21). Evoking the terror attacks of 9/11 in an attempt to condemn those who would dare to discuss this administration's amoral policies in Guantanamo Bay takes it all to a new level. Whoever would have thought that abusing prisoners of war would find so much passionate support in this country?

John Crawford

Sierra Madre

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Liberals are again staking out a dangerous political position with regard to their endless drumbeat of terrorist mistreatment in Gitmo. This will not play well in future election cycles. Liberal cries for due process, legal representation and terrorist rights will be played by the Republicans as un-American and soft on America's enemies. And it will work! Just as Democrats' championing criminal rights in the past was spun into "Democrats are soft on crime" by Republicans in past election cycles.

The Democrat Party seems to instinctively take the side of issues that are at odds with the majority of the American electorate. Gay marriage, terrorist rights, felon voting rights, flag burning, the United Nations, driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and on and on.

These positions are not supported by the majority of American voters. It just doesn't make sense. Why do Democrat politicians consistently stake out positions they can't win on?

David Charles Chrisman

Westlake Village

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