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Shades of 1972?

October 27, 2008

Re "As vote nears, chief warns of terror risk," Oct. 23

Notwithstanding Los Angeles Police Department Chief William J. Bratton's preemptive precautions and thoroughness, his warning may have precedent. Shortly before the 1972 election, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announced that "peace is at hand" in Vietnam. About a week before another election, the threat of terrorism seems to loom.

The McCain camp is reported to perceive that it will benefit from any national security "event." That said, voters should be extremely wary of any tactics that might smack of Kissinger's actions, particularly because the Vietnam War went on for nearly three more years. Both tactics flow from the political motives of a party whose grip on power has again come under siege amid a time of an unpopular war, pervasive social fear and another election.

Richard Newton Meyer

Los Angeles

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