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Judging policy

March 12, 2009

Re "Clarifying the war on terror," March 8

Although I appreciate the thoughtful tone of The Times' editorial regarding how President Obama should "clarify" what has been misnamed the "war on terror," your conclusions are too timid.

We cannot ensure "that the lawlessness of the Bush administration is history" either by sweeping its crimes under the rug or simply by enumerating them in a truth commission. When crimes occur, our system demands that they be punished. Otherwise, the perpetrators and those who follow can only conclude there are no consequences for lawbreaking.

The same logic applies to President Bush and his cronies: If we mean it when we say "no one is above the law," then we have to prove it.

Eric Stockel

Los Angeles

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How unfortunate that Bush did not seek guidance from your editorial writers before responding to the 9/11 attacks.

So much unpleasantness could have been avoided.

Walter J. Kelly

Glendale

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Once again, The Times is harping "due process for detainees," arguing that their cases should be moved to civilian courts, where they seem to follow the age-old idea of letting one guilty man go free rather than have a group of innocent men wrongly convicted.

In this case, freeing an enemy combatant on U.S. criminal evidentiary rules or failure to give Miranda warnings might ultimately result in the deaths of thousands of Americans. When that happens, The Times' editorial writers will still be sitting comfortably and courageously behind computer keyboards, finding others to blame -- anyone but themselves.

Kip Dellinger

Los Angeles

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