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Why big rush over torture_

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					PAGE 4A                                                                              OPINION                                                                                                                   SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 30,2006

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                               EDITORIAL                                                                                                                    OTHER VIEWS

   Why big rush
   over torture?
        TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE                 The administration also has
                                        resisted saying whether the bill
       he desire among congres-

T
                                        would require any changes in the
       sional Republicans to heal       CIA interrogation program.
       an intraparty rift on terror-    Dana Perino, the deputy White
ist interrogation practices before      House press secretary, made the
they head home this week to             ominous statement that “The
campaign is palpable. So palpable       program will still be the effec-
that it seems party members are         tive program that it has been.”
ready to grab anything that re-         This is the same administration
sembles a compromise and call it        that insisted on giving immunity
good.                                   to CIA interrogators who may
    Late last week, so-called mav-      have previously violated war
erick Republican senators who           crimes laws.
had challenged President Bush’s             The legislation’s supporters
efforts to rewrite American obli-       argue that while the deal provides
gations under the Geneva Con-           the White House wide discretion,
ventions emerged from their ne-         it also provides an important
gotiations with the administration      check: The administration would
and claimed victory.                    have to publish its rules for inter-
    What the senators actually got      rogations in the Federal Register,
was something far short. How far        providing Congress an opportu-
short is hard to figure because the     nity for oversight. Congress might
deal reached with the adminis-          not want to hold its breath. White
tration provides few details about      House spokesman Tony Snow
how far CIA interrogators would         said Friday he wasn’t sure that
be able to go in their attempts to      step would be “compulsory.”
extract information from terror-            The legislation also unequivo-
ism suspects.                           cally suspends a bedrock princi-                                                                                    YOUR OPINION
    The agreement defines “grave        ple of American justice — a sus-
breaches” of the Geneva Conven-
tions and declares them felony
                                        pect’s right to his day in court.
                                        Detainees selected by the Penta-
                                                                                                                       Encourage federal lawmakers to approve Social Security Fairness Act
war crimes. But the legislation         gon for prosecution would have
leaves it to the White House to         access to the courts, but other ter-             To the editor:                        and in jobs where they earned            earned themselves.                        to state, there are affected indi-
draw the line on grey-area prac-        ror suspects could be held indefi-               The Social Security Fairness          Social Security benefits, such as            This is an education issue —          viduals everywhere. The num-
tices that don’t rise to that level     nitely without a hearing. At the             Act would repeal the Govern-              educators who do not earn Social         the offsets affect student learn-         ber of people affected grows
but could still be tantamount to        same time, the measure would                 ment Pension Offset (GPO) and             Security in the public schools, but      ing by discouraging talented              every day as more people reach
torture; the administration also        broaden the definition of unlaw-             the Windfall Elimination Provi-           who work part time or during the         people from entering and stay-            retirement age.
would get to decide how viola-          ful combatant, allowing the fed-             sion (WEP).                               summer in jobs covered by Social         ing in the education profession.              The loss of income forces
tions should be punished.               eral government to detain more                   The pension offset reduces            Security. The WEP also affects           Individuals who worked in oth-            some people into poverty. Some
    No one knows which interro-         people indefinitely.                         public employees’ Social Securi-          people who move from a job in            er careers are less likely to want        300,000 individuals lose an av-
gation techniques would be al-              Despite these critical unan-             ty spousal or survivor benefits           which they earn Social Security          to become teachers if doing so            erage of $3,600 a year due to
lowed. Fewer than 10 percent of         swered questions and concerns,               by two-thirds of their public             to a job, such as teaching, in           will mean a loss of earned So-            the GPO — an amount that can
the members of Congress have            Republicans probably were going              pension. The windfall provision           which they do not.                       cial Security benefits.                   make the difference between
even been told which techniques         to push through the legislation              reduces the earned Social Secu-               Why should these offsets be              The GPO and WEP are also              self-sufficiency and poverty. Af-
were used in the past.                  before leaving Friday night on               rity benefits of an individual            repealed?                                causing current educators to              fected people have less money
    Sen. John McCain, the Arizona       their election recess. Democrats,            who also receives a public pen-               The offsets penalize people          leave the profession, and stu-            to spend locally and sometimes
Republican who was tortured in a        fearful of getting painted as soft           sion from a job not covered by            who have dedicated their lives           dents to choose courses of study          have to turn to expensive gov-
Vietnamese POW camp, tried to           on terrorists, are offering little op-       Social Security.                          to public service by taking away         other than education. The offsets         ernment programs like food
add some definition over the            position.                                        The GPO affects people who            benefits they have earned. Nine          will particularly hinder efforts to       stamps to make ends meet.
weekend, naming three measures              How we treat captives in the             work as federal, state, or local          out of 10 public employees af-           attract new math and science                  We cannot afford to wait any
— extreme sleep deprivation,            war on terror reflects our deep-             government employees — includ-            fected by the GPO lose their en-         teachers from the private sector,         longer. Tell our federal represen-
forced hypothermia and water-           est values as a nation. The policy           ing educators, police officers and        tire spousal benefit, even               who will be unwilling to sacri-           tatives to pass the Social Securi-
boarding — that would not be al-        deserves more time and consid-               firefighters — if the job is not cov-     though their spouse paid Social          fice earned Social Security from          ty Fairness Act (H.R. 147/S. 619)
lowed. But the White House re-          eration than Congress is giving              ered by Social Security. The WEP          Security taxes for many years.           their prior careers.                      to repeal the GPO and WEP!
fused to confirm his assessment.        it.                                          affects people who worked in jobs         The WEP causes hard-working                  This is a national problem.               Signed,
                                                                                     not covered by Social Security            people to lose benefits they             Because people move from state                Mario Zaragoza, M. Ed.


                                COLUMN                                                                Nixon-Alexander game a good one,but LISD needs a new field                                                    Aleutian Island veterans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          plan reunion
    Fight on terror                                                                      To the editor:
                                                                                         Last Friday night, I attend-
                                                                                      ed the football game between
                                                                                                                             field in another location. The
                                                                                                                             parking lot and the visitor
                                                                                                                             stands at Shirley Field do not
                                                                                                                                                                     ers on the same side of the
                                                                                                                                                                     scoreboard covered the bot-
                                                                                                                                                                     tom information.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     To the editor:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Aleutian Island Military Veter-


    just beginning
                                                                                      Nixon and Alexander at                 accommodate the large num-                 It may be best to move this              ans will reunite November 8-10,
                                                                                      Shirley Field. The old stadium         ber of fans. Cars are spilling          good-looking scoreboard                     2006 at 2 p.m. in Laughlin, Nev.
                                                                                      has luscious green grass and a         into the streets and neighbor-          where people can see the                        All service branches’ veter-
                                                                                      great-looking digital score-           hoods.                                  timeouts remaining, ball loca-              ans, guests and spouses are wel-
                                                                                      board. Both teams have sharp               The visiting team does not          tion and yardage for the first              come.
           By GARY HARMON               notwithstanding.                              uniforms with great support-           have the same amount of spec-           down. Football fans like to                     For information and/or regis-
          COX NEWS SERVICE                     February 1993 — The first              ing bands and cheerleaders.            tator seats as the home team.           keep informed through out the               tration blank, send self-ad-
                                        attack on the World Trade Cen-                The game lived up to the hype          As a result we were forced to           game.                                       dressed, stamped envelope to Al
         RAND JUNCTION, Colo.           ter. Osama bin Laden is charged

G
                                                                                      and was good for local high            sit in the end zone seats. We              How’s ’bout a new stadium,               King, POB 130327, Sunrise
         — If you didn’t think so be-   in the case, and a grand jury                 school sports.                         sat in the end zone seats oppo-         LISD?                                       Florida 33313, or e-mail request
         fore, the past five years      takes pains to point out his work-               It is certainly obvious that        site the scoreboard side and               Signed,                                  to: williwawal@aol.com
and the past five days should have      ing arrangement with Iraq. He                 high school football is huge           noticed that the digital score-            Fred Arce                                    Signed,
been convincing.                        remains free to work on other                 here in Laredo. I think it’s           board was partially covered.               Mustang ’87                                  Al King
    We are in for a long, painful       projects, such as American em-                time to build another football         Fans standing on the bleach-               Coached by Gene Sharp                        Sunrise, Fla.
and likely disappointing wait be-       bassy bombings in East Africa in
fore the war we became aware of         1998.
on Sept. 11, 2001, can be consid-
ered won.
                                               2000 — The U.S.S. Cole is at-
                                        tacked and 17 sailors die. Ameri-
                                                                                                                             County treasurer’s request for salary parity should be denied
    One reason is that so many are      can leaders, and the nation, shrug.
so eager to return to those halcy-          The most bitter battles are re-              To the editor:                        good collaborative working re-           eration of the taxpayers. When            serve to be paid an honest day’s
on days when we could simply pi-        served for Americans them-                       It is with great regret that I        lationship between our county            she filed her lawsuit she placed          pay for an honest day’s work.
geonhole terrorism as a mere            selves.                                      write this letter but circum-             treasurer’s office and auditor’s         all Webb County taxpayers on              We also understand that elected
crime unworthy of more firepow-             Today, infighting in govern-             stances compel this submission.           office producing better account-         notice that parity pay was her            officials know what these
er than subpoenas and sum-              ment results in release of a                     The continued request for             ing practices within the finan-          special interest. The lawsuit             salaries are when they run for
monses, some of them actually           cherry-picked National Intelli-              parity salary request from elect-         cial payments and investments            cost taxpayers several thousand           office. The sacred trust of being
delivered.                              gence Estimate that concludes                ed officials is nothing short of a        of our community?                        dollars, dropping of the case not         elected is not license to pad
    Presidents Reagan, Bush and         the war in Iraq has increased                scandal. In less than two years               Those are the questions that         withstanding.                             your personal pocket book, but
Clinton all treated terrorism as        terrorism.                                   of her re-election, our county            should be answered before any                Elected officials need to un-         to serve.
criminal activity deserving of jail-        That, of course, is much like a          treasurer continues to put her            pay adjustments should be con-           derstand that the working men                 Annual budgets are not
time and therapy.                       creditor getting hold of your bank           own interest before that of the           sidered. Hold fast, dear County          and women of this community,              mandates to include raises year
    That one believed that more         records, looking solely at the               tax-paying public. The reason             Commissioners, to the princi-            the residents, which they are             after year. Let’s remember who
strongly than others is beside the      withdrawals and telling you                  for the request is simply parity          ples of service/productivity be-         duty bound to serve, are watch-           pays those checks, who puts the
point.                                  you’re bankrupt.                             to be paid at the rate of the dis-        fore parity; the voting public,          ing. Take note to remember                money in the treasury for those
    To a greater or lesser degree           No truth-in-intel rules, howev-          trict clerk and county clerk.             the taxpaying public, deserve            who pays these salaries, not the          checks to be covered. Or will
and for varying reasons, all of         er, apply in the war for Capitol                 The request is not based on           no less.                                 commissioner’s court but the              the taxpayers have to teach you
them chose stability and sacri-         Hill.                                        service. Has the county treasur-              How much less do residents           tax-paying public. The people,            that next Election Day?
ficed initiative.                           We have yet to be shaken free            er increased productivity? Is the         have to do without because               who work every day, trying to                 These are issues that compel
    There is no reason, absent          of the level of consciousness that           automated payroll system in               elected official feel they deserve       make ends meet, give their chil-          individuals to try to effect
Sept. 11, to believe that George W.     evaluates the world as though                place? Has innovation within              more? Shame on our county                dren a better future than their           change in our local government;
Bush would have done things             “The West Wing” was reality TV               the treasurer’s office produced           treasurer who states that she            own.                                      our work is truly not done yet.
much differently and no reason to       and “Survivor” a foreign-policy              tangible savings to the taxpay-           dropped her previous lawsuit                 The public well understands               Signed,
think he’d have been much criti-        seminar.                                     ers of Webb County? Is there a            (over this same issue) in consid-        that our elected officials de-                Javier H. Martinez Jr.
cized.                                      That’s perhaps why we don’t
    Still, it’s worth a quick look      have a good idea of what victory
back at what happened and the           in the War on Terror actually
outcome:                                might look like: We haven’t had a                                                                      DOONESBURY | GARRY TRUDEAU
       1972 — Yasser Arafat mas-        world without terror, though we
terminded the murders of 11 Is-         have had lots of faux peace.
raeli athletes at the Olympics in           Now that we’re beginning to
Munich. Arafat goes on to a Nobel       rebel against the status quo, the
Peace Prize and 44 visits to the        costs will grow ever higher, but
Clinton White House, not one ar-        it’s remembering that the price to
rest.                                   get here hasn’t been cheap, ei-
       1983 — 241 Marines died in       ther.
a suicide-bomb blast in Beirut,             It was a largely carefree stroll
Lebanon. Today, Lebanon is a            into these dangerous woods, and
client state of Hezbollah, which        it will take a long forced march to
means, by the way, Party of God,        get out of them.
or Allah, take your pick. It in-            (Gary Harmon writes for the
dulges in terrorism and outright        Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sen-
war as it wishes and won’t disarm       tinel. He may be reached at ghar-
anytime soon, the United Nations        mon@gjds.com)

				
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