Ashcroft and the Bill of Rights
Re: “Organize to Bring Back the Bill of Rights”

Nat Hentoff is right on about John Ashcroft and his support of the obscenely misnamed “Patriot Act” , but what about the other players involved? The Bill Clinton-Janet Reno-Louis Freeh administration tried and failed to pass similar measures (e-mail and roving wire taps, sneak-and-peek searches) several times, beginning in 1995. Hentoff wants senators to “confront” Ashcroft about the Patriot Act, but the act passed with 49 of the 50 Democrat votes in the Senate. Why would they confront Ashcroft about the provisions of an act that they all voted for?

Robert Karl

First, Bush stole the election from the American people. Now, he has taken steps to steal power from the US Supreme Court and Congress. What will it take for the American people to wake up and see the Bush agenda for what it is- a coup by the religious right!

Dennis Baker

I am a loyal American and appreciate the freedom our country affords, but fear we won’t be able to keep our integrity and freedom intact while we pursue our enemies around the world. Once we lose our rights, we have already lost the war.

In the current climate, I’m scared to say anything, for fear of being labelled “un-American” or “helping the terrorists.” I even hesitate to voice my opinion in this e-mail. In my opinion, the government needs credibility, and must learn to pursue truth instead of worrying about opinion polls. The so-called “war on drugs” is a sham and a waste, and the “war on terror” is headed for trouble too. It won’t be long before the country’s fickle need for entertainment gets bored with the terrorism war, and the government finds it harder and harder to keep justifying things and keeping our interest.

I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment that our rights are being challenged, and that most citizens don’t know enough to care. I can see why other countries see Americans as lazy and greedy. We don’t care about anything as long as we can keep buying our wasteful, polluting cars and toys. It worries me to think of what we are doing to our world and what lies ahead

Norm Wright


Scrapping the ABM treaty
Re: “A Victory for the Star Wars Lobby”

It is hard to understand the logic of scrapping the ABM treaty. It would seem a rogue nation wanting to attack the United States would be better off to use a weapon with some degree of deniablility, rather than risk an all-out nuclear assault. Sept. 11 should have taught us just such a lesson. What nation would launch a missile at the US when that nation would immediately be held accountable? Wouldn’t it make more sense to for them to use a weapon more anonymous with at least some plausible deniability? Sept. 11 brought just such a threat. There are others.

The anti-ballistic missile system can never work against any real life threat. It only serves to put money into the accounts of the connected and bolster the ego of some anachronistic hard-liners.

And the United States stands alone.

Alan King


Medical Marijuana
Re: “Pot Club Crackdown”

The “war on drugs” policy of throwing everyone in jail is a huge waste of money and a fruitless effort. I believe it is an excuse for our government to take property and use drug convictions for its own ends. I don’t like the death penalty and all drug users who are not violent should be let out of jail today. We need understanding and treatment, not more jails. The only way to take the power away from drugs and crime is to legalize or at least stop throwing everyone in jail. I am tired of stupid policies being imposed on the American people. Congress is not listening to us.

Candace H.
New Orleans, LA