Today's Letters: The game Congress is playing is ridiculous

Published March 23, 2007

To get at truth, put them under oath March 22, editorial 

The gist of this editorial is that Harriet Miers and Karl Rove will not tell the truth about the U.S. attorneys fired recently unless they are put under oath. What nonsense.

First of all, U.S. attorneys are "political" appointments and can be removed at any time by the president for "political" reasons. They are not protected by civil service guidelines or the Labor Department. No law can be broken by firing them for any reason, fair or unfair. Thus, the attempts to haul Miers and Rove before congressional committees is nothing more than political gamesmanship of a ridiculous nature.

This is not Richard Nixon firing Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal. If these attorneys were not pursuing cases the White House deemed important then they should have been fired. No evidence exists that the president wanted these attorneys to pursue cases that would have harmed Democrats. The liberals in Congress and their yapping dogs in the press should move on to real issues.

Jay Johnson, St. Petersburg


Political angling

When Whitewater was being investigated, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and eventually Monica Lewinsky were uncovered. That was not a fishing expedition in the eyes of the right wing. Trying to uncover the political implications of firing eight U.S. attorneys seems to be a fishing expedition.

What hypocrisy. It seems as though going after a president for his indiscretions was more important than an attempt to eat away at the very foundations of our judicial system.

Jack Levine, Palm Harbor


The people deserve sworn testimony

The White House is refusing to allow presidential adviser Karl Rove to testify under oath regarding what part he or Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may have played in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys for what appear to be political reasons. Instead, the White House is offering to allow Rove to appear before some members of Congress in an unsworn, "interview-style" session.

This is an insult to the American people and the integrity of our judicial process. We have the right to know if these prosecutors were fired for investigating possible wrongdoing by friends of the current administration or if they refused to carry out politically motivated, White House-directed prosecutions. If nothing illegal took place, Rove has nothing to fear. However, if he and others in the administration acted inappropriately, the people have the right to know.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has acted correctly by refusing the offer of unsworn testimony. His committee should compel Rove to testify under oath.

James Jacobs, Tampa


Investigate publicly

Karl Rove and Harriet Miers must testify publicly and under oath about their roles in the firings of U.S. attorneys. All the current evidence shows that these people were fired because they did their jobs and not the bidding of the White House.

The White House has given changing and contradictory accounts about these dismissals. Some of the eight prosecutors fired last year (all of whom were Republican appointees) have alleged that they were removed for failing to pursue politically motivated investigations against Democrats before the midterm elections in November. Recently released e-mails support their case, and show that Rove, Miers and Attorney General Gonzales were all involved.

Politically motivated firings of those charged with investigating political wrongdoing are true attacks on our democracy. This issue must be investigated, fully and publicly.

Tera Griffin-Wade, Safety Harbor


Come clean, for once 

Bush suggests limited interviews of aides March 21

This investigation now under way in Congress over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys has proved that this administration will do anything to hide its wrongdoing. If President Bush himself has nothing to hide, he should allow Karl Rove and others to be put under oath and made to answer questions put to them by members of Congress publicly. Otherwise there will always be questions left unanswered.

During Bill Clinton's two terms in office, there were investigations followed by investigations. Each one found members of the Clinton administrations publicly facing questions coming mostly from Republican members of the Congress. This administration should be forced to do the same. And there should be a way of doing it without the Supreme Court becoming involved.

I am all for the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. However, I would settle for seeing them come clean on just one issue - the firing of those eight lawyers!

Bobby McGill, Valrico


Bush can politicize

I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read what President Bush said Tuesday about having his aides testify to Congress about the firing of the eight U.S. attorneys.

He said, "The initial response by Democrats, unfortunately, shows that some are more interested in scoring political points than in understanding the facts."

President Bush is an obvious expert in scoring political points rather than discussing the facts, since his policy was to make any disagreement with his policies a political issue.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it looks like he doesn't like it too much.

Mark Jacobs, Wesley Chapel


It smells stupid 

Utah girl has the smelliest shoes March 21, brief

For gosh sakes, if this isn't one of the most asinine contests I have ever read about. And to think this has been going on for 32 years!

Why in the world would anyone want the "smelliest" sneakers to brag about? And to top it all off, her mother is "so proud" of her little "stinker."

Oh my! This sort of activity "reeks" with stupidity.

Leah L. Langenheim, Dunedin


Curb song cops 

That free song may lead to a stiff fine March 19, story

Why are our universities rolling over to the demands of the Recording Industry Association of America? The RIAA is forcing university staff to spend time and money (our tax dollars) to not only research student file-sharing abuse, but also to send extortion letters to students.

What's next? Are we to see paid university staffs monitoring the output of every copy machine on campus to be sure print copyrights are preserved for book publishers?

It is time for the state of Florida to tell the RIAA to back off and instruct university leaders to stop complying with these spurious demands.

Fred Jacobsen, Apollo Beach