Readers Write: Monitor addresses targeted killings; Income inequality is clear and pressing

Letters to the Editor for the March 17, 2014 weekly issue:

The Monitor's attention to any American extrajudicial killings has been solid and dependable.

Income inequality is excessive, and there are ways of reducing it without being unfair to higher-income individuals.

By , Monitor reader , Monitor reader

Monitor coverage of targeted killings

In reference to the Jan. 27 cover story, "An imperial presidency?," letter writer Jack Gribble makes a very effective case in the March 3 issue for the need to respect the Constitution and not target Americans on foreign soil with drone strikes. A Gallup poll last March found that 65 percent of Americans support the use of drone attacks abroad on suspected terrorists, but only 41 percent support the program when the suspected terrorists on foreign soil are US citizens. That last number suggests that in addition to the constitutional price of the program Mr. Gribble articulates, there is also a hefty political price.

I take issue, however, with Gribble's claim that the Monitor did readers a "disservice ... by not focusing on the most egregious issue in [President] Obama's overreach." Even casual scrutiny shows that the Monitor's focus on the issue of the targeting of US citizens began more than a year before radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen in 2011, and it has assertively reported and commented on the issue many times since. While targeted killing may not have been the focus of the Jan. 27 story, the Monitor's attention to any American extrajudicial activity of this nature has been solid and dependable.

David K. McClurkin

Beachwood, Ohio

Income inequality is clear and pressing

Regarding the Jan. 13 Focus story "A tarnished American dream?" and Albert Paparesta's letter in your Feb. 24 Readers Write section pointing out that the term "income inequality" has only a vague meaning: President Obama has not suggested that equality of income can be achieved or even that we should strive for it. But we all know that there are many people in the United States who have incomes that are vastly greater than those of the less fortunate members of our society.

We do not need to quantify the difference in order to know that there is a difference and to understand that those speaking out against income inequality are only saying that the difference is excessive and that there are ways of reducing the impact of the difference without being unfair to higher-income individuals.

John Smith-Hill

Portland, Ore.

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