Secrecy in government: Unethical or unavoidable?
Regarding your Oct. 30 article "Secret 9/11 case before high court": I find it quite troubling that what appears to be a minor deportation case has been sealed in Florida. Since the defendant is out on $10,000 bail, he's probably not considered a terrorist.
Government activities shrouded in secrecy must be carefully monitored. History teaches us that corrupt government is a recurrent problem. We seem to have a government that is willing to abuse its power and hide its activities behind national security and antiterrorism. Our US government has become a wolf in sheep's clothing. I hope that the Supreme Court will not allow this outrage to continue. It will not bode well for our future as a free and open society.
It is obvious to me as a US citizen that the public cannot and will not be permitted to know all there is to government secrets. To open the books for all to see would only ensure the downfall of our country.
College students could very well play a key role in the upcoming primaries and general election ("Who Speaks for College Kids?," editorial, Oct. 24). The issues that concern this ideologically diverse population warrant close watching by policymakers and candidates at all levels of government.
One of the most overlooked facts in American politics is that college students are more likely to register and vote than their noncollege peers and the general population. According to the US Department of Education, 87 percent of college students were registered to vote in 2000, and 78 percent voted in the last presidential election.
These statistics, and those from Harvard's Institute of Politics, help to demythologize the stereotype of today's college student as tuned out and politically unaware. Their attention has been significantly altered by dramatic events in recent years: the 9/11 attacks, the subsequent war on terrorism and in Iraq, the disputed presidential election, and furious protests against economic globalization. I have not seen college students this attuned to current events, and so active in their communities, since the 1960s.
According to recent polls, 85 percent of college students say they follow current events, 61 percent do volunteer work, and 1 in 3 participates in political rallies or demonstrations. More than 5 million college students gave an estimated 1.2 billion hours of community service in 2000. The deep commitment of US colleges and universities to fostering good citizenship has been matched by the energy and seriousness that college students are bringing to American civic life.
David L. Warren
President, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Regarding Dante Chinni's Oct. 28 column "The White House whine: 'It's all the media's fault' ": Yes, it is the media's fault. Amid twisted facts and spins, it's amazing anything close to the truth gets out. If I weren't in direct contact with folk in Iraq, I'd think we were losing. Same with the economy. But has anyone seen the new figures? They don't jibe with what the networks and newspapers have been saying. I'm tired of the bias.
Contrary to President Bush's contention, the press has been giving him a free ride until recently. Unfortunately, it's getting increasingly hard for him to maintain the image of infallibility that he so likes to cultivate. But Mr. Bush is doing more than whining. He's trying to avoid facing the truth about his administration's actions and the consequences of those actions.
Matthew E. Wynne
South Windsor, Conn.
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