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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Letters to the editor

Judith Miller

Reporter's explanation about name in notes just not credible

Editor, The Times:

I'm going to get right to the point: Judith Miller is a known liar on issues of national security, helping to propel a war that caused thousands of innocent deaths ["N.Y. Times reporter, paper break silence in leak probe," page one, Oct. 16].

The caption under her picture in the Sunday Seattle Times quotes her: "... I wrote the name 'Valerie Flame.' ... I simply could not recall where that name came from. ... "

A top reporter cannot remember who gave her that name from her own notes (notes that just appeared)? The Bush administration official who gave her that name is likely guilty of treason for outing a CIA operative and she can't remember? That simply is not credible.

On top of that, Bush officials outed an undercover operative who protected us from WMD. Is there anything more corrupt or vicious?

She lied in her widely published stories for The New York Times about the existence of WMD, helping Bush justify the Iraq war; she will lie about anything to protect herself and her Bush cronies. It's that simple.

— Ted B. Ellis, Shoreline

Greater treason

The (New York) Times keeps lying and people keep dying.

Judith Miller says that she wants to return to the business of reporting on threats to America. The worst thing that has ever been done to the republic was fully supported by Miller and The New York Times.

Prior to this war, The Times had such a good reputation that its word was accepted as the truth. Largely because The Times and Miller reported that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attack and that Iraq intended to use weapons of mass destruction that Miller told us were in Iraq's possession, American people were swayed to support the Iraqi invasion.

By merely reporting the opinions, (the seemingly willful lies) of the Bush administration without question or verification, The New York Times is complicit in morally and financially bankrupting a great nation. Failure of either Miller or The Times to acknowledge the impact of this serious action will destroy their credibility with thinking people for generations. This failure to atone for their role in the war buildup makes Miller and The Times fully complicit in an even greater treason than outing a CIA agent.

— Wyatt Wood, Seattle

Implosion in progress

It is rather obvious that someone is playing the "Flame Game." If Judith Miller did not have the basic reporting skill to double-check a name in her notebook she is, at the very least, a slipshod reporter. If she had been shown the name in writing and thought she saw an "F" where there should have been a "P" it "might" be believable. If she was verbally told that the woman's name was Plame and she heard "Flame" it is quite odd that, since the name is so unusual, she didn't ask her source (I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby) to repeat the name so she could get it right in her notes.

All in all, it seems that this administration is imploding due to its arrogance, incompetence, cronyism and unseemly un-Christian behavior. I predict indictments on a large scale at the highest level of government.

— Don Rogers, Camano Island

U.N. and taxes

Effort would undermine Founders' principle

James J. Na's Oct. 11. guest column "Brace for global taxation" highlights disturbing attempts by United Nations bureaucrats to give unelected and unaccountable international organizations the power to tax the United States. Such attempts fly in the face of this nation's bedrock principle of "no taxation without representation."

Our Founders understood the power to tax as an essential attribute of governmental sovereignty. We should oppose extending taxing powers to anyone not accountable to frequent public elections. The U.S. Constitution vests powers in international affairs in the executive branch, with important checks placed in the other branches. But U.N. taxation undermines our constitutional framework.

Ironically, U.N. bureaucrats seek out supranational taxing powers while the U.N. is itself mired in "oil for food" and other corruption scandals and in desperate need of internal reforms. Trusting our taxes to that unelected body will do nothing to hold power-thirsty bureaucrats in check or clean up the U.N.

— Seth Cooper, Olympia

Tearing us apart

We have reasons to be suspicious of a world government: What's to say that it would be any less corrupt than our own? But James J. Na's column is not really about protecting individual and national sovereignty, it is simply one more cog in the anti-taxation propaganda machine that is helping to tear our city, state and nation apart piece by piece.

Na actually wants us to fear taxes on arms trade and ocean dumping as personal impositions equivalent to sales and property taxes. Then again, such far-fetched comparisons continue to appeal to a populace that has not only transformed itself from a nation of citizens to mere taxpayers, but has enthusiastically accepted that an estate tax is a "death tax," taxes on corporate dividends are "double taxation," and passing on the costs of government to our children and grandchildren is "sound fiscal policy."

The fact that we accept such arguments uncritically is the shame of our education system, and the fact that such disingenuous pieces are published the shame of The Seattle Times.

— Jonathan Kallay, Seattle

Rash of rudeness

Let's try to curb our bad behavior

Re: "Land of the rude: Poll finds Americans behaving badly," [page one, Oct. 15]. This article was somewhat of a relief to me because I have noticed this problem of rude Americans also and found it comforting that other people feel the same.

Just last week I was enjoying a mocha in Starbucks at Bellevue Square and reading a book when a man disrupted my peace with a loud, lengthy conversation with his mother about his recent divorce. After about 15 minutes it was clear that he was not about to finish so I was forced to leave and cut short my relaxing coffee break.

I think with the advances in technology this problem will just get worse and, as the article states, single parenthood is making it difficult to raise respectful, courteous children.

I'm not saying I haven't been rude before either. I'm as much a part of the problem as anyone else. My hope, however, is that Americans will make an effort to reverse this consistent pattern and that we will become a polite nation once again.

— Anna Randall, Kirkland

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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