Dodging blame

Upon viewing CBS News'

60 Minutes

interview with former CIA director George Tenet, I couldn't believe the gall of this supposedly hardworking civil servant. He had the audacity to attempt to squirm out of responsibility for 9/11. He placed blame on everyone but himself.

He could have checked with the British and discovered that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq. He could have asked the average American whether Iraq was really a menace to us. Instead, he went to war with that bundle of liars - President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, and others.

John T. Quinn

Can't quit in Iraq

Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has declared the Iraq war "lost." Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) has promised that it is only a matter of time before Democrats get their way on troop withdrawal. Are we going to have April 1975 all over again?

Senators, you and I are old enough to remember how the Vietnam War ended. Remember the shameful sight of the outreached hands of our friends as the last helicopter left the U.S. embassy? The thousands killed, the re-education camps, the boat people? Then there were the killing fields of Cambodia. Remember that?

We will see similar suffering if we leave an unstable Iraq. Emboldened terrorists will destabilize governments in neighboring countries. I mean, after leaving Iraq will we really go back to save Kuwait or Jordan?

So, senators, fund the troops' efforts. If the surge fails, it will be George W. Bush's war. If you persist in attempting to make this another Vietnam, it's your defeat.

Charles Pillar

Where can water go?

Until about 100 years ago, the Delaware Valley was a giant sponge. Woodlands and farms covered both sides of the river. When it rained, the leaf cover and farms soaked up the water, filtering it into underground aquifers. When the soil became saturated, streams carried the excess to the Delaware River and finally to the ocean. At times, the Delaware breached its banks onto a flood plain.

Over the past century, we've paved over this sponge with developments, malls and highways. The aquifers are mostly gone. When a storm dumps several inches of rain, most of the water goes directly to streams and the river. Areas are soon flooded, causing millions of dollars in damage.

We've built cities, towns and residential areas in our flood plains. Trenton, Yardley, New Hope and Lambertville are prime examples, and all have suffered devastating floods.

During drier periods, the aquifers used to feed thousands of springs, which kept streams flowing to the Delaware. This constant flow kept the salt line at the bay. Now, the salt line is at Philadelphia, 100 miles from the ocean. So what's to blame for our water woes? Global warming?

Frank Flicker

Pro-union bias

If anyone has questions about what kind of mayor Bob Brady would be, one need only to refer to a comment attributed to him in The Inquirer ("Maker of the deal, keeper of peace," April 23). He says he will demand that contracts for congressional printing go only to union shops. In other words, hardworking businesses that may be equally (or more) qualified and, perhaps, less costly to taxpayers, will not be considered.

I'm not sure why Rep. Brady feels he has the right to allow his union bias to influence decisions that have no business being decided on the basis of union loyalty. Such biases have been common in Philadelphia for years, and look at the city's never-ending appetite for more tax dollars. I guess the congressman will fit right in to the culture of cronyism, inefficiency and poor management.

Here's a novel idea, Congressman: How about opening congressional print jobs to the most highly qualified, yet least expensive, vendor?

Robert Morris