The destruction of tapes of interrogations by the CIA is alarming ("CIA destroyed two interrogation tapes," Dec. 7). Such practices are commonplace in totalitarian regimes. They have no legitimacy in a democracy.
There is no doubt that the goal of preserving the anonymity of the interrogators is important. There is also no doubt that the goal could have been achieved without destroying the tapes.
The actions taken are an outrage - for the interrogated individuals, for the ability to determine the effectiveness of the methods used to extract "confessions," for those who regard law and justice as the cornerstone of democracy, and for those who hope that there will be accurate, authentic and reliable history of this era.
It is ironic that an administration that regularly makes claims about learning from the past has taken steps to make it difficult, if not impossible, to preserve knowledge for future critical historical scholarship.
David R. Applebaum
I had to turn to page two to read the story about the Omaha mall shooting ("Nine die in Omaha mall; shots wound five others," Dec. 6). Nine people die in this senseless tragedy and all that makes the front page is a photo with a headline?
Have we become so numb to shootings that we don't want to face what is happening in our homeland?
How many lives need to be lost before controls are put on purchasing weapons?
To those who want to argue inalienable rights, I say think about your mother, brother, sister, child, baby, in the mall, or in school, calmly going about their business when a mentally deranged person shoots them dead or cripples them for life.
Is that what it will take before you realize that we need limits on lethal weapons?
As a cancer survivor cured at Fox Chase Cancer Center, I am in favor of the center's expansion, even though it would take away some of Burholme Park ("Fox Chase expansion: A move benefiting all," Nov. 30).
I agree that using park land for commercial uses can be unwise, and breaking someone's will is probably wrong. However, circumstances change from when wills were written, and many years later there can be a good reason to break one.
Where are the priorities of those against the expansion? They live with a driving range and miniature golf course, which take up much of the park but serve few people and are only in use part of the year, but don't want a hospital?
The Fox Chase community comprises hard-working individuals who care deeply about their families, homes and neighborhood. Those in opposition to the Fox Chase Cancer Center expansion aren't concerned about losing a driving range - they are concerned about preserving their community (Inquirer, Nov. 30).
The center has been a good neighbor and is admirably waging a battle against a lethal foe, which compromises the quality of life for so many. Similarly, many in our neighborhood are striving to do the same and preserve a great community's quality of life - not a place to tee off.