Missing in action?
Your editorial "High-power enforcers" (Inquirer, Dec. 1) stated that the Inspector General's Office "was too often missing in action" before Seth Williams took over in 2005. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least during the Rendell administration and the beginning of the Street administration.
During that period, the inspector general was Ben Redmond. Under his direction, the Inspector General's Office initiated numerous investigations of wrongdoing by city employees for bribery, extortion, receiving stolen goods, misapplication of funds, fraud, and other crimes, resulting in the arrest and conviction of a number of high-level officials.
Among the cases initiated by Redmond were the arrest, indictment and conviction of Frank Antico (prosecuted by the very person who is to become the next inspector general); the conviction of 13 plumbing inspectors; the theft and identity fraud case involving the Medical Examiner's Office; the Michael Youngblood fraud case; and the state prosecution of officials of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp.
Given that most of these cases were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office, obviously nobody from The Inquirer bothered to contact that office, or anyone in law enforcement for that matter, before making the baseless assertion that the Inspector General's Office was "missing in action."
In the law, that is known as reckless disregard of the facts.
Walter M. Phillips Jr.
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The warming debate
Despite the enormous amount of data gathered, evaluated and accepted by a majority of scientists, Michael Smerconish continues to deny that humans have enough impact to do anything at all regarding global warming ("A mind-frying debate," Dec. 4). In other words, Smerconish feels no need to create new government health and environment regulations.
Smerconish understands that new government regulations would benefit the planet and all citizens, but it would also take a little profit from the wealthy CEOs of huge corporations.
Thanks for nothing, Smerconish.
Clarity on issues
As Rudy Giuliani seeks support from the conservative base of the Republican Party, he has seemed to pledge that, if elected president, he would appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. It may be that some pro-life voters are hearing what they want to hear - rather than what Giuliani is saying.
Giuliani has consistently proclaimed his belief that "a woman's right to choose" is a constitutional right. When he speaks of the Supreme Court, he says he will appoint "strict constructionists," and says his current favorites are John Roberts and Antonin Scalia.
It may be the case that Giuliani admires the scholarship and intellectualism of the two justices he calls his favorites. That is not the same as saying that his view of a strict constructionist justice is one who would overturn
Roe v. Wade
. In fact, if Giuliani holds abortion to be a constitutional right, it would seem fairly obvious that justices he might appoint would take the same view.
It is enormously inconsistent for Giuliani to say, on the one hand, that abortion is a constitutional right, and on the other, to pledge to appoint justices who will overturn
Roe v. Wade
Voters must not be bamboozled with Clintonesque parsing of words. Let's demand clarity from presidential candidates.