LETTERS: Can R-J columnist handle the truth?

To the editor:

It is amazing that Steve Sebelius’ memory or research ability is so failing. In his Sunday Review-Journal column (“We demand the truth!”), he deems it necessary to find the truth about the war in Iraq. Had Mr. Sebelius searched his memory or attempted a simple search of the Internet, he would have found the investigation he decries has in fact occurred and is published.

In June 2003, four months after the U.S. and its allies invaded Iraq, a Senate investigation began. In July 2004, the Senate Report on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Intelligence was released. In May 2007, portions of phase two were released. Nine Republican and eight Democratic senators conducted the investigation.

The vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Jay Rockefeller D-W.Va., stated in a press release for the published report, “While the report highlights many of the problems with the intelligence and criticizes the Bush Administration for its handling of the lead-up to the war and its reasons for doing so, the report also supports in many cases that claims made by the Bush Administration about Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programs were generally substantiated by the intelligence.”

What Mr. Sebelius demands was in fact initiated and published several years ago. To Mr. Sebelius’ comment on the deaths of American soldiers, heroes all, here are some facts he should ponder, considering his stance on gun control: Between 2003 and 2011, 4,265 people were murdered in the city of Chicago, and 7,672 people were murdered in the city of New York. Even Mr. Sebelius is aware these two cities have the some of the strictest gun laws in the land

To quote Col. Jessup, “You can’t handle the truth!”



Republican hypocrisy

To the editor:

Kudos to Steve Sebelius for his Sunday column (“We demand the truth!”), exposing the hypocrisy and lunacy that is the current Republican Party. It’s amazing to me that sending more than 4,000 Americans to their grave and tens of thousands to a life filled with the challenges of physical and mental disabilities gave them absolutely no consternation. However, the unfortunate deaths of our ambassador and others in Benghazi rate higher to them than Christ dying on the cross.

Of course, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. These are the same people who decided that mob rule was appropriate when they held the financial stability of the U.S. and the world hostage for a government shutdown, because they wanted to revoke a law that they themselves voted for just four years ago.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Sebelius. You are a refreshing change of pace from the constant hatred and whining tirades published each week by Glenn Cook and Sherman Frederick in the same newspaper section.



Police shootings

To the editor:

OK, let me see if I’ve got this straight. A police officer tells you to stop and put both hands where the officer can see them. At that moment, you can run, jump in or out of a car, run in or out of a house, put up only one hand, keep both hands in your pockets, put one hand behind your back, keep something in one hand, run at the officer, or actually put up both hands, as ordered.

The police officer, on the other hand, is only allowed to draw his weapon and use it to protect himself if a citizen is firing a weapon at him, or charging at him with a knife.

Police officers aren’t super beings. They’re human, just like us. We all have to make split-second decisions. The only difference is that ours probably won’t cost us our job or our life. Let’s all keep this in mind the next time we hear about an issue involving our police. After all, they’re out there to protect us and enforce the law. We don’t have the right to be Monday morning quarterbacks.



Dismal health care

To the editor:

Christmas came early to Fox News and the rest of President Barack Obama’s critics. 

A dismal Affordable Care Act debut and the president’s misleading descriptions (intentional or not) of what Obamacare actually entails have added plenty of fuel to the fire. There is outrage galore, and much of it is deserved. 

I just find it interesting that so many of those outraged about Obamacare never expressed any outrage that the United States, the richest country in the history of the world, ranks a pathetic 37th globally in the quality of its health care system. 

They never expressed outrage that the U.S. spends twice the percentage of its GDP on health care as most other industrialized countries, and at the same time, unlike virtually every other industrialized country, allows millions of its citizens to go without health insurance.

They never expressed outrage that, in this country each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans who saved wisely and spent prudently go bankrupt because someone in the family got sick. Or that insurance companies have been allowed to callously deny coverage to those who need it most. Or that families with very sick children have been notified by their insurance companies that they have reached their lifetime benefits limits by the time their child turned 5 or 6 years old. 

A crummy health care website is indeed unfortunate, and there’s no excuse for it. But it will be fixed. And in the great scheme of things, it’s not nearly as outrageous as all of the other glaring outrages that have been an inherent part of the American health care system for decades.