Vicious, loathsome

Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I am puzzled by your choice of Outside editorial in Friday's (9 May) Empire. I hope it was only meant to demonstrate just how low a political attack can get. When the editor of the Augusta Chronicle imagines he can see inside Sen. Robert Byrd's and Rep. Henry Waxman's heads and find there a desire for "something to go terribly wrong in America - a collapsed economy or another terrorist attack," he is engaging in not only character assassination but the depths of irresponsibility.

Sen. Byrd and Rep. Waxman believe that something has gone terribly wrong in America. And, a collapsed economy or another terrorist attack are possibilities. These are dangerous times. To claim that one's political enemies wish for the nation to suffer catastrophe is not only absurd but base and reckless, contributing to a climate of tolerance for domestic repression. (One hopes that Attorney General Ashcroft maintains more control over his own imagination than the Chronicle editor does, since these days Mr. Ashcroft does not need probable cause to put people away for a long time.)

The editorial can only be described in its own terms: vicious, loathsome. Let's hope its style does not catch on here.

John Dunker

Juneau



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