Shame at Abu Ghraib

Over a thousand people have been released from the Abu Ghraib prison. If these prisoners were guilty, then why were they set free? If they were innocent, then why were they detained in the first place?

No prisoner, whether civilian or soldier, foreign or American, should be subjected to torture and sexual abuse.

Chuck MannGreensboro NC


I am an opponent of the death penalty in the U.S. and work for a UK-based organization called “LifeLines,” which provides friendship and support for those on death row in the States. I would be extremely interested to know how I could obtain or view the documentary ‘Deadline’ here in the UK. (“New documentary indicts death penalty,” by Emile Schepers, PWW 6/19-25.)

Apologies for such a vague request, but I would be very grateful if you could let me know if there is anyone I may contact who might be able to help.

Elizabeth PeppiattVia e-mail, United Kingdom

Author’s reply: This is the link to contact the film folks, which contains valuable action connections, including with the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University. http://www.dead


I work for Working America in St. Louis, and was glad to see a mention of the organization in the World. (I took my copy into the office and the page was copied and handed out to the workers.) Thanks again.

Glenn BurleighSt. Louis MO

No faith in Bush

It’s difficult to have any faith in President Bush’s timetable for holding Iraqi elections a mere six months from now. We mustn’t forget that, despite having U.S. troops there for nearly three years, boldly predicted elections in Afghanistan have yet to materialize and were recently postponed again due to nationwide anarchy. The prospect for Iraqi electoral stability appears to be even more daunting. And just how can the Bush administration hope to determine that a vengeful, anti-American leadership won’t emerge from any truly free Iraqi elections?

It can’t. Thus, the desperate installation as interim prime minister of Iyad Allawi, the CIA-tied Iraqi exile who’s now charged with arranging the ground for elections in January. But, the Kurds are already threatening to break away from his quisling government and Shiites are becoming disillusioned with a growing US reliance on former Baathists, like Allawi. Given how hapless the U.S. occupation has already proven to be, it’s probable that it won’t be long before Allawi and his associates are once again living in London and Iraqi elections are deferred due to a shortage of “credible” candidates.

Cord MacGuireBoulder CO

Okay Ashcroft, where are they?

Why haven’t even five out of the hundreds of detainees, after long periods of secret incarceration following 9/11, given press interviews about their prison treatment while held in the U.S.? “Where are they?” should be the question now asked by the press.

It could cause a scandal in the U.S. if human rights groups, countries and American citizens were to ask Bush and Ashcroft for a list of the detainees Ashcroft claims to have “sent home” last year after being held incommunicado on U.S. soil.

Americans should consider if the Bush government is involved in the torturing and beating to death of Iraqi prisoners now, what will happen to U.S. citizens in the future when arrested in the U.S. in the name of “national security” if the U.S. Supreme Court rules this month that U.S. citizens can be arrested and detained forever, without charges ever being filed when the government deems someone to be a “national security threat.”

R. Striker Via e-mail

A vote for electronic voting

Those who are creating chaos about electronic voting machines are sabotaging themselves if their goal is to elect John Kerry. In November, most people will be voting on the same machines they did on 2000. The less technologically advanced the machine is, the higher the error rate. This is bad news for poor and minority voters, who are most apt to live in jurisdictions that use old machines and whose votes are crucial to a Kerry win.

Your efforts to scare people about electronic voting machines (which would accurately count and effectively enfranchise poor and minority voters) have hampered the purchases of new equipment and turned attention away from reforms of a higher priority. In the next few months, please focus your efforts on realistic solutions and problems. A paper trail does nothing to enfranchise voters and is not possible by November.

Your continued hysteria will force another election with historically disenfranchised voters using old, unreliable voting equipment. And another election where millions of votes weren’t counted.

Lucille HibbardVia e-mail

A good source of news

This might surprise you but I am a moderate-right Republican that loyally reads your newspaper. I do so because your paper is a good source of news that can’t be found anywhere else.

You cover labor and political campaign issues that one never reads about in other newspapers. You are up-front on your opinions and how others can support your causes. And above all, you are true to your beliefs on the topics you cover. I look forward to reading next week’s issue.

John E. ArmstrongVia e-mail