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LETTERS: King ignites firestorm

Peter King provokes

a fierce debate on LI

I'm shocked at Rep. Peter King's scurrilous remarks ["An LI battler takes on terror," News, Dec. 31].

After his ill-thought quip about our president having liberal DNA, King goes on to say what our country needs is waterboarding and racial profiling. This is the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee?

He gets in deeper by saying a Scandinavian grandma could not be a terrorist. Maybe our congressman would like every "Muslim- looking" passenger tortured for 10 or 15 minutes before boarding an aircraft.

Jerry Lamonica


Politicians like Rep. Peter King provide a laundry list of tough measures to fight the "war on terror," but ignore the root cause of why there are a growing number of people who want to cause us harm. King should take a little time to focus on U.S. foreign policies, our invasion and occupation of two Muslim countries, drone attacks that kill more civilians than terrorists, and U.S. proxy governments in the Middle East that abuse the civil rights of their citizens. These policies will continue to foster new generations of "jihadists," create a recruiting tool for al-Qaida, and none of King's measures will protect us.

Jack Pepitone

West Hempstead

While I'm not necessarily a fan of Rep. Peter King, his ideas are sorely needed in the Senate and the Oval Office, where the safety of the country doesn't seem to be as high a priority as redistributing wealth, absurd health care plans and socializing the country.

At a minimum, the debate King is igniting is very healthy for the country. And unlike Sens. Christopher Dodd and Ben Nelson, Majority Leader Harry Reid wouldn't be able to buy King's silence or vote.

Frank Anderson

Roslyn Heights

I was surprised and disappointed that Newsday would give such prominence to Rep. Peter King's so-called 10 ways to combat terrorism. Together, they merely constitute a reprise of King's political agenda - omitting, for some reason, his advocacy of English as our official language.

Except for the call for greater airport security and better use of our intelligence database, two measures on which we can all agree, his proposals, including waterboarding, are exactly those that have inspired animus against the U.S. and made us less, rather than more, secure.

Robert W. Mackreth


Regarding Rep. Peter King's war on terror, I suggest King reduce his list to just two. One, shred the U.S. Constitution, and two, bring back the Spanish Inquisition.

V.W. Walsh


Thank you, Rep. Peter King, for reminding our current president that there is still a war on terror ["Obama: Let's put end to terror," News, Dec. 29].

The administration is in denial of our current conflict with Islamic extremists. This continued ignorance is going to cost American lives. His flaccid response to the attempted Christmas Day bombing should have us concerned. For Janet Napolitano to state that the situation was handled OK is evidence that homeland security is now based on luck and the courage of potential victims.

Obama must address terrorists as enemy combatants, not mere criminals. These attacks are a coordinated attempt to kill American citizens by the hundreds, and totally destroy the airline industry, so vital to our economy. Al-Qaida needs to be dealt with harshly and eliminated.

Michael Fitzpatrick

Massapequa Park

Rep. Peter King has set himself up as the voice of righteous indignation, criticizing how the Obama administration is dealing with terrorism. Given his past role as a supporter and advocate for the Irish terrorist organization, the IRA, it's kind of like listening to a reformed drunk give a speech at a temperance rally.

When the IRA's murder of Lord Mountbatten and its relentless bombing campaign in Britain and Ireland persuaded most American politicians to avoid IRA support groups, King continued his support of these terrorists. In 1982, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: "We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry." That sounds eerily like the sentiments voiced by Osama bin Laden about today's terrorists.

Alexander J Kelly


What is security, anyway? ["Where it all fell through the cracks," News, Dec. 30.] Does not the security of the 300 million persons in the United States require far more than the avoidance of the possible violence that a handful of people armed with weaponry might commit? Are not food, clothing, shelter, education, healthy lives, a sustainable environment that offers reasons to be hopeful about the future - and many other matters - more pressing than living in fear of terrorists? Must our society always go from crisis to crisis, without any sense of balance between competing problems?

Robert M. Goldberg


Those readers who are critical of Rep. Peter King's strong stand on terrorists and support for profiling should be reminded that Americans have been practicing various forms of prejudice since the Mayflower landed. African-Americans still endure profiling for no reason other than the color of their skin.

Native Americans and other minorities have all experienced discrimination for both religious and ethnic reasons. Muslim terrorists are obsessed with hatred of the U.S. So it no surprise that Americans view such people with suspicion. When such people are among large numbers of Americans in a confined area, they should be isolated and the reason for their presence investigated. It is a regrettable state of affairs, but one that has been earned for them by their brethren. That's just the way it is.

William F. Haffey