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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's nominee to head

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's nominee to head the CIA, is sworn in before testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 9 in Washington. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Alex Brandon

Not buying promise for East Side Access

The May 3 news story “MTA exec: Work done by 2022,” about a pledge by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to finish the East Side Access project by 2022, is the latest in a series going back to the original 2009 completion date. Those broken promises were made by a series of MTA officials who have come and gone, leaving riders empty-handed.

Just as bad, the MTA has repeatedly increased the budget, from $3.5 billion in 2001 to $11.2 billion today (not counting $600 million in financing charges and up to $4 billion more in related projects that are not included in the East Side Access official budget). Over time, they have pushed back the first day of service by 13 years.

A cat has nine lives, and this project long ago used all of them.

Larry Penner,

Great Neck

Editor’s note: The writer is retired from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration.

The president and the special counsel

After reading the May 3 editorial, “Our rule of law under pressure,” I have one simple question that the president and his supporters in Congress seem unwilling to answer: If there was no collusion or obstruction of justice, why won’t President Donald Trump meet with special counsel Robert Mueller and bring the Russian probe to an end?

A lot of time and energy are being spent opposing the special counsel’s progress when there is more important work to be done.

In six months, midterm congressional elections will be held, but the administration and Republican-controlled Congress have made little effort to prevent interference in our electoral process. What are they waiting for?

Margaret Bell,West Islip

Newsday’s editorial states that the president has two choices: Answer the questions from special counsel Robert Mueller or plead the Fifth Amendment.

Actually, he has a third choice. He would simply lie. He’s good at it, and his lies have been believed by many.

Why should he change his ways now? The threat of impeachment or perjury won’t stop him.

Christine Parker,Middle Island

The United States and the use of torture

For those who say reject Gina Haspel to head the CIA, let me remind you that nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, including those at the Twin Towers [“Senate should reject CIA pick,” Editorial, May 11].

Let me also remind you of the beheadings we watched in horror. Before they say reject the president’s nominee, maybe we should ask the families who lost loved ones or never found a family member. Do we remember those who jumped off the burning buildings? I’m sure they were tortured by their decision.

You can’t fight terrorists with love, kindness and flowers. What Haspel did to save lives then should be commended, not condemned. Haspel would be an asset to America and the CIA. Let’s hope we never forget the tragedy of 9/11 and all the terrorist attacks here and abroad.

Patrick Nicolosi,Elmont

Your editorial about Gina Haspel says that by not torturing our captives, we spare our soldiers from being tortured.

The premise is false. Please give me a single instance when our moral principles to not torture prisoners has resulted in keeping our soldiers from being tortured when captured by the Germans, Japanese, Chinese, North Koreans and various terrorist groups in any conflict in which the United States was involved.

Did John McCain not get tortured by the North Vietnamese because we would not torture captured enemy soldiers during that conflict? Obviously, the answer is no.

Tom Colangelo,Dix Hills

Why not put South Shore off limits, too?

The May 9 news story “NY: No Hamptons wind farms” reports that New York State has requested that areas off the Hamptons coast be removed from consideration, citing concerns including visual, fishing, cable crossings, etc.

How different are those concerns from those in many other beachfront communities on the South Shore of Long Island?

Perhaps the major difference is the wealthy residents and visitors to the East End whom the governor mingles with.

Anne Leonardi,Mastic Beach

Blown-over recycling bins spread trash

I walk my dog through a local preserve. I take a bag for my dogs’ deposits and another bag to pick up recyclable debris.

Beer bottles and plastic bags from drugs are left by lazy people in the woods, kids hanging out, etc. However, I think milk containers, vitamin jars and yogurt containers come from residents’ blown-over recycling cans. How about a hinged lid on these things? Or a weighted bottom? Let’s rethink our recycling bins.

Jennifer Grabowski,Farmingdale