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New state law on criminal evidence will endanger witnesses

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A new state law will require prosecutors to give defense lawyers the names and contact information of witnesses [“Discovery law rollout worries DAs,” News, Oct. 29]. It is an invitation to threaten and silence grand jury witnesses. It is poorly thought out.

I doubt that Albany lawmakers know about Mildred Green. During the crack wars, Green bravely testified before a grand jury in Queens in 1987 about a shootout she saw while working as a taxi dispatcher in South Jamaica. Her identity was compromised — and her reward for testifying was to be shot to death by thugs during her midnight shift at a cab stand on Linden Boulevard.

I was a homicide policeman then, and seeing her lying there with the top of her head gone is something never forgotten. This was retaliation because she had testified against a drug dealer.

Now, we as a society are going make it easier for a repeat of this savage killing — all in the name of what?

I think politicians should do their due diligence and revisit some of, if not all, of the new discovery law. Do it for Mildred Green.

Danny Collins,

Holbrook

Editor’s note: The writer, now retired, served in NYPD from 1971 to 1992 and was a sergeant in the Queens homicide squad.

Criticism of Army officer is sickening

When I trained to become a U.S. Army officer, we were taught never to obey an unlawful order no matter who issued it. We also were taught to report such transgressions to the proper authorities.

Politicians and others who attempt to portray Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as a traitor or a politically motivated person are also, whether they know it or not, attempting to shame the U.S. Army Officer Corps [“Army officer testifies,” News, Oct. 30]. Vindman came forward to give his recollection of the July phone call between the U.S. and Ukraine presidents.

I spent over three years as a U.S. Army officer working in Germany under NATO and the 32nd Air Defense Command. The threat from Russia is real. Patriots like Vindman represent the best America has to offer: courage, honor and commitment to the best interests of the nation.

I am sickened by attempts to discredit this hero. May God and the better angels of our government systems protect him.

Robert J.P. Alagna,

East Meadow

Mattituck farmers personify resilience

Thank you for honoring my friends Martin and Carol Sidor and son Chris with a photo essay about their potato farm in Mattituck [“Betting the farm,” LI Life, Oct. 27]. Martin, Carol and I were in the Class of 1969 at Mercy High School in Riverhead.

Here in the Midwest, we are regular promoters of their North Fork Potato Chips. A visit back to Long Island in most years includes a visit with the Sidors. They remind me what the words resilient and togetherness really mean!

Maureen (Moe) Flynn-Hart,

Kansas City, Missouri

  

Poor choice of words for terrorist’s death

A book called “The Dictionary of Cliches” tells us that the expression “die like a dog” dates to ancient Greece, meaning a miserable death unattended and unburied.

President Donald Trump’s use of those words to describe the death of terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — and Newsday’s decision to quote him in a headline — did a significant disservice to the heroic dogs that helped track down the Islamic State leader and to dogs in general [“He died like a dog,” News, Oct. 28].

The highly trained war dogs (and their handlers) did their job at great risk, and one of the animals was injured.

Al-Baghdadi did not die like a dog; he died like the devious terrorist he was, by his own hand and method.

The president also said on Sunday, “The world is now a much safer place.” A headline with those words would have provided a more positive perspective on global safety and on the complex and dangerous operation.

Michael I. Kaplow,

Melville

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Siberian Husky Club of Greater New York.

  

Right and left are not equally anti-Semitic

On Oct. 17, your editorial board rightly denounced recent anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York State, including the swastika graffiti in Nissequogue River State Park [“Disturbing signs of hate,” Editorial].

However, I found a letter of Oct. 27 [“Anti-Semitism also comes from the left”], in which a reader chided the board for focusing its condemnation on white supremacists and other far-right extremists, abhorrent. There is no question as to where the vast majority of anti-Semitic hatred and vitriol come from and who poses an imminent threat to the Jewish community. When we entertain calls for false balance, we enable that hatred and foster that threat.

Matthew Zeidman,

New Hyde Park

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