Letters to the Editor: July 16, 2014

Guilt by as­so­ci­ation

The U.S At­tor­ney’s of­fice (“NE man, 89, ar­res­ted in con­nec­tion to WWII con­cen­tra­tion camps”; June 25 edi­tion of the North­east Times) just about con­victs an 89-year-old Amer­ic­an cit­izen of war crimes, des­pite the fact that not a shred of evid­ence ex­ists that he as much as touched a hair on the head of any of the con­cen­tra­tion camp pris­on­ers. He says he was was forced to serve as a guard when he was 19 years old.

Let us draw a par­al­lel between Nazi and Com­mun­ist war crimes. Quite a few of those who came to the U.S. from the So­viet Uni­on in the 1970s and ‘80s did not even both­er con­ceal­ing their mem­ber­ship in the Com­mun­ist Party. 

How come our Justice De­part­ment nev­er in­vest­ig­ated and pro­sec­uted them for serving the “evil em­pire” and aid­ing in the per­se­cu­tion of Jew­ish, Ukrain­i­an and oth­er So­viet polit­ic­al dis­sid­ents?   

If a man is con­sidered guilty just be­cause he be­longed to a group (in this case, the camp guards of the Nazi re­gime) — al­though there is no proof of his in­di­vidu­al evil ac­tions — then why not con­sider all those who were mem­bers of the Com­mun­ist Party of the So­viet re­gime as also be­ing guilty by as­so­ci­ation in per­se­cut­ing their free­dom-lov­ing fel­low cit­izens, re­gard­less of wheth­er there is any proof of their in­di­vidu­al guilt?

Leo Iwaskiw


It’s your civic duty

Why do most people avoid ap­pear­ing for jury duty? Maybe it’s be­cause of the in­con­veni­ence of trav­el­ing to Cen­ter City. 

Could it be the enorm­ous sum of $9 paid for each day of ser­vice and the $10 spent for lunch every day? Maybe it’s the sit­ting around wait­ing to be called, and then after you are se­lec­ted, wait­ing for the judge to ap­pear. 

For­get all those ex­cuses. The city says it is your civic duty to serve on jury duty. 

If you don’t, they’re com­ing after you. 

Mar­vin Garber


Con­gress must act now and help our vet­er­ans

Con­gress must act now for our vet­er­ans. The Vet­er­ans Af­fairs’ re­cent scan­dal has ex­cited vet­er­ans’ or­gan­iz­a­tions all across the coun­try de­mand­ing they re­solve the mis­man­age­ment and poor lead­er­ship of VA med­ic­al cen­ters na­tion­wide. 

In­vest­ig­at­ive re­ports con­tin­ue to show there is more than meets the eye. There are deaths of vet­er­ans wait­ing for med­ic­al at­ten­tion for months on end and ill­nesses that have worsened due to lack of at­ten­tion.

Our Con­gress, Sen­ate and Pres­id­ent Obama are on the band­wag­on about want­ing an­swers. Why did they not take ac­tion years ago when they re­ceived com­plaints from vet­er­ans? It was known well over a dec­ade ago about mis­treat­ment. Now we have need­less deaths that could have been pre­ven­ted and ill­nesses that could have been bet­ter treated.

Amer­ica has some of the finest med­ic­al re­sources in the world, but to put those re­sources to work for our vet­er­ans cost dol­lars. Is it cheap­er to bury a vet­er­an than to provide prop­er med­ic­al care for those who fought for our free­dom?

There is an act­ive House Bill HR-543, The Blue Wa­ter Navy Vi­et­nam Agent Or­ange Act. There are 227 co-spon­sors. We need to get this bill out of com­mit­tee to the House floor. This bill will be­come a mile­stone to­ward provid­ing equit­able VA be­ne­fits for thou­sands of vet­er­ans, sav­ing lives and provide bet­ter qual­ity of life.  

I urge all Amer­ic­ans to con­tact their mem­bers of Con­gress who are not co-spon­sors and ask them to be­come co-spon­sors of this im­port­ant le­gis­la­tion. It will also lead to oth­er le­gis­la­tion for vet­er­ans.

John J. Bury


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