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My email LTE to the Olympian [View All]

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DemoVet Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-20-03 09:19 AM
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My email LTE to the Olympian
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(This LTE grew out of my response to a thread in DU a few days ago about reader responses to the Olympian's "Your thoughts about the war" message board.

I was struck by one of the posts (actually, I think there may have been two) that equated dissent against the war with treason and I decided to respond)

While reading reader responses to your story about the identical "letters to the editor" from soldiers in Iraq that were published in your paper and others, I came upon this:

"What you and the rest of the Democrats and liberal left politicians are doing is called treason. My husband is a retired USAF colonel; he has fought for this country since the Vietnam era, and I resent all this garbage being spread around.
Joan Harding, Lascassas, Tenn. "

I'm finding it harder and harder to take being called a traitor just because of my honest political beliefs. It's no longer a joke, not when it's becoming part of the national lexicon due to the efforts of Ann Coulter and proBush.com. This sort of thing wouldn't have been so out-in-the-open even a few years ago, before Bush and his cronies came to power.

Being called a traitor is no joke, in my mind, but becoming a personal slander on my citizenship and my allegiance to my country, which is no less than any so-called "patriot". It's also potentially dangerous, as those of us who demonstrably disagree with this regime may find ourselves physically harmed (as Coulter advocated) because we show this with a statement or a bumper sticker. Is it time to begin exploring the notion of a class action suit against some of these demagogues? The legal criteria for treason seem to be pretty clear-cut. If legally feasible, it would seem to be a slam-dunk against them: in order to prevail against such a suit, they would have to prove that each and every liberal and democrat had actively betrayed this country, a standard that would be impossible to attain. Gratuitously branding people as "traitors" fails the free speech test if it defames them without proof or incites violence against them.

BTW, Joan Harding of Lascassas, TN, I also fought in the Vietnam war, unlike Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld et al, leaving all of one leg and parts of another there. I consider myself to be a Democrat and a liberal. Would you, your husband, or any others in your town call me a traitor to my face?

To quote the ill-advised taunt (considering that he had massive secret service protection at the time, thousands of miles from the fighting) of our Great misLeader, "Bring 'em on".
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