Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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December 08, 2010 - MidWeek
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Lingle’s success

Bob Jones is flat out wrong in his slanted assessment of Gov. Lingle’s years in office. She was re-elected in 2006 by the largest margin in history, winning every district in the state because the people saw her record of accomplishments.

She continued that record through her second term- a record that has won national recognition, international kudos and an outpouring of local praise. While Mr. Jones chose to leave all of them out of his disrespectful opinion piece, it is important for the readers of MidWeek to look at just a few examples of her leadership.

In September, Gov. Lingle returned from Washington, where she was praised by the National Guard for her outstanding leadership in helping our men and women in uniform deployed here at home and abroad.

Just two weeks ago, Hawaii was praised by Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard, for serving as a national model in helping turn around the lives of at-risk youths through its Youth Challenge Academy program. The head of that program in Hawaii, Gen. Gary Ishikawa, who was appointed by Gov. Lingle, has been invited to the Pentagon to head a similar program nationwide.

Her Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative has received national funding support by the U.S. Department of Energy for the bold, comprehensive programs to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuel.

International investors from countries such as Denmark, Korea, China and Israel are making investments in renewable energy technologies in our state as a result of Gov. Lingle’s leadership.

She has steered the state through the worst fiscal crisis since statehood. She closed a $3 billion state revenue gap without increasing taxes.

History will show that the governor’s insistence on an independent financial analysis of the rail project was the right thing to do. And to correct Mr. Jones, the governor has not been able to sign off on the final EIS because the Office of Environmental Quality Control has not completed its review.

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands made good on the decades-old promise to Native Hawaiians and awarded homestead leases to as many Hawaiian families as had been awarded in the previous 80 years. Mr. Jones obviously has never seen the tears of joy and gratitude expressed to the governor by these families.

And he forgets that the Legislature supported the governor’s efforts to ensure that more than a quarter-million people and hundreds of tons of cargo were able to move safely between Maui and Oahu while the Superferry operated.

Perhaps her most lasting legacy will be seen via the thousands of public school students who now have had the opportunity through robotics and science programs to prove that our children can successfully compete with the very brightest students from around the nation and other countries.

Gov. Lingle and her entire team leave office knowing we have left our state better than when we came into office. History will be the judge, not Mr. Jones. To learn more, go to www.governorlindalingle.com to get a complete, factual listing of the governor’s accomplishments and achievements in office.

Linda Smith, Senior Adviser-Policy, Office of the Governor
Lenny Klompus, Senior Adviser-Communications,
Office of the Governor

Justice for all

I usually don’t write letters to the editor, but the article by Jerry Coffee about why water boarding is a good idea is just so infuriating.

There can only be one standard in justice. Who is he to judge someone before he/she as been found guilty, according to the standards he/she would like to be applied to themselves? If a different standard of justice applies to certain people, equality and human rights are lost. If you don’t like our justice system, change it, but don’t tell me it’s only for the nice American people. If you are “suspected” to be a terrorist, you’ll be judged before you are convicted of any crime.

There are so many things that need publishing, why give Coffee a whole page to openly support and justify torture, just because the victim is not likely to die of it (which he/she probably does not know)?

M. Kunkel
Honolulu

Ignores dissent

Surely Mr. Coffee knows the definition of unequivocal, yet he uses it to describe Marc Thiessen’s new book. The use of the word is misleading when there are voices that state the opposite of “enhanced interrogation techniques do not qualify as torture.” Here’s but one example: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/22/the-two-most-essential-a_n_786219.html.

Mr. Coffee goes on to state that the following words by Mr. Thiessen is a common-sense definition: If you are willing to try it to see what it feels like, it’s not torture. If this is common sense, then I fear for Mr. Coffee and anyone that comes in contact with him. By his logic, something dangerous isn’t dangerous if one is willing to try it. A number of things come to mind: drugs, driving at age 10, walking over burning coals, jumping into 12 feet of water when one can’t swim.

Mr. Coffee has done a disservice to MidWeek readers by acting as if there aren’t dissenting views in regard to enhanced interrogation techniques and by promoting such flawed thinking as good in regard to torture. He also has done a disservice by proclaiming that a civilian judge disallowing a witness for the prosecution in a terror case makes the case for trying terrorists at military tribunals, without any evidence to back up such a claim.

Simone Jack
Kapolei

It doesn’t work

In his article “The wrong way to try terrorists,” Jerry Coffee explains why he believes water-boarding is not torture. He cites Marc Thiessen’s volunteer experience with waterboarding and why it is not torture. Basically his logic is that if you volunteer for something, it’s not torture. Mr. Coffee lacks the cerebral capacity to be using logic. First, Mr. Thiessen volunteered in North Carolina, specifically the Army’s Special OPS. Mr.

Coffee, these are Americans who speak English. Secondly, Mr. Thiessen knows that they would stop if he began to scream or yell. His mental state of mind therefore was at worst anxiety-ridden. Mr. Coffee, how would you feel if your daughter or son was captured and waterboarded by foreigners who speak a different language in a different country away from anyone he/she knows? USA is above using torture because that would invite torture on our soldiers when they are captured, and secondly because we know anyone would say anything even if it’s false to make the torture stop.

Jose Luis

Waipahu

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Most Recent Comment(s):

In response to Kunkel, Simone Jack and Jose,
It is my guess from their cowardly response that none of them have been to war or were war heroes as Mr Coffee was.  These naive people don’t know the violence of war first hand nor do they know the evil and hatred of the enemies of America nor do they know or been a part of the damage of the violent revenge the enemy has for Americans. I wonder what how they will feel when the bombs from these terrorist start to kill their children and families and destroy our fragile economy. I wonder how much hate they will find deep in their souls when they find the bodies of their friends strewn across the ground? Mr Coffee knows cause he’s been there done that and is a survivor of the hatred our enemies have for us. Mr. Kunkel I would to be there when they pull your family members out on the street and destroy them before your eyes. Let’s see what say you when we could have prevented this by making terrorist reveal their sources before they destroy yours and my family members.


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