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I am also reviewing the Supreme Court’s decison and am disappointed in your over reaction to it. The one tweak that may be needed to satisfy the Court is to allow the review to be a habeas review.

 

I thought that the procedures were generous and sufficient, but that does not equate to constitutional and in keeping with the habeas statute.

 

I certainly don’t think you should make a statement like the one you have until you have completely finished reviewing the decision. I am a bit concerned about your constant warring with the Court.

 

In my reading so far I see nothing that says that they would have a right to sue. However, if the Court did have full review and found that an individual was wrongly detained; especially because of the length of time involved that justice ought to be rendered even if it meant a lawsuit against our government for improper detention.

 

A portion of this problem is the legislature’s fault because they did not act and set guidelines for capture, detention, and trial at the outset. Now you are finding out that you have to deal with many court decisions that you don’t like because of not getting your colleagues to move sooner on this issue.

 

I am sure that if you look carefully that there is a way that you can comply with this decision and not harm the military. You need to retreat from the political sphere with your law books and the case document and study it carefully. It is also wise to seek the counsel of other attorneys and have an open discussion. This cannot be done in the political sphere because when attempt this sort of thorough analysis in the hot political sphere you end up not making a wise conclusion like the promise that you will support overturning this decision.

 

It is the job of lawyers and congress to figure out how to comply with the edict of the case and not compromise security. There has to be a way and you need to find it.

This is just one of the questions I asked myself and journaled about before I began reading the book The Educated Person by D.G. Mulcahy. The other question was what type of education would produce this educated person?

First, I believe that education is a lifelong process that consists of both formal and informal experiences that lead to the individual learning something. The setting could be a school, the home, a job, a volunteer position, or an internship or cooperative learning experience. Since an education is a continuing mix of experiences; I think en educated person is a person who has made the most of each experience and lerned from it or understands how the experience falls short for what ever reason.

Second, the idea of an educated person always starts with formal school experiences from primary school through college. This focus begs a third question: What should the academic and career oriented curricula look like?  The answer to this question is a traditional liberal arts curriculum that teaches reading, writing, mathematics, science, and Physical Education. In middle or high school we can add computer operations.

In high school students should add a vocational element to their curriculum weather they are planning to go directly into the work force, enter a two year college training program or go into a university. This required co-operative education program would give all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status or ability level, a chance to learn valuable and transferable workplace skills as well as having work experience to put on a resume.  The internship would be after taking a class(es) in a career skill during their third and/or fourth year of high school. This training would also allow them to work through college. High school students should graduate with basic proficiency in Microsoft Office because this will help them weather they work, get follow-on training or enter the university.

Third, college should begin with a standard general curriculum the first two years with some options within the general categories of Computer & Technological Literacy, Mathematics, Science, English Composition, Literature, History, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Then their third and fourth years will be spent on their majors with internship and co-op experiences that will train them with the skills specific to field they wish to work in after graduation.

Fourth, having mentioned internships and co-operative education opportunities, I believe that in high school required career development courses should be taught at the end of the third year and the end of the sophomore year in college. These classes provide means to learn basic job hunting skills like resume/cover letter writing, preparing a portfolio, interviewing, and give them a vital link to a guidance counselor. They also allow you to explore your interests and skills through particular tests. This will assist people in choosing a major.

In my opinion, being an educated person requires several interrelated characteristics: knowledge of self, knowledge of the world around you, and knowledge of potential careers and access to resources, as well as being willing to commit to life-long learning. Every experience and person an individual encounters can be a learning experience that educates them.

I am gravely concerned that we are on the road to war in Iran. Considering S.J. Res. 23 (2001), S.Amdt. 3017 (2007) and Gen. Petraeus’s recent testimony I fear there may be either a resolution to take hostile action against Iran or the president claiming he has the authority to do so based on the aforementioned acts of Congress.

There are also the reports in the New York Times and Washington Post this morning about the Iran threat. This smells of being a reprise of the buildup to war with Iraq. It also doesn’t ease my fears that Adm. Fallon, who was trying to calm the frayed nerves of Middle Eastern countries, has resigned his post. He had said upon nomination that there would be no war with Iran on his watch. Now that we are not under his watch I fear that we will get ourselves whipped into a frenzy again and take hostile action against Iran.

We are already spending $720 million a day and 4,000 lives in Iraq. How much life and treasure will Iran take from us? Can our treasury afford another foreign adventure? I would say not and our military cannot handle it either. It is at the breaking point. There will have to be a draft to accomplish this monstrosity of an action.

It is very possible that Iran is taking action in Iraq because it sees a threat from us being there and are only protecting their sovereignty, as we complain about from time to time. They saw us invade and occupy Iraq and may take action to prevent the same fate for themselves.

I am no great defender of the Iranian regime, but can understand why they may see us as a threat to their sovereignty. We need to carefully evaluate any hostile action we may take against Iran and there needs to be a full and fair debate about any further resolution that the Congress might pass to fully authorize said hostile action. We can not let Iraq happen again.

Thank you for your consideration.

I believe that your office is trying to cover up the President’s wrongdoing. According to the Washington Times there is an assessment from your office that says the following: “There is nothing new or aggressive about relying on Article II authority in the context of foreign intelligence surveillance.”

There would be nothing new or aggressive about relying on Article II authority in the realm of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance if there had been no FISA in 1978, no Patriot Act in 2001 & 2006 and the Protect America Act last year. These laws set a framework of how the President is supposed to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance. He cannot use Article II authority to do something that the law does allow. Congress makes the laws and the President signs them. Why should this be the case if we are going to allow a President to conduct activities that run a foul of the law and claim Article II protection so that anything can be done that the President likes; when the President likes. I keep emphasizing the President because this would apply to any President not just this one.

I know that many Republicans will turn around and cry foul if a Democrat or Republican they do not like becomes President. Your claims would lose moral authority in this case because you allowed a President to have such power. This is wrong for the President, the Congress, and the Country.

OpenCongress has come out with a new version which allows you to network, discuss, evaluate, and vote on what’s happening in Congress. You can track specific bills, Senators, Representatives, or issues and they’ve even put together a page on how to make the most of it: http://www.opencongress.org/profile/howtouse

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Dear Mr. Putnam:

I am shockeed at your comment in the Washington Post that President Bush longs for the days when both sides could get along and work together because he knows he could have that if he would actually work with others. When his party does something he doesn’t like he uses a signing statemtent and when the opposition does something he veotes it.

He has polarized this country and he almost never invites Democrats to the table to discuss issues and he always insists on his way or the highway. He uses executive and now administrative orders when Congress won’t bend. It is inexcusable that you could defend someone who believes that congressional oversight is useless and that the Senate should not ask questions of a nominee that he sends up. This is a tantrum after Judge Mukasey failed to satisfy his inquisitors on both sides regarding the issue of torture in general and waterboarding in particular. He still refuses to answer the question of weather the pratice is illegal.

 

If he really wants to work with both sides why don’t you try toi catalyze this by setting up a meeting with him and a group of bipartisan members of congress to discuss issues instead of just 105 Republicans. He needs to talk to everyone on both sides and attempt to work out differences instead of just berating Congress for not cooperating. Congress is charged in the Constitution with being a separate and coequal branch of government that is supposed to check the power of the executive through oversight.

Thank you for considering my opinion on this matter.