The Atrocity Exhibit

Re Sydney H. Schanberg's "When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A." [February 25-March 2]: Kerry's courage went M.I.A. the second he hopped in the political bed with the likes of Jane Fonda and the VVAW. His lack of ethics and character was demonstrated in such behavior as throwing someone else's medals over the White House fence and his testimony before Congress involving "atrocities" he had never actually seen but had "heard of." And this is who the Democrats want for commander in chief?

Sergeant First Class Cheryl McElroy
Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Marxism today

Sydney H. Schanberg's "When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A." [February 25-March 2] is outstanding. I can't tell you how grateful I am to see this article published. It has sickened me that I haven't heard more about this. Thank you so much for writing this article.

Lisa Marx
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If not now . . .

I find the timing of Schanberg's article about John Kerry's courage going M.I.A. to be suspicious. Why did you not bring this ancient history up before the only worthwhile candidate suspended his campaign?

If you were going to tear down Kerry, it should have been done when people were searching for their candidate, not when they had already found him.

Charlene Johnston
Beverly, Massachusetts

M.I.A.—until now

"When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A." hit the nail square on the head. This was the first article that I have read about Kerry that explains in detail his escapades regarding our P.O.W./M.I.A.'s. Thanks for putting pen to paper on this issue.

Mike Blades
Hanover, Pennsylvania

No fault of Nader

Re James Ridgeway's "Dems Call Ralph" [Mondo Washington, February 25-March 2]: I voted for Nader in the last election because nothing could have made me vote for any other candidate. I still resent having the Democrats tell me in no uncertain terms that it was my vote that put Bush in power. No, it was their selling out, their blandness, and their arrogant self-importance.

There are quite a few of us out there who are unhappy with both main parties. Blaming that on Nader is immature and hypo-critical at best.

Ewa Rurarz-Huygens
Reston, Virginia

The waffle truth

I found "Vote Kerry (or Edwards or Kucinich)" [February 25-March 2] quite interesting. You have no idea how many people I've met who say they believe in everything Dennis Kucinich stands for, but they're going to vote for Dean . . . or Clark . . . or Kerry. They were certain the first two were winners. Dean had the money; Clark had the epaulets. Just goes to show anybody can lose an election.

Now Kerry is supposed to have gravitas; Edwards was supposed to have sex appeal. Yeah, right. Both are inconsistent, middle-of-the-road wafflers. Kerry will crumble before the coming Republican media onslaught.

So in November when Bush Dukakis-izes Kerry, please remember these words (my apologies to Benjamin Franklin): "Those who sacrifice their principles for the prospect of winning deserve neither."

Tim Widowfield
Fairborn, Ohio

Flowers of Evil

Re Cynthia Cotts's "Pomp or Protest" [Press Clips, March 3-9]: It's odd that so many gov-ernment agencies foresee anger and anarchy on the streets during the imminent GOP occupation of our Democratic state. I could swear I heard Dick Cheney on a cable news network last week predicting that New Yorkers will greet conventioneers as liberators and welcome them with cheering crowds and fist-fuls of flowers, but maybe I'm propagandistically confused.

Ron Brynaert
Park Slope

Gidone's mother speaks

Re Alice McQuillan's "Grand Jury's Out: Brooklyn D.A. Accused of Failing to Indict Cops Who Kill" [February 25-March 2]: I am pleased that McQuillan has taken up the issue of Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes's failure in numerous cases to get (or even try to get) indictments against police officers. Some significant facts left out of the article regarding the D.A. in the case of my son, Gidone Busch, killed in Borough Park August 30, 1999, are that the grand jury was convened within a week, without a complete investigation or presentation, even though there were more than six officers involved and numerous eyewitnesses. Jurors were never given "criminally negligent homicide" as an option to indict the officers. If the officers felt their lives were threatened, jurors were advised to exonerate them.

A crime scene photo was repeatedly shown that was taken after police moved the small hammer Gidone was holding when he was shot and fell close to a low wall of the adjacent house. It was seen lying right next to him by several people, including an EMS person, before it was moved all the way across the driveway. This was done to make it appear (falsely) that he was standing close to the officers when he was shot. Six officers testified that they feared for their lives. That an officer was seen firing by several people was covered up. Some witnesses later told the FBI and other investigators that their testimony was controlled by the prosecuting assistant D.A., Jay Shapiro, and they could not tell significant details of what happened when Gidone was shot, only answer limited questions. In spite of all the witnesses who said Gidone wasn't lunging, and was not a threat to the officers, the officers were never indicted. They felt the assistant D.A. wanted to exonerate the police, and that he did not question the witnesses in a neutral fashion to reveal the true facts. Also not mentioned were the shot to Gidone's back among the 12 bullets that struck him, and his fractured left femur, as well as the numerous contusions and abrasions on his body. Nor were the physical effects of pepper spray in his eyes and face fully described.

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