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Concerning the "Pentagon Plane Folly" and the quote, "The Pentagon's Defense Science Board and the Rand Corporation have found there is no compelling need for new tankers," I wholly agree. When I came home from a year in Vietnam, flying cargo planes (C-7As), I was assigned to train in KC-135 Stratotankers. I refused duty in January 1972, declaring conscientious objection and eventually, six months later into in-service resisting, resigned my commission.

The entire air war would have been made much more difficult and limited without these planes. They were initially designed for détente, the cold war, keeping B-52s aloft, and the Air Defense Command interceptors. Again, they were used to rapid-ferry aircraft to attack Libya in the '80s, and of course, to ferry large quantities of aircraft to the Middle East wars.

Their main reason for existence is to allow the Stealth bombers global reach. This is how they fly from the USA to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, and how an air strike into Iran would be propagated, enabled. The folly of this kind of armament capability is that once the initial air strikes have been made, we as a nation have no clue about what to do afterward. We take no responsibility for the aftermath. There is no sense of restraint.

This weapon is more dangerous because of the rapid response capability it gives the President, without due consideration of Congressional oversight into aggressive militarism, not to mention the absurd costs of the Stealth bombers added onto the cost of the new tankers. They and the bombers should be made illegal as weapons of mass destruction. We need defensive capability and cooperative international military capability, not this over-reach into the world with it's potential for catastrophe.

Jim Willingham

St Petersburg, FL

Apr 15 2008 - 4:44am

Web Letter

About the article in Noted titled "Decency in Indiana", I just happen to be a resident of Representative Goodin's district. In his district, he would get much more support than in other parts of the country because nearly three years ago, an adult book store opened near our community--some say under false pretenses. Since the store's opening, members of our community have continually been protesting near its entrance. Before this store's opening three years ago, I doubt that Representative Goodin would have had much interest in this at all.

Not only is Dr. Goodin our community's state representative for our community, he is also our school's superintendent. While he is in Indianapolis attempting to stop adult book stores from opening, our community schools are falling below the average with the state's testing system. I am wondering if that issue is also "hullabaloo about nothing".

Kathy Sage

Crothersville, Indiana

Apr 10 2008 - 12:15am