War on whistleblowers… outsourcing pollution…


War on Whistleblowers

Thanks for the cover story “The Government’s War on Whistleblowers,” by Norman Solomon and Marcy Wheeler [Oct. 27]. Nearly simultaneously, The New York Times ran a story about former top White House lawyer Harold Koh, who advised President Obama against using torture via loopholes in the law. Koh says no. Military types want torture as policy. Obama wavers. I’ve corresponded with incarcerated whistleblower John Kiriakou, who revealed that torture was being used by our government. He went on ABC News in 2007 to reveal that—a brave act of conscience for a twenty-year CIA employee who’d earned honors!

I appreciate Solomon and Wheeler’s conclusion that we are up against the “uninformed consent of the governed” if journalists and insiders cannot do what needs to be done—whistleblowing—to keep us informed. I called my two senators and my congresswoman to urge them to tell President Obama that torture is not an OK policy. Whistleblowers need us on the outside (once they are in prison) to complete the work they’ve started.

Lynn Rudmin Chong
sanbornton, n.h.

These reporters are heroes.

With Desert Storm, the embedded journalist was steered to a viewpoint orchestrated for public consumption. I was not convinced. I read everything from a handful of independent reporters. I came across Defense Intelligence Agency documents that revealed a US bombing campaign targeting civilian installations such as water treatment plants and other critical structures, clearly meant to create a human tragedy. This was suppressed by most media.

Outsourcing Pollution

Re Mark Schapiro’s “A Tale of Three Cities” [Oct. 27]: Nobel Prize–winning economist Paul Krugman often writes, “Your spending is my income and my spending is your income.” Applying this to climate change results in “your production is my consumption and my consumption is your pollution.” Although pollution may be increasingly Chinese in origin, greenhouse gases and other pollutants do not respect national boundaries. It’s time that all products come with a label that estimates the pollutants created by the things we buy. Just as “Nutrition Facts” labels help us choose healthier food, these labels would help us be carbon-literate consumers.
John DesMarteau
washington, d.c.

States as well as countries outsource pollution by relying on others to refine their gasoline and generate their fossil fuel–based electricity. The six New England states are prime examples of a region that prides itself on being green but exports its climate-changing CO2 and other greenhouse gases to other regions. New England has no refineries and few power plants, but it does have plenty of cars and uses plenty of natural gas (fracked?) and electricity.

It was hard to get past the first sentence of “A Tale of Three Cities” (“The Allegheny River pulses through Pittsburgh…like a muscle.”) It’s the Monongahela, or “Mon,” that’s the muscle. The Mighty Mon, the Mississippi and the Missouri are the three mother rivers of most of North America. Fred Joseph Fowler

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