Letters to the editor on Chinese fireworks, Tiahrt ad

07/01/2014 6:42 PM

07/01/2014 6:42 PM

Don’t pay China to celebrate July 4

There is a lot of irony in Independence Day. Americans will buy millions of dollars’ worth of fireworks from a country that opposes us at every turn in our fight against tyrants and terrorists by vetoing our U.N. resolutions. China actively hacks American business computers, forges intellectual property, pollutes the environment, tramples the rights of workers, and is building a military for one purpose – and that is to oppose us. Meanwhile, the British are one of our only allies that will often send troops to fight the same battles we are fighting.

I understand that it has gotten to the point where you can’t buy some necessities that are made in the United States, but fireworks aren’t a necessity, and we don’t need millions of dollars added to the trade deficit.

RUSSELL SHONK

Wichita

Proper balance

A campaign advertisement criticizing Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, for his record on national security and citizen privacy needs some explanation by former Rep. Todd Tiahrt.

Tiahrt voted in favor of the Patriot Act in October 2001.

Tiahrt voted in favor of reauthorizing the Patriot Act in March 2006.

In 2007, he voted in favor of the Protect America Act, which spawned the Prism project that collected phone data later exposed by Edward Snowden and the Washington Post.

In 2008 the FISA Amendments Act reauthorized the Protect America Act with protections from domestic surveillance. Tiahrt did not vote.

From 2005 to 2009, Tiahrt served on the House Intelligence Committee. He would have been intimately involved in the oversight of these programs that he now claims he wouldn’t support. Either he knew about these programs and did not speak out against them until it was politically expedient, or he was unaware of their existence and one must ask what kind of oversight he was providing on our behalf.

Kansas voters should not be deceived by Tiahrt’s opportunistic criticism of the very programs he created and was charged to oversee. Meanwhile, Pompeo, a West Point graduate and successful aircraft and oil business builder and job creator, seems to strike a proper balance between our national security and the privacy of U.S. citizens.

DAVID BABICH

Wichita

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