Attorney General Eric Holder announced recently that the United States will hold the trials of the 9/11 attackers/planners in a military tribunal instead of federal court. Good for him — even though he did this reluctantly.

Jurors will be military officers. All military officers are college graduates. The judge will also be a military officer. In this system, the defense attorneys will not be able to play their usual games of just trying to confuse and muddle a case up to confuse the jurors. The judge will not allow these games to go on and the jurors will be able to see through these games due to their education.

There will also be information that is top secret divulged in this trial. All officers picked will have the proper security clearances beforehand.

I myself cringe at civilian jurors being given a temporary clearance in order to hear some of the testimony that will be divulged. And I can’t trust them to not divulge what they hear in court to their friends at the local bar.

This case could take a very long time. It would take a longer time in federal court because defense lawyers have to play their games. You only need to look at the O.J. Simpson murder trial to see where a trial took about one year where it should have taken three to four weeks.

And the outcome of that was a travesty and a joke because, in part, the jurors were not well-educated and the judge lost control of the trial to the defense lawyers.

Shawn Moran
Westbrook

 

Last month, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., held hearings on the dealings of Islam in America. The congressional panel was looking into funding of groups and possible terrorist ties.

Rep. Keith Ellis, D-Minn., a convert to Islam in his 20s, sat in front of the panel and cried while reflecting on Muslims who were victims in the 9/11 attacks and how unfairly Islam was viewed thereafter.

On April 2, seven U.N. workers in Afghanistan were killed in a mob attack on their facilities and the publicized excuse was in retaliation to pastor Terry Jones of Florida burning the Koran a few weeks before.

On April 3, Fox News reported that some senators are looking into passing a resolution condemning the burning of the Koran and potentially criminalizing it in the future.

As we listen to the left wing constantly preaching tolerance, Obama calls Terry Jones’ actions hateful and bigoted. It seems to me that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech — and expression.

The call for tolerance shouldn’t be aimed at those who disagree with a religion and want to burn one of its symbols, but should be aimed at those who want to destroy American citizens’ protected right to do so.

Labeling everything that offends even just one person as a hate crime is the death of our society. Instead of promoting a right to sue and the left wing’s “everybody is a victim” mentality, we have to start teaching people that speech is a freedom, not a criminal action!

We cannot allow religion to change our government’s laws and constitutional rights. I am offended by the phony mantra put forth by people who claim to be offended by speech.

Killing people over words or book-burning is not excusable!

Patrick Scully
Alfred

 

Many states, including Maine, ponder new laws on abortion

 

Women’s reproductive freedom is under fire both nationally and here in the state of Maine. L.D. 116, a bill to impose a 24-hour waiting period on abortion, is sitting in committee at the State House.

If imposed, this bill would increase the economic hurdles for women to safely terminate a pregnancy.

State legislators have delayed scheduling hearings on this bill as they await further proposals on abortion-related legislation.

The proposed bill will impose more stringent restrictions on abortion services for Maine women. While waiting periods may seem harmless, they ultimately create unintended consequences and restrictions to access.

In states with waiting periods, there are higher incidences of later term abortions, increasing risks to women and potential health-care costs.

This type of legislation assumes that women who elect to have an abortion have not thought about the ramifications of their actions prior to making their decision.

Further, this bill would impose unjust financial consequences upon Maine women by increasing time missed from work and added travel expenses to get to and from the clinic.

According to the Naral Pro-Choice Foundation, the number of solidly anti-abortion governors rose from 21 to 29 after the midterm elections.

In light of these changes, legislation is being imposed across the nation to add restrictions for those seeking abortions. Gov. LePage has publicly supported an anti-abortion stance.

To stop the passage of bills aimed at restricting access to reproductive freedom, as a community we must increase education and awareness and open up a dialogue around a woman’s right to choose. We must talk to friends, co-workers, and government about the social and financial cost that bills like L.D. 116 would have on women in Maine.

Whether it be in our homes or in the House of Representatives, we must stand together to stand up for our beliefs.

Elisa Orme and Carin Stromgren
Portland

 

It was interesting to read in the March 23 edition of the newspaper an article about the new law passed in South Dakota that requires women to wait three days and undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers before they can obtain an abortion.

The purpose of the law is to reduce abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives and to help ensure that women are not being coerced into abortions by boyfriends or relatives. This seems reasonable to me.

Five pages later, there is a letter in “Voice of the People” that discusses infertility, the high cost (both emotional and monetary) of medical intervention, and the proposed legislation that could make Maine the 16th state in the nation to mandate insurance companies to cover infertility treatments.

Just imagine what might happen if the women who think they want an abortion got together with the women who are struggling unsuccessfully to conceive a baby. The world would certainly be a better place!

Ruthanne Fisher
Cumberland

 


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