Editor's note: The following letter is being republished because of an editing error.
Torture did not lead to bin Laden
In a letter to the editor (Pilot, May 25) Mr. Clay Dalrymple defends the use of torture by stating that "Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, was interviewed on Fox News and admitted that waterboarding gave us the courier's name for bin Laden and we got him.
This statement is not true. Torture did not provide the information that led to Osama bin Laden as many Republicans claim, and Leon Panetta never said it did.
Senator John McCain addressed this issue in remarks on the floor of the Senate on May 12. Senator McCain stated that Director Panetta directly told him that torture did not provide information leading to Osama bin Laden. Senator McCain went on to say that the information leading to bin Laden "was obtained through standard, non-coercive means, not through any 'enhanced interrogation technique.'
In short, it was not torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden andhellip; Each side should make its own case, but do so without making up its own facts."
You can see Senator McCain's entire Senate statement: http://youtu.be/3I94Yb4KUic.
Letter writer's claim sounds odd to me
A recent letter to the editor stated "after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress formed the American Bible Society" (Pilot, June 4).
That sounded odd to me, and I decided to investigate. I found that this is yet another example of misinformation being repeated ad infinitum across the Internet. But I pressed on, and found the American Bible Society's (ABS) website. I assume this source is definitive; I don't think they are part of a global left-wing cabal (but I don't keep up on these things and could easily be mistaken on this point).
The ABS on its origins: "Our first president was Elias Boudinot, former president of the Continental Congress. John Jay, John Quincy Adams, DeWitt Clinton and James Fennimore Cooper also played significant roles, as did Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and Francis Scott Key." The ABS also reveals that the first grant made by the American Bible Society was for 300 Bibles in 1817 to the Steuben County Bible Society in Bath, N.Y.; not 20,000 copies.
An interesting historical footnote: Three members of the Second Continental Congress, 40 years after adopting the Declaration of Independence, became founding members of the American Bible Society. But that is quite a far cry from the claim that the Continental Congress created the American Bible Society.
This type of misinformation carries the insidious message that only good Christians are good Americans; and that we may tolerate non-Christians but they are not quite full citizens. Not true!
Good job cleaning up Brookings port
My parents are lucky to be retired in your beautiful town, and I was excited to come for a visit during the Azalea Festival.
I had not been to Brookings since the tsunami, and was shocked and thrilled to see how beautiful and clean the whole port area is!
The harbormaster, the yacht club, and all the other folks who put in what must have been thousands of hours of work should be thanked and honored!
Good job all!
Christianity and U.S. Declaration
Founding Fathers' Faith: Ardell Wieczorek recently wrote that "Fifty-two of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were deeply committed, practicing Christians" (Pilot, June 4).
First off, there were 56 signers. Second, I would be interested in knowing where that information comes from as I can not find it to be 100 percent fact. What I do find at the very least, is that Thomas Paine, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Ethan Allen, Benjamin Franklin and others were Deists or Unitarians, not Christians. Some of the more prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical or vocal about their opposition to organized religion, such as Thomas Jefferson (who created the "Jefferson Bible"), and Benjamin Franklin.
George Washington never, ever claimed to be Christian. In fact, he championed the cause of freedom from religious intolerance and compulsion. And the words "In God We Trust" were not consistently on all U.S. currency until 1956.
Yes. Most had some form of religion, but they also supported Thomas Jefferson's effort to keep the states free from religious identity. Organized religion had been crammed down their throats long enough.
The Founding Fathers' faith should not be used as an excuse to forward one's own beliefs, regardless what those beliefs may be.
Toastmasters a wonderful resource
Generation Joshua North West Patriots would like to publicly thank and acknowledge the Chetco Chatterers Toastmasters club for the classes they provided.
The skills and tools we learned in the six-week public speaking class was very instructive and positive; we enjoyed it very much. We would also like to thank them for the time they freely gave us every Saturday for six weeks and for providing the materials for the class.
If you are looking for a way to sharpen your public speaking skills, the local toastmasters club would be a great way to do it! They are friendly people and are always welcoming potential members to join them at their weekly meetings.
If you are interested in attending one the local toastmasters meetings contact Shirley Beaman-Hogben of Century 21, located in Brookings.
Jennice M. Winegarden, chairperson
Generation Joshua North West Patriots
Plant sales help local garden club
On behalf of the members of the Brookings Harbor Garden Club, we say thank you for purchasing our plants during our Azalea Festival plant sale.
Also thanks to those non- members who brought flowers to display in the flower show. Our thanks also for the local nurseries that contributed flower arrangements.
This all helped us raise more than $3,200 to allow us to maintain our educational and beautification projects around the area, particularly the botanical garden area near the bridge, where our loyal volunteers are renovating as funds become available.
Jim Benson, president, Brookings Harbor Garden Club
Change insurance often to save cash?
Does anyone out there, other than myself, ever wonder what our automobile insurance rates would be if every insurance company in this nation quit spending, literally, millions of dollars every week on advertising?
I don't care who you are insured with, if you change your coverage to any other carrier, you will save between $300 and $1,200 a year.
Now, logic leads one to question these claims, but they all must be true because we all know that no reputable insurance company would ever lie to us, or forget the fine print, or even stretch the truth a little. Right?
Personally, I'm working on a plan where I change insurance companies twice a week the whole year, enabling me to save enough to buy that condo in Maui I've always wanted.
Is this a great country or what? Eat your heart out, Bernie Madoff.
Larry E. Thomas
U.S. is a nation of diverse beliefs
More zealots distorting history?
The American Bible Society was established in 1816, not by the Continental Congress, or any other Congress. It was proposed the Continental Congress pay for and distribute 20,000 copies of Rev. Francis Alison's Bible; that proposal was rejected.
There's no Moses holding Ten Commandments on the front facade of the Supreme Court.
There's a frieze with several leaders representing many world faiths on the rear facade. John Adams, a Unitarian, said the Constitution was for "moral and religious" people, not Christian. He also said it would be better if there was no religion at all. Madison said nothing pertaining to the Ten Commandments. When opening every session of Congress are Congressmen, of Jewish and Muslim faiths, required to bow heads and give praise to Jesus Christ? I think not.
Nothing on this earth happens in a vacuum. The Puritans were a Branch Davidian-like cult. The Dutch settled New York having their own religion, tied to Dutch tradition. In 1632, Lord Baltimore, a Catholic, founded Maryland. In 1647, Rhode Island drafted a constitution allowing for separation of church and state. The first Jewish immigrants arrived in 1654. William Penn brought Quakers and Huguenots from Europe to settle Pennsylvania. The Anglicans founded Virginia and Carolina.
From its very inception, this has been a nation of diverse beliefs. "... the legal establishment of Christianity (has long) been on trial. What have been its fruits? ... in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." andndash; James Madison.