I enjoy reading Barbara Shelly but disagree with her column “Kansas politicians share yellow stripe on Gitmo” (2/6, Opinion). I do not believe they insult the military by implying they are not able to handle the task. If given this mission, our military forces would accomplish it. What it implies is that perhaps this task is better suited for another federal institution such as the Supermax facility in Florence, Colo.
It is easy for those not affected by the decision to house the Gitmo detainees to be critical. The global yearning to shut down Gitmo has not had a corresponding global willingness to share the burden. Kansas politicians were advocating on behalf of their constituents when they joined forces to secure the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, just as they are in denouncing the idea of transferring Gitmo detainees to Fort Leavenworth.
Glenn K. Grothe
The Star’s editorial (2/7, Opinion, “Fort can handle Gitmo detainees”) regarding placing terrorists at Fort Leavenworth is an amazing display of ignorance and naïveté.
Members of al-Qaida and Lashkar-i-Taiba have a goal of killing Americans. The judgment of The Star’s editors apparently is so clouded that they do not understand that terrorists see no distinction between those in uniform and civilians. They will gladly kill themselves if it means killing Americans. The editors cannot grasp the cultural difference between those cowards and our culture that distinguishes between combatants and non-combatants.
Unfortunately, The Star’s editors are quite willing to place Gitmo detainees in our community. That terrorists might seek vengeance by sending suicide murderers wearing explosive vests into our city schools is of no consequence to The Star.
In short, before editorializing from ignorance, you would do well to educate yourselves, take off your blinders, and get your heads out of the sand.
Richard L. Kiper
U.S. Army Special Forces (retired)