Republicans hypocritical on congressional probe

There has been much in the media concerning the process of the current congressional investigation. To clarify this process, “PBS Newshour” asked to interview both Republicans and Democrats on the committees conducting the inquiry. The GOP said it had no one available although 47 Republican House committee members are participating in these interviews. Democrat Jackie Spear, who serves on the intelligence and oversight committees, explained the procedure.

First, as in all legal inquiries, “discovery” investigations must be conducted in private to insure that none of the witnesses are able to coordinate their testimonies. Truth is pursued by punishing perjury and uncovering inconsistencies, which they have found in recent testimonies.

In these closed meetings, both parties question witnesses for an hour each, alternating until they are done. The “leaks” are statements released by the witnesses themselves afterward. Lindsay Graham’s vitriolic condemnations of the process are reckless and inaccurate.

Stirring the pot by attacking the process is a common tactic used when one cannot speak to the merits of the evidence. This is hypocritical, as Republicans used this same procedure in the investigation of the Benghazi tragedy when Hilary Clinton was secretary of state and later a presidential candidate.

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy’s, R-S.C., Benghazi committee spent months questioning 107 witnesses behind closed doors; rancorous public hearings followed. Its final report vigorously defended closed investigations: “Interviews are a more efficient and effective means of discovery. Interviews allow witnesses to be questioned in depth ... (and) allow the committee to safeguard the privacy of witnesses who may fear retaliation for cooperating or whose work requires anonymity, such as intelligence community operatives.”

There are no secrets to which only Democrats are privy; once these Ukrainian fact-finding interviews are over, transcripts will be released, followed by public hearings. Congressional oversight provides necessary checks and balances for our Republic.

Kate Rhoades

Neosho

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American too willing to commit its troops

I read this morning (Globe, Oct, 27) with particular interest Anson Burlingame’s comments in “America lacks will to use its power internationally.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As of March 2017, American military forces were stationed in no less than 177 countries around the world. Donald Trump partially ran on the platform that we do not need to involve ourselves in every squabble, but when there is a situation that is vital to our national security interest we should be involved. We should be involved to win .... and then simply get out.

I hear the argument of this approach will create a power vacuum where our enemies will step in ... let them.

The Soviet Union crumbled under its own weight as it simply could not sustain its level of involvement around the world.

This would mean that we no longer have a need to position 40,000 troops in Germany nor 50,000 troops in Japan. Last time I looked, that war ended 74 years ago.

As to this whole affair in Syria, we are wasting our time. It is not going to end. Anyone who remains engaged in this is in a quagmire, including our NATO partner Turkey, but at least for it this unfortunate conflict is at its border so one could argue it is well within its interest.

I do not believe it is in our national security interest to have so many of our best and brightest stationed in every hot-spot around the world, but when there is a U.S. security reason, we must go and go with overwhelming force, win it and come home.

Perry Davis

Joplin

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Support police, firefighters by supporting Prop B

We have had the occasions to call on both the Joplin Police Department and the Joplin Fire Department. Both responded promptly and with the utmost professionalism. We have also seen both departments helping with charitable events, raising money and supporting the efforts of volunteers trying to make this a better community.

We know we can count on them in the future if we have needs.

Similarly, we feel it’s important for them to count on us. So we are going to vote for Proposition B, funding retirement plan changes to help improve recruitment and retention of police officers and firefighters. We hope our fellow residents will do the same.

Sandie and Bud Morgan

Joplin

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