US wrong to label Snowden a traitor

Re: the June 22 article "US charges NSA leaker Snowden with espionage."

As a six-year veteran of U.S. Army Military Intelligence, I am disgusted and dismayed by our government's attempts to brand Edward Snowden as a traitor.

Apparently Snowden's biggest "crime" is telling the truth about the vast network of recordings of communications between American citizens and overseas sites, especially by the National Security Agency. Snowden has been labeled a risk to national security.

I find it ironic that while Washington also called the recent "great recession" a risk to our national security, the Justice Department has not prosecuted any of the multiple bankers, mortgage executives or other financial executives who enriched themselves. Yet these same government officials want to prosecute Snowden.

Secrecy and deception are widely used tools of the intelligence community. Unprecedented attempts to intimidate and/or prosecute whistle-blowers clearly demonstrate that the last thing Washington wants is an open public debate about government activities, classified or not.

R. Roy Johnson

Retired professor, Tucson

Put Deen's words in historical context

Re: the June 22 article "Food Network fires Deen over N-word controversy."

I feel bad for Paula Deen. She was in a deposition and swore to tell the truth. More importantly, she was born and raised in the Deep South. I was born and raised in the deep south of Arizona, and I both used that word in jokes and heard most other white kids and their families do it also. Mexican families, too.

Nobody becomes perfect overnight. It's a process. No one becomes perfect at all, actually. You know what matters? Whether she would help a black person whose car had broken down in the middle of traffic, or a little black girl who didn't have enough money for popcorn at the movie. That's what matters, and I think she would.

Mike Morrison


Weatherman's life is none of Star's business

Re: the June 21 article "Weatherman Chuck George off air again."

Why is the Arizona Daily Star so obsessed with the whereabouts of Channel 13's Chuck George? Do you keep track of everybody's comings and goings or just his? Frankly, I think Mr. George's time on and off the air is the business of Channel 13 and Chuck himself - and nobody else's! It really looks plain silly for you to be reporting this incident.

Mary E. Flanders

Retired, Tucson

Ben Franklin had it right on freedom

Re: the June 15 letter to the editor "Loss of privacy is trade-off for security."

I find I side with Ben Franklin who wrote: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Evelyn Karl


Chuck George shows courage in his struggle

Re: the June 21 article "Weatherman Chuck George off air again."

Thank you for your story covering Chuck George's battle with depression.

Those who have never treated someone with a mental illness, and sometimes even those who love and live with someone who is mentally ill, may not appreciate the courage it takes to enter into treatment and begin the process of recovery. Outside the psychotherapeutic community, I think my friends in AA understand this better than any others.

I applaud Mr. George for his courage and candor in being so publicly forthcoming about his struggle with depression. Each year millions of Americans suffer from a major depressive disorder. My hope is that Mr. George's story will encourage (in the fullest meaning of the word) others to reach out for help in the knowledge, in his words, "that they are not alone."

Harvey R. Kemp

Retired, Tucson

Why save water if mine wants huge amount?

Re: the June 18 article "Rosemont Mine's water permit upheld."

Excellent article by reporter Tony Davis. A concern I have about Rosemont is the amount of water the operation will require. Currently, Tucson Water and Metro Water want everyone to conserve. It has been reported our groundwater and CAP water may not be adequate in just a few years.

So my main question is: Why is Rosemont going to be allowed thousands of water acre rights while we'll be asked to use less household water at a greater price?

William H. Slocum


Stop paying notice to conservative 'outrage'

Re: the June 21 letter to the editor "Canyon neglected while Obama travels."

Where was the outrage when G.W. Bush took similar trips to Africa in 2003 and 2008? In 2008 Bush was a lame duck president suffering the worst economic disaster since 1929. Why wasn't he staying home to fix this problem? On one of these trips he stuck American taxpayers with the cost of a safari?

This seems to be the latest outrage by Sean Insanity and his Fox News followers. It's time for the Arizona Daily Star to stop printing this venom or at least finally allow my or other similar responses in regards to this endless supply of manufactured outrage! Or better yet, provide the facts like I have just done.

Ian Cooke

Retired military, Tucson