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Rights lost in war's vast web

by: COURTESY OF OREGON FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE, Ruben Iniguez (second from right) was part of an Oregon legal team that went to Afghanistan to find witnesses on behalf of Guantánamo detainees. The treatment of detainees, one reader says, is part of a web of skewed justice.

Thank you for publishing Todd Murphy's piece (Attorneys find little hope at Guantánamo, Oct. 3). It was a timely read.

I have been following the news articles about detainees at Guantánamo, along with the implications of the recent legislation passed by the Senate expanding President Bush's authority over detainee rights, and the phenomenon known as 'the war on terror' in general.

The bigger picture that these elements are part of is so vast that it's difficult to comprehend. Contemplating the consequences of rounding up individuals because they may be possible terrorists, imprisoning them without charge and denying them the writ of habeas corpus … the implications are overwhelming.

Add to that Steven Wax's statement that 'some significant percentage of people in Guantánamo … are innocent,' and it seems we may have more than a typhoon brewing.

The United States cannot claim to wear the white hat if we abandon justice.With the Senate's decision to pass the recent bill on detainee treatment, it appears we may have abandoned our moral and ethical responsibilities.

Jessica Sweeney

Southwest Portland

'Evangelical' is not the same as 'radical'

Being an evangelical Christian, I feel compelled to respond to the final paragraph in writer Jennifer Willis' otherwise excellent article (Ready for Ramadan, Sept. 26) where she quotes a Mohammed Haque statement.

To equate evangelicals as a group akin to al-Qaida and thus presume a comparable level of fanaticism displays the same lack of understanding of Christianity that most non-Muslims have of the Muslim faith.

I am offended by that generalization just as Muslims are when they are grouped together with extremists.

I dare say that most 'Christians' like most 'Muslims' accept those of a different faith in a similar manner. Be we Jews or Christians or Muslims, we are not all radicals. It would do all of us a service to detail the history and parallels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in an article like this rather than just allude to them.

Grant W. Oakes

West Linn

Memorial Coliseum deserves another look

I would like to offer another opinion in relation to the article about the Winter Hawks (Young Hawks sure to struggle, Oct. 3) in which Dwight Jaynes states, 'But the Memorial Coliseum is, sadly, the same old barn it's been for decades.'

The bad-mouthing of the coliseum began about 1995, when the Rose Garden opened. It flourished in 2002 when the city of Portland retained the Memorial Coliseum Reuse Team, which began a study evaluating the potential for adaptive reuse of the facility.

Concourses at the coliseum are satisfactory. Concession stands could be added along with more restrooms (especially for women). There are many improvements that could make the Memorial Coliseum - dedicated to veterans - a great place for all visitors.

We've experienced six years of bad-mouthing the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Now it's time for the city to rededicate it to those men and women who served their country.

The coliseum in Portland could be one of the finest memorials in this country with a little imagination, a lot of cooperation, a lot of money and a lot of hard work.

Gilbert N. Frey

Milwaukie