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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    CIA protects our freedom

    I am writing in rebuttal to the recent column written by Justyn Dillingham (“”Abolish the CIA!”” Tuesday), in which he called for the abolition of the CIA. To begin, the author suggests that democracy cannot survive when necessary facts are kept from us. It is somewhat unclear what the author really means by this statement. If he means “”us”” as the people of the United States, then his idea that all secrets acquired by the CIA be made known to the public is foolish. How can the CIA function properly when its secrets aren’t secrets at all?

    If instead the author meant that the CIA withholds information from our elected leaders, then what role do the Congressional Select committees play? And what about the Daily Presidential Brief provided by the CIA each morning? In response to the author blaming all of our current international confrontations on past CIA actions, it is amazing how easy it is to criticize past actions when one already knows what the future holds. Yes, the CIA did assist Islamic radicals, including Osama bin Laden, in combating the Soviets in Afghanistan. At the time, America and the Islamic radicals shared a common enemy in the Soviet Union. A strong Soviet presence in the Middle East presented a clear danger to American foreign policy interests.

    The CIA acted in Iran earlier for the same reason. Also, to say that overthrowing Mossadeq in Iran led to the theocracy that is now in place is ridiculous. Mossadeq had already lost all political clout; he had already been officially removed from office. What the CIA-led Operation Ajax did was prevent the spread of communism to Iran. The theocracy that exists today did not occur until more than 20 years later when the Shah was overthrown during the Iranian Revolution. The CIA provides crucial intelligence to senior policymakers and what Dillingham fails to understand is that without the CIA working around the clock to prevent future attacks from foreign adversaries, all of the freedoms that we enjoy as a great nation would be severely threatened, including Dillingham’s freedom to publish whatever he desires.

    -Craig Heckman
    engineering management junior

    Library cuts herald demise

    I am writing in response to a recent announcement that the budget for library acquisitions has been cut, thereby eliminating some journals and reducing the number of books purchased by the library (“”Libraries face digital divide,”” Tuesday). This announcement is particularly disturbing in light of President Shelton’s claim in his March 27 memo (available online) that the library acquisition budget would not be cut because it is considered an area of “”critical strategic importance.”” What Shelton’s memo did not address was the crisis the library now seems to be facing, namely that budgets have not increased with inflation, and therefore the funds are no longer enough to even maintain current acquisitions, much less secure new purchases.

    This lack of accommodation is tantamount to a budget cut because of the crisis it has caused. The Wildcat failed to mention this apparent contradiction between Shelton’s plans and the library’s budget reality when reporting on the story. The Daily Wildcat article presented this problem as a “”digital divide,”” implying that the issue is a simple question of digital versus print media. This is not the case, as the library has entirely eliminated some journals and books, not converting them to digital files. If you go to the library Web page mentioned in the Wildcat article, which unfortunately did not provide the web address, it says that they have cut “”an estimated 870 journals and 5,800 monographs.”” Although technology is essential to the operation of the modern university, I hope that we do not forget that the very idea of the library is based in making reading materials available to researchers and students. How can the library justify spending for larger computer screens, better access to media and the laptop loan program when it cannot afford to buy books and journals? How can we expect to remain a Research I institution without supporting research through these types of library materials?

    I am further disappointed that the library chose not to make these cuts well known to the public. Why did the library choose not to survey the entire campus community to find out which journals were important to students and researchers before making these cuts? If we increase fees for technology, we should also increase them for print materials. While new technology can be exciting, I hope that we can strike a balance in which we do not have to forsake books and journals.

    -Lucy Blaney
    Spanish and Portuguese graduate student

    Read closer, Ron!

    Ron Paul claims to be a strict constructionist of the U.S. Constitution. This is the base of his entire political platform. I have reason to believe he does not know the Constitution as well as he would have us believe. In an article available online, “”Christmas in Secular America,”” Paul states that the Constitution is “”replete with references to God.”” For a man who prides himself in his knowledge of the Constitution, this is pathetic. The Constitution makes no mention of “”God,”” the “”Creator,”” the “”Deity,”” “”Jesus,”” “”Christianity,”” or anything that could be even remotely construed as religious. Is his comment a lie, or a full-blown delusion?

    -Aron Talenfeld
    computer science senior

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