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Stop Torture Now gets results

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I applaud the Indy's Citizen Award to N.C. Stop Torture Now and the profile by Bob Geary (Nov. 21). However, as a member of the group I wish to correct statements in the article that our lobbying of the North Carolina Congressional delegation has had no effect and that no member of Congress has co-sponsored Congressman Markey's bill to prohibit extraordinary rendition. In fact, U.S. Reps. David Price, Brad Miller and Mel Watt are all co-sponsors.

Soon after the Blackwater massacre in Baghdad on Sept. 16, a bill by Price to make private contractors in war zones accountable under criminal law was also brought to the floor and enacted. Stop Torture Now members are, in fact, frequently in touch with our congressional representatives, and Price, in particular, has been very helpful, often on his own initiative.

I should like to add some information about negative responses from elected officials. Gov. Mike Easley, to whom Stop Torture Now has argued that North Carolina tax-subsidized airports should not host CIA torture flights, has refused to meet with us; his representative has said that since the president has said that the United States does not torture, there is no issue. U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, whose district includes Johnston County Airport, home to Aero Contractors, has obtained federal funding to expand the airport but has told members of Stop Torture Now that torture, like Iraq, is not his issue.

Andy Silver
Cary


Save yourselves

I read your interesting editorial ("The gun club," Dec. 12). As you make no secret of your hatred and fear of our right to bear arms it was predictable. However since you guys do claim to be a factual media outlet a couple of questions come to mind. Where did this aunt live? How was she able to legally purchase 6 "Mach" 11s. Did her sheriff department and the BATFE both sign the tax forms required for her to do this? Did she pay the $200 transfer tax for each of these weapons as required by law?

Yes, the recent senseless shootings have been horrible. Did you know that the last one in the Colorado church was stopped by a congregant with a gun?

One last question: You guys want to save the whole world with legislation. Why can't you take the personal responsibility to save your own family?

Did you really feel "grateful" when your aunt killed herself?

Lee Patterson
Chapel Hill

Lisa Sorg answers the questions: She lived in Indiana and legally bought the guns—including the Mac-11s (the name was misspelled in the original piece)— obtained federal tax stamps and paid the required fees for all of them. I really did feel grateful.

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