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U.S. is guilty of its own cyberspying
Writer Eli Lake’s Opinion piece on the hacking of computers at the Democratic National Committee lists reasons to explain why the United States is treating this incident less sternly than cyberattacks by China, Iran and North Korea [“Why Russia gets away with hacking,” Aug. 3].
Unfortunately, it misses the key point: The United States views hacking of governments as different from hacking commercial entities. While the DNC is not a governmental body, it clearly is not a commercial target.
Although the U.S. government does not announce its espionage activities, it is a safe bet that the U.S. does its share of cyberspying on foreign governments. It cannot credibly label other nations that do the same as rogue states. In contrast, hacks by China (industrial trade secrets), Iran (banks) and North Korea (Sony Pictures) targeted commerce, which the United States believes should be off limits.
Thomas J. Lilly Jr.Garden City
Stop the new nuclear arms race
With this month marking another anniversary of the 1945 U.S. nuclear attacks on Japan, the world still faces nuclear annihilation as the United States and Russia “modernize” their arsenals, feeding each other’s fear and paranoia [“Obama pays heed to nuclear needs,” Opinion, Aug. 8].
President Barack Obama, despite his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize speech promising to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, has put the nation on a path to spend $1 trillion in the next 30 years on new weapons, such as a nuclear cruise missile, which hawks say will be “more usable.” This causes Russia to respond in kind.
With U.S. and NATO troops on Russia’s western borders and a U.S. guided-missile warship in the Black Sea, tensions with Russia are the highest since the 1980s. Imagine how the United States would react if Russian forces were on maneuvers in Mexico and Canada, and a Russian guided-missile warship were in the Gulf of Mexico.
Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, as reported in Military Times, said last year, “We are facing nuclear dangers today that are in fact more likely to erupt into a nuclear conflict than during the Cold War.” Separately, he said, “I see an imperative to stop this damn nuclear race before it gets underway again.”
This threat is why the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists last year moved the hands of its Doomsday Clock to three minutes to midnight. We must pressure our government to stop this arms race before it is too late.
Editor’s note: The writer is a board member of the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, an advocacy group.
Money and ego fueling Trump’s run
I am amazed at the rhetoric spewed by supporters of Donald Trump [“Trump vows to fix America,” News, July 22]. The drumbeat saying he doesn’t give in to political correctness, or that he’s a billionaire who knows how to run a business, has nothing to do with being qualified to be president.
By demonizing every opponent or perceived enemy, Trump shows why he is unqualified to even run. Money and ego have nothing to do with being a leader of this country. His temperament and his attitude are the worst possible character flaws in a leader.
We need a president who can work with people around the world and someone who can help bring our citizens together, not drive them further apart.
Do-nothing Congress led by GOP
I read with disbelief the readers’ letters in “2016 is vexing voters” [Aug. 7]. One writer criticized a do-nothing Congress.
Look who has the majority in both houses of Congress. These anti-everything, do-nothing Republicans have denigrated our president, enjoyed their own fine health care packages while submitting more than 60 bills against the Affordable Care Act and talked about the Constitution while denying the president a Supreme Court nominee.
They’ve tried to make us a Third World country by undoing environmental, financial and consumer protection rules.
Maybe that’s why Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again — because the GOP has had six years to make it ungreat?
Vivienne LenkLittle Neck