Local officials should be held accountable for CIA torture program

At Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, protesters in 2012 called attention to a private airplane company, Aero Contractors, for its alleged involvement in a CIA program of kidnap-and-torture known as “extraordinary rendition.”
At Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, protesters in 2012 called attention to a private airplane company, Aero Contractors, for its alleged involvement in a CIA program of kidnap-and-torture known as “extraordinary rendition.”

Thank you to Ned Barnett and to the N&O for your recent coverage of North Carolina’s role in the CIA rendition, detention, and interrogation program (“Citizens’ report explores NC’s role in CIA torture program,” Oct. 7) and the ongoing grassroots efforts to expose our state’s complicity. You rightly called out Presidents Bush and Obama, and our former governors and state attorneys general, for failing to investigate our State’s participation.

But Johnston County commissioners also were complicit by allowing the Johnston County airport to be used for rendition flights. As much as federal and state officials, they must answer for their failure to respond to the N.C. Commission of Inquiry on Torture, whose relentless efforts have exposed the alleged crimes that State and County officials refused to investigate.

Torture has no place in our nation’s code of conduct. For Johnston County’s commissioners to have ignored the findings of the torture commission for years on end is appalling. They too must be held accountable for their complicity.

Curt Torrell


Moral leader

Everyone loved Donald Trump until he announced he was going to run for president. Then the liberals, media and democrats laughed. When he won it seemed like evil came out to fight him.

Trump wasn’t as big a liar as his opponent, and he worked harder, paid for his campaign and took no salary. In just two years, he passed a tax plan, reduced regulations, helped the economy, represented us well in foreign policies, was strict with our enemies, improved trades and our government position with others, greatly lowered unemployment, helped our military, troops and vets, and yet some people are angry. Maybe because he is a moral leader and people are worried that their immoral ways are under attack!

Joseph John Rothengast


Speaking up

Some of the recent letters defending Brett Kavanaugh have been disturbing, to say the least. The Oct. 14 “Champion of women” letter, however, took disturbing to a whole new level.

In quoting the saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” Thomas Henderson seems to be suggesting that a victim should never speak up against power, in this case, the patriarchy. This exemplifies the “good old boy” culture that protected Kavanaugh against an actual investigation and ignored that he blatantly lied (obvious to anyone who has followed this event). I support any victim who, like Ford, does the right thing by speaking her truth, regardless of who “feeds” her.

Lise Osvold


American infrastructure

In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that it would cost $4.6 trillion to update and repair America’s aging infrastructure. This is clearly a priority which has not been adequately addressed by the Trump administration.

Instead, we continue to build infrastructure overseas, and now the president would have us spend up to $25 billion to build an unnecessary wall. As the president has said many times, it is time to put America first, particularly with regard to infrastructure.

Jim Witeck


Bill of Rights

I’m not sure why you published the letter from Eddie Goodal in Friday’s edition (“National anthem,” Oct. 12) but, since you did, I would like to support the opinion that the Constitution is a means to an end. The fact that someone exercises their right under the Constitution to express a point of view that is contrary to yours is why we have and need it and the Bill of Rights.

Eddie, it’s a good thing we have the Bill of Rights. Please feel free to express your opinion any time.

Douglas Williams


Voting guide

I received a copy of the “2018 Guide to Voting for Wake County” from Democracy NC and Common Cause. What I find most striking about this is what it doesn’t include — statements from 18 of the 33 Republican candidates listed. This stands in stark contrast to the Libertarians (4) and Democrat (1) who did not submit a statement.

To those candidates, including Republicans, who responded to the request for information, thank you. While your remarks don’t ensure that I will vote for you, they will at least allow me to make a more informed decision.

To those of you who did not submit a response, what a missed opportunity to potentially garner my vote. You’ve left me with the choice of voting for your opponent (if I agree with their statements) or not voting for that office at all. I will not vote for an ‘unknown’ candidate.

Rich Lemert