Letters to the Editor

CIA nominee Haspel ignored ‘fundamental human decency’

Gina Haspel did not condemn enhanced interrogations.
Gina Haspel did not condemn enhanced interrogations. AP

“CIA nominee is too qualified to pass up” (May 11) omits the most compelling argument for rejecting Gina Haspel’s nomination as CIA Director: her endorsement, promotion and cover-up of CIA torture, a practice the U.S. has staunchly opposed since its founding.

Torture is illegal, immoral, and ineffective. The Senate Subcommittee on Torture confirmed it does not produce reliable information; it recruits more terrorists. It is contrary to national and international law, including treaties by which we are constitutionally bound.

Despite Haspel’s refusal to admit it, torture is immoral. She ran the whole program of inhumane torture at the CIA’s ‘black site’ in Thailand and then, in defiance of court orders, destroyed videotape evidence that revealed its sadistic brutality. Thiessen fails to acknowledge that Haspel’s actions are unbridled by adherence to law, lack good judgment and ignore fundamental human decency, all dangerous traits for a potential head of the CIA.

Theissen concludes that Haspel’s rejection would send a “chilling, devastating message.” I believe its real message would be that “no individual or agency is above the law.” Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis are duty bound to obey the U.S. Constitution and reject the nomination of Gina Haspel.

Curt Torell


Fix dress code

Regarding “School officials weighing gender-neutral dress code” (Apr. 27): High school dress codes disproportionately affect girls and punish them because boys are unable to control themselves. This is especially true of my former high school, Burlington Christian Academy. Under the clothing section of our handbook, the Bible verse 1 Timothy 2:9 is given. This verse is part of the same Old Testament passage which states that girls “should learn in quietness and full submission” and “must be quiet.”

What kind of message does this send the girls at our school? It teaches girls that they must accommodate boys to avoid becoming a distraction. It teaches girls that they’re to blame for the reactions of boys. We’ve all heard someone say that a woman was “asking for it” because of how she was dressed and those sentiments are a direct result of the dress codes under which we allow boys to objectify girls and punish girls for being objectified.

In six years, there were countless assemblies held for girls telling them how to dress. Never was there an assembly for boys telling them to respect girls and their preference of clothing. Let’s stop interrupting the education of girls and start instilling self-control and respect in boys, addressing the real problem.

Zachary West


Stadium ‘bad’

Regarding “Is Raleigh’s bid, downtown stadium still in the works?” (May 13): It was only a matter of time before the mention of public funding reared its ugly head in the discussion of the privately proposed soccer stadium. Now that more cards are on the table, let’s recognize this deal as being bad for the taxpayers, bad for downtown drivers, and especially bad for the state government complex.

Instead, how about a new SAS Soccer Stadium in Cary?

Randall Rickman


System ‘not broken’

Regarding “It’s time to look at compensating college athletes” (May 12): Rep. Walker is wrong about the need to compensate college athletes. You need to follow the money. Most of the sports money that colleges make are in two sports, football and basketball. Their other sports that are reliant on profits from those two. So, most college athletes participate in sports reliant on football and basketball for money.

We would have hundreds of thousands fewer college athletes without the current system. Most college athletes receive exceptional benefits including scholarships. Only about 2 percent ever go pro. The athletes learn important lessons such as teamwork, hard work, setting and meeting goals and self discipline.

The system is not broken because a dozen or so agents and coaches may have violated rules. These people represent 0.1 percent of the coaches and agents. Is the actual number higher? Yes I’m sure it is, but we only have evidence of a tiny percentage.

College sports benefit so many people and hurt so few. Sports programs benefit the schools, the school’s communities, most of the athletes, the coaches who get to have a dream job, the students who get discounted tickets and the alumni who feel closer to their school.

Jeremy Blum