Frank Rich (October 14) excoriates the "silent majority" for its silence on the Iraq war. I think that he is wrong to do so.
First of all, it is only in the last year that public opinion has swung against the war, up till then, the majority of Americans thought that the war was a good idea. They may have been deceived into thinking so, but they did generally support the administration's policies.
Many other letter writers (October 16) have, like me, stated that they have opposed the administration's policies from the beginning and that they have written letters and signed petitions. That is true, but I have not seen any newspaper reports of these petitions, so this virtual world of opposition is inchoate and the members are unconnected from one another.
For myself, I have written many letters and op-eds for the New York Times (and your sister publication the Boston Globe) in opposition to the appalling policies of this administration -- just a few were published.
In May 2004, I was a late starter, I protested the Abu Ghraib scandal, the lack of lawyers for "enemy combatants, the unfair extension of troop assignments to Iraq, and the failure of General Zinni to support General Shinseki on troop level requirements before the war began. In June I protested the lack of accountability in the Administration and the incompetence of the contractors (on the minor issue of keeping mess kitchens clean). By December, I was concerned about paying for the war and prepared an op-ed with a partial solution based on Britain's post-war credit scheme of World War II. This was not published by I e-mailed it to every member of the senate. I am trying now with the House committee that is working on an income tax surcharge. In 2005, I opposed the privatization of social security, I laid out Bush's violation of his espoused values. I protested the abandonment of Consular Rules (the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations that ensures that jailed foreigners have the right to talk to consular officers). I excoriated the poor leadership example of Donald Rumsfeld sitting inside the secure shell of a heavily armored Rhino Runner while the troops he leads travel in unarmored Humvees. In July, I bewailed the loss of civil liberties by updating the poem "They came for me." In 2006, I continued my concern about the lack of accountability in the Administration and the Military. I opposed on several occasions the "States Secrets Defence" and expressed my concern with the callous treatment of the Uighurs and theose wrongfully exposed to extraordinary rendition. Again in 2007 I have pursued the war, the removal of Habeas Corpus and other violations of the spirit of the Constitution by the Bush Administration.
Frank, what more can I do?
Sent to New York Times