EDITOR: I was shocked, angered and saddened to read that the White House has given more authority to the CIA and the military's Joint Special Operations Command to drone strike “militants” in Yemen “who may be plotting attacks against the United States, but whose identities might not be completely known” (“White House clears more drone strikes in Yemen,” Thursday).
This is a distinct departure not only from the American value of judicial justice but legal military behavior in times of war. We are killing individuals in Yemen (with whom we are not at war) because we suspect they might be plotting against our country.
With our new drone capability, where are the legal and moral boundaries? And, who might be next?
EDITOR: Although I appreciate columnist Nicholas D. Kristof's attempt to explain the obscene suicide rate of returning veterans, his facts and logic are flawed (“War veterans, brain disease and suicide,” Saturday). His statement that “returning Vietnam veterans did not have sharply elevated suicide rates” is blatantly incorrect. Due to their vilified status, suicides weren't a concern.
Fact: Just as in the current wars, many more Vietnam veterans killed themselves than died in combat.
Fact: If his assertion were true that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is the cause of suicides, there would be an epidemic of suicides of boxers, football players and other athletes who endure repeated blows to the head. One must ignore this inconvenient fact for the causal leap to make any sense. In addition, if someone suffers CTE due to blasts from bombs or grenades, there is a high probability that they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well.
The uncomfortable truth is the insanity and inhumanity of war often cause mental illness in soldiers. But as the quote in Kristof's column from Cheryl DeBow unfortunately demonstrates: “Everything changes when it's something physical. People are more understanding. It's a relief to the veterans and to the family . . .”