To the editor:
I am writing to urge congressional investigations and hearings into our government's actions in the attempted overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez.
I thought our government was in the business of promoting democracy and fair elections, but after reading news accounts of the attempted coup in the New York Times and the Guardian, I am dismayed and disgusted with the reported actions of members of the Pentagon and Bush administration. While at this point, there is no direct evidence that the president was involved, should congressional action uncover wrongdoing that leads to the top, I believe a special prosecutor should be called into action.
It is also shocking to discover that Eliot Abrams, a convicted felon in the Reagan administration's Iran Contra scandal (and who was pardoned by former President George Herbert Walker Bush), and two other former Reagan officials, John Negoponte and Otto Reich, who had reported ties to right-wing death squads, still work at the White House. How do these people get jobs in our government, not to mention working in the White House on affairs in Latin America.
In summary, supporting clandestine coups of legitimately elected governments should not be the business of the U.S. government, the "War on Terror" notwithstanding. I hope you will join with me and call for congressional inquiries and hearings, and, if necessary, a special prosecutor, to look into these threats to democracy, freedom and liberty.
Donald L. Phipps,