To the editor:
What is a patriot? Presumably someone devoted to his/her country.
So to decide who is a patriotic American, we need first of all to think about what an American is. Our country is not defined by race, ancestry, religion or language. To become Americans, people must subscribe to certain ideals. We know that we've often fallen terribly short of those ideals, but they still are the core of what we are about.
Looking for a summary of what makes us Americans (that I could fit into a letter to the Journal-World), I thought of the end of the Pledge of Allegiance, "With liberty and justice for all."
Matthew O'Connell points with pride to the fact that Abraham Lincoln violated the freedom and imposed injustice on U.S. citizens in rebellion. (If they weren't U.S. citizens, obviously Mr. Lincoln had no right to object to their loyalty to their country.)
So if Mr. O'Connell admires the arbitrary imprisonment and execution of Americans, of course he would approve of arbitrary confinement of anyone at Guantanamo. He refers to them all as "terrorists," although many have been released as no threat after long incarceration.
Mr. O'Connell does not care about such minor details. He does not care to be limited by any silly ideals such as freedom and justice.
Anne L. Haehl,