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Letters: Iraqi Prisoner, Bolton and Radio for Pets

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Letters: Iraqi Prisoner, Bolton and Radio for Pets

From Our Listeners

Letters: Iraqi Prisoner, Bolton and Radio for Pets

Letters: Iraqi Prisoner, Bolton and Radio for Pets

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Host Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' letters. This week's letters include comments on a piece on an Iraqi detainee at Abu Ghraib prison, an interview with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, and


It's Thursday and time to read from your e-mails.


Many of you wrote about our report on the final hours of Iraqi detainee Manadel al-Jamadi. US forces believed that al-Jamadi was involved in the insurgency. He died in US custody at Abu Ghraib prison in November 2003. His death was ruled a homicide, but no one was held accountable.

NORRIS: `It was sickening and heartbreaking to hear about the pain and death inflicted by our troops,' writes Glen Gearhart(ph) of San Diego, California. `This type of action is not only futile in terms of intelligence; it takes all moral advantage away from our troops. These criminal and disgraceful acts must be repudiated by everyone in the chain of command and strong steps taken to prevent them recurring.'

BLOCK: There were also some objections to our report.

NORRIS: `I am so disgusted at the story you chose to broadcast.'

BLOCK: That's from E.B. Cohen of Lafayette, Colorado.

NORRIS: `It makes my blood boil when you choose to focus on a mistake or, shall I say, a possible bad choice by our military and dwell on it ad nauseam. It seems like a bleeding heart mentality of NPR feeling sorry for anyone, even those who've tortured or killed innocent people. Our military isn't perfect and has its less-proud moments, but, my goodness, what about the many heroic moments?'

BLOCK: Michele's interview with United Nations Ambassador John Bolton also brought comments.

NORRIS: I spoke with him about the UN Security Council resolution on Syria. It demands cooperation with an inquiry into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

BLOCK: Tiki Arshambo(ph) of Burlington, Vermont, was displeased with remarks made by Ambassador Bolton: `Thank you for putting Mr. Bolton's hypocrisy on record. In light of this interview, I'm curious to know if Bolton will support sanctions against Israel, or how about Pakistan, which continues to be ruled by the leader of an illegal coup, or maybe the US itself, which defied the UN charter, attacked a sovereign nation and overthrew the entire government?'

NORRIS: When New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was on the show yesterday, I asked him about a comment he made earlier in the week. Nagin asked, `How do I make sure New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?'

BLOCK: `Contemptible and despicable seemed to approximate my feelings toward Mayor Nagin's racist remarks'--that from Los Angeles listener Ralph Cassias(ph). He continues, `The only context where that kind of statement is defendable is as an example of the absolute wrong thing to say in a public forum.'

NORRIS: But Bendalia Benitez(ph) of Orlando, Florida, asks, `Why the focus on race? It's not a race issue. It's an American job for an American worker issue. It's also an issue of greedy American barons enticing desperate illegals to swarm across the border, causing strife for all. Meanwhile, desperate American workers are unemployable because they know enough to demand a day's pay for a day's work.'

BLOCK: A quick correction to another item yesterday. When talking about the government's pandemic flu plan, we mixed up one number. Under the federal plan, states would be expected to pay 75 percent of the cost of antiviral drugs, not 25 percent.

NORRIS: Finally, we introduced you to DogCatRadio and its deejay, Adrian Martinez. He plays upbeat music for four-legged friends who stay at home while their owners are at work.

BLOCK: Well, don't count on Gus and Paul to be listening. Heidi Ross of Raleigh, North Carolina, writes, `My two cats have been devoted listeners to NPR for nine years and aren't about to change. My pet sitter says they're the best-informed cats on the block.'

NORRIS: Well, we want to stay informed about what you think of our show. You can write to us by going to our home page,, and clicking on the Contact Us button. Don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.

BLOCK: This is NPR, National Public Radio.

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