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An assignment for Mayfield

Gordon Lilly, Silverthorne

RE: Rich Mayfield’s column “Going to class on whether the end justifies the means” on Feb. 26.Rich Mayfield, you somewhat patronizingly addressed your readers as students in your Ethics 101 class and ended, tongue in cheek, by giving us a 600-word assignment due on the following day. I am sorry I failed to turn in my assignment until now, but I was busy. After all, on the same page as your lecture, was an article of mine that was designed to start a new organization in Summit County and doing that took precedence.The thrust of your lecture on ethics was that President Bush and his advisors deliberately deceived the nation about his reasons for invading Iraq. I presume that you were talking about the question of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). I would remind you of three points. First: The British prime minister, relying on his own intelligence advisers, was convinced that Saddam Hussein still had WMD. Second: One year before the year 2000 election, the U.S. Air Force attacked 15 installations in Iraq that Clinton’s administration claimed were developing or producing WMD. So three western leaders, Clinton, Blair and Bush, believed Saddam had WMD. Third: Saddam Hussein made that belief more plausible by expelling the U.N. inspectors who were charged with extracting the truth about his activities. There are two possible explanations. The first is that the three western leaders were jointly involved in a conspiracy of deceit. The second is that Saddam successfully bluffed them into thinking that he had WMD when he no longer did. It’s a simple choice, but for you to selectively impugn the honesty of just one of those western leaders is in my opinion politically unethical. I would like you to respond. You don’t have to give me the 600 words that you assigned. I will accept 300 words and I will allow you two weeks to prepare your answer.


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