Dear President Bush


A reader writes:

The only thing missing from your letter to President Bush is the cc to his father. Although the first President Bush kept his distance from the decisions his son, as his own president, was making, there is now time for a father-to-son talk. I find it difficult to believe that the elder Bush is not having much of the same difficulty coming to terms with the torture-and-abuse program instituted under his son's administration.

Another adds:

Conciliatory? Well, I take you at your word, but I have to say my own take on your open letter was quite different.

What I saw was the final summation of a very fine attorney -- an attorney for the defense of this nation and our deepest values. It was a summation made not to a jury and a courtroom, but to everyone in the nation, and to history; a summation made in the clear knowledge that no actual indictments will ever be brought against these men in the real world, no verdicts entered, no sentences handed down. It was left to the power of the pen and the pixel to render judgment -- which you did, brilliantly. Methodically. Inescapably. If you truly think that was "conciliatory", you need to have your head examined. It was devastating.

You indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced them all in one grand piece. Was it constructive? Oh, yes. Clarity and courage are the sine qua nons of true creativity. And you did something more -- you released us. What needed to be said -- for all of us -- was said. Now we can go on.

So, conciliatory? I know what you mean, and it was an important, even critical component of your approach -- but no, I just can't agree. Constructive? Very.