It is with great sadness and trepidation that I read about the recent tragedies in Dallas, Falcon Heights, and Baton Rouge, La. All human life, regardless of race, gender, religious orientation, or profession, is priceless and irreplaceable. Violence begetting violence will merely exacerbate mistrust and result in the loss of yet more innocent lives on all sides. We, as citizens of the United States, must take a step back from the approaching abyss of chaos and hatred and look to each other, asking what unites us rather than what divides us, as freedom-loving Americans. The federal government, state and local authorities must do whatever it takes to restore public trust in our law enforcement officers and guarantee that ordinary citizens who obey the laws of this land will not suffer from arbitrary violence at their hands. On the other side, our community leaders must encourage our citizens to behave in a civil and law-abiding fashion, and not as a mob or as vigilantes.

These are very trying times for our country. We must work together to heal our divisions. The alternative (a race war) is far too terrifying a prospect which no one will win — we will all lose. My prayers go out to all of the victims and their families.

Michael Pravica, Henderson, Nev.

 

Editor’s note: A special edition of Readers Write, featuring responses to this week’s fatal police shootings of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights and of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and to the sniper ambush that left five police officers dead in Dallas, will appear in Sunday’s Opinion Exchange section. Themes will include the breakdown in society, proposed changes in police practices, and the roles of guns, race and leadership in the events of the past week.

 

HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAILS

Was there a fix? Did she create danger? Was she effective?

I am so sick and tried of hearing what a “stand-up guy” and “ethical, nonpartisan” person FBI Director Jim Comey is. He caved to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former President Bill Clinton and current Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. There is absolutely no honesty in our government. I’m actually happy I’m 74 (disabled Army vet) and won’t be around as our Constitution collapses. I fear for my children and grandchildren.

John Kelly, Bloomington

• • •

This FBI and the AG have weighed in on the Clinton e-mail problem. One question not addressed: If Hillary Clinton is elected president, will this behavior continue? How will we know that she doesn’t have her own server and other e-mail accounts? How will we know if she is as reckless with national security as president as she was as secretary of state? I, for one, am worried.

Rachel Workman, Minneapolis

• • •

Comey, a Republican, found no evidence to justify prosecuting Clinton’s use of a private server for State Department business. While Clinton acknowledges a mistake, there was no “gross negligence.” This did not prevent Comey from very political castigation, using words like “extremely careless,” which is, of course, simply using his right to freedom of speech. This frees House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Jason Chaffetz and House Speaker Paul Ryan (Republicans) to hear “gross negligence” and scream to high heavens. Now they can conduct hearings, like they did about Benghazi.

Comey also noted that at least a few documents with classified sections were e-mailed. Nothing was stated about such documents being sent to unauthorized parties. But now, of course, Clinton is accused of lying. Anyone else would at least be called only “mistaken.”

It amazes me that Republicans seem to be succeeding in painting Clinton as untrustworthy and a liar. I guess if it is stated enough, many people believe it, with no concrete evidence.

Darrell Egertson, Bloomington

• • •

About 60 percent of federal agency computer systems, including those at the State Department, have been subject to successful hacks and break-ins. One recently at the Office of Personnel Management gushed 21.5 million personnel records out into the wild. An e-mail server can be pretty strong against attacks if well-executed, inside or outside of large agencies. Running a private e-mail server is certainly not a best practice and warrants criticism, but can Comey truly assure that Clinton’s e-mail would have been more secure on a federal server?

Dennis Fazio, Minneapolis

The writer is an internet consultant.

• • •

After the release of the Benghazi majority report, which the Star Tribune Editorial Board described as arriving “two years and $7 million dollars later,” I thought: Nearly $2 million for each dead American who gave years of service to our country? That was money well-spent in an attempt to arrive at some of the truth. However, not all questions were answered. The executive branch did not freely cooperate with requests for information. Obviously a key figure was not interviewed: the president. One revelation from the Benghazi investigation was the existence of the private e-mail server used by Clinton. This led to an extensive investigation by the FBI. President Obama had to know about Secretary Clinton’s e-mail arrangement. As her boss, why didn’t he stop her?

The president has skated through Benghazi and the e-mail controversy (which are connected), immune to involvement. Shame on the media for not asking the questions.

Daryl Williamson, Eden Prairie

• • •

Amid all the loud attention to Clinton’s e-mails, the much larger context of that issue seems to have been totally forgotten: her tenure as secretary of state, which can only be considered enormously successful and beneficial to the United States.

I vividly remember reading near the end of the George W. Bush presidency a powerful public letter signed by more than 100 members of the U.S. Foreign Service. It described their deep concern about what had happened to American diplomacy during that administration, with its militarism and its name-calling of other countries. The diplomats explained the delicate web of connections, brought about by many person-to-person interactions, that is necessary for diplomatic relations between countries. The State Department had woven these over decades, helping to make possible reasonable solutions to international issues and avoid military involvement. The Bush administration, they said, had crudely and ignorantly swiped away this web, which they were afraid would take many decades to rebuild.

This was the situation Hillary Clinton entered as secretary of state, and she worked with amazing energy to re-create the power of diplomacy. She visited 112 countries and kept in touch with many issues and leaders. She earned respect internationally, as well as bipartisan support here. She understood that human rights are critical to U.S. security interests, and she tirelessly promoted the welfare of women and children, especially education for girls, which is known to help countries to build toward democracy. She also fought for the benefit abroad of American companies and for strong trade policies, believing that good commercial relations support peace.

No, I don’t like that Clinton has lied about some things, or her slips in classified information. I don’t like what I hear about every other politician about similar things. However, I think we all would do well to imagine ourselves in their shoes sometimes, enduring the pressures, superhuman demands, criticism, ridicule, jet lag, internal and external conflicts, and sheer energy drain of the political life, and then think through our choices thoughtfully.

Helen Gilbert, Minneapolis