That's Your Priority

As a longtime subscriber, I look to your front page for your judgment of what is news and to your editorial page for your judgment of what is right. Your placement of a manufactured pro-war story ["Unrivaled Military Feels Strains of Unending War," Feb. 16] above your skimpy coverage of the largest expression of public opinion in the history of the world ["Millions Worldwide Protest Iraq War"] dealt a major blow to my faith in your news judgment.

-- Alex Hershaft

Who Says?

Your lead front-page story on Feb. 20 ["Inspectors Fault Iraqi Follow-Up"] may serve to support your pro-administration stance, but it is based entirely on anonymous sources. Apart from being shoddy journalism, does this not violate your paper's established policy?

-- Peter J. Laine

Judging From History

William Raspberry [op-ed, Feb. 17] might oscillate less about Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr. if he considered the judge's sworn 1990 testimony that "I never had any contact with the [Mississippi State] Sovereignty Commission," when this white supremacist commission's records include a 1972 staff memo noting that Pickering, then a state senator, was "very interested" in the commission's investigation into local union organizing. He might oscillate less if he considered Pickering's record of flagrant and categorical disdain for employment discrimination cases. He might oscillate less if he considered that Pickering solicited letters of support from lawyers who practiced before him, letters that he read before forwarding them to the Department of Justice.

-- Todd Gitlin

In the Security Business

Your Feb. 18 profile of retired Air Force Gen. Charles G. Boyd, president and CEO of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), incorrectly states that BENS is funded primarily by defense contractors ["An Intellectual Pioneer of Homeland Security," news story]. In fact, defense contractors contribute only a small fraction of the organization's budget, with more than 90 percent of contributions coming from leading executives in a variety of non-defense industries, including banking, finance, consumer products, mass communications, high technology and engineering. The principal contribution of BENS members is that of their time and expertise helping government solve some of the country's most pressing national security challenges.

-- Michael Doubleday

The writer is vice president for

communications of Business Executives

for National Security.

Off Limits

As a nurse, I was rather shocked when I read Marc Fisher's Feb. 18 column ["The Wait Ends for the Man in the Next Bed," Metro]. All hospital personnel are required to maintain a patient's privacy. If Fisher happened to come across a patient's chart, he had no business reading it, much less reporting its contents. I wonder how Fisher would feel if a visitor had read his father's chart and passed on the information to others.

-- Nancy Myers

Wishful Thinking

A Feb. 21 news story says that Sen. Joe Lieberman, "popular with many Jewish donors, should have plenty of money."

Of course. All Jewish people are rich. It's funny but sad how this false belief is repeated by well-meaning people. I suspect that the author of the article doesn't even realize his sentence ever so subtly gives credence to that belief.

Oh, that it were true. I could then give more money to more universal charities, as the Jewish charities would not need the money I give them.

-- Daniel Rosenfield

Eye on Arlington

As a lifelong resident of Columbia Pike, I must respond to a Feb. 3 Metro article that stated: "Columbia Pike in South Arlington has been a county eyesore for decades."

True, Columbia Pike's many art deco and other architecturally interesting buildings may be in need of a paint job and a few sidewalk cafes. But my county's real eyesores are found not down south but in the "new urbanist" yuppie monstrosities of Rosslyn, Ballston and the Wilson Boulevard corridor. That part of Arlington is fast becoming devoid of design, soul and anything not brick, a gym or a Starbucks.

-- Timothy Wittig