The Feb. 24 front-page article about the testimony of the ex-security chiefs, “Intelligence failures blamed in riot,” said that “each sought to minimize their responsibility.” I was struck by the slanted tone of that statement. Listening to former Capitol Police chief Steven A. Sund, I was impressed by the detail and intensity of his replies to questioning. No doubt there was a failure of communication and very likely a failure of imagination in preparing for the day. Critical changes are necessary. But is it likely that anyone else in the position of chief would have made a difference on that day?

Veronica Mevorach, Silver Spring

Years ago, when I was beginning my career as an organizer, a colleague shared this tip: “No one ever got milk from a cow by sending her a letter.” United Farm Workers leader César Chávez followed this fundamental communications strategy: First you talk with one person. Then you talk with another person.

Many people now confuse sending an email with effective communication. Frequently the stakes are relatively low. When domestic terrorists plan violence targeting the heart of our republic, the consequences of this confusion haunt us.

That the FBI communicated via email a credible threat of violence against our Capitol painfully demonstrates not only an intelligence failure; it also signals a gob-smacking failure of common sense and ownership of the outcomes of one’s actions. 

Joy M. Oakes, Arlington