A U.S. Army soldier stands on guard duty near the U.S.-Mexico border on Nov. 5 in Donna, Tex. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Before Marc A. Thiessen got around to carelessly spraying buckshot in all directions [“The outrage machine’s short-term memory,” Wednesday Opinion, Nov. 7], he compared President Trump’s calling of the military to the Mexico border “precisely” to similar actions by George W. Bush in 2006, George H.W. Bush in 1989, Bill Clinton in 1994 and Barack Obama in 2011. But all of these other actions were taken because of criminal activities, such as drug and human smuggling. Mr. Trump’s action is being taken against unhidden, unsmuggled, noncriminal would-be refugees.

Furthermore, only in Mr. Clinton’s case was the timing near an election. And that was more of a middling September Situation than a late-October Surprise.

Not “precisely” the same thing. Not anywhere close.

Thom Link, Washington