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DR. FRANKENBACHER SPEAKS!
Re: Anthony Pignataro's article concerning my long-term involvement in Afghanistan ("Dr. Frankenbacher," Sept. 28). It was good someone at a local publication had the courage to attempt an analysis of the world events that led to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It was horrible that the main premise was based on the totally inaccurate assumption that those Afghans who fought with U.S. help and beat the Soviet troops occupying their country were essentially the same as those who conducted the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. That is true of a few characters, but by and large, the mujahideen of the 1980s are notthe Taliban of the 1990s. Thus I had nothing to do with arming anyone involved in the World Trade Center attack.
I spent years struggling to see that U.S. support in that region went to pro-Western, moderate forces, not nut cases. Clearly, I've been the most active and vocal opponent in Congress of the extremist elements in Afghanistan, most recently the Taliban. I would hope your publication has enough integrity to retract this error.
Member of Congress
Anthony Pignataro responds:Congressman Rohrabacher's phrase "by and large" contains much of the evidence that my article was right. But let's go further: by his own admission, the congressman was a "major player" in the Reagan administration's program of arming and training the Afghan mujahideen during the late 1980s. His assertion that he had nothing to do with arming bin Laden—if only accidentally—flies in the face of facts, and not just those presented in my article. On Oct. 16, the Associated Press reported that Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms Manufacturing shipped 25 high-powered sniper rifles directly to bin Laden during the war—at the behest of the U.S. government. Want more? Ted Carpenter, a defense and foreign-policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, explained in a Sept. 22 NPR interview, "We are now dealing with a monster of our own creation. So many of the people who are now in bin Laden's organization initially received their training and funding from the CIA. . . . President Reagan and his advisers repeatedly described the resistance fighters as freedom fighters. They were nothing of the sort. . . . By backing them, we really unbalanced the whole political situation in Afghanistan and enabled the radicals [the Taliban] to come to power."
Re: Alison M. Rosen's review of the Damned ("Waisted," Oct. 5): But what did they sound like? Were you reviewing a concert or a fashion show? I couldn't glean one useful comment from your review. Who cares whether the Offspring were "in the house," and what's the point of mentioning Me First and the Gimme Gimmes if you can't even remember why you brought them up? Secondary information is fine . . . provided you've done a good job with the primary information.
Alison M. Rosen responds: You couldn't glean one useful comment in my review? Did I not say that the Galaxy Concert Theatre's drinks, though small, are strong? Did I not speak of my enterprising friend's use of tampons (applicatorless, by the way) as earplugs? Is this not useful? Concertsare fashion shows, Jeff. And I mention the Offspring because the Damned were recently signed to Nitro Records, which is owned by the Offspring's Dexter Holland. As for mentions of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Spike from Swingin' Utters is a member. But really, have you read theWeekly before? Our primary purpose is to recognize the secondary importance of most primary information, unless we found the primary information first. Thanks for your second guess!
To disparage the resolution presented by the Board of Supervisors to Richard Hunsaker honoring his receipt of the Building Industry Association's "Tribute to Excellence" Award is a disservice to both the Board of Supervisors and Richard Hunsaker (Anthony Pignataro's "Public Display of Affection," Oct. 12). All 300-plus Hunsaker & Associates employees are proud of the contributions we have made to the Southern California community. More important, the honor bestowed to Richard by the BIA acknowledges his charitable contribution to his church and the community at large. You have done a disservice to a kind and generous person who has always been committed to doing the right thing and giving back. We at Hunsaker & Associates feel you owe Mr. Hunsaker an apology.
Executive director, Hunsaker & Associates
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Anthony Pignataro responds: The point of my story was to illustrate the coziness between county officials—in this case, Fifth District Supervisor Tom Wilson—and local developers who wield such extraordinary power over them. That Schneider, once Orange County's chief administrative officer, felt compelled to rush to his boss's defense offers further evidence of my point.
IS THE FUSE LIT?
In today's environment, what brings out the hate in us more—a picture of Osama bin Laden? Or a cover photo of Lit (Alison M. Rosen's "Still on Fire," Oct. 12)? Are you kooks trying to incite a riot? Must we be reminded that "Razzle" (Lit's name back when its members had big hair and played glammy metal) always was and still is what's wrong with Orange County music—that is, of course, unless you actually like "McMusic"? I beg you: in these times, please do not use hate to increase your circulation. It's just not right.