To the editor: Thank you for publishing Leo Golinkin's most timely essay about our current national paranoia. It's comforting to hear the voice of reason from a U.S. citizen who experienced the darkness of the Cold War as a native son of the Soviet Union. ("Heinous, ideological enemy? The U.S. has been there before," Opinion, Jan. 14)
Unfortunately, on Thursday evening, we heard the antithesis of his reasoning during the GOP presidential debate. In the primary campaign, we have heard how the end is near, that we need to carpet bomb the Middle East until we make the sand glow.
It appears reason is a virtue that few in the campaign have cultivated.
Frank Ferrone, El Cajon
To the editor: Gee, I'm sorry that Americans are offending Golinkin by being concerned about Islamic terrorists. What offends me is Golinkin's snide references to Sen. Joseph McCarthy's campaign against communist infiltration into our government back in the Cold War days.
History has, at the very least, partly vindicated McCarthy.
Meredith Gardner, a brilliant cryptologist, had broken the Soviet codes in the mid-1940s and regularly deciphered Russian secret messages flowing between Washington and Moscow. This was not publicly acknowledged until 1996 when the U.S. Commission on Government Security honored him as an "unsung hero" of the Cold War.
He had ultimately found cover names for more than 300 Americans who were spying for the Soviets. There was not a single agency of the American government that the Soviets hadn't infiltrated. All this was kept secret so the Soviet code messages could continue to be intercepted.
Unfortunately, little has been done to rehabilitate McCarthy.
James E. Bie, Palm Desert
To the editor: I'm old enough to remember McCarthy. It's amazing how much presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) looks and sounds like him.
Jim Woodard, Woodland Hills