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Letter: Lynch should speak with constituents

Needham Times
Thursday, September 1, 2005

Democracy requires a dialogue between elected officials and their constituents. Isn't that what government by the people and for the people is all about?

A group of us from Congressman Stephen F. Lynch's 9th District requested a meeting with him to voice our concerns about the war in Iraq. At the last minute, the scheduled meeting was canceled. A second meeting was set up, but Congressman Lynch - again at the last minute - informed us that he could not attend. We did, however, meet with his aide, telling him that community forums were urgently needed so that constituents could hear Congressman Lynch's opinions on: a timetable for withdrawal of American troops, the establishment of permanent bases in Iraq, independent investigations into torture and abuse at U.S. bases and questions raised by the Downing Street memo. And Congressman Lynch needs to hear the opinions of his constituents on these topics.

Imagine our consternation when those of us who have been trying to arrange a face-to-face discussion with Congressman Lynch learned that he has arranged to host a program in Braintree at the East Junior High on Sept. 11 to which all the service academies have been invited to inform high school students and their parents about how to apply to military academies such as West Point and the Naval Academy. Why was this meeting scheduled for Sept. 11? Is this to further the false assertion of the administration that there is a connection between 9/11 and our pre-emptive war on Iraq?

This war, which began with lies and continues to kill and maim more and more of our brave young men and women - to say nothing of the innocent thousands of Iraqis who have been killed and maimed - needs to be discussed. We cannot - must not - hide from the destruction we have caused to ourselves and others.

Democracy requires a dialogue between elected officials and their constituents. Call Congressman Lynch's office (617-428-2000) and ask that the congressman set aside time for community forums.

Susan Fleming

Morton Street



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