In 1963, Kim Philby fled the United Kingdom for the Soviet Union. This high-ranking British intelligence officer and Soviet spy — who had turned to communism in the 1930s — was once considered a candidate for the directorate of MI6.
He could have been caught early on but was not. The result was devastating and had widespread consequences for decades.
Fast-forward 50 years.
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A contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton tells the South China Morning Post that he took the job because it gave him access to confidential documents.
Thanks to a government contractor, many sensitive operations have been compromised. There is probably no way to know who or what has been placed in grave jeopardy.
Edward Snowden wants us to believe he leaked information about surveillance to expose the government’s invasion of privacy, that he fled to Hong Kong and elsewhere with troves of classified information for the greater good and that he is the victim.
Mr. Snowden is no victim, and he’s no hero.
In my view, he’s just another self-serving traitor like Philby who does not deserve the great nation he betrayed.Clyde Waltermate
Hey, Kansas City, the new airport terminal project needs our support to get started. It will have airlines again in hubs going out of Kansas City.
Kansas City International Airport again would have direct flights to Frankfurt, Germany, and likely other exciting cities such as Berlin, Paris and London.
Join with me and our mayor and support building the new airport terminal. Bring the jobs back to Kansas City with a first-class airport terminal.
It’s easy to get distracted these days and lose sight of what really matters.
Our elected officials are busy catering to so many special-interest groups and the priorities of political correctness. Everyone has a red wagon to push around, and that’s fine. But when they dominate the national discussion, we all fail.
Gay marriage? Gun control? Seriously? I imagine the next item for debate will be federal funding for web cams in poultry-processing plants.
None of these favorite issues will affect the long-term prosperity of our country. In the meantime, our education system is failing our children and the United States falls further behind in producing the best and brightest required for the modern economy.
Would-be entrepreneurs are held back by the maze of regulations and costs of creating new enterprises. Our infrastructure is crumbling around our ears.
We have lost our global competitive edge to so many distractions and have ignored the fundamentals required for growth and prosperity.
Washington fiddles, the public cheers and America fizzles.
Will new leadership emerge that challenges the United States to place our energy and resources where they will make a difference?Tom Owens Kansas City Political strategy
Paula Deen should have taken a page out of the playbook of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other past and present members of the Obama administration.
When confronted with tough questions, evade, sandbag and lie.
Then never apologize and never resign.Ron Stone Raytown Firing disappointing
As a member of the Kansas City Museum’s Friends of Corinthian Hall, I’m very disappointed in the loss of Christopher Leitch as director, who in himself is a Kansas City treasure (7-10, A4, “Kansas City Museum director is fired”).
Perhaps Mr. Leitch, with his wealth of historic knowledge and credentials, should be considered as a replacement for the constantly bickering and overall inefficient leaders at Union Station.Carol Jean Barta Leawood Abortion rights
In the 2010 election, social conservatives took control of many states with majorities in their houses, senates and governorships.
Since the beginning of 2013, these solid red conservative states have passed many bills limiting abortions. They understand they can’t ban abortions because of Roe vs. Wade, so they have chosen instead to make it as difficult as possible, or in some cases impossible, for a woman to get an abortion.
In North Dakota, they passed a bill making it illegal for a woman to get an abortion after six weeks, when in many cases a woman does not even know she is pregnant.
Most of these states have basically shut down all abortion providers by passing outrageous regulations that they know can never be met and which apply only to facilities that perform abortions.
These are the same states that passed bills requiring all sorts of procedures before a woman would be allowed to have an abortion.
For a party that beats its chest about less government regulation, the Republicans sure don’t have a problem with government regulations limiting a woman’s right to choose.
They believe women don’t have the right to make that decision on their own.Karen Lane Overland Park Respect lacking
I am aghast at the lack of respect for our ambassador to Libya and the three other brave men who died trying to protect him and themselves.
Apparently, they were sent into harm’s way without adequate protection and without a reliable plan to extract them in case of extreme danger.
If something like this had happened on the watches of presidents Harry Truman or Dwight Eisenhower, then heads would have rolled by now. At this point I am ashamed of our nation.
Where is the outrage?
I am sorry, but at this point it still matters to me.Andy Fisher Pleasant Hill Social Security facts
Social Security is insurance.
You pay the FICA premium each payday, and claims must be filed by you.
A lady recently wrote to Dear Abby that her husband had died and that she and their children were receiving Social Security survivors benefits. She said when people found out they were angry and jealous.
Abby said it was best to not discuss the benefits with others.
That was the wrong advice. Everyone should know about Social Security benefits.
Look in the phone book under Social Security and find the local Social Security office and make a visit. Write down your questions.
Social Security officials tell me many people do not apply for benefits they are entitled to. To receive them, you must apply for them.
Newspapers recently carried stories from Washington, D.C., giving information.
They said Social Security must be changed or it will be able to make full payments only until 2033.
By then the trust fund will be gone, and payments of 77 percent will come from current receipts.
However, the rules for Social Security have been altered every year since 1974.
They will be changed again soon.Harry R. Weitkemper Columbia Affordable Care Act
A lot of people are wondering why Republicans oppose health reform when the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
The court said the law, also known as Obamacare, is, for the most part, constitutional.
It did not say it is a good idea or is well-written legislation.
The health-care law is primarily health-care payment reform, with lots of complicated details to be administered by multiple government entities.
Although well-intentioned, it seems unlikely to work.
Many conservatives agree with Thomas Sowell, an economist who said, “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”
Conservatives suspect the Affordable Care Act will be run with the efficiency of the post office and the compassion of the Internal Revenue Service.
Recent disclosures in Washington confirm our reasons to worry about the federal bureaucracy.
We might be wrong, but we’re not as evil as so many liberals claim.Jef Missman Kansas City