The editorial ``Confidence in the CIA,'' Nov. 3: observes accurately that with the end of the cold war the complexity of international relations and security requires intelligence services in which the American people have confidence. These intelligence services must also possess competence.
The challenge of a diverse, expanding array of national security issues - nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, economic espionage, and ethnic conflict, among others - has begun to strain the capabilities of the ossified bureaucracies of US intelligence.
Without a complete restructuring of intelligence services designed to address the proliferation of these new challenges to global security, the US will be ill prepared to help ensure stability and peace in the 21st century.
It is urgent for Congress to review and revise the National Security Act of 1947 and to create an innovative, effective organizational structure for our intelligence services. W.F. Dunkelberger, Randolph, Vt.
The CIA's Flawed Intelligence Service
Why does intelligence have to be gathered by the CIA with its tragic flaw of no accountability?
The fact that the committee found that the responsibility for the Ames affair lies with R. James Woolsey's predecessors indicates that this has been an ongoing problem that will probably continue.
Why not return intelligence gathering to the State Department?
Retire, at full pay, all CIA agents. Use the billions that flow through those agents to foreign double agents to reduce the size of the national debt. The deficit is a far greater danger to our well-being than the loss of disinformation. Barbara M. Fiedler, River Forest, Ill.
A purposeful vote
There is an apparent lack of understanding in the editorial ``The New(t) Congress,'' Nov. 15, regarding voter turnout.
It is believed that those who don't vote are considered apathetic. Your redefinition of why people didn't vote was way off the mark. Saying that the 60 percent or so of those who chose not to vote voted for ``none of the above'' assumes too much.
When citizens choose not to vote, they are not only failing to exercise their obligations as such, but in essence voting for whoever wins (by not voting at all).
In all elections across the fruited plain there are sacrificial lambs, ballot holders, and a lot of other candidates who are on the ballot but haven't a prayer.
Did Andre Marrou have a chance in 1992? I don't think so, but the Libertarians still put him on the ballot so their votes wouldn't be wasted.
And for those who doubt that this election was anti-Democratic, perhaps saying it was anti-incumbent, just remember that not one sitting Republican - senator or congressman - was voted out. Bradford Beckett, Oxford, Ohio
Caring first for our citizens
I'm writing about the editorial ``Punishing Immigrants,'' Nov. 3.
According to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary definition, to ``immigrate'' is ``To come into a country of which one is not a native, for permanent residence.''
We have a great number of people here that fall under that category: Cubans, Haitians, Cambodians, and so on.
Since Mexico and Canada are our closest neighbors I feel that we should take care of them first after we take care of our own citizens that are homeless, hungry, and need health care.
The United States cannot take care of the entire world and indeed we should not feel that this is our responsibility.
I grew up near the Mexican border, and I feel compassion for the ``illegal aliens.'' Jo Anne Jacobs, Tucson, Ariz.