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U.S. INTEREST, NOT SOLDIER'S DEATH, WAS THE REASON FOR PANAMA INVASION

Doublespeak is alive and well in Washington, D.C.

Twenty-four thousand American troops must invade Panama, President Bush tells us, because a U.S. serviceman has been killed. But the sham of that public posturing is betrayed when George Allen, former security adviser to President Reagan, says on national television (CNN, Jan. 7) that we invaded Panama "to protect U.S. interests." The candor of his admission is surprising.

Six Jesuit priests were murdered in El Salvador with all evidence pointing to Salvadoran National Security Forces. But Salvador's president is our friend so we must continue sending $1 million a day to prop up his government. The six priests come at the end of a long list of 70,000 murdered in that small country since 1980 when we started sending them the big money; the list includes the four U.S. church women murdered, their autopsies showed, with U.S. bullets.

In Guatemala on Nov. 2, Sister Diana Ortiz of Kentucky was abducted and tortured by men in Guatemalan police uniforms who actually used a Guatamalan police car for her kidnapping. But Guatamala's president is our friend so we must continue to send military aid.

Jan. 1, Sister Maureen Courtney of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was murdered in northern Nicaragua. Evidence from two eye witnesses identifies contra forces as the guilty parties. Also, it was a documented 1987 contra attack that murdered U.S. citizen Benjamin Linder who was in Nicaragua to build simple electrical systems for the poor. But the contras are our friends, indeed our creation, so we must continue sending them millions in tax dollars.

The truth of the above can be measured in direct proportion to how often President Bush even mentions their names in public. Listen to his silence.

JOAN F. MALONE, OSF
Center for Justice
Buffalo

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