• December 21, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

Dissent = patriotism

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Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

This is in response to Mr. Jeffcoat’s letter in the Dec. 26 edition, “Ulrich no help to veterans,” in which he expresses dismay over Councilman Eric Ulrich’s support for Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito as Council speaker.

We veterans served to preserve our freedoms, including free speech and dissent from our nation’s policies. Choosing not to salute our nation’s flag when it wages illegal war is an act of constitutionally protected free expression. Dissent is the ultimate patriotic action; and especially appropriate when our nation has disgraced itself by waging unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which millions have been killed and wounded, as well as committing torture and detaining innocent prisoners at black sites and Guantanamo, and prosecuting hero whistleblowers such as Brad Manning, Ed Snowden, etc.

By the way, I have personally met Ms. Mark-Viverito. Her support for veterans is clear; she has marched with our contingent in freezing November weather in the Armistice/Veterans Day Parade up Fifth Avenue. I look forward to her fulfilling a progressive agenda as City Council speaker, and especially cleaning out the hundreds of high-salaried patronage jobs held by folks with ties to traditional Democratic County organizations.

Robert Keilbach
U.S. Navy, 1961-65

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