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Dear Editor:

I have to respond to Richard Baer's absurd attempt in your April 23 issue at creating moral equivalency between suicide bombers in the Middle East and INS agents detaining Mexican illegal aliens in Colorado. The two are so far apart that they cannot be grouped together on the same plane of culpability. Palestinian suicide bombing, I have to remind Mr. Baer, is "homicide bombing", yes, murder, as the White House has recently reminded us. Are INS agents murdering Mexican families as in many Third World countries?

Finger printing, strip-searching and incarceration are necessary and legitimate law-enforcement tasks for the INS agents to perform. Did they beat the detainees? Did they torture them? Did they otherwise violate their due process rights? I don't think so. There will always be the occasional violations by some overzealous agent, but that's what civil rights attorneys are for. Where was Mr. Baer when the LAPD hauled Richard Blake off to prison from his comfortable ranch house with maybe half an hour notice? Or was it simply our police enforcing criminal laws and doing whatever was necessary to protect public safety?

To me, Mr. Baer's view is similar to that of the blame-America first crowd who undermine our campaign against terrorism by alleging that we commit "atrocities" against the terrorists. If Mr. Baer wants to talk about real atrocities, why is he not protesting the situation in Sudan where millions of Christians are being enslaved, tortured, and slaughtered by the Islamic government? Maybe because the mainstream media isn't covering it.

Liem Doan, Esq.