Monday, August 30, 2004

"To the Editor:
If Leon Wieseltier and the Book Review think that his review of ''Checkpoint'' (Aug. 8), Nicholson Baker's novel about a man who wants to kill President Bush, largely on account of the war with Iraq, was an appropriate occasion for Wieseltier to tell us where Janet Malcolm lives and to fret about her and other liberals' demonizing of Bush, why didn't Wieseltier also tell us about a letter Bush received on Sept. 20, 2001, as the country was reeling from the terrorist attack?
The letter said that ''even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.'' It was signed by Wieseltier and 40 other neoconservatives, on the letterhead of the Project for the New American Century. Why isn't it as important to understanding Wieseltier's review as his own claim that the time has come to admonish liberals not to become like conservatives?
Jim Sleeper,New Haven"