An autopen is a mechanical arm that actually holds a pen and is programmed to sign letters with a particular person's precise signature. Imagine a President Al Gore, with slightly more personality, signing all official government letters – that's an autopen. (You can relax now, there will be no more exercises imagining a President Al Gore.)
There are 300 million Americans who have a constitutional right – an actual right, not a phony one invented by Harry Blackmun – to write to government officials. Every government office you've ever heard of in Washington, D.C., uses autopens with abandon.
As president, Clinton sold burial plots in Arlington Cemetery and liberals shrugged it off. What really gets their goat is the autopen. Evidently, the important thing was that every one of those pardons Clinton sold for cash on his last day in office was signed by Bill Clinton personally.
It occurred to someone (who obviously has the best interests of America at heart!) that among the letters Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sends out there must be condolence letters to the families of servicemen who died for their country. So liberals are in a lather that those letters were signed by autopen.
On the bright side, this is the first war America has been in where the number of casualties is small enough that it would even be theoretically possible for a Defense secretary to sign each condolence letter personally. When Democrats were running the Vietnam War, letters of condolence often began, "To whom it may concern" and were addressed to "occupant."