Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 6, 1974, Page 7

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette March 6, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa mt €ttinttrtpitb fait*** Why fuel mess? Leadership broke down Editorial Page Wednesday, March 6, 1974 SH SSN*V ■■    :|M#    MM*    <Mt*4MNPMI Nixon gaff not special NOW THAT Watergate-related indictments are piling up and trials of two former cabinet members are under way, defenders of President Nixon at last are mothballing stock retorts such as “what about ('hap-paquiddick?” and “they all do it.” As slowly as sap flows from Vermont sugar maples this season, some administration champions are even starting to acknowledge that perhaps Watergate is American history’s biggest White House scandal. Yet one ridiculous assertion seemingly will not die. This is the claim that if fatherly Dwight Eisenhower or idealistic John Kennedy had suffered a bad-luck string akin to Mr. Nixon’s, news media members would have looked the other way. To limn the wrongness of that notion one has but to imagine the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations slipping into a Watergate type morass. The exercise is possible, except, perhaps, in theorizing the drafting of an enemies list. The mind boggles there. Had* Eisenhower's administration been overrun with Plumbers, retribution specialists • and guileless sycophants, the sight of the scandal iceberg's very tip would have sent certain newsmen exploring — among them TV Commentator Howard K. Smith, who didn’t like Ike much, and Columnist. Drew Pearson and protege Jack Anderson, who played few favorities, if any. lf the jet-set Kennedy White House had been similarly undermined. some of the nation’s most resourceful conservative newspapers — notably the Chicago Tribune — doubtless would have started the digging in search of culprits. What makes those scenarios so easy to draw is their true-life application in the Watergate fiasco. The Washington Post, the Knight newspapers, the New York Times and Time magazine turned loose the bloodhounds early. But dozens of other opinion molders — including the three major TV networks — virtually ignored the spoor. Obviously, then, the Watergate scandal has drawn unprecedented coverage from predominantly Republican-oriented media because of its uniqueness in presidential history. Despite the notion that the press is “out to get Nixon,’’ news gatherers seem to have treated this tarnished administration fairly — probably the way their predecessors would have dealt with large-scale improprieties in previous administrations. Fortifying this conclusion is the White House's failure to turn up evidence of the “outrageous, vicious and distorted reporting alleged by the President at his news conference last Oct. 2H. Act on cable TV now SENATOR Rabedeaux of Muscatine has taken us to task for a statement in The Gazette’s Feb. 18 editorial regarding a bill to regulate cable television in Iowa. The senator chaired a cable TV study committee that made its report last December. The editorial said the committee had come out with “a rather weak-kneed recommendation that Governor Ray appoint a committee to work with cable television promoters and developers.’’ According to Rabedeaux, his committee's recommendation was much stronger. We'll concede it is a little stronger. But not much. The recommendation was for “further study by the state of the possibility of granting franchises on a regional or statewide basis, extending cable service to rural areas, and preventing any invasion of privacy occurring in the development of systems with two-way communication capability.’’ The committee suggested that Governor Ray name an advisory committee “immediately** to carn out the recommendation. As pointed out here Feb. IS, the governor turned the matter back to the legislature “where it belongs,’’ when he recommended in his Jan. 15 message enactment of a law establishing a cable telev ision advisory committee. A bill to do that has been introduced by Rep. Small of Iowa City and is on the house calendar. Study committee numbers and other legislators who want to see some surveillance over cable TV’s expansion in Iowa should support this bill. Legionnaires' doings ‘Noninvestigated’ ly Jack Anderson I17ASHINGTON — The Watergate VV prosecutors have been investigating, if all groups, the American Legion on suspicion that the White House used legionnaires to stand up to left-wing iemonst raters. To the bewilderment of National Adju-ant William Hauck, who has been a de-erminedly nonpartisan friend of Presidents since 1952, he was called in [or interrogation by the prosecutors. Hauck duly appeared before a stern, young lawyer named Nick Ackerman aho, ironically, won the American Legion “Voice of Democracy” award at high school in 19f>5. Ackerman wanted to know whether the White House had tried to get the Legion to bus in members for the funeral of J. Edgar Hoover. The prosecutors apparently thought the White House tried to recruit Legionnaires to square off with left wing demonstrators at the funeral, thereby stirring up sentiment against President Jack Anderson Nixon’s enemies on the left. It s known that the Cuban Watergate burglary team was sent to squabble with the demonstrators. The long-suffering Hauck was also interrogated about the Legion’s history and its stand on the Pentagon papers case He was even questioned, astonishingly, about the White House tapes. Hauck confided to us that he was “dumbfounded” at the questioning. Nevertheless, he patiently denied that the White House had contacted the Legion about the Hoover funeral or meddled iii legion policies. He also checked with other top legionnaires and wrote a private letter to Ackerman, stating they also had received no call "urging the influx of busloads of American Legionnaires to attend Mr Hoover’s funeral.” At the Watergate special prosecutor s office, a spokesman said it was “absolutely wrong” to say the legion was under investigation. “We have asked many patriotic Americans to cooperate with us arid regret very much that anyone would assume this meant we were investigating them,” said tin* spokesman. The spokesman’s definition of investigation differs with the dictionary definition and the impression left on the Legion. United I eature Syndicate By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON - Why is the administration having such a hard time persuading the American people that the fuel crisis is real, not phony? In part it is because no official has come near to explainining why the government was so egregiously late in recognizing what it was up against and in doing anything to head it off. In the second sentence of the opening statement at his latest press conference, President Nixon remarked: “You will recall that hiNt Octolier when we saw the energy crisis developing as a result of the embargo ...” Wrong on both points. The President may have first seen the energy crisis developing last October, but it had been developing not just over a period of many months but many years, and, while some with foresight were warning about what was ahead, nobody did anything about it. And the Arab oil embargo only speeded the oncoming crisis; it didn’t create it. For at least a decade our use of oil was steadily exceeding supply, and this, too, was evident to those who were willing to look at the facts. Some looked and none acted. I am not seeking to center the blame on anyone. There’s plenty for all, including the media. Responsibility for failing to perceive and to act goes back to every President and every congress — Republican and Democratic — since the end of World war II. It seems to me that here we come face to face with one of the usually concealed weaknesses of democracy, certainly our own democracy. The weakness — and it is a gravely serious one — is this: As a government we are better than average at coping with a national crisis after it has become so ominously visible that there is no blinking at it. But also as a government we seem determined to close our eyes and turn our heads the other way instead of recognizing impending crises and beginning to deal with them when it would be possible either to avert or make them more manageable. historic and abiding shortcoming of our government; namely, thai it is competent at managing crises, ineompenl at anticipating them. From 1945 to 197.T there were some within every administration who perceived what was coming, but they met a stone wall at every turn. When .lames Forrestal was secretary of defense as far back as 1947, he pleaded with other officials of the Truman administration anil with leading congressmen to see what the United States could and should do to safeguard its sources of oil in the Middle Fast. “Middle Fast oil,” he told one senator, “is going to be necessary for this country not merely in wartime but in peacetime.” Nobody listened.Unanswered question Shortly thereafter. Ambassador George F. Kcnnan began warning that the “Western world was vulnerable to Sox ie! influence" in the Middle Fast and said he could “see only one answer . . . reduce our dependence on the resources and facilities In question.” Nobody listened. Two university scientists, Lawrence Rocks and Richard Runyon, wrote a book laced with facts to alert the nation to the emerging energy crisis. They had terrible trouble and delays in getting a publisher and, when the book finally came out, few newspapers paid it any attention. The reviews were scanty It just didn’t seem important What, then, has been the underlying Roscoe " ^ Drummond'N & ■■SMI cause of our failure to recognize and aet upon the energy crisis until it almost overwhelmed us? It was a failure of political leadership on the part of live Presidents and a dozen congresses The American people never had a chance to demand action because they never had the facts effectively presented to them. I os Angel**' times Syndicate Mental therapy, or prison? By Richard I. Worsnop A1;. RF DEVIANTS from the social norm riminals who should be incarcerated or sick people w ho should be receiving psychiatric care? This sensitive question is being debated in judicial as well as paychiatric circles on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In Sweden, almost all of the inmates of Aakersberga prison are drugged as a matter of course. They receive tranquilizers in the morning and sleeping pills at night. Danish and West German prison authorities administer the drug Benperidol to sexual criminals. And in the United States, brain surgery has been performed on habitual sex offenders. Meanwhile, it is argued that prisons no longer serve a useful function in this country. In a study released last October, the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals said that prisons are “obsolete, cannot Im* reformed, should not be perpetuated through the false hope of forced treatment, and should be repudiated as useless ...” The commission recommended a moratorium on construction of new prisons and jails. The present fuel emergency reveals a Communist and Western societies are alike in insisting that individuals who stray far front accepted standards of behavior are in need of some form of treatment, still, Western intellectuals have long condemned the Soviet practice of sending political dissidents to exile in Silieria, and they are equally outraged by the more recent practice of confining dissenters in mental institutions. Last September, 21 leading Soviet doctors and psychiatrists said in a lengthy rebuttal of their Western critics that, “The seeming normality of such sick persons when they commit socially dangerous actions is used by anti-Soviet propaganda for slanderous intentions that these persons are not suffering from a mental disorder.” It must be recognized that in the Soviet Union anyone who criticizes the status quo is regarded as mentally disturbed. The Soviet doctors further argued that, “There is a small number of mental cases whose disease, as a result of mental derangement, paranoia and other psycho-pathological symptoms, can lead them to antisocial actions which fall in the category of those that are prohibited by law, such as the disturbance of public order, dissemination of slander, manifestation of aggressive intentions, etc.” The “etc.” obviously covers a lot of ground. Professor John Wing of London university’s institute of psychiatry said in Moscow on Oct. 15 that the Russians use a “rather wide diagnosis” of schizophrenia. In the United States, psychiatric treatment is often prescribed for persons convicted of violent crimes against the person. This approach to rehabilitation of criminals has always been controversial, and nowhere more so at present than in California. The California mental health services act. passed in 19H9, was designed to facilitate the release of persons confined in mental institutions. The measure was hailed initially as a piece of liberal legislation that would benefit both patient and society. But now many of the bill s supporters are hav ing second thoughts because, as a contributor to Human Behavior magazine wrote, “at least 72. . . murders, suicides and unfortunate accidents’ have directly involved former patients or those who tried unsuccessfully to get psychiatric care.” It seems clear that if any effective psychiatric approach to criminal behavior exists, law-enforcement authorities are a long way from finding it. Editorial RM#arcS Peportv MMM mmm People’s forumRevolting To the Editor: Newspaper and television commentators have been critical of the President for the infrequency of his press conferences. No one witnessing the telecast of the last such disgraceful performance needs an explanation for this infrequency. If the press were to view a rerun of its actions even the press might find something other than the President’s inherent aloofness to blame for this. The conduct of the press has been so shameful, so indecorous and so lacking in common courtesy as to cause any v iewer, except of course one afflicted by the current epidemic of paranoia, to react with revulsion. Lawyers in their appearances before courts are restrained in their conduct toward the judge by the ethics of their profession as well as by law. This is not to protect the judge, the man, from personal abuse, but to preserve the institution he represents. Are there no ethics among the press in their desire to scoop one another? The representatives that gathered lief ore the President shouting for recognition and exhibiting their hostility gave not the slightest appearance of a serious-minded group of journalists interested in developing the views of the President on issues of public interest. They looked more like a pack of hungry jackals that had cornered their prey, yelping and snapping, each biding his time until hi* could tear off his bit of flesh and disappear into the pack. With perhaps one exception the common concern of each questioner was not with the generation of an intellectual discourse hut rather with the display of his own contempt *and with the demeaning of the object of his own deeji hatred. There must be some better way to expose the views of the Chief Executive of this nation to the citizenry. Subjecting a President to such abuse by what should be a dignified, responsible profession is not only self-defeating, it is self*. denigrating. When the press learns to aet responsibly and regains a sense ut objectivity, the news conference will again serve a useful purpose, but until then it should be exorcised from our public life. C. J. Lynch, Hollywood, FlaImpeachable To the Editors: We have reached an impasse iii our nation s history. On one hand. we are committed to preserving the Constitution, despite the strong current pressures to override it. On the other hand, we are compelled to support the career of one man because he holds the exalted office of the presidency. There can be no real question about which course we must take if there is to be a confrontation between the two. In respecting the power and authority of the President, many have forgotten that it is the Constitution which gives him power, and many more have forgotten that his power is to be subordinate to the Constitution, not vice versa. A prima facie case has been established against the President on numerous charges, including complicity in the Watergate cover-up, obstruction of justice, illegal wiretapping and authorization of the “plumbers” and other illegal covert intelligence groups This does not mean that the President is guilty of these charges. But the charges have been leveled, substantiated and there has never been any real refutation — only broad, sweeping, blanket denials and vague, unsubstantiated claims that “everyone does it ” Are our moral senses so blurred that we can riot see that a wrong is a wrong no matter who does it? Are we to condone wrong doing, even by the President of the United States, simply because corruption happens to Im* in vogue? There is a constitutional mechanism for dealing with this sort of presidential arrogance: impeachment The founding fathers put it in the Constitution for a purpose to prevent the abuse of executive power Through this process, we can get all the information out on the table, without running into the cover up catchall of executive privilege. In It, we can question the main witness, who has repeatedly remained silent. If our constitutional system is to work at all, we must make it work. We must not be afraid to express ourselves, and exercise our constitutional powers in order to check the (lower of a dangerously ambitious or oppressively arrogant executive. . .. lf the interests of the country are to Im* served, we must act with vigor and courage. There can be no room for partisanship here. Our main objective should be to secure the truth, however we can. If impeachment is the only answer, and I think it is, then President Nixon should he impeached. Scott Grau ElkaderLitter costs To the Editor: You have led the people to believe (editorial, Feb 27) the Oregon litter hill bans the c an It does not. It only adds to the consumer’s price of the product. Since the passage of the Oregon experiment, approximately $1 million has been added to the Oregon litter control budget. The National Academy of Sciences conducted a multi-state survey of litter iii 19«9 and again in 1971. These are by far the most prestigious and reliable surveys made on litter to date They found that the average mile of U.S. primary highway is littered with 1,304 items, ot which 17 percent are nonreturnable pop and beer beverage containers. Thus, even though the ultimate were realized and no non-returnable* were littered, H.J percent of the litter would still remain on the ground, of which 59 percent is paper products The cost of going to a high percentage of returnable packages has increased the cost of doing business. This is now being reflected in higher prices: Approximately $1.85 more to the consumer on a case of beer. It is estimated that the people of Iowa will pay about $10 million more for beverages than they do now, to eliminate 17 percent of the litter problem caused by I percent of the consuming public. Xii bough returnable* may save energy in the manufacture of containers, a returnable system uses substantially more gasoline and diesel fuel because it necessitates increased transportation Not only do returnables have to be shipped back to the brewery, but they take up close to twice the space as the equivalent amount of cans or nonreturnable bottles. Therefore, a dramatic increase on container-transporting fuel What is important about all of this is that we have seen every kind of fact and statistic coming out of Oregon and it s hard to know what to believe. This much is certain: The Oregon legislature is going to take another look at the “bottle bill” in its 1975 session. Whether it has done anything about litter in the state is unknown, and this tai t is obvious as you linik at tile situation nationwide Every state has considered mandatory deposit legislation repeatedly in the last four years. Only two, Oregon and Vermont, adopted it Bill Bi K20 h irst street ! Secretary, Cedar Rapi Beer Wholesalers As* Mormon Rom»#y Roadblock rn ;

  • C. J. Lynch
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • George F. Kcnnan
  • Howard K. Smith
  • J. Edgar Hoover
  • Jack Anderson
  • John Kennedy
  • John Wing
  • Nick Ackerman
  • Richard I. Worsnop
  • Richard Runyon
  • Roscoe Drummond
  • Scott Grau Elkaderlitter
  • William Hauck

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: March 6, 1974

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